Monday, October 09, 2006

Thanks!

It's always nice to know that someone is browsing through the archives. I recently received two very thoughtful comments on some very old posts. One of them was my assessment of Dr. Phil here. I thought this to be so well constructed that I decided to share it for your reading pleasure.

It would be bad enough if this clown actually believed what he preaches to America's ignoranti; but he does know better, and has made the corrupt, cynical, self-serving choice to pander to the misperceptions of mouth-breathing conformist peasants, thereby promulgating socially damaging misinformation on a wholesale basis. The masses' self-assured "knowledge" of things that ain't so is possibly science's biggest hurdle in contemporary Western society; those who feed that ignorance - e.g., the ambulatory sphincter under discussion - so as to personally profit from retarding public understanding, number among the genuine enemies of civilization.


Yes, I believe that's putting it about right, except for calling Phil a sphincter. Sphincters do some actual work.

94 Comments:

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Kristine said...

Dr. Phil used to work for Exxon. That Exxon. Which never paid a red cent for the Valdez spill.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Perhaps Dr. Phil is "pandering" to those of us who believe that marriage is a sacred institution that should be honored - in which sexual relationships should be limited between the husband and wife. Perhaps.... Or perhaps he really believes that himself. I don't know, but you seem to know.

Of course, I would suspect that even if Dr. Phil does believe in what he espouses, that would hardly cause your opinion of him to be raised. It seems to be the opinion itself that you object to - as well as his manner of delivery. So, you see it as wrong and irresponsible for Dr. Phil to make what is, in truth, a gross sin look like a gross sin. But, you clearly have no problem then using expletives to describe your opinion of Dr. Phil. Whether or not you agree with Dr. Phil, he is a human being, and therefore, deserves more respect from you. Furthermore, adultery is wicked, and more people should say so.

The good news is that all can and will be forgiven if people would confess their sins.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Kristine said...

*Sigh* I was not intending to reply to a certain somebody, I was going to post this anyway, but was not fast enough...but the Dr. Phil House was just shut down.

It sounds like it was exploitative and a hideous ordeal for neighbors. You may need an AOL account for the link—it opens for me.

(BTW, never heard of a guy who liked Dr. Phil. Well, different strokes. I hate shopping.)

If anybody had cut down my lilac bushes there would be hell (oops!) to pay.

Dr. Phil is a pompous little opportunist. Even if I don’t disagree with what he says, it’s delivered in this carny barker howl-drawl that is irritating as an axle grind to hear. His guests sit on little high chairs like toddlers while he berates them. My mother told me to watch Dr. Phil, not for any specific reason, but because she thinks he’s fun. Did. Saw. Conquered another book.

I like sunlight, and quiet (which is to say I don’t watch much TV).

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

Huckster - nothing more, nothing less. A pimp, playing to the groundlings, holding up the ideals of the controlling elite. CE, if you read my post, you would know that I did not object to the message, just the judgmental, tell-them-what-they're supposed-to-think delivery. I realize that you approve of these tactics. You are either one of these opportunists, an opportunist wanna-be, or you have been suckered into thinking that these demagogues actually have a line on some invisible power and that they actually live by the rules they espouse for their underling followers. It's all a game played by dupes, stupes, and gravy-sucking pigs. Which are you?

Confession. Now there's a good euphemism for self-incrimination and shame mongering. You know what I think of skanky little rat-bastard priests that make a living getting little boys and girls to feel bad about themselves? Getting them to feel guilty because they are fallible little monkeys that learn life's lessons the same way we all do? Getting them to feel embarrassed over their sexual urges and autoerotic behavior? Getting placed in a position of superiority because they share (and keep)one's dirty little secrets? They trade in shame. and are enriched by their manipulation of same. Original sin. Guilty of being human. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Those scumbags only have the power over one that one gives them. They get nothing from me, the bloody lying parasites!

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Kristine said...

One of the few times I actually did watch Dr. Phil, his wife dominated much of the show--she was talking about her empty nest syndrome. Okay. Anybody can sympathize. (And she's pretty, smart, articulate, everything.)

But then her guest brought out this picture frame that had a little tape recorder in it--which her son had recorded himself saying "Hi, Mom, from college, etc." Mrs. Phil then whipped hers out with her son on it. All right, that stuff is harmless. But the guest and Mrs. Phil became so orgiastic over these talking picture frames that I shook my head in disbelief. It was so surreal, like a Twilight Zone episode, in which a robot replaces lil' Johnny.

It's just not for me. And I am creeped out by our confessional culture, in which the audience ooohs and ahhhs and boos, etc. I guess what I really object to is the sneaking fear that I have that people don't think an experience is real unless it happens on television. Why go on television? Why not just seek out a therapist?

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger kalanchoe542 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger kalanchoe542 said...

K, what you said about empty nest syndrome - I have three wonderful young adult offspring, who are all doing quite well on their roads to individual lives. One has a Master's Degree, one a dual Bachelors, and the third is on her way to an ScD in Clinical Pathology. I occasionally get a little misty when I think about how long it's been since I have actually laid eyes on one of them (never that long, we have good relationships), but as for the whole "my children have gone, my life is over" thing, well, it never happened. I think part of it is that since they were very small I acknowledeged their individuality, and understood that what I was working towards was their independence. I have never been able to understand or stomach the people (and by people, I mean mostly women) who make their entire lives center around their children, their beautiful home, their little self-contained universe that is devoid if anything that distinguishes the woman/wife/mother as an individual person. This seems to come from the same place that all the ugly dehumanizing of women has for centuries - the church. In order to be a good wifey, you have to give up who you are. In order to be a good mother, you have to sacrifice everything that makes you who you were. BULLSHIT!! We were meant for better than that. I think the thing that drives a lot of women to adultery is the men that they were fool enough to marry. Probably goes the same for men too, only in reverse.

BL, as for the fact that CE continues to try to make you look bad, well, I would say he is doing an excellent job of making himself look like an ass. I find his sermonizing to be tiresome and hackneyed, and his justifications trite and hollow. Will I be stripped of my brownie points if I make any offhand comments about my suspicions about his security in his own sexuality? Oops,my bad. I should never write commentary when I am taking medication for painful conditions.

 
At 12:37 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Those scumbags only have the power over one that one gives them. They get nothing from me, the bloody lying parasites!"

Either you are objecting to something you perceive as evil or you are being pretty crazy.

Obviously, you perceive preachers/priests/Dr. Phil as doing evil for encouraging, exhorting, and even commanding people to confess their sins. What would you have "bloody lying parasites" to do? Preachers, preists, and even Dr. Phil assures people that they can be forgiven for their sins. You, on the other hand, assert that certain people are evil - and just stop there. It appears that you are the one who is being particularly mean.

If your perception is correct (which in some cases - even many cases - it is - though not in all cases), then the right thing for those "bloody lying parasites" to do would be to confess their faults and to change.

Or would you prefer that they just go kill themselves?

You rail against the idea of confession, but then you rail against those who, from your point of view, are doing evil. Are you not trying to do what you hate preachers/priests for doing? By referring to people as "bloody lying parasites," are you not implying that they should change? Isn't that exactly what you hate about those "bloody lying parasites?"

I don't see a lot of consistency in your thinking here.

A "good" priest/preacher loves sinners, but hates lying and scumbag type behavior as much, if not more, than you. Would you have a higher opinion of such a person? Or are all preachers/priests "bloody lying parasites?"

Certainly, all preachers who are bloody lying parasites ought to confess their sins and repent.

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

Wow..somebody got up on the wrong side of bed...what up wid dat!
Just Kidding...Naturally I agree with that assesment of Doctor Pheeel. Phil is a byproduct of a crumbling education system in your country.

Answer this..why wouldn't the government sterilize every single person on Springer and Morley or any of those shows. They make your skin crawl..these f*ckin' pudknockers get to VOTE!?!?
and you wonder why someone as big and imposing as ex jury rigger Dr Phil comes across as a genius to the great unwashed.

Oooh I sound like an elitist prick..OK..really if more care was given to educating the majority of citizens instead of protecting the NRA or Oil Cartels then maybe..just maybe..your country could (I said could didn't I) become the greatest force in the history of civilization.

I just heard George Bush 1st whispering..
"not gonna happen..
wouldn't be prudent..
the fellas at Skull and Bones aren't going to go for that crap"

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

HE:

Thanks for the laugh. If I don't laugh, I cry.

CE:

"Evil" is your simplistic label for things. I believe I called them lying parasites. There are two kinds of liar (for this discussion), knowing and unknowing. If you bear false witness or otherwise seek to invent reality, you are a knowing liar. If you repeat a lie that you believe to be true, you are an unknowing liar. If you repeat something that you don't know is true, don't particularly care if it's true, and do so for personal gain and power over others, you are jaundiced and unethical. I think the Jimmy Swaggerts of the world fall into that category.

"Evil" is a grouping strategy that lumps things together that only have moral bankruptcy or undesired consequences in common. A pretty big "only", I know, but hear me out. Those that have no regard for human life while robbing a bank are declared evil. Those that have no regard for human life while being a soldier on the battle line get a pass. Those that rob a pension fund might or might not be labeled "evil". Those that denounce religion? Evil? Those that worship other gods? Evil? Those that skimp on mine safety and cause unnecessary death? Those that refuse to help their fellow men by sharing their wealth? Depending on who you are, you might call any of this or all of this evil. It then becomes a part of a greater whole that appears overwhelming, at least without the comfort of the church collective. In truth, these are all singular criminal acts, or dogmatic passive-agressive protectionist defensive bullshit.

One should not think in terms of "fighting evil", this is a comic book slogan. A member of society that cares to get involved should help uphold the law when it is just, help change the law when it is not, and seek to find remedies for the social problems that foster injustice and criminal behavior. "Fighting" stinks.

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

That, my friends, is the major difference between modern day conservatives and modern day liberals.

For conservatives, evil is an absolute concept. For liberals, well, there's all sorts of gray area. Some liberals tend to deny the existence of evil - until you start talking about George Bush. It is interesting that some liberals will readily embrace the concept of evil when discussing George Bush, yet hesitate to use the word evil when discussing bin Laden and Hezbollah.

The truth is that evil is real. It is all around us. The honest person will admit that evil resides in his own heart. It is only by the grace of God that we are capable of any goodness whatsoever. Without Christ, we are totally depraved.

One of the ways evil manifests itself is in the form of arrogant pride. I happen to know a lot about this, because I struggle with it myself. People think, "I've never murdered anyone; I'm a good person." By telling yourself that over and over and over again, you deceive yourself. You exchange the truth for a lie and so become deceived. The truth is all of our good deeds add up to "filthy rags." Our standard for "goodness" is so low. The real standard is perfection. Anything less is evil.

Some people generally deny that evil exists until someone like me starts spouting the rhetoric that I am.

Isaiah said, "Woe to those who call good, evil; and evil, good."

Evil is real. Look at the Holocaust. Look at the way people dehumanize one another. Look at the attitudes and the words that tear other people down.

Perhaps, though, a more convincing strategy would be to show people real goodness. When we get a glimpse of real goodness, then we get a glimpse of the reality of our world.

There is an antithesis. There is good and evil. If we don't contend for goodness, we will default to evil. If we don't confront evil, then evil will have its way.

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Phil is a byproduct of a crumbling education system in your country."

Ahh... education. I have so much to say, but I don't have the energy to start.

I highly recommend the book, The Case for Classical Christian Education by Doug Wilson. Also, check out Dorothy Sayers' essay: "The Lost Tools of Learning."

I spent the past two years teaching. Education is one of my passions. Of course, before we decide to throw a lot of money at education, education might be worth defining. Call me crazy, but if it is not working, then I see no reason to grant rewards and awards to what doesn't work.

Of course, the biggest problems with education are not the schools. The biggest problem is the home. Having spent two years teaching, I think it is fair to say that the role of a teacher is to serve the parents, but the parents are primarily responsible for their children's education. Far too many parents have passed this responsibility over to the teachers. When a teacher has over 50 students to keep track of, he just doesn't have the time and energy to give proper attention to each child. That's why parents must step up to the plate.

