WHY WOULD A MAN HANG HIMSELF? — PART 3A

Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason” Part A

Introduction To Part 3

When I first took up the task of writing this series of posts, I found it difficult to figure out how I should proceed. That is because I knew what was driving me to write it, irritation at those Atheists and Agnostics who condemn what I believe.

scatterwisdom expressed conundrum I felt with these words.

scatterwisdom says:
February 13, 2015 at 10:56 pm (Edit)

I surmise the difference between you and me is I subscribe to Proverb 26:4 and you subscribe to 26:5.

http://www.gotquestions.org/Proverbs-26-4-5.html

Regards and good will blogging.

What are Proverbs 26:4-5? Here is a translation in colloquial English.

Proverbs 26:4-5 The Message (MSG)

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.

Answer a fool in simple terms
so he doesn’t get a swelled head.

Are all Atheists and Agnostics fools? Matthew 5:21-26 and Matthew 7:1-6 advise leaving that determination to God. Nevertheless, not believing in God is foolish. Hence, as Proverbs 26:5 explains, if we are going to reply to foolishness, without making the speaker the subject of our attention, we have to figure out how to reply to what is foolish, not to the fool.

Consider this stupid, but illustrative joke.

Question: Why would an ugly woman wear a bikini?

Answer: She wants the attention.

Because it makes us feel important, we love being the center of attention. Some of us will say or do anything just to be the center of attention. Hence, when replying to foolish conduct, we must make the conduct, not the person, the focus of our attention.

When we refuse to believe in God, does that mean we cease to worship? No. It just means we will misdirect our worship to idols of our own making. Look around. Don’t most Americans idolize sex, stuff, state, and self (see AN ABUSE OF THE IMAGINATION). How does that relate to this post? When we choose to elevate the importance of anything over God, that indicates a failure of reason.

Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”:  SEX

The mass media constantly seeks our attention, and too many of the people in that industry will do anything to get it. The phrase that best describes what they do is “push the envelope.” Originally, that phrase had a technical application (see here). Now it primarily refers to seeing how far you can go without getting caught (see here).

What is the mass media’s latest effort to push the envelope?

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ pushes kinky sex into mainstream, infuriates family groups

On the one day of the year celebrating romantic love and commitment, family values groups and religious leaders are stepping up their criticism of Hollywood’s decision to promote “kinky” sex and sexual exploitation through the relentless promotion of the upcoming movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The ubiquitous marketing of the movie — the story of a wealthy man’s seduction of an innocent young woman into a bondage-domination and sadomasochism (BDSM) affair — is an attempt to push that lifestyle into the mainstream, said Melissa Henson, director of grass-roots education and advocacy for the Parents Television Council. (from here)

I suppose infuriating family groups is part of the fun, but pornography is destructive to families, the individuals who use pornography, and to the poor fools involved in its production.

I grew up as a military brat. Because my family moved often, I went to a multitude of schools. By the time I was a teenager, during the sixties, I had become a loner. Because of all the moves and the inevitable bullying of the “new kid,” I had difficulty forming friendships. I also had to hide an embarrassment.  Because nobody had ever told me, I did not know the “facts of life.” Since I enjoyed reading, I went looking for the answer in books. That included pornography.

I still remember reading a pornographic book about anal sex.  What I found most horrifying about it was the author’s effort to sell the idea.  Supposedly, the anal canal is usually clear of fecal matter.  So anal sex is just good, clean fun.  Not too many years after I read that book stories about people dying from AIDs began to appear in the news.

Eventually, I discovered The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. At the time, Morris’ book pushed the envelope. The book explains the physical act of sex, but the book treated its subject too lightly, inferring that sex is for our amusement. Something was missing.

What happened during the Sixties Sexual Revolution? The generations that had fought and won WWII lost a more important battle. Too many parents and too many churches failed to do what the Bible says to do. The Bible commands parents to instruct their children, but those parents — and too many other generations of American parents — left that responsibility to government. Instead of wresting back the responsibility to educate children from an incompetent public education system, we have left it to our children to figure things out for themselves. So now we have pornographic movies peddling the “pleasures” of bondage-domination and sadomasochism.

There are worst things than the embarrassment of discussing sex with a teenager, letting your child find out about sex from the wrong people, for example.

