Health Care: A Moral Imperative For Any Decent American

Health-care reform is an economic, political and medical issue. But On Faith panelist and evangelical leader Jim Wallis says it’s … Continued

Health-care reform is an economic, political and medical issue. But On Faith panelist and evangelical leader Jim Wallis says it’s also a “deeply theological issue, a Biblical issue and a moral issue.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

I’ll leave the biblical and theological mandate for universal health care to Jim Wallis, although it does seem reasonable that the Jesus of the gospels would not have bothered to heal the sick unless he believed that health care was a right. (Of course, a practicioner of right-wing religion might argue that Jesus didn’t heal all of the sick, so modern Christian insurers are free to exclude people with pre-existing conditions.)

As an atheist, I certainly agree that health care is a serious moral as well as social issue–and I resent attempts to claim a special religious status on this issue. The truth is that neither liberal secular nor liberal religious forces in our society have stepped up and fought for health care as a moral imperative in a way that has effectively countered the irrational right-wingers, like Sarah Palin, who have taken over this debate. All one sees and hears on television and the Internet is the rage of the vindictive right, which is using its lies about health care reform to attempt a nullification of the 2008 election.

There is, of course, plenty of room for debate about specific aspects of health care reform, but the ranks of the rampant right are opposed to paying for universal coverage, period. They don’t believe that health care is a right, and that don’t care how many millions cannot afford private insurance or suddenly find that their policies are canceled if they develop a serious, expensive illness.

And here’s the point: the right is using “downright evil” (to borrow Palin’s memorable phrase) tactics in its anti-reform battle. How disgusting it was to hear Palin use her Down Syndrome baby as an example of someone who would be likely put to death for being “unproductive” if government plays a bigger role in medicine. Palin’s baby, when he grows up, will receive Social Security disability–funded by the federal government that the lapsed governor of Alaska so loathes. And you know what? Sister Sarah will accept that money on behalf of her son. Without government–at the local, state, and national level–children with special needs would not have a prayer (you may excuse the expression coming from an atheist) of a decent education or health care unless they have rich parents.

One horrible effect of this immoral right-wing pressure has already manifested itself in the dropping of a proposal to allow Medicare to reimburse doctors for sessions with patients who want to discuss their end-of-life wishes. One of the reasons why end-of-life care is so expensive is that doctors frequently do not even know what their patients’ wishes are. In a 2006 poll by the Pew Research Center, only 20 percent of Americans over 65 said a doctor should always do “everything possible” to save a patient’s life. Approximately 69 percent disagreed. More communication between patients and doctors would surely result in more people’s wishes being followed–and that would be an unequivocally good thing.

The idea that government health care is bad medicine has been proved wrong by Medicare, which provides people over 65 with choices and a level of care that children and young adults do not have. The signs, “Keep Government Out of Medicare,” are the real proof of the utter ignorance that drives the anti-health care reform crazies. These kind of people would have (and did) oppose Medicare in 1965.

Opponents of universal health care are not only morally wrong but antirational. A coalition of secular and religious forces could raise a mighty voice on this issue, and I don’t know why it hasn’t happened. I have been very discouraged to read that the grass roots organizations that did so much to elect Obama have not responded in the same way when asked to contribute to health care reform. I think we need a huge march on Washington, with secular and religious voices united on health care as a right, not a privilege, resembling the march led by the Rev. Martin Luther King in 1963. Let atheists stand up with religious people and preach what Robert Green Ingersoll, the “Great Agnostic” of the 19th century, called “the greatest gospel that can be preached–the gospel of humanity.”

Finally, we (and by “we,” I mean anyone who is disgusted by the sight of thousands of people being obliged to line up in California for a free clinic that provides basic care like childhood vaccinations) should stop pretending that opposition to health care reform is all about health care. It isn’t. It is about an unreconciled minority that does not accept the legitimacy of an African-American president and is using every low tactic to achieve its goals by torpedoing attempts to improve health care. Just look at the posters, some with Obama wearing a Hitler mustache and some with Obama under the hammer-and-sickle. If these people get their way, it will be a failure for both secular and religious Americans who believe in a country that offers everyone the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” You certainly cannot pursue happiness, and you’re not likely to live very long, if your insurance company cancels your policy because you are diagnosed with cancer. Or because you have a Down Syndrome baby.

One reason I don’t believe in God is that if he existed, I just feel certain that he would inflict some really, really uncomfortable (not fatal–I’ve never liked the Passover tale of the plagues or the slaying of the Egyptian first-born) ailment on the screamers at town hall meetings. Something like poison ivy. No, not bad enough. Poison ivy plus a flu severe enough to make them seek medical attention. And then they’d have to wait, say, five or six hours to see their doctor, since physicians pack in too many patients .because insurance companies reimburse them for high-tech procedures, not talking with patients and treating ordinary miseries of the flesh. Yes, if there were a deity, he’d definitely spread around some nasty bacteria at the town halls. And he’d spare the too-polite proponents of reform. This fantasy god wouldn’t kill anyone but would just make a few wretched specimens of humanity feel like they were dying. Just for a while. Just enough to give them a touch of empathy for, say, parents who can’t afford medical care for a child with cancer.

But since this deity is only a myth, it’s the moral duty of both secularists and people of faith to preach that gospel of humanity. And some hard amoral facts would only add to the moral message. One of those facts is that we all pay for the uninsured, because they can only obtain needed medical care in emergency rooms. And when they do see a doctor, they are often very sick because whatever ails them was not identified at an early stage. We already have health care “rationing” of the worst kind–rationing based not on the seriousness of a disease but on ability to pay. This is not only a battle between good and evil, but between knowledge and ignorance.

Susan Jacoby
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  • Dermitt

    Contemplate all the governments of the world and the people who suffer under them, whether taxed into slavery or tortured out of existence, it’s power and revenue that the leaders crave and not principles. under this abominable depravity they promise everything while delivering death and misery thro war. Then they claim the doctors and health care providers are the devils. I’ll proceed to other considerations later.

  • volkmare

    You’re an atheist, and you talk about Jesus healing the sick.Isn’t that self contradicting?The fact that Jesus healed the sick with a simple touch, means to me there was a lot more to him than being just another man. Roman oppression was real, but medicine in that age could not do that, nor can it now.Mark

  • Muckenfuss

    Volkmare wrote:”The fact that Jesus healed the sick with a simple touch, means to me there was a lot more to him than being just another man. “Sorry, bud…that is not a FACT. That is an assertion. FACTS can be proven. There is no factual evidence to support that assertion.Always seek the truth.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    The politically conservative religious people are indeed using immoral tactics to oppose health care reform, for an immoral reason, because they do not like President Obama’s skin color.Volkmare, seek that truth, why don’t you?How can you justify, as a Christian, all the lies and deceptions that “your people” are promoting in this debate? Who do you think you are fooling? Why don’t you just say what you’re thinking, instead of making up so many lies? American infant mortality is pretty high, if you count all Americans. But it is pretty good, if you just count white people. And the President really was born in America, not Kenyan, you just don’t want a black man for President, so any old excuse to trash him will do.Why you just admit all that? It is the elephant in the room.

  • Muckenfuss

    Here’s a little something to curdle your blood: Shades of Monte Cristo.

  • ccnl1

    From previous commentators:”While Washington debates health care, another study reports that obesity may have cost the health care system $147 billion in 2008. Now if Republicans really believed in the marketplace, they would propose charging fat people more for health insurance. Same for smokers, gun owners, and heavy drinkers.”Bravo!!!Add to that charging more (or not covering)for treatment of STDs which as per the CDC costs $14+ billion/year.And then there is this:Smoking-related medical costs averaged more than $100 billion each year between 2000 and 2004. This translates to $2,197 in extra medical expenses for each adult smoker per year as of 2004. For each pack of cigarettes sold or given away in 2004, $5.34 was spent on medical care caused by smoking, and $5.28 lost in productivity, for a total cost to society of $10.62 per pack. “Bottom line: Those who live healthy life styles should not have to pay for the health care of those who don’t!!!

  • ccnl1

    And “Muckenfuss”, the probability wave, returns yet once again!!! Not the infectious comments of Homeland1 but still you must wonder about the said “Muckenfusses” of this blog!!!

  • Athena4

    Dermitt – if you want to live in a place with no government to enslave you with taxes, move to Somalia. For the rest of us, I’m happy with civilization and will gladly pay the taxes necessary to keep and improve our standard of living.

  • Dermitt

    If you make a mess in Somalia, it might be an improvement.

  • onofrio

    Susan Jacoby,I very much like the MO of your “fantasy god”.A joy it is when someone utterly trumps the purportedly *real* god with a bit of god-making imagination.I salute!

  • daniel12

    Part four.Essentially what the left does is turn every American with blood other than white against white America–even if one is turned against one of one’s parents. Of course the true story is one of racism against racism, the right wing rejecting anyone with blood other than white, and the left wing pitting anyone with blood other than white against white America. Transparently obvious racism on both sides. But apparently the racism of the left is less noticed.As for criticizing America in its entirety–a problem of both political parties–we can say Americans are weak, greedy and feeling they deserve special consideration. We have so many people ruining their health with bad habits and sheer gluttonous behavior (working toward becoming obese) and expecting medicine to not only cure them of these problems but support them in their continued exercise. And of course we have Americans whatever their political party trying to live as long as possible, squeezing out that last little bit of life even if it means lying in a hospital bed ratcheting up medical costs against the younger members of society. The right wing of course recoils in horror of any mention of euthanasia for the elderly, but the left is not so bold to say we should practice such let actually practice such. And of course we have greed by doctors, insurance companies, drug companies, etc. The list goes on.But this problem of healthcare in America is not entirely bad, for it gives us an excuse to speak of so many different aspects of America–for so many different aspects of America meet in Healthcare. All that remains to be said here is that the writer has no healthcare and in consequence is even more concerned about preventive measures against anything that will deteriorate health than he was with healthcare. I keep my weight down–in fact go a little bit hungry (but not too hungry of course) rather than be satiated–and exercise (although I need to get back into the routine I had a year or two ago). And I take excellent care of my teeth (dental concerns is probably around 40% of hygiene). And I am mostly vegetarian–and buy the best foods, such as vine-ripe tomatoes, Evian water, etc.Really whether one is of the right or left one should take one’s health in hand. One should not leave one’s health to the politics of the day.

  • daniel12

    Part three.The left wing of course is for universal coverage in its constant attempts to satisfy a progressive moral imperative, that all people should be treated as equal. This moral imperative of the left is stronger than the right wing imperative in that it seems economic costs and quality of healthcare are subordinate to the progressive moral imperative–an imperative which is more concerned with putting everyone on an identical level (and which of course is identical to a political concern) whether it means the sacrificing of individual initiative and meritocracy or not. Also we can detect a blatant racism from the left wing which is all the more insidious for being practiced and not at all noticed by the left.By left wing racism I mean something which should be transparently obvious. Have a white American marry a black or Hispanic and let them have children. Everyone of course will call the children black or Hispanic. The racist from the right of course will be resistent to the children having other blood than white, but the left wing in general will call the children anything other than white–and not only that, the children will be pressured in growing up to stand for whichever race they happen to be mixed with, even though of course they are anything but purely that race. And of course the children will be pitted against white America. Thus we have Obama half black and raised by his white mother only spoken of as black–African-American–and expected to be a sterling example of the possibility of blacks making it in American society.

  • daniel12

    Part two.And these two types of faith, moral imperative, seem to have two different degrees of strength in the United States. One would think the religious moral imperative the stronger, and it is true the religious, the right wing (for convenience sake) are against such things like abortion and any hint of euthanasia, but the religious imperative seems to be not as strong as economic, political and medical considerations.The right wing although the home of the religious moral imperative seems concerned that universal health coverage will mean greater economic cost–and at the price of the more wealthy, the more successful, and at the price of reducing individual initiative–and that it will have political cost because it undermines right wing politics and has society decisively to the left. Also we can detect a concern on the purely medical front in that there is concern healthcare will deteriorate under universal coverage. And there is a racist/economic component as well in that traditionally the right is wary of usurpation of white America, and concerned whether certain minorities really are good for America as liberals–the left–assert.

  • daniel12

    Part one.Health care reform in the United States a moral imperative?Yes, health care reform in the United States is a moral imperative and not just an economic, political and medical issue, but if we enter this problem by reducing it to political parties which everyone will say is no simplification of the problem but the very ground on which the problem rests we have two very different conceptions of “moral imperative”.We can say that the right wing means by moral imperative an imperative backed by religious faith, while the left means by moral imperative an imperative backed by “progressive faith”, a faith that all peoples will be truly taken as equal (no racism) and that man will move forward toward greater sophistication by man acting out of his own will and intelligence without necessarily having religious faith.

  • rubytues63

    I like the idea behind the Right to Free Medical Treatment, but does that mean that we force doctors and hospitals to work for free? That’s what we’re doing now. Emergency Rooms are filled to overflowing with people who can’t pay. Those who have insurance pay for those who can’t afford it by paying more for the services they get. It’s almost like a tax, but not quite since the government doesn’t actually get to touch the money.I hear that Doctors make too much. They’re greedy. The average physician is in school until he’s 26 years old and then works for scratch as an intern or resident for at least two more years. Finally, approaching thirty and saddled with a hundred-thousand dollars in school loans, we finally let them make some money. But we expect the moon. In almost any other profession a ninety percent success rate is an ‘A’, but if a doctor gets one out of ten things wrong he’s a quack. Lawyers circle our hospitals like prowling sharks. How can you expect a doctor to do what they do for 50 or 60 grand a year? Their liability insurance is often two or three times that amount.The problem with American health care is not with health care. It’s the best in the world. The problem is that nobody wants to pay for it. The government would have us believe that better, more affordable health care is as simple as taking the existing system and adding a layer of bureaucracy on top of it. If this sounds stupid then maybe it is. I know when I think of streamlined processes or outstanding models of efficiency, Uncle Sam is not the first guy that comes to mind.So, believing that you get what you pay for, what additional percentage of your income are you willing to give to the Federal Government to pay for Universal Health Coverage? If you’re not thinking well into the double digits, or that someone else is going to pay the increased taxes and not you, then think again. Even taxed at 100%, we’d run through Oprah’s billions in a day or two.A man who is moral on someone else’s dime is not moral, but self-righteous and self-serving – a thief and a crook. So until we begin having intelligent, non-partisan conversations about the true cost and value of reworking the system, many moral people will continue to oppose this version of The Right to Free Medical Treatment.And feel free to bring Jesus into it if you want to, but he had almost no luck fixing the existing bureaucracy either. In fact, that’s what killed him.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    When it is abortion, that is called “baby-killing.” But when it is real baby killing, that is just part of having the “best health care system in the world” that does not need any improvement, because it would inconvenince all of the politically conservative relgious sore-heads who would not even unclench their fingers from a nickel for Jesus.It is easy to cry phoney tears for aborted fetuses, but it is difficult to actually get up off your behind and do something to help in this tires old world.

  • volkmare

    Muckenfuss If it is inconvenient to your platform, you just say it hasn’t been proven.Be careful, one day you will fall off that rickity soap box your standing on.Mark

  • JDSidney

    It’s funny how Liberals will shout for Separation of Church and State until they’re blue in the face. Now that it suites them, liberals are trying to guilt-trip everyone into supporting this Bill on moral and religious grounds.~Hysterical~Faith based generosity means giving out of your own pocket. The Bible DOES NOT call for believers to pass on all responsibility to the government OR let wealthier people do all the giving for them.

  • peterhuff

    The Health Care debate in your country is an illustration of what happens when there is no fixed standard in which to measure the moral good by. Everyone seems to have their own panacea to the problem and their own view of what is right.That is the same problem that causes so many of the disagreements, skirmishes and fighting throughout the world this very day; one believed “wise” subjective moral opinion/basis pitted against another, whether that basis comes from a dictator or a cultural group, that has no fixed, objective reference point.Many people on these posts issue forth their cure-all and yet can’t make sense of why their particular opinion is the morally right one (other than their particular preference), or they can’t point to an objective standard that can make sense of morality. They have never pushed the issue to its ultimate and senseless conclusion of a world view outside of the Christian God.Susan, Muckenfuss, Onofrio, Daniel 12, Danielinthelionsden, PaganPlace, CCNL and so many others issue forth their moral view and hope others to side with their opinion that has no objective fixed standard to measure their morality by, because they deny that reference point – the Christian God.But one thing I appreciate about these forums, is that it allows people to discuss and argue their position instead of physically coming to blows. You only have to turn on the world news to see what happens when the discussion ends. It is ever man/group for himself/themselves and every man’s/groups opinion as the morally “right” course of action.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    JDSidney You use the word “liberal” like it is a slur, like a racist uses the “N” word or a homophobe uses the “F” word. There, right off the bat, your crediblity is shot. The ugly tone of your comment does not indicate that you have any kind of Christian attitude or sympathy. Therefore, what even is your point?Separtation of Church and state is a legal doctrine, which operates in the United States, whose origins go back to Thomas Jefferson, who insisted that it be included in the Constitution before Virginia would ratify it. You make it sound like it is something bad. But it is not.And, I don’t think that politically conservative religious people need to worry about anyone “guilting” them into anything. The hyposcrisy of this type of person, which includes you as demonstrated in your commennts, runs wild and unchecked.You can’t feel guilt if you don’t have a conscience. And I think that it has become clear, in these town hall meetings, that there is no ugly or dirty trick that these rubes will not try, with their “Jerry Springer” antics, and guns strapped to their hips, to intimidate and threaten anyone with an ounce of sense. God! How Christian can you possibly be?

