OSC’s An equal opportunity hater

Me: “Hello. 🙂 My church and I are out sharing Christ today, do you have time to talk?”

Lady: “I don’t have five minutes for that sort of rubbish.”

Me: “So. . .you’ve got four minutes?”

Lady: “I don’t have time for your sort.”

Me: “Who are my sort?”

Lady: “. . .the Jehovah witnesses?”

^^^^^ What an anti-Christian, religiously relativistic culture leads into, cult craziness and irritability.


For regular readers of the blog they’ll remember how I exchanged messages with an atheist named John, who, writing on the uniqueness of Christ, barrelled onward point after point only to have each debunked and exposed as empty rhetoric (it’s here). However, what visitors to the blog don’t know is that I allowed John to have the last word during our conversation. Now, I’m not writing it was a particularly inspiring last word, rather they wrote some mockery of the Trinity. Nevertheless, during the tail-end of our conversation, careful readers will note, John become totally immune to having their points demolished, they’d simply refused to take stock of their failed ideas, instead choosing to continue on into other points (I’m reluctant to even describe such replies as arguments), due to which it’s clear they had hardened their heart towards both God and his fellow man.

Readers will also remember Alex Black, Mara, Slrman and Allallt, they’ve done it all, from defending same sex parades to attempting to undermine the humanity of unborn babies, and yet, I’ve never considered any of these writers to be a proper critic of mine, they’re not considered critics simply on account of the fact that they aren’t prepared to face Christianity as it is. You can’t be my critic if you’re unable to honestly and accurately rewrite to me my own beliefs, because if it’s all straw manning, and if it’s all pearl clutching, I’m going to reply “My friend, you’re not yet prepared to have a serious, exciting conversation on these kinds of a thing. In like fashion, I ended up teasing John because that’s the only language they were able to speak, but more importantly, that’s perhaps the only kind of interaction that’s going to remain with them.

Nevertheless, this space is an equal opportunity platform, and I an equal opportunity critic, as readers who’ve checked out my conversations with believing writer “Done with religion” should remember. The conversation shouldn’t be limited to atheists, in fact, they’re involved in some of the most uninteresting conversations I’ve ever had, whereas Mormons, Muslims and Buddhists are (especially so in personoften more witty, good-natured and interested in the facts of religious worship/belief. Atheists are rather dismissive in comparison, and to express God’s presence to most is a bit like explaining a rainbow to the colour-blind, although, at least in the case of the colour-blind, they may want to know what’s being seen that they haven’t yet seen, whereas atheists are (generally) not even with want to know this amazing experiential reality.

That aside, I’ve been about teaching and preaching to unbelievers on the mean streets of London (and boy are they ever mean), not the streets, they’re normally very clean and pleasant, rather, the people, the people are mean.

My church partners have been spat upon, they’ve had dogs sent after them, they’ve had to develop the thickest of skins to deal with the kinds of abuse they have to endure. As for myself, maybe it’s got something to do with my award winning smile, or the misleading fact that it looks like I’d bite your dog back, whatever the reason, most unbelievers have loved on me. I’m invited into people’s homes (not something I’d advise others to do), I’m gifted an opportunity to share God’s word, arguments from history, cosmology, and of course it’s all wrapped up with an invitation to visit my church sometime (it’s not mine, per se. I’m not a real pastor. . .it’s just a jpg).*

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You lied to me, Old School!

So, for believers, in spite of the internet craziness (the kind of thing you read regularly), and the animosity in personfor that one chance meeting, for that cup of coffee and broken heart who feels as though they’ve been abandoned, your efforts are worthwhile. Be a labourer for God’s kingdom, not just on forums with certified lunatics, but with your church in the real world, you’ll find that the rewards are far greater than anything you give up getting started.

