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Archive for July, 2008

This one should be filed under “Woman chooses to have sex with her husband, chooses not to take birth-control, credits God with her 18 children, and takes no responsibility for creating the situation”.

ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia ( July 28 ) – A Romanian immigrant has given birth to her 18th child in British Columbia, making her the province’s most prolific mother in 20 years.

“We never planned how many children to have. We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that’s the reason we did not stop the life,” said Alexandru Ionce. (Source)

Apparently, “let God guide our lives” = some confused mix of making some decisions (e.g. to have sex), and refusing to make other decisions (e.g. to take birth-control).

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Commenting on Blogs

I don’t know if anyone else does the same thing, but I tend to shy away from commenting on blogs when they have lots of comments. There’s something about it that makes me feel like my comment is always going to get buried, and there’s virtually no chance to respond to a comment, so I don’t even bother. Over the past few months, Pharyngula has become like this. I still read it, I just don’t bother commenting. It’s not uncommon for Pharyngula to get more than one comment per minute. This post has 2113 comments in just over 12 hours (that’s 1 comment every 20 seconds x 12 hours), and this one has 1480 comments. I suppose the more commenters there are, the more readers there are, but wow. Once comments get into the upper double-digits, I don’t even attempt to read them, so it’s hard for me to believe anyone else is.

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Wear Science

These t-shirt designs made me laugh.

Brought to you by the website with the “teach the controversy” t-shirts:

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Growing up Amish

Fourhourworkweek has an interesting couple posts written by a woman who grew up Amish, and then escaped. A quick excerpt:

What were the positives of growing up Amish?

-Growing up bilingual (Though I didn’t become fluent in English until after I escaped and I was always very self-conscious about my command of the English language)

-The emphasis on the solidarity of the extended family unit

-The emphasis on being hospitable to strangers, helping those in need, whether Amish or “English” (anyone who’s not Amish is “English,” no matter what language or culture he/she represents)

-Building your own houses, growing your own food, sewing your own clothes

These experiences taught me self-reliance, self-preservation, and gave me the ability to relate to non-American familial cultures much better than I might otherwise.

The biggest negatives?

-The rape, incest and other sexual abuse that run rampant in the community

-Rudimentary education

-Physical and verbal abuse in the name of discipline

-Women (and children) have no rights

-Religion–and all its associated fear and brainwashing–as a means of control (and an extremely effective means at that)

-Animal abuse

I consider these negatives as personal positives in a somewhat perverted or distorted way. Without having experienced what I did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, shaped by the experiences I’ve had since. I always tell people that I’m thankful for having grown up Amish but that I’d never wish it upon anyone else.

People generally have a peaceful image of the Amish. Can you explain the physical abuse?

The Amish take the Bible verse “spare the rod and spoil the child” in a literal sense. Parents routinely beat their children with anything from fly swatters, to leather straps (the most typical weapon), to whips (those are the most excruciating of), to pieces of wood.

One of my acquaintances stuttered when he was little and his dad would make him put his toe under the rocking chair, and then his dad would sit in the chair and rock over the toe and tell him that’s what he gets for stuttering.

Even little babies get abused for crying too much during church or otherwise “misbehaving.” I’ve heard women beat their babies — under a year old — so much that I cringed in pain.

My dad got the daily paper, and my mom caught me reading it once. She beat me for what she deemed open signs of rebellion. Following that, I’d wait until my mom took her nap and then I’d read the paper from cover to cover.

Escaping the Amish – Part 1
Escaping the Amish – Part 2

I guess none of this should be particularly surprising. I’ve read about small insular communities in the past that have all kinds of problems – but people on the outside don’t know what’s going on. In these kinds of small insular communities, it seems that the “rule of law” isn’t a principle that is followed. Rather, one man, a few elders, or men in general end up being the law, and that gives them plenty of leverage to abuse people under them. This seems to get pronounced more strongly in small religious communities – where “God” has defined a social order (e.g. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:22) or one person has a special role as prophet or leader (as in cults / Mormon sects). Another recent example is from the Parcairn Islands:

The remoteness of Pitcairn (which lies about halfway between New Zealand and Peru) had shielded the tiny population (47 in 2004) from outside scrutiny. If present admissions and allegations were to be believed, the devout Seventh-day Adventism practiced by the islanders had for many decades masked a tolerance for sexual promiscuity, even among the very young, with a corresponding tacit acceptance of child sexual abuse. Three cases of imprisonment for sex with underage girls were reported in the 1950s.

