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Friday, November 7, 2008

Child Abuse?

Jean thinks her 4 year old daughter is a wretched sinner.

I thought her post on slavery was outrageous but this one takes the cake.

She says:
Sometimes during the day or before bed, she always asks me if she has been good, and I always try to be as honest as I can with her, and I will tell her what she has done wrong if I can remember. If she has been better than usual I will praise her and tell her. I have never said to her she has been a perfect little girl who has done nothing wrong all day, If I say that to her then I am a liar and I will be doing her more harm than good. I do not believe in teaching children self esteem or that they should feel good about themselves, because they should not.


Yes my four year old daughter told me that the only person who would ever help her to be a good girl was Jesus Christ, because she could not do it on her own. I have never told her this. I would have thought this is too deep for a four year old to understand. That she was a sinner, she could not control her sinful nature. She wanted to be good but she could not, instead she did things that where wrong no matter how she tried to be good. Her theology is far deeper than that of many preachers today. I mean she gets it.

(my bold)

I was so amazed by God's power that I wanted to cry. I have never shared this with her, so how did she know? It can only be the work of the Holy Spirit. For a little girl to know that she can not be good on her own, that there is only one who can help her, that is Jesus is beyond my comprehension. When she said that all I said to her was that she was right. I did not say anything more as I was in shock and I did not want to ruin what the Lord was doing in her heart.


I posted on it on my blog

Shocking, unbelievable. And she has comments from people saying how inspiring that is.

Is it just me?

135 comments:

  1. She said,
    "She is a wretched little girl, who knows she is a wretched sinner who needs only a good saviour to help her."

    I am speechless. This kid doesn't stand a chance of growing up emotionally stable.

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  2. It's bullshit.

    At four years old, I'm reasonably confident that the kid has other influences than just her.

    Some things that come to mind are the child care that the kid attends while she is worshipping, the lyrics from the Christian music she probably listens to, the Veggie Tale stories she probably lets the youngster watch instead of the evils of television, and comments and discussions from other adults while her child is listening.

    No "holy spirit" here, just wishful thinking.

    I don't agree that it is child abuse, but I would imagine that there is more than a fair bit of indoctrination going on.

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  3. "I do not believe in teaching children self esteem or that they should feel good about themselves, because they should not."

    That poor little girl!

    Benjamin Franklin & Froggie
    You guys pretty much already said what I was thinking on the subject!

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  4. I don't know Ben. I think that it is kind of abusive to force all that crap on kids. I have tow of my own and they are just now starting to think about things like the lack of evidence for God, etc.

    I work at a school and it amazes me how much bullshit parents force feed their kids. On Tuesday there was a prayer circle around the flag in front of our school where they prayed for a McCain victory. One of them told me that Obama was going to take all the money and give everyone 30k.

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  5. And religion claims yet another innocent victim.

    The real tragedy is that in the fullness of time, Jean's daughter will dutifully pass this disease on to her own children, just like a child of an abusive parent often grown up to be abusive themselves.

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  6. Ben, what exactly would you call the psychological damage being done to this helpless child, if not child abuse?

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  7. Wow, atheists have such a wierd concept of child abuse. Raising them to grow up in a religion and recognise the fallen state of human nature and that they do need a savior ( Which has been proven to reduce crime and immorality btw http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/religion_as_child_abuse.html)
    is a form of child abuse. But pumping their head full of humanism is A-Ok.
    The double standard bothers me.

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  8. I find it eartening that a child can realise their sinful nature and realise their needs. Some adults can't take that step today

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  9. MFT - reading skills problems?

    "I do not believe in teaching children self esteem or that they should feel good about themselves, because they should not."

    "Sometimes during the day or before bed, she always asks me if she has been good"

    my bold.

    If you go to her blog you will read that she describes it as "a daily battle"
    We have here a 4 your old who is worried, every day, about sin. And who, every day, looks to her mother for reassurance and support, and instead gets a list of the things she has done wrong.

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  10. MFT,
    " MrFreeThinker said...
    I find it heartening that a child can realise their sinful nature and realise their needs. Some adults can't take that step today."

    You are talking about a four year old little girl who is being taught that she is a worthless piece of shit, you worthless piece of shit.

    That is the very problem with fundamentalists. They have no understanding of sociology and environmental effects on children.

    You wonder why we refer to fundamentalists as ignorant bastards. It is because you are ignorant. Fundamentalists are completely two dimensional. Your belief system is like doing geometry without a thrd dimension.

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  11. MFT,
    I suppose you beat your kids too.

    If you do, shame on you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm (nearly) speechless,

    That little girl is such an evil little wretch! I bet she cries sometimes. Like if she falls over and grazes her knee. And then her poor, virtuous mother might have to pause in her housework to come and get her to shut up so that she can continue doing the dishes in peace. What torment!
    What kind of devil-spawn of a child would be so cruel. The seed of the anti-Christ couldn't have produced a more vile, insidious, malevolent and treacherous toddler.
    How Jean copes with a daughter who practically has no soul - so eaten up with sin as it is - I don't know.

    Of course, she believes that a Jew was executed 2,000 years ago, so that makes it all ok.

    /snark

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  13. Froggie said to MrFreeThinker:

    You are talking about a four year old little girl who is being taught that she is a worthless piece of shit, you worthless piece of shit.

    I couldn't have said it better.

    Fundies, if you want to scourge yourselves, knock yourselves out, but your kids deserve better.

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  14. Jean tries to suggest that her daughters ideas came to her through the Holy Spirit.
    I call bullshit. There is no way to escape the fact that this kid is totally immersed in this craziness. She is constantly hearing this and you can get a kid to believe anything for life if condition them by the age of five years old.

    Some do escape early conditioning, but it usually takes a heroic effort, as some of you know.

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  15. I had an 8th grade teacher way back when who told me this bit about growing up with Christian parents. He said that every time he fell down or hurt himself in some way, his parents would always tell him, "Jesus punishes."

    Jean and her ilk are evil, vile people.

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  16. Comparing this to the increasingly frequent de-converts's stories publicized on the web, there's a good chance the kid will grow up in fear and suffering, probably with bed-wetting and sleepless nights. This may well go on into adulthood, cause severe problems in her relationships, depression, possibly drug abuse and criminal behavior, and lead her to an abusive husband.
    If she can break out of it, she will loathe her mother for the rest of her life, knowing how her childhood has been ruined on purpose.
    Or she will never be able to cope and continue the abuse to further generations. The only difference to terrorism is that minds get destroyed instead of bodies, and that the target is the own family.

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  17. From Wikipedia;
    "Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal human qualities, particularly rationality."

    Mr MFT said
    "But pumping their head full of humanism is A-Ok."

    Yea that would be terrible...moron.

    Pete

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  18. Holy crap.

    Yes, that's child abuse.


    If I recall correctly, Jesus Christ was quite fond of pointing at the little children and saying "The Kingdom of Heaven looks a lot like this."

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  19. For those readers from the UK, please consider contacting family counseling or youth protection services to monitor the situation. Provide Jean's blog entry.

    Children become naturally unruly at a certain age - and I seriously fear violent repercussions against the children. Should the children display pathological symptoms of mental abuse already (bed-wetting, trembling for no apparent reason, sudden attacks of crying, conniptions) it's high time they be saved from this malicious upbringing.

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  20. Tripmaster monkey-

    This is what I am using for my definition of child abuse.

    http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=8452

    Now, this should in no way suggest that I approve of Jean's actions, but I do think it falls short of the definition I use for abuse.

