October 12, 2012

Vampire Author Rice Promotes Politically Correct God


Society holds a certain fascination with evil. As the Halloween holiday approaches and shops are filled with ghoulish decorations and occult-fiction books and movies skyrocket in popularity, this fascination is a lot more pronounced. Anne Rice became immensely popular with her book, Interview with the Vampire, as it helped launch her career as an occult-fiction novelist. What's especially interesting about Rice, however, is how she is presently an apologist for God, well, kind of. Anne Rice has had a bit of difficulty reconciling her concept of God with her personal ideologies and this is no less pronounced than in her latest YouTube presentation which portrays God as a politically correct higher power. There are a number of aspects I find interesting regarding Rice's life and beliefs, as noted in this summary list:

1. Anne Rice was an atheist who then chose Christianity but now believes in a politically correct higher power.
2. Rice claims that homosexuality is a challenge to Christianity.
3. Rice maintains an exchange with fans and critics on Facebook.
4. Based on her statements, Rice has basically chosen a worldview that is illogical based on a detail that has been unprovable.

In an "I am Second" interview in March 2010, Rice had expressed how she had been "haunted" by the knowledge of God deep down inside. In the video she said she was a “Christ-haunted atheist" as she outlined,  “Not only did I believe in Him but I loved Him and I wasn’t admitting it.”

In August 2010 on Facebook, however, Rice made a flip-flop as she stated the following: "Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out.  In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.” She added, "I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity."

As noted, one of her contentions was the Catholic stance on birth control, "I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control." She explained in an NPR interview how "more and more social issues began to impinge on me," however, she then still maintained a belief in a personal God: "Certainly I will never go back to being that atheist and that pessimist that I was," she says. "I live now in a world that I feel God created, and I feel I live in a world where God witnesses everything that happens."

Because Rice offers a rather public persona on Facebook and engages with commenters, I felt free to ask a question: "Hi Anne, I recently read about your decision to embrace Christ but not Christianity. I'd be curious of your opinion on whether you believe that Jesus would approve of your occult fiction novels and the reason(s) why or why not."

As a reply, Rice simply offered a link to a YouTube monologue from September 2012. Dressed up in a gothic-period crushed-velvet blazer, Rice summarizes her present understanding of God: "I believe that there is a higher power." However, she states that she is not sure if God is a personal being or not, though she prays to God regularly. "Do I pray to this higher power? Yes, I pray every day... I talk to God, the maker - to whatever's out there that can guide me and help me to do right by the gift of life, because the thing that I have believed in all my life is the gift of life." Rice's "higher power" is a bit paradoxical. If it's likely just an abstract force, then why pray to a higher power daily in a personal manner? Why ask for help? If her higher power has no identity, who would the "gift" of life be from? A gift requires a giver. If someone told you that a book lying on a table was a gift from someone, a logical question would be, "Who is the book from?" If life is a gift, then what is the identity of the giver? And while being thankful has been proven to be quite helpful, giving thanks to a non-identity is not very logical. The phenomenon of Giving thanks (and all the health benefits this includes) is more supportive of the theist understanding of God than other variants.

There are many, many people like Rice around today who have run into a quandary because they apparently realize that an intelligent Creator must exist in some form. However, they believe it is necessary to adjust God to fit their own preconceptions and ideologies of what God must supposedly stand for. This approach of "making God after your own image" is the essence of idolatry and it runs into logical problems because it is simply not true. Only acknowledgement of the true and living God offers a logically cohesive explanation of the universe. There is plenty of logic and evidence to show that the God of scripture is indeed the true God. Scriptural evidence regarding fulfilled prophecy, research into the nature of identity, physics and logic, and moral arguments for God's existence, are just a few examples.

Rice's main consternations with Christianity have to do with the Catholic position against birth control and the view that homosexuality is immoral. The first is an interpretation not shared with Protestant believers and is open for debate biblically. In this case, it seems Rice's ideological commitment to the Catholic church has been a stumbling block to her. The second issue regards what she believes about homosexuality. Anne Rice's opinion homosexuality is that "Gay rights challenge Christian faith." However, in reality, they do not challenge it at all. At the basis of Rice's belief is a preconception that gays are born gay. Her strong convictions about homosexuality may have been subtly influenced by the fact that her son Christopher is a gay rights activist. It seems that she has taken a detail out of life and has shaped her entire worldview on her perceptions. It has never been scientifically proven that gays are born gay, but Anne seems to be willing to gamble everything on this belief. So, to summarize, Rice has chosen to believe what is illogical (daily praying to what is likely an abstract higher power in her opinion) based on what has been unprovable (gays are born gay). This is sad. She is living daily in a paradoxical and self-contradictory world.

