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Atheist Tuesday Q & A: Liars, Censors and Sock Puppets

| 79 Comments

O’ unbelieving friend, here are a few more questions answered, hopefully, to your satisfaction.

Today’s three questions come from down-under, from everyone’s favorite atheist, BathTub.

Atheist Q: Why are people who believe that lying is a sin worthy of eternal punishment so transparently dishonest so often?

My Answer: I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this since you have cited no specific examples. Sorry.

Atheist Q: Do you feel your hilariously draconian censorship reflects well on you? Please refer to question 1 before you falsely describe the posts you’ve deleted.

My answer: I’m sure you must be referring to the times when I do not allow an atheist’s comment through. The reason I will do this on occasion is because certain articles are sacred to me.

For example: I may post a pro-life piece promoting the stunning documentary movie “180” to help people think about the egregious and murderous practice of abortion—to spur others on to get involved to save the lives of babies. I will not allow, at those times, pro-death, or what I would laughingly refer to as “pro-choice” arguments because you can read or hear about those all over the mainstream media. Also, I think it is in abominable taste and the height of inhumanity to promote a position that kills the innocent unborn no matter how pragmatic the argument may seem. Those types of comments I will “censor.”

By the way, I don’t censor anyone; I just don’t allow some comments through. (You have to admit I allow about 99%  of them.) The fact that I “censor” anyone shouldn’t really bother an atheist if they are consistent with their philosophy. Since there is no absolute standard, no absolute truth, then it should be fine for me to “censor” you at whim!

I also don’t allow the really negative comments through either. Unfortunately, since most of the really nasty, negative comments come from atheists, it seems that there is a disproportionate amount of “censorship” leveled at them.

Atheist Q: Do you feel the derogatory sock puppetry you allow here reflects well on the transformative power of the love of Jesus in the lives of Christians?

Sock puppet as defined by the Urban Dictionary: An account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.

It would be my preference that commenters on this blog use their real name, like I do. Second best would be sticking to one pseudonym.

I don’t like the derogatory comments made by “Christian sock puppets,” but since I rarely “censor” people, I allow them through. Sometime I don’t though.

No, it reflects poorly on the transformative power of the love of Jesus when one write derogatorily. I’d much prefer that those who call themselves Christians would allow their writing to “be full of grace, seasoned with salt” so that they may win the admiration of the unbelievers here.

1 Peter 2:9 says this about believers: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

I’d love all the Christians to write in this way. They can be humorous, satirical, even snarky, but they should do it in a nice way.

Also, Peter writes this to Christians: For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:25)

 

79 Comments

  1. To answer the question asked in that comic; it’s okay when Steve Sanchez’s or Ray Comfort’s or Tony Miano’s “God” says it’s okay. If you were a Midianite or Amalekite or lived in Jericho, you would have murdered.

    • I would call it judgment, not murder. Also, you are comparing God with man. God can do what he wants because everything he does is righteous. He’s not subject to your judging him.

      This is for sure: Unless you repent, you too, will end up like the Midianites and Amelikites.

      • How can it be considered ‘just’ to kill what pro-lifers deem an innocent child? What sins could he/she possibly have done while *not even born*?

      • Yes, we’ve already established you are a moral relativist.

        Feel free to make a new topic on the method you use to determine that the killing of babies in the old testament was God passing judgment on the baby, and a modern day abortion isn’t also God passing judgment on the baby.

      • Yeah, I know you would call slaughtering children and pregnant women judgement, if it’s done in your God’s name, on His orders. I know that you believe murder is righteous if God does it or orders it done.

        The big problem is, when people think and believe that, it isn’t God doing it or ordering it, it’s them. Be they Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, what have you. It’s why you must be fought.

  2. 180 is the hottest movie on the Internet. Have you seen it? It’s hot.

    Yes, I do remember editing your comments and taking them out of context. For example: You might have written, “That Steve Sanchez guy. Who could love him.” I re-edited it to say, “That Sanchez guy. [L]ove him.” I thought I was having a little fun. The atheists didn’t. So I stopped it. Sorry.

    As far as censorship? Oh well. To feel that this was unjust you’d have to borrow from the Christian worldview.

