Ray Comfort is a liar.

davidildo
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Ray Comfort is a liar.

 

I am amazed at the lack of coherent logic in Ray's arguments. Lets start with the basics, "If you have lied, then you are a liar". According to the dictionary, a liar is, "A person who tells lies" -Random House. "Tells lies", not "have lied". (To be fair, WordNet does define it as someone who has lied, but not MW, AH, or others.) That seems to me to be a deliberate and ongoing distortion of a fact that is repeated by Ray rather consistently. Therefore, Ray is a liar because he continually lies, (about the definition of liar) not because he has "lied".

To illustrate the idiocy of his argument, one only has to take it to the obvious conclusion. Did you ever wet your pants? (even when you were a baby?) Then you are a pants wetter. Ever get drunk? If so, you must be an alcoholic. And I don't even want to consider what the process of being born makes me! The logic just doesn't hold up. And the funny part, since he is lying to get people to believe in G-d, then he is lying in G-d's name, and is therefore committing blasphemy in the process.

 

 


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Yeah, he's pretty much an

Yeah, he's pretty much an asshat. He also assumes the BuyBull is true.


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I think also his

I think also his "courtroom-example" is pretty bad. I can't understand, why people don't see the difference. He says: "You are in court. You are guilty. The judge sets the fine to 50'000 bucks. You don't have the money. You are going to Jail. Someone comes in, says: "Hey, thats my friend, I'll pay the fine, so he doesn't have to go to jail" and so the judge can let you go. That would than be Jesus-boy with his Salvation-trick.

Actually, the story should go like this: The judge makes up laws wich no one can life after. Then, he says, you are guilty and sets your fine to 50'000 bucks. After that, the judge gives his own son a phonecall, that he should come to the courtroom and pay your fine, so he could let you go. 

Well, I actually have to admitt that this Ray-man doesn't bother me alot. Only already-Christians fall for his arguments anyway..


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Actually it would be more

Actually it would be more like there are thousands of different sets of laws, all of which conflict and there is no way to know which set (if any) are true....

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I'm surprised that nobody

I'm surprised that nobody has turned this around on him: "So, Ray, you're a liar?" "Yes!" "Then why on earth should I listen to you?"


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Well, I think there must

Well, I think there must have been many situations like this. Or, for example, they must have met people wich actually dont belive in heaven or hell at all. They just dont show this videos, because that's not what they want to show.


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MattShizzle wrote: Actually

MattShizzle wrote:
Actually it would be more like there are thousands of different sets of laws, all of which conflict and there is no way to know which set (if any) are true....

Oh crap, I better convert right now because you just proved to me that God exists(allbeit a mean one) because only a cruel incompetent being would allow such an arbitrary privacy invader like the IRS to exist with law and codes that are just as muddy and stupid as the ones in the bible. 

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Yes, there is a circular

Yes, there is a circular logic to the fact that the Xian bible makes arbitrary rules that conflict with human nature, then doles out massive punishment for the slightest infraction, and then offer forgiveness by requiring something that is out of someones hands to offer.

The whole idea of "belief" runs contrary to logic and precludes choice. Someone cannot choose to beleive in something, as I have pointed out to many Jehov-h Witnesses.  Pascal's Wager is based the faulty assumption that one can choose to believe.

I used to answer the door and talk to some Witnesses that would stop by, and one day I asked if she could choose to not believe, she said she could. I then asked her, "for the sake of an experiment, stop believeing". She argued and told me that it was hard work, blasphemey, etc....  I think it proved my point rather well. One cannot turn on and off faith, so I moved to colors. Since belief is a choice, believe that the color blue is really the color green. She told me that was ridiculous because her eyes and common sense told her otherwise. Exactly my point, eh?

 If she became an athiest, I would of then asked her to prove it by blaspheming G-d, that would of been funny.


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Actually what I was talking

Actually what I was talking about was how do you know the BuyBull is the "correct" one - why not the Quaran, Vedas, Baghavad Gita (sp), Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc...?

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Ray Comfort is a liar

Wny does the right margin on every single post in this thread get cut off?

I notice it with some other threads too.


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brights wrote: Wny does

brights wrote:

Wny does the right margin on every single post in this thread get cut off?

I notice it with some other threads too.

The entire post should be there, you may just need to scroll over to see all of it.  Sometimes this happens when someone posts a link to a site without using the link function and it stretches the page. 

I have problems with this at home because my monitor is smaller than the one I have at work so that may be part of the problem too. 


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tray comfort is a liar

Ji jce

there is no scroll bar at the bottom of the page.  I had to click select all then copy to another page in my doc to read all of your thread.

Get this as I just clicked on reply at the right margin the alert box only covers one or two letters but I now have a scroll bar at the bottom.

Also I have tried many times to make the page larger.  I even move it around to the left so I can move (spread)  the right margin as far as it will go. 

Never thought of posting without using the link function, thanksSmiling

 


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Comfort would be a really

Comfort would be a really good Con-Man.


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brights wrote: Ji

brights wrote:

Ji jce

there is no scroll bar at the bottom of the page. I had to click select all then copy to another page in my doc to read all of your thread.

Get this as I just clicked on reply at the right margin the alert box only covers one or two letters but I now have a scroll bar at the bottom.

Also I have tried many times to make the page larger. I even move it around to the left so I can move (spread) the right margin as far as it will go.

Never thought of posting without using the link function, thanksSmiling

Two suggestions:

 Try using Firefox.  This site works best in Firefox.

Or, if you are using Firefox or don't want to/can't switch browsers, try changing the 'theme' under your account settings. 

Other than that, I am not sure what else to tell you to try. 


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Programmers have things

Programmers have things like "Hello world".

3D Artists have things like the teapot.

Animators have things like flour sacks.

And rational people have Way Of the Master.

In other words, all of them are basic simple things that people should probably do/work on before they get to move onto anything tricky.  Smiling

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I'll get back to you when I think of something worthwhile to say.


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Slimm wrote: Comfort would

Slimm wrote:

Comfort would be a really good Con-Man.

Like any good con-man, the first job is to identify a good mark. Good con-men don't go after people that won't fall for their tricks. They only go after the weak and sickly sect of society.

Comfort knows this all to well.

 He attacks unsuspecting people on the street with confusing circular logic that only the most clever of communicators can see through without lengthy thought. To compound the difficulty, he sticks a microphone in their faces and intimidates them with the camera. He is calm and cool because he is reciting the same tripe he is well rehearsed in. He is not nervous becuase he know that if someone stuffs him he can just not show anyone the footage (as someone pointed out previously). 

He's a carnie, a spinster with shallow tricks that he uses on people that already want to believe him.  


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Exactly! The real odd part

Exactly! The real odd part is that it is a commandment to not bear false witness, yet when they edit the questions and answers, that is exactly what they are doing. They are giving a false impression based on their editing choice. Again, more despicable than what the athiests are doing.


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Have you ever told the

Have you ever told the truth?

Then you are honest.

 

Have you ever given to charity?

Then you are charitable.

 

Have you ever listened to and believed Ray Comfort?

Then you are gullible. 


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Kergillian wrote:Have you

Kergillian wrote:

Have you ever listened to and believed Ray Comfort?

Then you are gullible. 

clapping

clapping


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marcusfish wrote:   Like

marcusfish wrote:

 

Like any good con-man, the first job is to identify a good mark. Good con-men don't go after people that won't fall for their tricks. They only go after the weak and sickly sect of society.

Comfort knows this all to well.

 He attacks unsuspecting people on the street with confusing circular logic that only the most clever of communicators can see through without lengthy thought. To compound the difficulty, he sticks a microphone in their faces and intimidates them with the camera. He is calm and cool because he is reciting the same tripe he is well rehearsed in. He is not nervous becuase he know that if someone stuffs him he can just not show anyone the footage (as someone pointed out previously). 

He's a carnie, a spinster with shallow tricks that he uses on people that already want to believe him.  

clapping

clapping

clapping

clapping

clapping

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davidildo wrote: I am

davidildo wrote:

I am amazed at the lack of coherent logic in Ray's arguements.

I'm amazed at the lack interpretive charity in your response to Ray Comfort.  You are being defamatory and your understanding of Comfort's modus operandi is completely wrong. 

Quote:
Lets start with the basics, "If you have lied, then you are a liar". According to the dictionary, a liar is, "A person who tells lies" -Random House. "Tells lies", not "have lied".

Content aside that is incorrect and you concede this in your next statement.  A thing A can take on propety P as a result of a temporary or transient experience.  For example, a new car becomes and remains a used-car as a consequence of use.  A person that has had sex loses their virginity.  In these cases P becomes part of As identity.  You are plainly wrong in your generaliastion.  

Quote:
(To be fair, WordNet does define it as someone who has lied, but not MW, AH, or others.)

So you admit that you are wrong.  You have contradicted yourself but you push on with your defamation regardless.  How do you know that Ray Comfort doesn't sincerely believe what he is saying?  In which case he wouldn't be lying. 

 

Quote:
That seems to me to be a deliberate and ongoing distortion of a fact that is repeated by Ray rather consistantly.

Seems to be and actually is are two different things.  You have made an assumption, cherry-picked a dictionary definition that suits your defamatory agenda and proceeded hence.

 

Quote:
Therefore, Ray is a liar because he continually lies, (about the definition of liar) not because he has "lied".

Sorry but there is no "therefore" here.  You are assuming what you need to prove.  If you are going to call someone a liar you must demonstrate that they are intentionally uttering falsehoods. You've yet to rule out that Ray Comfort is actually being sincere.  

Quote:
To illustrate the idiocy of his arguement, one only has to take it to the obvious conclusion. Did you ever wet your pants? (even when you were a baby?) Then you are a pants wetter. Ever get drunk? If so, you must be an alchoholic. And I don't even want to consider what the process of being born makes me!

Ray Comfort is witnessing.  His intention is to demonstrate the fallen and corrupt nature of man.  He need only demonstrate the absence of moral perfection in man to achieve his purpose.  If you have lied, stolen, coveted, killed etc. at any point in your life then ipso facto you are morally imperfect according to the standard of Christian ethics.  Fundamental to Christian doctrine is the notion that everyone is flawed and debased even Christians.  Yes, this is contrary to the Humanist position but that is besides the point.  The matter at hand is the WOTM witnessing technique. 

 

Quote:
The logic just doesn't hold up.

The method is entirely consistent with the Christian worldview and it is internally coherent.  A morally perfect human would have no history of sin.  The point of Comfort's approach is to demonstrate that there are no such people. 

 

Quote:
And the funny part, since he is lying to get people to believe in G-d, then he is lying in G-d's name, and is therefore commiting blasphemy in the process.

By what epistemic route did you arrive at the confident conclusion that Ray Comfort is lying?  The other options which you are ignoring are that (a) you don't understand the logic he is employing; and (b) he sincerely believes what he is saying.  Either situation exonerates Comfort from any guilt.  I'm interested to know how you ruled out (1) and (2). 

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MattShizzle wrote: Yeah,

MattShizzle wrote:
Yeah, he's pretty much an asshat. He also assumes the BuyBull is true.

Devastating critique.

That is an intellectually bankrupt remark.  You do acknowledge that don't you?  The only more vacuous response that I can think of at this time is an empty post.   

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Gwendolan, It's not an

Gwendolan,

It's not an example it's an analogy.  The function of an analogy is to illustrate a point in terms of a domain of experience with which a listener may be more familiar.  No analogy is perfect and they all break down at some point.

Your response is demonstrative of bad faith on your part.  You are being as least charitable in your interpretation as you can possibly be.

Also, WOTM is a witnessing ministry i.e. they lay the seeds for Christian conversion of non-Christians.  You don't witness to Christians.  The people that you see in the WOTM video clips on YouTube are either non-Christians or "lapsed" Christians.

I agree that their method is not suitable for all people.  If the person they are attempting to witness to has a well reasoned non-Christian worldview -- these exist but they are rare (I've yet to find one on these forums) -- or they have some non-epistemic reason for their beliefs (eg. a person that has cooked up an intellectual allibi ex post facto for a behaviour that they seek to engage in regardless) then their approach will fail. 

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ABx wrote: I'm surprised

ABx wrote:
I'm surprised that nobody has turned this around on him: "So, Ray, you're a liar?" "Yes!" "Then why on earth should I listen to you?"

That's a rhetorically lame response.  The obvious response to that is, "You don't have to believe me.  Here's a copy of the Bible. I've marked the relevant sections.  Please take it and read them." 

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Gwendolan wrote: Well, I

Gwendolan wrote:
Well, I think there must have been many situations like this. Or, for example, they must have met people wich actually dont belive in heaven or hell at all. They just dont show this videos, because that's not what they want to show.

Presumptuous, unevidenced and wrong.  You can see all of their "When things go wrong" clips on YouTube.  There are clips when people do just what you say and more.  In one clip in Jerusalem Ray Comfort gets spat upon.  In another clip shot in New Zealand a transvestite attempts to choke a member of the WOTM Ministry. 

On a forum that is ostensibly dedicated to rational discourse does evidence and argumentation count for anything?  Should I too just engage in this orgy of baseless rancour?

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davidildo wrote:

davidildo wrote:

 

To illustrate the idiocy of his arguement, one only has to take it to the obvious conclusion. Did you ever wet your pants? (even when you were a baby?) Then you are a pants wetter. Ever get drunk? If so, you must be an alchoholic. And I don't even want to consider what the process of being born makes me!

Comfort's argument is the argument of a child, which is precisely why it appeals to his audience.

His argument is based on the fallacy that our descriptive terms like 'honesty', 'truthfulness', etc. are all or nothing dichotomies. One event of dishonesty makes a person, dishonest, etc.

We can thus reduce his argument to absurdity when we consider that his rule must hold for the opposing descriptor as well: If one dishonest act makes you dishonest, then, using the same all or nothing mindset, one honest act must make you honest. You are therefore both completley honest and completely dishonest at the same time. A contradiction.

