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Contents

Stank

"Furthermore, Archimedes ... Aristotle ... Archytas ... Anaximander ... Eudemus of Rhodes ... are a few examples of scientists of ancient Greece. ... Believe it or not but these folks were not Christian. They weren't? Goodness! I would never have realised if you hadn't point that out to me! Thank you soooo much! Channel Schlafly much? Ace McWicked 05:50, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Any resemblance to Andy is unintentional. It was a response to Timsh's condescending "Believe it or not but these folks were not Christian". Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:21, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Doesnt really play well in your favour, Philly my love. Ace McWicked 06:23, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Only when a double standard is employed. Such posts here from Timsh are lauded at RW; or did you criticise him also? BradleyF (LowKey) 10:36, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Bradley, you just can't help yourself can you. I merely let Phil know he sounded like a ******. Ace McWicked 19:26, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
And I merely let you know you sounded inconsistent and petty. BradleyF (LowKey) 00:19, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Say, that's great Brad! Ace McWicked 00:40, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Two questions

Do you think Christians that believe in evolution and an old earth are true Christians? And whether yes or no, do you think they'll go to heaven? Ace McWicked 09:09, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

If they are true Christians, they will go to heaven. For your first question, see my first couple of posts under "Yes" in cp:Debate: Can you be a true Christian and believe in evolution?. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:49, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
That sort of skirted around my question and I don't want to go to CP (and can't from where I am currently as my IP is blocked from even viewing). Let me rephrase - can you be a true Christian and not believe that Genesis is a literal account - Yes/No. Will people who do not believe in a literal account go to heaven - Yes/No? Ace McWicked 18:37, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Directing you to an answer I've written elsewhere is not "skirting around" the question. What I wrote there was an explanation of how someone can still be a (true) Christian whilst believing in evolution. I wrote there the following (and remember this was under the "Yes" section of the debate Can you be a true Christian and believe in evolution?):
As humans are capable of believing two or more contradictory things, it entirely possible (and quite common) for someone who is truly a Christian to have a wrong view about parts of the Bible, including the parts that contradict evolution. So believing in evolution does not mean that you are not truly a Christian, even though you believe something quite anti-biblical.
When someone asked how a person could believe in two contradictory things, I wrote:
Most people who believe in two contradictory things don't realise that they believe in two contradictory things. They've never really thought through the implications of the things they believe to realise that there is a contradiction. That's not always true, though. Sometimes people do realise that they believe in two contradictory things, but choose to keep believing both of them. This I cannot understand, and I can't recall any examples. More common, however, would be those that have realised that two of the things they believe in are contradictory, but don't yet know how to solve that contradiction. Many people have become Christians but continued to believe in evolution. At first, they don't see the contradiction (believing, for example, that God used evolution to create). Later, many of them realise that there is a contradiction (their compromise doesn't actually work), but don't know how to resolve that. Fortunately, many of them ultimately resolve the contradiction by rejecting evolution, but there's many others who haven't done that last step, or haven't reached that last step yet.
But the point is, salvation is not dependent on the believer accepting every last detail of what the Bible says. Those described above who eventually come to reject evolution haven't finally become Christians at the point that they reject evolution; they were already Christians before that.
That answers your first question: they can still be true Christians. In the light of that, my answer that all true Christians will go to Heaven answers you second question.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 20:09, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
But what if someone does not hold a contradictory view. Someone who is a Christian (like my sister for example) but takes Genesis as a metaphor and is never likely to change that opinion. That is not holding a contradiction because she doesn't belief Genesis happened and believes in evolution. Is she a true Christian and will she go to heaven? Ace McWicked 20:20, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe that my answer does cover that, but I'll make some additional comments to clarify.
I don't believe that it's possible for anyone other than God to say with absolute certainty that someone else is or is not a (true) Christian. We could, of course, conclude with considerable certainty that someone who specifically denies God is not a Christian, and we could also conclude with a fair degree of certainty that someone who is believing and living like a Christian is a (true) Christian, but for many other cases in between, it's not appropriate to make such judgements.
My earlier point was that believing in evolution or deep time is not something that prevents someone being a (true) Christian. So although I couldn't comment on whether or not someone such as you sister is a Christian, I can say that if they are not, it's not (directly) due to believing in evolution.
Presumably someone who considers "Genesis as a metaphor" does so only for the creation and flood accounts, not for the whole book. But presumably they do so only for parts of those accounts. Would your sister, for example, consider Genesis 1:1 a metaphor, or literally true? And what about passages in other books, such as Exodus 20:11? My point is that if one starts metaphorising the creation account, one runs into other inconsistencies. What about New Testament references to Adam and Noah, for example? What about New Testament teaching such as death being the result of sin (Romans 6:23), which is simply not true if evolution is true? If you consider the creation account as metaphor, then you either do believe contradictory things (such as Noah being fictional but Noah being an example of a faithful person (Hebrews 11:7)), or you end up metaphorising not just the creation account but the entire Bible. If that is what one does, then I would question whether that person really is a Christian. Not because they reject the literalness of the creation account, but because they reject the literalness of everything in the Bible.
As I said above, you can believe contradictory things without realising it. I am certain that if you dug deep enough, you would find that anyone who claimed to be a Christian but didn't believe the creation account would be believing contradictory things.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:41, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
But don't you yourself believe some of the Bible to be a metaphor but take genesis as a narrative? Ace McWicked 01:50, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes I do. I take as metaphor the parts for which the language indicates they were intended to be taken as metaphor. As such, taking those parts as metaphor does not cause problems of self-contradiction. I was not saying that one should never take any of the Bible as metaphor. I was saying that taking the creation account in particular as metaphor causes other problems. As far as I know, every biblical doctrine has its basis in the first few chapters of Genesis. Therefore, it's pretty-well inevitable that taking those parts as metaphor will result in problems of inconsistency. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:55, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
How do you decide where it is intended to be metaphor? Genesis could be used as a metaphorical device in order to convey a message throughout the bible. A lot of books take a fictional event to put forward real life lessons. Ace McWicked 02:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I would seriously dispute that "a lot of books" take a fictional event as a basis for real-life lessons, but accept that they might use a fictional event to illustrate a real-life lesson. I also dispute that this is a proper thing to do. If a teaching is based on a supposed real event, then what does that mean for the teaching if the event is not real? For example, Jesus spoke about divorce in Mark 10:6-9, citing Genesis as his basis. Specifically, he cited Genesis 2:23-24, that a man will leave his parents and be one with his wife because Adam and Eve were originally one. See the "because" (or "for this reason")? It means that the teaching is dependent on the event. If the event is fiction, the teaching has no authority.
As I indicated, determining metaphor can be done on the basis of the language. Ask yourself these questions: Even today, we use Figurative language in many ways; agreed? If so, how do you determine what is literal and what is figurative?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:13, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Firstly - many, many works of fiction contain life lessons and the characters learning these. And your divorce comment can used to say that Genesis and Adam+Eve were a device to convey that one man should partner with one woman, the event could still be fiction without having it be real. It only has authority if you believe the bible. Many cultures have differing authorities and may have many wifes. You are effectively decreeing your religion/text/Bible is the correct view.
Figurative speech is used yes, but your question about deciding if it is literal or not is broad. Can you be more specific please? Ace McWicked 02:24, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Mind if I cut in? BradleyF (LowKey) 02:52, 26 November 2009 (UTC) I am cutting in. This discussion covered that question (see the links in that discussion, too). (cutting back out). BradleyF (LowKey) 03:06, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll admit that many works of fiction do contain moral lessons. I find it quite ironic that television shows which portray bad morals can claim that it's not the show's responsibility to be moralistic, and that they are just being realistic, yet many other shows do implicitly promote "good" morals (although there might be disagreement about whether a particular moral stance is actually a good one). So in a sense you are correct on that point, and I was incorrect. However, although these works of fiction aim to promote good moral values (or "lessons"), that they do so by means of fiction means that they really have no solid foundation, whereas any teaching that does have a solid foundation requires those moral lessons to be based on facts, and if those facts are wrong, the moral lesson has no substance.
I don't really see that my question was too broad, except insofar that you may use different methods for determining the existence of figurative language depending on whether it is metaphor, euphemism, etc. If that's your concern, then I'll ask how you determine what is literal and what is metaphor. And yes, the discussion linked by Bradley does cover this question to a fair extent.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:49, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, your friend Brad comes across as arrogant and sarcastic and I have little patience, respect or desire to follow, debate or encourage him any further. You can say "Pot meet Kettle" or whatever but nonetheless - If RW contributors are the pot that still makes him the kettle.
You concede that yes, many fictional stories have a fictional basis that promote good life lessons however the only difference is that you are asserting that genesis does have a factual basis and have not given examples as to why it could not be of a metaphorical base in order to convey such lessons. Simply stating that it must in order to have weight behind it, or authority if you will, does not constitute evidence of it being literal.
Finally - here is an example -
"Sledgehammers pounded in his head" = figurative
"He had a bad headache" = literal
I can tell this because no one has actual sledgehammers in their heads and the figurative is used to convey the idea that the character has a bad headache.
"The talking snake told Eve to eat the apple even though it was forbidden by god and terrible things happened" (example!) = figurative
"Eve broke gods will which caused terrible things to happen so do not break gods will" = literal
Now the figurative is used to convey the idea that breaking gods will leads to terrible things to happen. We know this because there has never been a talking snake. So we know it is a figurative. Do I make that clear? Sorry if not, I have just eaten a large meal and feel....weighty and dozey...Ace McWicked 06:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, your friend Brad comes across as arrogant and sarcastic ... Goodness! I thought that was my problem!
...the only difference is that you are asserting that genesis does have a factual basis... No, that's not the only difference, and not the difference I'm talking about. Fictional stories teaching morals have people following good morals and having good outcomes, with the implication that if you do likewise you will have good outcomes also. But although this might influence people inclined to accept it, people not inclined to accept it can easily dismiss it as the fiction it is. The Bible, in contrast, includes not implied connections between good morals and good outcomes, but moral teaching which is explicitly based on what it claims are real events. And while I do believe that the claimed facts are true, my assertion is simply that the teaching is based on claimed facts, and therefore the veracity of the teaching depends on the accuracy of those truth-claims.
Thanks for the example/explanation, and yes, it was quite clear. It has problems, however. First, your example relies on knowing that sledgehammers do not pound in heads. What if it was something that you didn't know? Does that mean that you could not tell that something was metaphor? Perhaps your answer will be 'yes', but one way of telling is by knowing normal language use. If I said, for example, that it's raining cats and dogs, people could know that it's metaphor in two ways: one is by knowing that cats and dogs don't rain, and the other is by recognising the expression as a known metaphor.
The problem with using what you know to be true or not true is that it can be begging the question. How do you "know" that there has never been a talking snake? And if the talking snake was just a metaphor for Satan, then why did God punish the snake in a way which appears to apply to actual snakes? If you think that the metaphor of the snake actually means "Eve broke gods will which caused terrible things to happen so do not break gods will", then does that mean that you believe that Eve was actual rather than metaphor?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:28, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Many people do not believe the Bible is fact and believe that genesis is metaphorical, so people not inclined to accept it can easily dismiss it as the fiction that it is. Again, the veracity relies on someone accepting it as fact. Wherein you assert that it is totally literal but many others would assert it as a metaphor in order to convey a message. And where does the bible state that it is factual? Is that not just your interpretation?
You misunderstand - Eve and the snake were both metaphors to convey the message of God will and law taking primacy. We can see from all the evidence around us that there cannot be a talking snake. Snakes have no vocal cords and while they can hiss it is little more then an exhalation of air as opposed to a complex system of organs and the intelligence required to form and compose language. It is circular to use say the snake fits god's punishment - "It can't be a metaphor because snakes today look like it says in the bible hence the bible is not a metaphor because of how it is described the Bible. Ace McWicked 23:08, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Many people do not believe the Bible is fact and believe that genesis is metaphorical... I'm not sure of your point. I agree that people who reject all the Bible are not being inconsistent about it. But I was talking about those who claimed to believe some of it.
You are more inconsistent with your next point. --Editor at CP 20:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Wherein you assert that it is totally literal ... No, I've said many times that I accept that the Bible contains parables, euphemisms, and other symbolic language.
And you and only you decide which ones. But don't make us a nice list. Editor at CP 20:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Nonsense. That is the mainstream evangelical position (& I am pretty sure there Philip is not the only evangelical). The ridiculous "nice list" comment has been made, dealt with, made, dealt with before. You don't need one to work out what's what in everything else that you read or hear BradleyF (LowKey) 21:24, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
And where does the bible state that it is factual? Where does your newspaper or your textbook state that they are factual? You don't need an explicit claim of factuality in order to accept that something is intended to be factual.
And you don't need to think that something is intended to be factual. Editor at CP 20:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
But you should when when the text is written in a way that indicates it is factual. BradleyF (LowKey) 21:24, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Is that not just your interpretation? For the umpteenth time (with various people), no, it is not just my interpretation. It is the standard understanding of most of Christendom for most of the last two millennia, and (as far as the creation and flood accounts are concerned) it is the consensus of the experts.
You are wrong. Not for the first time. Editor at CP 20:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Wrong that this has been stated repeatedly? No. Wrong that it is not just one person's interptretation? No. Wrong about it being the standard understanding for most of the last 2000y? No. Wrong about about the consensus of experts on the creation and flood accounts? No. Unless you are referring to some spelling mistake that I missed, your claim is incorrect. BradleyF (LowKey) 21:24, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
You misunderstand - Eve and the snake were both metaphors ... You said that the snake was a metaphor for Eve's actions; so what is Eve a metaphor for? And what about Adam? Luke gives a family tree of Jesus all the way back to Adam (and God). At which point in that line was a real person fathered by a metaphor?
We can see from all the evidence around us that there cannot be a talking snake. I know of some evidence to the contrary. A couple of creatures here have no vocal tracts yet they do a pretty good job of talking. Christians have long understood the snake to be a vaguely-similar situation.
Christians? Editor at CP 20:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Problem? BradleyF (LowKey) 21:24, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem is (and continues to be) that you and Mr. Rayment have the hubris to define Christianity in terms of your own interpretations and reject out of hand those of others. We understand that you and Mr. Rayment are giving Christianity your best shot, what you don't seem to understand is that we are too. You're not always right. The difference is that we don't know who is right; you seem to know you're right. You don't. We don't. No one does. The rest of it will figure it out on the other side of the pearly gates, while you and Mr. Rayment will probably get stuck at the door arguing with St. Peter. SallyM 21:49, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
SallyM, are you saying that those who believe that Satan spoke through the serpent are not Christians? To claim that Philip’s statement is problematic is to strongly imply exactly that. You also have gone so far as to question Philip’s and my own salvation (albeit apparently for humourous effect, not that I can see why damnation is a laughing matter). This in a post where you accuse us of hubris over definitions of Christianity! You also either have not bothered to find out (or perhaps you have found out and disregarded) what my definition of Christianity actually is. If you had you would find that firstly it is far from merely my own interpretation but is the soundly scripturally based consensus of evangelical Christians. Secondly you would find that it is quite broad (apparently broader than your own, given your comments in the above post). Also, if I have rejected other interpretations, on what basis have you concluded that such rejection was out of hand? How do you know that I have not spent years studying the Bible, studying the works of Christian scholars (including scholarly arguments for and against several particular interpretations), seeking the consensus of Christians I know and trust, and praying, all in order to arrive at my hermeneutic and exegetic conclusions? That is in fact what I have done. If you looked into what I have said (rather than what you think I think) you would find that I have said that we all get it wrong in some degree. I do have confidence in my own conclusions, given how I have arrived at them. I have changed my mind on issues, because I do consider information and arguments that are presented to me (I do not often re-consider arguments that are simply re-presented, which you perhaps mistake as rejection "out of hand"). I much prefer that to the epistemological black hole of “nobody knows if they’re right”. I feel no need for blind faith, as scripture quite clearly shows that God wants us to have an intellectually satisfying faith. Stopping now. I have more to say, but I am out of time and patience. BradleyF (LowKey) 02:31, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
It is circular to use say the snake fits god's punishment - "It can't be a metaphor because snakes today look like it says in the bible hence the bible is not a metaphor because of how it is described the Bible. That's not what I was saying. I was saying that the details of the punishment are snake-specific, and don't fit with a metaphorical snake. If the story was metaphor, the punishment doesn't make sense.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:28, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that people who reject all the Bible are not being inconsistent about it. But I was talking about those who claimed to believe some of it. But why is it inconsistent to accept only some of the Bible, given that the texts it is made up of were written at different times by different authors about different subjects for different purposes and actually exhibit quite different views (or worldviews!) on fundamentals like morality, the nature of God, eschatology and all kinds of things? I can see why people would say that about, say, the Koran, which had one author and has always been a single text as it was intended. But the Bible is an anthology, it is heterogeneous, which is a great strength and makes it far richer than the Koran, but it isn't a single block that you have to either embrace every word of or throw in the fire. It never has been.--CPalmer 14:30, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Extremely well put, CPalmer. I pray that this gets through to Mr. Rayment so that he may understand and appreciate Christians with differing interpretations. SallyM 17:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Editing break

