Open Thread on Insults

Charles and a few others have taken exception to Max’s commentary here. (There are more comments communicated to me than what you see posted on the site.) Max responded to Charles, and in part, he wrote:

I thought I was following the rules. Did I miss something?

I think some internet people think little enough about the rules. On the internet, the rules are changed a good deal. Max offers us a pseudonymous presence. In real life, one puts oneself out there and there’s no confusion about one’s identity: teenager, middle-aged, or whatever.

Nor do I engage ever in personal insults and ad hominems at any time.

This is iffy ground for our atheist friend. I think he has learned how to push certain buttons, and when to retreat from conversations in which he’s been cornered. Making negative comments about religion can be deeply insulting to many believers. Sometimes the offense taken is overblown a bit. Insisting that Mary of Nazareth was raped rather stumbles into the realm of insult. Mary has conveniently not been of this Earth for many centuries. But people take comments such as Max’s to heart because of the relationship they have with her.

Max could insult my daughter. That wouldn’t be personal in the sense that she doesn’t blog here and she won’t be reading any such silliness were it to last on CS for any length of time.

I am asking fair questions based on the claims coming from Christians.

Sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes Max just presents somewhat adolescent premises for consideration. And yes, people can feel free to engage him or not. He remains welcome to comment here, as long as he stays away from the main sections of this site where people are not visiting to discuss with atheists.

So let’s discuss the matter in the comments: Does an insult have to be directed at the person in order to get personal? Or is it enough to insult a person one loves or has befriended or whom one cares about? Is it possible for an atheist to frame difficult questions without insulting God or the saints or believers not personally present?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in open thread and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Open Thread on Insults

  1. Jen says:

    Luke 1:38…Mary consents. I’m not sure how one can make an argument that she was raped. Then again, to be fair, I wasn’t following the conversation.

    I think the reason behind the questions matters. If it’s someone sincerely looking for knowledge, that’s one thing. If it’s to try to convert, that’s another. I forgive my mostly-Protestant in-laws a lot of foibles. Someone asking what my relationship to Jesus is for the sake of getting me to believe what *they* do is going to not get very far (or much of an answer) from me. (As it seems to happen often from evangelical fundies and atheists.)

  2. charlesincenca says:

    Thanks, Todd, for getting and explicating my response (which I so debated whether to post) to Max’s assertions. You ask:
    “Is it possible for an atheist to frame difficult questions without insulting God or the saints or believers not personally present?”
    Not for Atheist Max apparently.
    If I desired to a higher idiocy of atheists, I’d follow Dawkins’ slime trail. I lament Hawking. I miss the cogency and anarchic humor of Hitchens. Max seems to demonstrate the regrettable the earnestness of a high school sophomore (not an ad hominem.) But ironically, by his self-declared aversion to personal insults and AH’s, he is holier than I.

  3. Liam says:

    There’s a thing in some honor systems called quibbling. It the reliance on evasion and technicalities to avoid being accused on point of something dishonorable. People who are good at navigating rules systems can become expert at quibbling without necessarily realizing.

  4. Atheist Max says:

    Suppose a friend of mine said “Johnny Depp loves me and I get great comfort in knowing it.”
    I can’t prove it isn’t true – it is possible Depp met my friend through Facebook or the internet, learned about her and fell in love. But what is the proper, MORAL way to respond to my friend?

    A: “Good for you, I admire your faith.”
    B: “Believing this is better than not believing.”
    C: “Only a bigot would disagree with you.”
    D: “What evidence is telling you this?”

    The correct answer is D.
    A caring person asks for evidence when presented with astonishing claims. When a friend believes something which is untrue, they can be a danger to themselves or others.

    If you say “God loves you” it is important to be ready to answer this claim – why do you say God loves you?

    • Todd says:

      The correct answer is E: accept the statement and move on. I have nothing to add to this, and likely cannot help the person if they have “astonishing” claims.

      • Atheist Max says:

        “accept…and move on”
        No. It is not moral to watch children being indoctrinated with claims about Hell and to simply ‘move on’. Preachments about eternal Hell have been demonstrated to be a danger to children and to their intellectual development.
        I used Johnny Depp as a tame example – but a friend with false beliefs can lead to dangerous behaviors. It is my responsibility to challenge the claim first – and then ‘move on’ after I have done so. For their own good and the good of those around them.

