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Monday, July 31, 2006

The Christian virtues - what are they ?

Much ado is made about "Judeo-Christian values" and "Christian values". What are these values ? Are they based on facts or fantasy ? How are they relevant to today's world ?

According to a May 2002 Pew Research survey, 14% of Americans claim that these values are necessary to be a good American (what these values are, is not mentioned). According to a survey from last April, 7 out of 10 Britons believe that "Christian values" "are still valid in today's society", and 71% desire these values to be taught in schools. This means that there is a significant proportion of non-religious out there who support the insanity of "religious education". This is, to be nice about it, sickening.

Now, that British survey does mention some of the "Christian values". And I quote :

Joel Edwards, the general director of the Evangelical Alliance, one of the organisations, said that millions of people recognised the positive benefits of Christian values.

"Forgiveness, respect, hope and trust are rooted in the Christian faith and they are the antidote to a culture that is being railroaded into an individualistic, rights-orientated mentality," he said.


Are you retching yet ? Let's give a hand to the poor Christians who are trying to turn over our cursed "individualistic" and "rights-orientated" mentality ! Because if there's something we need in our modern world, it's more belief and less freedom. I won't even try to figure out how a culture can be "railroaded" - are foreign TV stations blasting propaganda of individualism and freedom on the poor Briton population ? Should we send foreign aid ?

Never mind the boisterous rhetoric, let's look at these "Christian values".


* Forgiveness : I assume this means "pray for your soul and anything you've done can be forgiven, as long as you believe in my religion". It is a "forgiveness" that means total irresponsibility and total dishonesty. It is not a value, or a virtue, but the vice of a soldier or a suicide bomber. So insofar as it is a horrible evil, I have no problem conceding this horrible vice to Christianity. That makes one...

* Respect : I am at a loss to figure out how this is Christian in any way. Respect is something that is earned by one's actions, but Christianity preaches total non-judgment of the individual believer (as I've noted in the previous point). So I have to disallow "respect", as it has nothing to do with Christianity.

* Hope : I assume this means "hope of your soul going to a supernatural fantasy land when you die". I hope (hah !) I don't have to explain why this is completely irrelevant to human life, meaningless and absurd. Any hope that is given to us human beings come through the agency of reason, not of faith. It comes from science, it comes from atheism, it comes from anarchy, it comes from, in short, all the forms of peaceful individualism that exist. Insofar as hope has nothing to do with Christianity, I'm afraid I have to disallow it as well.

* Trust : I fail to see what trust has to do with Christianity at all, apart from the fact that religion makes people see others as toold of belief instead of actual human beings. Insofar as this is true, I would tend to distrust committed Christians. Also, trust, to be rational at all, must be based on judging the other fellow benevolently. So I have to disallow this as well.


So the only value we have left is "criminal forgiveness". Well, this is rather a paucity of "Christian values". Where should we find the others ? Wikipedia, as always, comes to our rescue, and lists worship of God, fidelity in marriage (whatever happened to abandoning your family ?), renunciation of worldly goods, renunciation of violence, forgiveness of sins (but we had that one already) and unconditional (which is to say, blind and irrational) love. To these I would add : injustice, faith and ignorance, and arrogance.

Does this mean that I think all Christians possess these vices ? Not at all. As I always make sure to point out, many Christians do not follow "Christian values" at all, but rather follow common-sense rules of living. These Christians I call "practical atheists". The rest is the vocal fundamentalist half of Christianity, which actually follows "Christian values". Those Christians I don't call at all - I stay as far away from them as I humanly can.

Can Christianity possibly have any relevance to today's society ? The absurdity of a tribal book still applying in a world of cars, skyscrapers and quantum physics. any more than Aristotle's virtues are relevant to a scientific and technological society - rather quite related to the relativist belief that all opinions are equally valid. But this is nonsense. Christianity no more applies to today's society than the theory of humors applies to medicine.

Post a Comment


55 Comments:

At 7/31/2006 11:43 AM, Blogger Zendo Deb declaimed...

Judeo-Christian tradition consists mostly of the Christians trying to exterminate the Jews every couple of hundred years (or more frequently -- depends on the period of history).

 
At 7/31/2006 12:28 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

The Christian values are (at least in practice) primarily the restriction of freedom. These days, this is manifested primarily in the restriction of sexual freedom, but other things have been and will be targeted as well. This is to be expected because in Christianity, slavery is considered to be the highest honor.

 
At 7/31/2006 3:34 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

"Judeo-Christian tradition consists mostly of the Christians trying to exterminate the Jews every couple of hundred years (or more frequently -- depends on the period of history)."

As written, this seems a fallacy of over-simplification - a mere sterotype. Can you provide more support or data for saying "consists mostly" and how you define Judeo-Christian tradition?

For instance, if someone claims themselves within a certain movement or tradition and falsely claims its label for themselves, yet continually and blatantly violates its principles, it would be false accounting to attribute them to it. They might very well be defacto enemies of that movement or tradition, albeit claiming the label, while in the midst of defying its very principles.

 
At 7/31/2006 3:39 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"For instance, if someone claims themselves within a certain movement or tradition and falsely claims its label for themselves, yet continually and blatantly violates its principles, it would be false accounting to attribute them to it."

WRONG! You have committed the No True Scostman fallacy. Thank you for playing.

 
At 7/31/2006 3:53 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

"The Christian values are (at least in practice) primarily the restriction of freedom. These days, this is manifested primarily in the restriction of sexual freedom, but other things have been and will be targeted as well. This is to be expected because in Christianity, slavery is considered to be the highest honor."

Is it possible you are misunderstanding the use of figures of speech so common in literature and common parlance? For example, it is merely the use of irony to say that one must go to the Master in order to be set free. For it is believed that only one greater can set the lesser free.

Maybe you are not confusing this but I thought I would ask just in case.

Lastly, I'm not aware of what sexual restrictions you may be referring to.

Regards,
glv

 
At 7/31/2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

I did not commit the "No True Scotsman fallacy". I asked zendo deb for how she is defining "Judeo-Christian tradition" in my first paragraph and said "it seems" in the second paragraph to try and further the discussion. You jumped to a conclusion.

 
At 7/31/2006 4:07 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Let me correct my quote for the sake of accuracy. I said "this seems" (7/31/2006 3:34 PM) in the second paragraph.

Regards,
glv

 
At 7/31/2006 4:15 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Zachary:

You would have to show (rather than assert) that the restriction of freedom is detrimental. The example that you used is perhaps the worst one imaginable as it would seem that an adherence to my worldview protects one's life. Ever heard of the little pandemic called AIDS?

 
At 7/31/2006 4:27 PM, Blogger Brad Reddekopp declaimed...

Streetapologist, if you are a Bible-believing Christian then adherence to your vile, lie-filled world view promotes hatred, violence and irrationality.

 
At 7/31/2006 4:41 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: Is it possible you are misunderstanding the use of figures of speech so common in literature and common parlance?

Zach: I'm thinking primarily of the apostle Paul, the self-proclaimed "slave of Christ." A common theme of his epistles is the idea of being in bondage to an overlord (Christ).

Glove: For example, it is merely the use of irony to say that one must go to the Master in order to be set free.

How is that ironic? That seems accurate, to me. It follows that only the person who holds the power to keep one in slavery has the power to release one from the same.

Glove: Lastly, I'm not aware of what sexual restrictions you may be referring to.

The restriction of homosexuality, promiscuity, and non-procreative heterosexuality.

 
At 7/31/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Franc:

"* Forgiveness : I assume this means "pray for your soul and anything you've done can be forgiven, as long as you believe in my religion".

Well you would be wrong. This is not the Christian understanding of forgiveness. Your statement that someone can pray for his soul is nonsense. It assumes a trichotomous view of man, which is unbiblical and doesn't even have any merits philosophically. If it's presuppositionalism that you are attempting to argue against (in context of the sum of your blog here) than you should really begin with the correct axiom. We already know that you believe in our religion, we believe that you are in open rebellion and hostile to the God you know innately exists.

The bottom line is you asserted that hope comes from atheism etc, could you demonstrate the sort of hope that is generated by science or atheism?

 
At 7/31/2006 4:46 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Brad:

As profound as your assertion is:

"Streetapologist, if you are a Bible-believing Christian then adherence to your vile, lie-filled world view promotes hatred, violence and irrationality."

it is still just an assertion. I could argue the same point about atheism. Is this all you can say?

 
At 7/31/2006 4:47 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Streetapologist: You would have to show (rather than assert) that the restriction of freedom is detrimental.

Don't jump the gun, buddy. I didn't say anything about the restriction of freedom being good or bad in my comment. I was just mentioning the fact that Christianity seeks to do so. Of course, I should think anyone familiar with this blog is also well-versed in the concept of the Moral Razor, which explains why coercion is immoral.

