• Is this the Best Possible World and does God have Free Will?

    I wrote this some time ago at Debunking Christianity

    Let us assume the triple properties of the classical approach to God: that he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. In terms of the classic Problem of Evil argument, if there is too much evil in the world, God knows what to do about it, is powerful enough to do it, and is loving enough to want to do something about it. This argument has been around since the days of Epicurus and still remains one of the most hotly debated theological issues in modern times, causing many believers to leave the fold due to its evidential power.

    However, logically, the theist can still defend their belief in God and the accusation that either God does not exist, or God does not possess one, two or any of those properties. They do this, more often than not, by employing the ubiquitous ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ or ‘You cannot know the mind of God’. What this equates to, is the a priori claim that God does have those three characteristics, and that, therefore, all the pain and suffering in the world is not gratuitous but part of the grander plan and vision of an all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful Superbeing.

    Although it is very difficult to logically disprove this defence, it does have some rather serious ramifications for the Christian theist. Because God is claimed as being all-loving it means that any decision that God makes, any actualisation of events and matter and so forth, must be the most loving that can be. It means that every decision made must be the most caring or loving decision that could possibly be made in terms of some criteria, or some outcome.

    Since God is omniscient, and given the possibility of Middle Knowledge or any other mechanism for divine foreknowledge, God knows every possible outcome for every actualisation of every possible world. And God, evidently, chose this one.

    First of all, the ramifications are fairly clear for God’s own free will. Since he must do what is maximally loving at all times, he cannot do otherwise. One could argue, then, that God does not have free will himself. Without the ability to act contrary to his omnibenevolence, he has only one course of action that he can possibly take, or courses of action that contain equal quantities of ‘lovingness’ (for want of a better term). A theist could argue that God could do otherwise but chooses not to. This is akin to the taxman analogy. This goes as follows. A taxman assesses your business. He says you have a tax bill for $25,000. He gives you the choice of paying it or not paying it. The free choice is yours. However, by not paying it, you will go to prison (or to make the analogy more powerful, you will be sentenced to death). Thus you have a free choice where you can exercise your free will, but one choice will result in your imminent imprisonment or death. What will it be? You can argue, perhaps, that you have free will, but you can also argue that this is an effective denial of free will

    In the same way, God could choose in a way that was not maximally loving, but he never would because it is against his all-loving nature. This is a grey area of free will. There is a debate here as to whether God does not have omnipotence, or whether omnipotence can be a potentiality. If it is a potentiality that can never be made real and existent, then does this equate to it not existing?

    However, the main point to be made here is as follows. It seems, then, that if God is to keep his omnibenevolent characteristic, then this world must be the maximally perfect and loving world that there can be. If God is perfect, then this must be his most perfect creation. A perfect God could not create something that fell short of perfection, and an all-loving God could not create something that did not fulfil the criterion of being the most-loving creation.

    The slightly worrying outcome this is that a world where 250,000 people and millions of animals are killed in a tsunami, where anywhere between 20% and 75% of foetuses are naturally aborted (depending on the source), where cancer and malaria are rife, where a global flood killed all the population of earth bar 8 (and all the animals bar some), where forest fires kill baby deer, is a world where these events that are perhaps even necessary for it to be the most loving world.

    Moreover, the Westboro Baptist Church may have some kind of twisted logic in celebrating the death of every soldier, in celebrating the outcome of pretty much anything as being the righteous judgement of an all-loving God. They realise that this judgement by God to actualise this particular world must be supremely wise and must result in the most loving world. This includes every piece of suffering and death experienced by every animal and plant in the history of the world.

    If this is where logic takes a Christian, then they can keep their God in all his maximal perfection. And while they’re at it, they can package up all the pain and suffering and send it return post to the pearly gates. Not needed here, thanks.

    Category: God's CharacteristicsPhilosophical Argument Against GodPhilosophy of Religion

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    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

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    • John Grove

      I think Christians and Jews if they must give up an attribute, it would be omnipotence. When Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris debated Rabbi Wolpe and Bradley Artson Shavit
      in the program titled, “Is There an Afterlife?” Bradley Artson Shavit said something rather startling.

      Bradley Artson Shavit told Sam Harris, “It is an medieval mistake based on Aristotelian thought that God has to be a simple unmoved mover, and thereby eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Those are terms that don’t exist in biblical or in Rabbinic Hebrew. So, I apologize for the way that philosophers kidnapped the traditions, but it’s not in the Torah. There is no Hebrew word for omnipotent meaning “all powerful” and the concept is a nonsense concept.”

      Sam Harris upon hearing this quite puzzled asked him, “So, are you saying that God can’t doesn’t have the power to change these things”.

      Bradley Artson Shavit responds, “Yes, of course that’s what I’m saying. I’m saying that what God has is a different kind of power than the power of the dictator that Christopher Hitchens and I both despise. And what I look to God to be is a persuasive power, more comparable to a teacher or a lover or a parent who teaches and inspires you to be the best by seeing your potential and by giving you the vision and the power to rise to it. But I don’t believe in a God that breaks the rules or can intervene or who do magic…”

      • brianvroman

        Great post, Mr. Pearce! I would like to suggest that the logical problem of evil is not dead and buried. Many have succumbed to the propaganda of Alvin Plantinga, but in my opinion at least, his assertions have been thoroughly refuted by the “down under” philosopher Ray Bradley (who incidentally is one of the few to thoroughly spank William Lane Craig in debate). His paper can be found at the Secular Web Library.

        • I LOVE Bradley’s hell argument against WLC:

          http://skepticink.com/tippling/2012/09/26/hell-defeated-bradley-vs-william-lane-craig/

          Apparently WLC was cornered and stalled for time in the Q and A so that time ran out and he didn’t have to answer a tough question. Will have to listen again. Will check out his essay on infidels.

          Thanks!

          • John Grove

            I just listened to debate and would have to agree, WLC sounded rather pathetic while Ray Bradley was relentless in logic and wouldn’t let WLC get an inch.

    • As a former agrologist and a Lab tech trained in biology, with emphasis on parasites (we studied the life cycles of parasites for month on end), the simple question is:

      how can a loving god have created the panoply of parasites actually ruling the roost?

      Anything from virus to bacteria to amoeba to fluke, tapeworms, filaria etc. A host of creatures that wreak havoc with the biological systems of other creatures, either killing them slowly or leaving them suffering in a constant state of misery. If a loving god has created Wuchereria bancrofti or Taenia solium the question is: loving who?

      God seems to be much more concerned with the well being of parasites – which I really find fascinating, and I am astonished at the way evolution has produced life cycles of parasites that seem far more to hint at design based on their complexity and co dependence on host behaviour and biology than anything else that creationist can think about. It just seems so bloody unloving to gods supposedly preferred creature…humans?

      • John Grove

        Indeed, and this was Darwin’s observation as well and it is hard to fathom that this is the result of some loving deity. I have watched youtube videos where Baboons are eating a baby deer that hasn’t died yet yelping in pain and shock. I am not satisfied whatsoever in any of the theist explanations for a loving god. We live in a universe that is totally indifferent to us and everything in it.

        • brianvroman

          What? You guys don’t see the logical necessity of tapeworms and cruelly carnivorous baboons? You need to sit at the feet of Professor Pangloss for awhile.
          Just being sarcastic, of course. Don’t mean to make light of real human (or animal) suffering, which is something that apologists don’t seem, to me at least, to have really come to terms with.

          • Well, that is an interesting points. In order to achieve the greatest possible world, then all of the species on this earth are in some way necessary?

    • JohnM

      The world that we live in, is neither the best possible world, nor the world that God created. We do NOT live in the garden of Eden.. We do NOT live in the world that God created.

      Anyone who have read the bible, will know, that it speaks about both the Good Creator God, and the Evil Corrupter god, Aka the snake, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). And you must invoke both, to explain this fallen world.

      And as Stephen Law has pointed out, if you have both Good God and Evil god at the same time, then you don’t have a problem of evil. Because then Good God explains Good. Evil god explains Evil. And everything in accounted for. Problem solved.

      Quote : the ramifications are fairly clear for God’s own free will. Since he must do what is maximally loving at all times, he cannot do otherwise.

      God IS love. But attempting to reduce his attributes to love, is a straw-man argument. Notting more.

      God of the bible, is also the guy who drowned the entire world for their sins. He’s the guy who called down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

      “Omnibenevolence” pfffttt… That’s just pagan Aristote/Plato/Socrates gibberish. It does not in any way describe God of the bible.

      • Andy_Schueler

        Yawn…

      • That is not what Stephen Law states. I should know, I was talking to him the other night about it!

        He states that in looking at theodicies, to conclude that the evidence points towards an evil God, using the mirror theodicy thesis, is intuitively ridiculous. But die to the symmetry of the good god thesis, this means that the good god theory is also intuitively ridiculous. Thus, there is no good reason to think that there is a good god based on POE ruminations.

        • JohnM

          Think about it… He’s arguing that Good God alone, explains Good, but cannot explain Evil in this world. And that Evil god alone, explains Evil, but cannot explain Good in this world. If you combine those two, then Good God explains good, and Evil god explains evil.

          And I remember listening to him giving a talk about the Evil God challenge, where he himself point that out. So he’s perfectly aware of that. He just didn’t know that he was describing the scenario that we read about in the bible.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Good God alone, explains Good, but cannot explain Evil in this world.

            He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

            Hilarious.

            • JohnM

              The moral laws… the “Thou shalt not kill”, was given to us. They do not apply to the lawgiver itself.

              Just like many laws in our society does not apply to the law itself.. Policemen for example are allowed to carry firearms, despite being citizens in a society where firearms are banned. And some states have laws against killing people, while punishing offenders with death itself.

              God is the giver of life and therefore also perfectly entitled to take life. It is not evil of God to take life. It is his prerogative, as the giver of life.

            • Andy_Schueler

              When “good God” does evil things, it´s not actually evil but good! Makes total sense, your “evil God” becomes kind of superfluous though.

            • JohnM

              Saying that the Giver of life, is evil, when taking life, is nothing more than flawed logic.

              Crossing a road with traffic lights, is not an evil thing in itself. It depends on the current state of the traffic lights. Driving during the Red state is a bad thing, and you put peoples life at risk. While driving during the Green state, is the right thing to do.

              Good and evil is determined by the context.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Saying that the Giver of life, is evil, when taking life, is nothing more than flawed logic.

              :-D. So when a surgeon operates on a patient that lost his leg in a car accident and attaches the lost leg, he could totally chop of his leg with an Axe a year later. He attached it, so he can detach it when he wants – totally not evil! Fundagelical “morality” sure is hilarious.

              Good and evil are determined by the context.

              Killing innocent children is wrong, unless the context is that “good God” wants to have some fun, then it´s good!

            • JohnM

              Andy said : So when a surgeon operates…

              More flawed logic… A doctor does not give life. A surgeon does not create a leg.

              Andy said : Killing innocent children is wrong

              For you and me. Because God commanded us not to kill.

              But the giver of life has every right to take anyone’s life, whenever he sees fit. You’re the clay. He’s the pottery maker. You have no right to tell him, what to do with his own creation.

              And there is no law which makes it unlawful ( aka murder ). God is under no law.

            • Andy_Schueler

              More flawed logic…

              Hint: “flawed logic” doesn´t mean “I´m a fundagelical and this makes my head hurt”.

              God is under no law.

              “My imaginary friend makes the rules and we all have to stick to them, but my imaginary friend can violate these rules whenever he wants!”
              Hilarious :-D.
              Kind of like a father who tells his son that alcohol, porn and gambling are WRONG – while the father is drunk of his ass and sits in front of the computer playing online Poker and watching porn.

              Fundies say the darndest things…

            • JohnM

              Don’t you get it? There is no rule-set for God to break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. God makes rules for us. Those rules apply to us… not to God.

              And that’s nothing new. That’s why policemen can carry firearms, despite there being laws forbidding firearms in public places. And that why some states in America have laws making the slaying of human beings illegal, while at the same time punishing offenders with death itself..

              The laws that the lawgiver makes, does not automatically apply to the lawgiver itself.. It’s basic logic that you’re completely failing to grasp here.

              Andy said : Kind of like a father who tells his son that alcohol, porn and gambling are WRONG – while he´s drunk of his ass and sits in front of the computer playing online Poker and watching porn.

              The father is a human being. The son is a human being. The father would be a hypocrite, because the same rule-set apply to them both.

              The same cannot be said of us and God. In short: It’s flawed logic.

            • Andy_Schueler

              So you “solved” the problem of Evil by postulating a “good God” and a “bad God” with the “good God” explaining “good things” and the “bad God” explaining “bad things”.
              And “good God” can and does do all kinds of evil things because he doesn´t have to obey any rules. Which means “bad God” is out of a job.
              And that means back to the drawing board with you.

              That’s why policemen can carry firearms, despite there being laws forbidding firearms in public places.

              Since the exception for police officers is part of the law, an actual analogy would be a police office robbing a bank and his lawyer saying “but he´s a police officer! He doesn´t have to obey any laws!”

            • JohnM

              More flawed logic… Having the right to carry a firearm, does not give you the right to rob banks. And such a police officer would go to jail, not for carrying a firearm, but for robbing a bank with it.

              Andy said : So you “solved” the problem of Evil by postulating a “good God” and a “bad God” with the “good God” explaining “good things” and the “bad God” explaining “bad things”.

              Stephen Law was more than happy to solve that part himself. He just rejected that scenario, as he clearly wasn’t familiar with what we read in the bible.

            • Andy_Schueler

              More flawed logic… Having the right to carry a firearm, does not give you the right to rob banks. And such a police officer would go to jail, not for carrying a firearm, but for robbing a bank with it.

              That´s flawed logic.

              he clearly wasn’t familiar with what we read in the bible

              You believe the Bible was inspired by a “good God” who does not have to obey any rules. Even if one would grant you this premise (which is false anyway, so you don´t even begin to have an argument), you now have to prove that “good God” was not lying about everything that is written in the Bible, since you believe that he can lie as much as he wants because he doesn´t have to obey any rules.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : You believe the Bible was inspired by a “good God” who does not have to obey any rules

              Don’t you get it? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it?

              Andy said : Even if one would grant you this premise..

              There’s nothing to grant. You just have to accept, that that is the God that we read about in the bible. And if you want to critique the real thing and not a straw-man, then that is what you must wrestle with.

            • Andy_Schueler

              There is no rule-set for God to break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it?

              You can say it as often as you want, it would mean nothing less than that “good” and “evil” become completely meaningless categories because “good” means whatever God commands, even if he himself does the opposite. You are not even trying to solve the problem of evil, you are simply redefining “good” and “evil”.

              Just have to accept, that that is the God that we read about in the bible.

              Prove that your God was not lying about everything written in the Bible.

              And if you want to critique the real thing and not a straw-man

              Your fundie version of God has been disproven for centuries. What people still care about are concepts of God that actually could exist (hint: that doesn´t include yours).

            • JohnM

              You’ve retreated so far back now, that there’s nothing left of the old discussion. And now you’re just making up new irrelevant gibberish.

              Let’s keep this on track, shall we… Earlier you seemed to be having a bit of a problem with the following:

              And as Stephen Law has pointed out, if you have both Good God and Evil god at the same time, then you don’t have a problem of evil. Because then Good God explains Good. Evil god explains Evil. And everything in accounted for. Problem solved.

              Explain to me, why you hold this to be false or logically absurd?

            • Andy_Schueler

              You’ve retreated so far back now

              Nope.

              And now you’re just making up new irrelevant gibberish.

              The word “gibberish” doesn´t mean what you think it means.

              Explain to me, why you hold this to be false or logically absurd?

              Your “good God” does evil things and is allowed to do evil things because you don´t believe that he is required to follow any rules. Which means that there is no place for a “bad God”, he is out of a job. And it means that “good” and “evil” no longer mean anything. There is no “good” and there is no “evil”, there are only “commands” from a God who can change these “commands” at will and doesn´t have to follow his own rules. You didn´t solve the PoE, you just tried to define “good” and “evil” out of existence.

              I´m still waiting for your demonstration that your “good God” can lie as much as he wants, since he doesn´t have to obey any rules, but he never lied about the stuff that´s written in the Bible. Prove that your “good God” didn´t lie about the stuff that´s written in the Bible.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : Your “good God” does evil things and is allowed to do evil things because you don´t believe that he is required to follow any rules.

              Again, there is no rules to follow. God is under no law or rule-set.

              And my God does Not do evil. Where there is light, there can be no darkness.

              God’s righteous wrath upon wicked sinners is not evil. It’s justice. And Justice is a good thing.

              It’s you who falsely conclude that these things are evil, because you have no desire for justice. And you make as much sense to me, as a criminal complaining about it being “unfair” that he has to go to jail, for what he did.

