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2/22/10

The BOBA Digest: Dan Barker and the Confusing Author

This post has been moved to True Freethinker were it resides at this link

23 comments:

  1. 'Dan Barker, of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (an organization that was established in a country premised upon the concept of freedom of religious expression), appears to have coined a new talking point.'

    Freedom of religion also includes freedom FROM religion. To assume otherwise is nonsensical. Atheists have the constitutional right to spread unbelief if they choose to, and no-one has the right to deny them this, for any reason. Even I know this and I am not even an American, so what's your excuse?

    The quote "God is not the author of confusion" comes from which book and passage? You do not say, so how can anyone take your refutation of the syllogism you present seriously? To assume "any and all confusion" is a perfectly reasonable assumption based upon nothing more than the bare sentence you quote. Is there a link to the source of the quote somewhere? I sometimes miss these things.

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  2. It does not logically follow that God not being the author of confusion equals other persons becoming automatically immune to confusion. After all 1 Cor 14:33 was addressed to persons causing confusion during Church services.

    In a like manner I could say Richard Dawkins did not author confusion in the writing of one of his peer reviewed papers on Evolution but that presuposes persons fimilar with scientific evolution are reading it.

    In a like manner God does not author confusion but if you resist his will or refuse to use the intellect he gave you then you will become confused & YOU ARE the author of that confusion not God.

    It's not hard New Atheist Fundies.

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  3. The above comment is based upon a few (unjustified, in my view) assumptions:

    Assumption 1) God, if such exists, is claimed, by Christians, to be 'perfect' (i.e. incapable of making mistakes), but the simple fact that people become confused about issues, among other things, is evidence that the universe we live in is NOT perfect. Ergo, God is not perfect either. After all, a perfect, benevolent, unchanging, and omnipotent being would not deliberately create a universe that was as seriously flawed as this one. Would he? If so, why?

    2) The existence of free will. If God is not omnipotent, then the case for free will can certainly be argued. However, most Christians, if asked, will say that they believe the God of the Bible to be omnipotent, even though it is quite obvious that he is not. If, in spite of what the Bible says, God IS omnipotent after all, then free will cannot exist, and therefore the state of confusion that may exist within a person's mind cannot be helped. After all, it is God's will, and who are we to go against the will of God? For this reason the following quote,

    'In a like manner God does not author confusion, but if you resist his will or refuse to use the intellect he gave you, then you will become confused & YOU ARE the author of that confusion, not God.'

    makes NO sense whatsoever. 'If you resist his will' - Come on, this is GOD we are talking about here! Resist God? He is not much of a god if we can resist him, now is he? 'YOU ARE the author of that confusion, not God' - but we were CREATED by God, were we not? So therefore he IS (ultimately) the author of that confusion. Disagree?

    This is why the following quote makes no sense either -

    'It does not logically follow that God, not being the author of confusion, equals other persons becoming automatically immune to confusion.'

    ...but, being the omnipotent monarch that he is, he IS, ultimately, the 'author of confusion'! Is this confusing? Any errors in the reasoning? I hope not.

    By the way, fundamentalist atheism doesn't exist, fundamentalism being the strict adherence to a select set of precepts that the adherent clings to in spite of all and any evidence or reasons not to. Atheism is simply an absence of belief in God(s), and has no dogma to cling to (like the Ten Commandments, which are silly. Don't covet thy neighbours ass - Pah!).

    Oh, I give up. God, religion and theology are the worst ideas we, as a species, ever came up with, and the sooner we are rid of them the better.

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  4. >The above comment is based upon a few (unjustified, in my view) assumptions:

    I reply: Actually it was a very simple response which you seem (in my view) to be going out of your way not to get & to change the subject. I cited as my example Richard Dawkins (who is neither omniscient nor omnipotent) writing a hypothetical peer reviewed paper on Evolution & why he could NOT be considered an “author of confusion” just because persons ignorant of evolution failed too understand said paper. You have not explained why that is not true. Omnipotence is not relevant to the argument and is a clear Red Herring.

    Though I will as a courtesy point out your philosophical errors regarding Divine Omnipotence from the perspective of Classic Theology and Classic Theism(which is to say I reject Theistic Personalism & any and all Cartesian presuppositions in Philosophical Theology) so we will have less confusion on your part.