    • If you’re borrowing from Sye’s arguments, please note that on the comments page on “On the Box 105”, I demonstrated to him that logic is not consistent amongst all possible zooms (in other words, different models have different logic), and thus his argument that logic is absolute is false.

      He refused to comment or acknowledge this point.

    • 180 is the hottest movie on the Internet. Have you seen it? It’s hot.

      Serious question, Steve. why isn’t that a lie?

    • As far as censorship? Oh well. To feel that this was unjust you’d have to borrow from the Christian worldview.

      Sounds like something Hovind’s said in the past Steve, are you borrowing lines from Doctor Dino?

    • I agree Steve. 180 is hot.

    • Vintango, its presupposition look up Van Til and Bahnsen. At its core is a fairly obvious failing to understand the primacy of existence over the primacy of consciousness.

    • Vin, what Vagon said. It’s currently used a lot by Sye, who has taught it to Tony Miano and Eric Hovind.

      I don’t think that Kent Hovind really used the presup style very much, if at all.

    • Isn’t it hilarious that on a thread about lying you still can’t give straight answers?

      Oh and cheers for the mouldy tub image, share that love around Steve!

      I know, I know ‘lighten up’.

  3. A reminder, some of my comments that you’ve deleted (and yes you have censored/edited our posts before) include such hateful comments as…

    “Why do you think this is good?”

    and a simple straightforward neutral description of the (not) graphic content of 180 which would have allowed another poster here to make an informed decision to watch 180 or not.

    And you know I can offer endless specific examples of Christians lying, I could go for a pretty blatant example, but you would probably censor my posts again because Ray’s finances are another subject you like to censor and delete.

    • Yep, Bathtub, you probably could. But why would it bother you? There is no ultimate truth now, is there?

      Now from my perspective, what you call lying I call truth. For instance, that whole evolution myth?

      • Some atheists pose that there is no absolute truth. Some do. Some pose that there is no objective morality. Some actually do.

        To paint the picture of atheists that you like is inherently dishonest, Steve.

      • Evolution myth Steve? Sounds like someone needs a few textbooks mailed to them. =)

      • Yes, that is the standard response when we catch Christians lying. They know they are caught in a lie so they flail their arms around like that apparently oblvious to the fact that it makes them look even more ridiculous on top of liar.

        Remember Steve I worded my question specifically for a reason ‘Why are Christians who believe it’s a sin worthy of eternal punishment so openly dishonest?’ for that very reason.

        And Steve we’ve soundly established you have no idea what science *actually* says on any subject, you really don’t want to go down that road. You could try it, We could do with some more genuine laughs around here. It was Tony who last ran screaming from the subject wasn’t it?

      • Oh and as an Evangelist do you ever find the “but, but, but…. Evilution!!!1!’ reponse to ever be an effective tool?

      • The problem – or at least one of the problems – is that creationists lie about what evolution is and is not. They can reject it as mythology if they want, but as Christians they shouldn’t continue to misrepresent it to others.

  4. Steve,

    The picture above. lol

    That has got to be one of the dirtiest bath tubs I have ever seen. Unwashed and unused… just like the souls and minds of some…….

    • Carl, I ask again – why can you not be civil and avoid cheap shots at people? Why is that hard for you?

      • blackswan

        Why do you frame your questions to be backhanded insults?

        Why do you make assumptions about what other people mean and then make comments based upon your own skewed interpretation?

      • Okay then, Carl.

        What exactly did you mean when you wrote:

        Unwashed and unused… just like the souls and minds of some

        Some… what? Please explain.

    • Nohm,

      “some” as in the soul and minds of some.

      • Again, Carl, some what?

        Some people? Some atheists? Some of the commenters here?

        If you believe this, why be vague? Why not just call those people out as having unwashed souls and unused brains?

        Because I bet B1ackSwan called it correctly.

      • Nohm,

        Some people.

      • Carl wrote:

        Some people

        Okay then, so theB1ackSwan made the correct assumption, and his interpretation was not skewed.

        Glad we cleared that up, finally.

  5. Here’s an example of ‘bearing false witness’:

    “But why would it bother you? There is no ultimate truth now, is there?”

    Several people have already explained why these things ‘bother’ us and why they can still bother us even though we reject your theistic belief. Please take your fingers our of your ears.

    “To feel that this was unjust you’d have to borrow from the Christian worldview.”