Streetapologist: The example that you used is perhaps the worst one imaginable as it would seem that an adherence to my worldview protects one's life.

How so?

Streetapologist: Ever heard of the little pandemic called AIDS?

Ah, and so am I to understand that orthodox Christianity also prohibits blood transfusions? I thought that was just the Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses. If you're judging the truth of a religion based on the practices it espouses that protect you from HIV, then I'm afraid orthodox Christianity comes up short. Should I expect you at my door this Saturday with a handful of Watchtower tracts?

 
At 7/31/2006 5:46 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Because if there's something we need in our modern world, it's more belief and less freedom.

LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!! :D

 
At 7/31/2006 5:52 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Street Apologist can always be counted on to claim that He and Only He knows what Christianity is, and you're damned if you come from the wrong tradition.

Heaven has one mansion, and it's reserved for Street Apologist--and the other side of the bed is for Paul Manata.

AIDS, Street, is helped in many ways by traditional Christian doctrine. The taboo against contraception, for one. Then there's the easy corealtion between sexual repression and secretive dangerous sexual practices. If it's not an evil sin, you don't have to do it in secret. And, since sin is made up by crazy immoral people, those same crazy immoral people can revel in the deaths they help cause, every day.

There's a special place in heaven to watch the fornicators and gays roiling in hell.

If you don't get the corelation between teenaged unwed pregnancy and repressive religious societies, you've got on blinders. Look at any of 'em, and they've got problems. If it's not a cult or a community of the Amish, it's a third world country under the Iron Fist of the Vatican. And that's christian values.

 
At 7/31/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Zach: "The restriction of homosexuality, promiscuity, and non-procreative heterosexuality."

Okay. Thanks for the clarification. I would argue that the recent trend in society has been a loosening of sexual mores, not a restriction of them. I in no way support this trend for several reasons:

1) sex between a married man and woman is the only viable alternative with respect to spiritual, emotional, familial, economic, and medical aspects of life.

2) I have personally experienced great loss spiritually, emotionally, economically, and medically via promiscuity with the opposite sex.

3) I speak to many, many young people today who are on the verge of suicide or other damaging situations often stemming from the categories of sexual activity you named (recent examples: a young man involved in domestic abuse with his girlfriend and another young fella pondering suicide due to a break-up and residual pain from his parents who pushed him aside all his life and gave him little attention or affection). These people experience poor relationships with mom and dad instead of seeing mom and dad in a healthy, committed, stable relationship together. The family over generations is thus disunified, vulnerable and a vicious cycle ensues with a terrible price tag that is paid. It is a bitter, painful road to follow.

Regards,
glv

 
At 7/31/2006 6:55 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: I would argue that the recent trend in society has been a loosening of sexual mores, not a restriction of them.

I would agree with that, but I was not speaking to the trends in current culture, but to the trends in current Christian values.

Glove: sex between a married man and woman is the only viable alternative with respect to spiritual, emotional, familial, economic, and medical aspects of life.

Clearly not, as there are many counterexamples to this claim. Countless homosexual couples and unmarried heterosexual couples are perfectly happy, raising happy families, with little economic hardships, perfectly healthy, and spiritually fulfilled.

Glove: I have personally experienced great loss spiritually, emotionally, economically, and medically via promiscuity with the opposite sex.

I have a good friend who experienced all the same, and more, likely to a scale which you cannot imagine (and which I will not mention here) because he saved his virginity until marriage.

Glove: I speak to many, many young people today who are on the verge of suicide or other damaging situations often stemming from the categories of sexual activity you named

Surely you see that this is an argument from effect, not an argument from morality. At any rate, the same situations are faced by children from homes which are not broken. But even if I accepted this argument, it obviously condemns Christianity- adherents of which boast the highest divorce rate in the nation, far above atheists.

 
At 7/31/2006 8:07 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

My response in brackets:

Glove: I would argue that the recent trend in society has been a loosening of sexual mores, not a restriction of them.

I would agree with that, but I was not speaking to the trends in current culture, but to the trends in current Christian values.

[okay, I thought maybe that was what you meant but wasn't sure. Unfortunately the Christian sub-culture is taking on the barnacles of society at large, but again this is unfortunate and not the way it should be.]

Glove: sex between a married man and woman is the only viable alternative with respect to spiritual, emotional, familial, economic, and medical aspects of life.

Clearly not, as there are many counterexamples to this claim. Countless homosexual couples and unmarried heterosexual couples are perfectly happy, raising happy families, with little economic hardships, perfectly healthy, and spiritually fulfilled.

[I disagree in the macro sense. Obviously, there are always seeming exceptions, but homosexuals by definition can't reproduce without reliance on someone's male sperm and someone's female egg. They cannot procreate naturally. A man can't mother and a woman can't father. There are also studies that indicate they are the most unhappiest of people and suffer the largest domestic abuse rates and multi-extra-relational activity. It would be similar for unmarried heterosexual couples. By the way, even when I was miserable, I could mask it for the outside world and act happy and normal. Both scenarios, homosexual relationships and hetersexual non-marriage increase the risk of poor fathering and/or mothering.]

Glove: I have personally experienced great loss spiritually, emotionally, economically, and medically via promiscuity with the opposite sex.

I have a good friend who experienced all the same, and more, likely to a scale which you cannot imagine (and which I will not mention here) because he saved his virginity until marriage

[Without knowing the details I cannot speak to this. I can only tell you of the plethora of cases like I mentioned above and have never run into someone that regrets keeping their virginity until marriage. I would think that would be quite rare and not actually the result of keeping oneself chaste. I suspect there are other factors in play with your friend]

Glove: I speak to many, many young people today who are on the verge of suicide or other damaging situations often stemming from the categories of sexual activity you named

Surely you see that this is an argument from effect, not an argument from morality. At any rate, the same situations are faced by children from homes which are not broken. But even if I accepted this argument, it obviously condemns Christianity- adherents of which boast the highest divorce rate in the nation, far above atheists.

[Not all people claiming to be Christians are Christians and even Christians can be quite screwed up. Lastly, I know what I see and hear from the youth today and I am talking to bunches of them every week. I forgot to mention the level of drug and alcohol abuse by these hurting souls. The first example was a 19 year-old. He admitted to me that he does crack cocaine. This is what is out there en masse, known from my own street discussions and from close friends who practice family law and counseling.]

Regards,
glv

 
At 7/31/2006 8:24 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: Unfortunately the Christian sub-culture is taking on the barnacles of society at large, but again this is unfortunate and not the way it should be.

I disagree. The Christian sub-culture is acting to repress sexual freedom, in opposition to society at large.

Glove: homosexuals by definition can't reproduce without reliance on someone's male sperm and someone's female egg.

And? The same is true of women who are infertile. Does this make them immoral?

Glove: A man can't mother and a woman can't father.

This borders on tautology, but I understand what you mean. However, men can be as nurturing as women and women can as supportive as men when it comes to parenting.

Glove: There are also studies that indicate [homosexuals] are the most unhappiest of people and suffer the largest domestic abuse rates and multi-extra-relational activity.

That wouldn't have anything to do with their rejection by society, would it? And I'd be interested to see how homosexual domestic abuse really stacks up to heterosexual domestic abuse. I've never seen a gay couple fighitng on COPS, for example. Do you have any numbers to back this up?

Glove: By the way, even when I was miserable, I could mask it for the outside world and act happy and normal.

Imagine how easy it is for your Christian, married, heterosexual friends and family to do the very same thing!

Glove: I can only tell you of the plethora of cases like I mentioned above and have never run into someone that regrets keeping their virginity until marriage.

Nice to meet you.

Glove: I suspect there are other factors in play with your friend

That's very true, and I would suspect the same thing of your troubles.

Glove: Not all people claiming to be Christians are Christians and even Christians can be quite screwed up.

I know, I'm a Texan now, and I eat my chili with beans. I guess I'm not yet a True Texan.

Glove: I forgot to mention the level of drug and alcohol abuse by these hurting souls.

Bingo! Is it possible that we've found the real problem? Maybe if you correlated the use of drugs and alcohol with unhappiness, you'd see a better statistical fit than homosexuality or promiscuity.

 
At 7/31/2006 8:36 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Zach said:

"Ah, and so am I to understand that orthodox Christianity also prohibits blood transfusions? I thought that was just the Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses. If you're judging the truth of a religion based on the practices it espouses that protect you from HIV, then I'm afraid orthodox Christianity comes up short. Should I expect you at my door this Saturday with a handful of Watchtower tracts?"

You got it, the first Reformed Jehovah's Witness. Would you be my first convert?