Most intellectual atheists reject the concept of objective good and evil in the transcendental sense. Sam Mulvey at "Ask an Atheist" summed it up: "As a humanist, I don’t believe in an objective concept of good and evil in the way “objective” is usually defined. Hitler is bad because he did bad things by my[1] standards. I think the beginnings of the standards we’re using to judge go pretty deep into our development, but they’re certainly not defined by anything inherent in physics or the creation of the universe, nor are they immutable."

New Age religious advocates also frequently reject the concept of objective good and evil, as noted by trending New Age figures: "Good and Evil Is a Huge Collective Myth Says His Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda" Sri Krishna Bhagwan is very clear - Partiality in existence is not absolute reality. So catch this one truth and meditate on this one simple truth. Questions of good and evil aside, Sam Harris' recent attempt to base human morality on his atheist precepts failed miserably, even by atheist standards.

In the Author's Note section from her book Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Rice states: "Stained-glass windows, the Latin Mass, the detailed answers to complex questions on good and evil—these things were imprinted on my soul forever." Rice is still basically a God apologist in some sense, but the question is, which god or mystical force is she promoting? From a philosophical perspective, Anne's positions on contraception and homosexuality have not undermined the reality of the biblical God's existence and the reality of good and evil.

What seems to be a main point of confusion is Rice's understanding of the nature of good and evil. If a personal God exists, then there is an objective basis for good and evil, right and wrong. If a personal God does not exist, then there is no such basis. If God does exist, it is God's holy nature and character that forms the basis of moral truth, not societal trends with regard to homosexual rights. It seems that Rice holds personal and ideological commitments on a higher level than scripture and logic and these "social issues" are the hinge upon which her world view swings. Social views, however, do not form a basis for determining spiritual and philosophical truth. I pray that Anne is able work through her struggles and give the scriptures another chance, this time with an open mind not committed to Catholicism or social preconceptions. These seem to be hindering her understanding of the nature of God and the nature of spiritual salvation.

Tags: Anne Rice quotes on God, Anne Rice's beliefs, Anne Rice on homosexuality, Anne Rice on contraception and birth control, Anne Rice I am Second, What is the basis of good and evil? What is the basis of morality? Is God abstract or personal? Anne Rice interview and Christian testimony, Christianity and the occult

Related:

If God Exists, Then Objective Morality Exists
A Moral Argument as Proof of God’s Existence
"A Spiritual Showdown" - Bible in a Year #05


33 comments:

  1. And here we go again... "I do not like it, therefore it is illogical" mantra

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    Replies
    1. It makes a change from Rick's other "I do not understand it, therefore it is illogical" mantra.

      I think between these two he has almost all of his bases covered :-)

      Delete
  2. Anonymous,

    Where in the post do I offer or imply that my personal beliefs are based upon what I like or don't like?

    That's basically what Rice is doing in basing her entire worldview on a question of political correctness.

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    1. basing her entire worldview on a question of political correctness.


      While you base your entire worldview on a belief in a certain text's correctness. I see no reason to presume that there is, as many people assert, a "sensus divinitatus" but not a sense of righteousness; and if modern Christian churches offend her sense of righteousness, what makes her opinion any less valid than the people who feel that, say, gay marriage offends their sense of righteousness?

      Since you have never managed to provide an objective hermeneutic, you stand in precisely the same position -- shaping your beliefs to fit what you feel to be true.

      Delete
    2. Where in the post do I offer or imply that my personal beliefs are based upon what I like or don't like?
      There's no need to imply it in that post: you've stated it explicitly by railing against abortion and claiming that your objection to it is Biblically-based.

      There's no scripture against abortion. Not one passage. On the contrary, there's plenty of Scripture that shows God willing to take lives as He pleases.

      And thus, you (a faithful Christian) are left with only one criteria for deciding whether a particular life is worth saving: when God Himself weighs in on the matter.

      Since He generally does not do this, Biblically, you can't tell whether a person OR fetus deserves to live. Yet you pretend the Bible supports you anti-abortion stance.

      It does not. Indeed, it actually says a fine is due if someone causes spontaneous abortion. Not death, not eternal punishment. A fine of a few dozen shekels.

      You are the very thing you're accusing Rice of, here. You've fashioned a God and attributed Him with your values and ideas, yet you seem to be offended that other people do this.

      Delete
    3. >There's no scripture against abortion. Not one passage.

      Really? What do the Ten Commandments offer?

      "You shall not murder."

      You shall not murder sometimes translated as You shall not kill, KJV Thou shalt not kill (LXX οὐ φονεύσεις, translating Hebrew לֹא תִּרְצָח lo tirṣaḥ), is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments in the Torah,[1] specifically Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_shall_not_murder

      The Bible outlines that human life (and value) begins no later than conception:

      For you created my inmost being;
      you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
      14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
      your works are wonderful,
      I know that full well.
      15 My frame was not hidden from you
      when I was made in the secret place,
      when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
      16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
      all the days ordained for me were written in your book
      before one of them came to be.

