Monday, February 05, 2007

What has Jesus done for you?

I found this post making the most absurd claims about Jesus. I thought I'd answer it, but since my response is long and comment moderation is on I very much doubt that the full response will be visible on that blog. So, I've decided to post it here as I'm sure if anyone is interested in the response they'll click through to me anyway and be able to read more. You can check the original post here on The Point - Prison Fellowship. It is no coincidence that prison populations contain a far lower percentage of atheists than the general population and it's interesting that prisoners should be so willing to admit that their morality comes from Jesus.

Anyway, the response:

What utter nonsense.

"Jesus has given me an understanding of the world and the human experience that is logically coherent, factually consistent and livable"

If that is the case you should be able to make specific statements of this knowledge and it should include information that is not ordinarily available from other sources (human authors for example) and such information should be coherent with all evidence. This is something you have completely avoided in the rest of your post.

"Origins: How did we get here? By the creative act of God."

OK, here you are defying all of your criteria from the "Jesus given understanding" claim.

First, God is logically incoherent on so many levels I'm sure it will bore you to read even a handful of them. I think I'll risk boring you with a short selection though as I don't want to be making empty claims.

a) In an episode of the Simpsons, Homer asks "can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that even he cannot eat it?" The fact that this is humour makes no difference. God cannot be all powerful because he either can do something he can't himself control (or eat) or he can't do it. Either way, omnipotence is a fallacy – even if God does exist.
b) God is supposedly omniscient. That means God cannot know ignorance and therefore God is ignorant. Again, the supposed quality is self denying.
c) God is all good, allegedly. And yet the omnipotent, omniscient deity decided to have a plan that requires the eternal suffering of the vast majority of all people that have and will ever live (according to the bible). Goodness has left the building.

Secondly, creation is not factually consistent. Before discussing that I'm curious which of the two contradictory versions of creation which exist in Genesis are we claiming to be the correct one? It doesn't really matter I suppose since both of them are absolutely inconsistent with fact, from calling whales fish to the whole issue of there being days without a star and the tiny inconvenience of it being an absolute certainty that the earth is billions of years older than the age attributable to it from biblical references.

And last of all we come to the liveable criteria. Well, there's nothing to say here because it's meaningless. Everybody currently alive is finding their life liveable regardless of their beliefs including many happy atheists.

"Essence: What am I? A unique person created in the image of God (includes the traits of rationality, creativity, imagination, self-, moral, and transcendent awareness, aspirations, true altruism, capacity for complex language and math, symbolic logic…)"

In the image of God is a meaningless statement. Presumably dwarfs, people born with missing limbs, conjoined twins, black, white, yellow, brown and red people are also created in the image of God and yet clearly that image is different every time. Furthermore the idea of being in the image of God is quite hilarious. Why would God have a body for you to be in that image? Does God need fingers? How about hair? How about a navel or a rectum? The whole idea of physical similarity is utterly ridiculous.

So, over to some sort of mental similarity? Yeah, we'll come to that one once you've explained to me about the mental similarity between God and sufferers of schizophrenia or the severely retarded and the severely autistic. But maybe you mean spiritual? I doubt it since that is truly a meaningless term and equally contradicted by the incredible variety of human children.

Rationality? Obviously this trait is not ubiquitous in your thinking. It's certainly not evident in any of your statements in this post.

Creativity – maybe, I don't know. But I am also creative as are many others without any need to invoke the supernatural to explain that.

Self- - I wonder what you missed off here. Perhaps "deluded".

Imagination – see creativity.

Moral – Yes, that's a good one, mostly because the God of the bible, new and old testaments, is anything but in accordance with modern Christian morality. The punishment for breaking any of the Ten Commandments is stoning to death. You don't have to believe me, you can look it up yourself in the bible. Do you support the stoning to death of children for being disrespectful to their parents? Possibly, not. So your morality and God's are clearly different, and probably quite extremely so. But let's not leave Jesus out of this since a common retort is to invoke Jesus as a sort of non-denying but augmenting factor in biblical morality. For that to be valid it would probably have helped if he hadn't been reported as saying such things as the following:

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me" – Luke 19:27

The bible, OT and NT, is literally full of moral atrocities either committed by God, ordered by God or sanctioned by God that even the vast majority of Christians would consider absolutely unacceptable. These atrocities include murders, genocides, infanticides, paedophilia and rapes. So if your morality is the image of that of Gods then let's hope it's a negative image and that you never get it developed.

