Justin Welby Rosie Harper
Church of England

Assisted Dying: Canon Rosie Harper condemns "extreme and emotive claims" of "a certain section of believers"

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury couldn’t be any clearer: ‘MPs must not take risks with the lives of vulnerable people‘, he writes in the Evening Standard. He is unequivocal, too, about the flaws in Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying (No2) Bill which comes (again) before Parliament today.

He warns of the “perilous legal and ethical slope” and the ever-present “slippery slope” of the right to die becoming a duty upon all who see themselves as burden to family or society. He acknowledges the proposed protections, not least of which is the option to die being restricted to those who have “less than six months to live and who have made a settled and informed decision to end their lives”. But:

How do we know that someone has less than six months to live? Experts in end of life care affirm that while it is possible to speak with some degree of certainty of the last days and hours of life it is quite impossible to be precise when it comes to a prognosis stretching into months.

How do we know that someone has come to a settled and informed decision? Psychiatrists tell us that it can take the full six months proposed in the Bill to rule out an individual suffering from clinical depression; a condition that would surely preclude them from accessing prescribed lethal drugs.

How can we be absolutely certain that individuals will not be put under considerable pressure to end their lives? Of course, no one is going to march their elderly relative to the GP’s surgery. Pressure can be subtle and might begin years before a terminal illness is diagnosed.

Parliament cannot legislate for this, and judges can do nothing but adjudicate on the paperwork provided by doctors, upon whom the pastoral pressures will become intolerable. And Justin Welby invokes the experiences of other EU states:

We know from experiences in the US, Belgium and the Netherlands that things do go wrong. In the American state of Oregon, a mere 5.5 per cent of patients ingesting lethal drugs were referred for psychiatric evaluation.

In the Netherlands, Theo Boer, a former member of a government review committee has written, “It has not been possible to stop some patients asking to have their lives ended because of indirect or even unintentional pressure from relatives.”

In Belgium, what began as a “mercy” for adults has ended up with euthanasia for children.

This is nothing to do with the inviolability of ‘religion’, immutable impositions of ‘truth’ or pious assertions of the ‘sanctity of life’. It is to do with protecting the vulnerable – the weak, lonely and frail; the elderly, dispossessed and disabled.

The Rev’d Canon Peter Holliday is Deputy Chair of Hospice UK, and Group Chief Executive of St Giles Hospice in Lichfield, which cares for more than 6,000 patients a year. He is of the view that, if passed, the Assisted Dying Bill “would put thousands of society’s most vulnerable members at risk”. And not only that:

It could also put hospices at risk. Some of our local funding streams from the NHS have been chipped away in recent years and those remaining have become more dependent upon doing things in the way the NHS requires. Rue the day when funding becomes dependent upon hospices’ willingness to facilitate assisted dying.

Here is a primary manifestation of the “slippery slope” of which the Archbishop warns. The moment Parliament determines the lawfulness of assisted dying, hospices will find themselves subject to certain funding constraints: there will be no state contracts or taxpayer support for the bigoted, extremist, medieval views of the palliative holy huddle who deny people their right to die. Such charities will be forced to comply or close, as we have seen with Roman Catholic adoption agencies. Canon Holliday explains:

The National Health Service requires us, in our contracts, to comply with the requirements of the NHS. Now if the NHS is going to be required to offer assisted dying there is of course the possibility that it would require us or an organisation contracting with the NHS also to offer assisted dying. If we as an organisation were able, and at the moment under the terms of the bill there is no indication we would be able, but if we were able to say that assisted dying was not something that would happen on our premises, would that prejudice our funding from the NHS ?

The ethos ceases to be one of providing the best possible care until natural death: it becomes one of obligation to inform patients of their options for hastening their death, and then to assist them in the act of suicide.

But the Rev’d Canon Rosie Harper is having none of this. She writes:

I suspect that the way some religious voices have made their arguement (sic) will prove counter productive. Very extreem (sic) and emotive claims have been made, such as ‘a culture of death’. Religious voices such as my own, who believe that Assisted Dying is in line with a compassionate and loving faith, and of an humane society, have been brushed aside even though we speak for well over half of people of faith in this country. They have chosen to use the word suicide even though this is not what the bill is about. Suicide pre-supposes that there is an alternative outcome which is to live, assisted dying is about a person caught up in the process of dying who might want to choose to have some control over the manner of their own death. We could have had a grown up conversation about this, but there has been a wild, passionate and at times tearful outpouring from a certain section of believers which has provoked non-religious people such as Polly T(oynbee) to write off the religious postion (sic) as unhelpful and indeed irrelevant

One treads carefully here, for merely to question Canon Rosie Harper is to be “extreme and emotive”. The mere highlighting of her erroneous theology or the publishing of her abject reasoning makes one, in her assessment, “unpleasant”, which is swiftly followed by allegations from her boss the Bishop of Buckingham of “trolling”.

But many non-believers also equate assisting dying with suicide. Journalist Hannah Fearn is one such. By her own admission she has “faith in nothing more than progress of scientific inquiry and the powerful humanity of everyday people”, yet she pens: Let’s face up to the fact that assisted death is really assisted suicide‘.

Is that “extreme and emotive”?

How is it “extreme and emotive” to warn that the most vulnerable in society will indeed be coerced by a “culture of death”? Does Canon Harper understand what culture is? Does she not appreciate that the introduction of lawful assisted suicide fundamentally transforms society – and so culture – from one of supporting life to that of promoting death? Dare one address the fundamental illogicality of Canon Harper’s objection to the “extreme and emotive” equating of ‘dying’ with ‘suicide’? She reasons: 

They have chosen to use the word suicide even though this is not what the bill is about. Suicide pre-supposes that there is an alternative outcome which is to live, assisted dying is about a person caught up in the process of dying who might want to choose to have some control over the manner of their own death.

Those who opt for assisted dying have no alternative? They are going to die anyway, so let them get on with it? Is that not true of the whole of humanity? Don’t doctors make mistakes? Why should the threshold be drawn at six months? Why not nine months, or a year? What is Canon Harper’s “compassionate and loving” response to those who are chronically depressed? What happens to terminally ill children? May their parents be permitted to make decisions on their behalf? If not, why not? What is her theological rationale for helping to dispatch those who are “caught up in the process of dying”, but not those who simply wish to die? If absolute autonomy extends to one’s life, what is the philosophical rationale for limiting the ‘right to die’ to terminal illness?

“We could have had a grown up conversation about this,” Canon Harper opines. We could indeed, but her preference is to block people on Twitter, call them “unpleasant”, and get her Bishop to make false allegations of “trolling”. Those who disagree with her “compassionate and loving faith” are, quite simply, not worth responding to. The fact that she rebels against the Church of England’s official teaching does not merit a reasoned response: the Church Synod, House of Bishops, Archbishops’ Council is, quite simply, as a matter of basic logic, un-compassionate and unloving.

But, for Canon Rosie Harper, all those who oppose assisted dying/suicide are immoral and un-Christian. That is exactly what she told the House of Lords last year (with apologies for the skewed scan, but that’s how it was received):

 

The final paragraph is astonishing in its starkness and cruelty. Here is a canon of the Established Church telling peers of the Realm that, should they oppose Assisted Dying, they are personally “requiring people to suffer extreme agony”, and so voting in a manner which is “neither moral nor Christian”.

How “extreme and emotive” is that?

She appears to be of the view that simply because her uncle was able to make a considered decision to journey to Dignitas in Switzerland to end his life surrounded by a loving family, and because this worked for him and all of them, that all individuals and families must have access to the same “compassion”. She appears oblivious to the intolerable pressure this might (indeed, will) place on some who are dying, just as she was oblivious to the number of peers she offended with her assertion that their motive is to “require” the dying “to suffer extreme agony” simply to assuage their own consciences.

Note the ethical assertion of ‘conscience-primacy’, as though the theology of those who oppose the Bill were simply a question of callous, subjective individuality.

Death is not a divine distalgesic: it is the passing of the soul to judgment and into eternity. Hitherto, God has determined the number of our days. Lord Falconer, Rob Marris and Canon Rosie Harper are of the view that people should be assisted to kill themselves, should they so desire. Leaving it all to God becomes a manifest denial of rights and choice, totally lacking in compassion and devoid of any dignity whatsoever. Death can be painful and messy, so let’s make it quick and clinical.

Those of us who believe in the sanctity of life – “a certain section of believers” are cruelly putting our consciences above love and compassion. We all know how that language game works.

Make no mistake, Rob Marris’s Assisting Dying (No.2) Bill is exactly the same as Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, and both are identical to what will doubtless be the Assisted Dying (No.3, 4 & 5) Bills. They are necessary steps toward terminating the lives of the sick and vulnerable, not to mention those who feel worthless, depressed, lonely, unloved and unvalued. They may not be forced to die, but they will certainly feel less of a burden on their families and on society if their deaths were to be hastened.

Instead of demanding the right to die, the Church ought to be concerned with optimism, hope and improving palliative care. Indeed, the Church is prioritising these things, but Canon Harper is not. Her mode of compassion prioritises the eradication of suffering, and those who oppose her in her quest are immoral and un-Christian. There is no debate to be had or doubt in her mind.

The suffering of Job was immense: his mental anguish and physical pain made him yearn for death, and he pleaded daily for it. Had he been ‘assisted’ to that end, he would not have seen his vindication, and God’s glory would not have been revealed. He wasn’t protected by a ‘six months to live’ clause, but his comforters wouldn’t have been overly concerned about that. Your GP might know you have nine months or year to live, but (s)he’ll compassionately give you six so you may legally make the choice to ‘die with dignity’. Once the legal right is embedded in our culture, there will be incremental nudges toward expectation and thence to the Belgian option, where they are, as the Archbishop of Canterbury reminds us, legally euthanising their children. What is that if it is not immoral and un-Christian? Or evil?

  • Anton

    What DOES it take for the CoE to sack someone for their views?

    • The Explorer

      Probably believing in the divinity of Christ, and saying so.

      • dannybhoy

        :0) Very sharp!

  • dannybhoy

    ” Religious voices such as my own, who believe that Assisted Dying is in
    line with a compassionate and loving faith, and of an humane society,”

    Then the woman is a ‘religious’ secular humanist!
    In the same way that the word “Refugee” triggers an outpouring of unthinking uncritical compassion in Europe, the word “Religious” has the same effect in unthinking compassionate Ecclesiastical circles.
    ….especially if spoken by a blonde in a dog collar…

    • dannybhoy

      ps Is it just me or, does that photo make her look rather like a middle aged more masculine version of Princess Diana?

  • Albert

    They have chosen to use the word suicide even though this is not what the bill is about. Suicide pre-supposes that there is an alternative outcome which is to live, assisted dying is about a person caught up in the process of dying who might want to choose to have some control over the manner of their own death.

    It is a sad reflection of the moral and intellectual position of those in favour of this Bill, that this kind of “argument” is having to be used. Does anybody, even those in favour of the Bill, seriously think this argument holds water?

    It’s so bad, you couldn’t even accuse it of sleight of hand – it’s too obviously wrong.

    • carl jacobs

      Curious, is it not, that those “caught up in the process of dying” (as opposed to those with an “alternative outcome”) tend to be those for whom no cost-benefit analysis can justify the expense of further treatment. We used to just have “useless eaters”. Now we have “useless consumers of medical resources.”

      Those resources would be better spent on me, doncha know.

      • Albert

        Those who are “caught up in the process of dying” are by definition “useless consumers of medical resources” if one adopts a materialistic world-view.

  • Orwell Ian

    Michael Wenham, who suffers from motor neurone disease, believes some disabled people could feel pressure to relieve carers of the “burden” of looking after them. This is his opinion on the Assisted Dying bill:

    I think it is a very bad law. It elevates private benefit over public good. I think the purpose of law is to protect the many not to enable the few. It is a few who want to take their lives. I think the law as it stands is a cast iron guarantee that life is valuable, is not to be taken in any circumstances. And there’s no getting away from it, assisting someone to die is a form of killing. I think the new law as proposed by Bob Marris is discriminatory by its nature and it would discriminate against people like me. There’s a lot of pressure on us who are disabled, we are told we are a burden on society, we’re a burden to those who care for us and we feel pressure to take the noble self-sacrificing way out and relieve others of that burden

    How is it moral or Christian to disregard the pleas of the vulnerable and disabled who regard themselves as threatened by the provisions of this Bill?

    To claim, as Canon Harper does, that those opposed to the Bill are “requiring other people to suffer extreme agony on behalf of your own conscience” is a most unpleasant form of emotional blackmail, which is itself neither moral or Christian.

    • dannybhoy

      I think our society has lost sight of the ‘circle of life’. We want people to realise their potential and get a good job and have 2.4 children (who will of course ‘go to Uni’).
      We want to retire with a good pension, get a big smart car we struggle to drive, and go on sea cruises etc. But ultimately most people spend their final years alone and dependent on strangers..
      I don’t think it’s God’s way. He loves us, he affords us the dignity of freewill, and the possibility of eternal life with Him.
      We should be looking at ways to fund families so that children can afford to have their parents living with them, and every community have a nursing home so that people end their days with people they know..
      It’s a bit like those societies which celebrate the lives of their elderly and afford them love, company and dignity in their final days.

  • alternative_perspective

    Rev. Harper seems to be more concerned with the opinions of antichristian media celebrities rather than listening to her brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Eve wasn’t attracted to the fruit of the knowledge of evil but the good, seeing that it was good for growing in wisdom… But this was rebellion in God’s sight. And in the last days we are warned there will be mass deceptions. Jesus warns that ‘another you will accept’, the man of sin will come with lying signs and wonders and we are told in Genesis the serpant was the wisest of creatures in the garden. I think we can be certain that when the Antichrist turns up he’ll come with wisdom, seemingly a man of righteousness and accepted as a second Jesus. He will come with the appearance of Godliness but denying its power for salvation.

    As Timothy warns us, we should have nothing to do with people like that.

  • bluedog

    Your Grace, in Canon Harper’s promotion of euthanasia we see an overt challenge to the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, backed no doubt by Canon Harper’s bishop. While the issue underlying Canon Harper’s challenge is important, of greater moment is her arrogance in defying her Archbishop. Justin Welby would be applauded if he were to sack Harper and her bishop, it would show that finally the CofE stands for something and does not roll over in the face of every controversy. Standing up for life is a good place to start.

    • alternative_perspective

      This is where it needs to start if we are to wrestle our church back from the spirit of the age. Could you imagine the uproar though from the liberal press.

      This is where compromise is forced on the CoE by being an established church.

      • Albert

        You just can’t do this sort of thing in the CofE. The only people who are unchurched from the CofE are those who actually believe.

        • Anton

          I know many Anglicans (and Roman Catholics) who are committed Christians. But there are others who regard it as merely a social club and far too many theological liberals in its upper reaches.

      • bluedog

        The CofE is granted enormous discretionary powers to run a state church. We have always entrusted the Church and its Commissioners to run a responsible operation on lines established 500 years ago after the break with Rome. Perhaps it is now time to appoint a Minister for Religion, there’s enough of them, to try and keep the CofE from justifying the murder of its parishioners. Not too much to ask.

  • Sybaseguru

    When my mother broke her hip 15 months ago the doctor said she would almost certainly die within a year. She’s stronger now physically than before she fell thanks to the excellent work of our local care home. When she was on the edge of one of her occasional delusional states she would almost have qualified for this assistance to die.
    The medical profession works on statistics, not on certainties, but the collection of those seems to be a rather hit and miss affair. Should we make life and death decisions based on dodgy statistics?

  • Isn’t it funny, in the 70’s Sci-fi writers tried to show that life was not to be terminated films such as Logan’s Run or Soylent Green. Maybe the House of Commons and “the other place” need to sit through the warnings cinema goers saw back then.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    The congregation at St Peter and St Paul, Great Missenden, should deliver a devastating rebuke to their vicar by refusing to accept communion from her, ever again. ‘Draw near with faith’—and no one moves an inch.

  • CliveM

    It’s all about closing down of debate. The “extreme and emotive” claims will be those arguments they have no defence against.

    Out of curiosity, does the not so Reverent Rosie actually believe anyone with any discernment gives a fig (I was tempted to use a different word) what Polly Toynbee thinks? A regular on the BBC, doesn’t mean you have opinions worth listening to.

    • magnolia

      Well, one of the problems with this rather “ad hominem” style of debate is that it all tends towards those who indulge in it thinking there is an “in” good crowd who must at all times be impressed, and an “out” bad crowd who need telling.

      Shame that in her view the Archbishop appears to be one of the latter.

      I wish she had picked up decent English along the way; it is never a good sign when prose is littered with mixed metaphor and spelling and grammar mistakes.

      How on earth do you brush a religious voice aside? Cobwebs, dust, even people can be brushed aside….

      Also exactly how does she think that looking at someone’s death from the outside necessarily equates to how the dying encountered it? Sometimes no doubt it does but there are so many accounts of those that have come back from death that state strongly that this is not how it was for them that we need to listen to them, and not ignore them, or block our ears to them ( an image that does work!)

      • CliveM

        Yes agreed.

        What actually annoys me, is not that she has a different view, it’s that she is trying to define the debate in such a way that those against euthanasia are sidelined by being represented as divisive and hysterical.

        She is not trying to engage in a debate, she is trying to avoid it.

    • Merchantman

      Wheeled out on such occasions by ‘auntie’ to demonstrate the so called progressive view and annoy the rest of us.

      • CliveM

        Progressive, approved all the same to Auntie.

  • grutchyngfysch

    “The last enemy to be conquered is death.” (1 Cor 15:26)

    If suffering in death seems meaningless, look to the Cross, where suffering, death, and sin their sire were brought under God’s power for destruction. Mitigate the pain of, minister to and uphold the one who suffers, but don’t do so by making an alliance with death.

    • Anton

      Contrary to what some people (not you) say there is no good death, for it was not part of God’s plan.

  • carl jacobs

    Why should the threshold be drawn at six months? Why not nine months, or a year?

    An interesting question, and the answer is almost certainly tactical. If you make the interval too long it becomes obvious that the law is intended to grant autonomous power to commit suicide. If you make the interval too short, you only cover those people who really are in the process of dying, and who therefore might not be legally capable of making the decision. The target of this law is the person who is still competent but who has been told he will probably die in the short but still distant future. It trades on uncertainty and its attendant fear. “You haven’t really suffered yet but you will. Do you want to go through that? Get out now while you still can.”

    Of course, the concept is sold as an exercise in autonomy, but it’s just as much about money. Those who have to pay aren’t much interested in someone else’s autonomy but they are greatly interested in their own financial liability. The last six months of life (not coincidentally) are when the big medical bills are incurred. If you can get the patient to kill himself at that point, there is a huge savings to be realized. Not that anyone would say that out loud. But the thought is always there.

    Some people – the young, the strong, the productive – warrant the investment to maintain life. Others – the old, the feeble, the disabled – don’t. It’s the hidden triage behind this whole effort that parses people into the categories of “worthy” and “unworthy.” It isn’t mentioned for obvious reasons. It happens in the darkness lest anyone see.

    • sarky

      Sorry Carl, but total claptrap. You have to make the assumption that every terminally ill person will choose this route, they won’t. Many will hold out hope until the end. In the grand scheme of things any savings made on end of life care will be minimal. This is the kind of hysterical rubbish ive come to expect. Who are you to deny anyone the choice of a dignified death? I for one hope this legislation goes through, if I am ever unfortunate enough to be in that position, I would want to go while I’m still me, not some broken shadow of my former self.

      • carl jacobs

        You have to make the assumption that every terminally ill person will choose this route, they won’t.

        I don’t have to make that assumption at all. I only have to assume that the marginal benefit of not providing care for an additional six months is a substantial savings. Any patient who can be convinced to kill himself saves me money. The more that expectation can be realized, the more money I save. Marginal benefits add up quickly.

        The reality is that modern medical care has made dying hard. We live better longer. But the out years are worse. As the expense increases, people are going to start looking for ways to reduce the cost of getting old. Getting Granny to off herself is a tremendously effective solution.

        • sarky

          Like I said, hysterical rubbish.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s the best you’ve got, huh. “It’s not about money! It’s not! It’s not! It’s not!”. Yeah, I’m convinced.

            What I am saying is not disputable. Medical costs rise astronomically at the end of life. If you can convince people to kill themselves before those costs are incurred, you realize a large financial saving. If you can create a cultural expectation, you have eliminated a huge cost liability associated with old age and terminal illness. You can say that is an unintended benefit. You can’t deny it’s true.

          • sarky

            I’m not denying it, I’m saying it is not the driving force of this legislation. This is about compassion and decency and giving people a choice.

          • carl jacobs

            Riiiiiiiight. You admit there are buckets full of cash at stake, and yet you think that somehow no one notices. But of course it must be so. How could you defend it otherwise.

            “No, Gramma. It’s not about the inheritance. It’s all about what’s best for you.”

          • CliveM

            Followed by “we would make sure your Grandson went to the be Private School”.

          • sarky

            See my reply to clive.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not about you personally, sarky. It doesn’t matter that some people do the right thing. What matters is that the law prevents people from doing the wrong thing.

            If you think a hospital administrator won’t see this in terms of budget, you are sadly deceived.

          • Happily, one chap decided at the last minute to see sense and not commit professional suicide. David De Gea has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester United, keeping him at Old Trafford until at least 2019. There is an option to extend it for a further year.

          • carl jacobs

            My how things change. Just a short while back, you were consigning that very player to the lowest level of perdition for even thinking about moving to Spain.

            But … I guess we now understand why the file wouldn’t open.

          • Jack was critical of him for putting money above club loyalty – not for wishing to move to Spain. He was letting Real Madrid take the mick.

            As David said: “I am delighted to be starting this new chapter in my United career. I have always enjoyed playing with these great players in front of our fantastic fans. Manchester United is a special club and Old Trafford is an ideal place for me to continue to develop my career. I’m looking forward to putting a difficult summer behind me and concentrating on working hard to improve and help my teammates to be successful.”

            Should he now want to leave Man Utd they will obtain a reasonable return for developing him.

      • Dreadnaught

        It was a cack-handed bill Sarky. As it stood it would have made bad law and worse.

      • Merchantman

        Palliative care reduces suffering to a large degree and yet are you saying you expect zero pain in life as it nears its end. Get real.
        Carl is right in two cases, because I have been closest too, it was all about money. All about the money, those nearest were risking to lose. Shockingly in the first case, those on their so called errand of mercy gave a non-resuss and yet the intended victim lived on another three years quite normally.
        For me this law is a total fail and should be stood down indefinitely; meaning permanently.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      In the last year of someone’s life they incur c. 50% of all medical expenditure over their entire life.

      AFAIUI, a lot of this is because many people spend a considerable chunk of that last year in hospital and the (average) cost of a hospital bed is very high (£400/day?) plus there are added costs of any treatements.

      So, consciously or otherwise, the potentially huge cost savings are almost certainly a part of this utilitarian thinking.

  • CliveM

    Vote rejected!

    • Albert

      Thanks be to God.

      • sarky

        Yeah, thanks be to god for pain and suffering.

        • Albert

          Thanks be God that innocent people will not be killed.

          • sarky

            What????? No one was going to be killed. They would make their own choice and take the cocktail by their own hand. More hysterical nonsense.

          • CliveM

            You keep parroting this, I suppose like the Right Rev you believe that by attempting to marginalise the argument, you can eliminate the debate.

            Interestingly my Mother in Law , dying of a terminal illness, looked into care homes . Would have cost 10’s of thousands. Now she was looked after by her family at home. Do you really believe that some individuals, not wanting the responsibility of looking after an increasingly immobile individual (who wants to wipe a 70 year olds arse) and otherwise faced with the loss of their inheritance, wouldn’t put pressure on a frightened and vulnerable individual?

          • sarky

            We as a family are currently paying thousands a month for my gran who is in a home suffering from dementia. It would never cross my mind to ‘off’ her for the sake of a few quid. (Not that she would have qualified under the proposed legislation).
            Anyway, if the decision was down to a judge, as proposed, then I would hope that the money grabbers would be found out and the medical help not allowed.

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            I’m not suggesting you would. You appear a reasonably moral person to me. However there are a lot who would, do you doubt it?

            A note the term ‘hope’ with interest.

          • sarky

            Because there are always manipulative individuals who will slip through the net and who is to say they wouldn’t get granny to take one or two to many paracetamol, with or without the legislation anyway?

          • CliveM

            So you agree that some vulnerable people will come under pressure, but we should just accept this? Presumably because the benefit outweighs the cost?

            Do you have a number (those encouraged to an early death?) in mind when the cost in your view might exceed the benefit?