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  5. First some easy points:
    >By the way, fundamentalist atheism doesn't exist, fundamentalism being the strict adherence to a select set of precepts that the adherent clings to in spite of all and any evidence or reasons not to.

    I reply: I accept this definition of “fundamentalism” however as we shall soon see it will come back to haunt you & invalidate your claim there is no such thing as “fundamentalist atheism”.

    >Atheism is simply an absence of belief in God(s), and has no dogma to cling to (like the Ten Commandments, which are silly. Don't covet thy neighbours ass - Pah!).

    I reply: Technically that is NOT the definition of Atheism. Specifically that is the definition of “Negative Atheism”. As philosopher Bill Vallicella points out that is not a useful definition & it’s a form of Terminological Mischief.
    See here:
    http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2009/03/against-terminological-mischief-negative-atheism-and-negative-nominalism.html

    Vallicella also says citing David Gordon contra George H. Smith QUOTE” Some define atheism in terms of the absence of the belief that God exists. This won't do, obviously, since then we would have to count cabbages and sparkplugs as atheists given the absence in these humble entities of the belief that God exists……. Suppose one defines an "antitheist" as someone who denies that God exists. A theist is then someone who lacks this belief. He need not believe that God exist: He need only fail to have the antitheistic belief that it is not the case that God exists. The burden of proof here is on the antitheist -- the theist is within his intellectual rights in refusing to become an antitheist. If Smith's argument works, so does this one.

    Gordon's point is that the atheist cannot shift the burden of proof onto the theist by providing a negative definition of 'atheist' for the simple reason that the theist can avail himself of the very same definitional strategem. He can introduce the term 'antitheist' and then demand that the antitheist -- one who denies that God exists -- prove his antitheistic contention. If the atheist can be defined as one who is devoid of theistic belief, then by parity of reasoning the theist can be defined as one who is devoid of antitheistic belief.”END QUOTE
    See here
    http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2009/03/the-definition-of-atheist-and-the-burden-of-proof.html#more

    I would also add that historically “Atheism” has many definitions. For example: “Classic Atheist”-one who denies some specific gods (i.e Christian & Jews deny Zeus. Democritus denied all gods & said the world was nothing but atoms in a void). “Practical Atheist”-one who lives his life without reference to God or gods. “Positive Atheist” one who asserts there is no God etc & so on.

    I should point out if you insist the “Atheism is simply an absence of belief in God(s)” is the only true definition of Atheism then that would mean you are a strict adherence to this precept and you cling to it in spite of all and any evidence or reasons not too. What then does that make you? I rest my case.

    It’s a mistake to believe Atheists can’t be fundamentalists since if you do the above you are by your own definition a Fundie. The choice is yours.

    BTW Andrew Brown a writer for the London Guardian uses the term “Atheist Fundamentalist” to describe the likes of Richard Dawkins & His ilk.
    Brown is an Atheist & he not shy about it. But at least he is not a fundie.

    My next post will deal with your confusions on Divine Omnipotence.

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  6. >After all, a perfect, benevolent, unchanging, and omnipotent being would not deliberately create a universe that was as seriously flawed as this one. Would he? If so, why?

    I reply: Clearly you have a faulty understanding of Omnipotence. Edward Feser an ex-Atheist turned Thomistic philosopher says QUOTE “`omnipotence’ does not entail the power to bring into being a self-contradictory state of affairs (e.g. creating a round square or a stone that is too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift). The reason is that there is no such power; the very notion of such a power is incoherent, precisely because the notion of a self-contradictory state of affairs is incoherent. God’s power would be limited only if there was some power He lacked. Since there is no such thing as a power to make contradictions true, His inability to do so is no limitation on His power. (And if an atheist insists that an omnipotent being would have to have such a power, that only hurts his own case. For that enables the theist to say, in response to any possible objection that the atheist could ever raise: “Since God can make contradictions true, He can make it true that He exists even though your argument shows He doesn’t!”)END QUOTE

    Logically & Metaphysically there is no Power to Create more of an Uncreated Absolutely Perfect Infinite Being since to do so would be a logical contradiction. Thus any perfections God creates would have to be relative not absolute so as to have at least the potential for imperfection.

    It's not hard. You just need to study.

