You guys like to point out voter fraud


I wasn’t aware I had to explain it? Why would I?


Sorry. I SHOULD have posted the above quote when I asked the masochism question.


I’m still not clear on how any of this invalidates anything I’ve said?

I explained that one of humans more unique characteristics is that they can make choices that run contrary to their own best interests. This is because humans are more aware than other animals to the extent that we have a distinct concept of past present an future. Animals instinctively respond to harm via “fight or flight”, they also tend to “live in the moment” and don’t contemplate consequences in the future. But humans know that, in same cases that pain (that you chose to experience) can heighten your awareness and experience.

For example. I did mixed martial arts for 8 years when I was younger. I endured a lot of pain, but the pain I experienced, in same cases taught me things I could not learn without it.

When it comes to sex, pain can make the experience more intense for some people.


“Nerve endings”, I like that although CS is just trying to quantify the long proved failure of the 60’s mantra “If it feels good, do it!”.

The Left have no new ideas so they just keep renaming their tired failures and running them up the flagpole again.


That’s not what I said, perhaps you should re-read it.


We’ve onto you, CSB. You’re simply doing what RET said…rehashing old stuff with a “new” name.


I still haven’t finished my response, CSB; but I’m working on it.


Okay, here we go (I hope I didn’t lose too much track of some of the trains of argument):

1 And yet atheists believe in time plus matter plus chance.
2 And yet a vendor for a piece of heating equipment in the service module of Apollo 13 built it for use with mil spec (military specification) 28 VDC (Volts DC) instead of Cape Canaveral’s 65 VDC, and the result was wrecked spaceship that failed its mission and barely limped back to Earth. And the Space Shuttle Challenger suffered a catastrophic explosion because they misjudged which side of the safety margin of the SRB O-rings they were in terms of air temp at launch. And an unmanned probe to Mars mistakenly had its final trajectory programmed in meters instead of kilometers, and it made a smoking hole in the ground. And the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up on reentry because they underestimated the effects of the impact of a piece of External Tank insulation on the leading edge of the orbiter’s left wing. And the Soviets had at least one manned capsule that crashed and killed the occupant or occupants, and they had a moon rocket that blew up on the pad. That’s just a TASTE of the technological missteps we’ve made. If we blow it so badly in objective science, how much moreso in subjective morality, especially when values change?
3 Useful relative to what? This is still a question you haven’t answered, and I assert that it’s critical. What is it going to matter in the end when everything (by a secular/atheistic worldview) is coming to naught? To what end, CSB? How can morality subjectively based on avoiding harm mean anything when the death of the universe is absolute and irrevokable harm?

4 And yet as a society, we are sliding into moral chaos. Abortion and euthanasia (not to mention sex trafficking, the fastest growing crime in the western world, and the second most lucrative, after drugs), anyone? You once mentioned that you didn’t care to debate the topic of abortion, but the issue of whether or not it’s person in the womb is CRITICAL to the whole issue of doing harm; it will not be dismissed, no matter how hard people try to.

5 Oh, I do think of other reasons; I just happen to think that God built them into me, and that they didn’t just appear out of time-plus-matter-plus-chance. But what’s so messed up about trusting God to know what’s what about morality when we keep making a hash of it?

6 Speaking as someone who is well aquainted with drafting, you can’t. You have to at least know where the boundary of the paper is (I got into drafting when CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) was just beginning, so almost all of my learning and practice (schooling and amateur drawing applications) has been on paper).
7 Take a look in the mirror: Are you healthy? You’re dying just like that child and me and everyone else on the planet (life in this fallen world has a 100% mortality rate, except when God intervenes). How can that possibly be healthy? I imagine you’ll call “foul” and say that’s not what you meant and I knew it, but it’s a legitimate point. “Healthy” relative to what? What’s your point of reference for health, and how is it more valid than mine that we’re all dying in this life?