The problem is (and continues to be) that you and Mr. Rayment have the hubris to define Christianity in terms of your own interpretations and reject out of hand those of others. If you want examples of "rejecting out of hand, try You are wrong. Not for the first time. Editor at CP 20:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC) Notice the entire lack of any sort of supporting argument? Or how about ...you ... have the hubris to define Christianity in terms of your own interpretations and reject out of hand those of others. Again, notice the entire lack of supporting argument? You have simply rejected the historical mainstream Christian and current evangelical position out of hand, and, further, misrepresented this a being a position pretty-well unique to us!
The difference is that we don't know who is right... If you don't know who is right, by what logic can you criticise us for claiming to be right?
You don't. We don't. No one does. Do you know that for certain? If not, then you have no basis for criticising us. If you do, then you are hypocritical for criticising us by saying "you seem to know you're right". That is, you seem to know for sure that we can't know for sure. Your position is self-refuting. Further, if you do know this for sure, how do you know this?
To CPalmer, your argument relies precariously on the idea that the Bible is not authored by God, despite the Bible claiming that it is. Your argument relies on the Bible having multiple authors with different worldviews, when it claims to have a single ultimate author (although multiple human "ghost writers") who has a consistent message. At least, unlike some others here, you have made some specific supporting claims, so I ask you to supply examples of those different views on fundamentals, the nature of God, etc.

It does speak with many voices but it speaks with one message. Many voices shouting the same message, which is the Saviour and how God would send the Saviour into this world and how people can know Him; the kingdom of God and how to get in; I mean a unified message. So sure there are many voices; that's the beauty of it; it was written by men but given by God.Dr. Alex McFarland of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina

...it isn't a single block that you have to either embrace every word of or throw in the fire. It never has been. 2 Timothy 3:16. See the first word?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:23, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
You don't need an explicit claim of factuality in order to accept that something is intended to be factual. How about Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Shining? Can those also be taken as factual? What is the difference between them and the Bible except belief?
You said that the snake was a metaphor for Eve's actions; so what is Eve a metaphor for? And what about Adam? Luke gives a family tree of Jesus all the way back to Adam (and God). At which point in that line was a real person fathered by a metaphor? Now you are splitting hairs. Eve and the snake and the apple etc are all the metaphor to convey the message that bad things happen when you break gods will (broadly speaking). The lineage is irrelevant - there is no way to confirm it except via the bible.
know of some evidence to the contrary. A couple of creatures here have no vocal tracts yet they do a pretty good job of talking. Never mind the silliness, I get your point however now you are resting on "satan did it" which means you haven't provided evidence that it isn't a metaphor - you believe it isn't.
I was saying that the details of the punishment are snake-specific, and don't fit with a metaphorical snake. If the story was metaphor, the punishment doesn't make sense. Again, you are asserting that it must have been the snakes punishment because the Bible says so and it doesnt make sense otherwise. Why not? What doesn't make sense to you? Why can it not be a metaphor still?
As to the morals in the Bible having authority, they dont! Only to those who believe it they do, to me it is just a lesson on morals but has no authority. Ace McWicked 02:49, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
How about Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Shining? Can those also be taken as factual? You're seriously asking if known fiction can be taken as factual????
Now you are splitting hairs. Eve and the snake and the apple etc are all the metaphor to convey the message that bad things happen when you break gods will (broadly speaking). No, it's not splitting hairs. It's asking you to be clear about what's supposed metaphor and what's not.
The lineage is irrelevant - there is no way to confirm it except via the bible. That's ducking the question. But if your answer is that the entire genealogy is fictional, then answer it from the point of view of the Christian you mentioned earlier who presumably does accept the existence of much of that genealogy, such as from Abraham or David onwards.
...you are resting on "satan did it" which means you haven't provided evidence that it isn't a metaphor... The onus is on you to show that it is a metaphor. My answer doesn't prove that it's not, but it does destroy your argument that it must be.
Why not? What doesn't make sense to you? Why can it not be a metaphor still? For the same reason that the first part of the account is not a metaphor: it doesn't fit the format of a metaphor. A metaphor is when something is said to be something else. Such as saying that "the snake is a devil"; such an expression says that A is B. The account of Eve and the snake is not of that form. Rather, the bit about being punished is treating the snake as a snake.
As to the morals in the Bible having authority, they dont! Because?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:13, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
You're seriously asking if known fiction can be taken as factual????Why not? You asked if something known to be factual (newspaper) could be considered fiction without a qualifier stating as such. Again, you automatically assume the bible to be factual however our discussion thus has been is the bible factual and not a metaphor!
No, it's not splitting hairs. It's asking you to be clear about what's supposed metaphor and what's not. Yes you are splitting hairs - the discussion was whether or not Genesis was fact or metaphor. Eve, snake, tree = metaphor. I wasn't suggesting some of it were metaphor. I stated it all (genesis at least) was however fact and fiction can intertwine, like a Hunter Thompson novel.
That's ducking the question. But if your answer is that the entire genealogy is fictional, then answer it from the point of view of the Christian you mentioned earlier who presumably does accept the existence of much of that genealogy, such as from Abraham or David onwards.No, it is not ducking the question. Not in the slightest! Who said aforementioned Christian believes such? The whole bible, in said Christians eyes, could be metaphorical but that doesnt change the lesson, moral or belief in God. The bible is the handbook - not the deity.
The onus is on you to show that it is a metaphor. My answer doesn't prove that it's not, but it does destroy your argument that it must be. The onus is on you, I cannot prove a negative - you have made the positive claim so back it up. You have asserted without evidence so I can dismiss without evidence.
For the same reason that the first part of the account is not a metaphor: it doesn't fit the format of a metaphor. A metaphor is when something is said to be something else. Such as saying that "the snake is a devil"; such an expression says that A is B. The account of Eve and the snake is not of that form. Rather, the bit about being punished is treating the snake as a snake. Something is said to be something else. It is said the snake talks - snakes do not talk hence it is said to be something it is not. There is not one shred of evidence that snakes could talk, ever. Why cannot have someone seen a snake, crawling, and decreed that it was gods punishment because snakes crawl. Except by using the bible, which as discussed could metaphorical. Circular.
Because?Because I am an atheist - hence it has no authority to me. Does provide a framework (no stealing is good, no murder is good) but it has no authority to me, Hindus, Muslims, Jews etc etc etc. Ace McWicked 09:55, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Very briefly, regarding an entirely metaphorical Bible not affecting belief in God, see Romans 10:9-10. It just doesn't work as a metaphor. One has to belief in some facts. BradleyF (LowKey) 02:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Why not? You asked if something known to be factual (newspaper) could be considered fiction without a qualifier stating as such. No, I asked if something known to be factual (newspaper) could be considered factual without it explicitly saying so. My newspaper example was to answer your implied claim that the Bible need not be considered factual if it doesn't claim to be. Your response citing several works of fiction was a non-sequitur.
Why not? You asked if something known to be factual (newspaper) could be considered fiction without a qualifier stating as such. And yet your explanation of what the supposed metaphor meant included reference to Eve as though she was not a metaphor.
Who said aforementioned Christian believes such? The whole bible, in said Christians eyes, could be metaphorical ... If a person believes the entire Bible to be a metaphor, then I would say that there's no grounds for considering such a person Christian.
The onus is on you, I cannot prove a negative ... The onus is on the person claiming that something is not what it seems to show that. If their claim is a negative, that's their problem for claiming something they can't show. Besides, it's not true that a negative cannot be proved.
Something is said to be something else. It is said the snake talks - snakes do not talk hence it is said to be something it is not. No, the structure of the text is not saying that the snake is something else. You are confusing a claimed attribute of the snake with the snake being called something non-snake.
There is not one shred of evidence that snakes could talk, ever. You mean apart from the historical account that one did? I find it amusing that people claim there is "no evidence" only by ignoring the known evidence.
Why cannot have someone seen a snake, crawling, and decreed that it was gods punishment because snakes crawl. Someone could have. But that doesn't mean that a someone making that claim has simply made it up.
Because I am an atheist - hence it has no authority to me. Another non-sequitur. The law of the land has authority over its citizens even if they don't recognise it. So that you don't recognise it doesn't mean that the authority doesn't exist. Secondly, you didn't claim that they had no authority over you. You claimed that they had no authority. Full stop.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:48, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
A couple of things here -
You are confusing a claimed attribute of the snake with the snake being called something non-snake A talking snake that doesn't crawl on its belly (What did it do before? Fly?) is not a snake Philip, no matter how much you would like it to be.
You mean apart from the historical account that one did? I find it amusing that people claim there is "no evidence" only by ignoring the known evidence. Another cicular argument! You using something that could be considered metaphorical to prove it isn't metaphorical! Where is the other evidence of this aside from the one account that is under dispute?
Someone could have. But that doesn't mean that a someone making that claim has simply made it up. Should we then also belief the works of Kipling about how the leopard got it's spots?
Secondly, you didn't claim that they had no authority over you. You claimed that they had no authority. Full stop. Ask a Hindu if the Bible has authority for him/her. As a Muslim also. It would an unequivocal no. Ace McWicked 03:37, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
A talking snake that doesn't crawl on its belly ... is not a snake... First, that depends entirely on definitions, so it's not appropriate to say that it's not a snake. Second, the real point is that I was talking about the form of the text, not definitions or the accuracy of the claim. The form of the text is not "A is B" (snake is something non-snake). The point of such a metaphor is to highlight some attribute of A (the snake) by describing it as something else with a known attribute. The form of the text is not doing that.
Another cicular argument! You using something that could be considered metaphorical to prove it isn't metaphorical! Not at all. Rather, it is you who is using a circular argument by claiming that there "not one shred of" evidence in support of your claim that it's metaphorical because you've already dismissed the existing evidence on the grounds that it's metaphorical.
Where is the other evidence of this aside from the one account that is under dispute? I didn't say that there was other evidence. I merely pointed out that you were wrong that there was no evidence. If you want to argue that there needs to be independent evidence, you are free to argue that (although I would disagree), but you weren't; you were asserting that there was no evidence.
Should we then also belief the works of Kipling about how the leopard got it's spots? Of course not. If someone makes a claim, we have (at least) two possibilities to consider:
  1. The claim is true
  2. The claim is made up
Your argument was that because No. 2 is a possibility, No. 1 is ruled out. My reply was that No. 1 is not ruled out, i.e. both remain possibilities. Your latest response is effectively that I'm arguing that No. 2 is ruled out. This is clearly fallacious.
Ask a Hindu if the Bible has authority for him/her. As a Muslim also. It would an unequivocal no. Citing illogical answers similar to yours does not make yours logical.
I notice that you've not made any further attempt to demonstrate that it is a metaphor, despite the onus being on you to show that it is.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
In answer to your question - I can say that Genesis is a metaphor because, aside from the book itself, there is not one shred of evidence to prove other wise. Ace McWicked 18:39, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Apart from the fact that your approach is completely backwards, here is a shred for you. BradleyF (LowKey) 22:37, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
That is all creationist and bible literalists have, presuppositionalism. We first assume the bible is true and then shoehorn facts to fit. This is why have never bothered arguing with Philip and you, you are not even using the same logic. You have started with a (questionable) axiom and started building from there. Anyone that tries to argue here should just give up, you are wrong from their axiom they will not budge an inch. p 22:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but what? None of what you said there seems to have anything to do with my post or the article that I linked. The article was about statistical analysis of a text to see if it was narrative or metaphor. Where is the assumption that the Bible is true? What facts are being shoehorned to fit the "narrative" analysis? What axiom there is questionable? My "backwards" statement was about starting from an assumption of "metaphorical" for any given text, but I still can't see anything in post that is actually about that. I can't make sense of your last sentence; people should not argue with me because I am axiomatically wrong and they won't budge? I tend to make more typos when I rush a post. Is that what happened there? If not, I don't get it. BradleyF (LowKey) 09:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll add to that, I own several fiction books written as a narrative. Are they true? American Psycho is a narrative, does that mean it is fact? Ace McWicked 22:54, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Quit switching. You are not now speaking about metaphorical/factual, but about accurate/inaccurate. How many times does it need to be said that these are not the same thing? The discussion was about the factual or metaphroical nature of the Bible. If I understand your position correctly, you are saying that Genesis must be a metaphor because it is not true. You then give as an example fictional works that are not true but are not metaphorical. Can you see the conflation? BradleyF (LowKey) 01:39, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I can say that Genesis is a metaphor because, aside from the book itself, there is not one shred of evidence to prove other wise. At best, an argument from silence. And back-to-front as Bradley points out.
That is all creationist and bible literalists have, presuppositionalism. It's also all naturalists (believers in naturalism) have (as a basis). It's all anyone has.
We first assume the bible is true and then shoehorn facts to fit. And you first assume that there is no supernatural and then shoehorn facts to fit.
You have started with a (questionable) axiom and started building from there. Just as naturalists do.
I'll add to that, I own several fiction books written as a narrative. Are they true? American Psycho is a narrative, does that mean it is fact? You are switching questions. You are (were) arguing that Genesis is not true because it's metaphor. We are arguing that as Genesis is narrative, it is not metaphor. That does not automatically mean that it is true. Your works of fiction being narrative means that they are not metaphor, not that they are true. I suppose that we would also say that because Genesis is narrative and not fiction, it is therefore true. Yes, the "not fiction" bit needs to be supported, but that is a separate matter than whether or not it's metaphor, the current discussion.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:44, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The only presupposition naturalist make is that truth can be found by repeatable testing. p 01:47, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not the only one, but I'm glad that you agree that their position is also based on presupposition. Thanks. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:49, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not the only one, but I'm glad that you agree that their position is also based on presupposition.Just out of interest what formal science training have you had? I have done biology, chemistry and physics at a university level and I can tell you it is the only assumption that is made. p 01:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
My training in science is irrelevant, as I'll explain in a moment, but I've got nothing to hide, so I'll say that the only formal training is high school level. The reason that science training is irrelevant is because most science education, from what I understand, fails to cover the philosophy of science (more than superficially at least), and that is what is in question here. As for that being the only presupposition, it's not if for no other reason than naturalism is by definition a belief that the natural is all there is (i.e. there is no supernatural). That is why it is called naturalism. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:08, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
So where did you get your degree in the philosophy of science from? p 02:28, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
From your answer, I take it that you are not claiming any more formal education in the philosophy of science than I have (which is none; informal is another matter, though). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:20, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I took a bunch of philosophy of science classes at the University of Chicago from Bill Wimsatt and Howard Stein. Helmholtz, Einstein, Poincare, Newton, Leibniz, Galileo, Aristotle, etc. etc. etc. Do I get to start offering opinions based on my sterling credentials? Teh Terrible Asp 03:27, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Sure, although I would say the philosophy of science has very minimal impact on its actual use. Most people are aware of the scientific method as they go through their actual research and publications, whilst the philosophy behind it can be safely ignore. You test a hypothesis, if the test gets the result you expected you are right, if it does not you are wrong and you might want to start again. Science as it is taught at a university level is very different from at high school, Philip. You do pretty much start over again from scratch, indeed you do in all discipline (a lot of first years feel like we are insulting them by telling them things they already know). But each step is carefully constructed building form the last thing you have learnt with evidence and proofs given along the way. It is not like high school were you skip from one point to the next without ever stopping to explain why, like a Ham Hightail. p 04:57, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
...the philosophy of science has very minimal impact on its actual use. It depends. As a railway safeworker, if I slavishly follow the safeworking rules, then the "philosophy", or basis, of those rules is fairly unimportant. But understanding the philosophy has several benefits, including a better appreciation of why the rules are there and why they are important, knowing the best course of action to take in situations the rules haven't envisioned, and in knowing how the rules can be or should be modified, if one has a role to do that. The first of those points is also an incentive to follow the rules. Similar applies in science. If one simply hypothesises, devises experiments, runs repeated tests, and so on, then knowing the philosophy may make little difference. But not knowing the philosophy will undermine one's will to follow the rules, will provide no help in appreciating the limits of science, and so on. This particularly applies to this question of origins and evolution, where it is not possible to run repeated tests on things such as dinosaurs turning into birds.
I said that my formal science education was in high school. I didn't say that that was my full understanding or appreciation of it.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:06, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