You said early that:

"The Christian values are (at least in practice) primarily the restriction of freedom. These days, this is manifested primarily in the restriction of sexual freedom,"

Could one not infer from this statement that you are arguing that the restriction of freedom manifested primarily in the restriction of sexual freedom is negative?

P1: Freedom is Good
P2: Repression is Bad
P3: Christianity represses freedom
:. Christianity is bad (According to Dr. Moore)

Isn't this what you were arguing? I simply pointed out monogamy as expressed in the Christian tradition has a preservative affect over against promiscious sex (whether of homosexual or heterosexual nature)

 
At 7/31/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Alleee,

You and Franc consistently misrepresent the Christian faith. Setting up straw men and then knocking them down isn't all that impressive.

"Street Apologist can always be counted on to claim that He and Only He knows what Christianity is, and you're damned if you come from the wrong tradition"

I am sorry I didn't realize atheism was within the pail of orthodoxy. What was I thinking?

"AIDS, Street, is helped in many ways by traditional Christian doctrine. The taboo against contraception, for one."

Gee, Alleee I am not sure if you missed this in your catechism class, but marriage is between [1] man and [1] woman, therefore STD's such as AIDS wouldn't be spread.

Your argument would only make sense if Christianity taught promisicuity and no contraceptives. [Nice try though]

 
At 7/31/2006 9:11 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Alleee: You and Franc consistently misrepresent the Christian faith. Setting up straw men and then knocking them down isn't all that impressive."

Look at the fundie whine. Whine, fundie, whine!

 
At 7/31/2006 9:13 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Zachary Moore said...
I disagree. The Christian sub-culture is acting to repress sexual freedom, in opposition to society at large.

[Much can be said here, but we fundamentally disagree as to the dynamics of this.]


And? The same is true of women who are infertile. Does this make them immoral?

[No. Infertility in woman and homosexual marriage do not equate. This is a category mistake.]

This borders on tautology, but I understand what you mean. However, men can be as nurturing as women and women can as supportive as men when it comes to parenting.

[It is self-evident. For instance men cannot breast feed.]

That wouldn't have anything to do with their rejection by society, would it? And I'd be interested to see how homosexual domestic abuse really stacks up to heterosexual domestic abuse. I've never seen a gay couple fighitng on COPS, for example. Do you have any numbers to back this up?

[Let me prepare and get back to you. I've got some enchiladas ready to be eaten and the girl friend is a waitin'.]

Imagine how easy it is for your Christian, married, heterosexual friends and family to do the very same thing!

[Yes, we live in a broken world. But there is hope]

Nice to meet you.

[okay.]

I know, I'm a Texan now, and I eat my chili with beans. I guess I'm not yet a True Texan.

[interesting, sounds like a menu for gas. And I'm about to eat enchiladas. :)]

Bingo! Is it possible that we've found the real problem? Maybe if you correlated the use of drugs and alcohol with unhappiness, you'd see a better statistical fit than homosexuality or promiscuity.

[No the drug use is used to suppress the pain from these accounts, yet it only causes even more complications.]

 
At 7/31/2006 9:49 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Streetapologist: Could one not infer from this statement that you are arguing that the restriction of freedom manifested primarily in the restriction of sexual freedom is negative?"

Not from that statement alone. I was just making a comment about Christianity's position on freedom.

Streetapologist:
P1: Freedom is Good
P2: Repression is Bad
P3: Christianity represses freedom
:. Christianity is bad


That's a bit awkward, but I'd generally agree with it. I'd prefer for the moral razor to be mentioned, but you're still learning.

Streetapologist: I simply pointed out monogamy as expressed in the Christian tradition has a preservative affect over against promiscious sex (whether of homosexual or heterosexual nature)

And is homosexual monogamy just as preservative?

 
At 7/31/2006 9:57 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: Infertility in woman and homosexual marriage do not equate.

Yes, but you were making a moral point against homosexuality based on the inability to procreate. Morals are worthless if they're not applied universally, and so I was just pointing out that if you condemn homosexuality because of its infertility, then you condemn others as well.

Glove: For instance men cannot breast feed.

You haven't been keeping up to date on my podcast.

 
At 7/31/2006 11:10 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Zach: "Yes, but you were making a moral point against homosexuality based on the inability to procreate. Morals are worthless if they're not applied universally, and so I was just pointing out that if you condemn homosexuality because of its infertility, then you condemn others as well."

[Again, they do not equate. Your analogy is not a good one. If people are born sterile they cannot be condemned for it. A born eunuch (or one by work accident or some tragedy) would be more analogous with the skin color we are born with. I cannot change it nor do I need to. These are in the realm of personal physical realities, not moral choices. A fertile man can marry the woman of his choosing and procreate. Most homosexual men (or women) are fertile but choose instead to have immoral sex with each other (and often many other partners putting the community at medical risk) thereby making a mockery of family and procreation itself. I believe part of your mistake in reasoning is confusing something that is congenital or a tragedy of life with a moral choice. The homosexual is making a moral choice.

Regards,
glv

 
At 8/01/2006 12:09 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: I believe part of your mistake in reasoning is confusing something that is congenital or a tragedy of life with a moral choice.

Again, you really should be keeping current with my podcast.

Glove: These are in the realm of personal physical realities, not moral choices.

Agreed. Homosexuality is clearly a personal physical reality, as I've articulated in my podcast.

Glove: Most homosexual men (or women) are fertile but choose instead to have immoral sex with each other (and often many other partners putting the community at medical risk) thereby making a mockery of family and procreation itself.

This sounds exactly like the Christian rhetoric I've been referencing from the beginning of this thread. Only sex which is heterosexual, married, and for the purpose of procreation is "moral." It's hard for me to discern the value that is advanced by this position, other than restricting the freedom of others.

 
At 8/01/2006 1:01 AM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Zach:
Agreed. Homosexuality is clearly a personal physical reality, as I've articulated in my podcast.

I didn't agree to that. This is the fundamental difference between our views. I think homosexuality is an immoral choice, you think it is merely genetic.

Here is a link with some stats on homosexuality verses traditional marriage: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02

You probably won't like the source but you can dig further if you like into their primary source data as referenced in the article.

I will try and listen to your podcast tomorrow.

Over and out for now,
glv

 
At 8/01/2006 8:42 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: I didn't agree to that. This is the fundamental difference between our views. I think homosexuality is an immoral choice, you think it is merely genetic.

You said that aspects of our physical makeup could not be singled out as "immoral." I'm in agreement of you there, since homosexuality is clearly such an aspect, and the evidence is mounting in favor of that position.

Glove: You probably won't like the source but you can dig further if you like into their primary source data as referenced in the article.

To say the least. I'm disappointed that the first citation you give comes from the Family Reasearch Council, which is precisely the kind of Christian organization I had in mind when I made my initial comments. I would have hoped you could go to a more scientific source. There is a lot of good literature out there.

The article that you cited by Dr. Dailey (with a Ph.D. in religion, not an M.D. or any scientific training whatsoever) makes an obvious blunder right off that bat- comparing results from two different sources. And it's not even a good comparison- specifically married heterosexuals are compared to all homosexual men!

For example, this study which concludes that the tendency toward suicide in homosexual teens is distinguished by "greater childhood parental psychological abuse and more childhood gender-atypical behavior." In other words, rejection by homophobic friends and family, likely influenced by the same Christian propaganda you referenced.

Another study concludes that "children with lesbian or gay parents are comparable with children with heterosexual parents on key psychosocial developmental outcomes." The only significant problem for them being, predictibly, homophobia from society (again, influenced by Christian propaganda).

And yet another study concludes that "children of lesbian mothers and gay fathers are not more likely to become homosexual and are not measurably different from children raised by heterosexual parents in terms of personality development, psychological development, and gender identity."

Finally, I want to make the point that this all just amounts to arguing from effect. We do not adopt moral stances based on the effects that they bring, but based on the values we wish to fulfill. What Christian value, other than the repression of freedom, is fulfilled by campaigning against homosexuality, promiscuity, and non-fertile heterosexual matrimony?

 
At 8/01/2006 12:15 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Zach,

It is hard to have a discussion because you continue to misrepresent my position. You did it again in your first paragraph (8/01/2006 8:42 AM). You cannot put words in my mouth, and then say we agree. That is unfair and turns people off to further (and much needed) dialog. It is hard for me to even move on to the rest of what you say in your response because of this. I'm trying to say this with care and respect, but you lose credibility with me when you do this.

Sincerely,
glv

 
At 8/01/2006 12:29 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: It is hard to have a discussion because you continue to misrepresent my position.

This is not what I am trying to do. I am trying to establish some common premises that we share. You had made the point ( 7/31/2006 11:10 PM) that a person born sterile should not be condemned for it, since their condition is beyond their control. You and I are in agreement that a person should not be condemned for something with which they were born. That is the common premise which we both share, and those are they only words that I would attribute to you so far.