Which leads into my reason for posting today, as initially I thought to myself, let’s just continue with the Chris Shearer Mormon material, then I’ll lazily jump back into sharing the videos of Inspiring Philosophy, that’s good viewing. However, as I’d been writing the introduction to part three, I thought to myself, man, there’s such an awesome array of unpublished conversations which haven’t yet been shared, unpublished largely because writing my thoughts on the material would take me an age. I thought to myself, maybe they contain just the kind of conversation somebody needs. Maybe my pleasant disposition shouldn’t just be extended to strangers on the doorstep, but to lurkers also, they’re people too after all.*

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If my duty is to be a servant to others, why not extend that to my posting schedule too, due to which, I’m going to add a list of unpublished conversations I’ve had with others on forums throughout the internet, adding a small description of the exchange afterwards. For regular visitors, and irregulars I suppose, feel free to write in the comments which conversation you’d most like to see added in my next “OSC” article. So, like in the case of John in our conversation on pagan parallels, I’m giving readers the last word, what conversation should be shared next? Until then, wish me luck so that nobody on the streets sets their pompom dog on me. 😉

1. A reply to the Recovering know it all.

This reply to a prolific atheist writer is the closest I’ve come to writing a declaration of faith, it’s an awfully short one, most readers have probably already seen it themselves. Nevertheless, if anybody would like to read a more lengthy article of my thoughts on the brief exchange, ask in the comments below.

2. A lengthy exchange with the librarian.

This long back and forth was with the lovely orangutan librarian, who was just a joy to write to. I’d have to ask their permission before posting, and even in the after thoughts I couldn’t write a bad word about them. This talk was an in-depth look at orthodox Judaism, so for people who aren’t sure about the story behind Jewish religious beliefs and practices, this is a great chance at learning the ins and outs (even if it’s just uploaded in the form of my replies only, like an essay).

3. An atheist writes me a lot of objections.

A young atheist ends up sending a lot of objections my way, many of which are of the moral and epistemological variety. Why doesn’t God just come out? Why do I believe in God and not fairies, or goblins? If you’ve been asking yourself the same, ask to read my replies to him.

4. A message to the god extinguisher.

The name is as daft as the man. “The god extinguisher” ends up not replying to my initial message, they actually block me right away. I’ve got my first message nonetheless, and it’s a world class schooling on why the old fashioned “Why do Christians eat shellfish?!” argument fails.

5. Dying to be loved.

This is a lengthy bit of explanation on the gay rights/conversion therapy situation. It’s a good one for anyone who’s being told there’s no agenda, no activism and no story behind the rise of queer America. There’s certainly a story behind how gay “marriage” is now a thing, it’s also an important conversation in that it highlights the toll that this has all taken on same sex attracted people.

6. What was meant by true Christians.

Now, this is an explanation of what was meant in an exchange between myself and Alex Black about the no true Scotsman fallacy. Believers understand the Holy Spirit works in a regenerate person’s life, yet the way by which I share how a person might appear to be Christian often involves not stressing this fact to the uttermost. This chat is a good place to see that explained.

7. Zen Scribbles writes on feminism and Islam.

I’m a Muslim, I’m a feminist, this makes total sense.” But does it, does it really? To read a few carefully composed questions, this is the exchange for you. We’re actually still chatting, hope they’re doing well.

8. The last major exchange between myself and Alex Black.

This talk is an excellent one really. It’s a show of force from which my buddy Alex never recovered, afterwards they dropped out of the blogging scene blaming the heated exchanges about bathroom politics online. I’m sure that’s true, I just hope our exchange added something positive to the background noise in the meanwhile. This talk shows how atheism has zero, literally zero arguments in its favour. I wish them well and hope they’re still asking themselves the hard questions that brought them offline and into the real world (sometimes that’s the healthiest thing for us).

9. Chris Shearer on Mormonism (Unfair Mormons III).

This should be fresh in everybody’s mind, ask for more of Chris if you’re interested in reading his replies on Mormonism.

10. The three Mormons (A monolithic hot mess).

The three Mormons is an internet show on YouTube where overly smiley Mormons tell everybody how awesome it is to give 10% of your wage to the temple in exchange for cheap magic underpants. Now, when I first commented on one of their videos, I said to myself there’s no way these guys are going to address this message, oh me of little faith. One of the show’s presenter, a young man named Kwaku, actually comments on my points to try and set me straight. This leads into a nice exchange, lots of content too. Now, I’m not here to drive anyone into voting for any particular conversation, they’re all plenty interesting, but how can you not want to read an exchange between myself and the face below…you can’t not want it.

