Theocracy Advances in Utah… And Soon Near You, Too

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FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2017, file photo, Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, looks on as he stands on he floor of the Utah House of Representatives at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Utah's hospitality industry is urging Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill giving Utah the strictest DUI threshold in the country, lowering the blood alcohol limit to .05 percent, down from .08 percent. Thurston, says he doesn't think it will hurt tourism but it would make people think twice about drinking and driving. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
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The slippery slope argument gets mocked a lot – but here’s another case that proves the point:

Utah has just done what thinking brains knew was inevitably coming. The state government has nearly halved the legal threshold defining what risibly continues to be called “drunk” driving (see here) from the iffy .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) to the downright ridiculous .05 BAC.

This is a level that many people reach after as few as two – or fewer – drinks. One is enough, in some cases, to risk a “bust.”

Thus, Utah’s fatwa – and that is the right word, as this business comes out of religion – Mormonism – which would outlaw all drinking, period, if it had the power to do so – is a hop-skip away from outlawing any drinking prior to driving. Because with a threshold that low and Breathalyzer machines so notoriously inaccurate, the margin for error is much too close for comfort. To have even a single beer or glass of wine with dinner is to risk being arrested and caged for “drunk” driving.

Some, of course, will agree that any alcohol consumption prior to driving is “dangerous” and that prohibition, period, is a good thing.

But that is a far hop from “drunk” driving – a hysterical, over-the-top characterization. It is also a mere opinion – a moralizing and meretricious one – not supported by any facts.   

The legislation’s author, a Mormon Republican and graduate of the Mormon college, Brigham Young University, is a guy named Norm Thurston. He piously assures us that “the public safety impact of this is so compelling that it’s worth doing.”

Lies. Pious lies. But nonetheless.

There is no evidence at all that people are “drunk” or even meaningfully impaired at the .05 BAC level. It is an outrageous, religious effort to mask religious proscription as a public safety issue.

But it is also nothing new, really.

It is critical to understand that it isn’t necessary – in Utah or anywhere else in the Homeland – to establish that a person’s driving is impaired by alcohol to convict him of “drunk” driving. Even under the soon-to-be-old .08 BAC standard. It is enough to establish that the accused has a BAC of .08 – or .05 or whatever arbitrary number is selected. For those under the age of 21 – not legal age to drink but old enough to be held fully legally accountable for any crime they commit – it is zero BAC. Any trace of alcohol – and you are guilty of “drunk” driving.

One’s actual driving, in all cases, being 100 percent legally irrelevant.

The arresting cop might admit under cross-examination, that the accused’s handling of his car was faultless. No wandering or weaving; no erratic anything. That he had no reason to suspect him of not being in full possession of his faculties or question whether he was in complete control of his vehicle.

It doesn’t matter.

The victim – whoops, “drunk” driver – simply had the bad luck to roll up on a Fourth Amendment Free Zone. That is, a random/dragnet checkpoint at which every driver must submit to a search/interrogation and testing, absent any individualized suspicion or other probable cause.

The cop can then demand – under a loathsome piece of totalitarian doublespeak called implied consent – that the driver submit to a breath test upon command. To self-incriminate. He must prove his innocence, rather than the cop (and later, the prosecutor) having to prove guilt.

And he must comply – or else (in most states) face immediate arrest and forfeiture of his driver’s license as the punishment for declining to consent to provide evidence that can and will be used against him in court.

Before .08, it was generally necessary to have some evidence of impairment before – key thing! – a cop had the legal authority – probable cause – to pull a specific individual over. The fact of erratic driving having been established, the next step was to establish why.

Note the horse before cart arrangement.

Since .08 became the national standard – and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments got thrown in the Woods – the cart has been placed foursquare in front of the horse.

Now comes Utah to take away the horse and maybe soon the cart, too.

Point-oh-eight as a universal standard was hugely questionable on scientific grounds. People vary in both their abilities behind the wheel and their ability to process alcohol. It is a fact that some people with a zero-point-zero BAC are far less able as drivers than other people with point-zero-five or even point-zero-eight.

It is hugely politically incorrect to even broach this topic. But the fact remains.

Which is why .08 had to be implemented using random checkpoints without any pretense of individualized suspicion. To stop using a person’s actual driving as the measure of their impairment.

The object of the exercise has become convicting as many people as possible of “drunk” driving – notwithstanding that they aren’t “drunk” (except perhaps by hard-core Baptist and Mormon standards, for whom a whiff of cough syrup is sufficient) and their driving can’t be faulted.

So, erect random checkpoints and “bust” people not on account of their driving but only because they happen to have “x” BAC – the number deliberately dumbed-down and under-posted, very much as speed limits are and for exactly the same reasons.

Which are, of course, to give the government the flimsiest of reasons to “bust” as many victims as possible in order to both extract as much money as possible and to instill in them a servile fear of The Law. Turn everyone into a “drunk” driver. Just as almost everyone who is driving is also a “speeder.” 

The Utah decree doubles down on this and be advised – it’s not just Utah.

Or soon won’t be.

Some history: It was Utah that first enacted the .08 BAC standard. They did it because of the Mormon aversion to drink – period. But other states – and the Feds – soon realized what a cash (and control) cow the .08 standard could be potentially be for them and – shazam! – the whole country adopted .08 as the universal standard.

Can it be doubted that the same forces of ka-ching! (and clink) are as operative as ever? That “mothers” (read: very well-paid full-time agitators who work hand in hand with the government and insurance mafia) will demand the new .05 standard?

For “safety” and “the children”?

Actually, for the money and the power. It has always been thus, but it’s getting worse. A farce, except one with teeth.

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670 COMMENTS

  1. Teo, “I’m not the one who is making the claim that the bible is the word of God.”

    I do not recall saying you did.

    “I never argued that the bible was the exclusive domain of human wisdom.”

    And I never said you did.

    “Wisdom and nonsense? ”

    Yes, there is wisdom in the bible. The nonsense is the fantastical tales. Just like in Greek and Roman and many other mythologies.

    ““If the bible is not the word of the god one worships then why would one follow it as if it is?… This isn’t an argument. This is a question…”

    OK then I will make it in the form of a statement: The bible is not the word of a god so one should probably not follow the bible as if it is.

    May I ask, what exactly is the difference in my argument when it is made in the form of a question as opposed to when it is made as a statement?

    “1. The text itself never claims to be the word of God.”

    Never claimed it did.

    “2. I don’t worship much of anything, least of all a book.”

    Never said you did.

    “3. Therefore I don’t pretend that it is or isn’t the word of God and then worship it as if it is or isn’t the word of God.”

    Again, never said you did.

    “So debate it.”

    I think we are. Actually, to be honest, I am not quite sure what the deuce we are debating now.

    Yes I am seriously saying that you are defending slavery:

    “I see nothing wrong with biblical slavery as outlined in the bible.”

    This is how Christians have to argue that the common English meaning of the word slavery does not mean what it means when it is in the bible by changing the meaning of the word.

    “I probably have all sorts of problems with your definition of slavery.”

    My common English definition of slavery comes from dictionary.com: “the condition of a slave”

    And my common English definition of a slave also comes from dictionary.com: “a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another”

    “A slave was taken into their owners home almost as one of the family.”

    Is it or is it not ok for one human being to own another human being?

    • ,Hey skunk,

      “I have given you my opinion as to what beliefs makes one a Christian.”

      Yes, it’s essentially your opinion; your consensus. 
      ———————-
      “What is your opinion as to what beliefs one must hold to be a Christian?”

      My belief doesn’t legitimate who is or isn’t a Christian. Christians are defined by Christ, and Christ defines them as those who have sold all their possessions, given the money to the poor in order to follow him. They have forsaken everything. They must put nothing before him; they must hate their very life. Even then, this only qualifies them to become a disciple a Christian. They still need to actually follow him. Simply believing that one is a Christian doesn’t cut it with Christ’s or his disciples.

      People use this word in a number of ways, but if one says that they believe in Christ yet ignore what he says to do, then they don’t really believe in Christ at all.  A Christian may say that they believe in the resurrection, but Jesus says that you cannot be a Christian if you don’t sell your possessions, give the money to the poor and follow him.  Pretty straight forward.  You’ve already pointed out that it’s all nonsense; fairy tales, legends etc.  This doesn’t negate the fact that in this fairy tale narrative, Jesus makes these defining statements which are completely ignored by so-called Christians.  They don’t even believe the fairy tale either.  How can they honestly believe this fairy tale if they don’t sell all their possessions?  They’re full of it. They’re all blatant liars.  They’re all just posers and pretenders.  There are no Christians.  Jesus says to trust in the providence of God rather than in money.  That is not happening in Christian churches today anywhere.  They’ll provide chapter and verse showing that Christians can’t buy or sell, yet these same professing Christians are doing precisely that; they’re buying and selling. They don’t see the texts spelling it out for them that this is the mark. This is even pointed out in the old testament law. Our whole economy is based upon a lie; a fraud. A debt based economy is pure nonsense. In biblical terminology it is Satanic.

      If I show up on a Libertarian forum  claiming to be a Libertarian then immediately start professing the virtues of socialism, would you then agree that I’m a Libertarian as well?  What if the vast majority of Libertarians agreed?  Would that make my claims legitimate?
      ——————————–
      ‘Do you think one can be a Christian and not believe in the resurrection?”

      One can believe whatever they want, belief means nothing if one doesn’t actually put that belief into action.  If someone claims to be a patron of Advanced Auto Parts, but never enters their store and never purchases anything from them, are they really a patron of Advanced Auto Parts?  What if they’re outside the store with signs protesting?  This is essentially what Christians are doing when they look at Jesus’ words and begin to argue that they don’t have to do what he suggests at all.  I’m a patron of Advanced Auto Parts, but I think cars should be outlawed and this store should be gutted and a flea market erected in its place.  That doesn’t make one a patron of Advanced Auto Parts despite their protestations to the contrary.
      ——————————–

      “If Sprong is an atheist why did argue that he is a Christian?”

      Why does he argue that he’s a Christian?  He argues from the standpoint that the early church created these narratives as part of their liturgy to illustrate what they were going through.  He supports this claim by pointing out examples of anachronistic events that couldn’t have happened during the time that these events took place.   Spong sees these narratives pointing to a way of living that is selfless.  I agree with his assessment here.  This is what Christianity has as it’s cornerstone.  Of course, this isn’t the exclusive claim of Christianity, but so-called Christians are anything but selfless.  Spong looks at the resurrection as an illustration to emphasize this teaching.  He points to the last verses of Mark’s gospel as Mark’s illustration of this teaching. We’re asked to peer into the empty tomb, and what do we see? An empty tomb. There’s not even a body. How much more selfless can you get?

      Mary sees the risen Christ at the tomb, but she can’t touch him.  Thomas is told to place his hands into the wounds, but he never does.  The risen Christ walks through walls, locked doors and then disappears “Poof” gone.  Sorry, but that’s not what physical bodies do.  Christ only appears to those who believed what he was teaching, but what was he teaching???  He taught that where two or three were gathered, he was there with them, and they began to believe that.  

      In one narrative Mary is talking to a gardener, in another one she’s talking to Christ.  In a way, these narratives are like those pictures you look at that change depending on the angle you view them from.  Is it the gardener or is it Jesus?  In Paul’s theology (written decades before the gospel narratives) there is only Christ.   Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing”.  This doesn’t prevent us from believing that we’re separate from Christ.  This doesn’t prevent us from being deceived.  So what Spong and others see in theses narratives is a way of living that began to take hold of these people.  They began to see Christ in themselves and in each other. They no longer saw themselves.  They no longer felt any need to hold on to their separate identities.  They saw only one identity, Christ.  Jesus says, “If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father”, and then he prayed that just as the Father was in him and he in the father, so to that he would be in us and we in him.  So, if you have seen Christ, as Augustine would say: you have just stepped into eternity.  The kingdom has come.  Read the narratives again with this in mind and it makes sense.  This is what these narratives are depicting.  Jesus walks up to a tax collector making bank, and the guy just gets up and walks away from it.  He’s aware that it’s just useless pieces of metal that he used to be so obsessed over.  Useless pieces of paper which are quickly approaching their intrinsic value; i.e. zero are pretty easy to let go of when they reach that value, but the only reason Christians still hold on to them is because everyone else still pretends that they’re valuable.  This makes them suckers, not followers of Christ. Jesus says you cannot work for God and money.  Christians work for God; only so-called Christians work for money.  They are frauds, one and all.  They’re no closer to being a follower of Christ than an atheist is.
      —————————-
      “Why would the rise of atheism cause atheists to convert to Christianity?!”

      The rise of Atheism isn’t causing atheists to convert to Christianity.  The rise of atheism is causing Christians to see that they are really atheists.  God is not an idea or a concept, yet this is precisely what Christians today believe, whether they know it or not.  Christians will claim that they do not believe in a god of their own imagination.  They will claim that they believe in a transcendent God.  By definition, a transcendent god is beyond definition, yet they will all define their gods., e.g. Almighty, all loving, wise, intelligent, etc.  Christians believe in their theologies, i.e. their words about god, but none of them can be said to have any affiliation with, or understanding of, a Christophany.  They will make this claim, but there is nothing to suggest their claims match their actions or behavior.   They claim to be drivers, but they don’t have a car and they don’t possess a license.  They just hang out in their garage and pretend.
      ————————
      “We have no evidence whatsoever of any gospel accounts predating the rise of Christianity itself.”

      “I think I see what is going on here. Please correct me if I am wrong but I think you are trying to suggest that in your opinion “Christianity” started before the resurrection and the gospels. Is this correct?”

      Christians are disciples of Christ, Abraham was a disciple of Christ.  Abraham spread the gospel. Enoch, Abraham, Jacob/Israel, Elijah, etc. all experience resurrection.  Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, a change takes place where they no longer exist as individuals.  They don’t live for themselves. Gasp! Those who do cannot be followers of Christ because “they” no longer exist. Saul becomes Paul, and sees that there is only Christ.  The New Testament refers to it as “the everlasting gospel” 

      Christians think that they’re the only ones’ to “get it”, but the texts themselves deny this nonsense in practically every page.  People approach the texts with all this preconceived nonsense already implanted in their heads just from watching a few minutes of some televangelist on tv.  They’re all clueless.  I’ve got a clue, but even I haven’t scratched the surface.
      ——————————–
      “I mentioned that I am an atheist because I was under the impression that you thought I was a Christian trying to debate as such.”

      I know.  It’s funny, but I don’t care what label people choose to apply to themselves.  I prefer to look at what they’re actually posting. I call them like I see them.   Again, remember that for all practical purposes, there really are no Christians.  There are people who label themselves as Christians.  I wasn’t confusing you with one of them either, but just simply that you are making similar arguments.  I wouldn’t even label you as an atheist primarily because most modern day atheists really don’t know what they’re talking about.  The biblical texts are nonsense primarily because no one understands them.  Neither one of us understands the walls of equations that physicists scrawl on blackboards, but that doesn’t make them nonsense, just nonsense to us.
      ——————————
      “BTW when I want to learn about a religion/philosophy I do not go to sources that argue against it; I go the sources that support it. Before disagreeing with someone I want to be sure I understand what it is I am disagreeing with.”

      You’re on the right track, however, I was brought up immersed in an environment of “believers”.  The problem is that they didn’t know what they were talking about.  Have you watched any of Jordan Peterson’s videos on youtube?  He has a whole series on the bible that atheists are going ga ga over now.  You’d probably like it especially if you’re into Jordan Peterson.  He’s pretty sharp, but he’s just getting into it himself.  He’s starting at the beginning; a great place to start.  He’s very thorough so it can be a bit slow going at times, but its worth it.  If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s a professor up in Canada, and he’s making a lot of waves against the whole pc crowd.  Catching a lot of flack, and basically filming his lectures.  He’s providing a free university education on youtube.
      ————————-
      “…Paul’s letters were the original impetus for the spread of Christianity, and predate the gospel accounts by decades…”

      “Who the deuce is saying otherwise?”

      You are.  You are claiming that the gospel accounts predate Christianity’s growth.  I pointed out that the oldest gospel narratives are decades after Paul’s letters had been in circulation.
      —————————
      “I am not arguing when the rise of Christianity began;”

      You claimed that the rise of Christianity was AFTER the gospel accounts.
      ————————-
      “I am arguing what Christianity believes because what it believes defines itself and Christians.”

      Nice tautology.  And again, with the influx of atheists into Christianity, you should have no problem admitting that atheists can be just as much a Christian as any other so-called Christian.
      ————————-
      “Also, did Paul believe in the resurrection or not?”

      Sure, but what did he mean by resurrection? Did he really mean the resurrection of his physical body?  It’s the subject of heated debate, and has been for quite some time.
      ————————-
      “I would only add that as a work of literature that has withstood the test of time…”

      “Agree that it is a work of literature that has indeed withstood the test of time. And I agree with the notion that one cannot be considered educated unless one has studied the bible. It has fantastic stories and interesting insights and some sound wisdom.”

      Sure, but it’s also malleable.  It’s applications are endless.  We read in the Mosaic law that while harvesting one should never return to pick what one has missed.  This allows the poor to glean, but Jesus comes along and says that anyone who looks back from their plow is not fit for the kingdom.  The Mosaic law states that one should not yoke an ox with a jackass.  On the face of it, it clearly doesn’t seem fair, right? The ox is doing all the work, but the jackass is also screwed because he has to watch the ox chew his cud while he is prevented from eating.  Paul comes along and applies it to marriage.  He allegorizes the story of Hagaar and Sarah and applies it to Israel and the church.  What prevents us from doing the same thing? The lessons are endless.  There is no point in reading any of the major works of literature unless one is familiar with the bible as so many of the allusions are biblical.
      —————————–
      “But the bottom line is that the bible is not the word of a god and should therefore be read as such.

      Again, I’ve never made that claim, and I would hardly consider it as the bottom line either; especially in relation to this topic.  .I would only point out that you’re  not employing the same logic here as you do with regards to the belief in the resurrection.  You define Christians by what they believe, but only in regards to the resurrection; not with their belief that the bible is the word of God.  They trust the document that informs them of the resurrection.  Atheists can trust the document as being accurate according to their interpretation and therefore refer to themselves as Christians as well..  

      Atheists can see that God is not an idea or a concept better than a professing Christian can. Atheists can see that the apophatic is a pervasive theme throughout these text; e.g. No other gods, no images, no vain names, etc.

      • Teo, “…it’s essentially your opinion; your consensus.”

        As is your opinion about what defines Christianity.

        Although I would argue that under the common English understanding of the word Christian the consensus would probably favor my opinion over your rather esoteric definition. Not saying you are wrong, just different; I think you could agree that your opinion is not on the same page as most people about what is the commonly understood meaning of the word Christian.

        But I would agree with your sentiment that Christians today seem to me to like obeying Jesus except for that whole poverty thing. Perhaps you can agree, as I do, with Chesterton that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It is that Christianity has never been tried.

        So basically I think you and I disagree about what defines Christianity/Christians. And as such we will just have to agree to disagree.

        I will give you the last word if you would like to reply. Otherwise, good day to you sir.

        • skunk posted: Teo, “…it’s essentially your opinion; your consensus.”

          “As is your opinion about what defines Christianity.”

          Nope, I’m not disputing the commonly agreed upon definition of Christianity.  I’m pointing to the fact that it is incorrect according to the source material.  Mainstream Christians claim to trust the source material, but then disagree to the actual definition their own founder articulated in Luke’s gospel. 

          Again, a Christian is a term referring to a disciple or follower of Christ.  Christ himself defines who his followers are.  Please explain how the founder of this movement is ineligible or in some way illegitimate to define his own movement, or how to recognize his own followers?  Look at all the people out there today who  claim to be Libertarians or in favor of a free market, yet want more government regulations, more laws, more decisions to benefit themselves etc.  Is someone a Christian just because they say they are?  You claim to have read those who support this movement, but was Jesus really someone who was looking to create a democracy, or rule or identity by consensus?  Where is this in his teachings?  
          ——————————-

          Although I would argue that under the common English understanding of the word Christian the consensus would probably favor my opinion over your rather esoteric definition.

          My definition isn’t esoteric in the slightest.  There is nothing hidden in the text that needs to be searched out or revealed other than to simply read what the author wrote.  I posted most of the relevant passages citing chapter and verse.  No one has addressed, much less bothered to refute any of them.
          ————————–
          “Not saying you are wrong, just different; I think you could agree that your opinion is not on the same page as most people about what is the commonly understood meaning of the word Christian.”

          Nowhere have I ever suggested that what I’m talking about is the commonly understood meaning of the word Christian.  I’m pointing out that the commonly understood meaning of the term Christian bears no resemblance to the definition provided by the actual founder of the original movement; a movement whose disciples were originally referred to as Christians.  Christians today bear no resemblance to the originals.  The differences are blatant, and undeniable to anyone with even a rudimentary familiarity with the texts. .  
          ————————–

          “But I would agree with your sentiment that Christians today seem to me to like obeying Jesus except for that whole poverty thing.”

          The whole poverty thing is only the tip of the iceberg.  If Jesus claimed that one should part their hair on the right side, EVERY denomination would deny this and teach that it doesn’t matter which side one parts their hair.  That’s literally how ridiculous modern day Christianity is in comparison with Jesus’ teachings.
          ————————–
          “Perhaps you can agree, as I do, with Chesterton that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It is that Christianity has never been tried.”

          Sure, but then you need to rethink your idea that what is commonly known as Christianity really isn’t Christianity at all.  If you agree with Chesterton, then you should have no objection to anything I’ve posted so far on the subject.  I’m simply giving examples to support Chesterton’s statement.

          Chesterton would have no qualms agreeing to the fact that if you want to define Christianity you need look no farther than Christ. Gandhi said as much when he said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians”

      • Hey skunk, I agree that it’s easy to forget some of the details especially if one is no longer a “believer”. However, I’m also no longer affiliated with any denomination either, but any prior affiliation is hardly what I would consider anywhere near enough to know much of anything about the Old Testament. Most denominations look at the Old Testament as almost completely irrelevant. A Christian’s perspective on the Mosaic law in general and slavery in particular is practically worthless in understanding how slavery was regulated by Israel.

        Knowing that the law provided different sets of rules for Jews and gentiles doesn’t come close to explaining the purpose of those rules. A Jew could not be forced into slavery while a gentile was already a slave, and this would have been probably their best chance at attaining a higher status in society as well as becoming a free man. Being sold to a gentile usually meant being a slave for the rest of you life, but being sold to a Jew meant a term of enslavement followed by release with pay, livestock, sometimes a family as well.

        Even so, the differences in regulations are strikingly different between that of Jewish and gentile slavery. Again, a Jewish slave has a significantly higher level of human dignity than those of the surrounding area, or even the rest of the world. Israel didn’t invent slavery, but their regulations concerning the treatment of slaves considerably improved it. From that standpoint not all slaves are treated the same, and I would go so far as to point out that in many cases it hardly even resembles slavery at all.

      • skunk posted: ” Citing the bible assumes a god or that the bible says this or that is to imply that the bible has an air of authority it does not have.”

        Your sentence structure as well as punctuation leaves something left to be desired.  So why are you assuming it has this air or authority?  I see absolutely nothing on the pages themselves nor in the content that in and of itself presents an air of authority so why would one make that assumption?  The bible says this, Plato says that, Eric Peters says something else.  There is nothing wrong with pointing out who says what.  Refraining from attributions can spawn plagiarists quite easily.  Isn’t it rather those who make the assumptions that are to be blamed for these assumptions?  The problem is not in their attributions, but in their ignorance of the reasons why. They lack supporting evidence for their claims.
        —————————-
        “It is like saying the NYT endorses X for president. The NYT does not endorse anyone; its editorial staff – actual human beings – issues the endorsement (which really is nothing more than the newspaper’s owners’ opinion). I think it is very important to know who the endorsers are and what is their worldview, what is their goal, do they benefit from this endorsement etc.”

        So what you are essentially saying is that you prefer literal speech to figurative speech.  I say this only because that is the essential difference you are presenting. Anyone who cannot accept that “the NYT” represents the people who run the NYT is a modern day linguistic Pharisee; a literary Nazi on a mission to eradicate Symbols and Metaphors from the business of those who need to read only what is absolutely necessary to further their own cause.  We shall not waste our time with these frivolities, these nuisances to a more literal reality.  Thankfully you’re only able to dislike these figures, but this in and of itself does not justify or support your argument.  Asking “who benefits”, or seeing who benefits doesn’t negate the veracity of the content in the bible or the NYT.  Investigating it for yourself will go considerably farther in determining the reality.
        ———————————-.   

        “Another example would be the use of the word “they”. “They say you should do this or not do that.” What authority does “they” have? I want to know who the “they” is. Saying the bible claims this or that s the same as saying “they”.”

        I hear what you’re saying, but you’re missing a few steps.  The same steps the people you’re referring to are missing.  The bible is not the authority.  The pages are not the authority.  Do you agree that there is such a thing as authority?  Where did you get that idea from?  Your assertions may have merit, but they also have no authority on their face either. They must be proven, or supported in some way.  Likewise, the bible’s pages present its own arguments, its own evidence.  The problem is that it can be interpreted in so many ways, many which don’t make much sense at all.  Most fallen away, atheists-come-lately attribute this to some defect in the text itself when there are a number of examples showing this to be intentional rather than an accident.  

        Here is one of my favorite examples.  It’s a pervasive theme, but the texts point out that there are actually idiots everywhere in this great big wonderful world who literally cannot wait to hand over all of their material wealth to you.  Not only that, but they would only be too happy to follow that up by begging to then enslave themselves to you for the rest of their pathetic lives.  Why?  Probably because they’re idiots, but this is what they want.

        Who am I to prevent them from this lifestyle choice?  Insane though they may be, who am I to stand in the way of their dreams?  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about usury, I’m talking about mortgage payments, fabricating “money” out of thin air, money multipliers, I’m talking about people wanting a better deal. 

        I post a picture of my unpainted, sloppy looking sports car in the classifieds at a much higher price than what it is worth. I only do this after I have painted it and cleaned it up; lipstick on a pig.  Then I post these painted pictures simultaneously at a significantly better price, but still considerably higher than the pig is worth.  I haggle with the sucker; I play my role, not just to entertain, but because this is what they truly long for.  They are ecstatic and overjoyed at their good fortune as well as the beneficence of humanity.  Do I keep the money?  Of course not. A fool and his money are soon parted, but it’s not my money anyways.  What good is money for its own sake?  I’m a slacker and as such I love the feeling of all that wonderful slack that comes streaming in as all that money slips through my fingers…

        The God of the bible doesn’t want your money. The God of the bible doesn’t bless us with money.
        —————————

        “I argue that the bible –  the old testament – was created by a certain tribe to benefit that tribe and that they used the commonly held belief in gods during that period of time to create their own god to justify their actions.”

        I’d like to agree with one aspect of your claim, I.e “to benefit that tribe”.  Spot on.  You got that right, but even that is only part of the equation. The other half is more easily seen in the New Testament; just not by most so-called Christians.
        ———————
        “It is one thing to argue that there is a god and another thing to argue that there is this one specific god only and these are his rules.”

        And what you are doing is making claims, or rather simple statements with no apparent point or purpose.  Forget about the gods.  Stop obsessing over the gods.  They don’t have to exist.  You can see this yet you miss the point of the deception. 

        Dumbo can fly.  He doesn’t know he can fly so he must be deceived.  He even stares at the deceptive prop as he is flying because he believes in the deceptive prop.  You can see that the prop is a deception, but you are still obsessed with the prop.  You are Dumbo that can’t fly because you know that the feather is not what will allow you to fly, but you still have to stop obsessing over the feather and look at the fact that Dumbo can fly.

        You have to perform the experiments.  The experiments are provided for those who prefer the scientific method.  Those who have not performed the scientific method, but think science is the answer to all our problems or that it provides the answers we need, are posers.  Perform the experiments.  Stop worshipping at the alter of science and utilize the scientific method yourself.  This is exactly what the Mosaic law is; it is a “learn by doing” philosophy.  That is probably a better answer to your earlier question as to what my philosophy might be.  It’s just not mine, but one I see that works.  You would too if you really believed in science.  

        The atheist is no different than the Christian from this perspective. Both make claims to believe in something that they have never applied themselves.  The Christian does not prove the bible’s claims are true, and the skeptic does nothing to falsify the claims either.  The Christian negates the scientific method with a doctrine that is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.  The skeptic ignores figurative speech in the same exact way the Christian does, and comes to an equally incorrect conclusion. 

        The skeptic is of two minds, and applies a double standard  when dealing with scientific theories and biblical theologies.  The knowledgeable scientist admits that their documents are replete with figurative speech, e.g. “selfish genes”; “natural selection”; “struggle for existence”; “arms race” etc. They see that they are attempting to emphasize something that doesn’t carry the same weight literally.  The problem is that there are a lot of armchair quarterbacks worshiping at the alter of science who really don’t know jack shit about science much less the difference between literal and figurative speech so they are completely in the dark when it comes to comparing a book dealing with science verses one that is dealing with a much wider field than can be encompassed with observation.
        ——————————
        “An author… is under the obligation to explain why he can claim to know what this god is thinking and what this gods’ “laws” are.”

        The author isn’t claiming to know what the gods are thinking, and is under no obligation to explain the god’s laws.  The god’s laws are presented as experiments to be proven.  It is up to you to prove them false or true.  You’ve abdicated your responsibility in favor of the word of those who have also abdicated their responsibility to perform the experiments.  I’ve pointed this out repeatedly, and you still have no defense.  Our own justice system derives its philosophy that ignorance is not a defense, from the Mosaic law.  Instead of attempting to do basic math, you look at the  solution to an advanced trigonometric equation and say its bullshit.  Christians do the exact same thing, except they look at the solution and act as if they understand the solution, and pretend to claim it as true.
        ————————–
        “The point being is that your claims are just another philosophy invented by you to try to explain the bible and should therefore be considered that and nothing more.”

        “As too are your claims…etc.”

        I was merely parroting your previous statement to point out that your claims are self defeating.  You aren’t arguing much of anything, you are simply attempting to stifle discussion by positing some post modern  nominalistic  stance.
        —————————
        “… All philosophies are based on individual assumptions.”

        Including that one?.  I think you might be assuming a bit too much here.
        ———————–
        “No one knows anything for sure”

        Are you sure about that???  ; )

        • skunk posted:  “Teo, “I’m arguing that looking at it from a historical or completely literal perspective is blatantly incorrect as well as ridiculous.”

          Well we finally have something to agree on.”

          I disagree.  Literal truths can be conveyed through figurative speech.  The problem is all too obvious when a fundamentalist Christian interprets what is clearly figurative as literal.  It just isn’t obvious to them, or even many of their detractors.  Their atheist adversaries may see that these literalists are wrong, but they don’t have a clue why, and they are just as clueless as to what else the texts are capable of conveying other than ignorant confusion.  When that is all one is capable of gleaning from a text there really is no point in pursuing it any further.
          ————————-

          “And this brings us back to my original posting and your first reply to it. This is why I say Christianity rests on the (alleged) resurrection.”

          For Christianity it is rest on an air mattress; an air mattress that is full of holes and provides no rest and in reality isn’t a mattress at all.
          ———————–
          “Did Jesus literally “die for our sins” and was he literally resurrected so that “we can be saved”?”

          Your answer to that question would be an unequivocal “No”, correct?
          ———————
          “If these things did not happen then what is the impetus to follow Jesus?”

          The same impetus that compelled his followers to follow him as soon as he says to them, “Come follow me”.  The truth was evident to them immediately.  The texts say this repeatedly.  They say, “And IMMEDIATELY  he left what he was doing and followed him…etc”
          —————————
          “Jesus’ teachings may be important and offer some wisdom…”

          How would you know?  Given that you’ve never applied the teachings, there really is no way to know.  There is only speculation. 
          ———————-
          “…but without the resurrection Jesus is just another street preacher or best case scenario just another “prophet”.”

          The problem is that you fail to fathom the narrative at all.  The teachings are equivalent to the resurrection. No teachings = no resurrection.  Christians fail to grasp even the most rudimentary understanding of Christ’s teachings, and are completely incapable of applying them in the first place.  The case is really much worse than one of ability. It is one of open rebellion against the teachings. 
          ————————
          “Without a Christ Christianity does not exist.”

          And yet we agree that there is a quite fraudulent form that does exist.  The fake usually indicates the existence of the real or genuine too.

          You’re catching on!  Yes, there can be no Christianity or Christians without Christ.  The only identify is in Christ.  It is actually much deeper than that.  There is nothing except Christ.  Christ is synonymous with existence, but also transcends it.   Unlike the magic show so many skeptics buy into in thinking that whatever comes into existence can do so ex nihilo, the logical conclusion is that only what is can become.  Becoming can only result from Being, and what is can only result from a process of becoming.  To assume that something can come from nothing is preposterous and completely unscientific.  Why conclude what has never been observed?  How is that really any different than what Christians claim when they say that God created everything from nothing?  I  reject both assumptions, and point out that the bible makes no such claims in the first place.

    • OK, the hive is buzzing angrily, now I have the overwhelming urge to whack it with a stick…

      Yes, slavery is OK. For cause- if someone owes you a life, as in they murdered a family member. Or for a period of time if they owe you a legitimate debt incurred by their intentional or grossly negligent act. Not just because they are white or male- I don’t owe you a living… Not because I’ve earned or have more than you.

      • That’s more like flicking a twig and missing, but you correct in pointing out the differences in biblical slavery and what we have today in this country….

        So, contrary to popular opinion; qualifying which kind of slavery one condones makes perfect sense. Bring back biblical slavery, and get rid of this immoral nonsense.

      • Ernie, there is a difference between being in debt to someone and being a slave. If one makes a voluntary action that leads him into debt to another then that is not slavery. One owes the debt to the other person but that other person cannot claim to own the debtor himself.

        One can be philosophically owned by a voluntary debt but one cannot be physically owned by a lender.

        • What is the important part of slavery? Is it holding another person in physical (or mental) bondage or is it owning the fruits of another person’s labor?

          When we look to see how slavery has evolved over time we see it becoming more and more efficient at owning the productivity of other people. Debt, or rather interest on debt accomplishes this rather well.

          The only trick is getting people to volunteer to take on the debt load. It has been accomplished a variety of ways but with central banking and exploiting people statistically taking on debt can be made nearly involuntary. For instance through the price of housing. Loose lending standards, low rates, drive prices too high for cash buyers. Now it’s still voluntary, just very impractical to avoid.

          So the question is, what is slavery?

          • Your slavery includes the treaties signed by the US on your behalf.

            And the US federal debts and obligations.

            And the state of Illinois debts and obligations.

            Cook County.
            https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/financial-reports

            City of Chicago.
            https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fin/supp_info/comprehensive_annualfinancialstatements.html

            Local sewer, health districts, school districts, heroes retirement obligations.

            All those bonds, unpaid bills. Future
            pensions. Contracts for service and infrastructure you’re on the hook for. There is no end in sight.

            You have so many masters who’s debts you are repaying, its hard to even count them all.

              • In US financial terms alone, the involuntary and voluntary slavery adds up to $537 trillion if the http://www.usdebtclock.org/ is to be believed. (Look in the Money Creation section it’s $537,716,000,000,000.00 right now)

                What would they accept as payment in full one might ask?

                Let’s assume a world average price of $5000 for anal sex as a graphic example.

                This would mean 7.3 billion people would have to perform 107,543,200,000 acts of buttsex just to repay all the outstanding markers and start fresh with a world economy not based on debt.

                This works out to 14.7 acts each. Who here is willing to do whatever it takes to finally get off the debtor merry go round?

          • Brent, do not disagree. Slavery as is commonly defined is one human being owning another human being. I suggest that the definition we should be questioning is the definition of the word “own”.

            There are other ways one can be “owned” and debt is surely one of the major ways one can be under another’s control even though they are not physically owned.

          • BrentP, I agree with pretty much everything you posted, except your last question. The question isn’t what is slavery. The question, and this is right in line with what you posted: is why do people insist on obsessing on a label instead of looking at how all of these examples are all the same? This one is a slave, but calling it something else doesn’t change the fact that it’s still slavery. This guy is owned while this guy isn’t because only his labor is owned. There is no effective difference.

            • Teo that is exactly my point of asking the question. People think slavery is over because they don’t see any iron shackles on their wrists. But nothing has really changed in 6000 years except there are far fewer free men than ever.

              • BrentP, I don’t think it’s just shackles. Most people brought up glued to the boob tube hear the word slave and immediately picture some black man out in the hot sun picking cotton in shackles being beaten by some dim-witted red necked confederate with tobacco drooling down his chin. Anything outside of that exhaustive illustration is beyond any historical reference they’re aware of, save perhaps the biblical references in the book of Exodus.

                There are far fewer men than ever that know they are slaves.

                • Dear Teo,

                  “Most people… hear the word slave and immediately picture some black man out in the hot sun picking cotton in shackles being beaten by some dim-witted red necked confederate with tobacco drooling down his chin. ”

                  That was literally laugh out loud material.

                  Good one.

                  • Bevin, while I enjoy giving people a good reason to laugh, I must confess that my intentions are usually not focused on comedy. As crazy at it even sounds to me, when I look at slavery as it is described in the Mosaic law, it makes sense to me. As much as I dislike government regulations, the regulations articulated in the Old Testament need to be reinstated. In this sagging economy and especially with the high numbers of people being displaced by war, slavery seems to be the logical solution to deal with this nonsense. I don’t even look at it as a necessary evil.

                    Here’s a testimonial from just one of our many satisfied customers: “I had over a hundred thousand dollars of college debt and no way to pay it off. I was living in my car collecting a check from the government, and then that all went away. Now I’ve got a nice place to stay, I eat like a king, all of my debts have been paid off and my credit rating is getting better everyday. I have a great career ahead of me with on the job training I couldn’t get anywhere else. I have no bills to speak of. Everything I need is provided for me. Who knew being a slave could be so great?”

                    Are you saddled with debts you’ll never be able to pay off? Is that dumpster starting to look inviting?

                    Find out how you too can become a slave today.

                    Slavery: it’s not just for black people. We’re an equal opportunity employer.

                    • Teo, I’ve come to the conclusion that people in general want to be cared for and have nice cages. Ideally paid for by the labor of someone else. They don’t want to be free.

                      That’s why there are so few libertarians and why pyramid system has endured for six thousand years. People simply do not want to be free.

                  • So true BrentP, that’s why we need to teach people to embrace their enslavement. So many people today are enslaved by fast food, sugar, alcohol, drugs, cable television, porn etc. They’re already slaves so all we need to do is enlighten them to the fact and add yet a few more to the list. Coming to an honest appraisal of reality is a good thing, no? We just need to learn to separate the good slavery from the bad.

        • skunk posted; “..there is a difference between being in debt to someone and being a slave.”

          Not under the Mosaic law.  Those who owe money may become slaves to pay it off. Their debt may be paid by someone who then effectively owns the debt which the debtor now pays off with his term of service to the creditor.  He does this through enslaving himself to the creditor.  This is how the Mosaic law legitimizes slavery, or at least one of the ways.
          —————————-
          “If one makes a voluntary action that leads him into debt to another then that is not slavery.”

          Sure, even under the Mosaic law that would be correct. It is only when he has no way to pay it off that he may save face and become a slave.
          —————————-
          “One owes the debt to the other person but that other person cannot claim to own the debtor himself.”

          When he pays the debt for the debtor in order to purchase the debtor’s labor, the debtor is known and understood to be a slave.  

            • skunk, So you haven’t actually looked into this at all.  You’ve listened to people explain it away, yet you have yet to look at what the texts actually state.  God tells Israel how to live so that he may bless them, but in the event that they disobey, God allows for contingencies; slavery being one of the most notable.  They wanted to prove to God that they could do what he instructed them to do.  When they get to a point where they see that this is an exercise in futility, they will begin to see that they need God as much as they need his instructions.  Then there will be no need for slavery.

              Deuteronomy 15:4: “Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:

              The other reason I mentioned was theft, but there are other ways to engage in slavery under the Mosaic law, but they also basically fall under the heading of debt, or poverty.  A prisoner of war might not really be an accurate description.  Stealing someone and making them a slave wasn’t allowed. Slaves were basically treated with the same respect as anyone else. An observant Jew had to treat his slaves with dignity.  Under the Mosaic law slavery was a way to move up in the world if you weren’t an Israelite.  Given that slaves were freed with money in their pocket after six years, this was a considerable improvement over most other cultures where slaves not only had no rights, but could easily lose their lives at the whim of their masters.  Under Jewish law a slave was entitled to the most cherished aspects of Jewish life, i.e. the sacred feasts days and Sabbaths.  Slaves that were beaten were given their freedom, and the intentional or negligent death of a slave was a capital offense.

              It really boils down to treatment and the opportunities afforded a slave under the Mosaic law that distinguishes it from the different forms of slavery around the world.  In that sense it is significantly more akin to a servant than to the types of slavery practiced around the world or even here in the US.

              • Teo, why do bible defenders so often assume that those who disbelieve the bible never read it? Certainly there are a lot of atheists who have not read it (I have found that many of these atheists are more anti-theist especially anti-Christian than anything else) but many of us atheists were prior Christians like me. And when I read and studied the bible I was a believer at the time. But that was over twenty years ago so I may have forgotten some details along the way.

                But the answer to my question is yes, yes the Mosaic law does allow for what is commonly known as slavery. The bible calls for one set of rules for Jewish on Jewish slavery and another for Jewish on gentile slavery.

      • BrentP, the enslavement begins at around 18 months when our environment begins to teach us that we must develop our own identity. Identifiers are pointed out to distinguish us from others. When those shackles are broken the others fall off automatically. Even our precious private property has become our cage. We’ll defend it to the death.

        • I don’t follow. We are enslaved because the systems in place act to prevent us from effectively owning anything and operating without the approval of the management caste.

          • It’s not really something that can be followed unfortunately BrentP. They can’t enslave you when there’s no “you” to be enslaved. Someone already alluded to the programs they have to control people or celebrities through fragmenting the psyche, but it works quite well just forming one to begin with. They’re effectively just creating rodents to run on treadmills. Once you believe you’re a hamster, you’ll want to run on the treadmill, and at that point they’ve got you right where they want you. We’ve all heard of identity politics no? I’m just pointing out where it begins.

            • It’s really just the other way around Brent, the system tells us we can own something, then it creates all of these artificial mechanisms to enable us to do it. The fact is that we come into this world with nothing and we leave it the same way. We’re the only species on this entire planet that pays to live here…

            • I get that, but the squirrel actually does own the nuts he acquires. The monkeys own their stone tools. The birds own their nests. The beavers their dams. Only in human society has private property been undermined such that it is taken from the many for the few. You are correct that only the human has to pay to live here, but that’s because our property rights have been destroyed and undermined. The human does not even own his own body for the management class even dictates what he must and must not do for its care.

              Even if we argue the animals can’t own these things they have the animals out in the wild have a self ownership that no human in society enjoys. The king may claim to own the wildlife but the wildlife doesn’t recognize that claim and successfully ignores it.

              • Correct me if I’m wrong here Brent, but if we had it your way, wouldn’t we still have to pay to own our own properties? Isn’t this part of the Libertarian ideal? Libertarianism isn’t about getting something for nothing, but being able to pay for something and actually own it. I get it that we don’t own much of anything nowadays, but that’s just an extreme example of how bad it can get, and no doubt it’s going to get much worse, but if we distill it down to its essentials, Libertarianism still requires us to pay our own way. We can all agree that we should be able to enjoy the fruits of our own labor without others stealing them from us under color of law, legal plunder etc., but what about the underlying premise of owning property in the first place? We just assume this is a moral right or good.

