Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Hillary and Obama

We're in Iowa during the campaign season, and today we went to see two of the candidates -- I thought maybe you'd be interested to see a couple of pictures I took. It is really interesting to see these people up close. Hillary Clinton talked at the Sioux City Art Center. I wouldn't venture to guess how many people were there, maybe 500, maybe a thousand, they were stacked up on three stories of winding stairways. Her presentation was very professional, warm, she knows her facts and figures and how the process works, and she touched of course on all her policy points through her talk. Not a lot of humor, but lots of confidence and cheerfulness -- her mother and daughter (Chelsea) were there. You had the feeling that she runs an efficient organization, and actually she seemed like a nice lady. I know you're not supposed to think that, but that's the reason you see somebody in person, right? She's not very big, wasn't dressed too fancy or anything, just seemed like a nice, smart lady.

Here are a couple of pictures from that talk.










We left while she was talking, to go across town to see Barack Obama. He was talking at an elementary school, in the gym, and it was too full, so we saw most of his talk on a TV screen in the overflow room. Finally enough people had left, and we were able to get into the gym where he was. He was going to go into the overflow room to shake hands, and I think people were maneuvering to get in there for that. His speaking style is very personable, sort of funny, his grammar gets a little twisted sometimes but that's part of his charm, he comes off as a regular guy. Said the president of Iran was "a little nutty." Joked quite a bit about his cousin, Dick Cheney. Talked about what a nice chair he was going to have when he's president.











It is fascinating to see these people working a small crowd. I think they were each visiting four cities today. You fly in, ride to the gig, give your speech, shake some hands, and fly out again. They've got to be dead tired, but neither one of them showed it in the least.

Between these two, you can see there is a real choice. There's lots of agreement, of course, we need to turn the country around, they have ideas for health care, immigration, all of that, that aren't entirely different as far as I can tell. But these are two different ways to get things done. Barack is a people-person, a little rough around the edges but he would get the right people talking to each other and, it looks like, he'd keep pushing to get his projects implemented. She, on the other hand, is a professional and a driver who will see that nothing is missed, that the process is rock-solid; she'll know the real risks from the opposition and how to work the system to get things done. Between the two of them I don't have a favorite, you know me, I'm not too political, and anyways there are some other strong contenders in the race. I just think it will be interesting to see how the people choose.

62 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I met a woman when we were in NH and she told us it is impossible to avoid the candidates-even if you want to. Here in Maryland- we get almost no visits from the candidates.

January 01, 2008 8:19 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Here's a tip to Democrats from a guy planning to vote Republican:

Obama would be the hardest candidate for the Republicans to defeat.

Bill tried Hillary as executive assistant but had to drop her after two major mistakes: choosing an attorney general (third tine was the charm) and leading the national health care campaign. Aside from that, she also has all kinds of other negative baggage.

Edwards would be a joke from day one.

I offer this advice only because I know full well no one will ever pay any attention to it.

January 02, 2008 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Impeach them! said...

The Washington Post reported about RB's favorite GOP candidate Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee took an unorthodox gamble in his bid for the presidency Monday, unveiling an attack ad against Republican rival Mitt Romney and then immediately pledging not to run it in the hopes of appealing to the better nature of Iowa voters.

Flanked by posters his campaign produced to question Romney's credibility, Huckabee decried gutter politics in America but then directed the attention of scores of reporters and television cameras to a movie screen, where he played the 30-second hit piece on Romney's honesty and record.

"I pulled the ad. I do not want it to be run at all," he said. But within minutes, the ad was being played on national television and had been posted on blogs and other Web sites -- without costing his campaign a penny.

The campaign's decision to not buy airtime for the ad came after an internal debate over how to arrest the damage from a week of critical Romney campaign commercials and several highly publicized flubs by Huckabee, whose sudden status as front-runner in the GOP contest here appears to be in jeopardy.

Huckabee has not had a good day in nearly a week as he has tried to respond to attacks by Romney on his Arkansas record and to increasingly skeptical media coverage. A poll released Sunday showed him trailing Romney here after once leading by double digits. Over the weekend, he began telling reporters that a second-place finish would be wonderful.

In the past several days, Huckabee has lashed out at Romney, calling him "dishonest" for airing ads that distort Huckabee's record. In an appearance on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, he accused Romney of "running a very desperate and, frankly, a dishonest campaign." His campaign Web site compares Romney to the "Seinfeld" character George Costanza, who the campaign quotes as saying: "Just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it."

Instead of becoming more disciplined in the face of battle, Huckabee and his campaign have veered off in directions that have not helped his message. Huckabee has had several gaffes in recent days, including an erroneous comment that a large number of illegal immigrants come to the United States from Pakistan. The mistake raised questions about his foreign policy experience...


The tax cuts and increases Huckabay has signed into state law have caused the average Arkansas tax payer to go from paying 10.1% of their wages in state taxes in 1996 to paying 11.3% today. He thinks this makes him a tax cutter? More voodoo economics and fuzzy math...
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/01/huckabees_record_on_taxes.html

January 02, 2008 10:23 AM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

imp-them:

Don't but into the press spin of major mistake by Huckabee on the negative ad thing. What the typical voter will get from the story is that Huck decided not to air the ads. They will be reinforced by the fact that all the major candidates, on both sides, are following Huckabee's lead today and running ads that focus on the positive aspects of their candidacies. All except Romney, that is, who continues to run his negative ads. In the last week or so, these ads have dwindled Huck's lead to a tie by accusing him of actually showing compassion to immigrants and criminals who may deserve a second chance. Huck's highlighting that he will not counter may blunt the nasty Romney attacks. We'll soon see.

In any case, look for an eventual McCain-Huckabee ticket to swamp Hillary in the fall. We're talking McGovern deja vu.

January 02, 2008 10:42 AM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

If only he were an American, Dawkins would be voting for Huckabee:

"Asked by a British member of Parliament if he is one of those atheists who wants to get rid of Christian symbols especially during the Christmas season, atheist Richard Dawkins replied that he is not. Dawkins said that he himself sings Christmas carols and that he considers himself a "cultural Christian." Just as many Jews regard themselves as Jewish, defend Jewish interests and cherish Jewish culture while not participating in Jewish religious rituals, Dawkins says that he respects the fact that the history and traditions of the West are shaped by Christianity. Dawkins says he's not one of those who wants to purge the West of its Christian traditions. The main threat to Christian symbols, Dawkins argues, does not come from atheists like him but rather from Muslims and members of other faiths."

Another athiest starting on a journey of faith? Wouldn't be the first time.

January 02, 2008 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another athiest starting on a journey of faith?

Perhaps other uninformed individuals would share the Baron's mistaken belief, but as usual she got it wrong because she failed to check the facts. Dawkins was born in Africa and raised in a Christian faith and those facts would explain why he considers himself a "cultural Christian."

Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing", but reveals that he began doubting the existence of God when he was about nine years old. He was later reconverted because he was persuaded by the argument from design, though he began to feel that the customs of the Church of England were absurd, and had more to do with dictating morals than with God. When he better understood evolution, at age sixteen, his religious position again changed because he felt that evolution could account for the complexity of life in purely material terms, and thus that a designer was not necessary.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins#Personal_life

January 02, 2008 6:36 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Anon:

There is a vast gulf between intellectual assent and faith. Here's some more about Dawkins:

"In The God Delusion, Dawkins portrayed the Christian God as a wicked, avaricious, capricious, genocidal maniac. Dawkins even blasted Jesus for such offenses as speaking harshly to his mother. Yet if the Jewish and Christian God was such a monster, what sense does it make for Dawkins to embrace the cultural influence of that deity? It would be like someone saying, "Hitler was a murderous maniac, but I am a cultural Nazi. No, I don't embrace the specifics of Nazi doctrine, but I appreciate what fascism has done to shape German culture. Let's give up the specifics of the Hitler program, but let's also keep Nazi culture along with the fuhrer's imagery on our coins and monuments.".....

