Chuck Colson's The Faith: Atheist Bloggers Dialogue, post #2
(See also: Kazim's review of The Faith; Chuck Colson's post #1.)
I'm at work right now, so I'll have to read it later when I can devote more attention to it.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Chuck Colson responds (response #2)
Posted by: Unknown
Labels: apologetics, Chuck Colson, counter-apologetics
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Hoe Lee Cow. Right from the start,ReplyDelete
Colson uses obfuscatory language to say avoid saying more simply, "sure, the prison study was intellectually dishonest, but that's how it was done."
And the entire rest of the reply was composed of premises which are false, attributions of atheist beliefs which are false, and arguments which have been demonstrated to be false. Many of the arguments you (Russell) have already spent one or more podcasts or TV shows deconstructing and demolishing.
Poor Chuck. Even with the benefit of the doubt, he appears to be using old-school arguments, truly ignorant of their poor premises and/or conclusions. Except for the prison subject, for which I can draw no other conclusion than he's being purposefully deceptive.
This thing is brutal. Appeal to solipsism, no true Scotsman, Einstein and appeal to authority, mischaracterization of evolution, ignorance of the evidence of evolution such as speciation and fossils, God is love, appeal to hope, faith for love. It's like an apologist mad-lib.ReplyDelete
Let's see how briefly I can reject each of these.
-Solipsism : I love Daniel Dennett's response of saying that "God is a ham sandwich wrapped in tinfoil." Since he just rejected reason and evidence, he cannot reject that assertion.
-Einstein: "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."
-Evolution: speciation has been observed. Endogenous retrovirii. What Darwin wrote is irrelevant, anyway to modern biological evolution--genetics didn't exist 150 years ago.
-Love: If you can give a concrete definition, it's testable, both chemically and in actions.
-Hope: Whether something is positive or negative does not affect whether or not it's true. Scientific method requires falsification parameters. The implication that Christians are nicer
-Faith: If God shouldn't give evidence and it requires faith, doesn't that make the Bible false? And why did Chuck in the paragraph before attempt fallaciously to provide evidence?
This is just sad.
Just posted a comment over at Colson's article, which I'll post here now, in the event they delete it. Hate to be so uncharitable, but we've seen in the past how one-sided the "debate" can be in forums where Christians are the home team. Borrowed a point or two from Zurahn here (raises glass).ReplyDelete
I am a colleague of Russell Glasser's over at The Atheist Experience blog, and I was also sent a copy of "The Faith," though I have yet to find time to read and review it. However, I would like to respond to some points in Mr. Colson's response above. I don't have time to go through all of it, but I will start with the first of many points that struck me as exceedingly flawed.
Mr. Colson writes: "The idea that evidence is superior to faith as a root to knowledge is one of those presuppositions: it is unproven and non-provable. So it must be taken as a priori; that is, prior to experience, or in other words, on faith."
It may be accurate to say that knowledge is a subset of belief, in that most human knowledge did have its roots in a particular belief a person may have had. For example, the explorers in the Age of Discovery were motivated to find new lands, which they did, based on a belief that there must be new lands over the horizon.
However, Mr. Colson adopts a extreme variant of this position that is simply over the top and borders on outright solipsism. Starting from the notion that belief inspires and directs knowledge, he fails to recognize — indeed, he dismisses as irrelevant — the important factor that distinguishes valid truth claims from invalid ones: evidence. Instead, Mr. Colson attempts to redefine the very act of reason in such a way so as to allow claims completely unsupported by evidence to enjoy equal weight as those supported by a body of evidence.
This is tantamount to a rejection of the very process of science itself. If he truly takes the view that evidence is not better than faith (which I take to mean "believe what you want") in determining truth claims, then I fail to see how Mr. Colson proposes to tell fact from fantasy in any way, shape or form. If one rejects evidence that thoroughly, then, as a commenter on the AE blog has pointed out, Mr. Colson is in no position to reject the statement "God is a ham sandwich wrapped in tinfoil," or to discourage a person who has decided he has faith that he can flap his arms and fly from jumping off a tall building in order to give it a try.
