Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pragmatism Is Wrong

Pragmatism is wrong. An idea is not true just because it works. Something is not automatically right because it works, e.g. cheating. Pragmatism confuses cause and effect and undermines trust, according to the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman L. Geisler.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

You can find an archive of my writings at http://mandarinate.blogspot.com.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Biblical Miracles Were Not Invented

The New Testament authors did not invent the miracle stories in the Gospels. Glen M. Miller, a superb Christian apologist who operates http://christian-thinktank.com, proves the following theses on his must-visit site: There is no evidence of legendary accretion about Jesus during the time the gospels were recorded, nor is there evidence of influences to create such innovation. There is abundant, compelling internal data in the New Testament supporting the authenticity of the miracles. Extra-biblical sources indicate that the miracles reflect actual historical events. There is no evidence supporting and plenty of evidence refuting the hypothesis that the gospel authors consciously create the gospels to be historical fiction, consciously intended to embellish some non-miraculous historical tradition with miraculous stories in honor of their dead leader like the common practice of doing so for divine emperors and Greco-Roman heroes, that the gospel authors were subconsciously culturally influenced by non-miraculous events in Jesus' life and these became false memories of miraculous events, or that Jesus was a copy-cat savior myth from Ancient Near East literature or other cultures.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Point-by-Point Refutations of Brian Holtz's Nonsensical Anti-Christian Arguments

So far the following parts of Brian Holtz's "Arguments Against Christianity" have been refuted on this blog. The rest of the arguments will receive rebuttals, and the current rebuttals will become more detailed, as time goes on. For now, you can check books and the rest of the web. All of Holtz's arguments have been thoroughly debunked in books and on the Internet.

  • Jesus' endorsement of the murderous immorality of Yahweh in the Torah;
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-speaks-of-murderous-immorality.html]

  • Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell;
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/02/only-eternal-punishment-will-suffice.html]

  • Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity;
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html]
  • Jesus' failure to perform miracles the accounts of which cannot be so easily explained as faith-healing, misinterpretation, exaggeration, and embellishment;
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html]
  • Jesus' failure to recruit
    • anyone from his family,
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-claims-one-of-eight.html]

The miracles ascribed to Jesus seem not to have been very convincing [Mt 11:20, Lk 10:13, Jn 6:66, 10:32, 12:37, 15:24], and seem explainable by a combination of conventional faith healing, exaggeration, and mythologizing.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html]

The three people Jesus allegedly reanimates [Mk 5/Lk 8; Lk 7; Jn 11] might not actually have been clinically dead, and the gospels report not a single indication supporting such a diagnosis.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html]

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/02/holtz-says-confirmed-miracles-are.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-testament-authors-did-not-invent.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-extra-scriptural.html]


The Christian doctrine of the "trinity", attempting to reconcile Jewish monotheism with Jesus' self-revelation, holds that Jesus 1) is both fully human and fully divine, and 2) is God (in a different "person"). The former is a contradiction, and the latter has no scriptural basis.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/02/when-god-refers-to-himself-in-plural.html]

Jesus repeatedly distinguishes himself from God:
Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone. [Mk 10:18, Lk 18:17, Mt 19:17]

  • Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone. [Mk 10:18, Lk 18:17, Mt 19:17]
  • No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [Mk 13:32]
  • And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. [Lk 12:10]
  • Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. [Lk 22:42-43]
  • Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. [Lk 23:46]
  • the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son [Jn 5:22]
  • By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. [Jn 5:30]
  • I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. [Jn 8:28]
  • I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. [Jn 8:42]
  • If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who is glorifying me, of whom ye say that He is your God. [Jn 8:54]
  • I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. [Jn 12:49]
  • The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work [Jn 14:10]
  • If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. [Jn 14:28]
  • I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. [Jn 14:31]
  • Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. [Jn 16:25]
  • I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you [Jn 16:26-27]
  • I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. [Jn 20:17]
  • As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. [Jn 20:21]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html]

The title of 'God' is never reliably applied to Jesus anywhere in the New Testament.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html]

Jesus
also did not effect a competent revelation of who precisely he was. Depending on e.g. various 4th-century Roman emperors, there waxed and waned such christological heresies as Ebionism, Docetism, Adoptionism, Dynamic Monarchianism, Sabellianism, Arianism, Marcionism, Apollonarianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, and Monothelitism.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/docetism-wrongly-denies-christs.html]

The doublethink of the "trinity" is not found in the Bible, but instead was invented to reconcile Jewish monotheism with Jesus' idiosyncratic Sonship claims.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html] [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/02/when-god-refers-to-himself-in-plural.html]


In the earliest gospel (Mark), Jesus never calls himself Christ/Messiah,

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html]

is reluctant for his special nature to be known

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-it-seems-implausible.html]

The Empty Tomb story could have resulted from a discreet reburial or removal -- perhaps by a disciple, as in a rumor reported in Mt 28. Possible conspirators were Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene, a longtime disciple [Lk 8:2] "out of whom [Jesus] had driven seven demons" [Mk 16:9, Lk 8:2] and who (unlike any apostle) attended both the crucifixion and entombment. She was the first to visit the tomb on Easter [Mt 28:1, Jn 20:1], and the possibility of removal [Jn 20:2,14,15] was not unimaginable to her.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-like-holtz-often-say.html]


Many of the "appearances" seem to have been unimpressive to the disciples who heard about them (and should have been expecting them) and even to those who witnessed them.

