AFA is scared shitless of “The Golden Compass.”

SEB regular DaBroad dropped by with a couple of links to articles about a warning from the American Family Association about the upcoming release of The Golden Compass. It seems they’re the latest religious group to get their panties all in a twist over this movie without even having seen it yet. They’re so in a panic that they put out this drastic warning to parents:

Therefore, without yet seeing the film, at least one pro-family group—the American Family Association—is alerting Christians to the potential dangers of The Golden Compass. Because of Pullman’s clearly articulated anti-Christian motives, AFA is warning all viewers to run from the film.

Potential dangers? Viewers should run from the film? Makes it sound like Godzilla is attacking or something. The way their talking you’d think that this film had some sort of unholy power to deconvert people into atheists within the span of an hour and a half or something. It leaves you wondering just how fragile their faith really must be if they’re that worried that a single film will cause so much damage to innocent young Christians. Whatever happened to their unshakable faith in Christianity that they’re so upset over one little film that will, by all reports, have its anti-religious message watered down to the point of not really being there to begin with?

Of course it’s not so much the adults they’re worried about, it’s the kids. They know they’ve got to get ‘em while they’re young and you can’t afford to allow any competing ideas get in their heads or something akin to common sense or the questioning of authority might take hold. This is made clear in the second link provided by DaBroad to an article about the film at BreakingPoint.org:

One of the prominent themes of the book is “Dust,” a mysterious “charged particle” from the sky. In the closing chapters of the book, the protagonist, Lyra, finally learns that Dust is “the physical evidence for original sin”; and Dust is what powers her “alethiometer” (the golden-colored, compass-looking device for which the book is named). From the Greek, alethiometer means “truth-measurer.” It is a device she consults, through a kind of clairvoyant process, to learn secrets and discover truths; it never lies or misleads. Dust and the alethiometer—central symbols in this book—together send the clear message that truth is measured by the power of original sin. In the closing pages, Lyra decides that Dust is a good thing after all, and she determines to go on and defend this original sin against the Church. Thus we are ushered into the second book.

This is certainly not a message we want our children to take to heart. Still, we cannot lose sight of the fact that Pullman is working on our turf when he tells his tale. I’ll gladly stand up our story against his! The story of Christ has drama, it has strong characters, it has relevance, it has a truly stupendous surprise ending—in short, all the elements of great story. Best of all, it’s not fiction. It happened! So we need not respond defensively, or with anger, or by picketing the movie, or with any of the worldly methods Paul warned against in 2 Corinthians 10. This is the time—especially since the movie is coming out at Christmastime—for us to tell the true story of Jesus Christ, in love and with a positive tone.

I’ve read both the Bible and all three books in the His Dark Materials trilogy now and I have to say that the former pales in comparison to the latter in terms of enjoyability, but then some might say I’m biased.

These folks, however, are most upset that Scholastic is involved in helping to promote the book with materials offered to schools:

Yet there is a limit, and Christian parents ought to stand guard on behalf of the next generation. The Golden Compass—book or movie—does not belong in our schools.

Again it’s interesting to note how fragile they consider their religion to be that it needs such efforts on their part to keep it protected even from total fictions that challenge it. At least with Pullman’s works he’s not trying to pretend it’s reality.

97 thoughts on “AFA is scared shitless of “The Golden Compass.”

  1. I like the quote they use to describe Dust.  Of course, not actually knowing anything about it, they fail to note that it was Lord Azreal’s claim to what Dust was.  I haven’t read all three books, but isn’t the whole “source for original sin” thing not exactly true?  Oh well, no surprise that Christians would have a hard time telling a claim from truth when couched within a fictitious story.  They can’t seem to tell the difference in real life either.

    And yeah, I think HDM is far better than the Bible.  “Greatest Story Ever Told” my ass.  Story is right.

  2. Since my early teens I have thought of faith (in the intangible) as a very fragile concept.  As a kid growing up and having Christianity pushed upon myself, I remember how slowly I began to see contradictions that confounded me.  As a kid I was fascinated by magic tricks.  As a child it seems so amazing, but having become interested in magic I quickly learned it was nothing more than slight of hand and redirecting a persons attention.  Yet so many things that God did seemed like magic or was God just really good at slight of hand tricks?  I asked my youth paster about it after a weekly bible study and the only answer I got was that I would need to come by three times a week instead of only once for Bible study since I obviously didn’t understand my religion.