              Andy said : Which means that there is no place for a “bad God”, he is out of a job.

              False.

              Satan is the FATHER of lies. The bible does not in any way attempt to explain the world, merely though the actions of God. Satan plays a key role. Just try asking yourself what Genesis would have been like, without the snake.

              And it means that “good” and “evil” no longer mean anything.

              That’s your conclusion, based on your flawed logic. Which says it all.

              There is no “good” and there is no “evil”, there are only “commands” from a God who can change these “commands” at will and doesn´t have to follow his own rules.

              False. God’s commands, does not define good and evil as such. ( well they do define what is rebellion against God and what is not but.. )

              Rape for example, just is wrong. We don’t need laws to tell us that.

              Rather, we use laws against rape, for prosecuting the evil offenders, and have them stand guilty before a Judge, without an excuse. That’s the purpose of all laws.

              Ergo: We use laws to make things a punishable offence.

              It does NOT follow at all, that all which is legal is Good, and all which is illegal, is Evil. That would be flawed logic. There are countries where abortion is legal, and free speech is illegal. To derive ones moral values from laws as such, is an intellectual black hole. Using that method, one would for example arrive at the conclusion, that the holocaust was a morally good thing, as it was sanctioned by the laws of the third Reich.

              So no, laws does not define Good and Evil. Good and evil is determined by the context.

            • Andy_Schueler

              My God does not do evil.

              He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

              :-D :-D :-D

              Satan is the FATHER of lies

              And you believe that this is true because it says so in the Bible, and you believe that the Bible was inspired by “good God”, and you believe that “good God” does not have to obey any rules and can lie as much as he wants to.
              Prove that your God was not lying about the stuff that´s written in the Bible.

              That’s your conclusion, based on your flawed logic. Which says it all.

              That´s flawed logic.

              False. God commands, does not define Good and evil as such.

              So “good” and “evil” exist independently of Gods, but “good God” still doesn´t have to follow any rules and can murder all firstborns of a nation for the lulz. You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”, but if “good” and “evil” exists independently of God, and are NOT merely based on whatever he commands, “good God” DOES have to follow rules if he wants to stay “good God”. You are trying to have your cake and eat it too.
              Fundies say the darndest things.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”

              I’ve never said that.

              God can only do what is Good, if he is to remain our Good God. It follows logically. Good and Evil is an attribute of ones character. You can’t be a good guy doing evil. You are what you are. And if you do evil, then you are evil. And we have all done evil, therefore we are all evil. Which means that we are all under the holy wrath of God.

              Andy said : but if “good” and “evil” exists independently of God

              I’ve never said that. That’s your own flawed conclusion.

              Light and darkness does not exist independently. They co-exist, because they exist, until one of them does not exist.

              Andy Said: And you believe that this is true because it says so in the Bible, and you believe that the Bible was inspired by “good God”, and you believe that “good God” does not have to obey any rules and can lie as much as he wants to. Prove that your God was not lying about the stuff that´s written in the Bible.

              It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.. It’s what the bible says.. And if you want to critique the God of the bible, and not a straw-man, then that is what you must wrestle with.

              So stop being a coward and face the problem head on.

              Andy Said: So “good” and “evil” exist independently of Gods, but “good God” still doesn´t have to follow any rules and can murder all firstborns of a nation for the lulz.

              Don’t you get it? Murder is by definition an unlawful killing. Therefore it’s by definition impossible for God to commit murder. There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              And no,. it was not for “lulz”.. It served a very specific purpose. But how would you know? Once again, you haven’t got the slightest clue.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Andy : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              JohnM in the SAME comment: Don’t you get it? Murder is by definition an unlawful killing. Therefore it’s by definition impossible for God to commit murder. And there is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              :-D :-D :-D

              God can ONLY do what is Good

              Don’t you get it? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break.

              :-D

              My God does not do evil.

              And if you do evil, then you are evil.

              He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

              :-D

              JohnM: God’s commands, does not define good and evil as such.

              Andy: but if “good” and “evil” exists independently of God

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              :-D

              And no,. it was not for “lulz”.. It served a very specific purpose.

              To free the Israelites, from a captivity of which the Pharao could not release them because Yahweh “hardened his heart” – so that Yahweh can kill thousands of innocent children for the lulz.

              It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.. It’s what the bible says..

              You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules. Prove that he didn´t lie about the stuff thats written in the Bible.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules.

              What rules? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              It’s not a question of rules.. It’s a question of, IF God wants to remain holy and good, he cannot do that which is evil. It follows logically. You are what you are. If you do evil, then you are evil. And if you do that which is good, then you are good.

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM: What rules? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              Andy : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              :-D :-D :-D
              It´s so hilarious to see fundies stumble over the Euthyphro dilemma…

              It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.. It’s what the bible says..

              You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules and that he can thus lie as much as he wants. Prove that he didn´t lie about the stuff that is written in the Bible.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules

              Look what kind of hole you’ve crawled into to.. You’re actually sitting there, telling me what I believe? Hah, you’re a joke..

              When I then correct you, by explaining what I actually believe, you completely fail to comprehend what I’m saying, despite it being such a simple thing…

              And do you know why you fail to comprehend? Because by now, you have realized, that your whole argument collapses once we go down this road together.

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM: What rules? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              Andy : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              Andy: [points out the obvious contradiction, lulz ensue]

              JohnM: Look what kind of hole you’ve crawled
              into to.. You’re actually sitting there, telling me what I believe?
              Hah, you’re a joke..

              :-D

              It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.. It’s what the bible says..

              You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules and that he can thus lie as much as he wants. Prove that he didn´t lie about the stuff that is written in the Bible.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules

              There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. It’s such a simple thing to grasp, and yet you consistently fail to do so. When are you going to crawl out of that foxhole?

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM: What rules? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              Andy : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              Andy: [points out the obvious contradiction, lulz ensue]

              JohnM: Look what kind of hole you’ve crawled into to.. You’re actually sitting there, telling me what I believe?
              Hah, you’re a joke..

              Andy: [points out the obvious contradiction again, moar lulz ensue]

              JohnM: There is no rule-set for God to obey or break.
              It’s such a simple thing to grasp, and yet you consistently fail to do so.

              :-D

              It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.. It’s what the bible says..

              You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules and that he can thus lie as much as he wants. Prove that he didn´t lie about the stuff that is written in the Bible.

            • JohnM

              Fine. Keep hiding in that foxhole, you coward. You’re really not worth my time, when you’re trolling like that. I’ll go see if I can dig up that quote of Stephen Law, talking about having Good God and Evil god at the same time. And you do realize how embarrassing it would be for you, if I were to quote him for something like that, right?

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM: What rules? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              Andy : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              Andy: [points out the obvious contradiction, lulz ensue]

              JohnM: Look what kind of hole you’ve crawled into to.. You’re actually sitting there, telling me what I believe?
              Hah, you’re a joke..

              Andy: [points out the obvious contradiction again, moar lulz ensue]

              JohnM: There is no rule-set for God to obey or break.
              It’s such a simple thing to grasp, and yet you consistently fail to do so.

              Andy: [keeps on pointing to the obvious contradiction and milks lulzcow JohnM for even moar lulz]

              JohnM: Fine. Keep hiding in that foxhole, you coward.

              :-D

              I’ll go see if I can dig up that quote of Stephen law, talking about having Good God and Evil god at the same time. And you do realize how embarrassing it would be for you, if I were to quote him for something like that, right?

              Paste quotes as much as you want, it doesn´t magically remove the web of completely obvious contradictions that you are trapped in.

              It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.. It’s what the bible says..

              You don´t believe that your God has to follow any rules and that he can thus lie as much as he wants. Prove that he didn´t lie about the stuff that is written in the Bible.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You have apparently never heard of the Euthyphro dilemma:
              “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

              It is either:
              A) “Morally good” and “morally evil” are independent of God, and God chooses to do what is “morally good”.
              or:
              B) “Morally good” is whatever God commands (even of he changes his commands arbitrarily or violates his own rules).

              If it is A, then there is a set of rules that God has to obey if he wants to be “morally good”, if it is B however, God can do whatever he wants and will always be “good”, by definition – because in this case, “good” doesn´t mean anything beyond “whatever God wants”.

              A and B logically cannot both be true, you however are too stupid to understand that and base your beliefs on A AND B – you simply pick whatever is convenient for the point you are currently trying to make.

              And this results in plenty of hilariously obvious contradictions like:

              Andy : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              JohnM in the SAME comment: Don’t you get it? Murder is by definition an unlawful killing. Therefore it’s by definition impossible for God to commit murder. And there is no rule-set for God to obey or break. Because there is no lawgiver authority above God. How many times do I have to say it, for you to grasp this simple concept?

              JohnM: God can only do what is Good

              JohnM again: Don’t you get it? There is no rule-set for God to obey or break.

              JohnM: God’s commands, does not define good and evil as such.

              JohnM again: My God does not do evil.

              JohnM again: And if you do evil, then you are evil.

              JohnM again: He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

              JohnM: God’s commands, does not define good and evil as such.

              Andy: but if “good” and “evil” exists independently of God

              JohnM: I’ve never said that.

              And that is just a small selection of the hilarious mess of contradictory statements you´ve made.

            • Actually, your comment there is utterly wrong. Andy is precisely formulating Law’s argument in saying “Prove that your God was not lying about everything written in the Bible.”.

              You really don’t understand Law’s point.

              Law is not positing any god. He IS saying the evil God is a ridiculous idea. Contemptible.

              But it mirrors, is totally parallel, to the good god / Christian God in the logic it uses that if you think the good God thesis is coherent, you must by logical parallel (using theodicies) think the evil god thesis is equally coherent.

              You are left with no way of being able to more reasonably assert one god over the other.

              The best way to overcome this impasse is to uphold atheism as a solution. Which is why Law usually goes on to then spell out atheism as being more reasonable than theism.

            • I still don’t think you understand Law’s arguments.

              You might want to see this:

              http://stephenlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/evil-god-challenge-cartoon.html

              Also:

              “Law’s Evil God Challenge presents a reason to think that traditional theodicies cannot work as defences against the Problem of Evil.

              First consider the Evidential Problem of Evil (EPE); i.e. that there is suffering in the world is evidence that there is unlikely to be a supremely good being. In response, theists can provide a variety of theodicies — that bad things happen for some mysterious reason (God works in mysterious ways), or that bad things happen because people have free will, or some other response. It’s unclear whether any of these theodicies can actually deflate EPE, and the intuitions of theists often run counter to those of atheists on this question.

              However, Law asks us to next consider a maximally evil god. Most of us would say that there is just too much good stuff in the world to think that a maximally evil god could exist. Nonetheless, an evil god advocate could provide us with mirror theodicies — good things happen for some mysterious reason (evil God works in mysterious ways), or good things happen because people have free will, or some other response.

              Most people — theists and non-theists — think that these mirror theodicies are not particularly good defences of the evil god. There’s still too much good in the world for there to be a maximally evil god. Yet they are constructed in complete parallel with the regular theodicies (there’s more detail and argument for this point in his original paper). Thus, the regular theodicies can not work and EPE is a defeater for a maximally good being after all.”

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : “Law’s Evil God Challenge presents a reason to think that traditional theodicies cannot work as defences against the Problem of Evil.

              There is no problem of Evil when it comes to Christianity:

              A: Evil in this world
              B: Good in this world

              Scenario 1 – Good God alone:
              Explains Good (B) Fails to explain Evil (A)

              Scenario 2 – Evil god alone:
              Explains Evil (A) Fails to explain Good (B)

              Scenario 3 – Good God and Evil god at the same time:
              Good God explains Good (B) and Evil god explains Evil (A)

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM: Scenario 1 – Good God alone:
              Explains Good (B) Fails to explain Evil (A)

              JohnM again: He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

              :-D

            • JohnM

              I don’t see how that’s evil. In my view, the giver of live have every right to also take life.

            • Andy_Schueler

              And again:
              “So when a surgeon operates on a patient that lost his leg in a car accident and attaches the lost leg, he could totally chop of his leg with an Axe a year later. He attached it, so he can detach it when he wants – totally not evil!”

              => Now you will either reply “but that´s flawed logic” (without explaining why of course, you never do that), or, alternatively, “but he didn´t create the leg!”.
              You argue that, if you create something, you have the right to destroy it, so WHY does someone who attaches something NOT have the right to detach it again?

              Also, I will suspend my knowledge about Biology for a moment and grant you that there was an original couple – Adam & Eve – that was “created”. Since there has never been any other human that was “created” (google “human reproduction”), how exactly is “God” the creator of anyone beyond Adam & Eve?

            • JohnM

              Andy said : WHY does someone who attaches something NOT have the right to detach it again?

              Because he does not own that persons leg. He’s merely helping that person out.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ah, so now we shift the goalposts from “creating” to “owning”.
              Alright, so if I own a bridge, and I destroy this bridge with explosives, while people are currently driving over it – that would be morally completely acceptable, I own the bridge after all and can do what I want with it.

              Makes total sense!

            • JohnM

              What right do you have to blow up people, who happened to be driving on your bridge? Yes, you may own the bridge.. So what?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Andy said : WHY does someone who attaches [amputated leg] something NOT have the right to detach it again?

              JohnM: Because he does not own that persons leg.

              Andy: Alright, so if I own a bridge, and I destroy this bridge with explosives, while people are currently driving over it – that would be morally completely acceptable, I own the bridge after all and can do what I want with it.

              JohnM: Yes, you may own the bridge.. So what?

              :-D. This is so fucking hilarious…

            • JohnM

              Are you only blowing up the bridge now? Or are you also blowing up those people on it?

              And if you are, don’t you see that it makes “a little bit” of difference between the two scenarios?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Are you only blowing up the bridge now? Or are you also blowing up those people on it?

              I attach some explosives to the pillars, so I only blow up the bridge, but a few cars might be on it and crash – but I own the bridge after all and, using fundagelical logic, that means I can do what I want with it.

            • JohnM

              Yes, you can do what you want with the bridge. But is what you’re doing, only affecting the bridge?

            • Andy_Schueler

              is what you’re doing, only affecting the bridge?

              Is God killing all firstborns of a nation only affecting the firstborns that are killed?

            • JohnM

              No, it’s affecting a lot of his creations.

            • Andy_Schueler

              And that is relevant how?

            • JohnM

              It’s relevant, because it’s the answer to your question.

            • Andy_Schueler

              No, it isn´t.

            • JohnM

              Liar :)

            • This is either relativism or consequentialism or some other contextually derived morality….

    • JohnM

      Andy said : “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

      It depends on what one means by that. Following God commandments is good, and rebelling against them is evil. We have no right to do that. But what is good is good, and what is bad, is bad. Good does not become bad or vice versa, just because God commands it. If God commands something that is evil, then it is evil, and not good.

      Please understand that I’m objecting to it being evil in the first place. I don’t see the giver of life, also taking life, as an evil. I see it as morally neutral thing. Like when a pottery maker decides to discard one of his pots, because it didn’t turn out as he wanted. Or as a good thing, when God’s wrath is poured out upon the wicked.

      Furthermore, I didn’t say that “God can only do what is Good”. That’s a very dishonest ninja quote. I said, that God can only do what is Good, IF he is to remain our Good God. Which follows logically, as one must do good to be good. And one would be evil, if one did evil. So in order for God to remain good, he must act according to what is good and just. That’s all I’m saying.

      Andy said : If it is A, then there is a set of rules that God has to obey if he wants to be “morally good”

      What is evil, is not changed by God commandments.

      What is good, can be changed by God commandments. Like in the case of God forbidding us to do certain things, under certain conditions, for our own sake. As now, it would be rebellion against authority ( which is evil ) to do otherwise.

      But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

      The commandment not to rape, is there to ensure that anyone who does, will stand guilty before God on Judgement-day, without excuse. That is the purpose of the commandments.

      But it doesn’t follow from any of that, that therefore there has to be rules for God. Not at all. Most things are intrinsically evil. And it has nothing to do with God’s commandments. So no, there doesn’t have to be any rules for God. God is good, because he does God. Satan is evil, because he does evil. And since there isn’t any law or rule-giver above God, there can’t possible be rules that apply to God. Rules and laws have to be give to certain people first, by someone. And God is not forced to do good. God does good, because he is good. He could do evil, but he does not, and therefore he is Holy.

      Andy said : if it is B however, God can do whatever he wants and will always be “good”

      Nobody can do evil, and be good. You are what you are. If you do evil, you are evil. And I’ve said that several times now.

      Andy said : A and B logically cannot both be true, you however are too stupid to understand that and base your beliefs on A AND B

      Your conclusion, that I hold both A and B to be true, comes from your inability to comprehend what I’m saying.