  • But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like idle tales. [Lk 24:11]
  • When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them [Mk 16:11-12]
  • These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. [Mk 16:13]
  • When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. [Mt 28:17]
  • Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. [Lk 24:15-16]
  • she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. Thinking he was the gardener, she said ... [Jn 20:14-15]
  • Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. [Jn 21:4]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-like-holtz-often-say.html]

What probably happened is that some disciples began having epiphanies, perhaps involving the occasional dream, ecstatic vision, encounter with a stranger, case of mistaken identity, or outright hallucination (or fabrication). The disciples in their desperation and zeal initially interpreted these experiences as manifestations of a triumphant and vindicated (but not necessarily reanimated) Jesus, who had apparently predicted that he would in some sense return or at least that his ministry would require but survive his death.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-like-holtz-often-say.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-disciples-made.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-testament-authors-did-not-invent.html]

For the gospel accounts of Jesus to be believable, two kinds of evidence would have to surface:
  • Textual discoveries that Jesus did not believe in the literal truth of the entire Old Testament, and that the unjust Christian notion of eternal damnation is a misunderstanding.
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html]

However, available extra-scriptural records do not corroborate the gospel miracles.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-extra-scriptural.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-italian-court-case-over-existence.html]

Celsus (quoted by Origen) dismissed the miracles as the "tricks of jugglers" that he said are "feats performed by those who have been taught by Egyptians", and the Jewish slander reported by Tertullian claimed the empty tomb was faked.

[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-cite-true-doctrine.html]
[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-like-holtz-often-say.html]


The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus is hard to count as anti-Christian, even after discounting his affirmation (unnoticed by all of his earliest Christian commentators) of the resurrection as an interpolation. Josephus may have written that Jesus "performed surprising works" and even that Jesus was believed to have been resurrected, but the (possibly interpolated) mention is only in passing. Josephus devotes more space each to John the Baptist and James, and while reporting much minutiae over the entire period during which Jesus lived, does not mention:

  • the Christmas Star that disturbed Herod and "all Jerusalem" [Mt 2:3],
  • Herod's massacre [Mt 2:16],

  • [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-claims-that-flavius-josephus.html]
  • Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem [Mt 21:8-11],
  • the Good Friday earthquake [Mt 27:51],
  • [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-extra-scriptural.html]

  • the Good Friday resurrectees that "appeared to many people" in Jerusalem [Mt 27:53], or
  • the Good Friday 3-hour darkness "over all the land" [Mk 15:33, Lk 23:44, Mt 27:45].
  • [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-extra-scriptural.html]
    These events in fact went unnoticed by every non-Christian writer, including the historians Seneca and Pliny the Elder. (Syncellus quotes a lost text of the Christian historian Julius Africanus which itself cites a lost text by Thallus: "Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse". The identification of Thallus' eclipse with "this darkness" might just be in the mind of Julius Africanus, and Thallus at any rate cannot be reliably dated as writing independently of the gospels.)

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-extra-scriptural.html]

    Why such vague and equivocal claims of divinity?
    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html]

    Why after his resurrection appear so ambiguously, so briefly, and to only his disciples?

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html]

    It seems implausible that an omnibenevolent, omniscient, infallible deity would entrust a few fallible men in a backward corner of the world with such paltry evidence and then demand that everyone else either hear and believe them or suffer eternal damnation.

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-it-seems-implausible.html]

    In the gospels Jesus damns entire towns [Mt 11:23], compares non-Israelites to dogs [Mt 15:26]

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-in-matthew-1526-Jesus.html]

    The god of the Torah creates linguistic division for fear of an ancient construction project [Gen 11:6]. It is implausible that the Creator of the universe would be so petty and wicked.

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-it-seems-implausible.html]

    In the gospels Jesus promises sinners not a thousand years' unrelenting torture, nor a million or a billion, but an eternity of excruciating torture by fire [Mk 9:43, Mt 18:8, 25:41, 25:46]. It is implausible that a competent and benevolent deity would in his revelation allow the endorsement of such heinous crimes and evil policies.

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html]

    • Miracles were reported commonly in ancient times and are attested in many other religions. Christians might argue that competing miracles were wrought by demons, but those very miracles could be used by a competing religion to justify the same claim about Jesus' miracles.
    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html]

    Matthew was written c.70-80 by an unknown author who later church tradition identified with the apostle Matthew, but the text heavily quotes the non-eyewitness Mark rather than providing an independent eyewitness account.

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-it-seems-implausible.html]

    John was written c.90 by an unknown author who is ambiguously identified (in the third person: 21:24) with the apostle John only in the final chapter, which is itself an apparent addendum.

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-it-seems-implausible.html]

    There is no reliably first-hand testimony to the physical resurrection of Jesus. Matthew is anonymous and contains no assertions of first-hand witness by the author.

    [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-says-that-it-seems-implausible.html]

    Holtz's Eight Insurmountable Problems Are Eight Non-Issues

    Holtz claims one of the "eight insurmountable problems" with Christianity is "Jesus' failure to recruit
    • anyone from his family." James the brother of Jesus is just one person who came to believe in Jesus' divinity.
    The following "problems" that have been discussed and refuted on this blog so far are:
    • Jesus' endorsement of the murderous immorality of Yahweh in the Torah;
    • Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell;
    • Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity;
    • Jesus' failure to perform miracles the accounts of which cannot be so easily explained as faith-healing, misinterpretation, exaggeration, and embellishment
    • Jesus' failure to recruit
      • anyone from his family,

    Holtz and Extra-Biblical Secular Confirmation of Biblical Miracles

    MYTH
    The Gospel miracles have no extra-scriptural corroboration

    Holtz says that "extra-scriptural records do not corroborate the gospel miracles." Early anti-Christian Jewish Rabbinical tradition such as that of Trypho states that Jesus did works of a miraculous nature. Anti-Christian Greco-Roman writers Celsus [1], Porphyry, Hierocles, and Julian accept that some of Jesus' miracles actually occurred. Greco-Roman literary trends and popular belief trends show widespread acceptance by the Roman Empire of credible, historical miracles by Jesus.

