The Bathroom Wall

With any tavern, one can expect that certain things that get said are out-of-place. But there is one place where almost any saying or scribble can find a home: the bathroom wall. This is where random thoughts and oddments that don’t follow the other entries at the Panda’s Thumb wind up. As with most bathroom walls, expect to sort through a lot of oyster guts before you locate any pearls of wisdom.

32592 Comments

There is a God!

And he is a plumber. The Bathroom has been flushed.

Thank you Reed.

Great!

Course, that still leaves what happens when the new plumbing acquires a big drip…

Wait, what am I saying?

Ingeborg Esbrandt said:

Hey, nice post :) - well, even though I came via Google searching for “justfaces spreadshirt” wondering why this post came up on top??? Greetings xoxo

Spammer alert!

To make one point about the previous thread. John Kwok wrote:

“Sorry Jim, but your invocation of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is not helpful here. Incidentally there are many Muslims and Muslim Americans who oppose its construction, simply because they recognize that building it near Ground Zero is needlessly offensive to the families of the victims and the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Some of the most prominent critics - who are Muslim Americans - include Wall Street businessman Mansoor Ijaz (who tried to assist the Clinton administration in extraditing Osama bin Laden from the Sudan) and former United States Navy officer Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

[…]

If you are going to call Miss USA, a Muslim American, Rima Fakih, a bigot, then be my guest. Same is true for those two prominent Muslim Americans I had mentioned. Or other Muslim Americans who, like them, have spoken out against building the “Cordoba House” Islamic Center (Of course I am also against it, but am definitely not a bigot.).”

Unless YOU are a practicing Muslim your opposition to this cultural center is pure bigotry, so your saying that you’re “definitely not a bigot” is false. Your ruse of hiding behind the Muslim-Americans’ backs is the same as of the racists who think that using the n-word is OK because so many African-Americans use it. If you are a Muslim, well then, I find your views on the issue just silly, not bigoted.

Kris,

You can’t possibly know what I know.

mrg said:

DS said: Kris has certainly demonstrated that he doesn’t deserve anything more.

Actually, I was suggesting we all insult and abuse DH. If he wants to invite it, why not oblige?

We already tried that on Kris. You can only call someone an @$$hole, a bastard and crazy so many times before it gets tiresome. What’s the point of bashing me?

Kris has called me a liar for stating the obvious facts about him. We can all see what he has done, so why would he deny the stunts he has pulled? He is the one who invaded our space to attack the cause of the blog, yet he expects us to be tolerant and respectful of him no matter what he says? There is no law or principle I know that demands any such thing.

Kris said:

What you said about me is a complete lie. I didn’t start the insults and attacks. You and your asshole buddies here did. And trying to con FF with lies about me and that swill about respecting people you and they (“we”) don’t agree with is yet another one of your acts of deliberate dishonesty. You and most others here wouldn’t know what respect is if it hit you like a freight train going 60 miles per hour.

Since the statements you make about me are false, you’re a deliberate liar, according to your own standards for others. Of course your standards for yourself are completely different. How convenient for you.

The ONLY reason you and most others aren’t now viciously attacking FF is because she said she’s a woman. Even then, some of you have been pretty blunt to her, and especially rude before she said she’s a woman, even though she has been nice the whole time.

My questions to her are not an attack or a trap. They are sincere. You are grossly misrepresenting me and are just showing yourself to be the hypocritical, dishonest, delusional liar you are.

You are a seriously fucked up lunatic with delusions of godhood who needs a good ass kicking.

By the way, Mr. theological agnostic, unitarian, universalist, dis-honorable, bushido, liberal, un-scientific pseudo-skeptic, what are you going to add to or subtract from your self-created, self-serving, bogus religion tomorrow?

You just keep piling up your lies and hypocrisy Dale. You said “You do what you like, but I’m done with Kris for good.” yet you’re still bashing me and lying about me.

You also said you respect people with whom you disagree but then you say “I went after him anyway.” when you first saw me here. When I first came here I didn’t say anything that warranted you going after me.

Plus, you said you respect people with whom you disagree but then you say “I’d go after Ann Coulter if that bitch showed up here too.” So much for you respecting people you disagree with.

As usual the things you claim about yourself, and me, are false, which makes you a chronic LIAR, according to your standards for others.

You admit to slamming me a lot but of course you try to make it look like you’re a saint for doing so. Whether you or anyone else here ever accepts it or not, I’m just giving you and others shit back because you and/or they started it, either with me or someone else who didn’t or doesn’t deserve it.

I didn’t escalate the situation. You and your fellow, lying, arrogant hypocrites did.

It really cracks me up to see you guys acting exactly like some of the creationists you hate and condemn so much. You accuse and attack them for not listening and having closed minds, and for playing what you think are ridiculous games, but you do the same thing. Congratulations, you have become your enemy.

FODS

I haven’t lied about anything, you jackass! The simple fact is that you have invaded Panda’s Thumb and have been a disruptive force from the beginning and have played us like suckers. I’m not fooled by you and no one else is. Even if you were insulted by one or two people in the beginning, you could have ignored it and just responded to the ones who were being positive to you, like flowersfriend has been, but instead you started throwing shit at everyone who dared to reject your tactics. We insulted you because that seemed to be what you liked, but I get tired of that after a while. You don’t, appearantly.