      • Todd says:

        Bait and switch, pal: I was talking about Johnny Depp.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Astonishing claims should be challenged. It is the moral thing to do. That is/was my point regardless if it is Depp or Hell. One need not press too far – but to challenge a claim is a moral act.

      • Todd says:

        Maybe. But if the “astonishing” person is significantly larger and prone to violence, it may also be imprudent.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Fear of getting hurt is often a legitimate reason to back down from even a moral personal responsibility. But let’s not call it righteous, or pious to do so.
        Standing up to religious extremists is scary and sometimes unadvisable. Surrendering to extremists is not to ‘respect their beliefs’ but rather it is submitting to their authority, the authority of their claims and their demands on you. Such a surrender is indistinguishable from cowardice.

      • Todd says:

        Max, you are so funny sometimes, even when you attempt to give a serious answer to a jest. Sometimes, like when someone says Johnny Depp loves them, one just nods and smiles and moves on.

        But let’s be serious and clear: my Christian faith is based on experience in a relationship with Jesus, and not scientific evidence. If evidence for the existence of God is present, the person has certainty, not faith. Even with faith, I opt for F. Tell me more. Entirely moral and ethical.

  5. charlesincenca says:

    • charlesincenca says:

      This clip cannot be accessed from the blog. If interested, copy and past URL into browser window without the brackets {}
      {https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcqaHxI5-P8}

  6. Atheist Max says:

    “Make slaves permanent property” – (Exodus 21:5)

    Is God good? Anyone care to examine this question seriously?

    • Todd says:

      Human law: that’s all. Back from vacation, Max?

      • Atheist Max says:

        I’m returning just to ask a couple of questions. I am trying to get to the bottom of something.

        If Exodus 21:5 (‘Make your slaves permanent property’) is only ‘human’ law why are the rest of the commandments not also human law?

        Exodus 20:17
        “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female SLAVE, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

        How was it decided that God stopped being serious after his commandment at 20:17 which protects property owners?

  7. Todd says:

    Those are actually good questions, Max.

    If you read more carefully in Exodus 21, you would recognize that involuntary slavery beyond six years (though, alas, not for daughters) did not exist in ancient Israel, and the passage you cite is for a slave who chooses to remain with a master.

    Jesus possibly addressed this in Matthew 19:8 suggesting that some aspects of ancient law were conceded by Moses because of human stubbornness.

    Either way, the Decalogue is fairly undisputed law. The particulars of diet, slavery, public health, religious ritual, etc., somewhat less so these days.

    • Atheist Max says:

      Todd, Thanks.
      you said … “a slave who chooses to remain with a master.”
      You did not mean to say this was somehow ‘voluntary’. The master (according to this law) owns the rest of the slave’s family and is being granted the right to hold the family hostage as way to coerce the slave to stay with the master. The law favors the Master using the Slave’s family as a bargaining chip. Hardly a decent thing to do.

      Furthermore, I’m assuming you are well aware Deuteronomy provides the dominant collection of 10 Commandments. (The Bible has 3 separate sets of 10 Commandments all of which come from the same Moses story.)

      Deuteronomy 5:6-21 is the decalogue which includes this law,
      “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth…” (Deut 5:8). This commandment does not appear in the other two lists.

      So there are 30 Commandments if you want to read them all…
      THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Deuteronomy 5:6-21,
      THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Exodus 20:1-17,
      and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Exodus 34:12-27

      Why are these Commandments so different By the way?

      When asked, Jesus commands Leviticus as among the *most important* of the Commandments (Jesus includes Leviticus Law in Mark 10:19 when Jesus says …”do not defraud” (Leviticus 19:13). There is no commandment against ‘defrauding’. This commandment is only found in Leviticus.

      Problem here is this:
      Leviticus has many problems. Jesus commands property owners to purchase slaves as property forever:
      “You shall purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you…also the children…treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance….” (Leviticus 25:44-46)

      Why does Jesus command followers to obey Leviticus?
      How can God be good if he commands the purchase of children as permanent property?