Other Posts In This Series

43 thoughts on “WHY WOULD A MAN HANG HIMSELF? — PART 3A

    1. I am fairly certain you already know the arguments. So I have to wonder at the purpose of the question, but I will not speculate.

      If you want a scientific proof, I cannot provide one. If you want a reproducible scientific experiment I am sorry, but I don’t have one.Our science is not up to the task.

      There are logical proofs. These websites summarize some of them.
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Does-God-exist.html
      http://www.peterkreeft.com/featured-writing.htm

      I have written my own posts too (borrowing from others).
      https://citizentom.com/2012/06/17/does-god-exist/
      https://citizentom.com/2012/06/24/does-god-care/
      https://citizentom.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-believe-in-god/

      I suspect philosophical logic does not bring people to most people to God. We like reasons to feel a little more tangible. Here are some of my favorites.

      1. Without the inspiration of God, men would not have written the Bible. No other book is like it. The Bible doesn’t flatter us; the Bible holds up a mirror and shows us as we are. The Bible also gives us hope; it explains how God redeemed us from sin. There are about 40 authors, and these tell a coherent story in a book whose writings span 1500 hundred years. Moreover, in spite of the violence and travails of human history, believers have preserved the Bible virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Again I ask, what other book is like that?
      2. Without the God of Israel, the history of the Jews makes no sense. After all that has been done to destroy them, after all they have suffered, the Jews still exist as a nation. No other people has a story so strange and remarkable, not even close.
      3. Without Christ Jesus — without the man who was also the Son of God — the formation of Christianity makes no sense. After His crucifixion, hundreds saw Him — alive. Rather than deny Christ, many accepted death. That includes all but one of His apostles. Only John died of old age. Why? What for? These people had nothing material to gain. In court the testimony of a dying man holds great weight? What is the testimony of a Christian martyr? Is it not the testimony of someone who knows his death, lies just before him?
      4. Christianity makes a difference. As a way of life, loving God and ones neighbors cannot be beat. That’s why 2000 years after the birth of Christ men and women still speak of being born again. Each Christian knows that when they were born again, that birth was real and substantial, not a delusion.

      The last reason is probably the most significant, but being born again is not subject to quantification or scientific analysis.

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      1. What I’m actually trying to get at is the leap between you personally justifying why you think God exists, and being able to justify an assertion that not believing in God is foolish.

        My motives are to actually understand your position on why you think not believing in God is foolish.

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        1. There is a cause for everything. We did not create ourselves, the earth we walk upon, the sun, the moon, or the stars. We don’t know how any of it came to be, and yet we observe an incredible amount of order and predictability. That thing we call science depends upon both order and predictability.

          When the heavens themselves declare the glory of God (Psalm 19), it takes a certain stubborn foolishness to refuse to admit He exists. To say He doesn’t exist? That’s just plain crazy.

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        2. Well, I wanted to learn more about your statement that not believing in God is foolish. My obsessiveness over it is because I would like to provide relevant discussion rather than just a vague response.

          As an atheist, I would disagree with your assertion that not believing in God is foolish. However, I think that to give a proper response to this issue, it would take up a lot of space. Because of that, I think that I’d need to write my own post and link to this one.

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  1. Sirius is attempting to use a dialectic approach by using a variation of the Socratic method, nothing more. If he refuses to reply to your inquiry, which this is what it appears he is doing, then any further the discussion is over.

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  2. There is great wisdom in the advice to not argue with fools and I think the key word there is “argue.” There is no argument to be had, the Truth is simply the Truth and it shall defend itself.

    Some fools are even Christians. Some of the biggest fools in the bible were actually pharisees. They tried to “argue” which basically meant to attempt to trap Jesus in a riddle of some sort that he wouldn’t be able to solve. He responded perfectly each time. Jesus never actually argued with fools, but He did respond to them.

    But as far as discussing issues, matters, sharing ideas, that’s something we are all called to do. I often think of where I would be if God didn’t believe in arguing with fools.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s an interesting observation. Some translations of Proverbs 26.4-5 advise again answering a fool according to his folly. And Jesus answered with questions that force everyone to reexamine the assumptions with which the Pharisees asked their questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Hence, when replying to foolish conduct, we must make the conduct, not the person, the focus of our attention.