                As appealing as Libertarianism is to me, and as far ahead of the curve as it is beyond any other political or economic model, the fact that it can’t seem to get out from under this foundational premise is a problem. What other alternative is there? Well, as crazy as it sounds, there’s something just as appealing in being able to stand in front of the government thugs with my pockets turned inside out and tell them they can’t bleed a rock. This is not unlike the game the big corporations play as well. They pay nothing to the IRS. Then there are all of these “non-profits” which pay their people outrageous salaries; granted their salaries are taxable, but the point is that they can basically create a tax haven and this edifice acts like a magnet for money to be processed through to your pockets and you get to keep most of it. Why don’t more people just do the same thing? I’m only pointing this out as an illustration; different means, same result

                It reminds me of that family that used to live in a camper and cruise up and down the Pacific coast 40 or 50 years ago surfing. There was something like 18 kids. The patriarch of the family would trot his son out to the beach one day, hand him a surfboard and say, “Here’s my gift to you son, the surf and the sea”. For all practical purposes, it was his to do as he wished. A squirrel doesn’t own his nuts anymore than a surfer owns the waves he’s riding on, and yet they both “own” it in a much more intrinsic way than any monetary exchange could ever accomplish. The surfer who pays to surf doesn’t own those waves anymore than the one who received it as a gift from his father.

                Since we’re already hooked into this system, there really is no way it can get any better. It has to get worse because they’re appetite for revenue knows no bounds. Feinstein and Pelosi were trying to tax the air we breathe a few years ago. Every so often the county I live in tries to float a bill to tax the water I pump out of the ground on “my” property. Some day they’ll get their way.

                Look at how people are adapting. There are all these movements where people are becoming preppers, living in tiny houses, etc. People are effectively becoming modern day Gypsies. I’ve been doing it for decades in one form or another, and you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been contacted by law enforcement only to have them just do a quick catch and release because they could see that I was oblivious to their tactics. It’s downright peculiar to watch them as they see that threats of incarceration, fines etc. are not only not hitting their intended mark, but ricocheting off and hitting them between the eyes. They don’t want to deal with it, and they just leave you alone after that. It’s really no different than talking to the traveling evangelists that come knocking on your door. I invite them in, offer them a refreshing glass of water and enjoy their company for as long as possible, but at some point they discover that they are wasting their time and can’t wait to leave me alone forever.

                This is an extreme version of it, but there’s a guy on youtube who has a few videos where he uses a similar method; he hypnotizes the leo, and just drives away without so much as even a warning.

                I took a guy down to some government building years ago so he could sign up for some sort of handout, and when he got to the window, they looked at his paperwork and told him that they couldn’t process it and that he didn’t qualify for such and such benefits. The guy lit up like he was some geek in class who knew the answer to the science question. This guy had been playing this game since he was a kid. He’s watched his mother and other relatives play it and he knew all the angles. In less than five minutes he had the government clerk straightened out and filing his paperwork like they both knew she would. Just say the magic words and your problems are all solved. Frame the picture differently and proceed from there, instead of playing their game or looking at it the way they want us to.

                Again there are countless videos on youtube showing this happening. These sovereign citizens sometimes get away with it and then other times they don’t. Some are better at playing that game than others. As long as we’re playing the private property game, they’ve got us hooked, and we’re going to lose every time. They might throw us a bone once in a while, but that’s just to keep us interested in the game they’ve rigged from the beginning. It’s like playing poker with a mark, you let him win a few hands once in a while, tell him that quitters always fold right before they’re about to win big etc.

                • While the idea of grand commune of some sort has its appeal here in the material universe a collective has its ultimate problem, someone has to run it.

                  With all the problems that even an ideal private property system would have it offers a far better quality of life than the ideal commune where there would be very little created unless human nature was somehow fundamentally changed. But if we get to change human nature then most of the problems of a private property system go away too.

                  As to the welfare papers government employees have goals for signing people up so I’m told. Given TV commercials and such to encourage people to sign up for things I would not be surprised if that were the case.

    • Hey skunk, you posted:
      “The bible is not the word of a god so one should probably not follow the bible as if it is.
      May I ask, what exactly is the difference in my argument when it is made in the form of a question as opposed to when it is made as a statement?”

      Nothing, primarily because you still haven’t presented an argument.  You’ve just provided a statement; a claim. An argument is used to support a claim.
      ——————————-
      “So debate it.”

      “I think we are. Actually, to be honest, I am not quite sure what the deuce we are debating now.”

      We aren’t debating much of anything. We’re talking past each other.  I agree with much of what you’re claiming, but not with your conclusions.  I’m pointing out that beliefs and claims don’t necessarily legitimize themselves, and that there are definitions that actually define these words accurately.  The source material for Christianity is the biblical texts themselves, and they are quite clear in what defines a Christian.  They even point out that unbelievers recognized them by these defining marks. 

      We have a different criteria today, one which doesn’t match in the slightest, and this is a nasty trend in more ways than one.  Look at the Charlottesville fiasco.  If you support one’s freedom of speech then you’re a neo Nazi bigoted racist.  Why?  Because of the simple assertion of someone else’s belief that you are.  You may not believe this yourself, but when a group of people who make that claim and are ready to beat the tar out of you do, what are you going to do; agree with their consensus?  The same is true for those who might just as easily mistake me for a “black lives matter’; “blue lives matter” etc.

        I’ll tell you what I’m going to do.  I’m going to get out of Dodge before that happens just like an actual bigoted racist, or bleeding heart libtard might do.  This is not an admission of guilt .  If I get caught on the way out, and someone comes after me with a bat, I’m probably going to pop a cap into their bloated gut followed by a few rounds into their temple.  I’m not going to be checking to see what their political beliefs are, or turning the other cheek as a Christian would to a hungry lion. 
      ————————-
      My common English definition of slavery comes from dictionary.com: “the condition of a slave”

      Well that offers so much explanatory power I can see how you just assume the condition of a slave must be horrid.  Sorry, but again, I have to point out that this isn’t the case in the Mosaic law.  The Mosaic law, first and foremost, recognizes the dignity of human beings.  It also recognizes that people don’t always meet that level.  They behave like animals and when they do they need to deal with it appropriately by recognizing that these are human beings, but also having the common sense to see that they need instruction. 

      Someone who is too stupid to hold on to their money needs to learn how to, or live as someone without any means of support.  They need to be taken care of, and have their debts taken care of.   It’s a win/win.  They get their debts taken care of, they have a roof over their head, the person who was effectively robbed has been repaid, the person paying the debt gets a hired hand for the next few years in exchange for his investment.  The rest of the population doesn’t have to pay for the debt through involuntary taxes, higher prices….etc.
      ————————————-
      “And my common English definition of a slave also comes from dictionary.com: “a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another”

      This doesn’t go into much more detail on the aforementioned “condition” either.  Being subject to an employer is also a condition, but someone building a car on an assembly line in this country doesn’t experience the same conditions of someone building a car in an assembly line in China, do they?  Do we outlaw building cars because the conditions in one plant are deplorable?

      Do you own your home?  It’s a silly question if you live in the US because, as we all know; if you refuse to pay your taxes, you’ll lose “your” home.  No, the government lets you stay in “your” home as long as you pay them for the privilege.    I don’t pay property taxes, but even I don’t own my home because at any moment they can arbitrarily decide that I need to pay them property taxes to keep “my” home.  Pretending I’m free when the government owns not only my home, but my labor is slavery. I’ll take this slavery over slavery in a less developed country with a lower standard of living, but I’ll also opt for the ability to actually own my own home without ever having to pay property taxes, or have my labor taxed, at least not at the rate it is here. So it really isn’t is slavery to be condoned, but who treats their slaves the best, and offers the closest thing to freedom.
      ——————————-
      “Is it or is it not ok for one human being to own another human being?”

      Is it or is it not ok for one human being to place a price on another human being?

      Is it or is it not ok for one human being to take another human being’s gun away from them?  

      These are all loaded questions and so vague as to be impossible to answer without more specific information.  

      When a human being borrows money and doesn’t pay it back, then they should be forced to pay for their theft.  When two groups of people are growing so fast that they are getting into each other’s way someone has to move.  When they can’t agree on who that someone is going to be, they go to war.  The losers now have no resources to move.  Their resources have all been looted and razed to the ground.  They can move, but if they’re forced exile is a death sentence, then working for the victors might be a better solution, especially when it means a roof over their head, clothes, medical care, food in their belly even a significant social standing in society.    Being a slave not only looks good, it is much more moral to be productive, pay your debts, etc. than being dead.

      You’re fixated on a word, a label that you associate with something immoral.  What?  ownership of private property?   Perhaps you’d prefer that the government own you instead?  That’s essentially what we have, but we don’t call it that so that makes it okay?  Again, it’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion.  Better to be filthy rich and on house arrest than free and living in a cardboard box.  Better to be a healthy, wealthy slave living a higher standard of living than a destitute unhealthy malnourished bum and “free”. There are exceptions to this rule as well, but that’s another topic.  Context is key, and I suspect you haven’t looked the context within the framework of the Mosaic law in any detail.

      Contrary to your assertions, I am not opposed to slavery in the slightest in this context.  When a thief steals my television, and kicks me in the shins on the way out of my home, if he is caught, I probably won’t even get my stuff back.  He will not be paying my medical bills.  No. he will be paying his debt back to the State. So yeah, I’ll take the Mosaic laws codes over ours any day.  If we brought their form of slavery back today, that thief would be in shackles working off his debt to me.  If he decided to get smart and run for it, or ticked off at his predicament and break my stereo as well, I’d beat the shit out of him with no regrets.   I am 100% in favor of biblical slavery, especially as outlined in the Mosaic law.  

      So you need to forget about all those silly  so-called Christians and their asinine excuses.  I would beat a slave mercilessly if they needed it.  The best thing to ever happen to me was getting the tar beat out of me mercilessly. I’m not saying a good beating is for everybody, but some people need it. The Mosaic law allows for those who do, the State only allows it when it suits their own needs.

  2. Utah also has drugged driving laws that say any amount of illegal substance in your ( blood or urine) system is driving under the influence. If you smoke legal weed in nearby states you should probably wait a couple weeks to drive in Utah or better yet, boycott Utah altogether.

    • Hi Element,

      Yup. I’ve mentioned the Mormon political control of the state; this is an example of the results. The same goes on in other states, of course. But in all cases, it is a religious mania – the persecution of those who drink (or smoke), even in trivial degree and no matter whether it has any meaningful effect on their ability to drive a car competently.

  3. Utah also has drugged driving laws that say any amount of illegal substance urine or blood constitutes driving under the influence . That means legal weed in one state can get you in trouble weeks later in Utah. Boycott Utah.

  4. Anon @ 5:45 pm July 8, skunkbear replying to you here. My response will also be brief.

    Christianity is based solely on the belief in Jesus’ resurrection. And the only “evidence” for this claim is the bible. So it comes down to whether or not the bible is the inerrant word of a god. As such we do not know who actually wrote it (both old and new testaments), who compiled it (including which ancient books were to be excluded and based on what?), and who edited it (which version?). Yet on this we are supposed to believe it is all “Truth”?!

    Please believe what you will too. Just do not try to pass it off as “fact”. I am the first to admit my beliefs are also not based on any currently known facts either. So let us agree to disagree without either one of us trying to force the other to follow either belief.

    I wish you and yours well.

    • skunkbear posted: “Christianity is based solely on the belief in Jesus’ resurrection.”

      Not really. The term “Christian” referred to disciples who followed Jesus and believed he was the messiah. Jesus himself points out what the criteria are for being one of his disciples and belief in his death and/or resurrection isn’t mentioned. Plenty of people were following him around before he was crucified, and died. None of them had a clue that he was going to be resurrected. Mark’s gospel, admitted by most scholars to be the oldest account doesn’t even mention any accounts of a resurrected Christ. The author simply asks his readers to peer into an empty tomb.
      ———————
      ” And the only “evidence” for this claim is the bible.”

      Perhaps, but the texts indicate that there were eyewitnesses who were making this claim. Regardless, Jesus’ claims are open to interpretation just as evidence is, and history is replete with examples of science misinterpreting the evidence. Of course, the bible isn’t a science book and the Truth isn’t really a topic that science is capable of grasping, much less even interested in. Science is interested in observations, reproducible results, evidence, interpretation, facts etc. Science also prides itself on the fact that nothing is written in stone, therefore truth is of absolutely no concern to science; perhaps a philosophy of science might be interested in Truth, but science is content with “facts”.
      ——————-
      “So it comes down to whether or not the bible is the inerrant word of a god.”

      Nope, none of the authors of the bible makes any claim to be the word of God, or gods.
      —————–
      ” As such we do not know who actually wrote it (both old and new testaments),”

      We know someone wrote it(the old joke is “Moses, or someone just like him perhaps even with the same name”), and we know that these texts have been handed down from generation to generation over thousands of years. We also know that idiotic pointless works of silly fiction don’t stand the test of time. We know that these texts are still studied by secular as well as religious scholars, and theologians for the incredible amount of wisdom and just plain common sense they impart to those who have even the most rudimentary reading comprehension skills.
      ——————
      ” who compiled it (including which ancient books were to be excluded and based on what?), and who edited it (which version?). Yet on this we are supposed to believe it is all “Truth”?!”

      Again, your ignorance is profound. You are explicitly NOT to believe what it says without first PROVING it. This is a pervasive theme through both the old and new testaments. Almost from the first pages the testing begins e.g. “the temptation of Adam and Eve”. When Israel is led out into the wilderness, and faces God at Mt. Sinai, they are told that those who follow God’s instructions will live and prosper, and be blessed while those who disobey will be cursed. God then tells them to come before him to be “PROVEN”. The old testament law is essentially a huge experiment that you are asked to perform to verify if God is telling you the truth or lying. This whole anthology of books could be pure fiction written by someone with a fantastic imagination, and yet if one performs these experiments and sees that they are actually valid, then what? Does it really matter if the stories are all historically inaccurate? Fortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case after all. Science is continually discovering parallels between what it observes and what the texts indicate. Regardless, the examples from history are not only pervasive, but amusing in how obvious God’s laws are to those who have actually performed the experiments. Others would rather worship science than utilize it.

      • Teo, I think your definition of what is a Christian is a point without a distinction. Please show me one Christian who does not believe in the resurrection. Without the alleged resurrection then Jesus is just another “prophet” (as the muslims claim).

        “…the texts indicate that there were eyewitnesses who were making this claim.”

        This is a perfect example of the “circular” reasoning Christians use in their arguments for the bible’s “authenticity”. “It is true because the bible says it is true.”

        “…truth is of absolutely no concern to science…”

        Not true. Science itself is absolutely based on Truth. It is not that Science disregards Truth but rather that Science is always questioning Truth to ensure that it is indeed a Truth. Truth can withstand scrutiny, falsehoods cannot. This is not to say that some so-called “scientists” are not interested in the Truth (e.g. “climate changers”). But one cannot be a true scientist and disregard Truth.

        “Nope, none of the authors of the bible makes any claim to be the word of God, or gods.”

        One, so then why should what the authors wrote be taken as Truth? Two, if the bible is not the word of a god/gods then what is it other than old and fantastic tales with maybe some sprinkles of common wisdom thrown in the mix? Three, again, show me a Christian who does not believe the bible is the word of their god.

        “We know someone wrote it..”

        Obviously. But that “someone” is not a god. And if it is not the word of a god then it is just another book from one particular culture. There may be some wisdom in the bible but much of that wisdom is not found only in the Christian bible. Other cultures throughout history have similar stories and wisdom. And just because some people (there have been and still are more non-Christians than there are Christians) have had belief in the veracity of the bible over the years is not evidence that it is true.

        “…those who have even the most rudimentary reading comprehension skills.”

        And yet defenders of the bible have to constantly try to explain away “words” and phrases in the bible as to not actually meaning what they clearly mean to anyone with the most rudimentary of reading comprehension skills.

        “You are explicitly NOT to believe what it says without first PROVING it.”

        Ok then prove the story of Adam and Eve. Prove that the garden of Eden existed and that what the bible says took place there actually occurred.

        “…the examples from history are not only pervasive, but amusing in how obvious God’s laws are to those who have actually performed the experiments.”

        Example please.

        My questions to you sir/madame are simple: Who compiled the bible (including which ancient books were to be excluded and based on what by whom), and Who edited it (which version?)?

        • This is the second time I’ve replied to someone and I get this error for going to long. Is there anyway to get my post back? Where did it go? It says I can go back, but then it just disappears.

          • Hi Teo,

            As far as I know, there is not. But there is a very easy way to stop it from happening again. Prior to posting your comment, highlight your text and perform a “cut” operation. If your comment disappears, it is still accessible by performing a “paste” operation into many formats (open a word document, write a draft e-mail to yourself, open another dialog box at EPAutos and try again, etc…). This precaution takes about 2 seconds, and is worth it if just one long post vanishes.

            Kind Regards,
            Jeremy

          • Hi Teo,

            There may be a way, try hitting the reply button exactly as you did before (same point in the thread). This has occasionally “resurrected” a post for me.

            Kind Regards,
            Jeremy

            • Thanks Jeremy, I tried that, but both times this has happened it’s like my computer is crashing, everything just stops working, can’t type anything, then the mouse fails. This last time, I tried to just hit the “post comment” button to hopefully send what was already typed before it all just disappeared, but it was too late. Either the site, or my computer won’t allow me to highlight, copy, paste when it gets to that point where it just freezes up. I think what I’m going to do is just shorten my replies, or break them up into bite sized pieces.

            • Jeremy,

              A very astute observation about the Grand Canyon. There’s a reggae song that says Tomorrow People Where Is Your Past?
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnYfENJZVuI

              Sad when the shirking descendants of savage slaves are smarter than us supposedly advanced westerners.

              People are conditioned to have no individual Present.

              This is especially true about science. And religion and mass belief systems. Look at all the interest in debating the moon’s past. And some talk about the moon’s future.

              But no mention of the immediate present.

              The next 5 minutes. The next 5 hours. That is all that we can control, if even that. Yet here we are talking about 5 years or 5 centuries ago. Or how things might be in 5 decades or 5 millenniums from now.

              Look at this discussion of the Geology of the Grand Canyon
              http://www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org/geology/gc_geol.htm

              What is sought. Is a thorough and complete narrative of the past of the Canyon. And then some means of keeping the entire region completely unchanged far into the infinite future.

              What a mostly worthless terrible dehumanizing thing. Until there’s an immediate present version of science and religion. I will continue advocating throwing most of both of them far out into the woods.

              • Tor,

                I agree and thanks for the song: apple and tree, so to speak. That essay is from a collection called “The Message in the Bottle”. I stumbled across Walker Percy in the mid 80’s because he wrote the forward to “A Confederacy of Dunces”. This was enough for me to seek out his own work. His thought and writing were captivating to me. I think you would especially appreciate those essays.

                He also wrote novels. “The Moviegoer”, “The Last Gentleman”, “Lancelot” and “Love in the Ruins” are all excellent.

                Cheers,
                Jeremy

                • So you’re into semiotics too?
                  https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d1/ec/41/d1ec41d7db4521fbefdbd3d7cba2a6ad.jpg

                  In semiosis an insect or animal, human or otherwise, moves through its umwelt(~environment)

                  As it does so, all the senses collect data that are made available to the brain.

                  To prevent sensory overload, only salient data will receive the full attention of the cognitive elements of the mind.

                  This indicates that a part of the process must be controlled by a model of the real world capable of ranking data elements in terms of their significance and filtering out the data irrelevant to survival.

                  A sign cannot function until the brain or audience distinguishes it from the background noise.

                  When this happens, the sign then triggers cognitive activity to interpret the data input and so convert it into meaningful information.

                  That is the essence of what this site is about. Developing and promoting alternate methods of semiosis so we can reason and act independently of the All Seeing Queens of the Uni-Hive.
                  https://i.pinimg.com/originals/02/1a/a3/021aa3635f3b279c2804d23c8a7626e1.jpg

                  • Tor,

                    All I know of semiotics I have learned through Walker Percy. In the Delta factor, he uses the story of Helen Keller to explain the genesis of language. At first, Keller was simply experiencing two unrelated actions: water flowing over one hand and movement of a finger on the other. Absent something else, that is all this will ever be.

                    Percy posits that the something else comes into being when a symbolic leap is made that recognizes the finger impression (sign) is something in itself and a symbol of something else. So, sign to object is meaningless without a sign giving/using faculty.

                    For Percy, this faculty can never be created by a causal link between sign and object, as such a causal link does not exist until it is created by the sign giver. Thus language is irreducibly triadic. His contention is controversial because behaviorist critics want to dismiss the triadic form as a stealth method of re-inserting God into the system. Whether that was the intention of the Catholic Percy, I do not know. But, as an atheist, I find his theory to be obviously true. This theory certainly allows for God, but does not necessitate it.

                    Percy also introduced, to me at least, the idea that language is necessary for thought, that degradation of language must lead to degradation of men. Which, of course, led me to Richard Mitchell, the “Underground Grammarian”.

                    http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/

                    Cheers,
                    Jeremy

                  • Tor,

                    If you go to the site, it appears that one must purchase Richard Mitchell’s books. This is not true, simply click on the pdf and the text appears.

                    “Words never fail,” Mitchell declares—and
                    inane words never fail to damage the brain. All
                    too often, words are used imprecisely by
                    administrators and bureaucrats, as unintelligible
                    public documents, oblique grant proposals, and
                    pretentious administrative memoranda attest.
                    Mitchell’s cantankerous crusade indicts
                    government agency “chairs” for the intimidating
                    and obfuscating “legalese” of their profession,
                    obsequious grant-seekers who supplicate
                    foundations in time-honored cant, and aspiring
                    academics who speak in the Divine Passive.
                    According to Mitchell, this bureaucratic
                    jargon is turning us into a nation of baffled, inept,
                    frustrated, and—ultimately—violent people, and
                    the public schools are to blame. For the past
                    thirty-five years, they have taught children to
                    socialize rather than to read, write, and cipher—
                    the only disciplines that foster clear language and
                    logical thought. Mitchell’s alarming conclusion is
                    that our schools are turning out illiterates who will
                    never manage their lives—because, lacking “the
                    power of language,” they can’t think.

                    From the introduction to “Less Than Words Can Say”.

                    Cheers

        • “Teo, I think your definition of what is a Christian is a point without a distinction.”

          The distinction I am making is the one Jesus himself would make. I am making a distinction that is precisely where mainstream Christianity diverges, obfuscates, deflects, denies, lies, etc.
          ————————
          ” Please show me one Christian who does not believe in the resurrection.”

          There are actually plenty of them e.g. John Shelby Spong. Any of his bibliographies will give you dozens more. He has a website with other professing Christians who not only don’t believe in the resurrection, they don’t believe in the existence of God, or Jesus. Moreover, Jesus’ own disciples had no clue that Jesus was even going to die much less be resurrected. These were people who Jesus himself referred to as his disciples.
          ————————
          “Without the alleged resurrection then Jesus is just another “prophet” (as the muslims claim).”

          Not really. An alleged resurrection is just an allegation. This is what muslims and many others look at as their reasons for NOT believing in the resurrection. Here again, this claim ignores what Jesus taught. If you would prefer to look at him as a fictional character this works just as well for all practical purposes because the focus is on the truth conveyed rather than things like the type face of the texts, or some circus act. What I mean by this is that even with the resurrection, what we’re looking at is effectively belief in a circus act to validate one’s belief. Jesus emerges from the tomb, arms outstretched accompanied by the blare of a trumpets “TA-DAH”. Again, this is preposterous on the face of it, especially when one considers what Jesus requires to be one of his followers. If people really believe in the resurrection, then why don’t they believe in what he actually taught???
          ———————–
          “…the texts indicate that there were eyewitnesses who were making this claim.”
          This is a perfect example of the “circular” reasoning Christians use in their arguments for the bible’s “authenticity”. “It is true because the bible says it is true.”

          I’m not using these accounts to establish it’s authenticity. I’m simply pointing out that the author makes these claims and I have no reason to doubt him or his accounts of eyewitnesses. The accounts themselves and what they convey are what establish its authenticity. The content of the accounts is what is key to its veracity.
          ———————
          “…truth is of absolutely no concern to science…”
          Not true. Science itself is absolutely based on Truth.”

          Not even close. Science is based exclusively on observation, interpretation, reproducible results, falsification, hypothesis, proofs, theories, etc. To say that science is based in truth is to deny the scientific method. The truth needs to proofs. The truth may very well be self evident, but that isn’t where science is basing itself. Science has itself based in ignorance and a desire to understand what’s going on around us.
          ———————
          “It is not that Science disregards Truth but rather that Science is always questioning Truth to ensure that it is indeed a Truth.”

          Science prides itself on the fact that nothing is written in stone. Our theories can be debunked with the next discovery. You can’t continue to question the truth if you aren’t sure it’s the truth in the first place. This is a blatant misnomer, and circular, not to mention; faulty logic. Is it the truth or isn’t it? Make up your mind. How can you claim that it is the truth and then turn around and claim that it might not be the truth?
          ———————–
          ” Truth can withstand scrutiny, falsehoods cannot.”

          Those closest to the truth are the best liars, and nobody one step beyond will ever know the difference.
          ———————–
          ” This is not to say that some so-called “scientists” are not interested in the Truth (e.g. “climate changers”). But one cannot be a true scientist and disregard Truth.”

          This is The True Scotsman fallacy

          • I think a definition of what is Christianity and who is a Christian is in order here.

            Christianity is a specific philosophy and like all philosophies Christianity has the right to define itself and has done so. While there are hundreds of different Christian sects that disagree with each other over certain details there is one common tenant they all agree to that defines Christianity and that is the shared belief that Jesus’ death and resurrection was needed to atone for man’s sins and to offer salvation for mankind. This sacrifice is what made him the Christ and thus this defines Christianity. I think this is an accurate and therefore fair description of the generally understood definition of the cornerstone of Christian belief.

            Therefore anyone who believes this premise can correctly call themselves a Christian. Conversely, those who do not believe in this lynch pin of Christianity cannot truthfully call themselves Christian anymore than one who does not believe in individual liberty can call himself a Libertarian.

            This is not to say there are those who read the bible and come away with different ideas but they are just that – ideas different from Christianity.

            • So what’s your point? I answered all your questions, responded to all your arguments, but now you’re relying on definitions of Christianity? You point out, and rightly so; that you can ask a thousand different self proclaimed Christians what it means to be a Christian and get a thousand different responses, so what? Why not look at the source material, which ALL of them agree can be relied upon to settle the matter?

              When Peter confesses that Jesus is the messiah (for those playing at home, this is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek “Christ”), Jesus says NOTHING about dying and rising from the dead. Read through any Jewish books on the subject, (Jesus was a Jew), and you will find virtually nothing on the subject of his death and resurrection. In fact, even Christians today will tell you that when Christ shows up on the scene he will NOT be dying or being resurrected. ALL Jews believe the same thing. NONE of them are looking for a dead and risen Christ.

              Moreover, Jesus Christ himself defines EXACTLY what is required to become a disciple. A disciples is a follower of Christ, and Christ’s disciples were first referred to as “Christians” in Antioch. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the texts, they indicate how these disciples were recognized. The were recognized by their communal living. They pooled all their resources together and held everything in common. This is Christianity’s dirty little secret which any and all so-called Christians of any Libertarian bent shudder to think about. Not only did they hold all in common, they lived together 24/7. Gulp. This is precisely how they were defined and recognized in history as well as outlined by Jesus and his followers in the biblical manuscripts. He says, “You CANNOT be one of my disciples unless you sell all your possessions…give the money to the poor and follow me” Luke 12;14; etc.

              You’re perfectly welcome to believe he rose from the dead, but unless you believe what he instructs you to do to be one of his followers you “CANNOT” be one of his followers. So all of these so-called Christians that disregard what he says, are not actually following Jesus. They CAN’T be followers. They can’t be Christians They don’t believe what he says. He says to place your trust in the providence of God. Sorry, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon if all these so-called Christians are still working for money, and placing their trust in money. None of them have a clue what receiving the mark really means. They’re no different than the Pharisees of old with their phylacteries wrapped around their foreheads and arms. Jesus’ followers walked away from all that, that’s what defined them then, and it’s what will define them now, and into the future. They don’t buy or sell because they participate in the Satanic system that has been established. Chips implanted in their arms are just for the extremely dense Christians to get a clue. They’ve already taken the mark, they just don’t know it yet.

              Here’s a scene from Screwtape letters that didn’t make it into the final draft: Satan: “Just put, ‘In God we trust’ on it. That’ll be more than enough to fool them”.

              • “they also think Jesus’ death and resurrection are equally important too. It is not an either or proposition.”

                It most certainly is. I even supplied you with examples. Even those who do think it important are stuck with what they think. It is simply an intellectual exercise for them. This is what the gospels point out themselves. You claim that you don’t believe what the texts say. That’s fine, but forget about looking at it as some supposed historical document and simply look at it as a piece of fictional literature. What is the message? Most Christians can’t answer that question. The naysayers haven’t got a clue either. They don’t even know what it is that they’re rejecting because they’re so obsessed with whether it actually happened. Truth is much greater than a historical observation.
                ————–
                “The content of the accounts is what is key to its veracity.”
                How so?

                Really? Judging a book by its cover might work for some; luck has its benefits. Hand someone a book and they can receive it by grasping hold of it and saying, “Thank you”, but until they read AND understand the content of that book, they haven’t really received it at all. They’ve just gone through the motions.

                For example, the gospel of John is commonly known among scholars as “the signs gospel”, but most Christians will point to things like turning water into wine, or giving sight to the blind as “miracles”. They’ve missed the whole point. They missed the purpose of the sign. They’ve conflated the sign with what it is substituted for, and what it is pointing to. The texts themselves even point this out. The authors point out that the vast majority of so-called followers are essentially looking for a free lunch, and as soon as Jesus says something that they don’t understand, or their next meal isn’t provided on time; they’re gone. What does Jesus say? He says, “Don’t worry where your next meal is coming from”. Hey, I don’t have to worry about that. I’ve got money, right?

                This is why Libertarianism is probably the closest to the truth from a political/economic perspective. It just admits that we’re a bunch of selfish a holes and proceeds from that reality rather than pretending that we’re all really such kind hearted selfless people. (Incidentally, as a side note, this is precisely how to make money in the stock market. People think it’s about predicting where the market is going in the future, but the reality is looking at what the market is actually doing.)
                Jesus points out that there’s really nothing you can do to become one of those bleeding heart selfless people. You can do all sorts of altruistic endeavors, feed the poor, clothe the naked, but inside you’ll still be the same old wretched selfish a hole you always were. Do you think you’re just naturally inclined to help anyone who may be down on their luck? Where do you fit on the spectrum?
                ——————
                “The scientific method is the means to get to the Truth; getting to the Truth is the very goal of science. ”

                Except you’ve already admitted, and rightly so; that science is ever changing. Some would say that because all discoveries are incomplete, science is really on a transcendent trajectory. To come to a position of complete certainty that one has found the Truth of a matter is to end all inquiry. Science is never going to stop pursuing inquiry. As soon as it does, it isn’t science. It’s then become a religion, an ideology. That is precisely what we see with those who presume to squelch all opposing views to climate change, evolution, etc. They’ll say, “The science is settled”. They’ve become religionists. They’ve crossed the line between honest inquiry and belief. They pronounce their papal bulls as “The Truth!” Truth is never the goal of honest science, but only Scientism.
                —————–
                “All of life and all philosophies are based on theories.”

                Nope. Sorry, but you’ve got it exactly the opposite way around. You’ve placed the cart before the horse. Theories are based upon what we observe. We do not observe theories. We do not unearth theories. We do not peer into the depths of space and find theories. Theories are the scientific equivalent of a religion’s theologies. Religions that are based upon their theologies are dead religions.
                ————-
                ” No one knows the Truth”

                Yes!!! The Truth cannot be known. Truth is not even comprehensible to the intellect. It cannot be known It isn’t an object of the intellect. This should never be conflated with logic, or valid and invalid arguments etc. Science admits this, and oddly enough so do many religious texts. The Vedas, The Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, The Torah, St. Paul points out that we can only know the truth insofar as we are known of it.
                ——————
                ” for sure, not in this life anyway.”

                On the contrary, Truth and Life are practically synonymous. Biological life thrives when one is truly connected to life.
                ————–
                “But a theory – especially a universally held understanding of what we currently think is a Truth”

                Again, you’re crossing over into an ideology; a religious assertion. Science looks at evidence and comes to conclusions, but never asserts that what they are presenting is unqualified Truth.
                ——————–
                ” – cannot be debunked if it is not challenged, no?

                Of course, but we’re not debunking the truth, are we? You see the problem now? You see why they would never claim what they’re presenting is the truth? They look like a laughingstock if they do.
                ———————
                ” This is what science does – question everything.”

                Sure, but to question the truth is idiotic if you actually know it’s the truth. To question it is to suspect it isn’t the truth at all. It’s not that the truth cannot be questioned, but that the truth cannot be false, it cannot be what it isn’t; it can’t “A” and “not A”. Our observations inform us, but they don’t give us the truth because the truth cannot be observed in the first place. We have only our best guess. At one time our best guess was that the sun revolved around the earth. Now our best guess is that the earth revolves around the sun, but we also “know” that the sun is also moving quite rapidly, and our path in relation to that path changes things considerably and so on….
                ——————-
                “Those closest to the truth are the best liars…” Huh? Not sure who/what you mean here but I ask Who is closest to the Truth than a god?”

                Well, there you are. See how the truth really isn’t a matter of scientific discussion? The general point is that those who are in possession of all the facts are best equipped to tell the most convincing lies. This is not just a matter for science, but anything really, religion, politics, economics etc.
                ——————-
                ” Are you suggesting god is a liar? Please clarify.”

                If the gods were to exist there would most certainly be liars among them, and the easiest way to determine which ones were lying would be pick out the ones who are speaking.
                ————————
                “This is The True Scotsman fallacy”
                Not really. I spread my skepticism around fairly.”

                So do I, at least I like to think I do. No one is really honest. We all have our biases, which is why a good hearty debate is a good thing; it reveals our blind spots.

              • > “The were recognized by their communal living. They pooled all their resources together and held everything in common. This is Christianity’s dirty little secret which any and all so-called Christians of any Libertarian bent shudder to think about. Not only did they hold all in common, they lived together 24/7. ” <

                Teo, buddy. That's just what SOME did. No one made them do it. The Apostles didn't do it nor command it be done. It is nowhere advocated in Scripture.

                Read the incident of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5. They sold property and gave part of the money to the church, but lied about it. The Apostle Peter condemned them for lying about it, but said "Was it not thine to do with as thou pleased while it remained?" (i.e. no one forced them to sell their property nor give the proceeds to the church).

                Paul, in, uh…I think it's 1 Corinthians, condemns a church member for fornicating with his father's wife…does this mean that it was a Christian practice to have sex with your step-mother?!

                Even today, I have been on various Christian forums where people want to/have start[ed] communes/communities. It never ends well!

                God is the author of private property and personal responsibility/autonomy. Those who think otherwise and who try to establish some other kind of economy, may be well-intentioned…but ignorant- and it never EVER goes well.

                • Nunzio posted: ” Not only did they hold all in common, they lived together 24/7. ”

                  “No one made them do it. The Apostles didn't do it nor command it be done.”

                  I never claimed they were forced or commanded to do any of this. I simply pointed out what the gospel writer wrote. I simply pointed out that Jesus himself says, “You CANNOT be one of my disciples unless you forsake all, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor” etc.
                  —————-
                  ” It is nowhere advocated in Scripture.”

                  See above. I provided the passages (chapter and verse) where Jesus not only advocates it, but prescribes it as the defining mark of a disciple. This is what is so amazing to me. Christians can’t even begin to wrap their heads around what Jesus says in Luke. They just ignore it. They search frantically all over the rest of scripture to support their position as if it refutes what Jesus says in Luke’s gospel. It’s ridiculous. There is no contradiction. Nothing you’ve posted addressed, much less refutes Christ’s words concerning what is required to be one of his disciples. Address the passages I posted from Luke.

                  To reply that I am suggesting Jesus was applying force is a straw man argument. The fact that the Acts of the Apostles provides a description which matches Jesus’ prescription exactly is irrefutable proof that they took Jesus’ prescription literally.
                  ———————
                  “Paul, in, uh…I think it's 1 Corinthians, condemns a church member for fornicating with his father's wife…does this mean that it was a Christian practice to have sex with your step-mother?!”

                  False dichotomy. I pointed out that Jesus explicitly states that one cannot be a disciple if they do not “forsake all” etc. Read Luke. I provided all the relevant passages. Jesus was not presenting a suggestion or a description. The description was in the Acts of the Apostles, and it matched Jesus’ prescription. Again, Jesus isn’t forcing anyone to meet his requirements, he’s simply informing them that this is the way to find the kingdom. You can’t find it when you can’t let go of your junk. Pretty simple really. You, like most other so-called Christians has counted the cost and found it too high. Join the club. The price of admission is getting honest with yourself.
                  —————-

                  “Even today, I have been on various Christian forums where people want to/have start[ed] communes/communities. It never ends well!:”

                  Uh, are you including the one’s Jesus prescribed? Are you including the one’s mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles? Those probably wouldn’t be considered ending well, would they? The fact is that those are the genuine article. Those are the genuine disciples. They’re the real deal, and they don’t give two shits how it may look when it ends. Death has no sting for them. Losing all their junk didn’t hurt them a bit.

                  For some people the end is when they breathe their last. For those disciples of Christ mentioned in these manuscripts, their lives began the day they counted their personal property of no account.

                  Yes, Jesus recognizes personal property. He says when someone wants your shirt, give him your coat as well. When he sees someone created in the image of God suffering with demon possession, he sees that your personal property is of no intrinsic value in comparison, and destroys it without a thought; and rightly so. He’s got his priorities straight. You’re still concerned with your private property. Good luck getting it into the kingdom because there’s no room for it there. You have to let go of it sometime, hopefully you’ll figure out before it’s too late. Read the gospels again, but this time notice how when Jesus comes along, the true disciples drop everything and just walk away from their lives to follow him. It’s really that simple. Trust in your own resources, your private property rights, or trust in God. That’s the choice. Those are Jesus’ own words.

                  I hear what you’re saying, but the big difference here is that I’m not so blind as to pretend I’m a Christian when I’m not ready to “forsake all” of my own free will. Obviously you aren’t ready to take that step either.

                  I can spread it pretty thick when I want to so don’t think I can’t see your deflections. Skirt around it all you want. You’ve got a long way to go before you’ll be as big a hypocrite as me. I can see you’re working at it though, but believe me it ain’t worth it. There’s no sense pretending or attempting to hide it; it’s always self evident to those who get honest with themselves and others.

              • Teo, “So what’s your point?”

                My point is that Christianity, as commonly understood today, has specific beliefs that define it. Those who follow these beliefs are Christians and those who do not are not Christians.

                This includes people like this Sprong character you mentioned who makes the idiotic claim that he is a Christian even though he does not believe in the things that define traditional Christianity.

                It is not anymore complicated than that.

                And there are a whole lot of people who will disagree with you about Jesus’ death and resurrection not being prophesied before he showed up. Either way, Christianity was formed only after the gospels were written which themselves were written decades after the alleged events.

                “You’re perfectly welcome to believe he rose from the dead…”

                Let me be very clear here, I am an atheist and I do not believe in any of this nonsense.

                • Skunk, so it appears that your common understanding of what you perceive to be a common understanding is the criteria for establishing who is and who isn’t a Christian. Given that the source material for this sect of the population is these manuscripts we have a problem in that your common understanding doesn’t match the descriptions provided in these manuscripts. Spong and you are in the same boat for the same reason, just the other end of the spectrum. I don’t ascribe to Spong’s position, but at least he is able to go back to a tradition that produced these texts rather than traditions that emerged much later. When the vast majority of Christians begin to see things Spong’s way, you’ll have to jump on board, especially given that you’re both atheists. Atheism is beginning to spread, in some cases quite a bit faster than Christianity is dying out. Pretty soon only atheists will be Christians, and by your logic they’ll be “the true Christians”.
                  ————–

                  You’re claims on the rise of Christianity are solely based on conjecture. We have no evidence whatsoever of any gospel accounts predating the rise of Christianity itself. The oldest copies are well after it was a going concern. There are countless youtube videos online you can watch where atheists who are actually quite well educated on the subject will confirm this historical fact for you. I mention atheistic sources only because of your need to identify yourself as one. There are other sources that are also quite accurate in pointing out that Paul’s letters were the original impetus for the spread of Christianity, and predate the gospel accounts by decades, but even his letters were after Christianity began to spread. He just got it rolling a little faster. A little scientific inquiry goes a long way towards dispersing this fog of misinformation. Even a hack like Bart Ehrman knows the basic historical and chronological events.

                  Pronouncing your identity as an atheist really doesn’t go far in defending your case when, as I pointed out already; atheists are a growing segment of the Christian population. Seminaries are full of them now. They know where the money is.

                  • I would only add that as a work of literature that has withstood the test of time, belief really isn’t a necessary factor in appreciating the truths conveyed. The fact that countless numbers of idiots are under the blatantly false impression that these accounts are presenting talking snakes, or people turning water into wine only spotlights how well these truths are concealed from idiots.

                    The sad fact is that even people with an above average functioning intellect can’t be bothered to even look at these texts as works of fiction, and most of those who do still can’t comprehend what they’re even reading.

                  • Teo, I have given you my opinion as to what beliefs makes one a Christian. What is your opinion as to what beliefs one must hold to be a Christian? Do you think one can be a Christian and not believe in the resurrection?

                    ” Spong and you are in the same boat for the same reason, just the other end of the spectrum.”

                    Please explain. What boat are we in and which spectrum are
                    we each in?

                    “…given that you’re both atheists.”

                    If Sprong is an atheist why did argue that he is a Christian?

                    “Atheism is beginning to spread, in some cases quite a bit faster than Christianity is dying out. Pretty soon only atheists will be Christians…”.

                    Why would the rise of atheism cause atheists to convert to Christianity?!

                    “We have no evidence whatsoever of any gospel accounts predating the rise of Christianity itself.”

                    I think I see what is going on here. Please correct me if I am wrong but I think you are trying to suggest that in your opinion “Christianity” started before the resurrection and the gospels. Is this correct?

                    “I mention atheistic sources only because of your need to identify yourself as one.”

                    I mentioned that I am an atheist because I was under the impression that you thought I was a Christian trying to debate as such. BTW when I want to learn about a religion/philosophy I do not go to sources that argue against it; I go the sources that support it. Before disagreeing with someone I want to be sure I understand what it is I am disagreeing with.

                    “…Paul’s letters were the original impetus for the spread of Christianity, and predate the gospel accounts by decades…”

                    Who the deuce is saying otherwise? I am not arguing when the rise of Christianity began; I am arguing what Christianity believes because what it believes defines itself and Christians. Also, did Paul believe in the resurrection or not?

                    “I would only add that as a work of literature that has withstood the test of time…”

                    Agree that it is a work of literature that has indeed withstood the test of time. And I agree with the notion that one cannot be considered educated unless one has studied the bible. It has fantastic stories and interesting insights and some sound wisdom.

                    But the bottom line is that the bible is not the word of a god and should therefore be read as such.

            • Mr. Bear!

              Long time no see!

              As with all things Biblical, we only need assemble the various verses on any subject, to see how the Bible itself defines it’s onw terms.

              John 8:31,32:
              31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

              32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
              ________________________________
              1 John 2:4
              He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
              __________________________________
              Romans 8:9
              But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
              ________________________________
              John 8:24
              I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
              ____________________________________

              There’s a LOT more to believing than just accepting an historical fact or intellectual premise.

              and many others (I’m just stopping in for a break…gotta get back to weed-eating).

              • Nunzio posted: “As with all things Biblical, we only need  assemble the various verses on any subject, to see how the Bible itself defines it’s onw terms.
                John 8:31,32:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”

                Indeed. What deeds? Believe what? Again in regards to discipleship, Jesus is crystal clear.

                From Luke’s account:
                chapter 12:
                ” a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” vs. 15
                ” So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” vs. 21,22
                “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:” vss.29,30
                When he mentions the nations of the earth it is in derision.
                ” for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
                33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” vss. 32,33
                Some translations include “rust”

                Most Christians are familiar with this verse: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

                They all identify with “whosoever”, but when Jesus says: “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”(Lk. 14:33), suddenly that “whosoever” isn’t really a literal “whosoever”, and certainly not them in any literal sense of the word.