And this follows from his premises. He cannot assume, from his premises, as he uses them, that he can rule out the contradictory descriptor:

have you ever lied? Then you are a liar.

Based on this alone, he cannot rule out the following: 

Have you ever told the truth, then you are honest.

 The real motive behind this is a psychological one: it's based on the purity concept - anything impure is somehow ruined, destroyed...

But does anyone actually live like this? Do we stop trusting a person, forever, if they lie to us once? Do we call mom a liar, because of what she told us about Santa Claus? 

 *******************************************

The solution to the 'contradiction' is apparent to all intelligent humans across the globe: one act does not make a person completely honest or completely dishonest.

The best proof of all, however, is a rhetorical one: Ray Comfort doesn't believe his argument. Ask him to borrow his car. When he says no, ask him if he lets his wife borrow his car. When he says yes, ask him what's the difference? 

 

* I'm betting some assclown might say "well, if you take it, my wife can't use it..." but provided that you would use it just as she would, and not take it when antoher needed it, then, would he let you borrow it? 

 

 

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lucretis wrote:

lucretis wrote:
davidildo wrote:

To illustrate the idiocy of his arguement, one only has to take it to the obvious conclusion. Did you ever wet your pants? (even when you were a baby?) Then you are a pants wetter. Ever get drunk? If so, you must be an alchoholic. And I don't even want to consider what the process of being born makes me!

Ray Comfort is witnessing. His intention is to demonstrate the fallen and corrupt nature of man. He need only demonstrate the absence of moral perfection in man to achieve his purpose. If you have lied, stolen, coveted, killed etc. at any point in your life then ipso facto you are morally imperfect according to the standard of Christian ethics.

Incorrect. The actual point he is making is that you are morally bankrupt, unable to be good or moral on your own, and therefore compelled to concede your worthlessness and seek salvation in his imaginary god.

It's a scare tactic, combined with a brutal assault on a person's sense of self efficacy. It's not 'witnessing' so much as it is psychological terror tactics*: frightening ignorant people into thinking they are both worthless and incapable of doing anything about it.

Man can be impefect without being corrupt, without being worthless. Christians like comfort are unable to recognize this, because they are simplistic, concrete, dichotomous thinkers, unable to see where even they contradict their own claims in their daily lives. No christian actually thinks that they, or their loved ones, christian or not christian, are worthless.... they steal from secular morality with every breath... their 'witnessing' is therefore of a psychological nature, it speaks more to problems in their ego strength than it does to any reality that they actually believe in...

 

* This is NOT hyperbole: Comfort himself concedes that the only effective way to win converts is to frighten them. Call me on this, and I'll give you the video where he conceds precisely this...

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lucretis wrote:

lucretis wrote:

Gwendolan wrote:
Well, I think there must have been many situations like this. Or, for example, they must have met people wich actually dont belive in heaven or hell at all. They just dont show this videos, because that's not what they want to show.

Presumptuous, unevidenced and wrong. You can see all of their "When things go wrong" clips on YouTube. There are clips when people do just what you say and more. In one clip in Jerusalem Ray Comfort gets spat upon. In another clip shot in New Zealand a transvestite attempts to choke a member of the WOTM Ministry.

On a forum that is ostensibly dedicated to rational discourse does evidence and argumentation count for anything? Should I too just engage in this orgy of baseless rancour?


I think the OP was thinking something more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/U0n0TK_dx-Y

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


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lucretis wrote: . On a

lucretis wrote:

.

On a forum that is ostensibly dedicated to rational discourse does evidence and argumentation count for anything? Should I too just engage in this orgy of baseless rancour?

You've managed to inpugn the entire  site and all the members here based on what you think are problems in this single thread.  Seems to me that you have an agenda.

Why not model the behavior you supposedly do not see, rather than engage in precisely the same sort of baseless rancour by continually lashing out at people?

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Todangst: I am glad you

Todangst:

I am glad you replied to that fellow's posts so I could read them.  I couldn't bear to see that wretched fellow's avatar out of the corner of my eye while I read. 

Come on here and call me names; that's fine.  Just don't come on and ruin the aesthetics of the place!

[edit: spelling]

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todangst wrote: Comfort's

todangst wrote:

Comfort's argument is the argument of a child, which is precisely why it appeals to his audience.

No it isn't the argument of a child because children are incapable of the abstract moral reasoning that the WOTM witnessing method leans on.  In Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development abstract moral reasoning and the notion of universal ethical principles do not arrive until the Post-Conventional level which is uncharacteristic of children and more typical of adults. 

Quote:
His argument is based on the fallacy that our descriptive terms like 'honesty', 'truthfulness', etc. are all or nothing dichotomies. One event of dishonesty makes a person, dishonest, etc.

No it isn't.  Comfort's witnessing method is predicated on exposing the essential nature of man.  You may have a Humanist conception of human nature.  That is fine but is not what's in dispute.  Christian doctrine and Humanist doctrine have a fundamentally different conception of human nature, we can argue about that in another thread.  The point is that Comfort is working within a Christian worldview in which man's essential nature is conceived of as corrupted and debased.

Quote:
We can thus reduce his argument to absurdity when we consider that his rule must hold for the opposing descriptor as well: If one dishonest act makes you dishonest, then, using the same all or nothing mindset, one honest act must make you honest.

No, that is an unsound conclusion and it doesn't accurately represent Christian doctrine.  Christian doctrine holds that man's essential nature is corrupt.  According to that doctrine any virtuous acts do not alter this underlying essential nature.  Humanist doctrine begins with the premise that man's essential nature is basically good.  It makes no sense to attempt to refute what is an axiom using a counterexample.  By your logic I could just as well apply your reductio ad absurdum to Humanist doctrine to draw a negative conclusion.

 

Quote:
You are therefore both completley honest and completely dishonest at the same time. A contradiction.

This contradiction is of your own invention based upon an uncharitable reading of Christian doctrine and a refusal to consistently apply your criteria in evaluating worldviews.  I could just as well apply your fallacious reasoning to Humanist doctrine to produce an apparent contradiction.

Quote:
And this follows from his premises. He cannot assume, from his premises, as he uses them, that he can rule out the contradictory descriptor:

have you ever lied? Then you are a liar.

Based on this alone, he cannot rule out the following: 

Have you ever told the truth, then you are honest.

No, this reasoning represents a fundamental misunderstanding of Christian doctrine and the notion of a worldview on your part. 

 

Quote:
The real motive behind this is a psychological one: it's based on the purity concept - anything impure is somehow ruined, destroyed...

What exactly is a psychological motive and why does it count as a failing?  Can I not describe your polemecist tone as "psychological"?

 I think it important to understand any theory or doctrine your intend to criticise and to apply interpretive charity when doing so.  If you are content to base your polemic on some travesty of the doctrine or theory you intend to criticise then you are less a scholar and more a propagandist.

The notion of "purity" that you describe is more in alignment with Hindu doctrine than Christian.  In Christian doctrine the debasement is said to have occurred upon Original Sin.  Worldly behaviour -- eg. stealing, adultery, killing -- do not alter man's claimed essential nature.  It doesn't matter what you think of this doctrine at this stage the point is that intellectual honesty and integrity requires that you actually deal with the doctrine or theory as it is understood by its proponents.  Inventing a straw man and basing your rancourous outpouring on that travesty is cheap and amateurish.  I expect more from someone that makes public knowledge of his academic credentials.

Quote:
But does anyone actually live like this? Do we stop trusting a person, forever, if they lie to us once? Do we call mom a liar, because of what she told us about Santa Claus?

This is sophistry.  Does a Humanist persist in extending the benefit of the doubt to someone that has defrauded them several times already?  Does the Humanist axiom that "man is essentially good" compel the Humanist to never suspect that someone will hurt or defraud them?  Clearly not. 

Quote:
The solution to the 'contradiction' is apparent to all intelligent humans across the globe: one act does not make a person completely honest or completely dishonest.

No it doesn't and no Christian has claimed that it does.  In Christian doctrine man's corrupt nature is said to be a consequence of Original Sin.  At the point of Original Sin -- according to the doctrine -- man's essential nature was debased and corrupted.  This is a statment about human nature which Humanist, Marxist, Anarchist, Conservative, Liberal, and Feminist ideologies also have something to say.

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The best proof of all, however, is a rhetorical one: Ray Comfort doesn't believe his argument. Ask him to borrow his car. When he says no, ask him if he lets his wife borrow his car. When he says yes, ask him what's the difference?

The above is the "best proof" that you have no appreciation of the notion of a worldview or of a conception of human nature.  Comfort didn't invent the concept of worldview nor that of human nature.  All "grand ideologies" -- including Humanism -- provide at least a rudiemntary worldview and concpetion of human nature.  The particular conception of human nature -- in any ideology -- is to be taken as an axiom.

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lucretis wrote:

lucretis wrote:
todangst wrote:

Comfort's argument is the argument of a child, which is precisely why it appeals to his audience.

No it isn't the argument of a child because children are incapable of the abstract moral reasoning that the WOTM witnessing method leans on.

Nonsense. Comfort's arguments appeal to concrete thinkers, children. Piaget's Preoperational stage, ages 2-7. The sort of moral reasoning employed by Comfort would be pre-conventional, and clearly within the grasp of a child.

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In Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development abstract moral reasoning and the notion of universal ethical principles do not arrive until the Post-Conventional level

True. But there's nothing in Comfort's 'ethics' that is post conventional. In fact, Lawrence Kohlberg would shit if he read your claim that Comfort is acting on the level of universal ethical principles! He holds that few if any humans at all reach that stage, and the idea that a Comfort is there is laughably ludicrous! Are you confusing Comforts' belief that his moral system is 'universal' (coz god said so) means that he is acting from a universal ethical principle?!?! 

If you want to try citing Kohlberg to psychologist, you gotta do it right. Comfort's moral system is based on divine command ethics. I.e., man is incapable of moral action, he can only act to avoid punishment. Believe or go to hell.  This is a pre conventional morality. From my site's entry on Kohlberg:

Preconventional Level (Birth - Early childhood)

Stages 1 and 2 in the preconventional level involve an "egocentric point of view" and a "concrete individualistic perspective" in which the person makes choices based on the fear of punishment and the desire for rewards.

Stage 1 Punishment/Obedience - Consequentialism. This stage is characterized by avoidance of punishment and unquestioning deference to power as values in themselves. Simple Hedonism. Morality is seen as based on self interest; the goodness or badness of action is determined by their physical consequences, regardless of any human meaning attached to these consequences.

 

http://www.candleinthedark.com/cognitive.html

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His argument is based on the fallacy that our descriptive terms like 'honesty', 'truthfulness', etc. are all or nothing dichotomies. One event of dishonesty makes a person, dishonest, etc.

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No it isn't.

Yes it is.

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Comfort's witnessing method is predicated on exposing the essential nature of man.

Based on a self refuting assumption that man is corrupt!

You're not disagreeing with me, you're agreeing!

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You may have a Humanist conception of human nature. That is fine but is not what's in dispute.

My moral stance is not at issue, my argument goes to flaws in his moral sytem. Please stick to the point.

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Christian doctrine and Humanist doctrine have a fundamentally different conception of human nature,

You're completely lost here. I'll try again: the issue is flaws in Comfort's system. You're not even responding to my argument.

Please stick to the argument you think you're responding to...

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We can thus reduce his argument to absurdity when we consider that his rule must hold for the opposing descriptor as well: If one dishonest act makes you dishonest, then, using the same all or nothing mindset, one honest act must make you honest.

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No, that is an unsound conclusion

You don't give a reason why this is so, based on the argument alone.

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and it doesn't accurately represent Christian doctrine.

This has no bearing on the matter.

You're confused. The point here is that given Comfort's premises, his argument can be used against him. It's obvious that Comfort would reject the conclusion, but it would be based on his presumption that man is debased as per original sin. It couldn't flow from his argument, alone, as presented, because his argument is based on the premise that one action can categorize a person into a tight dichotomy.

Do you see the difference, or will our exchanges go on like this forever, with you being unable to delineate the two different matters?

 

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Christian doctrine holds that man's essential nature is corrupt.

No shit.

But the point you're responding to is the argument, and the premises, as they stand. And as per the premise that 'one act categorizes', it follows that one honest act makes you honest.

Of course Comfort rejects such a possibility as per original sin. But this is actually moot vis a vis the premises in his argument.

The premise is simply 'one act catergorizes'. If you are going to add that 'man is fallen, ergo incapable of moral action' then you render his entire argument moot! You're just asserting the conclusion, and therefore, begging the question.

So there are two different matters here:

one act, categorizes you into a dichotomous category

and: everyone is sinful by birth, no matter what.

To use the very conclusion as the premise is circular logic.

So yes, no shit: comfort believes in original sin. Quit announcing this as a revelation. It has no bearing on the assessment of his argument.

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According to that doctrine any virtuous acts do not alter this underlying essential nature.

Yes. This is my point. You're agreeing, again.

Perhaps you're confused as to how my reduction to absurdity works.... whether or not Comfort holds that man is capable of good acts is moot, what matters is that it follows that one act defines a person, then this principle can be used against Comfort's own argument. The entire point is that this DOES lead to contradicting his conclusion that man is debased by nature!

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Humanist doctrine begins with the premise...

STOP. This has no bearing on the matter. Please stick to the actual discussion.

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You are therefore both completley honest and completely dishonest at the same time. A contradiction.

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This contradiction is of your own invention based upon an uncharitable reading of Christian doctrine

No, it's based on the very argument given above, that you don't even address.

Again, if the premise is that one action categories a person, then this must work regardless of the category in question.

If you're response is "well, this only works in regards to negative categories, immoral behaviors" then this renders the entire argument moot. It simply means that Comfort is just asserting that people are immoral, whether they act or not. Otherwise, you're using your conclusion as a premise in the argument!

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And this follows from his premises. He cannot assume, from his premises, as he uses them, that he can rule out the contradictory descriptor:

have you ever lied? Then you are a liar.