          • Inspector General

            Quite good friends with a chap who loathed his (now deceased) mother in law. They never took to each other, and she supposedly tried to dissuade her daughter from marrying him. Now that has to have been the case in thousands of other families…

          • Albert

            No one was going to be killed. They would make their own choice and take the cocktail by their own hand.

            So therefore they are going to be killed.

          • sarky

            No they are going to die. Being killed insinuates death at the hand of another.

          • CliveM

            We are all going to die

          • sarky

            No s**t sherlock!

          • CliveM

            You seemed confused on that point.

          • Albert

            Suicide: The action of killing oneself intentionally. It’s just what words mean.

          • Merchantman

            They could well be pushed into it; in many cases by their closest; but that’s hysterical right? I happen to think its true that this would happen and so do lots of others apparently.

        • alternative_perspective

          Maybe. I know your worldview pretty much excludes purpose from anything but that’s not the case in ours, moreover pain and suffering (the biproducts of human rejection of God) can still be used by God to achieve his eternal purposes: the restoration of individuals to grace and eternal life…and eventually the end of pain and suffering themselves.

          For you this sounds gobbledygook, as the bible says: foolishness but for us, who have passed from atheism to theism after encounters with God, it quite literally is as the great anthem puts it: I was blind but now I see.

          Bless you sarky, hopefully your heart will soften overtime and allow the possibility of an encounter with God, until then thanks for your spicy little comments, which certainly add flavour to this blog.

          • sarky

            Doesn’t say much for your god if it takes pain and suffering to accept him.
            (P.s. It doesn’t sound like gobbledegook, I was brought up in a christian family)

          • dannybhoy

            I have to agree with that. I don’t love God because the alternative is eternal suffering. I love Him because He is the source of life and He loves me..

          • chiefofsinners

            Pain in all its forms is a warning. Without pain you’d not realise when you were leaning on the cooker, until you smelt the burning. Lepers living in far places have their toes eaten by rats while they sleep because their pain sensors are destroyed. By healing lepers from their numbness, Jesus gave them life.
            You’ll know that leprosy is used in the bible to symbolise sin which de-sensitises us morally.
            Pain is a gift from a merciful God. His strength is made perfect in weakness.

          • sarky

            Pain is a gift from a merciful god?

            This is why I’m an atheist.

          • chiefofsinners

            Like any good father, out of love He instructs and disciplines, He says ‘no’ and He loves us through our tantrums.
            Pain is a gift from a merciful God.
            That’s why I’m a Christian.

    • Merchantman

      We didn’t see Our Saviour ‘doing in’ the terminal lepers did we now? He suffered with them, dying on a cross to overcome that death and suffering. I thought that was what it was all about. Too hard for the climbers in to understand.

      • sarky

        The death and suffering wasnt overcome though was it? Otherwise we wouldnt be having this debate.

  • Dreadnaught

    I see the Bill is lost.
    Having heard many of the arguments I think this was as much to do with it being a badly drawn up document with major discrepancies and taking all into consideration, it was a good decision made by a majority 3 to 1.
    I believe in the freedom of choice of when to die and That said, if ever there was an argument for a referendum it is this subject.

    • Albert

      It must have been very bad to have been so rejected by the Commons!

      • Dreadnaught

        I could have made a better fist of it myself. Its such a serious topic there should be a referendum on the principle, then open discussion on the detail followed by review of the experiences of other countries beginning with Switzerland.

        • Albert

          There certainly seems to be a problem with those pushing for it. Their idea seems to be that history is on their side, so all they need to do is keep bringing it back again and again. Like the IRA, trying to bomb Thatcher, they know they only have to win once while those opposed have to win every time. Therefore, they are lazy. The trouble is that, irrespective of the rights and wrongs in principle, this complacency may well result is dangerously bad legislation.

          • Dreadnaught

            I don’t see the need for the comparison. This is a serious matter and the legislators are just not up to it, so I’m glad it failed. 3/10 for effort, must try harder.

      • chiefofsinners

        Yes – they must be feeling suicidal.

    • sarky

      Oh well maybe next time.

    • DanJ0

      I’m quietly relieved it failed. The idea is fine in principle but unlikely to be in practice.

      • dannybhoy

        Why?
        How old are you, exactly?

      • Dreadnaught

        Just be glad you are not Tony Nicklin.

        • DanJ0

          i’d go to switzerland somehow

  • David

    Thanks be to God, from whose Scriptures we learn right from wrong, that this killing Bill has itself been terminated. Now no old people will not be led towards a premature self-murder. Next up must be the appalling abortion laws.

    • sarky

      Dont worry, it will be back.

      • michaelkx

        i agree it will be back, this time certain people will rig it so it does pass. cynical me? No just got my eyes open at the SSM. If those in real power want it, expect back soon. after all what is the Liverpool Pathway? but this in the open.

  • Inspector General

    Women make rotten priests…

    • Hi inspector

      If she’s a cannon can’t she be fired? LOL!

      • Inspector General

        Defrocked is better…

      • Anton

        If she and her husband have a male child then would he be a son of a gun?

        • carl jacobs

          [tap tap tap]

          Hey, how come the down vote button doesn’t work?

          [tap tap tap]

      • carl jacobs

        I upvoted you but … don’t quit your day job.

      • chiefofsinners

        As Basil Brush would say…
        Boom Boom

    • dannybhoy

      Just think: if the Catholic Church had decided on an all female priesthood…..

      • Inspector General

        Christ couldn’t use the ladies in his mission. They are the homemakers and child bearers. To them are given the greatest of all tasks.

        • dannybhoy

          Absolutely.
          I make no apologies for posting Proverbs 31..
          ” The Words of King Lemuel (aka Shlomo haMelekh..)

          31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

          2 What are you doing, my son?[a] What are you doing, son of my womb?
          What are you doing, son of my vows?
          3 Do not give your strength to women,
          your ways to those who destroy kings.
          4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
          it is not for kings to drink wine,
          or for rulers to take strong drink,
          5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
          and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
          6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
          and wine to those in bitter distress;[b]
          7 let them drink and forget their poverty
          and remember their misery no more.
          8 Open your mouth for the mute,
          for the rights of all who are destitute.[c]
          9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
          defend the rights of the poor and needy.

          The Woman Who Fears the Lord

          10 [d] An excellent wife who can find?
          She is far more precious than jewels.
          11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
          and he will have no lack of gain.
          12 She does him good, and not harm,
          all the days of her life.
          13 She seeks wool and flax,
          and works with willing hands.
          14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
          she brings her food from afar.
          15 She rises while it is yet night
          and provides food for her household
          and portions for her maidens.
          16 She considers a field and buys it;
          with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
          17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
          and makes her arms strong.
          18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
          Her lamp does not go out at night.
          19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
          and her hands hold the spindle.
          20 She opens her hand to the poor
          and reaches out her hands to the needy.
          21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
          for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
          22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
          her clothing is fine linen and purple.
          23 Her husband is known in the gates
          when he sits among the elders of the land.
          24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
          she delivers sashes to the merchant.
          25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
          and she laughs at the time to come.
          26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
          and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
          27 She looks well to the ways of her household
          and does not eat the bread of idleness.
          28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
          her husband also, and he praises her:
          29 “Many women have done excellently,
          but you surpass them all.”
          30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
          but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
          31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
          and let her works praise her in the gates.”

          • magnolia

            So are you suggesting all women should get up early and sew for all they all worth, in between weaving, and going out working in the fieldsg as if the Industrial Revolution had never happened?

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely!
            Male and Female created He them.
            Two halves (ideally) making a whole. Sewing and weaving gives ample time for talking, and (so I am told) are remarkably therapeutic activities.
            (Snores gently..)

            Take a look at this..

          • dannybhoy

            Marks of the True Christian
            Romans 12.
            9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

            John 13
            34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

            No one’s saying it’s easy, and as a man I think men are more inclined to being selfish than women. But that is not an excuse because even in our congregations we need to love and serve one another.

            Also not easy!

        • magnolia

          However he did and could use them, Inspector. First who bore the Son of God in her womb and nurtured Him and brought him up? Then who stayed by the foot of the cross? Who stayed when the going was toughest and dealt with the dead body and mourned whilst the vast majority of the men ran away? Who were the first witnesses of the Resurrection?

          At the crucial time, which stands I believe in the centre of History, there they were. How precisely can this be described as “Christ couldn’t use the ladies in his mission” ?????

          One does need to be biblical!

          • Inspector General

            Ah, one needs to be more specific, Mags. Christ did not chose women to be his vicars on his departure because to spread the word needs the commitment and drive and stamina that only a man can summon. This being due to the genders brains being wired differently as well as the greater physical strength a man enjoys. And of course the greater part of womanhood would be themselves fully engaged in the second greatest mission, childcare.

    • Albert

      No they don’t. They don’t make priests at all.

  • Hooray : the “right” to guilt trip an elderly or convince someone into committing suicide has been put off for another time….

    • CliveM

      Yes, they will be back though to try again.

      • Hi clive

        Court case perhaps?

        • CliveM

          Wouldn’t be surprised , the courts have already threatened to intervene.

          • Merchantman

            That would pose the courts a problem because they would struggle to misinterpret the will of Parliament in this case.

      • dannybhoy

        Yes. The interesting thing is why do we as children of God run out of ‘steam’ before they do?

        • CliveM

          It’s as Albert says, we have to be lucky every time, the opponents only have to lucky once.

          Luck is not the right word, but you know what I mean.

          • dannybhoy

            Can you see though that the movers and shakers on both sides of the moral divide are very much minorities seeking to persuade the majority?
            The Bible says that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one..
            1 John 5:19English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

            19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
            The battle is in the Heavenlies Clive.

          • CliveM

            Well yes.

            I was really addressing the running out of steam comment.

          • dannybhoy

            I was being a smart*** and asking the question I wanted to answer…
            Subtle eh?

          • CliveM

            To subtle for me.

          • Merchantman

            I don’t see how Rosie Harper can remain in her position. She should do the decent thing and resign. This is entirely legal.

          • carl jacobs

            Resign? She is the image of the CoE in five year’s time. Why then would she resign?

          • Merchantman

            Bringing the CoE into disrepute is reason enough. There is no scriptural basis for her to push for assisted suicide. Its all the fashion (business) of modern society and secular Darwinian logic. You can pretty much apply Harper ( ‘- not half life….’) logic to justify eugenics and a good deal of other horrors.

        • sarky

          Because you have no fight left in you.

          • dannybhoy

            Sez you! Christians have never had to be a majority on order to see changes..

    • sarky

      It hasn’t, it just can’t be done legally.

      • carl jacobs

        So this proposed law would have legalized that behavior?

        • sarky

          Not what I meant (bad wording). These things happen anyway.

    • Jon Sorensen

      Assertion against the evidence from Netherlands. Yet again lies are used propagate theology

  • dannybhoy

    Shabbat Shalom Hannah and Barzel the Canuck..

  • Philip___

    Yes, further to comments, MPs have voted against legislating to terminate the lives of the elderly and sick (and eventually any whose lives we judge of being of less value). The MPs’ vote proves it’s not only the religious who have a conscience and value human life (from conception to natural death). But no doubt the death-obsessed ‘liberals’ will try again and again and again until they get their way, as do those who want to push so-called ‘liberal’ but immoral causes. Watch out for a sneaky amendment in some government Bill? But can we hope that the message contained by the scale of the defeat that THESE TYPES OF LAWS ARE JUST NOT WANTED, will dissuade them from trying again.

  • sarky

    Have a good one 🙂

  • bmudmai

    If we had this assisted dying bill in place we most likely would not have had Stephen Hawkins.

    • sarky

      Why?

    • DanJ0

      Blimey. Is he suicidal? 🙁

    • Anton

      Hawking.

      • chiefofsinners

        Falconer Vs Hawking
        I know who my money’s on.

  • In Perfect Ignorance

    “… requiring other people to suffer extreme agony on behalf of your own conscience …”

    This is what it boils down to. No matter how badly put together this particular bill may have been, the principle of it was the right to exercise personal sovereignty. As outmoded ideas of religious obligation and duty to an invisible (and therefore imaginary) god give way to the principle of personal sovereignty, it’s hard to see how such a direct challenge to the right of the individual to decide his own fate can stand.

    A more effective public campaign will be launched, a new bill will be drafted, and assisted dying will become the law of the land at some point. Probably within 5 years. One imagines that the campaign will probably focus on the sufferings of those who are dying in great pain and distress. Put those who are still capable of coherent speech on TV and let them tell their stories. Then ask a priest like Welby or whoever the Grand Catholic Poobah happens to be at the moment to face them and explain why their religious scruples should oblige the terminally ill to linger in paim and suffering. Let’s hope that Welby and others who opposed this bill are never struck down by motor neurone disease, or locked-in syndrome, or the sort of cancer that slowly eats away at nerve endings causing unbearable and prolonged pain and suffering. Seeing their desperate U-turn when they plead in vain to be put out of their misery would be too painful an illustration of “what goes around, comes around”.

  • David

    “I do not believe in a God who requires of us the most extreme suffering simply to shore up his sovereignty” so says the Canon.

    But this offers a false choice, since good care of the terminally ill includes pain relief, which the hospice movement is very good at. Moreover respect for human life is not about shoring up God’s sovereignty. The sovereignty of the creator of the universe is unaffected by human actions or inactions ! This is nonsense theology.

    And again,
    “God offers us freedom, calls us to co-create our lives with our creator”
    This too is a serious misunderstanding of basic Christian theology. God gives us free will, yes, to choose between right and wrong. He calls us to select His path, to choose right not wrong, and he leaves us guidance in all the ways that, over the centuries, The Church with its Scriptures and Traditions has interpreted His will. That is not at all the same thing as to simply state that he “offers us freedom”.

    As for this “co-create our lives” bit, this seems to be a shallow form of words, whose meaning is hazy and undefined, but which supports a re-interpretation of traditional Christian understandings, suiting the present godless age with its insistence on radical autonomy for each of us; it is not a faithful upholding of Scriptures understood in the way that it has been understood for 2000 years.

    Like much liberal theology this strikes me as a shallow twisting of words, that sound Christian and theological, but which on even a fairly gentle probing, fall apart when tested against the plain understanding of Scripture, and its interpretation by The Churches down the ages. This is false teaching. Fortunately Archbishop Welby is sound and orthodox on this point.

  • Mike Stallard

    Rosie – I LOVE the blue frock!

  • chiefofsinners

    Now available at all good booksellers:
    To Euthanise a Mocking Bird by Rosie Harper-Lee
    Siding with Rosie by Laurie Harper-Lee

    • sarky

      My fave – whole lotta rosie by acdc.

      • chiefofsinners

        Wanna tell you story
        About woman I know
        When it comes to dyin’
        She steals the show
        She ain’t exactly pretty
        Ain’t exactly small
        Fourt’two thirt’ninefiftysix
        You could say she’s got it in for us all…

  • Philip___

    WILL PARLIAMENT NOW TIGHTEN THE LAW TO ENSURE ITS WILL IS NOT OVERIDDEN?
    Re my previous comment, suggesting the advocates of terminating the lives of the elderly and sick (“Assisted dying”) will come back again and again until they get their way, maybe further weakening of guidance, bypassing Parliament, or a sneaky amendment to a government bill, it is reported in the Telegraph they’re shifting focus to the courts …
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/assisted-dying/11859504/Assisted-dying-campaign-sets-sights-on-courts-after-Commons-defeat.html

    As for weakening guidance, perhaps Parliament can now act to revoke the change in guidance made when Kier Starmer was DPP which reduced the likelihood of prosecution of those who assist a suicide. Perhaps Parliament needs to tighten up the law by primary legislation to ensure its will is not overridden either by the courts or by guidance.

    • Merchantman

      What about a law that where a law is before the court to determine the will of Parliament on a certain matter; instead of the Judge rewriting the law from his bench and hazarding a guess as to the original intent; he has to refer it back to Parliament for its clarification within 6 months. This would stop a lot of this rewriting of the Law in court and put Parliament back in the driving seat as the real supreme court. The democratic court.

  • chiefofsinners

    I am encouraged.
    20 years ago 72% of MPs voted against assisted murder.
    Yesterday 75% voted against it.
    A rare chink of light in a darkening society.

    • DanJ0

      Strictly speaking, they voted against the bill before them.

      • chiefofsinners

        Yes – 20 years of the dying lobby trying to come up with a more acceptable wording and this was all the good it did them.

  • Jon Sorensen

    More lies [in the US, Belgium and the Netherlands that things do go wrong],
    fallacies [“slippery slope” ] and
    moral panic are used to shove this type of theology down the throats of freedom.

    Funny how Christians don’t want to follow someone elses theology, but they force other to follow theirs.

    • chiefofsinners

      It was a free vote in the House of Commons.
      Christians don’t force others to follow their theology. You’re thinking of certain Muslims.

      • Jon Sorensen

        So why is The Archbishop of Canterbury so vocal to get his theology in to law? It is clearly a nonsense “Christians don’t force others to follow their theology”. Are you saying there is no special laws for Christmas Day and Easter Sunday in the UK?

        • chiefofsinners

          No, I’m saying Christians didn’t force any MP to vote in a way they didn’t want to.
          In the past, when our society was largely Christian, it chose to set aside Christmas and Easter as holidays. If it wishes to choose to change this then it can. I won’t behead any hostages in response.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So we agree then that Christians force others to follow their theology for example when it come to the laws Christmas and Easter as holidays?

          • chiefofsinners

            No, society chose to establish these holidays. Society can change them if it wishes. It’s called democracy. What’s more, if you want to go to work on Christmas day you are free to do so. Happy midwinterfest or whatever you want to call it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It’s not about holidays. It was just an example that you were wrong.

          • chiefofsinners

            Got any more examples?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Let’s agree on this one first? ok?

          • chiefofsinners

            OK then, reply to the following points about holidays:
            1. They are established by society and can be changed by society if it wishes.
            2. If you want to work on Christmas and Easter days you can.
            3. These holidays pre-date Christianity.

          • Jon Sorensen

            1. agreed
            2. no I can’t. There are restrictions of some trade at that time
            3. It is true that Attis followers had mourning, sacrifice, and bloodletting; and the resurrection of Attis celebration around spring equinox, but Easter timing comes from Judaism. So you are wrong.

          • dannybhoy

            Jon,
            he said ‘these holidays predate Christianity….

          • Jon Sorensen

            And I agreed. Attis’ resurrection celebration predate Christianity..

          • dannybhoy

            ” …but Easter timing comes from Judaism. So you are wrong.”

          • Jon Sorensen

            and what is your point?

          • dannybhoy

            Judaism predates Christianity, and Easter is actually about the Jewish festival of Pesach or Passover, which Jesus was celebrating with His disciples before His crucifixion, paralleling the sacrifice of the Passover lamb..
            Exodus 12.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I agreed to that. Judaism was never in big in England before Christianity…

          • dannybhoy

            We agree?
            (Danny faints…)

          • chiefofsinners

            In answer to 2., refer to 1.
            In answer to 3, Saxons had a goddess called Eostra, whose festival was at the spring equinox.

          • Jon Sorensen

            And Easter is not at the spring equinox, and did Saxon make non-Eostra followers stop trading at that time?

          • chiefofsinners

            The word Easter comes from Eostre. The festival was linked to new life and fertility, hence oestrogen, the female hormone. The observation of the festival predates Christianity, so it is not a good example of Christians imposing their views on others. If anything it is an example of Christians adapting themselves to suit the society which they found.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I know Eostra is a bad example, but it was your example

          • chiefofsinners

            No it wasn’t. It was your example. You wrote:
            “It is clearly a nonsense “Christians don’t force others to
            follow their theology”. Are you saying there is no special
            laws for Christmas Day and Easter Sunday in the UK?”
            You raised the issue of Easter and I replied.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Eostre was celebrated at equinox, Easter is not.
            Only Christians made Easter laws no-Christians have follow.

          • CliveM

            3. Doesn’t Judaism pre date Christianity?

          • magnolia

            So you want to force mothers away from their families on Christmas Day to serve behind the counter so you can get bread and milk because you couldn’t plan ahead?

            Is that the freedom you demand?

            How is that freedom for the mother or her family?

            It just looks like white collar selfishness to me…

          • Jon Sorensen

            I guess you don’t have problem to follow Ramadan in the UK as you can plan ahead…

          • CliveM

            Jon

            Have you read what CofS actually has said? If society wants to change these holidays they can.

            You will find there is no rush to do so.

            As holidays go for a lot if people they are purely secular. No one is forced to celebrate Christmas or Easter. You’ll need to try to find better examples.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Nobody claimed that one is forced to celebrate Christmas or Easter. And it is not about changing them. Christians are just unwilling to acknowledge that they have limited non-Christian freedoms while Christians celebrate.

          • Albert

            But only because non-Christians are content for it to be that way. There simply aren’t that many non-Christians who are mean spirited enough to abolish these things. Now the fact that they don’t doesn’t mean that Christians are imposing their will, it means the Christian practice is welcome.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Asking for equal right and representation is now these days “mean spirited”. Talking about privilege confusion.

            Note that I did not ask for for abolishing those…

          • Albert

            So what actually is your complaint? You don’t want to stop the celebration of Christmas etc. You don’t want to abolish them. Presumably you don’t want the entire country celebrating every religious holiday that anyone comes up with. So what do you want to be different?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m not complaining. I was asked for an example. So I provided an example where Christians use law to get non-Christian comply with Christian rules. Christians have such a difficult time to understand blue laws. They are privileged.

          • Albert

            But we don’t. That law functions because non-Christians want it to function. So it’s a bad example.

          • Jon Sorensen

            non-Christians did not have a choice.

          • Albert

            Feeble. It’s called democracy. If non-Christians wish to overturn the laws surrounding Christmas they can. They don’t because they don’t want to. Therefore, you cannot claim that this is about Christians imposing their Christianity on others. Forcing bakeries to bake cake promoting illegal same-sex “marriage”, that is forcing belief on others, but Christmas is not. And if you want to ignore it, go ahead.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Such a nonsense. How about this:

            If Christians wish to overturn the laws surrounding “forcing bakeries to bake cake” they can. So you cannot claim that this is about people are imposing their laws on Christians.

            Your logic fails you…

          • Albert

            Yes, and we want to. We campaigned against those laws in the first place, precisely because they would unjustly result in these kinds of attacks on basic freedoms. In contrast however, there seems to be no campaign to ban Christmas. So you’ve made a logical error in confusing two quite different things:

            1. Campaigning in a democracy to have a law changed.
            2. Successfully campaigning in a democracy to have a law changed.

            There is no campaign to change Christmas, not because Christians impose their will (the bakery example shows this is anything but the case), but because no one is small minded enough to ask for it. That is an entirely different matter.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “these kinds of attacks on basic freedoms [forcing bakeries to bake cake]”
            Freedom to discriminate? LOL

            “There is no campaign to change Christmas, not because Christians impose their will, but because no one is small minded enough to ask for it.”
            Agree, but it is still a blue law. That is the point

          • Albert

            Freedom to discriminate?

            We all discriminate, and we have the right to discriminate and rightly so. The question is when such discrimination is just. It is plainly just in this case.

            Agree, but it is still a blue law. That is the point

            It is a blue law that stands not because of the rationale you used it for, but because everyone wants it to stand, therefore, this is a bad example. Besides, I think the term “blue law” is quite daft. From my point of view, same-sex marriage is a blue law since it rests on secular metaphysic, which I object to, not only on religious grounds, but also because they are just irrational.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t think we should discriminate based on sexual orientation when it comes to commerce. I guess you do. Churches do have a special privilege to discriminate when it comes to hiring. I also think it is wrong.

            “because everyone wants it to stand”
            I don’t. So your argument is invalid.

            “same-sex marriage is a blue law since it rests on secular metaphysic”
            False. Some religious organisation support it.

            “[same-sex marriage] are just irrational.”
            How. Please explain.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yes secular people have bigger things to do than Christmas laws. Christians campaign for their “basic freedom” to discriminate in commerce based on sexual orientation.

            Different priorities I guess…

          • Albert

            No, I don’t believe, and neither do I think can it be reasonably argued that that is what was happening.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I get that you don’t believe it, but that is the reality.

          • Albert

            Go on then. Prove it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Prove what? Christians are campaigning for bakers to be able to discriminate in commerce based on sexual orientation. Nothing controversial about it.

          • Albert

            discriminate in commerce based on sexual orientation.

            But they didn’t. Plainly they didn’t. That’s the very point you need to demonstrate.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Maybe I’m confused. These bakers who did not want make cakes for gay weddings… based on what did they discriminate?

            They were willing to make cakes for hetero weddings, but not gay weddings. What do we call that kind of discrimination?

