Saturday, September 5, 2009

Correcting Pastor Mike....Again

For a while the debates and arguments concerning Pastor Mike and I had abated, but I see on his 'False Doctrines' page (under 'Atheists') some really scurrilous aspersions cast on my atheist brethren and myself which must perforce be addressed. and thereby consigned to the dust bin of the illogical. I do not intend to go through all the unusubstantiated and unsupported claims and judgements but will confione attention to one or two remarks made.

Starting off he writes:

Some might think that atheists would be content with simply not believing in God and leave the theists to themselves. After all, if God doesn't exist then what's the big deal? Why not let the theists believe in God the way a child believes in the tooth fairy? To the atheist, neither exists. So why bother?

This actually has been addressed a number of times before, but people may have short memories. What Pastor Mike conflates here, is that tooth fairies have no real world effects while belief in God assuredly does.

No one sees "tooth fairists" going out and lurking in Malls or parking lots, waiting for some unsupecting citizen to pass, then pouncing on him or her and attempting to "witness". I.e. cite chapter and verse of scripture to convince the wayfarer his soul is at risk and he or she had better act expeditiously to save it.

In earlier exchanges with Mike, for example, I elaborated on exactly why witnessing constitutes psychological terror and not "free speech".

What is the purpose? It is to entice people to “be saved” in order to avoid consequences of death. A fiery eternal residence in HELL... Consider this question which Pastor Mike offers as an example to a prospective witness is to pose to his “marks”……errrrrr…..recipients:

“IF YOU WERE TO DIE TONIGHT WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE?”

Hello! What the blazes is this, a trick question!

There is only ONE correct answer: you are no place. Your consciousness no longer exists, since your brain is dead- so there is no “YOU” anywhere to be found other than in a newly cooling corpse that will soon be rotting unless special measures are taken (in the case of burial, using special preservatives to feed into the veins, and otherwise – burning the body in cremation).

Here we detect the thrust and underlying meme of the question. Translated to the target’s sub-conscious: “Death is a terrifying experience and as soon as you die there is a supernatural part of you that will TORTURED forever and ever unless it is SAVED!”

But this is bare bollocks on a number of fronts.

First, death is not a terrifying experience unless one succumbs to Pastor Mike’s claims that it is! Death is wholly natural. Unless old beings are removed by death, so new beings can take their place the world will: a) become vastly over-crowded – soon ending with not enough food available for all the multiplying (undying) species, b) Since no new genes are introduced into any species, since there is no death, then species’ genomes will not change. Thus, NO evolution will occur!

Thus, death is an essential element of the natural world in controlling the numbers of species and populations that can occupy the planet at one time or one era, and in enabling the basis for further evolution of new species.

There is NO supernatural part of anyone, no “soul” that can be tortured, no matter what the religious hare brains may say. IF there were a soul it would have been exposed by now to the light of evidence and drawn scrutiny. But it remains as inaccessible and unreal as the “God” these people propose.

Thus, the psychological terror inheres in taking a perfectly NATURAL act, and transmogrifying it into a fearful, fretful possible transition to HELL. In this way, the natural human fear of death is metastasized and magnified out of all proportion to its actual import – leaving the person in near despair unless they are prepared to surrender control of their minds to the “witnesser”.

Emmett McLoughlin has noted that this sort of dynamic is responsible for hurling more people (all believers) into insane asylums and institutions than any thing else – even drug use! He estimates in one of his essays (‘Let the Statistics Tell Their Sad Story’) that more than one in every two now languishing in insane asylums or prisons are there because they succumbed to an inordinate fear of death.

Yet this is what Pastor Mike and his minions seek to sow!

All of this pivots on the belief or acceptance that their God-man (Jesus) is unique and that only absolute belief on him as Savior can spare a dying soul from Hell. But this is hogwash, since Jesus is not unique, even as a God –man!

Oxford scholar Geza Vermes in his own great work (The Authentic Gospel of Jesus) notes that the words “Son of God” are not even uttered by Jesus himself as a self-reference. They are only muttered by others, and then in mocking fashion – as when a Roman soldier referred to the “Son of God” while whipping him. Some references fond in Matthew are later additions, inserted there to try to compel belief in the FICTION that Jesus was a Son of God.