Based on this alone, he cannot rule out the following:

Have you ever told the truth, then you are honest.

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No, this reasoning represents a fundamental misunderstanding of Christian doctrine

Incorrect.

I understand the doctrine of original sin.

The point I am making is that Comfort's argument, as it stands, can be used against him, because it is based on the premise: one act, categorizes.

This is utterly beside the point that he believes that people are corrupt and damned from conception.

Can you see that now?

 

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and the notion of a worldview on your part.

My notion of a worldview is immaterial here. We are discussing Comfort's argument. Can you please stick to that? Please.

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The real motive behind this is a psychological one: it's based on the purity concept - anything impure is somehow ruined, destroyed...

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What exactly is a psychological motive

In this case, it is a desire to share a self hating belief with the world, rather than having to live with it yourself.

If you feel miserable about yourself, it might be easier to imagine that everyone is the same way.

The alternative might be: I'm not all that good, but others are... and that might just prove intolerable to accept.

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and why does it count as a failing?

Psychological motives are not always a failing. A person can also project out positive feelings onto others. It's only a problem in a case where someone spreads something damaging to others, based on an unjustified belief. In this case because Comfort is spreading the self hating notion that any inpurity leads to moral corruption.

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Can I not describe your polemecist tone as "psychological"?

Only if you are so completely lazy as an arguer that you allow unjustified childish tit for tat responses stand in as an argument.

I've explained why there is a likely psychological motive here. Comfort supposedly believes that he is worthless, sinful, corrupt and worthy of destruction. He believes its moral to tell this to others, and to use this to terrorize them into believing what he believes.

Now, would you like to actually build an argument in response?

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I think it important to understand any theory or doctrine your intend to criticise and to apply interpretive charity when doing so.

I think you are horribly confused. I don't deny that Comfort believes that all humans are worthless and corrupt, the point of my argument is that Comfort's argument, as it stands, can be employed against him, despite the fact that he would reject the logical ramification.

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The notion of "purity" that you describe is more in alignment with Hindu doctrine than Christian.

Wow, you're lost here. The point of using the word 'purity' is to denote Comfort's sense that anything less than perfection is corruption. And this is precisely what christians state: that only their god is morally good. So please, again, stick to the topic.

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Inventing a straw man and basing your rancourous outpouring on that travesty is cheap and amateurish.

The strawman only exists in your confused misunderstandings of my post. Now that I've made this clear, you can apologize.

 

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But does anyone actually live like this? Do we stop trusting a person, forever, if they lie to us once? Do we call mom a liar, because of what she told us about Santa Claus?

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This is sophistry.

This is not a response.

I'll repeat it, seeing as you avoided it:

But does anyone actually live like this? Do we stop trusting a person, forever, if they lie to us once? Do we call mom a liar, because of what she told us about Santa Claus?

I cut out the rest of your ramblings about humanism.

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The solution to the 'contradiction' is apparent to all intelligent humans across the globe: one act does not make a person completely honest or completely dishonest.

 

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No it doesn't and no Christian has claimed that it does.

In practice, no. In their theology, yes, they do.

And that's the problem.

 

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In Christian doctrine man's corrupt nature is said to be a consequence of Original Sin. At the point of Original Sin -- according to the doctrine -- man's essential nature was debased and corrupted.

Thanks for again proving my point! If man is 'debased' before he's even born, then he is not trustworthy. However, christians trust each other, and christians even trust non christians.

Contradiction.

 

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The best proof of all, however, is a rhetorical one: Ray Comfort doesn't believe his argument. Ask him to borrow his car. When he says no, ask him if he lets his wife borrow his car. When he says yes, ask him what's the difference?

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The above is the "best proof" that you have no appreciation of the notion of a worldview or of a conception of human nature.

You have no appreciation of how to argue a point. Comfort holds that all people are equally sinful, debased, worthless, incapable of being good on their own. Yet he trusts his wife more than me.

Do you see the contradiction?

 

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Quote:

Quote:
Comfort's witnessing method is predicated on exposing the essential nature of man. You may have a Humanist conception of human nature. That is fine but is not what's in dispute. Christian doctrine and Humanist doctrine have a fundamentally different conception of human nature, we can argue about that in another thread. The point is that Comfort is working within a Christian worldview in which man's essential nature is conceived of as corrupted and debased.


It doesn't matter what framework of human nature we are discussing, deductive logic still applies.
Comfort continually makes the self-refuting claim that
If person X commits action Y,
then we can use the absolute descriptor defined as "someone who is (Y' )" to describe an attribute of X.

However, if at any time person X does ~Y, then person X is simultaneously defined as having the attributes: "someone who is (Y' )" and "someone who is (~Y' )".
(no more can I be atheist and theist at the same time
then can I be both defined as being a "liar" and an "honest person"
or can I be bald and have hair).

The descriptors would not entail a logical contradiction if we allow a temporal qualifier.
(person X is defined by descriptor (Y' ) iff person X is commiting action Y)
However, it is obvious Comfort doesn't want to do this, as he asserts the conclusion, "you are a liar" follows from the affirmative answer to, "Have you ever told a lie?"
Ergo, deductive reasoning rules out the possibility that I can be defined as being a liar by the simple fact that I have ever told a lie.

If Comfort wanted to assert a universal absolute descriptor based on human nature, he would assert, "you are a liar" without the question "Have you ever told a lie?".

I'm going to assume, by "essential nature of man", you are motivating the argument that Christian doctrine teaches tendencies of negative human behavior. Here Comfort is questioning the actions of each individual in order to draw a conclusion of their nature. Again, if Comfort wanted to preach on human nature, the actions of the individual would be meaningless and the question, "have you ever told a lie?" would be superfluous.

Quote:

Quote:
We can thus reduce his argument to absurdity when we consider that his rule must hold for the opposing descriptor as well: If one dishonest act makes you dishonest, then, using the same all or nothing mindset, one honest act must make you honest.

No, that is an unsound conclusion and it doesn't accurately represent Christian doctrine. Christian doctrine holds that man's essential nature is corrupt. According to that doctrine any virtuous acts do not alter this underlying essential nature. Humanist doctrine begins with the premise that man's essential nature is basically good. It makes no sense to attempt to refute what is an axiom using a counterexample. By your logic I could just as well apply your reductio ad absurdum to Humanist doctrine to draw a negative conclusion.



Deductive logic still applies, no matter what framework of human nature we are operating in.

Quote:

Quote:
You are therefore both completley honest and completely dishonest at the same time. A contradiction.

This contradiction is of your own invention based upon an uncharitable reading of Christian doctrine and a refusal to consistently apply your criteria in evaluating worldviews. I could just as well apply your fallacious reasoning to Humanist doctrine to produce an apparent contradiction.



Please make an attempt at having a reasonable (read: including reason) discussion instead of asserting that you are capable of having one.
1) nobody mentioned Humanism except for you
2) try to produce a contradiction in the claims made instead of claiming that you can produce contradictions in claims unmade.

Quote:

Quote:
And this follows from his premises. He cannot assume, from his premises, as he uses them, that he can rule out the contradictory descriptor:

have you ever lied? Then you are a liar.

Based on this alone, he cannot rule out the following:

Have you ever told the truth, then you are honest.

No, this reasoning represents a fundamental misunderstanding of Christian doctrine and the notion of a worldview on your part.



No, his reasoning represents a fundamental grasp of deductive reasoning. It makes no claims of overall worldviews.

Quote:

Quote:
The solution to the 'contradiction' is apparent to all intelligent humans across the globe: one act does not make a person completely honest or completely dishonest.

No it doesn't and no Christian has claimed that it does. In Christian doctrine man's corrupt nature is said to be a consequence of Original Sin. At the point of Original Sin -- according to the doctrine -- man's essential nature was debased and corrupted. This is a statment about human nature which Humanist, Marxist, Anarchist, Conservative, Liberal, and Feminist ideologies also have something to say.



The only claim that could be construed as having anything to do with human nature is the self-refuting claim that we can define people as having absolute attributes based on singular events.
As I have shown, Comfort had no reason to ask any of his victims questions about their past actions if he wanted to assert a claim on human nature. Also, Comfort would have made such an assertion if he wanted to do so.

 

 

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


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Sorry, didn't see the second

Sorry, didn't see the second page until after I submitted.

Also, The "Y" and "~Y" with wink faces beside them are Y prime and
~Y prime, respectively.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


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robakerson

robakerson wrote:
Quote:
Comfort's witnessing method is predicated on exposing the essential nature of man. You may have a Humanist conception of human nature. That is fine but is not what's in dispute. Christian doctrine and Humanist doctrine have a fundamentally different conception of human nature, we can argue about that in another thread. The point is that Comfort is working within a Christian worldview in which man's essential nature is conceived of as corrupted and debased.


It doesn't matter what framework of human nature we are discussing, deductive logic still applies.

Yes. The fact that his argument can be reduced to absurdity, so that it contradicts his own conclusion that 'man is corrupt' is THE VERY POINT OF A REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM!

Sorry for yelling at you about this, but if you read my post, you'll see the reason for the annoyance.

 

Quote:

 Comfort continually makes the self-refuting claim that
If person X commits action Y,
then we can use the absolute descriptor defined as "someone who is (Y&#39Eye-wink" to describe an attribute of X.

However, if at any time person X does ~Y, then person X is simultaneously defined as having the attributes: "someone who is (Y&#39Eye-wink" and "someone who is (~Y&#39Eye-wink".
(no more can I be atheist and theist at the same time
then can I be both defined as being a "liar" and an "honest person"
or can I be bald and have hair).

The descriptors would not entail a logical contradiction if we allow a temporal qualifier.
(person X is defined by descriptor (Y&#39Eye-wink iff person X is commiting action Y)
However, it is obvious Comfort doesn't want to do this, as he asserts the conclusion, "you are a liar" follows from the affirmative answer to, "Have you ever told a lie?"
Ergo, deductive reasoning rules out the possibility that I can be defined as being a liar by the simple fact that I have ever told a lie.

Right. And the very point of all this is that it DOES contradict Comfort's belief that man is corrupt. We are not 'ignoring this', we are demonstrating that Comfort's own premises work against him.

 

Quote:
 


If Comfort wanted to assert a universal absolute descriptor based on human nature, he would assert, "you are a liar" without the question "Have you ever told a lie?".

Yes.

Quote:
 

I'm going to assume, by "essential nature of man", you are motivating the argument that Christian doctrine teaches tendencies of negative human behavior. Here Comfort is questioning the actions of each individual in order to draw a conclusion of their nature. Again, if Comfort wanted to preach on human nature, the actions of the individual would be meaningless and the question, "have you ever told a lie?" would be superfluous.

BINGO!

Pleasure reading your arguments.

Quote:

No, that is an unsound conclusion and it doesn't accurately represent Christian doctrine. Christian doctrine holds that man's essential nature is corrupt. According to that doctrine any virtuous acts do not alter this underlying essential nature. Humanist doctrine begins with the premise that man's essential nature is basically good. It makes no sense to attempt to refute what is an axiom using a counterexample. By your logic I could just as well apply your reductio ad absurdum to Humanist doctrine to draw a negative conclusion.



Quote:

Deductive logic still applies, no matter what framework of human nature we are operating in.

He doesnt' seem to understand that the very point of a reduction to absurdity is to show how a persons premises can be used to build conclusions that contradict! We are not denying that Comfort believes in original sin, we are showing that any argument built upon  'one act places you in a category', used to show that man is corrupt, can also be used to show the precise opposite, at the same time.

 


Quote:

This contradiction is of your own invention based upon an uncharitable reading of Christian doctrine and a refusal to consistently apply your criteria in evaluating worldviews. I could just as well apply your fallacious reasoning to Humanist doctrine to produce an apparent contradiction.

Quote:


Please make an attempt at having a reasonable (read: including reason) discussion instead of asserting that you are capable of having one.
1) nobody mentioned Humanism except for you

Thank you!

Quote:
 


2) try to produce a contradiction in the claims made instead of claiming that you can produce contradictions in claims unmade.

LOL

Yes, there's a slight difference!

 



Quote:
No, this reasoning represents a fundamental misunderstanding of Christian doctrine and the notion of a worldview on your part.


Quote:

No, his reasoning represents a fundamental grasp of deductive reasoning. It makes no claims of overall worldviews.

 

Again, he's confused. He thinks  a reduction to absurdity denies one fo the contradictory conclusions, in this case, that man is corrupt.  

It doesn't!

Instead, it show that the SAME premises lead to contradictory conclusions.

1) one act places you in a dichotomous category

2) Lying makes you a liar

3) you are sinful.

 

1) one act places you in a  category.

2) telling the truth makes you truthful.

3) you are not sinful.

 

The point of the redution is not to say that Comfort holds that man is not sinful. Instead, it is, again, intended to show that Comfort's own agument leads to its own annihilation. 


Quote:

No it doesn't and no Christian has claimed that it does. In Christian doctrine man's corrupt nature is said to be a consequence of Original Sin. At the point of Original Sin -- according to the doctrine -- man's essential nature was debased and corrupted. This is a statment about human nature which Humanist, Marxist, Anarchist, Conservative, Liberal, and Feminist ideologies also have something to say.

 

Quote:
 


The only claim that could be construed as having anything to do with human nature is the self-refuting claim that we can define people as having absolute attributes based on singular events.

Bingo.

 

Quote:

As I have shown, Comfort had no reason to ask any of his victims questions about their past actions if he wanted to assert a claim on human nature.

Right.

Quote:
 

Also, Comfort would have made such an assertion if he wanted to do so.

 

Yes. So glad someone else gets it. 

 

If Comfort's only goal were to assert 'man is corrupt' then that's  one thing. But he can't use that very conclusion as a premise in his argument. His argument, as it stands, is self refuting.  If one action categorizes, then one good act catergorizes, no matter how much Comfort disagrees with the conclusion. And if he adds 'only negative acts categorize', then he's just begging the question...