      I hold B to be false. Unless we are dealing with a prohibition, in which case what God commands to be evil, is evil, as it would be rebellion against God to do otherwise.

      But there’s no way for God to command that which is evil, to be good. That which is evil, is intrinsically evil.

      Andy said : You say God can do that because God can do “whatever he wants”.

      God can do whatever he wants. He just can’t do evil and remain our good God. What God does, does not change that evil is evil.

      But all of that does not change, that there’s no rules-set or law-code for God to obey or “violate”, as there’s no lawgiver above God.

      So no, you don’t have a point.

      • Andy_Schueler

        JohnM: But what is good is good, and what is bad, is bad. Good does not become bad or vice versa, just because God commands it.

        JohnM in the SAME comment: What is good, can be changed by God commandments.

        :-D :-D :-D

        JohnM: But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

        “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
        — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

        :-D :-D :-D

        JohnM: God can do whatever he wants. He just can’t do evil and remain our good God.

        JohnM again: He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

        :-D

        JohnM: God is good, because he does good. Satan is evil, because he does evil.
        ….
        JohnM again: But all of that does not change, that there’s no rules-set or law-code for God to obey or “violate”, as there’s no lawgiver above God.

        Prove that “good God” wasn´t lying about the stuff that´s written in the Bible.

        • “Prove that “good God” wasn´t lying about the stuff that´s written in the Bible.”

          John,
          Andy is bang on here. This IS Law’s argument. You are unable to prove that Go isn’t lying, that this isn’t the work of a supremely evil being. There is just enough good in the world to make sense of the evil etc. What better way would there be to corrupt a world than to lie to its population and claim one thing to one group and one to another and watch them fight it out.

          Please answer Andy’s question. At the end of the day, how do you know the evidence of good and evil in this world doesn’t equally support an evil god. Hint, you can’t use a theodicy since they are all mirrored.

          • JohnM

            Jonathan said : Andy is bang on here.

            Andy is doing nothing more than posting “:-D :-D :-D” and quoting verses that he does not understand the context of.

            Jonathan said : You are unable to prove that Go isn’t lying, that this isn’t the work of a supremely evil being.

            I don’t need to do anything. You are free to critique a straw-man. And you are free to critique the God of the bible. Your choice.

            Jonathan said : There is just enough good in the world to make sense of the evil etc.

            What do you mean, make sense of evil?

            Jonathan said : What better way would there be to corrupt a world than to lie to its population and claim one thing to one group and one to another and watch them fight it out.

            That’s exactly what the bible tells us, that Satan is doing..

            Jonathan said : At the end of the day, how do you know the evidence of good and evil in this world doesn’t equally support an evil god.

            There’s both evil and good in this world. This is both fatal to the theory of an evil god being responsible for it all.. And fatal to the theory of a good God being responsible for it all. But it’s exactly what one would expect, if there is both a good God and an Evil god influencing the world, just like we read in the bible.

            Jonathan said : Hint, you can’t use a theodicy since they are all mirrored.

            I’m not using theodicies. I don’t have to. There is no problem of evil. Both evil and good in this world, is accounted for, when one has both Good God and Evil god.

            • Andy_Schueler

              That’s exactly what the bible tells us, that Satan is doing..

              Prove that “good God” didn´t lie about that.

            • JohnM

              It’s the explanation that the bible offers. You are free to make up your own mind.

              And you are free to critique a straw-man of the Christian faith, if you can’t handle the real deal.

            • Andy_Schueler

              It’s the explanation that the bible offers.

              Prove that “good God” didn´t lie about that.

            • JohnM

              Good God can’t lie. If he did, he wouldn’t be good God.

              At least think your post though, before pressing the button.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Good God can’t lie.

              And you believe that “good” God is “good” and “can´t lie” because it says so in the Bible. Prove that “good God” didn´t lie about that.

            • JohnM

              Look Andy, it’s just a matter of being able to think logically…

              Lying is evil. People that do evil, are evil. So if God is good, he can’t possible be a liar. Because if he was, he would be evil, and not good God. Mkay?

            • Andy_Schueler

              How do you know that “good God” is actually “good” and not “bad God”? It says so in the Bible.
              Who inspired the Bible? “Good God” did.

              So you base your claim that “good God” is actually “good” on the Bible, and you believe that the information in the Bible came from “good God”.

              Prove that “good God” didn´t lie about that.

            • JohnM

              No, I base my position, that God is good, on my personal experiences with God.

              Once again you’re critiquing a straw-man of my position, because you can’t handle the real deal.

            • Andy_Schueler

              No, I base my position, that God is good, on my personal experiences with God.

              That´s a new one. Prove that your “personal experiences with God” correspond to anything that actually exists and that this God inspired the Bible.

              Once again you’re critiquing a straw-man of my position, because you can’t handle the real deal.

              I actually think that the “real deal” is quite hilarious :-).

              My favorite so far is:

              JohnM: But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

              “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

              — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

            • JohnM

              Andy said : Prove that your “personal experiences with God” correspond to anything that actually exists and that this God inspired the Bible.

              You mean.. take you by the hand, and make you experience what I have? How would I do that?

            • Andy_Schueler

              So you actually have nothing whatsoever to support your position that there is a God who is actually “good”? You could have started out by saying that – would have saved a lot of time.

              And how do you explain that “good God” is actually “evil God” according to your own definition?

              JohnM: But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

              “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

              — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

            • JohnM

              So because I can’t share it with you, I’m not allowed to use that, to base my position on?

              What a ridiculous thing to say. That’s like saying, that you’re not allowed to believe in Africa, because I’ve never been to Africa.

            • Andy_Schueler

              If it would be impossible to travel to Africa, and the Continent would be invisible and not detectable with any sense or measurement, and the only evidence that there is such a thing as “Africa” would be people claiming that they have “personally experienced” it (but don´t ask them what they “personally experienced”, they just know it “in their heart”), then this might be a valid analogy.

              Btw, how do you explain that “good God” is actually “evil God” according to your own definition?

              JohnM: But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

              “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
              — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

            • JohnM

              Yes, you still don’t understand that verse. And no, I’m still not stupid enough to be dragged into an irrelevant discussion, prompted by your ignorance.

              How do you know, that It’s impossible to experience God?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Yes, you still don’t understand that verse. And no, I’m still not stupid enough to be dragged into an irrelevant discussion

              :-D. How cute, the fundie is speechless.
              And just for that, I´ll post it again:

              JohnM: But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

              “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

              — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

              => Let me guess: CONTEXT!!! Because rape is totes ok in which context exactly?

              How do you know, that It’s impossible to experience God?

              I don´t.

            • JohnM

              Then why do you talk about it being impossible to travel to Africa?

              Let me guess: CONTEXT!!! Because rape is totes ok in which context exactly?

              Rape? Where do you even get that idea in the first place?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Then why do you talk
              about it being impossible to travel to Africa?

              There is a mountain of evidence that I could check to convince myself that Africa indeed exists. I could also buy a flight ticket to Africa right now.
              So how exactly is this in any way analogous to your “personal experience with God”.

              Rape? Where do you even get that idea?

              :-D. The fundie is still speechless.

              JohnM: But essentially, Good and evil is not defined by the commandments. Rape is evil. And that’s just the way it is, no matter what God commanded. It’s the act of Rape in itself, that is evil. It’s not made evil by any commandment.

              “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

              — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

            • JohnM

              Actually, you’re the speechless one, who can’t even account for why you begin to think of rape, when you read that text.

            • Andy_Schueler

              “Good” God: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
              — 2 Samuel 12:11-12

              JohnM: you’re the speechless one, who can’t even account for why you begin to think of rape, when you read that text.

              :-D :-D :-D. Amazing…. PLEASE keep this up, this is so fucking hilarious :-D

            • JohnM

              2 Samuel 16:22
              So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

            • Andy_Schueler

              So if I take your girlfriend and force her to fuck your cousin – that´s totally not rape! Fundagelical “morality” is so hilarious :-D

            • JohnM

              What in the text makes you think that the concubines didn’t consent? Where does the rape part enter the picture? What makes it more than a product of your own mind?

            • Andy_Schueler

              “Good God”: Before your very eyes I will TAKE your wives and GIVE them to one who is close to you, and HE WILL SLEEP WITH YOUR WIVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

              JohnM: “What in the text makes you think that the concubines didn’t consent?”

              :-D Fundies say the darndest things…

            • JohnM

              Thank you for not answering my questions. You really are pathethic.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You really are pathethic

              Says the rape apologist… :-D

            • JohnM

              So if someone says to you, that he’s going home to sleep with his wife, or someone else’s wife, you’re calling the cops on him, to prevent the rape?

              Or have you actually discovered by now, that women are capable of consenting?

            • Andy_Schueler

              No, but when someone would say to me that he will take your wife and give her to your neighbor so that he can fuck her, I would indeed call the police.

            • JohnM

              The text does not in any way talk about the women being forced to do anything. We read a prophecy about the future, in which God states, that he will give the women over to their sinful desires, and therefore they will abandon their husband, and consent to sex with another man. Which is a punishment upon the current husband.

              That’s what we read in the text. And the rest is just your sick imagination thinking about rape, for no reason.

            • Andy_Schueler

              My imagination? I´m not dreaming up stuff about the text like:
              “in which God states [he doesn´t], that he will give the women over to their sinful desires[nowhere in the text], and therefore they will abandon their husband[nowhere in the text], and consent[nowhere in the text] to sex with another man”

              Nice rape apologism there.

            • JohnM

              “Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you”

              I? Who is this I?

              And how do you think he will do it? By abducting them in his little spacecraft, and lazer-beaming them down into another man’s tent?

              And who is this other guy who will end up with the women as wifes?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Your rape apologism gets boring.

            • JohnM

              Your fanatical rape brain is disturbing.

              Why would this “I” in the text need to gag the woman and hand them over to be raped? Is that really the only way that you can think of, that this could have gone down? What if this “I” in the text, could just have changed the chemistry in the brain of the women, and have them desire this other man instead? Wouldn’t that be a bit easier?

            • Andy_Schueler

              What if this “I” in the text, could just have changed the chemistry in the brain of the women, and have them desire this other man instead?

              :-D Totally not rape, and using these:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_rape_drug

              => is also totally not rape!

            • JohnM

              I talk about how this “I” in the text, could just have have changed the chemistry in the brain of the women, and have them desire this other man instead…. And you begin to think about Date rape drugs?!?!

              Pretty sick associations you got there. What is the matter with you?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Translation: “I defend a situation where someone used a magic date rape drug and you accuse me of defending rape – what is the matter with you??”

            • JohnM

              No, I’m not defending your sick interpretations of the text. I’m correcting them.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Yes you made up four lies about the text which hilariously would still mean that this was rape :-D

              Nice rape apologism there ;-)

            • JohnM

              It’s not possible for me to defend anything. The rape, is a product of your own sick mind. It’s not there in the text, everyone can see that. It’s your claim that you bring to the table, so it’s actually you who’s defending it. Way to go shooting yourself in the foot.

            • Andy_Schueler

              It’s not there in the text

              :-D Says the guy who wrote a fantasy version of the text that has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual text and would still amount to rape.
              Nice rape apologism JohnM ;-)

            • JohnM

              What I wrote was based on understanding of the context. You, on the other hand, would still have been ignorant about 2 Samuel 16:22, had I not drawn your attention to it. So don’t even go there. You haven’t got the slightest clue what you’re talking about. You’re reading an ancient text, with modern glasses and zero knowledge of the context.

            • Andy_Schueler

              No, it was based on four lies about the text, which hilariously would still mean that this was rape.
              Nice rape apologism there fundie ;-)

            • JohnM

              Quote : in which God states [he doesn´t]

              He doesn’t? Wake up!

              2 Samuel 12:11-12
              This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

              Quote : that he will give the women over to their sinful desires[nowhere in the text]

              It’s biblical terminology for adultery.

              Quote : and therefore they will abandon their husband[nowhere in the text]

              So the woman stayed with their current husband in the text?

              and consent[nowhere in the text]

              There’s no mention of force or violence in the text. The only rational conclusion is, that the woman consented.

            • Andy_Schueler

              He doesn’t?

              Say what you claim he says? Yes.

              So the woman stayed with their current husband in the text?

              You said “THEY will abandon…” which is first of all nowhere in the text and secondly, it implies them acting as subjects (“will abandon”) out of their own volition, instead of being acted on as objects (“I will TAKE your wives and GIVE them to” ) Hint: that is what the text actually says.

              There’s no mention of force or violence in the text.

              :-D :-D :-D Dude, should you ever be on trial for rape, which is well possible since you don´t understand the meaning of consent or rape – shut up and let your lawyer do the talking, else you´ll be in big trouble.

            • JohnM

              Quote: You said “THEY will abandon…”

              Come on Andy.. This is logic 101.. They didn’t stay with their current husband, so they abandoned their current husband. It follows logically.

              Quote: it implies them acting as subjects “will abandon” out of their own volition

              The text says nothing about them resisting. If one does not resist or object, one submits. Logic 101 again.

              Quote: “I will TAKE your wives and GIVE them to”

              That’s biblical terminology. Every wife is given to man. Like Eve was given to Adam, by God. And the “I” in the text, is God speaking.

              You really don’t have the insight required to discuss these things.

            • Andy_Schueler

              This is logic 101.. They didn’t stay with their current husband, so they abandoned their current husband. It follows logically.

              Of course, if I abduct your wife, the correct decription would not be “Andy took my wife”, but rather “SHE abandoned me”. Logic 101 :-D

              The text says nothing about them resisting. If one does not resist or object, one submits. Logic 101 again.

              Oh boy, that is indeed rapist logic 101 and this is actually not funny anymore… But a hint: >90% of rapists try exactly this defense in court.

              You really don’t have the insight required to discuss these things.

              Your rapist mindset makes it indeed impossible to discuss these things.

            • How do you know your experience of god being good was not the experience of evil god just messing with your head and lying?

            • YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND STEPHEN LAW’S ARGUMENT DO YOU?

            • No Christian believes Satan is necessary. He is contingent and was created by God who, being omnipotent, could destroy him on a whim. Your whole argument is incoherent. God created Satan and thus created evil. You still need theodicies.

    • JohnM

      Jonathan said : You really don’t understand Law’s point.

      I understand perfectly well what Law is attempting to achieve with his evil god challenge.

      I’m just pointing out, that it’s completely useless against Christianity, as the bible invokes both the Good Creator God, and the Evil Corrupter ( wannabe ) god, to explain the world that we live in.

      Jonathan said : He IS saying the evil God is a ridiculous idea.

      Because there’s “far far too much good in this world”

      And then he’s asking why there’s not equally “far far too much evil in this world”, for Good God to exist.

      The point is though, that once you have both Good God and Evil god, at the same time, you have no problem explaining both the Good and the Evil in this world. And therefore you have no problem of evil.

      Jonathan said : You are left with no way of being able to more reasonably assert one god over the other.

      If you only operate with one God at any given point. The evil in this world kills the Good God theory. The Good in the world kills the Evil god theory.

      But that’s not relevant to Christianity. As the bible speaks about both the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

      There’s still too much good in the world for there to be a maximally evil god.

      … for it to be the sole product of an Evil god yes.

      But the Christian position is, that the world that we live in, is both the production of Creation, and the product of the Fall. After all, Satan means “the opposer” in Hebrew. Which means that there’s both a Good Creator God, and his opposition.. The Red dragon, the serpent of old, the god of this world, to consider.

      Anything else, is arguing against a straw-man of the Christian position.

      • Andy_Schueler

        as the bible invokes both the Good Creator God, and the Evil Corrupter ( wannabe ) god

        Prove that “good God” wasn´t lying about that.

        • Exactly. Interestingly, Andy, Justin Schieber was talking to me about a new logical syllogism he has constructed that is precisely that argument, and that you cannot use any heuristic or epistemology to show otherwise. It’s a great defeater. He doesn’t want to put it out until he has got some good rebuttals and refinements to it, but it seems like it would blow apart anything John is saying here.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Cool, I´m looking forward to reading that when it comes out.
            This is one of the guys from the Reasonable Doubts podcast, right?

          • JohnM

            Jonathan said : ..but it seems like it would blow apart anything John is saying here..

            Look, all I’m saying is, that you have to critique what we read in the bible, unless you want to commit the fallacy of attacking a straw-man. It’s really that simple.

            And it’s because you guys can’t handle the real deal, that you’re left with saying “prove this and that..”. Which is ridiculous really. I may as well ask you to prove that you don’t live in the matrix. That would be just about as pointless and irrelevant to this discussion.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Look, all I’m saying is, that you have to critique what we read in the bible

              And why don´t you have to prove that anything in the Bible is actually true?
              And why can you ignore the fact that your interpretation of the Bible has been scientifically refuted for centuries?

