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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Debbie Disputes Deluded Dawkins


The following is a post by guest blogger Debbie - *(Modeling jeans by Levi and book by Wilson.)


My dear sweet husband Radar thought that I would enjoy the privilege of answering Canucklehead on the challenges from Richard Dawkins since I have just read a delicious little book by Douglas Wilson responding to Dawkins’ God Delusion. And I mean little; I can fit it in the back pocket of my jeans, (and I have a little butt). About a third of it is the forward written by Joel McDurmon who sheds some interesting light on how Richard Dawkins came to his place of prominence.


But to answer Cnucklehead I went to the YouTube he suggested. It had clips of Dawkins speaking to National Geographic in which he said in essence any one who believes that the world is less than 10,000 years old is ignorant of THE FACTS. That WE KNOW the Earth is 4.6 BILLION years old. And if it wasn’t for ignorant parents hammering into the minds of children their belief in the Bible, science education could show them the wonders of the world that it took such a long, long, long, long,lllllooooonnnnnggggg time to come into existence. He said that it was a “privilege to know where we came from” after 1859, NOW WE KNOW. That’s the jist of that YouTube.


On YouTube, you know, you can go to related things. I saw a really cleaver one called The Dawkins Delusion where Dawkins is a cartoon talking head denying himself; very funny and very much to the point. But that’s not really fair, I would rather hear Dawkins himself so I found a series he did called 7 Wonders of the World. I watched the one about spiders. I have transcribed a part of it that follows:


“The (spider’s) ancestors were good at solving problems…it’s a failure of imagination to think this kind of ingenuity came about by design. The spider is not being ingenious not even Natural Selection is ingenious, its just that the world is filled with spiders whose ancestors were good at solving these problems, were good at doing things the clockwork mechanisms of their nervous systems had the effect that they built the right shape web…. We find it much easier to believe in design because we do it ourselves… things we see in our artificial world designed by humans… when we see something like a spider web we naturally make the comparison with a fishing net, which is made with a conscious purpose in mind. It’s very very hard for people to grasp that it was never designed, that it came about by chance variation followed by non-random survival passed down generation after generation in the genes. That’s all there is to it. That being said, that’s all there is to it, there is a lot concealed in that… a lot of time in that. It takes a long time step by step. Human history is tiny compared to the time of generation after generation of gradual improvement not just spider webs but every single thing in the living world. This may have been why it took so long for humans to think of it. It wasn’t till Darwin and Walkins thought of it in the middle of the nineteenth century, which is pretty late compared to how humans have thought of what on the face of it seem cleaver things in physical science; and there does seem to be a barrier to belief in Darwin’s Natural Selection. The fact is since Darwin we now understand why we are here in great detail, yet it’s still true to say that only a minority of people even in well educated countries realize this incredibly simple fact.”


Does this not speak for itself? Does anyone really need to point out all the baseless assumptions and double speak in that illogical dribble? Oh I’m sorry, I’m too ignorant to comprehend such simple fact.


Back to the book I mentioned earlier by Douglas Wilson that answered The God Delusion. The Deluded Atheist; Wilson didn’t need to write a long tedious tome to answer Dawkins, Wilson whittles down Dawkins’ arguments with his wit and reason and gets to the heart of what Dawkins is trying to escape from, that Christian tradition in which he was raised. He relies on Christian assumptions of order and morality. One part I especially like is the discussion of what Dawkins sees as an explanation of morality called Zeitgeist. I will now quote a portion of the book because Wilson says it best.


(From page 54)

We get our morality from the contemporary zeitgeist, or “spirit of the age”. Everybody, more or less, has the same basic morality, the one notable exception (kind of) being conservative Christians in the U.S. who are busy making up the American Taliban. But we all have a basic sense of what constitutes good and what constitutes bad. Dawkins cites a list of commandments he got off the Internet that illustrates this, called the “New Ten Commandments.” It would be exceedingly tedious to cite them all, but I will quote some of them, along with one I made up. See if you can tell which one it is.


2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.

5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.

6. Always seek to be learning something new.

10. Question everything.

11. Love pina coladas and walking in the rain.


Okay, so I added the last one. But I think you could only tell because it was supposed to be Ten Commandments, and that had an eleven by it. And what is it with that number ten? Question everything, except for stupid, arbitrary lists like this one. Whenever I see that bumper sticker that says “Question Authority,” I want to get a marker pen and write on it, “Don’t tell me what to do.”


But Dawkins celebrates the zeitgeist. He points to the suffrage of women as an example of this zeitgeist, with women gaining the right to vote in New Zealand in 1893, Britain in 1928, Switzerland in 1971, and in Kuwait in 2006. See? Look at us go. Dawkins is jubilant because:


The Zeitgeist moves on, so inexorably that we sometimes take it for granted

and forget that the change is a real phenomenon in its own right. (267)


As amusing as that is Wilson exposes Dawkins deepest discountenance.


(page 77) … Dawkins is more than half ashamed of what he is doing-and for good reason.

The last chapter of The God Delusion can be divided into two portions. The first part addresses issues like the power to console:


What have you to offer the dying patients, the weeping bereaved, the lonely Eleanor Rigbys for whom God is their only friend? (352)


Dawkins responds to this by pointing out, quite rightly, “Religion’s power to console doesn’t make it true.”(352).


Of course not, a doctor could console a terminally ill patient by lying to him and telling him he is going to get better. Lies that offer good news can console just as well as truths that actually are good news. Quite right. False gods can be consolation just as the true God can be.


But there is a deeper question. Why does the human creature need consolation? A desperate longing thirst in the desert doesn’t turn every mirage into water. But surely it argues that there is such a thing as water. Why would natural selection develop such an odd dead-end?


Wilson points to Dawkins lame attempt to fill this emptiness with “a lofty feeling of awe in us by describing various aspects of the physical universe in such a way as to make us say “whoa:”


We try to visualize an electron as tiny as a ball, in orbit around a larger cluster of balls representing protons and neutrons. That isn’t what it is like at all. Electrons are not like little balls. They are not like anything we recognize. (363)


Quantum mechanics, that rarefied pinnacle of twentieth-century scientific achievement, makes brilliantly successful predictions about the real world. (364-365)


The entire dune walks across the desert in a westerly direction at a speed of 17 metres per year. It retains its crescent shape and creeps along in the direction of the horns. (370)


Could we, by training and practice, emancipate ourselves … and achieve some sort of intuitive-as well as just mathematical-understanding of the very small, the very large, and the very fast? I genuinely don’t know the answer, but I am thrilled to be alive at a time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits. (374)


