Sunday, January 17, 2016

Juggling Facts and Weighing Opinions



I'm lifting up a question/response between Marshall and me from an earlier post to its own post because I think this is a very good point and gets to the heart of some disagreements I have with gentlemen like Marshall and other conservatives. It has to do with whether or not conservatives “know” as a “fact” that God opposes something as, on the face of it, moral and healthy and loving as a marriage between two guys or gals. Of course, Marshall thinks he does know it as a “fact” because of some lines in the Bible that, to him, are “obviously” saying that, yes, God would not approve.

Now, we are both/all clear that there is not a single line in the Bible that says “God would disapprove of marriage between homosexuals in the context of the 21st century world and the sex that would presumably occur therein...” That is, of course, not in the Bible. At all.

No, what is there are verses like rules given directly and specifically to ancient Israel like “men should not lie with men, if they do, kill them...” in Leviticus (two places in Leviticus... in one place it does not include the command “kill them...”). AND, if one holds the presumption that there really is a God and that this God really did communicate with humans and gave them a Bible and in that Bible, there were commands that were universal rules for what humans should and should not do, one could begin to make a reasonable case that this kind of rule really sounds like it's condemning all gay behavior (not at all an airtight case – at all! - but at least a reasonable case). However, there are all sorts of presumptions that have to be held in place before you could accept that as a reasonable argument.

At any rate, Marshall and folk like him thing they can “know” God's opinion of guys marrying and “know” it as a “fact,” not just a theory or a guess or a hunch. Of course, I respond by saying that no, it's not a fact, it's a subjective opinion based upon a fallible human interpretation of an ancient text. It could be a fact or it could be mistaken, but it is not demonstrably a fact nor does Marshall “know” it as a point of fact.

Marshall continually disagrees (demonstrating, I believe, that he does not understand what a demonstrable fact is). To try to find a way to communicate with Marshall on this point, I asked him this question:

There's a fella who says, "I KNOW that God wants us to cut off the hands of thieves. This is a fact about God because the Koran has a line that says that and I interpret that to mean what it clearly means - that in any and all circumstances and cultures, what God wants is for people to cut the hands off of thieves..."

Is that "hard data..."?

If not, why not?

Marshall's response was...

“In any case, unlike some, I do not believe the muslim god is God. Therefore, I don't need to argue against what the koran says...”

1. He didn't directly answer my question (“is that hard data?” - the answer is, of course, No. Presumably, Marshall agrees.)

2. His response, instead was, “I do not believe the muslim god is God. Therefore, I don't need to argue against what the koran says..."

 Now, setting aside the fact that he didn't answer my question directly (and that, presumably, he agrees with me that it is not a fact), he is arguing (correct me if I'm mistaken) that he does not even need to argue against the point made by the fictional Koran-believer because he does not share the presumptions of this man.

That is, the Koran believer (in this case) held some presumptions - that there is an Allah/God, that God wanted to communicate God's will in a holy text, that this holy text perfectly records what God wanted, that the holy text was written in such a way as to communicate God's rules for humanity, that these rules were universal, etc - and since Marshall does not share those presumptions, he doesn't even care to argue the point.

It's not actually a completely bad point that Marshall has made.

Like Marshall and this fictional Koran believer, I do not share Marshall's presumptions (at least some of them) regarding the Bible and how Marshall thinks it should be treated/read. So, I am wondering: Is Marshall making the case that I - like him in regards to my question - do not need to argue against Marshall's points because I - like him - do not hold the same presumptions that he does?

I also wonder, does Marshall agree that the fella saying "the Koran says it, therefore I 'know' it is a 'fact' that God wants us to cut off thieves hands" does not make it a fact? It just isn't and the reason it isn't is that the fella can't demonstrate it with hard data that can be substantiated.

Facts are data that can be tested, weighed, measured, considered, seen. One person's assumptions about how the Bible (or Koran) should be interpreted can't be weighed to see if it is "right." It is, like the Koran-believer, an unsupported and unproven and unprovable opinion.

Just as a point of fact in the real world. I wonder if, given this analogy and some time to consider it and his own answer to it, that Marshall (and others like him) can see that now?

46 comments:

Marshall Art said...

Like most left-leaning "adults", you fail to remember that our exchange is still available for all to see (unless you once again deleted that which is inconvenient for you under false or irrelevant pretenses---a not uncommon practice of yours). As such, my response to your fictional muslim character, the actual POINT of my response, is that I assumed I was dealing with questions from someone who claims is Christian about what God opposes or doesn't oppose. As such, there is no relevance to the discussion of any hypothetical conversation with a muslim. It is a clear distraction meant to avoid YOUR obligation to provide "hard data" to either disprove my position or to lend credence to your own.

You ask how I know what God wants. In responding, there is no use of mentioning allah, krishna, satan, apollo or zeus. Bringing up fictional gods to one who pretends to believe in, worship and seek to know the One True God of Scripture is meaningless and pointless at best. I need only cite His clearly revealed Will as recorded in Scripture. There, we find he regards homosexual behavior as an abomination. That is all we need to know about it in order to make choices on the matter. And since you feel compelled to continually cite from Leviticus 20:13, the death sentence only serves to confirm God's opposition to the behavior.

As there is nowhere in Scripture any reference to any context in which this behavior might be considered acceptable to God, tolerated, celebrated or even condoned, we can easily conclude that there is no way that He would approve of any union, legally sanctioned or not, that is based on this behavior. No way whatsoever. One needn't be a Biblical scholar to grasp this plain fact. But one must be one who puts one's own desires above even God's will to pretend that this is untrue or not possible.

This is but the ground floor of all that Scripture teaches us with regards to human sexuality. I have provided in one of the earlier posts links to a plethora of essays, videos and pod-casts wherein details supporting the FACT that God opposes all homosexual behavior, as well as citations of affirmation by pro-homosexual scholars, that has no contradicting "hard data" presented by you.

We get that you disagree with all this. There is no need to state it once again, as if it means anything. What we lack is your own "hard data" to support our position that somehow, without any direct or indirect proclamation by God, Christ or the Holy Ghost, that there is some loophole or exception that separates 21st century homosexuals from those of ancient times. Thus, there is nothing that justifies or rationalizes support for SSM in any way, shape or form. No Christian should ever celebrate such clearly sinful relationships.

Dan Trabue said...

Like most left-leaning "adults", you fail to remember that our exchange is still available for all to see

1. I do not believe that most left leaning adults fail to remember our exchange of the last couple of weeks. Most don't know about it.

2. Assuming you simply misspoke, I do not think it is true or that you have ANY data to support the claim that "most left=leaning adults" fail to remember other exchanges they are involved in.

3. Finally, it is simply false and silly to suggest that I have forgotten the exchange. Look: "Hey, we were just talking about this in an earlier post!" See? I remember.

So, I'm not sure why you'd begin your comment with such a divisive, false and rather ridiculous claim. You then go on to offer some unsupported ideas not related to the questions I'm putting to you. So, I'll ask again:

1. Is Marshall making the case that I - like him in regards to my question - do not need to argue against Marshall's points because I - like him - do not hold the same presumptions that he does?

2. I also wonder, does Marshall agree that the fella saying "the Koran says it, therefore I 'know' it is a 'fact' that God wants us to cut off thieves hands" does not make it a fact?