          • Albert

            First of all, we need to look at the word “discrimination”, because, as I have said, we all rightly discriminate. The issue is whether it was just or unjust and whether it was on the grounds of sexual orientation.

            Secondly, it wasn’t actually a wedding cake – but a cake promoting same-sex “weddings”.

            Did they discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation? Clearly not, since they were perfectly willing to serve them as homosexuals. The baker however, did not agree with the message, and did not wish to promote same-sex “marriage”. Any person of good will will defend their right to conscience not positively to do something that promotes something they think is wrong, especially in this case, because same-sex “marriage” is of course illegal in N.Ireland.

            The baker could have refused, quite reasonably to make a cake promoting something legal. For example, I would defend the right of a pro-life baker refusing to make a cake for a pro-abortion event and vice versa. It’s called freedom, it means that no one may force you to act contrary to your conscience. Now the fact that what the cake was promoting was illegal, makes your position particularly difficult to understand. What if in fact it was the paedophile exchange that wanted the cake? That campaigns for something illegal, and contrary to the Asher’s conscience, just like this cake.

          • Jon Sorensen

            C’mon now. It’s not about writing on a cake. Stick to the truth.
            Sweet Cakes by Melissa refuse to sell cakes and stated “we don’t do same-sex marriage, same-sex wedding cakes”. It was never about the text. There was a Indiana pizza (!) shop that refused to cater gay weddings. There are plenty of Christian photographers refuse to film gay weddings. Christians refuse to issue marriage licenses.

            It was on the grounds of sexual orientation. Nothing else.

            “Any person of good will will defend their right to conscience not positively to do something that promotes something they think is wrong”
            What a nonsense. That is not a free pass to break the law.

            “It’s called freedom, it means that no one may force you to act contrary to your conscience.”
            What a nonsense. I don’t want to pay taxes. Can I have freedom not pay them?

            “What if in fact it was the paedophile exchange that wanted the cake?”
            Is paedophile exchange legal? If it is, bake a cake if you are in that business. If it is not, call a police.

          • Albert

            It’s not about writing on a cake. Stick to the truth.

            I’m sorry, I don’t appreciate my truthfulness being impugned like that – just because you seem incapable of seeing someone else’s point of view. It is about the cake. For clearly, they would have served the man anything else. Therefore, it was not discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Similarly, the other examples, you just don’t seem able to see what is going on. If you think same-sex marriage is wrong, bogus etc., then integrity requires that you do not provide your services to those events. However, one can perfectly consistently refuse to provide those services, while still serving those people.

            It was on the grounds of sexual orientation. Nothing else.

            As I have shown, that is just flatly and obviously false.

            What a nonsense. That is not a free pass to break the law.

            I was setting out a moral position. As the law requires people to violate the dictates of their conscience, and reason, the law is itself unjust. The law is not an authority for right and wrong. Whoever thought that?!

            What a nonsense. I don’t want to pay taxes. Can I have freedom not pay them?

            You don’t actually have a choice, since they are taken before you get the money, and since living in a country entails making use of some of the services provided by taxes, there is no comparison here. A better example would be if the Government turned up and asked if you would like to donate to something you disagreed with. In that case, everyone would see one should have the right to say no.

            Is paedophile exchange legal? If it is, bake a cake if you are in that business. If it is not, call a police.

            But SSM is not legal in N.Ireland. In not baking the cake, they were simply following what the law permits. But you have missed the point here again. The paedophile exchange became a pressure group to push for “paedophile rights”. Now if the cake is promoting such “rights” which are in themselves illegal, who would say that a baker had to provide such a cake?

            If it is, bake a cake if you are in that business.

            And with that you embody the point I have made all along, that without the proper metaphysical basis for the dignity of the human person, in the end, you let the state trample all over everyone. There seems no freedom for the individual on this – everyone must do exactly what the state tells them regardless of conscience. But if conscience is trampled upon, how do people appropriate right and wrong? It just becomes a wicked self-preservation form of pragmatism.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “If you think same-sex marriage is wrong, bogus etc., then integrity requires that you do not provide your services to those events.”
            Nonsense.
            If you think Islam is wrong, bogus etc. then integrity *don’t* require that you do not provide your services to those events.
            If you think remarrying (in case of no-fault divorce) is wrong, bogus etc. then integrity *don’t* require that you do not provide your services to those events.
            Christians are just picking on gays and not Muslim or remarrying people for example.

            “it was not discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation”
            Nonsense. Sexual orientation was the variable so it was the grounds like it or not.

            “As the law requires people to violate the dictates of their conscience, and reason, the law is itself unjust.”
            This is more dangerous nonsense. Religious ISIS members’ conscience dictates to throw gays from rooftops. According to you a law protecting against these murders are “unjust”, so they should follow their conscience. Your world view is really dangerous.

            “You don’t actually have a choice [to pay taxes], since they are taken before you get the money”
            Nonsense. I run a small business. I pay prior and after business transaction taxes. Try to understand how VAT and Capital Gains taxes work. My comparison still stands if you want to address it.

            If paedophile exchange are acting legally we should support their freedom of speech. You only support the freedom of speech if you support speech that you don’t agree with. I’m all for bad ideas to be aired so they can be critiqued.

            “without the proper metaphysical basis for the dignity of the human person, in the end, you let the state trample all over everyone.”
            Nonsense. “the proper metaphysical basis” is a handwaving of without content. Less religious the countries are less the state trample all over minorities. (We all are in minorities in some ways). Reality does not support your claim.

          • Albert

            If you think Islam is wrong, bogus etc. then integrity *don’t* require that you do not provide your services to those events.

            On the contrary, that would be an entirely reasonable position to take.

            If you think remarrying (in case of no-fault divorce) is wrong, bogus etc. then integrity *don’t* require that you do not provide your services to those events.

            Again, I think that that could be an entirely reasonable position to take. It is very normal for Christians not to attend a marriage of divorced person. There was an example in living memory in the royal family, when the Queen refused permission for her sister to marry a divorced man. But there is a difference here, the status of divorce is clearly ambiguous. It’s permitted in the OT but prohibited in the NT.

            Christians are just picking on gays and not Muslim or remarrying people for example.

            On the contrary, you cannot get married in the Catholic Church is your first spouse is still living. It’s perfectly consistent. But the issue here is whether someone must be forced, against their conscience to provide materials to promote something that they disagree with. It is utterly intolerant to require people to publish things promoting things they do not agree with.

            Nonsense. Sexual orientation was the variable so it was the grounds like it or not.

            Sexual orientation was not the variable. This really ought to be obvious. If sexual orientation were the variable, the bakers would refuse to serve people of homosexual orientation. But that’s not the case. In fact, the baker would have been able to baker a cake celebrating the marriage of two homosexuals – provided they were not of the same sex. By the same token, they couldn’t have provided a cake for heterosexuals who were siblings. The issue is plainly not sexual orientation therefore. The issue is same-sex marriage, which the bakers think is morally wrong and nonsensical.

            This is more dangerous nonsense. Religious ISIS members’ conscience dictates to throw gays from rooftops. According to you a law protecting against these murders are “unjust”, so they should follow their conscience. Your world view is really dangerous.

            Your logic is spectacularly bad. You actually inferred “Anyone must be allowed anything they want, even to harm others” from “No one may be forced to act against his conscience.” The logical fail here is so obvious that I trust I do not need to spell it out.

            Nonsense. I run a small business. I pay prior and after business transaction taxes. Try to understand how VAT and Capital Gains taxes work. My comparison still stands if you want to address it.

            I was talking about the employee. But yes, if you really feel that the Government is using your taxes for something gravely unjust, you would be right to withhold your taxes. There were examples of Anglican clergy in the 1980s who did just that, over nuclear weapons. Of course they were punished, but they acted morally.

            If paedophile exchange are acting legally we should support their freedom of speech. You only support the freedom of speech if you support speech that you don’t agree with. I’m all for bad ideas to be aired so they can be critiqued.

            This just shows again that you don’t get what’s being discussed. The issue here is not whether a group should be allowed to express their opinions, but whether someone may be enforced to publish their opinions. Again your logic fails you. I can support someone having the freedom to speak, without having to provide the material through which they speak. Indeed, the freedom by which you let someone have freedom to speak should extend to someone’s freedom to remain silent. How can you not see that? Are you seriously saying that if paedophilia is legal that any printer (or cake maker) must be compelled to publish material celebrating that? You seem to derogate your moral responsibilities to the law – do you not know what wicked things are done in law? Do you think that a printer must be required to publish pornography is it is legal?

            Nonsense. “the proper metaphysical basis” is a handwaving of without content.

            Why? and if you don’t have a metaphysical basis, what is the basis of a claim that all people are equal? Equally what?

            Less religious the countries are less the state trample all over minorities. (We all are in minorities in some ways). Reality does not support your claim.

            The most secular countries have, traditionally been the worst at this – take the Soviet Union or now N. Korea. But being religious doesn’t guarantee that people will not violate other’s rights, but, many religions will at least provide the theoretical basis for other people having rights. Secularism removes that basis, and so easily slips into that violation. Note, I did not say that they necessarily will violate rights (again, you seem to draw a conclusion that is not supported by the logic), but that they will easily slip into doing so when pragmatic concerns entail that.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “On the contrary, that would be an entirely reasonable position to take”
            Only if that person is a bigot… and the question was not about “attending a marriage of divorced person” it was about providing a service or a cake. Try to compare those.

            “you cannot get married in the Catholic Church is your first spouse is still living”
            Wrong. Nullify marriage in popular in south America and Pope Francis just made annulment of marriages cheaper and easier.

            “Sexual orientation was not the variable”
            A lie. You should try to be honest. Gay marriage is the issues.

            “No one may be forced to act against his conscience.”
            Letting gays live is against ISIS member’s conscience. Letting gays get married is against some Christians conscience. Both harm gays. What is the difference?

            I’m always surprised how Christians think breaking the [tax] law is moral when it suits them. So much for objective morals.

            Cake shop are not enforced to publish paedophile exchange opinions. They sell cakes, not publish opinions. Did your cake shop publish your birthday cake cover on the local news paper? Were they forced? Cake shop has “freedom to remain silent” of what they sell. The cake shop does not “have to provide the material” they sell it. If the content is legal I don’t see the problem printing it to a cake.

            What is this “metaphysical basis” you are speaking of? What basis do you have to that?

            “The most secular countries have, traditionally been the worst at this ”
            Not true. N. Korea is like celestial heaven where the supreme leader has supernatural powers and wisdom to rule. It is not secular humanist country.

            “many religions will at least provide the theoretical basis for other people having rights.”
            In reality minorities have no rights. It all about majority rights.

            “Secularism removes that basis, and so easily slips into that violation.”
            Reality does not support your assertion. And because your premises is false your logic does not work.

            Secular Humanism is the only way to give people equal right and best possible society.

          • Albert

            Only if that person is a bigot

            Perhaps, perhaps not. Let us grant the case. Do you think the law should enforce against
            bigotry? Do you not think that might be
            just a little paradoxical?

            it was about providing a service or
            a cake

            It was about providing a cake which promoted
            a particular message. There was no issue
            with selling the cake as such, but with the message on the cake.

            Wrong. Nullify marriage in popular in south America and
            Pope Francis just made annulment of marriages cheaper and easier.

            When a marriage is annulled, it means it wasn’t valid in the
            first place – that means that the person is free to marry because they aren’t already
            married. That’s exactly what it means. The Holy Father has not altered the grounds
            of nullity, he has simply made the process easier and cheaper.

            A lie. You should try to be honest. Gay marriage is the
            issues.

            Your other post, for which you had to apologise ought to warn
            you against misusing the word “lie”.
            Same-sex marriage is the issue, certainly – but where have I denied
            that. But being opposed to same-sex
            marriage is not about discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, as I
            have already demonstrated. Do you not
            know that even Stonewall was not in favour of same-sex marriage until, I think
            2012?! In this country, there are prominent
            homosexuals who are opposed to same-sex marriage. If you can’t get the distinction, then there
            is not much hope for this discussion.

            Letting gays live is against ISIS member’s conscience.

            The issue is whether ISIS have the right to act against someone
            else on account of their conscience.
            Nothing I have said supports that.
            One may not be forced to act contrary to one’s conscience, but the state
            can protect someone else, if their actions directly harm someone else. Can you not see the contradiction in your
            position? To be consistent, the state
            should be protecting the conscience of the baker from those who force them to
            act contrary to their conscience.

            Both harm gays.

            False.

            I’m always surprised how Christians think breaking the
            [tax] law is moral when it suits them. So much for objective morals.

            This is just confused. You
            would only withdraw your taxes because of objective morals.

            Cake shop are not enforced to publish paedophile
            exchange opinions. They sell cakes, not publish opinions

            I’m beginning to think you are not familiar with this case. That is exactly what the shop was required to
            do – except that it was not promoting illegal paedophilia but illegal same-sex
            marriage.

            Were they forced?

            Yes.

            Cake shop has “freedom to remain silent” of
            what they sell.

            No, that’s the freedom that was denied. It’s beginning to look like you are defending
            them in fact!

            If the content is legal I don’t see the problem
            printing it to a cake.

            You don’t see the problem, and therefore there isn’t a problem,
            and therefore they should have their freedom removed. Nice – but bad logic, again. And so you would force them to publish a cake
            with pornography on it? What if this was
            the case – a homophobe forces a homosexual baker to publish material which is
            legal but offensive to gays. That’s how
            it started for the Jews in Germany of course.

            What is this “metaphysical basis” you are
            speaking of? What basis do you have to that?

            I think the expression “all men are equal” is meaningless unless
            it is ground in something non-physical – e.g. all are made in the image of God,
            all are loved by God etc. What do you
            base your belief in equality on (assuming you have one).

            Not true. N. Korea is
            like celestial heaven where the supreme leader has supernatural powers and
            wisdom to rule. It is not secular humanist country.

            It’s an officially atheist country. But even if I withdraw my remark about them,
            my point stands from Stalin…and so on.

            In reality minorities have no rights. It all about
            majority rights.

            That may be true of some religions, but not all.

            Reality does not support your assertion. And because
            your premises is false your logic does not work.

            Go on then – provide the basis.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Do you think the law should enforce against bigotry?”
            Some form yes, but it probably can for all kind of bigotry

            “Homosexuals have always been able to marry – provided they marry someone of the opposite sex. Heterosexuals have never been allowed to marry people of the same-sex.”
            Exactly the same argument was used by Christians against black. You are in a “good” company.

            “The issue is whether ISIS have the right to act against someone else on account of their conscience.”
            YEs. And the issue is whether Christians have the right to act against someone else on account of their conscience. The state has protected gays, but Christians refuse to comply.

            “You would only withdraw your taxes because of objective morals.”
            LOL. What are these magical “objective morals”?

            I don’t get your argument. Cake shop did not like the legal message and don’t want to put that on a cake. It’s so hard to be a Christian here in west.

            “metaphysical basis” is meaningless if you ground it on a assertion without evidence of “all are made in the image of God”. So much of your “basis”.

            Yes. NKorea is an atheist nation led by a supernatural being as their founding story tells. Their God is a jealous God who has told “have no other gods before me”. Kind a reminds me of another religion

            “[minorities have no rights] may be true of some religions, but not all”
            It true with Christianity.

          • Albert

            Some form yes, but it probably can for all kind of bigotry

            Quite, so you are opposed to certain kinds of freedom of belief. Which is itself a form of bigotry. Can’t you see the logical mess you are in?

            Exactly the same argument was used by Christians against black.

            Sorry, can you explain this, please? I cannot see the application.

            YEs. And the issue is whether Christians have the right to act against someone else on account of their conscience. The state has protected gays, but Christians refuse to comply.

            Your logic is so bad. If I refuse to supply materials to promote something, that does not trample on someone’s conscience. It just means they must do themselves or find another provider. The fact that I am not prepared to go down to Speakers’ Corner and promote Islam does not mean I am acting against the conscience of Muslims! I defend people’s right to express their opinion, and I defend people’s right not to promote something that they don’t agree with. Both positions are the fruit of believing in conscience, so you cannot argue for conscience while denying one. It’s just a mess.

            The state has protected gays, but Christians refuse to comply.

            I’ll just call that out as a lie.

            LOL. What are these magical “objective morals”?

            “Objective morals” was your term!

            I don’t get your argument.

            Indeed not – I’ve been saying that all along.

            Cake shop did not like the legal message and don’t want to put that on a cake.

            No, they thought the message was wrong and did not see why they should be forced to supply the materials to promote it. It’s a freedom thing. That’s why you don’t get the argument.

            is meaningless if you ground it on a assertion without evidence of “all are made in the image of God”.

            Why is that meaningless?

            Yes. NKorea is an atheist nation led by a supernatural being as their founding story tells. Their God is a jealous God who has told “have no other gods before me”. Kind a reminds me of another religion

            I was talking last about the Soviet Union. But you seem to keep talking about N Korea. I wonder why.

            “[minorities have no rights] may be true of some religions, but not all”
            It true with Christianity.

            I’ll just call that out as a lie.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Can’t you see the logical mess you are in?”
            No. Can you help me out and point my logical mistakes?

            “Sorry, can you explain this, please?”
            Christians argued that blacks had the same rights as whites. They could marry anyone from their own race. So they argued it was equal rights just like you.

            “I refuse to supply materials to promote something, that does not trample on someone’s conscience.”
            I guess you should be selling microphones, computer, phones, newspapers, electricity, publishing or any services information can be transmitted. Good luck.

            “I defend people’s right to express their opinion”
            You don’t understand what that means.

            “”Objective morals” was your term!”
            Agreed. They are magical and don’t exits

            “I was talking last about the Soviet Union. But you seem to keep talking about N Korea. I wonder why.”
            Because you said “take the Soviet Union or now N. Korea”. You brought it up. But Soviet Union was pretty much like modern NKorea with supreme jealous leader who told “have no other gods before me”.

          • Inspector General

            You are free to protest against our holidays. One suggests you go on hunger strike.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You missed the point. read above

          • Inspector General

            No, one is missing why you are griping…

          • magnolia

            Professional secularist whinger. Far too much invested in it to concede he is ever wrong on anything, sadly for him…..Look at his profile!

          • Inspector General

            Good day to you Mags. Yes, one can only hope the poor unfortunate obtains some form of relief by posting his despair on this august site…

        • Inspector General

          Christianity and Common Sense are so close, it is difficult to distinguish between the two…

          • Jon Sorensen

            Blashemy laws in the Bible is common sense?

          • Inspector General

            There are no longer blasphemy laws in the UK. They were of their time.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I didn’t claim there were any more. Reason has prevailed.

          • Inspector General

            At the time, their existence was reasonable…

          • Jon Sorensen

            “their existence was reasonable” and not any more?

            I’m surprised you think it was reasonable to kill people for blasphemy 🙁

          • Inspector General

            Kill people? Your anger is getting the better of you, sir…

            By the way, marvellous news about Corbyn, what!

          • Jon Sorensen

            There has been plenty of those. I’m not sure where you get that “anger”. That seem to be a Christian meme.

          • Inspector General

            Can we attribute your bitterness today down to you having an aged relative you were hoping to kill?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Such a Christian comment…

          • magnolia

            Meme is a silly silly pretentious word, brought in by people who think that they invented the idea, which is all that that ridiculous words means.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It’s even sillier to propagate false information about your opponents

          • chiefofsinners

            Who can doubt that God answers prayer?
            Two in 24 hours!

          • dannybhoy

            Marvellous news?!
            There’s gonna be trouble Inspector……
            He will do more to damage this country than any amount of nuclear deterrent..

          • Inspector General

            A bitter civil war has begun today…

          • David

            On target there Inspector !

        • dannybhoy

          Christmas Day and Easter Sunday are a part of our now defunct Christian heritage, condoned by both the CofE and government.
          Is anyone forcing people to observe them? Examples please..

        • Albert

          This is just confused. The Archbishop thinks that this Bill puts vulnerable people at risk. He may be right, he may be wrong. But, unless the secular world now has no humanity, he is surely not being uniquely Christian. Are Christians the only ones who care for the vulnerable, or is it your view that they uniquely, should not be allowed to speak up for the vulnerable?

          • Jon Sorensen

            ” He may be right, he may be wrong.”
            Evidence from Netherlands shows he is wrong. People are not in risk.

            Secular world might have more humanity to give people freedom to choose and dignity to die laws

          • Albert

            And evidence from other parts of the world shows he is right – as he shows in a quotation in the OP. You appear to be defending a secularism which care less about the vulnerable than Christians do.

          • Jon Sorensen

            No it doesn’t. Nowhere in the world are people pushed to get killed because of these laws. Secularism cares more about people than Christianity.

          • Albert

            From the OP:

            We know from experiences in the US, Belgium and the Netherlands that things do go wrong. In the American state of Oregon, a mere 5.5 per cent of patients ingesting lethal drugs were referred for psychiatric evaluation.

            In the Netherlands, Theo Boer, a former member of a government review committee has written, “It has not been possible to stop some patients asking to have their lives ended because of indirect or even unintentional pressure from relatives.”

            In Belgium, what began as a “mercy” for adults has ended up with euthanasia for children.

            The idea that secularism cares more about people than Christianity is obviously false, since secularism provides no objective or metaphysical basis for the value of the human person. On the contrary, it cuts away such categories. This is why it so easily slips into terrible violence, as soon as pragmatic concerns make those “solutions” seem appropriate.

          • Jon Sorensen

            What experience? Where the data or studies? Anyone can just make up sentences. Please provide the evidence.

            “The idea that secularism cares more about people than Christianity is obviously false, since secularism provides no objective or metaphysical basis for the value of the human person.”

            Fallacy of non sequitur.
            And Religion or Christianity does not provide objective basis to this issue.

            “This is why it so easily slips into terrible violence,”

            Reality does not support this statement.

          • Albert

            What experience? Where the data or studies? Anyone can just make up sentences. Please provide the evidence.

            I think that when the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks on matters about which he can be grilled in Parliament, we can be confident he isn’t making it up. Burt since you seem incapable of using Google, here’s one article: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/reports/05death/death_with_dignity_report.htm which supports the claim. Then there’s the wider confusion over the status of someone’s mental state. Is mental illness a reason to allow euthanasia, or to disallow it? Why are there such marked differences between countries as to the proportion of people who are refused euthanasia on the grounds of mental health? It’s all there. You can’t hide from the evidence.

            Fallacy of non sequitur

            That’s not entirely evident, for it could be argued that caring entails having a reason to care. But of course, you have missed half of what I wrote and therefore missed the evidence I provided:

            On the contrary, it cuts away such categories. This is why it so easily slips into terrible violence, as soon as pragmatic concerns make those “solutions” seem appropriate.

            Now you wish to challenge the last part. I wonder which part of the 20th Century you missed.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I think that when the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks on matters about which he can be grilled in Parliament, we can be confident he isn’t making it up.”
            No. We need to fact check everyone. Archbishop does not speak truth because (s)he is a Archbishop. Recent pedophilia cases round the world has shown how bad memory and fact presentation bishops have.

            It is a 11 year old factual dispute about Euthanasia in the USA with the ending “This is not an issue that lends itself to empiric data and we are therefore unable to resolve this dispute”. What your point about it? (It is not a study!)

            If we exclude mental health cases would you then support voluntary euthanasia laws?

            “That’s not entirely evident..”
            Then provide evidence that this has anything to do with “objective or metaphysical basis for the value” or retract it.

            “I wonder which part of the 20th Century you missed”
            I didn’t miss it. Happy to discuss it. If you claim some violent death numbers, I’ll ask you to provide evidence (=data). All I ask you is to stay with facts.

          • Albert

            We need to fact check everyone. Archbishop does not speak truth because (s)he is a Archbishop. Recent pedophilia cases round the world has shown how bad memory and fact presentation bishops have.

            I didn’t say we didn’t need to check because he is an Archbishop, but because he can be grilled in Parliament. My point being that this is a blog, not an academic paper, and I have other things to do. If Parliament doesn’t shoot that kind of thing down, then it is probably because it stands. (Cf the warning that the pro-death survey was flawed.)

            “This is not an issue that lends itself to empiric data and we are therefore unable to resolve this dispute”. What your point about it? (It is not a study!)

            Errr…what is actually says is:

            At the heart of this issue is whether one believes that the physician-patient relationship is coercive or advisory in nature. This is not an issue that lends itself to empiric data and we are therefore unable to resolve this dispute.

            That is entirely different from the earlier factual claim that the Archbishop cited:

            Depression in patients is a concern often cited in regard to the law, because physicians who are not psychiatrists under-diagnose depression, and because the number of patients who received a lethal prescription in Oregon in 2003 and were referred for psychiatric evaluation was about 5%.