            • JohnM

              Oki.. so let me see if I can follow your logic here…

              You want me to prove the bible to you, so that you can critique it?

              What do I care, what you think about the bible?

            • Andy_Schueler

              What do we care about your YEC ignorance?

            • JohnM

              I don’t know… I just know, that if you want to discuss Christianity, it would be a smart move for you to know what the bible says.. Otherwise you risk discussing a straw-man, which means that you’re waiting your time and committing an embarrassing fallacy. Just like Stephen Law, when he said that her was aiming to critique WLC’s God, with his evil God challenge.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You always show up and boldly declare “you have to critique MY interpretation of the Bible”, and then you start with some Garden of Eden BS – you never bother to provide any argument for why there ever WAS any such thing, and you simply ignore that your interpretation has been scientifically refuted for centuries.
              Your concept of God is uninteresting because it already has been refuted.
              And even if we grant you your premises, although we know that they are wrong, all you do is come up with one hilariously obvious contradiction after another.

            • JohnM

              “MY interpretation of the Bible” ?!

              Do you know of any versions of the bible, that does not include the serpent in genesis?

            • Andy_Schueler

              All Churches that try to attract people who are not completely ignorant either ignore Genesis completely or come up with all kinds of metaphorical interpretations of Genesis.

            • JohnM

              You did not answer my question.

              But let me ask you another question.. Do you know of any versions of the bible, that does not include Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert?

            • Andy_Schueler

              You did not answer my question.

              I did answer it.

              Do you know of any versions of the bible, that does not include Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert?

              Don´t know, don´t care.

            • JohnM

              Satan is everywhere in the bible. Genesis, the book of Job, The gospels, Paul’s letters, Revelation. You can’t get rid of him. Evil god, the serpent of old, the god of this world, he’s right there in your face, no matter where you turn to in the bible.

              It’s not “MY interpretation of the Bible”. It’s THE Bible.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You started with:
              “The world that we live in, is neither the best possible world, nor the world that God created. We do NOT live in the garden of Eden.. We do NOT live in the world that God created.”

              Which you ALWAYS start with. There was no Garden of Eden and this planet was not “created”.

            • JohnM

              You are free to critique a world where we still live in the garden of Eden. But that wouldn’t be a critique aimed at or relevant to, Christianity.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You are free to critique a world where we still live in the garden of Eden.

              There never was a Garden of Eden.

            • JohnM

              If you actually believed that, you wouldn’t waste a minute of your time, critiquing Christianity.

            • Andy_Schueler

              If you actually believed that

              I don´t “believe” it, unlike you, I actually know something about science.

              you wouldn’t waste a minute critiquing Christianity.

              There are countless different concepts of “God”, even within Christianity, and not all of them are as trivially false as yours. And even yours is still worth criticizing as an educational effort for people with lacking science education.

            • JohnM

              There is only one Christianity. And that is the one defined by the bible.

            • Andy_Schueler

              No there are actually between ~800 and ~33,000 christianities, depending on how you count.

            • JohnM

              No, that’s just what Evil god wants you to believe.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Funny, just two days ago I was talking to a Catholic fundie who said the exact same thing :-D

            • JohnM

              Of course he did. And therefore you conclude that both of us are wrong, which is exactly what Evil god wanted you to do.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Not quite. I know that the Catholic fundie is wrong because all the extra baggage that Catholics added to Christianity is demonstrably made up out of thin air or stolen from other Religions, and because I know that they used to believe all the BS in Genesis to be literally true, right to the point until science refuted it (although they now lie about that).
              And I know that you are wrong because you still believe that the BS in Genesis is literally true (to give just one reason…).

            • JohnM

              Ahh, the “I just know it to be true” tactic.

              Good thing Stephen Law told me to be aware of such tell signs.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ahh, the “I just know it to be true” tactic.

              Nope. I don´t “just know it”, just as I don´t “just know” that the world is not flat, I actually have plenty of evidence to demonstrate it.

            • JohnM

              So you actually believe, that one can be certain of truth, based on subjective interpretation of evidence?

            • Andy_Schueler

              based on subjective interpretation of evidence

              Scientific claims are intersubjectively verifiable. And the scientific claims that are relevant for what I previously said have been intersubjectively verified.

              So you actually believe, that one can be certain of truth

              In this particular case, exactly as certain as we can be that the world is not flat.

            • JohnM

              Oh yeah, Right.. Nobody has a world-view.. Nobody interpret evidence subjectively. Everyone just see the evidence objectively, and know the truth. Have you been smoking much weed today?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Oh yeah, Right.. Nobody has a world-view..

              Intersubjectively verifiable means that ANYONE can verify it. And the scientific claims that are relevant for what I previously have been indepently verified by individuals with all different kinds of worldviews.

              Nobody interpret evidence subjectively.

              Irrelevant because the claims I was talking about are intersubjectively verifiable and have been intersubjectively verified.

              Everyone just see the evidence objectively

              Strawman.

            • JohnM

              Yeah… Everone can travel back in time, and verify, that there’s no Garden of Eden. This is after all 2013, where we can “intersubjectively” verify everything. And no, Andy does not live in Utopia. But thanks for asking.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Everone can travel back in time, and verify, that there’s no Garden of Eden.

              The “were you there??” strategy – how adorable!

            • John, you are being spanked here. You are so out of your depth.

            • JohnM

              I love your sports commentator comments.

    • The Thinker

      Interesting article. I’ve been thinking of an argument to show how god’s omni-benevolent nature is simply incompatible with the world we find ourselves living in. I call it the Evolutionary Argument Against God, or the EAAG. It’s partly a counter argument to Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism.

      It goes like this:

      1. If god chose to use evolution as the process by which he created human beings and all other forms of life, then god knowingly chose a process that requires suffering that is logically unnecessary.

      2. If humans are the product of gradual evolution guided by god, at some point during the process the soul appeared.

      3. Once human beings had souls, they could be rewarded in an afterlife for the suffering they endured while they were alive.

      4. If higher level primates are capable of third level pain awareness (knowing they are experiencing pain) then our pre-human hominid ancestors did too and they did not have souls.

      5. This means god chose to create humans using a method that knowingly would involve conscious suffering that was not logically necessary.

      6. An all-good, perfectly moral god who is incapable of unwarranted cruelty would not create beings that could consciously suffer in a way that was not logically necessary.

      7. Therefore, the traditional notion of god who is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good does not exist.

      If the premises are correct I think it logically proves that a morally perfect, wholly good god cannot exist because he wouldn’t be compatible with this world. That would disprove the god of Christianity for sure, since that concept of god must live in all possible worlds.

      What do you think? If any premises need explanation, I have justifications for all of them.

      • Just on a quick skim it looks pretty good.

        FYI, you might want to check this:

        http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2012/08/17/why-dont-all-animals-photosynthesise-the-problem-of-evil-revisited/

        As it is very much what you are saying.

        And this:

        http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2013/03/07/arguments-against-the-existence-of-a-soul/

        I have always been interested in the Sorites Paradox and how that plays out with the attachment of labels to a time continuum; or in this case, not a label but a soul.

        The only thing that could be said is that perhaps souls coincide with third level pain subjectivity such that some primates have souls too?

        • The Thinker

          I’ve “fine tuned” this argument, so to speak, after listening to W.L. Craig debate Stephen Law when animal suffering came up, and after having numerous online debates with theists debating Craig’s claim that animals don’t experience 3rd level pain awareness.

          If you notice in Craig’s debate with Law in 2011, Craig admits that higher primates have 3rd level pain awareness. And if that’s true, if must’ve also been true for our hominid ancestors over the last 6 million years since we split from our common ancestor with chimps. So for at least 8 million years, conscious, sentient beings capable of 3rd level pain awareness existed for no logically necessary reason.

          When it comes to the soul, most Christians believe humans are body + soul composites which means they’d have to believe fully evolved humans appeared at once once they got souls. But my argument takes that into account. For premise 2, even if you believe fully rational humans appeared at once when they got souls at some point during our evolution, it still entails there were at least 6 million years of conscious, sentient beings capable of 3rd level pain awareness who existed for no logically necessary reason.

          So what do’ya think? I’m testing this argument out on Christian blogs but have had no serious challenges yet,

          • I take it you saw skydivephil’s awesome rebuttal to WLC’s answer to their first video on the subject?

            http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2013/02/11/boom-craig-is-um-owned-on-animal-suffering-twice/

            • The Thinker

              Yeah, that video inspired the argument, and by how Craig concedes up front that primates have higher level pain awareness but no one calls him out on it. And Craig’s minions across the blogosphere are repeating his arguments like pre-programmed robots. They need to be called out on their bullshit. If you think the argument works, feel free to use it or refine it to your liking.

            • I was saying to John earlier that I was chatting to Stephen Law the other night. He is a blogger here and came and did a local talk. He’s even read one of my books (that I gave him at the WLC / Law debate in LOndon). He’s a good man!

              I will turn your argument into a post, then, if that’s OK.

            • The Thinker

              Yes, by all means, use the argument anyway you like. It’s public domain. I’d love to hear what Stephen Law would have to say about it if it catches his eye one day.

              If you want to read my blog where I justify and elaborate on the argument’s premises, please see the link here:

              http://www.atheismandthecity.com/2013/05/my-evolutionary-argument-against-god.html

            • Dang, I remember now – was going to look over your piece on morality…

          • Do you want me to run it here as a post? You can do a Sunday guest post if you want. Message me with the post if you want!

            • Actually this is a cool idea of doing a guest post. How does that work? I basically would just need to copy the post I’ve already written but maybe change a few parts.

            • Just shoot me an email with what you want – contact details above. Sweet.

      • JohnM

        I completely agree what a good God is not compatible with evolution. Theistic evolution is made of epic fail.

        But as Stephen law has pointed out, evolution is not compatible with this world.. Take the existence of objective moral values, for example. Stephen law himself states, that’ it’s ridiculous to believe that evolution could ever explain the existence of objective moral values.

        • I spoke to Stephen about morality the other night (in person). He is not 100% sure of his own moral theory, which is fairly understandable. I change my moral theory not uncommonly. If you have ever studied moral philosophy, you would understand why this is. It is a minefield. And it is not solved by Goddidit. One needs to establish the term ‘objective’ for a start. You were unable to do this last time we asked, so your comment is meaningless anyway.

          • JohnM

            If you talk to him again, could you ask him if he affirms, that if one has good God and Evil god at the same time, then good God explains good, and Evil god explains evil? I’m still struggling to find that quote. And I’m 99% that I heard him said it somewhere.

            I define objective moral values as WLC does ( and that has not changed since last time ):

            Moral values that are valid and binding whether anyone believes in them or not.

            As for Mr Law, he’s just afraid of exposing Sam Harris book, as a crack pot theory. Having listened to him a lot lately, he constantly declines to share his views on things, which could cause conflict with the angry new atheists. I just think he over-spoke that one time.

            • You are the only Christian in the whole of Christendom who believes that God and Satan are equals and that God cannot overdo Satan no if he wanted.

            • JohnM

              I have said no such thing.

              God and Satan are not equals. They are opponents. Big difference.

              God can, and will, destroy Satan, and rebuild this world. But it will be done in a timely manner. And in a sense, Jesus has already defeated Satan on the Cross.

            • So he doesn’t. Why? God can but does not. God created Satan with the knowledge he would fall and allowed him to fall.

              How is God not responsible?

              FAIL.

            • JohnM

              I’m telling you that God can, and will.. And you reply: “So he doesn’t. Why?”

              What am I supposed to reply to that?

            • hat does valid and binding mean? How can an abstract idea with ho causal power, as is defined by abstract ontology, cause something to be bound to it?

              If you invoke God, then you are merely being circular and still not explaining it.

            • JohnM

              A law is valid and binding. If you are in a country, the laws of the country apply to you. And you can be held accountable for your actions, according to the laws of the country, no matter what you personal opinion is.

            • Bad analogy. Human laws are arbitrary and change with culture. The laws themselves are only ‘binding’ in the sense that if the authorities see you not complying, they might punish you.

              But if they don;t see you….

              Thus it is not the abstract laws which are binding.

              FAIL.

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : Bad analogy. Human laws are arbitrary and change with culture.

              Actually, it’s bad reading comprehension. I didn’t say that such laws were objective.

              Jonathan said : The laws themselves are only ‘binding’ in the sense that if the authorities see you not complying, they might punish you.

              That’s what I mean by valid and binding. You are accountable to them. They apply to you. And it doesn’t matter if you like it or not.

              Jonathan said : But if they don;t see you….

              Then I would get away with it. But it would still be a violation of those laws.

              Jonathan said : Thus it is not the abstract laws which are binding.

              So because I don’t get caught, they don’t apply to me? That’s flawed logic. They still apply to me. They are still valid.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Argument by assertion fallacy.
              FAIL.

            • You’ve just failed your philosophy exam.

              So objective does not mean binding or valid. It means if you break them, God will do something about it.

              So objective means sanctioned by God.

              So objective morality means morality sanctioned by God.

              So the claim that objective morality cannot exist without god is effectively a tautology.

              So effectively, your arguments remain incoherent.

            • JohnM

              What you’re saying there, doesn’t follows from what I’ve said.

        • The Thinker

          My argument is specifically designed to refute the existence of a particular kind of god who is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good, that’s generally the god of the bible. But this concept of god is not compatible with the natural world having been created by him, and I would further argue that the purported events of the bible rule out the possibility that Yahweh is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good.

          If there was an evil god somewhere, my argument wouldn’t apply to it.

          Objective moral values are another story. No morality is truly completely objective, even our morals are at least relative to our species. But evolution has built in some standards that are relevant to all human societies regardless of culture.

          • JohnM

            The Thinker said : My argument is specifically designed to refute the existence of a particular kind of god who is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good, that’s generally the god of the bible.

            As far as I can see, your argument is aimed at the cruelty of evolution, and a God who merely front-loads information and leave evolution to take care of the rest. Such a concept that cannot be reconciled with what we read in the bible.

            Any bible-believing Christian would challenge the first two premises, on account of what we read in genesis. And I think that pretty much everyone will challenge the idea that the natural processes of evolution could give rise to a soul. At least the type of soul that the bible speaks about.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Any bible-believing Christian would challenge the first two premises

              I guess that means that you are not a “bible-believing Christian” then. Since you don´t challenge these premises, you merely assert that your position is true without any evidence and you ignore that your position has been refuted for centuries.

            • JohnM

              I state what my position is. I don’t necessarily make truth claims. I am after all a believer.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I am after all a believer.

              A believer and a complete hypocrite.

              If someone raises the fact that your biblical literalism has been refuted for centuries, you retort with “that´s merely your own subjective opinion”, and simply ignore that the scientific facts that refute your position are backed by (literally) mountains of evidence – enough to fill entire museums and libraries – and have been intersubjectively verified by generations of scientists from all across the world.

              Your particular interpretation of the Bible however, is obviously not merely your personal subjective opinion – you obviously got the Bible right.

              You do that with everything.
              Example: the historicity of Jesus is also obviously an undisputable fact, and disagreeing with you on that means that one is a “lunatic” and “pretty much insane”.

              You are a complete hypocrite – everything that challenges your position is just a “personal subjective opinion” and everything that agrees with your position is obviously undisputable fact and only a lunatic would disagree.

              Even if you wouldn´t contradict yourself all the time, you never argue for your premises – EVERYTHING you say can (and must!) be dismissed out of hand because you merely assert that your premises are true, without ANY evidence, and although your premises have already been refuted.

              The hypocrisy is really staggering.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : If someone raises the fact that your biblical literalism has been refuted for centuries, you retort with “that´s merely your own subjective opinion”, and simply ignore…

              You’re right. I don’t take such claims seriously.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You’re right. I don’t take such claims seriously.

              Let me phrase it in terms you might understand better:
              Imagine someone wants to discuss religious claims with you, and his position requires the premise that there never was a historical Jesus. He cannot support this premise with any evidence and doesn´t even try to come up with any arguments supporting his premise. Would you, or would you not, grant him his premise and discuss?

              You are doing exactly that, ON STEROIDS.

            • JohnM

              If I were going to critique his religious claims, I would grant it for the sake of argument, and then critique them, within the framework of his own religious claims, as to not critique a straw-man of his position.

              And then afterwards I would add that he’s a total nut case for attempting to question the historical fact, that Jesus of Nazareth really existed.

            • Andy_Schueler

              If I were going to critique his religious claims, I would grant it for the sake of argument

              :-D. Dude, do you think we forget all of your earlier comments? You don´t grant this for the sake of the argument, you go so far that you dismiss any source, even when it is about a completely different subject, when it comes from an author who you only suspect of doubting the historicity of Jesus because he is obviously a lunatic. You did this with sources from Richard Carrier before he even came out as a mythicist!