  3. The funny thing is, I’m much less likely to get onto a religious person for shrugging off the rational entirely and going “I don’t know, but I believe” instead of trying to somehow pretend to couch faith in terms of science or reason. Everyone does and believes in unreasonable things every so often, but trying to pawn it off on others as something that withstands critical scrutiny always seemed to be beside the point. I’d hope if I ever got knocked on the head and became religious I’d have the decency to admit “it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s ok – if it’s really faith it shouldn’t have to make sense.”

    Rushing to defend your faith by attempting to explain it isn’t convincing unless you’re talking to idiots, it’s retail sales religion. It leads to people “defending their purchase” by getting offended that people aren’t buying into how valuable their faith is. It’s so tired.

  4. What Mister Mook said! 

    (Seriously, I couldn’t put any frosting on that if I blew off work all day.)

  5. Les- so you did.  Hard to keep all the twisted panties straight.  What really got me about the Catholic League’s tizzy is this: they offer a booklet, The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked, warning parents about the danger, but have the effrontery to charge five dollars for it, even the downloadable version.  I guess there’s no danger so imminent that you can’t go ahead and make a buck from it…

    Btw, I read through all the comments at the AFA site, and it is an education.  Some are from reasonable Christians arguing for perspective, saying that their faith will stand up to a work of fiction.  A few are from atheists, saying their usual atheist stuff.  But a goodly number, easily identifiable by their bad spelling, are from hell-and-brimstone Christians.  Many are convinced that The Golden Compass is a sign that the End Times are come.  Banning and bookburning are suggested, and one commentor wonders that God hasn’t already killed those responsible.  And this is America, land of the free?  Pretty scary.

  6. But a goodly number, easily identifiable by their bad spelling, are from hell-and-brimstone Christians.  Many are convinced that The Golden Compass is a sign that the End Times are come.

    Jeebus H. (Howard) Christ!  I certainly wish these frickin’ end times would hurry up and finish!  I thought they were only supposed to be 7 years long, but these Friendly Neighborhood Christian Douchebags (as opposed to Normal Rational Christians) have been announcing the End Times for at least as long as I remember.  Hell, The Omen in 1976 was a sign the end was here.  Then The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988 (clearly more than 7 years here people!) was the inevitable sign of societal decay that would lead to the “Big A” showing up and branding all us HEATHENS! with a special tattoo (bar code I believe by that time).  Next it was Dogma in 1999 (I would like to point out, yet again a longer time than 7 years) that was going to be the last nail in the coffin of all that is good and right in the world.  Surely Hollywood could make no more offensive materials than that one?  Surely this would finally prompt the Grand and Holy Poohbah Jeebus H. (Herkimer) Christ to say enough was enough and end it all!?! 

    Nope.  Here we are, clearly more than 7 years since the release of Dogma.  However…(Dramatic Pause)…NOW WE HAVE TWO, YES COUNT ‘EM, TWO evil, despicable, foul and blasphemous movies, and this time…THIS TIME!  They are aimed at our KIDS!  OUR KIDS!  Surely there can be no greater sign that the Evil One is at work, and that this is surely the first sign of the Apocalypse as written down in The Book of Revelations?  After all, wasn’t it written:

    And there shalt cometh a time in whicheth thine children shalt be targetted by the evils of the Evil One.  Using his powers of illusions, he shalt seeketh to leadeth the little ones into iniquity and sin by showing them images of blasphemy and naughty bits in a darkened room for the price of no less than six dollars and cents equal to six and sixty.
    – Corellians II, Chapter 3, Verses 7-12.

    There we have it, no clearer evidence is needed, the END OF THE WORLD is surely here!

  7. Yet there is a limit, and Christian parents ought to stand guard on behalf of the next generation. The Golden Compass—book or movie—does not belong in our schools.

    Such harsh words from the religious. And to think we’re not even talking about science class. Perhaps if we were, they’d realise the hypocricy …

  8. There is a big difference between the End Times and The 7 years of tribulation. The end times are likely to last for a long time due to the fact that there are alot of things that will happen in the end times. The Bible talks about the end times and states that things will start happening in quicker succession. Not everything that happens bad is a sign of the end times no, but look at the world and read the Bible and you will so it more clear if you go into it with an open mind. Jesus is coming back for His people and the devil uses things like these books and movies to try and bring as many people down as possible because he knows he’s already lost. I pray you people will see Truth someday soon. Christ defeated original sin by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day. His sacrifice was the only one worthy to deliver us from sin.

  9. Evidence?  And don’t quote the bible any one can write self referential. eg

    Everything I post is true.

    George Bush kisses Mosquitos.

    That must be true because I said it.

