Saturday, April 25, 2009

An Opportunity to Discuss Theodicy by Clearifying Something

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God's major plan for easing suffering in this life



I made a statement in my answer to Loren which has been misconstrued by some readers. Here's what Hermit said:

quoting me:"There are pre conditions before God dos stuff, or so it seems. The bible as much as says it. and faith is one of the major pre conditions."

His response:This is one of the cruelest elements of theism, in my opinion; this idea that people are allowed to suffer because of their spiritual inadequacy. Have you any idea how many people pray faithfully for relief and continue to suffer in spite of their faith? And you want them to think it's their fault for not believing "right"?

Sorry Joe, but this is the kind of thing that really turned me against the whole idea of faith.


I agree. I hate when theists try to answer the theodicy problem and do so with ideas that make the surrerer's guilty for something. That's nothing more than what the dumb guys in Job say. I always thought the "freinds" of Job (in the 60s we used to say "with freinds like that I don't need enemies") who said "you sinned" were the dumb ones. I agree with Hermit and I did not say that. His mistakes is where he says this:this idea that people are allowed to suffer because of their spiritual inadequacy. I never said that.

I said you have to be in the zone, I did not say you are not in the zone because something is wrong with you. I see that as a matter of timing not the sufferer's lack of virtue or any other problem with the person doing the suffering.


I think the allowance of evil and suffering is explained adequately by my version of the free will defense know as "Soteriolgoical Drama." I'm sure no one is going to my website to look that up. Certainly Hermit, Mike and Loren are not doing so. So here it is for their convenience and edification. (BTW "soeteriological" Means "the study of salvation" I call it that not because I think one is saved for suffering or because sufferers don't have it but becasue the nature of salvation is a drama played out in the form of a search. Not a drama for entertainment, but a true life drama.



The Free Will Defense is offered by Christian apologists as an answer to any sort of atheist argument such as the problem of pain or the problem of evil. The argument runs something like: God values free will because "he" ("she"?) doesn't want robots. The problem with this approach is that it often stops short in analysis as to why free will would be a higher value than anything else. This leaves the atheist in a position of arguing any number of pains and evil deeds and then crying that God had to know these things would happen, thus God must be cruel for creating anything at all knowing the total absolute pain (which usually includes hell in most atheist arguments) would result from creation.


The apologists answers usually fail to satisfy the atheist, because in their minds noting can outweigh the actual inflicting of pain. Something atheists evoke omnipotence and play it off against the value of free will, making the assumption that an "all powerful God" could do anything, thus God should be able to cancel any sort of moral debt, make sin beyond our natures, create a pain free universe, and surely if God were all loving, God would have done so.


The better twist on the free will defense would be to start from a different position. We should start with the basis for creation, in so far as we can understand it, and then to show how the logical and non self contradictory requirements of the logic of creation require free will. What is usually missing or not pointed out is the necessity of free will in the making of moral choices. This is the step that atheists and Christian apologists alike sometimes overlook; that it is absolutely essential in a non-self contradictory way, that humanity have free will. Thus, free will must out weight any other value. At that point, since it is a matter of self contradiction, omnipotence cannot be played off against free will, because God's omnipotence does not allow God to dispense with Free will!


Before moving to the argument I want to make it clear that I deal with two separate issues: the problem of pain (not a moral issue--tornadoes and diseases and the like) becasue it doesn't involve human choice. Pain, inflicted by accident and nature is not a moral issue, because it involves no choices. Thus I will not deal with that here. I am only concerned in this argument with the the problem of evil that is, the problem of moral choice. The free will defense cannot apply to makes where the will does not apply.


Basic assumptions


There are three basic assumptions that are hidden, or perhaps not so obivioius, but nevertheless must be dealt with here.

(1) The assumption that God wants a "moral universe" and that this value outweighs all others.


The idea that God wants a moral universe I take from my basic view of God and morality. Following in the footsteps of Joseph Fletcher (Situation Ethics) I assume that love is the background of the moral universe (this is also an Augustinian view). I also assume that there is a deeply ontological connection between love and Being. Axiomatically, in my view point, love is the basic impitus of Being itself. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that, if morality is an upshot of love, or if love motivates moral behavior, then the creation of a moral universe is essential.