I will offer more rebuttals to other arguments of Mr. Colson's when I have more time, either here or at the Atheist Experience blog. (And while I hope this comment is allowed to remain here, I'll post it to the AE blog as well, in the event it is not.) But for now, I will make one more correction. Mr. Colson writes, "...innumerable transitionary fossils showing gradual change would be discovered; none of which has come to pass." This is false. Transitional fossils are everywhere in the fossil record. I would invite Mr. Colson to fill the gaps in his education by reading this page, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html , as well as any number of current biology texts, which will also explain how speciation has been amply observed by scientists. I would also charitably advise Mr. Colson that one is usually better served criticizing science from a position of knowledge, not ignorance, and that he would not come across so poorly in future debates, online or otherwise, if he made sure first to get his facts about science from legitimate scientific sources, rather than reasserting long-refuted canards. Of course, he would have to adjust his thinking to take the concept of evidence more seriously than he currently does. But that'd be a good idea, too.
I do not believe there is one so called "transitional fossil" that is undisputed on whether it is just one animal that is not in transition.ReplyDelete
Evolution itself is not a theory that is completely concrete, nor will it ever be. It will only temporarily solve a reason for non-believers to feel they have reason not to believe in God.
Evolution does not account for a reason why God is not needed. Evolution still leaves big gaps as to why and how our universe was formed. It is only part of the picture. There is a belief called "theistic evolution," one that inquires God used evolution in the process of things. I am not saying I believe that, but that it is not totally ruled out.
Either way, if God does exist, with or without evolution being fact or fiction, God still requires more than just the acknowledgement that he could be real.
I do not believe there is one so called "transitional fossil" that is undisputed on whether it is just one animal that is not in transition.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what you mean by this, unless you're trying to say all of the transitional fossils on record are disputed. To which I'd respond, read the linked page and other scientific literature on the subject. In any event, you seem to have a confused idea about what a transitional fossil is. These would be fossils in which, to put it simplistically, features seen in earlier species as well as features of later species are both in evidence. Such as "Lucy," the A. afarensis fossil, which shows many purely simian features, but which also shows she walked upright, like later hominids. You seem to think, by your use of the phrase "animal that is not in transition," that transitions take place within a species and indeed within individual animals of that species. That ain't how it works. Again, read the linked page in my comment to Colson.
Evolution itself is not a theory that is completely concrete, nor will it ever be.
What, are you a biologist? By what expertise do you claim the authority to make such an assertion? Be careful when making these kinds of assertions, that people with more background in the field than you don't smack you down for them.
It will only temporarily solve a reason for non-believers to feel they have reason not to believe in God.
Except for the tiny detail that God is a subject entirely irrelevant to evolutionary biology, and that many of the world's leading evolutionary biologists, like Ken Miller and Francisco Alaya, are theists. Evolution may allow an atheist a degree of intellectual satisfaction, as Dawkins once wrote, in that offers explanations for biodiversity that don't need the insertion of insupportable supernatural claims. But one hardly needs to be an atheist to accept the overwhelming evidence that life forms do, in fact, change over time. One simply must avoid letting religious beliefs turn into an ideology that requires the rejection of scientific evidence in order to be maintained.
Evolution does not account for a reason why God is not needed. Evolution still leaves big gaps as to why and how our universe was formed.
Evolution has nothing, nothing, nothing, and nothing to do with the origin of the universe. Remember when I advised Colson that "one is usually better served criticizing science from a position of knowledge, not ignorance"? This is one of those times.
There is a belief called "theistic evolution," one that inquires God used evolution in the process of things.
Yes, as I pointed out, many theists accept evolution and manage to reconcile it with their religious faith.
God still requires more than just the acknowledgement that he could be real.
Well, I don't disagree with that.
