Saturday, February 17, 2007

Debate With Dan -Part Two

And so it continues.

My Debate with Dan continues, and since the comments back and forth are sometimes rather long I have promised to make separate posts as things go along. I am doing just that here.

This post is a reply to the last comment Dan left on Debate With Dan. The comment can be read in its entirety there, but I will be posting the parts replied to here for clarity. I will edit the comment only in the following ways:

His comments will be in quotes and blocked.

I will break down parts of the comment to make it easier to read.

I will emphasize with italics specific points of debate (unless otherwise stated all italics in his comments are mine).

I won't present parts that are irrelevant to my reply unless they are needed for context, though as I said above the entire comment is on the other post.

So, let's get started.

Part 1:

"It was funny that you made the comment on dumbing it down for me. The bible says the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. So maybe I should dumb it down for you."
The comment I believe you are talking about is the following:
"As to helping you understand, I would say again to read all of what I write. Beyond that, I could simplify the language I use if you want, to make what I say easier to understand. I didn't do so before, because I didn't want you to feel that I was talking down to you, or doubted your abilities of comprehension."
You are the one who said: "The bible is infallible. Please point something out so I can understand what you are talking about" in the prior comment. This implies that I hadn't pointed out anything for you. As I had pointed out within my posts and comments that your parable was wrong; that the creation stories in Genesis were in fact fallible; that there couldn't be two different inspired truths about a single event; and pointed out in my comment that your reply didn't address any of these issues but had wondered off in different directions, I felt that either the language, or metaphors were confusing which was why you didn't see or understand my post and the points contained therein, or that you hadn't read all of it (which was my main point).

I often confuse people that I talk to, and have to change my vocabulary and allusions to help them understand. I didn't say that I would dumb down for you, only that I was willing to use simpler language.

As for you needing to dumb down--I have no problem understanding your points, allusions, metaphors, similes, or vocabulary, even when they are misspelled, use the wrong tense, aren't punctuated, used improperly, or used in poorly constructed sentences, so there is no need for you to dumb anything down for me, but thanks anyway.

Part 2:

"It makes me remember a verse I just read not too long ago what (sic) Moses said to God when he was chosen for the task of leading his people to the Promised Land. Moses said in Exodus 4:10-12 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."
I am not sure what a discussion between Moses and God about Moses' public speaking abilities has to do with writing. Unless you are implying that one or the other of us is uttering the inspired words of God.

Part 3:

"You are a funny guy to say the least."
Thank you Dan--I try. But I don't see the relevance.

Part 4:

"Let's go further with it shale [sic] we. I put what I wrote you and the other Christian site in quotes and if you Google it you will see that not even I wrote it and that is why the quotes are there. My original comment was for the other Christian site and I thought it was fitting to you so I copied you for your rant."
Generally, in what I write, and in what I read, when someone else's words or ideas are used they are attributed to their sources so that the quote or idea can be placed in context, and to avoid the appearance of plagiarism. While I didn't actually say anything about your using other's word except that such tactics wouldn't dissuade my views, it is something I have always felt strongly about.

As for what I called "the form letter" part of the reply in question, I stated that the reply made no sense in context to the post of mine you were replying to, and that its style showed a deal of disingenuosness. Also implied was that by using out of context form-letter replies you convey an appearance of not having read my posts and/or replies, or don't have answers to the questions stated and/or raised.

Part 5:

"My first priority (sic) is my wife and three kids and I talk to a lot people (sic) a day whether it's one on one witnessing or online (as you can see) or even preaching in online games. I really don't have that much time to spend with people that (sic) are hard of heart because God made you (sic) that way (remember 2 Thessalonians 2 comment in the past blogs) so I give most all of my attention to the humble at heart and sow the seeds for God to water."
As for your priorities I would expect nothing less, and never implied that I did. Neither have I implied or said that your replies weren't timely. In fact I would prefer that you take all the time needed to read what I write, toss it around for a while, and make your replies your own.

Due to my work schedule I have a lot of time to read and write. Due to my academic background and line of work I have become adept at thinking about several things at once, and retaining what I read. These things combined with my children being old enough that they prefer to do for themselves and don't require the maintenance they once did, and my not having any kind of time-dependant relationships or hobbies, I can usually reply relatively quickly, but I do not expect the same from others--unless they press me for quick answers in which case I press back.