8 I asked you in order to show you the conundrum that your own statement brought up. “Hard wired” implies a source for the hard wiring which was done. I suppose you could claim time-plus-matter-plus-chance, but I don’t find that very compelling (and where did time, matter, and chance come from in the first place?).

9 And yet we have words being redefined all the time (especially, although not exclusively, by lawyers, politicians, judges, and activists). “Gay” means “homosexual” instead of “merry,” “love” means “sex” instead of “commitment,” “sex” means “stand-alone pleasure” instead of “intimacy” (there’s a reason why in the Bible the Hebrew word for having sex was translated as “know”), and “male” and “female” have nothing to do with the screamingly obvious distinctions. This is getting better?

10 And you throw that reference to justification in there again. What justifies?

11 So you can’t even respect the hypothetical concept of the wisdom and benevolence of God?

12 How can having all knowledge and the ability to have all knowledge not be objective? If you know everything, then how can objectivity be missing?
13 I don’t think you’ve proven this.

14 I feel it does much to cast doubt upon it. As I noted, the language is being changed, and I would argue corrupted (and I would also argue deliberately so, in many cases).
15 Yet you don’t have to explain how a universe with hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with billions, tens of billions, or hundreds of billions of stars- each one of which dwarfs our entire world- came to be?
16 Infinitely useful? Sorry, but I’m throwing the BS flag on that play; the death of our universe makes a hash of “infinitely useful.” Perhaps you’re using hyperbole, but in issues of logical definition, that can go awry in a hurry if you’re not careful.

17 I can, simply because even though he’s alone vis-a-vis man, I believe God is still there.
18 Isn’t it what it comes down to in your worldview? You say there is no individual morality, and ultimately, your view of morality depends on agreement. And that comes down to might, whether it be votes or arms.

19 That’s not exactly what I mean, so I’ll clarify. Sometimes you’re alone when you use your turn signal. Sometimes you think you’re alone when you use your turn signal, and then you see the car you didn’t know was there.

Here’s a creepier and less savory example, but on the same basic principle: A guy (we’ll call him Guy) is the last person on Earth, he’s young and never had a chance to have sex, and the next-to-the-last person on the Earth is a young and beautiful woman (we’ll call her Girl; aren’t I original?..) who just died at Guy’s feet, and her flesh is still warm. By your definition, it would not be immoral if Guy decides to have sex with Girl’s corpse, because there is (by your definition) no harm. So Guy does the deed to Girl’s corpse, and when he’s about to get off of her, he suddenly discovers that he’s not the last person on the Earth, and that Girl’s children just watched him defile their mother.

In one sense, I can see your argument about morality being in interaction with others (although I ultimately believe that morality is obeying God). But I think the case above shows that there’s a lot that can (and often does; especially since we’re so prone to rationalizing what we want) go wrong with assumptions about the effect to others. I submit that we don’t know most of them, and we keep making a hash out of them and not get better at it, whereas God does know, and wants us to pay attention because He knows beyond our ability to imagine.

20 No, I’m not; I just happen to think that it’s all subject to God. You’re trying to tell me that it stands alone.

21 The concept, perhaps not. The actual thing, yes. Ask the Merriam corporation; they’ll tell you that in their Merriam-Webster dictionaries, they don’t define the language; they just report it; and many of their definitions are listed as obsolete, and newer definitions have supplanted them.
22 See the next item, if you feel the argument really needs one.

23 The American and Russian Revolutions are obscure? If that isn’t enough, examples of man’s inhumanity to man are legion. I don’t see things getting better, either; we haven’t had a world war in a while, but that’s because people are scared crapless of someone pushing the nuclear button. A lot of people would be all for a lot of other wars if it weren’t for the possibility that they’d lose. That’s not morality; that’s selfishness. Here’s another thing: I didn’t catch who said it, but someone observed that the depravity of man is one of the most emperically verified facts known to man, yet one of the most intellectually resisted.
24 Sure it’s inconsistent, because the perceptions (real or contrived) of wrong or harm are inconsistent. The British thought we were morally full of crap. I think the commies were (and are) morally full of crap. And yet both the Americans and the commies won their respective revolutions.