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  21. ben that link gives:
    "Emotional abuse is the third most frequently reported form of child abuse and includes acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that could cause serious behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders. For example, the parents/caregivers may use extreme or bizarre forms of punishment, such as confinement of a child in a dark closet. Emotional child abuse is also sometimes termed psychological child abuse, verbal child abuse, or mental injury of a child."

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. I absolutely deplore people that think kids are acaled down adults.

    People like that cheat the kids out of childhood and produce all kinds of problems such as the ones Alex mentioned.

    People that do not allow thir kids to go through there childhoods produce a lot of neurotic teenagers who become neurotic adults.

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  24. I find the theology behind that action flawed.

    It assumes original sin. St. Augustine was wrong about original sin, and had to make a couple of assumptions that he didn't have room to make in order to hold that theology.

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  25. @Pete
    Yea I now, the only worse thing than teaching your children there are no ethics is teaching them arbitrarily stipulated ones.It makes my stomach turn.

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  26. @MrFT
    Let's get something straight. If you have a problem with the definition of humanism I provided but don't have a problem with the way this mental midget treated her 4 year old then you are a disgrace to our species. Period.

    Pete

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  27. mft,
    arbitrarily stipulated ethics are the only kind that exists. There are ethics that are justified better than others. There are no ethics hovering over humaniuty waiting to be picked up. Ethics come from an internalization of consensual purpose and ideals. Perfect ethics independant of human minds considering them have never existed.

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  28. @Froggie
    She is not taught to be worthless but made to realise she is a sinner. A little reality is good to teach your children- even if it is a bit harsh.


    "People that do not allow thir kids to go through there childhoods produce a lot of neurotic teenagers who become neurotic adults."
    And these "neurotic teenagers" are the ones that are less likely to use drug and get drunk and are more likely to do volunteer work and exercise.
    Figures!!.Those darn fundies and their indoctination.

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  29. That poor girl. I am inclined to agree that that's child-abuse. Sorry Ben; I don't know if you grew up in a religious family, much less a fundie one, but there's a lot more suffering bound up in the world-view being forced on this girl than you probably know.

    I haven't been able to believe in Christianity (the faith I was raised in) for years, even as young as early adolescence, but I was taught its tenets so young I seem to be psychologically wired up to think I'm eventually going to pay for that. It's the most awful stalemate; I cannot buy what religion is selling, and at the same time I cannot seem to stop being afraid somewhere in the back of my mind that one day I'll roast for that. If this little girl is even remotely curious or inclined toward scientific curiosity she's going to have a very difficult time sorting what she believes later on.

    It's slightly embarrassing to admit such unreasonable fears, but I'm doing it here to give you some idea of what Jean's daughter may be looking forward to. It sucks, and apparently this kind of thinking is reasonably common among young people who break away from fundamentalist religion after being indoctrinated as a child. Children cannot choose what they believe so young, they accept their parents beliefs indiscriminately, right or wrong, and to unlearn the wrong bits later is no small or pleasant task.

    (Sorry to get so personal.)

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  30. Froggie said,


    I am speechless. This kid doesn't stand a chance of growing up emotionally stable.


    She stands a chance; it just won't be fun.

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  31. mft, thanks for the link

    godandscience.org pure gold.

    Look! They tell us what kind of christianity is NOT christianity.

    That's very scientific isn't it?

    Look! They tell us about end time prophesy.

    We're just chock-full of scientific fact today!

    Look! They tell us about Christian theology, the Trinity, and whether God is male. How much more science can we take?

    Look! The Holy Spirit made sure we would have an accurate copy of God's word so we would not be deceived.

    Stop wearing robes all you priests and pastors and put on a lab coat. You guys are proper scientists.

    Oh yes.

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  32. "Stop wearing robes all you priests and pastors and put on a lab coat. You guys are proper scientists."

    You guys should read their posts on how the bible supports evolution and they refute people like Answers in Genesis. they have some interesting stuff on modern cosmology too.Everyone should know this stuff.

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  33. Ben,

    From the link you provided:

    Emotional abuse is the third most frequently reported form of child abuse and includes acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that could cause serious behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders. For example, the parents/caregivers may use extreme or bizarre forms of punishment, such as confinement of a child in a dark closet. Emotional child abuse is also sometimes termed psychological child abuse, verbal child abuse, or mental injury of a child.

    Jean's behavior in this situation qualifies easily.

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  34. "Jean's behavior in this situation qualifies easily."
    Being honest and telling the hild that she has not been perfect dpes not constitute that

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  35. MrFreeThinker sez:

    Being honest and telling the hild that she has not been perfect dpes not constitute that

    Nice attempt at distortion. Let's look at Jean's actual words again, shall we?

    "I do not believe in teaching children self esteem or that they should feel good about themselves, because they should not."

    "She is a wretched little girl, who knows she is a wretched sinner who needs only a good saviour to help her."


    This is not telling the child that "she has not been perfect". This is emotional abuse.

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  36. "Nice attempt at distortion. Let's look at Jean's actual words again, shall we?"
    Again you shouldn't feel good if you have sinned.
    And if you read , she didn't say that "wretched" to the little girl. She is paraphrasing Romans 7

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  37. MFT,
    The main problem with the "study" you linked is that it was paid for by "Lilly Endowment, Inc."

    They would never give money to someone to do a study unless they knew the study would come out in their favor.

    Also, Japan as a non-religious nation is far more free of adolescent problems than the US.

    Also remember, Texas, who push religion and abstinence in all their school systems have far more teen pregnancies than the rest of the nation and that is from data collected by the federal government.

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  38. Somehow I'm not even surprised that 'freethinker' would agree with this blatant child abuse.

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  39. MrFreeThinker sez:

    Again you shouldn't feel good if you have sinned.

    Leaving aside for just a moment that the validity of the twisted worldview that no one should ever feel good about themselves is questionable in the extreme, is this really how you think your God wants you to live the life He gave you? In perpetual misery? Really?

    I would feel sorry for you Fundies, but then I remember that you subject your own innocent children to this same poisonous thinking, robbing them of any hope of happiness in this life...the only life whose existence is supported by the available evidence.

    And if you read , she didn't say that "wretched" to the little girl. She is paraphrasing Romans 7

    It doesn't matter if she said it directly to the little girl or not. It's what she believes, and that alone is quite bad enough.

    Besides which, claiming the hateful sentiment is from your big magic book doesn't make it any more right.

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  40. "Somehow I'm not even surprised that 'freethinker' would agree with this blatant child abuse."
    Now when Jean is honest with her daughter it is child abuse? what next?

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  41. "Now when Jean is honest with her daughter it is child abuse? what next?"

    She's honest?
    No, she's indoctrinating her child with unproven assertions based on a collection of ancient folk stories that should hold no more sway over humanity than the Iliad does.

    You are, as usual, assuming that the bible is true in your premise.

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  42. MFT,
    Get your head out of your ass. This is a four year old girl we are talking about here.

    I suppose you sit on the edge of your little daughters bed annd read the horror stories out of the old testament to her?

    Lot fucking his daughters, et. Killing the ammmakites, et?

    There may be a time to teach responsiblities to ones value system but not to this degree at this age.
    Get real.

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  43. "is this really how you think your God wants you to live the life He gave you? In perpetual misery? Really?"
    he doesn't want us to live in misery and I don't think jean wants that. She is just being honest. People sin and they need a savciour. Full stop.

    I'd like you to try to understand our worldview for a minute. Imagine there was a transcendent , infinitely holy being, with morality contingent upon his very nature who created mankind in his image and ordained that they follow his law.
    If you tell a lie , you're not just going against some convention humans invented, you are committing a personal offense against the nature of this transcendent being himself.
    Do you expect us to take this lightly?
    It's not about being miserable. It is about recognizing the graveness of sin and the need we have for a saviour.

