Monday, February 03, 2014

Agenda Lies 8: A Dialogue---Such As It Is

The dialogue in this Dan Trabue thread is not so much an example of an Agenda Lie as it is a defense of it.  It begins with his New Year's Resolution for his blog pertaining to how he intends to act in discussions where opinion and fact might be confused.  He claims too many of his opponents don't know the difference and often put forth opinion as if it were fact.  My initial response is that he has claimed for himself the ultimate authority to decide what is fact and what is opinion and in a very subjective and self-serving way.

From there, he tries to insist that I present my definitions for both, and I respond that I am certain we both know the difference well enough, but that I don't have any confidence that he will rule according to those definitions.  I felt it more appropriate that he simply get down to arguing why what was stated as a fact in not in fact...a fact.  Otherwise, without doing so, what he is really doing is merely stating his opinion about what is a fact or an opinion.  You can see where the trouble is.

Anyhow, as he uses an example in his post that refers to religious argument, I decide to use this opportunity to once again explore Lev 18:22 to hopefully force him to face certain realities, or to provide, finally after all these years, an actual argument based on Scriptural evidence (primarily) and then perhaps scholarly interpretations that haven't been refuted or contradicted by other scholars.  One would expect that at some point, each argument runs into a barrier of logic and fact against which the other side cannot return volley.  I believe it is clear that has already happened in this debate, and that the only reason it rages on (where proponents of the Agenda That Doesn't Exist do not bolt the debate for lack of legitimate argument) is due to the unwillingness of people like Dan to truly respond to the points raised about the Scriptural prohibition.

If you've a mind to do so, check it out and see what you think.  I know some of you have no desire to spend/waste your time at Dan's blog, so you can post comments here if you feel so moved.  But I think you'll see a clear example of Dan's fancy two-stepping as I try to get him to answer a few simple questions.  Kinda humorous, really.

262 comments:

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Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I had to take a look. You demonstrated - as usual - the Trabue hasn't any intention of facing the truth about what the Bible says. He has an agenda and doesn't want to be confused with facts. Your replies to him totally dismantled all his arguments but he is so self-deceived that he has blinded himself to the truth.

I posted my entire blog on the subject in his comment string just so anyone reading would see that the Bible does indeed conclusively and factually condemn homosexual behavior. I will not debate - that is all I'm doing because debating with that fool is a waste of time.

He has never sought the truth and doesn't seem to even know the truth about anything.

My bet is that he will delete my comments.

Dan Trabue said...

Your comments were not on the topic of the post, Glenn. The difference between you and I is that I always welcome on topic comments and conversation from anyone. I do not fear others' ideas or comments and have no reason to block anyone from engaging in conversation, even if I disagree with them.

On the other hand, you won't even allow dissenting comments, no matter if they are respectful or on topic.

It's a bit ironic that you'd bomb my blog with off topic and silly opinions and whine about me deleting them, when you won't even post a single comment from me, ON topic.

Come, let us reason like adults, not children.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, as to this post, I will always gladly answer questions on topic to the best of my ability. The point of the topic in question, however, has nothing to do with your questions.

Beyond that, your questions and comments only support the idea that you are not recognizing the difference between fact and opinion, which is the point of my post (that I'm not really interested in/think there's much value in holding conversations with people who can't distinguish between facts and opinions).

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

No Trabue,
I was on topic. AGAIN, your topic was about facts vs opinions, and the subject was fleshed out by Marshall ergo, my comments contributed to the discussion by present facts against YOUR opinions.

You again have lied about me, you fool. I always publish dissenting opinions except those posted by trolls like you - false teacher who lead people to the hell you will spend eternity in for your blaspheming of the Holy Spirit.

One of these days you might just quit lying about other people, quite lying about God, and actually seek the truth, but I don't really imagine that will ever happen.

Have the last word, troll. I'm not wasting one more minute with your foolishness.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Otherwise, without doing so, what he is really doing is merely stating his opinion about what is a fact or an opinion. You can see where the trouble is.

No, I can't.

I can state factually (ie, it IS A FACT) that human interpretations about ideas and ideals that we can not prove, measure, and/or objectively demonstrate are opinions. That much is a fact, do you agree?

And so, when someone says, "The Bible never uses the words, "God hates gay people,'" That is factually correct claim. It is demonstrable and observable to anyone who looks, regardless of their opinions and biases.

If someone claims, "The Bible has a line that says (not literally, but words to the effect of), 'men should not lie with men as they do with women, this is horrible to God and anyone who does this should be killed..." THAT is a factual claim. It is observably in the Bible.

BUT, if someone goes on to say, "...and because that line is in the Bible, we can KNOW as a FACT that God hates all gay behavior..." that has moved from fact to opinion. Factually speaking.

What is my evidence of this? Because the person is no longer making a verifiable claim. No one can objectively ask God or God's representative, "Is this correct?" to verify it. All we have is one person - or many people's - opinion about what God thinks.

It is objectively an opinion, objectively NOT a fact - not verifiable, not demonstrable to all people regardless of biases and philosophies.

Can you agree to that reality?

Dan Trabue said...

Off topic (and ad hom) Glenn commented...

false teacher who lead people to the hell you will spend eternity in for your blaspheming of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have such little faith in the strength of your arguments that you don't trust that people will recognize this "fool's" arguments as foolish and yours as superior? It sounds as if you fear that your arguments, when compared to mine, will sound unbiblical, irrational, hateful and/or just plain silly, so you can't allow that people will hear another's opinion, even one you think is mistaken.

Embrace grace, dear brother Glenn. You have nothing to fear in it. Let ideas stand on their own merit or not. In the end, it will only serve to strengthen Truth and that, dear brother, is a good thing.

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

He claims too many of his opponents don't know the difference and often put forth opinion as if it were fact.

Just to clarify... HERE is the point of the post in question, lifted straight from the post:

But if it's an opinion about your interpretation of a biblical passage or your hunch about what God wants or the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin or ANY opinion, do not proffer declarative statements when you are stating your opinion. You are always welcome to say, "It seems to me..." or "My opinion on that question is..." but not, "GOD SAYS you are wrong..."

In short, I think it will be reasonable and helpful in future conversations to clearly delineate between personal opinion and fact. That is my point and it IS reasonable, is it not?

Do you have any rational problem with the notion of clarifying your comments you may want to make as either "This is my opinion..." or, "This is a fact, here is the observable-to-all data to support my fact claim..."?

Who could disagree with this idea? For what reason?

You went on to say...

My initial response is that he has claimed for himself the ultimate authority to decide what is fact and what is opinion and in a very subjective and self-serving way.

Not what I said. I have no "ultimate authority." Facts are simply facts. They are demonstrable. IF I make a claim, "All purple unicorns have pink umbrellas with them at all times," then it can be either easily proven or disproven by my providing the evidence to support the fact claim. That is the nature of facts, Marshall: They can be demonstrated to all, regardless of one's opinions or biases.

If I claim, "Genesis 1:1 says, 'in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," I can support that with objective, dispassionate, indisputable data.

IF I claim, "...and that means that God created the world 6,000 years ago..." then I have moved to opinion. I have no data to support the claim. It COULD be true and factual, but one can claim it as a fact only if they can demonstrate it is a fact with actual indisputable data.

So, no, I hold no ultimate authority as to what is and isn't a fact. Reality does. If you think you have a fact claim, then find the data to support it - and that data should be clearly observable to all. If you have no independent data, then it is an opinion, not a fact.

Simple as that.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

With Trabue, it's always an opinion from you, but fact from him.

I guess it depends on what your definition of "is" is.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue has baited me in a response.

I was no more making an ad hominem attack on you than was Jesus when he called the Pharisees names befitting of who they were.

I have total faith in my arguments, but I have no patience with trolls who are only looking for more cult followers. I don't give Mormons time on my blog for proselytizing either.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

With Trabue, it's always an opinion from you, but fact from him.

Demonstrably untrue.

It is MY OPINION that the first chapter of Genesis reads more like a mythic story than a scientific or factual history in the modern sense.

It is YOUR opinion that it is closer to a literal history.

The difference is, I acknowledge my opinions as opinions while you like to call your opinions either "God's Word" or "fact."

In fact, your opinions are your opinions, and not facts.

IF it was a fact, then you could provide data to support your claims.

It is my opinion that Jesus, when he said "blessed are you who are poor, who hunger... but woe to you who are rich, who have your fill..." that Jesus was speaking fairly literally, at least in some sense, of actual poor people and actual rich people, just like the text says.

It is Marshall's opinion that Jesus should NOT be taken literally in Luke 6, but that they are (to Marshall) figurative words, meaning poor IN SPIRIT, or rich IN SPIRIT. As to whether or not Marshall recognizes his opinion in that case is an opinion or if he confuses it with fact, I'm not sure.

But clearly, my opinions ARE my opinions. I support the facts I claim with actual data, if there is any question.

So, with actual evidence/examples, I have demonstrated this claim to be false and not factual. So it shall stand unless Glenn has any, you know, data, to support his false opinions.

See how easy it is?

Come, let us reason together, like adults, with grace and respect.

Marshall Art said...

I've quite directly and plainly addressed the Beatitudes issue.

"I have no "ultimate authority." Facts are simply facts. They are demonstrable."

I listed quite a few demonstrable facts, and also argued why they are indeed true. As to your ultimate authority, you have indeed claimed that within the realm of your blog for the purpose of avoiding a true, honest and mature discussion.

My reference to Lev 18:22 was to present an example of how you choose to your own satisfaction what will pass for fact or opinion. You continue to prove my point over and over again.

My point overall is that there is no confusion over what is fact vs an opinion, but that you purposely label a fact you don't like as an opinion to dismiss it and allow yourself to perpetuate falsehood. You continue to prove this point as well, over and over again, as you have for years.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

My point overall is that there is no confusion over what is fact vs an opinion

I think there probably is, Marshall. But clarify, by all means, and answer this question directly:

I (we, anyone) can state factually (ie, it IS A FACT) that human interpretations about ideas and ideals that we can not prove, measure, and/or objectively demonstrate are opinions.

That much is a fact, DO YOU AGREE?


If not, what definition of "fact" are you using?

Marshall Art said...

And still you continue to ask questions already answered, in hopes, I guess, that something will change. Below are definitions that describe what I mean by "opinion" and "fact". My use of either of these two words consistently align with the definitions for them below.

Opinion:

1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

Fact:

1. something that actually exists; reality; truth
2. something known to exist or to have happened
3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true

Thus far, after all these years, the problem has been and remains not that there is confusion on my part in distinguishing between fact and opinion, but that you either:

1. merely assert that a fact I present is only my opinion without any proof, or

2. you fail to provide any counter evidence or data that would dispute or refute my own to show that what I put forth as fact is indeed not.

My point here, as in my comments at your blog, is that you have claimed authority to decide whether or not an opponent is stating fact or opinion regardless of whether or not the statement is indeed one or the other, but based on how it negatively it impacts your position. I believe, and with good cause, that anyone who has opposed you for any length of time on any issue would read the post to which this one refers and come to the same conclusion.

Dan Trabue said...

I (we, anyone) can state factually (ie, it IS A FACT) that human interpretations about ideas and ideals that we can not prove, measure, and/or objectively demonstrate are opinions.

That much is a fact, DO YOU AGREE?


Marshall...

My point here, as in my comments at your blog, is that you have claimed authority to decide whether or not an opponent is stating fact or opinion regardless of whether or not the statement is indeed one or the other,

And my point has been that you have been offering up opinions as if they were facts and there is nothing for me to disprove, as it is clearly only an opinion.

If someone says to me that all purple unicorns have pink horns, there is NOT A THING I CAN OFFER to rebut his point, as he has not offered a fact, but an opinion with no evidence.

The only thing anyone can do for that sort of comment is say, "Where is your EVIDENCE for such a claim?"

This is what I have done for you, repeatedly. All you have offered in response is subjective opinions.

Here, I'll do it once again:

You claim that the verses about "men laying with men" are evidence that God does not approve of any gay behavior. But that is just an opinion about what YOU THINK God approves of. Where is your HARD EVIDENCE? Data, man, you have to have actual data. Pointing to a text that is subjectively interpreted is NOT hard evidence.

Look at it this way: IF there were a courtroom trial about this case - "Does God disapprove of all gay sex?" and you asserted "God believes what I have said God believes, that God disapproves of gay sex..." The judge would call that heresay. The attorney would ask, "Where's the evidence?"

You would point to the Bible where this line lives "Men should not lie with men," and the attorney would point out that other lines in that text represent things that are not rules for all people, that the text you are lifting comes from a group of rules specifically given to ancient Israel, and that YOU don't think all these rules are for all people in all times. Further, he would point out that this Bible is a book that YOU are claiming to represent God's will, but just because you believe it does not make it factually so. Further, he would point out that it requires some interpretation and just because YOU believe you have interpreted correctly, does not make it factually so.

"Where is your hard evidence that God DOES believe what you say God believes? Can you get God to testify on God's own behalf? No? Then on what basis would we accept someone else's opinion about what God thinks as hard evidence?"

You have no facts, yet, Marshall. Only opinions. If you offer up that people have traditionally believed what you believe, that is STILL human opinion. If you offer up some people who are liberals also hold the opinion that you hold, that is STILL human opinion, not fact.

Where is your hard data?

You have none. You have offered only opinion.

Do you understand that? IF not, can you paste just ONE thing that you think is a fact that I have not covered yet?

If you cite that some people who are liberal hold the opinion that this verse suggests that, in their opinion, God was condemning all gay sex for all times, that is a fact that people hold that opinion, but it is not a fact that says, "BEcause people hold this opinion, therefore it is a fact..." It remains an opinion without hard observable data.

Where is your observable data to prove your fact beyond all doubt?

Marshall Art said...

"And my point has been that you have been offering up opinions as if they were facts and there is nothing for me to disprove, as it is clearly only an opinion."

So you're saying:

-"Men lying with men" is NOT a specific sexual act

-That Lev 18, or the general context in which it is placed, DOES provide an exemption to the prohibition

-That Lev 18:22 is NOT based on the FACT that God refers to the prohibited act as an abomination

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example of ANY scenario in which homosexual behavior ISN'T an abomination

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example where by a family IS headed by two of the same gender or might view the possibility as acceptable

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example of ANY form of homosexual behavior portrayed as acceptable

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example of God overturning His declaration that "men lying with men" is an abomination, or of Him mitigating that declaration in any way for any reason

All of the above are based, NOT on opinion, but verifiable facts about what Scripture teaches. That mythical lawyer of yours, and the fantasy trial you depict, would never materialize in the real world as you need it to to support your immorality.
The precedent for understanding Lev 18:22 has been set since its inception, and when even pro-homosexual scholars acknowledges its FACTUAL meaning, the judge would focus his attention on your argument that it doesn't mean what the world has said it meant since Day 1. He would look at the above list of facts that I have repeatedly provided and insist that you prove them wrong with facts of your own. No lawyer with any shred of honesty would ever point to entirely unrelated and dissimilar verses and passages and dare try to suggest that, for example, the flowery language used by a character such as Job is in any way to regarded in the same light as a clear and simple command from God. He, and the judge, would demand that you provide evidence to show that behavioral laws of Leviticus, particularly the one in question, should NOT be regarded as applicable, especially when those teachings are reinforced in New Testament Gospels and Epistles.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

All of the above are based, NOT on opinion, but verifiable facts about what Scripture teaches.

No, Marshall, it is opinion. YOU THINK that the text that literally says Job was a brother to a dragon is to be taken figuratively (and I agree with YOUR opinion).

YOU THINK - in your opinion - that the text that says "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" and the text that follows means that God created the world about 6,000 years ago in six literal days, culminating with the creation of a specific literal man and woman named Adam and Eve... and I think in my opinion that this teaching is not a literal history but a mythic telling of a creation story.

YOU think, in your opinion, that the text in Lev 17 about not cutting your hair is not a literal and universal command but the verse in Lev 18 about "men laying with men" is about all gay sex and that it IS a universal rule (but that the rule over in Lev 20 that says to kill such men, you do NOT think is a universal rule). I don't think any of these are universal rules in my opinion.

These are ALL opinions, not supported with any facts, but only with interpretations of an ancient text. You have not provided ONE literal fact to support your opinion.

You do not appear to understand the meaning of "fact," or are using some other definition. Nothing you have offered is objectively and independently verifiable, it is all subject to subjective interpretation. I don't know how else to say it, Marshall. These are ALL opinions, not facts.

So, where you say...

"Men lying with men" is NOT a specific sexual act

I'm saying that "men laying with men" is found in the context of laws specifically to ancient Israel and are not universal laws.

I'm saying that we don't determine what is right and wrong by lifting a verse from the Bible and saying, "look, here's a verse, therefore it's wrong..." I'm saying that is not an adult or rational way to determine right and wrong.

AND, I'm saying that it APPEARS to be referring to some sexual act, but it is not specific as to what act it is referring to. IN CONTEXT, it appears to me, in my opinion, to be referring to pagan rituals. But regardless, EVEN IF it were referring to any and all male/male gay behavior, that is not enough to say gay behavior is wrong, because the Bible is not a rule book to lift rules from. As you agree, since you don't lift the "hair cutting" rule or the "kill them" rule from these texts.

-That Lev 18, or the general context in which it is placed, DOES provide an exemption to the prohibition

I'm saying I don't know what you mean. I'm saying that this set of rules are 1. Rules specifically to ancient Israel and 2. do not appear to me to be saying all male/male gay behavior, but rather, speaking of some pagan ritual behavior.

continued...

Dan Trabue said...

...-That Lev 18:22 is NOT based on the FACT that God refers to the prohibited act as an abomination

Yes, I'm saying that it is NOT a fact that God prohibits all gay behavior, we have NO hard evidence to support it and you have brought forth NOT ONE SINGLE SHRED of hard evidence. You have brought human speculation based upon a rather whimsical and shallow approach to reading a holy text, but zero hard evidence. IF you think you have even ONE bit of hard, factual evidence, I will again ask you to simply start your next post with "MY HARD EVIDENCE that this is an OBJECTIVE fact discernible to all regardless of biases and opinions is..." and insert the objective evidence.

You have yet to do that. Ever.

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example of ANY scenario in which homosexual behavior ISN'T an abomination

I'm saying that just because we find a line in scripture - be it the Bible, or the Koran, or any other holy text - that condemns a behavior IS NOT FACTUAL evidence that said behavior is demonstrably wrong. It is OPINION. Factually speaking.

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example where by a family IS headed by two of the same gender or might view the possibility as acceptable

No, I'm not saying that. I don't need to because the Bible is NOT a rule book wherein we go to find all the dos and don'ts of how to behave. Factually speaking, it never claims to be that. Not one time. It is a rather immature approach to Bible study to treat the Bible like a magic 8 ball wherein we seek hard and fast rules to behavioral questions.

-That somewhere in Scripture there IS an example of ANY form of homosexual behavior portrayed as acceptable

No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that the Bible is not a rule book. I do not accept your rather whimsical and shallow approach to Bible study and how you lift meaning and rules, based on your traditions and interpretations. Just because you read the Bible that way does not make if factual, it makes it, BY DEFINITION, opinion. In this case, Marshall's opinion.

Do you understand that? Yes? No?

Apparently not.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Again proving that Trabue is the most dishonest person I have ever dealt with.

Dan Trabue said...

Facts, Glenn. Data. You can't just keep making false and unsupported claims and expect to be taken seriously.

Ironically, there is a word for those who make false and unsupported charges: Dishonest.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,
Anyone reading this comment string who has any intelligence at all will readily see your dishonesty with how you handle the Bible. That is my factual evidence.

And you wonder why I identify you as a child of Satan. He also abused the Bible.

Dan Trabue said...

Facts, Glenn. Data. You can't just keep making false and unsupported claims and expect to be taken seriously.

You got nothin' but hatefulness and bitterness (or at least that's how it appears). May God have mercy on you, and on us all.

Embrace grace, brother.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, are you unclear on what I mean by objective factual evidence?

I mean evidence that is clear no matter who is looking at it.

If I say "My car is a blue Toyota" I can offer, as evidence, a photograph of the car demonstrating that it is indeed a blue Toyota. Regardless of who looks at it or their politics or opinions about cars or biases... regardless of anything, it is objectively clear, it is an undisputed fact and there just isn't anything any one can do to say it isn't a fact.

This is what I mean by evidence.

Pointing to a verse in the Bible, or Billy Graham's opinion, or an organization that supports gay rights and their opinions... these are all subjective opinions about what God thinks. The only evidence I can think of (if you're going to make the claim that "God agrees with what I've said on this point") to support that claim is to put God on the witness stand, and God isn't stepping up to confirm you have it right (or that I have it right).

I don't care what your opinions are about what the Bible does and doesn't say, they remain your opinions, not God's. Now, is it possible that you are right on some issues, as it relates to God's opinion? Sure, it's possible, but it is not provable, not factually so.

Until you can offer evidence that is objectively factual, you are speaking of an opinion.

I really can't believe you can't agree with this.

What definition of "objective fact" are you using?

Marshall Art said...

"YOU THINK that the text that literally says Job was a brother to a dragon is to be taken figuratively."

No. I know the text says that Job said he was a brother to a dragon, and no one, such as Elihu, Bildad, Eliphaz or Zophar, for example, took it literally. It is idiotic to suggest that anyone who has at least an average intellect could take it literally. Any serious student of Scripture who might experience trouble with this expression could easily find an explanation, and likely couldn't take it literally before hand.

"YOU think, in your opinion, that the text in Lev 17 about not cutting your hair is not a literal and universal command but the verse in Lev 18 about "men laying with men" is about all gay sex and that it IS a universal rule (but that the rule over in Lev 20 that says to kill such men, you do NOT think is a universal rule). I don't think any of these are universal rules in my opinion."

But your opinion is baseless and unsupportable. You merely assert what sets well with your corrupt heart. But, the text in Lev 17 IS a literal command to cut one's hair in a specific way. However, since about the 1400's B.C., the only people who have trouble distinguishing between ceremonial, purity and behavioral laws are those who curiously have a desire to engage in prohibited behaviors, or support those who do. It is refreshing and gratifying to know that at least 6 pro-homosexual scholars are also not so confused.

"These are ALL opinions, not supported with any facts, but only with interpretations of an ancient text."

Are you some kind of chucklehead? We're discussing what this "ancient text" says. Everything I've listed is a fact that can be discovered (very easily) within the text we are discussing. This "ancient text" is the source of our knowledge regarding God's will for us.

"I'm saying that "men laying with men" is found in the context of laws specifically to ancient Israel and are not universal laws."

This is just more duplicitous nonsense. It implies no law of Leviticus is universal because it is amongst those given to ancient Israel. So apparently, you're quite free to engage in sex with your cat, since the law prohibiting it was given specifically to ancient Israel.

"I'm saying that we don't determine what is right and wrong by lifting a verse from the Bible..."

Of course, Paul also disagrees with you:

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Rom 7:7 KJV

and

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Rom 7:22 KJV

Of course, he's just an apostle of Christ. What does he know?

"AND, I'm saying that it APPEARS to be referring to some sexual act, but it is not specific as to what act it is referring to."

This answers the chucklehead question as it has been understood to imply homosexual behavior since it was written several thousand years ago. Only those looking for a loophole by which they can engage in the prohibited behavior pretend there is any question about what 18:22 prohibits.

Marshall Art said...

"But regardless, EVEN IF it were referring to any and all male/male gay behavior, that is not enough to say gay behavior is wrong,"

God referring to the prohibited behavior as an abomination is enough for people who truly seek to know and live by His will. If He called it an abomination, and there is no other reference to the behavior being anything other than an abomination, nothing to suggest the behavior was upgraded in any way FROM abomination, an honest and true believer must assume He still regards the behavior as an abomination. To pretend there is any other alternative explanation is simply the childish "snacks before dinner" defense. To make it worse, you've offered nothing but speculation to support your forced opinion. The irony here is that you dare disparage my facts and evidence while doing so.

"...do not appear to me to be saying all male/male gay behavior, but rather, speaking of some pagan ritual behavior."

But this you just make up. You've tried to suggest some preacher you knew spoke about it being the case, but even if we were to concede that the Egyptians and Canaanites engaged in homosexual acts as part of their religious rituals, there is nothing in the text to indicate 18:22 is referring to only that specifically, especially given the general nature of the wording. Also, your weak supposition implies that ONLY homosexual acts within a religious ceremony were prohibited, and ANY other scenario might be tolerable. This is simply stupid thinking, and that's being as gracious as such a ridiculous notion permits.

"Yes, I'm saying that it is NOT a fact that God prohibits all gay behavior, we have NO hard evidence to support it and you have brought forth NOT ONE SINGLE SHRED of hard evidence."

You could not be a bigger liar. Considering alone the thousands of years of understanding regarding what is being prohibited by 18:22, as well as the fact that God calls it an abomination, to say no hard facts have been presented is ludicrous. And, considering all those years of understanding requires YOU to provide some hard evidence why we should NOT stand on the FACT that it condemns all homosexual acts however they might take place. But you don't. Instead, you pretend I am putting forth baseless opinion, which, even if I were to concede that I'm putting forth opinions (where I haven't explicitly stated such), they are far from baseless. That's YOUR gig, not mine.

"I'm saying that just because we find a line in scripture - be it the Bible, or the Koran, or any other holy text - that condemns a behavior IS NOT FACTUAL evidence that said behavior is demonstrably wrong."

First of all, bringing up any other book besides the Bible is an egregious bit of deceit, as if any other book said to be holy that is NOT the Bible has any bearing whatsoever on this discussion. You apparently lack honor altogether.

Secondly, wherever the Bible claims a behavior is prohibited or sinful is by definition, factual evidence of the sinfulness of the behavior. This is especially true when the discussion is regarding specifically what the Bible says and amongst whom (you and me) the discussion is taking place. At least, I know I'm serious about knowing the will of God and patterning my living accordingly. I'm certain I can't say the same about you.

Marshall Art said...

"I don't need to because the Bible is NOT a rule book wherein we go to find all the dos and don'ts of how to behave."

Actually, you do. As Paul has shown, it is where we learn what is or isn't sinful. Except that you aren't concerned about what God has called sinful, but only how your homosexual friends might react to you standing firmly on Biblical teaching as regards their chosen lifestyle. This nonsense about the Bible not being a rule book is just rhetorical crap. Of course there are rules for living throughout its teachings. Indeed, even if your other rhetorical crap regarding truth and wisdom were to be more than rhetorical crap, what is wise and true dictates how one lives. You know, like rules do. Indeed, the rules of Scripture are wise because they are true. To insist that it must state categorically somewhere between the covers that it, or some part of it, is a rule book is just more 5 yr old logic. In other words, childish deceit.

There is nothing whatsoever whimsical or shallow in my approach to Biblical study. My approach is the actual application of the methods to which you pay only lip service. My traditions are based on what Scripture teaches. I inject nothing into the text that the text itself doesn't say. Again, that's YOUR gig. You haven't been able to demonstrate anything that is unreasonable or illogical about my understanding of that which I defend. I no longer wait for you to try since you haven't either the courage nor the evidence to do so. You simply assert that which suits you and by doing so, continually prove the point of this post and the comments I posted on your post to which I linked. You simply say my facts aren't facts, but offer nothing that actually argues against them.

You mention putting God on the witness stand. It is clear that you will accept nothing but a personal declaration to you by God Himself. Scripture isn't enough for you and you are determined to undermine its teachings in favor of your corrupt and heretical positions. You're a poser, not a Christian.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, we are discussing whether your opinions are factual or simply opinions, unsupported by hard objective facts.

What you keep doing is pointing to your interpretations of the Bible, failing to understand that your intepretations are not hard objective facts.

I think what you're missing is a proper understanding of "objective" and "fact."

Let's say, for a minute, that you're trying to convince someone who does not even believe in God. What OBJECTIVE FACTS will you give to support your claim, because they won't accept the Bible as testimony at all.

You keep talking past this and I can't understand if you are simply lacking understanding of the English language or if you're hoping for some other definition of these words than standard usage or what. It's quite confusing.

I know it's easier to toss insults and name-call than deal with the points I'm actually making and the questions I'm actually asking, but this is conversation, bro. Converse. Dialog. Reason.

Hard evidence. Objective.

Do you have any? It's okay to say, "NO," but it's not okay to simply ignore the question because it's hard.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

We're discussing what this "ancient text" says. Everything I've listed is a fact that can be discovered (very easily) within the text we are discussing. This "ancient text" is the source of our knowledge regarding God's will for us.

Again, THAT THE TEXT SAYS SOMETHING is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the MEANING you attach to a text. Just because a text say something does not mean we need to take it literally, as you have already agreed.

