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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Monday, September 18, 2006

"The West is Doomed"

Political geniuses and moral paragons of virtue explain it all for us. Boy, this is sure beginning to sound familiar.

So, does this supposed collapse of the West, where most little girls can at least go to school without armed bands of maniacs burning down their school and/or chopping off the girls' heads, happen before or during the "death of evolution" (see left)?

Any time that William Dembski and the other purveyors of intelligent [sic] design want to give up their counterproductive fight for this pseudoscience and this vacuous theological argument, and join us rationalists in fighting for what's really important, I will welcome them. Until then, they bear some responsibility for the growing rapacious superstition that we see around us, whether or not they are members of the particular religious sect involved.

Any time, Uncommon Descenters. (Why "vacuous"? Not even my term. Check this out.)

56 Comments:

Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Many people believe in evolution without really knowing much about science. This is an unfortunate reality - that people would believe in evolution just because that is what they were spoon fed in public school.

The true scientist would hold to the scientific method. Thus, the true scientist would investigate and find that there are many problems with the hypothesis of evolution. Furthermore, they might be amazed by the ordered complexity of nature, and induce that the notion that ordered complexity just happened by chance - as a result of a really big explosion - is pretty far fetched. They would suspect that if there is information encoded into matter, that it probably didn't happen by chance. The notion of information arising spontaneously by chance seems very unscientific. I would suspect that most reasonable people don't believe that this message was composed by accident by a cat who might have walked back and forth across the keyboard. The level of ordered complexity contained within the message is much too complex for that.

But some would have us believe that non-living matter somehow morphed into living matter by chance and over time that morphed into DNA. Mmmmm... Call me crazy, but I'm skeptical.

http://meditationsofdan.blogspot.com/2006/05/on-evolution-and-intelligent-design-i.html

September 18, 2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

It’s good to be skeptical. However, I too would hold skeptical nonscientists to the scientific method as well. The scientific method is a fruit of the west that I would preserve and fight for.

William Dembski is not a scientist. However, he is a mathematician and has the opportunity to publish peer-reviewed mathematical models of his theories of CSI (Complex Specified Information) should he choose to. He does not choose to. He prefers to snow the general public with technical sounding jargon in best-selling books. I have a big problem with this.

After Dembski gave an interview on audiomartini saying, "We’ll see who’s getting the Nobel Prizes in fifteen years, evolutionists or intelligent design theorists," I contacted him personally to propose a bet. He showed initial interest, then never responded after I sent him my terms. And I’m neither a scientist nor a mathematician! (Being that he mentioned the Nobel Prize, my challenge was for him to get 7—only 7—legitimate scientific entities to reject nondirected evolution in favor of irreducible complexity. One wins Nobel Prizes by first winning over smaller scientific bodies.)

Dembski has a pattern of not responding to those who issue a legitimate challenge that he apparently cannot answer. His behavior seems quite disingenuous to me. Sometimes I wonder if he isn’t the atheist that I could never be, a man looking for God so hard that he creates one in which he then, paradoxically, cannot believe, since he seems compelled to spend so much time “proving” or constructing a being through non-revelatory means, a being who naturally acts as Dembski thinks that He should (and thus is not spiritually fulfilling).

As far as I’m concerned, evolution has nothing to do with atheism. I’m an atheist for completely different reasons than what science teaches (indeed I was one long before I ever heard of evolution). In fact, I see some parallels between evolution and Christianity that escape Dembski and his colleagues for some reason. (Whenever someone brings up the supposed impossibility of abiogenesis I am reminded of the parable of the mustard seed.)

I won’t go on and on, but there is profound irony in the fact that Dembski may have stumbled upon something worthwhile in his description of the EF (Explanatory Filter), which, while not detecting “design” as he claims, could be used to detect intentionality in higher animals. But when this is pointed out Dembski shows no interest in this possible research area, being that it won’t bring down “Darwinism” but rather would support it. What a lost opportunity.

Dembski is all hung up on chance. Chance is just a mechanism, as any other phenomenon is. It’s a mistake to equate chance with Biblical “Chaos.” Why does undirected evolution cause so much discomfort? A good Creator would not have to constantly step in to “direct” His creation. Christians are always saying that “His ways are not our ways,” but then deny that chance could be part of God’s way, simply because they don’t understand it. Chance has a pattern all its own, and so does turbulence, and so does entropy. I’m no longer a Christian, but one could argue that chance and entropy are a part of order, and that “Chaos” no longer exists.

September 18, 2006 2:52 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I know nothing about Dembski and so I will not seek to defend him or condemn him.

As an engineer, I will say that it takes a good bit of faith to hold on to the idea that ordered complexity arises spontaneously out of the results of a chaotic explosion by chance.

If you presuppose that there is no God guiding the whole process, then chance is all you are left with. But there is no reason to make that presumption. From a purely scientific mindset, maybe there's a God, maybe not. Many scientists believe in God; some don't.

So, a good scientist would make a hypothesis based on what seems to be most probable. In the movie Contact, receiving a message with information contained within it in the form of incoming electromagnetic waves from outer space led to the scientific community believing that intelligent life exists/existed somewhere in the universe, and had sent us a message. That is a reasonable hypothesis.

Yet evolutionists hold on to their hypothesis which hangs on chance - rather than suppose that an intelligent force was guiding everything.

For the life of me, that doesn't make sense. I'd like to think that even if I wasn't a Christian, that still wouldn't make sense. Ordered complexity just does not arise out of chaos - not to the extent that is required for life as we know it.

September 18, 2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

But you know-- this brings up a whole point. Why do Christian schools teach science to begin with?

It's obvious that they object to Science's world-view and they oppose its conclusions. I had a conversation last week with a high school student at a Christian private school-- she was studying for a test in Earth Science. Which brings up the point-- how old is the earth in Christian earth 'science'? Well, that's a good question, but the answer on the paper better be "six thousands years", or you're gonna get in serious trouble.

So, why even pretend to teach science, if they think Science is an evil tool of secularism?
--

That's the most frustrating part of intelligent design. If you say "God told me evolution is wrong", then at least you're being intellectuall honest. When you create a religiously-motivated belief system that masquerades as science, however, there's a certain dishonestly that I find quite distasteful.

September 18, 2006 3:07 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Marco,

We've had this discussion.

All truth is God's truth. We Christians aren't against science. We promote authentic science - with no fears. We (or maybe I should say I) are not afraid that science is going to debunk Christianity. Not in the least.

When science and theology are in conflict...

a. Someone was doing bad theology.
b. Someone was doing bad science.
c. Both
d. God did a miracle and suspended the laws of physics for a moment or two or whatever.

Studying science is great. Christians should fund science.

But we ought to make sure that what we call scientific theory really deserves to be called a theory. You had previously had a golden opportunity to prove evolution to me, and you did not do a very good job. I have no reason to believe a hypothesis. The burden of proof is on the scientist to prove his hypothesis via the scientific method. This has not happened with evolution. It is, in fact, taken on faith. Most people are trusting "those scientists out there." And those scientists out there did not prove evolution conclusively via the scientific method.

Say what you want about my Christian bretren who have tragically shut off their brains and spout ID rhetoric. But as right as you may be about that, that does not prove evolution.

September 18, 2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

What evidence would you have me produce?

Ever piece of evidence for evolution that we've looked for is there. Fish with legs, dinosaurs with feathers. more fossils than we could ever count of species in-betweens of living species. Carbon dating and sedimentary dating both come back just as we would expect.

