Friday, May 30, 2008

Quazy Quistian Question # 6

The other night, Mrs. Ex and I sat down to a hot-weather dinner: a little chicken salad, a couple of dollops of potato salad, some green salad, three or four tablespoons of fruit salad, and even a few fistfuls of our beloved Crunchy Cheetos. She said, “When the weather’s like this, I love a big salad.”

“Well,” I said, “technically it’s not one big salad. It’s actually four different salads, all on one plate.” In case you didn’t already know this, I can be a tremendous pain-in-the-ass.

My wife can’t ever resist taking the bait. “It’s one big fucking salad,” she said.

“Ummm, no it’s not,” I insisted. “First of all, the stuff isn’t all mushed together. It’s separate, like the compartments in a TV dinner. There’s a chicken salad compartment, a potato salad ...”

“I can see what’s there.”

“And secondly, no one in his or her right mind would ever refer to Cheetos as salad. So why can’t you admit that it’s a bunch of different salads and some crunchies on the side? While we’re at it, there’s not enough of the potato kind, if you want my opinion.”

Anyway, we went back and forth a few times, at least until we’d both finished cleaning our plates, refilling them, and cleaning them again. Then we stopped arguing while we finished our meal with a sweets course: ice cream on top of baked apple pieces and pastry, which my wife unreasonably claimed was only one dessert called “pie a la mode.” I understand that traditionally this is considered a unitary dish; but since ice cream, baked apples, and pastry are all separable, and since their essences don’t change when combined, I’m fairly comfortable insisting that it’s actually a trio of different things, acting as a team, that's merely masquerading as a single entity. But I wisely kept my mouth shut while I chewed.

I thought of that dinner today when I became engaged in kind of a silly interchange over at You Made Me Say It. A Christian was claiming that his religion is monotheistic. That, of course, is ridiculous.

Here are some reasons why Christianity is, clearly, polytheistic.

1. Dad, Junior, and the Cosmic Goo
That’s three gods. If you challenge Christians to explain how 3 = 1, they’ll usually start spouting some nonsense about the “trinity”: The bible says this, Christian apologists say that. These explanations are, of course, a weasel-y cop-out on a grand scale. Atheists don’t believe in what the bible says, nor do we put any credence in the long, tedious, lying tradition of Christian apologetics.

We’ve got three entities here, not one. For Christians, though, it’s “pie-in-the-sky a la mode.”

But, look. Even according to the bible, when Jesus was on the cross, he cried out to his papa. So god and Jesus, at least, must be different beings — unless the “savior” was just talking to himself like a crazy man. Was the “savior” a lunatic? Are his followers?

And that third god is some vague entity used conveniently to plug the gaps into which neither Jesus nor the Big Guy fit: the “hole-y spirit.” Either he/she/it is an unnecessary concept, or we’re talking about another divine presence here.

2. Satan
Most reasonable people would call the Satan character a god. He may not be the king of the particular gods that the Christians believe in, but he’s clearly got the powers of a deity — albeit an evil one.

There’s no point in Christians arguing that a god can be a god only if he’s omnibenevolent, because even their guy doesn’t fit the bill. He condones ethnic cleansing, the murder of innocents, slavery, the subjugation of women — the list of atrocities goes on and on. And he’s egomaniacal, not a nice trait.

But let’s, for the moment, say that God and Satan are opposites in some way. In Christian belief, Satan has the power to challenge the divine personage they call “God” for people’s souls. He’s either immortal, or, if vanquishable at some future date, at very least unusually long-lived. He’s omnipresent, almost omnipotent, and omnimalevolent. If he were a member of some ancient pantheon, we’d all recognize him as the embodiment of wickedness, a “dark” god. And that’s what he is in the Christian scheme: a fellow god.

3. The Demigods of Christianity
Some Christians —Orthodox and Roman Catholics, for example — address prayers to Mary and/or saints. These heavenly folks may not be full-fledged gods, but they’re certainly demigods. Some of them are acknowledged by scholars of all persuasions as being spin-offs of pagan deities. So if we were talking about a mythology other than Christianity, everyone would acknowledge that these characters are superhuman enough to be classed in the “gods” category.

