Left and Right — a Wide-Ranging Discussion


Warning: Long read!


It all started with an excellent post by InsanityBytes, here. It’s a sweet, graceful post by a Christian responding to a sneering post, mocking Christians. More to the point, it’s a typically graceful Christian response to a graceless, witless, mocking post by an atheist.

First of all, I encourage you to read IB’s excellent post. In it IB says that she understands why atheists mock. The real reason: lack of any other substantive response.

IB’s post launched an exchange that covered an awful lot of ground, between a Finnish guy, with excellent, but not flawless, English, named “rautakyy” and me. I think he’s a guy, but don’t know for sure. He and I studiously refrained — mostly — from putting personal details in our posts.

Rautakyy is an atheist and a socialist. I’m a Christian and a capitalist. I tried to keep the level of my language to the straightforward, but rautakyy’s English is so good that I frequently forgot myself and used imagery. He usually understood, but sometimes it was plain that he hadn’t, and I needed to explain.

Rautakyy frequently engaged in many of the usual tactics of the left: telling me what I’m thinking — reading my mind — suggesting what I know and don’t, telling me what my sources of information were and, of course, the usual tired accusation: You watch FOX News, don’t you? (I do… as well as consuming hundreds of others).

Our very long exchange ranged from socialism to capitalism to Christianity to atheism; from Adolf Hitler to Stalin to homosexuality to evolution to the scientific method to faith to education and more.

He was, as the left always is, unable to prevent himself from being, tiresomely condescending, hyper-snobbish, hoity-toity. However, I don’t mind… in fact I expect nothing less. The point is that they actually build in the seeds of their own debate undoing. If you call them on it, and you deprive them of the ability to use the nonsense techniques, they are reduced to flailing and sputtering.

With that said, rautakyy was less ugly than the vast majority. It might have been because I was usually very cheerful, making sure to lard my posts with compliments and recognition of rautakyy’s superb English. It was easy; his English is superb. Leftists are, however, unfailingly suckers for fawning compliments. I fawned enough so that rautakyy kept his tone relatively civil.

I was struck, if not surprised, by the sheer superficiality, triteness and attempts at hyperbolic shock value that riddled rautakyy’s “arguments.” You can predict what I encountered, I’m sure: Christianity and capitalism and genocide, superstition, indoctrination, exploitation and oppression.  He went through all the talking points, thoughts and arguments that wouldn’t have passed muster in either a third-grade civics class, or a third-grade Sunday School class. You know the points: If there is a God, how can He allow the suffering that is all about on the planet. And on and on.

However, I discovered some important things during this lengthy exchange:

  • When people reproach capitalism, it’s for all those socialistic elements that people are constantly trying to inject into it. You know, to “round out the sharp edges,” to “level the playing field,” and to “take some of the ‘cut-throat’ out of the free market.”
  • When people reproach Christianity, it’s because of when Christians act like atheists. Like when they abuse, or harm… or kill other people.
  • When the right does something that violates their convictions, the left then gleefully and operatically condemns it… then does the same thing — times 10. The left routinely uses the wrong thing the right did to justify their doing it promiscuously.
  • When Christians do not-Christian things, atheists — generally, but not always, on the left, — have nothing but scorn for them, blame Christianity itself, and use the failing as a justification to engage in the awful behavior themselves — times 10.

That all seems simple, but it’s really vitally important.

There are two states of mind that have caused more violent death than any other factor in human history except time and disease: Those states of mind are socialism and atheism. Estimates range as high as 140 million murdered by atheist socialists in the last century alone. No one suggests that the death toll is lower than 120 million murdered.

Rautakyy and I went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth again. There were others who jumped in, but they tended to have little staying power. No discredit to them… one doesn’t expect novella-length exchanges in blog posts, but that’s exactly what we did. I’m including these over here, because they did capture those two vitally important truths that I found. For the understanding that this exchange gave me, I’m very grateful to rautakyy.

Rautakyy and I did agree about a few things, and they’re in the lengthy exchange below. For example, George W. Bush spent way, way too much. Many of our so-called “capitalists” are really socialists, and he called them on it. I agreed, which, I think took him aback. It was an example of his saying that huge government was okay because those who ostensibly disagree with huge government often contradict themselves. That is the damage we Conservatives do when we fail to act like Conservatives. 

I’m not sure that the exchange is even over between rautakyy and me, but I thought I’d bring our posts here, so that (1) we’re not writing a book over at IB’s blog. I’m sure she doesn’t mind, but she’s many, many great posts past, the one that started all this. She’s an excellent writer, and a clear, lucid, insightful, no-nonsense thinker, with a great sense of humor. That combination makes for a great blog, and I’m a regular reader and admirer. Also, I’ve removed the contributions of everyone but rautakyy and me, so if you want to see what the other contributors wrote, please visit the link above and peruse.

Without further ado, here’s the exchange between rautakyy and me:

rautakyysaid:

Hmm… What you describe makes your god “God” real enough for you, but it does not make any gods any more real in reality. Does it? The delusional person who thinks she is Marie Antoinette may be happy as long as that illusion remains, and perhaps we should allow that delusion to remain for the benefit of her happiness? At least as long as her actions derived from the illusion do not infringe upon the rights of other people. Right?

But Christianity is one of many social delusions, that has very grave reprecussions. When it affects on people to be prone to allow violence as a method of child rearing, demands that youth should be taught fabricated, phoney stuff about the reality like creationism, supresses the ethical rights of other people based on one particular superstition, or when it weilds political and military power to attack other people (like it has for centuries), then what? How should such a delusion be dealt with? Ridiculing it, by it’s own claims, is the softest possible approach. Is it not?

Truth matters.

[Editor’s Note: See how the left considers their beliefs to be objective truth? It’s one of the many failings of their thinking. It’s one of the things we all should outgrow at a pretty early age.]

Hi, Rautakky! Your post shows a breathtaking ignorance of Christianity and its history.

Just to set the record straight. Christianity has never promoted violence in any circumstance. Ever. There’s nothing in its texts or its teachings that has ever promoted violence. Nor has it ever suppressed anyone’s ethical rights. Nor has it ever been a logical excuse for suppressing ethical rights. (an illogical excuse, yes, but never a logical one. It’s at this point that someone trots out the old “true Scotsman” canard. 🙂 ) Nor does Christianity have anything to do with superstition. Nor has it ever wielded military power to attack other people.

Creationism is, of course, nothing phoney, but another way to explain ummmm… you know… existence.Something for which atheists have no explanation. It’s also something that cannot be disproven, so is at least just as valid as any other explanation. Furthermore, creationism has roots in history. Ancient historians, who have also told of other things that we consider perfectly reliably accurate, have said that they communicated with God. Why should we selectively doubt them?

Today’s atheists constantly demand that God do parlor tricks to prove His existence to us. Yet, if you were to think a bit about it, God has no need to prove Himself to us in the least. Besides, He’s already done so. Look around you. Compare this earth with the vast, magnificent desolation of the rest of the observable universe. The rest of that universe that we can observe would extinguish everyone life form on earth inside of a minute, if the same conditions were to prevail here. What more evidence do you need than the earth itself? Yet, the atheists continue to demand the parlor tricks. A simple truth is that God has no need to dance to our tune. It’s really kind of funny — a creation (you or me) demanding that the Creator prove Himself. The irony should be lost on no one.

It’s also funny the extent to which atheists have to do gymnastics to get from a faith that unambiguously teaches unconditional love of every person for every other person to some kind of, as you say, “grave repercussions.”

Christianity has been misused — as has every belief system ever formulated — to do bad things.

However, I can prove to you that it is not Christianity to blame. It’s simple. As I mentioned in a previous post. No one runs in terror at the idea that “the Christians are coming!” Not a single, solitary, blessed soul on this good, green, God-given planet. 🙂

– xPraetorius

xPraetorius, with all due respect, I do know a lot about the history of Christianity and many other religions. If anyone, it is you, yourself who is presenting ignorance in the matter here.

God fearing Christians and sincere believers have for centuries believed their religion and god promotes violence not only on Pagans, and Infidels, but especially upon the Heretics. Did you really not know this? Were they wrong about the tenets of your version of Christianity, or of what this Jesus character would have wanted? Perhaps, but no god ever appeared to them to set them on the right path. Why? Because this god could not, cared not, or because it actually sanctioned all the violence done in it’s name? You may not like that sort of Christians, nor even think they were proper Christians at all, but as they sincerely believed to act upon the demands and hopes of their faith, religion and god, it makes them no less Christians. Does it?

Christianity has and still is infringing on the ethical rights of others. A couple of examples, if you will: Many Christians, though not all, are trying as hard as they can to stop homosexuals from getting a legal right to marry the person they love. Are these Christians not acting in accordance to what they think their religion and god expects of them? In my country Christians are expecting me to pay a tax through the communal taxes to be given to the Lutheran Church even though I have never been a member of this or any other church. Is that not infringing on my property? Even though I might pay it gladly for them to keep up their old culturally valuable monumental, but empty buildings, they are not giving me a choise.

It seems you have been out of contact on recent development in space research. The observable universe has billions of galaxies and each of those has billions of stars and already we have observed a good number of exoplanets that resemble earth enough so they might bear similar life to ours. Life as we know it, fits perfectly on this planet, because this is where it evolved under these conditions. This much is known through the efforts of all sciences that could even possibly research the matter. There is absolutely no reason, or logic, none what so ever, to go beyond that assumption. Is there?

How does the fact that the natural universe is mostly hostile to life as we know it prove there is a creator entity? Let alone your particular creator entity, that alledgedly resolved us from our alledged “sinfull” state, that it alledgedly had created us into? And all this was achieved by impregnating some dudes teenage wife who gave birth to this demigod who then sacrificed himself to himself for a couple of days to absolve humans from what he would do to them. However, only those humas who would believe this story without evidence, exept the closest dudes to the demigod who alledgedly got evidence. I am truly sorry, but it makes no sense.

Creationism has been disproven. I am sorry, if you have missed this out. Besides, we do not consider unverified claims of signifigance, that we are unable to disprove as real, do we? We do not consider there are aliens here on earth, though there might be and you can not disprove that there aren’t. We deal with verifiable data as the actual reality at least in any significant issues. There is no field of science, that agrees with the ideals and propaganda of Creationism. Did you not know this?

I doubt anyone who claims to be in contact with any gods on that particular claim. And so do you, if they claim contact with other gods than your own particular god, right? It just is, that it is far more likelier, that the people who claim to be in contact with gods are delusional, or simply wrong about that matter, than that they actually are, because none of them has been able to verify by any means, that they actually were in contact with anything supernatural. Correct? If they make other claims, such that they can verify, then there is less reason for doubt on those issues. Right? The fact that historical scientists who could produce good verifiable data also were ignorant about a great many things and thus believed in gods of their respective cultural heritages does not make the superstitious assumptions of any religions any more reliable. Does it?

Atheism does not need to present any explanations to existance. You see, as we humans do not know the “reason” for existance, we are not warranted to make one up and demand people believe it without evidence, but by the threat of violence in this life, or the imaginary next one, like religions do (some more than others).

You said: “God has no need to prove Himself to us in the least” Well, that is apparently not what Jesus thought when he alledgedly appeared to his disciples to give them evidence of of him having resurrected. He even let them poke at him, as the story goes. Of course, the possible fact that he might have survived crucifixion as some people did, is not very good evidence of an actual resurrection, but it is an attempt to give evidence never the less. But anecdotal evidence is just hearsay and the weakest possible evidence especially since we are talking about the most extraordinary claims. If a god is unwilling to give evidence of it’s existance, how can it hold people responsible for not believing without evidence? Is it merely by might makes right kind of logic? If that is so, then it is by default an evil god, if it even exists.

I expect no parlour tricks. I do not even know what would convince me of the existance of any particular god, but if there were any gods, they should know how to convince me. Right? So far none of them are doing a very convincing job.

For centuries and centuries, almost for two millenia, since the Christians took over political power within the Roman Empire people have been running from Christians in the fear of violence. European Christian nations conquered almost the entire planet. Do not tell me, that native people in Asia, Australia, Africa and Americas were just expecting to get their resources, land and lives stolen by the Christians? Or that they voluntarily gave up their own religions and cultures in exhange for some Christianity and then shipped themselves to voluntary slavery from their native soil? How revisionist can you get? 😉

Modern day Christianity is not very belligerent for one reason only. It has been overruled and kept in a short leash by secularity.

You wrote:

xPraetorius, with all due respect, I do know a lot about the history of Christianity and many other religions. If anyone, it is you, yourself who is presenting ignorance in the matter here.

My reply:

Thanks for your respectful, but incorrect reply, @rautakky!

You wrote:

God fearing Christians and sincere believers have for centuries believed their religion and god promotes violence not only on Pagans, and Infidels, but especially upon the Heretics. Did you really not know this? Were they wrong about the tenets of your version of Christianity, or of what this Jesus character would have wanted? Perhaps, but no god ever appeared to them to set them on the right path. Why? Because this god could not, cared not, or because it actually sanctioned all the violence done in it’s name? You may not like that sort of Christians, nor even think they were proper Christians at all, but as they sincerely believed to act upon the demands and hopes of their faith, religion and god, it makes them no less Christians. Does it?

My reply:

Simple fact, @rautakky: No Christian has ever thought that Christianity promotes violence. There are frauds who have used Christianity as an excuse for violence, but there is no one who has ever tried to square the circle that Jesus’ commandment to love all other people unconditionally was an incitement to initiate violence.

I see that you have decided to read the mind of God. Heady stuff, rautakky! And, I see also that you have decided that you know the level of sincerity in the hearts of so-called Christians who you think have used Christianity as an incitement to violence. No one is able to read the minds or hearts of anyone else, but Christ’s teaching is unmistakable: we are to love all other humans unconditionally. There is no incitement to violence anywhere in the teachings of Christianity. To the contrary in fact, there are numerous examples of Christ telling others that they are to cease violence they were either contemplating or were perpetrating. Just a question of semantics, but it’s an important one: I don’t “think” that it is un-Christian to initiate violence, I know it. It’s a pretty basic tenet of the faith.

You wrote:

Christianity has and still is infringing on the ethical rights of others. A couple of examples, if you will: Many Christians, though not all, are trying as hard as they can to stop homosexuals from getting a legal right to marry the person they love. Are these Christians not acting in accordance to what they think their religion and god expects of them? In my country Christians are expecting me to pay a tax through the communal taxes to be given to the Lutheran Church even though I have never been a member of this or any other church. Is that not infringing on my property? Even though I might pay it gladly for them to keep up their old culturally valuable monumental, but empty buildings, they are not giving me a choise.

My reply:

Incorrect, rautakky. Christianity never violates the ethical rights of anyone. Ever. Christians attempting to stop the march of homosexual marriage through the American landscape are operating on the political level. There is absolutely no demonstrable, or provable moral imperative demanding that we grant the right to marry to homosexuals. That may be a foregone political conclusion, but it is not anything proven morally or ethically, and the conclusion that homosexuals have a right to marry is completely subjective. There’s nothing about it in the Constitution, and the grounds used to defend the idea have all had to do with money and inheritance rights. Nothing more. If homosexuals have the right to marry, then, obviously, two heterosexual men have the right to marry too… for example to avoid inheritance taxes. No, homosexual marriage is, pretty obviously, not a “right,” but merely a privilege that society is seeing fit to grant at this time in its social development. That’s all.

As regards the “ethical right” thing, it is a simple truth: things that make sense, tend to make sense on all levels; the spiritual, secular, social, political, economic and moral levels. Christians working to stop homosexual marriage have, I suspect, recognized this, and, while focusing their activities on the political level, they recognize that homosexual marriage — a unique focused privilege granted to people solely by virtue of their choice in sex partners — doesn’t really work on any level for society. Their opposition makes of them good citizens. Furthermore, such opposition has no bearing whatsoever on whether they are good Christians. That’s pretty obvious. Oh, you may ask why we are so driven to legalize homosexual marriage. Simple: we’re in a phase in America where we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and to tell homoesxuals that their sexual activity is not normal would hurt their feelings, so we have built up an entire edifice of strawmen and fake rights to avoid confronting (1) the fact that homosexuality is not normal, and (2) to tell homosexuals that would hurt their feelings. It’s a silly phase we’re going through, but we’re going through it all the same.

As to the tax structure in your country, I don’t think I can speak authoritatively about it. However, let’s stipulate to your point that Christians ought not to ask you, an atheist, to pay any tax dollars for the Lutheran Church. I probably agree with you, but that would be only another example of Christians behaving like people which, I might add, they are. Flawed, imperfect people. No one tries to pretend that we get it right all the time. But, we try. Without the moral imperatives of Christianity, there is no need even to try to get it right because there’d be no point to it. And, again, if that’s the worst that Christians are doing, you have helped to prove my other point. No one fears Christians. They may be annoyed by Christians, but the muslims are coming to cut your secular little head off. Don’t worry, though, they’re coming for my Christian head too.

I suspect, though, that you are asked to pay for a lot less that is objectionable to you than I’m asked to pay for. 🙂

You wrote:

It seems you have been out of contact on recent development in space research. The observable universe has billions of galaxies and each of those has billions of stars and already we have observed a good number of exoplanets that resemble earth enough so they might bear similar life to ours. Life as we know it, fits perfectly on this planet, because this is where it evolved under these conditions. This much is known through the efforts of all sciences that could even possibly research the matter. There is absolutely no reason, or logic, none what so ever, to go beyond that assumption. Is there?

My reply:

Thank you for that, rautakky! I was hoping you’d bring that up, because it neatly proves my point. All these so-called “earth-like” exoplanets are so far away that there is no way in the near, intermediate or distant (maybe not the very distant) future in which we can do so much as guess as to what these places are really like. I’ve studied this a lot, because astronomy is a hobby of mine. At this point, our only indication that these planets might be earth-like is so indirect as to be sheer guess work. I hope that we will be able to know more, and more conclusively, but at this point we don’t. At this point, the rest of the universe remains, as I said, magnificent desolation. Your quote…

Life as we know it, fits perfectly on this planet, because this is where it evolved under these conditions. This much is known through the efforts of all sciences that could even possibly research the matter.

… is incorrect. There are numerous scientists who are simply not sure about evolution as an explanation for man’s arrival on this planet. Furthermore, the religious devotion that the high priests of evolution have, proves the tenuousness of the theory. Darwin himself said that if the fossil record is not chock full of “missing links” — creatures that are obvious, failed intermediary stages between one species and another — then his theory is wrong. There has not been one “missing link” found in the fossil record. Also, if evolution is the way and the truth, how is it that humans are the only ones to have developed the obviously advantageous mutation of abstract thought in a really big brain? How is that remotely possible. With the millions and millions of species out there, there has never been found another species thateven remotely approximates abstract thought — except maybe “Chaser,” that is… who may or may not be “thinking,” or he might be just a talented imitator.

You wrote:

How does the fact that the natural universe is mostly hostile to life as we know it prove there is a creator entity? Let alone your particular creator entity, that alledgedly resolved us from our alledged “sinfull” state, that it alledgedly had created us into? And all this was achieved by impregnating some dudes teenage wife who gave birth to this demigod who then sacrificed himself to himself for a couple of days to absolve humans from what he would do to them. However, only those humas who would believe this story without evidence, exept the closest dudes to the demigod who alledgedly got evidence. I am truly sorry, but it makes no sense.

My reply:

“How does the fact that the natural universe is mostly hostile to life as we know it prove there is a creator entity?” Response: Everything seems pretty pointless without the Creator. Or more to the point, absent a Creator, anyone can have any point they want. Yet, most societies struggle to put in place a basically civilized society, around rules that at least make a nod to noble sounding ideals and values; values like freedom, democracy, liberty and all. Why? Seriously, without God, why bother? There’s no point. You live, you die, that’s all. Why bother wasting your time setting up rules and laws and traditions, if you aren’t going to be around —in any way whatsoever — to enjoy them?

It seems that just in looking around there is, rather obviously, “a point.” Every living thing lives and struggles for a point. If there were no point, then animals would just lie down and die, yet every single last one struggles mightily to survive, to live for “the point.” The animals, the trees, the plants and all humans bend every waking moment, in synch with all their autonomic functions, to live according to “a point.” We observe every second of every day, billions and billions and billions of creatures working hard for “a point,” even if it’s only to survive. Suicide rates are the lowest in the poorest countries, where people understand at least the most basic point. Yet, the evolutionists suggest, such a fundamental thing as “the point” for which we all all go from one moment to the next, “evolved” into us, like everything else. How could that be? If that were so, then some missing link (that no one’s ever found 🙂 ) somewhere would have died out long before us for the sheer pointlessness of it all, and there’d be no humans. Or any other creatures for that matter. Where did “a point” come from? Sure, biological things can engage in procreation, but without a serious point, why bother? Yet, there is that urge … incredibly strong in all creatures. Where did “purpose” come from? Where did “the point” come from? I dare you to try to explain that in evolutionary terms. Hint: no scientist has ever really tried. All of them have punted and said something to the effect of: “Well, I’m sure we’ll find a scientific explanation for all that at some point.” What they’re forgetting is that if God exists, then it is surely profoundly anti-scientific to conclude that He doesn’t.

You wrote:

Creationism has been disproven. I am sorry, if you have missed this out. Besides, we do not consider unverified claims of signifigance, that we are unable to disprove as real, do we? [My comment: Yes, we do. We call them evolution] We do not consider there are aliens here on earth, though there might be and you can not disprove that there aren’t. [My comment: Incorrect: many of us DO consider that there are aliesn on earth. No one has made any hard and fast conclusions on this subject. I don’t believe in aliens on earth, but I recognize that no one’s disproven them either.] We deal with verifiable data as the actual reality at least in any significant issues. There is no field of science, that agrees with the ideals and propaganda of Creationism. [My comment: That is incorrect. There is not a branch of science that does NOT have many Christians who recognize that there is no conflict between science and faith. In fact all scientists recognize that beyond the interface between the known and the unknown IS only faith. That is not disputed by anyone credible. There are many who have recognized that the evolution absolutists support their belief system through propaganda and crushing any dissent. Did you not know this? ] Did you not know this?

My reply:

“Creationism has been disproven.”

Lol! That’s just too funny, rautakky. In point of fact, atheism has been disproven. If you can say the patently ridiculous, then I reserve the right to do so as well. Oh, by the way, Charles Darwin himself indicated that evolution has been disproven. Is he authoritative enough?

Just so you know, I believe in evolution… the evolution of characteristics and traits to produce other characteristics and traits, but there is not a scientist in the world who will try to claim that there has ever been actual evidence to support the notion that one species came from another. Guesses? Yes. Evidence? No, none. Evolution and real science and faith are not in any way mutually incompatible. If you were able to get the religious zealots our of the Theory of Evolution, you might be able to get somewhere.

You wrote:

I doubt anyone who claims to be in contact with any gods on that particular claim. And so do you, if they claim contact with other gods than your own particular god, right? It just is, that it is far more likelier, that the people who claim to be in contact with gods are delusional, or simply wrong about that matter, than that they actually are, because none of them has been able to verify by any means, that they actually were in contact with anything supernatural. Correct? If they make other claims, such that they can verify, then there is less reason for doubt on those issues. Right? The fact that historical scientists who could produce good verifiable data also were ignorant about a great many things and thus believed in gods of their respective cultural heritages does not make the superstitious assumptions of any religions any more reliable. Does it?

My reply:

Nope. Why would I doubt them? I can’t read their minds. Live their lives. Who are you to say they haven’t heard the voice of God? And I wish you’d stop trying to read my mind. You can’t verify the validity of, for example, DNA testing, or the structure of atoms, or the distance to far-off objects… we take what scientists say on, you guessed it, faith. We think that the math works, because we like to think that the math works. We’ve all seen those pictures of Einstein standing in front of a blackboard jam-packed with numbers and Greek symbols and equations and the caption says something like, “Einstein’s mathematical proof for e=mc2.” We all realized that he and Planck, and Bors and all the rest, could have simply been enjoying a joke at everyone else’s expense, because we couldn’t make any sense of it all. But, you’ll say, theyproved it! They watched light bend around that massive object in space and they saw it red-shift! Oh? Did they? Were you there? Or, are you accepting that report on … you guessed it … faith? Remember how Heisenberg “proved” that merely in observing something we acted on it? If that’s the case, then the observations of that “proof” of relativity are invalid. Furthermore, all “proofs” are invalid. If, that is, you consider Heisenberg an adequate “scientist.”

As to your question of with whose God are others interacting?, I’ll leave that to God and the person. Remember, you say that there is no proof of God. Of course, there is vast evidence — again look around you — but there is no proof of any other engine of creation either. Yes, there is evidence of a “Big Bang,” but that’s simply what God did to scatter matter around the universe.

You wrote:

Atheism does not need to present any explanations to existance. You see, as we humans do not know the “reason” for existance, we are not warranted to make one up and demand people believe it without evidence, but by the threat of violence in this life, or the imaginary next one, like religions do (some more than others).

My reply:

That is a defensive cop out, and completely untrue. Every atheist scientist in the world would give his eye teeth to explain existence itself. No one demands that anyone believe what Christians say without evidence. We point to revelations in the Bible, and in other ways. Just because you say that “anecdotal evidence is the worst of all” means only that you say that. In the end, as I mention below, all evidence is anecdotal anyway.

You wrote:

You said: “God has no need to prove Himself to us in the least” Well, that is apparently not what Jesus thought when he alledgedly appeared to his disciples to give them evidence of of him having resurrected. He even let them poke at him, as the story goes. Of course, the possible fact that he might have survived crucifixion as some people did, is not very good evidence of an actual resurrection, but it is an attempt to give evidence never the less. But anecdotal evidence is just hearsay and the weakest possible evidence especially since we are talking about the most extraordinary claims. If a god is unwilling to give evidence of it’s existance, how can it hold people responsible for not believing without evidence? Is it merely by might makes right kind of logic? If that is so, then it is by default an evil god, if it even exists.

My reply:

My point, however, remains correct. God has no reason to prove Himself to us. You say that anecdotal evidence is the weakest evidence of all, then as soon as an event is over, there is no reason to believe it ever happened. All evidence — even that meticulously recorded on whatever medium you wish — is anecdotal. Here is a truth: Even if God were to come to us in the form of a gigantic man 25,000 feet tall, and say, “I will now lift up Mount Everest and hurl into the heavens. Then will you believe?” Then, if He were to do it, we’d all believe, because He would have performed His parlor trick. But, a thousand years from now, many, many, many would not believe. There is nothing He can do that will prove Himself to those rock-headed ones who simply will not believe. “But,” you’ll say, “We could record it on video and that’ll prove it!” Nope. Inside of 10 years — probably five years — the technology will exist to make it easy to fabricate a video that would show the same thing. More to the point, how about all that data on your five and a quarter inch floppy disks? Where is it now? In a thousand years Mount Everest would enjoy the same status as Atlantis. People would say, “Well, they sure wrote a lot about this mountain, this “Everest,” and how God tossed it into the heavens, but what real proof do we have?”

You know what’s funny about all that? The blind man would be perfectly well within his rights to disbelieve entirely what everyone else saw perfectly. No, there is no “proof” that God could offer that wouldn’t soon enough be doubted by the skeptics. Again, this is called free will.

You wrote:

I expect no parlour tricks. I do not even know what would convince me of the existance of any particular god, but if there were any gods, they should know how to convince me. Right? So far none of them are doing a very convincing job.

My reply:

Excellent question! The answer is that, yes, God knows how to convince you, but you have shut out any possibility of convincing you in your first sentence, indicating that you are not willing to have your mind changed. That’s something we Christians call “free will.” God never forces you to be convinced. We are free to turn our backs on God, but that has the consequences that we risk happiness here on earth and later in eternity. God lets you act like an idiot. He’s absolutely not a tyrant.

You wrote:

For centuries and centuries, almost for two millenia, since the Christians took over political power within the Roman Empire people have been running from Christians in the fear of violence. European Christian nations conquered almost the entire planet. Do not tell me, that native people in Asia, Australia, Africa and Americas were just expecting to get their resources, land and lives stolen by the Christians? Or that they voluntarily gave up their own religions and cultures in exhange for some Christianity and then shipped themselves to voluntary slavery from their native soil? How revisionist can you get? 😉

My reply:

Untrue. The people ran from the Romans and the Goths and the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths and the Mongols and the Vikings and, and and … in terror. Did Christians act like all other peoples on the face of the earth had acted for millennia? Yes. Did they also embark on a never-ending quest both to be better people and to spread the Gospel of Love around the world? Yes. Did they do that perfectly? Of course not. Christianity is still the first, and still the only, faith to inspire people to be ever better than they ever have been… every day. Did they change everything — including themselves — overnight, and bring the world overnight into the light of God’s grace? Of course not. Are they perfect? Of course not? Are they, however, the greatest force for good there has ever been? Those who follow Christ’s teachings, obviously, are. Again, rautakky, your understanding of Christianity is obviously deeply flawed and incomplete.

You wrote:

Modern day Christianity is not very belligerent for one reason only. It has been overruled and kept in a short leash by secularity.

My reply:

Oh? Who overruled Christianity? You can’t “overrule” a belief system. You can try to discredit it, but all attempts to discredit Christianity have failed completely. Want to know why? Because Christianity is not dependent on coercion for its believers. Atheism is. Look at the militantly atheistic régimes of the 20th Century — Hitler, Stalin (two failed priests!), Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, The Kim family in North Korea, Hoxha, the various other Eastern European monsters (Honecker, Husak, Kadar, Zhivkov, Ulbricht and others…) All atheists, all monsters. All used, and some continue to use, their atheism (as anti-religionism), in part, to justify their monstrosity. In many of these countries, it was become an atheist or die. Simple as that. Christianity is on a “leash” in America and elsewhere — to use your inapt metaphor — that is exactly as long as Christians choose to make it. Until freedom of religion is abolished in these countries, if Christianity’s “leash” is shorter it is because Christians choose for it to be shorter. I agree with you that much of Christianity is in decline, but that is only because of the faltering faith of Christians, not of anything to do with “secularity.”

Best,

– x

rautakyysaid:

xPraetorius. I have no time to educate you. You really need to find out about these things on your own.

However, I admit it, that it is impossible to see the hearts and minds of other people. That is the reason why anecdotal evidence is so flimsy in nature. Have you seen the hearts and minds of the writers of the Bible and Gospels? No, nor have I. But I have no reason to suspect the admissions of people who tell me they are Christians, that they think they are and that most of them are sincere about it. I draw the line where they tell me something supernatural happened to them, because believing an agenda is common and natural, while supernatural by definition is not. Therefore, for supernatural claims to be taken at face value, they really need to demonstrate the truth of those claims. Are you really saying, that for example the Crusaders were just pretending to be Christians? Many of them were willing to die for their faith. Such does not prove that their belief was a good description of reality, but it demonstrates their conviction. Does it not?

Your point about the problems of marriage between homosexuals is a bit sad. You see: If heterosexuals have the right to marry, then, obviously, a homosexual man and a woman have the right to marry too… for example to avoid inheritance taxes. Think about it. Would you marry a man because of inheritance taxes? I would not.

People may marry because of bad reasons and divorce rates tell us that they do so all the time, but it has nothing to do with stopping people who do love each other from marrying by their sexual orientation.

There is no ethical reason to stop homosexuals from getting a right to marry. Only reason is, that it makes some Christians (total outsiders to these marriages and relationships) feel ikky, because they agree with their Middle-Eastern iron age god, that homosexuality is an “abomination”, though even they would not want to stone the male homosexuals to death, like the said god explicitly ordered to do. Is there?

When ever did Charles Darwin say evolution has been disproven? That is a ridiculous argument, even if it were true, because science does not rely on evolution being true, because of the authority of Charles Darwin, quite the opposite. 🙂 If you just did not invent that from the top of your head, someone has lied to you and I can only suggest you do not believe what that person who told you so, tries to tell you. For your own benefit. Science is not about authority, it is about the truth and the most objective method. Scientists do not worship the prophetic pronounciations of old (that is the inherent authoritarianism of religions), instead they try to disprove each other. A hypothesis is turned into an accepted theory only when it has not been disproven dispite good attempts. That is the best way we can know about objective reality. Yes?

A scientific theory, such as the evolution, is the current understanding of reality that science can offer us. It disproves creationism, but not the creation act. It does not even discuss that. The acting entity in the origin of the universe is a god of the gaps hiding in philosophical uncertainty. If some day creationists can scientifically disprove evolution, and their ideas have been accepted by peer review of (a lot of) other scientists, then their version may gradually become the scientific theory, but before that it is not very credible. Is it?

It is a completely different matter, that science can not research, or give any final reason for existance, or about stuff that is “supernatural”, in comparrison to silly Creationist ideals, such as that the earth is only 6000- to 10000 years old, or that there is no evolution. There are no two different scientific research methods competing about this issue. There is science and then there is pseudo-science. The main methodical difference is, that you can recognize the pseudo version from the actual research, by the fact that it starts from the end result and shall ignore all results, not leading to their preset conclusion. Science can not research supernatural, because it is impossible to research what does not exist. But every claim of supernatural influence on the material universe, that has been researched has been found out to be either a natural phenomenon, or a hoax.

The real science is and has been made by people who have not let their own religious pre-conceptions to affect the end results of their research. That is how we have come to understand that such stories, like the great flood and many other grand claims in the Bible and other ancient myths are so far from accurate descriptions of reality, that we may call them mere myths. And there are a lot of people who believe in the supernatural, though they do not take these myths at face value. These are also the sort of biologists who have come to the conclusion, that evolution is a reality and that there is plenty of evidence for species to diverge into others in the vast time spans as proven by geologists. Such divergence has been confirmed by DNA research. But if you are willing to refuse to find out about that, then yours is a willfull ignorance.

Do you have an invested interrest for evolution to be false? Does it infringe on your faith and salvation from hell, or something?

I accept the theory of relativity because I understand it, but if you believe it only because you have faith in Enistein, I pity you. Or perhaps I am only sharing the joke on the rest of you… 😉 Accepting the theory of relativity does not influence my daily descision making, though. Even if I did not understand it, having faith in it would mean less to me, than having faith in my coworker appearing to work next morning, but I do not know wether he comes, or not. He could get sick. I do not have to have any faith in him coming. I accept evolution, because I understand how it works. I do not know wether there are gods, but I do not have faith in any, because none have ever given me any evidence of their existance, but all of them would have demands on me. Odin would have me die in battle my honour intact to send his Valkyries to save me from eternal darkness. Should I take this at face value from the “All Father”? Why not? I can not disprove Odin, nor can you. The fact that you, or I can not disprove Odin does not make Odin any more real. Does it?

You wrote: “All evidence — even that meticulously recorded on whatever medium you wish — is anecdotal.” You have a serious misunderstanding here. The Gospel stories are not very meticulously recorded source of what really happened but a very typical anecdotal hearsay story. They can not even agree with each other wether how many angels or guards there were at the tomb of Jesus. Considering they were written by very superstitious people who obviously copied a lot of stuff from their own cultural heritage, There is not even an eye wittness account on Jesus dying let alone of the alledgedly most important moment of his so called resurrection. It is all inference from him alledgedly walking about after the execution. An execution the Romans were not interrested or even willing to go through with – according to the story. And people have survived the Crucifixion. Even the story claims that Jesus was on the cross only for few hours, when the method of execution was supposed to last for days before the victim died. A fit carpenter in his thirties with experience of tormenting his body with attricion could have died, but it is even more likely that he survived, than that he actually was the son of a particular local god.

If you compare this to the stories written and told by and about the Crusaders, you can not possibly justify, that this story has to be true, but the motive of the Crusaders and “holy” Inquisition to maim, kill and murder Pagans, Infidels and Heretics was not in their beliefs about their religion, god and Jesus. Can you?

Vikings? What are you suggesting? Do you really not know what happened to the Mithranists, Gnostics, Arians and all the Pagans within the Roman Empire? They were persecuted to death by Christians. What about the Albigenses and Hussites? How many crusades did the Catholics inflict upon the Orthodox? Were Crusades against other Christians and the Muslims not religiously motivated? What motivated the Pogroms and religious wars in 17th century? Religion? What religion was that? Were all those people responsible for these atrocities just imposters pretending to be Christians?

You wrote: “Christianity is still the first, and still the only, faith to inspire people to be ever better than they ever have been… every day.” Is that so? What are then Buddhism, Zoroasterianism, Islam, Taoism and Confucianism for example? Your ignorance is blatant.

You wrote: “Christianity is not dependent on coercion for its believers.” Oh really? Why is it then, that so many Christians have suggested the childish Pascal’s Wager as a reason to believe? For centuries Christians used to burn alive people they even suspected for having escaped their coercion. Why do we no longer publically burn heretics alive in the western world? Because Jesus told us not to? No, but because of the rise of humanism. That is the way secularism has overruled Christianity in social and political life.

You would claim atheism requires coercion, but I do not require coercion from you. I am not an atheist, because atheism coerced me. Do you admit you are wrong about this, or are you saying I lie about this to you? 😉

You really need to read upon the religious beliefs of Hitler and his followers and Germans during his reign.

Go find out about the world. It is magnificent…

  rautakyysaid:

Hitler claimed, that he was sent by a god to conquer the world. That he heard the voice of the god of the Bible, that told him to. Germans – good Christian Germans both Catholic and Protestant – thought nothing of it. All hey thought, Hitler was there to defend the churches from those awfull socialists and atheists. And he did, because they were the ones first sent to “re-education” (concentration) camps.

No gods sent any assassins to kill Hitler, or if they did, those gods totally botched the job. For some reason. Wonder why, no gods helped any of them?

So, if YHWH was unethical in the OT times, then what happened? He suddenly got better, or realized the error of his ways and sent himself as Jesus to set stuff right? How well did that turn out?

Besides to me the NT god is as unethical as the OT god, it still sanctions slavery and though there are no longer these genosidal rages and commands to kill people, because the god itself seems unable to achieve anything without the hand of the adherent there to make it real, the tribal moralism still comes through, if not by any other measure, then by the claim that only by believing the story about Jesus without actual evidence (=faith) can a person be saved from eternal violent torment in the alledged afterlife. It is a silly and arbitrary segragation line between people, that determines nothing else about them, exept their gullibility on this single issue, that to most is just part of their cultural heritage, rather than something they really are equipped to examine.

@Rautakky: Hitler never made any such claim. He was an atheist and a socialist. You keep demanding that God do parlor tricks. Assassinate Hitler, etc. I covered the silliness of that in a post on my blog, so I won’t go into it here. God was not unethical in the Old Testament, He simply made a new Covenant with Jesus as his vehicle for it. God was perfectly ethical in both the Old and New Testaments.

How well did that turn out? For those who have earned eternal salvation, it turned out perfectly.

Your understanding of God is deeply flawed. If you understand the Bible, you will see that nowhere does God in the New Testament sanction slavery. Does He tell slave owners to treat their slaves well? Yes, of course, and that is where He simply talks to the people in their own language and in words and terms they will understand. The rest of the New Testament Bible is a renunciation of any cruelty on the part of one human to another. You cannot, for example, go from Jesus’ admonitions to love all other humans unconditionally to slavery.

Rautakky, where you get it wrong is that, as an atheist, you are unable to see the bigger picture. I call it the 10,000-year picture. Jesus’ message is to transcend all this earthly stuff, and turn your heart and mind to eternity, where all that we do here on earth fades into insignificance — yes even terrible things — by comparison.

Your, and my, and his, and her nobility, or suffering — all are petty, trivial things compared with eternal salvation. In the 10,000 year picture, all that counts is your relationship with God. If you yourself have none, rautakky, then, I suspect, you are right — you will have no 10,000 year picture to consider, and you can continue with your constant, niggling, trivial arguments against the existence of God. I advise against that.

I don’t say that you are trivial — far from it, in fact! — but your arguments and objections are the thoughts of someone with a very modest level of understanding of Christianity. You, on the other hand, are an intelligent, thoughtful person, and it would be great if you could put that mental acuity toward an open-minded study of Christianity. In the meantime, it’s sometimes tiresome to have to bat back these really basic and silly objections.

In answer to your last paragraph: What if you’re wrong?

Best,

– x

rautakyysaid:

xPraetorius, Hitler was no socialist. He was a fascist. Simple really.