What more evidence could I give you? If there were whole new species arising before our eyes,within a human lifetime, that were TOTALLY unlike anything previously living, then it would disprove our current understand of evolution. If there were absolutely NO holes in the fossil record, it would disprove our current understanding of evolution or geology.

What more could we possibly give you? Survellience camera footage that aliens have recorded over the past billion years, which shows life evolving?

September 18, 2006 5:07 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

While we argue, some al Qaeda dickweed is eating a gyros that should have come to me.

September 18, 2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Okay, four White Castle cheeseburgers later...

As an engineer, I will say that it takes a good bit of faith to hold on to the idea that ordered complexity arises spontaneously out of the results of a chaotic explosion by chance.

I'm aware that engineers seem to have this attitude; they are not biologists. Engineers who propose I.D. see a mousetrap as an appropriate analogy to, say, the cell. I do not. A cell is a self-replicating entity; a mousetrap is not. I do not share Michael Behe's hypothesis.

Have you ever studied chemistry? The periodic table from hydrogen to carbon? Things go along swimmingly until you get to carbon; due to its atomic structure, it combines readily with many elements, particularly oxygen and hydrogen. Uh-oh, sounds like a winning combination!

Life and non-life are not opposites at this level. (Notice that I said at this level.)

If you presuppose that there is no God guiding the whole process, then chance is all you are left with.

But I said myself that chance does not equal "chaos" (namely, Biblical chaos).

I don't want my point to get lost here. Chance is simply a mechanism. We observe chance every day, whether it's in undirected mutation or a game of solitaire. Imagine trying to play a game of solitaire if you front-load it with "order" (e.g., if you do not shuffle the cards!).

We need chance. Chance is not the bugabear that Dembski, and you, are making it out to be. Chance is necessary. I would even argue that chance is good.

As I said, I don't believe in God, but I'm writing a novel (whenever I get a few minutes of peace from the tornado that is my life) about a Christian who does, and who reconciles his beliefs with evolution, because, as I've stated, I do see parallels between the two. (PZ Meyers does not, but I do.) And because I've had almost two decades of Bible study and I understand that Christians need some sort of permission to accept evolution...

At any rate, what I'm trying to say is, people are misunderstanding what chance is and getting all bent out of shape of it. Why can't chance be a saving grace? Because the Surrealist poets saw it as just that (but don't get me started on surrealism--you thought atheism was bad!).

September 18, 2006 11:02 PM  
Blogger PiGuy said...

ConEng:
It is by applying the scientific method that evolution was conceived and continues to thrive. What set of natural observations leads to so conclusively to ID or creationism? You assert that people believe "that people would believe in evolution just because that is what they were spoon fed in public school". I would argue that those who believe that ID is a more beleivable model also tout it as a result of precisely the sort of spoon-feeding that you're criticizing - they were told that it was so. I further contend that if people better grasped the scientific method, ID would have little support and it's precisely that lack of understanding that makes ID plausible. If that's your argument, you can see how easy that is to rebut. Now, back to the scientific method...

I've said it before - and you can read what I've said in more detail at my blog (http://piguy3point14.blogspot.com/) - that I beleive that the IDers have a much greater stake in the debate than the supporters of evolution. Scientists and its supporteres will adapt their world-view in light of new evidence. If convincing data leads to the conclusion that ID is for real then the scientific method will leave us no choice but to adapt. On the other hand, IDers entire world-view is based upon the fact that the Bible is the unerring word of god. In other words, if ID is found to be scientifically valid, then people like me will simply say, "Okay. Wow, I didn't see that coming." That's how the scienitific method works. On the other hand, ID's supporters are philosophically married to their support of ID and, as it is intimately connected to the their metaphysical outlook, they have much more to lose - meaning, purpose, and the like.

As for chance, it's not so much that you have found it to be improbable but, for the reasons that I pose above, that you must see it as improbable. Einstein famously asserted that "God doesn't play dice" but it turns out that he, the giant that he was, was wrong. Many things, quantum mechanics in Einstein's case, do indeed turn out to depend on chance.

If you're arguing that inorganic material could not beget organic matter, it has been demonstrated (Stanley Miller, ~1950). Improbable, perhaps, but it happens. In direct opposition to your argument, I argue that most scientific people see the "notion of information arising spontaneously by chance" as reasonable. Your irreducible complexity argument has been rebutted repeatedly in the science literature (as in the case of the eye, flagella, blood clotting mechanisms, and just about every instance so far purported by ID supporters) and in the courts (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District).

No one is saying that you can't believe whatever makes your world work for you. That doesn't make it it science.

September 19, 2006 7:02 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Certainly, many people believe in evolution because that is what they are spoon fed in public school. And just as certainly, many people believe in intelligent design because that is what they are spoon fed in Sunday School and Christian schools.

So, both secularists and Christians have within their ranks blind sheep that simply accept what they are taught without any skepticism or any second thoughts.

From an objective standpoint, I have a problem with how science is defined. Science is basically applied naturalism. So, scientists start with the presumption (a sort of hypothesis, but something that is held to be true without evidence - a postulate) that the most likely reason for anything that happens in the physical universe can be explain by a naturalistic explanation. That was very wordy, but I think you get my point.

Intelligent Design says, "Wait a minute. The supernatural may exist and may be impacting the natural physical universe."

As for all the scientific problems for evolution, and the scientific evidence for ID, I have already spent quite a bit of time writing about this. Check it out at my blog. Marco and I got pretty in depth in our debate. 2nd law of thermodynamics, irreducible complexity, information, etc. It is reasonable that many intelligent people are rejecting evolution and believign ID.

And thinking through the arguments both for and against evolution and intelligent design would be great for kids to do in science class. After all, from a scientific point of view, neither view has been proven beyond all doubt.

By the way, I acknowledge the reality of microevolution. It is macroevolution that I reject.

September 19, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh, no, no! Not this whole micro- versus macroevolution thing again! It’s a false dichotomy.

Arrrgh!

both secularists and Christians have within their ranks blind sheep that simply accept what they are taught without any skepticism or any second thoughts.

I don’t buy it. Who are these “secularists,” anyway? (They sound like the boogeyman.) Me? If you know me, I am hardly a blind sheep. It’s true that many people who accept evolution can’t articulate why they do, but how many people can do the same about the roundness of the earth or a heliocentric solar system? Of course it would be better if they were able to articulate how we know these to be true, but are they “blind sheep”?

Please don’t give me the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. That old saw has been refuted again and again. Entropy increases in a closed system, not in an open system, such as the earth. (The actual law states: “No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body.”)

The supernatural may exist and may be impacting the natural physical universe.

The supernatural is not repeatable and testable. Even if there is a supernatural, so what? You can’t put it in a test tube. You can’t harnass it. What good is it? Belief in the supernatural renders us passive and helpless in the face of some incomprehenisble authority called “God.”

But by whose authority is God God? I didn’t vote for him.

I thought that we Americans believed in democracy. Well, I believe in a sort of cosmic democracy, too, in which action is a form of “voting.” We don’t need kings, earthly or spiritual. I am repulsed by the idea of a king.

September 19, 2006 10:19 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

The Sovereign LORD is a Despot. But rest assured, He is benevolent. That way, the sinful and stupid people don't get their way.

Democracy is all too often two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for dinner.

The assumption that Democracy = Justice is a false assumption. If the masses don't value justice, then those who do value justice will be in opposition to the masses.