  • ccnl1

    But did Jesus really perform any of those NT/healing miracles that Peterhuff believes in?????Unfortunately, Peterhuff has not ventured past the NT with respect to the “miracles” of the simple preacher man. Had he, he would find that many contemporary NT exegetes such as Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists, have concluded that said “miracles” are simply more myths added in most part by the author of John’s gospel to kick this simple preacher man, aka Jesus, up a few notches to the realm of deity.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Peter HuffYour comprehension of a subtle and complex word is coarse and unsubtle. And you never miss an opprotunity to get a dig in at people who are not as “refined” in their thinking as you are.The reference point that I deny is your false characterization of God. Other than that, and beyond that, you do not presently have the capcity to comprehend.However,I have hopes, that you may someday be roused from your somnambulist stupor enough to feel some regret for the attitude of a “Christian, a person, “superior” to all of the unsaved, who require your prayers, in order to be made whole.The attitude is a little off-putting. And I am going to keep saying it, until the attitude abates.

  • Muckenfuss

    Volkmare wrote:”If it is inconvenient to your platform, you just say it hasn’t been proven.”Unproven assertions, passed of by the semiliterate as being “facts” are always inconvenient. You got caught with your pants down, Mark. You need to spend a little time studying introductory logic.Always seek the TRUTH, Mark. That means, look for proven FACTS.

  • globalone

    “And I think that it has become clear, in these town hall meetings, that there is no ugly or dirty trick that these rubes will not try, with their “Jerry Springer” antics, and guns strapped to their hips, to intimidate and threaten anyone with an ounce of sense”Daniel,Did you see this kind of demonstration when President Obama illegally folded up GM and awarded it to the Labor Unions sitting comfortably in his back pocket? How about when he announced the truly idiotic “Cash for Clunkers” program? Or the numerous times that he strays from the teleprompter and gets “foot in mouth” disease?While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the antics that I’ve seen, it’s pretty obvious that a large number of people don’t like the fact that President Obama is shoving a doomed health care plan (see: Canada) down our throats.Wouldn’t it make more sense to attack an insurmountable problem piece by piece? Why can’t both parties take a year or two to tweak/fix those things that can be repaired so we don’t end up like Canada?

  • Athena4

    People who are screaming about the “government getting between the doctor and patient” should think twice about that sentence. They’re perfectly willing to have the government get between a pregnant woman and a doctor who performs abortions. In fact, they’re all for that. So, I guess all of these people who are screaming about the government involvement in health care are pro-choice, right?

  • Draesop

    It is always interesting to note the association of President Obama with images of Hitler. The people promoting this seem to conveniently forget that Mr Hitler had the cooperation of American leaders in politics and business. The US Government at the time, while supportive of deadly racist policies at home seemed to see little threat from Mr Hitler and his elected government. Continuing current health insurance policies as they are will put Mr Hitler’s death camps’ mortality figures down the line somewhere. The Institute of Medicine has pointed out that tens of thousands of people die each year because of inaccessible and inadequate healthcare. We tend to blame those who suffer and die much as some blamed the Jews under the Third Reich for not escaping their eventual killers. It is my understanding that a ship bearing many of these eventual victims was denied disembarkation rights at an American port. I just wish that those using Hitler images were more complete in their comparisons. They need to be reminded that, like most of them, Hitler was a white man. I must add that watching some of their appearances at Town Hall meetings, including guns strapped on their bodies and uncontrolled, inarticulate shouting, makes me remember those scenes at Little Rock, Ark. when a similar group was denying a few teenagers access to a public school (more identifiable with SS activity than with President Obama).

  • onofrio

    Danielinthelionsden,Thee to Peter Huff:More power to you Daniel :^) Sad to say, Peter Huff’s ‘tood will not abate. I have the scars to prove it. He endorses endless torture for all except TULIP lovers. Even little children. And this, Daniel, is JUSTICE.Default Hell is a powerful addiction – like a mental nuke for every challenge.Nevertheless, bon chance, ami!

  • onofrio

    Danielinthelionsden,As for your comments on US health care and its injustices, and the perfidies of the Right-eous, I SALUTE!

  • bruce18

    Susan, you wrote

  • pseudo

    Is healthcare really a moral imperative?Your mother lay dying a long drawn out death They said as a child that she’d had the measlesThe cost of the drugs that would save her lifeThey say the free market that its always best

  • peterhuff

    Hello CCNL,CCNL: “But did Jesus really perform any of those NT/healing miracles that Peterhuff believes in?????”Obviously, from the “experts” you are conjuring up, no. You take the liberal, “enlightened” view of the 18th century German reconstructionists, who call themselves “higher critics.” CCNL: “Unfortunately, Peterhuff has not ventured past the NT with respect to the “miracles” of the simple preacher man. Had he, he would find that many contemporary NT exegetes such as Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists, have concluded that said “miracles” are simply more myths added in most part by the author of John’s gospel to kick this simple preacher man, aka Jesus, up a few notches to the realm of deity.”From these magnificent scholars you pull up most of your biased information on the Bible.None of these people were there twenty centuries ago and they go against much of what was believed before they came along. If I had the time and you provided your sources I could refute a lot of what you are saying, but that would just be comparing one “expert” with another. Your problem is that you have long discounted that the Bible is what it says it is, the Word of God, by listening to all your biased experts. Your world view will not allow you to do so, because you would then have to reconstruct it all over again. You cannot prove the Bible is not the Word of God. All you can do, CCNL, is find the “expert” that backs up you claim.I do not see you as being serious in your quest for truth. You dismiss the only view that can make sense of anything. But to go on, let’s take your world view a step further. What is your answer for why we are here, how you know for certain, what difference it makes and your destiny when you are dead?For origins of life and the universe there are four possible causes. 1) Life and universe originated by chance or accident, 2) Life and universe originated by a supernatural cause, 3) Life and the universe has always existed, 4) It is just an illusion. Do you have another possibility? If not what do you believe and how do you make sense of it?

  • Muckenfuss

    Peter Huff wrote:”You cannot prove the Bible is not the Word of God.”It doesn’t work that way, son. You are claiming the bible is the word of god. The burden of proof lies with you. Without proof, which of course you cannot supply, the bible is nothing more than a stack of paper with printing on it.

  • peterhuff

    Hello again Daniel,My holiday are almost to a close so you will not have to put up with my annoying questions for much longer. GANIEL: “Your comprehension of a subtle and complex word is coarse and unsubtle. And you never miss an opprotunity to get a dig in at people who are not as “refined” in their thinking as you are.”I’m sorry, the only way I can make sense of this statement is if you meant world instead of word? If not please explain yourself. As for the dig, I’m trying to make sense of how you people can make such claim audacious statements, as you do, all the while denying the only way that can make sense of them exists. DANIEL: “The reference point that I deny is your false characterization of God. Other than that, and beyond that, you do not presently have the capcity to comprehend.”There again Daniel, just saying it is so does not necessarily make it so. From what I have seen of your posts I would characterize your statements as false.Help me to comprehend. What is your final reference point? Is it objective? Is it a written source that we can refer too? No, did not think so? So thanks for shooting the breeze!However,I have hopes, that you may someday be roused from your somnambulist stupor enough to feel some regret for the attitude of a “Christian, a person, “superior” to all of the unsaved, who require your prayers, in order to be made whole.”I never said I was superior to anyone on these forums. I’m sure that many are a lot smarter than me, but it is only the Christian who seems to grasp the significance of what I am saying because they know the God of the Bible and they know in Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). Yes, I can point you to the One who is superior and yet is humble and gentle, but it is you that needs to be woken from your slumber first before you see Him.CCNL: “The attitude is a little off-putting. And I am going to keep saying it, until the attitude abates.”That is because I am pushing at the heart of your unbelief, your core values that go contrary to the Word of God. I can see how it would be unsettling. You can’t make sense of them.Yes, it will abate soon. I’m back to work on Friday. If you want to get a licking in say your piece now, for obviously you think I am foolish (Proverbs 26:5).

  • peterhuff

    Hi Muchenfuss,ME: “You cannot prove the Bible is not the Word of God.”MUCHRENFUSS: “It doesn’t work that way, son.”I’m assuming you are old enough to be my father? Hi daddy! MUCHRENFUSS: “You are claiming the bible is the word of god. The burden of proof lies with you. Without proof, which of course you cannot supply, the bible is nothing more than a stack of paper with printing on it.”The proof is the impossibility of the contrary. I have challenged you guys (and gals) to make sense of anything without first presupposing the God of the Bible. You have not been able to do that. Until you can do that I leave my proof at these beginning stages.Tell me Muchenfuss, do you have a fixed objective reference point that you can point to the would make me believe that anything you say has absolute, ultimate value to it? If not then it is just your opinion blowing in the wind. Yahoo! Why would I want to take what you say as my ultimate reference point? Can you give me a reason why it is meaningful?Please do not clamp up on me now. (-:

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Since all our opinions are mere passing flatulence in your exalted view, Sir Oracle, perhaps you could bring your *fixed objective point of reference* to bear on the topic of the thread.Can you offer anything constructive about Health Care? Surely your *objective point of reference* will supply the necessary basis for administrative effectiveness in this regard. Do tell. Or do we all have to become TULIP Calvinists first?

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee:And you have not been able to:1) Demonstrate that you can be taken seriously as a spokesman for this “God of the Bible”.2) Prove that your interpretation of this “God of the Bible” is in fact authoritative and correct.3) Demonstrate the *the Bible* itself is authoritative and correct in all its particulars.4) Appreciate why you so alienate other threadlings. It’s not because they are scared of your big, heavy Truth; it’s because you have already decided, before they have even posted a word, that their answers are WRONG.5)And lots more besides…Every post of yours essentially says to the addressee:Threadlings here avoid going all presuppositional with you because:1) You have already shown you will pay their views absolutely ZERO respect.2) They already know what you will say in response (sameold line about that *absolute objective reference point* that you have and they don’t – YAWN).3) They know that engaging with you will get them bogged down in an endless stream of proof texts with a smug *Repent or Perish* garnish. Peter, in threadly terms you are an utterly predictable bore. Thee:What a COP OUT!

  • volkmare

    Muckenfuss “…caught with my pants down…”?I guess my statement just zipped right over your head, didn’t it.If something is inconvenient to your platform you come up with some illogical statement like “caught with your pants down” to cover your fall from your soap box.The truth is, Jesus did heal the sick. There are multiple accounts in the bible that are backed up by many non canonized texts. He has even done it at my request.But if that is too much for you to handle then you do have a problem.Mark

  • Muckenfuss

    Volkmare wrote:”He has even done it at my request.”Obviously he has done nothing to heal your delusions and invincible ignorance.I have a wonderful book I’ve read, one of several, that describes the miracle cures that are attributed to the horns of unicorns. It must be true…it has beeen written. And there are so many books about unicorns, they must exist. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been written as books.

  • onofrio

    Muckenfuss,Nice work with the unicorns vs Volkmare, that female horse of the Teutonic people.I salute.

  • ccnl1

    Some obvious “observations”- Peter Huff has been Bred, Born and Brainwashed in his version of old time Christianity and no NT exegete will bring him around to seeing the real, embellished and mythical Christianity.Muckenfuss returns yet again. And again we ask, who is this probability wave? There is a familiar theme in his/her reponses. Hmmmm???

  • Muckenfuss

    Onofrio wrote:”Nice work with the unicorns vs Volkmare, that female horse of the Teutonic people.”Yep, you cant do any better than to put your faith in unicorns. I prayed to unicorns and I was healed of pancreatic cancer. Hallelujah! Unicorns be praised.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Yes Peter Huff, Onofrio is right. Your point of reference is based on a theology, which is basically an instruction of belief, written by other men, usually in committees, usually as political compromise, sometimes at the mercy of political and military force, sometimes as the agenst of political and military force and modified and changed throughout the ages, not according to what is true, but according to the political vogue of the day, and what the king or Pope may or may not consider valid or not valid. You are not a serious person; I agree with Onofrio. One thing that I do believe, that one day you will acknowlege how far afield you have gone, and you will be regretful. You will look back on yourself, as you are now, and you will sigh, “how silly I was back then.” I base this on my own experience of life, not being anymore a young man.

  • onofrio

    Muckenfuss,With your healing unicorns and Susan J’s fantasy god, I think we may have found a solution to America’s Health Care woes. And a bona fide *absolute objective point of reference* to boot! I challenge all the *guys and gals* here to make sense of anything without first presupposing unicorns and the great nongod X (and Susan J is his prophet! May all who deny it be haram and anathema…)Anyone who won’t acknowledge this is just suppressing the truth! They will get their *just desserts* – sardine blancmange with gibbon liver sorbet, for eternity…What? Is not the great X a nongod of justice as well as love?

  • Muckenfuss

    Peter Puff wrote:”Why would I want to take what you say as my ultimate reference point?”That an “ultimate reference point” is necessary, or even possible, is another of your presuppositions that fail.Actually, boy, I’m not interested in convincing you of anything. I think you have the right to wallow in your ignorance as much as you desire.

  • onofrio

    Volkmare,Thee:O female horse of the Teutonic people,Given that:1) the NT was composed entirely by zealous Jesus fans;2) such highly partisan reportage is likely to suppress some facts and embellish or invent others;I wouldn’t credit those “multiple accounts in the Bible” as prima facie documentary *proof*.I don’t exempt the NT writers from the all-too-human tendency to construct coherent meaning out of resistant actuality, at times by highly artificial means. Others might call that *lying*, but that’s perhaps overly simplistic. *Spin doctoring* is perhaps closer to the mark. To credit a NT miracle story as fully factual is a matter of faith and submission to authority. It’s not *proven*. In the end, one is constrained simply to trust the good faith of the storyteller … or not.

  • ukba

    Onofrio,You wrote: “… the great nongod X (and Susan J is his prophet! May all who deny it be haram and anathema…)”I like that; it reminds of something else I know. However, the use of the word haram here is not quite accurate; another word which has a closer meaning to anathema could be la’ana. As always, it is nice reading your posts.

  • peterhuff

    Okay guys, you’ve swamped me and I’m back to work tomorrow. So here goes to as many responses as I can.DanielintheLionsDen: “I do not have a point of reference, as you claim.”Finally, you admit it. So you can’t make sense of it after all. All you can do is speculate at what truth is. I can find an “expert” to counter your expert’s speculation any day.So where do we stand? We stand at the point I have been trying to drive home since last year on this on faith forum. Without an objective, ultimate, universal, omniscient Being, a final, fixed measure and standard that sees every facet of every fact there is no good or qualitative standard to measure good by, just preference or what is imposed by force, no truth, no consistency, no uniformity of nature or fixed laws. But that is not what you believe, so you borrow from the Christian world view that we can make sense of these things. DITLD: “But I have a concept of seeking, observing, and acknowleging truth, as a sort of art, which is complex and involves an understanding of “consensus” of belief among many professional and scientific groups about things that we do not have personal experience with, which involves capacity for understanding and critical and abstract thought, which involves the gathering to oneself a collection of knowledge revealed through previous generations and arranging this collection in some way that makes sense of the world.”Sure, you start with a core, foundational starting point or belief and then you make everything fit into it by gathering as many “expert” who tingle your ears as you can find. Evolutionary science (and that is whar we are talking when about from your standpoint when you speculate) has proved itself wrong countless times. All you can do is think you have it right now. But the “consensus” is still that the universe and life had a beginning, and by a random, blind, chance at that. How do you arrive at probability by chance beginning? How do you arrive at uniformity by chance? How do you arrive at laws by chance? How do you arrive at truth by chance beginnings? You don’t. In a chance universe anything can happen. How do you arrive at life from non-living matter? Please show me how chemical reactions can create living beings. No, in everything you see life comes from the living.

  • themoderate

    Is healthcare is a moral imperative?No? Then it is okay to watch your neighbors die when you could just as well do something about it? Christians among you, remember that He said: “What you have done for the least of these you have done for me.” “What you have not done for the least of these you have not done for me.” Yes? Then perhaps life is sacred? Atheists among you: Is life at least special in some way? Why is that in a cold pitiless uncaring universe. Why does the passing of your neighbor matter?Remarkably, it seems we have Atheist Susan taking the position that there is a moral imperative to save our neighbors. But but Susan, where does that come from? Is there a moral law that commands this?Remarkably, it seems we have some conservatives complaining that if our neighbors lives cost us something they should lay down and die instead.Whence have we come? And from where?Now me personally, I believe that the lives of my fellows are sacred because they, like me, are the children of (the) God(s). I see it as my sacred duty to participate in helping when needed. Perhaps not to the point of beggaring myself or the nation, but yes, it is my duty to help.So denizens of On Faith, how say you? Is life sacred? Or failing that suspiciously theistic appellation, does life matter? Any thoughts?

  • onofrio

    Ukba,Thee:Thank you for the suggestion, Ukba. Sorry for the malapropism :^) I salute. Does la’ana contain “no”?Best Regards.

  • onofrio

    Danielinthelionsden,Re Peter’s Huffing,See what I mean?

  • themoderate

    DIXIESC:”… the early Catholic Church in the US provided health care free of charge. The Catholic Church established numerous nuns to staff its hospitals. Health care owes a debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church.”Well said. They did, and Catholic Healthcare still does. Just for the record, I was born at Mercy Hospital, once a fine Catholic financed and run hospital. The Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Jews, to name just some, have also financed and built first rate healthcare systems in this country. Much of the foundation of the healthcare system was built by these groups. The mission of humanitarian service is at the core of their excellence.

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee to Danielinthelionsden:”If you were serious you would find out how you can know what is good without a fixed, objective, absolute qualitative reference.” “God is the necessary point of reference in order to make sense of anything.””Christianity is the only one that can make sense of the way things are.”SAMEOLD, SAMEOLD, SAMEOLD, SAMEOLD, SAMEOLD MAGIC WORDS AND MANTRAS…Yet another instance of your tedious litanising. You are a clanging cymbal, a monomaniac, a bore.Don’t bother posting again; we’ve read it all before.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Justacomment,I had replied to your post but lost power due to a lightning strike and will have to start over. Times short, so hopefully sometime this weekend.

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee to Justacomment:Just cut-and-paste. Why not? You post the sameold thing every time anyway.As for that lightning strike, perhaps your objective absolute reference point is trying to tell you something…

  • onofrio

    Moderate,Thee:Bravo. Thank the Lord you are so righteous (within reason of course); not like that miserable tax-collector over there…why, you give an nth of all you own!Bravo. Well done. Front of the class.

