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Old 04-09-2001, 04:26 AM   #41
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Photocrat:
I would attack their silly positions on issues; but when you appoint them moderators [which is, in a way, a stamp of approval in that you trust them to moderate well] you make people wonder why they don't know better. Being a moderator *seems* imply that they know better, so if they don't, it's not fallacious, it's just wierd [yes, the inference presupposes that you'd act rationally in our view; I'd have thought it somewhat aligned in this case, but clearly it's not--this is where it all goes wrong :] Your moderators are your own affair; if you wanted even to choose a firebreathing fundamentalist theist [before deconversion] as a moderator, that's your own affair. You'll forgive us if we'd be puzzled, though [in such a case, I'm sure some athiests would be, as well...]

Still, if anything, the fact that they're moderators should imply that they're more *intelligent* anyhow... It's the invalid arguement that seems to call the intelligence into question. It can't be ad hominum, because their status is not being used against them--if it were, it would be ad hominum, but it's the apparent fact that it isn't to their credit which makes people wonder.

Now, that was generic ad hominum. You could call it conditional ad hominum if they were saying that they ought to believe that because they were moderators; but the reason given that they shouldn't believe that is because it's seen as obviously silly. We don't worship angels or demons or the devil & God is One in essence [long defense of trinity; one person playing 3 parts in a play, etc. here :] therefore, there is one God whom we worship & that makes us monothesits, not poly-, pan- or anything else :] They're not considered in the same light as God, but as man, in that we are "only a little lower than the angels" [quoted from memory, look it up :]

It's only ad hominum if you posit that backwards; which makes me wonder about you now. In other words, I'll counter that with a charge of ad logicam, since your conclusion does not follow from those premises. I simply don't see the appeal to "he shouldn't believe it because he's a moderator" but instead "he shouldn't believe it because it's silly" which is not conditional ad hominum.
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You sound like another biased Christian apologist.

rodahi

 
Old 04-09-2001, 07:28 AM   #42
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Originally posted by Photocrat:
I would attack their silly positions on issues; but when you appoint them moderators [which is, in a way, a stamp of approval in that you trust them to moderate well] you make people wonder why they don't know better.

Photocrat, I will not speak for rodahi, he is quite intelligent, well-read, thoughtful and strong-minded, and can more than adequately defend himself.

I am ever so tired of this stupid, ill-informed, narrow-minded, ethnocentric horse manure assumption that it is somehow ridiculous to argue two things:

1) Christianity is polytheism.

2) Christians worship Satan.

But more below...

Still, if anything, the fact that they're moderators should imply that they're more *intelligent* anyhow... It's the invalid arguement that seems to call the intelligence into question. It can't be ad hominum, because their status is not being used against them--if it were, it would be ad hominum, but it's the apparent fact that it isn't to their credit which makes people wonder.

Now, that was generic ad hominum. You could call it conditional ad hominum if they were saying that they ought to believe that because they were moderators; but the reason given that they shouldn't believe that is because it's seen as obviously silly. We don't worship angels or demons or the devil & God is One in essence [long defense of trinity; one person playing 3 parts in a play, etc. here :] therefore, there is one God whom we worship & that makes us monothesits, not poly-, pan- or anything else :] They're not considered in the same light as God, but as man, in that we are "only a little lower than the angels" [quoted from memory, look it up :]

To resume the comments made above.....if your position was so common sense why would you need a long defense of it? The Trinity is the opposite of common sense; so ridiculous that 20 centuries of writing on it have failed time and again to convince intelligent people that you are right. Your cousins Islam and Judiasm have rejected it utterly. Some Jews, and many Muslims, regard you as polytheists (but of course, with the usual ethnocentricism that colors apologists views, they are not worthy of serious consideration) Are we all "unreasonable?" or just us moderators at the SecWeb?

A common sense position is one that, when advocated and clearly explained, everyone slaps themselves on the forehead and says, "Sure, why didn't I think of that!?" These ideas quickly take hold. They include things like evolution, or ecology, or Newtonian physics, etc. The trinity is hardly as well thought out or defended as any of those ideas, and certainly not as important, except in an entirely negative way.

It's only ad hominum if you posit that backwards; which makes me wonder about you now. In other words, I'll counter that with a charge of ad logicam, since your conclusion does not follow from those premises. I simply don't see the appeal to "he shouldn't believe it because he's a moderator" but instead "he shouldn't believe it because it's silly" which is not conditional ad hominum.

It is your assumption that it is silly, but that is just your assumption.

Basically, we have a clash of world views here. Again, I took two positions:

1) Christianity is polytheism.

2) Christians worship Satan.

There is nothing "unreasonable" about exploring either of those views. Certainly the reasonableness of (1) is beyond dispute, as Layman conceded. A billion muslims have rendered it so. Which standard of "reasonableness" should I use on this issue, yours or Islam's? If there is not an inherent polytheism in the Catholic Church's position, then why was so much of the dross I have identified as polytheistic -- rejected by the Protestants?. Could it be that the "unreasonable" perception I have of polytheism in the Church is in fact so reasonable that it is the implied position of the Protestant Church? As I conceded, Protestantism is a much harder nut to crack from the polytheistic viewpoint. Now why do you think that is?