    Holtz says that "the Good Friday 3-hour darkness 'over all the land'" and the "the Good Friday earthquake" "in fact went unnoticed by every non-Christian writer." The non-Christian Roman Phlegon reported the exact hours of the darkness and reported the Good Friday earthquake as a historical fact. The darkness was a historical fact; only the explanation was in question. Julius Africanus pointed out that the crucifixion darkness could not be naturalistically explained as an eclipse because Passover was a full moon. Holtz also claims that "The identification of Thallus' eclipse with "this darkness" might just be in the mind of Julius Africanus." Such an assertion is unreasonable. Thallus was clearly referring specifically to the darkness surrounding Jesus Christ's crucifixion. Julius Africanus was highly skilled at textual criticism, and traveled widely. Julius Africanus was committed to the truth, considered reliable by subsequent historians, had the resources and information access needed to be a qualified historian, and demonstrated historiographical integrity.

    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-cite-true-doctrine.html

    Thursday, January 26, 2006

    The inability of we humans to go beyond our own consciousness does not invalidate an objective extra-mental reality, according to the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Dr. Norman L. Geisler.

    God Still Exists As Transcendent Cause of Universe, Contra Pandeism

    The cosmological argument demonstrates the necessity of an uncaused Cause [1], and a necessary Being cannot stop existing. Therefore, there is a here-and-now cause of the universe. The universe cannot become a necessary being because a contingent, finite being must be contingent as long as it exists.

    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/here-is-sound-argument-for-existence.html

    Docetism Is False

    MYTH
    Jesus was only divine and not really human also

    Docetism wrongly denies Christ's humanity, and is unBiblical. Jesus had a human ancestry [Matthew 1:20-25; Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 1:1; Luke 3:23-38], a human conception [Matthew 1:20], a human birth [Luke 2:4-7; Luke 1:26, 56, 57; Luke 2:23; Galatians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 11:12], a human childhood [Luke 2:21-22; Luke 2:41-49; Luke 2:52], and human language and culture [Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:20-25; Galatians 4:4; John 4:5-9, 21-22]. Jesus, who was human flesh and blood [Romans 5:12; John 19:34; Hebrews 2:14] and had human emotions [John 11:35; John 11:33; Matthew 23:37; John 2:15; Matthew 23:15-16] in addition to a human sense of humor [Matthew 23:24; John 21:5], experienced human hunger [Luke 4:2], thirst [Luke 4:6-7], fatigue [John 4:6; Mark 6:31], temptation [Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 3; Matthew 26:38-42], pain [Matthew 27:34; Matthew 27:46; Matthew 26:38; Hebrews 5:7], and death [Matthew 16:21; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 9:14]. The humanity of Christ was made explicit in the Bible and leaves no room for heresy. Contrary to Holtz's claims, the Bible's Christological teaches are clear. The Bible also clearly taught the deity of Christ [1], discrediting Arianism, Ebionism, Eutychianism, etc.

    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-Christianity-is-Jesus.html






    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    The Ten Commandments

    Holtz says that the first four of the Ten Commandments "indicate an insecure god afraid of losing his authority." They are better understood as sensible rules for honoring the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent Creator of the universe who deserves of worship. Holtz says that the other three commandments forbidding adultery and covetousness, and prescribing honoring of parents, "should in a free society only have the force of good advice." Good advice is what one would expect to come from a benevolent deity. The nature of morality is absolute, i.e. adultery is not right under any circumstances. Experience demonstrates that taking these three commandments as guidelines rather that strict rules is very detrimental.

    Brian Holtz on Parsimony, Theism, and Descartes

    Evidence for the Divine & Whether Monotheism Is Parsimonious
    Holtz says that there is no credible evidence or convincing argument that the universe's existence implies supernatural agency, but this is false. There is the cosmological argument, which passes the acid test, in addition to several other compelling arguments and evidences. Holtz says that parsimony demands that supernatural agency be held not to exist until shown otherwise, but monotheism is parsimonious because God has been shown to exist.

    I Think, Therefore I Am
    On an epistemological note, Holtz says that "Cogito Ergo Sum" is false because the "I" in Descartes' "I think, therefore I am" "could be illusory". However, "I" cannot be illusory or the a priori notion of "I" could not exist.
    The image “http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/42/Descartesweb.jpg/180px-Descartesweb.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Josephus' Silence on Herod's Massacre

    MYTH
    The silence of Josephus indicates that the Massacre of the Holy Innocents never happened

    Holtz claims that Flavius Josephus does not mention Herod's massacre [Matthew 2:16], with the implication that it did not occur. This is a logically fallacious argument from silence. The expectation that Josephus would right down an exhaustive record of Herod's atrocities is absurd because Herod's atrocities were so numerous. Although several babies in the small town of Bethlehem were callously murdered, Josephus might not have deemed this event worth mentioning due to the fact that things were already so violent at the time and Herod committed many other far more bloody acts (Josephus writes that Herod murdered a vast number of people). The massacre fits perfectly with Herod's character. In the small village of Bethlehem in the countryside there were relatively few boys younger than two.

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    Jesus in Mt. 15:26

    MYTH
    Jesus was racist against Gentiles and disparaged them

    Holtz says that in Matthew 15:26 Jesus "compares non-Israelites to dogs." Holtz mistakenly thinks that Jesus was insulting non-Israelites, when in fact dogs was a term of endearment. He uses a parable in which children are fed before household puppies at meal time, just like He needed to take care of His disciples first, then would feed the Canaanite woman. The passage in Matthew reveals Jesus' sensitivity to the Canaanite woman's urgent need for food and the disciples' needs. Jesus uses a parable with a cozy household image to give the woman a more informed faith and more precise hope, while the disciples can better appreciate their role and privelege.

    Does Holtz even read scripture in context, or merely parrot the straw men of other atheists in addition to contriving his own?