Of course, without God, education is empty and meaningless at best, and evil at worst. It is pretty upsetting that my tax dollars are being used to indoctrinate a generation with the doctrines and creeds of secular humanism - America's Postmodern Civil Religion.

 
At 5:55 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

Of course, without God, education is empty and meaningless at best, and evil at worst.

Are we atheists empty and meaningless at best, and evil at worst?

There is no ultimate battle between good and evil. If the 'evil' man honestly believes that he is good, just as you believe that you are good, then he cannot be 'evil'. He is misinformed.

There is no cabal of Jews that are in league with Satan.

...my tax dollars are being used to indoctrinate a generation with the doctrines... of secular humanism

Would you rather have them pray to Krishna every morning, or for six times out of the school day bow to Mecca? You lost under the system of civil liberties. You religionists cannot get your way when in a free society, so please give up the fight. You are not helping to solve the problem.

America's Postmodern Civil Religion.

If secularism is now a religion, anything can be a religion. Marxism is now a religion; capitalism is now a religion; anything ending with -ism is now a religion.

You've just devalued what little meaning there is left in your faith: tradition.

 
At 6:21 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"If secularism is now a religion, anything can be a religion. Marxism is now a religion; capitalism is now a religion; anything ending with -ism is now a religion."

Precisely. It is not whether or not religion (a system of doctrines, creeds, beliefs, and values) is being imposed on children in a classroom, but rather which religion (which set of doctrines, creeds, beliefs, and values) are being imposed.

What is being imposed on children in secularism. Secularists are dogmatically opposed to dogmatic religion; thus, they contradict themselves. That's what makes them postmodern.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

“For conservatives, evil is an absolute concept.”

That’s because you assume everyone is a closet sociopath or psychopath. This is one of the foundational lies of the priest class: “You need us! Without us, you’d run amok!” I repeat: “evil” is too simplistic a concept. It allows elements of mankind to define themselves narrowly, fall into the category of “not evil” and still perform unethical or immoral acts for “the greater good”. It is also only one step down the slippery slope of superstition to where “evil” is defined as some spook in the netherworld with a vast conspiracy of demonic possession and world domination. Ugh!

“Without Christ, we are totally depraved.”

In that case, you must think that the vast majority of world population that is non-Christian is totally depraved. What a frightening and paranoiac worldview. How sad for you. And how do you explain that the vast majority of murdering fanatics believe in the God of Abraham, and most of the homegrown terrorists in the US are of the Christian stripe? Being steeped in Christian mythology, and buying in to the religious rah-rah doesn’t seem to be any proof against depravity to me.

“One of the ways evil manifests itself is in the form of arrogant pride.”

Yeah, because the ONLY way the church can work on pride is to turn it into shame. Any time I accomplish something, the credit belongs to God. If I fuck up, it’s my fault. Bullshit. Oh yeah, I was too proud, or I didn’t bow and scrape enough. Never mind the actual socio/political/economic/natural/tactical error type forces that actually contributed to my undoing. Oh boo hoo please forgive me! Rubbish! Mind control. Unethical domination strategy.

“Evil is real. Look at the Holocaust. Look at the way people dehumanize one another. Look at the attitudes and the words that tear other people down.”

Evil is a real conceptual label that humankind uses as a descriptor. Like “hot”, “cold”, “crazy”, “strong”, “weak”, and “smart”. These are all broad generalizations that evoke a quality that we can identify and understand when someone uses the word. Some things get almost 100% agreement. Almost everyone with sufficient information can agree that Antarctica is cold. An Eskimo in Point Barrow in High Summer will not agree with a shivering Hawaiian tourist that it is cold outside. In the same way, I will not agree with everything that you label “good” in your support of a certain mode of thinking and your chosen method of social engineering. Likewise, I do not always agree on the ingredients you throw into your “evil” stewpot.

Actions often have unforeseen consequences. Sometimes they have both positive and negative consequences, like selling cheap used clothing to poor Africans (see NPR.com). How then do we judge these acts as “good” or “evil”? Do we weigh the consequences and see which way the scale tips? Is a little evil enough to turn the whole enterprise evil? Is it not, according to your doctrine, evil to call something evil? “Judge not, lest ye be judged and found wanting.” Nobody follows that rule, because it is demonstrably absurd. It is a weak attempt of the priest class to reserve that authority for themselves alone. How many wrinkles does one have to smooth out of one’s brain to believe in the inerrancy of that big book of contradictions and ego babble?

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

The excerpt is a delightful bit of wordsmithing. Dr. phil, like many so called "do gooders" are merely preying on the weakness of people. They mostly hand people placebo pills of advice and laud themselves instead of either providing a real cure or allowing people to work out their own problems.

 
At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breakerslion,

Have I told you lately that I love your mind? Your way with words makes me pant with intellectual lust. Wanna get together for coffee sometime? I'll just sit and listen to you....

ILD

 
At 10:56 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Breakerslion...

You certainly have a way with words. I'm not going to have a chance to respond to you this afternoon. I hope that I am not wearing out my welcome or that I am angering you. Have a great weekend. Peace to you.

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

It is not whether or not religion (a system of doctrines, creeds, beliefs, and values) is being imposed on children in a classroom, but rather which religion (which set of doctrines, creeds, beliefs, and values) are being imposed.

No. We teach science in science class. We do not teach that lightning is a gigantic spear thrown by Zeus. Science is not a religion, just as atheism is not a religion.

A set of values is not a religion. It is a set of values. You can have a set of values in a religion, but one is not the other.

A belief is not a religion. You may believe something in a religion, but this does not make belief equal to religion.

Must I continue?

What is being imposed on children in secularism. Secularists are dogmatically opposed to dogmatic religion; thus, they contradict themselves.

That is only contradictary if you label everything with the ten-pound stamp 'RELIGION', and call it a day. Catholics, such as you, concernedengineer, are dogmatically opposed to all other religions without proof; thus, they are morons.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Can you define "religion"?

I define religion like this:

religion - A set of creeds, ideas, doctrines, beliefs, and/or values that command a certain measure of allegiance and respect.

Given that definition, the secularism that is being preached in social studies is most definately a religion.

When teachers discipline students who are misbehaving, they are instilling a set of values in those students.

When a teacher says "good job," they are making a moral judgment about a student's work, performance, and/or behavior.

When teachers teach students to have "a healthy self-esteem," they are teaching the creeds of the American Civil Religion.

When a teacher teaches that racism is wrong and intolerable, he is certainly making a statement about morality. Morality is a subset of theology. Therefore, the teacher is teaching theology.

All truth is God's truth. When a teacher teaches a kid calculus accurately, he is teaching God's truth to the student.

All truth is God's truth. When a teacher discusses the evil of the Holocaust, he is teaching kids to value other people. This is teaching religion.

There is no neutral ground in the universe. There is no neutral ground in the arena of ideas. Nature abhors a vacuum. Where God is not honored, He is dishonored. Indeed, "not" and "dis" mean the same thing. Where the truth of God is not exalted and taught, error is exalted. Where each person's personhood is not valued, people dehumanize one another.

We will either honor God and honor people, or we will dishonor God and dehumanize people. Dehumanizing people is the politically correct thing to do, because when you start honoring the personhood of people, the secularists start screaming, "Separation between church and state."

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Do Christian teachers in the public school have the right to honor God? Or must they live lives of duplicity? May they walk in integrity and integrate their faith into their work? Or must they hang their faith on the shelf when they walk into the school building?

Note: The words integrity, integrate, integer, and integral all have the same etymology.

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

Can you define "religion"?

Why, yes. Yes I can. Religion, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is

“[A] Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
[B] A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.”


The American Heritage Dictionary has more authority over you when it comes to the definition of words. They make it their job to define words the way we use them. If I call a cat a cat, then insist that a dog is a cat too, you will attempt to correct me. We do not use the word ‘religion’ in the context you provide, unless its meaning is fundamentally altered.

religion - A set of creeds, ideas, doctrines, beliefs, and/or values that command a certain measure of allegiance and respect.

Wrong. All ideas, values and beliefs command a certain measure of respect to someone. Now pray tell me, what measure of respect is it? A teaspoon? Your own personal opinion? I think not. Your definition is worthless.

Given that definition, the secularism that is being preached in social studies is most definately [sic] a religion.

Given your definition, yes. However, as shown above, your definition is flawed. You’re calling a dog a cat, and insisting on it until you're red in the face.

Morality is a subset of theology.

No, it is not. Morality and theology have nothing in common. Morality can be incorporated into theology, just as morality can be incorporated into Marxism. Morality and ethics have their place, and its called philosophy.

Indeed, "not" and "dis" mean the same thing.

In Latin. I’ve studied etymology on my own time, and taken several classes on the topic. Don’t try to pull that. It also means apart, away, and to deprive. I can pull out one of my text books, my old notes on the subject, or my Oxford English Dictionary, and give you the history of dishonored, if you want. Why on earth does it matter? Why do you bring it up?

In Greek, it means two.

Dehumanizing people is the politically correct thing to do, because when you start honoring the personhood of people, the secularists start screaming, "Separation between church and state."

We have a separation between any church and the government because if we did not, we would have a theocracy. You are a Catholic. Classes dedicated to reading the bible in public schools were outlawed because two Catholic families took their case to court and won. They couldn’t stand Protestants preaching Protestant teaching in class. And that’s what you get, concernedengineer. You are a minority in the United States. Grow to accept it. Don’t let the majority trample on your rights to believe what you want, and your tax dollars should not pay for any religion's indoctrination. Secularism is the middle ground. You can teach your children [and I honestly hope you will never have any] what you want at your home or at your church. That’s your business. A school’s business is to educate.

Do Christian teachers in the public school have the right to honor God?

Not publicly. They can do so on their own time.

Or must they live lives of duplicity? May they walk in integrity and integrate their faith into their work? Or must they hang their faith on the shelf when they walk into the school building?

The Muslim must do so; the Catholic must do so; the Baptist must do so. That is, unless they work at a private school.

Note: The words integrity, integrate, integer, and integral all have the same etymology.

What is your point? Kaiser and Tsar both come from the Latin word Caesar. Are you going to start delving into semantics next?

 
At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

breakerslion - I peeped in here just a while ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that my trivial observations regarding a certain anal orifice / Jeffrey Tambor impersonator had not only not escaped notice, but indeed were met with other than contemptuous scorn and righteous opprobrium... so "Thanks" backatcha!

The discerning reader could conceivably get the impression that I may be a person of strong opinions. Nothing could be further from the truth; I'm far too reticent and unassertive to have opinions on any topic. It's just that I am occasionally possessed by some malevolent spirit which seizes control of my typing fingers and thereby sets about wreaking rhetorical havoc, as it were, on the unsuspecting innocents of the Web.

...or, on the other hand, maybe I'm just what John Cleese once so poignantly referred to as a "vicious bastard"... who knows?

Anyway, with your kind consent, I shall keep the sensitivity adjustment on my Bullshit Detector set to 11 and alert all and sundry when it beeps.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

lauren the ghoti:

You're most welcome. The pen might or might not be mightier than the sword, but you are living proof that in the right hands, it can be sharper. Anyone who can send me running for a dictionary is a mighty wordsmith to say the least.

Odds or not, I have to ask. You wouldn't happen to be a certain school teacher from NJ, would you?

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger kalanchoe542 said...

lauren the ghoti -hmmm...fishy name, that! :-)

Thank you for making my day. It's not often that Breakerslion has to run to the halls of Funk and Wagnall for reassurance.

Strong opinions notwithstanding, you know what they say about opinions in general. That's why I tend to reserve my judgements until I have sufficient ammunition to mount an acceptable offensive when the shitstorms come too close to home.

Funny, I always thought of Dr. Phil as looking more like Dabney Coleman. Perhaps his love child with Jeffrey Tambor?

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

No, sorry, just a DC-born 9th-grade dropout with no discernable career path... My pedantic ways sometimes mislead people into assuming that I am or have been some kind of instructor or teacher, which I suppose I am in a way, but it's not something I ever did for a living.