If you seriously think you have made ANY positive contributions to this community here, you are even more delusional than most Creationists!

Dale Husband said: What’s the point of bashing me?

None whatsoever, but since any comments to a troll are going to produce nothing but bashing in response, that leads to what the point of the comments was.

John often fails to read for comprehension. A poor highschool education , no doubt.

Ghrom said:

To make one point about the previous thread. John Kwok wrote:

“Sorry Jim, but your invocation of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is not helpful here. Incidentally there are many Muslims and Muslim Americans who oppose its construction, simply because they recognize that building it near Ground Zero is needlessly offensive to the families of the victims and the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Some of the most prominent critics - who are Muslim Americans - include Wall Street businessman Mansoor Ijaz (who tried to assist the Clinton administration in extraditing Osama bin Laden from the Sudan) and former United States Navy officer Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

[…]

If you are going to call Miss USA, a Muslim American, Rima Fakih, a bigot, then be my guest. Same is true for those two prominent Muslim Americans I had mentioned. Or other Muslim Americans who, like them, have spoken out against building the “Cordoba House” Islamic Center (Of course I am also against it, but am definitely not a bigot.).”

Unless YOU are a practicing Muslim your opposition to this cultural center is pure bigotry, so your saying that you’re “definitely not a bigot” is false. Your ruse of hiding behind the Muslim-Americans’ backs is the same as of the racists who think that using the n-word is OK because so many African-Americans use it. If you are a Muslim, well then, I find your views on the issue just silly, not bigoted.

Malchus said: A poor highschool education , no doubt.

Oh Bob, I can hear the howls now: “Set phasers to SLAUGHTER!”

Kris said:

Mike Elzinga said:

With a troll’s profile ready at hand, and with sufficient discipline on the part of the regulars, that could be cut to zero.

Profile ready at hand? What exactly does that mean Mike? Ready for what or whom? Do you have printed profiles of all the people you’ve labeled as trolls and hand them out to passersby on street corners? Or, do you create a profile file in your computer containing your intricate and exhaustive (LMAO!) calculations and determinations about each alleged troll and somehow send a copy of it to everyone on Earth to warn them of impending doom? Or, do you only dispense it to other regulars here who are able to contact you personally and who request a copy because they let you do their thinking for them?

Or, do you just think that your stupid ‘profiles’ actually matter, when in reality they actually don’t? Do you really believe that what happens on this website, or your asinine profiles, or what you do with them, matters one iota to the vast majority of the people on Earth? Get over yourself Mike.

Hey, if you have my profile handy, why don’t you post it here? I could use a good laugh.

Your “profile” is a person who needs attention and does not even try to get it by behaving in any consistent or coherent fashion. You are a manipulative jerk who takes ANY response from others and uses it as an excuse to attack. You bash us for not being tolerant enough of Creationists, while stating Creationist fallacies yourself. Then you turn around and deny being religious and question why certain others who are Creationist take their religion so seriously. Such strange behavior is pathological in the extreme.

Gee, this website seems VERY important to you, considering how much time you spend here.

You are either crazy or a fraud, Kris.

The fun thing about the BW is that the trolls either have to cave in and respond on the BW – which they don’t want to do – or pass up responding – which they REALLY don’t want to do.

Kris said:

Whatever you do, don’t even consider that when people come here and sincerely want to ask, discuss, debate, learn, and/or contribute in some way, that when they’re mercilessly insulted and attacked and erroneously lumped into your hated group of ID/creationists, they just might not like it and may fight back, and especially when they offer reasonable explanations of their words and the explanations (and the person) are ignored, misinterpreted, misrepresented, slammed, bashed, and ridiculed by you and the rest of the mindless haters here. Yeah, don’t even consider that for a second. You and the other haters and bashers here are way too perfect to have to consider such things. It’s never your fault.

Your track record is too well known here for us to consider that you are sincere about anything. You are even WORSE than the average Creationist troll because you keep going back and forth between acting non-religious and acting like a Creationist. You cannot be both, so you must be bullshitting us. Nobody here can take that seriously.

Expressed violent thoughts a number of times?? Yeah Mike, I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar, but I haven’t “expressed violent thoughts a number of times” in the way you’re implying. You’re the one who needs a psychiatrist, along with some others here. If you’re considered sane, I’d rather be considered crazy. And comparing me or anyone else you simply don’t agree with to a serial killer just helps show how paranoid and delusional you are.

If you don’t like being called a liar, stop being one. At least I have ALWAYS told the truth about YOU.

DH, a very minor issue here: the first part you cited above was addressed to me, and personally I find it amusing to watch such comments fall into a hole of resounding silence.

However, as far as the rest goes, carry on.

mrg said:

DH, a very minor issue here: the first part you cited above was addressed to me, and personally I find it amusing to watch such comments fall into a hole of resounding silence.

However, as far as the rest goes, carry on.

Oh, did you want to answer him here first? Be my guest. But I figured I’d just make a note of ANY inappropriate thing Kris says elsewhere and post it here, answer it here, and wait for Kris to take the hint and stop attacking us everywhere else and just slam people here.