  10. Jesus is coming back for His people and the devil uses things like these books and movies to try and bring as many people down as possible because he knows he’s already lost.

    Looks like he’s succeeding then. Even if you fundies are correct, it makes the debil look much more proficient than Jebus. I vote we fire god for gross incompetence.

    I finally figured out the fundie motivation – it’s simply unwillingness to take responsibility for their own actions. They sin because “the devil made them do it” and they don’t have to do anything about it* because “Jesus already made up for it”.

    That’s why they hate freedom so much – for a free society to function, personal responsibility is extremely necessary. With their mindset it’s easy to see why freedom frightens them so much.

    *When I say they don’t have to do anything about it I mean they don’t do anything actually worthwhile or difficult like making restitution or changing, – that’s too much like work you know. They’re quite happy to wail about it in their churches and get an emotional high.

  11. The evidence is all around us. Just look around you everyday. Do you really believe all of this could have just came about by chance? A creator is a whole lot more realistic to me than the chance that I came from a “rock” or an “explosion”. If evolution is real how come there are still apes? Evolution is a bad word for adaption. Check out the website http://www.drdino.com for more proof. Read the book “A case for Christmas”. Jesus is special because Jesus is God. God became flesh to come to earth to save us from our sins. Now that He ascended back into Heavan he now sends His Holy Spirit to reside in His beleivers (so we have the Holy Trinity of God/The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit). You know something…“I don’t beleive in athiest’s. They are really just people who have not yet seen the truth and I still hold out hope for them.

  12. Evolution is a bad word for adaption.

    Evolution. You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    As for the rest of it…blah blah heard. Heard it all before. Its just plain wrong. The universe was created by the FSM (praise his noodly appendage). And better wise up – Odin is getting really pissed off about this “Jesus” crap.

    Jesus can’t be god. As Last Hussar said – god is an Englishman. Jesus is a Mexican name.

  13. I finally figured out the fundie motivation – it’s simply unwillingness to take responsibility for their own actions. They sin because “the devil made them do it” and they don’t have to do anything about it* because “Jesus already made up for it”.

    No, the devil doesn’t make anyone sin, it is our choice to sin. The flesh is weak but God is strong. I do not understand why God would want to continue to forgive us, but He does. As far as doing nothing to change, a true Christian does repent and change. Will a Christian be perfect? NO, but they must continue to try to live like Christ wants us to. And as far as God succeeding?? God’s Heaven is the perfect place, He will collect His people from this earth so that He can unleash His wrath on Satan and all the unbelievers. He is succeeding nothing, only giving all every opportunity to repent.All I can tell you is when you accept Christ your life will change and you will see and feel that change. Until you experience it you can not understand it. You have to love God with your heart first, your sould second and then your mind third. You have to have Him in your heart before your soul and mind can truly understand how Great God is. People say in football or other sports “Ya gotta have heart to win”. Well faith is the same way, you gotta have heart to understand it.

  14. Yawn. Do you think you’re telling us something new in that extremely boring and tl;dr post? Do you think you can actually come up with something your Hovind loving brethren have not bleated here before (no wonder they call themselves sheep and flock)?

    You can’t. I defy you to. You people are too stupid to come up with anything original and just keep vomiting back the lies of Hovind and his ilk.

    You actually link to that moron’s site. What in Thor’s holy name gave you the impression that any of the regulars here would care about anything that idiot has to say? He’s not just a liar and a thief; he’s an extremely stupid one at that.

    That is a big number, since there are only 1041 electrons in the known universe.
                                                            -Kent Hovind.

    Yeah he said that. And you link to his site. To prove your point. Moron.

  15. There is a big difference between the End Times and The 7 years of tribulation. The end times are likely to last for a long time due to the fact that there are alot of things that will happen in the end times. The Bible talks about the end times and states that things will start happening in quicker succession. Not everything that happens bad is a sign of the end times no, but look at the world and read the Bible and you will so it more clear if you go into it with an open mind. Jesus is coming back for His people and the devil uses things like these books and movies to try and bring as many people down as possible because he knows he’s already lost. I pray you people will see Truth someday soon. Christ defeated original sin by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day. His sacrifice was the only one worthy to deliver us from sin.

    Oh shit!  I never got a notification for this response.  Seems Notification messages somehow accidentally got marked as Spam in my email account.  I’ve been missing some good stuff here.

    Now, Rick, you do realize I was being sarcastic right?  I personally don’t give a shit what your book says, but I do happen to know the difference between the “end of the world” and the “Tribulation”.  My question for you is, when the Rapture comes, will it be before or after the Tribulation, and can I have all your stuff if you get raptured?