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  7. To put it in my own words I reject Rene Descartes incoherent views on omniscience & omnipotence. Descartes in essence believed God by virtual of His omnipotence COULD make 2+2=5. He could make a Rock so heavy He couldn’t in fact lift it and if He really needed to He could lift that Rock He made that He could not lift. Descartes’ philosophy lead him to believe God could make Himself go out of existence & then return to existence. No doubt if you where once a Theist you knew people who in fact believed this sort of nonsense about God & if not I’d be surprised.

    Naturally Aquinas would look at this nonsense & mutter something vulgar in Italian under his breath(or maybe I’m projecting myself on Aquinas here) & 100% disagree with it. In Aquinas’ & Classical Theology's correct understanding of omniscience & omnipotence God can’t do the logically impossible.

    You might retort well can’t God do anything? To which a Thomist would reply “Yes but 2+2=5 really doesn’t describe anything. Neither does an imaginary rock which can’t be moved by an omnipotence mover.etc…these things aren’t anything they are nothing thus it takes on a whole new meaning when we say “There is Nothing, God CAN’T do.”.

    >2) The existence of free will. If God is not omnipotent, then the case for free will can certainly be argued.

    I reply: Rather if one rejects a Cartesian view of omnipotence or the fatalistic deterministic views of Muslim Kalam theologians(the later's views unfortunately devolve into Pantheism. Also do not confuse Craig’s Kalam Argument with Muslim Kalam Theology) on the same then the case for free will can certainly be made. Plus it’s a bit disingenuous on your part to pretend Theological Compatibilism & arguments for it don’t exist among Calvinists & other Protestant theologians. Among Catholic ones(my people) Fr William Most has done a lot to show the logical coherence between Omnipotence & free Will.

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  8. >However, most Christians, if asked, will say that they believe the God of the Bible to be omnipotent, even though it is quite obvious that he is not.

    I reply; Many average Christians might hold some Cartesian errors. So what? Some average folks think Evolution teaches “Men evolved from Apes”(not true the theory is “Man & Apes have a common ancestor”) does that invalidate Evolution or make the Theory of Evolution the author of scientific confusion? I think not regardless of one’s views on Evolution. In a like manner Barker’s argument is still bogus sophistry.

    >If, in spite of what the Bible says, God IS omnipotent after all, then free will cannot exist,

    I reply: You are merely asserting this by fiat. You are not making a logical argument for it & I don’t think you understand enough basic philosophy to even make the case.

    >'If you resist his will' - Come on, this is GOD we are talking about here! Resist God? He is not much of a god if we can resist him, now is he?

    I reply: If we believe God is Himself Pure Actuality & that He actualizes all potency then God can by definition actualize our wills with the power to make a choice without actualizing the choice itself that our wills do make. Thus yes we can resist Him(by setting our will against him) & this doesn’t logically show that He lacks some actual power (which would prove he is not omnipotent as we saw above). In fact He has the Power to give us a Will that can make a choice & thus that proves He must be omniscient. Again it’s not hard.

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  9. Finally to wrap my response up.....

    >'YOU ARE the author of that confusion, not God' - but we were CREATED by God, were we not? So therefore he IS (ultimately) the author of that confusion. Disagree?

    I reply: If we understand “Author of Confusion” to mean “God is the Formal Cause of Confusion” then I have no problem with that since any Thomist worth his salt will admit God is the “formal cause of all evil & imperfection” in so much as He has willed to create beings with the power to choice evil. But then the burden of proof in on you & Dan Barker to prove 1 Cor 14:33 really means to deny God is the formal cause of confusion. Yeh good luck with that since it is clear from the context the text denies God is the Efficient Cause of confusion which is clearly true. So if we look at this in light of the four causes we can readily admit God is the Formal Cause of confusion but deny He is either the Efficient cause, Material Cause or Final Cause. So you have touched a truth here in spite of your clear theological & philosophical illiteracy. For that I give you Kudos.

    But that truth you touched clearly doesn't save Dan Barker's fruitbat sophistical argument.

    The logic is undeniable regardless of what you believe about God.

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  10. 'God’s power would be limited only if there was some power He lacked. Since there is no such thing as a power to make contradictions true, His inability to do so is no limitation on His power.'

