Dugging Into Your Sinful Past (or, Hypocrisy of the Roach Clowns)

Here’s the background: The Duggars are America’s biggest Christian family (as seen on TV!), with more than twenty kids last time I counted. One of the older kids, now an adult with wife and kids of his own, works in Washington for some conservative group. To be honest, I didn’t look into the details much because they don’t matter to the point I’m going to make.

The big story that just came out is that this older son did some VERY inappropriate things with girls near himself (a couple of sisters and a babysitter from what I gather on the webs) which can be summed up under the term “Sexual Abuse.” Naturally, as this guy is a conservative Christian, the Liberal left wet their pants with joy that they had stones to throw. Read more of this post

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Evolution and the Flat Earth

Having spent some quality time looking into the moon landing conspiracies, the next obvious stop was the narrow world of the flat earth. I imagine many people don’t realize what a big thing this is on Youtube. People make all KINDS of videos trying to sell the flat earth theory, using all kinds of fun pictures and computer graphics, and some of it is fairly convincing. By some of it, I mean almost none of it, but it’s fun anyway, like those books which dissect things from Star wars so you can see what the inside of Jabba’s sail barge looks like, or how a lightsaber works.
After watching a lot of these videos, and asking one of those video makers about his model of earth and space, I discovered an interesting correlation which you will think is sarcasm but is not. Flat Earthers are just like evolutionists, and the flat earth theory is just like the evolution myth.

Read more of this post

Why can’t we all be right? (A Not-a-Mormon misses the point)

I was listening to an enraged caller trying to attack the host of a tv show for saying Mormonism is wrong. After a few minutes it was clear that she wasn’t really sure what Mormons believe, and while she claimed to be one, she wasn’t REALLY a Mormon, which she sort of admitted to. Her only real point is, the host was saying some people were wrong, and she felt he was wrong to do so. So she called to condemn him for his wrongness. I hope you can at least smell the irony if you can’t actually see it.

But the key question is this: Why can’t we all be right?

The answer is simple: because some ideas are true and others are not true.

It’s not really difficult. If you believe an idea which is true, then you are right (on that topic). If you believe an idea which is not true, then you are wrong (on that topic). This is not about people being good or bad. The host of the show was not saying that Mormons are bad people. He was merely saying that they believe some things which are not true things. He felt these ideas important enough, and the Mormon people important enough, that the truth on these matters needed to be said. Its possible to love someone, and think one of their ideas is wrong, just as it is possible to love someone and think they have an illness, or to believe they are nearsighted. When I say my mother is nearsighted, I haven’t condemned her, I have merely identified her need to wear glasses.

The difference between true ideas and false ones matters. Lies are poison. They can only kill. And because people matter, we need to fight against lies out of love for the people those lies will poison.  Jesus didn’t claim to be a good idea, he said of himself, “I am the Truth.” He came to give life, and life in abundance. He taught the truth, because He loves us, and He condemned lies because He loves us.  Let us all, as Christian Apologists, follow His example, even if we’re not hosting a Tv show.

Are you a MAN or a TOASTER?

Toasters don’t make any decisions. I don’t know if they think they do, but we have learned enough about them in recent years to know that they are merely the product of their chemical make up and their design. A toaster doesn’t warm up a Pop Tart because it chooses to, but because someone has pushed down that little lever on the front. I’m sure on social media they are all, “I totally TOASTED that Pop Tart! #HeroTalk” but we all know that they had no choice. It’s a toaster. What else COULD it do?

See, the universe is governed by certain observable laws, like the laws of physics and chemistry. Matter is what it is, and does what it does. Metals conduct electricity because they are metals, not because of their upbringing or lifestyle preferences. Electricity causes metal wires to heat up because of resistance, which is a property of matter, and then the heat radiates off of those wires, because of the properties of heat energy, and the Pop Tart absorbs some of that heat because of the Laws of Thermodynamics, regardless of the Pop Tart’s political or religious affiliations.