  16. If evolution is real how come there are still apes?

    I always thought this was just a satire of fundamentalist arguments, but now I’ve heard it twice, both at SEB.  Les, how do you do it?

    Rick: if European settlement of America is real, how come there are still Europeans?  If you can’t give us better arguments than this, we won’t even bother to discuss things rationally, because there’s no point.  Go read the FAQ at talkorigins and come back.  Yes, we’ve already read the Bible.  Thank you and toodle-oo.

  17. well this moron is going to Heaven, I just hope the same for you someday. I won’t argue like some, just state what I beleive. I will however pray for you Julian. I will pray that God will place someone in your life that will help you see His truths or for Him to give you a life changing experience that would turn you to Him. The great thing is God already knows if you are going to change and is just waiting for you to do it and is willing to forgive you like He did me. If I could change anyone can change. “Lord, I pray right now that you would in some way intervene in Julian’s life. Show him truth, show him Your love in some way that he would know that it only came from You. But not my will, but yours be done. In Jesus name, Amen”.

  18. Risk said:

    If evolution is real how come there are still apes?

    If I am really descended from my grandfather, then how come my uncle is still around?

    Anyway, just because your brain is incapable of understanding, or even imagining, how everything on this planet could be the result of dumb luck combined with many, many, many, many tries and failures, doesn’t mean it isn’t so. Just because you don’t speak Swahili doesn’t mean that language doesn’t exist. It just means your brain contains less information than it ideally could. Or it contains the information needed to come to the right conclusion, but for some reason it doesn’t. Methinks the cause is a bible that scares you into rejecting the right answer. Your reluctance to learn new things certainly fits into that hypothesis.

    As for the devil, he’s a good deceiver alright. He’s so good that he was able to convince humanity that *HE* was the one who created the planet, complete with empty promises of the perfect world after you die. Meanwhile the real creator is reviled for giving humanity knowledge and free will. Oh boy, will you be in for a surprise when you die …

  19. I will however pray for you Julian.

    Looking that up in my Fundie-to-English dictionary: Ah it reads “Fuck you. God’s gonna kick your ass nyah nyah nyah.”

    Same old bleating. And you still haven’t told me what you see as positive about human sacrifice.

  20. Bog brother- The rapture comes before the 7 years of tribulation. God raptures(which the word means to pull out or transport out)His people out then starts the 7 years of tribulation. And yes, you can have all my stuff if the rapture comes in my lifetime, I certainly won’t need it.
    And for the other post, Europeans are humans just like the other countries. A far cry form comparing apes to men. European to American is like comparing different breeds of dogs, they are both still dogs. Just look a little different than the other.

  21. I don’t quite understand what your asking about human sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed Himself so that we could be saved. As for modern day sacrifice it all depends on what they put their lives on the line for. In the Christian faith you don’t have to sacrifice freedom or anything like that. You actually realize you are more free because Christ already paid the price.

  22. Well done Rick- you have completely missed the point.

    I will put in simple language.

    Apes, are in effect, distant cousins. The “why are their apes” question implies only one branch of a family can survive. You uncle does not die when you have children.  A man has 2 sons (generation2). Each have families. By Generation 10 there is every chance that not only do the descendents not look anything like each other, but are unaware of each others existence.  Now do that for millions of generations.

    The evidence is all around us. Just look around you everyday. Do you really believe all of this could have just came about by chance?

    Your inability to believe is not proof.  If you are right, and there is a creator, what you going to do if it’s Ganesh?

  23. Europeans are humans just like the other countries. A far cry form comparing apes to men.

    No you dumbass, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    And please, please, please save your breath if you offer to pray for me.  I am damned without hope of salvation according to your precious little book, but just in case:

    The Holy Spirit: (proper Noun, Name)

    1. The name given to the afterbirth that sprang from the womb of the prostitute who claimed to be a virgin at the point of delivery, Mary after giving birth to the degenerate half-man, half-god, half-pig hybrid later called Jesus of Nazereth, whom she conceived with by a very old, very angry, and very senile being claiming to be the creator of the universe.

    2. the seminal fluid and spermatazoa of above mentioned claimant to the creation of the universe.  Universally imbibed by those who claim to be followers of the hybrid man-god-pig offspring of a prostitute who claimed to be a virgin at the time of giving birth and the afformentioned claimant to creation of the universe.

    Now, if you read the above statements Rick, you are thinking them, and according the Jesus, thinking is the same as doing, so I guess I’ll keep your seat in hell warm for ya buddy (cause it Would be hell sitting next to you).