The reason I ask, the reason it matters (whether or not he or I believe in the Muslim belief system) is because it gets to the principles of how we read and interpret, how we know what is and isn't a fact.

Will you answer these questions directly, please?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

you fail to remember that our exchange is still available for all to see...

Dan...

I'm lifting up a question/response between Marshall and me FROM AN EARLIER to its own post

Yeah, I fail to remember it. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but this is just funny and bizarre...

Marshall Art said...

With regards to your first response,

1. "I do not believe that most left leaning adults fail to remember our exchange of the last couple of weeks. Most don't know about it."

Note this response to what provoked it: "Like most left-leaning "adults", you fail to remember that our exchange is still available for all to see..."

It does not require that ANY left-leaning "adults" even know you exist. But like most left-leaning "adults", you also apparently are greatly lacking in basic skill in reading comprehension as well as remembering that your words are recorded (indeed, our entire conversations) for any who might want to review them. Such a review would enlighten readers to both the facts of our conversation, as well as the accuracy with which you have or have not presented them currently.

(My reference, BTW, had in mind such lefties as Al Gore, who exploited the suffering of his sister's cancer from tobacco use for political gain, not so long after having exploited his history of having cultivated tobacco for political gain as well. There is also of course, "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" and a host of other failed promises...what most folk refer to as "lies"...from our current president. These types of things always come back to bite them in the ass because conservatives don't pretend the previous nonsense was uttered before the current contradicting nonsense.)

2. While my response to point 1 covers this, I'll add that the reference is with regards to left-leaning people of celebrity. No reason to assume, as common as the crime is with them, that it wouldn't be routine with all left-leaning "adults". You see that? I've used "hard data" about certain left-leaning people (I could easily find more) to support the claim about "most left-leaning 'adults'".

3. It is idiotic to suggest that I accused you of having forgotten the exchange. Ironically, one could simply read my words to show just how idiotic it is, considering I never said anything like that. Once again, the point was that you forget that with our conversation still available, one need only review it to check for accuracy and such. This is what you forget when the words of your current post don't well match what occurred within the conversation to which you refer. Try to keep up.

Thus, I did not open my response with any kind of "divisive, false and rather ridiculous claim." You simply aren't capable of understanding clearly presented text, which underscores your problems with recognizing and accepting hard data you requested. Now to your other questions:



Marshall Art said...

"1. Is Marshall making the case that I - like him in regards to my question - do not need to argue against Marshall's points because I - like him - do not hold the same presumptions that he does?"

No. Not even close, and this is something that is easily seen in our previous conversation. What I'm saying is that if you wish to discuss what God does or does not oppose, there is no reason for me to suspect we aren't talking about the same God. That is, the God of Scripture, the Holy Bible of the Christian that you claim to have prayerfully and seriously studied for at least a few minutes. When the premise is that God opposes homosexual behavior...PERIOD...and as a result of this opposition would not then bless a union of two or more homosexuals, regardless of their profession of love and commitment, and evidence is offered from Scripture itself, such as Lev 18:22, you absolutely must offer something from Scripture to counter that premise if any such "hard data" exists.

Put another way, we hold as least one presumption in kind: that God exists and that the God of which we speak is the same God described in the Christian Bible. Thus, on any discussions regarding what He may or may not oppose or support, it is that Bible that is the only source by which we can make our case. From that source, where is YOUR "hard data" that rebuts my premise or supports your own.

2. Again, this question is wholly irrelevant in discussions with an alleged Christian on the topic of what God opposes or doesn't oppose. It has no bearing whatsoever. What the muslim believes is true because of his false religion is of no consequence in a discussion regarding what the True God of all things expects of His creation. Thus, how he interprets his false religion means absolutely nothing to the truth of what Scripture teaches, and teaches in a most unambiguous manner.

And hey, you wanna talk "funny and bizarre"? That would be taking two comments to expose your inability to comprehend plain English.

Marshall Art said...

"It has to do with whether or not conservatives “know” as a “fact” that God opposes something as, on the face of it, moral and healthy and loving as a marriage between two guys or gals."

While I have just a few more minutes, I wanted to address this load of crap. You assume much and clearly inject your personal biases with your reference to what you need to believe others see "on the face of it", that homosexual unions can EVER be "moral, healthy or loving".

First, the question of its morality is the very point at issue here. I have provided "hard data" from Scripture that this is not so. In addition, I have provided links to great source of information on many of the most noteworthy studies on the question from a variety of sources both pro-LGBT and pro-traditional Christian morality. Nothing, anywhere, is available to support the notion that there is evidence in Scripture that could justify the position that simply because two homosexuals say they love each other then therefore their sexual behavior is no longer the abomination God says it is.

Secondly, there is plenty of evidence from the medical community that proves without a doubt that homosexual behavior is physically harmful, and that is without the need to ever mention sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the claim that any homosexual union can be healthy is a blatant and willful lie. Such a union would have to be totally platonic and devoid of sexual contact of any kind in order to begin to make such a case. What's the likelihood of that being commonplace?

Thirdly, a "loving" relationship, by Biblical standards could not be one in which sinful sexual behavior referred to by God as an abomination would ever take place. As the prohibition simply states "lying with a man as with a woman", ANY regard for one of the same sex in a romantic manner would qualify as sinful and thus, could not be loving. As Paul says...

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Homosexual unions of any kind, then, do not reflect this notion of love. Like most left-leaning "adults", Dan confuses love with lust. Those who truly love each other do not engage in sinful behaviors together, do not seek to do so, and avoid any situation that might lead to such engagements. It certainly puts me in mind of that verse about plucking out one's own eye or cutting off one's own hand rather than letting either lead one to sin. While Dan likes to bring this up in his foolish attempts to distort the notion of Biblical literacy, the sexually immoral he enables lack even the spine to deny their sexual urges. No way would they ever lose a hand or eye, even if Christ actually wanted us to do that.

Dan Trabue said...

There's nothing else really to say, Marshall. You hold opinions about what God thinks. You have nothing to base them upon EXCEPT for YOUR interpretations of passages in the bible.

It is a fact that if someone cited "but the Koran says" you would absolutely not take that as "hard data." Nor should you.

It is a fact that if I say, "but the Bible says..." and offer a different opinion/interpretation than you do, you would not take that as hard data (correct?). Nor should you.

And it is a fact that just because you say, "I think this passage means that god hates gay marriage" does not mean it is hard data.

You do not appear able to understand this or differentiate between your hunches and facts.

Thus, you are finished here on this point. I can't argue with a delusional person (at least on this point). But just to point out your error, I will deal this in a last ditch hope to appeal to your reason. you said...

we hold as least one presumption in kind: that God exists and that the God of which we speak is the same God described in the Christian Bible. Thus, on any discussions regarding what He may or may not oppose or support, it is that Bible that is the only source by which we can make our case.

There are at least three presumptions there:

1. God exists
2. The God we believe in is spoken of in the Bible.
3. The Bible is the "only source" by which we can make our case.
4. When I refer to "the Bible" I am speaking of the Bible as I/we understand it... that is, MY UNDERSTANDING of the Bible.

You believe in the first three but do not acknowledge the reality of 4. I do not accept your 3 and insist upon the observable factuality of 4.