    This is an unsupported assertion. According to reality, Christianity didn’t start until rather late in the game and it’s precursor, Hebrew religion and traditions, was hardly the first or only to have developed some sort of moral instructions (with or without attribution to the divine). No borrowing from the ‘Christian worldview’ is needed.


    “Now from my perspective, what you call lying I call truth.”

    “Also, you are comparing God with man. God can do what he wants because everything he does is righteous.”

    Do you not realize how funny it is to claim an objective morality an an ultimate truth while stating these things?

    • I am curious Steve, in this day and age where information is readily available on the topics of science and evolution, and there’s demonstrated evidence with actual results relating to the science of evolution, AND you have people readily available to explain things to you, do you feel staying deliberately ignorant on the subject and sticking to a flat denial in favor of just calling it a myth, is the same as lying? I mean I could honestly believe that Santa Claus gives presents to children all around the world on Christmas Eve, but if all the evidence lines up in favor of no Santa and people repeatedly point this out to me, if I continue to spread the belief about Santa does that make me a liar when I should know better?

      • vintango

        It only makes you a liar if you are willfully trying to deceive someone. Is the Dalai Lama a liar because he spreads Buddhist ideas in a world where Muslims, Jews, Christians and Hindus would dismiss some or all of the theological and cosmological claims of Buddhism?

      • Carl,

        I’m not talking about about religion, I’m talking about science. Carl I would call someone who continues to deny established science and the progress we’ve made through it, naive or stubborn, and I’d call them a liar if they knew about it and continued to misinform others about it. Just like I’d call a person a monster if they gave someone snake oil in favor of actual medicine. The difference being one is conjured up by superstition and belief, and the other is the result of practiced, tested, and proven medical science.

      • vintango,

        The point I’m trying to make is that to be a liar one has to willfully and knowingly deceive someone.

        Someone that studies science and is still not convinced of its veracity is not being dishonest.

        In the history of medicine there are cases where honest physicians have prescribed remedies and treatments that modern science has demonstrated to be harmful. In other words an honest snake oil salesman or an honest quack doctor doesn’t believe that they are selling snake oil or being a quack.

      • I’m shocked.

        Carl and I agree on something again!

      • “Someone that studies science and is still not convinced of its veracity is not being dishonest.”

        You right. However, there is a difference between not being convinced of a study and making willful misstatements (i.e., lying) about the study.

        It’s one thing to not be convinced by evolution. It’s another thing to state that evolution can’t explain why there are male and female, be corrected on that point, but continue the misrepresentation by implying evolutionist believe, “…[the] female dog evolved at just the right time, at the right location, at just the right age, with the exact reproducing female parts to mate and keep the species alive.”

      • Carl,

        People who honestly study the subject of evolution, meaning they read the scientific papers, participate in the discussion, analyze the evidence, and help further practical applications… like say…. Christopher Hitchen’s Evangelical Doctor… don’t deny evolution because the evidence for it is so overwhelming. Overwhelming to the point that he chides other Christians for willfully denying established science that has withstood testing and falsification for over a hundred years.

        All I ask is that if you have evidence that would falsify the theory of evolution, and prop up a creationist storyline of life on this planet, please, bring it forth, There are millions of Christians who would jump at the chance to rub it in the face of scientists that their ‘theories’ are correct. Or you can continue to stick fingers in ears, and just bray as loudly as possible that evolution is a myth, you might not call it lying… but I’d at least call it childish.

    • You can only bear false witness in a court of law or by some interpretation if you are defaming your neighbor. Telling a lie is not the same as bearing false witness.

      • To clarify “bearing false witness” is lying, but not all lying is “bearing false witness”.

        examples of bearing false witness:

        1. telling a lie about someone’s actions in a court of law or before the authorities: “My neighbor threw a brick through my window”.

        2. defaming someone: “I saw Professor X cheating on his wife with a student”.

        this is not bearing false witness:

        1. telling a lie: I told mom and dad I was busy all weekend and didn’t have time to visit them but I was playing golf on Saturday and going to a football party on Sunday.

        2. telling a lie in order not to hurt someone’s feelings: I told my co-worker Diane that I really loved the casorole that she made for the potluck.

      • So carl, you disagree with Living Waters’ interpretation of the ten commandments?

