Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The God Particle: Higgs Boson may not exist

Sometimes The Atheist Turtle is bored and resorts to verse:

Modern science has naught to say
Simulated Higgs Boson See below
Of what God did each creation day.
And it goes on to proclaim the Holy Bible
For other than wisdom to be unreliable.

Quantum mechanics and electron spin
Are the things to place our faith within.
Creation occurred without God the Father
And to prove it man built the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

The Standard Model of Physics currently intones
That matter got mass and energy from the Higgs boson
A quantum particle which has yet to be detected
Its necessary existence by science has been projected.

And if it fails to make an appearance
Current models of creation may lose their adherents.
But the news is not good for the Higgs boson side
Yet to be seen it is running out of places to hide.

Technicolor, Extra-dimensional, composite W and Z
Top quark condensate, Unitary Weyl gauge, and Asymptotic safety
Regular Charge Monopole, symmetry breaking, unparticle and unhiggs
Are potential replacement theories waiting in the wings.

But despite brave claims that failure will be a kind of win,
Higgs’ importance is demonstrated by the dollars invested of Seven ‘Billyin’
Perhaps the elaborate experimental planning has missed.
The verse which says by Jesus all was created and consists.

CERN is not the only collider which has been tryin’
Fermilabs in Chicago operates the Tevatron
It’s been at it now for 30 years
With no Higgs boson detected despite blood, sweat and tears.

September 2011 is all that is left
For Fermi labs to complete its quest.
Their funding runs out and the project will end
And CERN only will be left Higgs boson to defend.

I’ve been called a fool for believing God created the universe.
But to me that position of science seems perverse.
God must be rejected because He can’t be analyzed or detected
But it keeps looking for the Higgs boson when it should be rejected.

Why is it God’s existence is rejected
Because by equipment He can’t be detected.
Who proclaimed this way of thinking is right?
In doing so our search for the truth we have lost sight.

Is the only real what can be seen and measured?
Doesn’t that eliminate much that is loved and treasured?
What if science is truly on the wrong track?
And to find the truth we must go back?

"There are many models out there; we simply need to be nudged in the right direction,"
Said  Gagnon, an experimental physicist discussing science theories in contention.
At what point should science submit?
And finally it’s out of options admit?

The answer, “Never,” seems the height of conceit
Eventually, you’ll be left with a dead horse to beat.
If I’m wrong then you’re right I’m a foolish old sod.
But if you’re wrong then your arrogance has made you miss God.

This file is in the public domain because it is from the homepage of CMS detector of CERN. All photos and movies are completely free to use.

October 1997(1997-10)
Lucas Taylor

An example of simulated data modelled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Here, following a collision of two protons, a Higgs boson is produced which decays into two jets of hadrons and two electrons. The lines represent the possible paths of particles produced by the proton-proton collision in the detector while the energy these particles deposit is shown in blue.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yes Evolution! Really? Are you kidding me?

Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle): Ary, watch this video - a simple demonstration of evolution.

How to believe anything.
[Video via BBC Science Zone.  Dr. Yan]

Johnson1010 (one of Mat's buddies) Well, what do you think?

Ary (Mature Christian Pastor) I think you guys are so gullible you will believe anything said by a person with a British accent and the letters BBC hung up behind them; throw in some attractive young people and us old codgers are doomed.

Johnson1010: You're doomed because you believe in God not science.  That demonstration showed how evolution works by introducing small changes overtime.

Ary: All I saw were people who weren't very good at tracing lines on a computer screen; what does that have to do with how evolution works.

Johnson1010: It showed how each time the line was traced tiny errors were introduced which, over time, made the line unrecognizable.

Ary: How were the errors introduced?

Mat:  By the person tracing.

Ary: So it has nothing to do with the line; not really!

Johnson1010: Yes, it does.

Ary:  What?

Johnson1010: The line changes over time.