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  44. "No, she's indoctrinating her child with unproven assertions based on a collection of ancient folk stories that should hold no more sway over humanity than the Iliad does.

    You are, as usual, assuming that the bible is true in your premise."

    And what will you teach your children (if ever you have any with)? Secular Humanistic ethics? Naturalism? Aren't those unproven too?
    And as usual you assume the bible is not true in your premise.

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  45. "And what will you teach your children (if ever you have any with)? Secular Humanistic ethics? Naturalism? Aren't those unproven too?
    And as usual you assume the bible is not true in your premise."

    No, as usual, I've seen no falsifiable evidence to justify the claim that the bible is the inerrant word of a deity. So, I assume that it's unprovable until provided evidence to the contrary.


    What will I teach my kids?
    This:
    Secular humanism describes a world view with the following elements and principles:[2]

    * Need to test beliefs – A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
    * Reason, evidence, scientific method – A commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
    * Fulfillment, growth, creativity – A primary concern with fulfillment, growth and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
    * Search for truth – A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
    * This life – A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
    * Ethics – A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
    * Building a better world – A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

    But I guess teaching my kids about equality, thinking for themselves and the importance of evidence to support assertions is pretty unthinkable to people like yourself.

    And no, secular humanism isn't 'unproven' - it's not making any claims about absoluteness. It discusses guidelines and the nature of humanity.

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. MFT,
    "It's not about being miserable. It is about recognizing the graveness of sin and the need we have for a saviour."

    No. It's about control through fear, guilt and shame.


    your next comment,
    "And what will you teach your children (if ever you have any with)?"

    I have five kids, the youngest 18 y/o college bound student pilot who works 4 days a week at Bob Evans as a grill cook for the last three and a half years.
    His brothers and sisters are all vital and well adjusted adults with families of their own and they make most christians look like greedy bastards with their compassion. My oldest daughter adopted a baby boy out of a crack house in Philly.

    "Secular Humanistic ethics?"

    We have shown all our kids why society has evolved it's ethics and morals. There is nothing superstitious about it. Empathy is the bedrock of ethics and morality. It is better that people understand why ethics and morals are important to society than to tell them superstitious myths about going to hell for eternity.
    "Aren't those unproven too?"

    No, anyone who is emotionally secure enough to see the mythical nature of the bible and instead instill sound logic and reason and the need for critical thinking to their kids are not gambling with their childrens futures in the way you are teaching them mythical superstitions.

    At that point, if they choose to join a church or become born again, they make a concious and informed decision.

    My #2 daughter works inHuman development and can tell you stories that will reduce you to tears. One boy 11 years old, wetting the bed every nite because his father caught him masturbating and smacked the back of his hands with a kitchen spoon on several occasions- because the bible says masturbation is a sin.

    Most fundamentalist are still spanking their kids because of the bible...aaaaand because they are too fucking lazy to study on all the other methods of teaching kids right from wrong.

    I am happy to say that my parents never laid a hand on me or my sisters and my wife and I never laid a hand on any of our kids....except for one time when my oldest son get cradcked on the ass by me as a knee jerk reaction and I regret it to this very day, although he says he never remembered it and forgives me any way. But I remember it and I am still ashamed that i did it.

    I have to go.

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  48. @Maragon
    "But I guess teaching my kids about equality, thinking for themselves and the importance of evidence to support assertions is pretty unthinkable to people like yourself."

    No but brainwashing your children to believe in a system with no basis for any form of objective moral law ,or objective purpose or transcendent meaning sounds pretty abusive to me.

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  49. "No but brainwashing your children to believe in a system with no basis for any form of objective moral law ,or objective purpose or transcendent meaning sounds pretty abusive to me."

    All morals are subjective. You've never proven otherwise.

    And it can sound whatever way you'd like it to. My children will have the choice to be non-religious or any religion that makes sense to them.

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  50. MrFreeThinker sez:


    Really?"
    he doesn't want us to live in misery and I don't think jean wants that.


    Again, let's look at her words:

    "I do not believe in teaching children self esteem or that they should feel good about themselves, because they should not."

    Sounds like that's exactly what Jean wants.

    I'd like you to try to understand our worldview for a minute.

    I understand it all too well. That's why I'm so horrified.

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  51. "All morals are subjective. You've never proven otherwise."
    So you will raise your children to believe there is nothing objectively wrong with torturing babies for fun or raping someone else?
    I'm going to pray for your children (if you ever have any).

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  52. "So you will raise your children to believe there is nothing objectively wrong with torturing babies for fun or raping someone else?
    I'm going to pray for your children (if you ever have any)."

    No, I'm going to teach them that there is something subjectively wrong with torture and rape. Even if the bible at times endorses these things.

    That's cool. Prayer is like masturbation - can't hurt me or my kids and at least it makes you feel better.

    I love when you immediately jump to something as severe as child rape to attempt to prove a point. It's very telling.
    We should try that again with something a little less ridiculous, like gay marriage rights.

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  53. MrFreeThinker said...

    "So you will raise your children to believe there is nothing objectively wrong with torturing babies for fun or raping someone else?
    Subjective to the situation. If you are torturing babies for fun, then yes I would say it is wrong. If someone is forcing you to torture babies or they will kill you and the babies. Then you could be justified in your decision to torture as unpleasant as that would seem to you. This does not mean I would choose to do that, because it is still a choice. You would be under duress and no court would convict you for that.

    You can make the same case for rape. Again subjective extreme situations.

    I'm going to pray for your children (if you ever have any).

    Because that has shown to be so effective.

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  54. Maragon worded it so much better than me.

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  55. MFT, Your false dichotomy is preposterous, but not unexpected.

    I try to teach my kids that sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

    I do not think that Jean is right about everyone being a sinner. Further, I don't think that it is best for the child. However, I do think it is stretching the definition of what I would consider abuse to condemn Jean as a child abuser.

    Who can tell me what the exact dividing line is between teaching your faith and belief, and indoctrinating your child to the point of abuse. It's certainly not quantifiable.

    I, for one, can't make that judgement call without a lot more information.

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  56. bejamin franklin, you are a bastion of common sense in the turbulent waters of this thread. Bravo, sir!

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  57. Hey, she may be damaging her childs mind, but I do like what she said about Ray's method of witnessing to atheists.

    "The point I am making is that if we engage in foolish useless arguments and disputes with unbelievers, we end up in a position where all we want is to be declared the winner and because this will never happen, we end up acting desperately foolish even to prove a point, which I believe in not the will of God in witnessing."(emphasis mine)

    OK, that doesn't mitigate what she is doing to that kid.

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  58. "MFT, Your false dichotomy is preposterous, but not unexpected."
    Ben , either morals are objective or subjective. There is no in between.

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  59. To everyone who jumped the gun and assumed http://www.godandscience.org is nothing but lies and the page living as freed posted to is untrustworthy, open your mind a little bit.

    I checked out the research it's legit. The more religious your upbringing, the more obedient you are.

    Of course, some of these activities mentioned in the study are not really all that bad like smoking marijuana and drinking booze at 18. Who cares?

    Anyway, the problem lies in the fact that obedient children are not necessarily healthier or better adjusted. The reality is just the opposite in many cases. Obedience can be a sign of mental trauma... a sign of constant anxiety.

    Also, being disobedient and doing dangerous activities is an important part of growing into a well-balanced adult.