25 I specifically said (for the sake of the argument) the validity of the concept of God’s salvation for man. You want me to at least consider your beliefs in a hypothetical context; why not do the same for me?

26 I’ve addressed this with issues including the mathematical odds against the prophesies of Christ coming together in one person, and the failure to find his dead body after his crucifixion (among other things, if I recall correctly), and I can’t recall you addressing them.
27 Men can screw up explanations and claims. I defy you to show me where the Bible has. (Actually, I can, in minor issues of translation. “Thou shalt not kill” is more accurately translated as “thou shalt not murder,” for example; but the main stuff I’ll argue is sound.)

28 A God that has stood the test of some six thousand years, and even in these “enlightened” times, people are still willing to die for him, and actually do so rather than recant? No, not so big. If someone wanted to create a fictitious god, there are any number of reasons (a few of which I know, and have shared here on RO) why their documentation wouldn’t look like what’s in the Bible.

29 Again, “unjustified” is a moral judgement. You’re defining morality with a moral term. Circular argument.
30 But again, you still haven’t defined why humans being free from harm equals morality. Especially since in secular/atheistic terms, life is literally a dead end.

31 “Closer to?” Who cares, if absolute unressurectable death (and oblivion) is inevitable anyway? You’re just as dead in the end.


No atheists lack a belief in god. That’s it. Some believe that the universe began spontaneously, others like myself believe that the universe that we know began at some point, however, I chose to believe that there was always something.

First off, finding an obscure exception does nothing to invalidate the point.

Second, you’re describing the application of measurement, not the usefulness of measurements themselves or the fact that they are subjective. That does nothing to disprove my point. If I sent you a box with $1 million dollars in it and told you had to attach 65V to it to open it, you’d know what that is. You wouldn’t worry that my definition of 65v is different than yours. I could make a mistake and the voltage required to open the box is really 64.562v, but that’s not an indictment of the measurement rather my application of it.

Measurements are subjective standards that are infinitely (using the term colloquially, not literally) useful. The world doesn’t devolve into measurement chaos because there is no objective standard.

Same for language. We have many different languages, but they work because for the most part we all understand and agree on the rules.

Yes, there are words that we disagree on the meaning, eg. atheist, but the fact that there are contested measurements and contested words doesn’t invalidate the usefulness of these social systems. If anything it’s a strength. When measurements or language can’t be agreed on (and it’s important enough), then society evaluates the measurements (or words) and (hopefully) makes decisions about how to define them based on usefulness and utility.

What the world was like before measurements were widely established.

Because I don’t live my life based on what’s going to happen. I live my life based on what’s happening right now. I don’t concern myself with what happens when I die (if that’s what you meant).

Not sure what you mean by objective science?

I guess that first depends on what you consider immoral.

For my part, I disagree. If you look at Steven Pinker’s work we learn that the world is becoming less violent, not more. Of course, violence isn’t the only kind of immorality, but it is, IMO, the most egregious. Ironically, this is happening people who identify as Christian declines

Of course, there are more acts of violence today than there was 200 years ago, but that’s only because there were about 1 billion people in the world in 1800 and today there are 7+ billion, but per-capita there is less violence (murder, assault, rape, theft etc…)

Even since 1990 violence in many areas has declined (despite what Trump and other Republican’s would have you believe):

And yet:


As far as human trafficking, I don’t know if this is increasing as much is it’s being identified more than it was in the past, but here I’m not sure.

I don’t consider a person of sound mind who wishes to die because they have a terminal illness and are suffering to be immoral.

Not to be snarky, but how would you define a person? Is a zygote a person?

What you are calling a person (say the first few weeks of pregnancy), I’d call a potential person. I’ve already agreed with you that later term abortions are an issue.

Just out of curiosity, and the only semi-related at best, but have you ever seen a movie where people are struggling to stay alive (a theme often repeated) and have just enough to survive and someone else shows up begging for help?