Given all this, the inescapable fact is that witnessing is: a) fraudulent (in that it isn’t based on true historical fact) and b) is psychological terror in that it takes a natural event – death- and ratchets it into a possible “eternal door” to horror in some afterlife UNLESS one surrenders one’s mind and will to the Christian zealots.

As we have seen in India, this practice has aroused so much ire in the Hindi population, that they have taken to burning down the churches and homes of all evangelical witnesses. Is this what the good Pastor wants here? We would hope not.

On another front, or other fronts, religious belief fuels absolutism and this breeds insane and irrational actions. Let me hasten to say here that NO single religious believer can assert HIS way is superior, or better, ....since they all aid and abet psychotic acts. Case in point, it was the belief in 72 virgins that drove the 19 9-11 hijackers to plow their planes into the Twin Towers and kill thousands. This was done by their religious belief.

Meanwhile, Christian beliefs have already been responsible this year for the murders of two abortion providers, in Washington state and Kansas. The murderers were driven to their dastardly deeds by the absolute conviction of their own righteousness. Not even a hint they could be wrong. (Or to quote the words of one poor wretch, ca. 1400, tied at the stake just before the Inquisitor torched him...."Pray consider, Sir, that you MIGHT be wrong!")

But you see, to the staunch absolutist there is no such consideration. He is right, absolutely right. This is what prompted author and philosopher Jacob Bronowski ('The Ascent of Man') to write: (On pointing to the remnants of the gas chambers and ovens at Auschwitz:

'This was done by dogma. This was done by absolutism. When people believe they have the absolute truth without any doubt, this is what they are capable of"

Apart from the outright murders, and insanity, organized believers have the potential to get at weak politicians and convince them to repeal laws that now benefit most of the rational people. Laws such as keeping prayers out of our public schools (as it is we are losing enough time teaching evolution), and prohibiting abortion. Thus, making a comeback for hangers and brutal do-it-yourself butchery.

Oh, the religious will say they are not after that at all, but in fact, when they organize politically and browbeat politicos to do their righteous bidding, they are!

No tooth fairy believers do such things. NO tooth fairy believers murder people who try to keep their teeth, or tell those who don't believe in them that they are destined for eternal, toothless hell.

Thus, Pastor Mike argues from false analogy. He is comparing chalk and cheese with predictable results.

He goes on to write:


Even though many atheists don't care if people believe in God or not, others feel obligated to fight what I have often heard them label as "oppressive religious bigotry." To this end, many of them are active in politics, social groups, the internet, and even use lawsuits to change society into a more atheistic temperament. They often consider Christians as a threat to freedom, common sense, and a good life. This kind of statement is quite common in atheist circles. It is inflammatory, illogical, and paranoid.

Again, for the Pastor's benefit, we are active in political life because in this country, we HAVE to be! You snooze, you lose! If we were politically disinterested we would see Roe v. Wade overturned overnight or piecemeal. Raped women and girls would have to seek out back alleys to get relief.

We'd have prayer and bible teaching back in schools, and sucking up so much precious time that science education would descend ten further notches down. And instead of being behind Singapore and Malaysia as we are now, we'd be way behind Botswana or even Sudan.

To the extent Christians attempt to dilute school teaching by interjecting insidious religion, and prevent abortions, and prevent atheist speech - like placing our posters on buses- they ARE a threat to freedom, common sense and a good life. Make no mistake. and anyone who doubts it needs to see the movie 'The Handmaid's Tale' about when the U.S. is turned into a full blown theocracy.

You will have nightmares for years.

Mike goes on:

Many atheists I've spoken , including my oldest brother , Phil , tell me that I cannot think logically, that I am deluded, and that I believe in myths. They tell me that I am bound by foolish antiquated beliefs and need to abandon my religious bigotry and become a 'free thinker' like them. In other words, they don't want me to think the way I do.

