Wednesday, February 3, 2010

IS THE DINESH BLOG DEAD?

Is the old Dinesh D'Souza blog finally dead? All I get when I try to go there now is an AOL opinion news page.

Let's meet up here... sign in and we can at least continue the conversation.

Hope to talk to you all soon.

-Saint Brian the Godless

102 comments:

  1. Trying to get password going.

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  2. Looks like I made it for now at least. It seems that they cut us off the Dinesh blog. Maybe we can continue here.

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  3. I guess it was bound to happen someday.

    I hope they all know how to find this place. I originally started this blog because I had thought that the old DD blog would be discontinued and *shut down completley* over a year ago. So I hope it sticks in their minds or we may never hear from some of them again. That'd suck.

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  4. I think most if not all will show up in time. Does Harvey have this address?

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  5. Not sure. If you have any of their email addys drop them a note. I only had a couple.

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  6. Heh, I hope it wasn't my 'men fucking men' comment the put that gaytard Mo Rocca in a snit! Probably just a coincidence, right?

    Man, I thought that they were gonna let that roll on forever but we WERE going in circles.

    (BTW, my feeling is that you're ALLOWED to be as gay as you want, none of my business. A LOT of Christians don't feel that way)

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  7. I hope that Observant and fanman and botts show up.

    If they do, I promise to behave better than I did on the DD site.

    Heck, it's a lot more interesting with them around.

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  8. Weren't you guys supposed to do this some time ago anyway?

    Ryan, Jerry, Jeff Flying V etc.

    But do you really think Observant and fanman are going to 'show up?' Eric did one time and that's it. MI doesn't count.

    And you know what Brian, I've got a confession for ya. I know she hasn't been at the aol blog for a long long time but...

    I wish Somber would show up. At the time she used to make my little conservative heart flutter. Must've been foreshadowing...

    Anyway buena suerte.

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  9. As for you peeb, you haggis lovin, kilt wearin, english hatin, lowlander/highlander, write something!

    Anything!

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  10. And you know full well I don't mean on any other blog other than yours.

    Word verification 'shmenc'

    That's Yiddish for ex-patriot Scotsmen who have a photo of themselves kissing a bird as an internet icon.

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  11. Well, I’m glad Brian started this blogg. At least we can stay connected, even if you don’t like christinist. lol

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  12. I forgot my password.

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  13. Hi Mike.

    I know this isn't the DD blog, but I hope you stick around. Like I said, it's pretty boring without you. Even if we all get after you like a pack of baying hounds sometimes. I give you a lot of credit for sticking with us as long as you have. So thanks for hanging. Appreciated.

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  14. I think they shut it down becuase I'd just posted an air tight, irrefutable proof for the non-existance of god. Now it's gone forever, and I forgot it. Oh well.

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  15. I do hope at least Botts saw my "Now be a man and go throw a rock at someone wearing blended fabrics" comment.

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  16. So this is where the party shall be. I forgot my password and then remembered I changed it just days ago to: pplrevlnotbbl

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  17. Ryan,

    You know what's messed up? I had a detailed response to that post and submitted it. When I confirmed it, it took me to that AOL opinion page.

    Thanks a lot pboy for the man fucking comments.

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  18. pplrevlnotbbl


    People are evil, not bible. Cute.

    So we're mostly all here. I'll start:

    Botts, you are WRONG!

    (Commence the festivities)

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  19. I hope fanman makes it too.

    Who else are we missing? Anyone know how to get in touch with them?

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  20. It's okay that you lost your proof positive post Ryan.

    We all proved it over and over again, irrefutably to any logical or reasonable person.

    Therein lies the crux of the problem of course.

    Botts says the Bible would have to overtly tell us to do evil in order to be evil, and then says that Leviticus etc doesn't count, and yet that's precisely what leviticus does and yet he says that it doesn't count because it wasn't written for the common folk but for the Israeli priests. It doesn't say that it was, but he knows, he knows. (Illogical response)

    And I contend that the rest of the book does indeed also exhort readers to do evil, albeit mostly not as directly (which is even worse since people don't see the evil on the surface) and also because of the incredibly bad examples set in it by God Himself, and even Jesus, with the Temple and Figtree incident, and with all of Revelations. Revelations contains MUCH evil, and again we find a lot of it overt, just as Botts requested. Plus, there's the evil of the sin of the separation of man from man, the sin of driving a wedge between tribes, countries, religions, ethnicities, political parties, and even between a man and his own wife. The sin of misogyny and repression of women. And repression of so many other groups and things. The destruction of our natural sexuality by abnormal pathological guilt and fear is also there.

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  21. Just the morality exemplified by God in the Bible, or rather the enormous IMMORALITY exemplified by Him, is enough, with nothing else needed, to make it an evil book. The immorality of God (Just His examples, not even His words, which are just as bad) plus the fact that people mostly take this book very, very seriously, believing it to be the word of God Himself and all, is all that is needed for evil to happen.

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  22. Yanno Botts,
    Lots of us have been here for a while.

    Harvey stops by my place every so often and drops wisdom bombs. He never fails to "bring it" :-)
    Oneblood offers up witty and suprising posts.
    St Brian actually interacts with posters on his blog...sometimes ;-)
    Pliny offers up pearls of wisdom, off-beat poetry and the occaisional work of fiction that'll make ya giggle.
    I've seen Observant here on Brians blog a few times. Start one of your own Mike...it ain't hard. Then we can come by and pooh-pooh you in your own house.
    Richelle pops up from time to time here, and on Asylum Seekers blog.
    And me? I go about commenting all over the place. I post one every so often - when I get a wild hair up my ass.