However, I go one step further and say that because homosexuality is just as congenital as someone born sterile, they should also be spared your condemnation. Our point of disagreement is not whether people should be condemned for characteristics with which they were born, but whether homosexuality is such a characteristic.

So it is because I agree with your reluctance to condemn someone for their natural state that I think you should be consistent and apply that standard to homosexuals as well. The evidence clearly shows that homosexuality has a genetic and biological basis, and more evidence is mounting in favor of this position all the time.

 
At 8/01/2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Okay. That is much clearer and draws the distinctions much better. I really do appreciate that and thank you for it. That helps alot.

Here are some thoughts:

-Clearly, you believe there is a gay gene, I do not. I believe homosexuals are choosing this lifestyle. Many have come out of this lifestyle and are now married to the opposite sex and have children, so it is possible for change to happen. They are not fighting a gene, they are ultimately fighting a moral, spiritual battle that rages within.

-Whether in thought, word, or deed, I totally admit I have not been blameless or sexually pure in my life. But I have experienced great growth in these areas. By nature I am an adulterer and fornicator at heart. But do I just engage in sexual impurity, rationalizing that this is just the way I am genetically. And this, to the harm of many in my sphere to satisfy my own self-interest. By no means! I turn from it and speak the truth to others along the way. Out of humility I have compassion and care for those caught up in homosexuality (or any other promiscuous lifestyle).

-Lastly and most importantly, the power to effect this spiritual change comes from outside of us. I know you don't accept this right now, but only God can do this.

The playing field is leveled. Everyone on this planet is desperate and broken in one way or another. This life is very hard. But there is hope amidst the tears.

Best,
glv

 
At 8/01/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: Clearly, you believe there is a gay gene, I do not.

No, I do not "believe" there is a "gay gene." I know of overwhelming scientific evidence that shows homosexuality to be genetic in origin and biological in development. There are many studies available in the scientific literature which have led to this conclusion.

Glove: Many have come out of this lifestyle and are now married to the opposite sex and have children, so it is possible for change to happen.

And many more have already tried this charade, lived in a personal hell for years, finally coming out to their families and causing much emotional grief.

Glove: They are not fighting a gene, they are ultimately fighting a moral, spiritual battle that rages within.

By way of analogy, what about those congenital eunuchs that you brought up before? I would imagine that they don't have much of a moral struggle against lust, which is also a cardinal sin in Christianity. Isn't it strange that a supposed "moral struggle" becomes much less of an issue once basic physical considerations are recognized?

Glove: Out of humility I have compassion and care for those caught up in homosexuality (or any other promiscuous lifestyle).

Yes, I used to speak just like this when I was a Christian, and I used to feel very humble and pleasant and honest at the same time I was denouncing homosexuals as unnatural. But the fact is that you're offering a band-aid for a wound that you're helping to cause. The Christian repression of sexual freedom has contributed to most of the problems faced by those not in married, heterosexual procreative relationships. The history of Christianity arguably from Paul to the present is distinguished by a clear demonization of homosexuals, birth control, and even control over the conduct of the coital act! It is precisely this restriction of freedom that makes homosexuals and non-married heterosexuals engage in the risky behavior which allows you to feel justified in condemning them. To me, it is a hollow humility that offers balm for a wound, rather than breaking the blade that causes it.

 
At 8/01/2006 3:37 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Zach, are you trying to give evidence to a Christian? Tsk.

 
At 8/01/2006 3:48 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Yeah, I may be wasting my time with that tack, but unless Glove is a hardcore presupper (which he doesn't seem to be) he might not be so averse to empirical evidence.

 
At 8/01/2006 4:47 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Glove: Clearly, you believe there is a gay gene, I do not.

No, I do not "believe" there is a "gay gene." I know of overwhelming scientific evidence that shows homosexuality to be genetic in origin and biological in development. There are many studies available in the scientific literature which have led to this conclusion.

[There is no such evidence.]

Glove: Many have come out of this lifestyle and are now married to the opposite sex and have children, so it is possible for change to happen.

And many more have already tried this charade, lived in a personal hell for years, finally coming out to their families and causing much emotional grief.

[They need God. His Mercy cannot be demanded. It is granted.]

Glove: They are not fighting a gene, they are ultimately fighting a moral, spiritual battle that rages within.

By way of analogy, what about those congenital eunuchs that you brought up before? I would imagine that they don't have much of a moral struggle against lust, which is also a cardinal sin in Christianity. Isn't it strange that a supposed "moral struggle" becomes much less of an issue once basic physical considerations are recognized?

[One can have all the sex one wants in a committed heterosexual marriage of one man and one woman. Celibacy is fine for some if that is what God has for them. No sin there either.]

Glove: Out of humility I have compassion and care for those caught up in homosexuality (or any other promiscuous lifestyle).

Yes, I used to speak just like this when I was a Christian, and I used to feel very humble and pleasant and honest at the same time I was denouncing homosexuals as unnatural. But the fact is that you're offering a band-aid for a wound that you're helping to cause. The Christian repression of sexual freedom has contributed to most of the problems faced by those not in married, heterosexual procreative relationships. The history of Christianity arguably from Paul to the present is distinguished by a clear demonization of homosexuals, birth control, and even control over the conduct of the coital act! It is precisely this restriction of freedom that makes homosexuals and non-married heterosexuals engage in the risky behavior which allows you to feel justified in condemning them. To me, it is a hollow humility that offers balm for a wound, rather than breaking the blade that causes it.

[the ex-Christian does not exist. It is an impossibility. Again, it is one thing to merely claim the label "Christian" as opposed to really being one. You consistently confuse the nominal with the authentic. I don't mean that to be offensive, but it is true. You say that Christians demonize homosexuals, while you demonize Christians. Lastly, where does Paul dictate the coital act or are you saying someone made a stupid interpretation of Paul somewhere down the line? The chirade is in the caricatures and straw-men you have been consistently using. There is no freedom in this Zach. There is no freedom in inaccuracy. What you define as freedom actually puts people in jeopardy for any arrangement outside of a marriage between one man and one woman puts people at risk. It is that way by Divine design. Does not even nature itself (human anatomy) attest to this? It does. Tape two electrical plug-ins together and you get nothing, take one plug-in and put it into the wall outlet and you get power. There is only one combination that works.]

Best,
glv

 
At 8/01/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: There is no such evidence.

Please don't show yourself to be so obtuse, especially when I went to the trouble of providing links to scientific papers.

Glove: They need God. His Mercy cannot be demanded. It is granted.

Ah, yes. When reason fails, invoke the existence of the deity.

Glove: Celibacy is fine for some if that is what God has for them.

Yes, but celibacy wasn't my point. My point was that clearly for those who are eunuchs from birth, lust is not an issue. Thus, we see that a supposed "moral transgression" in the Christian sense isn't really a matter of personal choice, but a matter of physical reality. Such would be the case with homosexuals as well.

Glove: the ex-Christian does not exist. It is an impossibility.

Again, nice to meet you.

Glove: You consistently confuse the nominal with the authentic.

Paul was not a True Christian? NTS fallacies aside, I could buy your rejection of individual Christians throughout history, but they're all using the same book to justify what they've done. At a certain point you have to realize that either nobody can be a True Christian, or there's a serious problem with the book.

Glove: You say that Christians demonize homosexuals, while you demonize Christians.

I reject Christianity as immoral because it is anti-value. I still haven't heard what values are advanced by the Christian condemnation of homosexuality.

Glove: Lastly, where does Paul dictate the coital act or are you saying someone made a stupid interpretation of Paul somewhere down the line?

Paul didn't dictate anything about the coital act, except for that it is a necessary evil and so should be relegated to matrimony, rather than risk promiscuity. (Doesn't that make you feel so warm and fuzzy about the marital bed?) I was instead making reference to the so-called "missionary position," which was a part of the greater Christian evangelical movement (and still is, to a certain extent).

Glove: There is no freedom in inaccuracy.

I agree, which is why my values are based squarely in reality, where the ability to determine accuracy is highest.

Glove: What you define as freedom actually puts people in jeopardy for any arrangement outside of a marriage between one man and one woman puts people at risk.

Yes, freedom includes risk. The freedom to drive your car includes the risk that you will be hurt or killed in a wreck. The freedom to climb a mountain includes the risk that you will fall to your death. The freedom to eat any food you like includes the risk that you will be fatally allergic to one. The freedom to think for yourself includes the risk that you will be wrong.

But how can we attenuate this risk? Can we avoid it entirely? Yes, of course. Never drive your car. Never climb a mountain. Never eat anything new. Never think for yourself.

Slavery, you see, is the only way to avoid risk. The self-imposed slavery which cripples the intellects and wills of far too many people who think they are safer with Christianity. Sure, they're safe. As safe as a prisoner in a cage is safe from everything including himself.