The moral conundrum is, if you fail to take him in he dies if you take him in someone else, maybe everyone else dies…Have you ever seen a move like that or can you imagine that situation?

What is the moral thing to do in the case like that, assuming no acceptions (you find more food/ water so you all make it etc)?

And that’s fine, but that’s belief, not knowlage. It’s knowledge when you can demonstrate that your claim is true.

The evidence for my position is all around us. As time goes on subjective social systems are created to help avoid pan, harm, and suffering and when taken as a whole and measuring per-capita, we find over time, things generally get better even as belief in god/s declines.

You work backward in this case. You assume that without this built-in morality that the world would fall into chaos, therefore, it must be the case that morality is instilled in you by god, rather than being able to demonstrate that gold instilled morality and that’s the reason that the world doesn’t devolve into chaos.


Because you’re saying that you can’t figure it out on your own. Your also saying that things aren’t wrong because of how they affect people, rather just because god says so, which means that if/ when god commands things that cause harm to people (think genocide, slavery, sex crimes) that this must be ok, because you have to admit that you can’t figure it out on your own.

You divorce right and wrong from how actions affect people. Sorry, but that’s messed up.

However, in fairness, I don’t think you really believe that. I think you do what you think is moral and give god the credit for your moral choices.

Interesting, my first year of School was at Maine Vocational Technical College in 1990. I started out with mechanical drafting when computers were just coming on the scene, but we did everything on paper.


I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Do you believe there is something about measurements that makes them objective?

But that’s just it. I don’t need an objective definition of health to know that I’m objectively healthier than he is because health is related to our experience of life.

There is no objective reference, that’s _my_point, only that we don’t need an objective reference point to look at two people, once slim, emaciated, covered in open wounds and another like you or me to say that one person is healthier than the other because we judge health based on real tangible human experience of pain and suffering.

And yet, the world hasn’t devolved into complete chaos.

How do you think things were 200, 300 or 400 years ago when people didn’t have access to a dictionary? Do you think things were better or worse then?

Things are better now, not worse, that’s my point.

The only thing that matters. Human experience.

Of course, I can, but there are some 30 thousand variations in at least 12 organized version, not to mention deism, pantheism and all the other bazaar beliefs that exist. I can imagine them all, but I prefer to stick to something more tangle. Real, human, experience.

I’m not sure how knowledge and objectivity are related?

Do you think as part of infinite power and knowledge that gad has the ability to make choices? If not, it sounds like there is something outside of gods infinite power.

Again, if the number 1 has a meaning, if someone misinterprets what 1 is, it’s not an indictment of the numerical system, rather how people utilize it.

Issac Newton and Ewin Hubble had to create new systems of math in order to describe the motions of the planets. Their “new math” was accepted, not because they created it, but because it was able to predict the motion of the planets.

Why do I need to describe how the universe came to be in order to say that one person punching another in the face without justification is wrong?

If you’re being literal, just replace the word “infinite” with “really”, but “really” just didn’t seem to capture just how useful measurements have been.

Well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but you’re making the claim that innate morality exists and was put there by god. You still have all your work ahead of you demonstrating that’s true.

Not at all. People can be forced to accept things:


But that doesn’t make them right. Right and wrong are based on human experience. The women in this picture can be indoctrinated into accepting that living in a black cloth bag is good, but I don’t believe that this improves their experiences and free of indoctrination, few if any women would choose to live this way.

This is why both actual and potential harm is immoral.

For example, if I’m at a lake and I throw some glass bottles in the water and shoot them for fun, there is nothing immoral about that, however, if people swim in the lake, my actions can cause potential harm even if there is a chance it might not happen. The problem is the potential harm it could cause.

In the case of your turn signal, your scenario fits perfectly with my explanation. There exists the potential that others are around because you cannot know. Again, turn signals exist to prevent harm in social systems If you lived in a place where it was just you, there’d be no reason for turn signals to even occur to you.