    My Worldview

    In this blog I assert a worldview of metaphysical supernaturalism; theological monotheism, eutheism, and trinitarianism; religious Biblical Christianity; Biblical inerrancy; epistemological rational empiricism and antifideism; ethical reciprocity and moral absolutism; political conservatism, antianarchism, and anti-Machiavellianism; economic capitalism and anticommunism; constitutional federalism; eschatological premillennialism and antipreterism; biological intelligent design; technological optimism; medical antiabortionism and anti-active euthanasia; eccesiological contraantinomianism; American patriotism; axiological pietism; hamartiological inherited sin; Soteriological infralapsarianism; personal immortality; ontological anti-materialism; mental anti-functionalism; substance dualism; and ecological conservationism.

    Why I Am A Christian

    I am a Christian because of the:
    1. strength of the arguments for theism
    2. weakness of atheist objections to theistic arguments
    3. weakness of arguments for atheism
    4. historical reliability of the Old Testament and New Testament
    5. unreasonableness of polytheism and henotheism
    6. the uniqueness of Jesus Christ
    7. evidence for miracles
    8. evidence for Christ's physical resurrection
    9. evidence against naturalistic explanations for the resurrection
    10. strength for trinitarianism and the weakness of objections to trinitarianism
    11. corroboration that Jesus is God the Son
    12. unreasonableness of pantheism, panentheism, pandeism, panendeism, etc.
    13. coherence of Christian theology
    14. personal experiences of God

    Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Anniversary of the Frightful R. Budd Dwyer Suicide

    Today is also the 19th anniversary of when State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, proclaimed his innocence to fraud charges at a crowded press conference, pulling a gun out of an envelope and fatally shooting himself in the mouth.

    Anniversary of Evil Roe v. Wade Ruling

    Today is the 33rd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Roe v. Wade verdict. Many rallies are occurring today. The verdict was rightly overturned because abortion is wrong and should be kept to a minimum. [1]

    [1] a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/common-fallacy-of-pro-choice.html
    b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/just-because-abortion-is-legal-does.html
    c. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-unjust-that-unborn-children.html
    d. more posts coming soon

    Saturday, January 21, 2006

    Is Intelligent Design Scientific?

    A Vatican newspaper article by Fiorenzo Facchini says that "Intelligent Design" is not science. This is false. Current specific intelligent design arguments are empircally testable and falsifiable and make testable predictions. There are many instances of irreducible complexity, which requires design by intelligent agency and cannot be accounted for by natural selection and variations [1]; for all irreducibly complex systems of which we know the causal history (such as a mousetrap), the system was the product of intelligent cause. Intelligent design predicts that scientists will not discover a continuously functional Darwinian pathway from a simple precursor to the bacterial flagellum and other system and that any detailed evolutionary pathway that is articulated will presuppose other irreducibly complex systems. Intelligent design scientists such as Michael J. Behe do not merely offer negative evidence against Neo-Darwinian theory (NDT) [2] but positive evidence for intelligent design. Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, authors of The Priveleged Planet, posit a correlation between the conditions necessary for life and the conditions necessary for diverse types of scientific discovery; they say that if such a correlation is true then it points to intelligent design. [3] Any honest person must stop whining that intelligent design isn't testable and falsifiable and doesn't make predictions.

    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/irreducible-complexity-already.html
    [2] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/microevolution-is-true.html
    [3] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0895260654/ref=pd_kar_gw_2/103-8821028-1640626?n=283155









    Friday, January 20, 2006

    New Site Tree

    Here is a new site tree.

    Religion
    -Polytheism is False http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/polytheism-is-false.html
    -Objections to the Cosmological Argument are False http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/jean-paul-sartres-cosmological.html
    -Definition of Faith vs. Fideism http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtzs-definition-of-faith-is.html
    -God's Justice in the Old Testament http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-speaks-of-murderous-immorality.html
    -The Trinity, Jesus' Deity, Jesus and Family, Jesus' Miracles, Alleged Disciple Hallucinations http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html
    -Jesus Claimed to Be God http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-that.html
    -Celsus http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-cite-true-doctrine.html
    -Historicity of Jesus Court Case http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-italian-court-case-over-existence.html
    -Jesus Christ's Death http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/another-objection-to-resurrection-is.html
    -Theodicy and The Problem of Evil http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/problem-of-evil-argument-is.html
    -Answering Some Objections to the Resurrection, Pt. 1 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-often-say-that-jesus.html
    -Secular Humanism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html
    -God's Omnipotence Is Not a Contradiction http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/there-are-qualifications-to-gods.html
    -Miracles Are Possible and Actual http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html
    -Theism vs. Atheism Debates, Pt. 1 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/good-link-httpwww.html

    Ethics
    -The Golden Rule is True http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/golden-rule-ethical-value-of.html
    -Pietism is Correct http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html
    -Transhumanism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/statements-values-and-premises-of.html
    -Judeo-Christian Moral Values Common to Conservatism http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/judeo-christian-religious-and-moral.html

    Terrorism and Counterterrorism
    -New Bin Laden Audio Tape http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-purported-bin-laden-audio-tape-has.html
    -Saddam and Al Qaeda http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/maybe-saddam-hussein-al-qaeda.html
    -Flight 587 Crashed Due to Terrorist Sabotage http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/flight-587-may-have-been-brought-down.html
    -Pakistani Air Strike Did Not Kill Zawahiri But did Kill Some Terrorists http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/unfortunately-pakistani-officials-said.html

    Analysis
    -0.99999 Equals 1 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/0.html

    Epistemology
    -Fideism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/fideism-is-false-epistemological.html
    -What an Omnipotent Omniscience Would Value http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/as-to-question-of-what-omnipotent.html

    Paranormal
    -True Paranormal Phenomena http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/godelyahwehjehovah-exists.html
    -Psychics are Frauds http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/psychics-are-frauds.html
    -Cryptozoological Hoaxes http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/vampires-werewolves-hobgoblins.html

    Current Events
    -Hajj Stampede http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/this-years-incident-at-hajj-during.html
    -Pentagon Construction Anniversary http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/63-years-ago-today-pentagon.html

