Intelligent Design Laws Media Science

John West explains why Discovery Institute will start speaking up about science totalitarianism around COVID

Spread the love

It’s a powerful piece so read it all. Here are some snippets:

COVID-19 has been used as the rationale for an extraordinary expansion of government power in the name of science: lengthy “lockdowns” of businesses and churches, vaccination mandates, government-imposed discrimination against people based on their medical choices, government-encouraged censorship of dissenting scientific views, and more. Perhaps you support some of these policies as necessary. Perhaps you don’t. But even if you support each and every one of the policies adopted, you ought to be concerned by how they have been imposed. Almost none of the policies were enacted by legislative bodies after an open public debate. Almost all of the policies were enacted unilaterally by executive branch officials asserting emergency powers or by unelected public health officials immune from public accountability.

COVID has shown government officials how to do an end-run around the normal system of checks and balances. They simply need to invoke “science” and declare an emergency — and then extend their emergency orders time and again. Anyone who dares challenge the emergency orders will be stigmatized as “anti-science,” or they will be told they aren’t scientists so they have no right to be heard. Regardless of your view of specific anti-COVID policies, policymaking during the pandemic has set a terrible precedent for the future…

Lost in current debates is the fact that much so-called “misinformation” targeted for suppression actually represents legitimate differences of opinion held by scientists and policy experts. Other pieces of so-called “misinformation” are in reality true facts that those in charge would rather not be forced to address.

For example, it is fact, not fiction, that the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has had more adverse reaction reports filed for the COVID-19 vaccines than for any other vaccine since VAERS started collecting data in 1990. Indeed, as of mid-January, 55 percent of all adverse reactions, 59 percent of all hospitalizations, and 71 percent of all deaths reported to VAERS are from the COVID-19 vaccines. What these data mean is subject to legitimate differences of opinion. But the fact that the data exist is unquestionable. Yet if you spend much time discussing VAERS in social media or on YouTube, you are likely to be banned. John West, “The Rise of Totalitarian Science, 2022 Edition” at Evolution News and Science Today (January 31, 2022)

And if you go along with all that, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

In Canada, the natives* are very restless indeed. Lockdown protests have been going on for days. Few reports of violence, just large numbers of people fed up with crackpot medical totalitarianism:

  • That’s from the national anthem: “O Canada, our home and native land”

You may also wish to read: Royal Society: Don’t censor misinformation; it makes things worse While others demand crackdowns on “fake news,” the Society reminds us that the history of science is one of error correction. It’s a fact that much COVID news later thought to need correction was in fact purveyed by official sources, not blogs or Facebook or Twitter accounts.

120 Replies to “John West explains why Discovery Institute will start speaking up about science totalitarianism around COVID

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    A government has a duty to do what it can to preserve the health and welfare of the governed. If the majority of the people could be relied upon to act responsibly, there would be little need for emergency regulations. Unfortunately, there is a significant number who are so irresponsible that they believe their God-given rights and freedoms include that of freely spreading a highly-infectious and often fatal disease to their fellow citizens. Their childish resentment of being told what to do by others is the basic reason for their refusal to take reasonable precautions to protect others and their denial of treatments which, over the centuries, have saved countless lives and immeasurably improved the lot of people worldwide. In my view, the Discovery Institute is behaving highly irresponsibly and should know better.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    West mentions several Bush appointees and associates, which should remind us that this monstrosity was launched by Bush in 2005, and carefully planned and scheduled until the stormtroopers were ready in 2020.

  3. 3
    vividbleau says:

    Sev
    “Unfortunately, there is a significant number who are so irresponsible that they believe their God-given rights and freedoms include that of freely spreading a highly-infectious and often fatal disease to their fellow citizens”

    What a crock!

    The vaccines do not prevent the vaccinated from spreading the disease nor does it prevent the vaccinated from getting the disease. Virtually everyone in my family who all were vaxed have gotten Covid. Two of my closest friends who were double vaxed got it and were hospitalized. Another double vaxed friend got it twice. Another vaxed friend died. The cloth masks are a joke. From day one the public has been lied to starting with the lie that it could not come from a lab and it’s been a constant stream of lies since. Fifteen days to flatten the curve has morphed into the trampling of individual rights on a massive scale.

    Let’s go Brandon!

    Vivid

  4. 4
    vividbleau says:

    Lies like this
    “Now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person,” Maddow said on her show the evening of March 29, 2021.

    “A vaccinated person gets exposed to the virus, the virus does not infect them, the virus cannot then use that person to go anywhere else,” she added with a shrug. “It cannot use a vaccinated person as a host to go get more people.”

    Vivid

  5. 5
    Marfin says:

    Sev- I completely agree the government has a duty of care toward the governed , The issue is how it went about that duty of care. By your reasoning the government would need to ban alcohol , over eating , sugar, cars, stress, etc so none of us die by all the other things that can kill us in this life.
    I can choose for myself how close I get to someone else they dont need to close bars , I just dont have to go into a bar simple as that.
    We will only see in years to come the cost we will pay for the lockdowns , in my opinion it will be much higher than the cost we have paid in the death toll of Covid , through mismanagement of a so called pandemic.

  6. 6

    To John West’s commentary I would add my own, in the form of two books.
    The first is an analogy to a precious gemstone with many real world examples:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DWBVS32/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i7
    The second book is an accumulation, and categorization of items contributing to a loss of Liberty just since the beginning of the new administration just a year ago:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096XXVDF3?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tkin_1&storeType=ebooks

  7. 7
    asauber says:

    “If the majority of the people could be relied upon to act responsibly, there would be little need for emergency regulations.”

    Sev,

    Speaking of acting responsibly… Have you seen all the stories of celebs and pols violating the regulations they advocate and impose?

    Andrew

  8. 8
    zweston says:

    It’s amazing how these conversations and posts start with data and facts, and then always devolve into emotional appeals and arguments.

    The virus emerged from a lab leak (or lab release). It has a 99% survival rate (much higher for those who are healthy and less for those with lots of health issues). Dr. Fauci has a portrait of himself on his office wall and a bobblehead of himself. He is a megalomaniac and a liar who funded gain of function research.

    But, since there is a cartel in the government, he won’t be prosecuted until the current regime is overthrown. These are all just facts when you connect the dots.

    The vaccine MAY help people not die as much or get hospitalized…but you know what else helps? Ivermectin (even Japanese now say so) and getting plenty of vitamin D and zinc, not being diabetic and obese.

    Bill Gates has always wanted population decreased, and they are getting what they want.

    People are going to get sick, it happens.

    Tin foil hat put back in the closet until later…. Grace and peace to you all

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    Just bought two books

    Overcoming the COVID-19 Darkness: How Two Doctors Successfully Treated 7000 Patients

    Only exists in print. No ebook yet.

    https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-COVID-19-Darkness-Successfully-Patients/dp/B09PVNF24K/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1643725824&refinements=p_27%3ABrian+Tyson&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Brian+Tyson

    Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09RKQG1PH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_d_asin_title_o00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Also, William Briggs discuses all death data since start of pandemic

    https://wmbriggs.com/post/38957/

    Also, some are suggesting Quanta Magazine replace Scientific America as good science. However, the usual evolution mis-information is in it.

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/

    Meanwhile, a typical article confusing genetics with Evolution. But critical of the new science wokeism.

    https://www.city-journal.org/the-new-lysenkoism?wallit_nosession=1

  10. 10
    jerry says:

    Here’s a question for everyone

    If Trump had officially won the election and then pushed for vaccine participation, what would have been the press and liberal reactions

    Would this be happening?

    Universities and Teachers Unions would be advocating there is no need for vaccines for students since they are not susceptible to virus especially with a vaccine so rushed into existence

    It would be a tough call for the latter since Big Pharma would be out a ton of money. Recall the expression

    Between a rock and a hard place

  11. 11
    Truth Will Set You Free says:

    Seversksy@1: You are beyond stupid and profoundly naïve. Stop contaminating this website with your stupidity. I can’t stand to read your drivel. Try as I might to avoid you, you seem to always show up just before I can avert my eyes from your nonsense.

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    before I can avert my eyes from your nonsense.

    Highly recommend

    Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels

    Just avoid Seversky for the next 45 days and you will never be tempted to read him again.

    Trained myself to clean up every day, eat healthier foods, and write necessary emails sooner. Pick something small and do it every day and in a short time you will not think twice to do it. Seversky would be a good start.

  13. 13
    William J Murray says:

    Seversky said:

    Unfortunately, there is a significant number who are so irresponsible that they believe their God-given rights and freedoms include that of freely spreading a highly-infectious and often fatal disease to their fellow citizens

    Do you remember when all this started and we basically put the entire economy on hold and severely restricted all public interaction? Do you remember that it this was done under the pretense that it was “six weeks to slow the curve?” Virtually nobody balked at this, even though it would mean a lot of personal, business and institutional sacrifice and hardship.

    This was not instituted in order to permanently prevent anyone from getting Covid, but rather to “slow the curve” to prevent a massive medical treatment and care issue, so that our medical institutions would have time to prepare and get properly situated, to mitigate the influx of people so they could handle it. Remember, we were only trying to slow the pace at which we reached herd immunity. At the time, we did not know much about Covid; we didn’t even know how deadly it was.

    Over time, we have found out a lot more about it; we have found effective treatments; we have learned that it is not nearly as deadly as predicted. We have found out that the vast majority of people at risk of dying had several co-morbidities, which is the same case as with various strains of flu. We learned that Covid is generally not significantly more deadly than the flu when it comes to healthy people below the age of 60.

    We have learned that masks are not effective in preventing the spread of Covid. We have learned that the “vaccines” (the definition of which was changed for the Covid “vaccine”) do not stop the spread of Covid, nor do they prevent anyone from getting Covid. We have learned that the “vaccines” themselves are dangerous and can cause all sorts of severe health issues, including death, at a higher degree than previous vaccines.

    In light of this accumulated evidence and information, have the national governments changed their mandated policies accordingly? Nope. They have instituted far more severe restrictions and penalties, which have resulted in a dramatic increase in drug addition and related deaths, suicides, and mental illness. Countless people have lost their jobs. Countless small businesses have been ruined. Millions of new people have dropped entirely out of the job market because they cannot get jobs because they are skeptical of the efficacy of the “vaccines” and are worried about both the known risks and the unknown risks since no long-term study has ever been done. They reason that since the science shows their risk is minimal, and the vaccines do not prevent the spread of Covid, nor do they prevent getting Covid, the known risks outweigh the known benefits.