Thus, you hold presumptions that I do not share and you have given me no data/argument on which I should share that your hunches/interpretations reflect the One True Understanding of God. So, given that reality, I have no more compulsion to accept your extrapolations and interpretations right up front than you would have for the Muslim who insists his interpretation of the Koran equals the One True Understanding of God/Allah.

Why would I accept your hunches? You've got nothing that is compelling to me and so I simply can't, as a point of reason or as a rational and internally consistent or moral biblical argument.

Thanks for you offering your opinions. I disagree. Move on.

Dan Trabue said...

Not so much for Marshall's sake because, as noted, he does not seem to be able to understand the difference between fact and opinion on at least this issue, but for anyone else who might be reading, Marshall said...

regardless of their profession of love and commitment, and evidence is offered from Scripture itself, such as Lev 18:22, you absolutely must offer something from Scripture to counter that premise if any such "hard data" exists.

Why?

Why is it that someone "absolutely must" offer "something from Scripture" to support their premises?

Has God told us this, ever? Point of fact: No.

Are there places in the Bible where it argues this? Point of fact: No.

Is there any rational reason that demands this and only this must be the case? Point of fact: No.

The point here is that Marshall is whipping a claim - an inextricable and undeniable (to him) demand that something "must" be the case - out of thin air. We have no data, no rational reason, no rule book that supports this demand that Marshall is making. Lacking even one bit of support for this demand (much like his many other hunches), the only reasonable response is: Why? Says who? On what basis?

"Because I say so...!" is simply not enough.

Marshall Art said...

"There's nothing else really to say, Marshall. You hold opinions about what God thinks. You have nothing to base them upon EXCEPT for YOUR interpretations of passages in the bible."

The above is rank stupidity. The issue revolves around what my position is regarding what God does or does not oppose...specifically, SSM. My position has a basis, and a very clear and unmistakable basis. My position is based upon what Scripture says regarding homosexual behavior, as well as every reference to marriage and family, to say nothing of human sexuality, that is also found there. That is to say, what you regard as merely my position, is directly grounded in, not only what Scripture clearly and unmistakably teaches, but also supported by the affirmation of thousands of years of Judeo-Christian interpretations and teachings, and that of scholar both supportive of the homosexual agenda as well as those who do not. That is hardly "nothing". "Nothing" is what you offer in the face of all of this to rebut, contradict or as evidence to suggest that it is in any way false. I continue to wait upon your counter evidences, without any real expectation that you'll be forthcoming.

"It is a fact that if someone cited "but the Koran says" you would absolutely not take that as "hard data." Nor should you."

You continue with this idiocy as if it has any merit whatsoever to the discussion at hand. It might if I was dealing with a muslim. You have assured us all again and again that you are a Christian. Thus, what appears in any so-called "holy book" of any other religion has absolutely no bearing or merit here. Of course, I may have been mistaken with your claims. Are you really muslim? If so, then the discussion must first settle the question of which of the competing truth claims, Christianity versus islam, is true, before ever dealing with positions regarding what God might oppose or bless.

"It is a fact that if I say, "but the Bible says..." and offer a different opinion/interpretation than you do, you would not take that as hard data (correct?)."

No. It is not a fact. Not even close. It would depend upon the question on the table. In this case, the question deals with whether or not God would support or oppose same-sex marriage. When I cite Lev 18:22, that is "hard data" for my position that God would oppose SSM. If you hold a different opinion/interpretation for what Lev 18:22 means, something that contradicts thousands of years of theological teaching and scholarship, you need to bring something to the game other than your typical "nyuh uh" defense in order to support that contrary position.

"And it is a fact that just because you say, "I think this passage means that god hates gay marriage" does not mean it is hard data."

It might not, if in fact I argued in such a manner. I do not. I refer to what verses and passages DO say, support THAT with evidence, and from all of that (if not more than that) come to the only conclusion allowed by the evidence. You don't. You say, "nyuh uh" and nothing more.

Marshall Art said...

"You do not appear able to understand this or differentiate between your hunches and facts."

That you insist I do not does not make it so. Until you are willing to present evidence or proofs of this, it is a meaningless assertion made to avoid the heavy lifting of defending your opposing view. Said another way, you ain't foolin' nobody. If what I claim is indeed not a fact, prove it.

"I can't argue with a delusional person (at least on this point)."

Why don't you give it a try. You've proven here that you can't argue with someone who has a full grasp of the facts and reality, like me.

You can carry on with this cowardly claim that is me who is delusional, but at some point, regardless of with whom you debate, you'll have to actually borrow a spine and make the attempt to support your position with evidences and proofs of your own. Merely making graceless and unChristian accusations about the mental health of your opponents does nothing to get the job done for you. It just makes you a cowardly liar.

"You believe in the first three but do not acknowledge the reality of 4."

Not so. But you fail to acknowledge the reality that the "we" in that scenario includes thousands of years of Judeo-Christian theology and understanding. Scratch that...you FLATLY REFUSE to acknowledge or accept those understandings without so much as a hint of counter evidence to suggest all of it might be wrong.

You also reject #3 because it is inconvenient for your false-christian theology to do so.

"Thus, you hold presumptions that I do not share and you have given me no data/argument on which I should share that your hunches/interpretations reflect the One True Understanding of God."

You're an inveterate liar, delusional in presuming evidence of your dishonesty is not clearly presented in the previous posts that compelled this one. I've given you plenty of "data/argument" (is that the terms you're using now instead of "hard data"?) that I have no doubt you haven't so much as considered giving even a cursory look, much less a serious and honest perusal. Indeed, there's enough there that should cause any honest man to suspend his position until a serious review. What have you in response besides "nyuh uh"?

"So, given that reality..."

Clearly, that is NOT the reality. As is true of all enablers of sexual immorality, you simply pretend no argument is given, no evidence is mounted high, no scholarship opposes you. In short, you're an inveterate liar.

"Why would I accept your hunches?"

I'll answer that question when I offer a hunch. Until then, your constant dishonest application of that term to the facts that I've presented do not require blind acceptance, nor do I expect as much. However, if you find the facts I present to be questionable in any way, calling them "hunches" doesn't make them so. You are required, if you are in any way an honest Christian as you insist you try to be, to mount some kind of case that stands as rebuttal or refutation of my claims. I won't hold my breath as no such case can be made. This makes pretending the facts I present are mere hunches about the only defense you could possibly have. That makes you pathetic as well as a liar.

"Thanks for you offering your opinions. I disagree."

REALLY??? You disagree??? What a f***ing newsflash!!! No kidding, Captain Obvious. How about a case for the defense? Pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall said...

regardless of their profession of love and commitment, and evidence is offered from Scripture itself, such as Lev 18:22, you absolutely must offer something from Scripture to counter that premise if any such "hard data" exists.

Why?"


Because, coward, you demanded "hard data" from me for my position. If you insist on rejecting my position, in the face of all the "hard data" that has been presented (but totally ignored by you...because you're a coward and a liar), you need to present "hard data" that stands as counter evidence to refute or rebut my position. Merely rejecting arguments you find inconvenient as does the typical homosexual activist/enabler doesn't cut it.

"Has God told us this, ever? Point of fact: No."