    Politics
    -Anarchism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/anarchist-punks-need-to-reconsider.html
    -Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/happy-martin-luther-king-jr.html
    -Michael Francis Moore Distorts the Truth http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-no-clich-that-michael-francis.html
    -Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/samuel-anthony-alito-jr.html
    -Nazism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/nazism-is-wrongly-pro-choice-pro.html

    Technology
    -Backwards Time Travel is Impossible http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/serious-thinkers-must-abandon-theories.html

    Intelligent Design
    -Irreducible Complexity is Factual http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/irreducible-complexity-already.html

    Economics
    -Marxism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/marxism-is-false-doctrine-which.html
    -Communism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/communism-is-not-viable-political.html
    -Socialism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/socialism-must-be-abandoned-by-serious.html

    Motivation
    -Characteristics of A Winner http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/characteristics-of-winner-winner-has.html

    Television
    -24 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/im-glad-24-is-back-on.html

    Clowns
    -Pat Robertson Follow-Up http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/update-pat-robertson-made-half-hearted.html

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    0.99999 Exactly Equals 1

    0.99999 equals 1.

    0.9999... = 1 ; x = 0.9999... 10x = 9.9999... 10x - x = 9.9999... - 0.9999... 9x = 9 x = 1. [1]

    [1] http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.0.9999.html

    Polytheism is False

    MYTH
    There are many gods

    Polytheism is false. There is abundant rational and evidential support for monotheism. The Kalam Cosmological Argument establishes the existence of one God, not many. [1] Polytheistic "gods" are not ultimate beings, because their existence is derived from nature; therefore, they do not deserve worship. The ultimate personal Power behind the universe must be a unity. Polytheistic gods are within the universe rather than beyond it, but since the universe came into existence the polytheistic gods are not eternal and are not gods but would be creatures created by an eternal cause (God).

    The key fallacy of polytheism is its anthropomorphic deities. Polytheism applies human imperfections to deity, making polytheistic gods unworthy of worship. It is apparent that polytheistic gods are made in human image instead of humans being made in their image, lending credence to the view that polytheism is a human invention or superstition as opposed to a depiction of reality. Polytheism lacks explanatory power. It doesn't account for ultimate causality and ultimate unity, which is necessary to explain a diverse, changing universe. There can only be one unlimited Cause of all limited existence.

    Falsehood of Polytheism Rules Out Numerous Religions
    Since polytheism and henotheism are false, Hinduism, Shintoism, Mormonism, Taoism, Hellenismos, and other polytheistic/henotheistic religions are false.



    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/here-is-sound-argument-for-existence.html

    Holtz's Incorrection Definition of Faith

    MYTH
    Faith is irrational

    Holtz's definition of faith is incorrect. He equates faith with fideism. Fideism is false. Fideism (this is Holtz's definition which I follow for argument's sake) is belief absent rational and empirical evidence. On the other hand, faith is securely believing that God is who He says He is and that His will is going to be executed. Faith in the divine is not misplaced or hollow because God exists. [1] John 3:16 is a superb indicator of God's providence. [2]

    [1] a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html
    b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/here-is-sound-argument-for-existence.html
    [2] For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Holtz Says God Is An Immoral Murderer

    Holtz speaks of "the murderous immorality of Yahweh in the Torah." Holtz implies that God is hateful/wicked/spiteful, but the things God hates are treachery, cruelty, violence, and hypocrisy, which can cause the destruction of people and communities and eliminate trust, joy, innocence, safety, and beauty. "Faith in and hope for divine providence" are not "misplaced", because God's incentives toward constructive lives express His commitment to warmth, robustness, cooperation, nurture, development, and expansion of the community. John 3:16 is a perfect indicator of God's providence. Contrary to Holtz's argument, Yahweh's judgment was never capricious or unpredictable. God's "vengeance" is justice and redemption which restores balance upset by wickedness.

    Holtz fails to realize that a large fraction of the punishment/consequence of evil is built into the system [Psalm 7:14] and involves no extra action on God's part, such as when prodigality naturally affects a prodigal person. Much destruction is self-inflicted. Atheists and biblioskeptics mistake God bringing closure and justice to a community for wrathful vengeance. God does not force forgiveness because many people don't desire forgiveness, and doing so would be a violation of free will.

    Righteous Jealousy Not Sinful Envy
    God's "jealousy" is used in the Bible to indicate His strong commitment to someone and his well-being, not envy as is commonly understood.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    A Sample of Holtz's Bogus Arguments

    Solid Scriptural Basis for the Trinity

    Holtz alleges that the Trinity "has no scriptural basis." This is false. All throughout scripture it is taught that there is one God [Exodus 20:3; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 1:1, 6, 21; etc.] and that there are three distinct persons who are God: Father [Matthew 6:9; Matthew 6:32; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 3:15-17; John 3:16; John 4:23; John 5:45; John 6:27; 1 John 2:22; Hebrews 12:9; Ephesians 1:4; Romans 1:7; Romans 15:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3], Son [1], and Holy Spirit/Ghost [Genesis 1:2; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 139:7-12; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Matthew 28:18-20; Titus 3:5-7; John 16:7; John 16:14; 1 John 2:27; John 14:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Romans 8:9-17; Ephesians 4:30; John 3:5-7].


    Egregious Biblical Scholarship

    Holtz alleges that "In the earliest gospel (Mark), Jesus never calls Himself Christ/Messiah" Jesus calls Himself the Messiah in Mark 14:61-64.

    Holtz speaks of "Jesus' idiosyncratic Sonship claims." Jesus' Sonship claims are true. Truth about reality is knowable. Opposites cannot both be true. God exists. [2] Miracles are possible. [3] A miracle is an act of God to confirm the truth of God claimed by a messenger of God. The New Testament documents are reliable. In the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God. [4] Jesus proved to be God by an unprecedented convergence of miracles. Therefore, Jesus was God in human flesh.