              Fucking hypocrite.

            • JohnM

              You’re putting things out of context here. I would be willing to grant it for the sake of argument, if I were to critique his religious claims. But that’s not what you’re talking about now. Now you’re talking about a guy who more or less actively deny what is a historical fact. And that’s a different situation.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Now you’re talking about a guy who more or less actively deny what is a historical fact. And that’s a different situation.

              :-D. So you think you can deny facts that are vastly better supported than ANY claim about ANY particularity of ancient human history EVER COULD BE, just because it´s religious in nature?
              Nice try.

            • JohnM

              What are you now rambling on about? I said no such thing.

            • Andy_Schueler

              That´s exactly what you are doing all the time – you want to discuss positions that rely on countless claims being wrong, all of which are VASTLY better supported than ANY claim about ANY particularity of ancient human history. And you think you can do that just because they are religious?
              Prove your premises like everyone else has to do, YECs don´t get special rights.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : all of which are VASTLY better supported than ANY claim about ANY particularity of ancient human history.

              I disagree very strongly with that assertion.

              The existence of Jesus of Nazareth is one the best documented facts about the ancient world. We know more about Jesus, than just about anyone else. And this type of historical evidence is much much stronger than anything you can point, when it comes to the theory of evolution.

              Allow me at this point to link a video of Bart Ehrman completely destroying a Christ Myth lunatic like yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRx0N4GF0AY

            • Andy_Schueler

              Allow me at this point to link a video of Bart Ehrman completely destroying a Christ Myth lunatic like yourself:

              Funny, I never said that I´m a mythicist and actually told you already that I am not one. But again, the mere fact that you suspect me of being one is enough for you to dismiss me as a “lunatic”. Are you being a lying asshole on purpose or are you just stupid?

              The existence of Jesus of Nazareth is one the best documented facts about the ancient world. We know more about Jesus, than just about anyone else.

              That demonstrates that you are just as ignorant about historical research as you are about anything else. The impact that Jesus had on the world, while he was alive, was negligible compared to rulers of big empires.
              The existence and actions of Gaius Julius Caesar is documented by plenty of his contemporaries, including friends, enemies, neutral persons and himself + plenty of contemporary epigraphical and numismatic evidence. This is not even in the same ballpark as the evidence we have about Jesus, the sheer amount AND quality of evidence wrt the life of Julius Caesar, is vastly superior. And the same applies for most rulers of big empires in human history.

              Your claim literally could not be more ridiculous.

              And now lets compare this to a scientific claim:
              “There were many periods in the history of planet earth were the climate was significantly different than it is nowadays, including periods with a climate that would make earth uninhabitable for humans [a claim that by itself would completely destroy young-earth creationism if it is true]”.
              The sheer amount and quality of evidence supporting this claim is so superior to the evidence we have wrt the life of Julius Caesar that it is again, not even in the same ballpark. Some facts about the life of Julius Caesar are established beyond any reasonable doubt, but the degree of certainty does not (and cannot) even come close to the degree of certainty that has been established for the scientific claim mentioned above.

              And this type of historical evidence is much much stronger than anything you can point, when it comes to the theory of evolution.

              :-D :-D :-D

            • JohnM

              Andy said : I never said that I´m a mythicist and actually told you already that I am not one at least two times.

              So you agree that It’s a historical fact, that Jesus of Nazareth existed? If so, I apologize for calling you a Christ Myth Lunatic, and take it back.

              Andy said : I predict right now that you will not answer these questions because…

              … we have already been there, done that.

              Andy said : This is not David vs. Goliath, this is David vs. a nuclear ICBM.

              What would a nuclear-tipped Intercontinental ballistic missilelauncher actually do against a guy shooting rocks within slingshot range? Fire a missile straight up in the air, and have it come down on both of them? That would be a draw, not a win. Do you ever think these things though, before posting them? :P

              Besides, you’re missing the whole point. David could never have defeated Goliath in his own strength. David defeated Goliath because God was on his side. So what difference is a nuclear-tipped Intercontinental ballistic missilelauncher going to do? If God is on my side, who can be against me?

            • Andy_Schueler

              … we have already been there, done that.

              Indeed, you have ignored these questions once before and provided now even more evidence that you are completely clueless about this issue.

              That would be a draw, not a win.

              In fundie-speak, getting blown to smithereens is a draw. Got it. Kind of like Monty Pythons Black Knight.

              If God is on my side, who can be against me?

              If there would be a God who is on your side, he wouldn´t make it so trivially easy to completely destroy all of your premises.

            • JohnM

              You didn’t answer my question.

              Do you agree that it’s a historical fact, that Jesus of Nazareth existed?

            • Andy_Schueler

              And if I say “no” I´m a “lunatic” eh? This is so hilarious coming from a fucking YOUNG EARTH CREATIONIST :-D.
              I already explained it to you at least two times, look it up.

            • The Thinker

              You might not fully understand the argument. The argument was developed after debating with theistic evolutionists, who accept that evolution happened and that god exists. It is to show how evolution is not compatible with a morally perfect, all-loving god.

              Obviously, if a Christian doesn’t accept evolution, this argument wouldn’t apply to them, this is for those who think evolution and god are totally fine together – which I argue, they are not.

              And I don’t argue that the soul evolved. I accept the premise that god breathed the soul into man at some point during evolution, by my argument takes that into account and still works.

              If you want a detailed summary of my justification of each of the premises, see this link here to my blog:

              http://www.atheismandthecity.com/2013/05/my-evolutionary-argument-against-god.html

            • JohnM

              Well don’t get me wrong. I think your argument is a very effective criticism of theistic evolution. I just don’t see the connection to an all-knowing, all-powerful God of the bible.

            • So it seems that you would essentially agree with me that evolution and the biblical god are incompatible. If that’s what you believe, I would agree with you, and that’s what my argument was trying to show.

            • JohnM

              I completely agree. As far as I can see, process of natural selection, leaves no room for a creator God.

            • But there is something called “theistic evolution” that says god guided the evolutionary process or at least started it. That’s the kind of evolution I am attacking here. Are you not aware of that version of evolution?

            • JohnM

              I’m very familiar with Theistic evolution. And I’ve seen many creationists argue along the same lines as you do.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I’m very familiar with Theistic evolution

              Since you are completely ignorant about evolution, you cannot be “very familiar” with theistic evolution.

            • JohnM

              Theistic evolution actually creates a problem of evil where there is none, and takes it to another level.. All the suffering that Satan is responsible for in this world, is suddenly put on Gods plate, for using such an ineffective and needlessly cruel method of creation.

            • Andy_Schueler

              It´s actually quite the other way around, some forms of theistic evolution provide one of the few almost reasonable theistic explanations for the problem of evil.

            • JohnM

              Get out of here. As The Thinker has demonstrated, Theistic evolution is absolute incoherent. Furthermore, it’s an attempt to sit between two chairs, so it’s the weakest position of all. It’s one big compromise of things that just won’t mix.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Nope, some forms of theistic evolution have, unlike your position, at least a possibility of being true (although those forms of theistic evolution are usually completely unfalsifiable).

            • And is right. Why? Because there is more evidence that evolution is true than the Bible or God. There is tonnes. And its verifiable and testable and repeatable. And you, John, need to get off your bottom and engage with the literature.

              As Francis Collins admits (a fervent Christian and ex-head of the Human Genome project) the evidence for evolution from genetics alone is “incontrovertible”. One discipline alone. You really don’t have a clue about evolution as you have shown multiple times.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Yup – when it comes to theism, theistic evolution is now the only game in town.
              The only way to change that would be disproving evolution or at the very least casting reasonable doubt on evolution.
              Without that, all that Christian fundamentalists are left with is flocking to institutions that enforce an orthodoxy of biblical literalism, like Biola University*. But they can no longer participate in debates about Religion in any other forum without being a huge hypocrite.

              *I find it very telling that a tenured Professor at a secular University cannot be fired for expressing doubt about any viewpoint, while evangelical Universities make you sign a contract that states that you will be fired if you say anything that contradicts the notion that the Bible is the inerrant “word of God”…

            • JohnM

              Well, if you swap out a few of those words, what you said there, could actually have been said by a pope in the dark-ages.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Exactly! A fucking Pope in the dark ages would have said that dogmas are totally irrelevant, we need to rely on physical evidence, reasoned logic and rational debate. THAT´S what a fucking leader of the CATHOLIC CHURCH would have said in the DARK AGES.
              Your inanity truly knows no bounds.

            • JohnM

              I was actually referring to the “burn the heretic, who insist on thinking for themselves, and refuses to accept our truth” attitude.

            • Andy_Schueler

              burn the heretic

              Right! Academic freedom is TOTALLY like the Catholics burning heretics! That´s totally not inane JohnM!
              Good that there is academic freedom at fundagelical institutions!

              No wait… Academic freedom actually exists only at secular Universities while evangelical institutions make you sign a contract that says that if you say or write anything that contradicts biblical literalism and inerrancy YOU GET FIRED. I guess you are full of shit again – as always.

            • JohnM

              You’re the hypocrite. You’re one of the greatest supporters of people being fired for talking about intelligent design. You don’t support Academic freedom when it comes down to it. So spare me your tears about Biola.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You’re one of the greatest supporters of people being fired for talking about intelligent design

              Right! I´ve always been arguing for getting rid of academic freedom and firing tenured Professors for “talking about Intelligent Design”. I´m sure you can provide quotes of me or ANYONE working at a secular University supporting that. And we´ve been so succesful that we already fired ZERO tenured Professors for doing that.

              While fundagelical “Universities” fire people for casting even the slightest doubt on biblical literalism and inneracy ALL THE TIME.

              Btw, “Intelligent Design” doesn´t help your position one bit – if ID were mainstream, your YEC premises would still be false you idiot.

            • Andy_Schueler

              It´s this ridiculous fundagelical persecution complex again, you are accusing people of doing something horrible although you fundagelicals are the ONLY people guilty of doing the thing that you accuse others of doing!
              Fucking hypocrites.

            • JohnM

              Do you recall what Hector Avalos said in the Movie “Expelled no intelligence allowed”?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Yes, I´ve seen the “Evolution is wrong because HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITLEEEEEEEEEER” movie.
              And no matter how hard you fundies try – you can´t come up with ANYONE who supports getting rid of academic freedom because, unlike you fundies, we love academic freedom!

            • JohnM

              I’m sure you have seen it. But that is not what I asked. I asked: Do you recall what Hector Avalos said in the Movie “Expelled no intelligence allowed”?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Yes, nothing that would change academic freedom in any way, shape or form – because Avalos loves academic freedom, as do we.

            • JohnM

              Again, Do you recall what Hector Avalos said in the Movie
              “Expelled no intelligence allowed”?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Yes. If you have a point, make it and stop asking stupid questions.

            • JohnM

              So what did he say?

            • Andy_Schueler

              I´m not going to do your fucking work for you again, if you think this supports your inanity in any way, shape or form you look up the exact quote.

            • JohnM

              I’ll do the work for you:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EPymcWp-g
              1:23:50 into the movie.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ah, so Guillermo Gonzalez got fired then, right??

              Nope, he was not. He didn´t get tenure. If he had any tenured position, no one could fire him for doubting ANY viewpoint – he could deny the holocaust and still wouldn´t be fired then for fucks sake (well, not in Germany because holocaust denial is actually illegal here).

              Once you got your PhD, and demonstrate that you can produce scientific results independently, get them published, communicate them at conferences, and attract third party funding for research – you can apply for tenured or tenure-track positions. If you get tenure at a secular University or research institution, your academic freedom is UNLIMITED. Michael Behe could be a flat-earther and we still couldn´t fire him if we wanted to, AND NO ONE WORKING AT A SECULAR UNIVERSITY WANTS TO HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!

              Gonzalez wasted a significant amount of time on ID (which indeed was an embarassment for Iowa State), produced nothing of value in this time, his publication record declined, and the third party funding he attracted was pathetic compared to the other tenure-track guys in his department. Had he waited with the ID Bullshit for a few years and did something productive instead, he could waste as much time on ID as he wants to, just like Behe, Minnich and every other pro-ID guy with tenure, and no one could fire him.

              It´s that simple, secular Universities provide unlimited academic freedom to tenured researchers, no matter how ridiculous their positions are (we don´t even fire YECs with tenure for fucks sake). There isn´t anything like that at fundagelical institutions – express even the mildest doubt about biblical literalism and / or inerrancy, and you´re gone.

              As I said, it´s this ridiculous fundagelical persecution complex again, you are accusing others of doing something that NO ONE does except for you guys yourself!

            • JohnM

              It’s always funny to see the real monster come out of the cave, once it realizes that it’s been cornered.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ah, so in fundie-speak, proving that JohnM could literally not be more wrong about his claims and that his people are the ONLY ones guilty of doing what he accuses others of, means “getting cornered”?
              I didn´t know that! So “pwning someone” means “loosing and demonstrating that you are a complete ass-clown while getting trounced” in fundie-speak?

            • JohnM

              Andy said : secular Universities provide unlimited academic freedom to tenured researchers

              Shouldn’t academic freedom apply to everyone?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Shouldn’t academic freedom apply to everyone?

              It does (ONLY at secular Universities though, not at fundie Universities). I work at a secular University and I cannot get fired for expressing or doubting any viewpoint (sole exception is holocaust denial).

            • JohnM

              So why does Hector Avalos state, that “we wanted to stop the name of Iowa State University being used to validate ID. And we did succeed.”

              He’s basically saying, that he didn’t want any under the roof of IowaSU to talk about it, and therefore took actions against those who did.

            • Andy_Schueler

              So why does Hector Avalos state, that “we wanted to stop the name of Iowa State University being used to validate ID. And we did succeed.”

              Because he co-signed a statement with 130 faculty members of Iowa State that condemned ID as dishonest politics that has nothing to do with science.
              This is the viewpoint of Iowa State and every other secular University – but they cannot fire researchers for disagreeing with the consensus or defending ID! How do I know that? Because there STILL are at least 2 pro-ID guys with tenure at Iowa State, they will not and CANNOT loose their job for being pro-ID.

              He’s basically saying, that he didn’t want any under the roof of IowaSU to talk about it, and therefore took actions against those who did.

              He is powerless to do anything besides making it clear that the overwhelming majority at Iowa State does not support ID in any way, shape or form.

            • JohnM

              Haha. That’s like saying: “We support free speech, as long as people say, what we like to hear”.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Alright, let me get this straight – you demand that a) pro-ID guys can say and write whatever they want and b) anti-ID guys must be silenced.
              This would be “academic freedom” for you?
              As I said, this is inane – at secular Universities, we support a+b, we allow academic freedom for anyone, no group gets special rights. No matter how much Creationists want these special rights that no one else but them should be allowed to have.
              If they want these special rights, they can go to a fundie-“University” where there is no such thing as academic freedom.

            • JohnM

              No, critique is welcome. That too is under the banner of academic freedom. Where things go wrong, is when disciplinary actions are taking against those with certain opinions. And that goes for both camps.

              Now you can sit there and say that no disciplinary actions has been taking against ID folks. But you would be lying, because that’s exactly what Hector Avalos admits in the movie.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Where things go wrong, is when disciplinary actions are taking against those with certain opinions. And that goes for both camps.

              So you condemn the practice of evangelical Universities of firing everyone that voices even the mildest doubts about biblical literalism and inerrancy? Yes or no?

              Now you can sit there and say that no disciplinary actions has been taking against ID folks

              Yes, that has never happend at a secular University and that cannot happen at a secular University, they legally cannot take disciplinary action against any employee for voicing any opinion (exception: Holocaust denial in some countries).

              But you would be lying

              No, you are still lying after your lies have already been proven wrong.

              because that’s exactly what Hector Avalos admits in the movie.

              You are such a despicable liar, it´s really incredible… I told you exactly what Avalos was talking about, and the stuff they showed didn´t even have anything to do with Gonzalez – he co-signed a statement of Iowa State faculty against ID, at a time when Gonzalez was not even on their radar because he was just a random Postdoc at that time who no one cared about. And the liars who produced the Expelled movie edited it to make it appear as if he was talking about Gonzalez.
              There have been no disciplinary actions against pro-ID staff at Iowa State or any other secular University. He was not fired, he was not disciplined – his viewpoint was criticized, and that is all.

              Lying scumbag.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Where things go wrong, is when disciplinary actions are taking against those with certain opinions. And that goes for both camps.

              So you condemn the practice of evangelical Universities of firing everyone that voices even the mildest doubts about biblical literalism and inerrancy? Yes or no?

              Now you can sit there and say that no disciplinary actions has been taking against ID folks

              Yes, that has never happend at a secular University and that cannothappen at a secular University, they legally cannot take disciplinary action against any employee for voicing any opinion (exception: Holocaust denial in some countries).