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139&version=NIV

      These are not my personal opinions. The Bible is pretty explicit on this subject.

      1. Verses show that the killing of an an innocent person by another human is immoral.
      2. Verses show that God recognizes fetuses as unique persons before they are physically born.
      3. Therefore, the killing of a fetus by another person is immoral according to scripture.

      Pretty much cut and dry.

      >You've fashioned a God and attributed Him with your values and ideas...

      No, I've simply agreed with the plain interpretation of simple scripture.

      Delete
    4. Hey, Rick: take a look here:
      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/abortion.html

      Verses show that there are cases where the killing of an innocent is directly ordered by people working under the Law
      Verses show cases where the punishment for killing a fetus is significantly smaller than those for killing a person.
      (It is also worth noting that the Psalms are devotional poetry, as opposed to history or the laying down of law; the Psalms are, in fact, written by people to God, not law laid down from God to people. Any rabbi worth his salt would take the law over the Psalms any day.)

      So, it's not cut-and-dry, Rick; and this is part of why I've been bothering you for months for your "objective" hermeneutic.

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    5. Unfortuntely, there are are people like Imnotandrei who come to blogs to offer slander and misinformation. When it comes to civilized discourse there does not seem to be a possibility of such with these types of commenters. Because I do not wish to have comment moderating and screening, I have to put up with such antics on occasion. After a prolonged game of cat and mouse, Imnotandrei finally admitted September 10 that he had made a false claim about an article:

      If it is so important to you, I'll say it -- on August 28th, it had not been formally discredited. Yet, even though he admitted this at 7.44 AM, by 10.26 AM he was back at it,  calling me a liar. Imnotandrei has claimed my article here is a lie because famous atheist apologists today do supposedly utilize logic properly and adequately in their lives and arguments. He cited Stephen Law as an example. However, Law had displayed a low regard for logic and logical principles in his attitude as a professional philosopher.

      In a post of his, Stephen Law had claimed that the chapter outlining the central argument of Dawkins' God Delusion was "impressive", even after the second reading. Later, however, when repeatedly asked to comment on the subject, Law stated,"I think Dawkins argument is non-scientific, and probably flawed..."


      When I asked Law to present a summary of his favorite argument , his EGC argument, he stated, "The argument is already out there in various forms, Rick." In accordance with the bare minimum of logical consequence, the form and wording of an argument are highly important and so we can see that Law does not seem to hold a high regard for very basic logical principles. Thus, Imnotandrei's knee-jerk claim that I am a "liar" is shown to be unsubstantiated. I simply do not have time to chase down all of Imnotandrei's slander and correct him. And I find his knee-jerk and habitual slanderous statements to make it quite impossible to carry on a civilized discourse. If there are any atheists who are able to carry on a civilized debate, I would welcome it.

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    6. Rather than engage with arguments in a civilized fashion, Rick would rather engage in the argument ad hominem.

      Readers may judge for themselves Rick's commitment to the truth, and to discourse, when this is his response.

      Delete
    7. Really? What do the Ten Commandments offer?

      "You shall not murder."

      Murder involves illegality; capital punishment, for example, is not murder. Murder also involves the death of a human being; the death of a few hundred skin cells, for example, is not murder.

      Abortion is legal, and the fetus is not a human being.

      You need to keep looking for applicable scripture, Rick.

      Delete
    8. Incidentally, what does God's having known a person before he or she was ever born matter WRT abortion? God supposedly knew all of the people He killed with floods, bears, plagues and soldiers.

      Delete
    9. >Murder involves illegality

      - Actually, any operational legal system would not be the final word on defining murder or justifying it. On the contrary, legal systems have been found to offer an inadequate basis for moral justification.

      Take, for example, Nazi Germany. Innocent Jews were murdered and the officers claimed they were "just following orders" - "legal" orders. Was their excuse acceptable? No, it was found unacceptable according to an international court. Because this was in keeping with the Nazi's legal system does that mean it was not murder? Obviously not. Neither was it moral.

      >Abortion is legal

      - So was the murder of the Jews.

      >You need to keep looking for applicable scripture, Rick.

      - Not at all.

      >Incidentally, what does God's having known a person before he or she was ever born matter WRT abortion?

      - The reason I don't need to keep looking for applicable scripture is not because it is not applicable, it's simply because you apparently don't understand why it's applicable, as noted by your next comment.

      >God supposedly knew all of the people He killed with floods, bears, plagues and soldiers.

      - God as sovereign, omniscient Creator is justified with regard to the giving and taking life under circumstances outside of what humans, as equally created beings, would be justified in doing. No conflict.