Dale Husband said: Oh, did you want to answer him here first? Be my guest.

Why would I want to do that? But if my own rejoinder is indifference, I can at least politely ask that the effect not be spoiled.

Kris threatens: “I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar,…”

Lotsa bluster; everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

Mike Elzinga said: … everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

AARGH! I am so outa here!

Kris said:

Mike Elzinga said:

mrg said:

Serial killers are maybe a bit much of a comparison.

The point was the sociopathic needs of such an individual. This troll has expressed violent thoughts a number of times. But a psychiatrist would have a better handle on this that I.

I think people like attention; it’s just a question of what kind of attention. When I was the factory contact guy in my corporate life, a colleague in marketing told me that it was true I put up with a lot of abuse – I did – but added: “People thank you sometimes.”

And they did. I get thanks on occasion for my current efforts as well – not often, and maybe thanks aren’t the be-all and end-all of the effort … but on the other side of the coin, if nobody ever thanks me, what reason would I have to honestly believe what I was doing actually did anyone good?

Now take the negative mentalities that show up here … does anyone ever thank them for what they’re doing? It’s obvious it never happens, and just as obvious that they haven’t any expectation that it will.

They still want attention, and lacking any concept that they will ever be praised, they have no alternative but to be disruptive. If one cannot build, then they can only take satisfaction in destruction.

Yeah; you are pointing out common desires that nearly everyone has. But sociopaths also know this and manipulate these.

But I suspect most of us can simply walk away from these kinds of manipulations when we have other things to do that are satisfying; and I suspect most of the moderators here on PT do in fact have other things vying for their attention.

Hell, I’m retired and I can’t get through everything I want to get through in a week. The only reason I even show up here is that the PT topics are often very interesting, and I have a high speed connection that allows me to look in from time to time when I happen to be working on my computer. So most of the time I’m multitasking up a storm when I’m here.

Expressed violent thoughts a number of times?? Yeah Mike, I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar, but I haven’t “expressed violent thoughts a number of times” in the way you’re implying. You’re the one who needs a psychiatrist, along with some others here. If you’re considered sane, I’d rather be considered crazy. And comparing me or anyone else you simply don’t agree with to a serial killer just helps show how paranoid and delusional you are.

Whew! Glad I never called Kris a liar. I only called him a coward and a bully.

Mike Elzinga said: Lotsa bluster; everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

So it’s like “one of these days Alice, POW! To the mooning”?

Another collection of Kris’ delusional rants.

Kris said:

And of course your insulting comments, and the insulting comments by the other hypocrites here, don’t violate any of those rules you posted, eh?

Apparently, all that matters here is that any insults have to be aimed at creationists or anyone who doesn’t blindly and viciously attack them right along with you guys/gals.

Giving you back your own shit isn’t allowed. Questioning you isn’t allowed. Having a mind of my own isn’t allowed. Calling you on your bullshit isn’t allowed. Anything less than total devotion and obedience to you and your creationist hating ‘cause’ isn’t allowed. Hypocrisy, by you and your cohorts, is allowed, and encouraged.

Kris said:

And of course you and others going on and on about “trolls”, and repeatedly posting “DNFTT”, isn’t “SPAM”. Yeah, whatever.

Why do you think that a “dissenter” is automatically a “troll”? You’ve said you’re a Christian. Would your Christian God approve of your insulting, hypocritical, hateful behavior?

Kris said:

Maybe, just maybe the moderators are getting wise to the hypocrisy and other bullshit you and others are guilty of.

Now STFU spamming troll.

How do you like your own shit thrown back at you?

Panda’s Thumb is a blog made for defending evolution and promoting proper science education, and since Kris was the one who invaded the blog to spew both Creationist arguments that we were expected to “tolerate” (like we are supposed to tolerate falsehoods?) and then claim to be non-religious at other times, why shouldn’t we regard him as unwelcome, inconsistent and disruptive? Why shouldn’t we treat him like he is the enemy, when that’s all he has ever acted like since he arrived here?

An example of hypocrisy would be us invading and attacking ID promoters on Uncommon Descent. I’ve never done that, and never will. Maybe Kris can go over there and drive the ID people crazy for a while, to prove to us once and for all that he is an equal-opportunity critic, and not a bigoted Creationist concern troll.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/

Kris the creationist wrote:

“If, however, “descent with modification” is defined as showing that speciation (evolution) occurs and/or occurred, then that’s a different ballgame, and requires greater evidence. While a lot of evidence points to a persuasive probability that descent with modification, including divergence/speciation, occurred throughout(?) the history of life, there’s a lot more work to do to before it can reasonably be said that it has been established close to 100%, and I’m not sure it can be reasonably said that it can be established ‘empirically’. Many inferences have been and have to be made, and inferences are a matter of opinion.”

This is of course incorrect. I already posted a link to a web page entitled:

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution

If Kris wants to discuss the point, he can do so here. Maybe someone will want to discuss it with him. Unless of course he is just plain chicken shit.

DS said: Kris the creationist wrote:

You might just leave a short bland note on the original thread to invite him to come to the BW for discussion. He’ll ignore it, of course, but that works too.

Yawn.

(Bored.)