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11. A message on the Holy Spirit and Jehovah Witnesses.

If you’re a Scripture lover, this one is for you. In it I defend the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Great verses and an awesome resource.

12. An exchange on how to win a debate.

Gosh, just look at all of these lunatics, half of them are probably writing to me from prison. I mean, another great conversation! This one was started by the Dr. Craig vs. Hitchens debate, and mostly is about how to judge who’s came away as the winner. An interesting little exchange.

13. Discussing God with a neuroscientist in training.

This one is interesting for people who’ve been faced with the claim “Christians and Muslims believe in the same God.” It also touches upon the famous Trump Muslim ban. I really enjoyed this one, it’s got some great teaching about the real Jesus too.

14. On faith and everything else.

This moral dilemma about a lost wallet sparked my commentary.

15. Gamer gate!

Now, this is an old conversation which I had with about four or five guys, they’re all out to defend Islam and they’re all getting smashed (that’s the ah, technical term). I’m adding it because I’ve never actually uploaded the conversation on here, for which I’ve never had an opportunity to reflect upon it and add some after thoughts.

16. Poetry in motion!

I think this would be part five of my conversation with kaptinok (I’m misspelling that for sure). If you’ve enjoyed parts one to four, which are mostly me lecturing the poor guy, ask for more. If you’ve never checked out our exchange, give them a read.

17. Daryl and DWR on LGBT and the church.

They’re believers and they support homosexual relations, that’s interesting any day of the week.

18. A history lesson on the stonewall riots.

I have an exchange with an older man who describes himself as a “barren women”. He’s also a lesbian and father of four. I’m saying nothing. . .not a thing.

19. An interrogation of DWR and their beliefs on Scripture.

This conversation comes highly recommended. I know most of what I discuss with DWR is a bit of a non-event, as he can be very closed about sharing anything. So in this conversation I take a super non-combative stance, one which involves mostly me asking questions of my conversation partner. You’ll get to read their views, my carefully composed questions, then come to a decision of your own about what was shared.

20. Discussing faith with Allallt again.

This conversation features the material of Alvin Plantinga on the subject of faith. It totally brings the subject of what faith is onto the Christian’s terms, as reasonable people would allow for from the get go, there’s no out for the atheist in this exchange, they can only scoff (it’s flawless).

21. The Tyranny of heaven.

This one was such a biggie, for which I’ve been lazy about posting it. The conversation was going on at the same time I was whipping John Zande on the subject of the uniqueness of Jesus. It’s about morality, the law and so much more. A really great exchange and has so much going for it in terms of my conversation partner.

22. Discussing God with a Music teaching communist.

This conversation goes on for about four messages, so not many, although they’re meaningful ones if you’re interested in a proper understanding of the history behind the death and resurrection of Jesus.

23. Sharing arguments from historicity with a lady online.

Again it’s another message exchange focused on the historic arguments surrounding the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This lady was an once a Christian before giving up her faith, if memory serves.


Having more conversations in the pipeline I ought to be stopping hereabouts, as there’s no point in overwhelming myself. It’s like when there’s too many cheeses at the shops, it’s like no, I’ve only come for one. If anything in the above jumps out at you, feel free to vote on seeing it published in the near future, if you’re not the voting sort however, well, you’re just a big meanie, just like the guys below. . .especially that guy on the right. . .that’s you if you don’t comment.

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― T. C. M

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15 thoughts on “OSC’s An equal opportunity hater

  1. Don’t you just hate it when you get that font change partway through an article (check chat no. 3 compared to no. 2), and it’s like “Man, I don’t want to copy and paste half of it onto notepad just so it’s reformatted.”

    Like

  2. Here are my favorite three from the list (so that I’m not like the guy on the right!)

    1. A reply to the Recovering know it all. (because sometimes I look at myself that way!)
    6. What was meant by true Christians. (because I come across posts that use the phrase “fake Christian” and there was a time when I could have been considered that.)
    21. The Tyranny of heaven. (because this just really sounds fascinating!)