This is not a defense for totalitarianism; this is merely pointing out the real problems with Democracy. (I've found that it is much easier to point out what is wrong, than to come up with a solution).

Like it or not, God is King with a capital K. He will not share His glory with another. That would make Him an idolater.

September 19, 2006 10:30 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

The supernatural may not be repeatable or testable, but then to presume that it can't or doesn't impact the natural is an assumption that also can not be confirmed via the scientific method.

I don't see the wind; I see the effects of the wind, but I don't see the wind. There is a mystery to it. I don't see God. I "see" the beautiful ordered complexity of DNA, and I am left in awe. Wow. DNA. How about that. Amazing.

I see creature and am convinced that we were designed by a wonderful Creator.

September 19, 2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

That would make Him an idolater.

So, he's not already an idolator of himself?

He is benevolent.

According to whom? Him? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Where did evil come from, then? It seems to me that to ascribe evil to human beings, making it all our faults, takes an even greater leap of the imagination than to accept abiogenesis.

God can't "use evil" without being evil, too.

Everything that we know about dysfunctional relationships goes right out the window when people start talking about God.

But apart from that, how did God come to exist? I won't invoke the "who designed the Designer" argument, but I will say that I've never understood why God exists at all. Just because he "always existed"? Well, why has he "always existed" then, and why is that a virtue, by the way?

Forgive me, but it sounds like God is God by pure chance. And so we are at an impasse.

My point is, people invoke the word "God" to distance themselves from their fears and anxieties, but when you really think about it, it doesn't solve the question of chance at all.

September 19, 2006 12:47 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

No, God is not in idolatry when He preserves His own glory. The chief end of God is to glorify Himself by enjoying the Trinity forever.

If God did not preserve His own nature, then He would be very moody god - an evil god - not worth worshipping. If He could not find joy within Himself, then He would be a depressed god. If He let go of His righteousness, then he would be a sinful god.

I was wondering when the, "How/When did God happen?" question would come up.

This is a great mystery. He is, "I AM!" He is Yahweh. He is eternal in nature. And He is way beyond my ability to comprehend.

But not fully understanding God is not a reason to reject Him. When we were children, there was much that we didn't know and understand. Lacking in knowledge, we had to trust. We didn't understand what "hot" really was, but we had to trust our parents when they told us not to touch the stove. If we didn't obey them, then we got burnt, and we learned a lesson.

So it is with God. We will never fully understand everything; that is why we need to trust in God.

September 19, 2006 1:33 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I checked out that article by Shermer.

The cool thing about Shermer - having been a Christian, an atheist and now I believe he is an agnostic - is that he seems to be filled with compassion for people. He knows what it is like to have walked in other peoples' shoes because he has been there.

I'm obviously not promoting atheism or agnosticism. I'm just noting something about Shermer that I appreciate.

A person who has been addicted to drugs might have a lot of compassion and wisdom that he could share with someone struggling with drug addiction. But that doesn't mean we should encourage drug addiction.

For the record, I am an Old Earth Creationist. I don't believe that the Earth is 6000 yearls old, but that it is 4.5 billions years old.

This website (and its links) is the best website I have seen on the subject. I agree with most of it.

http://www.kiva.net/~kls/

September 19, 2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

"For the record, I am an Old Earth Creationist. I don't believe that the Earth is 6000 yearls old, but that it is 4.5 billions years old."

So, Concerned, I apoligze if you've answered this before, but-- in your estimation, how old is life? 3.5 billion? or six thousand?

And how old are homo sapiens? 250,000 years old? or 6,000?
--

An old-earth creationist runs into trouble here, because all the evidence in favor of an old earth ALSO points to some very old fossils embedded in that very old earth.

--

And of course, if you accept that live forms have appeared over the corse of 4 billion years, rather than all at once, you're nine-tenths of the way to believing in Evolution.

Once you notice the pattern that life forms seems to be have created such that the newest life forms appear to be variations on their immediate predecessors, you're 99% of the way there.

Just remember-- "There is no God" is NOT part of evolution. I think most christians oppose evolution only because they wrongly thing evolution is an atheistic theory. It is not. As I've shown before, an american who believes in evolution is far, FAR more likely to be a Christian than an atheist.

----

So, what do you think about those general observations-- that life seems to be almost as old as the earth, the life forms emerged over the course of billions of years, and that new life forms tend to be close variations on their immediate predecessors?

September 19, 2006 3:27 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

"Everything that we know about dysfunctional relationships goes right out the window when people start talking about God."

Kristine makes a good point.

Throughout Christianity, we have the analogy where Jesus is the bridgegroom and then church is the bride. If God really is as most Christians see him, then this marriage is certainy an abusive one.

God beats us when we don't obey him. He demands total loyal, and he's ferociously jealous. We're not supposed to think for ourselves or ask questions, we're simply supposed to obey and serve and worship. When we have misfortune, God is testing us-- God hurts us in order to test our love for him. He wants to control even the most minute details of our lives-- what foods we eat, whether we are clean, etc.

Christians, meanwhile, show all the signs of a battered spouse. When God punishes them with plagues or wars, they don't blame him for hurting them-- "It's our own fault for upsetting him. He was right to put us in our place. He deserves respect-- we shouldn't have disobeyed him", they say.

Their friends and neighbors (the Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks) try to intervene: "Girl!" they say, "You should leave that Yahweh! He's controlling, he's jealous, and he hurts you." But the Christians insist "No, no-- you just don't know him like I know him. He loves me, he really does."

September 19, 2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thank you, Marco Conley.

I don’t want to be a (well, too much of a) grouch, walking around slapping people’s hands for believing in deities and such. It’s really none of my business. But all I ask is that people develop a mature relationship, not this “everything happens for a [someone else’s] reason” mentality. We, as human beings, make things happen.

I daresay that even kings get tired of being kings.

I can’t imagine a supreme being existing all alone, no reality except for Himself, nothing real apart from Himself, existing as a sane…person? Being? Whatever. Everything would become his own fantasy, even Himself. On what basis, then, does he judge himself benevolent or malevolent?

Things exist in terms of relationships.

As I said before, Dembski has a hang-up about chance. This came to a head for him when he heard the statistician Persi Diaconis say "We know what randomness isn't. We don't know what it is." That got Dembski’s wheels spinning in his head about chance being a subset of design. That makes about as much sense as saying that turbulence is a subset of engineering.

If you think about it, we don’t know what anything is apart from its relationship to another thing. What is fire? Well, it's a plasma. And what is a plasma? Well, we know that it's not a solid, liquid or gas...

What's a gas? Well, it's not plasma, a solid, or a liquid. Etc. Dembski could just as well have picked plasma to be his boogeyman, but he picked chance and tries to explain it away, because chance scares him for some reason.

You can't explain chance away. As I said before, chance is a mechanism in the world. It's a factor in mutation, in heredity, in card games, lottery wins, etc. Chance means "opportunity," as well as randomness.

September 19, 2006 5:29 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

What's a gas?

As the pet of a new puppy, I believe I can definitively define gas...

:D

September 19, 2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

Yeah, I still find the idea that randomness isn't random. There there is some high-level function that decides when an radioactive decay occurs, or which slit a photo will go through.

I don't think I actually believe it, of course, but it's a lovely idea. That there is some pattern to randomness, but that we've zoomed in so close, we can't make out the picture. If you looked at a just a single pixel of a television screen, you could easily conclude its behavior is random. If you looked at just a single transistor in a CPU, you would easily conclude it's just acting randomly. But in those two cases, there actually is a pattern hidden there, inside the apparent randomness.