All the spamming at The Immune System Cross-examination Still Burns, and other forums, is very unChristlike, don’t you think?

Makes you wonder if these anti-science creation-supporters are Christians? (Never known a real creationist who wasn’t.)

It’s funny how trolls stubbornly resist being prodded to direct their comments to the BW. They know that once they do, they don’t have any real nuisance value any more: “What’s the point of trolling, then?”

Kris huffs and puffs and squeaks “What are you afraid of?” hiding behind his mommy’s apron. Afraid to mix it up on the big kid’s playground, he’ll sit in the sandbox and cry.

Poor widdle Kwis! Mean old scientists call you out on your stupid shit? Maybe if we ignore the little wanker he’ll go back into the closet and play with himself.

Geeze, I’m beginning to miss FL! I tell you, the neighborhood is going to hell.

I knew the asshole was chicken shit. All he haas to do is come here and provide a better explanation for the 29 different independent data sets that are all consistent with common descent. Until he does, I guess he will just be someone who believes in evolution but not in common descent. Yea right.

Everyone should remember, he had his chance to discuss science, he chose to quote mine and insult instead. He can cry all he wants to now, but everyone is wise to his crap.

FL said:

And so God’s clear intention in the Bible, as expressed by the Bible’s own texts, is to kill slavery gradually. Therefore God, and the Bible, don’t condone slavery.

Uh huh. Right.

Loony.

The only viable theodicy, in my opinion, is that there is an inherent value to bringing about the destruction of evil from within the system that created it, as opposed to simply zapping it out of existence. This does not explain why certain individual atrocities (e.g. child rape) are permitted to happen – I cannot claim to know why such things happen, and it is my greatest reason to remain agnostic – but that’s still a valid overall theodicy.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t help FL, because FL isn’t arguing a theodicy. He’s arguing a theodicy in which the Bible is a fax from heaven. Which is plainly not the case.

I’ve been following this discussion with a mix of amusement and revulsion.

To the best of my knowledge, there is nowhere in the Bible an outright condemnation of the practice of owning people as property. There is nowhere in the Bible an explicit command to free slaves. Slavery, within the prescribed legal boundaries, is not explicitly condemned as evil and owning people is not characterized as sinful. That’s what the Bible says – or more precisely, what it doesn’t say. The Biblical commands are clearly accommodated to the culture in which they were issued.

Slavery under the Old Testament rules probably was less inhumane than slavery was in the antebellum Southern Unites States, and was probably less inhumane than slavery in some of the neighboring nations. But it was still slavery – people still owned other people – and it was endorsed by virtue of the fact that there were laws regulating it.

That was then. What about today?

Today, the challenge of Christian faith is not simply to understand millenia-old commands, but to discern what Christ calls us to do today. Today we understand that if we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, we cannot own our neighbor and cannot allow our neighbor to be owned. We are called to challenge oppression and injustice when we see it.

We cannot, however, fight the putrid remnants of institutionalized injustice by pretending it never existed.

david.starling.macmillan said:

The only viable theodicy, in my opinion, is that there is an inherent value to bringing about the destruction of evil from within the system that created it, as opposed to simply zapping it out of existence.

Somewhat tangential, but what always bothered me–not as a snark, but something that bothered me a lot more as a believer than as a non-believer–is “The poor you will always have with you” (Matthew 26:11 et al.)

It seemed to me that not only does God not have a sudden or even gradual plan to eliminate poverty, but insists that it will never be eliminated. Of course, you could spin this a number of ways in terms of relative poverty, and the quote is taken out of context anyway.

Coming from a leftwing Catholic background, I could read this as a statement about likely outcomes despite genuine attempts to eliminate poverty (we will try our best, but nothing is perfect).

But I really do think that conservatives take this as a kind of commandment against what society should be trying to do. E.g., Johnson’s “war on poverty” is judged not merely in terms of effectiveness, but is condemned as a kind of modern Tower of Babel going against God’s will. (I don’t think I’m misrepresenting fundamentalist views in any way, but feel free to set me straight if I am).

SWT said:

Today we understand that if we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, we cannot own our neighbor and cannot allow our neighbor to be owned. We are called to challenge oppression and injustice when we see it.

We cannot, however, fight the putrid remnants of institutionalized injustice by pretending it never existed.

I like the way these two paragraphs fit together – we can challenge oppression and injustice wherever we see it, but pretending not to see it ensures that we won’t be able to challenge it.

Especially when we’re pretending not to see it in our holy books.

callahanpb said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

The only viable theodicy, in my opinion, is that there is an inherent value to bringing about the destruction of evil from within the system that created it, as opposed to simply zapping it out of existence.

Somewhat tangential, but what always bothered me–not as a snark, but something that bothered me a lot more as a believer than as a non-believer–is “The poor you will always have with you” (Matthew 26:11 et al.)

It seemed to me that not only does God not have a sudden or even gradual plan to eliminate poverty, but insists that it will never be eliminated. Of course, you could spin this a number of ways in terms of relative poverty, and the quote is taken out of context anyway.

Interesting. I hadn’t thought of it in that way. I had always seen it, in context, as a continuance of the subject – that until the Groom returns, things will never quite be fully put right.