    Thanks for the chance to vote!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fake Christian conversation really opens up in light of the gender identity debate, in my mind. Most people, because they consider living Christian values consistently to be impossible (or they deny a consistent Christian ethic as found in the Bible), believe Christians are Christians simply based upon self-identity, so, in the same way that an adult man who believes they really are a women “is” a woman, then, people who believe they’re Christian are to be seen as Christian. And for people who disbelieve in the reality of God, Christ’s saving sacrifice, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that’s where the conversation normally ends. I’m happy to limit the conversation to that too, especially if the person I’m sharing with isn’t comfortable around spiritual things, that’s just good apologetics.

      If someone is an unbeliever, there’s only one kind of Christian in their eyes, a person who says they’re Christian. That’s the disinterested unbeliever’s benchmark. Whereas if you’re a believer, you’re allowed the freedom to really discuss the topic in its fullness. We’re open to discuss the fruits of the Spirit (the above conversation), in addition to election, faith, God’s grace in our lives, justification and the regeneration of the believing person. Not simply a person who “believes” in claims intellectually, but rather people who with regards to their affections are turned towards Jesus, people who love Him and know Him. What a box unbelievers are in, they’re often unable to even tolerate the above. Really good choices for conversations.

      I’m curious, what was the situation you were involved in for which you’d be attacked as a fake Christian? I’d enjoy reading if you’d be happy to share.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for taking the time to share the additional details. Actually it wasn’t an attack on me. (Though I have had a few “unfollows” though I’m not sure why.)

        It just seems that some bloggers here use “fake Christian” to mean anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe.

        What you said about gender identity being up to the individual makes sense. In our society today, it seems we can demand to be treated like whatever we identify ourselves as and that has carried over to other areas as well.

        I guess it’s sort of like wanting all of the “perks” of being a Christian, but none of the “pains”?

        Anyway, thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the very interesting contribution, Dave. It really got me thinking first thing in the morning. I’m reluctant to think our behaviours are the one and only common ground between believers and unbelievers, and whatever commonality you and I could find together, I think that goes a long way in inviting people to accept Christ. For example, believers and unbelievers can share that we’re all in need of God’s grace, in addition to all of us having God’s image within us. God’s love for all would also be important. There’s also Their wrath at sin, both our sin and the sin of the unbeliever. God is God over both believers and unbelievers, They are sovereign even when people don’t recognize that fact. We share our brokenness, which I suppose could neatly lay into your point about behaviour. Maybe your message meant from a man’s eye view of the situation our only common ground is behaviour, it’s an interesting point to think on nonetheless.

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  3. I still think the only way to judge a person is by their behaviour. Their thoughts are their own business, surely? I don’t understand how non-believers can share a belief in God’s grace when they don’t believe there is a God. You may believe they are mistaken but that is a private thought, not something they need be concerned about. I personally believe people behave better when they are concerned to do the right thing, not just whatever gains them approval and rewards beyond the grave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think their thoughts are certainly their own business, however, it’s behaviour that results from our thoughts, like how gluttons are often eating one meal while planning another by their secret thought life (meaning it’s something we can catch sight of). Although I wouldn’t dare assume upon their behalf that that’s what’s happening, not unless they confess their worries to me as their friend. Our thoughts result in certain actions, for better or worst. The behaviours wouldn’t be matching in total, because, as you’ve shared, when there’s no belief in God’s saving grace, there’s no repentance towards God. Believers and unbelievers may in many ways be matching, a fact I often celebrate, and yet, certain behaviours, prayer, repentance, loving God with our heart and our mind, that’s totally off limits to unbelievers. It reminds me of the old fashioned Christopher Hitchens challenge to believers, as he’d say something like “Name one ethical action which a believer could do that an atheist couldn’t do.” Then a pastor shouts out “Tithing!” That’s just good fun, trust a pastor to bring this up. In seriousness though, there would be an awful lot of behaviours which aren’t available or shared behaviours of atheistic people in comparison to believers, if indeed God were actual.

