I generally don’t post links to peoples’ blogs or point out bad behavior individually (since I prefer to reason with people, however unreasonable they may be, rather than use strong-arm tactics like humiliation), but I make the exception of doing so when someone blocks me as a way of winning an argument. At that point I say screw them, lets shine a light on their bad behavior. Anyway, this guy (highwayman2013) disabled comments after making a response to me which accused me of things, criticized me, asked me questions and so on, so I’m posting the bulk of the conversation here if anyone might find it interesting, with a link to the original below. To make it easier to read I am posting my in-line responses which quote his comments in full:
“Let’s start with the last comment… since you seem to get off on long treatises..”
My response, barring quotes from yours, was virtually the same length to what I was replying to.
“Vengeful”? “Bloodthirsty”? You are gradually leaving your analytical composure and leaning toward what usually underlies these types of discourses… an intense hatred for anything spiritual.”
I don’t consider vengeance and genocidal hatred to be “spiritual” things in any positive sense. The god of the bible is, however, literally described as being vengeful, and literally demands bloodshed to be appeased many times. Though you will disregard this however because as you have made clear the text itself is irrelevant, it’s only what it evokes in you that you consider to be scripture. So the bible can say kill the fags and burn promiscuous daughters and wipe out anyone who isn’t like you all day long and it doesn’t exist as far as you’re concerned. The bible only says what you personally happen to agree with and be positively moved by.
“You would take any sign of reticence on my part as a victory, I’m sure.”
Actually I take your unwillingness to grapple with almost anything I said as an annoyance. Not one I am unfamiliar with, unfortunately.
“However, while I’m not going to go line on line like you, I’ll just say that I tend to lose patience very quickly with your type of ‘discussion’. I learned this, too, from some of the Crooks and Liars crowd, whom I hobnobbed with, online, there and on other blogs.”
I was sarcastic a few times, but you were glib and arrogant too.
“I think my experience with atheists, anti-theists, etc., has some significance in this matter. Your source mining may or may not have some validity on a few points, but, again, I assure you that my experiences with these groups is as I said it was. I’m very well aware of how some religious people act, I’ve locked horns with those as well. Generally, though, I don’t believe that they are out to eradicate secular society OR religion or label God as an “opiate of the masses” as many antitheists would love to do, as you seem to be fixated upon. You seem to have an answer (as do they all) for every point, why, then, do you not have an answer for the world condition as it stands… or maybe you see a perfect world? Hey… the religious can’t take ALL the credit for that, you know!”
You are speaking too vaguely for me to even know what you are talking about or what your point (or your question) is.
“If you want to get insulting, I could point you to some other antitheist blogs and their content, where I’m sure you’d find the inspiration you might be lacking… however, I don’t wish to increase their readership or otherwise do them any particular favors, seeing their attitude toward myself and/or people of faith.”
Yes, you hate some anonymous anti-theist/atheist bloggers that you refuse to otherwise mention or describe. I get it.
“What’s laughable in all of this is you’re so busy trying to impress me that you know virtually nothing of my background…”
Trying to impress you?
“that perhaps I am also willing to investigate spirituality as a possible answer to man’s dilemma over an almost universal resignation to man’s puny effort?”
I think people are generally decent and that society is improving by leaps and bounds. Any serious study of history will dispel the idea of the “good old days” and our idyllic, white-washed notions of the past, and reveal a situation where every present social ill was significantly worse only a few decades ago, and almost unimaginably worse a century or more ago. Moreover I do not think that supernatural belief systems make people more moral or more caring or make society healthier overall.
“I lean toward spiritual tones having grown up in a atheist home with atheist siblings whom are still atheists. Though not technically a Christian, I’m an intense ‘believer’, getting more believing with every encounter with folk like you, certainly from having to deal with your bullshit world as long as I have.”
I don’t even know how to take that.
“Your arguments, many subjective, many sources claiming authority that they, themselves, bestow”
You dismiss many diverse ideas on diverse subjects with vague generalities like this, which is such a blow-off.
“(as I said, my experiences often conflict with ‘authority’) upon themselves, are as prone to debate and scrutiny as are theological ones. It’s YOUR preference to believe them as it is my inclination to tell you they are full of shit.”
And if I had any idea what the hell you are talking about, that might mean something.
“It was and is readily apparent you know little about the Bible, except that you have all of the antitheist talking points down pat… and those are all wrong. None of you read in context, you only see acts performed by God and his followers and judge them by your liberal 21st Century righteousness.”
I’ve known more atheists who have read the bible cover to cover than I’ve known theists who have. The reason is that almost every atheist in my country today is a former theist who read their bible in context and found it’s contents shockingly in conflict with the romanticized version of it as depicted in christian pop-culture. On average US atheists actually rank highest in biblical and religious knowledge, and non-mormon christians rank lowest, according to recent studies like this one, by a respected christian organization:
Yes, sometimes scripture is quoted out of context, and websites like “skeptics annotated bible” are often guilty of this, but even on the worst websites this is not always the case and many passages are awful regardless of the context.
“It would be laughable if it weren’t so insulting. I could tell you that Darwin was close to being judged an idiot, he performed some rather weird acts prior to his death.”
I don’t know what that even means, if you are referring to his death bed conversion that is a long dispelled myth. As it stands he is widely considered one of the greatest minds that ever lived, and as someone who has read Origin Of Species I agree with that assessment.