Hitler was not an atheist either and I do not know where you got that. If you did not just make that up yourself, then do not trust the person who lied to you about this. Hitler was a Christian mystic. Read his book. He only wrote one, you know. (It is boring, I know.)

Make no mistake, Hitler tells to have had a contact from the god of Christians and that this god told him to conquering rampage. Look that up and only then decide who to believe.

A god that alledgedly kills the entire human race and sends a “chosen people” to do genoside on some other people, tells them to kill male homosexuals and unruly kids by stoning is a moral monster. There is no escaping this. Sorry.

Have you read the Bible. I am sorry if you have built a lot of your identity on a book you have not read, though I know there are erroneous NT translations where slaves have been referred to as servants, but what they really are talking about in the cultural context of the Roman Empire is slaves.

For those who have earned the eternal salvation it has turned out pretty well, exept that it still remains to be seen, because there is no evidence of any eternal salvation at all. None. Zip. Nada. Or is there?

The greatest benefit for the entire Christendom from Christianity, has been, that the endless religious wars lead to the inevitable conclusion, that there has to be religious freedom, that the government, justice system and science has to divorce itself from religious influence. Otherwise the history of Christendom has been pretty much the same as everyone elses.

Of course wether Christianity has proven to be beneficial or not to people is a secondary question and tells us nothing about wether or not the supernatural claims in Christianity are true or not. None of them have been ever proven and the all the evidence is flimsy and weak at best.

I thank you for your advice, but doubt if I ever take it to practice. Simply because to me the truth matters. I am unable to settle myself in delusions of eternal life as a reward for believing in a particular god. No, I have not got your perspective on things. I have mine and I am in my ethical rights to call out a god that alledgedly hands out eternal salvation not according to me being me, or even on how good a person I am, but according to wether or not I accept a cultural mythical suggestion, that is alien to me, without any evidence at all. Exept some ancient stories. It is like you were chosen to be put to eternal torment or happiness according to wether or not you believed Julius Caesar was a bi-sexual. How can gullibility on one subject, that is to some culturally natural to accept and to others equally culturally unnatural to accept be the method of dividing people into the salvaged and lost ones? It makes no sense at all?

But as long as there is no demonstrable evidence of this god, just hearsay stories by ignorant and superstitious people, and childish inference from existance itself, simply because we can not explain it, this is all just discussion about concepts. Or it would be, unless religions would influence the minds of people in such a chaotic way, that they end up disowning science – the one and only really objective method we have to know reality – and disowning history in order to defend the tribal moralism inherent to their god and religion…

Wich atheist has ever pronounced to be a god? That is a total contradiction in terms. Atheism is the position of not believing in any gods. Would a “man god” atheist then not believe in the existance of himself? Who told you atheism is a belief in man as a god. What sort of god. Creator entity of the entire universe? Or the god of shoe laces capable of lacing his own shoes? You are not making any sense at all.

Hitlers anti-semitism was derived directly from his Christian heritage. There have been many persecutions of Jews in Germany throughout history all conducted by Christians, sanctioned by Christian priesthood and the church, and revered Christian teachers like Martin Luther even demanded terrible fate on the Jews. It was good middle class Christians in Germany who supported and joined the Nazies. They all thought it was Christian of them to persecute the Jews, Socialists, Communists, modern artists and what have you… Without all those good Christians he affraid of the Jews, Socialists, Communists, modernists and disabled people Hitler could not have gotten very far. It was them who made the Third Reich, not Hitler alone. Read a little history. Please.

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@rautakky, I appreciate your solicitude for my well-being and the state of my knowledge! It’s a shame you have no time to educate me, I’d love to learn Finnish.

However… I’ve been over a lot of this other ground with you before. It’s pretty much out of scope for the topic at hand, but I will give you some short summaries.

1) Of course, Hitler was a socialist. First of all, fascists and socialists are the same thing. Second, he had no problem with socialism or communism, just with socialists and communists. Same with Mussolini. I covered this with you before. Furthermore, at the end of Stalin’s reign in 1953, his régime and the defunct régime of Hitler were indistinguishable.

So you can understand better: Socialism is a spectrum disease, with Fascism and Communism on the far left, and European Social Democracy and American liberalism on the far right. In the middle, for example, would be Dubcek’s short-lived “Socialism with a Human Face,” or Hungary’s “Goulash Communism.” Communism and Fascism resemble absolute monarchies to such an extent — minus the hereditary succession thing — that some historians place absolute monarchies on the far left as well.

2) Hitler was indeed an atheist. See my post to higharka, above. I agree that there are nuances to the idea, but nonetheless, he was an atheist. For all the times you can catch Hitler making obeisances to Christian faith, there are just as many instances of his rejecting it, and telling how he was just saying things to speak to his audience. Hitler, did know how to mesmerize an audience.

3) Hitler said a lot of things, but was speaking to his audience. Hence, he had to couch his words in ways that would be acceptable to that audience. See, eg; Obama, Barack.

4) Read up on the story of the flood, and you will see that your telling of it is laughably simplistic, and lacking in understanding. When I was much younger and rebellious, I believed as you did too… until I grew up and opened my mind. Also, God never sent anyone to commit genocide on anyone, certainly not His chosen people. They, the Jews, of course, have never committed genocide against anyone, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Sounds as though you are listening to the same propaganda that is out there for the gullible and the illiterate. You should do better than that.

5) I have read most of the Bible, not the entire work. Regarding “slaves” vs. “servants,” you are dealing with semantics and engaging in “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” argumentation. That’s silly. My interpretation of the “slaves/servants” thing is the one most scholars agree is correct. The old canard that “God approves of slavery” was put to rest decades ago. You sound a bit as though you are in a time warp, rautakky!

6) You said: “For those who have earned the eternal salvation it has turned out pretty well, except that it still remains to be seen, because there is no evidence of any eternal salvation at all. None. Zip. Nada. Or is there?” @Rautakky, there’s no real evidence for anything see my reply to you regarding Einstein and Heisenberg and your five and quarter inch floppy disks, above. We all accept most everything on faith.

7) This paragraph didn’t make much sense. I attribute that to difficulties with English:

“The greatest benefit for the entire Christendom from Christianity, has been, that the endless religious wars lead to the inevitable conclusion, that there has to be religious freedom, that the government, justice system and science has to divorce itself from religious influence. Otherwise the history of Christendom has been pretty much the same as everyone elses.”

I agree, however, with the last line. It’s because Christians are people too. Like everyone else. That is not controversial

8) You said: “The greatest benefit for the entire Christendom from Christianity, has been, that the endless religious wars lead to the inevitable conclusion, that there has to be religious freedom, that the government, justice system and science has to divorce itself from religious influence. Otherwise the history of Christendom has been pretty much the same as everyone elses.”

Why? Because you say so? So what? No disrespect intended, but who are you? You throwreally basic arguments at me like “If there is a God, why does He let bad things happen?” and then you expect me to consider you an authority on Christianity?

9) You tell me the truth matters, then somehow imply that it doesn’t matter to me. Wow! Areyou the holder of all truth? That would be weird, because, again, your argumentation is basic, very junior-grade level, and wouldn’t pass muster in a high school debating club. Again, no disrespect intended.

10) You wrote: “Of course wether Christianity has proven to be beneficial or not to people is a secondary question and tells us nothing about wether or not the supernatural claims in Christianity are true or not. None of them have been ever proven and the all the evidence is flimsy and weak at best.”

Again, why? Because you say so? I guess we can toss out everything that all historians ever wrote, eh? And, in fact, unless you witnessed whatever it is, you can’t be sure it happened. Even if you witness it, your memory of it begins to fade immediately afterward. See my response to you regarding God’s parlor tricks.

11) Your big, long paragraph containing the reference to Julius Caesar was mostly incoherent, but there was some that made sense. First: no Christian is ever asked to disown science. Second: it makes sense that if God created people, as I believe, then He would make it part of our basic nature to want to love Him. If we love Him, then to be with Him brings happiness. To turn away from Him brings sadness. Needless to say, He would make it possible for us to make that choice, else our desire to be with Him would be insincere. None of this is hard to understand. If there is a God, as I believe, then it would be perfectly illogical for Him to create us so that we turned on him. Duh!

12) You wrote: “But as long as there is no demonstrable evidence of this god, just hearsay stories by ignorant and superstitious people, and childish inference from existance itself, simply because we can not explain it, this is all just discussion about concepts.”

My reply: You mean like the high priests of evolution, or the religious zealots of of environmentalism? 🙂

13) You wrote: “Wich atheist has ever pronounced to be a god? That is a total contradiction in terms. Atheism is the position of not believing in any gods. Would a “man god” atheist then not believe in the existance of himself? Who told you atheism is a belief in man as a god. What sort of god. Creator entity of the entire universe? Or the god of shoe laces capable of lacing his own shoes? You are not making any sense at all.”

Reply: Hitler, Mao, Stalin, The Kim family in North Korea, Pol Pot, Ho… there were others who tried, but didn’t get as far. Your paragraph showed your ignorance of the various forms and strains of atheism. As soon as Stalin, for example, achieved power, he started to develop his Cult of Personality, to use Khrushchev’s pithy phrase. Mao made of himself a deity-like personnage. I got a chuckle out of your last phrase: “What sort of god. Creator entity of the entire universe? Or the god of shoe laces capable of lacing his own shoes? You are not making any sense at all.”

That made no sense, but I attribute it to the English as non-native language thing.

14) You wrote: “Hitlers anti-semitism was derived directly from his Christian heritage. There have been many persecutions of Jews in Germany throughout history all conducted by Christians, sanctioned by Christian priesthood and the church, and revered Christian teachers like Martin Luther even demanded terrible fate on the Jews. It was good middle class Christians in Germany who supported and joined the Nazies. They all thought it was Christian of them to persecute the Jews, Socialists, Communists, modern artists and what have you… Without all those good Christians he affraid of the Jews, Socialists, Communists, modernists and disabled people Hitler could not have gotten very far. It was them who made the Third Reich, not Hitler alone. Read a little history. Please.”

My reply: Your first phrases are, of course, false. Germany was never all that hostile to the Jews up until Hitler’s day. Relatively speaking, of course! Anti-semitism was pretty widespread. Germany was never one of the worst countries though. Until the arrival of the Nazis, that is. Jewish leaders were far more worried about Poland and Russia, where anti-Semitism had a long history. To this day, Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, and their children repeat the refrain: “We never saw it coming from Germany. Russia? Yes. Poland? Sure…but not Germany.” And, of course, no serious attempt has ever been made to justify persecution of anyone using Christianity as the reason. Hitler never did it. Not seriously anyway. Therewas an attempt to conflate communism with Christianity because of Christianity’s well-known belief in every person’s equality of worth before God. The attempt was laughed out of the room, because of Christianity’s other well-known admonition against killing people.

Read a little something that’s not transparently infantile flapdoodle. Please. 🙂

Again, rautakky, I’ve covered all this ground with you several times before. I’m not going to continue to bat back third-grade sillinesses, and simplistic objections that are easily demolished in Sunday school. It’s out of scope for the topic of IB’s blog post. Moreover, you’ve tried to take a salvific faith, the gentlest, most charitable, most generous, most equitable, liberating belief system in the history of the world — the only belief system ever to command every person to love every other person as himself, the only belief system ever to command every person to love his enemy — and tried to turn it into a bloodthirsty, greedy, tyrannical régime like socialism. That’s just numbskullery of the highest order.

Best,

– x

@higharka: Just a quick update. Again, thanks for the link. I took a look around the pages, but have not had a chance to research Jim Walker or his particular background. The pictures are interesting, but don’t contradict anything I said.

As anecdotal evidence of what I’m talking about, I had an atheist girlfriend who was more than happy to attend church with me. She prayed when the people prayed, sang when the people sang — she really liked the music! — and knelt when the people knelt. She didn’t go up for the Eucharist, but there are many possible reasons that might be a legitimate thing to do in a Catholic church.

Was she actually a Christian? Nope. I tried, but never got through to her. That was not the reason for our break-up, by the way. No, she was simply being polite, as we all frequently are no matter our surroundings.

We all do little dishonesties every day in order to avoid offending or seeming rude or combative.

The politician has to do many more of these dishonesties.

I suggest that as a publicly avowed atheist, Hitler wouldn’t have had a chance to obtain power in Germany. He surely had to put out an image that would have been deeply at odds with who he was. A quick thought experiment: How far would he have gone, if he had told everyone outright that he planned to kill all the Jews in Europe? I suspect we’d never have heard from him again.

Then, look at what Hitler actually did. Surely anyone can see how absolutely, completely and thoroughly counter to Christianity nearly his entire rule was. Surely that was a lousyChristian! More to the point, that was an atheist, who occasionallhy played at being a Christian.

One characteristic of all the atheist régimes of the 20th Century: a willingness to deal in death on a massive scale. Playing God. This is typical behavior of the atheist with absolute power. And who can blame him? If there’s no God, then the atheist need suffer no pangs of conscience for anything he does.

I’ll continue to research your guy Jim Walker, and what he’s written. Unless, that is, you can give me a synopsis of his CV. Remember, none of the pictures showing Hitler exiting a church, or shaking hands with clergy, or attending church services, or doing this and that with religious people mean that he wasn’t an atheist. My atheist girlfriend did all those things with me as well… many times. We had good times at those functions, and I often teased her gently afterward, from which we both got big laughs.

Best,

– x

xPraetorius, I am gratefull, that you are willing to give me mercy for my poor English skills. [Editor’s Note: rautakyy’s English is excellent.]

However, I think my comments have been well along to the topic of “Mocking Christians”. 😉

What you are describing, is a world where everyones comments and opinions are equal because they are just anecdotes, unless they themselves are some sort of authority (remember your comment about Darwin, you never explained). Correct? But I live in a world where every opinion has to be based on reason and evidence before they can be understood and only after that we can accept them as describing reality. That is why the atheist sometimes ends up mocking the Christian or any other Theist, because faith is accepting stuff without actual evidence.

Yes, we have gone through some of these questions before. Did we get to some sort of mutual conclusion? Since you can not present an actual ethical reason to disclaim the homosexuals from a right to marry, does that mean you now agree with me, or just that you refuse to answer me because of your highly superior debate training from highschool and sundayschool?

1) You are once again, confusing totalitarianism and socialism. Fascism is capitalistic totalitarianism based on some traditional Christian values. Or are you telling me again that the owners of Krupp, Fiat, Porsche, BMW, and Benz for example were not capitalists? I can understand why you are confused. With limited knowledge of history people often make this mistake, especially when it suits their preassumptions. But as I asked you before, ask any fascist, or nazi if they are socialists. What will their answer be??? You know they will not tell you they are. They percieve themselves as quite the opposite. Were generals Franco and Pinochet for example atheists? Were they Socialists? Were they Fascists? Socialism does not spell totalitarianism any more than capitalism does. There have been and at the very moment there are plenty of socialist governments elected in a democratic way to power all over the world. What about the military juntas in Greece and all over the Americas? Were they all Socialists? Do not be ridiculous. Please. Hitler rode into politics as the opposing force to socialism. Did you not know this?

2) I read you post to Higharka, but you are jumping into conclusions, just because it would suit you, if Hitler was an atheist. He never said he was an atheist. He never supported any atheist agenda in practice. He said your god talked to him and he did promised to protect the two major churches in Germany, on wich he did about as good job as he did at his other promise of protecting the German people. As you said, we can not see his heart, but on his own admission he portrayed himself as the protector of the Christian faith and people who obeyed his commands were by far mostly Christians who thought that was exactly what he did. Right?

3) Yes indeed. Hitler spoke to the very Christian audience in Germany. The Catholic and Lutheran middle-classes of Germany mainly. And they were all too willing to accept his proposal, that the Jews and Socialists were to be blamed for everything, that was bad and then disposed of. His original plan, by the way, was to settle the Jews into Palestine, but it did not work out with the British, so he came up with several secondary plans. – Terrible, but also Ironic, as he was a sort of Zionist too.

4) Read the Bible through – all of it. One should not accept a book as the source of ultimate truth, if one has not even read it. You will find the genosides from it. I have studied archeology in the University, hence I know how much and what sort of evidence has been presented in support of the great flood. Sorry. None, that should be there if there ever was a world wide flood. But you do not have to take my word for it. Research the subject and only then decide.

5) Again read the Bible through if you want to base anything on it. The entire book. The question about slavery in it, may have been attempted to be put to rest by people who are embarressed by the lack of ethics and morals of the god character in the book. But it is all there. And in both Testaments. It is not nitpicking. It is a genuine concern, if we are suggested, that this same god, that explicitly tells people, that both owning and killing a slave is OK, is to be considered as some sort of source for moral absolutes.

6) No, we do not take everything on faith. We take stuff for real either with evidence, or without. The latter option is called faith. The reason you do not present any evidence for the alledged afterlife here is because there is none. Or is there?

7) Yes, Christians are just people too, just like Capitalists, Socialists and even Fascists are just people too. I am sorry if you had trouble understanding my point. Because of my limited skills in English, I can not phrase it better, perhaps some other reader of ours got it and can explain it to you…

8) Oh, but you did understand some of it after all, did you? I do not expect you to consider me as any sort of an authority. I simply raise questions, maybe you could be able to find the right answers to, for your own benefit.To have an open mind as you so eloquently put it…

9) No disrespect taken. I do not think I have very good debating skills. But the value of my points is no less because of lack of eloquency in my expression. Is it? If I thought truth does not matter to you, I would not be having this discussion with you. It would be a total waste of time for both of us. I can only speak for myself, and I am not yet sure about you, because you make so many truth claims, that you are unable to back up by any facts. No disrespect meant by this. Just an honest answer to your point. In my former experience people who appeal to faith, have a very strange and intuitional view on what is true.

10 ) Well, I am not sure what you mean by this. Perhaps it is my lack in English language again, but what is your point?

11) So, Ken Ham and his Creationist museum is not a Christian endeveaour? I am more open minded about them. If they think they are, and by their own admission I think they are. But what they do is asking Christians to abandon what we have learned by science and instead trust an ancient book on the natural history of earth. I already explained to you how science works. Creationist “scientists” are acting against it and pretending all the science on origins, evolution and geological dating, that is not this very, very minute group of creationist “scientist”. (Who by their own admission say that the Bible is a better source for information than the scientific research methods they themselves claim to use.) As if the scientific community of the world was somehow infiltrated by this secret conspiracy of atheists to undermine Theism world wide. Now, you have to admit, that this at least is ridiculous. Or have I gotten it somehow wrong?

I have no, nor have I ever had a desire to love your specific idea of a creator, nor does the most of the population on the planet. Did you not know this? Did your god botch with the creation process, or what happened?

What choise are you talking about? If one believes that this particular Middle-Eastern god is for real, then one also believes, that there is no choise, because otherwise terrible violence will follow in this or the next life. Right? If one does not believe, then what is the choise? To auto-suggest oneself into believing, just in case this particular god is more true than all the others? Again without evidence = by faith? Where is the free will here? Who would choose hell if they thought it was for real? Who would not choose to believe, if there were ample evidence? Most of the people who believe in this or that god do so, simply because they have been taught to do so from childhood, but that is hardly their own achievement, nor fault, is it?

12) I do not know what you are referrin here to or are you trying to go on a tangent, but evolution is the prevailing scientific theory. Do you understand what that means? Environment is affected by humans and population growth is at this point of history exponential. Do you not think the ranking scientists on environmental issues are concerned for a reason? Or are you expecting supernatural saviour to solve the problems we humans have created?

13) So, what you are describing is that Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot made themselves to be some sort of gods in their own religions. And I agree. Those are good examples of how religious authoritarianism is harmfull. When a person sets himself as a god or speaking for god, it seems the religiously inclined masses are ready to accept and act on any monstrous order from such demagogues. Same of course appleis to many demagogues who pronounced to speak for gods, like for example Pope Urban II and Hitler. But if people are acting like someone was a god or a direct representative of a god, then that no longer qualifies as atheism, because atheism only describes one thing. That the person does not believe in gods. In any gods, nor in the authority of demigods like Jesus, Hercules, or even Alexander the Great. An atheist may exept Jesus the mythical character as an interresting philosopher, Hercules as an exemplary of some idea, like bravery, or Alexander the Great as a magnificent general, but to the atheist, they are not supernatural gods. As I said, it would be a contradiction in terms.

14) Clearly you do not know history very well. But there is still time for you to learn. During the 18th and 19th century the East-European pogroms, that were also motivated by Christianity, Germany was not the worst place for the Jews because it was divided into small states with different Christian sects as churches and as such the religion did not have such a hold on people as it did in Eastern-Europe. However, the Jews were often persecuted in Germany during the Middle ages by the Catholic church representatives and on blessing from the church militant and even later. Martin Luther wrote some very nasty stuff about the Jews and how they should be dealt with. All this anti-semitic suspicion from the churches in Germany is the cultural heritage from wich Hitler and his contemporary German Christian supporters got their hatred of the Jews from. The German population had a deeply rooted religious and ethnic suspicion of the Jews often preached to them from the pulpit in the church. Do not take my word for it. Read about it, and only then decide.

Christianity and communism have a lot in common. 😉 At least the early Christian community and the early church had and the Biblical accounts tell of a society where Christians considered all property in common ownership. Now, if that is not communism, then it is Christianity – right? Even Jesus is reported to have explicitly told to sell all your property and give it to the poor. Have you done so, or do you doubt Jesu’s words when he said that for the rich man it is equally hard to enter the gates of heaven as for a camel to go through an eye of the needle?

You have a high regard on Christianity and I do not blame you for believing, that you should love even your enemies, though in real life, that is a rather impractical suggestion. Is it not? Yet, as I mentioned before: Buddha, Zoroaster, Laoze, Confugius have long before Jesus suggested as much. Do not think your personal cultural heritage is superior to others just because you do not know the others. Love your enemies, because you have learned about them enough to know they are worhty of your love, not because Jesus tells you to, or else…

All the best for you.

 

 

 

It has to be quick tonight, rautakky…

xPraetorius, I am gratefull, that you are willing to give me mercy for my poor English skills.

My reply:
Think nothing of it.

You wrote:
However, I think my comments have been well along to the topic of “Mocking Christians”. 😉

My reply:
Only tangentially… We went all far afield where we started to debate the thought processes of Adolf Hitler. Pretty much off-topic, I’m sure.

You wrote:
What you are describing, is a world where everyones comments and opinions are equal because they are just anecdotes, unless they themselves are some sort of authority (remember your comment about Darwin, you never explained). Correct? But I live in a world where every opinion has to be based on reason and evidence before they can be understood and only after that we can accept them as describing reality. That is why the atheist sometimes ends up mocking the Christian or any other Theist, because faith is accepting stuff without actual evidence.

My reply:
And, yet, if you think of it, all that you believe is faith too. Faith that your senses are correct (read the article in the BBC about the women with superhuman vision), faith that your memory is correct; faith that the reports from others that you read are correct; that theirsenses were correct; faith that they are telling the truth. What I’m saying is that all belief — even the belief that atheism is correct — is faith. And you are betting your eternal existence that you are correct. Wow! Your faith is a lot stronger than mine! And mine is strong!

About Darwin: he said that if the fossil record were not full to overflowing with evidence of “missing links” species — species that had evolved some adaptation that was not successful — then his theory was wrong. No missing link of any kind has ever been found. Furthermore, if he was right, then there should be species going extinct all over the world. They are, but all scientists have been reporting that it’s mankind’s fault, not evolution. If evolution were correct, we should see all these thousands of “missing link” species fading out because they are not the fittest. But we don’t. However, that’s not the only evidence that evolution is highly suspect. You can see it yourself. The religious zeal with which its adherents shut down any kind of debate is a red flag to all honest observers.

You wrote:
Yes, we have gone through some of these questions before. Did we get to some sort of mutual conclusion? Since you can not present an actual ethical reason to disclaim the homosexuals from a right to marry, does that mean you now agree with me, or just that you refuse to answer me because of your highly superior debate training from highschool and sundayschool?

My reply:
I can present many ethical reasons why homosexuals should not have their marriages recognized by the state. I have no political reason to prevent them from getting married. I have many obvious societal reasons for suggesting that the state shouldn’t recognize such marriages. There is no law in the United States preventing homosexuals from getting married either.There hasn’t been such a law for decades. As I told you before, the “same sex marriage” movement has nothing to do with marriage, but with money. Take away any financial advantages to getting married — in the inheritance sense — and the same sex marriage movement would go away completely.

You wrote:
1) You are once again, confusing totalitarianism and socialism. Fascism is capitalistic totalitarianism based on some traditional Christian values. Or are you telling me again that the owners of Krupp, Fiat, Porsche, BMW, and Benz for example were not capitalists? I can understand why you are confused. With limited knowledge of history people often make this mistake, especially when it suits their preassumptions. But as I asked you before, ask any fascist, or nazi if they are socialists. What will their answer be??? You know they will not tell you they are. They percieve themselves as quite the opposite. Were generals Franco and Pinochet for example atheists? Were they Socialists? Were they Fascists? Socialism does not spell totalitarianism any more than capitalism does. There have been and at the very moment there are plenty of socialist governments elected in a democratic way to power all over the world. What about the military juntas in Greece and all over the Americas? Were they all Socialists? Do not be
ridiculous. Please. Hitler rode into politics as the opposing force to socialism. Did you not know this?

My reply:
Whew! Thank goodness my knowledge of history isn’t limited! Though, I thank you for the opening. I was kind of hoping you would go there! You are correct: the owners of Krupp, Fiat, etc — those who cooperated with the socialists Hitler and Mussolini, absolutely were not capitalists. No capitalist in his right mind would ever submit willingly to that level of control by the government — not even for a monopoly in his industry. If he did, he would be saying that he was abandoning capitalism for socialism. Capitalism — the belief that the government’s regulatory role in the markets should be extremely limited — is the exact opposite of fascism and socialism. Or, otherwise expressed, what do you call a capitalist who cooperates with a socialist? A socialist. Hitler was a socialist. Why would you think he was not, when he called himself one. Mussolini was a marxist, whose dying words were “Long live socialism.” He didn’t like non-fascist marxists because they competed with him for power in Italy in the 20′s and 30′s. Same with the very much socialist Hitler. Rautakkhy, you need some new text books in Finland! Your educational system’s books are hopelessly out of date.

You wrote:
2) I read you post to Higharka, but you are jumping into conclusions, just because it would suit you, if Hitler was an atheist. He never said he was an atheist. He never supported any atheist agenda in practice. He said your god talked to him and he did promised to protect the two major churches in Germany, on wich he did about as good job as he did at his other promise of protecting the German people. As you said, we can not see his heart, but on his own admission he portrayed himself as the protector of the Christian faith and people who obeyed his commands were by far mostly Christians who thought that was exactly what he did. Right?

My reply:
He couldn’t have come to power if he said openly that he was an atheist. However, you are mistaken. Hitler often referred to himself as an atheist.

You wrote:
3) Yes indeed. Hitler spoke to the very Christian audience in Germany. The Catholic and Lutheran middle-classes of Germany mainly. And they were all too willing to accept his proposal, that the Jews and Socialists were to be blamed for everything, that was bad and then disposed of. His original plan, by the way, was to settle the Jews into Palestine, but it did not work out with the British, so he came up with several secondary plans. – Terrible, but also Ironic, as he was a sort of Zionist too.

My reply:
Nope. They were looking for a way out of the dismal conditions in which they found themselves. If they had known where he would take them, he never would have come close to power. Hitler was the only politician of any prominence suggesting that Germany abrogate the Versailles Treaty. That is what many accepted. Many, however, did not. Many more than historical accounts suggest. Don’t forget… he didn’t blame the socialists, because he himself was a socialist. He blamed the communists. Hitler believed that he was the correct kind of socialist. Hitler also very much cosidered himself a left-winger.

You wrote:
4) Read the Bible through – all of it. One should not accept a book as the source of ultimate truth, if one has not even read it. You will find the genosides from it. I have studied archeology in the University, hence I know how much and what sort of evidence has been presented in support of the great flood. Sorry. None, that should be there if there ever was a world wide flood. But you do not have to take my word for it. Research the subject and only then decide.

My reply:
Gettin’ there. I’m trying to learn the various languages so that I can read it in the original. What evidence is missing for a flood? Remember, the idea that an asteroid came along and hit th earth wiping out almost all lie on earth was discovered only recently too. What evidence of a long ago flood is missing? You say there is no evidence of a flood, yet there is no proof that there was not a flood either. Scientists do say there is plenty of evidence that most of the earth was under water at one point. Also, the flood would not have needed to cover the entire earth, just where there was human habitation. Of course, those humans who survived — Noah and his family — would report that it had covered the entire earth, because that is what they would have observed. Heck, it wouldn’t have had to be as big as one of the Great Lakes to appear to cover the entire earth. Just one thing that the “scientists” might have missed.

There are no genocides that Jews — God’s chosen people — have ever committed, nor were they ordered by God to commit any genocides. So they didn’t.

You wrote:
5) Again read the Bible through if you want to base anything on it. The entire book. The question about slavery in it, may have been attempted to be put to rest by people who are embarressed by the lack of ethics and morals of the god character in the book. But it is all there. And in both Testaments. It is not nitpicking. It is a genuine concern, if we are suggested, that this same god, that explicitly tells people, that both owning and killing a slave is OK, is to be considered as some sort of source for moral absolutes.

My reply:
Nope. The question of slavery was put to rest, because it was silly and infantile. Remember: God never told anyone — either explicitly or implicitly — to own or kill a slave. That’s not in the Bible.

You wrote:
6) No, we do not take everything on faith. We take stuff for real either with evidence, or without. The latter option is called faith. The reason you do not present any evidence for the alledged afterlife here is because there is none. Or is there?

My reply:
Yes, yes you do take everything on faith. Everything. No exceptions. You take everything on faith. Including faith that this great evidence of which you speak is real, or true, or not fabricated. All belief is nothing more than faith. Faith even that you exist. Or that I exist, because you really can’t know that for sure, can you? Remember how Descartes wrestled with that? He finally had to throw up his hands in surrender and say, “Cogito, ergo sum.” I think, therefore I am. He was wrong, of course. The correct way to say that was exactly the opposite: “I am, therefore I think as I do.”

You wrote:
7) Yes, Christians are just people too, just like Capitalists, Socialists and even Fascists are just people too. I am sorry if you had trouble understanding my point. Because of my limited skills in English, I can not phrase it better, perhaps some other reader of ours got it and can explain it to you…

My reply:
Doubtful. Your English is excellent… better than that of many Americans. You are to be congratulated! My point in saying that Christians are people too, is that they will do everything they do imperfectly, and frequently, because they are imperfect, in ways that are incompatible with Christianity, even if they hold their faith very dear.

You wrote:
8) Oh, but you did understand some of it after all, did you? I do not expect you to consider me as any sort of an authority. I simply raise questions, maybe you could be able to find the right answers to, for your own benefit.To have an open mind as you so eloquently put it…

My reply:
Welllllllllllll… you did tell me that you know all about Christianity and its history, but then your arguments were straight out of a really silly propaganda playbook that Christians had refuted long ago. That was when I said what I said about people saying, “If there is a God, why does he let bad things happen?”

You wrote:
9) No disrespect taken. I do not think I have very good debating skills. But the value of my points is no less because of lack of eloquency in my expression. Is it? If I thought truth does not matter to you, I would not be having this discussion with you. It would be a total waste of time for both of us. I can only speak for myself, and I am not yet sure about you, because you make so many truth claims, that you are unable to back up by any facts. No disrespect meant by this. Just an honest answer to your point. In my former experience people who appeal to faith, have a very strange and intuitional view on what is true.

My reply:
You lack no eloquence; you simply fall afoul of the all too frequent English idiosyncrasies and irregularities. Again, your English is excellent, and I sincerely think you are to be commended. However, your arguments are silly and basic. 🙂

You wrote:
10 ) Well, I am not sure what you mean by this. Perhaps it is my lack in English language again, but what is your point?

My reply:
See previous.

You wrote:
11) So, Ken Ham and his Creationist museum is not a Christian endeveaour? I am more open minded about them. If they think they are, and by their own admission I think they are. But what they do is asking Christians to abandon what we have learned by science and instead trust an ancient book on the natural history of earth. I already explained to you how science works. Creationist “scientists” are acting against it and pretending all the science on origins, evolution and geological dating, that is not this very, very minute group of creationist “scientist”. (Who by their own admission say that the Bible is a better source for information than the scientific research methods they themselves claim to use.) As if the scientific community of the world was somehow infiltrated by this secret conspiracy of atheists to undermine Theism world wide. Now, you have to admit, that this at least is ridiculous. Or have I gotten it somehow wrong?

My reply:
I don’t know Ken Ham, but I do know that what certain individuals do, even certain creationist individuals, has no bearing on the truth. Just as it’s evident that there are really bad, corrupt scientists everywhere — especially, for example, in environmentalism — there are, I’m sure bad creationist scientists. Whatever. It doesn’t change what is true. What is true is that there is no disagreement with the idea that God created the universe except to say that you don’t believe it. Ok. That makes your assertion no better than mine that God created the universe. You are forced to take your belief on faith, because you have no evidence that God didn’t create the universe, nor do you have a scintilla of evidence that God doesn’t exist. Yes, yes, yes, I know… it’s tougher to prove a negative. But, you’re the one trying to insist that the negative is true. Prove it. Real proof. Not just that you don’t believe it, or someone else doesn’t believe it, or that Hitler was a bad person. I could stipulate to everything you have said about Hitler and homosexuals, and feminists (in another thread) and anything else, and itstill is less than a grain of sand of evidence, proof, logic, argumentation or confirmation or demonstration or validation that God didn’t create the universe. Or that He doesn’t exist.

You wrote:
I have no, nor have I ever had a desire to love your specific idea of a creator, nor does the most of the population on the planet. Did you not know this? Did your god botch with the creation process, or what happened?

My reply:
Ok. Yes, I knew that. And no, He didn’t botch anything. We humans botched with the living and believing process.

You wrote:
What choise are you talking about? If one believes that this particular Middle-Eastern god is for real, then one also believes, that there is no choise, because otherwise terrible violence will follow in this or the next life. Right? If one does not believe, then what is the choise? To auto-suggest oneself into believing, just in case this particular god is more true than all the others? Again without evidence = by faith? Where is the free will here? Who would choose hell if they thought it was for real? Who would not choose to believe, if there were ample evidence? Most of the people who believe in this or that god do so, simply because they have been taught to do so from childhood, but that is hardly their own achievement, nor fault, is it?

My reply:
The choice: we can choose to turn our backs on God. Your explanation of faith is incorrect and overly simplistic. People believe in God, because they believe He is real. Evidence is all around you. Look at the earth. Look at all creation that you yourself called “magnificent.” Where did the completely subjective concept of “magnificent” come from.

You wrote:
12) I do not know what you are referrin here to or are you trying to go on a tangent, but evolution is the prevailing scientific theory. Do you understand what that means? Environment is affected by humans and population growth is at this point of history exponential. Do you not think the ranking scientists on environmental issues are concerned for a reason? Or are you expecting supernatural saviour to solve the problems we humans have created?

My reply:
“The earth is flat” was the prevailing scientific theory. Do you understand what that means? It means that “prevailing scientific theories” fall apart all the time. There is no reason to believe that any theory is sacrosanct. What problems have we humans created? If we are, as you say completely natural creatures, then what we do is, by definition, completely natural. If what we do is a failed evolutionary adaptation, then we will simply die out, because we will not have been the fittest to survive. By your definition, we have made no problems whatsoever, because all we do is 100% natural…. just like a bear pooping in the woods.

You wrote:
13) So, what you are describing is that Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot made themselves to be some sort of gods in their own religions. And I agree. Those are good examples of how religious authoritarianism is harmfull. When a person sets himself as a god or speaking for god, it seems the religiously inclined masses are ready to accept and act on any monstrous order from such demagogues. Same of course appleis to many demagogues who pronounced to speak for gods, like for example Pope Urban II and Hitler. But if people are acting like someone was a god or a direct representative of a god, then that no longer qualifies as atheism, because atheism only describes one thing. That the person does not believe in gods. In any gods, nor in the authority of demigods like Jesus, Hercules, or even Alexander the Great. An atheist may exept Jesus the mythical character as an interresting philosopher, Hercules as an exemplary of some idea, like bravery, or Alexander the Great as a magnificent general, but to the atheist, they are n
ot supernatural gods. As I said, it would be a contradiction in terms.

My reply:
No. The masses were afraid to oppose Hitler, Stalin, Mao… but there were vast currents of dissent in those countries. All their peoples were relieved when they departed from the scene. Atheism is not merely the belief that there is no god. It also has a Man as God strain to it. Simply true.

You wrote:
14) Clearly you do not know history very well. But there is still time for you to learn. During the 18th and 19th century the East-European pogroms, that were also motivated by Christianity, Germany was not the worst place for the Jews because it was divided into small states with different Christian sects as churches and as such the religion did not have such a hold on people as it did in Eastern-Europe. However, the Jews were often persecuted in Germany during the Middle ages by the Catholic church representatives and on blessing from the church militant and even later. Martin Luther wrote some very nasty stuff about the Jews and how they should be dealt with. All this anti-semitic suspicion from the churches in Germany is the cultural heritage from wich Hitler and his contemporary German Christian supporters got their hatred of the Jews from. The German population had a deeply rooted religious and ethnic suspicion of the Jews often preached to them from the pulpit in the church. Do not take my word for it.
Read about it, and only then decide.

My reply:
What I said about all this remains true. You snarked out a bit, but that’s okay; I won’t hold it against you. You are now doing the “arguing-just-for-the-sake-of-arguing” thing. However, all these niggling, piddly arguments are just silly. Go ahead, find this red-headed,left-handed mayor of East Cracow who says something you agree with, it doesn’t change the truth. And, as I stated above, you have no evidence, no proof, documentation, logic, reasoning except that you don’t believe. That’s all you have. If you re-read what I said about Germany, you will see plainly that even if your previous paragraph is completely true, it doesn’t contradict what I said. Read a biography of Elie Wiesel. He is the one — along with others, but he’s the best-known — who said that they never expected anything like the Holocaust from Germany.

You wrote:
Christianity and communism have a lot in common. 😉 At least the early Christian community and the early church had and the Biblical accounts tell of a society where Christians considered all property in common ownership. Now, if that is not communism, then it is Christianity – right? Even Jesus is reported to have explicitly told to sell all your property and give it to the poor. Have you done so, or do you doubt Jesu’s words when he said that for the rich man it is equally hard to enter the gates of heaven as for a camel to go through an eye of the needle?

My reply:
Ahhhhh! Now, at last, you have a point! However, remember that communism has never existed. It was always socialism, on its way to communism… before it collapsed. With that said, I am in perfect agreement that parts of communist theory overlap with Christianity. Both communism and Christianity suggest that one should not be overly concerned with ownership of material things. Where communism and Christianity differ is that communism worships the material goods, whereas in Christianity, we are supposed to minimize the importance of material goods. Also, socialism, theoretically on its way to communism, would forcibly confiscate people’s goods, while Christians give them up willingly to those less fortunate. This is the reason for which Christianity is, by far, the most generous belief system ever to have existed in history.

You wrote:
You have a high regard on Christianity and I do not blame you for believing, that you should love even your enemies, though in real life, that is a rather impractical suggestion. Is it not? Yet, as I mentioned before: Buddha, Zoroaster, Laoze, Confugius have long before Jesus suggested as much. Do not think your personal cultural heritage is superior to others just because you do not know the others. Love your enemies, because you have learned about them enough to know they are worhty of your love, not because Jesus tells you to, or else…

My reply:
No, nothing that Christianity teaches is impractical. Remember the 10,000 year perspective. Or the 100,000 yhear perspective. In light of those perspectives, all things that bring us closer to God — loving our enemies, for example, even at the possible expense of our lives — are good things. It’s not always easy to understand, and an atheist can’t understand it — because her perspective is limited to 100 years or so — but Christians do.

You wrote:
All the best for you.

My reply:
And all the very best to you and yours! 🙂

Best,

xPraetorius

xPraetorius, is my Finnish pseudonym so hard? [I had forgotten how to spell rautakyy’s name, and hadn’t looked it up. He called me on it. ] Why is it, that you Indo-Europeans can not write it right? It does not really matter, because my real name would be even harder for you to copy and write.