All of the objects in the universe are made of matter, and all matter obeys these same laws. Matter is what it is and it does what it does. This includes all of the atoms and molecules which make up the human body, and even the human brain. The molecules which make up your brain do not make decisions. They don’t choose what they do or why, but merely obey the laws of physics and chemistry. Molecules in a brain don’t even know they’re in a brain. For all they know they are in a toaster. So they obey the same physical laws which they would if they were in a toaster, or a can of diet soda, or a rock, or a shoe.

The ultimate issue is this: Are you a man or are you a toaster?

If the atheists are right, then you are a toaster, or you may as well be. You are made of atoms and molecules which obey the laws of physics, just as a toaster does. If an atheist is right, then he is an atheist for the same reason a toaster heats up a Pop Tart; because he is wired to do so and can do nothing else. But if we have the ability to make decisions, to choose, and really to think in any meaningful way, then the Biblical worldview is right#. We have souls, and we have minds which are more than our brains. We are made in the image of God, and can choose to be in right relationship with Him, or to pretend He is not there and live as if we are in fact toasters.

The data is universally known- we CAN choose, and we do make decisions. We are real selves, and thus, not toasters, but men. And right now, my self wants a Pop Tart, so I am going to choose to go toast one whether my toaster likes it or not.

Thanks for letting me be your Rent-A-Friend.

#An alert reader (as you will see in the comments below) pointed out that this statement is a false dilemma, and she was correct. I meant when contrasted with atheistic materialism, the Biblical Worldview fits with the data of our existing free will, where as Atheistic Materialism does not. Obviously free will doesn’t conflict with Islam or Mormonism (as far as I know). So, that was me being lazy/sloppy with my writing. Sorry about that. And thanks to my readers for keeping me honest.

People CAN Change Their Minds!

A lot of haters be hatin’, and saying things like, “Why you gots to be sayin [poop] about other people? Why cants you just leave them alone?” Lots of people simply like to rag on others for using social media to have discussions for the hope of convincing people to take another position on religious, political, or social issues. And they’ll post things like this:

“Your FaceBook post really convinced me that I had taken the wrong position on this social issue,”

said no one ever.

They tweet things like this, and sometimes send long and very angry emails about why I need to stop trying to use social media to convince people to change how they act or think because, they assure me, it will NEVER WORK so give it a rest! But two things about this:

1. In short, they are trying to use arguments on social media to convince me to change the way I think and act. This is the very definition of hypocrisy. They are DOING the very thing they want me to stop doing, and they are trying to get me to change by doing the thing they are telling me not to do. Its really pretty funny when you think about it. So think about it. I’ll wait.

2. Their unspoken assumption is that arguments don’t work. Either this is because they don’t understand logical thought processes at all, in which case this is an admission of their own stupidity, or they feel that everyone else is too stupid to be persuaded by facts and reason. Which is pretty cold. Its like they be saying, “Don’t waste your breath/tweets on these stupid people. They is too dumb to understand anything, let alone introspect to the point of discovering and self correcting a flaw in their worldview. Just let them play Candy Crush.”

Well I disagree! There are people smart enough to be persuaded to change their minds and behaviors because of logic and reason. Sure, no one wants to admit they are wrong, and our culture has traded philosophy for selfishness, but there are still brains in skulls out there in social media land! And I still believe that there are people capable of looking at a well crafted argument and saying, “Hey, they does make sense. I should examine my previously held beliefs in light of this new information!”

Bitter, hardened atheists do become Christians! Died in the wool evolutionists do become Creationists! Democrats do become Republicans! And one of the reasons these changes happen, like the transformation from a caterpillar into a butterfly, is because of the people who cared enough abut the truth to teach it to those who would listen.

SO STAND UP AND SPEAK THE TRUTH (in love) AMERICA, and all thinking people all over the world! Post those quotes, videos, and bogs on all of your social media, and have the faith in your fellow man to say, ” You may be ignorant now, but with a little education all of that can change! Let go of your hate! There is still good in you! CNN/MTV/the Devil hasn’t driven it from you fully!”

When you do, share it with me @RentAFriend2000 and thanks for letting me be your Rent-A-Friend.