                We all believe in him when it means we won’t perish, we just don’t believe in him when he says we have to get rid of our junk. Does anyone not find it ironic that Jesus doesn’t compare one’s trust in God with Satan, or the devil? It’s no accident that he compares one’s trust in money to trusting in God. He knows what we truly worship. He knows where are trust really lies…

              • Hey Nunz, great to hear from you again too. But I will have to respond to your posts later tonight or tomorrow morning. Got shit to do…

          • Teo, ” An alleged resurrection is just an allegation.”

            Fully agree. I do not believe in the biblical story of Jesus including the resurrection. I think it is all nonsense. But Christians do and that is what specifically defines them as being Christians. I think most Christians do look at what Jesus taught but they also think Jesus’ death and resurrection are equally important too. It is not an either or proposition.

            “… I have no reason to doubt him or his accounts of eyewitnesses…”

            Conversely, I see no reason to believe him either and especially his claims to other “eyewitnesses”.

            “The content of the accounts is what is key to its veracity.”

            How so?

            “Science is based exclusively on observation, interpretation, reproducible results, falsification, hypothesis, proofs, theories, etc. To say that science is based in truth is to deny the scientific method.”

            The scientific method is the means to get to the Truth; getting to the Truth is the very goal of science.

            “Our theories can be debunked with the next discovery.”

            “Theories” is indeed the correct word here. All of life and all philosophies are based on theories. No one knows the Truth for sure, not in this life anyway. But a theory – especially a universally held understanding of what we currently think is a Truth – cannot be debunked if it is not challenged, no? This is what science does – question everything.

            “Those closest to the truth are the best liars…” Huh? Not sure who/what you mean here but I ask Who is closest to the Truth than a god? Are you suggesting god is a liar? Please clarify.

            “This is The True Scotsman fallacy”

            Not really. I am merely pointing out that while there are those who work in the sciences they do not all follow the most basic of scientific principles (clear objectivity, following wherever the facts lead to) and instead try to steer the data to reach a preconceived conclusion. These are scientists in name only just as there are Christians in name only. I spread my skepticism around fairly.

            • What would be the point of believing in a God Who was limited by the bounds of the natural physical visible universe?

              Only One who created such and thus has superior power over it and can transcend it, is even worthy of consideration.

              Most who do not believe in the existence of such a God, instead ascribe such powers to blind unintelligent impersonal forces- which is much more absurd.

              The witnesses of the resurrection died for their testimony. How many people would be willing to die for what they knew to be a lie; and the more so when they received absolutely no material benefit from that “lie”, but rather persecution and poverty?

              Another thing I have always found interesting: Of all the so-called gods, it is only the God of Christianity who is violently rejected by not only the world, but even by many who profess to be believers.

              Muslims preach fidelity to their Koran, and defend their culture, religion and societies fiercely….it is only “Christians who preach in their churches that one needn’t keep the commandments enjoined upon them by Scripture, and who welcome infidels and enemies into their lands and societies; and why is it that legislatures will gladly countenance an opening prayer to “Allah” or even Satan, but not anything in the “Name of Jesus”? Those who hate God certainly know who the real one is!

              • Nunzio posted: “What would be the point of believing in a God Who was limited by the bounds of the natural physical visible universe?”

                Well, for starters if what he says turns out to be true or he’s such a badass that to do otherwise will result in a lip splitting smiting from some of his thugs, then it may be more beneficial to just go along with the program. Limited gods aren’t really gods though, are they?
                ——————————–

                “Only One who created such and thus has superior power over it and can transcend it, is even worthy of consideration.”

                The problem with this idea is that you can’t consider anything that is transcendent.  By definition, anything that is transcendent cannot be considered at all.  In fact nothing that exists is transcendent. Existence is NOT transcendent.
                ———————————

                Most who do not believe in the existence of such a God,”

                It isn’t really a matter of belief at all.  Existence is not an attribute or part of the definition of transcendent.  Existence is understandable as well as observable(not to be conflated with the ability to explain one’s existence). We observe plenty of things that exist, but transcendence is beyond existence.  This is simple logic based on the definition of these words.
                ——————————
                “instead ascribe such powers to blind unintelligent impersonal forces- which is much more absurd.”

                When referring to powers or forces, one doesn’t usually associate sight to them, or even a persona.  To attribute rationality to the universe is not really any different than attributing mathematical laws, and the gods that are subject to laws or rationality are no gods at all.  If you would rather that they are superior to these laws then they can change them and are therefore capricious.  Equivalence has it’s proponents, but I don’t see how worshipping an intellect or a law is superior to using it. Christians also seem to think Euthyphro’s dilemma doesn’t apply to their gods.
                ———————————

                “The witnesses of the resurrection died for their testimony. How many people would be willing to die for what they knew to be a lie;”

                You’re assuming that they would have known it was a lie.  They may not have known this to be the case at all.  Look at the pervasive examples throughout history where hundreds of thousands of people died for a supposed idea when the reality was quite different, e.g. corporate/banking/energy interests promoting the “spread of democracy” etc.
                —————————–
                “and the more so when they received absolutely no material benefit from that “lie”, but rather persecution and poverty?”

                Interesting that they received no material benefit, yet modern day Christians don’t fit that mold at all, do they?  Whey don’t you believe that “lie”?  Are you encountering persecution and poverty?  Seriously though, this is Jesus’ requirement to be a follower.  This isn’t anyone taking their material possessions from them unwillingly.  This is people voluntarily getting rid of their material wealth; unloading it like it’s trash.  What’s that joke?  What does the Gentile say when the Christian comes by with their garbage?  ANS:  “I’ll take three bags”.
                —————————–

                “Another thing I have always found interesting: Of all the so-called gods, it is only the God of Christianity who is violently rejected by not only the world, but even by many who profess to be believers.”

                I find that they all have their strong points.  In general, the Greek gods just simply aren’t big enough. They’re just too personal; too much like me.  The Hindu gods are too awesome, too impersonal.  Jesus comes along and he’s right there in between; he’s in the sweet spot.  He doesn’t deny the transcendent nature of the Father, yet he also points out that one must “deny yourself”. 

                The problem is that so-called Christians don’t understand that Jesus took his own advice.  Instead they become obsessed with the person, and a persona is a fraud; a mask, a deception.  They miss the message completely.  
                ————————–

                “Jesus…Those who hate God certainly know who the real one is!”

                I hadn’t really thought about that; good point.  Chesterton makes the same point using Thor.  No one gets bent out of shape if someone believes in Thor.

          • Bevin, Eric, re: obstacles to freedom. I’ve been spending way too much time outside the country and as a result I haven’t been maintaining my vehicles as I should. My chopper is the most blatant example of my lazy disregard. It’s an embarrassing example of what an immoral idolater I’ve become. I can’t take care of my idols anymore. So I decided to take it down to the shop, see what it would cost to get it running and hopefully sell it to someone who can appreciate a nice piece of faux Americana. The estimate was more than I was going to get for it so the guy offered to buy it off of me. He’s going to hoist it up onto a pole in front of his business. I went home to get the title and called the DMV to make sure I was following all their protocols, regulations, etc. to the T. Then I went down the motorcycle shop and the guy just sort of looked at me like I needed to have my head examined and said, “We don’t need to involve them. Here’s your money, this is all you really need”. I was embarrassed to realize that he was right. I didn’t need to involve the State., but my programming just naturally kicked in and had to call to make sure I was licking their boots properly. It’s insidious, I don’t even know how badly I’ve been programmed.

              • Hi Eric, thanks for the condolences. I really loved that bike for a good ten years. It was just plain fun, but the more time I spend gone, the more time it just sits rusting to pieces. It still looked pretty good too, and I probably could have gotten twice what I got by advertising it. I just wasn’t into going through all the tire kicking and the shuck and jive I’d have to endure in the process. I sold a shovelhead to a guy about 20 years ago. He was really starry eyed; it was love at first sight. I probably spent another ten minutes telling him about everything I could think of that would easily result in his demise if he didn’t tear the entire thing apart and start over. He bought it anyways, for more than I even wanted. I’m older, and my conscience would bother me now if some kid were to get splattered or incinerated because they ignored my warnings. I’ve also got two discs squished in my lower back from carrying sheetrock so I couldn’t ride the thing more than an hour, and even then I’d still be feeling it a few days later. Next up, the Bandit 1200S….

            • Dear Teo,

              Many years ago, I did something similar. A friend offered to give me a couple of his prescription medicine tablets.

              I was so programmed to “obey the law”, I said, “But isn’t that against the law?”

              He was further ahead in his deprogramming than I was at the time. So he smiled and said, “Yeah? So what?”

              I did a double take, and took several minutes to sort out the confusion in my mind before saying, “Yeah. You’re right”.

              The Myth of Authority. The programming runs deep. We no longer see our chains because they’re inside our heads.

              • Yes, the deception is truly deep Bevin. I have dogs and chickens. For years I’ve been getting their heart worm, flea and tick, vaccines etc. according to what the vet recommends, then one day someone pointed out that the heart worm and flea, tick treatment can all be had for a fraction of the cost at the local feed store or online. I checked it out, but even after seeing it was all true, I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t think I was competent to do it right. Then I started noticing people pointing out how these vaccines were actually hurting the dogs, and lo and behold I remembered how my last dog died under mysterious circumstances shortly after his last shot, which turned out to be unnecessary and wasn’t even why I was at the vet in the first place; mixed paperwork etc. The way they made it sound, if I didn’t vaccinate my puppies they’d all be dead in no time. Four months later, they’re all fine with no shots.

                Then someone pointed out how the antibiotics they were using were prescribed for livestock, but “it’s the same stuff your doctor prescribes”. I’m discovering that’s there’s this whole sort of underworld of people who are just ignoring all these regulations, statutes, laws, etc. They’re all just running under the radar. I’m still resistant, but I also notice that I’m starting to slip into it as well. Then again, just going somewhere where I don’t have to think or worry about it at all still seems like a better option.

        • “…why should what the authors wrote be taken as Truth?”

          For a number of reasons.
          1. logical consistency
          2. empirical adequacy
          3. experiential relevance
          ———————
          “Two, if the bible is not the word of a god/gods then what is it other than old and fantastic tales with maybe some sprinkles of common wisdom thrown in the mix?”

          Why not lump anything else in there as well? How about the dialogues of Plato; Shakespeare; The Iliad and the Odyssey; Einstein’s theory of Relativity?
          —————–
          ” Three, again, show me a Christian who does not believe the bible is the word of their god.”

          See above. I would also point out that the texts themselves don’t make this claim so any “bible believing” Christian who is honest will have to admit that the bible is not the word of God. It’s preposterous on the face of it. Take for example John’s gospel which states that “In the beginning was the bible, and the bible was with God and the bible was God”. Oops, John’s gospel doesn’t say that now does it? No, instead it uses the Greek word “logos”, but John’s gospel, although written in Greek is a Jewish document, and therefore John isn’t using this word as some Greek philosopher would use it, and he certainly isn’t using it to suggest that he’s speaking of a literal word.
          ——————
          “We know someone wrote it..”
          “Obviously. But that “someone” is not a god. And if it is not the word of a god then it is just another book from one particular culture.”

          So, by your logic we could make the same claim to any other books written based on the culture they originated in. Darwin is simply giving us insights into what kind of culture Darwin lived in. Modern physics is really just an indicator of cultural markers.
          ——————-
          “There may be some wisdom in the bible but much of that wisdom is not found only in the Christian bible.”

          I’m not making any these claims. In fact, I’ve pointed out that Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and many others all shed incredible insights into what these Judeo Christian texts are talking about.
          ——————-
          ” Other cultures throughout history have similar stories and wisdom. And just because some people (there have been and still are more non-Christians than there are Christians) have had belief in the veracity of the bible over the years is not evidence that it is true.”

          Again, I’m not making the claim that one’s belief establish the veracity of the biblical texts.
          ——————-
          “…those who have even the most rudimentary reading comprehension skills.”
          “And yet defenders of the bible have to constantly try to explain away “words” and phrases in the bible as to not actually meaning what they clearly mean to anyone with the most rudimentary of reading comprehension skills. ”

          Please provide any examples, especially from anything I’ve posted so far.

          • One must also keep in mind: Most of the “authors” of the Bible were martyred. People generally are not willing to die for self-induced delusions…

            Also, the prophecies- from ones which were fulfilled long ago, like the Romans killing Jesus, The Lamb Of God, on the Passover- down to one being fulfilled before our etes- such as a worldwide cashless system being implemented “that all who did not receive the mark IN their right hand or forehead could not buy or sell…”.

            To the scientific knowledge wich has been in the Bible for several thousand years, but has only recently, within the last century, been discovered by men- such as the statement that God created the visible universe out of non-matter. i.e. there is no way the Apostle Paul 2000 years ago would have humanly known what only modern nuclear physics has recently proven- that matter is not eternal.

            And then there is the numerical symmetry- Google the work of Ivan Panin for info on this. He discovered mathematical patterns in the Bible, that can not even be reproduced by computers, while allowing a text to read coherently- much less while making it say something precise and specific.

            There are literally so many proofs on so many different levels of the inspiration of the Bible, that if one studies the matter in depth, there is not even a question about it- and such proofs (and especially in combination) appear in no other writings in this world.

            • Horse puckey. There is no such “proof.” In fact there is no evidence whatsoever for the extraordinary claims made in the bible. It is no more than legends and tall tales. You might as well study Grimm’s Fairy Tales in depth.

          • > ““And yet defenders of the bible have to constantly try to explain away “words” and phrases in the bible as to not actually meaning what they clearly mean to anyone with the most rudimentary of reading comprehension skills. ” <

            It depends on what one ultimately considers The Bible.

            No translation of a foreign language is perfect; much less when the original was penned 2000 years ago, and further back; and of dead langauges no less.

            To add to the mess, in more recent times, there have been a proliferation of "translations" and aparaphrases set forth, produced by rabid anti-Christians, and which use source texts which were never accepted by Christians of the past. [Cas in point: The NIV translation, which relies on the spurious Alexandrian Greek text of the NT which was assembled by two occultists named Wescott & Hort. Among the NIV's translators, were people like Virginia Mollenkott [google it]- a rabid liberal lesbian!]

            Even the good old King Jimmy is far from perfect.

            So when one speaks of the Bible, and wants to be precise, for the New Testament, the only definitive source is the greek Textus Receptus. For the Old Testament, The Masoretic Text is generally reliable- but altered by the Jews in the 9th century AD, somewhat- and thus should always be compared with the Greek Septuagint a.k.a the LXX- [The Greek translation of the OT which was extant in Jesus' day].

            To merely quote a translation of a 2000 year-old dead language, I'm sure anyone would agree, is foolhardy when trying to be precise and ascertain details.

            • “And yet defenders of the bible have to constantly try to explain away “words” and phrases in the bible as to not actually meaning what they clearly mean to anyone with the most rudimentary of reading comprehension skills. ”

              Well, to give just one example; not all of those with rudimentary reading comprehension skills are educated enough to know the difference between literal and figurative speech. There are plenty of frauds out there who will say, “Oh, that’s figurative” when they have no idea what figure was used. This is usually the complaint lodged against bible thumpers, and it’s quite often a legitimate claim. Again, this doesn’t negate the validity of those who actually do know what figure is being employed and how to prove it.

              One of the most notorious examples used by skeptics is that of the talking snake in Genesis. Those defending the bible’s literal interpretation will simply respond with something along the lines that the devil is very cunning and deceptive so it should come as no surprise that he can disguise himself as a snake etc. That’s an explanation, albeit not one I would choose to use, but then does one want an explanation at all? Your gripe seems to be that they’re supplying an explanation in the first place, and that it shouldn’t even be necessary, no?

              The word in the Hebrew that is translated as “snake; serpent” is “naXash”, and it means “burning one; shining one”. It is also used to refer to a serpent, but only because of the burn of its bite. In the book of Numbers, God tells Moses to construct a seraph and place it on a pole. Moses complies with this request by constructing a “naXash of brass”. The two terms are synonymous. So this seraph is what is actually talking with Adam and Eve in the garden. The New Testament writers refer to him as “that old serpent, the devil, and Satan”. When Herod is referred to as “that old fox”, no one assumes that he’s really a fox either.

              There is no need to prove that these celestial beings exist. The texts indicate that they, like God; transcend this material observable world. Logically, anything that we can understand or experience through our senses is not transcendent. We understand and experience our own existence therefore existence cannot be transcendent. From this we may also conclude that God and these other celestial beings do not exist. Regardless, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what the story is conveying, and in this case it’s pointing out that our Grand parents screwed up, and it’s going to be a while before we figure out how to get back to something better. Maybe it’s just pointing out that we need to feel that there’s something better than what we understand of the world around us. Maybe it’s pointing out that it’s not something we can get to because we’re not ready for it. “God” places a guard to keep us from getting too close to it. Some might say to punish us while others might point out it’s for our own protection. The texts are like those pictures you see which change depending on the angle you view it from. This is also a quite common theme throughout the biblical texts. Isaiah looks around and sees only the depravity of Israel, but then he sees a vision of seraphim who only see the glory of God filling the entire universe. The books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles present divergent versions of the same events, but scholars are in agreement that what they are presenting are simply different perspectives of the same events; one from God’s perspective, the other is a human perspective. The gospels are another notorious example. Some assume that because they aren’t identical, they must be contradictory, or they see similar stories and assume they must be the same story. Contradictions based upon assumptions. This is what is presented constantly to explain away the veracity of the texts. Ignorance trumps any other explanation for them.

              • One would be surprised how profitable it is to literally believe the Bible, rather than to explain away things which we may not understand or which may not jibe with our own limited experience.

                Is it so far-fetched that snakes and donkeys may have once talked at some time in the past; or that [in the case of the snake] a supernatural event occurred and might not have seemed strange to the first two people to inhabit the newly created Earth, and who thus had no historical experience?

                All I know, is that when I was a kid, I had a talking parakeet- and he could even make up his own compound words!

                Some don’t believe that the giants of the Bible were real. Funny, but as recently as the 1940’s, there were skeletons of such giants on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, as well as others. Such skeletons were relegated to the basement for storage, as they conflicted with the theory of evolution which these museums became purveyors of…and eventually were lost…..

                People used to read the propheices of latter-day events occuring in the physical lands of ancient Babylon (present Iraq) and Libya and Palestine [etc.] and say “Ah how quaint! The ignorant shepherds who penned the Bible knew only of the nearby lands surrounding them, so naturally they wrote of future events occurring there, because that was the whole world to them…the poor silly fools!”-

                But funny how it is those very lands which, after millenia of hiatus, are now making headlines daily and are the focal point of workl events, eh?

                • It’s not so much that various things conflict with evolution but they conflict with a particular notion of evolution.

                  What is called science today is just another religion and used in all the same ways. But to actually understand real science and then speak up with it will get a person in a lot trouble these days. One gets labeled ‘anti-science’ and a ‘denier’ for looking at the data and reaching a different conclusion than authority.

                  There’s nothing about evolution that says the giants could not have existed but authority has hung its hat on a particular account of evolution and anything that disturbs it is now in the realm of kookism.

                  • On that we can largely agree, Brent. I think with the issue of giants though, the idea is (or at least was, at the time) that since we are supposed to be top-rung and highest form of the “evolutionary process”, that the existence of a physically superior version would tend to point to devolution. There’s also evidence that some of evidence of super-sized human bones, were used as dinosaur fossils; and also found in places where if acknowledged, would prove that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time- which would essentially tear down the ediface of the past 100 years of their evolutionary claims.

                    • Nunzio, this reminds me of those cave paintings they found showing the quite well drawn likeness of a dinosaur. The really crazy thing was that they had drawn the skin. Then someone found some actual skin and lo and behold it matched.

                • If you want to look at a giant hoax that is right in our faces you have to look no further than the “holy” bible. A collection of ancient legends and fiction mixed in with some history, pawned off as the word of some supernatural being who happened to create the entire universe despite having the temperament and emotional maturity of a 2-year-old. (Worship me or I will torment you forever! But I love you!)

                  Is it really so far fetched that the moon is made of green cheese and the earth is a plate sitting on the back of a giant turtle – and that it’s turtles all the way down?

                  • The problem with your oversimplified analysis Jason is that you, like most of the uneducated masses; are ignorant of the power of myth. Mythologies have immense explanatory power, especially when one is able to look at them as myth rather than some historical account. Conflating the two only spotlights one’s inability to think critically. The same goes for those who would rather look at the idiots and laugh than look at what can be gained from these myths. I just watched a video of N.deG Tyson who basically said the exact same thing. It really isn’t any different than the theories that are being presented now. They have great explanatory power, but they have very little to do with observable facts. None of it is falsifiable; theoretical science has a lot of its own turtles all the way down as well.

                  • Yes, Jason- legends and myths penned by the ignorant….who just happened to be aware of such things as the spreading of contagion via germs (Which “science has barely been aware of for 100 years- but which has existed in the Bible for over 3000 years); and of nuclear physics; the hydrologic cycle; the relevance of the Mid-east in modern politics and their manipulation by foreign super-powers…

                    I guess those “ignurnt” shepherds just got lucky…..

                    • Revelation from God, luck; same difference. There’s a story in the bible of God fighting for Israel. Yeah, right. Herodotus chronicles the same battle, but his story is considerably more reliable and makes so much more sense. He says that the battle weary soldiers returned and their explanation for the beating they took was that the rats ate their quivers. It could happen…

                    • Nunzio, sometimes my ability to apply rhetoric, sarcasm etc. doesn’t quite make it to the computer screen. When I say “It could happen…” regarding Herodotus’ explanation, I’m joking. Rats don’t eat quivers.

                • Comment from Nunzio:
                  “One would be surprised how profitable it is to literally believe the Bible,”

                  Especially when the author is using literal speech. The opposite is true if he is using figurative speech, then one isn’t likely to profit from the wrong interpretation.
                  —————
                  ” rather than to explain away things which we may not understand or which may not jibe with our own limited experience.”

                  I agree, and when I discover the facts, those other explanations make absolutely no sense whatsoever. When one knows the truth of the matter they don’t have to explain away anything. It all makes perfect sense, and agrees with the rest of scripture.
                  ——————-

                  “Is it so far-fetched that snakes and donkeys may have once talked at some time in the past;”

                  It may not be far-fetched, but one thing is certain, Adam and Eve never held a conversation with a literal snake. Their discussion was with a literal seraph; “a naXash” There is a structure within this text that shows this to be the case as it matches up with the Cherub who is placed as guard. It doesn’t work as a match with a snake. Notice also how everything is mirrored.

                  Here the Introversion and Alternation:

                  A: The Nachash: procuring man’s death, in Adam
                  B: The Tree of Knowledge; eating it.
                  C: 1. Effect on both; the man and the woman.
                  2. Human provision: man -made aprons
                  D. God’s inquiry of the man
                  E: God’s inquiry of woman
                  F: Sentence on the Nachash
                  F* Promise of the seed
                  E*: God’s sentence on the woman
                  D* God’s sentence on the man
                  C* 1.Effect on both: the man and the woman
                  2. Divine provision: God -made coats
                  B*The Tree of Life, expulsion from it.
                  A*The Cheribum: preserving man’s life, in Christ.

                  Again, he’s described as “that old serpent, the devil, and Satan” He transforms himself into a being of light, not a serpent. He is explicitly described as a highly exalted angel, and a nachash is the same thing; i.e. “a shining one”

          • Teo, “For a number of reasons.”

            And those three reasons as applied to the bible continue to be debated.

            “Why not lump anything else in there as well?”

            Why not indeed. If the bible is nothing more than the words of some men then it is no different than the words of other men.

            I would argue that a Christian who does not believe the bible is the word of their god is a fool fooling himself. If it is not the word of their god then why are they following it?

            “Please provide any examples, especially from anything I’ve posted so far.”

            An example is the word “slave”. Christians go to great extremes to try to explain away god’s condoning of slavery. They say things like the word “slave” actually means “servant”. But it does not. It means slave exactly as the word means.

            An example from one of your post, the very one I am responding to now:

            “Take for example John’s gospel which states that “In the beginning was the bible, and the bible was with God and the bible was God”. Oops, John’s gospel doesn’t say that now does it? No, instead it uses the Greek word “logos”, but John’s gospel, although written in Greek is a Jewish document, and therefore John isn’t using this word as some Greek philosopher would use it, and he certainly isn’t using it to suggest that he’s speaking of a literal word.”

            I have answered your questions and challenges will you now answer mine from above?

            • Hey Skunk,

              ” If the bible is nothing more than the words of some men then it is no different than the words of other men.”

              Somehow I suspect that you must know that isn’t really accurate. Do you see any difference between the words of Barack Obama, and oh, let’s say you for example? How about the words of a raving lunatic verses those of someone who is perfectly sane? What about the difference between the words of an Austrian economist and a Keynesian? Do you really think they’re no different? How about the words of a fundamentalist Christian verses those of a Nobel Prize winning molecular biologist? Please explain how these are equivalent. Yes, we all understand that they are both the words of men, but this is besides the point. The biblical texts quite simply state that they are NOT God’s word, but are a testimony; a witness to the truth.
              ———————
              “I would argue that a Christian who does not believe the bible is the word of their god is a fool fooling himself.”

              I’d be interested in hearing your arguments.
              —————-
              ” If it is not the word of their god then why are they following it?”

              Because it makes sense. Because it works.
              —————–
              “Please provide any examples, especially from anything I’ve posted so far.”

              “An example is the word “slave”. Christians go to great extremes to try to explain away god’s condoning of slavery. They say things like the word “slave” actually means “servant”. But it does not. It means slave exactly as the word means.”

              Okay, good example from the peanut gallery. I don’t have a problem with biblical slavery. I’m not pretending that it means anything other than what the bible describes. Although history also adds to the picture; not enough to make most people claim that a slavery can be a good in society, but enough to make an argument for its necessity, not to mention its moral benefits. I would also point out that biblical slavery, especially as outlined in the Mosaic law is quite different than what most people understand by slavery. I’m not making up words, or explaining anything away, but simply pointing out that slavery as defined and articulated in the texts themselves is significantly different than most people realize. If slavery were to be legalized (which is already is as our Supreme Court just decided), then I would definitely prefer slavery as outlined in the Mosaic law.
              ———————-
              An example from one of your post, the very one I am responding to now:

              “Take for example John’s gospel which states that “In the beginning was the bible, and the bible was with God and the bible was God”. Oops, John’s gospel doesn’t say that now does it? No, instead it uses the Greek word “logos”, but John’s gospel, although written in Greek is a Jewish document, and therefore John isn’t using this word as some Greek philosopher would use it, and he certainly isn’t using it to suggest that he’s speaking of a literal word.”

              “I have answered your questions and challenges”

              Uh, not really. Are you saying that you actually believe that the gospel writer intended to convey to his readers that in the beginning there was a literal word, and that word was God? This doesn’t work logically. God is not a word. Words convey ideas, concepts and God is not an idea or concept. There is nothing in the texts that would agree with this interpretation. If there is, please enlighten me on my gross error here.

              • Teo, of course all words are not equal and I never said as such. My contention is that there is nothing special about the words written in the bible by men (not by a god) versus other words written elsewhere by other men because wise words are not the exclusive domain of the bible.

                “I’d be interested in hearing your arguments.”

                If the bible is not the word of the god one worships then why would one follow it as if it is?

                “Because it makes sense. Because it works.”

                That is debatable.

                “…slavery can be a good in society, but enough to make an argument for its necessity, not to mention its moral benefits.”

                Are you seriously trying to defend any form of slavery?! Please, what is the moral benefit of being “owned” by another human being?! “…a good in society…”?! So the individual is subservient to the collective?!

                “I would also point out that biblical slavery, especially as outlined in the Mosaic law is quite different than what most people understand by slavery. I’m not making up words, or explaining anything away…”

                But that is exactly what you are doing – trying to explain away the word slavery. This proves my example.

                “…instead it uses the Greek word “logos”, but John’s gospel, although written in Greek is a Jewish document, and therefore John isn’t using this word as some Greek philosopher would use it…Are you saying that you actually believe that the gospel writer intended to convey to his readers that in the beginning there was a literal word, and that word was God?”

                Not saying any such thing. I am saying what I said prior, and that which your comment proves, and that is that Christians have to claim that words written in the bible do not mean what what they mean. If the word is not apt then why is it being used? If it does not translate accurately why use it? Why not use the word/words that actually make it accurate?

                •  Skunk posted: ” My contention is that there is nothing special about the words written in the bible by men (not by a god)”

                  Straw man argument.  I’m not the one who is making the claim that the bible is the word of God.  In fact, I’ve explicitly made the exact opposite claim, and pointed out that the texts themselves never make this claim either.
                  —————————-
                  “…versus other words written elsewhere by other men because wise words are not the exclusive domain of the bible.”

                  More straw.  I never argued that the bible was the exclusive domain of human wisdom.  You, on the other hand are now claiming that there is wisdom, but in another post it’s “nonsense”  Wisdom and nonsense?  
                  ————————–

                  “I’d be interested in hearing your arguments.”

                  “If the bible is not the word of the god one worships then why would one follow it as if it is?”

                  This isn’t an argument.  This is a question based upon faulty reasoning and incoherent assumptions.  Here are a few facts for your consideration.  Perhaps you might be able to form a more coherent question, hopefully an actual argument with these in mind.

                  1. The text itself never claims to be the word of God.

                  2. I don’t worship much of anything, least of all a book.  Are you engaging in a debate with me or someone else who does these things?  I’m not likely to defend people who worship books.  Those are arguments better left between you and them.

                  3. Therefore I don’t pretend that it is or isn’t the word of God and then worship it as if it is or isn’t the word of God. 
                  ————————

                  “Because it makes sense. Because it works.”

                  “That is debatable.”

                  So debate it.
                  ———————-
                  “Are you seriously trying to defend any form of slavery?”

                  Are you seriously this deluded that you think you can rephrase what I posted to mean that I defend any form of slavery when I explicitly stated the exact opposite?  The thing I find the most ironic is when people approach me and make these vague claims that things like the bible are nonsense, and when I respond that “biblical slavery is to be preferred to other forms of slavery….etc”  They come back with this idea that I’m defending “any form of slavery”  No  wonder the bible doesn’t make sense to you. You can’t comprehend what you’re reading in the first place.  If you can’t understand what I’m posting in common English, you haven’t got a chance with the wisdom literature of the ancients. 

                  When you’ve just been handed your ass on a platter, what are you going to do?  Do you wander off into the desert, or the woods to forage for nuts and berries, or do you acquiesce to a superior culture and learn their ways of living?  Again, a little inquiry into exactly what biblical slavery entails would go a long way to disperse the fog surrounding your preconceived ideas on slavery.  A slave was taken into their owners home almost as one of the family.  They ate the same food, wore the same clothes, lived under the same roof, had responsibilities that were no different than that of a nanny, maid, butler, etc.  These were basically the exact same tasks we do today with the exception that instead of paying them money, they were given room and board, health care etc.   Usually a term lasted around 7 years at which time they were free to leave with money in their pockets.  They now were free to join the community they had learned to live in over the last few years or leave and venture out of the community.  Some stayed, some remained slaves because they had the good life. 

                  Then there were those who had debts to pay, and would rather work it off than run away etc.  When those are the only options, being a slave doesn’t look that bad especially if it entails a rise in one’s standard of living.  

                  But hey we have a much better way today, don’t we? Sure, someone owes you a large debt, they can declare bankruptcy and you’re shit out of luck. Back then they looked at that as a form of theft, and didn’t think a thief should be able to walk away scott free. So they thought it a better idea to let the debtor pay his debt and the person owed the debt be able to recoup his loss. That’s immoral? That’s unethical? Go on defend theft. Let’s hear your arguments letting people just borrow and walk away.
                  ——————————-

                  “I would also point out that biblical slavery, especially as outlined in the Mosaic law is quite different than what most people understand by slavery. I’m not making up words, or explaining anything away…”

                  “But that is exactly what you are doing – trying to explain away the word slavery. This proves my example.”

                  Not even close.  You’re grasping at straws again.   I see nothing wrong with biblical slavery as outlined in the bible.  I probably have all sorts of problems with your definition of slavery, but then all you’ve provided is the word itself.  Evidently you’d rather settle your argument with word association rather than an actual argument.
                  ——————————

                  “…instead it uses the Greek word “logos”, but John’s gospel, although written in Greek is a Jewish document, and therefore John isn’t using this word as some Greek philosopher would use it…Are you saying that you actually believe that the gospel writer intended to convey to his readers that in the beginning there was a literal word, and that word was God?”

                  Not saying any such thing. I am saying what I said prior, and that which your comment proves, and that is that Christians…”

                  More false assumptions. I’m not a Christian, and I’m not changing anything.  
                  —————————-
                  “have to claim that words written in the bible do not mean what what they mean.”

                  Your confusion arises from an inability to admit that a word can have more than one meaning.  One of the defining characteristics of the Hebrew culture, as well as it’s language is it’s wordplay.  Let me give you one of my favorite examples.

                  After the kingdom of Israel was split the princes of the north came to sue for peace.  The prince of Judah consulted with the elders who considered this to be a good idea. However when he consulted his buddies, they all thought it sucked, and told him how to respond.  Here is what they told him to say:  “My father whipped you with whips, I will whip you with scorpions.  My finger is fatter than my father’s thigh”.  This is a translation.

                  In the Hebrew the word which most translators translate as “finger” is a much more vague word.  The most accurate word is really the most vague.  “digit” would be probably the best translation.  A digit could be a toe, a finger, or one’s dick.  Given that these were young tuffs looking for a fight, which word do you think is most accurate?  What makes more sense?  The problem is that the best answer isn’t going to work at the Baptist’s Wednesday evening bible study, and even “digit” allows one to ponder what’s really going on.    One translator uses “finger” to solve the problem, another one uses “dick”.  Which one would you explain away?

                  Here’s another one that works even in English.  This one actually crosses over exactly the same.  Balaam was a prophet, but he peddled his services for money.  He was a prophet for profit.  The wordplay is evident in the English just as it is in the Hebrew.  if you’re not comprehending what I’m saying here, just close your eyes and repeat these two words one after the other, e.g. “prophet”, “profit”  hear any difference?   In the Hebrew, the word even looks the same. Both meanings are applicable.

                  “If the word is not apt then why is it being used? If it does not translate accurately why use it? Why not use the word/words that actually make it accurate?”

                  For countless reasons.  Here’s another one of my favorites.  When Saul is out looking to murder David, he wanders into a cave and in the Hebrew a euphemism is employed to describe what he goes into the cave to do.  The Hebrew manuscripts state that he went in and “covered his feet”,  Translators differ on what this might mean, but it is used nowhere else in any of the texts.   

                  A good story holds a readers interest, but most people gloss over this as if nothing happened.  There is really no need to say Saul covered his feet if he is just going to take a nap, but if he’s going in to take a dump, it works perfectly.  The translators of the NIV have “he went in to relieve himself’  For this reason alone the translator of the NIV should be shot and all copies burned.  I enjoy using this euphemism myself occasionally. It’s still accurate today.

                  Today when someone has died you will sometimes hear people say that they “passed away”; “the dearly departed”; “rest in peace” etc.  Jesus says that Lazarus sleeps, people don’t understand, and eventually he has to explain that Lazarus is dead.  He’s using a euphemism to gently refer to a hard cold fact of reality. 

                  When Jesus says, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”,  his disciples begin to ask among themselves if they have enough bread to eat.  Jesus then tells them that he isn’t referring to bread.  He is using a figure of speech that was commonly understood and recognized 2000 years ago.  Even though it isn’t recognized today it does accomplish it’s intended aim, i.e. to stop the reader in their tracks and cause them to ponder what is really being said. 

                  This is the purpose of this type of writing.  It’s meant to confuse, anger, convict, amuse, entertain,awe, enrage, bore, enlighten, etc.  It is a mirror, and what it reflects back to you is “nonsense”; “nothing special” etc..

            • > “An example is the word “slave”. Christians go to great extremes to try to explain away god’s condoning of slavery. They say things like the word “slave” actually means “servant”. But it does not. It means slave exactly as the word means. : <

              Oooo, not quite my friend.

              If one takes into account such things as the fact that the Bible prohibits kidnapping, and considers it a capital crime; and other such relevent things, one learns that a "slave" in Biblical parlance is one who is performing bond-servitude because of owed debts or poverty; or for the restitution of property crimes [there were no jails in the Bible!]; or voluntarily, because he had no other way to earn a living; or a captive of a warring nation.

              It was much like an employment contract today- only there was no state to swipe half of what you earned.

              The word "slave" only appears once in the entire Bible- and that is in the book of Revelation. Throughout the rest of the Bible, there are "bond men" and "Bond maids" and "servants".

              • Nunzio, re: ” the Bible prohibits kidnapping, and considers it a capital crime;…owed debts or poverty; or for the restitution of property crimes … or voluntarily, because he had no other way to earn a living; or a captive of a warring nation.”

                All good points, and I’d add only that there are probably a lot of people who have an insane amount of college debt with no prospects for paying it off now or in the near future. Just think how many would be willing to have ALL of it erased, AND have a place to live, clothing, and eat as good as the guy who paid your debt off, AND have a secure job for the next five or ten years as well? What’s so wrong about getting paid up front and then doing the work?

                How about this: All those immigrants rushing into Europe. Hey, you want to live here? Sure, but you’re going to have to work it off for the next five years. That’s the price of admission. Take it or leave it. There would be plenty who would jump at it and be grateful. People have this idea in their heads that owning someone else is immoral. Why? Because it’s slavery, they’ll exclaim. Why is slavery wrong? Because that’s owning someone. and round it goes. Labels people don’t even understand in the first place. Would you rather be free and destitute, or a “slave” and living the good life in comfort? In the real world, most people will opt for the latter.

                When a culture has a ritual to welcome a slave as a permanent member of a family, as a slave, and the slave opts for this voluntarily, who is the victim? How many other cultures out there have slaves who want to remain slaves for the rest of their lives? The Mosaic law treats their slaves better than a lot of companies treat their employees with better benefits.

        • “prove the story of Adam and Eve.”

          The first thing to remember is that this story can and is interpreted in many different ways, many of which are clearly incorrect so I am not going to prove nonsense. However, just because there are many other interpretations which may even have some interesting moral, or other significance to someone, doesn’t negate the truths that are conveyed or the facts that are quite simply obvious. For example, the story indicates that man was created from the dirt, and his body will return to dirt when he dies. Scientific observations confirm just as much. The texts indicate that seeds were created and then planted here on earth. The most recent discoveries in science are now confirming that evolution could never have happened here on earth as there just isn’t enough time for it to occur. Richard Dawkins as also pointed this out and even proposed a similar, if not exactly identical; theory. I forget the exact name, something like a seed or “sperma” theory.

          The chronological sequence of events dealing with the origin of light, the earth and heavens etc. all quite coincidently match up with what modern science observes. There is an excellent book out by an avowed atheist “The Genesis Enigma” His overriding question is: How is it that iron age goatherds are able to present these events in their proper chronological order? They obviously weren’t around when all of this occurred. They couldn’t have observed any of it. So how was this revealed to them? How did they figure this out?
          ————————
          “Prove that the garden of Eden existed and that what the bible says took place there actually occurred.”
          Science points out that we use less than 10% of our brains, and even the 10% that we use, we don’t really use it that well. What happened? Why is it that there has been so much deterioration in our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health over time? The progression is clearly going in one direction, and that direction is right in line with the texts. The texts indicate that human beings lived longer, and science has pointed out that reproducing a climate that existed around that time period produces longer living plant and animal life as well. Logic is enough to at the very least give it an honest open minded hearing. When science backs up or corroborates the texts then one can assume that the rest is pure bullshit if they want to, but what I’ve found is that when more and more of it makes sense, why stop there?
          ————————-
          “…the examples from history are not only pervasive, but amusing in how obvious God’s laws are to those who have actually performed the experiments.”
          Example please.

          The Black Death was blamed on the Jews because they weren’t getting sick in anything close to the numbers that the goyim were dying. They followed their laws which instructed them to wash whenever they came in contact with blood, a corpse, rotting food or flesh, etc. This is explicitly stated to prevent the spread of disease. The gentile population, Christians included ignored God’s laws concerning cleanliness. Christians were, and still are; under the impression that Jesus cleansed them so they don’t have to adhere to these cleanliness laws. Science has repeatedly shown that washing your hands like a pious Pharisee for just 30 seconds is a better way to kill germs than using antibiotic soaps, and better for your immune system as well. Science is a bit behind the curve which is really tragic, and spotlights the blind obedience and worship people place in something that is clearly clueless most of the time.

          When Israel immigrated to the Promised Land they engaged in usury. This is explicitly stated to be an instrument of war to destroy the inhabitants of the Promised Land. However just because it was used there doesn’t mean it won’t work with anyone else anywhere else. The US is some 100 to 200 trillion dollars in debt, and the rest of the world is waking up to this fact and going to abandon the destitute dollar one of these days. Guess who isn’t going to give two shits when that happens? This theme is pervasive throughout scripture. Beginning with Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, both on his way out of Egypt and on the way into the Promised Land; and this is just in the book of Genesis. We’ve probably all heard: “the borrower is slave to the lender”. This is obvious, yet how many people who have heard this have a mortgage? How many owe money on one or more of their cars? How many are paying interest on credit cards? The average in the US is something like $15k just for credit card debt. Debt slaves, one and all.

          The Mosaic law stipulates that one must be honest with their weights and measures when engaging in commerce. What happens when one doesn’t do this? Well for starters we get things like Central banking, fractional reserve banking with fiat currencies. From this it is easy to see how a biblical prophet might say something like what Amos says, “A days wage for a loaf of bread” Inflation is an obvious effect of these dishonest practices. They figured this out over a few thousand years ago, and yet it’s still going on today, and we’re still going to feel the effects of inflation pretty soon ourselves, especially those of us who worship at the alter of Mammon.

          The dietary laws deal with pointing out that scavengers don’t really offer a whole lot of nutritional value, and they’re actually unhealthy, even dangerous. Science has verified this over and over, but nowadays you’ll have to dig for it because the powers that be want you sick in this country.

          Farming techniques here in the US are destroying the soil. What commercial farmers put into the ground is barely enough to produce something that looks healthy while depleting the soil to the point where it is basically dead. Some farmers are returning to practices that are right out of the Mosaic law, e.g. letting the ground rest, ” a Sabbath for the soil”. Do you grow your own vegetables? If you do and you know how to do it without commercial pesticides and fertilizers you know how much better a home grown heirloom tomato tastes compared to those balls of water sold at the grocery store. I won’t eat spinach from the grocery store anymore; paper tastes better than that crap. I sometimes eat a dozen eggs in a day, and my cholesterol is perfect. Nothing like free range chickens or their eggs, especially when they’re only 20′ away.

          In the US, 1 out of 2 people will come down with cancer. It used to be something like 1 in over 100 just 50 years ago, and people dying of cancer was unheard of farther back. Just following the dietary laws gave me the ability to see how what I was eating affected me. It affected my moods, my energy levels, my immune system, my emotions, etc. The thing about these laws is that they don’t just stop there, they literally rewire your brain. They change the way you see the world. It’s like it made me seem smarter than I knew I was. I don’t have to be smart at all, I just have to be able to follow some simple instructions and voila I get the same results as someone born in the genius IQ range. I’ll take luck over intelligence any day. When you’re lucky you don’t even have to think about it.

            • skunk, conjecture? Certainly not. our bodies are basically produced from the ground and return to dust; easily observable. In a way the texts are quite similar to a theory or logical argument. The bible begins with the assumption that God exists, and proceeds from there to build arguments. The proofs really show up along the way primarily with the commandments, statutes etc. How many have you proven? If you’re like most people believers and unbelievers alike, you’ve probably proven a few at most and not really with proving the veracity of the bible in mind. So, like most, you reject its claims based upon a lack of evidence or pretended evidence to the contrary along with a faulty understanding or gross ignorance of the texts themselves. Again, I’d highly recommend a book like “The Genesis Enigma” as a great starting point to see some of the more pertinent facts. Atheists sometimes need to hear it from other atheists before they can understand it. Some atheists are afraid that if it makes sense coming from a believer they may be losing their mind. While I’m not a believer, I still tend to foster that perception in people simply because I disagree with them.