-Has God prohibited homosexual behavior? Point of fact: Absolutely.
-Has God stated that homosexual behavior is an abomination? Point of fact: Absolutely.
-Has God provide any context whereby we might have reason to believe homosexual behavior is ever permissible or acceptable or non-sinful? Point of fact: Absolutely not.
-Is there any evidence in Scripture that suggests God has changed His mind about the sinfulness of what He calls an abomination? Point of fact: Absolutely none.
-Is there any rational reason that demands this and only this must be the case? Point of fact: Absolutely.

"The point here is that Marshall is whipping a claim - - out of thin air."

Again, you're making an unsupported assertion. Scratch that, you're lying outright, as I've provided a plethora of "hard data" to support the truth claim I've merely related from Scripture.

"We have no data, no rational reason, no rule book that supports this demand that Marshall is making."

You're a liar that rejects reality outright in favor of your preferred heresy without so much as a hint of supporting evidence.

""Because I say so...!" is simply not enough."

But it's clearly more than enough for you, as you pretend I've offered nothing after I've linked to tons of evidence (and it's not all that's out there). Thus, you are a liar, a heretic and a false Christian far worse than has been established already. You continue making your assertions hoping it is forgotten that what you claim I've not provided is right there for all to see in your others posts. You might want to go back and delete all my stuff in order to preserve what for you passes for integrity.

Dan Trabue said...

Has God prohibited homosexual behavior? Point of fact: Absolutely.
-Has God stated that homosexual behavior is an abomination? Point of fact: Absolutely.

[OPINION. Sorry, you're factually mistaken.]

-Has God provide any context whereby we might have reason to believe homosexual behavior is ever permissible or acceptable or non-sinful? Point of fact: Absolutely not.

[OPINION. Sorry, you're factually mistaken.]

-Is there any evidence in Scripture that suggests God has changed His mind about the sinfulness of what He calls an abomination? Point of fact: Absolutely none.

[OPINION. Sorry, you're factually mistaken and you're making a presumption that you have not established as fact.]

-Is there any rational reason that demands this and only this must be the case? Point of fact: Absolutely.

[OPINION. Sorry, you're factually mistaken.]


As noted, Marshall. You simply do not seem able to distinguish between fact and opinion. YOU are the one making a fact claim. It is not incumbent on me to disprove it, the onus is on you to support the claim. You factually can not.

I am sorry you just don't seem able to understand this, I'm not sure how I can help you. Good luck.

Marshall Art said...

The delusion is all yours. Everything that you dishonestly state is unproven or factually mistaken is clearly and easily discovered in Scripture by honest people truly and sincerely seeking God's will therein. If anything I've listed is "factually mistaken", then where are your facts to dispel the mistake? You offer none. You HAVE none, but instead simply assert, as if true, that I am wrong. For example:

"-Is there any evidence in Scripture that suggests God has changed His mind about the sinfulness of what He calls an abomination? Point of fact: Absolutely none."

YOU say..."[OPINION. Sorry, you're factually mistaken and you're making a presumption that you have not established as fact.]"

OK, fine. Where are you facts to dispel this alleged misconception of mine? What verse contradicts the FACT regarding the sinfulness of homosexual behavior? On what basis do you insist that there is anything that mitigates or overturns Leviticus 18:22 wherein God calls homosexual behavior, without any reference whatsoever to any context or scenario in which it might take place, an abomination? Where's your "hard data"?

Face it. You're a liar wholly lacking in the Christian grace you demand of others. Even if you are wrong, you must offer something to support your position or to contradict mine in order to have any honesty and integrity. Neither of these things are of any value or worth to you, apparently, as you continue to make wholly unsupported assertions about me and my positions on this important topic.

Dan Trabue said...

I have made no fact claims about God's opinions. I have said quite clearly that it is MY opinion that marriage is good, gay or straight, and that we can reasonably see how God would support such behavior. MY OPINION.

You're the one making a fact claim. You must prove it or admit you can't. You can't.

Marshall Art said...

Why do you continue to bore me with what is already known? I freakin' get it, Dan. The question you refuse to answer is on what basis do you hold that "opinion". Again, it really isn't an "opinion" if there is no real basis to hold it. In your case, as there is no Scriptural basis for such an "opinion", it is just your wish that God would do something so illogical as to support a union based on behavior He tells us is an abomination. Marriage is indeed a "good", but there is no such thing as "gay" marriage. Marriage is, and always has been, the union of one man and one woman. No mention of marriage in Scripture can possibly be cited to support anything so immoral and illogical as "gay" marriage. THAT is a fact and until you can cite something from Scripture that contradicts this, yours is not an opinion at all. It is a heresy, for sure...it is fantasy, without a doubt...but it is not an opinion.

But as you insist it is, on what basis do you hold this opinion? As stated, we know from Scripture that marriage is a one man/one woman proposition. We know that family is formed by the conjugal union of these two who will them become father and mother to the product of their union. We know from Scripture that love does not delight in evil, and prohibited behaviors are manifestations of evil. What, then, is left to suggest even a slight possibility that your wish for homosexuals is possibly true?

I most certainly have proven the fact claim I have not so much made, but merely repeated from Scripture. You have done nothing to suggest that it is NOT a fact, aside from your assertions presented without evidence to support them.

So, please don't once again state that what you wish were true is your "opinion". This we know full well by now.

Please don't state that you believe the facts I present are only my "hunch" or "opinion". This we know full well by now.

What we need from you is YOUR "hard data". YOUR evidence. YOUR Scriptural support. YOUR alternative understanding of what cited verses and passages mean and why you believe it. "Nyuh uh" just won't cut it regardless of how much you say it while holding your breath and stomping your feet.

Dan Trabue said...

The question you refuse to answer is on what basis do you hold that "opinion".

I have not refused to answer the question, Marshall. I've answered it repeatedly. Here, I'll answer it again:

Marriage is a good and positive thing.

It is a safe and healthy place to exercise one's sexuality, for one thing.

But it is also good societally, to have small family units that provide mutual support and provide healthy homes for the next generation of citizens.

Love is good, loving healthy, committed marriage relationships are good, healthy, positive. There is nothing negative about love. It is a moral and societal positive.

I see zero reasons to think that these ideals are not just as valid regardless if we're speaking about gay folk or straight folk.

Given, then, that marriage is a healthy positive thing, that love and loving relationships are healthy positive things, I have no reason at all to suspect that God would be opposed to what is, on the face of it, healthy, positive and loving.

Given that YOU almost certainly would agree that marriage ideals (as I listed them above, and others I may not have thought of) are positive, healthy and wonderful for straight people, the onus is on you to provide some data to support any claims that it is not healthy or positive. You have not done so. All you have done is point to ancient texts and told us YOUR PERSONAL HUMAN interpretation of those passages and said, "See? I think these verses mean that god would oppose gay folk getting married." But that is not data, it's an opinion and one that conflicts with the data that I can see and observe in the real world. That you repeat these opinions as if they were "facts" that we "know" does not make it so.

Facts that can be known are demonstrable, Marshall. You can't demonstrate it.

There, again, I have provided the bases for why I hold this opinion. You can disagree with it, if you wish, but lacking any reasonable moral data to oppose it, I simply can't agree with your hunches.

Marshall Art said...

"Given, then, that marriage is a healthy positive thing, that love and loving relationships are healthy positive things, I have no reason at all to suspect that God would be opposed to what is, on the face of it, healthy, positive and loving."