Ary: Because the people doing the tracing aren't good at making direct copies.  If they were the line wouldn't change.

Mat: But that's the point, each iteration of the line represents what happens when cells reproduce.

Ary:  But cells aren't copied from the outside, they copy themselves, so show me the line copying itself and making mistakes.

Johnson1010: You're an idiot.  A line can't copy itself.

Ary: Exactly! But cells do. 

Johnson1010:  Listen fundie, the video is making a point.  It's a simplification.

DNA Strands are not straight lines

Ary: No, it's a parlor trick and it's unfair.  A cell is a complex set of instructions not a straight line.  What the video should show is people copying computer code.  Have them copy the code and then run the program.  I submit that the program won't run with an error and so the mutation will end with the first mistake, not be copied.

 Johnson1010: [crickets]

Mat: [crickets then] Turtle up.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Richard Dawkins needs a sense of humor!

Ary (mature Christian): Hey Mat, how come most atheists don't have a sense of humor?

Mat (mature atheist turtle): We have more of a sense of humor than you Christians.

Ary: Actually you don't seem to, and I need only point to Richard Dawkins as proof.  Watch this video:

[For reference sake the video is a demonstration of how a banana shows that there was a designer involved in its creation.  Here is a text version of the demonstration: ]

Ray Comfort with a banana
"It's my theory of where the soda can may have come from. Billions of years ago, there was a big bang in space. Nobody knows what caused the big bang, it just happened. And from this bang issued this huge rock. On top of the rock was found a sweet, brown bubbly substance. And over millions of years, aluminum crept up the side, formed itself with a can and a lid and then a tab. And then millions of years later, red paint, blue paint, white paint fell from the sky and formed itself into the words '12 fluid ounces - Do not litter'."

The Atheist's Worst Nightmare

"You're saying, 'What are you doing, you're insulting my intellect' - and so I am. Because we know, if the can is made there must be a maker. If it's designed there must be a designer. To believe the soda can happened by chance is to move into an intellectual-free zone... is to have an echo when you think... is to have brain liposuction" "Behold, the atheists' nightmare. Now if you study a well-made banana, you'll find, on the far side, there are 3 ridges. On the close side, two ridges. If you get your hand ready to grip a banana, you'll find on the far side there are three grooves, on the close side, two grooves. The banana and the hand are perfectly made, one for the other. You'll find the maker of the banana, Almighty God, has made it with a non-slip surface. It has outward indicators of inward contents - green, too early - yellow, just right - black, too late. Now if you go to the top of the banana, you'll find, as with the soda can, makers have placed a tab at the top, so God has placed a tab at the top. When you pull the tab, the contents don't squirt in your face. You'll find a wrapper which is biodegradable and has perforations. Notice how gracefully it sits over the human hand. Notice it has a point at the top for ease of entry. It's just the right shape for the human mouth. It's chewy, easy to digest and it's even curved toward the face to make the whole process so much easier."  --Ray Comfort ]

Ary: did you notice the audience laughing while Ray Comfort was doing his demonstration with the banana?  They realize that while Ray is appreciating God's creation he is also having fun at atheists' expense.  Then Dawkins comes in and ridicules Ray's banana demonstration. 

IAT 1 (immature atheist turtle 1):  How about Bananaman goes to a college (you know, places where people learn things) and gets educated about the subjects he's attempting to talk about, instead of reciting a book of poetry and fairy tales written by desert nomads. It's honestly embarrassing how ignorant creationists are. Bananaman doesn't even have a legitimate education!! How can he possibly consider himself qualified on subjects like cosmology, philosophy, or evolution??? Ray is a waste of oxygen!

IAT 2 (immature atheist turtle 2):  Science does NOT teach that something came from nothing. Let's not forget, religion teaches everything has a creator... except God that is, therein lies the fallacy. You really need to educate yourself on science and the methods thereof before you make claims like that, which only furthers ignorance. Instead of relying on cutesy anecdotes and analogies to argue with, why not use facts and data? The burden of proof lies on the one making the claim. Where is your solid proof?