My original question - can you be a true Christian and not believe that Genesis is a literal account. The metaphor part was a spin off from my original question. Whether or not Genesis was literal was the basis of the continuing question. Ace McWicked 01:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

You seem to me to be begging the question in your reply to CPalmer - if parts of the Bible are sound, and parts are unsound, then it is perfectly plausible that 2 Timothy and the various passages that describe God as the author are among the unsound bits. In using 2 Timothy, etc., as evidence for the uniform truth value of the Bible, you assume that the Bible has a uniform truth value.
Christopher Henry 05:50, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
In a sense you are correct. But for one thing, I think it does undermine at least his claim that it "never has been" "a single block that you have to either embrace every word of or throw in the fire". For another, you need to consider exactly what was meant. Did CPalmer mean merely that some parts were not intended to be understood literally, or did he mean that some parts were completely false? I believe the verse I mentioned contradicts the first, whereas you are effectively proposing the second. The second option makes God out to be a liar, and whilst an atheist would be happy to accept that the Bible lies, it would be inconsistent for a Christian to believe that. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:16, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
That may be, but whether or not it was metaphor was the current part of the discussion and your example of works of fiction was on the metaphor vs. narrative question. Secondly, even the literal/non-literal question is not the same as the true/false question, as James Barr for example says that the text was meant to be understood literally, but he doesn't believe it to be true. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:08, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, you are right yes that was the current part of the conversation. Nonetheless, I can't argue this anymore - it has become bloated, belaboured and boring. I think you'll agree. Fun chat though eh! Ace McWicked 02:18, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Question

Philip, I have a wiki-related question and I thought you might be the best person to ask. Is there any way I can see if an article's pageviews have suddenly increased? --OscarJ 11:40, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I nearly missed this. No, I don't know of any way, other than (of course) noting what the pageview was before it might have increased and comparing it to after. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

The Liberals have found their Latham

Enough arguing about religion, lets argue about politics. π 23:29, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Does the ETS count as politics? BradleyF (LowKey) 01:45, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict again!) Joe Hockey broke a taxi driver's arm??? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:46, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Does the ETS count as politics? Not unless politicians actually start discussing it? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:47, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you behind the times or am I? Abbot is opposition leader. I was talking about picking an unstable extremist that will lead the party along the path of ruin. π 01:48, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
If Abbott is now the leader, then I'm (a few hours) behind the times. (I assumed you were talking about the likely new leader.) I don't agree with your assessment of him, though. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Alright given that polling shows the liberals stand to lose about 20 seats, do you think Rudd will still go ahead with the ETS vote this week and cause a double-dissolution election? π 01:55, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't put too much store in the polling, as I think things could change a fair bit yet. As for what Rudd will do, I couldn't say. Your question is two separate ones, however. He might go ahead with the ETS, but not have a double dissolution (I don't think it's automatic, is it?). Also, Rudd really wants to go to Copenhagen; would he cause a new election straight away where he would then have to stay and fight it rather than go to Copenhagen? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:59, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't remember the procedure precisely, I think you can have a joint sitting first if you so wish. Weren't you alive in '75? Howard went to CHOGM once during an election. It also gives him a photo op with Obama who is about the only person more popular than Rudd in Australia. π 02:27, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I think a joint sitting is a way to resolve a deadlock, but a double dissolution can only be done if legislation is rejected twice, and likely only certain types of legislation. 1975 was a different circumstance. In that case, it was the GG, not the PM, who dismissed the government because it was unable to govern (because the opposition had blocked the supply bill, which meant that the government couldn't pay its bills).
I guess if Rudd felt quite confident of winning he might still go to Copenhagen anyway.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:27, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The supply bill is an automatic double-dissolution, as it is the only bill the government is required by the constitution to pass (I might add that 1975 was one of the rare time it was ever opposed by the opposition, usually it is passed unopposed by convention). It can occur any time a piece of legislation is blocked twice by the senate in three months, as the ETS will be if it is voted on this week. I don't think Rudd will have the backbone, he seems to cautious to me. It also doesn't allow him to have the election of half the senate at his leisure, as it will occur automatically 18 months after the double-dissolution. π 05:02, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Evolution-related articles and the loyal opposition

To preface: I disagree with both the claim that Christianity is true and the notion that the theory of evolution is not extremely well-supported, and as close to proven as a scientific theory can be. However, I recognize that this is your encyclopedia, and I think that it's worth improving (as I see it) in respects that don't contradict your established position, so I'm going to try to be a useful contributor within the bounds of the rules.

That said, it seems to me that some of the arguments presented against evolution are demonstrably wrong (such as the argument that macroevolution differs qualitatively from microevolution as regards "information") or unfair (such as talking about Ernst Haeckel's racism with no mention of either Haeckel's rather Lamarckian views or the existence of Christian polygenism), and I would like to try to remove or improve these. My question is this: To what extent are edits made by an evolutionist and favorable to evolution, but not aimed at removing ASK's overall YEC POV, acceptable? Christopher Henry 23:34, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