I just like keeping my mind sharp by engaging people in examining some of the many things they "know" (like religion) and dismantling their rats'-nests of caveman emotion and arrogant illogic.

...and when I get started on religion (human society's number one albatross), well, I do tend to get carried away. Hope no one take it personally...

So Sayeth The Ghoti

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

kalanchoe542 - Few ppl suss out the name so quickly... ;>

'Opinions are like anal sphincters; everyone has at least one, and most stink...' - that the one?

Reserving judgment 'til you've rounded up sufficient ammo is a wise thing, but my enthusiasm leads me into occasionally reckless speech... there're some topics where the arguments are so tired and shopworn that I just shoot from the hip...

...and as far as siring that 99¢-store Freud - well, were he the offspring of those two gents (both sharp, intelligent people from what I gather), then all I can say is Dr. Pee is one of the better candidates I know of for retroactive abortion. :)

So Sayeth The Ghoti

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger kalanchoe542 said...

L the G,

That be the one! I certainly meant no disrespect to the gents in question, and think your suggested solution would work well on this and a number of similar cases.

Brava!

 
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Do Christian teachers in the public school have the right to honor God?

Not publicly. They can do so on their own time."


This is religious tyranny. This is a clash between the commands of God and the commands of men. God commands me to be holy in all that I think, say, and do - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He commands me to do so publicly. He commands me to love Him and to love my neighbor every moment of every day. He commands me to do justly and to treat human beings as those who have been created in His image. He commands me to pray without ceasing and to make disciples of all nations. He commands me to love Him and honor Him with every fiber of my being. He commands me to live a life of integrity - integrating my faith in Him into every aspect of my life.

But drunken tune commands me to either give up my faith and/or to live a life of duplicity (which means he is commanding me to not live a life of integrity - I am not to integrate my faith into every aspect of my life).

God says, "A." DT says, "Not A."

This is not difficult for me to discern who to listen to. But the point I am trying to make is that DT is advocating a form of religious persecution. He is trying to deny me my right to honor God publicly while on the job.

This just goes to show that the whole idea of the Establishment Clause is patronizing nonsense. If I need to check with secular atheists - asking/pleading with them for the right to follow God as revealed in the Holy Bible - then my right to honor God is being trampled on. At least be honest about it. Whether or not you want to consider all the "-isms" religious or not, the point remains that we have various groups of people with various worldviews. And you are essentially saying that religious worldviews are not to be considered when discussing matters of state, but secular worldviews can and should be considered. But then you say that you are not denying me my fundamental rights. But you just openly said that I do not have the right to honor God on the job. To fail to honor God on the job is to fail to honor God period. The idea of living a life of duplicity (refusing to honor God on the job, but then attempting to honor Him off the job) is unacceptable to God. God demands my all. At very least, be honest. Quit patronizing me with the idea that you are trying to defend my right to worship. You are only defending my right to worship as you see fit. Even tyrants contend for the rights of people to do as they want - so long as what they want to do agrees with the tyrant's wishes.

There is an antithesis. DT has set himself up against the rule of God. All who agree with DT have also set themselves up against the rule of God. But God rules and reigns. He will punish every act of disobedience.

People are people when they are working and when they are not. We are never to dehumanize people. It is interesting to note that as DT has encouraged/commanded teachers to not honor God on the job, he has basically joined forces with the godless corporate capitalists. It sometimes appears that the godless left and the captitalistic right are opposed to one another. But in reality, they often contend for two sides of the same coin. Both the godless left and the capitalist right have dehumanized people. Many from both camps have sold their souls, and have bowed down to the idol of Mammon - and in so doing have dishonored God by dehumanizing people.

Repent. Believe. Be saved.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

God says, "A." DT says, "Not A."

No. You think your god says "A". The Buddhist thinks otherwise. You can do “A” on our own time. We cannot have a country set up where we take time out of the day so that mailmen and teachers pray six times a day to Mecca. If you are a government official, though, or are employed by the government, the Constitution of the United States says "Not A." Nice scarecrow.

He is trying to deny me my right to honor God publicly while on the job.

No, I am not. Strawman. Public school teachers should teach, and not preach. You can say anything you wish.

And you are essentially saying that religious worldviews are not to be considered when discussing matters of state,

They are not matters of diplomacy or public policy. Prayer will not help, and neither will a ten percent tithe.

but secular worldviews can and should be considered.

This country is secular. That does not make it an atheist country, but a country that does not finance any one religion or prefer any one religion over another. That is a middle-ground. If you don't like it, move to the Holy Popeland.

It is interesting to note that as DT has encouraged/commanded teachers to not honor God on the job, he has basically joined forces with the godless corporate capitalists.

I say no such thing. If you are a government official, or are employed by the government, you cannot. It is the law. If we are to have civil rights, we cannot have a theocracy. Simple as that. You can live in your own country without civil rights. Stop telling me that your rape of our civil rights is a fundamental right.

Repent. Believe. Be saved.

You. Are. A moron.

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

First of all, I'm not catholic.

Second of all, I've been commanded by God not to separate myself from secularists, but to testify to them, to love them, to live amongst them, and to declare the truth and stand up for justice.

Obviously, I think my God says, "A." Who are you to tell me otherwise? Who are you to set up laws that deny me to follow what I believe God is saying to me?

At one point, the Constitution of the United States allowed for slavery, so putting blind faith in that man-made document is unwise and evil.

"Public school teachers should teach, and not preach." By maintaining order in the classroom, public school teachers are essentially preaching that some behavior is acceptable while other behavior is not acceptable. By confronting racism, public school teachers are teaching - and rightfully so. Everyone is preaching something. If people don't preach something, they end up preaching that you shouldn't preach. That becomes their central (and contradictory) doctrine.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that everyone is equal.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that an unborn fetus is not a person and does not deserve the same rights that the rest of us enjoy.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that we have rights and that they are real - and this without any scientific evidence!

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that we should celebrate diversity and that we should be tolerant of all religions - except of course fundamental Christianity - which is absolutely unacceptable. Islam, on the other hand, that's kinda cool - if you like it.

Public school teachers teach/preach that there are no moral absolutes.

Public school teachers teach/preach that we should be open minded.

Public school teachers teach/preach that Democracy is the best way.

Some of the things that teachers preach are good (like confronting racism is a good thing). But other creeds are directly contradicting Christian dogma - and that dogmattically.

Essentially, public schools are temples of the American Civil Religion of Postmodern Secularism. This is, of course, a demonic religion that is a form of rebellion against God. But God in His grace sent His Son to die on the cross for us - the just for the unjust - that we might be forgiven and saved.

Teachers should not be required to rebel against the Bible in order to teach in the public school system. But that is exactly what is happening. Of course, the secularists deny this. And many "Christian" teachers have justified this rebellion in their minds. They have traded the truth of God for secularism.

There is no room for secularism when all of life is sacred.

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Public school teachers should teach, and not preach."

The word, should, of course, implies moral obligation. Nice presupposition. Do you have any scientific evidence to support your presupposition?

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Essentially, DT is saying that public school teachers should not be allowed to be Christian - if Christian is defined as one who is committed to following the Bible. Of course, this is where the secularists will no doubt correct my theology - as if they, who don't care about theology, know better about the theology in which I believe than I do. If you all were honest, you would admit that the secular rhetoric about religious liberty is patronizing nonsense. This country has adopted the religion of godless secularism. They have claimed the epistemological high ground, and hae said essentially, "Believe what you want; but you do have to accept our fundamental beliefs." Patronizing nonsense. At least be honest about it.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

"Public school teachers should teach, and not preach."

The word, should, of course, implies moral obligation. Nice presupposition. Do you have any scientific evidence to support your presupposition?


Legal obligation, moron. You have your church, so go to your church. You can choose to send your children [please don't] to a religious school. The government should not give groups money because these groups believe something that others do not.

Would you be comfortable if public schools taught Islam? Which form of Christianity will be taught? What would the classes be about? There's science class, and there's church. Science is dedicated to what we know; religion is not.

And if you claim that secularism is a religion, then so be it. By your definition, secularism, and all other religions that stem from materialism, are the only religions that have any proof whatsoever. We have science on our side, while you guys have.... uh... I guess all you have is faith.

And please don't tell me you don't believe in evolution. Because if you do, you're perhaps the biggest moron I've ever talked to.

DT is saying that public school teachers should not be allowed to be Christian - if Christian is defined as one who is committed to following the Bible.

I recall there’s a caveat in there, where Jesus told you, asshole, to stay in your closet.

Of course, this is where the secularists will no doubt correct my theology - as if they, who don't care about theology, know better about the theology in which I believe than I do.

I’ll correct it, moron. I know that the bible is contradictory, while you, it seems, do not. Don’t cherry pick.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that everyone is equal.

Under the law, yes. It is.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

Under the law, yes. It is.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that an unborn fetus is not a person and does not deserve the same rights that the rest of us enjoy.

Under the law, yes. It is.

Public school teachers are teaching/preaching that we have rights and that they are real - and this without any scientific evidence!

Yes. You claim the same, do you not? We can presuppose what we wish. Civil liberties is the only thing that matters. That is morality; not some self-imposed-puissant 2000-year-old nomadic faith in a sky-daddy.

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

My point is that the law is not just. The law used to say that black men were to be considered 3/5 of a man. Going along with the law merely because it is the law often leads to all kinds of evil.

As is the case with the unborn fetus. The unborn fetus is a human person who deserves the same rights that you and I should enjoy. The law has legalized murder.

Homosexuality is not an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Homosexuality is a sin. The state should not be brainwashing children to accept homosexuality. The American Civil Religion of Postmodern Secularism which runs the public schools is evil.

The Bible is not contradictory.

I have no problem with public school teachers teaching/preaching that which is true, right, and good. But I am pointing out that they are preaching. You said that teachers should not preach. But you have admitted that they are preaching, and have even defended what they are preaching. You have contradicted yourself. I have not contradicted myself.

Teachers ought to preach that racism is wrong and that human persons have value and rights.

"Civil liberties is the only thing that matters."

Civil liberties matter, but it is not the only thing that matters. Security matters. Truth matters. Valuing the individual matters. Loving one another matters. Honoring God matters.

"And if you claim that secularism is a religion, then so be it. By your definition, secularism, and all other religions that stem from materialism, are the only religions that have any proof whatsoever. We have science on our side, while you guys have.... uh... I guess all you have is faith."

Now, you are starting to be honest. Now, you are basically saying, "My religion should rule in public schools. Your religion should not." Now, you are beginning to see the antithesis, and you are beginning to see that the Establishment Clause is obviously and practically patronizing nonsense. Some worldview will be proclaimed to the students in the public school system. Every worldview that contradicts the worldview that wins out will be suppressed. And if tax dollars are being used to promote the "acceptable" worldview and to denounse the worldviews that contradict the "acceptable" worldview, then you necessarily have an epistemological hegemony, where tax dollars are used to suppress any and all worldviews that contradict the "acceptable" approved worldview of the state.

You can't get away from this. This will happen. Therefore, it is imperative that we get epistemology right, so that the worldview that wins out is one that is true. And this is tricky business because when we start talking about morality and justice, we are talking about things that can't be proven scientifically. Things like "rights."

In view of this truth, any secularist who claims that he is in favor of "religious liberty" is spouting patronizing nonsense.

There is no neutral ground. Either children in public schools will be taught that which is true, just, and wise, or they will be taught, by default that which is not true, not just, and not wise. There is no neutrality. By not teaching what is true, just, and wise, then teachers would essentially be teaching that truth, justice, and wisdom don't deserve to be valued. This is unjust, untrue, and unwise. It is also unfortunately politically correct.

"The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." -Abraham Lincoln

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"The government should not give groups money because these groups believe something that others do not."

I don't believe in abortion and homosexuality! Given your argument, why should I be forced to give to an institution that teaches that those practices are acceptable?

See, in this country, Christiam imperialism is viewed as inappropriate, but secular imperialism is cool. Unjust!

