In Which Bob Takes A Look At Those New-Fangled Talking Picture-Shows

Bob thinks that, 'The devil uses the film industry to spread his lies.'

I note from the national press that the film "Ouija", which is being shown on cinemas at the moment, is leading to a huge increase in people dabbling in the occult.

Hmm. Given the timing and Bob's known obsession with the site, I rather think he actually got this from The Freethinker but doesn't want to mention it as a source. I could be wrong, but it is rather notable that he generally doesn't like to name atheist sites and blogs, even when talking of them directly.

This will, in turn, lead to a corresponding increase in people being taken over by demonic forces and suffering all sorts of mental and physical troubles in their lives. Continue reading

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In Which Bob Enthuses Over A Website Of Dubious Value

I've missed a few, but here's a quick reply to Bob's latest offering.

Bob sez:

Over the last 10 years, or so, I've sought many opportunities to engage in reasoned debate with non-Christians on the internet. Although there have been some people with a willingness to discuss various issues in a reasonable way, there have also been many occasions when I've had to stop such debates because the unbeliever has showed a distinct hostility to having a sensible discussion.

I just checked, and no, I didn't copy-paste from the wrong blog. This is, indeed, Bob the Broadstairs Balderdasher speaking of 'reasoned debate' and 'sensible discussion.' And yet here I write on a blog which owes its very existence to the fact that Blathering Bob wouldn't know either if they bit him on the very same arse he argues from.

Such people are not interested in searching for truth, all they want to do is pour out invective against God and the Bible; to attempt to reason with them is a classic case of "pearls before swine" – Matthew 7 v 6.

Au contraire, Bob. 'Such people' tend to be very interested in the truth. They merely disagree as to the amount of truth contained in your Bible. Oddly enough, they/we don't happen to see your assertions, unsupported by evidence as they are, that the Bible is literal truth from cover to cover as, well… anything but assertions unsupported by evidence.

Also, I have to wonder Bob. Do you have a hotkey assigned to '"pearls before swine" – Matthew 7 v 6'? If not, you really should have. It'd probably save you hours of typing over the course of a year, what with you seemingly typing the damn phrase out every ten minutes or so. Still, I suppose, having found a Biblically-allowed schoolyard insult, you're probably a bit loathe to give it up.

(Indeed, some of these people have been so angry against the Bible they have even banned me from their blogs, no doubt because they cannot cope with the power of God's word).

Umm. No. Speaking from experience, The Bouncing Bob is banned from many blogs for being an insufferable boor who will neither shut up nor say anything original or interesting. Oh, and a self-admitted user of sockpuppetry. And a plagiarist. And a hypocrite. You get the idea. The bloke's a cad of the first water.

Moreover, when passing out tracts on the street I've become adept as discerning the difference between a genuine seeker and those who just want to have an argument.

Let me guess… the former don't ask inconvenient questions, or point out bits of the Bible where God acts a bit nasty, whereas the latter do.

When meeting genuine seekers I often point them to an excellent web site which seeks to answer people's sincere questions and exposes the errors of false teaching eg evolution, atheism and the cults. This web site I write on the back of a booklet entitled "Knowing God personally" which I give to people who show any kind of interest in the truths of the Gospel.

Ah, the very definition of humble faith. Humdrum Hutton knows the creator of the entire freakin' universe. Personally, no less. Probably pops round for tea and scones dontcha know. And people like him say atheists are egotistical?

The address of it is: www.thechristiananswer.org [Bloody hell! Bob added a link! Be still, my gaping jaw.] and it is well worth a Christian studying it in order to strengthen one's faith and give ready answers to genuine enquirers. The Bible says that we need to be ready to give an answer to those who ask about the faith we have (1st Peter 3 v 15).

I've had a look and, well, let's just say it makes Answers In Genesis look intellectual. I can see why Bob likes it though. Lots of unsupported assertions of fact, strawmanning and suchlike fuckwittery. Nowhere does it address the central problem with religion—that there's no actual evidence that a god even exists. It does address the central problem with Biblical literalism—that evidence-based enquiry shows such a viewpoint to be flatly wrong—but it does so, in patronisingly simplistic language, by pretending that either the evidence doesn't exist, or that the Bible is better evidence.

