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L&FP, 60: Illustrating an all too common atheistical attitude

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The below is taken from a typical Internet Atheist trollish rhetorical stunt, illustrating all too familiar patterns of fallacious reasoning that are here seen in an attempt to bully and stereotype Christians as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. For first level responses see here [Jesus], here [worldviews], here [evil Christians].

This sort of polarising snide stunt is what we need to recognise as a real problem (and no, turnabout projection is not an acceptable response), acknowledging that it is unacceptable bigotry and intellectual irresponsibility, and then set such aside, there are fate of civilisation issues on the table:

Now, let us ponder:

Where we do not need to go. END

U/D, Oct 1, on the real political spectrum by way of the Overton Window and BATNA concept:

132 Replies to “L&FP, 60: Illustrating an all too common atheistical attitude

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP, 60: Illustrating an all too common atheistical attitude

  2. 2
    Viola Lee says:

    Why post this when it’s from another site? Are the parts in the left column verbatim, or your paraphrases?

  3. 3
    Fordgreen says:

    Isn’t this what would be expected of unbelievers and what the Bible states would be the case? I don’t think I get the purpose of the post.

    But perhaps this offers a possible solution?
    2 Timothy 2:24-26
    And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the only change to the LH column is to break it up into successive cells. The case is chosen from a trollish attack posed as shut up, marginalising and belittling rhetoric because it is a clear example of a seriously problematic attitude, not just to Christians but to too many ideologised serious issues. I suspect it reflects focus group tested rhetorical, agit prop devices and aptly illustrates a kind of hostile, strawman tactic, ad hominem polarisation that is now too often seen as supplanting civilised reasoning. This is where too many are and we need to fix this before it spins out of control. KF

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    FG, we need diagnosis based on undeniable real life cases. For cause, I hold that deep down, we know ourselves to be duty-bound towards truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, so fairness and justice etc. Indeed, the rhetorical stunts in this case pivot on that right from the outset, notice, he tries to dismiss things as mythology and nonsense, in opening words: false, poorly reasoned, lacking warrant. And yet, he is instantly in breach as he sets up and knocks over strawmen rather than addressing actual evidence and argument, all the while showing outright scorn. He is blinded by rage and is grossly ill informed and unfair, taking all too common online vituperation for fact. And more. These things need to be identified and a whole class of polarised, ideological rhetoric needs to be identified, acknowledged as out of order, taken down. Especially when we know from still living memory, that unchecked loaded stereotypes, stigmatising and scapegoating lead to hate and can end in crimes against humanity. It is only when there is a restoration of responsibility that genuine discussion and reasonable conclusions can be had. So, no, it is not time for shoulder shrugging, it is time to face, then turn from gross irresponsibility. KF

  6. 6
    Viola Lee says:

    So, KF it was verbatim? Could you provide a link to the source? I do not know what GP Pundit is.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I refuse to do this troll the favour of promotion. It is real, it runs in sentences in just the order given, it was an unprovoked attack and it illustrates serious problems. KF

    PS, This particular rhetoric comes from the so called new atheists, and Dan Brown and Dawkins provide a pair of notorious examples from widely praised books. I cite Dawkins, already noting his ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Here he is,

    “The God of the Old Testament [= The God of Israel . . . ] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2006, 31.]

    Why is it this man continued to be feted after publishing toxic and irresponsible rhetoric like that?

    Sadly, there are far too many other cases in point, the problem is real, widespread and getting worse.

    It infests all sorts of topics and issues.

  8. 8
    Viola Lee says:

    OK, it is verbatim. Thanks. Pretty poor language.

    Why post it here? That seems a bit trollish itself, it seems to me.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, this is, as stated, a case study, albeit a negative one. This shows what we need to fix. Notice, for example that he starts by inadvertently implying key first duties of reason, which here again show their inescapable presence. He then proceeds to material breach and becomes a poster child for a serious problem. KF

  10. 10
    Fordgreen says:

    KF: “”These things need to be identified and a whole class of polarised, ideological rhetoric needs to be identified, acknowledged as out of order, taken down.

    KF:””…This shows what we need to fix. “”

    What actions do you propose to realize this? How are you going to fix it? And who’s the “we”? From a Christian perspective isn’t this the reason and purpose of spreading the gospel? Almost sounds like you want to impose some kind of censorship on people before they even hear the gospel? What do you mean by “taken down” exactly and how is that going to come to pass?

  11. 11
    Red Reader says:

    From the beginning, the serpent claimed to have knowledge superior to God’s: “Gen3:4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.”

    The serpent always makes God out to be an evil, unfair meanie, keeping the really ‘good stuff’ from people: “5a For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened,”

    The serpent promises that the superior knowledge to be gained by some “easy way” (eating an apple, joining ‘Atheists International’) will make the doer as wiser or wiser than God Himself: “5b….and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

    This line of BS is literally as old as mankind itself.
    It comes from the pit of hell.
    The lost who repeat are very sad, sick people.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    FG,

    we are dealing with an age where people decry and trash what is inconvenient to them, not excepting self evident, plumb line first principles of logic that they don’t like. This is a day in which — as can be seen above — the “simple” gospel (and its entrained ethics, cf The Lord’s Prayer) has been trashed using such techniques and such trashing has been publicly and widely praised. So, many have been deeply warped thus polarised and have been granted a sense of social permission to pull the sort of rhetorical stunt you see above.

    For instance, what was your church’s and your community’s response just 15 years ago when globally prominent atheistical spokesman, Richard Dawkins, published the following in a runaway bestseller?

    “The God of the Old Testament [= The God of Israel . . . ] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2006, 31.]

    As in, I did _____, my home church did _______ and the people of common sense and common decency in my community did ________ .

    My bet, little and nothing, in the face of a red flag warning (cf. the diagram on march of folly in the OP).

    A great many people, Christians and otherwise, across our civilisation don’t even understand how warped and polarised many people are, how absurd their thinking is, how ill informed it is, just how much strawman caricature thinking is involved. Where — on abundant, bloodily repeated history — such predictably ends up in ruin, in a march of folly ending in disaster. (As in, what in outline is the history of the Peloponnesian war, what are its lessons for sound governance including sound international relations and the viability of democracies? Why is it that by and large we don’t know about this key case?)

    Remember, some are now confused as to even whether they are male or female (which, is not a coincidence) and children in schools and libraries are being publicly groomed for destructive sexual exploitation etc (also, not a coincidence). This sort of absurd, crooked yardstick thinking is manifestly ruinous to sound civilisation.

    The “we” therefore includes all who hope for a decent and sustainable future.

    The public “taking down” — by sufficiently repeated exposure of such absurdity that the message that this is utter folly is hammered home, is therefore a task for all people of common good sense, including at first level restoration of common decency and reasonableness.

    What is at stake is literally the viability of a civilisation of the civil peace of justice, with lawful freedom, where civilisational collapse and chaos leading to sliding into a dark night of tyranny — lawless oligarchy is the NATURAL state of government and society — would carry with it mass death in perhaps the dozens to hundreds of millions. Don’t knock this, THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT HAPPENED OVER THE PAST 100+ YEARS WITH ASSORTED IDEOLOGICAL TYRANNIES.

    And, surprise — not — the major media, pundits and profs are studiously avoiding telling the truth about such. Start by looking up the Reichstag Fire incident and asking yourself why this lesson on how a constitutional democracy failed within living memory is not widely and publicly taught with due lessons drawn. (A similar stunt was pulled in my homeland in 1976, leading to 4th generation civil war and chaos down to today.)

    So, again, the “we” is anyone serious about a reasonable future, the “taking down” is public exposure and correction of a march of folly, the stakes include averting a civilisational collapse.

    For Evangelical Christians, this is the responsible defence of sound citizenship and prudent governance exemplified by Ac 27, and again, surprise — not! — this lesson on a pivotal case study is not widely taught. Forget the background parable of the ship of state Luke subtly alluded to by making a point to draw out this fourth shipwreck Paul experienced.

    We have been systematically manipulated and misled into foolishness that has potentially disastrous consequences, so responsible people need to wake up to our peril, publicly correct gross imprudence, a rising tide of fallacies and the march of folly, calling for restoration of sanity, sense and common decency.

    Along the way, some pointed lessons on cognitive dissonance and projection to the despised other need to be drawn, as well as on how intimidation into conformity with folly and fashionable evil uses cognitive dissonance resolution mechanisms to brainwash us into a proverbial march of lemmings.

    Then, we can actually have a serious conversation on fundamental truth starting with today’s equivalent to the altar to the unknown god in Ac 17.

    Not to mention onward on Nimrod, strong man-ism and sound civilisation.

    And more.

    KF

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    RR, kindly see the above. KF

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On Acts 27:

    [On Luke’s microcosm on the ship of state, Jan 1, 2013:] Entrenched highly ideological orthodoxies — and this includes successful revolutionaries, whether on institutional or community scale — that control resource flows to their benefit and which exert enormous power in institutions and society [I was speaking here about today’s evolutionary materialism dominated science], tend to be very resistant to what is new and unsettling to their comfort zones and interests. Where there has been indoctrination and polarisation, we can see this multiplied by the problem of lack of logical thinking ability and sheer lack of awareness of the true state of the balance of warrant on the merits of facts and evidence.

    The perceived heretic, then is a threat to be fought off, marginalised, discredited and if necessary destroyed. By any and all means, fair or foul.

    (I find the obsession with suggestions of a threat of religious subversion of [scientific, political, education, media and cultural] institutions long since subverted by radical secularists slightly amusing but quite sad in the end. The key threat is unaccountable, out of control power in the hands of elites prone to corruption, not that this once happened with religious elites. In the past 100 years, we saw major secularist movements and neopagan movements of political messianism that did much the same to horrific cost. And the welfare state of the past generation has not been a whole lot better. [Just ask the ghosts of the dozens of millions who have been aborted for convenience.])

    Where is there a solution?

    Frankly, at this stage, I think things are going to have to crash so badly and some elites are going to have to be so discredited by the associated spreading failure, that media propaganda tactics cannot cover it up anymore.

    My model for that comes from one of the red-flag sources that will give some of the objectors [to the design theory movement in science] the vapours.

    Acts 27.

    What, how dare you cite that, that . . . that . . . textbook for theocratic tyranny by the ignorant, insane, stupid and/or wicked followers of that bronze age misogynistic homophobic genocidal racist war god!

    (Do you hear how your agit-prop talking points are enmeshing you in the classic trap of believing your own propaganda?)

    Let’s start with, Paul of Tarsus, c. AD 59, was not in the Bronze Age but was an appellate prisoner in chains on early Imperial era grain ships having a hard time making way from the Levant and Asia Minor to Rome, in the second case ending up in a bay on Crete. What followed is a classic exercise in the follies of manipulated democracy, a case study that will well repay study in our time.

    It was late in the sailing season, and the merchant-owner was worried about his ship in an open bay at Fair Havens, given what winter storms can do.

    The passengers were not too impressed by the nearby settlements as a wintering place. (Sailing stopped in Autumn and opened back up in Spring. [–> EVERYONE knew why, the ships of that day could not bear up the storms of winter, and as time wore on in the fall, sailing became increasingly dangerous])

    The key technico, the kubernete — steersman, more or less like a pilot of an airliner — knew where his bread was buttered, and by whom.

    In the middle was a Centurion of the elite messenger corps.

    We are at ship’s council, and Paul, in chains, is suggesting that the suggestion to venture our with a favourable wind to try to make it to a more commodious port down-coast was excessively risky not only to boat but life.

    The financial and technical talking heads and the appeal of comfort allowed him to be easily marginalised and dismissed.

    Then we saw a gentle south breeze, that would have allowed a reach down the coast. (The technicos probably knew this could be a precursor to a storm, but were not going to cut across the dominant view. [Let’s add, how many days would it have taken to simply WALK to Phoenix, 40 mi away by sea? 3 – 4? We can readily see how the implicit, you won’t get money back if you “abandon” the voyage and the rosy description of a smooth, low risk afternoon’s sail could easily have swayed opinions.])

    They sailed out.

    Bang, an early winter noreaster hit them and sprang the boat’s timbers (why they tried to hold together with ropes [–> called frapping]) so the ship was in a sinking condition from the beginning.

    Worse, they were heading for sandbars off the coast of today’s Libya.