Ary: In fact science may not teach that something came from nothing but Stephen Hawking certainly does.  He makes exactly that claim in the Curiosity Show: Did God Create the Universe?
At about the 2m 30s time mark of this section Hawking proclaims (to the accompaniment of swelling music) that the universe "created itself" and that he is "pretty pleased" [with himself] for having figured it out.

Mat: This is ridiculous.  God did not design the banana for human convenience.  If he did how do you explain the pineapple?  Well?

Ary:  Have you ever sung Yankee Doodle?

Mat: Of course.

Ary: Do you know that song was started by the British to make fun of the backward colonists?  But the colonists liked the song and took it over.  Everytime the British sang it they were making fools of themselves.  You atheists are doing the same thing with Ray Comfort's humorous demonstration of the banana.  So go for it.

Ary: Boys we have nothing left to do but but "Turtle Up".

Thanks to Ray Comfort for his cleverness and humor.

No bananas were harmed in the production of this blog but one is about to be.

Thank God for bananas.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pygmies in the Garden of Eden

The Atheist Turtle idea is the result of thousands of online conversations I have had with a variety of anti-Christians.  I suppose the term atheist is not totally accurate as some represent themselves as agnostics, astrotheologists, and even an alchemist but they all shared a disdain, in some cases bordering on hatred, for God, the Bible, Jesus and Christianity - In my book that makes them atheists.

The atheist turtle’s war cry “Turtle Up” is perhaps more accurately described as a call to retreat and is the final event in the typical sequence of discussion with atheists.  Said sequence usually involves some or all of the acronym C.R.U.D.E. which stands for:

Accuse Christian of Circular reasoning
Accuse Christian of Rationalization/Rationalizing
Call the Christian Uneducated
Say the Christian is Deluded, Delusional or Demented
If the Christian continues to argue implement Evasion, Turtle Up, go into your shell and refuse to discuss anymore.  This behavior is often preceded by accusing the Christian of trolling or spamming and may take an extreme form by banning the Christian from the forum.

The following is an actual discussion which took place on a forum devoted to Freethought.  The names have been changed to avoid free publicity for them.

In the article by MAS on the Hallet book about pygmies there seems to be an assertion that the pygmy tribe was extremely isolated from the outside world and they developed language and religion without outside influences. Is this a correct assessment?

Atheist Turtle
Why do you ask? Where are you getting your information? It sounds like you haven't actually read the blog or her book for yourself. Is that a fair assumption?

I ask to validate what I believe MAS is claiming about the pygmies.
I did read the blog. What does that have to do with the answer to my question?
I repeat, is it MAS' assertion that the pygmies developed their religious beliefs without any contact with the outside world?

Atheist Turtle
Were the blog, forum thread and book not clear enough?

There may be a fair amount of background noise going on here which I am not privy to. Your evasiveness is counterproductive. If MAS intends her article to support that position she need only verify that. My reason for asking is to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding. If truly this is a site for Truth I should think it would also be acknowledged when a question is asked.

Atheist Turtle
What about the blog, forum thread and book did not already answer your question?

Allow me to rephrase the question;
In an article by MAS on the Hallet book about pygmies there is an assertion that the pygmy tribe was extremely isolated from the outside world and they developed language and religion without outside influences. Does MAS agree with this assertion?

Atheist Turtle
Help me understand what about the blog, forum thread and book did not already answer your question? The answer to your question is more complex than just a yes or no and it is all explained throughout the blog, forum thread and book. So, why is this even coming up?

Your response is confused and contradictory. You state that the referenced element should have answered my question, then state that the answer is more complex than just a yes or no. IMHO It really isn't that complex and it is a question only one person can answer.