A...possibility is that Dawkins now sees the Muslim threat to the West--and especially European culture--as more serious than the prospect of a second Christian Inquisition, so he has decided to ally with the Christians against the Islamic radicals. Other atheists like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens are now admitting that atheist attempts to equate Islamic extremism with Christianity are bogus. The real threat doesn't come from Presbyterianism or Anglicanism but from a radical Islam that wants to obliterate Western civilization....

the main reason for Dawkins' remarkable self-identification as a cultural Christian is that he has slowly come to realize that even the values that he cherishes--values such as individual dignity, science as an autonomous enterprise, the equal dignity of women, the abolition of slavery, and compassion as a social virtue--came into the West because of Christianity....

Okay, so let's give this biologist credit for learning a little history. Still, the deeper question remains. If the God of the Old and New Testaments is such a bad character, how come his cultural influence is so positive? Absent a good answer to this question, we must reconsider the premise: perhaps the God of the Old and New Testaments is not the evil figure portrayed in atheist propaganda. On the contrary, perhaps all our Western notions of good and bad derive from no source other than this Christian God. This certainly was Nietzsche's view, and he knew a lot more about the subject than Richard Dawkins. Wouldn't it be interesting if Dawkins continues his intellectual growth and reverses his old misunderstandings? Then he can reissue his book: Overcoming My Delusions: Confessions of a Cultural Christian."

Hope that helps you clear up your focus, anon. Still, I remain puzzled about this comment by you:

"Perhaps other uninformed individuals would share the Baron's mistaken belief, but as usual she got it wrong because she failed to check the facts."

How am I uninformed or what fact wasn't checked? Rather than just check facts, your needs go even further. Try thinking before you type.

January 03, 2008 11:16 AM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

To Imp Them, who was believing the media spin yesterday that Huckabee was slipping in the polls, here's today's Reuter assessment:

"In the Republican race, Huckabee gained three points on Romney. The gains followed Monday's news conference where he said he would not air an ad attacking Romney because he wanted to keep the race positive -- and then showed it to reporters.

The move was heavily criticized in the media -- but his numbers have climbed since, Zogby said.

"Everyone outside of Iowa laughed at what appeared to be a Huckabee gambit, but Iowa Republicans seem to think it was genuine," he said.

"Huckabee is not pulling away, but it's now a six-point lead and he has moved above 30 percent.""

January 03, 2008 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Merle said...

I really hope that Huckabee wins the Republican nomination. It will make the decision clear for everyone -- which way does America want to go, really? Will we as a people choose the commitment to pure, distilled ignorance? At least with Huckabee, the choice will be obvious.

January 03, 2008 12:05 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

It won't work that way, Merle. Huckabee will prevail in Iowa. McCain will win New Hampshire. Huck will get Michigan closley. Nevada goes for McCain. Huck wins South Carolina in a landslide. Florida goes for Guiliani. Then everything gets confusing on Super Tuesday with wins by all three. Huck makes a deal with McCain before convention to be his VP candidate, based on age.

They will easily beat Hillary with anybody else for VP but if Obama gets paired with an experienced senator like Biden or Dodd, we'll have another down-to-the-wire vote, like 2000.

How's that scenario?

January 03, 2008 12:32 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "If only he were an American, Dawkins would be voting for Huckabee:".

Absolutely not. Dawkins is an ally of gays and deplores the way religionists oppress and attack gays. Huckabee has stated repeatedly that he is an enemy of gyas - there's no way Dawkins would vote for a gay basher like Huckabee.

Red Baron said "The real threat doesn't come from Presbyterianism or Anglicanism but from a radical Islam that wants to obliterate Western civilization....".

They differ in degree, not in kind. Evangelical Christians also want to obliterate western secular civilization and gays, they just want to replace it with a Christian theocracy rather than an Islamic one. If you're LGBT you're in just as much danger from anti-gay Christians as you are from anti-gay Islamists.

The Red Baron said "values such as individual dignity, science as an autonomous enterprise, the equal dignity of women, the abolition of slavery, and compassion as a social virtue--came into the West because of Christianity".

Absolutely not. Progressive values in the west came about despite Christianity not because of it. The only reason it happened in the West rather than in Muslim countries is that because of the enlightenment society threw off the stranglehold that Christianity had on it and Christians have much less influence and control in the west then in Muslim countries. Christianity does not value indvidual dignity, it places humans as second rate to the imaginary god of primitive bronze age tribesmen. Christianity did not support science, it opposed it at every step - it was Christians who threatened to kill Galileo if he did not recant scientific facts, it is Christianity that fights against scientific realities of a 4 billion year old earth, evolution, global warming and the innateness of gayness. The Christian bible was used to justify slavery, not oppose it. The Christian bible condones and sanctions slavery as the normal course of business - to suggest otherwise is a heinous lie about the content of the bible and the role religionists played in fighting for slavery. Christianity does not support the equal dignity of women, the bible says "suffer not a woman to teach or hold authority over men" and when whe is in the church she should remain silent and defer to men. The bible teaches that a woman is unclean for twice as long if she gives birth to a female rather than a male - the bible clearly states that women are inferior to men and dirty in comparison to men. The bible doesn't teach compassion as a virture, it is intolerant in the extreme, teaching that people who innocently believe in other religions or none at all deserve eternal torture despite having harmed no one.

Red Baron said "If the God of the Old and New Testaments is such a bad character, how come his cultural influence is so positive? Absent a good answer to this question, we must reconsider the premise: perhaps the God of the Old and New Testaments is not the evil figure portrayed in atheist propaganda. On the contrary, perhaps all our Western notions of good and bad derive from no source other than this Christian God.".

Only a bald faced liar or someone who has never read the bible could tell such an outrageous falshood. The god of the Christian bible is the most evil character in all of fiction. He commands that the Israelis utterly wipe out all the residents of cities they encounter even if those residents try to make a peace treaty with them. He commands that all inhabitants including innocent women, children, and babies be murdered.
The god of the Christian bible kills the inhabitants of another town because of the wrongdoing of ONE of its citizens. The god of the Christian bible tortures and kills the innocent Jesus for the wrongdoings of others. Obviously our sense of right and wrong does not come from the bible because we instinctively know it is utterly wrong and unforgivable to punish innocent people for the wrongs of others and yet the Christian god does this over and over. If our sense of right and wrong came from the bible we'd think its righteous to punish the innocent for the actions of the guilty - we obviously know better than what the bible teaches.

In the bible god hardens pharoahs heart so pharoah won't let the israelites go and then god murders all the Egyptian first born because pharoah won't let the Israelites go. Only a phenomenally evil character would punish innocent people for what he himself forced their leader to do.

The god of the bible eternally tortures people for innocently beliving in other religons or no religion at all despite their having harmed no one. Only a being devoid of any sense of morality would supply infinite punishement for an imagined offense that harms no one.

January 03, 2008 12:35 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

The red Baron said " Huckabee will prevail in Iowa. McCain will win New Hampshire. Huck will get Michigan closley. Nevada goes for McCain. Huck wins South Carolina in a landslide. Florida goes for Guiliani...".

