Monday, March 17, 2014

Double Standards for Jesus


I got interviewed by Alan Litchfield recently for his podcast:

http://www.malcontentsgambit.com/2014/03/11/philosopher-argues-against-christianitys-double-standard/

Take a listen to hear me get pretty heated up about the narcissism of many contemporary Christians' views about God, and for details about my recent Manteca lecture that was met with a crowd of angry, tongues-speaking evangelicals trying to exorcise me out of town.

20 comments:

Eric Sotnak said...

Nice interview. A double-standard that bugs me at least as much as the "I'm skeptical-about-Global-Warming-but-not-about-the-resurrection" one is when people express skepticism about scientific consensus issues like evolution, but then claim scientific support for their Biblical literalist views. Because they can sometimes find someone with some scientific credentials who endorses their views, they are happy to say that science has validated their beliefs. So they are perfectly willing to take scientific claims as authoritative so long as those claims can be massaged into consistency with their religious viewpoints. Otherwise, they reject the claims as "unproven".

Lover of Mountains (especially Yosemite and Sequoia) ! said...

"Matt McCormick", "With all due respect" (to use a well known cliche, you are, unfortunately, "thinking" too much ! That, in itself, appears to be actually PREVENTING you from really FEELING anything. How sad ! As Jesus so aptly taught and the Bible states: " The Greatest is LOVE !". I, for one, am wishing you real peace of mind, body and soul, as these 3 Human and God-given things are definitely and without question connected (within) each and every Human Being, as was even proven quite a number of years ago in the Medical Community, as doctors and other professional medical staff recognized that at "death" there are "3 kinds of deaths : Brain Dead, referring to the Human Brain no longer functioning, then the Human body itself becoming deceased, and finally the release of the Human Soul, Spirit or whatever you want to or choose to call and/or label it - that DOES take residence within each and every Human Body and Mind. These things have been DIRECTLY witnessed and observed at the bedsides of hospitalized patients - and other patients - in medical settings by professional physicians and nurses, as well as by numerous others .

Sojourner said...

"These things have been DIRECTLY witnessed and observed at the bedsides of hospitalized patients - and other patients - in medical settings by professional physicians and nurses, as well as by numerous others."

Maybe so, but not in this universe. My father died in a hospital bed and my mother was with him when he died. She noticed no such "event" as his soul/spirit leaving and 20 years later having seen many other family & friends die she remains an atheist.
Nice wishful thinking on your part "Lover of Mountains".

Lover of Mountains (especially Yosemite and Sequoia) ! said...

"Hi", Sojourner, First : Do you mind if I ask you a question ? As you have stated in your response to my comments that your "Mom remains an Atheist", is that why you claim to be one also (because you might have been - more or less - raised as "one", referring to a current nonbeliever in God ? (And, by the way, judging by your "response", I do sense a quite lot of "wishful thinking" thinking on your part about "scepticism" in general). Anyhow, are you aware of the following : (1.) Before a person can legally even be labeled and/or declared "dead" by medical doctors, that their currently has to be 3 actual confirmations of a person's "passing" (as I have already mentioned), as was correctly stated to me by a college professor - of whose Logic Class I took back in 1984, and earned an "A" in, incidentally, and (2.) There are proven cases of Human Beings who have "died" and were "brought back to life and living as we know it", and who have aptly shared their real and documented experiences with us and with others - including with the Medical World and it's "universe". A case in point : My father (who personally knew Neil Armstrong, our first man on our Moon, who recently passed on this past summer) had a well documented "out of the body" experience as he was "recuperating" in the intensive care unit from 9 hours of previous and steady surgery in order to remove his cancerous left kidney. And, fortunately, for him - and with his kind and wonderful and "believing" attitudes towards his family and towards his fellowman - his above-mentioned operation was a success then ! And, a note of "interest" for you and for others who might be reading this : While he was having his out-of-the body experience, he reported that "time in itself meant nothing to him". Wow !!! I, of course, do not know from your comments, precisely how long ago it was that your father passed on and/or how close you possibly might have been to him, however, you do have my direct condolences. "Later", I have to "run" now.

joseph palazzo said...

@ Lover of Mountains

It's been studied that NDE are nothing but hallucinations related to brain activity.

For a start,see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2390236/Near-death-experiences-explained-Surge-brain-activity-trigger-paranormal-visions.html

trueandreasonable.co said...

Here are my thoughts.

There seem to be a huge number of fundamentalists who end up being outspoken anti-theists. I was not surprised by that. I think I can relate to what you said about your experiences as a youth and not being happy with the answers you received.

I agree that miracles do not logically imply God exists. But you were taking some pretty strong hypothetical evidence of God and rejecting it out of hand. I wonder what sort of evidence you would need to believe in God. Have you decided that you can not believe in God any more than you can reject the law of noncontradiction? From where I stand it sounds like a bias is at work.

I understand Faith to be belief and trust in God. I think we may just disagree there.

Finally, I would just say that many anti-theists really start to spin off the handle when they tell us tell us what an infinitely knowledgeable God would do. It happens allot. You say you would grant this miracle but not that one. But I always wonder why you presume to know so much.

I'm sure you admit you are not infinitely wise. But do you think you are pretty close to infinitely wise so you can tell us the Christian God is doing it wrong?

:)

Matt McCormick said...