      The fact that God intimately knows a human in the womb testifies to the fact that it is human in accordance with scripture.

      By what authority do you claim that a human fetus in a womb is not human? A humanly born baby is dependent on others for survival as an unborn fetus is. Why does cutting the umbilical cord supposedly make it human? Or why does sound logical reasoning supposedly make a human human? As we've seen by comments and philosophical arguments by atheists, a lack of sound logic and reasoning would disqualify many such atheist apologists as humans.

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    10. - Actually, any operational legal system would not be the final word on defining murder or justifying it.
      Yes, it would. It is. "Murder" is a legal term, by definition.

      Your problem is that you've got nothing that says abortion is murder; even worse, you've got something that says it's punishable by a fine.

      By contrast, we have something that says abortion ISN'T murder.

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    11. >"Murder" is a legal term, by definition.

      - It may be used as a legal term, but it is not a legal issue exclusively.

      "Murder is both a legal and a moral term, that are not always coincident."

      http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Murder

      - Your statement does not address the problem I outlined: Which legal system is morally superior to another when there is disagreement? The Nazis obviously disagreed with the word court on the definition of and legality of murder.

      This conflict underscores the fact that any one human legal system is not necessarily the final arbiter on what is acceptable and moral.

      >Your problem is that you've got nothing that says abortion is murder

      I've just outlined the biblical understanding of the subject. If you refuse to accept it, that's your choice.

      >By contrast, we have something that says abortion ISN'T murder.

      - Perhaps. And the Nazis had their understanding and policies offering that killing innocent Jews was not murder. So what's your point?

      Delete
    12. You have no moral standard that says abortion is murder, Rick. In fact, your moral standard says (at best) it's punishable by a fine.

      Delete
    13. >You have no moral standard that says abortion is murder, Rick.

      - This is an invalid response according to the biblical understanding of morality I have outlined at this blog. You may better counter my point by trying something more like, "If God doesn't exist, then you have no moral standard." However, if you concede for the sake of argument that God does exist, then there is a moral standard in God's personal nature. This is why the Euthyphro Dilemma is not a serious problem for theism. I suggest you read more about this in order to better inform your claims:

      2. If God exists, then human morality is based upon God's nature

      If God created humans, then God has the right to set the ground rules. God is the lawgiver and the one who determines the basis of human morally. Because God is God, His moral foundation is not subservient to human approval or human understanding. In order to better understand the ultimate foundation of morality, we have only to look at God's unchanging nature. Atheists frequently offer the Euthyphro Dilemma as a critique of this moral foundation. However, it has been demonstrated by William Lane Craig and his blog commenters that God's nature remains a logical foundation for morality.[6] Premises outline why God’s nature is good neither because of the way He
      happens to be nor because of His fitness with reference to an external
      standard of goodness.

      (1) God is, by definition, a maximally great being.
      (2) This entails His being metaphysically necessary and morally perfect.
      (3) Therefore, by (2), God exists in all possible worlds.
      (4) Primary moral values are not contingent, but hold in every possible world.
      (5) So, by (1), (3) & (4), it follows that God has the same moral
      character in every possible world.
      (6) Therefore God’s nature is good neither because of the way He
      happens to be nor because of His fitness with reference to an external
      standard of goodness.[7]

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/08/if-god-exists-then-objective-morality.html

      God's nature is the standard. You can claim that 1) You don't believe in God, 2) you believe God's nature changes or, 3) that God's nature is not just. But to claim theists have no standard is simply not true.

      The secular humanists, however, do lack an objective and logically cohesive standard for morality.

      This was displayed in the failed attempts by Sam Harris to muster up some standard.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/08/why-sam-harris-human-flourishing-is-not.html

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    14. Rick: This is an invalid response according to the biblical understanding of morality I have outlined at this blog.
      Actually, I think Whateverman's comment was claiming that you have no biblical justification for being anti-abortion. Since there are no biblical passages which relate to abortion specifically, and those that are close indicate that a fetus is not worth what an adult is worth (in compensation for loss), I suspect whateverman has a strong point.

      Rick: This is why the Euthyphro Dilemma is not a serious problem for theism.
      This just shows that you don't actually understand the dilemma, Rick.

      For instance, if God's nature is the "standard", then regardless of the content of that nature, this would be good. Since God's nature, as shown in the bible, includes commanding and accepting mass murder, genocide, slavery, rape, human sacrifice, etc, then according to your warped sense of morality, these things are good.

      Rick: I suggest you read more about this in order to better inform your claims:
      I would suggest you do the same Rick, but I know it will fall on deaf ears, and you'll make the same ignorant remarks sometime in the future.

      2. If God exists, then human morality is based upon God's nature
      This is not necessarily the case, and in fact We Morriston argues that this is not the case (arguing against William Lane Craig) in his paper "Does God Ground Good". Perhaps you should read it?