"Purpose: Why am I here? To be transformed into Christ's image as I exercise stewardship over God's creation, and multiply God's kingdom."

You call that an answer to the ultimate question? Let's try to get this straight. Your purpose is to be transformed from Gods image (which you were apparently created in) into Christ's image (who is God anyway) as you exercise stewardship over God's creation (so you are in charge, not God?) to multiply God's kingdom (erm, what does that even mean?). How exactly does one multiply God's kingdom since God's kingdom is everything? Have you taken to creating matter and energy lately or is it possible that you are just reciting learned nonsense and that you have absolutely no idea of how empty these statements are?

Furthermore this "purpose" is purposeless. Even if it is true you have absolutely no idea why God chose that or what he expects to achieve. It's like saying the purpose of an oven is to get hot. Why? To bake bread or fire wet clay or any of an infinite number of other possible reasons? You haven't got a clue. Even if this purpose you've given wasn't pure nonsense, which it obviously is, it doesn't even answer your question.

"Evil: Why is there evil in the world? Man's rebellion removed him from the intimacy of God's presence, allowing the spiritual virus of sin to increasingly corrupt God's perfect creation."

So man exercised power over God and messed up the plan? But I thought this was all God's plan and he's omniscient (knows how to fix it without causing suffering) and omnipotent (can fix it immediately with no need for suffering). Of course this is logically inconsistent and factually nonsense since evil is subjective anyway. Presumably this spiritual virus of sin just spontaneously existed? I presume you are not of the opinion that anything exists that God did not create or plan and so you are left with no way of excusing your God from his evil. Your arguments are absurd.

"Dilemma: What's the solution to the mess we're in? The Cross. Through God's grace we can be liberated from the judgment of sin and the control of sin in our lives until Christ returns to restore the entire creation to a state of glory."

Yeah, personally I'd go with critical thinking applied to information from reliable and verifiable methods regarding aspects of the "mess" we're in and then tasking our rational, creative, imaginative brains to get on with some problem solving. But if you think a couple of sticks stuck together is the way to go then I wonder why you don't add "absolute idiot" to your list of in-God's-image traits. I'd also suggest that the "stewardship over God's creation" that you previously mentioned should be left in the hands of the atheists since your contribution to this duty of stewardship goes no further than passing the buck directly back to God with the help of some magic sticks.

"Ethics: What standard should guide our behavior? The moral law of God."

I can see we'll keep coming back here. I'd recommend the whole of genesis, the whole of exodus and a great deal of everything from Paul to start with. Every time you come across God making a decision or giving and order or for that matter pretty much anything that might be considered to give a moral precedent, lesson or clarification, I'd suggest asking yourself if that's really where your morality comes from. Of course it isn't. If it is, then for starters you should head out of your house at once with as many stones as you can find and start killing pretty much everybody you pass in the street from 3 year olds having temper tantrums at their mothers to absolutely everybody that has ever worked on the Sabbath. The moral law of God is criminally insane and viciously nasty and that is obvious in the bible itself.

"Destiny: What happens at life's end? Eternal bliss or eternal removal."

Whatever! Good luck trying to believe that whilst reconciling your totally good, totally powerful God with the "eternal removal" aspect of God's plan for the vast majority of everybody that has or will ever live.

So, what has Jesus done for you really? The answer is that your fictional superman has given you the gift of self-reinforcing blindness to the inconsistencies of your myth based model of reality. He's made you wrong about what you consider to be the most important questions of your existence and utterly ignorant of the vacuous nature of your own argument. Put your hands together, get a couple of sticks stuck together and thank him for your bliss.