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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robakerson wrote: Sorry,

robakerson wrote:
Sorry, didn't see the second page until after I submitted.

Two arguments are better than one. Particuarly when they are independent.  

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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todangst wrote: Incorrect.

todangst wrote:
Incorrect. The actual point he is making is that you are morally bankrupt, unable to be good or moral on your own, and therefore compelled to concede your worthlessness and seek salvation in his imaginary god.

No.  Again this is a misreprestantion or misunderstanding of Christian doctrine.  The actual point he is making is that there is no salvation to be found in acts.  That is a fundemental tenet of Christian doctrine.  You can be good or moral on your own but in the end that will amount to nothing -- it will have no bearing on your salvation.

The notion of human worthlessness does not feature in Christian doctrine it is your own invention.  Christian doctrine does contend that man is debased and corrupted but not worthless.  If man were deemed worthless then it would be inconsistent with Christ's sacrifice and ransom payment.   The opposite of what you argue is actually the case in Christian doctrine.  Refer John 3:16.  Again it doesn't matter what you or I think of this doctrine -- at this stage at least.  The point is to be intellectually honest and to correctly represent what it is you are critiquing.

Quote:
It's a scare tactic, combined with a brutal assault on a person's sense of self efficacy.

That depends on your worldview.  From a Marxist or Humanist worldview that is indeed the case.  A Christian could just as well say that the Marxist or Humanist worldview is "a scare tactic, combined with a brutal assault on a persons sense of self efficacy". 

 

Quote:
It's not 'witnessing' so much as it is psychological terror tactics*: frightening ignorant people into thinking they are both worthless and incapable of doing anything about it.

Again, it depends on your worldview.  One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.  This also is an ad hominem that reeks of arrogance.  Everyone that responds to the Christian message is ignorant?  Really?  You've demonstrated ignorance of basic Christian doctrine -- and Humanist doctrine -- in wholesale quantity.  I don't think you're in a position to be making judgements about the knowledgeability of others.

Quote:
Man can be impefect without being corrupt, without being worthless.

He can be imperfect without being worthless but he can not be imperfect without being corrupt.  The moral imperfection is -- according to Christian doctrine -- due to corruption or debasement. 

 

Quote:
Christians like comfort are unable to recognize this, because they are simplistic, concrete, dichotomous thinkers, unable to see where even they contradict their own claims in their daily lives.

You are inventing your own "Christian" doctrine for the purpose of demonstrating your self-conceived intellectual superiority.  If you need to hammer any doctrine, theory or ideology into some pre-conceived rhetorical template then it is you that is intellectually simplistic and impotent.  Understand the thing you wish to criticise and proceed from there.  If your rhetoric fails to deal with some aspect of that thing then you'll have to perform more thinking and research thereby extended your "Ikea" debating method.  You can't use the Ikea shelving unit as a bed regardless of how many throw pillows you use.

Your diatribe doesn't even address Christian doctrine.   You are  guilty of what you accuse Comfort.  You are relying on your readers ignorance and/or misunderstanding of Christian doctrine to play the part of intellectual authority.

 

Quote:
No christian actually thinks that they, or their loved ones, christian or not christian, are worthless.... they steal from secular morality with every breath... their 'witnessing' is therefore of a psychological nature, it speaks more to problems in their ego strength than it does to any reality that they actually believe in...

 True, no Christian thinks that way because what you describe isn't Christian doctrine.

This pathologising of religiosity that you are fond of enjoys no empirical support in the peer-reviewed literature.  Not only does it not enjoy any substantive empirical evidence the most recent literature reviews and meta-analyses indicate otherwise.  See for example

 MOREIRA-ALMEIDA, Alexander, LOTUFO NETO, Francisco and KOENIG, Harold G. Religiousness and mental health: a review. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol. 28, no. 3 [cited 2007-08-12], pp. 242-250. Available from: <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-44462006000300018&lng=en&nrm=iso>. ISSN 1516-4446.  Tiny URL: http://www.tiny.cc/MoreiraAlmeida.

Quote:
* This is NOT hyperbole: Comfort himself concedes that the only effective way to win converts is to frighten them. Call me on this, and I'll give you the video where he conceds precisely this...

This is more of your "Ikea shelving unit as bed" rhetorical method.  Doesn't telling an emphysema sufferer that if he doesn't stop smoking he'll most likely die a painful, drawn-out death constitute frightening them.  Most of the public health advocacy campaigns on TV specifically appeal to fear.  So what?  Fear is a motivator.  Marketers use it, copywriters use it, politicians use it, salesman use it (The Fear-Based Sale is often use by insurance salesman).  Simply because fear has been appealed to persuade doesn't necessarily mean that the advocacy is false and without substance.  Safe sex advocacy campaigns typically rely on fear.  Nevertheless the health risk is real.

Your mistake is to assume that where there is persuasion there is necessarily no rational argument.  Certainly, in some cases there is only a persuasion technique and nothingh more eg. when you are persuaded using fear to purchase more insurance than you require.  However, that does not mean that there is no case for an insurance policy.  It is your thinking that is simplistic and dichotomous.

Fusing rationality with sexiness using the arc welder of charisma -What I do.
Therefore, proposition P can't be true - A conclusion I once deduced that made me pwn.
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todangst
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lucretis wrote: todangst

lucretis wrote:

todangst wrote:
Incorrect. The actual point he is making is that you are morally bankrupt, unable to be good or moral on your own, and therefore compelled to concede your worthlessness and seek salvation in his imaginary god.

No. Again this is a misreprestantion or misunderstanding of Christian doctrine. 

Holy shit, you're just going to keep repeating the same error, aren't you? Please read my last two posts.  I'm not misrepresting christian doctrine, I'm showing how it contradicts itself.

Wow.  

 

Quote:
It's a scare tactic, combined with a brutal assault on a person's sense of self efficacy.

Quote:
 

That depends on your worldview.  

No, it does not depend on my worldview! 

Comfort himself admits that he is using scare tactics. He says it. He does. Him. Not me. Ray.

Comfort, over here...

 

Todangst, way over here...

 

Different humans.

COMFORT says he uses scare tactics.

He states that rational methods do not win converts.

 

My worldview does no enter into this. 

 

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It's not 'witnessing' so much as it is psychological terror tactics*: frightening ignorant people into thinking they are both worthless and incapable of doing anything about it.

 

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Again, it depends on your worldview.   

No, it does not.

Do you just repeat this like a mantra, when you aren't able to actually argue a point? 

 

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Christians like comfort are unable to recognize this, because they are simplistic, concrete, dichotomous thinkers, unable to see where even they contradict their own claims in their daily lives.

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You are inventing your own "Christian" doctrine for the purpose of demonstrating your self-conceived intellectual superiority.  

Sigh. Do these rants make you feel better at least?

 

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No christian actually thinks that they, or their loved ones, christian or not christian, are worthless.... they steal from secular morality with every breath... their 'witnessing' is therefore of a psychological nature, it speaks more to problems in their ego strength than it does to any reality that they actually believe in...

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True, no Christian thinks that way because what you describe isn't Christian doctrine.

False. Christians outwardly profess that man is corrupt, it's just that they dont' act in accordance to this claim.


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* This is NOT hyperbole: Comfort himself concedes that the only effective way to win converts is to frighten them. Call me on this, and I'll give you the video where he conceds precisely this...

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This is more of your "Ikea shelving unit as bed" rhetorical method.

This is more of your schizophrenic rambling.

 

 I took a look at the second video in the "Way of the Master Basic Training Course," (an eight-week Christian evangelism curriculum hosted by actor Kirk Cameron and author Ray Comfort). Their Web site is at http://www.wayofthemaster.com/

 

Here are my notes on this video.

The key points:

Comfort and Cameron concede that attempts to convert christians based on reason fail. They admit that the best way to win converts and keep them is to strike terror into the hearts of people.

 From the tape:

Why do 80-90% of those making a "decision for Christ" fall away from the faith? What is the principle that Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, Jesus, the apostles, and prophets used to reach the lost? Why have the Church neglected it?

They call this: "Hell's best kept secret"

A very interesting tape.

They start out by saying that the majority of people converted through regular techniques fail to take part in fellowship afterwards.

They hold that the best way to convert people is through scaring people: terrorism:

As they say: To let people need to know that they have inspired the wrath of an angry god, and that they have no choice but to seek salvation through grace/faith.

So they begin by using scare tactics.... they begin by playing on people's self doubts, on self esteem issues, on guilt.

They begin by taking away your humanity, by making you feel worthless.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


todangst
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lucretis wrote: Your

lucretis wrote:

Your mistake is to assume that where there is persuasion there is necessarily no rational argument.  

Will there ever be a time where you read my post accurately?

I wouldn't deny that.

The point is that Comfort himself states that rational methods do NOT win converts! Comfort himself states that to win converts, you frighten them, and then offer them a way to quell their fear.

 

More from the video

Comfort gives us the 'parachute story'

(another scare tactic).

The point of the story is this: Telling a person that christianity will make their lives better will fail to convert them.... because its actually likely that their lives will not improve!

So comfort uses the parachute analogy. The point of the analogy is this

You are given two reasons to wear a parachute while riding on a plane.

Reason 1: It make the flight better

Problem: you'll feel really silly when it doesn't work. Example: stewardess accidently drops hot coffee on you.... the parachute fails to protect you. You'll toss it off.

So he moves on to reason 2. Asking them to wear the parachute only works if you tell the person it will save them from a fall

2) it saves you from a fall

So they concede that conversion works if you convince the person of the "HORRIFIC consequences of breaking god's law."

They have to believe first, that: "There is WRATH to come."

Repent, or be judged in 'rightousness'

So conversion to christianity works best if you first frighten the person.... and then present them with a way to avoid the danger.

They go on to argue that a christian could be happy, but don't use that as the way of converting people, because 'sin' would keep them from being happy, even if they do convert!

So they concede that christanity is not the cause of happiness.

They concede this:

(My assessment)

**********The peace and joy in the heart of christians comes from having the fear of a horrific terror, inculcated by christians, removed. **********

again, looking to the parachute analogy: Stewardess who drops hot coffee: analogy: a painful event in life

Cameron says:

He didn't put the parachute on to improve his flight, he did it to save his life

" If anything, the hot coffee would even lead to him clining tighter to the parachute and even make him look forward to the jump"

Here cameron concedes that christians can even use the fact that christianity brings misery as a way to further intensify the value of their terror tactics.

Comfort then mirrors cameron's points:

"If you and I have put on the lord jesus christ for the biblical motive to flee from the wrath that is to come, when tribulation comes, we won't get angry at god. Why should we? We didn't come to jesus for a happy lifestyle, we came because we needed a savior to save us from the wrath to come'

"If anything, tribulation drives a true believer closer to the savior."

and sadly, we have literally multitudes of professing christians who lose their joy and peace when the flight gets bump, why? They're the produce of a man centered gospel, they came lacking repentance, without which you cannot be saved'

In other words, if you come to christianty and evaluate it rationally, you'll fall away from it. If you assess christianity as a means to living a good life, it will likely fail.

But if you come to it driven by guilt, by fear, by terror tactics, you'll cling to it, even if everything in the world cries it to its falsehood, because only this belief can save you from the terror.

Review:

Is this the best the most intelligent being in the universe can do? Work through limited, error riddled humans, who rely mainly on terrorism?

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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robakerson
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Reply to our points instead

lucretis: Reply to our points instead of repeating naked assertions.

We have simply asserted logical absurdities in Comfort's argument.

Unless you hold that truth is 100% relative to your "worldview" (in which case we have no discussion at all), present to us some actual motivation for Comfort's argument or accept that it's bullshit.

Todangst: Thank you. I enjoy reading your reaction. I wish we had a useful opponent.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


lucretis
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todangst wrote: Nonsense.

todangst wrote:

Nonsense. Comfort's arguments appeal to concrete thinkers, children. Piaget's Preoperational stage, ages 2-7. The sort of moral reasoning employed by Comfort would be pre-conventional, and clearly within the grasp of a child.

This categorisation of Comfort's method is an artifact of your disortion of that method.  Comfort is appealing to abstract, universal, and absolute moral principles.  This places his method in the post-conventional level.  His explicit appeal to justice confirms this understanding.  

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But there's nothing in Comfort's 'ethics' that is post conventional.

Wrong.  Abstract moral principles, a form of Kant's categorical imperative, the notion of justice, the concept of a privileged determinant of right and wrong are all post-conventional.

 

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In fact, Lawrence Kohlberg would shit if he read your claim that Comfort is acting on the level of universal ethical principles!

What you think Kohlberg would think is irrelevant nonsense that is unverifiable in any event. 

 

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He holds that few if any humans at all reach that stage, and the idea that a Comfort is there is laughably ludicrous!

Whether Comfort has reached that level or not is besides the point.  What is at issue is the nature of his moral appeals.  His appeals are post-conventional. 

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Are you confusing Comforts' belief that his moral system is 'universal' (coz god said so) means that he is acting from a universal ethical principle?!?!

No.  Any Christian -- or anyone for that matter -- that adopts Kant's categorical imperative as a practical guide to conduct is operating at a post-coventional level. 

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If you want to try citing Kohlberg to psychologist, you gotta do it right.

Please spare me the hubristic bluster.  Surely you must get fed up of it yourself unless you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

 

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Comfort's moral system is based on divine command ethics. I.e., man is incapable of moral action, he can only act to avoid punishment. Believe or go to hell.

There is no notion in Christian doctrine that "man is incapable of moral action".  This is your embellishment. 

Kant's categorical imperative is entirely consistent with Christian ethics.  Christian ethics can be understood as both pre-conventional and post-conventional (even though it is ultimately post-conventional).  A Christian that conceives of his ethics in Kantian terms is -- by definiton -- opearting at a post-conventional level.

The doctrine of Perspicuity of Scripture requires that Christian doctrine be accessible to all regardless of intelligence and level of education.  Consistent with this model Christian ethics can also be understood as divine command ethics i.e. pre-conventional morality.