  • onofrio

    Moderate,Thee:I can see where this is leading. You’ve situated yourself as a doyen of doing good, and insinuated heavily that atheists have no real basis for altruism. Huff-like.Can you accept that many people genuinely empathise with their fellow beings without reference to some sort of theological presuppositional framework, or cherished theory of sacrality? Thee:Epic. Do you seriously think we will work that out in this forum, on this thread? (insert condescending riposte here) Or is it the case rather that you already have the answers, and want to set the scene for handing them down – a Huff with finesse. So let’s skip the presuppositional striptease, and have some answers. Whence have we come, Moderate? And from where?And do you think effective altruism is at death’s door sans theological justification?

  • MGT2

    Susan,Reading the paragraph beginning with “One reason I don’t believe in God is…” am I sensing that maybe, possibly, OMG…could it be that somewhere deep inside, somewhere within your psyche, you…you actually entertain the…the possibility of the Divine? For certainly, your sense of divine retribution was unmistakableI believe in God, in fact, I am sold out for God. I totally agree with your expressed sentiments on health care reform including your characterization of those who are opposing a truly moral initiative and those belonging to the “wing-nut” fringe. But imagine my delight to read that paragraph–it is pure icing. It is just one more proof, God is!

  • dixiesc

    Just for informational purposes, the early Catholic Church in the US provided health care free of charge. The Catholic Church established numerous nuns to staff its hospitals. Health care owes a debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church.

  • peterhuff

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes. I’m just not catching them.Muchenfuss, so far no response. I’m off to bed.Peter

  • ukba

    Onofrio, “Why are you surprised? Of course we’ll do that. Your own worldview tells you we must. It’s our nature. YOU TELL US SO, repeatedly. We are enemies of God, so we ACT LIKE ENEMIES. It’s so simple…”You raise a very good point; I always wondered about that myself. If humans are depraved and so lost how can they KNOW if they are doing the right thing? How can they be sure about anything? Humans after all cannot trust themselves to choose the right path because they are hopelessly lost and without a clue. I think that’s how Christianity gave us the doctrine of election and predestination. Salvation therefore is only for the elect, the chosen few. Peter Huff should count his belssings and leave us lost souls alone basking in our depravity.

  • ccnl1

    One more time!!!!Bottom line: Those who live healthy life styles should not have to pay for the health care of those who don’t!!!

  • Carstonio

    “One reason I don’t believe in God is that if he existed, I just feel certain that he would…”That paragraph reads like an irrational type of venting, and it’s disappointing to see Jacoby express such misplaced certainty. She makes the same unfounded assumption that most theists make, that a god has to be on the side of justice or benevolence. She doesn’t acknowledge the possibility that gods may be malevolent or simply indifferent. There’s no basis for making any assumptions about gods, including the assumption that they exist. Indulging in wish-fulfillment fantasies of divine justice is not only pointless but offensive.

  • Carstonio

    Or put another way, wishing suffering on someone is morally the same as inflicting it.

  • edbyronadams

    DanielintheLionsDen”You seem to belittle sick people.”No intention to belittle sick people. A huge amount of money is spent on people past 80 clinging on to life. That, IMHO, is brought about by denial of the inevitability of death and a willingness to spend vast sums of other people’s money for a few more days.We cannot have a rational discussion about health care without talking about rationing and that brings out the irrational in many, a state of mind engendered by the denial of death.

  • MGT2

    DanielintheLionsDenI agree with your last four posts.

  • themoderate

    Ono:”I can see where this is leading. You’ve situated yourself…” as the virtuoso of vituperation; the impresario of importunity; the huckster of heckling. 🙂 Have you noticed that you are in a never ending series of battles wherein you belittle your opponents rather than explore ideas? Have you noticed how blinding that is?And, as usual, you miss the point. Having been an Atheist for decades, despite my best efforts, I could not maintain my faith that the Universe simply happened so perfectly of its own accord. Thus I have sympathy for both sides in the debate. As old Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” A corollary is that you cannot examine an issue, to say nothing of your life, without simultaneous mental access to multiple competing viewpoints. You could profit greatly by opening your mind, ever so slightly, to see things from the viewpoints of others. Even others such as your current round of opponents.

  • edbyronadams

    Susan Jacoby is certainly overwrought on this subject. She, although an atheist, claims that such a thing as a “right to health care” exists. Where do these rights that the liberals assert spring from, Certainly not from the mind of the “Creator”? I suspect that they merely arise from a fervid imagination.Talk of rights and wrongs, sins and blessings all are brought to bear on the prosaic subject of health care. Alas, that bears on life and death issues and death is a subject which causes many to become irrational. Death denial is rampant even though it is inevitable and no amount of health care will stave it off forever.Since all politicians are punished at the polls by by irrational voters on the subject, it is unsurprising that this reform initiative has failed. It has nothing to do with “undoing the 2008 election” as Ms. Jacoby asserts. There are interlocking turfs to defend on the subject and it would take a leader with a simple pitch and the backbone to ramrod it through to change the system. Obama did not measure up this time.I have no firm position on the subject. I manage my own health just fine. I know I will die some day and even have taken steps to determine my estate and expressed my end of life desires with my grown children. What I am opposed to is any scheme that taxes their generation to pay for my generation’s health care needs. There is already too much wealth transfer from the young to the old in the form of Medicare and Social Security. They do not need another burden laid upon them. I especially resent the notion that those who did not bother to raise the next generation expecting the children of others to pay for their infirmities of age.So the failure of reform can be good or bad depending on the details of any reform. Right now it is impossible without better leadership.

  • onofrio

    Moderato,Your critique of me below at 9:37 am is fair. I’ll cop it on the chin. I appreciate your restraint.Best Regards.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    To me, all of this arguing about the health care seems silly. Does there really have to be such detaled analysis and hair splitting about what constitues a “moral imperative?” Isn’t that a little insenstitive to all the people, tens of millions of them, who have been left out of the “system?” All of these religious people, and gung-ho capitlistic people are just “naval-gazing,” studying ad nauseum, some ridiculous problem.I am just tired of living like this. It is a shame that a nation of such immense wealth excludes so many. And when I sasy immense, I mean IMMENSE!!! Most people do not comprehend the FLAMBOYANT WEALTH of America, because it is concentrated in the hands of a tiny, tiny elite.I feel guilt that America has ened up like this. I know Peter Huff will ask why I feel guilt if I have no absolute reference to base it on. The answer: I don’t base it on anything; it is just how I feel. I don’t know where a conscience comes from. I just know that I have one. And it is pretty hard wrestling with people in this struggle, who don’t seem to have one.

  • onofrio

    Carstonio,Thee, re Susan J,An excellent point, Carstonio, one that often seems to escape both sides in the usual trenchant warfare.Zesta!That we are so botched may imply a botcher, indeed. Or perhaps a committee of botchers – “let us make human beings in our image”.Or not.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,you said,indeed. that is true. what happens next reveals the differnce between science and religion: science adapts to “new” facts, religion ignores them. remember how bush reacted to “iraq-doesn’t-have-WMD” reports from inspectors? he reacted like a religious person. he already “knew” they had WMD and wasn’t going to let any silly new information change that. some lauded him as being “resolute” and “steadfast” and “consistent” and “unwaivering” and so on. he was really just being stubborn. he was blinded by his “knowledge” that iraq had WMD. he was so beholden to that idea that no facts could get through. everything was evaluated through that prism. so, it’s true that evolutionary theory has been proven wrong (on minor points). where it has been proven wrong, it has adapted. it has incorporated new knowledge. that what makes it such a good theory. it is constantly being refined in response to new facts. now, the “evil-ution” crowd sees this as a weakness – like they might chide a politician’s changing his mind (in response to new facts) as “flip-flopping”. this so-called flip-flopping is evolution’s (science’s in general) greatest strength.when a scientific theory is proven wrong, it is adapted and refined, if possible. if not, it’s thrown out onto the huge trash heap of wrong scientific theories. evolutionary theory could easily be proven wrong. as someone said, if we found a rabbit in precambrian rocks, the whole theory would go out the window. the nit-picky little ways evolution has been proven wrong actually have actually made it a stronger theory.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Peter HuffI criticize you for speaking in God’s voice. You misinterpret that to mean that I am against God. You are very wrong.I am not against God. And I am not against Christianity. I am merely a critic of false doctrines. I only defend against politically hostile, intolerant, and passive aggressive proselytizers. You say you have experts to counter my experts. But I have not cited any experts. I cite “consensus.” For serous people, there is a consensus of belief about the nature of the world; it is pointless to re-hash it in every discussion. Your experts are experts on theology, the study of faded old books. I am not against books, old or otherwise. I am not against the Bible. But many Christians have only one source, the Bible, and in it, they have only a verse or two that they live by.But there is a whole wide world. If a person has even a little intellectual capacity and curiousity, and even moderate acutiy in the five senses, it is difficult not to notice. Yet, you persist in ignoring all that. Nothing you say is original or new. It is repetetive sloganeering. You believe the Bible is true because the Bible says so. We know; we got it. Why dn’t you take a dffiernt tack, and try some new way of arguing?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff, you said,you can’t seriously take “he said/she said” as evidence. the ancients wrote down all kinds of crazy things. even recently, people have “testified” to having seen the risen elvis. what are we to make of that? if you say the “elvisians” are just deluded, well…then you’re being reasonable.i’ve always thought a much better plan for god would have been to leave the resurrected jesus on earth. he could still be alive – a 2000-yr-old medical marvel still preaching the gospel. if romans or jews or muslims or whoever tried to kill him, he could just bounce right back up. THAT would be truly evidence of something supernatural. instead we’re left with, “well, he was here, i saw him, he’s gone now, but really, he was here. he was dead. then he was alive. take my word for it.”the funny thing about people who take the gospel “testimonies” seriously, is how easily they discount all the thousands of other just-as-well-supported testimonies of other people’s god(s).

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    edbyronadams:you said:”Death denial is rampant even though it is inevitable and no amount of health care will stave it off forever.”Wanting to go to see a doctor when you are sick is not “death denial.” From that silly statement on, the wheels of common sense came off your argument.You seem to belittle sick people. Perhaps that is because you are healthy. That does not make you evil, just self-absorbed and insensitive. Maybe some day, you will feel differently.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Counterww Yes, I do believe that the strident opposition to President Obama is because of his skin color. It is not a red-herring; it is the awful truth, that you need to face up to.Merely being politically opposed to his policies is not necessarily racist, but throwing alot of rhetoric (a la Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingritch) relating to the circumstances of his birth, is, well, yes, pretty racist. If you do not recognize this, and make no attempt to moderate this dominating theme amound your politically conservative brethren, then you, also, are a part of the problem, even if you maintain, inwardly, that skin color has nothing to do with it.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Politically conservative Republicans hate President Obama with a passion. They say it is not because of his skin color; it is just a coincidence. Yet, I think we would have EXACTLY the same coincidence for any black President, not just Obama. That is why Colen Powell could not run for President as a Republican, and that is why Condoleezza Rice could not run for President as a Republican, even though some Republicans claimed to “like” them.

  • veritatispraeco

    I like the logic that Jacoby employs: because placing Obama under the hammer and sickle is an ad hominem, it is ipso facto invalid.Of course, putting Stalin under the hammer and sickle could also be considered an ad hominem…

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Counterww There is practically a rule against black people in the Republican Party. Yes Michael Steele is the Party Chairman, but the leaders picked him purely out of PR and PC considerations. Most Republicans do not like him. Because, well, you tell me.

  • themoderate

    Ono:”Moderato,Your critique of me below at 9:37 am is fair. I’ll cop it on the chin. I appreciate your restraint.Best Regards.”Perhaps we can have that conversation after all.As to the striptease, what I did say:”Now me personally, I believe that the lives of my fellows are sacred because they, like me, are the children of (the) God(s). I see it as my sacred duty to participate in helping when needed. Perhaps not to the point of beggaring myself or the nation, but yes, it is my duty to help.”was pretty much the Full Monty.So my belief is that it is a moral imperative. I was pleased to see that Susan was fighting from the same corner as I on this particular issue, even if often I have disagreed with her on other topics. I just wonder why some of my fellow Christians are not with us on this one. I do think Susan’s observation:”… although it does seem reasonable that the Jesus of the gospels would not have bothered to heal the sick unless he believed that health care was a right. (Of course, a practicioner of right-wing religion might argue that Jesus didn’t heal all of the sick, so modern Christian insurers are free to exclude people with pre-existing conditions.)”was piquant and on point. Such a nice chiding of just the Christians I was addressing with one of my dual questions.EDBYRONADAMS:”Susan Jacoby is certainly overwrought on this subject. She, although an atheist, claims that such a thing as a “right to health care” exists. Where do these rights that the liberals assert spring from, Certainly not from the mind of the “Creator”? I suspect that they merely arise from a fervid imagination.”So in your book it is fine to let people you could help die?Personally, I was pleased to share a bond of common humanity with Jacoby on this one. While I might call it a sacred duty, she might call it common decency. Are we both wrong?

  • peterhuff

    Ok, I’m swamped.To Danielinthelionsden,DITLD: “I criticize you for speaking in God’s voice. You misinterpret that to mean that I am against God. You are very wrong.”How does God speak to you Daniel? Yes, you are against God when you deny Him for who He is and how He has revealed Himself. How has He revealed Himself to you, Daniel?DANIEL: “I am merely a critic of false doctrines.”How do you measure false doctrines Daniel? What do you have to measure what is true and false against? Is your mind the final arbitrator/judge/conciliator/reference? Are you too afraid to reveal your standard?DANIEL: “Your experts are experts on theology, the study of faded old books. I am not against books, old or otherwise. I am not against the Bible. But many Christians have only one source, the Bible, and in it, they have only a verse or two that they live by.”If you are a Christian then the Christ of the Bible is your Lord and His word is your highest authority, that is the whole council of His word. Do you want to bypass that and crown yourself king? To you it is some ancient book that seems to have very little meaning for this day and age. If that is the case then you are just a Christian in name, not in relationship, for we come to know His by the integrity of His word and by humbly seeking Him. The Spirit talks to us through the word. He brings it to life for us that we can rejoice in His wisdom and knowledge and understanding. How do you know Jesus Christ Daniel?DANIEL: “But there is a whole wide world. If a person has even a little intellectual capacity and curiousity, and even moderate acutiy in the five senses, it is difficult not to notice. Yet, you persist in ignoring all that.”God’s word is more sure than your intellectual capacity, you acuity or your five senses Daniel.

  • peterhuff

    DANIEL: “Nothing you say is original or new. It is repetetive sloganeering. You believe the Bible is true because the Bible says so. We know; we got it. Why dn’t you take a dffiernt tack, and try some new way of arguing?”Nothing you say is new either. It has been heard before. You mask over your uncertainty by never addressing the issue. None of you philosophers have an adequate explanation why anything is moral in this world. You want your opinions legislated as the good of the common man but your reasons are inadequate. You throw the terms around but they are meaningless for you cannot give sufficient reason why what you say is true. When someone comes along and questions your sophisticated intellectual mind games you rally together like a pack of dogs in a bloody frenzy and tear them limb from limb. I have not met many who are sincerely trying to figure out how they can make sense of the riddle of life or find meaning and purpose. Rather they are trying to create their own. “We’ll choose.” So why do you waste your time on an on faith forum, where people should be coming to seek answers that can make sense, unless your ultimate aim is to pander meaninglessness? You never take anyone who pushes your world view seriously as having valid concerns. So how did you come to know Jesus Christ Daniel? Which Christ do you know? Who introduced you?

  • onofrio

    Moderate,Thee:Not at all. I find nothing objectionable in the *sacred duty* as you have defined it. Yet *sacred duty* and *common decency* are quite different, I think. *Sacred duty* is pitched at an inspiring height. Like a mountain peak, it’s august, offers stirring prospects, but one can’t really live up there. *Common decency* aims for the broad, level lowlands where everyone actually subsists. It’s not always inspiring, or even very interesting, but it’s daily bread. I would prefer it if Health Care were constructed on that basis, rather than on the lofty heights of the *sacred*, which so few attain. Yet I think your call to *duty* is compelling. Perhaps we need to sacralise decency, and recognise our common duty :^)(In which case, I am to be the first against the wall. And fair enough too.)It would be good if these issues could be resolved without the reflexive “WWJD” question from certain quarters. It just seems to divert everyone’s energies into an interminable, atomising theological fracas over whose “absolute objective reference point” is correct.So your attempt to move away from such fragmentation, back to the common ground (such as it is) is right.

  • Counterww

    “The politically conservative religious people are indeed using immoral tactics to oppose health care reform, for an immoral reason, because they do not like President Obama’s skin color.”DILD- so you really believe such nonsense? The resistance to Govt run health care has NOTHING to do with Obama’s skin color . It has to do with a philosophical difference of opinion and constitutional rights to ask the govt to VET what they are saying. The polls are running against it now, and the lot of you have found yourselves swimming upstream against people.Bottom line is our govt is printing money hand over fist and has borrowed more money than we can afford to to pay back. We are handcuffing our kids and grandkids and will turn this country into a 2nd rate country if we do this without careful vetting and full transparency of what is being written in these bills. I am a bit surprised that you would use straw men arguments(using prejudice), but I guess you can’t argue the merits of this, or can you ? We MUST argue the merits of the program and ask for what is the bills. Try reading them. It ‘s a lot granularity that is very difficult to make sense out of or digest.One thing is for sure, it probably will cost alot more than a trillion dollars, and even the CBO doubts many of Obama’s claims.