(2) that internal "seeking" leads to greater internalization of values than forced compliance or complaisance that would be the result of intimidation.

That's a pretty fair assumption. We all know that people will a lot more to achieve a goal they truly beileve in than one they merely feel forced or obligated to follow but couldn't care less about.

(3)the the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end.

The pursuit of the value system becomes a search of the heart for ultimate meaning,that ensures that people continue to seek it until it has been fully internalized.

The argument would look like this:


(1)God's purpose in creation: to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good.

(2) Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated).

(3) Allowance of free choices requires the risk that the chooser will make evil choices

(4)The possibility of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free outweighs all other considerations, since without there would be no moral universe and the purpose of creation would be thwarted.



This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entails. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclined to sin.

This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it.
Argument on Soteriological Drama:


(5) Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tension exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultiamte goals, ends and purposes for which we are on this earth.

(6) Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us

(7) We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probably all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from the heart.

(8) therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internationalized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; introspective, internal, not amenable to ordinary demonstrative evidence.



In other words, we are part of a great drama and our actions and our dilemmas and our choices are all part of the way we respond to the situation as characters in a drama.

This theory also explains why God doesn't often regenerate limbs in healing the sick. That would be a dead giveaway. God creates criteria under which healing takes place, that criteria can't negate the overall plan of a search.

Objection:


One might object that this couldn't outweigh babies dying or the horrors of war or the all the countless injustices and outrages that must be allowed and that permeate human history. It may seem at first glance that free will is petty compared to human suffering. But I am advocating free will for the sake any sort of pleasure or imagined moral victory that accrues from having free will, it's a totally pragmatic issue; that internalizing the value of the good requires that one choose to do so, and free will is essential if choice is required. Thus it is not a capricious or selfish defense of free will, not a matter of choosing our advantage or our pleasure over that of dying babies, but of choosing the key to saving the babies in the long run,and to understanding why we want to save them, and to care about saving them, and to actually choosing their saving over our own good.

In deciding what values outweigh other values we have to be clear about our decision making paradigm. From a utilitarian standpoint the determinate of lexically ordered values would be utility, what is the greatest good for the greatest number? This would be determined by means of outcome, what is the final tally sheet in terms of pleasure over pain to the greatest aggregate? But why that be the value system we decide by? It's just one value system and much has been written about the bankruptcy of consequentialist ethics. If one uses a deontological standard it might be a different thing to consider the lexically ordered values. Free will predominates because it allows internalization of the good. The good is the key to any moral value system. This could be justified on both deontolgoical and teleological premises.

My own moral decision making paradigm is deontological, because I believe that teleological ethics reduces morality to the decision making of a ledger sheet and forces the individual to do immoral things in the name of "the greatest good for the greatest number." I find most atheists are utilitarians so this will make no sense to them. They can't help but think of the greatest good/greatest number as the ultaimte adage, and deontology as empty duty with no logic to it. But that is not the case. Deontology is not just rule keeping, it is also duty oriented ethics. The duty that we must internalize is that ultimate duty that love demands of any action. Robots don't love. One must freely choose to give up self and make a selfless act in order to act from Love. Thus we cannot have a loved oriented ethics, or we cannot have love as the background of the moral universe without free will, because love involves the will.

The choice of free will at the expense of countless lives and untold suffering cannot be an easy thing, but it is essential and can be justified from either deontolgoical or teleological perspective. Although I think the deontologcial makes more sense. From the teleological stand point, free will ultimately leads to the greatest good for the greatest number because in the long run it assumes us that one is willing to die for the other, or sacrifice for the other, or live for the other. That is essential to promoting a good beyond ourselves. The individual sacrifices for the good of the whole, very utilitarian. It is also deontolgocially justifiable since duty would tell us that we must give of ourselves for the good of the other.

Thus anyway you slice it free will outweighs all other concerns because it makes available the values of the good and of love. Free will is the key to ultimately saving the babies, and saving them because we care about them, a triumph of the heart, not just action from wrote. It's internalization of a value system without which other and greater injustices could be foisted upon an unsuspecting humanity that has not been tought to choose to lay down one's own life for the other.