    To dismiss such people en masse as acting out of “childish resentment” is preposterous. Are doctors, nurses and emergency responders resisting the restrictions and vaccines, angry at the prohibition of effective treatments, losing their jobs because of “childish resentment?” Are they uninformed?

    Almost everyone went along with it in the beginning because of the potential threat of what was not known; IMO they are resisting now because of what is now known. These are good, principled people now risking everything – censorship, their jobs and reputations to take a stand against what they see as destructive government overreach and a response that is way out of proportion to the actual risk.

    These restrictions and mandates are just not necessary. The evidence clearly shows they are not effective. The “cure” that is being forced upon us is far more destructive than the disease.

  14. 14
    chuckdarwin says:

    This from the CDC:

    More than 535 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through January 24, 2022. During this time, VAERS received 11,657 reports of death (0.0022%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA clinicians review reports of death to VAERS including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records.

    Twenty-two ten-thousandths percent death rate. This is well within acceptable risk under anyone’s metric, especially given the record times in which COVID vaccines were brought to market.
    Per usual, the Discovery Institute is at the vanguard of promoting another Chicken Little crisis in yet one more lame attempt to appear relevant.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    ChuckDarwin,

    Why did you lie about vaccine deaths?

  16. 16
  17. 17
    asauber says:

    Chuckydarwin,

    So your defense of years of destructive COVID Idiocy is that the “vaccines” probably won’t kill you?

    Neither will a hot dog and a lot of other things. But hot dogs aren’t reasons to shutdown businesses, schools, and public places. Do you think they are?

    Andrew

  18. 18
    PaV says:

    Seversky:

    Their childish resentment of being told what to do by others is the basic reason for their refusal to take reasonable precautions to protect others and their denial of treatments which, over the centuries, have saved countless lives and immeasurably improved the lot of people worldwide.

    St. Paul says that when he was a child he thought like a child. This statement of yours is fundamental liberal tripe. You treat people like children, not as adults. You think that we are children in adult bodies. It really is nothing more than projection on the part of the liberal Left.

    People who object to the nonsense we have had to endure do so because their REASON, their ‘adult’ reason, tells them that none of what the CDC and Dr. Fauci makes much sense. There’s the Left’s true enemy: common sense. Oh, whatever you do, don’t use that! It will lead you into error; just listen to us. We’re the smart guys.

    I’m curious, Seversky: what do you propose to do with these “children”? Send them to their room–that is, jail? Or will you tell them to get out of your house–that is, “cancel” them? Which tyrannical steps do you recommend here? We must punish these bad little children. We’ll do it for their own good!!
    ************************************************

    I looked this up this morning.

    South Korea shows 132 death per 100,000 of their population.
    And what is it in the USA, with our great health system, our great CDC, our great FDA?
    2,700 per 100,000. That is, TWENTY TIMES more.

    How did they do this? They use HCQ and other ‘anti-virals.’ But we DON’T here in the USA. Why? Because Donald Trump said HCQ works!!! That’s why. It was a political decision. We don’t use ‘antivirals’ because “evil Orange-man” said to use it and because Big Pharma cannot reap immense profits from it.

    The Left has pushed for all of this. They tell us we should follow the advice of Dr. Fauci, who knows next to nothing about what’s going on and who is treating Covid as if it were HIV–forty years later we’re still waiting for a “vaccine,” and Fauci is still looking for one for HIV. Pathetic.

    The Left act like thirteen-year-olds while the treat adults like thirteen year-olds.

    Please explain why Africa has a low-death rate from Covid. You can’t. I will. They use plaquenil to fight malaria—and have been for decades: it’s safe!! Why is South Korea’s death rate incredibly lower than ours? They use plaquenil.

    What is plaquenil? You know, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the stuff that the “evil Orang-man” said would work. This is all sinful to an almost unprecedented level. The Left has to explain itself here, not us; not those who use their God-given common sense and God-given reason to act in a truly free way–just as God desires.

    What Donald Trump did was to get the liberal Left to come out of hiding and into the open. And nobody likes what they see; except for the 2-3% that make up the liberal Left and who are convinced not only of their great intelligence, but of their moral superiority. Seversky, are you one of this 2-3%? I wonder.

    P.S. I posted this before reading Wm J Murray’s excellent post. Thanks William!

    P.P.S. Do you remember when I posted a thread here decrying the efficacy of the “lockdowns”? Do you remember the vitriol I received? Do you remember me saying that Governor Gavin Newsome, here in California, would have to be “dragged, kicking and screaming” before “lockdowns” would end. Two year later, we still have emergency orders in place. We need to remember these things to (1) do something about them right–fix the horrible excesses imposed unilaterally upon us, and (2) so that something like this NEVER happens again.

  19. 19
    chuckdarwin says:

    Asauber @ 17

    If I eat a hot dog, that harms no one but myself. If I refuse to receive a vaccine for a highly contagious, potentially fatal viral infection, then walk around unmasked, breathing in peoples’ faces, handling shared objects, like shopping carts, door handles, food products, silverware, etc., without sanitizing, violate attendance quotas, like a number of pastors allowed, then I am being an irresponsible jerk. If I insist on acting like a spoiled child, then I will be treated like one.
    Anyone that has kids knows that schools are virtual breeding grounds for communicable disease. Most business owners acted responsibly. The feds implemented unprecedented measures to help small businesses ride the shutdowns.
    Sometimes your precious “rights” require that you acknowledge a reciprocal duty of care towards your fellow citizens, in other words, to act like an adult. Just suck it up, get vaccinated and quit whining…

  20. 20
    William J Murray says:

    CD said:

    If I eat a hot dog, that harms no one but myself. If I refuse to receive a vaccine for a highly contagious, potentially fatal viral infection, then walk around unmasked, breathing in peoples’ faces, handling shared objects, like shopping carts, door handles, food products, silverware, etc., without sanitizing, violate attendance quotas, like a number of pastors allowed, then I am being an irresponsible jerk. If I insist on acting like a spoiled child, then I will be treated like one.

    And yet, this is exactly how we have always behaved every year prior to Covid-19 in how we handled the yearly strains of flu. We did not force “flu shots” or install mask mandates or force isolation on the healthy population because tens of thousands of people died every year from the flu. We did not drive businesses into bankruptcy or censor dissenting opinion or fire anyone because they wouldn’t get their flu shot.

  21. 21
    asauber says:

    “If I refuse to receive a vaccine for a highly contagious, potentially fatal viral infection, then walk around unmasked, breathing in peoples’ faces, handling shared objects, like shopping carts, door handles, food products, silverware, etc., without sanitizing, violate attendance quotas, like a number of pastors allowed, then I am being an irresponsible jerk”

    Chuck,

    But that wasn’t the point of your comment. The point of your comment was that the vaccine probably won’t kill you right away, which doesn’t address all vast problems of COVID Policy Idiocy, which you seem to want to ignore.

    Andrew

  22. 22
    chuckdarwin says:

    WJM @ 20
    COVID 19 infection, unlike historical flu infections, was an unknown. We have good data on flu deaths in the US for many decades ranging roughly between 10K to 60K per year. These deaths are de minimus in comparison to the overall population. COVID related deaths are now in seven figures. We also have the medical infrastructure to deal with flu, beds, respirators, etc. We also know how to effectively deploy medical infrastructure for yearly flu outbreaks. Yearly flu outbreaks also do not result in every nut-job conspiracy monger crawling out of the wall throwing out complete misinformation and discouraging folks from getting flu shots, etc.
    In other words, COVID is not the flu, and the comparison is not appropriate.

  23. 23
    William J Murray says:

    CD @22 said:

    COVID 19 infection, unlike historical flu infections, was an unknown.

    What did I say at #13?

    Almost everyone went along with it [mandates, isolation, restrictions] in the beginning because of the potential threat of what was not known;

    I actually made the same point you are making in your comment about figuring out our ability and infrastructure necessary to “flatten the curve” so that our medical resources were not overwhelmed.

    Yearly flu outbreaks also do not result in every nut-job conspiracy monger crawling out of the wall throwing out complete misinformation and discouraging folks from getting flu shots, etc.

    I suggest this is because prior flu outbreaks did not result in mandates, isolation, restrictions, bankrupting small businesses across the nation, people being fired en masse for not taking shots, or being required to take shots that there have been zero long-term studies on, vaccine passports, etc.

    In other words, COVID is not the flu, and the comparison is not appropriate.

    The comparison is entirely appropriate because we are comparing risk vs benefit. People now are well aware of the risks, and a large portion of the population considers it an acceptable risk in comparison against the measures being used to combat it, and the apparently high degree of ineffectiveness of those measures.

    Also, when you see the same people who are enacting and insisting on these mandates and restrictions violating them time and time again as if there’s nothing to really worry about, it’s kind of hard to believe they take it seriously and one can easily begin to think they are forcing this on the population for other reasons.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    PaV at 18, well said, a thumbs up:

    And did you notice this from the Niners vs. Rams championship game?

    He (Newsom) also reminded citizens to continue wearing their masks to prevent further spread of COVID-19, saying: ‘I encourage everyone else to do so.’
    However, California’s Republican Caucus shared a photo of Newsom apparently maskless while seated in the stands Sunday.
    ‘Newsom said he only took off his mask for the picture with Magic Johnson, to be gracious,’ Sen. Melissa Melendez, who represents California’s 28th District, commented as she retweeted the photo. ‘Here’s Gavin, being all “gracious” again.’,,,
    Celebrities in attendance – including Rob Lowe, Jessica Alba, and Rebel Wilson – also appeared maskless. Leonardo DiCaprio was seen wearing a mask – but it rested below his mouth and nose, rendering it useless.
    It’s not the first time Newsom was caught defying pandemic health orders.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10461777/California-Gov-claims-took-mask-NFC-Championship-photo-Magic-Johnson.html

    When the camera cut to Decraprio during the game and I saw DiCaprio with his mask hanging down below his mouth and nose, while he chatted away, up close and personal with a friend, I thought to myself, “Sheesh, even those on the far left don’t believe their own B.S.”
    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2022/02/01/01/53569863-10461777-Also_in_attendance_was_LA_native_Leonardo_DiCaprio_who_was_spott-a-32_1643677231867.jpg

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note: A doctor was literally fired for saving lives with medicine that was not ‘government approved’

    Life and Death in Bureaucratized American Medicine – January 25, 2022
    https://rumble.com/vqjt12-doctors-orders.html

    Doctor’s Orders – video
    https://rumble.com/vqjt12-doctors-orders.html

  26. 26
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    😆 It is in front of our eyes. Fauci about universal vaccine before starting covid hoax:
    When you see it…

  27. 27
    PaV says:

    CD@22:

    COVID 19 infection, unlike historical flu infections, was an unknown.