But not certain Christians. For them, Mary is kind of a real woman, except kind of not. The saints are sort of dead people, but sort of not. But how can you pray to a corpse who isn’t a god; what’s the point? You might as well pray to a cat, or a tree, or a meteor. They’re just more gods.

So it sure looks as if Christianity is a polytheistic religion. Christians may not put any other gods before the leader of the club, but they sure throw in plenty of lesser gods as part of the holistic picture. Most of us would call that “polytheism.”

Now, I’m going to diverge slightly from convention before I ask the following question. Usually, in this series, I’ve been freewheeling about accepting answers — even though no satisfactory ones have ever been provided. For this particular entry, though, I’m going to have to insist that no quotes, links, or historical references be used. I’m interested in responses that are phrased only in your very own words.

Quazy Quistian Question #6
Isn’t Christianity a polytheistic religion? If not, how do you account for all those super-beings running around? Explain your response.

46 comments:

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Well, sure. and it evolved that way because it was less painful for the early Christians to moves from a multi-deistic universe to a single God, so this whole Trinity/negative god/demigods sort of cushioned the blow.

What I find interesting is how Christians talk about the horrible sacrifice Jesus made, (as one recent commenter on my blog did) being separated from his father, while at the same time saying that they are all the same god. WTF?

Here's a direct quote:

Yes, in fact He did allow Himself to suffer. He suffered, and suffers, revile from His creation; namely man. He suffered torture at the hands of man. He suffered death. All these, as horrible as they are, do not compare to the spiritual suffering our Lord endured. He the Father was separated from He the Son. We can’t even imagine the degree to which Jesus went to reconcile the lost.

So if they are all one god, how could they suffer by being separated? How could Jesus, the man, suffer pain and death, if he was one with his father, who is omnipotent, perfect and capable of enduring pain as I endure the air on my face?

It's the contradictions inherent in the Christian theology that ultimately brings it down.

iambilly said...

Didn't it take about 200 years of arguing to arrive at the trinity and the idea that Jesus was a duality (wholey spirit and wholey human)? The adoprionists, dualists, etc. all had to be defeated first (well, actually they were basically shouted down (which is a pretty common Christian tactic)). Anyway, I would contend that the trinity is more of a duality -- father, holy spiri, and Jesus (who is 100% of both).

Damn. With math like that, its easy to see how Bush and company have destroyed our economy.

Karen said...

Ah, but all good religions have Mysteries. Didn't you know that? Some things can't be explained logically, they just are.

What, you mean I didn't convince you?

I seem to recall that one of the theological disagreements in the early church (that prompted the Council of Nicea in 325) was the whole "trinity" question, with trinity-espousers arguing against trinity-deniers. Given that the Roman emperor presided over the council, the resultant decision was more political than theological; rightness of doctrine wasn't nearly as important as peace in the Empire. The losers are considered (some of) the spiritual fathers of today's Unitarian Church.

PhillyChief said...

I believe the answer is it's not polytheistic because it's not. Seriously, that's what we got as a result on my blog from a christian, right? Oh, and then told if we can't understand that then we're big dummy heads or something. I forget the exact words.

C. L. Hanson said...

What I don't get is why they insist that they're monotheists. I mean how did they even get this idea in their heads that Christianity should be monotheistic?

Assuming it's possible to rank absurdities, I've tackled this one: Polytheism vs. Monotheism + Omnipotence.

Renacier said...

I came across an interesting take on the Trinity once. Once.

This fellow (can't recall who) advances the idea that the Trinity concept was never meant to be taken literally. It was originally designed by those crazy Greeks as a mental exercise to highlight the "ineffable nature" of God's mind. The there-in-one concept is impossible to logically reconcile with the human mind, and so too is the will of God outside the mind of man.

Clever little argument, I thought. Too bad modern Christians don't care if somethings "impossible".

PhillyChief said...

So it's another 'this doesn't make sense, so it's proof of the superiority of god'? Right. It's beyond my feeble mortal intellect to reconcile the 3 that is 1 that is 3. Wow, man. Pass the bong.

The Exterminator said...

I agree with almost everything said here so far, but we're all still waiting for a Christian to respond, aren't we?

I will add a few comments, though.

(((Billy))):
It's clear that most Christians historically did not think of the trinity as a duality. Look at all those religious paintings that contain all three: Pops, Jeezy, and the magic dove. (Hey, take away the commas and that sounds like a great name for a jazz/rock group.)