But I really do think that conservatives take this as a kind of commandment against what society should be trying to do. E.g., Johnson’s “war on poverty” is judged not merely in terms of effectiveness, but is condemned as a kind of modern Tower of Babel going against God’s will. (I don’t think I’m misrepresenting fundamentalist views in any way, but feel free to set me straight if I am).

Not a misrepresentation in the least.

No problem for Floyd to twist and contort his cockamamie Cuckoo of the Cosmos from the obvious maniacal murderer, rapist, thief, liar, and misogynist that it is, into an all-around nice fella just taking his time. I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he can twist and contort anything science to fit his delusions just as easily. It doesn’t surprise me, anyway. Fortunately, Floyd doesn’t get to decide what theology or science says. Still, it’s a comedy to read – pathetic, but comical.

As far as I can see, Floyd, here’s how things stand.

1. You claim that the Bible clearly indicates God’s “gradual” plan to eliminate slavery. But why would God take a gradual approach to slavery if his opposition to it was remotely as strong as you say? Everything else that God wanted to eliminate was explicitly condemned and prohibited from the start. And besides, does the Bible itself say anywhere that God has such a gradual plan to eliminate slavery? If not, then what is your basis for claiming that he does? Sounds rather non-literal to me.… But we’ll come to that in the end. Read on.

****

2. You claim that God’s toleration for slavery applied only to Old Testament Israel, so slavery in other times and places is completely disallowed. But why is slavery alone subject to these limitations? There are plenty of other features of God’s law and revealed morality, in both the Old Testament and the New, that even you would say apply universally. Indeed, if God limited the rules of conduct to the time and place in which, and the people to whom, he gave them, no one today would need to follow any of them, since after all, these rules were all given several thousand years ago (even in YEC time) on the other side of the planet to peoples that (with the possible exception of modern Israel) no longer exist. So which are the time-and-space-and-people-specific rules, and why? and which are the universal rules, and why?

I don’t think that you yourself believe in any such significant distinction – except with regard to slavery.

****

3. You claim that slavery in the ancient world wasn’t so bad – really it was just like being a servant, just household service. It has already been agreed that, for the most part, slavery in the ancient world was better than American slavery. But on the one hand, the Bible itself notes that masters can often be harsh – hence the need for regulations, perhaps? And on the other hand, the Bible is very clear about what slaves are: property. This is the defining feature of slavery: human beings owning other human beings as property.

And the Bible never says that this is wrong. It says that slaves are to be treated humanely. It advises slaves – sometimes – to escape if they can. But it never says “Thou shalt not own human beings” or “Slavery is a sin in the eyes of God” or anything like these. Rather odd, if the Bible “totally opposes” slavery.

****

4. You seem to think that showing the practice of slavery was regulated is enough to show that it was not condoned. This is like believing that if one wants Wall Street regulated, to prevent insider trading, say, or Ponzi schemes, one does not condone the public trade of stock. The fact is, in the passages discussing how slavery is to be regulated, the Bible is condoning slavery, subject to those regulations.

****

5. The fact that there are some passages in the Bible in which slavery appears negative is not in dispute. Those passages are there. The Israelites’ bondage in Egypt, for example, is often cited as a reason to treat slaves humanely. That said, the horror of having been slaves in Egypt is never cited as a reason not to have slaves in the first place.

The passages urging one not to be a slave are there, too. They are not, however, accompanied by passages urging one not to be a master. This is particularly interesting in light of the passage that you resolutely continue to dodge, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, which discusses one Christian being enslaved to another.

****

6. The Bible is thus deeply ambiguous on the moral status of slavery. There are passages that characterize slavery negatively. But there are also passages explicitly allowing it and discussing how it is to be regulated. And there is no passage anywhere that overtly condemns the practice of owning other human beings. The word “ambiguous” is entirely accurate.

****

And finally, the big payoff from all this:

7. Your claim to interpret the Bible literally is a complete and total SHAM. On the matter of slavery – and I suspect it is but the tip of a very large iceberg – you are quite happy to substitute your interpretation of the meaning of the Bible for what the Bible actually says. If deforming and mutilating the actual Biblical text is the price of maintaining authority and inerrancy for the parts of the text that you like, you’re quite happy to pay it.

That much is at least as clear as, gee, I dunno, the Bible’s “total opposition” to slavery.…

callahanpb said: The Bible can be read as condemning murder …

Unless it’s of people who happen to own land that your tribe wants. Then you’re commanded to murder them all–men, women, babies, and livestock–with the exception of any pretty young girls that you want to keep as sex slaves.

Bible morality.

From the book of Genesis:

6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.”

Notice that the deity didn’t say “I screwed up; let’s see how I can tinker with it to fix it.”

Instead, like a frustrated, incompetent artist, he smashes his work in a childish rage and blames the problem on the artwork.

Perhaps this might assist the current debate a little:

Does God approve of slavery? (Skeptics Annotated Bible)

Nobody responded to my offer to get the complete text of “Christendom or Psychology” so I put one of the more interesting parts up here. The offer still is open to everyone, the address can be found in my response to mattdance18 somewhere above here.