About Job's text, you say, "It is idiotic to suggest that anyone who has at least an average intellect could take it literally."

You recognize that the same can be said about your claim about taking some texts literally? That "any idiot" could recognize that the Genesis text, for instance, is clearly mythic in nature.

What we mean when we say that, though, is that any reasonable person could look at the text and reach the OPINION that it is not to be taken literally.

Clearly, the world was not created in six days, any idiot could reach that opinion.

Clearly, two guys or gals committing to one another in a loving marriage relationship is a good thing, any idiot can see that.

If your "evidence" is what "any idiot" can see, then that works against your claim, not for it.

And beyond that, it is not hard objective evidence. It is opinion.

Hard objective evidence would be facts that even an idiot couldn't deny because there is evidence that is OBJECTIVELY factual, clear to anyone, regardless of whether they interpret a text one way or the other.

Where is your objective evidence?

Craig said...

"The only evidence I can think of (if you're going to make the claim that "God agrees with what I've said on this point") to support that claim is to put God on the witness stand,..."

Dan, it appears as though you are attempting to establish a standard of "factualness" that cannot be met. Why would you choose to do this? Are you therefore suggesting that it is impossible to factually know anything about God? Do you hold your own statements of fact to this same standard?

Craig said...

"Yes, I'm saying that it is NOT a fact that God prohibits all gay behavior, we have NO hard evidence to support it and you have brought forth NOT ONE SINGLE SHRED of hard evidence."

So it would appear that what you ARE saying is that it IS a fact that God DOES NOT prohibit all gay behavior.

Unless you point is simply that Marshall is wrong, not that you are right.

Correct?

If so then the problem you have is that, we have NO hard evidence to support it and you have brought forth NOT ONE SINGLE SHRED of hard evidence.

Craig said...

",,,the Genesis text, for instance, is clearly mythic in nature."

In the statement above it appears that you are making a claim of fact. Yet, despite being asked repeatedly you have provided no objective evidence to support the factual nature of this claim.

If, however, you are not making a factual claim about the nature of Genesis, then it is possible that you simply mis-stated your position.

Could you clarify?

Craig said...

"Clearly, two guys or gals committing to one another in a loving marriage relationship is a good thing, any idiot can see that."

Can you provide any sort of hard objective evidence for this blanket statement?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

it appears as though you are attempting to establish a standard of "factualness" that cannot be met.

I am trying quite emphatically to simply clarify the difference between fact and opinion.

The standard for "factualness" CAN be met, with objective evidence. That IS WHAT AN OBJECTIVE FACT is. Something that is true based on hard evidence that is observable to all, regardless of opinions and orientations.

I don't know what is hard to understand about all this.

If I claim that my car is a blue toyota matrix, it is NOT hard to clarify the factuality of the claim. Just look at the hard evidence - anyone observing the car can see that it is indeed a blue matrix.

On the other hand, if I say it is the best car in the world, THAT would be opinion that can not be objectively verified.

What is hard to understand about that?

Why would you choose to do this?

1. Because words have meanings.

2. Because people seem to be conflating their opinions with facts and when you think that "your opinion" = "fact" or "God's Word," that puts you in a very arrogant position with great potential for harm and mischief.

Are you therefore suggesting that it is impossible to factually know anything about God?

I'm saying that anything that can not be objectively proven is NOT a fact, by definition. So yes, ALL of our opinions about God are OUR opinions, we can NOT "prove" that God is good, we can NOT "prove" that God agrees with our interpretation about Genesis 1 or Lev 17, 18, or 20. WE can NOT prove that God is opposed to all war or to the Afghanistan War or the Invasion of Iraq or our opinions about driving cars or about drinking or about marriage.

We can NOT objectively prove these opinions, they are OUR opinions, OUR interpretations of biblical texts and what WE draw out of them.

Objectively speaking, these are factually our opinions and NOT objectively demonstrable.

This is just a fact.

If you disagree, offer ONE objective fact in support of your interpretation about Genesis 1 or Lev 17, 18 or 20, or about your position on Hiroshima. ONE objective fact about any of your opinions about God.

I will gladly concede facts when evidence is put up that is irrefutable.

This is the problem with Ken Ham in the debate of a few days ago. The difference between Ham and Nye is that Nye's mind could be changed WITH OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE, whereas, since Ham has the "right" opinion in his interpretation of Gen 1, he CAN'T change his mind regardless of objective evidence because his mind is the same as God's (in his opinion) and abandoning his opinion would be abandoning God.

Thus, the genesis (if you will) of this whole discussion has been my question, "Can you recognize the difference between opinion and fact?" If one can't distinguish between the two, there really isn't a whole lot of point in holding a discussion, because one person can be changed by facts and the other is delusional.

What is difficult about any of this?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

In the statement above it appears that you are making a claim of fact...

Can you provide any sort of hard objective evidence for this blanket statement?


No. But the difference is, I'M NOT MAKING A FACT CLAIM, I AM MAKING A CLAIM ABOUT MY OPINION.

Clearly, TO ME (and many others), Genesis is written in a mythic style. I can offer the reasons why it appears to me to be mythic, but it is subjective opinion, not objective fact.

I recognize the difference between fact and opinion.

Do you?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, to be clear: I think we can discuss which OPINION is more reasonable or less reasonable, what the strengths and weaknesses of various interpretations and opinions are.

BUT, we must first be able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

If it is a "FACT" (in someone's fevered imagination) that there is a God and that God has condemned ALL male-male sex acts, even within the context of marriage, then that person holding that opinion is in no place to speak rationally about the relative strengths and weaknesses about their and others' opinions, because that person can't make a distinction between reality and opinion.

To such a delusional person, to abandon their opinion is the same as abandoning God, and so they hold on to their opinions with a fierce antagonism, as if to say, "I DARE you to make me abandon God!"

I'm coming to the opinion that, with such a person, rational conversation is not possible.

If we want to discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of our varied OPINIONS, I'm glad to do so, but not with a delusional person.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Facts, Trabue, are all in this comment string. FACTS about your way of interpreting the Bible to support your deviant and perverted ideology.

Anyone reading this string with a 6th grade education will see that.

I don't give any grace to the demonic realm.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Marshall,

Outstanding responses you've given.
We have certainly proven that Trabue's definitions change with his whim, and holding him to anything is like trying to stick Jello to a wall.

The man is the most deceitful person I know - oops, no he isn't - he ties with Obamanation!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Craig,
Thank you for my morning laugh! You are a peach!

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

Facts, Trabue, are all in this comment string. FACTS about your way of interpreting the Bible to support your deviant and perverted ideology.

Then it should be easy to cite JUST ONE FACT, Glenn, to support your charge.

As it is right now, all we have from you are repeated false and unsupported charges. Calling me a "liar" is not a factually supported statement, it is an empty claim with no support. Saying "When you said 'X,' it was you telling a deliberate lie, because I happen to know that not only is 'X' not so, but that you KNOW that 'X' is not so and here's the evidence..." THAT would be a supported claim, if you could support it.

But you don't do that. You just malign, spread false witness and gripe. Brother, these things ought not be.

If you can't argue/discuss matters like a respectful adult, I'd suggest you'd make your case much more strongly by just being quiet. "Better to remain quiet and be thought a fool..." you know.

Craig said...

Dan,

When you put forth as your arbiter of "fact" being able to directly question God, that seems to be an unmeetable standard.


"No. But the difference is, I'M NOT MAKING A FACT CLAIM, I AM MAKING A CLAIM ABOUT MY OPINION."

Yet when you use simple declarative sentences void on any reference to your opinion, you can certainly see how it could be confusing.

"Clearly, TO ME (and many others), Genesis is written in a mythic style."

Interesting claim. First, it is clear that you hold this hunch. However, your parenthetical contention interests me. I've previously asked you for support for your hunch and all you've given is some vague generalities about when "modern history" recording began. Here, you quite clearly allude to "many others" who hold your view that Genesis is mythic. Here is your chance to name these "many others", I'd be glad to see who "they" are. I'm assuming that you are not simply referring to random folks at your church or what have you, but actual reasonably credible folks who have studied this. I have to be honest when i say the reason for my skepticism is that I've done multiple searches and have been unable to find virtually any support for your hunch. So, please enlighten me. I'm ready and waiting.


It seems as though are stating that anyone who believes that homosexual sexual activity is a sin is "delusional". I would be interested to see you provide some objective evidence for this claim. I've seen too many people who appear to be reasonably intelligent and rational who have made detailed, intelligent, compelling, Biblical cases to the contrary. Further, I've seen enough folks on your side of he issue who clearly state, that there is no way to provide Biblical support for a pro gay sex position. So, please, enlighten me as to the nature of this delusion you speak of.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

It seems as though are stating that anyone who believes that homosexual sexual activity is a sin is "delusional". I would be interested to see you provide some objective evidence for this claim.

No, what I am quite clearly stating is that anyone who can't tell the difference between opinion and fact is delusional, in the sense that they can't separate fact from opinion.

Do you disagree?

Do you agree that our OPINIONS and INTERPRETATIONS of ancient texts are OUR opinions and factually and specifically not demonstrably provable? If someone interprets Jesus' words "blessed are you who are poor... woe to you who are rich..." to mean that Jesus (in their opinion) is speaking of just what he literally said - the literal poor and rich - and someone else thinks that Jesus is speaking metaphorically...

do you agree that neither person can objectively "prove" their opinions/interpretations to be factually correct?

As to your off topic questions about Genesis as myth...

I have to be honest when i say the reason for my skepticism is that I've done multiple searches and have been unable to find virtually any support for your hunch.

You have been unable to find people who find Genesis to be clearly mythic? You haven't looked hard enough.

I'll just note that it is off topic but point you to at least a couple of sources where people are noting the wisdom of taking Genesis in context to its time and place (ie, the way others of that ancient world were telling creation stories)...

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/02/07/what-about-enuma-elish-rjs/

or

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/gen1st.htm

...from a quick google search.

I wonder, though: Since none of us were there, and since none of us have heard a specific word from God telling us of God's opinions about Genesis 1 and since the Bible doesn't tell us to take it literally... is the entire reason behind supporting a literal (quasi-literal) interpretation of Genesis 1 simply tradition? Your parents and their parents and many many others have taken it to be literal, therefore, you think it should be taken literally?

I just find no credible reason to do so (with tradition being the biggest reason to do so, but human tradition alone is simply not that compelling, to me).

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

When you put forth as your arbiter of "fact" being able to directly question God, that seems to be an unmeetable standard.

?

Fact (Merriam Webster): a piece of information presented as having objective reality;

the quality of being actual;

Objective: based on facts rather than feelings or opinions : not influenced by feelings;

expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations

Factually speaking, Craig, an objective fact is one that can be demonstrated objectively to be true and real. Our OPINIONS about God and what God thinks are ephemeral, not measurable, not demonstrable. They are subjective.

What is the problem with noting that our opinions are OUR opinions and, factually, not facts that we can prove objectively?

If someone makes the rather astounding claim that THEY SPEAK FOR GOD, and that THEIR OPINION IS THE SAME AS GOD'S OPINION (!!), don't you think it is reasonable to note that this is a bit presumptuous on their part? Who are we to claim to speak perfectly and without error for God?

Does that idea not terrorize you as being blasphemously arrogant?

I think that ANYONE who claims to speak for God should be prepared to be asked for God to back up their words.

Given the very real world history of atrocities done by those who claim to be acting as one with God, this is a reasonable place to pitch our tents.

Do you disagree?

If not, who do you trust to speak for God, to the point where they could say, "I - like God - can NOT be mistaken on this point. Factually speaking..."? For what reason would you trust a mere mortal to make that sort of claim?

I truly don't understand your confusion on this point. Facts are observable, measurable, discernible to ALL, regardless of opinions and biases. Our opinions about what God thinks or wants us to do are OUR opinions, not facts. That's just reality, do you disagree? Really?

Dan Trabue said...

And let me just clarify again. Where you said...

When you put forth as your arbiter of "fact" being able to directly question God, that seems to be an unmeetable standard.

I'm putting forth the arbiter of "fact" being able to question God ONLY those cases where people are presuming to speak for God. I believe our senses are capable and reliable to work as designed.

Thus, if someone says Dan weighs 200 lbs, I trust that we can reliably measure that weight to ascertain if that is a true "fact" or a false claim. If someone claims that there is gold in a rock, I trust that we can use our geological knowledge to verify that as a fact or as a mistaken opinion/claim. If someone claims that their drinking water has been polluted with mercury, I trust that we can measure the impurities in the water and ascertain how much mercury is in the water and if it is a safe or unsafe amount, or somewhere in between.

All these claims are verifiable fact claims. All we have to do is test them, measure them, weigh them, etc, to see if the claim is objectively factual.

We can't do that when someone is claiming to speak for God.

It's ONLY when someone says, "God believes the same as I do, that X is wrong..." that I say the only way to establish that as an objective fact is to have God testify as to that person's opinion of God's opinion.

I don't see that as being in any way anything but a rational and factual claim.

Craig said...

So, when asked for some substantiation of your "many" who share your hunch, you provide 2. I'd say that anyone who thinks two is many could be described as delusional.

As to the rest of your comments, I guess there might be an answer in there somewhere, I'll just have to look a bit harder to find it.

Craig said...

As I perused your "many" sources, I was struck by the lack of actual objective verifiable fact in the linked pieces. I was also struck by the lack of many" as well as the relative obscurity of the authors.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

As to the rest of your comments, I guess there might be an answer in there somewhere, I'll just have to look a bit harder to find it.

Here, I'll help you:

Those who can't differentiate between fact and opinion are suffering at least a bit of delusion.

Factually speaking, of course, all of our opinions about what God thinks are subjective opinion, not objective fact. What else could it be? Where would the hard evidence that is clear no matter who looks at it be?

You're focusing on this "many believe Genesis is obviously mythic" and ignoring the point of the post. Why are you dodging the basic point and my direct questions in favor of innuendo that I'm somehow doing something wrong by pointing out the fact that our opinions are our opinions, not facts?

What is wrong with that?

Yeah, I know, point to something else, change the topic, whatever you can do to avoid a normal, respectful conversation. I've seen this movie before.

Dan Trabue said...

If it helps you, I'll point out that my opinion about that "many" people think that Genesis 1 is obviously mythic is my opinion, not something that I've researched. I have no hard numbers and I've cited no hard numbers. It is my guess that "many" people DO find that Genesis sounds mythic, not scientific or historic. Don't like my opinion? Okay, that don't hurt my feelings. Just say, "My guess is that 'many' people DON'T find Genesis to be mythic..."

Then it will be out there that we're both operating on our guesses and opinions... which IS the point I'm making.

But what about the point I'm making?

I missed this one earlier. You said...

So it would appear that what you ARE saying is that it IS a fact that God DOES NOT prohibit all gay behavior.

Unless you point is simply that Marshall is wrong, not that you are right.


No, my point, Craig, is JUST what I said: It IS a fact that God does not, has not, observably come out and condemned all gay behavior. It has not happened in the history of humanity. It has not happened for Marshall, nor for you. Factually speaking, God has not said this.

Do you understand the fact I'm pointing to and can you agree with reality, or are you delusional?

What Marshall (and you?) is trying to point to is a verse/verses that HE THINKS suggest that God condemns all gay behavior, always, all times. That is Marshall's opinion based on his interpretations of texts. But God has NOT told him this, factually speaking. It is a conclusion that MARSHALL has drawn. It is his subjective opinion.

Factually speaking.

This is just the reality. Do you disagree with reality/are you delusional? Or are you agreeing with me that this is just the way it is, factually speaking?

If you think it is an objectively factual claim that Marshall is making, I will GLADLY change my opinion, when given hard objective factual evidence.

This appears to be the difference, again, between "my side" and "yours." We're willing to change our minds, but we have to be given hard evidence, not mere human opinion. You all appear to be wedded to your opinions as if they were facts and as if your opinions were the same as God's word.

That is what is delusional.

If you have hard objective evidence, please present it now.

If not, own up to your opinions, as opinions and quit harassing me for pointing to reality.

Marshall Art said...

"It's ONLY when someone says, "God believes the same as I do, that X is wrong..." that I say the only way to establish that as an objective fact is to have God testify as to that person's opinion of God's opinion."

Fortunately for us, God has testified about His own opinion. All we need to is acknowledge His words as recorded in Scripture, instead of equivocating in a manner conducive to the pro-homosexual cause. (No one loses by loving his fellow man. Pretending sinful behavior is not, just because the two sinners are "loving" is a losing proposition for both the sinners and those who enable them.)

So that's the first deceit in the above quoted statement of yours; that we can't know with certainty God's position on any given subject. The second is the suggestion that anyone here is saying anything like "God believes as I do", as if understanding God's clearly revealed position on a given subject is based upon our position or feelings on that subject, rather than the truth, which is that our position and attitudes flow from our knowledge of God's position on the subject as clearly revealed in Scripture. Dan and his ilk need ambiguity in Scripture, their favored position requires and demands ambiguity in order to have any hope that their position has any support whatsoever.

"What is in dispute is the MEANING you attach to a text."

From the start, you speak falsely. I don't attach meaning at all. I draw meaning from the arrangement of words on the page. To suspect that a general prohibition against lying with a man as with a woman means no homosexual behavior of any kind is the logical conclusion an honest person must draw based on the arrangement of words in the prohibition itself. Your nonsensical and childish supposition that it maybe doesn't mean ALL homosexual behavior requires attaching meaning to the text, meaning that can't be drawn from the verse regardless of whether or not the verse stands alone or remains embedded within the entire chapter of Leviticus. This is a factual statement given the wording of the verse as well as the wording of the entire chapter.

"If it is a "FACT" (in someone's fevered imagination) that there is a God and that God has condemned ALL male-male sex acts, even within the context of marriage, then that person holding that opinion is in no place to speak rationally about the relative strengths and weaknesses about their and others' opinions, because that person can't make a distinction between reality and opinion."

How incredibly ludicrous and deceitful! It takes a fevered imagination to imagine that it does NOT mean all homosexual behavior given the general language used in the verse. It takes a complete liar to presume it was referring to something particular, such as "temple prostitution", given that there were words available in the original language specific to such prostitution that wasn't used in the verse. With no evidence whatsoever to support the enabler's contention, only a hypocrite would dare characterize an opponent as suffering from "fevered imagination" or lacking rational thought.

Marshall Art said...

"If I claim that my car is a blue toyota matrix, it is NOT hard to clarify the factuality of the claim. Just look at the hard evidence - anyone observing the car can see that it is indeed a blue matrix."

This is funny. Not only is this not happening, but a more accurate analogy is me claiming I have a 2003 Saturn L200, and even after presenting the car and my documents proving ownership, Dan would still argue against the fact. He would demand even more proof and feign a lack of satisfaction with any brought forth, not because the evidence was faulty, but because he didn't have the courage and honor to acknowledge it.

"Factually speaking, of course, all of our opinions about what God thinks are subjective opinion, not objective fact. What else could it be?"

The absolute truth. If we can't count on anything in Scripture as being an accurate record of reality, then the whole book is a worthless piece of crap and my only concern would be avoiding detection by civil authorities for any behavior in which I choose to engage, no matter how despicable it might be to others, if I had a mind to do so. To actually assert that what we learn from Scripture can only count as personal opinion is about as deceitful and self-serving a doctrine as any Dan has ever tried to foist upon the blogosphere.

"What Marshall (and you?) is trying to point to is a verse/verses that HE THINKS suggest that God condemns all gay behavior, always, all times."

Absolute typical Dan Trabue lie. I'm pointing out that 18:22 DOES prohibit all homosexual behavior, because all evidence within and without Scripture (scholarly investigations, expert analysis of the original language, customs of the times and how ancient people would understand the text, etc.) supports that clear understanding of the clearly written verse, AND, most importantly, that you lack anything substantive or credible to support your favored and made-up position, AND, that you indulge in subjective and self-serving declarations of what constitutes a fact or an opinion. Your every comment further confirms that last bit. Thanks for the help.

"We're willing to change our minds, but we have to be given hard evidence, not mere human opinion."

What an unrepent, unmitigated and reprobate liar you are! You've been given far more compelling and factual evidence than ANYTHING you've ever presented in counterpoint. You simply dismiss it and falsely label it all "opinion". My very point in this post and the objections at your post. Thus, this:

"You all appear to be wedded to your opinions as if they were facts and as if your opinions were the same as God's word."

Is an incredible example of delusional projection.

Craig said...

Dan,

A few clarifications if you please.

1. You "many" comment was simply an appeal to authority, which (factually speaking) doesn't exist. I appreciate how difficult it is to simply say that you misspoke or overreached or were (heaven forbid) wrong. But it seems as though your statement was literally factually non factual.

2. It seems as though one who would resort to "It seems to me..." as his ultimate justification for his opinions could be considered at least as delusional as anything you have offered.

3. Please show me where anyone has literally, factually said "I speak for God." or words to that effect. I don't believe that you can, which would be one more non factual claim you have made.

4. There is a significant difference between pointing out the clear and unambiguous text of the Bible and accepting that it is the closest thong we have to direct communication from God, and someone who presumes to speak for God.

5. It is not delusional to point out that the Bible (again in agreeing with the vast preponderance of Christian history and scholarship could reasonably be taken as God's most consistent and direct communication with humanity), always refers to any sort of homosexual sex in negative ways. Nor is it delusional to point out that the Bible never refers to homosexual sex in either a positive or neutral way. The text is actually factually there for anyone to peruse, it literally says what it says.

6. You are, as always, free to come up with whatever creative and innovative interpretations of the text. The problem is that you seem to expect that you simply asserting that there is support for your hunch makes it so.

7. My earlier point remains. You seem to be saying (essentially) that Marshall is 100% wrong and possibly delusional for interpreting the Biblical text in one way. Yet, you refuse to suggest that you're interpretation is "right" or 'more accurate" or "better". You simply resort back to "It seems to me...". If Marshall is wrong, then it should be fairly easy to demonstrate given your decades of intense Bible study, yet you choose not to. One wonders why. If all you are saying is Marshall and I have different (yet equally valid) interpretations, then why spend so much effort asserting essentially nothing objective.

It is abundantly clear that the only thing that would get you to give up your opinion is (as you've said) a literal appearance of God to tell you that you're wrong. But that's not likely to happen. So, what's the point? Why do you think "It seems to me..." is persuasive?

A couple of asides.

1. I've actually read at least three "ordained ministers" who have clearly stated that if Jesus was to appear bodily to them and affirm that homosexual sex was a sin, they would look Him in the face and say "no thanks, I'm done with Christianity". I certainly hope that you would not demonstrate that level of hubris.

2. You keep asserting that a picture of your blue Toyota should suffice as "objective evidence" of it's existence. At this point in time I wouldn't even begin to consider a picture in and of itself "objective evidence" and in no way would it rise to the standard of objective proof. I get that your point is that it is possible to provide evidence, I disagree that a picture is enough.

Craig said...

Marshall,

As I was reading one of Dan's (many) links, (I actually did read them, instead of simply ignoring them based on the source. Patheos is without doubt left leaning, and certainly not any sort of peer reviewed journal. Yet, I took the time to interact with the source. I really feel that a reasonable person should take that approach, as truth can sometimes be found in unlikely places.)
I was struck by a significant difference in how you and I approach scripture as opposed to how others do.

The reviewer (and the author of the book being reviewed) seem to be simply lumping the Hebrew scripture in with all other possible stories, myths, and fables from the ancient near east.

Where I see a problem with this approach is that If one believes the following;
A. That the God revealed in Hebrew scripture (and Christian scripture) is in fact the "I Am", the one true God.
B. That this God put forth the effort to communicate His message to humanity.
C. That the scriptures that purport to communicate His message are in fact "inspired" or "God breathed".

If one chooses to simply lump the Hebrew scriptures into a group with any other purported "scripture", then it is not a huge leap to marginalize the historicity of scripture. It seems clear that if the Hebrew/Christian scriptures actually align with reality in observable ways, where other religious writings do not, then it doesn't seem like a huge stretch to conclude that maybe the Hebrew/Christian scriptures are singular not simply one more random collection of myths and fables.

Obviously, so much of this depends on ones starting
point, and I seems clear that the author(s) in Dan's link have started with the assumption that the Hebrew scripture is just one more ancient narrative.

Craig said...

Dan.

Just a bit more clarity. When you say,

"You're focusing on this "many believe Genesis is obviously mythic"",

you are correct in that I did ask you for some amplification of your statement. So to that extent I did "focus" on a comment that you actually, literally factually made.

You said,"Clearly, TO ME (and many others), Genesis is written in a mythic style.".

What we now find is that your actual literal factual words do not actually represent reality.

I'm a little surprised, that you seem to be suggesting that I should just ignore what turned out to be a mostly false statement.

You keep asking for "objective" support for claims we make, why do you get so defensive when I ask for the same from you.

Anyway, you've admitted your error, maybe this will prompt you toward greater grace in the future.

Dan Trabue said...

Glanced over your non-responses, gang. I repeat:

If you have hard objective evidence, please present it now.

If not, own up to your opinions, as opinions and quit harassing me for pointing to reality.

At this point, I have to imagine that you all are conceding (without admitting) that you have ZERO hard objective factual evidence to support your opinions and you are just too arrogant and proud to admit that your opinions are your opinions.

That, or you are delusional.

You tell me.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

You've been told. You've been presented with numerous facts regarding Lev 18:2 and you've done NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to refute any of them save to claim they are all only opinions. In other words, you continue to employ the "Nuh uh" argument. In still other words, you continue to prove my point, that you are simply content to label facts presented as opinion and leave it at that, rather than show character by actually providing a counter argument. All you do is insist that one presents even more fact that you will also dismiss as opinion.

"...you are just too arrogant and proud to admit that your opinions are your opinions."

An honorable man would at least attempt to prove this with something akin to evidence. Do you know any honorable men who could step up on your behalf?

Marshall Art said...

If we are delusional, if we are truly confused on the definition of "fact" vs "opinion", merely saying so isn't an argument. Providing counter evidence to refute what we call fact is how it is done. If insisting that you supply some is "harassment", then you've supplied more evidence that it is you who has a poor understanding of words. No one can make you come here to respond, and no comment on your own blog can stand if you don't want it to stand, as your cowardly deletions of my comments have proven. More importantly, this "harassment" of insisting you support your claim against our facts is hardly a greater sin than your evasion and outrageous demands for proofs already given. A good way to prevent "harassment"? Answer the freakin' questions about what you find to be "un-factual" about our facts.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

you've done NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to refute any of them save to claim they are all only opinions.

Last time I'm pointing this out, then I'm consigning you to the delusional pile.

IF you are saying, "It is a fact that the text of Lev 18 says what it says," then we are agreed. There is indeed text there that says "men shall not lie with men..."

IF you are saying anything more than that - that this text MEANS that God is banning all male-male sex, or that TO YOU, it suggests that God disapproves of gay marriages or anything about your INTERPRETATIONS of the text and what it means beyond the fact that it is there, you have moved to opinion.

IF someone says to me, "Purple unicorns always have pink horns," all that I CAN say is "Where is your evidence? Your hard, factual evidence that is clear to everyone regardless of opinion?"

That is what I'm saying to you, Marshall. You've offered an opinion. If you get around to having some hard objective factual evidence, let me know.

Seeing as how you don't seem to even understand what you're doing, I'm guessing you are just blinded to reality by your cultural prejudices or simply delusional, I don't know and I'm out of energy to figure it out with you.

Good luck. Get help.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, one last comment, reiterating what I've already said. Marshall...

If we are delusional, if we are truly confused on the definition of "fact" vs "opinion", merely saying so isn't an argument.

Yes, it is ALL I CAN DO, Marshall.

IF someone says, "it is a FACT that all purple unicorns have pink horns," I CAN NOT provide an "argument" against his claim.

Read this carefully and hopefully you can understand the reality of it all:

In the case of someone who is claiming that they hold an opinion that is an objective fact, and, by all appearances, it is an unsupported and subjective opinion, the ONLY THING YOU CAN DO IN RESPONSE is say, "Show me the objectively factual evidence."

There is nothing else one can do in response to that sort of delusional claim.

Marshall Art said...

"IF you are saying anything more than that - that this text MEANS that God is banning all male-male sex, or that TO YOU, it suggests that God disapproves of gay marriages or anything about your INTERPRETATIONS of the text and what it means beyond the fact that it is there, you have moved to opinion."

And if I say that the earth revolves around the sun, because I read it in a grade school text book, then a high school text book, then a college text book, it would still be an opinion of mine to insist that the earth revolves around the sun, even though it is also a fact. Is my opinion about the meaning and implications of Lev 18:22 also a fact? Absolutely, based upon thousands of years of scholarly study, for example, as well as the clear implications of the verse itself.