    I never made that claim, and it would have been silly for me to do so. Of course omnipotence does NOT include the ability to make a square circle, or 2+2=5. The rules of logical self-consistency (and simple mathematics) cannot be broken even by an omnipotent entity. However, an omnipotent entity could, at least in theory, create a universe that was not 'as seriously flawed as this one.' In other words, it could have been a lot better. That was the point I was trying to make, not that God could create a rock that even he could not lift. I've come across this 'argument' before on atheist websites and it always make me wonder how they could ever offer this as 'proof' that God therefore could not (and does not) exist. Anyway...

    'To put it in my own words I reject Rene Descartes incoherent views on omniscience & omnipotence. Descartes in essence believed God by virtual of His omnipotence COULD make 2+2=5. He could make a Rock so heavy He couldn’t in fact lift it and if He really needed to He could lift that Rock He made that He could not lift. Descartes’ philosophy lead him to believe God could make Himself go out of existence & then return to existence. No doubt if you where once a Theist you knew people who in fact believed this sort of nonsense about God & if not I’d be surprised.'

    Yes, this is incoherent and nonsensical, and I reject it too.

    'You might retort well can’t God do anything?'

    No I wouldn't. Now you ARE projecting. Got to go (5 PM, just been told library is closing, wish I had more time). There are other objections to your response, maybe tomorrow.

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  11. >However, an omnipotent entity could, at least in theory, create a universe that was not 'as seriously flawed as this one.'

    I reply: No he could not since God can logically only create relative perfection not absolute perfection. Since he can only create relative perfection anything he creates would by nature have the potential for imperfection.

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  12. OTHO it seems you are giving me what is known as the "Best of all Possible Worlds" argument. Why did God create a better world then the present one?

    Some Christians do defend the idea that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that the evil in it is logically necessary; that is, the evil could not have been avoided unless God had not created at all. Aquinas rejected that concept & I am more likely than not to support his view.

    Aquinas would say no possible world is so good that God is bound to create it, no so bad that, so long as it has some share of being, He is prevented from creating it. There is no best possible world, even though some are better than others.

    see here
    http://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/boapw.html

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  13. Jeez, talk about not reading the comment(s) either correctly, or at all. I did not say that the universe should have been made perfect, even though I did point out that a 'perfect' God, however you want to define that word, or even a far from perfect one, could HAVE DONE MUCH BETTER.

    'I reply: If we believe God is Himself Pure Actuality & that He actualizes all potency then God can by definition actualize our wills with the power to make a choice without actualizing the choice itself that our wills do make. Thus yes we can resist Him(by setting our will against him) & this doesn’t logically show that He lacks some actual power (which would prove he is not omnipotent as we saw above). In fact He has the Power to give us a Will that can make a choice & thus that proves He must be omniscient. Again it’s not hard.'

    This is pure gobbledegook, pure malarkey, especially the first sentence. What exactly does this: 'If we believe God is Himself Pure Actuality & that He actualizes all potency then God can by definition actualize our wills with the power to make a choice without actualizing the choice itself that our wills do make.' mean? To me it is an example of deliberate obfuscation, designed to cover up an inability and unwillingness to come to terms with the desintegration of one's cozy world-view. Pure Actuality? You sound like a post-modernist, and that is not a compliment.

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  14. 1 Corinthians states:

    '26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
    34 Let your[d] women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
    36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. [e]
    39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.'

    All of which makes the following claims: 'But then the burden of proof in on you & Dan Barker to prove 1 Cor 14:33 really means to deny God is the formal cause of confusion. Yeh good luck with that since it is clear from the context the text denies God is the Efficient Cause of confusion which is clearly true.' at the very least unsubstantiated, at most dishonest and misleading.
    A claim is made in the book of Corinthians to the effect that God, however you want to define that term, is not the cause of confusion. That's all, nothing more; a claim that is not in any way, shape or form backed up with any evidence.

    By the way, the 'burden of proof' doesn't rest with me, the denier who sees things as they are actually written, but you; you're the one who has made the claim that the passage in Corinthians means something other than what it actually states, and you seem to believe that the context quite clearly reveals what that other thing is, but it is fairly obvious to any impartial reader that the context within which the sentence in question is found does nothing to substantiate what you have written in response to my first post.

    33 'For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.'
    A claim here is made by the author of 1st Corinthians that God is not the author of confusion, but he presents no evidence - NONE - that any reasonable person could accept. It is nothing more than that; an assertion with no evidence to back it up.