  24. I don’t quite understand what your asking about human sacrifice.

    I’m talking about god commanding fathers to sacrifice their children for his favor. Have you not read the bible? How arrogant of you to push something as foul as the bible without reading it first.

    And anyway, the whole Jesus story is a description of human sacrifice no matter how you cut it. Although that was not what I was referring to.

  25. Ah, but you see; after 10 or more generations we still look human with the same shape and form. I don’t have anymore legs, arms or anything else than what my ancestors had that makes me look anything different than human. Just because my nose maybe smaller or my eyes a different color, taller, shorter, bigger ears does not make me anything other than “look a little different” human being! I don’t stand any straighter than someone 2000 years ago. Actually when you get down to it,science proves creation more than any other “theory”! Your scientists also say the sun keeps getting further away from earth, don’t you think if the world was billions of years old it would have been REALLY HOT on earth. In fact at the rate they say it is pulling away it would have been sitting on top of us. And there is only one TRUE GOD and He is the living God and His name is Jesus Christ so I don’t have to worry. There is no other God!

  26. Yes I have read the Bible and the father was tested and God did not make Abraham kill Isac. It was a test to show that Abraham loved God above all else, and HE PASSED THE TEST! God commanded alot of things from people so it would be written down as a teaching tool for us today.
    I just didn’t see where you had ask the question about human sacrifice, that is why i did not understand where you were coming from. There were several people written about in the Bible that were killed for their faith, God does not promise everything is going to be a bed of roses. He just promises that if you stand firm and faithful you will be justly rewarded and it will all be worth it. People who ridicule me for my faith are just a part of Bible prophecy. For Jesus said, “In those days there will be scoffers”. So I stand firm in my beliefs for Christ gives me strength. And bog brother no one is damned beyond Jesus’s forgiveness. The precious Bible does not say that. In fact it says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall have eternal life.” That whosoever even means you if you choose so. Just like the thief on the cross, at his final moment he found salvation through Jesus Christ.

  27. Yes I have read the Bible and the father was tested and God did not make Abraham kill Isac. It was a test to show that Abraham loved God above all else, and HE PASSED THE TEST!

    I wasnt talking about him either.

    Your ignorance is showing. I was talking about Jepthah.

    READ THE FUCKING BIBLE!!!!! AND REMEMBER!!!!! USING ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS DOES NOT MAKE YOU MORE RIGHT!!!!!!!!

    Now tell me what you see as positive about human sacrifice.

  28. Rick:  You are being obtuse.  Only creationists expect to see major mutations after ten generations because they can’t lose that 6000 year timeline, so they have to load the math accordingly.  Actually, it’s kind of fun to watch YECs try to resolve the following dilemma:

    A.) Noah had to fit all the animals in the world on an Ark of a fixed size (so that all the animals descended from them in their present form),

    OR

    B.) Animals actually did evolved from all the different prototypes that Noah set free from the Ark.  In a less than 6000-year timeline, which contradicts the claim that evolution doesn’t happen.

    So basically it boils down to Noah having a floating Tardis or evolution actually being a fact (although the timelines are highly unrealistic for the amount of speciation that would have to occur.)

    Also you are making a common YEC/fundy error in thinking that all you have to do is to disprove science to prove the veracity of the Bible.  If you were able to somehow sweep aside mountains of geological, astronomical, fossil, and genetic data, all you would have accomplished is falsifying those claims.  The question of whether the Universe was created by your God (which you can’t seem to separate from Jesus—a doctrinal position that would have had you beat up and/or killed in some locales in “Christian” history) or the Flying Spaghetti Monster is as unprovable as ever.  Why?  Because you can’t put God in a test tube or under a microscope.  You can’t infer him from radio signals or light shift.  Hell, you people can’t get the timeline straight between Book I and Book II of Genesis.  That’s a serious credibility problem right there.

    By the bye, objects in space don’t move away from each other at a fixed constant.  Gravitational pull acts on the inverse of squares, and in any case rates of change are not constant.  (Put in mundaner terms, a dropped item picks up speed as it falls toward the Earth—i.e. the centers of gravity become closer.)  Surely you remember that from Calculus?  Throw in the fact that the sun loses mass, which makes the math even more fun.  You can’t take the rate this year and multiply it by a few billion years and hope to come out with anything even close to a guessimate.  Calculus just doesn’t work that way.

    So I suggest that if you want to keep you Universe neat and Algebraically simple, go back to your Bible that lists the value of pi as a simple 3.  But leave the actual science to the folks who have the chops to tackle the data with the right mental tools.  Parables work for storytelling, but they have no place in science.