"That is what I'm saying to you, Marshall. You've offered an opinion."

And I've offered facts repeatedly, all of which you claim is ONLY opinion. So, as I am the gracious host you only pretend to be so long as things go your way, let's assume I've offered only opinion. I say they are based on facts galore, but put aside that as well. Take just one "opinion" and refute it with facts of your own, which will suggest that you actually have studied Scripture in order to arrive at your heretical conclusions regarding the abomination known as homosexual behavior. Doing so will also put in question the validity of my claim that what you deceitfully regard as only opinion is actually fact. I can take it.

"IF someone says to me, "Purple unicorns always have pink horns," all that I CAN say is "Where is your evidence?"

You do realize, of course, that "unicorn" can refer to any animal with only one horn, don't you? Kinda like some rhinos? Biblical references to unicorns are likely such. But who in the hell would suggest such a thing about the color of a rhino's horn, and why? How does that in any way relate to the truth of Lev 18:22 and what honest Christians of honor know it means?

Yet, if I was faced with such a claim, I would first ask what they mean by "unicorn", and if they meant the mythical creature that is a horse with a single horn from its forehead and that it possesses magical powers, I would insist that they first prove the existence of such a creature before I ever get to the question of the color of a unicorn's coat or horn. Not surprised that you would focus on the horn or the color of the unicorn.

"Seeing as how you don't seem to even understand what you're doing, I'm guessing you are just blinded to reality by your cultural prejudices or simply delusional, I don't know and I'm out of energy to figure it out with you."

No. You're out of the energy necessary to maintain a pretense of honesty. And once again, any "cultural prejudices" I might have regarding the issue of homosexuality is based upon a true, honest and thus, proper understanding of Scripture as regards this subject. Such is the basis of my "cultural prejudices", not the other way around as you desperately need it to be.

You see, I know exactly what I'm doing: I'm standing on truth until that truth can be shown to be untrue by someone who claims to be a serious student of Scripture, for whom such a task should be child's play.

Marshall Art said...

"Yes, it is ALL I CAN DO"

Spoken like either a true coward or a true ignoramus. Either or both is likely here. If only the former, a true coward has no legitimate counter argument against the stated claim, nor any legitimate argument to support the baseless position the coward attempts to put forth as a legitimate possibility. The coward will then claim there is no way to dismiss what the coward does not want to concede.

If the latter, the ignorant doesn't know Scripture well enough to even dare argue against the opponent's truth claim and thus can only proffer the weak and childish "Nuh uh" argument you have thus far only proffered.

"IF someone says, "it is a FACT that all purple unicorns have pink horns," I CAN NOT provide an "argument" against his claim."

Please. Your stupid and lazy analogies are insulting, to say nothing of rude and hateful. Show some grace by putting in at least a little effort in crafting your non-compelling analogies.

"In the case of someone who is claiming that they hold an opinion that is an objective fact, and, by all appearances, it is an unsupported and subjective opinion, the ONLY THING YOU CAN DO IN RESPONSE is say, "Show me the objectively factual evidence.""

Yet, you haven't the honor to acknowledge the evidence presented or to expend the least effort to refute any of it. Worse, nothing I've presented as factual is by ANY appearance unsupported, since I've supported everything in numerous ways (all without any legitimate counter, but only "Nuh uh".) and thus is "subjective". The charge of subjectivity requires evidence as well.

No. You continue to prove my point, that you will label as mere opinion any fact inconvenient, and haven't the grace, honor or courage to even attempt to dispute anything, which in reality is a tacit admission that you defend a lie.

The only true delusion here is the notion that what I've put forth cannot be refuted if there truly exists anything whatsoever that can show what I put forth is not the fact I maintain it is. As I said, it should be child's play for a true and honest student of Scripture, sincerely seeking to know and understand the Will of God.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I couldn't help but notice how Trabue has pulled out the victim card - you guys are harassing him!!!

What's funny is how often he has told me I am slandering him, etc when I point out what a liar he is, while he has said nothing to the many times you guys point out his lies.

All the evidence provided to him has been sluffed off as opinions, while any 4th grader reading this string could see differently. And yet he calls all of us delusional.

The man has no rational argument.

Marshall Art said...

Glenn,

And here's the thing: I haven't rejected the possibility that my facts aren't facts! I'm just rejecting that labeling them as opinions isn't enough to make them so (as well as pointing out that his doing so is what my post here, and my comments there is all about).

Craig said...

"If you have hard objective evidence, please present it now."

Once again, Dan's view seems to be "You must present hard evidence, while I will produce absolutely nothing". It's exactly as I have been saying, it allows Dan to pronounce everyone else wrong, while not having to prove himself right. Inconsistent, yes. Cowardly, yes. Par for the course, yes.

"If not, own up to your opinions, as opinions and quit harassing me for pointing to reality."

I've always tried to be diligent in differentiating between presenting my opinion as opposed to presenting facts. Unless there is some hard evidence forthcoming to demonstrate where I have done this, I can only conclude that Dan is lying or delusional. Of course pointing out Dan's mistakes and inconsistencies is "harassing", yet comments like "It is slimy and diabolical and excrement-filled." are loving and grace filled.

"That, or you are delusional."

Of course in Dan's world, either one agrees with him or one is delusional. Again, what a grace filled attitude.

As I've written plenty addressing Dan's comments, pointing out inconsistencies and asking questions only to have those comments be dismissed because they don't meet some mythic standard that only Dan understands, I'm not sure where else to go.

To use Dan's "logic" (which, of course, trumps all other logic). It seems to me that Dan has nothing but biblical silence, and "many" obscure links to offer as "hard, objective evidence". It also seems to me that what we're seeing is the raising of a white flag.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Marshall,

I fully understand your point and your arguments, and I think anyone with a 6th grade education would also understand the entire comment string, and see the totally dishonest comments by Trabue. Combined with the comment string on his blog which you linked to, there is no way any sane person couldn't see what a liar he is.

And then he pulls a victim card. Just some of the reasons he is banned from so many blogs.

Marshall Art said...

"White flag", or is he more like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He doesn't realize his limbs have been cut off and he's lost the battle.

I feel I must reiterate that his point about not putting forth opinion as fact is not unreasonable. It is his labeling of any fact he does not like as opinion without any supporting evidence justifying the label that is the trouble. I'm willing to stand in until he 1) provides some, OR 2) until he admits it is he who needs to reconsider his position or 3) until he totally runs and hides. I'm good in any case. If 1, I've learned something. If 2, I've taught something. If 3, the topic will inevitably come up again and we'll start the dance all over again until either 1 or 2 comes to fruition, or he'll 3 again. I can't lose and I expend so little effort or emotion throughout the whole process.

Craig said...

Marshall,

i think it's telling how defensive he got when he got caught out on his "many" people agree with his position comment. He tried to make an appeal to authority, except he didn't have anything to back up his claim. So, instead of just admitting that he goofed, instead he got defensive and tried to deflect attention from his mistake. (Accusing me (falsely) of focusing on his gaffe. Yes, I did point it out, but certainly not to the exclusion of other issues I had.

I agree that the Grail reference is probably better than the white flag.

Personally, I suspect maybe one or two more comments where he claims that he's being harassed and persecuted before he declares that he's won and that we're all delusional. At that point it will probably be time for another "Oh look how mean the conservatives are" post at his blog.

Marshall Art said...

Indeed. But I always hope for better.

Dan Trabue said...

One last question (another one that will, no doubt, go unanswered):

You're dealing with an atheist.

He says he does not believe your Bible is "evidence" of anything. He is not impressed that YOU BELIEVE that God has offered some advice/rules to you. It is NOT hard, objective evidence in the least.

What do you give him by way of hard, objective evidence that your opinions about what God thinks is, indeed, objectively factual?

Do you just point to the Bible that he does not accept and your interpretations that he does not accept and say, "but it says here..."?

Do you not understand that Objective fact means that it can be demonstrated to all by pointing to HARD evidence (as opposed to opinions and interpretations of books that aren't accepted by all people - by DEFINITION, not objective at all)?

Craig, I can't really believe you are falling prey to this delusion, you seemed more rational than all that.

If you can't answer this question (and you can't - it's been asked and ignored), HOW can you say your "evidence" is objectively factual?

And now, I'll try to quit again, because this is just insane.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I wonder how Paul was able to reach so many on Mars Hill with just telling about God and the Scripture behind the truth of God. I wonder why he didn't have to come up with other "facts" which would satisfy Trabue.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, ONE more set of questions, now that I'm thinking about how deeply ingrained this delusion appears to be:

What is your set of opinions about what God is and thinks that are "objectively factual" (in your mind, of course)?

Virgin birth - objectively factual?

Triune nature of God - objectively factual?

Six Day creation, ~6,000 years ago - objectively factual?

An everlasting hell where people are in torment for not accepting God in the ONE right way (ie, the way you say they need to accept God) - objectively factual?

The Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement - objectively factual?

A literal Adam and Eve - objectively factual?

That when Jesus said "Woe to you who are rich..." he did not mean "rich" literally - objectively factual?

Jonah swallowed by an actual "great fish" - objectively factual?

...in short, are there ANY of your opinions about God and God's "rules" that are not objectively factual?

If you believe that a literal Jonah was literally swallowed by a great fish AND that this is objectively factual, what is your objective evidence for this? Or for a literal Adam and Eve?

Is the answer to all this, "Well, I point to the Bible, and I find a text, and... there ya go! Objectively factual!"?

I have to believe that you all are just misunderstanding what "objectively factual" means, or are defining it differently... if it were truly objectively factual, then all you'd have to do is show the undeniable evidence and there would be nothing with which to disagree.

"OH, I can literally see - his car IS factually a blue Toyota! Okay, well, it is what it is and I can't deny it."

THAT is objectively factual. Not...

"Oh, it says in the ancient text that the disciples all drove in one Accord, so, it 'objectively' can't be a Toyota, since Accord is a Honda vehicle..."

Craig said...

So, instead of providing objective evidence to support his hunches, instead of answering the questions he's been asked, instead of dealing with the previous comments, Dan goes further afield and asks more questions.

It seems as though Dan is under the delusion, that he can ignore any responses or questions he finds inconvenient, while continuing to complain that no one answers his questions.

Marshall, if it was my blog, I'd insist that Dan answer the questions he's posed and provide objective evidence for his answers. I can't believe he can or would, but that's what I'd do.

Finally, there is a significant difference between en event actually happening and being able to provide objective evidence for said event.

For example, the battle of Thermopylae may or may not have actually happened regardless of the amount of objective evidence that can be produced in order to convince a skeptic. Or, the factual existence of Julius Caesar could not be objectively proven to the extent that a skeptic would be convinced. Look at the folks who deny the Holocaust, they have access to plenty of objective evidence, yet still choose to believe otherwise.

Finally, why would anyone agree to such an unreasonable standard of proof. Seriously, enough "objective evidence" to convince someone who is predisposed against a position. How about a more reasonable standard, say beyond a reasonable doubt or preponderance of the evidence?

Craig said...

Let's look at a couple of other things that I suspect Dan accepts as fact, yet that he cannot offer enough "objective evidence" to convince a skeptic.

Global warming. Darwinian evolution.

These are things that many insist must be accepted as fact, yet are lacking in "objective evidence" of the type Dan seems to be asking for.

Craig said...

Note the move from "objective evidence" to " undeniable evidence".

As a said, in a world where people deny an event which is so well documented and where living eyewitnesses still exist, what exactly constitutes "undeniable evidence"?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

why would anyone agree to such an unreasonable standard of proof

When someone says, "THIS is an objective fact," in an adult conversation, people rightly ask, "Okay, show me the objectively factual evidence to support this claim."

There is nothing AT ALL unreasonable about asking people to support claims of facts.

Do you think that it is somehow "unreasonable" to ask people to support their "fact claims" when they make them? Why would anyone find this unusual?

IF, on the other hand, we are talking about matters of subjective opinion (which, factually speaking, we are), THEN we can move on to a reasonable adult discussion about which subjective opinions are most valid, most reasonable, most moral, etc. THEN, we can talk about the relative merits and problems with one opinion over another, and we are starting from a place of mutual respect and reason.

But, if ONE person insists that their opinions are, in fact, "objective facts," then THE ONLY reasonable response to such a claim - if the "fact" is in question - is to ask them to support their "fact claim" with objective evidence.

Do you really find this odd or unusual?

I think the problem you all are encountering is that you SO believe in your opinions that you WANT to be able to claim that they are objective facts, because you have in your mind (it appears) that ONLY "objective facts" are valid and if we're only down to matters of subjective opinion, that somehow weakens the strength of your beliefs and arguments.

And indeed, it can be frustrating to not be able to say, "It is objectively factual that ONLY MY opinion is the right one," but that is simply the case. Our opinions about subjective matters are NOT objective facts. But there is no shame in admitting reality.

Why would there be?

Craig, you SEEM to be hinting at that you realize you can't objectively factually demonstrate your beliefs (where you suggest the problem of demonstrating, "between an event actually happening and being able to provide objective evidence for said event."

I BELIEVE that objectively speaking, there is a God. But I also recognize the reality that I CAN NOT objectively prove it. One day, when God is clearly revealed to everyone, then we can say, "Oh yeah, objectively God is real and here is the evidence..." and we can point to however it is that God is objectively revealed.

The point being that something may be an objective reality that we can't prove or demonstrate. But, FOR US then, we have to be able to admit reality that, "No, I can't objectively demonstrate that this opinion is the factually correct one. I can only offer why I think it is a reasonable one..."

If someone claims that it is objectively factual that aliens from space exist and fly here to earth in spaceships, he may BELIEVE that to be the case and it may REALLY BE the case, but he can't rationally say, "I can objectively factually demonstrate this to be a fact..." when there is no objective facts to support the claim.

I think this is where your cognitive dissonance may be occuring. We ALL (here) believe God exists and objectively factually so. BUT, we can not say that we can demonstrate objectively, factually that God exists.

See the difference?

Same for our opinions about God's opinions. We can say we believe that our opinions are objectively factually correct - and they may even be so - BUT we can NOT say we can objectively factually demonstrate this.

This is just basic reality, right?

Come on, Craig, you can agree to this...

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

the move from "objective evidence" to " undeniable evidence".

More evidence that either you all don't understand what "objective, factual" means or that you are using different definitions.

Objective IS undeniable, by definition.

Objective, MW: of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers.

If something is "perceptible by ALL observers," it IS undeniable. Hence the point about my blue toyota.

Have you been using some other definition of "objective" or "fact"?

Craig said...

"There is nothing AT ALL unreasonable about asking people to support claims of facts."

Correct, yet when asked, you somehow don't think it's nearly so important. Either that or you just lump everything in as opinion so you can dodge having to provide evidence.

"...THEN, we can talk about the relative merits and problems with one opinion over another, and we are starting from a place of mutual respect and reason."

In theory, this is correct, until someone refuses to provide any support for their opinions or simply dismisses out of hand the support offered by others.

"Do you really find this odd or unusual?"

No more unusual that essentially asserting that the only "facts" allowed are those that can be demonstrated with "objective" "undeniable evidence". Given this strange and arbitrary standard we'd have to virtually eliminate everything we consider history.

"Craig, you SEEM to be hinting at that you realize you can't objectively factually demonstrate your beliefs..."

No, this is not my point at all. For example the fact of Jesus' existence remains factual (in other words He really, literally, factually existed), despite the fact that no one could meet your standard of "undeniable evidence". I am making a distinction between the evidence and the event or person. Given that, could I make a case for the factuality of most of the Biblical record, sure I could. I could even make an incredibly convincing case. However, it probably wouldn't meet your arbitrary standard of enough "undeniable evidence" to convince an atheist. In the interest of making the point, I'm ignoring the fact that there is plenty of atheists who have looked at the evidence with an open mind and become convinced, so clearly it is possible to make such a case. So, yes, it is completely possible to provide convincing evidence, but probably not enough to satisfy your arbitrary standard. Of course, the process would be time consuming and involve much more detail than could be covered here.

"I think the problem you all are encountering is that you SO believe in your opinions that you WANT to be able to claim that they are objective facts, because you have in your mind (it appears) that ONLY "objective facts" are valid and if we're only down to matters of subjective opinion, that somehow weakens the strength of your beliefs and arguments."

Then you would be wrong.

"The point being that something may be an objective reality that we can't prove or demonstrate. But, FOR US then, we have to be able to admit reality that, "No, I can't objectively demonstrate that this opinion is the factually correct one. I can only offer why I think it is a reasonable one..."

Putting aside the obvious contradiction in your statement. You'd probably be on to something except, you choose not to provide support for your own opinions while ignoring or dismissing the support offered by others. But, in objective reality world, it's delusional to expect someone to take seriously the claim of someone who's stock "evidence" is "It seems to me...". Again, as long as you won't provide support for your opinions, what possible reason could anyone have to take then seriously.

Craig said...

"We ALL (here) believe God exists and objectively factually so. BUT, we can not say that we can demonstrate objectively, factually that God exists."

So, you seem to be saying that the only acceptable evidence you would find credible is "objective" "undeniable" evidence. You do realize that most of the rest of the world (or at least the US legal system) realizes that fact can be determined using other types of evidence. If you ever serve on a jury the defense lawyers are going to love you.

"This is just basic reality, right?

Come on, Craig, you can agree to this..."

If you could actually provide (I know I've asked before) some undeniable objective evidence that your opinion is actually in line with the reality of what people have actually said, we could probably come to some sort of agreement. Since you haven't/won't and since you chose to ignore/dismiss my earlier attempt to deal with this issue, I guess we'll never know.

I do find it interesting though, that by your standard you would consider any/all of the following delusional.

John the Baptist
Isiah
Ezekiel
Amos
Jeremiah
Daniel
And so on.

That's a bunch of folks I'd want to write off as delusional.

"If something is "perceptible by ALL observers," it IS undeniable."

By this definition the snow on my deck isn't factual. By this definition, you've just excluded the vast majority of human history from being factual, well done.

"...Hence the point about my blue toyota."

Hence my earlier, ignored point about what might actually constitute "objective""undeniable" evidence for your alleged Toyota. Maybe if you'd have not skipped over some of the earlier comments we wouldn't be repeating things here.

"Have you been using some other definition of "objective" or "fact"?"

I guess if you are asserting that the definition of objective is actually the definition for fact, then I guess I am.

Where you are making your mistake is that I am not suggesting that I can't differentiate between fact and opinion, I am suggesting that to exclude all types of evidence except "objective" and "undeniable" establishes an arbitrary and unreasonable standard of proof that does not actually exist in any sort of functional human reality.

Maybe you could take a little time and actually look at some of the work that has been done with applying the legal standards of evidence to the Bible. There are numerous resources out there that might acquaint you with different types of evidence and the value that can be placed on said evidence. You seem to think this is some sort of insurmountable hurdle but it's really not.

Craig said...

One final thought/example.

It seems as though we all agree that Lev. 18 literally factually says "Thou shalt not lay with a man as with a woman" (or words to that effect).

We further seem to agree that the plain text means that some type of behavior is being prohibited.

Where we diverge is on what, if any, broader meaning there is. To use Dan's terms there are multiple different opinions about that aspect. I'll summarize two.

"Opinion 1"

1. The Bible (which is God's primary means of communication with us), clearly states X about this behavior.
2. Unlike other behaviors, there is nothing in the rest of the Bible or any other Judeo/Christian writings that indicates that this behavior is now permitted.
3. All positive references to sexual activity in the Bible are in relation to sex between men and women.
4. All references to marriage in the Bible are between men and women.
5. The predominant interpretation throughout the vast majority of both Jewish and Christian theological thought is that the verse in question prohibits sex between two men.
6. Every other Biblical reference to this behavior (or similar behavior) is negative.

"Opinion 2"

1. The Bible does clearly condemn some sort of behavior, but we really can't define what sort of behavior is being talked about.
2. Even though no positive objective undeniable textural evidence exists, the prohibited behavior is limited to some certain very limited situations.
3. The Bible doesn't actually say anything about "gay marriage" so it must be OK.
4. If we try really hard we can twist every instance of two men expressing "love" for one another into a presumption that they're really doing the nasty. despite a complete lack of textural evidence.
5. But I know Bob and Larry and they seem like some nice decent christian guys, and I just can't see how God would make them like that if it were sinful.
6. "It seems to me that..."


So, while both opinions don't meet Dan's arbitrary "undeniable""objective" evidence standard, one is clearly more consistent with the overall content of both the Bible as well as the historic stance of both Judiasm and Christianity. One of them can point to specific passages and writings that provide support, one can't.

It seems to me that the opinion that is the most consistent with what we know, that provides specific support (not silence), and that doesn't require constant contortions is the most likely to be true.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, you seem to be missing the point. Let me just point to one thing you've said to get clarification.

I do find it interesting though, that by your standard you would consider any/all of the following delusional.

John the Baptist...


What I have said is that it is delusional/disconnected from reality to be unable to distinguish between objective fact and opinion.

Do you understand that is what I have said/what my point has been?

Since John the Baptist et al, have not made a claim to hold "objectively factual" evidence when what they mean is their opinion, why would I consider them delusional?

I think you are not understanding my point at all.

So, when you say...

By this definition, you've just excluded the vast majority of human history from being factual, well done.

It is meaningless. By WHAT definition? The English definition? Are you saying that somebody that uses the standard, Merriam Webster English definition of "Objective" is writing off "the vast majority of human history from being factual..."?

It seems your argument is not with me, so much as it is with the English language. Am I mistaken?

Look, IF a historian says it is a objective fact that George Washington was a Buddhist, we would reasonably ask that person to provide his objective evidence, would we not?

If his evidence was a transcript of Washington's writings which, ACCORDING TO THIS HISTORIAN's INTERPRETATION, meant that Washington was secretly a Buddhist, would we not rightly say, "that is NOT objectively factual evidence, it is a subjective interpretation..."?

Just because we use English words correctly does not mean that we are writing off history. On the other hand, any time that someone makes a claim to hold "objectively factual" information about a past time, place and person, we CAN rightly ask them to provide the evidence.

It is true that for many historic situations, it would seem more reasonable to talk about what reasonable conclusions one could SUBJECTIVELY conclude based on the evidence. But since we can't call Washington to the stand to verify it and since there is no hard evidence, it simply wouldn't be apt to call those sorts of opinions "objectively factual" IF you can't perceive it independently. This is just the English language.

Is that your qualm? You have a problem with the definition of the words we're using?

If so, then make it clear. But your problem then is not with me, but with the language...

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I am suggesting that to exclude all types of evidence except "objective" and "undeniable" establishes an arbitrary and unreasonable standard of proof that does not actually exist in any sort of functional human reality.


Read my words and understand their meaning, Craig:

I am NOT suggesting we exclude all evidence.

Do you understand the meaning of that sentence? Good, I hope so. If not, use the dictionary and go through each word to figure it out.

I am NOT suggesting we exclude all evidence in making our opinions. You can tell that by the way I NEVER SAID THAT.

What I AM saying is that, IF someone claims to be objectively factually correct in an opinion about something, THEN they should be prepared to provide objectively factual data to support their claim.

There is a vast swath of ideas and opinions we form based on ideas and data that are not objective. It doesn't mean that these conclusions aren't valid or good. It's just recognizing the meaning of language and how words are used to communicate.

Is that making any sense at all?

So, ONCE we can get to the point where all participants in a conversation are recognizing and acknowledging the difference between their OPINIONS and objective facts, THEN we can start getting down to some of the many questions that you all raise that you object to my not answering. But I am trying to level the playing field here, trying to make sure that we are first starting from a point of Reality, instead of delusion.

Now, given all that, do you recognize that your claims about some of these various opinions we are talking about are SUBJECTIVE, not Objective?

Jonah swallowed by a great fish - do you have objectively factual data to support that, or is it a subjective opinion?

A literal Adam and Even - do you have objectively factual data to support that, or is it a subjective opinion?

Jesus was not/was speaking of literally rich people when he said "Woe to you who are rich" - do you have objectively factual data to support that, or is it a subjective opinion?

Can at least you and I agree that our opinions on these and other topics are subjective opinions, not objective facts?

Again, it seems that, 1. Your argument is with English, not with me and 2. It seems you are where you are because you are associating "subjective" with "bad."

It's not. It's just the word in English we use to speak of that which we can not demonstrate to be objectively factual.

Something to consider.

Dan Trabue said...

An earlier comment from Craig that I just now noticed...

. To use Dan's terms there are multiple different opinions about that aspect. I'll summarize two.

"Opinion 1"

1. The Bible (which is God's primary means of communication with us), clearly states X about this behavior...

Opinion 2"

1. The Bible does clearly condemn some sort of behavior, but we really can't define what sort of behavior is being talked about.


re: Opinion 1:
1. The Bible never claims to be God's "primary means of communication with us." You state as a fact that which is an opinion, not one found in the Bible, nor one that God has told you, but just your opinion based on, presumably, your cultural human traditions (traditions that, by nature of being "human" are imperfect and flawed).

Just clarifying that one reason NOT to go with this approach is that we have no rational or biblical or moral reason to go down that road.

2. What "the Bible" clearly states is, in this text or rules written SPECIFICALLY to ancient Israel (not as universal moral laws or ideals - the Bible never makes that claim, nor has God) "men shall not lie with men... if they do, kill them." and "eating shrimp is an abomination" and "men, don't cut the hair on the sides of your head." THESE rules specifically to ancient Israel are what Leviticus has written in it, along with many others.

It would be a mistake to say "the Bible has a blanket rule against 'men laying with men,' which sounds like gay sex, at least in some form." "The Bible" has no such rule. It's not there. Factually speaking.

RE: Opinion 2:

This is closer to a reasonable approach to what the text actually does and doesn't say. I wouldn't suggest that we "can't define" what it's condemning. We can absolutely gather some reasonable, subjective opinions about what is being condemned. For instance, it DOES seem to be condemning some form of male-male sex specifically for ancient Israel. What specific sexual practices? Well, we can't objectively factually say, but we can make some reasonable guesses.

Traditionally, many have theorized that it is a blanket condemnation of all male-male gay behavior in ancient Israel. This is not an unreasonable conclusion, but it is not the only possible reasonable conclusion one can reach.

Others have theorized that it appears to be more likely speaking to the sex rituals that happened in neighboring nations. This too, is not an unreasonable conclusion.

Both ideas could be reasonably debated, AS LONG AS all sides involved were recognizing that these are subjective, unprovable opinions, NOT the same as "fact" or "God's Word..." and either side would be arrogant and presumptuous, not to mention delusional, if they suggested their opinions were the same as facts or God's Word.

Out of time...

Bubba said...

"You're dealing with an atheist."

I know I'm taking this comment out of its original context, but I wonder -- jokingly -- if it reveals more than Dan would otherwise acknowledge.

"We ALL (here) believe God exists and objectively factually so. BUT, we can not say that we can demonstrate objectively, factually that God exists."

By Dan's tortured standards, the existence of God is merely a subjective opinion -- or at least it certainly seems so given the examples he gives below.

"Jonah swallowed by a great fish - do you have objectively factual data to support that, or is it a subjective opinion?

"A literal Adam and Even - do you have objectively factual data to support that, or is it a subjective opinion?
"

A literal God; a historical Jesus of Nazareth; Jesus being God Incarnate; Jesus being crucified and bodily raised three days later: are all of these claims merely subjective opinions?

Does Dan believe that affirming the opposite position, that these claims are objective facts, is truly delusional and insane?

If so, the line that separates him from agnostics and atheists is very thin indeed: he believes in a God who cannot reveal objectively in history, essentially a God who mumbles.

Such a belief simply isn't Christian. Christians proclaim what God has revealed, supremely through Christ, but also through the prophets that anticipated Him, the apostles whom He commissioned, and the written Scripture that preserves their teachings for all generations.

Christians don't merely pass along subjective opinions from one generation to the next.

Bubba said...

"Since John the Baptist et al, have not made a claim to hold 'objectively factual' evidence when what they mean is their opinion, why would I consider them delusional?"

How does Dan know that John the Baptist was self-consciously presenting only an opinion when he declared, "Behold the lamb of God"?

Does Dan's translation add "IMHO"?

Quite a few OT prophets present their statements, not merely as human opinion but as divine revelation: "thus says the Lord" is a VERY common formula in Scripture.

And what could Jesus have possibly meant by distinguishing between man's traditions and God's law if God didn't authoritatively reveal His law through Moses and His other human prophets?

I don't see how Dan can accuse Craig and others here of delusions while still holding the Bible's writers in any sort of esteem: what they claimed was FAR less provisional.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

A literal God; a historical Jesus of Nazareth; Jesus being God Incarnate; Jesus being crucified and bodily raised three days later: are all of these claims merely subjective opinions?

