Author Topic: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate  (Read 1656 times)

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Offline Agamemnon

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Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« on: February 04, 2011, 11:17:15 AM »
Velkyn and UniversityPastor would like to debate question #4 of the Ten Questions.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011, 11:35:51 AM »
much obliged, Ag!

Since UP is sure that he has a response to #4 of the ten questions: Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense? (Brain's addressing of the issue here: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god17.htm)   I will ask him to present his reasons first.  Then I will address and rebut them.



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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 04:23:19 PM »
Thanks Ag.

I watched the 10 questions video over again to make sure I had Brian's delivery of Question 4 In mind when I posted. I was surprised.

I expected "Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense" to be an attack on the failure of the bible to provide solid science thousands of years ahead of it's time... If I were an atheist that's what I would probably harp on. Why does the bible never say that F=MA or that Jesus is God and man in the same way Light is made of particles and waves. Why instead do we see relics of ancient thinking like referring to water above and below us and calling the mustard seed the smallest when that's obviously the orchid seed.

Answering that question would have lead me straight off the path of classical conservative apologetics. But it's not what Brian said. Brian gave 4 examples of anti scientific nonsense in the Bible in the video.

-God did not create the world in 6 days 6,000 years ago like the bible says
-There was never a worldwide flood that covered mount Everest like the bible says
-Jonah did not live inside a fish's stomach for 3 days like the bible says
-God did not create Adam from a handful of dust like the bible says.

So then this question is not about bibliology at all. It's about miracles.

There's some theological stuff that I might argue about briefly, just sort of for the record. I don't grand that the bible says creation happened 6,000 years ago not do i grant that any of these stories aught to be taken literally. But that's sortof neither here nor there because it is not the essence of the question.

The question is not "I have proof Jonah never lives inside a whale, and the bible says he did" the question is "The bible says Jonah lived inside a whale and that's anti scientific nonsense" or, more briefly "the bible describes miracles, and miracles can't happen"

So in that context whether or not they actually did happen is immaterial. all that matters to this debate is if they could.

Now that that's clarified the answer is simple.

Yes they could happen, if a God exists.

Note that the bible doesn't say that floods typically cover the whole earth or that humans are made of dirt. The bible says that God made atypical things happen once.

And if God exists, Can he make atypical things happen?
Of course he can.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 10:58:15 AM »
Quote
watched the 10 questions video over again to make sure I had Brian's delivery of Question 4 In mind when I posted. I was surprised.
I expected "Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense" to be an attack on the failure of the bible to provide solid science thousands of years ahead of it's time... If I were an atheist that's what I would probably harp on. Why does the bible never say that F=MA or that Jesus is God and man in the same way Light is made of particles and waves. Why instead do we see relics of ancient thinking like referring to water above and below us and calling the mustard seed the smallest when that's obviously the orchid seed.
Initially, UP claims that he expected an attack on why the bible doesn’t provide solid scientific information. Considering the posting that I have linked to, this is exactly what Brain’s essay entails.  We see this from this quote from the video
Quote
These stories are all nonsense.  Why would an all-knowing God write nonsense?
and quotes from the link I gave
Quote
But what if you need still more proof? If so, then here is a question: Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by God leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight?
  Why are we not seeing a wise informed God?  Why is this god limited to the knowledge and beliefs of its worshippers? Why is this god so bothered by people who are not “perfect” in its temple since it should know why they are like that?  We also see Brain remarking on how God can’t even get basic “germ theory” to its believers, telling them things that are worthless in helping someone who is sick.  It tells its believers that menstrual blood is the same as any other discharge. 
UP then says that
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Answering that question would have lead me straight off the path of classical conservative apologetics. But it's not what Brian said. Brian gave 4 examples of anti scientific nonsense in the Bible in the video.
Brain did ask that question right here:
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Why didn't God transcribe a useful medical guide into the Bible for these primitive people, rather than transcribing rituals that accomplish nothing? Why doesn't God explain how to manufacture antiseptic solutions, sterile dressings, tetanus vaccines and antibiotic creams? Even better, why not explain how to build a Star Trek Tricorder to instantly heal the wound? Even better, why didn't God design the human immune system to prevent all infections in the first place and eliminate the discharges completely? Why would God intentionally inflict human beings with all of these different types of abnormal discharges?
Extending on these ideas, why doesn't God use the Bible to explain metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physics, manufacturing, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. to these primitive people so they can dramatically accelerate their development?
   I am curious on why UP doesn’t think this “Why does God not give correct useful information in his book and why does he disseminate misinformation?”  is the question to be answered.  UP, can you clarify? Also, UP, can you define what you mean by “classical conservative apologetics”? 

