Your example from the OT clearly illustrates your god's capricious nature and his genocidal rage. According to the example given, god raised up the Mesopotamians against Israel BECAUSE of the bad things that Israel had done - so the Mesopotamians were actually doing god's work for him in this case. Then, when the Israelites were sorry enough, god reversed himself and helped the Israelites to destroy the Mesopotamians.
By the way, the fact that "This type of thing happens repeatedly in the Book of Judges" makes a mockery of your claim that this event was "...entirely circumstantial". That final statement of yours is an actual lie, because Yahweh repeatedly endorses and assists in genocidal warfare in the OT, as you well know.
I'm afraid I don't understand the intent or purpose of your comment. What is it that you think I lied about and what is the reason you think this?
I would have thought that the intent of my comment was fairly clear - to further illustrate the point that you make the bible say whatever you want it to say, regardless of what it actually says.
You lied by claiming that this particular instance of Yahweh's endorsement of violence was "entirely circumstantial" by which I imagine you mean that it was some sort of one-off, when the fact is that Yahweh repeatedly condones and assists in genocidal violence throughout the OT.
But I suppose my ultimate intent was to point out, again, that your beliefs lack any rational basis or evidentiary support.
When I said 'circumstantial', I only meant 'based on particular circumstances'. I did not mean (nor do I think my answer suggests I meant) that there was only one time in all of history in which the Christian God endorsed violent uprising.
My point was that neither violent uprising, nor non-violent submission, are the absolute universal unbending rule. Rather, it depends upon the circumstances -- it is 'circumstantial'.
The evidence that the Christian God (and thus Christ) holds this view is in the Christian Bible. Atheist Dr. Carrier saw the same evidence I did and came to the same conclusion (with much more sarcasm): Sometimes one, and sometimes the other. There is plenty of evidence that the Christian God holds this view. Christians (me) and their opponents (Carrier) both see it that way.
Thanks for clarifying.
If Yahweh can't think of a better way of solving problems than having people slaughter each other, he's not much of a god, is he? He is supposed to be omnipotent and all that.
Also, this is yet another indicator that the bible is self-contradictory. The comandment is "Thou shalt not kill". It would appear that a more accurate depiction of god's view would be "Thou shalt not kill, except when I tell you or when I do it, then it's OK." Is god free from keeping his own commandments?
Why would it be a problem for God to have people slaughter each other? It seems to me there can be no other rational explanation, since we know there must be a God:
...and since we know that He is the uncaused first cause of absolutely everything that happens:
More importantly, the Bible tells us that this is so, so we have His own word on the subject (1 Samuel 15:18; Judges 11:32-33; Joshua 10:10, 23:15; Leviticus 26:25; Revelation 19:11, 19:15).
Why would we think God should do what He tells us to do? Do you obey the commands you give your children? If you tell your child not to talk to strangers, does that mean you yourself cannot talk to strangers? If God has not commanded Himself to do these things, then why should we think He ought to do them? I am aware of no place where He commands Himself not to kill the people He has made, but rather He insists upon His right to do the opposite (Deuteronomy 32:39). Why would you think that God should be subject to the rules He gives us?
If my answer there was incorrect, your comment in that thread did nothing whatsoever to convince me of that fact. That's why I never addressed what you said there -- your comments were not explanative of how or why the answer was wrong. It read to me like an empty accusation with an undeveloped analogy. Feel free to develop your argument against my answer in the comments there, but until you do, I don't think your comment provided any value to the discussion, let alone convincing proof of anything whatsoever. If you think your comment there was sufficient to dismantle my argument, readers will see it and take note.
I hardly think that rationality includes believing in an invisible being who talks to you in your head. And yes, there most definitely is something wrong with god not doing what he commands us to do - it's called hypocrisy, and is hardly an attribute that one would ascribe to an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being. It's most definitely not the same as a parent telling a child not to talk to strangers, as you know only too well. That is a childish response. Your casuistry in this and many other instances is noted. It does not reflect well on you.
Let's grant all your ad hominem attacks: I am insane, a liar, childish, and I use poor reasoning. You still have not demonstrated that Christianity is false, let alone that Atheism is true. This is why ad hominems are frequently derided as being both unhelpful and irrelevant in debates and discussions.