As I said, I BELIEVE these to be literally, factually true. BUT, I CAN NOT factually say that I can demonstrate objectively that these are objectively factually true.

Neither can you. Words have meanings, friends. IF you make a claim that "X is objectively factually true," and then you are asked to provide the objective factual data to support it, and you can't do so, then you can't say that you can objectively factually prove it, it is, rather, your subjective opinion about something you/I believe to be objectively factual.

This is just the real world.

But by all means, Bubba, provide the objective factual data to support your claim that Jonah was objectively factually literally swallowed by a great fish.

Can you do so with objective factual data?

NO, you can't. Neither can I.

There is nothing wrong with holding subjective opinions, friends. A subjective opinion is not false, it is not bad, it is not wrong (necessarily)... it's just acknowledging that in the real world, we can't prove everything objectively and SOME of our opinions are, in fact, objective.

This is your problem, isn't it fellas - y'all think "subjective" = "bad" or false or wrong, don't you? You will feel shamed and embarrassed to admit that your opinions are subjective, is that it?

Words have meanings, boys, there's no harm in admitting you can't prove something and it is only your opinion. It's just English.

The only shame is in falsely claiming you can know something objectively when you have no data to support that claim. It makes you out to be delusional or a liar, and that only hurts you and your witness.

Dan Trabue said...

typo. I meant to say...

we can't prove everything objectively and at least SOME of our opinions are, in fact, SUBJECTIVE.

Marshall Art said...

What I believe, and your continuing comments bear this out, Dan, is that you are subjectively labeling our facts as opinions when they force you to face a reality that you find uncomfortable.

The Bible stands as objective fact in its recording of events, particularly the will of God as spoken by Him. Otherwise the various authors (such as Moses) are liars for saying God said something He didn't say. So the Bible stands as objective factual evidence for our claims until you, or anyone else, can prove that what is said within its covers is untrue. It is a source, unfortunately the only source, for the revelation of God, that is not subjective as, say, you claiming God speaks to you in other ways. So I can say that Jonah spent time inside a giant fish because the story stands as a record of that event. It isn't notarized, but then, the author perhaps couldn't find a notary in town to do so. It isn't certified by any governmental body that we recognize today, but that's because our governmental bodies weren't available. There is no news reel footage available, because...

The lack of modern techniques to record the events by any other means than the written word and testimonies of people long dead give you the out you need to claim ambiguity that permits your knowing heresies.

I don't have to continue answering question after question crafted to stray from the point. I chose a particular verse around which your subjective labeling of fact as opinion can be discussed and debated. We do know what the verse means, because since its writing, it has been understood to mean what I say it means. I do not say it means a particular thing because of anything other than the fact that it does indeed mean that. I've offered evidence, and reasons and arguments to justify my claim that what I'm saying 18:22 means is a fact, as well as evidence, reasons and arguments that support the conclusion that its prohibition endures today is also a fact. My position is that it is a fact that God continues to abhor all homosexual behaviors for all the reasons, arguments and evidence I have presented that supports that position. This is a case where there is no distinguishing between my opinion and what is fact because they are one and the same.

Thus, you demonstrate your true sentiments regarding the reliability of the Bible by suggesting that we cannot know anything by virtue of its own words. The Bible isn't sufficient, in your self-serving opinion, to be assured of anything. How childish.

I would also call childish the claim that we can't claim as a fact anything about the Bible that it doesn't emphatically state (in a manner that satisfies Dan Trabue especially) about its own self. How convenient for purposeful misinterpretations THAT rule is!

Dan Trabue said...

I suppose it would be pointless to ask again for OBJECTIVE evidence? Evidence that is clear to ALL, regardless of their biases and opinions? Regardless of whether they accept your Bible or your interpretations of the Bible?

You know, OBJECTIVE FACTS?

No, I didn't think so.

Keep on making the claims the Bible doesn't make about itself, that God has not told you and that you have no OBJECTIVE evidence to support. But be prepared to be dismissed by rational people as being delusional/out of touch with reality on at least these many points.

Good luck, fellas. May God bless you and keep you and bring you enlightenment and humility.

Marshall Art said...

So much easier to bail out, isn't it Dan? We've been enlightened by the very book that makes no claims about itself being a source of enlightenment. We humbly adhere to the crystal clear revelations inside it.

Rather than asking God for blessings for us, how about asking him for courage and a sense of honor for you. Your constant demands for evidence for evidence already given for evidence we have already provided indicates your cowardly evasion from requests to provide any evidence of your own to counter that which we call facts. Referring to verses not in question, not at issue, in hopes of drawing a parallel you can use to avoid answering questions of ours is deceitful and lacking in the Christian grace you claim to regard so highly. You can show some semblance of that Christian grace and honor by unflinchingly answering the challenge to respond to any of the facts thus far presented, in an effort to dispute those facts like a mature adult with true conviction in what you claim to believe.

Or---go ahead with your cowardly decision to bail out.

Marshall Art said...

You also display total cowardice in your final act on your "It Gets Better" post, blocking my comments that would put the lie to your slanderous charges about me. Not surprising. These deletions also demonstrate another example of the double standard of your demands regarding "mature" exchange in discussion.

How often have we seen you whine about not being allowed the opportunity to defend yourself against what you perceive as false charges against you. Now, when you've clearly engaged in that very transgression, you deny me the same courtesy you feel demonstrates Christian grace and humility. But then, your hypocrisy is well known. This is especially ironic given I have remained the one blog opponent who has NOT deleted any of your comments, nor have I banned or blocked you from commenting, regardless of how insipid and vacuous your position on any given subject. This very thread is more evidence of that. And we know how much you require evidence of fact.

Now, you make claims about my character at that post, and delete that which would stand as your evidence. Why would one making a charge destroy the very evidence that would prove the charge? Because my comments were "rude and offensive" to some woman who doesn't even know we exist? Not likely, though that is the charge against me. How incredibly hypocritical!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

But by all means, Bubba, provide the objective factual data to support your claim that Jonah was objectively factually literally swallowed by a great fish.

Let's see. Jesus is God. FACT. God doesn't lie - can't lie. FACT. Ergo Jesus doesn't lie - can't lie. FACT. Jesus pointed to Jonah in the fish as being fact and as an analogy to Jesus being in the grave. That is a fact. ERGO, if Jesus, who is unable to lie, states that Jonah's experience was a fact, then it is therefore a fact.

OH, but you have the liberals who say, "No, it was just a story and Jesus was just point to the story as an analogy for him." Yeah, and I have a bridge I'll sell ya.

Dan Trabue said...

Oh, come on! Is there NO ONE here who is not delusional?

I am asking about OBJECTIVE facts, facts that are clear to everyone regardless of beliefs or biases (you know, by definition, "objective facts.").

For one thing, Glenn, Jesus factually is NOT quoted as saying that Jonah's experience was a fact. We have no HARD evidence that Jesus said what you just made up. It is NOT an objective fact, that is a subjective opinion. Demonstrably. Factually.

Look, all you have to do to disprove me on this one point is SHOW me where Jesus said, "Jonah's experience was a fact..." BUT, if you can't do it (and you can't because it isn't in the Bible and you have no other texts from Jesus that you'd accept, I'm sure), then just acknowledge that you misspoke. Say, "NO, of course, Jesus did not literally say that, that is NOT an objective fact. Indeed, it is objectively factual that we have ZERO evidence to support the claim that Jesus said what I just said he said. I was mistaken. What I should have said is that Jesus alluded to Jonah's story and, TO ME, I'm thinking, 'why would Jesus do that if Jonah's story was not literally factual...?'"

It is factually NOT a fact that Jesus literally said what you just said, Glenn. Right? You all are not that deluded, are you, that you just make stuff up that you THINK Jesus said and call that a "fact..." (or even an "objective fact..."??)?

This is just bizarre.

As to the other claims you cite in response to my call for "objective facts," they are all things that I can agree to that I, DAN TRABUE, BELIEVE to be factual, but I'm speaking of observibly demonstrably factual to all and I can NOT demonstrate that Jesus is God in an observably factual manner that is evident to all.

I just can't believe that you all are wholly encapable of understanding the words we're using here.

If you are using a different definition rather than the standard one, just say so. But, clearly, regardless of your opinions, there is NO "observable to all, regardless of opinions and biases" data to support ANY of Glenn's claims.

I know I need to let this go, but... anyone? Craig? You seemed to at least hint at you were getting the point I was making - No, we can't objectively state that things are objectively and demonstrably factual that we can't verify with hard evidence (not "but this book says, or that guy says..." but HARD, measurable, visible, countable data).

Is there NO ONE here who is not so wrapped in your worldview that you can't acknowledge some basic English concepts?

You all really loathe the idea of your opinions being factually subjective, don't you? You actually believe that "subjective = bad," at least when it comes to your opinions, am I right? You actually believe that, "If my opinions about God are not objectively factual, then God and Christianity are meaningless," is that what you're getting at and why you kick so hard against the goads at the reality of the world as it exists and the English language concepts we are speaking of here?

This is truly bizarre, but it also would answer so many questions as to the belligerence and gracelessness and lack of respect when it comes to simple disagreements between believers. You've actually been blinded by the god of the age, haven't you?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

For one thing, Glenn, Jesus factually is NOT quoted as saying that Jonah's experience was a fact. We have no HARD evidence that Jesus said what you just made up. It is NOT an objective fact, that is a subjective opinion. Demonstrably. Factually.

Matthew 12:39-41: He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”

Let’s see, Jesus called Jonah a prophet, stated he was in the belly of a huge fish, stated that Ninevah repented at his teaching. If anyone can read this and then say that Jesus was not factually saying that Jonah’s experience was a fact, then THAT person is delusional and lying to himself.

Trabue is truly the one with bizarre beliefs and picks and chooses what he will decided is factual and no-factual from the Bible depending on how it affects his personal worldview.

Again, never have I dealt with such a dishonest person.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, and not that Jesus said, "AS" Jonah spent three days/night sin the fish, "SO" Jesus would spend three days/nights in the grave.

If Jonah didn't literally, factually do so, then neither could Jesus, because Jesus said he would do AS Jonah did.

Bubba said...

Dan, since you admit that you believe "God exists" is just as much a subjective opinion as "Jonah was swallowed by a great sea creature," I don't see why you keep focusing on the latter, less important claim.

My problem isn't with subjective opinions, per se, it's this:

- You're miscategorizing objective facts as subjective opinions.

- You're using ridiculous standards to do so.

- You don't attempt to show how those standards are internally consistent, or where have you produced actual, observable, hard data that proves that ALL fact claims need actual, observable, hard data?

- You claim that we cannot conclude that the Bible's writers proclaimed objective facts because they didn't explicitly say that they were doing so, but you hypocritically conclude that they were offering subjective opinions EVEN THOUGH they didn't explicitly say that they were doing so.

- And, ultimately, you're doing all this to smear others as delusional and insane, and you do so with AT LEAST as much self-assurance as we have in proclaiming the basic fact that God exists.

Underlying all these problems is what Glenn points out: your remarkable dishonesty.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn, I refer to Jonah's story and Adam and Eve's story. Nearly everyone in my church and extended church communities do so as well, and ALL without stating that Jonah, Adam and Eve literally, factually existed and literally factually experienced what they experience.

In the real world, it is easily demonstrable that people cite stories all the time without believing in the literal factuality of the stories. JESUS cited stories that were not factually literal. They are called parables. That doesn't mean that he took them to be literally factual events.

It is ONE POSSIBLE claim to make that, "Jesus cited a story, so he probably thought it was literal and factual," BUT, it is ALSO possible to cite stories without believing in their literal, factual nature. Thus, Jesus explicitly and factually DID NOT CLAIM that Jonah's experience were hard facts. He didn't. He cited the story. FROM THERE, you and I can offer opinions, but those will be subjective opinions that are not demonstrably factual.

In fact, in the real world.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

You don't attempt to show how those standards are internally consistent, or where have you produced actual, observable, hard data that proves that ALL fact claims need actual, observable, hard data?

I'm citing the ENGLISH definition of the word "objective" and saying: You can't claim that you hold an opinion about something and that opinion is objectively factual if you can't demonstrate it that it is objectively factual - in common English usage of that word.

I'm saying that, IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, anyone who claims something is objectively factual should be prepared to either produce objective data to support the claim or amend the claim to "I BELIEVE it to be objectively factual and I THINK that one day, we will see clearly and objectively that God is a fact..., BUT, I can not demonstrate it objectively right now."

My position is internally consistent with the ENGLISH LANGUAGE. If you have another definition of "objective" you'd like to offer to clarify what YOU mean by "objective," that's fine, produce your definition. But in the meantime, I'm just stating observable facts about the English language and citing the source so you can see that I'm not making it up. Anyone capable of reading can physically read and affirm the reality that the definition I've offered of "objective" is indeed, the MW definition of the word.

Again, you all seem to be wanting to argue against Merriam Webster, not me.

So, to clarify, where you ask...

where have you produced actual, observable, hard data that proves that ALL fact claims need actual, observable, hard data?

MY claim is that IF someone says "I objectively, factually KNOW that my understanding of God's position on X IS objectively factual..." then the burden is on them to support that claim.

IF, on the other hand, someone is saying, "it is my SUBJECTIVE OPINION that Jesus believed Jonah's story was literally factual in every way," then we can sit down as adults and discuss the relative merits and problems with this opinion.

But again, IF someone is making an "objective fact" claim, the burden is on them to provide hard data to support that claim, not on me to provide hard data that their claim is false.

For my part, IF someone says, "I have seen winged unicorns and I know objectively factually they exist," then I'm not saying they don't exist, I'm asking the rational question: Where is the data to support the claim?

If someone makes the fact claim, "Jesus factually made the claim that Jonah's story was factual," I'm not saying it isn't possible that Jesus said that, but I AM asking, "Where is the evidence? ...because it factually literally isn't in the Bible..."

IF you make a fact claim, the burden is on you to support it. IF you can't support it objectively, factually, then it is, by definition, a subjective opinion, not an objective fact, in the English language.

Bubba, Craig, could one of you repeat back what I'm saying/what point I'm making? ...because I'm not at all clear that any of you are even understanding the question, much less are proving able to answer it.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

All you continue to demonstrate is that you are a rank heretic and not in any sense of the word a Christian.

Jesus taught Adam and Eve, as well as Jonah as literal people. Jesus cannot lie, but you lie every time you write something.

You make Jesus into a liar or just a story-teller. How one can use a myth to prove a literal point is beyond my comprehension.

But then again, I accept what Scripture says, but your ilk CAN'T accept it at face value or else you couldn't hang on to your corrupted ideology.

I say again, you are nothing but a child of Satan who is leading people to hell.

Dan Trabue said...

"Just a storyteller..."?!

Gasp. Jesus was not JUST a storyteller. He was THE storyteller, and WHAT a story of Grace and Love and Forgiveness he told, in so many beautiful and wonderful ways!

As if one could be "just a storyteller!"

Glenn, if all your opinions about God were, from a human point of view, "just" subjective opinion, would that make all of your Christianity pointless and foolish?

There is power in stories, friends, believe it. Jesus surely did (in my opinion).

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

My beliefs about God are based of the FACTS of God, and the FACTS that the Bible is His Word.

YOUR beliefs are of a god of your own making. YOUR beliefs are based on subjective opinions which are biased to support perversion.

YOU are a foolish little man.

Jesus did indeed use stories, but the context of his teachings makes it easy to determine if the story was about something factual or a parable to make a point. You refuse in your abject dishonesty to allow that to be true.

Go back to your troll cave.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

YOU are a foolish little man.

Almost certainly true. And a beloved child of God, making me a brother to the lot of you fellas, which is why I love you all and you, Glenn, as my beloved brother in Christ. Whether I like it or not.

It's why I can't believe that you all are really as delusional as you appear on these issues, that you really can't understand the difference between objective facts and subjective opinions.

Do you define "objective" the same way I do, Glenn, or do you use some other definition?

If you accept the common English definition, then how is it possible that your "facts" ARE objective facts, since your opinions are NOT clearly perceptible to all?

You all almost certainly must be using some other definition of "objective facts..." why would you not offer it up, to clear up this crazy misunderstanding?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

You are NOT our brother in Christ and you never will be until you come to the truth and the real gospel and worship the God and Christ of the Bible rather than a god and christ of your making. Until such time you are a child of Satan and continue to lead people to your perversion of scripture. I have no grace for the demonic realm.

We understand the difference between facts and opinions- your trouble is that if the fact doesn't agree with your warped and perverted ideology and demonic theology, then you call it an opinion.

And you continue to do so even in this last comment with your grand dishonest deceptions.

The other guys can continue if they like. But I am finished with this discussion because in your dishonesty you can never acknowledge the truth that goes against your worldview. You are an unteachable fool and I have better things to do with the time God has given me than to continue throwing pearls before swine.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn, if, just in the wildest possible scenario out there, it turns out you were mistaken about me all this time, will it be a little embarrassing for you when we all get to heaven?

Will there be an apology at that point, when (if) it turns out you were mistaken?

We'll all look back and cringe in the sweet by and by at some of our actions, I expect. But that's just my opinion.

Peace, you dear, angry man.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I'm not mistaken, Satan's child.

Nor is anyone else who has said the same about you as they banned you from their blogs.

YOU should be in abject fear of God - you will know you are mistaken when you die.

Dan Trabue said...

You are incapable of being mistaken in your opinions about my relationship with God? You factually, objectively can NOT be mistaken, not at all?

How do you know you can't be mistaken? Does the Bible offer "objective proof" that, in the 20th century, a man will arise with perfect wisdom in determing certain things, and his name shall be called, Glenn...?

Is that not a bit presumptuous for you to state that there are certain things that you can NOT be mistaken about, including a total stranger's status in the eyes of God?

Well, no wonder I'm a fool and satan spawn to you! I have no such powers of perfection like you.

Laugh a bit, dear Glenn, at the foolishness of humanity. It's good for your heart and soul, pal.

But, just WHAT IF by some miracle, you WERE mistaken? Will you then be embarrassed by this mistake? Or will you say, "If Dan is part of the family, I want no part of it!"?

Embrace the grace, friends. We are all almost certainly not as wise as we sometimes may think.

Peace.

Dan Trabue said...

I would ask you all to consider the following:

1. I am clearly offering what I make clear is my subjective opinion. I do not speak for God and I do not confuse my opinions for facts.

2. I freely admit my ability to be mistaken. On matters of subjective opinions (ie, ideals and opinions for which no solid, objective data can be provided to demonstrate to all the correct nature of these opinions), I note that my opinions are NOT objective facts, but are (to me) reasonable, but subjective opinions.

3. I clearly identify you all as my beloved brothers in Christ, that we are not separated from God's love by our mistakes or differences of opinions.

ON THE OTHER HAND...

1. At least some here, state boldly that they can NOT be mistaken (at least on some topics) and that their opinions reflect a perfect understanding of God's Word. When they have stated what God's Word is (in their opinion), it is safe to say that they HAVE spoken God's Word. Their opinions are, in effect, one in the same with God's Word.

2. Not only that, but their opinions (for which they can offer no concrete hard data to support - data that is clearly discernible to all) are objective facts on these matters which, as noted, they can provide no hard data.

3. These folk feel free to call this poor fool a fool, demon spawn, NOT a brother, a liar, and all sorts of mean nasty stuff. There is NO love for this poor sinner in the hands of my brothers here. Only disdain and harsh judgmentalism and name-calling of the worst sort.

Unlike Jesus, the Christ, they can not say to me, "Neither do I condemn you..." Nor can you say, "Dan, I love you as a fellow human being, created in the image of God and part of the 'world' that for God so loved..."

I lay it out for you and ask, who is being reasonable, humble and loving in this conversation? Who is representing arrogance in our human knowledge and "perfection" and gracelessness and non-acceptance?

Bubba said...

"Words have meanings, boys, there's no harm in admitting you can't prove something and it is only your opinion. It's just English.

"The only shame is in falsely claiming you can know something objectively when you have no data to support that claim. It makes you out to be delusional or a liar, and that only hurts you and your witness."

--

"Keep on making the claims the Bible doesn't make about itself, that God has not told you and that you have no OBJECTIVE evidence to support. But be prepared to be dismissed by rational people as being delusional/out of touch with reality on at least these many points."

--

"If you can't argue/discuss matters like a respectful adult, I'd suggest you'd make your case much more strongly by just being quiet. 'Better to remain quiet and be thought a fool...' you know."

--

Repeatedly, Dan has tried to insinuate that others here are childish, irrational, delusional, foolish, and full of "belligerence and gracelessness and lack of respect."

Now he wants to preen about being being reasonable, humble and loving in this conversation.

It's almost as if he doesn't have a problem with name-calling as long as he's the one doing it.

Dan Trabue said...

Saying "it is irrational to claim 'I can know and demonstrate my opinion is objectively factual on this point' when one can't do so, and this ignorance demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic English/rational concepts..." is not an attack on the person, it is stating a reasonable opinion about a behavior.

Saying "You are a liar and a child of the devil" when one can't prove it and when, in fact, it's not true is name-calling and slander, it is a personal attack and an unsupported one, at that.

That is the difference. Talk about ideals and ideas all you want, but don't engage in ad hom attacks - unsupported ones at that - it weakens your arguments and supports the notion that we're not dealing with a rational person, at least on these points.

I ask you, Bubba, would you prefer to be treated as a brother who is loved, even if we disagree, or would you rather I call you repeatedly a liar and a child of satan and other ad hom attacks on your person? And do so with no support other than the claim?

I ask you: What is unreasonable about this statement:

An objective fact is, according to standard English usage and the Merriam Webster dictionary, one that can be supported with observable data, clearly apparent to all, regardless of beliefs or biases.

What is irrational or wrong-headed about that? Is that ANYthing but a stating of the obvious and observable?

What is irrational or immoral or inconsistent about pointing out that MY and YOUR and EVERYONE's opinions that we can not support with objectively factual data ARE subjective, by definition?

What is irrational or hateful about asking questions like, "What definition of objective are you using?" or "Surely you and I agree that OUR OPINIONS and interpretations are, by definition, subjective IF we can't objectively demonstrate any fact claims?" I'm assuming you as my brother, beloved by God and by me, and I'm assuming that we probably agree with reality.

You can't seriously think my questioning this point about subjective opinions = objective facts and the irrationality of it in anyway compares to the lambasting that Glenn and others continue to assail me with? Not that I care about it, other than just how much damage it does to your whole arguments.

Bubba, I have to believe that you are NOT delusional, that you CAN see that subjective, non-provable opinions are not in the same category as objective facts, but surely you can see how it is delusional/out of touch with reality to not understand the difference between the two, can't you?

Down deep, I keep trying because I DO believe in you all (except for maybe Glenn, who seems pretty far gone - sorry brudda) and am convinced that we're only having a miscommunication. I'm just speaking of basic rational communication facts. IF Not Objective, Demonstrable Fact, THEN Subjective Opinion.

What is there to disagree with?

Bubba said...

Heh.

"Talk about ideals and ideas all you want, but don't engage in ad hom attacks - unsupported ones at that - it weakens your arguments and supports the notion that we're not dealing with a rational person, at least on these points."

You can't even go one complete sentence without contradicting yourself on name-calling: you cannot cluck about ad hominem attacks without questioning other people's rationality.

Dan Trabue said...

Look at it one step at a time, Bubba et al, taking a breath, calming down and rationally looking at JUST the arguments I've made.

In the post that started this thread, I stated my position in regards to holding discussions with others. I posited

1. That it is reasonable to make sure that when engaging in a conversation, the Other person understand the difference between objective fact and subjective opinions.

JUST looking at that "crazy" idea: Is it, in any way, irrational, immoral or wrong to want to establish this basic common ground of a common understanding of objective fact and subjective opinion?

Assuming that there is nothing in that suggestion, in and of itself, to find controversial or irrational, my next point was...

2. Merriam Webster defines Objective (as in an objective fact) thusly:

of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by ALL observers.

I stated that THIS was the definition of "objective fact" that I was operating from, just the standard English one.

Is there anything irrational or immoral in using this understanding of "objective fact" when talking about objective facts vs subjective opinions?

Again, this is just the common definition of the words involved, so I have to assume that, JUST the definition I'm using is not in any way controversial or "wrong." But if it is, please make your case as to what is wrong with it and offer the definition you prefer. After all, if you are using "objective" to mean "that which I think is factual, regardless of whether I can demonstrate it or prove it in a way that is perceptible to all...," well, we're talking about something else besides what I'm talking about and perhaps that is where the confusion lies. But, again, this is just the common definition of the word, I don't think you all really have a problem with it. But you tell me.

The third point I made, then, was...

3. Given that I want to avoid prolonged conversations with people who can't distinguish fact from opinion (because, what would be the point? If the Other's every opinion is a fact - in their mind - what is there to discuss?), anyone who claims, for instance, that Jonah was objectively factually a literal person (and here's the important part) AND we can objectively, factually KNOW that this is true, then my point would be: It is a reasonable question to say, "what is your objective factual evidence that is discernible to all?"

IS that, in any way, an irrational question to ask to anyone who claims that we can objectively, factually "know" this?

Is there anything wrong with that question? In asking the question, I'm not making the opposite claim (that Jonah was objectively, factually NOT a real person), I'm just noting that, no, in the real world, we can't objectively factually demonstrate that claim to be factual. It's a statement of the obvious, is it not? It isn't a slam on the Jonah story or on the Bible, it's just a statement of reality.

I have to believe that, if you just look at what I'm actually saying, one calm step at a time, that there really is nothing controversial or disagreeable about what I'm saying. I'm just stating observable facts.

But you tell me.

Bubba said...

Dan, one area where you're going completely off the rails is connecting a ridiculous burden of proof to a reasonable definition of objectivity.

You're quoting (part of) the relevant definition given by M-W, but you don't seem to understand that definition.

1 b : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind — compare subjective 3a

This definition contrasts what can be perceived by "all observers" against what can only be perceived by ONE observer, which you can see by comparing the term with its opposite, "subjective" -- a suggestion which Merriam-Webster itself makes.

3 a : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : phenomenal — compare objective 1b

Like the existence of Sherlock Holmes, Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar, Odysseus, Jesus of Nazareth, and God Himself the question of the existence of the prophet Jonah is a question OF OBJECTIVE FACT.

The claim is about the external universe, independent of the individual mind; objective fact claims do NOT need to be demonstrated to such a degree that they literally undeniable by literally anyone.

"Jonah existed" may be a false claim of objective fact, or an insufficiently grounded claim to know with confidence that it is true, but it's no subjective opinion.

As you did with the word "figurative," you now do with the word "objective:" you're abusing a word that you don't evidently understand.

--

From there, you go from incoherence to incoherence: almost nothing you write could meet the standards you impose on others, but that won't stop you from acting as if your own claims are objective facts, just as your grousing about ad hominem attacks won't stop you from continuing to make things personal.

"Look at it one step at a time, Bubba et al, taking a breath, calming down and rationally looking at JUST the arguments I've made."

Beginning yet another comment by implying that your critics are agitated and acting irrationally: that's no way to focus on ideas and ideals.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Like the existence of Sherlock Holmes, Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar, Odysseus, Jesus of Nazareth, and God Himself the question of the existence of the prophet Jonah is a question OF OBJECTIVE FACT.


This is why I was asking you to repeat back to me what I'm actually saying: Because you aren't understanding what I'm saying.

I believe God to be an objective FACT. I believe there IS a God and objectively so. Contrariwise, I believe that Sherlock Holmes and Adam and Eve did not literally exist as portrayed in their stories, as actual people with those names. In fact, they either objectively did or didn't exist and that fact is objectively factual.

IF, indeed, there is a God (as you and I believe), then it certainly is objectively factually so.

Same thing for winged unicorns: IF they exists, they objectively DO exist, as an objective fact.

I'm NOT making the claim that God does not objectively exist (or that Jonah does or does not objectively exist, or Adam/Eve, or that God does not objectively have opinions about various behaviors). THAT is not the claim I'm making.

I'm making the claim that you, nor I, nor anyone else can objectively prove/demonstrate that God exists, that Jonah existed (or not), that Adam/Eve existed (or not), that God has an opinion about gay marriage, sideburns, shrimp and "the rich" and we "know" what it is.

ALL of OUR OPINIONS on this matter are NOT objectively demonstrable or provable. OUR OPINIONS about these questions are NOT objectively factual. They are, by definition, subjectively opinions.

If OUR OPINIONS were objective, then that would mean that we could objectively demonstrate them. But they are not.