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  15. 'But then the burden of proof in on you & Dan Barker to prove 1 Cor 14:33 really means to deny God is the formal cause of confusion. Yeh good luck with that since it is clear from the context the text denies God is the Efficient Cause of confusion which is clearly true. So if we look at this in light of the four causes we can readily admit God is the Formal Cause of confusion but deny He is either the Efficient cause, Material Cause or Final Cause. So you have touched a truth here in spite of your clear theological & philosophical illiteracy. For that I give you Kudos.'

    It is clear from the context that the text denies that God is the Efficient Cause of Confusion? Clear from the context? As you would say, 'Yeah, good luck with that'. Read Corinthians again, and this time do it without any preconceptions or prejudice (i.e. not as a Christian).

    'So you have touched a truth here in spite of your clear theological & philosophical illiteracy. For that I give you Kudos.'

    Gee, I'm devastated. Such wit. I'm in tears, really :) Tell me something, why did you feel it was necessary to insult me at this point? Do you truly believe that, because you can quote from the works of Aquinas and Descartes, that you are in some special way superior? If so, then you are not as highly evolved as you seem to think you are. Leave out the insults and incomprehensible jargon (so you know philosophy - big deal), and if you state your position on this issue in plain English you might actually manage to make a point or two.

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  16. >This is pure gobbledegook, pure malarkey, especially the first sentence.

    I reply: Sadly as I suspected you don't really have enough knowledge in Philosophical Theology to have a meaningful discussion. You are like the fundamentalist Christian with a 6th grade education whose only knowledge of evolution is from ANSWERS IN GENESIS trying to dispute with someone who has actually studied evolutionary biology in depth. The term "Pure Actuality" is universally used in classic natural theology by Christians(Like Aquinas), Jews (like Maimonides) & Muslims (like Avicenna and Averroes). It's an Aristotelian concept. Calling it "post-modernist" when in fact it is "classical" is the height of ignorance. Calling it{"gobbledegook" is no better than a YEC dismissing the role of punctuated equilibrium in evolution when it mucks up his fossil evidence "argument".

    That is sad.

    >To me it is an example of deliberate obfuscation, designed to cover up an inability and unwillingness to come to terms with the desintegration of one's cozy world-view.

    I reply: Project much?

    >By the way, the 'burden of proof' doesn't rest with me, the denier who sees things as they are actually written, but you; you're the one who has made the claim that the passage in Corinthians means something other than what it actually states,

    I reply: Beg the question much? Sorry but the burden of proof IS IN FACT on you to exegete the verse to show Paul clearly means to deny God is a formal cause of confusion. Clearly you don't know enough(& neither does Dan Barker BTW) to even build a case so you are merely nay saying. Also logically the burden of proof IS ALWAYS on the accuser. You haven't given me any evidence other than bear assertion. I don't have to believe in God or the Bible to to see your argument is fallacious.

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  17. >It is clear from the context that the text denies that God is the Efficient Cause of Confusion? Clear from the context? As you would say, 'Yeah, good luck with that'.

    I reply: It's not luck it is merely skill which you clearly lack. An efficient cause is the agent which brings something about. For example, in the case of a statue, it is the person chiseling away, and the act of chiseling, that causes the statue.

    Clearly the efficient causes of confusion in Corinthians are individuals like the Women who refuse to keep silent or those who speak in tongues out of tern without an interpreter. Nothing in this passage about God causing these actions.

    Now your turn. Using the definition of Formal Cause show from the context how Paul is denying God is the formal cause of confusion. Good luck. You are going to need it.

    >Read Corinthians again, and this time do it without any preconceptions or prejudice (i.e. not as a Christian).

    I reply; It's a Christian document. Why would I not read it with the mind of a Christian? That's like reading Richard Dawkins & pretending he is not an Atheist & misinterpreting his views by filtering them threw Theistic presuppositions. That is not logical. One doesn't have to believe in God to see that. It merely requires common sense & rational thought. So far I haven't seen that here. I could deny God tomorrow & my opinion on your irrational argument would not be vindicated.

    >Gee, I'm devastated. Such wit. I'm in tears, really :) Tell me something, why did you feel it was necessary to insult me at this point?

    I reply: It only an insult if it's not true. Clearly you are theologically & philosophically illiterate. I must apply BenYachov Law here "Reasoning is a learned skill just because you deny the existence of god(s) doesn't automatically make you either knowledgeable or rational."

