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Wertbag last won the day on April 25

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About Wertbag

  • Birthday 02/21/1977

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    Auckland, NZ
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    MMA, gaming
  • More About Me
    Married father of 2 from New Zealand

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. I heard it mentioned that if you believe that salvation is purely by faith in Christ, and works don't matter, then someone like Hitler would be in heaven while the millions of Jews he had killed would be sent to hell. Or another example was Jeffery Dahmer, the serial killer who took gay men back to his apartment and butchered them. Jeff found Jesus while he was in prison, so by faith alone he would now be heaven bound, while the gay and mostly non-believing victims would be sent to hell. Even if a merciful god allows the victims into heaven, wouldn't spending eternity with the guy who murdered and ate you completely ruin the afterlife for you? Is there an apologetic answer to this issue? Or biblical reason to invoke works when those works are horrific? I can't see how justice can be given if works aren't taken into account?
  2. I think my concern with trying to remove the mental health label is that it can remove care and support from people who need it. If you say there is nothing mentally wrong, it is purely a biological issue, then all psychiatric facilities, psychitrists and support structures are removed, cos if it ain't broke don't fix it. I have a friend whose daughter was anorexic, they went through hell trying to get her support and it wasn't until she collasped that medically they were able to override her personal wishes and force help on her. After spending months in a facility she had her body dysmophia fixed, and now is a healthy weight and positive outlook on life. Without the mental health professionals helping her she would have slowly killed herself. It feels like gender dysmorpha is in the same boat. The people are physically fine, genetically fine, but mentally at odds with how they physically are. Could an intensive professional program work to help their mental state? I don't know, but we will never know if we refuse to allow mental health professionals to be part of the picture.
  3. But whether the dysphoria is related to weight, sex, race or culture, shouldn't it all fall within the same mental illness? We can't look for logic in mental illness, it is by definition when something is against reality. For example when I was young I had doggo-phobia. I would get an adrenaline burst just seeing a dog, my heart would start racing and I'd break out in a sweat. It made no difference what size dog, I got the same response from a chihuahua that posed no physical threat to me. I could consciously say to myself there is nothing to be afraid of and yet my auto-brain would always ignore me. Completely illogical and yet unavoidable. I would see believing yourself to be another race is similar in that it makes no sense but it doesn't have to in order to be something we should be providing mental health support for.
  4. I had thought the separation was made as to whether your mental image matches the real world. If you think you are Napoleon then clearly the delusion your mind is telling you does not match reality. By this definition eating disorders are a mental illness and trans-anything would be as well. Homosexuality wouldn't be, as there is no difference between your thoughts and reality, there is no mis-match there. However I have seen a lot of backlash about having that label applied to trans folk but I'm still not clear on why that is. Some say there is a stigma around the phrase, which is true, but sweeping it under the rug and hiding from it does nothing to reverse that stigma. Depression used to be badly stigmatized, and its only in more recent times that we've opened up about talking about it and got support lines and people to understand. More support is a good thing and rejecting that support due to fear of the label seems detrimental to those in need.
  5. I have been reading up on Rachel Dolezal and unfortunately she is an untrustworthy source. She wrote on official documents that she was of mixed ancestry and that she had a black father, both of which were lies and resulted in her being found guilty of perjury and getting community service. She also claimed to have received hate mail, but it turned out to have no postage marks on it, so it never went through the system and the investigation believed she probably put them there herself. To this day she admits she has white parents but still claims to identify as black. With her past history it's hard to know if it's attention seeking or real mental issues. But I guess whether she is lying or not doesn't change the fact she claims to identify as something, and that is enough in other cases, so shouldn't it be enough here too? We don't demand others justify their identity, so shouldn't the same rules apply? The other variation I've heard of are people who claim to be an animal spirit trapped in a human body. If they identify as a wolf is that acceptable to society? If not, how are we drawing that line? Can I ask if you see this as a mental illness? There seems to be this hatred of applying the term, but I don't understand why it would be so controversial?
  6. I can see the argument against the term choose, in that you can't choose your beliefs. Sure you have the choice on how you wish to present yourself and how you wish to talk about it but how you feel is outside of your control. You cannot chose the feeling of wrongness. Even if this was the argument that they wished to put forward, doing so by declaring the person a hateful bigot is not the right way to do so. And stripping awards is just ridiculous. He won the award fair and square for his many books, seminars and work with the foundation. A single tweet 30 years later doesn't invalidate any of that previous work.
  7. Not sure if you've seen this news, but Richard Dawkins sent out a Tweet about discussing transgender and was instantly set upon by the Twitter mob. This lead to the American Humanist Association saying they will retroactively strip the humanist of the year award from 1996. I saw this link via Rationality Rules, where Hemant Mehta expresses his dislike of the Tweet and posts the supporting posts from many of the most influential atheists: Here’s How Well-Known Atheists Are Defending Richard Dawkins’ Anti-Trans Tweet | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos If you don't want to bother following the link, the Tweet in question reads: So two days after his Tweet he posted a follow up clarification, but this was not considered acceptable by some groups. Personally I think his intent is perfectly clear, and more discussion on such subjects is a good thing. Complaints mainly seem to be around the use of the word "choose", but rather than engage and explain, they leap to the belief that it must be anti-trans and he is evil for saying it. While I agree "choose" is not the right word to use, I also understand what he means and take his clear intent in the good faith behind it. Thoughts?