Update. Amazingly my post was displayed and I received two responses - the first from Frank, the Blog owner I believe, and the second from Angel. Both of thier responses are available here, but since neither of my replies to them have yet appeared and are also offensively long I thought I'd also post them below incase anybody is interested.

First the response to Frank:

Hello Frank,

"Actually, I didn't answer this question it was Regis. But if you understood the nature of the post, he was merely answering the question. He didn't have to go into detail. Remember Muata said, "Tell me one thing that Jesus has done for you that can be considered of quality to help you successfully navigate through life other than 'he died for my sins.'" And Regis answered it. Please, try to be more fair with your assessment. Because it looks like you were venting in this whole comment of yours. You have to calm down and free yourself from so much bitterness and anger."

Answering such a question requires going into detail. It is insufficient to claim an extraordinary thing, such as understanding given by a supernatural interference, without providing supporting evidence, such as an excerpt of that understanding that could not have been attained by vastly more probable means, such as a published article. My assessment is fair. Your assessment that I am venting is incorrect. The original post published is a claim to truth that is obviously hollow. It should be countered. I am calm but being calm does not require me to show undeserved respect for opinions for which I experience none due to their lack of coherence or merit. You may be accustomed to pretending. I am not. You may prefer fantasy. I prefer the truth.

The truth is that I consider Regis’ original post to be absolutely lacking in substance. It is the same tired self-supporting, reality denying nonsense that is the raison d’etre of Christianity. Nothing more than extraordinary claims of amazing truth that should therefore result in a demonstrable advance in human knowledge. And yet none of this revealed understanding ever makes the slightest bit of difference or any real connection to any factual topic, or observable thing. It is a simple matter for you to prove me wrong if I am wrong. You need only do it once.

Yet despite such drivel being repeatedly debunked by, amongst others, the word of God himself in the Bible, Christians do not recognise the emptiness of their beliefs. Instead you occupy yourselves with promoting that emptiness. You claim so much certainty that you are prepared to educate children that the whole of all eternity is dependent upon your myths. I think that to be terribly irresponsible. All I ask is for a single justification to make such a gamble over a truth you cannot say truthfully or demonstrate in any way that you know. You can only say you that you believe and you can show me no reason to believe in that God or that Christ than any other superstition or fantasy that provides not one shred of evidence that even warrants suspecting its validity.

So I urge you to calm down. Before you take your fervour and faith based revelatory joy out into the world and into the minds of children that you first take it easy and sit back and find an actual connection with reality between what you believe and what is observably so. If you can do so then you can tell me and if it is truth it will be undeniable.

"Well, Regis talked about origin not coherency. I think you're knocking down a strawman. Because you gave us all this..."

Regis claimed that the understanding given to him by Jesus was logically coherent. Part of that understanding is undoubtedly the existence of God. The God of the bible is logically incoherent and by definition therefore so is the understanding within which that belief is contained. It is your God that is made of straw and your Christ on the cross nothing more than a scare crow to chase off rational thought. I recognise you may consider these statements to be aggressive. That is inconsequential to me and I neither aim to achieve that or make any effort to avoid it. We are discussing truth and truth is independent of your emotions and mine. It is likely your emotions that bind you to your beliefs as it certainly is not fact. Again, just one single fact would prove me wrong.

"See? You dealt with Genesis but you didn't deal with creation."

Genesis is the definitive account of creation within Christianity. If it is not then you are admitting that the bible is not literal. You may be one of those that have no problem with this. But if the bible is not literal then it is not historical fact and if it is not historical fact you have absolutely no reason to take some parts of it as representative of true reality and other parts of it as allegorical. Justify your assumption that Christ is fact? No historical evidence even comes close to allowing that.