    Still, I'm gonna miss the Old DD thing...you know, like the way you miss a toothache when it's gone ;-)

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  23. BTW,
    Brain, I found goddessone over on Facebook. I've yakked it up with her a couple of times.
    Not only is she really smart and funny, she has a beautiful family :-)

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  24. Invite her by! I don't do networking sites meself...

    Tell her we'd love her input from time to time, and that we all miss her. I think. I know I do.

    Tell her that we're celebrating the DD blog's Irish Wake.

    Bottoms up.

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  25. If more people are gonna be hanging around here, that solves my motivation problem for writing new posts...

    I supppose I might also try posting DD articles from time to time with minimal commentary by me, and we could hash them out here rather than on Townhall. Or other similar apologist type authors. That might spice things up a bit.

    Any suggestions for making the place more interesting to the ex-dd crowd? Or just in general? I take requests.

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  26. Originally when I started this blog I was under the impression that the old DD one was ending, as in, we wouldn't be able to post to it anymore. So my original intention was to have it as a community place more so than just my blog, a place where we could all still meet up and have some of the same types of discussions as of old. If anyone recalls I even wanted to have some of you submit posts here so that I wouldn't be the only author. Then pboy and botts and just about everybody started their own blogs, botts only like one or two days after I did, so it never worked out the way that I'd hoped. Of course I was perfectly happy with that, with all of you people having your own blogs, that's not the issue at all. I like that part actually. And don't think I haven't noticed the fact that several of you are better at it than I am.
    But that, and even more so the fact that the old DD blog just kept going and going, meant that this blog became to some extent superfluous, even to me. Everything I wanted to talk about was being talked about on the old blog, so why bother to talk about it here? I blog primarily to learn from all of you, and to be able to crystallize my own thoughts. Argument strengthens the mind.
    Maybe now I'll be motivated to make this place more interesting.

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  27. My guess is the D'ouche finally got too stale for the hits to keep on comin', so AOL finally replaced him with a human. I stopped looking at DD a LONG ways back.

    I am still blogging (mostly my album reviews) under BlackLeatherBookshelf if anyone else cares.

    Life in Philly is peachy. Nice to see everyone. And Botts...when you cashing in the Chesse Steak chit I owe you?

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  28. Well Boys, I posted my picture on my profile so you can vision who you are talking too.
    I got to warn you though I am one ugly dude...

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  29. You're not ugly, dude.

    Hey, my pic is of a modern pseudo-spanich-icon version of Saint Nicholas. I just liked the pic with all the gold color and the huuuuuge forehead. Makes me look intelligent. He looks impressive and scary.

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  30. "Hey, my pic is of a modern pseudo-spanich-icon version of Saint Nicholas."

    I thought you were Jewish.

    Dinesh is a good friend of mine. He speaks loudly about nothing much at all and I can relate to that. He is also an upstanding citizen, patriot, and nerd. None of you can say the same.

    You've been pissing on his internet grave for quite some time, and Allah has cursed you, Hermes too. Now you are not only relegated to this corner of the web, but you can't ride camels or carry a caduceus.

    Judge you!

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  31. I thought you were Jewish.
    -You only assumed that because you peeked at the urinals that day.

    Dinesh is a good friend of mine. He speaks loudly about nothing much at all and I can relate to that.
    -I agree. You speak loudly and carry a big schtick.

    He is also an upstanding citizen,
    -And now he's also out standing in his field.

    patriot,
    -He plays in the NFL?

    and nerd.
    -Oh, huge nerd. Huge nerd. Agree with that one for sure. He probably wears pocket protectors in ALL his pockets, no doubt making his frequent games of pocket pool into his idea of safe sex.

    None of you can say the same.
    -Er, thanks?

    You've been pissing on his internet grave for quite some time, and Allah has cursed you, Hermes too.
    -I merely thought at the time that pissing on his grave was a fitting tribute, sir. Surely that is understandable in the light of his
    pinchbeck character?
    (I'm not too worried because I have it on good authority that Allah and Hermes are having a methamphetamine-fuelled affair, so they're too busy to follow through on curses)

    Now you are not only relegated to this corner of the web, but you can't ride camels or carry a caduceus.
    -Nor can I ride a caduceus or carry a camel, for that matter. But I can try, can't I?

    Judge you!
    -I'll pray for you ('cause isn't that the same thing, really?)

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  32. I am already a "follower" of Brian's Blog. I have been since he first set it up. I hope that we can all continue here, including all of our "believer" buddies (with the possible exception of MI/Hydra).

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  33. I never got my explanation of the "no pecker policy" in Deuteronomy.

    I'm sure there's not one. But, still, I'd like to see them try.

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  34. So, I’ve always approached the problem of “freewill” from the perspective that if god is omniscient, then “freewill” is impossible. This never really fully satisfied me, mainly because of Botts’ “Kwisatz Haderach” argument, which redefines “omniscient” to mean that god sees all possible outcomes from every situation, but doesn’t actually know what choice we’ll make. If god is omnipotent, then this is actually valid and scores one for the theists.