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This is a pre conventional morality.

Yes it is but that isn't the essence of Christian ethics.  It permits this simplification for accessibility but it is not the doctrine in its fullness.

 

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From my site's entry on Kohlberg:

Please, I'm not interested in your quoting yourself elsewhere.  You aren't a recognised authority on developmental psychology.  Kohlberg's material is available to me as it is to you.  You status as a psychologist counts for little.  Just quote from primary works if you disagree with my understanding of Kohlberg not from your own writings.

[quoting]Based on a self refuting assumption that man is corrupt![/quoting]

I don't agree that you've demonstrated it's "self refuting".

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You're completely lost here. I'll try again: the issue is flaws in Comfort's system. You're not even responding to my argument.

I don't agree that Comfort's system has logical flaws.  The flaws are apparent and they are based upon your misunderstanding of Christian doctrine.  

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We can thus reduce his argument to absurdity when we consider that his rule must hold for the opposing descriptor as well: If one dishonest act makes you dishonest, then, using the same all or nothing mindset, one honest act must make you honest.

No, and this is the kernel of your misunderstanding.  It wasn't a worldly act that rendered Joe Bloggs essentially dishonest. There is nothing in Joe Bloggs' biography that altered his essential human nature.  It isn't his dishonesty here and now that makes him essentially dishonest.  His dishonesty here and now serves merely to demonstrate his essential human nature.  Ray Comfort is concerned that Joes Bloggs once lied only in so far as it demonstrates his essential nature.  Furthermore, his essential nature wasn't established by that long since passed dishonest act.  Joe Bloggs lie doesn't make him a liar.  Rather it demonstrates that he is esentially debased.  Joe Bloggs honesty doesn't demonstrate anything in regards to his essential nature.

 Your rejoinder is logical but it is irrelevant.

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You don't give a reason why this is so, based on the argument alone.

I have but you're reasoning under a misconception regarding Comfort's MO. 

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It couldn't flow from his argument, alone, as presented, because his argument is based on the premise that one action can categorize a person into a tight dichotomy.

No it isn't.  Humans are categorised as corrupted on the basis of Original Sin NOT because they once sinned here during their life.  This idea that you have is the Gordian Knot that is obstructing your understanding of Comfort's MO and what I'm trying to communicate.  In Christian doctrine man is born corrupted.  He is corrupted even before he has taken his first breath.  Any behaviour -- good or bad -- won't budge this categorisation.  Comfort's line of questioning serves only to highlight this fallen nature.  When hes says "So you lied, then that makes you a liar", he isn't claiming that this act of dishonesty changed your nature from whole to debased.  The lying is nothing more than a "symptom" of a debased human nature that was already there. It is NOT causative.  

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Do you see the difference, or will our exchanges go on like this forever, with you being unable to delineate the two different matters?

Do you see the difference?  What you are contending against isn't Christian doctrine and its a mischaracterisation of Comforts MO. 

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No shit.

Then you shouldn't have difficulty understanding that man is born corrupted and even though he can perform virtuous acts it doesn't alter his essential and pre-existing nature.  This dichotomous categorisation issue is a problem borne out of your misunderstanding of Christian doctrine. 

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But the point you're responding to is the argument, and the premises, as they stand. And as per the premise that 'one act categorizes', it follows that one honest act makes you honest.

No, I re-iterate.   No quantum of acts -- good or bad -- categorise with respect to human nature.   Human nature is conceived of as invariant.  Even the Born-Again or the saintly still conceive of themselves as Fallen and corrupted.  Christians still use the categories of virtuous and vicious such that a person that performs charitable works comes to be viewed as "repentant and faithful" but he remains essentially corrupted.

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The premise is simply 'one act catergorizes'.

That is NOT the premise.  No act -- good or bad -- can categorise.  The categorising act is conceived of to have taken place in the Garden of Eden. 

 

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If you are going to add that 'man is fallen, ergo incapable of moral action' then you render his entire argument moot! You're just asserting the conclusion, and therefore, begging the question.

This is another premise of your own design.  A fallen man still has a conscience and hence is capable of moral action.  What man is incapable of is saving himself as a result of moral action.  Furthermore man can not become good or bad -- he is essentially bad.

Your first two premises:

P1 One act categorises into one of two mutually exclusive categories.

P2 Man is fallen ans hence incapable of moral action.

Are you own inventions.  They are drawn neither from Christian doctrine nor from WOTM.  This is your straw man that you thrusting against. 

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one act, categorizes you into a dichotomous category

No it doesn't.  Your nature is established from conception.

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and: everyone is sinful by birth, no matter what.

Their sinful nature is fixed at birth but that does not render them incapable of moral action.

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To use the very conclusion as the premise is circular logic.

So yes, no shit: comfort believes in original sin. Quit announcing this as a revelation. It has no bearing on the assessment of his argument.

You don't understand original sin nor the fundamentals of Christian doctrine.  I've repeatedly corrected your misunderstandings above. 

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Perhaps you're confused as to how my reduction to absurdity works.... whether or not Comfort holds that man is capable of good acts is moot, what matters is that it follows that one act defines a person, then this principle can be used against Comfort's own argument. The entire point is that this DOES lead to contradicting his conclusion that man is debased by nature!

It is you that is confused.  No moral act -- good or bad -- categorises a person.  I've explained this repeatedly above.  

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If you're response is "well, this only works in regards to negative categories, immoral behaviors" then this renders the entire argument moot.

For the Nth time.  Human nature is fixed and invariant.  No action -- good or bad -- enables you to jump categories. This is part of your straw man which you keep ceremeoniously impaling.

 

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It simply means that Comfort is just asserting that people are immoral, whether they act or not. Otherwise, you're using your conclusion as a premise in the argument!

Comfort is claiming -- consistent with Christian doctrine -- that people are essentially corrupted and tend towards sin regardless of whether they act or not.  Actions don't alter human nature -- in any worldview. 

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I understand the doctrine of original sin.

The above indicates that you don't.

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The point I am making is that Comfort's argument, as it stands, can be used against him, because it is based on the premise: one act, categorizes.

Well it isn't based on that premise so all of your pomposity comes to nothing. 

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it is a desire to share a self hating belief with the world, rather than having to live with it yourself.

This is pseudoscience of the sort given ample criticism in Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology and House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth.  You are engaging in "mind-reading".  You profess to know the motivations of someone you've no first-hand knowledge.  I'm presumably supposed to accept your unsubstantiated opining because you are a psychologist.  This is an argument from authority. 

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If you feel miserable about yourself, it might be easier to imagine that everyone is the same way.

If, if, if...

Your construction of conditional statements is irrelevant.  Offer evidence or keep them to yourself. 

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The alternative might be: I'm not all that good, but others are... and that might just prove intolerable to accept.

More conjecture.  This is ad hominem disguised as authoritative opinion.  The alternative could be your're wrong about Comfort.  That's just as probable as your speculations.

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Psychological motives are not always a failing. A person can also project out positive feelings onto others. It's only a problem in a case where someone spreads something damaging to others, based on an unjustified belief. In this case because Comfort is spreading the self hating notion that any inpurity leads to moral corruption.

There is no evidence that Christianity is psychologoically damaging.  I refer you again to

 http://www.tiny.cc/MoreiraAlmeida

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Only if you are so completely lazy as an arguer that you allow unjustified childish tit for tat responses stand in as an argument.

Why introduce this sort of thing in the first place?

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I've explained why there is a likely psychological motive here. Comfort supposedly believes that he is worthless, sinful, corrupt and worthy of destruction. He believes its moral to tell this to others, and to use this to terrorize them into believing what he believes.

You've speculated and conjectured without an iota of evidence regarding someones motivations and self-concept.  So what? 

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Now, would you like to actually build an argument in response?

I already have. 

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The strawman only exists in your confused misunderstandings of my post. Now that I've made this clear, you can apologize.

Why not extend me the interpretive charity that you are requesting of me?  Perhaps I am correct in my understanding of both you and Comfort.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an apology.  No apology is due.  You've been pompous and condescending from the outset.  Don't be a hypocrite.  As I stated if you want interpretive charity then give it. 

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But does anyone actually live like this? Do we stop trusting a person, forever, if they lie to us once? Do we call mom a liar, because of what she told us about Santa Claus?

In some cases we do stop trusting a person forever if they lie or cheat.  In my part of the world, anyone with a criminal conviction will generally not be able to obtain employment in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, as a lawyer or in a document of identity production plant.  So we do live like this in some cases.  Similarly, in many jurisdictions, adultery is grounds for divorce.  Someone convicted of hacking is unlikely to find employment in the IT industry.  Convicted pedophiles don't find work in childcare.  There are many such examples.  The logic behind these restrictions is that the one act indicates a moral turpitude together with an absence of self-control.  But this is irrelevant anyway.

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In practice, no. In their theology, yes, they do.

No neither in practice nor theology. 

 

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Thanks for again proving my point! If man is 'debased' before he's even born, then he is not trustworthy. However, christians trust each other, and christians even trust non christians.

Not so.  Christians don't deny the existence of a conscience.  Comforts approach is predicated on the existence of a functional conscience.  You are conflating the idea that man is essentially sinful with the false idea that man is incapable of moral action.  Your argument rests on this conflation.  

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You have no appreciation of how to argue a point.

That's a premature conclusion. 

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Comfort holds that all people are equally sinful, debased, worthless, incapable of being good on their own. Yet he trusts his wife more than me.

Do you see the contradiction?

There is no real contradiction.  There is in the travesty that you invented above but not in my position nor that of Comfort.

Firstly, Christianity does not claim that people are worthless or incapable of being good on their own. 

Secondly, the Christian claim is that all people are born with a sinful nature but they are also born with a conscience. 

Thirdly, whether a Christian invests their trust in someone is based upon that same criteria that that a non-Christian employs to make that decision.  The same heuristics apply.  All things being equal Comfort should trust his wife more than you because he has a greater knowledge of her biography and as his wife her loyalty and integrity is likely to have been tested many times.  You on the other hand are unknown to him.  It's a simple prudential decision. 

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davidildo
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Quote:

sigh

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I'm amazed at the lack interpretive charity in your response to Ray Comfort. You are being defamatory and your understanding of Comfort's modus operandi is completely wrong.

It is not up to me to provide interpretive charity to someone who is claiming to use a scientifice method of proving something. We do not do that in science.

 

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Content aside that is incorrect and you concede this in your next statement. A thing A can take on propety P as a result of a temporary or transient experience. For example, a new car becomes and remains a used-car as a consequence of use. A person that has had sex loses their virginity. In these cases P becomes part of As identity. You are plainly wrong in your generaliastion.

 

That may be true in may instances, but the word liar by definition implies a habitual or repeatable act. One would not consider themselves a jogger if they ran once. If you visit a retirement home and see someone who is wheelchair bound, you would not consider them a jogger, but rather someone who used to be a jogger, or one who jogged. I once moved my brothers weights across the room, does that make me a weightlifter now?

 

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So you admit that you are wrong. You have contradicted yourself but you push on with your defamation regardless. How do you know that Ray Comfort doesn't sincerely believe what he is saying? In which case he wouldn't be lying.

No, I am honest, and I am showing myself to be honest. I presented the alternate point to show that there is a poorly written derfinition out there that does support his point, but is rather irrelelevent to the arguement, which I demonstrate with further analogies such as drunk, pantswetter, and jogger.

 

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Seems to be and actually is are two different things. You have made an assumption, cherry-picked a dictionary definition that suits your defamatory agenda and proceeded hence.

 

Actually, I used the definition that is presented in the three largest and most respected dictionaries, Marriam Websters, American Heritage, and Random house. I also took the work at its literal meaning that anyone with half a brain understands, and cited examples that support my usage. You understand this, you know this. I am amazed that you are argueing this. Do you really believe that a person who has lied once, is a liar? Would you apply that same logic to someone who has wet their pants once? If I once had the flu years ago, would I still be considered sick?

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Sorry but there is no "therefore" here. You are assuming what you need to prove. If you are going to call someone a liar you must demonstrate that they are intentionally uttering falsehoods. You've yet to rule out that Ray Comfort is actually being sincere.

OK, I guess I should of said that he is either a liar, or just really stupid...

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Ray Comfort is witnessing. His intention is to demonstrate the fallen and corrupt nature of man. He need only demonstrate the absence of moral perfection in man to achieve his purpose. If you have lied, stolen, coveted, killed etc. at any point in your life then ipso facto you are morally imperfect according to the standard of Christian ethics. Fundamental to Christian doctrine is the notion that everyone is flawed and debased even Christians. Yes, this is contrary to the Humanist position but that is besides the point. The matter at hand is the WOTM witnessing technique.

Exactly my point. He is witnessing, and the witnessing process is not scientific or logical. It is a sick prey on peoples emotions that is to elicit a response that is not based in logic, but rather fear. He is taking rather basic human qualities and is calling them sins in which we burn in hell for. Freud called it the id, and the Jews named it Yetzer ha ra and it existed and was recognized for years before the Christians came around and called it bad. Yetzer hara is considered neccisary for success and to prosper according to Judaism, not a sin.

 

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By what epistemic route did you arrive at the confident conclusion that Ray Comfort is lying? The other options which you are ignoring are that (a) you don't understand the logic he is employing; and (b) he sincerely believes what he is saying. Either situation exonerates Comfort from any guilt. I'm interested to know how you ruled out (1) and (2).

One could assume that Ray does not know the definition of 'liar", or that either one of them has never heard that there is more to evolutionary evidence besides, "this is a monkey, this is man". We might believe that no one ever pointed out these things. Even if all of that above is true, they are still not being honest when they edit the film to make the evolutionists arguements look weaker than they are. That is a lie. Showing people stumbling for answers, and removing the good answers is a lie. Sincerely believing what he is saying is not enough to keep him from being a liar, it is the presentation of facts in a biased manner that makes him a liar. Knowingly choosing words that leave a false impression is a lie. If he were only witnessing, then that is one thing, but presenting "scientific proof", then he better have his facts correct. He better prove that he has done his homework and understands the evidence that he is refuting.