Wilson points out that only God can satisfy the emptiness because we have been created in His image. My thoughts on the above quotes from Dawkins’ book is how sad, he really could come to understand all those things, as I expect to in eternity because I know the Creator, in Him there truly are no limits.


~~~~~~~~


Zeit·geist (tstgst, zt-)
n.
The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation: "It's easy to see how a student . . . in the 1940's could imbibe such notions. The Zeitgeist encouraged Philosopher-Kings" James Atlas.

[German : Zeit, time (from Middle High German zt, from Old High German; see d- in Indo-European roots) + Geist, spirit; see poltergeist.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.




Radar -


It is sad that people like Dawkins substitute "chance" and "zeitgeist" for God and somehow believe they have come to some remarkable conclusion when, in fact, such words represent the unprovable, untestable and undependable in a desperate attempt by man to avoid having responsibility for the gift of life. Neither of those words represent an entity onto themselves, have any ability to confer information into matter or design any systems. Neither has intelligence nor can they be detected and separated onto themselves. They are concepts, they are descriptions, they are meaningless as an answer to any important questions of Origin.


It is hilarious that Dawkins can see the enormous complexity of the cell and the continual puzzle of quantum mechanics as in some way supporting his point of view, when in fact they defy it. Look close enough at the largest things and the tiniest things and you more clearly see the handiwork of a Designer who is brilliant beyond comprehension.


It is beyond nice to be married to my very cool wife. Thanks for the article, Honey!!!!!

67 comments:

chaos_engineer said...

I think I'll talk about the Zeitgeist thing. I haven't read the book, but I'm assuming that Dawkins goes on to talk about it in terms of "social evolution"...subcultures sometimes come up with new rules or customs or moral codes, and if the change "works", then it will spread through the greater society.

This has worked pretty well so far, but I have to admit that it could break in a few generations. (If we get trapped in a "1984" or "Brave New World" scenario then there's no obvious way to get out of it.)

So I guess the question is, "Is it good that we've got this evolving system of morality, or would we be better off with a fixed, unchanging moral code like the Ten Commandments?"

I've got to say that the Ten Commandments really aren't a great moral code by modern standards. The first four are completely inappropriate for a pluralistic society. Of the rest, there are prohibitions on three criminal acts, two immoral-but-not-criminal acts, and one minor character flaw. Conspicuously missing are condemnations of slavery, racism, and sexism...and, in fact, these were all acceptable behavior at the time the Ten Commandments were first written. So I think it's a good thing that we've been able to keep the good bits of the Ten Commandments, throw out the bad bits, and add in some needed bits that were missing.

The contemporary zeitgeist is a lot better, but I'd hate to have to keep it around forever. Right now the two hottest moral topics are, "Should we refuse to recognize the right of gay people to marry?" and "Should we have a health care system that's not as good as a Single Payer system would be?" Right now the zeitgeist is pointing towards "Yes" for both, but we're close to a tipping point and I think we'll see major changes within the next 10-20 years. It's worth letting that happen, and in fact I don't see how we can stop it from happening.

radar said...

The problem with people viewing the Ten Commandments as the basis for Christian morality is that they are being so BC...

Christianity is the continuation of Judaism as practiced by believers down through the ages. Those ten were augmented by many dozens more in the books of Moses that were referred to by the Jews as "The Law" since there were laws in Deuteronomy and in Leviticus and so on, not just on little section with ten.

God gave the Jews a series of laws that were ceremonial, they were judicial, they touched upon issues of health and sanitation and frankly in part a consideration of genetic problems that would arise from inbreeding.

God's first commandment was long before this ten and He didn't stop there. The Jewish people had a whole series of commandments concerning sacrifices and atonements because they could not keep the laws given. Sin was the problem.

Jesus Christ was the sacrificial Lamb, the one sacrifice necessary to satisfy the demands of God's many laws.

Now if you want to know what the Christian moral code is, you need to know the New Testament teachings and not simply one group of TEN COMMANDMENTS.

chaos, you do not know what behavior was acceptable to God at the time of those commandments. You and other commenters fail to grasp that what you see as slavery in those times was the equivalent of having a job and receiving a paycheck now (at least among the Jews). You use the term, sexism, but do you understand the culture of those times? Do you not understand that Christianity is the key to freeing women from a historical role as a lesser being? As to racism, Christians were at the forefront of the abolishment of modern slavery in England and America and the ending of Jim Crow laws.

As to "gay" marriage, homosexuality has always been wrong and always will be wrong. God prohibited it in the Old Testament and repeated the prohibition in the New Testament. Homosexuals have high rates of HIV transmission and other diseases, they have more cases of partner abuse, they cannot produce children and they are far more likely to have multiple sex partners. Homosexual relationships are far less stable that heterosexual relationships.

Zeitgeist has promoted divorce, adultery, recreational drug usage, homosexuality, eugenics and socialism. I have no confidence in Zeitgeist and it gets no credit for any positive changes to society.

radar said...

One more thing - the "right" of gay people to marry? Marriage being the union of a man and a woman, a gay man can marry a gay woman any time they want. But a union of a man to man or woman to woman is not marriage. You are trying to steal a terminology.

Can a dog "marry" a car? Good grief.

Then again, this country conferred the "right" to murder babies upon women and doctors. Even to let them die after they are born alive despite a botched abortion attempt and they are out of the womb alive!

If you call this Zeitgeist and good, how will you feel when "They" decide that people must retire at age 70 and by this they mean "retire" from life. Euthenasia, you know? You think that cannot happen? Abortion opened that door.

How long before a guy can "marry" your twelve-year-old son or daughter? You think that can't happen? "Gay" marriage opens that door.

One hundred years ago no one would have believed that we would have laws allowing women to murder their babies and homosexuals to be labeled "married." I would have been inconceivable. I suppose you think this is all good news?

NAMBLA is a driving force behind these "gay marriage" initiatives because they realize that they can open the door to man-boy marriages down the road, along with pretty much any other combination you can imagine. Will fifty-year-old men be marrying eight-year-old girls? Go ahead and put a couple of Sonia Sotomayers on the Supreme Court, shake vigorously and repeat.

chaos_engineer said...

There are a lot of different things I could say here. I could talk about slavery as it existed under the Roman Empire in Jesus' day, and how no one in the New Testament saw fit to speak out against it. Or I could talk about how a lot of Christians supported the Jim Crow laws, and how they claimed that the Christians who opposed those laws were "Communists". Or I could wonder why so many "human rights" issues didn't start coming into focus until the 1700's. (After 17 centuries, did God finally decide to talk louder? Or did Christians finally get better at listening?)

But I think I'll address this bit instead:

NAMBLA is a driving force behind these "gay marriage" initiatives because they realize that they can open the door to man-boy marriages down the road, along with pretty much any other combination you can imagine.

My wife and I are friends with a lesbian couple in California. They've been together for years, and they've supported each other through a number of difficulties that would have destroyed weaker relationships.

A couple of years back, there was a week of civil disobedience where some county clerks were giving out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Our friends got a license and had a ceremony before the courts shut everything down and invalidated their marriage.

They got married again last year in the months when it was legal, and their marriage is still valid according to the latest court ruling. (I still think they should move to a civilized state, like Iowa.) (Not that I can criticize California, I live in New York and we're not doing any better.)

They're not child molesters or demon worshipers. They're just regular people who fell in love with each other and who wanted to get married. It's people like that who are the primary "driving force behind these gay marriage initiatives". And it's also people like me and my wife, who have gay friends and want them to have the same chance at happiness that we have.

I really wish I could figure out a way to get you to meet them, or to meet any other gay couple. If you could free yourself from the prison of fear you're in, and get to know gay people as fellow human beings, then I think you'd change your mind.

radar said...

chaos, you are under the misapprehension that I think homosexuals are evil. Presenting a couple who seem to belong together, the good old exception that makes the rule, doesn't change things. Heck, I know a man couple who have been together for at least ten years. It doesn't mean that it is the norm, nor does it change the basic premise of what marriage is or is not.

Marriage is a Christian tradition, started by God in the beginning, between man and woman in the Book of Genesis.

I have worked with homosexual people and I worked with them without envisioning a giant "H" inscribed on their foreheads. Homosexuality is a sin like adultery and theft and lying and so on. I think sexual sins have a slightly greater spiritual impact but I am not going to judge anybody.

Your friends always had the option of a civil ceremony that has been available without the tag of marriage. Nothing hindered them from living together or from officially joining assets and making a joint will and all that. But they want to co-opt a term that applies to a man-woman relationship, that is the problem.

I am not afraid of homosexuals nor do I despise them or poke fun at them or, in fact, point out the fact that they are different from me unless they bring it up. Uhm, with one exception, one of my buddies named Robert who was a homosexual who ran out of a movie theater showing The Exorcist and hid on the floor in the back seat of my car...my and my buddy Roberto teased him like crazy and told everyone the story because it cracked us all up. This was in my before-Christ days. He took it well. We all used to hammer on each other at every opportunity so even then it wasn't that he was homo, it was just such a girlish thing to do. I think not making fun of him would have been more prejudicial, actually.

But I digress. I think being homo is between that person and God. It isn't my job to judge them or to care and it won't stop me from working with them, talking to them or so on. But it is disrespectful and wrong for them to go after the Christian tradition of marriage and try to forcibly shoehorn homosexual unions into it. That is completely wrong and I will fight against it in any way I can.

Do I make myself clear? Let me summarize:

1)God says homosexuality is a sin
2)All people sin
3)I do not judge people
Therefore, I do not judge homosexuals

Which brings us to -

1)God says marriage is between a man and a woman
2)I am a man married to a woman and therefore we are married
3)Homosexuals can get a court to label their union as "marriage" but it is not marriage and it is wrong to label it thusly

Furthermore -

1) There are civil/legal procedures that can link homosexuals as a couple without co-opting the tradition/sacrament of marriage from Christians
2) Let homosexuals join in that way and let them be responsible for their own actions before God
3) Leave marriage as a man-woman thing and let those couples be responsible for their own actions before God.

Finally I believe God loves homosexuals every bit as much as he loves me. He wants them to be saved just as I was saved. No hatred here.

radar said...

Now as to NAMBLA, if you do some research you will find that they are behind (along with several other groups that are unrelated) the "gay marriage" initiatives because they seek to remove age and gender barriers from marriage altogether. NAMBLA is an advocacy group for pedophiles.

Slippery Slope is such an overused term that I hate to bring it to the discussion but sometimes that is what we have. If marriage is between adult men and women, we keep weirdo/whacko types out of the picture.

I think being homosexual is weird and sinful but, between adults, that is their problem. I shouldn't exceed the speed limit or overeat and I shouldn't have dealt illegal drugs in my past and on and on. No one is without sin.

Right now society is being trained to accept homosexuality as normative. Next the age barriers get attacked so that we take marriage ages/ages of consent down to puberty, say around 12-13 years old.