    The page does not go into the long term mental health effects of religious upbringing, nor would it ever post any information that would support a secular lifestyle.

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  60. Oops, I confused laof with mft. I'm truly sorry. I made a terrible mistake.

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  61. MFT wrote...
    "Ben , either morals are objective or subjective. There is no in between."

    How about... some morals can be objectives, and others are purely subjective?

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  62. From Jean's blog:

    "MrFreeThinker said...

    I hope you delete these comments Jean"

    Irony.

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  63. Human morals are intersubjective. The more subjects interact, the closer they get to objectivity. Completely objective or even absolute morals are a utopian illusion, a philosophical plaything.

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  64. mft at Jean's:
    "Umm you should read this thread here.
    They've linked to your blog and accuse you of being abusive. I'd recommend you stay away from this kind of controversy.
    http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&p=1496253&sid=9cb9ffd745af7cae2ea531cc6c6835c1"

    In other words, censor dissent (see expat's post above) and close your ears. Yeah, you people are really open-minded. 'Freethinker' my ass.

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  65. Mr"FreeThinker" said:Ben , either morals are objective or subjective. There is no in between.

    I notice he's trying to swing the conversation around to his favorite topics so he can declare that all morals are from Allah and other nonsense.

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  66. @ MrFreeThinker:

    Ben , either morals are objective or subjective. There is no in between.

    Paul says in Romans chapter 14 that eating meat that's been sacrificed to idols as either moral or immoral is entirely subjective to your conscience. The only time it is wrong to eat meat sacrificed to idols is if your conscience says it is wrong, or if it will cause problems to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

    However, nowhere does the Bible ever say that Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is purely subjective, and it says that every one who does this will never receive forgiveness for that one sin.

    Sounds like an in between to me.

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  67. I had a conversation with my five year old this morning on the way to school that showed me just how worrying this can get; she goes to a Christian school because, where I live, there are no other options and they had been teaching her that some children are good and some children are bad (better than Jean, at least) and she was telling me which children in her class are the "bad" ones.
    I told her that sometimes she does naughty things and asked her, does that make her "bad". I was then amazed that she actually stopped to think about it and looked genuinely worried that she might be "one of the bad ones". I told her that the idea was ridiculous - there are no good people and there are no bad people, there are only good and bad choices that all people make and sometimes we make bad choices only because we didn't know that they were bad until too late. I told her that, when she does naughty things, we don't stop loving her for it and we don't want to get rid of her, we just want to get rid of the behaviour.
    It can be minefield trying to teach "right" and "wrong" to children, particularly since their minds are not nuanced enough to understand that the same thing can be right sometimes and wrong at others (e.g. talking about what she did at school is normally good, but talking about what she did at school with a mouth full of food isn't). I always give her the reasons why something isn't acceptable and, gradually, it is sinking in, but being a parent doesn't grant you immediate access to the font of all knowledge (as some parents seem to think it does) and mistakes will be made. All I can do is try my hardest not to make them and ensure that I don't make the same mistake twice.

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  68. Thank you Felix!

    "Human morals are intersubjective. The more subjects interact, the closer they get to objectivity. Completely objective or even absolute morals are a utopian illusion, a philosophical plaything."

    QFT

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  69. @Kaitlyn and Rob Pen
    I suppose some morals could be objective and some subjective. (but we can agree Maragon's worldview doesn't make room for the former).

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  70. So you will raise your children to believe there is nothing objectively wrong with torturing babies for fun or raping someone else?

    Yeah MFT, the first thing I do when my kids ask me about morals or ethics is tell them that torturing babies for fun is not objectively wrong. There you go.

    MFT, teachings have to be adjusted to the situations and understanding of the kids. Kids do need to have good and healthy self esteem. I am completely and adamantly AGAINST teaching them that they do not make mistakes (surprised guys?), I think such over-protection does not allow them to develop true self esteem. However, I would not be telling a four year old that she is a sinner and such. I know this is complicated, and I do understand your beliefs. What I do not understand is why, if god is supposed to choose you, if god is supposed to be that self evident, why do you have to torment kids into believing (hell, believe or burn), or torment them into thinking that they are just sinners. That surely kills something inside, and could be child abuse (depending on the severity used to teach such things).

    Anyway, not an easy topic, not a straightforward topic. But for sure, kids do need to develop confidence that mistakes are not the end of the world, and that they are worthy human beings. They also need to develop empathy, and understanding. But tormenting them with hell from very early, from even before they can properly digest and understand what the heck beyond "burning hurts quite badly and someone will burn me if I do not do as told." Well, that sounds ridiculous to me.

    G.E.

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  71. So, is it one or the other? is it either subjective or objective? No. It's not 'either-or' at all, but both. To ask the question this way is to ask a trick question. This is true for almost all culture bases, including religious cultures. The only exception would be fundamentalism, which demands unquestioning and unthinking obedience and complete loyalty to the tribal totem.

    'Freethinker' indeed!

    All morals are human-made -- even those that allege to have come from a god. So, in one sense, all ethics are personal, because even a theist chooses which religious system to follow.

    But in another sense, most ethics are universal. This is because all humans have similar mental constructions and experience similar upbringing. There are certain things that virtually no healthy human could be convinced to do, and there are certain sacrifices that virtually any human would make for her or his fellow-humans.

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  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  73. @ Free

    You also wrote that you couldn't see any harm to a child's self esteem in being taught that she is a sinner.

    Are you serious? You think being taught that you are a wretched sinner who is incapable of doing anything good is something that will have no effect on a child's self esteem? You're joking right?

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  74. @ Free

    Another point about your study that relion makes people good.

    If it does then why hasn't it affected you? You've been caught out in several lies on this site.

    Is it that religion has an effect on everyone except you? Or that the study is bogus? I'll leave you to think about that one.

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  75. "Another point about your study that relion makes people good.

    If it does then why hasn't it affected you? You've been caught out in several lies on this site. "
    I wasn't claiming religion makes people good (though it is hard to ignore the statistical correlation). I was trying to counter the assertion that was made here that indoctrination was abuse. As the article notes , those youths that were not religious showed more symptoms of child abuse (violent activities, drugs).
    And where have I lied Chris? i think I've tried to be truthful.

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  76. @ everyone

    You may want to read this. Especially the last paragraph [yes that means YOU free].

    "There is substantial research suggesting that religious people are happier and less stressed. Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center and the Pew Organization conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people. An analysis of over 200 social studies contends that "high religiousness predicts a rather lower risk of depression and drug abuse and fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of satisfaction with sex life and a sense of well-being," and a review of 498 studies published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that a large majority of them showed a positive correlation between religious commitment and higher levels of perceived well-being and self-esteem and lower levels of hypertension, depression, and clinical delinquency. Studies by Keith Ward show that overall religion is a positive contributor to mental health, and a meta-analysis of 34 recent studies published between 1990 and 2001 also found that religiosity has a salutary relationship with psychological adjustment, being related to less psychological distress, more life satisfaction, and better self-actualization. Finally, a recent systematic review of 850 research papers on the topic concluded that "the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse."

    However, most of those studies were conducted within the United States. According to a 2007 paper by Liesbeth Snoep in the Journal of Happiness Studies, there is no significant correlation between religiosity and individual happiness in Netherlands and Denmark, countries that have lower rates of religion than the United States."
    [From wikipedia]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_religion

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  77. @ Everyone

    It seems that unlike our MrFree's cite [should that be free & easy with the truth?] religion may have both a positive & negative affect on morals.

