Octavo Dia

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Government and their acronyms. Honestly, it's adorable."

So what do you call armor fragments that hit personnel when a shaped-charge IED explodes? Behind Armor Debris of course.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ten Questions

With further study, I have updated my answer to Question Nine of the Ten Questions Every Christian Must Answer.

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Satire

I appreciate fine writing, and excellent argumentation, wherever it occurs. Here is a blog post about becoming an Islamic Atheist, that is a fine piece of writing.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Metapost: Answers to the Ten Questions

Over at www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com they created a list of Ten Questions Every Christian Must Answer. Why should every Christian answer these questions? Asking fine points of theology to the average believer is like demanding a thorough explanation of the physics of the Big Bang from the average atheist. Both will succeed equally well, but the Christian is denied the ability to appeal to authority. If the Christian cannot answer, they are confronted with the author's conclusions that, "God is imaginary," "People who believe in imaginary things are delusional," and that "Your religious beliefs hurt you personally and hurt us as a species because they are delusional." If the atheist cannot answer, "Science has proven..." ends the argument. The lack of ability to provide answers does not for that reason prove that God is imaginary. If there are answers, then God may be real. If he may be real, then people who believe in him are not for that reason delusional. What is delusional, however, is attempting to violate the rules of logic by attempting to prove negative.

Here are links to all my answers:

1. Why won't god heal amputees?
2. Why are there so many starving people in the world?
3. Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?
4. Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
5. Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible?
6. Why do bad things happen to good people?
7. Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave behind any evidence?
8. How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?
9. Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?
10. Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians?

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ten Questions: Number Ten

And finally, Question #10 – Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians? Christians get married in front of God and their Christian friends, all of whom are praying to God for the marriage to succeed. And then they say, "What God has put together, let no man put asunder." God is all-powerful, so if God has put two people together that should seal the deal, right? Yet Christians get divorced at the same rate as everyone else. To explain this, you have to create some convoluted rationalization.

I would have thought that they would have saved the hardest one for last, the coup de grace. Oh well, it's a bit of downer, but here I go.

First, this suffers from self-reporting bias. The term "Christian" includes the invisible church (true Christians), members of various churches, social Christians (church is an inexpensive social event), the "Christmas and Easter crowd" (Christians because it's tradition), and Christians because you have to be something. With each step up you contain more and more non-Christians who call themselves Christian. If you can find a means of narrowing the focus, the statistics change. I cannot find the study on the internet (because it was done long before the internet), that if you controlled for three factors which one might assume to be correlated with Christian belief--attending worship services, praying together, and reading Scripture together--the rate of divorce among Christians dropped to 0.5%, or about 1% of the general divorce rate.

Second, Christians are sinners. In that manner they are no different than non-Christians. If one thinks about the reasons people get divorced, the cause is sin every single time. If sin is a consequence of man's actions, then man is separating what God has joined together. The "with God there to seal the deal" is a misreading, for in order for God to "seal the deal" he would have to prevent us from sinning, which would eliminate free choice, and therefore love, and therefore is against his nature.

Back to the Ten Questions

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Ten Questions: Number Nine

Question #9 – Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood? It sounds totally grotesque, doesn't it? Why would al all-powerful God want you to do something that, in any other context, sounds like a disgusting, cannibalistic, satanic ritual?

To be cannibalistic, one body must consume another body. If a body is consuming itself, it is no more cannibalistic than your stomach is, which dissolves its own lining, or your liver, which breaks down old blood cells for reuse. I point you now to these verses:

1 Corinthians 6:15
"15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?"

1 Corinthians 12:12
"12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."

1 Corinthians 12:27
"27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

Romans 12:4-5
"4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

1 Corinthians 10:16 "16Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf."

As we are part of the body, is it wrong for us to be sustained by that body? Is it wrong for our body to be cleansed by the blood which flows through it, or to be sustained by the nourishment that the blood carries with it from the rest of the body? A second illustration of this in Christ's parable of vine in John 15:4-5, "4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." The Lord's Supper upholds and sustains us as members of one body, of the body of Christ.

With that as background, I think the key word in this question is "satanic". It is through the perversion of Satan that, that which should be comforting is made to sound "grotesque," "disgusting," and "cannibalistic". What would we think of this if there had been no evil religions practicing human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism? Without that frame of reference--without Satan showing and skewing Christ's sacrifice through the eyes of sin--this would not be an issue.

Back to the Ten Questions

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ten Questions: Number Eight

Question #8: How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you? Jesus is all-powerful and timeless, but if you pray for Jesus to appear, nothing happens. You have to create a weird rationalization to deal with this discrepancy.

I had never actually considered praying for Jesus to appear to me. So, why would one pray for Jesus to appear?

We can quickly eliminate all spiritual and metaphorical reasons. For Christ said in Luke 16:31 "'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' " In other words, all we need to know Christ has already been revealed. Furthermore, Christ also said, in John 20:29 "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

So why would someone pray for Christ to appear to them if it is unnecessary to believe, and they would be blessed for so believing? One would pray such a prayer if one did not have faith, and required proof. Now, think back to Matthew 17:20, in which it speaks about the power of prayer, and the need for faith for it to be effective. Therefore, the reason one would pray for Christ to appear would be a lack of faith, and it is that very same faith which is needed for the prayer to be effective. This question is therefore self-contradictory, and can be rejected.

Back to the Ten Questions

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