              • Teo, I apologize for replying here after I said I would give you the last word but I have to make a comment here again after reading this, “The bible begins with the assumption that God exists, and proceeds from there to build arguments.”

                Do you realize the enormity of that statement in so many ways?

                • skunk, I probably should have used the word “Given”. The existence of God is a given in the text. The skeptic must assume God’s existence in order to understand what follows. This is no different than assuming what any given theory presents as a given. If you assume the contrary position in the theory of evolution, none of it makes much sense.

                  Could you be any more vague in your questions? So many ways? How many would that be? Please elaborate on just the first dozen or so.

                  • Teo, “The bible begins with the assumption (or a given) that God exists, and proceeds from there to build arguments.”

                    The bible does not assume anything. A human being assumed that there is a god and then wrote his opinions down creating the bible. This is why it is important to know who is this author. How does he know a god said “Let there be light…etc”? How does he have such knowledge? Or did he just make it all up? For all we know he could be an ancient Charlie Manson.

                    So someone somewhere a long time ago assumed that there was A god and then proceeded to create this god into THE one god based on his assumptions. Then he, and later others, try to squeeze the evidence to support this assumption. Of course this is how most theories and philosophies work; the point being is that the bible is just another philosophy invented by man to try to explain the world and should therefore be considered that and nothing more.

                    But I think I figured out why we are talking past each other.

                    Basically I think you are arguing on the side that the events of Jesus’ life actually took place (more or less) and were then written down decades later by the gospels. Not saying you believe it just that you are representing that side of the argument. (BTW you say you are not a Christian so may I ask what is your philosophy?)

                    While I am arguing that the events of Jesus’ life were the invention of the gospel writers (Paul and others included). Not saying that Jesus did not exist. I think there is some evidence to that but not the resurrection or other supernatural claims made by the gospels.

        • “My questions to you sir/madame are simple: Who compiled the bible (including which ancient books were to be excluded and based on what by whom),”

          History books are a good source for the names and dates, but in a nutshell, if you look at the texts that were accepted they all tend to agree with each other. There are these structures throughout the texts which contain Introversions, and Alternations. They sometimes form immense chiasmas which is a Greek word meaning something like a gaping maw like the mouth of a whale. These structures indicate how not only to interpret the texts, but are an aid to remembering the texts as well. When they are pieced together, it becomes apparent which pieces fit and which one’s don’t. It turns the texts into a puzzle, one that fits together almost perfectly.
          ———————
          ” and Who edited it (which version?)?”

          There are basically two versions. There are the texts that are used by the “King James only” crowd, this includes the New American Standard version and a few others. Then there is the NIV, the New World Translation, and others which includes manuscripts that are quite different, and necessarily come to different theological conclusions. The really crazy thing here is that there are churches that use the NIV or other translations from the same manuscripts which do not agree with the theology of these churches. It’s positively bizarre. They read these translations because they’re cheap and easy to read; “they flow better”.

          A lot of confusion can arise quickly because people will say that these are bad translations, but the fact is that they are actually quite good translations of manuscripts that are different than what others are using.

          You can read the forwards and introductions to each bible and they will all provide you with a more than adequate list of those involved in editing as well as what their methods were and why they used them in editing the texts and translations.

          In addition to many of the more well known translations, there are quite a few translations by individuals Here are just a few:

          ” J.B. Phillips (1958), The Bible in Living English (1972) by Stephen T. Byington, J.N. Darby’s Darby Bible (1890), Heinz Cassirer’s translation (1989), R.A. Knox (1950), Gerrit Verkuyl’s Berkeley Version (1959), The Complete Jewish Bible (1998) by Dr. David H. Stern, Robert Young’s Literal Translation (1862), Jay P.Green’s Literal Translation (1985), The Emphatic Diaglott by Benjamin Wilson (1864), Noah Webster’s Bible Translation (1833), The Original Aramaic Bible in Plain English (2010) by David Bauscher, American King James Version (1999) by Michael Engelbrite, The Living Bible (1971) by Kenneth N. Taylor, The Modern Reader’s Bible (1914) by Richard Moulton, The Five Pauline Epistles, A New Translation (1900) by William Gunion Rutherford, Joseph Bryant Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (1902), Professor S. H. Hooke’s The Bible in Basic English (1949), The Holy Name Bible containing the Holy Name Version of the Old and New Testaments (1963) by Angelo Traina, and Eugene H. Peterson’s The Message (2002) are largely the work of individual translators. Others, such as Robert Alter, N. T. Wright and Dele Ikeorha have translated portions of the Bible.”

            • skunk, scribes, redactors, what do you want, social security numbers? Who cares? Why does it matter to you so much? Who designed the automobile you’re driving? Do you really care who developed the owner’s manual for your vehicles? Do you feel that they can be trusted if you don’t know they’re names or any of their biographical information? Why do you feel this insistence to have a level of familiarity with these authors that you really don’t require for pretty much anything else? Do we need to know who Shakespeare really was to enjoy, appreciate or understand his sonnets? Do you think that without a name they may have written themselves? Do you think that whoever wrote these texts didn’t know how to write? Do we need their credentials to know for sure if they’re qualified to write these texts? Perhaps they speak for themselves. Yep, they do speak for themselves. Well except those letters that are actually signed by the authors themselves. Do I have to point those out to you as well, or are you really going to admit that you’ve never even read these texts anyways? When one of the main themes of the texts is self denial, and the fact that a persona is a fraud, chances are the messenger has taken their own advice. Stop obsessing on the messenger and try and focus on the message. That would be the message you claim to reject, but for some reason are still unable to articulate. Toss that into your salad.

      •  Hey skunk,

        “The bible does not assume anything. A human being assumed that there is a god and then wrote his opinions down creating the bible.”

        It’s a figure of speech.  It means the same thing.  To say that the bible assumes God as a given is no different than saying the writer of the bible assumes God as a given.  One could also say that for the author, God is a self evident truth and therefore needs no proofs or explanations.  
        ——————————-
        “This is why it is important to know who is this author.”

        No it has nothing to do with it.  It doesn’t matter at all who the author is because we can assume that he believed or assumed the existence of God.  We could even assume that he didn’t assume the existence of God, it still wouldn’t make any difference to what is presented in the text itself.  The text itself presents God as a fact.  The very first premise of the first chapter of the first book plainly states: “In the beginning God created…etc.”  This isn’t a proof.  It’s a given.
        ——————————–
        “How does he know a god said “Let there be light…etc”?”

        Why do you assume one need know this in the first place?  What criteria determines that this must be apprehended through the faculty of the intellect?  The question isn’t how does he know what god said.  The question is why is he presenting the reader with this information in the first place.  Almost as important is why is he presenting it in this fashion? 

        Scholars will point out that these goatherds were quite connected to the soil.  They were very “down to earth” and because of this they tended to use these figures to express or emphasize their stories.  Anthropopatheia or Condescension was used by these authors and understood by their audience as figures.  Obviously they didn’t have these fancy names or titles, but nonetheless, they were recognized as figurative speech.  When we get to the formalized laws this becomes obvious, and even more so with the prophetic books because they plainly point out that we can’t fathom much of anything about God at all.  God defies description, or definition.
        —————————-

        “How does he have such knowledge? Or did he just make it all up? For all we know he could be an ancient Charlie Manson.”

        Some theologies, most notably Paul’s would confirm that he most definitely was no better than Charles Manson.  It makes no difference who he was or what else he may have done.  David was a murderer and an adulterer.  Paul was an assessor to murder, and a bit of a blow hard; makes no difference to the content of what they wrote.  The veracity is not ascertained or established by biographical information about the author.  Knowing your actual name doesn’t establish or give any veracity to your arguments.  Your arguments must stand on their own merits, otherwise nothing you post online can be trusted until we know all of your biographical information. 
        ———————

        “So someone somewhere a long time ago assumed that there was A god and then proceeded to create this god into THE one god based on his assumptions.”

        So you at some point some time ago assumed that there was no god and then proceeded to create this assertion that there is no god based upon this assumption.

        If that’s as far as you got , then it should come as no surprise that you are confused.  Again, they explicitly point out that no images can be made of or for God or anything celestial, no names, etc.  Another way to put it would be to say that we can’t look directly at the sun.  We can look at it through special devised, reflections from mirrors etc.  or we can’t look at something with our direct vision, but we can look at it with our peripheral vision.  Our peripheral vision doesn’t really provide an accurate picture of what we are looking at.  The same is true when anyone attempts to describe God.  It just simply cannot be done so they tell stories as a way of talking about something that really can’t be talked about directly at all. 

        We do this all the time.  We tell someone about something that they have no personal experience of, and we use figures of speech to help in our description.  We say “it’s like this…”, or “it’s as big as…etc.”  These are all figures used to describe something, but in the case of God, it can’t be described at all.  I’ve pointed out that for all logical and practical purposes God can’t exist, yet this in no way prevents people from providing analogous ways to relate God to things that we can understand or perceive.  The authors are in no way suggesting that these things are the gods themselves.  They are pointing to greater truths than their own identities.  Such as the fact that they see no way that the whole world could have come into existence ex nihilo without something that already existed; existence itself, or at the very least something that transcends existence….God.  It’s just a word, and even they understood that they were not equating God with words.  They weren’t atheists.  
        ——————————————

        “Then he, and later others, try to squeeze the evidence to support this assumption.”

        The authors don’t attempt to support what is given.  They aren’t attempting to prove the existence of God.  They are just showing how what follows doesn’t negate their premise, but follows naturally from it.  They’re really just reporting which is one of the reasons people tend to find these texts so boring  

        The really damning evidence comes when we get to the Mosaic law itself.  For those who have made the honest attempt to verify the experiments, the results are undeniable.  
        —————————–
        “Of course this is how most theories and philosophies work;”

        This one works exclusively on the scientific method.  Which experiments were you able to disprove?  This is what is so ridiculous about your claims.  I’ve given historical evidence to back it up as well. 
        ———————-
        “the point being is that the bible is just another philosophy invented by man to try to explain the world and should therefore be considered that and nothing more.”

        The point being is that your claims are just another philosophy invented by you to try to explain the bible and should therefore be considered that and nothing more.

        • skunk posted:

          “…you are arguing on the side that the events of Jesus’ life actually took place (more or less)”

          Not really.  I’m arguing that looking at it from a historical or completely literal perspective is blatantly incorrect as well as ridiculous.  This is most obvious in mainstream Christianity, especially those of the fundamentalist variety.  Atheists who jump on that band wagon are equally ridiculous.  I’m not trying to be abrasive here.  When I argue these points with atheists they naturally assume I’m some kind of Christian.  When I argue them with Christians they assume I’m an atheist.  I’m arguing that Truth, or Ultimate reality is much more relevant than a historical account.  The historicity is of no significant value.  The subject matter agrees with this claim.  “All is vanity”; “Deny yourself”; “Who sinned, this man or his parents?”  Doesn’t matter because it’s all about glorifying God, etc.
          —————————–
          “…and were then written down decades later by the gospels.”

          No.  There is a fairt amount of evidence suggesting that these narratives were written much earlier.  The names were changed, certain facts were changed but only to allow the translated texts to sound the same, to have the same rhythms.  This is especially notable with Buddhist manuscripts. None of them are known as gospels, nor do any adherents of Buddhism consider them to be historical either.  What they see, and what I agree is the most important feature of these manuscripts is the truths they convey. 

          They are like a finger pointing to the truth.  Instead of obsessing over the finger itself, e.g. whose finger is it, why was he using his finger instead of a pointer, when was he likely to have begun pointing, was the person’s finger used for other things, was the person pointing married, single, educated, etc.  Instead of obsessing over the finger, the important thing is to look at what the finger is pointing at or towards.  
          ————————–
          “Not saying you believe it just that you are representing that side of the argument.”

          Some times I do present certain facts and may forget to point out whether I agree or believe in them.  For example.  I suspect that unloading all of my junk and walking away from central banking with a fractional reserve, fiat currency may be a smart idea, but I don’t believe I can do it.  Jesus says to count the cost, and when I got done counting I saw that at some point I wouldn’t be able to let go of everything.  I can let go of quite a bit and see the benefits in doing so, but I’m not even thinking about doing this to follow Jesus in the first place.  I’m just looking at one side of the equation. 

          Christians look at the other side of that equation.  They look at Jesus himself, and then claim that they want to follow him.  They just don’t want to count the cost, or actually do what is required to actually follow him so they pretend.  I’m not pretending, I’m not even thinking about Jesus at all.  I’m just looking at how what he says makes sense even without him in the equation.  I also stop short though because there are not just doubts but some things that just seem too good to be true.
          ———————————
          “(BTW you say you are not a Christian so may I ask what is your philosophy?)”

          I don’t really have an easily definable philosophy. I certainly don’t have one with a label.  In a nutshell, it seems to be based upon what works, especially in the long run.  I tend to look at many philosophies and see where they fit together or are saying the same thing, but especially where I see what they’re saying empirically myself.  For example, when I see some a hole swerving in and out of traffic to get to the pole position at the light, if it bothers me then I know that I’m doing the same thing as well, or at the very least would like to be doing the same thing.  So when I read that one should not obsess over the speck in someone else’s eye, but rather focus on the 2 x 4 in my own, that resonates with me and I see that what they are saying is the truth.  I also put it into practice to confirm if it works.  If it does then this becomes one more reason to look at what else they’re saying.
          ————————-
          While I am arguing that the events of Jesus’ life were the  invention of the gospel writers”

          Here is one of the points where we’re talking past each other.  It really doesn’t matter if he existed or not.  He could have been named Fenwick, and it would make no effective difference.  The point is that when approaching these types of texts there is always much more than meets the eye.  These types of texts have a way of revealing much more, but only when we’re ready to see it.  People don’t invent anything.  This is especially the case with the truths conveyed by these authors.  This is why I would probably not go so far as to even suggest that they invented the narratives themselves.  This isn’t to suggest God either, but to simply point out that these things have a way of just happening.  How it happened is anyone’s guess, and not something I see as all that profitable. 

          Again, one of the clues is when he says, “Deny yourself”.   If one spends some time entertaining this idea, it can get a bit weird.  When one starts looking around at the world and seeing it without themselves; i.e. no “I” or “you”, then who or what are these bodies, and what are they doing, and how are they doing all of this on their own?  They aren’t doing all this on their own.  Something is animating them, but it isn’t the self.  Ideas don’t do things like that….
          ————————
          “(Paul and others included).

          Paul really doesn’t provide any biographical information on Jesus.  The gospel accounts themselves are pretty much it.
          —————————
          “Not saying that Jesus did not exist. I think there is some evidence to that but not the resurrection or other supernatural claims made by the gospels.”

          Given that you’re basing this on your background experience as a believer, I would agree.  Although I can’t rule out an actual resurrection.  I’m just not seeing it that way.  What I see makes perfect sense to me.  I see Jesus’ followers not just believing what Jesus said, but seeing what he saw and experienced.  I say Jesus, but the name is really just only a name to signify the teaching itself.  It is a teaching that must be applied just like the Mosaic law must be applied, it must be tested to ascertain its veracity.  Although there is also something to be said for communicating something that compels one to see thing differently and as a result the application just naturally flows.  One may search for the path their entire lives, but they may never know if they are walking it until they actually see it, and even then their intellect might have nothing to do with it.

          • Teo, “I’m arguing that looking at it from a historical or completely literal perspective is blatantly incorrect as well as ridiculous.”

            Well we finally have something to agree on.

            And this brings us back to my original posting and your first reply to it. This is why I say Christianity rests on the (alleged) resurrection. Did Jesus literally “die for our sins” and was he literally resurrected so that “we can be saved”? If these things did not happen then what is the impetus to follow Jesus? Jesus’ teachings may be important and offer some wisdom but without the resurrection Jesus is just another street preacher or best case scenario just another “prophet”. And there is a vast difference between being a prophet and being The Christ and all that that is supposed to represent and accomplish. Without a Christ Christianity does not exist.

            That is my argument. But I will give you the last word again. (Nothing personal but I am a little bored with this conversation – on my part too BTW.) So a good day to you sir.

        • Teo, “To say that the bible assumes God as a given is no different than saying the writer of the bible assumes God as a given.”

          Firmly disagree. Citing the bible assumes a god or that the bible says this or that is to imply that the bible has an air of authority it does not have. It is like saying the NYT endorses X for president. The NYT does not endorse anyone; its editorial staff – actual human beings – issues the endorsement (which really is nothing more than the newspaper’s owners’ opinion). I think it is very important to know who the endorsers are and what is their worldview, what is their goal, do they benefit from this endorsement etc.

          Another example would be the use of the word “they”. “They say you should do this or not do that.” What authority does “they” have? I want to know who the “they” is. Saying the bible claims this or that s the same as saying “they”.

          I argue that the bible – the old testament – was created by a certain tribe to benefit that tribe and that they used the commonly held belief in gods during that period of time to create their own god to justify their actions. It is one thing to argue that there is a god and another thing to argue that there is this one specific god only and these are his rules. Human beings have been inventing gods – and those gods’ rules – to suit their needs since the dawn of man.

          “One could also say that for the author, God is a self evident truth and therefore needs no proofs or explanations.”

          An author can assume that it is self evident that a god exists and feel therefore he needs to offer no proof or explanation for that “truth” but he is under the obligation to explain why he can claim to know what this god is thinking and what this gods’ “laws” are.

          “The point being is that your claims are just another philosophy invented by you to try to explain the bible and should therefore be considered that and nothing more.”

          As too are your claims along with everyone elses including the writers of the bible themselves. All philosophies are based on individual assumptions. No one knows anything for sure.

  5. I can’t authorize other people to run all our lives. You can’t. Together we don’t magically acquire that right. But people of every society in the world believe groups have the right to authorize an elite to run everybody’s life, divided up by political borders, into so-called jurisdictions. Since those borders extend to every part of the globe, no one is safe from rulers, in principle. Some escape by living in remote areas, but are always at risk, always living in mortal danger from a govt.

    This is the nightmare world the statists like to call civilization. But they can’t explain how a group acquires the right to authorize others to do what they can’t do themselves. Furthermore, the masses won’t admit that they need to justify their invasive, violent actions. They refuse to admit responsibility for the actions of the elite they create/support. They refuse to admit that they worship consensus as infallible. They refuse to admit they worship the initiation of violence.

    They rely on denial of political reality as their “argument”. And this allows them to blame others for the fruit of their world, war, poverty, injustice, and institutionalized cruelty.

      • If I’m in a relationship with 1993’s Meg Tilly, being body snatched is gonna have to be pretty terrible to get me to leave. Is it 1993 Bill Clinton bad, or 1993 Janet Reno bad?

    • Dear Tor,

      “Body Snatchers”, the 1993 remake of the original 1956 “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was one of the best.

      Interestingly enough, none of the remakes could be called “bad”. That’s not always true of remakes. It’s even less true of sequels.

      The original, starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter was of course the absolute best.

  6. Nunzio, “…Greek (which the New Testament was written in) is a very precise language…”

    Questions arise. But was not the bible originally written in Hebrew? As such then does the original Hebrew text also “…contain internal numerical patterns which even computers can not generate today”? If the human mind can identify and understand these numerical patterns then what is so esoteric about them? Like seeing the patterns of haiku.

    “Christianity as truly revealed in it’s source texts.”

    Which original texts? Who decided which texts were to be included and which would not be included? Based on what? Again, we do not know who wrote, edited, and complied these texts yet we are supposed to believe they are the inerrant word of a god.

    “Men can make up anything they want and call it the Bible- but concordances are readily available so that even the simplest reader can see what the real source text (the only one which has been accepted throughout history as comprising the Scriptures)”

    Why does the word of an inerrant god require another book to explain its meaning? Is the bible just “Cliff Notes” for The Word of God?

    Accepted by whom? Who made the decision as to what is acceptable and what is not and based on what?

    “You don’t see them doing this to Muslims…”

    Islam on its face is obviously the rantings of a madman who thought a god was talking to him. But we at least know who that madman is who wrote the koran. Could it not be argued that there is more “credibility” for the koran precisely because it has not been changed into different versions? It seems to me that a god’s “word” cannot be nor should be changed. (FTR let me be clear here: I do not think islam is anything other than an abhorrent philosophy.)

    “They attack the enemy they know is real!”

    I have conflicting thoughts on this. One, perhaps Christianity has recently come under fire from the West because the West has more experience with it than it has had with other religions. Could it be that Reason attacks Christianity first and more often because Christianity is considered the weakest of the Abrahamic religions? (I personally think Judaism, the basis for the other two, is the weakest.)

    But there can also be no denying that Christianity is under attack by many, if not most, not from Reason but from a mindless hatred of it above all other religions. This gives me pause. If the vast majority of idiots hate something – not just disagree with but truly hate something – in this case Christianity, then I am gravitated to come to the defense of that thing. Especially when the same idiots who hate Christianity are also some of the same idiots demanding that islam should not be hated. Of course these people are beyond idiotic and do not represent Reason at all. Indeed, these idiots are also against Reason itself. Hence their idiocy.

    What I am trying to say here is that “First they came for the Christians and I did nothing because I was not one. But then they came for those of Reason…”

  7. Katy Perry’s internalized theocracy. This is typical of the majority of humanity.

    Neil D Tyson tries to have a conversation with Katy Perry. A religious euphoria prevents her from even hearing what he is saying.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ujWVbjKBCo&feature=youtu.be&t=11m

    She is an eternal primitive child who will always be dependent on men of science and industry, but completely unaware of this truth.

    She is the consummate blue pilled submissive mindslave.

    • Dear Tor,

      Once in a while, a different celebrity is pushed under the “bad spotlight”, where a string of bizarre, humiliating and career-hurting things happen to them under intense media scrutiny. Over the past years, I have covered the breakdowns of once soaring celebrities such as Britney Spears, Kanye West, Shia Leboeuf, Amanda Bynes, and others. None of them fully recovered from these traumatic events. All of the them now appear completely “out of it”.

      https://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/happening-katy-perry/

      If media analysts such as Vigilant Citizen are correct, Perry, like the other “celebrities” mentioned, are Illuminati “beta slaves”. The 1% of the 1% who own the MSM, build them up then tear them down at whim, as a way to flaunt their power.

      • Hi, Bevin!

        At the very height of their fame, these celebs all appear to be insane. At some point, they either cross the line into total “can’t hide it anymore” insanity, and must then be jetisoned; or they get out of hand and do something “unapproved”, and are merely shown to be what they in-fact really are- crazy, depraved low-lifes.

      • Somewhere recently she was talking about being bullied and considering suicide.

        When they heard that, someone said If Katy Perry is considering suicide, what hope is their for the rest of us?

        Maybe that’s what they want. Build someone up as being the perfect person and having the perfect life. And then showing how even they are completely miserable.

        Bad hombres, those illuminati.

  8. Nunzio, my contention about quoting the bible concerns the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority. I do not recognize it as having authority. Maybe some wisdom in there but no authority.

    Western civilization is indeed called Christendom for a reason and it has served Humanity well, more or less, whether the bible is true or not. But Christianity has run its course because its “Authority” no longer holds up to Reason. Due to man’s increased ability to reason over the centuries Reason, I believe, will soon pick up the Guide On for humanity. If, that is, the Abrahamic religions do not blow us all to hell first.

    “…would anyone to whom Paul was writing, who lived under that Roman government at that very time, have accepted such nonsense if Roamns 13 really meant what many say it does?”

    Then why did god write it if he did not mean it?

    Respect, SB

    • Why use wrong and inaccurate language? Great question Skunk. There is a market for this we could serve. Each believer should be helped to retranslate his bible where necessary using the correct accurate words. And not be allowed to change them later. For his and all our sakes.

      Same goes for all govt. All laws, regs, field guides should be written to say exactly what they mean and how they’re to be executed today. Then any official caught deviating from the true laws must be punished for violating them. We should champion and facilitate this.

      These reforms would certainly help things improve.

    • Hi, Skunk,

      Not suire if I had addressed this yet or not…. but…

      You wrote:
      “Western civilization is indeed called Christendom for a reason”

      Yes, but it is only nominally so, as appeals to the Judeo-Christian scriptures have been used for the last 1700 years or so by ecclesiastical and political institutions to justify their supposed authority; and since, just as with most Americans considering themselves “free”, such “Christianity” is only the creed of the apathetic who have never cared enough to bother to investigate the actual premises of what they believe; why they believe it; and if in fact the institutions which claim to administer it are indeed true to it’s precepts or were in-fact granted any such authority by the documents they claim as their source of legitimacy and authority- just as is the case with our government and the Constitution which it claims to administer and which it claims gives them the authority to do what they do.

      To an outsider looking in, this can be easily missed, as one would assume that anything/anyone which claims to be Christian and makes an appeal to the Christian Scriptures, is Christian, and then blame Christianity for the failures of culture which calls itself Christian ; just as someone in another country looking at America thinks that the right to bear arms is ineffective, because they think that we are all free to walk around freely with guns, and then see that crime and tyranny flourish.

      By-the-way, the questions which you and Eric and the others here pose are great! So often I have found that many atheists and agnostics are just hostile toward Christianity [I would say religion in general- but it is often only Christianity! 😀 ) without having any specific reasons to be, or even coherent standard which precludes them from accepting the possibility of it’s legitimacy, but yet allows them to accept other worldviews merely on blind faith- something which no Christian worth his salt would ever even advocate that they do with their own faith! It is all too easy for both sides to make assumptions against the other- but naturally, with such high-thinking people as one finds here, it should be no surprise that we all give these issues a lot of thought.

      • Nunzio, I agree with you and G.k. Chesterton who said that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it is that Christianity has yet to be tried.

        But I think for the most part historically Christianity has been just another method of control by “authority”. And that is not, IMO, what Christianity is allegedly about.

        So the 2000 year old question remains, What exactly is Christianity? A Christian is simply one who believes the story of Jesus to be true. But believing in that story should not translate into justification of a collective authority. All authority is simply busy bodiness.

        My enemy is any and every busybody no matter what philosophy they try to justify their “authoritah” on.

        And I fully agree with you that many if not most atheists have not thought things through and are simply hostile to religion especially Christianity. What I find interesting is how these non-classical atheists (as I call them) reject any religious authority (rightly, so IMO) yet embrace the “authority” of man via governments. I reject all “authority”as being false except for the authority of The Natural Law which is self-evident and universal for everyone.

        Also agree with you about the quality of thought here at EPA. I usually read more than post here because so many posters express what I think better than I can. And I have found it is a waste of time to debate religion. But I am enjoying the conversation with you and others here exactly because of the civil and thoughtful views expressed.

  9. So what does Harm No One And Do As You Please look like in the wild?

    Maybe you and your buddies want to get surgically altered to look lives elves. And then build a home in a tree, fuck each other all night long and make cookies all day long for a living.

    No one has the right to say that’s not Uncommonly Good” or that “a little elfin magic doesn’t go a long way”.
    https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b2e_1497052026

    There are so many ways of living, and as long as they are peaceful, know one should tell them different.

  10. Quotes from Paul, the Authoritarian Aggressor

    And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. [Those that disobey this fatwa will be locked up.]

    We walk by faith, not by sight. Ignore reason, logic, your own mind. You are impotent. Find instead the one true Witch Doctor. Obey the Witch Doctor’s appointed Attila the Hun. Live only by faith and by force.

    Long has the Western World been ruled by a combination of faith and force—by a conspiracy of priests and tyrants.

    The priests kept men under control by persuading them that the world was irrational, that their minds were impotent, and that the self-seeking pursuit of happiness was sinful.

    The tyrants kept men under control by the exertion of physical force. The Witch Doctor and Attila, used and needed one another.

    The Witch Doctor supplied Attila with a coherent view of the world and human destiny, in addition to performing as opiate of the masses.

    Attila supplied the Witch Doctor with power and the material means of survival. Each hated, feared and envied the other. Together they kept mankind in a state of material poverty and moral degradation.

    But hark, they’ve depopulated the earth by failing to understand the Black Plague.

    Suddenly onto this scene of decadent idiocy strides the modern businessman and the modern scientist. The Renaissance blasts the rule of the Witch Doctor sky-high, setting the earth free of his power.

    The industrial revolution, completing the task of the Renaissance, blasts Attila off his throne. The Founding Fathers of America create the first society in history whose leaders were neither Attilas nor Witch Doctors, a society led, dominated and created by the Producers.

    The social system which the Founding Fathers established was capitalism—not perfect, totally unregulated capitalism, but the nearest approach to that ideal the world had ever known. Capital being private property that produces wealth and value beyond it’s owners’ needs.

    Capitalism, unlike the previous system, was based on the principle that every man existed for his own sake. It rewarded all men in proportion to their abilities and efforts, thus outperforming older societies based on the looting of Attila and the mooching of the Witch Doctor.

    Private Capital and Lightly Restricted trade achieved unprecedented material prosperity, for when men are free to trade, with reason and reality as their only arbiter, when no man may use physical force to extort the consent of another, it is the best product and the best judgment that wins in every field of human endeavor, and raises the standard of living—and of thought—ever higher for all those who take part in mankind’s productive activity.

    Alas, the free businessman and the free intellectual who initialy replaced Attila and the Witch Doctor had a falling out.

    They were both then divided and conquered by predatory intellectuals.

    The businessman did his part by achieving material prosperity, but the predatory intellectual, dragged society back into the former Dark Ages.

    The predatory intellectuals sneered at the businessmen for their lack of aesthetic taste and bourgeois manners. Worst of all, the mind predator turned his back on the real world and insisted on preaching a various philosophies, all of whcih denigrated man’s mind, damned honest healthy self-seeking, and exalted altruistic self-sacrifice in the style of the Witch Doctor of old.

    The businessman was made to feel guilty and came to fear and despise the intellect. The intellectual, who was really seeking a new Attila, found one in Socialism, which .ed necessarily to Nazism and Soviet Communism, and now to superstate EU and the worldwide American Homeland Military Complex.

    Today, the United States sinks further and further, without a firm, coherent integrating philosophy, back into the Dark Ages.

    Modern philosophers teach us that man’s mind is impotent; psychologists tell us that man is a helpless automaton. Our art and literature asks us to identify with murderers, dipsomaniacs, drunks, drug addicts, neurotics and psychotics.

    In politics, our intellectuals tell us that “America, the greatest, noblest, freest country on earth, is politically and morally inferior to NATO and the United Nations. And that our wealth should be given away to the savages of Asia and Africa, with apologies for the fact that we have produced it while they haven’t. America languishes under the ultimate moral and financial bankruptcy. Now a taker of value, rather than a producer of value.

    The remedy is to embrace the simple law that you should initiate no harm against any peaceful man, and that you should then do whatever you please. Those who make the best choices will ascend naturally under emergent order as explained by Austrian Economics. Soon, America will again be a producer of value, and not a destroyer.

    The world is rational and knowable, the only way to live is to conquer nature through the exercise of your mind; Each man exists for his own sake, and hence that the only moral form of human cooperation is the exchange of goods and services on the free market.

    Anyone who does not make a living as a Producer is either an Attila (who seizes goods and services from others by force), a Witch Doctor (who persuades others that they owe him a living), or more often, a blue-pilled cuck who aimlessly fluctuates between the two roles.

    Anyone who preaches the moral value of unselfishness or self-transcendence is either a fool or a con-man. Any use of governmental power or religious authority to redistribute income, provide social security or unemployment compensation, construct and operate schools, or do anything which is not absolutely necessary to keep a “free economy” clear of force and fraud, must be involved in some form of legalized robbery.

    Patience and forbearance is needed to live in the flawed dark age we currently inhabit. It may not yet be possible to disentangle yourself from all the collectivism and dependence on violence and altruism.

    Aspire to the NAP as best you can, but don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You only live once, and not even the NAP is worth throwing yourself on the funeral pyre under some misguided notion of virtue signaling.

    Continue your daily dose of red-pills, keep going further and further down your rabbit hole of truth, and defend yourself in your prepper fox holes of independence from authoritarian gibs and evil fiat currency debts, and enjoy life as best you can in an unfree and authoritarian world.

    • “Authoritarian”? Nowhere did Paul nor any other Biblical Christian ever force anyone to participate or come under the jurisdiction of any authority. For those who “joined the club” though, it would be pretty foolish to have people who want to participate in God’s economy )Which is purely voluntary at this time) and then not enlighten them as to the conduct required for such. \

      And by-the-way, it doesn’t help your position any, after speaking of book publishers with “blood on their hands” to quote from new “translations” of obscure manuscripts which were never accepted by Christians; and which were translated by non-believing NWO globalists for the purpose of destroying true Christianity- which is what these modern translations are.

      • So Paul is innocent because of the name change. Aren’t he and Saul of Tarsus one and the same person?

        This isn’t a discussion that’ll likely to resolve to a clear resolution.

        I’m talking only to you as an internet user ID. Not as who you truly are in real life.

        In real life, my family attends Evangelical Lutheran mass, they’re main reason for belief is the hopes that there is a heaven and their loved ones will be there. My father also shared this what I would call an unlikely delusion.

        At the same time we’re part of a old world culture that has never had it’s own nation in it’s entire history

        It’s your mode of reason in this one topic I’m not particularly fond of. Not any particular point of fact you might be correct about and I might be mistaken about.

        What discussion can be had, if everything not found in scripture is part of a grand globalist new world order scheme and not even considered by you a priori.

        Think of all the Gods you already don’t believe in. I’m asking you to consider not believing so blindly in just one more God more.

        If you like your faith, you can keep your faith.

        If you’re going to choose the blue pill and stay under the God delusion, what business is that of mine?

        Why is it though the device you’re using to participate here wasn’t invented and produced under God’s economy?

        Is Jesus Inc. finally putting out computing hardware and I haven’t heard this good news?

        It’s almost as if God’s economy is a parasite to actual businessmen and scientists who engage in productive enterprise and invention.

        A NAP Christianity is a possibility.

        Maybe you’ll be the first to imagine what that might look like. And help it could be made manifest today to the benefit actual humans living in the here and now. And not on some abstract Kantian plane of noumenal perfection that’s never been real.

        I’m praying for you to abandon your aggressive beliefs that have detrimentally stifled humanity for centuries.

        Both the official narrative of Christian Institutions, and the Globalists narratives of Secular Institutions are evil and anti-life.

        • Tor,

          [Not to be curt, but I’ll try and keep the length of this within reason- we can always expand….]

          Name change? No, mind change. Paul was formerly Saul. I used to be a Constitutionalist, now I am a free-market anarchist. I didn’t just change my label; I came to understand more; to see what I was missing.

          I have no such hope of seeing loved ones in heaven. My loved ones have not embraced the fullness of what it is to “believe”, though they may nominally be Christian- and the Biblical hope of salvation is establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

          Not everything not found in Scripture is part of some conspiracy; but there is a substantial part of humanity, both religious [even “Christian”] and secular which would like to deny God, simply because a carnal orientation is the path of least resistance. It is far easier to pursue whatever our flesh desires, than to learn to rule over it. We have entire industries- like mega-churches and televangelists, which existr to convince people that they can have both. And for the atheist, we have the theoretical “sciences” to assure them non-eternal matter and energy can exist without a creator.

          The gods I already don’t believe in? I’m not aware of any- but rather, just inventions of men- most of whom don’t even claim to be a creator or originator, nor a moral authority- much less one which produces health, longevity, prosperity and peace. I am not aware of one other who has an enduring ancient revelation which states things which can not only withstand the scrutiny of current knowledge, but which has contained things for several thousand years which have just within the past century have been discovered as being scientific fact by men; much less one which foretold things which are just now coming to pass on a worldwide scale as prophesied. If you know of any other claimed god with such a revelation, please do tell! 😀

          Ummm…the computer sort of was invented in God’s economy. If it were not for the Christian principles upon which the USA was initially founded, and the freedom, prosperity resulting from what aspects of private property and free-market principles derived from Biblical ideals which were practiced here to at least some degree by a good portion of the population in the past, which resulted in the largest free-market economy the world has seen in thousands of years, we could not have had things like the automobile and the computer.

          Jesus IS the NAP! He never harmed a soul nor forced anyone to do anything, and He was murdered because the Jews hated Hisw guts because He would not restore the kingdom to Israel nor rule on this earth as a king, yet. (Ultimately He will, because He is entitled to, since everything in this world belongs to Him- ibeing the very creator of the world and all physical life).. Many of His followers were also persecuted and murdered by the political and religious powers of this world; they are hatred for not participating in wars or politics or any of the other aggressions of this world.

          Aggressive beliefs? Such as??? “Love your neighbor as yourself”? “Bless those who curse you”? “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”? “My kingdom is not of this world, else would My servants fight”? Hmmm…I think you’re mistaking me for Gail.

          Quite the contrary: I am a Libertarian/Anarchist BECAUSE of Christ. My savior is the ultimate enemy of the state. The Bible is the source of property rights- “Thou shalt not steal” (And doing so by elected representative does not make it kosher…)- It is because of the Bible’s prohibition against kidnapping (including that by armed government goons) and system of justice which does not include caging men; and the fact that we are NOT authorized to kidnap, cage, steal from, nor punish men for things which other men define as “crimes” [which is setting themselves up as another god]; that we have no right to participate in wars unless we are being blatantly attacked [Wars at the behest of God do not apply, as God does not make divine revelation at this time]…. It is for these and many other such reasons, that the only valid position for a Christian in the pre-second-coming world, is to be such as we are- advocates of liberty, so that all may live their consciences before God, and so that none be compelled to infringe upon the God-given rights and sanctity of others, for God never gave men such power over the world at-large. (Although many who call themselves Xtian seem to think He did…]

          No problem, man!- I very much enjoy discussions such as this, and am glad that you raised such questions. What passes for Christianity, and what the Bible truly advocates are often two very different things- I hope that you can appreciate that.

          • Not sure why we are at odds. There is much, maybe all of it, with which I agree.

            If all we disagree about is Calvinism and “evidence”, then I propose to set all that aside and concentrate on what unites us. Can we do that?

            • Hi Antonio,

              You write:

              “…earthly authorities have to be subject to God’s Law…”

              This is an example of the circular reasoning I find baffling. What is “God’s Law,” exactly? No one can say definitively. There are endless differing opinions, endless parsings of the “word.” Each religionist believes he knows – but it is (once again) a matter of that religionist’s faith; that is, his feeling and opinion.

              And so we are at the same impasse.

              Everyone who is sane not only can agree that 2+2 = 4 but must agree. It would be absurd to state that one believes otherwise. To state that he has “faith” it really equals 5.

              But with religious belief – all religious belief – the only things that can be known are that men believe and men have said and men have written. Some of the things these men have believed and written and said are sound and stand up to scrutiny. But are they divine?

              There is no more evidence to back up that assertion than my asserting – for the sake pf discussion – that I have received wisdom from Crom, who dwells in the Earth.

              I state this not to mock anyone’s belief, but only to make the point that anyone’s belief/assertion absent objective fact is no more or less valid than anyone else’s belief/assertion… about anything.

              • Mornin, E

                Here’s some light-hearted Nietzsche Quotes from Mencken’s English translations to brighten up your morning…

                There are days when I am haunted by a feeling that is blacker than the blackest melancholy. I have a contempt for humanity. I despise the people I have been fated to call my contemporaries. I feel suffocated by their filthy breath.

                The majority of men prefer delusion to truth. It soothes. It is easy to grasp.

                The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge–a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest.

                Christianity remains to this day the greatest misfortune of humanity. This eternal accusation against Christianity I shall write upon all walls, wherever walls are to be found–I have letters that even the blind will be able to see. I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough,–I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.

              • If I was trying to “prove” my religion is true, your comment would be germane.

                My point was to rebut people who try to say that all earthly authorities must be obeyed because God set them up. This is an argument from Scripture, so I respond by appealing to Scripture to show that certain ideas have crept into the Christian worldview that are not supported by Scripture. It was a specific reply to a specific comment. It was not a general attempt to prove Christianity is true.

                Yes, we are at an impasse. God have mercy on all of us.

                • Hi Antonio,

                  If there is a god! 🙂

                  Seriously, though… I am not so arrogant as to believe I know all or that anyone can know all. I am very open to possibilities, but as far as I can tell, that is all we have with regard to god and religion.

                  I grant that it is possible. Because almost anything could be. But it is another thing to claim we know such a being as god exists – or what this deity wants of us.

                  All we can know is that some men claim they know god – and what this god wants.

              • “…earthly authorities have to be subject to God’s Law…”
                This is an example of the circular reasoning I find baffling. What is “God’s Law,” exactly?”

                From the perspective of the biblical god, God’s law is for his benefit and pleasure.  What benefits and  pleasures God?  Seeing his creation working properly.  So those earthly authorities which do not subject themselves to God’s law, fail.  They usurp God’s law for their own reasons, and make a mess. 
                —————————
                “Everyone who is sane not only can agree that 2+2 = 4 but must agree.”

                Seems a bit aggressive to force people.
                ——————–
                ” It would be absurd to state that one believes otherwise. To state that he has “faith” it really equals 5. ”

                Or the square root of 16, or 10.  I have 2 hands.  1 + 1 = 2, but it also equals 10 fingers.  Here’s a better example.  Measure two miles of coastline. It really can’t be done even if the coastline were frozen.  Nobody will measure it the same.  The same could be said for numbering.  Numbers aren’t even real.  They’re abstract ideas.  Abstract ideas don’t really add up to anything except more abstract ideas.  4 may be more useful, but no one must agree unless they agree on the purpose, function, result, aim, goal etc.

                Here’s another one.  When we look at magnetism  or electricity or even the north and south poles of the earth we see these two poles, but what we are looking at is polarity.  Are we looking at one thing or two?  Are we looking at polarity, or are we looking at two poles?  Can you have polarity without a south pole?  If you’re a flat-earther, you must conclude that there is no such thing as a north pole.  They don’t seem to have any problem denying a south pole, but they’ve unwittingly done away with the north one as well.
                ——————————-
                “But with religious belief – all religious belief – the only things that can be known are that men believe and men have said and men have written.”

                Not all religious belief.  There are a number of religions that point out that nothing can be known. Some scientists have pointed this out as well. A better way to put it is that no thing can be known, or there isn’t anything that can be known.
                ——————————
                “Some of the things these men have believed and written and said are sound and stand up to scrutiny. But are they divine?”

                The men or what they believed? Which are you referring to?
                ——————————
                 “There is no more evidence to back up that assertion than my asserting – for the sake pf discussion – that I have received wisdom from Crom, who dwells in the Earth. ”

                I think that could be debated especially if we were to look at how these different people define divine.
                —————————–
                “I state this not to mock anyone’s belief, but only to make the point that anyone’s belief/assertion absent objective fact is no more or less valid than anyone else’s belief/assertion… about anything.”

                On the surface this is probably true, but our language and thinking prevents us from looking at subjective facts objectively. On the other hand it doesn’t prevent us from looking at objective facts subjectively, and herein lies the rub.  Objective facts change simply by our own observations.  The science is pretty clear on this, and has been reproduced numerous times. 

                The problem or rather the insufficiencies of science are not encountered when one is freed from the confines of one’s limited perspective, or simply perception alone.  The same is true for the intellect, rationality reason etc.  This isn’t to say that irrationality is preferable, but rather the non rational.  In other words, one can make observations, but until one is able to move their perspective around quite a bit more or even abandon it entirely, they’re really clueless to what it really going on.
                 
                Again, watching the sun rise, and set might lead one to conclude that the sun revolves around the earth and for a while most people believed that.  Ironically, it wasn’t until after we could understand that the earth was circling the sun that we “must” believe in the heliocentric theory. The Inquisition came after the church adopted the heliocentric model.  I’m not a flat earther, but the Inquisition probably did just as much to coerce people into a heliocentric model as science.  