      It’s not that unbelievers would share my belief in God’s grace (thus not a shared behaviour/belief), much like how they could deny God’s love on account of God not existing in their opinion, rather, if God’s actual, they’d yet be loved by Him totally apart from their acceptance of the fact of God’s existence. If God’s actual, a fact of which I’m in no doubt about, I can truly say to my yet unbelieving friends “Christ died to save you, you and me, that’s something we have in common.”

      I really appreciate our shared desires to do right, Dave. Yet, in my case, I’ve never done right out of a desire for something later, but rather, my motivation rests in gratitude, thankfulness due to Jesus’ perfect sacrificial love expressed on our behalf. That hit me like a freight train, and still does upon occasion. The big question to people who are inclined to resist God, yet want to behave rightly, should be “Where’s that coming from?” If they answer “That’s just how I feel” I’d reply many people don’t feel that way though. If they reply “Well, we’ve gotta work together to get along.” I’d reply bad guys work together too, just towards different ends, some to our liking, others aren’t, and yet, if we’re just discussing the “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” model of conduct, that’s not true for many men, dictators, tyrants, Donald Trump! These guys often don’t need my back scratching, they could do as they please. In addition, what about behaviour which isn’t in my own self-interest, should you or I take a fatal bullet to save an elderly lady? That’s not in either your best interest or mine, rather, at best, it’s just in the interest of the herd (very unlike God’s self-sacrificing love). Of course, none of the above is an explanation of where our feelings of morality come from. Again, really interesting contributions, I’d enjoy reading any further thoughts on the subject.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have enjoyed our conversation, though we clearly have very different viewpoints. Perhaps we can agree that the beauty of life is its multifaceted many-sidedness …

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  4. As you say, our conversation cannot arrive at an agreed explanation of where our feelings of morality come from … you might suggest it has a divine origin, whereas I would say it arises spontaneously from our experiences as social and communal creatures. The golden rule – do as you would be done by – is ancient and arises from our natural sense of fairness. Nothing else works as a basis for human interaction. More than that, I cannot say …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Concerning the natural sense of fairness, which you’ve shared, wouldn’t such inclinations merely be adaptive behaviours produced and continued insofar that they’re conducive to survival/reproduction? The moral inclinations in both you and I, if we’re limiting ourselves to pure naturalism, wouldn’t be due to our actually detecting some real moral obligations, but rather, our perceived obligatory moral inclinations would be entirely adaptive. Moral obligations like guilt, for example, they would be non-veridical, they would be generated by you and I in the mind, an organ, yet, they wouldn’t be in the object of our perception, meaning, there’s no moral dimension to the things which we’re perceiving. I’d enjoy reading your thoughts on Ruse, who wrote:

      “Epigenetic rules giving us a sense of obligation have been put in place by selection, because of their adaptive value. . .The Darwinian argues that morality simply does not work (from a biological perspective), unless we believe that it is objective. Darwinian theory shows that, in fact, morality is a function of (subjective) feelings; but it shows also that we have (and must have) the illusion of objectivity.”

      Hume, the great philosopher, explained by writing:

      “Here is a matter of fact; but it is the object of feeling, not of reason. It lies in yourself, and not the object so that when you pronounce any action or character to be vicious, you mean nothing, but that from the constitution of your nature you have a feeling or sentiment of blame from the contemplation of it.” They continued by insisting the mind has a “great propensity to spread itself on external objects.”

      So, are our minds “spreading themselves” onto valueless objects? If our moral inclinations aren’t grounded in an eternal source, an eternal, transcendent, unchanging, personal creator God who’s also sovereign over His creation, but rather, results “spontaneously from our experiences as social and communal creatures”, isn’t objectivity lost? Our feelings aren’t grounded in anything greater than our brain activity, it’s entirely within the subject (e.g. you and I), and not in the object (our fellow men and women). Imagine going further, if Darwinian evolution is an accurate account of our moral experience, and some awful criminal decides to buck the herd’s status quo by robbing and murdering others, they haven’t violated any intrinsic dignity which their victims have been endowed with, albeit on account of our evolutionary origins an illusion of violation might falsely appear to have happened.