From the activity related to this discussion - 47 views - I suspect that your evasiveness is intentional. That's fine. My belief is that MAS supports the premise which creates a paradox in a fundamental construct of the foundation of MAS' theme. I wanted to permit a confirm or deny opportunity. So, one more time; Yes, or no?

Atheist Turtle
That's funny because I feel that your question is confused and contradictory. The blog, forum thread and book already answer your question. All you need to do is actually read them. Reading them answers your question much better than a yes or no because your question is not an accurate representation of what she wrote. So, I can't help but get the spidy-sense we're being set-up here for some sort of scam. You are trying to corner me into giving a yes or no answer to a question that is not accurate in the first place. So, there will be no yes or no answer. And for like the 5th time now, a reading of the blog and forum thread should've been enough for you to comprehend the answer to your question if you are being sincere. There's something very fishy going on here.

She is not the one making those claims, Anthropologist Dr. Jean-Pierre Hallet does in his 20 year investigation on Pygmies as explained in his book. She is relaying that information and pointing out that more research needs to be done on this subject. So, a yes or no answer would never have been an accurate answer to your questions. And all of that is made categorically clear in the blog, forum thread and book.

What have you to fear? What have you to dread? - a single person, asking a simple question invokes so much fear that it paralyzes you into being unable to answer on your own forum! The fact that space is devoted to the theories set forth in the article and the general supportive tone lead me to believe that the answer is affirmative. It may be qualified as you have indicated and doing so would not be a sin.

If you choose to reply I will give you the homefield advantage in the form of the last word on this thread.

Atheist Turtle
"What have you to fear" ??? Are you serious? This is getting more fishy as it goes. From where I stand, my last comment answered your question. I will not waste any more time on this issue. You're wasting my time.

Second Atheist Turtle joins in
So, you want to try and put together an argument for Christian missionaries being responsible for the Pygmie parallels. Well, that's sort of the starting point. People would think that at first glance, but is that the case? It appears that these parallels are of the pre-Christian variety.

But this isn't given as absolute. You're trying to turn something investigatory into an absolute claim on the part of MAS so that you can try and refute the information as an absolute claim. But it wasn't given that way. And so you can't refute it in that way. There's no diversion here, that's the just bottom line. MAS clearly hasn't made this concrete. It's just an example of the possible antiquity of these myths. That is the context that the Pygmie thing was given in the CC.

I see you haven't lost your ability to jump to incorrect conclusions. I have no interest in tying the pygmies and Christian missionaries together. That was already done in the post under discussion. But wow, 150 views and only three participants ... I can smell the fear.

Second Atheist Turtle
If you aren't trying to claim that the Pygmies got there Christian Parallels from interaction with Christian missionaries or Christian expeditions into the jungle, then where do you suppose that these parallels came from? Did Satan visit the Pygmies to try and beat Jesus to the punch?

You obviously want an absolute yes or no answer for some reason related to another ridiculous attempt at an apology. But there is no absolute yes or no answer to be given in this case, so just go ahead with the apology and get it over with. This is dragging on for too long already. Let's have it.

You haven't changed. I wasn't making any assertion. All I was doing was asking a question but instead of a straight answer all I got was evasion, then you pop in and say I am dragging it out too long - classic.

Second Atheist Turtle
As it stands there's no credible evidence to support the Pygmie's being indoctrinated by outsiders. I'd say that MAS is leaning towards the simplest explanation here. These beliefs were likely formed with no contact from the outside world. So what? Of what concern is it to you? Once again, let's have it. No one's evading, no one's hiding, no one's scared of any fundie apologetic trolling questions around here...

Well, I will quote what MAS says in her post and critique it as follows:

Garden of Eden originally a Pygmy myth?
The entire article is full of weaknesses but the two major failures are:
MAS wrote:
1) “Hallet spends considerable time essentially proving that the Pygmy legends are their own homegrown stories. Hallet does a thorough job addressing criticisms that the Pygmies were influenced by other cultures, such as the Judeo-Christian - indeed, he addresses this contention throughout the book, which is seemingly written for just such a purpose.”