Since UP has not answered the question asked by Brain, I will wait a bit to see if he will do so.  The question is not one of these
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The question is not "I have proof Jonah never lives inside a whale, and the bible says he did" the question is "The bible says Jonah lived inside a whale and that's anti scientific nonsense" or, more briefly "the bible describes miracles, and miracles can't happen"
as UP has tried to claim.  I can answer address that with no problem but the question this discussion room was opened for is not that. 
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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 02:09:23 PM »
Sorry... Published too quickly....  :-X
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Offline UniversityPastor

Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 08:34:08 AM »
To Start with:
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Since UP has not answered the question asked by Brain, I will wait a bit to see if he will do so.  The question is not one of these
Quote
The question is not "I have proof Jonah never lives inside a whale, and the bible says he did" the question is "The bible says Jonah lived inside a whale and that's anti scientific nonsense" or, more briefly "the bible describes miracles, and miracles can't happen"
as UP has tried to claim.  I can answer address that with no problem but the question this discussion room was opened for is not that.

Please do.

I'm going to address that other question... It should be a more interesting debate anyway. But since it's going to be so damn easy for you to defend that miracles don't happen even granted a God exists, please, by all means, carry on.

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watched the 10 questions video over again to make sure I had Brian's delivery of Question 4 In mind when I posted. I was surprised.
I expected "Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense" to be an attack on the failure of the bible to provide solid science thousands of years ahead of it's time... If I were an atheist that's what I would probably harp on. Why does the bible never say that F=MA or that Jesus is God and man in the same way Light is made of particles and waves. Why instead do we see relics of ancient thinking like referring to water above and below us and calling the mustard seed the smallest when that's obviously the orchid seed.
Initially, UP claims that he expected an attack on why the bible doesn’t provide solid scientific information. Considering the posting that I have linked to, this is exactly what Brain’s essay entails.

Yes, It;s similar to what Brian's essay entails. NOT QUESTION #4.

But regardless, Like I said I'll accept your terms. If you want to talk about this essay instead of Question 4 we can do that.

 
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We see this from this quote from the video
Quote
These stories are all nonsense.  Why would an all-knowing God write nonsense?
and quotes from the link I gave
Quote
But what if you need still more proof? If so, then here is a question: Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by God leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight?
  Why are we not seeing a wise informed God?

This is a good question. And a hard one to answer because It's subjective. I for one AM left in awe after reading the bible. But I understand that you and Brian aren't and I appreciate that. That's not nothing.

The problem is I'm going to need some parameters in order to argue with you about it. Otherwise we're just talking about what kinds of books we like. I could try to fill in your argument for you, but that would be dangerously close to building strawmen.

For instance you might say "why does the bible not contain more certifiably factual information that would astound me?" or "Why doesn't it astound everybody immediately.. why don't angels physically pour out of it every time it's opened?" Or you might say "Why are there so many nonsense miracle stories messing up the great human interest narrative"

(I don't suggest you choose that last one, It's a very bad argument)

But whatever it is I need more If I'm going to argue with you. I can't argue with "I don't like it" or "I'm not in awe" All i can say to that is "I do" and that's weak.
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Why is this god limited to the knowledge and beliefs of its worshippers?