Wouldn't it be cool if physics wasn't random, but was working on some high-level, non-local rule?

If I had to place a bet, though, I'd say the behavior of subatomic particles probably is random, and meaningless.

September 19, 2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I'd say the behavior of subatomic particles probably is random, and meaningless.

But what I'm saying is that, for human beings, it is we who are the ones who conceive of "meaningfulness" and "meaninglessness." The behavior of subatomic particles is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Those are human concepts.

I do not require purpose to exist at the beginning in order to find purpose in my life, any more than I need to conceive of a cosmic mind existing in order for mind to arise from matter.

Randomness, as "meaningless" as it seems to us with our human biases, nevertheless allows matter to build upon itself.

Because we have screwed up ideas about matter, randomness, and chance, people have a screwed up idea of evolution being "red in tooth and claw" (which it can be) or "selfish" (which Richard Dawkins employs with a wink), and naturalism being "just" material (what do you mean, "just?").

Matter is quanta; matter is potential. Chance is opportunity; chance is freedom. Dembski wrongly makes a boogeyman of "materialism" and "naturalism," too. He thinks that he knows what people like me believe, and he doesn't. That's what so frustrating; religious people keep saying to me, "don't harden your heart!" and they have no clue what's really going on inside of me and with my experience of the wonder of life.

September 19, 2006 6:29 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

As the pet of a new puppy, I believe I can definitively define gas...

JanieBelle, did you ever try to apply the plasma to the gas?

September 19, 2006 6:32 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Yahweh died on the cross for our sins.

Yahweh is patient and kind and loving with his bride, the church, the harlot that she is.

You treat God with blatant contempt by impugning His character the way you do. If He had character flaws, that would be appropriate. But He doesn't. That there is an element of mystery to God that you and I don't understand does not mean that God is flawed.

God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

You think quite a bit of yourself. I suppose you call that a healthy dose of self-esteem.

You would be more accurate to call it arrogant narcism.

In your arrogance, you think that you are a pretty good person, that you don't need God, that you certainly don't need Yahweh - a God who is Jealous for your devotion and commands complete allegiance to Himself.

He can command complete allegiance justly, because He gave His all. He died on the cross for you.

And He continues to hold out his hands to a stubborn and obstinate people.

He is not a bad, abusive husband. Look at the life of Christ. He served. He forgave. He loved.

See, this is what happens when people don't confess their sins. God gives them over to a depraved mind. They start calling that which is good, evil; and that which is evil, good. They deceive themselves and mistake humility for arrogance and arrogance for humility. They exalt themselves in their own eyes, and treat God with contempt by failing to recognize and acknowledge Him - when by His Spirit, His Word, His church, and His creation, He has made Himself plainly known to all who would have even a mustard seed of faith.

He died for you, because you are a sinner who deserves to go to hell. By refusing to recognize your need for a Savior, your heart becomes hardened and you have been given over to a depraved mind.

Yet, the Lord longs to show you His compassion. Even now, He holds out His hands to you.

September 19, 2006 10:13 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

you are a sinner who deserves to go to hell...your heart becomes hardened and you have been given over to a depraved mind.

You know what, Hon--

I've heard all of this before. I've heard all of this all my life. You don't know me and you don't know my heart. No one "deserves" hell and no one goes there, except those who live in it now. That's the real tragedy.

September 20, 2006 12:08 AM  
Blogger Corporal Kate said...

Preach it Sister!

Kisses,
Kate

September 20, 2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Hallelujah!

Kisses,
JanieBelle

September 20, 2006 6:26 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Kristine,

I'm not saying that I am any better than you. I don't know you. I take it on faith that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," and I assert Christian doctrine with compassion - not judgment - in my heart.

If you have never done anything wrong in your life - if you've never entertained an evil thought in your mind - if you have never held a grudge against anyone - if you have always loved your neighbor - and went out of your way to serve others without having any prideful attitude - if you are completely fiscally responsible and have never wasted any money but have always given generously - if you are completely without fault...

then Christianity is a heretical doctrine, and I am wicked for proclaiming the gospel.

But if you have fallen short of perfection - even just one time for one moment - then you have offended our Holy God - and He is just in pouring out His wrath on you. His standard is holiness - to be completely set a part for his purposes.

And so, we are completely and totally dependent on God's mercy and grace.

And He has plenty of it.

But is so supremely arrogant for wicked people to deny their wickedness and to deny their need of mercy and grace.

You don't need God if you've never sinned and if you'll never die. But you have and you will, so you need him just like all the rest of us.

Jesus died for you and for me.

Make no mistake. I'm no better than you. In fact, I'm probably much worse than you. I'm merely a beggar, and I have found the bread of life.

September 20, 2006 8:17 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Marco,

If the church was the perfect ideal spouse and if God really was "abusive," you would have a point.

But God is not abusive - even though the church is so far from the ideal spouse.

Proverbs says, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." And again, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion." And again, "A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones." And again, "a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping." And again, "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."

I actually attended a wedding a few months ago. The groom is an atheist; not sure where the bride stands about faith. But they were getting married by a justice of the peace, and as it turned out, she was a feminist. During the "ceremony" (if you can call it that), she said, "We are here today to dispel the myth that marriage and love takes hard work."

See, in the real world, a marriage takes hard work and patience and faith and grace and mercy and forgiveness and a desire to serve by both people. In the real world, marriage is about surrendering rights, not retaining them. In the real world, there is conflict and sin and honest confession and repentance.

Radical feminists have constructed a fake world. A world where women are always right just by being female. And if they're not right, it doesn't matter, because they are women - so men should just shut up and obey. Women have the right to murder their unborn babies, and no one has the right to object to it, because women have said, "I'm a woman, and I say so." (Kinda, like, "I'm cuter; I win.")

And to suggest that a woman who aspires to become a wife should humble herself and learn to embrace training in virtue and character has been deemed highly offensive. That's why feminists hate Dr. Laura. They can't stand it when she speaks the truth, because the truth is not what their itching ears want to hear. That is also why radical feminists hate Christians - and for that matter conservatives and anyone who would suggest that women should only enter marriage if they intend to joyfully serve, love, honor, respect, and yes, submit to their husbands. It is this rebellious spirit of Jezebel that has taken over the Democratic Party. The whole abortion debate should be centered around whether or not the unborn living matter is a human person - but the radical feminists have shifted the argument and made it about women's rights.

Of course, I have no right to say this because I am white ... and Christian ... and worst of all ... I have a penis.

To be fair... husbands have been commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church - by serving and by laying down his life for her in the supreme act of sacrificial chivalry. And Yahweh provides a wonderful example of the ideal husband. He is patient with the church - ungrateful slut that she tends to be. He is forgiving and kind. He is merciful and filled with compassion. While we were still in sin and rebellion, He came and died. And He will come back on a white horse to claim His beloved bride - who had been fully sanctified by the Holy Spirit and by the Word of God.

See, sex isn't just about sex. Sex points to something greater. That orgasmic moment between a man and his beloved wife is not the be all and end all. It points to something spiritual. It points to the consummation of the great romance between Christ and the church. In that moment, we get a metaphorical glimpse of the intense pleasure and passion and joy that exists between Christ and the church.

And that, by the way, is why sexual immorality is wrong.

See, when I see great marriages, I am greatly encouraged. I often have a hard time believing that God can love a sinner like me. But when I see my friends love their wives the way they do, I think, "Wow. And that is nothing compared to how much God loves me, even though I'm such a sinner." When I see a wife honor and respect her husband, I think, "That is how I ought to be treating Christ - who loved me and died on the cross for me."