            Moreover, the state has a duty to protect the vulnerable. If, as you claim here, such data does not exist, then those in favour of such legislation lose all evidential basis to claim that these laws do no endanger the vulnerable. As it happens, in this case, you evidence is unsound.

            You ask

            If we exclude mental health cases would you then support voluntary euthanasia laws?

            No.

            Then provide evidence that this has anything to do with “objective or metaphysical basis for the value” or retract it.

            I would question whether the word “care” can meaningfully apply where there is no motivation or reason to care.

            Happy to discuss it. If you claim some violent death numbers, I’ll ask you to provide evidence (=data). All I ask you is to stay with facts.

            Shall we begin with Stalin, or will you agree with Hitchens that Stalin was really religious?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I didn’t say we didn’t need to check because he is an Archbishop, but because he can be grilled in Parliament”
            In Australia it turned out Archbishop “forgot” a lot of things and remembered “incorrectly” some thing in Australian Royal Commission hearing. Just because someone speaks in Parliament it doesn’t make it true (Didn’t you know this?)

            “this issue is whether one believes that the physician-patient relationship is coercive or advisory in nature. This is not an issue that lends itself to empiric data and we are therefore unable to resolve this dispute”
            There are now studies about this. It turn out doctors in Netherlands are typically against it, and it is hard to convince them to write a supporting document.

            BTW. Do these Christians go to a doctor if they don’t know if physician-patient relationship is coercive or advisory in nature? Such a bad argument.

            “the state has a duty to protect the vulnerable.”
            Sure. But not all people are vulnerable. Can you let the die in dignity?

            Why are you arguing about “mental health cases” if this has no bearing on your view anyways. You are just arguing from false position.

            “I would question whether the word “care” can meaningfully apply where there is no motivation or reason to care.”
            Agreed. The discussion was about “objective or metaphysical basis”

            I don’t know Hitchens’ argument. Let’s just agree that Stalin was an atheist and tried to create a communist society which had one of its objective to be an atheistic state.

          • Albert

            Just because someone speaks in Parliament it doesn’t make it true (Didn’t you know this?)

            No, but this is a blog, and we all have other things to do. I’m not a research assistant, and nor do I have such a thing. An Archbishop, prepared before Parliament is a decent enough source for this, and, as I have shown, it has been possible to verify his claim.

            There are now studies about this. It turn out doctors in Netherlands are typically against it, and it is hard to convince them to write a supporting document.

            Good, but that tells against your original use of the quotation.

            BTW. Do these Christians go to a doctor if they don’t know if physician-patient relationship is coercive or advisory in nature? Such a bad argument.

            You think that my going to doctor with an ear infection is on the same level as being in his power when I am sick and might have pressure put on me to kill myself? As you say, Such a bad argument.

            Sure. But not all people are vulnerable. Can you let the die in dignity?

            Someone who is very sick is vulnerable – or in the very least, some of them are.

            Why are you arguing about “mental health cases” if this has no bearing on your view anyways. You are just arguing from false position.

            Does it not occur to you that I might have more than one reason to oppose assisted suicide? This kind of argument – so common among supporters of AS – just shows an inability to understand how other people think. Besides, if you remember, we are discussing the Archbishop of Canterbury and your claim that he is vocal to get his theology in to law. The points stand regardless of my views.

            Agreed. The discussion was about “objective or metaphysical basis”

            No it wasn’t. You said I had committed a fallacy of non-sequitur. Now you agree I hadn’t. But clearly, if one’s metaphysics cause one to believe in the absolute value of human beings, then one has a reason to care for them. Now if one doesn’t have that metaphysical viewpoint, then any possibility of objective or metaphysical basis for the value of the human person disappears.

            I don’t know Hitchens’ argument.

            Hitchens claimed that Stalin wasn’t actually an atheist because he believed in Communism. In contrast, he said King wasn’t actually a theist.

            Let’s just agree that Stalin was an atheist and tried to create a communist society which had one of its objective to be an atheistic state.

            Exactly. As I said secularism provides no objective or metaphysical basis for the value of the human person. On the contrary, it cuts away such categories. This is why it so easily slips into terrible violence, as soon as pragmatic concerns make those “solutions” seem appropriate.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Archbishop did not cite studies that back his claim. You don’t need to be a research assistant. A person making the original claim should provide the evidence. Others including you should be skeptical until evidence is provided.

            I’m not sure what “that tells against your original use” refers to.

            Do you have any documented cases of “[doctor] might have pressure put on me to kill myself”? This nonsense fear mongering is what you seem to advocate.

            I’m not “very sick or vulnerable” at the moment. Would you grant me to sign a paper to allow me to die with dignity if I get sick? or is this “very sick or vulnerable” again irrelevant position?

            “Does it not occur to you that I might have more than one reason to oppose assisted suicide?”
            I think there is only one, but you seem to give many. If all your concern would be address in the law would you agree with it?

            “secularism is false, since… no objective basis.”
            is a fallacy of non sequitur.
            You followed with another non sequitur:
            “I would question whether the word “care” can meaningfully apply where there is no motivation or reason to care.”
            Which I agreed, but it did not address my criticism.

            I don’t agree with Hitchens’ argument. Secularism is doing well in northern europe without any killings, so claiming that Stalin killed because of secularism is clearly bad thinking. You need to explain why secularism did not lead to killings in northern europe. Stalin’s killing might have more to do with dictatorship, which closer to Christian ruling model than secularism or democracy.

          • Albert

            Archbishop did not cite studies that back his claim. You don’t need to be a research assistant. A person making the original claim should provide the evidence. Others including you should be skeptical until evidence is provided.

            It was an article in the paper, and this is a blog, and you can Google as well as me.

            I’m not sure what “that tells against your original use” refers to.

            You claimed there was no such evidence, and then yourself provided the evidence.

            Do you have any documented cases of “[doctor] might have pressure put on me to kill myself”? This nonsense fear mongering is what you seem to advocate.

            Not to hand, but I know of doctors who have just murdered their patients, so why should this be a stretch?

            I’m not “very sick or vulnerable” at the moment. Would you grant me to sign a paper to allow me to die with dignity if I get sick? or is this “very sick or vulnerable” again irrelevant position?

            Irrelevant, or are you just missing the point?

            I think there is only one

            Well you’re just wrong then.

            If all your concern would be address in the law would you agree with it?

            Not a real scenario. I think it is wrong in principle and practice.

            “secularism is false, since… no objective basis.”
            is a fallacy of non sequitur.

            But that wasn’t my premise.

            Which I agreed, but it did not address my criticism.

            Which was?

            Secularism is doing well in northern europe without any killings, so claiming that Stalin killed because of secularism is clearly bad thinking.

            I didn’t say secularism automoatically led to such things. I said it easily slips over into such things, and I gave the conditions in which it happens. Those conditions do not, at the moment obtain Northern Europe, so your argument is moot.

            Stalin’s killing might have more to do with dictatorship, which closer to Christian ruling model than secularism or democracy.

            ? Democracy is often thought of as the outcome of Christian thinking. But you are not here addressing the argument I put.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “article in the paper” sure. Nothing like study which data and result can be checked. Anyone can write an article…

            “You claimed there was no such evidence, and then yourself provided the evidence.”
            I claimed Archbishop did not have evidence for his claims. I claimed there are plenty of studies about it now against his position. No contradiction there.

            “Not to hand, but I know of doctors who have just murdered their patients”
            So you have no evidence. And so what about your claimed murder doctors. No law can stop illegal activity. Die with dignity laws has safe guards against “doctors who have just murdered their patients”. Your argument is silly

            “Not a real scenario. I think it is wrong in principle and practice.”
            I think we have identified the real single reason. No evidence would convince you.

            “But that wasn’t my premise” – it was your claim.

            “I didn’t say secularism automoatically led to such things. I said it easily slips over into such things, and I gave the conditions in which it happens. Those conditions do not, at the moment obtain Northern Europe, so your argument is moot.”
            This is the silliest clam I’ve heard for a while. You fail to make a link so you assume it. It a slippery slop argument and reality disagrees with you.

            “Democracy is often thought of as the outcome of Christian thinking”
            Nonsense. Democracy was developed by non-Christians in Greece and once Christians got to power the got rid of it. Another false land grab Christians try to do. Please be honest.

          • Albert

            I claimed Archbishop did not have evidence for his claims.

            That’s two different things. He did have evidence, he didn’t cite in the paper. For all we know he did cite the evidence and the editor took it out. However, evidence has now been produced to support exactly his point, and it was always unlikely that he would get his actual data wrong, when he knew he could be grilled in Parliament.

            I claimed there are plenty of studies about it now against his position.

            Yes, and in contrast, I don’t think you have cited any of them.

            So you have no evidence.

            I can think of an example, I just don’t know the names. There was a case, where the doctor attemted to get the patient to change their will to suit the doctor.

            And so what about your claimed murder doctors.

            No, that is evidence that doctors are prepared to misuse their patients even in matters of life and death. Now if they can do that with the appearance of legality, then clearly that opens up more areas for abuse. If you think this is a silly argument, I think you are just naive, but I don’t think you are.

            I think we have identified the real single reason. No evidence would convince you.

            No, no evidence would convince me that there are circumstances in which we can torture small children for fun. That’s not a bad position to take. The fact that I can also claim, in addition to the problems of principle that torturing small children for fun causes demosntrable harms to the child, does not make my position, weak irrational or dishonest, rather it shows the opposite. I know that the argument you are using is common among “liberals”, but it doesn’t mean it is valid. It is plainly quite dim.

            it was your claim

            Where? I think you have confused your inference for my premise.

            This is the silliest clam I’ve heard for a while. You fail to make a link so you assume it. It a slippery slop argument and reality disagrees with you.

            I think you’re just not following argument. I have set up the theoretic conditions in which something becomes likely, and observed that that is supported by evidence.

            Nonsense. Democracy was developed by non-Christians in Greece and once Christians got to power the got rid of it.

            Ooooo. I don’t think you know much about the classical world. You think the Emperor Constantine was running a democracy? Really? And that Plato supported that form of government. In the meantime you seem to just assume so many things, like the idea of equality. Where has that come from on this wonderful secular utopia?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “He did have evidence, he didn’t cite in the paper”
            Sure. I have a bridge to sell to you.

            “For all we know he did cite the evidence and the editor took it out”.
            What a naive response. For all we know he found a solution to Fermat’s conjecture and the editor took it out.

            “evidence has now been produced to support exactly his point”
            This is a lie

            “So you have no evidence.”
            The article/Archbishop made the claim. He should produce the evidence. You are trying the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

            “Now if they can do that with the appearance of legality, then clearly that opens up more areas for abuse. If you think this is a silly argument, I think you are just naive, but I don’t think you are.”
            It is a silly argument, because you have no evidence to back it up.

            Thanks for telling me that no evidence would convince you for die with dignity. I don’t know what torturing kids have anything to do with this, but would you allow “we can torture small child for fun” if that would save 1 000 000 children’s lives?

            If no evidence can convince you I do believe your position is “weak and irrational”

            I never said Emperor Constantine was running a democracy. There was a bit democracy during Republican times and even some during Empire. By the time Christians ruled the Europe all democracy was gone. There was a Christian dark ages of democracy from 500-1500AD. Christianity is more about Monarchy and your Plato comment is irrelevant.

          • Albert

            Even for the internet you are irrational. Welby made a claim in a newspaper. Newspapers do not usually provide footnotes. His claim has been verified by a tiny amount of googling – the precise claim, same numbers everything. Nevertheless, you still disbelieve him, and despite the fact that no one expects a newspaper article to provide sources for every claim, you still have him in the wrong. It’s just bizarre.

            This is a lie

            You are thick. Here’s what happened. Welby said this: In the American state of Oregon, a mere 5.5 per cent of patients ingesting lethal drugs were referred for psychiatric evaluation.

            I provided the webpage to a report which said this:

            Depression in patients is a concern often cited in regard to the law, because physicians who are not psychiatrists under-diagnose depression, and because the number of patients who received a lethal prescription in Oregon in 2003 and were referred for psychiatric evaluation was about 5%

            and which I quoted.

            The article/Archbishop made the claim. He should produce the evidence. You are trying the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

            If you wrote to him and asked, I am sure you would get a reply, because it is clear that there are sources that support this sort of thing.

            It is a silly argument, because you have no evidence to back it up.

            I have provided evidence already, you just seem incapable of grasping its relevance. I can’t help that.

            Thanks for telling me that no evidence would convince you for die with dignity.

            Do you really not understand that I don’t think that suicide is death with dignity?

            I don’t know what torturing kids have anything to do with this, but would you allow “we can torture small child for fun” if that would save 1 000 000 children’s lives?

            Have you not read The Brothers Karamazov?

            If no evidence can convince you I do believe your position is “weak and irrational”

            Let’s tighten the example:

            It is always wrong to torture small children purely for fun.

            You think it is weak and irrational to think that on principle, and because it is harmful?

            I never said Emperor Constantine was running a democracy.

            You said Christians got rid of democracy. That is flatly false, and if you can’t see the relevance of Constantine to that then you just can’t keep up with this debate. Moreover, democracy in the ancient world was not liberal democracy as we have it, and plenty of front rank thinkers of the time thought democracy was a disaster. It seemed at the time that democracy couldn’t work. Plato you seem not to understand was a great authority for Christians throughout the first millennium in particular.

            Now this is amusing. You say:

            By the time Christians ruled the Europe all democracy was gone.

            but you also think:

            once Christians got to power the got rid of it.

            Does your head hurt when you hold two contradictory positions?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “His claim has been verified by a tiny amount of googling”
            Nonsense. You refer to an article, not to any recent study.

            I don’t expects a newspaper article to provide sources for every claim, but in this kind of important issues fact checking must go to data and studies. You have not done your homework and no study would change your mind anyway. So what does it matter to you.

            “In the American state of Oregon, a mere 5.5 per cent of patients ingesting lethal drugs were referred for psychiatric evaluation.”
            And this is evidence for what?

            Welby said in 2015 “In the American state of Oregon, a mere 5.5 per cent of patients ingesting lethal drugs were referred for psychiatric evaluation”
            referring to a report from 2004
            “OREGON’S DEATH WITH DIGNITY LAW AND EUTHANASIA IN THE NETHERLANDS:
            Which has three references:
            – Correspondence, New England Journal Med 343, No. 2 (2000) which can be freely downloaded. It’s not a study, no 5.5% numbers mentioned
            – Report of 1999 The Oregon Report Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Hastings Center Report (May-June 1999) It’s in JSTOR, no 5.5% numbers mentioned
            – 150-152; Submission by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington

            Note that in OREGON’S DEATH WITH DIGNITY LAW AND EUTHANASIA IN THE NETHERLANDS:
            “the number of patients who received a lethal prescription in Oregon in 2003 and were referred for psychiatric evaluation was about 5%”

            Because of the year 2003 it must come from 150-152; Submission by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington

            So 5.5% number is just Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington opinion. Not a study. Yet again some old Christian opinion hidden in a foot note between two studies has now grown in to a Christian “fact”. AND you call this a “proof” and “evidence”… so gullible.

            I’ll call it out. It is a lie and irrelevant. And even if that would be true or false it would matter to you anyways.

            Note that 1999 The Oregon Report Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is well worth reading. It highlights similar concerns what Welby had (see page 40), but the note the sample size and the years this study covers.

            I note that you avoided my 1000000 child question. How about you answer that and I’ll respond to your “principle” question?

            “Christians got rid of democracy. That is flatly false,”
            There were some emerging democracies in Greece and Rome. When Christians got to power from late 300s there were no democracies until about 1500 (perhaps Magna Carta not Christianity was the kick start). How about you name some Christian democracies or democratic movements between 400 and 1500 if I’m wrong. Surely you can do it if you know I’m wrong.

            “once Christians got to power the got rid of it.” true – Christians made sure it was always monarchy
            “By the time Christians ruled the Europe all democracy was gone” true – after year 500 Christians started control the whole Europe even outside what was Roman empire and all democracy was gone
            no contradiction there.

          • Albert

            This post is so bad, that it almost seems unnecessary to reply. It’s your logic that fails.

            You have not done your homework and no study would change your mind anyway. So what does it matter to you.

            If you mean, am I going to spend the entire day blogging then no. But it does matter to me either way – you simply don’t understand this elementary idea that someone may be opposed to something for more than one reason.

            Welby said in 2015 “In the American state of Oregon, a mere 5.5 per cent of patients ingesting lethal drugs were referred for psychiatric evaluation”
            referring to a report from 2004
            “OREGON’S DEATH WITH DIGNITY LAW AND EUTHANASIA IN THE NETHERLANDS:

            This is extraordinary logic. What you know is that I provided a report saying that. From that, you have actually inferred that that is the report that Welby was using. Seriously? But the logical leaps get worse, because even if I accept your interpretaiton of the referecnes (and I don’t have time to follow them up, but given your logical track record, I would not be justified in accepting what you say), you still don’t know that this document is the source for Welby’s comments. But the logical leaps get still larger.

            I’ll call it out. It is a lie and irrelevant.

            Now a lie, isn’t just a mistake, it is wilful, knowing mistake. So, here’s your logic: Welby makes a comment, a blogger with very little research produces a document that supports the comment. However, you think this document is not adequate evidence. And from this you infer that this is the document Welby is using and that the “error” (for we have no evidence that it is an error) is wilful mistake. Seriously? Where did you learn your logic – from the school of Richard Dawkins? And how do you make such unsupported logical leaps without evidence, while demanding evidence all the time?

            So…I did a bit more googling. Perhaps you will be happier with this, a document published by public health oregon.gov. It’s called Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act–2014. And guess what? It gives the exact figure – 5.5% that Welby gave. As far as I can make out, this is not a small study, but based on all the figures from the time of the original act through to the time of publication. But you said (entirely without evidence) it was lie!

            I note that you avoided my 1000000 child question.

            And with that, you show how little study you have done. I reckon a 6th former in the relevant subject would have known my position from the answer I gave. So here we have a post which complains about lack of evidence, which makes logical leaps of breathtaking distance, towards conclusions which are demonstrably false, while showing a lack of basic reading of the topic. Are you an atheist, by any chance?

            There were some emerging democracies in Greece and Rome. When Christians got to power from late 300s there were no democracies until about 1500 (perhaps Magna Carta not Christianity was the kick start). How about you name some Christian democracies or democratic movements between 400 and 1500 if I’m wrong. Surely you can do it if you know I’m wrong.

            I don’t need to show that there were Christian democracies prior to 1500, I am referring to your earlier claim that Christians got rid of democracy. This is simply false, you have admitted earlier I think that there were no democracies at the time Christians came to power, therefore, Christians plainly didn’t get rid of them. It’s bizarre how on the one hand you make logical inferences of extraordinary distances, while holding positions which are logical mutually exclusive.

            “once Christians got to power the got rid of it.” true – Christians made sure it was always monarchy That’s not the same thing as getting rid of democracy. Can you not see that? If it wasn’t there, it couldn’t be got rid of. You might as well claim the post war German government got rid of the Jews, because there were no Jews in Germany. But if words can be stretched that far, then they cease to mean anything.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Thank you for the link. I could not find the 5.5%. The values in the reports seem to be:
            2014 2.8%
            2013 2.8%
            2012 2.6%
            2011 1.2%
            Which is close enough and probably more my inability to find the right figure. So I’ll take my words back. I was wrong and I apologise. Thanks for correcting my mistake.

            “Are you an atheist, by any chance?”
            A good one. Are all atheists that bad that anyone with bad logic are assume to be an atheist?

            “the school of Richard Dawkins”
            I like you compulsory Christian jab a Dawkins 🙂

            In Scandinavia there was primitive democracies in communities. Christianity brought monarchies and democracy ideas were gone. The Christian empire was not interested in the opinions of the people. So I don’t know how you think my logic fails here.

          • Albert

            The figure is on page 5. From that table it appears the number of patients referred for psychiatric evaluation has declined over the years. 5.5 is for the whole period, 5.9 for 1998-2013 but down to 2.9 for 2014. So it seems that the longer the practice goes on, the less good the care is. And this is reflected in other figures for other criteria – presence of the doctor at time of death, medical insurance rates etc.

            A good one. Are all atheists that bad that anyone with bad logic are assume to be an atheist?

            Not at all, but it correlates well.

            In Scandinavia there was primitive democracies in communities.

            That’s a nice example, but, if you’ll forgive me it’s somewhat marginal. The Church inherited from Rome a non-democratic system, and the philosophy behind it was against democracy, not because of Christianity, but because reason suggested it couldn’t work. My guess is that, as Scandanvia was Christianised, this philosophy took over there. In contrast, we do find democracies in Christian Europe – such as in Northern Italy and this spread to various parts of Europe. So evidently, Christianity could, even in Medieval times support democracy, and even create it. Thus it does not seem to be true that it is Christianity that got rid of democracy.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “bad logic.. correlates well” with atheism.

            93 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most elite scientific organizations in the United States, do not believe in God. Funny how being a top scientist you almost have to be an atheist. Reality does not support you.

            I gave you and example where Christianity got rid of emerging democracy and you dismissed it as “somewhat marginal” and you go on “My guess is that”… Looks like no evidence can beat your guesses. You are just defending your faith, not trying to find the truth.

          • Albert

            93 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences

            Oh dear. Science and logic do not really go well together. After all, science rests on induction, not on strict logic. As Einstein said, “the man of science makes a poor philosopher.” A recent study in the US found that those scientists who are atheists became atheists in adolescence because of entirely non-rational reasons. They then grow up to believe in scientism because, they have short-circuited their philosophy to reduce everything to physics – a position which is logical absurd. What the study found was that those who study science at university are not more likely to become atheists.

            “somewhat marginal” and you go on “My guess is that”…

            Let’s not pretend Scandinavian democracy was full democracy as we know it, and you shouldn’t flatter yourself that those who are Scandinavian are well-versed in your history. But my point is that democracy wasn’t part of Christian culture because it was gone already. Naturally, Christians just took their culture with them – it was what seemed philosophically sound. That seems an entirely reasonable explanation. But where’s your answer to my observation that Medieval Christian cultures created democracy?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “After all, science rests on induction, not on strict logic”
            You might want to read about scientific method before you write more nonsense. Some scientific discoveries rely on induction just as you do living your life.

            I agree with Einstein. Science tend to come to consensus, philosophy does not.

            “A recent study in the US found that those scientists who are atheists became atheists in adolescence because of entirely non-rational reasons”
            That sounds interesting. Can you please post a link?

            “They then grow up to believe in scientism because, they have short-circuited their philosophy to reduce everything to physics”
            We’ll this I’ll call out as a lie. Any evidence that they “believe in scientism”? (All of them?)

            And what is wrong with scientism anyways? I thought you would support freedom of belief? Is there another way to know thing?

            “What the study found was that those who study science at university are not more likely to become atheists”
            Sure. Education normally kills magical thinking. University challenges you to think outside your bubble.

            “Let’s not pretend Scandinavian democracy was full democracy as we know it”
            I didn’t. I said “primitive democracies in communities” so that is a false claim.

            “But my point is that democracy wasn’t part of Christian culture
            Exactly. Bible is all about monarchies and God appointed leaders.

            “But where’s your answer to my observation that Medieval Christian cultures created democracy?”
            Democracy emerged despite Christianity. If Christianity had something to do with it democracy would have come a lot early when Christians had to total control of Europe.

          • Albert

            You might want to read about scientific method before you write more nonsense. Some scientific discoveries rely on induction just as you do living your life.

            Actually, I’m pretty at home with philosophy of science. I know that we all use induction all the time. I also know that induction isn’t strict logic. You’ve just confirmed my point for me.

            I agree with Einstein. Science tend to come to consensus, philosophy does not.

            Mmmm…I’m not so sure about the science there, but that’s not the point that Einstein is making. He isn’t talking about consensus, but more to do with how the scientist knows what he thinks he knows.

            I think the paper I was talking about is this one: http://wwwdev.nber.org/papers/w15182

            We’ll this I’ll call out as a lie.

            Oh dear. When you did that before, I showed not only that you had gone way beyond the evidence in calling something a lie, but I was eventually able to show you the evidence that it was true. You seem to have a bit problem with this. I’ll tell you what. Every time you say something I think it false, I’ll call you a liar. But this is an interesting one, because you haven’t read the paper – obviously, because I hadn’t linked it. So you’re working on your gut feeling, which is, as we have seen, less than reliable.

            Any evidence that they “believe in scientism”? (All of them?)

            I don’t think you quite get English. I was using a broad brush. But it’s not difficult to see the pattern. Look at Dawkins. He becomes an atheist as an adolescent for really poor philosophical reasons, and then ends up caught in a kind of scientism.

            And what is wrong with scientism anyways? I thought you would support freedom of belief? Is there another way to know thing?