I am sorry it took some time for me to answer, but this is getting ridiculously long for a post comment and I have been busy in other fields of life. 🙂

You wrote: “We went all far afield where we started to debate the thought processes of Adolf Hitler. Pretty much off-topic, I’m sure.”

Ahh, but who brought up poor old Adolf and who is trying to guess about his thought processes? I did not. Look up the comment by claire, to wich I was originally commenting. I am merely taking Hitlers own admission on the issue, besides his thought processes are not even significant to the issue at hand, because what is important, is the way his followers could be attracted to commit atrocities. I however, agree, that Mr. Hitler is totally off-topic. He never mocked Christians for their faith, did he? I do. But only in the hope that they stop to think about it and would see reason. 😉
You wrote: “And, yet, if you think of it, all that you believe is faith too.” Faith that your senses are correct (read the article in the BBC about the women with superhuman vision), faith that your memory is correct; faith that the reports from others that you read are correct; that their senses were correct; faith that they are telling the truth. What I’m saying is that all belief — even the belief that atheism is correct — is faith. And you are betting your eternal existence that you are correct. Wow! Your faith is a lot stronger than mine! And mine is strong!”

Phew. When I am referring to faith, I mean the definition of Oxford dictionary: “Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.” Does that sound familiar to you? No I do not have that sort of faith and because of this corrupt nature of the word, I would never use it as describing my beliefs. Because I do not believe anything “rather than proof”. That is what you mean when you say your faith is strong, do you not?

You wrote: “About Darwin: he said that if the fossil record were not full to overflowing with evidence of “missing links” species — species that had evolved some adaptation that was not successful — then his theory was wrong. No missing link of any kind has ever been found. Furthermore, if he was right, then there should be species going extinct all over the world. They are, but all scientists have been reporting that it’s mankind’s fault, not evolution. If evolution were correct, we should see all these thousands of “missing link” species fading out because they are not the fittest. But we don’t. However, that’s not the only evidence that evolution is highly suspect. You can see it yourself. The religious zeal with which its adherents shut down any kind of debate is a red flag to all honest observers.

Now even if Darwin said so, then what of it? He never recanted his theory and further more, the fossil record has been extended extensively from his day. Did you not know this? If you did, it is a bit insincere of you to appeal to Darwin in this matter. Is it not? The fossil record has been established to confirm the theory just as well as DNA research and likewise research in the field of Geology. You really need to research this topic.

You see, this is not about the authority of Darwin, but about the scientific method, wich you obviously totally fail to understand, since you are reffering Darwin as some sort of authority on the fossil record. Besides already Darwin understood, that every living and ever existed species is a link between what was and what is to come, or what was yet to come. We have plenty of non-succesfull adaptations on the brink of extinction at the very moment in the world, we do not need to seek them out from the fossil record, though if you look at it, there are plenty of existing species there that confirm non-succesfull adaptations. But for an adaptation to become a separate species, it needs to first be succesfull one way or a nother.

Before you try to claim the current scientific theory of biology is wrong, you should first understand it. Otherwise you are going to fail and make yourself ridiculous, as you have here. There are many species that are on the brink of extinction because of natural reasons (like for example the Saimaa ringed seal), but the reason mankind is so often referred to as the reason of their final demise, is that the rate of extinction has grown dramatically, because there are humans in every corner of the world and our actions are affecting even places where humans do not go – like through the climate. This should not be too complicated to understand. Is it?
You wrote: “I can present many ethical reasons why homosexuals should not have their marriages recognized by the state.”

Yet when you presented one, it was the childish idea of the dangers of possible tax evasion by heterosexual men marrying. If that was not your best shot, why did you even bother presenting it. Did you understand why that was not an ethical reason to deny homosexuals the right to marry, nor have the same legal benefits as the heterosexuals? I did explained it to you. Did I not? You claiming, that homosexuals already have the same right to marry, is like saying that in the old days Blacks had the same right to ride a buss as the white folks, just not in the same seats. Do you understand why that was not an ethical system? I do not believe you have those “many ethical reasons” you claim to have, since the one you presented failed so miserably to have any ethical significance on the issue.

1) Now really! You are grasping straws here. Owners of Krupp, Fiat, Porsche, BMW and Benz corporations were very much capitalists. There is no question about it. But you claiming they are not, reveals that you live in a fantasy world of your own making, and this is a panic lie you may try hard as you can to believe yourself, but it is not connected to reality on any level. Stop that, please. It will not serve you well. They may have not been the sort of capitalists you would like capitalists to be, but that gives you absolutely no justification to claim they were not capitalists. That is ridiculous, and pretty much tells me, that you have gone beyond reason in this conversation, but I’ll try to reason with you just this once more. If you really can not accept those are capitalists, then you have sailed to total denialism and this conversation is getting futile. It is equal as for you to claim, that a rock is not a rock, because it is the wrong sort of rock. You are so far into denial here, that it makes me question wether there is any point in continuing the conversation. Before this I only thought that you have recieved misinformation, that you have taken at face value for one reason or another, but this makes it clear, you are just making stuff up as we go…

Hitler joined the DAP, because he was sent there to infiltrate and spy on them by the German military. He was chosen to this because he was known to be an anti-revolutionist and an anti-socialist. When he and his buddies took over in the party they changed the name into a populist form, that was supposed to attract people from both left and right. Socialist for the left and nationalist for the right. It was an adverticing trick, but if you look at their political goals, it was mainly built on the ideals of nationalism and what little socialism they ever involved in was there only to give the party a smiley face for the unemployed masses and the working class in Germany. Long before they reached power, they had abandoned pretty much all the even slightly socialist ideals, they ever had and moved totally on the patriotic nationalism. Mussolini started out as a socialist and as a pacifists, but he was kicked out of those circles and his own ideal of fascism was based on Catholical Christian values. + Some hard line capitalistic values. Fascism was a populist movement, that simply had to share Catholical Christian values to reach power in Italy (and in Spain) regardless of Mussolinis personal views. Fascism incorporates this failed understanding of evolution as if the survial of fittest meant the survival of the strongest individual (often also presented as an excuse for the justification of capitalism), wich it is absolutely does not. Where did you get Mussolinis dying words? I have never encountered any claims about those. Only Communist partisans were present when he died. Did they report him promoting socialism as his dying breath. Somehow I doubt the truth value of your claim. Can you see why?

Textbooks? Like in school? It has been decades since I got any of my information from schoolbooks. I bet those books I once read are out of date, but that speaks very little of the present Finnish educational system. You can read about it elswhere, but it is symptomic to your assertions, that you assume a lot based on nothing, exept your own guess work. Like in this case when you simply assume my info comes from “textbooks” and is somehow dependant on the Finnish educational system. Is it from schoolbooks you get your information? Is your lack of understanding of basic scientific method the result of US educational system? I read peer reviewed studies in several languages and publications from generally trusted scientific publishers all the time. I have studied history, archaeology and religion in the University. Where else exept guesswork do you get your information? Fox news? How well is the US educational system rated internationally, or have you gotten your education from somewhere else?

2) You wrote: “He couldn’t have come to power if he said openly that he was an atheist.” But then, you also wrote: “Hitler often referred to himself as an atheist.”

So you do accept that, if a person admits to being part of some social movement, then that person represents that social movement. Hence, the crusaders the inquisition and the witch finder general et all represent Christianity. Yes? Do you approve of their actions? Do you accept, that their actions were informed and sanctioned by their religion and leading deities in their religion? Are they known for their violent actions, or not? It is not even very significant wether Hitler – one man – was an atheist, or a Christian. He sure was member of the Catholic church and never abandoned it. He claimed to have been directly addressed by your god, and wether he was lying through his teeth or believed it for real, is not important either. What really matters about this issue is, that the millions of Christian Germans accepted him as a Christian, the saviour of German people and the German churches. The majority did not object to his methods, though he wrote about them long before his rise to power, his book was released already in 1926.

3) You wrote: ” If they had known where he would take them, he never would have come close to power. Hitler was the only politician of any prominence suggesting that Germany abrogate the Versailles Treaty. That is what many accepted. Many, however, did not. Many more than historical accounts suggest. Don’t forget… he didn’t blame the socialists, because he himself was a socialist. He blamed the communists. Hitler believed that he was the correct kind of socialist. Hitler also very much cosidered himself a left-winger.”

The Germans had ample time to get to know what he was planning by reading his book. And many did. It was a regular bestseller. Do you know who voted for Hitler? It was the former voters of German right wing parties. The nazies rose to power was paved by other right wing parties collapsing in their popular support. Did all those people just suddenly turn into leftwing thinking? Or did the Nazi party offer them what they expected from politics? Hitler was no socialist, he got the support of leading German capitalists by promising them, that no democratic elections will be held and that trade unions will be forbidden. Is that not the wet dream of any true capitalist? Or do capitalists prefer a society where their monetary support decides who wins the democratic elections, between candidates set by the capitalist, and most often chosen from among the capitalists? Both the Communist party and Social Democratic party were forbidden in Germany 1933. So, I do not get what you mean by Hitler not blaming socialists. Get your facts right. What sort of power can one man, or even a small group of people hold within an entire society of millions of people? How far against the values of the grand population is it possible for them to move? No, he has to build on the existing values of the society to get and keep any power at all. Like Stalin based his power on the model of the Tzars to the extent of imitating their secret police.

4) Gettin’ there. I’m trying to learn the various languages so that I can read it in the original. What evidence is missing for a flood? Remember, the idea that an asteroid came along and hit th earth wiping out almost all lie on earth was discovered only recently too. What evidence of a long ago flood is missing? You say there is no evidence of a flood, yet there is no proof that there was not a flood either. Scientists do say there is plenty of evidence that most of the earth was under water at one point.

Why should you need to read the Bible in original language? Is your god incapable to help and inspire the translators, or is the true meaning of the alledged only actual message conveyed by the creator entity only meant for scholars, who think they understand some ancient languages? That makes your god seem feeble. At best their view will always be considered etic, never emic.

In science the absense of evidence is actually evidence of absense sometimes. There is no evidence what so ever of a global flood. There are flood stories from all over the planet from early cultures, that were very often set beside the fertile lands of great rivers. And we have evidence that the great rivers flooded, but the Bible story of the flood is an obvious adaptation of the older stories of Gilgamesh epic and king Sargon. Most of the earth is under water at present, but the amount of water is not enough to cover the continents. There are trilobite fossils on top of mountains because of tectonic movement, not because the mountains were under water. As such the fossils are older than the mountains themselves. This has been established by several different geological dating methods.

You wrote: “Also, the flood would not have needed to cover the entire earth, just where there was human habitation. Of course, those humans who survived — Noah and his family — would report that it had covered the entire earth, because that is what they would have observed. Heck, it wouldn’t have had to be as big as one of the Great Lakes to appear to cover the entire earth. Just one thing that the “scientists” might have missed.”

The scientist may have missed a lot of stuff, but we are not warranted to have faith that they have, when their findings contradict one ancient scripture. Do we? Science is the only verifiable method we have to get anywhere close to objective truth. Is it not? Yet, if we had any reason at all to think the story about Noah is not an adaptation of a former myth, then the flood described by them could have been as you said only in Mesopotamia. However, everything about it tells us that it is not an original story at all. And there are a lot of Christians who believe there is some grand conspiracy of atheists to force science to claim no global flood existed. Do you see, how Christianity can be against scientific understanding and as such, a very harmfull social movement indeed?

You wrote: “There are no genocides that Jews — God’s chosen people — have ever committed, nor were they ordered by God to commit any genocides. So they didn’t.”

We are talking about a book that I have read through and you have not, so do not come telling me what is in the book and what is not. Read it and then we may debate this stuff over again. I am a bit sorry, if finding them from the book may hurt your identity, but your adamant wish to deny any such only goes to show you have higher ethics than your god. It also tells me that you are indeed willing to make rather positive truth claims about stuff that you admit you do not know, and to wich you have not researched into. You will find the genosides done by the ancient Hebrews, ordered and sanctioned by their god from the Bible when you read it through, no matter what language it is written in. There are several mentioned, though how many of them are actually mere myth is debatable. Deutoronomy: 2:34, 3:6, 7:2, 13:15 and 20:16-17 Joshua 6:21 and 10:40 1 Samuel 15:2-3

5) You wrote: ” God never told anyone — either explicitly or implicitly — to own or kill a slave. That’s not in the Bible.”

4 & 5) I do not believe I have to give a Bible lesson to a man who has (by his own admission) learned debating skills in Sunday school. But I guess they do not teach about the Bible sanctioning slavery in Sunday school. Do they? Wonder why?

Slavery is implicitly condoned in the Old Testament in several instances.

Exodus 21:20-21 Bible-icon.png and Exodus 21:26-27 Bible-icon.png regulates the beating of slaves, and states that the owner may not be punished if the slave survives for at least two days after the beating.
Leviticus 19:20-22 Bible-icon.png gives instructions about the sacrifices that should be made if a slave owner has sex with or rapes an engaged female slave. The slave herself is punished with whipping, but no sacrifices or punishment are required if the slave is not engaged.
In Leviticus 25:44-46 Bible-icon.png, the Israelites were allowed to buy slaves from other nations, and then hand them down as an inheritance.
In Leviticus 25:39 Bible-icon.png, buying your brother as a slave is allowed.

The second part of the Bible recognizes that the institution of slavery exists, but it doesn’t make any attempt to criticize it.

In Luke 12:45-48 Bible-icon.png, the Parable of the Faithful Servant, Jesus discusses the punishment of slaves, and says that a slave may be punished for not doing something he wasn’t instructed to do.
In Ephesians 6:5-9 Bible-icon.png, Paul instructs the slaves to be obedient.
Colossians 4:1 Bible-icon.png and 1 Timothy 6:1-3 Bible-icon.png also admonish slaves to obey their masters.
In his Epistle to Philemon, Paul is allegedly returning a runaway slave to his owner.
In Matthew 18:25 Bible-icon.png, people and their children are described as being sold into slavery

6) You wrote: “Yes, yes you do take everything on faith. Everything. No exceptions. You take everything on faith. Including faith that this great evidence of which you speak is real, or true, or not fabricated.”

No, no, no. You are trying to twist semantics to your cause. There is a reason belief and faith have separate meanings. We have beliefs that are either well informed, or not, but when people ask you to have faith, they are speaking about a very specific kind of belief. Do they not? In that context faith means belief without evidence, or even counter to evidence. Does it not? Knowledge is usually referred to at the practical level of the meaning of the word. There is no absolute knowledge about anything. It is impossible for even a creator deity responsible for the existance of the material observable universe to know everything. Because if this entity believed to know absolutely everything, it would be only betraying itself. This is because we do not know what we do not know. There is always the possibility, that beyond any knowledge we have, exists some new information, that may change our perspective to what we thought we already knew. That makes the concept of absolute knowledge impossible to reach both to men and gods. Therefore, knowledge is something we speak about when we think we have enough evidence to verify our beliefs. The question is what is enough evidence and what sort of requirements we set on it. But when humans speak of faith, they are specifically referring to the sort of beliefs of wich they do not have ample evidence of, rather they just feel by intuition it to be true. This is most often represented in religious cultural indoctrination of stuff that has no evidence or the evidence consists of traditional myths, like the Bible. We give value to evidence according to our understanding of the evidence and it’s relative value, not by having faith in it.

7) You wrote: ” Your English is excellent… better than that of many Americans. You are to be congratulated! My point in saying that Christians are people too, is that they will do everything they do imperfectly, and frequently, because they are imperfect, in ways that are incompatible with Christianity, even if they hold their faith very dear.”

Thank you for the compliment. I agree with you that Christians are people just like everybody else. I never said anything to contradict that. But just like other people, they find excuses from their holy scriptures to do evil stuff and no god appears to set those wrongs right, nor to even tell the poor Christians when they are wrong about their convictions. Why? And the scriptures are full of stuff that justify all sorts of evil, because they were written by people living in primitive tribally moralistic culture. I personally think it is a good thing, that most modern Christians have accepted the modern moral views and do not try to appeal to the most heinous stuff in the Bible to justify evil, but some of it still lingers even in our very secular western culture. Like the thing about homosexuals. But like everything always changes, even that is about to change.

8) You wrote: “Welllllllllllll… you did tell me that you know all about Christianity and its history, but then your arguments were straight out of a really silly propaganda playbook that Christians had refuted long ago.”

Why are you putting words to my mouth? Or is this merely indeliberately representative of your ability to understand written language? I never said I know all about Christianity. I said I know a lot about Christianity. Do you understand the difference? When and where have Christians refuted my arguments? Instead of presenting the alledgedly superior argumentation that refutes my arguments, you claim my arguments have been refuted elswhere. Would such a claim convince you?

9) You wrote: “However, your arguments are silly and basic. :)”

My arguments may be silly and basic 😉 , but instead of demonstrating that, you have just made the claim. Wich kinda leads me to suspect, that you are propably not right about that. Can you see why?

10) Pfff…

11) You wrote: “I don’t know Ken Ham, but I do know that what certain individuals do, even certain creationist individuals, has no bearing on the truth. Just as it’s evident that there are really bad, corrupt scientists everywhere — especially, for example, in environmentalism — there are, I’m sure bad creationist scientists. Whatever. It doesn’t change what is true. What is true is that there is no disagreement with the idea that God created the universe except to say that you don’t believe it. Ok. That makes your assertion no better than mine that God created the universe. You are forced to take your belief on faith, because you have no evidence that God didn’t create the universe, nor do you have a scintilla of evidence that God doesn’t exist. Yes, yes, yes, I know… it’s tougher to prove a negative. But, you’re the one trying to insist that the negative is true. Prove it. Real proof.”

You would claim I have a tendency to go on a tangent, but yet you are pushing this environmentalist issue. Why? There may be bad and corrupt scientist, but creationist scientist form less than a fraction of a persentage of all the scientists in the world and most of the people who call themselves creationist scientists do not even have a degree in any actual science. I am surpriced myself to say this, but you should get to know Ken Ham and his amusement park Creation Museum, to see how Christianity supports and endorses unscientific, and even anti-scientific approach and delivers lies to people. It is appaling.

Now, it seems you do not understand the burden of proof. The one claiming there is a particular invisible god and supernatural existance beyond the observable material universe has made the positive claim, and has to demonstrate that claim to be true. If I would claim there are pixies and that the universe was created by an accident by ever existing multitude of supernatural pixies, I would have to demonstrate the claim before I could expect you to believe it, even though my silly claim totally explains the existance of the universe. Right? You do not disbelieve in the gods of the Veda even though you are unable to disprove they exist, do you?

There is this old proverb, that the absense of evidence is not evidence of absense. But that is not always true. Because there are claims made, that build on stuff that should have left evidence (like the global flood for example). If there is no evidence, or the evidence forms of fairytale stories and myths by superstitious people, then such absense of hard evidence serves as evidence of absense. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A god, or for example, or even just a man actually resurrecting from the dead are despite their frequency in many different cultures are still very extraordinary claims. Both are claims beyond our understanding of how the observable nature works and as such very extraordinary indeed. These claims have not met their burden of proof and that proves, that on any practical level, they are far more likely myths, as that is exactly what they do resemble. What other proof should one need to disbelieve such claims? That is proof enough.

However, if there is after all a god (or several of them) that evaluates us, and that god is good and worthy of any respect, then that god will not hold it against me, that I do not believe in flimsy evidence of it supposedly existing. But a good and just god might hold it against some people to judge other people as worthy of eternal torment just for not believing in these fairytales about the said god. Still, if that god has any ethics, it is aware, that people make such judgement of other people because they lack the understanding, that this good god could provide them with, so it is also aware, that it is itself responsible for the massive misunderstanding of those people and harm it causes. If however there is a god who does judge us and divide us as worthy of eternal torment for merely not believing, or even for any crime we might commit during our short lifespans here on earth, then that surely is an unethical and in all respects of the meaning of the word an evil god, who is an obvious moral monster. Do you see what I mean?

11) You wrote: “We humans botched with the living and believing process.”

If we were created by this specific god of yours, why were we created in such a way, that we actually have no option, but to botch the living process and believing process is mainly managed by people who have a certain cultural heritage, that makes them supceptible to some particular superstitious suggestions on flimsy evidence? I think that this is either a major design flaw, or more likely proof, that the particular god and religion around it was invented generation by generation by men. It is like designing a computer program, that does not work and then later forgiving the program for not working… Do you see why it is silly, for the alledged designer to forgive the flaws of the design to the designed? Especially when the designer alledgedly could foresee the flaw.

You wrote: “The choice: we can choose to turn our backs on God. Your explanation of faith is incorrect and overly simplistic. People believe in God, because they believe He is real. Evidence is all around you. Look at the earth. Look at all creation that you yourself called “magnificent.” Where did the completely subjective concept of “magnificent” come from.”

You are evading my questions. Can you see, how you are doing it? The earth is evidence of itself existing in material natural universe, nothing more. Subjective concepts, such as magnificence are the products of our brains and our interaction.

How is it a choise to turn one’s back on your particular god, if one truly believes terrible violence follows for doing so? Do you believe there will be violence for not believing? Can you see how that is coercion and indimitation and that there is no evidence none what so ever of such violence? Or is there? Can you present it? I have never believed in any gods, so I am literally not turning my back on any of them. It is the gods themselves that have turned their back on me, because they refuse to give me any actual reason to believe in any of them. Or rather much more likely none of the gods really exists exept on a conceptual level in human imagination. But there is a reason why every religion on earth demands faith, believing without and even despite contrary evidence. Can you tell me what that reason is?

12) You wrote: ” It means that “prevailing scientific theories” fall apart all the time. There is no reason to believe that any theory is sacrosanct. What problems have we humans created? If we are, as you say completely natural creatures, then what we do is, by definition, completely natural. If what we do is a failed evolutionary adaptation, then we will simply die out, because we will not have been the fittest to survive. By your definition, we have made no problems whatsoever, because all we do is 100% natural…. just like a bear pooping in the woods.”

Scientific theories do fall apart sometimes. That is EXACTLY why science is the most reasonable way to find out how objective reality most likely works. Because nothing is to be believed on faith, but on evidence. We must go where evidence leads us, not where our faith would take us. There is no reason to believe, that anything is sacrosanct. Our problems are part of the natural observable universe. Gods are natural explanations only on the level that it is natural for a human being to have imagination and it is indeed an evolutionary adaptation for human cultures to come up with imaginary explanations to the observations of natural universe, when humans do not have the scientific method to evaluate reality. A bear has no problem about pooping in the woods, but if humans destroy the environment we are dependant on, it is a problem to us. Is it not?

13) You wrote: “No. The masses were afraid to oppose Hitler, Stalin, Mao… but there were vast currents of dissent in those countries. All their peoples were relieved when they departed from the scene. Atheism is not merely the belief that there is no god. It also has a Man as God strain to it. Simply true.”

Are you seriously suggesting, that I have made some man into a god? Whom? I surely would want to learn that. Are you suggesting, that I am an atheist because I fear some human individual? You are grasping straws and telling fairy tales to yourself, my friend. By definition an atheist does not believe in any gods. If he starts to believe a particular man, be it Jesus, or Mao, is a god, he no longer is an atheist. He has found religion.

Why is it, that religious people often try to claim that atheism is just a nother religion? Is it because they think they can so drag atheism to the same level of nonsense as all the “other” religions? Does it mean that on some level they do acknowledge, that religions are equally nonsensical? Atheism simply represents a single position on gods, not to believe in any of them, or even any demigods like Jesus. Why is that such a hard piece of fact to accept? Nothing is simply true, just because you state it so, should you not even try to provide evidence for your assertion?

14) You wrote: ” You snarked out a bit, but that’s okay; I won’t hold it against you. You are now doing the “arguing-just-for-the-sake-of-arguing” thing. However, all these niggling, piddly arguments are just silly. Go ahead, find this red-headed,left-handed mayor of East Cracow who says something you agree with, it doesn’t change the truth. And, as I stated above, you have no evidence, no proof, documentation, logic, reasoning except that you don’t believe. That’s all you have. If you re-read what I said about Germany, you will see plainly that even if your previous paragraph is completely true, it doesn’t contradict what I said. Read a biography of Elie Wiesel. He is the one — along with others, but he’s the best-known — who said that they never expected anything like the Holocaust from Germany.

14) Snarked a bit from what? Maybe our arguments are silly. You for sure have demonstrated a serious lack of understanding of history, sociology, astronomy, biology, geology, evolution, the entire scietific method etc. But to me it is more like sad than just silly. Who is the mayor of Cracow you are referring to and why? Why is his hair colour important to you?

Germany was the most highly educated nation in the world during the days of Hitler. No wonder, if the Jews were surpriced, that Hitler could win the elections and carry out his campaign of terror he pretty much described beforehand in his book. He could not have done that, if he had not had the support of the patriotic German Christian middle-classes. Those were the people whose sons manned his SA and SS troops. Those Christians were the men who became his adjutants, officers and executioners. He could not have ever carried out the atrocities he engaged in, or attacked all the foreign countries without the support of his patriotic Christian people. Could he?

15) You wrote: “Ahhhhh! Now, at last, you have a point! However, remember that communism has never existed. It was always socialism, on its way to communism… before it collapsed. With that said, I am in perfect agreement that parts of communist theory overlap with Christianity. Both communism and Christianity suggest that one should not be overly concerned with ownership of material things. Where communism and Christianity differ is that communism worships the material goods, whereas in Christianity, we are supposed to minimize the importance of material goods. Also, socialism, theoretically on its way to communism, would forcibly confiscate people’s goods, while Christians give them up willingly to those less fortunate. This is the reason for which Christianity is, by far, the most generous belief system ever to have existed in history.”

There is no higher regard, or “worship” to material things then capitalism. True capitalist sees owning and personal possessions and symbols of money and power as more important than anything, at least those are the things he aspires for. Are they not? Hence, capitalism is in total disagreement of the sort of Christianity you describe. Or do you have some other completely contrary explanation of capitalism of your own? That would explain a lot of misunderstanding between the two of us. Have you obeyed Christ and sold ALL your property to give your money “willingly” to the poor? Do you think opposing marriage rights of homosexuals would have been more important to Jesus, than selling all your property to benefit the poor? Most major religions have substantial demands for willingness to have generosity and to do charity. Did you not know this?

Socialism demands, that the wellfare and basic needs of the poor should not be dependant on the generosity of the individuals, rather that the society should be organized to prevent people from falling into total misery. Why? Because 2000 years of Christianity, a bit less of Islam and a lot longer of the Eastern religions, had shown, that mere charity is not enough to satisfy the basic needs of the most poor. National welfare is the same as a national army instead of having just feudal lords either providing troops to defend a population, or not, depending on their own interrests. Do you see why the model with society providing the service is better?

You wrote: “No, nothing that Christianity teaches is impractical.”

So, you have sold ALL your posessions and given all the money to the poor. Have you? Or do you have some other reason, than the entire suggestion being impractical, why you have not done so? 😉

You also wrote: “Remember the 10,000 year perspective. Or the 100,000 yhear perspective. In light of those perspectives, all things that bring us closer to God — loving our enemies, for example, even at the possible expense of our lives — are good things. It’s not always easy to understand, and an atheist can’t understand it — because her perspective is limited to 100 years or so — but Christians do.”

To a lot of Christians your 100 000 year perspective is impossible, because they do not believe the earth is older than max 10 000 years or even just mere 6000 years. Are these people not proper Christians according to you, and are they not fighting the current scientific understanding of the reality of the universe. On what do they base their incorrect beliefs? On faith? I do not really understand your 10 000 year perspective. I see the universe in a far more broader perspective of some 13.000 billion years. Should your perspective be taking into account the entire eternity during wich you are planning not to get bored in the afterlife. However, if you mean the cultural development from the dawn of agriculture, then in that time societies have not won survival only by loving their enemies. Same applies to individuals. A man falling in love with a nother man charging at him with a lance is surely not the victor of the engagement between the two of them? Is he? Now, I can see social benefits to putting disagreements mutually aside and seeking compromise by two conflicting societies, but love is quite far from that practical situation. Or else the entire word gets to be watered down.

Selling all your property to give all your money to the poor might get you closer to the god of your particular religion (if this god exists), but it seems very few Christians indeed are seeking this avenue to get to closer their god. Is it because, they do not believe enough in this suggestion, that remains without any actual evidence, about their god, that they do not act upon this very direct directive, or do they simply find it impractical?

Yes, perhaps you are right, that an atheist can not understand that stuff, but how is an atheist expected to become a Christian, if the atheist does not even understand what it is supposed to be and it all just seems tribal and superstitious? What about all those former Christians who have become atheists? Do they understand what you are talking about and if they had good reasons to believe in your god, why did they not take the coercive threat of hell for real enough?

This is getting a bit long here, but I hope you get something from my comment.

All the best to you and yours.

 

 

Going to have to do this in-line, rautakyy!

xPraetorius, is my Finnish pseudonym so hard? Why is it, that you Indo-Europeans can not write it right? It does not really matter, because my real name would be even harder for you to copy and write.
[Reply: I’m truly sorry. I thought my misspelling was correct and didn’t go back to verify. Sounds like the story of atheism AND Socialism! They got it all wrong and never went back to verify. 🙂 Seriously, though, my apologies for getting your name wrong.]

I am sorry it took some time for me to answer, but this is getting ridiculously long for a post comment and I have been busy in other fields of life. 🙂
[Reply: What?!? I demand ALL your time! 🙂 ]

You wrote: “We went all far afield where we started to debate the thought processes of Adolf Hitler. Pretty much off-topic, I’m sure.”

Ahh, but who brought up poor old Adolf and who is trying to guess about his thought processes? I did not. [Reply: Nor did I. ] Look up the comment by claire, to wich I was originally commenting. I am merely taking Hitlers own admission on the issue, besides his thought processes are not even significant to the issue at hand, because what is important, is the way his followers could be attracted to commit atrocities. I however, agree, that Mr. Hitler is totally off-topic. He never mocked Christians for their faith, did he? [Reply: Yes, he did. ]I do. But only in the hope that they stop to think about it and would see reason. 😉 [Reply: You shuldn’t mock anyone. It tends to make you look petty and small. ]

You wrote: “And, yet, if you think of it, all that you believe is faith too.” Faith that your senses are correct (read the article in the BBC about the women with superhuman vision), faith that your memory is correct; faith that the reports from others that you read are correct; that their senses were correct; faith that they are telling the truth. What I’m saying is that all belief — even the belief that atheism is correct — is faith. And you are betting your eternal existence that you are correct. Wow! Your faith is a lot stronger than mine! And mine is strong!”

Phew. When I am referring to faith, I mean the definition of Oxford dictionary: “Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.” Does that sound familiar to you? No I do not have that sort of faith and because of this corrupt nature of the word, I would never use it as describing my beliefs. Because I do not believe anything “rather than proof”. That is what you mean when you say your faith is strong, do you not? [Reply: That is not the only definition. There is very little difference between the different kinds of faith. Your faith, for example, that a meteor will not clonk you on the head tomorrow is strong, but you know that there is a chance that a meteor will clonk you on the head tomorrow. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless. Still, you will get up tomorrow and go to do your day, unconcerned at the FACT that you have a risk of getting clonked by a meteor. That’s faith too. Your definition in the OED is very precise, but not complete. I’ll bet if you look for it again, you will see other definitions as well, all probably correct. 🙂 ]

You wrote: “About Darwin: he said that if the fossil record was not full to overflowing with evidence of “missing links” species — species that had evolved some adaptation that was not successful — then his theory was wrong. No missing link of any kind has ever been found. Furthermore, if he was right, then there should be species going extinct all over the world. They are, but all scientists have been reporting that it’s mankind’s fault, not evolution. If evolution were correct, we should see all these thousands of “missing link” species fading out because they are not the fittest. But we don’t. However, that’s not the only evidence that evolution is highly suspect. You can see it yourself. The religious zeal with which its adherents shut down any kind of debate is a red flag to all honest observers.

Now even if Darwin said so, then what of it? He never recanted his theory and further more, the fossil record has been extended extensively from his day. Did you not know this? If you did, it is a bit insincere of you to appeal to Darwin in this matter. Is it not? [Reply: Insincere? No. Darwin should be considered a fairly important contributor to and participant in the research for the theory that bears his name.] The fossil record has been established to confirm the theory just as well as DNA research and likewise research in the field of Geology. You really need to research this topic.
[Reply: Yes, the fossil record is much more extensively understood today, and as all scientists admit, not one single, solitary missing link species has ever yet been discovered. You made my point for me. Did you not know that? ]

You see, this is not about the authority of Darwin, but about the scientific method, wich you obviously totally fail to understand, [Reply: How would you know what I understand of the scientific method. Don’t try to pretend that you know what I’m thinking or what I know. ] since you are reffering Darwin as some sort of authority on the fossil record.[Reply: I never said that, I just recounted what he said. Don’t try to tell me that I said things I never said. I haven’t done that to you, and you shouldn’t do that to me, or to anyone else. ] Besides already Darwin understood, that every living and ever existed species is a link between what was and what is to come, or what was yet to come.[Reply: Nope. He was clear: there needed to be dead-end species… species whose evolutionary status was insufficient for their survival.] We have plenty of non-succesfull adaptations on the brink of extinction at the very moment in the world, we do not need to seek them out from the fossil record, though if you look at it, there are plenty of existing species there that confirm non-succesfull adaptations. But for an adaptation to become a separate species, it needs to first be succesfull one way or a nother. [Reply: But there are no species that have ever been discovered that bridge one species to another such that the first different species could be called an ancestor. ]

Before you try to claim the current scientific theory of biology is wrong, you should first understand it. [Reply: Again, don’t try to put words in my mouth that I did not say. I never said that “our current scientific theory of biology is wrong.” First of all, there is no such thing. Biology is the study of life, and it covers a vast array of disciplines. There is no single “current scientific theory of biology.” ] Otherwise you are going to fail and make yourself ridiculous, as you have here. [Reply: I’ll say this gently: I can’t have failed or made myself look ridiculous if I never said the thing you insist that I said. Surely you understand that, do you not? 🙂 ] There are many species that are on the brink of extinction because of natural reasons (like for example the Saimaa ringed seal) [Reply: Not an intermediary species. ], but the reason mankind is so often referred to as the reason of their final demise, is that the rate of extinction has grown dramatically, because there are humans in every corner of the world and our actions are affecting even places where humans do not go – like through the climate. This should not be too complicated to understand. Is it? [Reply: Nope. Not too complicated to understand. Just wrong. (1) There have been rates of extinction far more rapid than today… say, when a certain asteroid hit the planet? How about when the Ice ages were starting up? Plants and animals went extinct far faster than today, and man had nothing to do with that. Besides, scientists now say that we are gaining species, not losing them. Moreover, I expect you will recognize an open door for an evolution comment. The problem is that not a single species today has been discovered that appears to be a missing link of any kind. A simple scientific truth: if one species came from another through evolution, there have to be intermediary species all the heck over the place. If you are trying to tell me that one day a chimpanzee or a gorilla gave birth to a human baby, then I’ll realize that you are not a serious interlocutor. I suspect, however, that you are not trying to tell me that a chimp or a gorilla ever gave birth to a baby boy. The fact remains: no one has ever found or identified one of these intermediary species. Did you not know that? 🙂 ]

You wrote: “I can present many ethical reasons why homosexuals should not have their marriages recognized by the state.”

Yet when you presented one, it was the childish idea of the dangers of possible tax evasion by heterosexual men marrying. [Reply: Lol! Sorry, buddy, you lose that one. People have done a lot weirder than that for money! ] If that was not your best shot, why did you even bother presenting it. [Reply: I didn’t need anything else. It was dispositive. ] Did you understand why that was not an ethical reason to deny homosexuals the right to marry, nor have the same legal benefits as the heterosexuals? [Reply: Do you now understand why there is no ethical reason to force the state to recognize homosexual “marriages?” Since, there has never been a denial of homosexuals’ right to marry, I’m not sure I understand your question.] I did explained it to you. Did I not? [Reply: You did not. ] You claiming, that homosexuals already have the same right to marry, is like saying that in the old days Blacks had the same right to ride a buss as the white folks, just not in the same seats. [Reply: Nope. Different thing. Blacks were denied the right to sit in the front seat and other injustices. However, homosexuals have never been denied the right to marry, just to have the state recognize the “marriage,” just as we wouldn’t expect the state to recognize the “marriage” of a man to, say, his dog. You laugh… it has been contemplated… and for, you guessed it, tax purposes.] Do you understand why that was not an ethical system? I do not believe you have those “many ethical reasons” you claim to have, since the one you presented failed so miserably to have any ethical significance on the issue. [Reply: Lol! It was, again, dispositive. The fact that all you did was SAY it failed pretty much salted the point for me, buddy. ]

1) Now really! You are grasping straws here. Owners of Krupp, Fiat, Porsche, BMW and Benz corporations were very much capitalists. [Reply: Again, they were socialists. This is obvious. They prospered in a socialist society, with vast power concentrated in the hands of very few people, in which they submitted to vast regulation in order to have a monopoly in their industries. Not only were they socialists, they were TYPICAL socialists! Are you really trying to tell me that “free market” can be used to describe the economic system of Nazi Germany? Really, rautakyy? ] There is no question about it. [Reply: There is no question that they were socialists. ] But you claiming they are not, reveals that you live in a fantasy world of your own making, and this is a panic lie you may try hard as you can to believe yourself, but it is not connected to reality on any level. Stop that, please. [Reply: Why, I do believe you just tried to insult me! I should let you know, that (1) I am impossible to offend, and (2) you can never know whether someone is lying, so you should never accuse anyone of lying. You’ll note that I have never accused you of being a liar.] It will not serve you well. They may have not been the sort of capitalists you would like capitalists to be, but that gives you absolutely no justification to claim they were not capitalists. [Reply: They were, obviously, socialists. ] That is ridiculous, and pretty much tells me, that you have gone beyond reason in this conversation, but I’ll try to reason with you just this once more. If you really can not accept those are capitalists, then you have sailed to total denialism and this conversation is getting futile. It is equal as for you to claim, that a rock is not a rock, because it is the wrong sort of rock. You are so far into denial here, that it makes me question wether there is any point in continuing the conversation. Before this I only thought that you have recieved misinformation, that you have taken at face value for one reason or another, but this makes it clear, you are just making stuff up as we go… [Reply: Not bad, but just spleen venting. Let me know when you’re prepared to be serious again. 🙂 ]

Hitler joined the DAP, because he was sent there to infiltrate and spy on them by the German military. He was chosen to this because he was known to be an anti-revolutionist and an anti-socialist. [Reply: Hitler was a socialist. Very much a socialist. ] When he and his buddies took over in the party they changed the name into a populist form, that was supposed to attract people from both left and right. [Reply: Ahhhh! Thank you for making my point that “Hitler was not a Christian,” but only spoke like one when it was convenient for him. I appreciate the admission on your part!] Socialist for the left and nationalist for the right. It was an adverticing trick, [Reply: Thank you for this too. ] but if you look at their political goals, it was mainly built on the ideals of nationalism and what little socialism they ever involved in was there only to give the party a smiley face for the unemployed masses and the working class in Germany. Long before they reached power, they had abandoned pretty much all the even slightly socialist ideals, [Reply: Oh? How’s that? Did they set up some kind of free, unregulated market? Did Hitler relinquich power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Did Hitler REALLY put in place a system in which he didn’t control the main economic levers of the German state? Really? Uhhhhhh… No. ] they ever had and moved totally on the patriotic nationalism.[Reply: Patriotic, nationalist … socialism. Look at the two governing structures between Germany and Russia…they look a lot alike, with, for example Krupp being analogous to a kind of “Minister of Transport.” ] Mussolini started out as a socialist and as a pacifists, but he was kicked out of those circles and his own ideal of fascism was based on Catholical Christian values. [Reply: Nope. Mussolini was an atheist, who engaged in the same “advertising tricks” you conceded that Hitler did. If I’d known I could get you go to admit my argument about Hitler’s non-Christianity by calling him a socialist, I’d have done it a lot sooner. 🙂 ] Some hard line capitalistic values. [Reply: Oh are you REALLY going to try to tell me that you find the social, political and economic mobility that is characteristic of capitalism in Nazi Germany and Socialist/Fascist Italy? Seriously? Good luck with that!] Fascism was a populist movement, that simply had to share Catholical Christian values to reach power in Italy (and in Spain) regardless of Mussolinis personal views. [Reply: Nope. Now, you’re just trying to tell me that Mussolini’s personal views had nothing to do with the movement he took over? Seriously? ] Fascism incorporates this failed understanding of evolution as if the survial of fittest meant the survival of the strongest individual (often also presented as an excuse for the justification of capitalism), wich it is absolutely does not. Where did you get Mussolinis dying words? I have never encountered any claims about those. Only Communist partisans were present when he died. Did they report him promoting socialism as his dying breath. [Reply: I thought they did. I read it somewhere, but can’t find it now. Apparently some report that his last words were, “Shoot me in the chest!” ]Somehow I doubt the truth value of your claim. Can you see why? [Reply: Yep. But he was a socialist, and, in fact, thought himself a better socialist than the marxists whom he hated. Same with Hitler. Neither Hitler nor Mussolini disliked Marxism, just marxists. ]

Textbooks? Like in school? It has been decades since I got any of my information from schoolbooks. I bet those books I once read are out of date, but that speaks very little of the present Finnish educational system. You can read about it elswhere, but it is symptomic to your assertions, that you assume a lot based on nothing, exept your own guess work. [Reply: Good point. Ok. I won’t assume where you get your information, even though it’s hopelessly wrong and little more than the usual socialist propaganda anyone can find in schlock publications. 🙂 Don’t forget you presumed to tell me what I was thinking, you told me all about the American economic system, and you were badly wrong all the times you did that. So, I’ll tell you what. Let’s make a deal. I won’t presume to tell you about you and about Finland, and you don’t presume to tell me about me and America. Deal? ] Like in this case when you simply assume my info comes from “textbooks” and is somehow dependant on the Finnish educational system. Is it from schoolbooks you get your information? Is your lack of understanding of basic scientific method[Reply: Again, don’t pretend to know what I understand. You can’ possibly know it, and are wrong.] the result of US educational system? I read peer reviewed studies in several languages and publications from generally trusted scientific publishers all the time.[Reply: People generally trusted the textbooks that said the earth was flat. Surely this is not too complicated for you to understand? ] I have studied history, archaeology and religion in the University. Where else exept guesswork do you get your information?[Reply: Did you study in Europe? That IS a handicap!] Fox news? [Reply: And you just proved that you don’t get a diverse set of information. Of course I watch and listent to FOX News! Duh! I listen as well to many other sources. However, I’d be irresponsible if I DIDN’T listen to FOX, else I’d get no balance at all in my information. You just admitted that you don’t balance YOUR inputs, so I understand now the reason for your lack of understanding. ] How well is the US educational system rated internationally, [Reply: One should pay no attention to rankings. However, there are still millions clamoring to come here to get educated. I will tell you this: The American educational system covers the range from horrible to spectacular. The quality of the system is perfectly unimportant. The quality of the education depends entirely on the teachers and the students. ] or have you gotten your education from somewhere else? [Reply: Where I got my education is irrelevant to this conversation. (See my snippy little remark about education in Europe, above. 🙂 ) ]

2) You wrote: “He couldn’t have come to power if he said openly that he was an atheist.” But then, you also wrote: “Hitler often referred to himself as an atheist.” [Reply: Yes. In private… his “Christianity” was — what did you call it? — Oh, yes… an advertising trick. ]
So you do accept that, if a person admits to being part of some social movement, then that person represents that social movement. Hence, the crusaders the inquisition and the witch finder general et all represent Christianity. [Reply: No. ] Yes? Do you approve of their actions? Do you accept, that their actions were informed and sanctioned by their religion and leading deities in their religion? [Reply: No] Are they known for their violent actions, or not?[Reply: Christians? Hardly! Not at all!] It is not even very significant wether Hitler – one man – was an atheist, or a Christian. [Reply: He was an atheist. It matters, because there are dishonest people all over who wish to attribute his mass murders to Christianity. Since he wasn’t a Christian, that is, of course, impossible. However, it hasn’t stopped the dishonest from trying to make the connection.] He sure was member of the Catholic church and never abandoned it. [Reply: Yes. He abandoned it. However, he was not above, what did you call them? Oh, yes… advertising tricks.]He claimed to have been directly addressed by your god, and wether he was lying through his teeth or believed it for real, is not important either. What really matters about this issue is, that the millions of Christian Germans accepted him as a Christian, the saviour of German people and the German churches. [Reply: But, no Christians did. ] The majority did not object to his methods, [Reply: The vast majority were unaware of his methods during the war. Those who supported him before the war were engaging in non-Christian activities. ] though he wrote about them long before his rise to power, his book was released already in 1926. [Reply: What was your term again? Oh, yes… advertising tricks.]