    • Atheist Max says:

      Todd,
      I’m asking these questions because I am currently in a separate discussion with someone about the Old Testament (or rather the ‘first’ testament) and rather than drag you into that long conversation, I’m asking you to give me your best answers.
      Thanks.

      So..
      1. Why does Jesus command followers to obey Leviticus?
      2. How can God be good if he commands the purchase of children and other people as permanent property?

      • Todd says:

        1. He didn’t
        2. He doesn’t

        I agree with you: Leviticus presents significant problems.

      • Atheist Max says:

        He didn’t ?? That wasn’t the answer I was expecting.

        For why does Jesus insist “Do not Defraud” (Leviticus 19:13) among the most important ‘commandments’ worth mentioning? You do know it is not among the 30 commandments.
        Please don’t be a fundamentalist and say Jesus didn’t mean it.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Regarding slavery. You surprised me again. I did not expect your answer.

        “You shall purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you…also the children…treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance….” – God (Leviticus 25:44-46)

        Are you telling me that this is not a law of God? Nor inspired by God? Nor written with God’s flawless truth in mind? Furthermore, you seem to be saying this is directly against God’s wishes. Is Leviticus against God?

      • Atheist Max says:

        Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Mark’s verse:
        “Jesus said…You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, YOU SHALL NOT DEFRAUD, honor your father and mother.'” – JESUS (Mark 10:19)

        None of the Commandments speak of ‘defrauding’ except those in Leviticus. It is a notable comment by Jesus because his ‘commandments’ are by no means complete…they appear to trail off as if the listener should be aware of the full list and it is more than 10 – even if Jesus meant 10 he is adding Leviticus.

        I’m sorry…. I’m really not following you.
        Where is Jesus getting “Do Not Defraud” except from Leviticus?

  8. Todd says:

    Calm down, Max. If you are interested in real dialogue, post one response then wait for mine. Or someone else’s. Otherwise, the conversation becomes a monologue and it goes back to being all about you. You have a blog for that. Try being patient with people for a change. It’s not a commandment, to be sure. But it is a measure of courtesy.

    Mark 10:19 is an abbreviated list, a set of examples. It’s not another decalogue. It’s not the main point of the passage.

    And I would say the Pentateuch’s laws on slavery are a concession to human stubbornness. Slavery is not of God. That’s a settled matter as far as I’m concerned.

    • Atheist Max says:

      Todd,
      I am very disappointed. I had expected to have a quick back and forth about why Jesus lists Leviticus among the commandments (He does. It is right there – slipping it in as a commandment in Mark 19:10). Jesus uses Leviticus as his reason for becoming a blood sacrifice in the first place.

      As for, “Slavery is not of God”
      Wow. Wrong, Todd. Slavery is not a sin – far from it – it is commanded, endorsed and blessed as holy:
      “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants shall be beaten with many blows…” – JESUS (Luke 12:47)
      “As you approach a town to attack it…all the people inside shall be your slaves.” – GOD (Deut. 20:10)

      Sorry. Apparently, you are the wrong person to discuss this with.
      Todd, FYI….the Bible does not come with a user’s manual because it claims to BE the user’s manual.

      • Todd says:

        Max, there are over 600 small-c commandments. You are wrong on Leviticus, slavery, and the Bible. Typical modern atheist. And yes, if you are expecting to win an argument against a Christian well-read on the Bible, then I’m not your person.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Todd, I asked:
        1. Since God commands slavery why is he good?
        2. Since Jesus commands Leviticus why is he good?

        I expected you to accept the obvious ethical implications. Instead, you deny Leviticus is the entire point of ‘Lamb of God’.

        “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” – (Leviticus 17:11)

        I did not think you would disagree that Jesus was the “Lamb of God.” Nor did I think you would dispute Jesus gave a blood sacrifice. Wow!
        I’m actually shocked.

  9. Todd says:

    Max, your premises behind the questions are false.

    • Atheist Max says:

      Why are you rejecting the Bible overall? Please elaborate about this. I’m shocked you have gone so far away from the Bible that even “The Lamb of God” doesn’t mean what it says it means.

      Are you saying Jesus did not have to shed blood? I’m desperate for an answer here.