A study of island records confirmed anecdotal evidence that most girls had their first child between the ages of 12 and 15. “I think the girls were conditioned to accept that it was a man’s world and once they turned 12, they were eligible,” Tosen said.

On 30 September 2004, seven men living on Pitcairn Island (including Steve Christian, the Mayor), went on trial facing 55 charges relating to sexual offences. On 24 October, all but one of the defendants were found guilty on at least some of the charges they faced.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitcairn_sexual_assault_trial_of_2004

But, I’m getting off-topic. Again, the Amish article is worth a read:
Escaping the Amish – Part 1
Escaping the Amish – Part 2

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I stumbled on a Republican website today that was selling this shirt. All I could think is ‘wow’.

(Admittedly, when I first read the shirt, I thought they were saying, “I’d rather be torturing another human being”, which is more offensive than the alternative: suggesting that they enjoy being waterboarded, and it’s not that bad.)

A quick look around the site confirms that their main intention is the pleasure they get from angering their ideological ‘enemies’. They seem to follow the Ann Coulter formula of searching for the most inflammatory thing they can say.

With all the Catholic wafer uproar recently (IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!, Professor who threatened desecration claims to have consecrated Hosts), I have been thinking about the whole ‘I’m going to piss you off’ actions that have been going on. Other recent examples: US soldier shooting the Koran, the Mohammed cartoons, and the Kieffe & Sons radio ad, and the Blasphemy Challenge.

I think there is something cathartic and indulgent in all these actions – it’s a chance to express your own opinion about someone else’s sacred cow. Not all these situations are the same, of course. An American soldier shooting the Koran and writing expletives on it in Iraq is bound to have negative consequences for the US military and stability in Iraq. As for the Mohammed cartoons – while they were setup as a test of free-speech, they weren’t the worst possible thing the Danish could’ve printed. Dislike of Muslims is common and they’re a small enough minority, that printing anti-Islamic cartoons would provoke a mixed reaction without a huge backlash inside Denmark. Had the cartoons been racist, rather than anti-Islamic, I think far fewer newspapers would’ve considered printing them. And, of course, Iran responded by doing the easy thing: sponsoring a holocaust-denial cartoon contest – an idea that plays well among their friends (in the Middle-East) while pissing-off their ‘enemies’ (the West and the Jews). It’s always so easy to desecrate someone else’s sacred cow when it means nothing to you, and somehow that gets painted as ‘courageous’.

I remember reading one comment that these types of actions might shock sacred-cow believers into realizing how ridiculous their own actions are. That seemed highly unlikely, since it was pushing them into emotionalism, not reason. Attacking someone’s sacred cow is what it is: it’s not going to change anyone’s mind or make them more reasonable, it’s not going to improve the situation, but it might be cathartic and a chance for self-expression among the non-believers.

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Karl Rove ignored a subpoena to appear this morning before a House panel that is investigating allegations that partisan considerations entered into hirings and firings at the Justice Department.

The House Judiciary Committee had invited President Bush’s former political adviser to testify about a broad range of scandals. In response, his attorney sent lawmakers a letter outlining the grounds for his refusal to appear on Capitol Hill.

“As I have indicated to you in each of my letters, Mr. Rove does not assert any personal privileges in response to the subpoena,” Robert Luskin writes in a letter posted on the committee’s website. “However, as a former Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, he remains obligated to assert privileges held by the President … Accordingly, Mr. Rove will respectfully decline to appear before the Subcommittee on July 10 on the grounds that Executive Privilege confers upon him immunity from process in response to a subpoena directed at this subject.

A few minutes ago, the Associated Press reported that Rep. Linda Sanchez, the California Democrat who chairs the subcommittee, ruled that Rove’s claim was invalid.
(Source)

It’s amazing to me that the Republicans have seized the perception of being the pro-American party. They love to wrap themselves up in the flag, complain that other people are insufficiently patriotic, and then their leaders will ignore the laws (even the constitution) of the country. It’s like a boss who constantly complains about employee theft, but then embezzles money.