But ok, I’ll bite and deal with creation. Creation is an assumption. Regis stated that his supernaturally gifted understanding is factually consistent. Genesis is not factually consistent and neither is the concept of a creation as there is no evidence of a creation. You may think the universe is evidence but it is not. The fact of the universe does not dictate a creator and thus it does not require a creation. There are alternatives. For that matter there are an infinite number of them and your ability to consider them is limited only by your imagination, not by any fact. The universe may always have existed. The universe may not exist and your impression that it does may be the effect of another process, unperceived by you. The universe may have spontaneously existed. Existence itself may be meaningless from anything other than an internal perspective. The list is endless because a new, different and utterly baseless option can always be made up no matter how many have come before.

How about instead we assume a creator. There is certainly no factual evidence suggesting that this creator is the God of the bible. It might just as well be the God of the Qur’an or Wenabozho, the creator hare of the Abnaki Native Americans, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or any known or unknown version or versions of a creator. Again, the options are infinite and without a single shareable fact to suggest any of them let alone a specific one of them is true then the probability of a particular one being true is 1 over infinity. In other words it is indistinguishable from zero. Without any supporting argument to the claim that we got here "by the creative act of God" this sort of thinking fails to appreciate the reality of the situation. Neither you nor Regis knows how we got here and neither does anybody else. So with what justification would you or does Regis claim to be certain and to know this obviously unknowable truth? Your shepherd has you lost and it is a serious failing in your belief system that you can’t understand that.

"If you knew the Bible, when God said He made us in His image, it wasn't meant literally. Please, read up on theology more."

I read on the topic quite a lot but I will not claim to know everything. As you know I discussed more than physical similarity. None of your answers offer any counter point to my statements.

"Hmm, it seems you've already assumed that a spirit doesn't exist. That begs the question."

Which question does it beg? I would be happy if at least it begged the question of why you have assumed that a spirit does exist.

I do assume that the spirit does not exist for the same reason that I assume that there is not an invisible rhinoceros living in my kitchen. There is absolutely no suggestive evidence that it is true and so it is equally as plausible as any other baseless imagining. There is very good evidence that evolution is a fact and not one shred of evidence suggesting otherwise. Since evolution encompasses the emergence of intelligence and every other trait of the human animal it flatly contradicts the idea that individuality or self enters via an alternative route or due to an alternative cause. If it did then that would contradict the fossil record of our species and its predecessors that shows the evolving structure, size and complexity of the brain. So it is not just that the spirit is without evidence but also that there is very convincing evidence against it. So, since the spirit/soul (or whatever you want to call the imaginary little person inside your head pulling all the levers) is contradicted by observable reality I quite safely assume that it is a worthless fantasy as contrary to everything we know as my invisible rhinoceros.

"Hmm, it's apparent that you don't want a civil discussion. Please, follow the commenting rules, okay?"

Your definition of civil may limit openness. I do not care if the discussion is perceived as civil or otherwise. I am not interested in your emotions determining what is and what is not acceptable as it is precisely the failing of placing emotional belief above critical reasoning that I am speaking against. I will not swear at you and any insult you perceive is your perception. But I will not read your rules and confine discussion within a set of arbitrarily derived protocols that can only constrict the freedom of debate. Since comments are moderated you are able to choose to disallow my contributions.

But do you know for certain that you do not question your beliefs if you cannot allow others to do so?

"You just begged the question because you assumed your own moral system and judged the Bible with it; what you should try doing is showing that you as a non-Chrsitian have a cogent moral system. All those Bible verses and incidences you brought up can be easily explained. If you were more unbiased you can see that."

I do not have a cogent moral system and I expect never to have one. I try to make each judgement individually and determined according to available information and an honest assessment of its reliability. Whilst I have inherited morality as an evolutionary trait, I try to remain aware that an inbuilt tendency may not be how I would choose to react upon deeper consideration. My morality is therefore variable.

But to put that into terms you can relate to. In general I do not deliberately cause harm to others, although I can conceive of and have experienced situations in which I have decided to violate that generalisation. I have never decided to cause harm to punish somebody.

I do not steal from others and I am usually honest. When I am not honest I am usually silent and when I am neither honest nor silent then it is usually for the benefit of others and not me.