          • Nunzio posted: “The gods I already don’t believe in? I’m not aware of any- but rather, just inventions of men- most of whom don’t even claim to be a creator or originator, nor a moral authority- much less one which produces health, longevity, prosperity and peace.”

            There is a spectrum of gods, and what you’ll notice upon further investigation is that certain aspects of most, if not all; can be compared to the God you have chosen, and in many cases there are points of comparison that are identical. The problem inherent in this issue is that we are informed NOT to have any image of God, and like most people before us we think this instruction only applies to statuary. The sad fact is that your concept of God is quite simply only a concept and God cannot be a concept. Ideas and concepts are simply a type of atheism. From a biblical perspective it’s blatant idolatry.
            ——————-
            ” I am not aware of one other who has an enduring ancient revelation which states things which can not only withstand the scrutiny of current knowledge, but which has contained things for several thousand years which have just within the past century have been discovered as being scientific fact by men; much less one which foretold things which are just now coming to pass on a worldwide scale as prophesied.”

            Some of the Buddhist writings, to take only one of many examples; are not only close approximations, but even the sound of the texts is identical. One of the more notorious examples, to my way of thinking; is the example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The only difference is in that the disciples of the Buddha washed each other’s feet, and the reason for this discrepancy was that the meter would have diverged from the original.
            ——————–
            ” If you know of any other claimed god with such a revelation, please do tell!”

            Buddhism and Hinduism are incredibly similar to many of the doctrines of Judaism and Christianity. There are countless books written on the subject. The similarities are not just striking, but enlightening. In my own experience, I’ve found that the study of Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as Taoism, Kabbalah, and others has been a huge benefit in my own understanding of Christianity not just the similarities, but the differences and how they fit together.
            ——————–
            “Jesus IS the NAP! He never harmed a soul nor forced anyone to do anything, ”

            Not directly, but he was just as much a threat to the status quo as a zealot eager to instigate a riot or revolution. Going through the temple grounds and upturning the tables of the money changers is not what you or I would approve of if it were our business and our money he was tossing out onto the street. Think of this: You’re out minding your own business and along comes Jesus. He sees some poor soul tormented by some mental disease and decides to take pity on the wretch, but in the process he causes your livelihood to be instantly destroyed. In the story, he casts demons into a herd of swine. The swineherds are understandably perplexed that they are now financially ruined. What did they do to Jesus to deserve this treatment? These are capitalists for crying out loud. They haven’t taken any of his private property and destroyed it, have they?
            ————————
            ” and He was murdered… because He would not restore the kingdom to Israel nor rule on this earth as a king, yet.”

            Not exactly. The powers that be were in no position to just hand over their positions of power to Jesus. I say in no position in that they were quite content with their positions of power and weren’t going to let go without a fight. Jesus wasn’t ruling the way they wanted to be ruled. They wanted the rule they had; thank you very much, but that didn’t stop Jesus from making waves and getting people all excited about making big changes that they just weren’t ready for.
            ——————-
            “(Ultimately He will, because He is entitled to,”

            Well yes and no, Paul even points out that although he is entitled, more importantly, he earned his position. People love to point out that salvation isn’t by works, but that’s precisely what the Old Testament is all about and precisely how Jesus went about bringing it to fruition.
            ——————–
            ” Many of His followers were also persecuted and murdered by the political and religious powers of this world; they are hatred for not participating in wars or politics or any of the other aggressions of this world.”

            I’m afraid that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of sheeple in mainstream churches would rather go to a Motely Crue concert than follow most, if not all; of Jesus’ teachings. Were Jesus to show up today, he’d be thrown out of all mainstream churches and some would probably have him arrested and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. They would love to see him crucified all over again. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest.
            ———————
            “Aggressive beliefs? Such as??? “Love your neighbor as yourself”? “Bless those who curse you”? “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves”? “My kingdom is not of this world, else would My servants fight”? ”

            Uh, no. How about “forsake all”; “sell all your possessions”; “give your money to the poor”; “You cannot serve God and money”. Sorry, but all you Christian libertarians are going straight to hell for that one. You don’t think that’s aggressive? Sorry, but you really can’t get much more radical than telling people to get rid of everything and rely solely on the providence of God. Jesus even points out that only a fool wouldn’t count the cost of this little experiment before venturing out to get rid of all their junk. Don’t even let me get started on his views on divorce or remarriage. Christianity doesn’t want anything to do with any of those teachings. People think Jesus was opposed to capital punishment, most will tend to cite the story of the woman caught in adultery, but ignore the fact that it was a “test” for Jesus, and Jesus’ own words when he says, “he who dishonors mother or father, let him die the death”.
            —————–
            “Quite the contrary: I am a Libertarian/Anarchist BECAUSE of Christ. My savior is the ultimate enemy of the state. The Bible is the source of property rights- “Thou shalt not steal” ”

            I notice that you neglected to also point out that the other end of that equation looks considerably different, e.g. “those who steal from you, are stealing your trash”; “if they take your shirt, give them your coat as well” etc.

            Do you see how that doesn’t look the same as “Thou shalt not steal”? When they take your stuff, you can’t steal it back, and you really aren’t allowed to even go to court. Paul finds this behavior particularly embarrassing, and shameful, if not immoral; for a Christian to engage in.

        • Dear Tor,

          The key point about Switzerland is that no matter how one might feel about the Swiss, they have the decency to leave you the hell alone. Their strict policy of neutrality is a shining example of “live and let live”.

          By contrast, the US senate just approved sanctions against Iran. Out of 100 senators, only Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted no.

          The Swiss are not threatening Russia in Ukraine, or China in the South China Sea. They are not risking WWIII and nuclear apocalypse. I say they’re okay.

          • After being released from “house arrest” (military service) in ’67 I went to NY to be with Objectivists. I didn’t feel comfortable with the way they regarded Ayn. It smacked of worship. I left and decided to live in Switzerland. I found they required $80,000 net worth. I didn’t qualify. I did open an account with SBC in ’71 (minimum $10K) and kept it for 20 years, until they signed an agreement to rat out US citizens.

          • Dear voluntaryist,

            You are 100% correct about the “Students of Objectivism” idolatry phenomenon. I found myself on the fringes of that for a brief period.

            Fortunately by then Nathaniel Branden had already broken away, and was giving psychology seminars. I attended quite a few, and was “de-programmed” so to speak. Not that I was ever fully programmed of course. I’m too much of a skeptic for that.

            The Swiss requirements for residency/citizenship are kind of understandable. Like a high class hotel or country club, they have to keep the economic threshold high to keep out the “riff raff”, lol.

            I admire the way you followed your heart and mind, and walked the walk. I only learned much too late that is the only way one discover what one was meant to be and do in this life.

            My hat is off to you.

        • Tor,
          What discussion can be had, if everything found in scripture is part of a grand globalist new world order scheme and not even considered by you a priori?

          “Think of all the Gods you already don’t believe in. I’m asking you to consider not believing so blindly in just one more God more.”

          I don’t believe in that one either, but what you and countless others fail to comprehend is that what the so-called God of the Hebrew scriptures is pointing out, albeit perhaps not so clearly, is that whatever you dream up from your own imagination as your god is just what you dreamt up from your own imagination. The biblical writers point out that this is pointless and idiotic. Even atheists will point this out to Christians, but it just falls on deaf ears. Christians will rightly claim that they don’t believe in created gods, but then turn right around and start talking about their god as if their blatant atheism isn’t on display for the whole world to view in all its glory.
          ——————
          “If you like your faith, you can keep your faith.
          If you’re going to choose the blue pill and stay under the God delusion, what business is that of mine?”

          So true! My guess is that you’ve made it your little project to enlighten us all on why they’re under this delusion, but what about those who point out that they don’t believe in these gods, but note that a transcendent God doesn’t fall within any of your parameters? What do you have to say to them?
          ——————
          “Why is it though the device you’re using to participate here wasn’t invented and produced under God’s economy?
          Is Jesus Inc. finally putting out computing hardware and I haven’t heard this good news?”

          Perhaps you haven’t heard that the medium is the message. Perhaps you are unaware of your implicit acceptance of the technocracy you so blindly follow and worship.
          ——————–
          “It’s almost as if God’s economy is a parasite to actual businessmen and scientists who engage in productive enterprise and invention.”

          A parasite? Why not a host?
          ——————–
          “I’m praying for you to abandon your aggressive beliefs that have detrimentally stifled humanity for centuries.”

          Jump to conclusions much???
          ——————-
          “Both the official narrative of Christian Institutions, and the Globalists narratives of Secular Institutions are evil and anti-life.”

          Perhaps, but the fake and derivative do not negate the real, or the genuine. Just because you have no familiarity with the actual gospel message, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or that it cannot be revealed. It just isn’t something that has been revealed to you. Perhaps it’s just not in the cards, but conflating the genuine with the fake only spotlights one’s ignorance of the truth.

    • Tor posted: “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. [Those that disobey this fatwa will be locked up.]”

      Those who get dolled up to attract a man, attract only suckers who end up forking over half their net worth.
      ———————
      “We walk by faith, not by sight. Ignore reason, logic, your own mind.”

      Ah yes, the infallible mind. Yes, we’ve all got one. Mine’s still running as perfect as ever.
      —————–
      “But hark, they’ve depopulated the earth by failing to understand the Black Plague.”

      LOL. Who was blamed for the Black Plague and why? Hmm? Those deceitful corrupt Jews, that’s who, and do you know why? Because they weren’t dying off in anything like the numbers the silly goyim were. The reason being that they believed what their God told them concerning dead bodies, blood, the spread of disease. They knew through doing what God told them that it was true. They performed one simple experiment that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that washing their hands after coming in contact with blood, feces, dead bodies, rotten food, etc. would prevent the spread of disease. For this they were accused of causing the Black Death. They also had the means to leave because of a few of those other silly laws God gave them to help them prosper financially. Go figure.
      ——————–
      “The industrial revolution, completing the task of the Renaissance, blasts Attila off his throne. The Founding Fathers of America create the first society in history whose leaders were neither Attilas nor Witch Doctors, a society led, dominated and created by the Producers.”

      Dream on. Save that crap for those who worship at the alter of industry and greed, but most of all deceit. The founders were Masons, they were also terrorists who had no qualms about fabricating an oppressive tax on tea that was anything but oppressive. Why? So they could sell THEIR TEA.
      ——————-
      “The social system which the Founding Fathers established was capitalism—not perfect,”

      There’s an understatement for the record books.
      —————–
      ” totally unregulated capitalism,”

      Why regulate when you can just throw your competition’s tea overboard?
      —————–
      ” but the nearest approach to that ideal the world had ever known. Capital being private property that produces wealth and value beyond it’s owners’ needs.”

      Except when the competition can produce it for less, then they get rid of the competition; it’s the American way, doncha know?
      ——————
      “America languishes under the ultimate moral and financial bankruptcy. Now a taker of value, rather than a producer of value.
      The remedy is to embrace the simple law that you should initiate no harm against any peaceful man, and that you should then do whatever you please.”

      Oh, what about that infallible mind? Perhaps initiating harm against others is one of those commandments in the bible? Do whatever you please? That’s the mantra that’s been chanted at least since the 60’s probably long before that as well. Look around, everyone is doing as they please, this is your solution??? Everyone is aggressively out to please themselves.
      ——————–
      ” Soon, America will again be a producer of value, and not a destroyer.” Play the prophet, my guess is you’ll fail just like ALL the rest.
      ———————–
      “The world is rational and knowable,”

      Sure, but the intellect is a mediator between you and reality, and a sick and pathetic one at that. Crack open a bible and if you’re even slightly capable of being open minded, you should notice that there can be no mediator between reality except reality.
      ———————
      ” the only way to live is to conquer nature through the exercise of your mind;”

      Sorry, but you might want to think about that one for a while. Exercising your mind is not living. Your mind can only understand, or become confused. Neither is what one needs to live. Again, understanding is perfectly fine for what it’s worth, but one needn’t understand in order to live better than those who have an almost complete knowledge of something.
      ————————
      “Each man exists for his own sake, and hence that the only moral form of human cooperation is the exchange of goods and services on the free market.”

      What free market? Smoke another bowl. So you think you understand the depravity of the human heart? You haven’t scratched the surface. Admitting that we have a problem is the first step, but accepting it is hardly what anyone in their right mind would characterize as moral.
      ———————-
      “Anyone who does not make a living as a Producer is either an Attila (who seizes goods and services from others by force), a Witch Doctor (who persuades others that they owe him a living), or more often, a blue-pilled cuck who aimlessly fluctuates between the two roles.”

      I’ll remind you of that when you retire from Producing anything more than a well formed turd in the morning.
      ———————–
      “Anyone who preaches the moral value of unselfishness or self-transcendence is either a fool or a con-man.”

      Or perhaps the real deal. How many fools are out there right now in government and the church preaching the value of selfishness? ANS: countless numbers are being fooled by the selfish narrative that is so pervasive that most don’t even notice it anymore. Just because there are so many con men and fools doesn’t negate the fact that selfishness is a terminal disease. Science even bears out this fact. We live in a world devoted to glorifying the self and these selves are dying in record numbers along with their polluted and abused carcasses. But don’t let me stop you from living only for yourself, no sense broadening your horizons to anything beyond what matters only to you.
      —————————–

      “Any use of governmental power or religious authority to redistribute income,”

      What about coercion? What about deceit? Is the redistribution of income a good in and of itself if the State or Church isn’t involved? What difference is there between a government and a corporation if they both operate by the same methods? is the winning the game of paramount importance even if your opponent will surely die in the process? As someone more astute than I once pointed out, “what the capitalists do not tell us is that the natural result of their
      philosophy is the same result as a game of Monopoly: one person owns everything, and everyone else owns nothing….Capitalism has done all that socialism threatened to do….The capitalist system, good or bad, right or wrong, rests upon two ideas: that the rich will always be rich enough to hire the poor; and the poor will always be poor enough to want to be hired.”

      But don’t let me stop you from worshipping your Producer gods…
      ——————-

  11. Nunzio, I agree with your take on many atheists not believing without actually thinking about why they do not believe in gods. To me those are not classical atheists but atheists by default. And most of them I think are just anti-Christianity. I went to a few so-called “Free Thinker Society” meetings years ago and all they did was bash Christians all night. Waste of time.

    To me all philosophies are based on faith because none of us really know no matter how much we think we do. Religion is simply a philosophy based on a god or gods. The Left may not believe in gods but they are zealots of the highest order when it comes to their “gods” especially their holiest of gods – “equality”.

    • Have you read “The Most Dangerous Superstition”? It shows how both govt. & religion are irrational belief systems.

      • Dear voluntaryist,

        It is true that Larken Rose did not originate the enormously important ideas he espouses. Men such as 16th century French political philosopher Etienne de La Boetie and 6th century BC Chinese philosopher Laozi and the Daoists did.

        His book “The Most Dangerous Superstition” is essentially a simplified version of La Boetie’s magnum opus, “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude”. It is essentially “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude for Dummies”.

        That is not meant to take away from the fact that he is a highly eloquent, highly effective champion of natural rights and individual liberty, who has performed an invaluable service.

        I constantly cite his videos in my arguments, especially this one:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYbpICtfFwo

        • I discovered “Discourse…” in the ’70s. It was both a joy to read and troublesome knowing that he had the answer that long ago but it did not generally spread. And it was so simple as to be eloquent.
          Then I remembered reading Lao Zi in the late ’60s as a philosophy major. He had it figured out also, thousands of years ago.
          And Ayn Rand was wrong when she gave Western thinkers all the credit for progress in philosophy while dissing all of the East as mystics.
          I began to converse with Larken when his focus was all tax resistance. He matured politically into the best spokesperson for liberty. I have supported him financially and am waiting excitedly for “The Mirror”.

          • It occurred to me while reading my post that maybe Etienne’s political contribution was the inspiration for the French Revolution and TJ’s DOI.
            “Ideas are the motor of the world”? (A.R.)
            But one more step needs to follow from: rule is made possible by self enslavement and sovereign individuals, not states, should be our goal. That would be: Our goal is best achieved by non-aggression. The means of non-violence will produce the goal of peaceful coexistence.

            • Aggression is kind of a two-sided thing: We don’t to use aggression offensively; to force others to do what we want- as then we become what we are claiming to destroy- but on the other hand, it is necessary when others would use it against us, to have us do what they want.

              THEY have no compunctions about using it on us to achieve their will- and we are not pacifists. Ultimately, the only way to resist aggression and control is to have a balance of power.

              If we sit on our hands and wait for the world to come around to our way of thinking, we will forever be slaves of the aggressors.

              • Education on the NAP is self defense. It is ineffective to be silent or a loner. Now, with the ‘net, we can speak out to the whole world.
                I won’t rest until the power is distributed to each individual. That’s a “balance” that is dependent on mass enlightenment, but may come slowly, over centuries, or quicker with technology.

                • The idea of “education” being the solution to virtually everything , is ridiculous. Just like when a government goon wastes or abuses someone, and it is said that he needs to be retrained, or was not sufficiently trained.

                  Such assumes that all people are reasonable, and seek to do good, and value freedom- both that of their own, and of their neighbors.

                  In the real world, such is rarely the case- witness for example, the 60+ million people who voted for Hillary Clinton- or the 120 million who voted, period.

                  Education works when people are seeking to do something, and are just being prevented from doing it for lack of knowledge.

                  Most people understand the concept of freedom. Most of those people don’t want freedom, because they would rather get some perceived benefits at the expense of their neighbor and/or use the collective power of the state to enforce their values and worldview on others.

                  Yes, it is great to preach the virtues of liberty whenever and wherever possible- but such is not going to do much to change anything.

                  And speaking of “education”, have you noticed that the places with the greatest numbers of highly educated people- Boston, New York, San Francisco; Arlington; Silicon Valley; NC’s Research Triangle”, Vienna; London; Brussels, etc. are always the least free, most repressive places on earth, and heartily embrace leftism?

                  The educated tend to see themselves as philosopher kings- as if they know better, and should decide and dictate the conditions under which all will live- “for their own good”, of course 😀

                  All I want is to be left alone. To someone who doesn’t respect the sovereignty of every man to so exist, no amount of education- even Libertarian education- is going to change his mind, because he will simply reject all information that does not confirm and bolster his motives; character; and beliefs.

                  And that is where most political fail- in that they try a change man’s nature- but in so doing, require power and jurisdiction over virtually every facet of one’s life- and thus must of necessity be authoritarian and detrimental to liberty.

                  We don’t want to be like that. We just want to be left alone- whether by geographical isolation, or by an equalization of power, so as to pose sufficient threat/trouble to those who would harass us so as to not make it worth it to them.

                  Whatever anyone else wants to be- be it a communist or whatnot, I want them to be free to do what they want, just so long as they leave me alone.

                  • Amen Nunzio.

                    I have spent much of my life self-educating. Never do I truly rest, even in sleep, I am a whirring logical engine.

                    But now it is all fading away like Flowers For Algernon.

                    What I will be left with is my motives, character, and belief. Which are so far good enough that the people in my life love and need me.

                    That is all I attain to. Nothing higher.

                    I must admit, however, being known as the guy that will know the answer or can fine it, be it whatever obscure query, does give me a kind of unique power among those in my life.

                    But truly, I don’t see this as making me superior. On the contrary, being “Number 5 Is Alive” means needing a constant stream of input.
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjeptaI2T8E

                    Really all I’m doing for freedom is going Reeeeeeee No Disasemble!

                    It’s a good start, tho.

                    • Very well-said, Tor!

                      At some point, and it is usually quite early-on, we all establish our core motivations and beliefs- and any education we pursue, beyond the purely mechanical, is just expansion upon that which already embrace (It is interesting though, that the state propagandists link their philosophies, theories and rhetoric to the acquisition of the physical/mechanical now- as in: A neighbor of mine who was embarking on a new career in HVAC, went to college for 2 years to “learn his trade”- whereas formerly, one might go to a several-month trade school course or just learn as an apprentice on the job- But now, they have one go to college, and along with the pertinent mechanical/physical knowledge, they can slip in a barrage of liberalism- to the point where my very conservative neighbor actually had started thinking that “Obama isn’t too bad” for a while. Just proof that when one allows themself to be immersed in an environment where they will be exposed to a steady stream of propaganda, they will at least to some degree embrace that propaganda. If this is the way it is for a grown man, imagine how much more effective it is on children; and when that environment continues on in offices and institutions with co-workers who have also been so indoctrinated!)

                      Maybe we are a shade or two superior to those who are stagnant. In my 50’s, I am growing in knowledge and thought; expanding my understanding; pursuing things to their logical conclusions; growing in personality, perception and understanding.

                      Meanwhile, I look at someone like my older sister. She has not gained anything, nor bettered herself in any way in the last 40 years. I call it a “peasant mentality”- as people like that merely live to exist. They spend their effort just acquiring the basics required to survive at the lowest level (and she can’t really even do that…) and any time beyond that is spent just consuming mindless mass entertainment.

                      They can not even successfully run their own lives, and yet they are concerned with the politics which dictate what others must do, and how their wealth must be used.

                      Conversely, I was selling something on Craigslist a few years ago, and this guy shows up to buy it. He was in his 60’s and had never set foot in a school. I enjoyed talking to him more than I’ve enjoyed talking to anybody in a long time- He wasn’t a brilliant man- but his understanding and motivations weren’t warped by the agendas of tyrants- so he was in-fact closer to being a Libertarian than anyone I’ve met around here- just because he had a basic respect for the right of others to exist unmolested, and he practiced the Golden Rule.

                      A thoughtful well-meaning person, though illiterate and unaware of many facts, is superior to a highly educated person who is so arrogant so as to think it their right to forcibly impose their values on others.

                      And you are so right: Our first priority should be to secure as much freedom for ourselves and ours as we possibly can. We can’t change the world or the majority of other people- but we can make drastic differences in our own lives, and over that which we have dominion- to see that we do not become tools of the system, nor victims of it’s tyrants. How could we preach the benefits of liberty and how one can work toward such a goal, if we can not even practice the ideals which we advocate in our own lives?

                      When I lived in NYC, I desired to be free, and managed to stay somewhat freer than most around me- but ultimately, I was a captive, and could do little for my own freedom, let alone that of others- I was just a person with thoughts of liberty- but really, i was just another cow in the herd.

                      Now that I live in Bumphuct Egypt 🙂 and have unregulated land; and privacy; and am able to live largely self-sufficiently apart from the system; and not be under the constant surveillance of der komissar, I have some right to tell others how great it is, and how it can be done; and though we may never change the world and the hearts and motives of the majority of people, the more people who abandon the system and live free themselves, the better off we will all be; and we will all have some tangible benefits NOW, as opposed to hoping for the establishment of a Libertarian society; and as others see the example of our lives, the more likely they will be to follow suit, seeing that it can work and produce tangible benefits (if they have any inclination toward liberty at all) and the more clout we will have, which might hopefully prevent us from being persecuted/legislated out of existence .

                • Dear Nunzio,

                  I’m guessing voluntaryist meant education in a different sense than “higher education” within the statist mainstream.

                  Obviously “higher education” in any of the “elite” Ivy League universities is merely going to finish the job of indoctrination begun by government primary and secondary schools.

                  It’s going to produce the Neocon and Neolib welfare/warfare statists that infest Washington think tanks, both “left” and “right”.

                  As the Jesuits say, “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man.”

                  The remedy is education, real education, not government “edumacation”.

                  The purpose of public education is not to facilitate understanding. It is to instill obedience. https://anenemyofthestate.wordpress.com/quotations-from-chairman-zhu/

                  • Hi, Bevin,

                    Very true, and I fully agree with what you said, and also realized that that was what Voluntaryist was referring to.

                    But the trouble is: How do get people to reject the state’s indoctrination and/or their own motives, and accept the real education? Or how does one counter the tens of thousands of hours of public school/university; media; gov’t program (etc.) “education”, without first destroying the sources of false education, and without forcibly subjecting people to our education- in which case, it becomes merely propaganda to those who do not value it.

                    And since our education would be intended to make people think, rather than to coerce people into blind obedience, there would be no guarantee that any significant number of people would act upon the ideals which we promote, unless they were already predisposed to such ideals?

                    If we had the opportunity to preach liberty to everyone in the world for a set amount of time, to most, it would just be another strange concept, no different in their eyes than the message of a Jehovah’s Witness at their door, or a Hare Krishna at the airport, or a Neo-Nazi on a stage.

                    One can trick people; manipulate people; indoctrinate people; coerce and program people- but one can not make believers of people in mind and heart- no matter how good and factual your information, unless they are willing to accept it- and the scary thing is, today we have a vast array of huge organizations, from the UN to national and state and local governments; to large and powerful institutions and corporations, and even individuals, like george Soros and Mark Zuckerberg all using nefarious tactics to capture the minds and hearts of the world’s population, to make them good citizens/useful idiots/slaves, who will reject outright anything which remotely smacks of truth and sanity and logic.

                    my point?: Education, except when it is aimed at those who are already predisposed to liberty, is utterly pointless/impossible.

                    • “How do you get people to reject…indoctrination?”
                      That is extremely difficult and what the Socratic method attempted to do. He was just successful enough to get himself killed by TPTB. Now, we have a new “Socrates”, Larken Rose and his “Candles in the Dark” seminar. See his explanation of it on YouTube.

                    • Learning the truth is easy.

                      Unlearning error is one of the hardest things one can do.

                      We’re not dealing with truth or error though, except as it applies to those who accept the premise of individula freedom and the sovereignty of every man- much in the same way that proclaiming the truths of the Bible means nothing to an atheist until and if they accept the premise that there is a God.

                      Our truth has no validity to a communist, socialist, or any authroitarian-collectivist, nor person who does not think it is wrong to use violence to force others to do his will/the will of others….just as a bank robber does not care about property rights, except as they pertain to himself.

                      You can educate the bank robber all you want, but even if he intellectually agrees with you, it will not stop him from thinking that his wants/needs/causes are superior to rights of others to legitimately possess the property that is theirs.

                      So too, you can sit the average Dumbocrap or Repugnantcan down in front of Larken Rose videos (as great as they are) for 10 hours straight, and he may even agree in principle….but will still say, as he walks away: “Yeah, but we need cops…and who will build the roads???!!” [At this point, I think it should be legal to kill those who keep saying that! 😀 )

                    • How to reject? Start anywhere.

                      The idiocy of fuhtballl is but one idiocy. Pick another.

                      How about the weather.

                      Derp. We the people have weather satellites and we fly planes into the winds. Herrr herrr derrr.

                      We hug the winds, we squeeze, them, and then we name them Hurricane Irma and she’s a category six.

                      Duhh. We are very smart pakleds meteor ologists. We need forecasts. We need supplies.

                      We need to watch the weather channel with our mouths hanging wide open in wonder.

                      Wow its moving at 14 mph and its 1600 miles from the mid florida coast and we need science to make it go.

                      Hurricanes are very wet, and every morning like a good pakled I watch my weather guy read off his teleprompter duhhh.

                      We the people just dropped a few billion bucks on the GOES satellite and its totally just to look at clouds, and not your Mom sunbathing in the backyard and reading Mein Kampf.

                      Religion is stupid. Astrology is for simpletons. Ah but watching the weather show is the height of refined intellect.

                      Move over Locke and Aristotle.

                      Just fucking mock them mercilessly. All of the idiots. Especially yourself.

                      The Hyle is strong, but the Morphe is weak.
                      http://selfeducatedamerican.com/2012/10/17/the-theory-of-hylemorphism-jonathan-dolhenty/

                      Aristotle, Locke, Semiotics
                      http://www.zurnalai.vu.lt/informacijos-mokslai/article/download/1069/554

                  • Howdy Bevin!

                    You like the Swiss? How about Oakland, CA?

                    Ying Ma didn’t care for it. She and her family thought moving to America would be like moving to Disneyland.

                    She found out the Ghetto Zombieland was the complete opposite of a Magic Kingdom.

                    Book TV: Ying Ma, “Chinese Girl in the Ghetto”
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0KVX4xVMs

                    Part 1 of 2/ Chinese Girl in the Ghetto.
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRKX-61T_uQ

                    It’s an interesting reversal, seeing a Chinese Girl talk about the horrors of America, in the way Americans always talk about the horrors of China.

                    • Haha! I know a guy who works in Oakland. No A/C anymore at the company where he works- the NIGGERS keep stealing the A/C components off the roof…the company has gotten tired of replacing them every few months.

                      Everyone should take a good look at Oakland- it is the future of America.

              • Fred Reed had a good column yesterday June 15 about Africans. We’ve been coddling them for decades now, and it just hasn’t made much headway.

                Illinois has the same credit rating as Mexico and Spain now. Maybe we relocate all the unassimilatables in the South of the State from East St. Louis down to Carbondale.

                We do this by financial incentives and the chance to own property and start their own homeland. Also anyone caught initializing violence gets sent there. Let them get each other sorted out.

                We might need an outside nation that still has Aborigines to consult on this. Do we let them choose their own flag, anthem, and communal rules. There are ways to make this work, but we might not know these protocols.

                Give ’em some seeds, a mule, a plow, and 3 acres each, and let them try to make a go of things there the same way all the First Nations people are still trying to do on their Reservations.

                The pretty black girls can stay and join the mix. Just send the males and ugly females, and especially the Islamists and gangbangers.

                Most New World Socialist experiments failed spectacularly. The Great Society has failed as hard as any of them.

                    • Eric, I could not post comments for the last 24 hours. Thought maybe I was barred from here ( but I know better than that). Turns out my computer was wacked. Had to have my IT guy (son) fix it.

                    • Hi Skunk,

                      Never! I only bar Clovers whose posts are incoherent and insulting and (worst of all) never respond to points made with factual rebuttals. That isn’t you!

                      But this system sometimes randomly puts people in the “moderation” queue – even people who are regulars have been posting for a long time. I have no idea why. I can set a float but I cannot deal with code!

                    • Eric, I know.

                      I have been banned from every major conservative site and I take that as a badge of honor. But to be thought of as a- gulp! – Clover and be banned from EPA would cause me thoughts of suicide!

                      : )

                • Tor, Fred’s column was outstanding and the reason why is because what he said is irrefutable. Blacks and Whites are two totally different peoples.

                  The answer to the problem is simple: blacks must be given their right of self rule. IOW complete separation. Let them create their own government/nation and run it as they see fit.

                • Pretty ones? Meh, it don’t mean that they’re any different on the inside. (Heck, same goes for the pretty white girls, too!).

                  If Uncle would just stop subsidizing the making of babies….problem solved. Birfsrate would go way down, to the point where it would be lower than what is needed to replace all the ones who kill each other off [Blacks is they own worst enemies! Mo’ blacks die at the hands of other blacks than from anything else; even mo’ than what gits shot by cops!] and all the ones who O.D.

                  Just put a wall around Detroit and Baltimore and a few other choice homie-hoods. They wouldn’t want communism if there’s no rich white people to take from- who’d do the work/provide the wealth to redistribute?

                  We can keep the few good ones, like Thomas Sowell, my friend Karla, and Mac [I assume has to be pretty good if he’s like us!]

        • Dear voluntaryist,

          “And Ayn Rand was wrong when she gave Western thinkers all the credit for progress in philosophy while dissing all of the East as mystics.”

          I agree. At one time I was a hardcore Randian. One might say “Randroid” even. In other words, I took to heart even some of her problematic, not really proven views, such as her views on art and music. Not uncoincidentally, I was still a minarchist, and defended minarchism fiercely.

          But as the late great Zen philosopher Alan Watts observed, “A fool who persists in his folly will become wise”. Because I never compromised on my pursuit of 100% philosophical consistency, I was forced to confront the fact that in order to even exist, the state must be an initiator of force, and openly violate the Non-Aggression Principle.

          In time, this compelled me to adopt anarcho-capitalism / free market anarchism / voluntaryism.

          I later made some interesting discoveries about Rand’s simplistic “Western rationalist vs. Eastern mystic” dichotomy.

          To wit:

          History of laissez-faire debate

          During the Han, Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties, Chinese scholar-officials would often debate about the interference the government should have in the economy, such as setting monopolies in lucrative industries and instating price controls. Such debates were often heated with Confucian factions tending to oppose extensive government controls and “Reform” factions favoring such moves.

          During the Han and Tang, emperors sometimes instated government monopolies in times of war, and abolished them later when the fiscal crisis had passed.

          Eventually, in the later Song and Ming dynasties, state monopolies were abolished in every industry and were never reinstated during the length of that dynasty, with the government following laissez-faire policies.

          During the Manchu Qing Dynasty, state monopolies were reinstated, and the government interfered heavily in the economy; many scholars believe this prevented China from developing capitalism.

          In Europe, the laissez-faire movement was first widely promoted by the physiocrats, a movement that originated with Vincent de Gournay, a successful merchant. Gournay adopted the concept, which is the translation of the Chinese Daoist philosophy of wu wei*, from François Quesnay’s writings on China. Gournay held that the government should allow the laws of nature to govern economic activity, with the state only intervening to protect life, liberty, and property.

          * wu wei 無為 = “do nothing”, meaning “govern by doing nothing”

          His ideas were taken up by François Quesnay and Turgot, Baron de l’Aulne. Quesnay had the ear of the King of France, Louis XV, and in 1754 persuaded him to give laissez-faire a try. On September 17, the King abolished all tolls and restraints on the sale and transport of grain, and for more than a decade the experiment was a success…

          The doctrine of laissez-faire became an integral part of nineteenth-century European liberalism. Just as liberals supported freedom of thought in the intellectual sphere, so were they equally prepared to champion the principles of free trade and free competition in the sphere of economics.

          In other words, the entire Western classical liberal value system originated in China, and the “benevolent global hegemonists” who insist that the Anglo-American Empire must force China to adopt Western classical liberal values, are presuming to “teach their grandmothers to suck eggs”.

          How’s that for irony?

          • One of the flaws of Rand’s fan club, was they didn’t much correct her errors, or flesh out her barebones ideas.

            I can’t even find her mentions of China anymore. I think it was something dismissive like all of Asia is the province of Attilas and Witch Doctors, and the far east genotypes adapted to blowing sands are all interchangeable with the other billions of asians and all in the thrall of hopeless slave societies.

            Rand believed it wouldn’t be aggression to conquer such societies. And indeed their former hegemons may have been conquered depending on your frame of reference, but not in the way she predicted.

            Check out all the quaint Chinese knickknacks in Fred Reed’s article. Adorable aren’t those little washee washees? Don’t need more Calgon anymore.
            https://fredoneverything.org/the-china-us-arms-race-if-one-arm-is-right-the-other-will-be-left-no/

            I don’t know what was the case in Rand’s era, there is a vast difference between then and now. Han Chinese, who are the most common group of humans found on this planet, aren’t exactly living in huts, making pottery and textiles for emporers, and just eating rice anymore.

            Anarchism in China
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_in_China

            • Dear Tor,

              I know what you mean.

              Considering how one in five people on earth are Chinese, the absence of a single person in Galt’s Gulch of Chinese descent struck a sour note for me.

              I hadn’t noticed it at first, but a close friend of mine who was Objectivist oriented and part Chinese mentioned it to me, and I suddenly realized she was right.

              I don’t think I need to add that I am not a SJW snowflake demanding state intervention in the form of “affirmative action”.

              I’m sure everyone knows I merely talking about moral judgments in the “private sector”, or more accurately, civil society.

              Ditto Star Wars. As much as I liked Star Wars, the total absence of a single Chinese or even East Asian character in Lucas’ six Star Wars films was, how shall I put it, disturbing.

              It wasn’t until Rogue One that Donny Yen made an appearance as one of the good guys.

              Again, I am absolutely not advocating SJW “affirmative action”. Any criticisms I have leveled are purely moral judgments that must be addressed through civil society and the free market place.

              • Good Morning Bevin 出,

                Thanks for the names of Chinese NAP advocates.

                Here’s what I’ve heard about Sino Laissez Faire:

                From about 2nd century BC on, Chinese dynasties practiced free market economy while only intervening from time to time in iron and salt enterprises. By and large they kept taxes low.

                The philosophy of Daoism was explicitly laissez-faire in both politics and economics. The Historian Sima Qian, writing around 100BC explained the Theory of the Markets.

                Saying that without the emperor doing anything things will get made. Food will be grown, clothes made and houses built. Moreover when goods are short in one area, the price increases and so goods are imported from a place of plenty. Knowing that food will be short in the winter, some will store grain to sell at a higher price.

                The first Han Emperors were said to be Daoists and used this theory to build up a strong economy until the great Salt and Steel meeting when the officials began to eat away at this system which did not permit high revenues for either government or officials.

                After the end of the early Han there was no trace of the Daoist theory of markets, and so China was set on the Confucian, government guided economy which benefitted both government and officials and did not create a class of rich traders who could subvert the system with their wealth.

                As to Rand,

                By the time of the writing Atlas Shrugged (1944-1957), it was said the Chinese nearly starved every winter.

                These were first hand accounts by Westerners living in China who claimed such economic and cultural hardships.

                She seemed to dismiss all of Africa & Asia, the majority of humanity, as being nothing more than savages and mystics.

                I guess she didn’t know about Dutch, English, Portuguese, and Spanish interactions with all these people. Many of whom were filled with equal citizens of extra-territorial states of Western European powers.

                Not to mention all the local accomplishments of East and South Asia. And Mesopotamia. And to a lesser degree Africa and the rest of Asia.

              • Bevin, we all know that in real life, Galt’s Gulch would probably have a higher percentage of Chinks than any other group!

                From my earlier life in NYC, I came to see early-on that it was the Chinese immigrants who were very industrious and intelligent. There was always a stark contrast between their communities, and those of other “minorities”. The Chinese neighborhoods didn’t have rampant crime nor people spending their lives on the street, nor people demanding more welfare- as opposed to those of other minorities who have been here in some cases for several hundred years.

                One of my first jobs when I was young, was working for a Taiwanese couple who owned a small business. It was a very pleasant experience; they were very nice people.

                    • Uh..well…how about the Greeks?

                      How do they separate the men from the boys in Greece?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      With a crow-bar!

                    • Here ya go, ya Neutral ninny, Chocolate-chomping Matterhorn Monkey, Kraut wanna-be, lederhosened Loser…

                      In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, and they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.

                      Switzerland has produced nothing but theologians and waiters.

                      Switzerland is a nice country to visit for two hours, two and a half if the weather is good, and no more. Ennui comes in the third hour, and suicidal thoughts attack before the first night.

                      Opie & Anthony – Swiss Cheese Pervert
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaHZGh00df0

                      Swiss Mountain Cleaners
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKIqGYRuvbk

                      Sorry,there’s only 8 million Swiss. It’s like trying to find jokes about Virginians. Maybe Nunzio’s can help.

                    • Dear Eric,

                      Tor just cited a great one, from the classic noir film “The Third Man”, starring Orson Welles.

                      Here’s one from the spy novelist Trevanian.

                      “No one really likes Switzerland, except those who prefer cleanliness to life.”
                      ― Trevanian, The Eiger Sanction

                      Note that these are not racist. They are merely cultural commentary.

                    • Good morning, Bevin!

                      I love the movie – Eiger Sanction. It stands up.

                      On the Swiss: They have some good qualities (hey, look at me!) one of them being they tend to take really good care of their homes and so on. The country is immaculate. I have to admit that appeals to me; must be genetic!

                    • I’ve never heard of a Swiss joke!

                      That place scares me. I knew someone who went to visit somebody there once. The person he was gonna visit liked tinkering with wood and stuff, so the guy was gonna bring him a circular saw, which for some reason, the Swiss guy didn’t already own one of. Turns out, he nixed the idea. They have TOOL CONTROL in Swissyland! It is highly discouraged to and heavily taxed to bring in tools for the mundanes, ’cause ya see, if people could readily do things themselves, it would deprive tradesmen of work!

                      I’ve heard people laud Swissyland as a “libertarian-like paradise”…. Ha!

                      They have all the control-freakism of Germany, Belgium and Oo-la-la Frog-land….the people just don’t compalin about it, ’cause that’s the way the Swiss are.

                      Even the gun freedom is a myth. Sure, they have guns….but in exchange for mandatory military service (Ooo, how Libertarian. Not!) and even then, they’re highly regulated to the point where just like in Kalifornee-uh, they’re rendered all but useless, unless a foreign country is invading.

                      Too bad- I’d thrive on the boredom!

                    • Dear Eric,

                      I have to admit that I like Switzerland too.

                      I see no reason why there shouldn’t be a country like Switzerland, with its OCD for neatness, just as I see no reason why there shouldn’t be a country like Mexico, with its “We’ll do it manana” attitudes.

                      Diversity is good. Gives us options.

                      Liberal SJWs talk a good game of “respect for diversity”. But it’s all lip service. Their idea of diversity is minor deviations within the liberal PC orthodoxy.

                  • OOooo! I’m going to have fun tonight listening to those!

                    I’m wondering if the O&A ones are the ones I had heard in the late 90’s- where people were calling into the show and telling the jokes? If so, they were some of the best!

                    Funny thing: The Polocks I’ve met in real life, tended to be rather stereotypical, one-dimensional, and just wanted to go bowling….

                    I’ve know a few online though, who were brilliant!

                  • Phrases that have never been uttered in the history of the world:

                    #1:
                    “Oh no, honey! Some Swiss family just bought the house nextdoor. There goes the neighborhood!”.

                    • Nunzio, you’d probably get a laugh outta your neighbors when me and mine move in.

                      First time my wife and I moved I backed up a flat bed to the porch with grain boards on the front half and we loaded everything we owned into it and then drove the pickup down to the RR dock and loaded it up on back. Reversed that at a new town but it wasn’t a big deal back then some 45 years ago.

                      Now we’d pull up with a couple big rigs and neighbors would bring in the kids and pets and lock their doors.

                      When my Mexican friends and I got everything unloaded including the Ditch Witch and trailer and various pickups we’d probably sound like a cantina till late with the occasional bark bringing little Fifi in heat a couple days later. No doubt we’d get to meet the local gendarmes right away.

                      It would be great gossip for blocks around.

                      Naw, I fear all they’ll move of me to town will be my bullet riddled corpse cause We Ain’t Comin Out!

              • I rate “Rouge 1” as the best.
                I found Taoism to be individualist.
                I studied philosophy with George Smith in ’74.
                I learned 95% of my philosophy by self study, not in college, even though it was my major.

                • Dear voluntaryist,

                  Ditto. Rogue One was deeply moving. No one was spared. No one was “too precious” that they had to be spared.

                  The harsh reality of personal sacrifice to deny the NGO New Galactic Order of a “planet killer”, a genuine Weapon of Mass Destruction, really hit one in the gut.

                  Rothbard was right. The Daoists were bona fide, card carrying, hardcore individualists.

                  I bought Smith’s book way back when, when it first came out. Read it from cover to cover in a week.

                  If you had learned your philosophy from phonies like Noam Chomsky, you’d be one confused puppy. Thank god [sic] you were self taught.

                  I minored in philosophy, but like you picked up most of what I know after graduation on my own.

                  • Yea, I read “Atheism: The Case Against God” in the early ’70s.
                    But it was Nate who wrote the best rebuttal of the most common argument for creationism.

            • Dear Tor,

              Rand was well informed about certain aspects of history, but woefully ignorant about others. Everything she knew was confined to the West.

              As Nathaniel Branden would later note, she was well informed about philosophy, but woefully ignorant about psychology.

              Her consciousness was always focused outward, never inward. She did not “Know thyself”. This would prove her undoing.

              • She was a gifted polymath, but her personality was extremely off-putting.

                I became interested in her via Mencken.

                Mencken inspired friends of freedom like her. He helped cheer up stylish individualist author Albert Jay Nock, a frequent contributor to Mencken’s magazine the American Mercury, during Nock’s declining years.

                Mencken’s stalwart individualism awed young Ayn Rand who, in 1934, called him “one whom I admire as the greatest representative of a philosophy to which I want to dedicate my whole life.”

                  • His actions were NAP tier, he didn’t even write about the principles explicitly, instead he lived them.