There it is folks. The antithesis. You have the world of Marco vs Christian doctrine. You have the ostrich mentality vs truth.

This calls for a decision. Which will you choose? God has set before us blessings and cursings, life and death. Choose life.

September 20, 2006 9:11 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"I can’t imagine a supreme being existing all alone, no reality except for Himself, nothing real apart from Himself, existing as a sane…person? Being? Whatever. Everything would become his own fantasy, even Himself. On what basis, then, does he judge himself benevolent or malevolent?

Things exist in terms of relationships."

This leads to one of the great differences between Christianity and Islam.

Yahweh is Trinity. The word "Trinity" never appears in the Bible, but the concept is there throughout. Father, Son, Holy Spirit - all in perfect relationship with one another. One God eternally existant in three persons.

Allah is not Trinity. So, when people say, "Oh... Christianity and Islam - they really are worshipping the same God and really standing for the same thing." Those people are ignorant. The God of the Bible is a God of relationships. Allah is alone. Allah is not about relationships. Allah did not send a Son to die for sinners. Allah is a moody and vicious dictator - an invention of Mohammed (actually, before Mohammed, I think Allah was the tribal god of the moon or something - a little fact that really irritates Muslims when you bring it up).

Allah also doesn't really understand sex (whereas, Yahweh invented sex, and as I said previously, has showed us what sex is really all about). And so, Muslims must abstain from "sexual immorality" without it having really explained to them why sexual immorality is wrong. The only clue that they get is from Yahweh - since they are created in the image of Yahweh.

But you are partially right Kristine. If God was not Trinity, then theology wouldn't make sense.

September 20, 2006 9:55 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Kristine said,

"But what I'm saying is that, for human beings, it is we who are the ones who conceive of 'meaningfulness' and 'meaninglessness.' The behavior of subatomic particles is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Those are human concepts.

I do not require purpose to exist at the beginning in order to find purpose in my life, any more than I need to conceive of a cosmic mind existing in order for mind to arise from matter.

Randomness, as 'meaningless' as it seems to us with our human biases, nevertheless allows matter to build upon itself."

I'm having a hard time distinguishing between your scientific arguments and your philosophical arguments. But you are certainly causing me to think, and I appreciate that.

It does seem like you are arguing more about philosophy than science.

Meaning...

By studying science, I don't believe we will ever come up with any "proof" one way or another concerning the question of whether or not our lives have "meaning" or "purpose." Yet something about our nature seems to assert that we do have "meaning" and "purpose."

It is very interesting how life happens:

We are hungry; behold, there is food!
We are horny: behold, there is sex!
We have various desires, and it seems that there is something or someone in the world that can meet those desires. Without having those desires met, we have problems - maybe physical problems or mental/psychological problems. But something is broken.

I happen to think by the way this is a pretty good philosophical argument for ID.

The idea of something in life being broken does indicate that there is a "right" way for life to work. But why should there be a "right" way? What is "right?" What is "truth?"

And what do we do when we find in ourselves a desire that nothing in this world can fulfill?

C.S. Lewis has written quite extensively about joy. He argues that joy is not the end, but that we have joy as we express joy, and also that joy points to God. There is something about intense joy that is like sex; we love it, but we can't stand that intensity all the time. Can you imagine living on the edge of an orgasm all the time? While intensely pleasurable, it would be torture.

So joy varies in its intensity. There is "mellow joy" and "intense joy." But in all cases, we enjoy (verb) by expressing joy. And there is something about it that points us toward God. We seem to be made a certain way. We experience joy when we live our lives the way we were "meant" to live our lives. When we don't live our lives the way we were meant to, we get sad and depressed. In fact, we experience physiological dentrimental changes that affects our moods.

And in some cases, certain meds might help us. But we live in an age where meds have become our priests. "The psychiatrist is my shepherd; I shall not want." Often times, these meds turn out to be harmful (but don't wait for the pharmeceutical industry to 'fess up to that; they would lose a lot of money).

Until we are in right relationship with God, we will remain broken. And joy will elude us.

September 20, 2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

If God was not Trinity, then theology wouldn't make sense.

Well, I don’t think I said that. (As DaveScot is fond of saying, I exist in a relationship—me, myself, and I. But that’s a cute semantic trick, not an argument.)

And come on. The trinity evolved as people started back-dating prophesy to make it seem “fulfilled.” You talk as if this triune god-thing had existed from the beginning. My aunt, who is a Jehovah's Witness, doesn't believe in the trinity anyway and thinks that no one who isn't a JW is a Christian (like I care).

At any rate, I’m so sick of talking theology. I can still do because it’s a form a literary criticism, but bleh. This is not a theology blog.

If I want to debate theology I’ll go hang out with certain members of my family. Inside on a nice day, debating theology. I prefer the sunlight. Cloistering yourself away on a nice day—now that’s blasphemy, I say!

September 20, 2006 10:29 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

Well, Concerned,-- this marriage talk brings up an interesting point:

_ARE_ women equal to men?

It seems like you're a proponent of the belief that women are somehow a submissive second-class person.

"And to suggest that a woman who aspires to become a wife should humble herself and learn to embrace training in virtue and character has been deemed highly offensive."

That's because the idea that a woman should humble herself in a marriage is highly offensive. If you try to tell people that blacks should humbly serve whites, you'll get similar reactions.

"That is also why radical feminists hate Christians - and for that matter conservatives and anyone who would suggest that women should only enter marriage if they intend to joyfully serve, love, honor, respect, and yes, submit to their husbands."

Yep. People who aren't slaves tend to get quite upset when you try to tell them that they should be. If you want to understand why, take the anger you feel when you sense that your opinion is being devalued because of your gender-- and then multiply that emotion by ten billion, after an entire lifetime of being told that your opinion doesn't count. After being told you can't teach your sunday school, lead your church, become president, or until a few decades ago, hold any other position of authority.

So, yeah... Feminists are pretty dang upset about a modern church in 21st century preaching that women are second-class citizens created for submissive servitude.

If that makes feminists radical, then it is a sad commentary on our society that the equality of women is a radical departure from what our current policy is. Theres a quote I came across somewhere, back when I used to teach women studies, that's most apropros. "Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings".

--

I'm a pretty postmodern guy. Certainty is a hard thing for me to come by. If joyfully submitting is working for some women, then good for them, it's not my place to intervene. If the women in Muslim nations are TRULY happy not being allowed to read, then good for them.

But, as certain as I get about anything in the human sphere, I'm certain of this.

If you believe all women should submit to their husband, you are wrong.

If your church believes that, your church is wrong.

And if God believes it, then GOD is wrong.

September 20, 2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well personally, I love men. But then, I have a depraved mind. (Men; can't live with them, can't be 3 billion women.)

To mangle JanieBelle's phrase, we will not lie below--unless you remember that there is no "up or down" in outer space. Which is where the earth is (and some creationists, too).

It does seem like you are arguing more about philosophy than science.

Well, yes, because I was riposting what you said about God. That is certainly not science.

Let’s get back to the science! Yes! The science, the science!

September 20, 2006 4:52 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

By studying science, I don't believe we will ever come up with any "proof" one way or another concerning the question of whether or not our lives have "meaning" or "purpose." Yet something about our nature seems to assert that we do have "meaning" and "purpose."