Pages 166 - 175, non-professional translation from Norwegian by me: QUOTE … This road to the realization of the kingdom of God may seem short – and still it is so long and difficult. Because it runs through man’s inner – through suffering, recognition and liberation of the mind. The road runs through Calvary where the delusions and negative expressions of life known as sin are being understood and thereby made void. But just this is so utterly difficult, that man time and again will seek to escape into literalism and symptoms to keep his life-aberrations alive. We are all refugees, with each our own specialties often developed to virtuosity. Some escape into arts, other into intellectual achievements. The means of escape are innumerable and as a rule rationalized and camouflaged beyond recognition. They may be work, politics, sports. Money, social position, power and dominance, family, illness with all kinds of symptoms in psyche and soma, diversions, alcohol, sex, food and so on – and not to forget: religious, metapsychic and philosophical specialities, that each by themselves or in various combinations are capable of keeping life’s aberrations and illusions alive.

The number of pitfalls are legio. It would be most peculiar if the fundamental importance that dreams have in revealing man’s escapes and as a life-renewing factor in mans life, should not be expressed in the Bible. Aberrations of life and correction by means of dreams are described in the Old Testament – in the book of Job. But this central point of the account is hardly preached from the pulpits or in the religious literature – because the central importance and function of dreams and therefore is unable to put this essential point into a meaningful context. Dreams and their function are unknown areas for theologians – who, also for this reason have made Christendom into lore – and not into life. Unless we know the function of dreams and their mode of expression, religion cannot be the means of salvation that reaches into the centre of man and gives him stamina and power in his everyday life – and create dignified human relations on the social level. In the bible, however, the function and meaning of dreams are quite clearly described – and with the proper interpretation as a prerequisite for growth, happiness and a prosperous relation to God. The book of Job therefore may become an important bridge between religion and science – and between Judaism and Christendom – and further on to other religions – because it points directly at the central aspect of human life – the relation to God – dreams – and the common human aspect of religion.

The story of Job is just this:

He was a rich and wealthy man – who was tried – just as we all wil be sooner or later in our lives. Satan was given permission by God to test him. Job lost his rich herds, his 10 children, and personally, he got severe physical challenges in the form of diseases. Then Job began cursing his life, his God and the entire being. Three friends came to comfort him and to find out what wrong he had done. The only thing they had to offer was hard and condemning words and they therefore were of absolutely no help to him. Then came the fourth – Elihu – a young man, who by theologians seems to be considered as a false teacher. He puts his finger on the essential point: Job has not recognized his dreams – and therefore is utterly ignorant about what God wants of him.

I quote from chapter 33 – verses 14-33: For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man; he keeps back his soul from the Pit, his life from perishing by the sword. “Man is also chastened with pain upon his bed, and with continual strife in his bones; so that his life loathes bread, and his appetite dainty food. His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. His soul draws near the Pit, and his life to those who bring death. If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him; and he is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom; (Italicized here.) let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’; then man prays to God, and he accepts him, he comes into his presence with joy. He recounts to men his salvation, and he sings before men, and say: ‘I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not requited to me. He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit, and my life shall see the light.’ “Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the Pit, that he may see the light of life. Give heed, O Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you. If not, listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Thus spoke young Elihu.

When Job understands and accepts this connection – when he admits to his guilt and God’s wisdom and greatness – he is on the road to salvation. But the wonder does not take place until he intercede for his three condemning friends – that God wanted to punish, because they had only hard and condemning words for the one who was in need of help and clarification of the causality and pointing out of the central importance of the contents of dreams symbols. Job becomes twice as rich as before, he gets 10 new children – his new happiness surpasses all that went before his tribulation.

And lastly, it says that Jobs’ daughters were the fairest in the land – and their father gave them the right to inherit besides their brothers. This last passage is very revealing when we consider the extreme patriarchic society in which this account of wisdom was created. For daughter inherited nothing at all.

Some comments are in order for this mythical account – which otherwise speaks for itself. We see God and Satan operating together, something not in the least strange when we consider the connection that exist between these opposite poles of human life expressions – the right and the wrong side of the one and same reality.

The three condemning moralists were powerless with their harsh words. They even aroused Gods’ wrath by their attitude because they had not understood anything of the nature of God, and therefore neither understood anything of the process of human redemption.

Most interesting is how the young, authoritative Elihu shows dreams as the vehicle for expressing Gods’ will – and that it is necessary that this language is interpreted – and interpreted correctly. This has a wider address – namely to religion as the extension of dreams – and to those who have taken it upon themselves to interpret the religious images and symbols. Redemption and renewal of life comes only with the proper interpretation. That also is the sequence of the process that is the driving dynamics of a living religion. The Bible – the symbols – must be given the right interpretation – in order to give life, this is what the book of Job tells us. But the end result comes first when Job intercede for those that God wants to punish.

Not until one does something actively – and have a forgiving state of mind – comes salvation and happiness – also on the worldly level. The story of Job therefore has much to say to us, and above all, it teaches us the importance of an un-condemning attitude – and that what we understand, must find outlet in action. The book of Job also tells us something important about the lack of balance a patriarchal society create. Male arrogance has to go – says Elihu. Last, but not least, the book of Job points to the central fact that we have to understand Gods’ language of images – dreams – and what they may give us. Only then we become human – happy humans – freed from the curses and intellectualized technocracy of the male society.