                    He sold his inherited Cigar Factory and used the proceeds to fund something larger than Galt’s Gulch was ever imagined to be.

                    Not stop the motor of America. But add the value of a new motor of creativity and intelligence.

                    Mencken’s world was a beacon of value you could call the Artist, Philosopher, and Intellectual’s Gulch. And it was real, not something to come about in the future.

                    Rand was a great friend to freedom. But absolutely, you may reject her for the deficiency of her prose, or for any other reason you choose.

                    She was he last person to advocate the NAP since Jay Nock in 1923.

                    And the second to the last famous person to mention it besides Murray Rothbard in 1963.

                    I don’t think anyone else that’s promoted the NAP. Has done so in a way that can be sourced and documented in an encyclopedia.

                    L. Neil Smith is close.
                    http://www.ncc-1776.org/whoislib.html

                    His writings were plagarized as founding documents for the Free State Project. Also there are pages calling themselves the Zero Aggression Project that shamelessly rip-off his work.

                    Mencken gets credit for both Nock and Rand being as popular as they are.

                    Heinlein gets credit in 1966 for advocating what he called rational anarchism.

                    Heinlein and others are close cousins of the NAP. The authors of Anarcho-Capitalism.
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalist_literature

                    The latest AnCap author has been Tarrin Lupo. whose novel Pirates of the Savannah follows the lives of men who create an economy outside the purview of the government in the area around Savannah, Georgia during the American Revolution.

              • Bevin, even back in my day, in the filthy public schools, we got virtually not a word about Chinese history. In my mother’s day, when they still taught actual history, there may have been the briefest mention of some political and military events involving China- but no real history or exposition of Chinese thought- and in my day, and forward, when “Social studies” is taught, rather than history, all that may ever be mentioned are a few social customs- fireworks and dragons- and maybe a brief mention of the Silk Road.

      • Voluntaryist, I have read and watched Larken Rose’s books and videos and he is spot on. The one superstition that runs through both government and religion is indeed the false claim of “authority”.

        Both institutions are designed to usurp the Natural Law Rights of man. Therefore I have no use for either one.

        • Trouble is, most of what is called religion- organized/corporate churches etc. are organized under the very same model of authoritarianism as is government- and why not, since the institutions of both are made up by the same people; and can be used in unison to essentially give certain men/the state god-like powers, including the obligation of worship, servitude and obedience- and even the right to define right and wrong, or who is worthy to live or die?

          All government is theocracy.

          A distinction should be made between that, and the worship of the True God, who is the enemy of the state, and whom the state tries to mimic and replace.

          • Nunzio, I agree with the premise that all government is theocracy in that it is expected to be obeyed blindly.

            But I disagree about the notion of the “True God” (the Christian god, I presume) being an enemy of the state. Does not the bible explicitly state that god creates governments on earth? And therefore governments must be obeyed? Somewhere in Romans I believe.

            • As I noted the other day, the tribute episode says otherwise.

              Check out Jeffrey Bell’s January, 2010 essay on the meaning of the tribute episode. You can find it at LewRockwell.com

              Shorter version: Caesar is filthy; he is a serial adulterer; he is a pedophile; he conceives of himself as a god; and he is a mass murderer and thus, why would a Christian be obligate to obey Caesar.

              Even shorter version: Caesar owns nothing so one need not render unto him anything.

                • Eric-

                  Based upon my limited knowledge of Augustus, I would agree.Last year, I plodded through some, but not all, of Tom Holland’s tome, Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar.

                  I use the word “plod” because I did not like Mr. Holland’s writing style (in contrast to you, as I will sometimes read your non-political car columns even though I have limited knowledge of cars). He, however, did not overlook Augustus’ good qualities.

              • LM, “Caesar owns nothing so one need not render unto him anything.”

                Fully agreed.

                But the problem is that today too many not only think the government does own everything they want the government to own everything in the name of “economic justice” AKA redistribution of wealth.

            • Hi, Skunk,

              >”Does not the bible explicitly state that god creates governments on earth? And therefore governments must be obeyed? Somewhere in Romans I believe.”<

              Nope. nope, and nope.

              Kind of a long subject to get into here, so I'll just give a very brief answer.

              God defines right and wrong by His law, and said that we should follow it and turn from it to the right nor to the left. God never gave men the authority to make up their own laws and enforce them on others. Any government which makes it's own laws is at odds with God.

              Ancient Israel originally had no king. At some point, the people desired a king- which the Bible acknowledges was a rejection of God. God warned the people that if they had a king, he would tax them, and conscript their services and use eminent domain, etc. The people still wanted it- God essentially said "You want it, you got it!".

              The verses in Romans have been greatly abused and misapplied by statists. The perverted new bible "translations" REALLY butcher them into a statist's dream- even inserting the word "policeman" [Did they have policemen 2000 years ago when the epistle was penned?] but, long story short, the Apostle Paul, who lived under the very regime which crucified Christ; was himself under house arrest for 2 years, for no other reason than for wanting to defend himself against false charges brought against him by the Jews; and had seen that same gov't kill many of the other Apostles, and kill and persecute many Christians…. was NOT referring to any such government [and gov't has only gotten worse since Paul's day] when he said such things as "they are the ministers of God for good" etc. which statists try and tell you is referring not just to the sick Roman gov't of Paul's time, but to any gov't at any time- which, if it were so, would mean that we'd have a moral obligation to obey Hitler or Obama or Mao or Idi Amin….and thus Chritians would be obligated to be the ultimate tools of evil…

              And funny, how the people who would make us think that the Scriptures say such a thing, are always gung-ho about it when it comes to their own country….but somehow seem to forget that if their nonsense were true, it would apply also to Christians in countries which are enemies of theirs- so that an American statist "Xtian" would have to concede that a good Xtian in N. Korea would be doing what ever Kim dude decreed, and somehow, both the American and the N. Korean would be doing the work of God, while both were obeying men and following contrary paths, and neither was obeying God- and this they would have us believe is good Christian conduct!

              ….and this they claim to get from the guy who said "Ye were bought with a price, be ye not the servants of men"- as they worship the One who was crucified by the state, and of which prophecy states that the nations shall be gathered against to fight at His return.

              It wouldn't make any sense, would it?

              • We don’t just consult official authority here.

                Shouldn’t discussions here include red-pill sources, not only propaganda put out by sources approved by Official Authorities that violate the NAP?

                Is there a church to be found anywhere, that doesn’t want to subject complete strangers to the whims of their brutal and often deadly authority?

                I ask you to look into the publisher of what you consider “holy book.” Is it not in the end published under some kind of authority that has innocent blood on its hand.

                Jesus never asked for these books to be written and used in the terrible way they’ve been used.

                Open your mind and heart, and realize the bitter machine of tyranny that has been the Gutenberg Press and its successor death guides.

                Saul of Tarsus hated Christians. He made it his goal to capture, then bring Christians to public trial and execution. Saul was present when the first Christian martyr (named Stephen) was killed by an angry mob.
                http://www.harvardhouse.com/paul.htm

                “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison” (Acts 8:3).

                Under the NAP, any subsequent revelations are moot. He has never compensated the families of the many innocent victims he murdered.

                He is a robed authoritarian who escaped justice.

                He is not someone to be remembered or looked up to. He never even met Jesus. He’s no apostle.

                It’s just as likely some authoritarian weaved his “gospel” into the narrative to push their anti-life anti-human agenda.

                Every word of his is disgusting, he is not a mensch, how can you think beings who created life on earth would advocate his anti-life altruistic self-loathing denial of everything that is good in this world?

                Throw fake Apostle Paul in the woods already.

                • In the 1100 and 1200’s in England, Jews were rounded up and given the choice of renunciation of Judaism and becoming Christians or being put to death. By the 1300’s you couldn’t find anything with Judaism on its face nor anyone who’d admit to being a Jew.

                  Rather than being slow-burned at the stake, people accused of not being Christians and only pretending to be a Christian often took their own lives, not waiting for the court of public opinion to burn their asses as a good public burning was good for morale, the crops, the weather, etc. etc. and the Catholic Church would turn a blind eye if not outright support burning the blasphemers.

                  Like the old Protestant hymn says “And when we’ve been here ten thousand years”. Damn, not very good at keeping up with science since I still hear these lyrics at funerals…..the only time I go near a church.

                  • To be more accurate 8Man, Jews were coerced to be Catholics- not Christians. Catholics persecuted Christians just as they persecuted Jews and many others.

                    Christians were butrned at the stake for teaching the 10 commandments to their children, or for being found to have a copy of the Bible in Englsih.

                    Catholicism is just the bastardized religion of Constantine, who, upon seeing the popularity that Christianity was started to have, marched his army through a river and said “You’ve just been baptized! You’re all Christians now!” and then proceeded to give Chritain names to all of the old pagan customs, so that everyone in the empire would “join the church” because it was easy to do so, since they could keep on doing what they’d always done, only now it was “Christianized”.

                    And those Jews in the 1100-1200’s….they were Turks who converted to Judaism in the 800’s-900’s.

                    That’s really what Hitler was being used for- The Jews wanted to cleanse their race. Didn;t work out too good…. we still have several distinctly different racial/ethnic types all claiming to be Jews- from the big dark-haired, dark-eyed big nosed olive-skinned Jews, to the blond-haired blue-eyed light-skinned Jews; to the classic European Jews (the said converted Turks) to Jews of obvious Celtic origin, with red hair and pale freckled skin….

                    • Nunzio, my bad, you’re correct. First time I wrote RCC. You notice I have a couple comments twice. What you don’t see are the comments that didn’t post at all. Loverly word press bs.

                    • AAARRRhhggg!!!! Nothing worse than typing a comment and watching it disappear, 8Man. I usually copy my comment before hitting ;post’- that way, if it goes away, I can just paste it in and try ag’in. (Ask me how I know!)

                      I meant to include in my former response to you that I haven’t been inside a church in c. 40 years myself.

                      Most churches are 501c3 corporations- from the giant ones to the itty-bitty ones. Caesar is their head. Even the ones what[sic] ain’t, you go 2 or 3 times, you’ll hear them preaching why we SHOULDN’T obey what it says in the Bible- seriously.

                      Triyble is, to those who don’t know the difference, anything that claims to be “Christian”, is. They think the RCC is Christian- though you’d be hard pressed to find any similarities between the Bible and it; and though they did their damnedest to try and keep the Bible out of the hands of the people for 1000 years- knowing that their monopoly would be over when the people saw the stark contrast between what the Bible advocates vs. what the RCC does….

                      Like big-party politics though- the average person doesn’t know or care. They still vote for Hitlery, despite her being the most corrupt politician probably since Nero. And their religion is whatever their father’s was.

                      Reminds me of my nephew once, when he was a teenager. He was filling out some kind of application, and when it came to “religion?” he yelled to my sister: “Ma? What are we?”.

                • Jesus never asked for those books to be written? You mean, He would have had us rely on “oral tradition” instead of things which can be verified through literary citations as having existed several thousand years ago? The One who pronounced a curse upon any who would add to or take away from the words of “this BOOK”?

                  Blood on the hands of those who in-fact were themselves martyred as recently as just a few hundred years ago to bring us the Book which when obeyed, prevents us from serving the machinations of the state and participating in it’s wars and crimes against humanity?

                  As the Limeys like to say: Not BLOODY LIKELY!

                  Yeah, Saul/Paul started out as a Jew- like Thomas Sowell started out as a Marxist. We all pretty much used to be something different than what we now are.

                  Paul renounced Judaism, and the Jews were constantly trying to kill him. He did more for Christianity than anyone in the world except Christ Himself (Though his words are greatly misapplied today, and used to actually say the opposite of what they mean)- and it was Paul who preached how God had in-fact rejected the Jews, and was now working with the rest of the world- which is why the Jews hated Paul.

                • Hit Tor,

                  Have you read Neitzsche’s take on Paul?

                  “The first Christian. All the world still believes in the authorship of the “Holy Spirit” or is at least still affected by this belief: when one opens the Bible one does so for “edification.”… That it also tells the story of one of the most ambitious and obtrusive of souls, of a head as superstitious as it was crafty, the story of the apostle Paul–who knows this except a few scholars? Without this strange story, however, without the confusions and storms of such a head, such a soul, there would be no Christianity…
                  That the ship of Christianity threw overboard a good deal of its Jewish ballast, that it went, and was able to go, among the pagans–that was due to this one man, a very tortured, very pitiful, very unpleasant man, unpleasant even to himself. He suffered from a fixed idea–or more precisely, from a fixed, ever-present, never-resting question: what about the Jewish law? and particularly the fulfillment of this law? In his youth he had himself wanted to satisfy it, with a ravenous hunger for this highest distinction which the Jews could conceive – this people who were propelled higher than any other people by the imagination of the ethically sublime, and who alone succeeded in creating a holy god together with the idea of sin as a transgression against this holiness. Paul became the fanatical defender of this god and his law and guardian of his honor; at the same time, in the struggle against the transgressors and doubters, lying in wait for them, he became increasingly harsh and evilly disposed towards them, and inclined towards the most extreme punishments. And now he found that–hot-headed, sensual, melancholy, malignant in his hatred as he was– he was himself unable to fulfill the law; indeed, and this seemed strangest to him, his extravagant lust to domineer provoked him continually to transgress the law, and he had to yield to this thorn.
                  Is it really his “carnal nature” that makes him transgress again and again? And not rather, as he himself suspected later, behind it the law itself, which must constantly prove itself unfulfillable and which lures him to transgression with irresistable charm? But at that time he did not yet have this way out. He had much on his conscience – he hints at hostility, murder, magic, idolatry, lewdness, drunkenness, and pleasure in dissolute carousing – and… moments came when he said to himself:”It is all in vain; the torture of the unfulfilled law cannot be overcome.”… The law was the cross to which he felt himself nailed: how he hated it! how he searched for some means to annihilate it–not to fulfill it any more himself!
                  And finally the saving thought struck him,… “It is unreasonable to persecute this Jesus! Here after all is the way out; here is the perfect revenge; here and nowhere else I have and hold the annihilator of the law!”… Until then the ignominious death had seemed to him the chief argument against the Messianic claim of which the new doctrine spoke: but what if it were necessary to get rid of the law?
                  The tremendous consequences of this idea, of this solution of the riddle, spin before his eyes; at one stroke he becomes the happiest man; the destiny of the Jews–no, of all men–seems to him to be tied to this idea, to this second of its sudden illumination; he has the thought of thoughts, the key of keys, the light of lights; it is around him that all history must revolve henceforth. For he is from now on the teacher of the annihilation of the law…
                  This is the first Christian, the inventor of Christianity. Until then there were only a few Jewish sectarians.”

                  • Nietzsche was Anti-Christ, not anti-Jesus
                    http://www.cynicalreflections.net/2012/04/nietzsche-anti-christ-not-anti-jesus.html

                    Contrary to popular belief, Nietzsche was not anti Jesus. In H. L. Mencken’s introduction to The Anti-Christ, he claims that it was not Nietzsche’s intention in writing it to destroy Christianity.

                    He did not seek to rob the plain people of the world of their virtue, their spiritual consolations, and their hope of heaven.

                    What Nietzsche challenged was ‘the elevation of those beliefs to the dignity of a state philosophy.

                    Son and grandson of Lutheran ministers, what pissed off Nietzsche was the way in which Paul had transformed Jesus into the Christ figure in order to promote his own perverted brand of religion.

                    Paul was more of a believer in a worldwide Muslim Caliphate type world church.

                    Nietzsche says it far less bluntly and tactfully than I ever could.

                    If you believe in anything Paul ever wrote, you’re absolutely fucking dead to me.

                    • Dear Tor,

                      It is hard to imagine a blunter condemnation of Paul than that provided by Neitzsche. He considered Paul to be a merchant of revenge: vain, tortured and cruel. Unable to live up to the “law”, he eventually latched onto Christ as expiation for his own deficiencies. He sought not only to undermine the noble virtues, but to marginalize the example of the living Jesus. To him, the resurrection promised salvation and eternal life as a reward for faith, not action.

                      Neitzsche viewed the “reward” of eternal life as an appeal to vanity; explicitly denying the importance of the lived life.

                      “The great lie of personal immortality destroys all rationality, all natural in the instincts—all that is healthy, all that is life—promoting, all that guarantees a future now arouses mistrust. The meaning of life is that there is no meaning to present life.”

                      Jeremy

              • Nunzio, I must respectfully yet strongly disagree. Even though I am an atheist I respect Chuck Baldwin and enjoy his columns. His take on the Romans 13 issue seems about the same as yours. But the fact is that it clearly states, in any bible version, some form of “the powers that be are ordained of God”. I do not see how it can be any simpler than that other than “governments are ordained by god”.

                So how can anyone be against anything that is ordained by god?

                • Hi, Skunkster,

                  Awww, well…”The powers that be” may be an idiom in modern English for all forms of intrusive government, but in Biblical parlance, that’s pretty much a foreign concept.

                  Secular governments did not have the monopoly that they do today. The Levitical priesthood bore the sword over ancient Israel; angels are elsewhere refered to as having power and bearing a “flaming sword”. And nations which have been subjugated by foreign powers (as Israel had been in the time of Christ) can be under legitimate power in certain circumstances- but none of those things apply to most of the governments of this world at this time.

                  And even if they did, any such instances would be disqualified because of statements like “They are the ministers of God for good”* and “For rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil”- Do any secular governments of this world meet such qualifications?

                  [*=Sounds much more like the Levitical priesthood, doesn’t it? -Which was still extant at the time Paul wrote Romans]

                  In fact, if it were talking about civil government, Jesus Himself would have been in violation of “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers”, because when He was questioned by Herod, “He answered him not a word”.

                  Just curious: Is this at all similar to what Chuck Baldwin said?

                  This was just the condensed version, I could go a lot deeper, into the Greek and all…but you get the idea. Even the KJV could have translated that chapter much better…but hey, can’t make King James mad!

                  It’s funny too, because of all the Bible, both the statists and the “churchists” abuse Paul more than any other author to support their claims- often almost exclusively, which is telling, because the Apostle Peter even warned that Paul can be hard to understand, and that people were already “wresting” [I guess it’s like “wrasslin’ ” :D] his writings in his own day- How much worse would it be 2000 years later?

                  Well, I hope smoke isn’t coming out of your ears from all the Bible-talk 😀

                    • Best. Proof> EVER! of how government schools produce brain-dead ignoramuses! HAhahaha! Thinking that Catholics would have Bibles!!!! Oh…that is rich! 😀

                  • Nunzio, no smoke from me at all. I enjoy a good discussion no matter the topic. Although I am leery of getting into some religious discussions only because it is often a waste of time.

                    I do not mean to be insulting but to me quoting the bible is meaningless because I do not believe it is the inerrant word of a god.

                    What gets me though is how bible quoters will try to explain away what the bible actually says with claims of “It does not really mean that, it really means this” or “That particular word really does not mean what everyone thinks it does” etc.

                    Romans 13 is a good example. The words are there and it clearly means what it says so why try to deny it away?

                    Chuck Baldwin’s argument is about the same as yours more or less. BTW I agree with Chuck’s arguments against obeying authority but he is still just arguing against that which is plainly stated in Romans 13. Either the bible is the inerrant word of a god or it is not. There is no middle ground IMO.

                    • Some things require further study, especially when compared with the rest of what Scripture has to say on any given subject.

                      Then there is the problem of the translation of Greek into English. What word was used in the Greek, and what is its meaning in the context? That’s what is at issue in the Romans 13 passage (and in the somewhat parallel passage in 1 Peter 2). Since it clearly is at odds with other pronouncements about civil government, the apparent meaning is not necessarily the correct one. Ergo, more study is needed to ferret out the exact meaning.

                      I think it’s safe to say that God did not mean for every tyrant to be obeyed unquestioningly. That would apply to Hitler, the Caesars, the Jewish Sandedrin, Mao, Obama, etc. Their edicts and “laws” certainly don’t have to be obeyed when they conflict with other, clearer passages that spell out morality with respect to governing authorities. They can’t say what’s inherently evil is okay (theft, for instance), and vice versa. When they act outside of their sphere of competence, they become tyrants, not agents of justice.

                      There is every indication from more recent scholarship that does not take the face representation for granted that the passage is talking about natural authorities, either in the home, the church, or civil society. That’s what Chuck Baldwin and others write about. And that’s my take, also.

                    • Skunkmeister,

                      Ah, yes, I realize that you do not believe in the validity or inerrancy of the Bible- T’was just quoting it because it’s kinda hard not to, when that is what we are discussing… 🙂

                      There are indeed plenty of fellas who try and say “That’s not really what it means”- but one does have to realize that when dealing with ancient texts from foreign cultures in non-native language…uh, well, it’s not quite just like picking up a copy of How To Change A Lightbulb…. Especially when dealing with the most intellectual person to have contributed to that book (The Bible…not the Lightbulb book :D), and the more so after a couple of thousand years of religionists and critics and kings having established cultures which have built traditions and beliefs which claim some connection to that book, but in-fact may differ substantially from it- but yet are looked upon as the standard “Christian” thought or practice by reason of their widespread and/or long-standing tradtion.

                      Much like like a Larken Rose video I was watching last night, in which he reiterates how what politicians say is not what the people listening tro them think they are saying.

                      So too with the Bible- one can not just look at a verse or chapter in isolation and presume to understand it. One must “know the lingo” and the thought from having taken the Bible as a whole.

                      I mean really, would anyone to whom Paul was writing, who lived under that Roman government at that very time, have accepted such nonsense if Roamns 13 really meant what many say it does? What could Paul’s possible motivation have been if he had indeed uttered such thoughts as he is accused of, considering that said governments- from that of Rome, to Jerusalem, to even the smaller local governments (Such as in Philippi- Acts 16), were openly killing and persecuting believers?

                      Remember, this whole idea for which you are arguing is predicated upon “the powers that be” and “rulers” referring to what we call civil gov’ts today….

                      Ah, it’s late and I have to hit the hay- but tomorrow is another day.

                      G’night

                    • Antonio, if a word is not accurate then why use it? Why not use the accurate word? If it is not certain what exactly is the correct word then how can the meaning of what is being said be understood? And if it is not clearly understood then how can anyone know it is Truth? Truth requires accuracy does it not?

                      If the bible is still “under construction” then should not there be an asterisk on the cover saying “Subject to Change”?

                    • Nunzio, I am going to start a new thread for this conversation but please see my response to Antonio above.

                    • Well-said, Antonio!

                      One knows when they have a proper understanding- be it with the Bible, or anything else- when there is no contradiction.

                      We are also in a rather unique time today, where governments have morphed into busy-bodies who think it their right to dictate every little aspect of one’s life and interpersonal relationships- from how their children are raised, to what we may or may not consume; to what type of medicine may be practiced, to what kind of shrubs you have in your front yard, or how your shed is constructed and where it may be placed on your own property. Such “government” was foreign to most of the world until just the last few decades, and was certainly never sanctioned by God.

                      The state/kings/empires in the Bible, in it’s historical accounts; in it’s examples of then current events; and in prophesy, are always portrayed as the enemy and oppressors of God’s people, and the usurper of God’s position.

                      Daniel 2:44
                      “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

                      A wrong understanding of Romans 13 would have every Christian serving that which God is going to “break in pieces”. (And sadly, that is exactly what many professing Christians are indeed doing)

                    • SkunkB said: “If the bible is still “under construction” then should not there be an asterisk on the cover saying “Subject to Change”?”

                      Oh, Greek (which the New Testament was written in) is a very precise language- being the language of scholarship, science and commerce of the old world, and the Bible remained unchanged except for changes in spelling and such to accommodate changing modern languages….until just recently (c. the last 100 years) when the liberals got into the picture and started foisting off obscure formerly unaccepted source texts, and personal interpretations on the unsuspecting to further their own agenda- namely that of denying the deity of Christ and transforming the Bible into a text which could be used to further a generic one-world religion.

                      Even the KJV is not perfect- for instance, in Acts 10, for absolutely no textual or linguistic reason, they translated “pascha” -the Passover- as “Easter”.

                      Or, in the very corrupt New International Version, references condemning homosexuality were modified…. Virginia Mollenkott (Google it…you will be shocked) a rabid bulldyke, was one of it’s translators!

                      Men can make up anything they want and call it the Bible- but concordances are readily available so that even the simplest reader can see what the real source text (the only one which has been accepted throughout history as comprising the Scriptures) actually says.

                      Not only that, but the real Biblical texts contain internal numerical patterns which even computers can not generate today while still allowing the finished product to read as needed. These internal patterns are not present in spurious texts, of course. If they can not be duplicated by even today’s computers, they certainly could never have been created by men thousands of years ago.

                      It is interesting/significant too, that of all religions/religious texts, it is only the ones pertaining to Christianity which have been so perverted and changed and even embraced by those who want to call themselves Christian, but who have a problem with the precepts of Chritianity as truly revealed in it’s source texts.

                      You don’t see them doing this to Muslims, for just example. You don’t walk into a mosque and or a Muslim’s home and see them reading from some Koran which claims to be made to read “more like a modern newspaper” and which translates the original in ways that have no textual basis, and/or from texts which were spurned by Islam as heretical and worthless and fraudulent.

                      But go into most any church today, and they’ll be reading from the NIV, as a woman stands in the pulpit and performs a wedding for queers.

                      Why did they do this to “Christianity” and not to Islam or Hinduism? They attack the enemy they know is real! (And sadly, most Christians are supplying the bullets!)

                    • I’m just trying to catch-up here, Skunk, after finally having caught-up on the “There’ll Be More” thread….but I’ll get back on track here (Or have I already? 😀 )…

            • No, it doesn’t. A by-product of the thinking at the time when most of the English translations were produced.

              That idea seemed reasonable to them because that’s all they knew. More recent treatments, like the ones you’ll find at LRC, and Chuck Baldwin’s book, bring the realization that earthly authorities have to be subject to God’s Law, or they are no authorities at all.

    • “Antonio, I am not trying to be argumentative here but I am only asking you to provide the “preponderance of evidence” you claim exists.

      Again, I hear this claim from Christians all the time but they never produce this “preponderance of evidence”.

      I can accept the argument that one’s beliefs are based on intuition more than actual evidence (including my own). What I cannot accept though is anyone making the claim that there is evidence yet refuse to present that evidence for cross examination.

      FTR I am not anti-Christian any more than I am anti other religions. It is just interesting to me what people believe and why.”

      Skunkbear, maybe I’ve already replied, but I can’t do it at the end of the post in question because of the formatting of this page. I don’t see the “Reply” button at the end.

      So, I can give you evidence from biology, from history, from archeology, but what would it matter? You would explain it all away. For instance, I think that the odds against evolution and natural selection being responsible for what we see around us is beyond staggering; I think they are effectively zero. Everywhere you turn in trying to construct a plausible scenario of how mutations lead to better and more advanced forms of life, better able to survive and have offspring, you run into a brick wall.

      Better yet, read some on your own. I don’t know what kinds of evidence would convince you, so I’m not going waste my time guessing. The evidence is out there. Just read other things than approved sources. I would start with the Intelligent Design folks and see what roadblocks are there at every turn in natural selection as the mechanism by which everything was “created”. Read Josh McDowell’s books, though they are a bit dated. Read Lee Strobel’s book.

      I think that’s the best evidence I could give. Look at the world around you. Convince me that the most intricate think we can see was brought about by purposeless, blind processes. The more we discover the more unlikely that proposition becomes, and it’s already effectively zero.

      Well, that’s all I’ve got. I probably can’t give you what you want, but don’t make the erroneous assumption that there is no evidence. If you let go of the naturalism myth, it’s surprising how much of the world makes sense.

      • Antonio, “So, I can give you evidence from biology, from history, from archeology, but what would it matter? You would explain it all away.”

        I am afraid you have made two false assumptions. The first being that I would “explain…away” any such evidence that you claim proves your god is real. I am not asking you to provide evidence that disproves evolution; I am asking you for evidence that proves your god is real. Disproving one thing does not prove the other.

        The second erroneous assumption is that I believe in evolution. I do not. There are more than two ways to seek the answer to The Great Question – “What is the meaning of life?”

        Respectfully submitted, SB

        • Fair enough. Yes, I do assume you would explain away any such evidence. I think all people are hard-wired that way. I make no apology for that assumption. I’ll stand on the Word of God that it is a universal trait of mankind. Sorry if you feel otherwise. I think that the Bible is the most accurate description of man and his ills that there is. I should say “the” accurate description because I think that the creator knows his creatures better than we know ourselves. The other religions tend to sugar-coat the situation – the Bible doesn’t do flattery.

          I’m curious – what evidence would convince you that the God of the Bible is real? I’m not a philosopher, so my reasoning skills may not be up to snuff. What would convince you? If God himself came down and told you he is real? The Book of Hebrews says Jesus Christ is the very image of God, and he has made him known. Sounds pretty good to me.

          But, I can’t really think of any argument that would prove God exists. So, I guess I’m out of luck. There are interesting arguments out there, but they’re not accessible enough to me to be able to call them my own.

          About the second assumption, well, you kind of got me there. There may be more than two explanations, but I tend to think that the others are just variations on a theme. Either it’s all an accident, or it’s all done on purpose, by an intelligence. Even if you argue some third or fourth way, it still comes down to one way or the other, doesn’t it? It’s either unintentional, or it’s intentional, only the agent or the process changes.

          Am I wrong about this?

          • Antonio, what is the difference between “explaining away” evidence and exposing the fallacy of the “evidence” through cross examination?

            “I’m curious – what evidence would convince you that the God of the Bible is real? … What would convince you? If God himself came down and told you he is real?”

            Of course that would convince me. But that is not required. All I ask is for evidence that can withstand reasonable cross examination. I will even take it down another notch.
            I will believe in the bible when anyone can show me exactly who wrote it, complied it, and edited it. (Or should I say “them” instead of “it” since there are so many versions.) We do not know who actually created the bible yet we are supposed to just accept the claim that it is the inerrant word of an invisible thing called “god”?

            ” The Book of Hebrews says Jesus Christ is the very image of God, and he has made him known. Sounds pretty good to me.”

            Two overlapping logical fallacies here. The appeal to “authority” which, in this case, only has its own claim of validity as the basis for its authority which creates the LF of circular reasoning.

            This is just another example of how the “evidence” does not stand up to cross examination through reason.

            “It’s either unintentional, or it’s intentional, only the agent or the process changes.

            My take is a) my concern is not so much whether is it intentional or not but rather is it real? and b) who says there has to be an agent or a process? The agent/process might just be the Thing – if it is indeed real – it/themselves. Are there other factors which could be unknown to us in play here as well? Many avenues yet go down.

            This is far out stuff I know but I really do ponder them so please do not think I am being a smart aleck.

            “Am I wrong about this?”

            One of the top questions one should ask oneself. Regularly.

            My philosophical answer is that there are no incorrect (better word than “wrong” IMO) answers because we humans, in this life form, simply are not capable of knowing what is the correct answer.

            So through this philosophical filter my direct answer is that the only honest answer can be “I do not know”.

            Respect, SB

            • I am also not trying to be a smart aleck, but how much of what we “know” is based on the testimony of others, long dead, who can’t be cross-examined? I don’t think this is an idle question.

              Unlike the sciences, where results can be duplicated, historical events can’t be duplicated. We rely on the testimony of people who witnessed the events in question, but we can’t ascertain the truth to an absolute certainty, only a moral certainty, if we’re lucky.

              Using this standard, then, what do we really “know”. Can you “prove” for instance that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration? Or, better yet, can you prove that Homer wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey? Who will you cross-examine? (Interestingly, one of Paul’s points in the letter of 1 Corinthians, I think, was that many of the 500 people who saw Jesus alive after he was raised from the dead were still alive, and you could go and ask them what they saw)

              So, of course, except for Paul’s letters and the letters attributed to certain Apostles, I can’t “prove” to an absolute certainty that the Bible was written by Moses, the Prophets, David and Solomon. Again, we rely on the testimony of others because these things happened so long ago.

              This is all very interesting, and I am learning all the time to be careful in my argumentation, but I can’t prove anything to you. That’s not my job. If every Christian who ever lived had to be an expert in epistemology and philosophy, well, our Faith would have died in Jerusalem. The plain fact of the matter is that The Bible reveals this faith as a supernatural occurrence. It is not ascertained through natural means. Maybe to you that sounds like a cop-out, but that’s the way it is.

              So, my job is not to “prove” anything to you. If I have accurately discerned what the Scriptures are saying, and if I have accurately described the Gospel to you, I have done my job. God can and will use that seed that was planted, which someone else will water, and God will produce the harvest. Sorry, that’s the best that I can do. I’m not a philosopher. I’m just a simple man who has experienced a measure of God’s mercy.

              The ball is in your court, SB. When you stand before God at the end of time, I don’t think he will be moved by your plea that you didn’t have enough evidence, or nobody was able to prove the truth to you.

              Of course, you can do this kind of investigation on your own. I’m much has been written addressing your points. But, you never will, unless God moves you to do it. That same circular reasoning says that no man, in his natural state, seeks God. The natural man doesn’t want anything to do with him. I think that’s damned accurate. I think most men (maybe you’re the exception) will use this uncertainty and lack of “objective” evidence evidence as a fig leaf, as an excuse not to seek God. I was there myself many years ago.

              May God bless you on your search for truth. You may consider this my final word. Sorry if I disappointed you.

              • Antonio, first there is no “disappointment” here whatsoever. We are adults at the adult table conversing about adult things. And as such I fully respect your views and opinion even though we disagree.

                And, if there is indeed a god, may he also bless you on your search for Truth as well. Absolutely no ill feelings here on my part.

                But you were the one who claimed that the “preponderance of evidence” shows the veracity of Christianity. Again I ask, where is this “preponderance of evidence”? I merely argue that this alleged evidence simply does not exist.
                That you cannot provide this “preponderance of evidence” tends to support my POV.

                “Can you ‘prove’ for instance that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration? Or, better yet, can you prove that Homer wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey? Who will you cross-examine?”

                The clear difference here is that the claims that Jefferson wrote the DOI or that Homer wrote the Odyssey do not involve claims of the supernatural. Jesus may have actually lived and he may have actually been crucified but those claims are not supernatural unlike the claim that he rose from the dead because he was the “son of a god”.

                “The plain fact of the matter is that The Bible reveals this faith as a supernatural occurrence. It is not ascertained through natural means. Maybe to you that sounds like a cop-out, but that’s the way it is.”

                This is simply your – and others’ – opinion. Which is fine. But please do not try to claim that there is a “preponderance of evidence” to your opinion without providing this evidence.

                “Interestingly, one of Paul’s points in the letter of 1 Corinthians, I think, was that many of the 500 people who saw Jesus alive after he was raised from the dead were still alive, and you could go and ask them what they saw”

                Except for the fact that the veracity of whether or not these “500” people actually witnessed the resurrection is based solely on the very same so-called “eyewitnesses” who make the claim of the resurrection and its “500 witnesses” in the first place.

                “When you stand before God at the end of time..”

                Interestingly here, when I was a CCC (Christian Constitutionalist Conservative) I was terrified of such a meeting with this god. Yet now that I realize that such a “god” does not exist I am no longer afraid of the “other side”. If the Christian god is indeed real and a being of Justice and understanding then I have nothing to fear.

                Respect, SB

                • We’re not arguing about the supernatural. You were talking about giving evidence that can be cross-examined. I gave an example of an accepted historical fact. I asked how you can verify that fact if you can’t cross-examine anyone. My claims don’t have as much to do with the supernatural as they do with simply evaluating a historical claim. Why does my proof have to be that much greater? The Romans said that Jesus was dead. They buried him, put a guard on his tomb, and yet Paul says that as many as 500 witnesses saw him afterwards, at the same time. Forget how it was accomplished; how do you evaluate that claim? It should be by the same standard you enforce upon me, shouldn’t it?

                  Except for the fact that the veracity of whether or not these “500” people actually witnessed the resurrection is based solely on the very same so-called “eyewitnesses” who make the claim of the resurrection and its “500 witnesses” in the first place.

                  Are you serious? How, exactly do you impeach their credibility? I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say, and I’m pretty literate. What does “veracity” have to do with 500 people witnessing the same event at the same time? They either saw him, or they didn’t. Is this any different from a witness in a courtroom? Paul said that the majority of those people were still alive when he wrote to the Corinthians, and they could ask them about what they saw. Could you rephrase what you said, ’cause it’s kind of awkward?

                  It’s not that I can’t give you evidence, I simply choose not to argue that way because that’s not how the Gospel is experienced or propagated. I don’t want to spend all my days becoming an expert on every conceivable area of knowledge just to be able to prove to everyone that God exists. I used to do that kind of thing until I realized how pointless it is. God does not work through human wisdom, sir. It’s as simple as that. He chooses to work through the foolishness of Gospel preaching, not providing foolproof arguments to all men who have doubts. Sorry, I don’t want to dishonor God by relying on human wisdom just to try to “win” somebody. It’s not that I don’t care about evidence; I do, but I care about the means that God has ordained to bless more.

                  So, If you desire evidence, I’m not the guy who’s going to give it to you. It is out there; do your own research, if you’re really interested. Somehow, I doubt that you will because you seem to have already made up your mind. You have no fear of God in your eyes, and that should worry you.

                  Just curious – why were a Christian before, but not now? On what was your faith based before? Apparently on nothing solid.

                  • Dear Eric,

                    As the meme I posted underscored, theists make an eloquent case for skepticism 99.98% of the time.

                    4199/4200=99.98%

                    It is only when it comes to the one religion out of 4200 that they adhere to, that suddenly the reasoning they applied to the 4199 other religions suddenly goes out the window, and they become believers without question.

                    That of course is all well and fine if they abide by the “live and let live” rules of conduct as the Amish and the Mennonites.

                    The problem arises when their insistence that they are right and everyone else is wrong gets translated into violations of the NAP, such as Crusades and Jihads.

                  • Antonio, but you are indeed talking about the supernatural not “historical facts”.

                    I think it is fair to say that the entirety of Christianity is based solely on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead, yes? Cannot get more supernatural than that, no?

                    So then the logical question is Where is there any proof that this happened? The only “evidence” that this happened is the claims made in the bible.
                    And who are these men who made these claims? Four guys. And out of those four guys only one makes the claim that he was there and witnessed it himself. So the other three are not actual witnesses. So why should I believe them? Why should I believe that these guys are speaking “the word of (a) god”?

                    Now where is the “evidence” for these “500 witnesses”? Who is saying there were also 500 witnesses to the resurrection? Why none other than these same four guys who are making the original claim of the resurrection.

                    This “evidence” is the same as me saying I saw Jesus on a UFO and there are 500 witnesses who also saw it too. Do you dispute my claim? Why do you not believe me? I have “500 witnesses” to back me up.

                    And if there were indeed 500 living witnesses to the resurrection at the time the gospels/Paul’s letters were written then why did not any of these 500 witnesses write what they saw instead of three or four guys who did not themselves witness it?

                    This soup is way, way too thin for me.

                    You claim that the “preponderance of evidence” supports the veracity of the bible. I have asked you to please provide this “preponderance of evidence” yet you have not provided anything other than the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. “It is true because the bible says it is true” is not an “historical fact.”

                    It is precisely because I did/do my own research that I am no longer a Christian (or Constitutional Conservative).

                    I was raised a Christian and firmly believed in it all because that was what I was taught to believe. But, to make a long story short, one day I asked myself the greatest question one should ask themselves: What do I believe and why do I believe it? This question, of course, is the catalyst for even more questions.

                    It is precisely because of the answers I found that I concluded that Christianity (as well as many other things I was taught and believed in) is not based on “anything solid.

                    That is why I am looking at Christianity in the rear view mirror.

                    Please forgive me if I come across as snarky. That is not my intention. No disrespect, just telling it as I see it.

                    • I was going to post a much longer reply. I choose not to, because I don’t think it will make any difference. Believe what you want to believe. We will all know soon enough who is right.

                      If you’re right, none of us have anything to worry about. But if I’m right, then we all have very much to worry about, especially if, as I believe, it’s all about Grace and not works.

                      That’s not offered as any kind of proof, just an observation.

                      Just as a curiosity, what did you used to believe? What convinced you that it wasn’t true? What facts did you uncover that cast the whole of Christian faith in doubt?

                    • Anon @ 5:45 pm July 8, this thread is getting too skinny so I will answer you in a new thread.

              • Hi Antonio,

                You’re right, we can’t know for certain that Jefferson wrote the Declaration – but we can know for certain Jefferson the man existed and that the Declaration was written.

                Similarly, we can know the Bible exists and that someone – several someones – wrote it. It also seems very probable that Jesus, the man, lived.

                But the fact that the Bible says “witnesses” saw the risen Jesus is no more proof of that fact than is the testimony of the Mormon elders that they saw the Golden Plates….

                Belief in the divinity of Jesus is just that, a belief. And it may be a true belief – just as the belief in UFOs mght be based upon actual fact. But until it can be proved, neither thing can fairly be called more than belief.

      • You still have the problem of “Who created the Creator?” So believing that some mythical being in the sky did it all doesn’t really explain origins. (Though you could probably convince me that we are the leftovers from some failed cosmic science experiment.)

        • LOL! That’s what I used to think….when I was 7.

          Since matter is not eternal, it has a beginning and an end. Time can be assessed because every physical thing has a lifespan.

          Since we are physical, it is hard for us to conceive of a realm beyond the physical or a dimension in which time essentially does not exist because of the fact that it is populated by things which are eternal/have an unlimited lifespan.

          The Creator always existed.

          One thing is certain: Matter has not always existed, and therefore had to be created out of non-matter, so it is certain that there has to be someone or something out there which brought matter into being. The question that remains is Who or what? Very few even make that claim, and only One makes any coherent claim such a feat- one which withstands the scrutiny of the collected knowledge of mankinds science through the ages down to the present day.

          Also, if you are a heliocentrist, you believe that the Earth is rotating at 1000MPH as it flies through space on an eliptical orbit [defying the very physics they use to explain it’s ability to do so] at [get this] 67,000MPH. Where might this energy come from to accomplish this? Energy which has not ruin down for thousands or billions of yeatrs [depending on who you believe]???

          Really, it can not be explained without a god. Many just choose to believe that this god is called “Nature” and is unintelligent, and has never provided a revelation of Himself. Find me an explanation of origins which does not reference the god known as nature.

          And water! Water may be our one link to eternal non-matter. The Bible doesn’t out-right say it, but strongly implies it, because water was already present at creation- it filled the universe! Witness that water is not compressible (Oooopppss! There goes that whole “The whole universe was compressed into a dot the size of a >.<period and then exploded theory!)- Water can not be destroyed- just changed or converted, and only temporarily- it always ends up as water again at some point. Men did not know this until quite recently; I know of no ancient text which makes reference to such principles- but yet, there's the Bible, in it's oldest parts, penned several millenia before Christ, and we see a place being separated out of a universe of water which is already in existence, so that the earth and it's habitat could be established.

          If that doesn't give you paude for at least a little awe…..it should.

          • Nunzio, “Since matter is not eternal, it has a beginning and an end.”

            Questions arise my good sir.

            First, is man simply matter?

            Second, is not water itself matter? If so then is it not contradictory to say matter has a beginning and an end yet also say “Water may be our one link to eternal non-matter. The Bible doesn’t out-right say it, but strongly implies it, because water was already present at creation- it filled the universe!” and “Water can not be destroyed- just changed or converted, and only temporarily- it always ends up as water again at some point.”? Sounds like no beginning and no end to me.

            Love your question though about where does the energy come from to propel the earth around at such high speed? I am not a flat earther (yet) but that question has been in my mind for years too. As well as this one: If the speed of the earth’s spinning at the equator is faster than the speed of the globe’s end poles then would not that have a differing effect on humans via G forces? Another one: If the earth is a globe spinning on an axis what is the starting point in space establishing the horizontal and vertical lines to determine the axis is at a certain degree? Because in theory there is no such thing as upside down or east or west, etc. right? (I probably am not conveying my questions accurately here.)