    For those unbelievers have a read:

    "One wide-ranging study has shown that there is a direct correlation between religiosity and societal dysfunction, including homicide, sexual disease, teenage pregnancy and marital problems. Data for this study was obtained from approximately 23,000 people in almost all of the developed democracies. While the data was multi-national, further evidence of religion's effect on societal health was concluded from regional differences in the United States. According to Gregory S. Paul:

    There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms.

    An analysis published later in the same journal contends that a number of methodological problems undermine any findings or conclusions to be taken from the research. In the same issue, Gary Jensen builds on and refines Paul's study. His conclusion, after carrying out elaborate multivariate statistical studies, is that a complex relationship exists between religiosity and homicide with some dimensions of religiosity encouraging homicide and other dimensions discouraging it." Meanwhile, other studies seem to show positive links in the relationship between religiosity and moral behavior — for example, surveys suggesting a positive connection between faith and altruism. Modern research in criminology also acknowledges an inverse relationship between religion and crime, with many studies establishing this beneficial connection (though some claim it is a modest one). Indeed, a meta-analysis of 60 studies on religion and crime concluded, “religious behaviors and beliefs exert a moderate deterrent effect on individuals’ criminal behavior”.

    Theodore Beale responds to criticisms that religion harms society by arguing that religious individuals tend to be more generous and more likely to have children. Religious belief appears to be the strongest predictor of charitable giving. One study found that average charitable giving in 2000 by religious individuals ($2,210) was over three times that of secular individuals ($642). Giving to non-religious charities by religious individuals was $88 higher. Religious individuals are also more likely to volunteer time, donate blood, and give back money when accidentally given too much change. A 2007 study by The Barna Group found that "active-faith" individuals gave on average $1,500 in 2006, while "no-faith" individuals gave on average $200. "Active-faith" adults gave twice as much to non-church-related charities as "no-faith" individuals. They were also more likely to register vote, volunteer, personally help some who is homeless, and to describe themselves as "active in the community." [from wikipedia]

    It must also be pointed out that this has absolutely NOTHING to do with people teaching their children that they are worthless sinners!

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  78. @ kaitlyn

    Mea culpa. I withdraw my post on Free's study.

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  79. @ Free

    You ask where you've lied & then write "I tink I've tried o be honest."

    Free, free, you didn'ttry very hard.

    Here are a few examples after a short search.

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4140917903722388348&postID=3441528932014205216

    Where you misrepresents Maragon's argument. [i.e. lie about them].

    http://raytractors.blogspot.com/2008/10/where-is-disconnect.html

    Where you once again misrepresented maragon's argument & G.E's as well. [i.e. lie about them].

    Also in this thread I gave a justification for induction. Some posts later you denied any such justification had been given. I pointed out that you had just lied in my post on October 17 on this thread.

    You also made up facts to support your argument. For example that 1st Cor was written 2-5 years after Jesus' death. That was just a lie wasn't it Free?

    http://raytractors.blogspot.com/2008/10/real-questions-atheists-should-answer.html

    On this thread you argued that "
    Maragon I clearly gave you the names of non-christian and atheist scholars (and even some from the far-left group called the Jesus seminar) who publish work on the histoorical Jesus and agreed with most of the 5 facts Maragon. Don't pretend I didn't"

    Firstly you'd claimed they were historians. Secondly you wrote that all the scholars listed agreed with ALL Habermas' 5 points. But in this thread you write that they agree with MOST of the 5 points [which, if you were honest, makes your original argument untenable].

    On this thread: http://raytractors.blogspot.com/2008/10/i-had-to-say-it.html

    You once again misrepresent Maragon's arguments.

    Would you like anymore examples free?

    Show me that your christian faith means something to you. Show me that you intend to follow the words of Jesus [as presented in the Gospel - "Let your yes be for yes & no be for no."

    In othr words accept responsibility for your actions & apologise and try not to do it again.

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  80. @ everyone

    Now to address the thread topic.
    We may well ask does teaching a little girl that she is a wretched sinner who is incapable of doing anything good in itself destructive to the child's self esteem.

    Obviously a little child would be unable to answer such a question so let's ask some adults shall we?

    From Johnathan Edwards [A Calvinist New England theologian writing about himself]"I am a wretched, dispicablecreature; a worm, a mere nothing, and less than nothing; a vile insect, that has risen up in contempt against the majesty of heaven and earth."

    How about Calvin himself "We are all made of mud, and this mud is not just on the hem of our gown, or on the sole of our boots, or in our shoes. We are full of it, we are nothing but mud and filth both inside and out."

    How about Ignatius of Loyola "I am mere dung, I must ask our Lord that when I am dead my body be thrown on the dungheap to be devoured by birds and dogs...Must this not be my wish in punishment for my sins?"

    Doesn't sound like they were overflowing with self esteem to me.

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  81. @ Free

    You wrote "I wasn't claiming religion makes people good (though it is hard to ignore the statistical correlation)."

    My apologies. I misunderstood.

    You then wrote "I was trying to counter the assertion that was made here that indoctrination was abuse."

    Actully Free since there is no evidence given in the article that such children were indoctrinated [as opposed to educated] then your assertion is unsupported.

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  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  83. "Where you misrepresents Maragon's argument. [i.e. lie about them]."

    Yawn - just because Maragon didn't admit her argument wasn't circular doesn't mean it is not circular.


    "Also in this thread I gave a justification for induction. Some posts later you denied any such justification had been given. "
    I believe I pointed out that all arguments from probabilism presuppose that the way in which we estimate probabilities would continue to work in the future.(and thereby are question-begging)

    "For example that 1st Cor was written 2-5 years after Jesus' death. That was just a lie wasn't it Free?"
    No I did not re-read my post. I claimed that there was a creed quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 that was dated to within 2-5 years of the date of the crucifixion.(Even the Jesus seminar accepts this)


    "Firstly you'd claimed they were historians."
    Perhaps I was using the term "historian" too loosely. when I used "historian" I had in mind any scholar who published notable studies on the historical Jesus or had credentials in field relevant to new testament historical scholarship. I apologise if my usage of the term caused confusion or was too loose.

    "Secondly you wrote that all the scholars listed agreed with ALL Habermas' 5 points"
    I claimed the majority of New testament historians accepted the 5 facts (as evidenced in the study by Habermas). I was just giving the names of people as examples f people who accepted most of the facts.I apologise if you misunderstood me.

    I apologise if any of the words or phrases I used were misleading and I assure you I was not trying to be dishonest.

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  84. @ free

    Still lying I see. I've come to the conclusion that you have scant regard for the truth.

    I'll deal with your post in bite sized chunks. ok? ready?

    I wrote "Where you misrepresents Maragon's argument. [i.e. lie about them]."

    You responded "Yawn - just because Maragon didn't admit her argument wasn't circular doesn't mean it is not circular."

    My answer: It was NOT a case of you pointing out something & Maragon dodging it. You delibertely misrepresented her argument, & G.E's & mine. Please don't lie about it Free. You are fooling no one here. Except possibly yourself.

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  85. @ Free

    I next wrote "Also in this thread I gave a justification for induction. Some posts later you denied any such justification had been given."

    You responded "I believe I pointed out that all arguments from probabilism presuppose that the way in which we estimate probabilities would continue to work in the future.(and thereby are question-begging)."

    My answer: You had. And I responded that you didn't know what you were talking about since proberbilities were NOT dependent upon induction they were NOT circular in application. And by the way your point about the way probabilities are calculated is IRRELEVANT!

    You ignored my points anyway & still posted that no justification for induction had been offered.

    In other words YOU LIED!

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  86. @ free

    Now you tell a half truth to cover a lie.