    For two weeks all they could do was use a sea anchor to control drift and try to steer vaguely WNW.

    Forget, eating.

    That is when Paul stood forth as a good man in a storm, and encouraged them with a vision from God. By this time, hope was to be shipwrecked on a coast. (Turned out, [probably] north coast of Malta [possibly, east end].)

    While the ship was at risk of being driven aground and set out four anchors by the stern from midnight on, the sailors tried to abandon the passengers on a ruse, spotted by Paul and/or Luke his travelling companion.

    By this time, the Centurion knew who to take seriously and the ship’s boat was cut away. He then took the decision to save Paul and refused the soldiers’ request to kill the prisoners to prevent escape (for which their lives would have been forfeit).

    So, they made it to a beach on Malta, having lost the ship in any case AND nearly their own lives.

    KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: On the Ship of State:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosopher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N3: Even Wikipedia warns:

    The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek war fought between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies for the hegemony of the Greek world. The war remained undecided for a long time until the decisive intervention of the Persian Empire in support of Sparta. Led by Lysander, the Spartan fleet built with Persian subsidies finally defeated Athens and started a period of Spartan hegemony over Greece.

    Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. The first phase (431–421 BC) was named the Ten Years War, or the Archidamian War, after the Spartan king Archidamus II, who launched several invasions of Attica with the full hoplite army of the Peloponnesian League, the alliance network dominated by Sparta. However, the Long Walls of Athens rendered this strategy ineffective, while the superior navy of the Delian League (Athens’ alliance) raided the Peloponnesian coast to trigger rebellions within Sparta. The precarious Peace of Nicias was signed in 421 BC and lasted until 413 BC. Several proxy battles took place during this period, notably the battle of Mantinea in 418 BC, won by Sparta against an ad-hoc alliance of Elis, Mantinea (both former Spartan allies), Argos and Athens. The main event was nevertheless the Sicilian Expedition between 415 and 413 BC, during which Athens lost almost all its navy in the attempted capture of Syracuse, an ally in Sparta.

    The Sicilian disaster prompted the third phase of the war (413–404 BC), named the Decelean War, or the Ionian War, when the Persian Empire supported Sparta in order to recover the suzerainty of the Greek cities of Asia Minor, incorporated into the Delian League at the end of the Persian Wars. With Persian money, Sparta built a massive fleet under the leadership of Lysander, who won a streak of decisive victories in the Aegean Sea, notably at Aegospotamos in 405 BC. Athens capitulated the following year and lost all its empire; Lysander imposed puppet oligarchies on the former members of the Delian League, including Athens, where the regime was known as the Thirty Tyrants. The Peloponnesian War was followed ten years later by the Corinthian War (394–386 BC), which, although it ended inconclusively, helped Athens regain its independence from Sparta.

    The Peloponnesian War reshaped the ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war’s beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens was completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity.[2][3] The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made war a common occurrence in the Greek world. Ancient Greek warfare, meanwhile, originally a limited and formalized form of conflict, was transformed into an all-out struggle between city-states, complete with atrocities on a large scale. Shattering religious and cultural taboos, devastating vast swathes of countryside, and destroying whole cities, the Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth century BC and the golden age of Greece.[4] . . . .

    In the 17th year of the war, word came to Athens that one of their distant allies in Sicily was under attack from Syracuse, the main city of Sicily. The people of Syracuse were ethnically Dorian (as were the Spartans), while the Athenians, and their ally in Sicilia, were Ionian.

    The Athenians felt obliged to help their ally. They also held visions, rallied on by Alcibiades, who ultimately led an expedition, of conquering all of Sicily. Syracuse was not much smaller than Athens, and conquering all of Sicily would bring Athens immense resources. In the final preparations for departure, the hermai (religious statues) of Athens were mutilated by unknown persons, and Alcibiades was charged with religious crimes. Alcibiades demanded that he be put on trial at once, so that he can defend himself before the expedition. However, the Athenians allowed Alcibiades to go on the expedition without being tried (many believed in order to better plot against him). After arriving in Sicily, Alcibiades was recalled to Athens for trial. Fearing that he would be unjustly condemned, Alcibiades defected to Sparta and Nicias was placed in charge of the mission. After his defection, Alcibiades claimed to the Spartans that the Athenians planned to use Sicily as a springboard for the conquest of all of Italy and Carthage, and to use the resources and soldiers from these new conquests to conquer the Peloponnese.

    The Athenian force consisted of over 100 ships and some 5,000 infantry and light-armored troops. Cavalry was limited to about 30 horses, which proved to be no match for the large and highly trained Syracusan cavalry. Upon landing in Sicily, several cities immediately joined the Athenian cause. But instead of attacking, Nicias procrastinated and the campaigning season of 415 BC ended with Syracuse scarcely damaged. With winter approaching, the Athenians withdrew into their quarters and spent the winter gathering allies. The delay allowed Syracuse to request help from Sparta, who sent their general Gylippus to Sicily with reinforcements. Upon arriving, he raised a force from several Sicilian cities, and went to the relief of Syracuse. He took command of the Syracusan troops, and in a series of battles defeated the Athenian forces, and prevented them from invading the city.

    Nicias then sent word to Athens asking for reinforcements. Demosthenes was chosen and led another fleet to Sicily, joining his forces with those of Nicias. More battles ensued and again, the Syracusans and their allies defeated the Athenians. Demosthenes argued for a retreat to Athens, but Nicias at first refused. After additional setbacks, Nicias seemed to agree to a retreat until a bad omen, in the form of a lunar eclipse, delayed withdrawal. The delay was costly and forced the Athenians into a major sea battle in the Great Harbor of Syracuse. The Athenians were thoroughly defeated. Nicias and Demosthenes marched their remaining forces inland in search of friendly allies. The Syracusan cavalry rode them down mercilessly, eventually killing or enslaving all who were left of the mighty Athenian fleet.

    (There is a lot more to learn about Alcibiades.)

    This was the equivalent of Hitler’s attack on Russia,

    KF

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 4: The Reichstag fire and Hitler’s seizure of power:

    https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-reichstag-fire

    On February 27, 1933, the German parliament (Reichstag) building burned down. The Nazi leadership and its coalition partners used the fire to claim that Communists were planning a violent uprising. They claimed that emergency legislation was needed to prevent this. The resulting act, commonly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree, abolished a number of constitutional protections and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship . . . .

    On February 27, 1933, the German parliament (Reichstag) building burned down due to arson. The Nazi leadership and its German Nationalist coalition partners exploited the fire to persuade President Paul von Hindenburg that Communists were planning a violent uprising to derail Germany’s “national renewal.” They claimed that emergency legislation was needed to prevent this. Commonly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree, the resulting act “For the Protection of the People and State” abolished a number of constitutional protections and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship.

    Using emergency constitutional powers, Adolf Hitler’s cabinet had issued a Decree for the Protection of the German People on February 4, 1933. This decree placed constraints on the press and authorized the police to ban political meetings and marches, effectively hindering electoral campaigning. A temporary measure, it was followed by a more dramatic and permanent suspension of civil rights following the February 27 burning of the parliament building.

    Though the origins of the fire are still unclear, in a propaganda maneuver, the coalition government (Nazis and the German Nationalist People’s Party) blamed the Communists. They exploited the Reichstag fire to secure President von Hindenburg’s approval for an emergency decree, the decree “For the Protection of the People and State” of February 28, one day after the burning of the Reichstag. Popularly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree, the regulations suspended the right to assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and other constitutional protections, including all restraints on police investigations.

    Justified on the false premise that the Communists were planning an uprising to overthrow the state, the Reichstag Fire Decree permitted the regime to arrest and incarcerate political opponents without specific charge, dissolve political organizations, and to suppress publications. It also gave the central government the authority to overrule state and local laws and overthrow state and local governments . . . . Following the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, the Nazi leadership and its Nationalist coalition partners exploited the fire to pass emergency legislation that abolished a number of constitutional protections and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship.

    Wikipedia adds:

    After the November 1932 German federal election, the Nazi Party had a plurality, not a majority; the communists posted gains.[7] Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor and head of the coalition government on 30 January 1933.[8] As chancellor, Hitler asked President Paul von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for a new parliamentary election. The date set for the elections was 5 March 1933.[9]

    Hitler hoped to abolish democracy in a quasi-legal fashion, by passing the Enabling Act. The Enabling Act was a special law that gave the Chancellor the power to pass laws by decree, without the involvement of the Reichstag. These special powers would remain in effect for four years, after which time they were eligible to be renewed. Under the Weimar Constitution, the President could rule by decree in times of emergency using Article 48.[10]

    During the election campaign, the Nazis alleged that Germany was on the verge of a communist revolution and that the only way to stop the communists was to put the Nazis securely in power. The message of the campaign was simple: increase the number of Nazi seats.[11] . . . .

    The day after the fire, at Hitler’s request, President Hindenburg signed the Reichstag Fire Decree into law by using Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended most civil liberties in Germany, including habeas corpus, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right of free association and public assembly, and the secrecy of the post and telephone.[18] These rights were not reinstated during Nazi reign. The decree was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause. Despite the fact that Marinus van der Lubbe claimed to have acted alone in the Reichstag fire, Hitler, after having obtained his emergency powers, announced that it was the start of a wider communist effort to take over Germany. Nazi Party newspapers then published this fabricated “news”.[18] This sent the German population into a panic and isolated the communists further among the civilians; additionally, thousands of communists were imprisoned in the days following the fire (including leaders of the Communist Party of Germany) on the charge that the Party was preparing to stage a putsch. Speaking to Rudolph Diels about communists during the Reichstag fire, Hitler said “These sub-humans do not understand how the people stand at our side. In their mouse-holes, out of which they now want to come, of course they hear nothing of the cheering of the masses.”[19] With communist electoral participation also suppressed (the communists previously polled 17% of the vote), the Nazis were able to increase their share of the vote in the 5 March 1933 Reichstag elections from 33% to 44%.[20] This gave the Nazis and their allies, the German National People’s Party (who won 8% of the vote), a majority of 52% in the Reichstag.[20]

    While the Nazis emerged with a majority, they fell short of their goal, which was to win 50–55% of the vote that year.[20] The Nazis thought that this would make it difficult to achieve their next goal, passage of the Enabling Act giving Hitler the right to rule by decree, which required a two-thirds majority.[20] However, several important factors weighed in the Nazis’ favour, mainly the continued suppression of the Communist Party and the Nazis’ ability to capitalize on national security concerns. Moreover, some deputies of the Social Democratic Party (the only party that would vote against the Enabling Act) were prevented from taking their seats in the Reichstag, due to arrests and intimidation by the Nazi SA. As a result, the Social Democratic Party would be under-represented in the final vote tally. The Enabling Act passed easily on 23 March 1933, with the support of the right-wing German National People’s Party, the Centre Party, and several fragmented middle-class parties. The measure went into force on 24 March, effectively making Hitler dictator of Germany.[21]

    The Kroll Opera House, sitting across the Königsplatz from the burned-out Reichstag building, functioned as the Reichstag’s venue for the remaining 12 years of the Third Reich’s existence.[22]

    KF

  18. 18
    Sir Giles says:

    In the western world, more people have more freedom and more opportunities than any time in the past. I am so happy to have been born when and where I was.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, if we do not hold the line, that will predictably come crashing down. And that’s before we get to the issue of licence pretending to be lawful liberty. Actually, they are linked. KF

    PS, I add to the OP shortly. Lawless oligarchy is the natural state of power in community.

  20. 20
    AaronS1978 says:

    Well this fits two commentators here. One perfectly. I wouldn’t say AF. Because most of his trolling consists of arguments like this “Morse code is not code it sound waves” this is just analogous to the DNA/code argument.

    But my question is, is the purpose of this post to help them try to reflect on themselves to see that maybe their arguments aren’t really solid and they’re just annoying because in most cases, it really is just a troll?

    The sad part is a lot of the atheists on the site fit this stereotype, very similar to the ones that I’ve encountered in my life

    One of them of them mocked my belief all the time despite me not bringing up with him but once when he asked. He was a bully about it for years there after. One time when Christmas was around the corner and he came into the store just to complain about magic man day. Never brought it with him in the first place he just didn’t it because he got kicks out of mocking my belief. He would ask “How can you be so smart but be sooooo stupid to believe in god? You must be a cradle catholic.” he went on to be a biology teacher at GCU a Christian only college. He lied on his application to get the job……..