C.L.:
The reason Christians insist they're monotheists? In the first few centuries, as they assimilated more and more ideas and semi-divines from the multiplicity of religious cultures that surrounded them, they were simultaneously working very hard to disavow their pagan roots. (See SI's comment above.) Now, it would be heresy to go "backwards." Besides, once they open the door to extra gods, they might have to accept Mormons, Hindus, and cave people.

John Evo said...

Saying Satan is not a god does not make it, in fact, "not a god". These are just bold assertions with no intellectual backing and a complete disregard for commonly held definitions.

Satan is obviously loosely based on Hades, god of the "underworld" who abducts humans and rules over the dead. Satan just abducts the soul. The whole notion of the "fires" of hell/underworld are based on the observations of volcanoes belching out lava.

Jehovah - god
Holy Spirit - god
Jesus Christ - god
Satan - god

Anything else is just playing games with the definition.

Christians reading this, and the comments, won't want to respond. they will convince themselves that it would be like casting pearls before swine, when in reality they know that their arguments would be vacuous.

Cheese Puffs said...

Those who do believe that the three are one have successfully conquered the concept of doublethink (1984). Go them. *waves flag of sarcasm*

John Evo said...

Cheese Puffs - the "trinity" is just one of many examples of doublethink employed by Christians. We all know it is so, but I'm kind of glad that Ex pointed it out. Maybe he can make this a series. Oh, wait... Quazy Quistian Questions IS a series. Never mind.

Hey Ex, without me doing a search through through your past posts, do you recall ever having received an intelligent reply to any of the questions?

The Exterminator said...

Evo:
As I said in my post, Usually, in this series, I’ve been freewheeling about accepting answers — even though no satisfactory ones have ever been provided.

To be fair, there were a few intelligent responses to QQQ #2 -- although none of them was an actual answer to my question. These were supplied by Chuck Blanchard. Other than that, Christians have provided no intelligent responses.

iambilly said...

Ex: I know they don't, but my version makes just as much sense. Of course, the adoptionist v dualist v 100% of both still remains a valid discussion of heresies.

the chaplain said...

Demi-gods: Protestants don't accept them; Catholics do. I don't know what the Orthodox and some other smaller streams of Christianity think about them.

Satan: can't be a god because he's a creature, a fallen angel. Somewhere above humankind on the powers scale, but below God.

The Trinity: I never really made heads or tails out of this one myself. I know the explanations, but they don't really make sense unless you squint your eyes, stick out your tongue and tilt your head just so when you think about them - and then they lose all sense when you open your eyes, stick your tongue back into your mouth and sit up straight.

Christianity is an in-the-closet polytheistic religion. Since it is asserted to be a derivative of, and improvement upon, Judaism, it has to carefully classify all of the saints, angels, demons, etc., which gets them down to three beings that they can't reconcile with the monotheism they want to claim except by calling them all a singular god.

How can you not be convinced that these conceptions not only make perfect sense, but are absolutely true?

tina FCD said...

Heyyy...I think I know this trinity character!

Father Shaggy said...

I tried explaining this to a Muslim and a Jew a couple of weeks ago, and then realized that I never really got it either. We ended up talking about the shamrock, which I understand was used to explain the trinity to those ignorant Irish Pagans.

Stacked against the other contradictions, this isn't really a big one.

And I'm with you on the salad, but not the dessert.

cl said...

I think the question of whether Christianity is polytheistic depends entirely on our definition of gods, and also the context God speaks in when claiming there are no other gods but God.

Chaplain makes a point - are created beings gods?

Even assuming all created beings are not gods, we still have the questions surrounding the trinity.

What do we mean by polytheistic? Is a monotheistic religion one that claims no other gods exist? If so we must define gods and see if Christianity permits them. If so, it could be called polytheistic.

Or is a monotheistic religion one that claims only one Most High exists?

Going further, why is the question of whether Christianity is mono- or polytheistic worth wiping our asses about in the first place? Does it serve any purpose in debunking it?

yunshui said...

cl has quite a good point there... surely the "mono/poly" debate is of less significance than the "oh yes there is/oh no there isn't" debate? Since there aren't any gods, what's the point of arguing over how many fictitious sky-fairies there are?