See my book for extensive answers to these questions.

trueandreasonable.co said...

Do I need to read your entire book or just a 1 or more chapters?

If I were to read this book (or part of this book) would you be willing to read my thoughts on it if I post them on my blog?

I am not saying that I intend to convert you. That is not my intent. But I am curious what other thinking people who reject Christianity think. I do not anticipate you will "deconvert" me nor do I think I will "reconvert" you. I am just interested in finding out what you think and if we can at least identify where we part ways.

Now I am not asking that you need to say or write anything concerning my review. I am just asking that you read it. Will you give your "atheist oath" for all that is naturally good, or something along those lines? I do promise that what I ask you to read will be less than 15% of what you want me to read. You only need to comment if you want to. I will only inquire if you read my review. You do not need to comment on it if you do not think it is worth it. Of course if you want to engage, I am sure I would like to hear you views.

What do you say?

joseph palazzo said...

trueandreasonable.co said:"I wonder what sort of evidence you would need to believe in God."

Perhaps God appearing, say at the UN, and saying to all countries of the world," Well, here I am."

Do you think your god can do that?

trueandreasonable.co said...

Joseph Palazzo

Sure I think the Christian God could do that. I think there are reasons for him not to constantly have his presence looming over us though.

But regardless, if someone did that would you believe they were God, even if they performed no miracles?

That's my point. The professor seems to be saying he would not consider miracles evidence of God. So my question is, what sort of evidence he would accept or whether he has just closed his mind to God.

trueandreasonable.co said...

Joseph Palazzo

Sure I think the Christian God could do that. I think there are reasons for him not to constantly have his presence looming over us though.

But regardless, if someone did that would you believe they were God, even if they performed no miracles?

That's my point. The professor seems to be saying he would not consider miracles evidence of God. So my question is, what sort of evidence he would accept or whether he has just closed his mind to God.

Matt McCormick said...

Again, I have detailed my views about these matters at great length in the book and in numerous other blog posts.

Lover of Mountains (especially Yosemite and Sequoia) ! said...

joseph palazo, Please read : "Scientific Evidence Supporting Near Death Experiences and Afterlife" : (1.) People Have NDE's While They Are Brain Dead" (www.near death.com), and also the comments of (2.) Dr.Michael Sabom (cardiologist) describing a unique operation in which he had to temporarily lower one of his patient's body temperature to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (this caused all of this patient's human bodily functioning and vitals to temporarily cease, including absolutely NO BRAIN ACTIVITY UNTIL her recovery) in order to effectively and totally remove an aneurysm (to ensure that it did not rupture during the procedure) located that was located at the base of his patient's brain. Also read Dr. Bruce Greyson's documented and proven accounts, along with numerous other accounts

trueandreasonable.co said...

Well I read your blogs concerning miracles. And you seem to say suggest you want bigger miracles. But I you are not very explicit.

I also think you ignore reasons why God might not want to constantly stand over us and remain hidden. Sure his standing over us like a giant would likely make us believe in him and act according to his will but its unclear this life would reveal much about ourselves to ourselves. Its unclear how that would help us know his judgment was just.

Sure God would know that if he didn't stand over us some of us would turn to evil and sin. But to the extent life has a purpose Christians likely don't think its to prove something to God.

I think there is a reason why God does not make his presence always manifest. It would impinge on our free will wouldn't it?

Some argued that by making his existence known and his will known he has already impinged on our free will. I think there is a balance.

Isaiah actually raises this issue. consider the end of Isaiah 63 and Isaiah 64. He says if God would not remain hidden we would not sin. But because he remains hidden we do. I agree with that.

Lover of Mountains (especially Yosemite and Sequoia) ! said...

"Awesome! " to trueandreasonable.com (and, I'm just beginning to read from your personal Website wrtings as well).

Lover of Mountains (especially Yosemite and Sequoia) ! said...

"Awesome !" to trueandreasonable.com (and, I'm just now beginning to read the writings from your personal Website as well.

Daniel Aikens said...

Me and a friend recently watched Kidnapped for Christ. My friend was skeptical about the "real" Intentions of the film. I looked at him and said "but you're not skeptical of angels and demons?"

He got pretty defensive, but I just don't get how you can question everything you hear unless the person saying it is behind a pulpit.

Thorgasm said...

Well this comment really opened my eyes. I mean, this is powerful stuff. After all, we are all atheists towards Thor, right? Some people are just enlightened enough to take it one step further. And we all know Darwin has already explained how the entire universe can function without any need for a creator. Except, well … the Kalaam Cosmological Argument, teleological argument, First Cause / Unmoved Mover, the impossibility of infinite causal regress, the necessity of at least one unconditioned reality, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality, Plantina's modal ontological argument, the free will defense to the problem of evil. ... Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and critical thinking half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life. Otherwise, thanks for this steaming nugget of regurgitated, pseudo-intellectual blather, you Hitchens-Dawkins parroting, basement dwelling, faux-analytical, GNU-Reditt obsessed clown.

Thorgasm said...

There's no sense in trying to reason with this guy, he's an atheist and a university professor. Reason and logic just don't fit into that world view, only the perverse parody of logic that he employes to jam his Godless ideology down the throats of teenagers at their ezpense and at the expense of their families .

Thorgasm said...

I highly doubt that you preening, pseudo-intellectual, Hitchens-Dawkins parroting clown.