    But we did know something–something that held up over time. The Infection/Fatality Ratio was about 0.5 %

    The CDC calculated the IFR in summer 2020 and found an IFR of 0.46%. However, asymptomatic cases had to be added to the total number of cases. When the CDC did this, they came up with an IFR of 0.26%. The IFR of the seasonal flu is 0.13%. So, Covid was twice as deadly–that’s it! However, it was much more nasty a virus, and that’s what many feared.

    So, yes, there was a lack of knowledge; yet, from the beginning we had good statistics. They knew the IFR as early as March 2020.

    I withdrew my objections to the “two weeks to flatten the curve” shut-downs based on the fact that so many ‘unknowable’s were out there But had I known the degree to which liberal-Leftism is an OCD, I would not have done so.

    We knew enough. What Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx and friends did was unleash a complete, horrific public health disaster upon this land. They are doctors, not epidemiologists, nor public health professionals. Read Scott Atlas’ book on what went on at the Task Force meetings. A farce. This should never happen again.

  28. 28
    PaV says:

    As to VACCINES—-this ‘injection’ is NOT a ‘vaccine’ shot. And it’s not a ‘flu’ shot. It is an ‘injection’ of an experimental treatment. An UNTESTED ‘experimental’ treatment.

    How many times did someone take a “polio” shot? ONCE. And a “chicken pox” shot? Once. And they were called ‘shots,’ not ‘vaccines.’ But they were vaccines. They injected the whole virus into the system of the person receiving the injection and then the person developed resistance to the ENTIRE virus, not just “one” protein among 29 other proteins. And ‘flu’ shots function in the same way: whole viruses.

    If you inject the mRNA for ONE of 29 proteins–with the body building resistance ONLY to that ‘one’ protein, then you have sent the virus and invitation to mutate to the point of evading the body’s resistance. And that, almost without question, is what happened. And, so, came the Delta variant. Even more infectious and deadly. People who have had Covid, on the other hand, had ‘resistance’ to all 29 proteins and the Covid virus would have to find away around all of that much greater resistance. And, of course, the public data has demonstrated this.

    ChDarwin: You’re upset because someone doesn’t get the vaccine and is spreading the virus to others. But how do we know this. Just because you’ve been vaccinated doesn’t mean you won’t get infected. And just because you’re not vaccinated doesn’t mean you “will” get it.

    Today I read about a healthy 37 year-old man, a new father, you took the vaccination and died within hours from a heart attack; really, his heart almost blew up. Now CD, you’re DEMANDING he take that shot. We don’t know how Covid spreads–from whom to whom; but we DO know when a vaccine has killed someone. Who’s more responsible for the death of another: the one who isn’t vaccinated but could POSSIBLY get the infection and then infect someone else, or, the one who FORCES another to take this vaccine when this person is in a group with a very low likelihood of dying from the infection but who dies upon receiving the vaccination. We know there are people dying from the vaccine. Too many. They should have stopped this ‘experimental’ drug.

    Do you remember, early on, when Dr. Fauci said: “We won’t stop until there’s not another CASE of this virus”? But a ‘case’ of this virus is not the same as ‘dying’ from this virus.

    So, why didn’t he also say: “We won’t insist on people getting vaccinated until NOONE dies from it”?

    This putative “Vaccine” is worthless now in stopping the spread of Covid. It only helps the individual receiving it from suffering from the worst effects of Covid. So, why ‘force’ others to take it?

    Well, the answer is this: Liberal-Leftism is an OCD: an ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder.’ We don’t need vaccines; we need psychologists.

  29. 29
    dogdoc says:

    Vividbleau @ 4:

    The vaccines do not prevent the vaccinated from spreading the disease nor does it prevent the vaccinated from getting the disease.

    They help to prevent both, of course. They were very effective on the alpha variant when people were freshly vaccinated; with omicron the effectiveness is much less.

    Virtually everyone in my family who all were vaxed have gotten Covid. Two of my closest friends who were double vaxed got it and were hospitalized. Another double vaxed friend got it twice.

    My uncle smoked a pack of Marlboros every day until he was 96, when he died in a traffic accident. But I would be wrong to imagine that means cigarettes don’t kill people. Basing inferences on anecdotal data isn’t helpful.

    Another vaxed friend died.

    Yes, it’s a very dangerous disease.

    The cloth masks are a joke.

    While they were marginally effective against variant alpha, they provide virtually no protection from omicron.

    At the start of the pandemic, N95 masks were in such short supply that healthcare workers couldn’t get them, and people were encouraged to wear other (less effective) masks instead. I think that was a big mistake – they should have just said N95s are being prioritized for healthcare workers and not tried to tell people cloth masks were fine. I understand they wanted to avoid people hoarding N95s, but the hit to their credibility was huge – as evidenced by your comments.

    Let’s go Brandon!

    It makes me sad to see that instead of debating the evidence, many people are making this into a political/tribal issue.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Dogdoc; “It makes me sad to see that instead of debating the evidence, many people are making this into a political/tribal issue.”

    Funny that one side of the supposed ‘debate’ on the scientific evidence is censored for not toeing the other sides line,,,, and as a result of there not really being a real debate, people died. (100s of thousands of people needlessly died by some sobering estimates)

    Life and Death in Bureaucratized American Medicine – January 25, 2022
    Excerpt: CDC and “confusion” notwithstanding, Dr. Meyer continued to offer the early treatment option to his patients as a matter of conscience – until that option was taken off the table. That happened after two patients, elderly men he’d seen for years, came down with covid at about the same time. As had become his practice, he explained their options. Both patients chose the early treatment regimen, and Dr. Meyer put in an order for them to receive ivermectin. But the orders were not filled. When he inquired as to what had happened, he was told that the Chief Medical Officer had interceded and prevented the pharmacy from filling the orders. Both patients died.
    At this point, things got very real for Dr. Meyer. “I knew that what was coming was more turbulence.” Would he continue to do what he believed was the right thing to do for his patients? Or would he follow the path of least resistance, keep his head down, and comply with hospital administrators? He recalled that he had made his Hippocratic Oath to God, not a corporation, and resolved to keep doing what he thought best for his patients.
    Before long, he was summoned to another meeting with hospital officials. This time they were more direct. He was to stop prescribing ivermectin (or trying to prescribe it) and to stop “scaring” patients about the covid vaccine.
    Success (Again)
    So, when another patient was hospitalized with covid and deteriorating, he ordered that she receive N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) by IV. Available in pill form over the counter, NAC is known for producing many healthful benefits, one of which is supporting respiratory function. The patient recovered.
    Termination
    Soon after that, Dr. Meyer was summoned to a third meeting. This time, he was to leave his patients waiting and come immediately. When he arrived, he was informed that he had been terminated from the hospital, effective immediately. He was allowed to collect his personal belongings, and then he walked out of the building.
    https://salvomag.com/post/whos-calling-the-shots-in-your-doctors-orders

    Doctor’s Orders – video
    https://rumble.com/vqjt12-doctors-orders.html

  31. 31
    ET says:

    seversky:

    A government has a duty to do what it can to preserve the health and welfare of the governed.

    Several studies have shown a strong correlation between covid deaths and severe cases with deficiencies in essential nutrients such as vitamin D and zinc. Yet the media and government are silent on that. So, I blame the government for all deaths since these studies first started coming out.

    The covid-19 vaccines are a joke. You can still get very sick even if you are vaccinated. People working in fully vaccinated businesses have to test negative before returning to work if they have been in contact with the infected.

    The world would have a better chance if everyone watched MedCram covid update videos 59 and 69, and followed their instructions.

  32. 32
    ET says:

    Vaccines aren’t even the best way to fight covid-19. I am not vaccinated, and I know that I have been exposed to covid-19. Yet I have not been sick. I don’t wear a mask. I have been to crowded venues with thousands of mask-less people. Nothing.

    Researchers have proven that zinc prevents the virus from replicating. All you need is an ionophore to get more zinc into your cells. Vitamins D, C and melatonin also play important roles.

    People are dying from covid because they are deficient in essential nutrients. Natural selection is weeding out the less fit.

  33. 33
    William J Murray says:

    The government and mainstream media is using fear of COVID to generate an insupportable, divisive atmosphere, trying to reduce anyone who resists taking a series of experimental injections to the status of hated and ridiculed 2nd class citizens who are not even allowed to challenge the narrative or disagree in the public square without fear of harsh repercussions and censorship.

    I guess in all such situations there are people cheering tyranny along, as long as it is targeting those they disagree with and dislike.

  34. 34
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    😆 Why would want the loving vaccine companies to keep secret for the next 50(?) years their contracts “details” ? Answer:Because they have nothing to hide. Trust big pharma church they love you they protect you! 🙂

  35. 35
    vividbleau says:

    PAV
    “P.S. Do you remember when I posted a thread here decrying the efficacy of the “lockdowns”? Do you remember the vitriol I received? “

    I do , you took a lot of heat. Today I saw another Fauci lie exposed and vindication of your stance. I hope you have read the John Hopkins study regarding the efficacy of lockdowns and the resulting deaths.

    Vivid

  36. 36
    ram says:

    I just realized. UC is kinda okay as long as you don’t read the comments.

    I’ll make an exception for WJM, the most intelligent guy around here.

    –Ram

  37. 37
    Querius says:

    LOL, Ram.

    Troll warning @36. Well, some of the smartest people say the stupidest things, myself included.

    -Q

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    RAM, you just calibrated yourself. KF

  39. 39
    zweston says:

    Ram, did you ever answer about the Tovia Singer lies? And how he talked about Hell?

    I haven’t checked back on that thread.