  • edbyronadams

    There are systems of moral philosophy that can substitute for spiritual beliefs. When Susan Jacoby invokes a “moral imperative”, it speaks of Kant. One does wonder what the foundational moral principle that leads to the conclusion that we must provide health care for everyone is. Ms. Jacoby likes to invoke rationality as a high cause. It is rational to examine your core principles before asserting that the government, who solely possesses the legal authority to extract your money at gunpoint, has a duty to do so to provide something to a third party.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Peter HuffGod does not speak to me through your voice. Because I deny you does not mean that I deny God. That is your confusion, not mine.I do not measure false doctrines. I just see very clearly what is false. Who should I trust? my own sensibilites, or someone who pretends to speak for God? There is no argument here, so, let it go.You belittle me because you say my “mind is my final arbitor.” Duh! Yeah! My mind is my personality, my inner will, me. Again, this is your confusion, not mine.You have told lies about me, and made inferences that I have never said. Following is a list of my refutations of your lies:I am not interested in bypassing Jesus and crowning myself king. I do not claim my word is the highest authority. I did not say that the Bible is “some ancient book that seems to have very little meaning for this day and age.” I am not masking over my uncertainty. I am aware of philosophers, but I do not “have” any philosophers, and I did not cite any philosophers in my argument. I do not want my opinions legislated as the good of the comone man.I do not throw around meaningless terms.I am not play mind games, sophisticated, intellectual, or otherwise. I do not rally with people like a pack of dogs. I do not engage in bloody frenzies, and I have never torn anyone one limb from limb.I do not pander meaninglessness. I do not take you seriously because all of your arguments are from a Medieval point of view and mine is modern. That is not some sophisticated trick, that is just how we face each other. And your method of argining is politically hostile proselytizing. My heart is shut tight against you.What is pandering, tmeaningless, or hard to understand about that?

  • edbyronadams

    themoderate”So in your book it is fine to let people you could help die?”I am all for helping people. However, nothing I do will stop people from dying. It will happen to you and to me. The question then is how much help for how many more days. Until we have the moral courage to answer that fundamental question, extending more help to people will be a haphazard affair. We simply cannot afford Cadillac care for everyone. I am certainly willing to forgo it for myself, especially in favor of the generations that come after me.

  • onofrio

    Moderate,Me:Further:All very *red flag* to many Right-eous raging bulls, I know…

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee to Danielinthelionsden:*Uncertainty* seems to you to be the very worst of afflictions. I can think of far worse ones…Danielinthelionsden HAS addressed the issue. He just comes up with an answer you don’t like, i.e. that an *absolute objective reference point* is not all you crack it up to be. He has told you quite clearly how he gets by without what you claim is essential. I see no evasion there.Several other posts have said the same thing. Your *issue* is being addressed; you just can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that no one is coming around to your point of view.You are not convincing anyone. Think about why that might be.

  • frederic2

    Nietzsche: “Convictions are far worse than lies. Lies can be debunked, convictions resist all facts and arguments.”So, DITLD, you cannot convince PH of anything. You speak two different languages. Even if your arguments are totally waterproof, PH will always refuse to understand them.

  • daniel12

    Peter Huff, you should read the book I am reading now–Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes. Back in the 17th century he addressed many of your concerns–or rather he approached by various angles your all encompassing concern of a single and fixed point of reference among other things.One thing he pointed out was that people when faced with an object of the senses–say a tree or a stone–mistakenly think that the sense impressions they receive are totally in the object, which is to say people mistakenly think they see the entire object as it is, that they are being objective concerning it, and that the object cannot be seen in any other way.Hobbes said that although what we see in the object might be correct with respect to it that this seeing is not the entire object but only what we see with our human senses. We see what we were made to see–which today in evolutionary terms would be stated that we evolved to see the visible spectrum of light that we do see, and the sounds that we are capable of hearing. But it is impossible so far as we know to become totally objective with respect to an object. Many animals see and hear what we humans cannot.Hobbes also pointed out that God being infinite, eternal, omnipotent, etc. cannot be known by the human mind–because the human mind cannot conceive such qualities. The human mind literally cannot understand such qualities. Therefore all the statements concerning God we hear from men are really more the men than God–that this man in that culture has his understanding of God, that that man in this culture has his understanding. And history of course has demonstrated Hobbes to have been correct. Certainly nothing is so common as two men arguing about God–about something our little minds cannot even begin to comprehend. Or rather we do begin, and like so many beginnings, it is fraught with controversy.To put Hobbes’s understanding as clearly as possible, we do not even see a stone objectively–we are confined to what our senses allow–so how can we be objective about the infinite, the eternal, the omnipotent? Answer: we cannot. We are only men.

  • Pamsm

    Edbyronadams says:Should they, then, resent having to pay for the K-12 education of your children?

  • Pamsm

    Peter Huff,To recycle another argument, we are, among others, social animals, who evolution has made to see that we are all in the same boat, and if we all row in the same direction, we have a chance of actually getting somewhere.Social conscience is an imperative of our genetic heritage for good, sound, evolutionary reasons.

  • Pamsm

    CCNL,Bear in mind that not everyone agrees on what is healthy and what isn’t – many things that were once thought to be healthy alternatives (as margarine vs. butter) have turned out to be deadly.Vegans will argue that their lifestyle is healthiest, but there have been children removed from vegan parents because they were so malnourished.

  • Pamsm

    Edbyronadams says:I have no children, never wanted them. I do not, however, resent paying to educate those of others, as I recognize that they will be running things in a few years, and it is in the best interest of all of us to have them educated. I would hope that they might, in similar fashion, see that they too will be old someday, and that setting up a means of seeing that old people don’t die in the gutters might someday be in their own best interests.As for paying the “gift of life” forward, there’s been way too much of that already. Our poor planet can barely support the weight of human life already extant, and that continues to increase exponentially. You should be thanking people like me.

  • Counterww

    DILDI guess this is the final thing that those on the left can use when they can’t argue with someone that opposes their philosophicalAgain, the health care debate has nothing to do with Obama’s color- he could be from Mars or a caucasian that has total Western European blood. I could care less. People are seeing massive deficits record govt spending , a recession beyond compare since the great depression, foreclosures, high unemployment etc etc. They see the govt moving too fast without drill down on what is in the bills and the CBO telling us how much it will cost to do this. 85% of us have health insurance that we are happy with. Bottom line is, we NEED to debate this a vet the bills and ensure we know what is in them and what the congress is voting for, and have time to give our reps and Senators feedback on what we all think. It should not be rushed and every thinking American should have the opportunity to know what is in the bills. Then we can got to these townhalls and let them know what we think.IMO- you don’t change something this important without serious debate and transparency to all the people. And if people feel they don’t know, they start fearing the change that is coming. Don’t distract and deflect by calling up the good old race card. It is straw man tactics and leads us away from the debate and just brings up emotion that is unneeded and not warranted. Or is this in your perm. playbook?

  • Counterww

    Pamsm- there are some basic tests that can be done to determine the lifestyle of people- their weight , cholesterol levels, exercise regiment, etc etc.I think at some point if people decide to waste their lives away on bad food, drugs, tabacco, and just let themselves go, we need to encourage them to give this up and live a better lifestyle. We have and issue with obesity in this country and should work on getting people to eat well , exercise, and not drink too much or do drugs.

  • Pamsm

    Counterww:Some people have high cholesterol naturally – it’s genetic. Some are unable to exercise – and how do you determine someone’s exercise regimen other than by asking them?Counterww: “I think at some point if people decide to waste their lives away on bad food, drugs, tabacco, and just let themselves go, we need to encourage them to give this up and live a better lifestyle. We have and issue with obesity in this country and should work on getting people to eat well , exercise, and not drink too much or do drugs.”Encourage, yes, fine. CCNL was talking about denying them coverage. It is well to understand that sugar (carbs), alcohol, many drugs, and nicotine are all addictive. And pleasurable. Sometimes the only pleasures in a life. Not so easy to forego.Realize, too, that many people don’t have the education to make good choices, or the money to buy healthy foods or join a gym. The cheapest foods are the most processed and the highest in carbs, fats, and unhealthy additives.Counseling, yes. Policing, no.

  • Counterww

    PamsmYou may be right but if we can determine that someone’s lifestyle is causing us money- as in a national health care plan- then part of the program needs to me mandatory education and mandatory change in behavior once the health problem crops up. Better if we educate people young on balanced diet, exercise(don’t need a gym to get fit, you can just walk 30 minutes a day) and staying away from excessive booze and drugs period, this will help us all as a society. At some point you have to force the issue and tell them that their health care will be cut back if they continue to repeat behavior that is objectively diagnosed.

  • edbyronadams

    Pamsm,”As for paying the “gift of life” forward, there’s been way too much of that already. Our poor planet can barely support the weight of human life already extant, and that continues to increase exponentially. You should be thanking people like me.”There it is, selfishness masquerading as virtue. Since you didn’t go to the considerable expense of raising the next generation, you should have plenty of dough to pay for your health care. It might be difficult for you to actually man your own nursing facility though.

  • ccnl1

    One of the many warnings on cigarette packs sold in Canada:”WARNINGCIGARETTES CAUSE LUNG CANCER85% of lung cancers are caused by smoking.accompanied by a picture of a human lung detailing cancerous growths.”

  • REVDLMCGEE

    Ms. Jacoby:I was busy with my pastoral duties today, so I am understandably late to this discussion. First, let me say that I admirer you and think highly of your intelligence. I do not think that you MUST think precisely as I do or believe as I do in religious or other matters. (Not even my wife of 24 years can forego her own brain, thoughts, personality, etc., nor would I want her to.) Americans should learn to appreciate our differences and variety; this should be a strength, not a liability.You, Ms. Jacoby, have a healthy appreciation (as I do) for good debate. In America, we have ample opportunity to do just that but somehow we don’t do it as well as we should. Thankfully, I believe you are making a positive contribution in this area.The question Americans must constantly answer is “who are we?” Our foundational documents provide much guidance and subject matter for discussion. For example, we are told that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights” … among which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Does this mean ALL Americans? If so, why do we have homelessness and so much poverty in one of the richest countries in the history of the world?I hope that our ablility to debate allows us to (as President Obama has said) create “a more perfect union” where we can eliminate inexcusable and unconscionable social ills. The real purpose of debate (on health care reform and all public policy) should be to allow the BEST IDEAS to percolate to the top.

  • edbyronadams

    Pamsm,”Should they, then, resent having to pay for the K-12 education of your children?”Many do even though that education has previously been provided to them. That goes along with the decision not to pay the gift of life forward as well. Furthermore, any new public entitlement for health care benefits those who are older but not yet of Medicare age. It protects their accumulated wealth from the ravages of illness. A new entitlement would endow them without requiring previous payment. It’s good to be on the top of a new government pyramid scheme.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Dear Daniel 12Thankyou for your very clear comments. But I don’t think that there is much chance that Peter will be open to your thoughts.

  • peterhuff

    Sorry, no time this weekend. I’m going to sit down Monday night. Lots to read through. A quick reply to Daniel 12DANIEL 12: “Hobbes also pointed out that God being infinite, eternal, omnipotent, etc. cannot be known by the human mind–because the human mind cannot conceive such qualities. The human mind literally cannot understand such qualities.”Unless God has made us in His image and likeness, then we can understand Him in as much as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. DANIEL 12: “Therefore all the statements concerning God we hear from men are really more the men than God–that this man in that culture has his understanding of God, that that man in this culture has his understanding. And history of course has demonstrated Hobbes to have been correct. Certainly nothing is so common as two men arguing about God–about something our little minds cannot even begin to comprehend. Or rather we do begin, and like so many beginnings, it is fraught with controversy.”I would agree with you to a point, in that world religions are creating God in man’s image. Christianity is different. God has spoken and His word and interactions with man has been recorded in the Bible.Of course, you would have to agree that language is capable of revealing the truth of God if correctly interpreted, granting that the Bible is His word. In the same way, my language is understandable to you if correctly interpreted. If not then we are not capable of corresponding for none of this is making sense to you.DANIEL 12: “To put Hobbes’s understanding as clearly as possible, we do not even see a stone objectively–we are confined to what our senses allow–so how can we be objective about the infinite, the eternal, the omnipotent? Answer: we cannot. We are only men.”Yes, I have heard that argument before and I think you could trace it way back to the Greek philosophers and onward to Kant. But truth is not subjective with the premise that God has revealed the standard, therefore we can know what it is. His is the necessary perspective in evaluating truth claims for facts are what they are because He has made them and understands them in totality.We can only be objective if we rightly interpret what God has written (the Bible) and revealed through nature (His creation). As Van Til, Sir Isaac Newton and so many others have said, we would have to think God’s thoughts after Him to correctly interpret anything; the exact point I have been driving home all these weeks.

  • Pamsm

    Counterww says:And you people have the nerve to compare *Obama* to Hitler????

  • Pamsm

    Edbyronadams:Glad you know so much about me, my motives, my circumstances, and my finances. GTH.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    counterww”I guess this is the final thing that those on the left can use when they can’t argue with someone that opposes their philosophical bent.”I am just giving my thoughts. I am not a spokesman for the “left.” I agree with you that it is difficult to have any discussion when the subject of race keeps coming up. So, why, repeatedly, bring it up?Most of Obama’s critics make veiled and not so veiled references to his race. I cannot help noticing it. Does noticing racist digs make me a leftest? Let’s face it, racism is one of the pillors of the Republican Party. The right wing talking points in this debate are that Obama is an angry black man who hates white people, that he was really born in Kenya, and his birthplace has been forged by some conspiracy going back to his infancy, and that his middle name, which he did not chose, shows that he is really a secret Moslem and not a Christian, and that he is variously a Nazi, a Communist, a fan of Hitler, and a fan of Stalin. But what it all really means is that he has the wrong skin color.I have heard Republicans refer to Obama as a thug and his Whitehouse staff as gangsters. When someone says such things, what else would you infer, than that they are really talking about the color of his skin.It is no secred why black people run from the Republican Party like the plague. Just because you may not personally be a racist, doesn’t it bother you at all that you are in cahoots with so many people that are?Are you really all that naive? If you do not acknowledge the problem of racism in the Republican Party, then does that mean you approve of it?Conservative people are perfectly free to debate the issues without referring to race; that is their choice. But if they do not, they should not get all bent out of shape if there is a reaction against them, also based on race.

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, paying/controls for universal health insurance for those who do not live healthy life styles?1. A added two dollar health insurance tax on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcolholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??)2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is a caused by a medical condition).3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving.4. And no universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,ME: “I would agree with you to a point, in that world religions are creating God in man’s image. Christianity is different. God has spoken and His word and interactions with man has been recorded in the Bible.”WALTER: “ha! that’s rich! EVERYONE (who’s religious) thinks their religion is different from all those other false religions out there.”That only goes to say because they have put their trust in their particular belief. But Christianity is not a self-works righteous religion. It is based on the work of another, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not what we have to do to earn our merit before God, but what His Son has done for us. This makes it different, in this aspect alone.Second point, we all place our belief in something, if we are at all able to think. An atheist has faith as well as a Christian, just placed on a different starting point.Third point, two contradictory world views logically cannot both be true. Every religious world view has a contradictory message. Logical consistency is important. The Gospels and New Testament are explicit, there is only one way to God.

  • ccnl1

    Once again some incentives to live a healthy life style:1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcolholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??)2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is a caused by a medical condition).3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving.4. And no universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs.

  • peterhuff

    A footnote to Daniel 12,DANIEL 12: “Hobbes said that although what we see in the object might be correct with respect to it that this seeing is not the entire object but only what we see with our human senses. We see what we were made to see–which today in evolutionary terms would be stated that we evolved to see the visible spectrum of light that we do see, and the sounds that we are capable of hearing. But it is impossible so far as we know to become totally objective with respect to an object. Many animals see and hear what we humans cannot.”And his point is well taken. I think that in the process Hobbes has shot himself in the foot for if we are incapable of seeing any object from a totally objective standpoint then truth can never be a certainty. That is why we need the revelation of God as a necessity in seeing things from a true perspective. Only He understands every aspect of the object, therefore is without bias or a false notion of what He relays to His creature – man.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Justacomment,JAC: “Agree with you that about Peter H. being closed minded. But the point is not to open him to any thoughts or to convince him of anything.”Is if you are not closed minded. You start from your presuppositional foundations, like everyone else and build your reasoning on those core beliefs, making everything fit to your particular framework. You see through rosy colored glasses. And I would call the Christian perspective narrow minded. Truth is narrow.JAC: “The point is to contrast his beliefs and convictions with rational thoughts, so others reading the posts benefit from the conversation and make their own decisions.”First of all you have to establish where rationality and reason comes from. In a chance universe, a universe that came about by no plan or design there is only blind indifferent chance, cloaked in possibility. How do you get logic and reason and consistency and laws from something that was birthed in blind, meaningless chance?????????????????JAC: “Any response from him comes with abundant inconsistencies and fantasies which are opportunities to show the rational way to look and analyze them.”Why don’t you try answering some of these questions instead of just saying I lack rational consistency? We’ll trade ten questions and see how consistent your world view really is. Are you game? Or do you just want to call the kettle black without even looking at it? What I’m saying is that we will look at our different world views as to how they answer basic questions of life, starting with rationality and reason, stated above. It is no use in critiquing my framework all the while not being able to show how yours makes sense of anything. Pushed deep enough you’ll find you have no answers that make sense.

  • onofrio

    Persiflage,Namaste!*Serengeti* it most apt. And I should change the tyger to a leopard thereby.Thee:Amen! Amun! (and) Om, man!Thee:Thanks for that, Persiflage. Yet no “once more to the breach” from me, for a bit. Else one becomes what one opposes, facing mere reiteration with more reiteration.And one is drawn again into that narrow pound, strait as the grave.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff, you said,ha! that’s rich! EVERYONE (who’s religious) thinks their religion is different from all those other false religions out there.