Again, nothing irrational or unusual about that claim. Do you understand my point now?

One more time, restated:

MY opinion about what God thinks about "gay marriage" is subjective, not demonstrably factual. That is simply the case in the real world.

Similarly, YOUR OPINION about what God thinks about "gay marriage" is subjective, not demonstrably factual in the real world.

Our opinions about unprovable things ARE subjective. The Things in question are objectively factual or not, but OUR OPINIONS about them are not.

Just a simple fact.

Do you understand now what I'm saying?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

From there, you go from incoherence to incoherence: almost nothing you write could meet the standards you impose on others, but that won't stop you from acting as if your own claims are objective facts

Yet, I notice you haven't said what is wrong with the ideas I espoused.

What is specifically wrong with the notion of thinking that it's not much use to talk very long with a person who can't separate fact from opinion?

I don't know, it seems reasonable to me and you have not said what is wrong with my actual point.

What is wrong with, when people say they hold an objectively, demonstrably factual position, to ask them to produce the irrefutable data?

IF they can't do it (and we can't produce hard objective data to demonstrate our opinions about God's opinions, we just can't), then there is NO shame in saying, "I believe it to be objectively factually true, but I can not objectively factually demonstrate it. Rather, this is my subjective opinion about what I think is objectively true..."

What is wrong with that response?

I don't know. You haven't said. It seems abundantly obvious to me and you have offered nothing directly to suggest that there's something wrong with that opinion I have offered.

Come now, Bubba, there really isn't anything wrong in just what I've said, is there (now that I've clarified your one misunderstanding of my position)? If so, what? Specifically?

Bubba said...

Dan, I have pointed some of the issues I have with your position.

"What is wrong with, when people say they hold an objectively, demonstrably factual position, to ask them to produce the irrefutable data?"

Not all facts can be or need to be supported with "irrefutable data."

If the evidence for a particular claim of fact is less than wholly irrefutable, the claim doesn't somehow mutate into a merely subjective opinion: the claim remains a claim of fact, not opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Not all facts can be or need to be supported with "irrefutable data."

Oh? Which ones don't need to be supported with actual data? Says who?

I agree that all claims of facts are not equally worthy of bothering with. If someone claims that he has factually seen a winged unicorn, for instance, I might ask him where is his evidence, but then again, I might not because I'm not really that concerned and, frankly, not at all inclined to believe it. Beyond that, his believing that he can "objectively factually" demonstrate it (when he can't) has no huge affects on anyone else.

But, it seems to me that anyone who makes a claim that - they say - is objectively demonstrable and "provable," I don't think it is unreasonable to say, "Okay, provide the hard data."

So, I'm not sure of what case you might be making with your statement. Yes, I know that not all facts CAN be objectively demonstrated, but why do you think that not all fact claims NEED to be?

I think that anyone can probably make whatever claims they want about their own lives and predilections, as long as it doesn't harm or interfere with others ("I can objectively state that God wants me to take ice skating lessons..." Well, no, they can't, but okay, whatever, go for it if you want to believe that...), but anyone who is making objective fact claims that have impacts on public policy or other people's lives, I would think that you could agree with me that, "Whoa, hold on there! You're gonna have to support that claim with some actual data before I'm going to allow it to impact my life." Right?

I mean, if I and 10 million other citizens started rallying around the "objective fact" that God objectively wants us to close down conservative churches and we implement policies to that affect, you WOULD want someone to say, "Uh, you can't just make that sort of claim about 'what God wants' and expect to let that affect other people's lives..." Am I right? You would demand some support for that claim or, perhaps like I'm doing, dismiss it out of hand as obviously NOT objective or factual, just subjective and delusional, right?

So, perhaps you could explain exactly what you mean by "not all 'facts' need to be supported with irrefutable data..."? Which facts don't need to be supported, why not and says who?

Again, I have to believe that we agree on this point, but please clarify.

Bubba...

If the evidence for a particular claim of fact is less than wholly irrefutable, the claim doesn't somehow mutate into a merely subjective opinion: the claim remains a claim of fact, not opinion.

It is a subjective opinion about a claim of fact. Again, look at the fella claiming he can objectively demonstrate that flying unicorns exist. He may BELIEVE they exist, he may BELIEVE that he can objectively demonstrate it, and they MAY even factually exist, BUT, the claim would be a subjective opinion about a fact claim. It would only be objective fact claim IF he could support it with objective data.

Do you agree with at least that example?

Are you saying that the fella who makes that claim IS making an objective fact claim?? That is wholly irrational and I can't believe that you think that, I suspect you'd agree with me that, no, this is NOT an objective fact claim.

It is the verifiability of a claim that makes it objective or not (that makes the CLAIM objective, not the reality of the claim).

Do you understand what I'm saying?

Bubba said...

Instead of a flying unicorn, let's take another implausible claim -- that of a man rising from the dead.

Suppose a guy claimed that Mr. Smith rose from the dead and that he was seen by more than 500 people, most of whom were still alive.

Is that enough to put that claim in the category of objective facts, or is it still a subjective opinion?

Bubba said...

"It is the verifiability of a claim that makes it objective or not (that makes the CLAIM objective, not the reality of the claim)."

No, it's not, Dan. You evidently don't understand even the definition that you cited.

A claim is objective, not if it's verifiable, MUCH LESS irrefutably verifiable, but if it references phenomena whose reality is independent of the mind.

"There is a winged unicorn behind that mountain" is an objective claim, one that is likely false, but STILL not subjective.

What's subjective is something like, "That winged unicorn tastes delicious."

I'm so sick and tired of you spouting gibberish about the English language and then denigrating people who know better.

Bubba said...

Quick English lesson, Dan, about the definition you cited.

1 b : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind — compare subjective 3a

The phrase you're hung up on is "perceptible by all observers" but that adjective phrase modifies the realm of sensible experience not necessarily the object, phenomenon, or condition.

Your misreading makes a hash of the first part of that definition, and it is no longer remotely synonymous with the second half -- "having reality independent of the mind" -- which may explain why you didn't quote it.

"Objective" DOES NOT MEAN "irrefutable," nor does it mean that it is observable by literally everyone.

Whatever the hell your first language is, you ought to go back to it, because you don't have a grip on this one.

Dan Trabue said...

I don't think what you are saying all holds together.

Are you saying that ALL claims about "objectively factual stuff," that ALL these claims are themselves objectively factual? But that it only turns out that SOME are objectively factual claims AND true, while others are objectively factual claims AND false?

I'm not criticizing, I'm asking.

Bubba...

"Objective" DOES NOT MEAN "irrefutable," nor does it mean that it is observable by literally everyone.

? But that IS the definition.

Objective, MW: of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by ALL observers.

Meaning, it seems to me, that ALL who would put the effort into looking into the data WILL find the same finding. So, I make a claim that my car is a blue toyota and that doesn't mean that objectively everyone in the world can see my car, but that ANY and ALL observers who look at it WILL see that it is, indeed, a blue toyota.

Is that not the definition?

What does "all" mean to you, in that definition?

You say...

The phrase you're hung up on is "perceptible by all observers" but that adjective phrase modifies the realm of sensible experience not necessarily the object, phenomenon, or condition.

I don't think you are correct. "All" there refers to the object, phenomenon or condition is perceptible to all observers.

Again, it would seem that your definition would render "objective" meaningless. What would be objective then? Everything in the world??

If I claim my car is a blue toyota, then THAT IT IS A BLUE TOYOTA (the object in question) is perceptible to all observers, not the world in which it exists. Right?

I believe you have made a mistake in your understanding of the word, not me.

Look, here are some more definitions of Objective, from dictionary.com...

not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
6.
intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
7.
being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject (opposed to subjective ).
8.
of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.

That is, regardless of/independent of OUR opinions and thoughts, my car is a blue matrix, objectively so and the claim that it is a blue matrix is objectively factual.

Regardless of/independent of OUR opinions and thoughts, the KJV of the Bible literally has the text "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..."

BUT, it would take OUR opinions/OUR thoughts to read the literal text and assign meaning. IF we claim that the meaning we have assigned to it (based on our thoughts/opinions, beyond what the text says and shows) would be subjective/of our mind, NOT independent of thought/opinions.

I have to say that I'm pretty sure you are mistaken in your opinion about the definition of objective.

Marshall Art said...

As much as I enjoy watching Bubba teach Dan how to talk, I'm not sure it all deals with the point of my post, and the objections in it regarding Dan's New Year's Resolution. Dan resolves to disregard those who he thinks confuses fact with opinion. My objection is how this resolution is no more than Dan assuming absolute authority to label the facts of opponents as mere opinion so as to avoid dealing with the facts as a mature person allegedly seeking the truth would so deal. He doesn't have to answer any challenge so long as he can say one's facts are really only opinions and graciously grant that one is welcome to one's own opinions. It is a convenient dodge.

To this end, I chose to once again bring up the subject of homosexuality and God's clearly revealed position on it. Lev 18:22 is the starting point as it is the prohibition upon which one bases one's opinion on the morality of the act therein prohibited.

But in every instance of discussing what the verse means, why the prohibition was enacted and why it is universal, there is no bit of fact or evidence or argument that can withstand Dan's self-serving proclamation that none of it is more than mere opinion. He offers none of the hard data he demands in rejecting all that is brought forth, but merely asserts his opinion that the facts, evidence and arguments are all opinion.

Thus, he has provided the hard data I need for supporting my charge that he will subjectively insist all fact, evidence and arguments supporting the fact claims I make are only opinions.

A truly honest and honorable man who claims to sincerely seek to understand the will of God would do more than default to "Nuh uh" as his ace in the hole, slam dunk debate winning argument.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"I don't think you are correct. 'All' there refers to the object, phenomenon or condition is perceptible to all observers."

Diagramming the sentence says otherwise, as does the second part of that definition, namely, "having reality independent of the mind."

You are correct about this:

"That is, regardless of/independent of OUR opinions and thoughts, my car is a blue matrix, objectively so and the claim that it is a blue matrix is objectively factual."

Yes, that claim is objective, not subjective:

"Dan's car is a blue Matrix."

Assuming the claim is accurate, the claim is objectively true.

A different but similar claim is likewise objective even if it's false:

"Dan's car is a red Yugo."

That's an objective claim, and if the claim is inaccurate, it's objectively false, BUT IT'S STILL OBJECTIVE.

Subjective claims are an of an entirely different sort:

- I don't like that red Yugo.
- Corn on the cob is delicious.
- Jennifer Lawrence is repulsive.

These claims can be subjectively true or false FOR THE INDIVIDUAL SUBJECT, but they're still subjective. I don't like corn on the cob, and I think Jennifer Lawrence is kinda cute, so those claims are subjective false for this particular subject, but they're still subjective.

The historicity of people, places, things, and events falls in the category of objective claims.

PERIOD.

Dan Trabue said...

I thought for a minute that maybe we were getting somewhere but not so much. Yeah, your problem is with the language, not with me.

Take it up with Webster, friends.

Sorry, but you're all confused. Delusional. Unable to determine the difference between fact and opinion on at least all these topics.

Good luck.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

A different but similar claim is likewise objective even if it's false:

So your confusion with English language has led you to the point that you're making the claim that there are some "objectively factual" claims that are false!??

You all are either delusional on these points or you still are not understanding my actual point. Either way, I've given it a grand effort.

Thanks for the laugh, though.

"objectively factual" claims that are false. snicker.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

What is crystal clear is that you've put forth only an effort you hoped would distract from the point of this post and the objections leveled at your regarding your post. You've done nothing but accuse opponents of a variety of sins, specifically as regards the point of this post, of submitting opinion as fact. You demand mountains of evidence that never pass muster, yet all the while doing nothing to support your truth claim that are facts are not indeed facts.

As if that isn't egregious enough, you go much further in demonstrating your hypocrisy in your more recent "It Gets Better" post, by leveling charges against me without cause or evidence, indeed, deleting the comments you could have used as evidence. Obviously, you purposely destroyed the evidence of my comments because they prove that you are lying about the subject and intent of my comments, which were about your choice of the video, more than the video itself.

Then, you chose to block further comments on that post because I sought to defend myself by re-posting the subsequent comments I composed for the purpose. I only wish I had saved the original comment that provoked your anti-Christian outrage at my daring to say anything that might hint at telling the truth as regards the homosexual community in general, and the possible beliefs of the woman in the video.

You're a rank hypocrite and coward, to say nothing of a liar. I offer the three posts, this one and your two, as incontrovertible proof. If you have any spine, you're free to provide hard data that you are none of the above.

Here, you'll find a true example of tolerance and honor for opposing views (even if not snark-free, so wussies be warned).

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, if I believed that you were capable of distinguishing between fact and opinion, it might be worth trying to settle all your confusions and misunderstandings and misrepresentations of my positions. But you are demonstrating that you, at least in these many cases we're speaking of, are not able to make that distinction.

I made my three points above on this topic. They are sound and obvious and rational. The only complaint raised against my actual points is not an argument against my points, but a disagreement with the dictionary.

My points are sound and reasonable, non-delusional people with no jagged agenda can agree to them. Others? Well, what's the point in holding conversations with the delusional? No matter how sound my reasoning, it won't matter because you hold "objective facts" that you can't abandon because your opinions are "objective facts..." to you. Regardless of whether you can substantiate your hunches with actual objective facts.

As to my deleting you, as I noted on my blog, I will not allow you to attack someone recovering from suicidal thoughts and I won't allow you to go on the attack on a memorial of a recently passed person. Call me crazy, but I call that simple decency.

You wouldn't go to a blog where cussing is offensive to the blog manager and proceed to continually cuss, despite being asked not to cuss, and expect that they would not delete your comments.

Your attacks on the recently passed and on suicide survivors - attacks based on nothing but ignorance and hubris - are much more offensive to me than mere curse words. They will not stand. Regardless of whether you agree, you'll have to abide by my rules at my blog.

I insist.

Bubba said...

"So your confusion with English language has led you to the point that you're making the claim that there are some 'objectively factual' claims that are false!??"

Not "objectively factual," just "objective."

Look once again at the definition you keep citing (albeit incompletely):

1 b : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind — compare subjective 3a

There's nothing there about the ACCURATELY relating to an independent object, phenomenon, etc.

"Dan's car is a Yugo" IS an objective claim, one that happens to be false.

What the hell is your position? That the claim is false and therefore subjective?

Snicker all you want, but you're the worst sort of idiot, one who is ignorant of his ignorance and arrogant as a result.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue got off track as he denigrated anyone who would consider Adam & Eve to factual, literal people, or that Jonah was a literal, factual person who literally, factually was swallowed by a fish, and then said believing such things made us delusional.

Of course it doesn't matter that for thousands of years people believed this, to him everyone ELSE is delusional.

A very interesting article in regards to the factual, literal existence of Jonah, etc came across my view today. I wonder how Trabue would respond to this, since he claimed that Jesus was only telling stories to make a point rather than citing accurate history:

http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/the-greatest-biblical-expert-who-ever-lived-and-his-view-of-the-bible.html

Craig said...

Been away for a while, but wanted to address a couple of areas where Dan seems confused.

1. If, as you claim, any one who claims to speak for God, is deluded, then you have no choice but to label the list of folks I posted earlier as delusional. That is if you choose to be consistent.

2. If, as you claim, the only acceptable level of proof is "objective" "undeniable" then you have just eliminated almost all of history from the category of fact. As well as some area of science. unless of course you can provide "objective" undeniable" proof of any or all of the following.

The existence of Nero
Alexander's conquest of Tyre
The black plague
Man caused global warming
Darwinian evolution

I think we can agree that a significant number of people consider the above to be factual, given that I await your "objective" undeniable" evidence.

To be clear, my problem is the fact the you have been very clear that the only type of evidence that you consider appropriate is "objective" or "unbiased". This has nothing to do with the definitions of the words, and everything to do with the unreasonable standard you are attempting to apply in this case.

If, as you seem to be saying, evidence that is not "objective" and "undeniable" is appropriate, then you need to provide some sort of objective undeniable rational why it is reasonable for you to establish this burden of proof.

Again, the problem is not that I don't know the definitions of the words "objective" "undeniable" "subjective" or "fact", it is that you have attempted to establish an arbitrary standard for proof, that goes beyond any reasonable rational demand made in any other endeavor. The question is, why have you arbitrarily chosen to limit the evidence that you consider appropriate to only "objective" or "undeniable"?

Craig said...

"Marshall, if I believed that you were capable of distinguishing between fact and opinion, it might be worth trying to settle all your confusions and misunderstandings and misrepresentations of my positions."

Sounds to me like Dan can't provide objective evidence to support his own hunches. Strange that he expects that of others.

Craig said...

Interesting that Dan (if you refer to his post at 6:06 on Feb 12, 2014) sees to have trouble with simply being able to accurately represent someone elses words. Even after copy pasting Bubba's comment, Dan then adds additional words to Bubba's assertion, while still representing his twisting as a quotation.

It seems to me that if you can't make your point without intentionally twisting your opponents words, that you should probably admit you've lost and slink away.

I eagerly await the rationalization for this, but don't expect an admission of wrong or an apology.

Craig said...

Just saw a great quote on a guitar forum, and had to share.

"Never argue with an idiot... they'll just drag you down
to their level and beat you with experience!!"



Glenn E. Chatfield said...

HAH!

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Dan then adds additional words to Bubba's assertion, while still representing his twisting as a quotation...

I eagerly await the rationalization for this, but don't expect an admission of wrong or an apology.


This is, again why I've asked you all to repeat back what my points are: Because you all do not appear to understand my points. Your comment here strengthens that hunch on my part.

While there is probably no point in my repeating what I've been repeating, I just can't help myself.

Craig, what I'm saying, what I've BEEN saying is this, from way back at the beginning of this thread (and also over at my blog, in other words, I noted...)

IF I claim, "...and that means that God created the world 6,000 years ago..." then I have moved to opinion. I have no data to support the claim. It COULD be true and factual, but one can claim it as a fact only if they can demonstrate it is a fact with actual indisputable data.

And this, from just a few comments back:

I'm not making the opposite claim (that Jonah was objectively, factually NOT a real person), I'm just noting that, no, in the real world, we can't objectively factually demonstrate that claim to be factual.

The point I'm making is NOT that there is no objective facts, including some that we may not be able to prove objectively/factually. IF there is a winged unicorn in existence, or IF God exists or IF my opinion about God's opinion about cars is correct, or IF Marshall's opinion about taking Jesus metaphorically instead of literally is correct... IF any of these things is factually correct in the real world - even though we can't prove them - they remain objectively factual. Our inability to prove something demonstrably, objectively, factually does not mean it doesn't exist.

What I'm talking about - what I've BEEN talking about is the question: Are our OPINIONS about these ideas objectively factual, demonstrably so. What I've BEEN saying is just the obvious: No, our opinions about unprovable ideas/facts are NOT objectively factual.

So, when Bubba dropped the "fact" from what I've been saying about our OPINIONS being objectively factual, HE was the one that was changing my words, not the other way around. I just put back in the word that he left out of my point.

I eagerly await the rationalization for this, but don't expect an admission of wrong or an apology. Because you all seem entirely incapable of understanding my actual point or admitting to reality that OUR OPINIONS about unprovable ideas (and you can't demonstrate Jonah, Adam or Eve as objective facts - you just can't - nor can you demonstrate your opinions about what God thinks about marriage, wealth, poverty or cutting the hair on the side of your head are objectively factually correct.

Just a statement of reality.

I doubt it, but I'll ask again, anyway: NOW, do you understand what I'm saying?

Bubba said...

Dan, there are objective claims that cannot be irrefutably proven -- or proven beyond a reasonable doubt or even proven to be more reasonable than other alternatives.

I have no problem with these claims being called beliefs or even opinions, but THEY ARE NOT SUBJECTIVE. You've been misusing the term.

But since your last comment doesn't even use the term once, the way you NOW express your position is less problematic, at least in terms of being incoherent.

I do think I understand your position, but I'm not sure it's compatible with Christianity to categorize even basic theism as an opinion.

I'll bring up the scenario again:

Suppose a guy claimed that Mr. Smith rose from the dead and that he was seen by more than 500 people, most of whom were still alive.

Does that put the claim into the realm of fact, or is the central historical doctrine of Christianity merely an opinion?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Suppose a guy claimed that Mr. Smith rose from the dead and that he was seen by more than 500 people, most of whom were still alive.

Does that put the claim into the realm of fact, or is the central historical doctrine of Christianity merely an opinion?


It is either an objective fact that Smith rose from the dead or not. The CLAIM, "I can know as an objective fact that Smith rose from the dead and was seen by 500 people who are still living," is a subjective opinion. Or, if you don't like subjective, it is simply not a objectively demonstrable fact.

Something being "merely" an opinion is not a bad thing. We hold as "mere opinions" that Lincoln was a real person, that our conviction (or acquittal) of an accused person is legitimate, etc, etc. We hold many things we believe to be true - and with good reason - there is a reasonable amount of evidence to believe it. I believe in God NOT because I can claim I can objectively prove God, but because I believe as a "mere" opinion that there is sufficient evidence to support the idea.

It seems your collective concern has to do with admitting that some of our valued, cherished opinions are "mere" opinions - ideas that can not be objectively proven, but I don't think there's any reason to think this is a bad thing. That is, UNLESS, you want to be able to hold on to the notion that, while all OTHER opinions are "mere" opinions, MINE are more than that, they are objectively provable facts.

But returning to your question: YES, our opinions about the teachings of Jesus are, in fact, opinions. They are opinions we can not prove. They are opinions about REAL, objective ideas and ideals, but our opinions about them are not objective or provable facts.

If they were objective, we could just point to Jesus and say, "Demonstrate, please, that you were there when Adam and Eve were created and that they WERE real people," and Jesus could demonstrate it, objectively, or Jesus could affirm objectively that, YES, Dan (or Bubba) understands marriage, war and wealth correctly on this point and that point...

My point is that we are not speaking about ideas and objects to which we can point and say, "See? it is an objective fact that what I'm saying is correct, demonstrably so." They are not objective, at least in that sense. So, our OPINIONS about what Jesus or Lincoln or my mother or your grandfather thought about this or that idea are OUR opinions, not objectively provable facts.

Am I making myself clearer?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

I do think I understand your position, but I'm not sure it's compatible with Christianity to categorize even basic theism as an opinion.

I don't see how. Consider:

Christian A is orthodox in every way. He believes, though, that Genesis/the Bible does not teach us that Adam and Eve were literal people.

Christian B is orthodox in every way. He believes, though, that Genesis/the Bible DOES teach that Adam/Eve were literal people.

Is the belief of EITHER A or B demonstrably factual? OR, are both opinions about the topic subjective (or, if you prefer, "mere) opinions?

A believes in Arminianism.

B believes in Calvinism.

Is the belief/claims of either A or B demonstrably, objectively factual? Or are both opinions "mere" opinions?

A believes Jesus meant "woe to you who are rich" literally.

B believes Jesus meant that figuratively.

Is the belief/claims of either A or B demonstrably, objectively factual? Or are both opinions "mere" opinions?

At what point would you say something has moved from "mere opinion" to objectively demonstrable and factual claim? Or is it EVER (on any of these matters) a demonstrable claim (I believe you've said that, no, these are often NOT demonstrable claims, but clarifying).

Where is the line between which of our opinions about God/the Bible is "mere opinion" and "objective fact"?

I would suggest that all of our interpretations ARE, by definition, opinions - "mere" opinions. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that, it's just the way it is. We can say with 100% objective factuality that, "Yes, Gen 1:1 says, 'in the beginning, God created..." Noting the reality of what is quoted IS an objective, demonstrable fact.

But moving from what the text literally says to what it MEANS, we have entered the realm of human opinion and that is just the way it is.

Which is not to say that every opinion is equal or unquestionable, just that every opinion IS an opinion, not an objective fact. THAT is all I've been saying.

Can we agree on that?

Marshall Art said...

Craig said:

"Sounds to me like Dan can't provide objective evidence to support his own hunches."

That is very much a part of my objection to Dan's resolution. It is enough for him to assert his opinion, claim that we are welcome to our own and go on his merry way believing and preaching his heresies. That's so much easier than attempt to either argue in favor of his positions with facts of the type he demands of us, or to denigrate our every offering of fact as merely opinion without so much as the merest of facts that would or might render our positions untenable. He doesn't have to expend any effort in either direction if he regards it all as opinions.

The problem here, aside from his subjective and self-serving labeling of the facts of his opponents as mere opinion, the real issue isn't whether or not one is spouting opinion OR fact, but that to disagree demands something more than the childish "Nuh uh" contradiction.

Ironically, and we know Dan loves irony, he is the real life example of the John Cleese character from the "Argument Sketch", a portion of which graces his blog home page.

"This is true," we say.

"No it isn't," says Dan. "Show me facts."

"I have facts right here," we say.

"No they aren't," says Dan.

And on it goes. It's understandable, given how easily his positions are shredded as nonsensical.

So what does he do? He dodges and diverts, distracts and dances. But he'll never deal with the issue on the table. Then he'll demand opponents answer questions, usually questions that are crafted to force opponents to agree with him. I often wonder if he makes up questions for lame surveys that lefties use to support their ludicrous positions, such as asking if we should help the poor, then using "yes" answers to justify raising taxes.

Here, he's trying to parse words again and focus on definitions. But the problem is not any misunderstanding of definitions, but the manner in which he applies the definitions. He'll quote a definition for "fact", for example, but it doesn't matter if the definition applies to the fact presented or not. He'll just deny it is a fact. Then he'll quote the definition again. He does as much with his explanation for what constitutes a true Christian, while his actual living out of his beliefs belie his explanation. His actions don't match his words.

They certainly don't match when he is in the position of presenting his own facts and evidences. While he keeps demanding of me/us, and I/we continue to provide, he stops short when confronted with serious scrutiny and eventually whines about being harassed, that we lack grace and humility, that we are in need of taking a breath, and a host of other claims and accusations rather than merely defending his position or showing he is the man as the type he postures himself and admits (at the least) that his position requires re-evaluation.

But in the other direction, his objections and rebuttals are always met with more facts, evidences and arguments buttressing our positions, wondering why he continues without anything that provokes in us the slightest hint that our position might need that re-evaluation.

So we stand ready, willing and able to respond to any challenge to our positions and truth claims, while Dan does all he can to change the subject.

Marshall Art said...

And now, Dan demonstrates his truly low regard for Scripture, as he obfuscates argues with idiotic nonsense such as "the Bible doesn't say of itself that it is our primary revelation of God's will", or words to that effect (his actual words won't be better if he chooses to copy and paste them). The problem here, of course, is that it isn't necessary for the Bible to say of itself such things in order for that claim to be the truth, especially since it is. We certainly can't rely on our own hearts and reasoning, since the Bible teaches us our hearts are not trustworthy. (Dan's beliefs indicate the truth of that.)

More to the point, the Bible also doesn't say anywhere within itself that any part of it is written in a mythic or epic style. Yet, Dan holds this as a fact without anything more solid than some guy who says modern history began at some point later than the writing of the OT. And I haven't studied it lately, but I'm gonna stick my neck out and say that nowhere in the Book of Jonah does it refer to itself as fiction, or any of the events described therein as allegory or metaphor. But Dan insists it is in the same way we know the Bible is God's primary means of communicating with the modern world. There simply is no other reliable source for learning and understanding God's will.

Unless, of course, Dan's been holding out with hard data to prove otherwise.

Dan continues to prove my point, that he assumes authority to pass judgement on what is or isn't valid evidence, what is fact and what constitutes proper discourse. That kind of fascistic subjectivity will always lean in his favor as it has always done so since long before his self-serving resolution.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, if I believed that you were capable of distinguishing between fact and opinion.....are not able to make that distinction."

If this is the least bit true, it should be a simple thing to point out how I have demonstrated this absurd claim, as I have pointed out the flaws of your own comments and positions. Simply asserting such doesn't cut it.

"The only complaint raised against my actual points is not an argument against my points, but a disagreement with the dictionary."

Not true. My complaint is that you do nothing to demonstrate that your opponent is in breech of your condescending standards. You simply assert that they fail to meet them and leave it at that. If my facts, such as the many I listed in regards to Lev 18:22 are indeed not facts and only opinions, simply bringing to bear the hard data you demand of us to refute, even just one of them, would go a long way in proving your assertion. Re-posting the definitions of fact, opinion, objective, yadda yadda yadda does not refute the facts at all. It does, however, indicate your cowardice.

Secondly, Bubba doesn't seem to have much of a problem with any dictionary definitions, either. He does show that you< do, or, that you are as dishonest with presenting definitions in their entirety, as it will expose the flaw in your complaint.

Marshall Art said...