Even if we ignore the current situation, their actions are setting a bad precedent for future presidents. In 20 or 50 years from now, if a bad president comes to power, he can use the Bush administration’s actions to confer legitimacy to whatever he wants to do. It’s hard not to think that all of these expansions of executive power isn’t degrading this country, and moving it irrevocably away from the checks and balances which were so important to the founding fathers. If the Republicans want to tear up the constitution and tell us that the founding fathers had it all wrong, then let them just come out and say it. Instead, under the guise of protecting the country and wrapped in patriotism, they slowly seize more and more power for themselves.

I remember reading an article a long time ago about a Middle Eastern man who moved to the US during the Nixon administration. In many places around the world, leaders are above the law, so he was amazed that the United States was a country where even the leaders were under the rule of law. It gave him a profound respect for this country. That distinction is dying under the weight of executive privilege, presidential pardons, signing statements, secret laws to allow for illegal wiretapping, suspension of habeas corpus, etc. For thousands of years, mankind has struggled to free itself from the tyranny and whim of its leaders. The United States was largely founded on a rebellion against abusive power of the English monarchy, and it’s constitution reflects that – by carefully limiting government power to prevent abuse. They were familiar with what it was like to be the underdog. Unfortunately, present-leaders have no experience in being the underdog, and insufficient respect for those issues. In the war between the powerful (the rich and the government) and the the weak (the people), today’s leaders see things only from their own position, and seek to expand their power at the expense of the common people. They are slowly working to restore the monarchy’s president’s power. The Bush administration is a step backwards: an expansion of government power at the expense of the people, and paving the way for future expansion of presidential power.

Speaking of which, here’s a recent video involving John Yoo (who assisted the Attorney General as legal advisor to President Bush and all the executive branch agencies), where he is unable to answer the simple question: what are the limits to executive power? Yoo’s answer seems to be that there are no limits, but he trusts the president to act with sufficient restraint.

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Welcome to circular logic theater. There’s a Christian guy making videos on YouTube. One of his recent videos (Why Choose Christianity over other Religions), he attempts to answer the questions: “Could you do a video on why Christianity is the only true faith? Why are there so many different religions if Christianity is the only true faith? What makes Christianity the only true faith?” What answer does he give? Why, he quotes the Bible, which says belief in Jesus leads to heaven, non-belief leads to hell. So, once you accept that the Bible is true, then you can show that the only Christianity solves the problem of sin (*that the Bible says exists) – making Christianity the only religion you should follow.

Next week: proving that Islam is the only true religion and Christians are blasphemers who will burn in hell (*once you accept the Koran as the authoritative word of God).

It reminded me of Edward Current’s satire:

I think the problem is that he can’t step away from his own belief system long enough to even think through it. Funny enough, in other videos, he claims to “prove” that Christians are smarter and wiser than atheists – who are “fools”, of course. (Maybe this guy should team-up with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort.)

On that note, enjoy this circular-logic clip from Idiocracy:

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On Wednesday, Iranian members of parliament voted to discuss a draft bill that seeks to “toughen punishment for disturbing mental security in society.” The text of the bill would add, “establishing websites and weblogs promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy,” to the list of crimes punishable by death.

In recent years, some Iranian bloggers have been sent to jail and many have had their sites filtered. If the Iranian parliament approves this draft bill, bloggers fear they could be legally executed as criminals. No one has defined what it means to “disturb mental security in society”.

Such discussion concerning blogs has not been unique to Iran. It shows that many authorities do not only wish to filter blogs, but also to eliminate bloggers!

A state policy to control blogs

About a year and a half ago, the Iranian government demanded that bloggers should register and provide their names and addresses on a site called Samandehi. Many people believed such a process would facilitate legal action against them.

Bloggers resisted and many published an “I do not register my blog/site” banner on their blogs. The Government then realised it cannot have real control of the situation, or force bloggers to register.

(Source)

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Link to the Entire Review of “The Case for Faith”

At this point, Strobel begins to raise nine objections about Hell.

Objection 1: How Can God Send Children to Hell?