  10. Atheist Max says:

    “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
    Jesus agrees, confirming his blood must be spilled on the ground as an animal for God – Jesus is the Leviticus Law of Blood Sacrifice in action every Sunday.
    “The Lamb must bleed” – (Leviticus 2:27-35).

    There was plenty of love, beauty and joy in this world long before anyone ever heard of Jesus.
    Yet Jesus’ blood spilling to the ground appears to have changed nothing except to invent armies of stone cold clergy in an institution unable, forbidden (or both) to elaborate on how any of this gruesome blood spilling is supposed to work.

    Religion invented blood sacrifice as far as I can tell. A literal person spilled blood, supposedly!
    I am really shocked no clergy or readership at CatholicSensibility will (or can) explain blood sacrifice, the role of Jesus as ‘lamb of God’ – and worse! – is offended anyone would ask about it!!.

    • Todd says:

      Nobody discusses with you, Max, because so few take you seriously. Conversation with you is fraught with frustration, mainly because you’re an anti-religionist who, bottom line, prefers monologue rather than discussion. Maybe if you calmed down and stopped trying to disprove everything you don’t like, you might get a bit of traction.

      • Liam says:

        Most of your readers don’t come here to practice apologetics, as there are plenty of other blogs devoted to that sport. People who try to bait the regular readership here into apologetic fencing will be sorely disappointed. If they want the pain to stop, they should stop hitting their heads against the pavement.

      • Atheist Max says:

        “stop trying to disprove…..monologue”

        In what way are questions a ‘disproof’? When you can’t answer them? I know I’m not wanted around here – which is why I take long breaks. I know my questions are not welcome but I didn’t think I’d get a stone wall on “Lamb of God”. That one should be an easy question for a Christian.

  11. charlesincenca says:

    Okay, I’ll bite, Max. I don’t think you’ll accept my POV because it’s not based in some intellectual construct. When you say “blood sacrifice” I don’t Rorschach Mayan priests with toothed swords on a pyramid dispatching slaves because of an eclipse. I think of Abram and Isaac. That leads me to remember Melchizadech. When you say “Lamb of God” I think of the Son of Man’s own words, “The greatest love one can have is to lay down one’s life for a friend.” It doesn’t get clearer, more beautiful or more terrifying than that reality. And you don’t have to believe in g*d to know that in your heart. So, what’s your point?

    • Atheist Max says:

      Charles,
      I appreciate your answer to my question. Thank you.
      I had a question about blood sacrifice because when I was a believer I accepted the chalice of wine (blood) and the body of Christ and didn’t challenge it – it was a celebration of a Jesus’ sacrifice and I understood that – or so I thought. But since I have lost belief these texts are dramatically different. As an outsider looking back it is unfamiliar – I am trying to reconstruct how these rituals became meaningful to so many people. It is not my intention upset or insult anyone at Catholic Sensibility about this, I’m just trying to learn how you think about these things.

      Laying down one’s life for a friend, I would agree, is quite an amazing sacrifice. But with Jesus is this sacrifice only *symbolic*? since he didn’t die for very long (only one day after the crucifixion) and has been living eternally in heaven ever since the first Easter. Technically the epistles say he wasn’t dead even during that one day as he had gone to preach the gospel in Hades.
      Or did Jesus *literally* give his life – as we would understand it, a situation where he never gets to live again.
      Or did Jesus have to spill blood to fix something broken and sinful in the world as a blood sacrifice demanded by God as a trade off?

      It is not my objective to challenge anyone’s faith around this forum. I’m just trying to figure out if the Leviticus law about blood sacrifice (“the lamb must bleed” Leviticus 2:27-35) had to be followed by Jesus in order for God to absolve humanity’s sins.

    • Atheist Max says:

      Charles,
      “I think of Abram and Isaac.” Yes. I understand that view also.

    • LIam says:

      To take another perspective, another more classically First Millennium (pre-Anselm) Christian approach to deal with that Levitical passage would be that God gave the Levitical law as a foreshadowing of what would occur in the Crucifixion: the lambs must bleed so that God’s people will more readily see the the connection when The Lamb will bleed. This is where typology – which is so important in Patristic commentaries – gains traction, but it has a Mobius-strip like feel for us moderns because of the interaction between in-and-out-of-Time et cet.