Glad to help, Martin. I absolutely hate the solipsism angle.ReplyDelete
I call for a boycott of the phrase "transitional fossil." Every fossil is a "transitional fossil."
Transitional fossil isn't the best term since in can be defined in many ways. We will always have a gap of this theory that can not be explained.... we will all know when death hits... then again maybe notReplyDelete
Especially as every single time creationists throw out the term, it's rooted in their crippling scientific illiteracy. They expect a transitional fossil to be some kind of werebeing; a half-fish, half-man, or something. I mean, when that prince of brainlessness Ray Comfort can sit there and say evolution isn't true because a cat has never hatched out of a chicken egg or some such bullshit, you want to smash him over the head just to hear how loud the hollow G-O-N-N-N-N-G noise is.ReplyDelete
I can't get past the third paragraph where Colson states:ReplyDelete
"There are 1.9 billion Christians in the world today. You cannot judge Jesus Christ by the behavior of any one of them or any group of them, for that matter."
Lets take him at his word and give him some red letters shall we? In Luke 12:47 Jesus exclaims outright (I'm paraphrasing here) "Go right ahead and beat the fuck outta them slaves, but only if you don't like them."
So not only does Jesus condone slavery but he goes a step forward and condones torture.
It's amazing that this little tidbit somehow goes into Colson's head and comes out the other side as "don't have slaves ever."
You don't understand slavery in those times.... it was not like slavery before the civil war in america.ReplyDelete
Slavery was a trade back then, and could be done voluntarily til one had money to do something else. Many slaves were better educated than their masters, not the other way around.
Study before making assumptions
Study before making assumptionsReplyDelete
Says the guy who throws a whole bunch of canards about evolution at us. Sheesh, is there no end to believers talking out of both sides of their mouths?
In antiquity, it's true slavery was often a humane act. It was a way of doing something with your prisoners of war apart from killing them. But you're ignoring the fact that even the cruel and despicable forms of slavery practiced in pre-Civil War America and other more recent cultures has been defended Biblically too. And playing "No True Scotsman" to explain it away, as Colson does, doesn't get them off the hook. America was most emphatically a "Christian nation" when slavery was going full steam ahead.
Please explain to me where my view of biblical slavery is in error.ReplyDelete
I was under the assumption that slaves were livestock to be traded as such (Leviticus 25:44-46).
And that a slaves wife and children were in perpetuity the ownership of the slave master (Exodus 21:2-6)
And that a father can sell his daughter into sexual slavery (Exodus 21:7-11)
And that you can BEAT YOUR SLAVES! (Luke 12:47-48)
So, how is any of that moral?
I am just telling you a fact, slavery was not the same.ReplyDelete
Because one beat their slaves, does not make it right. The bible is also a book of slavery. If you read more than one verse or verses in context, not out of context, the whole story makes more sense.
Slavery was the product of sin... not all slavery was condoned either.
They did not just "beat" their slaves. JESUS INSTRUCTED THEM TO BEAT THEIR SLAVES.ReplyDelete
So by your reasoning, Jesus teaches sin?
Yes, we need to remember back in the first century about happy slavery, playful racism, and frisky holy wars. Ah, good times.ReplyDelete
And let's just forget the actual definition of slavery as the ownership of an individual as property to act as ordered. Property does not have will, opinion or desire; if it's voluntary, it's not slavery. You may as well say "In those days, slaves didn't have masters!"
Don't confuse modern revised Bible's use of servant with servantry which can be voluntary. The word being translated is the Greek doulos which means slave--property of a master.
God was nice, though. You're not allowed to just kill your slaves; you have to beat them slowly to death over the course of a few days.
Seems I don't recall the passages that tell you to treat your slaves humanely (if that's possible, considering they're slaves).