 

So, maybe he was unaware of all the above, in which case he is not a liar. He is sorely misinformed and is in no place to be telling anyone anything. Of course, if he is THAT misinformed, then he can be considered a liar by presenting himself as an expert.....


davidildo
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The christians worst nightmare

Ray comfort teaches us that the athiests worst nightmare is the banana. It is easy to hold, carry, and open. It travels well, fits the mouth, and comes in its own color coded stay fresh case.

 

Behold the christian omivores worst nightmare, the cow. It is hard to catch, tough skin to prevent it from being easily eaten, can make you ill if you do not extensively prepare it, and goes rotten quickly. I guess G-d didn't want us to eat cows.....???? 


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Quote:

Quote:
todangst wrote:

Nonsense. Comfort's arguments appeal to concrete thinkers, children. Piaget's Preoperational stage, ages 2-7. The sort of moral reasoning employed by Comfort would be pre-conventional, and clearly within the grasp of a child.

This categorisation of Comfort's method is an artifact of your disortion of that method. Comfort is appealing to abstract, universal, and absolute moral principles. This places his method in the post-conventional level. His explicit appeal to justice confirms this understanding.



From http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/kohlberg.htm
Quote:
Level 1. Preconventional Morality


Stage 1. Obedience and Punishment Orientation. Kohlberg's stage 1 is similar to Piaget's first stage of moral thought. The child assumes that powerful authorities hand down a fixed set of rules which he or she must unquestioningly obey. To the Heinz dilemma, the child typically says that Heinz was wrong to steal the drug because "It's against the law," or "It's bad to steal," as if this were all there were to it. When asked to elaborate, the child usually responds in terms of the consequences involved, explaining that stealing is bad "because you'll get punished" (Kohlberg, 1958b).

...(skipping a paragraph)...

Kohlberg calls stage 1 thinking "preconventional" because children do not yet speak as members of society. Instead, they see morality as something external to themselves, as that which the big people say they must do.


Postconventional morality has nothing to with Comfort's claims (at least not the ones that we have claimed are inherently flawed. We don't need to argue Comfort's overall dogma to have an issue with one argument he advanced).

Kohlberg wrote:
Lawrence Kohlberg: "Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self-chosen ethical principles appealing to logical comprehensiveness, universality and consistency. These principles are abstract and ethical (the golden rule, the categorical imperative) and are not concrete moral rules like the Ten Commandments. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons." (Duska, R. and Whelan, M., 1975)

(lifted from https://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~ncoverst/Post-Conventional.htm)
Which is part of a database for the University of Central Florida)

This quote is a direct descriptor of stage 6, which deals with universal ethical principles. Read especially the part about, "...the dignity of human beings as individual persons."
Kohlberg, in testing the stage of development of specific people, stated that the tests he used to put people in stage 6 left it hard to differentiate between whether the person was actually in stage 5 or 6. He also claimed that he didn't believe people he tested were ever permanently in stage 6.

QED.

"You are a liar" is not a universal ethical principle.
Again, if Comfort wanted to appeal to universal ethical principles, the question, "are you a liar?" would be superfluous.
Again, the main issue here is the argument which Comfort advanced which we have proven to be self-refuting. It is deductively self-refuting. That means: there's no way around it.
If Comfort wasn't advancing an argument, then he wouldn't use the basic format, "If A, then B" (as he obviously has, "If you have lied, then you are a liar&quotEye-wink.
We have debunked his argument 3 or 4 times and the only response you have is basically, "Well that's not what Comfort is arguing".
Then why the hell is that what Comfort is saying? You have absolutely no evidence to provide that Comfort is making any other claim than the one he is saying, video after video.

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Comfort's moral system is based on divine command ethics. I.e., man is incapable of moral action, he can only act to avoid punishment. Believe or go to hell.

There is no notion in Christian doctrine that "man is incapable of moral action". This is your embellishment.



If man were a free moral agent, then why do you consistenly insist that Comfort notions on a universally morally degraded man?
If his "statement"(which he hasnt made) on human nature was deviod of making any claims on human action, then why does he use human action as evidence to support his "claim"(which he hasnt made).

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The doctrine of Perspicuity of Scripture requires that Christian doctrine be accessible to all regardless of intelligence and level of education. Consistent with this model Christian ethics can also be understood as divine command ethics i.e. pre-conventional morality.


To be free to all means to be able to be understood by all, which means you can't exclude children. Ergo, it can't be post-conventional. Unless you're saying that it's only pre-conventional to children, but it's post-conventional otherwise(?).

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From my site's entry on Kohlberg:

Please, I'm not interested in your quoting yourself elsewhere. You aren't a recognised authority on developmental psychology. Kohlberg's material is available to me as it is to you. You status as a psychologist counts for little. Just quote from primary works if you disagree with my understanding of Kohlberg not from your own writings.



Well, I've quoted two different websites. I can keep going all day.

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[quoting]Based on a self refuting assumption that man is corrupt![/quoting]

I don't agree that you've demonstrated it's "self refuting".



Because you probably haven't read what we've advanced, and if you really did, then it's obvious you just don't understand what we've done here.

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You're completely lost here. I'll try again: the issue is flaws in Comfort's system. You're not even responding to my argument.

I don't agree that Comfort's system has logical flaws. The flaws are apparent and they are based upon your misunderstanding of Christian doctrine.



Wrong. In debunking Comfort's basal argument, we've made no statement about Christian doctrine. The self-refutation of Comfort's argument is based on continually demonstrable rules of basic reasoning, of which you should be familiar:

http://editthis.info/logic/Main_Page
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html

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No, and this is the kernel of your misunderstanding. It wasn't a worldly act that rendered Joe Bloggs essentially dishonest. There is nothing in Joe Bloggs' biography that altered his essential human nature. It isn't his dishonesty here and now that makes him essentially dishonest. His dishonesty here and now serves merely to demonstrate his essential human nature.


You've inferred something which is antithetical to the basic argument Comfort has continuously advanced. If Comfort holds that men are essentially dishonest, then he has no reason to start his arguments by questioning the nature of the individual.

"Have you ever told a lie?" (yes) "Then you are a liar."

If all people are essentially dishonest, then Comfort doesn't need the first question to confidently proclaim, "You are a liar". You're essentially stating that Comfort himself is hiding the argument or set of arguments in which he arrived at the conclusion that the person he is questioning is a liar.
However, you've provided no evidence that this is the case, and his argument remains self-refuting as it stands.
(In any event, there's no reason to present this argument at all, given it's obvious flaws.)

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You don't give a reason why this is so, based on the argument alone.

I have but you're reasoning under a misconception regarding Comfort's MO.



You've yet again given us no reason to believe you. If you want us to change our conception of Comfort's MO either
1) Reason out why we are wrong, and show us (I've seen a lot of unconnected naked assertions devoid of the basic syntax of reason)
2) Provide evidence.

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It couldn't flow from his argument, alone, as presented, because his argument is based on the premise that one action can categorize a person into a tight dichotomy.
No it isn't. Humans are categorised as corrupted on the basis of Original Sin NOT because they once sinned here during their life.


Yes it is. Comfort himself proclaims the argument as such:
"Have you ever told a lie?" yes. "Then you are a liar".
That's an argument. Don't deny that
1) Comfort made this claim
2) It's self-refuting (without reasoning out some reason why, which circumvents our previous arguments that it is.)

If Comfort wanted to preach original sin, he would say
"You are a liar." Game over. No reason to make it a self-refuting claim.

Besides, it's question begging to assume that every event of lying is evidence of man's essentially corrupt nature. You're just selecting evidence to prove a point. If we didn't have the concept of man's essentially corrupt nature, the act of lying would hold equal weight as the act of being honest, to tease out man's essential nature (if it can be said that humans have one).
This is similar to any discussion about prayer. Prayer does nothing beyond the expected placebo effect, statistically. Therefore, it's selective to say that people who prayed out of cancer or who were one of the few to survive disasters, etc. are "proof" of the power of prayer. They're no more proof than the people who survive that didn't pray.

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Any behaviour -- good or bad -- won't budge this categorisation.


Then why does Comfort question the actions of people?

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Comfort's line of questioning serves only to highlight this fallen nature.


Evidence of having once lied remains poor evidence of an "essential' nature of man. Why ignore opposing evidence?

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When hes says "So you lied, then that makes you a liar", he isn't claiming that this act of dishonesty changed your nature from whole to debased. The lying is nothing more than a "symptom" of a debased human nature that was already there. It is NOT causative.


This isn't what Comfort claims at all.
"Have you ever told a lie?" yes. "See? men are essentially corrupt and debased."

"Have you ever told a lie?" yes. "See? You're a liar."

Completely fucking different.

Let Comfort make his own claims.

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No shit.

Then you shouldn't have difficulty understanding that man is born corrupted and even though he can perform virtuous acts it doesn't alter his essential and pre-existing nature. This dichotomous categorisation issue is a problem borne out of your misunderstanding of Christian doctrine.



Again, you're wrong. It has nothing to do with Christian doctrine. It is about a continuously quotable claim that Comfort repeatedly asserts. Any corollaries are subject to the truth of the orginial claim, which we have shown to be self-refuting.

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No, I re-iterate. No quantum of acts -- good or bad -- categorise with respect to human nature.


Please quit using words incorrectly, superfluously, and out of context.

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The premise is simply 'one act catergorizes'.

That is NOT the premise. No act -- good or bad -- can categorise. The categorising act is conceived of to have taken place in the Garden of Eden.



Then Comfort shouldn't make a claim against his own teaching.
He's made the claim.
We refuted it.
You're talking about something else.

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This is another premise of your own design. A fallen man still has a conscience and hence is capable of moral action. What man is incapable of is saving himself as a result of moral action. Furthermore man can not become good or bad -- he is essentially bad.


What are you even arguing by "essentially bad"?
Are you saying that men, as free moral agents, cannot act in a good moral fashion?

I think you're trying to say that we are inherently bad.
Are we inherently infinitely bad?
Can any amount of good moral action salvage us?
If this is the assertion,
again,
there is no reason for the account of actions Comfort requests of his victims.
And what's the nature of a good moral action if no amount of them is evidence of a good nature (for any person)?
And why do we need morally debased actions to prove a universal nature which is apparently true, free from the actions of the individual?

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It is you that is confused. No moral act -- good or bad -- categorises a person. I've explained this repeatedly above.


Yes. We know. You've gone at great length to completely circumvent dealing with Comfort's obvious argument.

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If you're response is "well, this only works in regards to negative categories, immoral behaviors" then this renders the entire argument moot.

For the Nth time. Human nature is fixed and invariant. No action -- good or bad -- enables you to jump categories. This is part of your straw man which you keep ceremeoniously impaling.



Let me motivate why this isn't a straw man:
You're asserting that Comfort's argument goes more like this:
1) men is essentially corrupt
2) lying is a corrupt action
3) therefore, evidence of 2) is evidence of 1)
4) person X has lied
5) person X is evidence of fitting into 1)

However, premise 3) only holds if we accept premise 1), which makes it a question-begging premise.
Having once lied is only evidence of man being essentially corrupt if we already hold the premise than man is essentially corrupt.
Otherwise, it's just evidence of a moral action.
The nature of man (if there is an "essential nature&quotEye-wink would otherwise have to be teased out through accounts of tendencies of moral actions, which would include the opposite action: being honest.
This is not a misrepresentation of the ideology, this is a direct response to what you have claimed (that man is essentially corrupt and Comfort is just trying to provide evidence).

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Actions don't alter human nature -- in any worldview.


Read up on Thomas Hobbes' on the state of nature.
In his description of the state of nature, he spends a lot of time motivating a debased human nature simply based on actions people make in society. In other words, he takes evidence and derives a conclusion instead of supporting a conclusion by selecting evidence.

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Comfort is claiming -- consistent with Christian doctrine -- that people are essentially corrupted and tend towards sin regardless of whether they act or not.


Then why use human action as evidence to support that claim?
This is clearly not the claim he is making with his basal
"Have you ever told a lie?" argument.

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There is no evidence that Christianity is psychologoically damaging.


Except for the bible and teachings of charlatans such as Comfort.

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I've explained why there is a likely psychological motive here. Comfort supposedly believes that he is worthless, sinful, corrupt and worthy of destruction. He believes its moral to tell this to others, and to use this to terrorize them into believing what he believes.

You've speculated and conjectured without an iota of evidence regarding someones motivations and self-concept. So what?



Unlike Todangst, I haven't engaged in speculation on Comfort's psychology, and you've conveniently ignored me. You've also ignored the meat of Todangst's argument, the parts that don't rely as much on speculation.
Are you selecting for easy to defend positions?

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Now, would you like to actually build an argument in response?

I already have.



Todangst obviously forgot to add the qualifier "good" before argument.

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The strawman only exists in your confused misunderstandings of my post. Now that I've made this clear, you can apologize.

Why not extend me the interpretive charity that you are requesting of me? Perhaps I am correct in my understanding of both you and Comfort.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an apology. No apology is due. You've been pompous and condescending from the outset. Don't be a hypocrite. As I stated if you want interpretive charity then give it.



Despite your queer misconceptions about it, interpretive charity doesn't mean entertaining any given argument, despite logical contradiction. It means looking at the best possible invocation of a given argument. There is no interpretive charity for deductively unsound arguments.

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In some cases we do stop trusting a person forever if they lie or cheat. In my part of the world, anyone with a criminal conviction will generally not be able to obtain employment in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, as a lawyer or in a document of identity production plant. So we do live like this in some cases. Similarly, in many jurisdictions, adultery is grounds for divorce. Someone convicted of hacking is unlikely to find employment in the IT industry. Convicted pedophiles don't find work in childcare. There are many such examples. The logic behind these restrictions is that the one act indicates a moral turpitude together with an absence of self-control. But this is irrelevant anyway.