You're a laugh riot Red Baron. Obviously you're a god yourself given your ability to state the future with certainty. So, how come you're still poor given your ability to know winning lottery numbers and the ups and downs of the stock market years in advance?

January 03, 2008 12:37 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Some more "winners" from the bible.

If a woman is raped and she doesn't scream loud enough she must be put to death.

If a woman is raped a man's punishment is to be forced to pay her father some money and marry her.

A man can divorce a woman but a woman can't divorce a man.

When the Israelites committ genocide god orders them to kill all the woman that aren't virgins and to keep the virgins for rape toys.

God punishes children unto the fourth generation for the wrongdoings of the father - again we know instinctively that its evil to punish the innocent for the wrongdoings of the guilty, the Christian god is undeniably evil.

Children who speak back to their parents must be stoned to death.

If a woman is not a virgin on her wedding day she must be stoned to death.

If the daughter of a priest is a prostitute she must be burned to death.

If a slave owner beats his slave and the slave does not die for a few days the slave owner has done nothing wrong.

Paul commands slaves to work hard for their owners and never condemns slavery - neither does Jesus.

God tortures the innocent Job to win a bet with the devil.

Jesus equates the Jews with the devil.

Jesus commands his followers to hate their families.

God kills a bunch of children for taunting an old man because of his baldness.

God punishes Adam and Eve for eating from the tree of knowledge when prior to eating from that tree they didn't know right from wrong and didn't know that it was "wrong" to disobey him.

The bible teaches that everyone inherits the sin of Adam and is guilty not because of what they have done, but because of what someone else has done. God eternally tortures innoncent people because of what Adam did.

When someone tells you the bible is the source of our sense of right and wrong, don't believe that lie, read the bible for yourself and see what a heinous book it is and the ultimately evil god it describes. Most Christians haven't read the bible and actually reading it has produced far more atheists than any other writing.

January 03, 2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I hope so too Merle, so America can decide if she really wants another foreign policy nincompoop, hellbent on starting another front in Bush's Christian crusade or not. People should especially consider this question as Bush eyes Iran as another potential war zone.

perhaps the God of the Old and New Testaments is not the evil figure portrayed in atheist propaganda

Are you trying to say that the scripture these writers quoted is made up or propaganda? Name a single quote from the Bible either Harris, Hitchens or Dawkins got wrong.

January 03, 2008 1:19 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Hmmm....Randi attacks Judeo-Christianity with a bunch of nonsense for 44 lines, excluding the pasted material, makes a post of a different nature and then comes back with 30 more lines.
Maybe they'll be more. Who knows?

But it seems someone is a little insecure in their position. Remember Randi, volume is not the equivalent of quantity.

"So, how come you're still poor given your ability to know winning lottery numbers"

Oh, I win lotteries all the time. I always contribute the winnings to charities battling the gay agenda. Thus, I remain destitute.

January 03, 2008 1:21 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

The red baron said "Randi attacks Judeo-Christianity with a bunch of nonsense for 44 lines".

Oh, its nonsense all right - I got it straight from your bible and its the biggest pile of nonsense I've ever seen or that anyone who's ever read it is likely to see. You should read it sometime - it'll shock you the crap that's in there that people laughingly call the "good" book.

January 03, 2008 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suddenly, after 74 lines of biblical facts she doesn't like to be reminded of, the bloody red baron doesn't want Randi to publish any more stories from either Testament. Who's insecure?

Thanks for reminding us all of these facts, Randi. Good job!

January 03, 2008 1:37 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

"Are you trying to say that the scripture these writers quoted is made up or propaganda? Name a single quote from the Bible either Harris, Hitchens or Dawkins got wrong."

Go to Amazon.com and search for Alistair McGrath. He's a colleague of Dawkins who has written several books rebutting his books.

January 03, 2008 1:37 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

And red baron, Jews consider the phrase "judeo-christian" an oxymoron. Christianity is opposed to judaisim and its a cheap excuse to use that phrase to attempt to falsely claim credibility for your your hatred and attacks on gays.

January 03, 2008 1:38 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Quite an interesting remark, Randi, considering the bulk of your complaints about Judeo-Christianity come from distorting passages from the Old Testament.

"Suddenly, after 74 lines of biblical facts she doesn't like to be reminded of, the bloody red baron doesn't want Randi to publish any more stories from either Testament. Who's insecure?"

I'd love it if Randi told stories from the Bible all day. I've yet to Randi tell one. BTW, the term for those 74 lines is allegations. Where were the facts?

January 03, 2008 1:43 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "Go to Amazon.com and search for Alistair McGrath. He's a colleague of Dawkins who has written several books rebutting his books.".

You mean he "attempted" to rebut Dawkins - he most certainly didn't.

Allistair McGrath is a joke. I've seen a number of debates between him and Dawkins and its painful to listen to the nebulous nonsense McGrath attempts to pass off as reasoned debate. My favourite bit was when Dawkins asked McGrath why there is evil in the world if "god" is a good "god". McGrath went into this long bit about how "god" doesn't intervene and then Dawkins pointed out how when a disaster strikes people thank god for intervening to save a handful out of the thousands that were killed. McGrath then twists and spins and tries to come up with some twisted rationale for how god intervenes a little but not significantly - I've never heard one man say so much and communicate so little, nothing but gibberish comes out of that mans mouth, he couldn't make a convincing argument if his life depended on it. Of course when you have to rationalize such abject absurdity as the idea of the Christian god its not surprising that all he can come up with is nebulous, twisted, empty crap.

January 03, 2008 1:58 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "I'd love it if Randi told stories from the Bible all day. I've yet to Randi tell one. BTW, the term for those 74 lines is allegations. Where were the facts?"


Tell me red baron, have you read your bible? In other words, are you a liar or simply just ignorant of its contents?

January 03, 2008 2:00 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Randi seems a little upset that Randi's biggest hero seems to be recanting some of Randi's favorite lines.

Dawkins is currently the world's foremost atheist. The former one was a guy named Anthony Flew. He's still around but is now a theist because he has been persuaded by the overwhelming evidence of intelligent design.

It's like deja vu all over again.

January 03, 2008 2:05 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anthony Flew is aging and his mental faculties deteriorating. He recently admitted not only that he didn't write the book that a bunch of Christianists stuck his name on, he hasn't even read it. When asked about comments in it and conversations he supposedly had he said he doesn't remember anything of the sort. The Christianist authors of "Flew's" book took advantage of an old man in a deteriorating state and took advantage of his desire to be amicable and put words in his mouth.

Frankly, I and I am sure most atheists never heard of Flew until Christinists like the Red Baron took to telling the lie that a "prominant" atheist had "converted" to Christianity. Even despite his being manipulated by dishonest Christians Flew himself still maintains that he doesn't believe in the Christian god, he'll go along with the idea that there is some sort of nebulous deity, but still absolutely rejects the "god" of the Christian bible.