Totally misrepresenting what we are saying! In fact, the last thing I want or demand is for Mike to become a freethinker like me. What I prefer is that he think for HIMSELF, but do so rigorously- and at the end of this thinking - decide what in fact is best for HIM- while leaving ME and my fellow atheists out of his picture.

Thus, if HE finds the KJV bible absolutely true and fulfilling all needs, fine, but concede this is valid for HIM! Not for everyone on the face of Earth.

Because once he overextends that, then his reasoning does break down, and zealotry replaces logic.

Now, when I consider Mike's beliefs "foolish or antiquated" I do not do so in an absolute universal sense (as if to say they can have no value for anyone) - but only that they have no value for ME. I have studied all or most of what he believes now, had to at Loyola, but have now put those aside, like a suit that no longer fits.

As for belief in "myths" - yes, that is what I regard 2000 -year old bible tales as. NONE have been validated in any scientific way, and to me - that is the only ultimate criterion for objective truth. It is the best option we humans have right now, at this time. (Minus workable time machines to venture anywhere, any time in the past).

If Mike can prove to me, for example, that the town of Nazareth existed befor 400 CE I will happily turn my ear toward his sermons and pay more attention. But he can't.

Forget for the moment that the name borne by the earliest followers of Yeshua (nee: Jesus) was “Nazoreans’ - NOT “Christians” – And Yeshua was known as “the Nazorean”. This is a sectarian term of which the Hebrew is ‘Notsrim’ and is NOT connected directly with a place called “Nazareth” or with the messianic “Nezer” branch from the roots of Jesse.


Nazoreans’ members proclaimed themselves the “preservers of the true faith of Israel”- but this claim was also made by the Samaritans, inhabiting Samaria (Shomron) who represented themselves as the ‘Shamerine’ – the custodians or keepers of the original ISRAELITE religion, as opposed to the Judeans (Jews)

In his article ‘Where Jesus Never Walked’. (American Atheist, Winter 1996-97, p. 34) Frank Zindler notes “Nazareth” is not mentioned once in the entire Old Testament, nor do any ancient historians or geographers mention it before the beginning of the 4th century. As Zindler points out:

“The Talmud, though it names 63 Galilean towns, knows nothing of Nazareth. Josephus, who wrote extensively about Galilee (a region roughly the size of Rhode Island) ….mentions Nazareth not even once – although he does mention by name 45 other cities and villages of Galilee. This is even more telling when one discovers that Josephus does mention Japha, a village which is just over a mile from present-day Nazareth!”

(snip)

"Although the New Testament tells us very little about our mythical municipality, it does tell us enough to allow us to conclude that present day Nazareth couldn’t be the biblical city referred to say, in the fourth chapter of Luke”

Like the White Queen whom Alice met in ‘Through the Looking Glass’, Christian pilgrims have always been able to believe six or more mutually contradictory, impossible propositions every morning before breakfast. Unlike the White Queen, however, the Christians have been able to maintain such belief after breakfast as well.”



In the end, Mike is the one who is "paranoid" about atheists. In truth, all we desire is to live and let live, and not interfere in anyone else's life or domain.

I promise Pastor Mike here and now, if he and his ilk will refrain from insinuating themselves into my life and affairs - and those of my fellow unbelievers- we will refrain from doing so in his and that of his followers.

What could be simpler? But if we are to refrain, and HE and his are to allowed to do whatever...from witnessing, to putting prayer back in schools, to stopping abortion.. then conflict can be the only outcome. The days of the passive, quiet little atheist are over and done with.

Those interested in reading my latest atheist book, Dialectical Atheism, can now purchase it at lulu.com:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/dialectical-atheism/7608047

It contains assorted altercations, debates I have been involved in - both here in the U.S. and overseas.




18 comments:

Pastor MIke said...

Phil, my dear brother (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) :-))

You're a little behind the times. The sub-topic you cite here has been up for at LEAST several MONTHS !