In Defense of the 10 (non) Atheist Commandments

Greetings friends, and welcome to a special edition of Rent-A-Friend 2000. Today we’re seeing a reply to my recent series on the 10 atheist (non) commandments, showing that, no matter how simple I try to make things, people will tell me I’m wrong without actually reading what I’ve said.

Seriously, can anyone argue that I write at too high a level to be understood? Because I don’t think it takes a PhD to read my stuff. I don’t think it takes much more than a 5th grade education to understand me EVER, but still somehow I remain a mystery to some. Go fig.

For a great example of someone missing the point, read this reply by Makagutu, and then some of his readers. He fails almost immediately by claiming “atheism makes no claims.” How people can make this error over and over amazes me. This is a MAJOR concern of his. “HOW DARE you define Atheism to mean “Atheism”? It’s MEANINGLESS!” Which is almost true, but I digress.

But he also didn’t read my blogs very carefully because he sums up my arguments like this:

 This post isn’t really about the creative exercise but about those theists like Ken Ham and others who seem angered that atheists could actually conceive of making commandments, the reserve of their god!

If I wrote anything that sounded like, “I’m SO ANGRY that Atheists are being creative!” please copy and paste it in an email to me, because I do not remember saying such a thing.

But the errors persist all throughout his blog. He makes LITTLE attempt to understand what I have said and instead, jumps right in with name-calling:

“It has become apparent that most theists have the understanding of a roast potato.”

OK, points for making it a roast potato. Most atheists would have just said “Potato,” so this guy is going the extra mile. I can appreciate that.

He fails to even understand the comment, “Without God, there is no meaning and purpose to our existence.” As you’ll see by his reply, he somehow thinks this means Christians aren’t creative enough to pick a college major unless a priest chooses it for him. And in the comments, this idea is attacked by a reader who, instead of addressing it, goes off on a long tangent about WHICH God? As if the existence of various religions answers the claim. I wish people would learn to see when they have changed the subject, because the price of pineapple is far too high and when Bush was in office, the potholes on I-90 were NOT this bad- certainly not as bad at that last Adam Sandler film.

Makagutu says,

“To say live [I believe he means LEAVE] the world a better place doesn’t restrict you to one way of living. Struggle for freedom of expression in a place where this is prohibited leaves the world better than you found it especially if these fruits are achieved.”

Hmmm… What a great point. I wonder if I address this at all in the post he’s replying to? Let’s see…Oh, yup. I said this:

On Atheism, there is no good, and so there can be no better. For an atheist to ask if the world is a better place is like two bus station drunks having the following conversation:

Drunk 1: “Are we closer, or further away?”
Drunk 2: “From what?”
Drunk 1: “It doesn’t matter.”
Drunk2: “Oh. In that case, no.”

Thus, my argument is, with no God, there is no good, and thus there can be no better. He replies by telling me something he feels would be better. Please pardon me for being picky, but this DOES NOT ANSWER THE ARGUMENT I RAISED. If he was going to interact with the argument I made, he should say, “In a godless universe, XYZ would still be good because…” But he does NOT. Having been told, “With no GOD there is no GOOD and thus no BETTER, he merely says THIS would be BETTER…”

Pardon me as I go on an ALL CAPS RANT:

 ATTENTION WESTERN CULTURE AND OTHER WEIRDOS ON THE INTERNET. YOU HAVE FAILED PHILOSOPHY 101. PLEASE TO BE GOING BACK TO 3rd GRADE AND READING SOCRATES. LEARN HOW TO REPLY TO A STATEMENT AS IT WAS ACTUALLY STATED, AND LEARN HOW THAT DIFFERS FROM MERELY CHANGING THE SUBJECT.

THANK YOU.

Not to seem arbitrary, Makagutu does a drive by reference to the REASONS given for these (non) commandments as he says:

One would expect that since each entry has an explanation given by the author, the theist would at least read to understand but then it seems that is expecting too much.

So I followed the handy link to see how badly I misunderstood the purpose of the (non) commandment in question. Here is the explanation given.

When one does a good deed it isn’t because God tells one to do a good deed, but because one simply wants to be good person.