  29. I’t doesn’t say that God would not have delivered the Ammonites into Jephthah’s hands without promising that sacrifice. Jepthah made that promise to God himself. God did not tell him he would only do this if he sacrificed his daughter. All the Lord commanded of him was to go around and recruit an army. God may very well tell him that he was dumb and that he had everything taken care of already. People in the written about in the Bible made mistakes also. Sometimes Christians try to make promises to God that they should not make. They should just trust God to handle theif situations according to His will. For someone who claims to be a Atheist you know names in the Bible pretty well, there is hope there I see.

  30. I’m an atheist because I know the bible very well.

    And why didn’t god provide a sheep/goat/whatever at a suitable moment?

    Anyway Jepthah is one of the heroes of the OT. One of the good guys.  Abraham was supposed to murder his son. He would have done it too if a goat hadn’t happened to wander by? What message does this send to christian parents who hear voices in their heads telling them to kill their kids? It has happened you know.

    Plus your whole mythology is based on the human sacrificed of that Mexican guy. So tell me: What do you see as positive about human sacrifice?

    And use paragraphs. The Enter key is your friend.

  31. Really couldn’t tell you why God didn’t provide a animal. Only God knows why.
      I don’t like the idea of human sacrifice and now that Jesus died there is no need for any kind of sacrifice whether it be animal or human. 
      People who say God told them to kill their kids have other issues, God does not command murder. The Bible is actually pretty bloody, but it had to be that way for God’s people to flurish throughout the nations.
      I don’t want to argue, I just state what I believe. The verbal attacks is what makes debates get out of hand on both sides of this issue.
      There, I used a few paragraphs just for you..LOL. No, really to each his own. You have your beliefs and I have mine. One day I guess we will all find out which was right. All I know is if I am wrong I haven’t lost anything. If you are wrong you have lost everything. If you are willing to chance that…well that is definetely your choice.

  32. Really couldn’t tell you why God didn’t provide a animal. Only God knows why.

    Stop pushing your filthy book if you cannot defend it.

    People who say God told them to kill their kids have other issues, God does not command murder.

    He did command Abraham to murder his son even if he was just kidding. So tell me: What do you see as positive about human sacrifice?

    Does not command murder huh? Read the damn bible at least once why don’t you?

    Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

    But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    -Numbers 31:17-18

    KJV of course as I understand you fundies prefer that.

    One day I guess we will all find out which was right. All I know is if I am wrong I haven’t lost anything. If you are wrong you have lost everything.

    Pascal’s wager again. Been debunked on this site several times. Come up with something new I defy you.

  33. All I know is if I am wrong I haven’t lost anything. If you are wrong you have lost everything

    That’s called Pascal’s Wager – It has been disproven, in fact, there is a revamped version of the wager called the “Athiest’s Wager” with the outcome that if you believe in God then you have lost. – you won’t convince us by that route…..

    edit: I guess I was writing mine as you posted above Julian, so mine is just a reiteration of one point of what you said. Oh well.

  34. Ah, good old cranky Pascal’s wager. Here’s another one, straight from game theory too (and straight from Michael Martin, who summed it up for me allowing a lot of handy cut n’ paste):

    Consider anything that you might do in order to get to heaven. Whether it is believing in God, or performing good works, or converting heathen, there are always two possible outcomes if there is a God. There are possible gods that would admit you to heaven because of what you have done, and there are possible gods that would consign you to hell for what you have done. Any action, then, could either lead to heaven or to hell. We therefore cannot decide what to do based on what consequences that course of action would have if there were a God.

    We must, then, decide what to do based on what consequences that course of action would have if there were no God. We must assume that atheism is true in order to work out what actions are in our interests. Now it could be that religious belief brings sufficient happiness to those that possess it that it is better to be a believer than it is to be an atheist even if God does not exist; if that is the case then we are pragmatically justified in believing in God.

    It is plausible to think, however, that if God does not exist then the cost of religious observance outweighs its benefits, that in an atheistic universe it is better to be an atheist. Given that assumption, if any pragmatic argument is successful, it will not be an argument for theism but for atheism.

    This revised version of the Wager would go something like this:

    (1) It is possible that God exists and it is possible that God does not exist.
    (2) If one believes in God then if he exists then one either receives an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment and if he does not exist then one loses little or nothing.
    (3) If one does not believe in God then if he exists then one either receives an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment and if he does not exist then one gains little or nothing.
    (4) It is better to either receive an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment or gain little or nothing than it is to either receive an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment or lose little or nothing.
    Therefore:
    (5) It is better not to believe in God than it is to believe in God.
    (6) If one course of action is better than another then it is rational to follow that course of action and irrational to follow the other.
    Therefore:
    (7) It is rational not to believe in God and irrational to believe in God.