  8. The majority of supernatural claims I can think of, are claimed to have real world interactions. Whether it be reading minds, moving objects with your mind, prayer changing things in a positive way, speaking to the dead or ghosts appearing and moving objects. As soon as a claim starts interacting then we can test the validity of the claim. If the claim is impossible to know, then from where did the knowledge of the claim come from?
  9. I would think it is more than that. "Supernatural" shouldn't include things which are plausible but as of yet unproven. Supernatural are ideas which break our current understanding of how the universe works. For example dark matter/energy is unproven but I doubt many would categorise it as supernatural. Or cryptozoology, which would not be supernatural, as unusual creatures existing wouldn't change any natural laws. New natural claims look to expand on our existing knowledge, while supernatural say our understanding of reality is wrong.
  10. I saw a video of good ol' Frank Turek talking about what happens to those people who are ignorant of god. His answer was "if god knew they could be saved, He would have made it happen. If it didn't, then they were probably never going to accept the word of god anyway". So he goes with people will be punished for rejecting something they never knew existed because in the future they would have rejected it anyway. Considering the success of missionaries worldwide, it is hard to imagine cultures who couldn't have any members swayed at all.
  11. Prior to Jesus's sacrifice the belief was that God was the final judge. You died and went before the big guy, who would look over your life and see if you were worthy of heaven. This was a great incentive for people to be good as you were to be judged for your character, so you'd better be good for goodness sake. Once the belief changed so that salvation becomes about belief in Jesus and nothing to do with your character or actions, then that incentive to live a good life is removed. God's power as the final judge is removed, and He becomes bound by a single rule instead. This leads to the famous line "God sacrificed himself to himself so that He wouldn't harshly judge the rules that He made". If God is truely all-powerful, then He has no need of a human body or a sacrifice. If He wishes to forgive sin, then He can. If you believe that faith in Jesus is the only requirement for entry to heaven, then you run into the problem that every serial killer would be allowed into heaven. Even Hitler would be allowed in, while the Jews that he murdered would not. Hows that justice for you? As soon as you take the judging away from God, then all justice is removed as well. It becomes a free pass for anyone with faith and works don't matter. There is also the question of what became of all of the prophets prior to the New Testament? Moses and Noah aren't burning in hell for failing to believe in Jesus, so were they judged on different criteria? If it was only a belief in God and not in Jesus, then didn't coming to earth just make it harder to be saved? If God and Jesus are one and the same, then wouldn't belief in God count? By that, wouldn't every Jew get into heaven without belief in Jesus because they believe in the right God? If not, why does belief in one aspect of the same being matter? What about people who never hear of Jesus? African tribesmen who have never seen a whiteman before. Do they die ignorant and go to hell? Surely that is unjust? But the only way around that is to allow them a different criteria, but then we are back to judging characters or works and not belief.
  12. I've never really dove deeply into Islam, from my western view it always felt like an even more ridiculous religion than the more common Christianity. While browsing videos today I came across this short one (5 min cut from a Frank Turek Q&A) Is Islam false? Watch this! - YouTube I don't think I've agreed with anything Frank has said ever, so finding a subject that is common ground (disbelief in Islam) was interesting. His response is done in very brief form, so there's probably a lot left out, but generally he says: Islam is newer (Mohammed 570AD to 640AD) but the stories of miracles were only added around 150 years later. So it didn't seem like such things were claimed about Mo until generations later when people grew those stories to make him supernatural. Including the bizarre story of splitting the moon. The Muslims posting in the comments do themselves no favours by saying everyone will burn in hell and failing to rebut any points raised against their religion. Has anyone done a deep dive on Islam? Is it just as ridiculous as it appears at a surface level?
  13. That only works if you accept the bible as a valid source of historical information. From what we know Paul didn't write most or possibly any of the works attributed to him (Romans 16:22 "I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter..."). The bible is untrustworthy in almost every way, so to find a section that openly admits to being at least second hand at the time of writing doesn't inspire great acceptance that the writings are believable. Looking at it from a historical, non-biblical view, all we know is a sect of Jews became enamored with a preacher character and due to a lot of luck managed to grow into a sizeable following. A cult usually has that charismatic leader in the first person. To have a second hand claim of greatness is a lot harder sell. Saying "I am god in flesh, look I can make a coin appear from behind your ear" is very compelling, but saying "I once knew a guy who could make coins appear, and he claimed to be god" is a pretty weak claim. Of course its all guess work based on very limited information, so while I would say this idea is plausible, I wouldn't believe in it without considerable data to fill in the gaps in our knowledge.
  14. Wild, baseless assertion... How do you know his bones are dry? Could be quite moist
  15. The majority of people, both Christian and atheist, think that Jesus probably did exist. The question is whether he was just a charismatic preacher or something supernatural. The mythicists position has to prove a negative, which is a hard thing to do in this case. There is enough of an argument to leave a degree of doubt, but not enough to be a clear cut case. Personally the charismatic preacher theory seems most likely, as this fits with how cults commonly grow (John Smith, Ron Hubbard, Muhammed, Jonestown etc).
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