As for your referance to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and the sentence preceeding this referance: the passage, as I'm sure you are aware, talks about servants of Satan who follow him due to his "power and signs and lying wonders" whom Jesus WILL cause to believe lies so he can punish them--basically supernatural entrapment. This is to happen after the rise of Satan into prominence.

Since you said that God had "hardened my heart," and then used this chapter to explain yourself. Am I to assume that you, like many in the Bible, believe that thought comes from the heart? Are you saying that Satan has risen to prominence, so the end is nigh? Worst of all--Are you saying that I have seen the signs and powers of Satan and worship him?

As for the first two questions: that's on you. But, as to the third question: I have never seen the powers of anyone or anything that I am willing to worship. I don't believe in a Satan, and as a result don't worship it.

As for the rest of the comment--it is always easier to feed the people who want to be fed, so I understand why you put so much time into it.

Part 6:

"If you tell your kids there is a Santa Clause then you have lied and you are a liar even though you claim not to be, you are too proud to see that. How many lies does it take before someone is called a liar 1, 3, 10, 400 if I lied to you once, you would call me a liar? If I stole $1.00 or $100.00 from you I am still a thief. How many murders before you are called a murderer? Jesus said if you hate someone you are a murderer of the heart. You lied when you said you have never committed adultery because Jesus said in Matthew that if you look at someone with lust you commit adultery of the heart. God knows our thought life and we will be judged by his law (The Ten Commandments). The fifth Commandment is Honor you Mother and Father, Have you done that every time (sic) even when you were a teenager?"
"Have lied," and "are lying" are two different things. Just because I slept last night does not mean I am sleeping now. If you lie to me once I will say you lied. If you lie to me now I will say you are lying. If you lie with every opening of your mouth I will say you are a liar. But all of this is merely a matter of semantics and is somewhat based on opinion. The context for this part of your reply is my statement that I do not live what would be considered a sinful life and, my use of examples of how my lifestyle differs from that of many evangelical leaders.

I did not lie about my not committing adultery. First: adultery is defined by Websters as: "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband," and is something that I never did. Second: your definition of adultery is based upon Biblical statements, the validity of which you have still not established. Third: my affinity for Angelina Jolie didn't begin until well after my wife died (I first saw her in Gia which came out around 98 or 99 I believe--four or five years after my wife's death), and I never lusted after anyone while with my wife. The commandment you should be referring to is the one in which I made the Jolie comment in context with--#10 And no, Brad Pitt is not my neighbor. Fourth: you are again in violation of Jesus' instructions as per Matthew 5:22.

As for the honoring of parents thing: that is another Biblical concept, and once again, I point out that you have not established the validity of the Bible.

Which brings me to an interlude.

Once again you are quoting scripture to convince me. The original basis for this debate was a statement you left on my blog referring me to yours. After reading yours I told you that what you referred me to was nothing new, and I said that Biblical quotes and form-letter sermons would not convince me.

You continued to press the Bible and said: "I can prove there is a God." When I said that you had to prove the validity of the Bible, and raised a number of my reasons for saying so, you started going off subject, accused me of not presenting reasons, and have yet to answer questions that I have posed. You haven't proven there is a God, and you haven't shown how my points about the unreliability of the Bible are wrong.

I understand that you are using points given by Ray Comfort's Atheist Debate Instructions, but, frankly, this is why you are floundering. These instructions assume that the believer can control the conversation, and that the atheist can't or won't put the believer on the spot with questions. I have never seen this tactic work in person, and it is impossible to pull off in a venue like this.

What is happening here is that you are dodging questions in an attempt to wrest control. While I am willing to play point/counter-point with you, your increasing use of prejudicial attacks on my character as a means to try to scare me to the arms of Christ and side step the issues being debated will not only not scare me, but will weaken your point in the eyes of anyone reading this, because it makes it appear that you have no answer to my replies and questions, which weakens your position to anyone who does not already accept it. Side note: I am more than willing to openly, publicly debate the validity of my thoughts and ideas in a collegiate venue as the Living Waters evangelism resources page suggests its followers to do.

Back to your comment.

Part 7:

"Come on who are you trying to convince here me or you?"

Part 8:

"The first commandment...Have you broken that commandment?"