In short, it's a pile of that stuff you usually find just to the south of a well-fed bull. I might, if the whim takes me, take a closer gander at it and take the piss out of critique some of the more amusing interesting bits on my regular blog.

This web site is an invaluable aid to evangelists and, indeed, to any Christian with a desire to spread the word so that others can be saved. As we do so let us remember that if a person is truly, and sincerely, seeking after God then they will find Him.

Whereas if a person is truly, sincerely and honestly weighing up the evidence for and against, they're merely looking for an argument, Bob?

"You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29 v 13

"If you're convinced it's possible for invisible friends to truly exist, you'll have no trouble convincing yourself you have one of your very own."
Daz 3.14159 v 227


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Foreknowledge

It's time, once again, to address Bob Hutton's internet-ravings. Reading through his latest, it quickly becomes apparent that Bob's not a student of logic. Nor is he particularly adept at making clear, concise points. The whole post is a mess of half-expressed ideas, paradoxes and misreadings or misrepresentations of his source material; the Bible. And none of it, once you pick out the various strands is new. In fact it's not even new to this blog or to my main blog, where all of the points discussed have been dissected before.

Still an' all, let's go through it and see if some rewording n my own part might finally convince Bob that there's an objection or two he needs to address with more than a hand-waving reference to a Bible-verse. (I'd say I'd like to convince the chap he's wrong about something, but let's not set our goals too high, eh?) Continue reading

Israel: Proof That Cherry-Picking & Re-Interpretation Of The Bible Can “Prove” Anything You Want It To

Finally catching up on Hutton's latest, let's start with this little gem:

Issues like evolution, abortion and gays are important, and we should have Biblical views on them, but people's need of personal salvation come first.

Quite why anyone should have a view on abortion and LGBT rights is beyond me. In any sane world, what a person wants to do with their own body, and who they might want to do it with, should be none of my, your, or Bob's business. And that's my "view" on abortion and people acting on their sexuality in a nutshell; people are free to do whatever the hell they want, regardless of whether I'd want to do it or not, and what doesn't affect me, is none of my business. Fact is, if those nosy-parkers like Bob, who think that they need to have a view on matters which are none of their bloody business (and why is it that such people always turn out to be anti-whatever-it-is-they-have-a-view-on?), would realise that it is, in fact, none of their business and that they have no right to tell others how to behave in these matters, then no one else would need to be bothered about it either.

And evolution? The correct way to assess a scientific theory is to study the science, not look to an ancient book of tribal mythology and morality tales. The world is what you can show it to be, not what you want it to be or would like to claim it to be. Using the Bible to judge the correctness of the theory of evolution makes no more sense than seeking a nutritionist's opinion on the practicality of your design for a suspension bridge. Ludicrous!

Moving on, apparently…

…we see a huge number of Old Testament prophecies and how they are fulfilled in Christ. Continue reading

Bob’s Rebirth: A Painful Experience For All Concerned

Born again‽ No, I'm not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time.
Dennis Miller

I'm a bit late getting to Bob's latest couple of dribblings, not having noticed he'd posted them. (My own fault. I've been having fun with Thunderbird of late, and in a tidying-up exercise, I deleted the RSS feeds of a few blogs which seem to have deceased; in the course of which I deleted Bob's by mistake.) This is in response to the first of the two, The New Birth.

I'll dispense with his preamble, and get straight into his major points…

1. Why is the New Birth necessary?
It is necessary because we are, in our natural state, dead in trespasses and sins (see Ephesians 2 v 1). This speaks for itself; there is no spiritual life in people who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. This is why they consider the claims of Christ to be irrelevant and not important enough to give any thought to. Moreover, those who die in that state of spiritual deadness are under God's condemnation for all eternity.
[My emphasis]

No, Bob, we consider Jesus's claims—or those made on his behalf—to be the son and representative of a god, unevidenced. Until we see extraordinary evidence in support of this highly extraordinary claim, we will, indeed, consider those claims irrelevant. In fact, Bob, you yourself treat, for instance, Mohammed's and the Pope's claims to be the sole Earthly representative of your god in exactly the same fashion, so please don't pretend you don't understand this point.