Great question!

you mean "Why is the bible limited to the knowledge and beliefs of his worshipers?" Don't you? God is not limited in knowledge according to christian tradition.

The bible however is. There's just 66 books and that's it. It's not an omniscient book... it's not even mostlyniscient. And while I disagree technically with the assertion that the biblical authors were limited by their own knowledge (They saw visions and stuff) I am perfectly willing to admit that the text is decidedly written from an ancient perspective. The concept of Geography, Agriculture, Astronomy, Physics, and such was all decidedly 1st Century.

That's because it was written  by 1st century authors. Not by God Himself

The first 5 were probably written by 4 sources, the Prophets by the Prophets, The Epistles of Paul by Paul... Yadda yadda.

And the character of the author obviously shows through the writing. It's not like God just moved their hand with a pen on the page, the authors actually wrote in a manner and style in accordance with their personalities.

Now the theory that we Christians hold to is that the authors were divinely inspired to write. Meaning that God was participating in and with their thoughts to breath into the authors ideas that they might breath them out onto the page.

So the Question then is WHY? Right?

Why not just write the most angelic prose imaginable in perfect Greek Grammar, taking advantage of the nuances of the language in beautiful and unprecedented ways to spin a crystal web of words. That would stand in all of history as the greatest achievement in language for eternity.

Why instead would you let the human authors dumb it down so much?

I don't want to strawman you... Is that the question?

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Why is this god so bothered by people who are not “perfect” in its temple since it should know why they are like that?

The temple is a kind of a living sermon. It is a picture of what heaven is like that people who don't know how to read can look at and understand. Literally EVERYTHING about the temple is symbolic. Everything about it is also literal (they really built it) but the real extant building was a collection of symbols for people to see.

The alter being half a cubit to long didn't go with the symbolism, and neither did handicapped Levites.

Quote
  We also see Brain remarking on how God can’t even get basic “germ theory” to its believers, telling them things that are worthless in helping someone who is sick.

That's right the bible doesn't give instructions about germ theory, nor does it have instructions about interstellar travel. God conceivably could have done either, but didn't. What's wrong with that?

Quote
It tells its believers that menstrual blood is the same as any other discharge. 

As opposed to what? What do you believe about menstrual blood?

Yes Menstrual blood operates the same as any other unclean discharge (like diarrhea) under Levitical laws

Quote
UP then says that
Quote
Answering that question would have lead me straight off the path of classical conservative apologetics. But it's not what Brian said. Brian gave 4 examples of anti scientific nonsense in the Bible in the video.
Brain did ask that question right here:
Quote
Why didn't God transcribe a useful medical guide into the Bible for these primitive people, rather than transcribing rituals that accomplish nothing? Why doesn't God explain how to manufacture antiseptic solutions, sterile dressings, tetanus vaccines and antibiotic creams? Even better, why not explain how to build a Star Trek Tricorder to instantly heal the wound? Even better, why didn't God design the human immune system to prevent all infections in the first place and eliminate the discharges completely? Why would God intentionally inflict human beings with all of these different types of abnormal discharges?
So we're now getting into something like a problem of evil. "Why wouldn't got make humans perfect so we wouldn't have to poop?" I dunno dude. Because he didn't.

Christian theology has never made the claim that the world, or humans, are perfect. Quite the opposite, we teach that they are broken and getting better,and will one day be perfected.

God could have made us better than we are, he could have made us worse than we are, but we believe he made us as we are.

I understand that you could generate a myth in which a god made us perfect. But that's not the myth I'm defending today.

Quote
Extending on these ideas, why doesn't God use the Bible to explain metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physics, manufacturing, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. to these primitive people so they can dramatically accelerate their development?

Because then you would get a book shorter than an average textbook, partially explaining one of those fields,or giving a very basic introduction to each and it would be obsolete in 10 years as we learned more.

So we'd have a jump in learning taking us to maybe the year 100 immediately, and then the bible would be of no more use to us as humans.

