An Interesting Argument
I was intrigued by the proposition of the 'Rational Response Squad' that persons 'blaspheme the Holy Spirit' by denying the existence of the Holy Spirit, God, etc. If rationality is the calling card of this organisation, I hope you will take my critique in that spirit (no pun intended).
To be fair, as Merriam-Webster defines it, 'blasphemy' is 'the crime of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God or a religion and its doctrines and writings and esp. God as perceived by Christianity and Christian doctrines and writings.' So, yes, technically the bugled call to 'blaspheme' the Holy Spirit by denying His/its existence is a form of blasphemy; you are attacking that which is considered sacrosanct, even if you would roll your eyes at the suggestion that the 'holy spirit' exists.
But surely you, being rational and intelligent men and women, understand the literary significance of *context.* Surely you, setting yourselves as those who would debate theism so surgically, would understand the importance of language and consequent semantics. I'm not mocking you so much as wondering why there is such a disconnect, because I am in fact convinced that there are probably many of you who are intelligent and rational. The Bible verse that is used to support the RRS's 'blaspheming of the Holy Spirit' is found in Mark 3, and careful consideration of the actual chapter -- not just second-hand commentary *about* the chapter -- shows that Jesus is speaking such words about blasphemy in response to a specific situation. The religious leaders in the passage attribute Jesus' acts to Beelzebub, the prince of demons; this is what 'blasphemy of the Holy Spirit' truly is.
So, allowing for differences in opinions among free-thinkers, are you at least somewhat collectively positing the existence of a personification of evil to which acts can be attributed? If there is a personification of evil, does evil in fact have an ontos? is this what you are suggesting? This whole language of 'blasphemy' -- in the context of the passage -- suggests an understanding of a personified Good and a personified evil; if you employ such words, you are buying-in to the definitions given to you by theism. While I find the spirit behind the 'blasphemy' challenge to be saddening, I can't help but smile and shake my head at the (forgive me) irrationality and ignorance of the approach.
And I'll leave it at that. Really, I'm letting you off easy anyway, because there is room to press the issue of 'blasphemy' as something that allows for that which is blasphemed to have an ontos, which means that you are in fact acknowledging its existence. Atheism (or anti-theism) truly is as failed of an experiment as industry-based, modernity-steeped 'Christianity,' because both movements are merely reactionary to something previous to them. 'Atheism' in its very etymology suggests the negation of something that has ontos -- Theos.
Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] if you would like to respond. God bless,