Objection 2: questions

(from "UCOA" On CARM boards (atheism)


Quote:

In addition, there is no explanation of why god randomly decided to make a "moral universe".




Why do you describe the decision as random? Of course all of this is second guessing God, so the real answer is "I don't know, duh" But far be it form me to give-up without an opinion. My opinion as to why God would create moral universe:

to understand this you must understand my view of God, and that will take some doing. I'll try to just put it in a nut shell. In my view love is the background of the moral universe. The essence of "the good" or of what is moral is that which conforms to "lug." But love in the apogee sense, the will to the good of the other. I do not believe that that this is just derived arbitrarily, but is the outpouring of the wellspring of God's character. God is love, thus love is the background of the moral universe because God is the background of the moral universe.

Now I also describe God as "being itself." Meaning God is the foundation of all that is. I see a connection between love and being. Both are positive and giving and turning on in the face of nothingness, which is negativity. To say that another way, if we think of nothingness as a big drain pipe, it is threatening to **** all that exits into it. Being is the power to resist nothingness, being the stopper in the great cosmic drain pipe of non existence.

The act of bestowing being upon the beings is the nature of God because God is being. Those the two things God does because that's what he is, he "BES" (um, exists) and he gives out being bestowing it upon other beings. This is connected to love which also gives out and bestows. So being and love are connected, thus the moral universe is an outgrowth of the nature of God as giving and bestowing and being and loving.

Quote:
Thus the question isnt really answered. Why does god allow/create evil? To create a "moral universe". Why? The only answer that is given is, because he wants to. Putting it together, Why does god allow/create evil? Because he wants to?



In a nut shell, God allows evil as an inherent risk in allowing moral agency. (the reason for which is given above).

There is a big difference in doing something and allowing it to be done. God does not create evil, he allows the risk of evil to be run by the beings, because that risk is required to have free moral agency. The answer is not "because he wants to" the answer is because he wants free moral agency so that free moral agents will internatize the values of love. To have free moral agency he must allow them to:

(1)run the risk of evil choices

(2) live in a real world where hurt is part of the dice throw.


Now, having said all that: The point about God working miracles is that the working of miracles has to be limited to the over all plan, which requires a search which means it cant' be so obvious that God exists that we don't have to do the searching. We could do a reductio ad absurdum and ask why doesn't God hold a press conference and come clean about all the secrets of the universe? well for that matter why create anything at all? in fact it turns out the only really loving thing God could do would be to kill himself so he would never create and no one would ever have to suffer any pain. But for that matter why not just seek God and not propose absurdities? The reason God doesn't heal everyone at once and make it all obvious is so we will search. Not because sick people are bad or lack something, it's because healing hs to fit within the over schemata of a world in which we have to seek to know truth. God makes a way for us find to truth. It's not so hidden that someone can't find it.

the reason people don't find it is because they don't look in the right place. They keep forgetting the real battle ground is in the heart. That's where you have to look.

17 comments:

A Hermit said...

You undo your whole argument at the end here, I think, when you say "the reason people don't find it is because they don't look in the right place."This is the same thing you threw at me over at CADRE when you told me I didn't find a personal relationship with God because I didn't seek Him in the right way. God's presence, God's healing, God's grace...all are withheld, according to you, because we are doing something wrong; we are, in your view, missing something morally; we are, in effect, "spiritually inadequate."

This may be comforting to you, you can attribute my different experience, like the failure of God to heal those who sincerely pray for relief, to some kind of moral failing, but frankly this strikes me as arrogance and elitism on your part. My search for truth and meaning can be dismissed as inadequate, superficial (looking for Goodies is how you described it at CADRE) while you can claim moral superiority because you believe you have a personal relationship with Being.

You've tried to avoid the problem with this "soteriological drama" but in the end you return to this idea that those of us who don't have your belief are just not "doing it right..."

You're also copping out when you separate out the problem of pain and suffering caused by natural events beyond our control. Much human suffering results from these causes, which as you say are not a result of our moral choices, and so can serve no purpose in your "drama." A person who suffers form some genetic disorder isn't suffering because of a moral choice. And if they seek relief from God through faith, and get none because, in your words, they aren't "in the zone" aren't you still saying in effect that the lack of relief is because of their spiritual failing?

J.L. Hinman said...