I have seen no reason for me to need a cogent morality or aspire to one. I prefer to choose and determine what is best for the time at the time.

"Transformed from God's image? That's not a Christian's purpose"

Regis stated first that he was created in God’s image. He then stated that the purpose of his existence is to be transformed into Christ’s image. I recognise the inconsistency of the trinity, yet for one to be transformed into something signifies change from the initial state.

"Dont' go soft on us now, choosedoubt."

I wasn’t aware that I had. Would you specify?

"Well, at least you admitted the oven has a purpose. Odd that you would parallel that to something that doesn't have a purpose."

The purpose of an oven may be to kill a cat or to entertain a child who can see his reflection in the glass of the door. The possible purposes are infinite without constraint as to the objective to which it is tasked. The parallel is that being "transformed into Christ’s image" is an insufficient explanation of purpose. Why be transformed into Christ’s image and why for whatever comes after that? Either God’s plan has a final purpose in which case that must be known for an individual to claim to know the reason for their existence, or God’s plan has no final objective in which case it is purposeless. The chain of objectives until the final one must be exposed to be able to claim knowledge of the purpose. Since Regis does not know that I recommend that he stop claiming to posses a truth he does not posses.

"No, it's just that you won't accept it."

There has been nothing offered for me to accept. You just won’t accept that you have accepted nothing as your ultimate truth.

"Power over God? That's not the Christian worldview. Looks like you're knocking down a strawman again."

Please explain to me how man was able to rebel against the ineffable plan of an omnipotent, omniscient God? You cannot have it both ways. Either God is omniscient, omnipotent, and this is all his plan (which he doesn’t need) or he isn’t. He is either omni-responsible or evil is his irresponsibility on show.

"LOL! Then what are you doing posting here then if morality is subjective? It seems that you really have a moral problem with Christians. That's a laugh!"

I have a moral problem with Christianity, as I do with all moral influencers not based on the reality of people’s lives or any demonstrable connection to that reality. I think you are irresponsible to those you share this planet with, especially when indoctrinating children into this vacuous view of themselves and the universe. And I will tell you why morality is subjective. It is because you do not know the future.

Let’s take a thought experiment. What if I tell you that I am going to kill a child? That is certainly immoral right? Of course it is. But what if that child is Adolf Hitler and you know for certain, because you are a time traveller, that in his later life he will be responsible for immense suffering and tens of millions of deaths. Is it moral to kill the child? According to Christianity it is probably not, unless he has been disrespectful to his parents of course.

Is it moral to leave all those later children to die and suffer? Is it moral to end the chance of life of all the countless billions of individuals that will be born into the far distant future if their ancestors had not been killed by that boy in his later life?

My point is that you have no idea of the consequences of your actions. You couldn’t make the decisions even if you did because you would have to know all possible future for all time to actually judge is this better or worse. So you rely on God’s simplistic morality which is frankly bloody, spiteful, vengeful and violent the majority of the time. And it’s based on nothing at all. So instead of realising the enormity, in fact the impossibility of your responsibility to be "good" you ignore it all and leave it to dogma that has no appreciation of the situation you are in at the time. In effect you limit and partially ignore choice. No action you take can be perceived as moral. You are an automaton running very poor moral software if you really do think that your morality is objective.

"So is the fact that you're actually outraged by Christianity despite the fact that you think evil is subjective."

I am not outraged by Christianity. I am disappointed by Christians and every other person that places superstition above everything else in importance. You have a responsibility to answer more satisfactorily for your certainty and if you can’t do that then you have a responsibility to abandon it.



And then Angel:

Hello Angel,

Many people have also had parents who were alcoholic, drug addicted and/or criminals and then proceeded with their own lives without these traits and without claiming that break from parental patterns to be of supernatural origin. Likewise, many Christians have had non-alcoholic, non-drug abusing, non-criminal parents and yet gone on to develop all of these traits. It is also clear that you are not born into a new life and it is an enormous discredit to human intelligence, especially your own, that you must credit the supernatural with something as basic as a positive choice. Regardless of the discredit, your personal testimony goes nowhere towards actually demonstrating that it was Jesus that supernaturally changed your life and certainly nowhere towards suggesting that he does or ever did exist.