In a sense, that's really two separate questions (accuracy and fairness). This encyclopædia aims (amongst other things) to be accurate, so if something really is demonstrably wrong, then it should come out or be corrected. The other question is about fairness, and this one is more subject to opinion than the first. For example, is it fair to favour women over men in selecting job applicants? Most would say 'no', but what if the intention was to address an imbalance of too many men? Opinions will likely be more divided. Similar applies here. I wouldn't want to deliberately introduce unfairness, but given the anti-creationist position of other encyclopædias and most of the mainstream media, I would err on the side of favouring a biblical position if there was not agreement about what was fair.
Getting back to the matter of accuracy, the problem I see is in agreeing on what is right and what is wrong. I've found many evolutionists who can't seem to tell the difference between evolutionary theory and fact, between the evidence and the conclusions they draw from the evidence, and of course there's always going to be disagreements at time as to just what is factual and what is not. Each case needs to be treated on its merits, and in most cases that will mean raising objections on the relevant talk pages before making unilateral changes (see Editing etiquette).
Keep in mind also that this encyclopædia has a biblical worldview, not a Christian one. Those two should be the same thing, but sometimes they are not, such as when Christians compromise with secular views, as happens particularly with the issues of origins.
Finally, thanks for your contributions, and for your willingness to work within the rules.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:45, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome, and I hope that my contributions will actually prove useful.
The guidelines on editing seem a little unclear - for pages that are not currently seeing a lot of activity, is it generally fine to edit, but leave a rationale on the talk page, or is there a certain amount of time that it's more prudent to wait?
Regarding fairness, with the exception of cases where accuracy is also violated, I think the big issue is usually context - e.g. I think it's fine to talk about Haeckel's racism, while also noting that there were prominent (self-avowed) Christians of the time who tried to make a Biblical case for polygenism, and denied not only that blacks were equal to whites, but that they were human at all. Of course, in the process, it's easy to tip the scale the other way - my own take, which I hope to convey in my edits when I get a chance to think a bit more about how to present the idea clearly, is that most people with a strong view on racial issues, whether racist or anti-racist, have that view for reasons that are largely independent of their belief in YEC or evolution, and then interpret whichever of the two they believe in in order to fit with their pre-established views, and I think that history bears me out here.
And yeah, the question of what is "demonstrable" is a hard one. I'll try to be cautious in removing things I think are "demonstrably" wrong, but I may (assuming this is okay) be a bit more aggressive in qualifying them. (e.g. "some creationists have asserted that point mutations never create information [citation], but [some blurb about the counter-argument]" rather than "point mutations never create information.")
Relatedly, I am operating here from the idea that, while I (and dissident editors here more generally) should be very cautious about putting arguments criticizing YEC into mainpage articles, that I have a somewhat freer hand when it comes to putting in criticisms of specific arguments in favor of YEC. If that's not the case, please let me know.
Christopher Henry 05:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the "unclear" guidelines on editing, I assume that you are referring to the Editing Etiquette page. Yes, they are not clear black-and-white rules, but more of a guide to things that should be considered. If, for example, you think that nobody should object to a particular change, go ahead and make it. And an edit comment might be all that's needed to justify it. But if you find that someone does object (and depending on who that is and how reasonable they are), then you might need to reassess your judgment and discuss similar changes before editing next time. It's something that requires a lot of subjective judgment, experience, and some give and take. And it's still just a guide, not a rule that you can be chastised for breaking. In other words, it's common sense and courtesy.
Regarding Christians with what I'll call "non-standard" views, please keep in mind that there is an important difference between Christianity and atheism (to pick just two contrasting positions): The views of atheism are largely defined by the teaching of leading atheists, whereas the views of Christianity are defined by the teaching of the Bible. That is, if Christians are teaching something contrary to the Bible, then it can't be legitimately called Christian teaching. But atheism has no such "holy book", so what is taught by leading atheists is atheism. That's not to say that these "non-standard" views of some Christians should not be mentioned or explained, but it does mean that they should not be presented as a legitimate possible or alternative teaching of Christianity.
Regarding qualifying statements with "some creationists have asserted...", that sort of thing is entirely appropriate in some places, but not in others. One of the tricks on Wikipedia is to present some secular views as fact (e.g. evolution), but present other views as open to dispute (e.g. creation). They have the 'Undue weight' rule to prevent this sort of thing, but use it selectively depending on their POV. This encyclopædia takes the view that creation is a fact, as the Bible clearly teaches it. The Bible doesn't mention mutations, so that they don't create information is not an article of faith, and in theory could be so qualified, although frankly I don't know of any leading biblical creationist who argues against it. You might like to read talk:creation-evolution controversy#Author's comments regarding being careful who you are citing on an issue.
I don't agree with your last point—all articles should be treated the same—but I think my that last paragraph might address your concerns here.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:49, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Common sense and courtesy are certainly good.
In my estimation, the only thing that is atheism is lack of belief in any gods. The positions of leading atheists may be common atheist viewpoints, and one would certainly expect them to be consonant with atheism, but that doesn't mean they are atheism, in the same way that the axiom of choice is commonly held by those who accept the Zermelo-Fraenkel axioms, and is (as far as we know) consonant with them, but that doesn't mean that the axiom of choice is Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not an atheist, but I might as well be for the purpose of most moral debates, since my theology derives from my morality much more than vice versa.
There are two problems with the idea that the legitimate teaching of Christianity is the Biblical one. One pertains to the early history of Christianity and of the Bible, and isn't really relevant in this context. The other is that what people understand the Bible to mean often depends heavily on their extra-Biblical worldview - for example, most Christian polygenists historically have been Sola Scriptura, and would readily agree that the Bible says that all mankind is of one lineage, but then maintain that, as what the Bible said about mankind was incompatible with "obvious" facts about non-whites, it was clear that non-whites were not a part of mankind.
Tangential to this is that, when arguing about the consequences of a doctrine, what is important is not what the doctrine should lead people to believe, but rather what it does. If believing in evolution does not make people any more racist, in practice, than believing in Christianity, then evolution cannot be criticized for making people more prone to racism, even if racism is in principle compatible with evolution and incompatible with Christianity.
I agree that few if any leading Biblical creationists accept that mutation can create information (personally, I see the central issue as being a rigorous definition of what "information" means, quantitatively, in the context of DNA - a definition that prevents mutations from creating new information is possible, but only at the expense of allowing macroevolution to occur without the creation of new information), but that seems irrelevant if we're talking about a page on information theory, as opposed to a page on the use of information theory in the debate over YEC - if a position does not contradict the Bible, and reflects reality, it should be put in the page, even if it contradicts Gish et al.
"Mainpage articles" was a thinko - what I meant was articles in the main namespace, i.e. not user pages, essays, debates, or talk pages, since from my understanding attacking YEC itself on any of those is fine.
Christopher Henry 18:08, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
For some people, atheism is a lack of belief (in god(s)). But for others, it is a positive belief in no God. This was apparently why Julian Huxley coined the term "agnostic", because he wanted a middle ground between those who believed in God (theists) and those who believed in no God (atheists). It's also clear from so many atheists being anti-God that they have a real belief in no God. However, I will grant you a bit of a concession. I have moved towards considering atheism a category of belief, parallel to theism. Theism covers a broad range, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and similarly atheism covers a broad range, including humanism, Marxism, etc. But having granted that concession, atheism is more than just a lack of belief in God. I've not met too many atheists who believe that the world is only 6,000 years old and that evolution didn't occur. The point is that even if atheists claim that the only thing that can be said for certain about atheism is that it lacks belief in God, in practice other things necessarily follow from that.
I agree that what people understand the Bible means often depends on their extra-biblical worldview, but that's my point—those extra-biblical factors are not Christianity. You use an example which I find unlikely (but perhaps is true for all I know) of "Christian polygenists historically have been Sola Scriptura", but then go on to acknowledge that their views were not Sola Scriptura. So you're actually using an example of people who claim one thing but do something else. How on Earth does that contradict my claim that it is the Bible and not Christians which defines Christianity?
Regarding your example of racism, on the one hand it's unfair to blame a doctrine for the consequences of people who act contrary to that doctrine's teaching, but on the other hand, the consequences do matter, particularly if you can't argue that people are mis-applying the teaching. And evolution has made people more racist than Christianity. It was Christians as much as anyone who got slavery abolished, and evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould acknowledged that evolution gave racism a big boost.
I'll avoid getting (any further) into the information issue in this conversation, other than to agree that "if a position does not contradict the Bible, and reflects reality, it should be put in the page" (assuming it's sufficiently noteworthy, etc.). The issue is going to be over whether or not it is reality.
As for non-mainspace pages, it's okay to disagree and argue against, but try to lay off attacking, okay? :-)
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:04, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I may address some of the other points later, but for now, I'll just tackle a few.
What contradicts the claim that it's the Bible that defines Christianity is not that Christians do not use the Bible alone as the basis for their religious views, but that the Bible alone cannot be the complete basis of a religious view, because it is impossible to determine what the Bible means without reference to extra-biblical beliefs
Steven Jay Gould, while a great historian and populizer of science, was also a fairly controversial figure with a lot of axes to grind, particularly against sociobiology of evolutionary psychology, who has been accused of at times deriving his scientific stances from his political ones. That's not to say that he was wrong on this particular issue, only that I don't consider his having acknowledged that point to mean that it's actually correct. And while you are correct that it was Christians as much as anyone who got slavery abolished, it was also Christians as much as anyone who maintained slavery in the United States in the first place - much of what has been done in the US, both for good and for evil, has been done by Christians as much as anyone for the simple reason that most of the United States population is Christian (I realize that I may be taking an American-centric view here, but I have to work with what I know).
If you have any particular comments of mine that you think are excessively aggressive, feel free to let me know. If you're just referring to the terminology, I tend to use "attacking" more or less synonymously with "arguing against, forcefully" when the direct object of the verb is an idea, though not when it's a person.
Christopher Henry 07:55, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Theism covers a broad range, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and similarly atheism covers a broad range, including humanism, Marxism, etc. I would like to point out that Marxism is a political philosopy and has no bearing on god or lack thereof. Not all Marxists are atheists. Ace McWicked 09:11, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
The whole point of Sola scriptura is that the Bible is the complete basis, and there's also scriptura scripturam interpretatur, Scripture interprets Scripture, not extra-biblical beliefs interpret scripture. Why is it "impossible" to determine what it means otherwise?
Lenin said, "The philosophical basis of Marxism, as Marx and Engels repeatedly declared, is dialectical materialism...a materialism which is absolutely atheistic and positively hostile to all religion".
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:51, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
What is the relevance of the Lenin quote? So what? Marxism is a political theory. It changes. There is classical Marxism, World Systems Theory, Neo-Marxism and so forth. To use a single quote, or a single interpretation of Marxism, to define all Marxist philosophy is presumptuous. Ace McWicked 06:35, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
To return to the example above, scripture says a variety of things about the nature of "humanity." What is "humanity?" Does it encompass all bipeds capable of speech? This may not be an ideal example, but even here, I'm not sure that a purely scriptural case can be made for the "obvious" answer.
Regarding Marxism, even without recourse to developments by later generations, a distinction can and should be made between accepting Marx's analysis of history up to the time of his own death, and Marx's predictions about what would happen in the future, and accepting Marx's arguments about how society should be run. In particular, one can do the latter without either of the first two.
Christopher Henry 06:45, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Marxism is an atheistic political philosophy.
I fail to see the point of the example about humanity. That you are "not sure" that a purely scriptural case can be made does not mean that it can't. Humanity is what God created in His image (Genesis 1:26).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:59, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
No Philip, Marxism is a political theory and thats all. It does not preclude a belief in a higher power. Your one example was a Lenin quote. Ace McWicked 08:21, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Did you notice that Lenin says that Marx and Engels repeatedly said this also? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:48, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
The Marxist analysis of history is atheistic, or at least opposed to divine intervention (it is in principle compatible with Deism); the Marxist program is independent of theism or atheism, although Marx's predictions for the consequences of that program are not. Individuals who support the Marxist program are generally called Marxists, and their positions Marxism, even if they do not accept the Marxist analysis of history, nor Marx's predictions for the exact consequences of implementing the Marxist program.
And yes, I agree that scripturally humanity is what God created in His image. That merely moves the question back one step: What did God create in his image? All speech-capable bipeds, or only some of them? How narrow is the image of God, and what does it look like? I'm not being facetious here - while I cannot recall the name and am having difficulty finding it now, I recall distinctly a pamphlet among whose arguments that as mankind was made in the image of God, and no right-thinking man could look on a Negro and think that that was the image of God, therefore the Negro must not be part of mankind.
Christopher Henry 10:14, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
God create mankind in His image. That includes everyone descended from Adam and Eve. Anything not descended from Adam and Eve is not human. Also, God created the various kinds to reproduce "after their kind". So anything not descended from Adam and Eve would not be interfertile with humans. All people, regardless of skin tone or ethnic origin, are interfertile, so are all descended from Adam and Eve. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:31, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
What about Genesis 6:4: "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." Also, the argument has been made by polygenicists that God created animals and men alike to reproduce after their kind, but that this did not prevent interfertility between Adamites and pre-Adamites, any more than the fact that God created animals and men to mate with other members of their kind prevents a man from having an orgasm while violating a sheep.
Christopher Henry 11:01, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, what about Genesis 6:4? There are several different understandings of that verse, and you haven't mentioned which one you are referring to.
All sorts of "arguments" (claims) have been made, but the idea of pre-Adamites is (a) clearly anti-biblical (it's inconsistent with the creation account) and (b) based on trying to compromise the Bible with secular claims of deep time. It is arguing from outside the Bible. Producing offspring is quite different than causing arousal.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:33, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly how to interpret it, but the implication to me seems to be of reproduction between true humans and something else, either higher or lower. And while pre-Adamites have been used to reconcile OEC with the Biblical account, there have also been (racist) YEC who have believed in them, considering them to be included among the "beasts of the field."
Christopher Henry 05:52, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
There's basically four different views on who the "sons of God" were, and three of them are human:
  • fallen angels
  • The 'godly' descendants of Seth
  • Kings described as "god"
  • humans possessed by evil spirits
Even if it is the first option (and I'm not dismissing that), it doesn't actually refute my point. I was referring to the way that God designed living things. Today, with our technology we are able to do things that God didn't design us to do, such as producing babies without having intercourse. And with our knowledge of genetics, it's not inconceivable that we could some day produce hybrids between two different kinds. But this wouldn't change that this is not what God designed and intended. Fallen angels too might have some ability to override God's design. But none of that changes my earlier comments
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:38, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

"The views of atheism are largely defined by the teaching of leading atheists"-PJR. Surely you can't be serious. Just because your worldview is defined by the teaching of leading creationists, doesn't mean non-believers mirror your mental process. We don't "teach" atheism. We just think it, and I am as much a leading atheist as any other non-believer, and even, in my opinion, more so. Because I speak for myself. ħuman Number 19 05:10, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

No doubt every individual has their own particular set of beliefs. But the very fact that you can group people's beliefs together (Christianity, atheism, etc.) means that it's possible to generalise about such beliefs. How would it even be possible to have an article on "atheism" if every atheist's beliefs were only their own? Furthermore, your logic is invalid (and I have to wonder if you actually read what I wrote) because a Christian's worldview (including mine) is defined by the Bible, not by leading creationists. If leading atheists don't "teach" atheism, then what are all those books, etc., by atheists about atheism? And to describe yourself as a leading atheist (unless you are Dawkins or etc. using a pseudonym) is to destroy the meaning of the term. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:10, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Your interpretation of the Bible is guided by what the creationist brass have to say on the topic. As to atheism, there is an objective definition of what that is (lack of belief in any gods), and the act of not holding such a belief does not require communication with any other atheists; unlike with Christianity, which requires a positive belief, emerged from a single point source, and cannot be objectively defined. As a result some rather big wars have been fought over what constitutes a "Christian." o ListenerXTalkerX 06:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
My beliefs are influenced by what other Christians (not just creationists) say on the topic, but the Bible defines my beliefs: if anything another Christian says about the Bible contradicts the Bible, the Bible takes precedence.
Some of what you say is correct, I guess, but the context in which I make the comments is that of determining whether or not someone is following the basic tenets of their beliefs. If a Christian is acting contrary to Christianity, then Christianity cannot be blamed for that. If an atheist is acting contrary to atheism, then atheism cannot be blamed for that. So how do we determine "Christianity" and "atheism" for this purpose? Atheists frequently use the teachings of leading Christians as a determiner, whereas the determination is really whether or not it is taught in the Bible. For atheism, there is no such "holy book", so it has to be determined on whether or not it is consistent with the teaching of leading atheists.
Perhaps someone could explain why it's okay for atheists to quote leading Christians on what Christianity teaches, but it's not okay to quote leading atheists on what atheism is?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:12, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
It is not as if all Christians adhere to sola scriptura; Sacred Tradition is held by the Catholics and the Orthodox to be just as authoritative as the Bible. But even where sola scriptura is adhered to, said "leading Christians" are held by the atheists who cite them as being authorities on the Bible, and able to be trusted with an interpretation thereof, as the atheists themselves would be greatly mistrusted in such an endeavor.
If an atheist is acting contrary to atheism... It is impossible to act contrary to atheism while still claiming to be an atheist, as atheism has no intrinsic moral code to it, or indeed any tenets other than a single lack of belief.
Perhaps someone could explain why it's okay... (1) An integral part of Christianity is the "communion of saints;" by contrast, the (non-)belief of atheism makes no reference whatsoever to its community of adherents. (2) Many times when such "leading atheists" are quoted by theists as to "what atheism teaches," the "leading atheist" is being quoted on a point that has nothing to do with atheism at all. The single, briefly defined (non-)belief of atheism requires little expounding upon. o ListenerXTalkerX 08:16, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
You're right that some do take other sources, such as tradition and/or papal authority, as being as authoritative as the Bible. However, I'll make two points in response. First, as far as I know, even such people don't allow these things (in principle at least) to contradict the Bible, so the situation I'm talking about where someone does something contrary to the Bible is not refuted by this point. Second, I, and therefore this site, along with Protestantism, do not subscribe to the view that extra-biblical sources are as authoritative as the Bible, so in debating with me or with the worldview of this site, that argument doesn't carry any weight.
It's fair enough that atheists cite leading Christians on their understanding of the Bible, as long as it is recognised that it is the Bible, not the opinion of the leading Christian, that takes precedence. The problem is often not in that area. An example (not even necessarily involving leading Christians) is when Christian (i.e. individual or multiple Christians) support for slavery is cited as evidence that Christianity supports or has supported slavery.
You're (largely?) right that it's impossible for an atheist to act contrary to atheism, and for the reason that you cite. My comment was theoretical. I disagree, however, about it having no tenets other than a single lack of belief. For one, atheism is (in many cases at least) a belief in no God, not a lack of belief (that's technically agnosticism). For another, other beliefs necessarily flow from that belief, such as having to explain everything (the universe, life, love, religion, etc.) naturalistically (i.e. with some form of evolution). Another is one that you referred to: that atheism removes the absolute moral code that is based on the Bible.
That last point also goes a fair way to answering your final point, but I'll add that even to the extent that it's true that the leading atheists are being quoted on a point that has nothing to do with atheism, there's plenty of other times when it has everything to do with atheism.
In summary, my comments may have been oversimplified and therefore not precise or clear enough, but the essence of them stands.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:51, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The belief is more that the Bible must be interpreted through the tradition, so there is by definition no contradiction, no matter what is said. Martin Luther and the other reformers were the first to suggest, in any organized way, that one could use the Bible to condemn the tradition.
As to Christianity vs. slavery, I would agree that the citation of Christians' support for slavery in arguing that Christianity supports slavery is generally fallacious, although I know that there have been some biblical cases made for the institution by some of these people.
You seem to be confusing agnosticism, weak atheism, and strong atheism. Weak atheism is the lack of belief I mentioned earlier; while strong atheists (a minority) add to that, and additionally believe that there are no gods, all atheists share that lack of belief. Agnosticism is instead the positive belief that we cannot know the answer to the question of God's existence; this can in theory be a supplement to either atheism or theism. o ListenerXTalkerX 18:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The belief is more that the Bible must be interpreted through the tradition, so there is by definition no contradiction, no matter what is said. I understand what you are getting at, and to a fair extent you are probably correct. However, the principle is still that the Bible takes priority (and I'd therefore question the "by definition" bit), and you can only get around that principle if the contradiction can indeed be sold as merely an "interpretation". If, instead, your "interpretation" was too obviously contradictory, that wouldn't fly. The Catholic church managed to get away with its "interpretations" partly by keeping the parishioners in the dark as to what the Bible actually said. But they did go too far, and Luther knew what the Bible actually said, and therefore blew the whistle on it all. He couldn't have done that if the Bible's precedence wasn't already there in principle.
Slavery was perhaps not the best example, in that (as you say) some have also tried to make biblical arguments in support of it, but it seems that you understood the point anyway.
As far as atheists I have debated the issue with are concerned, many claim to simply have a lack of belief (so-called weak atheism), yet from their expressed opinions it is clear that they have a very strong belief in no God (strong atheism). Agnosticism also comes in two forms: one that the agnostic doesn't know if there is a god (labelled by someone I heard once as "ordinary agnosticism") and the other that we all can't know that there is a God (labelled by the same speaker as "ornery agnosticism"). But the whole contention that we can't know something is a very dubious one in many cases: If God exists, but the empirical evidence is lacking, but individuals know God personally, then what justification does any agnostic have for claiming that we can't know that there is a god? Huxley coined the term because he wanted something in between the theists who claimed that God did exist and the atheists who claimed He didn't exist. So he coined 'agnosticism' to describe what you describe as weak atheism.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:31, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The Catholics, at least, put the rest of tradition on a par with the Bible (see for example [1], paragraph 9) holding them both equally to be the word of God.
He couldn't have done that if the Bible's precedence wasn't already there in principle. Luther made that principle of sola scriptura, I understand. Before him, the Biblical canon was held to be defined by the tradition, hence all that refactoring of the canon at the Reformation.
I have noticed the same thing talking with atheists, who can really get their dander up if you muddle the terminology. I have concluded that this is because they, although personally strong atheists, are only willing to argue for weak atheism.
Huxley seems indeed to have been a weak atheist, but in identifying "agnosticism" it was instead in reference to his "pretty strong conviction that the problem [of God's existence] was insoluble." o ListenerXTalkerX 03:52, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Granted that Catholics put tradition on a par with the Bible, but that's believed on the basis that they won't/can't contradict each other. If you ask a Catholic which one he would go for if they did contradict, I wonder what the answer would be. No doubt the first answer would be that this simply can't happen, but if they were convinced to decide....?
In one sense you may be correct that Luther made—or perhaps more accurately expressed—the principle of sola scriptura, but only, I expect, because he did face the question I suggested above. Nobody else had because nobody else had dared to ask the question. The fact that Protestantism gained a big following shows that many people accepted the principle as self-evident or scriptural. So why did many remain Catholic? Because (a) they believed that Scripture did not trump tradition, or (b) because they couldn't accept that there was a contradiction that meant that they had to choose? To put it another way, you can only have two equally-authoritative sources as long as they don't disagree with each other. Once they do, then you logically have to decide which one trumps the other, and I doubt that too many would say that tradition trumps the Bible.
This source claims that this principle existed well before Luther:

Let me offer as an illustration two examples from the work of Augustine, often quoted against the Protestant position on the question of the authority of the church. At one point in his debate with the Pelagians, a bishop of Rome sided with Augustine, and Augustine declared, “Rome has spoken, the matter is settled.” Later, however, another pope opposed Augustine on this subject, and Augustine responded by saying, “Christ has spoken, the matter is settled.” Augustine did not bow to the authority of the bishop of Rome, but turned to the word of Christ to evaluate the teaching of Rome.

Regarding your latest comment about strong and weak atheism, I nearly made a similar comment: They argue for weak atheism (presumably recognising the intellectual shortcomings of strong atheism), but their personal beliefs are those of strong atheism. Which is effectively my point: that for many (if not most) atheists, it is indeed a belief in no god, not simply a lack of belief. But of course they don't like to admit that they have beliefs, so try to deny that point in debate. Also, many people (me included) tend to argue what they are confident about, so the atheists that I run into (i.e. that make their atheism known to me) tend to be the ones who argue against the existence of God (or the unlikeliness of His existence), because they are confident (i.e. really do believe) that He doesn't exist. The true "weak atheist" is probably one who thinks there is probably no God, but is not confident of that, so not confident that he can make any sort of a case for that, so keeps his opinions to himself.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:06, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Typo

Can you please move [[Encyclopedia Dramtica]] to Encyclopedia Dramatica. Thanks. --Michaeldsuarez 04:13, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Done. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:04, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Michaeldsuarez 15:42, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Hovind

Have you seen "Young-earth creationist Kent Hovind's doctoral dissertation" on wikileaks? It's good for a giggle. Mick 19:56, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

No I hadn't. "Groan" rather than "giggle" I think, though. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 04:17, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
He has some remarkable insights. Did you know that the theory evolution began at the tower of babel? (page 19)--Bob M 14:51, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Mmmm. Allah is apparently a little pantheistic nature god and, because of this, the Islam religion accepts evolution very easily. (page 29) Who'd have thought it?--Bob M 14:57, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh joy! page 33. Mr Hovind - presently serving a ten year jail sentence - writes: "I think that it is not a coincidence that athiests or evolutionists frequently have a wicked lifestyle ..."--Bob M 15:04, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
"Of course" the Grand Canyon was made during the flood. (Page 34) I've got to say that the longer you read this the stupider you become.--Bob M 15:08, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Then we come to The next section "The Religion of Evolution". It begins (Page 47) "It has long been my contention that evolution is just another religion. There is no empirical evidence to back it up so it is certainly not a part of science." As this whole section starts off by being "Not even wrong" it's a bit difficult to make any comments on the subsequent points.--Bob M 15:16, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
But just a moment. Also on page 47. "Religion has not evolved". Oh yes it has. If religion has not evolved then why are there so many different ones and why do they differ from historic religions?--Bob M 15:19, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
On page 74 we learn that the US is behind the rest of the world because the US education system wastes "so much time, and textbook time, on this dumb idea of evolution". Wow! And everybody thought that US spent more time on this stupidity than the rest of the world.--Bob M 20:32, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
A wonderfully jaw-dropping statement occurs on page 55. "We have trillion [sic] of fossils yet we have absolutely no evidence of evolution occurring in the past." PJR does well to distance himself from this convicted criminal!--Bob M 21:58, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Hovind is a "lone wolf" in the sense that he doesn't subject himself to the 'wise counsel' (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 27:17, Ephesians 5:21) of other creationists. Therefore, while a lot of what he says is absolutely correct, there is—or has been—also a reasonable amount that is not[2], plus he is probably unwise to not keep views on taxation separate to his creationism. Similarly, it's often not so much the points he espouses—such as the Grand Canyon being formed during the flood, or the fossil record not supporting evolution—that is the problem, but the way he does it ("Of course", or "absolutely no evidence"). But there's also the point that although this paper of his can be criticised on some grounds, it is rather old and may well not reflect his current thinking (see the November 2009 note at link). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:03, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I followed your link [3] and I am overwhelmed with a giant page of confusion. What am I supposed to read there (ie, what sections?) in order to understand what parts of Hovindism are correct and what parts of Hovindism are wrong? Because if I have to read the whole thing, I just suspect that both the he and the writers are probably lying to cover their lawbreaking behinds. ħuman Number 19 04:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Human, you are on notice to either substantiate or to retract and apologise for the statement that the writers of that page are lawbreakers, or you will be blocked.
The background to the page is that CMI published a couple of articles "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use". Hovind was using some of those arguments and wrote a "rebuttal" to the article, apparently as though it was directed at him (it wasn't). As it wasn't directed at him, it included arguments that Hovind didn't use, so some of his "rebuttal" was of the form "but I don't use that argument".
CMI wrote a response to his rebuttal, which is the article I linked to. I gave the link as containing examples of arguments he uses that are not valid. As such, the entire article is what you should read (if you want to know about those particular arguments), except for the bits about the arguments which Hovind didn't use, but they are brief sections anyway.
So what is the "confusion" with the page? Too much information for you?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:24, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Whoops, I mucked up a pronoun. I typed "their" when I meant "his". Do you need me to substantiate that Hovind is not just a sinner, as are we all, but a secular criminal as well? ħuman Number 19 21:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I take that as a retraction (although the apology is missing) and give you the benefit of the doubt (the wrong pronoun doesn't explain the plural "behinds"). No, I accept that in the eyes of the law Hovind is a lawbreaker. I didn't ask you to retract the bit about lying because you did express it merely as a suspicion and as "probably", but at the same time you seem overly-willing to suggest that without having read or understood the article. For one thing, it says nothing about the actions that saw Hovind jailed, so your suspicions that the writers were trying to "cover" his lawbreaking are totally without foundation. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:45, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, come now Philip. You of all people should know we are all lawbreakers. For shame that you so brazenly display the sin of pride. --Jeeves 17:28, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) I agree with Human. The "CMI response" does not have the the phrase "the following current beliefs of Hovind are false" on the page. The chain of evidence appears to be broken, so I didn't bother checking your quoted claim any further. Of course perhaps you simply pointed to the wrong evidence? --Martin Arrowsmith 06:47, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Then perhaps my explanation above helps matters. Perhaps you should read "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use" first, but that article doesn't point out which of those arguments were used by Hovind, whereas the first-referenced article does, by virtue of Hovind's defence of him using them. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:18, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Some interesting statements about "Arguments creationists should not use" Philip. Might I ask if you agree with them 100%? That is to say of you accept that all those arguments are invalid?--Bob M 08:44, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
From memory, I do agree with then 100%. However, that doesn't mean that they are all invalid. The article quite clearly points out that "some [of the listed] arguments are definitely fallacious, while others are merely doubtful or unsubstantiated". Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:56, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Do you agree with the part that says, "Darwin’s quote about the absurdity of eye evolution from Origin of Species. Citing his statement at face value is subtly out of context. Darwin was talking about its seeming absurdity but then said that after all it was quite easy to imagine that the eye could be built step-by-step"? Sterile 01:10, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but frankly do wonder if the reference to that should be clarified. It says that "Citing his statement at face value is subtly out of context". I take that to refer to citing that Darwin thought that it was absurd, rather than Darwin thinking that it seems absurd. They don't reject citing the quote at all; I think the real question is exactly how the quote is (mis)used, and that could perhaps be made clearer. Note also that they say that citing it at face value is subtly out of context; not "grossly" or "completely" or etc. but "subtly". Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:45, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Arbitration request

You seem to be a reasonably intelligent and sane man. Even though you do not like to participate at RW, may I request that, as an uninterested party, you take a look at what is going on at RW with User:MarcusCicero, and tell us what you think about the whole thing. Since everyone there seems to have an agenda to push, having an unbiased view from someone who has little to no interest about RW would be very helpful in resolving the problems we are facing, since we are basically being torn apart at the seams by this. Of course, you could always refuse, if you like. The EmperorRise, my apprentice 01:25, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

...we are basically being torn apart at the seams... Good!
Now that I've had my dig, I'll treat this request seriously...
I've just had a look at the recent history of his user page, and a quick glance at his current user talk page. I gather from that quick look that he's tried to reforms aspects of RW that he doesn't agree with, got frustrated at his inability to do so, admitted that he was in fact just trolling, and spat the dummy and left, although still has socks active. Given that convoluted situation and the fact that my look was only a very quick one, I might well have the details wrong, or even have it totally back to front. So before I go any further, I need the following:
  • An accurate summary of just what the problem is. If there are undisputed (and relevant) facts, please supply them. If there are disputed claims, please summarise the different sides. That should include, if not comprise, links to relevant pages.
  • A clear request from the RW community or its leadership (if there is such a thing) for comment. There's not much point in me spending much time on this if only one or a few want my input and most don't.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:36, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Just ignore him Philip. Emperor, what **** are you doing? Just let it die a natural death for **** sake. Ace McWicked 03:19, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It's continued BS like this from Emperor that makes me wonder if he's MarcusCicero after all. I can guarantee there will be no consent to "arbitration" by the RW admin, to the extent there is such a thing. RW is not being torn apart at the seams (sorry to burst your bubble Philip - I could hear your little squeel of joy at the thought of RW hurting all the way over here in the Carribean). At worst, RW is having growing pains that MC exacerbated by trolling RW when it was already in a weak state. Nothing new. RW handled TKs trolling in a similar way and forged ahead, for at base RW is a far healthier community than any other relevant WP meta site and therefor relatively immune from any cult of personality and capable of self-correction. Carry on. Teh Terrible Asp 21:55, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I considered MC=Emperor as soon as I saw this pussy little arbitration request. Ace McWicked 22:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I've just seen this request. And what an outstandingly weird request it is. Perhaps Theemperor's brother has hacked his account?--Bob M 14:42, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Come on PJ!

There is no need for sarcasm! I wasn't trying to make a real joke, I was merely poking fun! ;-) Ace McWicked 09:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Come on Ace! There was no need for complaint. I wasn't trying to make real criticism, I was merely being sarcastic! ;-) Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:37, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh phil! You have all the wit and charm of a meat cleaver! Ace McWicked 18:47, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sharp? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Clumsy and unweildly. :-) Ace McWicked 02:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
But with a particular ability to dissect? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:25, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
More like hacking indiscriminately. Ace McWicked 03:41, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC)“Clumsy and unwieldy” - a poor workman blames his tools. Actually a meat cleaver is quite efficient at cleaving meat. AHA! NOW I get it. Quick to cut through bull! BradleyF (LowKey) 03:50, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Cut through the bull... to the rich vein of crap inside. PJR excels at that. --Jeeves 21:16, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Bible question

It is me vs. RationalWiki on a question about the Bible, and some of the editors would like your input on the matter.