    I unlike you would not be insulted at all if someone like Richard Dawkins told me my knowledge of Evolution was way inferior to his since it's well, true. I'm at peace with that so what is your problem?

    > Do you truly believe that, because you can quote from the works of Aquinas and Descartes, that you are in some special way superior?

    I reply: I don't believe I am a better person than you since that would be anti-biblical & heresy. But clearly I know more theology & philosophy than you. There have been Atheists on this very blog who justly embarrassed me because they knew more about Aristotle than I did. It happens.

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  18. >It is clear from the context that the text denies that God is the Efficient Cause of Confusion? Clear from the context? As you would say, 'Yeah, good luck with that'.

    I reply: It's not luck it is merely skill which you clearly lack. An efficient cause is the agent which brings something about. For example, in the case of a statue, it is the person chiseling away, and the act of chiseling, that causes the statue.

    Clearly the efficient causes of confusion in Corinthians are individuals like the Women who refuse to keep silent or those who speak in tongues out of tern without an interpreter. Nothing in this passage about God causing these actions.

    Now your turn. Using the definition of Formal Cause show from the context how Paul is denying God is the formal cause of confusion. Good luck. You are going to need it.

    >Read Corinthians again, and this time do it without any preconceptions or prejudice (i.e. not as a Christian).

    I reply; It's a Christian document. Why would I not read it with the mind of a Christian? That's like reading Richard Dawkins & pretending he is not an Atheist & misinterpreting his views by filtering them threw Theistic presuppositions. That is not logical. One doesn't have to believe in God to see that. It merely requires common sense & rational thought. So far I haven't seen that here. I could deny God tomorrow & my opinion on your irrational argument would not be vindicated.

    >Gee, I'm devastated. Such wit. I'm in tears, really :) Tell me something, why did you feel it was necessary to insult me at this point?

    I reply: It only an insult if it's not true. Clearly you are theologically & philosophically illiterate. I must apply BenYachov Law here "Reasoning is a learned skill just because you deny the existence of god(s) doesn't automatically make you either knowledgeable or rational."

    I unlike you would not be insulted at all if someone like Richard Dawkins told me my knowledge of Evolution was way inferior to his since it's well, true. I'm at peace with that so what is your problem?

    > Do you truly believe that, because you can quote from the works of Aquinas and Descartes, that you are in some special way superior?

    I reply: I don't believe I am a better person than you since that would be anti-biblical & heresy. But clearly I know more theology & philosophy than you. There have been Atheists on this very blog who justly embarrassed me because they knew more about Aristotle than I did. It happens.

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  19. Sorry for the double post. Nobody is perfect.

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  20. 'Also logically the burden of proof IS ALWAYS on the accuser.'

    Actually, the burden of evidence lies with the claimant, the one who makes either a negative claim (ex. God does not exist), or a positive one (ex. God does exist). Not the 'accuser' or the sceptic. Only agnostics, being as undecided as they are, do not have to meet this requirement.

    >Read Corinthians again, and this time do it without any preconceptions or prejudice (i.e. not as a Christian).

    'I reply; It's a Christian document. Why would I not read it with the mind of a Christian?'

    You would NOT do so because, ideally, texts, and any evidence that may be contained within them, should be approached impartially in order to avoid making the mistake of reading more into them than is actually there. It pays to remain unbiased.

    'I reply: It only an insult if it's not true. Clearly you are theologically & philosophically illiterate.'

    Actually, I'm not, and it is an insult, but even if I were exactly as you describe me, what has that got to do with anything? How does the perception that I am 'theologically illiterate' invalidate anything that I have thus far stated? Insults achieve nothing. I can be insulting too, it's really easy - you are a pompous git. There, that made me feel better (or maybe not, I have just sunk to your level).

    'I must apply BenYachov Law here "Reasoning is a learned skill just because you deny the existence of god(s) doesn't automatically make you either knowledgeable or rational."'

    So you've actually invented a 'law', named after yourself of course. Perhaps you were just joking here and I didn't get the joke (after all, I am 'theologically illiterate' and maybe lack a sense of irony as well), but it wouldn't at all surprise me if you were not.

    'Sorry for the double post. Nobody is perfect.'

    Hey, some humility. You have hope after all.