Turn signals are a subjective choice based on real human experience that was created to avoid tangible and objective harm.


There are a few problems with your hypothetical.

Then you go on to identify at least 3 other people, one of which has just died.

Again, this is why both actual and potential harm should be avoided.

This is because, as you pointed out in your turn signal example, we might think we know all there is to know in a given situation, but without omniscience, we must assume there are circumstances that we are unaware of.

The more common example is a dentist knocks out his beautiful patient. And decides to fondle her. Is that immoral? Yes, for a few reasons. He can NEVER know that he cannot be caught and the potential harm it would cause. Sure it’s likely he will probably get away with it, but he can’t know. Furthermore, I suspect that most married dentists wouldn’t want their wives fondled, so even the dentist doing the fondling knows what he is doing is wrong, even if his desires overwhelm his morals.

Can you demonstrate to me that:

  1. God exists

And, let’s say that you can

  1. That god wants us to do what you beleive.

But that bolsters my argument, not yours. It demonstrates that language is fluid and changing based on its usefulness in a social and societal context, yet language is very useful and only gets better over time.

Bringing this back to the topic at hand, what is considered moral can changed based on usefulness and context. For example, if you live in a place and a time where living conditions are extreme, survival is difficult. As a result, something that might be immoral in some contexts, for example, child labor, might be right because without the help of the children the group would lack the work needed to survive.

Ok, fair enough, point taken.

[quote=“Fantasy_Chaser, post:128, topic:77307”]
Men can screw up explanations and claims. I defy you to show me where the Bible has. (Actually, I can, in minor issues of translation. “Thou shalt not kill” is more accurately translated as “thou shalt not murder,” for example; but the main stuff I’ll argue is sound.)[/quote]

There are entire books written describing the mistakes, the omissions, the disagreements between gospels etc.

I recommend you read the following if you’re really interested. I could if you want a copy from what they’ve done to give you some examples, but in fairness, you are debating with me, not them.

Ehrman, Bart. (2005) Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.
Ehrman, Bart. (2005) Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
Martin, Dale. (2012) New Testament History and Literature. (Yale University Press)
Tabor, James. (2012) Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity

I know of a few examples…

Mark as a source for Luke.
This is under no dispute, Google it. Many believe that since Matthew appears first in the New Testament, it was written first. It wasn’t. For a while, Mark was “the” gospel. The people who accepted it likely didn’t think that any other versions ever needed to be written.
Obviously, the authors of Luke and Matthew are widely considered to have drawn from the “Q” source, also. (Google that, too). In fact, if you do so far enough you’ll discover that some scholars dispute (based on evidence) that Q ever existed. Welcome to the rabbit hole of ancient textual analysis. Dig deep, sniff around a bit, and then marvel that some people are content with accepting what our modern bibles include as historically unquestionable.
Oh, and if you want to dig even deeper: Google the very interesting long and short versions of Mark, and scholars’ attempts to ascertain whether the short version was original but was added to, or the long version was original and shortened.

Copying errors, the different kinds thereof, and how they are understood to have happened, are absolutely fascinating. I’d never given the subject much thought before reading about the history of the new testament documents. The idea of two copies of the same text NOT containing errors and discrepancies is an extremely modern one.
Ehrman in his book deals with it in chapter 2 of Misquoting Jesus, and,… err… he isn’t the only scholar of ancient texts to address copying errors. It’s a kind of forensic science. Nameless people changed the gospels as they made copy after copy of copy after copy. For centuries. (Not to mention translations. How good were the translations? Were they even complete? Were Jesus’ own words, spoken in Aramaic, translated skilfully into the original Greek? How could we know? Most believers have likely never thought very much about the incredible amount of trust they place in nameless ancient copyists and translators.)

Then there is a whole study of the etymology of the Bible, which just means dating the text to find out when major revisions were made. When using fragmends and whole bibles dated from different times we see that the Bible has been revised many times by several major authors.