No, we assert that our lives have "meaing" and "purpose." And we do it actively and consciously. Most of us, anyway, outside of the ever-increasing portion of the population that lacks any semblance of self-awareness.

Life has absolutely no meaning or purpose whatsoever other than what we give it ourselves, on an individual, not a collective, level. If you need someone else, whether divine or mortal, to tell you what the meaning of your life is, you're not really alive at all.

And as we all know, the walking dead tend to cause a lot of havoc for us normals.

September 20, 2006 7:22 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Marco,

You're wrong.

Submission doesn't equal second class citizens.

In point of fact, the Bible teaches that husbands and wives should submit to one another and love one another. (Ephesians 5:21) But the Bible places special emphasis on women submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

We all should humbly serve one another.

I'm not saying that women shouldn't be allowed to vote or that women shouldn't be encouraged to pursue careers or that women shouldn't be given the respect that is due them. And it is true and a sad state of affairs that very often, women have been treated as second class citizens.

But you are taking the good and holy and pure word of God and twisting it ... to your own destruction. You are arrogantly slandering God, and you will pay the just penalty for your sin if you don't repent.

If I ever did marriage counseling, the first thing I would tell the husband is that the verse that commands that wives should submit to husbands is not for him. I would tell him that he is not to use that verse as a trump card.

If a husband and a wife are not in agreement about what they should do, then they should work it out until they come to an agreement. Sometimes one will submit to the other; other times the other one will be the one to submit. Sometimes they will compromise.

But then you have that occasional situation where there is a decision that needs to be made, and by not making a decision a decision is made, and after thinking and discussing and praying and thinking and discussing and praying (and this is an important decision), then ultimately the authority and responsibility lies with the man to make the right decision. In this rare situation, this would be the only time when it would be appropriate for the husband to call on his wife to submit. And this only if he has truly loved and honored and cherished and served his wife.

And if it comes to that, he had better pray that he has the wisdom to make the right decision.

And here, an honorable wife would go along with her husband's decision.

But if the situation doesn't demand an immediate response, then the husband and wife should continue to work it out and come to some agreement. They should love one another and serve one another and submit to one another. They should compromise, or do whatever they need to do to come to an agreement.

And the husband should display leadership in servanthood. His life mission is to serve and lay down his life for his wife. He ought to guard his family from any attack - whether it be physical or spiritual or financial. He should be encouraging his wife and loving his wife and appreciating his wife.

And then if I was counseling a woman, I would probably call on one of my Christian sisters to counsel the woman for me. I tend not to do well counseling someone with a lot of estrogen.

But if I was to counsel a woman, I would look carefully for anything and everything she is doing right, and praise her liberally for it. I would speak of some wonderful women of God I happen to know - women who have found joy in the Lord and who love to make their husbands look good. Women who love to serve. I would point out that a woman with noble character is a rare beauty. That real beauty comes from within. And that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Come down to reality, Marco - back to the land where real people live and work and struggle.

By spouting the rhetoric that you are spouting, you empower sinful women to disrespect and dishonor their husbands. You point to all the horrible things that have happened to women throughout history, and you are right. Much evil has been done. And it must stop. Women are to be treated with proper respect and love. But that doesn't mean that a woman doesn't have any responsibilities in a marriage relationship. She doesn't get to do whatever she wants.

And neither does the man.

Husbands are to love their wives. Wives are to respect their husbands. Both are to love, honor, respect, and submit to one another. That is what it takes to make relationships work.

But in our "It's all about me" generation, many people will sooner get divorced before they make any significant sacrifices.

And God is somehow wrong by insisting that husbands and wives should love, honor, respect, and submit to one another?

September 20, 2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Life has absolutely no meaning or purpose whatsoever other than what we give it ourselves, on an individual, not a collective, level. If you need someone else, whether divine or mortal, to tell you what the meaning of your life is, you're not really alive at all.

Bravo! Well said! Dare I say it...amen!

September 20, 2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

"Life has absolutely no meaning or purpose whatsoever other than what we give it ourselves"

But, don't you find this idea utterly terrifying and completely depressing? It's a little like being a child, totally lost in the woods, and knowing that no one is coming to help.

The idea that life is meaningless and random. No one's in charge, no one's looking out for us, no one's going to save us, and when I am dead, I will rot in a grave. There is no punishment coming to the wicked, there is no reward coming to the righteous-- there may not even be any such thing as wicked and righteous-- just "people that make me happy" and "people that make me sad".

It's frightening. It's upsetting.

I suppose the answer to this is is "Grow up. Life isn't fair-- haven't you heard?"

September 21, 2006 12:12 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

Concerned Engineer,

It's all well and good to insist that husbands and wives should submit and serve each other. I often hear their argument that women should serve and submit to their husbands not FOR their husbansds, but FOR the wives-- because women are happiest when they're submitting.

Of course, the christians made similar arguments about race. That other races aren't responsible enough to lead, and whites have a duty to lovingly and responsibly lead the poor helpless savages.

The question is pretty simple-- are men and women equal, with neither innately superior or innately the leaders. Many Christian religions insist that women aren't the same-- that for whatever reason, in some cases, a person's gender should dictate a person's role.

Is it any wonder that people find Christianity hard to swallow, when its doctrines are sexist, and its God dictates that women are somehow incompetent to lead a family, a church, or a nation?

"Women must submit" reduces the religion of Jesus to the politics of the Ku Klux Klan, and its supposed God is more like a grand wizard than a savior.

September 21, 2006 12:26 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I suppose the answer to this is is "Grow up. Life isn't fair-- haven't you heard?"

It's not about fairness. Fairness, like the meaning of life, is a human-generated concept, not a universal absolute.

It's about living my own damn life.

Religion, by its very nature, completely absolves its adherents of that responsibility, and so I reject it completely.

September 21, 2006 12:27 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

Fairness, like the meaning of life, is a human-generated concept, not a universal absolute.

Oh, it's not that I disagree with you, I just find it scary and sad.
--

Everything I am, it seems, is just a product of molecules bumping into each other. When I vote in an election, my choice isn't determined by anything but physics. If I feel like I'm in love, it's just an assortment of chemicals bumping into each other.

The very best evidence suggests I'm just a cloud who woke up one day. I think I'm governed by love and hate, truth and freedom-- but it's really just wind currents, humidity, and butterflies flapping wings.

September 21, 2006 12:46 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

"If I ever did marriage counseling..."

If you ever did marriage counseling, FSM forbid, I hope the woman has enough sense to whack you upside your damned fool head and walk the fuck out.

"then ultimately the authority and responsibility lies with the man to make the right decision"

Yeah us womens is too ignernt to make the important decisions, but it's ok for us to pick out the curtains, long as our husbands agree.

"And then if I was counseling a woman,..."

See above.

"I tend not to do well counseling someone with a lot of estrogen."

No Shit?

"But if I was to counsel a woman, I would look carefully for anything and everything she is doing right, and praise her liberally for it."

Well, how very generous of you to give your stamp of approval on the actions of us lowly homemakers.

"I would speak of some wonderful women of God I happen to know - women who have found joy in the Lord and who love to make their husbands look good. Women who love to serve."

Ahhh how sweet. You know, there's a word for women like that...

Everybody spell it with me now...

S-L-A-V-E

"And that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

English translation -

"A woman who sits, rolls over, and plays dead when told, deserves a doggie treat, for she is a good pet."

"Both are to love, honor, respect, and submit to one another. That is what it takes to make relationships work."