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

By the way, I am not in favor of school vouchers. "He who takes the king's coin tends to become the king's man." When the government starts funding private Christian schools, they will slowly - bit by bit - take over and secularize the private Christian schools. In truth, many private Christian schools are already embracing secularism so that they can make a secular argument for vouchers. The modern visible church is extremely irreverent. We need to read the Bible more.

Anyway, there is probably one issue on which we agree - but for entirely different reasons.

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"This is one of the foundational lies of the priest class: “You need us! Without us, you’d run amok!”"

I need responsible, good, and kind people in my life who support me, love me, encourage me, and who will tell me the truth. People who will challenge me when I, like a lost sheep, start to go astray. Without the friendship and accountability of my best friends, my life would be much less than what it is now. I have had the privelege and honor to receive extremely wise counsel from people who love me. I have been blessed to have people confront me about some of my sins in a way that inspires to repent. A kingdom of priests is a good thing. But it is vitally important that priests speak truth and that they live and act in a way that is worthy to be followed. I suspect that some of your disdain for the "priest-class" is due to the hypocrisy of those within the priest class. Well, no one hated that hypocrisy more than Jesus Christ. He intentionally confronted and pissed off the religious leaders - the ones who were in the ministry not to serve but to be served - the ones who were eager to abuse their authority - the ones who loved catching people in sin. Jesus confronted that over and over again. He condemned the religious people of the day, but forgave the adulteress woman.

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

Rather than backtrack, let's just pick up from here, shall we? Good.

"Do Christian teachers in the public school have the right to honor God?"

Why most certainly! They are entirely free to do so, just as they are free to sunbathe, play chess, practice yoga, skydive or meditate.

ON THEIR OWN TIME, IN THE COURSE OF THEIR PERSONAL LIVES, OUTSIDE OF THE WORKPLACE.

They do not decide, nor do they have the right to decide, what subject matter children shall be taught. An English teacher is hired to teach English - not science, not art history, not gymnastics - English! The teacher is fully aware that he/she is hired to teach a particular subject, which is determined by others, the school board, whoever - whose responsibility it is to make that determination of what shall be taught.

Just as an airline pilot is paid to carrry other people to a destination determined by his employers - when you board a plane to Phoenix, you expect to be delivered to Phoenix. The pilot is not allowed to preemptively decide that "Phoenix is a bad place - I believe Denver is better, so I am going to deliver these folks to Denver." He is not hired to make that decision. He has no right to make that decision - no matter what his personal beliefs may tell him.

And he already knows, when he is hired, what his duties are and what they are not. No different with a teacher. Religious belief has no place in a public classroom. It is utterly irrelevant to the subjects which society has determined their children shall be taught.

Maybe God commands you to do these things you say. Maybe he doesn't. The only thing which we can know for a fact is that YOU MERELY CLAIM that "God" "commanded" you to do these things. We have no proof except for your word. Not good enough. No one is in any way preventing you from believing that, if you choose.

David Berkowitz was commanded by God to kill people. He had exactly the same amount of evidence to back up his claim as you do. None whatsoever.

Refusing to permit you to attempt to indoctrinate other peoples' children with your 100% fact & evidence-free beliefs, when you are paid to teach them something else entirely is in no way "tyrrany;" it is common sense.

You want to teach religion, go to work at a religious school, where the parents pay you to and expect you to teach religion.

Otherwise, keep your beiefs to yourself. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

So Sayeth The Ghoti

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

My point is that the law is not just. The law used to say that black men were to be considered 3/5 of a man. Going along with the law merely because it is the law often leads to all kinds of evil.

Black men and women can now vote. The bible gave legitimacy to racism with select quotations, just as you do. Soon, weather you like it or not, gay men and women will be able to marry whomever they wish, because civil liberties - unlike your utopia of theocracy - explain that all human beings are equal under the law, and should be treated so. When we had slavery, that was not a system of civil liberties. That was tyranny. Duh.

You presume that I am for abortion. Again, this is moronic. You know nothing about me. Why don’t you ask me sometime?

The Bible is not contradictory.

You cannot honestly believe that. Were you dropped on your head as a baby?

The bible’s pretty clear when it comes to keeping slaves.

Civil liberties matter, but it is not the only thing that matters.

Procedure matters. Nothing more. It is the process, not your imaginary friend.

Security matters.

We get security through civil liberties. In fact, it's the only fair way that we are all sure that we have security.

Truth matters.

The only truth that matters in a society with civil liberties is that the law must preserve our freedom and liberty. There is no revealed truth under a system of civil liberties; this system cares nothing about god. If you don't like it, and want to impose your god on others, get out.

Valuing the individual matters.

We do more than value, when we have civil liberties. We protect the individual. Your god does not protect his followers.

Honoring God matters.

God matters not in this society. Please tell me which god matters.

Homosexuality is not an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

Your opinion does not matter. Deal with it. There are gay and lesbian people that deserve, under our system of preserving liberty for all, marriage.

the Establishment Clause is obviously and practically patronizing nonsense.

No, it is not. It keeps you, moron, and your neighbors, and the Muslim that immigrates, and the Mormon out in Utah, from killing people or imposing biblical law because your or their god told you to.

Therefore, it is imperative that we get epistemology right, so that the worldview that wins out is one that is true.

No. It is imperative that we teach what is true because that is what school is for. You teach science in science class, and math in math class. The earth is not the center of the universe. 2 + 2 does not equal 22. It is not to teach religious dogma to children. Please address my question sometime: would you be comfortable if public schools taught Islam as the one true faith? And if you have any decency, you would reverse your opinion.

In view of this truth, any secularist who claims that he is in favor of "religious liberty" is spouting patronizing nonsense.

You're right. Too bad it's another straw man. You should not have religious liberty to do what you wish, because no man's beliefs should exempt him from the law.

We need to read the Bible more.

You are retarded. You rely on logical fallacies, straw men, and other illogical statements. It makes sense, though, because you read the bible. You do not think of other people, and want only to lay claim to dominion over others. Do that in your own country. Over in the real world, you're just an asshole that wants a power grab.

The bible is rubbish.

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll have to tell my daughter that since she's a lesbian she's going to hell. Doesn't matter that she is working towards a medical degree and is going to be responsible for saving lives, she is damned forever anyway. Nice. I'm sure she would be real happy to know that God hates her for something over which she had no control.

CE, you are hopelessly confused. Maybe that's why you were drawn to this blog, Confusion of Ideas, because the title made you feel at home. Somehow, I don't think you are home at all. If you hadn't noticed, you are in the minority here.

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

anonymous,

You've said it better than I could ever hope for. Your daughter will save more lives than CE will 'save' souls. CE will never be a slave to logic and reason.

 
At 1:24 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"I repeat: “evil” is too simplistic a concept. It allows elements of mankind to define themselves narrowly, fall into the category of “not evil” and still perform unethical or immoral acts for “the greater good”."

I think goodness and justice are kinda like calculus - complicated at times, yet absolute. I also think that goodness and justice are like art. A painting or a sculpture or a piece of music could be beautiful, but could also be better. As my father often says, "There is no finish line." A piece of art could always be better. You could always do more good. This life is but a breath, and hopefully, we will do as much good in it as we can.

I think that the human condition is not good. Goodness / righteousness knows no bounds. God's righteousness reaches to the heavens. Human beings have a pretty low standard for goodness. So, in view of our low standard, we talk about how many of us are pretty good, and many are not that bad. A few people are really bad. Some people are really good. But all of this is in view of our low standard of goodness. But the standard of goodness has been set by God. It is infinite, and we fall short. So, while we squabble down here about how good or bad we are - and how we fit in with the rest of humanity - God's standard is set. And we fall short. We are totally depraved sinners. We are, by nature, evil.

But by the cross of Jesus Christ, God has offered us His righteousness as a gift. Not something to work for, something to humbly receive by faith. You can't earn it.

If a loving husband went out a bought a beautiful diamond necklace for his wife, how sad would it be if the wife's response was, "Sorry. I can't accept this - not unless I earn it. I need to work for it." The husband would reply, "This necklace is a token of my love for you. You can't earn my love. I am offering it to you free of charge." But the wife says, "No. I have to earn it."

Evil is real. Sin is real. We have all fallen short of God's standard. We have treated God with contempt. We have hurt other people - sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. We have failed to stop genocide in places like Sudan. We have failed to be kind to people who bother us. We have been overcome and overwhelmed by impurities of all kinds. This is evil.

The Holocaust was evil. The gunman who killed those Amish kids was evil. The politician who becomes corrupt and dishonest is evil. Immorality is evil.

To deny this or to equivocate is to deceive yourself and to stick your head in the sand. It is to invite deception into your mind.

" Is it not, according to your doctrine, evil to call something evil? “Judge not, lest ye be judged and found wanting.” Nobody follows that rule, because it is demonstrably absurd. It is a weak attempt of the priest class to reserve that authority for themselves alone."

The verse about judging is a tricky one. You have to take it in the context of the rest of the teachings of Christ. Christ clearly taught people how to confront one another when we observe sin in one another. (Matthew 18) So, clearly, Jesus was not teaching people to assume the best about each other and to throw out discernment. He was clearly addressing an attitude. And there is great wisdom in that teaching. It just takes a little discernment to understand exactly what Jesus meant when he said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

It is interesting though that this verse is the favorite of liberals to throw at conservatives, while they themselves often miss the point of the verse. Admittedly, many conservatives do the same thing.

As for impugning the character of Christ: I would caution you against doing that. Christ's character was impeccable. He served and served and served. He went to the cross for you to pay the price for your redemption. His wisdom and goodness are beyond measure.

By asserting that without Christ we are totally depraved, I have not suggested that all who profess to follow Christ are any better. I recognize that I am totally dependent on God's grace every moment of every day. Claiming to believe in the God of Abraham doesn't make you any better than anyone else. Many Jews in Jesus' day tried to assert their own righteousness by calling themselves children of Abraham. Jesus called them children of Satan, and told them to repent of their sins.

Depravity manifests itself in all kinds of ways - both religious ways and secular ways. We are totally dependent on Christ to lift us out of depravity. There is no other way. He has offered His righteousness to you as a gift. I encourage you to graciously and humbly receive it.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Lauren,

It would be honoring to God to teach of God's truth about mathematics during math class, and God's truth about science in science class, and God's truth about social issues in Social Studies, and God's wisdom about literature during English class. I am not suggesting otherwise. I am suggesting that teachers teach their subjects in a manner that is honoring to God. All truth is God's truth.

In other words, math teachers ought to teach math AND be kind to their students while they are at it. They have a responsbility not only to teach math, but to live a moral life and to set a good example for the students. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. This does not mean to be in a prostrate position on your knees 24 hours a day. It does mean that we ought to be worshipping the LORD in our hearts at all times. It does mean that we are to love one another and defend the personhood of other people - not just while we are off the job - but also while we are on the job. We are not to live lives of duplicity. We are to do everything we do for the glory of God. To encourage people to put their faith in God up on the shelf when they come to work is to encourage people to throw out integrity. For to live a life of integrity, you must integrate faith in Christ into every aspect of your life. That's why I took the time to point out that integrity, integer, integral, and integrate all have the same etymology.

And those who determine course curriculum should labor to help students not merely learn how to read and write, but to gain wisdom and to love God and to do justly.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Education is very close to my heart - having spent the past two years teaching. Check this out: http://www.gbt.org/text/sayers.html

"Religious belief has no place in a public classroom. It is utterly irrelevant to the subjects which society has determined their children shall be taught."

Secularism is a religion. God trumps society. Don't follow society; society is in rebellion against God and going to hell. Follow Jesus. Religion is not irrelevant. All truth is God's truth. Everything that is taught in public schools that is true is borrowed from God's truth. When a teacher teaches calculus accurately, he is teaching students God's truth about mathematics. When a teacher insists that students in a classroom are to treat each other with respect, he is teaching God's truth that people ought to be treated with respect. When a teacher teaches history accurately (instead of rewriting history as far too many biased and undisciplined people do), he is teaching God's truth. Every subject, properly understood, is a subset of theology. And so, of course, it honors God to stay on task in class.