      Surely “nothing else works as a basis for human interaction” can’t apply to “do unto others” if that same rule is founded upon an evolutionary explanation of moral experience, for if people truly and consistently considered an evolutionary model for moral duties, believing that their neighbour lacked value and their own morals are an invention of the brain/culture/a combo of the two, who could live as if the opposite were true? How could anyone continue loving, meaningful interacting in the face of such great meaninglessness and valuelessness in the object of their interaction?

      It’s fast approaching midnight here in the UK, so I’m turning in. I look forward to your thoughts on the above, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure a natural sense of fairness is ‘merely’ anything – survival of future generations is more than mere existence. It is the product of a lifetime’s experience and, I would say, as sacred a duty as any.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I imagine we’d agree on many many points, in addition to life’s multifaceted nature. Although, and you’ll hopefully come back with whether or not you feel this is another way in which you and I agree, an area of disagreement would be whether or not the objects of our universe have moral dimensions (objectively writing). Because the greatest atheistic thinkers, many of whom were evolutionists, didn’t believe in real moral values/duties, whereas Christians have always affirmed objective morality. The way in which life’s multifaceted nature (with regards to morality) can be appreciated would only be if we’re prepared to affirms it’s actual.

        For example, imagine if we two went to see a David Blaine performance. As we’re exiting the performance I may reply “I really appreciated the illusion of magic which David preformed tonight.” upon which you may note “I appreciated David’s actual ability to do magic.” Now, I’m appreciating something, an illusion, for exactly what it truly is, it’s an illusion of magic, it’s a real trick, but it’s not real as it appears to be. You may reply, “You mean, they weren’t REALLY doing magic?!” Meaning, you’ve been appreciating something, just not for it as it truly is, and of course, the roles could very easily be reversed. The reason I made you in the hypothetical appreciate magic for what it’s not, although you may correct me, is because you, I and almost everybody reading can either treat our moral inclinations as grounded in evolutionary biology, or in God (or by some believed third option). The God option produces this love for humanity as ends in and of themselves, not merely means to an end.

        When writing “merely” with regards to an atheistic evolutionist’s view on moral origins, that’s not my way of being pejorative, rather I’ve laid two opposing explanatory grounds side-by-side, for which one’s most certainly less attractive than another. Just imagine some ideas of each. . .differences. . .

        Grounded in God: Murdering people simply for being born with a genetic defect is objectively wrong.

        Grounded in atheistic evolution (not covering theistic evolution): Murdering people simply for being born with a genetic defect appears to be objectively wrong (but isn’t actually wrong).

        Grounded in God: It’s ALWAYS wrong to murder people simply for being born with a genetic defect.

        Grounded in evolution: It may appear to be wrong murdering people simply for being born with a genetic defect, however, in reality, what’s considered “wrong” by man, as explained by evolution, would be entirely context dependant. Sometimes it’s “right” to murder genetically defective people, whereas other times that’s not how humanity will perceive it. Either way, it’s not objectively wrong, nor are our moral inclinations ALWAYS going to be as they are.

        I can’t imagine people would describe an explanation of morality “grounded in God” as “merely”, for it’s unchangeable, eternal, objective, transcendent and totally liveable in man’s life. Whereas an atheistic theory “grounded in evolution” would be an illusion, one in the subject, not the object, moreover, it’s changeable, finite and non-binding. It’s not liveable because I can’t live like you and others don’t matter. If man wants to be unfashionable, raping, murdering and thieving, that’s just their tastes in action, while you and I being against him are simply jailing their kind for the sakes of our taste. I really appreciate your use of “sacred duty”, Dave. However, it’s brought about in me a reminder of Darwin’s view of moral origins in evolution, as they wrote on sacredness too: “If men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering.”

        I’d enjoy reading your views on the above. Notice “sacred duty”, according to an evolution perspective, could be people slaughtering their fertile daughters, rape and murder, that’s how precarious the ground upon which the evolutionists stand. Raping women doesn’t have to it an illusion of sacred duty today, as that’s not how people are in terms of their socio-culture development, rather that’s become in our eyes taboo, not because it’s really wrong, but because it’s not advantageous any more in terms of our survival/reproduction.