    Holtz's Blasphemous Characterization of Jesus

    Holtz blasphemously calls Jesus a "family-resenting bastard faith healer." Jesus was not anti-family [5] and was not a faith (psychosomatic) healer. He was not a bastard, but was born of a virgin. He performed unique miracles that were instantaneous and always successful. Faith healers cannot raise the dead or cure congenital blindness, etc.

    Holtz says the "people Jesus allegedly reanimates might not actually have been clinically dead" Lazarus was clinically dead, as his corpse was rotting in the grave.

    Hypostatic Union and Law of Non-Contradiction

    Holtz says that Jesus being fully God and fully man is a contradiction, but this is not so. [6]

    No Fabrications & Hallucinations

    Holtz suggests that "some disciples began havingoutright hallucination[s]" and could have made "fabrications." This is implausible [7].

    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-Jesus.html
    [2] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html
    [3] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html
    [4]
    http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-Christianity-is-Jesus.html
    [5] http://Christian-thinktank.com/hfamval.html
    [6] a. http://gotquestions.org/Jesus-God-man.html

    b. http://gotquestions.org/hypostatic-union.html
    [7] a. http://Christian-thinktank.hallucn.html
    b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-disciples-made.html [alleged fabrications]

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    Holtz's Misplaced Appeal to Celsus

    MYTH
    Celsus of Greece disproved Christianity

    Biblioskeptics cite True Doctrine author Celsus' dismissal of Biblical teachings. However, Celsus' rejection of Christian exclusivism, Biblical miracles, the incarnation and the crucifixion, and Christian noncomformity have been refuted by Origen in Contra Celsum. Celsus failed to fully understand and appreciate historical evidence and philosophical justification of miracles, the evidence supporting the deity of Christ, and the uniqueness of Christianity among world religions. [1]

    [1] Jesus Christ was unique in messianic prophecies, conception, life, death, resurrection, sinlessness, exemplifying virtues, in life and teaching, and in His combining of seemingly opposite traits, such as being humble while boldly claiming to be God [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-that.html]. His prophecy, revelation, position, miracles, and claims are superior to those of Moses. Jesus has a superior message, way of salvation, model life, worldview, morality, and basis for truth to those of Mohamed, Hindu gurus, Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), Socrates, and Lao Tse. Christ's proof of His message is superior to all other religious figures. His death was the most noble and He bring superior freedom. [Reference: http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFArchives/theological-dictionary/TD4W1003.pdf]

    Jesus Really Died

    MYTH
    Jesus did not die on the Cross

    Another objection to the resurrection is that Jesus did not really die. This objection is ridiculous.

    Soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear. Blood and water flowed out of the wound, proving that physical death had occurred. [John 19:34]. Journal of the American Medical Association says that Jesus' death was ensured when the spear, thrust between His right rib, perforated His right lung and the pericardium of the heart. Jesus declared that He was dying. [Luke 23:46] Roman soldiers didn't bother breaking Jesus' legs, a common procedure used to hasten death. [John 19:33] Pilate double-checked to see if Jesus was dead before giving the corpse to Joseph for burial. [Mark 15:44-45] If Jesus was not dead from the crucifixion, he would have died while in the sealed tomb wrapped in about 100 lbs. of cloth and spices for three days [Matt. 27:60; John 19:39-40], due to lack of food, water, and medical treatment.

    Rebuttal of Some of Holtz's Anti-Resurrection Arguments

    The Disciples Saw Jesus
    Biblioskeptics like Holtz often say that Jesus' post-resurrection appearances were unimpressive to the disciples who heard about them (and should have been expecting them) and even to those who witnessed them or that they were cases of mistaken identity. This is a gross misrepresentation of the accounts. Occasionally there was difficulty recognizing Jesus [Lk 24:15-16; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4], but in every case it was only temporary. Perplexity, sorrow, the dimness of the light, visual distance, the suddenness of Jesus' appearance, the different clothes He was wearing, and spiritual dullness were some factors causing this difficulty. Before the appearances were over, the witnesses had absolutely no doubt that Jesus Christ, whom they had known intimately for many years, had arisen in a literal, physical body. Holtz quotes Mt 28:17: "When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted." The Greek verb in context points to hesitation/indecision as to what to do next, not disbelief in the fact of the resurrection.

    The Bible Teaches a Bodily Resurrection
    The Bible explicitly teaches the physical nature of Christ's resurrection. A literal physical resurrection of Jesus is supported by the facts that Jesus was touched by human hands, His body had flesh and bones, He ate physical food on at least four occasions, His body had His crucifixion wounds [this is mentioned by Phlegon in Chronicles], His body was recognized, His body could be seen and heard, He was resurrected "out from among" the grave where corpses are buried, the word soma in the text always means physical body, the tomb was vacated, the grave clothes were unwrapped, and the body that died was the same one that was raised. Christ appeared to more than 500 people on 11 separate occasions over a 40 day period. The only good explanation for this is a supernatural physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Holtz's Far-Fetched Hypothoses
    Holtz also speculates without evidence that Joseph of Arimathea could have stolen the body. Joseph had no reason to steal the body. Since Joseph was a disciple [Luke 23:50-51] we can eliminate the motive of preventing the disciples from stealing it. Joseph could have produced the body and discredited the entire story if he was not a follower of Christ. Joseph, a pious Jew, would not have broken the Sabbath [Luke 23:50-56]. A Roman guard stationed in front of the tomb [Matt. 27:62-66] would have seen Joseph's torches at night. The women came at dawn the next morning [Luke 24:1]; there was no opportunity for Joseph to remove the body. Where would Joseph put the body? Christ's body was never found, despite the fact that almost two months passed before the disciples started preaching; this was an abundant time frame in which to expose a fraud. This theory, lacking a means, motive, and opportunity, is junk.