      Oh, technically, Jesus’s *mortal body* was most certainly dead during the Harrowing of Hell. (This is a function of the idea that it was indeed a fully human body, not some Gnostic hologram.)

      • Atheist Max says:

        Thank You, Liam. I appreciate your thoughts on my question.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Liam,
        “the Levitical law as a foreshadowing of what would occur…”

        This is interesting. I had not considered that interpretation.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Liam,
        This is also very interesting:
        “Jesus’s *mortal body* was most certainly dead during the Harrowing of Hell. (This is a function of the idea that it was indeed a fully human body, not some Gnostic hologram.)”

        So The soul and the body, particularly with Jesus, are separate human things. Meanwhile, the Levitical Law says ‘blood is the life of the body’. So I am spotting three elements:
        1. The blood, which is the life but apparently not the spirit (Jesus had no blood in him when his spirit literally descended to Hades, his blood having sacrificed as the Lamb of God.)
        2. The body which is mortal and is the temple but has neither life nor spirit (like a shell).
        3. The Spirit which literally ‘lives’ on eternally in Hell or Heaven but does not need the same sort of ‘life’ which is provided by blood.

        I’m going to have to think further about this about why blood sacrifice of Leviticus appears to be have been required. Two different kinds of ‘life’ being referred to: Blood and Spirit; where *blood life* can be sacrificed but *spiritual life* cannot be sacrificed.

        Am I right that ‘spiritual life’ cannot be sacrificed?

      • Liam says:

        Well, the issue of soul and body involves a great deal of theology, anthropology (in the theological sense) and soteriology. It’s not a Cartesian dichotomy. It’s in the nature of human beings to have a body and an immortal soul. (Animals have souls, but not necessarily immortal souls.) At death, the immortal soul is separated from the mortal body, awaiting the General Judgement – for souls destined to Heaven, to be rejoined to a glorified body (of the type Jesus manifested after the Resurrection – four qualities classically referred to as impassibility, subtlety, agility and clarity). (And then for Jesus, you have the implications of the Hypostatic Union of divine and human persons, not issues for any of the rest of us.)

        I won’t dilate further on this hear, because I think this is the wrong medium for this, and, after a certain point, I have to start consulting texts and that’s just not what I come here for. Suffice it to say there are oceans of commentary on the issues implicated in the extremely crude sketch above….

      • Atheist Max says:

        Liam,
        “It is in the nature of human beings to have a soul”
        The idea that a ‘spirit life’ cannot be sacrificed but an ‘earthly life’ can be sacrificed is what has me stuck – because if the spirit is eternal, surrendering an earthly life is not a sacrifice I understand.

        But, Thank you very much for helping me on this. Rather than impose on you any further, is there a specific text you might point me to where I can continue this research? I would be grateful to read something which discusses this.
        Again, thanks very much.

      • LIam says:

        Offhand, I think pointing you to more reading will mislead you into thinking more particularly rather than stepping back and consider your own assumptions and how they may include your own cognitive and spiritual biases that make it difficult to engage with others who don’t share those assumptions. Assumptions are pre-logical, in a sense, and difficult to argue fruitfully over – even more if you don’t realize they are not shared.

      • Atheist Max says:

        Liam,

        Thanks anyway. You were kind to engage and I respect your thoughts and your right to believe as you wish. So be it. My current assumption after all this is that there is no evidence regarding what is true about Jesus’ blood sacrifice or what Jesus wants of us as a result of that sacrifice – and my assumption is confirmed when no texts or other things seem to support the claims being made.

        How can we love Jesus for a sacrifice nobody understands? I assume you understand the sacrifice but my new status as non-believer makes it impossible to explain it?
        My question was, “Is Leviticus Law is being followed?” And I’m surprised so few care about that sacrifice – its purported importance – to find it worth discussing.

        Here’s the problem with stonewalling:
        A Muslim, convinced of the superior truth of Mohammed and the Q’uran would similarly point me to accept ‘traditional assumptions’ and surrender my skeptical biases (as you have). Why? Because that is how he claims his religion to be true – through my blind concurrance. Is this method insightful? Or constructive of opposing claims? I don’t see how it could be.