I don't think that's what the Bible is for. Instead i think the bible, indirectly through narrative and poetry, tells us about who we are and who god is and how to live with one another in creation. in a way that continues to shead light for thousands of years as it invites us to figure out metallurgy ourselves.

Quote
I am curious on why UP doesn’t think this “Why does God not give correct useful information in his book and why does he disseminate misinformation?”  is the question to be answered.  UP, can you clarify? Also, UP, can you define what you mean by “classical conservative apologetics”? 

I answered up at the top of the article, but I'll say it again down here. The reason i Didn't think so was because that's not what Question 4 of the ten questions in the video is about. It's what this essay you found after we agreed to the debate is about. But no matter. We'll talk about this instead.

And by "Classical Conservative Apologetics" I'm talking about the normal stuff that you get in a Lee Strobel Book. You know, 5 Arguments for God, Defending the Resurrection, On Miracles, The Innerrancy of Scripture... all that

With the other question the answer comes straight out of the handbook. You know "here's why the Humean argument is crap in a can" but with this one I'm actually going to tick off some Christians (I expect) because eventually you're going to show me verses and I'm going to say "Yup that's what the author thought" and you're going to say "Wasn't the author God" and I'm going to say "No the author was P but it's a book about god and we believe that it in collection with other books like it is special in some difficult to describe way" and you're going to say "isn't everything in the bible true" and I'm going to say "Kinda"... It's not the kind of thing that Doctor Dobson Approves of. he wants me to jade over any embarrassing details and lie for Christ just enough to make it nice and shiney and smooth for everyone.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 08:39:37 AM by UniversityPastor »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 11:24:18 AM »
UP, I am not going to take this thread off topic.  I’ll answer that other issue in a new thread in a bit.

So, UP, what does question #4 “Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?” mean to you?  You insist that it is not the same topic of the essay.  I want to know how it’s not.  You claim it is “similar”.  Please tell me how it differs if you wish to make the claim that somehow I’m changing the terms of the discussion.  I am not but if you want to claim it, show how I am.  I do get tired of your baseless claims that you leave about expecting people to believe them.

UP, I don’t care if you are left in “awe” after reading the bible.  That is indeed subjective and does not answer the question, why don’t we see a wise and informed God?  You may be impressed but anyone with a background in science is not.  The bible, supposedly inspired by God gets things wrong.  And to be in awe of that is rather amusing.  The parameters of this discussion are the question #4, and Brain’s further discussion of the question in the link I provide.  He demonstrates how the bible fails in its claims of how the world works. It is no better than anything else written in the same period and often worse in its claims of any facts or “truth”. I am not using any of your strawmen arguments, which yep, that’s all they are.  Please do stop trying to claim I would or I am. All you are doing at the moment is trying to throw shit at a wall and hoping some of it will stick.

I love how you say “great question” and then try to redefine my question to be something that it is not but that which you think you can answer “you mean "Why is the bible limited to the knowledge and beliefs of his worshipers?" Don't you? God is not limited in knowledge according to christian tradition.”.  That won’t work.  I do mean “why is god limited to the knowledge and beliefs of its worshippers?”  In that your bible claims to be inspired by God, it is God that is on trial here.  Unless you wish to declare that the bible is simply a work of man and God had nothing to do with it?  If so, then this becomes a short discussion since I can agree with that.  But I doubt you would agree in that you do seem to want at least parts of the bible to be what God says.  Yes, God is not limited in knowledge according to Christian tradition and the Bible says so too. I am not limiting this to the bible or Christian tradition.  However, that is never demonstrated as an actuality.  I can say that I am omniscient but until I can demonstrate it, it’s just wishful thinking.