Part 9:

"God said if you break one commandment you break them all. You are in serious trouble here on judgment day. If you die in your sins then you will be guilty of [breaking] God's laws and what do you think that will be, heaven or hell?[sic] Justice will be served be sure of that."
You have yet to establish the validity of the Bible so this segment is irrelevant, because I have no reason to believe much less fear it. Again, see Matthew 5:22. I don't believe in heaven or hell, and anyone's going to either is in doubt according to the Bible anyway.

Part 10:

"What if someone raped you (sic) child and then died in his sleep the next day of a heart attack. Do you think justice would be served?"
His odds of making it to the next day if I know him would be slim at best. But to answer your question--no.

Part 11:

"Be sure God will punish the wicked and evil..."
See part 9 above.

Part 12:

"...(you are 54% evil right? or is that just your site)."
My site--it says so in the sentence before the number 54

Part 13:

"You sure are a proud of that aren't you?"
Yes. Using the same scale yours is 37%.

Part 14:

"Go to and click open for more."
The link doesn't work properly, but I have taken this test before at another's site, and found out that even if you answer innocent to every question you are still condemned to Hell, so it is a useless test--the thing should just get to the point.

Part 15:

"I am man enough here to say I have broken every single commandment 10 times over and I am very grateful that God gave me a way to wash away my sins and avoid Hell (God's jail) So I will follow him because I am grateful and humbled to his glory and kindness towards me."
I am happy for you, though a bit shoked that you have killed ten people, worshiped ten false idols, worshiped ten other gods, and commited adultery ten times.

As for how this applies to me: that is covered by my comment on part 9

Part 16:

"Matthew and Mark two different people are describing the same things. Describing not interpreting. Do you need the definition for you (sic) to understand the analogy I was giving? It seemed to go over your head a little."
You said: "In Matthew and Mark two different people are describing the same things. They do not use the exact words because two different brains are interpreting the same occurrence."

I said: "they are not 'interpreting' an event they are reporting said event."

You say they are doing both--I disagreed and said they were describing (reporting is a synonym for describing). So who needs a definition? (again you have resorted to attacks)

I understood your analogy--Matthew and Mark reporting on the events of say "Easter" Sunday is compared with the two of us watching fireworks. I explained how this analogy fails in context with my statements about contradictions. Very little I read goes over my head. So the real question here is which of us is having trouble with comprehension.

As for Matthew and Mark observing the SAME thing. I don't want to use the space here to cover this inaccuracy and the contradictions, but will do so with my next post.

Part 17:

"You crack me up because you said that you believe in Einstein's relativity and you don't even know that even one of the smartest men in the world ever, believes (sic) in God, here is (sic) some of his quotes: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." Or "God is subtle but he is not malicious." Or "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.""
I said I "believe" relativity, not "believe in" it. That's two different things. Einstein is dead therefore believes nothing. As for whether or not he believed in God: I will let him speak for himself on the subject:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954. It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, published by Princeton University Press.

"Thus I a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true....Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this attitude which has never left me." The Quotable Einstein

You might want to find the quotes you used in their original context, so you understand what they mean. You should probably read his thesis on relativity, because that will help too.

Part 18:

"So you are a very lost and (sic) sad and misinformed person."
Read the quotes above. Then reread your quote here, cite it to yourself, and you have my answer.

Part 19:

"You are the one that (sic) is not sincere because look at your bio you just love Pissing people off and...Well that's the biggest one except maybe exposing stupidity for the World to see."
And I seem to have done both here.

Part 20:

"I am not angry at you... ."
Your continued barrage of personal attacks belies this comment (see below).

Part 21:

"...but I pity you."
And I you.

Part 22:

"So you are a proud person, until that day when God changes your heart to help you with your conviction."
We STILL haven't seen your establishment of the validity of the book that this statement is based on.

Part 23:

"(an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence in case you didn't understand)."
I know what conviction means, but you obviously don't. The definition says nothing about proof or evidence. You are defining a religious form of faith.

Part 24:

"So you are wrong I am sincere but I am not taking you seriously, how can I? You are trying to disprove a creator."
I said your use of form-letter replies give the appearance of insincerity, I never made a statement as to whether or not you were sincere. cf. my final comment on Debate With Dan. I am not trying to disprove a creator--I am proving the fallibility and contradictory nature of the Bible that constitutes the only so-called "proof" of the Biblical creator, in response to your assertion on my post that I was wrong. You have yet to debate any of the points I have made in that debate, with the exception of your incorrect assertion that I didn't understand the fireworks-viewing analogy you made that I replied to and have yet to see a rebuttal thereof.