    But where the “freewill” argument truly fails is when you realize that it ignores “inclination”.

    I have the “freewill” to do anything I want, for example, I could take off my clothes and run out into traffic right now if I wanted to, but I’m not inclined to ever do that.

    If god created me, he created my inclination to not do steak on a busy highway. So, god could have created mankind without any of those inclinations to do things he considers “sinful”.

    There are two ways to look at this; first, since I was created without an inclination to do dodge speeding traffic in my birthday suit, it’s clear that creating us without such inclination would in no way limit our free will. On the other hand, you could also argue that my being created without a desire to do run around nude on the interstate does in fact limit my free will therefore negating the validity of the free will argument.

    If it IS NOT a violation of my free will to provide me no desire towards naked car dodging then it would also make sense to create rapists without an inclination to rape and murderers without an inclination to murder.

    If it IS a violation of my free will to deny me an inclination for said nude activity then god violates my free will.

    Thus in either case, the free will argument fails.

    Discuss?

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  35. "... to not do steak on a busy highway."

    Should have read "... to not go streaking on a busy highway."

    But either way, I don't have an inclination to doing steak or going streaking in traffic.

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  36. BTW;
    My "picture" is a painting I did a few years back for my then 5 year old granddaughter. It is a wolf ("not too scary, PopPop") peering out from behind a tree in the forest. We had read a story together about a "scaredy cat" wolf and she wanted to know what he looked like. It hangs in her bedroom (she is now eleven) ever since. I guess I thought it was appropriate when I first discovered the DD blog and began to first follow it and then to actually begin to post. Look where it has led me!!

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  37. I must have missed it. What is the 'no pecker policy?'

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  38. Ryan:

    I still have not been able to reconcile the diametrically opposed concepts of God's omnipotence/all-knowling nature vs the idea of so-called Free Will.
    Despite all the efforts of Botts, Observant and MIW (from whom I think we have not heard for quite a while) to explain how these two opposites can exist, I still don't "get it".

    With regard to our in-house apologists' efforts to excuse/explain some of the unpleasant parts of the OT, I am well aware to whom the rules in Leviticus applied. Even though Botts is right that the Priests (Levites) were being addressed, he overlooks the well understood charge to the "rank and file" to endeavor to behave like the Priesthood, since they were essentially God's example of righteous behavior to all the Children of Israel. On the other hand, I have agreed with his view that all of Scripture must be viewed in light of the times in which they were written. If one can see the Bible as an allegorical document(s), (as I think Botts does) written by men (although perhaps with some kind of divine direction), it is much easier to see the wisdom it contains. When, however, one finds it necessary to defend it as the literal word of God, perfect and unalterable, it certainly seems to detract mightily from trying to pass it on to others as "the good news" some fundamentalists believe it to be.

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  39. I like that painting, Harvey.

    Nice story, too.

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  40. Harvey, let's say Botts' idea about God seeing all our options but not being able to see which one we'll choose, is true. This means that God cannot know anything very far in the future. Let's take the example of me having a son. I decided to have one and did. So before that God knew that one of my OPTIONS was to have a son or not. He couldn't know whether I'd do it or not though. So now I did. So God now knows how I made that choice. So now, my son will have that choice to make someday. How will he choose? When will he have a child? Will it be a son or daughter? God can't know it yet. And let's say he has a son and a daughter. What are their eventual choices on having children? And their grandchildren's (if any) choices? Their great-grandchildrens? Now let's make it two hundred years of my descendents. God can't know for sure if any of them will even be born, much less have children in advance, much less what kind of people the children will be and *how they will shape or change the world* and so on, and so on forever, because He can't even be certain of their eventual existence. God CANNOT even know WHO will be alive nor what they will do several generations in advance, since all people on the planet have these reproduction choices, don't they? So even if God knew all the gazillions of possible futures with gazillions of possible combinations and permutations of people in it, ONE FUTURE FOR EACH CHOICE, what good would it do him? He wouldn't know WHICH was the REAL future among practically infinite choices, and therefore can't know how those people are making their future choices about ANYTHING since there is no way He can even know who they will be or even IF they will be.

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  41. Ryan,
    It seems that you are saying it is either black or white concerning free will. My position is we have some free will but hardly total. We cannot go beyond what is possible for a human to do or be Within the possibilities of what a human can do or be we have partial free will. Most of what we do is from programs, some of which we choose using free will.

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  42. Brian; I hate to get stuck arguing the theist position, but I think Botts is right and I don't think you are fully taking into account "Omnipotence".

    Think of god as a peice of forecasting software, it's capable of predicting future events based on past events (data). It's only as good as the computer is powerful and the quality of the data available.

    An "Omnipotent" god would be infinitely powerful and it would know all past data.

    But that's neither here nor there. "Inclination" fully defeats the idea.

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  43. Jerry; "It seems that you are saying it is either black or white concerning free will."

    Just in this example. I tend to agree that we have limited free will due to upbringing and culture (i.e. our inclinations).

    But when arguing against the black and white concepts, you have to play by their rules.

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  44. Ryan,
    Thanks for clearing that up. My misunderstanding.

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  45. Yeah, I'm not seeing your point about inclination here, Ryan. Can you explain it a bit more for me? Because to me it just seems as a natural part of choosing anything. One may not be inclined to murder, have a murderous thought or two every now and again, not even consider acting on them, and be pretty much normal, no? It's still your choice, not your inclination, to not murder.