3) You wrote: ” If they had known where he would take them, he never would have come close to power. Hitler was the only politician of any prominence suggesting that Germany abrogate the Versailles Treaty. That is what many accepted. Many, however, did not. Many more than historical accounts suggest. Don’t forget… he didn’t blame the socialists, because he himself was a socialist. He blamed the communists. Hitler believed that he was the correct kind of socialist. Hitler also very much considered himself a left-winger.”

The Germans had ample time to get to know what he was planning by reading his book.[Reply: And yet they never knew.] And many did. It was a regular bestseller. Do you know who voted for Hitler? It was the former voters of German right wing parties. [Reply: Yep. He fooled them too.] The nazies rose to power was paved by other right wing parties collapsing in their popular support. Did all those people just suddenly turn into leftwing thinking? [Reply: Nope. They were left-wingers too… incorrectly labeled right-wingers. Think of it this way… did any of those parties REALLY contemplate reducing the size and scope of the government? Did any of those parties REALLY think they were going to decentralize the government? Did any of those parties REALLY suggest that the country institute a free, unregulated market? No. They were all, with few exceptions, variants of socialists. ] Or did the Nazi party offer them what they expected from politics? Hitler was no socialist, [Reply: Hitler was a left-wing, socialist, with marxist tendencies, who hated marxists, but was okay — with nuances — with Marxism itelf.] he got the support of leading German capitalists by promising them, that no democratic elections will be held and that trade unions will be forbidden. [Reply: That is very socialist behavior. It is the elimination of competition, and is something no capitalist would ever do. Socialists, yes, but not capitalists. By the way the socialist bloc treated unions exactly the same way, going one step further even than Hitler, and making sham unions that were really nothing more than puppets of the ruling party. ] Is that not the wet dream of any true capitalist? [Reply: Nope. Not even close.] Or do capitalists prefer a society where their monetary support decides who wins the democratic elections, between candidates set by the capitalist, and most often chosen from among the capitalists? [Reply: Not in America… and certainly not anywhere in Europe! Capitalists prefer a society where there is a free market. Obviously a free market is antithetical to socialism, so capitalists prefer a society without socialism. Capitalism has nothing to say about HOW a society establishes a free market — it’s an economic doctrine. DEMOCRACY is concerned with elections, and is a political doctrine. This is not too complicated for you, is it? ] Both the Communist party and Social Democratic party were forbidden in Germany 1933.[Reply: Of course! Hitler was not interested in competition (By the way, competition is the key ingredient of capitalism)] So, I do not get what you mean by Hitler not blaming socialists. Get your facts right. What sort of power can one man, or even a small group of people hold within an entire society of millions of people? [Reply: Are you really asking me what sort of power one man can have among 60 milliopn people? ] How far against the values of the grand population is it possible for them to move? No, he has to build on the existing values of the society to get and keep any power at all. Like Stalin based his power on the model of the Tzars to the extent of imitating their secret police.[Reply: finally you said something correct, in these last few sentences. Yes, both Hitler and Stalin reflected, to some extent, the ethos of the societies over which they ruled. That means that there are societies whose people sometimes go down a very dark path, and that causes some of the horrors we have seen in history. However, that has nothing to do with Christianity, which teaches unconditional love for all people at all times… even one’s enemy. In fact, when societies go down those dark paths — European ones anyway — it is typically when they have rejected Christianity. Let’s not forget that both Hitler and Stalin were failed priests. They were failed priests because they abandoned Christianity. That’s pretty obvious.]

4) Gettin’ there. I’m trying to learn the various languages so that I can read it in the original. What evidence is missing for a flood? Remember, the idea that an asteroid came along and hit th earth wiping out almost all lie on earth was discovered only recently too. What evidence of a long ago flood is missing? You say there is no evidence of a flood, yet there is no proof that there was not a flood either. Scientists do say there is plenty of evidence that most of the earth was under water at one point.

Why should you need to read the Bible in original language? [Reply: for better understanding, and because I love language ] Is your god incapable to help and inspire the translators, or is the true meaning of the alledged only actual message conveyed by the creator entity only meant for scholars, who think they understand some ancient languages?[Reply: The question about translators is irrelevant. I already covered it when I said that God has no need to do parlor tricks for us. ] That makes your god seem feeble. [Reply: No. Our faith is feeble. If I tell God to go away, he will sorrowfully go away. Just as if my adult daughter were to tell me to go away… I’d go away. We don’t have to have God in our lives, but we do have to have God for eternal happiness. ] At best their view will always be considered etic, never emic. [Reply: Whatever. 🙂 ]
In science the absense of evidence is actually evidence of absense sometimes. [Reply: And yet, not in this case. It is also, quite obviously, undiscovered evidence. Next thing you will try to tell me is that scientists know and understand everything that happened 65 million years ago, or 100 million years ago … or 10 years ago. They don’t. ] There is no evidence what so ever of a global flood. [Reply: Yes, there is. Fossilized shells on the tops of tall mountains for example. Yes, yes, yes, I know… you’ll try to tell me that they got there by great land upheavals and all. Or, maybe they didn’t. Science has theories, but that’s all. They don’t TRULY know. And, again, there is no need for the flood to have covered the entire earth for it to have covered the entire KNOWN earth.] There are flood stories from all over the planet from early cultures, [Reply: There were floods all over the planet … heck! there are even floods today! ] that were very often set beside the fertile lands of great rivers. And we have evidence that the great rivers flooded, but the Bible story of the flood is an obvious adaptation of the older stories of Gilgamesh epic and king Sargon. [Reply: Nope.] Most of the earth is under water at present, but the amount of water is not enough to cover the continents.[Reply: Again, it wouldn’t have had to cover the entire earth. Just as far as a man could see — a few square miles. ] There are trilobite fossils on top of mountains because of tectonic movement, not because the mountains were under water. [Reply: or maybe not.] As such the fossils are older than the mountains themselves. This has been established by several different geological dating methods. [Reply: Which we have faith are correct methods. We find out all the time the things we’re doing wrong. Do you remember any of those news stories that used to come out? Big headlines. Scientists discover the universe is much older than previously thought! So, I guess we’re not always getting it right in science, now are we? Surely you understand that, don’t you? ]

You wrote: “Also, the flood would not have needed to cover the entire earth, just where there was human habitation. Of course, those humans who survived — Noah and his family — would report that it had covered the entire earth, because that is what they would have observed. Heck, it wouldn’t have had to be as big as one of the Great Lakes to appear to cover the entire earth. Just one thing that the “scientists” might have missed.”

The scientist may have missed a lot of stuff, but we are not warranted to have faith that they have, when their findings contradict one ancient scripture. Do we? [Reply: Huh? ] Science is the only verifiable method we have to get anywhere close to objective truth. Is it not? [Reply: No. There is also deductive and Inductive reasoing. There is for lack of a better term: intuition. There is gut feeling. There is Occam’s Razor. There is philosophy, poetry, literature, mathematics (a part of science, but ALL of art and music and language), music… all these together can give us greater understanding of objective truth. ] Yet, if we had any reason at all to think the story about Noah is not an adaptation of a former myth, then the flood described by them could have been as you said only in Mesopotamia. However, everything about it tells us that it is not an original story at all.[Reply: Oh, what’s that? ] And there are a lot of Christians who believe there is some grand conspiracy of atheists to force science to claim no global flood existed. Do you see, how Christianity can be against scientific understanding and as such, a very harmfull social movement indeed? [Reply: Christianity can never be harmful to anything or anyone. CHRISTIANS and atheists misusing Christianity can be harmful to things, yes. However, surely science is not so feeble that it can’t stand up to a few fake Christians! You do understand that, don’t you? ]

You wrote: “There are no genocides that Jews — God’s chosen people — have ever committed, nor were they ordered by God to commit any genocides. So they didn’t.”

We are talking about a book that I have read through and you have not, so do not come telling me what is in the book and what is not. Read it and then we may debate this stuff over again. I am a bit sorry, if finding them from the book may hurt your identity, but your adamant wish to deny any such only goes to show you have higher ethics than your god. It also tells me that you are indeed willing to make rather positive truth claims about stuff that you admit you do not know, and to wich you have not researched into. You will find the genosides done by the ancient Hebrews, ordered and sanct [Reply: Lol! ] ioned by their god from the Bible when you read it through, no matter what language it is written in. There are several mentioned, though how many of them are actually mere myth is debatable. Deutoronomy: 2:34, 3:6, 7:2, 13:15 and 20:16-17 Joshua 6:21 and 10:40 1 Samuel 15:2-3

5) You wrote: ” God never told anyone — either explicitly or implicitly — to own or kill a slave. That’s not in the Bible.”
4 & 5) I do not believe I have to give a Bible lesson to a man who has (by his own admission) learned debating skills in Sunday school. [Reply: This must be a problem with your English, because I never even came close to saying this. Normally, rautakyy, your English is quite good, but when it lets you down, it REALLY lets you down. Notice I assumed that it was your English that made you get that wrong, not any ill will on your part.] But I guess they do not teach about the Bible sanctioning slavery in Sunday school. Do they? Wonder why? [Reply: Why would I wonder why? They don’t teach it, because The Bible doesn’t sanction slavery. ]

Slavery is implicitly condoned in the Old Testament in several instances. [Reply: Nope.]
Exodus 21:20-21 Bible-icon.png and Exodus 21:26-27 Bible-icon.png regulates the beating of slaves, and states that the owner may not be punished if the slave survives for at least two days after the beating. [Reply: Old Testament, not New Testament. Also, again, just a recognition that slavery exists, not condoning it.]
Leviticus 19:20-22 Bible-icon.png gives instructions about the sacrifices that should be made if a slave owner has sex with or rapes an engaged female slave. The slave herself is punished with whipping, but no sacrifices or punishment are required if the slave is not engaged.[Reply: Not familiar with the passage, but again, Old Testament. Again, nothing suggests that this condones slavery, but that since it does exist, then the Bible recognizes it. ]
In Leviticus 25:44-46 Bible-icon.png, the Israelites were allowed to buy slaves from other nations, and then hand them down as an inheritance. [Reply: Again, not familiar with the passage, but again, Old Testament. Look, rautakyy, this is silly. It’s obvious that God doesn’t condone being or having enemies, but he commands us to love our enemies anyway. It is simply God speaking in the language of the times. He is not condoning slavery, but simply recognizing that it exists. He is not condoning having enemies, but since people do, we are commanded to love them. If you look at (1) the recognition that slavery exists, and (2) the command to love one’s enemies, the only inescapable conclusion is that God is telling people to move to a place where they understand that it is wrong to have slavery and enemies. ]
In Leviticus 25:39 Bible-icon.png, buying your brother as a slave is allowed. [Reply: Old Testament — same idea. See the response above. Presumably a man who buys his brother as a slave, would then simply liberate the brother. If, on the other hand, the language is “brother” — as in our brother man — then, we are exhorted to consider all men our brothers. If we were then to purchase any man as a slave, we would then be expected to liberate him. These examples all look very much like anti-slavery, rautakyy.]
The second part of the Bible recognizes that the institution of slavery exists, but it doesn’t make any attempt to criticize it.
In Luke 12:45-48 Bible-icon.png, the Parable of the Faithful Servant, Jesus discusses the punishment of slaves, and says that a slave may be punished for not doing something he wasn’t instructed to do. [Reply: This is likely your misunderstanding of the language, as well as your prejudice against Christians and against Christianity. You yourself spoke of the conflating of the term servant and slave. Yet, Jesus referred to Himself frequently as the servant of mankind. Surely he was not telling people to turn him into a slave. ]
In Ephesians 6:5-9 Bible-icon.png, Paul instructs the slaves to be obedient. [Reply: Context needed here. One has no understanding of the actual relationship between slave and master, again because of the language (See why I want to learn the original?). Jesus also used the language of liberation, in making the obvious point that it is worse to be a slave to sin, than it is to be a slave to a master. In that case, of course Jesus would put liberation from slavery lower in priority than liberation from sin. Atheists wouldn’t know this, because there is no concept of sin in atheism. With no divine hand to set the rules, that means that humans would establish the rules, and those would be whatever the strongest person or group decides. Since atheists can’t understand sin, they can’t understand LIBERATION from sin, and would, naturally, consider slavery to man to be far worse. There’s that 100-year perspective as opposed to the 10,000-year perspective again! For an atheist, a 10,000-year perspective is useless, because ther i sno point to her. She’s just going to cease to exist anyway, and there will have been no point. ]
Colossians 4:1 Bible-icon.png and 1 Timothy 6:1-3 Bible-icon.png also admonish slaves to obey their masters. [Reply: See previous note.]
In his Epistle to Philemon, Paul is allegedly returning a runaway slave to his owner. [Reply: See previous note.]
In Matthew 18:25 Bible-icon.png, people and their children are described as being sold into slavery [Reply: Ok. The Bible describes war too, but doesn’t condone it. See also my comment about enemies. To repeat, Jesus plainly doesn’t condone having enemies, but recognizes that people do, and He tells us to love them. If you take that to its logical conclusion, that would end war tomorrow, as we learned to love our enemies, and they learned to love us right back. At that point, there’d be no enemies. Nor, if you think of it, would there be any slavery or slaves. Jesus command to love our enemies proves conclusively that He did not condone slavery. ]

6) You wrote: “Yes, yes you do take everything on faith. Everything. No exceptions. You take everything on faith. Including faith that this great evidence of which you speak is real, or true, or not fabricated.”

No, no, no. You are trying to twist semantics to your cause. [Reply: Nope.] There is a reason belief and faith have separate meanings. We have beliefs that are either well informed, or not, but when people ask you to have faith, they are speaking about a very specific kind of belief.[Reply: All belief is, ultimately, faith. We use reason to try to gather evidence that will lead us to a condition of greater understanding, but at that point faith takes over. By the way, you are proving my point. Your argumentation here is very, very unscientific. You are trying to persuade me, and using emotionalism and occasional outbursts of snark to do it.] Do they not? [Reply: Yes.] In that context faith means belief without evidence, [Reply: No, it never means that. Not ever. ] or even counter to evidence. Does it not? [Reply: No, it never means that. Not ever. ] Knowledge is usually referred to at the practical level of the meaning of the word. [Reply: Show me one word, and two people, and I will show you two words. ] There is no absolute knowledge about anything. [Reply: Not for humans, anyway. ] It is impossible for even a creator deity responsible for the existance of the material observable universe to know everything.[Reply: Oh? How do YOU know that? Have you ever been a creator deity? ] Because if this entity believed to know absolutely everything, it would be only betraying itself. [Reply: How? ] This is because we do not know what we do not know. [Reply: Unless, that is we DO know — or can name — what we do not know. ] There is always the possibility, that beyond any knowledge we have, exists some new information, that may change our perspective to what we thought we already knew. [Reply: You’re using finite terms to discuss the infinite. It’s like using pencil and paper to draw a three-dimensional object. You can never get it exactly. You can do a great job, but you’ll never get it all the way. ] That makes the concept of absolute knowledge impossible to reach both to men and gods. [Reply: Again, you can’t possibly know that. ] Therefore, knowledge is something we speak about when we think we have enough evidence to verify our beliefs.[Reply: So you’re saying scientists deliberately use the wrong word when they believe something. That scientists deliberately lie. You are, I believe, right on the nose here! Environmentalism, for example, has been shown to be a fraud because so many scientists lied about their findings in order to pursue money and power. ]The question is what is enough evidence and what sort of requirements we set on it. But when humans speak of faith, they are specifically referring to the sort of beliefs of wich they do not have ample evidence of, rather they just feel by intuition it to be true. [Reply: No, it never means that. Not ever. ] This is most often represented in religious cultural indoctrination of stuff that has no evidence or the evidence consists of traditional myths, like the Bible. [Reply: No. Who are you to decide what is myth from the past and what is not? Now you’re sarting to sound like a Holocaust-denier. It was all a myth they said! Lies told by various governments and soldiers and armies and the like. ]We give value to evidence according to our understanding of the evidence and it’s relative value, not by having faith in it. [Reply: But we have to have faith that our evidence is accurate, and correct, and that those who relay it to us are telling us the truth and that our instruments are correct calibrated, that our methods are correct… Phew! Science sure requires a LOT of faith! Wow! By the way, part of how environmentalism — and Global Warming — were exposed as frauds were when someone caught an environmentalist “scientist” placing thermometers on a tree in such a way as to guarantee that they would give higher readings. That was only one, of course, of many things that finally demonstrated that environmentalism is nothing more than a sham. Yet, that was “scientists!” Searching for “evidence!” Using the “scientific method!” And engaging in fraud. They weren’t the first such dishonest scientists and they won’t be the last. ]

7) You wrote: ” Your English is excellent… better than that of many Americans. You are to be congratulated! My point in saying that Christians are people too, is that they will do everything they do imperfectly, and frequently, because they are imperfect, in ways that are incompatible with Christianity, even if they hold their faith very dear.”

Thank you for the compliment. I agree with you that Christians are people just like everybody else. I never said anything to contradict that. But just like other people, they find excuses from their holy scriptures to do evil stuff and no god appears to set those wrongs right, nor to even tell the poor Christians when they are wrong about their convictions. Why? [Reply: Again, this is a basic question. God doesn’t interfere directly in our affairs because we have free will… we can make any choice we want. ]And the scriptures are full of stuff that justify all sorts of evil, [Reply: The scriptures do not justify evil. ] because they were written by people living in primitive tribally moralistic culture. I personally think it is a good thing, that most modern Christians have accepted the modern moral views and do not try to appeal to the most heinous stuff in the Bible to justify evil, but some of it still lingers even in our very secular western culture. Like the thing about homosexuals. But like everything always changes, even that is about to change. [Reply: What’s not changing is that homosexuality is not normal. Of course. Society may accept what is not normal, and what is unhealthy and what is harmful — like homosexuality — but that doesn’t change that it is not normal, and that it is unhealthy and harmful. But, then society is always prone to silly beliefs like that After all, they once believed that the earth was flat. Remember? What is this with your obsession with homosexuals, rautakyy? How did people with bizarre ideas about sex all of a sudden become noble victims? ]

8) You wrote: “Welllllllllllll… you did tell me that you know all about Christianity and its history, but then your arguments were straight out of a really silly propaganda playbook that Christians had refuted long ago.”
Why are you putting words to my mouth? Or is this merely indeliberately representative of your ability to understand written language? I never said I know all about Christianity. I said I know a lot about Christianity. [Reply: Okay. I know a lot about Christianity too. Plainly more than you. 🙂 Actually, you might know more about Christianity than I, it’s just that what you know is wrong. Can you understand the difference? ] Do you understand the difference? When and where have Christians refuted my arguments? Instead of presenting the alledgedly superior argumentation that refutes my arguments, you claim my arguments have been refuted elswhere. Would such a claim convince you? [Reply: Not sure what this means. ]

9) You wrote: “However, your arguments are silly and basic. :)”
My arguments may be silly and basic 😉, [Reply: They are. They are of the level of “If God exists, why does he let bad things happen?” ] but instead of demonstrating that, you have just made the claim. Wich kinda leads me to suspect, that you are propably not right about that. Can you see why? [Reply: No. ]

10) Pfff…

11) You wrote: “I don’t know Ken Ham, but I do know that what certain individuals do, even certain creationist individuals, has no bearing on the truth. Just as it’s evident that there are really bad, corrupt scientists everywhere — especially, for example, in environmentalism — there are, I’m sure bad creationist scientists. Whatever. It doesn’t change what is true. What is true is that there is no disagreement with the idea that God created the universe except to say that you don’t believe it. Ok. That makes your assertion no better than mine that God created the universe. [Reply: In answer to your question above, this last that I said in the previous post is dispositive in concluding that my arguments are at least as good as yours. ] You are forced to take your belief on faith, because you have no evidence that God didn’t create the universe, nor do you have a scintilla of evidence that God doesn’t exist. Yes, yes, yes, I know… it’s tougher to prove a negative. But, you’re the one trying to insist that the negative is true. Prove it. Real proof.”
You would claim I have a tendency to go on a tangent, but yet you are pushing this environmentalist issue. Why? [Reply: They are the most obvious and blatant frauds in the scientific community. There are others, less well known. ] There may be bad and corrupt scientist, but creationist scientist form less than a fraction of a persentage of all the scientists in the world and most of the people who call themselves creationist scientists do not even have a degree in any actual science. I am surpriced myself to say this, but you should get to know Ken Ham and his amusement park Creation Museum, to see how Christianity supports and endorses unscientific, and even anti-scientific approach and delivers lies to people. [Reply: At the very worst, I might see how Ken Ham might support and endorse unscientific, and even anti-scientific approach and delivers lies to people,” Maybe. But Christianity never supports anything unscientific or anti-scientific. Nor do any Christians. ] It is appaling.
Now, it seems you do not understand the burden of proof. The one claiming there is a particular invisible god and supernatural existance beyond the observable material universe has made the positive claim, and has to demonstrate that claim to be true. If I would claim there are pixies and that the universe was created by an accident by ever existing multitude of supernatural pixies, I would have to demonstrate the claim before I could expect you to believe it, even though my silly claim totally explains the existance of the universe. Right? You do not disbelieve in the gods of the Veda even though you are unable to disprove they exist, do you? [Reply: Thank you for that! I was hoping you would go there… ]
There is this old proverb, that the absense of evidence is not evidence of absense. [Reply: Except when it is. ] But that is not always true. Because there are claims made, that build on stuff that should have left evidence (like the global flood for example). If there is no evidence, or the evidence forms of fairytale stories and myths by superstitious people,[Reply: Who are you to decree who’s superstitious? I’ve never met more superstitious people than atheists. ] then such absense of hard evidence serves as evidence of absense. [Reply: Why, just because you say so? How about the fact that we have massive floods all the time? So, we have probably always had massive floods. Furthermore, there are disasters that have happened in the past, for which all evidence has been completley eradicated by subsequent disasters, as well as just plain climate. The evidence for most disasters of the past has been wiped out. ] Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. [Reply: Ok. Read tThe Bible. ]A god, or for example, or even just a man actually resurrecting from the dead are despite their frequency in many different cultures are still very extraordinary claims. [Reply: Ok, other than eyewitnesses and the written record, what, pray tell, would you suggest that people 2,000 year ago could have done to convince you — if it really did happen? If there’s nothing, then you have no choice but to concede that my evidence is better than yours, because mine exists, and yours is nothing more than your assertion that you don’t believe mine. ]Both are claims beyond our understanding of how the observable nature works and as such very extraordinary indeed. [Reply: Why? Are you pretending that we know everything there is to know about nature, or, God’s creation? Of course not! No sicentist pretends that. ] These claims have not met their burden of proof and that proves, that on any practical level, [Reply: They don’t need to meet your burden of proof. They need merely to be true. ] they are far more likely myths, [Reply: your assessment only. Again, I’m the one with the evidence, for which your only counter is that you don’t believe my evidence. Ok. I win that one easily. ] as that is exactly what they do resemble. [Reply: Except if they’re true. Oops! ] What other proof should one need to disbelieve such claims? That is proof enough.
However, if there is after all a god (or several of them) that evaluates us, and that god is good and worthy of any respect, then that god will not hold it against me, that I do not believe in flimsy evidence of it supposedly existing. [Reply: See my response on God’s parlor tricks. God doesn’t need to prove Himself to us… we need to be worthy for Him. ]But a good and just god might hold it against some people to judge other people as worthy of eternal torment just for not believing in these fairytales about the said god. [Reply: If God created the universe, then who are YOU to decide what and who is “worthy” of anything? ] Still, if that god has any ethics, [Reply: Again, if God created the universe, then who are YOU to decide what and who is ethical? ]it is aware, that people make such judgement of other people because they lack the understanding, that this good god could provide them with, so it is also aware, that it is itself responsible for the massive misunderstanding of those people and harm it causes. [Reply: Wow! So, let me get this straight. God created you, in your hypothetical, then He has to constantly prove Himself to you, and He has to do what YOU tell Him to do to prove His worth to YOU! Lol! Ok. Now we know how it is that atheists are always accusing Christians of “creating God in man’s image.” Seriously, rautakyy, I thank you for crystallizing that in my mind, and for so effectively arguing my point again. I don’t mean to be snarky, I really don’t, but if you simply re-read what you wrote, you’ll see it. Next thing: You use the formulation “If God created…” all the time. Remember, we operate from the given that God DID create the universe. ] If however there is a god who does judge us and divide us as worthy of eternal torment for merely not believing, or even for any crime we might commit during our short lifespans here on earth, then that surely is an unethical and in all respects of the meaning of the word an evil god, who is an obvious moral monster. Do you see what I mean?

11) You wrote: “We humans botched with the living and believing process.”

If we were created by this specific god of yours, why were we created in such a way, that we actually have no option, but to botch the living process and believing process [Reply: Why were we given free will? Ask God. Above my pay grade. However, we never were given NO choice. We ALWAYS have a choice. That’s the fundamental thing that God gave us when He gave us free will. Free will IS choice. Ultimate choice. ] is mainly managed by people who have a certain cultural heritage, [Reply: No one manages your choices but you] that makes them supceptible to some particular superstitious suggestions on flimsy evidence? [Reply: You mean on the only evidence. What are you looking for, rautakyy, television broadcasts from 2,000 years ago? Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you go out in the woods, and you meet BigFoot. You and BigFoot sit down and chat a bit, and BigFoot says to you, “Look, rautakyy, I have here (1) the absolutely effective, complete cure for any cancer — a complex mixture of chemicals and biological agents, dosed in complicated ways, (2) incontrovertible proof that this dude Herb Kolakowski killed President Kennedy, and here’s where he’s living to this day, (3) the way to cure world hunger, and (4) the way to bring about world peace.” Then BigFoot shows all that to you and you are absolutely overwhelmed! It IS a cure for cancer, and the truth about President Kennedy’s death, and the way to cure world hunger and bring about world peace. You’re convinced of it! You say to BigFoot, “Quick, give me these things so I can go back and show them to the world!” BigFoot replies, sadly, “No, if I do that then I’ll lose the solitude I have worked so hard to make for myself.” You quickly respond, “Don’t worry, I won’t even mention you!” BigFoot still says no, insisting that there is information in the material that would lead people to his hideaway. You talk a bit more, and then part ways. You leave the woods with what? Well, you know of the absolutely effective, complete cure for any cancer, you have the name of the real assassin of President Kennedy, you have the way to world peace and the eradication of world hunger. AND you know that BigFoot exists! Furthermore your evidence — in YOUR head — is absolutely incontrovertible. Not bad! What then do you do with all that? To whom do you tell the story of your meeting with BigFoot? How do you PROVE what you say? After all, you have information of incalculable value, and historical interest! However, when you met BigFoot, it was the same as 2,000 years ago. You had only your word that you had met him. You had no evidence whatsoever… except, that is, the ONLY evidence people of 2,000 years ago had. Eyewitness testimony. Yours.] I think that this is either a major design flaw, or more likely proof, that the particular god and religion around it was invented generation by generation by men. [Reply: Nope. It was the only evidence possible. Why do YOU get to pick and choose what is valid or not from the historical record? ] It is like designing a computer program, that does not work and then later forgiving the program for not working… Do you see why it is silly, for the alledged designer to forgive the flaws of the design to the designed? Especially when the designer alledgedly could foresee the flaw.[Reply: No. A computer program has no choice, no free will. It does ONLY what it is told, therefore it is never to blame. Thank you for that very wonderfully inappropriate, but well-placed analogy! We are not computer programs, we have free will. We can choose what we do. If a computer program doesn’t work, we know to go to the programmer and complain. If a PERSON is messing up, it is solely on the person to mend his ways. ]

You [I] wrote: “The choice: we can choose to turn our backs on God. Your explanation of faith is incorrect and overly simplistic. People believe in God, because they believe He is real. Evidence is all around you. Look at the earth. Look at all creation that you yourself called “magnificent.” Where did the completely subjective concept of “magnificent” come from.”

You are evading my questions. Can you see, how you are doing it? [Reply: Nope. ] The earth is evidence of itself existing in material natural universe, nothing more. [Reply: Wrong. The earth is ALSO evidence of existence itself as a concept. It is of existence that Christianity speaks, and about which atheism is necessarily ignorant and silent. ]Subjective concepts, such as magnificence are the products of our brains and our interaction.[Reply: Oh? Where did the concept of “a concept” come from? ]

How is it a choise to turn one’s back on your particular god, if one truly believes terrible violence follows for doing so? Do you believe there will be violence for not believing? [Reply: I don’t know what the consequence for not believing is. It’s not my call. I do know that I can’t imagine my life or existence without God. What would be the point of such a bleak existence? ] Can you see how that is coercion and indimitation and that there is no evidence none what so ever of such violence? [Reply: No. ] Or is there? Can you present it? I have never believed in any gods, so I am literally not turning my back on any of them. [Reply: Of course you’re turning your back on God. That is what unbelief is. Otherwise expressed: if God exists (to use your formulation), then your unbelief is absolutely turning your back on Him. ] It is the gods themselves that have turned their back on me, because they refuse to give me any actual reason to believe in any of them.[Reply: This is incorrect. See (1) my response to you on parlor tricks, and (2) again, you hypothesize a god who has to prove himself to YOU, rather than the other way around. You are conceiving of God as a non-believer would conceive of God. This is like explaining color to a person who has been blind all his life. The blind person WILL get SOME understanding of color, but it will never be what a sighted person understands. ] Or rather much more likely none of the gods really exists exept on a conceptual level in human imagination. But there is a reason why every religion on earth demands faith, believing without and even despite contrary evidence. Can you tell me what that reason is? [Reply: Yes. God is infinite. We can’t grasp infinity. Our understanding of anything is limited in size, scope, extent. At that boundary, is where faith begins. Christianity doesn’t “demand” faith. Christianity explains that faith is the way to salvation. You are free to have faith, or not. It’s like saying that the ladder over there is the way to the roof. There is no “demand” there. However, if you don’t take the ladder you won’t get to the roof. ]

12) You wrote: ” It means that “prevailing scientific theories” fall apart all the time. There is no reason to believe that any theory is sacrosanct. What problems have we humans created? If we are, as you say completely natural creatures, then what we do is, by definition, completely natural. If what we do is a failed evolutionary adaptation, then we will simply die out, because we will not have been the fittest to survive. By your definition, we have made no problems whatsoever, because all we do is 100% natural…. just like a bear pooping in the woods.”

Scientific theories do fall apart sometimes. That is EXACTLY why science is the most reasonable way to find out how objective reality most likely works. [Reply: And why science is often wrong. Who are you to say flat out what science is complete and will never fall apart at a later date? ] Because nothing is to be believed on faith, but on evidence. [Reply: wrong. All belief is faith. ] We must go where evidence leads us,[Reply: Again, this is my point. I have the evidence. Your counter is that you don’t believe my evidence. My point. ] not where our faith would take us. There is no reason to believe, that anything is sacrosanct. Our problems are part of the natural observable universe. Gods are natural explanations only on the level that it is natural for a human being to have imagination and it is indeed an evolutionary adaptation for human cultures to come up with imaginary explanations to the observations of natural universe, when humans do not have the scientific method to evaluate reality. [Reply: Oh? YOU know what others imagine and what they know? Wow! You’re magic! You read minds and hearts! ] A bear has no problem about pooping in the woods, but if humans destroy the environment we are dependant on, it is a problem to us. Is it not? [Reply: No. Not, that is, if we define pooping in the woods as “destroying the environment.” Mankind, by definition, does nothing more than move completely natural things around, make things out of completely natural things, that are themselves, by definition, completely natural, using completely natural processes. Therefore, there is, by definition, no such thing as “man destroying the environment” except that which we arbitrarily decide as environmental destruction. You’ll note that CHRISTIANITY exhorts mankind to be good stewards of the world, while the countries run by the atheist left are environmental hellholes — as I define environmental hellholes. Of course! Because all is permitted to atheists! ]

13) You wrote: “No. The masses were afraid to oppose Hitler, Stalin, Mao… but there were vast currents of dissent in those countries. All their peoples were relieved when they departed from the scene. Atheism is not merely the belief that there is no god. It also has a Man as God strain to it. Simply true.”

Are you seriously suggesting, that I have made some man into a god? Whom? I surely would want to learn that. Are you suggesting, that I am an atheist because I fear some human individual? [Reply: I don’t know why you’re an atheist. It’s a nonsensical belief system, and you seem like a smart guy. But, then again, you’re also a socialist, so you adhere to the belief system that has murdered more people in history, by tens of millions, than any other bleief system. I can’t explain that either. The atheism explains the socialism. All things are permitted to atheists, as they recognize no higher authority to answer to. But there is nothing to explain the silliness of atheism. ] You are grasping straws and telling fairy tales to yourself, my friend. By definition an atheist does not believe in any gods. If he starts to believe a particular man, be it Jesus, or Mao, is a god, he no longer is an atheist. He has found religion. [Reply: Yep. That is a simple truth. Man pines for God so much that even if he doesn;t believe in God, he tries to make one. It’s a sad, desperate, desparing kind of existence without God. ]
Why is it, that religious people often try to claim that atheism is just a nother religion? [Reply: They might be mixing up the words “religion” and “faith.” Atheism definitely requires faith. I know you object to the word. However, the point is that there is no evidence that there is no God. ‘Cause if you’re wrong, and there IS a heaven and hell, then you just made the blunder of all eternity. THAT, my friend, is TRUE faith. ] Is it because they think they can so drag atheism to the same level of nonsense as all the “other” religions? [Reply: Nope. it’s already there. No need to drag it down, when it’s sitting on the bottom already. ] Does it mean that on some level they do acknowledge, that religions are equally nonsensical? Atheism simply represents a single position on gods, not to believe in any of them, or even any demigods like Jesus. Why is that such a hard piece of fact to accept? Nothing is simply tru

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Nothing is simply true, just because you state it so, should you not even try to provide evidence for your assertion? [Reply: And yet, I’m the one with evidence, and YOU’RE the one saying only, I don’t believe you. ]

14) You wrote: ” You snarked out a bit, but that’s okay; I won’t hold it against you. You are now doing the “arguing-just-for-the-sake-of-arguing” thing. However, all these niggling, piddly arguments are just silly. Go ahead, find this red-headed,left-handed mayor of East Cracow who says something you agree with, it doesn’t change the truth. And, as I stated above, you have no evidence, no proof, documentation, logic, reasoning except that you don’t believe. That’s all you have. If you re-read what I said about Germany, you will see plainly that even if your previous paragraph is completely true, it doesn’t contradict what I said. Read a biography of Elie Wiesel. He is the one — along with others, but he’s the best-known — who said that they never expected anything like the Holocaust from Germany.

14) Snarked a bit from what? [Reply: If youhaven’t noticed, rautakyy, your tone throughout is pretty snarky. So, you snarked from what I said. I don’t care what tone ou use, because it’s impossible to offend me, but if you are going to be snarky, then I reserve the right to be so as well. 🙂 ] Maybe our arguments are silly. You for sure have demonstrated a serious lack of understanding of history, sociology, astronomy, biology, geology, evolution, the entire scietific method etc. But to me it is more like sad than just silly. Who is the mayor of Cracow you are referring to and why? Why is his hair colour important to you? [Reply: No. I demostrated that YOUR understanding was wrong or limited, and you took a scorch to that. Your defensiveness harmed your position irreparably. ]

Germany was the most highly educated nation in the world during the days of Hitler. No wonder, if the Jews were surpriced, that Hitler could win the elections and carry out his campaign of terror he pretty much described beforehand in his book. He could not have done that, if he had not had the support of the patriotic German Christian middle-classes. [Reply: Let’s see now… you’re trusting the published word of Hitler? And you want me to consider you an expert on Hitler? 🙂 ] Those were the people whose sons manned his SA and SS troops. Those Christians were the men who became his adjutants, officers and executioners. He could not have ever carried out the atrocities he engaged in, or attacked all the foreign countries without the support of his patriotic Christian people. Could he? [Reply: The distinction is that Hitler got no support from CHRISTIANITY. Yes, I concede the point, there were some Christians who supported Hitler. Most Nazis, like Hitler, were atheists and socialists. The Christians who supported Hitler were, of course, misguided.]