That may or may not be what it takes to make relationships work, but that ain't what you're sellin', Billy Sunday.

You're an idiot, and a bastard to boot.

September 21, 2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Hi everyone! Just thought I'd stop by and say hello and spread some happiness!

:)

September 21, 2006 8:02 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

The idea that life is meaningless and random. No one's in charge, no one's looking out for us, no one's going to save us, and when I am dead, I will rot in a grave. There is no punishment coming to the wicked, there is no reward coming to the righteous-- there may not even be any such thing as wicked and righteous-- just "people that make me happy" and "people that make me sad".

It's frightening. It's upsetting.

I suppose the answer to this is is "Grow up. Life isn't fair-- haven't you heard?"


But you don't know that. It may turn out that there is a wonderful and loving God looking out for us, watching over us, and coming back for us. One could at least hope....

The question is pretty simple-- are men and women equal, with neither innately superior or innately the leaders.

Well, it all depends on how you define equal?

Certainly, we can all agree that there are physiological differences between men and women.

Although some feminists will be angered by this, on the average, men are better athletes than women. They are, on the average, stronger, faster, quicker, more agile, etc. That's why men have run marathons in under 2:05, whereas the fastest women, I believe is around 2:17 (although, one chick might have done 2:15).

2:15 is certainly an impressive performance, but if we lumped men and women into the same class and the same race, the women's world record wouldn't come in the top 30 of many races.

This doesn't make men any better than women; its just a difference.

There are other differences too. There are psychological differences. Many women tend to think in parallel, whereas many men tend to think in series. There is a strength to thinking in parallel, and there is a strength to thinking in series. Together, they complement each other beautifully.

On the average, women tend to be more emotional; whereas, men tend to be more rational. This is not to say that men can't be emotional. It is also not to say that women can't be rational. But on the whole, women are more emotional, and men are more rational. That is one of the reasons why there are far more men in the engineering world than women.

Emotions are great. Children need a mother who will nurture her children the way only a mother can. This is a strength of women.

But a wise man should bear the responsibility of making a big decision - not without his wife's input and thoughts. Indeed, they should make the decision together. But women often tend to be ruled by their emotions, and while men should certainly value a woman's thoughts, the ultimate responsibility lies on him to lead his family.

Let me just say it is easier to follow than to lead. Leadership doesn't equal tyranny. Real leadership equals servanthood - laying down your life for those who are under your leadership.

Many men have abused this authority/responsibility over the centuries, which is why you all are so pissed off and so resistant to these ideas. Women have been mistreated. It is a sad truth.

And we ought to stand up for the rights of women.

But, as so often happens, the pendulum often swings from one type of injustice right past the point of justice and truth to another type of injustice. And I would suggest that in your zeal and fervor to stand up for women's rights (which is a good thing), you are swinging right past justice to radical feminism - which is extremely unjust.

September 21, 2006 8:34 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Well, how very generous of you to give your stamp of approval on the actions of us lowly homemakers.


As if being a homemaker is lowly. As if raising children and washing clothes and cooking and cleaning isn't honorable. As if a woman with a career is any better than a woman who chooses to forsake a career to focus her energy on cultivating a home, loving her husband, and raising children.

No ma'am. I never suggested that a homemaker is a lowly way to invest your life. You did.

And women who choose to go that path should be honored and supported by all. There's nothing lowly about it.

I wonder if the intensity of your hatred springs from any feelings of guilt. I wonder if women, who have no intentions of serving anyone but themselves, feel the need to justify their selfishness by calling women, who freely choose to spend their lives cultivating a home, slaves.

I wonder if that is the reason why you hate my guts the way you do.

Ya know... some women are actually excited about their husbands and their families. For some women, it doesn't even cross their minds that they are missing out on life by cultivating a home. Their life, their joy, their passion is homemaking.

And there is nothing wrong with women pursuing a career either. My wife is going for her Ph.D. and I fully support that. In fact, I have given up great career opportunities willingly and without regret, because taking those opportunities would have made it difficult for my wife to continue with her education. She wants to be a professor some day, and I fully support that. We often cook and wash dishes together. Sometimes she cooks for me; sometimes I cook for her. Often we do it together.

I am hers, and she is mine. We belong to one another. We own one another. We are bound together in a holy covenant. That's what marriage is. Mutual love. Mutual respect. Mutual submission.

Seriously, get a grip on reality.

September 21, 2006 9:15 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Thinking through this whole topic of women's roles versus men's roles. I think there is something that many of you are missing.

I know for myself, I would much rather follow a good leader than to assume the authority and responsibility of leadership myself. Being in a position where I am given guidance, affirmation, specific instruction, specific responsibilities, encouragement, rewards, support, respect, and love is to be in a wonderful position.

But being in a position where I have to scope out and evaluate all the threats (financial, spiritual, physical, emotional), deciding on a course of action, making tough decisions, and bearing the weight of the responsibility for all those under your leadership - that is a huge responsibility. I would rather follow the good leader without having to bear the weight of that kind of responsibility.

Its like a General in the battlefield. Take General Lee for example. Very few, if any, people have a low opinion of General Lee. Imagine the pressure he was under throughout the civil war. Commanding troops into battle after battle - each time knowing that many of the men he was commanding was going to die. That is a huge responsibility. What would you think of a General, who, after making a really bad decision which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, passed the blame onto his subordinates? General Lee assigned blame to himself for the failure of Pickett's charge - even though many of the soldiers refused to blame him. He was a good leader (although, I don't really agree with the Cause for which he fought).

And God has essentially said that He has designed men to handle that kind of responsibility. That real manhood is about assuming that kind of responsibility. And God is not going to give us responsibilities without giving us the authority to handle those responsibilities. That's something that a bad leader - a politician - might do. But God doesn't do that. He empowers people to whom he entrusts responsibility.

That doesn't make women second class citizens. Women have other responsibilities - that are just as important - no more valuable, no less valuable. But God has essentially said that he has created men to lead, to make tough decisions, and to take care of their wives and families; whereas, women are created to follow and support. This is not "second class citizen status." This is separate but equal roles.

Good leaders value the counsel of those under their authority and will often make decisions with those under their authority. That's why the President has a cabinet. That's why good husbands value their wives' thoughts, convictions, and opinions. That's why husbands and wives should make decisions together. But men should not selfishly deflect the responsibility of a life decision onto his wife.

Say a husband and wife need to make a decision together, and they are in disagreement. And its a big decision. So, the man, being passive and frankly scared to make a decision, decides to pass the buck to his wife. He lets the wife make a decision. Then when it turns out that the wife made the wrong decision, he blames her for it.

That's not right. The husband isn't serving his wife by passing the buck; the husband is deflecting responsibility like a corrupt politician would.

And God doesn't stand for that.

What would you think of a President who always followed his cabinet's advice (whether it was good advice or bad advice) without ever standing by his own conscience and convictions? What would you think if when he made a wrong decision, he blamed his Cabinet, rather than himself?

So, say what you want about women's rights, but God has honored women by refusing to let passive and irresponsible men pass the buck of responsibility to women.

These thoughts are actually quite sobering for me - being a husband and all.

September 21, 2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

You know what's funny, C.E.?

When your mouth moves, the word equal comes out, and then the Webster's definition for slavery.

Might want to have that checked by a shrink or something.

Just so y'know.

September 21, 2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

And there is nothing wrong with women pursuing a career either. My wife is going for her Ph.D. and I fully support that. In fact, I have given up great career opportunities willingly and without regret, because taking those opportunities would have made it difficult for my wife to continue with her education. She wants to be a professor some day, and I fully support that. We often cook and wash dishes together. Sometimes she cooks for me; sometimes I cook for her. Often we do it together.