    Furthermore, I think an amazing amount of authority could be brought to the argument against the idea that “belief in religion has no cost.” That’s simply not bound by any rational exercise of thought, since nearly everything has some cost involved be in in time or effort or by applying it as cost to other, contrary, beliefs.

  35. Very nice post MisterMook but there’s no point. He may read it, but unless some fundie has already prepared an answer for him he’ll probably discard it mentally.

    Fundies have a mental barrier that prevents information that is inconsistent with their worldview from ever reaching their brains. They may read and even understand some of it, but it never enters their conscious minds.

    Am I being too harsh?

  36. I’t doesn’t say that God would not have delivered the Ammonites into Jephthah’s hands without promising that sacrifice. Jepthah made that promise to God himself. God did not tell him he would only do this if he sacrificed his daughter.

    So why didn’t God step in and say, “Ha!  Pysche!” like he did with Abraham?  You can’t just shrug and say, “Oh, well: he had to let free will take its course,” because God obviously did something to sway the course of events to defeat the Ammonites.  So the quid-pro-quo is glaringly obvious in the narrative. 

    How many examples does it take before you realize that you worship a psychopath?  (Thankfully a fictitious psychopath, or he’d have a lot of ‘splain’ to do after wasting all those parlor tricks on guys like Jonah, then sitting on his hands through Crusades, pograms, ethnic cleansings, etc.)

    But Julian’s spot-on:  Stop peddling your faith if you can’t at least come up with a good rationale for the wholesale murder and enslavement of innocents.  (Not to mention the implicit concubinage in the Numbers passage.  Funny how it’s not “adultery” in either the Bible or the Q’uran to have concubines.  Again, how conveeeenient for a male-dominated society…)

  37. Am I being too harsh?

    Nah! They say the same things about us non-believers – that we won’t listen to reason.

    Hrumph! Reason Schmeason – If a theory is demonstratably flawed you need to either fix it, or discard it. Don’t shout about it thinking the louder you are the truer your theory is.

  38. I’ve read my Bible. That was not murder, that was all out war to gain back what was taken. They had to purify the land. They even messed that up by not killing all that they were supposed to. Your lip service statements show me why I am so happy to be one of God’s people. And I don’t really care what or who’s so called wager it is, it is truth. You will either be right or I’ll be right, there is no wagering about it. If you all don’t think there is a God then why do you get so scared and mad when someone talks about it. I think you have doubts, I think that is why it bothers you so much that you revert to swearing and attacks. You wouldn’t be reading the Bible if you weren’t trying to figure something out.
    Anyone can log on to a website and look and find something in the Bible. You have to actually read the whole story to from front to end to find out why certain things had to happen as they did. You can’t just pick out one verse that sounds like it will make your point, you have to use the Bible in it’s entirity. Your Blasphemy is not hurting anyone but yourself.

  39. Rick:

    Folks get upset in the same way that people get upset when they’re hanging out and someone crashes the party and wants to bang on about something that has no appeal to any of the original group.  I have a co-worker who likes to hijack other people’s conversations and “bless” us with the benefit of his long-winded opinions/anecdotes.  He’s loathed for precisely that reason.  I don’t troll Christian websites out of simple courtesy.  You picked this fight—don’t whine when someone else finishes it.

    War NEVER purifies, whether it kills innocent or soldier.  It’s no wonder that the crew here is “attacking.”  Not only is your deity a sick bastard—so are you for agreeing with his so-called purpose.  I didn’t think I’d need to further reminders of why I dumped even my (very mild) Methodism at a rather young age.  But you’ve managed to instill a revulsion that even the televangelists and theocons can’t manage.  Eternity in Hell would be preferable to spending it with your Psychopath-in-the-Sky, or cheek by jowl with fanboys like you.

  40. I’ve read the bible four times. From end-to-end. My blasphemy is not intended to hurt anyone (although I don’t care if it does). It certainly does not hurt me.

    It was murder. It includes killing al the children and the adult women post-war and then taking the virgins as sex slaves to be raped regularly by god’s army. Read the god-damned bible and then tell me: What do you see as positive about human sacrifice? Still haven’t answered that.

    And I don’t really care what or who’s so called wager it is, it is truth. You will either be right or I’ll be right, there is no wagering about it.