15) You wrote: “Ahhhhh! Now, at last, you have a point! However, remember that communism has never existed. It was always socialism, on its way to communism… before it collapsed. With that said, I am in perfect agreement that parts of communist theory overlap with Christianity. Both communism and Christianity suggest that one should not be overly concerned with ownership of material things. Where communism and Christianity differ is that communism worships the material goods, whereas in Christianity, we are supposed to minimize the importance of material goods. Also, socialism, theoretically on its way to communism, would forcibly confiscate people’s goods, while Christians give them up willingly to those less fortunate. This is the reason for which Christianity is, by far, the most generous belief system ever to have existed in history.”

There is no higher regard, or “worship” to material things then capitalism. [Reply: Absolutely not. Socialism worships the material vastly more than capitalism. Capitalism is merely an economic doctrine that explains who capital moves in an economy. It is not, like socialism BOTH an economic doctrine AND a political doctrine. Capitalism makes no claims as to the spiritual value of material objects. ] True capitalist sees owning and personal possessions and symbols of money and power as more important than anything, [Reply: No. True capitalists see free markets as the most important economic thing. Politically, capitalists don’t care what produces a free market, as long as their is one. Spiritually, capitalists cover a lot of ground, but tend to be less atheistic, because atheism leads to socialism. ] at least those are the things he aspires for. Are they not? [Reply: No. Capitalists aspire to succeed in a free market. Moreover, capitalists desire that EVERYONE succeed in a free market, because if his customers, presumably also capitalists, fail, then the capitalist is in big trouble. Capitalism is the most generous, opportunity-filled, truly egalitarian economic system ever devised. ] Hence, capitalism is in total disagreement of the sort of Christianity you describe. Or do you have some other completely contrary explanation of capitalism of your own? [Reply: See previous remark. Needless to say, ALL the countries that have experienced prosperity, equal opportunity and social and economic mobility in history have been capitalist countries. ] That would explain a lot of misunderstanding between the two of us. Have you obeyed Christ and sold ALL your property to give your money “willingly” to the poor? [Reply: No. I never made any claim that I was a good Christian, did I? That doesn’t have any impact whatsoever on Christianity itself. ]

Do you think opposing marriage rights of homosexuals would have been more important to Jesus, than selling all your property to benefit the poor? [Reply: What was important to Jesus was the salvation of every man, woman and child on earth. Anything that got in the way of that, He opposed. ]

Most major religions have substantial demands for willingness to have generosity and to do charity. Did you not know this?
Socialism demands, that the wellfare and basic needs of the poor should not be dependant on the generosity of the individuals, rather that the society should be organized to prevent people from falling into total misery. [Reply: Incorrect, Socialism breeds misery, and inequality. You assertion that Christianity fails to help the poor is also incorrect.By far the most effective means to bring alcoholics and drug abusers to sobriety in the history of the world were the Christian organizations of the early 20th Century. Their record is clear. They brought to sobriety and productive lives, hundreds of thousands of people. These organizations were shut down by American leftists whose tax policies starved them out of existence. State-driven charity has never lifted anyone out of poverty, or substance abuse. It has merely allowed them to fall no lower than a certain abysmal level of economic status. ] Why? Because 2000 years of Christianity, a bit less of Islam and a lot longer of the Eastern religions, had shown, that mere charity is not enough to satisfy the basic needs of the most poor. [Reply: No. Socialism is noting more than a sham to get the peasants to support bringing to power the political left. Whenever socialilism has come to power, the very first ones it oppressed were the poor. Because at that point it was necessary to get them back in line, and not in the streets. So, the very first thing socialism always does is with one hand give out food, and with the other take away any hope that the poor will advance their lot through social and economic mobility. ] National welfare is the same as a national army instead of having just feudal lords either providing troops to defend a population, or not, depending on their own interrests. Do you see why the model with society providing the service is better? [Reply: I just explained why it is far, far worse. ] You wrote: “No, nothing that Christianity teaches is impractical.” So, you have sold ALL your posessions and given all the money to the poor. Have you? Or do you have some other reason, than the entire suggestion being impractical, why you have not done so? 😉 [Reply: I covered this above. ]

You also wrote: “Remember the 10,000 year perspective. Or the 100,000 yhear perspective. In light of those perspectives, all things that bring us closer to God — loving our enemies, for example, even at the possible expense of our lives — are good things. It’s not always easy to understand, and an atheist can’t understand it — because her perspective is limited to 100 years or so — but Christians do.”

To a lot of Christians your 100 000 year perspective is impossible, because they do not believe the earth is older than max 10 000 years or even just mere 6000 years. [Reply: You don’t have to believe in an earth that is more than a week old. You need to believe in time to have a 10,000 year perspective. That’s all.] Are these people not proper Christians according to you, and are they not fighting the current scientific understanding of the reality of the universe. [Reply: They’re fighting nothing. See the above comment.]On what do they base their incorrect beliefs? On faith? [Reply: Who says their beliefs are incorrect? Relativity permits both a very elastic understanding of time itself, such that the planet could be perceived as being far older from one perspective, and far younger from another. ] I do not really understand your 10 000 year perspective. [Reply: I know. An atheist couldn’t. ] I see the universe in a far more broader perspective of some 13.000 billion years. Should your perspective be taking into account the entire eternity during wich you are planning not to get bored in the afterlife. [Reply: No. Beyond anyone’s ken. ] However, if you mean the cultural development from the dawn of agriculture, then in that time societies have not won survival only by loving their enemies. [Reply: Agreed. Jesus says they should, though. The only inevitable conclusion is that wars would never start if people loved their enemies, because they would cease to be enemies.] Same applies to individuals. A man falling in love with a nother man charging at him with a lance is surely not the victor of the engagement between the two of them? Is he?[Reply: Not falling in love, but loving like a brother… yes, that man is the true victor of the engagement. ] Now, I can see social benefits to putting disagreements mutually aside and seeking compromise by two conflicting societies, but love is quite far from that practical situation. [Reply: Unelss you’re wrong and it’s not. ] Or else the entire word gets to be watered down.
Selling all your property to give all your money to the poor might get you closer to the god of your particular religion (if this god exists), but it seems very few Christians indeed are seeking this avenue to get to closer their god. [Reply: Incorrect. Millions have throughout history. Still more are doing it today. ] Is it because, they do not believe enough in this suggestion, that remains without any actual evidence, about their god, that they do not act upon this very direct directive, or do they simply find it impractical? [Reply: NThe spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, rautakyy… one of the stories of Christianity. ]
Yes, perhaps you are right, that an atheist can not understand that stuff, but how is an atheist expected to become a Christian, if the atheist does not even understand what it is supposed to be and it all just seems tribal and superstitious? [Reply: The atheist has to understand the value of taking a leap of faith, then he has to take that leap of faith. Then he can understand. In other words, the atheist has to be prepared to believe. God will take over and do the rest. ] What about all those former Christians who have become atheists? Do they understand what you are talking about and if they had good reasons to believe in your god, why did they not take the coercive threat of hell for real enough? [Reply: far more have gone in the other direction, and no, the Christians who became atheists simply were never Christians in the first place. However, there is hope for them, and they can become Christians. God’s grace is way more than capable of that wonder. ]

This is getting a bit long here, but I hope you get something from my comment. [Reply: Likewise, my friend! ]

All the best to you and yours. [Reply: And the same to you and yours!. ]

Best,

– x

@xPraetorius, I am sorry that it took time for me to answer. To be perfectly honest, I had forgotten all about you, but now that I noticed your answers, I thought I should try to give an answer for your benefit and for the amusement of Violetwisp or anyone who might have not gotten bored by our conversation.

[Reply: What?!? I demand ALL your time! 🙂 ]

Haha! Very good. I shall sacrifice some time to reply to you now. Though I am not entirely sure why should I. You see I only have this limited one life, while you might have the entire eternity… 😉

I wrote: Mr. Hitler is totally off-topic. He never mocked Christians for their faith, did he? [Reply: Yes, he did. ]

Did he really? When, where and how?

I do. But only in the hope that they stop to think about it and would see reason. 😉 [Reply: You shuldn’t mock anyone. It tends to make you look petty and small. ]

I do not mind looking petty and small, if I can get someone to reason themselves out of silly superstitions. I do not place myself in such a high regard, that I could not sacrifice that much to help a nother person from time to time.

I wrote: the definition of Oxford dictionary: “Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.” Does that sound familiar to you? No I do not have that sort of faith and because of this corrupt nature of the word, I would never use it as describing my beliefs. Because I do not believe anything “rather than proof”. That is what you mean when you say your faith is strong, do you not? [Reply: That is not the only definition. There is very little difference between the different kinds of faith. Your faith, for example, that a meteor will not clonk you on the head tomorrow is strong, but you know that there is a chance that a meteor will clonk you on the head tomorrow. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless. Still, you will get up tomorrow and go to do your day, unconcerned at the FACT that you have a risk of getting clonked by a meteor. That’s faith too. Your definition in the OED is very precise, but not complete. I’ll bet if you look for it again, you will see other definitions as well, all probably correct. 🙂 ]

I do not hold any faith about any meteors. I act on the assumption that this is not a very likely event and if it does happen there is nothing I can do to prevent it anyway, because nature unlike some claims about gods, is indifferent to us on an individual level. When we are talking about religious faith – and that after all is the form of faith, that is not only the one and only on topic sort of faith, also what people most usually refer to when they speak of faith – we are referring to the exact definition of faith I quoted from the dictionary and have been talking about ever since. You equating that faith – the “strong belief in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof” to beliefs that the scientific method is the best possible method to achieve anything even remotely close to objective information is silly and reveals that you take scientific stuff rather on “faith” than by understanding the benefits of the scientific method. Is this really so?

I wrote: Now even if Darwin said so, then what of it? He never recanted his theory and further more, the fossil record has been extended extensively from his day. Did you not know this? If you did, it is a bit insincere of you to appeal to Darwin in this matter. Is it not? [Reply: Insincere? No. Darwin should be considered a fairly important contributor to and participant in the research for the theory that bears his name.]

Yes, Darwin was an important contributor, but science has gone forward in giant leaps since his discovery. He was right about a great many things that have been verified even after his death, but he did not pass some dictates that would today prove our basic understanding of his theory false. That is why the theory of evolution is still remembered by his name. He was wrong about some issues, but because he was never considered to having been inspired by an inerrant god, it does not matter that he made minor mistakes, as long as science continues to confirm the major points of his theory.

I wrote: The fossil record has been established to confirm the theory just as well as DNA research and likewise research in the field of Geology. You really need to research this topic.
[Reply: Yes, the fossil record is much more extensively understood today, and as all scientists admit, not one single, solitary missing link species has ever yet been discovered. You made my point for me. Did you not know that? ]

What on earth do you mean by missing link species? The missing links are called missing, because they have not been found. When and if a species between two different species is found, it no longer constitutes as a “missing” link. But it has just created new “missing links” to the gaps between it and both of the species in between it was missing from. Of course there are missing links, between different species, because there are just thousands and thousands of fossils, but billions and billions of species, that have existed. What you are asking is absurd. DNA research, the fossil record and homology already have confirmed the theory of evolution and this is the current scientific understanding of reality. What has ever confirmed the creation myths of any religions?

I wrote: You see, this is not about the authority of Darwin, but about the scientific method, wich you obviously totally fail to understand… [Reply: How would you know what I understand of the scientific method. Don’t try to pretend that you know what I’m thinking or what I know. ]

Well, if you do understand the scientific theory, then you surely do also understand how the theory of evolution is not hanging on some comment of Darwin. I do not pretend to know what you are thinking or even what you know, but I can only presume you are presenting yourself in an honest way. If you are a troll who really understands the basics of the scientific theory and only act here like you did not, for a reason unknown to me, then how can I help it?

And I continued: …since you are reffering Darwin as some sort of authority on the fossil record. [Reply: I never said that, I just recounted what he said. Don’t try to tell me that I said things I never said. I haven’t done that to you, and you shouldn’t do that to me, or to anyone else. ]

Well you did refer to him as an authority about the issue. Did you not? Darwins understanding of the fossil record is no longer an issue, because the fossil record has grown so much and it has been researched by other people with much more information and understanding of it in comparrison to him. By appealing to his authority you did demonstrated not to understand the scientific method and the fact that the science has walked on from what Darwin understood. But there is no room for me to explain it to you here. You need to make an effort to learn about it yourself, or remain willfully ignorant.

I wrote: Besides already Darwin understood, that every living and ever existed species is a link between what was and what is to come, or what was yet to come. [Reply: Nope. He was clear: there needed to be dead-end species… species whose evolutionary status was insufficient for their survival.]

And there have been and are dead-end species like for example the saber tooth tiger and the platypuss. But most often a “dead end” leads to some adaption, that in the grand scale of things (for wich your 10000 year perspective is not enough) is what we call evolution.

I wrote: We have plenty of non-succesfull adaptations on the brink of extinction at the very moment in the world, we do not need to seek them out from the fossil record, though if you look at it, there are plenty of existing species there that confirm non-succesfull adaptations. But for an adaptation to become a separate species, it needs to first be succesfull one way or a nother. [Reply: But there are no species that have ever been discovered that bridge one species to another such that the first different species could be called an ancestor. ]

That is just hogwash. Even in our own ancestry we have Homo Erectus who was our ancestor. Yours and mine. Homo Erectus was also the ancestor species of Homo Neanderthalensis. This is well recorded and a known scientific fact. Homo Habilis predates Homo Erectus. Hence, we have a species bridging from one species to a nother as we know that Homo Habilis was our previous ancestral species. Look up the science. Do not belieive religious propaganda. You living in a modern (or semi-modern) western country in the year 2014 and not knowing as much is a perfect example of the harm religious propaganda of Christianity may cause.

I wrote: Before you try to claim the current scientific theory of biology is wrong, you should first understand it. [Reply: Again, don’t try to put words in my mouth that I did not say. I never said that “our current scientific theory of biology is wrong.” First of all, there is no such thing. Biology is the study of life, and it covers a vast array of disciplines. There is no single “current scientific theory of biology.” ]

My mistake. Naturally, I meant the current scientific understanding of biology and especially the theory of evolution as an important if not to say main part of it. However, do you understand that the theory of evolution is an essential part of the current scientific understanding of biology? Because it seems you are not quite sure…

Otherwise you are going to fail and make yourself ridiculous, as you have here. [Reply: I’ll say this gently: I can’t have failed or made myself look ridiculous if I never said the thing you insist that I said. Surely you understand that, do you not? 🙂 ]

Thank you for being gentle with me, I hope I can sometimes return the favour, but never the less it is ridiculous to claim the theory of evolution is not part of our current understanding of biology. 😉 There is a competing ideology, but since the theory of evolution is not an ideology, rather the result of scientific research, that reveals creationism to be only a propaganda effort. Sadly, one that people build their religious identities on. That is the example of harmfullness of Christianity I was referring to abowe.

I wrote: There are many species that are on the brink of extinction because of natural reasons (like for example the Saimaa ringed seal) [Reply: Not an intermediary species. ]

But a perfect example of a dead-end species. It is closely related to the salt water seals, but adapted to fresh water and sadly disappearing. However, there are other ringed seals, that are relatives to the Saimaa variant, that may survive and yet evolve to other species. Obviously they have evolved separate from each other all ready as different types of ringed seals.

I continiued: …but the reason mankind is so often referred to as the reason of their final demise, is that the rate of extinction has grown dramatically, because there are humans in every corner of the world and our actions are affecting even places where humans do not go – like through the climate. This should not be too complicated to understand. Is it? [Reply: Nope. Not too complicated to understand. Just wrong. (1) There have been rates of extinction far more rapid than today… say, when a certain asteroid hit the planet? How about when the Ice ages were starting up? Plants and animals went extinct far faster than today, and man had nothing to do with that. Besides, scientists now say that we are gaining species, not losing them. Moreover, I expect you will recognize an open door for an evolution comment. The problem is that not a single species today has been discovered that appears to be a missing link of any kind. A simple scientific truth: if one species came from another through evolution, there have to be intermediary species all the heck over the place. If you are trying to tell me that one day a chimpanzee or a gorilla gave birth to a human baby, then I’ll realize that you are not a serious interlocutor. I suspect, however, that you are not trying to tell me that a chimp or a gorilla ever gave birth to a baby boy. The fact remains: no one has ever found or identified one of these intermediary species. Did you not know that? 🙂 ]

So what about it, that there have been faster rates of extinction? In both of your examples it was the climate changing rapidly in comparrison to evolutionary adaptation of many species, that caused the mass extinction. Exactly like it is today. In addition we have the human overpopulation, that threatens a lot of eco systems not so woulnerable to the climate.

Yes, indeed there is an open venue for an evolution comment, but the bit about species being gained more than lost is simply untrue. Where did you get that? Besides for it to be true, then there would have to be evolution to form new species. Where are all your new species coming from? Is your god creating them from thin air?

Who would ever claim a gorilla gave birth to a human baby? That makes no sense at all. Where did you pick that up? There are a bundle of intermediary species recognized between the common ancestors of humans and chimpanzees. How could you not know this? Have you never heard of the Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, Homo Ergaster, or the Homo Erectus? These are widely known and well documented. Get to know them. They are your ancestors. 😉

****

You wrote: “I can present many ethical reasons why homosexuals should not have their marriages recognized by the state.”

I wrote: Yet when you presented one, it was the childish idea of the dangers of possible tax evasion by heterosexual men marrying. [Reply: Lol! Sorry, buddy, yoiu lose that one. People have done a lot weirder than that for money! ]

Lose? Are you having this discussion in order to win something?

People marry all the time for the weirdest reasons ever, but that is their private matter. Is it not? How common marriages between heterosexual men would become, to hurt your national economy and taxation, if marriages would be allowed between homosexuals? Really? How is this even remotely an ethical question? How would that be any different from a man and a woman regardless of their sexual orientation getting married for the same reason? Why are you so eager to protect the state from heterosexuals getting married as homosexuals? Is that not only asinine, but hypocritical as well?

I wrote: If that was not your best shot, why did you even bother presenting it. [Reply: I didn’t need anything else. It was dispositive. ]

So it was indeed your best shot. But your view is not ethical at all. If any man and woman may perform such a tax trick then why not any adult person with any other adult person? Your claim smells of an excuse, not a serious ethical question.

I wrote: Did you understand why that was not an ethical reason to deny homosexuals the right to marry, nor have the same legal benefits as the heterosexuals? [Reply: Do you now understand why there is no ethical reason to force the state to recognize homosexual “marriages?” Since, there has never been a denial of homosexuals’ right to marry, I’m not sure I understand your question.]

But there should not be special benefits to heterosexuals for getting married. If we want the state to give special benefits and recognition for marriage, then it should be given equally to all. Should it not? The state does not have to be “forced” to do anything, but enlightened voter should recognize a human rights issue and promote equal rights and recognition to all people.

I wrote: You claiming, that homosexuals already have the same right to marry, is like saying that in the old days Blacks had the same right to ride a buss as the white folks, just not in the same seats. [Reply: Nope. Different thing. Blacks were denied the right to sit in the front seat and other injustices. However, homosexuals have never been denied the right to marry, just to have the state recognize the “marriage,” just as we wouldn’t expect the state to recognize the “marriage” of a man to, say, his dog. You laugh… it has been contemplated… and for, you guessed it, tax purposes.]

So, you are unable to see the injustice in giving special recognition to heterosexuals and in denying the same recognition from homosexuals. Are you? It is no different at all from the treatment of the Blacks. It is exactly the same as claiming they had every right to ride in the buss, just not in the same seats. It is the same. A Dog? Seriously? If you do not understand what is the difference between having sex with consenting adults to having sex with animals, or children, then I can only recommed you never get pets, nor kids. 😉

I wrote: Do you understand why that was not an ethical system? I do not believe you have those “many ethical reasons” you claim to have, since the one you presented failed so miserably to have any ethical significance on the issue. [Reply: Lol! It was, again, dispositive. The fact that all you did was SAY it failed pretty much salted the point for me, buddy. ]

Well, I am glad you are happy. I fail to see what about. Because heterosexuals as far as today are unable to abuse marriage laws by getting married for tax purposes? Oh but wait, they are quite able to do so. That has got to be the second most silly excuse not to allow homosexuals to get married with their loved ones and get the same recognition and benefits for their unions as the rest of us. But as far as we have come, you have failed to yet present any actually ethical reason why marriages by homosexuals to their loved companions should not get the same recognition and benefits to their marriages as the heterosexual. You presented your best (and I suspect the only) argument. It was weak, silly and now you can proclaim victory as much as you wish, but you can not present a coherent defence for your case, because there is none…

****

1) I wrote: Now really! You are grasping straws here. Owners of Krupp, Fiat, Porsche, BMW and Benz corporations were very much capitalists. [Reply: Again, they were socialists. This is obvious. They prospered in a socialist society, with vast power concentrated in the hands of very few people, in which they submitted to vast regulation in order to have a monopoly in their industries. Not only were they socialists, they were TYPICAL socialists! Are you really trying to tell me that “free market” can be used to describe the economic system of Nazi Germany? Really, rautakyy? ]

Now I see where the problem lies. You do have a different definition of capitalism to that of mine. Yours is the utopian ideological version, while I am talking about the reality. The reality in wich almost every capitalist (not the adherent of some ideology, but a person who actually holds capital) would grasp the chance at having monopoly, slave labour and what ever to increase his power and wealth if they had the chance and laws would not inhibt them from doing so. Do you live in the same reality as I do? Free markets? Free for whom to do what? For the rich to manipulate politics and extort the poor? Because that is what happens in reality. Is it not? Unless capitalism (the version in reality) is strained by socialist politics.

The owners of Porsche, Krupp, Benz etc. were indeed capitalists in the sense that they owned capital and competed with each other in the “free markets” for the consumers and government deals. Much like Lockheed, Bell, or General Dynamis. What is the difference? The German companies were enchanted by Hitler and they also profited greatly by his exploits. Never were any of those German companies nationalized, nor did the German nation form a company of it’s own to compete with these private corporations. Would not a socialist government even have done as much? Yes, those are things a socialist government would have done. A totalitarian socialist government would surely have nationalized the property and production lines of those companies, but Nazi-Germany did not. Why? Because, altough totalitarian, it was not a socialist government. It was and recognized itself as a right wing movement, that had absolutely no intention of nationalizing private capital.

I wrote: But you claiming they are not, reveals that you live in a fantasy world of your own making, and this is a panic lie you may try hard as you can to believe yourself, but it is not connected to reality on any level. Stop that, please. [Reply: Why, I do believe you just tried to insult me! I should let you know, that (1) I am impossible to offend, and (2) you can never know whether someone is lying, so you should never accuse anyone of lying. You’ll note that I have never accused you of being a liar.]

Well, I am sorry, if I hurt your feelings, but if you keep telling me an obviously made up story, that you should know better, then I can not help but to think you have been lied to. When I think you made up the story, then the lier is you, even if you believed in your own story. If you claim, owners of the few biggest private corporations and holders of enormous amounts of private property are not capitalists, then you are not only abandoning reality, but also since I just bought up those people in our conversation, it seems you have made the silly claim up just to reply to my point. Especially when I just said that they may not be the kind of capitalists you would like, but capitalists none the less.

If your claim is true, then any capitalist can be turned into a socialist if there is profit for him in it. That is an interresting view of capitalism, if you really think it in idealist terms. 😉 Do you? Or do you accept that a capitalist is not a person who acknowledges to some ideal of free markets, but rather the person who holds capital?

I wrote: Hitler joined the DAP, because he was sent there to infiltrate and spy on them by the German military. He was chosen to this because he was known to be an anti-revolutionist and an anti-socialist. [Reply: Hitler was a socialist. Very much a socialist. ] And repeating that to ad nauseaum does not make it so.

I further wrote: When he and his buddies took over in the party they changed the name into a populist form, that was supposed to attract people from both left and right. [Reply: Ahhhh! Thank you for making my point that “Hitler was not a Christian,” but only spoke like one when it was convenient for him. I appreciate the admission on your part!]

No, you’ll have to make your own points. Hitler was a Christian in the sense, that he was a member of the Catholic church, his Christian followers recognized him as one and expected him to protect both of the German churches, and even claimed to have had heard voice of the god of the Christians to go and conquer. His personal conviction is impossible to recreate, but the fact that he and his followers were mostly affected by what they understood by patriotism, and what they understood as Christian traditions and from that cultural heritage came the terror they inflicted on humanity.

I wrote: …but if you look at their political goals, it was mainly built on the ideals of nationalism and what little socialism they ever involved in was there only to give the party a smiley face for the unemployed masses and the working class in Germany. Long before they reached power, they had abandoned pretty much all the even slightly socialist ideals, [Reply: Oh? How’s that? Did they set up some kind of free, unregulated market? Did Hitler relinquich power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Did Hitler REALLY put in place a system in which he didn’t control the main economic levers of the German state? Really? Uhhhhhh… No. ]

Again, you are talking about the ideological Capitalism, but in reality it does not work like that. Does it? In nazi Germany a great many private enterprizes made fortunes. He did not restrict the free markest existing, exept for the wild mad segragation laws based on tribal moralism. Where have you ever had an “unregulated market”? Somalia? Haiti? Relinguish power? Did George Bush relinguich power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Your question makes no sense. Did Generals Pinochet, or Franco relinguish power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Who is the world leader who has relinguished power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Michail Gorbatshov? And now what does modern Russia look like to you?

[Reply: Patriotic, nationalist … socialism. Look at the two governing structures between Germany and Russia…they look a lot alike, with, for example Krupp being analogous to a kind of “Minister of Transport.” ]

You are once again confusing socialism to totalitarianism.

What about the position of Krupp? Was W Bush not a president? A major capitalist (in both meanings of the word) right, but also a major part of the government. A government that sent it’s suspected enemies to inhumane prisons in wich humans were even tortured (like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo) not to speak of an assault on a nother sovereign country not sanctioned by the UN and based on information gained by torture and suspicions unconfirmed by the UN officials, that has later been revealed to having been sheer propaganda. Does this make the US a socialist country under the younger Bush administration?

I wrote: Mussolini started out as a socialist and as a pacifists, but he was kicked out of those circles and his own ideal of fascism was based on Catholical Christian values… [Reply: Nope. Mussolini was an atheist, who engaged in the same “advertising tricks” you conceded that Hitler did. If I’d known I could get you go to admit my argument about Hitler’s non-Christianity by calling him a socialist, I’d have done it a lot sooner. 🙂 ]

Pfff… I have admitted nothing about the Hitler’s non-Chirstianity. You are reading too much into my comments. As I suspect is your habit. It would explain how you get to be so badly informed about these things. You read too much to Hitler’s comments and to the name of his party, because you would want the Nazies to be left-wing and socialists. But as I told you before. Ask any Nazi, wether they think they are leftists or socialists. Do try this. Same applies to Fascists. I have known a few and I know how they identify themselves. That is the reality.

I continued: … and some hard line capitalistic values. [Reply: Oh are you REALLY going to try to tell me that you find the social, political and economic mobility that is characteristic of capitalism in Nazi Germany and Socialist/Fascist Italy? Seriously? Good luck with that!]

Well, I am sorry, but these countries did very little to restrain the markets. Every modern country restricts it’s markets a bit. The fact that you have gone beyond even the Fascists and Natzies in your fantasies about economic mobility does not make them not capitalist countries. Let alone socialist. Germany boosted it’s economy by making big government orders from the private sector, much like the US has done for decades. Same also applied to Fascist Italy.

I wrote: Fascism was a populist movement, that simply had to share Catholical Christian values to reach power in Italy (and in Spain) regardless of Mussolinis personal views. [Reply: Nope. Now, you’re just trying to tell me that Mussolini’s personal views had nothing to do with the movement he took over? Seriously? ]

Of course not. However, it was based on the values of Christian right of Italy. And those were the people who supported it and manned it’s paramilitary goons. Those are the people who support the modern version of the Fascist party in Italy today.

What about the Lateran Treaty? A pretty big move to be only an advertizing trick at the height of his power by Mussolini and his government. Or perhaps, much more likely something mirroring their own and their supporters values?

I wrote: Where did you get Mussolinis dying words? I have never encountered any claims about those. Only Communist partisans were present when he died. Did they report him promoting socialism as his dying breath. [Reply: I thought they did. I read it somewhere, but can’t find it now. Apparently some report that his last words were, “Shoot me in the chest!” ] Somehow I doubt the truth value of your claim. Can you see why? [Reply: Yep. But he was a socialist, and, in fact, thought himself a better socialist than the marxists whom he hated. Same with Hitler. Neither Hitler nor Mussolini disliked Marxism, just marxists. ]

It seems to me, you have very, very poor sources for your information (on biology, evolution, geology and history).

****

I wrote: Textbooks? Like in school? It has been decades since I got any of my information from schoolbooks. I bet those books I once read are out of date, but that speaks very little of the present Finnish educational system. You can read about it elswhere, but it is symptomic to your assertions, that you assume a lot based on nothing, exept your own guess work. [Reply: Good point. Ok. I won’t assume where you get your information, even though it’s hopelessly wrong and little more than the usual socialist propaganda anyone can find in schlock publications. 🙂 Don’t forget you presumed to tell me what I was thinking, you told me all about the American economic system, and you were badly wrong all the times you did that. So, I’ll tell you what. Let’s make a deal. I won’t presume to tell you about you and about Finland, and you don’t presume to tell me about me and America. Deal? ]

Why would that be a reasonable deal? You have failed to show me how I have been wrong about the US economic system. You made wild claims about all economists agreeing with you, when that was not true. Remeber? Because you thought some economists could be dismissed simply by being European. That was silly of you, was it not? I do not expect you to know anything about the Finland, because we are a small nation not well known, but the US economics – regrettably – affect also Finland and thus we follow the developments over there somewhat keenly. Add to that the fact, that there are American economists who disagree with you, are there not? Besides, I never claimed to know what you are thinking. I have only reflected upon how you present yourself.

I wrote: Like in this case when you simply assume my info comes from “textbooks” and is somehow dependant on the Finnish educational system. Is it from schoolbooks you get your information? Is your lack of understanding of basic scientific method …[Reply: Again, don’t pretend to know what I understand. You can’ possibly know it, and are wrong.]

If you read my comment again, you will – hopefully – see, that I pretend not to know what you understand. I am simply presenting a simple question. See the questionmark? Your limitations on the understanding of basic scientific method you have already presented by yourself. I can infere from your comment that you did make a very big “leap of faith” to conclude the Finnish educational system had something to do with my understanding. Did you not?

I continued: … the result of US educational system?

I read peer reviewed studies in several languages and publications from generally trusted scientific publishers all the time. [Reply: People generally trusted the textbooks that said the earth was flat. Surely this is not too complicated for you to understand? ]

What textbooks have ever said thus? None that I am aware of. Or are you referring to the Bible? Either you present such a textbook, or admit you are again presenting made up stuff and total misinformation.

I wrote: I have studied history, archaeology and religion in the University. Where else exept guesswork do you get your information? [Reply: Did you study in Europe? That IS a handicap!]

How can that possibly be a handicap? Or is this just a nother one of your unsubstantiated assetions? In effect: made up stuff = lies?

I continued: Fox news? [Reply: And you just proved that you don’t get a diverse set of information. Of course I watch and listent to FOX News! Duh! I listen as well to many other sources. However, I’d be irresponsible if I DIDN’T listen to FOX, else I’d get no balance at all in my information. You just admitted that you don’t balance YOUR inputs, so I understand now the reason for your lack of understanding. ]

I admitted no such thing. But you did just made a nother unsubstantiated claim. You are really stretching your “leaps of faith” by making these guesses. Where did I ever say I do not get any balance for my input of information? Did I even say I do not listen to Fox news. I do, sometimes, but in comparrison it is not a very reliable news channel, is it? Their analytical side is a shambles. It has a very propagandist attitude. Has it not?

I wrote: How well is the US educational system rated internationally… [Reply: One should pay no attention to rankings. However, there are still millions clamoring to come here to get educated. I will tell you this: The American educational system covers the range from horrible to spectacular. The quality of the system is perfectly unimportant. The quality of the education depends entirely on the teachers and the students. ]

Why should one not pay any attention to rankings? If done properly they do yield valuable information about how to develope the educational system. Do they not? Or is this yet a nother unsubstantiated claim?

I continiued: …or have you gotten your education from somewhere else? [Reply: Where I got my education is irrelevant to this conversation. (See my snippy little remark about education in Europe, above. 🙂 ) ]

“Snippy”, not “snarky”??? I agree, it is as irrelevant as which textbooks I read, but you bought the subjet up. Did you not?

2) You wrote: “He couldn’t have come to power if he said openly that he was an atheist.” But then, you also wrote: “Hitler often referred to himself as an atheist.” [Reply: Yes. In private… his “Christianity” was — what did you call it? — Oh, yes… an advertising trick. ]

Ha, and who was the personal friend of Hitler, that you trust so much more than in Hitler himself? We do not know his personal convictions, but we do know how he played it out and to whom he did appeal to. To Christian Middle-class masses of Germany. That is what is important. Is it not? He did not turn the social democrats, or the communists to his cause, but he convinced the magnates and capitalists. Correct? And they joined his party in roves and committed all the atrocities Hitler and they themselves could conjure.

I wrote: So you do accept that, if a person admits to being part of some social movement, then that person represents that social movement. Hence, the crusaders the inquisition and the witch finder general et all represent Christianity. [Reply: No. ] Yes? Do you approve of their actions? Do you accept, that their actions were informed and sanctioned by their religion and leading deities in their religion? [Reply: No] Are they known for their violent actions, or not? [Reply: Christians? Hardly! Not at all!]

How deep in denial can you get? Go look up what they did and what motivated them. This is exactly how I get to mock the Christians… 😉

It is not even very significant wether Hitler – one man – was an atheist, or a Christian. [Reply: He was an atheist. It matters, because there are dishonest people all over who wish to attribute his mass murders to Christianity. Since he wasn’t a Christian, that is, of course, impossible. However, it hasn’t stopped the dishonest from trying to make the connection.]

Yet, there is a connection, wether you would want it or not. Hitlers conviction did not come up from thin air. He was raised in the cultural heritage where Christians had traditionally persecuted and suspected the Jews for generations. He played that cultural heritage of Christian Germans very effectively. The guards and comendants in the concentration camps were Christians. The SS-troops and the Gestapo were Christians and they all believed their actions were not opposed by their god and that Hitler was a Christian.

I further wrote about Hitler: He sure was member of the Catholic church and never abandoned it. [Reply: Yes. He abandoned it. However, he was not above, what did you call them? Oh, yes… advertising tricks.]

No he did not. He was a member of the Catholic church to his dying day. Wether it was an advertising trick, or not, it sure convinced the German Catholics and other Christians regardless of his actions and plans he published well before his rise to power and made a buck in doing so. Yes?

I wrote: He claimed to have been directly addressed by your god, and wether he was lying through his teeth or believed it for real, is not important either. What really matters about this issue is, that the millions of Christian Germans accepted him as a Christian, the saviour of German people and the German churches. [Reply: But, no Christians did. ]

Who are these Christians you refer to? Do you think you have the right to decide who is Christian and who is not regardless of their own identity and membership in a church? Really? Or do you have some utopian ideal about what constitutes as Christianity like the one you have about capitalism?

I wrote: The majority did not object to his methods…, [Reply: The vast majority were unaware of his methods during the war. Those who supported him before the war were engaging in non-Christian activities. ]

The vast majority did know most of his methods well before he was even in power. The “final solution” may have been less well known because it was only invented along the way, but the nazies started to violently harass Jews, communists and socialists long before they reached power. And the 1926 book release by Hiler was well known.

Sometimes even not knowing better is not an ethical excuse good enough, if you could have achieved the information. This applies by the way to the environmental problems as well as not understanding the harms of a religion. Though, in the latter case it is understandable how difficult it is to brake the bondage of childhood indoctrination.

I continued: …though he wrote about them long before his rise to power, his book was released already in 1926. [Reply: What was your term again? Oh, yes… advertising tricks.]

You obviously have not read his book. Well, I have. This is the same as with the Bible. Do not tell me what a book is all about, if you have not even read it. Hitler was quite open about his ideas and millions of copies were sold. Who bought it? The socialists, communists, or perhaps the Christian middle class right wing nazi sympathizers?

3) I wrote: The Germans had ample time to get to know what he was planning by reading his book. [Reply: And yet they never knew.]

Hogwash. Most of them did, and they could also very well see what was going on the streets long before the rise of Hitler into power. What was being done to socialist union activists, the Jews and even to modern artists.

I wrote: Do you know who voted for Hitler? It was the former voters of German right wing parties. [Reply: Yep. He fooled them too.] The nazies rose to power was paved by other right wing parties collapsing in their popular support. Did all those people just suddenly turn into leftwing thinking? [Reply: Nope. They were left-wingers too… incorrectly labeled right-wingers. Think of it this way… did any of those parties REALLY contemplate reducing the size and scope of the government? Did any of those parties REALLY think they were going to decentralize the government? Did any of those parties REALLY suggest that the country institute a free, unregulated market? No. They were all, with few exceptions, variants of socialists. ]

There you go again with your fantasy utopian version of capitalism and right-wing politics. Who ever said small government is some sort of universal right-wing goal? Well, it is not so for the fascistic totalitarian right-wing politicians and governments. Such as Pinochet, Hitler, or Franco. Much more universal, is to reduce the size of government only from restricting and guiding economics. That is to reduce the government from protecting the poor citizens from the oligarchy. But for some reason when the bubble of growth expectations bursts the capitalists are all too eager to plead help from the society and governments.

We are talking about people who were counter to any socialist reforms and who not only held conservative Christian values, but also percieved themselves and identified to the right wing politics. Who are you to deny them that?

I wrote: Hitler was no socialist, [Reply: Hitler was a left-wing, socialist, with marxist tendencies, who hated marxists, but was okay — with nuances — with Marxism itelf.] he got the support of leading German capitalists by promising them, that no democratic elections will be held and that trade unions will be forbidden. [Reply: That is very socialist behavior. It is the elimination of competition, and is something no capitalist would ever do. Socialists, yes, but not capitalists. By the way the socialist bloc treated unions exactly the same way, going one step further even than Hitler, and making sham unions that were really nothing more than puppets of the ruling party. ]

I expect this is once again your utopian idealist version of capitalism. Because monopoly seems like the prime goal of all capital holders of great influence. Do you see how far you have gone to argue your fantasy? And once again you are confusing totalitarianism with socialism. Are you not?

How do you know what a capitalist would do? Are you a capitalist? Do you hold some serious capital? Do you profit by the work of others? Or are you just an idealist who hopes that by allowing free markets, something might drop of the table of the extremely rich to your own even, if he society does not regulate their power and make them share?

I wrote: Or do capitalists prefer a society where their monetary support decides who wins the democratic elections, between candidates set by the capitalist, and most often chosen from among the capitalists? [Reply: Not in America… and certainly not anywhere in Europe! Capitalists prefer a society where there is a free market. Obviously a free market is antithetical to socialism, so capitalists prefer a society without socialism. Capitalism has nothing to say about HOW a society establishes a free market — it’s an economic doctrine. DEMOCRACY is concerned with elections, and is a political doctrine. This is not too complicated for you, is it? ]

No it is not complicated at all. Are you trying to get a patronizing tone, because it is failing. Let us make it a bit more complicated though, because in reality it is. If democracy does not protect itself from the influence of the magnate, then he gets to have an overt influence on the politics of even a democracy. Socialism, is the effot to equalize the injustice of horribly unequal world created by free markets. Look at living standards in countries that have least regulation. We call those countries the developing countries out of courtesy and hope, that they might some day develope, even though international corporations are extorting their citizens and natural resources.