People recoil at the thought of children languishing in hell. In fact, some atheists like to taunt Christians by dredging up writings by nineteenth-century evangelists who used horrific language to describe the ghastly experiences of children in hell. For example, a British priest nicknamed “the children’s apostle” wrote these gruesome words:

A little child is in this red-hot oven. Hear how it screams to come out! See how it turns and twists itself about in the fire! It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor. You can see on the face of this little child what you see on the faces of all in hell — despair, desperate and horrible. ( p.248 )

Wow. I had no idea nineteenth-century evangelists used these kinds of fear-based tactics. Funny the things you learn reading Christian apologetics. I also can’t help but think about something I had read about flaws in human reasoning. It said that human thought tends to be disproportionately controlled by scary things – even when they are terribly unlikely to happen (like sharks or terrorists), in spite of the fact that more mundane deaths are orders of magnitude more likely (like car accidents). Perhaps that’s the religious value of hell – to create a terrible, scary fear that can be used to drive religious conversion.

Strobel then asks, “How can there be a loving God if children are subjected to hell?”

“Remember,” Moreland cautioned … “the biblical language about fire and flames is figurative.”

“Yes, okay, but still — will there be children in hell?”

“You must understand that in the afterlife, our personalities reflect an adult situation anyway, so we can say for sure that there will be no children in hell,” he began. (p.249)

Unfortunately, Moreland never provided a decent argument that hell fire was figurative. And secondly, he asserts (without evidence) that “in the afterlife, our personalities reflect an adult situation”. It’s no wonder that many Christian commenters complained about the chapter on hell – it appears that Moreland is constructing a more acceptable version of hell which doesn’t have a Biblical basis.

“And certainly there will be no one in hell who, if they had a chance to grow up to be adults, would have chosen to go to heaven. No one will go to hell simply because all they needed was a little more time and they died prematurely.” (p.249)

I think the quickest way to figure out when Moreland is making stuff up is when he uses the words “we can say for sure” or “And certainly”.

“Besides, in the Bible children are universally viewed as figures of speech for salvation. In all of the texts where children are used in regard to the afterlife, they’re used as pictures of being saved. There’s no case where children are ever used as figures of damnation.” (p.249)

I’m not quite clear on Moreland’s point. Because children are used figuratively in the New Testament (mainly to describe how Christians must become like trusting children or sheep), then all real children will go to heaven. Moreland is also being inconsistent. First, he claims that children who die will go to heaven based on what they would have chosen had they grown up to be adults. Now, he claims that all children go to heaven.

Moreland then claims that 2 Samuel 12:23 provides evidence that children go to heaven. The verse quotes King David regarding his young child who has died: “But now he is dead, why should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” While the verse is a bit difficult to decipher, Moreland seems to be interpreting the last sentence as “I will go to heaven to meet him; he will not return to earth.” The verse is actually not nearly as clear as Moreland claims. It could mean several other things, such as “I will go to mourn over his body, but he will not return to this earth”. Additionally, Moreland’s interpretation is questionable by the simple fact that Jews are agnostic about the afterlife. They talk about “Sheol”, but it’s unclear whether that’s a conscious afterlife or a euphemism for unconscious death. Many Christian Bibles simply translate it as “death”. “Sheol” is most definitely not heaven, however. It’s usually referred to in terms that sound like a depressing underworld, and somewhat hell-like. It’s the place everyone goes (both righteous and wicked). If Moreland was correctly interpreting King David’s words, then it would overturn Jewish beliefs about the afterlife (there is one). Moreland claims David and his son went to heaven (rather than both being in Sheol) – which is unsupported by the text. It relies on David knowing exactly what happens after death – is David always right? And, if that wasn’t enough, Moreland also makes the leap of claiming that David’s son went to heaven therefore all children go to heaven.

To get an idea of the ambiguity that exists on the subject, it should also be pointed out that the Catholic church recently changed it’s long-standing policy of claiming that unbaptized children go into limbo (they now claim children go to heaven):

the church held that before the 13th Century, all unbaptised people, including new born babies who died, would go to hell. This was because original sin – the punishment that God inflicted on humanity because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience – had not been cleansed by baptism.

This idea however was criticised by Peter Abelard, a French scholastic philosophiser, who said that babies who had no personal sin didn’t even deserve punishment.

It was Abelard who introduced the idea of limbo.

Father Brian Harrison, a theologian, told the BBC News website that while limbo may have been a “hypothesis”, he argues that the clear “doctrine of the Catholic Church for two millennia has been that wherever the souls of [unbaptised] infants do go, they definitely don’t go to heaven”.