Yeah... Obviously I treat my wife like a slave.

September 21, 2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

My thanks to Kristine-- CE and I seem to have co-opted this thread in her blog. :)
-----



Many women tend to think in parallel, whereas many men tend to think in series.

That's an ABSOLUTE myth. All of that 'left brain/right brain' stuff tends to be garbage, once you apply it to personality instead of simple localized neuroscience. I realize there is a whole cottage industry built up on "Men are like this, whereas women are like this", but the long and the short of it is there very, very few non-cultural differences between the psychological functioning of the genders. Aggression is one of the few.

On the average, women tend to be more emotional; whereas, men tend to be more rational.

That is SO unbelievably not true, I don't even know what you say. I'm _flabbergasted_. Where did you EVER get the idea that women are less rational than me, or that men are less emotional than women?? Beyond ridiculous. BEYOND.

Not a shred of scientific estimates back up that mmen are more gifted with rationality, any more than there is any evidence to back up that other races are less rational. 0. zip. zilch. nil. nada.

If anything, the disparity in aggression shows that if a difference in rationality exists, it points the other way-- 86% of violent crimes are committed by men.


That is one of the reasons why there are far more men in the engineering world than women.

Again, you can't prove that has anything whatsoever to do with the inherent rationality of the individuals. There's no reason to suspect it's anything but cultural. Until recently, there were few women in law, politics, or business leadership, and there were few men in teaching. Now that's changed-- not because of any genetic shift in the psychology of the genders, but simply because it's not culturally acceptable for people to go into fields that were traditionally dominated by a single gender.

My wife is going for her Ph.D.

Cool. what in?

This is a rift I find often in Christians who are truly good people. In their own actions, they tend to be quite wonderful people. The innate machinery of interacting with others seems to cue them in. But when they go to the theoretical, they can say some truly looney, backwards things.

If you and your wife are happy, then that's great. I suspect all couples have some sort of innate decision making process that involves one partner often being a little more leaderly than another. Your wife knew what she signed up for, she's free to leave at any point, so you guys should feel completely free to do whatever system works for you.

But, you tend not to afford others the same right. You seem to feel that any other arrangement is wrong. Presumably, you would teach your hypothetical daughter that it is not her place to lead in a relationship or in a church. For shame. I knew that older folks still held on to such archaic notions, but I haven't met many people in their 20s who had signed up for such silliness.

--

Very few, if any, people have a low opinion of General Lee

Well, as usual, I'm the freaky non-human that defies the rules. I have a very low opinion of the military in general-- and being pro-slavery doesn't exactly help you in my eyes. The only difference between the American military and the Nazi military is who they take their orders from. As we've seen lately, the American military will commit war crimes just as easily as any other military force.

Certainly, Lee was a genius, and there's a certain attraction in that Hitler also was an incredible genius, and I find him somewhat fascinating for similar reasons. Lee certainly wasn't Hitler-- but he's certainly wasn't Gandi either.

What would you think of a General, who, after making a really bad decision which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, passed the blame onto his subordinates?

I'd be glad he can't run for a third term!

September 21, 2006 12:26 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Yes...
Marco reminds me of manners. Thanks Kristine.
If you would like us to take this discussion somewhere else, I'd be happy to oblige.
I suppose this is a bit like Janiebelle, Marco, and I having a debate in your living room.
And you certainly have been very hospitable.

September 21, 2006 12:32 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"The only difference between the American military and the Nazi military is who they take their orders from. As we've seen lately, the American military will commit war crimes just as easily as any other military force."


That is such a reckless statement. A sweeping generalization. A rush to judgment of thousands and thousands of men and women who put their lives on the line to defend your security and freedom.

I have a friend in Iraq right now. A marine. He might not come back. He is patrolling the streets of Ramadi - trying to establish peace and security in the city - trying to dodge roadside bombs.

He has the highest ethics. A few people in the military have committed war crimes, and they are being punished. But to charge the entire military with a willingness to commit war crimes is beyond irresponsible.

The military is not above reproach. If/when they do something wrong, those who do wrong should be held accountable. But to charge the entire military with a willingness to commit war crimes is slander.

September 21, 2006 12:41 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

It's not that the whole military is evil-- it's just that OUR military is no better than the evilest militaries in history.

A military IS immmoral. If you agree to be a soldier in a modern military, you promise to surrender your own morality. Is the war you are going to a just one? Are the order you going to be following correct ones? If you agree to join the military, you promise to stop being a moral creature, and to start being an obedient one. Even making the promise is, to me, a bad thing to do.

Many members of the military are generally good people. When militaries are ordered to do blantantly cruel things, there's always a few soldiers who go back on their promise to be obedient, which I think is the right thing to do. But almost all the other soldiers keep their promise to be amoral. Soldiers, by their nature, are trained to go do horrible things without asking why.

Some of them, like the German Army in WWII, are useds for murder and aggression. Some of them, like the US army in WWII, are used for defense. But the US soldiers just got lucky-- the people giving the orders happened to give good ones-- the troops don't ask questions one way or the other. Our troops would invade Poland if you told them to.

Certainly, there are exceptions to every rule. I've known one or two good people who went on to join the military. But of the WORST people I've known-- the most violent, least moral, least respectable people I know-- almost all were deeply drawn to the military.

In my experience, very few people join the military out of some deep moral conviction. The advertisements certainly don't hype up that aspect. People join because they want to do exciting things, shoot guns, kill bad guys, and get some glory.

September 21, 2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Marco:

Everything I am, it seems, is just a product of molecules bumping into each other.

So what? Those very molecules are the only reason you're even capable of bemoaning the fact that everything you are is just a product of molecules bumping into each other.

The fact that we're just collections of chemical processes in no way makes us less human or less loving or less intelligent, because those are the direct and inevitable by-products of human biochemistry. All it really means is that we have to get while the getting is good. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

CE:

On the average, women tend to be more emotional; whereas, men tend to be more rational.

Ha! Yeah, because that's totally not a feckless, misogynist lie.

September 21, 2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

My thanks to Kristine-- CE and I seem to have co-opted this thread in her blog. :)

And you certainly have been very hospitable.


I have been, haven't I? Well, have at it, people. Sleep on the floor if you have to!

However, He lets the wife make a decision. Then when it turns out that the wife made the wrong decision, he blames her for it.

And why shouldn't he? She made the boneheaded decision, didn't she? It's no one's business to "protect" women from their responsibilities of being individuals.

I would much rather follow a good leader than to assume the authority and responsibility of leadership myself.

I'm not surprised. However, am I not a good leader? Wouldn't you rather follow me? (I'm kidding; I don't want followers.)

On the average, women tend to be more emotional; whereas, men tend to be more rational.

Total B.S. That just shows how emotional men are about women's rationality.

As if being a homemaker is lowly.

Tried it lately? BTW, I've been told by several doctors that I cannot have kids. Not that that breaks my heart at all. Some women are just not cut out for motherhood.

September 21, 2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

"I would much rather follow a good leader than to assume the authority and responsibility of leadership myself."

Sheep. Sheep like to follow.

September 21, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Okay, my dearies, I don't want to start resembling a bloggo JAD so let's take this to the Open Thread! Thank you!

Kisses and hugs, all! Even if you think it's not moral!

September 21, 2006 10:08 PM  

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