No, I guess it is "unreasonable" to bring that up.

Let me point out something before we move on to number (2). The use of "reasonable" or "unreasonable" is simply a rhetorical club with which to clobber the opponent into submission. The claim "unreasonable!" is the last refuge of those who cannot make an actual argument. The apologist position is that claims (1) and (2) are "unreasonable." Not merely wrong. Centuries of scholarship, I'm told, support the Trinity and other claims made by Xtianity. It is unreasonable to oppose that. But I can point to centuries of "unreasonable" scholarship in another ethnic tradition, islam, that agrees with me.

Give me some basis to accept your opinions. Otherwise, I will simply have to assume I am looking at the usual ethnocentricism that permeates apologist writings.

Now, on to (2). Layman rightly pointed out that I could not rely on islam, because muslims don't worship Satan either.

There are several lines of attack on this, most of which came out in the thread, except for HJones' entirely rational question about "worship" and "fear," because I didn't want to get bogged down in an argument over the semantics of "worship." Instead, I went right to the heart of the problem, which is Satan's appearance in all the forms of the arts of the Christian west, dating back quite early. Note that my appreciation of worship is based on popular religion rather than theology -- I ask, what is it that Christians are actually doing when they celebrate Satan in song, poem, story and movie? -- and that it is more an aestethic view than one of formal logic. My position asks the reader to look at history, and judge.

If we were reading Chinese poetry, for example, we might take the enormous body of poems written by famous poets like Du Fu, Wang Wei, and Li Bai and use it to examine Chinese attitudes toward nature, for example, or toward politics. Nobody would regard this as unusual or "unreasonable." Indeed, dissertations of this type are grist for the academic mill.

Now I am doing the same thing. I am asking "Given this massive body of literature toward Satan, what can we learn about the attitudes of Christians toward him?"

As Blake said: "Note: The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels and God, and at liberty when of Devils and Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it."

Or Shelley: "Nothing can exceed the energy and magnificence of the character of Satan as expressed in Paradise Lost. It is a mistake to suppose that he could ever have been intended for the popular personification of evil."

Do you want me to go on quoting? I could.

What is so incredibly "unreasonable" aboutthis position? Nomad's view is that it is more than ordinarily "unreasonable;" it is akin to Holocaust denying.

Don't worry, I won't ask you to defend Nomad's position, PC. Just defend your own.

Finally, as a moderator, I don't have to be "reasonable." I have to perform certain acts, such as cleaning up URLs, closing threads that threaten the SecWeb for one reason or another, removing quoted texts that appears to me to cause us trouble with the copyright laws, watch out for adverts, and put up new things for debate or discussion. Anyone watching me in the Evo/Cre forum could not but assume I have done those things. Sometimes I fail, like in the piece on Daoism and Jesus, which, as Layman observed when he dissected it, did not succeed in doing what it was supposed to. However, there is nothing inherently "unreasonable" in my failures. Even if I am wrong about Xtians and Satan, it is not "unreasonable" for me to take the position.

Nowhere in our little manual is it written that I cannot be outlandish, absurd, churlish, challenging, threatening, interesting, or stupid. I can be all of those and still be a moderator.

Part of the exercise of leadership is staking out positions, to shake people up, to remind them that everything is up for grabs in this forum. None of the ruling elite of our benign oligarchy dialed me up, publicly or privately, and said "Mike, you are being an idiot. Please desist." Maybe they felt that way. But they didn't say so.

Apologists are free to post anything they like here, including claims that atheists are evil and worship Satan. That has been done in the past, and will be done in the future. What should atheists do? Complain that they are being "unreasonable" and ban those posts, or pile in, flailing and kicking?

Michael

[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited April 09, 2001).]
 
Old 04-10-2001, 08:24 PM   #43
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Originally posted by turtonm:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Apologists are free to post anything they like here, including claims that atheists are evil and worship Satan.</font>
I keep hearing second-hand statements about Christians claiming that atheists worship Satan, but I've never been able to find any such claim in print by a Christian, nor have I myself ever heard it from any Christian. Yet this notion is said to be widespread, at least among fundies. Have any of the Christians on this board made the claim that atheists worship Satan? If so, who? Anyone who is still around?


[This message has been edited by Kate Long (edited April 10, 2001).]
 
Old 04-10-2001, 08:32 PM   #44
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The closest thing to the "atheists worship Satan" idea that I've been able to find in print has been the anti-atheist propaganda on the infamous Ten Commandments site, as discussed in this thread in the Church-State Separation forum.


[This message has been edited by Kate Long (edited April 10, 2001).]
 
Old 04-10-2001, 08:33 PM   #45
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When I was a Xian, it was explained to me that Satan was behind athiests... which means that it was because of his temptation and meddling that people reject god. The athiests themselves don't "worship" satan, but they certainly didn't get that way themselves.

Of course, it was also explained to me that satan was behind the Catholic church, so...
 
 

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