You wish to claim that the bible “is not an omniscient book or even “mostlyniscient”.  It is however demonstrably wrong in many cases.  It doesn’t simply leave things out, it makes claims that are wrong.  You say that you disagree “techinically” that the authors were limited to their own knowledge.  Why?  What evidence says that they weren’t?  People see visions and “stuff’ now and those are demonstrated to be problems with the brain, nothing more.  Why should I find these “visions and stuff” to be evidence?  The text has no evidence that there was any divine input at the bible and as Christians claim.  It was indeed written from a 1 CE perspective, and much of it, the OT probably from a Bronze/Iron Age perspective.  And again, nothing showing any divine influence. You make claims about the books of the bible
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The first 5 were probably written by 4 sources, the Prophets by the Prophets, The Epistles of Paul by Paul... Yadda yadda.
  Much of which there is no evidence for and again more evidence that this is not a divinely inspired book.  Do you believe this from the bible, and from Christian teachings or not: 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 and 2 Timothy 3:14-17?  I can agree that the writers wrote with their own personalities but that does not explain why God can’t get facts about the world right.  It would take no more to say “there are small creatures called bacteria that make people sick, washing one’s hands before eating, or helping a woman giving birth will help” than it did to go through telling people to go through rituals that do nothing and in some cases even harm. 

Quote
So the Question then is WHY? Right?
Why not just write the most angelic prose imaginable in perfect Greek Grammar, taking advantage of the nuances of the language in beautiful and unprecedented ways to spin a crystal web of words. That would stand in all of history as the greatest achievement in language for eternity.
Why instead would you let the human authors dumb it down so much?
I don't want to strawman you... Is that the question?
In part, yes.  The question is at it’s base “why is god limited to the knowledge and beliefs of its worshippers?” However, it is not a problem of dumbing down, it is a problem of totally getting things wrong.  Dumbing down would imply that one is simply simplifying concepts for an ignorant people.  That is not what is evident in the bible. It also begs the question, why didn’t God continue teaching them “up”?
 Again, you don’t answer a question. 
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Why is this god so bothered by people who are not “perfect” in its temple since it should know why they are like that?
  I don’t care about the temple or how it is made.  I am asking why God is so disturbed by people who are not “perfect” when it either made them that way or supposed understands the mechanism?  The problem with your answer is that God supposedly makes the rules, no one else. Supposedly, God gave the Israelites the plans for the temples, etc.   There is no more reason to declare that a handicapped man is less than “heavenly” than there is to declare he is, and God says that a person with a handicap will “descrate” the temple.  Pretty strong language that sounds a little more concern that just with symbolism.  From what I understand, this indicates that there is some basic moral wrongness in being handicapped. I can agree with your claim if it is only man who is making up the symbolism. Man can only see the problem. I also wonder why doesn’t God just heal them.
 
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That's right the bible doesn't give instructions about germ theory, nor does it have instructions about interstellar travel. God conceivably could have done either, but didn't. What's wrong with that?
You really have to ask?  Can I ask you if you know the death rates of pregnant women before the germ theory was started?  The death rate of children? Of soldiers?  In effect, it seems you are asking “What is wrong with allowing millions of people to die when you could have done something for them? Would you agree?
Quote
As opposed to what? What do you believe about menstrual blood?
Yes Menstrual blood operates the same as any other unclean discharge (like diarrhea) under Levitical laws
Oh my, I just had to document that bit.  Being that I have it once a month, I don’t believe it will make a man “unclean” if they sit in a chair that I’ve sat in.  This is my point, the bible hasn’t a clue on what discharges are and how they differ. Menstrual blood is not infectious, for one thing. There is no reason to bother people with such totally wrong nonsense.  Trust me, you won’t catch the god cooties if I was on a bar stool before you and I was on the rag.
Quote
So we're now getting into something like a problem of evil. "Why wouldn't got make humans perfect so we wouldn't have to poop?" I dunno dude. Because he didn't.
  No, I am not.  Again, you have tried to change the question to one you think you can answer.  The question is “why is god limited to the knowledge and beliefs of its worshippers?” which is a clarification on the original question #4 ““Why does the bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?”  You will not get away with changing the question, UP. I will keep bringing it up.  If you will not answer the question, then you may as well concede the discussion.
This discussion is not about why god allows evil or why God has made the world imperfect.