You undo your whole argument at the end here, I think, when you say "the reason people don't find it is because they don't look in the right place."This is the same thing you threw at me over at CADRE when you told me I didn't find a personal relationship with God because I didn't seek Him in the right way. God's presence, God's healing, God's grace...all are withheld, according to you, because we are doing something wrong; we are, in your view, missing something morally; we are, in effect, "spiritually inadequate."


you are making terms you don't understand into blanks and filling in the blanks with your own meanings to change the meaning that I clearified. The whole thing about soteiological drama is my definition of why its not direct and obvious. I explained that the problem has nothing to do with a lack in anyone.

you seek in the wrong place because you don't seek in the heart. that doesn't mean you are inadequate it means you forgetting where the search must be conducted. if that's a failing on your part it's not necessarily a moral one nor it is it uncorrectable.
This may be comforting to you, you can attribute my different experience, like the failure of God to heal those who sincerely pray for relief, to some kind of moral failing, but frankly this strikes me as arrogance and elitism on your part.


I don't need consolation to feel better about such things, nor do I necessarily want any.My search for truth and meaning can be dismissed as inadequate, superficial (looking for Goodies is how you described it at CADRE) while you can claim moral superiority because you believe you have a personal relationship with Being.


I did not dismiss your search. I don't pretend to know that you aren't searching your heart. I was generally not about you.You've tried to avoid the problem with this "soteriological drama" but in the end you return to this idea that those of us who don't have your belief are just not "doing it right..."


I did say that but that's not th whole picture. I also said its not mean to be obvious. It seems to me that you are more concernted with blaming God because he didn't lay it on you than you are with actually getting somewhere.You're also copping out when you separate out the problem of pain and suffering caused by natural events beyond our control. Much human suffering results from these causes, which as you say are not a result of our moral choices, and so can serve no purpose in your "drama."

what you just said demonstrates that they are two separate problems. I set out to answer one problem more completely than the other. They do intersect at the point where there's a need not to be obvious and thus not to clean up all pain and suffering in an obvious way. But that's only part of the answer.

I said I said more than once this is only a surmise and not a pretense at real answers.
A person who suffers form some genetic disorder isn't suffering because of a moral choice. And if they seek relief from God through faith, and get none because, in your words, they aren't "in the zone" aren't you still saying in effect that the lack of relief is because of their spiritual failing?

It's not their failing. They might be refussing to seek the heart becuase they want to sin, but not to say that their suffering is a result of sin. All people sin so presumably even those who suffere are sinners even though they are not suffering becasue they are sinner. Sinner's dont' became blameless saints just because they suffer.

But this all just part of the answer. There are larger aspects that remain hidden. I'm sure sure those aspects are not about any failing in people as a cause of their suffering.

J.L. Hinman said...

When I first said that about the zone I would thinking in terms of timing. I guess i should flesh that out more. I wasn't speaking in therms of being sinless, that's not "the zone." But in the fulness of time people will get answers. In the mean time we have to soldier on in faith.

It's that fullness of time that is the "zone." That's when the request comes together at the fight moment not to contradict the overall plan God has for your life and all our lives.

do you think Christians never suffer? What do you think I said when my parents died, lost my house, cheated out of my career, moved to an apartment srrounded by drug dealers and had to pull my skin off in a bloody mass every night to change my bandages? don't you think I said "Hey how about some answers!"

I didn't get them then. why ? I don't know but I did eventually. We got a nice rent house, total miracle that we got it, I mean a realm miracle the only one we could afford in all of North Dallas.It has yet to be seen that my books I am writing will replace the career that was stolen from me, but it does give me the idea that at least it's possible that at some point in the future God will bring about a replacement career that will be fulfilling and rewarding.


I was not in the zone. I was in the suffering zone then it wasn't time for answers at that point. I had to be patent. But eventually I started getting them. that's the way it works.

Makarios said...

I'm not so sure that "natural" disasters aren't the result of moral choice. We might like to think that it isn't the result of "our" or "My" choice. However, the fall as described in the Bible WAS the result of a moral choice, one that all of us would have made and the result is that "all of creation is groaning in anticipation" of Jesus' coming again to set things right.