            In order:

            1`. It’s self-refuting.

            2. I defend someone’s right to think what is manifestly wrong.

            3. Something’s can be known to be false because they entail a contradiction, as here.

            Sure. Education normally kills magical thinking. University challenges you to think outside your bubble.

            I think you didn’t read my setnence. But not, it would appear for those who train in science. Besides, university also correlates with increased drunkenness, so you might as well say that it is the drunkenness that results in lower religious belief – that is, less rationality.

            I didn’t. I said “primitive democracies in communities” so that is a false claim.

            Fine, but that wasn’t your original claim, so you have now cut off the branch you were sitting on.

            Democracy emerged despite Christianity. If Christianity had something to do with it democracy would have come a lot early when Christians had to total control of Europe.

            “You know what, I’ll just call that out as a lie.”

          • Jon Sorensen

            Your claim was
            “A recent study in the US found that those scientists who are atheists became atheists in adolescence because of entirely non-rational reasons. They then grow up to believe in scientism”
            The study does not mention the word “atheist” or “atheism”. The study only addresses “the importance of religion”. Scientism is mentioned twice but I can’t find it saying that atheist grow up to believe in scientism. Can you point out where it is there?

            Whey you say atheists “believe in scientism” with a broad brush, it looks like you just try to make your opponents look bad.

            I think Dawkins become an atheist for a really good philosophical reason. Why do you think it is “poor”? And where to do you get he agrees with scientism. At least in his interviews he disagrees with your claim.

            Why is scientism self-refuting? Is there another way to know thing? Can you give an example?

            Interesting to see that you think drunkenness is similar to being challenge to think. Well whatever.

            “Fine, but that wasn’t your original claim, so you have now cut off the branch you were sitting on.”

            “that wasn’t your original claim, so you have now cut off the branch you were sitting on”
            Huh. Quote my original claim and challenge that then…

          • Albert

            The study does not mention the word “atheist” or “atheism”. The study only addresses “the importance of religion”. Scientism is mentioned twice but I can’t find it saying that atheist grow up to believe in scientism. Can you point out where it is there?

            I got this from a podcast, and looking at the page again, it seems that there are a number of different sources. But I think the scientism point is pretty uncontroversial. We all “know” that science is the highest form of knowledge. People (bizarrely) go to scientists to ask if there is a God, and so on. Scientists, when they debate Christian philosophers tend to get caught on scientistic fallacies etc. And the question arises as to where this unbelief comes from? It doesn’t appear to be the result of studying science, but precedes it. So it may be that someone who has made rather simplistic judgements about the world is more inclined to study science.

            Whey you say atheists “believe in scientism” with a broad brush, it looks like you just try to make your opponents look bad.

            I’m not saying and did not say all atheists believe in scientism. I am saying that atheistic scientists, who picked up their atheism in adolescence, for poor philosophical reasons, tend to end up there.

            I think Dawkins become an atheist for a really good philosophical reason. Why do you think it is “poor”?

            Because, as far as I can see, it’s to do with Darwin’s defeat of Paley’s argument for God. That’s a really bad reason to be an atheist.

            And where to do you get he agrees with scientism.

            I’m not going to give an example now, but it’s my impression that he thinks, in practice (he’s a skilful communicator) that he thinks science is the bee all.

            This is the definition of scientism I have in mind:

            Scientism is the view that only scientific claims are meaningful.

            But that’s not itself a scientific claim, therefore it is self-refuting. It’s really just a revamped, but less intelligent version of verificationism, which also dissolved in its own acid…

            Interesting to see that you think drunkenness is similar to being challenge to think.

            I’m parodying your argument:

            1. Drunkenness correlates with rise in unbelief.

            2. Drunkenness is a cause of muddled thinking.

            3. Therefore, unbelief is a result of drunken and muddled thinking.

            Quote my original claim and challenge that then…

            Here’s the exchange. I said:

            “Let’s not pretend Scandinavian democracy was full democracy as we know it”

            You replied

            I didn’t. I said “primitive democracies in communities” so that is a false claim.

            But you didn’t say that. Your original claim was:

            Democracy was developed by non-Christians in Greece and once Christians got to power the got rid of it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m equally sure you hate Allah as you are that “the hatred of God observe those objecting to a Christian preaching”

            “But I think the scientism point is pretty uncontroversial”
            Why do you think so? There is very little scientism as far as I can see. Please provide evidence.

            “People (bizarrely) go to scientists to ask if there is a God, and so on.”
            Why is that bizarre? Who would know more about God than scientists?

            “I am saying that atheistic scientists, who picked up their atheism in adolescence, for poor philosophical reasons, tend to end up there.”
            And I’m telling you provide evidence. Your linked study did not do that. You keep on talking about “scientistic fallacies” but you continue to make claims without evidence…

            “Because, as far as I can see, it’s to do with Darwin’s defeat of Paley’s argument for God. That’s a really bad reason to be an atheist”
            Dawkins had said many times that religion(s) are simply not true. Is there a better reason to be an atheist?

            “Scientism is the view that only scientific claims are meaningful.”
            Can you name some/any scientists who agree with this?

            “I’m parodying your argument:”
            Yes. And it is a fallacy of false analogy.

            You keep on going on about scientism. Just tell us already if there another way to know thing? Can you give an example?

            I don’t get the people like you who rant against science/tists while *ONLY* using the products of science. And you have the audicity of talking about “self-refuting”….

          • Albert

            “But I think the scientism point is pretty uncontroversial”
            Why do you think so? There is very little scientism as far as I can see. Please provide evidence.

            “People (bizarrely) go to scientists to ask if there is a God, and so on.”
            Why is that bizarre? Who would know more about God than scientists?

            This is hilarious. You provide an example yourself. Obviously, you don’t go to a scientist to find out if God exists, since scientists deal in physics, but God is he exists is metaphysical!

            And I’m telling you provide evidence. Your linked study did not do that. You keep on talking about “scientistic fallacies” but you continue to make claims without evidence…

            Actually, I don’t think I’m going to bother. You constantly demand evidence, but never provide any yourself. And as we have seen before, even when you claim someone is telling lies (something you never provide evidence for), it is possible to provide evidence to defend their point. I don’t see why I should waste my time to service your double-standards.

            Dawkins had said many times that religion(s) are simply not true. Is there a better reason to be an atheist?

            Se what I mean? You just say these things, without evidence. And you fly in the face of his own evidence about Darwin and Paley.

            Can you name some/any scientists who agree with this?

            Peter Atkins. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U_NS9WsJ08

            Yes. And it is a fallacy of false analogy.

            No it isn’t. Your argument was logically invalid, so I provided an argument which was similarly invalid.

            You keep on going on about scientism. Just tell us already if there another way to know thing? Can you give an example?

            So you do believe in scientism. See the above video for some examples of things we all believe that are not within the scope of science.

            I don’t get the people like you who rant against science/tists while *ONLY* using the products of science. And you have the audicity of talking about “self-refuting”….

            I’m not knocking science. If you think that, then this is just another example of you arguing without having any grasp of the issues. I’m arguing against scientism, not science.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “This is hilarious. You provide an example yourself.”
            You made the claim, you provide the evidence. You just step from fallacy to fallacy. Do you think you might be a Christian because you make so many fallacies?

            “Obviously, you don’t go to a scientist to find out if God exists, since scientists deal in physics, but God is he exists is metaphysical!”
            So who would know more about God than a scientiest? Tell us already.

            “See the above video for some examples of things we all believe that are not within the scope of science”.
            Which of those five things you think is outside science and what is the other way to gain this knowledge then?

            So WLC falsely asserts that something can not be “scientifically proven”. Science findings or theories are not proofs, every scientist knows that. WLC does not seem to understand science, nor does he offer any alternative way of knowing things. But I give you that Atkins probably agrees with scientism, but note that WLC did not offer any counter example of how to know things.

            for the fifth time just tell us already if there another way to know thing? Can you give an example?

          • Albert

            You made the claim, you provide the evidence.

            You’ve misunderstood. I am saying that your own post was evidence of scientism!

            You just step from fallacy to fallacy. Do you think you might be a Christian because you make so many fallacies?

            The fact that you use the word “fallacy” does not make something a fallacy any more than your overuse of the word “lie” makes something a lie. You have consistently misunderstood the points, and denied facts. That’s why you’re an atheist.

            So who would know more about God than a scientiest?

            Why keep bringing the scientist in? Do you turn to him for the theory of music? or as an art critic? or for history? Of course not. What I said was God if he exists is metaphysical, therefore, you would ask a metaphysician (assuming you are wanting to ask about God from the point of view of reason).

            Which of those five things you think is outside science

            It is obvious that each of them is.

            what is the other way to gain this knowledge then?

            By reason, by experience, by judgement etc. Do you critique historians like this?

            So WLC falsely asserts that something can not be “scientifically proven”.

            No. He’s right, the things he speaks of cannot be scientifically proven.

            Science findings or theories are not proofs

            Dear me. You’re committing a category mistake again. WLC isn’t misunderstanding the nature of scientific method, he is saying that those things fall outside of the scope of science to verify, therefore science cannot prove them. This is against Atkins, who guilty of scientism, as he is, thinks these things do fall under the purview of science.

            nor does he offer any alternative way of knowing things

            Well as usual, you jump to a conclusion without examining the evidence. The clip is an extract from the debate lasting over two hours. If you listen to the whole debate you will see WLC use a whole range of methods to know things – philosophy, maths, science, intuition and so on.

            for the fifth time just tell us already if there another way to know thing? Can you give an example?

            I was only not answering this because I’m astonished you are seriously asking it. Do you ask a scientist to tell you when you are in love? Do you ask a scientist if the holocaust was wrong? Do you ask a scientist whether one piece of music is more beautiful than another? Do you ask a scientist to explain the causes of WWI? How can a scientist use science to justify the scientific method without arguing in a circle?

            So you see we all believe all sorts of things we cannot scientifically prove, demonstrate or whatever. We have a range of methods of knowing things: history, feeling, reason, evidence, but all ultimately come under the purview of philosophy. Deny that, and you deny all knowledge. Concede it and you leave the dark shores of scientism and embark on a journey towards reason and light.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I am saying that your own post was evidence of scientism!”
            So some random guy commenting on a blog is your evidence. OK.

            “The fact that you use the word “fallacy” does not make something a fallacy”
            You are correct. It’s your answers that make it. Just look at your answers and google the fallacy I named and check it out. I also regularly fall into fallacies, but I’m trying not to.

            “Why keep bringing the scientist in?”
            Because who else would better answer these question…

            “Do you turn to him for the theory of music?”
            There are great deal of studies on theory of music; What music sounds good and why; Why and how grand piano masters slight vary tempo and note lengths to make is sound better than computer playing notes; What makes Stradivarius violins sound special. We turn to scientist to find the answers.

            “or as an art critic?”
            Again there are great deal of studies on why some art is better than others even when this is *subjective*; There are studies about the colour schemes composition of the art piece. Why black and white works sometime but not always. If we want to get more that subjective answer science is used to find it.

            “for history?”
            This is your best bet! But like shroud of Turin when we want the final say we go to science lab.

            “What I said was God if he exists is metaphysical, therefore, you would ask a metaphysician”

            You premises is something exists metaphysically. This is the claim you need address first before you jump claim there are experts on this field. Just like unicorn research. Before you go to unicorn experts you need to show unicorns exist. Hold your self to the same standard as you hold others

            So WLC five claim of not “scientifically proven”. Let’s see:
            “Mathematical truths can not be proven by sciences” – so how did we get to know Fermat’s Last Theorem solution?
            “there are other minds” – so how did we get to know there are other minds?
            “whether Nazi scientists in camps did anything evil” – so how do we know if they did anything evil then? Who came to this conclusion? WLC? How?

            Sound like WLC is just making it up.

            “[We gain knowledge] By reason, by experience, by judgement”.
            Yes. Scientist use these as part of in scientific method. Hypothesis is formed with reason and experience (= some data) and conclusion includes judgement of finding. I asked other way than science.

            “No. [WLC] is right, the things he speaks of cannot be scientifically proven.”
            You and WLC don’t understand science. Just google/look it up. *Nothing* can be scientifically *proven*. Proof are in mathematics. Science provides the best current knowledge.

            “Do you ask a scientist to tell you when you are in love? ”
            Scientist can provide the answer by testing the subject.

            “Do you ask a scientist if the holocaust was wrong?”
            Yes. This can be studied. Sam Harris addressed this “granting premises” issues.

            “Do you ask a scientist whether one piece of music is more beautiful than another?”
            They can find the objective answer.

            “Do you ask a scientist to explain the causes of WWI?”
            No. We ask historians’ opinions.

            “How can a scientist use science to justify the scientific method without arguing in a circle?”
            The proven track record can be used to justify the usage of this. And while you and WLC will argue it is a circular or unjustified both of you will keep on using the products made by scientific method, and you don’t apply this to your faith. You are using a philosophical tools that you don’t live by.

            “So you see we all believe all sorts of things we cannot scientifically prove [??], demonstrate or whatever. We have a range of methods of knowing things: history, feeling, reason, evidence”
            Sure we do. But science is there to provide the objective truth.

            “all ultimately come under the purview of philosophy. Deny that, and you deny all knowledge. Concede it and you leave the dark shores of scientism and embark on a journey towards reason and light.”

            Another assertion land grab. I don’t agree with your premises that denying one thing is to deny all. You are yet to show one single objective knowledge that science can not address, yet you call it “dark shores”. Talking about wearing pink glasses in confusion.

            Understand science and you might come to reason, logic and compassion.

          • Albert

            So some random guy commenting on a blog is your evidence.

            I would normally spend the time verifying that kind of claim, but the moment you started calling things lies, which were true, and when you had no evidence they were lies, you forfeited any chance that I would waste my time doing that. But the fact that you yourself are entirely trapped in scientism and don’t know it is exactly the pattern.

            You are correct. It’s your answers that make it.

            Well obviously not, because you did not understand the point I was making, therefore your fallacy claim was addressed to a straw man.

            Because who else would better answer these question…

            Philosophical questions are not well answered by scientists. In terms of God to ask a scientist is a category mistake, he is looking for what is physical. It’s the wrong tool.

            What music sounds good and why; Why and how grand piano masters slight vary tempo and note lengths to make is sound better than computer playing notes; What makes Stradivarius violins sound special. We turn to scientist to find the answers.

            Doh! You have to have a concept or appreciation of beauty before you can begin this, and that isn’t something scientific. You make the same category mistake with your art comment.

            You premises is something exists metaphysically.

            No, that’s my conclusion. But clearly if you go to physicist to know about metaphysics you are making a category mistake.

            Before you go to unicorn experts you need to show unicorns exist.

            Before you can verify the existence (or otherwise) of unicorns, you need to be sure you are using the right category. It is as dim to ask a scientist about God as it is to ask a metaphysician about physical entities.

            so how did we get to know Fermat’s Last Theorem solution?

            Are you seriously suggesting science deals with such things without assuming mathematics?

            so how did we get to know there are other minds?

            It’s a harder problem that you might think.

            is is your best bet! But like shroud of Turin when we want the final say we go to science lab.

            On a physical object yes. But what about the causes of WWI? That’s not something you put in a lab and test to see if it turns Prussian Blue.

            so how do we know if they did anything evil then? Who came to this conclusion? WLC? How?

            The basis of morality is another hard question. WLC gives an answer. But anyone who understand the question knows it doesn’t come from science.

            You and WLC don’t understand science. Just google/look it up. *Nothing* can be scientifically *proven*.

            This is half-witted. You introduced the word “proof” into this, not me. I used it because you did. You used it because Craig did, but Craig used it because Atkins said science is omnipotent. Craig’s point is that these things fall outside of the scope of science.

            Science provides the best current knowledge.

            About some things, but not all.

            Scientist can provide the answer by testing the subject.

            Even if love were physically reductive in that way, you still have to start with the state, experience and concept of love. But in any case, only someone with severe autism would wait until a scientist told them they were in love before believing it.

            Yes. This can be studied. Sam Harris addressed this “granting premises” issues.

            No. You have to begin, as Harris does with some premises about what is good and bad etc. Although these may be obvious, they are not scientific. Science does not make moral judgements, it can calculate things and see which choices may make things better according to some prior viewpoint, but it doesn’t determine the moral judgement. This is so elementary.

            They can find the objective answer.

            They cannot provide the concept of beauty. But again, I think there’s something wrong with a person who needs a scientist to tell them!

            The proven track record can be used to justify the usage of this.

            Proven by what standard? Science! It’s circular!

            both of you will keep on using the products made by scientific method, and you don’t apply this to your faith. You are using a philosophical tools that you don’t live by.

            On the contrary, I don’t, nobody does in fact, use science for every category, because some categories just aren’t scientific. How exactly could you use science to verify whether there is a God?

            Another assertion land grab.

            It’s the other way around. This whole discussion is philosophical, but you seem to want to claim it is science!

            Understand science and you might come to reason, logic and compassion.

            Understand the limits of science and you might.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Philosophical questions are not well answered by scientists”
            So what are these big philosophical questions philosophers agree on. What are these philosophical questions are not well answered by philosopher and not by scientists?

            “God to ask a scientist is a category mistake, he is looking for what is physical. It’s the wrong tool.”
            Why do limit scientist to physical. There are plenty of studies of non-physical/supernatural. If that is the wrong tool what is the right tool. Example please.

            “You have to have a concept or appreciation of beauty before you can begin this, and that isn’t something scientific. You make the same category mistake with your art comment.”
            Nonsense. You can look it up in the dictionary. If you don’t agree with that you will not find an agreement of that meaning withing philosphers anyways. There has been plenty of studies of “beauty” and everyone of them refute your assertion.

            Me: “You premises is something exists metaphysically.
            You: “No, that’s my conclusion.”
            Me: That is a perfect circular reasoning without grounding.

            I was talking about metaphysical unicorns which might do appearances. It is a same category as God.

            You nicely avoided my Fermat’s Last Theorem solution question. What are these assumptions you are talking about?

            Me: “so how did we get to know there are other minds?”
            You: “It’s a harder problem that you might think.”
            Me: LOL. It’s sure hard for you and WLC to answer that.

            I agree with should ask historians about the causes of WWI. They should have the best answers. Hopefully agreeing with each other.

            Me: “so how do we know if they did anything evil then”
            You: “The basis of morality is another hard question. WLC gives an answer.”
            Me: Sure. What is it then?
            You: “But anyone who understand the question knows it doesn’t come from science.”
            Me: What method did you use to find that out?

            “You introduced the word “proof” into this, not me.”
            You linked to WLC who used it when talking about science. Don’t blame Atkins if WLC don’t understand science and proof.

            “But in any case, only someone with severe autism would wait until a scientist told them they were in love before believing it”
            Well that was not the point. I pointed out that science *can* do it.

            “Harris does with some premises about what is good and bad etc”
            Yes. What’s wrong with that. We all do that including all philosophers.

            “Although these may be obvious, they are not scientific.”
            So what are these non-scientific premises scientist or Harris makes?

            “it doesn’t determine the moral judgement.”
            Well who is the final arbiter then? And how?

            “They cannot provide the concept of beauty. ”
            Well who can then? And how?

            “Proven by what standard? Science! It’s circular!”
            read my comment above.

            “How exactly could you use science to verify whether there is a God?”
            There is no other way. How else could we?

          • Albert

            So what are these big philosophical questions philosophers agree on. What are these philosophical questions are not well answered by philosopher and not by scientists?

            Philosophy covers pretty well everything actually. But we may say things like metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic are philosophical. Of course, science may assume or rely on such things, but as such, science can never adjudicate on them. Science must assume them.

            Why do limit scientist to physical. There are plenty of studies of non-physical/supernatural. If that is the wrong tool what is the right tool. Example please.

            I think the idea of methodological naturalism is not controversial for science. You give an example of scientific studies of the non-physical/supernatural which do not work on that basis. I keep answering the last question – it’s within the purview of philosophy.

            Now here’s a dictionary definition of beauty:

            a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

            Clearly you have to be able to identify what pleases the senses, prior to doing science on why.

            There has been plenty of studies of “beauty” and everyone of them refute your assertion.

            Go on then. Give us an example.

            Me: That is a perfect circular reasoning without grounding.

            Marvellous! You say that without even though no argument has been given! How can you know the reasoning is circular and without grounding?

            I was talking about metaphysical unicorns which might do appearances. It is a same category as God.

            Obviously not. A unicorn is some kind of body…

            You nicely avoided my Fermat’s Last Theorem solution question. What are these assumptions you are talking about?

            No I didn’t. I express astonishment at the silliness of the question. And this question is silly. How can a mathematical question be answered by science without maths?

            Me: LOL. It’s sure hard for you and WLC to answer that.

            Go on then. Let’s hear your scientific argument for other minds.

            I agree with should ask historians about the causes of WWI.

            Do I take it then, that you allow only two categories of thought: history and science?

            Me: Sure. What is it then?

            The answer he gives is God. There are plenty of other answers, but none of them is science.
            Running out of time – I’ll add more later.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Philosophy covers pretty well everything actually.”
            Of course. But do they agree on free will, God, metaphysics, transporter problem or any big question?

            “Science must assume them”
            Why is the an issue. You are acting like Philosophy does not make assumptions.

            “You give an example of scientific studies of the non-physical/supernatural which do not work on that basis.”
            Not true. You can study the effect of claim supernatural event in real world. This has been done many time.

            “Clearly you have to be able to identify what pleases the senses [of beauty], prior to doing science on why.”
            Of course. And you use science to find out what pleases the senses. And then you do more science. As if philosophers could solve this problem by agree on something…

            “Go on then. Give us an example [of studies of “beauty”]”
            For example there are lot of studies why we find human and animal babies beautiful. Or cartoon characters. Or beauty contests winners. or faces, Go to wikipedia page “cuteness” and “beauty”, and you find links to a lot of studies.

            “Obviously not. A unicorn is some kind of body…”
            Unicorn might appear on earth just like Jesus. Surely you don’t deny Jesus’ divinity just because he had a body? I thought even Jesus was bodily resurrect?

            “Go on then. Let’s hear your scientific argument for other minds.”
            You made the WLC’s claim. You must provide the evidence for your claim. Whenever you get in trouble you try the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

            “Do I take it then, that you allow only two categories of thought: history and science?”
            It’s not about categories of thought. It’s about finding objective truths. History teaches us a lot, but it is usually very tentative [more that science]. To argue other ways of knowing that science you should push historical method.

            “The answer he gives [about basis of morality] is God.”
            He asserts this. Even most philosophers disagree with him that morality is linked to WLC’s God. It is religious way to just claim “truth” without evidence.

            “Look you seem to have a real downer on philosophy.”
            Philosophy is great to train you mind to think and like you said to provide methods, tools and checks. However you always stay “It a philosophical question” but never “It a philosophical answer”. Only once there are some convergence to philosophical answers you can see their investigation tools, methods and values are robust to find answers. Now it seems that if only provides questions.

            “If love is reducible to physical events, then yes science might be able to identify those physical events. But science will not know that those physical events are love”
            We can detect love from blood hormone lever and behaviour markers. I don’t see what the issues is.

            “If one makes a range of philosophical assumptions about human beings, and one thinks philosophically that morality is just about human flourishing, then yes, science has a contribution to make”
            Of course every study makes assumptions, and these can be based on data, studies, opinions, or like you pointed out some philosophical question or point of view. But it will be science that provide the answers.

            “I can state your fallacy quite clearly: philosophers do not agree on morality, therefore it is a matter of science.”
            True, that would be a fallacy. I see it slightly differently. The problem is philosophers do not agree on morality, and society has it’s moral code the relative to time and place. Now what is the best tool to settle this? My vote goes to science, but I can see that is not easy either; for example the trolley problems.

            “Prove” here was your word. The fact that you say science doesn’t deal in proof either undermines your comment or your scientism.”
            No. Proof/prove was from WLC video you asked me to watch.

            “I’m asking you to provide the scientific measure or test for God – even in principle, what would it look like.”
            For example prayers of Christian God studies. Templeton foundation run one of these scientific studies couple of years ago to see if prayer works and help people to recover after surgery.

            “You think that because (you say) no other way of knowing God’s existence works, therefore it is scientific. That’s a philosophical assumption and it makes no sense.”
            No. I say nobody has show any objective method to show that God(s) exists. If there is a way to show it I think the only way is scientific. So turn it around – What would convince you that Allah is the only true God and Mohammed is His prophet?

          • Albert

            But do they agree on free will, God, metaphysics, transporter problem or any big question?

            What’s agreement got to do with it?

            Why is the an issue. You are acting like Philosophy does not make assumptions.