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  46. And its still a free choice to murder, if you ever decide to against your 'inclination' as many people have done in the heat of passion.

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  47. Brian; basically there are some things you would never do because of social conditioning. Thus you are not 100% free to do it.

    If one believes (as I don't) that we are wholely made by god, then those inclinations are the result of gods plan/design.

    Since god can design in me these inclinations, or lack of inclinations and it's not considered a violation of free will that I'm not 100% free to do certain things, then it wouldn't be a violation of free will to build in us an inclination against ALL sin.

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  48. Think of god as a peice of forecasting software, it's capable of predicting future events based on past events (data). It's only as good as the computer is powerful and the quality of the data available.

    An "Omnipotent" god would be infinitely powerful and it would know all past data.
    ----------------
    Which would do Him no good in predicting the future whatsoever. Or maybe minimally.
    No, memory storage doesn't matter here, is what I'm saying. So what if God can know each and every possible future among the nearly infinite number of them? He is forbidden to know the exact future, which one will be realized eventually. He cannot even predict whether I'll have ten thousand descendents or only the one. What if one of my descendents changes the world? They all will, to some extent, just by living in it, but maybe one will be the next Gahndi (or Hitler) and while God may know that such is POSSIBLE, He cannot know that it WILL happen. Heck, one of my descendents might change the world ten thousand years in the future, but God cannot even know in any way whether that person will be born or not. He cannot know it in advance. Heck, He cannot even know in advance if my son here is going to have any children, other as two options, one yes and one no. This is repeated at every new birth, every new descendent, every new generation, on and on. Each time the new generation introduces a whole slew of new possible futures based on choices that God cannot know in advance. And even if there is no new birth, that leads to another possible future, or even another slew of possible futures.
    Knowing the future as one of ten trillion trillion trillion +++ possible futures that you also must know just as well should THEY come to pass instead, is just as bad as not knowing the future at all.

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  49. Since god can design in me these inclinations, or lack of inclinations
    ------------------
    Aren't your inclinations 'designed' by society and the world rather than God? I mean, many are based in self-preservation, which is an instinct, but that's still a choice, you can over-ride the instinct, and some people suicide anyhow. Not playing in traffic is an obvious choice if you don't want to die, but what if you do?

    Or, sure you are inclined not to play in traffic knowing full well the consequences, but if you were a small child you might not know this yet and get smashed by a semi because you hadn't yet learned the 'inclination' to not play in traffic... So you can't say that inclination was given to you by God, since you had to learn it.

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  50. Plus, I've chosen the 'choice' of whether to have a child or not. There are millions of other choices that are just as important that me and my eventual (or not) descendents will make that will impact the future, none of which can God know in advance other than as one of a zillion possibilities. Does my great-grandson choose to drive drunk and accidentally kill someone else? Now the other person's entire line of future descent is erased, all because of the choice of someone else... What if one of my descendents decides to adopt a child? Perhaps the child would have died if they didn't adopt it... and the game begins again with the child, who wouldn't be alive without someone else's choice, a choice that God may be able to know as one of a zillion possibilities but never as a fact, until it happens.
    This is an amazingly complex tapestry of possible futures which may or may not be realized, all different one from the other, many drastically different. Even if God can know all the possiblilities NOW, how can he know what choices are available to my great-great-great to the Nth power grandson if the very existence of said grandson depends on a loooooong chain of choices that God cannot call in advance?

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  51. Since god can design in me these inclinations, or lack of inclinations and it's not considered a violation of free will that I'm not 100% free to do certain things, then it wouldn't be a violation of free will to build in us an inclination against ALL sin.
    --------------
    If I agreed with your inclinations thing, I'd have to agree with your reasoning here.

    Of course the Christian might reply that sin is what the whole God Game is all about, so He naturally wouldn't design us to not want to do it. He wants us tempted, and to come through it, rather than not to be tempted. Builds character or something.

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  52. If I could talk to that God and ask Him when I will die, He cannot even tell me that, since it is likely based on many choices that I (and other people) will make in between now and then. So what good is that kind of omniscience?
    That kind of omniscience only allows God to know the past. He can know ALL of the past, every little detail of every little molecule and atom, and still not be able to tell me what the world will look like in twenty years. He can't even really guess without being able to know how all the people on the planet will make ALL of their choices in the mean time.

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  53. Apparently, god designed in me an inclination to not have sex with sheep. Yet I still have "freewill".

    But it's a sin in the bible. One that needs spelling out and is apparently a problem with certain georgian mayors.

    Given that my disinclination towards beastility isn't a violation of my free will, why wouldn't the disincliantion of murder or rape be allowed?

    I'm not arguing any one point, just trying to show the holes in the theist position of freewill and sin.

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  54. Brian :
    "Harvey, let's say Botts' idea about God seeing all our options but not being able to see which one we'll choose, is true."

    It seems you see this viewpoint as preventing God from "predicting" or knowing the future. To me, what Botts seems to be trying to say is that God can see all of the possible choices any human can make and can even extrapolate from this the potential choices of any or all potential offspring (to stick with your example of a child that you may or may not choose to have and any potential offspring that that child may or may not have.... ad infinitum) and that, because He is omnipotent and all knowing he can "foresee" all of these myriad possibilities for every existing and/or potential Human being. If this is true, as Botts believes, then his "apology" for free will in the face of an omnipotent/all-knowing God makes much more sense to me than any of the other believers have tried to put forward. This does not mean, of course, that I buy any of it within my own belief system, but, at least, it does seem to make sense.

