Monday, July 03, 2006

Them's the rules.

Talk about a rough day.


Blogger Mark Cote said...

I don't think I'll ever "defeat" you guys. That's not the purpose.

If you aren't "elect" can you work yourself into becoming elect?

On the other hand can an elected person get "un-elect"?

It's like having a discourse with a snake handler. It's so foreign to me, and most of "mainstream" Christianity.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

Yeah probably, I'll admit I haven't gone through the stuff you gave me but I will. I didn't say I'd study them before commenting though. My big mouth just won't allow me to do that.

But then again, since I've already discarded the Bible, studying minutia will be more of a chore.

But if what you're saying is true, it can take a bit of picking on and be just fine.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...


Fair enough,

I'd like to nail the concept of the elect down, in it's simplest form.

If this is it below, I'd like to try my hand at composing an essay
that will reasonably argue that the following is inconsistent with the Bible.

As follows;

There are two classes, those who are going to Heaven, and those who are going to Hell.

These classes were decided and created by God before the planet started.

These classes cannot be interchanged for any reason whatsoever.

There are no other classes than the two above.

Have I got that correct?



5:48 AM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

This way, if we can agree on a premise, one with laser focus, I can get to work digging a hole for myself trying to intelligently refute it.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

Okay I'm going to ask again, is this true?

There are two classes, those who are going to Heaven, and those who are going to Hell.

These classes were decided and created by God before the planet started.

These classes cannot be interchanged for any reason whatsoever.

There are no other classes than the two above.

Or I'm going to delete your bullshit,


10:02 AM  
Blogger Puskas said...

Hi, Mark.
Very entertaining blog. However, if I may comment on one of your comments: The fact that you'll never "defeat" these nutters is because they're not equipped for rational discourse. There's a very simple response you can give them: "Show me the evidence". If they can't, you've already defeated them - slap them down and move on to the next one. As Christopher Hitchens very neatly put it, "Anything that can be asserted without evidence can, equally, be dismissed without evidence".

11:46 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Ah, Puskas,
If you've read this since the stuff not written by Cote, the 'defeat' referred to a specific challenge referred to further up.

On the question of 'evidence', I'm forced to ask what you mean. I, old chap, have plenty of evidence. We all do. However, you chaps refuse to accept it. Cote, for all his faults, seems to have realised that discussion and engagement is possible.

The problem, old chap, is that you and I disagree on the definition of rational discourse. Although I assume we can all agree that calling your opponents 'nutters' is not a part of rational discourse.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

Yeah Puskas,
I don't know why I let myself get pulled into their game so often.
They have extraordinary claims, but zero evidence. I might as argue with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as to whether fairies exist.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

No, Mark, you don't accept the evidence which is offered. The debate is between two groups who disagree on foundational assumptions, which is why it often seems that the two sides have very different definitions of rational converse (or irrational converse). The best example I can think of is the debates on corporal punishment I have heard. One side is utterly opposed to thrashing children to within an inch of their life, the other in favour of a 'short, sharp shock.'

And, with all due respect, you volunteered to join the game the moment you decided to create a website mocking Christianity. As I have already noted, if all you wanted to do was have people tell you how clever you were, you could have e-mailed your artwork to friends for distribution. Or you could simply have not posted on Christian sites. You ought to be flattered that people take you seriously enough to engage with you.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

No, you have no compelling argument, I don't accept it because it is ridiculous. And I can play this game any way I want.
Not your way. By the way I am pretty clever.

You're pretty wordy so I rarely get through your blather.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Mark, did I use the words 'compelling argument'? But I would note that calling a thing 'ridiculous' is not a reasoned argument, but a statement of opinion.

Yes, you can play this game any way you want. After all, it is your website. Just don't complain about Chrsitian responses that came your way because you posted on Triablogue.

Oh, and I have never suggested that you are anything other clever, but I would caution you against saying that too often. It will either make you look like a braggart, or suggest that you are making this assertion because you feel intellectually inferior, two things which I am sure are not true.

Further to this, proof of someone's being 'pretty clever' should come from an external source or by deduction from their words.

I have a First in Modern History and Politics from the University of Wales.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Sorry, last post over-long.

Summary: 1.Making statements of opinion not proof, nor agrument.

2. Your site, your rules.

3. Probably not a good idea to tell everyone you're pretty clever. Let this make itself obvious, or give external evidence.

4. I bragged here. Sorry.

3:33 AM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

Are you still yammering?

7:46 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...


11:34 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Oh, you can put the last word after this.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Puskas said...

Flippin' 'eck. Someone replied to my comment! Although, I note that, whilst claiming to have evidence, he didn't present any. Very convincing. As for the nutters remark, anyone who has an imaginary friend, talks to him, sings songs to him and believes that he responds has mental problems. Shame. As for the degree. Very impressive. I have a CSE grade one in maths.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Ah, pushkas,
Did you present evidence, or do you simply accuse your opponents of having mental problems? Would you lock up all Christians as mad? Can I just call you mad for not believing? Again, this is not rational debate, it's insulting people. As my old tutor used to say, where you stand depends on where you sit.

I was pointing out the difficulty of interpretation, not trying to present evidence. So, let's suggest some evidence.

1. Age and provenance of the Bible.
2. The empty tomb.
3. The general historical testimony.

Of course, you don't accept these, because you start with the assumption that there is no God, but that does not mean they don't exist. At least, I hope you agree with this.