OK Tim, try this on for size. Christianity is, in fact, false. If it were true, the bible would present a coherent message to Christians as to how they are to be saved. How then to explain that the bible, among other things, tells Christians both (a) that baptism is necessary for salvation and (b) that it is not. That's not me saying that, by the way, that's Christians arguing with each other and all quote extensively from the same holy book. If your god existed, he would of necessity make his message coherent. He hasn't. I predict that you will use the fallacious "No Real Christian" defence. Go on, prove me wrong.
Readers will see it and take note indeed. The first two sentences are themselves sufficient, even without the analogy, to demonstrate your error.
Don't be gullible,
Just for the record, it is not an ad hominem attack to point out when an opponent’s reasoning is consistently specious and fallacious. Also, to point out the wilful, deliberate and consistent distortion of one’s arguments by an opponent as a means of avoiding a question may well be ad hominem, that is open to debate, but it is nevertheless highly relevant.
Your argument seems to be as follows:
P1. If Christianity is true, then the Bible will clearly state whether or not Baptism is required to be permanently right with God.
P2. The Bible does not clearly state whether or not Baptism is required to be permanently right with God.
C. Christianity is not true.
What is the foundation for your first premise? Why would you assert that and why would you expect others to agree?
Well, you did prove me wrong. Good for you. But I’ll try to re-phrase my argument so that you can’t re-word it to suit yourself.
P1. Your god exists (Christian assertion)
P2 He is omnipotent etc (Christian assertion)
P3. He loves us and wants us to be with him (Christian assertion)
Given P3, your god would give us clear, unambiguous instructions as to how we are to be "saved". His very nature would not permit him to do otherwise. Everyone would be able to agree on what these instructions said. But they don’t. Even Christians can’t agree on the right way to be saved, because the bible’s message and therefore god’s message is confused and confusing. Therefore Christianity is false.
P3 as I think you intend it seems unbiblical. I accept it for the elect, but not for the reprobate.
But even granting P3, it still does not follow that the Bible would contain this information. The Bible does not unquestionably teach that the Bible is the final revelation from God to man, even though there are some Christians who may essentially adhere to that view. But I am not currently one of them.
(Ephesians 4:11-13; Luke 12:12; 1 Peter 4:11; Acts 11:28, 21:10-11)
In sum, I don't think that your argument presupposes my view, thereby making it a (probably unintentional) strawman argument.
1. I don't see any contradiction between what I said in your link and what I have said here. Would you spell it out for me?
2. Even granting your ad hominems, that I am a liar and a hypocrite, how does that make your argument about baptism valid?
Your feigned self-righteous spluttering notwithstanding, if you insist on maintaining the pretence of being unaware that you have lied then I suppose I am obliged to point it out to you (again).
In your answer to the question “Is the bible true?”, you provided a detailed defence of the bible as the word of god. You stated that “...scriptures are self-attesting in that they must be true because of the impossibility of the contrary”. The bible is “...his word” and we are to “...use it as the basis for our understanding”. The bible claims that god speaks through it, and he is a god who cannot lie and that he is never wrong. You further assert that “The Christian faith states that the Bible is self-attesting... we put our faith in the God of the Bible because the God of the Bible tells us to”.
This is of course a paraphrase of what you wrote and others can read what you actually wrote in detail. However, any reasonable person could only conclude from that answer that you believe the bible to be the actual word of god.
Then in your statement above on this page you say, “The Bible does not unquestionably teach that the Bible is the final revelation from God to man, even though there are some Christians who may essentially adhere to that view. But I am not currently one of them”.
One of these statements that you have made is deliberately false, Tim. When you say that “...I am not currently one of them”, are you seriously saying that you don’t believe the bible is the revelation of god to man? Surely not? Then if not, would you mind telling us just what on earth ARE you saying? Would you mind telling us why you defended the bible as the word of god in your answer to “Is the bible true?”?
Moving on - as I said before, my attacks on you may very well be ad hominem. They are nevertheless highly relevant, as your intellectual and moral dishonesty is a reflection of the intellectual and moral dishonesty of the faith that you profess.
And as for the discussion of the utter confusion among Christians as to what the bible actually says with regards to what humans need to do in order to be saved, you have not (as per usual) made any substantive comments in answer to that. Rather you have retreated behind a mass of No True Scotsman fallacies, which I predicted you would, and I’m still waiting.