"Recognizing my sin nature did not mean Jesus waved a magic wand and made everything perfect. Instead he told me that he did not come to condemn the world, but that through him the world might be saved."

You do not have a sin nature. You are a complicated organism with a decision making brain that is able to learn and adapt its behaviour. Your senses and ability to control your body allow you to interact with your environment and the universe is absolutely indifferent to what you desire. The universe is not indifferent to what you do. Every time your heart beats (in fact, much smaller changes) you interact with the entirety of the universe from everything approximately 14 billion years ago to everything that will ever be. Your interactions are so complicated that you can never have any idea of anything other than their most immediate affect. Reality does not care if you masturbate. There is no such thing as sin and no way to tell which of your actions, from what you perceive as the worst to what you do not even perceive, will ripple through everything and propagate in ways of which you approve or in ways of which you do not. Sin is a nonsense idea used to limit choice and freedom of thought. Sin is one of the mind traps of your nonsense religion.

"Then he gave me grace. Definition: The ability to do something that you in your own strength could not do. This means he gave me the strength and ability to walk out of my past."

The fact that you did it is evidence that you did have the strength and ability to walk out of your past. The fact that many non-religious people have done the same thing and that many religious people have tried and failed is important. You have no way of externally verifying the influence of the supernatural (Jesus) over the natural (you). It's all just in your mind. It is your belief only, verified by no supporting evidence and contradicted by plenty and that does not give you the right to call it truth and it certainly doesn't give anybody the right to try to teach it to others as truth. The rest of what you write along this line is just dribble and again on the same lines of "Jesus has done so much to me but all of it can be easily attributed to my own psychology, the influence of other non-supernatural sources and I have not one shred of evidence to the contrary but IT IS THE TRUTH". There is no difference between that and the man who honestly believes there are magical penguins controlling his life by sending radio waves into his head from the moon. You need to provide more than your certainty. You need to provide what your certainty is based upon. Otherwise you very much need to understand that your belief is highly dangerous as it shares no connection and thus is not constrained by the reality of human existence.

"Science is not conclusive in its entirety, and therefore cannot conclusively deny or prove God's existence. It can not cure cancer, it can not tell you if there is life on other planets, or solar systems light years away. until a few hundred years ago it thought the earth was flat, until fifty years ago it thought the atom was the smallest particle."

Science can cure some cancers and does so everyday. It is highly likely that science will be able to cure all cancers in the near future. Science could very easily prove God's existence because God is claimed to have an influence upon reality. That means that due to God's interference reality should be changed and that is observable. However we never see any sign of this. Studies, both active and passive of the effects of intercessory prayer show very clearly and overwhelmingly that prayer has no effect on the outcome of events.

Science can tell you if there is life on other planets it just doesn't claim to be able to tell you yet something which is not known. That is the difference between Science and Faith. Faith is certainty in a conclusion without any evidence or contrary to all the evidence. Science waits. Science admits to not knowing and waits for reasons to claim to know or to suggest the options. This is a very important point. Your mention of science thinking the earth was flat is just nonsense. People thought he earth was flat. It was observation based reasoning (a precept of science) that allowed the conclusion that the earth is indeed not flat.

"Thousands of years ago before science even understood, God told his people to circumcise on the eighth day of a child's life. Now Science knows the reason is because on the eighth day a child's level of vitamin k is at it's highest, without this a child would bleed to death! God knew this, not the Jews, THOUSANDS of years before science did."

Why instead didn't God just add more vitamin K to babies or better yet why not just design penises without the foreskin and save the babies the pain and the risk of infection? Your argument is pathetic and even if it wasn't it is dwarfed by the staggering number of things that God got wrong. God's absence on the number of patents filled over the years is absolutely staggering. The lack of God being cited in published papers on discoveries and research that genuinely advance human knowledge is eye opening. The world you live in was created by science and scientists using critical methods of observation based reasoning.