And we find ourselves back at my first comment of this thread. "in Christianity, slavery is considered to be the highest honor." It is a depraved slave-master indeed that coerces his chattel to turn the locks on their own chains.

 
At 8/01/2006 5:49 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

If someone says that a guy can fuck someone in the ass just to make his parents or pastor mad, he must have personal experience with it, and we should all be ashamed.

 
At 8/01/2006 6:22 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Please don't show yourself to be so obtuse, especially when I went to the trouble of providing links to scientific papers.

[you surely know that every scientist has a worldview through which he interprets facts. Science often has the same data, but they fight vigorously over the interpretation of it]

Ah, yes. When reason fails, invoke the existence of the deity.

[I don't have to invoke God. You cannot get away from Him.]

Yes, but celibacy wasn't my point. My point was that clearly for those who are eunuchs from birth, lust is not an issue. Thus, we see that a supposed "moral transgression" in the Christian sense isn't really a matter of personal choice, but a matter of physical reality. Such would be the case with homosexuals as well.

[again, homosexuality is a moral choice, not a physical reality. This is self-evident by nature and anatomy]

Again, nice to meet you.

[this doesn't qualify as a response]

Paul was not a True Christian? NTS fallacies aside, I could buy your rejection of individual Christians throughout history, but they're all using the same book to justify what they've done. At a certain point you have to realize that either nobody can be a True Christian, or there's a serious problem with the book.

[no problem with the Book. Truth doesn't change]

I reject Christianity as immoral because it is anti-value. I still haven't heard what values are advanced by the Christian condemnation of homosexuality.

[you need to tell me why there are any values at all?]

Paul didn't dictate anything about the coital act, except for that it is a necessary evil and so should be relegated to matrimony, rather than risk promiscuity. (Doesn't that make you feel so warm and fuzzy about the marital bed?) I was instead making reference to the so-called "missionary position," which was a part of the greater Christian evangelical movement (and still is, to a certain extent).

[Paul is clear that it is not a sin to marry. Some have this gift, others have the gift of singleness. He merely calls people to think through marriage carefully]

I agree, which is why my values are based squarely in reality, where the ability to determine accuracy is highest.

[again, 1) why are there any values at all and 2) why are yours the right ones? What is the basis of your values?]


Yes, freedom includes risk. The freedom to drive your car includes the risk that you will be hurt or killed in a wreck. The freedom to climb a mountain includes the risk that you will fall to your death. The freedom to eat any food you like includes the risk that you will be fatally allergic to one. The freedom to think for yourself includes the risk that you will be wrong.

But how can we attenuate this risk? Can we avoid it entirely? Yes, of course. Never drive your car. Never climb a mountain. Never eat anything new. Never think for yourself.

Slavery, you see, is the only way to avoid risk. The self-imposed slavery which cripples the intellects and wills of far too many people who think they are safer with Christianity. Sure, they're safe. As safe as a prisoner in a cage is safe from everything including himself.

And we find ourselves back at my first comment of this thread. "in Christianity, slavery is considered to be the highest honor." It is a depraved slave-master indeed that coerces his chattel to turn the locks on their own chains.

[the freedom-risk scenarios you offer don't work. Why risk something that clearly is immoral and that runs counter to nature which is self evident in its design. The problem is a moral one and you know it.]

Best,
glv

 
At 8/01/2006 8:13 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: Science often has the same data, but they fight vigorously over the interpretation of it

But no scientist denies the existence of the data. If you want to dispute the interpretation, by all means do so, but you can't deny the existence of the data.

Glove: This is self-evident by nature and anatomy

Obviously not, otherwise it would not be under dispute.

Glove: this doesn't qualify as a response

It contradicts your statement by way of counterexample, as I did before.

Glove: no problem with the Book. Truth doesn't change

But interpretations do- and have, constantly since the inception of Christianity. What makes you so sure that your interpretation is correct?

Glove: you need to tell me why there are any values at all?

That would be nice, but I'll settle for just the one that is fulfilled by condemning homosexuality.

Glove: Paul is clear that it is not a sin to marry.

I didn't say that he said so- just that Paul's opinion of marriage is much lower than most Christians tend to regard it. He clearly regards it as something to be tolerated, not to be celebrated.

Glove: 1) why are there any values at all and 2) why are yours the right ones? What is the basis of your values?

Values exist because we are moral agents- it is only by forming values that we can have a moral framework, and it is only through fulfilling those values that we can be moral. The standard by which we can know if our values are right or wrong is to examine their relation to the Moral Razor- essentially, the non-coercion principle, or the Symmetry Test. To use coercion against another is to project one's values- and since morality is universal or it is meaningless, coercion consequently nullifies one's moral stance. There is much more about morality in the archives of this blog, I'd suggest looking there for more than I can provide in a comment thread.

Glove: the freedom-risk scenarios you offer don't work.

How so? These are real situations with real risk that one could face in life. I'm afraid you have to offer more that this.

Glove: Why risk something that clearly is immoral and that runs counter to nature which is self evident in its design.

This is not what you have been arguing thus far. You've been arguing that non-Christian sexuality runs the risk of psychological, financial, and medical problems. I'm just trying to keep up with your rhetoric. Remember, you said that "sex between a married man and woman is the only viable alternative with respect to spiritual, emotional, familial, economic, and medical aspects of life." Now you're switching gears and simply calling it "immoral." Well, I'll ask you again, what values are fulfilled by condemning homosexuality as immoral?

 
At 8/01/2006 8:24 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Truth doesn't change"

The single most ignorant epistemic statement uttered so far on this thread.

 
At 8/01/2006 8:43 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Of COURSE there's no problem with the book! That book (which one we talkin' 'bout here?) hasn't changed one BIT, and Christians and Jews and Catholics and Quakers and Mormons and Anabaptists and Protestants have NEVER killed each other over it.

In fact, there was never a Council of Nicea, and there's no such thing as The King James Bible, or the other version of the King James, because they are all identical. You know, people jsut wanted to put their names on different copies. No one was ever killed because of a change to the bible or doctrine. NEVER!!!

BTW, how many wives and slaves do you have? And that cold/I mean, those demons, did you get them taken care of yet? The world is flat, and it's okay to kill people for being infidels.

Truth don't change!

 
At 8/02/2006 9:14 AM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Here are my responses in brackets Zach:

But no scientist denies the existence of the data. If you want to dispute the interpretation, by all means do so, but you can't deny the existence of the data.

Glove: This is self-evident by nature and anatomy

[enough said]

Obviously not, otherwise it would not be under dispute.

[So you would recommend that a homosexual man inject foreign protein into the anus of another man. The anus being only one cell thick and not meant for sexual intercourse to begin with. That would be terrible advice to give Zach.]

Glove: this doesn't qualify as a response

It contradicts your statement by way of counterexample, as I did before.

Glove: no problem with the Book. Truth doesn't change

But interpretations do- and have, constantly since the inception of Christianity. What makes you so sure that your interpretation is correct?

[by applying the tools of sound hermeneutics and exegesis such as Genre analysis, Greek syntax, understanding the immediate and broader context, historical setting and/or authorship, analogia fide, understanding the use of figures of speech, understanding the definitions/meanings of words, interpreting historical narratives by the didactic, and yes, although you reject this, having God's strength and help]

Glove: you need to tell me why there are any values at all?

That would be nice, but I'll settle for just the one that is fulfilled by condemning homosexuality.

[this is no answer]

Glove: Paul is clear that it is not a sin to marry.

I didn't say that he said so- just that Paul's opinion of marriage is much lower than most Christians tend to regard it. He clearly regards it as something to be tolerated, not to be celebrated.

[back to hermenuetics Zach - Paul gives these instructions to the Corinthians who were under extreme persecution at the time. If one is at near-term risk of being murdered, one may want to re-think near term marriage plans. Context, context, context. You don't understand the context. See 1 Corinthians 7:26 and it should be clear to you]

Glove: 1) why are there any values at all and 2) why are yours the right ones? What is the basis of your values?

Values exist because we are moral agents- it is only by forming values that we can have a moral framework, and it is only through fulfilling those values that we can be moral. The standard by which we can know if our values are right or wrong is to examine their relation to the Moral Razor- essentially, the non-coercion principle, or the Symmetry Test. To use coercion against another is to project one's values- and since morality is universal or it is meaningless, coercion consequently nullifies one's moral stance. There is much more about morality in the archives of this blog, I'd suggest looking there for more than I can provide in a comment thread.