And religion will become the speech of God and life itself – that can be understood by everyone – because it is the same universal language that is alive in all mankind and may be understood by everybody on this earth – given they will listen and learn.

The full effect of dreams may only be realized when it is fully understood. When this happens, a process of development may begin – a condition that is the driving force itself in a depth-psychological therapeutic context with dreams as primus motor.

A correct interpretation clears room for subconscious and unsolved conflict matter. This process to an extent guides itself with respect to speed and mobilization of conflict matters – ant it stops when the proper interpretation is not reached. Dreams shows in images and the inner trail of development – the obstacles in the way – the possibilities at hand – and which way one has to go. If we have a series of nightly dreams- this sequence may often clearly be seen.

Dreams in such a process of restructuring have as somewhat different character than regular dreams that often are like snapshots in relation to particular outer events. During the course of a therapeutic process of development, it is quite remarkable how we may see images – themes – and attitudes change character – such that like in a book of pictures may follow this course of development far better than possible with other modes of expression. The proper interpretation is built, among other things, on associations to the various chains of meaning and singular elements. A symbol may never be taken for given – and of a single meaning – for it may have a quite different meaning – depending on the individual history and context present. A rigid system of symbols with fixed translations will not do.

Each individual speaks his own dialect of dreams, and when one gets on the inside of this, a dream may be read almost like an open book. Whether the interpretation of a dream is correct or not is determined by the dreamer himself, who senses if the interpretation is correct, or not. In dreams, conflict matters are abreacted with associated affects. Thereby one does not have to enact the conflict in everyday life – in the relation to the therapeut – and in relations to other people. Dreams see to it that the right and important problems are kept in focus – and stays alive in the process. In the continuing process, as private conflict matters are shelled off in a more personal formed register of symbols – we come down to the simple, universal central human symbols that are the building blocks of religions and a concentrate of the fundamental forces of life and existence, centered like a pattern around the inner source of power that we conceive as the determining, ordering and cosmic principle of existence – that we also call God. Religion, as an extension of dreams, share all the moments of dreams. Religion is, at the literal level, to be likened to a dream that is not interpreted or wrongly interpreted – preventing anything of importance from taking place on the inner arena. The result is quite different if religion is used as a vehicle for the development of an individual’s consciousness. This requires a correct interpretation of the symbols such that a gradual understanding of what they mean with respect to inner realities may ensue. Discontinuation of an individual’s conflict matters - the development of consciousness – and activation of human qualities, feelings and creative powers leads to a unification with the inner power source – instead of continuously driving with the brakes on – such as happens when the energy must express itself in deflections and negative expressions. If religion is to be used in this manner – it requires theologians that know their trade – and knows what they are talking about – and know what to talk about.

Nothing human must be alien to them – they must know themselves and the human structure fully – in all its diversity. What must be alien to them are the condemning, hard words – re the story of Job! The way religion is preached today, it automatically attracts a particular type of people that to a large extent are of just that disposition and little motivation for breaking with the traditional pattern of letters whose slaves they are – and wants to be.

When a new perspective enters into religion, it just as automatically will attract another type of people as guides and mediators of the eternal truths. The church does not require de-mythologizing or historical evidence for its Savior.

What it needs is awareness of the importance of the mythical language of images it – and dreams – employs – so that it may be translated into living language and living people – who may establish the state of consciousness and the mode of co-existence that alone may carry mankind safely through the mess into which it has gotten itself entangled.

Dreams in the night – and dreams in religion – we cannot live without – if there is to be any hope that we shall be able to navigate out of the shipwreck that otherwise may be our fate. Religion now is like some magic potion consisting of literalisms, symbols, manners of speech, wishful thinking and faith. Religion is however, in its deeper and true aspect no such easy formula. Its truths must be allowed to grow and mature from within. Only thereby they become truths and inner experiences of realization – with corresponding changes also on the outer level.

The road ahead may offer many obstacles – but it is by no means impossible to go it. It is not only suffering that is the incentive and driving force; man has an urge for realization lying non-extinguishable within him self. This urge will by and by grow stronger than the fear of changing the established order of life that today is being attacked from so many sides. What it is all about is to trust in oneself – to plan of life – and goals. Whether redemption proceeds along religious or psychological guidelines plays no decisive role – the two roads may indeed meet. One must go the way oneself – no proxy will suffice. But one may to some extent read the roadmap in one’s inner – by the light of the lamp of Diogenes that search for Man. Here, as usual, the first step is the hardest to take. If one has got going on the right track, the one step automatically will be followed by the next. The first step is: End of self-condemnation! As a rule, no one is aware of the mechanisms that automatically project all guilt onto the outer world. Nonetheless, the condemning of others is caused by condemnation of corresponding tendencies in oneself. One must understand the fact that one’s own patterns of behavior – because of earlier experiences that have created it – must be the way that they at present are. To begin with, one therefore has to accept oneself with all one’s “faults” and patterns of reaction. Then, one also becomes without judgment of others – because they also have their behavioral patterns created by the same principles. To understand is to forgive – this applies both to oneself as well as the way in which we look at others.