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  55. and that, because He is omnipotent and all knowing he can "foresee" all of these myriad possibilities for every existing and/or potential Human being.
    -----------------
    But not which will be realized. So it makes no difference.

    I feel like I'm not being clear enough or something. This is very clear to me, but I can't seem to get others to see it. Interesting.

    You're saying that in the Botts scenario God can know all of the myriad choices that are avilable to *ALL* of my *POTENTIAL* descendents which number in the what? Millions? Billions of potential people? What good does that do Him? How for instance can God know the specific choices available to my distant descendent two hundred years from now when God cannot even know which possible descendent he or she is SPECIFICALLY in any way yet? He might have a for all intents and purposes infinite list of possibilities, but He cannot know which of them are realized until the person is born. He would have to know all of the choices that were actually SELECTED by all of my descendents that are the ancestor of said future individual. Not the potential choices; that doesn't work at all. The actual ones we all will chose. And that's against Bott's rule.

    Plus, here's a thought. Since having a child is my decision, because even if the child is due to an affair or a broken condom, I was the one who decided to have sex, well that means that I can potentially have millions of different children, as far as the possibilities go. If the baby is conceived on a monday instead of the following thursday, or even at the beginning of an ejaculation as opposed to it's end, it's a different sperm that meets that egg, ergo a different baby is born...
    This type of 'omniscience' is not in any way a valid argument, as far as I can see. Maybe I'm missing something. Can you tell me what I am missing if you can see it and I cannot?

    Let's say that in a thousand years God can clearly see that I could possibly, potentially have a billion different descendents. So what if He knows all billion potential people in all their details? He can't know which one of the potential people that He is familiar with will become real people. So he can't know which of the billion people He can forsee my ancestor will turn out to be. So the information is rendered useless. Plus in this scenario, God not only has to know all billion people, but EVERYTHING about every single potential one of them including of course ALL of their POTENTIAL descendents (even though the great majority of them aren't ever born,) and still can't predict shit cause He can't know which ones will be born.

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  56. Brian; like any forecasting software, god would know the probablility of one future scenerio over another. Which would enable him to see the most likely futures as events unfold. Plus, OMNIPOTENT!!!

    But I don't think any of us agnostics believe in god as a forecasting machine, but Botts' explaination was the only one that solved the Omniscent/Freewill dilemma. MIW tried too, but saying "it just is" over and over doesn't count.

    Without this explaination they can't explain how god knows everything and we're still free to choose. Because when god knows the future, freewill is kaput.
    But if god knows that future A has a 89% chance and future b has a 11% chance. And if future A occures, the future C has a 12% chance and future D and E both have 44% chances and so on and so on ad infinium. And we retain the ability to choose, while god retains his... um... redefined omniscense. God knowing everything past and present, but only knowing probablities of the future. Well, that's not "All-Knowing".

    And I think that's your argument. That Botts' explaination severly limits god, in that his omniscence isn't omniscence. Heck yeah, your right. Botts' has got to explain that.

    Botts has only ever explained it as "I think god sees all possible outcomes" which is fine. But it's been a reoccuring theme here that once you really delve into something "metaphysical" a lot of holes appear. For the believer, best keep it simple.

    Not that it matters, "inclination" blows the whole thing out of the water, not that I've done a good job explaining it.

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  57. I'm fairly certain here that the introduction of the 'God cannot know what we will choose, He can only know all of our potential choices' renders God incapable of seeing the future in any detail whatsoever. All He can see is the possibilities, and those become more complicated as time passes, so there are more and more possibilities for God to consider. Technically God can't even give you tomorrow's lottery numbers in that case, because the person who sets up the machine and loads it with pingpong balls decides when and how to do it, affects the original order of the balls which affects the outcome, and the person picking the numbers decides when precisely to hit the switch that stops the machine that scrambles the pingpong balls, and so the number is dependant upon those person's free choices. God can of course tell you all of tomorrow's POSSIBLE winning numbers. So can I, for that matter. That helps how, exactly?

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  58. You're starting to see my point? I'm relieved, because I respect your judgement and I was starting to worry if my argument had a hole in it that I wasn't seeing. I'd wanna know that.
    My wife is brilliant so I actually had her read it and she assured me it was sound, but still, one never knows.
    Do please try one more time to explain the 'inclination' thing to me though. One more shot. I am just not even coming close to seeing what you're seeing in it, but I am likely not understanding how you mean it.

    These kinds of concepts take a lot of words and repetition to convey sometimes, so I try to make extra sure before I dismiss anything I'm not understanding clearly.

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  59. God knowing everything past and present, but only knowing probablities of the future. Well, that's not "All-Knowing".
    --------------
    Ya know, that really says it all. It's basic English.

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  60. A good simplification is the lottery machine I just used.

    God only being able to know all of the future's possibilities is precisely as useful as knowing all of the possible lottery numbers that can come up, but not which one will be picked.

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  61. Brian; "A good simplification is the lottery machine I just used."

    I think in the Botts scenerio, as soon as the machine starts turning, god would know which balls were bouncing where and would be able to tell you the numbers right before the balls comes out.