            Of course it does, and with your agreement that science makes assumptions, scientism is dead – science is too busy helping itself to things it cannot address scientifically.

            Not true. You can study the effect of claim supernatural event in real world. This has been done many time.

            How?

            And you use science to find out what pleases the senses.

            But if you already need to receive from other sources your idea of what pleases the sense, scientism again is dead.

            For example there are lot of studies why we find human and animal babies beautiful.

            Well obviously, but that is not an identification of beauty, it is an explanation of why we find these things beautiful.

            Unicorn might appear on earth just like Jesus. Surely you don’t deny Jesus’ divinity just because he had a body?

            Yes, but Jesus’ humanity isn’t divinity, and it was about God as God, not as Man that your original point was (and to which I was replying).

            You made the WLC’s claim. You must provide the evidence for your claim. Whenever you get in trouble you try the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

            No. WLC did not make a claim about other minds, except to say that it is hard to show that there are other minds. I would have thought that was obvious. Do you need me to state an argument for why it is hard? But yours was the claim that we can know this by science. So let’s have your argument then…and of course, this shows it is not me that is committing the fallacy here…

            It’s not about categories of thought. It’s about finding objective truths.

            Surely, you can see that different truths are discovered using different methods. Who caused WWI will not be discovered by using a laboratory method. Likewise, cutting edge science will not be found by looking at historical documents. Again, I would think it odd if someone thought the way to understand Shakespeare was to submit it to scientific method (which one?). These are different kinds of truth.

            He asserts this.

            No he doesn’t. Here again, you seem to think you can make claims without evidence. You’ve obviously not studied him, and yet (which is hilarious) you apparently know what the evidence shows.

            However you always stay “It a philosophical question” but never “It a philosophical answer”. Only once there are some convergence to philosophical answers you can see their investigation tools, methods and values are robust to find answers. Now it seems that if only provides questions.

            But may be some questions are not easily answered, but are still worthwhile asking. But the fact that they are not easily answered does not mean we should resort to the wrong method for asking them. This is what scientism does . Science itself of course, is full of questions and problems, but that does not show science itself is a dodgy discipline. Moreover, the philosophy of science raises all sorts of questions, so we can’t even be clear on how science ought to work.

            We can detect love from blood hormone lever and behaviour markers. I don’t see what the issues is.

            Yes, that’s science. But in order to know that you have to have a prior concept of love, in order to be able to correlate that experience with the markers. Moreover, the language of markers gives the game away. Love is not reducible to those markers. Those markers may (or may not) be present when someone love (it will depend on our definition of love, and that doesn’t come from science), but love is not those markers. Therefore, love is not reducible to science.

            But it will be science that provide the answers.

            Okay. Here’s a question: what is love?

            Now what is the best tool to settle this? My vote goes to science, but I can see that is not easy either; for example the trolley problems.

            Science doesn’t tell you what is good. If you decide X is good, then science can sometimes tell you how best to achieve X, but whether X is good is a question of philosophy. And yes, things like the trolley problems are not easy to resolve by scientific method.

            No. Proof/prove was from WLC video you asked me to watch.

            I said “proof here” was your word. You were talking about something entirely different. Besides, as I have originally said, WLC talk about “proof” because Atkins calls science “omnipotent.” When Craig uses the word “proof” BTW the way he uses it as a philosopher, which is not the same way as a scientist is likely to use it. Arguments are sometimes called “proofs” even though they may not, in a modern sense actually prove anything.

            For example prayers of Christian God studies. Templeton foundation run one of these scientific studies couple of years ago to see if prayer works and help people to recover after surgery.

            But that’s poor as an answer. For how could you ever test to see whether it was God that was the cause?

            I say nobody has show any objective method to show that God(s) exists.

            But you would also say the same about moral values.

            If there is a way to show it I think the only way is scientific.

            Okay. So by what scientific method would you show whether or not God is the sustaining cause of the universe?

            So turn it around – What would convince you that Allah is the only true God and Mohammed is His prophet?

            Given that Islam contradicts Christianity, I would first of all need to convinced of the falsity of Christianity. Then I would need certain things in place for Islam, such as the absence of error in the Qur’an (given the nature of the claims made for it). Now it’s pretty obvious to me that Islam fails that test, and so it is hard to move any further towards working out the criteria.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “What’s agreement got to do with it?”
            Then maybe philosophers need better tools to get answers.

            “with your agreement that science makes assumptions, scientism is dead – science is too busy helping itself to things it cannot address scientifically.”
            Just making assumptions does not kill scientism. More nonsense in “science is too busy helping itself..”.. Too much science bashing from a user of science.

            “How?”
            Google: Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer – Templeton”

            “But if you already need to receive from other sources your idea of what pleases the sense, scientism again is dead.”
            receiving data is not killing scientism. Evidence would.

            “Well obviously, but that is not an identification of beauty, it is an explanation of why we find these things beautiful.”
            Studies address both issues.

            “Yes, but Jesus’ humanity isn’t divinity, and it was about God as God, not as Man that your original point was (and to which I was replying).”
            Also true with Unicorn.

            “WLC did not make a claim about other minds, except to say that it is hard to show that there are other minds.”
            I agree it’s hard. But why can’t we study brains and minds then? Make your starting point that you don’t know that and study it. Why is this so hard?

            “I would think it odd if someone thought the way to understand Shakespeare was to submit it to scientific method”
            You would be surprise how much science has gone to Shakespeare studies, but it is clearly a subject for Shakespeare historians and literary experts. But you probably will not get an indentical answer from different historians or experts.

            “You’ve obviously not studied him”
            Obviously I have not studied WLC. You asked me to watch a video. I watched it. I critique it. Now you complain that I have not studied the person in that video. Well.. doh.

            “But may be some questions are not easily answered, but are still worthwhile asking. But the fact that they are not easily answered does not mean we should resort to the wrong method for asking them.”
            That is not the issue. The issues in philosophers *never* agree on any answer to *any* big question.

            “the philosophy of science raises all sorts of questions, so we can’t even be clear on how science ought to work.”
            This comes from a person who uses every day the products of science. Surely you don’t take vaccination, use energy, transport and health care system if you are not clear if science works. This nonsense really takes the cake.

            “But in order to know that you have to have a prior concept of love”
            No we don’t. We do a study what is meant with “concept of love”.

            “Here’s a question: what is love?”
            Look the definition of that word in a dictionary. That is what is used in scientific studies. If you don’t agree with it’s your problem.

            “Science doesn’t tell you what is good.”

            Of course it does. There are truck load of studies what good is in various contect; action, food, health, war…

            “For how could you ever test to see whether it was God that was the cause?”
            Science investigated the claims religious people made to see the effect. Study just followed Christian claims and made it double blinded to get an objective result of the claim.

            “But you would also say the same about moral values.”
            Yes. There seem to be no objective moral values. I can’t can see how existence of God would even change that.

            “So by what scientific method would you show whether or not [Unicorn] is the sustaining cause of the universe?”
            We would have to ask unicornist how did then come up to this theory and what are the possible ways to observe this. If they propose an observation we can study it. If they claim that you can’t observe or gather evidence for it then you can’t study it. If there is no evidence or possible ways to detect that Unicorn is the sustaining cause of the universe, then we should not accept that as the truth until there is at least some evidence.

            Your answer if you would convert to other religions is *identical* what I hear from Muslims and Jews. For a moment try to step out to a neutral point and consider what is the best explanation why all religious people think that way, and what does it tell you about all religions. (No need to answer here if you don’t want)

          • Albert

            Then maybe philosophers need better tools to get answers.

            Or maybe the really interesting questions don’t admit of painting by numbers style certainty.

            Just making assumptions does not kill scientism.

            It does because this is definition:

            Scientism is the view that only scientific claims are meaningful.

            Now if the assumptions are not themselves scientific, then either scientism is false, or the assumptions on which science is based are meaningless, in which case science is meaningless.

            Too much science bashing from a user of science.

            I’m not bashing science. I’m bashing scientism.

            I agree it’s hard. But why can’t we study brains and minds then? Make your starting point that you don’t know that and study it. Why is this so hard?

            I didn’t say it couldn’t be studied, I said it was hard. It’s hard because the mind does not seem reducible to the physical events of the body.

            You would be surprise how much science has gone to Shakespeare studies, but it is clearly a subject for Shakespeare historians and literary experts. But you probably will not get an indentical answer from different historians or experts.

            And that’s the point. You have to begin from somewhere – prior to the science.

            Obviously I have not studied WLC. You asked me to watch a video. I watched it. I critique it. Now you complain that I have not studied the person in that video.

            You critiqued a person’s thought on the basis of a 3 minute clip. Do I need to say more?

            That is not the issue. The issues in philosophers *never* agree on any answer to *any* big question.

            It is the issue, because your claim is that these things are in the purview of science, when they are not.

            This comes from a person who uses every day the products of science. Surely you don’t take vaccination, use energy, transport and health care system if you are not clear if science works. This nonsense really takes the cake.

            I wish you would stop misrepresenting what I say. I never said I was not clear if science works. Of course it works. But there are wider questions. Consider the difference between Popper and Kuhn, for example.

            No we don’t. We do a study what is meant with “concept of love”.

            In order to look for something you need to know something about what you are looking for.

            Look the definition of that word in a dictionary. That is what is used in scientific studies.

            And with that, you’ve conceded the entire point. Again.

            Yes. There seem to be no objective moral values.

            So there are circumstances in which it is licit to torture small children, purely for fun, then?

            I can’t can see how existence of God would even change that.

            You can’t see it, therefore it is not so. A bit like that claim about Justin Welby. You couldn’t see any evidence, therefore there was none. Therefore someone was a liar. But there was evidence.

            We would have to ask unicornist how did then come up to this theory and what are the possible ways to observe this. If they propose an observation we can study it. If they claim that you can’t observe or gather evidence for it then you can’t study it. If there is no evidence or possible ways to detect that Unicorn is the sustaining cause of the universe, then we should not accept that as the truth until there is at least some evidence.

            But the question is what would that evidence look like? How would you go about finding it?

            Your answer if you would convert to other religions is *identical* what I hear from Muslims and Jews.

            Well it can’t be identical, because Christianity isn’t falsified by errors in the Bible. What do I care if there are errors of fact in the Bible?

            For a moment try to step out to a neutral point and consider what is the best explanation why all religious people think that way, and what does it tell you about all religions.

            I don’t accept that there is a neutral position on religious matters. I think that all religious positions reflect some kind of stance – even negative ones. But that does not mean there is no religious position that is true. Your position could be true, for example, the fact that it is one metaphysical position in a great basket with others does not mean a priori that it is not true. The best explanation is that religion, like many of the most important things in life requires a personal decision – it’s not just about reasoning to a conclusion by syllogisitic logic. As Newman says “I have no interest in convincing someone by a clever syllogism. I want to touch the heart.”

            That seems like the best explanation to me.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “maybe the really interesting questions don’t admit of painting by numbers style certainty.”
            Well that’s a rosy picture. You can even admit that they can’t come up with the answer. Maybe philosophers need a better tool – a scientific method?

            “Scientism is the view that only scientific claims are meaningful”
            I don’t agree to that. Historical investigation gives meaningful answers. I thought Scientism is more like Wikipedia first paragraph defines it.

            “I’m not bashing science. I’m bashing scientism.”
            Then come up with objective truths that we find with some other method and not science. Or stop that hand waving repeating claims without any examples.

            “It’s hard because the mind does not seem reducible to the physical events of the body”
            All the evidence points to that it reducible to the physical events. There is no counter evidence ever found, so your assertion is baseless.

            “And that’s the point. You have to begin from somewhere – prior to the science.”
            Of course. From someone’s subjective opinion.

            “You critiqued a person’s thought on the basis of a 3 minute clip.”
            It’s what you gave me to critique. I guess in the future please make your own argument and don’t send me to videos and expecting me to study some random apologist opinions.

            “It is the issue, because your claim is that these things are in the purview of science, when they are not.”
            Another baseless land grab without evidence…

            “In order to look for something you need to know something about what you are looking for.”
            I don’t agree this is relevant. You could even accidental find things (drugs, objects in space), or assume that you don’t know anything see what happens (life simulations programs).

            “And with that, you’ve conceded the entire point. Again.”
            I don’t see how “Look the definition of that word in a dictionary” concedes that point. Maybe you need to explain a bit more…

            “So there are circumstances in which it is licit to torture small children, purely for fun, then?”
            It’s of course “wrong question” fallacy (Do you still beat up your wife? -type). “to torture small children” is the moral action. It should be objective right/wrong in all cases not in some cases. Your special case “purely for fun” can be again split into different cases like “if God commanded”, “for money”, “to save all children in the world”. And in these cases it might be morally right.

            So try again with a moral action which is always right/wrong, not only possibly in some special cases. And even if I agree do you think that it makes it “objective”?

            “You can’t see it [re “existence of God”], therefore it is not so.”
            I never claim this.

            “But the question is what would that evidence [for Unicorn] look like? How would you go about finding it?”
            We would ask what the claims Unicornist make are and do a study based on that.

            “Well it can’t be identical, because Christianity isn’t falsified by errors in the Bible. What do I care if there are errors of fact in the Bible?”
            So if the Bible falsely claims that Jesus existed, you don’t care about? OK

            “I don’t accept that there is a neutral position on religious matters.”
            Hopefully one day you dare for a moment to step out of your religious bubble. Just try once.

            Newman: “I have no interest in convincing someone by a clever syllogism. I want to touch the heart.”
            Jon: “I have no interest in convincing someone by a clever syllogism. I want to touch the mind.”

          • Albert

            Well that’s a rosy picture. You can even admit that they can’t come up with the answer. Maybe philosophers need a better tool – a scientific method?

            You’ve admitted that scientists have to get their data sometimes from outside of science. Therefore, you admit that some thing are outside of science. Now if something is outside of science, it cannot be dealt with with scientific method.

            I thought Scientism is more like Wikipedia first paragraph defines it.

            Well, it would have been helpful if you had clarified that earlier – I gave that definition (from rationalwiki BTW) earlier. But can’t you see that the definition is not itself scientific? Now if scientism rests on something that is not scientific, then, whichever definition we use, scientism undercuts itself.

            Then come up with objective truths that we find with some other method and not science.

            Okay. “All bachelors are unmarried.”

            All the evidence points to that it reducible to the physical events. There is no counter evidence ever found, so your assertion is baseless.

            Go on then, give the evidence.

            Of course. From someone’s subjective opinion.

            Exactly. And so even when science investigates these things, its answers will retain that subjectivity. And so we are back where we started. As soon as we move out of science and into philosophy, science remains as subjective as philosophy.

            It’s what you gave me to critique.

            No. You are entirely within your rights to critique what is said, but you took it upon yourself to critique the man. You seem constantly to repeat the same fallacy: Jon cannot see X therefore X is not real.

            Another baseless land grab without evidence…

            Can you not see that your position is now circular and begging the question? You think something is within the purview of science unless evidence is offered to the contrary. But that is just begging the question, and to require all positions to provide evidence is to assume scientism – thus it becomes circular. Surely, it is obvious that the question of what is in the purview of science is itself a philosophical question (what does we mean by “science”) rather than a scientific question.

            I don’t agree this is relevant. You could even accidental find things (drugs, objects in space), or assume that you don’t know anything see what happens (life simulations programs).

            How will you know when you find your material form called love that it is the same love we feel?

            It’s of course “wrong question” fallacy (Do you still beat up your wife? -type). “to torture small children” is the moral action. It should be objective right/wrong in all cases not in some cases. Your special case “purely for fun” can be again split into different cases like “if God commanded”, “for money”, “to save all children in the world”. And in these cases it might be morally right.

            No, it is not at all like the wifebeating question. That forces you to seem to admit you have beaten your wife however you answer. It thus skews the answer. But this question does not do that. So that was fallacious reasoning. Let me rephrase the question, do you think the following proposition is true:

            It is always wrong to torture small children, purely for fun.

            As for the use of the word “objective”, I think that is your word not mine. I would say “absolute”

            We would ask what the claims Unicornist make are and do a study based on that.

            Obviously, I am asking what that study would look like and what would a positive and negative result look like?

            So if the Bible falsely claims that Jesus existed, you don’t care about? OK

            For someone who mentions the word “fallacy” so often, you logic is extraordinary. You seriously think you can infer that from my claim Christianity isn’t falsified by errors in the Bible. What do I care if there are errors of fact in the Bible? You must be trained in science instead of philosophy with logic as bad as that.

            Hopefully one day you dare for a moment to step out of your religious bubble. Just try once.

            How about you doing the same with your naturalism and scientism?

            Jon: “I have no interest in convincing someone by a clever syllogism. I want to touch the mind.”

            Errr….a clever syllogism does touch the mind.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You’ve admitted that scientists have to get their data sometimes from outside of science. Therefore, you admit that some thing are outside of science. Now if something is outside of science, it cannot be dealt with with scientific method.”
            You are equivocating “outside of science”. Science can ask target group’s unscientific (=”outside of science”) opinions and study this, yet this studying is not “outside of science”.

            “Well, it would have been helpful if you had clarified that earlier – I gave that definition (from rationalwiki BTW) earlier.”
            Sorry. You are right. You defined it first using a source that is not biased towards your view. We should use that definition and not the one I mentioned. I hate when people try to chance a definion in the middle of discussion, so I should never try to do that. Using “Scientism is the view that only scientific claims are meaningful” definition it is clear that you have it right and I’m wrong. Historical method provides meaningful claims and information. Also philosophers’ proposals for example to free will problem are meaningful even if they don’t agree with each other.

            “All bachelors are unmarried.” is objective truth because we define the word that way. We can also define “1+2=3” or “1 litre = 1000 mlitre”. If you definition becomes accepted and popular it becomes truth. I’m not sure if this defining words and meaning is a defeater of scientism. I think a better example would be founding (=thinking) of new a logic system. For example fuzzy logic systems become popular in control systems in the 90s. Somebody invented (improved?) an idea, made it a a theory, and this widely used concept is now an objective truth. I think that could be used as a defeater for scientism.

            “Go on then, give the evidence.”
            Plenty of studies discribe how brain damage changes personalities, or how magnetic field effects brain, or how physical surgeries change people’s ability to sense or think. There are no studies showing any supernatural connetion to brain.

            “even when science investigates [subjective opinion], its answers will retain that subjectivity.”
            I don’t agree. If we want to know what is the most popular favorite colour (out of 7 colours) in the UK, we can ask everyone’s subjective opinion. But the combined result will objectively show the most popular one.

            So you assertion of “And so we are back where we started. As soon as we move out of science and into philosophy, science remains as subjective as philosophy.” is baseless.

            “You seem constantly to repeat the same fallacy: Jon cannot see X therefore X is not real.”
            hmmm… I don’t think I made the leap “therefore”, but If I did it was wrong to do that.

            “How will you know when you find your material form called love that it is the same love we feel?”
            We look at the data, evidence and test it. I think we are justified to assume it is not non-material until someone comes up with at least one example to supernatural effect. (Please don’t bring up WLC’s immaterial [objects] argument)

            “No, it is not at all like the wifebeating question.”
            Yes it is. It has a hidden premise that me answering subjective “yes” would settle the issue. My subjective answer could never settle it yet if I say “yes” you claim a victory. Both “yes” and “no” answer would effectively defeat me, as “no” would label me as a monster child torturer.

            So let’s unpack your:
            “do you think the following proposition is true: It is always wrong to torture small children, purely for fun”
            My answer is “it depends on circumstances”, but so what?

            Rationalwiki says:”Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgement is not just true according to a person’s subjective opinion, but factually true. Proponents of this theory would argue that a statement like “Murder is wrong””
            Note that it does not say “Murder is wrong in case of XXX”. Action Murder/to torture small children must be wrong for all reasons, not for only one particular reason. If it is moral for one reason but not for all reasons it is not objective/absolute. You need to argue that action “to torture small children” is [always] wrong to settle the issue.
            The other problem you face is that if everyone agrees that “to torture small children is absolute wrong” for all reasons. And everyone agrees to that and we make it as a law of the planet, is it now absolute? How would you be able to tell that, I don’t know.

            “You seriously think you can infer that from my claim Christianity isn’t falsified by errors in the Bible. What do I care if there are errors of fact in the Bible? You must be trained in science instead of philosophy with logic as bad as that.”
            I gave you and example, you ignored it. How about if originally all Gospels had Simon crucified instead of Jesus. Would that kind of error falsify your Christianity?

            “How about you doing the same with your naturalism and scientism?”
            Unfortunately both of those don’t have universally agreed definitions. But once there is evidence for supernatural I’m happy to accept it. I’m not sure if I’m in scientism camp, but non-scientism camp don’t seem to have many good defeaters either.

          • Albert

            You are equivocating “outside of science”. Science can ask target group’s unscientific (=”outside of science”) opinions and study this, yet this studying is not “outside of science”.

            No I’m not. I am just observing that some of the knowledge science uses comes from outside of science. Therefore, to the degree that we downgrade the value of that knowledge, we downgrade science as well.

            Using “Scientism is the view that only scientific claims are meaningful” definition it is clear that you have it right and I’m wrong. Historical method provides meaningful claims and information. Also philosophers’ proposals for example to free will problem are meaningful even if they don’t agree with each other.

            There’s still a problem. The definition is not itself scientific, and therefore excludes itself.

            In my definition of bachelor, I was not trying to defeat scientism, but provide an answer to you when you said

            Then come up with objective truths that we find with some other method and not science.

            You continue:

            Plenty of studies discribe how brain damage changes personalities, or how magnetic field effects brain, or how physical surgeries change people’s ability to sense or think.

            All of that I accept. But that’s not what you claimed:

            All the evidence points to that it [the mind] reducible to the physical events

            No one denies that one uses the brain to think, and that therefore, brain damage will change personality or undermine people’s ability to think. The issue is whether the brain and the mind are the same thing, or whether thoughts are nothing more than brain events. There is no evidence for that.

            There are no studies showing any supernatural connetion to brain.

            It wouldn’t have to be supernatural, in fact, as the mind is part of our nature, it wouldn’t be supernatural. But it could still be (and I would say, can only be) a nonphysical “connection” to the brain. Now obviously, you will not find that with the scientific method, since science only looks at what is physical. What we do know is that there is no study which reduces an abstract thought to matter, since an abstract thought is not material.

            I don’t agree. If we want to know what is the most popular favorite colour (out of 7 colours) in the UK, we can ask everyone’s subjective opinion. But the combined result will objectively show the most popular one.

            That’s only because of how you have phrased the question. You’ve asked what is most popular. But most popular isn’t the same as, for example, “best” or “most beautiful”. If we ask “What is the best music?” that remains subjective, unless you are prepared to commit an ad populum fallacy.

            We look at the data, evidence and test it. I think we are justified to assume it is not non-material until someone comes up with at least one example to supernatural effect. (Please don’t bring up WLC’s immaterial [objects] argument)

            I wasn’t talking about immaterial objects. I was talking about what love is. Even if science can identify the physics of what goes on when we are in love, and even if love is reducible to that physics. You still need to have the idea and experience of love to begin with, and that is not science.

            Yes it is. It has a hidden premise that me answering subjective “yes” would settle the issue. My subjective answer could never settle it yet if I say “yes” you claim a victory. Both “yes” and “no” answer would effectively defeat me, as “no” would label me as a monster child torturer.

            But you put yourself in that position the moment you said that there seem to be no moral absolutes, in answer to my comment about God.

            My answer is “it depends on circumstances”, but so what?

            The words “always” and “purely” prevent that. There’s no ducking out in terms of circumstances. The claims is that it is wrong in all circumstances. Now if you agree, then yes, I think you’re a moral monster. If you say no, then you seem to be inconsistent in arguing that we must have an “objective method” to show God exists.

            Note that it does not say “Murder is wrong in case of XXX”. Action Murder/to torture small children must be wrong for all reasons, not for only one particular reason. If it is moral for one reason but not for all reasons it is not objective/absolute. You need to argue that action “to torture small children” is [always] wrong to settle the issue.

            This looks confused to me. Murder may be wrong in itself – e.g. because taking innocent human life is wrong. But it may also be wrong for other reasons which may or may not apply in a particular case – e.g. because of the harm done to children who are left fatherless by the murder. The fact that someone can commit murder without causing the harm of leaving children fatherless, does not mean that there is no “objective” reason to object to murder.

            And everyone agrees to that and we make it as a law of the planet, is it now absolute? How would you be able to tell that, I don’t know.

            No. The absoluteness does not come from our decisions. At most, as with good science, we recognize something that is true in such a case. I don’t think I need to answer how I know, but of the person who doubts it, I just wonder what’s wrong with them, and hope they don’t come near my children. I think it’s so obviously wrong, that people have to argue themselves into doubting it’s wrong.