    Another was my lovely neighbor that liked shouting at his friends that when you die there will be no heaven and angels waiting up there to suck your d!ck. I conveniently heard this right after I was done debating a coworker on OOL who was also a raging atheist. I was dragged into their argument when they asked me about cellular life, both of them new I was in college talking classes in microbiology and figured I’d could settle their debate.

    Another was my lovely public debates partner. In his final debate he had surprised everyone with the topic, as it was never discussed, and religion was never brought up in the class. He wanted to debated if Jesus ever existed but that didn’t pan out so he went to God and Santa Claus were one in the same. Literally his whole debate consisted of evolution is real, god is not “just think about it” and you are all dumb if you think otherwise “just think about it” . He got a D and he was not expecting pushback from me, thinking I was an atheist too given my demeanor

    His whole debate was just mocking Christianity and comparing god to Santa Claus

    with very few exceptions, every atheist I’ve encountered fits these stereotypes, they are generally aggressive and are similar to bullies while claiming that they are being bullied, I’ve never bullied an atheist. I’ve never sought them out, and I wish to leave them alone, because I just didn’t care about what they believe, it wasn’t until repeat incidences like the few above that I mentioned, that I started seeking out places like this, and other places to defend my faith/ideals.

    I would’ve literally never cared about evolution, or even thought that it infringed on God’s existence, and my belief in God, if I had never been swung at first by raging atheist wield the sword of evolution trying to mock me for my beliefs and rid the world of that nonexistent genocidal psychopathic bully, known as God

  21. 21
    Sir Giles says:

    Spousal abuse is no longer swept under the rug. Physically disciplining a child is becoming less acceptable. Covering up pedophilia is becoming less prevalent. Childhood bullying is declining. Both teen pregnancy and abortion rates are declining. Sexual harassment in the workplace is no longer tolerated. People are free to marry who they love. Discrimination and persecution due to a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc. is no longer tolerated. You are free to question a religion’s rules without fear of blasphemy laws.

    Society continues to have huge challenges but most meaningful indicators point to a general improvement over the last several decades.

  22. 22
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ 21
    Although some of the things that you mention, I do agree with I really do feel that the last four years we have taken quite a few steps back

    And a correction to my analogy “Morris code is not code. It’s signals composed of sound waves.“

    That’s more accurate

  23. 23
    Sir Giles says:

    @22

    As with any change, there are sometimes unintended consequences. That doesn’t always justify not making the change, but it may justify some mitigating actions or limitations on the change.

    Do you have one or two specific examples of backward steps that are worthwhile discussing? Unfortunately KF’s “End Is Nigh” generality is not conducive to constructive discussion.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    Discrimination and persecution due to a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc. is no longer tolerated.

    But yet the schools are full of teachings that the US is the most racist society in the world.

    The real question “Is the US the least racist country in the history of the world?” Or just the opposite. As attempts to portray it as inherently racist are made continually by the left. I just got through reading a newsletter by a religious cleric who said

    They are more adamant in their opinions that nearly all people can be skillfully deceived.

    Are most people easily fooled?

    This website is a great example of how people refuse to admit the obvious.

    All this nonsense about race escalated after the great failure of Occupy Wall Street.

  25. 25
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ 23

    Why yes I do
    The incident with Dave Chapelle the fact that comedy can’t be comedy anymore. We’ve gone way too much into the extreme of everything is offensive to the point that now freedom of speech has been jeopardize by the way the topic of freedom of speech has been another problem.

    I have been directly effected by this on multiple occasions, and it’s only been within the last four years that it has been a major issue, and it has been a intolerance towards a particular political spectrum.

    The handling of Covid, I’m not even gonna go into details with that, but that was a disaster and that was a huge step backwards for a lot of different reasons

    Last two presidents of the United States have been absolute clowns. Worst presidents in history. Our economy and political division shows this and its been the worst it’s been in years, which is a huge step back.

    But I can actually go on for days, I feel that our country is going into another extreme while the people that think we’re in the right direction are part of that extreme and don’t seem capable of seeing that they are going to far. Again, a lot of this is politically charged and I’m not exactly fond of discussing it

  26. 26
    AaronS1978 says:

    One of my personal favorite examples of FOS issues is Facebook. I will often post satire that is very obviously satire, and it will get fact checked, as mostly false and blocked. However, it’s satire. It’s not true to begin with. It’s a joke.

    One of the jokes is I live in Arizona, and we want beaches very desperately in our little state

    I posted that Arizonans were getting in trouble for crowding the beaches of Arizona during Covid

    It was the famous picture of people crowding the beaches of Italy

    It was flagged and blocked because I was spreading false information about Covid and quarantines, and the disclaimer was placed saying it was dangerous to be in crowds during quarantine

    Another piece of satire that got blocked for me because of Covid was one making fun of Donald Trump in the comments of bleaching your lungs

    It was a picture of a doctor, administering a enema using an IV drip of bleach

    The doctor telling the person with the naked rear end, that it is time to administer your Covid treatment, Mr. President

    It was simply a joke, but it was blocked because I was spreading false information about Covid “treatments”, and that bleach was not a proper treatment for Covid.

    I have many more examples of this level of nonsense. I even tested Facebook directly and started badmouthing Trump and Biden at the same time and I could tell you I only ever got blocked on Biden bad mouthing

  27. 27
    Sir Giles says:

    AaronS1978: The incident with Dave Chapelle the fact that comedy can’t be comedy anymore.

    Comedians suffering consequences for what they say is nothing new. Lenny Bruce, Andrew Dice Clay, George Carlin, and many more ran afoul of the language and thought police. I don’t like it but to suggest that this is a recent phenomenon is simply not true.

    We’ve gone way too much into the extreme of everything is offensive to the point that now freedom of speech has been jeopardize by the way the topic of freedom of speech has been another problem.

    Freedom of speech is not about a comedian, or anyone else, having the right to say whatever they want without consequences. It is about being able to say whatever you would like without government imposed consequences. If a comedian says or does something that offends enough people, they will suffer consequences because people don’t come to their shows and venues won’t book them. If they slander someone, freedom of speech does not protect them from civil law suits.

  28. 28
    relatd says:

    SG at 21,

    I’ve seen all of these claims of improvements before. So, when it was no longer legal to hit your wife at 2:45 PM in the past, all men just started watching sports and drinking beer instead? There are zero battered wives or shelters for battered women today? And just because ‘it’s no longer swept under the rug,’ are there still women who will say nothing about what happened to them?

    In the 1960s, some idiot named Dr. Spock tried to tell parents not to spank their kids. Me and all my friends got spanked. Spanked for a reason and we all knew what the reason was. No harm done.

    Teen pregnancy is declining? After 2007, the amount of teenagers began declining. Abortion rates are declining? A false positive that does not take into account the fact that over half of abortions are not performed at clinics but in private settings with pills.

    People are free to marry someone of the same sex. There is no equivalency. A man + woman does not equal a man + man or woman + woman. From a purely biological standpoint, men and women were designed for each other.

    There has been great societal decline over the last 40 years. I saw it all happen in real time.

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 25,

    “We” have done nothing. Comedy no longer exists. I saw comedy as making jokes everyone could laugh at. Today, comedy consists of lectures composed by Leftists that so-called comedians repeat. They call people names, they accuse them. That’s not telling jokes.

  30. 30
    relatd says:

    SG at 27,

    It was illegal to use profanity in public like that. And it should still be illegal today. I saw George Carlin in the 1970s. I thought he was clever and witty. Later, he turned into this profanity spewing, mentally disturbed person who also had a few bad things to say about God. Sad.

  31. 31
    Sir Giles says:

    Relatd: So, when it was no longer legal to hit your wife at 2:45 PM in the past, all men just started watching sports and drinking beer instead? There are zero battered wives or shelters for battered women today? And just because ‘it’s no longer swept under the rug,’ are there still women who will say nothing about what happened to them?

    The difference is that battered women now have a possible recourse. In your beloved “golden days” women had no choice but to put up with it.

    In the 1960s, some idiot named Dr. Spock tried to tell parents not to spank their kids. Me and all my friends got spanked. Spanked for a reason and we all knew what the reason was. No harm done.

    And my parents never spanked any of us, and we never spanked any of our kids. If the same outcome can be achieved by non-violence, why condone violence?

    Teen pregnancy is declining? After 2007, the amount of teenagers began declining.

    Obviously the concept of “rates” eludes you.

    There has been great societal decline over the last 40 years. I saw it all happen in real time.

    I have also lived through the same 40+ years and I have seen great societal improvement. I have itemized the improvements. Your turn.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, isn’t it interesting that no one can defend the attitude exposed in the OP, that tells us something. And yet, much of the above is distractive, off on tangents and riddled with much the same fallacies, including question begging. I find it further interesting that there is side stepping of key lessons from history. And more. KF

  33. 33
    vividbleau says:

    “Covering up pedophilia is becoming less prevalent. “

    Have to disagree with you on this one have you not heard the redefinition of pedophilia to be “Minor Attracted Persons ” (MAPS)

    Vivid

  34. 34
    vividbleau says:

    KF re 12

    Well said.

    Vivid

  35. 35
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “Folks, isn’t it interesting that no one can defend the attitude exposed in the OP, that tells us something.”

    That’s right, the attitude in the OP is lousy, and not defensible. Many of the points he makes could be couched in more serious terms and be part of serious discussions: we’ve had some of them here. But if we had someone here trying to make their points with the attitude that guy had, we wouldn’t take them seriously and ignore them.

  36. 36
    vividbleau says:

    SG
    “Do you have one or two specific examples of backward steps that are worthwhile discussing?”

    The mutilation and castration of children. The affirmation that a man can be a woman

    “For fifty years, Title IX has been enforced using the self-evident definition of “sex” –– a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits.

    The new rule by Biden’s Department of Education has redefine “sex” as used in Title IX to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

    The consequences of such a rule change is monumental:

    Deprives women of privacy and safety. Men who identify as women will be allowed access to women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, dorms, overnight accommodation, sports, or any other sex-segregated activity at educational instutions that receive federal financial aid.

    It contradicts state laws in thirteen states that protect students and prevent male athletes from competing in women’s sports. States like Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, South Dakota, and Texas have all passed legislation that protects women’s sports. The Biden administration will cost taxpayers millions of dollars in court costs.

    Negatively impacts educational and career opportunities for women. One study revealed that 94% of senior female executives played competitive sports. By allowing males to compete in women’s sports, it doesn’t just impact their scholarships, but their opportunity to get on the playing field in the first place. This will hurt women in the long run.

    Distorts justice and undermines due process protections for the accused. The guilty should be punished, but justice requires a fair process. Biden’s rule will strip those accused of sexual assault or harassment of their right to be represented by counsel, to introduce evidence, or to cross-examine witnesses during the adjudication of sexual assault and sexual harassment hearings on school campuses.

    Harms childhood development by redefining sex and gender. The worst impacts of this rule change go beyond sports and trophies. Indoctrinating children in their most formative years with the Left’s radical gender-ideology will cause irreparable harm. Up to 98% of children who struggle with their sex as a boy or girl come to accept their sex by adulthood. Our boys and girls need to be nurtured and educated, not taught to question fundamental facts of their biology.

    Particularly in the realm of women’s sports, far-Left activists claim that men can compete fairly with women given the proper hormone suppression therapy. This suggestion is wrong.”.

    The killing of a baby up to the moment of birth. Want more?

    Vivid

  37. 37
    Sir Giles says:

    VB: Have to disagree with you on this one have you not heard the redefinition of pedophilia to be “Minor Attracted Persons ” (MAPS)

    And has this led to the legalization or justification of pedophilia? If not, I declare a red herring.

  38. 38
    Sir Giles says:

    VB: The mutilation and castration of children.

    I’m against this.

    Deprives women of privacy and safety. Men who identify as women will be allowed access to women’s bathrooms,

    They have been doing this for decades without a single incident of a woman being harmed.

    It contradicts state laws in thirteen states that protect students and prevent male athletes from competing in women’s sports.

    Which is why I mentioned that limitations on changes might be necessary. This seems like an obvious one.