        Liam, I’m grateful to you for your attempt. Thanks.
        Perhaps someone else will know why God needed the lamb to bleed to death before he could save humanity from….a Hell he created? Was God bound by his own laws?

      • Todd says:

        I’ll take a stab at some of this, though I think I’d prefer doing this by email.

        If you are looking for evidence for every ritual moment involving biblical sacrifices, you won’t find much interest in that these days. There is very little serious research being done on this sort of fundamentalism, unless it’s among evangelical Christians. And this is not an evangelical Christian site.

        I think love for Jesus goes beyond just the sacrifice of Good Friday. The post-Vatican II emphasis has been on the entirety of the Paschal Mystery, what we celebrate during the Triduum (including Easter Sunday) and Ascension. The Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension are collectively Christ’s saving act.

        If you want to ask questions about Leviticus, you might do better to find a Jewish site. Speaking as a liturgist, the readings for the Triduum are not from that book. We look to Genesis 22 and Exodus 12 and 14 for our inspiration, plus New Testament passages, of course.

        What we don’t care about, Max, is going down the road you seem to want to go. Speaking for myself, I’m not an atheist, nor do I require historical back-up to have faith or to strengthen it. I’ve said before what drives my Christian faith, but my perception is that you ignore this or were never paying close attention in the first place. I have nothing else to offer you. Nor am I required to change my pattern of belief in order to satisfy your intellectual curiosity.

        As for followers of Islam, you’ll have to ask them your questions. I don’t speak for Muslims any more than you speak for Christians.

        As for the question of why Jesus bled and died: it was his free choice to do it for us. It was not required. But it sets an example for those who want to find grace and enlightenment.

      • LIam says:

        Just because one has a question doesn’t mean one is entitled to get an answer to their satisfaction from wherever, and whenever, they pony up for one. Then, throwing up one’s hands in frustration when one is not so gratified, well, self-serving more than anything else. (Hence my focus on the assumptions one brings to the questions and the questioning.)

        The fact that Max finds that there appear to be contradictions in Scripture and in Church teaching would be responded to by the Scholastics with the medieval equivalent of “Of course, and water is wet and your point is what?” . They would respond: do you want to learn how to study those contradictions? Follow us, intrepidly. It’s not like the Scholastics spoke in one voice – they spoke in many, heated, writings and voices. Zeal for truth is good, but it has to be ordered towards virtue.

        (Personal note: Some 35 years ago, I would spend hours in the stacks of Alderman Library at The University of Virginia, and skim through the long sets of volumes of the Migne editions of the Greek and Latin Fathers – i fell into this when I had to source quotations from the original Greek or Latin (I learned Latin a bit, and only knew enough Greek to transliterate and be able to verify a text), but the vastness of commentary on the most obscure questions was fascinating. And then find commentaries on commentaries. So then you had the Western scholastic theologians in the High Middle Ages wrestling with all this material, and sifting and systematizing, work that required them to go outside the Platonism and Neo-Platonism that dominated theology to that point and reach for recovered Aristotle and others – and then figure out a way to debate each other and a process for determining who probably had the best argument. One door back into Patristics is go through the Scholastics (but there can be distortion in that route, as in any other route). The Summae of Aquinas are a good entry point if one wants to understand a way to identify and join – and how you get there – the many interlocking pieces what may seem to be a gigantic puzzle. (Aquinas is not the last word, but he’s a great example of a disciplined method that is relatively transparent; he was controversial in his day, and was the subject of fierce debate, and he wrote with that context in mind. Then, before he died, he had a major mystical experience that made his writings less important to him.)

        For most of us here, though, that’s not where we are. We’re not trying to figure out a puzzle, so we’re not giving answers to questions about how to solve a puzzle.

    • Atheist Max says:

      Hi Charlesincenca:

      “When you say “blood sacrifice” I don’t Rorschach Mayan priests with toothed swords on a pyramid dispatching slaves because of an eclipse.”

      Because you brought it up – it is my understanding that Mayan priests had to kill at least one child virgin every day to insure the sun would rise the following day. But blood sacrifice has been ubiquitous to almost every religion since records have been kept. It appears there is something vestigial going on across cultures even when entire oceans and dozens of centuries separate them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s