It is obvious that you aren't taking me seriously because you have yet to answer any of the points I've made or questions I've posed.

Part 25:

"I think everyone is worth a chance to help them understand The truth my blog (sic) at"
We quit debating the accuracy of your blog long ago when I said that it was well written but flawed and you said you would prove the accuracy of it and the existence of God; then went on to dodge every question and/or point I posed. If you can't address these things then admit it.

That marks the end of my reply to this latest comment.

As I have stated numerous times in this post, the original debateing points have not been addressed, so I will, as promised earlier, do what you requested with the statement "The bible is infallible. Please point something out so I can understand what you are talking about." I will present one of my points by discussing the contradictions contained in the two books you threw at me (Matthew and Mark KJV Bible) as sources of reasons that I should believe in your god.

My point in that post will be that the two books have different versions, not interpretations, of the same series of events surounding one of the most important and critical events in all of the New Testament, and thereby have no validity as a divinely inspired collection of truths, based on the premis that there can be only one true series of events in any situation.

So, you are welcome to restart the actual debate with my next post, unless you wish to address all of the unanswered questions and statements contained in my previous posts instead.

Your choice.

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The above post was edited on 19 February 2007 to correct my using the word right when I should have used write. This stupid mistake was spitefully pointed out by another reader, and since it seemed to distract him from the issue at hand I corrected it.Thank You,


Rev. said...

Very interesting debate, I recenly posted a piece on this very discusion, you might wanna check it out, many it will shed alittle light on the subject.

Rev. said...

typo *maybe* not many :)

R Nicolas said...

I'll stop by soon. Thanks for your comment.

Dan Marvin said...

You wrote "As for you needing to dumb down--I have no problem understanding your points, allusions, metaphors, similes, or vocabulary, even when they are misspelled, use the wrong tense, aren't punctuated, used improperly, or used in poorly constructed sentences, so there is no need for you to dumb anything down for me, but thanks anyway."

Then you wrote "Generally, in what I right, and in what I read" I hate to bring this up but you used the wrong one it is "write"

Your egregious blunder was quite funny. Again you are cracking me up. If you point a finger at someone you point three at yourself, try it, point your finger and see the other three are pointing at yourself. And of course the bible said something about it also in Matthew 7:3 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Condescending attitudes are pointless so spare us all. I am not done reading so I will finish.

Dan Marvin said...

I will try, once again, to appeal to your conscience not your intellect. The word conscience means con=with science=knowledge and God burned the Ten Commandments into your brain called your conscience. That is why it is not OK to murder or steal, because it is in your brain/heart and God put it there. As far as the rest I believe it is fitting to copy from other posts here for two reasons one it fits what you are saying about not proving the validity of the bible and two I am about to go open air preach at one or two o'clock so I really don’t have time. The point I make here is that if you take the authority of Jesus out of the Moral law it is reduced to just good advice. So here is my quote:

“Greg, The law was made as a mirror for us. In the same way, we don’t realize what a bad state we are in until we look into the "mirror" of the Ten Commandments. I preach law to the proud and grace to the humble. You can not bring the "good news" to anyone proud and that doesn’t feel that they do not need a savior. That is the exact reason for Matthew 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." If you just talk about Gods mercy then you will not reach people that need the savior. You will just get a bunch of people to “invite Jesus into their heart” and not get any true repentant souls. That is what you have to do to be saved. Repent and trust in Jesus like you would a parachute. (Faith) I deal with a lot of what is called false converts that say a little prayer without understanding why they need a savior. Without Jesus ALL will go to hell because we are lying thiefs adulterers at heart. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10. You are wrong to delete Jesus out of the authority of the commandments because without him it is just good advice, right? Yea it’s wrong to lie that is good advice. But with the authority of God behind it that in revelations 21:8 it says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire. “

It is Jesus (John 10:30) that made those commandments. It is not good advice, it will render you guilty to God and convict you to eternity in Hell. That is why the bible is valid and relavent, not because you say so because Jesus said so. It’s like if your wife wrote you love letters but you never took the time to read them.(how angry would that make her?) God wrote us 66 love letters called “The Holy Bible” and no one is taking the time to read them and it angers him because they were written for us to get to know our God and it is like a manual on how we should live and avoid punishment from our Father.