        Because the good person test includes “Have you ever told a lie?”

      • No Garrette.

        What I am saying is that there is a difference between bearing false witness and lying.

        Since atheists apparently know more about the Bible than Christians I am surprised that most atheists don’t realize that there is a difference.

        Lying is listed as a sin in a few passages in the New Testament. The Greek words used appear to me to indicate the type of lie that brings harm to someone else, fore instance lies told in order to cheat someone, deceive someone into doing something harmful to themselves or others. I’m going out on a limb but most likely all forms of lying are not condoned and considered a sin. Since everyone has lied, and if lying is a sin, then all people are sinners which is exactly the point Living Waters preachers make.

      • Carl, I actually sorta agree with you here, regarding the difference between “lying” and “bearing false witness”.

        The problem, as Garrett tried to point out, is that the LW “Good Person Test” script at the very least implies that “do not lie” is one of the ten commandments. Note that all of the other items they list in the “test” are in the ten commandments, and the script calls for the reader to ask the mark if he/she has followed the ten commandments.

        Hence Garrett’s question. It therefore appears that you, like me, disagree with the LW interpretation of the ten commandments, because “do not lie” is not the same as “do not bear false witness”.

      • carl,

        I made my comment with the understanding that Christians have varying opinions on what this commandment actually states. Some say it pertains to any sort of lie – even the save Anne Frank in the attic sort. (It was explained to me that if the Nazis are at your door, you tell the truth and expect God to save Anne. I guess if she’s thrown in the ovens, you can then tell yourself that was God’s plan all along.)

        At the other extreme are those who state the commandment only
        proscribes bearing false witness in a court of law. I chose to narrow lying down to bearing false witness (out of court) to try to head off the ‘but that’s not what the commandment really says’ comments and try to keep on target. I obviously failed.

        But, thank goodness you guys have an unambiguous morality that you can point to and be in complete agreement as to what it is.

        Ray, or at least some of the publications he’s said to have written, goes back and forth on whether any sort of lie is a violation of God’s law or if God allows you to tell your grandmother you just love that sweater she crocheted.

      • An “Anne Frank” lie is still a lie. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t do it under the circumstances, because mercy trumps law, but a lie is still a lie. There’s no ambiguity here.

        And no, it would not be appropriate to say Anne Frank is over there. Ever.

        As far as “The Ugly Sweater” goes, tact and discretion goes a long way.

        I hope that’s helpful!

      • Steve wrote:

        because mercy trumps law

        O.o

        O RLY? I’m kind of amazed that you would write that. Isn’t God’s moral law absolute?

      • Read the account of when David ate the Showbread. This was an example Jesus used when his disciples picked grain on the Sabbath. Or read the accounts of when Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Or the woman caught in the act of adultery. Or the example of what to do when an ox falls into a pit on the Sabbath. Or the unclean lepers who were healed by Jesus. Or…. C’mon man. Read your Bible.

        Better yet, study it.

        Better still: Get saved and then you will understand!

      • Of course. Confess it as such and move on. Again, mercy triumphs over judgment in this case. Then there’s the argument of the “greater good.” See what I mean? Simple, if you think about it a little.

        Examples: I lie and say Anne Frank is not in the house. Her life is saved. When I “do business” with God, I am honest with him and confess that I lied. OR, I’m honest with God and say to him, “I believe that the greater good was to save life. Thank you for allowing me to participate in your life saving ministry.”

        It’s about relationship, not rules. But unless you have that relationship with my Father you will never understand. You’ll say that I’m a hypocrite, or that I have shifting morals, or that I’m confused, etc.

        Probably.

      • Jim,

        Who are you, O’ man, to judge God?

        Perfect justice: You sin, you will end up in Hell forever. One sin committed deserves the penalty. How many sins have you committed, Jim? You are storing up wrath for the Day of wrath, my friend. You strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel. Your concern of the minutiae of the temporal will cause you to weep in the eternal.

        Perfect mercy: God’s mercy. When you repent and believe the Gospel. When you humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, he will lift you up. When you put your total trust, like a child, in Christ’s vicarious death. When you believe that he was buried and on the third day rose.

        Jim, you have very little time left. Very little.

        Repent, or you too, will perish.