Next comes age of comprehension, where if it can be determined that the individual can reason for himself, he is able to consent to sexual activities (bring in the completely faked sets of Kinsey Report data). Now, if we believe the radical view, all children are sexual even as infants so how far down do we go? Age ten? Age seven?!

Then how about sex with other organisms? If my sexual orientation is homosexual, you will allow me to do as I will? How about if I am a pedophile? How about if I am attracted to dogs and horses? How about if I am a necrophile? Are you going to deny me my sexual orientation and take away my right to have sex with corpses? Where do you draw the line, and by what authority do you draw it?

Wisdom understands the story of the Arab and his camel. The camel asks to stick his nose under the tent because it is so cold outside and now his entire head is in. How long before the camel is in and you are out?

The American public has made it clear by votes and referendums that they have rejected "gay marriage" yet the courts are forcing it upon us. If we do not go back and let God set the line by His authority, then there is no line.

Anonymous said...

"Where do you draw the line, and by what authority do you draw it?".

Is "consenting adults" really that much of a stretch? And do you think gay marriage really is a threat to the established precedent of "consenting (human) adults"? If so, why?

I sometimes underestimate your level of willful paranoia, but it's nice to get a little dose of it once in a while to remind me. It's all one big conspiracy, right.

Well, let's posit for the sake of argument that homosexual relationships are less stable than heterosexual ones:

Why should that be an argument against letting them marry?

Do we demand proof of heterosexual couples that they are likely to stay together? Of course not. And if they want to get divorced, they can.

-- creeper

chaos_engineer said...

But it is disrespectful and wrong for them to go after the Christian tradition of marriage and try to forcibly shoehorn homosexual unions into it.

Well, I agree with what you say later on, about Slippery Slope being an overused term. But I think it applies here.

Certainly Christians believe that God is directly involved in their marriage ceremonies; there's usually a line like, "What God has joined let no man put asunder."

But if that's the only kind of marriage defined as "real", then that means that marriages performed at City Hall aren't real, and neither are marriages involving Hindus or Buddhists or Pagans.

And once we've invalidated all those marriages, we'd have to take another look at Christian ceremonies. Some Episcopal Churches have been blessing same-sex relationships, and many Protestant churches are allowing divorced people to remarry. If God doesn't approve of that, then we can't count those as marriages, even if they use some of the verbiage of a Christian ceremony.

And that's just the beginning of the slippery slope! Pretty soon the remaining married couples will be fighting among themselves over which of them have fake marriages. The eventual winner will be whatever screeching lunatic can keep howling his narrow-minded religious beliefs until everyone else has gotten a headache and given up.

And he won't stop there! Having won ownership of the word "marriage", he's going to use his religion to claim ownership of "justice" and "good" and "edible", and then "house" and "sky" and "kitty-cat". The rest of us won't have any words we're allowed to use, and we'll be reduced to pointing at things and grunting.

No thanks! That's one slippery slope I have no intention of heading down! The English language belongs to the English-speaking people of the world, and I'm not going to let some jerk monopolize it. If he doesn't like sharing the word "marriage" with other people, then he can just call his own relationship something else. Maybe a "Faith-Based Union"?

(Wait a minute...isn't "Slippery Slope" the name of a logical fallacy? Never mind...)

The American public has made it clear by votes and referendums that they have rejected "gay marriage" yet the courts are forcing it upon us.

Well, to be fair, sometimes the courts need to get involved. We were talking about the Jim Crow laws earlier...a lot of them were reversed by legislation, but court cases like "Brown v. Topeka" and "Loving v. Virginia" also played a big role. When there's a real injustice going on, sometimes it's the court's duty to fix it right away, without waiting for public opinion to catch up.

That said, New Hampshire and Maine have just passed legislation to recognize same-sex marriage; the courts didn't need to get involved. Iowa was a little more complicated; it started with a court decision but then the legislature defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have reversed the decision.

That's what I was talking about when I said that I thought the national zeitgeist was near the tipping point.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, yes, thank you chaos for getting back to the Zeitgeist and how it works, everything you have said about Zeitgeist is probably what Dawkins meant in his book and why Wilson pointed it out. And thank you again chaos for the example of the Zeitgeist bringing about the acceptance of homosexual marriage. Does this not prove in the moral realm as well as in the physical realm that mutation and natural selection are entirely inadequate?

In the physical homosexual unions cannot produce anything, they should become extinct. In the societal realm they are of no benefit they cannot bring forth the next generation. Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of all human societies. Marriage is an important civil institution for the production of, the protection of, and providing for children. Single women raising children leads to poverty it most cases.

So what good does it do to follow the Zeitgeist? Wasn't it the Zeitgeist of the "free love" movement of the 60s that brought about a lot of single woman living in poverty? That attitude of "we don't need a piece of paper to live together, all we need is love." So now why do homosexuals, who cannot naturally produce children want that piece of paper?? I could go on but that's enough for now.

Debbie

chaos_engineer said...

Hi, Debbie!

I'm more optimistic about the zeitgeist than you are. It's an almost-blind process, so there's a lot of "ten steps forward, nine steps back" going on. But I do think it's made progress over time.

Let's look at the whole issue of single mothers in poverty. There are a huge number of factors involved. Here are some of the key ones:

Once upon a time, single mothers and their children were ostracized and persecuted, which discouraged most people from becoming single mothers. But then people started asking, "Is it right to engage in that kind of human sacrifice, even if it's for the greater good?" Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel "The Scarlet Letter" was one of the things that brought the issue into focus; that's a good example of how a single person can have a major impact on the zeitgeist. Single mothers started being seen as victims rather than villains.

Later on, the development of birth control made pre-marital sex more appealing and therefore more common. The catch is that education didn't get evenly distributed...so there was a problem with people who knew that pre-martial sex was available but didn't know how to use birth control properly.

Meanwhile, one aspect of the American Zeitgeist has always been the Myth of the Rugged Individual, AKA "I Don't Wanna Pay Taxes". This was exploited by Ronald Reagan and his stories about Taxpayers Buying Cadillacs For Welfare Queens, which led to limits on the resources available to single mothers, eventually culminating in the Clinton-era welfare reforms.

And that's where things stand today. Certainly there's room for improvement, and there are two ways we can go.

We could continue letting things evolve, by identifying the worst of the current problems and making changes to address them: We can reduce the number of single mothers by providing more information about birth control and researching more reliable technologies, and by working harder to encourage women to delay childbearing. We can also think about providing more help to the single mothers we have already...Single Payer Health Coverage would be a great first start.

Or we can just ignore centuries of experimentation, and go back to living under the unchanging moral code of a monolithic Christian society, like the one that Hawthorne condemned so persuasively in his book.

That attitude of "we don't need a piece of paper to live together, all we need is love." So now why do homosexuals, who cannot naturally produce children want that piece of paper??

The first attitude comes from the "liberal" version of the American Myth of the Rugged Individual, AKA "I'm not gonna let 'The Man' hassle me". In this case, "Why do I need the government's permission to sleep with somebody?"

The second attitude is, "If you tell me I can't have something, that makes me want it more." That's not really part of the zeitgeist; it's more like basic human nature. It goes back at least to the Garden of Eden.

I'm going to be off-line for the next few days...I'll check back in next week.

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

"And thank you again chaos for the example of the Zeitgeist bringing about the acceptance of homosexual marriage. Does this not prove in the moral realm as well as in the physical realm that mutation and natural selection are entirely inadequate?".

Um, how do you figure it's inadequate in the moral realm? Because it didn't arrive at the destination you had pre-ordained?

Or is there another reason?

And what does this have to do with the physical realm and natural selection?

"In the physical homosexual unions cannot produce anything, they should become extinct. In the societal realm they are of no benefit they cannot bring forth the next generation.".

By that logic, why allow people who aren't going to have children to get married? And what should we do about all those people who don't even get married? They're of no societal benefit whatsoever, did I get that right?

And as for this "Zeitgeist" stuff - morality shifts slowly by the consensus of the community. Even among Christians, like it or not. Or perhaps Radar or yourself could enlighten us as to specifically when God decided that it was no longer required according to all this "absolute" morality to kill all male prisoners of war?

-- creeper

radar said...

So, creeper, where is the quote where God says, "Thou shalt kill all male prisoners of war?"

Anonymous said...

Deuteronomy 20:10 onwards:

20:10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.

20:11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

20:12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:

20:13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:

20:14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.

20:15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.

20:16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

20:17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:


-- creeper

radar said...

Do you know the context of Deuteronomy 20? Does it apply to all peoples at all times or a specific situation? Tell you what, I promise to make a separate post on that if you do not know the answer...

Anonymous said...

Moses talking to the Israelites, wasn't it? So the sermons in Deuteronomy only apply to those people and that time, is that what you're saying?

-- creeper

radar said...

creeper, I want to continue this after my next post because this is Debbie's post and we are off topic. But your question is worth addressing in my next post and I will in detail there!

Anonymous said...

In the physical homosexual unions cannot produce anything, they should become extinct. In the societal realm they are of no benefit they cannot bring forth the next generation. Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of all human societies. Marriage is an important civil institution for the production of, the protection of, and providing for children. Single women raising children leads to poverty it most cases.


Debbie,

Hmmm...creeper touched on this, but should having children become requirement of all marriages? If a male has had a vasectomy, should he not be allowed to marry? If a woman isn't producing eggs anymore, should she be allowed to marry? Should women be allowed to marry after the age of 50 or so?

I do think it would be ideal for all people to be raised by two parents who love each other. That just isn't the reality, though. However, gay couples are more than capable of raising children. While they cannot conceive naturally, there are plenty of children who need loving homes out there. How do you feel about a gay couple adopting a child? What about a lesbian couple having a child through artificial insemination? If you really think homosexual couples are of NO BENEFIT, as you said above, you must believe gay couples adopting is wrong and lesbian couples having children are of zero benefit as well.

People talk about the tradition of the word marriage and the religious meaning behind it. I understand that, but the fact is our government has stepped in and decided sanction marriages...nobody is asking for the government to force your church or your priest to perform marriages. I don't understand how a gay couple being married by a justice of the peace does anything to diminish the sanctity of a heterosexual religious marriage. I'm all for the government stepping out of people's personal lives and discontinuing the licensing of marriages, but as long as they are I think any two consenting adults should be allowed to marry.



lava

Anonymous said...

Radar,

you're right that this detail is veering off topic. The general question (here for some reason under the subject of "Zeitgeist") remains though: how flexible is morality, Christian or otherwise?

I pointed out what seems like an incongruity to me. Your response was that the example I mentioned needed to be taken in context, that God only meant this for some people, not for everyone.