A quote from Brain
Quote
Extending on these ideas, why doesn't God use the Bible to explain metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physics, manufacturing, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. to these primitive people so they can dramatically accelerate their development?
And you have responded:
Quote
Because then you would get a book shorter than an average textbook, partially explaining one of those fields,or giving a very basic introduction to each and it would be obsolete in 10 years as we learned more. So we'd have a jump in learning taking us to maybe the year 100 immediately, and then the bible would be of no more use to us as humans.
I do not understand your reasoning.  Why would you get a book shorter than a textbook?  Does God not know everything and can he not get the information across?   
Quote
I don't think that's what the Bible is for. Instead i think the bible, indirectly through narrative and poetry, tells us about who we are and who god is and how to live with one another in creation. in a way that continues to shead light for thousands of years as it invites us to figure out metallurgy ourselves.
*That*’s the excuse I was expecting.  Christians often turn to this when it’s pointed out that the Bible is factually wrong.  All of the sudden, the Bible doesn’t have to be accurate since it wasn’t meant “for that”.  However, this is incorrect in that God supposedly took the time to create laws about things like disease which were wrong and make up things that were totally wrong and to our modern eyes, simply unacceptable.  Even if it only had rules on how to treat each other and who god was and who we are, it’s still fails since contradicts itself in those subjects too.  We have a god that goes from the OT version to the NT version and in Revelation, back to something much more similar to the OT version.  It has not shed light for thousands of years, it has been interpreted and reinterpreted again and again, with what God really meaning in one generation, not meaning it at all in the next.   This does not shed light. It creates confusion with each Christian claiming that their version is the only “right” one and often causing harm and mayhem as a result.  Also, the bible does not encourage anyone to learn anything for themselves.  It says believe god and trust in him to provide everything.  There is nothing that says “blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have figured things out without God’s help.”   
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I answered up at the top of the article, but I'll say it again down here. The reason i Didn't think so was because that's not what Question 4 of the ten questions in the video is about. It's what this essay you found after we agreed to the debate is about. But no matter. We'll talk about this instead.
  again, I ask you to show me the differences that you claim.  It is not an essay that I found after *anything*. It is what Brain refers too right on the page about #4 right under the video. It’s always been there as part and parcel of the question. 
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And by "Classical Conservative Apologetics" I'm talking about the normal stuff that you get in a Lee Strobel Book. You know, 5 Arguments for God, Defending the Resurrection, On Miracles, The Innerrancy of Scripture... all that
Oh, so *that’s* what it’s called.   
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With the other question the answer comes straight out of the handbook. You know "here's why the Humean argument is crap in a can" but with this one I'm actually going to tick off some Christians (I expect) because eventually you're going to show me verses and I'm going to say "Yup that's what the author thought" and you're going to say "Wasn't the author God" and I'm going to say "No the author was P but it's a book about god and we believe that it in collection with other books like it is special in some difficult to describe way" and you're going to say "isn't everything in the bible true" and I'm going to say "Kinda"... It's not the kind of thing that Doctor Dobson Approves of. he wants me to jade over any embarrassing details and lie for Christ just enough to make it nice and shiney and smooth for everyone.
I honestly have no idea what this last paragraph is in response to. What “other question”?  This one: ““Why does God not give correct useful information in his book and why does he disseminate misinformation?”? It seems to be one more attempt to create strawmen and anticipate what I will say.  In essence, totally useless in this discussion. 
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 12:59:59 PM »
UP, are you coming back to this discussion?  I have seen you on the forums since I've posted my response. I do hope that you are not going to pull the same trick of running away, then returning a year later, as if nothing had happened.  That would be disappointing. 

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Velkyn & UP Ten Questions Debate
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 09:00:29 AM »
Locked until UP comes back to resume the conversation.
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