This only works (such that it might, not saying it does) if you begin with false definitions of words. You do this for both love and marriage, both of which are dealt with quite a bit in Scripture.

"All you have done is point to ancient texts..."

Assuming by "ancient texts you refer to the collection of ancient texts that make up the Christian Bible, pointing to them is more than merely appropriate in a discussion of what God would or would not support or oppose. Thus, it is not surprising that you would ignore those texts, put them on a level of no more importance than what for you passes for reasoning and generally look elsewhere, such as to fantasy, to come to your heretical conclusion. So, in "pointing to ancient texts", I refer to facts you find inconvenient, and you fraudulently dismiss them as somehow unimportant in discussing what God opposes or supports.

Thus, you have NOT provided any basis for your opinion. You've provided fantasy because you depend upon definitions that are not true.

Here's another problem with your "data", marriage does not exist as "a safe and healthy place to exercise one's sexuality". Where in Scripture does it say this? In civil law, it exists for the benefit of the offspring of the conjugal unions of men and women primarily, and the support of the women most commonly tasked with the raising of the offspring of those unions. Were there no possibility of procreation, there would be no need for marriage. If one wishes to speculate about why God would institute marriage at all, it must look to these facts first. Pleasing the self is already covered in teachings about idolatry.

You are doing no more than beginning with the pleasing of the self and working backward in order to seek and invent loopholes that give license for that purpose.

1. So, if "marriage" is a good thing, provide something from Scripture that suggests the definition allows for two of the same gender.

2. If "love" is good, how does it allow for that which is not, such as behaviors God teaches is an abomination?

Resolving those last two points is where you have been backed into a corner and have danced around. Your "reasoning" isn't good enough. Your "reasoning" needs to be based upon something that in some way aligns with the teachings of Scripture in order for you to dare present an opinion that God would bless, support or condone SSM. Thus far, you've done nothing to connect the dots. NOTHING.

Dan Trabue said...

Fact 1: God has no where, ever, in the history of all you or anyone else knows, told you or anyone ever that two guys getting married and enjoying sex in that context is "an abomination." It has not happened. This is your hunch, not a fact. As a point of fact.

Fact 2: I do not have to "provide a definition" from the Bible that says two people committing to a loving marriage relationship is a good thing. It is obvious on the face of it to most people that it is good. Commitment is good. Loving a special someone is good. Being there for someone as a support is good. Being a healthy family together is a good thing. These are all goods I can observe with my own eyes. I do not need the bible to "tell me" it is a good thing. Any more than you need a bible to tell you that drinking and driving is a bad thing. It's obvious and observable on the face of it. Beyond that, the Bible has never said and God has never told you that we need "definitions" of marriage from the Bible to know what is and isn't good.

Just as a point of fact.

Resolved, Marshall. That you hold different hunches because of your religious biases does not change what is observable and factual, any more than you'd accept the extremist from another religion who says that female genital mutilation is a bad thing, just because they hold the opinion that they think god thinks it's good.

And that is comparable because I reject YOUR reasoning for the exact same reason that you reject other people's bad reasoning. You don't need a bible to tell you that FGM is a bad thing, in spite of what some people think a god thinks. I don't need your interpretation of our Bible any more than you do in that other religion's instance and for the exact same reason.

Marshall Art said...

Fact 1: God has no where, ever, in the history of all you or anyone else knows, told you or anyone ever that there is any context or scenario in which engaging in homosexual behavior is NOT an abomination. This is your fervent and desperate wish, invention, fantasy, your completely unsupported and evidence free heresy, but certainly not a fact. What IS a fact is that He refers ONLY and without any exception at which there is even the slightest hint, to the act itself. In doing so, He calls it an abomination. As such, regardless of two deviants pretending they are "married", and regardless of how "faithful" they are to each other, their behavior is STILL an abomination. As a point of fact.

"Fact 2: I do not have to "provide a definition" from the Bible that says two people committing to a loving marriage relationship is a good thing."

Of course you do. If you're going to pretend that God is approving of something for which Scripture gives no indication that He would, while giving every indication that He wouldn't, you must first deal with what "marriage" is. And in Scripture, as in the history of mankind, there is no evidence that it was ever defined as the union of one man and one woman. As a point of fact.

"It is obvious on the face of it to most people that it is good."

It is obvious to honest people who do not pander to the immoral sexual compulsions of people like you and those you enable, that marriage has a very specific meaning and within the parameters of that meaning (one man/one woman, not closely related, not currently married, not below the legal age) and that it is good for some, not so much for others.

"Commitment is good."

You're certainly committed to heresy, but that doesn't make it good. Commitment to engaging in sexual immorality with only one person is still engaging in sexual immorality. You have yet to provide any "hard data" to support your laughable "opinion" that any scenario exists in which two of the same sex are engaged in sexual behavior is not immoral.

"Loving a special someone is good."

But engaging in sinful behavior, such as homosexual sex, is not, as clearly revealed in Scripture.

"Being there for someone as a support is good..."

...but does not require engaging in behavior God says is an abomination.

"Being a healthy family together is a good thing..."

...but a family headed by two who engage in abomination is not healthy. Certainly not spiritually, likely not emotionally/mentally, and physically will not be for very long.

Marshall Art said...

"These are all goods I can observe with my own eyes."

These are "goods" you've invented in your open rebellion against God. They are not actual "goods" at all as your definitions are all based on lies and the promotion of sexual immorality and abomination.

"I do not need the bible to "tell me" it is a good thing."

You need to heed Scripture's warning against calling evil "good". It isn't that you don't "need", it's that you don't want to live according to what the Bible tells you. You don't find it convenient, which is typical of those who aren't Christians, or of those who only claim to be.

It's not the least bit surprising that you find the Bible insufficient when what it tells you is inconvenient. It doesn't matter that punching you in the face is damaging to your face, painful for your face, and likely has a negative impact on my fist. None of that makes it wrong. What makes it wrong is that God prefers I treat even apostates and heretics like you better than that. While you might not need Scripture to tell you that anything is wrong, that something might be is so because God says it is, not because you think you've "reasoned" that it is. All you're doing is inventing loopholes through which you can force your personal preferences as a "good".

Just as an actual fact, and so incredibly obviously so.

"And that is comparable because I reject YOUR reasoning for the exact same reason that you reject other people's bad reasoning."

You're an inveterate liar. You reject my "reasoning" because the truth is inconvenient for you. You hate the truth and prefer the lie that your homosexual/lesbian friends are engaging in a behavior God hates and will not inherent the Kingdom. You want such people to think you are "holy" or "pious" and devoted to Christ, when it is clear you're devoted to the world and use the claim of being a Christian to legitimize your rebellion. Your continued citation of the beliefs of muslims serves to confirm this truth. Indeed, it seems that if anyone needs the Bible to determine what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil, it is YOU. Turn to Christ while you still can.

Dan Trabue said...

it's that you don't want to live according to what the Bible tells you...

You're an inveterate liar. You reject my "reasoning" because the truth is inconvenient for you. You hate the truth and prefer the lie that your homosexual/lesbian friends are engaging in a behavior God hates and will not inherent the Kingdom...


I want to walk in Jesus' steps and the ways of God. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply mistaken. As a point of fact. I certainly don't always succeed in doing so, but it's what I want.

Do you see your mistake, then?