In the US you have a two party system wich is pretty much analogous to a single party system having it’s conservatives and progressives competing each other. Now you have more variation from the Tea-Party, but is that beneficial to your country? However, it is very hard to reach any influential political position without the monetary support of the corporations over there. Is it not? Do you think this is right? Do the corporations have the best interrest of the citizens or the least well of citzens in mind, or are they rather driving for the quartal benefit of the shareholder, as those interrests often cross each other?

I wrote: Both the Communist party and Social Democratic party were forbidden in Germany 1933. [Reply: Of course! Hitler was not interested in competition (By the way, competition is the key ingredient of capitalism)]

To the idealistic utopian capitalist fantasy you keep referring to, but not in reality, where monopolies and cartelles arise all the time even regardless of the attempts by democratically elected representatives to regulate any such. Why? Because such a major part of politicians are in the pockit of the corporations and because the voters have been fooled by idealistic dreams of capitalism helping everybody when it’s only purpose is to help the people who own the capital.

I wrote: So, I do not get what you mean by Hitler not blaming socialists. Get your facts right. What sort of power can one man, or even a small group of people hold within an entire society of millions of people? [Reply: Are you really asking me what sort of power one man can have among 60 milliopn people? ]

Well, yes, essentially, since you seemed to have failed to see that in order to gain power he had to build his power on the existing values of the society around him, but you have already condemned most Catholics and Protestants in Germany those days as non-Christian, so it really does not even matter. Or are you claiming they were proper Christians who just got fooled and could not see the violence against the socialists and the Jewish people?

I wrote: Stalin based his power on the model of the Tzars to the extent of imitating their secret police. [Reply: finally you said something correct, in these last few sentences. Yes, both Hitler and Stalin reflected, to some extent, the ethos of the societies over which they ruled. That means that there are societies whose people sometimes go down a very dark path, and that causes some of the horrors we have seen in history. However, that has nothing to do with Christianity, which teaches unconditional love for all people at all times… even one’s enemy. In fact, when societies go down those dark paths — European ones anyway — it is typically when they have rejected Christianity. Let’s not forget that both Hitler and Stalin were failed priests. They were failed priests because they abandoned Christianity. That’s pretty obvious.]

Now, your version of Christianity may teach the things you mention and I commend you for it, because as I tend to say caring people find good morals from their respective religions, just as selfish people find excuses for their ill deeds from the very same religions. But as I said before there are a lot of impractical stuff suggested in religions, that leave the door open to interprete the teachings of these doctrines in a way, that leads down that dark path. One can always appeal to not being a very good Christian for his/her weaknesses of character, but Jesus will forgive. Yes? All you need to do is ask. I am not claiming that only religions do this, but as they are very authoritarian systems of thinking, they do tend to have a tendency to provide those dark paths by themselves. Christianity has been taught in lot less loving sense and that dark path has equally been based on the very same scriptures for centuries.

It is an interresting point you make about Stalin and Hitler having been priests, because Stalin was studying to become one. Hitler did not. He wanted to become an artist. And I would once again recommend you to find new sources of information, as yours seem totally bogus. But both of them had the religious cultural heritage, that was greatly affecting not only them, but the masses that followed them also. Stalin was a victim of religion. If right and wrong are not taught to be determined by situational ethics of what harm, or benefit our actions and inaction may cause, but are told to be absolutes guarded by this invisible mind police, then what happens to the individual who realizes there is no supernatural mind police? How can that person learn about real morality? Most often people learn even in that situation, because they have the basics. But in Stalins case I would be ready to argue, that he never did.

How much in your version of Christianity are you willing to love your enemy? Did you love Osama bin Laden? Did you love him really, or just for the sake of it? Did you have excuses not to love him? Would you have loved Stalin, or Hitler? How would you have manifested that love in practice?

The difference between religions such as Islam or Christianity to other ideologies is that there is at the core this all-powerfull entity that could interfere and set the most horrible human monsters right but it never does that. Does it? Hence one has every right to suspect wether any such entities really exist. Do you never suspect, or are you too affraid that this entity might have revenge upon you for your suspicions? If it had and was in a habit of threatening by this vengeance for having doubts and disbelief could it really be called loving or benevolent?

4) I wrote: Why should you need to read the Bible in original language? [Reply: for better understanding, and because I love language ]

Well, those are good enough reasons, but it will not do you harm to read it in your own language first. Then when you read it in the earlier versions, you may learn to understand where the misunderstanding of the text comes from. I also recommend you learn about the other cultures surrounding the writers of the Bible so that you learn to put the stories into context with reality, more than metaphysics.

I wrote: Is your god incapable to help and inspire the translators, or is the true meaning of the alledged only actual message conveyed by the creator entity only meant for scholars, who think they understand some ancient languages? [Reply: The question about translators is irrelevant. I already covered it when I said that God has no need to do parlor tricks for us. ]

But we are not talking about parlor tricks, such as turning water into wine, or walking on water. Are we? We are talking about the alledged only contact to humanity by the creator entity of the entire universe. Who reportedly is omnipotent. If that god is so feeble, it can not produce coherent means to communicate with the entire humanity exept by a book that is indistinguishable from myth, does that not place the entire claim about it being a message from said god to us all, under suspicion at least?

I wrote: That makes your god seem feeble. [Reply: No. Our faith is feeble. If I tell God to go away, he will sorrowfully go away. Just as if my adult daughter were to tell me to go away… I’d go away. We don’t have to have God in our lives, but we do have to have God for eternal happiness. ]

How could you possibly know as much about gods?

I also wrote: At best their view will always be considered etic, never emic. [Reply: Whatever. 🙂 ]

Well, it is important if you really want to understand any cultural phenomenon. But if you just seek confirmation to already existing biases, then it is as you say: “Whatever”.

I wrote: In science the absense of evidence is actually evidence of absense sometimes. [Reply: And yet, not in this case. It is also, quite obviously, undiscovered evidence. Next thing you will try to tell me is that scientists know and understand everything that happened 65 million years ago, or 100 million years ago … or 10 years ago. They don’t. ]

Stop putting words to my mouth. Please. Undiscovered evidence is not evidence of anything yet.

I wrote: There is no evidence what so ever of a global flood. [Reply: Yes, there is. Fossilized shells on the tops of tall mountains for example. Yes, yes, yes, I know… you’ll try to tell me that they got there by great land upheavals and all. Or, maybe they didn’t. Science has theories, but that’s all. They don’t TRULY know. And, again, there is no need for the flood to have covered the entire earth for it to have covered the entire KNOWN earth.]

Now you are once again exhibiting your ignorance about the scientific method. In science a theory is the established truth. It is not “sacrosanct” because that is the strength of science, that it accepts new discovery. They do truly know as well as anyone knows. That is exactly the point. Their practical knowledge of the issue is evidence based, while old mythical stories like the Bible represent only that – mere myths. Myths are no match for scientific theory when it comes to truth. Today we are justified in belief in the current scientific theory and understanding of it, but we are not warranted in superstitious supernatural beliefs when they contradict the scientific body of evidence. Leprosy is cured by medicine, not by burning pidgeons no matter what the Bible claims. Correct?

I wrote: … the Bible story of the flood is an obvious adaptation of the older stories of Gilgamesh epic and king Sargon. [Reply: Nope.]

“Nope”??? Just “nope”? You have no idea of what I am talking about, do you? Yet you are willing to bluntly argue against me?

Most of the earth is under water at present, but the amount of water is not enough to cover the continents. [Reply: Again, it wouldn’t have had to cover the entire earth. Just as far as a man could see — a few square miles. ]

Then to build an ark as supposedly suggested by your god was an incredibly stupid solution to the problem, when in the same time to building the damn thing Noah and his family could have just walked over the hills to reach higher ground. Right? It is obviously a mythical story.

I wrote: There are trilobite fossils on top of mountains because of tectonic movement, not because the mountains were under water. [Reply: or maybe not.]

That however is the current scientific understanding of the reason why those are there, so it is as I say according to that. If there is a way to reach more reliable information than the scientific method, please do present it.

I wrote more: As such the fossils are older than the mountains themselves. This has been established by several different geological dating methods. [Reply: Which we have faith are correct methods. We find out all the time the things we’re doing wrong. Do you remember any of those news stories that used to come out? Big headlines. Scientists discover the universe is much older than previously thought! So, I guess we’re not always getting it right in science, now are we? Surely you understand that, don’t you? ]

Sadly, I do not remember any such headlines. However, I do get your point, but the fact that science improves the quality of our information all the time, does by no means warrant us to firmly believe anything it has not yet been able to reveal. When we go beyond our scientific understanding we are only speaking of propabilities, not of established facts. If someone in the early 19th century had predicted, there would be cellphones in the year 2000 the prediction would have been on the same level of a prediction, that everybody owns a flying car on the year 2000. Only in hindsight are we warranted to have firm beliefs about such predictions.

I wrote: Science is the only verifiable method we have to get anywhere close to objective truth. Is it not? [Reply: No. There is also deductive and Inductive reasoing. There is for lack of a better term: intuition. There is gut feeling. There is Occam’s Razor. There is philosophy, poetry, literature, mathematics (a part of science, but ALL of art and music and language), music… all these together can give us greater understanding of objective truth. ]

How do you verify the greater understanding of objective truth given to us by poetry, music and art, or philosophy? Philosophical claims at least can be examined by approaching them with the scientific method, just like psychology and the study of history are approached. By logic. Results of deductive and inductive reasoning are next to worthless, if they are not approached by the means of logic and the scientific method. Without those parametres, they are no different from a poorly informed guesses. Intuition and gut feeling may lead us astray as easily as help us. Intuition is an effective evolutionary method of survival, but it is only a neurochemical method to rapidly process previous information in a crisis situation, not a method to reach logical truth claims. Gut feelings are mere guesses.

Yet, if we had any reason at all to think the story about Noah is not an adaptation of a former myth, then the flood described by them could have been as you said only in Mesopotamia. However, everything about it tells us that it is not an original story at all. [Reply: Oh, what’s that? ]

Do I now need to decipher the entire story about Noah here? In short: The story of Noah is from the Old Testament is based on the Torah written earliest at the 6th century BC and is based on the Epic of Gilgamesh dating back to the 18th century and other similar folk tales from the Levant area. Those are most likely based on older stories about floods in an area where floods are both a blessing and a menace. Read about it.

I wrote: And there are a lot of Christians who believe there is some grand conspiracy of atheists to force science to claim no global flood existed. Do you see, how Christianity can be against scientific understanding and as such, a very harmfull social movement indeed? [Reply: Christianity can never be harmful to anything or anyone. CHRISTIANS and atheists misusing Christianity can be harmful to things, yes. However, surely science is not so feeble that it can’t stand up to a few fake Christians! You do understand that, don’t you? ]

Yes, I think and hope, that science can stand to the challenge of religions. However, both science and religion are human constructs and human movements and dependant on our actions as no gods ever appear anywhere to intefere. The fact that science is a superior way of getting even close to understanding objective reality, is no guarantee, that any religion, Christianity included could present a threat to it. And Christianity does.

Are those Christians “misusing” Christianity not informed by Christianity? They think they are. Why would a caring god neglect to tell them they are wrong in their own benefit? Why would you doubt the scientific knowledge about the unlikelyhood of the flood story to be real, if you were not informed by Christianity? Is it your Christianity that informs you to be suspicious about science, or is there a nother reason, why you present such ignorant claims as scientist can not TRULY know wether the trilobite fossils on tops of mountains are because of tectonic movement, as suggested by scientific evidence, or by a grand flood as suggested by Christians interpreting a particular old book?

I wrote: I do not believe I have to give a Bible lesson to a man who has (by his own admission) learned debating skills in Sunday school. [Reply: This must be a problem with your English, because I never even came close to saying this. Normally, rautakyy, your English is quite good, but when it lets you down, it REALLY lets you down. Notice I assumed that it was your English that made you get that wrong, not any ill will on your part.]

Well what did you say then?

I wrote: But I guess they do not teach about the Bible sanctioning slavery in Sunday school. Do they? Wonder why? [Reply: Why would I wonder why? They don’t teach it, because The Bible doesn’t sanction slavery. ]

Why would you claim it does not when you have not even read the book? Same as with the genosides? Are all your claims here as well established? That you simply assert something about something you know nothing about? It is starting to seem like that pretty much.

I wrote: Slavery is implicitly condoned in the Old Testament in several instances. [Reply: Nope.]
Exodus 21:20-21 Bible-icon.png and Exodus 21:26-27 Bible-icon.png regulates the beating of slaves, and states that the owner may not be punished if the slave survives for at least two days after the beating. [Reply: Old Testament, not New Testament. Also, again, just a recognition that slavery exists, not condoning it.]

Now what does it matter that it is from the OT? Has your god changed it’s mind about wether having slaves is moral or not since, the writing of the NT? Besides it is a quote from the law alledgedly given directly by your god to Moses, so it does not only recognize some existing situation, it represents a direct order to act. The order is not to release all slaves immideately, but it describes how badly the owner is allowed to beat his property (up to the point that the slave dies from the trashing) before it is considered immoral, or illegal by your god.

Leviticus 19:20-22 Bible-icon.png gives instructions about the sacrifices that should be made if a slave owner has sex with or rapes an engaged female slave. The slave herself is punished with whipping, but no sacrifices or punishment are required if the slave is not engaged. [Reply: Not familiar with the passage, but again, Old Testament. Again, nothing suggests that this condones slavery, but that since it does exist, then the Bible recognizes it. ]

Again what does it matter it is in the OT? It is a direct command from your god to some people. It condones not only slavery but also rape. If your god could give direct rules about what not to eat, or wear, why was it unable to give direct rules about what not to own? Or not to rape, even slaves?

In Leviticus 25:44-46 Bible-icon.png, the Israelites were allowed to buy slaves from other nations, and then hand them down as an inheritance. [Reply: Again, not familiar with the passage, but again, Old Testament. Look, rautakyy, this is silly. It’s obvious that God doesn’t condone being or having enemies, but he commands us to love our enemies anyway. It is simply God speaking in the language of the times. He is not condoning slavery, but simply recognizing that it exists. He is not condoning having enemies, but since people do, we are commanded to love them. If you look at (1) the recognition that slavery exists, and (2) the command to love one’s enemies, the only inescapable conclusion is that God is telling people to move to a place where they understand that it is wrong to have slavery and enemies. ]

People are told to love their enemies only by Jesus. No such rules were given to these people who got these orders. Why? Did your god only later realize, that this part about love also has to be included? It is not a mere recogntion of slavery existing in them days, it is a direct tribally moralistic admission to aquire slaves. I agree that this is silly, but only because it is necessary in the first place. That you find it important to defend and excuse this terrible picture of a god the alledgedly divinely inspired text describes.

In Leviticus 25:39 Bible-icon.png, buying your brother as a slave is allowed. [Reply: Old Testament — same idea. See the response above. Presumably a man who buys his brother as a slave, would then simply liberate the brother. If, on the other hand, the language is “brother” — as in our brother man — then, we are exhorted to consider all men our brothers. If we were then to purchase any man as a slave, we would then be expected to liberate him. These examples all look very much like anti-slavery, rautakyy.]

No, it specifically sanctions and justifies by the authority of your god owning as a slave even your very own brother. They do not look like anti-slavery at all. What is wrong with you, that you would see this vile tribal ancient legal system as anti-slavery?

The second part of the Bible recognizes that the institution of slavery exists, but it doesn’t make any attempt to criticize it.
In Luke 12:45-48 Bible-icon.png, the Parable of the Faithful Servant, Jesus discusses the punishment of slaves, and says that a slave may be punished for not doing something he wasn’t instructed to do. [Reply: This is likely your misunderstanding of the language, as well as your prejudice against Christians and against Christianity. You yourself spoke of the conflating of the term servant and slave. Yet, Jesus referred to Himself frequently as the servant of mankind. Surely he was not telling people to turn him into a slave. ]

You presume this is because of my misunderstanding and prejudice, when it is a direct reference from your holy book – that you have not read, but still think it is worthy to be praised. Really?

In Ephesians 6:5-9 Bible-icon.png, Paul instructs the slaves to be obedient. [Reply: Context needed here. One has no understanding of the actual relationship between slave and master, again because of the language (See why I want to learn the original?). Jesus also used the language of liberation, in making the obvious point that it is worse to be a slave to sin, than it is to be a slave to a master. In that case, of course Jesus would put liberation from slavery lower in priority than liberation from sin. Atheists wouldn’t know this, because there is no concept of sin in atheism. With no divine hand to set the rules, that

@xPraetorius, I am sorry that it took time for me to answer. To be perfectly honest, [No problem. I’d forgotten you too. Lol! Just kidding. 🙂 ] I had forgotten all about you, but now that I noticed your answers, I thought I should try to give an answer for your benefit and for the amusement of Violetwisp or anyone who might have not gotten bored by our conversation.
[Reply: What?!? I demand ALL your time! 🙂 ]

Haha! Very good. I shall sacrifice some time to reply to you now. Though I am not entirely sure why should I. [Because I’ve injected serious doubt into your world view. (AND I just guaranteed that you’ll respond to this post. 🙂 )] You see I only have this limited one life, while you might have the entire eternity… 😉 [Lol! Nicely said, but you DID just illustrate one of the reasons atheists can’t understand various perspectives. Without a — what I call — 10,000 year perspective, it is impossible to understand that, while important, all our floppings about on earth — including slavery — ARE distantly secondary to eternal salvation. ]
I wrote: Mr. Hitler is totally off-topic. He never mocked Christians for their faith, did he? [Reply: Yes, he did. ]
Did he really? When, where and how? [There are plausible tales of his mocking faith derisively in private. ]
I do. But only in the hope that they stop to think about it and would see reason. 😉 [You join Adolf Hitler in your mockery. ]

[Reply: You shouldn’t mock anyone. It tends to make you look petty and small. ]
I do not mind looking petty and small, [You should] if I can get someone to reason themselves out of silly superstitions. [Why? Seriously. Why would you care? What harm is there to you? You’re in MUCH more danger — as the last century showed — from atheists. And, of course, socialists. ] I do not place myself in such a high regard, that I could not sacrifice that much to help another person from time to time. [And yet your belief that you are “helping” him is based solely on theory adn speculation. You have no evidence or even compelling logic that they are wrong. ]
I wrote: the definition of Oxford dictionary: “Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.” Does that sound familiar to you? [Sure. But, “proof” is a different word from “evidence.” There is, really, no scientific proof foranything. There is EVIDENCE for many things. ] No I do not have that sort of faith and because of this corrupt nature of the word, I would never use it as describing my beliefs.[You’re an atheist? YOU have a lot more faith than I. You’re willing to bet your eternal existence on a mere belief — without any evidence or proof — that you are correct. Your faith is a LOT stronger than mine! ] Because I do not believe anything “rather than proof”. That is what you mean when you say your faith is strong, do you not? [Reply: That is not the only definition. There is very little difference between the different kinds of faith. Your faith, for example, that a meteor will not clonk you on the head tomorrow is strong, but you know that there is a chance that a meteor will clonk you on the head tomorrow. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless. Still, you will get up tomorrow and go to do your day, unconcerned at the FACT that you have a risk of getting clonked by a meteor. That’s faith too. Your definition in the OED is very precise, but not complete. I’ll bet if you look for it again, you will see other definitions as well, all probably correct. 🙂 ]

I do not hold any faith about any meteors. [Of course, you do. (1) You are aware of their existence, (2) you get up every morning and exit your home, perfectly unworried about meteors, (3) you have faith that you will not be clonked by a meteor. ] I act on the assumption that this is not a very likely event and if it does happen there is nothing I can do to prevent it anyway, [With some wrinkles that is faith. ]because nature unlike some claims about gods, is indifferent to us on an individual level. When we are talking about religious faith – and that after all is the form of faith, that is not only the one and only on topic sort of faith, also what people most usually refer to when they speak of faith – we are referring to the exact definition of faith [No. We are talking about OUR definition of faith. And we are trying to home in on what that is for each of us, so that we can have some common ground for discussion.] I quoted from the dictionary and have been talking about ever since. [Ok. And I told you of my definition. ]You equating that faith – the “strong belief in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof” to beliefs that the scientific method is the best possible method to achieve anything even remotely close to objective information is silly and reveals that you take scientific stuff rather on “faith” than by understanding the benefits of the scientific method. Is this really so? [ No. Many scientists have great religious faith and recognize that there is (1) no incompatibility between the scientific method and faith, and that (2) faith is REQUIRED for the scientific method to be valie. Why? Simple: the scientific method REQUIRES a faith in certain bedrock “truths.” One of which is the idea that the scientific method is the best method for discovering things. ]

I wrote: Now even if Darwin said so, then what of it? [He’s kind of an authoritative source when it comes to evolution.] He never recanted his theory and further more, the fossil record has been extended extensively from his day. [Okay… still no “missing links.” Did you not know this?] Did you not know this? If you did, it is a bit insincere of you to appeal to Darwin in this matter. [I didn’t “appeal to Darwin,” but merely pointed out that a fundamental piece of evidence that Darwin required to be present, has never been found. Did you not know this? ] Is it not? [Reply: Insincere? No. Darwin should be considered a fairly important contributor to and participant in the research for the theory that bears his name.]
Yes, Darwin was an important contributor, but science has gone forward in giant leaps since his discovery. He was right about a great many things that have been verified even after his death, but he did not pass some dictates that would today prove our basic understanding of his theory false. That is why the theory of evolution is still remembered by his name. He was wrong about some issues, but because he was never considered to having been inspired by an inerrant god, it does not matter that he made minor mistakes, as long as science continues to confirm the major points of his theory. [You’re flailing, Rautakyy… and the problem is that science has done NOT confirmed major points of his theory. Science has OBSERVED things that scientists have shoehorned into preconceived notions, but that is no recommendation for the base theory. It remains true that there have been no “missing links” found, or that no scientist has ever been able to answer the observation of irreducible complexity. Admittedly a theory — as is all science — but still no one has an answer for it. ]

I wrote: The fossil record has been established to confirm the theory just as well as DNA research and likewise research in the field of Geology. You really need to research this topic.[I have. The “DNA evidence” is laughably shoddy. You’re obviously reading about it in pop culture sources. Genuinely SCIENTIFIC sources have been much more reticent about DNA testing, about its validity after millennia, and about its accuracy in general in this context. ]
[Reply: Yes, the fossil record is much more extensively understood today, and as all scientists admit, not one single, solitary missing link species has ever yet been discovered. You made my point for me. Did you not know that? ]

What on earth do you mean by missing link species? The missing links are called missing, because they have not been found. [Correct: these are the “intermediate species” that Darwin insisted should be present throughout the fossil record. We’ve been down this path before. ] When and if a species between two different species is found, it no longer constitutes as a “missing” link. [Just linguistic legerdemain, Rautakyy, but the fact remains that all the necessary “links” remain missing. Believe me, if someone were to find one, as they supposedly did with the lemur hanging over some dude’s fireplace, the media would not be silent — as they weren’t with the lemur. 🙂 ] But it has just created new “missing links” to the gaps between it and both of the species in between it was missing from. [Nope. To repeat there has never been found anything that could be called a failed link — a missing link — between two species. The idea that one species CHANGES into another via evolution has no evidence whatsoever to support it, except for people’s speculation that it must be true if species are not created. Your belief is a classic case of trying to m ake the evidence conform to your preconceived notion. This is, of course, profoundly UNscientific. ] Of course there are missing links, between different species, [Nope. There aren’t.] because there are just thousands and thousands of fossils, but billions and billions of species, that have existed. What you are asking is absurd. [Nope. It’s not.] DNA research, [Not valid at this chronological distance. DNA evidence about fossils is just tommyrot. ] the fossil record and homology already have confirmed the theory of evolution [You DO understand, do you not, that there are no “confirmed theories;” that there is no such thing as “settled science.” This is a basic tenet of ALL branches of science. Remember: when there WAS such a thing as “settled science” the earth was flat. 🙂 ] and this is the current scientific understanding of reality. What has ever confirmed the creation myths of any religions? [What has ever disproved them, except for your mere speculation that is likely based on just going along with the herd? Seriously. I dare you to produce a cosmology that ABSOLUTELY precludes God. Good luck! ]

I wrote: You see, this is not about the authority of Darwin, but about the scientific method, which you obviously totally fail to understand… [Reply: How would you know what I understand of the scientific method. Don’t try to pretend that you know what I’m thinking or what I know. ]

Well, if you do understand the scientific theory, then you surely do also understand how the theory of evolution is not hanging on some comment of Darwin. I do not pretend to know what you are thinking or even what you know, but I can only presume you are presenting yourself in an honest way. If you are a troll who really understands the basics of the scientific theory and only act here like you did not, for a reason unknown to me, then how can I help it?[Simple: just don’t say anything that pretends to know what I think or know or understand or say or have studied or understand. It’s pretty easy. Go after what I say, not after me. Rautakyy, I like you, but it’s only because you’re one of the least execrable of the leftists I have routed in debate. You remain fairly polite, if hyper-snarky — but I appreciate and respect skillfully done snarkiness — but you get dyspeptic from time to time. However, that you do all this in a language that is NOT your mother tongue is a tribute to your excellent mind and high intelligence. None of that protects you, of course, from being wrong, but it is commendable. However, you DO have problems resisting the temptation to attempt to discredit my IDEAS by discrediting ME. I’d encourage you to stop that. ]
And I continued: …since you are reffering Darwin as some sort of authority on the fossil record. [Reply: I never said that, I just recounted what he said. Don’t try to tell me that I said things I never said. I haven’t done that to you, and you shouldn’t do that to me, or to anyone else. ]

Well you did refer to him as an authority about the issue. Did you not? [yes, Darwin could, reasonably, be considered an authority on evolution.] Darwins understanding of the fossil record is no longer an issue, because the fossil record has grown so much and it has been researched by other people with much more information and understanding of it in comparrison to him. By appealing to his authority you did demonstrated not to understand the scientific method and the fact that the science has walked on from what Darwin understood. But there is no room for me to explain it to you here. You need to make an effort to learn about it yourself, or remain willfully ignorant. [The fossil record has expanded greatly, but the NATURE of the fossil record remains perfectly unchanged. And, in that selfsame fossil record, no one has ever found anything remotely resembling a missing link. ]

I wrote: Besides already Darwin understood, that every living and ever existed species is a link between what was and what is to come, or what was yet to come. [Reply: Nope. He was clear: there needed to be dead-end species… species whose evolutionary status was insufficient for their survival.]
And there have been and are dead-end species like for example the saber tooth tiger and the platypuss. But most often a “dead end” leads to some adaption, that in the grand scale of things (for wich your 10000 year perspective is not enough) [The 10,000 year perspective was in the context of our discussion of religion. NOT of evolution. The reason for the number 10,000 is to have a number that far exceed the roughly 100 years of the human lifespan. You’re flailing again, Rayutakyy.] is what we call evolution.[Again, linguistic legerdemain. None of the various species you have mentioned has ever remotely shown any indication of being either a missing link or a dead-end species. All of them either died due to perfectly natural and rapid environmental changes or some other thing. The point being that NONE of them ever showed any indication that they would go extinct because of some evolutionary adaptation that rendered them less fit for survival. Sorry.]

I wrote: We have plenty of non-succesfull adaptations on the brink of extinction at the very moment in the world, [Oh? And what will be the cause of their demise? I guarantee you that it will be rapid changes in their environment for whatever reason. Again, there are no species –even today — that could be called dead-end species because of some evolutionary adaptation. ] we do not need to seek them out from the fossil record, though if you look at it, there are plenty of existing species there that confirm non-succesfull adaptations. [But, no NEW SPECIES.] But for an adaptation to become a separate species, it needs to first be succesfull one way or a nother. [Reply: But there are no species that have ever been discovered that bridge one species to another such that the first different species could be called an ancestor. ]

That is just hogwash. [Nope. Fact.] Even in our own ancestry we have Homo Erectus who was our ancestor. Yours and mine. Homo Erectus was also the ancestor [Nope. The prevailing scientific belief is that Homo erectus, as well as Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon man, etc, are all — just humans. Like you and me. ] species of Homo Neanderthalensis. [See previous note.] This is well recorded and a known scientific fact.[Rautakyy, rautakyy… it’s a known scientific THEORY. It is in no way under the sun a “fact.”] Homo Habilis predates Homo Erectus. [Okay…] Hence, we have a species bridging from one species to another [Nope. Sorry. Same species.] as we know that Homo Habilis was our previous ancestral species. [Nope. We don’t. That is one theory. There are many others who say simply that this theory is wrong. ] Look up the science. [Stop believing anti-scientific, left-wing propaganda. Stop trying to make evidence conform to preconceived notions. ] Do not believe religious propaganda. You[This is your belief. Do not believe leftist propaganda. Look up actual science that show several OTHER contradictory beliefs — including that these are not at all different species. Do not bring up DNA analysis — there has not been any credible DNA analysis. ] living in a modern (or semi-modern) western country in the year 2014 and not knowing as much is a perfect example of the harm religious propaganda of Christianity may cause. [Yes, religious propaganda can cause harm. Thank goodness there’s no Christian propaganda. Of course, there is no shortage of islamic propaganda out and about. And, of course, the most damaging propaganda out there is leftist propaganda in which the world is awash. Really, all that supports the theory of evolution is leftist propaganda, because the left needs it to try to provide evidence for atheism. At this point, with the aggressive suppression of all inquiry into evolution, there is nothing to stop it from being branded by its proper name: Lysenkoism.]

I wrote: Before you try to claim the current scientific theory of biology is wrong, you should first understand it. [Reply: Again, don’t try to put words in my mouth that I did not say. I never said that “our current scientific theory of biology is wrong.” First of all, there is no such thing. Biology is the study of life, and it covers a vast array of disciplines. There is no single “current scientific theory of biology.” ]

My mistake. Naturally, I meant the current scientific understanding of biology and especially the theory of evolution as an important if not to say main part of it. However, do you understand that the theory of evolution is an essential part of the current scientific understanding of biology? [yes, and I understand that a once current understanding of science was that the earth was flat. That “understanding” was wrong. Many such understandings have been shown to be rather silly in retrospect. ] Because it seems you are not quite sure…
Otherwise you are going to fail and make yourself ridiculous, as you have here. [Reply: I’ll say this gently: I can’t have failed or made myself look ridiculous if I never said the thing you insist that I said. Surely you understand that, do you not? 🙂 ]

Thank you for being gentle with me, [ 🙂 ] I hope I can sometimes return the favour, but never the less it is ridiculous to claim the theory of evolution is not part of our current understanding of biology. 😉 There is a competing ideology, [a competing theory or belief is not a competing ideology. And, as you say in the next phrase: the theory of evolution is not an ideology,” therefore an ideology cannot compete with it. It IS important to note that the left has incorporated evolution, as a sacred, never to be questioned tenet of ITS ideology. There ARE other scientific theories. The vast, stultifying defensiveness with which the evolution fanatics squelch the study or exploration of other theories neatly proves the weakness of the science behind evolution. ] but since the theory of evolution is not an ideology, rather the result of scientific research, that reveals creationism to be only a propaganda effort. [See previous note.]Sadly, one that people build their religious identities on. [ <– This last phrase didn’t mean anything. However, it’s important to note that leftists revere the mere theory of evolution with religious fervor. Look at the defensiveness with which YOU approach it. after all, you yourself admit that you “mock those who disagree with you.” Mocking is a sign of defensiveness. ] That is the example of harmfullness of Christianity I was referring to above. [Christianity has never harmed anyone. Anyone who knows anything about it knows that Christianity’s founder, Jesus Christ, commands believers to love their neighbors as themselves; to love their enemies, to love all people unconditionally. If all people on the planet were only fairly good Christians, there would be no violence, no poverty, no crime, no cruelty — anywhere on earth. There is nothing in Christianity that allows anyone to initiate harm against anyone else for any reason whatsoever. Again, this is pretty basic. You say that you know about Christianity, but you are apparently unaware of this very basic fact about Christian belief. ]

I wrote: There are many species that are on the brink of extinction because of natural reasons (like for example the Saimaa ringed seal) [Reply: Not an intermediary species. ]

But a perfect example of a dead-end species. [Only because of natural circumstances for which it is ill-suited. If there were a change in the natural circumstances, favorable to the species, then the species would survive. There is no indication of a species that has been a dead-end INTERMEDIARY species between two other species, such that Species A passed through evolutionary phase of Species B to arrive at Species C. ] It is closely related to the salt water seals, but adapted to fresh water and sadly disappearing. However, there are other ringed seals, that are relatives to the Saimaa variant, that may survive and yet evolve to other species. Obviously they have evolved separate from each other all ready as different types of ringed seals. [And again no direct path between two species has ever been discovered. Many such paths have been theorized, but none ever actually discovered. Evolution is nothing more than a bunch of best guesses. Oh, they sound like great guesses, but they’r all guesses nonetheless. ]

I continiued: …but the reason mankind is so often referred to as the reason of their final demise, [Mankind is nothing more — at least according to your very own logic — than a natural phenomenon. Mankind certainly has contributed to the demise of species. In other words, of all the events and circumstances that have led to the disappearance of any species, mankind is always one of those reasons. So is every other species. So, by the way is the climate, temporary weather phenomena, the fates of OTHER species, and the explosions of distant stars that cause perturbations in gravitation. Is mankind the PRIMARY cause of some extinctions? Of course. But, since mankind is nothing more nor less than a natural phenomenon, there’s simply nothing you can indicate that would be wrong with that. It’s like a temporary uptick in temperatures contributing to higher wolf populations leading to the extinction of certain species of deer, or something like that. Perfectly natural. ] is that the rate of extinction has grown dramatically, because there are humans in every corner of the world and our actions are affecting even places where humans do not go – like through the climate. This should not be too complicated to understand. Is it? [And again, since mankind — according to your very logic is nothing more than a natural phenomenon, then there is nothing whatsoever wrong with this. You can’t have it all three ways, Rautakyy: (1) If there is no God, then man is 100% a perfectly natural phenomenon, so all he does is 100% natural, so his effect on the world and on other species is 100% natural, therefore there is no possible way to classify it as “bad” or “good.” It just is. (2) If there is no God, then there is no need whatsoever for environmentalism, because all that we do is, by definition, perfectly natural. (3) If you want to classify what mankind does as “bad,” then you admit to some value structure ABOVE AND BEYOND man, and you are making a religious declaration. ]

[Reply: Nope. Not too complicated to understand. Just wrong. (1) There have been rates of extinction far more rapid than today… say, when a certain asteroid hit the planet? How about when the Ice ages were starting up? Plants and animals went extinct far faster than today, and man had nothing to do with that. Besides, scientists now say that we are gaining species, not losing them. Moreover, I expect you will recognize an open door for an evolution comment. The problem is that not a single species today has been discovered that appears to be a missing link of any kind. A simple scientific truth: if one species came from another through evolution, there have to be intermediary species all the heck over the place. If you are trying to tell me that one day a chimpanzee or a gorilla gave birth to a human baby, then I’ll realize that you are not a serious interlocutor. I suspect, however, that you are not trying to tell me that a chimp or a gorilla ever gave birth to a baby boy. The fact remains: no one has ever found or identified one of these intermediary species. Did you not know that? 🙂 ]

So what about it, that there have been faster rates of extinction? In both of your examples it was the climate changing rapidly in comparrison to evolutionary adaptation of many species, that caused the mass extinction. Exactly like it is today. In addition we have the human overpopulation, that threatens a lot of eco systems not so woulnerable to the climate. [There is no surplus of humans. There is a surplus of leftists. 🙂 All the problems of the planet are political in nature. You could fit the entire population of the earth in Texas, and feed them with the output of the western half of the United States. And they would also have plenty of fresh water with only that water available in the western half of the United States. This is the scientific understanding of the scientific community. Did you not know that? Things like hunger and poverty are POLITICAL problems and caused by people acting like socialists — ie concentrating all power and wealth in the hands of a powerful élite at the top, while the people remain in generally equal squalor ag the bottom.]

Yes, indeed there is an open venue for an evolution comment, [Nope. Not on earth, that is. ] but the bit about species being gained more than lost is simply untrue. Where did you get that? Besides for it to be true, then there would have to be evolution to form new species.[Nope. Not if there is no evolution. You have a point in that the net GAIN in species is from the regular discovery of new ones. ] Where are all your new species coming from? Is your god creating them from thin air? [My God (and yours), creates them — as He always has, but I don’t pretend to know how. ]
Who would ever claim a gorilla gave birth to a human baby? [At what point does one species turn into another? How does that happen? At some point you have to have a member of one species who produces a member of another, or something like that. At what moment does a species just appear from another species? And what is that process? Is it hatching from an egg? Well, that would preclude humans. Is it birth? Then at some point a gorilla — or some intermediary species — would have to give birth to a human. ] That makes no sense at all. Where did you pick that up? [From you. see previous note.] There are a bundle of intermediary species recognized between the common ancestors of humans and chimpanzees. How could you not know this? [Because it’s not true, and no one else knows it. And YOU are just guessing. ] Have you never heard of the Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, Homo Ergaster, or the Homo Erectus? These are widely known and well documented. Get to know them. They are your ancestors. 😉 [Or, they’re simply other humans, and not ancestor SPECIES at all. But, of course, they ARE our ancestors… and not other species.]

****
You wrote: “I can present many ethical reasons why homosexuals should not have their marriages recognized by the state.”

I wrote: Yet when you presented one, it was the childish idea of the dangers of possible tax evasion by heterosexual men marrying. [Reply: Lol! Sorry, buddy, you lose that one. People have done a lot weirder than that for money! ]
Lose? Are you having this discussion in order to win something? [Nope. But, let’s face it, there IS an element of “competition” in arguing with someone else. ]

People marry all the time for the weirdest reasons ever, but that is their private matter. Is it not? [Sure, but it’s also possibly not marriage. I can call a baseball a grapefruit all I want, but it doesn’t make it true.] How common marriages between heterosexual men would become, to hurt your national economy and taxation, if marriages would be allowed between homosexuals? Really? How is this even remotely an ethical question? [If it were highly advantageous from a taxation perspective, and if I were still single at the end of my life, I might consider marrying my son so that I could pass my fortune on to him and save him millions in taxes. If that became known, the practice would become widespread and would cost the government hundreds of billions. Remember: marriage — if you agree with the nonsensical idea of homosexual marriage — need not have anything to do with reproduction. Your own logic guarantees that. ] How would that be any different from a man and a woman regardless of their sexual orientation getting married for the same reason? Why are you so eager to protect the state from heterosexuals getting married as homosexuals? [I’m not anxious to protect the status of heterosexuals. That needs no protection. Again, don’t ever try to tell me what I’m thinking. I AM interested in not implementing nonsensical public policy. Homosexual marriage is a nonsense concept. ] Is that not only asinine, but hypocritical as well? [Nope. What if I suggested to you that since you agree that homosexual marriage should be blessed by the state, then that means that marriage between a man and his dog should now be considered? You’d call it asinine and nonsensical — exactly what greeted the advocates of homosexual marriage a very short time ago. Yet, today the nonsensical idea of two men or two women marrying is the law of the land. There are ALREADY challenges to the concept of only TWO people marrying. Soon enough, it’ll be inter-species marriage, and those who oppose it will be called bigots and prejudiced and all that other nonsense. You and I both know it. ]

I wrote: If that was not your best shot, why did you even bother presenting it. [Reply: I didn’t need anything else. It was dispositive. ] [And it was not my best shot.]

So it was indeed your best shot. But your view is not ethical at all. If any man and woman may perform such a tax trick then why not any adult person with any other adult person? Your claim smells of an excuse, not a serious ethical question. [It wasn’t only I who saw that coming. Many others have made the same point. ]

I wrote: Did you understand why that was not an ethical reason to deny homosexuals the right to marry, nor have the same legal benefits as the heterosexuals? [Reply: Do you now understand why there is no ethical reason to force the state to recognize homosexual “marriages?” Since, there has never been a denial of homosexuals’ right to marry, I’m not sure I understand your question.]