    If an atheist chooses not to believe in a Creator and chooses instead to ignore the perfect order that exists in the world recognized by all scientists and engineers, oh well. If he or she chooses to believe the result of a collision of atoms and random wind came to to blow about to design, and build a Boeing 737, oh well. (Was there some coincidence King Solomon used the words “chasing the wind” to describe foolish conduct?)

    An atheist becomes a fool when he or she tries to belittle a faith believer when he or she has no inkling of how the perfect order in our world came into being. In other words by his conduct of slighting someone about something he or she cannot prove, they become fools.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We cannot make someone believe in God, but that doesn’t mean we hire someone who believe Boeing 737’s result from the collision of atoms and random winds.

      You may find this curious. I left the following comment at this post.
      https://amusingnonsense.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/biblical-explanations/

      Actually, what my post says is that is foolishness not to believe in God. Then I carefully make it clear I don’t think (The Bible says I should not.) it is right to judge Atheists and Agnostics fools just because they don’t believe in God. The problem is this. Just because someone doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean they don’t love their neighbors.

      The problem with a fool is not the fact he doesn’t believe in God. That would only be his excuse. The problem is that he only cares about himself, but that is a tendency we all have. In the spirit we may be willing to love others, but the flesh demands we love our self.

      Self. Because it is wrong to be prideful, that’s why I put up front what first inclined me to write that post, irritation at those Atheists and Agnostics who condemn what I believe. That is not a good reason to write a Christian blog post.

      Does irritation really work for Atheists? Ask yourself these questions.
      1. Have you done exactly what the Bible suggests someone who denies God will do? Have you made it all about you? Do you feel insulted? Is that why you retaliated?
      2. What is more important? Should you be more concerned that someone might have called you a fool and offended your pride or more concerned about knowing the truth? What if God does exist?

      One of the proofs I neglected to mention is that Bible mirrors our character. When we read the book, it does something no other book does as well. It tells about our character. Instead of flattering us, the Bible display before us our character weaknesses, our capacity for evil. Then it provides a solution. Love your neighbor.

      Of course, there is nothing easy about loving our neighbors. They are far too much like us. Inevitably we look for alternatives. If there is no God — if this life is all there is — then what is evil? If there is a God, is He the Christian God who died on a cross? Superficially, Christianity does not look like a fun religion. Who wants to suffer, but Atheism is a dead end. Pretty soon we start looking at all the choices in between, making up our own religion, one that is more comfortable.

      Perhaps we agree one thing. The truth is more important than our immediate comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Bible has many strengths. It is probably the most widely read ancient text in existence (although its components span a range in time from 6-700 BC to 110 – 150 AD (not counting later added addenda). Nonetheless, I think you short-change a lot of more recent literature in terms of being revelatory of human nature. There is much good work up to the present day that provides extraordinary insight into the nature of Man.

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  4. Trust me, you would win more acceptance of your beliefs if you were able to provide any evidence of the god you genuflect to.
    You would also garner more respect if you at least demonstrated a more in-depth understanding of the text you claim is god breathed/inspired, rather than trotting out what comes across as little more than polemic.
    Just a thought ….

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  5. Trust me, you would win more acceptance of your NON beliefs if you were able t provide any evidence why you believe there is No God.

    Please eo not respond with words. I want to see the proof with my own eyes of how the wind built a Boeing 737.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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        1. Sorry once again. I was reading another blog at the same time and got a bit confused. A common trait with atheists.

          It’s nice to read a christian with a sense of humour. Seems religious indoctrination hasn’t pummeled every bit of sense out of you. Good show! 😉
          So, when you say No God, you are referring to which god?
          This is rather an important point, might even be a deal breaker.
          So, simple question. Tell me the name of the god and I’ll show you the wind created Boeing picture.
          Fair enough trade off I reckon.
          Away you go…..

          Like

  6. Because I will “trust” that you truly believe you do not understand my last comment, I will invoke the advice of a very renowned wise man and try using Proverb 26:5 to explain.

    See this post to give you an example of what a picture is.

    https://rudymartinka.wordpress.com/?s=picture+is+worth

    If you cannot supply a similar picture to give me hard evidence of how the wind blew about to build a Boeing 737, I will assume you do not have proof of your words.