  • persiflage

    ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ is in large part a value judgement. We can single out behaviors that are correlated with ill health and shortened life spans, but how do decide ‘who is guilty of what’ and to what degree? Expecting folks to tell the truth about their ‘bad’ behavior realistically rules out questionnaires as a method of screening out ‘high risk’ patients – especially when it comes to qualifying for major entitlement programs, such as national healthcare. And then, personal medical histories are covered by HIPPA and other patient confidentiality laws. It is fair to say that as regards healthcare, those that can afford to pay will probably continue to pay something toward their healthcare based on income – even with a mandatory national healthcare policy in place. This is no different in principle than auto insurance – everyone has to have it to drive legally…..and out of that semi-annual premium, everyone typically pays something into a common state fund for coverage of uninsured motorists in the event of an accident, etc. People that have a clean driving record, free of tickets, accident claims and so forth generally are entitled to reduced premiums. As far as rewarding healthy lifestyle choices, such a scheme may be possible for national health insurance programs as well – although within pretty defined limits. Qualifying for such discounts will probably be complicated. Hyper-expensive care for catastrophic illness will likely be covered by a different set of administrative guidelines. Nursing home placement is yet another component of healthcare, coming under the umbrella of end-of-life care. Currently most people pay for their own assisted living/nursing home care, unless they have special insurance for that purpose, or have divested most all of their personal assets and are covered under Medicaid. Medicare pays for about 100 days of nursing home care. It is likely that any national healthcare program would be modeled after already existing federal and state programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the VHA (Veterans Health Administration). Bottom line – as the world’s largest economy, this country should be able to afford national healthcare for every citizen – most of our modern industrialized neighbors already do so.

  • onofrio

    Persiflage,”Bottom line – as the world’s largest economy, this country should be able to afford national healthcare for every citizen – most of our modern industrialized neighbors already do so.” As usual, Persiflage, you are spot on.Yet the individualising energy that distinguishes America – the daimon at the heart of its epic wealth – seems somehow to be at odds with such an all-embracing system. How does one teach the tyger to graze?

  • peterhuff

    ONO: “4) Appreciate why you so alienate other threadlings. It’s not because they are scared of your big, heavy Truth; it’s because you have already decided, before they have even posted a word, that their answers are WRONG.”We look at life from two different world views. You want others to agree with your opinion. What makes your opinion so right? As usual you gloss over my questions, so I keep coming back to them because you want credibility yet you can’t even establish why any thing you say is credible. What makes a subjective opinion credible, because you can get others to side with it?ONO: “5)And lots more besides…First of all, where does truth come from? What is its standard and measure? Is it what you say or what the “moral majority” says or thinks? How does a relativistic way of looking at the world develop the standard that is truth? First thing you do, because you do not like the way I address your flimsy world view is call it “Peter Huff’s truth.” Truth comes from God and only by correctly interpreting His word. If you think I’m mistaken on the Bible, call me on it. That is where I claim my standard of truth comes from – outside of me. You have not been able to offer any plausible explanation as of yet where yours comes from. Care to do so?I keep pointing you to the only explanation that can make sense of why things are the way they are. You don’t like that because it resists your autonomous self reason that says, “I determine what is true for me.” Yahoo!Why should or ought I or anyone take your word as the be all and end all of all conversation, unless you can give sufficient reason to do so? So what is so great and mighty about your “big, heavy Truth?” Do you even have any or can you point to someone who has, that hasn’t first tapped into the thoughts of God?

  • onofrio

    The rare Triple Zesta for your coole swans, Persiflage.:^)

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLA doctor’s job is to take care of sick and injured people, no matter how they got that way. Even if someone attempt’s suicide, the ultimate unhealthy choice, still they should get medical treatment to heal them of their injuries. You are just being silly, once again.

  • peterhuff

    Hi DITLD,DITLD: “Yes Peter Huff, Onofrio is right.”How do you know he is “right”? You talk in contradictions. You say,DITLD: “I do not have a point of reference, as you claim.”What do you base “right” on without a point of reference? DITLD: “But I have a concept of seeking, observing, and acknowleging truth, as a sort of art, which is complex and involves an understanding of “consensus” of belief among many professional and scientific groups about things that we do not have personal experience with, which involves capacity for understanding and critical and abstract thought, which involves the gathering to oneself a collection of knowledge revealed through previous generations and arranging this collection in some way that makes sense of the world.”So you ASSUME you are looking at things through the “right” lens and that these people are correct based on you limited knowledge of all things? And how does it make sense of this world? It still does not answer the most important and fundamental questions we can have, such as “why are we here, how do we know and what difference does it make?”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    But PeterEverything that you say is also mere speculation. If other people do not have absolute answers, that does not automatically make you always “right.”

  • peterhuff

    Muchenfuss writes (August 20, 2009 8:28 AM),MUCHENFUSS: “That an “ultimate reference point” is necessary, or even possible, is another of your presuppositions that fail.”How does it fail Muchenfuss? You are making this statement. What is your backing? Logically, without an objective ultimate, universal reference and moral law giver, it does not matter that you are next in line to be exterminated in the gas chambers, just because you are you and it is the whim of your executioner. If you want a world where there is no ultimate, absolute, objective, final moral law, then prepare for someone to inflict their subjective might/opinion on you, or if you are strong enough, you can inflict your subjective moral might/opinion on them. But don’t call it bad or evil if you don’t like it. That is just your subjective preference that is not being enforced because you are not in power.MUCHENFUSS: “Actually, boy, I’m not interested in convincing you of anything. I think you have the right to wallow in your ignorance as much as you desire.”I’m not ignorant to the fact that without God your subjective opinion means diddle squat unless you have the might to call the shots and inflict your will on others less mighty.What I am convinced of is that you cannot show sufficient grounds for your opinion. You are just letting off hot air. Exhale once again!

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee:Unicorns and the great nongod X, as attested by the prophets Muckenfuss and Susan J (blessed be they).Scroll down to August 20, 2009 5:55 PM, 6:52 PM, and 8:27 PM.You’re just shaking your fist at unicorns…

  • peterhuff

    Hi DITLD,DITLD: “But PeterEverything that you say is also mere speculation.”Unless God has revealed that in order to understand anything you need to look through the lens of His word – Scripture. “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through Your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to Your statutes, O LORD…” (Psalm 119:29-30)”The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Ps. 119:130)”For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” (Ps. 36:9)DITLD: “If other people do not have absolute answers, that does not automatically make you always “right.”That is right Daniel, unless I correctly handle His word of truth. I have never claimed to be automatically right. I point to the One who is and what He has said. I point to Him as the source of origin and life and a true understanding of life and origin. It is that simple.If you think I misuse His word then call me on it and we can go to the Word to see what it says.

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee:The fate the “objective ultimate universal reference and moral law giver” has in store for Muckenfuss, me, and most everyone else here except you makes *gas chambers* look tame.We are all at the whim of the executioner you worship, and justly. The world itself is one of his whims…a very lovelogical whim, of course. Don’t worry; be happy. Justice will be done. We deserve it, and you will observe it.Huzzah!

  • Pamsm

    Peter Huff,The sciences predict accurately over and over again. The bible has predicted exactly *nothing*.All of the things that the supposed Jesus supposedly said would come to pass, all of you are still waiting, wishing, and fervently hoping for. For some 2,000-odd years now. Man, that’s what I call patience.Religionists like to point to the “predictions” of Jesus’s coming by the “prophets”, but all this was committed to paper a generation or more *after* the supposed coming of Jesus. Pretty easy to predict what’s already happened. And even at that, they weren’t too accurate. What happened to the name “Emmanuel”? What about being “of the House of David”? I know the writers of the gospels, whomever they were, tried to fix this by giving genealogies (two, at odds with one another) of Joseph, but Joe wasn’t related to Jesus in any way at all.Your faith is based on a tautology – you believe in the bible because it’s “the revealed word of God”, and you know that there is a “God” because the bible says so. Absurd.

  • Pamsm

    Peter Huff,I have, more than once, given you the explanation. Human morality is a product of natural selection for the traits that make animal societies (of which we are one, but by no means the only one) cohesive and functional.What is *bad* (“evil” is a biblical concept – I don’t think in those terms) is what breaks down the cohesion, or causes dysfunction. If you are cowering in an attic for fear of the sound of Nazi jackboots, you are not contributing to society.Yes, there will always be some who didn’t get the genetic message. That is why we have a justice system.And yes, morality, as a product of the human brain, is variable from society to society, and it does evolve. A few hundred years ago, child labor and slavery were considered just fine. Considered so by the bible. Putting people to death without benefit of a trial was A-OK. (Stoning, anyone?)We raise the consciouness of others by talking and writing. The best ideas of the finest minds do eventually percolate down through all the many layers of humanity and are often codified into law. This is how society works. This is the actual *good* thing that comes from some of the New Testament – if only people could absorb it, like Aesop’s Fables, without taking it all so bloody literally.

  • onofrio

    Pam, Walter,You’re making too much sense. :^)Prepare for a blizzard of proof texts and shrill demands that you disclose your *absolute objective point of reference*.I salute! Go, you good things…

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    But Peter Huff, You’re still speculatiing, too. You are quoting Psalms which is poetry. Whose voice do you think is speaking through Psalms? It is not God’s; the Bible does not say it is, and no one else but you believes it is. In fact, isn’t your citation of these Bible verses irrelevant to this discussion?

  • persiflage

    While CCNL and others like him see punishment for ‘undesirable’ behavior as an integral part of any national healthcare policy, it is to be hoped that most healthcare providers will not entertain that same vision….but will continue to abide by the Hippocratic Oath.Inflicting moral judgement on patients in need has certainly occurred from time to time – but is a clear violation of the spirit and very often the laws that govern healthcare, healthcare providers, and the administration of a wide variety of services related to the healthcare industry. Doing no harm and healing the sick are the primary principles that should govern the provision of all healthcare services. Moral judgements are best left to folks that have no direct influence over the healthcare of others, or the laws that govern those services. Feelings of moral superiority tend to be exclusionary, and are notorious for clouding one’s judgement when it comes to determining the fate of ‘lesser’ men…..

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Pamsm,amen, sister! (i’m presuming “sister” here)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,re: those other (i.e., false) religions:you said,i say: so have you. you have put your faith in the assertions of ignorant superstitious men living in judea 2000 yrs ago. you trust them when they say “god told me this stuff” and “i saw the risen jesus yesterday at my friend’s house.” bear in mind that these people also thought the earth was flat, evil spirits could inhabit pigs, and floods/earthquakes/droughts were divine retribution.you said,i say: i cannot speak to what all the other religions say about particualr things. this is just a specific doctrinal assertion. i’m sure there are plenty of other unique (and equally wrong) doctrinal assertions in the 1000s of other religions out there. mere “uniqueness” does not mean it’s correct.btw, if it’s not about “what we have to do to earn our merit before god”, do i get to go to heaven too? i don’t believe the bible is true, but if salvation is a “gift”, and not earned by our “works”, then i get to go to heaven, right?

  • onofrio

    Peter HuffYou dare defy the unicorns? Sardine blancmange with gibbon liver sorbet will be your lot, as nongod has justly decreed.PS – Given your testiness, I presume you didn’t find the Hole in One…

  • peterhuff

    Hi Daniel,DITLD: “But Peter Huff, You’re still speculatiing, too. You are quoting Psalms which is poetry. Whose voice do you think is speaking through Psalms? It is not God’s; the Bible does not say it is, and no one else but you believes it is. In fact, isn’t your citation of these Bible verses irrelevant to this discussion?Daniel, where do you get your revelation of God from? You say you are a Christian, right? Well where does your standard come from and how do you know you are worshiping the true and living God and not some image you have drawn up in your mind to make you feel good so that you can live life on your terms without any consequences?How do you know I’m speculating? The Lord Jesus Christ, whom you would follow as a Christian, called the Psalms part of Scripture, the very word of God.”He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Every thing must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then He opened their MINDS so they could understand the SCRIPTURES…” (Luke 24:44-45a)Read Psalm 119 on God’s word. The Psalms is just one aspect of God’s revelation to us. All Scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). You asked whose voice is speaking through the Psalms? Men speaking from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Men filled by the Spirit of God, revealing God to man.

  • onofrio

    “All Scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).” It is moot whether the author of 2 Timothy had in mind anything other than the Jewish scriptures, i.e. OT.Unfortunately, God did not see fit to *breathe* a list of exactly which books constitute the canon of said “Scripture”. God never said: “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are gospel truth. But that Thomas is a fake.” You’d think he would have at least told Paul. But no, He seems to have left it up to those oh-so-human deliberative processes of tradition transmission, editing, and numerous councils to do all the hard work of canon-formation.Very messy of God…

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter-in-Fallschurch,WALTER: “i hope your golf round went well. i daresay THAT’S something we agree on: golf is just about the most fun one can have with one’s pants on…”Best round of the year, followed today by a mediocre round.WALTER: “re: those other (i.e., false) religions:ME: “That only goes to say because they have put their trust in their particular belief.”WALTER: “i say: so have you. you have put your faith in the assertions of ignorant superstitious men living in judea 2000 yrs ago.”How do you know that it is not YOU that has put your faith in the assertions of ignorant NATURALLY minded men who are speculation on what they BELIEVE did not happen 2000 years ago?WALTER: “you trust them when they say “god told me this stuff” and “i saw the risen jesus yesterday at my friend’s house.” bear in mind that these people also thought the earth was flat, evil spirits could inhabit pigs, and floods/earthquakes/droughts were divine retribution.”They are credible eyewitnesses. You weren’t there. You are not.You trust scientists who say that the earth has been around for anywhere from 13-19 billion years. That is a fairy tale for grown ups. “Once upon a time, billions and billions of years ago…”If you do not believe that life and origins came about by a supernatural means then you believe that the universe and life is the by-product of chance, or that the universe (and life possibly too) has always existed, which goes against the most “believed” theory of the day and the present one that is most agreed upon by scientists, or that life is an illusion, or as Justacomments says, that we do not know, therefore, on the last premise how can you so dogmatically say that it did not come about by supernatural means? You guys keep shooting yourself with your gun still in the holster. I know you are a quick-draw, but aim at something besides yourself when you make statements like these. A prizefighter cannot win the fight if he keeps punching himself in the head, instead of his opponent, KO’d by his own hand.ME: “But Christianity is not a self-works righteous religion. It is based on the work of another, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not what we have to do to earn our merit before God, but what His Son has done for us. This makes it different, in this aspect alone.”

  • peterhuff

    WALTER: “i say: i cannot speak to what all the other religions say about particular things. this is just a specific doctrinal assertion. i’m sure there are plenty of other unique (and equally wrong) doctrinal assertions in the 1000s of other religions out there. mere “uniqueness” does not mean it’s correct.”That is right, for they are all contrary to the other because they state different things. Logically two contrary statements cannot both be true at the same time and in the same relationship.WALTER: “btw, if it’s not about “what we have to do to earn our merit before god”, do i get to go to heaven too? i don’t believe the bible is true, but if salvation is a “gift”, and not earned by our “works”, then i get to go to heaven, right?”Has God given you faith to believe (Acts 13:48) for I have a funny feeling that you will not choose Jesus unless He draws you by the gospel message (Romans 10:17) and the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14)? By your suppression of the truth you think the message is foolish, just mere superstition, so you get your just reward. Your volition does not believe the message.You will NOT voluntarily believe unless God persuades you by His word and through His Spirit. That would mean all those core foundational values and the framework you build your world view upon would first have to be toppled. That is only by God’s grace since you are in stiff opposition to Him (Romans 8:7). No matter what He says you will find opposition to because it is all a question of control.Look around you at the mess of the world. It is all about control. Man wants to be the final say, the question is which man?

  • onofrio

    “He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Every thing must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then He opened their MINDS so they could understand the SCRIPTURES…” (Luke 24:44-45a) (Capitals are Peter Huff’s – they are not actually “Scriptural”.)2 Timothy’s “Scriptures” = Jesus’ “Scriptures” = what Christians call the *Old Testament* (though such books as Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and Job seem to lie outside Jesus’ precis). There is no record of Jesus ever explicitly endorsing any *New Testament* Gospel or Epistle as belonging to the category “Scripture”. Ditto for his apostles. You’d think he could have arranged it, given that he had a chat to John the Revelator on Patmos. It would have been great if, after deploring Nicolaitans and admonishing Laodiceans, the risen Jesus had said a word or two about which Gospels and Epistles were to be included in his *New Testament*. Would have saved a lot of trouble…

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff wrote:I know, I know…PETER HUFF!

  • ccnl1

    Once again some incentives to live a healthy life style and ways to pay for universal health care.1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcolholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??)2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition).3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving.4. And no universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,i would add that the bible’s authors also thought “the end is near”. mark, matthew and luke (in chronological order) were not talking about the fall of the jewish temple when they warned of the “signs” and “stars falling” and so on. they thought jesus was coming back for them IN THEIR LIFETIMES: understandably so, because, according to the bible, JESUS TOLD THEM he was.the fact that jesus (as portrayed in the new testament) was plainly wrong about the impending apocalypse has generated a whole genre of interpretive gymnastics: eschatology – which roughly translates as “what the hell was jesus talking about when he promised the end times to people standing right in front of him.”jesus spent a lot of time on his second coming and used it as reason to believe in him. numerous times he said, “repent, for the kingdom of god is at hand.” he said there will be “signs.” there will be “wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes.” the “sun will be darkened,” the “stars will fall” and the “heavens will be shaken.” he told His disciples when they “see these things,” they are to “look up” – for they will see him “returning in glory” “on a cloud” with “angels” and “trumpets” in “judgment” to “redeem” the faithful and cast the wicked into hell. there will be “wailing and gnashing of teeth” for unbelievers and “eternal life” for believers.simply put, he predicted his death and resurrection would be followed by a period of earthly turmoil, his return in judgment, the destruction of the earth, hell for unbelievers and heaven for believers. and he DIDN’T say, “sometime in the distant future” or “in 1000 years.” he said things like, “all these things will happen to YOU.” (mk9,13; mt10,16,23,24,25; lu9,21 etc…)lucky for us, they didn’t, and yet we still treat jesus like a prophet.

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff wrote,”But that is the nature of unbelief. No matter what the evidence you will side with the “experts” that support your framework. They are your highest form of reference – fallible man.”But that is the nature of belief. No matter what the evidence you will side with the “experts” that support your framework. They are your highest form of reference – fallible man THAT CLAIMS TO SPEAK FOR GOD.

  • onofrio

    As you say, “monkey see, monkey do”.