      • Steve wrote:

        Or…. C’mon man. Read your Bible.

        Oh, I have, and I do.

        Better yet, study it.

        I have, and I do. I come to different conclusions than you do, as I’ve said before.

        The problem that I was trying to point out is that on one hand you claim to have an absolute moral law.

        On the other hand, you claim that mercy trumps the law.

        Therefore, the problem is that if something, even mercy, can trump the law, then the law is not absolute.

        Steve, do you agree or disagree?

        Better still: Get saved and then you will understand!

        Been there, done that. I understood it, and that’s why I lost my faith.

      • I disagree. God is not subject to His Law. He is the Law giver. Who is the Law for? Sinners. People. Sinning people.

        And no, according to Scripture, Nohm, you were never saved. Scripture trumps man’s thoughts. You tried on Christianity like a hat. You didn’t like the hat, or it failed your notions of what a hat is. But, no, assuredly I say to you, you were never a Christian.

        There’s still hope for you though.

      • Great defense Steve.

      • The Living Waters ministry is concerned with Salvation. There are matters pertaining to Salvation and there are matters pertaining to morality.

        The Good Person Test pertains to matters of Salvation. In a nutshell everyone sins, all are guilty to receive the punishment for their sins, Jesus is the only one able to forgive sins and of commuting our punishment for sin. In order to receive forgiveness from Jesus everyone needs to repent of their sins and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Those are the conditions.

        Matters pertaining to morality can be a little different. In the New Testament there are very clear examples, which Steve has mentioned, of where mercy or the greater good trumps law. For instance if a child falls down a well even the most strict Sabbatarians, past and future, would break the Sabbath and do whatever work was necessary to save the life of that child. Most moral situations aren’t very cut and dry. When faced with those sorts of moral dilemmas a person has to choose the lesser of two evils or the action that will have the most positive outcome. An omniscient God knows about these moral dilemmas and will have mercy on those who show mercy in the case of an Anne Frank scenario. (Matthew 5:7)

      • Steve wrote:

        I disagree. God is not subject to His Law.

        Steve, please read again what I wrote, because I don’t think you understood it; I never said anything about God being subject to his law.

        I said that if mercy (and let’s be clear, you were talking about man’s mercy) trumps the law, then the law is not absolute.

        It could certainly be argued that if God doesn’t have to follow his law, that it’s not absolute, but I didn’t go there.

        If man’s mercy can trump the law, then the law is not absolute. What do you think “absolute morals” mean? You might consider it to mean something very different, for all I know.

        Who is the Law for? Sinners. People. Sinning people.

        I would suggest that your statement here again suggests that the law is not absolute, but I’m far more interested in the “mercy trumps the law” claim.

        And no, according to Scripture, Nohm, you were never saved.

        Shrug. I didn’t say I was saved, Steve. I said I had faith and lost it. Do you agree that there is a difference? Please focus on what I write and not on mind-reading what I don’t write.

        In fact, since I was a calvinist, and because I never was able to communicate with God, I actually thought that I wasn’t saved, back when I was a Christian. So, again, please don’t assume that I have opinions that I haven’t expressed. That’s failed mind-reading.

        Scripture trumps man’s thoughts.

        I fully understand that you believe that. I certainly don’t assume that you think otherwise.

        You tried on Christianity like a hat.

        Considering you know absolutely nothing about my testimony, we can chalk this up to failed mind-reading also. I did not try on Christianity like a hat; I was very serious. I might have never “had a True Relationship with Jesus” and all of that, but that does not mean that I tried it on “like a hat”. I find that kind of an offensive way to talk about a period of time in my life that I took very seriously.

        For example, you’ve stated that one of the prime reasons for your blog is to encourage other people to evangelize, especially if they have fears, right? Well, during the time of my life that you disparagingly call “trying it on like a hat”, I was out there in the streets evangelizing without fear, without anyone encouraging me. Motes and beams.

        You didn’t like the hat,

        I can call this another example of failed mind-reading because this is not a quote from scripture. Again, Steve, you do not know my testimony, so you have no idea.

        For the record, I certainly didn’t lose my faith because I didn’t like it; that would be an absurd reason. As I’ve only said time after time after time, what I like or don’t like, and what I want or don’t want, have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not something — like the existence of God — is true.