            And let me be the first to admit I have no evidence or claims of knowledgeable authority on this subject whatsoever. I just think it is interesting and fun to think about.

            Respect, SB

            • Correction please. “If the speed of the earth’s spinning at the equator is faster than the speed of the globe’s end poles then would not that have a differing effect on humans via G forces?”

              Got that entirely backwards. My bad. Clearly the speed (revolution) of rotation at the equator will be less than that of the speed (revolution) at earth’s end caps.

              Wake and bake on a Saturday morning – I make no excuses and stand by my assertions.

            • Greetings, Mr. Bear!

              Sorry for the delay in responding, but being the height of summer, T’is my busiest time.

              No, humans are not just matter. Our bodies are matter; but our actual “life” and consciousness etc. are not. As the philosopher Homer Simpson once said “What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.”

              Re: water: Think about something: Water can never be destroyed. It can be changed and recycled…but never annihilated. Of course, my musings on water in the previous post were strictly my own conjecture, and brought about by our discussion here, and how it made me realize that in the Biblical account, it is presumed that water was already present at Creation; and that it is not mentioned as having been created at the time of the earth and other physical elements. I find this very interesting, and will be pursuing the subject on my own in the future.

              Actually, I AM a flat-earther. My questions regarding the “perpetual motion” of astral bodies were based on the supposition that most people are not flat-earthers. Even a flat-earth does require some outside energy source though, too- for such things as the movement of the sun and Moon. Obviously, such a model requires only a tiny fraction of the energy that a heliocentric model requires though.

              I just find it ironic that so often the people with whom I discuss these matters ridicule the idea of a non-physical spirit-realm or God; but yet have no problem believing in the absurdity that the earth is magically hurtling through space at 67,000MPH through the auspices of some unknown, unseen unperceivable force; and that in addition, while doing so, it maintains a fixed eliptical orbit….even though the very laws of provable science, which they oft repeat to justify various scenarios which must exist in order for such an absurdity to even be remotely feasible, say that a body in motion will maintain it’s trajectory until acted upon by a force which causes it to change said trajectory, like gravity…which they say doesn’t exist in space…and that space is a vacuum, which can somehow exist without sucking up Earth’s atmosphere, even though there is no barrier between earth and space….. But they believe these things because some guy speculated that that’s how it might be….

              I find the Biblical scenario much more plausible and in keeping with observable reality: Flat, stationary earth; closed (domed/canopied) system; Moon produces it’s own light; etc.

              Interesting tidbit: Plenty of people have circumnavigated the Earth on the east/west axis- which, if you look at a flat-earth model, is easily accomplished (and bear in mind that the compass would always be pointing toward the North Pole in the middle- so the east-west-south readings would work out just the same as the way they would on a globe) but to this day…in this age of “spaceships” and robots and artifical intelligence, and little phones that fit in your pocket and allow you to talk to someone anywhere in the world….NO ONE has circumnavigated the Earth on the north-south axis….ever. On a globe, in an airplane especially, that should be no problem. But in reality, it is IMPOSSIBLE, as it would be on a flat frisbee instead of a ball. Maybe instead of trying to convince us that they went “to the Moon”, they should have first started out with trying to convence us that they circumnavigated the Earth on the N/S axis!

              Anywho…I have to get going, but I will re-read your post to which I am replying here, later, as I know I’m probably overlooking a question or two.

              Regards,
              Nunzeeee

              • Nunzee, I am scattered on response times myself and for the same reasons. I love nothing more than smoking a bowl or two while doing nothing but observing nature and its critters in my backyard while pondering the great questions.

                I too think man is far more than matter. Hell, I am not even sure matter itself actually exists. I have had some experiences that cause me to think all of this is just an illusion. Big thumbs up on the Simpsons quote, BTW.

                Water: there is the argument that all matter cannot be destroyed, it just changes form the same as water. Fire is nothing more than a chemical reaction which changes matter but not eliminates it. This concept fascinates me. The idea of something turning into nothing is the mirror idea of nothing turning into something. It boggles the puny human mind, mine at least.

                “…in the Biblical account, it is presumed…”

                This is the problem I have with the bible – it requires too many presumptions to make it work.

                Did water exist before god created it? If so then that blows away the god created everything theory. And if god created water first where was it? Floating in space or was it contained in what?
                Does not Genesis say god created the oceans and seas? It does not say god took existing water and turned it into oceans and seas. I am interested in what your future studies on this topic brings forth.

                Since I first realized many years ago that I (and everyone else) have been lied to by “authorities” – both government and “science”- I do not believe anything until I do my own research. As well as following my gut.

                As a child my gut placed a seed of doubt in me that the bible was true even though I considered myself a Christian because I was raised as such.

                Same with the “earth is a globe” theory. It never made any sense to me.

                I think the earth is not a globe but is inside of one. There is a dome above and below but the earth inside of it is itself flat. Picture two halves of a gumball machine toy’s round plastic container they come in and the earth is a disc laying horizontal at the center where the two halves come together.

                And I do not believe in gravity as Einstein proposes. I am of the Tesla school that everything is electrical and light.

                Now I have no credentials or proof for any of this, just my own thoughts.

                And your point about no one circumnavigated the “globe” from a north to south axis is an interesting observation.

                I like a man who thinks outside the box so a tip of the hat to you sir.

                • Nunzio, if I may offer another quick thought I forgot to mention about my earth is inside a globe theory. Earth may not be a disc shape either. The bottom part of the globe could be filled with something – rock, lava, oil, ether, etc. – with the earth being the horizontal top of it.

                  I think the disc shape theory would support the idea of an “as above, so below” belief scenario though.

          • “The Creator always existed. ”

            Easy to say. More difficult to prove. Simply stating it does not make it so. I’m afraid the circular reasoning used by theists does not substantiate anything. (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.)

        • Hi Jason,

          Another problem Antonio has is the huge leap from “there might be a god” to “the god(s) of Christianity” exist.

          I marvel with Nunzio at the miracle – and incomprehensibility, frankly – of ex nihilo creation.It boggles the mind, probably even minds as great as Einstein’s and Hawking’s. But to go from that to believing that any of the world’s multitude of religions is true (particularly when all of them are marred by things that, at the very least, make no sense at all and some of which are vile and vicious and when all of those religions are regional/cultural/tribal rather than universal) is a leap too far for me.

          • Hey Ya, Eric!

            I agree with you, that to just jump from ex-nihilo creation to any specific claimed god, would indeed be delusional.

            I can only speak for myself here, as I know that many worshipers would not fit the model which I am about to describe; nor would I want to make any assumptions about our friend Antonio….

            But for me, it was a logical progression. I was raised in a nominally-Christian home -which was a mix of Catholicism (which is not Christianity) and a few rudimentary tenets of the faith, but which were based on nothing more tradition and blind faith, essentially.

            In my very early 20’s, I realized that I was going to have to address the question as to whether or not there really was a God; and if so, who is He? I didn’t want to live my life serving an assumption/tradition/blind faith- nor did I want to deny something based on limited knowledge or the suppositions/blind faith of those who claim no god, but whose explanations still require a god- just by a different name.

            The ex-nihilo creation thing was essentially just the first step, as it demands the existence of something beyond the physical, visible realm. Let us refer to that something as god, be it some unknown impersonal entity or one which has maintained involvement with the creation and who has revealed himself in one way or another.

            The next logical step was to examine those things which claimed to be a revelation from that god, or which were vaunted as such. It appeared to be a daunting task at first, but in reality, the pile of gods which ended up on the scrap heap distinguished themselves quite early on, as the vast majority did not even claim to be the creator of the physical realm, or in many cases, even a deity- but were often just exalted by men as such; or were just the philosophizings of men exalted.

            At that point, I was down to just a few contenders- but one revelation stood out as containing not only the requisite claims of representing the One Who created all, but which contains facts about that creation, which now know are true, but which men in the time it was written had no knowledge of, as it was at that time outside the scope of human knowledge- many of those facts being only realized/proved by real science in the last 75 years or more recently.

            What many had always assumed in the Bible to be mere sentiment or surmisings, have indeed come to light in our very day as being true physicap fact, down to the very word. There is only one record of what claims to be a revelation of this God, which consistently does this.

            And not only that, but the foretelling of major events- both in history, and also ones happening now before our eyes. No human is capable of doing this consistently and precisely.

            Just a rudimentary example: Consider how the Passover Lamb in the Old Testament was sacrificed every year on a set date according to the Hebrew calendar. No one[not even Richard Dawkins!] would contend that that info did not exist well over 1000 years before Christ.

            The Christ comes on the scene, who is “The Lamb Of God”; is rejected by His own people- the Jews [also prophesied] and is killed [sacrificed] by the Romans at the very time when the Passover Lamb was to be slain. But wait….there’s more- and this is the biggie: Since Christ accomplished what the Jewish sacrifical system had merely been a picture of, there was no longer a need for the sacrificial system. c. 40 years after Christ’s crucifixion, the Jewish temple at Jerusalem (The only place sacrifices could be legitimately offered) was destroyed, and despite the Jews existing down to our day, they have STILL, in 2000 years not been able to rebuild that temple nor re-establish sacrifices- and not lack of wanting to!

            And that’s just the tip of the iceberg- just one tiny example.

            Now you might say: Well what about the possibility of a god who is unknown; who has not revealed himself? But that leaves us with the problem, that if we have a revelation which indeed claims to be from a creator, and which contains physical knowledge which was hitherto not known to men, but which is being vindicated as amazingly true and accurate the more human knowledge increases as time goes on, even though such revelation is ancient; and which foretells future events, some of which have played out in history, and some which are now playing out as we speak, how would silence be superior to that? And if there were a god apart from that revelation, then what is the source of that revelation, seeing as it contains that which was not known to men at the time it was written?

            The process of going through that only took me about 6 months in my early 20’s- but of course, I did not have all the knowledge I now have; all the details- but that was the rudimentary basic progression, and you have to admit, THAT is a far cry from “Evolution doesn’t have the answers so therefore Christianity is it!”. 😀

            • Nunzio, if I may join in here. It is precisely because of some of the things you mention that I turned away from Christianity.

              I will listen to the argument that there is a “god” but I simply cannot believe that a god that is capable of creating the universe as we know it is a god that requires animal and human sacrifice “to make things right”.

              This is no different than any other primitive religion throwing-virgins-into-volcanoes nonsense IMO.

              • Ah, I get it, Skunk. It does seem strange at first- but the Bible does say that it is “impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should cleanse sin”. The animal sacrifices, which were instituted for a specific time, were merely a portrayal of heavenly justice.

                Sin ultimately results in the death of the sinner. To cite the most extreme example, if you were to murder someone, there is no restitution that you could make in order to effect justice. If you stole something, you could make restitution, and add punitive damages to make the person wronged whole again, and deter you from doing so again. Value for value.

                If you steal someone’s life, the most you can do is to give your own life, and that would not make the murdered person whole, because it would not bring back his life; nor could there be any punitive damages above that, because you have but one life to give, and the victim is not alive to receive any restitution and compensation. Ditto with a sin such as rape, or even a series of lesser sins which may not be quite as severe, but which destroy the life of a society (Picture a “homie” who spends decades perpetually committing various crimes which result in a place becoming like Detroit!); or even sins which result in our own destruction.

                Or to put it more Biblically, God, as the creator of the world and life, is the creator of law; and we have all transgressed His law, and will therefore die.

                Jesus, as an incarnation of God, through Whom all was created, is worth more than the sum total of all humanity. Therefore, His one-time sacrifice made it possible that those who believe upon Him, and repent, can be offered eternal life in the spiritual realm, because He has paid the price that justice demands for our sins- much like if you got a speeding ticket and your brother paid it for you.

                The animals sacrifices were merely a portrayal of this substitutionary sacrifice..To say “human sacrifices” isn’t really accurate, as we having only one very limited life, can not even atone for our own sins, much less could we atone for the sins of someone else.

                This is quite different than the pagan concept of sacrificing animals/people to “appease the gods”.

                This is in reality a great thing, and one of the reasons which really cemented me as a libertarian/anarchist: There are no cages in God’s plan. Punishment in God’s economy was in the form of restitution and punitive damages, or in some cases, a beating.

                Today, if we were to pay punitive damages to the law-giver (a position which the state has usurped) we would pay in currency or property. In God’s economy, where punitive damages were paid to the victim it could be in currency or in like property; and when punitive damages were paid to the temple, it was often required in the form of clean[kosher] animals- from which the fat and organs were burned, and some of the meat became the property of “the justice administration [priests], and some was eaten [depending on the circumstances] by the person giving the sacrifice.

                It’s all about justice, and the value of life and blood; and an earthly representation of that which is ultimately effected in heaven. Quite different from the heathen ritual of throwing a virgin into the volcano. But unless one educates themself about such matters, it all appears to be the virgin/volcano thing…. 😀

                And this is NOT to say that one could murder someone and evade the physical penalty of death for doing so. “Ye shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer”. But even someone who has committed sins worthy of death, and repented, could be forgiven in the resurrection, because of the fact that Jesus paid the penalty to effect the necessary justice, for those who will accept the terms to receive the gift thus proffered.

                I hope that this has made sense. Sorry that I could not be more concise- but brevity is not my forte! 😀

                • Nunzio, “…but the Bible does say that it is ‘impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should cleanse sin’.”

                  Why does any blood need to be shed at all?! Why would an “omnipotent” god create such a dynamic or “Law”?

                  “The animal sacrifices, which were instituted for a specific time, were merely a portrayal of heavenly justice.”

                  Heavenly “justice” requires the killing of animals even though as you have said those animal sacrifices do not accomplish anything?!

                  If a man went out today and killed – “sacrificed” – his dog and said he did it because his god X told him to do it he would be, correctly, considered mentally deranged no matter what reasons he claims are the benefit of his “sacrifice”.

                  When did this specific time come to an end? When did god declare that animal sacrifices are no longer needed? What bible verse commands this?

                  Why would such a “supreme” being need to create such “laws” and “rituals”?! What is accomplished by killing animals let alone people? Does this feed god? Does the death of these sacrifices make god “even more powerful than (we) can imagine”?!

                  How are these sacrifices not any different than throwing a virgin into a volcano?

                  “My god, X, says we must make a sacrifice of X who is pure because my god X says it is for X reasons to correct for X.”

                  The reasons and the “correction” and the manner of the sacrifice are the only differences. Otherwise they are both just sacrifices made because a people believe they have to do it because “their god” said so.

                  My contention remains. Why would an all powerful god – of any claim – make up such bizarre “laws” and “penalties”?

                  As for “sin” I do not believe there is any such thing as sin. There is only evil and the only evil is hypocrisy. That is, doing something to someone else that you do not wish done to yourself.

          • Dear Eric, Skunkbear,

            Quite right.

            It is one thing to listen to Catholic theologians debate metaphysics and epistemology with Aristotelian philosphers.

            It is quite another to listen as fundamentalists of whatever faith go on and on about how the very same mountain visible from his front door just happens to be the Sacred Mountain from which the Creator of the Entire Universe handed down his laws for men all over the planet earth, not to mention all sentient beings in distant galaxies.

            The credulity required to convince someone of the truth of such a proposition, boggles the mind.

        • Dear Jason,

          Exactly right. In fact, the assertion that atheists must “explain” how the universe came into existence is itself a logical fallacy. Objectivist oriented philosopher George R. Smith explains:

          For the atheist, the universe—the totality of existence—is a metaphysical primary and, as such, cannot require an explanation. The natural, knowable universe provides the context in which all explanations are possible, so to demand an explanation for the universe itself is epistemologically absurd. Corliss Lamont, in The Philosophy of Humanism, makes this point as follows:

          In specific scientific explanations as well as in ultimate philosophical questions a stage frequently ensues when it is profitless to keep on asking “Why?” At such a juncture we have to say: “Things are simply constructed this way or behave this way.” The speed of light is what it is; the law of gravitation operates as it does; and the number of protons and electrons in each type of atom is what it is. In none of these instances can an intelligible answer be given as to why. … In science as well as in philosophy, then, we eventually hit rock-bottom in the pursuit of certain inquiries.”

          If a child asks his father how a magician made a dove disappear, and the father replies, “It’s magic,” we would hardly accept this as an explanation. Yet the theist attempts the same kind of maneuver. To his own question, “How do we explain natural phenomena?” the theist replies, “It’s supernatural”—which, when translated, means: “It’s unknowable.”

          Just as “magic” is not an explanation, so the “supernatural” is not an explanation, but is a concession that no explanation is possible. Because the concept of god has absolutely no explanatory power, it can never be inferred from nature as an explanation for natural phenomena. If, as the theist claims, the existence of the universe (or some aspect of it) requires an explanation, the positing of a supernatural being does not provide it.

          • Bevin, my experience as an atheist when theists ask (more like demand) of me an explanation for the world as we know it when I reply with the only honest answer “I do not know” they do not know how to react.

            Yet when I ask them the same question and how they can be so certain that they know what everything is about they can only respond with the circular argument, “Because god X’s book says so”.

          • Dear SB,

            Some Christian theologians have actually been more honest.

            They’ve conceded that they cannot prove their religious beliefs are true. Instead they openly acknowledge that belief requires blind faith, but that such a leap of faith will be rewarded.

            I find that less offensive to my rational sensibilities than utterly nonsensical, non-factual “proofs” that God exists.

            • Good morning, Bevin!

              I once heard someone ask: Can you prove you love your parents? The answer, of course, is no. And yet, the love is real… to me. I know it exists. But I would not insist that anyone else accept as certain and true that my love exists for the simple reason that proof cannot be adduced. It is a matter of faith.

              So also religious belief.

              The honest – the sane – deist will say: I believe in god; my belief seems to me to be absolutely correct based upon my personal faith, some ineffable experience I have had. But I cannot prove it to you and therefore will merely state that I believe. And leave you to come to your own conclusions, on your own. And accept yours as just as valid as my own – until one or the other of us can prove what we believe to be true is in fact true – on the basis of objective facts that transcend belief.

            • Dear Eric,

              Amen to that! Actually it brings us back to your original point, which I seconded.

              There are approximately 4200 religions in the world today. The difference between atheists on the one hand, and Jews, Christians, and Moslems on the other, is that Jews, Christians, and Moslems reject 4199 of the religions as utter nonsense, while atheist reject all 4200 of the religions as utter nonsense.

              https://cdn-webimages.wimages.net/0510021d1c28739169155ef2e42bfc9327c129-wm.jpg?v=3

            • Bevin:
              I remember reading a rare psychological observation of A.R.’s about the two kinds of faith: 1. Blind. 2. On proof.
              In the Dark Ages when the church ruled, it was considered by some theologians to be blasphemous if proof was offered or asked for. The strongest/best faith was not just blind, but faith that contradicted the facts. Open hostility to reality was best.

              • Dear voluntaryist,

                I don’t doubt that at the height of the church’s power and influence, that was true.

                My own experience in the modern era has been that those Christians who concede that their religious sentiment is based on faith and not fact, were coming from a different psychological mindset.

                They weren’t militantly faith based, they were modestly, almost apologetically faith based.

                I think it had to do with the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, etc. having impacted social psychology in the Western nations, to the point where few Christians still felt that their religious beliefs could be justified by thumping on a Bible anymore.

                The result was a more laid back, “I’m just doing my own thing here” attitude.

                I can’t say whether this is universal, but it has been my experience.

            • Bevin, Agree. I have no problem with those rare Christians who admit their beliefs are based on faith. I can usually enjoy a good conversation with them. It is the ones who declare their beliefs to be “facts” and that the “evidence” for their claims is “overwhelming” that I do not waste my time with. They live in a closed mindset. Sad, really.

    • Hey Nunzio, Atheists don’t need to believe in God to believe in quite a lot of the bible. There are quite a few atheists who are professing bible believing Christians. Some may even believe in more of the bible than those Christians that profess a belief in God. The one thing that an atheist has over a God believing Christian is their understanding of the apophatic. Most mainstream Christians are dumbfounded at this idea, yet it’s an integral feature of the biblical God.

    • The high priests of the climate Theocracy must be at it again because there are lines running down the street at all the gas stations in town. The ones that don’t have lines have tankers filling their tanks. The canned goods are about gone from the shelves because some nitwit is saying we all need to get ready for a disaster to end all disasters. I don’t watch the news, but they’re probably calling it the mother of all hurricanes or it’s a direct result of climate change blah blah blah…

      I’ve got my mother calling me, ex girlfriends calling me, and people emailing me asking me If I’m prepared and what I’m going to do. If the power goes out I’ve got some great books to read. Other than that, it’s probably not even going to be an issue to begin with so I’m not doing anything.

  12. I have as much respect for these legislator-cowards as I do for a dead housefly.

    This is another case of creating a standard for behavior that isn’t based upon any corroborating evidence whatsoever. Just like the Global Warming hysteria and their rampant War on Carbon.

    I think I would be more upset with a family member being killed in a vehicle accident caused by someone who was completely sober than I would be if the person was a raging drunk at the time of the accident. Because the completely sober person is supposedly more in control of their actions while behind the wheel than the drunkard is.

  13. The path to freedom is not by violence. Only losers use violence.
    Getting angry at politicians/bureaucrats is a futile focus on the symptoms, not the root of the problem. The root is the forfeit of sovereignty by most under the delusion that individual responsibility can be transferred to others and that is more efficient than self governance. This delusion includes extending it universally, under threat of death and justifying this forced dependence on a flawed “social contract theory”. As if being born into a society indentures all to be ruled, to obey harmful limits, to sacrifice our life for others, the group. This is self enslavement and if forced on others is immoral. I person may throw away his life on a flawed moral code. That is his right to act as he sees fit, as long as he does no harm to others. But when he includes me by force or fraud in his delusion, I will fight back and resist with all my might.
    That force/fraud is the worldwide paradigm. It is called government. It is no way to live. I want to be respected as a sovereign and I will do the same for others, but they reject that paradigm. I want to live in a society based on voluntary social interactions, but I know of no such society. I seek a “Galt’s Gulch”.

    • “Getting angry at politicians/bureaucrats is a futile focus on the symptoms, not the root of the problem.”.

      Bot really……when they are the ones who ultimately use violence or the threat of violence to accomplish/enforce their dictates. True, the real root of the problem- the human tendency to desire and support authoritarian collectivism- is what puts politicians in a position of power and enables them, but they are just as responsible for their actions, even if they don’t commit the violence personally- much like a Mafia don, who may not personally kill someone, but just order a hit-man to do it- yet that don is ultimately equally culpable. Only pacifists don’t resist or counter violence.

      • I didn’t say the politicians.bureaucrats were not responsible for their actions or not despicable. So why do you want to keep the focus on them? They have had their heads chopped off en masse (French Revolution) and nothing changed. That is the norm every where it has been tried, except in the American Revolution where the emphasis was on secession, not retribution. The new states did not declare war on the King/nobles or the British Empire. They just declared their independence and stopped supporting them. If a significant % of us do the same with the US Empire, victory is ours.
        But first a lot of educating must be done. The sooner the better. Focusing on the symptoms is worse than a waste of time; it misses a chance to inspire the statists to look in the mirror and see what they have created and support. This is the way to resist and counter the political paradigm of initiated violence.

        • Violence against a robber, assaulter or kidnapper is not retribution- it is necessary force to overcome and stop them.

          True, when these crimes are perpetrated on a large scale by organized men- whether you call them politicians or mobsters, mere acts of violence will not change anything- but considering human nature, and the fact that liberty in the world only decreases the more that time goes on, and the more populous the world becomes, it becomes clear that at some point the only defense is to fight fire with fire, whether in an organized war, as merely as individuals doing what they can to resist unprovoked violence/robbery when threatened with such.

          Face it, men do not voluntarily give up power once it has been acquired. Sometimes their institutions of power may crumble from their own dysfunction and decay, but even then, another will merely rush in to fill the vacuum.

          As Jefferson said- “Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

          Will we go quietly into that night?

          I’m not advocating gratuitous violence ya understand- just self defense. If the po-po wants to take you away when you’ve harmed nobody nor anyone’s property, are you going to go quietly, or are you going to meet force with force against the aggressor if you are able?

          And while it’s not my war, maybe those who make war wouldn’t be quite so bold if they had some skin in the game.

          • Of course violence in defense is moral. In our case it is also suicide as we are, maybe 2%?, against thugs who specialize in violence, thrive on it, both politically and psychologically. We “appear” to lose the high ground if seen as violent. The masses will not get the full story, only the violence.
            In short, “to meet force with force” is moral, but not smart strategy. That is what Gandhi, MLK, and Gene Sharp taught me. When I very reluctantly did “face it” I realized the goal is not to convince anyone to give up power, but to stop the creation of the power, stop the masses from enabling their own enslavement, and the power evaporates. The thugs are left alone, naked and harmless. That is what they fear most. That is what propaganda is all about. We only have to show the alternative to sovereign rulers is personal sovereignty and that means self governance, which is way better.

            • Voluntaryist,I get what you are saying but the problem is is that, IMO, the majority of people do not seek personal responsibility/self governance. Why they are so is open to discussion.

              • Oh, I agree about the majority being political zombies. But that means we only need to educate the few (10-15%?) who do think but are still statists.
                The rest will follow blindly. That’s a good start. The zombie population can be reduced by an authentic education in private schools that teach the liberating subject of “How to use your mind so you may think for yourself”.

        • Hi Voluntaryist!

          I agree with you about withdrawing consent – both moral/intellectual as well as otherwise. De-legitimizing what is going on is, arguably, Step 1. Step 2 – much more critical – is offering a better alternative.

          If all we do is delegitimize the regime but do not have a better alternative both available and accepted by a critical mass of the population, we are setting ourselves up for a horror. For the toppling of the current miasma of crony capitalist authoritarianism/semi-socialism and quasi fascism with something much more… pure. As in Soviet Russia or Revolutionary France pure…

          • So eric, do you advocate any specific path? I like Travis’s comparison of two completely different shit eaters…..with simply a larger swatter needed for one.

            But that’s just me. Now where did I put that can of IMR 4350?

            • I recommend supporting carefully vetted liberty movements, local is best. I support Larken Rose and his “Mirror” project as well as his seminars “Candles in the Dark”.

              • I just recently discovered Larken Rose- His “I’m Allowed To Rob You” video is probably the best tool for anarchistic evangelism I have ever seen!

                I think he is a little overly-optimistic though in thinking that society is going to embrace liberty/anarchy as a whole. We’d have to first change human nature, and no mere political philosophy can do that.

                • I don’t know about that. MOST neighborhoods and towns function perfectly well with virtually zero input from the law. If the law went away, or largely went away, it would be no different. Certainly if you erased the fed, tomorrow would not change at all. We’d all need to donate to charity to feed the poor, and they might have to get back to a traditional family unit. It would work out just fine. Those that didn’t want to get a long would be dealt with quickly.

                  • Oh, I agree, Todd! Laws are the problem; not the solution. Trouble is, towns and cities these days have too many laws of their own. From having to get permission to rent out property that you own, to having to get a permit to have a yard sale or a lemonade stand.

                    That is the problem- the average person wants laws. Even where laws are not forced upon them by government, they will often volunteer to be serfs- like when they buy a house where by doing so they agree to come under the jurisdiction of a homeowners association, where other citizens can dictate every little detail pertaining to their property and conduct.

                    Most people will so give up their own freedom and autonomy, so how much less do they care about ours?

                    The majority of these people will never be converted to libertarianism/anarchy- nor should they necessarily be. Their power over others (power which is achieved through the political machine, and ultimately threat/use of violence) just needs to be restrained- and the only way that will happen, is the same way that sovereign nations keep other nations from invading them- by maintaining power equal to or greater than the enemy- and until and if such time as there are enough of us to achieve that (which will likely never happen) we will continue to see tyranny of one sort or another on every level.

                  • What could Human Nature be?

                    Consider the possibility of each newborn baby.

                    Redpilled babies wouldn’t be dependent on distant authoritarians.

                    Give them responsibilities and challenges from birth. The breast is for champions not whiners.

                    Design milestones of your own. Help your younger self down the rabbit hole earlier and faster.

                    Make them work for things. Let them freely roam, put them in stressful situations with others.

                    Have empathy but not sympathy for them.

                    Children are the ultimate DIY project. And ultimate future community resource at the same time.

                    Have them live an anarcho value creating rights respecting childhood.

                    Babies are anti-fragile, we can raise our preferred polity our own damn selves.

                  • Human nature is that which satisfies the flesh, when it is pursued to the exclusion of other concerns or consequences. (I just made that up, but I think it comes pretty close…. :D)

                    The thing is (And this is the thing which most other philosophies do not make provision for) is that if people want to exercise that nature over their own sphere of authority; their own lives, property, voluntary associations, etc. we as Libertarians/anarchists are fine with that- but the thing which would allow our philosophy to work, is that we allow defense of our person and property- for as long as a balance of power exists, all can pursue their own interests without infringing upon the rights of others.

                    Human nature will seek to steal, co-opt, extort, infringe, take advantage, etc.- and if we were to require that all subdue their natures as many of us do voluntarily, we would be back to an authoritarian state; but all we need do is ensure that the balance of power can exist, and then it doesn’t so much matter whether others restrain their own natures, because only they and theirs will be affected by what they do, and not us.

                • “…human nature…” is to think, to use our minds. Since propaganda/govt. ed tries to circumvent that and discourage questioning authority, I find that proof of our natural tendency to think, if we are not crippled mentally at an early age. Otherwise, why would it be necessary to spend so much effort on mind control if our “nature” was to want control? No, a small child is naturally inquisitive, relentlessly so, and that, along with the developing self image is what must be discouraged and molded into the zombie adult that only obeys.

          • There is only one hope, one solution – secession. The complete dismantling of the US into hundreds of sovereign, independent Nation/City States. All else is folly.

  14. Hi, Eric,

    I am finding that I can’t reply to all of the latest messages because I don’t see a “Reply” link at the end of the comments. The columns get shrunk and very long, and there is nowhere to post a reply.

    Some recent comments deserve a response. Please help if you can. Maybe browser settings?

    • Antonio, what I do, is just scroll up until I come to the nearest “reply” to the message in question- and then my reply will be after that message. Eric may have a better way- but in the interim, that’ll work.

    • Hi Antonio,

      What you describe is an annoying bug of wordpress. It is much easier to read the comments on the full comments page. Access instructions below.

      If you are a registered user, this link: https://ericpetersautos.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php takes you directly to the full comments page. A screen may come up displaying a “sorry, no log-in enablers provided”. Ignore this statement and put in your name and password in the space provided. If you bookmark this link, you can always go directly to the full comments page. It is much easier to navigate from this page. The comments appear chronologically. To the right of the comment there are two headings, “in response to” and “submitted on”. If you click on the date/time section under the “submitted on” heading, it takes you directly to the specific comment you wish to reply to. You may need to scroll up or down a little, but it will be easy to find. If there is no reply button, just scroll up until you find one. If you are concerned about attribution, just make it clear in your post. I hope this helps.

      Jeremy

    • Hi Antonio,

      Your comment appears to be in moderation. Don’t know why this happens. Did you get the log in page that strangely says, “sorry, no log-in providers enabled”? If so, you must enter your name and password.

      Jeremy

      • Hi Jeremy, Antonio –

        I have no idea why this happens – people who’ve been approved and previously posted having their posts routed to the Moderate queue. I hate computers…

        • From VA Copbloc 2 facebook fan site,

          After he published that article about me, Nathan Cox, i tried to reach out to him on that blog in the comment section, Twitter and Facebook with no avail…

          I was simply trying to express my gratitude for writing about my situation and also asking him if he would be kind enough to link to or embed my legal fund that my attorney created for me on Gofundme.

      • Replying here to your other comment.

        An uncensored forum is as important as air. Here, it likely saves a 3 year old’s life.

        Fat Shaming Club
        https://imgoat.com/uploads/7693cfc748/22724.png

        The statism in this thread is cringeworthy to the extreme. The OP is a Child Protection Service hero taking a child from his family. The worst sort of govt vermin swine.

        He was getting abducted anyway, but at least his healh may be improving.

        Of course such forums need not be virtual. But never have I met fellow workers-friends-family, barfles, or random strangers who think like my fellow epautomatons.

        Galts Gulch is real. But virtual. And very sparsely inhabited so far.

        We at least need some office hours and a phone number for the gulch. Here’s a temporary one for noe.

        Leave a text or call me 24/7 worldwide. Post on the facebook fan site or send a message.

        U.S. Number: (702) 723-0847. I will text you a reply and forward your message to eric.

        Thans for choosing Libertarian Car Guy

        US

          • Kanpai E,

            Abuse? Well I’m old, bald and ugly. Also structurally unsound from being pinned against a fence by a black walnut treestump and falling off a scaffolding.

            Gotta climb the beanstalk to work among giants tho. Semper fee fi fo fum.

            Mazel NAP!

          • Just trying to put skin in the game.

            I don’t disagree with the consensus here. But use the available comm tools to further my goals. Know thy enemy.

            What’s lacking among most anarcho capitalists, redpill paleoconservatives, apolitical farmer curmudgeons is no risks are taken.

            There’s no stake in making a free world.

            I’ve had dozens of facebooks and they’ve said many different things.

            I’m pretty sure the NAP doesn’t require that I dutifully conform to the instruction form of a website and put the correct info in all the boxes because of the magna carta or golden rule or being an honest man.

            I follow an alternate NAP that very well might be fatally flawed. Not even follow, but merely try to approach as a limit, in a calculus sense.

            Also I have to flip a switch and go from foul mouthed anon troll mode to regular old quirky family man and coworker.

            • I don’t know that using Facecrook would in any way violate the NAP- I just find it odious- to voluntarily forfeit my privacy and grant privileges to a truly evil corp/individual whose goals are diametrically opposed to my own- and all for what? To be able to engage in banter in a format which discourages long-term intelligent reasoned personal communication and meaningful debate?

              A high price to pay, for virtually nothing to gain. If I’m going to take a chance, it’s going to be for something worthwhile- not for something of no value. (Although I wouldn’t consider the use of Facebook to be very chancey….just more like donating to a cause which you don’t support or which you know is bogus).

              “What’s lacking among most anarcho capitalists, redpill paleoconservatives, apolitical farmer curmudgeons”

              I’ve never heard anyonme describe me so perfectly! 😀

              • Sorry to inform you Facebook is not confined to its famous internet domain.

                It is the largest online church in the world. It’s scripts and databases interact with nearly every internet user in the world.

                It is controlled by the very same Northeast Megalopolist BosWash Judeo-Christian-Muslim thought monopoly that’s been ruling our world for 2000 years now.

                It is the gospel and technology of Harvard elites now proselytized to all people everywhere. It’s freeee to use, but it’s cost is the further centralization and monolithification of human discourse and social interaction.

                I post to my wall, and there for I am. Cogito ergo online sum. Amen and stay logged in.

                • Tor,

                  I’ve always avoided cell phones/smartphones; smart appliances; vehicles with black boxes; anything Microsoft or Apple – mainly for the simple reason that they SUCK, and I like simple, old-fashioned things over which I and I alone have ultimate control.

                  But avoiding the tyranny and spying that such things enable is a nice benefit.

                  If the government told you that you had to travel a personal track device, you would be up in arms [hopefully]- but yet do you voluntarily carry a phone which tracks you and even affixes GPS coordinates to pictures that you take, and which can provide a means for the listening in on and recording of your calls and a record of your contacts?

                  Even though you may never do anything nefarious or illegal, I thought libertarians were about protecting liberty- starting with their own by resisting voluntary encroachments of said liberty- just as we may never have taken a drug in our life, yet we advocate the abolition of drug prohibition.

                  If Uncle decreed that all personal communication must be through a means whereby what you say and see can be censored; and everything you do online monitored and recorded, and used to build a personal profile of you, we would scream. Why would we accept such things voluntarily? [Now it’s voluntary. As the noose gets tighter and tighter, one day soon it will be defacto mandatory- once everyone has gotten used to it. It is already to the point where potential employers are suspicious of people who do not have social media accounts; and where government can demand your passwords….)

                  I’m afraid I just don’t understand it when avowed supporters of liberty and privacy voluntarily throw in the towel, and cede so much of their lives over to that over which they have no control; that which a corporation of globalists will use to their advantage, and which is available freely to Uncle without warrant, for the mere asking.

                  On the positive side…having Eric’s articles out there is good. Maybe one or two peons will stumble across them and start to think… [ “Joe Mundane likes this” (posted under video of Aunt Bessie farting loudly while recovering from colonoscopy)]

                  Hey…people do it!
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2ZyJ0ndLyM

                  • I held out on a smart phone for years.

                    Right before dark 150 miles from home after a hard day of oil field trucking I set out for a drilling rig on that cold, dark, rainy night and after being lost for a while before I got loaded(overloaded)and began my trek back and being lost again(yeah, they were right, there were rig signs…..some of which had been run over)I vowed I’d never do that again. The events of a similar night 45 years earlier with an overload of casing I spent almost the entire night trying to find my way out after never finding the rig I sought to deliver that casing to before finding the way back out again. I pulled up on the highway in the rain(luckily, it was really slick)and at road speed in No Trees Tx. the buzzers, flashers and gauges all said simultaneously I had a broken air supply line, a broken coolant line and to add insult to injury, a broken headache rack as the emergency brake buttons both popped and locked up 18 wheels with me surviving because it was so slick and because I always used at least 4 chains and one belly chain on a load if not more.

                    I sometimes take the battery out of my phone when I’m pleasure traveling since it will automatically connect with various wifi’s along the way even though I have that feature turned off. The first time I discovered it had been doing that after I turned that feature off I began removing the battery. Take that Googul and NSA and CIA and every other “A” who uses that info.

                    Besides that I pay cash though it would be easy enough to figure out who used my phone….but that doesn’t mean I don’t have another phone I only turn on well away from home and intermittently at that and I only have to buy minutes for that phone seldom to rarely.

                    • 8, where ya been?!!

                      I actually got my first cell phone back in the mid 90’s, ’cause it was cheaper than hiring someone to answer the phone or missing calls while I was out doing the work.

                      Got rid of it in ’01 when I moved to the sticks. But a few years ago, when i blew an alternator on a country road, and realized that pay phones no longer exist (even in town!) I got a Tracfone.

                      Keep it in the glove compartment and never turn it on except once or twice a year when I want to make a call.

                      The one I had before this ‘un, I’d keep the battery out of, because it had a nasty habit of turning itself on at the least provocation (Not so easy to turn off…you have to answer prompts and all…but it’ll turn-on at the drop of a hat!)- But last year, that ‘un became “obsolete” so they gave me a new one for free…..

                      Uh…this reminds me, actually, I think today is my last day of service! I need to pay my $60 for another year of service (No minutes…I have thousands built up, so I just buy the time extension).

                      I really hate paying that $60- it feels more like $6000 ’cause i hate these damn phones…..and for the two or three calls a year that I make, and the frustration I suffer using the damn phone, it’s awfully expensive. I’d really rather just smash the phone…….

                      And to think; we live in a world where people live their lives around these stupid things!

                    • Nunzio, been in computer hell and finally got another with a browser out of date. Got that fixed but I couldn’t even use my phone since epa kept finding reasons to deny me.
                      I have had the new computer going since Sat. but no luck resetting the password and couldn’t find my book. I gave it another shot this morning and get the password reset on my phone after finding two of them on my computer mail that were 12 hrs old.

                      Fun and games bro or bra as my 30 year old neighbors texts.

                      We got bag phones in the 90’s but needed external car antennas even with that 4 watt phone. It was about 2002 when a cell phone would sorta, kinda work at the house and they still barely do. They don’t call it the sticks for nuttin!!!

                      Ah, I see it just logged me out when it reloaded for a reply. More fun and games.

                      I’ve been looking for somebody who’d do semaphores with me near a town for 20 years.

  15. A reading from the proven prophets Fibonacci and Fermat. Peace be upon them.

    The set of integers is an infinite group with respect to addition my brothers.

    Is it not known the number 2 is an integer, and ipso facto, the sum of 2 and 2 must also be an integer?

    Suppose, for the sake of heretical contradiction, that 2 + 2 0. Adding two to both sides, we get 2+2 > 0+2. Since 0 is the identity element for addition, we have 2 + 2 > 2. Hence 2 < 2 + 2 4, ∃b ∈Z such that b > 0 and a−2 = 2 + b. If a were a solution to the equation 2 + 2 = a, then we would have a−2 = 2+0. The holy lemma states that this cannot hold for any a > 4, and so a = 4, as desired. So, it only remains to prove our sacred lemma.

    The blessed proof is by induction over a. Our base case being a = 5. Let 5−2 = 2+b. Five is the 5th Fibonacci number, and 2 is the 3rd Fibonacci number. Therefore, by the definition of Fibonacci numbers, 5−2 must be the 4th Fibonacci number. Letting fi denote the ith Fibonacci number, then we have fi −fi−1 > 0 for i 6= 2, because f2−f1 = f0 and f0 = 0, but f1 = 1, and the miraculous Fibonacci sequence is nondecreasing my brethren. Hence (5−2)−2 > 0. Now, suppose that ∃b ∈ Z such that b > 0 and (k−1)−2 = 2 + b. We need to prove that, for some b0 > 0, k−2 = 2+b0. Our inductive hypothesis is equivalent to: k−1−2 = 2 + b k−1−2 + 1 = 2 + b + 1 k−2 = 2 + (b + 1) Since 1 > 0 and b > 0, we have (b + 1) > 0. Thus, letting b0 = b + 1, we have a nonnegative solution to k−2 = 2 + b0, as desired. Thus, gloriously, it is not the case that 2+2 > 4. Hence 2+2 ≤ 4. We also have 2 + 2 ≥ 4. Therefore rejoice, 2 + 2 = 4

      • Speaking of gold. I identify as being Polish. Once I won a gold medal and I was so happy I went out and had it bronzed.

        The Divine Proportion aka Golden Ratio

        Triangle ABC is a right triangle, where the measure of angle BAC is 90 degrees. The length of side AB is 1 and the length of side AC is 2.
        https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-e33cf9bef976a660032c5505d4725f6e.webp

        The Pythagorean theorem can be used to determine that the length of side BC is the square root of 5. Side BC can be extended by 1 unit of length to establish point D. Line segment DC can then be bisected (divided by 2) to establish point E.
        The length of line segment EC is equal to Phi (1.618 …).

        Phinomenal!

        • HAhaha! Good ‘un! (And finally, a Pollock joke I hadn’t heard before!)- Hey, the Polish invented the toilet seat. Of course, it took the French to put the hole in it….

          Ah, I was thinking more of the Fibonacci Ratios…… (I’m more of a nuts and bolts type dude)

          • Yeah I’m more of a gentleman farmer. I can get out and do the labor, poorly, and it definitely makes me more proud to do things with my own hands.

            But I have a Jewish streak in me. I found out early on I could bask in nearly the same amount of pride through virtual signalling, while discreetly using low cost goy labor to do all the heavy lifting and complex skilled tasks.

            • The trouble I have with manual labor [Thurston Howell III: “Manual labor; how dreadful!”] is that I prefer more intellectual pursuits. I get bored easily if the mind isn’t engaged. Doing mowing and stuff with the tractor, I’m in my glory, because I can accomplish work, and get lost in pure thought or daydreams- I can do it forever. But put me out there with a shovel, and while I’ll enjoy it for an hour or so; and enjoy the benefit of having done it, much more than an hour or two and I’m pining to get to the computer or a book, or a vehicle (Motion helps…I like being in motion. I don’t even buy stationery chairs- every chair I own swivels and rocks….). And boats! I miss not working on the water anymore!

  16. It might be an exaggeration to say that the Black Death single-handedly caused the Renaissance, but surely the Black Death was the leading factor that played the largest role in bringing about the Renaissance.

    Culturally, Francesco Petrarch was the founder of Humanism, the philosophy that worked as a vehicle for the establishment of the Italian Renaissance. His art and philosophy was intensely plague inspired as most of it dealt with the fact that pretty much all of his friends died during the first and second waves of the plague, including a woman named Laura who he claimed would’ve been his lover if she had lived longer.