    Oooh

    You wrote "I claimed that there was a creed quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 that was dated to within 2-5 years of the date of the crucifixion.(Even the Jesus seminar accepts this)"

    Two points.

    1) A segment of a text CANNOT be dated - only the entire text.

    So your claim is just another lie. Though only half a one this time since it seems I was under the misapprehension that you were claiming the entire epistle was that old when you were only making up 'facts about a portion of it.

    2) You then claim "even the Jesus Seminar support this" Bullshit!

    The Jesus Seminar is composed of several scholars. Provide evidence that one & all of them agree with your statement or it is a lie. And no a fundie writing that the Jesus seminar agrees with him is NOT evidence.

    Now have you had enough of lying? Or would you like to tell us a few more whoppers?

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  87. @ Free

    I did a search.

    Crosson considers the first 20 years or so of early christianity the "lost years' or 'dark years' & asserts we can know NOTHING about them.

    Several others agreed.

    Of them all only ONE scholar by the name of Ludermann asserted the hypothesis [hypothesis because it could NEVER be proven] that Paul's statement from 1st Cor came from christianity's earliest years. Although what is meant by the word 'earliest' here is anyone's guess. After all the entire epistle is only dated to around 30 years or so after Jesus' death.

    And his entire argument for this is based entirely upon one verse.
    that's the great proof.

    So was it that you were just silly & careless with your source? Or was the whole thing a lie? Your choice Free.

    Doesn't reflect well on your credability either way though does it?

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  88. @ Everyone

    Sorry for going off topic. [shame faced]

    It won't happen again.

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  89. Felix wrote:
    "Human morals are intersubjective. The more subjects interact, the closer they get to objectivity. Completely objective or even absolute morals are a utopian illusion, a philosophical plaything."

    Felix: Bravo! I need to remember the word "intersubjective": it's an excellent term.

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  90. The publication " The Acts of Jesus" from the Jesus Seminar states that the creed was from the early 30's Ad.

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  91. @ Free

    And since the Jesus Seminar vote on everything was their conclusion voted as 'possible', 'highly possible', or 'probable'.
    Did you notice that there wasn't a 'certain' on that list?

    When did they take this vote?
    And, since we already know of people who wouldn't agree with it, how many agreed?

    See sparky I believe you are just quoting Habermas. Nothing more. I don't believe you've ever read, or even seen, a copy of 'The Acts of Jesus'. Much less be able to accurately be able to relay what it says.

    Now could we get back to the thread topic?

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  92. mr"freethinker" is trying to derail the thread with nonsense.

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  93. @ Adam Nardoli

    To be fair to Free I did raise the topic in the first place. [Bad...bad chris].

    So Free and I are both to blame.

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  94. It is not only the emotional abuse that Jean is dishing out to her kids. If she is the bible literalist thqat she has shown to be then we must assume that they are being physically abused also.

    I call that torturing babies.

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  95. Thanks for taking over with 'freethinker' for me, Chris.

    And yes, all of his arguments basically amount to lying about what I've said, refuting the straw mans he's created and patting himself on the head about it.

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  96. @chris
    I think you are rather confused. The Jesus seminar sometimes takes votes on what sayings of Jesus in the synoptic tradition they think are reliable. They don't vote on everything.
    And you can check out the publication if you don't believe me. they explicitly say that the creed was in circulation in the early 30's Ad

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  97. And Maragon's stuff amounts to disregarding the documentation I present and accuse scholars of dishonesty with no evidence.

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  98. 1) He's not a scholar. He's a quack working at a diploma mill.
    2) You provided no documentation that I did not refute soundly.
    3)You're an idiot.

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  99. 1)He got his Phd from Michigan state. And Liberty University is not a diploma mill just because they disagree with a certain scientific theory.
    2)Refute? you completely ignored the names of the New testament scholars I presented.

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  100. "1)He got his Phd from Michigan state. And Liberty University is not a diploma mill just because they disagree with a certain scientific theory."

    Yeah, they are. They are not to be taken seriously if they can't even understand and accept the basic, fundamental principles of science.

    You're so ridiculous and hypocritical that it pains me to even lower myself to speak to you. Just because the idiot has a PhD does not make what he says correct. Do you accept something that someone tells you simply because they have a PhD? No, you don't. You ignore the millions of PhD carrying scientists who can provide evidence to support the validity of the evolutionary process.
    Why should I accept this one man's PhD as evidence when you dismiss the PhD's of millions?

    "2)Refute? you completely ignored the names of the New testament scholars I presented."

    A new testament scholar is not a PhD carrying historian. Which is what you originally claimed them to be.
    Of course an idiot who did a homestudy bible course by correspondence, got a diploma from a diploma mill and now claims to be an expert on the bible would agree with anything your 'scholar' says. These are not non-biased sources and don't deserve or command any academic consideration.

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  101. @ free

    You wrote "They don't vote on everything."

    Correct Free. They don't vote on everything - just the bible.
    Since we were discussing an interpretation of the bible that is what they would vote on.

    Now I also said that I wouldn't accept a quote from any fundie...so what did you do? You quoted a book as referenced in a fundie book - my guess is Habermas'

    That is a deliberate attempt at deception by you free. Shame on you.

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  102. @ free

    Let's look at what Habermas' Liberty University is like shall we Free?

    To quote Robert M. Price "As a member of the Liberty University faculty, Dr. Habermas is honor-bound to believe in the absolute inerrancy of the Bible, the dogma that the Bible is free from all historical errors, and even that its authors never expressed differences of opinion on religious matters."

    Scholars are supposed to go where the evidence leads Free. NOT decide on their conclusion before they even start. And that is exactly what Habermas has done.

    After all how could he do otherwise? He'd be fired from his post if he expressed doubt.

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  103. @ Free

    Let's look at a few more points shall we?

    To quote Price again "The inerrantist believes either that the text of the Bible was verbally dictated by the Almighty (whether or not the human penman knew it at the time) or that at least the result was the same as if God had dictated it, even if “all” he did was to oversee the writing process providentially. Someone with a view like this adopts the posture of the biblical critic not because he or she believes it will shed new light on ancient texts but rather in order to defend traditional, orthodox readings of the text from “heretical” new research that threatens by its very nature to render such readings obsolete, depriving orthodox dogma of its seeming proof texts. The unstated goal is to beat the genuine critic at his own game so as to defend the party line. That is the business Gary Habermas is in. That is the approach of the many books he has written. They are all exercises in apologetics, the scholastic defense of the faith."

    Habermas pretends to be something he is NOT [i.e. a dispassionate scholar involved in a critical study of the bible]. To pretend to be something you are not is to lie by omission Free.

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  104. @ maragon

    If you are interested in a critique of Habermas' book by a reputable scholar try this site:

    http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/rev_habermas.htm

    I think you'll find it very interesting. He certainly rips Habermas apart though from what I've seen that is not hard.

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  105. Maragon , you completely miss the point. I presented a study done by a credentialed scholar and you dismissed it and accused him of being dishonest. Could I do the same to studies conducted in evolutionary biology?


    "Yeah, they are. They are not to be taken seriously if they can't even understand and accept the basic, fundamental principles of science."
    Maragon we were talking about history there.Whatever their science department teaches is irrelevant.
    And how do you know that they "don't understand and accept the basic, fundamental principles of science"? I'm sure there are scientists who teach there with more credentials than you.