            I gave you and example, you ignored it. How about if originally all Gospels had Simon crucified instead of Jesus. Would that kind of error falsify your Christianity?

            I don’t know what you think I’ve ignored. But yes, in that case, Christianity would be false. But that doesn’t falsify what I said, since I said What do I care if there are errors of fact in the Bible? The key word is “fact” not “faith”.

            Unfortunately both of those don’t have universally agreed definitions.

            Of course, if your ideas are somewhat fuzzy, it’s always possible for you to modify them to prevent them being challenged.

            But once there is evidence for supernatural I’m happy to accept it.

            Yes, but the only evidence you seem to accept for the supernatural is natural evidence, and so you are most likely to be begging the question.

            I’m not sure if I’m in scientism camp, but non-scientism camp don’t seem to have many good defeaters either.

            Apart from the fact that scientism seems to contradict itself, as I pointed out above…

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The issue is whether the brain and the mind are the same thing, or whether thoughts are nothing more than brain events. There is no evidence for that.”
            No evidence for that?? what?

            “But it could still be a nonphysical “connection” to the brain”
            But there is no evidence for this…

            You claim:
            “even when science investigates [subjective opinion], its answers will retain that subjectivity.”
            I show a counter example of 7 colours and you move the goal post:
            “That’s only because of how you have phrased the question.”
            I guess you would never accept my example was valid to defeat your claim. No point continuing about the “best music”

            Sorry I don’t get what you mean.
            “But you put yourself in that position the moment you said that there seem to be no moral absolutes”

            “The words “always” and “purely” prevent that. There’s no ducking out in terms of circumstances.”
            You missed the whole point. You haven’t claim all circumstances, just one. Read my answer again and respond to what I wrote.

            “The absoluteness does not come from our decisions.”
            Where does it come from?

            “the only evidence you seem to accept for the supernatural is natural evidence”
            Prayer studies could provide evidence of supernatural, which I could except.

          • Albert

            No evidence for that?? what?

            Obviously, there is no evidence for that. The person who thinks there is, just shows that they haven’t begun to think about what the mind is or what thoughts are. What possible evidence could there be that a thought is really an electrical impulse?

            But there is no evidence for this…

            Since the mind is not something physical, there is abundant evidence for this.

            I show a counter example of 7 colours and you move the goal post

            No you changed the question. You moved from something that is genuinely subjective, to a question of quantity, which is objective. If written out, I suspect your move would contain the quantifier shift fallacy.

            I guess you would never accept my example was valid to defeat your claim.

            No of course not, for the reason just given.

            No point continuing about the “best music”

            Why not? If you can establish your point on that ground, you will demonstrate your point against mine.

            You missed the whole point. You haven’t claim all circumstances, just one.

            Sorry, “always” means “in all circumstances.” If you want me to respond to something more than that, you need to point out what exactly.

            Where does it come from?

            From the nature of reality.

            Prayer studies could provide evidence of supernatural, which I could except.

            At that rate, you probably ought to believe on the basis of the Lourdes Medical Bureau. But I think that might be fallacious, because, just because we cannot currently find a natural explanation of something, doesn’t mean it has a supernatural explanation. It might just mean that we cannot find a natural explanation – and even the correlation with prayer or pilgrimage may just be confusing us.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Obviously, there is no evidence for that.”
            but you believe and advocate it…

            “If written out, I suspect your move would contain the quantifier shift fallacy.”
            So you can’t find the problem in my example, but you believe it a fallacy…

            “Sorry, “always” means “in all circumstances.”
            Yes, so you need to demonstrate that action (=torturing children) is always right/wrong. Not just for on particular reason you are advocating.

            What is “nature of reality” you refer to?

            “just because we cannot currently find a natural explanation of something, doesn’t mean it has a supernatural explanation”
            This is hand waving. Until there is at least some evidence of supernatural your claim is unjustified.

          • Albert

            but you believe and advocate it…

            No I don’t. I don’t think it’s possible even in principle, and you haven’t even begun to provide evidence.

            So you can’t find the problem in my example, but you believe it a fallacy…

            So you ignore where I said the problem lies and critique me for not writing it out formally. The problem is simple, you’ve moved from the relevant category, beautiful, best, better etc. to an irrelevant category – most numerous. Obviously, I think science can study the latter, it’s the former that we were discussing.

            Yes, so you need to demonstrate that action (=torturing children) is always right/wrong. Not just for on particular reason you are advocating.

            No I don’t. I just find myself asking what’s wrong with you that you need that proposition defending. If you can’t see the immorality of torturing small children purely for fun, then there is no moral argument I can bring against you. I’d more or less have to prove to you that you ought to be moral – which is an age old problem…

            What is “nature of reality” you refer to?

            The dignity of the human person made in the image of God.

            This is hand waving. Until there is at least some evidence of supernatural your claim is unjustified.

            I think you read my comment back to front. I was arguing against your claim that you would be able to identify a supernatural cause.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “there is no moral argument I can bring against you”
            That is not our topic. It is if something is absolute or not.

            “”nature of reality” is the dignity of the human person made in the image of God.
            I have no idea what is “image of God” and “God”. You keep on using words that are so ambiguous that anything goes.

          • Albert

            That is not our topic. It is if something is absolute or not.

            You asked me to demonstrate that action (=torturing children) is always right/wrong. Now, normally, the way one begins to think about whether there are moral absolutes is to provide examples (e.g. torturing small children, purely for fun) and see that there probably are such absolutes. How else will be even begin the discussion – at least on atheism. If you were religious, or clearly espoused some kind of idealism or transcendentalism, then there would be any number of ways into this. But as you are not, then one must begin with the examples.

            I have no idea what is “image of God” and “God”. You keep on using words that are so ambiguous that anything goes.

            This is your strategy from the beginning. Instead of asking what I mean by those words, you say they have no meaning (or little meaning). But the conclusion is supposed to come after the discussion, isn’t it? We’re back to the same position we were in when you said someone was telling lies, simply because we had not, at that time, found evidence you would accept to support something Justin Welby had said. But if you are prepared to jump to conclusions without understanding or having the relevant evidence, then how can your conclusions be rationally justified?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “moral absolutes is to provide examples (e.g. torturing small children, purely for fun)”
            But it is not an example. It just arguing there is one reason to behave that what and does not apply to all cases. You need to argue that “torturing small children” is always wrong.

            “if you are prepared to jump to conclusions without understanding or having the relevant evidence, then how can your conclusions be rationally justified”
            I’m happy to change my mind if evidence is provided. I don’t see the problem in that. But when your answer to where the absolute moral comes from is; [~]absoluteness comes from “nature of reality” which is the dignity of the human person made in the image of God. To me that is just incomprehensible magic. Anything can be justified by that, so it is meaningless.

          • Albert

            But it is not an example. It just arguing there is one reason to behave that what and does not apply to all cases. You need to argue that “torturing small children” is always wrong.

            No I don’t. You might as well tell me that I must provide evidence that my senses are telling me the truth when they tell me the world is real. These things are reasonable of and in themselves. You must show evidence that these things are not true. And if your worldview cannot encompass them, then so much the worse for your worldview.

            I’m happy to change my mind if evidence is provided. I don’t see the problem in that.

            I’m not denying that, clearly you change your mind when evidence is provided. What I am critiquing is your rationality in holding positions before the evidence and reasoning have been given. You did this over Welby. You said someone had lied – simply because you did not have evidence. But you did not have evidence of lying either, and so your position was not only not rationally justified, it was not only wrong, but actually epistemically incoherent. Doesn’t that worry you? After all, it raises all sorts of questions about all sorts of positions you take.

            To me that is just incomprehensible magic.

            So much the worse for your worldview, and obviously, it isn’t magic.

            Anything can be justified by that, so it is meaningless.

            Another claim without evidence or reason. It is plainly not true that “anything can be justified by that” and even if it were, why would that make it meaningless?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “And if your worldview cannot encompass them, then so much the worse for your worldview.”
            It’s always funny when someone else makes claims about my word view. And these are the people who get upset if you tell them about what they believe.

            “You did this over Welby.”
            I know. I shouldn’t have retracted and apologized. One seems you get away with thing easier when you just deny everything. If you admit being wrong and apologize, people will remember it and keep on bringing it up. Then they start making larger assumption about it and your character. Well lesson learned about talking to Christians.

            “Another claim without evidence or reason.”
            Well I just used reason, why that claim is meaningless. Sorry if you didn’t get it.

          • Albert

            It’s always funny when someone else makes claims about my word view. And these are the people who get upset if you tell them about what they believe.

            That’s not an answer, and you haven’t told me anything at all about what I believe.

            One seems you get away with thing easier when you just deny everything. If you admit being wrong and apologize, people will remember it and keep on bringing it up. Then they start making larger assumption about it and your character. Well lesson learned about talking to Christians.

            No. The issue here is not about admitting a mistake. That was a good thing to do. The issue is that you keep making mistakes of the same type. That’s an odd thing to do, especially as your mistake is the very thing you are accusing others of doing – only in their case, you accuse them of lying. Now it wouldn’t make any difference whether you admit the mistake or not, the mistake if obvious – it was a matter of fact.

            Well I just used reason, why that claim is meaningless. Sorry if you didn’t get it.

            I don’t think you did use reason, but in case I did miss, why don’t you explain the point again (if you think you can defend it).

          • Martin

            Jon

            Plenty of children are killed in abortions despite similar rules. The rules are just ignored or circumvented.

          • Jon Sorensen

            off-topic rabbit hole

          • Martin

            Jon

            Just because you can’t answer doesn’t make it off topic. Indeed, we were told that the same sort of ‘safeguards’ would control abortion, yet we see both a circumvention of those rules and a failure to prosecute when they are broken.

            If secularism cared about people it would care about the people killed in abortions.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Ok. I’ll take the bait. What are the ‘safeguards’ that fail now with abortion?

            Children are *not* killed. If non-secularists cared about people they would care about the mothers who die because they did not get an abortions. If non-secularits cared about people they would care about the women’s rights.

          • Martin

            Jon

            The Daily Telegraph exposed how doctors were presigning consent forms and it is well known that studies have shown that there is no evidence that continuing a pregnancy places a greater strain on either the physical or mental health of the patient that ending it, a major justification for abortions. Neither of these have elicited as much as an expression of concern from those charged with the enforcement of the law. Clearly euthanasia would be treated the same.

            Mothers don’t die if they can’t get an abortion, that is a simple lie. And the botched abortions done by unqualified persons were never a major cause of death. In any case, an abortion is not without physical and mental health hazards, even when carried out by those qualified.

            It amazes me that you care so little for people that you can place the women’s right over the right of the child, maybe it is because the child cannot speak or attend a rally.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I see, the “The Daily Telegraph exposed”. Must be true then.

            Ectopic pregnancy clearly places a greater strain on the physical health. Are you ok with those abortions then?

            “Mothers don’t die if they can’t get an abortion, that is a simple lie”
            I never claim that. Please don’t falsely accuse me.

            “And the botched abortions done by unqualified persons were never a major cause of death.”
            I don’t believe this. Can you please provide some evidence? Sounds like you think doing an abortion does not require training.

            “It amazes me that you care so little for people that you can place the women’s right over the right of the child”
            This is not true. Both have the same rights. I don’t support abortion after ~24weeks.

          • Martin

            Jon

            “I see, the “The Daily Telegraph exposed”. Must be true then.”

            So show me where an investigation showed the DT report to be wrong.

            “Ectopic pregnancy clearly places a greater strain on the physical health. Are you ok with those abortions then?”

            Ectopic pregnancies are a special case, and even in them there is no possibility of the child surviving even if the pregnancy continues. The abortion is a side effect and not the aim of the surgery. It is quite dishonest to use those as an excuse for the wholesale killing of babies being carried out.

            “”Mothers don’t die if they can’t get an abortion, that is a simple lie”
            I never claim that. Please don’t falsely accuse me.”

            What you said was “If non-secularists cared about people they would care about the mothers who die because they did not get an abortions.”. I can’t see the difference.

            “”And the botched abortions done by unqualified persons were never a major cause of death.”
            I don’t believe this. Can you please provide some evidence? Sounds like you think doing an abortion does not require training.”

            Peter Saunders addresses this at http://pjsaunders.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/how-many-women-really-died-from.html I suggest you read it.

            “”It amazes me that you care so little for people that you can place the women’s right over the right of the child”
            This is not true. Both have the same rights. I don’t support abortion after ~24weeks.”

            So what is the magic about 24 weeks? Some babies have been born at 22 weeks, are they any the less human for that? All you have is a fig leaf, and that is about to be blown away.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “So show me where an investigation showed the DT report to be wrong”
            This is a fallacy of shifting the burden of proof. Sorry I’m not doing your homework.

            So are you ok with those abortions in case of Ectopic pregnancy?

            “It is quite dishonest to use those as an excuse for the wholesale killing of babies”
            Nobody is “killing babies”, and I did not use that as “an excuse”. I wanted to find some common ground.

            I claimed that some mothers die because the can’t get abortion. You claimed “mothers don’t die”. It is a big difference.

            “Peter Saunders addresses this”
            Did you even read the blog post. Maternal deaths from Illegal and “spontaneous” abortion dropped dramatically after 1967 Abortion Act (see the second picture!). Did you even look at the stats?

            ~24 weeks (I could be ok with 22week law) the baby can survive outside the mother.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Let me put it this way, what do you have, aside from your prejudice, to say that the Telegraph report is wrong? You’ve yet to provide any evidence for a ‘proof’ of any sort.

            The abortion of the pregnancy in the case of an ectopic pregnancy is a side effect of the necessary procedure to save the mother life. It isn’t actually the aim of the process, nor is desired.

            Of course abortions are killing babies, are you an idiot?

            And no, mothers don’t die if they can’t get an abortion, sometimes they die as the result of an abortion, even when they are carried out by trained professionals. Of course what you later said was “I never claim that. Please don’t falsely accuse me.” so are you now withdrawing that statement?

            If you had actually bothered to read Peter Saunders’ blog you would have seen that the fall in maternal deaths was mainly due to improvements in maternal medical care. There was no sharp drop in deaths that can be ascribed to the 1967 abortion act, indeed there was a rise in deaths from legal abortions.

            So why is it that you consider the ability of the baby to survive outside the womb to be the indicator of when a baby may be killed?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I said I don’t believe some newspaper story without evidence. It’s not my job provide any evidence or proof. I’m not doing your homework. Newspapers don’t get paid to tell the truth you know.

            You nicely avoided the question and reality of ectopic pregnancy. Because you can’t even admit what is right and wrong – you lose.

            Abortion does not kill babies, teenagers or senior citizens no matter what you claim or throw ad homimen.

            “mothers don’t die if they can’t get an abortion”
            I’m sure you’ll tell me that my granmother’s mother died in natural causes…

            “sometimes they die as the result of an abortion,”
            irrelevant red herring…

            “If you had actually bothered to read Peter Saunders’ blog you would have seen that the fall in maternal deaths was mainly due to improvements in maternal medical care. There was no sharp drop in deaths that can be ascribed to the 1967 abortion act, indeed there was a rise in deaths from legal abortions.”
            This takes the cake! Sharp drop around 1967 and you deny that it has nothing to do with 1967 abortion act. LOL. How about a some evidence?

            The best one: After abortion becomes legal, there was a rise in deaths from legal abortions. LOL. You have to smart to figure this one out.

            The ability of the baby to survive outside the womb determines what the women’s rights are. After that if she does not want the baby labour can be induced and baby can be given to abortion. Before that the baby has same rights as you. You can live but not on someones expense (=hocked on to someone). If you are kidnapped and hocked to a machine to keep someone else alive, you have a right to stop it.

          • Martin

            Jon

            “I said I don’t believe some newspaper story without evidence. It’s not my job provide any evidence or proof. I’m not doing your homework. Newspapers don’t get paid to tell the truth you know.”

            I think what you mean is that you don’t accept what a newspaper says when it goes against your prejudice. When something contradicts your opinion it must be wrong in your eyes. That’s good evidence that you are your own little god. In any case, the care quality commission backed the claims by the Telegraph and 14 hospital trusts were shown to have been pre-signing forms. http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/findings-termination-pregnancy-inspections-published But you probably won’t accept that either.

            “You nicely avoided the question and reality of ectopic pregnancy. Because you can’t even admit what is right and wrong – you lose.”

            Actually, I answered you, again you aren’t prepared to accept the answer.

            “Abortion does not kill babies, teenagers or senior citizens no matter what you claim or throw ad homimen.”

            Before the abortion the mother has a living baby in her womb, afterwards the baby is dead. The evidence is pretty conclusive on that.

            “I’m sure you’ll tell me that my granmother’s mother died in natural causes…”

            I’ve no idea, but I doubt that the cause was simply because she couldn’t get an abortion.

            “”sometimes they die as the result of an abortion,”
            irrelevant red herring…”

            On the contrary, it is very relevant.

            “This takes the cake! Sharp drop around 1967 and you deny that it has nothing to do with 1967 abortion act. LOL. How about a some evidence?”

            Actually there appears to have been a rise in deaths and then it settles down to follow the curve clearly related to improvements in maternal care.

            “The best one: After abortion becomes legal, there was a rise in deaths from legal abortions. LOL. You have to smart to figure this one out.”

            As I said, mothers sometimes die in abortions.

            “The ability of the baby to survive outside the womb determines what the women’s rights are. After that if she does not want the baby labour can be induced and baby can be given to abortion. Before that the baby has same rights as you.”

            So you are saying that a babies rights depend on its ability to survive. On what basis do you make this judgement and in what other area do you apply the same rule?

            Would you say that, for instance, a person taking another’s life with malice and aforethought loses the right to life?

            “You can live but not on someones expense (=hocked on to someone). If you are kidnapped and hocked to a machine to keep someone else alive, you have a right to stop it.”

            You do understand how pregnancy occurs? It is the result of a man and a woman having sex, indeed if you have sex you can expect a pregnancy to occur. So the consent to the act is also consent to the result of the act. The woman, in having sex, has consented to pregnancy if it should occur. The man has therefore consented to provide and care for the woman and child. No one has been forced to become a parent, except in the case of rape of course.

            In all of this, including rape, the child in the womb is the innocent party.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I think what you mean is that you don’t accept what a newspaper says when it goes against your prejudice.”
            Well your assumption is wrong so
            “That’s good evidence that you are your own little god.”
            is no evidence. Just your bias.

            “14 hospital trusts were shown to have been pre-signing forms”
            Ok. They had pre-signed form and CQC did not find any evidence that any women had poor outcomes of care at any of these locations. What is your problem?

            “Before the abortion the mother has a living baby in her womb”
            No

            “Actually there appears to have been a rise in deaths [around 1967]”
            No. Graph shows less death. It’s not my problem if you can read the graph.

            “a babies rights depend on its ability to survive. On what basis do you make this judgement and in what other area do you apply the same rule?”
            Same as any living human being. You have a right to life but not on someone elses expense.

            “Would you say that, for instance, a person taking another’s life with malice and aforethought loses the right to life?”
            I support capital punishment on some cases, but generally prison sentence is ok.

            “indeed if you have sex you can expect a pregnancy to occur.”
            as a father of three I can tell you who are wrong. Once you have sex at least one time you might understand this issue.

            “So the consent to the act is also consent to the result of the act. The woman, in having sex, has consented to pregnancy if it should occur.”
            You might not understand this “act” and women’s rights

            “In all of this, including rape, the child in the womb is the innocent party.”
            which is irrelevant.

          • Martin

            Jon

            “Well your assumption is wrong”

            So you claim.

            “Ok. They had pre-signed form and CQC did not find any evidence that any women had poor outcomes of care at any of these locations. What is your problem?”

            The law was broken & the babies clearly had poor outcomes of care.

            “No”

            So now you are denying facts.

            “No. Graph shows less death. It’s not my problem if you can read the graph.”

            The graph clearly shows a rise in deaths from illegal & legal abortions, there is a fall in spontaneous abortions.

            “Same as any living human being. You have a right to life but not on someone elses expense.”

            So you’re saying that a child does not have a right to life because it is dependant upon its parents and a disabled person dependant upon another does not have a right to life. Indeed, it seems that a lot of people might be considered to be living at another’s expense.

            “I support capital punishment on some cases, but generally prison sentence is ok.”

            So why do you believe an unborn child may be executed without recourse to law?

            “as a father of three I can tell you who are wrong. Once you have sex at least one time you might understand this issue.”

            You imagine that I don’t know what I’m talking of? Pregnancy is a natural result of sex.

            “You might not understand this “act” and women’s rights”

            I assure you I do.

            “which is irrelevant.”

            On the contrary, it is entirely relevant.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The law was broken & the babies clearly had poor outcomes of care.”
            If this is the case then police should investigate. If this caused poor outcomes then the processes should be changed that it complies with the law and provide best outcomes.

            “So now you are denying facts.”
            Christians like you just want to call foetus as baby to get sympathy votes.

            “The graph clearly shows a rise in deaths from illegal & legal abortions, ”
            No it doesn’t. Illegal abortions dropped from 30pM to close to 0pM.

            “So you’re saying that a child does not have a right to life because it is dependant upon its parents and a disabled person dependant upon another does not have a right to life”
            This a fallacy of equivocation of the work “dependant”. Disabled person is not physically hooked on to a unwilling person. To win an argument don’ t fall in to fallacies.

            “So why do you believe an unborn child[??] may be executed[??] without recourse to law[??]?”
            Women’s rights

            First you clam
            “indeed if you have sex you can expect a pregnancy to occur.”
            now you shift to
            “Pregnancy is a natural result of sex.”
            You move the subject from “expect” to “natural result”. My problem was with your original claim not your modified wording.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “If you read The Words of John’s Gospel… Jesus foretold…”
            This would be impressive if John had written it down before Jesus’ death, not 100 years after it. Anyone can post date any prophecies. You should read the impressive prophesies from the Book of Mormon.

            “raised from the dead on the third day”
            hmmm. In my Bible Jesus died Friday afternoon and was alive again early Sunday morning. That is not three days. What does your Bible say?

            “Jesus said to him, “Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise”
            If Jesus died on Friday and was then still alive on Friday in paradise, how come did he raise again on Sunday? Was he alive between his death and resurrection?

            I’ve read the Bible, and early Church letters (Ignatius, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr… even Didache and non-canonical Gospels). What strikes my is that the thing early Christians believe was not like modern Christians believe. Also when you ask tough questions Christians can’t give answer, get upset or start insulting you.

          • Martin

            Jon

            “If this is the case then police should investigate. If this caused poor outcomes then the processes should be changed that it complies with the law and provide best outcomes.”

            They should have, they did not. That they failed to do so in the face of incontrovertible evidence shows the corruption of our society.

            “Christians like you just want to call foetus as baby to get sympathy votes.”

            Foetus means baby.

            “No it doesn’t. Illegal abortions dropped from 30pM to close to 0pM.”

            There was a rise from 30pM to approaching 40pM and then a fall back to slightly less than the preceding figure after which it continued downwards.

            “This a fallacy of equivocation of the work “dependant”. Disabled person is not physically hooked on to a unwilling person. To win an argument don’ t fall in to fallacies.”

            On the contrary, there is no fallacy. Indeed the child has a greater claim on the mother for the mother has chosen her path and the infant had no choice. The mother has a duty of care to the child, far more than any other carer.

            “Women’s rights”

            What rights, the woman has no right to kill the child, rather she has a duty to care for it. No one has the right to execute that child, least of all the law.

            “You move the subject from “expect” to “natural result”. My problem was with your original claim not your modified wording.”

            There is no change in meaning, pregnancy can be expected as the natural result of sexual relations and places responsibilities on both partners.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Foetus means baby”
            No. And a baby does not mean adult.

            “There was a rise from 30pM to approaching 40pM and then a fall back to slightly less than the preceding figure after which it continued downwards.”
            This is dishonesty. Trend is going down especially from 1967. It did not go up after legalisation. Please tell the truth.

            “What rights, the woman has no right to kill the child, rather she has a duty to care for it. No one has the right to execute that child, least of all the law”
            So if someone kidnaps you and hooks you up with someone with liver and kidney failures, and forces you to keep this person alive. Do you have a right to leave or not? Or as you put it do you have “right to execute that” person? If you don’t answer I assume you are just playing word games.

            “There is no change in meaning”
            LOL. The mean different thins. Pregnancy is often unexpected.

          • Martin

            Jon

            “No.”

            Look it up.

            “And a baby does not mean adult.”

            Wasn’t aware anyone had said it did.

            “This is dishonesty. Trend is going down especially from 1967. It did not go up after legalisation. Please tell the truth.”