It is especially in social studies and health class that the epistemological antithesis becomes evident. When students learn about abortion, either the teacher is going to demonstrate good moral judgment and conviction and courage by condemning the practice, or the teacher is going to cave under the pressures of society to be politically correct and to default to the pro-choice position. (Or, in the worst possible case, they will proudly indoctrinate children to be pro-choice). In social studies especially, either teachers will teach students to value justice, or they will, by default, teach children not to value justice. Caving in to the pressure of society to be "politically correct" is one of the most cowardly and evil forms of idolatry. The blood of millions of unborn children who were murdered within the womb are on the hands of a society that has pressured teachers to cave in to the politically correct world system.

Anonymous, God will forgive your daughter for her sin if she humbly confesses her sin and repents. If she really has no control, but, like an alcoholic, asks God to help her, then God will graciously deliver her from her perversion. God's blessings on you.

I am the minority here. So what? Someone who would have stood up in the Coliseum during the time of the gladiators and condemned the practice of forcing gladiators to fight one another to the death would have been a minority as well. Being a minority doesn't make me wrong.

Bottom line: God is worthy to be worshipped. Glorify Him.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

There is evidence people:

Read The Case for Faith, More than a Carptenter, Letters from a Skeptic, and Mere Christianity. Lots of evidence. That you might be uninformed about the evidence does not make the evidence any less legitimate.

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"We do more than value, when we have civil liberties. We protect the individual. Your god does not protect his followers."

First of all, you are stating something that is not true when you say, "We do more than value...." You haven't demonstrated that you value this person one bit. In fact, by your rhetoric and continual ad hominem attacks, you have devalued me - a person.

Secondly, you have put Christians in a position where they are forced to compromise their faith if they want to teach in public schools. You have then proceeded to brainwash those individuals into believing that they are not compromising their faith. In fact, by buying into your lies, they have become blinded to the plain truth that Scripture teaches. You have denied teachers the civil right to honor God while on the job.

Thirdly, God most definately protects His followers. Nothing happens without God being in control. God is Sovereign and omnipotent. He does allow suffering, but He is in control.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"You haven't demonstrated that you value this person one bit."

That is, you don't value me.

 
At 2:46 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Black men and women can now vote."

Thanks to all the abolitionists and civil rights activists of the 19th and 20th centuries who held to a code above the Constitution (many of whom were Christian).

"Soon, weather you like it or not, gay men and women will be able to marry whomever they wish, because civil liberties - unlike your utopia of theocracy - explain that all human beings are equal under the law, and should be treated so."

I see. How about tri-marriages or group-marriages? Is that cool? How about man marrying beast? That might move the evolution process along a little faster! How do you write adoption laws and divorce laws for group-marriages?

Detestable.

Homosexuality is a perversion. But make no mistake, homosexuals need to be loved. But homosexuality is wrong. A moral wrong should never be a civil right.

God longs to be compassionate to you, but if you don't repent, you will perish.

"Please address my question sometime: would you be comfortable if public schools taught Islam as the one true faith? And if you have any decency, you would reverse your opinion."

Absolutely not. I am totally opposed to Islam and every other heretical religion being preached in the public schools - including the heretical religion of secular humanism - which is the present state-sponsored religion of the day.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"You are retarded. You rely on logical fallacies, straw men, and other illogical statements. It makes sense, though, because you read the bible. You do not think of other people, and want only to lay claim to dominion over others."

This is illogical and unkind. I'm the one who had to explain to you that there is a difference between validity and truth. I am fairly intelligent. And, as for the charge that I don't think of other people: You clearly don't know what you are talking about. You have no idea what I do with my life, who I help, how I spend my time and my money. Your rhetoric is unkind, illogical, and irresponsible. I'm not the one launching ruthless and repetitive ad hominem attacks on you or anyone else. Yet, you have the audacity to tell me that I don't think of other people.

You are not intimidating, sir. You have a certain level of intelligence. But it is limitted. You are unkind and unjust. You need Jesus. He loves you, sir. I shall pray for you that God would grant you repentance and faith. God bless.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

Prayer doesn't work.

 
At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

concernengineer - I have changed my mind. I don't think I'll bother, since there is such a whirlwind profusion of assertions that you can easily dodge the arguments you have no answers for. No way to conduct a debate, all is mere pissing into a fan.

All religious belief originates in the limited mentalities of human beings. Ignorance, fear, peer pressure, the brainwashing of children and others who are not capable of reasoning correctly - these are where the pathetically simplistic, inconsistent and irrational crap which is religion comes from.

Any religious point you care to put before us, one point at a time, I can dismantle like a cheap watch.

See, there are very, very good reasons why, always and everywhere, religion goes hand-in-hand with violence and misery. In every society on Earth, the less religion, the happier, the healthier the people.

Religion correlates strongly with lower intelligence, intolerance, violence and authoritarian rule.

The smarter you are, the less likely you are to believe things that lack evidence - and the less likely you are to want to coerce others into believing those unsupported beliefs, which makes for a better life for everyone.

Northern Ireland. Iraq. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Somalia. Indonesia. Lebanon. Egypt. &c, &c - the worst places in the world to be, where people kill each other over insane beliefs that they, just like you, KNOW are right, without any evidence.

Western Europe, the US, Japan, Canada. The least religious and most peaceful places.

Those are not coincidences.

The WTC was destroyed by irrational fanatics who claim, EXACTLY AS YOU DO, with the same EXACTLY ZERO EVIDENCE - that THEY KNOW THAT THEY'RE RIGHT.

Anyway, if you will not discuss your claims point by point, one at a time - and you can't without losing - then I'll not bother.

I'd just like to note for my rational comrades here and elsewhere that attempting logical debate with persons who are constitutionally incapable of even understanding what logic IS - is like shooting ghosts in a barrel: you can't miss, but neither can you do them any damage.

It's all rather sad.

So Sayeth The Ghoti

 
At 5:44 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Lauren,

Firstly, I am not a Muslim.

Secondly, the greatest commandments of the Bible are to love God and to love one another.

Thirdly, as you examine my arguments closely in view of the rules of deductive reasoning, all of my arguments are valid. Once again, secularists equate having faith with being illogical. Do you even know what a syllogism is? Do you even know that the truth value of the presuppositions of a deductive argument does not affect the validity of that argument? Have you ever even studied formal logic?

Fourthly, I have presented several titles of books that put forth compelling evidence for Christianity. That is not to say that the evidence scientifically proves Christianity beyond all doubt, but it does show that having faith in Jesus is reasonable.

Fifthly, many millions of people who have faith in Jesus live lives of love and joy and peace. Many millions have wonderful families and have impacted millions of others by their care and compassion. The fact that there have been many hypocrites who have done evil in the name of religion does not discount all the good that was done in the name of religion.

Sixthly, you have your own set of presuppositions which you accept without scientific proof. Why are secular presuppositions okay, but religious presuppositions are not?

I invite you to tear apart my arguments point by point. I ask that you be civil toward me - a person - as you attempt to do so.

Have a wonderful day.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

Only a couple of minutes and I must return to my duties until later today -

1 - Who said you are a Muslim? I certainly didn't.
Nothing here.

2 - I have no idea what you expect anyone to derive from that statement. If you feel that those 'commandments' which you cite are the 'greatest' (whatever you mean by that - best? largest? most historically important?) - if that is your feeling, then more power to you. It is not an argument or an assertion of fact, but rather a statement of your personal opinion, and hence beyond disputation.
So, nothing here either.

I'll pick up with your #3, where you begin to actually make testable assertions, upon my return. The howlers contained therein will serve as an excellent jumping-off point for an analysis of the quality of your reasoning or lack thereof.

So Hurriedly Sayeth The Ghoti

 
At 7:09 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Lauren,

I stated that I'm not Muslim because you have asserted that I, like fanatical terrorist Muslim extremists (not saying all Muslims are extremists), believe that I am right. Essentially, you are saying, "Terrorists believe that their religious beliefs are absolutely right, and ConcernedEngineer also believes that his religious beliefs are absolutely right." While such an observation is accurate, it doesn't imply anything significant. I could turn around and say, "Lauren is a human person - just like the terrorists!" That you share certain commonalities with terrorists doesn't make you terrorist. That I have certain things in common with Muslim terrorists doesn't make me significantly like them. That's why I said that I'm not Muslim. You think "Muslim fundamentalist / Christian fundamentalist - all fundamentalists are wacked." And you pay no attention to the details. The details make all the difference in the world. If I was better at my informal logic, I could name the fallacy you committed by comparing me to Muslim terrorists, but I'm weak on the informal fallacies. I am strong on formal logic.

Anyway, that's why I said that I'm not Muslim. It is ridiculous to compare me to the people who were responsible for 9/11.

As for my comment about the greatest commandments of the Bible, it is not merely my opinion, Jesus said as much. Jesus was once questioned about the greatest commandment, and He responded with the greatest two commandments: Love God; love people. The point I'm making is that true Christians take these commandments to heart and strive to live according to them. There has been plenty of hypocrisy in the visible church (which is very often, not the true church). The true believers love God and love other people. So, you can point out the hypocrisy of the church all you want, but that would be like me pointing out all the murders that occur in the United States and then coming to the conclusions that Americans, in general, are murderous people. That would be ridiculous.

Have a great day.

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Lauren,

A while back you said,
"Otherwise, keep your beiefs to yourself."

It is interesting to note that in commanding me to keep my beliefs to myself (at leat in certain situations) that you are not keeping your beliefs to yourself. This is the heart of contradictory postmodern doctrine. Postmodernists are dogmatically opposed to all dogma, and aggressively preach against preaching - however illogical this is.

Here is how postmodernists argue:

Statement 1: People should not preach.
Statement 2: Christians preach.
Conclusion: Christians are violating the moral code that says that people should not preach.
Therefore: I will command Christians not to preach.

Of course, to issue such a command is to preach. Therefore, postmodernists who tell people not to preach are hypocrites.

But, of course, it is not the postmodernists who are illogical. It is the Christians who believe in God who are illogical.

It would be funny, if it wasn't so tragic.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

concernedloudmouth,

Not really. Some people just want you to stop acting like you know everything, and are on a holy mission, and the only way to do that is to tell you that [a] you're wrong that you have the Truth, and/or [b] you're annoying when you act like you know everything and are on a holy mission.

To 'preach' that you should "...keep your beiefs to yourself," which is, instead of your definition of 'preaching', a blunt way of telling you to stop, is quite different than your bent at conversion through 'preaching'.

You're equating a direct request for you to stop talking to them in a certain tone , or stop talking altogether, with your attempts at forcing your ideas upon others with blunt force trauma. One is preaching; the other, not: It's a request.

You're also, by your own admission, willing to lie. How does that sit with you, knowing that you're willing to break your god's commandments?

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

DT,

I'm willing to lie if I was a soldier in the Army and I was a spy or if I were saving the lives of Jews who would otherwise be sent to concentration camps - just as Rahab lied to protect Joshua's spies who had spied out Jericho as was considered righteous for her faith.

As for preaching, you are missing the point. The point is that everyone preaches - maybe not in the same tone that I do - but everyone preaches. Those who don't preach, usually end up preaching that preaching is inappropriate. Those who do not preach at all are totally apathetic. And it is more than a request, when teachers teach and preach anti-Christian rhetoric in the public school system. When they preach: "Celebrate diversity. Practice tolerance. Don't preach. Don't be racist. Have respect for other people. Be openminded." etc. They are, in fact, preaching. Some of these doctrines are good to preach. For example. "Don't be racist." That is a good message. We should not tolerate racism, because racism is wrong. But the point is that they are preaching - even if they deny they are preaching. And they often preach against preaching - which is, of course, a contradiction.

Now, it is okay and acceptable to preach against certain preaching methods, but to preach against preaching altogether is to be illogical and hypocritical.

And in point of fact, it is often much more than a request. Every organization has certain politics. If you don't obey that which is preached at a particular organization, you will suffer consequences. In the world of politics, people will seek to destroy you if you don't accept their message.