January 03, 2008 2:19 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

You can read about the sleazy Christinists manipulation of the faltering Anthony Flew here:

http://richarddawkins.net/article,1831,The-Turning-of-an-Atheist,Mark-Oppenheimer-NYTimescom

January 03, 2008 2:28 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Although Christianists are desperate to find atheists to claim as their own the trend is in fact in the opposite direction. Today in the devoutly religious U.S.A. as many as one in four Americans may be non-believers:

http://richarddawkins.net/article,1262,The-New-Atheists,Ronald-Aronson-The-Nation


"We commonly hear that only a tiny percentage of Americans don't believe in God and that, as a Newsweek poll claimed this spring, 91 percent do. In fact, this is not true. How many unbelievers are there? The question is difficult to assess accurately because of the challenges of constructing survey questions that do not tap into the prevailing biases about religion. According to the American Religious Identification Survey, which interviewed more than 50,000 people, more than 29 million adults--one in seven Americans--declare themselves to be without religion. The more recent Baylor Religion Survey ("American Piety in the 21st Century") of more than 1,700 people, which bills itself as "the most extensive and sensitive study of religion ever conducted," calls for adjusting this number downward to exclude those who believe in a God but do not belong to a religion. Fair enough. But Baylor's own Gallup survey is a bit shaky for at least two reasons. It counts anyone who believes in a "higher power" but not God as believing in God--casting a vast net over adherents of everything from spirit to history to love. Yet the study allows unbelievers only one option: to not believe in "anything beyond the physical world," leaving no space for those who regard themselves as agnostics or skeptics, secularists or humanists. Contrast this with a more recent and more nuanced Financial Times/Harris poll of Europeans and Americans that allowed respondents to declare agnosticism as well as atheism: 18 percent of the more than 2,000 American respondents chose one or the other, while 73 percent affirmed belief in God or a supreme being.

A more general issue affects American surveys on religious beliefs, namely, the "social desirability effect," in which respondents are reluctant to give an unpopular answer in a society in which being religious is the norm. What happens when questions are framed to overcome this distortion? The FT/H poll tried to counteract it by allowing space not only for the customary "Not sure" but also for "Would prefer not to say"--and 6 percent of Americans chose this as their answer to the question of whether they believed in God or a supreme being. Add to this those who declared themselves as atheists or agnostics and, lo and behold, the possible sum of unbelievers is nearly one in four Americans.

All this helps explain the popularity of the New Atheists--Americans as a whole may not be getting too much religion, but a significant constituency must be getting fed up with being routinely marginalized, ignored and insulted. After all, unbelievers are concentrated at the higher end of the educational scale--a recent Harris American poll shows that 31 percent of those with postgraduate education do not avow belief in God (compared with only 14 percent of those with a high school education or less). The percentage rises among professors and then again among professors at research universities, reaching 93 percent among members of the National Academy of Sciences. Unbelievers are to be found concentrated among those whose professional lives emphasize science or rationality and who also have developed a relatively high level of confidence in their own intellectual faculties. And they are frequently teachers or opinion-makers."


Further atheism is growing at an unprecidented pace since the advent of our modern world around 1900 or so:

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316

"The number of nonreligionists…. throughout the 20th century has skyrocketed from 3.2 million in 1900, to 697 million in 1970, and on to 918 million in AD 2000…. Equally startling has been the meteoritic growth of secularism…. Two immense systems have emerged at the expense of the world's religions: agnosticism…. and atheism…. From a miniscule presence in 1900, a mere 0.2% of the globe, these systems…. are today expanding at the extraordinary rate of 8.5 million new converts each year, and are likely to reach one billion adherents soon. A large percentage of their members are the children, grandchildren or the great-great-grandchildren of persons who in their lifetimes were practicing Christians.

Far from providing unambiguous evidence of the rise of faith, the devout compliers of the WCE document what they characterize as the spectacular ballooning of secularism by a few hundred-fold! It has no historical match. It dwarfs the widely heralded Mormon climb to 12 million during the same time, even the growth within Protestantism of Pentecostals from nearly nothing to half a billion does not equal it.

It is well documented that Christianity has withered dramatically in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The failure of the faith in the west is regularly denounced by Popes and Protestant leaders. Churches are being converted into libraries, laundromats and pubs. Those who disbelieve in deities typically make up large portions of the population, according to some surveys they make up the majority of citizens in Scandinavia, France and Japan. Evolution is accepted by the majority in all secular nations, up to four in five in some."

January 03, 2008 3:10 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

"You can read about the sleazy Christinists manipulation of the faltering Anthony Flew here"

I read the article, Randi. The person that seem to be manipulative is the atheist that kept pestering Flew, apparently horrified that the intellectual who developed so much of the modern atheist argumentation had forsaken it. For the record, Flew expressed belief in deism before this guy allegedly got the correspondence from him and after.

I read an interview with Flew a few years ago, shortly after this came out. He seemed perfectly lucid.

"Although Christianists are desperate to find atheists to claim as their own the trend is in fact in the opposite direction. Today in the devoutly religious U.S.A. as many as one in four Americans may be non-believers"

If you mean Christians, they're actually much more comfortable and vital in a world with substantial populations who disbelieve. This is the early AD world in which the New Testament was written so such a world is much easier to relate to scripture.

What is encouraging is when those who champion the atheist cause realize their error. Not that desperate to find such cases. There have been many high profile examples.

BTW, if 3/4 of Americans are believers as you are saying, that would be a long-term positive trend. At the time of the American revolution, only 1/10 of Americans attended church. Americans became a Christian nation by progressive waves of revival that coincided with our rise as the great nation of the Western hemisphere.

January 03, 2008 5:37 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron, you lie. Virtually all early americans were Christians. There were practically no atheists prior to the 1900's. The decline of religion in progressive countries is clear and inevitable. The graphs in the link I gave you show the undeniable trend - Church attendance and bible believers are in decline and skeptics are growing.

Christians despise a world with non-believers, that is wy so many of them in the States are pushing for a theocracy and freaking out over the existence of secular humanists and their lost ability to force children to pray to the Christian god in schools.

It is rare for an atheist to become a Christianist, the lie about Flew is indicative of this. If Christianists weren't so desperate to claim atheists as one of their own they wouldn't be relying so heavily on manipulating an intellectually failing old man.

Dawkins says every day he here's from priests and ministers who've lost her faith. Mother Theresa was an atheist, it is far far more common for theists to become atheists than the other way around. If it weren't for liars like McGrath claiming to have once been atheists there'd be no "former" atheists at all in the religionist's camp.

The numbers in the links don't lie, in 1900 there were virtually no atheists on the planet and now as people are increasingly educated a vast and growing number of people are atheists. Religion simply cannot survive the growth of science and knowledge, its no coincidence that 93% of the members of the Academy of Science are atheists.

January 03, 2008 6:14 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

And Red Baron, just note one example of your bibles disdain for women, contrary to your lie that the bible supports the equal dignity of women.

1 Timothy 2

" 1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
8I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

9In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

11Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.


13For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."


That's one of those passages I mentioned earlier that you inisisted wasn't in the buy-bull. Note how the buy-bull puts all the blame on women for original sin. Once again, have you read the buy-bull? Or in other words are you lying about the evil not being present in it or are simply ignorant of the evil contained in it.

January 03, 2008 6:27 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

"Red Baron, you lie. Virtually all early americans were Christians. There were practically no atheists prior to the 1900's."

I don't know what they were thinking but, in one of your rants above, you included those who didn't observe as "non-religionists" to come up with your total atheist population. This was the case at the time of the Revolutionary War, when only 10% of the population attended church. You should read up on history about the subsequent revivals.

You have a nasty habit of accusing others of lying when you don't know what you're talking about.

"The decline of religion in progressive countries is clear and inevitable. The graphs in the link I gave you show the undeniable trend - Church attendance and bible believers are in decline and skeptics are growing."

Perhaps in parts of Europe. In China, Korea, Africa, Russia and South America, Christianity is on the rise.

Recognizing this trend, Vladimir Putin now claims to be a Christian. Says he carries a Bible with him wherever he goes.