That doesn't sound very absolute to me. It's actually very, very relative. It's wrong to kill, but apparently it's fine to murder human beings (the children of God and so on) in certain contexts, say, if God (the all-powerful and all that) happens to be involved in a turf war against his own Creation.

Curiouser and curiouser...

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

And amen to what Lava said two comments above this one.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

radar said:

Marriage being the union of a man and a woman, a gay man can marry a gay woman any time they want. But a union of a man to man or woman to woman is not marriage. You are trying to steal a terminology.

What terminology? Always be careful when you want to exclude people from an institution because of some 'traditional' meaning of the word. 'Traditionally', the definition of property included human beings. Justice included burning people alive. Voting meant 'only for men'.

Just don't try to exclude people from marriage because you stick to some definition of the word that suits you.
Have you forgotten Loving v. Virginia already? There was a time that people couldn't marry because they were from different races. And many religious folk backed this up with the bible.

Anonymous said...

Great challenging comments, chaos, creeper, lava; I will try to address them all staying on the topic of 'd'evolving morality. Everyone recognizes the ideal in marriage is, one man one woman committed to each other and to the children they produce. This is what God set up in the first place and because of sin, the man woman relationship has devolved from there. In the evolutionary construct the need to reproduce and survive the best we could somehow developed the idea that it is best for the survival of offspring to have their parents committed to each other and to them.

The evolutionary model has no explanation for homosexuality. In the Bible, Romans 1:18-31, explains it quite nicely. According to the Bible morality devolved to such a state that God wiped out all but eight people to start all over again. So of course morality once again started to devolve from Noah.

What is the evolutionary explanation for the subjugation of women? For slavery? For cannibalism? For sadistic tendencies of all sorts and all sexual perversions?

The Bible says that God chose Abraham to reveal Himself to. No doubt oral and some written histories had been handed down from Noah to Shem and his descendants, keeping track of genealogies was important in the ancient world. Abraham was a man of his time with the devolved morality of the day but he believed God and taught his descendants to believe God.

Evolutionary theory maintains that humans made god up, why? Is it because humans need an authority to appeal to? Why? Is it possible to survive not having to be accountable to anyone? Animals have no need for a god or laws. But they don't care what other animals think.

So when you look at human society what fits better with the evidence we have? I see God working in human history holding back devolving morality slowly but steadily redeeming sinful and corrupt mankind through belief in the perfect, sinless, incorruptible Man and God, Jesus Christ.

Or is human history natural selection and the survival of the fittest and there is no such thing as sin. There is nothing to be redeemed from. There is no "ideal" to aim at, whatever works is fine.

Debbie

Anonymous said...

Debbie said:

The evolutionary model has no explanation for homosexuality.

Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality

Survival of genetic homosexual traits explained

Why Gays Don't Go Extinct


Try again.

radar said...

Religious Islamics point to the Koran for an excuse to send a kid with a bomb strapped to his chest to blow up a bus of Jews. Man is very good at justifying bad behavior. Yes, people have used the Bible incorrectly to promote racism, but a correct view of the Bible tells us that we all came from one family, so how can you be racist against your own kind?

Yes, words get twisted all the time but marriage is a tradition taken from the Bible. The word we use today comes from this, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Etymology:
Middle English marien, from Anglo-French marier, from Latin maritare, from maritus married
Date: 14th century

The Online Dictionary:

Etymology: ME marien < OFr marier < L maritare < maritus, a husband, married, prob. < IE base *meri, young wife, akin to *meryo, young man > Sans márya-, man, young man, suitor

The words are from young wife and young man. A marriage includes a husband and wife. It has been thus for recorded time.

Marriage has been abused. Once it was common to have polygamous marriages before they were outlawed in most societies.

Every commenter knows that marriage has been between men and women and that homosexuals are trying to co-opt the term in an attempt to require society to legitimize their sin. Society is falling prey to this trap. Zeitgeist is just another word for the breakdown of what is considered normal morality.

Christians were at the forefront of the drive to end slavery, to end Jim Crow, to give women the vote and in fact it was Christianity that promoted women from the scrubbing floor to a position of equality with men in the first place. Those who do not know and understand history tend to parrot the lies of the orthodoxy. You will find that where Western Civilization with Christian values prospers, women gain strength. In non-Christian societies, such as most Islamic countries, women are chattel.

radar said...

The New Scientist still believes in global warming, which shows you what they are. True believers in the orthodoxy, of course they will assert (without much documentation) how homosexuality is part of evolution and an important part of sexuality. I bet they think ACORN is a peaceful group of advocates trying to help people find housing and that John Edwards is very faithful to his wife and, and, well, they are not credible.

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

You didn't really address my points at all.
- Should ability and desire to have children be a requirement of all marriages?
- Should gay couples be allowed to adopt?
- Does Lesbians getting pregnant really have NO BENEFIT to society?

I see God working in human history holding back devolving morality slowly but steadily redeeming sinful and corrupt mankind through belief in the perfect, sinless, incorruptible Man and God, Jesus Christ.

God is holding back devolving morality....slowly. Why not hold it back completely? It's like he wants sinners to redeem or something.


lava

Anonymous said...

Yes, I want to answer you lava and chaos' post that he left before he said he had to go away for a while.

I think a single woman should not be able to have artificial insemination. Look at that woman who had eight babies by invitro. How is this a good thing? How is it a good thing to know that your father was not involved with your mother at all and was just a sperm donor? There are a lot of messed up people who have children naturally and now thanks to technology, unnaturally. How is this good?

Getting back to the chaos post. After talking about how single mothers were ostracized by society he writes:

(Later on, the development of birth control made pre-marital sex more appealing and therefore more common. The catch is that education didn't get evenly distributed...so there was a problem with people who knew that pre-martial sex was available but didn't know how to use birth control properly.)

To this I can answer quite competently because I used to work for an organization that published sex education materiel and conducted teacher training. I have read every sort of sex education materiel there is and seen statistics all kinds of studies.

Yes birth control has taken away a barrier to pre-marital sex. The sexual revolution is the cruelest joke ever on women. You can only get pregnant a few days a month but you can get an STD any time. Condoms are not the most effective birth control but it's the only thing we have to prevent STDs. The proper use of birth control is not the problem.

The problem is the societal acceptance of pre-marital sex. Sex means more to the human than procreation and recreation. The Bible calls it becoming "one flesh". At this point I will quote the Bible to show you:

1 Corinthians 6:12 ("Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."[b] 17But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. )

You see God meant sex to be the glue to unite a man and a woman together body and soul. And when sex is abused it always leads to misery. Poverty, disease, depression, fatherless children.... the zeitgeist is not beneficial at all.

Debbie

radar said...

Might I suggest that comparing animals to humans is not helpful? Animals run around naked and pee and poop on the ground somewhere. Is that a good model for human behavior?

Animals do not have knowledge of right and wrong and thus they cannot sin. God didn't tell them not to try to mate with the same sex.

Consider dogs, a familiar animal to most of us. I have seen male dogs try to "hump" legs and pillows. Do you really think that there are pillowsexual dogs?! Or are they simply animals without a moral code who are what God designed them to be. Don't confuse a dog's ability to learn what is rewarded and what is punished with a knowledge of good and evil.

Therefore, don't bring animal behavior into a discussion about what is correct human behavior. A classic apples and oranges situation.

radar said...

You didn't really address my points at all.
- Should ability and desire to have children be a requirement of all marriages?
Not relevant. Man and woman are the combination capable of having families, and so they are the people who, when they desire to unite and start a family, can marry. Having children only happens as a result of a man and a woman though

- Should gay couples be allowed to adopt?

If homosexuality is wrong and harmful, then of course not.
- Does Lesbians getting pregnant really have NO BENEFIT to society?

It requires a man for a lesbian to get pregnant. Now if one lesbian can get another lesbian pregnant, then I will listen.

Anonymous said...


If homosexuality is wrong and harmful, then of course not.
.

If? So you are saying homosexuality is wrong and harmful?


Debbie- you never responded to the part of my comment about god slowly holding back devolving morality. If God can hold back devolving morality and does do it, why does he do it slowly?


lava

Anonymous said...

Lava said:
"God is holding back devolving morality....slowly. Why not hold it back completely? It's like he wants sinners to redeem or something."

That's right, here's more bible:

2 Peter 3:8 (But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.)

God is working through human history calling people to come back to Him as they see the inevitable futility of "the zeitgeist".

Debbie

chaos_engineer said...

A couple of random comments:

Yes birth control has taken away a barrier to pre-marital sex. The sexual revolution is the cruelest joke ever on women.

You'd think that after 40 years, somebody would have explained the joke to them...

But I think there have been crueler jokes. I was just reading that in the early days of the Roman Empire, women had to go through six pregnancies on average just to keep the population stable, and the marriage customs reflected this. Women would tend to get drafted into arranged marriages when they were 14 or so. If a woman got married to abusive drunk, she was probably out of luck. (She could try to get her brothers to beat some sense into her husband, but whether that worked depended on circumstances.) The penalty for adultery tended to be death, at least among the property-owning classes.

It wasn't really a "joke", though. It was just a harsh moral code that was needed to maintain a stable population in a harsh world.

Today we don't have a problem with underpopulation. Our goal is to have a smaller number of children, but with enough education to do skilled labor.

So it makes sense for women to delay childbearing until they're older. Maybe in their mid-to-late twenties?

Except that most people don't want to be celibate for that long, which leads to other problems, which we're slowly finding solutions for. We've gone through a lot of dead-ends in the process, but I do think that things have improved since the first century.

God is working through human history calling people to come back to Him as they see the inevitable futility of "the zeitgeist".

That sounds like of like the cultural version of "theistic evolution"...where evolution appears to be a random process but is actually being subtly influenced by God to move in a particular direction.

Can we look at this in practical terms? For the past decade or so, there's been a lot of interest in "abstinence-only sex education". But studies are showing that it doesn't produce good results, and then we've got anecdotal evidence from the Palin family that it fails catastrophically even in the setting where it should be most likely to succeed. (Anecdotes are no substitute for proper research, but they're so vivid that they can have a real transforming effect on public opinion.) Anyway, the "abstinence-only" programs seem to be on the way out.

What message do you see in this? Did God cause the programs to fail because He wants something else? Or is something more complicated going on?

Anonymous said...

Radar responds to Lava's inquiry as to weather a gay couple should be allowed to adopt with - "If homosexuality is wrong and harmful, then of course not." Well it's not, so, are you for it then? Radar do you realize that the studies done on this subject indicate that same sex parenting is actually not "harmful" to children? See the sites I list below for reference,