I also would love for you to please back up your statement that any of these sets of verses are out of context. You have the ability to set me straight. Please go ahead and defend your point rather than simply claim you have a reasoned rebuttal, but refuse to actually articulate it.ReplyDelete
Is it or is it not right to regard humans as property? If it is wrong today, it was wrong back then. A different culture is no excuse for wrongdoing and unethical behavior. Attributing a divine right to slavery by way of an imaginary super-being and reversely extending that right to humans is nothing more than a circular justification for unethical behavior.ReplyDelete
If slavery is a product of sin, then there should be evidence of sin. Not unethical behavior, but sin as a violation of a supreme being's law. To do that, one needs evidence of said being's existence, and furthermore an argument for the ethicity of the law that does not run into the Euthyphro fallacy.
Apologist writes: "I am just telling you a fact, slavery was not the same."ReplyDelete
Notice that Apologist is now doing exactly what I described in my first message to Chuck. I wrote: "Christians arguing for slavery? Is this the fault of post-modernism and relativism? Or is it simply an honest effort to reconcile a book which is "known" to contain absolute immutable truth?"
Here we have a Christian fervently arguing for slavery, so I'm pleased to get a confirmation that I did not misspeak. Tell me, Apologist, would you support the return of "Biblical Slavery" in modern America, if it were proposed?
I know you know this, but further, a quick search online will yeild Christians who argue that mass infantacides committed by the Hebrews in the Bible--stated as being committed under a direct command from god--were justified as well.
I won't condone slavery; but if someone is willing to say that genocide and infantacide are OK sometimes--why should anyone be surprised to see someone in that same belief system arguing that slavery isn't so bad sometimes?
I would love to do so. Give me verses you find controversial. I will put them back into the context of the passage and explain away.ReplyDelete
I would love to.ReplyDelete
Give me specific verses and I will put them in context for you.
What I mean by taking out of context is this: If we took "To be, or not to be" out of Shakespeare, we could interpret that phrase any way we wanted.
Shakespeare meant something completely different when you look at it in context of what he wrote around it and who it was spoken by, etc.
Apologist: If you're replying to NR Miller (as it appears you are) he provided a list of verses above, along with his context of how he takes them. It's _right_ above your claim he's taking the verses out of context. I'd recommend using those same verses, in case that helps.ReplyDelete
"Give me specific verses and I will put them in context for you."
nr miller gave you specific verses - or are you too wedded to the idea that your god wouldn't condone slavery that you can't bear to read what your Bible plainly says.
Here, I'll help - the "context" in the Exodus verses is your god telling Moses how to buy, sell, & treat slaves. He is setting down laws by which you can own another human. Look it up. Then answer the question - would you support the return of "Biblical Slavery" in modern America, if it were proposed?
As others have pointed out (and oh so pointedly have they pointed such a thing out) I provided verses. If you would like we can go a step further and say they are all from King James, just so we are on the same page.ReplyDelete
Also, just in case you've missed it, prior you claimed slavery and more directly the beating of slaves to be a sin. So according to your reasoning Jesus teaches us how to sin. Luke 12:47.
Ok so apologist you've jumped up a level to the other posts on this subject but I'd like to keep us contained here.ReplyDelete
Your response to Jesus saying that slaves should expect to be beaten is that unless I believe in your god I will not be able to understand what that actually means?
You understand that other believers have used that passage to say that slavery is "just fine and dandy", right?
So those people whom believed and followed the bible much more rigorously than yourself were not true christians, because they got it wrong?
Because one interprets something another way doesn't make their interpretation right.ReplyDelete
I don't interpret, I study what the bible teaches and it easily comes from that.
I never condoned slavery, nor should any other Christian. Obviously the ones who did, did not understand what parables were.
Slavery was permitted in the Bible because of sin in the world. It existed before the Jews were formed as a nation and it existed after Israel was conquered. God allows many things to happen in the world such as storms, famine, murder, etc. Slavery, like divorce, is not preferred by God. Instead, it is allowed. Where many nations treated their slaves very badly, the Bible gave many rights and privileges to slaves. So, even though it isn't the best way to deal with people, because God has allowed man freedom, slavery then exists. God instructed the Israelites to treat them properly.ReplyDelete
The Bible acknowledged the slave's status as the property of the master (Ex. 21:23; Lev. 25:46),
The Bible restricted the master's power over the slave. Ex. 21:20).