Anyway,just to let you know,(and before I begin to tear down your fantasyland rhetoric here ) , allow me to refer you to my TWO LATEST sub-topics,entitled "Atheism Examined:Pt I " , and "Atheism Examined: Pt II", which you'll find under the topic "FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK"

Take care and have a BLESSED AND SAFE holiday week-end. ( DON'T forget to go to church, OK ? )

Love from us all -
Your bro'
Pastor Mike

Caleb Shay said...

Pastor Mike wrote:

"Anyway,just to let you know,(and before I begin to tear down your fantasyland rhetoric here ) , allow me to refer you to my TWO LATEST sub-topics,"

You're a joke! If you can't rebut copernicus arguments here why should he even bother to read your newer versions? The point is that IF your coments mean anything then they can't have an expiration date, like a can of tuna.

You dig?

So, in effect, all you have shown by your reply is that you have no serious reply to his powerful arguments.

Which implies that going on to new ones would be a waste of time.

Caleb Shay said...

"allow me to refer you to my TWO LATEST sub-topics,entitled "Atheism Examined:Pt I " , and "Atheism Examined: Pt II", which you'll find under the topic "FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK"
"

Ho-hum. Same old trite arguments in a new guise. Copernicus has already demolished these or equivalent tracts in many other places on his blog. You never gave a solid logical response then so why bother to retread the same baloney?

If you want to claim you have "examined" atheism, you ought to at least first read what atheists are really about and the details in their philosophy - not what OTHERS have said. At least Copernicus has already studied your bible or versions of it, you owe him at least becoming familiar with atheism at the level you seek to examine it.

Two books you need to read before you claim to have done any examinations:

1. Atheism- The Case Against God, by George Smith

2. Atheism - A Philosophical Justification by Michael Martin.

At least, having read those two books you will be (somewhat) qualified to pontificate on atheism.

Without have read them you are just posting comic book content.

Pastor MIke said...

Believe it or not Phil , but I tried to reply here on your blog , but for some reason the server wouldn't let me submit it - so I replied on mine .

See Ya .

Pastor MIke said...

To Caleb Shay ( if in fact , that is your REAL NAME ) .

I find it strange,that you only seem to rear your "ugly head" when you sense that Phil might be in trouble in these various debates. Why is that ? Are you his guru or something ?

I notice also that you hide behind anonymity, not posting anything other than your (alleged)name on your blogger site. I DID notice though , that you had astronomical amount of "viewers" since you joined back in March of this year - NINE PEOPLE !! WOW !!

Anyway , should you EVER decide to come out of "hiding" , and post some info about yourself and start your OWN blog , as opposed to riding on Phil's coattails , perhaps you may get another "viewer" or two . Heck , I may even decide to post on it.

Gotta luv ya though , bro'

Pastor Mike

Copernicus said...

Pastor Mike expounded

"You're a little behind the times. The sub-topic you cite here has been up for at LEAST several MONTHS !"

So, let me understand this: then nothing you have written then is relevant anymore? That is effectively what you are saying. In that case it is YOU who are behind the times, since you are unable to write anything of lasting relevance!




"Anyway,just to let you know,(and before I begin to tear down your fantasyland rhetoric here ) , "


Errr.....okay. So witnessing is fantasy? Ambushing innocent bystanders in Malls and on streets is fantasy? Having your more aroused fundies shoot and kill abortion providers is all in my mind? You all are totally uninterested in any political power to ram your notions down our unwilling throats?

Doubt it.



"allow me to refer you to my TWO LATEST sub-topics,entitled "Atheism Examined:Pt I " , and "Atheism Examined: Pt II"

Immaterial, as I go along with what Mr. Shay has said, in that you can't possibly produce a serious examination of Atheism unless you have seriously read about its tenets. You cannot, in other words, obtain information second hand or from fundy sources.

Read the two books, especially the 'Philosophical Justification' by Martin, then I will say you have produced a sound examination. What you have down now would be analagous to me doing an "Exegetical Examination of the New Testament" without ever having read it or the antedating sources. It just doesn't wash.

It is what we call "boxtop" apologetics (or in this case, criticism). No serious person would do that.

If you have trouble posting here to comment, then send your response via email and I will put it up. But I am not going to be going back and forth between blogs, sites.