Whatever level CSE grade one is, I'd have thought it would mean you were able to do something more than spew insults.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Puskas said...

Ah. Hiraeth. It's not an insult if it's true.
I ask: What empty tomb?
Many books are as old as the bible, many are older. It has no bearing on truth. The Odyssey is older. Are you telling me that Zeus is real? Eh?
What historical testimony? It isn't consistent.
Go on, let's start at the begining. You have an imaginary friend. You like to call him god. Fair enough. When I was a child I had imaginary friends, too. I soon realised they weren't real. Give me a single scrap of evidence in favour of its existence. You can't. I'm not insulting you, and I'm not really interested in random quotes from a supposed tutor.
A single scrap of evidence is all I ask. Until then, I assume you, and the rest of the theists, are incapable of rational discussion.
Now you said you were going to let someone else have the last word. Until you can point at something and say "this shows you my imaginary friend is real", get back on the scrap-heap with the rest of the nutters. The Last Word.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

That's one of the lamest excuses for self-justification I ever came across. The operative word is 'if'.

'Empty Tomb': let's see... the one they laid Jesus in, perchance? The one that was empty that first Easter day.

Now, as with the Bible, I would suggest you actually checked up on the evidence here. Multiple authors, clear intent (in case you haven't noticed, the works of Homer are myth/ fiction written many centuries after the events they describe), early date of witnesses.

Historical attestation? Well, list your contradictions. Provide evidence. The truth of course is that you are not interested in evidence. Your mind is made up, you dismiss those who disagree with you as mentally ill.

Your own declaration about imaginary friends suggests that you are reading your personal experience into mine. Tell me why I should accept this. Maybe the truth is that your experience of loneliness in youth and imaginary friends has left you in a mental state where you cannot accept anything you cannot see. For the record, I always had you chaps with imaginary friends flagged as loonies.

Now, maybe you don't undertand world views, but it might help if you read things without that appalling attitude of yours. Are you suggesting that this quote was made up? That I'm lying about my former tutor? If so, tell me why. The man was an atheist speaking about bias. Which we all have.

But then, I think i've met yet another anti-intellectual atheist who thinks his own personal arrogance determines the shape of the world.


2:47 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Oh, and I meant for Mark to have the last word, but I stongly suspect he's lost interest.

I know I have.

2:48 AM  
Blogger Puskas said...

Hi, again, Little Hiraeth.
It's no good for you to jump up and down, stamping your little feet and banging your little fists, claimng that other people are being anti-intellectual, when you are asserting something rather silly and not giving any evidence for it - viz. your claim that your imaginary friend, who you name "god", is real. And then you start throwing around silly insults at me. All I want is evidence. Not biblical quotes (let's face it, a book that claims the value of pi is three clearly can't be trusted - why should we believe the palpably implausible claim that someone's risen from the dead?)
And I apologise for mocking your (oh so impressive) degree. But until you can give evidence, you're still on the nutter scrap heap, little boy...

4:27 PM  
Blogger Puskas said...

Incidentally, Mark - it's your blog. You've seen Little H. completely fail to give evidence when requested. You've seen him cite the bible as though it were gospel (ha! you see my joke there?) without giving us a single reason why we should believe the implausible claims it makes. And you've seen him ask you to make the last word. So make it. He's been summarily slapped down where he belongs...

4:32 PM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Oh, sorry Puskas, old thing, I didn't realise you were a ginger cat. I love ginger cats, and would never do anything to offend one.

After all, you have claws. Still, I fear we shall have to agree to differ.

Why am I arguing with a cat? Oh, and what the rabbiting like in South London?

4:17 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:30 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Puskas, my dear, first, sorry for losing my temper back there. It's just after dealing with your truculence it rubbed off on me. Where do I send the saucer of milk?

I have managed at last to wring from you the admission I wanted (all I wanted, by the way), that the problem is not that there is no evidence, but no evidence that you accept. The disagreement is not as to whether there is evidence, but to the reliablity/acceptablity of that evidence.

The point I have been trying to get across is that you and I are approaching the matter with very different presuppositions. You as an atheist, I as a Christian. Accordingly, we appear odd, misguided, even bonkers, to each other. Neither more nor less have I ever asserted.

You may place me on the scrap heap (a most unkind place to bung loonies by the way), just as I place you in the nut-house.

I've removed two posts I felt on retrospect a little intemperate.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

I disassociate myself with the chap above.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

Sorry, should be from.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Mark Cote said...

puskas, if you let hiraeth talk enough he debunks himself.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

My dear Cote, if you let me talk enough, I'm happy. Please expain what you mean by 'debunks himself' specifically.

Equally, I wasn't the chap who started flinging around reckless accusations of mental illness. Unless Puskas is a mental health professional, he knows nil about this.

Equally, Puskas, old man, could you give me the value of pi to the nearest whole number?

2:53 AM  
Blogger Hiraeth said...

But I'll accept that as the final word, my dear Mark. I have got the answer I wanted, neither more nor less.

The problem, to repeat my point, is not a lack of evidence. It is that you will not accept the evidence that there is. This is where I started, and this is where I end.

Let the record show that I came without a belligerent attitude or Walton-ish words, and only lost my temper under provocation.

3:04 AM  
Blogger John W. Loftus said...

I just linked to this picture. I liked it.

11:27 AM  

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