    If you send me another reply of words instead of pictures, I am sorry but I will have to invoke Proverb 26:4

    Thank you for your reply to my comments. You choose what wind you want to send me a picture. .

    Regards and good will blogging.

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    1. Thank you for this.
      I feel unable to progress unless you first tell me then name of the god you refer to.
      It is a straightforward request and I cannot understand why you are being so obstreperous about it. Surely you know the name of your god? All I require is its name.

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        1. Your reply mirrors my conclusion about you being unwilling to supply hard evidence.
          Please consider Proverb 25:4 invoked, by me, to you.
          Regards and goodwill blogging. I will pray for you.

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        2. Well I can hardly comply with your request for any evidence if you steadfastly refuse to give me the name of the god you refer to. And I have asked politely on ever single reply since you opened this thread. In my mind it would be dreadfully presumptuous of me to simply pick any old god and then attempt to fulfill your request.
          Honestly, I cannot understand why you are being so obtuse.
          But if you wish to discontinue this charade and revel in your own form of petty oneupmanship and now wish to behave like a bit of a chump then by all means, invoke which ever text your heart desires.
          Do you feel better now? I am happy for you!
          Peace.

          Like

        3. scatterwisdom – I think you mean Proverb 26.4, but I like the image the idea of removing dross from silver conjures up.
          😆

          Arkenaten, you really ought to learn how to behave yourself. Have we pressured you to agree with us? Yet you are trying pressure us.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Pressure? I have made a straightforward request for the name of the god scatterwisdom continually refers to.
          His rather trite ”test” I am willing to attempt, and yet you see fit to have a go at me, but see nothing disingenuous about a ”Boeing made from wind”.
          And you claim you are Christians?
          Should not honesty and integrity be part of this?
          Or is snide and conniving part and parcel as well?
          You don’t think scatterwisdom is trying to lay a trap, and may be acting just a little smug?
          Answer honestly without trying in the least to be clever or evasive, just for once, if you are able.

          Like

  7. BTW, I’m still puzzled by the Hangman’s noose and the Why would a Man Hang Himself titles of these recent posts. To what do those gruesome images refer?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The False Prophet notices that you use a lot of words that carry a judgment. As is stated in the Bible you should leave judgment to God. Words like ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘great’, ‘stupid’, etc. are judgments. The problem with these kinds of words is the following: ‘When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises. When it knows good as good, evil arises.’ – Tao Te Ching
    The Tao continues,’
    Therefore the sages:
    Manage the work of detached actions
    Conduct the teaching of no words
    They work with myriad things but do not control
    They create but do not possess
    They act but do not presume
    They succeed but do not dwell on success
    It is because they do not dwell on success
    That it never goes away.’
    If you want to be really free from your own judgments, thus giving yourself the chance to get closer to your deity, one should read the Tao Te Ching and practise what it preaches.
    – The False Prophet

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  9. And I so hope, no one takes your words too seriously, for they are just another turd on the big dungheap people like to call the truth. And both The False Prophet and Ram Tzu know that the truth is burried on an oriental dump where only few are able to find it. Thank you for the link, I read it, and laughed out loud. You really amuse The False Prophet and I do so hope The False Prophet amuses you.
    Thank you for responding to
    – The False Prophet

    Like

  10. Those are not my words, dear Tom
    That is merely your interpretation
    And your truth, dear Tom
    You don’t know The False Prophet
    Which is neither your fault
    Nor mine, dear Tom
    And yet, another one of those
    Words of judgment, dear Tom
    You should leave that to the Gods
    Or do you believe you are one, dear Tom?
    Most often people see their own character traits in others
    And then despise them in others, dear Tom.
    Tell me, dear Tom,
    do you take yourself so seriously?
    – The False Prophet

    Like

  11. Hi Tom,
    You statement … “When we refuse to believe in God, does that mean we cease to worship? No. It just means we will misdirect our worship to idols of our own making.” is so true. We see it in the world around us all the time.

    Men were created by God to worship. When we refuse to worship God, based upon our very nature, we turn our worship towards other people or things.

    Thanks for the interesting series (and the amazing responses you have gotten!)

    Like

    1. Hello

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Of course, I can’t take credit for the responses, and I “stole” a lot of my material, but it was fun putting it together. Thanks again for letting me know you enjoyed it too.

      Like

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