" DON'T forget to go to church, OK ? "


My "church" is the open wilderness and universe. I have already been out in it, hiking. I dare say I got more from it then you did holed up in some little pwe box filled, stuffy artificial building - which would really be better served housing the homeless.

All for now,

Your dedicated atheist brother,

Caleb Shay said...

Pastor Mike writes.

" I find it strange,that you only seem to rear your "ugly head" when you sense that Phil might be in trouble in these various debates. Why is that ? Are you his guru or something ? "

More like the other way around. Guru has nothing to do it. The last time I checked *anyone* in this country was still able to post a coment on a blog. It's called free speech, ya know?

From the looks of how Phil has dismantled you and your arguments on his various blog articles - whenever he dealt with you, he needs no help from me at all.

I merely assert I have the right to weigh in with my two cents where and when I see fit. That ok with you preacherman, or must I ask your permission first?



"I notice also that you hide behind anonymity, not posting anything other than your (alleged)name on your blogger site."

Hey genius, that's called being circumspect. Like not advertising your personal information and broadcasting it over the web. I choose therefore not to give any personal details, just as I choose when, how and what I can post. Without having to go and beg for your permission.

So, I am *not* anonymous- I do have a name which I give. I just choose to give no more than that, all right?

" I DID notice though , that you had astronomical amount of "viewers" since you joined back in March of this year - NINE PEOPLE !! WOW !! "

So? Is popularity now to be the criterion for how good a comment or post is? Or the value of a person? I'd have thought you would know better than to make such a lame argument but apparently you don't.

It seems you just like to deflect attention when a commenter or poster has you pinioned by the balls. As I did with exposing your "examination" of atheism for the juvenile tripe it is, based on no serious reading of real atheist books. Only wikipedia, or boxtops, as copernicus put it.



"Anyway , should you EVER decide to come out of "hiding" , and post some info about yourself and start your OWN blog , as opposed to riding on Phil's coattails ,"


Don't see any reason to do that, preach. I like his blog and the articles are thoughtful though not for the air headed, superficial or lame brained. As we have seen in past extended arguments from assorted minor professed genii who barged in here and got their tails handed to them by their mental superiors.

same as you did, btw

Caleb Shay said...

copernicus wrote: "Immaterial, as I go along with what Mr. Shay has said, in that you can't possibly produce a serious examination of Atheism unless you have seriously read about its tenets. You cannot, in other words, obtain information second hand or from fundy sources."

Eggggs-actly! How can he profess to do an examination of a serious philosophy without even reading its most serious writers? It's like just going around on the computer, googling 'Mickey Mouse' and thinking you can write a thesis on mouse genetics. It's laughable.

Another thing, he seems unable to directly confront serious arguments without distracting attention. Like when I pinioned him about the irony of writing an "examination of atheism" without having read the most serious literature. Only going by wiki blurbs or second hand info from others.

Then, instead of dealing with that, he brings up my use of anonymity (no blog profiles for him to drool over), and the paucity of views. As if those have anything to do with the issue at hand.

Truth be told copernicus, I don't think this guy even has the reading level to be able to handle Martin's book which is directed at graduate level philosophy majors. And if he can't handle such a grfduate level book that really discusses atheism how in the hell can he pretend to "examine" it?

The analogy you gave to professing to examine the NT without reading it is totally spot on.

If I were you I'd just put up the occasional Pastor Mike stuff, like maybe when you need new blog material, but otherwise don't waste your time.

This chump is just a bit player. a legend in his own mind.

Nice blog article though, and I plan to buy your book.

Copernicus said...

Caleb Shay wrote:

"Truth be told copernicus, I don't think this guy even has the reading level to be able to handle Martin's book which is directed at graduate level philosophy majors"

Well, we don't know. What would be one way of ascertaining his ability would be to see his 'examination of atheism' after having read Martin's book, and addressing its core issues, such as Salmon's arguments-case, the issue of accidental theodicy as well as cosmic origin arguments. Since he obviously has not read the book, his examination reflects it and ends up appearing somehwat puerile. Like an essay on rocketry I would expect from an 8th grader, when the student is a college sophomore.