    "You're so ridiculous and hypocritical that it pains me to even lower myself to speak to you. Just because the idiot has a PhD does not make what he says correct. "
    I agree.But it doesn't mean I can dismiss what he says out of hand.
    "Do you accept something that someone tells you simply because they have a PhD? No, you don't. You ignore the millions of PhD carrying scientists who can provide evidence to support the validity of the evolutionary process."
    where did I say I "denied evolutionary process"? Cuz I don't.
    I examine the evidence provided by these scientists in their studies and conclude that there are good facts to support evolutionary theory. I do not just look at the theological disposition of these scientists and call them dishonest if the results of the study disagree with what I think (As you attempted to do)

    "Why should I accept this one man's PhD as evidence when you dismiss the PhD's of millions?"
    Where did I dismiss the Phd's of millions of scientists? i think you confuse me with someone else. I would think that appealing to consensus is a good way to support an argument after facts are presented.



    "Of course an idiot who did a homestudy bible course by correspondence, got a diploma from a diploma mill and now claims to be an expert on the bible would agree with anything your 'scholar' says. These are not non-biased sources and don't deserve or command any academic consideration."
    But I gave you the names of non-Christians .Did you even check any?

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  106. @ Free

    You wrote "But I gave you the names of non-Christians .Did you even check any?"

    Do you mean the name of the one jewish scholar? I checked & it seems he DOESN'T hold to the resurrection of Jesus.

    I also pointed out that bowing to a list of names as Habermas does is a logical fallacy.

    Now my question to you is are logical fallacies always bad things? Or only bad when non-christians do them?

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  107. @ free

    You wrote "I examine the evidence provided by these scientists in their studies and conclude that there are good facts to support evolutionary theory."

    But Liberty University DOES NOT free. Now how is it that you can see that evolution is true but an entire university cannot?

    Gasp. Could it be because the university is biased?
    And if it is biase what does that say about Habermas?

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  108. @ Free

    Here's another thing to consider.

    You considered the EVIDENCE - not a roll call of scientists who held to evolution but EVIDENCE.

    And you were absolutely right to have done so. EVIDENCE is the MOST important thing.

    BUT then why does Habermas make such a big deal about his list of scholars?

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  109. "But I gave you the names of non-Christians .Did you even check any?"

    No, you didn't. You explicitly told me that you didn't have time to check every single 'scholar' on the list.

    "Maragon we were talking about history there.Whatever their science department teaches is irrelevant."

    No, it's not. Their lack of proper science curriculum speaks to a bias present throughout the entirety of the 'school'. If they'll lie about the validity of science, who know what else they'd lie about.

    "And how do you know that they "don't understand and accept the basic, fundamental principles of science"? I'm sure there are scientists who teach there with more credentials than you."

    They omit evolutionary biology.

    "where did I say I "denied evolutionary process"? Cuz I don't.
    I examine the evidence provided by these scientists in their studies and conclude that there are good facts to support evolutionary theory."

    Oh, so you accept evolution as true, do you? And reject the creation story as a myth?

    "I do not just look at the theological disposition of these scientists and call them dishonest if the results of the study disagree with what I think (As you attempted to do)"

    He's not dishonest because he's a christian, he's dishonest because presents things in misleading ways. Quit trying to martyr him.

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  110. @ Free
    Habermas admits in his book that an appeal to a list of scholars proves NOTHING.

    Then what does he do? He appeals & appeals, & appeals to them again.

    Now an appeal to a majority is the fallacy known as Argumentum ad populum. Habermas admits this is a bad thing - then does it countless times.

    So not only is his work ruined by the introduction of a logical fallacy BUT by insisiting that he will not use it & then using it Habermas is guilty of deceit.

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  111. @ free

    You wrote "I would think that appealing to consensus is a good way to support an argument after facts are presented."

    Totally wrong. Appeal to the majority is a logical fallacy Free.
    Even Habermas admits this.

    Let me give you an example to explain why.

    At one time the vast majority of good, godfearing scholars held to the belief that the sun orbited the Earth. Why? Because the bible said it did.

    But solitary scholars such as Galileo showed that they were all wrong.

    If Habermas had been born then he would have supported the majority view as a good godfearing man. & been dead wrong just like he is now.

    Conclusion: Evidence counts for everything, majority opinion for NOTHING.

    Now why is it that Habermas introduced his list again?

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  112. @Chris
    I've been in conversations with Robert Price before (he has visited a forum I used to frequent called theologyWeb). i sure you can bring up some of his arguments and I will refute them if you like. And if you read Price's critique he does agree that most scholars agree with Habermas' facts.
    Price himself admits he is a very fringe far-left scholar.( He ended up having to publish on Prometheus because most mainstream historical publishers reject his views).
    But if you are willing to bring up any of Price's arguments i would be willing to discuss them with you.

    "Habermas admits in his book that an appeal to a list of scholars proves NOTHING.

    Then what does he do? He appeals & appeals, & appeals to them again."
    No Habermas supports the facts wih reasearch and evidence. In the post on my blog i have some of the major arguments that Habermas uses to support his facts.
    Let me use an example. I use facts like observed speciation, ERV's..etc to support evolution. I also use statistics to show that most biologists accept it.
    This would be a valid argument.

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  113. "Now how is it that you can see that evolution is true but an entire university cannot?"
    From what I've heard LU teaches evolution alongside creationsm and lets the students decide based on evidence.

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  114. @ free

    Ah free, free still a deceiver & now a hypocrite too? I have no respect left for you my boy.

    You wrote to maragon "I do not just look at the theological disposition of these scientists and call them dishonest if the results of the study disagree with what I think (As you attempted to do)."

    Then what do you do?

    You write "Price himself admits he is a very fringe far-left scholar."

    Irrelevant if only the evidence is important Free.

    So you do the very thing you accuse maragon of doing. That is hypocracy Free.

    Now let's check out your deceit next shall we?

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  115. @ free

    You write "Habermas supports the facts wih reasearch and evidence."

    Correct. He also appeals to his list of scholarly opinionnot once but several times. It's no use lying Free.

    Then you wrote "I use facts like observed speciation, ERV's..etc to support evolution. I also use statistics to show that most biologists accept it.
    This would be a valid argument."

    False!

    The first part of the argument would be true. The second is irrelevant & an appeal to majority opinion. That is a logical fallacy Free.

    I know you have trouble with logical fallacies - especially when fundies use them - but try reading this and applying it to Habermas:
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/bandwagn.html

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  116. "Irrelevant if only the evidence is important Free.

    So you do the very thing you accuse maragon of doing. That is hypocracy Free."
    If i was doing what you said I would say Price was a fundie atheist and we can't trust him.
    I never claimed Price's fringe position invalidated his argument. I said that i would be willing to discuss any of his arguments with you if you wanted too. I was just informing you that his position was far to the left of most scholars. i did not claim it invalidated his arguments

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  117. @ free

    You wrote "From what I've heard LU teaches evolution alongside creationsm and lets the students decide based on evidence."

    Really??? Let's se shall we?

    Here's the description from wikipedia [emphasis mine] "Liberty University supports Young Earth creationist organizations including Answers in Genesis.[citation needed] In Biology classes students are taught creationism alongside evolution and Intelligent Design theory in what the Biology department calls "an attempt to provide a balanced view of the different origins theories". A good amount of consideration is given to micro-evolution, HOWEVER LARGE SCALE (macro) EVOLUTION, although still taught, IS REJECTED. An additional class called Creation Studies: History of Life investigates issues of creation and evolution, and HOW TO REFUTE EVOLUTION."

    Let the students decide for themselvews you say? How so when they are taught to reject evolution?

    Since Liberty university teaches creationism as science, and since the EVIDENCE [there's that word again] says that creationism is junk & ANYTHING BUT SCIENCE then the only reason they would have to continue teaching it is because:

    1) They know the truth & don't mind telling lies for God.