The slave was a member of the master's household (Lev. 22:11)
The slave was required to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10; Deut. 5:14)
The slave was required and to participate in religious observances (Gen. 17:13; Exodus 12:44; Lev. 22:11).
The Bible prohibited extradition of slaves and granted them asylum (Deut. 23:16-17).
The servitude of a Hebrew debt-slave was limited to six years (Ex. 21:2; Deut. 15:12).
When a slave was freed, he was to receive gifts that enabled him to survive economically (Deut. 15:14)
The reality of slavery cannot be denied. Slaves were "slave labor played a minor economic role in the ancient Near East, for privately owned slaves functioned more as domestic servants than as an agricultural or industrial labor force." quote from Paul J. Achtemeier in Harpers Bible Dictionary.
Once you understand that, the slavery verses don't have to be explained in much more depth.
"...I never condoned slavery, nor should any other Christian. Obviously the ones who did, did not understand what parables were..."ReplyDelete
Well just so you know, this is a logical fallacy called "no true scottsman". Please look up the fallacy if you do not understand it.
Now your claim that god "allows" for slavery but does not condone it is absurd. Please show me where in the bible it states just that.
You admit god put down as law that men could be under the ownership of other men. (Ex. 21:23; Lev. 25:46) You also call this a sin. So god says that sin is one of his laws. God commands you to sin. Funny.
Ex. 21:20, ok so you think it is morally ok to beat your slave so long as you do not kill him? Thats some funny morals you got there. And by funny I mean SICKENING.
Lev. 22:11, now you are, without a doubt, taking things out of context. 22:11 is the end of a paragraph in which god says that when a man marries a female slave (she has no choice in the matter of course) she may only leave if after he marries a woman, he stops screwing her.
Again those are some nasty morals.
Exodus 20:10, The only time a slave gets to rest is when he is worshiping his masters god. Which, believe it or not, comes under punishment of death. So now he's being forced to do nothing. This might be the slaves only time to do something he needs done, like buy salve for his blistered feet. But he can't do it because if he does he's murdered by a bunch of zealots that force him to work day in and day out.
(Gen. 17:13; Exodus 12:44; Lev. 22:11; Deut. 5:14) Same thing as above.
Deut. 23:16-17 has nothing to do with our conversation, and makes no judgement on the morality of slavery. If you think it does you are really reaching.
Ok no more of this, would you care to look at any of my verses or just throw out more of your own? This is absurd misdirection so that you do not have to address the actual point. It's utterly dishonest. Get serious or stop wasting time.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding this statement:
>God allows many things to happen in the world such as storms, famine, murder, etc. Slavery, like divorce, is not preferred by God.
It sounds like you believe that the same god who said that _shellfish_ are contraband, and that having sex outside marriage is a capital offense, also felt that he just had to tolerate slavery because he felt it wasn't worth making it illgal.
Did you mean to say that god decided slavery should be allowed, but that _eating a shellfish_ needs to be illegal, and people ought to be stoned to death for having sex with the wrong partner?
Eating a shellfish and sexual infidelity are worse than slavery--it sounds like you're saying. Do you subscribe to this hierarchy of morality?
Slavery was permitted in the Bible because of sin in the world.ReplyDelete
Where exactly does it say that in the Bible? Chapter and verse, please. And whose sin is being punished here? The slave's?
Slavery, like divorce, is not preferred by God. Instead, it is allowed.
What??? Can you not understand the absurdity of that statement? At no time does your god say that he prefers that people not own slaves. In fact, he gives specific instructions for the "biblically correct" way to enslave people. If he really didn't want people to own slaves, he could have just said, "No enslaving anyone, ever. Do it again and I'll smite your ass!" But no, instead he endorses owning other humans, and not just once.