Agreed it is far easier to just 'skim' content on Wikipedia or via google. One can find out about almost anything ....from atheism to zoology. However, this sort of superficial scanning does not promote a deep understanding, and certainly is inadequate to do any genuine examination of atheism.

That said, Martin's book *is* a hard book! It is not for the poorly educated or faint of heart. However, IF one presumes to claim he or she is able to examine atheism in a true scholarly way (as opposed to prejudicial or biased fashion) then s/he is obliged to plow through it.

Thanks for getting my book! I believe you will enjoy it, as it shows me up against not only Pastro Mike, but also much more sophisticated debaters..including one individual who refers to himself as 'SJR'.

Very adept and savvy logical arguments, very well read, and though he obviously isn't a scientist, he's got the academic accoutrements to learn a good deal. Always asks questions before launching out on attack points.

Something Pastor Mike might do well to ponder, as opposed to shooting from the hip!

Pastor MIke said...

Gee , I see the last FOUR posts are Phil and Caleb ( aka "Mr. Anonymous" ) discussing what the other just posted . Well , perhaps that's best,my friends.

AHHHHHH. . . the "blind leading the blind" , hence they WILL BOTH fall into the "ditch".

Y'all have a safe holiday . .

and when either of you care to come (back) to the debate table ,I suggest you "check" your preconcieved prejudices at the door , otherwise , as I mentioned before , I'd probably have a more intelligent debate with my goldfish.

Take care - Pastor Mike

Pastor MIke said...

Phil , just wondering if you will ( or CAN ) answer the following questions for me . Thanks in advance . These are SERIOUS questions , that I would like HONEST answers to . Thank You .

1 ) Are you a moral relativist, or do you believe in absolute morality?  In other words, do you believe that cultures, or even individuals, can define their own rules on what is moral and what is not, or do you believe that every action has one unique, absolute, and true moral assessment ?

2 ) Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science ?

3 ) Is absence of proof the proof of absence ?

4 ) What does the atheist position offer people ?  How has it improved your life?  Why will it improve others’ lives ?

5 ) When you attempt to use logic to conclude facts about religion, are you starting at the conclusion (God is not real), or are you starting at true premises ?  Be honest.  If you are starting at true premises, then what are they ?  And how are they true ? 

6 ) If all Christians believed that the Bible was entirely allegorical, what would you argue in support of your position ?

7 ) Do you believe in extra-terrestrials ?

8 ) How is it that we live in such an exquisitely fine-tuned universe?  Even assuming that the universe could have popped out of nothingness, why should it have been such an orderly and hospitable one?  Is there a scientific, testable answer for this question that does not simply appeal to imagination ?

9 ) Does life really have no point other than what you pretend for your own sake ?  Will you say, like atheist philosopher Albert Camus, that the only serious question is "suicide ?"  What values and purpose can atheist parents instill in their children ?  Should they be honest with them, or should they borrow ideas from some non-atheistic belief system so as not to disappoint ?

10 ) The trend of archaeology is toward validation, not denial, of what it is possible to confirm in Scripture.  Even non-biblical manuscripts support various key details of Christian theology. The burden of proof is generally on the one seeking to deny historical records.

What alternative explanation do you offer to the New Testament documentation and the tradition of the church, and what support do you have for your theory ?
Is it because of the miracles that you doubt the Scriptures ?  If Jesus really were God in the flesh, how would you expect Him to confirm that fact?

I will be looking forward to your HONEST answers .

Your bro' ; Pastor Mike

janidebar said...

Pastor Mike writes

"and when either of you care to come (back) to the debate table "


Uh....preacher, I don't think copernicus is really out for any debates. He used a couple comments on your church website as a basis for his own blog piece. Again, like Caleb put it, you're a legend in your own mind if you think any or everyone is hanging on to every bone headed item you write on your site.


"I suggest you "check" your preconcieved prejudices at the door , "

Wow! You even have to copy others' turn of phrase. Can't you think for yourself, preach?