In short, Moreland’s answer to this objection can be summed up as: making stuff up and exaggerating Biblical support for his position. At the same time, I’m not quite sure whether Moreland’s ideas actually contradict the Bible. There are some pro and con arguments that can be made for each side. Most evangelicals are heavy on the “must convert or go to hell”, so they could probably haul out a few verses (Romans 5:12, John 3:16, John 14:6) against Moreland’s position (assuming that they were willing to argue that children go to hell). Of course, evangelicals aren’t always right (they just think they are). In contradiction to that view, there’s the fact that Jesus forgave people who neither converted nor asked for forgiveness (Luke 23:34). To Moreland’s/Strobel’s benefit, I don’t think “How Can God Send Children to Hell?” is a good argument against Christianity unless there is a strong Biblical basis for claiming that children actually do go to hell.

Objection 2: Why Does Everyone Suffer the Same in Hell?

“It violates our sense of fairness that Adolf Hitler would bear the same eternal punishment as someone who lived a pretty good life by our standards, but who made the decision not to follow God.”

“Actually,” he said, “everyone doesn’t experience hell in the same way. The Bible teaches that there are different degrees of suffering and punishment.”

Matthew 11:20-24:

Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Type and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgement than for you…. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Moreland closed the book. “Jesus is saying that people will be sentenced in accordance with their deeds,” he said. (p.250-251)

Actually, that’s not what the verse says. In Biblical teachings, there is a “day of judgment” where people are held accountable for their actions. Presumably, God berates each person for how badly they lived their lives. But, these verses that “show” that there are different punishments always say things will be worse on the day of judgment. Whether this means they will get a worse eternal punishment or whether it simply means they will be more throughly berated (and then given the same punishment) isn’t clear. The Book of Revelations suggests that everyone gets the same punishment:

The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done…. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelations 20:13,15).

There doesn’t seem to be much wiggle-room in that statement. Everyone gets judged, but having your name in the book of life seems to be the only thing that matters. It very much sounds like all the unsaved get the same punishment: being thrown into the lake of fire.

“There will be degrees of separation, isolation, and emptiness in hell. I think this is significant because it emphasizes that God’s justice is proportional. There is not exactly the same justice for everyone who refuses the mercy of God. (p.250-251)

I also take issue with Moreland’s characterization of non-Christians as “everyone who refuses the mercy of God”. This is simply a trick so that he can more easily convince the reader that they are deserving of hell.

Objection 3: Why are People Punished Infinitely for Finite Crimes?

How can any wrongs we’ve committed in this life merit eternal punishment? Isn’t it unfair to say that a finite life of sin warrants infinite punishment? Where’s the justice in that?

“Wouldn’t a loving God make the punishment fit the crime by not making hell last forever?” I asked as I sat back down on the edge of the couch. “How can we do anything in this life that would warrant eternal torture?”

“First, we all know that the degree to which a person warrants punishment is not a function of the length of time it took to commit a crime. For example, a murder can take ten seconds to commit; stealing somebody’s Encyclopedia Britannica could take half a day… My point is that the degree of someone’s just punishment is not a function of how long it took to commit the deed; rather, it’s a function of how severe the deed itself was. (p.251-252)

It’s true that the severity of a crime isn’t based on the amount of time it took to perform a crime (although “time” and “planning” does figure into it: first degree murder – which is premeditated, carries a worse penalty than second-degree murder – which happens in the heat of emotion, such as killing your wife immediately after discovering her in bed with another man). However, Moreland only manages to show that “time to commit the crime” and “duration of punishment” are not necessarily connected. He hasn’t shown that an eternal punishment is warranted for any crime.

“And that lead to the second point. What is the most heinous thing a person can do in this life? Most people, because they don’t think much about God, will say it’s harming animals or destroying the environment or hurting another person. And, no question, all of those are horrible. But they pale in light of the worst thing a person can do, which is to mock and dishonor and refuse to love the person that we owe absolutely everything to, which is our Creator, God himself.