Once you understand that [slavery's economic role in the ANE], the slavery verses don't have to be explained in much more depth.
Slave labor has played an economic role in every culture that has held slaves. How does this fact in any way excuse it?
Sin is sin. Doesn't matter what it is. Its all counted as rebellion against God.ReplyDelete
"Because one interprets something another way doesn't make their interpretation right.
I don't interpret, I study what the bible teaches and it easily comes from that."
There are 3,000 different denominations of Christianity, all of which claim to have an accurate understanding of the Bible - yet they all disagree with each other on one or more points of doctrine.
The Bible was written, edited, canonized and translated by hordes of people, and remains subject to widely varying interpretation. There are as many understandings of the Bible as there are readers, and even individual readers change their minds about its contents from time to time. That is, in fact, the whole point of Bible study groups - to change people's minds about what certain passages say, nominally to gain a better understanding.
On what basis, then, do you claim to effortlessly glean direct comprehension of the Bible's contents simply by reading it, while somehow bypassing your own interpretation? Do you believe you are smarter than the billions of Christians who assembled the Bible in the first place and/or those who interpret it so widely today? Do you believe you possess the omniscience of God himself?
God allows things to happen because he no longer intercedes on earth like he did once before. He allows it to happen, yes. Its not that difficult. It will all come to an end when Jesus comes back to earth.ReplyDelete
Slavery was permitted for that reason yes. You can't always find a verse on a certain subject, but because slavery is preferred by God, he only allowed it to happen. He didn't condone it.
Do you know why denominations exist? Because of sin: people make up who they want God to be, not who God says he is through the bible. The most imporant doctrines are usually the same, others are harder to establish. We will all know in the end if God grants us that.
I don't believe I am smarter than anyone, but I don't allow my interpretation to be correct, but I test it until I come up with what the bible says as accurately I can to those who wrote it.
I am not saying I know everything, but I will research each part until I gain the greatest understanding I can of the bible.
It's like someone interpreting shakespeare, there are wrong ways and right ways. same goes with the bible, don't take things out of context so you can gain a better understanding.
If you want to discuss more in depth, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
God allows things to happen because he no longer intercedes on earth like he did once before.ReplyDelete
>Sin is sin. Doesn't matter what it is. Its all counted as rebellion against God.ReplyDelete
Then why is slavery "tolerated" while infidelity is a capital crime? It does not appear that god agrees with your assessment that it's all the same. He is applying a heirarchy to it, pretty obviously. And in his heirarchy, eating crab is worse than buying and selling people.
How is eating a crab somehow offensive to an deity?
In fact, god instructed the Hebrews to take slaves in some of the military conflicts they won. The stories don't say he said, "OK, OK, if it means that much to you, go for it." He told them who he wanted killed (sometimes instructing mass infanticide--is that OK with you?) and who he wanted enslaved.
I have to agree with Jen. If you're going to say "sin is sin"--you have to show me where "slavery" constitutes "sin" in the good book. God clearly condemns eating crab. And he clearly condemns sleeping with the wrong partner. But I have no indication he has ever condemned his favorite people owning slaves.
It appears that according to the Bible, slavery is NOT an offense. While eating a crab is clearly forbidden. And illicit sex is a death sentence.
So, once again, I ask: Do you subscribe to this hierarchy of morality?
>God allows things to happen because he no longer intercedes on earth like he did once before. He allows it to happen, yes. Its not that difficult. It will all come to an end when Jesus comes back to earth.
>Slavery was permitted for that reason yes.
Uh, no. Because slavery was allowed at a time when the Bible says god DID intercede. So, please rethink this evaluation, because it does not apply to the slavery laws. Also, in your Bible we have Hebrew records that god instructed the Hebrews to take slaves--and even specifically whom they should take (as mentioned above).
>You can't always find a verse on a certain subject, but because slavery is preferred by God, he only allowed it to happen. He didn't condone it.