    2) They are incompetant & have no idea that creationism violates scientific methodology. [i.e. they are incompetant at science].

    3) They don't give a stuff about the truth so long as they get paid.

    Which do you think is the most likely Free?

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  118. @ Free

    Since Liberty University is one of those non-attractive things what does that say about Habermas?

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  119. @ free

    You wrote "I never claimed Price's fringe position invalidated his argument."

    Actually Free you wrote "Price himself admits he is a very fringe far-left scholar.(He ended up having to publish on Prometheus because most mainstream historical publishers reject his views)."

    Sounds like you're dismissing them to me. Ahhh hypocracy & deceit my boy, you have mastered them wellt

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  120. @ free

    You wrote "He [Price] ended up having to publish on Prometheus because most mainstream historical publishers reject his views."

    Hmmm but you know that prometheus books are one of the leading publishers for the educational, scientific, professional, library, popular, and consumer markets since 1969.

    Doesn't sound like they were an option of last resort Free. Now does it? Or was that sentence just another half truth free?

    You know...like your one about LU teaching evoltion & creationism.

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  121. . I really don't care to debate Price's credential but I don't know where you got your info from. Prometheus was founded in 1969 and is just to promote humanism. What would be impressive is if Price got his work published in some sort of peer-reviewed journal.

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  122. @ Free

    In your half truth you wrote "I don't know where you got your info from. Prometheus was founded in 1969 and is just to promote humanism."

    Two points

    1) it was founded by a HUMANIST not to promote humanism - that was another lie Free. You're getting quite compulsive about it.

    2) According to wikipedia "Prometheus books publishes a range of books, including many about science, especially those of a skeptical nature."

    Hmmm, 'range of books', 'science', 'sceptical nature'. Doesn't sound like just a propaganda publishing house to me.

    Here's another quote from wikipedia
    "Prometheus Books obtained the bulk of the books and manuscripts of Humanities Press International and has been building and expanding this into a scholarly imprint called Humanity Books. This imprint is used to publish academic works across a wide spectrum of the Humanities."

    Notice the wording Free? Humanities NOT Humanism!

    3) Since Habermas is promoting fundie christianity it is quite disengenuous to make mention of Prometheus' founder. It's not like Prometheus would fire you if you didn't tow the party line.

    In other words Prometheus isn't a propaganda mill like Liberty University. You know, the place where Habermas does his work.

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  123. @ Free

    You wrote "What would be impressive is if Price got his work published in some sort of peer-reviewed journal."

    :D Ask & ye shall receive Free.

    Price has had his work published in 'The Journal of Higher Criticism'.

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  124. Um Chris you do know the Journal of higher criticism was started by Robert Price specifically for his views. And I do not believe it is peer -reviewed

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  125. No I don't know that Free but then again neither do you.

    Because it isnt!

    From 'instructions to contributors'

    "We welcome articles dealing with historical, literary, and history-of-religion issues from the perspective of higher criticism, as well as studies in the history of biblical criticism, historical-critical methodology, and the work of major figures in that tradition. Our primary focus is on the Christian Scriptures and Early Christianity, but studies dealing with the Hebrew Scriptures, Judaism, and other religious traditions will also receive careful consideration."

    No word about how contributors mus be mythacists. None what-so-ever.

    According to those criteria I could have contributed an article & I am not a mythacist in any sense of the word.

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  126. In case you're wondering Free the term "Higher Criticism" does NOT mean looking at the bible from a mythacist perspective.

    To quote Dictionary.com it is defined as "higher criticism 
    –noun the study of the Bible having as its object the establishment of such facts as authorship and date of composition, as well as determination of a basis for exegesis."

    Now was the Journal of Higher Criticism peer reviewed? Yes! There were several credentialed scholars on the panel & they critiqued each others work all the time.

    There was no requirement for contributors to have certain views - unlike LU.

    Therefore it WAS NOT a propaganda factory unlike LU - you know, the place that Habermas works for.

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  127. @ Chris:

    How do they define "Religious" and "Religiosity" in those studies?

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  128. @ Rob Penn

    In answer to your question I wouldn't have a clue. I would assume that the term relious here would be given it's dictionary meaning - "of, pertaining to, or concerned with religion."
    [From dictionary.com]

    I gather that this is the definition they are using by their inclusion of "Judaism, and other religious traditions" in their instructions to contributors.

    I would imagine however that such religions would have to produce religious texts in order for an article on them to be considered.

    For example a religion which depended on oral traditio whould have nothing to study as far as higher criticism was concerned. Though as far as anthopology was concerned such beliefs may well be a goldmine.

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  129. @ Chris:

    That's not what I mean.

    When the studies were conducted, they had to define what they were measuring when they said "Religion" or "religiosity."

    Some studies do this by the number of churches in the area. Some do it by how much a person attends church. Some studies have multiple definitions which account for living the teachings of the faith, simply attending church as a means to an end (a man with political ambitions attends the same church as the mayor), and people who attend simply because they don't want to go to Hell.

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  130. @ Rob Penn

    I think I see what you're getting at. Are you asking what sort of religious texts the Journal would deem worthy of examination?

    If that's what you're getting at [sorry if I'm a bit obtuse] I would imagine it would be any and all texts which were considered formative or influential for a particular religion.

    Sorry if I've misinterpreted.

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  131. @ Chris:

    If they're looking at people's practices, then they have to be observing the behavior of the people.

    What behavior are they looking at that shows their "Religiosity?" Somewhere they have to say "We know that these people are religious because of _________."

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  132. rob,
    you're correct, in studies and questionnaires, these terms are often very fuzzy and flexible. Maybe they should develop a standard index, similar to the Human Develoment Index, using specific figures. Many people like to consider themselves religious or spiritual. These terms have a traditional connotation of being 'open-minded', or claiming an extended perception of reality, or just having a poetic outlook on life and reality. There's no consensus of what exactly 'spiritual' encompasses, or where 'religious' begins.

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  133. @ Rob Penn

    You wrote "If they're looking at people's practices, then they have to be observing the behavior of the people."

    I presume you mean by 'they' the contributos to The Journal of Higher Criticism.

    But such contributors don't examine people's behaviour. The contributors examine religious texts - nothing more.

    If a religious text was written by the greatestvillian unhung but it was still of great influence to a particular religion then the contributors to the Journal would be interested in its examination.

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  134. @ Chris:

    "There is substantial research suggesting that religious people are happier and less stressed. Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center and the Pew Organization conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people. An analysis of over 200 social studies contends that "high religiousness predicts a rather lower risk of depression and drug abuse and fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of satisfaction with sex life and a sense of well-being," and a review of 498 studies published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that a large majority of them showed a positive correlation between religious commitment and higher levels of perceived well-being and self-esteem and lower levels of hypertension, depression, and clinical delinquency. Studies by Keith Ward show that overall religion is a positive contributor to mental health, and a meta-analysis of 34 recent studies published between 1990 and 2001 also found that religiosity has a salutary relationship with psychological adjustment, being related to less psychological distress, more life satisfaction, and better self-actualization. Finally, a recent systematic review of 850 research papers on the topic concluded that "the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse."

    However, most of those studies were conducted within the United States. According to a 2007 paper by Liesbeth Snoep in the Journal of Happiness Studies, there is no significant correlation between religiosity and individual happiness in Netherlands and Denmark, countries that have lower rates of religion than the United States."


    Those studies aren't looking at religious texts at all. They're looking at how happy and well off people of religion are.

    ReplyDelete

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