        Agree, or disagree? I know you’ve seen me say this multiple times here on your blog, so I don’t know why you’d go to the “maybe you didn’t like Christianity” silliness.

        or it failed your notions of what a hat is.

        Failed mind-reading yet again. As I just wrote above, my “notions” of how something is, or should be, has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not something — like God’s existence — is true.

        Agree, or disagree?

        I lost my faith because I came to the conclusion that my beliefs — and therefore my faith — was false. That’s the reason, Steve.

        But, no, assuredly I say to you, you were never a Christian.

        You can call it whatever you want, but you cannot deny that I had faith that I was a Christian. There is no scripture you can bring up that nullifies that. I might have been wrong, and I might be wrong now, but you cannot ret-con away the fact that I had faith.

      • Carl wrote:

        The Good Person Test pertains to matters of Salvation. […]

        Matters pertaining to morality can be a little different.

        Then LW needs to revise their script.

      • I wrote:

        Shrug. I didn’t say I was saved, Steve. I said I had faith and lost it. Do you agree that there is a difference? Please focus on what I write and not on mind-reading what I don’t write.

        After reading this over again, I think the confusion came when I wrote “Been there, done that”, which was not in reference to Steve’s “get saved” part of the comment, but I can see how that mistake can be made, so I’ll back off of my lecture a bit there.

        For the record, I agree that I was never saved. My issue is with the possible idea that I never had faith, or that I tried on Christianity “like a hat”, when in fact I was dead-serious about my faith.

      • Thank you. I can go for that!

      • Go for what, Steve?

    • Good points Nohm.

  6. All righty, then.

    Atheist Q: Why are people who believe that lying is a sin worthy of eternal punishment so transparently dishonest so often?

    My Answer: I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this since you have cited no specific examples.

    Let’s just use our boy Ray Comfort as an example, shall we? (Keeps anyone from feeling insulted that way. Unless Ray were to stop by, and, you know, forget him…)

    Oh, look – I don’t even have to do any work to find that – and it’s even from the SMRTies who like to stop by. (Coincidence, but I think it provides a nice tie-in, huh?)

    Since there is no absolute standard, no absolute truth, then it should be fine for me to “censor” you at whim!
    Why do you keep making this claim? After all the obvious examples we’ve given you, how can you keep making the claim that “all morality can ONLY come from Jesus”? (In fact, I might suggest we add that to the list of “lies” you need to explain. And sadly, it brings it a little closer to home, despite my suggestion that we keep it in third-person…)

    Oh, and just as a side note:
    (on the subject of sock puppets) No, it reflects poorly on the transformative power of the love of Jesus when one write derogatorily.
    Yes, Carl. I’m looking at you.

  7. Liars, Censors and Sock Puppets? Now that is an ironic title when talking about [censored].

    😛

  8. Steve remember that post I did on your blog that showed an objective atheist morality?

    If no, please reread.

    If yes your cop out: “Since there is no absolute standard, no absolute truth, then it should be fine for me to “censor” you at whim!” quote should be removed and the actual question addressed.

  9. Steve wrote:

    Today’s three questions come from … everyone’s favorite atheist, BathTub.

    My feelings are now hurt. I thought I was everyone’s favorite atheist! 🙁

    (j/k)

    Steve, I was actually agreeing with your answer to the “why censor?” question, until you said this:

    The fact that I “censor” anyone shouldn’t really bother an atheist if they are consistent with their philosophy.

    And this is one of the main problems I have when I communicate with you, or the other fundamentalists online: there is no such thing as “the atheist philosophy”.

    Steve, unless we’ve described them in detail to you, you don’t know what our various philosophies are.

    The fact that there exists pro-life atheists and pro-choice atheists, liberal atheists and centrist atheists and conservative atheists, democrat atheists and libertarian atheists and republican atheists, should all show unquestionably that there is no such thing as a singular “the atheist philosophy”.

    Therefore, stating anything like “as an atheist, by your philosophy … ” is going to look strange because, while some people might say “yes, that’s my philosophy”, other people will think “why would you think I have that as my philosophy?”

    Wouldn’t you agree that it’s important, when talking with someone, that you don’t assume what the particulars of their viewpoints are? You don’t go around assuming everyone is pro-life, for example, so you do understand this to some degree.