    Christ Is God

    MYTH
    Jesus is not God

    Jesus' Numerous Divine Claims
    One objection to Christianity is Holtz's absurd claim of "Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity". [1] This is blatantly false. Jesus claimed to be Yahweh [John 17:5; Rev. 1:17; John 10:11; Matt. 25:31; John 5:27; Matt. 25:1; John 8:12; John 8:58], claimed to be equal with God [Mark 2:5-11; John 5:25, 29; John 5:21; John 5:23], to have equal authority with God [Matt. 5:21-22; Matt. 28:18-19; John 13:34; Matt. 5:18; Matt. 24:35; John 12:48], and to be the Messiah-God [Matt. 22:43-44; Mark 14:61-64; Matt. 26:54; Luke 24:27]. He claimed to be God by accepting worship [Matt. 8:2; Matt. 9:18; Matt. 14:33; Matt. 15:25; Matt. 20:20; Mark 5:6; Matt. 28:17; John 20:28-29; Matt 16:17] and by requesting prayer in His name [John 14:13-14; John 15:7; John 14:6; 1 Cor. 5:4; Acts 7:59].

    Bible Does Not Say That Jesus Disavowed Divinity
    Jesus said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone." [Mark 10:18; Luke 18:17; Matt. 19:17] Here Jesus is not denying that He is God, but asking the rich young ruler to examine the ramifications of what he said. Jesus also said, "If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." [John 14:28] Jesus is not saying that He is not God, but instead saying that as God the Son in the Trinity, He subordinated Himself to God the Father and accepted the inherent limitations of humanity. Jesus, God the Son, is equal to God the Father in His divine nature, divine essence, divine attributes, and divine character. Jesus is subordinate to God the Father in His human nature, human function, human office, and human position. The Son and the Father are equal in essence and dignity and power, etc. but the Father is the principle of the Son. Critics also point out that "the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son." [Jn 5:22] Again, Jesus is not denying that He is God, but affirming His deity, and his place as the Son in the trinity. He also says "... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." Jesus affirms that the Father and Son are equal in essence, and thus He is affirming that He is God. Critics take Jesus' words out of context; their criticisms do not stand up to scrutiny.

    Not Just Jesus, But His Earliest Followers Believed He Is God
    Disciples attributed the title of deity to Christ, considered Jesus the Messiah-God, attributed the powers of God to Jesus, associated Jesus' name with God's, called Jesus God, and considered Jesus superior to angels.

    Divine Claims Demonstrated
    Jesus' claims to be God and the disciples' belief that He was God Incarnate do not automatically prove the Deity of Christ. However, evidence that Jesus is God include fulfilled messianic prophecies [2], a miraculous [3] and sinless life, and the Resurrection. The Old Testament predicted the Resurrection, and so did Jesus Himself. The Resurrection is evidently true [stay tuned for future posts on the Resurrection].

    [1] This charge can be added to the list of discredited anti-Christian arguments that include "atheism is true" [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html] and that Hell is unjust ["Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell"] [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html].
    [2] It is not humanly possible to make clear, repeated, and accurate predictions 200 to 400 or more years before such an event. That these prophecies were fulfilled is miraculous and indicates confirmation from God that Jesus is the Messiah (Savior).
    [3] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html

    Future Posts #1

    Future posts include thoughts on:

    People
    Michael Jackson
    Tupac
    Jerry Falwell
    Ted Kennedy
    Bill O'Reilly
    Osama bin Laden
    Rush Limbaugh
    Tom Cruise
    Ariel Sharon
    Tom Delay

    Technologies
    Depleted Uranium
    Cryonics
    Alternative Medicine
    In-Vitro Fertilization
    Avian Flu Vaccines/Treatments
    Hydrogen Fuel Cells
    Nuclear Fusion Power

    Movements and Philosophies
    Transhumanism
    Feminism
    Masculism
    Maoism
    Neoconservatism
    Neoliberalism
    Multiculturalism vs. Assimilationism
    Intelligent Design in Schools
    Machiavellianism

    Terrorism
    Ayman Al Zawahiri
    Ramzi Yousef
    Alleged CIA Torture Bases
    Intifada
    Left Wing
    Right Wing
    Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Religions and Cults
    Jesus Seminar
    Moonies
    Mormonism
    Jehovah's Witnesses
    Judaism
    Hinduism
    Islam
    Scientology
    Satanism
    Luciferianism

    Doctrines
    Consubstantiation vs. Transubstantiation
    Infant Baptism

    Economics
    Minimum Wage
    Equal Pay for Equal Work
    Flat Taxes
    Gas Prices
    Social Security

    Health
    Veganism
    Knuckle Cracking
    Fat Loss
    Muscle Building
    Medicare
    Medicaid
    Steroids
    Alzheimer's
    Needle Exchange Programs
    Obesity
    Fast Food
    Efficacy of Dietary Supplements
    Medical Marijuana

    Death Penalty
    Anti-Death Penalty Clichés
    Death Penalty as a Deterrent
    Minorities and Death Penalty

    Socialism Is Wrong

    Socialism must be abandoned by serious thinkers. Brian Holtz observes that socialism says that the state should protect civil liberties, regulate unequal private economic association, provide social insurance, and monopolize certain industries and resources. However, socialism fails, as Holtz shows, because it violates property rights and rights of free economic association. By imposing poor regulations and collectives, economic prosperity is impaired.

    Nazism Thoroughly Flawed

    Nazism is wrongly pro-choice, pro-censorship, anti-capitalism, anti-Polish, anti-Semitic, anti-Slavic, anti-democratic, anti-miscegeneration, racist, genocidal, and pro-eugenics. Neo-Nazis are retarded; what's makes them adopt such a stupid ideology?