While I urge you to accept the message that I preach, I will not do anything to destroy you - except of course if you break some law. Then, of course, I would support the governing authorities to punish you for that.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

Wow! Lots of good stuff here, and a lively, if not always civil discussion. Personally, I think civility is overrated, but everybody draws their own line on the Offense-O-Meter. Mine tends toward the ill-will limitation. Anything short of that is an opinion, not necessarily (and probably not) an argument. I have not yet made up my mind about the fairness of chiding someone for stating a negative opinion, versus giving concrete examples disproving the perception. That's human nature in a nutshell though.

"Do Christian teachers in the public school have the right to honor God?

Not publicly. They can do so on their own time."


If you mean can they evangelize, then no. It is deeply offensive to those with other beliefs and is not pertinent to the mission of the school. In other words, this is not appropriate use of class time. That time belongs to everyone present, not just the teacher. The doors of every church are open at least on Sunday, and there is a time and place for everything. If you mean can said teacher honor his faith in his actions and deeds, there are only the limits of good and generally accepted social conduct to limit whatever said teacher believes that means. The idea that prayer is banned from school is false. The law states that a teacher is not allowed to demand that a class of students follow that person in prayer. No student is restricted from following their own religion, excepting that they are not allowed to evangelize either. If they are asked about their beliefs, they are allowed to answer (on their own time). Many teachers and school administrators do not understand this, and err on the side of caution. This is arguably unfair, but it is hardly the monster that frustrated proselytizers make it out to be. The same rules apply to every other religion. The real problem arises when people try to equate faith-based beliefs with information based beliefs. The attempt to label Darwin's theory of evolution a religion is spurious. It is done because the theory does not agree with holy writ. Nobody can conclusively argue that evolution is not part of a grand cosmic scheme, but I think the evidence is against that theory. Rather than incorporate this into the mythos, as has happened to so many facts (or trends or loony practices) in the past, the Fundies have chosen to discard and discredit this evidence wholesale in favor of the biblical account. The idea that the Universe is only 6,000 years old is a retarded lie.

"I'm willing to lie if I was a soldier in the Army and I was a spy or if I were saving the lives of Jews who would otherwise be sent to concentration camps - just as Rahab lied to protect Joshua's spies who had spied out Jericho as was considered righteous for her faith."

Admirable and reasonable, but strictly speaking, this is a quibble. "Thou shalt not bear false witness." would suggest that you always tell the truth and take your lumps.

Your point about the legal ramifications of multi-gamous (and multi-androus) relationships is well taken. Is social conveniece a justification for criminalizing that which has taken place since the dawn of time? One can lean on tradition, or legislative scripture and declare it wrong, but this has no bearing on the reality of human nature or the fact that monogamous marriage is not right for everyone. There have always been prostitutes, unfaithful husbands, unfaithful wives, and people practicing every possible form of human sexuality. Those forms that derive from coercion or inequality are immoral. This includes the biblical definition of marriage, where a woman was property. How hard is it to say "I don't believe in that" without saying "you must believe what I believe"?

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

...and people practicing every possible form of human sexuality.

Including none whatsoever. Believe it or not, those people often get crap for not breeding/marrying. You would think that the alternate lifestyle of abstinence would be exempt from prejudicial judgment... but no!

 
At 5:40 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"The idea that the Universe is only 6,000 years old is a retarded lie."

While I respect people who believe that the universe is 6000 years old, I do not hold to that belief myself. The Hebrew word for day in Genesis 1 is "Yom" and the same word is used throughout the book of Genesis - many times meaning something other than a 24 hour period. It is often used to describe an age.

""Thou shalt not bear false witness." would suggest that you always tell the truth and take your lumps."

Yet, Rahab was still considered righteous when she deceived the men of Jericho in order to protect the spies sent by Joshua.

There is an ethic behind the command, "Thou shall not bear false witness." The ethic is what matters. It is about the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. I will not let DT or anyone else trap me by trying to force me to view God's law as the Pharisees did. God's law reveals God's character and exposes how we fall short. It exposes our need for forgiveness, mercy, and grace. No one will be saved by observing the law. We can only be saved by grace.

A wife is not property according to the Bible. I don't know how you came to that conclusion. She is under her husband's authority... and - in point of truth - her husband is under her authority - for the Bible commands mutual submission and love.

"If you mean can they evangelize, then no. It is deeply offensive to those with other beliefs and is not pertinent to the mission of the school. In other words, this is not appropriate use of class time. That time belongs to everyone present, not just the teacher."

You speak as if you have authority. But you have none. God has authority. He commands us to live and to speak and to act and to do all things for His glory. As I mentioned before, this does mean that in Calculus class, the teacher should model for the students what it looks like to stay on task. However, the Calculus teacher is to teach to the glory of God. And if the Spirit of God moves upon the heart of a teacher to proclaim God's truth, if the teacher does not obey God, then he is in sin.

All time is God's time. All resources are God's resources. We are merely stewards - not owners. So, in all things, at all times, with all our resources, we ought to live and work and rest and play for the glory of God - in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.

Calling on teachers and putting pressure on teachers to live lives of duplicity (or to abandon faith altogether) is sinful. Also, by modeling before children a life of duplicity (rather than one of integrity - where the teacher's faith is integrated into every aspect of his life) is one of the big reasons why corporate America is the way it is. Kids have been trained to live lives of duplicity. Is it any wonder that having been so trained, they become heartless corporate capitalistic jerks?

God values community. But we are a society that is radically indivualistic. This is one of the reasons why many secularists are becoming socialists. They hate captitalism - rightfully so. Of course, socialism isn't the answer. God is the answer. Only He can restore the Shalom that was lost in the fall. Only He can teach us how to live properly in community. Besides reading, writing, and arithmetic, education should focus on teaching children how to live in community. And this, of course, means that they have to have an accurate sense of who God is and how to relate to God properly.

By being legalistic and politically correct, education has been reduced to an almost robotic and lifeless burden placed on children. Schools are like factories, where children go to become shaped into the type of people who will contribute to the economy. The life and joy and romance of education is being snuffed out. By not teaching children to value justice, children are taught to devalue justice by default. By not giving God proper respect and worship, children are taught to treat God with contempt by default.

A school will have a certain philosophy, and children will be taught according to that philosophy. Every school teaches a particular worldview. The worldview that is preached in public schools is certainly anti-Christian. For all who are not for Christ are against Christ. There is no neutral ground.

And this is all being done on my tax dollars. The religion of postmodern secular humanism advances - and that on my dime.

May God give us the wisdom to see the right; the will to choose it; and the strength to make it endure.

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"It is deeply offensive to those with other beliefs and is not pertinent to the mission of the school."

Of course, it would be worth discussing/debating what the mission of the school is and what it should be.

When abortion is discussed, it is deeply offensive to devalue the personhood of the unborn by refusing to condemn abortion. By not standing up for the rights of the unborn, it is like making tolerating people making racist comments. If a teacher ever made a racist comment, he should be punished. If he ever heard a student make a racist comment, he has a duty to defend the personhood of people of all races.

That might "deeply offend" the kids of people in the KKK. But it is the right thing to do.

If a person is committed to refraining from offending all people, then he has no real convictions. By refusing to confront evil, we legitimize evil.

The question shouldn't be, "Will someone be offended by this?" The questions should be, "Is this true? Is this real? Is this right?" If it is true, real, and right, then it should be taught as such - regardless of who is offended.

Before you bring up the argument about evidence, I would suggest to you that there is no scientific evidence that African Americans are equal with white Americans. Yet, we know that we are equal, and we have no tolerance for those who don't share our presupposition.

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

"You speak as if you have authority. But you have none. God has authority."

This is the fundamental lie of all religion. "You have no authority. Bow to your Master."

It makes no difference if Master is an inanimate piece of carved stone, a colossal statue, a pair of crossed sticks, or what-have-you. Once you realize it's all window-dressing, the real "Masters" appear before your eyes as the "humble servants" of the godhead. They are men. They are liars. They play their fellow humans like a chimney-smoking old buzzard playing a slot machine in Vegas. They do it for the same reason too: when they pull the emotional handle, money comes out.

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

How's that for authority?

Ok, I'll be nice. That was just to prove a point. Authority is relative.

Previously deleted post by concernedengineer:

"C'mon, dude. Do you really think that there are no clergymen who are sincere in their faith. Or are all corrupt and in it for the money?

I know some Christian school teachers who are sincere and in it for love. They obviously aren't in it for the money, because they are way overworked and way underpaid.

Until you really see how people are spending their money, is it your place to say that they are corrupt?

Do you suppose that any Christian leaders actually love their followers?

"This is the fundamental lie of all religion."

Okay... Nice presupposition. So, you who attack all my fundamental presuppositions, can you show me with scientific evidence that you have authority? Or am I just supposed to buy into your unproven presuppositions?"

Please excuse my haste, or I would single-quote your quotations.

If I tell you a lie, and you believe me because I seem sincere and I am a pathological liar, and you repeat that lie because you believe it and you want it to be true, are you lying?

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Yes. For deception is always invited. God will make the truth plain to us, if we are ready and willing to deal with the the truth. Otherwise, we trade the truth of God for a lie.

So, you have Jesus Christ. Either He is a liar (and therefore, I am too, for believing in Him), or He is LORD, and you need to bow.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Breakerslion,
I have to say that I am appreciating your hospitality and civility. Thanks for being cool.

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

Now, where was I? Ah yes:

Thirdly, as you examine my arguments closely in view of the rules of deductive reasoning, all of my arguments are valid. Once again, secularists equate having faith with being illogical. Do you even know what a syllogism is? Do you even know that the truth value of the presuppositions of a deductive argument does not affect the validity of that argument? Have you ever even studied formal logic?

Already here you start hopping every whichway and spewing irrelevancies all over shop.

Your arguments have indeed been examined closely, and found severely wanting. How charming of you to assume that you are the only person who has heard of logic. It would appear that you are going through a period of egocentric self-appraisal not uncommon to individuals in late adolescence and early adulthood; upon learning something new, and not immediately detecting the same enthusiasm in others regarding the topic as you yourself feel, you proceed to the faulty assumption that you alone are in possession of this knowledge.

At this point, I'd like to offer you some words from a very wise man which address an all-too-common failing of the human ego, constant throughout time and culture. He addresses specifically the condition which afflicts you at this time:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again."


Superficial knowledge leads one into reckless and erroneous assumptions.

Let's take a look. You are kind enough to seek to dispel our ignorance by informing us that, in your words, "the truth value of the presuppositions of a deductive argument does not affect the validity of that argument".

Close, but no cigar. The validity of the premises of a given argument are indeed irrelevant to the validity of the structure of that argument. But the validity of the argument itself is dependent upon the validity of the premises.

And your "logical" arguments rely upon premises, both explicit and implicit, which are at best unproven - and generally unprovable and therefore worthless - and at worst are untrue-to-fact.

This is a logically valid argument:

- If God created Adam, then he also created Eve
- God created Adam
Therefore, God created Eve

But for someone who claims to understand logic, you illogically confound the argument with it's premises. The resultant, 'God created Eve' is logically consistent - But that does not mean that it is true!

In order for it to be true, the premises must also be true. And to state that "God did such-and-such' implies directly that an entity named "God" exists. But no proof of that is existence is offered. So the argument, while soundly reasoned, has zero truth value. Perfectly logical - and perfectly meaningless, as well.

And that is where most of your arguments collapse into irrelevancy. Your premises are merely unfounded assertions on your part. The soundness of your reasoning is therefore moot and your conclusions lack truth.

'Your move,' remarked the Ghoti

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

I feel up to addressing another point: abortion.

Here are your words:
The unborn fetus is a human person who deserves the same rights that you and I should enjoy.

Let's examine your "logic," shall we?

"The unborn fetus" - redundancy. Upon leaving the uterus, it is no longer, by definition, a fetus.

Therefore we will say "The fetus"

"a human person" - The topic is termination of pregnancy in humans, so 'human' is also redundant.