    Economically and Politically, the plague caused an upwards distribution of wealth in the long run, as the nobility and the church took over the land of plague victims. This great wealth in the nobility and the church started off a patronage war between the nobility (the old money), the church, and the new money traders who were reaping the benefits of new found commercialism in Italy. Their way of fighting for power/respect often took the form of seeing who could pay artists and intellectuals the most as a part of patronage. This made artistry a lucrative profession, and sparked one of the greatest art movements in European history, the Renaissance.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrarch#Laura_and_poetry

    Petrarch’s love sonnet to Laura

    It was the day the sun’s ray had
    Turned pale
    With pity for the suffering of his Maker
    When I was caught, and I put up no
    Fight,
    My lady, for your lovely eyes had
    Bound me.

    It seemed no time to be on guard
    Against
    Love’s blows; therefore, I went my way
    Secure and fearless – so, all my
    Misfortunes
    Began in midst of universal woe.

    Love found me all disarmed and found
    The way
    Was clear to reach my heart down
    Through the eyes
    Which have become the halls and
    Doors of tears

    It seems to me it did him little honour
    To wound me with his arrow in my state
    and to you, armed, not show his bow
    At all.

    • The renaissance began with a return of Aristotle’s works, via a German translation taken from an Arabic translation. His work had been lost to the West in The Great Fire (the burning of the library of Alexandria). It helped to have St. Thomas Aquinas promote it.

  17. It will be so much better when we have an AnCap society so when the clovers insist on 45mph and 0.01 BAC you will have “volunteered” and shut up about how it is so wrong because you won’t have access to any road until you agree to the terms before you can drive, and the Clovers will write the conditions.

    • Hi Tz,

      Yes, exactly. This is how the Autonomous and Ride Sharing Future will work. You will be driven to your destination precisely as the car’s programming decides, supervised all the way.

  18. When I grew up in Germany, the legal limit was .8 – ten times the US limit of today, apparently. That was reasonable, because you could reasonably assume that the average guy with a blood alcohol level higher than that would be too pissed to drive. Now they have .5 in Germany, and in Austria too, where I live now. That´s a bit low for my taste, but still not ridiculously low like in the US.

    But soon that will be irrelevant, anyway, because the “new European” will be an occasionally self-exploding desert creature who by definition does not drink alcohol because Allah forbade it.

  19. Here is some Talmud to consider. Let it rustle you, if you have jimmies…

    I am not this mercenary, but I understand the sentiment when you are a wealthy minority underdog. A man of learnings and abilities amid a horde of violent superstitious niggers…

    CHRISTIANS(FALSE STATISTS) TO BE HARMED INDIRECTLY

    The followers of “that man,” whose name is taken by the Jews to mean “May his name and memory be blotted out,” are not otherwise to be regarded than as people whom it would be good to get rid of. They are called Romans and tyrants who hold captive the children of Israel, and by their destruction the Jews would be freed from this Fourth Captivity.

    Every Jew is therefore bound to do all he can to destroy that impious kingdom of the Edomites (Rome) which rules the whole world. Since, however, it is not always and everywhere possible to effect this extermination of Christians, the Talmud orders that they should be attacked at least indirectly, namely: by injuring them in every possible way, and by thus lessening their power, help towards their ultimate destruction. Wherever it is possible a Jew should kill Christians, and do so without mercy.

    Article I.—HARM MUST BE DONE TO CHRISTIANS

    A Jew is commanded to harm Christians wherever he can, both indirectly by not helping them in any way, and also directly by wrecking their plans and projects; neither must he save a Christian who is in danger of death.

    I. GOOD MUST NOT BE DONE TO CHRISTIANS

    “Those who do good to the Akum . . . will not rise from the dead.”

    At times it is permitted to do good to Christians, but only in order to help Israel, namely, for the sake of peace and to hide hatred of them.

    “Needy Gentiles may be helped as well as needy Jews, for the sake of peace…”

    “Therefore if you enter a town and find them celebrating a feast, you may pretend to rejoice with them in order to hide your hatred. Those, however, who care about the salvation of their souls should keep away from such celebrations. You should make it known that it is a hateful thing to rejoice with them, if you can do so without incurring their enmity.”

    1. IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO PRAISE A CHRISTIAN

    “Do not say anything in praise of them, lest it be said: How good that Goi is!”

    Moreover, you should seek opportunity to mix with them and find out about their evil doings.

    In this way they explain the words of Deuteronomy (VII,2) . . . and thou shalt show no mercy unto them [Goim], as cited in the Gemarah. Rabbi S. Iarchi explains this Bible passage as follows:

    “Do not pay them any compliments; for it is forbidden to say: how good that Goi is.”

    “No one is allowed to praise them or to say how good an Akum is. How much less to praise what they do or to recount anything about them which would redound to their glory. If, however, while praising them you intend to give glory to God, namely, because he has created comely creatures, then it is allowed to do so.”

    2. A JEW NOT ALLOWED TO MENTION THE THINGS WHICH CHRISTIANS USE FOR THEIR IDOLATROUS WORSHIP

    “It is also forbidden to make mention of the Akum; for it is written (Exodus XXIII,13):. . . and make no mention of other gods.”

    3. THEIR IDOLS MUST BE SPOKEN OF WITH CONTEMPT

    “Their idols must be destroyed, or called by contemptuous names.”

    “It is permitted to deride idols, and it is forbidden to say to a Goi: May your God help you, or I hope you will succeed.”

    “The Scripture teaches us to hate idols and to call them by ignominious names. Thus, if the name of a church is Bethgalia—”house of magnificence,” it should be called Bethkaria—an insignificant house, a pigs’ house, a latrine. For this word, karia, denotes a low-down, slum place.”

    In numerous places ignominious names are given by the Jews to Christian things. It will not be out of place to list a few of these names which they give to things and persons which are held holy and dear by Christians, as follows:

    JESUS is ignominiously called Jeschu—which means, May his name and memory be blotted out. His proper name in Hebrew is Jeschua, which means Salvation.

    MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS, is called Charia—dung, excrement (German Dreck). In Hebrew her proper name is Miriam.

    CHRISTIAN SAINTS, the word for which in Hebrew is Kedoschim, are called Kededchim (cinaedos)—feminine men (Fairies). Women saints are called Kedeschoth, whores.

    SUNDAY is called the day of calamity.

    FEAST OF CHRISTMAS is called Nital, denoting extermination.

    EASTER is not called by the proper word Pesach (Passover), but Ketsach, meaning a cutting down; or Kesach, a Gallows.

    A CHRISTIAN CHURCH is not called Beth Hattefillah, House of Prayer, but Beth Hattiflah, a House of Vanity, a House of Evil.

    THE GOSPEL BOOKS are called Aavon Gilaion, Books of Iniquity.

    CHRISTIAN SACRIFICES are called Dung Offerings. In the Jerusalem Talmud the following occurs:

    “He who sees them mezabbelim (excrementing—sacrificing) before their idol, let him say (Exod. XXII, 20): He that sacrificeth unto an idol shall be utterly destroyed.”

    Rabbi Iarchi teaches that the Gentiles actually honor their God by excrementing before him.

    A CHRISTIAN GIRL who works for Jews on their sabbath is called Schaw-wesschicksel, Sabbath Dirt.

    4. A JEW IS NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE GIFTS TO CHRISTIANS

    “It is forbidden to give gifts to the Goim. But it is permitted to give them to a convert who lives among the Jews; for it is said: To the traveller who stops in your cities, give it to him to eat, or sell it to a Gentile, that is sell it, not give it.”

    “It is forbidden to give free gifts to the Akum with whom a Jew may not treat familiarly.”

    The Talmud, however, allows a Jew to give gifts to Gentiles who are known to him and from whom he has hope of getting something in return.

    5. A JEW IS FORBIDDEN TO SELL HIS FARM TO CHRISTIANS

    “In 24 cases a Jew must be repudiated, namely . . . 8. Anyone who sells his farm to the Akum must be sent into exile—unless he undertakes to make up for all the harm that follows as a consequence of having the Akum live near the Jews.”

    6. IT IS FORBIDDEN TO TEACH A TRADE TO CHRISTIANS

    “It is not permitted to teach any trade to the Akum.”

    * * * * *

    II. HARM MUST BE DONE TO THE WORK OF CHRISTIANS

    Since the Goim minister to Jews like beasts of burden, they belong to a Jew together with his life and all his faculties:

    “The life of a Goi and all his physical powers belong to a Jew.”

    It is an axiom of the Rabbis that a Jew may take anything that belongs to Christians for any reason whatsoever, even by fraud; nor can such be called robbery since it is merely taking what belongs to him.

    “All things pertaining to the Goim are like a desert; the first person to come along and take them can claim them for his own.”

    1. CHRISTIANS MUST NOT BE TOLD IF THEY PAY TOO MUCH TO A JEW

    “If you send a messenger to collect money from an Akum and the Akum pays too much, the messenger may keep the difference. But if the messenger does not know about it, then you may keep it all yourself.”

    2. LOST PROPERTY OF CHRISTIANS MUST NOT BE RETURNED TO THEM

    “A Jew may keep anything he finds which belongs to the Akum, for it is written: Return to thy brethren what is lost. For he who returns lost property [to Christians] sins against the Law by increasing the power of the transgressors of the Law. It is praiseworthy, however, to return lost property if it is done to honor the name of God, namely, if by so doing Christians will praise the Jews and look upon them as honorable people.”

    3. CHRISTIANS MAY BE DEFRAUDED

    “It is permitted to deceive a Goi.”

    “If a Jew is doing good business with an Akum it is not allowed to other Jews, in certain places, to come and do business with the same Akum. In other places, however, it is different, where another Jew is allowed to go to the same Akum, lead him on, do business with him and to deceive him and take his money. For the wealth of the Akum is to be regarded as common property and belongs to the first who can get it. There are some, however, who say that this should not be done.”

    “If a Jew is doing business with an Akum and a fellow Israelite comes along and defrauds the Akum, either by false measure, weight or number, he must divide his profit with his fellow Israelite, since both had a part in the deal, and also in order to help him along.”

    4. A JEW MAY PRETEND HE IS A CHRISTIAN TO DECEIVE CHRISTIANS

    “If a Jew is able to deceive them [idolaters] by pretending he is a worshipper of the stars, he may do so.”

    5. A JEW IS ALLOWED TO PRACTICE USURY ON CHRISTIANS

    “It is allowed to take usury from Apostates who fall into idolatry.”

    “It is permitted, according to the Torah, to lend money to an Akum with usury. Some of the Elders, however, deny this except in a case of life and death. Nowadays it is permitted for any reason.”

    * * * * *

    III. CHRISTIANS TO BE HARMED IN LEGAL MATTERS

    1. A JEW MAY LIE AND PERJURE HIMSELF TO CONDEMN A CHRISTIAN

    “Our teaching is as follows: When a Jew and a Goi come into court, absolve the Jew, if you can, according to the laws of Israel. If the Goi wins, tell him that is what our laws require. If however, the Jew can be absolved according to the gentile law, absolve him and say it is due to our laws. If this cannot be done proceed callously against the Goi, as Rabbi Ischmael advises. Rabbi Akibha, however, holds that you cannot act fraudulently lest you profane the Name of God, and have a Jew commited for perjury.”

    A marginal note, however, explains this qualification of Rabbi Akibha as follows:

    “The name of God is not profaned when it is not known by the Goi that the Jew has lied.”

    “The name of God is not profaned when, for example, a Jew lies to a Goi by saying: ‘I gave something to your father, but he is dead; you must return it to me,’ as long as the Goi does not know that you are lying.”

    2. A JEW MAY PERJURE HIMSELF WITH A CLEAR CONSCIENCE

    “She (the mother of the mamzer) said to him, ‘Swear to me.’ And Rabbi Akibha swore with his lips, but in his heart he invalidated his oath.”

    “If the magistrate of a city compels Jews to swear that they will not escape from the city nor take anything out of it, they may swear falsely by saying to themselves that they will not escape today, nor take anything out of the city today only.”

    * * * * *

    IV. CHRISTIANS MUST BE HARMED IN THINGS NECESSARY FOR LIFE

    Jews must spare no means in fighting the tyrants who hold them in this Fourth Captivity in order to set themselves free. They must fight Christians with astuteness and do nothing to prevent evil from happening to them: their sick must not be cared for, Christian women in childbirth must not be helped, nor must they be saved when in danger of death.

    1. A JEW MUST ALWAYS TRY TO DECEIVE CHRISTIANS

    “Rabbi Jehuda said to him [Rabbi Chezkia]: ‘He is to be praised who is able to free himself from the enemies of Israel(Galt’s Gulch), and the just are much to be praised who get free from them and fight against them.’ Rabbi Chezkia asked, ‘How must we fight against them?’ Rabbi Jehuda said, ‘By wise counsel thou shalt war against them’ . By what kind of war? The kind of war that every son of man must fight against his enemies, which Jacob used against Esau—by deceit and trickery whenever possible. They must be fought against without ceasing, until proper order be restored. Thus it is with satisfaction that I say we should free ourselves from them and rule over them.”

    2. A SICK CHRISTIAN MUST NOT BE AIDED

    “The Akum are not to be cured, even for money, unless it would incur their enmity.”

    3. A CHRISTIAN WOMAN IN CHILDBIRTH MUST NOT BE HELPED

    “No help is to be given to an Akum woman in labor on the sabbath, even in a small way, for the Sabbath must not be violated.”

    4. A CHRISTIAN IN DANGER OF DEATH MUST NOT BE HELPED

    “If you see a heretic, who does not believe in the Torah(NAP), fall into a well in which there is a ladder, hurry at once and take it away and say to him ‘I have to go and take my son down from a roof; I will bring the ladder back to you at once’ or something else. The Kuthaei, however, who are not our enemies, who take care of the sheep of the Israelites, are not to be killed directly, but they must not be saved from death.”

    “The Akum who are not enemies of ours must not be killed directly, nevertheless they must not be saved from danger of death. For example, if you see one of them fall into the sea, do not pull him out unless he promises to give you money.”

    “Do not have any pity for them, for it is said: Show no mercy unto them. Therefore, if you see an Akum in difficulty or drowning, do not go to his help. And if he is in danger of death, do not save him from death. But it is not right to kill him by your own hand by shoving them into a well or in some other way, since they are not at war with us.”
    http://www.talmudunmasked.com/chapter14.htm

    • I think people are getting their decimal points confused. 0.4 is usually about where most people end up dead. There are a few exceptions where we see people who have a blood alcohol level around 0.4 – 0.6, and they are always at that level. To drop down to even 0.1 would probably kill them.

      What I would propose is a BAC test where drivers run an obstacle course in their vehicle at gradually increasing levels of alcohol in their blood. When they get to where they are impaired or fail the course, they test their BAC and that is automatically their illegal level. The test could be repeated every four years along with renewal of your license, and those who may have become chronic drinkers and are able to drive better at higher BAC levels would be able to raise their legal BAC rating. Yeah, right, like that would ever happen…

      • Hi Teo,

        My standard is simpler but much more radical and it applies to more than just DWI: Stop punishing people for harms they might cause; wait until they have actually caused a harm and then hold them fully (and if need be) severely accountable.

        This idea freaks most people out but it is the only one compatible with a free society. Anything less and you start down the road of punishing mights – which leads to a profusion of victimless-crime prosecutions of same.

        When harm actually caused is the standard, when you can point to a victim rather than a paragraph in a law book, then you have an objective moral case of right vs. wrong.

        No matter how much some may squeal or feel uncomfortable about something, if no one has been hurt, there is no harm done and therefore prosecution/punishment cannot be morally justified.

        • Dear Eric,

          This idea freaks most people out but it is the only one compatible with a free society. Anything less and you start down the road of punishing mights – which leads to a profusion of victimless-crime prosecutions of same.

          Quite right. It leads to “precrime”, a la SF master Philip K. Dick’s “MInority Report”.

          Interestingly enough, the US government doesn’t limit its Orwellian “precrime” thinking to domestic policy. It reserves for itself the option of launching a “preemptive nuclear strike” on others, based on the “hunch” that “Gee, well they were probably going to shoot first, so I beat ’em to the punch”.

            • Dear Eric,

              Haha! I have not left this mortal coil quite yet!

              Thanks! I was merely “resting up”. Gotta ease up once in a while and do other things.

              Not to worry!

          • Also: “Might” becomes ever more attenuated, as now. We descend from the “He was pointing a loaded gun at a crowd of people!” hysterical, over-the-top supposition to “speeding” and so on.

            It is how we find ourselves – as a society – accepting physical groping of our bodies as the price of traveling by air or even attending certain sports events.

            • Yep.

              Now all that’s needed for a hero cop to get away with first degree murder is “I feared for my life”.

              I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

              Officer 82nd Airborne has returned home, and “We are all Hajis now”.

              He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
              — Thomas Paine

              • Hi Bevin!

                I read a news story the other day about an ACLU lawyer who has decided he will no longer defend neo-Nazis accused of crimes. Some animals are, indeed, more (or less) equal than others.

                Another sign along the road to perdition.

                • Dear Eric,

                  Sounds about right to me. That’s the way things are going.

                  No one other than bona fide libertarians even gives a damn about moral and ethical consistency any more.

                  I was on Facebook mentioning how a straight baker is fully within his rights not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. If justice is to prevail, he must not be forced to do so by law.

                  A fellow libertarian then made a excellent point. He said that SJWs would never go for legally forcing a Jewish Holocaust survivor to bake a cake for a Neo-Nazi convention!

                  We both got a good laugh out of that.

                  • Ah! Mr. Chu-chu!(Bevin)

                    You’ve been conspicuously absent from the other threads in which I’ve been posting as I’ve been from this one! Glad to see that you are still with us!

                    Your comment illustrates something which has been a problem for a long time: Many Libertarians (so-called) are not truly Libertarians- especially the variety who are members of “The Libertarian Party”.

                    Although I had formulated Libertarian/anachistic ideals from a very age, I had resisted formal Libertarianism for quite some time, because of *that* variety of so-called Libertarians- who seemed to have more in common with leftist authroitarian-collectivists than anyone else.

                    I do like the term “Free market anarchist” which I believe it was you who turned me onto it- but with the media’s constant misapplication of the term “anarchist” to describe those who incite violence (as they are now even doing in the Charlottesville VA. charade), even that term has been sullied.

                    “Voluntaryist” doesn’t quite capture the full ideal for me…but I guess it will have to do.

                    But anyway, I had just wanted to say: Your citation of the example of the Christian baker, illustrates one of the reasons why I have always felt that a Christian can be nothing other than a Libertarian.

                    -The Nunz

                    • Nunz, the thing that frustrates me to no end in this issue is when (can’t remember now, but I think it was) Indiana passed that state law, and these big corporations threatened to leave the state. Why is it that an individual must comply and work against their will for someone they don’t feel comfortable working for, but these big corporations can just leave? I would have loved it if the state told them that they were going to be sued and forced to work against their will just like the rest of us.

                    • Ya know, Teo- It’s kinda like the Moon thing! These things are based upon so many prior determinations and assumptions, that everything is just all messed up.

                      It always kills me too, how people have the idea that their job- i.e. them performing a service for a business for a specified amount of compensation- is somehow sacrosanct.

                      It works both ways. If someone wants you to do something you don’t want to do, then quit, and do something else. But people can’t do that, because everyone/’s taken on so much debt.

                      And yet, I, as a businessman am not free to determine who I choose to deal with, but must unquestioningly accept business from anyone/ Where will that end? Will I be “discriminating’ if i choose not to deal with someone who doesn’t have enough money to pay?

                      Do I have a “right” to shop in someone’s store, or work in someone’s factory?

                      They’ve perverted everything, because they destroyed the ideals of private property; liberty; and freedom of choice- which is what “discrimination” really is.

                      It’s funny too. I observe the 7th Day Sabbath. They passed laws years ago that businesses with over so-many employees can’t “discriminate” against Sabbath-keepers….

                      Why? If I’m doing something which is contrary to the mainstream, or just inconvenient to the business owner, should not I have to bear the cost of my actions/beliefs, rather than some stranger who owns a business?

                      (Of course, I believe it would be ludicrous to invoke such a law- or to ask Caesar to enforce the cost of my beliefs on others!)

                      Why can’t people just man-up and take responsibility for their own actions/choices/beliefs/perversions?

                      Not only don’t they, but we have a whole cadre of politicians who pander to ever minority!

                • Eric, the ACLUers are nothing but communists who use the Constitution as rhetoric to accomplish goals which suit their own agenda- so it shouldn’t surprise us when they wont defend someone (innocent or guilty) who doesn’t fall in line with/is opposed to their agenda.

                • Dear Eric,

                  Here’s an example of “precrime” thinking in US government foreign policy.

                  Talk of ‘Preventive War’ Rises in White House Over North Korea By DAVID E. SANGERAUG. 20, 2017

                  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/20/world/asia/north-korea-war-trump.html

                  Like its predecessors, the Trump administration is trying to pressure North Korea through sanctions to dismantle its nuclear program. But both President Trump and his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, have talked openly about a last-resort option if diplomacy fails and the nuclear threat mounts: what General McMaster describes as “preventive war.”

                  This is exactly the way the US government treats American gun owners who insist on owning guns, and the way US LEOs treat anyone who makes them “fear for their lives”. Shoot first, just to be sure.

                  As Thomas Paine warned, the chickens always come home to roost.

                  • Good morning, Bevin!

                    Jefferson reportedly said something once about risk and liberty being preferable to security (the 18th century term for “safety”) and tyranny.

                    It seems so obvious.

                    Accept either the possibility that something bad may happen occasionally – and not to everyone – in exchange for the certainty that everyone will be free – or the certainty that bad things will happen to all in exchange for the promise that you will be kept “safe.”

                    Essentially, the choice is between entering the maximum security prison and being lorded over by the guards… or walking out the gates, free.

                    • We’ve become accustomed to our prison though. We like it here, don’t we? The choice to leave isn’t as easy as it used to be in that it’s getting more and more difficult to leave. As soon as you get to the gate itself, they’ve got you. They can hold you indefinitely if they want to. Do you owe Uncle Sam some money? You’re not going anywhere. Why have you got all this money stuffed into your suitcase? Where did you get this? Prove you acquired it legally and we might give it back to you. I had to wait three months just to get what is equivalent to a fasttrack to get through customs and immigration. They sent me a sticker for my boat, but this does me no good if the customs and immigration officers don’t want to go out to the boat. Either way I still have to stand, sit, sleep in line for 10 to 12 hours waiting. I keep the sticker with me and end up saving a good 20 minutes over what I would have without it. What a deal. Anyone who is serious about making the choice to leave the prison ought to go sit in line at customs and immigration for a few hours and get a feel for what it feels like to be released from this prison. Wait until they put up that wall. People think it’s to keep the riff raff out. Yeah, sure it is.

                    • Dear Eric, Teo,

                      I penned an article on that subject ten years ago.

                      The Biggest Obstacle to Freedom
                      Bevin Chu
                      June 25, 2007

                      Excerpt:

                      The biggest obstacle to freedom is not logical, but psychological. We the Sheeple are accustomed to Big Brother’s definition of freedom, as carved on the face of the Ministry of Truth:

                      War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

                      [ edit ]

                      The solution to the problem of dictatorships is not to pick and choose among different forms of dictatorship, including democratic dictatorships.

                      The solution is to reject all forms of dictatorship. The solution is to “de-institutionalize” ourselves.

                      The solution is to choose free markets, to privatize each and every function “normally” provided by government monopolies, including the police, the military, and the courts. The solution is to choose free market anarchism.

                      But that requires that we overcome the biggest obstacle to freedom, fear. That requires that we psychologically “de-institutionalize” ourselves, the way Andy Dufresne physically “de-institutionalized” himself in The Shawshank Redemption.

                      We must conquer our fear of the unknown. We must reclaim our hope for the future. We must reject the attitude embodied in the expression “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

                      As the tagline from the film put it so well: Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.

                      https://thechinadesk.blogspot.tw/2007/06/biggest-obstacle-to-freedom.html

        • Hey eric, I’m basically on the same page, but there’s something to be said for flushing out those who are inevitably going to be a problem. I don’t know how many millions of miles I’ve logged on the highways of this country, but I’ve been caught behind drunk drivers a couple of times, and they were so bombed I couldn’t even pass them. I had to call the heat down on them. They hadn’t had an accident, or killed anyone yet, but why wait? The other issue is that I don’t even know what’s wrong with the driver who’s doing all this weaving. They may be having an epileptic fit, or a stroke for all I know. Where do we draw the line? Some people are more than able to multitask while driving. They can primp, talk on the phone, look at a map, text and still get the pole position in traffic without a thought. Others can’t even have the radio on without becoming distracted, and totaling their car. Some people can smoke tobacco, dope, crack, and drink a quart of bourbon every day, and live to be over 100, others eat a few cheeseburgers and have coronary heart disease at 30.

          I learned the hard way that eating junk food, drinking, etc. will eventually catch up with me; prevention would have gone a long way to keeping me healthy. I was lucky in that I educated myself on living a better life. The body is quite resilient if given half a chance. I’m one of those people who now has to be hyper-vigilant about being on the look out for smokers; second hand smoke could literally stop my heart. I can’t eat in restaurants anymore because even minute amounts of sugar can send me to the hospital. I’m not in favor of telling people how much sugar they should ingest or where it’s appropriate to smoke, but being able to walk into a building and be confident that there will not be anyone smoking is pretty nice for me. If that single law was repealed I’d be screwed. It’s a mixed bag for me.

          I’ve been in a few nasty automobile accidents, but the one where I was blind drunk, I walked away with one single cut to my skull. I didn’t even notice I was bleeding. I never felt a thing. I had a box van years ago that was rear ended by a drunk driver. I found the car that hit it at the tow yard. I don’t know how the guy could have even gotten out of the car it was completely squished, and crunched up. It looked like it had just come out of a compactor. The guys at the tow yard said that they knew the driver and he didn’t have so much as a scratch. I saw a guy pass out on the roof of a four story dormitory. He tumbled four stories to the ground and put a good six inch dent in the ground. We all went down after he was flown out on a helicopter and laid down in the dent. Nobody thought he would live, but two weeks later he was telling us that the doctor who treated him told him that if he hadn’t been so drunk he wouldn’t have made it. He basically fell to the earth like a wet noodle.

          So if we were all drunk we could get in horrific collisions and all probably walk away from them unscathed. We’d probably have more accidents, but with better results; lower fatalities, and injuries.

          Fifty plus years ago, it was quite common for most people to go out for a night of drinking, dining etc. and drive bombed all the way home. Their saving grace was that the automobiles as well as the roads just didn’t allow them to go all that fast to begin with. If they did have an accident or pass out at the wheel, they usually just hit something at such a low impact it really didn’t matter that much. I can remember being followed home by highway patrol officers for miles as late as the late 80’s. They could have pulled me over and busted me, but they just waited to see if I was going to make it home, or wreck on the way. I’m really surprised that they haven’t made it mandatory to just place some gizmo in the car that can measure your BAC. before you can drive.

  20. 56% of the world is a Judeo_Christian_Islamic theocracy. Soft or Hard varying theocracies of believers. The state is the seen. The holy deep state is the unseen.

    American separation of church/state is more on paper than in practice.

    The Seven Laws of Noah. Rules nearly 100% of people.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Laws_of_Noah

    8 min vid on Mossad(They have authority even for 9-11 Jews all called in sick.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NTbLx5u_LE

    MI 6 and CIA are more restrained but comparable. This permanent unseen deep state is our true govt, not those selected.

    7 Laws
    Do not deny God.
    Do not blaspheme God.
    Do not murder.
    Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
    Do not steal.
    Do not eat from a live animal.
    Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to said laws.

    Every nation has a version. (exception in China substitute Party for God)

  21. If you mean a binary question of property rights and the sovereignty of the individual as moral standards.

    Then I would concede that I must be treated as someone who does not justify my actions and moral standards.

    I use a big screen TV as my monitor. And an infrared mouse as a remote control for this TV/Computer hybrid.

    In my house your YouTube channel is just another cable channel. There is no separation of electronic gizmos. All tablets phones laptops and workstations can display here. And on this great media altar, we watch British and Japanese TV shows. And the new Wonder Woman movie in 1080p with no compensation to creators.

    If you count cable, netflix, amazon, xbox, itunes, android, kindle, you’re talking many hundreds a month in payment for content. But I also “liberate” theatrical releases and television programs worldwide. And countless books audio and video, probably valued in the millions and all archived offline available for barter and SHTF scenarios.

    My modifications of the NAP are content pirating. And lying. I would lie to anyone anywhere anytime about anything if it benefits me. This is the best it is practical to do right now. And many others would and are doing much worse to me right now.

    There is a limit to the golden rule. Because gold isn’t used in exchange much at all. So I live in the existing fiat rule, and use fiat to my advantage to protect my life property and pursuit of happiness.

    If this makes me a pariah in the NAP club. So be it.

    The idea that some tiny minority can follow golden rules in a world of fiat is an altruistic self sacrifice too far for me. Most of the real founders were bootleggers and plantation bosses, and they built great fortunes and avoided violence as much as possible.

    But if sometimes their hired men had to lean on slaves, well we all need to eat and fuck and multiply, and you can’t always take the high road you’d like to take if you want to live well and prosper.

    I have more of a Mossad mindset. I’ll run all the non-NAP goyim I can to fill my pockets. I’ll give them a taste of NAP, but maintain my aloof intellectual advantages over the sacrificial tax cattle who can’t function without some heaping burden of noble burden on their semi-savage shoulders.

    I have all Larken Rose’s material stored offline. Never sent the guy a dime. I’d be willing to create some kind of intellectual ledger that shows my indebtedness to all the pirated content I have. But how someone like me can ever do more than declare moral bankruptcy, I have no idea.

    I don’t mean to crow about this in some kind of hideous Clover manner. It is just the reality that America has always been, before any Europeans ever arrived. I take whatever property I can take peacefully by any means. But I also offer property in exchange.

    Admittedly, it’s a poor exchange. But that is the true original American morality that goes back tens of thousands of years.

    • Hi Tor,

      “And lying. I would lie to anyone anywhere anytime about anything if it benefits me”.

      Lying is not a per se NAP violation. In certain cases it is, contractual obligation, fraud, etc…, but in many cases it is not. I am puzzled by libertarians who believe that lying necessarily violates the NAP. To assert this, one must assume that the imposition of an involuntary positive moral obligation is legitimate. How is this different than claiming that “we” have a moral obligation to pay taxes, help the poor, produce less CO2, etc…

      Jeremy

      • To me life is like a game of Texas Hold Em. You have to be able to bluff. And to look strong or weak as it suits your needs.

        I would never bear false witness, which really pissed off my Dad. One time he gave back a rental property to some poor Greek fellow. I told I couldn’t testify, mostly because he had a hot daughter. But also because he was an honest hardworking aerospace engineer and truth be told, he was better than me or my father, if people can really be weighed and measured. That guy got screwed.

        I had lived their when my parents first threw me out a week before my sweet 16. Good times. Later some schmuck tenant deadbeat had a party and after the booze and dope was gone, they beat the walls and appliances like red headed stepchildren.

        I would recommend several sail fawns. For use in whatever different groups you frequent. And never tell anyone in group A contacts about the people in group B contacts.

        There is no requirement to be a single person. Just ask Thomas Paine or any Jew who took an American name. Or Cher. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG0C54J1qsQ

        I do think lying can harmed loved ones, so I try to do so sparingly.

        Ayn Rand: Who has the usual chick’s view of lying:

        “People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”
        ― Atlas Shrugged

        The name on my drivers license, I self abdicated that identity long ago. My mother has a name for me. Not even the same name my father knew me by. The realest person was my Mother’s mother. A true Carmela and Toni Soprano all in one.

        She adopted my Mother out of a Minneapolis orphanage and brought her to far northern Michigan where I mostly grew up. Except when I was in the Ozarks for a while when my Dad sold $600 solar panels door to door.

        Papa would do whatever he could. File several patents for starch derivatives for the paper industry. Cook up in big vats and sell all kinds of consumables on a cash basis like a MADD scientist sober yet drunk with grey marketeering getting richer quicker dreams.

        What you’re last name people would ask. It so long and it has a funny symbol on that one letter. It’s pronounced Smith I’d say. It’s just spelled funny. And never any other answer more truer than that.

        Because all identity questions at root usually have statism as at least a partial purpose. What is your name. What is your history of crimes.

        • Hi Tor,

          Except in certain defined circumstances, nobody can claim a right to my honesty. Still, I rarely lie, and usually only when I believe the consequences of telling the “truth” will cause unnecessary harm. I understand Rand’s point but I must note the irony that she seems to be channeling her arch nemesis Kant. My biggest problem with Kant is that, unlike libertarianism, his views require an atomistic understanding of morality; adherence to an abstract ideal must be the only moral consideration. Rand’s view, in this passage is similar, and makes sense only if one believes that one must profess his “reality” whenever asked because to do otherwise is an “act of self-abdication”.

          What if part of my reality is to not be cruel? Very often, those who profess absolute honesty as a virtue are merely legitimizing their cruelty. I dislike and distrust cruel people, especially those who justify their cruelty on moral grounds. I consider myself a natural rights utilitarian. In other words, ends do not necessarily justify the means, but consequences do matter. Lying is a complex moral matter and it cannot be made simple by a rigid (and in my opinion, false) application of the NAP. Nor is “personal integrity” (implied by Rand) a sufficient a sufficient excuse for ignoring the likely consequences of one’s actions.

          Rand claims that “a white lie is the blackest of all”. In my view, this is morally repugnant. While I certainly have a right to truthfully assert my opinion on any matter to any person (absent specific, legitimate prohibitions), does refusing to do so make others my master? Rand believed that the individual is the ultimate value and that, absent aggression, the pursuit of self interest is the highest goal. But, as you stated earlier, maintaining peace and friendship with others is in your self interest. If you believe that a “white lie” is conducive to this goal, who is Rand to insist otherwise?

          Finally, sometimes telling a lie is the only morally correct action. I will not invoke the slave catcher/Jew hunter example but give a more EPAutos relevant scenario. Imagine a friend of Eric is testing out his new motorcycle. About three miles from Eric’s house, he blows by a cop at 120 MPH. He knows that if he stops he’s fucked, so he cranks it up to 150, reaches Eric’s house long before the cop sees him turn into the driveway, and hides his bike in the garage. Fifteen minutes later, the cop arrives at Eric’s house and asks Eric if he is “harboring” this “criminal”. Now, Eric has three choices: tell the truth, refuse to answer or lie. Keep in mind, Eric’s friend has not harmed anyone and, therefore, Eric believes that he should not be punished. If Eric tells the truth, his friend will be illegitimately punished. If he refuses to answer, the cop is likely to believe that Eric is hiding something, assert probable cause, obtain a search warrant and call for back-up, which will likely cause harm to both Eric and his friend. Or, he can lie. Which is the correct choice? If one believes that lying constitutes a NAP violation, Eric must tell the truth or refuse to answer. If one believes that lying is an act of self-abdication, then Eric must tell the truth or refuse to answer. Either scenario is likely to result in harm. The correct answer is to lie. Recently Bionic Mosquito made a great observation: “libertarianism is thin, life is thick”.

          Jeremy

            • Hi Tor,

              Thanks for the link. I do not have a shed but I do have a shop. In it, I keep my lathe and mill, an “awesome set of tools” and the material things that bring me the most joy.

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

                • I often imagine living in my shed. I’m somewhat of a minimalist; I love simplicity. I’ll go in the shed to get a tool or something, and start fantasizing about living in it…and then forget what it is that I went there for!

                  But since I already have a perfectly good singlewide, and it’s not inhabited by some odious bitch- just my dogs and cats, I can partake of the luxury!

              • That brings back the feels.

                My cousin who was like a brother to me built us a treehouse. I helped as a dumb laborer. He was the structural and materials engineer. He conceived the process and told me the needed steps. I provided the brute assembly and boundless energy.

                We started in the early morning in the horse pasture, near the rock pile, where we often hunted for geodes by cracking them open one after another.

                He went to bed that evening with his family, I stayed up all night working by moonlight, I work best when everyone else is asleep. It was nearly dawn before I was done. I think I might have slept up there even.

                Man those were the days. I wonder if it was really moving up in the world, coming down from the trees like ol’ Darwin claimed.

                This was our alloidial titled domain. Sure, the old corn crib loft was bigger and most of our treasures he and I kept up there. But the best tools and geodes, the most secret and spectacular things, we kept in the treehouse.

                He and I didn’t know it then, but we were each other’s competition. Though two years younger he was my superior in building, fighting, imagining, and executing most anything.

                But where he was hyperactive and dyslexic, I was literate and tirelessly scholastic. So I played the Jacob to his Esau, and years later got the blessing and sinecure from our families’ moneyed matriarch.

                He’s gone now. Last time I saw him, I brought him an inner city Detroit filly out to the sticks for him, he got laid but couldn’t seal the longterm deal because he was such a corny hick. Too bad she was a stunner and still is.

                The filly showed my wife his letters and she told me about it saying he was having a ruff time. Spelled just as written. The things people care about. Well also, he dressed like Eminem in these ridiculous baggy pants like some motwon rapper.

                Why are rural guys so cucked by city guys? Especially mongrel gibs me types? His family had thousands of acres, but he just had a truck. And an old house where every floor leaned to one side like living in the Tower of Pisa.

                I miss him. I’ll just stop here.

                • I spent my childhood building forts and tree houses- from scavenged wood, and nails purchased with my $2 a week allowance (I think I singularly kept that hardware store in business!).

                  The one time an adult friend of of a friend got us a good piece of plywood which formed the basis of my best work….we had the tree house for barely one day before someone stole the plywood!

            • If I spend more time in my shed, will I become a better writer? Just gotta get me one’a them anti-Q Underwood typewriters, and kick that Thoreau guy out…. (I already have a fountain pen…seriously!)

          • I would tell all colors of lives to this costumed slave catcher.

            If at my door, I’d calculate what is on his dashboard terminal. That links to Amazon AWS powered CIA inerlaced databases. And lie and then switch to asking for his help on a case of my own.

            If caught then adjust my lie. Never does the lying stop.

            Default tho is utter submission and truth. Cops came to my house when I was 3 first time.

            Sang like I was confessing to a priest.

            Best way to get an answer on the internet is to assert a lie or half known truth.

            Quickly you will be corrected.

      • I argue that lying is a violation of the Golden/Silver rule which is the basis of the NAP so while it may not be an act of aggression it is a tool available to those who wish to harm others. I do not want anyone lying to me so therefore I should not be lying to others is my standard.

        This is not to say that the act of lying is not complicated. White lies about one’s wife’s butt not looking fat in her new dress kinda things.

        And especially there are cases where there are those who do not deserve the truth. Jeremy gives a good example about the motorcycle test ride.

        Maybe the morality of the lie depends on whether or not the liar is lying to gain advantage for himself at the expense or harm of others.

        Wisdom is required here.

        • Hi skunkbear,

          As you imply, the act of lying is subordinate to a higher morality or purpose. Lying does not necessarily violate the golden rule, as you may, in certain circumstances, wish to be lied to. Kant’s categorical imperative is often described as a philosophical formulation of the golden rule, but it is not. Kant insists that one must judge the morality of an action by asking “would I wish this become a universal law”. The golden rule merely requires that one consider the reciprocal nature of human action. In theory, the golden rule does not even preclude aggressive violence, as one could both wish to dominate and welcome challenges as proof of the “legitimacy” of one’s dominance. But, such people are outliers and, in practice, the golden rule is a better moral guide than the categorical imperative.

          Kind Regards,
          Jeremy

          • Jeremy, but is not the Golden/Silver rule itself the one universal law? To ask the question “Would I wish this to be a universal law?” is to ask “Would I want this law to be applied equally to myself?”

            Now one can answer yes to that on certain things e.g. drug laws. One can say they want drug prohibition and they want it to apply to themselves too because they do not use drugs. But drug usage falls under the category of no one elses business. So for someone to support butting into other’s business they then cannot complain if others butt into their business.

            Would one want others to inflict aggressive violence on oneself? If not then one has no moral authority to claim the right to inflict aggressive violence on others.

            Kind Regards to you too sir.

            • Hi Skunkbear,

              Kan’t’s formulation of the categorical imperative is negative. So, the formulation would be, “would I wish that lying become a universal law”?. If no, than one must not lie. He also believed that doing good because it makes one feel good is amoral. Kantian morality is devoid of nuance, lifeless and atomistic. It precludes the the idea that specific circumstances matter when choosing the correct moral action. His theory supports the absurdity you described earlier about the Jehovah’s witness kid.

              The golden rule asks that one judge his own actions by imagining if he were the recipient of those actions. Application of the golden rule requires empathy and imagination. It is nuanced, vibrant and inclusive. It allows for some moral ambiguity and implicitly recognizes that specific circumstances matter. It is the opposite of the categorical imperative.

              Kind Regards,
              Jeremy

              • Jeremy, I think you may have mistaken me on the Jehovah Witness Kid thing. Not sure what you are talking about there.

                Anyway, whether the formula is negative based or not the result is the same – one cannot get around the G/S rule for the basis of all morality, the foundation of civility. Anything else is barbarism.

                Or Authoritarianism. Funny how both evils have the same foundation.

                As to the issue of doing good, is one supposed to feel bad for doing good? Why? And how is it immoral to feel good about doing good? My reply to Kant is “So what?”

                • Hi skunbear,

                  It was Nunzio who told the story of the Jehovah’s witness kid who claimed he would not lie, even to protect his mother from jack-booted nazis, seeking to take her to a concentration camp. Sorry, I misattributed this to you.

                  Anyway, you seem to think that I am dismissing the Golden rule, I am not. You responded to an earlier post of mine by claiming that the categorical imperative and the Golden rule amount to the same thing.

                  You wrote: “Would I wish this to be a universal law?” is to ask “Would I want this law to be applied equally to myself?”

                  In my last post, my intention was to show the difference between the two, and clearly show the superiority of the Golden rule. Moral judgements based on the categorical imperative do not allow for consideration of specific circumstances or likely results. The Golden rule requires consideration of specific circumstances and likely results.

                  This conversation (between us) began because you claimed that lying violates the Golden rule. I do not think this is true, and this is one of the reasons that the Golden rule is different and better than Kantian morality. So, going back to my EPAutos scenario, Eric is faced with a choice. If he believes in the categorical imperative, the only correct action is to tell the truth. But, the action most consistent with the Golden rule is to lie.

                  This is so because, applying the Golden rule, the question is not “would I wish that lying become a universal law” but “would I wish that someone lie to protect me from illegitimate harm”. The Golden rule explicitly requires the consideration of others when making such choices. As such, the Golden rule is the foundation of civility.

                  Does this make my position clear?

                  Kind Regards,
                  Jeremy

                  • Dear Jeremy,

                    … the question is not “would I wish that lying become a universal law” but “would I wish that someone lie to protect me from illegitimate harm”.

                    Correct! In fact, obviously correct!

                    I’ve often used the example of a mugger who asks you “Is that all the money you have on you?”

                    Does “honesty” mean that one must tell a mugger that the wallet he just took from you was a sacrificial decoy, and that you have several thousand dollars hidden in a secret compartment in the heel of your shoe?

                    Only a complete simpleton would interpret “honesty” that way.

                    • So true, Mr. Bevin!

                      I use the same illustration against those who say that it is “dishonest” or “cheating” to avoid/minimize taxes.

                      Is it dishonest to tell the mugger that you have no money? Are you cheating him by not letting him have access to all that you have for the purpose of his stealing it? Of course not.

                    • Yes.

                      If I hear a person use the term “tax cheat”, or “tax evader”, or “draft dodger”, “draft evader”, I immediately know I’m looking at an indoctrinated sheep, at someone who is unable to think for himself, but whose assumptions about right and wrong were implanted in him by Big Brother.

                    • My Dear Mr. Bevin [<–Dr. Smith voice! ] 🙂

                      The only "tax cheats" I know of, are those who cheat us out of our money and justify it by calling it "tax".