But there should not be special benefits to heterosexuals for getting married. [Why? If the state has decided that there is a reason to favor an increase in the population, then they would do that by favoring heterosexual marriage. However, in this case, I agree with you. The state should not be in the business of granting financial favors based on marriage. By the way, the homosexual marriage movement is not about justice at all anyway, and I’m glad that you have recognized it. If the state got out of the business of granting favors based on personal behaviors, then the homosexual marriage movement would disappear the next day. ] If we want the state to give special benefits and recognition for marriage, then it should be given equally to all. Should it not? [It should not. There is no interest on the part of the state to grant special favors to a group based on an abnormality. ] The state does not have to be “forced” to do anything, but enlightened voter should recognize a human rights issue and promote equal rights and recognition to all people. [Since this is not a human rights issue, but a crass attempt to get more money, this is not an issue. ]

I wrote: You claiming, that homosexuals already have the same right to marry, is like saying that in the old days Blacks had the same right to ride a buss as the white folks, just not in the same seats. [Reply: Nope. Different thing. Blacks were denied the right to sit in the front seat and other injustices. However, homosexuals have never been denied the right to marry, just to have the state recognize the “marriage,” just as we wouldn’t expect the state to recognize the “marriage” of a man to, say, his dog. You laugh… it has been contemplated… and for, you guessed it, tax purposes.]

So, you are unable to see the injustice in giving special recognition to heterosexuals [There is no special recognition for heterosexuals. Just as the fact that only women can give birth to babies is no injustice to men. Just as the fact that only men can do feats of extraordinary strength is no injustice to women. ] and in denying the same recognition from homosexuals. Are you? [See previous note.] It is no different at all from the treatment of the Blacks. [It is, of course, vastly different. Discrimination against blacks represents injustice based on a characteristic inherent to an entire people. Homosexuality is an abnormality, inherent to no population and based on behaviors that are easily preventable. ] It is exactly the same as claiming they had every right to ride in the buss, just not in the same seats. [See previous note. ] It is the same. A Dog? Seriously? If you do not understand what is the difference between having sex with consenting adults to having sex with animals, or children, then I can only recommed you never get pets, nor kids. 😉 [To use the language of the left: who are you to decide what is consent and what is not? 🙂 Don’t forget, it is YOU who are defending abnormal sex, not I. 🙂 ]

I wrote: Do you understand why that was not an ethical system? I do not believe you have those “many ethical reasons” you claim to have, since the one you presented failed so miserably to have any ethical significance on the issue. [Reply: Lol! It was, again, dispositive. The fact that all you did was SAY it failed pretty much salted the point for me, buddy. ]

Well, I am glad you are happy. I fail to see what about. Because heterosexuals as far as today are unable to abuse marriage laws by getting married for tax purposes? Oh but wait, they are quite able to do so. [#1: How? And #2: So what? Are you trying to imply that no one abuses systems? Should we abolish all systems, just because some might abuse them? That would be truly silly. ] That has got to be the second most silly excuse not to allow homosexuals to get married with their loved ones [No one has ever denied homosexuals the ability to get married to anyone they please. In fact, if I could find someone to officiate — and even, really, if I couldn’t — I could get married to my dog. Getting the state to recognize that union, on the other hand, is an entirely different thing — and entirely the SAME thing as trying to get the state to recognize the laughably ridiculous notion of two men or two women getting married. ] and get the same recognition and benefits for their unions as the rest of us. But as far as we have come, you have failed to yet present any actually ethical reason why marriages by homosexuals to their loved companions should not get the same recognition and benefits to their marriages as the heterosexual. [I gave you several perfectly dispositive reasons. ] You presented your best (and I suspect the only) argument. [I presented to you only one argument that was completely dispositive. I had no reason to present another. However, above I did. It was by no means the only argument, nor was it, I suspect, the strongest. I never stopped to rate all the arguments’ relative strengths. ] It was weak, silly [In other words, you have no response. That’s ALWAYS the response of the left when they have nothing to say in response. ] and now you can proclaim victory as much as you wish, but you can not present a coherent defence for your case, because there is none… [And yet you present no countervailing argument. Ok. Since you left the debate, I get to declare that you have conceded. And, with that, I guarantee that you will respond to this post, and to this last passage with: “No you didn’t!” ]

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1) I wrote: Now really! You are grasping straws here. Owners of Krupp, Fiat, Porsche, BMW and Benz corporations were very much capitalists. [Reply: Again, they were socialists. This is obvious. They prospered in a socialist society, with vast power concentrated in the hands of very few people, in which they submitted to vast regulation in order to have a monopoly in their industries. Not only were they socialists, they were TYPICAL socialists! Are you really trying to tell me that “free market” can be used to describe the economic system of Nazi Germany? Really, rautakyy? ]

Now I see where the problem lies. You do have a different definition of capitalism to that of mine. [There is only A definition of capitalism. Not yours and mine. They can differ in the details, but in the borad general tenets, there is no “your definition” against “my definition.” There is only THE definition. Briefly: Free unregulated markets, ]Yours is the utopian ideological version, while I am talking about the reality. The reality in wich almost every capitalist (not the adherent of some ideology, but a person who actually holds capital) would grasp the chance at having monopoly, slave labour and what ever to increase his power and wealth if they had the chance and laws would not inhibt them from doing so.[<– those are PERFECT socialists that you describe. ] Do you live in the same reality as I do? Free markets? Free for whom to do what? [Free for all to take advantage of the inherent opportunity in the system. ] For the rich to manipulate politics and extort the poor? [Nope. That’s socialism.] Because that is what happens in reality. [Nope. Injustice and oppression happen when socialism is injected into capitalism, supposedly to “soften” its competitive nature. ] Is it not? Unless capitalism (the version in reality) is strained by socialist politics. [It is when socialism is injected into capitalism that capital tends to accumulate in fewer and fewer hands, and when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. There is an ineluctable truth: A capitalist prospers most when ALL prosper. Interestingly the only way for a country to get to what socialism and socialists describe as an ideal society is to get rid of socialism and replace it with free markets. When you tell me all about the serious problems with capitalism, you always describe socialist conditions: A tiny élite controlling more and more of the capital in a country, owning the means of production, making the people “equal,” generally in conditions of poverty and squalor. That is socialism. Ask yourself, how on EARTH can capitalists exploit the poor? They HAVE NO MONEY. The only ones who can exploit or enslave the poor are socialists. The only ones who DO exploit the poor are socialists.]

The owners of Porsche, Krupp, Benz etc. were indeed capitalists in the sense that they owned capital and competed with each other in the “free markets” for the consumers and government deals. [Rautakyy, rautakyy, are you REALLY trying to tell me that when socialists own things, those things are not “capital?” Of course they are. The situation you are describing is socialism. Porsche, Krup, et al prospered in a country that lacked entirely a free market. They were, obviously, socialists. ] Much like Lockheed, Bell, or General Dynamis. What is the difference? [You and I are not far apart here. In America we do NOT have capitalism. We are at about 75/25 socialist/capitalist. It is in the 75% where all the vast problems of our economy reside. There are markets that are NOT highly regulated in the USA. These markets tend to thrive. However: Food? Medical? Transportation? Highly regulated, and full of socialists … and failing. ]
The German companies were enchanted by Hitler and they also profited greatly by his exploits. [They made a socialist deal with a socialist because they were socialists. ]Never were any of those German companies nationalized, [No? So, these companies could have done things against Hitler’s wishes? Really, rautakyy? Seriously? They weren’t “nationalized,” but they WERE captive. That is was a very soft, plush captivity doesn’t change the fact that they were NOT in any way, shape or form, in a “free market.”] nor did the German nation form a company of it’s own to compete with these private corporations. Would not a socialist government even have done as much?[Nope. No need. They were already formed. Hitler was a man on a mission and in a hurry.] Yes, those are things a socialist government would have done. [Nope. See previous note. No need.] A totalitarian socialist government would surely have nationalized the property and production lines of those companies, but Nazi-Germany did not. [Nope. No need to.] Why? Because, altough totalitarian, it was not a socialist government. [Oh, really? Are you REALLY telling me that the people participated freely in a free market, where there was untrammeled opportunity to prosper for all people? Are you really telling me that there was no corruption in Nazi Germany keeping the people from economic advancement? Are you REALLY trying to tell me that in Hitler’s Germany, Hitler had no problem with ordinary people accumulating money — and therefore power — and thereby reducing his power over them? I thought you said he was a totalitarian! Let’s face it — according to your own cherished beliefs, there IS the opportunity to get rich in capitalism. You say that this comes at the expense of the poor, but yet that would mean that Hitler — Hitler! — would allow OTHER people to accumulate money and power in his country! Really, rautakyy?!? Really?!? I don’t think so.] It was and recognized itself as a right wing movement, that had absolutely no intention of nationalizing private capital. [It called itself and recognized itself as a socialist movement. If you want to re-classify socialism as right-wing that is your right, but I don’t go along with it. ]

I wrote: But you claiming they are not, reveals that you live in a fantasy world of your own making, [Again, rautakyy, you would do better no indulging in personal attacks. You have no idea whether or not I “live in a fantasy world.” It is, of course, a longstanding tradition on the left to call their opponents crazy. The Soviets took this to a ridiculous extreme, sometimes confining dissidents in mental institutions. You, rautakyy, would be well served not to engage in this kind of scurrilous personal attack. ] and this is a panic lie you may try hard as you can to believe yourself, but it is not connected to reality on any level. Stop that, please. [Reply: Why, I do believe you just tried to insult me! I should let you know, that (1) I am impossible to offend, and (2) you can never know whether someone is lying, so you should never accuse anyone of lying. You’ll note that I have never accused you of being a liar.]

Well, I am sorry, if I hurt your feelings, [See the previous note. You didn’t hurt my feelings. You couldn’t hurt my feelings. Rautakyy, why don’t you stay in the realm of ideas and stay out of personal attacks. ] but if you keep telling me an obviously made up story, [Such as?] that you should know better, then I can not help but to think you have been lied to. [Again, why speculate about me personally? Stay in the realm of ideas. Much better for you, don’t you think? ] When I think you made up the story, then the lier is you, [This is another standard tactic of the left. Someone disagrees with them, so they must be a liar. Again, you could never possibly know whether I’m lying or not. A li is a purposeful deception. You can never know whether I’m lying or not. That is why I ALWAYS assume that my interlocutor is telling the truth as he sees it, even if that “truth” is incorrect. ] If you claim, owners of the few biggest private corporations and holders of enormous amounts of private property are not capitalists, then you are not only abandoning reality, but also since I just bought up those people in our conversation, it seems you have made the silly claim up just to reply to my point. Especially when I just said that they may not be the kind of capitalists you would like, but capitalists none the less. [Again, these are people who prospered in a country that lacked entirely in a free market. They prospered in an avowedly socialist country. They were socialists. Obviously. Quick anecdote: When Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact, their alliance, just before the Second World War, who in America, do you think, became — overnight! — Hitler’s biggest supporters? Yep, you guessed it: every left-wing party and organization — including the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) –and the Democrat Party. Joseph Kennedy — father of the President and of two Senators was a big supporter. ]

If your claim is true, then any capitalist can be turned into a socialist if there is profit for him in it. [if you are suggesting that anyone is prone to corruption and to turn away from his beliefs for easy, unearned profit, you are absolutely correct. America is awash in such scoundrels. The head of the largest corporation in America (possibly the world), General Electric, is a socialist. He engages in anti-competitive, monopolistic, market-manipulating corruption all the time. He’s the head of General FREAKIN’ Electric! ] That is an interresting view of capitalism, if you really think it in idealist terms. 😉 Do you? [Nope. I consider capitalism and socialism only in real terms. ] Or do you accept that a capitalist is not a person who acknowledges to some ideal of free markets, but rather the person who holds capital? [Rauutakyy, are you REALLY trying to tell me that a socialist can’t hold capital? Stalin’s dacha was not capital? ]
I wrote: Hitler joined the DAP, because he was sent there to infiltrate and spy on them by the German military. [Okay, maybe. Maybe not.] He was chosen to this because he was known to be an anti-revolutionist and an anti-socialist. [Reply: Hitler was a socialist. Very much a socialist. ] [I thought you were telling me we couldn’t know what was going on in Hitler’s mind. You have to make up YOUR mind, rautakyy. Hitler was ALSO known to be an atheist socialist. Hitler was also “known” to be a Christian capitalist. He was also “known” to be of Jewish origin. He was also “known” to be a cannibal, and a homosexual. You are picking and choosing what of all the thousands of things “known” about Hitler that YOU want to believe. And it appears as though you are choosing only those things that are congenial to your preconceived notions. That’s just silly. Hitler’s ACTIONS resembled nothing like a Christian’s. His fiscal policies were NOTHING like a capitalis’s, yet you call him a Christian and a capitalist… and you have the brass to call ME out of touch with reality. When you can show me that Hitler was a firm believer in loving ALL people unconditionally, and that he was a great believer in free markets and the free, unregulated flow of capital in the economy, then I will agree with you. However, until then, you simply cannot — without tying yourself in ridiculous knots — make the argument that Hitler was either a Christian or a capitalist. Sorry. YOU need to re-contact reality. It misses you. ]

And repeating that to ad nauseaum does not make it so. [Thank you! Finally! Now, will you finally get off the “Hitler was a Christian and a capitalist” tommyrot?!? Whew! I thought you’d never say that. However. Hitler was, as he always said, a socialist. ] I further wrote: When he and his buddies took over in the party they changed the name into a populist form, that was supposed to attract people from both left and right. [Reply: Ahhhh! Thank you for making my point that “Hitler was not a Christian,” but only spoke like one when it was convenient for him. I appreciate the admission on your part!]

No, you’ll have to make your own points. Hitler was a Christian in the sense, that he was a member of the Catholic church, his Christian followers recognized him as one and expected him to protect both of the German churches, and even claimed to have had heard voice of the god of the Christians to go and conquer. [Hitler was NOT a Christian in any sense of the word or concept. This is obvious. See previous note. ] His personal conviction is impossible to recreate, [Thank you! Finally! We have to go by the evidence of his acts. As you know, because you call yourself an authority on Christianity, there is nothing in Christianity that permits anti-Semitism, violence, aggressive war or murder. Since, Hitler engaged in all these things promiscuously, there is no way under the sun he could reasonably be called a Christian. ] but the fact that he and his followers were mostly affected by what they understood by patriotism, and what they understood as Christian traditions and from that cultural heritage came the terror they inflicted on humanity. [Proof positive Hitler was not a Christian. Rautakyy… I can call myself small all I want, but it doesn’t make it true. At some point, you have to look at evidence and make conclusions that are not the product of left-wing propaganda talking points. Hitler never DID anything Christian. Hitler DID socialist things — lots and lots of them. Hitler was NOT a Christian; he was a socialist. By the way, I’m a tad over two meters tall, so I guess I’m not small. ]

I wrote: …but if you look at their political goals, it was mainly built on the ideals of nationalism[Yep.] and what little socialism they ever involved in was there only to give the party a smiley face for the unemployed masses and the working class in Germany. [I’m still looking for those free markets that would have indicated that there was plenty of opportunity for upward mobility in Nazi Germany. I’ll continue to look, but I suspect I won’t find them.] Long before they reached power, they had abandoned pretty much all the even slightly socialist ideals, [Reply: Oh? How’s that? Did they set up some kind of free, unregulated market? Did Hitler relinquish power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Did Hitler REALLY put in place a system in which he didn’t control the main economic levers of the German state? Really? Uhhhhhh… No. ]

Again, you are talking about the ideological Capitalism, but in reality it does not work like that. Does it? [Yes, it does.] In nazi Germany a great many private enterprizes made fortunes. He did not restrict the free markest existing, exept for the wild mad segragation laws based on tribal moralism. Where have you ever had an “unregulated market”? [Great question! Almost nowhere. We should try it sometime.] Somalia? Haiti? Relinguish power? Did George Bush relinguich power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? [George Bush never had the power to relinquish.] Your question makes no sense. Did Generals Pinochet, or Franco relinquish power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? [Yes, actually, they did. Pinochet left power, and Franco set things up so that Juan Carlos the younger would take over as a figurehead king over a parliamentary democracy.] Who is the world leader who has relinguished power to allow others to make a living as they chose to? Michail Gorbatshov? [He was forced from power. ] And now what does modern Russia look like to you? [Like an increasingly socialist country. ]
[Reply: Patriotic, nationalist … socialism. Look at the two governing structures between Germany and Russia…they look a lot alike, with, for example Krupp being analogous to a kind of “Minister of Transport.” ]

You are once again confusing socialism to totalitarianism. [Nope. All countries are not steady-state entities. They are all on a trajectory. Socialism leads inevitably to totalitarianism. ]
What about the position of Krupp? Was W Bush not a president? A major capitalist (in both meanings of the word) right, but also a major part of the government. A government that sent it’s suspected enemies to inhumane prisons in wich humans were even tortured (like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo) [There was no torture at Guantanamo, unless you consider waterboarding torture, then, apparently three people were waterboarded. Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and Abu bin Zubaidah and some other scumbag. Apparently this led to the capture of several other scumbags, and the prevention of the murders of many people. Was it morally unambiguous? No. Would I suggest that I do it again? Of course. The proceedings of the record show that as soon as it ended the three scumbags told interrogators what they needed to know, and that was as good thing. Also, apparently, the discomfort for the scumbags lasted about 45 seconds. Forty-five seconds of terror for a mass murderer who was prepared to murder many more? Sure. I’m okay with that. So are you. Remember: you’re an atheist. Therefore, there’s REALLY nothing wrong with anything that anyone does, untethered as it would be from any absolute moral code. As to abu Ghraib. Ooooooo… such torture! I think some scumbag terrorist prisoners were forced to walk on their hands and knees in their underwear. These were “people” who had raped 13-year old girls. Do you have a daughter, rautakyy? I do. Believe me, those “people” on their hands and knees and underwear thanked their lucky stars that their “torturers” were Americans. ] not to speak of an assault on a nother sovereign country not sanctioned by the UN and based on information gained by torture and suspicions unconfirmed by the UN officials, that has later been revealed to having been sheer propaganda. [What was sheer propaganda? The weapons of mass destruction they just found the other day? Really? I don’t think so. ] Does this make the US a socialist country under the younger Bush administration? [Yes. Way too socialist. You can I can both agree that there is WAY too much power concentrated in WAY too few hands in Washington, DC. I’m glad you have finally seen the light and agree that we need to get rid of the socialism in America. ]

I wrote: Mussolini started out as a socialist and as a pacifists, but he was kicked out of those circles and his own ideal of fascism was based on Catholical Christian values… [Reply: Nope. Mussolini was an atheist, who engaged in the same “advertising tricks” you conceded that Hitler did. If I’d known I could get you go to admit my argument about Hitler’s non-Christianity by calling him a socialist, I’d have done it a lot sooner. 🙂 ]

Pfff… I have admitted nothing about the Hitler’s non-Chirstianity. You are reading too much into my comments. [Nope. You said that his “socialism” was all “advertising tricks,” but that his Christianity was sincere. Seriously, rautakyy? You are believing as gospel truth one thing that Hitler said, and dismissing the other? All based on whether it’s congenial with your preconceived notions? What kind of historian are you?!? ] As I suspect is your habit. It would explain how you get to be so badly informed about these things. [Again, don’t try to read minds. It’s a REALLY bad habit of the left.] You read too much to Hitler’s comments and to the name of his party, [<– You’re kidding here, right? ] because you would want the Nazies to be left-wing and socialists. But as I told you before. Ask any Nazi, wether they think they are leftists or socialists. Do try this. Same applies to Fascists. I have known a few and I know how they identify themselves. That is the reality. [So, even though these so-called fascists you know would likely impose a highly centralized, coercive government, lacking in basic freedoms and a free market, and the free flow of capital, a government that would resemble in no way anything capitalist, an authoritarian or totalitarian government that would look a lot like the former Soviet Union, you are calling them “right-wingers?” Seriously, rautakyy? ]

I continued: … and some hard line capitalistic values. [Reply: Oh are you REALLY going to try to tell me that you find the social, political and economic mobility that is characteristic of capitalism in Nazi Germany and Socialist/Fascist Italy? Seriously? Good luck with that!]

Well, I am sorry, but these countries did very little to restrain the markets. [What makes you say this? Again, as you yourself know well, money is power. You’re really trying to tell me that Hitler and Mussolini were willing to allow just anyone to make money and therefore obtain power? Seriously, rautakyy? ] Every modern country restricts it’s markets a bit. [Way back when, all the cool people KNEW the world was flat. ] The fact that you have gone beyond even the Fascists and Natzies in your fantasies about economic mobility does not make them not capitalist countries. [Yes, it does. Rautakyy… you need to think a little bit. In ANY country where there is equality — BY DEFINITION — there is no social, or economic mobility. If someone gets “above” someone else, then there’s no longer equality, is there. Therefore, a socialist country must eliminate social and economic mobility, else lose their great equality. ] Let alone socialist. Germany boosted it’s economy by making big government orders from the private sector, much like the US has done for decades. Same also applied to Fascist Italy. [Read the above. Our country is full of socialists. They ARE a serious problem. ALL the economic problems of our country are because of socialists. Especially the current president.]

I wrote: Fascism was a populist movement, that simply had to share Catholical Christian values to reach power in Italy (and in Spain) regardless of Mussolinis personal views. [Reply: Nope. Now, you’re just trying to tell me that Mussolini’s personal views had nothing to do with the movement he took over? Seriously? ]

Of course not. However, it was based on the values of Christian right of Italy. [You mean the left. Mussolini was an unrepentant socialist. You can’t have totalitarianism in a capitalist society. Go ahead. Try to get there. Presuppose free, unregulated markets, and then try to set a totalitarian dictator on top of such a structure. The free markets would topple him in a heartbeat. More to the point actually free markets would not let a goon achieve total power in the first place.] And those were the people who supported it and manned it’s paramilitary goons. Those are the people who support the modern version of the Fascist party in Italy today. [yes, atheistic, socialist leftists. Go ahead and try to tell me that these goons will put a free market society in place, where the allow the free, unrestricted flow of capital in the economy. Are you REALLY going to try to tell me that? You just neatly proved my point for me. ]

What about the Lateran Treaty? A pretty big move to be only an advertizing trick at the height of his power by Mussolini and his government. Or perhaps, much more likely something mirroring their own and their supporters values? [Not familiar with the Lateran Treaty. Don’t try to come at me with onesies and twosies of people making bad deals or working with bad people and being taken in. It’s entirely possible that the Catholic Church with its sweet naiveté was taken in. I don’t know. ]
I wrote: Where did you get Mussolinis dying words? I have never encountered any claims about those. Only Communist partisans were present when he died. Did they report him promoting socialism as his dying breath. [Reply: I thought they did. I read it somewhere, but can’t find it now. Apparently some report that his last words were, “Shoot me in the chest!” ] Somehow I doubt the truth value of your claim. Can you see why?

[Reply: Yep. But he was a socialist, and, in fact, thought himself a better socialist than the marxists whom he hated. Same with Hitler. Neither Hitler nor Mussolini disliked Marxism, just marxists. ]
It seems to me, you have very, very poor sources for your information (on biology, evolution, geology and history). [Yet, all I hear from you is leftist propaganda that I’ve heard a million times before. It’s propaganda tailored to the ignorant and the illiterate; to those who are less willing or able to investigate and find more information. Rautakyy… you’re obviously more intelligent than that, if not all that educated. Surely you can find some sources with greater depth. And, with that, I just guaranteed that you’ll respond again to this post. 🙂 ]

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I wrote: Textbooks? Like in school? It has been decades since I got any of my information from schoolbooks. I bet those books I once read are out of date, but that speaks very little of the present Finnish educational system. You can read about it elswhere, but it is symptomic to your assertions, that you assume a lot based on nothing, exept your own guess work.

[Reply: Good point. Ok. I won’t assume where you get your information, even though it’s hopelessly wrong and little more than the usual socialist propaganda anyone can find in schlock publications. 🙂 Don’t forget you presumed to tell me what I was thinking, you told me all about the American economic system, and you were badly wrong all the times you did that. So, I’ll tell you what. Let’s make a deal. I won’t presume to tell you about you and about Finland, and you don’t presume to tell me about me and America. Deal? ]

Why would that be a reasonable deal? [Because it is.] You have failed to show me how I have been wrong about the US economic system. You made wild claims about all economists agreeing with you, when that was not true. [You’ll note that I never said that ALL economists agreed with me. Just most of them, and the most reputable. ] Remeber? Because you thought some economists could be dismissed simply by being European. That was silly of you, was it not? [European economists are notorious for being infected with the socialist virus, which means that their analysis is typically lamentably stupid. ] I do not expect you to know anything about the Finland, because we are a small nation not well known, but the US economics – regrettably – affect also Finland and thus we follow the developments over there somewhat keenly. Add to that the fact, that there are American economists who disagree with you, are there not? [There are. Fewer and fewer every day, but there are some who disagree with me. ] Besides, I never claimed to know what you are thinking. I have only reflected upon how you present yourself. [But the things you say indicate that you think you know what I’m thinking. If you simply address what you see written here, you’ll never go wrong. 🙂 ]

I wrote: Like in this case when you simply assume my info comes from “textbooks” and is somehow dependant on the Finnish educational system. Is it from schoolbooks you get your information? Is your lack of understanding of basic scientific method …[Reply: Again, don’t pretend to know what I understand. You can’ possibly know it, and are wrong.]

If you read my comment again, you will – hopefully – see, that I pretend not to know what you understand. I am simply presenting a simple question. See the question mark? Your limitations on the understanding of basic scientific method you have already presented by yourself. [You don’t — can can’t possibly — know the extent of my knowledge of the scientific method. ] I can infere from your comment that you did make a very big “leap of faith” to conclude the Finnish educational system had something to do with my understanding. Did you not? [Good point. It was presumptuous on my part, and I apologize.]
I continued: … the result of US educational system?

I read peer reviewed studies in several languages and publications from generally trusted scientific publishers all the time. [Reply: People generally trusted the textbooks that said the earth was flat. Surely this is not too complicated for you to understand? ]

What textbooks have ever said thus? [It was an expression. When the common “knowledge” was that the earth was flat, education disseminated that idea as well. Hence the “textbook” reference. It was picturesque speech. Again, in a tribute to you, your English is so good that I felt comfortable in using that image. ] None that I am aware of. Or are you referring to the Bible? Either you present such a textbook, or admit you are again presenting made up stuff and total misinformation. [See previous note. I’m happy to admit that I used picturesque speech, and that I probably should not have. ]

I wrote: I have studied history, archaeology and religion in the University. Where else exept guesswork do you get your information? [Extensive studies and observations all over the world.]

[Reply: Did you study in Europe? That IS a handicap!]

How can that possibly be a handicap? [The place is awash in dumb atheists and leftists. It suffocates free thought and free inquiry. I lived there, and it was evident everywhere.] Or is this just another one of your unsubstantiated assetions? In effect: made up stuff = lies? [Don’t get all defensive, rautakyy. Again, you can’t read my mind to know whether I’m lying or not. Why don’t you stay away from personal observations or attacks — I know this is difficult for the left — and stay in the realm of ideas. 🙂 ]

I continued: Fox news? [Reply: And you just proved that you don’t get a diverse set of information. Of course I watch and listen to FOX News! Duh! I listen as well to many other sources. However, I’d be irresponsible if I DIDN’T listen to FOX, else I’d get no balance at all in my information. You just admitted that you don’t balance YOUR inputs, so I understand now the reason for your lack of understanding. ]

I admitted no such thing. [So, do you listen to FOX News? They are the only network in America that openly admits the point of view from which they come. They are therfore the only honest news network in existence in America today. ] But you did just made a nother unsubstantiated claim. You are really stretching your “leaps of faith” by making these guesses. Where did I ever say I do not get any balance for my input of information? Did I even say I do not listen to Fox news. I do, sometimes, but in comparrison it is not a very reliable news channel, is it? [Yes, because it is the only honest one in America today. They give you openly their political predilections and attitudes. You are then aware of where they are coming from . ] Their analytical side is a shambles. It has a very propagandist attitude. Has it not? [Their opinion shows do, yes, and their news shows do have a slight rightward slant. They are far less right-wing though, than CNN and MSNBC are left-wing. And CNN and MSNBC pretend NOT to be propaganda. In some regard, rautakyy, you and I will agree. All news is propaganda. However, in America only FOX News says TRUTHFULLY what its bias is. ]

I wrote: How well is the US educational system rated internationally… [Reply: One should pay no attention to rankings. However, there are still millions clamoring to come here to get educated. I will tell you this: The American educational system covers the range from horrible to spectacular. The quality of the system is perfectly unimportant. The quality of the education depends entirely on the teachers and the students. ]

Why should one not pay any attention to rankings? If done properly they do yield valuable information about how to develope the educational system. Do they not? Or is this yet a nother unsubstantiated claim? [Rankings are meaningless unless you understand the point-of-view of the person or organization doing the ranking. For example, there are ratings organizations here that base their ratings on just how left-wing the education at a certain university will be. The more left-wing, the higher the ranking. There are similar organizations on the right. If you don’t know the point-of-view of the ranking, then you will see Harvard and Yale receiving high ranks from one organization and abysmally low rankings from another. You have to know who’s doing the ranking. ]

I continiued: …or have you gotten your education from somewhere else? [Reply: Where I got my education is irrelevant to this conversation. (See my snippy little remark about education in Europe, above. 🙂 ) ]

“Snippy”, not “snarky”??? I agree, it is as irrelevant as which textbooks I read, but you bought the subjet up. Did you not?

2) You wrote: “He couldn’t have come to power if he said openly that he was an atheist.” But then, you also wrote: “Hitler often referred to himself as an atheist.” [Reply: Yes. In private… his “Christianity” was — what did you call it? — Oh, yes… an advertising trick. ]

Ha, and who was the personal friend of Hitler, that you trust so much more than in Hitler himself? We do not know his personal convictions, but we do know how he played it out and to whom he did appeal to. [To whom he appealed meant nothing. He appealed to the German public. It was well known that he was a hypnotic speaker. He took in all groups in Germany. ] To Christian Middle-class masses of Germany. That is what is important. Is it not? [Nope. Once he had power, he showed his true colors, as an atheistic socialist. ] He did not turn the social democrats, or the communists to his cause,[Of course not! Those groups were competing with him for power! ] but he convinced the magnates and capitalists. Correct? [No. He convinced socialists. Capitalists who turn socialist are the most odious. Don’t forget, ALL the depredations attributed to capitalism are really the socialistic aspects that are injected supposedly to soften it. ] And they joined his party in roves and committed all the atrocities Hitler and they themselves could conjure. [Yes, the socialists did that. ]

I wrote: So you do accept that, if a person admits to being part of some social movement, then that person represents that social movement. Hence, the crusaders the inquisition and the witch finder general et all represent Christianity. [Reply: No. ] Yes? Do you approve of their actions? Do you accept, that their actions were informed and sanctioned by their religion and leading deities in their religion? [Reply: No] Are they known for their violent actions, or not? [Reply: Christians? Hardly! Not at all!]

How deep in denial can you get? Go look up what they did and what motivated them. This is exactly how I get to mock the Christians… 😉 [Look, rautakyy… play a thought exercise with me. If all of a sudden, militant, bloodthirsty “Christians” were to take over Finland, prevent anyone from leaving, and decree that anyone who wasn’t a Christian would be publicly beheaded, what would you do? Would you all of a sudden call yourself a Christian, even if you weren’t? Well, maybe YOU wouldn’t, but many certainly would. Would you then call those “converts” REAL Christians? Of course you wouldn’t. You would say that they were forced to “convert” by the weird circumstances (weird, because everyone knows they really have nothing whatsoever to fear from Christians.) and you would give them a pass. ]

It is not even very significant wether Hitler – one man – was an atheist, or a Christian. [Reply: He was an atheist. It matters, because there are dishonest people all over who wish to attribute his mass murders to Christianity. Since he wasn’t a Christian, that is, of course, impossible. However, it hasn’t stopped the dishonest from trying to make the connection.]

Yet, there is a connection, wether you would want it or not. Hitlers conviction did not come up from thin air. [And it certainly didn’t come from Christianity. There’s nothing in Christianity that permits anything that Hitler ended up doing. Surely you, as an expert on Christianity, know that. It’s pretty basic. ] He was raised in the cultural heritage where Christians had traditionally persecuted and suspected the Jews for generations. [Nope. Anti-semites had persecuted Jews, but generally not in Germany. There was persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe. As I mentioned to you, many Jews were shocked that anti-Semitism became as virulent as it did in Germany. They thought they would have such problems only in Eastern Europe — like Poland and Russia. ] He played that cultural heritage of Christian Germans very effectively. The guards and comendants in the concentration camps were Christians. [Nope. They were socialists. National Socialists. Rautakyy… anyone who kills others who are completely at their mercy is NOT a Christian. As an authority on Christianity, you should know that. It’s kind of basic. ] The SS-troops and the Gestapo were Christians and they all believed their actions were not opposed by their god and that Hitler was a Christian. [See previous note. People who do massive, anti-Christian acts are not Christians. Obviously. ]

I further wrote about Hitler: He sure was member of the Catholic church and never abandoned it. [Reply: Yes. He abandoned it. However, he was not above, what did you call them? Oh, yes… advertising tricks.]

No he did not. He was a member of the Catholic church to his dying day. [Nope.] Wether it was an advertising trick, or not, it sure convinced the German Catholics and other Christians regardless of his actions and plans he published well before his rise to power and made a buck in doing so. Yes?
[This is where you proved my point. I already thanked you for that. And, in writing that, I guaranteed that you will respond to this post. 🙂 ]

I wrote: He claimed to have been directly addressed by your god, [This kind of proves my point. No Christian says he has been “directly addressed by God.” Some fake ones might, but not Christians. ] and wether he was lying through his teeth or believed it for real, is not important either. What really matters about this issue is, that the millions of Christian Germans accepted him as a Christian, [Doesn’t matter in the slightest. As you and I both know, there is nothing in Christianity that allows what Hitler did. Again, it’s kind of basic. ] the saviour of German people and the German churches. [Reply: But, no Christians did. ]

Who are these Christians you refer to? Do you think you have the right to decide who is Christian and who is not regardless of their own identity and membership in a church? [Nope. That is between God and the person in question. But, like evolution, history is a bunch of guesswork as well.Since nothing that Hitler did resembles Christianity, it’s probably safe to say that he was no Christian. ] Really? Or do you have some utopian ideal about what constitutes as Christianity like the one you have about capitalism?[Nope, but I do have at least a basic (actually, I have a very deep) understanding of both Christianity and capitalism. Nothing in Hitler’s actions or policies resembled either Christianity or capitalism, so I’m probably correct in saying he was neither. You’re correct that one cannot know for sure, but it would be a weird Christian indeed who tried to justify mass murder, a belief in astrology, serious superstitiousness, anti-Semitism and widespread oppression using Christianity. This is not too difficult for you to understand, is it? ]

I wrote: The majority did not object to his methods…, [Reply: The vast majority were unaware of his methods during the war. Those who supported him before the war were engaging in non-Christian activities. ]

The vast majority did know most of his methods well before he was even in power. The “final solution” may have been less well known because it was only invented along the way, but the nazies started to violently harass Jews, communists and socialists long before they reached power. [True ] And the 1926 book release by Hiler was well known. [Yes, but not well-read. There IS a distinction. ]
Sometimes even not knowing better is not an ethical excuse good enough, if you could have achieved the information. [Huh?] This applies by the way to the environmental problems as well as not understanding the harms of a religion. [There are no harms from Christianity. ] Though, in the latter case it is understandable how difficult it is to brake the bondage of childhood indoctrination. [Thank goodness Christianity has nothing to do with this. There is no coercion whatsoever in Christianity. ]
I continued: …though he wrote about them long before his rise to power, his book was released already in 1926. [Reply: What was your term again? Oh, yes… advertising tricks.]

You obviously have not read his book. Well, I have. This is the same as with the Bible.[Uhhhhhhh… not even close. ] Do not tell me what a book is all about, if you have not even read it. [If you are going to try to tell me that “Mein Kampf” is the same as the Bible, then you are not a serious interlocutor. However, you ARE a socialist. Most times a socialist is the same thing as an unserious interlocutor, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising. 🙂 ] Hitler was quite open about his ideas and millions of copies were sold. Who bought it? The socialists, communists, or perhaps the Christian middle class right wing nazi sympathizers? [I don’t know, and I don’t care. Much more importantly, who READ it? In America, we are aware of stories like this. Former (highly corrupt) Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jim Wright, wrote a book that became an instant bestseller. However, it was unions that had bought up tens of thousands of copies — making it a bestseller — in payback for Wright’s having fast-tracked certain union-friendly legislation. The unions bought the books and either burned them, or dumped them in landfills. To this day, it’s difficult to find anyone who has ever read this bestselling volume. ]
3) I wrote: The Germans had ample time to get to know what he was planning by reading his book. [Reply: And yet they never knew.]

Hogwash. Most of them did, [Wow! You can read German minds from more than 50 years ago! ] and they could also very well see what was going on the streets long before the rise of Hitler into power. What was being done to socialist union activists, the Jews and even to modern artists.
I wrote: Do you know who voted for Hitler? It was the former voters of German right wing parties. [So what? Are you trying to tell me that Hitler was skilled at bamboozling people? I agree. Since at that point, Germany was a very much left-leaning country, then he must have won over large swathes of the left as well. ]

[Reply: Yep. He fooled them too.]

The nazies rose to power was paved by other right wing parties collapsing in their popular support. Did all those people just suddenly turn into leftwing thinking? [Reply: Nope. They were left-wingers too… incorrectly labeled right-wingers. Think of it this way… did any of those parties REALLY contemplate reducing the size and scope of the government? Did any of those parties REALLY think they were going to decentralize the government? Did any of those parties REALLY suggest that the country institute a free, unregulated market? No. They were all, with few exceptions, variants of socialists. ]

There you go again with your fantasy utopian version of capitalism and right-wing politics.[You mean my CORRECT definition of capitalism, don’t you? You can call socialism capitalism all you want… it doesn’t make it so. ] Who ever said small government is some sort of universal right-wing goal? [Uhhhhhh… right-wingers. Capitalists. Conservatives. Lots of Republicans. For many, many decades. ] Well, it is not so for the fascistic totalitarian right-wing politicians and governments. Such as Pinochet, [Pinochet gave up power before he died, in favor of a democratic structure that endures to this day. Point for me. ] Hitler, or Franco. Franco? [Franco gave up power before he died — or more to the point, made it so that HIS structure would go away in favor of democratic structures. Point for me.] Much more universal, is to reduce the size of government only from restricting and guiding economics. That is to reduce the government from protecting the poor citizens from the oligarchy. [There are no oligarchies in capitalism. Go ahead, show me some. Socialism is ONLY either oligarchies, or one big oligarchy. ] But for some reason when the bubble of growth expectations bursts the capitalists are all too eager to plead help from the society and governments. [Yep. We agree on this. Capitalists are often prone to the temptation of free money and stealing money from others to give to them. In other words, capitalists are often prone to the virus of socialism in moments of weakness. When they do that, it is because they have degenerated into socialists to try to save their own hides. It’s sad, really. ]

We are talking about people who were counter to any socialist reforms and who not only held conservative Christian values, but also perceived themselves and identified to the right wing politics. [Nope. We’re talking about socialists. ] Who are you to deny them that? [Easy. I looked at what they did and figured that since none of it resembles either Christianity or capitalism, they were not Christians or capitalists. You, on the other hand, are trying to convince me to that people whose actions bore no ressemblance whatsoever to Christianity or capitalism were somehow Christians and capitalists. Then, you accuse ME of being disengaged from reality. Oooooooooookay. 🙂 ]
I wrote: Hitler was no socialist, [Reply: Hitler was a left-wing, socialist, with marxist tendencies, who hated marxists, but was okay — with nuances — with Marxism itself.] he got the support of leading German capitalists by promising them, that no democratic elections will be held and that trade unions will be forbidden. [He got their support by being a really GOOD socialist! These behaviors you have described are socialistic. When was the last time you saw a capitalist country NOT hold elections. That’s right. Never. ]

[Reply: That is very socialist behavior. It is the elimination of competition, and is something no capitalist would ever do. Socialists, yes, but not capitalists. By the way the socialist bloc treated unions exactly the same way, going one step further even than Hitler, and making sham unions that were really nothing more than puppets of the ruling party. ]

I expect this is once again your utopian idealist version of capitalism. [You mean my correct understanding of the definition of capitalism? Look, again, you can label as capitalist all sorts of things that are obviously NOT capitalism, but, using YOUR own words: it doesn’t make it true.] Because monopoly seems like the prime goal of all capital holders of [Monopoly is the goal and inevitable result of socialists. No capitalist would ever approve of monopoly. That eliminates competition, a key component of capitalism. Capitalism without competition is like baseball without a ball. ] great influence. Do you see how far you have gone to argue your fantasy? [Lol!] And once again you are confusing totalitarianism with socialism. Are you not? [Nope. All totalitarian societies are inherently socialistic. There is not a single totalitarian society in the history of the world that has permitted free markets, or the free flow of capital between people. As soon as it does that the totalitarian nature of the society would disappear completely. Money is power. Therefore, socialism and socialists need to keep very tight control over money, or lose power. Socialists don’t OBTAIN power with the purpose of losing it again. Capitalists don’t want to obtain power, because free markets and the free flow of capital bring power with them. Surely this is not too complicated for you to understand. Again, I’m just using your phrase.]