    You then said:

    Since there is no absolute standard, no absolute truth,

    Well, most (if not almost all) atheists do not accept the claim that there is an absolute standard or truth, but Steve, that is not the same as claiming that there is no absolute standard or truth.

    Steve, do you agree that the following equations are different, due to what is being negated?

    -(4) + 3
    -(4 + 3)

    If you do, then hopefully you can see the difference between:

    I do not accept the claim that “absolute truth exists”
    I claim that “absolute truth does not exist”

    Do you see that the difference is based on where the “not” is in the sentence? That’s very important.

    then it should be fine for me to “censor” you at whim!

    So, you’re saying the following:

    If absolute truth and an absolute standard do not exist, then it should be fine to be censored.

    Please explain how you get from A to B, there. Why does censoring suddenly become fine if someone does not accept the claim of an absolute standard of truth?

    I’d be very interested to read your reply. Thank you.

    • I nohminate Nohm as “everyone’s favorite atheist”.

      • Thanks, Carl.

        Steve, if you don’t mind, I’d still like to hear from you as to how you got from A to B regarding it being fine for us to be censored.

      • It’s my blog. I can “censor” who I want.

        What standard do you (or others) use to tell me that what I do is wrong?

      • Agreeing with Steve here. It’s his right to censor who he wants on his blog. (But changing what people said – even if you thought it would be funny – that wasn’t cool.)

      • Steve wrote:

        It’s my blog. I can “censor” who I want.

        Steve, as I wrote above:

        I was actually agreeing with your answer to the “why censor?” question

        I don’t write what I write just because I like to type. I’m actually trying to convey my opinions to you. As I said, I have no problem with you censoring anyone because, as you said, it is your blog.

        The question I was trying to ask was based on your comment when you wrote:

        Since there is no absolute standard, no absolute truth, then it should be fine for me to “censor” you at whim!

        I thought I was clear that that’s where I was confused, and that’s where I was asking how you got from A (“atheists do not accept the claim of an absolute standard”) to B (“it should be fine for me to “censor” you at whim!”).

        Do you understand now?

        I fully get the statement: “It’s my blog, so I can censor who I want.”

        I do not understand the statement: “You don’t accept my claim of an absolute standard, so I can censor who I want.”

        Am I clear now?

        If so, then please, explain how you get from A to B.

        What standard do you (or others) use to tell me that what I do is wrong?

        I use the platinum rule, myself. Treat others as they wish to be treated. Also, I have a standard which is “avoid hypocrisy at all costs”.

        For example, I get on your case because I think failed mind-reading is wrong, because I am convinced that you would not appreciate it if I did failed mind-reading to you. We can test this out, if you’d like (but I’d rather not).

        Others might have their own standard. You might see this as problematic; I don’t. I view your stance as problematic because you claim something is absolute but then start to describe things that trump it.

        I’ve always thought I was clear that I support your right to censor anyone you want, Steve, so I find your statement to be a bit strange.

      • Perhaps, as a minor suggestion, the standard of a society that values the freedom of speech and expression. But you’re right, its your blog you can censor anything you wish, from curse words to… CENSORED =)

    • (should actually be with the ‘agree with Steve’ comment)

      However, I don’t think the comment and question was about whether or not Steve can control comments on his on blog, but why Steve says atheists have no reason for disliking being censored.

  10. About the 9th Commandment and lying bearing false witness: A. W. Pink does a great job of explaining this conundrum. http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Commandments/command_09.htm

  11. “It’s my blog. I can “censor” who I want.”

    Isn’t it nice that that is the extent of your power?

  12. On feb 8, Carl wrote the following to Vintango:

    It only makes you a liar if you are willfully trying to deceive someone

    This is wrong. A lie is something that is untrue, and someone who communicates a lie is a liar. Intent is not a prerequisite.

  13. Intent IS a prerequisite of being a “liar”. To be a liar you have to know something is untrue and then purposely communicate that untruth to someone else.

    • Of course, a modern dictionary defines a lie with both intent and without intent. It seems to boil down to the will of those who use the word. I have a feeling that in the context of Christianity and how God is ridiculously anal about such things, it’s probably without intent.

  14. I can censor who I want, it’s my blog. I smell fear in that statement.

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