        Notice how if survival and reproduction so to safeguard another generation can be made to appear to be “sacred duties”, just as in the case of certain breeds of shark which rape other sharks, evolutionary “morality” can mean people perceive rape as “sacred.” Kai Nielsen’s essay “Is rape wrong on Andromeda?” imagines this hypothetical question too.

        Briefly returning to my earlier David Blaine example, I’m appreciating magic for being an illusion, for it’s fun factor, I’m aware of the falseness behind their stunts, whereas in the scenario you’re also appreciating David’s magic, you’re just appreciating their stunts for something they’re not (namely real magic). Now consider the above in light of morality, as we’re both able to appreciate the moral experience, however, you’re living as if the magic were real, correct? You live, and please correct me if I’m wrong, you live as though rape, murder and destroying our environment is objectively wrong, is that fair of me to assume? You seem like a pleasant guy.

        You’re living as if the magic were real, as if morality is objective, not an illusion, so too do I live in this way. I don’t live as if murdering fertile daughters is an option, or that it’s just my personal (albeit very popular) perspective which says torturing children for laughs is wrong, rather, I live out a life which says it’s really wrong because I believe it’s really wrong, if I didn’t believe it was really wrong I wouldn’t live a farce by pretending it really was, I couldn’t, I’m not that good an actor. It’s a life that’s consistent with my own personal conviction in human value/moral objectivity.

        I hope my message finds you well, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

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  5. At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters where our moral imperatives come from as long as they govern all our actions and judgments. I believe they are natural to us as evolved social animals where you would perhaps regard them as gifts from the deity. Either way our common practice of moral precepts is what binds us together. I neither believe in magic nor do I thinking killing is right but these views have come from rational thought and the application of principle, for which I need no external validation. I have no quarrel with those who seek supernatural explanations as long as they do not demand I share them.

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    • Morning, my friend. The thing about our conversation is that you and I are already treating morality as sacred, it’s treated not as a lie, an illusion of the brain (how evolutionist write it is), but rather as if it’s got that je ne sais quoi, the magic (e.g. Objectivity, transcendence). You live as if it’s got the magic, Dave. I live as if it’s got the magic. The big difference is that the evolutionist also believes in notions which undo meaning, value, purpose and moral imperatives. My darwinianist friends are involved in moral lives, although they give an occasional nod/wink to the idea none of it’s actually meaningful.

      I appreciate how you don’t believe killing to be right, although let’s be honest, aren’t thoroughgoing atheistic evolutionists also of the opinion that it’s neither right nor wrong? You can’t get an ought from an is, and slaughter simply is an “is.” My unbelieving friends don’t revel in destruction because they’re moral agents, they’re appalled by evil and suffering, even imagining an “ought not” dimension to pain, for which many work hard to stop its advance. Yet despite their very real experience of being appalled, many second-guess its validity, as in it’s not valid, they’ve got no “outside validation”, even in the person they’re crying over. The people they love are just sacks of water.

      When people deny something greater than material causes the above tension emerges. J. J. R. Tolkien, who wrote The Lord of the Rings, once described materialists as our jailers. “Five senses, three dimensions, four walls.” Their pithy retort would go. Yet you and I are conversing about things outside of the prison walls, and doesn’t the fact that we can discuss such things mean that perhaps they really do exist beyond the four walls?

      Unbelievers can certainly imagine why an honest believer wouldn’t want an imprisoned life for them, although these things often descend into quarrel because it’s so important an issue. It’s hard for an untrained (albeit sincere) believer to not end by wounding their conversation partner in an attempt at questioning atheistic materialism.

      My friend, if there’s a God, and if you can know Him, then our moral practices only bind us in part. You shared “our common practice of moral precepts is what binds us together”, and yet, it’s morally good to love God, it’s good to repent of sin, and to adore Him. Atheists can’t do that, for which, if there’s a God, they can’t share in many of the acts of goodness which believers share. They can’t share in what happened at the cross, because they don’t see it for what it truly is, an act of self-sacrificial love made upon their behalf.

      If an atheist believes I’m sincere, then this isn’t an argument, but rather an appeal. I’d like to ask, if you believed Jesus died for you, how would that change your outlook?

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