  40. 40
    Querius says:

    ET @31 and 32,

    Yes, exactly. Here are some links to recent studies . . .

    Something to keep an eye on: according to a non-peer-reviewed, pre-print paper . . .
    https://fee.org/articles/spain-s-first-study-on-omicron-finds-vaccinated-people-spread-covid-at-same-rate-as-unvaccinated/
    I’ve never heard of the apparently libertarian Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), so here’s a link to the referenced pre-print article: https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-1279005/v1

    Gargling with 0.5% PVP-I for 30 seconds after potential exposure (and only then) seems to be effective against Omicron according to these studies (and others):
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454736/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7959263/

    Omicron seems to live on the surface of nasopharyngeal mucus membranes. But one should be aware that these areas also harbor beneficial bacteria that you don’t want to eradicate continually.

    One should make sure to take enough vitamin C, vitamin D3 (and sunshine), Zinc, fluids, and sleep to promote a healthy immune system.

    This Israeli study finds strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and Covid-19 deaths:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-study-offers-strongest-proof-yet-of-vitamin-ds-power-to-fight-covid/

    More disturbing is the following UK study that seems to show microvascular cardiac damage from spike protein exposure alone.
    https://portlandpress.com/clinsci/article/135/24/2667/230273/The-SARS-CoV-2-Spike-protein-disrupts-human

    Symptoms of myocarditis include shortness of breath, chest pain, or heart palpitations. These symptoms are rare but may be a complication of the spike protein from Covid-19 or perhaps even the Covid vaccine itself.

    An Israeli hospital noticed that even a 4th injection doesn’t seem prevent Omicron, but they haven’t published the results of their study yet:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-trial-worlds-first-finds-4th-dose-not-good-enough-against-omicron/

    Personally, I’m remaining hygienically vigilant regarding the now-prevalent Omicron variant and reducing the risk of potential exposures. I treat everyone as if they have chicken pox or measles, which have a similar R0. But that’s just me.

    -Q

  41. 41
    William J Murray says:

    RAM, you just calibrated yourself. KF

    Says the guy who argues that a just and loving God would allow its creations to suffer eternal torment for the “crime” of not loving and worshipping it. Talk about “calibrating yourself!”

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, why do you insist on putting words in my mouth that do not belong there? And in contexts that have no relevance to what you are projecting? KF

    PS, on the theological error you just made again, for record I point you to a foundational Christian theological text that speaks to the gift and consequences of freedom of mind (which is necessarily morally governed and which you implicitly premise your arguments on):

    Rom 2: 6 [God] will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking1 and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury . . . 11 For God shows no partiality . . . .

    14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

    Here, we again can see judgement based on response to the light of truth and right one has or should acknowledge and live by, however haltingly, struggling-ly: what is the consistent direction of one’s life.

    Further, we note that conscience is a witness where our thoughts conflict leading to a need to resort to right reason informed by sound conscience thus moral prudence and warrant. Explicitly, it is sustained willful moral failure involving knowing disobedience to truth one knows [but may wrongfully suppress] or should acknowledge that is eternally ruinous, where there is a linked point of responsible access to such truth. Starting, with voice of conscience.

    Where, per previous comment, I note that there is just one reliable witness to the beyond, the prophesied wounded healer who with 500 witnesses broke the power of death. Not every spirit one has a visit with is a witness of truth. If they speak not according to this word, there is in them no light of day, we are warned.

    It would be reasonable to expect you to onward acknowledge that explicit foundational statement. However, you have now been repeatedly unresponsive. This is for record.

    Where, while UD is not set up for hosting contentious theological exchanges [I have repeatedly pointed out that there are other places that have relevant panels of experts], a few words are appropriate on the fate of the soul.

    The soul, being our self-moving inner man, which is not a mechanical composite so is unitary and immortal. It cannot be broken up so once formed it is permanent. The self-driven ruin and failure of a soul, worth more than the resources of a planet, is fearsome. However, that is the point, self-driven, i.e. the doors of hell are bolted, locked and barred from the inside, and its fires are internal, there is no way a combustion would burn what is not material, we are manifestly seeing a metaphor.

    One that fits with others such as ge hinnon [valley of defilement and rebellion, turned into a dump with spontaneous combustion etc], and indicates that one who says across life that s/he wills will get what s/he wishes, with tears as well as the anger at needless, heedless self ruin noted above.

    The fires of the soul are passions (I feelin hot, hot, HOT, as Arrow sang), here ultimately self-frustrating as driven by willful alienation from the good. Thus, one is one’s own tormentor, as is already manifest from the readily observed nature of the path of ruinous self will. Ironically, such a soul would have just one greater possible torment, that of being eternally in the manifest blazingly holy presence of the One despised and rejected.

    So, when one sees the provision at fearsome cost of a way of redemption, the cross, we would be well advised to respect and receive it.

    I write for record, not to entertain what is not appropriate to UD nor do I have the energy and time to go through a contentious exchange, given my continued bereavement. I suggest, there are other places with expert panels where issues are addressed soberly and substantially, with place for questions. Links were already given, I give a couple again. Here is a debate with Craig, his site reasonable faith answers questions. Here is a discussion worth pondering, without necessarily endorsing all said or said elsewhere at the site. Here is another from CRI. Here is where some creationists take up the topic. There are other discussions.

  43. 43
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    Save yourself the trouble. Eternal torment is evil. No argument can make it otherwise.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, all I say is please do not put words in my mouth. KF

  45. 45
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    William J Murray

    RAM, you just calibrated yourself. KF

    Says the guy who argues that a just and loving God would allow its creations to suffer eternal torment for the “crime” of not loving and worshipping it. Talk about “calibrating yourself!”

    😆 Could we imagine the mental fitness of a person that argue in favor of criminals? Go tell that to survivors of Hitler camps, or to a child that was raped that what happened to them is not really really wrong , was just a kind of a joke that will be forgiven sooner or later .
    WJM(=Ram) thinks that the moral law is not absolute because any culpability of a criminal it’s temporary and will eventually expire. Unfortunatelly for WJM the time cannot overmatch the moral law, a crime remain a crime no matter how much time will pass a crime is forever a crime , a crime can’t became a non-crime after 1000 years or after 1 billion years.
    Time and moral law are 2 separate dimensions. .

  46. 46
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, all I say is please do not put words in my mouth. KF

    Says the guy who regularly not only puts words in the mouths of others, but also assigns them beliefs, ideas, thoughts, motivations and character qualities.

  47. 47
    William J Murray says:

    LCD @49,
    Save yourself the trouble. Eternal torment is evil. No argument can make it otherwise.

  48. 48
    William J Murray says:

    The reason people have to spend so much time and effort trying to justify eternal torment is because everyone knows it is evil. That’s why people have to incorporate slide rules, protractors, geometry, algebra, and must refer to an encyclopedia of apologetics in their arguments for it.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, again, please do not put words in my mouth or project notions into my head. KF

  50. 50
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    William J Murray
    The reason people have to spend so much time and effort trying to justify eternal torment is because everyone knows it is evil. That’s why people have to incorporate slide rules, protractors, geometry, algebra, and must refer to an encyclopedia of apologetics in their arguments for it.

    😆 You have no clue what you are talking about. Your feelings are not arguments. Arguments have logic inside and you have not a single logical argument that eternal punishment is wrong. 🙂
    PS: A crime doesn’t have an expiration date because a crime is an immoral act while time is a measurement tool.

  51. 51
    William J Murray says:

    LCD,
    You are correct in that I am not making an argument. That is because it is self-evidently true that eternal torment is evil.

  52. 52
    zweston says:

    Anyone speaking with WJM, you need to acknowledge that he is unreasonable.

    He won’t repent no matter the conditions given him. His worldview he constructed by seeking the greatest personal pleasure, not truth. There are areas of his life he will not pursue as truth.

    He recognizes that Jesus rose from the dead, which would be the only person he knows of who did that, after fulfilling very specific prophecies from hundreds of years prior (thousands in a couple places for sure)… yet says you can’t know he is God.

    You aren’t going to change his mind, because the God of the Bible is off the table for him. He is the captain of his own ship, the God of his world, and he isn’t giving up the throne. He is proud and relies on his knowledge alone.

    So, feel free to keep going… I know I did for a while… but I’m done in regards to WJM.

    Grace and peace to all of you. Save your arguments as he won’t be reasoned with.

  53. 53
    William J Murray says:

    Zweston said,

    Anyone speaking with WJM, you need to acknowledge that he is unreasonable.

    How so?

    He won’t repent no matter the conditions given him.

    Er, what? I said I’d be happy to repent in certain conditions; what I said I could not do was “love God.” I can’t just make myself love someone or something.

    His worldview he constructed by seeking the greatest personal pleasure, not truth.

    What difference does that make?

    There are areas of his life he will not pursue as truth.

    I’m perfectly willing to pursue true statements on any subject via arguments and evidence. I’ve demonstrated myself multiple times as having the capacity to admit other people have the superior argument/evidence. I’m even willing to work on understanding and supporting other people’s arguments on my own time, so to speak. I’m not sure how you get more reasonable, or more willing to pursue truth, than that. I may not incorporate that truth into my personal beliefs, but I’ve demonstrated I’m willing to pursue true statements and admit it even when I’m wrong.

    He recognizes that Jesus rose from the dead, which would be the only person he knows of who did that, after fulfilling very specific prophecies from hundreds of years prior (thousands in a couple places for sure)… yet says you can’t know he is God.

    I didn’t say “you can’t know he is God.” I pointed out that that evidence is entirely circular in nature.

    You aren’t going to change his mind, because the God of the Bible is off the table for him.

    Like anyone here is going to have their mind changed about the personal beliefs they hold dear. I’m at least willing to openly admit it.

    So, feel free to keep going… I know I did for a while… but I’m done in regards to WJM.

    Do you mean this time you are really, really really done?