            Look at the graph again, yes the overall trend is down, probably due to improved health care, but there is a blip in deaths just before legalisation, which could be due to the anticipation of a change in the law. That distorts the overall slope.

            “So if someone kidnaps you and hooks you up with someone with liver and kidney failures, and forces you to keep this person alive. Do you have a right to leave or not? Or as you put it do you have “right to execute that” person? If you don’t answer I assume you are just playing word games.”

            Totally irrelevant. In any case the majority of women have consented to the activity that produces pregnancy, they have not been forced into anything.

            “Pregnancy is often unexpected.”

            Only if you are really stupid.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Look at the graph again, yes the overall trend is down, probably due to improved health care, but there is a blip in deaths just before legalisation, which could be due to the anticipation of a change in the law. That distorts the overall slope.”
            You must me a statistician in our government

            “Only if you are really stupid”
            Even that does not reduce your right.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Seems to me that you’ve made your mind up & no amount of evidence will change it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You might be projecting

          • Martin

            Jon

            Prove me wrong.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Proof would not convince you.

          • Martin

            Jon

            How would you know, you’ve never tried it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I tried with the graph. You just deny facts

          • Martin

            Jon

            On the contrary, you failed to see the facts.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Surely a nice quote. Where is the evidence; data or study? please provide

          • Albert

            I have done this already.

          • Jon Sorensen

            where? DOI? PMID?

          • Albert

            In response to your earlier request.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sorry. I don’t understand your reply

          • Albert

            Fine

          • magnolia

            “Evidence from Netherlands.”

            OK, give us a link to your evidence. As it goes right across commonsense no doubt we can tear it into shreds. Some research is not worth the ink and paper used to bring it into print, or the electricity used to put it on the web.

            In the early 80s we had a horrendous piece of camera footage where a woman was persistently bullying her mother to end it all because her life wasn’t worth it, while the mother was saying: ” I don’t know, I rather want to live” or such words, and the daughter was saying “Come on, Mummy you know it makes sense.. It’s what you always said you wanted.”

            Now you are telling me such people and their bad motives have disappeared conveniently into the mists, and there are no people who apply pressure on others any more, all very conveniently for your argument.

            Sorry, won’t ever buy that ….

          • Jon Sorensen

            Funny how people making original claim don’t provide the evidence, put people who challenge it are asked to do so. It is a fallacy.

            Nice to see you bias that you can “tear it into shreds” even before seeing it. Looks like no evidence can change your mind. Try to keep an open mind.

            Nice anecdote from early 80s that has nothing to do with what is happening in Netherlands or their process.

    • dannybhoy

      You’re way off the mark ‘Danish Jon’.
      Christians don’t force anyone to follow their beliefs.. If you dispute that give examples.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Can I get a mother’s saving abortion in Catholic hospital if that is legal in that area?

        • chiefofsinners

          You seem to have a problem with democracy rather than Christianity.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Most democracies have constitution which addresses rights. So I don’t have problem with democracy.

            BTW are you ok if in a Muslim country they vote if Christians can be killed for some offense?

          • chiefofsinners

            Which Muslim countries have mature functioning democracies?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Some of them have. In Kuwait they even elected couple of women to parliament. There are couple of “secular” style Muslim countries where they have elected a female leader.

          • chiefofsinners

            Non-Muslims cannot be granted citizenship in Kuwait. Is that democracy?
            At the start of this discussion I told you that you were thinking of certain Muslims, not Christians. They do indeed force others to follow their religion-based laws. Christians in the UK don’t.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Is that democracy?”
            They voted on it, so yes.

            Your view was:
            “society chose to establish these” laws.
            “Society can change them if it wishes.”

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes but how is this relevant to your assertion that yesterday’s vote in the House of Commons was an example of Christians forcing others to follow their theology?

          • magnolia

            A couple of women. Wow! Are you kidding us that a couple of token women = a fully functioning democracy?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yes they are token. Yes it is a democracy as per chiefofsinners’ perspective.

            So do you want to address my question?

          • magnolia

            Democratic= rule of the people. It is extraordinary that you, in the 21st Century, think a country with a parliament with 2 token women shows in any way a “mature functioning democracy”, which is what chiefofsinners was asking for.

            Pakistan is probably the country you were thinking of that elected Benazhir Bhutto. In no way could Pakistan be termed secular, and she had a very difficult time, a not insubstantial part of that being precisely because she was a woman. She ended up being assassinated, which is not a sign of a very functioning democracy, either.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I didn’t claim Kuwait is a “mature functioning democracy”. They are taking baby steps towards it. Turkey is a Muslim country and they had a female leader. So did Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo and couple of others. Bhutto is the only elected head of Islamic state. I guess Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Kosovo have mature functioning democracies.

          • dannybhoy

            “BTW are you ok if in a Muslim country they vote if Christians can be killed for some offense?”

            Wot?!
            How can you equate what an absolute Muslim State does with what a secular democracy in which Christians form a tiny minority does?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Both are democratic in a sense that they vote on what to do. to can you acknowledge this and answer my question.

            Are you ok if in a Muslim country they vote if Christians can be killed for some offense?

        • dannybhoy

          The only place that might happen near here is somewhere in Ireland…?
          That problem could be overcome by going to a different area.
          Unless that Catholic area also forbids freedom of movement..
          May I ask you a question ‘Danish Jon’?
          Do you really care about the answers or is the important bit asking your questions?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Also in many other Catholic countries and the USA and Australia.

            Funny how you have the problem answering not me…

          • dannybhoy

            I am not a Catholic, ‘Danish.’ They must answer for themselves.
            My point is that in discussion one person makes a valid point, and the other person acknowledges it and then tries to either counter it or concedes the point.
            To keep on asking questions is typical of someone who is not interested in the answers…

          • Jon Sorensen

            This was not about you. Catholics are Christian. If you make a valid point, I’ll acknowledge it.

            So can you acknowledge that in many countries Christians force others to follow their beliefs?

          • chiefofsinners

            What is under dispute is your assertion that yesterday’s vote on assisted dying was an example of Christians forcing others to follow their beliefs.

          • Jon Sorensen

            hmmm. the neutral Christian lobby…

          • chiefofsinners

            No, it’s a Christian Christian lobby. The point is that it’s a lobby. Among many others.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Bishops are not Christians? wut?

          • chiefofsinners

            No, I mean it’s not a neutral lobby and it doesn’t claim to be. The point is that it is a lobby, making it’s point along with many others in an open and free democracy. That’s not the same as forcing others to adhere to your point of view.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So lobby want their way in to law, but are not forcing it to everyone. Right…

          • dannybhoy

            Of course he’s right! Christians are afforded the right to vote and lobby according to their consciences. Just like you are.

          • DanJ0

            Well, apart from the threats to excommunicate ministers who don’t vote along doctrinal lines.

          • Albert

            Did the bishops really do that? How encouraging. Can you provide a link, please?

          • dannybhoy

            I acknowledge that in some countries where Catholicism is the majority Christian denomination, they exercise a stronger influence on their church members. But we see that many traditionally Catholic societies that authority has been on the wane for years. For example in South America the numbers of charismatic Catholics and Protestant denominations are burgeoning whilst ‘traditional’ Catholicism seems to be on the decline.
            And they don’t force others to follow their beliefs.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I did not talk about “that in some countries where Catholicism is the majority Christian denomination, they exercise a stronger influence on their church members.” No point acknowledge that.

            Catholic church has a strong influence on non-members.
            They force non-member to comply on Catholic principles as I pointed out

          • dannybhoy

            Where?

          • Jon Sorensen

            read above

          • dannybhoy

            Where? In which countries do Catholics force non-members to comply?

          • Jon Sorensen

            My example as the US and Australia

          • dannybhoy

            Orstraliah?
            What, you mean Catholics don’t just throw shrimp on the ‘barbie’?
            And in Amuricah??

          • CliveM

            In none of these countries you mention are Catholic hospitals the only one. They all allow abortion.

            One would wish they didn’t.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You should follow what is happening in the US. Why should one travel past 5 hospitals for 5 hours to get a life saving treatment…

          • dannybhoy

            When and where did you experience this Jon? Or was it your wife, or a close family friend?
            Or a close enemy even?

          • Jon Sorensen

            It’s not about me.

          • dannybhoy

            So it’s someone you read about or heard about, and you are including it in your list of beefs against Christianity?
            You see, from what I read about the USA, there is nowhere that Catholicism is free to force people to conform in terms of abortion or hospital visits. In fact just like Europe there is an anti Christian movement gathering momentum. Atheists and religion haters are gearing themselves up to eradicate Christianity and even Judaism (but not Islam because they will cut your head off if you offend them), from the Western world..

          • Jon Sorensen

            I care about right of black people even when I’m not black
            I care about right of LGBT even when I’m not one of them
            I care about right of women and mothers even when I’m not one of them

            You might have the Christian persecution complex. You are privileged in the west.

          • dannybhoy

            And this addresses my last post how? Do you realise that every one of your posts today has been reasonably answered by one or other of us, and then you have gone on to something else.
            Why not save time and just say,
            “I don’t believe in God and I don’t believe in Christianity because you’re all fakes, hypocrites and bullies.”
            As far as I am concerned this has not been a discussion. It has been like an episode of Any Questions where the audience (that’s you) have no interest in hearing the answers..

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sorry if you didn’t get my point. Yes I care about someone I read about or heard about.

            You problem might be that you don’t read general news. You stated:
            “from what I read about the USA, there is nowhere that Catholicism is free to force people to conform in terms of abortion”

            Just googling “catholic hospitals refuse abortion” would get you up to speed.

          • dannybhoy

            http://www.lifenews.com/2015/07/06/aclu-loses-lawsuit-in-attempt-to-force-catholic-hospital-to-do-abortions/

            There.

            Now then if you ever consider developing another talent besides asking questions, try thinking.

            Catholics do not believe in abortion. America promises freedom of religion which means that people holding different religious beliefs are free to practice them.

            If Catholics were forced to practice abortion, then they would no longer be truly Catholic would they?

            Not only that, there are plenty of places where women can have abortions carried out. Here’s one.

            http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/why-the-catholic-behind-the-planned-parenthood-videos-went-undercover-82927/

            Now instead of chucking out another dopey question, work your way through the blog article and watch the videos, and come back later.

            Perhaps tomorrow.

          • dannybhoy

            ps We are privileged in the West because of the influence of Christianity.

          • Jon Sorensen

            West is west because of the influence of Christianity both good and bad.

    • David

      “force” !
      Rubbish !
      God gave us free will, to follow truth or our own inventions.The choice is ours.
      Christ offers us salvation if we accept that we all, have a flawed nature, and then express our need for, and dependence upon God. Being a Christian is a voluntary decision which nowadays, in a post-Christian west, has to be maintained by exercise of our hearts, minds and hands.
      You are very wrong on that one.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Bible disagrees with you about free will. I clearly states that God hardened a heart against owners will.

        • David

          You are making the classic mistake of people who only dip into it, and don’t stand back to look at the overall, broad message. You have to understand the context of a passage, which isn’t as easy as it sounds, before you can pronounce of the meaning of Scripture.
          Like any subject, spiritual or secular, to really have an understanding of its overall teachings, without being distracted by particular itsy bitsy passages you must either undertake a serious study of it over time, or be guided by the reliable, established theologians of the Church. Those ideas rooted in history, agreed upon by all the mainstream, orthodox Churches are its agreed core, which is safe territory.
          The question of how one is “saved” is of course the subject of an enormous body of theology and there are differences between the different Churches, but the core is held in common.

          • DanJ0

            This is why Islam has the ulema too.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Did pharaoh have a free will in that situation?

          • David

            Maybe not. You have a point in that very particular, perhaps unique (?), situation.
            But that was a particular, far from usual, historic character who was destined, it appears, for a particular role. However you and I are clearly not Pharaoh ! It is the general pointer that we follow, not the exception.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Maybe not.” Seriously? So God had to change Pharaoh’s hart to Pharaoh can use his own free will? Seriously?

          • David

            I don’t claim to understand all the workings of the mind of God, which is of course, ultimately unknowable. But I am saying that Pharaoh appears to be an exception. The Christian position, held by many orthodox Christians, is that we, all of us, have free will. That is the NT position. No one is forced to become a Christian. Why God decided that Pharaoh would serve a different purpose I leave to Him.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Christians say:
            “I don’t claim to understand all the workings of the mind of God”
            then they proceed what God’s means…
            I never understood that.

            “The Christian position” is not “all of us, have free will”. Christians disagree on this.
            That is *not* the NT position.

            I’m not fixated on that one, unique historical figure. I just showed you how we don’t always have free will and you are still in denial. You can do theology how you want if you ignore facts.

            And I don’t even know what “Good, sound, theology” is. How can I verify that?

          • David

            The theology that is good, survives, and encourages Churches to not just survive, but grow. The theology that is not good leads to shrinking, dying Churches. This is a pattern traceable throughout Christianity’s 2000 years. But the trouble with this guidance is that when you are living through it, distinguishing what will succeed and what will not, may be difficult, especially as many are influenced by the political associations of certain beliefs.
            So I would say “good theology” is what you will find as accepted, firm orthodox belief in any of the mainstream Churches. As I said earlier, that part that they hold in common, is very good theology, as it is held to be Truth in common across all the major denominations. It is what C.S.Lewis called “mere Christianity”. That is what I would recommend to anyone searching for the core meaning of Christianity. The Creeds are a good place to start.
            To summarise, Truth endures, false teachings die. Science also works in a similar way.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The theology that is good, survives, and encourages Churches to not just survive”
            is just nonsense. Only true theology is good.

            C.S.Lewis’ “mere Christianity” is not very good book (BTW Lewis was a amateur theologian who rejected amateur theologians in his book). Didache and other early writing shows you what the mere Christianity is.

            “Truth endures, false teachings die. Science also works in a similar way.”
            Science is nothing like theological “truths”. Hinduism and Paganism have lasted longer than Christianity, so is that the good measure of truth.

          • David

            Talking to you is like rotating in circles. I prefer principles and core ideas.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I know the feeling David. I prefer clear principles and good core ideas, and people who engage with my response.

            “The theology that is good, survives” is a bad idea. Violent Muslim theology is surviving and growing. Only good theology is true theology. You don’t seem to get it.

          • David

            That is an hilarious misuse of specific ideas, torn out of their context !
            That is a very immature, perhaps deliberate misunderstanding of the principles of discussion and debate ?

            My comments were given in a specific context. We were discussing Christian theology. Moreover my timescale for the rise and survival of good Christian theology and the death and demise of heresies, was over 2000 years. There were many periods of merely hundred of years when heresies grew, but they didn’t last the full course down too us today.
            Your point is wilfully contrary to the contextual grain of the discussion.
            Are you perhaps a contrarian who just loves batting contrary points about, without direction, purpose or any adherence to the principles of rational discussion ? Or maybe just a joker ? One for reflection I suggest.
            Cheerio !

          • Jon Sorensen

            “That is an hilarious misuse of specific ideas, torn out of their context ! That is a very immature, perhaps deliberate misunderstanding of the principles of discussion and debate ?”
            What’s this temper tantrum? Why would you assume Christians theology is the right one?

            Mormon faith has grown a lot faster than early Christian faith, so according to you it’s more likely to be right. Think again.

            Your faith might be more popular than James’, but he walked with Jesus and his theology was completely different. There are today more denominations than ever and Christians can’t agree on any single point of theology, so maybe you can point which one is the “good” one.

          • David

            Dear Jon,
            I suspect that you may not believe in anything much. If you do, you certainly don’t demonstrate it. But you may be searching for something, perhaps. Or maybe you just like hanging around this basically Christian website because you enjoy throwing ever changing, almost random points at the discussion with Christians. Then again you may be purely a contrarian who enjoys keeping a thread wandering about, endlessly with no structure, objective, purpose or direction. I don’t know. But as talking to you is like trying to bottle fog, I shall say good luck and good bye.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Blames me for “keeping a thread wandering about”, while not answering any of my points.
            OK.

          • dannybhoy

            “Christians say:
            “I don’t claim to understand all the workings of the mind of God” then they proceed what God’s means…I never understood that.”
            I agree with that. Perhaps Christians should say “As I understand it” or “It makes sense to me to say..”
            Ultimately though we believe that our intellects can take us far enough so that we make that step of faith to trust a God who is far beyond any creature in wisdom, justice, compassion and power..
            If we completely understood God’s actions we would be as wise as Him..

          • dannybhoy

            Another day, another question from our very own “Any Questions” man..
            The Bible account in Exodus 3.
            God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh
            “10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
            (That’s the end game)

            In verse 19 God says,
            “19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.[c] 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.”

            Chapter 5..
            “5 Afterwards Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

            Pharaoh carries on hardening his heart against God despite the plagues until finally, in chapter 10 after the plague of locusts…

            verse 20… But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go…
            God allowed Pharaoh to exercise his stubborn choices until in that chapter He finally confirms Pharaoh’s decision so that Pharaoh is finally locked into his stubbornness.
            Now the point is that God is fulfilling the promise He made to Abraham, that he would be the father of a great nation; so this is no capricious act on God’s part but the fulfilment of a promise and the establishing of a people and a nation set apart to serve God and to be a light unto the Gentiles..
            (Salvation was supposed to have come from the Jewish people after they recognised Christ Jesus as Messiah.)

          • Jon Sorensen

            Bible says:
            “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart”

            Dannybhoy interprets:
            the Lord “confirms Pharaoh’s decision”

            Jon says:
            LOL eisegesis

          • dannybhoy

            There is no difference. The verses are self explanatory.
            Pharaoh hardened his own heart (he was after all the Pharaoh of Egypt, and didn’t know/worship the God of the Hebrews)
            In the end God hardens Pharaoh’s heart for him..

          • Jon Sorensen

            Bible=God acted
            Danny=God did not act
            Danny “There is no difference.”

            OK

          • dannybhoy

            I’ll try an even simpler approach, all based on the same chapters in Exodus..

            God decides it’s time to bring the Hebrews out of Egypt where they had been living 400+ years.
            He is honouring His promise to Abraham in Genesis that he will become the father of a great nation..
            First step, He chooses a leader, Moses. (Moses is the adopted son of the daughter of Pharaoh.)
            He makes himself known to him and then after convincing him of His holiness and power, commissions him. Moses is reluctant as he is a wanted man in Egypt and slow of speech and reluctant to do as God wishes.

            Instead of hardening Moses’s heart God sends Aaron along with Moses as support.
            He tells Moses that the Pharaoh will be reluctant to let the Hebrews go.
            Nowhere does God say that He will override Pharaoh’s free will, so up until the plague of locusts and Pharaoh then says…
            16 “Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”
            THEN God hardens his heart!

            So Danish Jon, the real question is how many times do you think God should have allowed Pharaoh to make decisions of his own free will before He stepped in to accomplish His purposes in taking the Hebrews out of Egypt and making them into a nation?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Nowhere does God say that He will override Pharaoh’s free will”
            You are right. The Bible NEVER mentions about free will. It is all eisegesis.

            “the real question is how many times do you think God should have allowed Pharaoh to make decisions of his own free will before”
            If there is a free will God should not have intervened. How difficult it is to understand this?

          • dannybhoy

            How difficult is it to understand that when the Bible says quite clearly in Exodus 3:19?
            “19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.”
            5:2 2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”
            8:15 ” But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.”
            8:32 ” But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.”
            9:7 ” Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.”
            9:34 ” But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.”
            10:16 ” Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.”
            You can’t sin unless you have free will.

        • Martin

          Jon

          Indeed the Bible does tell us that God has hardened hearts, but those hearts were already opposed to God for the free will of the heart had been given to sin. So all of us have abandoned our free will and have hearts of stone, condemned by our own acts. So why, given that, should not the law be used to restrain the wickedness on Man?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “but those hearts were already opposed to God”
            Strange eisegesis.

            “all of us have abandoned our free will”
            Evidence please

            I don’t agree with your premises, so your question does not make sense to me.

          • Martin

            Jon

            So what do you make of:

            as it is written:
            None is righteous, no, not one;
            no one understands;
            no one seeks for God.
            All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
            no one does good,
            not even one.
            Their throat is an open grave;
            they use their tongues to deceive.
            The venom of asps is under their lips.
            Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.
            Their feet are swift to shed blood;
            in their paths are ruin and misery,
            and the way of peace they have not known.
            There is no fear of God before their eyes.
            (Romans 3:10-18 [ESV]

            The hearts of all are opposed to God – that is what the Bible tells us. God either allows those hearts to continue in their hardness, and hardens them like Pharaoh, or in mercy softens the hard heart.

            Those whose hearts are hardened are dead in their sins, and do the dead have free will?

            If you agreed with the Bible you’d agree with me.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It’s not good to tell people they are worthless.

            It is typical religious text where people are sold a problem (=you are worthless..)
            and then religious text sells you the solution (=follow my God)
            Good sales job!

            And not we (and I) are not “opposed to God”. This is a Christian “truth” which it is not.

          • Martin

            Jon

            It is better for people to know their true state than to pretend that they have value.

            We are all, by nature, enemies of God and hence opposed to Him.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “It is better for people to know their true state than to pretend that they have value”
            I agree. People are not worthless. People should know that.

            “We are all, by nature, enemies of God and hence opposed to Him”
            Claim without evidence and can be dismissed if no evidence is provided

          • Martin

            Jon

            So what value do people have?

            If you want to see the nature of the hatred of God observe those objecting to a Christian preaching in the open air. Observe those proclaiming their ‘gay rights’ and observe those destroying Christian churches.

          • Jon Sorensen

            People have real value to them self, their families, friends and society.

            This “hatred of God” is a Christian myth they so much like to propagate. It has nothing to do with “objecting to a Christian preaching”. As long you don’t want to understand your opponents you are likely to lose the battle.

          • Martin

            Jon

            I see no evidence of this value of people in the world.

            Of course hatred of God has to do with hating to hear Him proclaimed.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Martin, try to step out of the Christian bubble and understand different people. You will then understand the value of people in the world.

            So why do you hate hearing God being proclaimed from the local Mosque?

          • Martin

            Jon

            God isn’t proclaimed from the local Mosque.

            You need to realise that the purpose of Man is to glorify God, which we all will do.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “God isn’t proclaimed from the local Mosque.”
            So why do you hate Allah?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Do I?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m equally sure you hate Allah as you are that “the hatred of God observe those objecting to a Christian preaching”

          • Martin

            Jon

            Allah doesn’t exist, he’s a figment of the false belief expressed in the Qur’an. The God who created all things we all know exists.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Just listen to yourself how you address other religious claims, and reflect that back to your “hate” claim. They only make sense inside a highly biased religious bubble. Truth does not live in the bubble.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Either a ‘religious’ claim is in line with what the Bible says or it is false. That you live inside a ‘religious bubble’ is not my problem but yours. Come to the truth of God’s word.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “religious bubble” = Either a ‘religious’ claim is in line with what the [insert my holy book(s)] says or it is false.

            I was once in a bubble. Come out and see the light

          • Martin

            Jon

            What makes you think you’re not in a religious bubble?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Maybe I’m in reason, logic and compassion bubble which distorts my view.

          • Martin

            Jon

            I was thinking of the religion where you are your own little god.

          • Jon Sorensen

            That might exist in Christian fairy tales…

          • Martin

            Jon

            There are no Christian fairy tales, we leave those to the Atheists.

          • Jon Sorensen

            And you believe in Gospel of Peter I suppose…

          • Martin

            Jon

            You need to define what you are saying more precisely.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Is Gospel of Peter’s Jesus’ resurrection story true or fiction?

          • Martin

            Jon

            In that it reflects the canonical gospels I see no problem. It does have some aspects which seem to be embellishment.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “seem to be embellishment”
            Well there you have it; fantastic supernatural events that never happened written by Christians – Christian fairy tales

          • Martin

            Jon

            On what basis do you suggest that the ‘Gospel of Peter’ was written by Christians? Mind, if you want to read a work of fiction written by a Christian you could do worse than read Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. It could even teach you something about Christianity.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Christian scholars think it is a Christian writing because it is Christian story, includes Christian theology and quoted and discussed by early Christian fathers. Only someone who would like to avoid answering a question would suggest that it is not a Christian writing.

          • Martin

            Jon

            The theology is docetic, far from being Christian. That is why it isn’t in the canon.

  • cacheton

    ‘My Swiss uncle had a beautiful death’.

    How do you know? It may on the outside have appeared to be everything that you would consider ‘beautiful’ about a death, but you do not, and can never, know what your uncle’s inner experience at the moment of his death (or just before) was. Even if this was explicitly what he said he wanted whilst in a certain frame of mind (and/or body), neither you nor anyone else can ever know what was actually going through that mind when it was actually happening.

  • Little Black Censored

    Who is that man on the right with long hair. Is it Caitlin somebody?