      Rick: If God created humans, then God has the right to set the ground rules.
      So God has the right to say that murder is good, right?
      If so, your morality is arbitrary, if not, why not appeal to the reasons WHY God cannot set the ground rules as such, rather than appeal to God's nature (since in this case God's nature would simply embody and instantiate that which is the Good)?

      Rick: Because God is God, His moral foundation is not subservient to human approval or human understanding.
      If you do not understand that doing X is wrong, and I treat you as if you did, then I would be guilty of immoral behaviour, correct?
      Such as if I treated a child as a fully moral being, or perhaps a mentally challenged person.

      But here, you're saying God is not responsible for even bothering to ensure that we know what the rules are. Is that moral to you?

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    15. But here, you're saying God is not responsible for even bothering to ensure that we know what the rules are. Is that moral to you?

      Rick: In order to better understand the ultimate foundation of morality, we have only to look at God's unchanging nature.
      Assuming for the sake of argument that your God actually exists, then we only have our flawed and changing understanding of this unchanging nature to go by. Claiming that it is unchanging doesn't mean that your claims regarding morality are actually correct Rick - this is the difference between ontology and epistemology that WLC is fond of pointing out.

      Rick: AHowever, it has been demonstrated by William Lane Craig and his blog commenters that God's nature remains a logical foundation for morality.
      William Lane Craig is an apologist for rape and genocide. He's a man who has shown that he doesn't care one whit about the truth of the claims he makes, but rather only cares about the rhetorical effect they have. He cares more about saving souls than in understanding what is real. He has basically stated that no amount of evidence could convince him that he is wrong about God, and that even a logical disproof would not do it (since he believes in the ministerial use of reason, where reason should/can only be used in service to Christianity).

      Rick: (1) God is, by definition, a maximally great being.
      Which means what, exactly?

      Rick: (2) This entails His being metaphysically necessary and morally perfect.
      It entails neither of those things, Rick. Perhaps it is impossible for a being to be morally perfect, or for a "maximally great" being to be necessary?
      Of course, you can just assert whatever you like, but if you want your claims to be taken seriously, you ought to devote some time to actually demonstrating them.

      Rick: (3) Therefore, by (2), God exists in all possible worlds.
      But as we've seen, 2 is nonsense. Also, talk of possible worlds smacks of Plantinga's failed ontological argument.

      Rick: (4) Primary moral values are not contingent, but hold in every possible world.
      This is yet another of your substanceless assertions.

      Rick: (5) So, by (1), (3) & (4), it follows that God has the same moral
      character in every possible world.

      But only if we accept the very dubious premises in 1, 2 & 4

      Rick: (6) Therefore God’s nature is good neither because of the way He
      happens to be nor because of His fitness with reference to an external
      standard of goodness.[7]

      I'm sorry Rick, but that simply doesn't follow. A maximally great being (whatever that is) could be maximally great because it instantiates all of the great making properties (which would mean there is an external standard against which "greatness" is measured).

      Also, none of the parts of your seriously flawed syllogism say anything about the actual CONTENT of God's nature Rick. God could be "maximally great" (whatever that may mean) and hatred could be the core of God's nature.

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    16. Rick: God's nature is the standard. You can claim that 1) You don't believe in God, 2) you believe God's nature changes or, 3) that God's nature is not just. But to claim theists have no standard is simply not true.
      Lets see. God's nature is loving, right. Now, love is only good because it's a part of God's nature, right? So if you were mistaken about God's nature (which you as much as admit is likely above, since you don't think God has any obligation to communicate his moral nature to us for understanding), and God's nature was hating, then hating would be "Good", right?

      Also, since you've tried to avoid problem by claiming that God just is "The Good" (following WLC who follows R.M. Adams), then how do you ground the claim that "The Good exists"? It can't be grounded in the fact that God exists, as that would be equivalent to claiming that the Good exists because the Good exists. You seem to be left with an ethical fact not grounded in God/God's nature.
      And yet you have the gall to claim that others who also make appeal to such free floating ethical brute facts have no standard to appeal to, making you inconsistent in your claims.

      Rick: The secular humanists, however, do lack an objective and logically cohesive standard for morality.
      I'd have hoped you'd have actually read up on some moral philosophy in the last year Rick, prior to making this claim. At the very least, you could watch the debate between WLC and Shelly Kagan, where WLC gets an education.

      Rick: This was displayed in the failed attempts by Sam Harris to muster up some standard.
      For a start, Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, not an expert in moral philosophy.
      Secondly, Harris' problem (as I understand it) is that he gave no rationally compelling reason to think that "human flourishing" is what we should value. You Rick, fall to the same trap. Assuming that God exists for a moment, why should I even care about his nature? If God says that I should kill my son, why should I listen rather than ignoring this being? If God says to wipe out entire peoples for some slight, why should I follow?
      Here threats of eternal punishment will not save you, since such things are not reason to do what is "right" - they leave you with a "might makes right" morality which is rather horrendous.