How do you know what a capitalist would do? Are you a capitalist? [Yes.] Do you hold some serious capital? [Meaningless. Does a socialist have to have murdered millions to be a socialist? Of course not. He need only believe in socialism. I believe in capitalism, therefore I’m a capitalist. ] Do you profit by the work of others? [I should hope so! And I’d hope they’d profit from my work… you know, like in a good capitalistic society? Oops! That’s the part that Marx et al. forgot! The part where those who profit from the work of others also contribute to the prosperity of still others! Marx was bright… but in some cases, a real dummy. 🙂 ] Or are you just an idealist who hopes that by allowing free markets, something might drop of the table of the extremely rich to your own even, if he society does not regulate their power and make them share? [I’m one who believes that with hard work, a little ingenuity and a little luck, I cna join the very rich. However, that can’t happen in a socialist society, where economic and social mobility are dead. ]
I wrote: Or do capitalists prefer a society where their monetary support decides who wins the democratic elections, between candidates set by the capitalist, and most often chosen from among the capitalists? [When did elections come into this discussion? Okay, I’ll bite. You’re right — money plays a factor in American elections. There’s not enough of it. Did you know that we spend less on elections in America than we spend on candy for Hallowe’en? That’s it. Less than for candy for one REALLY minor holiday in the year, Hallowe’en. Wow! We plainly need to spend more on American elections! Furthermore, did you know that the richest men in America are leftists? Gates, Buffet. Both leftists. Tom Steyer… made sure that he alone outspent most other contributors and entirely for Democrats. Yet, still Americans threw out the thoroughly corrupt Democrats from the Senate and the House of Representatives.]

[Reply: Not in America… and certainly not anywhere in Europe! Capitalists prefer a society where there is a free market. Obviously a free market is antithetical to socialism, so capitalists prefer a society without socialism. Capitalism has nothing to say about HOW a society establishes a free market — it’s an economic doctrine. DEMOCRACY is concerned with elections, and is a political doctrine. This is not too complicated for you, is it? ]

No it is not complicated at all. Are you trying to get a patronizing tone, [I was imitating you. Phrases like: “This is not too complicated for you, is it?” are very typical of what you write, so I adopted them. ] because it is failing. [Ok. But I’m simply imitating you. Imitation IS, of course, the sincerest form of flattery.]Let us make it a bit more complicated though, because in reality it is. If democracy does not protect itself from the influence of the magnate, then he gets to have an overt influence on the politics of even a democracy. [Not in a democracy… in a TRUE democracy, there would be untrammeled freedom of speech, and the people could band together and equalize the influence of the magnate. ] Socialism, is the effot to equalize the injustice of horribly unequal world created by free markets. [Then why does every socialist country ever in history always end up with a tiny vastly wealthy élite at the top, with poor, suffering masses below? ] Look at living standards in countries that have least regulation. We call those countries the developing countries out of courtesy and hope, [Are you REALLY trying to tell me that the countries of Africa and South America are UNregulated?!?!?!??! Seriously? These are some of the most regulated, socialist countries in the world, and it is why they are impoverished. ] that they might some day develope, even though international corporations are extorting their citizens and natural resources. [Flapdoodle. International corporations are investing in those countries and bringing in badly needed capital. These countries’ GOVERNMENTS are squashing the people. Not capitalism. These are mostly socialist countries. ]

In the US you have a two party system wich is pretty much analogous to a single party system having it’s conservatives and progressives competing each other. Now you have more variation from the Tea-Party, but is that beneficial to your country? [Yes. The Tea Party is the best thing to happen to the American polity in a very long time.] However, it is very hard to reach any influential political position without the monetary support of the corporations over there. Is it not? [Nope. Not hard at all. There is not a lot of money in the Tea Party] Do you think this is right? [It’s not true, so it’s not a problem. We spend less on our elections than we spend on Hallowe’en candy each year. I think I might have mentioned that above. 🙂 ] Do the corporations have the best interrest of the citizens or the least well of citzens in mind, or are they rather driving for the quartal benefit of the shareholder, as those interrests often cross each other? [Both. Corporations can’t exist without customers, or without shareholders. A capitalist ALWAYS wants others to prosper, because that increases his chances to prosper.]

I wrote: Both the Communist party and Social Democratic party were forbidden in Germany 1933. [Again, Hitler, the Socialist, had no problem with Marxism or with Socialism — he said he was a socialist,a fter all — his problem was with socialists and marxists. I’ve covered this before. ]

[Reply: Of course! Hitler was not interested in competition (By the way, competition is the key ingredient of capitalism)]

To the idealistic utopian capitalist fantasy you keep referring to, [You mean the REAL definition of capitalism? There is no “idealistic definition.” There is only THE definition. ] but not in reality, where monopolies and cartelles [<– socialist phenomena]arise all the time even regardless of the attempts by democratically elected representatives to regulate any such. [Hogwash.] Why? Because such a major part of politicians are in the pockit of the corporations [yes. These are socialist politicians. Rautakyy, does it surprise you that you and I agree a GREAT deal? There are WAY too many socialists in America, and it is because of them and their oppressive restrictions on free markets that we have such economic problems in America. I know this is not too difficult for you to understand, and, yes, most SERIOUS economists agree with me on that point. I HAPPILY welcome you to the ranks of those who would demand that we get rid of the virus of socialism from American society and the American economy! ] and because the voters have been fooled by idealistic dreams of capitalism helping everybody when it’s only purpose is to help the people who own the capital.[Monopolies? Cartels? These are all socialist things. They are not part of capitalism. Whether you like my definition of capitalism or not, it is THE definition of capitalism. You don’t get to re-define capitalism just because you don’t like it. Sorry. 🙂 ]

I wrote: So, I do not get what you mean by Hitler not blaming socialists. Get your facts right.[This, coming from someone who supports socialism — the greatest cause of violent death in human history — is rich.] What sort of power can one man, or even a small group of people hold within an entire society of millions of people? [Reply: Are you really asking me what sort of power one man can have among 60 million people? ]

Well, yes, [Okay, after becoming Chancellor, Hitler moved to consolidate his power so that he exercised totalitarian power over all Germans. ] essentially, since you seemed to have failed to see that in order to gain power he had to build his power on the existing values of the society around him, but you have already condemned most Catholics and Protestants in Germany those days as non-Christian, [i did no such thing.] so it really does not even matter. Or are you claiming they were proper Christians who just got fooled and could not see the violence against the socialists and the Jewish people?
I wrote: Stalin based his power on the model of the Tzars to the extent of imitating their secret police. [Reply: finally you said something correct, in these last few sentences. Yes, both Hitler and Stalin reflected, to some extent, the ethos of the societies over which they ruled. That means that there are societies whose people sometimes go down a very dark path, and that causes some of the horrors we have seen in history. However, that has nothing to do with Christianity, which teaches unconditional love for all people at all times… even one’s enemy. In fact, when societies go down those dark paths — European ones anyway — it is typically when they have rejected Christianity. Let’s not forget that both Hitler and Stalin were failed priests. They were failed priests because they abandoned Christianity. That’s pretty obvious.]

Now, your version of Christianity [There is no “my” version of Christianity. There’s only Christianity. And, again, you don’t get to re-define Christianity because you don’t like the definition. All you do is suggest that Christians are imperfect. We admit that freely and openly.] may teach the things you mention and I commend you for it, because as I tend to say caring people find good morals from their respective religions, just as selfish people find excuses for their ill deeds from the very same religions. [There’s no excuse in Christinaity for selfish deeds.] But as I said before there are a lot of impractical stuff suggested in religions, that leave the door open to interprete the teachings of these doctrines in a way, that leads down that dark path. [There are no things in Christianity that can lead someone down a dark path. Of course there are those who might intentionallyh misinterpret various tenets of Christinaity to do bad things. But, again, all Christians know that these ideas are perversions of Christinity. ] One can always appeal to not being a very good Christian for his/her weaknesses of character, but Jesus will forgive. Yes? [Yes, Jesus forgies all. This is, of course, NOT an excuse to do bad things, but an examnple to use to become a better person and a better Christian.] All you need to do is ask. I am not claiming that only religions do this, but as they are very authoritarian systems of thinking, [There is nothing authoritarian in Christianity. Free will is another important tenet of Christianity. Christianity is about liberation from guilt, from sin, from sorrow and from pain. ] they do tend to have a tendency to provide those dark paths by themselves. Christianity has been taught in lot less loving sense [Nope. Never. Christianity could never lead anyone down a dark path. Rautakyy, again, these are barely third grade objections you are raising. The teachings of Christ have nothing in them whatsoever that could be used by anyone to go down a dark path. You say you’ve read the Bible. Seriously? I’m thinking you have not. I’ve been candid with you and admitting that I haven’t read the entire Bible, cover-to-cover, but I HAVE studied it extensively, and I have steeped myself deeply in Christian doctrine. Again, anyone who had read it thoroughly would know that there is nothing in Christianity that could send ANYONE whatsoever down a dark path. Nothing. ] and that dark path has equally been based on the very same scriptures for centuries. [Again, nope. Never.]

It is an interresting point you make about Stalin and Hitler having been priests, because Stalin was studying to become one. Hitler did not. [You may be right… my mistake. However, he was definitely not a Christian. He was an atheist.] He wanted to become an artist. And I would once again recommend you to find new sources of information, as yours seem totally bogus. [This is kind of funny, coming from someone who believes in socialism, a doctrine used to justify the most horrific mass murder spree in history. 🙂 ] But both of them had the religious cultural heritage, that was greatly affecting not only them, but the masses that followed them also. [They rejected any Christian influences, of course. As anyone who has read the Bible knows, there is nothing in Christianity that allows anyone to justify mass murder. Nothing. You say you have read the Bible… surely you know this. This is not too difficult for you, is it? 🙂 ]Stalin was a victim of religion. [Wrong. Stalin was a victim of socialism, and later became the victim of atheism that turned him into a mass murderer. Of course, there’s nothing in Christianity that anyone could use to justify mass murder. Furthermore, it’s equally obvious that there is nothing in Christianity that allows anyone to “victimize” anyone else for any reason whatsoever. Surely you, who have read the Bible, know this. It’s pretty basic. ] If right and wrong are not taught to be determined by situational ethics of what harm, or benefit our actions and inaction may cause, but are told to be absolutes guarded by this invisible mind police, then what happens to the individual who realizes there is no supernatural mind police? [First: not “realize,” but “think.” Second: the rest of what you wrote in all that was incoherent.] How can that person learn about real morality? [Easy: read the Bible. If you follow what is in the New Testament, you will unfailingly be a moral person, who never brings harm to any other living soul on earth. ] Most often people learn even in that situation, because they have the basics. But in Stalins case I would be ready to argue, that he never did.[Remember: Stalin REJECTED Christianity. He wasn’t a product of Christianity, he was a product of his REJECTION of Christianity. ]

How much in your version of Christianity are you willing to love your enemy? [I’m willing to try as hard as I can. Will I fail? From time to time, yes, but I HAVE loved my enemy, if not necessarily Osama bin Laden. However, that doesn’t change the FACT that I’m commanded to love Osama bin Laden, and that was the topic of my very first book, in fact. In that book, I wrestled with that very commandment. It was an interesting study.] Did you love Osama bin Laden? Did you love him really, or just for the sake of it? Did you have excuses not to love him? Would you have loved Stalin, or Hitler? How would you have manifested that love in practice? [I DID pray for him, for his conversion away from evil, and to Christ and for his salvation. That was the best I could do. But, I tried, I really tried, and I took no joy in his death. That is in the pages of my blog, if you choose to look them up. ]

The difference between religions such as Islam or Christianity to other ideologies is that there is at the core this all-powerfull entity that could interfere and set the most horrible human monsters right but it never does that. Does it? [Incorrect. It does often redeem human monsters.] Hence one has every right to suspect wether any such entities really exist. Do you never suspect, [Are you asking me if I have perfect faith? I do not. I have strong faith, but I’m fallible like any other human being.] or are you too affraid that this entity might have revenge upon you for your suspicions? [I’m not afraid of God, if that is your question.] If it had and was in a habit of threatening by this vengeance for having doubts and disbelief could it really be called loving or benevolent? [Because he loves me. And you. If however, you overtly turn your back on Him, then why would you expect his benificence? Look around you. The universe is a cold, dark place — at least as far as we can see — except here on earth. What a gift is the earth! Since it IS a gift, we are free to reject that gift and any others, as atheists do. However, atheists should not then be surprised when God ALLOWS them to turn their backs on Him. God promises you nothing less than your heart’s desire. Rautakyy, I’m suggesting that YOU turn YOUR back on the indoctrination that has put such elementary and silly ideas into your head and turn to GOD and see the genuinely BIG picture that allows you to subordinate all your cares to a far greater joy and real peace.]
4) I wrote: Why should you need to read the Bible in original language? [Reply: for better understanding, and because I love language ]

Well, those are good enough reasons, but it will not do you harm to read it in your own language first. Then when you read it in the earlier versions, you may learn to understand where the misunderstanding of the text comes from. [Thanks for your recommendation]I also recommend you learn about the other cultures surrounding the writers of the Bible so that you learn to put the stories into context with reality, more than metaphysics. [Again, don’t presume that I haven’t. ]
I wrote: Is your god incapable to help and inspire the translators, or is the true meaning of the alledged only actual message conveyed by the creator entity only meant for scholars, who think they understand some ancient languages? [Reply: The question about translators is irrelevant. I already covered it when I said that God has no need to do parlor tricks for us. ][God speaks to each of us in the words and language we need to be able to understand His purpose. ]

But we are not talking about parlor tricks, such as turning water into wine, or walking on water. Are we? [yes, you were. You were asking for proof, and I offered you an example of beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt proof that, as soon as it was done and in the past, would start to be doubted. ] We are talking about the alledged only contact to humanity by the creator entity of the entire universe. Who reportedly is omnipotent. If that god is so feeble, it can not produce coherent means to communicate with the entire humanity exept by a book that is indistinguishable from myth, does that not place the entire claim about it being a message from said god to us all, under suspicion at least? [Of course not. I already gave you a perfectly good example of a complete, undeniable proof that would begin to be denied as soon as it was over. ]
I wrote: That makes your god seem feeble. [Reply: No. Our faith is feeble. If I tell God to go away, he will sorrowfully go away. Just as if my adult daughter were to tell me to go away… I’d go away. We don’t have to have God in our lives, but we do have to have God for eternal happiness. ]

How could you possibly know as much about gods? [I don’t understand this question. Why would you even ask it? I know a whole bunch about a whole bunch of things. ]

I also wrote: At best their view will always be considered etic, never emic. [Reply: Whatever. 🙂 ]
Well, it is important if you really want to understand any cultural phenomenon. But if you just seek confirmation to already existing biases, then it is as you say: “Whatever”. [Surely, you can see OTHER reasons for which to say “whatever?” That can’t be all that difficult for you, can it?]

I wrote: In science the absense of evidence is actually evidence of absense sometimes. [Reply: And yet, not in this case. It is also, quite obviously, undiscovered evidence. Next thing you will try to tell me is that scientists know and understand everything that happened 65 million years ago, or 100 million years ago … or 10 years ago. They don’t. ]
Stop putting words to my mouth. Please. Undiscovered evidence is not evidence of anything yet.
I wrote: There is no evidence what so ever of a global flood. [Reply: Yes, there is. Fossilized shells on the tops of tall mountains for example. Yes, yes, yes, I know… you’ll try to tell me that they got there by great land upheavals and all. Or, maybe they didn’t. Science has theories, but that’s all. They don’t TRULY know. And, again, there is no need for the flood to have covered the entire earth for it to have covered the entire KNOWN earth.]

Now you are once again exhibiting your ignorance about the scientific method. In science a theory is the established truth. [In science a theory is NEVER “the established truth.” Surely you should know that! You call yourself an authority on the scientific method and you say that? That’s kind of a basic error, and I will attribute it to English not being your mother tongue. However, a theory is NOT — EVER — established truth. It’s a hypothesis. Nothing more. ] It is not “sacrosanct” because that is the strength of science, that it accepts new discovery. [Not the theory of evolution! The adherents to evolution exclude differing thought aggressively. ] They do truly know as well as anyone knows. That is exactly the point. Their practical knowledge of the issue is evidence based, [Then why would they aggressively exclude countervailig evidence as they do? ] while old mythical stories like the Bible represent only that – mere myths. [Oh, how’s that? Prove it. The Bible is eyewitness testimony. It’s the only testimony they had in those days. ] Myths are no match for scientific theory when it comes to truth.[True. Thank goodness there are no myths in Christianity. The revealed TRUTH is very much a match for scientific method, because it is not at odds with the scientific method. ] Today we are justified in belief in the current scientific theory and understanding of it, but we are not warranted in superstitious supernatural beliefs when they contradict the scientific body of evidence. [Completely agree. Thank goodness there are no myths in Christianity.] Leprosy is cured by medicine, not by burning pidgeons no matter what the Bible claims. Correct? [correct, though the Bible doesn’t say to burn a pigeon to cure leprosy. Nor does the Bible suggest that there should be no science. There is no incompatibility whatsoever between the Bible and science. ]
I wrote: … the Bible story of the flood is an obvious adaptation of the older stories of Gilgamesh epic and king Sargon. [Reply: Nope.]
“Nope”??? Just “nope”? You have no idea of what I am talking about, do you? Yet you are willing to bluntly argue against me?
Most of the earth is under water at present, but the amount of water is not enough to cover the continents. [Reply: Again, it wouldn’t have had to cover the entire earth. Just as far as a man could see — a few square miles. ]
Then to build an ark as supposedly suggested by your god was an incredibly stupid solution to the problem, when in the same time to building the damn thing Noah and his family could have just walked over the hills to reach higher ground. Right? It is obviously a mythical story.[Nope. Not if there was only water as far as the eye could see. ]
I wrote: There are trilobite fossils on top of mountains because of tectonic movement, not because the mountains were under water. [Reply: or maybe not.]

That however is the current scientific understanding of the reason why those are there, [And not so long ago, the current scientific understanding told us that the earth was flat and that the heavens and the stars revolved around it. ] so it is as I say according to that. If there is a way to reach more reliable information than the scientific method, please do present it. [I have. Continued application of the scientific method, NOT the aggressive, political, ideological exclusion of other beliefs and other scientific evidence. Otherwise YOUR scientific method is mere Lysenkosim. The hackneyed, politicized “science” of the left is, indeed, nothing more than Lysenkosim. ]
I wrote more: As such the fossils are older than the mountains themselves. [maybe. Maybe not. Whatever. ] This has been established by several different geological dating methods. [Reply: Which we have faith are correct methods. We find out all the time the things we’re doing wrong. Do you remember any of those news stories that used to come out? Big headlines. Scientists discover the universe is much older than previously thought! So, I guess we’re not always getting it right in science, now are we? Surely you understand that, don’t you? ]
Sadly, I do not remember any such headlines. [Now I have serious suspicions that you are not a serious interlocutor. These headlines were quite common, and we see them regularly. Maybe no tin Europe? Moore’s Law tends not to hold true in Europe, so there is a great deal of scientific backwardness in Europe. After all, what was the last true scientific innovation to come from Europe? I know, I can’t think of it either. ] However, I do get your point, but the fact that science improves the quality of our information all the time, does by no means warrant us to firmly believe anything it has not yet been able to reveal. When we go beyond our scientific understanding we are only speaking of propabilities, not of established facts. [Science deals only in probabilities. It always leaves open the possibility that something “established as fact” could be disproved. It’s the basis for much of scientific progress. ] If someone in the early 19th century had predicted, there would be cellphones in the year 2000 the prediction would have been on the same level of a prediction, that everybody owns a flying car on the year 2000. Only in hindsight are we warranted to have firm beliefs about such predictions. [Okay.]
I wrote: Science is the only verifiable method we have to get anywhere close to objective truth. Is it not? [Reply: No. There is also deductive and Inductive reasoning. There is for lack of a better term: intuition. There is gut feeling. There is Occam’s Razor. There is philosophy, poetry, literature, mathematics (a part of science, but ALL of art and music and language), music… all these together can give us greater understanding of objective truth. ]

How do you verify the greater understanding of objective truth given to us by poetry, music and art, or philosophy? [Because they are closely related to mathematics. Heck, they’re entirely mathematics. Just equations and patterns; like mathematics. ]Philosophical claims at least can be examined by approaching them with the scientific method, just like psychology and the study of history are approached. By logic. Results of deductive and inductive reasoning are next to worthless, if they are not approached by the means of logic and the scientific method. [You have merely replaced God in your mind with the scientific method, a flawed, limited, instrument, formulated by flawed, limited people. A fine invention, nonetheless, but extremely limited in its scope and reach, and ENTIRELY unable, as you’ve admitted, to have any grasp whatsoever of such abstractions as beauty, art, esthetics. ] Without those parametres, they are no different from a poorly informed guesses. Intuition and gut feeling may lead us astray as easily as help us. Intuition is an effective evolutionary method of survival, but it is only a neurochemical method to rapidly process previous information in a crisis situation, not a method to reach logical truth claims. Gut feelings are mere guesses. [And all are information, which, if correctly interpreted lead to greater understanding of anything in their purview. ]

Yet, if we had any reason at all to think the story about Noah is not an adaptation of a former myth, then the flood described by them could have been as you said only in Mesopotamia.[Not “as I said,” but as I speculated. ] However, everything about it tells us that it is not an original story at all. [Reply: Oh, what’s that? ] [Excellent! Other eyewitnesses! ]
Do I now need to decipher the entire story about Noah here? [Nope. Based on what you have said — that the Bible could be used as a justification for mass murder, that Hitler, a mass murderer, was a Christian, you plainly have a really bad understanding of the Bible and of Christianity. What on earth should I believe in YOUR version of a biblical story?!? ] In short: The story of Noah is from the Old Testament is based on the Torah written earliest at the 6th century BC and is based on the Epic of Gilgamesh dating back to the 18th century and other similar folk tales from the Levant area. Those are most likely based on older stories about floods in an area where floods are both a blessing and a menace. Read about it. [Why would you assume I have not? ]
I wrote: And there are a lot of Christians who believe there is some grand conspiracy of atheists to force science to claim no global flood existed. [No. Not lots. No Christians are afraid of any conspiracies of atheists. ] Do you see, how Christianity can be against scientific understanding and as such, a very harmfull social movement indeed? [Reply: Christianity can never be harmful to anything or anyone. CHRISTIANS and atheists misusing Christianity can be harmful to things, yes. However, surely science is not so feeble that it can’t stand up to a few fake Christians! You do understand that, don’t you? ]

Yes, I think and hope, that science can stand to the challenge of religions. [Good. Because Christianity offers no challenge to sicence. The two are perfectly compatible. ]However, both science and religion are human constructs [Not Christianity. ] and human movements and dependant on our actions as no gods ever appear anywhere to intefere. [And yet, God HAS manifested Himself to intervene, you’ve just decided that you don’t want to believe eyewitness testimony to that fact. Yet you believe OTHER eyewitness testimony from that era, because that is all we have from that era. You can’t have it both ways, rautakyy… you can’t be the arbiter to decide which eyewitness testimony is correct and which is not. ] The fact that science is a superior way of getting even close to understanding objective reality, is no guarantee, that any religion, Christianity included could present a threat to it. And Christianity does. [Again, and I don’t want to have to repeat this: Christianity offers no threat to science. Christianity and science are perfectly compatible. ]

Are those Christians “misusing” Christianity not informed by Christianity? [I don’t care to speculate about why Christians get it wrong. That htey DO get it wrong often is beyond dispute. ] They think they are. Why would a caring god neglect to tell them they are wrong in their own benefit? Why would you doubt the[I’ve answere this before. ] scientific knowledge about the unlikelyhood of the flood story to be real, if you were not informed by Christianity? Is it your Christianity that informs you to be suspicious about science, [I’m not at all suspicious about science. Again, don’t try to tell me what I’m thinking or feeling. I’m DEFINITELY suspicious of bad, politicized, faked, junks science. Just as I’m suspicious of badly understood Christianity. Rautakyy… why do you find it impossible to stop trying to tell me what I’m thinking or feeling? This is one of the great failings of the left, and it’s generally because they’ve run out of arguments. ] or is there a nother reason, why you present such ignorant claims as scientist can not TRULY know wether the trilobite fossils on tops of mountains are because of tectonic movement, as suggested by scientific evidence, or by a grand flood as suggested by Christians interpreting a particular old book? [As any scientist will tell you. What they find out is never known, but rather contributes to the evidence for a given theory. Nothing more. You are, again, falling for the idea that there is such a thing as “settled science.” There is no such thing as “settled science.” Especially science that purports to tell you and me about what happened millions of years ago! 🙂 ]
I wrote: I do not believe I have to give a Bible lesson to a man who has (by his own admission) learned debating skills in Sunday school. [Reply: This must be a problem with your English, because I never even came close to saying this. Normally, rautakyy, your English is quite good, but when it lets you down, it REALLY lets you down. Notice I assumed that it was your English that made you get that wrong, not any ill will on your part.]

Well what did you say then? [I never said where I learned debating skills. Furthermore, it’s irrelevant; completely beside the point. ]

I wrote: But I guess they do not teach about the Bible sanctioning slavery in Sunday school. Do they? Wonder why? [Reply: Why would I wonder why? They don’t teach it, because The Bible doesn’t sanction slavery. ] [Now what are you on about???? ]
Why would you claim it does not when you have not even read the book? Same as with the genosides? Are all your claims here as well established? That you simply assert something about something you know nothing about? It is starting to seem like that pretty much.
I wrote: Slavery is implicitly condoned in the Old Testament in several instances. [Reply: Nope.]
Exodus 21:20-21 Bible-icon.png and Exodus 21:26-27 Bible-icon.png regulates the beating of slaves, and states that the owner may not be punished if the slave survives for at least two days after the beating. [Reply: Old Testament, not New Testament. Also, again, just a recognition that slavery exists, not condoning it.]

Now what does it matter that it is from the OT? Has your god changed it’s mind about wether having slaves is moral or not since, the writing of the NT? [Nope. ] Besides it is a quote from the law alledgedly given directly by your god to Moses, so it does not only recognize some existing situation, it represents a direct order to act. The order is not to release all slaves immideately, but it describes how badly the owner is allowed to beat his property (up to the point that the slave dies from the trashing) before it is considered immoral, or illegal by your god.
Leviticus 19:20-22 Bible-icon.png gives instructions about the sacrifices that should be made if a slave owner has sex with or rapes an engaged female slave. The slave herself is punished with whipping, but no sacrifices or punishment are required if the slave is not engaged. [Reply: Not familiar with the passage, but again, Old Testament. Again, nothing suggests that this condones slavery, but that since it does exist, then the Bible recognizes it. ]

Again what does it matter it is in the OT? It is a direct command from your god to some people. [the New Testamnet represents both a break from the Old Testament, and perfect continuity with it. The continuity is because Jesus’ coming was foretold in the Old Testament. The break is the different message, the message of salvation, that Jesus brings with him. ] It condones not only slavery but also rape. [No it condones neither. It recognizes the primacy of the Christian life (the Jewish life before the New Testament) over all pleasures or torments of life. There is nothing new about this, and, again, it’s kind of basic. ] If your god could give direct rules about what not to eat, or wear, why was it unable to give direct rules about what not to own? Or not to rape, even slaves? [All the rules needed to lead a good life are in the Bible. The Bibles does not tell us what to eat or wear, and it tells us not to rape or own slaves, or commit any injustice whatsoever to anyone. ]

In Leviticus 25:44-46 Bible-icon.png, the Israelites were allowed to buy slaves from other nations, and then hand them down as an inheritance. [Reply: Again, not familiar with the passage, but again, Old Testament. Look, rautakyy, this is silly. It’s obvious that God doesn’t condone being or having enemies, but he commands us to love our enemies anyway. It is simply God speaking in the language of the times. He is not condoning slavery, but simply recognizing that it exists. He is not condoning having enemies, but since people do, we are commanded to love them. If you look at (1) the recognition that slavery exists, and (2) the command to love one’s enemies, the only inescapable conclusion is that God is telling people to move to a place where they understand that it is wrong to have slavery and enemies. ]

People are told to love their enemies only by Jesus. [Jesus was — and is — a TRUE revolutionary. ] No such rules were given to these people who got these orders. Why? Did your god only later realize, that this part about love also has to be included? [Again, the New Testament WAS a break from the Old Testament, and it was as well perfect ocntiuity. ] It is not a mere recogntion of slavery existing in them days, it is a direct tribally moralistic admission to aquire slaves. [Are YOU really trying to tell ME what’s in the Bible?!?!?? You who said you have found justification for mass murder in it?!?!? Anyone who had REALLY read the BIBLE would know that there is no such justification in it. ] I agree that this is silly, but only because it is necessary in the first place. That you find it important to defend and excuse this terrible picture of a god the alledgedly divinely inspired text describes. [I have, obviously, only a beautiful picture of God in my mind. 🙂 ]

In Leviticus 25:39 Bible-icon.png, buying your brother as a slave is allowed. [Reply: Old Testament — same idea. See the response above. Presumably a man who buys his brother as a slave, would then simply liberate the brother. If, on the other hand, the language is “brother” — as in our brother man — then, we are exhorted to consider all men our brothers. If we were then to purchase any man as a slave, we would then be expected to liberate him. These examples all look very much like anti-slavery, rautakyy.]

No, it specifically sanctions and justifies by the authority of your god owning as a slave even your very own brother. They do not look like anti-slavery at all. [YHour opinion. Looks like anti-slavery to me. Especially because of the language chose. Now, do you see why I’d like to read it in the original? ] What is wrong with you, that you would see this vile tribal ancient legal system as anti-slavery? [‘Cause it sure looks like it. ]
The second part of the Bible recognizes that the institution of slavery exists, but it doesn’t make any attempt to criticize it.
In Luke 12:45-48 Bible-icon.png, the Parable of the Faithful Servant, Jesus discusses the punishment of slaves, and says that a slave may be punished for not doing something he wasn’t instructed to do. [Reply: This is likely your misunderstanding of the language, as well as your prejudice against Christians and against Christianity. You yourself spoke of the conflating of the term servant and slave. Yet, Jesus referred to Himself frequently as the servant of mankind. Surely he was not telling people to turn him into a slave. ]

You presume this is because of my misunderstanding and prejudice, when it is a direct reference from your holy book – that you have not read, but still think it is worthy to be praised. Really? [Yes. And it appears that you haven’t read it either. Your “understanding” of it is atrocious. ]

In Ephesians 6:5-9 Bible-icon.png, Paul instructs the slaves to be obedient. [Reply: Context needed here. One has no understanding of the actual relationship between slave and master, again because of the language (See why I want to learn the original?). Jesus also used the language of liberation, in making the obvious point that it is worse to be a slave to sin, than it is to be a slave to a master. In that case, of course Jesus would put liberation from slavery lower in priority than liberation from sin. Atheists wouldn’t know this, because there is no concept of sin in atheism. With no divine hand to set the rules, that m [Yes. Interestingly in all households where the master converted to Christianity, he freed his slaves. Now, why would he do that if slavery were ACTUALLY condoned in Christianity. Rautakyy, you are flailing. You and I both know that Christinaity has no justification in it for any injustice whatsoever. It DOES, however, give one the — as I’ve said — 10,000 year picture. In THAT picture, yes, a few years as a slave are nothing as compared with an eternity of happiness. By no means does that condone slavery, but it DOES suggest that we should all — master and slave, and all others — keep our eyes on the much, MUCH bigger picture. It’s a picture you, as an atheist, can’t have, and you are the poorer for it. ]

Best,

– x

*** END OF EXCHANGE ***


— xPraetorius

5 thoughts on “Left and Right — a Wide-Ranging Discussion

  1. Have read only parts of this exchange and I liked it very much.
    I have to say: IMPRESSIVE!
    X, you made excellent arguments.

    At the very beginning rautakyy makes arguments that, coming from an atheist, are deeply and utterly ironic.
    Basically he argues on moral grounds against Christinity.
    The deep irony is that in materialistic or purely naturalistic world views there is no basis for any kind of objective morality and most atheist would agree with that.
    Therefore they have no basis to morally condemn Christianity on OBJECTIVE moral grounds. They simply have no basis to stand on.
    If you think about it, lacking other convincing arguments, they simply have to resort to moral criticism.
    That and the problem of evil are their preferred arguments, not because they are logically convincing but because they appeal to the emotions of those addressed.

    With regards to evolution here are just two intellectual heavyweights with their convincingly articulated criticism of darwinian evolution.

    David Berlinski explains problems with evolution

    J.P. Moreland makes (amongst other good arguments) the excellent argument that information must have an intelligent source by explaining that the search for extraterrestial intelligence (SETI) is based on the assumption that information (like a series of prime numbers) must come from an intelligent source.
    If something ‘trivial’ like a series of prime numbers has to come from an intelligent source what does that say about something as complex as DNA?

    BTW, are you familiar with Christian thinkers like John Lennox and William Lane Craig?
    I’ve learned so much from them.
    Atheists want to make us believe that they are the smart ones and we are the backward, unreasonable, superstitious and stupid people.
    Just listening to those two great thinkers I’ve just mentioned makes you realize who the smart ones truly are.

  2. Many thanks, artaxes, for your very kind words. I haven’t heard of Mr. Lennox or Mr. Craig, but you have sent me now to YouTube to find them. Also, I’m much looking forward to watching the two videos you have kindly provided for me.

    I appreciate the thoughts on intelligence. Such a good example is DNA, and thank you for pointing it out to me!

    There are so many other perspectives out there, and so many really bright people who offer other ways to see things that can be so clarifying.

    Rautakyy’s contributions were so basic, but expressed with such sophistication that I realized also that that is the stock-in-trade of the atheist and the leftist. You can say something like, “We intend to take more from those who produce and work hard, and give what we take to the poor in order to get them to vote for us.” Or, you could say something like, “We need to implement a progressive tax structure that will increase investment, create jobs, lift millions out of poverty and let them participate in the American dream. It’s the only fair way.”

    The left, and atheists, absolutely require such weasel words, because if they were honest about their intentions, and about their thoughts, no one would even give them the time of day.

    The left and atheists have mastered one intellectual thing, that’s for sure: they are masters of dishonest weasel words.

    Best,

    — x

  3. Hey, pat each other on the back, as one Christian affirms and reinforces the beliefs they both share. That means you won.

    Actually, Rau, I hope he doesn’t mind the shortening of his name, ran circles around you Roman Prae. You were reduced to one word answers and feeble rebuttals in the last few posts. Your lack of knowledge on the bible you so hold dear was transparent.

    You’re not blind, but you were unwilling to open your eyes.

    “Erm, I’ve not read that chapter yet, but its old testament, so a pinch of salt is needed” – is all you could muster.

    Anyway, I am just some heretic.

    1. “Hey, pat each other on the back, as one Christian affirms and reinforces the beliefs they both share”
      Sarcasm on.
      NOOOO, atheists of course would never do that.
      Sarcasm off

      There are only three options.
      1. We “pat each other on the back” just because we happen to share the same world view,
      2. We “pat each other on the back” because we happen to share the same world view and because we recognise good arguments when we see them..
      3. We “pat each other on the back” because we recognise good arguments when we see them regardless of our world views.

      If you think that #1 is true (essentially we are a bunch of sheep) why bother talking to us?
      I know I wouln’t talk to a bunch of sheep. Frankly, that would be stupid.
      If you think #2 or #3 is true, well, maybe rautakyy’s arguments were not that good.

  4. Hi, Gio! Welcome back! Thanks for your interesting perspectives.

    I don’t think that rau ran circles around me. Whenever I did a one word answer, it was generally because I had already answered the thing at some length previously. Also, rautakyy tried variations on things that I had answered before, so I didn’t bother answering those variations at great length. He was prone also to one-off anecdotes, not realizing the danger in which he was putting himself.

    For example: He would try to make the case that someone had killed someone else, saying that God had told him to do it. That, rautakyy said, would prove the corrosive and evil nature of Christianity. Well, what then do we do with socialism? Socialists killed at least 120 million people in the last century alone, shouldn’t that tell us of the evil nature of socialism? Well, rautakyy said, that wasn’t socialism! Oh. But I can’t then make the counter claim that the one-off murderer’s act is not Christian? Hogwash.

    Rau’s objections were, again, pretty silly, and would have required that I set down exegeses about Christianity, that I had already done before. Your observation that I’m ignorant of the Bible is somewhat accurate. Rautakyy says that he has read the Bible cover-to-cover, yet his perspective on Christianity is so silly, and typical of those who, when confronted with the faith, cover their eyes and ears and repeat, “Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah…” over and over again in order to avoid other perspectives. So, it’s entirely possible that rautakyy knows scripture better than I, but it’s plain that I know Christianity way better than he.

    Christianity is not salvation reserved only for the scholars and the book-learned. It’s for all people — rich and poor, literate and illiterate, super-smart, and not-so-smart, educated and uneducated, as well as anyone who truly wants in. It’s for this reason that Jesus Christ so frequently suggested that we need to be as children in order to be the best Christians possible. Children, by definition, are not book-learned, but rather innocent, and unsullied by all the muck that adulthood and “learning” bring with them.

    Children’s faith is more pure, and filled with greater wonderment and all the things that are more conducive to the understanding of why we’re really here than that of adults, and especially that of educated adults.

    Your post indicates that “I won,” but that rautakyy “ran rings around me.” That sounds a bit contradictory, but I think I know what you mean. I think you mean that I had the better argument, but that rautakyy out-debated me. Could be. I don’t think so, mainly because, as I mentioned before, much of what rautakyy said was really basic in terms of its misunderstanding. For example: I referred to Hitler as a socialist, and a left-winger. That would indict both socialism and the left in general as accomplices in Hitler’s depredations.

    Rautakyy’s counter to that was that everyone has long said that Hitler was a right-winger and a questionable socialist, even though Hitler called himself a socialist. A flat-earth argument if there ever was one!

    Current scholarship is increasingly aligning Hitler — the big-government totalitarian — and his brand of “fascism,” as well as that of Mussolini, over on the left, where I’ve long suggested that it fits more comfortably. Heck, when Stalin died, no one would pretend that he was a right-winger, yet his régime resembled Hitler’s more than anything else. Same with Mao.

    Furthermore, rautakyy was unable to put forth anything but the usual pat talking points as regards homosexuality, evolution, education and, really, anything we talked about. He completely ignored the facts of irreducible complexity as it pertains to evolution, and of the 120 million dead attributed to socialism in the 20th Century.

    My advancing those notions seems to contradict your notion that I was unwilling to open my eyes. You see, rautakyy’s thinking was my thinking years ago, and it’s precisely because I was opening my eyes that I moved away from all that silliness. Remember also, rautakyy’s is the thinking of the vast majority of the American educational system. I had to question all that — to open my eyes, if you will — to arrive where I am today.

    Two last quick things: First: someone who understands scripture, as rautakyy indicated he does, would know, and understand, the basic fact of the New Testament’s radical break with the Old, as well as its rock-solid continuity with the Old. This is not contradictory in the least.

    Second: I’m not pretending that I always expressed myself as well as I could have. However, the “pinch of salt” comment is in another post, in a different thread, I believe. 🙂

    Anyway, it’s good to hear from you again, and I hope you’re having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday over there in England! Yes, yes, yes… I know. But it is Thanksgiving, here at least, so, in a sense, it is there as well, and I hope you and yours have a great one!

    Best,

    — x

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