I hold that biblical inerrantists would recognize that several tenets of the Mosaic Law as presented in the Old Testament were superseded by the reinterpretations given in the Expounding of the Law. The other editors insist that this constitutes a blatant contradiction in the Bible (the specific example given is Exodus 21:23-25 vs. Matthew 5:38-39) since the Old Testament verses and the reinterpretations cannot concurrently be "literally true" or "inerrant." o ListenerXTalkerX 20:58, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

There's several different answers which could be given here, but essentially it is you who is correct, not the others (I'm basing that comment entirely on your description here).
First, the Old Testament law is just that—law, not history—and laws can change. Christians believe that at least some—and some would say all—of the Mosaic law was superseded by the new covenant ("an agreement between God and his people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from them in return"[4]) contained in the New Testament.
Second, what much of the law is about is prescribing penalties. The penalties can change without the wrongness of the action changing. So although the penalties given in the Mosaic Law for, say, rape, have changed, that doesn't mean that rape itself is any more acceptable.
Third, you can possibly read some of the Mosaic Law as describing what is deserved, and the New Testament as saying what is recommended. This is like a judge convicting a criminal of a crime, but not imposing the full penalty. He might say to the criminal, "you deserve to be sentenced to three years imprisonment, but I'm going to suspend your sentence". Similarly the Exodus reference can be read as what the person deserves, with the Matthew reference being read as how a Christian should forgive even though they still deserve the original penalty.
Fourth, you can possibly also read the Old Testament as laying down the law which the nation of Israel was to follow, and the New Testament as describing how individuals should respond. So although a victim might be willing to forgive their attacker, the state still has a responsibility to uphold the law and prosecute the perpetrator.
In summary, whichever way you look at it, there is no contradiction from a biblical inerrancy point of view.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:33, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

CMI

I was trying to understand where you're coming from, and I figured the best place to start would be CMI. While browsing the site, it seems like everything is an argument, which explains your attitude. I can't find any of Jesus' teachings. Do they actually preach about the moral lessons in the Bible? Or is it all arguing about Darwin and Gould and scientists? There seems to be only one facet to it, and it's confrontational. Can you point me to the important stuff? SallyM 15:42, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

CMI stands for Creation Ministries International, not Christian Ministries International. The point being that their purpose is apologetics (defence of the Bible) particularly in the area of creation. Although it's unashamedly Christian, it's not a general Christian site as opposed to a specialist creation site. Evolution is an attack on the creation (etc.) account in the Bible, so CMI fights back, per 2 Corinthians 10:5.
It does have information on Jesus' teachings, but mainly insofar as it relates to the creation issue, etc. For more, see What’s this all about?, linked from the site's front page. As for the "important stuff", it's here, also linked from the site's front page.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:44, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't sure about the scope of CMI. Thanks for explaining. Aside from specialist creation stuff, do you use any ministries as resources for the important stuff about Christianity? Do you align yourself with any denomination in particular? SallyM 13:59, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I have thought a couple of times about writing more about my Christian background, so I've now written on that on my user page. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:24, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Sitenotice

Can you please choose darker colors for MediaWiki:Sitenotice, or make the font-color white instead of blue? It hurts my eyes. Try the following:

We wish everyone a very happy Christmas as we remember when God became man to offer us the greatest gift ever: eternal life.

I couldn't find any better colors replacements for the red and the lime green, but perhaps you can find better alternatives. Thanks, and Merry Christmas. --Michaeldsuarez 18:03, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

It's your site and all and I get the message, but, damn, that's an ugly template. You should have asked your atheist/agnostic buddies for some typesetting help. Oh well, maybe next year? ħuman Number 19 08:32, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggested improvement Michaeldsuarez; I've replaced the site notice with your version. I originally tried white, but as you no doubt found, it looked terrible with blue links in it. I created this late on Christmas Eve, and didn't have a lot of time to experiment, and couldn't think of an easy way to override the default link colours, so felt it necessary to make the text the link colour to look passable. This morning (Christmas day), I couldn't get on the Internet; my router needed resetting but having fixed that, I still couldn't connect. I think my ISP was down. It came back up just before I was leaving for the day, and although I saw on my watchlist that you had posted about the banner, I was already late and had no time to even read your messages.
My mind is analytical, not creative, and I've got limited sense of aesthetics and almost no artistic skills. If I'd thought of it in time, I would have been happy to ask for design help. Yes, maybe next year, Human, if I remember in time to ask, or someone prompts me in time. (And there's always Easter!)
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:29, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I meant no offense by calling it ugly. You probably didn't have much time, as you said, and there's a lot less manpower here to pretty things up. I tinkered with it a bit on its talk page - may I suggest that sitenotices that will be reused get worked on in advance there, and saved, for easy reuse? They could also be subpages and sitenotice could just be edited to transclude them. Also, if you really want to get fancy, take a look at how template:holydaze works at RW. Complete automation. Anyway, hope you spent more time today with family and friends than mucking about on the internet! ħuman Number 19 23:34, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
By the way, regular "green" looks more Christmassy to me than light green. Of course, there are 64M colors to choose from to tweak it. ħuman Number 19 23:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I tried the regular green to start with, and felt it looked too dark, but looking at it again, I think you're right.
If you or anyone wants to work on such notices in advance, then please feel free to do so. Transcluded sub-pages are a good idea too, although there's a couple of problems. First, you found that the sitenotice page itself was locked; this is by virtue of it being in the MediaWiki namespace, not anything I've done, so that's likely to apply to sub-pages also. Would you like to have a go at creating a sub-page and see if you can? Of course, we could always create the thing in aSK namespace and transclude that. The second problem is that it would be nice (if we have sufficient creativity) to have something new each Christmas, and not simply reuse the same one each year.
The RW one looks like a clever bit of work, but at the moment I'm not sure that it would be any use here. I don't plan on doing this sort of thing very often, although I'm open to suggestions.
We left home around 9 a.m. yesterday (Christmas Day; it's now the afternoon of Boxing Day here) to go to church, then on to a family Christmas at my sister's place in Ballarat. We got back home around 8 p.m. So yes, more time with family than on the Internet.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:29, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
No, I can't edit/create mw:sitenotice/Christmas. Either because it's in mw: or because it's a subpage of a protected page. No big deal, the talk page is always there to play. The RW thing doesn't have to be as "overbuilt" as it is (lots of days you wouldn't include), but one thing Pi managed to do was get it to know when both Easters are every year. I imagine you'd only do a few major Christian observances. Glad you had a nice Christmas! ħuman Number 19 22:20, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I've just checked, and sub-pages are not enabled in the MediaWiki namespace. By default, they are enabled in the user namespace and all talk namespaces. I've added template and aSK namespaces. So your mw:sitenotice/Christmas was not a subpage, but a page with a "/" in the name. I hope you had a good Christmas also. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:03, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, and thanks. Also, yes, I did, in my own not very Christmasy fashion. Thank you. ħuman Number 19 05:54, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Categorizing clergy

Among our uncategorized pages were several articles about Christian clergy. I tried to decide whether they're "evangelical preachers" or more generally "Christian ministers", but I hadn't heard of most of them and may have erred. Could you please check my choices? Thanks in advance, Yoritomo 01:24, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Yoritomo, and welcome.
Categorising is something that I've never got into in a big way, and generally tend to leave to others. But seeing you've asked...
I think those categories are problematic, in that Category:Christian evangelical preachers should not be in category:Christian ministers, as you can have evangelical preachers who are not ministers, and you can probably have Christian ministers who are not preachers, let alone evangelical ones. Additionally, any evangelical minister who preaches is an evangelical preacher, whereas what I suspect is meant by Category:Christian evangelical preachers is Christian evangelists, which is not the same thing. The former is any preacher who is evangelical, whereas the latter is someone who specialises in (preaching at) special evangelical meetings (crusades, etc.)
So I don't think that there is much point in me reviewing your categorisations until that is sorted out (assuming that what I just said is agreed to). Apart from which, I'm a bit like you in that I don't know much about them anyway! I expect that most of them are evangelical, and most are preachers, but that doesn't mean that most would be considered (specialised) evangelists. If they are Reverends, then they could (also) be classified as Christian ministers.
I hope that was clear and I haven't simply confused you!
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:37, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Notability

I've just written down some thoughts on notability at aSK talk:Criteria for notability#How should notability be defined? because I've been thinking about it with regard to an article I recently wrote and with one I'm planning on writing about a couple of churches I used to be part of. Comments are welcome (on that page). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

RefTagger and Firefox

After the last FF update (3.5.6), I find that the RefTagger is not working right. The inline popup of Bible references (as Eccl. 7:29) here as well as on my own site have a white background and 100% transparency which hides texts from showing through. On IE and other browsers it works as it should. FF is the best browser, esp. when you have over 100 tabs open as i do, and i wonder if anyone else has this problem. Some have complained about graphics on loading from some sites, such as this [5], and i wonder if it is related. ThanksDaniel1212 02:50, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm on FF 3.5.6 & have no problem (apart from the obvious one of being pestered by Biblical quotes, of course) Mick 08:10, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I've just updated my Firefox, and it works fine for me too. The background of the popups is not white though (and is not meant to be). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. i know the bkgrd is not supposed to be white. How about all the graphics on that weather site? (http://www2.whdh.com/weather) One issue at least must be due to something peculiar in some setups. [6]Daniel1212 16:11, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The weather page looks almost identical under Firefox and IE to me. It must be, as you said, something peculiar in some setups; I've had a couple of problems with IE on my computer that don't exist on other computers running the same versions of both Windows and IE. I wish I knew how to fix that! Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:24, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The Bible popups and weather site look fine on FF 3.5.6 on my Mac in OSX and Windows XP. Teh Terrible Asp 00:03, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Fixed it, thank God. Cleared the cache and uninstalled an extension i must have added about the same time as the last update. Thanks for helping me diagnose it.Daniel1212 04:59, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Evidence for the Genesis Account of Creation

Philip, Sterile recently created this article, apparently in order to make some kind of point. I've removed his bias from the article, but I was wondering whether you think there's any merit in keeping it or should it just be deleted? --OscarJ 09:19, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. I've deleted it, if for no other reason, there was no point in having it as it currently stood (or as it was before you edited it, either). That's not to say that it couldn't be recreated later if needed. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:23, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Nonsense comment

Actually, I was pointing out the film quote for you. CrundySpeak! 16:50, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

You may have been quoting the film, but despite me having asked more than once what the reference to the spoon was about, what you did not do is point out that it was a quote from a film. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:03, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
That's because until Crundy's comment, it had nothing to do with the film. The actual usage (mad as a spoon) seems to be a mainly UK thing, from what I can find. Crundy was free associating. BradleyF (LowKey) 05:56, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

silly red-link (reminds me of Ed)

I love how Ed tries to make his points by linking to non-existent articles. Why do you have to hate people who were dropped on their head when young? ħuman Number 19 04:24, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Human purpose/design discussion

It seems that the outage has destroyed our conversation that had been ongoing on Ruy's talk page. As I recall, in regards a discussion of homosexuality on the Internet I believe that you had established the following positions:

-The design/purpose of human beings is to 'be heterosexual', which you have defined so far as engaging in sexual activity with an opposite-sex married partner.
-Any desire or action which goes 'against' our design is inherently sinful. There are no exceptions. Behaviors and desires can be risky without being sinful if they do not violate our teleological design. Presumably humans have other teleological design(s) besides 'being heterosexual'.
-Homosexual attraction per se is not sinful, rather the enjoyment, or fostering, or acceptance of such attraction represents the sin. Any sexual actions outside of traditional marriage are of course sinful.
-There were a few side issues, such as whether Paul was married and to whom his instructions in 1 Corinthians were meant to apply; what the teleological design of a backup computer is; why you reject "because God said so" as the best and only necessary argument regarding issues of biblical morality; and the nature of Christ's marriage to his collective worshipers.

I had a few outstanding questions -

-Why does an asexual person not violate his/her design in a way equivalent to a homosexual person?
-Was it a sin for an observant Jew in the 1st century BC to wear clothing of mixed fibers or plant a field with two types of seeds, and if so who so?
-Does a person who feels exclusively homosexual attraction, but who hates those feelings, suppresses them, and marries an opposite-sex partner and engages in dutiful sex in that marriage committed any sin?