http://www.rossde.com/editorials/childrenofgays.html
http://www2.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=38cc20ce-7f14-44ea-b4d9-d4cd16d7a269&k=9378
http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/88-national/45811-mental-illness-less-likely-for-lesbians-kids.html

Oh and would the cute couple be willing to try to explain to me why gay relationships are wrong, but this time without invoking god or the bible, because, as you know, I do not believe in any of that stuff. In fact, I think it's absurd. So, if you could, please explain to me, in non-religious terms, as to why being gay is so "wrong". Now if you can't do that (understanding that your evolutionary argument - my irony meter went off the charts with that one by-the-way - has been refuted already), can you explain to me why it's OK to push your religious beliefs on people that do not believe it?

- Canucklehead

Anonymous said...

chaos, so what is the benefit of devaluing sex? Yes the sexual revolution is a cruel joke on women, I'm a woman I lived through it 40 years ago, it was a cruel joke on me and my girlfriends. I didn't get pregnant but most my friends did, we knew about condoms. What sexual freedom did for me led to drug use anorexia, bulimia, and years of depression. Today more people have STDs than they did 40 years ago. If I knew God 40 years ago or at least had a moral code that pre-marital sex was wrong an my friends would disapprove I would have been spared all that.

But thank God my kids have been spared from the zietgeist of "free love", they understand that the sexual union is most fulfilling when blessed by God.

Debbie

Anonymous said...

Canucklehead, you find Richard Dawkins' dribble convincing, I don't think you would look at any evidence that homosexuality is harmful.

It is harmful just as pre-marital sex is harmful. You can find a lot of abuse in those relationships, much higher percentages than married heterosexuals. Much more infidelity. And need I say a much higher rate of all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases.

Anal sex is harmful and unnatural in every case. I don't have to look that up in the Bible to know that.

And why do we Christians insist on telling unbelievers about God? Maybe its because we use to be unbelievers and can see the difference belief in God makes in our lives, how satisfying it is to know we are so completely secure in the love of Christ, that we need not fear death, that we are never alone or forgotten, that we are forgiven.

What makes you want to share your unbelief? What do you trust in? Without bringing Christians or the Bible into it, what makes unbelief so great?

Debbie

radar said...

Canucklehead, since my moral code is God-based, I cannot tell you "why" homosexuality is sinful other than the idea that God said so. We see that the lifestyle leads to more illness and violence and misery than heterosexual unions, however.

Why do you think it is okay? Is it okay with you if people want to have sex with corpses, because some do? Is it okay if people have sex with infants and toddlers, because some want to do it that way? Is it okay to kill your partner during sex because that is what really turns you on?

Where do you draw the line between proclivity and calamity?

You can't just bring in the consenting adults line, because who decides why you stop at adult and who defines adult and who defines consenting?

If you have no absolutes, you have no basis from with to make moral judgements for the betterment and preservation of society. Your way leads to chaos and anarchy.

Anonymous said...

The two of you should be ashamed of yourselves. You clearly aren't, in fact you're shameless, but you really should be ashamed.

Nice touch Radar, that whole equating homosexuality with Baby Rape.

I feel very sad for your poor poor offspring.

- Canucklehead

Anonymous said...

Oh and Radar, are you saying that if it weren't for the Bible you would do all the nasty things you list above? Wait a minute, you often talk about how you were once a non-believer, does that mean you were also once a necrophiliac or a pedophile too? I mean God wasn't there to reign you in like he is now, right?

- Canucklehead

radar said...

Gee, Canucklehead, the fact that you have no information or logic to refute my assertion and can do nothing but call names doesn't make your side of the argument very persuasive.

My poor children have been taught that sex within marriage is awesome and sex outside of marriage is wrong and dangerous. They seem to have done quite well despite such a terrible childhood and my grandkids seem to be doing very well also.

It would have been irresponsible of me to send my kids out into the cold world without arming them with a set of absolutes and the tendency to question and investigate issues for themselves.

I am very proud of my crew, frankly. I think I did fathering better than I have done any other thing in my life. I know it was important to me to be the best Dad I could be so my children could have the most abundant possible lives. Not one of us is actually rich monetarily but in terms of what money cannot buy I am very rich indeed. I have a big, loving family of people that I also like and trust and have a lot of fun with and share the love of God with also.

So really I just cannot accept the idea that my kids are poor. Oh, and by what standard do you say I must be ashamed? I have been trying to get you to identify an actual set of absolutes that you adhere to, so batter up!

You want to try making an actual argument with maybe just even a little bit of logic this time?

scohen said...

"You can't just bring in the consenting adults line, because who decides why you stop at adult and who defines adult and who defines consenting?"

This whole line of discussion is silly. The law defines what an adult is. The parties involved define 'consenting'. There are hundreds of years of legal precedent here.

I'd love to see your stats on the 'violence' and 'disease' aspects of homosexuality as well --I'm not sure I buy that.

And, even *if* it were the case where is the argument *against* marriage? For argument's sake, violence and abuse is rife in Appalachian whites. Should they not be allowed to marry?

No one is asking for necrophiliac rights, no one (credible) is asking for pedophilia --can you please, in the name of all things good and just, not use those insane arguments?

And Canucklehead: why so angry?

Radar clearly cannot turn the other cheek when it comes to name calling, so he spouted off some non-facts about your country)

I'll have you know that his arguments about the United States' health care system are not based in any sort of reality. I'm a 32 year old male --my wife and I have *never* had any significant medical problems (I get occasional migraines, she has TMJ) and we've been rejected for health insurance twice now. I'm trying to start a company, and it's extremely difficult for me to get insurance (why don't the supposedly pro-business Republicans stick up for entrepreneurs?). I'd love to see if Kimbal with his numerous health issues could get *any* individual health care coverage if he loses his job (I'd bed $100k on _no_).

Anyone that doesn't think our system is broken in some very fundamental ways is missing something.

That said, our imaging technology is second to none. Now if only anyone could *afford* it.

Radar,
If you want to talk about morality, please don't make it look like slavery back then was some sort of kind institution. Modern morality is vastly superior to Biblical morality on this issue, and lessening the injustice of slavery weakens your argument. Today, we find that the concept of one human having dominion over another is an anathema regardless of how the master treats the slave. The Bible, both the old testament and the sequel, is completely moot on this point.

You might see today's morals as worse than 50 years ago, but I'd have to respectfully disagree. I see morality as constantly improving as our understanding improves. Women are not our chattel. They have every right a man has. This is non-controversial now, but was incredibly liberal 80 years ago. The Bible is in the wrong side of that argument, and as such, it shouldn't enter into our laws.

Debbie:
"Anal sex is harmful and unnatural in every case."

It's just like skiing. Some people like it and some people don't. (Sorry, inside joke) Hmm... skiing is also unnatural and can be harmful.

Could you define 'harmful' and 'unnatural'?

Since homosexuality has been observed (and observed, and observed) in nature, how can it be unnatural? Seems to me it's totally natural, just immoral by your 2000 year old code, just like eating lobster, or wearing a cotton-poly blend... or any of the other 613 commandments.

Anonymous said...

scohen, are you really that naive about the homosexual agenda?

http://www.massresistance.org/docs/issues/fistgate/index.html

Why is the homosexual community so concerned about AIDS if their behavior doesn't spread disease?

The link above is sex ed for gays. The instructors

*Margot E. Abels, Coordinator, HIV/AIDS Program, Massachusetts Dept. of Education
*Julie Netherland, Coordinator, HIV/AIDS Program, Massachusetts Dept. of Education
*Michael Gaucher, Consultant, HIV/AIDS Program, Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health

I bet you can't wait to sign your kids, nieces, nephews up for this course!

Debbie

scohen said...

Oh right, more conspiracies, 'agendas' machinations...scary!!

"Why is the homosexual community so concerned about AIDS if their behavior doesn't spread disease?"

Umm... isn't everyone worried about AIDS? Doesn't heterosexual sex spread disease as well?

And, again, what does any of this have to do with marriage? If two guys want to get married, how does that affect either your or my marriage one bit? I just don't see it. The fact that so many want to get married seems to directly contradict your and your husband's characterization (actually more of a caricature) of their lifestyle. Hint: They want the rights and privileges of being married. They want to have their husbands visit them in the hospital, they want their loves to be their decision makers when they're incapacitated. None of these things happen with civil unions.

By the way, your link was *hilarious*. I remember my sex-ed classes in fifth grade (when I was 9 by the way) and I wonder how the person who wrote the article in your link would have characterized them.

Children as young as 9 years old learning about disgusting sex acts

This actually made me think a little bit, I've never considered how gay children must feel during our straight-only sex-ed classes in school. It must be extremely refreshing for them to have such an open an honest discussion about their sexuality.

Of course, you guys probably are aghast at that, and would only want them to deny their sexuality because, as radar puts it, "God said so".

"I bet you can't wait to sign your kids, nieces, nephews up for this course!"

If one of my kids/nieces/nephews etc. were gay and around sexual maturity, I would have no problem with them having a frank discussion about that with someone who understand what they're going through. I don't find anything particularly wrong or shameful with being gay.

It's interesting to note that while in college, I had the exact conversation you had above about homosexuality being impossible under evolution. This comes from a total lack of understanding of evolution. I could say the same thing about sickle cell anemia, or any fatal childhood disease.

I also wonder --you say Dawkins is 'dribble' (I think you meant drivel, the guy is incredibly smart), and you have a picture with you and a book that rebuts him. Have you read his original book? If not, how can you possibly understand the context of the rebuttal? I never trust quotes like the ones Radar posted, they could easily be taken out of context, like Morowitz.

I personally find Dawkins rather strident, but his contributions to biology (the selfish gene) are pretty incredible.

btw, my word verification is fistabi, which I *think* is one of the acts mentioned in your link above.

radar said...

scohen, you read the information on that page Debbie posted and were not alarmed? I find that to be alarming! I could not even post that stuff on my blog, too graphic/nasty/evil to copy. You think children should be taught these things? Some of the milder excerpts -

"In the context of the "safer sex" discussion, however, it was pointed out that these children could make an "informed decision" not to use a condom."

"Michael Gaucher pointed out that children "with an older partner that they are not feeling they can discuss things with, does that mean that they don't respect themselves?"'

"The Sidney Borum Community Health Center table was giving out a cassette sized "pocket sex" kit, which included two condoms, two antiseptic "moist" towelettes, and six bandages, which were for "when the sex got really rough," according to the high school volunteer behind the desk. There was a supply of condoms supplied by both Sidney Borum and Planned Parenthood, all of which were for the taking. Children as young as 12 or 13 participating and receiving "information" and materials. "

You approve of this? I guess I just have no clue about where you are coming from and probably should be glad of it!

~
In the end, I believe that Dawkins will show up in history to be one of those people whose "findings" were sand thrown in the eyes of discovery. He and Charles Darwin will one day be part of the scientific Hall of Shame, along with Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man, along with Haeckel's Embroyo Chart and the Miller-Urey experiment.

Dawkins ranks with Charles Lyell, who turned out to be completely and hilariously wrong about geology or perhaps I should say Hutton, for Hutton actually predated both Lyell and Darwin with hypotheses about uniformitarianism and evolution via natural selection. Darwin had to hustle to beat William Blythe and Hutton to the punch in terms of presenting a tasty snack for atheists.