  54. 54
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    One of the most revealing interview about Covid . No wonder they try to cancel Rogan .
    Joe Rogan, JRE-1757, Robert Malone COVID

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    Fair comment: It seems like, on the OP related matters, we are looking at the need to stand up for lawfulness and transparent accountability on the part of power wielders, policy leaders/influencers and opinion shapers. But we also face anti-civilisational, liberty undermining forces perfectly willing to impose dubious societal controls and dangerous surveillance, marginalisation and outright censorship dressed up in lab coats. I am particularly exercised by precedents tied to using QR codes to tag people given that cell phones show just how pervasive tracking technologies could readily be, which could then be at the heart of a chain of liberty eroding precedents and “social credit” type schemes. We also face serious questions on the long term effects of vaccines, given patterns and incidence of adverse events stratified by age and sex etc. Does anyone imagine that blanket indemnification against actions on injuries is a good thing? I suspect a truth and reconciliation commission at global scale may well be advisable, if the festering poison is to be lanced and drained before it becomes ruinous. KF

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, a sobering 3 hour interview with a leading dissenting expert with solid credentials. KF

  57. 57
    StephenB says:

    WJM chiding KF (with an irrelevant comment)

    Says the guy who argues that a just and loving God would allow its creations to suffer eternal torment for the “crime” of not loving and worshipping it. Talk about “calibrating yourself!”

    If God’s creatures suffer eternal torment, it is because they have separated themselves from their Creator, who is their ultimate good. Separation is the cause, suffering is the effect; the latter follows from the former as surely as day follows night. Even in this life, being deprived of physical goods, such as water, food, and air, will cause suffering. Much greater suffering follows from depriving one’s self of all that is spiritually good.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    William J Murray says:

    StephenB says:

    If God’s creatures suffer eternal torment, it is because they have separated themselves from their Creator, who is their ultimate good.

    Says the guy who quells his conscience by claiming that people in hell would choose to remain there even if given the opportunity to leave, and must imagine that everyone who goes to hell is deliberately doing so with full knowledge that hell is their eternal destination.

    But of course, you must believe these things, no matter how obviously, outrageously untrue, or else you could not live with it yourself.

    Eternal torment is self-evidently evil. No argument or imagined mind-reading can make it otherwise. If you were arguing that people with full knowledge chose to go there, and could leave any time they choose, I’d have no problem with it. It would certainly not be innately “evil.” However, that’s not what the assertion is.

  60. 60
    zweston says:

    Proverbs 26:4. Repent from thinking you know better or are morally superior to the creator of the universe. Repent from rejecting Christ’s work on the cross. Repent from your empty pursuits and idols. Grace and Peace

  61. 61
    Scamp says:

    So, if a person leads an exemplary, loving, charitable and altruistic life but does not believe that Jesus is God, it is morally acceptable to torture that person for eternity? Sorry, I agree with WJM on this. It is self-evidently evil.

  62. 62
    zweston says:

    Scamp… lets start with one part of your comment: who sets the standard of “exemplary, loving, charitable and altruistic life”? Who decides?

  63. 63
    William J Murray says:

    Zweston said:

    Repent from thinking you know better or are morally superior to the creator of the universe.

    I’ve never thought such a thing, nor have I implied it. Like so many others have done, you’re mistaking your belief in a God for my knowledge such a God exists.

    Repent from rejecting Christ’s work on the cross.

    If I knew what work Christ did on the cross, I’d be in a position to accept or reject it. I don’t know what Christ did on the cross; I only know what people say that work was. I have no means of verifying what “that work” was, or what it meant.

    Repent from your empty pursuits and idols.

    Empty by what measure? My pursuits are entirely fulfilling. How else would I judge them?

  64. 64
    StephenB says:

    SB: If God’s creatures suffer eternal torment, it is because they have separated themselves from their Creator, who is their ultimate good. Separation is the cause, suffering is the effect; the latter follows from the former as surely as day follows night. Even in this life, being deprived of physical goods, such as water, food, and air, will cause suffering. Much greater suffering follows from depriving one’s self of all that is spiritually good.

    WJM

    Says the guy who quells his conscience by claiming that people in hell would choose to remain there even if given the opportunity to leave,

    Strawman. Notice, though, that WJM completely ignores the substance of the point he is allegedly responding to. Doesn’t that indicate an unwillingness to engage in good-faith dialogue?

    and must imagine that everyone who goes to hell is deliberately doing so with full knowledge that hell is their eternal destination.

    I don’t imagine any such thing. I don’t presume to have “full knowledge” of even my own destination. I have a firm hope that if I ask for mercy, I will receive it. But hope is not the same thing as infallible assurance. When did people lose their capacity to make intellectual distinctions?

    Eternal torment is self-evidently evil.

    That is an irrational comment. In effect, WJM is saying that the principle of cause and effect is evil. Eternal suffering is the necessary consequence of the sinner’s choice to separate himself from God, and to continue confirming that choice forever. It is not logically possible to pry away the suffering from the separation.

    I have a question: Why did WJM intrude with his thoughts about Hell during a discussion about science and tyranny?

  65. 65
    zweston says:

    WJM’s way of dealing with the reality of Jesus being God is to rail on hell. These science articles usually end in the “hell is bad” dialogue. The same people who want to talk just about the science end up only wanting to discuss theology.

    I cannot think of the last time I read a comment that had scientific data to refute the conclusions of the articles or studies that have been provided against materialism.

    Everyone has to deal with the possibility of Jesus being God and his word being true…which includes hell… or they have to distract themselves from it. WJM sees it as a reality to escape instead of a place to find refuge and life and peace.

    Everyone has a stop-gap to keep from going insane… the evidence and claims necessitate a verdict.

    Some people just stay busy and try to ignore it.
    Some people decide hell sounds better than heaven so they’ll just do that
    Some people “open their mind” to finding no real objective truth
    Some people run to Darwin or Hitchens or you name it
    Some make up their own idea of reality based on what makes them feel good
    Some people twist the scriptures to fit their emotions and reasoning
    Others repent and trust and are healed and find peace and joy from the gospel.

    WJM’s stop-gap is to decide hell is “evil” even though there really isn’t a such thing by his own limited judgement, so it doesn’t exist.

    Instead of receiving grace, some build a wall to keep it out.

  66. 66
    William J Murray says:

    Zweston said:

    WJM’s way of dealing with the reality of Jesus being God is to rail on hell.

    I’ve never “dealt” with “the reality of Jesus being God” because I’ve never known that to be “the reality.” I’ve been dealing with two separate hypotheticals: that proposition that there is evidence in the Bible that Jesus is God (there isn’t, other than entirely circular evidence;) and the proposition of a permanent afterlife condition of “eternal suffering.” Such a permanent afterlife condition could possibly exist, but it an evil thing.

    WJM’s stop-gap is to decide hell is “evil” even though there really isn’t a such thing by his own limited judgement, so it doesn’t exist.

    Of course there is evil. I didn’t “decide” eternal torment was evil any more than I had to decide if torturing children was evil. They’re both obviously evil.

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    SB,
    Okay, then, to argue the substance.

    If God’s creatures suffer eternal torment, it is because they have separated themselves from their Creator, who is their ultimate good.

    Untrue, if I understand your theory correctly. The only reason they suffer eternal torment is because God has decided on an arbitrary time-limit per individual within which they can become “unseparated.” Which corresponds to your further comment:

    Separation is the cause, suffering is the effect; the latter follows from the former as surely as day follows night. Even in this life, being deprived of physical goods, such as water, food, and air, will cause suffering.

    “Being deprived of?” In your model it would be “choosing to go without,” or choosing to separate ourselves from food and water. Or holding our breath. All of which are resolved by choosing once again to eat, drink and breathe.

    Much greater suffering follows from depriving one’s self of all that is spiritually good.

    You seem to have a problem honing in on my actual point. I’m not arguing that depriving oneself of what is spiritually good will not result in suffering. I’m not arguing that this would be an evil.

    The part that makes your proposition of hell evil is its permanence.

  68. 68
    ram says:

    WJM,

    You’re arguing against a person who thinks the Most High is without needs, wants, or requirements of , bliss existence, and yet, for some unknown reason, creates people who have no real understanding of what It is, and when they fall short, instead of extinguishing the persons when they displease it, it tortures them forever.

    Monstrous.

    And as you’ve pointed out, they know it. Which is why they blather on and on with ridiculous justifications.

    Now, you and I know this is not about “God.” This about the [sociopathic] brains of who have been propagandized with Bronze age, anthropomorphic ideas, that they can’t manage to get away from. Patently clear by anyone from the outside of their bubble.

    And they believe that human sacrifice is required by the Transcendant Bliss Reality.

    For what?

    Satisfaction.

    Maya? Inca? Aztec? Anyone?

    I call this mental illness.

    –Ram

  69. 69
    ram says:

    The idea of eternal torture from a Transcendent Blissful Reality is evil.

    Just like torturing babies is evil.

    Everyone knows this.

    These sociopaths expect people to take their tortured (pardon the pun) them seriously.

    Period.

    –Ram

  70. 70
    ram says:

    Now, it doesn’t matter where people get the idea from, it’s the fact that they are perfectly willing to believe in a transcendent blissful ground-of-all being, who has no wants, needs or passions, but who for some reason creates humans and tortures forever those who don’t measure up.

    Mental illness on parade.

    More specifically, bronze age, anthropomorphic mental illness on parade.

    I would never let anyone like that baby sit my children or grand-children.

    –Ram

  71. 71
    StephenB says:

    SB: If God’s creatures suffer eternal torment, it is because they have separated themselves from their Creator, who is their ultimate good.

    WJM

    Untrue, if I understand your theory correctly. The only reason they suffer eternal torment is because God has decided on an arbitrary time-limit per individual within which they can become “unseparated.” Which corresponds to your further comment:

    No on three counts. First, the eternal nature of the suffering is decided by the sinner who chooses to remain in an unrepentant state forever. It is an ongoing choice. Second, the sinner has made the decision to reject God for as long as God shall live, which is also forever. Third, the amount of time that God gives the sinner to unseparate is irrelevant if the sinner’s decision to separate is final.

    SB: Separation is the cause, suffering is the effect; the latter follows from the former as surely as day follows night. Even in this life, being deprived of physical goods, such as water, food, and air, will cause suffering.

    “Being deprived of?” In your model it would be “choosing to go without,” or choosing to separate ourselves from food and water. Or holding our breath. All of which are resolved by choosing once again to eat, drink and breathe.

    That is irrelevant to the point: Being separated from the good, or choosing to separate from the good, will always produce suffering. Once the individual chooses to reunite with the physical good, the temporal suffering will stop. Once the individual decides to reunite with the spiritual good, the prospect of eternal punishment is removed, insofar as the decision is final.. .