              But you would be lying

              No, you are still lying after your lies have already been proven wrong.

              because that’s exactly what Hector Avalos admits in the movie.

              You are such a despicable liar, it´s really incredible… I told you exactly what Avalos was talking about, and the stuff they showed didn´t even have anything to do with Gonzalez – he co-signed a statement of Iowa State faculty against ID, at a time when Gonzalez was not even on their radar because he was just a random Postdoc at that time who no one cared about. And the liars who produced the Expelled movie edited it to make it appear as if he was talking about Gonzalez.
              There have been no disciplinary actions against pro-ID staff at Iowa State or any other secular University. He was not fired, he was not disciplined – his viewpoint was criticized, and that is all.

              Lying scumbag.

            • JohnM

              Andy said : So you condemn the practice of evangelical Universities of firing everyone that voices even the mildest doubts about biblical literalism and inerrancy? Yes or no?

              Condemn is a strong world. But I do support academic freedom. And I don’t expect teachers to be bible believers. Everyone should be allowed to make up their own mind about such things.

              Andy said : Yes, that has never happend at a secular University and that cannothappen at a secular University

              That’s just dogmatic utopia. The emails produced in the movie, proves it beyond a doubt. And you’re just refusing to be rational.

              Andy said : Gonzalez was not even on their radar because he was just a random Postdoc at that time who no one cared about.

              Liar. During the follow-up interview with Dr. John Hauptman, several emails to and from Hector Avalos is quoted, specifically dealing with Gonzalez. 1:24:18 into the movie. So don’t even go there.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Condemn is a strong world.

              Yet you had no problems condemning secular Universities in the strongest possible terms “BURNING HERETICS”, although secular Universities grant unlimited academic freedom and ONLY evangelical Universities do what you described as “BURNING HERETICS”.
              Lying hypocrite.

              That’s just dogmatic utopia. The emails produced in the movie, proves it beyond a doubt.

              1. The liars combined fragments from the emails together to make them appear as if say something about Gonzalez although they didn´t:
              http://www.talkreason.org/articles/DISmokingGun.cfm
              2. Proving what “beyond a doubt” – how can the emails prove that there were disciplinary actions against Gonzalez when there never were any disciplinary actions against Gonzalez. He was not fired, he was not disciplined and he could be neither fired nor disciplined for being pro-ID.
              Lying scumbag.

              Liar. During the follow-up interview with Dr. John Hauptman, several emails to and from Hector Avalos is quoted, specifically dealing with Gonzalez. 1:24:18 into the movie. So don’t even go there.

              Hint, calling someone an “IDiot” or a “nutcase” is not “disciplinary action” and being called an “IDiot” in private email does not mean that you loose your job or get disciplined you moron.
              Lying scumbag.

            • Andy_Schueler

              It´s your unbelievable hypocrisy again. Calling a Cdesign proponentsist an IDiot in a private email is obviously persecution and amounts to “disciplinary action” and “being fired” (hint: it doesn´t). When Ehrman however refers to people that doubt the historicity of Jesus as crackpots publicly, it´s obviously not persecution – because now you agree that the criticized viewpoint is indeed idiotic.

              Academic freedom enables you to criticize any intellectual viewpoint as vocally as you want to, the staff at Iowa State have every right to call the pro-ID people IDiots, they could even have done it publicly, just as Ehrman has every right to call mythicists crackpots. You are just being a colossal hypocrite again because you think Ehrman should have the right to do that, but the staff at Iowa State shouldn´t. And you are also being a notorious liar again, because you keep on claiming that there were disciplinary actions taken, when there never was any such thing.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I´m waiting… Do you stand by your claims? Do you honestly believe that “academic freedom” means Creationists can propose and criticize everything they want, while non-Creationists must be silenced and are not allowed to voice any criticism of (ID)-Creationism?

              Do you also stand by your claim that criticism is just like burning heretics in the Dark Ages, but only when non-Creationists do it, Creationists can obviously criticize everything they want do?

              And you also believe that only secular Universities “burn heretics” although secular Universities cannot fire anyone for expressing or doubting any point of view, and a permanent position at a secular University is actually permanent, no matter what you say or write. While fundie-Universities will fire you for expressing even the mildest doubts about biblical literalism and / or inerrancy.

              You actually believe that?

              If you do not retract these claims, although you transparently claim the exact opposite of what is going on in reality, why should we still take you serious?

            • JohnM

              Andy said : Do you also stand by your claim that criticism is just like burning heretics in the Dark Ages

              I’ve said no such thing. I talked about “burning heretics” in the dark ages, when I was commenting on your attitude in a specific post that you made.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ah, so you were just libeling me? That´s of course much better.
              Asshole.

            • John,

              You may have been ‘being funny’ but if you were seriously having a go at Andy and claiming you were doing work he was supposed to do, please refrain.

              If YOU are the one positing evidence and making a claim about a piece of evidence, YOU have to provide it. If you provide a link, YOU need to state what it is that is on that link that Andy should see. He does not have to trawl through 2 hours of shit just to find a quote you challenged him on.

              The burden is on you there.

    • JohnM

      Jonathan said : YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND STEPHEN LAW’S ARGUMENT DO YOU?

      I understand his argument perfectly well. He states that there is far too much good in the world, for it to be the product of an Evil god. And he then ask why there isn’t far too much evil in this world, for it to be the product of a Good God. And I agree with him. The good in this world, is fatal to the theory of it being the sole creation of an evil god. And the evil in this world, is fatal to the theory of it being the sole creation of a good God. In order to explain the world that we live in, one must invoke both a good God and an evil god. Which is exactly what the bible does.

      Jonathan said : No Christian believes Satan is necessary.

      No, we don’t. That’s why we hold, that at some in the future, Satan will be destroyed, together with everyone that serves him. If Satan was necessary, that wouldn’t be in the bible.

      Jonathan said : He is contingent and was created by God who, being omnipotent, could destroy him on a whim.

      No he wasn’t. Lucifer was created by God. Just like the garden of Eden was created by God. But we don’t live in the garden. And Lucifer is now Satan, the great opposer.

      And No, this is not happy potter. You can’t just destroy things at a whim. Things takes time and effort. And in order to destroy Satan, you would have to destroy even evil thing in this world, which would include you and me. But clearly, God had another plan for dealing with Satan, and liberating from his chains of sin.

      Jonathan said : God created Satan and thus created evil.

      That’s not what we read in the bible. Jesus himself states that Satan is the FATHER of lies. He’s the one who fathered untruth, the root of all evils.

      Jonathan said : How do you know your experience of god being good was not the experience of evil god just messing with your head and lying?

      As Stephen Law has pointed out, Evil god is intent on maximising evil in this world.

      So how do you know the one from the other? You know them by their fruits, as we read in the bible. Good trees does not carry bad fruit. And bad tress only carry bad fruit. What is fruit? It’s the product of the seed.

      Matthew 13:24-30
      He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

      Notice that we have good seed being planted by good God. And then we have his enemy, the opposer, aka Evil god, turning up at night to plant other seeds.

      Is Evil god working for good God? Not at all. He’s working against good God. He’s the enemy, the opposer, intent on ruining good God’s field.

      What does good God do? Does he burn the entire field? No, he leaves the weeds with the wheat, until harvest, in order not to uproot the wheat along with it.

      Same chapter, verse 36-43
      Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

      • Andy_Schueler

        No he wasn’t. Lucifer was created by God. Just like the garden of Eden was created by God.

        Prove that everything we know about Biology and Geology and virtually everything we know about Linguistics, Physics, Anthropology etc. is wrong.

        Jesus himself states that Satan is the FATHER of lies.

        Prove that Jesus actually said that and wasn´t lying about it.

        • JohnM

          I don’t need to do any of that. Me and Jonathan are discussing what Christians believe.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Your beliefs have already been demonstrated to be wrong centuries ago.

            • JohnM

              That’s just an empty claim. And it’s not something that you can prove to be the case. Rather, it’s a matter of ones personal subjective opinion, whether you’re telling the truth or not. So there is no way for you to even bare the burden of proof, of that claim. And so in a discussion context, that’s a pretty stupid claim to make. It’s a bit like sinking ones your own boat, at the first cannonball exchange.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Rather, it’s a matter of ones personal subjective opinion

              Nope, your beliefs are just as trivially false as flat-earthism.

              whether you’re telling the truth or not

              :-D. Prove that you are not lying about your position and are actually a Satanist.

      • Sweet bejesus.
        ERv
        “And No, this is not happy potter. You can’t just destroy things at a whim. Things takes time and effort. And in order to destroy Satan, you would have to destroy even evil thing in this world, which would include you and me. But clearly, God had another plan for dealing with Satan, and liberating from his chains of sin.”

        Is God omnipotent? Answer me that. Because if he is, like all other Christians believe, then your whole theory falls apart.

        Do you understand omission and passive will? Because if you do then you would realise that your whole theory falls apart.

        “The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature – to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P1C.HTM

        “Evangelicals agree… that Stan is a real, created being given entirely over to evil … Evangelicals emphasize the power and involvement of Satan in history in varying degrees; some virtually ignore Satan, and others revel in speculation about spiritual warfare against that personal power of darkness.
        … In other words, evangelical theologians are reluctant to place Satan on the same level as God; their faith is solely in God.” Olson, The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology, p. 178

        “In evangelical theology, as in scripture, Satan’s primary role is as the tempter and accuser of humans. Nowhere is all sin or evil attributed to him; he has limited powers and is not able to cause people to sin. Especially Reformed evangelical theologians view Satan and demons as God’s instruments. As Luther puts it, Stan is God’s devil. In other words, Satan is not a god over against God limiting him. God does not have to deal with Satan as if he were an equal, opposite force. Rather, the sovereign maker of heaven and earth controls Satan and allows him to wreak just as much havoc in human history as is necessary for God’s ultimate purpose, which is to glorify himself by defeating sin and evil and redeeming the fallen world. There is a sense, then, in which Satan and demons do God’s bidding.” ibid p.265

        Greg Boyd would see Stan as a “God of this world” but even then God, the superior ruler, has given Satan a limited realm of limited freedom and control.

        Olson goes on to say, including of the work of Boyd and others:

        “In spite of serious disagreement about God’s role in Satan’s activities and Stan’s power temporarily to thwart the will of God, evangelical theologians are agreed that Satan is also God’s creature and therefore finite. He is not omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent.” Ibidp. 267

        I’m not sure, no I am positive, you do not have a coherent understanding of Satan.

        And considering the massive continuum of view about Satan from Christians, based on the Bible, from real to metaphoric, stop bloody appealing to the Bible to support your won theory and thinking that that is good enough.

        • JohnM

          Quote: Is God omnipotent? Answer me that.

          God is not omnipotent. That’s pagan Plato / Aristotle / Epicurus gibberish.

          God has the attributes described in the bible.

          Quote: “The power of Satan is..”

          You quoted the Vatican? Quote the bible. That’s the only authority in Christianity.

          Quote: In other words, evangelical theologians are reluctant to place Satan on the same level as God

          He’s not on the same level as God. God is the God of Gods (Deuteronomy 10:17). Satan is a lesser being. A wannabe god, that rebelled against God, to try and take God’s place. And for that he was cast out of heaven. But that doesn’t make him powerless.

          1 Peter 5:8
          Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

          Quote: In evangelical theology, as in scripture, Satan’s primary role is as the tempter and accuser of humans. Nowhere is all sin or evil attributed to him.

          Someone hasn’t been reading the bible. Jesus himself says, that he’s the father of lies. And Revelation 12:9 proclaims him to be “the deceiver of the whole world”. Furthermore, the Anti-Christ, an agent of the Great Red Dragon ( Satan ) is refereed to as The Man of Sin.

          Quote: he has limited powers and is not able to cause people to sin.

          Someone forgot to read the genesis part about the serpent causing the whole of humanity to fall. Seriously, where do you find this garbage? Any Sunday-school kid could tear it apart.

          Quote: Especially Reformed evangelical theologians view Satan and demons as God’s instruments.

          Of course. They are Calvinists. They don’t read their bible. They read the notes of John Calvin.

          Quote: God does not have to deal with Satan as if he were an equal, opposite force.

          He’s not equal, but he’s certainly an opposite force. He’s constantly refereed to as the enemy in the bible. Satan in Hebrew actually means “the opposer”. He’s a lesser god, the god of this world, the prince of the air.

          Quote: There is a sense, then, in which Satan and demons do God’s bidding.

          That’s refuted by the parable of the harvest. It was not God’s bidding, that the enemy should sow weeds in his field.

          Quote: As Luther puts it, Satan is God’s devil.

          Satan = God’s devil!?! That’s refuted by the bible itself.

          Satan is the opposer. The one who opposes God. And The devil is just another name for that. There is no devil on God’s side. The devil and Satan is a reference to the same thing. The one who opposes God. The one who rebelled against God, because he himself wanted to be God.

          Revelation 12 : 9
          And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

          • And then you admit he is a lesser being., Whether God is omnipotent or not, he has power over Satan. He can do away with him. He apparently knows the future that he will, so will know how to do it now. Thus he keeps him around for a reason.

            Thus Satan is a pawn of God and God is responsible for omitting to do away with him.

            Yet again your theories are entirely stupid. Some might say crackpot.

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : And then you admit he is a lesser being.

              I’ve never denied such a thing. So there’s nothing to admit.

              Jonathan said : Whether God is omnipotent or not, he has power over Satan.

              It depends on what you mean by power over. Remember that Satan rebelled against God.

              Jonathan said : He can do away with him. He apparently knows the future that he will, so will know how to do it now. Thus he keeps him around for a reason.

              No, he’s in full swing doing away with him. And Jesus was a key component in that plan. But it is not yet time for the harvest. So God leaves the wheat with the weed, as to not uproot the wheat with the weed.

              And no that doesn’t make God responsible for the weed. By logic, the one who sowed the weed, is responsible for the weed in the field.

              Jonathan said : Thus Satan is a pawn of God

              Satan means the opposer. He’s the enemy of God. How many times do I have to quote the bible to you, for you to understand such a simple thing? Or maybe you don’t want to understand?

              Jonathan said : God is responsible for omitting to do away with him

              Unlike Harry Potter, in the real world, things take time. And there’s a time for everything.

            • Andy_Schueler

              How many times do I have to quote the bible to you, for you to understand such a simple thing?
              ….
              Unlike Harry Potter, in the real world, things take time.

              :-D

            • JohnM

              That’s right Andy. The real world. Not the one reduced to materialistic dogma, that you live in.

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM: He’s the guy who ordered his angels to go and slay every first-born of Egypt.

              JohnM again: That’s right Andy. The real world.

              :-D

            • Andy_Schueler

              JohnM; Lucifer was created by God. Just like the garden of Eden was created by God.

              JohnM again: That’s right Andy. The real world.

              :-D This is so fucking hilarious

            • John, you would make a terrible philosopher. Your arguments are shoddy and illogical.

              Before creation there was nothing but God. Nothing. That is what ex nihilo means. God created with full foreknowledge. He knew what Lucifer would do. Knew how. Knew what powers he would use to do so. And he would know how to defeat him.

              Your first problem is asserting God is not omnipotent. In what way? How can the creator of all things, of all laws and matter, not have full power over it?

              Second, you fail to see that God could have created infinite other worlds without Lucifer, but chose the one with Luficer doing his evil stuff in.

              God could have had it otherwise but chose to create this world.

              In what way (you have NEVER been able to establish this) would God NOT be responsible for Satan? He created his soul; his power; his environment; the abstract and physical laws which bind him; his corporeal and mental body; the paradigm of interaction between all these things and so on. At every point he could have chosen or done otherwise, but yet God did not. Within creation over which God is sovereign, Lucifer morphed and changed into Satan. God could have stopped this. God didn’t. God knew it would happen, and decided to create the world IN WHICH THIS WAS CERTAIN TO HAPPEN..

              Again, in what way is God not responsible for this eventuality?

              FAIL.

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : you fail to see that God could have created infinite other worlds without Lucifer

              That’s just an assertion. I disagree. I don’t think that there’s an infinite number of other possible worlds.

              Jonathan said : God created with full foreknowledge.

              Your understanding of foreknowledge is polluted by Greek Pagan Philosophers. It’s nothing like the concept that we find in the bible.

              Genesis 3:22
              And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

              Does that sound like a plan A or a plan B to you?

              Jonathan said : God could have had it otherwise but chose to create this world.

              God did not create this world. God created the garden of Eden. We don’t live in the garden of Eden. We live post fall, thanks to the serpent, and ourselves.

              Jonathan said : In what way (you have NEVER been able to establish this) would God NOT be responsible for Satan?