"Christians despise a world with non-believers, that is wy so many of them in the States are pushing for a theocracy and freaking out over the existence of secular humanists and their lost ability to force children to pray to the Christian god in schools."

Don't know what you're talking about.

"It is rare for an atheist to become a Christianist, the lie about Flew is indicative of this."

No lie is being told here. No one said he is a Christian. Simply a theist.

"If Christianists weren't so desperate to claim atheists as one of their own they wouldn't be relying so heavily on manipulating an intellectually failing old man."

You are a sad case of someone who believes what they want to believe.

"The numbers in the links don't lie, in 1900 there were virtually no atheists on the planet and now as people are increasingly educated a vast and growing number of people are atheists. Religion simply cannot survive the growth of science and knowledge, its no coincidence that 93% of the members of the Academy of Science are atheists."

In 1900, much of the intellectual class believed that science would soon deliver us to a utopian world and that God was irrelevant. The 20th century was quite a surprise to these people.

January 03, 2008 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Emproph said...

Incest and the Situational Evolving Morality of God
D. Frederick Sparks

The Bible and Incest

"The bible explicitly condemns incest, at least in certain configurations. Certain forms of incest, including father-daughter, are punishable by death according to Scripture. Yet, the condemnations of incest in Leviticus not only conflict with incest implicit in and inevitable from the creationist model, they also conflict with the sexual activities of a decent number of central figures in the Old Testament. Genesis gives us Abraham, the ancestor at the heart of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, who marries his half sister, his father's daughter. Abraham's nephew Lot, a man righteous enough to be spared the fate of the scorched Sodom and Gomorrah, engages in alcohol-induced intercourse with both of his daughters, impregnating both."


Then there's that whole question about if God changed His mind..

"The other puzzling part of this proffered explanation is the concept of God changing his mind at all, especially so drastically. Changes of mind are generally precipitated by receiving new information, even if this information takes the form of changes in internal emotions towards the subject. It's difficult to grasp how an omniscient God can ever receive new information. If he later hates something he previously approved of, wouldn't he know of his future hatred at the time of the earlier approval? A God who changes his mind arbitrarily and so drastically makes a philosophically fragile foundation for a moral code, especially a code believed to be supreme and to apply into perpetuity."

Hmm, those are some interesting things to consider. Red Baron, do you think God changed His mind about the sinfulness of incest?

January 03, 2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

The Red Baron claimed the evil I pointed out was merely allegations. Here are but a few examples with the book, verse, and paragraph pointed out. Red Baron, you said you'd love it if I told stories from the bible all day - enjoy.


Genesis

7. Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two "virgin daughters" instead. He tells the bunch of angel rapers to "do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your eyes." This is the same man that is called "just" and "righteous" in 2 Peter 2:7-8. 19:7-8

13. Abraham shows his willingness to kill his son for God. Only an evil God would ask a father to do that; only a bad father would be willing to do it. 22:10

Exodus

23. God will make sure that Pharaoh does not listen to Moses, so that he can kill Egyptians with his armies. 7:4

31. God will kill the Egyptian children to show that he puts "a difference between the Egyptians and Israel." 11:7

33.After God has sufficiently hardened the Pharaoh's heart, he kills all the firstborn Egyptian children. When he was finished "there was not a house where there was not one dead." Finally, he runs out of little babies to kill, so he slaughters the firstborn cattle, too. 12:29

45 A child who hits or curses his parents must be executed. 21:15, 17


Leviticus

91 God gives instructions for "wave offerings" and "heave offerings." He says these offerings are to be made perpetually "by a statute for ever." Have you made your heave offering today? What part of "forever" don't Christians understand? 7:30-36

114 A priest's daughter who "plays the whore" is to be burned to death. 21:9

Numbers

131 God punishes the children for the failings of their great-great grandfathers. 14:18

140 God describes once again the procedure for ritualistic animal sacrifices. such rituals must be extremely important to God, since he makes their performance a "statute" and "covenant" forever. 18:17-19

149 For impaling the interracial couple, God rewards Phinehas and his sons with the everlasting priesthood. 25:10-13

162 God hardened the heart of the king of Heshbon and so that he could have him and all of his people killed. 2:30

163 At God's instructions, the Israelites "utterly destroyed the men, women, and the little ones" leaving "none to remain." 2:33-36

164 The Israelites, with God's help, kill all the men, women, and children of every city. 3:3-6

170 God instructs the Israelites to kill, without mercy, all the inhabitants (strangers) of the land that they conquer. 7:2

178 Kill those of other faiths. 12:30

180 If your brother, son, daughter, wife, or friend tries to get you to worship another god, "thou shalt surely kill him, thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death." 13:6-10

182 Kill everyone who has religious beliefs that are different from your own. 17:2-7

193 If a man marries, then decides that he hates his wife, he can claim she wasn't a virgin when they were married. If her father can't produce the "tokens of her virginity" (bloody sheets), then the woman is to be stoned to death at her father's doorstep. 22:13-21

195 If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city and doesn't cry out loud enough, then "the men of the city shall stone her to death." 22:23-24

Joshua

243 "For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly." Notice that God hardens their hearts so that he can have an excuse to kill them. 11:20

246 God is jealous and will never forgive you for your sins. "He will turn and do you hurt, and consume you." 24:19-20

Judges

267 42,000 men are killed because someone mispronounces "shibboleth." 12:6

1 Samuel

294 Under God's influence, the Philistines killed each other. 14:20

296 God orders Saul to kill all of the Amalekites: men, women, infants, sucklings, ox, sheep, camels, and asses. Why? Because God remembers what Amalek did hundreds of years ago. 15:2-3

2 Samuel

319 Whoever kills the lame and the blind will be David's "chief and captain." 5:8

"David ... grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him." 5:10

335 To appease God and end the famine that was caused by his predecessor (Saul), David agrees to have seven of Saul's sons killed and hung up "unto the Lord." 21:6-9

2 Kings

367 God sends two bears to rip up 42 little children for making fun of Elisha's bald head. 2:23-24

1 Chronicles

403 God kills his faithful servant Uzza for trying to keep God's sacred ark from falling. 13:9-10

410 God kills 70,000 men because David had a census. 21:7

Psalms

475 God is praised for slaughtering kings, nations, and little babies. 135:8, 10

Proverbs

485 God made bad people for the pleasure of punishing them. 16:4

Fools are meant to be beaten. 18:6

Beat your children and don't stop just because they cry. 19:18

Isaiah

508 God will slaughter children "for the iniquity of their fathers." 14:21

Jeremiah

527 God tries to "correct" people by killing their children. 2:30

551 God delivered his people "into the hand of her enemies." He "hates" his "dearly beloved" people and plans to feed them to the birds. 12:7-9

563 God will kill children if their parents worship other gods. 16:10-11

579 God will destroy "the peaceable habitations" and make the land desolate "because of his fierce anger." 25:37-38

Ezekiel

628 God deceives some of his prophets and then kills them for believing his lies. 14:9

630 God will burn the inhabitants of Jerusalem to show everyone that he is the Lord. 15:6-7

635 God will kill everyone -- good and bad, just and unjust. 21:3-4

656 If a "righteous" person does something wrong, God will forget every good thing that that person has ever done. Then God will kill him for the single mistake. 33:13

Matthew

747 Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn't the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament. 5:17

755 Families will be torn apart because of Jesus (this is one of the few "prophecies" in the Bible that has actually come true). "Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." 10:21