This is a very telling statement. It is usually the case that one proves what one sets out to prove in one’s own book. It is self-fulfilling prophecy, not objectivity and is usually the basis for extreme skepticism by the independent reader.

MAS wrote:
2) “He then demonstrates that their legends and myths are likely the basis of much Egyptian myth, which in turn influenced biblical stories.”

Statements 1 and 2 cannot both be true so Hallet has impeached his own book.

Second Atheist Turtle
Now, of course they can both be true.

1) The Pygmies could have developed their motifs without outside influence at earlier dates than the Egyptian and Judeo-Christians myths and 2) The old Pygmie myths could have gone out to Egypt in a remote period long before any influence in the opposite direction could have occurred. I think that is what Hallet is hinting towards. During the written historical period there's no evidence of Judeo-Christianity penetrating the jungles to the Pygmies in other words.

Once you claim contact it becomes impossible to identify which group influenced the other.*

*I attempted to post this response but got the following notification:

"This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies."

It's like talking to a wall.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Logic Works By Barbara

Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle): Ary, watch this video clip from the show Curious: Did God Create the Universe?

[Mat shows a clip of the show, when it gets to about 3m 30sec Mat says]: Pay close attention to this part.

[I have provided a link to the video but not knowing how long it will be available I have also provided the below quote from Stephen Hawkings’ book which relates the story.]

“The Greeks’ Christian successors rejected the idea that the universe is governed by indifferent natural law.  They also rejected the idea that humans do not hold a privileged place within that universe.  And though the medieval period had no single coherent philosophical system, a common theme was that the universe is God’s dollhouse, and religion a far worthier study than the phenomena of nature.  Indeed, in 1277 Bishop Tempier of Paris, acting on the instructions of Pope John XXI, published a list of 219 errors or heresies that were to be condemned.  Among the heresies was the idea that nature follows laws, because this conflicts with God’s omnipotence.  Interestingly, Pope John was killed by the effects of the law of gravity a few months later when the roof of his palace fell in on him.”

The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking, Bantam, September 7, 2010; pp.24-25.

Mat: What do you think?

Ary: It’s hard not to pity Mr. Hawking, if not for his physical challenges, then for his perspective.  Perhaps the one strongly influences the other so I am reluctant to be overly critical of him, but the egregious nature of the misinformation he provides leaves me little choice.

Mat: What misinformation? You’re deluded.

Ary: Nearly all of it about Pope John XXI and the Condemnations of 1277.

Mat: Is the video not true?

Ary:  At best the truth was stretched nearly to the breaking point; at worst, in my opinion, it’s a lie.  The impression we are left with is that Pope John XXI was a narrow minded dullard, a typical reactionary religious official afraid that science would destroy the church so he condemned scientific principles and threatened to excommunicate anyone who violated the prohibition.

Mat: Are you telling me that a world famous physicist and a nationally known broadcast network are wrong? Prove it!

Ary: That is what I mean.  As the 13th century dawned interest in learning was on the increase.  Many ancient teachings had been revived and widely distributed.  Among these were those of Aristotle.  It was soon apparent that Aristotle was wrong about many things and that his ideas were impeding progress.  Beginning in 1210, a series of investigations were undertaken to deal with the errors.  Many think that John XXI initiated one in 1277, but opinion is divided on the actual events leading up to it.

Mat: You’re rationalizing now. What, does science have to do with religion anyway?  Why excommunicate someone for a scientific teaching?

Ary: Because it contradicted what the church taught about God.  Here’s an example  related to physical science: the teaching that the universe could not be in motion was condemned along with the notion that God could not create several worlds. These and the other condemnations destroyed the foundations of Aristotle’s system and opened the way for scientific innovation.

Mat:  Bull, like what?