If you're going to pretend that God is approving of something for which Scripture gives no indication that He would, while giving every indication that He wouldn't, you must first deal with what "marriage" is.

I do deal with what marriage is: A loving committed relationship between two adults. What I don't have to do is provide a "biblical definition" for it. Why would I? On whose authority would I need to do so? Because you say so? That's not enough, friend, Marshall.

As such, regardless of two deviants pretending they are "married", and regardless of how "faithful" they are to each other, their behavior is STILL an abomination. As a point of fact.

Marshall, if it were a fact, you could prove it. Prove it.

You can't. It's not a known fact. It's your opinion. And that's a fact.

Dan Trabue said...

So, unless you can provide data to support your claim (and you can't) and unless you apologize for misspeaking and clarify that you were mistaken, you're sorry, it's NOT a known fact, not one that you can support with objective, observable data (data that is obvious to anyone is a fact, regardless of their opinions - OBJECTIVE data), you are completely done here. Abusive language in place of data is not rational or polite adult conversation.

Good day to you. I will accept no more comments from you here without data to support your claim or an apology for misspeaking.

Marshall Art said...

I already provided data to support the truth. You've countered with nothing and now will delete this due to your cowardice and dishonesty.

Dan Trabue said...

And as I've demonstrated, you do not understand what "data" is. So, you've offered your opinion and confused it for a fact. Point of fact. Sorry you can't understand that.

As an experiment, Marshall, try this: Find a trusted, objective smart progressive person - someone you trust to tell you the truth. Do you know anyone like that?

Assuming you do, show them this thread and ask them to tell you: Is this you're offering an opinion or a fact and hard data, data that is known objectively, irregardless of one's opinions.

If you can do this, let me know what you find out.

Marshall Art said...

"And as I've demonstrated, you do not understand what "data" is. "

No, you've absolutely NOT demonstrated that at all, in any way, at any time. What you have done is assert it over and over again. You continue to make the assertion because you do not like the "hard data" I present that fully supports my position and confirms the heresy of yours. In the meantime, you offer nothing that comes close to hard data to support your heresy as even remotely possible. Instead, you offer hunches of your own, baseless hunches at that, about nonsense about what is "good".

As to your "challenge", I'll consider it. Many of my close friends are liberal. And they are intelligent, likely wondering why I bother with the likes of you. But we'll see.

In the meantime, please point out where you've demonstrated that I don't understand what "data" is. Then, illustrate how my data doesn't qualify under your self-serving definition.

Dan Trabue said...

Saying, "The Bible says 1, 2 and 3, that DEMONSTRATES that FACTUALLY God opposes gay guys getting married" is an opinion, not a demonstration of fact. That's just reality, Marshall. Ask your liberal friends, they'll tell you (that, or you asked them the wrong question - this is not hard).

Marshall Art said...

"Saying, "The Bible says 1, 2 and 3, that DEMONSTRATES that FACTUALLY God opposes gay guys getting married" is an opinion, not a demonstration of fact. That's just reality, Marshall."

That might be, but you weren't asking for that, were you? The challenge was to provide "hard data" that supports my contention that God opposes SSM. Citing Leviticus 18:22 absolutely is hard data toward supporting that contention. As it stands as a fact that God refers to homosexual behavior as an abomination, with no stated consideration of any context or scenario in which it might be perpetrated without it still being an abomination, it is evidence in favor of my position.

It seems quite clear that the problem is your inability to understand how building a case actually works. Your insistence that we have specific language such as "God said, 'Tell the people that the definition of marriage is...'" is childishness, not an example that you understand how to reason with regard to determining God's will on any issue. I can say with complete certainty that God opposes (or would oppose if we could ask Him directly) SSM because of all the verses in Scripture related to the issues of marriage, family and human sexuality, beginning with Lev 18:22. You can't even get passed this one verse without inserting meaning into the text for which there is no evidence whatsoever. And then you have the audacity to assert that I am the one lacking in "hard data" to support my position.

As to asking my friends, I have contacted one of them and have copied and pasted your challenge in its entirety from your comment of January 31, 2016 at 7:01 PM. I have yet to hear back from him. When I do, you'll know. I have others I can ask should this one not feel you're worth the time of day (you asked for "objective smart" progressive people, after all).

Dan Trabue said...

The challenge was to provide "hard data" that supports my contention that God opposes SSM. Citing Leviticus 18:22 absolutely is hard data toward supporting that contention.

It's not. Ask your liberal friends. Report back.

Marshall Art said...

Do you even have a spine, or maybe a pair of testicles? You're once again implementing your favored "Nyuh uh" rebuttal. If citing Lev 18:22 is NOT hard data, tell me why, other than merely asserting it isn't. Once again, if I am to support my contention that God opposes SSM, starting with Lev 18:22 is a great starting place. The verse prohibits the practice of homosexual behavior and tells us why: God says homosexual behavior is an abomination. Now, even leaving room for the laughably remote possibility that it might refer to "some form" of homosexual behavior, another fantasy for which you've never provided even "soft data" to support, it is still evidence usable to defend my contention. That makes it "hard data", at least until such time as you can prove your desperate wish that Lev 18:22 is NOT referring to any possible context in which two might engage in homosexual behavior.

You really don't get this whole idea of building a case or proving a point, do you?

So go ahead and at least pretend you have the courage to defend your position and meet the challenges I have constantly laid at YOUR feet without response. That'll fill the time whilst we await word from my friend, who's in the midst of acclimating to a new management position where he works.

Dan Trabue said...

It's not. Ask your liberal friends. Report back.

I do not have to make a case against unreality. If you cited that God insisted that eating unicorn meat was the only way to salvation as a point of fact, I would not need to respond in any way other than saying, "You're mistaken, that's not a fact."

Marshall Art said...

"I do not have to make a case against unreality."

This might be a problem if I was insisting that you must. I'm not. Why would I since I'm dealing in reality. In this case, you do indeed need to make a case that rebuts mine. That's how it works. You don't get to simply dismiss like every other cowardly, lying leftist. This is especially true here as what I contend is nothing like your a-hole analogy regarding unicorn meat. (Again, you don't get how to construct a legitimate analogy, so you really need to resist the urge to try.) My contention IS based on something factual, that God called homosexual behavior an abomination. This is hard data in support of my position that God opposes, or would oppose if we could actually ask Him directly, SSM.

If you believe citing Lev 18:22 does NOT constitute hard data in support of my position, you need to explain why. You need to explain how it fails. And as your opposing argument is based on the fantasy that the prohibition only refers to "some forms" of homosexual behavior, you in fact and without question are obliged to provide hard data of your own to support the argument.

Let me help you out by providing more facts from Lev 18 that immediately block more corruption you might hope to assert:

---Most of the rest of the chapter deals with various forms of heterosexual behavior. As God had no problem doing this, why would he not do as much for homosexual behavior?

---The result of the prohibitions against those forms of hetero behavior is the fact that the only acceptable context in which sexual behavior may take place is within the marital union of a man and woman.

---There is no prohibition paralleling these hetero crimes that can be applied to homosexuals. For example, at the time Leviticus was handed down from God to the people through Moses, all laws were directed at the men of Israel, and unless a law was sex specific, women merely assumed they applied to them as well. This is not in question by any theologian.