    But computer generated lottery numbers, I think god's screwed. I mean he'd know how the electrons are flying, but would only know the results a millisecond before the number appears on the screen.

    Let me work on the "inclination" thing...

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  62. Brian, Ryan:

    "This type of 'omniscience' is not in any way a valid argument, as far as I can see. Maybe I'm missing something. Can you tell me what I am missing if you can see it and I cannot?"

    I think that in order to understand (but not necessarily to agree with) Botts' view that God "sees" every possible choice that every person who may or may not ever exist for all of eternity may come to, but does not forsee how those choices will be made, you have to put aside any notion about the possibility of some "usefulness" to God for this arrangement. In this regard, I think Botts' other statements about how we humans cannot fully understand the mind of the Creator tries to address this aspect of the problem. By demanding some type of utility or logic as a result of God's all-knowing or all-seeing, we are, in fact, imposing limits that would certainly apply to any living person, but clearly would not necessarily apply to God, who, by Christian or Jewish tradition, exists outside the space-time continuum that we mortals can experience.

    As an aside, I can see how Ryan's question about "inclinations" does muddy the waters even more. I don't know whether Botts will agree with any of the above interpretations on my part and, as in the past, he certainly does't need me to speak for him, but I submit these personal thoughts in response to Brian's ongoing questions.

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  63. The choices are far too varied and far too frequent for anything to predict.

    Brian uses the child choice. That, to me, is a good example. However, I believe we make millions of choices a day, perhaps more. These choices may seem very inconsequential, and indeed may be. Some choices are made so quickly and often, that they may seem instinctual. But, even the simplest choice can have far reaching, life altering effects.
    (forgive my lack of eloquence here)

    Say, for example, I am driving down the highway, drinking a MtDew. I make the "choice" to not swerve from the pothole, in doing so, the MtDew,that I made the "choice" to take a drink of mere moments before, spills, screwon bottle cap tumbling to the floor of my Dodge, which I made the "choice" to drive instead of riding my bike. I make the "choice" to pick the bottle cap up from the floor - at the exact moment a child made the "choice" to chase his ball into the street. I see the child and make the "choice to step hard on my brakes, but it's too late. He's pizza now, Dead! Fraught with guilt, I can't help but wonder why the little guy "chose" to run naked in the street.

    So many simple choices were involved in that example, most seemingly inconsequential:

    Little Ryan decides to chase his ball into the street. Had he stayed in long enough to get dressed, he might never have lost that ball at the time I was driving at legal speeds and fumbling for a silly bottle cap dropped because I chose not to swerve left, in the truck that is more than capable of handling bumps. Had I been on the bike, no MtDew would have been consumed and the bump would have been avoided without a thought, merely an instinctual lean. The choice of no bike was precipated by my not wanting to get out of bed the extra five minutes required to warm up that cold natured bitch of a machine. I was tired, after all. Well, because I had made the choice the night before to call that sweet-boxed redhead that stops by from time to time for some good old fashion animalistic sex....

    Wait ! This shit is her fault! She made the choice to come over and wear my ass out. Damn you Misty, your choices have cause this poor naked child to die !

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  64. From the KJV:

    He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

    A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:1-2

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  65. AND,

    If god knew the outcome of that choice, isn't he just a bit culpable, too?
    Couldn't he have, in the interest of the poor child, intervened?
    Maybe he could have deadened my cell reception for mere seconds so I couldn't place the call?"

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  66. I know my choices story seems far fetched. But, I can assure you that it did, indeed, happen.

    Well, with the exception of the kid being naked and I did stop just in the nick of time...and Misty's hair is maybe more of an auborn

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  67. I think that in order to understand (but not necessarily to agree with) Botts' view that God "sees" every possible choice that every person who may or may not ever exist for all of eternity may come to, but does not forsee how those choices will be made, you have to put aside any notion about the possibility of some "usefulness" to God for this arrangement.
    ------------
    But Harvey, the 'usefulness' of which you speak is 'useful' to God in the sense that it allows Him to be omniscient. Or put another way, it's useful to the God Argument in that it might allow us to consider this mishmash a logical way in which God can still be considered omniscient and yet not know our choices. You're telling me that we have to put aside the notion that God is omniscient in any way that counts. It's not useful to Him, and darn it, that was His last chance to be considered omniscient. Alas.

    I agree, of course.

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  68. I think in the Botts scenerio, as soon as the machine starts turning, god would know which balls were bouncing where and would be able to tell you the numbers right before the balls comes out.
    --------------
    So He knows how they're bouncing, the pattern, so that at any given moment He can tell you what the ones nearest the vaccuum tubes and get sucked in will be.

    Good one.

    However.

    How will He know the moment when the balls will stop, then?

    That part is the free choice of the operator.

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  69. However, I believe we make millions of choices a day, perhaps more. These choices may seem very inconsequential, and indeed may be. Some choices are made so quickly and often, that they may seem instinctual. But, even the simplest choice can have far reaching, life altering effects.
    (forgive my lack of eloquence here)
    ----------------
    And so on and so on for the rest of the post, mac continues to say exactly what I'm trying to get at here. You are reading my mind. This is what I'm trying to convey. The child choice is an important and relevent choice to most people, but even the smallest, seemingly insignificant choice can change the world.