My point above was that God doesn't ONLY speak through scripture (note my use of the word "final" in my above comments). This, to my knowledge, does not undermine anything I said in the link you posted. God speaks through the Bible; God doesn't ONLY speak through the Bible. It seems to me that I can hold both of these positions without contradicting myself.
You seem to be asserting, essentially:
(A) For Christianity to be true, every belief of every Christian must be both explicitly clear and easy to understand in the Bible.
As I explained, it seems that your insistence on (A) is without foundation, and without (A), your conclusions, both in baptism and in your new charge regarding God's desire to save everyone, seem ungrounded. Indeed, it seems the Bible claims that though we are commanded to be united (Phl 2:2), we will not be (Eph 4:11-13). Thus, quite in contrast to your claims, if Christianity is true, we should actually expect to see the types of disagreements you've pointed out. In other words, Christianity makes predictions about reality, and we see that these predictions are accurate.
Just to be absolutely clear before I say anything else, if god doesn't ONLY speak through the bible, as you asserted in your last comment, then how else does he? Are you referring to god speaking to you in your head again?
Yep. Also, the Bible says that God speaks through "prophets", as I noted in several references up above. God also speaks to us through other Christians, even without a strict prophetic word. According to Peter, everything that every Christian says ought to be spoken as an oracle of God (1 Peter 4:11). I know I fall far short of this, but the principle that God is not limited to speaking through the Bible seems to me to be clear in scripture.
Do you have any evidence to back up this claim? I have asked this before on ths site and you haven't been forthcoming. I wonder if you can be more forthcoming now. It is a pretty extraordinary claim after all and would require some pretty extraordinary evidence, for example something that god has told you that you could not possibly have found out through totally non-divine and non-supernatural means. In the absence of any such evidence, I am perfectly entitled (indeed I am almost obliged) to dismiss your claim and therefore pretty much everything you say, out of hand.
Since it's irrelevant to the foundational premises of any argument I've presented on this website (to my recollection), I'm not sure why I should feel any compulsion to present "evidence" for my personal experiences. So again, let's grant your implicit ad hominem: I am either insane or a liar. Or both.
In what way does this mean that if Christianity were true, the Bible would be clear about whether or not baptism were required? Or that it would be clear about whether or not God salvifically loves every human? In what way does me being an insane liar make Christianity false, or Atheism true? How are any of your arguments more valid as a result?
It also doesn't follow that MY arguments here are LESS VALID, even granting the assumption that I am an insane liar. My arguments don't rest on my laurels (frankly, I have none). They stand or fall on their own. I'm not sure why you continuously want to go down the ad hominem path... it doesn't lead anywhere.
On this page, you asserted that god does not ONLY speak through scripture, but ALSO to you, personally. Thus your claim to have access to extra-natural or super-natural knowledge derived from your conversations with god, by which you can "explain" various aspects of Christianity, is relevant and utterly foundational to your argument. I am entitled to evidence of such communication. In the absence of this evidence, I am forced to conclude that all your claims are false.
My response to your argument is based on what the scriptures say, not what I have experienced. Here was my response, mildly rephrased for clarity:
According to the Bible, God does not ONLY speak through the Bible.
Thus, as I said before, there doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that your conclusion follows from your premises. Note that my own personal experiences are not a necessary part of my response to your argument at all, so my response does not stand or fall based upon them.
No Tim, you said that God speaks both through scripture and to YOU personally.Why don't you stop re-wording what you said to suit yourself and answer the question? Of course, we all know why; because you can't, because God doesn't speak to you, because he is imaginary.
Timothy, wouldn't it have been easier like Richard did and just say "Sometimes he did, and sometimes he didn't". You wrote rather more than was really necessary for a pretty simple question.
Secondly, I noticed in the comments that God doesn't just speak through scripture, but through Prophets. However as far as I'm aware this is only said in scripture and by people who CLAIM to be prophets.
Easier and better are not always the same thing. A question like this has baggage, different baggage in different camps, so a lengthy explanation is helpful. Of course, this isn't the first time I've been accused of being too verbose.
On prophets... I said it, and I am neither scripture nor a prophet. But even if we grant what you are saying... so what?
My point was that Richard said pretty much the same thing without waffling. More words do not always mean better.
I concede that you said it (though you are neither scripture nor prophets) but you were presumably told that by scripture and prophets. I'm sorry if I'm not the kind of person to just believe what someone has said or what an ultimately unknowable source has written. Especially as a lot of prophets are found in scripture.