Ary: For example: Aristotle treated the existence of an empty space as a pure absurdity and so, the universe must be stationary since if it moved it would leave empty space behind. But belief in God’s Omnipotence implied it was possible, waiting for scientific confirmation that the universe could move.  This was a conflict and it restricted or encouraged scientific inquiry depending on which side one took. Stephen Hawking says that John XXI was responsible for outlawing the laws of nature, but in the "Articles of Paris" Richard of Middletown ca 1280 admitted that the realization of space is not, in itself, contrary to reason; thus, without any absurdity, one could argue for a vacuum and for motion in a vacuum. This resulted in the development of the science of dynamics.  In fact, the laws of nature John XXI outlawed were mainly those of Aristotle.

Mat: So what?  That’s only one example.

Ary: Most of the 219 condemnations of 1277 were similar or dealt specifically with challenges to the power of God.  They were intended to promote learning, not restrict it.  And further, the impression of John XXI is totally wrong.  Let me tell you about him:

Pope John XXI was born in Lisbon, Portugal ~ 1215. He studied in Paris and Montpelier, and ~1255 he was invited to the Chair of the Medical school of the University of Siena. He is the only Pope (besides Peter) mentioned as being in heaven in Dante's "Divine Comedy", wrote Liber de oculo-- one of the first books in the Italian language-- on the eye and its diseases and treatments; and while at Siena he also wrote Summulae Logicales, which became the textbook of logic at most of the Italian universities for the next two centuries.

In Chesterton's poem "True Sympathy or Prevention Of Cruelty To Teachers" we read:
I wore my Soul's Awakening smile
I felt it was my duty:
Lo! Logic works by Barbara
And life is ruled by Beauty.
[GKC, CW10:486-7]

Logic works by Barbara?

In fact, Chesterton borrowed the idea from Pope John XXI’s logic book where he wrote:
Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio.
Cesare, Camestres, Festino, Baroko.
Darapti, Disamis, Datisi, Felapton, Bokardo, Ferison.
Bramantip, Camenes, Dimaris, Fesapo, Fresison.

They are not the nonsense they appear to be at first; in fact they are the basis for logic.

Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Ferio.

These words hold the key to the logic form called syllogism and ultimately Boolean Algebra.

As a matter of fact the poem is an example of "microcode".  The order of the vowels - gives the specification of the various forms of the Syllogism, and reduction to the four forms.

Barbara = aaa = "All M is S. All P is M. Therefore, All P is S."
Celarent = eae = "No M is S. All P is M. Therefore, No P is S."
Darii = aii = " All M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is S."
Ferio = eio = " No M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is not S."

See footnote

He was elected Pope on September 13, 1276, and took the name John XXI. His reign was less than a year during which he continued with his scientific work.  This interest led to his untimely death as the apartment he had added to the palace so he could study in quiet collapsed on him on May 14, 1277.  He died of his injuries on May 20, 1277.

For more information, please see; See also Walsh's Catholic Churchmen in Science, Second Series, The Popes and Science, and Shallo's Scholastic Philosophy.

And now, on the "microcode" of Barbara and the rest:

Meanings of the letters:

a = "All X is Y"
i = "Some X is Y"
e = "No X is Y"
o = "Some X is not Y"

(These are the vowels from affirmo = "I affirm, say yes", and nego = "I deny, say no".)

The initial letter of the word specifies which of the four forms of the "First Figure", which are valid syllogisms:

B (Barbara) = "All M is S. All P is M. Therefore, All P is S."
C (Celarent) = "No M is S. All P is M. Therefore, No P is S."
D (Darii) = "All M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is S."
F (Ferio) = "No M is S. Some P is M. Therefore, Some P is not S."