764 Jesus had no problem with the idea of drowning everyone on earth in the flood. It'll be just like that when he returns. 24:37

Mark

769 Jesus explains why he speaks in parables: to confuse people so they will go to hell. 4:11-12

772 Jesus criticizes the Jews for not killing their disobedient children as required by Old Testament law. (See Ex.21:15, Lev.20:9, Dt.21:18-21) 7:9-10

Luke

782 Jesus says that God is like a slave-owner who beats his slaves "with many stripes." 12:46-47

787 In the parable of the talents, Jesus says that God takes what is not rightly his, and reaps what he didn't sow. The parable ends with the words: "bring them [those who preferred not to be ruled by him] hither, and slay them before me." 19:22-27

John

788 As an example to parents everywhere and to save the world (from himself), God had his own son tortured and killed. 3:16

791 Jesus believes people are crippled by God as a punishment for sin. He tells a crippled man, after healing him, to "sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." 5:14

Acts

794 Peter claims that Dt.18:18-19 refers to Jesus, saying that those who refuse to follow him (all non-Christians) must be killed. 3:23

Romans

802 Homosexuals (those "without natural affection") and their supporters (those "that have pleasure in them") are "worthy of death." 1:31-32

The guilty are "justified" and "saved from wrath" by the blood of an innocent victim. 5:9

God punishes everyone for someone else's sin; then he saves them by killing an innocent victim. 5:12

Ephesians

809 We are predestined by God to go to either heaven or hell. None of our thoughts, words, or actions can affect the final outcome. 1:4-5, 11

God had his son murdered to keep himself from hurting others for things they didn't do. 1:7

The bloody death of Jesus smelled good to God. 5:2

Colossians

813 God bought us with someone else's blood. 1:14

God makes peace through blood. 1:19-20

2 Thessalonians

816 Jesus will take "vengeance on them that know not God" by burning them forever "in flaming fire." 1:7-9

818 God will cause us to believe lies so that he can damn our souls to hell. 2:11-12

Hebrews

819 God will not forgive us unless we shed the blood of some innocent creature. 9:13-14, 22

Revelation

833 Everyone on earth will wail because of Jesus. 1:7

837 "Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." God created predators, pathogens, and predators for his very own pleasure. One of his favorite species is guinea worms. 4:11

844 144,000 Jews will be going to heaven; everyone else is going to hell. 7:4

853 After God's witnesses "have finished their testimony," they are killed in a war with a beast from a bottomless pit. 11:7

861 God gave the saints and prophets blood to drink. 16:6

871 All liars, as well as those who are fearful or unbelieving, will be cast into "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." 21:8

January 03, 2008 7:50 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

All of the examples I mentioned above are found at this link:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html



This is by no means an exhaustive list of the evil perpetrated by the god character in the Christian bible.

January 03, 2008 7:54 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "I don't know what they were thinking but, in one of your rants above, you included those who didn't observe as "non-religionists" to come up with your total atheist population. This was the case at the time of the Revolutionary War, when only 10% of the population attended church. You should read up on history about the subsequent revivals."

You lie again, the link I gave never included those who don't observe as "non-religionists", it included atheists, agnostics, and those who preferred not to say as "non believers". The information I included said nothing about believers who choose to go to to church or not.

Just because someone doesn't go to church doesn't make them a non-religionists, many believers are not regular church goers and it should not be surprising that in the 1700 and 1800's most religionists would not be able to go to church as churches simply weren't available then as they are now. And I don't believe you that only 10% went to church - you have no authoritative source to back up your claim.

Fact is Christianity has undergone a steady decline from virtually everyone in the U.S. in the 1700 and 1800,s to about 75% today and the trend is going to continue as education continues to become more and more widespread and deeper.

January 03, 2008 8:13 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

One interesting recent development is that the brilliant Dinesh D'Souza has been trying to get Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris to engage in more debates with him and they are refusing. Harris has agreed only to a written exchange but won't risk a live conversation. Makes sense, of course. Having your points shot down is bad for book sales. Here's D'Souza's comments:

"Why are the atheists faring so badly in these debates? I think the main reason is that they are so arrogant. Dawkins, Harris, Dennett and Hitchens really think that their position reflects pure reason and that my position reflects "blind faith." If this were really true they should win every single debate, for the same reason that a round-earth advocate should never lose to a flat-earth advocate. In reality there are good arguments on both sides, and I as a believer know this. I know it's hard to make the case for an invisible God and for an afterlife. In short, I know the strength of the argument on the other side. Leading atheists, however, simply do not expect to hear good counterarguments to their position. When they do, they have no idea how to answer them. So they either erupt into jejune name-calling (all to familiar to readers of this blog) or they slowly fall apart (witness what happened to Daniel Dennett).

In reality, I don't have to win debates against atheists; I merely have to draw. Just by coming out even, I defeat the atheist premise that atheism is the position based on reason and religion is the position based on unreason. Even a tie shows that both positions are reasonable. By defeating atheists in debate, however, I have totally exploded the atheist self-pretense. I have shown atheists to be the unreasonable ones, and this is why leading atheists like Dawkins and Harris are now going into hiding. But if these guys are scared to debate me, even in secular university settings where the audience is largely on their side, what does this say about them and about the soundness of their positions? Perhaps Dawkins and company should go and see "The Great Debaters." They might get some useful tips, and they might also get their nerve back."

If you want to see this case, currently causing the atheists to flee in fear, pick up D'Souza's latest book, "What's So Great About Christianity."

January 04, 2008 11:25 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron, D'souza's opinion of himself is of irrelevant, of course its overblown. No objective observer would believe he's won any debates against atheists.

Just look how badly you've faired here in the debate with me. You started out claiming the bible is our source of knowledge of right and wrong, after I pointed out just a fraction of the hideous evil in your bible you totally avoided the topic. You tried to deny what's in the bible because you can see yourself the actions described of your god character in the bible are inherenetly evil. You know yourself that these actions of your god aren't something you wish to acknowledge, that's why you've avoided debate on the specifics of what is actually in your bible. You want to make baseless claims about it being the source of morality but when it comes down to an analysis of what it acutally says you run the otherway because you know you can't defend the crap that's in your bible and the most despicable character in all of fiction - your Christian god.

January 04, 2008 1:25 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 04, 2008 1:40 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Randi

I think your evident hatred for God is so obvious that I don't think I need to do much to counteract your insinuations here. Really don't have time to go down the whole list. Apparently you don't either since you merely pasted it from another hate site and we don't know if you've personally endorsed everything on this list.

Nevertheless, I'll engage in some limited indulgence and discuss the first two from each Testament:

"Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two "virgin daughters" instead. He tells the bunch of angel rapers to "do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your eyes." This is the same man that is called "just" and "righteous" in 2 Peter 2:7-8"

This is something Lot did, not God. This is a mistake non-Christians make repeatedly. There is no character in the Bible whose behavior is supposed to provide a model of proper conduct other than Jesus.

The Bible says all have sinned and, thus, taken in context, for a person to be called righteous by scripture, their righteousness is simply relative to those around them. It could also be that Lot simply was not generally a bad guy but made a bad choice under duress with a mob beating down his door. You'll notice that Peter says he was righteous because he was distressed by the "sensual" conduct of his neighbors. He was living in a wicked culture and was oppressed by it.

In any case, to interpret from this that God endorsed the rape of Lot's daughters by a mob is ridiculous.

"Abraham shows his willingness to kill his son for God. Only an evil God would ask a father to do that; only a bad father would be willing to do it."