R Nicolas said...

Ooops, when I write in a hurry I screw up sometimes. My bad.

You began with the snipes as a way to dodge questions, a tactic you still seem to employ. My snipes were at least followed by answers.
So back to the beam thing...

(And, if you want to play the mistake game I am willing to devote a post to your grammer and word usage if you would like. It would be a good comp. lesson for people. If instead you wish to actually make an attempt to get back on the subject of the debate, that would be welcome.)

It is senseless to appeal to my conscience with stories from or about a god, because I feel no guilt or fear because of my lack of belief in it.

Conscience means:

a : "the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good"

b : "a faculty, power, or principle enjoining good acts"

c : "the part of the superego in psychoanalysis that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego." (Webster's dictionary)

You are giving a manufactured root word explanation which is also incorrect.

As for the rest of the comment. You are still not answering questions posed, so I will assumme that you are incapable of doing so.

I have read the Bible--many times over which is why I don't believe it. It is a flawed manual at best. Which is the heart of the debate you seem so bent on dodging.

And, the original Christian version of the Bible actually contains 72 "love letters." When King James VI of Scotland/King James I of England had the Bible redone in the first decade of the sevententh century, books and parts of other books were removed to fit the doctrine of the Church of England.

I trust parachutes because during my time with the 82nd Airborne Division I was given proof that they work, and didn't need faith to understand the mechanics and physics of why they do. Faith as you use it is a trust and belief in something despite a lack of evidence for doing so which is more like jumping off of a building without a parachute.

If my wife wrote me love letters I would probably freak out since she died 13 years ago, which if you had actually read my post you would have known.

My father burned the commandments into my brain, not God.

Hammurabi the Lawgiver whose existence has been proven has had his authority removed from the commandments, and he came up with them before the Hebrews, so why not remove the authority of a supernatural being whose existence has yet to be established.

The aversion to murder is put into us by social construct not supernatural influence. These constructs are the result of various evolutionary processes which can be shown by way of the same type of social construct being apparent in most all of the higher forms of life, most notably the higher apes. Unless God burnt it into their brains as well.

And all of this is a mute point anyway, since according to the Bible thought comes from the heart, and the heart has absolutely nothing to do with thoughts or feelings--the word "brain" is no where in the Bible.

So--are you going to answer the questions or not?

If you can't then just admit it and move on, because the debate was supposed to be an intellectual discussion, and not the character assasination/sermon that you seem bent on engaging in. And I can get that from any Christian who doesn't know what he/or she is talking about.

Dan Marvin said...

Not to disapoint you I will copy you as a responce to your post"

"I guess there is only one thing to ask then: Do you think The Bible is a fake?

I believe it was written by 40 or 50 people over 1500-3000 years all pointing or prophesizing events that did come true (provable throughout history and no other book in the history of the world can claim that) and that has lasted or transcended all sorts of rejections, and hundreds of different governments, over this many years and has moved 500 men (at first) back then to preach the good news even when it meant that they and their families would be ridiculed and rejected, eventually tortured, beheaded and killed. Jump ahead to the 2 billion people of this day who has different upbringings and different ethnic backgrounds and have many different degrees of economic status and different degrees of education, all believing in the same thing and changes there life’s so dramatically when they find out “The Truth”, they follow an unseen creator based on a couple of words in a book. People in some countries are still being beheaded or jailed for following Christ, but they still do. The book has eye witness account of very credible people in that time frame and throughout history (too many to count here) comparable and more accurate then any history, written about those times, books we have to date. But to many it is just Chinese. The path is narrow that is for sure. Can you honestly say that this Christianity thing is just fake, fad or that there are that many very confused people? You can see how many lives it has changed. You have seen that this many people can not all be part of some mass hysteria. Just use your logic and you would have to conclude. Aren’t you concerned that maybe you missed something or maybe missed the bus? That would frighten me if I missed something that most all of humanity understands and welcomes. There is a movement these days to debunk Christianity but that also was written in the bible talking about the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Good luck and may God bless you on your path; my advice to you is to pick the narrow one."

R Nicolas said...

The reply to the above comment may be found HERE.