      So Rick, you want to actually discuss how flawed your understanding of morality is, or will you simply retract these silly claims you've made above?

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  3. Yeah, people are fascinated with evil. That explains the pedo-hiding Catholic church as well as all those money-grubbing televangelists, "pray instead of go to the doctor" faith-healers, and the fact that churches don't pay taxes like everyone else.

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  4. R:Where in the post do I offer or imply that my personal beliefs are based upon what I like or don't like?

    Be it Dawkins, Anne Rice or any other character... Too many coincidence, Rick. If there is a person you dislike, they automatically become "illogical"

    You keep bashing people instead of ideas. You failed repeatedely to show why that or that position is illogical. You make empty claims like it is impossible to prove that gays are born gay (hello, heard of DNA?).

    You also misquote and misrepresent people. Same thing with Ann Rice. She claimed she did NOT know if that "higher power is sentient or not", but you make the baseless conclusion that the "higher power" of Ann Rice is an "abstract force".

    And as always you end up with the empty claim that without a personal god there is no objective basis for morality. Also as always it remains unproven and you refuse to even consider alternatives.

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    1. R:Where in the post do I offer or imply that my personal beliefs are based upon what I like or don't like?

      - No specific answer. Fail 1.

      >You make empty claims like it is impossible to prove that gays are born gay (hello, heard of DNA?).

      - So you believe in a gay gene theory? Let's see:

      "Gay gene" researcher Dean Hamer was asked by Scientific American if homosexuality was rooted solely in biology. He replied: "Absolutely not.

      http://www.narth.com/docs/istheregene.html

      While these traits may have a part in the making of human sexuality, no researcher has ever concretely proven the existence of a gay gene or combination of genes inexorably leading to homosexual behavior.

      For example, newer, more reliable twin research has even put “gay twin” concordance at a much lower rate, as in the case of a 2001 study by researchers Peter S. Bearman and Hannah Bruckner. This study found a concordance rate of only 6.7 for gay identical twins, compared to 7.2 percent for fraternal twins.

      Is there really such a thing as a gay gene? Current research simply doesn’t support the claim, and those who say that it’s so are not dealing with all the facts.

      http://www.opposingviews.com/arguments/science-doesnt-support-the-gay-gene-theory

      Fail 2.

      >She claimed she did NOT know if that "higher power is sentient or not"

      - Right, God may be or it may not be sentient according to her beliefs. Praying to a higher power every minute of every day, as she says she does in the linked video, is not very logical when you believe your God may or may not be sentient at all according to your beliefs.

      Fail 3.

      >And as always you end up with the empty claim that without a personal god there is no objective basis for morality.

      The claim has an article link. I notice you didn't actually post a link to any comment that disproves the article.

      Fail 4.

      >You keep bashing people instead of ideas.

      You had called me a "liar" for posting the true statement that top atheist apologists use illogical excuses in order to avoid debate with William Lane Craig. You still apparently believe it is logical for Dawkins to use "self-promotion" as an excuse for not debating Craig, which is obviously illogical considering outlined facts.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html

      So, who is the real liar? Who is the the one really bashing people instead of ideas?

      Fail 5.

      Because you continue to slander and do not acknowledge your lies when confronted with facts, I see no point in attempting a rational discourse with you. Just like Havok and Imnotandrei, it seems practically impossible for atheists and secular humanists to come to a Christian blog and carry on a rational discourse without resulting to base and unsubstantiated slander.

      What does all this slandering this imply? This implies that atheists generally do not have rational and logical answers to offer, but sense a need to resort to slander in order to try and be effective in debate.

      Delete
    2. Rick demonstrates why he can't accept a scientific worldview:

      Because you continue to slander and do not acknowledge your lies when confronted with facts, I see no point in attempting a rational discourse with you.

      I believe this is the pot calling the zebra black. I have seen more atheists admitting error on this blog than you've admitted, Rick, even though you've made far more.

      Just like Havok and Imnotandrei, it seems practically impossible for atheists and secular humanists to come to a Christian blog and carry on a rational discourse without resulting to base and unsubstantiated slander.

      Funny; three different, unrelated people interact with you for an extended period, and end up calling you a liar. Perhaps this is because, coincidentally, all three are fond of slander. Or, perhaps, it's because you're a liar, as people have documented repeatedly.

      What does all this slandering this imply?

      That it's not slander, but truth.

      This implies that atheists generally do not have rational and logical answers to offer, but sense a need to resort to slander in order to try and be effective in debate.