              Sorry, but that’s just not true. I’ve answered you that many times. Satan is a free will agent. Free will agent’s are responsible for their own actions, and no-one else.

              Jonathan said : He created his soul…

              Only human beings have souls. Angels are spiritual beings.

              Jonathan said : …his power; his environment; the abstract and physical laws which bind him; his corporeal and mental body; the paradigm of interaction between all these things and so on. At every point he could have chosen or done otherwise, but yet God did not.

              Satan is not a product of his parts. You’re stuck in determinism. He’s a free will agent, and a product of his own choice to rebel against God.

              Jonathan said : Within creation over which God is sovereign, Lucifer morphed and changed into Satan.

              Where in genesis do we read Lucifer being created?

              Jonathan said : God could have stopped this.

              That’s like saying to a father or mother, who’s teenager jumped out a window, while he/she wasn’t at home “You could have stopped it”.

              No, there’s no way to stop a free will agent. You can only fight the will of a free will agent, by restraining it or preventing it from reaching its goals. And the bible is full of battles between light and darkness.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Argument by assertion fallacies, lots of them…
              FAIL.

            • JohnM

              The amount of times you guys use the word “fail”, is made of epic fail.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Using the phrase “made of epic fail”, is an epic fail.

            • WTF?

              You would be going against EVERY philosopher and theologian known to man. God couldn’t produce a world with one more atom? 2? 3?

              1 more human, 1 less amoeba?

              humans with 1 more brain cell? 2?

              And every combination of everything you could imagine, plus all the things that don’t exist but could, and every combination of them thereof…

              Divine foreknowledge in the bible is DIRECTLY contradictory, hence theological confusion! In some parts he doesn’t know stuff, in others he does.

              According to most theologians and the ontological argument amongst others, he does.”Sorry, but that’s just not true. I’ve answered you that many times. Satan is a free will agent. Free will agent’s are responsible for their own actions, and no-one else.”

              NO YOU HAVEN’T!!! YOUR ANSWERS HAVE BEEN LOGICALLY INVALID AND POOR!

              “Only human beings have souls. Angels are spiritual beings.”

              Proof? Assertion.

              “Where in genesis do we read Lucifer being created?”

              You are being stoopid on purpose now. Did God create ex nihilo? Then God created Lucifer.

              “That’s like saying to a father or mother, who’s teenager jumped out a window, while he/she wasn’t at home “You could have stopped it”.”

              No it’s not. Terrible false analogy. God is sovereign over his creation. God has committed thousands of miracles inhibiting free will (that is what they do by definition). You have no idea what you are talking about.

              You have constrained God to impotency. No theologian or other believer would ever agree with you.

              “No, there’s no way to stop a free will agent.”

              God can’t stop you? Like he stopped Pharaoh? Your God is SHIT!

              i/ can do what I like and God can’t stop me!!!!!!! Wahey!

              FAIL.

            • JohnM

              I couldn’t care less what “most theologians” think. The bible clearly states, that it was not the will of good God, that the enemy, aka Evil god, came and sow weed in the field overnight. And there is no indication that it was part of the plan. In the parable, they are merely reacting to what has already happened.

              Jonathan said : YOUR ANSWERS HAVE BEEN LOGICALLY INVALID AND POOR!

              So I have answered you. You just didn’t like the answer, correct?

              Jonathan said : You are being stoopid on purpose now. Did God create ex nihilo? Then God created Lucifer.

              Creation starts with the world and ends with humans. Lucifer is not part of what the bible refers to as “creation”. Creation is this realm, earth, that we inhabit. Angels and heaven, is another realm.

              Jonathan said : God can’t stop you? Like he stopped Pharaoh?

              God can stop me from carrying out my goals, by working against me as he did with Pharaoh. But he can’t stop me from being in opposition to him, if that’s what I chooses. And he can’t force me to love him either.

              Jonathan said : God is sovereign over his creation.

              Yes. But sovereignty only goes so far, when people have free will.

              Jonathan said : You have constrained God to impotency.

              Not at all. I’m merely operating within the framework of free will.

              In order to be free, you need freedom. Freedom means lack of control from outside sources. You can’t both have complete control over agents and completely free agents.

              As a philosophers, I would have thought, that you would have realized as much.

            • Andy_Schueler

              The bible clearly states, that it was not the will of good God, that the enemy, aka Evil god, came and sow weed in the field overnight

              Let´s try JohnM debate tactics again:
              This is merely your personal subjective opinion which you try to sell as objective truth.
              FAIL.

              God can stop me from carrying out my goals, by working against me as he did with Pharaoh. But he can’t stop me from being in opposition to him

              Translation: “God can interfere with free will choices but he can´t interfere with free will choices”.
              :-D

            • Did God create ex nihilo? If so, then he is sovereign over everything, every realm of his.

              God created free will. Apparently, and is now powerful to do anything about it. So if I decided to walk to the shop or murder my neighbour, God would be unable to stop it, apart from the fact that he intervened countlessly in history and the bible. You make NO SENSE.

              You have totally cherry picked your claim of everything you are stating.in the bible. These quotes support omnipotence:

              Matthew 19:26 ESV

              But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

              Luke 1:37 ESV

              For nothing will be impossible with God.”

              Jeremiah 32:27 ESV

              “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

              Isaiah 40:28 ESV

              Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

              Psalm 147:5 ESV

              Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

              Job 42:2 ESV

              “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

              Romans 1:20 ESV

              For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

              Hebrews 1:3 ESV / 13 helpful votes

              He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

              1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV / 11 helpful votes

              For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

              Job 37:23 ESV

              The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.

              Mark 10:27 ESV

              Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

              Daniel 2:20-22 ESV

              Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.

              Daniel 4:35 ESV / 7 helpful votes

              All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

              Isaiah 44:24 ESV

              Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

              Amos 4:13 ESV

              For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

              Romans 8:28-29 ESV

              And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

              Matthew 10:29 ESV / 5 helpful votes

              Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

              Revelation 19:6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

              Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.

              Mark 14:36 ESV

              And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

              Jeremiah 10:12 ESV

              It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.

              Job 36:26 ESV
              Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.

              Genesis 1:1 ESV / 4 helpful votes

              In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

              Romans 4:17 ESV

              As it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

              John 3:16-17 ESV / 3 helpful votes

              “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

              Matthew 19:9 ESV

              And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

              Psalm 139:1-13 ESV

              To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …

              John 3:16 ESV

              “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : Did God create ex nihilo?

              Out of nothing? Depends on what you mean by that. Is God himself nothing? I don’t think he is, so my answer would be no. I hold God to be the first cause. And therefore in my view, this world does not come out of nothing.

              Jonathan said : If so, then he is sovereign over everything, every realm of his.

              Well if you read Genesis 1 v 26-28, after creation was complete, God actually passed sovereign over to Adam and Eve. They were to rule over the earth and everything on it.

              And then later in the new testament we read the following:

              Ephesians 6:12
              For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

              Weren’t we the rulers of the earth? Well clearly something changed at the fall. And the current rulers seems to be associated with darkness. As opposed to the forces of light.

              Furthermore, Jesus is actually coming back, to take the earth and bring it under God’s authority.

              Revelation 19:15
              Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

              So no, right now, the rulers of this earth, is not God. God is in heaven, which is another realm. The realm that Satan was cast out of, down to earth.

              Jonathan said : God created free will. Apparently, and is now powerful to do anything about it.

              Once you create a free will agent, that agent takes on it’s own will. You are no longer in control over that agent. You can’t be. If you were, it wouldn’t be a free agent. So yes and no. The agent is in control of his/her own will.

              Jonathan said : So if I decided to walk to the shop or murder my neighbour, God would be unable to stop it

              Well I do think that God could make you crash your car on the way there. But that’s not the point. The point is, that it’s Satan who’s the authority right now. He’s the dark ruler of this world, and he has no interests in stopping you.

              Secondly, God operate with a completely different method.

              Hebrews 9:27
              It is appointed to all man to die once, and then to face judgment.

              God is not a policeman. God is a Judge, that see to it that Justice is done. And that evil is avenged.

              Jonathan said : apart from the fact that he intervened countlessly in history and the bible. You make NO SENSE

              Sorry if I make no sense. I do speak a lot of biblical terminology, I know that.

              But if you think about it, and look at the bible when God intervenes. God intervenes in the world, not to prevent evil ( the apostles of Jesus suffered many evils as they preached the gospel ) but to spread the gospel. Or in the old testament, to preserve the Jews and make sure that the promise of Jesus was fulfilled.

              Attempting to stop evil, in a world full of evil is pointless. And it’s a fools errand, because as long as people are evil, evil will pop up. The world needs a cure, not a bandage. The miracles that Jesus performed, was not to relieve suffering, but to spread the good news.

              Reliving suffering, such as feeding the poor, is worth doing, but in the long run it’s just pointless. If you really want to deal with suffering, you have to deal with the root causes of suffering. Which is this evil world in the first place.

              Jonathan said : Matthew 19:26 ESV
              Luke 1:37 ESV

              Yes. But we don’t read those verses as little children, do we? We understand that there’s a context and a framework that God works inside, don’t we? Or do you actually take those verses to mean, that God can create round squares? Is everything that we can think of possible? Or do we have the ability to think up things, that would be impossible?

              I’m only happy to affirm that nothing is impossible for my God. At the same time I understand, that you can’t just rid the world of evil, without taking care of all the sources of evil in the first place.

              You have to deal with the root cause of the problem. And I hold it to be logically impossible, or wishful thinking, that one could just snap ones fingers and be done with it, in a world full of free will agents. Things do take time. And God has already rejected the instant solution of throwing the entire world in the garbage bin, and starting over, exactly because he wanted to save you and me.

              Jonathan said : These quotes support omnipotence

              Just to clear things up, I affirm these scriptures. And I reject the word omnipotence. Because I do not allow pagan Greek philosophers to define the God that I believe in.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Let´s try JohnM debate tactics again:
              This is merely your personal subjective opinion which you try to sell as objective truth.
              FAIL.

            • Ouch. This is so painful.

              John, it’s simple cosmological argument vocab here. Did God create the universe, and all of the realms, and everything out of nothing as, say, the kalam or liebnizian cosmological arguments state?

              ie God is necessary, everything else is contingent.

              “Well I do think that God could make you crash your car on the way there. But that’s not the point.”

              This is so painful. Right, any intervention changes the state of affairs on earth which feed into freely willed decisions. Crashing my car affects my decisions that I wanted to make, but also everyone else involved with that crash.Jim wanted to buy his wife some flowers, but the crash caused him to be delayed at work which made him change his priorities for the day. And so on. Every irregularity changes how the world goes, and changes people’s causal circumstances, whether or not you believe in free will.

              “The point is, that it’s Satan who’s the authority right now. He’s the dark ruler of this world, and he has no interests in stopping you.

              Secondly, God operate with a completely different method.”

              This is not even remotely an explanation.

              “Sorry if I make no sense. I do speak a lot of biblical terminology, I know that.”

              Ha, brilliant. No, I understand every verse you talk. You make no logical sense. And you cherry pick verses which do not cohere with other verses.

              Take your quote here for example:

              ” God intervenes in the world, not to prevent evil ( the apostles of Jesus suffered many evils as they preached the gospel ) but to spread the gospel. Or in the old testament, to preserve the Jews and make sure that the promise of Jesus was fulfilled.”

              Then check out some of these verses about protection from evil in the Bible:

              http://www.openbible.info/topics/protection_from_evil

              You simply make no sense:

              “I’m only happy to affirm that nothing is impossible for my God. At the same time I understand, that you can’t just rid the world of evil, without taking care of all the sources of evil in the first place.”

              Another contradiction…

              “You have to deal with the root cause of the problem”

              Which was created and designed by God.

              This is brilliant:

              “Just to clear things up, I affirm these scriptures. And I reject the word omnipotence. Because I do not allow pagan Greek philosophers to define the God that I believe in.”

              That has not provided one molecule of reasoning or argument. This is all you do, deny and assert stuff in vacuum.

              You need to establish and justify otherwise you have NO EPISTEMIC RIGHT EVEN TO AN OPINION. It becomes, by definition, irrational.

              Bloody man up and do some work, because you have made bugger all sense so far, you have flip-flopped theories and ideas whenever you have been cornered and your theories make no sense and are not adhered to by any other Christian on the face of this earth.

              You are just being ad hoc. If you knew what you were on about, you would be espousing Open Theism, for example, but you seem ignorant of this minority position whilst at the same time claiming superior theological knowledge.

              We can debate Open Theism, but even in that God CAN act but chooses not to. Of course, it is a new and well-criticised movement, though inspired by the fact that God does not make philosophical sense.

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : Did God create the universe, and all of the realms, and everything out of nothing as, say, the kalam or liebnizian cosmological arguments state?

              As far as I know, the KCA, only deals with the universe. And would only include the realm that we live in. It wouldn’t include the heavenly realm.

              Jonathan said : Right, any intervention changes the state of affairs on earth which feed into freely willed decisions.

              No. It doesn’t have to be so. God could make 1000 earthquakes. That wouldn’t change anything if people have hardened their hearts against God. I mean, you can put people though anything, but if they don’t want to change their mind, you can’t make them.

              Jonathan said : Crashing my car affects my decisions that I wanted to make

              Not at all. Your will the same. You have only delayed you in carrying it out.

              Jonathan said : Every irregularity changes how the world goes, and changes people’s causal circumstances, whether or not you believe in free will.

              Yes, but that doesn’t really change anything, as the circumstances doesn’t determine the choices of people on the free will scenario. At best you make them reconsider.

              Jonathan said : Then check out some of these verses about protection from evil in the Bible – You simply make no sense.

              Jesus himself said, that the servant is not greater than the master. If they have prosecuted him, they will prosecute us also. There is no protection as such. God only preserve his people in certain conditions, so that they can go on to reach more people.

              We shall all experience pain and death. Nobody can avoid that. What we as Christians have, is not an isolation from the horrors of this world, but a hope in Jesus Christ, though it all.

              JohnM said : “You have to deal with the root cause of the problem”

              Jonathan said : Which was created and designed by God.

              No, we still don’t live in the garden of Eden.

              Jonathan said : If you knew what you were on about, you would be espousing Open Theism, for example, but you seem ignorant of this minority position whilst at the same time claiming superior theological knowledge.

              While I do find Open Theism interesting, I don’t identify with Open Theism. I actually don’t fit in any of your boxes. I’m just someone who reads the bible.

            • “So I have answered you. You just didn’t like the answer, correct?”

              Providing an answer in no way ensures its rectitude. You need to show logically how God as creator of all is not sin some way responsible for actions in the world.

              You have clearly realised you can’t do this, and it is funny watching you shave bits off God until he looks nothing like God. He is now not omniscient and not omnipotent. Not much of a God really.

              It also opens you up to the idea that he is only a demigod and there could well be another God up there controlling things but which he does not know about. One who IS omniscient and omnipotent. You would not be able to tell or nor would God. This is why theologians like to retreat to the OA because it saves them such embarrassments.

              “Creation starts with the world and ends with humans. Lucifer is not part of what the bible refers to as “creation”. Creation is this realm, earth, that we inhabit. Angels and heaven, is another realm.”

              Holy fucking shit, are you SERIOUS? What kind of a Christian are you? So God didn’t create these things Lucifer is a necessary eternal being like God? If he is, then by definition he cannot be defeated. You have FLATLY contradicted yourself. Either GOd, or a more powerful God than God, created Lucifer, or Lucifer did not need creation. The only way this is possible is, by definition, if Lucifer is necessary. If Lucifer is necessary, then he is so in all possible worlds (in the philosophical sense) and that mean she is necessary full stop – he can’t not be. And therefore God cannot destroy him.

              But you don’t believe this, which means God DID create him, and we are back to square one with you scrabbling around in the dusts of logic and ineptitude, no offence.

              Now this is diamond.

              “Not at all. I’m merely operating within the framework of free will.

              In order to be free, you need freedom. Freedom means lack of control from outside sources. You can’t both have complete control over agents and completely free agents.

              As a philosophers, I would have thought, that you would have realized as much.”

              Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That is tooooo funny. I would have realized that? I would have realized something which is logically flawed from every angle you look at it. I laughed out loud when I read that, I really did.

              Look, you have not established free will past it being an intuition which you like. You have not shown it is logically possible. But if I grant you its existence (I don’t), then you are saying God is a sovereign and mighty being who has created untold miracles which, by definition, cause ‘irregularity’ (see Van Inwagen) which means free will is being constrained. So, by the evidence of the Bible, God can constrain free will and act entirely against it. After all, he hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

              But you are now claiming that God is unable to act against free will!!! What is the evidence for this? You would be laughed out of seminary. You have invented the most pathetic God which is flatly contradicted by the Bible.