    One study revealed that 94% of senior female executives played competitive sports. By allowing males to compete in women’s sports, it doesn’t just impact their scholarships, but their opportunity to get on the playing field in the first place. This will hurt women in the long run.

    Again, this may be a reasonable restriction on transgendered rights. But, I come from a country where nobody obtains sports scholarships to attend university. I have not heard about this 94% stat. And I haven’t heard that the US has a higher proportion of top executives that are female. But I admit that I could be incorrect.

    The killing of a baby up to the moment of birth. Want more?

    Just stats. Do you have stats on the rates of abortion in late stages, and the circumstances for them? I live in Canada, one of the only countries with no legal restrictions on abortion, and it is government funded. In spite of this, abortions almost never occur past 20 weeks. But I don’t think we want to get into an abortion debate here.

  39. 39
    AaronS1978 says:

    Sir Giles
    I never said it was a recent phenomenon nor was it implied. And it’s a true statement there are consequences for actions

    Saying that there’s consequences for actions doesn’t make the consequences just, that’s the problem. The consequences are over reactions with no real basis other than someone’s feelings were hurt, and now you wish the punish them.

    It is like I said in my previous statement, there are people that believe we are going in the right direction that are incapable of seeing that the direction they are going in is just the other extreme

    Your previous commentary shows me that you’re one of those people and I’m sorry for that

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    SG,

    first, you project apocalypticism to belittle and dismiss a serious concern, I am not arguing the end is nigh but that lawless oligarchy is . . . on drearily repeated history . . . the natural state of government. A pattern we must learn from and nip in the bud to preserve lawful community.

    That is, lawless oligarchy means that we have a declared or implied elite who hold unaccountable power and impose their will as they please, leading to disorder and chaos. This is why lawfulness is a critical threshold. Where, this does not mean, law is whatever those who control the legal presses issue under colour and ceremony — what legal positivism invites, BTW — but rather that law, to be legitimate, is bound by canons of the civil peace of justice.

    That is, due balance of genuine rights, freedoms and duties, where, to justly claim a right one must manifestly be in the right.

    So, there can be no duty to tolerate say looting [theft under cover of riot or disorder] or to impose the demand that others habitually lie to accord one a privilege. That held for Caesar is Lord and it holds for one trying to impose that he should be recognised as a woman to dominate races for women and win false victories, etc. It also holds for the imposed pretence that a man can “marry” another man or the like; which arbitrarily seizes recognition of lifelong bond to form a family through marital procreative, conjugal union to something that is of contrary character.

    Such cases are lawless imposition of privilege under false colour of rights, and exhibit the spirit of lawless privilege.

    Likewise, you spoke of what is in your view not tolerated. But among your examples you gave cases of lawless privileges imposed by power and abuse of colour of law. Likewise, the implication is, principled objection is to be stereotyped, marginalised and stigmatised as hate. Which then leads to persecution of principled objection on sound conscience. Gross violation of the civil peace of justice.

    Moreover, you invidiously associate — by way of guilt by association list — that such principled, sound conscience objections are morally equivalent to wife beating. (Pretending, too, that a battering husband or man was formerly deemed acceptable. In fact, such a man often faced the wrath and often retaliatory defensive action by not only male relatives but any gentleman within earshot. Striking a woman was a serious breach of the gentlemanly code. Unhand her, you wretch was not merely a literary device. You set up and knocked over a toxic strawman.)

    We are seeing a familiar pattern here, i/l/o the attitude exposed in the OP, just, less crudely expressed.

    As for the mass slaughter of our living posterity in utero, such demonstrably has mounted up to 800+ millions and counting at a further million per week since the early 70’s. The worst holocaust in history, a mass slaughter of the inconvenient innocent. Where, your onward pretence that the particular case of demanding and carrying out late pregnancy killings is vanishingly rare . . . in fact, it occurs in significant numbers . . . is little more than a disguised admission of indefensibility.

    Another lawless privilege under colour of law rears its head.

    That is a disgrace, and should cease.

    Echoing the White Rose Martyrs, guilty, guilty, guilty are we.

    Going further, I gave key historical examples of the march of folly: Athenian Democracy’s Sicilian invasion, Plato’s Parable of the Ship of State in direct echo, Ac 27 as a further echo penned by Luke, the Reichstag fire incident and Nazi seizure of lawless power by way of projecting blame to a targetted other [First, they came for the Communists and Socialists . . . ], what happened in my native land in 1976 with an election held under cover of false allegations of coup plot .

    These are not made up fantasies, they are cases of history written in the language of pain, loss, tears and blood. Cases that are in the main so central to the story of our civilisation that they should be a key part of the common fund of knowledge. (I do not claim centrality for 1976, only being all too typical.)

    That they are not tells us volumes, including that there are interests that do not wish for us to have this pattern as a commonplace reference and warning flag. Which is instantly a warning flag on a key vulnerability.

    So, your strawman tactic fails.

    It is high time that we ponder what erosion of the BATNA of lawfulness naturally leads to. (See the update to the OP.)

    For, the lessons of sound history were written in blood, pain and tears; those who dismiss, forget or neglect them doom themselves to pay in the same coin over and over again.

    KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, unfortunately, it does not start or end with such talking point parrotting. They are drawing on the likes of the feted Dawkins. KF

  42. 42
    vividbleau says:

    SG

    “And has this led to the legalization or justification of pedophilia? If not, I declare a red herring.”

    Do you think a 24 year old is a sex offender if they engage in oral, anal or vaginal penil sex with a 14 year old?

    Vivid

  43. 43
  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, the obvious point is that as the BATNA of lawfulness is ever more eroded, the barrier to sexual exploitation of children will erode; as, will that to various forms of incest and more, much more. Let us remember there are places where the age of consent for girls is twelve — and there is a black market trade in hymens. The Overton Window is real. KF

  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, while this is not going to deteriorate into a debate over deviancies, let us compare some dates. The article I linked is dated September 28, 2022 and discusses “Pedophiles Celebrate: Spanish Minister Declares Children Can Have Sex ‘With Whomever They Want’ If They ‘Consent’ (Video).” The file you just linked is dated 4 Sep 2013, titled “Spain raises age of consent from 13 to 16.” It is flagged, “This article is more than 9 years old.” Clearly, the current development is after Spain went to a half-way house — given today’s circumstances 18 makes a lot of sense, especially with provisions for silly teens playing with fire if they are within about 2 years of age of one another — about a decade ago. The push continued and what is being reported is that:

    On September 21, during a hearing in Congress on the pro-trans and abortion law, Spain’s Minister of Equality called pedophilia a “right.” The communist Minister, Irene Montero, shocked her fellow politicians when she chose sexual deviants over minors and declared, “Children should have the right to have sexual relations with whomever they want, as long as they consent.”

    I think that this person — a full Minister of Government, note — is deeply confused and massively ill informed at best. KF

    BTW, my earlier remark on 12 years of age and the black market were in connexion with a court case that sent a former Minister of Government in the Caribbean to gaol. The age 12 age applies to a certain hispanic country in this region and brazen remarks by a twelve year old girl viewing herself as in the game so to speak that would shock you; I have no doubt this young miss knew exactly what she was getting into and that is perhaps the saddest thing of all, she was clearly robbed of childhood. In my considered view, she should have been studying her books and playing with dolls and doll houses instead of playing exotic temptress.

  49. 49
    Sir Giles says:

    KF, you have a habit of citing isolated incidents and use them to claim a real trend. The reality is that over the last couple centuries the trend has been to increase the age of consent in most countries. In the US it went from 12 to 14 in most states (7 in one of them) to 16 to 18.

    On September 21, during a hearing in Congress on the pro-trans and abortion law, Spain’s Minister of Equality called pedophilia a “right.” The communist Minister, Irene Montero, shocked her fellow politicians when she chose sexual deviants over minors and declared, “Children should have the right to have sexual relations with whomever they want, as long as they consent.”

    A horrendous thing for any government official to say. Sadly, for the “sky is falling” crowd, the official never made this claim.

    AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Irene Montero, Spain’s minister of equality, did not suggest this when she spoke before a legislative commission last week. The left-wing politician was discussing provisions in a proposed abortion law that deal with sex education programs, including material about consent. A short video clip of her remarks was taken out of context.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, the fact that a Minister of Government in a modern democratic state can feel social permission to speak like that, never mind can think like that is not an isolated, negligible matter. As for the out of context game, here is the vid, with captions https://rumble.com/v1lwoqi-pedophiles-celebrate-spanish-minister-declares-children-can-have-sex-with-w.html Children simply cannot credibly give consent, and that is the normal meaning of ninyos and ninyas [I spell enye as ny]. KF

  51. 51
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: Children simply cannot credibly give consent, and that is the normal meaning of ninyos and ninyas [I spell enye as ny]. KF

    I know that this is your preference, but the fact remains that children over 16 in Spain have a legal right to give consent. The same as in Canada, the US and Montserrat. She was talking about children of legal age of consent. That you choose to misinterpret this to support your “sky is falling” tripe, after a credible and warranted corrective has been provided, seriously weakens the credibility of your opinion.

  52. 52
    relatd says:

    SG at 31,

    Women had no recourse in the 1950s? Only in the fantasy world you apparently live in. Women had their parents – two parents – or relatives they could turn to. Even neighbors were willing to help.

    There is a difference between spanking and being beaten to death. I hope you realize that your fantasy assessment is just that – a fantasy. Spanking does not fall under violence.

    The biggest lack of “improvements” was and is in human sexual relationships. The goal was to degrade normal human sexuality and replace it with perversion. Some people wanted this to become normal. It’s not.

  53. 53
    relatd says:

    Vb at 33,

    And a uh… Minor Attracted Person is just like uh… a pervert. A sexual pervert. Pedophile. That’s the word.

  54. 54
    relatd says:

    Vivid at 36,

    Yes. Harming children. Children who can’t do certain things without their parents’ consent. Well, the negative-progress types – the word Progressive should be struck from the dictionary – want to “”””protect”””” kids – kids who are not mature, FROM their parents.

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/law-aims-make-california-haven-transgender-youth-90786946

    Fortunately, parents are still considered a child’s parents and can raise them as they see fit.

    “By signing this extreme bill, Gavin Newsom is telling all parents across the country that he knows what’s best for their children,” said Jonathan Keller, the group’s president. “Mothers and fathers in every state should demand their elected representatives push back against this unconstitutional assault on parental rights.”

  55. 55
  56. 56
    relatd says:

    SG at 51.

    Consent. Let us all bow down and worship the word consent. It is just an excuse for some to have sex with underage girls. Lately, “legal” does not mean it’s right.

  57. 57
    AaronS1978 says:

    I never knew that if another country allowed children to give consent that it made it ok and validated that the child knew what they were doing. By no means that the country that allowed child consent could be wrong in their judgement.

  58. 58
    AaronS1978 says:

    I certainly trust my 16 year old to make risky life decisions given that their brain is going rapid developmental changes at that age where anything can permanently alter their brain development. Makes perfect sense really.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, I am willing to accept that the minister meant 16 year olds, but mis-spoke horribly — or is that inadvertently revealingly? (As in, open season on 16 year olds is not that different from much the same on girls a little younger.) And yes, for very good reason 18 is a better age of consent/marriage even though down to 12 is known. KF

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Meanwhile, we cannot but notice the side stepping of the huge attitude problem headlined in the OP. Where, just in case someone wishes to pretend this is isolated, let me remind of what was stated in a widely praised best selling book by a leading atheistical spokesman:

    “The God of the Old Testament [= The God of Israel . . . ] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2006, 31.]

    There are quite a few similar examples and it is obvious that they gave social permission for the new/internet atheist attitude which has become drearily familiar. Nor is this attitude just about atheism, it reflects a certain trollishness that has now become all too common on a great many topics. It is highlighted here as this is a problem we need to soberly address. KF

  61. 61
    Fordgreen says:

    KF: “ It is is highlighted here as this is a problem we need to soberly address.”

    What do you think the Bible says should be done about this problem?