      And we see Rick's denial of rational thought in full bloom; three independent cases, all with one common factor -- trying to argue with Rick Warden. (Indeed, Reynold has, I believe, also called you a liar -- and, indeed, I called you one for weeks before you suddenly decided, when pinned into a corner on a logical fallacy, that I had "slandered" you unforgivably.)

      So: four people present evidence that Rick Warden is a liar. Is it more likely that all of them are slanderers, or that Rick is a liar?

      Delete
    3. Unfortuntely, there are are people like Imnotandrei who come to blogs to offer slander and misinformation. When it comes to civilized discourse there does not seem to be a possibility of such with these types of commenters. Because I do not wish to have comment moderating and screening, I have to put up with such antics on occasion. After a prolonged game of cat and mouse, Imnotandrei finally admitted September 10 that he had made a false claim about an article:

      If it is so important to you, I'll say it -- on August 28th, it had not been formally discredited. Yet, even though he admitted this at 7.44 AM, by 10.26 AM he was back at it,  calling me a liar. Imnotandrei has claimed my article here is a lie because famous atheist apologists today do supposedly utilize logic properly and adequately in their lives and arguments. He cited Stephen Law as an example. However, Law had displayed a low regard for logic and logical principles in his attitude as a professional philosopher.

      In a post of his, Stephen Law had claimed that the chapter outlining the central argument of Dawkins' God Delusion was "impressive", even after the second reading. Later, however, when repeatedly asked to comment on the subject, Law stated,"I think Dawkins argument is non-scientific, and probably flawed..."


      When I asked Law to present a summary of his favorite argument , his EGC argument, he stated, "The argument is already out there in various forms, Rick." In accordance with the bare minimum of logical consequence, the form and wording of an argument are highly important and so we can see that Law does not seem to hold a high regard for very basic logical principles. Thus, Imnotandrei's knee-jerk claim that I am a "liar" is shown to be unsubstantiated. I simply do not have time to chase down all of Imnotandrei's slander and correct him. And I find his knee-jerk and habitual slanderous statements to make it quite impossible to carry on a civilized discourse. If there are any atheists who are able to carry on a civilized debate, I would welcome it.

      Delete
    4. As a side note, I note that, in essence, Rick wants to have the right to his own facts -- anyone challenging his veracity when it comes to facts, or when it comes to his previous statements and any contradictions, becomes a "slanderer".

      Following Rick's rules to avoid "slander" would leave Rick free to lie with impunity.

      Delete
    5. hus, Imnotandrei's knee-jerk claim that I am a "liar" is shown to be unsubstantiated.

      I note you chose one statement, try to reargue the point (using information from long after I made the initial claim) and ignore all the previous lies you have told, which I have documented in the past, as have other people.

      The possibility that you did not lie once, according to your tortured readings, does not change the fact that you have lied on previous occasions, repeatedly.

      I simply do not have time to chase down all of Imnotandrei's slander and correct him. And I find his knee-jerk and habitual slanderous statements to make it quite impossible to carry on a civilized discourse.

      It is not a civilized discourse if one side is free to lie with impunity, proclaiming any comments upon their honesty as "slander".

      Delete
  5. R:No specific answer. Fail 1.

    So you are going to deny you dislike the ideas of Ann Rice, Same Harris, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Law? If you do, then I will retract my statement.

    R:"Gay gene" researcher Dean Hamer was asked by Scientific American if homosexuality was rooted solely in biology. He replied: "Absolutely not.

    Yes, there is no consensus in the scientific community on the topic. However, there is extremely good evidence for a "gay genome" or a combination of genes that have an impact on sexuality. And it is a fact that one can influence sexual behavior through genes.

    http://phys.org/news84720662.html

    R:Praying to a higher power every minute of every day, as she says she does in the linked video, is not very logical when you believe your God may or may not be sentient at all according to your beliefs.

    It is the same thing as talking to a pet or a person in a comma. You are not sure if they understand you, but they still might understand you and you have nothing to lose by talking to them. If she feels better by praying, using that concept as a security blanket, then why not? Is it logical to renounce the placebo effect just because the empty pill itself has no effect?

    And you are still a liar for claiming she did not believe in a sentient power. You have distorted her words.

    R:The claim has an article link. I notice you didn't actually post a link to any comment that disproves the article.

    Do I need to remind you that it is YOU, Rick, that is running away each time from one thread to another, leaving questions and comments unanswered? Why each time I should dig up the numerous comments you ignored and post them again so that you end up ignoring them again?

    R:You had called me a "liar" for posting the true statement that top atheist apologists use illogical excuses in order to avoid debate with William Lane Craig

    You failed to show why their reasons are illogical be it in that article or here. It is YOU, who ignored the comments (and still ignore the ones I presented in my previous comment in this very thread) in the relevent thread and ran away to another, claiming "victory".