    You’re simply repeating yourself. From repeating the claims of other fundies you are now reduced to repeating your own statements.

    If you all don’t think there is a God then why do you get so scared and mad when someone talks about it. I think you have doubts, I think that is why it bothers you so much that you revert to swearing and attacks.

    I have no doubts. Calling you a moron is the truth: It isn’t swearing. No one is scared or mad. Correcting incorrect statements and claims != swearing OR being mad. In my case it’s more a matter of mocking, pointing and laughing than attacking.

    You wouldn’t be reading the Bible if you weren’t trying to figure something out.

    I was trying to figure out why you morons worship a book written by stone age goatherds. It’s very interesting to understand the fundie mindset.

    Oh and you’re not one of god’s people. You are a liar and a deceiver. I know because Odin told me.

  41. It’s a good thing I can’t leave comments while at work as I’ve been following this thread via email for most of the day.

    Rick is just another mindless sheep spewing the same nonsense we’ve heard time and again. There isn’t an original thought in his head and it’s clear he has no understanding of the scientific theories he criticizes. He is incapable of holding a rational discussion or of answering any of the challenges put forth to him because he’s following the same script all the other True Believers follow. I’ve been able to predict just about every response he’s had so far.

    It’s kind of sad and I feel sorry for the man, but what can you do when someone refuses to use what few brains he apparently has for anything other than wishful thinking?

  42. Psychopath-in-the-Sky

    the song Norman Greenbaum wished he’d wrote.

    stone age goatherds

    That’s a bit harsh. Bronze age.

    The Enter key is your friend

    No, the Barman down the King’s Head is my friend. At least while I have money. Then he stops giving me beer. Which is unfriendly.

    Rick all we want is some proof that your god did it. Not ‘I can’t imagine it any other way’. Not a book, because books can be wrong. Solid evidence.

  43. I leave you with one final thing. Read 2 Peter chapter 3. It explains this situation today. I hope someday the scales over your eyes will fall away. I hold true to my faith. As the apostle Paul says, “I will fight the good fight”. If you refuse to believe you will never understand the things of God. Once your eyes are opened to the truth you will only then be able to start understanding what God has for you.
    Human sacrifice- If God demanded it then there is a positive to it. The killing of of people in the Bible that God demanded was to cleanse the world of those people for purpose of building His kingdom.
    So long, gotta go.

  44. See? He has nothing to say that’s worth hearing. He doesn’t understand we’ve all read the Bible and found it unconvincing and as such asking us to read a specific passage because “it explains this situation today” just demonstrates what a complete idiot he is to the rest of us.

    He’s deluded and it’s rotted his brain to the point that he can’t even come up with a single reasonable argument to support his beliefs. Sadly, there’s a lot like him out there.

  45. Human sacrifice- If God demanded it then there is a positive to it.

    Thank you for demonstrating exactly why christianity and the christian god are so evil, repulsive and disgusting to anybody with any functioning sense of ethics.

  46. Les- I am so glad you think I have a rotting brain, makes me realize I do stand out for Christ. I would have it no other way. I would be glad to be found guilty of being a Christian. You prove my point about you “so called” athiest’s getting nervous and shows your uncertainty.
    You can’t just read the Bible, you have to live the Bible to find it convincing. It’s like just reading the bottle of medicine and then not taking it. It won’t do you any good unless you actually take it. You have to read it, think about it and try to put some of it to use and see what the results are. If I am wrong then there has been a whole lot of smarter people than me that have been wrong through the years, and a whole lot of people smarter than you.
    You can cut me down with words, use profanity in your statements, think I’m a complete idiot but I will never be convienced that you can not be changed if God decides to change you. You may very well someday have a brush with truth. God loves everyone and does not want to see anyone perish. His patience will run out someday though, after he has given all the time he has alotted. When you are a Christian things happen in your life to prove that God is there. I have had countless prayers answered. I have also had countless ones not answered the way I wanted, but that’s ok apparently it wasn’t God’s will.
    You can’t just be a knower of the word, you have to be a doer of the word. If my statements have been so predictable because others have said the same thing then that’s good. I have also heard all the same things from people like you as well. You just use the same name calling and the same insults to bash us. You have no proof your theory is correct either. Scientist’s can make anything up they want, they write the formulas, they invented the so called carbon dating. Although, the flood in Noah’s days certainly explain a lot more about things than you want to admitt. By the way I hope you all have a merry Christ-mas.

  47. Didn’t you say you were leaving? Although I suppose an advocate of human sacrifice would hardly balk at lying.

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