Again, I refer you to Hobbes.
If human nature is inherently debased, whether or not human action plays a part in this human nature(it makes no sense if it doesnt), Hobbes draws some great conclusions for you to live by. Hah.

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Not so. Christians don't deny the existence of a conscience. Comforts approach is predicated on the existence of a functional conscience. You are conflating the idea that man is essentially sinful with the false idea that man is incapable of moral action. Your argument rests on this conflation.


If humans live by conscience, then we are not necessarily debased. We can choose, as free moral agents. What's the point of calling us essentially debased if it makes no statement on the actions of man?And if it makes no statement on the actions of man, then why use man's actions as evidence that man is corrupt?

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You have no appreciation of how to argue a point.

That's a premature conclusion.



At least we can back this point up with tons of evidence.

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Comfort holds that all people are equally sinful, debased, worthless, incapable of being good on their own. Yet he trusts his wife more than me.

Do you see the contradiction?

There is no real contradiction. There is in the travesty that you invented above but not in my position nor that of Comfort.

Firstly, Christianity does not claim that people are worthless or incapable of being good on their own.

Secondly, the Christian claim is that all people are born with a sinful nature but they are also born with a conscience.



If a statement on human nature makes no claims on human action, then why make the claim?
If human action has nothing to do with human nature, then how can Comfort use human action as evidence for his conception of human nature?
Again, it's unclear, given the argument, that Comfort wants to argue any universal principles or statements of human ethics, given the progression of the argument he uses.
If he's arguing for something other than what he's saying, then why not just say what he's arguing for?
Are you simply advocating that Comfort is hiding the motives behind his questioning or simply confused at how to make an argumentative point, as you so clearly are?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


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lucretis wrote:

lucretis wrote:
todangst wrote:

Nonsense. Comfort's arguments appeal to concrete thinkers, children. Piaget's Preoperational stage, ages 2-7. The sort of moral reasoning employed by Comfort would be pre-conventional, and clearly within the grasp of a child.

This categorisation of Comfort's method is an artifact of your disortion of that method.

No, I've already refuted this, and your inability to see your error at this point is tiresome. Comfort's moral system is this: obey or be tortured in hell.

This is precisely what he says: you are incapable of being good, so act to avoid eternal torture. This is divine command ethics. It is a preconventional moral stage. It is the morality of children who are incapable of a rational, logical, set of ethics. 

Quote:

Comfort is appealing to abstract, universal, and absolute moral principles.

I've already correct this error as well. You are confusing the fact that Comforts' moral system is 'universal' vis-a-vis being 'god given' with a universal ethical principle, which is something entirely different. This is explained in the above post for you. They are two entirely different things, something someone who actually understood Kohlberg would know.

You aren't capable of holding this conversation. You haven't the slightest fucking clue as to what you're talking about, and continually correcting your blunders is tiresome.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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robakerson

robakerson wrote:

Postconventional morality has nothing to with Comfort's claims (at least not the ones that we have claimed are inherently flawed. We don't need to argue Comfort's overall dogma to have an issue with one argument he advanced).

Kohlberg wrote:
Lawrence Kohlberg: "Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self-chosen ethical principles appealing to logical comprehensiveness, universality and consistency. These principles are abstract and ethical (the golden rule, the categorical imperative) and are not concrete moral rules like the Ten Commandments. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons." (Duska, R. and Whelan, M., 1975)

(lifted from https://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~ncoverst/Post-Conventional.htm)
Which is part of a database for the University of Central Florida)

This quote is a direct descriptor of stage 6, which deals with universal ethical principles. Read especially the part about, "...the dignity of human beings as individual persons."

Yes. Self chosen moral principles. Logical.

This has NOTHING to do with Comfort's divine command ethics. Comfort's moral system isn't even a moral system, it's mere prudence. It is merely obey or be destroyed. It is fear based, irrational, not logical.  

 

Quote:

 Kohlberg, in testing the stage of development of specific people, stated that the tests he used to put people in stage 6 left it hard to differentiate between whether the person was actually in stage 5 or 6. He also claimed that he didn't believe people he tested were ever permanently in stage 6.

QED.

Yes. QED indeed. Too bad it will be totally lost to our friend.

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"You are a liar" is not a universal ethical principle.
Again, if Comfort wanted to appeal to universal ethical principles, the question, "are you a liar?" would be superfluous.
Again, the main issue here is the argument which Comfort advanced which we have proven to be self-refuting. It is deductively self-refuting. That means: there's no way around it.

Yes, but again, such things mean nothing to him.

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We have debunked his argument 3 or 4 times and the only response you have is basically, "Well that's not what Comfort is arguing".

Because our friend is utterly incapable of understanding what a reduction to absurdity is... he cannot grasp that the very point of such an argument is to show that one's premises lead to the exact opposite conclusion...

Our friend here is so incapable of grasping what a reduction to absurdity is that he takes from the fact that it leads to the opposite conclusion that we are gettign Comfort's argument backwards!

Seriously, I know it's amazing, but this is precisely why he is having the problem.

He's really this lost.

But then again, anyone who could confuse Kohlberg's stage 1 for stage 6 has only a schizophrenic attachment to reality.

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  There is no notion in Christian doctrine that "man is incapable of moral action". This is your embellishment.

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If man were a free moral agent, then why do you consistenly insist that Comfort notions on a universally morally degraded man?

He's lost again. If man were capable of moral action, then he could be moral, good, on his own.

 

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Please, I'm not interested in your quoting yourself elsewhere. You aren't a recognised authority on developmental psychology.

 

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Well, I've quoted two different websites. I can keep going all day.

His goal was to simply avoid reading my argument. Had he read it, he'd realize that I cited a source as well.

But notice he didn't even bother to read it, or to look at the source... he simply ignored it.

Let's credit his honesty here: he ignores reality whenever it goes against him, at least this time he admitted it up front.

  

Quote:
In debunking Comfort's basal argument, we've made no statement about Christian doctrine. The self-refutation of Comfort's argument is based on continually demonstrable rules of basic reasoning, of which you should be familiar:

http://editthis.info/logic/Main_Page
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html

 

Again, I doubt he's capable of following these points.  

 

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If all people are essentially dishonest, then Comfort doesn't need the first question to confidently proclaim, "You are a liar".

Precisely. It would be redunant. And to use it in an argument would be circular.

Again, we could say these things all day.


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It couldn't flow from his argument, alone, as presented, because his argument is based on the premise that one action can categorize a person into a tight dichotomy.

No it isn't. Humans are categorised as corrupted on the basis of Original Sin NOT because they once sinned here during their life.

 

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Yes it is. Comfort himself proclaims the argument as such:
"Have you ever told a lie?" yes. "Then you are a liar".
That's an argument. Don't deny that

Wow! Look at how fucking schizophrenic this clown is!

Here are my words:  

The point here is that given Comfort's premises, his argument can be used against him. It's obvious that Comfort would reject the conclusion, but it would be based on his presumption that man is debased as per original sin. It couldn't flow from his argument, alone, as presented, because his argument is based on the premise that one action can categorize a person into a tight dichotomy.

This man is fucking insane. I just declared that Comfort's theology IS based on original sin, not man's immoral actions during life. And how does he respond?

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No it isn't. Humans are categorised as corrupted on the basis of Original Sin NOT because they once sinned here during their life.

Can you fucking believe this? This man is fucking insane!

My point here was not to deny this at all! It was to say that, as per Comfort's argument, man is immoral because any immoral action places a person into a category of immorality.

Seriously, the person we are dealing with has some serious, seroius mental problems. He's utterly incapable of even reading what is written for him. 

 

Let's look at this again:

 Todangst:  The point here is that given Comfort's premises, his argument can be used against him. It's obvious that Comfort would reject the conclusion, but it would be based on his presumption that man is debased as per original sin. It couldn't flow from his argument, alone, as presented, because his argument is based on the premise that one action can categorize a person into a tight dichotomy.

Mental patient:No it isn't. Humans are categorised as corrupted on the basis of Original Sin NOT because they once sinned here during their life.

 

 I can't continue. This man needs professional help. Immediately. Anyone who could respond as he has done here is either playing a bad practical joke, or has missed several risperdal medications in a row.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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robakerson

robakerson wrote:


Quote:

Quote:
Now, would you like to actually build an argument in response?

I already have.



Todangst obviously forgot to add the qualifier "good" before argument.

No. He offered no argument here at all.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Everyone else reading this

todangst: I agree. I'm done. I can't keep going in circles with this same shit. We've made no progress.

Everyone else reading this thread:
I'm sorry about the obvious sexism in the entire argument.
I used the word "man" in replace of "human" and honestly meant nothing by it.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
George Orwell.


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robakerson wrote: todangst:

robakerson wrote:
todangst: I agree. I'm done. I can't keep going in circles with this same shit. We've made no progress.

Everyone else reading this thread:
I'm sorry about the obvious sexism in the entire argument.
I used the word "man" in replace of "human" and honestly meant nothing by it.

You have a first class mind.

Those who read this thread and come away with the thought "the atheists are being mean to a theist", please read this thread:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/9328

 

And see how theists and atheists can have rational discourse. The probelm in this thread is not theist vs atheist, it is sanitity vs schizophrenic non sequitur. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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robakerson

robakerson wrote:

Postconventional morality has nothing to with Comfort's claims (at least not the ones that we have claimed are inherently flawed. We don't need to argue Comfort's overall dogma to have an issue with one argument he advanced).

You are being cheap and nasty.   You and your admirer have taken the enthymematic form of his argument and indulged in an orgy of hate and self-aggrandisement.

Quote:
Kohlberg wrote:
Lawrence Kohlberg: "Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self-chosen ethical principles appealing to logical comprehensiveness, universality and consistency. These principles are abstract and ethical (the golden rule, the categorical imperative) and are not concrete moral rules like the Ten Commandments. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons." (Duska, R. and Whelan, M., 1975)

(lifted from https://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~ncoverst/Post-Conventional.htm)
[/quote]

What do you think the Golden Rule (mentioned in the excerpt you supplied is?   The "Golden Rule" or the ethic of reciprocity is a fundamental component of Christian ethics.  It occurs in the New Testament
in numerous places.  It is quitessentially Christian.  It is similar to Kant's "Categorical Imperative" as the quote above (which you supplied) indicates.  Hence Christian ethics is post-conventional.  However,
because Christianity it is a doctrine that is meant to be lived rather than merely thought about it must be accessible to all -- regardless of intellect and knowledge.  Hence it must have a pre-conventional
formulation.  The Old Testament and its Ten Commandments provide this broad and popular formulation.

Are you beginning to see your folly?  If you are now beginning to see your folly are you sufficiently charitable to admit that you were wrong in all your pretentious and presumptuous display?

Quote:
This quote is a direct descriptor of stage 6, which deals with universal ethical principles. Read especially the part about, "...the dignity of human beings as individual persons."

The Christian "Golden Rule" is -- according to Kohlberg himself -- at Stage 6 of Post-Conventional Morality.  In bold so you can get it through your ideologocally thickended skulls:

 Stage 6: The universal ethical-principle orientation. Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self-chosen ethical principles that appeal to logical comprehensiveness, universality, and consistency. These principles are abstract and ethical (the Golden Rule, the categorical imperative); they are not concrete moral rules like the Ten Commandments. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of the human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons.

 Who wrote that?  The self-referential todangst? You? Me?  No, friggin

 Lawrence

friggin

 Kohlberg

in his 1971 paper Stages of Moral Development.

The Golden Rule and the abstract universal principal of loving your neighbour as yourself are repeated in the Bible: Matthew 7:12, Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:39, Luke 6:31, Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9-10, Galatians 5:14.

Thus Christian ethics can be understood in both a pre-conventional and post-conventional form.  This is consistent with the principle of Perspicuity of Scripture.  Any religion that is intended to be universal -- rather than the privilege of a priestly caste -- must be universally accessible.  Hence the concrete, pre-conventional Ten Commandments AND the post-conventional principle of the Golden Rule.

 I've quoted two different websites. I can keep going all day.

 Yes, apparently without understanding what you are quoting.  Kohlberg himself states that the Golden Rule is post-conventional, you quoted him and you are so blinded by you hatred for Christianity that you can't see that you contradicted yourself.

Quote:
Because you probably haven't read what we've advanced, and if you really did, then it's obvious you just don't understand what we've done here.

I have read it.  You and todangst have written a load of rubbish and neither of your understand Kohlberg or Christian doctrine. 

The argument as presented by Comfort runs as follows:


P1. If you have lied then you are a liar.
P2. You have lied.
C2. You are liar.

(This is a deductively valid argument i.e. the truth of the premises contain the truth of the conclusion.  You may have a concern with the truth of P1.  I will get to that.  You and todangst's treatment of P1 is simplistic and philosophically naive.  The matter raises a hotly debated issue in philosophy of mind -- specifically "personality continuity" -- which I will cover later if both of you knucklheads concede your egregious errors thus far in this argument.)

This is an enthymematic syllogism.  Outside of formal contexts when we wish to persuade we often use enthymemeatic arguments.  There is nothing inherently dishonest about enthymematic arguments.  Enthymematic arguments become Sophistry only when the underlying argument commits a formal or informal logical fallacy.  As it turns out there is no fallacy here.

The explicit form of the argument is as follows:

PA1. Man has a sinful nature.
     PA2. You are a man.
     CA. You have a sinful nature.

     PB1. Pride is a feature of sinful nature.
     PB2. You have a sinful nature.
     CB. You are prideful.

     PC1. Pride obscures your sinful nature.
     PC2. You are prideful.
     CC. Your sinful nature is obscured by your pride.

     PD1. A sinful nature is evinced by vicious   behaviour.
    PD2. You have behaved viciously.
    CD.  You have a sinful nature.

This too is deductively valid.