"This is only one of many examples that science is trailing God by, um, light years. Therefore science is inconclusive. and what Science can not answer, Faith does."

This is flatly contradicted by a comparison of any high school science text book and the number of advancements of human knowledge within that compared to the bible and the sum total of all discovery with any application ever from religious revelation. Faith answers nothing. It answers nothing satisfactorily and provides no applicable correlation between its "knowledge" and observable reality. You are talking nonsense and you should learn a bit more about science, rational thought and critical thinking. You are ignorant of those you really owe your gratitude to for the benefits they have provided in your life and the lives of others. These are not small benefits. They range from medicines that save millions to electricity and the tools with which to begin to understand and view the true wonder and beauty of the universe and your existence within it.

"I would also like to add that I am sorry you encountered religion that told you that you were not good enough. While there are laws God wants us to follow, as my dad so greatly put it: Look at the word 'law' as "This is the way it works" God says do not fornicate: Now we know that it leads to STDs and we have always known it could cause an unwanted pregnancy."

I encountered religion and I determined it was not good enough, not the other way around. Your response is woolly and frankly vacuous. If you are an adult then your response is an amazing signal that you have utterly failed to begin to use your mind. If you are a child you really need to expand your reading and start to actually learn some things from reality instead of attempt to use your cloud of faith to shield you from it. Fornicating, for males at least, results in more off spring. The survival benefit for the genes for fornicating is offset against the increased risks of death by STDs which remains in across the world a lower risk than death by consuming contaminated foods or water. I don't recall God saying don't eat and don't drink water. A much larger offset of the survival benefit of fornication is the deficit of reduced investment/care of the young. They balance pretty well in some species and the balance changes according to environmental conditions. Recent investigation has actually revealed genetic markers in other mammals that encodes a protein called the vasopressin receptor which regulates social behaviour and pair bonding. Inserting this gene into Meadows Voles resulted in their behaviour changing from naturally promiscuous to permanent pair bonding. On the other hand the monogamous Prairie Vole naturally has high levels of vasopressin receptors in the ventral forebrain which is an area of the brain known to regulate addiction and reward. In other words, vasopressin receptors, which are extremely similar in monkeys and current research has yet to show any great difference in humans, provides a naturally selective mechanism by which to favour promiscuous or monogamous behaviour. STDs have virtually nothing to do with it.

Furthermore, why did your God not say directly "if you have multiple partners then you increase your risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases"? It seems rather sensible to give the reason for the order and not just the order. For that matter why did he just not bother creating sexually transmitted disease or any disease whilst we are at it? Your arguments are shallow and nonsensical. You credit God with wisdom where is none and absolve him of all responsibility for sickness and suffering when it is doubtless absolute if he exists as you think he does.

"God set this rule not because he wanted us to fail, but he loves us and wants us to be protected. But Jesus said He who is without sin cast the first stone. Therefore, even when I do fail, it only makes me more grateful for God's mercies. I dust myself off and try again. As Paul said "There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus"."

God didn't have to set any rules to protect us. He could have set up everything so that we didn't need protection – that might have been a more convincing show of love than the two million individuals who died in Africa last year from HIV related illness, many of whom babies and children who didn't even know what promiscuity is. They never will now. That is your God's love? Go and tell that to the dying children please as they wither away the last days of their short lives in unparalleled pain.

Your statement is like someone being grateful for being locked in a room full of snakes and being told "don't touch the snakes". It's absolutely absurd. You need to dust off your thinking and try again. You are grateful for suffering, ignorant and ungracious of the wonderful efforts and achievements of your fellow humans past and present to alleviate that suffering and see absolutely no need to connect your ultimate truth to observable or demonstrable fact. Your position is indefensible and that should be obvious to you because you are incapable of mounting a defence outside the confines of pure fantasy and disconnected baseless dogma.



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Tas said...

If it helps background research, apparently Frank Walton has another blog at

Tas said...

(forgot to add in previous comment)

By the way - excellent posts. :-)