[Basically you have answered with various principles and tests. But you have to tell me where these come from? "it is only by formiing values that we can have a moral framework..."? How would one form these values without prior VALUES in order to know which ones "formed" are good or not? Some framework would have to already be in place Zach. The answer is, it is written on man's conscience right from the get go. You say "and since morality is universal or it is meaningless...", Yet Zach, without first principles that are absolute and immutable, you might as well opt for meaninglessness, but that opens up a whole other can of worms doesn't it...it is not livable and you recognize that.]

Glove: the freedom-risk scenarios you offer don't work.

How so? These are real situations with real risk that one could face in life. I'm afraid you have to offer more that this.

[I have legs that can climb a mountain, mouth, teeth, and stomach for food processing... thinking...transportation and thankfully so...These are not analagous to two men having sexual "intercourse", however.]

Glove: Why risk something that clearly is immoral and that runs counter to nature which is self evident in its design.

This is not what you have been arguing thus far. You've been arguing that non-Christian sexuality runs the risk of psychological, financial, and medical problems. I'm just trying to keep up with your rhetoric. Remember, you said that "sex between a married man and woman is the only viable alternative with respect to spiritual, emotional, familial, economic, and medical aspects of life." Now you're switching gears and simply calling it "immoral." Well, I'll ask you again, what values are fulfilled by condemning homosexuality as immoral?

[God's values. He didn't design man and man to have sex with each other, injecting foreign protein into the rectum. There are consequences to your ideas. Can you really blame monogomous Christians for the spread of STD's via promiscuous sex with multiple partners?]

Best,
glv

 
At 8/02/2006 12:54 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: So you would recommend that a homosexual man inject foreign protein into the anus of another man.

It belies your ignornace of homosexuality to equate it with anal sex. Anal sex is participated in by roughly the same number of heterosexuals as homosexuals. I might, if asked, "recommend" that a condom should be used, but that decision is up to the individual, since we all have ownership of our bodies. This is rejected by Christianity, which places our bodies in thrall to the whims of God.

Glove: by applying the tools of sound hermeneutics...

Which are also used by other Christians to arrive at vastly different conclusions. This doesn't help you.

Glove: Paul gives these instructions to the Corinthians who were under extreme persecution at the time.

Oh, please. Read on in verses 32-35. Paul is saying that marriage distracts people from giving their full attention to God, and since he fully expects the end of the world, he's encouraging people to drop any distractions. Since the end of the world didn't happen, obviously Paul was wrong, or he was speaking generally. You can't have both.

Glove: Basically you have answered with various principles and tests. But you have to tell me where these come from?

Values come from ourselves. We are moral agents. We recognize values based on the facts of reality.

Glove: Some framework would have to already be in place Zach. The answer is, it is written on man's conscience right from the get go.

The Moral Razor is likely instinctive, as we have seen similar traits in other primates.

Glove: Yet Zach, without first principles that are absolute and immutable, you might as well opt for meaninglessness, but that opens up a whole other can of worms doesn't it...it is not livable and you recognize that.

You're speaking of moral relativism, I take it? Franc has already made the position of GTA very clear about that issue.

I have legs that can climb a mountain, mouth, teeth, and stomach for food processing... thinking...transportation and thankfully so...These are not analagous to two men having sexual "intercourse", however.

My point is that each of those activities involves some kind of risk. Sexual intercourse of any kind carries risk- even married, heterosexual, procreative sex. Freedom is the recognition and acceptance of risk on the (hopefully, greater) chance at happiness.

Glove: God's values.

And what specific value of God's is being fulfilled? Just the fact that he commands against it? So your value doesn't really have anything to do with homosexuality at all- just that you have to do what your Master tells you to do, no matter what you think? And you still don't see how you're a slave?

Glove: He didn't design man and man to have sex with each other, injecting foreign protein into the rectum.

Funny how he made the equipment so compatible, then. I mean, if God really could have designed us any way he wanted, then he could have designed us without assholes. No assholes, no anal sex. And why'd he put the prostate gland right there? Must have been a slip for him to put a highly sensitive, highly pleasurable gland right where it could be stimulated.

Glove: There are consequences to your ideas.

I certainly hope so. I hope that you can see how restrictive Christianity is of personal freedom, without any value fulfillment beyond pleasing the slave-master.

Glove: Can you really blame monogomous Christians for the spread of STD's via promiscuous sex with multiple partners?

Certainly not. But I can point to the influence of Christianity on the culture at large which influences in no small way the actions of those minorities which are rejected and repressed by those following a slave-mentality.

 
At 8/02/2006 3:01 PM, Blogger Faith declaimed...

The notion that AIDS is exacerbated by Christianity if founded mainly the the Catholic (not Protestant) view opposing contraception and pre-marital and extra-marital sex. Of course, reality says that Catholics are on to something - Catholic Philipines has a substantially better track record than Thailand even though they both experienced their first AIDS cases at about the same time and both experienced the same initial rate of increase before taking action - Thailand chose "condoms" - oops - now they are over a hundred times worse off than their Philipino counterparts.

Then we have subsaharan Africa - the worst AIDS crisis on Earth. Once again, we have fools passing out condoms and condemning those crazy Catholics and other Christians who are preaching self-control - yet, in one program that is encouraging young women to take control of their bodies and to be able to say no to male suiters (sometimes agressors) and teaching young men to accept their refusals - has produced a 61% reduction in unplanned pregnancies (and this will also impact on all other related risks - including AIDS). Freedom demands responsibility, otherwise it is just a different kind of slavery.

I recall a BBC newstory a few years back that condemned the Church's refusal to advocate condoms in Africa, and they actually cited an event where a father was sexually abusing his two teenage daughters. The BBC thought the father should have been allowed to use condoms to protect his victim daughters from the risk of pregnancy and disease. The nasty, out-of-touch, freedom-hating Church just wanted to spoil daddy's fun by restricting his freedom to f*** his daughters and teaching him to respect the dignity of all persons, including his own daughters. Of course, the Church also recognised that, without education on personal restraint, the father was not interested in protecting his daughters from anything, including himself.

 
At 8/02/2006 4:22 PM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Latest response in brackets:

Glove: So you would recommend that a homosexual man inject foreign protein into the anus of another man.

It belies your ignornace of homosexuality to equate it with anal sex. Anal sex is participated in by roughly the same number of heterosexuals as homosexuals. I might, if asked, "recommend" that a condom should be used, but that decision is up to the individual, since we all have ownership of our bodies. This is rejected by Christianity, which places our bodies in thrall to the whims of God.

["Anal sex is participated in by roughly the same number of heterosexuals as homosexuals." What? How do you know this? So you are saying that the rectum is designed not only for anal sex, but also waste evacuation? That is nonsense Zach.]


Glove: by applying the tools of sound hermeneutics...

Which are also used by other Christians to arrive at vastly different conclusions. This doesn't help you.

[Not so. We are finite creatures so there will not be full agreement everytime. But on essential doctrine, there is agreement by authentic Christians. Again, many claim the label "Christian" who deny essential truths of the faith]

Glove: Paul gives these instructions to the Corinthians who were under extreme persecution at the time.

Oh, please. Read on in verses 32-35. Paul is saying that marriage distracts people from giving their full attention to God, and since he fully expects the end of the world, he's encouraging people to drop any distractions. Since the end of the world didn't happen, obviously Paul was wrong, or he was speaking generally. You can't have both.

[yes, some of what you are saying is accurate but I think you are missing the whole picture here. Remember context, context, context is required to understand any literature. In a previous blog I explained that Paul says one has this gift, and another has a different gift (see 1 Cor. 7:7). Please see verse 17, 35 "not to lay any restraint upon you", 36, 38 etc. Clearly Zach, in context, there is much distress surrounding the Corinthian church (lots of problems in this church too) along with the individual's need in seeking the Lord's will for themselves, being sober as to their gifts and calling in the context of the time that they lived. Certainly, if one can remain celibate, Paul is saying don't marry and serve the Lord even more diligently which is better, if one desires a wife, then the next option is to go ahead and marry and do so with a clean conscience. There is no sin either way. One does not preclude the other, one is just better than the other. Interestingly, Clement writing in the 1st Century was still dealing with problems in this church yet you must admit the early church was under a great deal of duress from the get go. They weren't always thinking straight either. However, Paul under inspiration got it right in his epistles. Lastly, these writings can be understood if interpreted properly].

Glove: Basically you have answered with various principles and tests. But you have to tell me where these come from?

Values come from ourselves. We are moral agents. We recognize values based on the facts of reality.

[We cannot know a good value from a bad one unless there is a fixed standard by which to know them. Are you saying your "facts of reality" are that fixed standard? So what are these so called "facts of reality" and what is their source and is that source objective? Values coming from ourselves is a subjective answer that is grounded on nothing. To borrow the phrase, your answers are like feet firmly planted in mid-air].

Glove: Some framework would have to already be in place Zach. The answer is, it is written on man's conscience right from the get go.