PA1 doesn't need to be argued for -- though it can be.  It is an axiom.  All worldviews and "grand theories" start with some assumption converning human nature even Secular-Humanism

 PB1 is derived from Christian axiology.  It can be justified through a justification of Christian ethics which can in turn be justified through a justification of Christianity. 

 PC1 can be justified via Christian theology and this can be substantiated with research results in Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

PD1 is derived from Christian theology and axiology.

There is no question-begging or circularity here.  The strength of the final conclusion hinges on strength of the preceding conclusions. 

Quote:
Wrong. In debunking Comfort's basal argument, we've made no statement about Christian doctrine.

You haven't even touched Comfort's argument and you've completely botched up Kohlberg vis-a-vis Christian ethics. 

Quote:
The self-refutation of Comfort's argument is based on continually demonstrable rules of basic reasoning, of which you should be familiar:

Please, spare me the posoturing.  You aren't even ready for informal logic.  Your reading comprehension needs improvement.  This is the first time in an argument where my interlocutor has presented a lengthy quote which actually contradicts the point that motivated the quotation.  You quoted me a passage from Kohlberg which actually states that New Covenant Christian ethics i.e. the Golden Rule, is Post-Conventional, in an amateur attempt to convince me that Christian ethics is Pre-Conventional. 


Quote:
You've inferred something which is antithetical to the basic argument Comfort has continuously advanced. If Comfort holds that men are essentially dishonest, then he has no reason to start his arguments by questioning the nature of the individual.


 Yes he does because he is acting in a rhetorical capacity.  He is attempting to persuade the person of their essential nature.  He is making an appeal to their conscience.  He is hoping that when they introspect their nature will be revealed to them.  He isn't hiding anything, his approach is predicated on their conscience filling in the blanks.


Quote:
If all people are essentially dishonest, then Comfort doesn't need the first question to confidently proclaim, "You are a liar". You're essentially stating that Comfort himself is hiding the argument or set of arguments in which he arrived at the conclusion that the person he is questioning is a liar.

 Not so.  When he's witnessing it doesn't matter what he thinks about people, what's crucial is what they think of themselves.  I'm not denying
that the WOTM witnessing method doesn't have a rhetorical flourish.  It does, as do most methods of persuasion.  That does not render it logically
flawed.  Outside of an academic context naked logic will rarely persuade.

  

Quote:
However, you've provided no evidence that this is the case, and his argument remains self-refuting as it stands.

I have and I've done so again in this post.  The problem is that you and your loving admirer todangst are unaccustomed to having all your idiotic propaganda scrutinised so closely. 

 You want me to defend an argument that is neither consistent with Christian doctrine, nor derived from WOTM teaching, that you and todangst have invented and that is invalid?  You are upset that I'm
not accepting this travesty that you are attempting to foist upon me?  You've both plumbed the depths of intellectual dishonesty and ethical bankruptcy.  

Quote:
(In any event, there's no reason to present this argument at all, given it's obvious flaws.)

Do you ever put your false pride on hold long enough to consider the possibility that you are wrong?

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You've yet again given us no reason to believe you. If you want us to change our conception of Comfort's MO either
1) Reason out why we are wrong, and show us (I've seen a lot of unconnected naked assertions devoid of the basic syntax of reason)
2) Provide evidence.

I've provide copious evidence and argumentation.  I even cited you a recent comprehensive literature review that is indexed by PubMed that not only refutes the fallacious claim that religion is detrimental to mental health but that on the contray shows that on average that religiosity promotes mental health.   

Your reading comprehension is impaired as is todangst's.  todangst wanted to lecture me about Kohlberg and his alleged categorisation of Christian ethics as Pre-Conventional even though Kohlberg explicitly identifies New Testament ethics as Post-Conventional.  You topped the idiocy by actually quoting that part of Kohlberg's paper where he identifies the Golden Rule as an example of Post-Conventional moral reasoning.   

Where does this leave you and todangst?  I'd suggest, up shit creek without a paddle.

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If Comfort wanted to preach original sin, he would say "You are a liar." Game over. No reason to make it a self-refuting claim.

You don't understand the logic, the rhetoric or the underlying theology and there is no self-refutation.

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Besides, it's question begging to assume that every event of lying is evidence of man's essentially corrupt nature. You're just selecting evidence to prove a point. If we didn't have the concept of man's essentially corrupt nature, the act of lying would hold equal weight as the act of being honest, to tease out man's essential nature (if it can be said that humans have one).

I'll cover this topic in the philosophy of mind if you and todangst acknowledge your errors.  I've thoroughly rebutted all of your half-assed attempts at logic, philosophy and (embarassingly for a psychologist) psychology.  You guys suck at debating and your're not particularly knowledgeable.  I'll cover the issue of personal continuity and diachronic/synchronic identity if you acknowledge that your asses have been handed to you on a platter (complete with trimings). 


Quote:
This is similar to any discussion about prayer. Prayer does nothing beyond the expected placebo effect, statistically. Therefore, it's selective to say that people who prayed out of cancer or who were one of the few to survive disasters, etc. are "proof" of the power of prayer. They're no more proof than the people who survive that didn't pray.

Whatever you say Mr Super-Atheist.  Name the topic, bring in all your rancourous God-hating peers and I'll take you to school.  But I'll only do so if you and your mutually appreciative friend todangst concede your errors in this argument.  Both of you misunderstood Kohlberg, Christian ethics in relation to Kohlberg and Comfort's argument.  You are both also wrong about religiosity and mental health.  Admit your earrors.

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Then why does Comfort question the actions of people?

To prick their consciences.

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Evidence of having once lied remains poor evidence of an "essential' nature of man. Why ignore opposing evidence?

It's not as simple as that.  The issue of personal identity and continuity is a difficult one in philosophy of mind.  I'll addres this and give you and todangst an education on the topic only if you concede your errors. 

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This isn't what Comfort claims at all.

It is, but because you are such an embittered venomous toad with a hatred for Christianity and Christians you will robotically choose the least charitable interpretation of an opponents argument to gain a cheap self-satified victory.  This betrays your intellectual impotence.    


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"Have you ever told a lie?" yes. "See? men are essentially corrupt and debased."

"Have you ever told a lie?" yes. "See? You're a liar."

Completely fucking different.

Only if you are "completely fucking" intellectually impotent and hence unwilling to (charitably) unfold an enthymematic argument that has been presented in an informal rhetorical context.

Quote:

Let Comfort make his own claims.

Philosophical debate undertaken in good faith doesn't go that way.  Consider the work Alvin Plantinga.  Rather then jump on the weakest interpretation of his opponents arguments he will instead:

"(1) State the position of an opponent.

(2) Search for the weakness in the position.

(3) Modify the opponents's position so that the weaknesses are removed.

(4) State the modified position.

(5)Search for weaknesses.

(6) Modify the psoition again in order to remove the weaknesses,

(7) Repeat steps (4) through (6) until the psoition can no longer be helped.

(Cool Accept or reject the position based on its strongest possible formulation"  ( from David Wood )

 This is interpretive charity and all truth seekers provide it.

You and todangst aren't even willing to make an enthymematic syllogism explicit let alone strengthen your opponent's argument.  todangst is an embitted middle-aged propagandist and intellectual charlatan.  You look like his protege.  Good luck with the nascent jaundiced worldview.  Hope it worls out for you.

Quote:
Please quit using words incorrectly, superfluously, and out of context.

 

Ha, ha, ha.  More of your reading comprehension troubles. 


Quote:
What are you even arguing by "essentially bad"?
Are you saying that men, as free moral agents, cannot act in a good moral fashion?

I think you're trying to say that we are inherently bad.
Are we inherently infinitely bad?
Can any amount of good moral action salvage us?
If this is the assertion,
again,
there is no reason for the account of actions Comfort requests of his victims.
And what's the nature of a good moral action if no amount of them is evidence of a good nature (for any person)?

I'm bored with your half-assed attempts to outsmart me.  Concede you gross errors and I'll consider further debate.

Fusing rationality with sexiness using the arc welder of charisma -What I do.
Therefore, proposition P can't be true - A conclusion I once deduced that made me pwn.
You're so smart. - Me talking


lucretis
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Quote: The probelm in this

Quote:
The probelm in this thread is not theist vs atheist, it is sanitity vs schizophrenic non sequitur.

I'll rub it in because you are a pompous and pretentious git that has no compunctions about making personal attacks.

Earlier in this thread you presumed to lecture me about Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development.  Furthermore you asserted that you understand Christian doctrine.  You demonstrated that you know neither.  Your ignorance about Christianity is understandable since you are a rancorous ideologue that spews anti-Christian propaganda.  You're ignorance of Kohlberg is however a cardinal sin.

I'll quote directly from Kohlberg's 1971 paper:

 "Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self-chosen ethical principles appealing to logical comprehensiveness, universality and consistency. These principles are abstract and ethical (the golden rule, the categorical imperative) and are not concrete moral rules like the Ten Commandments. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons."

Notice that Kohlberg specifically mentions the Golden Rule -- a Christian ethical principle -- as an example of "Stage 6" (the highest level) orientation.  Kohlberg was intelligent enough to observe the Pre- and Post- Convetional orientations in Christian ethics.  You, driven by your hate and ignorance, saw only the Pre-Conventional. 

Regarding mental health and religiosity you can't substantiate any of your rancourous claims yet you expect to be taken seriously as a psychologist.  The majority of the extant reserach in experimental psychology, that is published in peer-review journals and is indexed by PubMed shows that theists are mentally healthier than atheists.  Consider,

     Religiousness and mental health: a review.
Moreira-Almeida A, Neto FL, Koenig HG.
Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2006 Sep;28(3):242-50. Epub 2006 Aug 15.

 OBJECTIVE: The relationship between religiosity and mental health has been a perennial source of controversy. This paper reviews the scientific evidence available for the relationship between religion and mental health. METHOD: The authors present the main studies and conclusions of a larger systematic review of 850 studies on the religion-mental health relationship published during the 20th Century identified through several databases. The present paper also includes an update on the papers published since 2000, including researches performed in Brazil and a brief historical and methodological background. DISCUSSION: The majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse. Usually the positive impact of religious involvement on mental health is more robust among people under stressful circumstances (the elderly, and those with disability and medical illness). Theoretical pathways of the religiousness-mental health connection and clinical implications of these findings are also discussed. CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence that religious involvement is usually associated with better mental health. We need to improve our understanding of the mediating factors of this association and its use in clinical practice.

Religious beliefs and practices are associated with better mental health in family caregivers of patients with dementia: findings from the REACH study.

 Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007 Apr;15(4):292-300. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

 OBJECTIVE: Providing care to a loved one with dementia and the death of that loved one are generally considered two of the most stressful human experiences. Each puts family caregivers at risk of psychologic morbidity. Although research has suggested that religious beliefs and practices are associated with better mental health, little is known about whether religion is associated with better mental health in family caregivers. Our objective, then, is to explore the relationship between religion and mental health in active and bereaved dementia caregivers. METHODS: A total of 1,229 caregivers of persons with moderate to severe dementia were recruited from six geographically diverse sites in the United States and followed prospectively for up to 18 months. Three measures of religion: 1) the frequency of attendance at religious services, meetings, and/or activities; 2) the frequency of prayer or meditation; and 3) the importance of religious faith/spirituality were collected. Mental health outcomes were caregiver depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression [CES-D] scale) and complicated grief (Inventory of Complicated Grief [ICG]). RESULTS: Religious beliefs and practices were important to the majority of caregivers. After controlling for significant covariates, the three measures of religion were associated with less depressive symptoms in current caregivers. Frequent attendance was also associated with less depression and complicated grief in the bereaved. CONCLUSIONS: Religious beliefs and practices, and religious attendance in particular, are associated with better mental health in family caregivers of persons with dementia.

Religiosity, psychosocial adjustment, and subjective burden of persons who care for those with mental illness.

Murray-Swank AB, Lucksted A, Medoff DR, Yang Y, Wohlheiter K, Dixon LB.

 Psychiatr Serv. 2006 Mar;57(3):361-5. 

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to characterize the nature of religious and spiritual support received by family caregivers of persons with serious mental illness and to test hypotheses that religiosity would be associated with caregiver adjustment. METHODS: Eighty-three caregivers who participated in a study of the Family to Family Education Program of the National Alliance on Mental Illness were assessed at baseline in terms of their religiosity and receipt of spiritual support in coping. They also completed measures of depression, self-esteem, mastery, self-care, and subjective burden. Hierarchical regression was used to test hypotheses that religiosity would be associated with better adjustment, with confounding variables controlled for. RESULTS: Thirty-seven percent of participants reported that they had received spiritual support in coping with their relative's illness in the previous three months. When age, race, education, and gender were controlled for, religiosity was associated with less depression and better self-esteem and self-care. Personal religiosity was a stronger predictor of adjustment than religious service attendance. CONCLUSIONS: Family caregivers of persons with serious mental illness often turn to spirituality for support, and religiosity may be an important contributor to caregiver adjustment. Collaborative partnerships between mental health professionals and religious and spiritual communities represent a powerful and culturally sensitive resource for meeting the support needs of family members of persons with serious mental illness.

There are many, many more such studies in PubMed and PsycLit.

Can you cite me any meta-analyses or literature reviews that support your claim that Christians are self-hating, deluded, schizoid, paranoid, lacking in self-esteem more so than the rest of the population?  I know of none.  If you are a real psychologist you'll also know that there are no such studies.

Your fetish for pathologising Christians is just that a fetish.  Your're a propagandist.   

There is no room for evasion here.  I'm calling you out.  You misrepresented Kohlberg and you made a series of entirely unsubstantiated assertions regarding the mental health of Christians.

What will be your response?  To delete this thread?

I'm confident that I can debate you on any topic pertaining to religion -- including the psychology of religion -- and I will wipe the floor with you.   You are an intellectual fraud.

Praise be to God. 

 

Fusing rationality with sexiness using the arc welder of charisma -What I do.
Therefore, proposition P can't be true - A conclusion I once deduced that made me pwn.
You're so smart. - Me talking