Actually, what Abraham showed was his trust in a righteous God. God had told Abraham that his heirs would become a great nation. So when God told Abraham to "offer" Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham already knew God would work for good. When Abraham offered, God confirmed this by not accepting the offer.

Why did Abraham not even object? Look in the previous chapter of Genesis. God also told Abraham to sent his other son, Ishmael, to a certain death by casting him into the wilderness. Abraham objected then but God told him not to worry. God saved Ishmael miraculously and made a great nation from his descendants.

And why did God go through the whole charade when he was just going to turn down Abraham's offer? The text doesn't say but a theory I find compelling is this: He was drawing a distiction between the false pagan gods of the wicked culture surrounding Abraham who would remain silent at human sacrifice and himself who had compassion for his creation.

"Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn't the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament"

The law was what brought the idea of morality to humanity. It still is the basis of our ideas of right and wrong. Jesus explained and also pointed out the unfortunate dilemna of man in relation to the law and provided hope. Nothing cruel about the ideas of righteousness.

"Families will be torn apart because of Jesus (this is one of the few "prophecies" in the Bible that has actually come true). "Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.""

This is a prophecy. It also points out that right and wrong are more important than family loyalty. You may object but, then, so does the Mafia.

Bottom line, Randi:

Can you find any Christian groups that approve of giving daughters to mobs to rape, fathers killing sons? Maybe you're misinterpretting. Maybe you're believing what someone else says because you want to.

January 04, 2008 2:01 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Hey Red Baron, if D'souza has such great arguments why didn't you avail yourself of any of them instead of hiding from the comments Emproph and I made? We can see who's fleeing in fear from arguments, and it ain't the atheists - its you.

January 04, 2008 2:01 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

"that's why you've avoided debate on the specifics of what is actually in your bible"

Either that or because, at 8 o'clock at night, I thought your facetious list wasn't worth responding to. I wanted to go watch coverage of election returns and the victory speech of Mike Huckabee. Looks like the Family Blah Blah movement is not yet dead. Sorry, TTF, I tried to warn you.

Randi, you are crazed with resentment, hatred and rationalization. Don't assume that you've won because you don't get a response to some lengthy pasted list from atheists-are-us.com. Your sad motvations are apparent to all.

January 04, 2008 2:15 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

"No objective observer would believe he's won any debates against atheists."

Apparently, the atheists do or they'd be jumping at a chance to travel around and boost books sales by showing everyone how smart they are.

As we have seen, Dawkins himself is having second thoughts about the outrageous moral arguments he makes.

BTW, I won't necessarily respond to any more crap from you immediately. Maybe never if a new interesting thread opens up.

If you're not already in counseling, you should consider it.

January 04, 2008 2:22 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "I think your evident hatred for God is so obvious that I don't think I need to do much to counteract your insinuations here."

One can't hate what doesn't exist. I hate the evil Christians do based on this imaginary character, I cannot hate the imaginary character itself. And its not insinuation, you have the book, chapter, and verse to verify the evil that your god character does in your bible. That you want to deny it is proof that you yourself reject the idea that the bible teaches us right and wrong - you know instinctively yourself that its wrong, for example to punish the innocent for the sins of others - something your "god" does repeatedly.

Red Baron said "This is something Lot did, not God. This is a mistake non-Christians make repeatedly. There is no character in the Bible whose behavior is supposed to provide a model of proper conduct other than Jesus....In any case, to interpret from this that God endorsed the rape of Lot's daughters by a mob is ridiculous.".


Obviously your "god" did endorse this as he promised to destroy all in Sodhom except the righteous and he saved Lot and his family because he considered them righteous.

Red Baron said "Actually, what Abraham showed was his trust in a righteous God.".

Ridiculous. No righeous "god" asks a father to kill his innocent baby. No righteous god thinks its a good thing that a father is willing to do so. We instinctively know this is an evil act by your "god" and Abraham. We obviously don't get our morality from such evil in your bible.

Red Baron said "The law was what brought the idea of morality to humanity. It still is the basis of our ideas of right and wrong. Jesus explained and also pointed out the unfortunate dilemna of man in relation to the law and provided hope. Nothing cruel about the ideas of righteousness.".

You're insane. There's nothing righteous about punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty. There's nothing righteous about eternally torturing innocent babies under the insane idea that they inherit the sin of Adam. There's nothing righteous about killing a rape victim because she doesn't scream loudly enough. There's nothing righteous about eternally torturing people for innocently believing in religions they were assured were the one true religion just as you were. There's nothing righteous about punishing children unto the fourth generation for the sins of the father. There's nothing righteous about stoning children to death for talking back to their parents. We instinctively know these things in the bible are wrong, you know they are wrong that's why you try to hide from them and deny that they exist in your bible even when given the book, chapter, and paragraph. The idea that the Israelites didn't know it was wrong to murder or steal prior to Moses is absurd - there's no way they would have survived as a people if they didn't have a fundamental understanding of right and wrong. That they did survive is proof that the concepts of right and wrong predated your bible.

If you believe Jesus is the model for proper Christian behavior then you must believe its appropriate to stone children to death for talking back to their parents - obviously you'll never agree to that because you know what Jesus is demanding is inherently evil.

If you believe the bible is the source of right and wrong you'd believe that the guilty are "justified" and "saved from wrath" by the blood of an innocent victim. Obviously every human knows that is evil because our sense of right and wrong clearly does not come from the bible otherwise we'd think its good and right to punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty.

January 04, 2008 2:29 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron, its fitting that you should run and hide from the evil that's in your bible. You can't address it because you know you can't defend it. Now go away you cowardly lover of evil, we've seen enough of your insanity.

January 04, 2008 2:39 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

You're obviously insane, Randi. This first response is obviously illogical, I'll just paste it and let others decide:

"Red Baron said "This is something Lot did, not God. This is a mistake non-Christians make repeatedly. There is no character in the Bible whose behavior is supposed to provide a model of proper conduct other than Jesus....In any case, to interpret from this that God endorsed the rape of Lot's daughters by a mob is ridiculous.".

Obviously your "god" did endorse this as he promised to destroy all in Sodhom except the righteous and he saved Lot and his family because he considered them righteous."

January 04, 2008 2:41 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I'm insane?! That's a good one. You're the one claiming the bible brought the idea of morality to people. The bible repeatedly punishes the innocent for the wrongdoings of the guilty. No right thinking person on earth thinks that's moral. No person on earth thinks that kind of evil in the bible is the right thing to do. No justice system on the planet punishes the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty - something the "god" character you sickeningly admire does repeatedly.

Now cowardly slink away like you promised.

January 04, 2008 2:57 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

No, on second thought before you go tell us that you think your god does the right thing by punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty. Let's have it on record just what kind of sick depraved person you are and what kind of evil you admire.

January 04, 2008 3:00 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Yes, Randi, you are, indeed, insane.

I won't respond to a question so easily answered.

Hey, btw, are you innocent?

January 04, 2008 3:09 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

That says a lot. You claim the bible is the source of people's morality yet you're afraid to praise your god's actions in punishing the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty. You're afraid to affirm that you believe disobedient children should be stoned to death, you're afraid to praise your god's ordering of genocide including the killing of innocent babies. Because you know its wrong. Thats why you won't praise your "god's" actions, because you know this characters actions are evil and you don't want to be associated with them.

If you had the courage of your convictions you'd come out and say like so many Christians I know have, that if god orders you to kill innocent people, that if god orders you to committ genocide that its a good thing. You know in your heart that your sense of right and wrong tells you this is evil and that's why you can't do that.