If you want to read more about it I recommend

A history of the Bible by Karen Armstrong
Who Wrote the New Testament by Burton L Mack
Some mistakes of Moses by Robert Ingersoll

People followed Jim Jones into the South American rain forest. Heavens Gate Cult members died for a comet. People have been killing themselves for bad reasons for a long time.

As far as god “standing the test of time”, we’ve only had science the way we practice it today for what 200-500 years? It won’t take 6000 more years before people figure out there is no evidence for god/s.

No, it’s a value-laden term upon which morals are founded on. It’s Evil not just because it causes harm, but because the person causing at best is indifferent, at worst enjoys it.

There’s nothing circular about recognizing the fact that harm and suffering are bad (again if the word bad has any meaning at all) and creating a word that describes people who cause harm to others joyfully.

A very nihilistic point of view I simply don’t share.

This has been interesting and enlightening, but we both know that no one is convincing anyone here. There aren’t any facts that I think will change your mind and I suspect you see me the same. If you wish to respond, please do, but I don’t know what can be accomplished at this point.

If there is a corner you think you’ve painted me in and you really want an answer to something, let me know, but I can’t see why we need to go on.

Up to you,



I’ll get back to you. But yes, I do strongly believe you’ve got some critical inconsistancies in your worldview that I’ve called out that I feel you haven’t addressed satisfactorily. I’ll try to home in on those (as opposed to the whole wall of text (yeah, I’m doing it, too)) and not get lost in the rabbit trailing when I get back to this.


Still cogitating, CSB. I’ve typed up a list of answers to your points, but I want to distill things to address the core issues if I can figure out how.


Actually athiests have been coming up with supposed ‘contradictions’ in the bible for hundreds of years but none of them have stuck after being debunked. Go ahead and look, you will find no honest contradictions in the bible unless you want them to be there.

As for this Q gospel, there is no evidence for it whatsoever. No shred or reference to it has ever been found. It is largley considered a made up gospel and not considered by the mainstream to exist.

The bible still stands as the most historically proven book from the ancient world.


Never heard of a “Q gospel.” There is nothing “contradictory” about understanding what Moses wrote about and what ACTUALLY very likely happened.


It’s brought up in conjunction with the two-source hypothesis:

Since we know Mark partly inspired later Gospels, there’s nothing scandalous about suggesting this.


STILL haven’t ever heard of it and don’t understand your point.


Pete is acting highly defensive about this, when there’s no need to.

Q-Gospel, real or not, says nothing scandalous about the Bible. We already know older books inspired later ones, this would just be one more case of that.


Okay, CSB; I’m finally getting back to this, although not with much. It seems to me that the core issue of your definition of morality comes down to human experience. I insist that if so, there needs to be a good reason why humanity has value. It needs to be more than a series of how-would-you-feel-if challenges. There needs to be a solid reason why not causing needless harm to others is moral (I believe it too, but for my own reasons). I don’t feel you’ve shown this, even though you feel it’s self-apparent.


I notice the qualifier there. What is an honest contradiction?


Again, the concept of value can’t exist independent of experience. The concept of value exists because humans perceive it. The term “value” has a specific meaning and while people disagree on the “value” of chocolate vs vanilla, most people don’t differ on the value of not being burned alive.

Even if you believe that value can exist independent of humans because god can value. Then just go a step farther. God values things based on experience. Unless you think the value is an intrinsic property of the universe, clearly absurd.

To be clear we’re talking about value as a subjective distinction between importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

I value freedom from pain because of how pain affects me. I value eating because not eating results in hunger.

Can god feel physical pain? If not, gods values will differ from our own based on experience.


…and yet, there are thousands, if not millions, of humans who derive PLEASURE from receiving pain so do NOT “value freedom from pain.” Likewise, there are millions who aren’t particularly distressed by hunger and who, in fact, seek it believing that it’ll make them more attractive, so what YOU “value” isn’t shared by everyone as a “moral good.”