Crick's mantra to researchers about DNA was to remember "it evolved, it wasn't designed" because it was so obviously designed and constant brainwashing was required.

If I was a split personality, would we know about it? You are so indoctrinated you cannot even see it. I am truly sorry.

scohen said...

"scohen, you read the information on that page Debbie posted and were not alarmed"

My first reaction was the realization that I never even *considered* how a gay teenager feels during sex ed. I was upset that I never thought about this before. Then, I saw how people were attacked when trying to provide information to these teenagers. I'll remind you that I was taught about sex *in school* when I was *nine* years old. It was quite explicit too.

Also Understand I considered the source. The site itself is incredibly biased. I'd love to hear the unedited recording. It's quite possible the adults were being very honest and crossed boundaries. Public speaking on any topic is demanding, trust me, I know.

From what I read on the (highly biased) site, the conference was targeted at kids from 14-18 years of age, I'm not sure where they got 12 from. Frankly, giving condoms to kids who want (or should be using) condoms isn't an issue for me. It's odd to me that pro-lifers wouldn't be ardent supporters of easy access to birth control (actually, it's not --you guys would rather hope for the pipe dream of waiting for marriage). Question though, if gay people can't get married, does this mean they should never have sex? That's convenient, and not at all grounded in reality.

I also feel compelled to say that I was quite put off by your and your wife's comments regarding premarital sex. I got married when I was 30, are you saying that I wasn't ready for sex before that? Personally, I'm glad that I had every relationship that I did, they made me a better person. Sex was an integral part of them.

"I believe that Dawkins will show up in history to be one of those people whose "findings" were sand thrown in the eyes of discovery"

You can believe it all you want, but that won't make it so. Does this mean you've never read the selfish gene?

"He and Charles Darwin will one day be part of the scientific Hall of Shame, along with Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man, along with Haeckel's Embroyo Chart and the Miller-Urey experiment"

<dripping-sarcasm>Oh yeah, totally.</dripping-sarcasm> Hmm... So you're comparing Dawkins to two frauds and something based on current knowledge (miller-urey) that has fallen out of favor due to enhanced understanding. Yeah, Miller and Urey were totally bastards, using the best knowledge available at the time. Totally part of the global scientific conspiracy.

At worst, if the paradigm changes, Dawkins will most likely be seen like a scientist operating under Newtonian physics, but the chances of that happening are vanishingly slim.

So, what do you have to say about such dishonest fakers such as Hartnett?

I understand why you don't like Dawkins because of his strident atheism (and honestly, I wish he'd tone it down), but that doesn't mean his work is diminished. Of course, you haven't even *read* his work, so your criticism carries no weight.

"because it was so obviously designed and constant brainwashing was required."

Conspiracy! Wheels within wheels, plans within plans. Treason, twists and turns, layers, bilateral commission
and whatnot. Brainwashing. Don't forget when Crick waterboarded his researchers! Yeah man, it's all a conspiracy. New Scientist is totally in on it.

"You are so indoctrinated you cannot even see it. I am truly sorry."

Oh. My. Goodness. That's fantastic. Really, its quotes like that that keep me coming here year after year.

So, into what am I indoctrinated? Militant lapsed Judaism? Vague, unconcerned agnosticism? Radical reason? Insane devotion to trusting my senses? Your completely false dichotomy of Christianity vs. atheism doesn't work on me. These are not the droids you're looking for... Move along.

Anonymous said...

OK so I just got back from a two day whirlwind trip to Vancouver BC. Sidenote - What a beautiful city. If you can go in the summer, it's magic. I wish I could move there.

Yawza, I guess the quick posts I left before my trip made a bit of a splash, hey? Or at least, had a hand in kicking off something awesome.

Scohen, imagine some Canadian dude sitting in his Den at 1:30 AM, clapping, slowly at first (very slowly) and building to crescendo for your quality posts. Great Stuff (and to finish with a Star Wars line... outta' the park buddy). I'll want to throw in my two cents just for kicks but that was really great guys. Man, and with Radar and Debbie at their finest to boot. GTs. Anyway, I gotta run, it's really late. I'll be back though, even if nobody's reading this thread anymore. Classic bury job Radar, by-the-way, just classic.

- Canucklehead

P.S. - I have to admit that I didn't actually clap for your posts scohen. A sleeping family upstairs meant that was not an option, but believe me, I really wanted to.

P.S.S. (or is it P.P.S.? I can't remember at the moment) - I'm really not that angry scohen, I just appear that way on the internet. I figure the internet is like a side rear view mirror but for anger... OK, now its really really late...

radar said...

I will not be successfully lectured to about ethics by people who believe it is okay to kill babies. If you believe in abortion, you have lost the moral high ground before we start.

Commenters, I have been physically attacked for professing my faith, had my life threatened, had my job threatened in real life, not just on a blog. That I will joust with you verbally does not mean I am a violent person at all. No one who ever struck me because I was representing Christ got hit back. I held my ground but did not hit back. God made sure I had to be tested in the areas of violence, sex and drugs early in my Christian walk and such testing is like the firing of clay in a kiln or the refining of silver under high heat. It is painful and it makes one stronger.

Two particular people who actually struck me in the face. One came to know Jesus Christ and the other later apologized to the extent he wished me luck at Bible college. Perhaps he later got saved because a Christian actually did turn his cheek, I do not know. I have certainly prayed that he did.

My experiences are nothing compared to missionaries I know who have encountered great trials and suffering in order to spread the Word. Anything I have gone through has been minimal compared to many of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I will have the pleasure of meeting with old friends who worked with me in ministry in 1979-1981 when I was a baby Christian and who later went out to the mission field in Suriname. For over 25 years these two doctors, who could have been piling up a wad of money practicing medicine in the USA, have lived in impoverished conditions preaching Jesus, starting churches and healing the sick in Suriname.

Drs. Bob and Liz Patton will be coming home for a short time this summer and I can hardly wait to see them again. We also support two other missionary couples and so have a tiny part in what they are doing for Christ.

radar said...

1) God created a world with no death and no suffering. Adam and Eve lived in a garden where food was readily available without working to plant it. The world of animals were subject to them but man did not kill animals and animals did not kill animals, all ate plants. There was only one thing God forbade the couple to do, which was to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. IF they knew the difference, they would then be responsible for any actions taken, for they would no longer be innocent. That is what they did, and God cast them out of the garden and the killing and suffering began throughout the planet.

Think carefully before you assert that carnivorous animals could not have survived on vegetation in the Garden, as we know rapid speciation can occur and that observations have shown various carnivores that can and do subsist on the plant world rather than the animal in certain conditions. The fact that carnivores today will subsist on vegetation if necessary shows that very easily all animals could have been plant-eaters at one time before God acted upon the rebellion in Eden.

Perhaps you do not know that Panda teeth appear to be suited to carnivorous eating? That North American bears prefer eating berries, grubs and moths to red-blooded flesh unless and until the Salmon are running? That carnivorous cats have been shown to be capable of subsisting on vegetation only?

2) Situational ethics is your way, not mine, and not God's. The nations such as the Hittites were engaged in practices so vile to God that he wanted them wiped from the planet in order to stop the practices. Among the things God hated most was the baby killing. God created man and He will judge everyone who has not already accepted the Christ.

Mankind was under a covenant with God at that time that was the covenant of the Law, or the Mosaic covenant. All who would not be under the covenant were under a death sentence from God.

Scohen, you are evidently descended from people who were under the Law and had many ancestors who kept the Law and followed God. Perhaps some of your relatives followed the Christ rather than the Pharisees and Sadducees during the time of Jesus and/or the period just after His death and resurrection. Much of the book of Acts is actually an account of Paul going from synagogue to synagogue, preaching Christ and bringing people into faith while also being attacked and imprisoned and stoned and persecuted by those who opposed him.

3) The covenant of grace is now in effect. Jesus Christ offered Himself up as sacrifice for you and for me. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and Biblical Judaism was ended, or rather, God was emphasizing that Judaism had become Christianity. The early Christians were believing Jews, although Gentiles were also allowed to come by faith to Christ. There are no more Jews under the Mosaic covenant, for there is no more priesthood, no more temple and no more sacrifices and offerings being given. The official books of lineage are gone. Now there is Rabbinical Judaism, a new religion begun after Christ in which the opinions of men/lawyers/rabbis have been substituted for the Word of God, as Jesus predicted.

4) Therefore, you do greatly err when you attempt to bring the book of Deuteronomy into the 21st century and apply it without understanding the context of that book and the relationship to the rest of the Bible.

radar said...

Finally, check your context if you can before asserting what the Bible says and means.

Did Shakespeare head up a conspiracy in England with the goal of killing all lawyers?

Did Mark Twain advocate murdering all teenagers?

Context is important when understanding what someone means by what they have said.

Very few readers of this blog are qualified to make statements about what God says in the Old Testament because they do not understand the context nor do they know or believe God Himself. Those who do are likely to believe as I do, although those who agree with me rarely post on the blog and are more likely to send me an email instead.

I may know more about Darwin and Darwinism than the majority of commenters. I know he had doubts about his own hypothesis and was tormented over the death of his daughter. His grandfather was a devout atheist and his father was a fake hypocritical church-goer. His theories were borrowed from grandpa, from Hutton, from Blythe and his wife was a devout church-goer with whom he differed but still struggled to appear to her to be at least sympathetic to her viewpoint. He was one very troubled guy.

Darwin's knowledge of biology was so limited that he did not even know the birds he documented in the Galapagos were all finches.

Darwin blamed cousin marriages for illness and death in his family, which was actually a concept contradictory to the idea that mutation would be an agent for improving organisms. Such a troubled, foolish man has given millions of people a reason to march willingly into hell and I think the entire situation is tragic. Hell is real and not a subject for jokes. I feel sorry for him in a way and blame him for leading people away from God, but God is the judge.

Do you really think that God will judge your life to have been perfect in every way? I know mine hasn't and so I have accepted Christ and come in under His blood rather than my thoughts and actions.

Feel free to whoop and holler and celebrate your Godlessness now. It gives me no pleasure to know that if you keep your world view you will be judged by God. He has the right to do it, you have the chance to avoid it, it is up to you whether or not you choose to accept the pre-trial agreement.

Anonymous said...

Oh Radar. Thank you for bringing the crazy. Always bringing the crazy. It truly is one of your natural talents. Oh and thank you for your compassion relative to your certainty that I will be spending eternity burning in the fires of hell because I don't believe the exact same things you do (I must say, again, that sure is one loving god you have there). I mean, how do you know that I don't volunteer 100% of my free time with underprivileged inner city kids, or work tirelessly with the homeless, or that I'm simply a good person? No matter. To hell with me. Literally. Thankfully, I do think your assertion is laughable.
To reiterate what has been said many times before, in the same way you, Radar, are perfectly fine running the risk of divine punishment relative to every other religion on earth, I am perfectly comfortable with your thoughts relative to me and my stay in your hell, because as I have said before - I don't believe in any of it.

- Canucklehead

P.S. - I hope Scohen is coming back to this thread. Oh, and please see Chaos's comments on one of your recent posts relative to your whole biblical context argument.