Therefore, we will say "a person"

But the use of the term 'person' is a sly way of attempting to slip your conclusion into a premise. The definition of what exactly constitutes a 'person' remains an unsettled matter for debate. A rational analysis of the argument cannot proceed if the participants do not accept and agree to the premises upon which the argument relies. The term 'person' is not agreed-upon, and hence is not acceptable.

Therefore we must use a different term, one we can agree upon. As it is obvious to all that a human fetus may potentially (and usually does, although that is also irrelevant to our purposes) develop into what IS accepted and agreed by all to be a "person," then a logically consistent term to substitute would be "potential person."

Therefore we will say "a potential person"

"who" - the pronoun improperly places the subject within the set of - once again - "persons." As we have not agreed to the 'personhood' of the subject we must eschew use of the pronoun.

Therefore we will say "which"

"deserves" - Let's look at this word a little more closely:
to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation
But nothing has been put forth to suggest what a fetus 'merits, is qualified for or has a claim to'.

Here is where your argument starts to fall apart.

Here is the gist of your argument so far:
"The fetus is a potential person which deserves..."

"The operative phrase here is "which deserves." To say that a fetus - or anything or anyone else - deserves - or doesn't deserve - ANYTHING is an completely unsupported assertion, which is unacceptable in the present context.

Before we could continue with testing your argument, you would have to prove that a fetus does deserve something...

...but next you specify what the fetus DOES deserve:
"the same rights that you and I should enjoy."

So we have now as your argument, "The fetus is a potential person which deserves the same rights that you and I should enjoy."

Well, in order to proceed with the analysis, we should therefore temporarily table the issue of what the fetus under discussion 'deserves' or doesn't.

Rather, we may find ourselves better situated to resolve that issue if we take the time to determine what, exactly, this hypothetical fetus may or may not deserve.

"The same rights that you and I should enjoy."
Hmmmmm. Here you are guilty of injecting an assertion which is not only unsupported by anything offered so far, but which is also unacceptably vague.

What rights, specifically, should "you and I" enjoy? And why exactly are we entitled to enjoy them, whatever they might be?

We cannot possibly determine the validity of your argument when it relies so heavily upon premises the validity of which is open to dispute.

Perhaps you are saying that fetuses should have the right to vote in free elections for the candidates of their choice. Or do you suggest that fetuses be granted the right to bear arms? Maybe you would persuade us that fetuses have the right to confront their accusers in courts of law?

Absurd, those suggestions, are they not? Yet those ARE rights which, we will all agree, "you and I should enjoy." But they are clearly inapplicable to the fetus and its circumstances. Any one will suffice for purposes of testing your argument:

"The fetus is a potential person which deserves the right to posess a firearm."

Well, that is, we can all agree, an absurd statement. Via the reductio argument, then, one or more of your premises is absurd. This would be, as we now see, the one which fails to specify what right or rights that you allege that the fetus deserves.

All in all, not a very convincing (or logical) argument. But in a spirit of good-fellowship and coöperation, I will graciously grant you considerable leeway and recast your argument in such a fashion that we might derive something from it.

"The fetus is a potential person which should be accorded the same right to not be killed as is enjoyed by us."

...and that's what you really meant, mon frere?

Now that your argument is clear (and quite familiar, I'm sure, to all of us), we may now examine it without being sidetracked by semantic imprecision and other such rhetorical stumbling blocks.

At this point, your argument reduces to:

A fetuses is a human.
Humans have the right to not be killed.
Therefore, fetuses have the right to not be killed.

That would appear to be an airtight, unassailably correct argument, wouldn't it?

But it's not.

The error is the first premise. Human fetuses ARE human, by definition. But that is an inadequate definition.

This is what anti-abortionists such as yourself cannot or will not grasp:

A person, as is understood and agreed by all, is an autonomous human being. That is, a human who exists and functions as an independent organism.

However, a fetus is not autonomous. IT DOES NOT AND CAN NOT EXIST OR FUNCTION INDEPENDENT FROM ITS MOTHER. It is a part of the body of a person who IS an autonomous being. It exists completely within the body of that being. It does not interact with the outside world in which PERSONS exist and function on their own. It is NOT A PERSON. It may, if carried to term, upon being delivered to that outside world, BECOME an autonomous human being - a person. But while it is in the womb, and is insufficiently developed to survive OUTSIDE the womb, it remains part of someone else's body.

And that person, the mother of the fetus, the host to that organism, IS ALREADY A PERSON - NOT A POTENTIAL ONE!


So here is the final nail in the coffin of your argument:

The rights (whatever they may be!) of an autonomous person in human society supercede the rights of a person who does nopt yet exist as a person.

The rights of a complete, whole, autonomous woman supercede the rights of any portion of her body. The idea that a part of a human body could possibly have more rights than the entire person who owns that body is a total absurdity.

Ownership and control of one's own body and every part of it IS a fundamental human right, which no one has the right to violate. And as long as the fetus is nonviable, as a part of a person's body, THAT PERSON AND THAT PERSON ALONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE FATE OF THAT BODY AND EVERY PART OF IT - INCLUDING THE FETUS.


...and that, my "logician" friend, is what is termed an irrefutable argument.

So Declareth The Ghoti

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

Nicely done Lauren. I take a less direct approach. It seems to me that humans only "deserve" things when that becomes a convenient argument to the theist. At other times, we deserve nothing but hell and torture, and are only (some lucky number of us) "saved" from this by "grace". There is also the "no sparrow shall fall", or omniscient aspect that would suggest that either:

1. It's the god's will that said life form never see the light of day.

or

2. The god would intercede, but cannot.

or

3. The god can intercede but will not.

Starting to look familiar?

There is also the problem of many fully-formed humans who "deserve" (for the sake of parallel argument) life, yet meet untimely deaths. If you subscribe to the whole "deserve" thing, this seems to be a commonplace occurrence, so why should the unborn be exempted from the lottery?

There is also the problem of the self-righteous women who do not condone abortions for total strangers, yet do not offer themselves as host mothers as an alternative. Why do you suppose that is? Do you suppose that if they walked the proverbial mile in the shoes of a woman who had an abortion that they would be so quick to attempt to pillory that woman at every opportunity?

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

lauren the ghoti,

Wonderful! You’re in need of a round of applause! I must say, your posts have been works of art: each wonderfully constructed and executed. I tip my hat to you. May concernedengineer one day understand the beauty of your argument.

Until then, he'll be stuttering like Elmer Fudd, and just possibly may swallow his tongue in shock and anger. I hope he has his phone nearby, cause when he reads what you wrote, worst-case scenario is we have severe trauma on our hands. If he’s listening with half a brain, you’ve just killed his Santa Claus, and he’s left holding the corpse.

-------

I am actually opposed to abortion once the hunk of tissue can feel pain. That is, I do feel a gut reaction to it, and wish to prevent it. If we're to avoid pain and suffering, then we would not have abortions take place.

But being a hardcore civil libertarian, I do know that what women do to their bodies is none of my business. In a better world, women that did not wish to become pregnant could get contraception or have access to Plan B. This is not a better world, so we will have abortions.

On an altogether different tack, almost 3/4ths of all pregnancies end in involuntary abortions. Either the egg doesn't stick to the uteral wall, or there's a hormonal change, and the baby is naturally aborted. Tough shit. Are we to charge these women with manslaughter now? Patently absurd.

Besides, to be practical, I'd rather have one in the hospital than two in the alley.

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

As we sometimes say in N'Awlins, 'Yeah, you right.'


I find it charming when a theist - any theist, but IDers and other such reality-challenged types in particular - suggests that they can "prove" thus-and-such about God or Jesus or Allah or the FSM.

If we take just the present pop of Terra, we have 6,000,000,000 people. And if we allow just the last millenium alone, 1000 years, that gives us 6 trillion years of human life - yet in a l l t h a t t i m e not a single subatomic particle of proof has been produced. Not that they haven't tried... but there remains absolutely zero evidence for the existence of "God." In fact, the more intellectual among theists will even concede that unavoidable fact.

No miracles are performed. No healing occurs. No prayer does anything. Zip. Nada. 3000 different belief systems, running from the seemingly quite reasonable to the insanely ridiculous - every single one of them saying the exact same thing: "But WE'RE RIGHT! ALL those 2999 others are WRONG!" And every single one, after 6 trillion man-years of existence, without the first, slightest bit of evidence to support their claim!

At this point, any sane person might notice that only one of two things is possible: either one of the beliefs is correct - or NONE is. And since they all have no evidence, it is an effective certainty that the latter is the case.

Nice of God to make it so easy to find out the One True Belief, eh?

b/l - have you ever considered anything along these lines?

Take, f'rinstance, an ant. Try to imagine what an ant can perceive or conceive about humans. Consider the absurdity of the idea that an ant could understand any aspect of human origins, motivations or behavior.

Do you think there could be the slightest, most infinitesimal chance that any ant, ever, could wrap their little brain around the idea of say, Bach, sitting at the Wurlitzer, composing?

Impossible. But by all reports, God is orders of magnitude farther beyond our ken that we are to the ants. Yet this entity:
- Intervenes in our individual lives (even though 100% of events are 100% consistent with the laws of probability)
- Has personality traits amazingly similar to petty, often deranged human tyrants and despots of Biblical times (vanity, ruthlessness, peevishness, vindictiveness, &c, &c.)
- Would make us jump through irrational hoops in his "honor" like:
- wearing symbols on our bodies
- brutally exterminating other humans
- burning incense & wearing funny hats
- handling dangerous creatures
- spending our time telling him how wonderful he is
...and the insanity goes on and on and on...

IF in fact there is/are an entity/entities that created and set this Universe into motion, of one thing you be be utterly and completely certain - that it's nature, actions and motives are so far beyond our understanding as to make our superiority to ants virtually nonexistent by comparison.

What incredible ego, what utter blindness it takes to even suggest that we could have the faintest glimmer of what such a being would be about!

The Judeo-Christian "God" is nothing more than some Roman-era peasant's impression of some far-off ruler he's never seen but only knows by legend and hearsay - with the knob turned up to 11 or 12.

Unless brainwashed in childhood, before learning how to reason, most people can see through this pile of idiotic horseshit.
This is why it's so important to the theists to start warping uncritical, impressionable minds before they can realize what's being done to them. Once they grow up, then they may have doubts, but insecurity, fear of death and peer pressure usually keeps 'em in line.

So Observeth The Ghoti

 
At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

D-T;
You're right, of course. People who are "pro-abortion" only exist in the fucked-up minds of Talibangelists. In a world free of human misjudgments with universal access to contraception, abortion would be unnecessary - but we don't live in any such world.

As a wise man once said, God is the world's biggest abortionist by far...

On a similar note, I've always been fond of the bumper sticker that goes "Don't believe in abortion? Then DON'T HAVE ONE."

 
At 6:25 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Close, but no cigar. The validity of the premises of a given argument are indeed irrelevant to the validity of the structure of that argument. But the validity of the argument itself is dependent upon the validity of the premises."

This is incorrect. Premises are not valid or invalid. Premises are true or false. Deductive arguments are valid or invalid. You can have false premises, and still have a valid argument. It will not be a sound argument, but it is still valid.

A sound deductive argument is a valid argument with true premises. Such an argument will necessarily lead to a true conclusion.

My point in all of this is that you may assert that my premises are false (although that would be heretical), but to say that I am illogical is ridiculous. The structure of my arguments are valid. Furthermore, they are sound, because the premises are true.

And now we can proceed to where I would like to go: How do we know the truth value of premises?

On abortion:

The fetus is a human person. I say person, because my skin cells are "human" but clearly not a person. And by rights, I did mean the right to life - obviously not the right to bear arms or to vote.

To define a person as one who is autonomous is nothing more than a tactical semantic move of the pro-choice crowd to win the argument.

And in view of your logic, until the embillical cord is cut, then the baby is not autonomous. Should such a baby still not be classified as a person? Should the mother be allowed to kill the baby at that point?

I am certainly presupposing that the unborn baby is a human person. And my presumption is accurate. You are presuming that / defining the unborn as one who is not a person and does not therefore have the same inherent value of other persons. Your presumption is false. By sticking with your presumption you are devaluing human persons and playing God. This is evil heresy. Repent.