              If God can’t act in any way on earth to constrain free will, then you have a pitiful God. He can either harden hearts, or he can’t. He may not choose to change people’s minds, but this is different to being able to.

              He was either able to create a world without Lucifer, or not (in which case this world is not contingent but necessary too). He was either able to stop Lucifer or not, just like he can stop me buying an ice cream. If he can’t stop me buying an ice cream, he is the world’s shittest god.

            • JohnM

              Jonathan said : You need to show logically how God as creator of all is not sin some way responsible for actions in the world.

              I’ve provided you with the answer of free will agents. And I think that’s a really good answer.

              If we don’t see eye to eye on that one, that’s just too bad. But then again, you don’t even believe in free will, something which I find more or less absurd, and self-evidently false. So maybe we should just accept that we see things differently.

              Jonathan said : You have clearly realised you can’t do this, and it is funny watching you shave bits off God until he looks nothing like God. He is now not omniscient and not omnipotent.

              I affirm everything that we read about God in the bible. So if I shave God of anything, it’s the misconceptions which comes from Pagan Greek philosophers.

              Jonathan said : Holy fucking shit, are you SERIOUS? What kind of a Christian are you? So God didn’t create these things Lucifer is a necessary eternal being like God?

              I didn’t say that. I said that Lucifer is not part of what the bible refers to as “creation”. But really, I’m just teasing you a bit. Maybe you should quote Isaiah to clear that one up? I’ve quoted it many times to you. Or you could quote Genesis…

              Genesis 3:1
              The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

              But again, that only leads us to Lucifer. And Lucifer is not Satan.

              Jonathan said : If he is, then by definition he cannot be defeated.

              It depends on, what you mean by defeated. How long was Satan to remain in the lake of fire, also know as the second death?

              Jonathan said : So, by the evidence of the Bible, God can constrain free will and act entirely against it. After all, he hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

              Well, yes he hardened Pharaoh’s heart. But in biblical terminology, that probably doesn’t mean what you think it does.

              And I can harden the heart of people too, using manipulation and deception. It’s quite possible for you and me to influence the free will choices of our fellow human beings. But that doesn’t take away their free will. If they really wanted, they could still stand firm and reject what we were labouring to make them do.

              And to put the elephant in the room, manipulation and deception is the toolbox of Satan. So if that’s actually intervening in free will, then so can Satan.

              Jonathan said : But you are now claiming that God is unable to act against free will!!!

              It depends on, what you mean by that. As I said, God can stop me from carrying out my goals, by working against me as he did with Pharaoh. But he can’t stop me from being in opposition to him, if that’s what I chooses. And he can’t force me to love him either.

              Jonathan said : He was either able to create a world without Lucifer

              And this is the point that I’ve been gunning at. It’s the elephant that has been staring you in the face. Since Lucifer is not part of what the bible refers to as creation.. How do you know that Lucifer didn’t pre-exist the creation of this world? Sure, God created Lucifer. But when?

              Jonathan said : He was either able to stop Lucifer or not, just like he can stop me buying an ice cream.

              You’re making a category mistake. Willing to buy an ice-cream is one thing. Carrying that will out is another.

              Now God could make an earthquake hit just when you were about to buy an ice-cream, and thereby ruin the purchase. But since you will to buy an ice-cream, it’s going to happen sooner or later, isn’t it? So the only way to actually stop you, would be to kill you, am I right?

              Well what if one is an eternal spiritual being, that cannot be killed?

            • I’ve provided you with the answer of free will agents. And I think that’s a really good answer.

              You have not sidestepped the dilemma of determinism. At no point have you logically show free will to be coherent (you would be the first philosopher to have ever done this if you had). You have shown no scientific evidence that supports free will. I/n short, what the hell is the answer of free will agents?

              If we don’t see eye to eye on that one, that’s just too bad. But then again, you don’t even believe in free will, something which I find more or less absurd, and self-evidently false. So maybe we should just accept that we see things differently.

              No. You have failed to establish it. Fact. But this argument I am involved in is granting free will. I am astonished that you claim that God is unable to do anything about, well, anything, even though he invented, designed, created, actualised all the rules and matter and energy. Everything which exists, in whatever realm, was created by him and adheres to laws created by him. Everything is contingent on God. It is meaningless to assert that God in no way controls all that he is sovereign over. Especially when there are loads of Bible verses which claim he does.

              I affirm everything that we read about God in the bible. So if I shave God of anything, it’s the misconceptions which comes from Pagan Greek philosophers.

              But you ignore all the verses which directly contradict you. Here are 10 verses which establish his omniscience:

              Job 28:24

              For he looks to the ends of the earth
              and sees everything under the heavens.

              1 John 3:19-20

              By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

              Hebrews 4:13

              And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

              Isaiah 46:9

              I am God, and there is none like me,
              declaring the end from the beginning
              and from ancient times things not yet done.

              Matthew 10:30

              But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

              Psalm 139:4

              Even before a word is on my tongue,
              behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

              Job 37:16

              Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
              the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge.

              Psalm 147:5

              Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
              his understanding has no limit.

              1 Samuel 2:3

              Talk no more so very proudly,
              let not arrogance come from your mouth;
              for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
              and by him actions are weighed.

              Isaiah 55:9

              For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
              so are my ways higher than your ways
              and my thoughts than your thoughts.

              You do realise that Almighty God means All-powerful God?…

              Rev. 19:6The Lord God is Omnipotent (Almighty).

              “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns'” (Rev. 19:6, NKJV)!

              “Omnipotent” means the state of having unlimited power. Thus, God’s authority is unlimited.

              Gen. 18:14
              Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
              Job 42:2
              God can do everything.
              Matt. 19:26
              All things are possible with God.
              Lk. 1:37
              Nothing is impossible for God.
              Acts 26:8
              Raising the dead is not an incredible thing for God.
              Eph. 1:19
              God has mighty power (i.e., a superabundance of power).
              Eph. 3:20
              God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
              Eph. 6:10We are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Therefore, we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil by putting on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18).
              Omnipotence and Satan:

              “Satan is not omnipotent. During his temptation of Christ, Satan admitted that whatever power he possessed had been “delivered to him” (Luke 4:6). Satan had to ask for God’s permission to harm Job (Job 1:7-12). Jesus said that Satan had desired to sift Peter as wheat; that is, Satan sought the express permission of God. Without it, Satan would be powerless to tempt Peter. While God never had a beginning, Satan was created (Colossians 1:16). For this, and other reasons, Satan is not omnipotent, and his power is far less potent than the power of God. John wrote: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

              If we were to try to imagine someone whose power approached God’s might, we might think of Satan. Yet, the Bible reveals that nothing is too hard for the Lord—even defeating Satan (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17). In fact, Christ already conquered the devil, and eventually will punish him everlastingly in hell (Matthew 25:41; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 12-13). Hebrews 2:14 reads: “He [Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

              Well, yes he hardened Pharaoh’s heart. But in biblical terminology, that probably doesn’t mean what you think it does.

              And I can harden the heart of people too, using manipulation and deception. It’s quite possible for you and me to influence the free will choices of our fellow human beings. But that doesn’t take away their free will. If they really wanted, they could still stand firm and reject what we were labouring to make them do.

              And to put the elephant in the room, manipulation and deception is the toolbox of Satan. So if that’s actually intervening in free will, then so can Satan.

              I have studied and written about this episode. The point is purely logical. In order to harden someone’s heart to do something, this necessarily entails that the agent was going to do otherwise. There is no reason to harden someone’s heart unless they are not going to do (or not sure whether they will do) what the other agent intends. The whole passage would be irrelevant if the Pharaoh was always going to do X. So in order that God needs to harden his heart, God either does not know whether he will do X, or knows he will do Y.

              Either way, God is interfering with his free will, thus refuting your whole case.

              It depends on, what you mean by that. As I said, God can stop me from carrying out my goals, by working against me as he did with Pharaoh. But he can’t stop me from being in opposition to him, if that’s what I chooses. And he can’t force me to love him either.

              WTF? So he stopped, as you admit, Pharaoh working against his goals. So Pharaoh WAS going to do otherwise. And God changed his mind. Again, you admit this and contradict yourself.

              Jonathan said : He was either able to create a world without Lucifer

              And this is the point that I’ve been gunning at. It’s the elephant that has been staring you in the face. Since Lucifer is not part of what the bible refers to as creation.. How do you know that Lucifer didn’t pre-exist the creation of this world? Sure, God created Lucifer. But when?

              Er, that means he is necessary and God cannot defeat him. This is simple impossible. You are making no sense.

              Jonathan said : He was either able to stop Lucifer or not, just like he can stop me buying an ice cream.

              You’re making a category mistake. Willing to buy an ice-cream is one thing. Carrying that will out is another.

              Now God could make an earthquake hit just when you were about to buy an ice-cream, and thereby ruin the purchase. But since you will to buy an ice-cream, it’s going to happen sooner or later, isn’t it? So the only way to actually stop you, would be to kill you, am I right?

              No. You are establishing that God has control over earthquakes but not over neurons. You do realise WE can DO THIS in a lab!!!! (see the extension of Libet’s experiments where we can use TMS to make people choose left or right and the agent invents intention afterwards). This is how funny your ideas are. We are able to make people choose things in a lab. We can even do it through psychological priming. You really need to research this. You are now admitting we can do things that God can’t. Wow.

            • JohnM

              Quote: But you ignore all the verses which directly contradict you.

              Not at all..

              God can see to the ends of the earth (Job 28:24). God does knows everything (1 John 3:19-20). No creature is hidden from God’s sight (Hebrews 4:13). God is the end and the beginning (Isaiah 46:9). God has the hairs of your head are all numbered (Matthew 10:30). God knows what we’ll say, before we open our mouth (Psalm 139:4). God knows the balancing of the clouds (Job 37:16). God’s understanding has no limit (Psalm 147:5). The LORD is a God of knowledge (1 Samuel 2:3). God’s thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). God is Almighty (Rev. 19:6 ).

              I affirm all that. As I said earlier, God has the attributes that we read about in the bible. I just don’t allow Pagan Greek philosophers to define the God that I believe in.

              Quote: “Satan is not omnipotent”

              I’ve already said that Satan is a lesser wannabe god, who rebelled against God, because he himself wanted to be God. He does not have the powers of God. But that doesn’t make him powerless.

              Quote: Hebrews 2:14 reads: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil

              There you have it. Satan has the power of Death. He’s your evil god. The one responsible for evils, such as death. But why does he have the power of death?

              Romans 5:12
              Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

              Satan has the power of death, because he’s the serpent that introduced sin into our world.

              Romans 6:23
              For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

              The Gift of God is not death. That’s the power of Satan. The gift of God, is eternal life in Christ Jesus. There you have it. The problem of evil explained, once again. God is responsible for life. Satan is responsible for death.

              Quote: I have studied and written about this episode. The point is purely logical. In order to harden someone’s heart to do something, this necessarily entails that the agent was going to do otherwise. There is no reason to harden someone’s heart unless they are not going to do

              Not really.. It’s a bit like glueing a rock to the ground. It wasn’t moving before. Now you’re just certain that it won’t move. Also, if you harden metal, you don’t change it, you just make it stronger. And so to harden someone, is merely to make someone more set in his ways. God was essentially preventing Pharaoh from coming around. God locked the path that he was already on, to ensure his destruction.

              It’s the same with the end times, where God sends a powerful delusion to the latter day saints. You know, the people who would only believe once they have seen. God does not want those people, who only repent to try and save themselves from the coming wrath, and so he makes sure that they follow the Anti-Christ, and are condemned for that.

              Is that intervening with free will? Not at all. Pharaoh and the latter day saints have already made their choice. God merely takes away their possibility of repenting of their ways, from that point onwards in time.

              Quote: Either way, God is interfering with his free will, thus refuting your whole case.

              That some peoples heart are hardened to their current ways, does not take away the free will of everyone else. And those people who have had their heart hardened, had free will to pick their path from the outset. So they only have themselves to blame.

              Quote: So he stopped, as you admit, Pharaoh working against his goals.

              That’s right. It was the plagues of Egypt after all. And Pharaoh had a goal of keeping the Israelites. God sending the plagues, very much worked against Pharaoh’s will of keeping the Israelites. Therefore God ruined Pharaohs attempt to carry out his will, not to be confused with changing the will of Pharaoh himself.

              Quote: So Pharaoh WAS going to do otherwise.

              What person would not repent of his ways, having witnessed the plagues of Egypt first hand?

              Just like the latter day saints, he would have attempted to save himself. But God did not allow him to do that, as he saw that he was wicked, and did not repent when time was.

              Quote: And God changed his mind.

              Not at all. He just set his mind in stone, and locked him to the path that Pharaoh had already picked for himself.

              Quote: During his temptation of Christ, Satan admitted that whatever power he possessed had been “delivered to him” (Luke 4:6).

              Luke 4:5-7
              And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

              He does not talk about powers as such. He talks about the authority over the earth, that was given to Adam and Eve in genesis. That then passed to Satan at the fall, who became the god of this world. Who made him the ruler over the earth? The former rulers over the earth..

              Quote: Satan had to ask for God’s permission to harm Job (Job 1:7-12).

              Because Job was a righteous man of God. He did not belong to Satan.

              Quote: If we were to try to imagine someone whose power approached God’s might, we might think of Satan. Yet, the Bible reveals that nothing is too hard for the Lord—even defeating Satan (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17). In fact, Christ already conquered the devil, and eventually will punish him everlastingly in hell

              That’s pretty much what I’ve been saying all along.

              Quote: I am astonished that you claim that God is unable to do anything about, well, anything, even though he invented, designed, created, actualised all the rules and matter and energy.

              I’ve said no such thing. And I’ve actually said the opposite twice. The earthquake to ruin the purchase of your ice cream. And the car-crash.

              Quote: It is meaningless to assert that God in no way controls all that he is sovereign over.

              You’re making a category mistake. Being the creator of something is one thing. Being sovereign over something is another. And being able to control it is a third.

              You may be sovereign over an army. But that doesn’t mean that you control the army. Rather, the army follow your command of their own free will. And yes, they have free will. Even if you threatened to kill them if they didn’t obey you, they could still choose to go defiantly to their death.

              And it doesn’t follow from God being the creator a free will agent, that he’s also able to control that free will agent. Actually, logic dictates that he wouldn’t be able to control free will agents, as they wouldn’t be free, if he could.

              Quote: You are establishing that God has control over earthquakes but not over neurons.

              God controls the world around us. While you and I control our own thoughts, our own actions, and our own will. If God was in control of these things, we wouldn’t be. Yet we are, so God does not control us as such.

              We control ourselves, and the material things that we are made of, within the world that God has created. Therefore we have free will, within the limits of that. We do not have free will to float in the air, because the framework doesn’t allow for that. There are limits to our free will.

              Quote: You have not sidestepped the dilemma of determinism. At no point have you logically show free will to be coherent (you would be the first philosopher to have ever done this if you had). You have shown no scientific evidence that supports free will. I/n short, what the hell is the answer of free will agents?

              In order to recognize that an explanation is the best, you don’t need an explanation of the explanation.

              If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s explained in details here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHp_LWGgGw

            • Andy_Schueler

              Prove your premises. Then you can start contradicting yourself (for fucks sake, you flip-flop between completely different concepts of God constantly, make up your fucking mind (after you have proven your premises)).

            • This is too painful. You are clinically impervious to reason. You cannot reason with an irrational person.

            • JohnM

              Oki fair enough. I don’t expect you to spend time responding to everything I write. I know that you got other things to do. Thank you for taking time to discuss these things.

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    • John Garrett Jones

      Why not concentrate on the world we’ve inherited and try to improve it? On January 11, 2015, history was made on the streets of Paris when an estimated three million plus people defied the chill and the wet simply to register their faith in their republic and the secular values of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality it enshrines. These are values which know no barriers and admit no exceptions.
      It was a wonderful display of people power, not the power which bullies or intimidates, but the power which springs from the hearts of men and women of all colours, ages and persuasions, determined to demonstrate their solidarity in a common cause.
      Surely this is a foretaste of what can happen when enough global citizens are ready to demonstrate their determination to rid the world forever of war and all the insane anti-values it fosters.
      If, at the magic moment, all the world’s urban centres were clogged with people who refused to budge until their rulers had agreed to the setting up of a global security force to keep the peace and guard human rights, they could inaugurate a true world order, something this planet has never had but has never so urgently needed.
      Instead of national flags, the UN flag could fly in every barracks and military establishment and we could start repairing all the damage we still continue to inflict so liberally – though we could never repair the lives lost or wrecked amid the debris.
      See the websites at:
      http://www.garrettjones.talktalk.net and
      http://www.futureworthhaving.co.uk