As such, while men are prohibited from having sexual relations with one's father's sister (v12), there is no prohibition listed against having sexual relation with one's father's brother. Why is this, if the prohibition against homosexual behavior wasn't comprehensive and meant to outlaw any and all homosexual behavior regardless of context. Is it that you don't think a dude could have a loving and committed relationship with his father's brother? Like your basic premise, that would be absurd.

So we have various forms of hetero behavior spelled out for us as prohibited, but we're to accept the self-serving suggestion that v22 speaks of "some form" and not all? It's amazing you don't puke with disgust at the very sight of your own reflection after trying to run lame BS like that!! You clearly have no self-respect, just as you have no true devotion to the God you claim to worship and follow.

Marshall Art said...

And your desperate hope that Lev 18 is meant only for the people of Israel in the time of Moses, and not a universal prohibition as is "thou shalt not murder" might have a chance if not for God's words referring to how these behaviors were the reason the land of the Canaanites was defiled, or that Israel should not engage in the practices of Egypt or Canaan. Do you have some evidence that God allowed those prohibited sexual behaviors to be perpetrated by Egyptians and Canaanites? It was OK for them, but not Israel? Is that your position? Then what other behaviors denied Israel was not a problem for God if perpetrated by Egyptians or Canaanites? Murder? Lying? Theft? All of these were also a part of the laws God handed down through Moses. You can't have it both ways and you can't have your position on SSM stand without addressing Lev 18 with something that supports your BS hope that it refers to "some forms" of homosexual behavior.

As such, Lev 18:22 does indeed stand as "hard data" to support my contention that God opposes SSM. So besides "Nyuh uh", what have you got?

Dan Trabue said...

My contention IS based on something factual, that God called homosexual behavior an abomination.

This is what you're not seeing, Marshall. THAT claim in not a fact. It is an opinion based upon your interpretation of a biblical passage or two.

My car is a blue Honda.

THAT is a fact, it can be demonstrated, observed, validated. It doesn't matter who looks at my car, or what their opinions are politically, it is an independent fact.

God called homosexual behavior an abomination.

THAT is an opinion. It is based upon an interpretation from a text in the Bible. It can't be observed, demonstrated or validated, regardless of who looks at the text. SOME people may think "that's what the text says - or something like that - so that's what it means, IN MY OPINION..." others would look at it and say, "it's from a book of fairy tales, so it is not a demonstrated fact in the least, it is an unsupported opinion..." still others would look at it and say, "that is ONE interpretation of the text, but not the only interpretation..."

The point stands, it is not a fact, it is an opinion.

As a point of fact.

You do not appear to get this. And so, that is why I'm asking you to ask someone smart whom you trust, they can verify this for you.

Dan Trabue said...

And your desperate hope that Lev 18 is meant only for the people of Israel in the time of Moses, and not a universal prohibition as is "thou shalt not murder" might have a chance if not for God's words referring to how these behaviors were the reason the land of the Canaanites was defiled, or that Israel should not engage in the practices of Egypt or Canaan.

It is LITERALLY what the text says, Marshall.

The Lord said to Moses,
“Speak to the Israelites and say to them
..."

WHO does the text say these rules are for? "THE ISRAELITES..." and WHO did God re-emphasize he was speaking to? "TO THEM."

You flitter around from being a literalist to not being a literalist with whimsy and no consistency, Marshall. You can't have it both ways.

Dan Trabue said...

You can't have it both ways and you can't have your position on SSM stand without addressing Lev 18 with something that supports your BS hope that it refers to "some forms" of homosexual behavior.

Yes, Marshall. I can. I do it every day. I have zero obligation to provide "support" for what seems clear to me because the Bible is not a rulings book or a rule book. It does not teach that it does (literally, it does not teach that). There is no rational or biblical reason to take it that way.

It's like you're wanting to say, "I believe the Bible should be taken this way and with these presumptions, therefore, you have to agree with my presumptions if you want to discuss the matter..." That's not how discussion or reason works.

Ask someone smart that you trust, Marshall, they'll explain it to you.

Dan Trabue said...

Do you have some evidence that God allowed those prohibited sexual behaviors to be perpetrated by Egyptians and Canaanites? It was OK for them, but not Israel? Is that your position? Then what other behaviors denied Israel was not a problem for God if perpetrated by Egyptians or Canaanites? Murder? Lying? Theft? All of these were also a part of the laws God handed down through Moses.

You really should know this by now, but I've got a minute, I'll explain it again:

I'm not saying any of that. I am saying - have been saying - that it isn't wrong to kill someone because there is a line in the Bible that says so, there's a line in the Bible stating the reality that it is wrong to kill someone because it is a violation against human life and liberty. God isn't out whimsically creating right and wrong. God is pointing out those things that ARE right and wrong, NOT because God says so but because it is harmful.

The "It's wrong because God says so and that's all there is to it..." is the problem with the Bible-as-rulebook fallacy. You don't have to use your head or moral reasoning to sort out right and wrong, so says this fallacy, you just have to find the line in the Bible that speaks to the behavior. There is no evidence to the contrary. It is, as Thomas and others noted, self-evident. If you want to argue against what is self-evident, the onus is on you to make the case that right and wrong are solely and whimsically based on finding support from a line in the bible.

Marshall Art said...

"...it isn't wrong to kill someone because there is a line in the Bible that says so..."

That's certainly enough for actual Christians. Find one and ask him if he needs anything more than God's word to determine right and wrong.

"...there's a line in the Bible stating the reality that it is wrong to kill someone because it is a violation against human life and liberty."

I'll wait here not holding my breath while you find it and present it here. I'll need specific chapter and verse. In the meantime, I offer this:

"Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind." Gen 9:6 (NIV)

This clearly suggests, if not outright states and confirms (which is really clear an unambiguous), that the reason murder is prohibited is NOT due to the harm it causes the murdered, but because the murdered is in the image of God. That is, it is thus an affront to God. While also obviously being an affront to the murdered, the affront to God is what is stated. Of the many commentaries I've reviewed on the subject, Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible says as much:

"the reason follows:

for in the image of God made he man; which, though sadly defaced and obliterated by sin, yet there are such remains of it, as render him more especially the object of the care and providence of God, and give him a superiority to other creatures; and particularly this image, among others, consists in immortality, which the taking away of his life may seem to contradict; however, it is what no man has a right to do."


No talk of "harm" here. Nor here from the Geneva Study Bible (chosen for its succinctness):

"Therefore to kill man is to deface God's image, and so injury is not only done to man, but also to God."

Moving along....

"God isn't out whimsically creating right and wrong."

Never suggested such a thing, nor would I. What is a fact is that His reasons are His own and not necessarily given, explained or presented to the satisfaction of any of His creation. Here, you're clearly speaking for God unless you can actually present the reason you suggested above. At the same time, I'm once again citing what is actually recorded as coming directly from Him (and thus still not "speaking for God").

"God is pointing out those things that ARE right and wrong, NOT because God says so but because it is harmful."

Doubtful at best. There might be some indication or notation that an act is harmful, but you're going to have to find something that specifically says it is prohibited because it is harmful, rather than merely being displeasing to God. Indeed, what is moral is simply nothing more than our behaviors and actions that please God. What is immoral, then, is that which does not. But why we are prohibited is not because of any harm that may or may not ensue, but because God prohibits it. That is all. "Harm" isn't even necessary as a criterion for an action being prohibited. What harm is there in you wearing a dress? Yet God, through Paul in the NT, is displeased by such practices and thus God, through Paul, tells us not to do it.