"As to my deleting you, as I noted on my blog, I will not allow you to attack someone recovering from suicidal thoughts and I won't allow you to go on the attack on a memorial of a recently passed person."

The problem here, is that you are a liar. I attacked no one on your blog. I questioned the intention of the woman in creating the video, as it is clearly more than just "hey, look at me because I just bailed on my suicide plans". More to the point, I was questioning YOUR motives for choosing to post the video in the first place. There is no attack of any suicidal lesbian of any kind. You have no facts to back up your lie as you conveniently deleted my original comment that would prove your lie. Then, you repeatedly deleted subsequent comments (I save my comments most of the time when posting at your blog and Geoffrey's due the cowardice and deceitfulness you both demonstrate in doing so).

More irony here: Dan always whines when other blog hosts tire of his nonsense, and complains that he isn't allowed to defend his positions. Yet, he deleted my every attempt to defend myself against his blatant lies (not merely slander, though that fits, but blatant lying), and has finally blocked anyone from commenting.

Even more irony: The posts in question did not say of themselves that they were not for the purpose of comments not totally in agreement with his purpose in posting them.

Also, I did not attack anyone at any memorial at the post that did not say of itself that it is a memorial not open to comments that questions the blog host's inane description of the subject as a great man. My purpose was trying to find out why Dan praises a man who was a terrorist, who as president sang songs about killing whites, and who wasn't even supported by the majority of black Africans. Mandella wasn't nearly as great as the marketing made him out to be. De Klerk played a greater role in ending apartheid than did Mandella because he had the power to hold out indefinitely. He didn't.

But I digress. Dan's is the master of double standard. It shows in this post and in the posts where he deletes comments. He reminds me of the guy in the Bible who began to whine when a debt was demanded of him, but then went out and leaned heavily on those who owed him, doing exactly what he pleaded against when done to him. Hypocrite.

"Your attacks on the recently passed and on suicide survivors - attacks based on nothing but ignorance and hubris - are much more offensive to me than mere curse words."

I don't know which is more repulsive---the lies about my comments or the feigned offense and posturing.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

as he obfuscates argues with idiotic nonsense such as "the Bible doesn't say of itself that it is our primary revelation of God's will"

Wow.

Pointing out that the Bible does not say something is "obfuscating" and "holding a low view of scripture..." and is "nonsense..." and "idiotic"?

Wow.

Where I come from, it is pointing to an actually objective fact about the Bible, and that is a good thing, when one can do it.

Where I come from, that is taking the Bible seriously, to look at what it does and does not say.

Where I come from, it is presumptuous to put our words in God's mouth.

Maybe that's just where I'm from.

Sorry, I digress, just in sheer awe and horror.

Dan Trabue said...

My actual points, again, if anyone wants to talk about what I'm actually saying...

1. That it is reasonable to make sure that when engaging in a conversation, the Other person understand the difference between objective fact and subjective opinions.

JUST looking at that "crazy" idea: Is it, in any way, irrational, immoral or wrong to want to establish this basic common ground of a common understanding of objective fact and subjective opinion?

Assuming that there is nothing in that suggestion, in and of itself, to find controversial or irrational, my next point was...

2. Merriam Webster defines Objective (as in an objective fact) thusly:

of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by ALL observers.

I stated that THIS was the definition of "objective fact" that I was operating from, just the standard English one.

Is there anything irrational or immoral in using this understanding of "objective fact" when talking about objective facts vs subjective opinions?

Again, this is just the common definition of the words involved, so I have to assume that, JUST the definition I'm using is not in any way controversial or "wrong." But if it is, please make your case as to what is wrong with it and offer the definition you prefer. After all, if you are using "objective" to mean "that which I think is factual, regardless of whether I can demonstrate it or prove it in a way that is perceptible to all...," well, we're talking about something else besides what I'm talking about and perhaps that is where the confusion lies. But, again, this is just the common definition of the word, I don't think you all really have a problem with it. But you tell me.

The third point I made, then, was...

3. Given that I want to avoid prolonged conversations with people who can't distinguish fact from opinion (because, what would be the point? If the Other's every opinion is a fact - in their mind - what is there to discuss?), anyone who claims, for instance, that Jonah was objectively factually a literal person (and here's the important part) AND we can objectively, factually KNOW that this is true, then my point would be: It is a reasonable question to say, "what is your objective factual evidence that is discernible to all?"

IS that, in any way, an irrational question to ask to anyone who claims that we can objectively, factually "know" this?

Is there anything wrong with that question? In asking the question, I'm not making the opposite claim (that Jonah was objectively, factually NOT a real person), I'm just noting that, no, in the real world, we can't objectively factually demonstrate that claim to be factual. It's a statement of the obvious, is it not? It isn't a slam on the Jonah story or on the Bible, it's just a statement of reality.

I have to believe that, if you just look at what I'm actually saying, one calm step at a time, that there really is nothing controversial or disagreeable about what I'm saying. I'm just stating observable facts.

But you tell me.

Marshall Art said...

"Pointing out that the Bible does not say something is "obfuscating" and "holding a low view of scripture..." and is "nonsense..." and "idiotic"?"

Wildly so. It's a ridiculous standard that the Bible MUST refer to itself as the primary source for our understanding of God's existence, nature and will for us in order for it to be so. At the same time, you disregard so much of OT Scripture due to some lame excuse about it being written in an "epic style". Where does it say that about itself? How can you seriously regard Johah as fictional or allegory without the Book of Jonah describing itself in that manner? It plays both ways, but you play all things to your advantage in order to protect you position that cannot be supported by any legitimate means.

"Where I come from, that is taking the Bible seriously, to look at what it does and does not say."

"Does not say"... you mean like the Bible says absolutely nothing that would indicate there is any possible scenario by which engaging in homosexual behavior would not be an abomination?

The problem has never been over rules of engagement, definitions of words and/or concepts, etc. but your singular disregard for living by the standards you impose on everyone else. That you don't abide them with anything akin to the same devotion you expect of others. The debate over whether one's claim is an actual fact or opinion is irrelevant in terms of how YOU respond to such things. My "opinion" only? Give reasons that actually relate to disproving the claim. I don't need to hear redundant repetitions of definitions well understood. I need to know why you believe my claims fail any of those definitions by virtue of counter evidence related to an alternative that bears value and credibility to the degree that leaves me scrambling to find more ammo for my position, or compels me to consider that maybe my position isn't the fact I believed it to be. We don't get any of that from you. Instead, we get...

-"That's just your opinion" (Duh!)

-More demands for facts and proof when original facts and proofs have yet to be disproved.

-Definitions implying some defect in the intellectual state of the opponent.

-Accusations of delusion, hatefulness, psychosis, gracelessness and other falsehoods.

-Constant demands that questions be answered "before we can move on" while never having satisfactorily answered or clarified answers to initial questions already on the table, if you even answered them at all.

-Pleas to civility and humility as if you have been victimized in the course of truly honest exchange when frustrations are provoked by the above behaviors of yours repeatedly.

I have full confidence that anyone reading this who is not as keen on defending heresies as you are will easily confirm all of the above points regarding your character. They are at the very heart of negative attitudes directed at you, and likely a short list at that.

A good step forward would be for you to dispense with those behaviors and respond as one who is as concerned with truth as you claim to be.

Bubba said...

Dan:

I'm not going to argue this at all: just as a Christian would never categorize the Lord's Supper as an "ancient church tradition" rather than a command of Christ's, and just as a Christian would never sneer about "magic tricks" in discussing the bodily resurrection of Christ, a Christian would NOT categorize the apostles' EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY of the resurrection as an opinion.

I'm not talking about creation occurring in six 24-hour periods, I'm not talking about the historicity of Jonah, I'm talking about the central historical claims of Christianity.

Genuine Christians do not see how far they can get away with denigrating the faith's central tenets -- and it is no ad hominem attack to judge you by your fruit and conclude that you're no Christian brother of ours.

--

Marshall:

You're absolutely right, it's hypocritical to say that we cannot believe that the Bible is authoritative unless it explicitly says so in a formula of Dan's making, all while he treats OT as myth and epic even though the Bible makes nothing resembling any such claim.

But by this time we all ought to know just how little Dan cares about consistency.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

This morning the Cripplegate posted a great article about proper hermeneutical principles when studying Scripture. Perhaps Trabue can learn something if he reads it.

Then again, he'll probably refute it.
http://thecripplegate.com/literally-taking-the-bible-literally/

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It's a ridiculous standard that the Bible MUST refer to itself as the primary source for our understanding of God's existence, nature and will for us in order for it to be so.

Did I say that the Bible MUST refer to itself as the primary source to be considered such? No. What I said (and meant, since it wasn't clear) is that we have to have SOME reason to think this. The Bible has not told us to take "the Bible" as the primary source. God has not told us to do so. Who has? Fallen humanity (some of them).

Do you think the word of a fallen group of humans is sufficient to think it MUST be so? That is fine, but it is a subjective opinion (or, if you prefer, a "mere" opinion) of a group of humans, not an objective fact, one that you can demonstrably prove.

But that I do not blindly accept a claim from a bunch of humans, how does that rationally indicate that I have a low opinion of Scripture? Because I am NOT willing to accept human demands over what the Bible actually says (and doesn't say), doesn't that indicate a HIGHER view of Scripture than those who'd make claims that the Bible doesn't about itself?

Marshall...

At the same time, you disregard so much of OT Scripture due to some lame excuse about it being written in an "epic style".

I disregard not ONE WORD of the Bible. Not one word. That I think Genesis is written in a mythic style or that much of the ancient history of Israel sounds more epic is no different than reading Jesus' parables and treating them as, you know, parables, or treating poetry as poetry or hyperbole as hyperbole.

It's interesting that you call it "disregarding" "much" of OT Scripture because of how I interpret/understand the text as being more figurative, but when you take Jesus' literal teachings and treat them figuratively, it's not, in your mind, "disregarding..." Should I say that you are disregarding Jesus when you make figurative some of his literal teachings?

I have not/do not do so. Rather, I understand that, in trying to take the text seriously, this is how you interpet it, understanding some of these texts in a figurative manner. No problem, we disagree on how true that is to the text, but it is an honest disagreement.

Can you not recognize the same honest disagreement when others do it?

Marshall...

Where does it say that about itself? How can you seriously regard Johah as fictional or allegory without the Book of Jonah describing itself in that manner?

It is my opinion that this is the best understanding of the text, taking it in context, just as it is your understanding/opinion that it is best to take Jesus' literal words in some cases as figurative.

Marshall...

It plays both ways, but you play all things to your advantage in order to protect you position that cannot be supported by any legitimate means.

Indeed, it does. And I allow that you take the Bible seriously and simply interpret it - in your unprovable opinion - differently than I do, in my unprovable opinion. What is irrational or inconsistent about that?

Indeed, is it not irrational and inconsistent on YOUR part that I accept your making Jesus' literal words into figurative text, when you're not willing to do the same for me?

Regardless, clearly, I am consistent.

Craig said...

Dan,

Typically, you choose to focus on rationalizing your claim that your quote of Bubba was more accurate than his own literal actual words, instead of on the earlier and more problematic comment. Typically, you assume that if you restate your hunch with just a little more condescending tone, it somehow will distract people from the holes in your hunch.

So, how about you deal with the problems your standards create.

Craig said...

Dan,

A few questions.

If the Bible is not the primary source for our understanding of God, what is?

Given that Jesus literally says that we are to "Go into all the world and make disciples...", how would you approach that as a suggestion, on opinion, or a command?

If you were to engage in the activity Jesus referenced (or what most would call evangelism), on what basis would you attempt to demonstrate that being a disciple of Christ is a positive thing?

I have more, but would rather you answer these few, so you don't get overwhelmed.

Craig said...

Marshall,

When you construct a world where virtually everything can be labeled as opinion, then you eliminate any need to defend your position with any sort of evidence.

The problem with this construct, where it demonstrates inconsistency, is that this allows no way to rationally evaluate competing opinions. Because "It seems to me..." automatically trumps anything.

"Dan, your car is a blue Toyota." "Well, it seems to me that it is a green Nissan.". When you hide behind "It seems to me..." then no matter what evidence one produces, it can be dismissed.

What's interesting is how it becomes possible to support the hunch that someone who has a different opinion that you is therefore delusional.

If you consider some of the binary options offered in an earlier comment as long as you answer "It seems to me that A (or B) is the right answer", there is really no way to respond to that.

When you think about it it really is an excellent strategy for these types of discussions. It allows a person to make comments that appear to be claims of fact (and are often phrased in ways that reinforce this appearance), without having to provide support. But, at the same time it places the entire burden of proof on your opponent, because you don't have to provide proof for an opinion. Other than the inherent inconsistency, it's almost brilliant.

Craig said...

"As I've said before, the Gospel is NOT a call to have perfect understanding in order to be saved (whether or not they're right on this topic - and they're not), it is a call to a salvation and a life of Grace and of the Love of God."

This is a pretty good example of my point. This quite obviously reads like the writer is asserting a factual premise. However, since there is no way to provide "objective" and "undeniable" evidence that this claim is factual, then it must be considered subjective opinion, forcefully stated subjective opinion, but subjective opinion non the less.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

If the Bible is not the primary source for our understanding of God, what is?

I factually don't know that we HAVE a "primary source" for our understanding of God. God certainly has never told me or you that there IS a "primary source." Factually speaking, this is simply correct, yes?

So, given that God has never TOLD us that there is one primary source for information about God, on what basis would we presume there IS a "primary source..."? Human tradition?

That's okay, I suppose, if you trust the human tradition that makes this suggestion and if you recognize that it is not an objectively demonstrable fact, but "mere" human opinion.

Craig...

Given that Jesus literally says that we are to "Go into all the world and make disciples...", how would you approach that as a suggestion, on opinion, or a command?

Given that I don't approach the Bible as a rule book, I view that as a contextualized teaching of Jesus. In understanding the language (or having heard this), I also understand that it's probably better translated "as you are going into the world - going about your lives in the world - teach folks what I've taught you, make them disciples in these ways..."

Given that, I think this is a reasonable interpretation of the text, that those who value Jesus' teachings and consider Jesus to be Lord should, as they are going into the world, teach about the ways that Jesus taught, making disciples as we go, for those who are interested and agreeing to these Ways.

So, to answer your question as directly as possible, I would not treat this as a suggestion, an opinion OR a command, but as a teaching for those who value Jesus' teaching.

Why?

Craig...

If you were to engage in the activity Jesus referenced (or what most would call evangelism), on what basis would you attempt to demonstrate that being a disciple of Christ is a positive thing?

I would say "I love Jesus and the Way he taught. Here's what he taught, isn't that cool? Isn't that powerful, deep, troubling, but compelling? Feel free to join me in walking this way..." and those who agree with these opinions may well join in, as God gives us grace and wisdom.

Why?

Are you suggesting you prefer the "I am speaking for God and God wants you to do X, Y and Z and you better do it because if you don't, then you're doomed to an eternity in torment for disagreeing with what I think is what God says..."?

I don't find that approach to evangelism compelling in the least. Indeed, I find it to be arrogant and in a spirit contrary to a reasonable interpretation of Jesus' teachings. In my opinion.

Craig...

When you hide behind "It seems to me..." then no matter what evidence one produces, it can be dismissed.

Well, no, not when there IS objective hard data to support the claim. If someone looks at a Blue Toyota and thinks it is a Green Nissan, they are confused, because it is, objectively so.

Our opinions about what God wants do not fall into that objectively provable category, which is my point I've been making. They just don't, factually speaking.

Do you think that our opinions about God's opinons DO fall into the objectively provable category, like the color and make of a car that can be seen?

I can't believe that you do, because that is not rational or grounded in reality.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

What's interesting is how it becomes possible to support the hunch that someone who has a different opinion that you is therefore delusional

I never said this and don't believe it. What I've said is that not being able to understand the difference between objectively demonstrable reality and opinion IS delusional. Or, to be kinder, it is confused thinking and simply mistaken.

Do you disagree with my ACTUAL point (rather than the strawman you created that is NOT my point)? Or do you think that those who can't distinguish between an opinion that is demonstrably objectively factual and one that is "mere" opinion are fine to have conversations with and are not confused?

Again, as I keep saying, I'm not saying anything odd or that is not abundantly obvious. It IS a rather dubious exercise to engage in a conversation who can't distinguish demonstrable fact from UN-demonstrable opinion. Those who can't tell the difference DO have a disconnect with reality. What is there to disagree with any of this?

Craig, I've answered multiple questions from you and clarified some of your mistaken impressions about what I've actually said, can you answer:

Do you have a problem with the notion that our opinions about what God thinks are "mere" opinions, not demonstrably provable? Is it because it makes you feel less certain in your faith and you prefer to think that your opinions are MORE than "mere" opinions?

I have to say again that you all seem to have a problem with the notion of "mere opinions," in addition to the English definition of the words we're speaking of, moreso than with my actual positions...

Dan Trabue said...

Also, if I may return to a point you brought up earlier, it may help illustrate my point (but probably not...). Speaking of historic people and events, it IS easier and more obvious to speak of truly objective, demonstrable facts the more recent the history.

We can say with some authority that Bill Clinton WAS impeached during his presidency. We were there, there is abundant documentation and we can have people address first hand the reality, objectively factually so.

We can agree that Kennedy was factually killed while president. We can say that, by all evidence, it objectively happened factually speaking. People are still alive who were there, the facts are easily obtained and supported.

But the further back in history we go, the more tricky it can be to say with complete authority that some event objectively, factually happened as we understand it. Yes, we can be pretty danged sure that Lincoln was a real president. There are no first hand sources remaining any more, but there have been first hand sources alive in our lifetime and his life and presidency was abundantly documented.

But, to get to a more specific question such as, "What did Lincoln actually think of African Americans, as human beings?" Some of his writings appear to suggest he was, by today's standards, at least a bit racist in thinking they were an inferior race, but then, other writings seem to make that less clear. Can we objectively say that it is a demonstrable FACT that Lincoln believed X or Not X on this matter or other matters of his opinion? No, I don't think we can.

And the further back in history we go, the less documentation there is, the less likely we can say with complete authority that X happened objectively, factually demonstrably like I understand it. AND, the more we move away from factual events to people's IDEAS and what ancient people thought, I just don't see how anyone can make a case to say "I can objectively factually KNOW that MY understanding of Jesus' recorded words is demonstrably factual and can not be mistaken."

Was Robin Hood an actual person or a legend? There are recorded stories of his exploits and some who'd argue both ways, but can we objectively demonstrate that "YES, THE ONE RIGHT ANSWER is demonstrably..."? No, we can't. Nor can we do so for King Arthur or Merlin. People argue both ways about their actual existence or not. We factually can NOT objectively demonstrate that one answer is the RIGHT answer.

MUCH less so when we come to the question of what their ATTITUDES and OPINIONS were. Questions about the attitudes and opinions of people in antiquity just can't reasonably be spoken of in terms of "I can objectively factually demonstrate that MY understanding of their opinions is factually correct."

There's no shame in admitting this reality. We form subjective, unprovable opinions all the time and there's no harm in admitting them as such.

Dan Trabue said...

Returning to earlier comments from Marshall...

I need to know why you believe my claims fail any of those definitions by virtue of counter evidence related to an alternative that bears value and credibility to the degree that leaves me scrambling to find more ammo for my position, or compels me to consider that maybe my position isn't the fact I believed it to be. We don't get any of that from you. Instead, we get...

-"That's just your opinion" (Duh!)


Pointing out that something is an opinion rather than a provable fact is an important starting point (and the point that got this whole ball rolling). If someone is unable to differentiate between a "mere" opinion and a provable fact, then I don't believe there is any point in going forward.

Can you agree to this?

If so, then perhaps you will concede that "this is your unprovable opinion" is not an irrational point to make?

-More demands for facts and proof when original facts and proofs have yet to be disproved.

This gets back to the first point made above. IF someone is not understanding the difference between a provable fact and a "mere" opinion, then what point is there in going on?

If someone makes a claim that Adam was a literal person and they "know" it as an "objective fact," then asking them to demonstrate that "fact" with hard data, is not an irrational expectation. IF, upon being pressed, they acknowledge, "Okay, it's not a provable fact, but I think he was truly, factually a person for these reasons..." then we can move on. But if he is stuck on, "Nuh uh, it's a demonstrable fact!" then what is the point in going on?

-Definitions implying some defect in the intellectual state of the opponent.

-Accusations of delusion, hatefulness, psychosis, gracelessness and other falsehoods.


If someone is incapable/unwilling to admit an opinion is an opinion, not a demonstrable fact, then there is a problem there, can you agree? Perhaps you are correct that pointing out this intellectual liability to the person unable to understand it is a bad idea, but I was operating under the assumption that you can be reasoned with, and so pointing out this lack of reason was designed to jar you into acknowledging what I STILL have to believe that you could admit, if addressed the correct way.

-Constant demands that questions be answered "before we can move on" while never having satisfactorily answered or clarified answers to initial questions already on the table, if you even answered them at all.

In reasoning things out, sometimes we have to have some building blocks of communication that sometimes need to be laid down in a particular order. In discussing a fact claim with someone ("I know that MY opinion on this is demonstrably objectively factual and I CAN NOT BE MISTAKEN on this!" for instance), beginning with being able to differentiate between reality and opinion is a vital starting point. Until we can resolve that we're both operating from a position of unprovable opinion - not opinions that are objectively demonstrable - we really can't move on, can we?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

I'm not going to argue this at all: just as a Christian would never categorize the Lord's Supper as an "ancient church tradition" rather than a command of Christ's, and just as a Christian would never sneer about "magic tricks" in discussing the bodily resurrection of Christ, a Christian would NOT categorize the apostles' EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY of the resurrection as an opinion.

Why would a Christian not do that? Says who? Does the Bible say that Christians won't do that? Has God told you? Where is your objective, demonstrable evidence that a Christian would not note the reality that we can not demonstrably prove Jesus' resurrection?

Can you agree that we can not demonstrably prove Jesus' resurrection to be an objective fact, clear to all observers, regardless of viewpoint?

Again, my viewpoint: I BELIEVE that Jesus' life, teachings, death and resurrection are objective facts. BUT, I can not demonstrate objectively as a fact beyond question that Jesus existed, died and rose from the dead. We have some testimony to that end, but I can't prove objectively that this testimony is beyond doubt factually accurate. So, while I believe this to be a fact, I note that my belief is MY opinion, one which I can not demonstrably prove.

Do you hold some other position? CAN you demonstrably prove that Jesus lived, died and rose again?

And beyond the facts, CAN you demonstrably prove that your understanding of Jesus' teachings are one in the same with God's ideas?

Obviously, you can't do this. So, I'm wondering why you can't say you can't do this? Why you can't say, "MY understanding of Jesus' teachings is MY opinion, not one I can demonstrate, factually speaking..."? Do you think there is some shame in admitting this? Do you think it is a sin to admit this, that it shows some unforgivable "doubt" or something? Do you think it just weakens your argument and that's why you can't admit it?

Bubba...

Genuine Christians do not see how far they can get away with denigrating the faith's central tenets

What is "denigrating" about admitting the reality that I can't objectively demonstrably prove these central tenets? Is reality somehow harmful to the Christian faith? To your faith? Says who? Does the Bible teach you that we can't admit the reality that we can't demonstrably prove objectively that Jesus lived and died and rose again?

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

There are some things "unseen," unprovable, beyond my being able to claim that I can demonstrate objectively that they are factual. I have faith that my understanding, based on evidence and reality, but not on demonstrably objective evidence, is correct and that the teachings of Jesus about grace, love and God's reality and good news, are reliable, even though I can't prove them objectively.

What is the sin in that?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

it's hypocritical to say that we cannot believe that the Bible is authoritative unless it explicitly says so in a formula of Dan's making, all while he treats OT as myth and epic even though the Bible makes nothing resembling any such claim.

So, it's hypocritical to, say, take a passage that TO YOU seems clearly to be hyperbole or figurative, and to call it as such even though the Bible makes no such claim? Is that what you're saying?

Because, you've done that, haven't you? You treat Jesus' literal teachings as figurative, even though Jesus never once SAID he was speaking figuratively.

No, of course the text does not have to say "this is poetry," "this is hyperbole," "this is myth" to be taken as such, based on the evidence within the literary form itself. You believe this yourself, by your example, right? Or are you saying that you are a hypocrite?

There is no inconsistency in what I've said on this point, friends.

Craig said...

Some follow up's.

Since you aren't able to say that the Bible is the primary source for information about God, then what would you consider to be your primary source about god? If someone asked you what is the best way to find out about God, what would you tell them?

So, are you saying that the "Great Commission" is merely a suggestion for a certain place and time? Are you suggesting the Jesus do not actually teach in any sort of universal sense that we are to evangelize those who are lost?

So, in the unlikely event that you would "evangelize", you really could offer nothing that is in any way more than "here's my opinion, if you agree great, if not that's great also."? Are you saying that you would present Jesus as some sort of wise sage? Or would you present Jesus as God incarnate? If asked how would you make the case, or would you?

So, how do you respond to the passages where a prophet says "Thus saith the Lord..." or where Jesus says If you love me you will keep my commandments."? Clearly the authors are suggesting, at a minimum, that they are passing on things that should be obeyed or at least taken seriously. By your definition, those folks are delusional.


I appreciate you finally responding to my repeated questions about history. I'll give you this, you're at least consistent. I didn't think you'd have the gut's to admit that there is essentially no objective history beyond the recent past. I've used the example before, but there is a significant group of people who deny the Holocaust, In the same way the facts of the founding of the modern state of Israel are fairly well documented, yet most of the Arab world chooses to believe otherwise.

Personally, I don't think you could provide "undeniable" "objective" evidence/proof of the existence of the Holocaust to change the mind of a skeptic. Further, as I'm sure you know, things like eyewitness testimony are not "objective" or "undeniable" so by your standard anything attested by either method would not be factual.

Bubba said...

Sorry, Dan, I'm not arguing over what I just wrote. I'm not going to categorize the Apostles' eyewitness testimony as opinion just because it doesn't meet your impossible and asinine standards of evidence.

No Christian would attempt such a categorization, much less would he be so effing determined to cajole and shame others into doing so.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Since you aren't able to say that the Bible is the primary source for information about God, then what would you consider to be your primary source about god? If someone asked you what is the best way to find out about God, what would you tell them?

First of all, I can't say that because the Bible has not mentioned it and I have no reason that I know of to presume such a thing.

I also "can't say" that the Bible, placed upon someone's head, will heal headaches. The Bible makes no claim to do that and why would I think it? Can you say that? Why not?

To your question:

The Bible itself mentions that God's Word/Law is written upon our "hearts," our souls, our being... it is innate, and I think that is a reasonable conclusion.

The Bible itself mentions discovering God in all of creation and I think that is a reasonable conclusion.

The Bible itself mentions "scripture" as being good for instruction, training and correction, and I think that is a reasonable conclusion (assuming "scripture, rightly divided," of course).

The Bible itself mentions the Holy Spirit of God working amongst us, sometimes like a still small whisper, and I think that's a reasonable conclusion.

The Bible itself mentions how we can know about God and know God through the love of neighbor and I think that's a reasonable conclusion.

The Bible itself mentions at least one case where someone got to know more about God by listening to a donkey. I rather doubt that we'd find consistent news about God that way, but it was at least one way. At least, if you take that story literally.

In my opinion, God reveals God's Self in many ways, such as are mentioned in the Bible, but not necessarily limited to those.

In reality, we are never told of any one method of "primary revelation," so, again I ask you: On what basis would we assume there must be a primary method? On whose authority?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

I'm not going to categorize the Apostles' eyewitness testimony as opinion just because it doesn't meet your impossible and asinine standards of evidence.

First of all, I'm not the one who said that the apostles eyewitness testimony is "opinion." I'm quite specifically talking about OUR opinions, not theirs.

I'm saying that YOU - Bubba J. Smith - DO NOT FACTUALLY, DEMONSTRABLY KNOW what the apostle's opinions factually were.

I'm speaking of YOUR and MY opinions, not theirs.

Secondly, why would you not answer simple questions and choose to dodge reasonable clarifications to what you're saying? You should know it sounds like you've backed yourself into a corner where you're bumping up against some cognitive dissonance, as if I'm making some sense and you have no good answers, now that you're understanding (almost understanding?) what I'm saying, so rather than dealing with reasonable, polite questions, you're opting to dodge and attack.

Regardless, I do not think it is in any way wrong to acknowledge the reality that I, DAN TRABUE and you, BUBBA, can not objectively demonstrate that Jesus literally rose from the dead or that your opinions about what Jesus thought are not objectively, demonstrably the SAME as Jesus' opinions, but rather, they are your opinions, as my opinions are my opinions.