Self-condemnation and projection outwards into other people was demonstrated and rejected by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount – that road leads to perdition. When we see the many patterns of reactions in one self and in others – without guilt and judgment – one has taken the first and decisive step. The second step is: Understanding of symbols. Now, intellect and knowledge may come to play in the process of orientation. Thereby one may gradually be released from bindings and burdens that hinder free expression of life. Then one will discover sight points in life’s course that one have overlooked before – taken just for unevenness and debris in the terrain. When one’s eyes are opened for the importance of the symbols – and their meaning in personal symptoms, in religion, in dreams and in arts, one sees with new eyes towards the future. Then, one may be released from literalism and bindings of which one have been unaware. One’s own inner bindings and images suddenly are discovered as projected into other people, in institutions and symbol systems – so that one may be freed from them. One then no longer need be afraid the negative expressions of life or their concrete expressions, but may release the powers they possess in a positive direction.

Christmas – Easter – and Pentecost will not be empty celebrations, but they will be included in one’s own way of development mediated by the symbols – birth – death and new life directed by living spirit and truth.

The third step on the road to self-redemption may perhaps be the most important and difficult It is: Take the consequences of what you know! It is so difficult for us to give up our laboriously obtained positions. We cannot cast off the mask. We dare not go in ourselves. We find it so utterly impossible to change our behavioral pattern and inner attitude. We would rather continue acting our more or less badly played roles – to compensate inner weaknesses – instead of accepting them, so that we may be finished with them.

We want to continue our infantilisms, our masochism and other ism’s of this category. Some wants to convert others – because they cannot convert themselves. Others drown the voice of the deep of the soul in a self-indulgent stream of words. Others again will continue their self-condemnation and attack themselves – through their fellow men – to ease the inner burden of guilt. But as always when one on a basis of affect attacks others, the object actually is conditions in one’s own inner.

The third step consists also of releasing one’s potential in creative action. It may be artistic talents in some direction that have lain dormant – no matter how insignificant they may be. Out in the open with them for one’s own benefit and often also for others as well. One gains courage and ability to positive doubt – doubt on supposed lack of capabilities, doubt in one’s own quality – doubt in one’s rationalizations – doubt in inherited beliefs and traditional views. Then the true and original in each of us may be exhibited freely. One gets courage to be unique – to make a fool of oneself if need be – to follow one’s own inner plan of life and intuition. The third step is to get finished with the bindings of the past. Personal symptoms, inferiority complex and compensating need for self-assertion, anxiety and fear is shelled.

Self-confidence, capacity for love, joy of life and work, creative initiative and social behavior will ensue. The elements will organize into a living pattern. Job was redeemed through forgiveness, understanding and action. Thus, man’s and God’s way become one. Roads may be just as different as people are. Each one will have to go his own inner necessity’s way, according to capability, environment and experiences. Each one must himself set the pace, terrain and length of stretches. But the goal remains the same for all: Full realization of inborn abilities and talents – full understanding of the intentions of the deep of the soul and the meaning of the symbols – full inner confidence and acceptance – full potency on all levels. Then, God realize himself in our life – then God will be experienced as inner reality – the guilt and ideals have been converted, burden of guilt lifted and replaced with understanding and insight in life’s continuity. The split is brought to termination – projections are understood –inner unity, strength and balance is established. Cramps disappear and one is filled with enterprising spirit. Rebirth has been accomplished; the new “eternal” life begins. To subordinate oneself under others may be necessary and wise. But if the will of others are expression of hunger for power, need for self-assertion and other symptoms, it is harmful for both parties if one without purpose succumb. No man has the right to force his whims and needs for compensation into the life of others. The results will always be disastrous. When a sufficient number of people have joined the march towards the future on life’s own road, society and inter-human dealings by and by change and come in tune with the course of development – which tends towards greater degree of consciousness. This must also make itself felt in the sphere of religion that now is becoming an impenetrable wilderness of literalism, projection of symbols and half-digested or un-digestible “truths”.

Religion has lost its connection with many living and central realities – and the modern worldview. It therefore no longer seems to be a usable means of redeeming synthesis

It only functions poorly as re-unifying factor – religio. But maybe new bridge spans may turn out to be able to carry the load. The human psyche is based on a mode of consciousness that uses images as means of expression. That fundament itself cannot be changed – cannot be explained away – and not be cast out, without the causing the fundament of life to fail. In earlier times man was conformant with this way of experience and recognition. Much of what was created then is met with wonder by modern man; in areas like building technology and arts. But when the subject is a means of manifestation like religion with what belongs to this sector of myths, parables and symbols, it is met with a shrug and head-shaking – because it is no longer recognized what it contains of living realities.

The mode of recognition and the sciences that only depend on human ability for reflection by the outer senses have in this time of ours been put on a pedestal. But this mode of recognition is inadequate for understanding man’s inner life. This may only be achieved by inner senses, by activation of adequate capabilities of consciousness. Man must – if he is to survive – find the redeeming synthesis between mythos and logos – symbol and consciousness. Only then will there be an organic and creative continuity between past and present. UNQUOTE

Rolf, my friend, you might want to consider a brief precis, or a couple of sentences of quotes and a link. I suspect many readers will choose not to dive into something that long on a blog like this. With a tantalizing hint and a link, they can choose to go to it if it interests them.

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