And before you bring up the "no evidence" argument, I challenge you to provide evidence that any human persons have value. I challenge you to prove that "rights" are real at all. Have you not asserted unproven presuppositions?

Your argument about abortion is not sound.

 
At 6:30 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

And by the way, typing in BOLD does not do anything for your argument. Perhaps your conclusion that the unborn don't deserve the right to live was so exciting that you were having an orgasm. Perhaps. But even if you were, you argument still is resting on faulty and evil presumptions.

 
At 6:49 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"On a similar note, I've always been fond of the bumper sticker that goes "Don't believe in abortion? Then DON'T HAVE ONE."

How about this one?

"Don't believe in murder? THEN DON'T DO IT!"

Or...

"Don't believe in rape? THEN DON'T DO IT!"

Okay... point made.

Now you can start playing semantic tricks and defining words in such a way that sets you up to win the debate OR you can assert your own ridiculous presuppositions. It does remind me of the Southern slave owners in the 18th and 19th centuries that denied the personhood of slaves. I wonder how many of them asked abolitionists to "prove" that slaves were people.

 
At 7:16 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Lauren,

Please forgive me for that unnecesarry and biting comment about you having a sadistic orgasm. That was entirely unnecessary and unkind. I would delete the comment, but I don't know how. Please forgive me, and breakerslion, I would ask you to delete the said comment.

My sincere apologies. I sometimes put my foot into my mouth.

I do hope and pray that you have a wonderful day today. God's blessings to you ma'am.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

concernedfucktard,

For once, you're right. You fucked it up big.

Perhaps your conclusion that the unborn don't deserve the right to live was so exciting that you were having an orgasm. Perhaps.

Even I would never go there. You're stuck sucking your heel for a very long time.

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

This is when I am really appreciative for God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

 
At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

More "logic"...

Murder and rape are crimes of physical violence committed by an autonomous, independent person against another autonomous, independent person without the other person's consent and against that person's will.

Abortion is a medical procedure performed to remove a portion of one person's body, with the consent of that person and at that person's will.

They have nothing in common.

But you already knew that.

So Explaineth The Ghoti

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

lauren the ghoti:

"b/l - have you ever considered anything along these lines?"

I have often said, 'They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.' Does that count?

Once you take the godhead completely out of the picture, the perpetrators of these competing hoaxes (and their motives) become obvious.

There is also the magnificent convenience of the Genesis myth to consider. If only such genius had been used for good. Man is cast out and told that he will never again know the god in any direct fashion. This myth is discarded any time there is a convenient reinforcement of the god myth that contradicts this information, but it is proudly trotted out to quell any suspicion that the whole thing is manufactured bullshit. "He's not there because he said so. All praise the absent god that never lies!" Oh yeah, and it's our fault. What a brilliant if perfidious construct. Got doubts? Just dial in the excuse-du-jour, and remember, you're guilty of your first ancestor's sin. I need a bigger shovel.

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

"Do you think there could be the slightest, most infinitesimal chance that any ant, ever, could wrap their little brain around the idea of say, Bach, sitting at the Wurlitzer, composing?"

No, I do not, but I love the image of Bach at a Wurlitzer. I can just see him sitting at the Radio City dual console, going slowly mad as the permutations play out in his head.

 
At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho hum.... *yawn*

Does anyone else feel like having a cup of tea and a piece of pie?

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

"My point in all of this is that you may assert that my premises are false (although that would be heretical)..."

Religious cop-out award. As in many cases, this creates a "logic" that is perfectly circular.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

Anon:

Yes, this thread is getting tediously long, but my appetites tend toward those of my avatar. I smell blood. Tea isn't going to cut it. ;-)

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger breakerslion said...

CE:

As author of the comment, you should see a trashcan icon beneath. You are free to retract. I will not edit or tidy up history. You have apologized. That says something about your character too. It is not up to me to accept your apology, not being the injured party. I agree that your comment is unkind, by most definitions un-Christian, and over the top. I am not innocent of making such heated comments, so I will not judge you beyond the significance of your ability to make the comment. See, "human nature in a nutshell".

 
At 4:47 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I don't see the trash can.

Lauren,
Your argument is still based on your presupposition that in order for a human life to be considered a human person, it must be completely autonomous. In other words, until that human life is autonomous, you are presupposing that it is not as valuable as you and me. This is, an erroneous presupposition, and it devalues the personhood of those who are, in truth, human persons.

What is it about autonomy that suddenly adds value to the human life? To which authority are you appealing? Why should anyone buy into your presuppositions? How do you know that a fetus does not have the same value as the mother?

And again, if you stick with your autonomy argument, then you necessarily must allow the killing of babies that have not had the embillical cord cut yet, for up to that point, they are still not autonomous. Yet, approving of this would clearly be evil, therefore, your argument on autonomy completely falls a part.

God bless.

 
At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

'Allo, all, just stopped in fer a mo.

c/e:

I'm afraid that your grasp of mammalian biology is as tenuous as your grasp of logic.

The umbilical cord at birth has detached itself from the uterine wall and is a useless appendage. It is tied off so that the infant'll not lose all it's blood.

Once it has a knot in, they lop off the remainder so the kid won't have to carry it around, swinging it like a lasso for the rest of his or her days.

All parties to this debate, no matter what else they agree on or not, understand that the line is drawn at the point where the fetus could survive on its own outside the womb.

The topic is, and remains, abortion of fetuses that are not viable.

And until it can survive outside the womb, it is a part of the mother's body.

Try to focus. Claiming that something is or is not "evil" implies that there is such a thing as "evil." But the existence of evil is not axiomatic, and is therefore an implicit and unsupported premise which knocks your argument into a cocked hat.

BBL

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

In the immortal words of Dieter:
"Your story hass grown tiressome."

But before we move on to greener pastures, let us just take a look back here and examine a bit of nonsense you tried to pass off on us:

"Premises are not valid or invalid. Premises are true or false. Deductive arguments are valid or invalid. You can have false premises, and still have a valid argument. It will not be a sound argument, but it is still valid.

A sound deductive argument is a valid argument with true premises. Such an argument will necessarily lead to a true conclusion."

My point in all of this is that you may assert that my premises are false (although that would be heretical), but to say that I am illogical is ridiculous. The structure of my arguments are valid."


That's all very well, and I would like to humbly apologize for not adhering rigorously to the exact technical terminology of formal logic. My bad.

However, that is naught but mere semantic quibbling; it in no way invalidates my point, which you have conceded to be correct; The truth value of your conclusions is directly dependent upon the truth value of your premises, so matter how soundly reasoned. Garbage in = garbage out.

"Furthermore, they are sound, because the premises are true."

Amazing! Your premises are the source of your errors. You are either uncapable or unwilling to break down your premises to their component terms and subject them to reality testing. No wonder - they don't stand up. In all the countless years that those same tired arguments have been put forth, they are still bald, unprovable assertions with no truth value whatsoever.

Yet you obviously think that all you need do is say "My premises are true," and that's that, right? I truly hope you don't actually believe that, because then I would have no choice but to conclude that you are insane.

* * * * * * *

In any case, this has, by virtue of your disinclination to address the points of discussion singly and in sequence, the discourse has again degenerated into a swirling eddy of rhetorical flotsam and jetsam.

As a final attempt in this thread to maintain focus, I ask you if you can answer these simple interrogatives;

Do you believe that a human is entitled to do with his or her body as he or she sees fit? Yes or no.

Let's see if you can stay on point...

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

lauren the ghoti,

You should have seen CE over at my website. Getting him to answer your points is like smacking your head against a concrete block. Eventually you’ll break it, but you feel like it’s been a waste of time. It took several posts of me cajoling him for him to answer one question: "Would you kill an atheist if he tried to deconvert you?" CE dodged the question on numerous occasions, and proceeded to evangelize like the scripted voice in a Tickle-Me-Elmo. You just have to keep pressuring him, and eventually he'll give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Lauren,

You have ignored the major point that I have made. You have presupposed / defined that persons must be autonomous. Until they are autonomous, according to you, they can not be rightly considered persons.

The main aspect of personhood that makes the point significant is the value of the said lifeform.

So, what is it about autonomy that makes a human lifeform a human person? Why should they not be considered human persons before that point? What is it about becoming autonomous that suddenly increases the value of the person? Philosophically, what is it about autonomy that gives a human lifeform the right to life?

Also, since this is obviously a philosophical and not a scientific point, then why should I buy into any of your unproven presuppositions? Seriously, the whole idea of human personhood, human value, and human rights are not ideas that can be proven via science. They are simply presupposed and asserted. And then laws are made based on those presuppositions. Why are secular presuppositions okay, but Biblical presuppositions are not?

"All parties to this debate, no matter what else they agree on or not, understand that the line is drawn at the point where the fetus could survive on its own outside the womb."

No. Many people believe and assert that the line is drawn much before that, and, in point of fact, some crazies after draw the line after that.

When it comes to philosophy, morality, and religion, how can we know truth? If you think we can not know truth about those things that can not be proven scientifically, then you can't make any moral, political, philosophical, or religious judgments whatsoever. So, on what (or on who) do you depend to discern truth and reality about epistemological issues that science does not answer? Is this not an authority of some kind? Is this authority trustworthy? How do yo know? Aren't all arguments from authority ultimately circular?

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Lauren the Ghoti said...

You ducked the question, as expected.

I'll bow out of this thread now, after pointing out something that has escaped you.

In the philosophical search for truth, deuctive logic is but one part of the toolkit. Mastering deduction is fine, but unless you cultivate a working grasp of, at the very least, the core principles of semantics, analogy, induction and probability, you're like a carpenter attempting to build a house with only a saw - can't be done. (The analogy is imperfect, since one actually could, with an utterly unacceptable degree of difficulty, construct some artifact meeting the broadest definition of "a house" with only a saw, used in a very creative manner - but my point is made)

Now onward to other, hopefully more fruitful, discussions.

So Announceth The Ghoti

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Do you believe that a human is entitled to do with his or her body as he or she sees fit? Yes or no."

"You ducked the question, as expected."

Hello?! You have completely ducked my questions. I ignored your question, because you framed it in such a way that presupposes that the unborn is simply a part of the mother's body, and not an individual person. You completely ignored the rest of my argument.

And now that it has been established that both of us have a grasp of deductive reasoning, the discussion has the capability of becoming really good. (In most debates, I seem to spend most of my time trying to show people that I - a man of faith - know something about deduction, and trying to teach people the basics of deduction.) Rather than bow out of the debate now, you could stick around and we could address the various ways that we can ascertain the truth value of presuppositions. I did take a course in statistics and earned an A. So, you'll be happy to know that my reasoning skills is not limited to deduction. Probability, statistics, induction, analogies, metaphors, revelation - if you stick around, you might see that I am competent in these areas as well - though perhaps you don't want to admit to that.

But to answer your question, the answer is, "No." Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and you have an obligation to take care of it.

Now, I'm not going to get legalistic and insist that you refrain from eating all junk food (although, as a friend, I would encourage you to embrace a healthy lifestyle).

But the point remains that the question has little to do with the conversation at hand, because we are discussing the unborn lifeform, which is, in truth, a distinct and special human person.

I would submit to you that you have chosen to disengage from the conversation, because, in the in final analysis, all you have is your own arbitrary secular opinion. At the foundation, you merely think quite a bit of your own opinion, and that's all you got. You don't want to be upfront about that, so you bowed out of the conversation, because you want to engage in "fruitful" discussions.

But anyone with godly discernment sees through that.

 
At 1:17 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Religious cop-out award. As in many cases, this creates a 'logic' that is perfectly circular."

Please see my explanation about circular logic and appeals to authority here:

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12198757&postID=116088033346131029

Circular logic is not necessarily invalid. Furthermore, if the premises are true, and the form is valid, then it is sound.

The question remains: "How do we know the truth value of the premises?"

If you reject circular logic, then please explain to me why murder is immoral. Please do this without making any circular arguments or any appeals to authority. (If you appeal to an authority, then you have essentially embraced circular logic.)

 
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