Regarding personal suffering, morally instigated or not, for my own life I have found it much more productive to pray, Not, "Lord come into my life and change my pain," Rather, "Lord come into my pain and change me."

J.L. Hinman said...

I think we have to say how we respond to things is part of the issue. But I can't accept blaming the victim and concluding that suffering is the result of sin or anything like that.

the idea that pain and suffering in general are the result of the fall, well in a general sort of way. But one can't attach specific moral guilt to any one individual in that sense.

you can't say the Katrina victims died becasue they sinned. We are all sinners so we should all be in hurricanes, but you know there were many sinner who chose to leave town or who lived on high ground. I can the atheist argument in that light.

A Hermit said...

It seems to me we're still left with pain and suffering being seen as a consequence of our moral imperfection, if the attainment of a morally perfect universe is God's ultimate goal with all of this drama...

Which leaves us to ask why a God who wants to create moral perfection started by created morally imperfect beings who would suffer because of their imperfection; especially when that suffering is so often not the direct result of any moral action but appears at least to be random.

If the purpose of suffering is to perfect our moral nature by internalizing the good parts of it isn't that purpose undermined by the many instances in which the bad choices get internalized? If the reason for all this suffering is to make the good clear why keep the purpose hidden in so many cases?

None of this makes any sense; I can't reconcile any of it with the idea of a loving creator.

J.L. Hinman said...

It seems to me we're still left with pain and suffering being seen as a consequence of our moral imperfection, if the attainment of a morally perfect universe is God's ultimate goal with all of this drama...

You are not even willing to accept that people make mistakes.you cant cart blanch to do whatever you want? There is a difference in blaming the victims for their own suffering, and pointing out how people bring some suffering on themselves. People do sin, sin is a choice, and it's a wrong choice.

sometimes we do incur some consequences of our own actions.
Which leaves us to ask why a God who wants to create moral perfection started by created morally imperfect beings who would suffer because of their imperfection; especially when that suffering is so often not the direct result of any moral action but appears at least to be random.


your premsies are wrong:

(1) God wants perfection

(2) Chrsitians blaming suffering on the victims in all cases.

(3) we suffer becasue of our imperfection.

but

(1) We would not internationalize the values fo the good if we don't go through a learning process.God doesn't create us already perfect becasue there's value in the learning process, that's why it's a search.

who says God wants perfection in people?

(2) not all suffering is the fault of the victim.

(3) some actions have consequences that involve suffering and we bring that on ourselves but not as a direct punishment and it doesn't mean we shouldn't feel compassion for those in that boat becasue we are also in the same boat. we are not God we are not the judges.
If the purpose of suffering is to perfect our moral nature by internalizing the good parts of it isn't that purpose undermined by the many instances in which the bad choices get internalized?


I didn't say suffering itself does that. the necessity of allowing it is part of the process but the suffering itself is not perfecting.If the reason for all this suffering is to make the good clear why keep the purpose hidden in so many cases?


It's not hidden. you can learn it, but it's something that has to be internalized through the search or you wont learn it.None of this makes any sense; I can't reconcile any of it with the idea of a loving creator.


It makes perfect sesne. th eprobelm you've so many stupid assumptions invovled with blaming the victim that you can't seperate that out from areasonble explaination.

It's prefect sense look at it:

(1) It doesn't do us any good to be spoon fed ideas. We have to learn for ourselves the meaning of the good or it wont mean anything to us, our hearts wont be in it.

(2) suffering is nto an teaching agenacy, just suffering in and of itsel doesn't teach much. it's the necessity of the kind of world in which one must search out the answers because they are not obvious that makes suffering necessary as a consequence.

(3) if everytime anyone did anything hurtful god worked a miracle to stop it no one would ever have to search for the truth and would never internalize the good.

A Hermit said...

"It makes perfect sesne. th eprobelm you've so many stupid assumptions invovled with blaming the victim that you can't seperate that out from areasonble explaination."I don't accept your premises either, but I haven't stooped to calling them "stupid".

If you can't have this conversation without insulting me why should I bother pursuing it?

J.L. Hinman said...

It makes perfect sesne. th eprobelm you've so many stupid assumptions invovled with blaming the victim that you can't seperate that out from areasonble explaination."I don't accept your premises either, but I haven't stooped to calling them "stupid".