The Moral Razor is likely instinctive, as we have seen similar traits in other primates.

[so man is nothing but a highly developed primate? What is the source and make-up of the instinctive apparatus? Are you an evolutionist? I hope not, for it is a trade secret among evolutionist's that the emperor has no clothes.]

Glove: Yet Zach, without first principles that are absolute and immutable, you might as well opt for meaninglessness, but that opens up a whole other can of worms doesn't it...it is not livable and you recognize that.

You're speaking of moral relativism, I take it? Franc has already made the position of GTA very clear about that issue.

[well, can you please describe this position to me and how it was derived? Please do not tell me that the GTA position was derived without underlying first principles. If you say it was built on first principles, then tell me where these first principles come from for that is the ultimate question I am asking here.]

I have legs that can climb a mountain, mouth, teeth, and stomach for food processing... thinking...transportation and thankfully so...These are not analagous to two men having sexual "intercourse", however.

My point is that each of those activities involves some kind of risk. Sexual intercourse of any kind carries risk- even married, heterosexual, procreative sex. Freedom is the recognition and acceptance of risk on the (hopefully, greater) chance at happiness.

[yes, but some actions are just plain ridiculous to risk especially when these actions violate the plain design of things. No man should risk anal sex, because the anus and rectum are not built for this activity. This is self-evident by clear anatomical design.]

Glove: God's values.

And what specific value of God's is being fulfilled? Just the fact that he commands against it? So your value doesn't really have anything to do with homosexuality at all- just that you have to do what your Master tells you to do, no matter what you think? And you still don't see how you're a slave?

[God is infinite in His wisdom Zach. Homosexuality was not His design. Are you going to tell a Master engineer that you don't care that the car he designed runs on gas, you are going to try and run it with kerosene? These things are self-evident Zach.]

Glove: He didn't design man and man to have sex with each other, injecting foreign protein into the rectum.

Funny how he made the equipment so compatible, then. I mean, if God really could have designed us any way he wanted, then he could have designed us without assholes. No assholes, no anal sex. And why'd he put the prostate gland right there? Must have been a slip for him to put a highly sensitive, highly pleasurable gland right where it could be stimulated.

[It is very practical to have a port designed for the evacuation of bodily wastes. God designed it for exit, not entrance with constant back and forth motion. The human body is a tremendous design with many examples of constrained optimization that only a Master engineer could conceive.]

Glove: There are consequences to your ideas.

I certainly hope so. I hope that you can see how restrictive Christianity is of personal freedom, without any value fulfillment beyond pleasing the slave-master.

[It is the truth that sets free, not false constructs and rationalizations. Christ brings liberty to the soul.]

Glove: Can you really blame monogomous Christians for the spread of STD's via promiscuous sex with multiple partners?

Certainly not. But I can point to the influence of Christianity on the culture at large which influences in no small way the actions of those minorities which are rejected and repressed by those following a slave-mentality.

[Your premise is false. At a minimum, you paint with too broad a brush when you use the term "Christianity". I can think of the following categories you should consider: 1) True Christians in step with Truth, 2) True Christians that are young or maybe just screwed up at any given time in their thinking and actions 3) False converts that have a said faith not a real faith. They profess but don't possess true faith. The bible warns about them as "wolves in sheeps clothing", "the wheat and the tares" which further validates the veracity of Scripture". Ultimately, don't primarily look at my or anybody's life, look at Christ's life and character. We are finite, needy, and make many mistakes along the way. He is infinite and trustworthy.

Again, the truth sets free.]

Best,
glv

 
At 8/02/2006 5:43 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Faith: Freedom demands responsibility, otherwise it is just a different kind of slavery.

Freedom is slavery? I also suppose war is peace and ignorance is strength?

 
At 8/02/2006 6:43 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: So you are saying that the rectum is designed not only for anal sex, but also waste evacuation? That is nonsense Zach.

I'm not arguing that any anatomical structure was "designed" at all. I'm saying that some anatomical structures have primary and secondary uses, some of which include sexual interaction. Do you really think that a tongue is only useful for licking an ice cream cone?

Glove: We are finite creatures so there will not be full agreement everytime. But on essential doctrine, there is agreement by authentic Christians.

Who determines which doctrines are essential? You? You're begging the question of your own interpretation.

Glove: Certainly, if one can remain celibate, Paul is saying don't marry and serve the Lord even more diligently which is better, if one desires a wife, then the next option is to go ahead and marry and do so with a clean conscience. There is no sin either way. One does not preclude the other, one is just better than the other.

This was exactly my point. Marriage, in the Christian worldview, should be tolerated, not celebrated.

Glove: We cannot know a good value from a bad one unless there is a fixed standard by which to know them. Are you saying your "facts of reality" are that fixed standard?

It's the Moral Razor.

Glove: So what are these so called "facts of reality" and what is their source and is that source objective?

They're based on reality. Reality is objective to ourselves.

Glove: so man is nothing but a highly developed primate?

What does "nothing but" have to do with it? Of course we are primates, the evidence is clear.

Glove: What is the source and make-up of the instinctive apparatus?

The brain, which is made up of neurons.

Glove: Are you an evolutionist?

Nice to meet you.

Glove: it is a trade secret among evolutionist's that the emperor has no clothes.

Apparently I never received the memo.

Glove: well, can you please describe this position to me and how it was derived?

There is a collection of blog entries here.

Glove: yes, but some actions are just plain ridiculous to risk especially when these actions violate the plain design of things.

The "ridiculousness" of any particular risk is up to the freedom of the individual. I think that skydivers take ridiculous risks, but I wouldn't condemn them for doing something the human body wasn't designed to do.

Glove: God is infinite in His wisdom Zach. Homosexuality was not His design.

Why not? Was it an arbitrary decision, or is there some underlying value that God recognized when he commanded against it?

Glove: It is very practical to have a port designed for the evacuation of bodily wastes. Clearly, but it's also very practical to have secondary sexual functionality, especially in a species which reproduces sexually. Female breasts, for example, are larger than those of other primates because they play a secondary role in sexuality.

Glove: The human body is a tremendous design with many examples of constrained optimization that only a Master engineer could conceive.

And many examples of poor design, including the retina, the appendix, and the prostate.

Glove: It is the truth that sets free, not false constructs and rationalizations.

Which is exactly the reason why I am no longer a Christian.

Glove: Your premise is false. At a minimum, you paint with too broad a brush when you use the term "Christianity".

And are you the final arbiter of True Christianity?

Glove: Ultimately, don't primarily look at my or anybody's life, look at Christ's life and character.

I have, and I find him immoral. Otherwise, I would be a Christian.

 
At 8/03/2006 8:00 AM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Responses in brackets:

Glove: So you are saying that the rectum is designed not only for anal sex, but also waste evacuation? That is nonsense Zach.

I'm not arguing that any anatomical structure was "designed" at all. I'm saying that some anatomical structures have primary and secondary uses, some of which include sexual interaction. Do you really think that a tongue is only useful for licking an ice cream cone?

[So maybe some homosexuals can use the ear canal next for pinky finger sex? It seems your view of anatomy is quite arbitrary.]

Glove: We are finite creatures so there will not be full agreement everytime. But on essential doctrine, there is agreement by authentic Christians.

Who determines which doctrines are essential? You? You're begging the question of your own interpretation.

[No I'm not. The Bible determines essential doctrine. It also indicates there are certain disputable matters of conscience (see Romans 14), others are essential]

Glove: Certainly, if one can remain celibate, Paul is saying don't marry and serve the Lord even more diligently which is better, if one desires a wife, then the next option is to go ahead and marry and do so with a clean conscience. There is no sin either way. One does not preclude the other, one is just better than the other.

This was exactly my point. Marriage, in the Christian worldview, should be tolerated, not celebrated.

[That is perhaps an overly pessimistic way of looking at it. One can celebrate marriage and another can celebrate single service to Christ even more if that is the gift given.]

Glove: We cannot know a good value from a bad one unless there is a fixed standard by which to know them. Are you saying your "facts of reality" are that fixed standard?

It's the Moral Razor.

[okay, the moral razor says certain values are asymmetrical and therefore invalid. Zach, how do you account for the prior principle of equality? Equality certainly entails logic does it not? (1=1) Was this logic invented or discovered? If you say invented, it would take logic to invent logic, which is absurd. If you agree with me that it was discovered/realized by mankind, then it absolutely must have existed apriori. Logic as an immaterial, abstract can only exist in mind. If apriori, and given the mutability/finitude of man (we haven't always been here right?), then whose mind did it exist in? Only one possibility Zach. A Divine, immutable and eternal mind. God is the Prime Reality, Christ is the Logos (the buck stops here) and the only answer for our ability to realize anything. There is no other account you can give for logic, which is immaterial and abstract, and I say it again, can only exist in mind. The laws of logic cannot be accounted for by evolutionary processes, and further they underlie the "moral razor" (even though overall it is an invalid principle) and therefore must be accounted for. God is the answer.]