Acknowleged what's right Red Baron, acknowledge that morality doesn't come from the bible, that it comes from the idea that you can do whatever you want as long as you harm no one. Do the right thing Red Baron, reject the evil of your bible and embrace your LGBT brothers and sisters.

January 04, 2008 3:34 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

Hmmm...I wonder how long Randi will keep going on if I keep insisting the sky is blue.

Yes, Randi, you are, indeed, insane.

January 04, 2008 4:06 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

If believing its wrong to punish the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty means I'm insane then the vast majority of the planet is insane.

What are you afraid of Red Baron? If you believe the bible is what teaches people right from wrong why are you afraid to state that you believe its right and good to punish the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty? Why are you afraid to affirm that you believe disobedient children should be punished to death? Why are you afraid to praise your god for ordering the Israelites to invade land that doesn't belong to them, kill all the inhabitants (including innocent babies) whether or not the try to make a peace treaty?

Because you know those things are wrong and you don't want to be associated with such evil from your bible.

January 04, 2008 4:11 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

You're insane, Randi.

I'm just not sure if explaining something so basic to you would help you out or just get you more mixed up. It is interesting to observe how long you will keep calling up down though.

January 04, 2008 4:21 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Oh, by all means Red Baron, explain it to me how its right and good to punish the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty - I'd LOVE to hear that insanity.

Once again, what are you afraid of? If you have the courage of your convictions let's hear you say that it is right and good of your "god" to punish the innoncent for the wrongs of the guilty. You're obviously having a great deal of difficulty praising what's in your bible - because you know its evil.

January 04, 2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous THE red baron said...

Randi, you are indeed insane.

Keep blubbering.

January 04, 2008 4:50 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Come on Red Baron, you said we learn right and wrong from the bible and that Jesus is every Christians role model. Lets hear you state firmly and forcefully that you believe disobedient children should be stoned to death.

January 04, 2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron, you're having a lot of trouble justifying your bible, maybe you should call up D'souza and ask for some pointers - too bad he's afraid to debate me himself cause he knows he can't compete.

January 04, 2008 4:58 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

"Come on Red Baron, you said we learn right and wrong from the bible and that Jesus is every Christians role model."

A moment of lucidity.

Congragtulations, Randi. The meds must be kicking in.

Sanity is out there. Hang on to it.

January 04, 2008 4:58 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

That's pretty delusional of you Red Baron. Its clear that the bible is not the source of our knowledge of right and wrong and that Jesus is not a good role model - that's your belief, not mine, or is your small mind incapable of remembering what we've been arguing about?

If you truly believe those things why are you having so much trouble stating clearly and unequivocably that your god was good and right to punish the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty, good and right to committ genocide, good and right to demand that disobedient children be stoned to death?

Just admit it Red Baron, you know your bible is evil, admit it and unburden yourself of trying to defend the indefensible.

January 04, 2008 5:10 PM  
Anonymous the red baron said...

As everyone can see, Randi completely lost it yesterday after I pointed out that Dawkins has now retracted his comments about the evil effects of Christianity and then when I noted that the leading atheist authors are now refusing to debate D'Souza after losing a series of debates to him.

Randi also cut and pasted a long series of false insinuations from an atheist web site. Although no great debater myself, I did graciously agree to respond to the first two Randi listed from each of the Testaments and did so. Instead of countering or conceding on those four topics, Randi went into an insane tirade citing other passages that Randi preferred to discuss, making one wonder why Randi didn't go with what Randi considered Randi's strong points to begin with. Presumably, if I answered those, Randi would start flailing around to other points on the list until we'd gone through the whole list.

No matter. So the reader can judge for themselves what is making Randi feel so intellectually threatened, here's a link that will allow you to view the debates D'Souza had with three of the athiests who have now taken the Roberto Duran route and said "no mas." Happy viewing!:

http://www.tothesource.org/1_1_2008/1_1_2008.htm

January 05, 2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Emproph said...

Randi,

(no not you red baron. Don't click on it, and especially don't read the whole thing.)

The Epistle of Thomas to the Creationists

A couple of quotes:

"Herein lies the most obvious moral danger of religious faith. In taking themselves to be guided by divinely ordained commandments, theists may be tempted to relax the rigor with which they scrutinize their actions, and are thus capable of the most unspeakable atrocities. That is, secure in the faith that God wills a certain course of action, they may be prepared to disregard any suggestion (even from their own consciences) that this may not in fact be the morally correct thing to do. This is not to say that God may on occasion will us to do immoral things, but rather that we may, as fallible humans, sometimes be misled about exactly what it is that God expects of us. Unfortunately, it is also often a tenet of faith that to question God is itself an immoral act, and so it can become especially difficult to correct a moral error once it has been made on these grounds. This is because the difference between questioning a command of God and questioning one's own understanding of that command is a subtle one, not at all easily recognized, and harder yet when any doubt is seen as weakness of faith and therefore sinful in itself.

This pride is uniquely difficult to identify, for it is well cloaked in the garb of pious humility. What makes it so elusive is that it appears as a faith in God, when in reality it is a misplaced faith in one's own judgement. It may well be that God is just and perfect and incapable of error, but we most certainly are none of these things, and to act with the firm belief that one is in perfect harmony with God's perfectly just wishes is to lose sight of that truth. Indeed, the person who acts in this way is guilty of the greatest pride, for she puts her moral judgement on a level with God's. She claims to know with absolute certainty that which can be known only to God. The faith here, then, is not in God at all, but in the individual's own reliability in knowing God, and if we understand idolatry as the sin of ascribing divine significance to a human artifact, the pride involved is idolatrous when the individual believes her knowledge to be perfect in this regard."


BTW Red Baron, how's it possible to have a finite (Bible) description of infinity?

In order for a description of infinity (God) to be perfect, wouldn't it also have to be never ending?

How is it even possible to close the cannon on a never ending story?

January 06, 2008 8:54 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Red Baron said "As everyone can see, Randi completely lost it yesterday after I pointed out that Dawkins has now retracted his comments about the evil effects of Christianity.".

Far from completely losing it, I never even mentioned it because its a lie. Dawkins made no such statment.

Red Baron said "Randi also cut and pasted a long series of false insinuations from an atheist web site.".

LOL, Red Baron, the book, chapter, and verse is included for all those examples of evil from the bible. That you want to deny them highlights your desperation. Even when confronted with what your own bible says you can't accept the truth of its evil.

Once again Red Baron, if you believe the bible teaches you right from wrong and Jesus is your role model why are you having so much trouble saying its good and right to punish the innocent for the wrongs of the guilty as your "god" repeatedly does and why are you failing to advocate stoning disobedient children to death as your role model Jesus advocates? Because you know that's evil and you didn't get your morality from the bible.

January 07, 2008 1:03 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Emproph, the article you posted asked this question:

"Specifically, if there is no God, if the sole arbiter of morally upright conduct is the individual, then what stands between us and complete moral anarchy?".

There is no god, but it is false to say that the sole arbiter of morally upright conduct is the individual. The arbiter of morally upright conduct is society. If we act as individuals without any regard for others society will collapse and the individual will die with it. It is in the individual's best interest to cooperate with others, in fact its a necessity. Because of this there needs to be agreement on morality and that necessitates consideration of others. As long as there is a need to cooperate with others (and there always will be) there can be no moral anarchy.

January 07, 2008 3:08 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 07, 2008 3:22 PM  

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