radar said...

canucklehead, I will let God answer you rather than me:

1 Corinthians 13 entire chapter

"What if I could speak
all languages
of humans
and of angels?
If I did not love others,
I would be nothing more
than a noisy gong
or a clanging cymbal.

What if I could prophesy
and understand all secrets
and all knowledge?
And what if I had faith
that moved mountains?
I would be nothing,
unless I loved others.

What if I gave away all
that I owned
and let myself
be burned alive? I would gain nothing,
unless I loved others.

Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful,
proud, or rude.
Love isn't selfish
or quick tempered.
It doesn't keep a record
of wrongs that others do.

Love rejoices in the truth,
but not in evil.

Love is always supportive,
loyal, hopeful,
and trusting.
Love never fails!

Everyone who prophesies
will stop,
and unknown languages
will no longer
be spoken.

All that we know
will be forgotten.
We don't know everything,
and our prophecies
are not complete.

But what is perfect
will someday appear,
and what isn't perfect
will then disappear.

When we were children,
we thought and reasoned
as children do.
But when we grew up,
we quit our childish ways.

Now all we can see of God
is like a cloudy picture
in a mirror.
Later we will see him
face to face.

We don't know everything,
but then we will,
just as God completely
understands us.

For now there are faith,
hope, and love.
But of these three,
the greatest is love." CEV

~ Jesus said this in John 14:6:

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

The only way I can love you is to point you to Jesus Christ. My assertions are based on that premise. You misunderstand fundamentally...

radar said...

"At worst, if the paradigm changes, Dawkins will most likely be seen like a scientist operating under Newtonian physics, but the chances of that happening are vanishingly slim."

This may be the most unintendedly ironic comment of all time.

The chances...!!! The Evolution Fairy comes out of the closet again.

Anonymous said...

Radar you incorrigible scamp. I like how you respond to my disbelief in your religion with, wait for it, Bible quotes! I see what you did there, and it's Awesome. That's why we love you so much Radar, you're like the energizer bunny with this stuff.

The fact is that people like me (non-believers) exist in your country Radar, and the ranks are growing. Sooner or later you are going to have to deal with these facts. And treating us like second class citizens just isn't going to cut it, by-the-way.

And my mind is just melting with your classification of something scohen said as "the most unintendedly ironic comment of all time" because, being that you are the UNDISPUTED KING OF UNINTENTIONAL IRONY, you should be either supremely qualified or wholly unqualified to make this statement, but with so many layers, I'm not sure which one it is right now. And does a "double irony" work the same way as a "double negative", or does irony build on itself exponentially?

OK so before I get back to work here I just wanted to point out what scohen has said above in that reading books/articles/websites critical of original works does not make you an expert on the original work. You just have to read the work itself buddy. No way around it. Otherwise you are merely an "expert" on how some guy/gall feels about the particular subject, not the subject itself. So, have you read On the Origin of Species or any of Dawkins books? It is painfully clear that relative to Darwin and evolutionary theory you are woefully ignorant, no matter what you claim to have studied in the past, so I have to assume you have not read any of it.

- Canucklehead

P.S. - Oh and please don't say that you love me Radar. Because you don't, really. And I'm totally OK with that.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for you line of reasoning on this one by the way,

"To reiterate what has been said many times before, in the same way you, Radar, are perfectly fine running the risk of divine punishment relative to every other religion on earth, I am perfectly comfortable with your thoughts relative to me and my stay in your hell, because as I have said before - I don't believe in any of it."

I mean, how can you be so sure you were offered the one true religion in the first place Radar? And what happens to those born (and brainwashed) into other religions? Do all Muslims go to hell? Jews? Hindus? Is hell really the final destination for all non-christians in your eyes? - Because i think hell might get a little crowded if that's where we're all headed - And if this is so, how can you possible speak of a compassionate caring god when his actions seem to be so vindictive?

- Canucklehead

radar said...

So much to consider...

Love is not necessarily a feeling, Canucklehead, so it is very possible I might not be fond of you were we acquainted and vice versa. Yet I can still love you enough to tell you what I believe is the truth knowing that I will be villified and mocked and etc.

Not one of you has pointed out to me just what exactly I don't understand about evolution. I might sit down and read all of Darwin's stuff (some of it would be an "again") with scohen if we were neighbors and he would read the Bible through at the same time and see which one of us was most moved by the experience.

"To reiterate what has been said many times before, in the same way you, Radar, are perfectly fine running the risk of divine punishment relative to every other religion on earth, I am perfectly comfortable with your thoughts relative to me and my stay in your hell, because as I have said before - I don't believe in any of it."

I am perfectly fine with the aforementioned "risk." I did not come to Christ quickly or easily. I did not accept the premise at first and spend years reading all sorts of materials (including some Darwin, by the way) concerning philosophical and scientific and religious matters. I had a very strong desire to understand and make sense of the Universe and I didn't have a dog in the fight, having been raised as non-religious.

No one is forcing you to believe anything. God is a gentleman, offering redemption but allowing refusal. You characterize Him as unloving because there is a Hell. I characterize Him as absolute love and light and truth, a being beyond my true understanding in my present form.

God cannot allow sin to exist within His presence and it will not be known in eternity. But He offers us a way to be separated from our sins and live with Him in a form similar to His after this world is put to an end.

How do I know I am right? By faith. Hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

radar said:

The chances...!!! The Evolution Fairy comes out of the closet again.

It's funny you have such a problem with 'chance'. After all, it's by 'chance' that you are a Christian; do you think you'd be a christian if you were born in, say, Iran?

scohen said...

"Not one of you has pointed out to me just what exactly I don't understand about evolution"

We've repeatedly pointed out that you expect bacteria to change into 'something else' within 10,000 generations. This is something you don't understand about evolution.

Clear as day.

"he would read the Bible through at the same time and see which one of us was most moved by the experience"

Again? I've already read it four or five times. Why couldn't we just get beers and listen to Rush?

A couple logic errors from above:

"Did Shakespeare head up a conspiracy in England with the goal of killing all lawyers?"

"Did Mark Twain advocate murdering all teenagers?"

Two problems: No one thinks the works of Shakespeare or Twain aren't fiction, and no one advocates reading them 'literally'.

Also, above, you took issue with people saying that not using a condom can be alright, and then took issue with them distributing condoms. Strange one.

"I will not be successfully lectured to about ethics by people who believe it is okay to kill babies"

I for one wholeheartedly decry the murder of babies.

"If you believe in abortion, you have lost the moral high ground before we start."

Oh, i see. So nothing I say in a moral context is valid because of what you think I might believe.

By the way, that's a form of an ad-hominem argument, which you also use against Darwin above.

"I may know more about Darwin and Darwinism than the majority of commenters."

If by 'darwinism' you mean evolution, then you're sadly mistaken. Come on, I was twenty hours away from a degree in micro.

"I know he had doubts about his own hypothesis"

Oh no! Doubts! Horror!

"and was tormented over the death of his daughter."

Non-sequitir

"His grandfather was a devout atheist and his father was a fake hypocritical church-goer"

Ad hominem. My father is an optician. Does that make my opinions on computer science moot? My grandfather was a terrible person, does that reflect on me *at all*?

"His theories were borrowed from grandpa, from Hutton, from Blythe"

He wasn't the originator of evolution either, he figured out the mechanism.

"wife was a devout church-goer with whom he differed but still struggled to appear to her to be at least sympathetic to her viewpoint"

Irrelevant.

"He was one very troubled guy"
Geniuses often are.

You do know that we've had over 150 years since Darwin, and have progressed well beyond his original ideas.

"Darwin blamed cousin marriages for illness and death in his family, which was actually a concept contradictory to the idea that mutation would be an agent for improving organisms"

This also shows a lack of understanding of genetics. Reproduction of closely related organisms causes problems not because of mutations but because of the amplification of harmful recessive traits. Tay-sachs is a fantastic example of this.

"Feel free to whoop and holler and celebrate your Godlessness now"

Yeah, you 81% of godless buddhists, 80% of godless hindus, 77% of godless jews, 58% of godless Catholics and 51% of mainline protestants! Heathens! This data interestingly enough, seems to have a high correlation to education more than anything else.

What would I know, apparently my religion is a total joke to radar.

"Do you really think that God will judge your life to have been perfect in every way"

I wouldn't judge my life is perfect in every way. It's too bad that you believe in a God that expects perfection or adherence to a single very narrow set of values in order for it to forgive you for the flaw of being fallible (a flaw, it must be pointed out, that God itself created). Frankly, being raised Jewish makes me think that the concepts of Heaven and Hell are childish.

scohen said...

One more thing before I sign off:
Debbie said that homosexuals don't contribute to society because they can't have children. Does this mean that Alan Turing didn't contribute to society, but Stalin's parents did? Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci didn't have kids, so I guess they didn't contribute to society either.

Seriously people, think before you write, some of what comes out is insanely offensive.

scohen said...

Sorry to prattle on, but there's so much here. Radar really got to the heart of why I think heaven/hell is silly...

"God is a gentleman, offering redemption but allowing refusal"

Really? Hypothetically, let's say that Christianity is right, and there is a heaven and a hell. God is not really a gentleman in this case any more than a robber with a gun is. I could either give the robber my money or, I could refuse, in which case the robber shoots me.

Except in the case of hell, I will be tortured for all of eternity (nice morals on that one, God).

I ask you, what kind of choice is that?

Now, in the real world we have something like 50-60 different denominations of *christianity* alone to choose from. Radar, you better hope the Catholics aren't right!

Not to mention the tribes in the amazon that have had no contact with outsiders. I guess they go to hell. Not very gentleman-like in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The l o n g and w i n ding thread that leads through your blog....

scohen, I do not mean to offend. You said you were "put off" about my comments about pre-marital sex. I'm sure you could have had even better relationships if sex wasn't involved. Imagine if your wife was the only person you ever had sex with. She would have something no one else had. What about the other women how did your relationships end? No emotions involved.

In the real world there are consequences to our actions sometimes, we hurt each other.

God doesn't want us to hurt ourselves, He gave us sex so that we could bond together, the two become one flesh as I quoted before. The miss use of sex has destroyed civilizations through out history.

Homosexuality is harmful because it is sexual obsession. It is all about the sex.

How is it a good thing for two lesbians to live together and have children by a sperm donor like former VP Cheney's daughter? That child raised knowing that her father was just a sperm donor? There is something that child will long for but never have.

Men and women are not interchangeable.

I'm not saying that individual homosexual people have not contributed to society, talented people contribute to society. I mean that the foundation of society is men and women that are committed to each other and their children. When the foundation starts to crumble society becomes unstable as we see today. Pre-marital sex leads to poverty for many women and children. If sex isn't special it is miss used. The consequences are built in. God told us what was right, when ever we do whats right it works. Debbie

Anonymous said...

Debbie said:

Homosexuality is harmful because it is sexual obsession. It is all about the sex.

Congratulations, you just disqualified yourself from any reasonable discussion regarding homosexuality.
It's your blog, so go ahead, and post your opinion on a topic you clearly know nothing about as much as you like. Just don't think for a minute you will be taken seriously.