Hmmm… What a great point. I wonder if I address this at all in the post he’s replying to? Let’s see…Oh, yup. I said this:

On Atheism, there is no good, and so there can be no better. For an atheist to ask if the world is a better place is like two bus station drunks having the following conversation:

Drunk 1: “Are we closer, or further away?”
Drunk 2: “From what?”
Drunk 1: “It doesn’t matter.”
Drunk2: “Oh. In that case, no.”

Thus, my argument is, with no God, there is no good, just as in space there is no North or South. I don’t think you need a PhD to understand this. Am I wrong? Is there no one without a PhD who understands why there is no North or South in space?

The remainder of his comments is not really worth replying to, so I shall not. Instead, let me give this an example of why atheism is irrational. In order to defend it, you must first redefine it to mean nothing, and then avoid the arguments given by theists, instead quickly stooping to name calling and then rebutting the points they did not actually make and avoiding carefully the points they DID make. At the end, blindly assert your atheism again without arguments in its favor, and top it off with a little more condescending name-calling.

This is why Atheism has been a great tool for leading people to Jesus. When you see the best that atheism have to offer, you know atheism has nothing to offer. Perhaps that’s why he says, “atheism makes no claims.”? Because if we’re talking about a reasonable defense, then, yes, it certainly does make no claims.

I for one vote we put more emphasis on learning the art of debate starting in Kindergarten so people can learn how to listen, reply, and express their thoughts in a way that makes sense. I’d be willing to trade those little guys my debate skills for their naptime.

Think it over, won’t you? And thanks for letting me be your Roast Potato.

Maybe the Atheists are onto something…

I was called a name recently which I had not been called before. A twit on twitter called me an “evolution denier.” Right off the bat I want to state for the record that, whatever differences we Creationists may have with the Evolutionists, and whatever heated arguments may be had with atheists, we should all agree that “evolution denier” would be a terrible name for a band.

But the accusation made me consider something I had not thought of before. Why are we Creationists trying so hard when the Atheists have set the bar so comfortably low? Let’s just take a few pages from their playbook and put up our feet and take it easy for a change! Here’s what I propose:

1. We will continue to say we think Evolution is a ridiculous religion for which there is no scientific evidence. But instead of calling ourselves “Creationists” we will call ourselves “evolution deniers.” Our official position is, we deny the evidence for evolution as insufficient. In fact, we will insist that this is all the word “Creationist” actually means- someone who isn’t convinced by evolution. People like Ken Ham are “Hard Creationists,” and it’s irrational to assume that ALL of us are the same kind of Creationist.

2. When the evolution believers ask us to defend our position, we will insist they not force the burden of proof on us when it CLEARLY belongs to them. After all, we’re not asserting a position, we’re simply saying we lack a belief in evolution. It’s them that needs to defend their ridiculous beliefs. And we will remind them that their extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

3. If an evolutionist provides evidence or arguments to defend evolution, we will ignore their evidence and arguments, make fun of them, call them names, and quickly change the subject. We will spend lots of time naming evil people who believe in evolution- like Hitler or Jeffery Dahmer.

4. We will then have a guy who used to have a popular kid’s show (and not a PhD in Biology) do popular debates against them. Someone see if Phil Visher wants this job. Or one of his puppets. That might actually be better.

This will save Creationists HOURS and HOURS of research and hard work creating lectures and lessons, web sites and books. We can be content merely to declare ourselves the side of “reason” and go on making fun of them for what they believe without offering any evidence or arguments for our position or against theirs. I can finally make use of my true spiritual gift- Sarcasm.

I’m sure you Creationists out there have already guessed that this whole article is sarcasm. But what I would like you all to do is to offer this as an alternative to those Atheists on the interwebs who already do this stuff. A taste of their own medicine. Hair of the dog that bit ya. Two can play at this game. See if they feel we should treat them like they treat us. But at the end of the day, we of course are called to make a reasoned defense of the faith and hope which we have, with kindness and respect, and above all, if we start a band, to give it a cool name. Something like “Visher’s Puppets.” That band sounds hard core.

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