“He blamed the God he once served for the death of his daughter, from disease, as if God had any hand in it. “
Setting aside that any omnipotent, omniscient god by definition has a hand in everything, I can find no evidence of this and it appears to be one of many cases of malicious gossip against darwin. I once read an article about how darwin came up with his theory as a way to find meaning in death in order to cope with the loss of his wife – I googled and found out his wife outlived him by like ten years. I have also read similar claims about his daughter anne, but it is a well established fact that the bulk of Origins was written prior to her death.
“Modern scientists mock and laugh whenever they encounter a argument that counters their religion of non-belief. Bill Nye is a first class asshole… I’ve seen his ‘debates’… not impressed. The guy’s an idiot, you want my take on the matter. But, he happens to curry the favor of folks like you, so that makes him okay to you. I wouldn’t trust him to take out my garbage and get it right.”
This is pathetic. I said nothing positive about bill nye and you are just boasting about your own prejudice and hatred of all things different from yourself.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Genesis attacked… the two accounts are one and the same, same author – God – as revealed to His servant, Moses, through His Spirit. That’s nonsense to you, however, you are bible-illiterate.”
Nowhere in the bible does it say that genesis was written by moses, and modern biblical scholars do not widely share the belief that the first three books of the bible had the same author. In reality genesis 1 and 2 are two different versions recorded in around 900 BC from oral tradition and it’s original author or authors are completely unknown.
“I can tell you a factual story and change one or two items in sequence without destroying it’s validity, using poetic verse.”
So the two accounts do conflict, but who cares is your argument.
“It’s still pretty obvious that the main theme running throughout both accounts is that God CREATED and that He is the author of life on this planet. Like this thread, though, if one were devoted entirely toward discrediting something, it would be impossible to prevent that from happening.”
Your position is that the bible does not ever even once contradict itself. I pointed out that it does, to which you said yeah but that doesn’t count. Either it contradicts itself but it doesn’t matter because you can still work out the gist of a story, or the meaning is non-literal or however you want to interpret it, or it is literally 100% accurate. But you can’t maintain one position then revert to the other whenever a discrepancy is brought up.
“I’m going to help you out, here, in ways you’d have never thought of. Maybe you can pass it on to your antitheist buddies and it’ll give them something else than the same old tired rhetoric to operate on…”
I’d appreciate it if you could cut out the “you people” crap. I have treated you as an individual and have not made a single generalization, negative or otherwise. I would appreciate the same consideration.
“Any truth in scripture is spirit-breathed and (wait for it!) spiritually DISCERNED. That means, in your case as with those others I mentioned, you don’t have a snowball’s chance of ever gaining any perspective other than the militant one you now have.”
Yeah, the KKK agrees. That is why you will never, ever be able to argue with them because they will always be convinced that you’re simply not discerning the passages correctly. If you were you’d see clearly that jews and blacks are the enemy.
The problem with this view (that our minds can produce absolute truth which trumps logic and evidence) is that it produces closed reasoning and puts us in a comfortable ideological bubble where we can believe whatever we want about anything and are immune from realities like empirical observation or human suffering ever imposing on those beliefs unless we arbitrarily choose to let them. A process of belief which in my experience is more toxic than enlightening.
“I used to study the Bible and always ended up putting it down, not understanding anything in it except the really obvious stuff like “Thou shalt not… whatever.” I also like quips from Proverbs like: “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Shit like that.”
You don’t seem to have changed much in that regard, since you clearly still harbor a lot of stereotypical views about “people like you” (to quote your reference to me a few lines down).
“Later, when the time was right, and after asking for enlightenment, God revealed His message for me. It was like night and day, and life was good, I wouldn’t have needed anything else in it, at least not from the perspective of people like you. Yet, I came to know other realms of existence through study of the word, aided by the Holy Spirit. I almost feel sorry for you, knowing exactly where you are and you know nothing about where I am.”
You tell me I know nothing about you, then proceed to imagine you know everything about me, my views of scripture, what I have and haven’t read, and even what I have and have not experienced. The fact is atheists are perfectly capable of having so-called spiritual experiences and of understanding profound, deep and esoteric wisdom. Most atheists I know, including myself, are very spiritual – we just don’t make supernatural assumptions about the nature of those kinds of experiences. Spirituality is a universal thing like love and joy and perception of beauty that anyone can potentially experience, which is why if you bother looking for it virtually identical profound, beautiful moral concepts are to be found in virtually every culture in the world. I have read passages in the bible and gotten deeper meaning from them, but I’ve also listened to songs and gotten deep meaning from the lyrics which I later found out was unintentional and was not what the author had in mind when they wrote it. Like an ink-blot test we can see patterns where there are none and vagueries of scripture or philosophical texts can be excellent for prompting introspection and deep thinking and produce profound realizations whether those realizations were intended by the author. The idea that some magical being or force is causing these realizations is all the justification you need for using your own conclusions as their own support, but that doesn’t make them true. That you get something out of a passage doesn’t mean everyone will get the same thing or that that was what the author intended.
“It’s late and I’ve been on the road all week. I could finish this with a ‘glowing’ account of the society man has wrought for us, how it tasks me no end to run around helping prop up the pseudo society that Satan has devised for us in place of the one that God originally instituted… but, I’ll be dealing with that sort of thing in future posts, why spoil the ending?”
Yeah, it was so much better when women were bought and sold as property and the height of medicine was bleeding people to get the demons out of them. When churches had torture chambers in the basements society was so much more enlightened. Oh woe is me, how far we’ve fallen! ::sob::
“I’m sure you’ll be fascinated by more exciting tales from the book of the brothers Grimm, wot?”