  • peterhuff

    WALTER: “jesus spent a lot of time on his second coming and used it as reason to believe in him. numerous times he said, “repent, for the kingdom of god is at hand.’ he said there will be “signs.” there will be “wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes.” the “sun will be darkened,” the “stars will fall” and the “heavens will be shaken.” he told His disciples when they “see these things,” they are to “look up” – for they will see him “returning in glory” “on a cloud” with “angels” and “trumpets” in “judgment” to “redeem” the faithful and cast the wicked into hell. there will be “wailing and gnashing of teeth”” for unbelievers and “eternal life” for believers.There again, Josephus and others write about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in such terms as the ones mentioned above. Signs, wars and rumors of wars were common and the judgment spoken of was a judgment against the stiff-necked people who rejected Him. He established His kingdom spiritually here on earth during His first coming and His enemies are in the process of being made His footstool. I can compile the references to the kingdom if you want to take it further but I’m getting tired and will need to dig them up. That might take some time, but Jesus said that His kingdom was near them (Luke 10:9) and within them (17:21). So the “kingdom of God was at hand” for Jesus is the king of that kingdom and He now sits at the Father’s right hand as His enemies are being made His footstool. None of the books of the New Testament point to or mention the destruction of the temple which signifies that all of them were written before 70AD and the destruction of the temple, so many of the eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension where still alive at the time of these writings. So His language “the time is near, this generation” and “when you see” or “I am coming quickly” would be addressing people within the time frame He mentions.

  • peterhuff

    Onofrio, you are making it difficult for me to go to bed.ME: “But that is the nature of unbelief. No matter what the evidence you will side with the “experts” that support your framework. They are your highest form of reference – fallible man.”ONOFRIO: “But that is the nature of belief. No matter what the evidence you will side with the “experts” that support your framework. They are your highest form of reference – fallible man THAT CLAIMS TO SPEAK FOR GOD.”You either take God at His word or you make Him out to be a liar. The Bible makes the claim over and over again that it is the word of God. He has left a written testimony and revelation to man. There is a consistency throughout the 66 books and 44 or so author’s that God spoke to them and is speaking through them. What you do with it depends on your framework, your basic presuppositions on existence. either a supernatural Being created us, we are here by chance, it’s all an illusion, orSo what is it to be for you?The Bible speaks of authenticity both internally as an historical document where the people, events, places exist(ed) as well as a guide on how to life a life pleasing to God – things that even you, Onofrio, have said are good, such as love for your neighbor and looking out for the best interests of others over those of your own. That is noble and compassionate. Why “should” anyone be compassionate if there is no meaning or purpose to life other than what a person decides it will be and there is nothing that will hold you accountable when you are dead? Don’t worry, I don’t expect an answer since you haven’t given me one yet. I just bring it to your consciousness that you are incapable of reasoning it out. Your world view is floored and cannot provide a suitable answer that can make sense of existence.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pamsy, Long time no chat.PAM: “You persist in saying that there’s no plausible reason for human morality other than by edict from an absolute source. Hogwash.”Hogwash? Likewise I’m sure.PA: “I have, more than once, given you the explanation. Human morality is a product of natural selection for the traits that make animal societies (of which we are one, but by no means the only one) cohesive and functional.”Who determines we are animals? Some scientist a few hundred years ago? Because we share a common environment and eat common foods with animals and therefore share similar traits to them we are classed “animals.” So what makes you the authority on morality Pam? Nature does not select. Living beings select. Natural selection is not a thinking process. It is a random, process. PAM: “What is *bad* (“evil” is a biblical concept – I don’t think in those terms) is what breaks down the cohesion, or causes dysfunction. If you are cowering in an attic for fear of the sound of Nazi jackboots, you are not contributing to society.”So killing babies for the pleasure of it is not evil to you. What the Nazis did to the Jews or physically challenged is not evil to you? Men setting their own rules as to what is and is not right is not evil to you until you are the next in line for their kind of “justice.”?PAM: “Yes, there will always be some who didn’t get the genetic message. That is why we have a justice system.”It varies around the world, depending on where you live. Whose “justice system” are you talking of and why is it the one I “should” live by?PAM: “And yes, morality, as a product of the human brain, is variable from society to society, and it does evolve.”So, if a persons brain functions differently from yours and they so decree that you are not worthy of living and they will take great pleasure in making your remaining days on earth pure pain, cause they like the joy of creating pain in others, you have no objections? It’s just something their brain is doing.

  • Counterww

    DILD-Honestly, I don’t get the burr you have about racism. I see a fringe element in the Pub party but have never seen the racism issue evident in the health care debate. It has nothing to do with it, and the debate would be the very same if Obama was white, Asian, whatever nationality/race you want name. I notice you don’t address any of the points I made but just keep bringing up how awful and racist Pubs are or the evil “right wing” is. It is deflection and means nothing to most Americans when it comes to this debate.You imply that “I am in cahoots” with so many racists. Really I believe in self accountability, pulling yourself by your own bootstraps, and that conservative values(not G Bush, he was not a true conservative by any measuring stick) and that govt is not the solution to all our problems, but only some of them. I also believe given the news that the Obama administration has said that this recession is lasting longer than expected, and that the 10 year future deficit is $2 trillion more than estimated before, that we simply cannot afford to have the Federal govt involved in the health care reform in the fashion and manner they have detailed out in either the Senate or House bill. It will break us financially and we will not be able to recover. Obama is doing too much, too fast, and he needs to slow down and get our economic house in order first. I don’t believe he will heed that, and it will make him a one termer if he continues down this road, as the people will vote him out when the double dip recession hits.We are not out of the woods yet. I am convinced our politicians do not have a good understanding of basic economic principles and don’t realize how screwed up the economy really is. I hope I am wrong about all of this.

  • Pamsm

    PH: “Hi Pamsy,

  • Pamsm

    PH: [Answering my statement that morality, as a product of the human brain, is variable from society to society, and it does evolve.] “So, if a persons brain functions differently from yours and they so decree that you are not worthy of living and they will take great pleasure in making your remaining days on earth pure pain, cause they like the joy of creating pain in others, you have no objections? It’s just something their brain is doing.”No, Peter. How you do twist things! I’m speaking of the zeitgeist – the collective consciousness, if you will – the consensus of many brains. Believe it or not, most people know the difference between right and wrong, even those who choose not to abide by it (generally for reasons of personal power or monetary gain). It is refined by the teachings of parents and other authority figures, but most is innate, put there by evolutionary pressures upon social animals. The “golden rule” is built in, and begins to work as soon as we are able to recognize that others have the same capacity to feel pain and pleasure as do we. PH: “So there is nothing wrong about that [child labor & slavery in past times] in your opinion, right. It is just the ways certain brains responded to the stimulus around them at that particular time and now for the most part brains are responding differently. So what is moral about that? Which system is moral – then or now? What is your final reference point in determining so and what happens if other disagree? Then who is ‘right?’”Of course there’s something wrong with it. I was pointing out that society has evolved beyond those things (which were reprehensible to many even at the time, but those were the ones out of power, and those *in* power had much to gain monetarily from the status quo). The coming of democratic forms of government made it possible to write laws against such things in spite of the powerful few. My point was that the bible, and therefore your god, apparently thought it was hunky-dory. Do you?PH: “Who gets to determine that these are the finest minds? You and your particular brand of belief? If so don’t call it moral, just preference.”Nope. All of us. The social consensus.PH: “Look at society – the greed, the wars, the lust, the inhumanity of man, the murder, the hate, the striving and ill will. Why do you thing that people will adopt your way of looking at things when six thousand plus years has proved otherwise?”Has it? I think we’ve come a hell of a long way in the 20,000 or so years that our species has existed. Even in the last 200 years. Are we perfect? No. Will we ever be? Probably not. No reason to quit trying.

  • Pamsm

    PH: [In answer to the sciences’ correct predictions] “Is that why they are always changing their conclusions as more and more “evidence” is brought to light? Very accurate on things they were not around to witness and very good how they interpret the evidence to fit their world view. As if they see every aspect of every fact and how each fact relates to the other.”That’s the beauty part of science, Peter, as opposed to religion – nothing is engraved in stone. Any postulation can be overturned by new evidence that refutes past hypotheses. That’s why the conclusions are so accurate – they’re subject to refinement, testing, and review by others. Experiments must be repeatable; evidence must be available to the entire community. Evolutionary theory (since that is the one we were discussing) has only gotten better and stronger with time. Since Darwin’s day, many of the predictions of his theory have panned out (e.g., that the earliest human fossils, and the pre-human fossils, would be found in Africa). Every new discovery that has allowed us to extend our knowledge (e.g., genetics, DNA) has strengthened the theory. Other sciences, such as geology, have added to it. PH: “Your faith is also built on a tautology – you believe in science because it’s the revealed word of scientists, and you know their word is true because they are learned and they believe it is true.” No, Peter, I don’t have “faith”, and I don’t depend on “revelation.” Science is evidence-based. I can (and do) read about the evidence and how the conclusions were reached. I can read about the testing of the evidence. If I were so inclined, I could repeat the research myself. I know that others have. Yes, I expect that this system will turn up sound conclusions – it has for as long as it’s been in place. Look around you Peter – you can’t look in any direction (especially not straight ahead) without seeing the fruits of scientific inquiry and the technology that proceeds therefrom.PH: “Why is it true? Because you happen to believe it? Because you believe the evidence most strongly points to your particular brand of belief? What about those who disagree?”They are either 1) abysmally ignorant, or 2) utterly brainwashed. I’ve been trying to think of a third possibility, but I haven’t come up with one. Why does science resonate with me more than the bible does? Well, for starters, it doesn’t talk about talking snakes (nor feathered flying ones), virgins giving birth, people rising from the dead, people walking on water, giants, people living to be 900 years old, people turning into pillars of salt, people being swallowed by whales (and living to tell the tale), stars hanging on a firm shell between the Earth and the “waters above”, people made from clay, the sun stopping its motion across the sky, burning bushes that aren’t consumed, parting waters, magical beanstalks (oh, sorry, that’s a different fairy tale), or any other magical, mystical nonsense.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,re: credibility of biblical authors:re: age of earth:re: supernatural origin of the universe:a logical problem with supposing it was (your) god is that you are jumping from “scientists don’t know” to “(my) god did it”. this is the essence on (un)”intelligent design”. michael behe goes from “i can’t figure out how flagella evolved” to “god did it”. it’s the god of the (now molecule-sized) gaps. this is a dangerous place to put your god because the gaps keep getting smaller.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,re: credibility of biblical authors:re: age of earth:re: supernatural origin of the universe:a logical problem with supposing it was (your) god is that you are jumping from “scientists don’t know” to “(my) god did it”. this is the essence on (un)”intelligent design”. michael behe goes from “i can’t figure out how flagella evolved” to “god did it”. it’s the god of the (now molecule-sized) gaps. this is a dangerous place to put your god because the gaps keep getting smaller.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,re: credibility of biblical authors:re: age of earth:re: supernatural origin of the universe:a logical problem with supposing it was (your) god is that you are jumping from “scientists don’t know” to “(my) god did it”. this is the essence on (un)”intelligent design”. michael behe goes from “i can’t figure out how flagella evolved” to “god did it”. it’s the god of the (now molecule-sized) gaps. this is a dangerous place to put your god because the gaps keep getting smaller.

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff to Pam:Why should it be? God himself tortures them for eternity because of their inherited depravity. And it his good pleasure to do so.He also slaughtered the firstborn children of innocent Egyptian fellahin in Exodus, and commanded the Israelites to slaughter Canaanite babies in Joshua. So, clearly, infanticide has its uses in God’s great scheme.Did God did not WANT to slaughter those little Egyptians and Canaanites? Did he not plan this from the foundation of the world? Does he have no pleasure in implementing his *justice*? Of course, if God does NOT damn infants (as Peter Huff has rather inconsistently implied), then killing them now means that they never get the chance to grow up and reject God, like 98% of adult humanity will. Thus, perversely, the most loving thing you can do for a baby is kill it, because then it will spend eternity with God.In summary, one of these two MUST be the case with Peter Huff’s TULIP God:1) God consigns dead babies to an eternity of torment because – as descendants of Adam – they are inherently depraved.2) God admits dead babies to heaven, which makes deliberate infanticide a very effective form of evangelisation.

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff wrote:When have I ever said I think these things are *good*? And when have I ever practiced them?Don’t patronise me, Peter. I am depraved. *Good* is just an annoying bug I want to crush. My thoughts are only evil, continually…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    wow…lots to say, but no time now. thanks to peter, we have a nice active board. back soon.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Counterww,i get the even-worse impression that they DO understand basic economic principles, but consider basic re-election principles to be more important.

  • Pamsm

    Peter Huff,I couldn’t disagree more. Here is Merriam-Webster’s definition of “faith”:1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentionsI don’t think that definition 1 was what you were going for. I suspect that you had in mind definition 2 b(2), or definiton 3. Certainly you know that definitions 2 a(1) & (2), and 2 b(1) are out of the question. Correct?If so, let me disabuse you of the notion. I don’t have “complete trust” in anything. The evidence must be there. Nor do I believe anything with conviction (strong or otherwise) without facts in evidence.This doesn’t mean that I have to be in the room watching every experiment, or in the field watching every discovery, but it does mean that I should be able to read the facts and procedures, and to know that it was peer-reviewed. None of my convictions are ever so strong that they couldn’t be instantly overturned by new evidence. Unlike your own.

  • Pamsm

    Walter, I suspect that he’s trolling for souls, but I’ll be charitable and assume he’s here for the mental exercise, as am I.

  • Counterww

    BYW Walter, you are wrong about the gift of Christ . Accepting a gift in this case comes with the giving up of “self” which means giving up your life and listening to what God wants for your life. At that moment, you have done nothing but accept the gift – its like a present and you receive it from the Lord. If you think that believing is all about merit, so be it. What that really means to me is that you don’t want to give up your so called superior intellect and be subservient to God. It ‘s nothing more than you know what is best, you want absolute proof before believing in Christ therefore you will not bow your knee to him in this lifetime. It is still a gift , you just choose not to believe in it for whatever reason- highly likely though it is your love of self and nothing more. it is a common theme among most atheists I have met , both on the internet and in person.If you believe giving up self is merit-based task,this translates to an awfully large ego that you just don’t want to have deflated.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,re: credibility of biblical authors:re: age of earth:re: supernatural origin of the universe:a logical problem with supposing it was (your) god is that you are jumping from “scientists don’t know” to “(my) god did it”. this is the essence on (un)”intelligent design”. michael behe goes from “i can’t figure out how flagella evolved” to “god did it”. it’s the god of the (now molecule-sized) gaps. this is a dangerous place to put your god because the gaps keep getting smaller.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Counterww,pending peter huff’s answer to my noah’s ark question i may go more into detail on this.you can call this ego if you like, but, well, i’m stuck with my rational mind. i understand and respect the “eastern” religions and their talk of “giving up the self”. in college i took several courses in the eastern religions and was so impressed by how sophisticated they seemed compared to the “storybook” western religions (religions with a plot and good and evil characters). i see these “eastern” pursuits much more fruitful spiritual exercises than the “being deliberately in denial” of fundamentalist christians.to be a fundamentalist (by that i mean taking a literal interpretation on scripture) one has to basically ignore the last 400 (+?) years of science. sorry, i can’t do that.if “giving up the self” means letting go of superficial earthly desires, that’s one thing. if it means being deliberately ignorant of geology, astronomy, genetics, physics, etc…well, then i’m keeping my “self”. any “spiritual” understanding of the cosmos MUST comport with the reality “revealed” to us by science.there is as much evidence for the flying spaghetti monster as there is for jesus’ resurrection.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    test

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    oops…sorry…i kept getting error messages…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,so i asked if that means i (a non-believer)get into heaven.you said, essentially, “no” – because i have chosen not to believe.so it’s NOT gift. it IS about what i “do to earn [my] merit before god.” if i have to DO something (believe) to get into heaven, then it is about merit.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,re: jesus the false prophet:you claim that jesus was talking about the destruction of the temple when he said things like,”But in those days, following that distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (mk13:24-27 and similar verses in mt and lk)these verses come after the “no stone left standing” parts. this is plainly NOT talking JUST about the destruction of the temple. all this “stars falling” and “coming on a cloud” and “gathering his elect” (basically, the apocalypse) was supposed to come soon – in his listeners’ lifetimes. didn’t happen.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter huff,if so, by following the genealogies and so on, you probably place noah’s flood around 2500 b.c., right? was it a “global” or “local” flood, in your opinion?

  • Pamsm

    Thanks for the link, Walter, that was quite hilarious.I’ve always loved the idea of a being with the intellectual prowess to create and order the entire universe, setting out to fool his pathetically inferior creations. It must have been such a challenge!Do you think Peter’s wife has jailed him again?

  • Pamsm

    Walter-in-FallsChurch said:This is a point worth expanding upon. I find that most evangelicals, especially YECs are exactly that – deliberately ignorant.I have a friend at work who is a Seventh Day Adventist. Mostly we get along by ignoring the 800-lb. gorilla, but occasionally we get into it a bit. I have offered to loan her books so she can better understand where I come from. Books such as “Godless” by Dan Barker, or “Jesus Interrupted” by Bart Ehrman (both former evangelicals and accomplished biblical scholars). Also “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry Coyne.She always refuses them. She’ll turn off a TV program if they start talking about fossils or other indications of an old Earth. She once said to me, on the subject of dinosaurs, “…you believe in those things”. (!!!)I have asked her what she’s afraid of, and whether her faith is so weak that she thinks it can’t withstand reading the other viewpoint. She denies both.I *have* read both sides, and have offered to read more – any book she suggests. She knows I’ve read the bible, and that my early education included years of church and Sunday school.I don’t see how one can know what to believe without knowing what the choices are. This is baffling to me. And more than a little frightening.So maybe one of you believers (Peter?) can tell me what’s up with this head-in-the-sand attitude, and why I should respect the opinions of anyone who thinks that way.

  • peterhuff

    Sorry folks, I’ve not been able to sign in for a few days. I see there’s lots to catch up on. I’ll try to answer a few tonight.