The other letters (in the second, third, and fourth lines) are the "instructions" which show how to convert each form into one of the First Figure.

m - transpose the premises (exchange S and P)
s - convert the preceding vowel "simply" (exchange the left side and right side of the "is" in that statement)
p - convert by "limitation"
k - apply "indirect reduction" (this means showing the trutb by assuming the contradictory, and showing that the assumption leads to absurdity)

Here's an example from Shallo:
S: All stars are self-luminous bodies.
P: No planets are self-luminous bodies.
Therefore, no planets are stars.

This is a syllogism in Camestres; it is reducible to Celarent. The first s indicates that the minor is to be simply converted; the m that this new minor is to change places with the former major; the last s that the conclusion is to be simply converted, thus:

S: No self-luminous bodies are planets.
P: All stars are self-luminous bodies.
Therefore, no stars are planets.

Ary: Does Pope John XXI seem a dullard to you?

Mat: Time to turtle up.

above information was derived from several sources especially:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?

Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle – smug, and condescending)
Question #3 – Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible? For example - Look up these verses:
  • Exodus 35:2 – God demands that we kill everyone who works on the Sabbath day.
  • Deuteronomy 21:18-21 – God demands that we kill disobedient teenagers.
  • Leviticus 20:13 – God demands the death of homosexuals.
  • Deuteronomy 22:13-21- God demands that we kill girls who are not virgins when they marry.  And so on, there are many more similar verses.
It doesn’t make any sense, does it?  Why would a loving God want us to murder our fellow human beings over such trivial matters?  In fact, if you think about it you realize that it is insane!  So Christians must create some kind of rationalization to explain the verses.

Ary: You are a credit to your species and have learned the C.R.U.D.E. mantra well, at least the R for rationalization.  Unfortunately you are also the typical discredit to your  species as you don't read or understand the Bible, and you are not familiar with the other cultures present at the time.  The infractions and punishments cited in the Bible are typical for the time and place with the exception of the Sabbath which was unique to the Jews.  Let's look at the actual verses instead of your editorial comment.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 King James Version (KJV)
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Ary: Notice who the audience is:  The nation of Israel.  Mat, are you part of the nation of Israel? I don't think so.  Let's look at Exodus.

Exodus 35
1 And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.
2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
4 And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded.

Ary: Mat, are you a member of the Congregation of the Children of Israel?  What's the matter - Cat got your tongue?  Let's go on to Leviticus 20.

Leviticus 20
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Ary: Mat are you one of the Children of Israel?  Perhaps you will have better luck with Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 22
1 If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner.
Marriage Violations
13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her
14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,”
15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin.
16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town,
18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him.
19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name.
20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found,
21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

Ary: What you apply generally to everyone was part of what is known as the Mosaic Covenant.  A covenant is an agreement between two parties.  It establishes the elements of performance and the sanctions for failure.  In the case of the verses you cite they are all part of the agreement setting the Jews apart from the rest of humanity.  They were not unilaterally imposed on the Jews.  In fact such an imposition would render a contract invalid.  The children of Israel were presented with the full agreement and ratified it as follows:

The ratification of the Mosaic covenant was fourfold:
  1. The sacrifice of young bulls as peace offerings and burnt offering to the Lord (Ex. 24:5).
  2. The sprinkling of half of the blood upon the altar (Ex. 24:6).
  3. The reading of the book of the covenant and the promise of obedience by the people of Israel (Ex. 24:7).
  4. The sprinkling of the blood upon the people (Ex. 24:8). From other incidents in the Old Testament wherein men are sprinkled with blood (Lev. 8:30; 14:6-7), the purpose of sprinkling with blood was to cleanse the people from their sin and to consecrate and sanctify them for their part in the covenant.

If is not correct to impose the covenant on non-Jews.  Wikipedia states:
"God established the Mosaic Covenant with the Israelites after he has saved them from slavery in Egypt in the events of The Exodus. It is legally linked with the 613 commandments.  Because Judaism views the Mosaic covenant as applying only to Jews, it advocates the much easier to observe pre-Mosaic Seven Laws of Noah for non-Jews."