You have to understand that God is infinitely greater in his goodness, holiness, kindness, and justice than anyone else. To think a person could go through their whole life constantly ignoring him, constantly mocking him by the way they choose to live without him, saying, ‘I couldn’t care less about what you put me here to do. I couldn’t care less about your values or your Son’s death for me. I’m going to ignore all of that’ — that’s the ultimate sin. (p.251-252)

Moreland is engaging in ‘trumping up’ the crime so that it seems like eternal punishment is reasonable. He turns simple unbelief into “mocking God” right to his face. The fact of the matter is that the 2/3rds of humanity which isn’t Christian isn’t saying, ‘I couldn’t care less about what you put me here to do. I couldn’t care less about your values or your Son’s death for me. I’m going to ignore all of that’. The problem is that Moreland’s argument depends on Christianity’s truth being obvious to everyone on earth. Any religious apologist could recycle Moreland’s argument to make “eternal punishment for not converting to X” sound more reasonable. The Islamic version of this argument would condemn Christians for failing to bow to Allah, and condemn them for the blasphemy of saying Jesus is God. Complain that you didn’t know? Too bad. Similarly, we could consider another situation. Imagine I’m an invisible man. At some point last week, I acted to prevent some horrible accident that would’ve killed you. You don’t realize what I did, and I complain that you must be a terrible person because you never even said a simple “thanks” for saving your life. How ungrateful you must be! Of course, there’s an obvious flaw with my complaint: you don’t know. The same problem applies to Moreland’s argument – he assumes perfect knowledge in order to make people appear to be horrible and nasty – and therefore, worthy of hell.

In the United States, the most serious crime — murder — is punishable by its most severe sanction, which is being separated from society for life in prison. And there did seem to be a certain logic in saying that defiantly violating God’s ultimate law should bring about the ultimate sanction, which is being separated from God and his people for eternity. (p.253)

Saying that the “ultimate crime” merits the “ultimate punishment” sounds like twisted logic. First of all, the “ultimate punishment” in the United States is the worst punishment that the United States has decided to employ. The United States has ruled-out cruel and unusual punishment. The United States has ruled-out torturing someone to death, keeping them alive for decades while torturing them, killing their family members, etc. Thus, the “ultimate punishment” is not the worst possible punishment, it is merely the worst acceptable punishment. The “ultimate punishment” of hell is literally the worst possible punishment. Further, failing to convert to Christianity is not the “ultimate crime”. At the very least, people would need to have perfect knowledge about the truth of Christianity in order to be fully guilty.

Objection 4: Couldn’t God Force Everyone to Go to Heaven?

“You said that God is grieved by the necessity of hell.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Then why can’t he simply force everyone to go to heaven? That would be a simple solution.”

“Because that,” replied Moreland, “would be immoral.”

“If you were to force people to do something against their free choice, you would be dehumanizing them. You would be saying that the good of what you want to do is more valuable than respecting their choices, and so you’re treating people as a means to an end by requiring them to do something they don’t want.” (p.253-254)

Yes, I’m sure all the screaming people in hell will be angry if God took them out of hell. Moreland also seems imply (as usual) that human beings are making fully-informed decisions on these matters – something which is absolutely untrue.

“God respects human freedom. In fact, it would be unloving — a sort of divine rape — to force people to accept heaven and God if they didn’t really want them. When God allows people to say ‘no’ to him, he actually respects and dignifies them.” (p.254)

No doubt, if Allah turned out to be in charge, Moreland will be appreciative of the “respect and dignity” God is giving him by putting him in hell. The whole argument is pretty silly. Moreland says that some people might still reject God even if it means eternal hell, therefore, no one is allowed to choose in the afterlife. (And, if they cry for help to escape hell, isn’t God disrespecting their “free will” by leaving them there?) And Moreland compares ‘putting people in heaven instead of hell’ to rape?

(I have to admit, I didn’t expect to disagree with every one of Moreland’s answers. I half-expected that there would be a few where I’d go – “okay, I can agree with him on this point”. Oh well. The other 5 objections to hell will be covered in the next review.)

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I noticed in the news today that Rush Limbaugh signed an 8 year deal worth over $400 million – a record in the industry. I had no idea Rush Limbaugh was even popular anymore.

A few months ago, I had messed around with my clock radio and ended up waking up to Glenn Beck. A few times, Limbaugh was on. Both of these guys are such lying slugs. They pick a side and are patently unfair to anyone who thinks otherwise. I was waking up in the morning and immediately shooting-down their illogical arguments in my head. It was all so transparently false and one-sided I figured they had lost their edge and everyone had recognized their crazy talk for what is was: delusional rants where they reaffirm everything they wish was true. Apparently, I was wrong. I feel very disappointed in America.

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