  • Pamsm

    Peter Huff says:Yes, isn’t it just! This is precisely how religions have managed to survive into a time where any half-educated person, coming upon them in adulthood, would recognize them instantly as mythology.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Onofrio,ME: “things that even you, Onofrio, have said are good, such as love for your neighbor and looking out for the best interests of others over those of your own.” ONO: “When have I ever said I think these things are *good*? And when have I ever practiced them?”I’m not going through all our correspondence. Here is one example,ONO: “Can you accept that many people genuinely empathise with their fellow beings without reference to some sort of theological presuppositional framework, or cherished theory of sacrality?”Other examples that they are good is in the number of times you show respect to others on these forums. Why would you treat them with dignity and kindness if you are so against them? No, you show these traits at times because you are convinced that it is good to love your fellow man. You just can’t explain why it “should” or “ought to” be this way from your world view. You are a walking contradiction. You live like the Christian position is important, all the time denying it. I bet you stand in line like the rest of us, because you recognize that others deserve kindness and respect as well. In not barging in you show dignity to others. I bet on any number of occasions you would offer your seat to a stranger or donate to those in need.And if I am wrong about you, then it is your volition that has made you the way you are, for you know that you are an intelligent creature of God’s and as such are responsible to Him to follow His decrees and laws, yet continue to resist Him.”But those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger…. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (Romans 2:8, 14-15)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peterhuff,then said,those are great questions about the origins of life and the singularity. the answer to those questions could even conceivably be “god”. but it takes a great deal of faith (and egotism) to suppose that of all the gods proposed over the whole history of man’s gods that you’ve got the right one.it’s a HUGE leap from “god caused the big bang” to “the god described in the bible caused the big bang.”

  • peterhuff

    ME: “either a supernatural Being created us, we are here by chance, it’s all an illusion, or we don’t know as JAC pointed out. ONO: “I agree with *JAC*. I don’t know for sure.You’re responsible to God as one of His creatures living in His world and yet you keep suppressing the truth of God in your unrighteousness. You want to call the shots. In your pride you place yourself above God as the one who determines truth and goodness. So you think you have not committed a crime and do not deserve punishment?You say, “I don’t know.” You’ve read the owners manual but you don’t have the experiential knowledge of relationship with God because although you have read the Bible, are well versed, and know many theological arguments that you use against God, you refuse to come to Him on His terms. Yes, you have been well schooled, but if Christ had saved you you would not now be denying and rejecting Him. It is like buying a car and reading the owners manual. You know where everything is in your imagination but you have never got in the car and experienced what it is like to drive the car.You use all the common arguments like “I’ve never met God” but to someone who knows Him you say to them because you have never seen Him He can’t exist. The analogy would be similar to my best friend telling you that I am his best friend also. Your reply would be that because you have never seen me I do not exist. Now my friend knows better for he has seen me and knows me well.”The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them for they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)You will not let His light shine in your heart. You have decided by your human wisdom and by the wisdom of other humans that there is no evidence for God because you suppress His truth. He calls you to repent. Do you hear or will you continue to place your trust in sinking sand?Your wise volition will not let you come to Him because that would be a cost you are not willing to pay – your supposed autonomy.Why did you doubt His word? Did you believe you could figure this out without Him? How are you doing? You deceived yourself into denying His existence yet have no answers that can make ultimate sense of anything.He offers the words of eternal life, yet you refuse of your own volition to come to Him. (John 3:18-21; 6:68)Have I stated that correctly?

  • peterhuff

    ONO: “Don’t patronize me, Peter. I am depraved. *Good* is just an annoying bug I want to crush. My thoughts are only evil, continually…”I’m not talking down to you Onofrio. I mock your position, but I recognize that you are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore are worthy of dignity and respect. I oppose the lie that you are believing. I’m pointing it out to you because it was pointed out to me. I’m pointing out to you that you need the very Savior that you deny. I’m talking to you on a heartfelt level with concern for your eternal well being. I am reiterating the words of God, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You deny that in your mockery of Him so I ask where your wisdom and understanding comes from? And yes, you are depraved and there is only One who is able to set you free. God’s very word tells me so. Instead of arrogantly opposing Him you need to humble yourself and admit that you have screwed up. You need to plead Him for His mercy. You need to seek Him with your whole heart that you would find Him. There is no place in His kingdom for those who love their sin. You know that.You mask your hurt and anger towards God with words of sarcasm and mockery. You find it easier to deny Him than to humble yourself before Him. “I’ll choose, I’ll choose.” Don’t you see that you are naked, poor and needy? Your burden is clear every time you post with me.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,WALTER: “more on other stuff later, but i noticed you correctly told pam that there is a “growing list of scientists who counter your belief.” forgive me if i’m wrong here, but i assume you’re talking about the discovery institute’s list of scientific dissent from darwinism:Yes, I am.WALTER: “no doubt a seemingly impressive list.Now i have. The point I’m making is that many who thought evolutionary science the be all and end all of all discussion are now switching their position, sometimes at the cost of their very jobs. The mindset that has held sway for the last two hundred odd years is slowly being questioned and brought into the light for what it is – a lie. As Malcolm Muggeridge, once an opponent of Christianity and supporter of atheism until late in his life said,”I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has. I think I spoke to you before about this age as one of the most credulous in history, and I would include evolution as an example.” As scientists start to investigate the claims of evolutionary science I to am convinced that it will be shown for what it is.WALTER: “it’s just too funny. the over 1000 “steves” represent over 99% of scientists. you can think all these scientists are wrong, but please, don’t insinuate that there’s dissent in the scientific community.”Any dissent there is is soon crushed and hushed by the intellectual gatekeepers of society – those who control what is thought of and accepted as science today. To oppose such a cherished belief as evolution would be the death of so much of the indoctrination that has posed as science for all these year. That is what is at stake so the opposition is vast.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peterhuff,that is not how science works. scientists are a bunch of smart-a**es who love proving each other wrong. the scientist who could offer EVIDENCE (not rhetoric or speculation) that evolution is false would be the most famous scientist of all time.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pamsm,I will try to respond to your other posts and those of Walter as I get the time during this next week.ME: “I’m watching as one of our grandkids is slowly being turned into an atheist by her step-mother. It is amazing what kids learn from the lifestyle of those they are around the most.”PAM: “Yes, isn’t it just! This is precisely how religions have managed to survive into a time where any half-educated person, coming upon them in adulthood, would recognize them instantly as mythology.”There is truth and there is fiction. Sometime truth is stranger than fiction. Your mode of operation is to deny the supernatural. You rule out that God performs miracles, things that go against the natural realm. That is just your mindset, your foundational pull, your core values. In your wisdom you look at life from the framework of evolutionary science.And you think that because people do not look at life the same way you do that they are “half-educated” simple-minded people who believe in fairy tales, yet once upon a time, billions and billions of years ago, presto, a point of singularity exploded into the known universe. BANG!Where does life originate from Pam? Where did this singularity originate from Pam? Why did it explode?No, it takes a great deal of faith to interpret the evidence the way you do. You put your trust in something that you were not around to witness and have no idea of how exactly it happened or why it is here. You cannot find purpose or meaning for it just happened.And by faith I mean something that you put you trust in, something you depend on to give you answers, something you rely on to explain the deep questions of life, but it does not explain those questions. It is just one possibility in a myriad of possibilities that you can find myriads of different views on because scientists are in disagreement on how to interpret the evidence. Just look at all the different beliefs from science on how we got here, of which I will mention but two, the Big Bang and the Static Universe theory. These theories have been so questioned that others are believing in an eternal universe. Which is your preference?

  • peterhuff

    Have to get up early. Good night!

  • peterhuff

    ME: “Any dissent there is is soon crushed and hushed by the intellectual gatekeepers of society – those who control what is thought of and accepted as science today. To oppose such a cherished belief as evolution would be the death of so much of the indoctrination that has posed as science for all these year. That is what is at stake so the opposition is vast.”WALTER: “that is not how science works. scientists are a bunch of smart-a**es who love proving each other wrong. the scientist who could offer EVIDENCE (not rhetoric or speculation) that evolution is false would be the most famous scientist of all time.”There are certain icons that they will not touch for it would bring to light that they have built their foundation on sifting sand. There is nothing fixed about it. The reason it is constantly changing and one scientist is proving another wrong is because the evidence they once thought showed one set of conclusions now shows another, because they now know more of the facts. What they believe now will be modified and changed again as they learn more and more about God’s creation. There is no certainty in anything they know because they don’t have an unmovable certain, absolute, objective standard that they look to. They look to their fallible peers that have been wrong in the past and will be wrong in the future. It all depends on which scientist(s) you look to as to which perspective you have.

  • peterhuff

    Catch up later. Have to go.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peterhuff,when you say “icons” are you thinking of johnathan wells’ icons?i won’t comment too much on this and your comment of the “dissent” issue until you’ve had a chance to address my previous posts.

  • Counterww

    Walter-You have to decide whether the resurrection is real or not. I have said it before and I will never stop saying it. Not all truth is provable,and if you don’t know that , you are just an immature person. I never said to be a fundamentalist. That is YOUR inference. What is interesting is the hyper atheist ‘tude of science and religion- Christianity- being incompatible . Just because some Christians believe in the young earth theory does not make the whole of the Christian message incompatible with science , for instance. It is more than plausible that the accounts in the Bible of the creation and old earth both are true. In fact, I am convinced of it.Interesting that the you keyed off the resurrection. It is the key to and the lynch pin of Christianity. I guess your ego will not let you give in the God of the ages… and that is a real shame.

  • Counterww

    Pamsm- sounds like infer in your thoughts – and used the phrase “you people” ???What people? Am I one of those people?If someone is told to stop smoking, or has cirrohsis of the liver, and we use our tax money to help them, and they continue the behavior, should we continue to spend gobs of money to get them to quit? BTW- your continual sickening attitude that somehow if we “educate” people enough they will lost their propensity to believe in God, that is one of the most elitist comments or attitudes I have ever heard. Man you atheists are full of yourselves. BIG egos, bigger than I could have imagined.

  • peterhuff

    PH: “So what makes you the authority on morality Pam? Nature does not select. Living beings select. Natural selection is not a thinking process. It is a random, process.”PAM: “I don’t recall claiming to be *the* authority on morality, or anything else.”Then why “should” I believe what you have to say? Because 51% side with your view of things? Does majority make right in your view? Is the consensus always right? If so then which consensus? Why is something wrong now that the moral consensus in your country thought right 50 years ago? Because the power base has shifted? Because you are better educated than they. Hitler’s Germany was the cream of the crop seventy years ago.PAM: “Nevertheless, social animals have been well studied by many careful researchers for a couple of centuries.Yes, but they have not changed from one type to another. Show me a transitional link between two different types of beings. There are all kinds of speculations, but nothing conclusive. All studies are biased. There is no objective criteria outside of God. No one is neutral in the way they approach the data. It all depends on how the data is interpreted and that, in turn, depends on your foundational starting point(s).PAM: “The conclusions are inescapable. Elephants care for their weak and sick, porpoises lift their injured to the surface for air, chimpanzees share their food, ants feed their queen and care for her offspring (their siblings). Why should they do this, Peter?”Because that is the way they were designed by their Creator.PAM: “Nature does absolutely, select. Not *consciously*, no, but every bit as effectively, over time.”Selection is a choosing process. How does a process choose from chance happenstance. Are you saying that the Big Bang was planned? Either it was planned or it was a random, chance happening. Which is it? If it was chance then what created the order? How did anything know that it should or ought to come together in such a manner? Have you ever seen order come from chaos without a mind to order it?

  • peterhuff

    PAM: “What succeeds gets passed on in greater numbers, what doesn’t, is eventually eliminated. And natural selection is not at all random – far from it. The only things that are random are the variations that it may select from.”There again, I’m talking to you about beginnings. How does a blind, random chance explosion create order and uniformity and complexity without something to guide it? How does something know (i.e. becomes conscious) that it needs to survive? Does it just happen by chance? How does something select the best choice for itself without a thinking process? For you it is just a matter of the stronger genes survive and adapt. Everything is in flux, everything changes. So if Mao’s China and its cultural revelution is the most successful adaption (based on the most populous country in the world), that is what determines what is best. No, a mind is capable of logic, a mind is capable of choice, a Mind creates laws and our logical minds discover laws. PAM: “You do recognize that people, animals, and plants vary…?”Yes I recognize that people, animals and plants do change, but not evolve into different life forms, just change within their particular grouping. That is the way they were designed, to adopt to different environments. A whale does not change into a cow over long periods of time. A human is always a human, he just adopts to different environments. PH: “So killing babies for the pleasure of it is not evil to you. What the Nazis did to the Jews or physically challenged is not evil to you? Men setting their own rules as to what is and is not right is not evil to you until you are the next in line for their kind of ‘justice.’?”PAM: “You can be so obtuse (deliberately, I suspect). This is semantics, Peter. I prefer not to use the word “evil”, as it has too many definitions that pertain to sin and the devil, and the will of God. I prefer to be better understood by using the word “bad” or “wrong”, and yes, the instances you cite above are very bad, and very wrong, indeed. And for the societal reasons that I gave you before.”What makes them bad or wrong?Look around you Pam at all the “bad” and “wrongful” actions in the world today. Do you really believe that man is going to evolve into a better, stronger, faster being unaided by God? Do you really think man is going to solve his own problems by his own methods? Societies, groups in societies, individuals cannot agree about what is “best” so how do you think there is ever going to be an universal standard? More than likely one group will eliminate another so that it can survive, but don’t call it “bad”. It is just what two opposing animal herds competing for the same tiny space do to each other. May the strong survive!

  • peterhuff

    Hello Walter,WALTER: “you said,WALTER: “when you say “icons” are you thinking of johnathan wells’ icons?”Maybe. What are they?Actually I was referring to the halls of higher learning, the secular universities, institutions and schools that indoctrinate people from a very young age in the theory of evolution and build on that foundation as they grow into adulthood. That could also include the intellectual elite from your hallowed halls. They are the icons that the secular illiterate and poorly educated look up to as THE authority. Everyone has an “expert.” You could also call the media an icon for it teaches from young to old that evolution is the way it is. WALTER: “i won’t comment too much on this and your comment of the “dissent” issue until you’ve had a chance to address my previous posts.”I’m slowly climbing the leader board although I’m out of time for tonight. Tomorrow and Tuesday will be brief for I work.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Onofrio (August 26, 2009 11:32 AM), Peter Huff to Pam:ONO: “Why should it be? God himself tortures them for eternity because of their inherited depravity. And it his good pleasure to do so.”God is not evil. The wrong man does will be account for by each man. As for torturing them for eternity, first you would have to prove that Jesus did not die for them. That is something that you cannot prove from Scripture. Jesus Christ died to save a specific people and Scripture suggests that babies were part of that people.”Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom belongs to such as these.'” (Matthew 10:14)”At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this was Your good pleasure.'” (Matthew 11:25)I’m watching as one of our grandkids is slowly being turned into an atheist by her step-mother. It is amazing what kids learn from the lifestyle of those they are around the most.”At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like a child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this welcomes Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea….See to it that you do not lok down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father in heaven.'” (Matthew 18:1-6, 10)ONO: “He also slaughtered the firstborn children of innocent Egyptian fellahin in Exodus, and commanded the Israelites to slaughter Canaanite babies in Joshua. So, clearly, infanticide has its uses in God’s great scheme.”He is the Creator of life. Each one of our days are numbered and He holds the key to life.

  • peterhuff

    test

  • peterhuff

    ONO: “Did God did not WANT to slaughter those little Egyptians and Canaanites? Did he not plan this from the foundation of the world? Does he have no pleasure in implementing his *justice*?”There is no pleasure in taking the life of sinners or the young.”For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live.” (Eze. 18:32)”You are a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.” (Psalm 5:4-5)And yes, God is in control of all situations before and throughout time and He does allow evil for a time, but eventually judges it.ONO: “Of course, if God does NOT damn infants (as Peter Huff has rather inconsistently implied), then killing them now means that they never get the chance to grow up and reject God, like 98% of adult humanity will. Thus, perversely, the most loving thing you can do for a baby is kill it, because then it will spend eternity with God.”You do not have the right to murder. When Adam took of the tree of knowledge of good and evil death came into this world. Only God has the “right” to take human life and He has decreed the circumstances when this is to be done.ONO: “In summary, one of these two MUST be the case with Peter Huff’s TULIP God:ONO: “1) God consigns dead babies to an eternity of torment because – as descendants of Adam – they are inherently depraved.”Jesus died to save the inherently depraved. He saves His people from their sins. He is able to do that. Even when God condemns, He punishes justly to the degree of punishment warranted. In the case of infants you would first have to establish that He did send them to eternal torment.ONO: “2) God admits dead babies to heaven, which makes deliberate infanticide a very effective form of evangelisation.”Rubbish. Infanticide is murder. No one has the right to take another human life in murder. God has decreed upon what situations it is permissible to take another human life for the purpose of keeping evil in check and it is never by an individual taking it upon himself to murder another human being.

  • Pamsm

    Counterww asks:It should have been plain from the context of the conversation, if not from my specific post, that I was referring to ideological conservatives who are against Obama’s idea of healthcare reform.And yes, I count you among them, based on your posts.