I'm sure there are many more pressing issues on your plate right now; I just wanted to get these points down before I forgot them. If you are interested in continuing the discussion, we can do so here, on my talk page, or at some other place of your choosing.--Martin Arrowsmith 16:35, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm being pedantic, but I'll "correct" your descriptions of my position:
  • One of our design/purposes is to be heterosexual (which you do allude to in your next point). I'm not defining 'heterosexual' to be what you said; rather, I'm saying that we weren't designed simply to be heterosexual (that's too broad), but specifically to be sexual only within marriage, which is a life-long union with an opposite-gender partner.
  • On the second point, you are correct, except that I'll clarify that sin is going against God. Going against His design is one way to do that.
  • Your other two points are essentially correct.
Before answering your further questions, I'll mention a couple of general principles.
  1. As mentioned above, sin is going against God; against His wishes, plans, design, etc. And that can be His general design as well as His specific plans for each one of us. Such as when Jonah refused to do what God told him to do; it was a sin for Jonah to refuse to go to Ninevah, but not for anyone else to refuse, because God had old Jonah, not everyone else.
  2. It should be apparent from my previous point, as well as verses such as Matthew 5:28, that sin is an act of the will, not actions or lack of actions. Of course most of our actions (and lack of actions) are voluntary; i.e. we decide to do (or not do) them.
  3. Romans 3:23
To your questions:
  • We were all designed to be asexual (if by that you mean not engaging in sexual activity) until such time as we are married. For various reasons we don't all get married (some die too young, for example). An asexual adult could indeed be sinning by being asexual, depending on why they are asexual; that is, if they have decided to go against God's will in this. On the other hand, if it's just that they haven't got married yet for whatever valid reason, that is a different matter.
  • It was a sin for a Jew (observant or otherwise) to do the things you said, because doing so went against God's will. In this case, however, it was not a matter of design purpose, but a matter of teaching purpose. If I recall correctly, God set these particlar rules (and many others) as a teaching lesson: that they are to remain separate and not mix (intermarry, etc.) with ungodly people
  • I would say (in the context of point 3 above) that the person you mention has not sinned (i.e. in this), assuming that in their marriage they have done everything they should, including loving their spouse. Note that love is a decision; you referred to the person being 'dutiful', as though there was no love, but husbands are commanded to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I certainly don't mind you being 'pedantic' in these matters; it is after all your beliefs we are discussing, and if I interpret them incorrectly I would expect you to correct me.
The newer explanation of 'heterosexual' that you provided is an interesting one. For one, it alters an impression that I had previously had, which was that you felt that heterosexuality was a - excuse a possible mangling of philosophical terms - 'positive requirement'. That is to say, we are meant to try to get married and try to engage in sexual activity with an opposite-sex partner; that being the the goal of our design. Instead it seems that you are defining heterosexuality as a 'negative requirement', or one which does not encourage a particular behavior but rather forbids some other set of behaviors. Take a smoking hut outside a workplace; it is not there because the employer wishes all the employees to become smokers, but rather because the employer does not want people to smoke anywhere other than the hut. Is this correct?
A second interesting point about this definition is that it appears to not have any thing to do with the inner thoughts or desires of the people involved. Most people when asked what the definition of heterosexuality is would define it as feeling sexual attraction toward members of the opposite sex. Thus a gay person who only had sex with an opposite sex spouse would normally still be considered homosexual, not heterosexual. But your definition does not seem to address this.
By asexual I don't mean 'not engaging in sexual activity'. For 'not engaging in sexual activity' I would use celibate. To me, asexual means feeling no sexual desire or attraction. I suppose one subset of asexuality could be called antisexuality, in which there is an active antipathy toward sexual feelings or behaviors. Homosexuality means feeling sexual desire toward persons of the same sex, etc.
Husbands are commanded to love their wives, but they are not commanded to be attracted to them. I love my sister but I have no sexual feelings for her whatsoever; indeed I am antisexual when it comes to my sister. I also have male friends whom I love but I am antisexual with respect to them as well - not just becuase they're male but also because they are ugly, smelly, and bad dressers. I love my wife and, luckily, I am also sexually attracted to her. In fact, I was sexually attracted to her before I knew her well enough to love her. I was certainly not asexual before marriage - I wasn't celibate either, for what that's worth.
How do you think that a 1st century BC Jewish apologist would have defended the Laws forbidding him from planting two crops in the same field? Would he have said 'that's just an teaching thing that God picked to keep separate from the heathens around us, like driving on the left vs. the right side of the road', or would he have argued that it was obviously immoral to plant two crops in the same field? I suspect that he would have come up with a good rationalization for the wisdom of God's design re: crops and fields and why mixing two seeds in the same field broke a moral law; it was not being holy as God is holy, and keeping holy things separate from profane things. There is, after all, no Biblical indication as to which parts of the Law are moral, which are ceremonial, and which are civil. We may choose today to place parts of the Law into those separate categories, but not only is there no agreement as to which laws go in which category, there are no agreement as to whether those categories actually exist.
I used 'dutiful' specifically because I wanted to make it clear that the sex could be seen as a chore; something undesirable, even hateful, that must nevertheless be done so as not to fall into a worse state of sin. Suppose then that in order to complete the duty the spouse resorts to fantasizing about gay sex. This would represent a sin, yes? Is it a worse sin than a straight spouse fantasizing about someone other than their husband/wife during sex?--Martin Arrowsmith 05:56, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Martin, I will be pedantic this time. "Celibate" means not married, I think you may be meaning "chaste". BradleyF (LowKey) 06:19, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the smoking hut, the analogy is not ideal, at least if it implies (as in today's climate, at least here in Oz), that providing the hut is a concession, i.e. something that the employer is not happy about doing but does because it might be better than the alternatives (smoking in the workplace, or complaints for having nowhere to smoke). On the "positive requirement", I'd suggest that you're correct as far as individuals go, although the general purpose was indeed marriage and what goes along with that.
I'll step aside from that discussion for a moment to explain a principle. It's often easier to say what something is not than what it is. Or at least it is for me. When I was much younger, I was trying to define "marriage" in my own mind. Believing that (a) God instituted it, and (b) that God doesn't require ceremonies, I decided that marriage was not defined by (a) the wedding ceremony itself, nor (b) government recognition of marriage. So, being unable to see other options, I decided that marriage was defined by the act of sex. However, a Wesleyan Methodist minister I mentioned this to pointed out that this was the Catholic definition (not that that made it wrong in itself), not the biblical one. Marriage, he pointed out (and I immediately recognised that he was correct), was the act of life-long commitment to each other. The ceremony (and the government, in theory) merely declares/records that commitment.
Similarly with the issue being discussed here. I can point out where your definition of God's purpose is incorrect, but I may not be able to put my finger on exactly what the correct definition is.
My definition does ignore the feelings of people. In part, this would be because definitions should be determined by facts, not feelings. If a very intelligent person feels stupid, are they indeed stupid, or are they intelligent? Another aspect is that what I'm more concerned with is God's design, and (therefore) right and wrong, not definitions. If you want to define someone who "feels" homosexual but who "acts" heterosexual (keeping in mind our previous discussion about having controllable desires vs. feeling tempted), then go ahead; what I'm concerned about is not such definitions, but the way were were designed.
Regarding asexual, now that you've explained your meaning, your original question is "Why does a person feeling no sexual desire or attraction not violate his/her design in a way equivalent to a homosexual person?". I think I have, by now at least, answered this.
I don't know if you wanted me to comment on your paragraph about love vs. attraction, but I don't see the need to comment.
Whether or not a BC apologist would have understood the rationale for the law I couldn't say. To a fair extent at least, the type of law can be determined by its nature.
The answer to your last question is 'no'.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:36, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Falsification of evolution

This article which goes on for pages has multiple "potential falsification" sections on each page. Sterile 17:07, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

So it does. I can also see multiple problems with the pages. For example:

The only known processes that specifically generate unique, nested, hierarchical patterns are branching evolutionary processes.

This is false. Such patterns can be generated by design. The Dewey classification system would be one example.

It would be very problematic if many species were found that combined characteristics of different nested groupings. ... Conceivably, some birds could have mammary glands or hair; ... A mix and match of characters like this would make it extremely difficult to objectively organize species into nested hierarchies. Unlike organisms, cars do have a mix and match of characters, and this is precisely why a nested hierarchy does not flow naturally from classification of cars.

First, I'm not convinced that cars cannot be classified in an objective nested hierarchy. But a reason that the ability to do such with cars would be because you would be looking at a very narrow group. Instead of cars, what about vehicles? Their point is that certain features are explainable only by common descent. But what about being explainable by suitability for purpose? For example, feathers are not merely a different way of insulating; they are clearly very suitable for flight. So why would you make a bird (a good flier) with hair (fur)? It's simply not a good design. As there is an alternative explanation for birds having feathers, it's false to say that they are explainable only by common descent. Just like if one were classifying vehicles rather than cars, it would be pointless putting flanged wheels on a road vehicle, or (true) wings on a submarine. Yet the existence of flanged wheels on railway vehicles and not road vehicles is an objective way of classifying in a hierarchical pattern. The second problem is that counter-examples do exist, and are indeed quite common. Evolutionists classify them as "convergence", because the same (very similar) feature is found that is not due to common descent. Convergent evolution is itself a falsification of this prediction.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:07, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Is intelligence a purely naturalistic process ? Talk origins is science according to the definition used by the National Academy. (explaining the natural world by natural events) . Flanged wheels are to help keep them on a track, totally wrong for a steered vehicle. Autos did start with wagon type wheels , which had a iron rim and a fairly high pressure for contact area ratio. That would be the same category as a train wheel. As hard surfaced roads became available the wheel changed to provide a lower wheel loading and a more comfortable ride. (not really relevant but interesting) Bats have leathery wings , and the mechanism of flight is somewhat different from a bird , but they fly very well and have solid bones rather than hollow avian bones. A bat is rather well designed for its habitat and lifestyle. Hamster 00:30, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
What about flightless birds? --The Ghost of Horace 00:46, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You're right: a bat is rather well designed!
Talk Origins may be using the NA definition, but any definition which excludes consideration of the supernatural (science is not able to test the supernatural, but there's nothing stopping it considering it) is inadequate from the start, because it a priori excludes a possible explanation.
I don't disagree with you about flanged wheels, etc.; the point is that you can use such things to develop an objective hierarchical pattern, contrary to TO's claim that you can only do that with things which have evolved from a common ancestor.
Good point about the bats; I was distracted by TO's mention of hair, and was thinking of possums which "fly" (glide). However, this only serves to illustrate the problem with TO's argument. It says that birds could have hair, but the fact that they don't shows that they were descended from a common ancestor. Their case combines selective evidence with circular argument. First, they chose hair as an example, knowing that no "bird" has hair, but omitting other possibilities such as leathery wings. Second, birds are scientifically classified as such because of the presence of feathers, so any "bird" without feathers would not be classified as a bird! In other words, you can't have a bird with hair instead of feathers by definition. But the real point is that you can have flying creatures without feathers; even ones with wings (as distinct from, say, gliders). If the "fact" of similarities being explainable only by common descent is a falsifiable prediction of evolution, then the existence of wings and the ability to fly is a falsification of this, as the wings and flying ability of birds and bats is not due to common descent. This is an example of the convergence I mentioned previously.
And of course the dismissal of such counter-examples as "convergent evolution" is an example of how evolution is not really falsifiable; similarities due to common descent support evolution, but similarities not due to common descent don't refute it!
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:51, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
What about flightless birds? What about them? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:52, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Why don't they have fur? --The Ghost of Horace 00:57, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You're going to need to better than that Philip: That you think they can be explained by design has nothing to do with the falsification of evolution. That you can think about other ways to classify cars and critters has nothing to do with the falsification of evolution. Let me check: red herring. Yep, we need an article. (PS That's one section out of five, and there is more on other pages. Keep working!) Sterile 00:59, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I would hope that a bird and a bat did NOT show common ansestry within a recent period. A bat os from the mammal branch and birds obviously from the avian/lizard branch. (thats crap on my part but I cant look them up on this machine - I think you get the point though) The physical structures for wings are quite different, but both do fly, as do a horde of insects, also not related recently to birds or bats. Convergent evolution as I understand it simply describes that a similar solution can be developed for the same problem. Hamster 01:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Horace, I'm guessing that the flightless birds are probably descended from ones that flew (but loss of ability does not explain where it came from in the first place, so that in itself doesn't demonstrate goo-to-you evolution).
Sterile, your response is muddled. I didn't propose other ways to classify living things and cars; that was not my argument. And that something can be explained by design does falsify the claim that they it can only be explained by evolution. And I have no intention of wasting my time responding to every silly argument when I've already shown that they have silly arguments.
Hamster, yes, convergent evolution does "describe" that a similar solution can be developed for the same problem. The problem with this is that, according to evolution, such similarities are evidence of common descent, which convergent evolution is the opposite of.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:32, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, I thought that we were talking about falsifying evolution rather than proving evolution. Your response is interesting though. Do you say that flightless birds are descended from flighted birds? As I understand it that means that they were not created that way by God. Have they "lost genetic information" in the process? --The Ghost of Horace 01:59, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

"The problem with this is that, according to evolution, such similarities are evidence of common descent, which convergent evolution is the opposite of." No, Phil, it doesn't. Things have to have similar mechanism and ontogeny to even be considered as evidence of common decent. Bats and birds share neither. Jesuit 02:25, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Horace, I'm not sure of your point about falsifying vs. proving insofar as this discussion is concerned. I am presuming that flightless birds are descended form birds which could fly. No creature is exactly as created by God; he built in a capacity to adapt to the environment, plus there has been degeneration since. So yes, they would have lost genetic information.
Jesuit, I think part of the problem is the degree of similarity. No two such similarities are identical, and you can always highlight the differences at the expense of the similarities if you so choose. But the whole point of labelling something "convergence" is because they are similar.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:51, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I think part of what Hamster is trying to say is that you are trying to make an argument about a nested hierarchy with two groups of animals and one characteristic (wings/flying). It's bad because there are far more organisms with that and far more characteristics to consider. I don't think anyone could make an argument about how organisms are related based on that much; there's no hierarchy to establish! Try 1000s and evolution works well, and takes into account how genetic information changes and is passed on. Cretioniism makes no explicit links to actual biological processes (you don't see how the Designer does this or evidence that He would have), and there's no way to falsify His involvement (or lack thereof; you did admit that Philip, even if it's in the cyber abyss). It's rather a rather empty explanation in part because it can't be falsified. Sterile 13:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The only argument that I'm trying to make about a nested hierarchy is that the claimed evidence for it is not as clear-cut as TalkOrigins makes out. If I was trying to propose an alternative nested hierarchy, then your criticism may indeed be valid, but I'm not.
I did not admit that there is no way to falsify the Designer's involvement. I said that I knew of no way to falsify a designer's involvement. I asked whether your question was about the God of the Bible in particular, or any designer, and you said that you didn't care who the designer was. So that's what I answered, and that's what I subsequently pointed out to you was my answer. As I said, this is because a hypothetical designer is too non-specific to make falsifiable predictions about.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:35, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
(Then you still haven't explained why this doesn't make evolution falsifiable.) ... And I responded (before the loss) something like: OK, then, how would you disprove the involvement of the Christian God in origins (or even everyday events)? I suspect this will be a challenge because if you are asking for a more specific supernatural deity, you need more specific evidence. If you can't do the general case, I don't see how you can be more specific. Also, who does know if you, a professed expert, doesn't? Sterile 23:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
If you can't do the general case, I don't see how you can be more specific. That's easy. For any designer, you could propose that the designer deliberately made it look like it wasn't designed. Assuming that the designer was competent enough to do that successfully, there would be no way to falsify that. But with the God of the Bible, that explanation is not consistent with His nature.
And I responded (before the loss) something like: OK, then, how would you disprove the involvement of the Christian God in origins (or even everyday events)? If you did, then the crash happened before I saw it. To answer, in general terms, you would find things that are contradictory to the specific details recorded in the Bible. You could also do it in a less rigorous way by finding things that are contradictory to reasonable conclusions that could be deduced from what we know about Him and His creation. Look at it this way: Evolutionists often argue that "God would not have created this way" (e.g. the eye supposedly wired backwards). Now that argument is (a) a theological one, and (b) presumes excellent knowledge (perhaps there is a good reason for the eye being wired that way which the critic is unaware of), but note that creationists, although pointing out both (a) and (b), also attempt to refute the claim itself (i.e. they argue that it's not designed in a poor way), because they realise that the argument (if true) does have some weight, even though it's not at all conclusive. Pretty much a similar case applies to evolution: I know of plenty of arguments to undermine evolution, but I don't know of any proposed falsification that would, absolutely, falsify it.
Also, who does know if you, a professed expert, doesn't? My expertise in this area comes from reading the arguments of the real experts, such as the creationary scientists.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:41, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Our designer was an idiot