    ANd it's not that God can't know all the umpteengoogolplexgazillion choices of every single person on the planet added together PLUS all the many-times-that-amount of all the choices of every future person that is theoretically possible, it's that even knowing all that, what would it matter? He still CANNOT know the winning lottery number, just all of the possible lottery numbers.

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  70. A good story with which to illustrate the point, mac.

    You do a very good job I think, of making the point more clear. Our free choices, ALL of them, even the least of them, shape the world, the very future itself. God would need to know exactly, specifically, and totally, which choices we and all of our descendents will make in order to have any claim to any sort of real omniscience.

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  71. Back to the balls...

    In the exact lottery machine example, my analogy can be defeated.

    When the balls are mixing, it's chaos, and God can then safely predict the outcome since there's no way we could know it beforehand. It's still problematic, what with the operator having unfettered control of when the balls will stop exactly, but that wouldn't stop a D'Souza.

    However, the lottery analogy is still perfectly valid when considering people instead of pingpong balls with numbers on them. If they were people, God would be prohibited from knowing what free choice they'd make when deciding in which order to appear.

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  72. This is pretty touching...
    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=An+honorable+man+gets+his+medal&articleId=c33bbe6b-f1a0-4cfb-ad54-ce78c620ef1b

    Especially this part.

    “They say there are no atheists in foxholes. But as we sat in those holes, praying that God would save us, I thought about the fact that the other side was doing the same thing. And then I wondered if God is just playing some kind of game with us. Pretty much I decided at that point there was no God,” Christian said.

    “For the rest of my life, I’ve tried to do the right thing. I raised a beautiful bunch of kids — and they truly are my greatest accomplishment. So I’m not worried about what’s next. If there is a God, I think he’ll know that I just did the best I could. That’s all a man can do.”

    Yup, he actually became an atheist in a foxhole. I would guess this story is more common than we think.

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  73. Well I finally think freewill is an illusion. Congrats pboy.

    But frankly it doesn't matter, and the lie is probably necessary for our survival.

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  74. When an event happens that impacts my life I have a choice (free will) on what I do with the results of this event. I can take credit for the good things that happen, and I can blame others for the bad things that happen. In doing so I practically guarantee myself a hard life to live. I can blame myself for all the bad things that happen to me, and give God the credit for all the good things. Again, I set myself up for a miserable life. Perhaps it would be best to just go with the programs that I have bought into, both the ones that I have given my thought to, and the ones that were given me from my environment. Without free choice the forgoing would seem irrelevant, and I would be at the complete mercy of the universe. So what to do, through up my arms, give up, and let my fate be decided by events without my input? Maybe I could .........

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  75. We can still have free will, Oneblood.
    If there's no God, or if God is not omniscient, we can still have free will.

    Right?

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  76. I see it a bit like pboy. We can and do make our choices, but we are bound by our "programming". I mean, the choices are mine to make, but I can't really go against what is in my nature to do (ok, throw in Ryan's inclination theory too).

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  77. I think we can change our programs. It may, at first be difficult to do, but with practice it becomes fairly easy. Our minds are very flexible, and do not seem to care what thought we buy into so the only resistance we encounter is the old program, which will get weaker over time if not reinforced by our positive reaffirmations. Letting old programs, that are self defeating, run our lives I think is a bad choice.

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  78. I should qualify. There are too many variables to say we have 'freewill.' As in everybody's born with a 'get out of genetics and physics free' card.

    The variables enacting upon us, are so many it just doesn't practically matter that I've ironically changed my mind. I act as if I have choice.

    Brian will of course disagree, but I don't think the collective or individual consciousness has the minutiae of the universe at its disposal. It is at the universe's disposal.

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  79. Sorry oneblood, I'd like to post something new to my blog, even if it were just for you, but that's not how it works.

    I tried, but it turns out to be just like a job now. I'm struggling to think thoughts, to come up with a couple of paragraphs that will make some kind of sense to me.

    But, to me, that's backwards. I have to have thunk the thoughts first.

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  80. Here's an example of the evil of the Bible.

    Israel.

    Try to imagine living on the land for countless generations. Suddenly strange people come and tell you that this is THEIR land, and they have a collection of booklets which proves it.

    Maybe that's just a matter of perspective, right Botts? Perhaps the strangers have a right to displace these contemptible little people in the name of GAWD?

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  81. Brian will of course disagree, but I don't think the collective or individual consciousness has the minutiae of the universe at its disposal. It is at the universe's disposal.
    -------------------
    Well, um. There are some who might say that in the case of the colective consciousness IS the universe, in all it's minutia. I mean, of course not me... lol.

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  82. "I tried, but it turns out to be just like a job now. I'm struggling to think thoughts, to come up with a couple of paragraphs that will make some kind of sense to me."

    I understand completely. I was trying to affectionately prod, not be a nag. To co-opt Dylan, 'It's alright peeb it's life and life only.'

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  83. Yes Bri ;-)

    You're not Jung at heart you can't aFreud to be. Your collective is 'conscious' and transcends da erf.

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  84. Oneblood, take care
    There is some chance
    (in the more solipsistic versions
    of the collective consciousness)
    that this is all MY dream
    And not communal at all
    That you are all imagos
    my creations
    (Muah Ha Ha Ha)
    So don't piss me off
    I might be God
    In the sense
    That your existence
    is an appendage of mine
    So if some day
    you suddenly go out like a candle
    Perhaps spare a thought for me
    at the moment of your extinguishing
    Because it will have meant that
    I have died at last
    and so you, all of you, my creation
    also must come to
    it's terminus.