There's no shame in admitting reality. Why wouldn't we admit that?

Craig said...

Dan,

Now I'll try to get to your questions.

"...on what basis would we presume there IS a "primary source..."?"

Well most reasonable people would agree that if God was going to provide humans a means to know about Him, and to live in away that was pleasing to Him, that there would be some sort of primary source for that information. SO in the absence of any other contender for the primary source, in conjunction to the number of times the Biblical text clearly purports to speak for God ("thus saith the Lord." "Truly, Truly, I tell you...", the most likely option is the Bible. Unless you have some other suggestion to consider.

Human tradition? I'm not sure that I would simply dismiss the evidence for the Bible as God's word as "human tradition", you might, I don't.

Why?

While the entire Bible is not a "rule book" there are clearly a number of "rules" that are given in it's pages. It seems like a bit of hubris to simply ignore what are clearly commands by simply being dismissive.

Because the text as written clearly treats it as a command. So, if it is a command, (again the vast majority of Christian scholarship and teaching would disagree with you. Although I'm sure you could provide many sources to support your opinion), then it must be a command that can be carried out. Given that, how (theoretically), would one make disciples if there is nothing more that subjective opinion to study?

Why?

Because, I suspected that your answer would be pretty much what it was. That essentially, you have nothing to offer a seeker but some random bits of wisdom that you subjectively find to be meaningful. It seems as though Christ was certainly spreading a message with more meat that "Here's some cool teaching from this cool guy.". Seems like Jesus, and the apostles occasionally mentioned things like sin, salvation, repentance, etc. Where do those things figure in your "gospel"?

"Are you suggesting you prefer the "I am speaking for God and God wants you to do X, Y and Z and you better do it because if you don't, then you're doomed to an eternity in torment for disagreeing with what I think is what God says..."?"

Nope.

"I don't find that approach to evangelism compelling in the least. Indeed, I find it to be arrogant and in a spirit contrary to a reasonable interpretation of Jesus' teachings. In my opinion."

Shocking, truly shocking.

"Do you think that our opinions about God's opinons DO fall into the objectively provable category,.."

I don't think that "opinions" are objectively provable. The problem is that you have unilaterally decided that any and all attempts to discern the meaning of scripture are automatically "subjective opinion" and therefor unprovable. When you start from that point, of course you get the result you want. But, if you'd try to be a little open minded and take a look at the various books that examine the evidence to support the Biblical claims, you just might be surprised. But as long as you define the standard of proof you will accept, the type of evidence you will accept, and that it is virtually impossible to have anything but a subjective opinion about the meaning of scripture, then you'll get the result you want each and every time.





Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

are you saying that the "Great Commission" is merely a suggestion for a certain place and time? Are you suggesting the Jesus do not actually teach in any sort of universal sense that we are to evangelize those who are lost?

I'm saying,

1. The "Great Commission" is a title inserted by later editors, it is not an original title of Jesus' words at the end of his ministry.

2. That Jesus' taught just what I noted earlier, that while we are going out, we should pass on the teachings of Jesus. The good news. THAT is evangelism (telling the good news) and as a follower of Jesus' teachings, I believe in doing that, as best as I understand it. And I do that. It's what I'm doing here, in part. Passing on the good news of grace in the face of our human limitations.

3. We are to pass on the good news to all. Good news for the poor, Jesus proclaimed, healing for the sick, forgiveness for the sinner, release for the captive, the day of Jubilee. For in the good news of God's grace, of God's love and forgiveness, we find salvation for we who have lost our way.

4. So, no, I do not believe that this teaching of passing on the good news was time and place specific. It was for all who believe in Jesus' way, it seems to me.

Why do you ask?

Craig...

So, in the unlikely event that you would "evangelize"...

I do evangelize, regularly. Not unlikely at all.

...you really could offer nothing that is in any way more than "here's my opinion, if you agree great, if not that's great also."?

What SHOULD I offer, beyond my opinion? What do you offer, beyond your opinion?

I mean, we both may point to the Bible, as well as the Church (at her better moments) as a source of wisdom/insight/revelation, and I certainly do that which is beyond just my opinion. But I was assuming that as a given.

The difference might be, I do not say, "Here is MY interpretation of Scripture and MY interpretation of Scripture is the same as God's and, as such, MY opinion is an objective fact..." rather, I point to Jesus and grace and say, "Amen, right?"

Are you saying that you would present Jesus as some sort of wise sage? Or would you present Jesus as God incarnate? If asked how would you make the case, or would you?

I believe Jesus is the son of God, who so loved the world, that he came to live with us, showing us a better way. NOT the way of salvation by brute strength. NOT the way of salvation by being perfectly right on my opinions about God. But the way of salvation by sweet Grace, through faith in this Jesus, whom I follow, whose teachings I strive to follow, by God's grace.

Jesus as wise sage? Sure, absolutely. Jesus as son of God? Sure, absolutely. Both/and.

Why do you ask?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

most reasonable people would agree that if God was going to provide humans a means to know about Him, and to live in away that was pleasing to Him, that there would be some sort of primary source for that information.

"Most reasonable people..." Says who? What is your source for that claim? The Bible? God tell you that? Just your opinion?

I'm fine with it as your opinion, as long as you admit it as such and note that you have no data to support it. It's a guess.

That is a fine guess. God might well have done that. God might also communicate through the Holy Spirit in such a way as to be clear and so that we would need no text, which might be wrongly interpreted. Right? Why might God not do that?

Or God and God's Ways might be so clear and simple and grand that God and God's ways are clearly discernible through our innate created-by-God human minds and in God's Creation, so that might also be a reasonable guess as a "primary" source.

We could make a case for each of these, if we're just guessing/offering unsupported ideas. Or, indeed, we might make the case that God reveals God's Self in many ways, in all these ways and more. And that none of them are especially "primary..." but they're all useful, helpful, necessary.

You know, like the Bible teaches, literally speaking.

Craig said...

Contd.


"I never said this and don't believe it..."

Not in so many words. However, you have said that anyone who purports to speak for God is delusional. The Bible is full of people who purport to speak for God. Many people today will affirm that the words attributed to God is the Bible are actually what they purport to be. Ergo, you are clearly implying that anyone who claims to speak for God or who affirms scripture commands as literally from God is delusional.

Your problem is, that you can't provide any factual evidence to support your underlying claim. Therefore in the absence of evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that your insistence that people are actually saying they they are speaking for God is a bit delusional in itself.

"...can you answer:"

I can and will if you'd be patient enough to allow me to read your questions and come up with a response.

"Do you have a problem with the notion that our opinions about what God thinks are "mere" opinions, not demonstrably provable?"

In theory, no. My problem is and has been the fact that you have established this construct that automatically labels anything you are uncomfortable with as opinion, and therefore you can simply dismiss it without providing any substantive reason for your dismissal. Further, the fact that you continually make statements, but when asked to support them you hide behind "It's just my subjective opinion." or "It seems to me..". It's a cop out, that lets you tell others that they are wrong without actually having to provide the same level of evidence that you demand. Quite honestly, it seems to me that it's just cowardice.

Is it because it makes you feel less certain in your faith and you prefer to think that your opinions are MORE than "mere" opinions? If you were consistent in providing the same support you ask from others and not arbitrarily labeling others points as "subjective opinion" and therefore dismissing things without actually refutation them.

To be clear, I have no problem with you limited underlying point. I have huge issues with the inconsistency with which you apply it.

"Is it because it makes you feel less certain in your faith and you prefer to think that your opinions are MORE than "mere" opinions?"

No, but thanks for the condescending psychoanalysis.

I think that gets all of your questions asked before my last comment.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I'll give you this, you're at least consistent. I didn't think you'd have the gut's to admit that there is essentially no objective history beyond the recent past.

Objectively, demonstrably speaking, Craig: DID Lincoln think African Americans were an inferior people? Or is it just the case that we can not say beyond all doubt?

Objectively, demonstrably factually speaking: WAS their an actual King Arthur? Or is it the case that we just can't say beyond all doubt?

Objectively, demonstrably speaking: Did Jonah actually get swallowed by a great fish? Which one?

Is it NOT the case that we simply, factually, can NOT state that these stories/ideas are not demonstrably factual?

If so, what is the problem with admitting it? You seem to be shocked - shocked! - that we would consider admitting the reality that we can't/don't know these as objectively demonstrable facts. Why does that trouble you so, if it's just reality?

OR, do you think it's NOT reality and that we CAN demonstrable objectively factually what Lincoln's REAL opinion about African Americans was? That we CAN demonstrably prove Jonah and King Arthur's existence?

IF you agree with me that we can't objectively demonstrate this (and that's just the reality of it all), why all the angst about admitting it?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

you are clearly implying that anyone who claims to speak for God or who affirms scripture commands as literally from God is delusional.

Not what I said. What I said was, people who can't tell the difference between reality and their opinion are not operating within reality.

I factually don't know that the people in the Bible did not understand the difference between reality and their opinions, so I make no judgments on them.

Craig...

Your problem is, that you can't provide any factual evidence to support your underlying claim.

Craig, tell me: WHAT do you think my "underlying claim" is? Because I sort of doubt that you are understanding it.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Human tradition? I'm not sure that I would simply dismiss the evidence for the Bible as God's word as "human tradition", you might, I don't.

Not what I said. If you can't read my words and understand what I'm saying faithfully, what makes you think you can understand the Bible?

I'm NOT "dismissing the evidence of the Bible as God's Word..." I BELIEVE the Bible to be "God's Word" (ie, God's revelation to us). I'm dismissing the claim that "the Bible is the PRIMARY way God reveals God's Self" as definitive. The Bible does not teach it. God has not demanded it. Why would we demand it?

On whose authority? On what basis?

That's the question you missed, Craig: IF the Bible does not make this claim/demand; IF God has not told you this; on what basis are you presuming that there is a "primary" source? It appears you seem to be appealing to an unsupported claim of "most rational people" as your reason. Is that it? Because you hold the opinion (not demonstrably supported) that "most" rational people might think this, if we were to ask "most" rational people?

Who would get to pick the rational people?

Want to try again, without the condescending snark?

Craig...

That essentially, you have nothing to offer a seeker but some random bits of wisdom that you subjectively find to be meaningful. It seems as though Christ was certainly spreading a message with more meat that "Here's some cool teaching from this cool guy.".

What do you have to offer that I don't, Craig? Your opinion on what the Bible does and doesn't say? What else?

Craig...

Seems like Jesus, and the apostles occasionally mentioned things like sin, salvation, repentance, etc. Where do those things figure in your "gospel"?

Certainly, that we are flawed, needy human beings in need of forgiveness and salvation, that is part of the story Jesus tells repeatedly. Certainly, the need for repentence is part of the story, as is the assuredness of forgiveness, even if we don't "know objectively" all of God's opinions 100% correctly. Because it is about GRACE through FAITH, not perfect knowledge and certainty.

Amen?

Craig said...

"In my opinion, God reveals God's Self in many ways, such as are mentioned in the Bible, but not necessarily limited to those."

Interesting, your primary source to suggest that the Bible is NOT the primary source, is the Bible. You don't find that a bit of circular reasoning?

"In reality, we are never told of any one method of "primary revelation," so, again I ask you: On what basis would we assume there must be a primary method? On whose authority?"

I've already answered this, and see no reason to do so again.

So, why not try again. How about you make some suggestions for other "primary sources" that you haven't found in the Bible.

#1. Duh, I never said it was. I was using it as most do as a "title" that references the specific scripture. It is simply a matter of trying to type less. Unfortunately that ridiculous digression blew that out of the water.

2. That is your opinion of what Jesus taught, based on your interpretation of other scriptures. The scripture in question clearly says "make disciples", which in context is a fairly specific process which requires a degree of dedication not found in your hunch.

3. Again, what does this have to do with anything/ It's simply a digression. But, I'll play along. What was Jesus "good news to the poor"? How many poor did Jesus raise out of poverty? How many poor could have been provided for had the expensive perfume been sold rather than poured on Jesus feet? What is Jesus economic plan to eradicate poverty? Why did He say "The poor will be with you always?"? Was His "good news" that there would always be poor?

"Why do you ask?"

for clarification.

"What SHOULD I offer, beyond my opinion?"

Jesus came offering "Life to the full.", not opinion. Jesus came offering hope, not opinion.


"What do you offer, beyond your opinion?"

I can offer nothing but to try to point folks toward the actual literal Jesus and the forgiveness, hope, and life available through Him. As someone once said, "I'm just a poor beggar trying to help other poor beggars find some food.".

"Why do you ask?"

Clarification, why else?

"Says who?"

I'd start with the God inspired writers of scripture, then move on through the vast majority of Christian thought and scholarship over the last 2,000 plus years. Honestly, that's enough for me.

"What is your source for that claim?"

Answered.

"The Bible?"
Answered.

"God tell you that?"

In a sense, but not in the condescending snarky way you mean.

"Just your opinion?"

No, I've got plenty of company on this one.

"Right?"

Sure, God might have carved His message into your chest with a machete too, so.

"Why might God not do that?"

I've stated before that God can do anything. He's God. I'm not the sort to put limits on Him. However, there is absolutely no evidence that this would be His primary means of communication. If it was that it sure seems like He's done a poor job. Again, until you can come up with an alternative that doesn't come with the Bible as it's primary source, you're just playing word games.

"We could make a case for each of these,..."

You could, except that your "primary source" for these opinions is from the Bible. So your back to exactly what you deny.

"And that none of them are especially "primary..." but they're all useful, helpful, necessary."

OK, and your source for this nugget is???????

"You know, like the Bible teaches, literally speaking."

Fairly epic fail. If you want to demonstrate that the Bible is not the "primary source", it would be much more compelling if you didn't use the Bible to make your case.

Now, the question pendulum has swung to your side. I'll wait until you catch up.




Dan Trabue said...

I had asked...

"Do you have a problem with the notion that our opinions about what God thinks are "mere" opinions, not demonstrably provable?"

And Craig answered...

In theory, no.

Stopping there for JUST a moment... THAT is all I'm saying. NO, our opinions are not demonstrably provable, my, your and Glenn's opinions about Adam and Eve are not objectively demonstrable, but they are OUR opinions, for better and worse.

Like I said, I have to believe that really everyone here (with possibly Glenn as the exception) is connected enough with reality to acknowledge this basic reality, but it's like pulling teeth to get just this far.

Now, once we have established that, you express this concern...

...My problem is and has been the fact that you have established this construct that automatically labels anything you are uncomfortable with as opinion

But you just agreed that it WAS/IS opinion. Glenn has an unprovable opinion about Adam and Eve and a six day creation. You and Marshall also have opinions about that, as do I. We all have opinions about this and none of them are demonstrably provable. What is wrong with labelling as "opinion" that which IS "opinion..."?

And, to be clear, it's not that I'm "uncomfortable" with your opinions, it's that I disagree with how reasonable they are. Since you and I are both holding unprovable opinions, I can't really say that your opinion is objectively wrong (on Adam and Eve, for instance, whatever your opinion might be), but I can say that I may not find the case for your opinion as compelling as my case, subjective and unprovable though they both may be.

So, what is the problem with "labelling as opinion," an opinion?

...

Dan Trabue said...

Continuing, you said...

, and therefore you can simply dismiss it without providing any substantive reason for your dismissal.

If Glenn offers as an opinion, "The world was created in six 24 hour days and I BELIEVE this (not "know" it, but believe it, even though I can't objectively demonstrably prove it) because of the words in Genesis..." then I dismiss it NOT for no substantive reason, but because I do not find his reasoning compelling. I, too, have read Genesis and it does not read, to me, like hard fact, but like myth. And JUST LIKE Marshall "dismisses" Jesus' literal words in favor of figurative ones because it seems most rational to him, I dismiss this literal creation story because my understanding seems most rational to me.

What is the difference between how Glenn, Marshall and I all reach our subjective, unprovable opinions and "dismiss" the others' opinions as not reasonable enough to buy into?

Further, the fact that you continually make statements, but when asked to support them you hide behind "It's just my subjective opinion." or "It seems to me..". It's a cop out...

But when I am talking about MY OPINION about, for instance, the Genesis story, that it reads like myth, it IS my unprovable opinion. TO ME (and others like me), it sounds like other myths. I can point to the other stories I'm speaking of and show why it sounds reasonable to me that it's in a mythic form ("...and that is why the snake crawls on the ground...," "and that is how the leopard got his spots...," "and that is how we came to speak in many languages...," "and that is why the sun sets at the days end.." etc) and I can point to the hard evidence that the earth is NOT 6,000 years old, but many billions of years old, etc, but I can't "prove" to you that this sounds mythic to me. It just does. It is MY opinion. How is having an opinion - and ADMITTING it's an opinion - a cop out? If something "seems to me" to be most reasonable, then that is the direction I go until I no longer see the rationality in going that direction.

I used to find it "most reasonable" to believe that when the Bible says, "men should not lay with men" and in the gang rape story in Sodom/Gomorrah, etc... that the "most reasonable" position to take was to assume that God was condemning any and all gay behavior, for all times and places. As I got older and looking at it more indepth, I came to doubt the reason of that, and eventually, got to where I don't find that reasonable at all. And so, it NO LONGER SEEMS reasonable TO ME.

This is the same reasoning that you all have for holding to your positions, right?

What is wrong with that?

Craig said...

RE: Lincoln and Arthur. Thank you for agreeing with my original point.

In case you forgot my original point, it is that according to your arbitrary standard of "undeniable" "objective" evidence that will "convince anybody" no mater how skeptical, virtually the entirety of what we consider history moves from factual "modern history" to subjective opinion.

As I said I'm impressed you're willing to stake this claim.

" WHAT do you think my "underlying claim" is? Because I sort of doubt that you are understanding it."

Your underlying claim is that there is a difference between "fact" and "opinion". Specifically as it applies to scripture.

The logical conclusion would be that anyone who claims to speak for God would, using your starting point be delusional. Since many folks in the Bible claim to speak for God, it logically follows that (at minimum) it is possible they are delusional. But since we can't actually know, then we just treat it as some guy's subjective opinion, not as a literal word from God.

To be specific you can't provide "objective", "undeniable", evidence to support your contention that Fact and opinion are the only two options. Nor can you account for the fact that there is bound to be some overlap between the two.

"If you can't read my words and understand what I'm saying faithfully, what makes you think you can understand the Bible?"

Fortunately that shouldn't be a problem, because I demonstrably did not say what you want me to have said. I literally said, "You might, I don't"

If you can't read my words and understand what I'm saying faithfully, what makes you think you can understand the Bible?

"On whose authority? On what basis?"

Answered. I'm not going to answer the same thing over and over.

"What do you have to offer that I don't, Craig?"

I've answered this, see above.

I'll say this, if all I could offer is some namby pamby equivocal opinion, I'm not sure I'd even bother. But that's just me.

"Amen?"

Sure, you just forgot that part in your earlier answer.

Look, if you've moved into the part where you just ask the same questions over and over again, please don't waste either of out time. If you're going to answer questions great.

But for now I'm done.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Interesting, your primary source to suggest that the Bible is NOT the primary source, is the Bible. You don't find that a bit of circular reasoning?

Not. What. I. Said.

I did not say the "primary source" for determining what the primary source is is the Bible. I cited biblical texts that spoke of many ways God reveals God's Self because,

1. It supports the notion that we don't necessarily have one "primary source" for understanding about God, and,

2. Because you all value citing biblical proof texts;

My primary reason for not believing we have a given-by-God "primary source" is that I have no reason to think it.

Again, if someone questions me belligerently "Why DON'T you think placing the Bible on someone's head to heal illness is our primary source of healing...," my answer would be the same: I have no reason to think this. Why would I?

So, that sort of dismisses most of your responses in that particular comment. I did not cite the Bible because it is a "primary source," I cited it because even IT does not say what you are suggesting, and if the TEXT does not suggest it and God has not suggested it, WHY WOULD I?

On whose authority?

You fail to answer.

Craig said...

"So, what is the problem with "labelling as opinion," an opinion?"

I've already answered this. I choose not to do so again.

"This is the same reasoning that you all have for holding to your positions, right?"

No.

"What is wrong with that?"

In my opinion the problem with your construct is it allows you to act like Glenn or Marshall or Bubba or whoever, have not offered support for what you label "subjective opinion". While you offer no support for your opinion. Quite the contrary, you seem to revel in the "It's MY opinion, it makes sense to ME and that's all that matters", side of things.

I've noted before that there are plenty of resources on evaluation the Bible on the basis of evidence. One such book was written by the preeminent expert in the US on legal evidence. He was an atheist who was challenged to apply the tests for legal evidence to the gospels. When he did, he became a Christian. Now, many people might have pursued this in case there was evidence out there that might modify there preconceptions. You, simply ignore it. Why, I don't know. I suspect that you are worried that you might find something compelling that would challenge your assumptions.

What can you provide, to support your "subjective opinion", so far essentially nothing. Why is that? I have my opinions, but I don't know.

Look, your happy living in a world where all you need is "It's MY opinion, I find it compelling, I don't find any others compelling, so I'M going to stick with what seems right to ME.". Great, fine if that's all it takes to satisfy you, be proud, just don't act like folks who want something more concrete have something wrong with them.

Again, I've got no more time for answering the same questions over and over.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Your underlying claim is that there is a difference between "fact" and "opinion". Specifically as it applies to scripture.

No. Craig. That is NOT my underlying claim, at least it doesn't sound like it. Let me repeat:

My underlying claim is that, IF someone can't distinguish/acknowledge the difference between, "I hold this opinion about Topic X, and my opinions is demonstrably objective" and "I hold this opinion about Topic X, and my opinion is my unprovable opinion... I think it's a reasonable opinion, but MY OPINION is not objectively demonstrable..." if they can't understand that difference, they have a disconnect from reality.

Is that what you meant to say?

So, given my actual underlying claim, you stated...

Your problem is, that you can't provide any factual evidence to support your underlying claim.

So, are you saying I can't provide any factual evidence for my underlying claim that people who can't understand the difference between factually demonstrable and their opinion have a problem with reality?

Well, it is my opinion that if you can't distinguish between reality and opinion, you DO have a problem with reality. It's sort of a tautology. What sort of evidence do you need?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

In my opinion the problem with your construct is it allows you to act like Glenn or Marshall or Bubba or whoever, have not offered support for what you label "subjective opinion". While you offer no support for your opinion

Craig, are you serious? I have spent YEARS and written VOLUMES explaining support for why I hold my position.

In the very comment we are talking about, I pointed out that my reason for thinking that Genesis sounds mythic is that it reads similarly to other myths from the time and because it does not conform with the facts as best I know them.

Now, you may disagree with the support for my reasoning, but you simply can NOT say I have not offererd support. What does it take for it to be considered "support" for you?

I have written volumes about the biblical and moral reasons why I no longer believe the traditional view against gay folk marrying is rational - I've noted that it is contrary to basic morality, that it is an infringement of rights, that I do not believe that folk who cite the Bible are rightly dividing the Word of God and I've offered reasons why I think thusly. I've noted the positive case for marriage - that marriage is an obvious social good, it is a - THE, in my opinion - healthy and right place to exercise our sexuality... I'v enoted the negative case against opposing marriage - that denies gay folk a healthy place to exercise their sexuality and wrongly stigmatizes a whole group of people in an immoral manner.

I could go on, but we'll let it go at those two examples. You may not agree with my reasoning and conclusion, but you can't say that I have not offered reasons. Demonstrably, factually in the real world I have.

What do you even mean by that?

Craig said...


Sorry, I can't help it.

"I cited biblical texts that spoke of many ways God reveals God's Self because,..."

So, the ONLY source you cite to demonstrate that the Bible is not the primary source for information about god is,"biblical texts".

You have cited absolutely NOTHING except for the Bible to support your hunch.

1. You realize that this actually makes no sense. If (as you contend) the bible makes no claims about it's primacy or authority, then how can you cite the Bible (which makes no claims about it's primacy or authority) as evidence that it is not a primary and authoritative source.

2. If the Bible makes no claims about it's primacy and authority, where would one find a proof text that demonstrates that the Bible is not the primary source.

"My primary reason for not believing we have a given-by-God "primary source" is that I have no reason to think it."

The key words in that sentence are "I" and "MY". To be clear, no one is requiring that you believe this, just that you provide some "objective" "undeniable" evidence that your version is more likely.

"You fail to answer."

You fail to read.

Craig said...

"What does it take for it to be considered "support" for you?"

Something beyond "It seems to me..."

Something that suggests that thousands of years of Jewish and Christian scholarship is wrong.

Something, from a peer reviewed scientific scholarly journal.

"Objective" "undeniable" evidence.

"I pointed out that my reason for thinking that Genesis sounds mythic is that it reads similarly to other myths from the time..."

You have to realize that this is not evidence. Justification, maybe. Rationalization,probably. Evidence, not even close. Maybe, if you had some sort of credentials in ancient literature or something, this might carry some weight, but "It sounds mythic to an untrained layman", is most definitely not evidence.

"...and because it does not conform with the facts as best I know them."

You've just made it clear that the "facts" when it comes to ancient history are certainly not facts in the supported by "objective", "undeniable" evidence. So, where can you direct me to some "undeniable", "objective" facts that support your contention?

"...you simply can NOT say I have not offererd support"

Well if you count "It sounds mythic to me" as support, then sure.

"What do you even mean by that?"

In this case I'll make an exception and answer a question I've already answered.

What I mean, is that you demand a level of "proof" from others that you refuse to provide for your own positions. Then when asked, you hide behind "It seems to me..." or "it's just MY opinion.".



Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Something, from a peer reviewed scientific scholarly journal.

Really? When ALL the scientific scholarly community (aside from those who are starting out with an agenda to prove the Bible is "literal") says that the earth is NOT 6,000 years old, not even close, nor was it "formed" in "six 24 hour days," that does not count? Because, while I don't push that, typically, it certainly is there.

Beyond that, when it comes to sounding mythic or Marshall's "it sounds figurative to me," what do we HAVE but our opinions about how it sounds to us?

It's not like there exists a great "figurative/literal" measuring machine that we can insert text and have it spit out a finding.

Jesus' words in Luke 6 SOUND literal to me. They SOUND figurative to Marshall.

Genesis SOUNDS figurative to me. It SOUNDS literal to Glenn.

What "evidence" have those fellas offered for their "sounds to me" from what scholarly journals?

This is my point, Craig: We are pitting UNPROVABLE opinion against UNPROVABLE opinion. What have any of you all offered to "prove" that Genesis or Jonah are rightly considered literal history? ANYTHING? Tradition, okay, anything else? Anything solid and provable? Anything from a scholarly journal?

On the other hand, I can offer almost the entirety of the scientific community stating (at least to them - I'm not a science guy) hard data that shows the world is not 6,000 years old, based on data.

You seem to be demanding criteria for my "support" that you don't demand for yourself.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Then when asked, you hide behind "It seems to me..." or "it's just MY opinion.".

It's NOT HIDING if it is factually, MY OPINION.

And I do not demand anything from your comrades when they offer THEIR OPINION. I readily concede that they are welcome to their opinions. It's only when they say things like, "It's objectively factual and I can not be mistaken on this point..." that I ask for hard data.

No inconsistency on my part, you?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

The key words in that sentence are "I" and "MY". To be clear, no one is requiring that you believe this, just that you provide some "objective" "undeniable" evidence that your version is more likely.

It is an UNPROVABLE belief, on my part, on your part that the Bible is (or isn't) the "primary source" for knowledge about God. We hold OUR OPINIONS, but we can NOT prove them, not demonstrably, objectively. Are you saying you want me to provide "objective, undeniable" data for something for which I say (and reality supports) there IS NO hard data to support?

Read closely and understand:

IF someone says, "WE must jump on one foot and fart in the key of C to cure cancer," I say, "I have NO reason to believe that." And I don't.

IF someone says, "The Bible 'clearly' teaches that we should stand on one foot and fart in the key of C to cure cancer," I say, "I have NO reason to believe that. Why would I?"

If someone offers ANY ideas as if they were objectively true about the Bible and the Bible does not say anything to that effect, I will reasonably say "I have no reason to believe that, why would I?" I may well cite biblical passages that say THE OPPOSITE or contradict what they're saying, NOT because the Bible is the "primary source," but because THEY are citing the Bible.

If someone says, "The Koran is the primary source for our knowledge about God" and I was familiar enough with the Koran to know that it does not claim that and if, like the Bible, it cites many ways of knowing about God, I would just as likely cite those Koranic passages, NOT because the Koran is the "primary source," but because THEY were citing the Koran and it demonstrably does not teach what they claimed.