2. What is the operation of the New Birth?
In other words, how does it happen? It happens when the Holy Spirit of God comes upon people and gives them new life. It cannot be explained, but needs to be experienced (ie. better felt than telt). I experienced this, in my own life, in September 1975 when I got saved. Millions of people all over the world, over the last 2 millenia, [sic] have also experienced the same phenomena. The Bible likens it to a wind which cannot be seen but it's [sic] effects are clearly visible (see John 3 v 8).

People have been experiencing holy transcendence, whether real, imagined, or a mixture of both (the feeling may be, and usually is, real, even if the cause is misattributed) for way longer than two thousand years, Bob. In fact, your own Biblical Abraham underwent such an epiphany, and would (according to answers in genesis' discussion of the literal dating I assume you adhere to) have lived, at the earliest, somewhere around four thousand years ago.

Which, yeah, I know Bob would claim that anyone having such feelings prior to Christ having lived and delivered his message (even Abraham‽) was basically mistaken. And that's my point. Why should I believe your feelings to represent reality, Bob, when you yourself claim that others who've had seemingly identical feelings are mistaken? If you cannot show me a difference between X and Y, then my first and best assumption is going to be that X and Y are, in fact the same thing. Which means I must assume that all gods who such feelings are attributed to are real, or that they're all imaginary. Given the lack of any evidence shown apart from these feelings, and given that these feelings cannot be shown to be attributable to a real, rather than imaginary, god, we're still left with a lack of useful evidence.

If that seemed a bit wordy, here's the simplified version. What actual difference can you show me, Bob, between your feeling of being in touch with a divine being and that you are right about which book describes that being, and the equally sincere belief of a Muslim, a Hindu or a Pagan that they are in touch with the divine and that they are right about who that being is?

3. What is the condition of the New Birth?
The answer is found in 1st John 5 v 1 where we read that "everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God". When we come to the realisation that we are lost sinners, that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, and we truly repent and accept Him, then we are Born Again. God brings us to newness of life. The Bible puts it like this: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2nd Corinthians 5 v 17.

Personally, I think that "original sin" is one of the most abhorrent doctrines I know of. The idea that a person's mere existence warrants punishment and abuse, and needs atoning for, is, after all, the basis of such lovely world-views as racism and misogyny.

Also, I see nothing laudable about a being—if it even exists—who would create us in a state for which they will then punish us, and then make release from that punishment contingent upon believing in their own existence, which they at they same time make no effort to provide believable evidence for, but leave it up to personal faith.

And nor do I believe that another person, be they the son of the Almighty or not, can atone for my actions, whether they endure death by torture on a Roman cross or do two weeks' community service picking up litter. If I do something wrong, then it is I who needs to attempt to put that wrong right. Whether that earns me forgiveness from the person I've wronged is another matter, and is entirely up to the wronged person to decide, but it will quite justifiably be my attempts to atone, not those of a third party, which they will base that decision on. That is a moral standard which, allegedly, your god has instilled in me. If I judge his idea of what constitutes atonement in the light of that standard, he has only himself to blame if I judge him to be a hypocritical, amoral wanker.

4. What is the result of the New Birth? I've already alluded to this in the previous paragraph when mentioning the new life we experience. We are also adopted into God's family; we become His children (see John 1 v 11-13). Many people believe that we are all naturally God's children but this is not the case. We are all, naturally, the devil's children; but when we get saved then, and only then, do we become the children of God through faith in Christ.
[My emphasis]

This premise is nothing but fantasy, even by Biblical-inerrancy standards. "We are all, naturally, the devil's children"? Give me chapter and verse for that please. Show me where Satan created Adam and Eve. Show me the Christian prayer which begins "Our father, who art in Hell, Cursed be thy name." (And no, anticipating the obvious response, 1 John 3:8 does not imply that we are all children of the devil. It does not say that all who are "born in sin" (Ugh!) are of the devil, but only that those who actively commit sin are of the devil.)

All in all, Bob, you've said little here that you haven't said many times before, you've made no attempt to address objections people have made time and time again to these assertions, and the one new point you've made doesn't even appear to be supported by the scripture you claim to be inerrant. Poor work. Very poor.
Daz


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