    Okay, look, this is quite clearly getting nowhere fast. Maybe we should just agree to disagree, even though it is quite obvious from the actual evidence in the text of Corinthians that I am right and you are seriously misguided (as most Christians tend to be).

    Good Bye :)

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  21. I've had the flu so I've been off the net a couple of days.

    >Actually, the burden of evidence lies with the claimant, the one who makes either a negative claim (ex. God does not exist), or a positive one (ex. God does exist). Not the 'accuser' or the sceptic. Only agnostics, being as undecided as they are, do not have to meet this requirement.

    I reply: I thought the subject of this post was Dan Barker's claim "The Bible states that “God is not the author of confusion. The Bible has caused a lot of confusion. Therefore, God is not the author of that confusion."etc. Which I have shown is logically fallacious and you have no rational response. The existence of God is quite irrelevant to Dan's foolish argument.


    >You would NOT do so because, ideally, texts, and any evidence that may be contained within them, should be approached impartially in order to avoid making the mistake of reading more into them than is actually there. It pays to remain unbiased.

    I reply: So if I dug up an ancient Buddhist text I shouldn't read it with the mind set of an ancient Buddhist but with something you ambiguously call an "unbiased mindset"? That makes no sense & it's scientifically irresponsible.

    >Actually, I'm not, and it is an insult, but even if I were exactly as you describe me, what has that got to do with anything?

    I reply: You don't have the tools to argue rationally & your little meltdown here only reinforces my point.

    >How does the perception that I am 'theologically illiterate' invalidate anything that I have thus far stated? Insults achieve nothing. I can be insulting too, it's really easy - you are a pompous git. There, that made me feel better (or maybe not, I have just sunk to your level).

    I reply: You have lost this argument because you have failed to respond rationally to my points. Dan Barker's argument & your pathetic pretense of a defense are just so much hot air. If that bothers you sorry not my problem.


    >Okay, look, this is quite clearly getting nowhere fast. Maybe we should just agree to disagree, even though it is quite obvious from the actual evidence in the text of Corinthians that I am right and you are seriously misguided (as most Christians tend to be).

    I reply: Actually you have shown NOTHING from the text of Corinthians to back up your claims. You just made bare assertions. If I stopped believing in God tomorrow I would still believe your argument was illogical & low brow.

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  22. You just have to get the last word in, don't you? Well, so do I.

    You have written above:
    “God is not the author of confusion. The Bible has caused a lot of confusion. Therefore, God is not the author of that confusion"
    and you dare to lecture ME about logic! If the Bible is supposedly the 'Word of God', then God is the author of that book. Thus, if the Bible causes confusion, then God, being the author, is responsible. Geez, you don't even understand simple logic!

    'I reply: You don't have the tools to argue rationally & your little meltdown here only reinforces my point.'

    I am far more rational than you, and I did not have a 'meltdown'. I at least don't believe that any of that ridiculous rubbish that you call the Bible is actually true. Where is the evidence that the Bible was created by any gods? There is none. Where is the evidence that there even is a god? There is none. Stop believing in fairy-tales!

    'I reply: Actually you have shown NOTHING from the text of Corinthians to back up your claims. You just made bare assertions. If I stopped believing in God tomorrow I would still believe your argument was illogical & low brow.'

    If you really believe that I have not made a convincing case, then you are blind as well as being unbelievably stubborn.

    'I reply: You have lost this argument because you have failed to respond rationally to my points. Dan Barker's argument & your pathetic pretense of a defense are just so much hot air. If that bothers you sorry not my problem.'

    Pathetic pretense of a defence? NOW who is having a meltdown? I have not lost the argument, you have. Why? You lost it when:
    1) You started to attack me personally, rather than the points that I had made.
    2) You deliberately ignored the actual evidence within Corinthians that I used to support my case.

    Okay, case closed. I win (by a landslide!). You, on the other hand, have lost. Now don't cry, it's not the end of the world (unless you are a fundamentalist who believes in that psychotic drivel called 'Revelations').

    Life is better without religion. You should try it sometime. Remember: if you respond to this, I will be back, and I will NEVER go away. :) You have been warned.

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  23. > I will be back, and I will NEVER go away. :) You have been warned.

    I reply: Child I'm not impressed & yes you are having a meltdown & you are not rational.

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