And I would reasonably ask, "WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE THAT if it does not even teach that about itself? ON WHAT BASIS?"

That same question remains unanswered by you. Because "most rational people" would think this, you say, in your unsupported opinion.

Well, you are welcome to your unsupported hunch, but there's nothing solid there for me to make me want to agree with that hunch.

Craig said...

"You seem to be demanding criteria for my "support" that you don't demand for yourself."

Not at all. I've asked nothing specific from you. I answered YOUR question, based on the type of things that folks on your side of things typically ask for as proof. By your own standards of evidence you can't offer the type of evidence you demand ("objective" and "undeniable") as to the age of the earth. I'm aware of the controversy over the age of the earth, and of the limitations of dating methods. Please, take this opportunity to prove me wrong. Provide "undeniable","objective" evidence that gives a reasonably precise age of the earth. What I suspect you'll find is one more version of "I don't know the right answer, but I know you are wrong.". Again, "Undeniable", "objective" reasonably precise evidence of the age of the earth.

"Because "most rational people" would think this, you say, in your unsupported opinion."

Actually, if you look closely you will find that I expanded on this statement, at least in a general sense. I'd easily and happily provide you with plenty of folks who support my opinion, but of past history is any clue, you would simply dismiss anything I would provide. So I'll not invest the time,

I'm still waiting for answers to unanswered questions.

Craig said...

Dan,

What I am about to post is a series of quotes that support the various positions offered by myself and others. While they do not meet your arbitrary "undeniable","objective" standard, they do demonstrate that the views I express are not some random unsupported opinions conjured up from this air.

Oh, and one other thing they have in common, they are all from statement of faith documents from various Anabaptist groups. I'm sure that being the doctrinaire Anabaptist you claim to be that you will find little to disagree with.

Craig said...

We believe that the God of creation and redemption has revealed Himself and His will for men of all time in the Holy Scriptures. His supreme and final revelation is in His Incarnate Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the complete and word-for-word inspiration of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament as the Word of God, that the Bible is authentic in its matter, authoritative in its counsels, inerrant in its original writings, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit recorded divine truth without any error. We believe in the unity of both covenants and that the New Covenant is the culmination and climax of all revelation.

We believe the Genesis account of creation is a historic fact and literally true, that in the beginning God created all things by His Son, that God upholds all things, and that all things were created for His pleasure. We believe God created man in His own image with a free will, moral character, a superior intellect, and a spiritual nature that sets him apart from the animal creation.
We believe that one is saved by the grace of God and not by character, law, good works, or ceremonies. The merits of the death and the resurrection of Christ are adequate for the salvation of all, offered to all, and intended for all. Man receives salvation only by faith in Christ. Those who repent and believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord are born again, adopted into the family of God, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith involves a full surrender of the will, a confident trust in Christ, the giving of self to Him and joyful obedience to His word as a faithful disciple, and an attitude of love to all people. It is the privilege of every believer to have the full assurance of salvation through the keeping power of God.
We believe the Lord's Supper is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ to establish the new covenant. We recognise the bread and the cup as symbols that remind us of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Those who partake of these emblems remember the suffering of Christ, show a readiness for Christ's return, and demonstrate the fellowship and unity of the brotherhood. Because people who commune carelessly stand under the judgment of God, believers shall examine their own spiritual condition and give public testimony of peace with God and with their fellow men before each communion service. We believe in close communion with those who are united in faith with us. Only baptised believers who live in harmony with biblical standards should participate in the communion service. The Lord's Supper should be regularly and faithfully observed until the Lord returns.
We believe that at the creation God instituted the marriage of one man with one woman. It is God's will the marriage be monogamous, holy and indissoluble, except by death. Christians should marry only in the Lord. We further believe that God forbids divorce or marriages with divorce persons having former companions still living.
The Bible is the Word of God and is the only infallible guide for man. It is divinely inspired, true, and authoritative. It is a direct revelation from God concerning Himself, His will, and His ways.
The Genesis account of the creation is true. This simple yet profound revelation must be received by faith. The theory of evolution, which teaches a continuous natural development from the lowest to the highest forms of life, is a contradiction of the teachings of the Bible.
Man was created as an intelligent being by a direct act of God. He was made in the image of God and was given the power of choice. Through sin he fell from fellowship with God, and in his fallen state is

Craig said...

Man was created as an intelligent being by a direct act of God. He was made in the image of God and was given the power of choice. Through sin he fell from fellowship with God, and in his fallen state is estranged from God. However, God in mercy provided a way that man could again be reconciled to Himself.
The new birth is the cornerstone of the doctrine of salvation. Those who by faith and true repentance accept the atoning work of Christ are redeemed from sin and are born again. God fills the born-again heart with peace, assurance of salvation, and grace. The new birth results in conversion from a sinful life to a life that brings forforth the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This is the only entrance into the kingdom of God.
The church has been given a commission to declare and publish the gospel throughout the whole world. Inspired by a love for the salvation of mankind, she faithfully teaches the Word of God and baptizes those who accept and believe the gospel.th the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This is the only entrance into the kingdom of God.
Paul states in Romans 3 that the Jews were entrusted with the very words of God, and his Word is truth, not myth or fabrication If we believe the world is millions of years old and that humans evolved, then we are stuck with very unintelligent predecessors. But if God made humans and they were the best and brightest (Gen. 11:6), then we can believe that the ancient ones were able to keep the accounts handed down to them. This is foundational for believing God is who he says he is. If our faith is based on a book that we must decide which parts to believe and which parts are myth, it makes us gods, deciding wrong and right, good and evil. (Now where have we heard that before?)

I will take God at his Word. I am not ashamed of the gospel, and the gospel is creation as well as salvation (Rev. 14:6-7). If we believe the world is millions of years old and that humans evolved, then we are stuck with very unintelligent predecessors. But if God made humans and they were the best and brightest (Gen. 11:6), then we can believe that the ancient ones were able to keep the accounts handed down to them. This is foundational for believing God is who he says he is. If our faith is based on a book that we must decide which parts to believe and which parts are myth, it makes us gods, deciding wrong and right, good and evil. (Now where have we heard that before?)

In right faith the Great Commission is fundamental to The Holy Spirit is quite capable of communicating the events of creation, since the Spirit was a part of that event, as was the Son of God, Jesus, who quoted Genesis, stating Moses is the author. Jesus said that Moses wrote about him, but “if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” -
Paul states in Romans 3 that the Jews were entrusted with the very words of God, and his Word is truth, not myth or fabrication.
Such restoration, however, could be achieved only by unreserved obedience to the Great Commission as it had been manifested in the Early Church, “No words of the Master,” says Littell, “were given more serious attention by the Anabaptist followers than His final command.” The words of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16)

. . . seemed to point up His whole teaching in a glorious program comprehending the world. The pilgrim, familiar figure of the Middle Ages, was transformed in the fiery experience of the Anabaptists into an effective evangelist and martyr. His wandering foot-steps and shedding of blood came to be a determined if not always systematic testimony to the influences of lay missioners who counted no cost too dear to them who would walk in the steps of the Crucified.

individual confession and to a true ordering of the community of believers. The Master meant it to apply to all believers at all times. 5

Craig said...


The Anabaptists accepted the Great Commission as binding upon all believers.
Whenever a person committed himself to Christ as Lord, he actually made a commitment to carry out the Great Commission to the best of his ability. Thus not only the special Sendbote (commissioned messenger), but also the ordinary church member was at the time of his baptism charged with the responsibility of the expansion of the Christian faith.

The Anabaptists maintained that all must hear and have the opportunity to respond to the Gospel and voluntarily become members of the Believer’s Church and thus be saved from eternal {306} death. They based their conviction on Romans 10, following the argument of Paul: Man can believe only when he hears; he can hear only when someone preaches; preaching is always based on the Word of God and determined by the Church’s obedience to the Command of Christ. Therefore, they felt compelled to go and to preach. 7

Bubba said...

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. - Psalm 1:1-3

It's almost as if God's law is something that man can know.

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. - Luke 1:1-4

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. - I John 5:13

It's almost as if the Apostles and their closest companions were communicating the gospel message so that their readers might have confidence in KNOWING God's revealed truth in history. I don't know of any passage where the stated intent is only that the readers would hold certain opinions.

Indeed, one can be too rigid about what God did NOT clearly reveal in Scripture, e.g., whether the command to baptize disciples requires immersion or even an natural, outdoor body of water.

But there's a risk in going too far in the other direction, too.

It's a false humility to insist that we can know next to nothing with any certainty: it's a FALSE humility because it's based on the arrogant assumption that God cannot communicate clearly.

That kind of willful ignorance has a long and infamous history, seen quite clearly in Genesis 3:1 and John 18:38.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, if you know anything about anabaptists, you know that we believe in the priesthood of the believer and freedom of conscience. That is to say, there is no "anabaptists believe..." as if we were one bloc.

But indeed, some anabaptists do believe what you've cited. What of it? I'm not sure how it's relevant to my points which are, again (but more briefly):

1. It is reasonable to expect people to be recognize the difference between their opinions and objective demonstrable facts.

2. It is reasonable that, if someone is not able to distinguish between their opinions about a topic and thinking their opinions are objective demonstrable facts, to consider that person out of touch with reality and not desire too much in the way of conversation with them because, what's the point?

3. It is obvious that our opinions about what God thinks ARE our opinions, not "the word of God," nor an objective demonstrable fact. Similarly, we can not demonstrate objectively that Jonah, Adam or even God exists. Which is not to say that they don't/didn't objectively factually exist, but rather, we are wholly unable to demonstrably objectively prove that they did.

4. That recognizing that reality is not an attack on the church or your personal opinions about what God does or doesn't think or anything but just an acknowledgment of reality.

I'm not sure what this fixation on evangelism (which I do, but not the way you do it, most likely) has to do with any of this. It seems to be off topic and sort of out of nowhere.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

It's almost as if God's law is something that man can know.

I certainly think it is. I think it is an innate part of our created being, in all of humanity.

Generally, yes, we can know God's ways.

Specifically demonstrably objectively? No, no of course not.

BUT, if you think we CAN objectively demonstrably KNOW that Adam actually existed and the earth is 6,000 years old, or that Jonah was literally factually swallowed by a great fish, then by all means, demonstrate this objectively.

Again, you seemed to be almost to the point of acknowledging reality, Bubba, that, NO, we can NOT objectively demonstrate any of our opinions about what God thinks. And again, it's just reality.

If you COULD objectively demonstrate that Jonah existed or your opinion about God's opinion about men's haircuts or shrimp or marriage, then all you'd have to do is objectively demonstrate it. Poof! This conversation would be over and I would apologize, amazed that I didn't get your point earlier.

But the reality is we can not objectively demonstrate this opinion or that opinion about this topic or that topic is the ONE objectively right opinion. That's reality. What's the problem in acknowledging reality?

If you post verses saying "...but, this verse uses the word 'KNOW' so, so, THAT'S objectively demonstrating that I can KNOW MY position is the same as God's, right?" ...no, not so much. If that is the point of those passages.

I can cite passages, too, Bubba:

"But NOW, we see as through a glass, darkly. NOW, we know ONLY IN PART..."

But regardless of what quotes I offer or you offer, the reality is that our opinions about the interpretations of these passages are NOT DEMONSTRABLY OBJECTIVE and FACTUAL. They just aren't.

Are you ready to agree to that reality?

If not, then post a verse about a topic - ANY verse, ANY topic - and demonstrate objectively and factually that your interpretation of this verse IS THE ONE GOD-APPROVED and FACTUALLY OBSERVABLE to ALL people interpretation, regardless of opinions and biases. Or just demonstrate objectively that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. Or that Adam factually existed and the world is 6,000 years old this July.

You can't. I can't. It's just reality that OUR OPINIONS about UNPROVABLE points are NOT objectively demonstrably factual, not in the real world.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

While they do not meet your arbitrary "undeniable","objective" standard, they do demonstrate that the views I express are not some random unsupported opinions conjured up from this air.

And I'm sure they're fine opinions. What of it?

Are they demonstrably factually the ONE RIGHT opinion about what God thinks? Because that is what I'm speaking about.

If they are opinions about God's nature, then cool. I love reading opinions about God's nature, even when my opinion is a different flawed human opinion than their flawed human opinion.

So, what is the point, Craig?

Are you still not understanding my actual point?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

if you look closely you will find that I expanded on this statement, at least in a general sense. I'd easily and happily provide you with plenty of folks who support my opinion, but of past history is any clue, you would simply dismiss anything I would provide.

? I TRULY have no idea what you're speaking of. I have NO doubt that there are people out there whose flawed human opinions are similar to your flawed human opinions. What of it? I have not made the argument that there are people out there with opinions about various topics. I have not made the argument that there are not people out there whose opinions might agree with your opinions.

I've made the simple, obvious, reality-based claim: Our opinions about what God thinks are NOT objectively demonstrably correct. They may turn out to BE correct, but we can not demonstrate that they are.

That's all.

Craig...

Great, fine if that's all it takes to satisfy you, be proud, just don't act like folks who want something more concrete have something wrong with them.

"Concrete..."?

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

I'm not sure what questions of yours you think have gone unanswered, but if you point them out to me I'll be glad to answer them (or answer them again) as soon as you answer my unanswered questions.

Bubba said...

"It's just reality that OUR OPINIONS about UNPROVABLE points are NOT objectively demonstrably factual, not in the real world."

If I had an omelet for breakfast but couldn't "objectively demonstrate" that I did, it's only my opinion that I had an omelet, it's not a fact.

And if I disagree with your categorization of facts and opinions, I'm delusional and disconnected from "reality" and the "real world."

Never mind that you don't try to prove that your hare-brained assertion meets its own standards of proof -- or where have you "OBJECTIVELY DEMONSTRATED" that this claim of yours is fact and not just an opinion?

Can you not objectively demonstrate that all facts MUST be objectively demonstrated?

You're out of your gourd, Dan, and you're out of your depth.

You're embarrassing yourself, you halfwit.

Dan Trabue said...

You can name call all you want, Bubba, this point remains:

"It's just reality that OUR OPINIONS about UNPROVABLE points are NOT objectively demonstrably factual, not in the real world."

Do you actually disagree?

Why will you not answer the question I'm asking instead of erecting a bunch of strawmen to knock down?

IS it or is it not UNPROVABLE that Jonah was an actual fella who got swallowed by an actual "great fish..."?

It is objectively unprovable.

NOTE (because this is what you all still don't seem to get): THIS is not to say that Jonah was or wasn't an actual fella, it's simply noting the reality that it is not provable.

Therefore, given that reality (and it IS a reality), YOUR OPINION that "Jonah was a literal person" is NOT provable.

Fact or not?

Again, observably, demonstrably, in the real world, this is a fact.

NOTE: I have no position on Jonah's actual existence, so I have nothing to prove or disprove. My only position is that we can't prove Jonah's story tells a exactly literal, factual story or if it is more of a legend/epic storytelling style, but I have no reason to presume it must be taken literally.

IS there any reason why I must take it literally?

Factually, no. What could there possibly be?

IS there any reason to say, "IF you don't take the Jonah story literally, then you're not a good Christian and you don't love the Bible..."? No, of course not. At least nothing reasonable that I've seen offered as to why it MUST be taken literally.

That I can point to real world facts and just say, "I agree with reality," should not be anything weird or objectionable. That it IS so objectionable to you all suggests (TO ME, to be clear, and I can't prove it), suggests a delusion that is so grounded that you actually get physically upset at the mere suggestion that we ought to acknowledge reality and say, "No, we can't objectionably prove this opinion - that Jonah should be taken as a literally factual story..." It is a simple reality, but it seems to drive you fellas bonkers.

Why?

Does the fact that you all can't dispute the reality of my actual position and that it upsets you so that I hold it, does that not raise little red flags that perhaps you're overreacting?

Marshall Art said...

Dan said,

"... people who can't tell the difference between reality and their opinion are not operating within reality."

This statement holds no weight all by itself. The problem is that Dan assumed authority to decide when an opponent has demonstrated the inability to differentiate between fact and opinion. That would be bad enough, but he makes matters worse by offering nothing but the assertion. Basically, his position is "cuz I say so" when an explanation is requested after he makes the condescending statement. It is the crux of my objection to his lame New Year's resolution.

"IF the Bible does not make this claim/demand; IF God has not told you this; on what basis are you presuming that there is a "primary" source?"

The claim above being that the Bible is the primary source of God's revelation of Himself to us, I would point what you said earlier. How did you know that God's word in written on our hearts? How did you know that God reveals Himself through His creation? How did you know that the Spirit works in us? By what means did you come to know these things if not through Scripture? Assuming all these things are true, how can you expect to be certain that you would recognize what is written on your heart is from He who we know is God? What makes you so sure that you wouldn't disregard it as "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato"? And if you somehow stumbled upon the notion that it is indeed the word of God, what hard data would you have to support that opinion so as to lend credibility to the notion?

The Bible is our primary source because it contains all the details available to us to know and understand His will and nature. Nothing else does, unless you have hard data to prove otherwise.

"What do you have to offer that I don't, Craig?"

Certainty. Not ambiguity. A certainty brought about by a clear understanding of the written word, together with a few centuries of scholarly analysis and interpretation. Outside sources that add to the credibility of Scripture. Plus, and this pertains the issue at hand, clear means of supporting what we know to be true and factual regardless of whether or not people like Dan accept it.

"...even if we don't "know objectively" all of God's opinions 100% correctly."

Thus far, no one who has ever posted here from my side of the issues has ever claimed to know all of God's opinions 100% correctly, but that there is plenty we can know without a doubt due to the clarity with which it is presented and revealed to us in Scripture. Trying to dodge challenges regarding specific points by stating that we can't know everything about God is cowardly and deceitful, especially since no one has claimed such a thing.

"Like I said, I have to believe that really everyone here (with possibly Glenn as the exception) is connected enough with reality to acknowledge this basic reality, but it's like pulling teeth to get just this far."

IF you didn't ask manipulative questions that are no more than purposeful digressions from the real topic, you wouldn't have so much resistance. People don't like being f'd around. Try not doing that anymore and stay on topic.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

If I had an omelet for breakfast but couldn't "objectively demonstrate" that I did, it's only my opinion that I had an omelet, it's not a fact.

If you had an omelet for breakfast, then it IS an objective fact that you had an omelet. That is not my point.

If you can't prove that you had an omelet for breakfast, that does not change the objective reality that you had an omelet for breakfast. THAT is not my point.

(Are you with me so far? Because you all keep seeming to sort of get what I'm saying, only to relapse and start pointing to points I'm not actually making. Keep with me, we're almost there...)

IF you objectively had an omelet for breakfast, BUT you can NOT objectively demonstrate that you had that omelet...

THEN you can not objectively demonstrate that you had it.

That's it. That's all I'm saying. NOT that you did not have it, but only THE VERY THING YOU SAID (your words now):

"but couldn't "objectively demonstrate" that I did"

THERE! That's it. I'm just stating the very reality that you just stated: That IF you can't objectively demonstrate that you had it, THEN YOU CAN'T OBJECTIVELY DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU HAD IT.

It's a tautology. It's obvious. The only problem is you all aren't getting my actual point. You keep moving past the simple tautology that I'm actually talking about and then saying, "So, you're saying that means I didn't factually have it...??? That crazy!"

Yes, it would be crazy IF that is what I'm saying, but it's not.

I'm saying IF you can't prove it objectively, THEN you can't prove it objectively. That's all.

Can you NOW repeat back to me what my actual point is?

====

And before moving on, let me make one more point:

Your opinion about what God thinks or did is NOT equivalent to what you know you had for breakfast. You were there for breakfast. Presumably your memory is good enough that you can factually remember what you had for breakfast. Even if you can't objectively demonstrate it - you have no receipts, no leftovers, no evidence remaining of the omelet, you still can recall it.

When it comes to your opinion about God's opinion, there's no "original event" for you to recall. It's ALL your interpretation. And my interpretation.

So, just pointing out that your analogy fails on two points. First, it misses my actual point and targets an argument I'm not making (all the while pointing to the argument I AM making and missing it). Secondly, it's not an apt analogy for our opinions about God's opinions.

Not saying you were saying it is an apt analogy, just noting it for the record.

Marshall Art said...

"What is wrong with labelling as "opinion" that which IS "opinion..."?"

This came about as a result of you labeling cited facts as opinions. So the question is irrelevant. In essence, you're talking about something that hasn't been happening within most blog discussions of which you find yourself with us engaged.

"And, to be clear, it's not that I'm "uncomfortable" with your opinions, it's that I disagree with how reasonable they are."

And this is where the trouble begins as you fail to expend any effort in dealing directly with why you disagree, why your opinion might be more valid or any such thing. You simply dodge and evade with nonsense about people confusing fact with opinion. It's all so unnecessary considering it has been established that you disagree. Fine. We get that all too well. Get on with making your case. You never do.

Marshall Art said...

"And JUST LIKE Marshall "dismisses" Jesus' literal words in favor of figurative ones because it seems most rational to him"

You keep repeating this bullshit, and it in no way reflects anything I've ever said on the subject. My problem has been your use of Luke 6:20 & 24 to support your socialist economic position. But use of these verses for that twisted cause requires ignoring Matt 5, which puts the teachings in a different light entirely. This is especially ironic given your insistence that you understand verses in light of the whole of Scripture. This demonstrates yet again, that you only give lip service to rules for understanding Scripture, but don't follow them, especially if they don't support your ideologies.

This also supports the basic premise of my objections, so thanks for that.

Too late for more now. I can't keep up with you guys as I have to work for a living. I'll have to bring this all back to the point later. Carry on.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

This came about as a result of you labeling cited facts as opinions.

This is objectively false. It did not happen in the real world.

I guarantee it. Marshall has just bore a false witness.

Now, IF you can demonstrate ONE "fact" that I labeled as an opinion, I will gladly recant, repent and apologize for saying this is false. As it is, though, I'm saying BS. It did not happen in the real world.

Keep in mind the CRITICAL point that I don't believe you all have "got" yet: I'm not saying Adam and Eve or Jonah are not objectively factual (or that they are objectively factual). I'm saying that YOUR OPINION about their actuality (or whichever point we want to talk about) is NOT a demonstrable fact. It is YOUR opinion (or someone else's opinion) and can NOT be proven to be true in the real world as it exists.

So, Marshall, you just bore false witness. Objectively, factually so.

If I'm wrong, put up ONE bit of hard evidence that I labeled facts as opinions. I WILL apologize, but it has to be a real fact, not a "fact" that is "fact" by virtue of you thinking it is a fact.

Ball's in your court, big guy.

Marshall Art said...

OK. I know I implied I was done for now, but that was as regards posting comments. I meant to catch up with the remaining comments and came across this gem:

"I have written volumes about the biblical and moral reasons why I no longer believe the traditional view against gay folk marrying is rational - I've noted that it is contrary to basic morality, that it is an infringement of rights, that I do not believe that folk who cite the Bible are rightly dividing the Word of God and I've offered reasons why I think thusly. I've noted the positive case for marriage - that marriage is an obvious social good, it is a - THE, in my opinion - healthy and right place to exercise our sexuality... I'v enoted the negative case against opposing marriage - that denies gay folk a healthy place to exercise their sexuality and wrongly stigmatizes a whole group of people in an immoral manner."

What you've written doesn't come close to "volumes", unless you consider writing the same muddled crap over and over again as constituting volumes. But usually, volumes contain a hell of a lot more detail and explanation than you've ever provided. You simply type out the same unsatisfactory drivel.

Your "volumes" have served only to provoke far more questions and it is then that you default to all of your deceitful tactics of evasion, dodging and "my opinion" garbage. Again, your "volumes" are comprised of so little meat that they are no more than unsubstantiated assertions (surprise, surprise). What little you've provided in the way of "support" (I use the term loosely) is full of gaping holes you haven't the decency to even try to fill. It's why I've used Lev 18:22 as an example of the lameness of your resolution, as it proves how empty and worthless your "volumes" are if you refuse to expend any effort in supporting your opposition to the facts I presented regarding that verse.

Craig said...

"That is to say, there is no "anabaptists believe..."

Yet statements of faith from Anabaptists exist.

Unfortunately, you miss the point. In a 5 minute search I found enough support for the positions articulated just from Anabaptist sources to demonstrate that the positions I have advanced are positions that are supported within the larger Christian community. Not as you seem to suggest, just some opinion I cooked up out of this air.

"I'm not sure what this fixation on evangelism..." unfortunately this statement suggests that you didn't actually read the entirety of my comments, which seems to happen a lot. I was quite clear that the scope of the quotes covered most of not all of the topics where you have dismissed my positions as "subjective opinion". The great commission was one of those, as were several others. Unfortunately, you either didn't read closely, or chose to characterize my comments incorrectly.

Of course, much is still unanswered, but I'll be patient.

"Specifically demonstrably objectively? No, no of course not."

Can you provide any "objective", "undeniable" evidence to support this claim. Are you suggesting there is some crucial part of God's law that we can't know? Are you suggesting that the parts of God's law that we can "know" are somehow not sufficient? Are you suggesting some hidden surprise, Bible code law kind of thing? Are you suggesting that we can know God's law, but not know it objectively? Are you suggesting that we can know that some law exists, but that we can't know objectively if it's God's law?

I know more questions for you.

"What of it?"

You claimed that I couldn't provide support for my position, I did. Demonstrating that you were incorrect in your assumption. I intentionally left out the scriptural support for those statement, as I knew it was a waste of time to include it. So Theological support from the official positions of Anabaptist groups, check. Scriptural support for those positions, check.

"Are they demonstrably factually the ONE RIGHT opinion about what God thinks?"

I was exceedingly clear about what those citations were. If you want to add something that I did not, feel free, you obviously don't have a problem with it.

"Because that is what I'm speaking about."

Bully for you.

"So, what is the point, Craig?"

Good lord, you sure need to have things repeated a bunch don't you. I was quite clear about the point in the first comment, I've re-stated it at least twice since then. God help you if your too obtuse to figure out plain English.

"Are you still not understanding my actual point?"

Are you still not understanding that I'm not going to keep answering the same questions multiple times.

"? I TRULY have no idea what you're speaking of. "

then pay attention.

"Concrete..."?

"I don't think that word means what you think it means."

No offense, but I can guarantee you that I have more familiarity with concrete than anyone else in this conversation, so take your own advice and lay off the snark.

Craig said...

"I'm not sure what questions of yours you think have gone unanswered, but if you point them out to me I'll be glad to answer them (or answer them again) as soon as you answer my unanswered questions."

No I won't point them out, if you can't muster up the common courtesy to treat others as you expect to be treated, I'm not going to do for you what you should be capable of doing for yourself. Knowing that this dodge was coming I have intentionally gone through your comments line by line and answered every one of the questions you've asked me since your 5:01 comment yesterday. If you'd care to show me the same courtesy, fine. If not then don't expect it from anyone else.

Unless you were referring to questions you've asked since I got out of here earlier this evening, which I've answered now. I will admit, that I have not and will not answer the same question multiple times, so if that is where you think I've missed some, I haven't missed them. I just don't want to waste time in repetition.

Craig said...

"Now, IF you can demonstrate ONE "fact" that I labeled as an opinion, I will gladly recant, repent and apologize for saying this is false."

I've already provided actual literal objective evidence that you have presented opinion as fact. I'd be happy to provide more from this very thread if need be.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I've already provided actual literal objective evidence that you have presented opinion as fact..

demonstrate that the positions I have advanced are positions that are supported within the larger Christian community. Not as you seem to suggest, just some opinion I cooked up out of this air..


Clearly, you all are simply not understanding my actual point, no matter how many times I write it or how many different ways I express it, you KEEP referring to some point that I have not made.

For instance, Craig, if you read my actual words, you will see that I have not said you cooked up an opinion out of thin air. You can tell by the way I never said that.

And no, you have not presented one bit of demonstrably factual evidence that I have called opinion. That is a factually verifiable falsehood.

As with Marshall, that has not happened in the real world.

So, seeing as how no matter HOW many times I repeat my actual point or ask for objectively demonstrable evidence, you all are incapable of understanding reality.

Short of someone providing some actual evidence that is demonstrably objectively factual, good luck, fellas. I've tried and I tried. I can try no mo'.

Dan Trabue said...

For my likely final (and the 200TH! - when I am no further towards getting you to understand my position or reality), I will repeat for the last time my actual point, reducing it down to the main point that you all seem incapable of understanding:

I'm saying IF you can't prove it objectively, THEN you can't prove it objectively. That we are talking about unprovable position vs unprovable position on these many topics we've touched on.

That's all. Maybe if you keep reading that, and review my many variations of saying that, one day a dawning light will rise.

Peace, and Happy Lovers Day.

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