Let's throw evolution out the door for a second here and say for arguments sake that a being did design everything. From this, I have a few questions. For what purpose were lethal viruses designed? Why is the human eye backwards? Why are we made of carbon and calcium and not something that cannot break (any designer with unlimited power wold surely use the best materials, would they not)? Why hasn't he made himself apparent to all of us? Why did he set an age limit? Why did he make evolution seem so reasonable and logical given life's circumstances (is he a prankster?!)? Why sexual reproduction (it's so inefficient)? Ok, I'm done. I have quite literally a few thousand more questions, but those will suffice. Jesuit 02:37, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Jesuit, I've said to others before and I'm saying to you now that it helps your credibility if you actually learn something about the idea that you so readily denigrate. Most of your questions have been answered long ago by creationists. Lethal viruses were not designed to be lethal;[7]. The human eye is wired "backwards" because that's the best design.[8] I don't know of anything that cannot break, and you've not shown that, let alone showing a better design. He has made himself apparent to us, through (a) Jesus, and (b) His creation, which shouts "design". He set an age limit after the Fall to prevent us being in a sinful state for eternity. Evolution is not reasonable and logical; your question is begging the question. Sexual reproduction (which evolution can't explain) is a good way to introduce variety into descendants, including for the purposes of adaptability. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:02, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
if we all descended from 8 people of whom the 4 men were all related that only leaves 3 women who carry the genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding. You then are marrying (breeding) siblings or first cousins together for a few generations. Thats a recipe for a failed population.
My real question is this : what falsifies design ? is a seashell designed ? it follows a mathematical function for the shape and appears designed, yet we can see an animal grow the shell over time. Or is all life indicating design and so no life is undesigned and therefore unfalsifiable ? a scientific theory MUST be falsifiable Hamster 04:26, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Good job not answering a single question I asked, Phil. Just one more question (and I really hope you'll answer this one): What came first, man or animal (and cite your claim)? Jesuit 06:11, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You then are marrying (breeding) siblings or first cousins together for a few generations. Thats a recipe for a failed population. Do you know what the actual problem is with close relatives marrying? Hint: it's not a lack of genetic diversity per se.
My real question is this : what falsifies design ? Showing that it can occur without design. Actually, I'm not sure that that really falsifies design, but it would certainly destroy any argument that design is necessary.
it ... appears designed, yet we can see an animal grow the shell over time. The claim of "design" is not for each individual creature (which is what you refer to us observing), but to the origin of the creature. That is, a creature grows a shell over time according to a plan (contained in the DNA), but where did the (original) plan come from? We don't see new creatures appearing, or even new basic designs, so we have no observations of the origin of the designs. We only see the growth that happens from that design.
a scientific theory MUST be falsifiable Agreed. But we are talking about what happened in the past. That is, we are talking about history (or prehistory if you prefer), and generally history is not falsifiable (in a scientific sense) (hence not science).
Good job not answering a single question I asked, Phil. That's odd, I thought I answered every one. Is that a euphemism for "I didn't like the answers", or "the answers were too brief", or what?
What came first, man or animal (and cite your claim)? You don't know? (That is, you don't know what the biblical creation model says?) Yet you presume to denigrate it?
Animals. See Genesis 1:20-26.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:31, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You don't know? (That is, you don't know what the biblical creation model says?) Yet you presume to denigrate it?
Animals. See Genesis 1:20-26.
Genesis 2:18. Checkmate. Jesuit 15:24, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Why sexual reproduction (it's so inefficient)? Oh, what's the need for an all-powerful being to be efficient?
It seems Gen 2:18 proves our point: God had previously created all the animals (Genesis 1:20-26), but "but for Adam there was not found an helper suitable for him." --EvanW 16:12, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

something that cannot break This one, in particular, is priceless. We do not all have adamantium exoskeletons, therefore there is no God. You are a hoot.--CPalmer 17:16, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Evan, do you know what the word "alone" means? This is a serious question. Plus, if you had bothered to continue reading you would see that the Bible clearly states that, after Adam, the animals were made to keep him company, and that, given no animal was suitable for him, Eve was made. Genesis 1 creation story order of creation: earth, plants, animals, humans. Genesis 2 creation story order of creation: earth, plants, HUMAN, animals, woman. My checkmate stands. Jesuit 17:22, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I read an explanation once that suggested that after God created all the animals, then created Adam, that he recreated all the animals for Adam to name (rather than gather up all the animals again). Its an interesting exercise to imagine what would have happened if Adam had said "hey God, that little fluffy bear looks cute, we could be buddies , and she can lift and carry stuff for me , it will be so cool" Hamster 17:30, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I know why there are two creation myths. The explanation involves discounting either story as being factually accurate though. No creationist has ever bothered to take the two stories into literal account that I have seen (because it's impossible...they contradict). I assume Phil and Evan will both jump off the boat here as well. Isn't it amazing how small details matter so much when it comes to the Theory of Evolution, and yet under the slightest weight, the Creationists will say details don't matter? Jesuit 17:39, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Jesuit, if your "checkmate" is so conclusive, why are you still posting? I for one think that it is rather more of a stalemate, with the emphasis firmly on 'stale', and would much prefer you to elaborate on your "why didn't God create us as invincible super-beings" point.--CPalmer 17:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
It was a simple question, really. If we were designed by a supreme being, why were we designed to fail/break easily? For example: the human eye can be gauged out with a toothpick. If I were able to stop your car dead in its tracks with two swipes of a toothpick, wouldn't you call the design of your car "flawed?" It seems to me that if one is going to design something to live 75 years, all parts should be designed to last 75 years, no? I didn't build my house of of spaghetti for a reason. For what reason did our designer have to build our eyes out of a substance comparable to spaghetti? Jesuit 17:50, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
End note: the reason I had to reiterate "checkmate" was, as per usual, Creationist don't know a point from an [deleted by administrator]. Jesuit 17:53, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
CPalmer, that question is moot. There is no evidence in the Bible to say what characteristics Adam and Eve may have had. After the Fall that character most certainly was altered in the whole "man, animals and the entire Universe must die" edict of God. God personally curtailed mans 'natural' lifespan to 120 years. Hamster 17:56, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

@Philip: Why do you say that falsifiability cannot occur based on "historical" observations? Does that mean if a scientist has the temperature, pressure, humidity, etc. from yesterday, he cannot formulate a falsifiable model for today's temperature? Or if he has the temperature, pressure, humidity from two days ago he cannot formulate a falsifiable model for yesterday's temperature? And it goes the other way, too. Can't a scientist use a model with today's temperature to predict what yesterday's was? (If anything, doesn't your minimizing historical observations diminish the dino-people claim?) Sterile 18:06, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

If we were designed by a supreme being, why were we designed to fail/break easily? Maybe to emphasize our dependence on God? Or maybe, like User:Hamster suggests, we weren't designed this way; Adam and Eve's bodies could've healed a lot faster before the Fall ruined everything.
do you know what the word "alone" means? Yes. It obviously doesn't mean "no other being at all," because God was there. Rather, it means "no other suitable helper" (example). As for your point on the order of creation, you do have a checkmate... if you assume the KJV translated it correctly. The Hebrew verb tense is vague here; it can at least as easily be read to say that God "had formed" the beasts of the field at some past point, as given in chapter 1. --EvanW 22:02, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
...do you know what the word "alone" means? This is a serious question. Yes. And it doesn't even have to mean that there were no other people (although there weren't). Someone can be alone in a crowded room.
Plus, if you had bothered to continue reading you would see that the Bible clearly states that, after Adam, the animals were made to keep him company... You mean Genesis 2:19-20? It says that God had created the animals, reinforcing what EvanW already pointed out using different verses.
Genesis 1 creation story order of creation: earth, plants, animals, humans. Genesis 2 creation story order of creation: earth, plants, HUMAN, animals, woman. My checkmate stands. No it doesn't. Genesis 1 is a chronological account, which therefore gives the order of creation. Genesis 2 is not a chronological account, and furthermore says in the NIV that God had created the animals. In addition, you are making a circular argument. You claim that Genesis 1 and 2 are two independent (and contradictory) accounts, but your evidence is that you read Genesis 2 as though it is an independent account, and therefore don't read it in the context of Genesis 1. If I said to you, "I bought my sister a pot plant then gave it to her at Christmas", and subsequently said, "At Christmas time, she gave me a DVD. And I bought her a pot plant", you could easily read that second sentence as me buying the pot plant after she gave me the DVD. But if you read it in the context of my first statement, you would realise that even though I made the statement that I bought her a pot plant after she gave me a DVD, I actually bought it before. If you assume that Genesis 1 and 2 are not independent, and read Genesis 2 in the context of Genesis 1, there is no contradiction.
No creationist has ever bothered to take the two stories into literal account that I have seen (because it's impossible...they contradict). Again, you show that you have failed to study the view that you so readily denigrate (I've now said this three times; you've yet to even attempt to refute the allegation). See here, here, here, and here, plus the one that EvanW linked to.
I assume Phil and Evan will both jump off the boat here as well. Why? It's not our boat that's foundering.
...under the slightest weight, the Creationists will say details don't matter? Where have we said that? Come on, show us.
It was a simple question, really. If we were designed by a supreme being, why were we designed to fail/break easily? We weren't.
For example: the human eye can be gauged out with a toothpick. So? Almost anything can be damaged readily if there is malicious intent.
If I were able to stop your car dead in its tracks with two swipes of a toothpick, wouldn't you call the design of your car "flawed?" No. I could jam a toothpick in the ignition key hole, and prevent you starting it. Does that mean that the design of all cars is flawed?
It seems to me that if one is going to design something to live 75 years, all parts should be designed to last 75 years, no? We were designed to live forever, but as has already been mentioned, what you see now is a degenerate version of the original design, thanks to the Fall. But if you had any idea what you were talking about, you would know this, as it's basic biblical creation. Why is it that you have no idea? (That's not a rhetorical question, by the way.)
...as per usual, Creationist don't know a point from an [deleted]. If your case is so strong, why do you have to resort to abusive ad hominem argument?
God personally curtailed mans 'natural' lifespan to 120 years. Incorrect.
Why do you say that falsifiability cannot occur based on "historical" observations? Does that mean if a scientist has the temperature, pressure, humidity, etc. from yesterday, he cannot formulate a falsifiable model for today's temperature? No, I don't mean that. I mean that if another scientist disputes the first scientist's claims about yesterday's temperature, pressure, and humidity, he can't run further test or make further measurements to find out what values these things had yesterday.
(If anything, doesn't your minimizing historical observations diminish the dino-people claim?) It depends on what you mean by "minimizing". I'm not at all trying to denigrate historical observations. What I'm doing is pointing out that history relies on eye-witness testimony (i.e. observations), not on scientific tests (which can only be done in the present). The dino-people claim (i.e. that they lived at the same time) is not really scientifically testable for that very reason (but then neither is the claim that they didn't live at the same time, for the same reason). But I also point out that science is not the only source of information. Eye-witness testimony is another source (and, it should be noted, unless you run all the scientific tests yourself, you are relying on the eye-witness testimony of the scientists for all the science you know).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:23, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

God personally curtailed mans 'natural' lifespan to 120 years. Incorrect.How is that wrong. Adam and others in the early generations lived 500- 1000 years. That would be mans natural lifespan. Nothing I know of in the Bible says God preserved them beyond the natural life. The Bible does specifically say that God set mans lifespan to 120 years and then in Psalms sets it to 70. Hamster 00:33, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, my previous answer was too blunt, given the evidence. I was rejecting both the claim that your basis was referring to lifespans, and that it was prescriptive. I still argue the first, but not the second.
Mankind was designed to live forever. But as a result of the Fall, this changed, and their lifespans became limited. The lifespans hovered around the 900-year mark until the flood, then dropped off in a manner similar to an exponential curve (i.e. it didn't suddenly drop to 120 years). I think I'm correct in saying that the only such reference to 120 years is in Genesis 6:3. Now it's true that many Christians have read this as saying that man's lifespan will be 120 years (whether as a normal maximum or an absolute maximum), and I do concede that if this is correct, it's reasonable to read it as God personally curtailing the lifespan rather than just observing that this would be the case naturally. That is, it would be prescriptive rather than descriptive. However, there is another school of thought (which I subscribe to) that the reference is to there only being 120 years left from then until the flood. This is, after all, the context in which God says this.
I see (in an edit conflict) that you've added a reference to 70 years. You didn't give the reference, and I don't recall it, but I suspect that this one would be descriptive rather than prescriptive.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Psalm 90:10. Definitely descriptive, as I read it. --EvanW 01:32, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference. Yes, definitely prescriptive, but more than that. It's also typical (or typical maximum), given that it also mentions 80 as a possibility, and it's something that David said, not God. David can't prescribe such things. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:38, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Genesis 2:18 (my translation from Hebrew): "And the Lord said: "It is not good for man to be alone, I will (shall) make him a mate to help"
Genesis 2:19 Lord God then formed from the ground all beast of the field and all the fowls of the heavens, and brought them to the man to name them. What man called them, remained their names thereafter.
Note: future tense in Genesis 2:18 (will make) and the adverb (then) in Genesis 2:19 to should PROGRESSION OF TIME. Jesuit 05:16, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
There is no dispute about Genesis 2:18.
So you make your own translation, and then your key argument is the word "then" in 2:19, which is not in any other translation (that I could find with a quick search).
You earlier accused me of not answering your questions. I asked why you thought this. You haven't answered. I also asked why you so readily denigrate a view which you clearly know so little about. You haven't answered. Now I have another question for you: Why do you accuse me of not answering your question when you clearly have no interest in answering mine? I wonder if you will answer that one, or will you "jump off the boat" insofar as these questions are concerned?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, Phil. Your answers filled my BS meter for the week, so I had to take a break. Even if you don't like the word "then" in 2:19, you still have the pesky little "will make" in 2:18. This means that man was there while the other animals were not made yet. There is no past tense in either of those verses, so you cannot say that the animals had already been made. I didn't answer your questions because I thought (via YOUR lead) that we were only answering questions we wanted. If you want your questions answered, then go ahead and answer mine. You'll note that I reciprocate in kind. Jesuit 19:44, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, Phil. Your answers filled my BS meter for the week, so I had to take a break. Great way to start a post: with an unsubstantiated non-specific insult.
Even if you don't like the word "then" in 2:19, you still have the pesky little "will make" in 2:18. As I said, there is no issue with 2:18. It says that God will make a helper, and we later find out that that helper is Eve, who was indeed made in the future (of 2:18). So no, it does not mean that the other animals were not made yet.
There is no past tense in either of those verses, so you cannot say that the animals had already been made. There's no explicit past tense (if that's an accurate way of describing it), but I've already pointed out that this must be the case taking the verse in the context of Genesis 1, and also that some translations do see an implied/inferred/whatever past tense there, and therefore have the translation "had made".
I didn't answer your questions because I thought (via YOUR lead) that we were only answering questions we wanted. If you want your questions answered, then go ahead and answer mine. You'll note that I reciprocate in kind. The problem with this is that I have answered your questions. And one of my questions which you haven't answered is why you claim that I haven't when I in fact have.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 22:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie

How are you enjoying our national day of beer drinking? π 04:28, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Oi Oi Oi. But "beer drinking"? I don't consider that to be an essential part of the day (or any day). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:32, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Really, how else do you put up with the nauseating faux-patriotism of the day? π 09:42, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Ignore it? (Not the day, just any over-the-top activity). Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:01, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I saw many more cheap flags today (mostly stuck to cars and house-fronts) than previous years. Somebody's making money. BradleyF (LowKey) 12:03, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
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