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    FG, while UD is not a Bible exposition site, I note to you again that Ac 27 and Ac 17 speak to Christian citizenship in the face of march of folly — did you read Ac 27, the Ship of State parable and the summary of the background Peloponnesioan war, or the Reichstag fire incident? All of these give key history we should all know to be soundly informed citizens –and to addressing worldviews challenges, where Rom 1 elaborates the analysis and Eph 4 vv 9 – 24 lays out an operational form of the church’s mandate, with vv 17 – 24 pointing to a counterculture, reformational alternative. Ac 27 – 28 actually shows the opening stage of the first Christian nation, Malta. We can see from the OP a pattern of anti-gospel agitation and rhetoric designed to marginalise and belittle the Gospel and God, marginalising preaching as speaking nonsense to the ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked; the last being a stage to persecution or at least systematic exclusion and bigotry. These turn on indefensible but widespread attitudes and fallacious, strawman caricature arguments. But hostile caricatures can indoctrinate, especially if correction is neglected or marginalised. The Jews of Germany and others who thought Hitler’s narrative beneath contempt and worthy of being ignored paid a bitter, bloody price, as did those who naively imagined they could appease his claimed grievances. So, a wide range of approaches is indicated but we must not neglect answering the attempts to marginalise, caricature, belittle, dismiss and polarise against the gospel. It is not the 1950’s anymore. KF

    PS, imagine yourself a Sunday School teacher, and that a College age student brings the argument in the OP to your attention. How would you respond, why?

  63. 63
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/60
    Setting aside your animosity towards Dawkins (which may be impossible for you, I don’t know), what descriptor of the God of the Old Testament does he get wrong in the quoted passage from The God Delusion?

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, consider:

    Isa 5: 18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
    19 who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
    let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
    20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
    22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!

    How would you address a community deeply confused, polarised and indoctrinated by such turnabout projections and caricatures, imagining good is bad and perverse evil good, truth is false and lies are unquestionable truths? Why? To what end?

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, do you see that you are enabling and giving social permission to the unbalanced, who will eventually not only parrot talking points but act out with violence? The answer to your accusations, endorsements and projections is that nothing in Dawkins’ slanderous caricature is remotely true, that you wish to endorse it tells us a lot about your own attitude problem. In brief introductory outline I answered a parrot and point onward to more detailed correction. So, now, it’s your turn: explain to us why you are endorsing such thinly veiled slanderous accusation that for instance directly implies that Jews who take the OT seriously are a menace to civilisation [and yes, that is exemplified in the onward linked], no it’s not just Christians you have endorsed the smearing of. So, why are you endorsing anti semitic and anti christion bigotry? KF

  66. 66
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: And yes, for very good reason 18 is a better age of consent/marriage even though down to 12 is known. KF

    And, as I have mentioned, the age of consent has increased over the years. A positive thing.

    But if you are going to say that a 17 year old is not mature enough to have sex, surely they are not mature enough to join the armed forces and go to war. Or to be charged and sentenced as an adult.

    We are not talking about whether having sex is something that someone under 18 should do. We are talking about whether it should be illegal.

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, I suggest we become responsible enough to do various things at various ages and that individuals vary, the age of consent is a protective measure against exploitation of the vulnerable, similar to age to drink, age to vote, age of independent adulthood. Raising the age reflects changes away from young marriages and rising education requisites too. I rather distinctly recall that there has been considerable pressure from sexual activists over decades to lower it, and frankly their rhetoric was rather similar to that of the Minister in question. However, this seems to be a rather convenient side topic that moves away from dealing with the dangerous attitude highlighted in the OP. KF

    PS, colour of law is very different from what is genuinely lawful, a key lurking issue.

  68. 68
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/65
    It appears that projection and ad hominem are not exclusive to the “atheistical” crowd. Your remarks eerily ape the Woke strategy that, when all else fails, scream “bigot.”

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, doubling down on a serious attitude problem. You seem to have forgotten that the OT/Tanakh — they are just differently organised — is the scripture of Judaism, so the sort of venomous rhetoric Dawkins indulged himself in not only attacks the Christianity he so obviously disdains, but also, directly, Judaism. Had he posed his arguments in a different tone, raising real questions and concerns [genuine, not insincere concern trollery], that would have been a different matter. Worse, like it or lump it, it is scripture based gospel and underlying hebraic ethics that are core to our civilisation and its law code [including Alfred’s Dooms, the common law system, magna carta, the 1688/9 bill of rights, US DoI, US Const], so we also see automatically misanthropic anti civilisational attitudes on display. That you did not immediately sense these issues and distance yourself from tone, is then sadly diagnostic. Attempted doubling down is revealingly confirmatory. There is never an excuse for issuing or endorsing misanthropic railing. KF

    PS, For those with serious questions, kindly note that in the opening paragraph of the OP, there are three links to 101 discussions on the actual substantial matters tied to the bit of trollery I dissected and so too to the underlying arguments of the likes of Dawkins et al.

    PPS, to gain some balance, let’s go to a doubly core text on Hebraic and Christian ethics, the actual context of love neighbour as self, to put in focus the real OT ethics and vision of God Dawkins so horribly caricatures. I have already cited the warning against perverse moral inversion in Is 5:20:

    Lev 19: 9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.

    11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

    13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

    15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor [–> ie by false accusation]: I am the LORD.

    17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

    This is of course, the key text cited by Jesus when he taught:

    Matt 22: 34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

    37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

    Similarly, the apostle Paul writes:

    Rom 13: 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    The core of hebraic christian ethics is not in doubt, and so also the core character of God, expressed through ethical theism here shown through the Judaeo-Christian tradition. And Dawkins was responsible to know this, as were his editors and reviewers. Had he recognised that then posed questions and difficulties, that would have been responsible.

    Instead, he chose to rail, making the most vile attacks, not even pausing to recognise that he was also by direct implication impugning the survivors of the Holocaust.

    That is misanthropic and anti civilisational.

    Period.

    It needs to be corrected and repudiated so we can return to sane, sober discussion.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As a first step in such discussion, I note as follows from Cicero:

    —Marcus [in de Legibus, introductory remarks,. C1 BC, being Cicero himself]: . . . we shall have to explain the true nature of moral justice, which is congenial and correspondent [36]with the true nature of man [–> we are seeing the root vision of natural law, coeval with our humanity] . . . . With respect to the true principle of justice, many learned men have maintained that it springs from Law. I hardly know if their opinion be not correct, at least, according to their own definition; for . “Law (say they) is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” . . . .

    They therefore conceive that the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law [–> a key remark] , whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones . . . . According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans [–> esp. Cicero, speaking as a leading statesman], an equitable discrimination between good and evil.

    The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    [–> this points to the wellsprings of reality, the only place where is and ought can be bridged; bridged, through the inherently good utterly wise, maximally great necessary being, the creator God, which adequately answers the Euthyphro dilemma and Hume’s guillotine argument surprise on seeing reasoning is-is then suddenly a leap to ought-ought. IS and OUGHT are fused from the root]

    This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

    That is a beginning to recognising self evident first duties:

    We may readily identify at least seven branch- on- which- we- all- sit (so, inescapable, pervasive), readily knowable first principle . . .

    first duties of reason and so too first universally binding laws written into our rational, responsible nature and forming morally driven governing principles of reason, high and low alike:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to and pervasive in our reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding.

    Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that the objector to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    From this, we can start afresh, in a very different tone. For, we have to recognise that our reason is morally governed, that such moral government is coeval with our nature, that this points to the root of reality and demands that that root be adequate to bear the weight of ought.

    Completely different from the sort of ill-bred raillery that has been going on.

    KF

  71. 71
    Sir Giles says:

    CD: It appears that projection and ad hominem are not exclusive to the “atheistical” crowd. Your remarks eerily ape the Woke strategy that, when all else fails, scream “bigot.”

    KF: CD, doubling down on a serious attitude problem.

    This almost made me spit up my morning coffee. 🙂

  72. 72
    relatd says:

    CD at 68,

    Both sides want to assert their view. Why are you surprised when accusations and name calling begin? On the other hand, both sides can’t be right.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, are you too endorsing anti semitic, anti christian, anti civilisational rants doubled down on through ad hominem projections when that is pointed out? That tells us a lot, not one bit of it good. KF

    PS, let me make this concrete, you are sitting with Rabbi Shmuel, who has just shown you his tattoos from Auschwitz. He is concerned over this:

    “The God of the Old Testament [= The God of Israel . . . ] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2006, 31.]

    Your response?

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just to make it more realistic, I clip one of the three links in para 1, OP:

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach speaks, soberingly, from a heart that has lurched like that. He therefore wrote in reply to the recent accusation of New Atheism spokesman, the late Christopher Hitchens, that “Torah verses will also be found that make it permissible to murder secular Jews as well as Arabs” in order to convert the West Bank zone of Judaea and Samaria into a radical Jewish theocracy, as follows:

    >> . . . any Rabbi who was to praise a Jewish murderer would be fired from his post and banished from his community. The Torah is clear: ‘Thou may not murder’ (Exodus 20) and ‘Thou shalt not take revenge’ (Leviticus 19).

    Second, no Biblical story of massacre, which is a tale and not a law, could ever be used to override the most central prohibition of the Ten Commandments and Biblical morality. Murder is the single greatest offense against the Creator of all life and no Jew would ever use a Biblical narrative of war or slaughter as something that ought to be emulated. In our time Churchill and Roosevelt, both universally regarded as moral leaders and outstanding men, ordered the wholesale slaughter of non-combatants in the Second World War through the carpet- bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, and Tokyo. Truman would take it further by ordering the atomic holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How did men who are today regarded as righteous statesmen order such atrocities? They were of the opinion that only total war could end Nazi tyranny and Japanese imperial aggression. They did it in the name of saving life. Which is of course not to excuse their actions but rather to understand them in the context of the mitigating circumstances of the time. [ –> WW2 was a nuclear threshold war and that was the ticking, secret time bomb . . . ] I do not know why Moses would have ordered any such slaughter even in the context of war. But I do know that the same Bible who relates the story also expressly forbids even the thought of such bloodshed ever being repeated.>>

    (In short the antisemitism concern raised above is not just theoretical, for here we see a case of outright blood libel from one of the top several New Atheist spokesmen that takes advantage of high feelings on the admittedly thorny Arab-Israeli conflict, to slip in the poisoned rhetorical knife. So, it was entirely in order for Dr Torley to conclude by asking Dr Dawkins, who used these texts as an excuse not to debate his anti-Christian claims in his The God Delusion with Dr William Lane Craig: “would you be willing to debate the topic of God’s existence with an Orthodox Jewish rabbi holding such a view [as Boteach’s]? Would you be prepared to look a rabbi in the eye and tell him, “Your God is a genocidal monster”? Or do you also consider rabbis holding such views to be beyond the pale of civilized debate, and would you shun them as you have shunned Professor Craig? “)

    Ready to answer now?

    KF

  75. 75
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: PS, let me make this concrete, you are sitting with Rabbi Shmuel, who has just shown you his tattoos from Auschwitz. He is concerned over this:

    “The God of the Old Testament [= The God of Israel . . . ] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully . . . ” [Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2006, 31.]

    Your response?

    I would simply tell the Rabbi that the best way to debunk a false claim is to provide evidence proving that the claim is wrong.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, you are dealing with a blood libel and one that rides on coat tails of holocaust. That you duck responsibility for what you have endorsed speaks volumes. Especially as, here, at the outset of the OP, I set out links to discussions of genuine issues at 101 level. It is clear you have no defence for blood libel, but are unwilling to back away from it unless the victims of libel prove their innocence to your hyperskeptical satisfaction, which deep down you must know is even more telling about the kind of polarisation and moral inversion set loose in our civilisation. In the end, as the White Rose martyrs pointed out, the problem that has befallen us is metaphysical-spiritual-ethical. KF

  77. 77
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: SG, you are dealing with a blood libel and one that rides on coat tails of holocaust. That you duck responsibility for what you have endorsed speaks volumes.

    I haven’t endorsed anything. Please stop lying.

  78. 78
    Sir Giles says:

    KF, perhaps I can clarify by telling you what I do endorse.

    I endorse the questioning of societal norms. Including cultural and religious traditions. It is through this type of questioning that resulted in the abolishment of slavery, the right of women to vote, inter-racial marriage, de-segregation, etc.

    Do you think that people should be legally prevented from questioning religious scriptures? Your answer will be instructive.