    Characteristics of a Winner

    Characteristics of a Winner (Not sure of the author)
    A winner has drive, loves and seeks competition, and does not doubt themself.A winner has determination, recognizing that progress can be slow but not giving up. A winner knows there is no such thing as instant success.A winner dominates, and is not intimated.A winner is coachable, listening and learning from the coach. A winner asks questions to learn and seek knowledge but doesn't question authority.A winner has confidence, believing in their ability and knowing their limits, working on their weaknesses with the strength of their strong points.A winner is aggressive in that they make things happen instead of sitting back and waiting for things to happen.A winner is responsible, accepting responsibility for all their actions. A winner learns, improves, and greatly decreases their "failures" by taking responsibility for the failures without feeling like a failure.A winner has trust, and believes in the coach. A winner speaks well of the coach, knowing that it is the player is the only one that looks bad when they put down the coach. A winner shares the coaches values as the coach shares his knowledge and believe in the player.A winner lets their conscience develop, learning right from wrong.A winner is mentally tough and able to cope with failure. A winner knows that they've done everything possible to succeed.A winner has emotional control, handling pressure the right way. A winner sticks to their game plan and concentrates in all situations. A winner visualizes success with positive self motivation.A winner has commitment, and understands what it will take to reach their goal. It is tougher to be successful than to be a failure.

    Sunday, January 15, 2006

    Golden Rule

    Golden, Silver, & Platinum Rules
    The Golden Rule, the ethical value of reciprocity, can be summed up as "Treat others the way you would like to be treated." The Silver Rule can be stated as "Treat others the way they like to be treated. " There is also a Platinum Rule.

    The Distortion of the Golden Rule
    Critics have manipulated the Golden Rule to say that it could be used by masochists to excuse their behavior on unwilling individuals. The Golden Rule focuses on the action and not the object of the action, contrary to the incorrect interpretation of scoffers. Such a warped interpretation is explicitly rejected in other parts of the Bible. [1] Most religious understandings of the Golden Rule imply its use as a virtue toward greater love for one's neighbor as opposed to a deontological or consequentialist rule. See this good link. [2]

    Brian Holtz claims that "The Golden Rule's ethical value of reciprocity does not satisfy the axiological criteria of maximality and compatibility and so cannot by itself be a satisfactory system of ethics," but compatibility is irrelevant and the principle of reciprocity is centered on intention and is thus of the highest ethical importance. Also, suggesting that the Golden Rule was intended to be "a system of ethics" is unreasonable.


    [1] http://www.tektonics.org/tsr/jehukingsvshosea2.html
    [2] http://answers.org/apologetics/goldenapol.html

    Post #69.
    Post under construction.

    Biggest Waste of Time: Court Case On the Question of Jesus' Existence

    MYTH
    Jesus of Nazareth never existed

    The new Italian court case over the existence of Jesus is a half-baked farce. Jesus Christ existed. [1] Flavius Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, Emperor Trajan, Hadrian, Talmud, Toledoth Jesu, Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Gospel of Truth by Valentinus, the Apocryphon of John, the Gospel of Thomas, the Treatise on Resurrection, the Acts of Pontius Pilate, and Phlegon confirm the following teachings about Christ of the New Testament Gospels [2]:
    1) Jesus was from Nazareth;
    2) He lived a wise and virtuous life;
    3) He was crucified in Palestine under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar at Passover time, being considered the Jewish King;
    4) He was believed by his disciples to have been raised from the dead three days later;
    5) His enemies acknowledged that He performed unusual feats they called 'sorcery';
    6) His small band of disciples multiplied rapidly, spreading even as far as Rome;
    7) His disciples denied polytheism, lived moral lives, and worshiped Christ as Divine.
    [1] a. http://kingdavid8.com/JesusExisted.html
    b. http://kingdavid8.com/JesusExisted2.html
    [2] Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics [Norman L. Geisler, 381-385] http://www.Christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=1021510&netp_id=127912&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW

    Saturday, January 14, 2006

    Communism Is Wrong

    Communism is not a viable political system. Communism, holding that the state should monopolize all capital, reduces economic prosperity by eliminating property rights. Over 108,700,000 individuals were killed by communist governments during the 20th century.

    [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    Conclusions on Key Issues #1

    So far we've established the following. Yes/no indicates right/wrong.

    Abortion: no [1]
    Active Euthanasia: no [2]
    Atheocracy: no [3]
    Bible: Inerrant Word of God [4]
    Embryonic Stem Cell Research: no [5]
    Fideism: no [6]
    Gay Marriage: no [7]
    Hunting for Sport: yes [8]
    Intelligent Design: yes [9]
    Iraq War: yes [10]
    Macroevolution: no [11]
    Metaphysics: supernaturalism [12]
    Noachian Flood: global [13]
    Psychics: no [14]
    Psychoactive drugs: no [15]
    Religion: Biblical Christianity [16]
    Theocracy: no [17]
    Theology: monotheism [18]

    [1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/common-fallacy-of-pro-choice.html
    [2] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/active-euthanasia-is-wrong.html
    [3] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-good-idea-for-christians_10.html
    [4] a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/66-books-of-bible-as-gods-inspired.html
    b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/christianity-is-one-true-religion.html
    [5] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/embryonic-stem-cell-research-is-wrong.html
    [6] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/fideism-is-false-epistemological.html
    [7] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/gay-marriage-is-wrong_10.html
    [8] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/hunting-for-sport-is-fine.html
    [9] a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-would-seem-that-anthropic-principle.html
    b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/irreducible-complexity-already.html
    [10] a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/excellent-httpbible.html
    b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/good-reasons-to-support-our-troops-it.html
    c. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/maybe-saddam-hussein-al-qaeda.html
    [11] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/microevolution-is-true.html
    [12] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html
    [13] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/noachian-flood-as-described-in-genesis.html
    [14] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/psychics-are-frauds.html
    [15] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/alcohol-causes-depression-nausea-and.html
    [16] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/christianity-is-one-true-religion.html
    [17] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-good-idea-for-christians_10.html
    [18] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html In a future post we will see that of the monotheistic views, eutheism trumps maltheism, and that trinitarianism is true.