Glove: So what are these so called "facts of reality" and what is their source and is that source objective?

They're based on reality. Reality is objective to ourselves.

[This doesn't really say anything Zach. Again, the answer is outside ourselves...God.]

Glove: so man is nothing but a highly developed primate?

What does "nothing but" have to do with it? Of course we are primates, the evidence is clear.

[I am merely referring to the ridiculous notion that we came from monkeys]

Glove: What is the source and make-up of the instinctive apparatus?

The brain, which is made up of neurons.

[A purely materialistic answer does not answer life's ultimate questions as I've already demonstrated. Again, the laws of logic are not physical in nature yet they most certainly underlie the vast complexity and design of the brain.]

Glove: Are you an evolutionist?

Nice to meet you.

Glove: it is a trade secret among evolutionist's that the emperor has no clothes.

Apparently I never received the memo.

[Zach, have you every tried to account for the vast improbability of getting all left handed aminos that make-up a basic protein molecule, let alone the types of aminos arranged in the right sequence? How do you account for the language convention within DNA? Without the software Zach, the hardware don't work. Are you going to try an account for the software by evolution-randomness?]

Glove: well, can you please describe this position to me and how it was derived?

There is a collection of blog entries here.

[You'll have to explain to me the source of the laws of logic that underlie every blog in existence. First principles Zach.]

Glove: yes, but some actions are just plain ridiculous to risk especially when these actions violate the plain design of things.

The "ridiculousness" of any particular risk is up to the freedom of the individual. I think that skydivers take ridiculous risks, but I wouldn't condemn them for doing something the human body wasn't designed to do.

[It seems like we could argue this ad nauseum ad infinitum and get nowhere. But I will try once more. First of all, there is a spiritual dimension implicit in the act of homosexuality that does not exist in skydiving Zach. God says it is wrong because He designed sex to be within marriage. Let's see where your analogy takes us. If everyone in the world risked skydiving regularly, went home to their wife in the evening and had babies, the earth would still be replenished and we would have new generations of skydivers. However, if everyone in the world risked homosexual sex (with 0 heterosexual sex taking place and 0 babies), then the world would have no new generations of homosexuals and mankind would become extinct within the lifetime of the existing generation (who got here by heterosexual sex mind you-sperm and egg). Your analogy is absurd. Homosexuality is not viable because it is not according to design. It is not reproductive, but is destructive (STD's).

Glove: God is infinite in His wisdom Zach. Homosexuality was not His design.

Why not? Was it an arbitrary decision, or is there some underlying value that God recognized when he commanded against it?

[Homosexuality runs contrary to His design. Neither His designs nor values are arbitrary.]

Glove: It is very practical to have a port designed for the evacuation of bodily wastes. Clearly, but it's also very practical to have secondary sexual functionality, especially in a species which reproduces sexually. Female breasts, for example, are larger than those of other primates because they play a secondary role in sexuality.

Glove: The human body is a tremendous design with many examples of constrained optimization that only a Master engineer could conceive.

And many examples of poor design, including the retina, the appendix, and the prostate.

[Take a look at these articles for starters: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/RE2/chapter7.asp http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i1/appendix.asp ]

Glove: It is the truth that sets free, not false constructs and rationalizations.

Which is exactly the reason why I am no longer a Christian.

[Well, I'm sorry to hear that. I really am.]

Glove: Your premise is false. At a minimum, you paint with too broad a brush when you use the term "Christianity".

And are you the final arbiter of True Christianity?

[No, I am not the final arbiter. Christ is.]

Glove: Ultimately, don't primarily look at my or anybody's life, look at Christ's life and character.

I have, and I find him immoral. Otherwise, I would be a Christian.

[I find that sad too. You can only find rest in Him Zach. He sacrificed Himself for the lost, he knows our pain and brokenness and took it upon Himself. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. ---John 15:13 The answers are not found within ourselves, it is found outside ourselves, in Christ.]

Regards,
glv

 
At 8/03/2006 8:08 AM, Blogger Glove declaimed...

Here's the articles again. They got chopped off the last entry:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home
/area/RE2/chapter7.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation
/v20/i1/appendix.asp

 
At 8/03/2006 8:44 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Glove: So maybe some homosexuals can use the ear canal next for pinky finger sex?

You obviously aren't familiar with the wide distribution of erogenous zones throughout the body. Zones which, I'll reiterate again, are utilized by both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

Glove: The Bible determines essential doctrine.

This severely begs the question.

Glove: That is perhaps an overly pessimistic way of looking at it.

This is how Paul looks at it.

Glove: Was this logic invented or discovered?

Logic is not a thing, it is a process by which we determine the truth of statements. This process is both invented and discovered, in that humans recognize this process as intrinsically dependent on reality, and certain rules are codified to assist with a more formalized application of this process. We don't need to accept the existence of a deity to explain the logical process, and in fact Dawson Bethrick has demonstrated quite clearly that the acceptance of a deity condemns one to an illogical worldview which he calls the "Cartoon Universe."

Glove: A purely materialistic answer does not answer life's ultimate questions as I've already demonstrated.

Of course it does, because immateriality is completely incoherent.

Glove: Zach, have you every tried to account for the vast improbability of getting all left handed aminos that make-up a basic protein molecule, let alone the types of aminos arranged in the right sequence?

Yes, and it turns out that the odds are much better that protein sequences have evolved than that each one was created individually. Much, much better.

Glove: How do you account for the language convention within DNA?

DNA is not language, any more than a footprint is language.

Glove: You'll have to explain to me the source of the laws of logic that underlie every blog in existence.

Reality. I've said it already.

Glove: Your analogy is absurd. Homosexuality is not viable because it is not according to design. It is not reproductive, but is destructive

It is your strawman of my analogy that is absurd. I never said that the risk was of everyone becoming homosexual. And in fact, there is evidence to suggest that homosexuality actually assists in reproduction. Family studies have shown that families with a high frequency of male homosexuals also have women with higher fecundity than women from families without male homosexuals. Aside from confirming a genetic basis for homosexuality, this suggests that whatever genes promote homosexuality also promote high fecundity (or vice versa).

Glove: Homosexuality runs contrary to His design. Neither His designs nor values are arbitrary.

This is a non-answer. If his design was not arbitrary, then what is the value that he fulfilled by condemning homosexuals?

Take a look at these articles for starters

I have, and they are incorrect. These are clear examples of sub-optimal "design," but are perfectly consistent with evolution.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that. I really am.

Don't be. I'm actually much happier, confident of my place in life, and fulfilled because of my apostasy. It's really one of the best things that I've done.

Glove: No, I am not the final arbiter. Christ is.

This also severely begs the question. And since Christ isn't here to tell you which people are True Christians, why are you so confident in condemning them?

Glove: I find that sad too. You can only find rest in Him Zach. He sacrificed Himself for the lost, he knows our pain and brokenness and took it upon Himself.

You certainly should find it sad that Christ is immoral. You've clearly invested a lot of time and effort into a system which is based on this immorality. The very sacrifice which you reference is the height of this moral depravity- such an act is neither merciful nor just. We should join together to reject systems of belief which celebrate blood sacrifice as the only way to please the deity and deflect his wrath. We are moral agents, not slaves. We make moral judgments all the time- why are you so hesitant to use that to appraise the Christian god?

 
At 7/08/2007 6:30 AM, Blogger Roberta declaimed...

I am very glad you asked these questions, as the Holy Spirit of Jesis is typing through my hands right now.

Christian values are things like not smoking, not drinking and spreading Jesis to minorities. They are based on FACT, from the Bible. They are relevant to today's world because Jesis kills people who don't believe! Heart disease is Jesis's #1 way of killing unbelievers. It's because their hearts are black with unbelief.

Blessings,
Roberta Shugs

 
At 2/04/2008 11:04 AM, Blogger Mary Francis declaimed...

I am afraid the word 'Christian' has gotten a bad name by humans who do not follow the life of Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace. My heart is saddened by the violent language with which you are judging and slaying the human virtues which the best minds and hearts of humankind have agreed make us all better people and bring us peace and happiness. I have no need to argue with your intellectual rationalization for holding tightly to your anti-Christian sentiments...but I do feel the need to speak up for the God of Love who sent the Prince of Peace to teach us how to be true to the Love that created us. I agree that there are many who call themselves Christians who do not practice according to this truth, and that is a great sadness to me as well...to have Truth misrepresented grieves me greatly. In any case, warring hearts will find no peace, no matter their religious or philosophical convictions. Peace be with you.

 
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