If you can't have this conversation without insulting me why should I bother pursuing it?


LOL that was my mistake man. I am really sorry. Please believe me I did not mean to say "you made" the stuid assumptions I meant to say "you have HEARD" so many stupid assumptions.

It was actually people like thsoe who say "pain builds character" that I was meaning to say were stupid. Their assumptions. sorry man.

I gotta get new glasses.

A Hermit said...

I see, sorry for the misunderstanding. (But you shouldn't make assumptions about my assumptions...;-)...)

I'm getting swamped with work right now; and my home computer crashed...I'll try to get a comprehensive reply up at some point, because I do think there's some misunderstanding going on here, but it might take a while...

A Hermit said...

"(1) It doesn't do us any good to be spoon fed ideas. We have to learn for ourselves the meaning of the good or it wont mean anything to us, our hearts wont be in it."There's a big difference between "spoon feeding" and teaching...(trust me, I'm married to a teacher...I hear about it all the time...). But teaching doesn't involve hiding evidence, concealing knowledge or making it more difficult than not to find the answers...an honest search for the truth should reveal that truth if it's really there, and any teacher will help that search, but not by hiding in the shadows and allowing injuries to occur.

"(2) suffering is nto an teaching agenacy, just suffering in and of itsel doesn't teach much. it's the necessity of the kind of world in which one must search out the answers because they are not obvious that makes suffering necessary as a consequence."I completely disagree; the only necessary consequence of not searching for answers is continued ignorance. Pain, suffering, fear and anguish are not necessary.

What you are proposing is akin to leaving a small child alone in a room full of sharp knives and pots of boiling liquids so they will learn, from the "necessary consequences" of their cuts and burns that sharp knives and boiling water are dangerous. The child will certainly internalize that lesson, but there are better ways to teach it.

"(3) if everytime anyone did anything hurtful god worked a miracle to stop it no one would ever have to search for the truth and would never internalize the good."I think it's insulting and demeaning to humanity to presume that we are incapable of learning to be good without the possibility of apparently gratuitous pain and suffering. What moral improvement do we get from the rape and murder of a child, for example? Most of us instinctively recoil with horror at such cruelty, we don't need to have it actually happen to understand that it's a bad thing...in fact I would intervene to prevent such a thing from happening if I could, even at the risk of my own life. Why would a genuinely loving God do less?

J.L. Hinman said...

I am answering this in the main blog

A Hermit said...

"I am answering this in the main blog"And I might respond if you do me a favour, show me a little respect and take down those offensive links at Atheistwatch...I'm not sure I'm interested in continuing a conversation with someone who promotes such hatred.

J.L. Hinman said...

that is a totally ridiculous request. One only equates evolution with Nazism. Stupid equation but not hardly on the par with saying that all people who believe in evolution are brain washed idiots. How many atheists are going to take down all the stuff that offends me?

tell you what, I will take those down when you admit in writing on the blog that there is a probelm with some atheists who kind of resemble a hate group in some mild way. you can even qualify to say "mild." And I stipulate I certainly do not mean all.

either that or find an atheist will take down tings from his site that offend me. do one of those and we have a deal. ok?

A Hermit said...

"tell you what, I will take those down when you admit in writing on the blog that there is a probelm with some atheists who kind of resemble a hate group in some mild way. you can even qualify to say "mild." And I stipulate I certainly do not mean all."I have stipulated many times that some atheists are hateful. I've even stood up to some of them on your behalf on occasion.

"either that or find an atheist will take down tings from his site that offend me."Like I keep telling you I'm not responsible for other people's bad behaviour.

You keep calling me your friend; if you mean it, show me a little respect and consideration, take responsibility for your own associations and stop linking to hateful material. You're not going to make hate go away by being hateful yourself.

J.L. Hinman said...

You keep calling me your friend; if you mean it, show me a little respect and consideration, take responsibility for your own associations and stop linking to hateful material. You're not going to make hate go away by being hateful yourself.

why are they hateful? what's hateful about observing the hate?

A Hermit said...

"why are they hateful? what's hateful about observing the hate?"How is bashing atheists by saddling us all with the crimes of everyone from the Bolsheviks to the Nazis not hateful?