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, once you spoke about Dawkins as you did, you endorsed it. Ever since, you have reinforced the point. That declaration by Dawkins goes way beyond mere questioning. Dawkins is not questioning, he is making grossly irresponsible, blood libel accusations, as have too many others of the so called new atheists and those influenced by them. Indeed, he used them to evade a serious debate over the claims in his book with a leading Christian thinker, itself a strong sign that he understood that he had a weak case on substance but was doing some shouting and table pounding; in defence of blood libel. That is telling, as can be seen from the empty chair debate at Oxford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP9CwDTRoOE For the moment, I will ignore your gross insult as another case of projection to the despised other. KF

  80. 80
    Fordgreen says:

    KF – I don’t understand the references to blood libel. I thought that had a very specific meaning regarding false accusations of human sacrifice. Or do you mean it metaphorically?

    On the issues outlined in the OP, do you think blasphemy laws should be reinstated in countries such as the States or the UK?

  81. 81
    chuckdarwin says:

    Blasphemy laws in the US have uniformly been held to be an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech and violative of both the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the first amendment. However, I could see the new wackadoodle “Trump court” coming up with a “novel” basis to gut the first amendment…….

  82. 82
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: SG, once you spoke about Dawkins as you did, you endorsed it.

    That is a whole truckload of BS. Endorsing his right to question biblical scriptures is not the same as endorsing his claims. You would know this if you truly believed in freedom of speech, and not just freedom of speech that agrees with you.

    That declaration by Dawkins goes way beyond mere questioning. Dawkins is not questioning, he is making grossly irresponsible, blood libel accusations, as have too many others of the so called new atheists and those influenced by them.

    Rather than taking your anger out on me, who has not tried to defend Dawkin’s claim, you would be better off actually trying to provide evidence to debunk his claim. It should be easy if his claim had no merit.

    Your response?

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    FG, there is a broader reference. KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, further projection and personalities, meanwhile you failed to respond to where there is a response to actual issues of concern, as noted in the three links in paragraph 1 of OP; and of course, now by linking the empty chair debate. Then of course you failed to recognise that a railing, slanderous blood libel is not an appropriate argument, especially one that sets out to taint millions. Had Dawkins said something like, while the Judaeo-Christian framework for ethics has been manifestly foundational to our civilisation and has contributed to many ethical advances, many people are troubled by some narratives and hard sayings in the Bible, that would be one thing. Indeed, Craig and I agree with that as would a good number of the most saintly people I know. A discussion could then proceed on a civil basis. Instead, he used raillery and tried to use accusations against Craig to avoid a debate he most likely knew he would lose badly, as philosophers of all stripes found serious defects in his arguments. Torley was quite justified to put Boteach on the table, as the accusations directly imply and invite antisemitism; and notice, this is from one of the linked discussions. Dawkins is grievously wrong on tone to the point that he grants social permissions that should never be opened up again, and a reasonable person should recognise that. No, it is not the job of a victim of blood libel to prove himself innocent to the satisfaction of accusers and those who go along with accusation. First, there must be a setting aside of raillery and then substantial matters can be soberly addressed. KF

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, you inject irrelevancy. Actually, the US has not abolished blasphemy laws, it has just shifted protected groups to certain fashionable causes, often exhibiting the moral inversion highlighted in Isa 5:20 as was cited. Further to this, for decades, the US Courts have weakened reasonable protection against defamation to the point where social permission has been granted for casual libel, slander etc. That is NOT due protection of freedom of expression balanced with respect for the right — yes, right — to innocent reputation. (Have you pondered why in Anglophone common law it is a core principle that one is held innocent unless proved guilty to appropriate standard?) As to your projections to imagined courts [thus, invidious association], they are sadly revealing of underlying attitude. KF

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Notice, how presentation of the core of Hebraic and Christian ethics, from key texts, has been repeatedly evaded above. That is not a coincidence. Similarly, first, self evident duties of responsible reason. Likewise, significance of our inescapable moral government. Not to mention, ontological and metaphysical significance of a world containing responsible, rational, significantly free creatures who are thus able to freely make and respond to argument. And more, including sobering lessons of history that is now generally unknown, but which in a more responsible age would be key parts of general mental furniture. None of this is coincidental, those who should have soundly educated and informed us about the heritage of our civilisation (for all its flaws and sins and moral hazards) have for generations failed in that duty. The result is, many lack due balance, richly informed by hard-bought lessons of history . . . notoriously, the record of men’s crimes, follies and resulting disasters [as the microcosm in Ac 27 highlights]. In such an atmosphere, crooked yardstick thinking is readily established and will find fault with even a naturally straight and upright plumb line. These things need to be recognised and set in order before one can soberly address real difficulties. Failing such, Ac 27 is emblematic of the course of what we will have, de-mock-racy manipulated by moneyed interests and their bought and paid for technicos and face cards. The real question is, is it too late to avert going over the cliff? My hope, no, is frankly fading even as I behold dangerous escalation in a nuke threshold war by evident sabotage of gas pipelines. KF

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, Bernard Lewis, in his epochal 1990 Atlantic Monthly Essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage, is far sounder than Dawkins:

    . . . The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty — not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet . . . .

    In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.

    Something like this allows us to strike due balance and move forward.

  88. 88
    Marfin says:

    Sir Giles, your whole spiel about things getting better is a nonsense , you must not live in western Europe
    There is a TV show in Ireland called crimewatch just check out that show from 50 years ago , and watch the latest version and tell me things are getting better.
    Tell me there is no problem with knife crime in London , tell me bullying has reduced , you obviously never heard of social media , and kids killing themselves because of bullying.
    You also say smacking a child is violence , so is smacking your wife on the behind as she walks by also violence, or does it represent something else, all physical force is not violence, in a given circumstance it can and does represent something else.

  89. 89
    Marfin says:

    Sir G , You want to question the scriptures , I wholeheartedly agree with you, for how can we learn or reach a proper conclusion without questioning.
    But can we then question your belief systems , so where do you get your standard of right and wrong good and bad from , and how do you know its sound in its reasoning.

  90. 90
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/85
    Relevance is contextual–I was directly responding to Fordgreen’s question @ 80. I didn’t say that blasphemy laws in the US have been abolished. I said that they have been ruled unconstitutional. The US has a much more nuanced relationship than the UK between free speech and what you refer to as defamation, which, fortunately, favors free speech. Our free speech jurisprudence reflects the “attitude” (incorrectly attributed to Voltaire) that “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    If your God is insufficiently robust to survive Dawkins’ harangue, then he/she/it isn’t worth much. Likewise, if you are so thinned skinned to resort to name-calling every time someone attacks your God or your sacred scribblings that is telling……

  91. 91
    jerry says:

    if you are so thinned skinned to resort to name-calling every time someone attacks your God or your sacred scribblings that is telling

    When will Kf learn its mostly about him and a couple others here?

    Until they offer up something of substance, ignore them. No anti ID person has ever done so. All they offer is scientific nonsense or snarky comments.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, what you fail to see is that de facto blasphemy laws are built into the new woke censorship. And as this embeds moral inversion, it is chaotic, misanthropic and civilisationally ruinous. But then, it seems likely you do not recognise what is seriously wrong with the fulminations of a Dawkins et al, what it gives social permission to, and how it falls flat once one simply compares someone like Bernard Lewis. Wake up before the revolution’s terror starts to devour its own children. Or, didn’t they tell you that part? Ever since the French Revolution. KF

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, yes there is doubtless personal animus, there is clearly a troll assignment pattern and the like. However that also serves to bring out poster children for the problems our civilisation now faces. Notice, here, there is inability to face the attitude and fallacy problem highlighted from the OP. That tells us a lot. It also gives us opportunity to address the problem. Always, remember that those who took dignified silence in the face of the rise of Hitler and his guttersnipe tactics, ended up in the prison camps. Below, Niemoller. KF

    PS, Niemoller:

    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    —Martin Niemöller

    And yes, objectors, that is the fire you are playing with.

    BTW, Line 1 is in key part about something being studiously side stepped above, even as it is being played out again, the Reichstag fire incident.

  94. 94
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: Then of course you failed to recognise that a railing, slanderous blood libel is not an appropriate argument, especially one that sets out to taint millions.

    The Dawkins quote you provided only sets out to taint one. Not millions.

    From what I can see, Dawkins is merely assigning attributes to the OT God based upon his actions as depicted in the Bible. If Dawkins’ claims have no merit, it should be an easy task to debunk them.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, we were not born yesterday. When you are in a bad hole, stop digging in deeper. KF

    PS, as to Dawkins, he has long since been corrected, you just endorsed again.

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Of course, SG has side stepped the already cited central ethical teachings of the OT and NT, which give key framework for understanding the ethics of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. In so doing he also sidesteps considerable history on how Jews and Christians — alleged to be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked followers of a morally monstrous bronze age sky war god to the point where one new atheist tried to claim that a religious upbringing is child abuse — have made repeated major contributions to the upliftment of civilisation. Followers of a monster as claimed simply would not be like that. Such is obvious and it leads to the logical question, why these grotesque, blood libel projections? The key candidate answer comes back, confession by projection [to relieve cognitive dissonance tied to the inherent amorality of atheism], something that needs to be seriously considered, given the insistent hostile railing and explicit or implicit endorsement of same. Something is seriously wrong in the camp of the new atheists and their fellow travellers. KF

    PS, I have already cited Boteach and built on him, by way of a clip from one of the linked in para 1 OP. Likewise, with another excerpt, I contrasted the attitude of the noted historian, Bernard Lewis to that of Dawkins, which is at once revealing.

    Notice, not once has SG substantially responded to such; which tells volumes, none of it good.

    For those with serious questions, perhaps this may be a good start point, kindly scroll up to the OP and have a look at the three links in para 1.

  97. 97
    Fordgreen says:

    KF: “For those with serious questions, perhaps this may be a good start point, kindly scroll up to the OP and have a look at the three links in para 1.”

    I looked at all 3 links and tried to read the content but didn’t get very far. It’s probably me but I don’t find your writing style very accessible. Perhaps it just needs someone to do some editing?

  98. 98
    chuckdarwin says:

    Sir Giles/94
    KF/95
    Which, after getting sidetracked (as usual) by KF’s hissy-fit, brings us full circle to my original, unanswered post @ 63:

    KF/60
    Setting aside your animosity towards Dawkins (which may be impossible for you, I don’t know), what descriptor of the God of the Old Testament does he get wrong in the quoted passage from The God Delusion?

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, personalities again, a sure sign you do not have substance. From para 1 of OP, there are three links to discussions of substantial questions. For example, if one assumed for argument Dawkins tried to summarise fairly Judaeo-Christian ethics, it would be astonishing failure to miss the core teachings cited above and the major contributions to civilisation over millennia; but the answer is obvious, we have here a toxic strawman caricature amounting to blood libel, proverbial village atheism writ large that somehow passed presumably competent editors and found those willing to praise such diatribes — revealing about them. And that is not animus, it is fair correction for cause. But in fact unless toxic attitudes are dealt with no progress can be had on such. The case in the OP for example shows what happens when Divine omnipotence is confused with arbitrary power, reflecting utter want of familiarity with the substantial issue, but that objector would first have to climb down from the high horse he has mounted. As for Dawkins et al, much the same problems are at work, as can be seen from say the empty chair debate. KF

    PS, FG, those are notes, and yes there is a fairly serious range of issues to be addressed, from ontology to philosophy to scientific issues to foundation of civilisation and linked issues. Start with Stroebel’s 1 hr vid on Jesus. You may also find Craig’s empty chair debate helpful.

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    FG, after watching the vids you may find 69 above useful. Can you agree that this summarises the core of Hebraic and Christian ethics from main texts? Do you see why I include the Pauline statement (and cf 1:18 – 32 with 2:12 – 15)? Now, contrast the remarks by Dawkins [73], Boteach [74] and Bernard Lewis [87]. Which do you think give a more balanced picture, why? Now, surprise, the last two are Jews. Do you think followers of a monstrously evil, murderous bronze age sky war god with an ethic of conquest, mass murder etc would teach such principles as the core of their ethics? Do you see then how horribly Dawkins has misrepresented and in so doing has committed blood libel? For, the stigma he would affix on us is that we would be like that war god, ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Which comes also from his writings, i.e. setting up bigoted scapegoating. That’s why I have spoken to the serious attitude problem. KF

    PS, did you notice that these objectors are appealing to widely known moral principles? But, where do such come from, on what root do they stand? For sure atheistic evolutionary materialism and fellow travellers struggle to account for responsible rational freedom, the basis for reasoned discussion and for moral government. Where, it is fairly easily seen that unless the root of reality is inherently good, utterly wise and creator — not merely half baked, sorcerer’s apprentice trying to shape pre existing entities and running into trouble [yes, demiurge] — then we cannot have a reality root IS capable of bearing the weight of OUGHT. A familiar figure, and the atheists and fellow travellers are here seen resorting to binding principles of moral government that they cannot ground within their system. In short, their whole pattern of argument is manipulative and loaded with fatal gaps.