HOW do you know this if it's not in your Bible? You said above you don't "interpret" it. But here, that's EXACTLY what you're doing. You're claiming it condemns something that god commanded Hebrews to do. He told them to make slaves of prisoners of war (specifically female children).
>Do you know why denominations exist? Because of sin...
No, because people like you say that the Bible means X when it says Y. And then claim your not interpreting in, while you then press that your interpretation is the "right one." Since every Xian who this, we have denominations.
>people make up who they want God to be, not who God says he is through the bible.
Like wanting him to think slavery is wrong, even though he doesn't appear to?
>The most imporant doctrines are usually the same
You hope. How can you know that though, if you're understanding is flawed?
>I don't believe I am smarter than anyone, but I don't allow my interpretation to be correct, but I test it until I come up with what the bible says as accurately I can to those who wrote it.
But you admit that you can't really show where the Bible calls slavery wrong--but you then say god thinks it's wrong. You have zero authority to ascribe that attitude to god based on scripture--but you do so regardles. You do not "test" anything. You know what you want god to be (someone who doesn't condone slavery), and that's who you make "god."
>It's like someone interpreting shakespeare, there are wrong ways and right ways. same goes with the bible, don't take things out of context so you can gain a better understanding.
Why, then, do you do take things out of context? If the Bible defines god as not being anti-slavery--why attribute anti-slavery tendencies to god?
>It's like someone interpreting shakespeare, there are wrong ways and right ways.
I agree. And in the example you used, "to be, or not to be," it's a statement about contemplating suicide. What you're doing is something like this: "Even though Ophelia killed herself and Hamlet sounds like he's asking himself about whether it's better to kill himself, surely Shakespeare wouldn't have a character seriously think of suicide. So, he must have been forced to write in Ophelia's unfortunate demise due to some plot constraints. And Hamlet surely must not be talking about suicide. Maybe he's just waxing existential. He's just wondering what it is like to die."
No, he's thinking about whether or not he still wants to live. And he is considering the question of suicide. Just because that is uncomfortable for someone doesn't make it any less what Shakespeare wrote.
You finished by asking for personal emails. Sorry--no can do. I make it a policy to only dialogue where the public can read the exchange. I hold out no false hopes of getting through to delusional individuals; but I hold out real hope that someone actually seeking for truth might come upon an exchange like this one and be prompted to think.
Ergo, I limit my exchanges, as much as possible, to public forums.
I just saw your post. Thanks for bringing that up. The Bible was interpreted before it was ever even a thought in anyone's brain to canonize it. Right you are.
Apologist: I hope you have some information regarding the relay of the manuscripts from one generation to the next and the revisions in your Bible today that are due to that process. Take note that the only reason you call that book "scripture" is because some human told you it was god's word. The books themselves most often make no such claims. Nor do they reflect whatever was originally penned. The edits and additions are known full-well to the translators--and the ones they are aware of are called out in the marginal notes of some of the better modern-day translations. However, they are still included in the content. Unfortunately, not all translations, such as KJV, have marginal notes. So many Xians today are reading forged material and still thinking it is the preserved word of god, even though it was known even at the time KJV was put together that the manuscripts used weren't the best copies available.
God allows things to happen because he no longer intercedes on earth like he did once before.
Why not? Did he become weaker over time, or does he care less than he used to?
It will all come to an end when Jesus comes back to earth.
Why wait? Is something holding him back, or is he just taking his sweet time?
If the God you believe in is unwilling or unable to affect the real world in observable ways, then he's functionally irrelevant. Jesus dying for the remission of sin so human souls can go to Heaven is, so far as I can tell, a made-up character doing mythological deeds to solve artificial problems regarding manufactured entities and realms. So what? I can get all of that from any book, movie or off-color joke.
...because slavery is preferred by God, he only allowed it to happen. He didn't condone it.
If he prefers it, and allows it, how is that not condoning it? Can you explain your definition of "condone"?
people make up who they want God to be,
On this, I agree. You're doing the exact same thing.