Marshall Art said...

"
The "It's wrong because God says so and that's all there is to it..." is the problem with the Bible-as-rulebook fallacy. You don't have to use your head or moral reasoning to sort out right and wrong..."


You say this as if it is a bad thing. How so? Seems to me that it indicates a person convicted in their belief and thus devoted to pleasing God, acting in accordance with what He wants of us without regard to anything else, such as personal preference.

One could also say that the whole point of recording God's word is exactly so we don't have to "use our head or moral reasoning", as if your head and your ability to use reason is good enough to get it right. We see with your rejection of God's will as regards homosexual behavior that you fail in your ability to reason.

"It is, as Thomas and others noted, self-evident. If you want to argue against what is self-evident, the onus is on you to make the case that right and wrong are solely and whimsically based on finding support from a line in the bible."

Are you referring to Thomas Jefferson? If so, he assumes that what is self-evident to him is self-evident to all. However, if it was self-evident to all, why would he need to point it out in the DOI, where he says "we find these truths to be self-evident". And while it may be clear to you and me about those truths of which he speaks, that still doesn't have anything to do with how or why a Christian abides what is or isn't moral. It might be self-evident that slapping the crap out you is painful to you, insulting to you and even when justified unbecoming a Christian, but none of that makes it wrong. What makes it wrong is that it displeases God.

By YOUR self-serving position, one can justify just about anything. And you do. Indeed, you prefer to believe that two homosexuals who love each other is "self-evidently" a beautiful thing and therefore a "marriage-like" union of the two can be a blessed thing. But there is nothing "self-evident" about it, other than the possibility that they might actually romantically love each other...not that their doing so is a good and blessed thing. That's YOU projecting YOUR preferred belief upon the situation, not you recognizing anything that is possibly good, noble, pure, whatever according to anything that aligns with the Word and Will of God as revealed in Scripture. Is it good, noble, pure to God? All we can say with certainty is that it is an abomination. There is nothing in Scripture that gives us any indication that it is every anything but and abomination.

All YOU provide are the cheapest of rationalizations and clear distortions of Scripture. It would be worse than a bad joke to pretend anything you've presented to support your heresy is "hard data".

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You say this as if it is a bad thing. How so?

Because it is unbiblical.

Because it is irrational.

Because it is arrogant.

Because it too often immoral.

Is that enough reason?

Marshall, go do your assignment, Go talk to your liberal friends. Get them to point out for you why your opinion (as oft-repeated here on topic after topic) is, in fact, opinion, not fact. Come back after that. Seriously.

Marshall Art said...

"Because it is unbiblical."

Paul disagrees. See 2 Timothy 3:16.

"Because it is irrational."

Scripture is our primary source for knowledge regarding God's will. There is no other that supersedes its authority as such a source. Thus, it more than perfectly rational to use Scripture as a resource for determining right/wrong, moral/immoral, what pleases/displeases God. I certainly wouldn't turn to someone like you.

"Because it is arrogant."

No. Arrogance is supposing you know why God prohibits one behavior and not another, or that you can inject exceptions to His prohibitions. Simply obeying God's will as clearly revealed in Scripture is devotion.

"Because it too often immoral."

It's NEVER immoral to obey the will of God. What's more, it's easy enough to understand for other stupid people, so why not you, too? No. You dare suppose you can dictate to God that what He calls an abomination must be blessed and approved by Him. THAT is immoral.

"Is that enough reason?"

Enough what? Enough falsehood? I'm sure you have so much more than that little list, but none of it is constitutes a true and factual response to the statement and question, "
You say this as if it is a bad thing. How so?"

"Get them to point out for you why your opinion (as oft-repeated here on topic after topic) is, in fact, opinion, not fact."

Should I use a gun? You've just admitted that you wouldn't accept an answer from them that doesn't agree with your insistence that what you need is not reality. As I said, the liberal friends I'd approach on this are intelligent and, unlike yourself, honest, even if they are mistaken in their political positions. As such, I can't force them to agree with you if they see no reason to do so. Thus, I have no doubt you'll reject their responses as fraudulent unless they are in total agreement. But you'll just have to wait like I must until such time as my friend chooses to take the time.

In the meantime, you might want to provide something that supports your counter position. "What is noble, pure, loving, etc..." doesn't cut it since you won't answer the question, "according to whom?" Why not just be honest like some homosexuals and admit you don't give a flying rat's ass what the Bible says? You're certainly never going to act in kind and provide hard data. You never do what you demand of others.

Marshall Art said...

Here's another point that goes a bit deeper than my earlier one regarding "forms of homosexual behavior". While I don't think Leviticus is dealing with forms of orientation, as opposed to merely expressions of sexual desires, we can clearly see that two "orientations" are addressed (three if you count bestiality, which I leave aside): homosexual and heterosexual. The first is addressed only once and simply: Don't do it. The second is broken down into various "forms", none of which speak of loving, committed versions. If you wish to insist that v22 is speaking of "some form" of homosexual behavior, as opposed to any homosexual behavior at all, how do you explain that God's prohibitions for heterosexuals are so much more detailed? Should there not be parallels? That is, a verse 7(b), "Do not dishonor your mother by having sexual relations with your father."? It's silly and would be redundant since v22 already covers it.

Leviticus 18 isn't addressing homosexual behavior at all, nor is it addressing heterosexual behavior. It is addressing human sexual behavior, that which is displeasing to God. That is, a variety of possible means by which a man might get his sexual jollies are addressed and among them lying with men as one would with a woman is strictly forbidden, whereas there is one "form" of heterosexual behavior NOT prohibited, and that is what occurs between a man and woman married to each other. So, rather than "orientation", it speaks strictly of the various sexual "tastes" that a human being might develop and forbids them. Indulging the taste for sex with males is denied every male always, the taste for sex with animals denied always, the taste for sex with one's mother denied always, and on and on. Not orientation, human carnal desire. Period.

From that point, one who defends sexual immorality as you do must provide something, anything, from Scripture that even hints that any of these things that God has called detestable might possibly no longer be detestable and how and when the change to acceptable came about.

Anonymous said...

<>

I once asked Marshall's blogger buddy Stan if he thinks God always restores the setbacks of Christian businessmen, or if he would pray that from now on God will do such a thing. The Biblical basis would be Joel 2:25, for instance. Stan dismissed it out of hand, saying that passage of scripture was only meant for a specific tribe at a specific time. I.e.: Just because God does something once, don't expect consistency from Him.

Anonymous said...

My post above lost the contents of the braces <>, which were intended to hold a quote from Dan's blog-------
"No, what is there are verses like rules given directly and specifically to ancient Israel..."

Craig said...

One has to wonder why someone, when confronted with data that contradicts their preconceptions simply bails out of the conversation, rather than to rebut the data or adjust their hunches.

Dan Trabue said...

I don't know. I suppose one would have to ask someone to whom that applies.

Try Stan, Neil or any of the dozens of conservative bloggers out there who do it routinely. Demonstrably.

Marshall Art said...

Clearly Craig is referring to you, Dan, as you have bailed on this conversation in the face of data I have presented.