    That is a key point to spot for going forward.

  101. 101
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: PS, as to Dawkins, he has long since been corrected, you just endorsed again.

    I’m sure that you have convinced yourself of this.

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, your denial does not change the telling significance of your behaviour. Dawkins presents an ethical caricature of God distorted to the point of slander, precisely by signally failing to recognise the core ethical framework of the Hebraic-Christian scriptural tradition and its importance for civilisation (contrast Bernard Lewis and Boteach). Journalistic failure to the point of being propaganda of the worst stereotyping, stigmatising and scapegoating atrocity story sort. It is obvious that he and other new atheists view God as an imaginary, monstrous bronze age domineering oppressive sky warrior god, thus directly they blood libel believers through guilt by association and equally loaded caricatures, try, ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. This willfully lopsided caricature distorts the history of civilisation and undermines moral foundational principle, needlessly polarising our civilisation. Did you notice how, to date, you have been unable to acknowledge core Hebraic-Christian moral principles or the contribution of adherents to advancement of civilisation, even as you repeatedly pose on oh you have to show yourselves innocent to my [hyperskeptical] satisfaction? (Whilst, you show not the slightest engagement of substantial matters, linked from the outset in the OP . . . for cause I have no confidence you would give fair hearing, on track record.) That is the endorsement, and, frankly, it reeks. I refuse to entertain that game, for cause. As a start, you are appealing to key moral principles that in our civilisation are rooted in the said core principles you are ducking and evading. Let us hear your reality root grounds for such principles that rise above might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘duty,’ ‘freedom,’ ‘justice’ etc. Without, falling into self referential incoherence incoherence and/or opening the door to nihilism. For sure, evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow travellers cannot. So, let’s hear your basis _______ (especially given the links in para 1 of the OP). Meanwhile, for cause, I stand on my fair comment rights, that anyone who poses on such a lopsided hostile caricature that fails the simple test of responsible balance is implicitly endorsing its implicit blood libel. KF

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think it is now helpful to pose Copan’s comment on the rhetoric of the new atheists, bearing in mind the lopsidedness they pose. Again, I clip [and augment] from the above linked notes:

    The new atheists are certainly rhetorically effective [–> by way of using toxically loaded accusations against God, failing to recognise the core ethical framework in the Hebraic-Christian scriptural tradition], but I would contend that they have not handled the biblical texts with proper care [–> precisely], and they often draw conclusions that most Christians (save the theonomistic sorts) would repudiate [–> lurid, lopsided misrepresentation, i.e. a toxic strawman caricature game]. And this judgment is not the refined result of some post-Enlightenment moral vision, but the biblical writers themselves point us toward a moral ideal [–> i.e. the core texts on ethical principles and worked out cases in the trajectory of Biblical history], despite the presence of human sin and hard-heartedness [–> which shows the moral hazard of being human: finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often ill-willed or even stubborn] . . . .

    OT historical narratives often present role models in action who make insightful moral judgments, show discernment, and exhibit integrity and passion for God-aside from the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Wisdom books, which also provide moral illumination. According to John Barton, the OT ethical model incorporates the imitatio Dei, natural law [–> first, self evident duties of reason, starting with: to truth, to right reason, to prudence (so, to warrant), to sound conscience, to neighbour, thus to fairness and justice etc cf, Lev 19:9 – 18 as key case], and obedience to God’s declared will,[28] [–> love God, love neighbour as self, act to truth, uprightness, justice etc] and we see narrative undergirding and permeating each of these themes. Brevard Childs observes that the Torah’s legal material is consistently intertwined with narrative, thus providing “a major commentary within scripture as to how these commands are seen to function.”[29] [–> ignored in the course of erecting the lurid, loaded caricature]

    Unlike the new atheists, we should not approach the Law of Moses as a holiness code detached from its broader narrative and canonical context-as though this legislation offers an ultimate ethic with nothing further to consider.[30] And while Christians can rightly criticize negative moral exemplars and actions with the best of the new atheists, we should also recognize commendable characters and their virtues well -Abraham’s selflessness and generosity toward Lot (Gen. 13) or Joseph’s moral integrity and sexual purity as well as his astonishing clemency towards treacherous, scheming brothers (Gen. 39, 45, 50) . . . .

    As we read the OT narratives, we detect a clear Ethos (a moral environment or atmosphere), as Eckart Otto affirms, rather than an Ethik (mere moral prescriptions).[33] These stories and role models in the OT canon remind us that lawcodes and rule-following are inadequate. Rather, we see in them a spirit directing Israel to higher moral and spiritual ground . . . .

    While the new atheists are correct in pointing out moral flaws and horrendous actions of OT characters, they often imply that “if it’s in the Bible, it must be approved by the author.” Yet we see from 1 Corinthians 10 that many of Israel’s stories involving stubbornness, treachery, and ingratitude are vivid negative role models-ones to be avoided. The OT’s “is” does not amount to “ought” [–> and ought is laid out in significant detail that new atheists and fellow travellers typically omit even as they erect lurid, lopsided caricatures] . . . .

    The new atheists miss something significant here. [–> they are erecting strawman caricatures] They assume that the ANE categories embedded within the Mosaic Law are the Bible’s moral pinnacle. They are, instead, a springboard anticipating further development-or, perhaps more accurately-pointing us back toward the loftier moral ideals of Genesis 1 and 2 and even 12. These ideals affirm the image of God in each person, lifelong monogamous marriage, and God’s concern for the nations. The implications from these foundational texts are monumental . . . .

    Rather than attempt to morally justify all aspects of the Sinaitic legal code, we can affirm that God begins with an ancient people who have imbibed dehumanizing customs and social structures from their ANE context.[39] [–> the hardness of hearts amelioration towards reformation rooted in transformed hearts principle expounded in Matt 19:1 – 10] Yet this God desires to draw them in and show them a better way:

    if human beings are to be treated as real human beings who possess the power of choice, then the “better way” must come gradually. [–> amelioration towards reformation] Otherwise, they will exercise their freedom of choice and turn away from what they do not understand.[40] [–> reformation rooted in analysis and foresight is already difficult; building a critical mass for amelioration, much less reformation, is far harder, and the entrenched powerful tend to push business as usual till things go over the cliff, cf. Ac 27]

    To completely overthrow these imbedded ANE attitudes, replacing them with some post-Enlightenment ideal, utopian ethic would simply be overwhelming and in many ways difficult to grasp. We can imagine a strong resistance to a complete societal overhaul . . . .

    According to Birch, we should acknowledge rather than ignore or downplay morally-objectionable practices and attitudes within Israel such as patriarchalism, slavery, ethnocentrism, and the like. He adds a crucial point, however: none of these practices and attitudes is “without contrary witness” elsewhere in the OT.[43] The new atheists gloss over any “contrary witness,” focusing only on the morally problematic. However, closer examination reveals that Scripture itself (rather than twenty-first-century critics) has the resources to guide us regarding what is ideal and normative and what is temporary and sui generis in the Bible.[44]

    John Goldingay urges us to appreciate the tension between the ideal and the actual-between the high standards God desires from his covenant people and the reality of dealing with a sinful, stubborn people in a covenant-unfriendly ANE environment. [ “Is Yahweh a Moral Monster? The New Atheists and Old Testament Ethics,” Philosophia Christi, Vol. 10, No. 1 ( 2008), pp. 7 – 37. It is advisable to follow up specific details and concerns by making reference to the full PDF form, here. ]

    This sort of corrective commentary is a useful first point to understand realities of principled reform and amelioration that are also relevant to, say, a sounder understanding of abolition of slavery and the rise of constitutional, stabilised democratic self government, mass education, universal sufferage and more.

    It also helps us to begin to correct the lurid, lopsided, blood libel caricature we have seen.

    KF

  104. 104
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: Dawkins presents an ethical caricature of God distorted to the point of slander, precisely by signally failing to recognise the core ethical framework of the Hebraic-Christian scriptural tradition and its importance for civilisation.

    By this argument, we should forgive or overlook serial killers if they otherwise contribute significantly to society.

    Personally, I can’t see any way to justify the killing of all but a handful of people, many of them children and the unborn, as well as 99.99999999999999% of all breathing animals on earth.

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, further doubling down. You are clearly missing the essential character of God. No entity as was suggested by Dawkins would be the source of the ethical system in the Bible. We see this easily from the ethical systems for want of a better word from the various pantheons. And of course, you are here assuming and endorsing the essential accuracy of Dawkins’ assertions, which was the point. believing such slanders will warp your ability to evaluate. KF

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Case study no 1 on the self admitted worst of sinners, Saul of Tarsus. That is, we here see by live example the actual effect of the ethical framework:

    1 Tim 1:8 Now we know [without any doubt] that the Law[–> of Moses] is good, if one uses it lawfully and appropriately, 9 understanding the fact that law [–> notice the shift to the generic, endorsing legitimacy of just law in general] is not enacted for the righteous person [the one in right standing with God], but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for sexually immoral persons,

    [–> a very broad term, Strong’s G4205 ?????? pornos (por’-nos) n.1. a (male) prostitute (for hire). 2. (by analogy) a sex addict, a debauchee, a pornographer. 3. (by extension) one who is sexually or morally unrestrained.]

    for homosexuals [cf. Rom 1:16 – 32 and 1 Cor 6:9 – 11 on this form of sexual immorality], for [a]kidnappers and slave traders,

    [–> so, this condemns the slave trade of recent centuries, which was based on kidnapping]

    for liars, for perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

    [–> notice, sound doctrine cannot be severed from sound ethics and sound conduct]

    11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, [–> integral to the gospel!] with which I have been entrusted.

    12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has granted me [the needed] strength and made me able for this, because He considered me faithful and trustworthy, putting me into service [for this ministry], 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer [of our Lord] and a persecutor [of His church] and a shameful and outrageous and violent aggressor [toward believers]. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief.

    [–> In short, Paul here specifically notes on his repentance from trying to impose his prior theocratic agenda and doctrine by the sword and by judicial murder.]

    14 The grace of our Lord [His amazing, unmerited favor and blessing] flowed out in superabundance [for me, together] with the faith and love which are [realized] in Christ Jesus.

    15 [b]This is a faithful and trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance and approval, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost.

    [–> so, these acts of murderous violence are singled out as of the worst category of sin]

    16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost [of sinners], Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example or pattern for those who [c]would believe in Him for eternal life. [AMP]

    In short, the very opposite of what you have endorsed. KF

  107. 107
    whistler says:

    Kairosfocus
    SG, further doubling down. You are clearly missing the essential character of God.

    🙂 KF you know they are clowns ,right ? They are laughing at you.

    With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.(Psalm 18:26)

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    W, yes, we are manifestly seeing trollish irresponsibility. What they don’t realise is that the laughter of a fool is as the crackling of [burning] thorns under a pot. The reckless display above is now a permanent record showing the attitude of the rabid, radical secularists of our day, their fundamental hostility and their irresponsibility. We know from actual cases they have scant regard for our civilisation, for moral foundations [and worldviews analysis implications], reflect attitudes pervaded by warped hostile thinking. Anticivilisational misanthropy does not bode well for people. I suspect, they did not realise they gave us a slice of their thinking, attitudes and rhetorical patterns that tells us about the unwisdom of allowing such to set the cultural, civilisational agenda. That does not mean they will not further succeed in pushing it, but it does highlight the point of Plato’s parable of the ship of state and Ac 27 regarding voyages of civilisational folly and shipwreck. Regrettably, it seems some pretty stormy waters lie ahead for the USA and our wider world; one hopes we will relearn some lessons we were most unwise to forget. The laughter of a fool . . . KF

  109. 109
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: No entity as was suggested by Dawkins would be the source of the ethical system in the Bible. We see this easily from the ethical systems for want of a better word from the various pantheons.