Ary: Your criticism fails on two points of misunderstanding: 1) the sanctions cited apply only to the Jews under the Mosaic Covenant, 2) The Jews agreed to live under the law and sanctions, it was not imposed on them.
The purpose of the covenant was to separate the Jews as a special group of people who lived under the leadership of God.  As a result they agreed to live by a code of conduct but they failed.  Evidence from the book of Malachi indicates that violations of the Sabbath were commonplace and unpunished.  By the time Jesus was ministering the Pharisees had developed elaborate methods to circumvent the law. 

I think it's time for you to turtle up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why are there so many starving people in the world?

Mat (Mature Atheist Turtle): That answer (to Why Won’t God Heal Amputees) seems like a copout but let’s move on to question #2;

Why are there so many starving people in the world?  Why would God be worried about you getting a raise, while ignoring the prayers of desperate, innocent children and their parents [praying for food]? It doesn’t make any sense, does it?  Why would a loving god do this [allow them to starve]?  To explain it you have to come up with some sort of very strange excuse for God, like: God wants these children to suffer and die for some divine, mysterious reason.  Then you push it out of your mind because it absolutely does not fit with your view of a loving, caring God.

Mat had worked himself into a tizzy

Ary:  I agree with you. There is no explanation for god to act the way you suggest.  He is a weak evil god who derives pleasure from the suffering of his creation.  The problem is that you have manufactured that god for your own purposes.  You set the rules for his behavior and then condemn me for not justifying it.  That is perverted.  It is your job to justify the actions of your god, or, perhaps more to the point, to explain why you want that god.

Mat: Your god is no better!

Ary: In fact my God is not only better, He is perfect, or perhaps I should say, PERFECTION.  His Word tells us that after He had finished creating He looked at everything and said that it was very good.

Mat: Ha! Your god is not omnipotent or he would have created a perfect world, not just very good.

Ary: He could have, but He would not, but that is for another day.  In the very good world He created man had ready and unimpeded access to all the food he needed.  Note that I said needed.  God created man to need to eat and in that we are dependant on His provision. 

Mat: I know where you are going with this. Man screwed up, right?

Ary: More than that.  Before the fall food was solely the provision of God.  Man cared for the garden but his efforts were not necessary to sustain his life.  After the fall God was no longer the sole provider of the food.  Humans had to work and work hard to survive.  You are demanding that God restore us to our state before the fall.  By what reason would God do that and overlook the crime of humanity?

Mat:  What about the babies, the starving, belly bloated, fly covered babies?  What crime have they committed?

Food to feed thousands provided by Christians 
 Ary:  That is a hard question because it illuminates our failure.  There is more than enough food produced every year to feed everyone.  The problem is buying it and getting it to the needy.  From the earliest days of the church believers have worked to relieve hunger and disease.  The same is true today but often the food purchased and shipped to feed the starving is stolen by corrupt people and sold to enrich themselves. 

Mat: Why doesn’t god just kill the warlord who steals the food?

Ary (angry): You are not God!  That warlord has a soul and is no less precious to God than you are.  You would condemn that man’s soul to hell?

Mat: He deserves it.

Ary: We all deserve it, but while we live there is a chance to change - A chance to be saved. Let me tell you a story.  Once there was a man who, just like the children you mentioned was starving.  He lived a miserable life, hungry and covered with sores which the dogs came and licked.  Finally, he died and was in heaven.  The life of misery he led was over, replaced by one of happiness.  Soon after, his rich master who had not fed or cared for his servant died too but his soul was separated from God and his former servant.

Mat: It seems like we are back where we started but with god unwilling to fix it.  To me that seems worse than him not having the power.  What you are saying is that god could fix it but won’t.

Ary: On the contrary, God has provided the fix.  If all the world followed Him and we were all brothers there would be no warlords to steal food.

Christian Disaster Mobile Feeding Unit

Christian Mobile Dental Center