"otherwise , as I mentioned before , I'd probably have a more intelligent debate with my goldfish"

Preach, from the looks of it you aren't even capable of having an intelligent conversation with yourself. You offer excuses as to why you can't post here and rebut copernicus' excellent arguments, yet I see you continue to make your little snarky, unintelligent put downs.

You don't know the basics of making a compelling comment far less of holding your own in a debate.

I doubt you could even debate your own goldfish.

As Caleb advised copernicus, his best bet is to ignore you. You are all soound (noise) and fury signifying nothing. If you can't even read a serious atheist book you have no business posting on atheism anywhere, esepcially here.

Caleb Shay said...

Thanks for noting that, janidebar! My personal take is that this guy is a pest. And as you put it, I doubt copenricus is interested in debate, especially with a guy that can't even read serious atheist literature - yet claims to have done an examination of atheism.

And in two parts even!!

He craves an intelligent conversation with his goldfish and I suspect that is about the only living entity of which he's capable of having any. At least the goldfish will probably communicate on his level.

ROFTL!

Copernicus said...

Pastor Mike asked:


"Phil , just wondering if you will ( or CAN ) answer the following questions for me . Thanks in advance . These are SERIOUS questions , that I would like HONEST answers to . Thank You "

I will be more than glad to answer your questions. In fact, I regard their content as so important that I have put the answers up in "lights" so to speak, as a primary blog article-entry.

I am doing my responses in two sets, since you have asked a lot of questions.

I would only request that you post no further comments, questions until the second set has appeared.

Thanks!

Your bro,

Copernicus said...

Caleb Shay wrote:

"He craves an intelligent conversation with his goldfish and I suspect that is about the only living entity of which he's capable of having any. At least the goldfish will probably communicate on his level."

Now, now Caleb, this is not the way to treat guests, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Mike asked some very good questions, and I intend to address them.

So let us leave out the peanut gallery riffs and antics, ok?

Pastor MIke said...

Well, I see we have another anonymous coward who goes by the name "janidebar" , throwing in his/her/(whatever species it may be )two-cents .

Oh well - not to worry ,in the next couple of days when I'm off , and in between my men's ministry duties at my church,I'll make a concerted effort to address ( ON MY BLOG ),some of the babblings that Phil and his followers have spewed out here.

Until then,I pray you all had a safe holiday -

Pastor Mike

janidebar said...

PM wrote:

"I'll make a concerted effort to address ( ON MY BLOG ),some of the babblings that Phil and his followers have spewed out here."

Be our guest, as the only way your babblings have any effect is by preaching to your own choir. No one here wants to see your litany of illogical rambling and snide character attacks disguised as some kind of scholarly response.

I don't believe you are capable of any. You aren't a scholar and I will bet you barely have a high school education. It shows in the inability to argue nuanced points.

You don't even have the grace or good sense to understand or see the honesty in Phil's answers to you. You immediately sought to undermine and ridicule them as full of bias when it is you that shows the only bias.

You are incapable of sincere debate because you are already invested in a preconceived belief system that you are not even prepared to think might be wrong. To you it can't be.

So, it is a waste of time for anyone to engage you in discussion.

Enjoy preaching to your own choir. If and when you ever get an adequate education, especially in logic, come back and let's see if you have progressed.

Until then, ciao!

P.S. the only "cowards" are those who use character assassination tactics like you do. People post anonymously because they may have reason to do so. Using that as an excuse to berate their commentary shows the low level of your own debate skills and your inability to argue from the issues presented.You can only rely on deflections, like trying to diminish Caleb's contributions because he only had nine views. You are a sorry excuse for a pastor, it in fact that's what you really are. Did you order your pastorship from a cereal boxtop?

Copernicus said...

"You don't even have the grace or good sense to understand or see the honesty in Phil's answers to you. You immediately sought to undermine and ridicule them as full of bias when it is you that shows the only bias."

Yep, and so I am reminded again of that famous quotation in Mike's Good Book, which he always seems to conveniently forget:

'Remove the beam from thy own eye before calling attention to the speck in your brother's'

He would do well to apply that much more than his 'my way or the highway' thinking