    You seem to have a problem honing in on my actual point. I’m not arguing that depriving oneself of what is spiritually good will not result in suffering. I’m not arguing that this would be an evil.
    The part that makes your proposition of hell evil is its permanence.

    You seem to have a problem homing in on my point, Depriving one’s self of a temporal physical good, or being deprived of it, produces temporal suffering; depriving one’s self of the ultimate spiritual good produces eternal suffering. Eternal separation is the cause; eternal suffering is the effect.

  72. 72
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    First, the eternal nature of the suffering is decided by the sinner who chooses to remain in an unrepentant state forever.

    Mind reading. Not a valid form of argument.

    Second, the sinner has made the decision to reject God for as long as God shall live, which is also forever.

    More mind reading.

    Third, the amount of time that God gives the sinner to unseparate is irrelevant if the sinner’s decision to separate is final.

    Predicated on mind reading.

    Try again, this time without the attempted mind reading.

  73. 73
    William J Murray says:

    Ram said:

    Now, you and I know this is not about “God.” This about the [sociopathic] brains of who have been propagandized with Bronze age, anthropomorphic ideas, that they can’t manage to get away from. Patently clear by anyone from the outside of their bubble.

    I look at this more charitably; these are justifications that come from being in a state of extreme threat, something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Lots of people think they actually love their abuser; they even think their abuser “loves” them. They cannot see that this is not love at all, it’s the perversion of one’s psychology, warped by fear.

    Of course I’m not going to change their minds, but it’s an interesting exercise. For now, anyway : )

  74. 74
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Ram
    The idea of eternal torture from a Transcendent Blissful Reality is evil.
    Just like torturing babies is evil.

    😆 torturing criminals=torturing babies ???
    Is this a freudian slip: criminals=innocents ? Ram ,have you done evil things in your life?

    Mental illness on parade.

    Well, you characterized yourself better than I could do it.

    PS: Torturing criminals that don’t admit that they are criminals it’s not evil. At all.

    PPS: The pills, don’t forget the pills.

  75. 75
    Scamp says:

    Zwerston:
    Scamp… lets start with one part of your comment: who sets the standard of “exemplary, loving, charitable and altruistic life”? Who decides?

    The dictionary?

  76. 76
    StephenB says:

    SB: First, the eternal nature of the suffering is decided by the sinner who chooses to remain in an unrepentant state forever.

    WJM:

    Mind reading. Not a valid form of argument.

    Incorrect. I am simply referring to the sinner whose behavior falls in that category. I did not attribute those motives or intentions to any individual.

    SB: Second, the sinner has made the decision to reject God for as long as God shall live, which is also forever.

    More mind reading.

    Incorrect. By definition, anyone who rejects God is rejecting an eternal being. I don’t presume to know who those people are.

    SB: Third, the amount of time that God gives the sinner to unseparate is irrelevant if the sinner’s decision to separate is final.

    Predicated on mind reading.

    Not even close. As the statement indicates, the amount of time God gives a sinner to unseparate or repent is irrelevant to the discussion. No attribution to any individual has been made.

    Meanwhile, you are ignoring the main argument: Eternal separation is the cause; eternal punishment is the effect.

  77. 77
    zweston says:

    Scamp… I think you know what I meant… this person you defined…they don’t exist in reality.

    If there isn’t a transcendent law giver and standard bearer, there is no ultimate standard to judge anything off of. Good or bad. They don’t exist.

    Ram, your rabbi (assuming you are jewish?) believes in hell… so I’m not sure why you reject it?

  78. 78
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    Incorrect. I am simply referring to the sinner whose behavior falls in that category. I did not attribute those motives or intentions to any individual.

    Sure you did; you said he ” .. chooses to remain in an unrepentant state forever. You don’t know that he’s choosing it. It may be the result of his actions, but that’s not the same thing as choosing that result. Many actions have unintended results.

    Incorrect. By definition, anyone who rejects God is rejecting an eternal being. I don’t presume to know who those people are.

    This presumes that the person in question knows they are rejecting God. You don’t know that they know that. That’s mind reading.

    Not even close. As the statement indicates, the amount of time God gives a sinner to unseparate or repent is irrelevant to the discussion. No attribution to any individual has been made.

    I’ll bold where you did just that:

    Third, the amount of time that God gives the sinner to unseparate is irrelevant if the sinner’s decision to separate is final.

    As I said, this is predicated on mind reading. It refers back to your attempt to mind read “the sinner” or “the unrepentant” as making fully informed, deliberate decisions under the necessary knowledge that this particular God is real and hell really exists.

    If your argument is that God knows the mind of these people, and God knows that they know he’s really God, and God knows that they know hell is real, and God knows that they are deliberately choosing eternal torment and will always choose it no matter how long they are there, and only the people that fit that criteria go to hell, then we’re good. I can go along with that. I have no problem with that at all.

    You see, you’ve made a good case (if that’s your case) and you’ve shown that in the above circumstance, eternal torment would not be evil. Well done!

  79. 79
    Scamp says:

    Zweston:
    If there isn’t a transcendent law giver and standard bearer, there is no ultimate standard to judge anything off of. Good or bad. They don’t exist.

    If there isn’t an ultimate standard, what would society look like? Would it not look like what we see around us? A group of people doing their best to live together? A group of people developing rules to govern themselves? A group of people making mistakes? A group of people celebrating what works?

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc,

    first the material question is objectivity, so warrant and knowability of branch on which we sit first principles undergirding the civil peace of justice. This, being, due balance of authentic rights, freedoms and responsibilities. Where, for example, as no one may justly impose doing or enabling an evil on another natural person’s sound conscience [corporations etc are artificial], a claimed right is only valid when one is manifestly in the right.

    BTW, kindly note that many things “work” because they are evils backed by power and export the cost/damage of the evils to the marginalised or even dehumanised powerless. Slavery, for just one case, worked for many thousands of years due to the hardness of men’s hearts and took major civilisational breakthroughs leading to gospel and natural law ethics influenced democratisation to break its dominance under colour of law. Because of want of critical mass support, prohibition failed and inadvertently gave a boost to organised crime, much as is playing out with marijuana and onward drugs. (I wonder if we understand the toll that is just beginning to play out.) Similarly for the worst holocaust in history, mass slaughter of our living posterity in the womb, 800+ millions and mounting at another million per week globally. And more.

    Pragmatism and positivism as well as relativism, subjectivism and emotivism fail.

    Instead, much comes from that due balance principle.

    For example c 50 BC, Cicero, a Roman statesman, jurist and philosopher of the Stoic school, summarised several first duties of law that can be seen to have branch on which we sit inescapability, even objectors [such as you here are] rhetorically appeal to them, e.g. to truth, right reason, warrant etc. I list in a logical order:

    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
    .

    These are echoed in many traditions and contexts, precisely due to their branch on which we sit character. For instance, sitting in church yesterday, I was noting the preface to the training manual for princes, Proverbs, in Ch 1:1 – 7. My point is, we have knowable first duties that historically shaped what we now enjoy and imagine cannot be destroyed, it cannot happen to us, we say. Ask the Germans c 1930 about that, c 1947 after the trials at Nuremberg.

    We have become complacent as a civilisation, even as lawless ideologies undermine the BATNA of lawfulness that protects us from sliding back into the natural state of government in a world full of powerful [or at least power hungry], ruthless, anti-civilisational, misanthropic lawless men, lawless oligarchy.

    It is time to wake up to our peril.

    KF

  81. 81
    zweston says:

    Scamp, you didn’t deal with my statement.

  82. 82
    ET says:

    Scamp:

    If there isn’t an ultimate standard, what would society look like? Would it not look like what we see around us? A group of people doing their best to live together? A group of people developing rules to govern themselves? A group of people making mistakes? A group of people celebrating what works?

    Nope. I would expect anarchy and people doing whatever they want. But, even that is question-begging as nature cannot produce life.

  83. 83
    asauber says:

    “A group of people doing their best to live together?”

    Sounds like someone is trying to assert an ideal/ultimate standard.

    Ooohh the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’.

    Andrew

  84. 84
    zweston says:

    ET-spot on… What do the secular-dominated thought societies do? What is their government system and how are people treated? Answer: Might equals right…. Now, may argue that Europe runs opposite of that…but they are still operating under a biblical framework of reality.

    Good observation Andrew…they cannot escape this appeal to a transcendent standard. It is impossible to live without an appeal to objective truth and morality and over-arching purpose.

  85. 85
    Scamp says:

    ET:
    Nope. I would expect anarchy and people doing whatever they want.

    That is one possibility.

    But, even that is question-begging as nature cannot produce life.

    What does that have to do with the subject being discussed?

  86. 86
    StephenB says:

    WJM:

    Sure you did; [attribute motives to the individual} you said he ” .. chooses to remain in an unrepentant state forever. You don’t know that he’s choosing

    I was referring to those who do so choose. It’s a reference to a category of sinners, not a personal attribution to an individual sinner.

    SB: By definition, anyone who rejects God is rejecting an eternal being. I don’t presume to know who those people are.

    This presumes that the person in question knows they are rejecting God. You don’t know that they know that. That’s mind reading.

    We are, of course, discussing the Christian God. If your point is that, by rejecting Him, they may not know that they are rejecting the *real* God, then, yes, you have a reasonable concern. They would be blameless unless they had willfully chosen not to know the truth or stubbornly neglected to follow up on any suspicion that they might be wrong. So we seem to be in agreement.

    If your argument is that God knows the mind of these people, and God knows that they know he’s really God, and God knows that they know hell is real, and God knows that they are deliberately choosing eternal torment and will always choose it no matter how long they are there, and only the people that fit that criteria go to hell, then we’re good. I can go along with that. I have no problem with that at all.

    Perhaps we can use your model to fine tune my argument. I tweaked a few changes in parentheses:

    God knows their mind – check

    God knows that they know He’s really God – check

    God knows that they know Hell is real – (God knows that they believe Hell is probably real)

    God knows that they are deliberately choosing eternal torment – (God knows that they are deliberately risking eternal torment)

    ,,,and will always choose it no matter how long they are there, (and some, not all, will prefer to remain in Hell forever rather than be with God forever, while others would prefer to be annihilated)

    …and only the people that fit that criteria go to hell, – check.

    You see, you’ve made a good case (if that’s your case) and you’ve shown that in the above circumstance, eternal torment would not be evil. Well done!