    R:So, who is the real liar? Who is the the one really bashing people instead of ideas?

    You are still the liar, Rick. And we have numerous claims of yours to prove it. Be it in this precise post, the previous one or the dozen of others before.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rick, you say, "In a post of his, Stephen Law had claimed that the chapter outlining the central argument of Dawkins' God Delusion was "impressive", even after the second reading. Later, however, when repeatedly asked to comment on the subject, Law stated,"I think Dawkins argument is non-scientific, and probably flawed...""

    Rick, I never said Dawkins' argument was "impressive". As you know, what I actually said is that I was rather more impressed on a second reading of that chapter of the book (which is NOT to say I think the argument sound, obviously). Indeed, on the first reading I was distinctly unimpressed.

    The above is an example of the kind of sloppiness, misrepresentation and ad hominem that typifies your writing, Rick. Is that would Jesus would do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick, picking out the single word "impressive" from the phrase "rather more impressed" is a perfect example of quote-mining. This is fundamentally dishonest, and displays why people call you what they do.

      I notice that you defend yourself here against the claim of ad hominem by saying "I'm not trying to insult, I'm just pointing out facts." Yet when other people point out the fact that you quote-mine, engage in deceptive practices, and refuse to acknowlege your errors, you accuse them of being "slanderers".

      Matthew, 7:5.

      Delete
    2. Stephen, If you read what is actually written, I didn't specifically offer that you claimed, "Dawkins' argument is impressive" - No, the following is what is actually written, even as you had just cut and pasted, amazingly:

      "In a post of his, Stephen Law had claimed that the chapter outlining the central argument of Dawkins' God Delusion was "impressive"

      "the chapter" is not "the argument" is it?

      It's amazing to me that a professional philosopher could overlook such obvious mistakes but, then again, this is the basis of one of my arguments, that atheist apologists are spiritually blind and in denial to the point where even the most basic and simple understandings and logical deductions are overlooked or misconstrued.

      If you offer that I should have used the phrase "rather more impressed" than the general term "impressive", that is fine with me and I will adjust my comment in the future to reflect your wishes.

      As I look at your God Delusion book review again I am impressed that you do not mention scientific problems with the book, but you focused on philosophical objections, such as questioning the complexity of God.
      Nowhere in the commentary, however, do I see you evaluating or commenting on the logical structure of the argument itself. For a professional philosopher, shouldn't this be a rudimentary aspect of evaluating someone's philosophical argument?

      >The above is an example of the kind of sloppiness...

      - My sloppiness, or yours? I am simply offering objective observations.

      >misrepresentation...

      Where exactly is my great misinterpretation? It is you who is substituting different phrases (arguments and chapters), which seems to be more absuive than the difference between "impressive" and "more impressed"

      >ad hominem...

      I'm not sure how pointing out logical contradictions should necessarily be construed as an ad hominem attack. As noted by William Lane Craig, Dawkins' central argument in the GD does not offer logical consequence. This is simply an objective fact. You seem to be unwilling to plainly comment on whether or not the structure of Dawkins' argument offers logical consequence. That is your prerogative. See your responses

      October 6, 2012 2:44 PM
      October 7, 2012 11:14 AM
      October 9, 2012 1:13 PM

      http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1905686568472747305&postID=765556352863734884&page=1&token=1349605650641

      Though I may use satire once in a while in images, my main objective in this is to draw attention to absurdly obvious denial and my ultimate objective is not to insult you or other atheists, but simply to point out an objective facts in the hopes that this may help you to be a little more open minded to the truth. As opposed to a ad hominem attack, the avoidance of logic helps to simply underscore a biblical truth, that atheists suppress truth, as noted in Romans 1.18-32 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%201:18-32&version=NASB)

      P1. The top atheist apologists mainly avoid or misuse logical laws and principles.
      P2. Sound logic is required in order to test the truth of foundational precepts.
      C. Therefore, top atheist apologists are probably not very interested in testing the truth of foundational precepts.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/search?q=top+apologists+avoid+logic

      The interesting thing about atheist apologists is that there seems to be a kind of subcauntious presupposition that atheism is logical and there is no need to rigorously test the truth of their ideas. This has been born out yet again today with your switching of the words argument and chapter and then claiming that I am the one who is misrepresenting ideas. According to a biblical understanding, atheists aren't stupid, just blinded.

      Delete
    3. Hmmm.

      Looks like once again Rick the lying lier is caught lying again.

      Rick, your syllogism at the end of the above comment doesn't follow the premises either, but the conclusion supports your irrational beliefs, and so you seem to accept it.

      Funny that - in a syllogism which you're using to support the use fo sound logic, you fail to use sound logic. Just par for the course for lyers for Jesus like yourself, hey? :-)

      Delete
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