    Hey, what if it's true? You can't prove it isn't, now can you?

    ;-)

    So don't take the chance; give me ten percent of your income. You just can't be sure that I'm not telling you the absolute truth here. If you do, I'll try to work you into my next dream or sumpthin.

    (I think I'll call this "Pasquale's Wager")

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  85. I think we can change our programs.
    -Jerry
    -------------------
    I believe that we can also, Jerry.

    The first step, I believe, is becoming conscious of them as programs and then looking at them with a more detached perspective and judging their usefulness from that more neutral viewpoint. It requires imagination and genuine desire for self-improvement even if it may be painful.
    Some may be desirable to keep, some may need modification, and some may need to be discarded altogether. It can be done. But, ya hafta wanna.

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  86. Now, y'see, it seems to me that we're talking about 'awareness' there with the, 'you're part of my consciousness' thing there.

    I don't know exactly why, but I don't think you could 'dream up' fully independent awarenesses.

    I think that's a basic level reason I can't believe in any kind of GOD.


    As for the Biblical one, the writers are obviously masquerading as a god. it IS that simple.

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  87. It dawned on me that those that take the position that there is no free will are possible thinking as free will in an absolute since. Of course there is no free anything in an absolute since. Absolute freedom in an absolute since is nothing, non existence. Everything known to us humans is relative except I am, so free or freedom is a conditional idea to start with. I maintain we do have some free will within the possibilities of what a human's limited potential is, if free is not defined as an absolute.

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  88. It can be done. But, ya hafta wanna.

    Amen

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  89. Well I hardly think it's fair for Christians to give us the old, "God gave us free will!", then broaden the meaning to triviality. i.e. "Given a choice, I'll pick one or another."

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  90. Let's imagine that the world, your world is full of standing options.

    You 'could' learn a new language.

    But you don't.

    And isn't it a funny thing, if you were asked in a questionaire, "Would you like to learn a new language, you'd probably 'say' yes."

    But still you don't. So, on the one hand, you're asked, "Given a choice, would you learn another language?"(yes), but, "Given that you have the choice do you bother?"(no)

    There's the question of ability. You know it's a false choice if you know that you're not willing to put the time and effort into it.

    Is it fair to blame your past self for not taking the time and effort to have learned that language, I don't think so.

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  91. Plus, I don't think that people are waking up in the morning and thinking, "Today I will not bother to start learning another language."

    More like, "I ought not to procrastinate, I'll start not procrastinating tomorrow, or the next day."

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  92. Agreed pboy. Ya hafta wanna. And the 'wanna' is the hard part.

    When I was a kid, I was under the misapprehension that if I knew more random facts than other people I'd be rich and famous, or at least rich. So I did put a lot of effort into things like, reading the dictionary for many hours, reading a book on spanish to the point where when I finally took spanish I was at the second year level in my grammar and vocabulary without knowing how to pronounce much of it. (I did learn to pronounce it then though since now I could actually hear it spoken) and memorizing science text books. This attitude did fade when I hit the real world at about fifteen or so.

    I sometimes wonder what I'd be like today if I'd just kept that shit up. Heck, it was like I gave myself homework all the time.
    Once I made it a priority to memorize all of the countries in my atlas along with their capitals.
    What a fucking nerd I was.

    Still my present attitude reflects my past to some extent. If people had better learning habits when young they'd be more well-rounded adults with a better view of the world and the universe, and of their options. It's just not encouraged by society. We cherish the dumb too much.

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  93. Some people are limited, in that they cannot learn a certain thing; I have a friend that simply cannot pronounce anything but English. Even if he tries to say 'hola' it comes out sounding horrible. He has a 'tin ear' about foreign languages. So in his case, it's not a choice anymore. He simply is limited by his lack of native ability. Perhaps if he had heard more foreign languages spoken as a child it wouldn't have been so, but it is.

    This doesn't mean that my friend couldn't change one of the memes that he operates on if the motivation were sufficient. I mean, if he suddenly became aware of something in his own personality that disgusted him for instance. It happens. We're sometimes blind and then we happen to hear or see the right thing, and suddenly we can see ourselves, and it hurts. This is when change can happen. Ya hafta wanna. And feeling like a huge asshole for something you did without thinking about it, for instance, can provide the spur in some cases to think about it in the future.

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  94. http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2010/February/06/Cruz_guilty-06Feb10.html

    As per ususl, but this time it's not a roman catholic priest.

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  95. I was always simultaniously amused and horrified by pretervision's defense of the catholic abuse scandel... "protestants are abuse as frequently or worse".

    Great!

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  96. Yeah, remember that? "The other Christians all do it too!"

    Great excuse, that one.

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  97. I'm still lurking around in the background, too.

    Just found out about the D'D'Demise...

    (word verification = "nones")

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  98. "But do you really think Observant and fanman are going to 'show up?' Eric did one time and that's it. MI doesn't count."

    I still check in every now and then!

    Oh, hi all!

    BTW, for those interested, Dinesh just debated (last night: 2/09/10) John Loftus, author of "Why I Became and Atheist" and founder of of the popular "Debunking Christianity" blog (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/ -- an interesting blog). The audio/video should be available on John' site soon.

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