  • onofrio

    Walter-in-Falls-Church,Thee:Hmm, devoutly to be wished, if only to see the looks on their faces just before we all succumb to the Centaurian common cold…In their anxious, domineering insistence that it’s a fact-tract, YECs rob Genesis of its mythic dignity. One is constrained to keep dissing it as a cock-and-bull story in the face of all their politicised Right-eousness. Yet, for me, it goes against the grain to do so. I respect a good myth. Imagine if there were Homeric fundamentalists who insisted that Poseidon actually watched the siege of Troy “from the wooded top of Thracian Samos” – an historical fact, the denial of which places human reason above the divine oracles. Who are we to question? We weren’t there, and Homer was inspired by the gods. Case closed.To such an analogy, Peter Huff will retort that Poseidon is obviously false because, well, he’s not the *God of the Bible*. QED. Anyone who questions this has to produce a counter *objective absolute reference point* – like we all carry them around in our back pockets – or be condemned as “suppressing the truth”. Thee:Thanks :^) Believe it or not, Walter, I once did think that way, or at least, tried to. I sacrificed my mind on the altar of a God very like Peter Huff’s. After 12 years earnestly yoked and sold-out, I refused to suppress my presumptuous doubts any longer. As a result, I am now just another piece of Gehenna’s endlessly putrescent offal heap. Sorry Walter, just venting. I appreciate your salty good sense in the face of pious absolutism. Zesta!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    onofrio,

  • onofrio

    Peter Huff,Thee to Walter:False dichotomy. It doesn’t have to be either *planned* or *chance*. Nor does apparent order necessarily imply pre-existing mind. You seem to love laying down these either/or ultimatums, machine-like.Your Young Earth Creationism holds that the earth and its vegetation were created before the sun.Fruiting trees without sunlight! Absurd.Unless of course the Genesis accounts are read as a counter-myth, in which case they have a lot to offer…ah, but that’s what those damnable liberals do, isn’t it. More fool me.With regard to origins, no doubt you will retort that I wasn’t there. True. And neither were those who wrote Genesis. They and I both have to rely on our imaginations.The YEC position implies that the God *who was there* planted incontrovertible facts in the imagination of Moses, or, perhaps, of select ancient scribes. That seems no better as a basis for objectivity than the sellout to Darwinist indoctrination you pin on today’s academic institutions. If they are indoctrinated, you are triply so.NOTE: In none of this have I contended in favour of *blind chance*, *Big Bang*, Darwinism, evolutionary theory, or any of your other favourite whipping boys. My point is, and has been all along, that Christian faith is an offer of *taste and see*, not the call to arid presuppositional duels you seem to delight in.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    Counterww,actually, i haven’t “divined” whether you’re a fundamentalist. i was implying that i thought peter is. i know fundamentalists. “earth is 6000 yrs old” is a fundamentalist view – the unfortunate product of a literal reading of the bible.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    more, re: “transitionals”:Fossils found in China in the last 15 years beautifully detail the evolution of birds from small feathered dinosaurs:

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    more more, re: transitionals”there are 95,000,000 year-old snakes with legs ( creationists suppose these “transitions” are impossible, but there they are in the fossil record. furthermore, all these transitional fossils are found at just the right point in the geologic column. whether you accept the absolute ages supposed by scientists (and supported by plate tectonics and radiometric dating), you cannot deny the SEQUENCE of the fossils.often, when a “gap” in the fossil record is filled, creationists say TWO NEW GAPS (!) have been created – one on either side of the new fossil.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    more more more on “transitionals”:even if we “stop the film” today, we would still see “transition species.” consider the lungfish: it has GILLS AND LUNGS. it is “between” a fish and an amphibian. a frog’s eggs are soft, like a fish’s, and must be laid in water.as if to demonstrate evolution, tadpoles are born as water-breathing “fish” then evolve before our very eyes into air-breathing frogs. all amphibians could be considered transitions from fish to reptiles.there are living snakes with vestigial hip bones – pythons and boas – reflecting their lizard ancestry. how about a seal? is it a land or a sea mammal? it could be considered a transition from a dog to a dolphin. a penguin is a bird that doesn’t fly, waddles around on land, and is most comfortable under water. the platypus and echidna are mammals that lay eggs. they don’t have nipples, but milk oozes out over a wide area of their skin. kangaroos give birth to babies so premature, like a reptile still in its egg, that they must continue developing in the mother’s pouch until they emerge around the developmental stage when most mammals are born. most mammals remain safely inside our mothers during our ridiculously long gestation period.even human embryos at various stages look like embryos of more “primitive” animals – animals in our line of descent. our grotesquely large brain looks like a reptile’s with a new layer added for conscious thought.

  • peterhuff

    Hello Onofrio,ME: “Are you saying that the Big Bang was planned? Either it was planned or it was a random, chance happening. Which is it?”ONO: “False dichotomy. It doesn’t have to be either *planned* or *chance*.”How so? If the universe had a beginning which is the majority view of modern science and biblical creationism either it came about by chance happening or it was planned. Please throw out other ideas because I’m not following what you are saying.ONO: “Nor does apparent order necessarily imply pre-existing mind. You seem to love laying down these either/or ultimatums, machine-like.”How is it that a rational being is able to recognize order? Do you think it is because of their mind? You like to lay down the and/both ultimatums. How is that logically consistent? Are you both a human being and not a human being? Do you have biological children and not have biological children? Sorry, they are weak examples. ONO: “You’ve spent a great deal of effort explaining the same thing over and over, to wit: we, your interlocutors are all wrong and hellbound without your *objective absolute reference point*.”Inter-what?And you have spent a great deal of effort in avoiding the questions, implications and utter senselessness of your world view.ONO: “Earnest threat after earnest threat… Despite my acceptance of the implications of those verdicts you rattle off, in your own Calvinist terms, you bray on. Even when I agree with you that I am depraved, you continue to contend as if I were not. No grace; just lots of obsessive huffing…but what would I know about grace!”Grace and mercy is found in Jesus Christ.ONO: “Your Young Earth Creationism holds that the earth and its vegetation were created before the sun.””And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light….And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.” (Genesis 1:3, 5b)ONO: “Fruiting trees without sunlight!Take a look at what is grown by artificial light, under heat lamps, etc., without the aid of the sun.

  • peterhuff

    ONO: “Unless of course the Genesis accounts are read as a counter-myth, in which case they have a lot to offer…ah, but that’s what those damnable liberals do, isn’t it. More fool me.”Anything to discredit God’s word. The same lie that was first propagated in the Garden, “Did God really say…?”ONO: “With regard to origins, no doubt you will retort that I wasn’t there. True. And neither were those who wrote Genesis. They and I both have to rely on our imaginations.”No, we have something greater than our imaginations to rely on, the very words of God. It does not have its origin in man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Of course you fight tooth and nail to discount that, but how do you know? So thanks for your opinion!How do I know? On the impossibility of the contrary in making sense of anything.ONO: “The YEC position implies that the God *who was there* planted incontrovertible facts in the imagination of Moses, or, perhaps, of select ancient scribes. That seems no better as a basis for objectivity than the sellout to Darwinist indoctrination you pin on today’s academic institutions.”From the Christian framework there is a way that origins, values and truth can be known and made sense of. You don’t like that fact because it cuts into your almighty sovereignty Onofrio. You want to dictate and call what is and is not true and just and good, and it certainly – in your mind – is not the God of Christianity for you are running from Him.ONO: “If they are indoctrinated, you are triply so.”You think you have so critically examined the theory of evolution that you can determine it to be true. Do you think that you have built your ideology on neutral ground? Ah, it’s good to run with the pack, especially if you can establish yourself as the alpha dog!

  • peterhuff

    ONO: “NOTE: In none of this have I contended in favour of *blind chance*, *Big Bang*, Darwinism, evolutionary theory, or any of your other favourite whipping boys.”You haven’t contended, but avoided an explanation. You’ll have to refresh my memory, how have you answered anything that I have asked you? By your bait and switch method? You try to ride the middle of the fence, never stating any fixed position, but that does not mean you don’t have one. It is obvious that you do from the passion that you attack the Christian framework.If your authority is not ultimate, objective and meaningful why would it be worthy of a second look? What makes it so valuable, he asked? It is just your opinion unless you can point to an objective source. Since you like to philosophize I like to get to the nitty-gritty substance of what you can make sense of. It is cutting the bull. Forget about your intellectual games, let’s see the substance that holds your world view together. Be honest with yourself and with us. Quit hiding behind your belief. Let’s see its worth.

  • peterhuff

    Hello Walter,You keep piling up the time it is going to take to respond. I’ll need to sit down on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to answer as best as I can your and Pam’s questions and statements. Time is limited. Look forward to perusing your thoughts and trying to grasp an understanding of them.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    onofrio,well, to our rational minds that certainly seems absurd. but remember, it was only ONE DAY later that”God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”so while the entire creation sequence reported in genesis does not comport with the “just-so story” told by your egotistical, elitist, smarty-pants, hell-bound “scientism-ists”, there is a kind of internal consistency: surely the fruit-bearing plants could survive one day without sunlight…. besides, maybe plants didn’t need sunlight for photosynthesis until after “the fall”. see? “problem” solved! you’ve got a long way to go in terms of learning to “think” like a fundamentalist.what i love (to laugh/cry at) about the fourth day is how god made the stars “also”. ALSO! 99.9999999999% of the known mass of the universe was just kind of tossed in, as an afterthought, for “signs and seasons”….i wonder what will happen to earth-centric religions if/when life is discovered elsewhere in the universe.

  • Pamsm

    Peter Huff,“Me: I prefer to be better understood by using the word “bad” or “wrong”, and yes, the instances you cite above are very bad, and very wrong, indeed. And for the societal reasons that I gave you before.”You: “What makes them bad or wrong?”You ask that, in spite of my having told you in the sentence *immediately prior*!You said this in another place:I believe you!!So rather than answer all the related questions point-by point, let me just state it flatly, yet again:RIGHT= whatever promotes social cohesion and functionThis, the principle of reciprocity, that Walter gave you the link for, is built into our genes by evolution from social ancestors. No one has to “decide” what is right or wrong, we all know it innately, unless we are mentally ill (sociopaths). This knowledge is what we recognize as “conscience.” It’s demonstrable in every human society in written history, including those that have no clue about Christianity. Murder is considered wrong in every society, as is theft. This is true among peoples who have never heard of the “ten commandments.”There are, and always have been, people who choose to ignore their consciences for purposes of gaining power and/or money. They are always able to find a certain number of followers who hope that some of the power and money will rub off on them (in case you’re missing it, I’m including your favorite whipping boy, Herr Hitler, in this category) . The rest of us, however, have always reserved the right to stop these people by imprisonment, revolution, war, subversion – whatever it takes. Sometimes we’re unsuccessful. Those in power have great tools at their disposal – they can use terror and brainwashing to keep people in line. But people tire of the yoke eventually. Dictators and military juntas are overthrown. King Johns are forced to sign Magna Cartas. Laws are written. Parliaments and democracies are instituted. Those who are most in touch with their consciences speak and write, and raise the consciousness of others.Some countries are ahead of others in this evolutionary process. If you read “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond, it will help you to see why it has happened where it has.

  • Pamsm

    Now to some of your specific points:PH: “And you think that because people do not look at life the same way you do that they are ‘half-educated’ simple-minded people who believe in fairy tales, yet once upon a time, billions and billions of years ago, presto, a point of singularity exploded into the known universe. BANG!”Huh?PH: “Where does life originate from Pam? Where did this singularity originate from Pam? Why did it explode?”These two questions are unrelated. The BB has nothing to do with the origin of life. I don’t think you’d find many astrophysicists willing to characterize the BB as an “explosion”, either. More like an expansion.I am *not* an astrophysicist, and don’t pretend to know what existed prior to the BB, or even if said bang occurred. I recognize that those working in the field, who have knowledge and specific education superior to my own, think that this is what the current evidence indicates. I’m willing to defer to them, while keeping an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism. It is sufficient to me to know that the universe exists, and that stars and their associated planets can form from interstellar dust and that they can form galaxies. I know that matter arises from energy, and that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. I know that the elements of which everything is composed, are formed in the furnaces of the stars. This is good enough. I’m much more interested in what happens in this galaxy, in this solar system, on this planet.PH: “No, it takes a great deal of faith to interpret the evidence the way you do. You put your trust in something that you were not around to witness and have no idea of how exactly it happened or why it is here. You cannot find purpose or meaning for it just happened.”I don’t have faith (by any definition), nor do I put my “trust” in anything of the sort. I consider the ultimate origin of the universe unknown, and possibly unknowable. If a way is found to establish the BB as incontrovertible, that only pushes the question back to the moment before it occurred. This doesn’t bother me. Somehow physics brought the universe into being. Nor do I find a need for there to be “meaning” or “purpose” in it. Who cares? The only meaning or purpose that matters is that which you give to your own life. Might I remind you that you were not around, either, and you have no idea whether things happened the way the bible says they did, nor of how the bible texts came to be?

  • Pamsm

    PH: “No, it is not a consensus of all. It is a consensus of those scientists and those indoctrinated by evolutionary teaching and look at life from an evolutionary perspective.”First of all, look up “consensus.” Secondly, where do you think this “indoctrination” is taking place? In this country, evolution is barely touched on in public schools because of the pressure from people who think like you. It’s available at the university level, but only if the right classes are taken. Science doesn’t begin with suppositions – it goes where the evidence leads – wherever that may be.PH: “God is also as plain as the nose on your face. C’mon Pam, don’t you observe Him in what He has made?”No, Peter, because I don’t see anything that “he” has “made.” The world appears, and operates, just as one would expect it to without any supernatural intervention.PH: “You rule out the supernatural before you look at any evidence.” Au contraire. It is the evidence that *causes* me to rule out the supernatural.PH: “Michael Behe gives an illustration of a mouse trap and says that if you take away even one part the trap fails to work, for it is irreducibly complex. The same is true for a living cell. It shows design and order that is too complex for chance and happenstance. Take one part away and the cell fails to function.”Oh, please, Peter! Behe has been so thoroughly discredited, including in two courts of law (Kansas and Dover, PA) that I can’t believe you have the temerity to bring him up.PH: For you certain chemicals form together, but what first creates the life? Dunno, Peter. And I’m OK with that, too. There are many promising avenues of research, and I’m confident that this nut will be cracked, because we already have many of the puzzle pieces; but not all of us have this burning need for everything to be known and certain the way you religionists do. What fun would that be? There would be nothing left to research. Religion, you see, puts an end to all inquiry. If the answer to every question is “God did it,” then why continue to try to figure things out? If everyone had accepted this way of thinking, we’d still be riding donkeys.

  • Pamsm

    PH: “Selection is a choosing process. How does a process choose from chance happenstance. Are you saying that the Big Bang was planned?”What has the BB got to do with selection?? Natural selection is not a conscious act. Humans have, through conscious selection, taken the natural genetic variation of animals and used it to create very different animals. From the wolf, we have made things as different from one another as the Chinese Crested and the Irish Wolfhound. Natural selection does the same thing, but it takes much longer. How is it possible to select without consciousness? Differential reproductive rates are what does it. Any trait that increases the likelihood of greater reproduction for the individual that possesses it – no matter how slightly, will increase in prevalence in the population. It’s just that simple. Over time, that trait will become ubiquitous, or nearly so. And given enough time, an accumulation of new traits, in reproductively isolated populations, will make new species.PH: “Have you ever seen order come from chaos without a mind to order it?”Sure. The formation of crystals, to name just one.PH: “How does a blind, random chance explosion create order and uniformity and complexity without something to guide it? How does something know (i.e. becomes conscious) that it needs to survive? Does it just happen by chance? How does something select the best choice for itself without a thinking process? For you it is just a matter of the stronger genes survive and adapt. Everything is in flux, everything changes. So if Mao’s China and its cultural revelution is the most successful adaption (based on the most populous country in the world), that is what determines what is best.”Jeeze, Peter – apples and oranges! Animals that behave in a way that promotes survival, survive! They then reproduce. Those that don’t, don’t!

  • Pamsm

    PH: “Yes I recognize that people, animals and plants do change, but not evolve into different life forms, just change within their particular grouping. That is the way they were designed, to adopt to different environments. A whale does not change into a cow over long periods of time. A human is always a human, he just adopts to different environments.”Nope, a whale will not evolve into a cow. Cows already exist, and there is no evolutionary pressure on a whale to become anything like them. Their young are called calves, however. – and they’d put any cow to shame – the humpback produces over a hundred gallons of milk a day. Whales did, however, evolve from four-legged land animals, and, interestingly, they are most closely related to the even-toed ungulates, such as pigs, camels, deer, goats, and *cows*. Their closest relative among those is the hippo. Think about that. Can’t you see the resemblance?Doubt it? Their evolution happens to be one of the best documented of all: Do you realize that in a whale’s flippers are all the same bones that are in your arm? Humerus, radius and ulna, carpals, metacarpals, phalanges? He has no use for them, so why are they there? Do you realize that he often has a small pelvis buried in his body, and that sometimes tiny leg bones are attached to it? Why do you think that is? Have you noticed that whales (and other mammals that have returned to the sea – seals, porpoises) swim by undulating their spines vertically, the way 4-legged land animals run, rather than horizontally, like fish? Why should that be?As for humans, how do you explain Lucy, who was about the size of a chimp, and had a similarly-sized brain, but who had teeth more like a human’s; arms longer than a human’s but shorter than a chimp’s; whose pelvis and spine-to-skull attachment show that she walked upright; whose feet were shaped like ours, without the angled great toe of the chimp’s foot that adapts them for climbing? And how about homo habilis, who had more human traits and fewer chimplike ones, but was still a blend?Horse evolution is also well-documented in the fossil record. Do you know that horses are sometimes foaled with 2 to 4 extra toes? Why would that happen if they were created by God as single-toed animals?You know, don’t you, Peter, that Darwin’s theory doesn’t address the fact of evolution – that plant and animal forms change into new species over time – but only the mechanism by which this occurs – natural selection? Evolution was known long before Darwin. And whatever silly creationist Web site told you that scientists were abandoning evolution, is laughably wrong. There is no more well-supported or accepted theory in all of science.Are you one of those head-in-the-sand people that I asked about? If not, I challenge you to read Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True.”

  • Pamsm

    A 2-minute education on evolutionary theory:Have fun!

  • onofrio

    Pam,You may not impress PH but, by nongod, you impress me!I predict that for your clarity and acumen you’ll get the sameold script about the meaninglessness of life sans Sinai fulminations, and how we, the Lost, may as well just murder each other out of sheer presuppositional “consistence”.Apparently my reluctance to engage in murder is simply a matter of bad faith and theft from Christ. Since I don’t hope for Heaven, I should be out there raping and pillaging with impunity…

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peterhuff,sorry, i just keep reading stuff and feel compelled to respond. actually, lately i think i’ve been “talking” with pam and onofrio. i don’t want my questions/comments to you to get “lost” in all the verbiage. i’ll try to control myself.eagerly awaiting your replies…