    That’s a very gracious thing to say, Thank you. I gather that your final assessment may change if you find my tweaks unacceptable.

  87. 87
    William J Murray says:

    SB,
    I don’t see any need to try and nit-pick your argument. Like I said, well done : )

  88. 88
    ram says:

    SB: We are, of course, discussing the Christian God.

    You’re discussing SB’s version of the Christian God.

    –Ram

  89. 89
    EDTA says:

    “what would society look like?”

    I see a nation of people who are getting along less and less well as time goes forward. Which is just what I would expect if a former culture-wide standard was eroding away and being replaced by moral relativism or meager attempts at asserting various moral standards with no real foundation under them. I would expect less social capital to exist, and less social cohesion, which are also what I see.

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    @88

    Stephen B’s explanation on that is the correct one. Other explanations do not make sense, and WJM is right in saying those are evil.
    WJM’s response to SB is admirable also.

  91. 91
    zweston says:

    Ram,

    Your silence on Tovia is noted.

  92. 92
    Querius says:

    I’d like to point out that “eternal torment” is a subject that I addressed in a different thread with several questions that only Ram had the courage to answer–the others ran away.

    Despite the perspectives that I provided then, I can see that digital amnesia immediately sets in once a new thread is raised and this topic predictably once again emerges with boring regularity irrespective of the OP and reset to zero each time.

    So, I guess I’ll need to simply rinse and repeat each time. Here we go . . .

    1. Imagine a normal curve centered at the origin. What’s the area under the positive half of the normal curve?

    2. As you know, the presence of gravity affects the passage of time. So let’s say someone falls into a black hole, which in this case lasts only a few seconds before they’re “spaghettified.” How does this event appear from an observer at a safe distance?

    -Q

  93. 93
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    “Eternal torment” has nothing to do with time or other material dimension of this universe . It’s purely a moral dimension . You can’t mix time with morality ,time doesn’t have a moral dimension .

    It’s a self-defeater statement to say that “Eternal torment is evil” because eternal means outside time, time dimension has no logical/factual meaning in an eternal concept . Therefore to say that the criminals are punished too long for their crime has no meaning in an environment where time do not exist .

  94. 94
    Silver Asiatic says:

    SB

    God knows that they are deliberately choosing eternal torment – (God knows that they are deliberately risking eternal torment)

    ,,,and will always choose it no matter how long they are there, (and some, not all, will prefer to remain in Hell forever rather than be with God forever, while others would prefer to be annihilated)

    They deliberately choose it but they often disagree that they should be there. By the “gravity” of the motion of their own decisions and soul – they’re “weighed down” and can never be free from that, because they choose to keep their enslaving behavior.
    Usually, the person who ends in Hell says “I haven’t sinned”.
    This then gets turned against the Giver of Life , saying: “You are unjust”.
    The gates of Hell are locked on the inside. They hate it there but they will not leave.
    It’s like the drug addict who chooses the misery of addiction versus the freedom of sobriety.

  95. 95
    ram says:

    Zweston: Ram, did you ever answer about the Tovia Singer lies? And how he talked about Hell? I haven’t checked back on that thread.

    Give me a link

    –Ram

  96. 96
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @94,

    The gates of Hell are locked on the inside. They hate it there but they will not leave.
    It’s like the drug addict who chooses the misery of addiction versus the freedom of sobriety.

    Good point.

    Reminds me of some of the writings of Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889 – 1929), who had a profound effect on my life during my college years. He wrote a parable of someone in hell who demands to let into heaven. His request is granted, but when exposed to the light of purity and glory of God, immediately became so ashamed that he dove back down into the darkest depths of hell to hide.

    Notice that once again, there are no takers on my questions, which will relate to perspectives on “eternal torment” as they repeatedly bring up in numerous threads.

    Revealing.

    Jesus told a parable about one man’s pathetic accusation against God (Mattityahu 25:24) during the Judgment and how God answered him. It was a pretty good excuse, but it collapsed in the light of God’s observation about him.

    -Q

  97. 97
    ram says:

    Silver Asiatic: The gates of Hell are locked on the inside.

    No. This is idiotic. Nobody would choose infinite torture for themselves.

    If a given individual tasted the bliss of being in union with Bliss Itself, and had a true and accurate understanding of the possibilities of their eternal state, nobody would choose infinite torture, and nobody would resist infinite Bliss.

    Get real. You people are beyond stupid. And stop believing monstrous lies about the real Creator.

    –Ram

  98. 98
    Querius says:

    Ram,
    Have you already forgotten the exercise that I led you through in a previous thread?

    – In it, I demonstrated how eternity can be interpreted simply as permanent and non-redeemable.

    – In it, you helped me demonstrate how eternal punishment is not necessarily infinite.

    – In it, you confirmed that time is not absolute, but is relative to the observer . . . the experience of one person falling into a black hole is over in a few seconds, but in the experience of distant observer, the process is extremely long, perhaps eternal, before the image vanishes.

    And now you claim, “You people are beyond stupid.” Shall we go through it again? Yeshua didn’t quote from the B’rit Chadashah because it wasn’t written yet. Yeshua quoted ONLY from the Tanakh. If you know the Tanakh, you will recognize his words. Or have you forgotten it as well?

    -Q

  99. 99
    ram says:

    Querius,

    You’re delusional. Your “argument” is irrelevant and I clearly explained why.

    –Ram

  100. 100
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Ram
    No. This is idiotic. Nobody would choose infinite torture for themselves.

    For you is a torture not to be hateful. You know that is evil but you do it anyway .

    If a given individual tasted the bliss of being in union with Bliss Itself, and had a true and accurate understanding of the possibilities of their eternal state, nobody would choose infinite torture, and nobody would resist infinite Bliss.

    You can ‘t taste bliss when you are a hateful person because bliss is given to people who are doing what God loves not what satan loves. Satan loves your hate.

    Get real. You people are beyond stupid. And stop believing monstrous lies about the real Creator.

    Well your characterisation should go to the person who “educated” you so well.

  101. 101
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ram

    Nobody would choose infinite torture for themselves.

    For some people, being with God is the worst imaginable torture. They’d choose anything other than that.

    If a given individual tasted the bliss of being in union with Bliss Itself,

    Gaining that taste comes at a very high cost – as anything precious does. It’s the cost of sacrificing lesser blisses – and most people do not want to.

    and had a true and accurate understanding of the possibilities of their eternal state, nobody would choose infinite torture, and nobody would resist infinite Bliss

    If I told someone that drug addiction leads to misery, self-hatred and a hellish amount of suffering – would that be enough for them to not abuse drugs?
    What happens is that people taste the bliss of the drug and very many will prefer that, no matter how much misery it entails afterwards, to living clean and sober.
    It’s the same even in spiritual terms. A person can experience the joy of God – but not want to pay the price to achieve it fully. So, they find cheap substitutes.
    God is not a cheap substitute for things. He deserves respect and admiration.
    A person must show himself worthy of greatness and goodness – by striving to imitate.
    The greatest torture of Hell is to be without God. But as above, people prefer to love themselves rather than surrender that love for someone greater.

  102. 102
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @10,
    Good points all! I can imagine someone choosing to spend eternity separated from the love of God out of such anger and hatred that eternity anywhere else would be preferable to the “torture” of being in close fellowship and union with Adonai.

    Notice the absence of any cognitive value in the stock reply that I received. Here’s the format:

    “You’re (stupid, delusional, irrelevant, absurd, a jackass). Your “argument” is (stupid, delusional, irrelevant, pathetic, absurd) and I (clearly, expertly, brilliantly, concisely, definitively) explained why.”

    As most everyone knows, when someone responds this way, it’s a clear indication that they’ve lost the argument.

    -Q

  103. 103
    ram says:

    Silver Asiatic: For some people, being with God is the worst imaginable torture. They’d choose anything other than that.

    I had a better opinion of you, but you just put yourself into the the cartoon-land of apologetics for your view. Eternal torture is so evil that you have to make up crazy explanations why it is justifiable for God to do it.

    Eternal torture is evil. You know it is.

    Something tells me you know better, unlike the rest of the nincompoops around here.

    –Ram

  104. 104
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ram – have you read the New Testament?

  105. 105
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius – thanks. I have known people who willfully choose the misery of a life in opposition to God. I hope and pray that they change, but why would God force anyone to have to spend an eternity with Him when that is not what they want to do? It’s a strange notion of God – that he will compel people against their will to spend their eternity with Him. That’s totally unjust and unworthy God.
    One thing that is known about Hell is that everyone who goes there knows that’s exactly where they belong.
    God is the perfection of justice. That’s just a basic attribute. His mercy grants forgiveness to sinners, but there are people who don’t want to be forgiven. That’s where perfect justice cannot be compromised.

  106. 106
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @105,
    Yes, it’s a shame that people are so deceived! God loves them so very much, but He won’t override their free will decisions.

    I might have mentioned that in college, I once accompanied a college buddy visiting a friend in a nursing home. This man had cancer and knew he didn’t have long to live. I asked him why he didn’t want to take the opportunity to get right with God before he passed on. His answer? “I have too much to give up.” A few days later, he was dead.

    -Q

  107. 107
    Querius says:

    Ram @103,

    I had a better opinion of you, but . . .

    Something tells me you know better, unlike the rest of the nincompoops around here.

    Ooh, I just LOVE left-handed compliments! I’ll add yours to my collection. Here are a few additional generic ones that you can use:

    What a disappointment. I thought an intelligent person like yourself wouldn’t resort to such a ridiculous argument.

    You know, I was really impressed by your insights until now.

    You almost had me convinced before you resorted to this gibberish.

    Do you have any more of these that you can share?

    OBVIOUSLY Adonai doesn’t torture, but judges a person in perfect righteousness. Each person will pay fully for their own sins to a smallest yod and tiniest stroke extension in Torah unless they come to repentance as David did because Adonai is merciful to those who repent and ask for mercy through the blood of the Lamb.

    You should already know this from the Tanakh. Can you find it in Yirmiyahu chapter 11 and Yeshayahu chapter 53?