    All Dawkins has done is to draw conclusions from God’s actions as depicted in the Old Testament. Did he not kill almost everything on earth with a flood? Did he not decree that homosexuals and women who aren’t virgins on their wedding night should be killed? Did he not instruct the Israelites to kill all men in a defeated city and to take their women? Did he not kill all of the first born of Egypt? Did he not instruct Abraham to kill his son to prove his loyalty? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, doubling down and studiously ignoring evidence on the table not to mention as linked. As you obviously have no serious candidate reality root capable of bearing the weight of ought, you parasite on what you would overthrow. More can be said but after dozens of comments it remains clear that you have allowed yourself to be poisoned by anti-semitic [God of OT = God of Israel], anti Christian and anticivilisational slanderous scapegoating and that you refuse to acknowledge the core as actually presented, now including case study no 1 that undermines the suggestion that the Hebraic-Christian tradition creates murderous oppressive nazis by following a destructive sky god. It is further evident that there is an underlying challenge that radical secularist regimes over the past century have murdered 100+ millions and in the past 50 or so years up to 1.4 billion unborn, too; so what we are seeing is in part distractive projection, hence the unresponsiveness and tone issues as noted from OP on. We have a civilisational foundational framework that has a track record of positive transformation and reformation, rooted in the only serious candidate for bearing the weight of ought, so good sense is to start there and handle difficulties as difficulties, not to try to burn down the civilisation by running riot rhetorically, academically, policy wise and too often on the ground as the record of jacobins shows all too well to the historically informed. (But, ever so conveniently, history is bunk, mere victory propaganda, the cynicism is manifest and we have Ac 27 as warning.) Those who have serious questions on difficulties and troubling texts including what it means for God to be judge of all flesh [not just in history but at end of days] implying our accountability up to and including over our souls and what it is to have to deal with hereditary war with a shame honour culture capable of extending ruthless war across a thousand years [as we have faced with radical Islamism since the 700s], have already been directed to resources that will be helpful, in the first paragraph of the OP. The real issue, then — based on their unmistakably bitter* polarised tone and unresponsive doubling down — is the agenda of polarisation pushed by the new atheists, which is what leads to the sort of assertions as a religious upbringing is child abuse etc. KF

    * Is it any surprise that hyperskepticism feeds cynicism, which means, bitterness, a common mark of poisons? And, poisons of superficial sweetness like the apple like but caustic manchineel are even worse.

    PS, just for record, I again point to Boteach’s response to Hitchens:

    . . . any Rabbi who was to praise a Jewish murderer would be fired from his post and banished from his community. The Torah is clear: ‘Thou may not murder’ (Exodus 20) and ‘Thou shalt not take revenge’ (Leviticus 19).

    Second, no Biblical story of massacre, which is a tale and not a law, could ever be used to override the most central prohibition of the Ten Commandments and Biblical morality. Murder is the single greatest offense against the Creator of all life and no Jew would ever use a Biblical narrative of war or slaughter as something that ought to be emulated. In our time Churchill and Roosevelt, both universally regarded as moral leaders and outstanding men, ordered the wholesale slaughter of non-combatants in the Second World War through the carpet- bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin, and Tokyo. Truman would take it further by ordering the atomic holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How did men who are today regarded as righteous statesmen order such atrocities? They were of the opinion that only total war could end Nazi tyranny and Japanese imperial aggression. They did it in the name of saving life. [–> WW2 was a nuke threshold war, behind the scenes, and such leaders could not disclose that hidden, deadly arms race to the public] Which is of course not to excuse their actions but rather to understand them in the context of the mitigating circumstances of the time. I do not know why Moses would have ordered any such slaughter even in the context of war. But I do know that the same Bible who relates the story also expressly forbids even the thought of such bloodshed ever being repeated.

    Dr V J Torley’s challenge by asking Dr Dawkins, who used these texts as an excuse not to debate his anti-Christian claims in his The God Delusion with Dr William Lane Craig is also relevant:

    “would you be willing to debate the topic of God’s existence with an Orthodox Jewish rabbi holding such a view [as Boteach’s]? Would you be prepared to look a rabbi in the eye and tell him, “Your God is a genocidal monster”? Or do you also consider rabbis holding such views to be beyond the pale of civilized debate, and would you shun them as you have shunned Professor Craig? “

  111. 111
  112. 112
    whistler says:

    Funny they don’t even realise that they are inside the trap because they are presenting their argumentation very proudly.

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    You have to sit in God’s lap to slap his face.

  114. 114
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: you obviously have no serious candidate reality root capable of bearing the weight of ought, you parasite on what you would overthrow.

    If a candidate reality root is needed then I have no problem in the postulate that it is God. But if the OT is an accurate depiction of God’s actions, then I have a very hard time reconciling the “all loving” characterization with the “kill everything with a flood” story. Or giving Adam and Eve free will and then punishing them and all future generations for exerting that free will.

  115. 115
    relatd says:

    SG at 114,

    A classic error. Adam and Eve were given one commandment. A creature appeared to Eve and instead of listening to God, she listened to the creature. Can you force anyone to love you? God will not force you to love Him.

  116. 116
    relatd says:

    SG at 109,

    Another one who judges God. I remind you that we will all stand before Him at the final judgment.

  117. 117
    Fordgreen says:

    KF has made a case that atheists have an attitude problem and are irresponsible, among other faults.

    I’m sure most Christians would not dispute that. I think too most Christians would say that the only solution to this is for the Christian to find salvation in Christ, through a conversion experience – to be “born again” in other words. I think Christians would say that unless this occurs, then nothing is likely to change an atheist’s attitude.

    I don’t know if KF is also believes that and that perhaps his way of leading them to Christ is to point out their many faults, as he has been doing many times in this thread – with the hope that they will see the light. I’m not sure though that this is working as an effective strategy, because to be honest some of the posts come across as quite judgmental and severe.

    Or is the purpose of this thread really intended for believers to showcase the attitudes and faults of atheists? That’s why I said earlier I’m not really sure of the point of all this, and I’m still not. I doubt if any atheist is likely to change their minds at all from is being discussed, if anything it’s just making them dig in deeper. If the intent is to reach them with the gospel, it does not seem to me an effective way to go about it. If you want to win hearts and minds, I’m not sure that constantly showing somebody the error of their ways is a good way to achieve that.

  118. 118
    relatd says:

    Fordgreen at 117,

    When you discipline a child, you show him the error of his ways. Yes, I’m sure atheists are offended, but what is the alternative? Jesus came to call all men to repentance. An atheist might say, “Repent what? Leave me alone, I’ll live how I want.” Jesus and His disciples saw that in His time on Earth. Final judgment rests with God and all of us risk a severe outcome if we don’t repent.

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    FG, not everything is about evangelism (especially as fairly narrowly defined by too many evangelicals). Here, there are issues of worldviews and cultural/ civilisational agendas, and it is time to do in effect as Paul did at Fair Havens, Ac 27: caution the community on a voyage of folly. KF

  120. 120
    asauber says:

    “If the intent is to reach them with the gospel”

    Fordgreen, some are going to reject it all the way to the grave, no matter what is said. There is criticism that can be placed on both sides, but I don’t think the truth should be diminished, no matter what the goal. There’s no magic spell, feelgoodism only goes so far, and the truth persists, anyway.

    Andrew

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, you have given me no reason to believe you will be responsive; on grounds of track record. For record, I point to the empty chair debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP9CwDTRoOE in which Craig responded to Dawkins’ ill mannered behaviour and want of substance. Peter Williams, at about the same time had some sobering remarks also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulCbh_1SlwE Both of these have actually been linked above, but of course, were side stepped, the better to double down on talking points. KF

    PS, the opening remarks, by philosophy professor Prof. Peter Millican of Oxford (an atheist), who began by showing his own 1980 copy of an early book by Craig, can be taken as a subtle correction to Dawkins’ attitude in itself.

  122. 122
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Final judgment rests with God and all of us risk a severe outcome if we don’t repent.

    Just curious . . . what are the scriptural and other references/justifications for the final judgement?

  123. 123
    relatd says:

    2 Timothy 4:1

    “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:”

    1 Peter 4:5

    “but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”

    Matthew 10:28

    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

  124. 124
    Fordgreen says:

    KF: ‘FG, not everything is about evangelism (especially as fairly narrowly defined by too many evangelicals). Here, there are issues of worldviews and cultural/ civilisational agendas, and it is time to do in effect as Paul did at Fair Havens, Ac 27: caution the community on a voyage of folly. KF”

    KF, I’m curious as to what you mean by evangelism being fairly narrowly defined.

    Obviously you feel this is your calling to do what you do, although I’m not sure how much a blog like this can be all that influential. But I hope it all goes well for you, although I’m going to retire from commenting any further on the blog (so no more annoying questions from me after the one above!).

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    FG, again, UD is not a Bible study site. I suggest the case in Ac 27 where we see Paul’s intervention in a council of ship. Admittedly, that eventually led to the first Christian nation, Malta, I discussed this above. KF

  126. 126
    whistler says:

    Just curious . . .

    When somebody starts with “just curious” better don’t read…

  127. 127
    JVL says:

    Relatd:

    Thanks! Nothing from Revelations which is what I was expecting.

  128. 128
    relatd says:

    JVL at 127,

    Not what you were expecting? I was focusing entirely on the consequences of being separated from God. Of living apart from Him.

  129. 129
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Not what you were expecting? I was focusing entirely on the consequences of being separated from God. Of living apart from Him.

    My only, woefully inadequate, knowledge of the final judgement comes from a vague understanding of Revelations. So I asked what were the Biblical references since I suspected there was more to it than that.

  130. 130
    relatd says:

    JVL at 129,

    I understand.

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, a FYI. I point to a classic text on the six foundational principles of Discipleship, echoed in the early church sermons in Ac [and, FG, integrating discipleship is pivotal]:

    Heb 6: 1 . . . the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,1 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. [Cf, too, 9: 27 “. . . as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” with Ac 17: 28 at Athens “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” [Cf 1 Cor 15:1 – 11] ]

    We may observe how:

    Ac 24: 24 “And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee . . .”

    KF

  132. 132
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: We seem to be struggling with the concept of God (omnipotece, omniscience, inherent goodness, supreme Lord and Judge, creator, necessary and maximally great being . . . ) — for starters, Grudem’s Systematic Theology https://archive.org/details/WayneGrudemSystematicTheology

    Next step, a few notes on roots of reality.

    1- We live in a credibly actual, going concern, physical-spatial-temporal, thermodynamically constrained world, as creatures with enough responsible rational freedom to reason, argue, warrant and in part know.

    2- it is not credible that such a world succeeding by years, is infinitely old in some physical form; as, this requires that for any remote past stage k’, there was without limit k’-1, k’-2 etc as once present now stepwise succeeded stages to now. This implies transfinite traverse by successive finite stages which is infeasible, for cause.

    3- nor is circular retrocausation feasible [the not yet reaches back and brings itself about], nor any other form of a world from utter non being.

    4- That leaves, finitely remote, necessary world framework being as root cause. one, capable of being cause and sustainer of a world, one with morally governed creatures, us.

    5- That requires inherently good and utterly wise, capable creator of necessary being character.

    6- inherently good and utterly wise points to supremacy of being, maximal greatness.

    7- A familiar figure, and, surprise — NOT! — utterly unlike the sour, caustic blood libel that has been painted.

    8- Now, serious candidate necessary being [flying spaghetti monsters etc, being composite and contingent, need not apply] has a singular characteristic: impossible as a Euclidean plane square circle, or actual. As, framework for any world to be. (Try to think of a world without two-ness and all that brings, and you will begin to get the drift.)

    9- So, in reality, objectors such as atheists need to provide good reason to infer not implausibility to them but impossibility.

    10- Post Plantinga, dead, though there are attempted resurrection miracles. Failed. No prospects of reversal.

    11- So, that God is, as inherently good, utterly wise creator God; a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of respect, loyalty and our reasonable service that accords with our evident nature is a serious position.

    12- In that context, we can make sense of classic divine attributes, noting how these are echoed in the Hebraic-Christian scriptural tradition.

    13- For instance, a facets principle obtains, showing deep coherence not just happenstance consistency: each facet reflects and is a microcosm of all, and in turn each contributes to the all.

    14- Ethical theism is a serious position.

    KF

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