scohen said...

Oh Debbie...

"I'm sure you could have had even better relationships if sex wasn't involved"

Exactly how would they have been better if they were sexless?

"Imagine if your wife was the only person you ever had sex with"

Then she would have received a completely inexperienced and inadequate lover. She read this comment and chuckled, saying 'ummm, no'. I'm positive that she's happy that I had some experience in the areas of love before I met her. You guys are so odd on this issue, apparently sex is unlike any other skill in the world. You honestly think the first time you'll be any good at it.

"She would have something no one else had"

She does, she's married to me.

"In the real world there are consequences to our actions sometimes, we hurt each other."

And it doesn't just have to be sex that hurts. Pain can happen with or without sex.

...and now we get offensive:

"Homosexuality is harmful because it is sexual obsession. It is all about the sex."

You should really tell that to my neighbors who have been together for 35 years. They'll be glad to know that it's all about sex. What makes you think that you have any knowledge about homosexual relationships? Honestly, your answer is pretty arrogant.

"How is it a good thing for two lesbians to live together and have children by a sperm donor like former VP Cheney's daughter"

What if they raise a great child? My wife was raised by her mom alone, and she turned out pretty well. Honestly, having her father in the picture would have made things worse.

"Men and women are not interchangeable."

Of course they're not. Different doesn't mean worse.

"I mean that the foundation of society is men and women that are committed to each other and their children"

How will having more people be married change the foundation one bit? Will straight people suddenly stop getting married because gay people can? That doesn't make sense to me.

"Pre-marital sex leads to poverty for many women and children."

No, having babies in your teens can lead to poverty. Pre-marital sex doesn't necessarily lead to babies. You guys really need to stop this slippery slope junk, it clouds your thinking. Again, I got married when I was 30. How would having sex when I was in my 20s lead to my poverty? Hint: It wouldn't.

I'd love to see some data that supports your statement, by the way.

"If sex isn't special it is miss used."

So you're saying that my pre-marital sex wasn't special? That's incredibly offensive. So, according to you, prior to October 5th 2008, sex wasn't special and then suddenly it was special? That's just illogical.
Also, thanks for insulting every relationship I've ever had other than my wife. I'm sure they'll all love to know that they weren't special. I certainly thought they were special at the time.

"The consequences are built in"

Really, would you care to detail what consequences I'm experiencing right now? I'm not poor, I'm married, well-adjusted, have fun with my wife, etc. What's wrong with me?

"God told us what was right"

Yep, no lobster/shrimp/clams/catfish for you!

"when ever we do whats right it works"

So, whenever we don't have pre-marital sex, it works? I know several people who were virgins when they married one another, and guess what? They're all divorced! Oh no! God, what are you doing!?!

Out of curiosity, were you and Radar virgins when you were married? If so, how old were you?

"Congratulations, you just disqualified yourself from any reasonable discussion regarding homosexuality"

Yeah, I'm with you there. This was an incredibly insensitive and ignorant statement. It's almost like Debbie doesn't even know any homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

"How is it a good thing for two lesbians to live together and have children by a sperm donor like former VP Cheney's daughter?".

It's a good thing because it is potentially a happy home for a child, the same as any other. It's not just about the act of procreation, but about the raising of the child afterwards, as is shown by the fact that we have such a thing as adoption.

The converse question needs to be asked, of course: how is it a bad thing?.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Out of curiosity, were you and Radar virgins when you were married? If so, how old were you?"

They weren't, I think that's been established. But apparently it's okay for them to have premarital sex (even if it was empty and soulless for them), but not for others.

But since the question is out there, I'd be interested in an amended version for Radar and Debbie: did you have premarital sex with each other?

-- creeper

radar said...

Debbie made a post specific to the homosexuality issue and so many comments made on this thread (having become a total rabbit trail away from the original post BTW). So go check out the Sunday post and go from there...

Let's get back to Dawkins and evolution. Since 10,000 generations of bacteria will not allow us to view evolution, wow. How many generations does an organism need to even BEGIN to become another kind of organism?!

10,000 generations without adding new information to the DNA string, without forming any new systems or in any way bringing about any new kind of organism. The reasonable mind would suggest that evolution is being disproved by observation.

I mean, to you evolution really is like Santa Claus in that you simply cannot observe him, you just posit that he exists because you got presents for Christmas. Me? I still believe in God as the Creator of all things and my parents as the ones who put the "from Santa" tags on the presents. Wonder which of us winds up being correct?

Anonymous said...

"You can't just bring in the consenting adults line, because who decides why you stop at adult and who defines adult and who defines consenting?".

A differentiation between childhood/adolescence and adulthood has been established and engrained in most, if not all cultures for as long as anyone can remember. It is generally respected as the line at which you become responsible for your own actions and are no longer seen as a child that requires protection. Do you really think that societal consensus will change on this, that non-Christians are eager to break this down?

And who defines consent, you ask? The adults, of course. Plenty of precedent for this.

"If you have no absolutes, you have no basis from with to make moral judgements for the betterment and preservation of society. Your way leads to chaos and anarchy.".

I don't see much evidence of these "absolutes" of which you speak. Your morality is as subject to changing mores/evolving morality as anyone else's. You recognize that it is wrong to commit mass murder; perhaps you think it's fine to eat lobster; I assume you're not planning to have your children stoned by the villagers if they get unruly (the kids, not the villagers).

And yet at no point did God deliver some new stone tablets that said this and that is now okay or this and that rule no longer needs to be followed. Human morality just evolved. It's not absolute, it's in flux as much as all morality.

Question for you, Radar: if you thought that God told you that you had to kill your entire family, what would you do?

-- creeper

radar said...

""Out of curiosity, were you and Radar virgins when you were married? If so, how old were you?"

They weren't, I think that's been established. But apparently it's okay for them to have premarital sex (even if it was empty and soulless for them), but not for others.

But since the question is out there, I'd be interested in an amended version for Radar and Debbie: did you have premarital sex with each other?

-- creeper"


Neither Debbie nor I were Christians growing up. Neither of us were Christians as young adults. Both of us had premarital sex with multiple partners and were both quite fortunate to have avoided STD in the process.

Sex I had with others was not soulless. I will never forget my first girlfriend and part of me fell in love with her and was given to her. I parted with her because I knew I was too irresponsible to make her happy and figured maybe when I got out of the military and grew up a little bit I would go back to her.

I found out that she waited for me to come back to her for several years before deciding to begin dating again. She was still waiting for me when I left the service and I was saving money to go move back out by her when, while engaging in casual sex, I got someone pregnant. She was still waiting for me when I married the pregnant girl and became a father.

Years later I looked her up and got her side of the story and I felt pretty rotten about the whole thing. I never should have had sex with her before the military shipped me away, I should have remained celibate until I made my way back to her and perhaps we would have been gloriously happy for all time. She eventually married someone she did not love and, when I called her, she was at first hoping I was calling to rescue her from her unhappy marriage.

I could not quit thinking of her, but later on I became a Christian and things changed. Later on I was divorced against my will and boy that is a long story but I did become a single father with four kids. Debbie was a widow with two kids.

Debbie and I were both unmarried when we met. We did not have premarital sex. We waited until we had officially married and I am very glad we did. I suppose we both feel as if we owe God obedience, for one thing, and also having sex outside of marriage would have been untrue to our own belief systems.

Sex is very powerful and is more than a simple physical act. It will tend to join people together on a spiritual level and, when the relationship is broken pain ensues. The only way to avoid the pain is to harden the heart. If you harden your heart to the soul ties formed by sex, you also harden it towards others and possibly yourself.

If people who have blinded or hardened their hearts consort with similar people, then, yeah, there won't be much heartache anymore and the sex also becomes less significant and more physical only.

But if sex is allowed to be what it was meant to be, then it becomes far more spiritual and more significant and more enjoyable. Debbie and I are connected, we are just extremely close and really have become to a certain extent one flesh. She has become my dream girl and I cannot imagine life with anyone else.

Anonymous said...

"Debbie made a post specific to the homosexuality issue and so many comments made on this thread (having become a total rabbit trail away from the original post BTW). So go check out the Sunday post and go from there...".

I've copied my comment over there.

"Let's get back to Dawkins and evolution. Since 10,000 generations of bacteria will not allow us to view evolution, wow. How many generations does an organism need to even BEGIN to become another kind of organism?!".

Your ignorance of both basic biology and the theory of evolution are once again blatantly on display. For the umpteenth time, please educate yourself as to what bacteria are and what "something other than bacteria" would constitute - then you might be able to understand the argument and why what you are proposing is so ludicrously off the mark.

I can't quite tell if you're being sloppy in what you're writing here or if you glossed over our previous responses, but maybe you missed that all those generations of bacteria have allowed us to view evolution - just not the cartoony kind that you envision that has nothing to do with the theory of evolution (which is why you really should read up on the theory of evolution from a non-creationist source some day).

And if you want to look at when an organism BEGINS to become another kind of organism, I suppose that any change or mutation can count, since that would logically be the first step. We just won't know until many, many, many years later that was a step that later resulted in organism X, nor what that organism looked like.

"10,000 generations without adding new information to the DNA string, without forming any new systems or in any way bringing about any new kind of organism. The reasonable mind would suggest that evolution is being disproved by observation.".

No, that's what the ignorant mind would do. The reasonable mind would be able to carry on this train of thought and be capable of concluding that if bacteria really and predictably turn into "something other than bacteria" every 10,000 generations or so, we would not be able to live!

"I mean, to you evolution really is like Santa Claus in that you simply cannot observe him, you just posit that he exists because you got presents for Christmas.".

What does any of this have to do with presents? And evolution has been observed, over and over, both in the fossil record and in lab experiments. The YEC narrative, on the other hand, is incompatible both with the fossil record and lab experiments. That allows for certain conclusions to be drawn, no further incentive needed.

"Me? I still believe in God as the Creator of all things and my parents as the ones who put the "from Santa" tags on the presents. Wonder which of us winds up being correct?"

I'm with you on the Santa tags, though more often than not it's me who puts them on. As for God being the creator of all things, hey, you're welcome to that belief, and it's compatible with the theory of evolution, just not a literal interpretation of a creation myth.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your candor, Radar. Obviously there is much to be said for loving sex over casual sex, though as someone who married his high school sweetheart (and is still happily married to her), I can't provide any input on whether a series of loving sexual relationships really does harden the heart - scohen claims otherwise.

We did have pre-marital sex though, and lots of it. Can't say it ever felt not special, or that being married made it somehow more amazing. FWIW.

-- creeper