    -Q

  108. 108
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Ram @ 103

    Just following up – you’re posing the problem in a narrow view. But the concept needs to be refined.
    You repeat the phrase “eternal torture” and then say it’s evil for God to do this.
    So, you present this as if there’s an evil Being that is torturing people forever.
    Sure, if you want to call that concept evil, I’ll fully agree. It’s clearly contradictory, since God cannot do evil to people, considering that by definition he is the fullness of perfection and goodness, justice and truth.
    So a god that just “tortures” people forever wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
    But that’s not what historic Christianity teaches.
    Evil is not an active force. It’s not an agent. It’s the absence of good – so it’s a deprivation.
    Every person is free to deprive themselves of the presence of God. That’s where pain and misery comes from. Loneliness, sadness, feeling of loss – they are effects.
    God is not actively torturing people. He’s just respecting freedom.
    Love is eternal. The narcissist who loves himself more than anything else, will do that forever after death. That’s hell. God is not torturing him.
    You can disagree with this idea, but it’s best to refine your concept so you’re aiming at the right target. “Eternal torture” is a loaded-phrase that misses the point.

  109. 109
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Ooh, I just LOVE left-handed compliments!

    Ha ha – Ram was doing a nice imitation of Don Rickles there.

  110. 110
    zweston says:

    Ram, Tovia believes in hell. You completely dismissed my previous clip and links (can someone dig those back up)

    Here is Dr. Brown highlighting Tovia’s dishonesty. One of them is lying. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=154&v=U5-TJPz6Y94&feature=emb_logo

    Tovia won’t even post the debate between he and Dr. Brown…but Dr. Brown will… I wonder why? here is the debate though (2.5 hours) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0XQmbeGEZ8

    Ram, Go to 35 minutes… Tovia says that Gentiles go to hell. “Playing with the fires of hell”

    So, not sure what your beef with Hell is.

  111. 111
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @108,

    Brilliantly summarized! Thank you.

    -Q

  112. 112
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks, Querius.
    When you get a chance, could you kindly post a link to the thread you referenced in 98?
    That is a great point about how time is relative.

  113. 113
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic,
    Apparently the previous post was reorganized and I can no longer find my comments. Fortunately, I saved some of them (UD sometimes fails to respond when I post, so these are backups). I’d asked the following two questions to which only Ram responded:

    1. Imagine a normal curve centered at the origin. What’s the area under the positive half of the normal curve?

    2. As you know, the presence of gravity affects the passage of time. So let’s say someone falls into a black hole, which in this case lasts only a few seconds before they’re “spaghettified.” How does this event appear from an observer at a safe distance?

    Both of Ram’s answers were correct: 0.5 for the first question and for the second one, that times passes at different rates–the observer would see the person seemingly frozen for a long period of time before disappearing. My response was as follows:

    1. Correct. Notice that the curve is INFINITE but the total area under the curve is finite. This same curve might be the absolutely precisely Just punishment for someone based on what their deeds deserve, either massive for some people or small of other people. There are several indications in scripture that punishments will vary to satisfy Justice–they not all alike. However, this doesn’t mean that the scriptures state that the punishment itself is eternal, only that the non-existence after judgment is permanent. As evidence, I would refer to Revelation, where it states that both death and hell are also cast into the lake of fire. Surely it’s obvious that this statement doesn’t suggest that death and hell are “tortured” forever–only that they cease to exist.

    2. Also correct, except that before disappearing, someone falling into a black hole will seem frozen in time to an external observer at a safe distance. From the perspective of the person falling in, it’s over in a few seconds. Both the seemingly forever and a few seconds are true. From any perspective, it can be termed eternal and irreversible.

    Ram asked me to answer his question:

    Your turn: Is the eternal torture your concept of God metes out never-ending or not from the perspective of the tortured?

    My reply was a follows:

    The shortest, but inadequate answer is no. So let me qualify my assertion by saying that words are important: “torture” isn’t justice and God is able to provide perfect Justice to those who demand it or perfect Mercy to those who’ve truly repented of their ignoble acts and asked for God’s Mercy. I’ve done so and continue to do so.

    The people described as sobbing at the time of Judgment, are doing so because they see how loving their Creator has been in attempting to save as many people as possible of his dying creation by means of Himself being tortured to death, limiting himself only to preserving the free will of the precious people that he created in His image. Jesus termed their demise as “the second death,” which sadly includes their spirit.

    As Einstein noted in his General Theory of Relativity, the perspective of the observer is key, and in a way this is also true in this context. I hope this helps.

    Note that I’m not claiming any of these interpretations as necessarily correct, but only that they are possible within a biblical context.

    -Q

  114. 114
    zweston says:

    Ram always ghosts out after I post Tovia’s debate where he was by most accounts soundly beaten…to the point where he will not debate him anymore and doesn’t publicize that debate at all.

    Jesus is the messiah. It can’t be anyone else.

  115. 115
    hnorman42 says:

    This debate over eternal torment is very interesting. It seems many people are uncomfortable with it because no one here is defending traditional concepts of eternal torment. The primary argument appears to be over whether the scriptures support it.

  116. 116
    Silver Asiatic says:

    hNorman
    I would hope to defend the traditional Christian concept of eternal torment. That’s what I tried to do so far, anyway. I bring in contemporary psychology to understand the nature of culpability, to some degree. But it’s always been that way. To be guilty of sin, one must be deliberate. Classical theology speaks of “invincible ignorance” which applies to people who did their best but had very limited understanding.
    It’s not just Christian or Jewish teaching that supports the doctrine of Hell. It can be found in Islam and Naraka is the doctrine of Hell in Hinduism.

  117. 117
    Querius says:

    Hnorman42 @115,
    The subject of hell has been debated in its details, but the Bible is clear only on a few points but ambiguous on the rest. As I’ve tried to point out, there are some interesting arguments and several confounding factors that leave us in doubt. Some people believe in the immortality of all souls, others are annihilationists, some believe in a temporary purgatory, and some are “bug-zapper-ists” (i.e. short pops versus long, juicy sizzles).

    Jesus taught his disciples not to fear the first death, but rather the second death for those who reject God’s forgiveness and are judged with perfect fairness by the Creator.

    The Bible refers to hell in terms of a burning garbage dump in a valley outside of Jerusalem, something else called “the bottomless pit” (now what could that be?), and something else called “the lake of fire.” The lake of fire was originally prepared only for the devil and his angels and some day death and hell will be destroyed in it as well.

    But let’s get back to confounding factors.

    For one thing, we now know that space and time are related (spacetime) just as mass and energy are related (mass-energy). Theoretical physicists believe that in each case, you can’t have one without the other. Direct experiments show that time is affected by gravity and velocity by distorting spacetime (or vice versa), but no one confidently knows what time actually is. So maybe we can appreciate why the Bible seems ambiguous on this point.

    So, for example, how does time pass in the spiritual world?

    I don’t know. One can speculate that this could be similar to a state machine:
    https://www.itemis.com/en/yakindu/state-machine/documentation/user-guide/overview_what_are_state_machines

    It’s possible that state transitions can require time such as when a dice is rolling or be instantaneous such as with entangled particles (or conceptually as in a formula-driven spreadsheet or the “equals sign” as in 2 + 2 = 4).

    The bottom line is that no one knows for sure. Since this post isn’t meant to be a Bible study, I’ll leave it to you to research biblical references to judgment, hell, the bottomless pit, and the lake of fire. You can then draw a reasonable conclusion from your insights.

    -Q

  118. 118
    hnorman42 says:

    Silver Asiatic and Querius
    Thank you for your responses.
    I guess when I talked about “traditional concepts” of hell, I was talking about the fiery hell you get from a literal reading of the bible or the fiery and cold narakas you find in Buddhism and Hinduism. I rarely see anyone who take these literally.

    I remember that years ago a prominent evangelist argued that since the book of James speaks of the tongue as being on fire of hell, that the fire could be taken as something other than literal. But later on he started moving back toward a literal reading.
    I just have to reiterate that this subject causes a lot of tension in people and most theologians feel the need to move to non literal interpretations.

  119. 119
    Querius says:

    Hnormon42 @118,
    You raise good questions.

    To get answers to these and other questions, I’ve personally found it helpful to go to several sources and to learn more about the history, culture, and context of the scriptures. One needs to recognize hyperbole, double and even triple entendres in Hebrew, analogies, and common figures of speech.

    When my family first immigrated to the U.S., I spoke no English and my mom only some. My dad once saw my mom standing at a street corner. When he asked her why, she explained, ” My friend said, ‘See you later,’ so I’m waiting for her.” Language is tricky. Translations between languages are imprecise–words can larger and narrower ranges of meanings and can also convey connotations. For example, the word “collaboration” does not convey the same negative connotation as the word, “collaborator.”

    In my own study, I reference the literal Greek, Hebrew, and occasional Aramaic. These involve the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and even the Syriac Peshitta in a few cases. I also compare the different English-language versions of the Bible. Also helpful are extra-biblical writings from before around 300 A.D. (aka C.E. or Common Era).

    I try to read these sources without preconceptions, without forcing an ideology, or finding support for any agenda. I let the scriptures speak and I listen and ask questions.

    These will often illuminate what was meant. I’ve found some things to be literal, others symbolic, or metaphorical . . . and often all of these at the same time to some degree. Jews recognize four levels of meaning in the scriptures (PRDS). Here’s a description:
    http://www.yashanet.com/studies/matstudy/mat1.htm

    How would you describe a military tank to a tribal person in the Amazon so they could understand it?
    It’s as large as tribal lodge, as hard as stone, as dangerous as a jaguar, and it’s mounted by a warrior with a spear that spits out fire and sends out stones that kill people. It drinks rivers of tree sap, constantly roars like all the men shouting all at once, and sends out smoke like a fire.

    Ok, good. Now explain the nature of light: where light comes from, photons, waves and wavelength, color (hue, saturation, lightness), eyesight, reflection, refraction, dispersion, interference patterns, shadows (umbra and penumbra), rainbows, why the sun appears yellow and the sky appears blue, lasers . . .

    So, most teachings in the Bible are pretty straightforward, but some other things can be difficult to understand or ambiguous (sometimes purposely so). Here’s a good description of the words associated the topic of hell.

    https://thebiblesays.com/commentary/dig-deeper/gehenna-hell-hades/

    Hope this helps,

    -Q

  120. 120
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius – thank you for retrieving that @113. Interesting and useful interpretations – I hope that was a help for Ram.

Leave a Reply