I would also like to point out that Cheetos are a perfectly acceptable salad ingredient, as are Doritos, jellybeans and macaroons.

PhillyChief said...

I think the purpose, as with every one of these questions, is to ask a believer to explain their belief in their own words. That's surprisingly challenging for them it seems.

The issue of debunking christianity seems to me to be the waste of energy, like arguing smoking is dangerous to your health. The work's been done, yet neither have disappeared, have they? So the energy should be expended encouraging people to face the issue and accept the facts. I think there are many people today who NEED things to make sense. Now of course someone could look at this question and maybe work out some suitable answer for themselves or maybe just admit they can't explain it but they just have faith it makes sense somehow, but I think there are people who may be troubled by such an exercise.

The issue of actually looking at your beliefs and having an unreconcilable dilemma is quite a big deal. For instance, look at this. 12.76% of the deconversion stories cited logical problems with dogma as something that got the ball rolling for them. Almost 15% cited unsatisfactory answers from their religious leaders, which is sort of the same, and something this question addresses as well since some who may not be able to answer this will go to their religious leader and ask them what the answer is. If what they get sounds like crap...

So I fail to see how this is a waste of time, I fail to see how, in light of how entrenched religious belief is despite it's inherent nonsense and challenges, that you would think ANY effort would be a waste of time, and finally, I fail to see how you would have to search for a reason to wipe your ass.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Religion is not going to go away in one fell swoop. Theists aren't going to wake up one morning, have a light bulb pop off over their head and declare "There is no god!"

The way it will go is slowly, via erosion, by nibbling around the edges, and bit by bit knocking out portions of support, until eventually it just falls under it's own weight.

So arguing about some of the esoteric side notions held by theists is effective as a way of accomplishing this nibbling process.

The Exterminator said...

chappy:
My attitude about Satan is: If it looks like a god, walks like a god, and quacks like a god -- then it is a god.

tina:
Well, even the trinity you're talking about is not what it says it is.

Shaggy:
Stacked against the other contradictions, this isn't really a big one.
I never said it was a "big" contradiction, although I think it is. In any case, though, it is a contradiction that a Christian should be able to explain.

cl:
Most Christians disdain polytheistic religions merely because they're polytheistic. That scorn has something to do with the first few of the Ten Commandments. Look them up if you're not familiar with them. And many Christians arrogantly dismiss Mormonism as non-Christian because Mormons admit to having a bunch of extra gods running around. So, yeah, this question goes to the root: How does a Christian distinguish him- or herself from practitioners of other religions?

yunshui:
cl has quite a good point there.
No he doesn't. Read the comments by Philly and SI and my reply above.

I think putting jellybeans in salad sounds like a great idea. In fact, I think putting jellybeans in just about anything sounds like a good idea. I'd explain this opinion more fully, but I've got an appointment with my dentist.

Philly:
I think the purpose, as with every one of these questions, is to ask a believer to explain their belief in their own words. That's surprisingly challenging for them it seems.
Bingo! It's amazing how many religionists cannot put into their own words the beliefs they supposedly hold so dear. In every state in America, public school educational standards insist that kids as young as 3rd-graders be able to paraphrase and/or summarize both written and heard material, using their own language. Why shouldn't adult Christians be challenged to use this basic skill? Their lack of ability to articulate even their most fundamental beliefs is a clue that they don't know what they're talking about most of the time.

I don't remember who said this (and perhaps I'm paraphrasing):
If you can't explain something in your own words, you really don't understand it.
I agree.

SI:
The way it will go is slowly, via erosion, by nibbling around the edges ...
Why is it that even when you're making a great point, I somehow get the feeling you're talking about sex?

But, all kidding aside, you're so right. Each theist has to decide for him- or herself how many inconsistencies to carry along. At some point, the load can become unbearable.

Or, as you might say it, "he'd have to let go of his load."

PhillyChief said...

Really SI, you have to stop stimulating Ex with your sexy talk. The sexy avatar is more than enough, and with him all amped up already on jelly beans, look out!

the chaplain said...

Are Jelly Beans an official aphrodisiac? Who knew?

yunshui said...

I'm not convinced by the argument that Christians dismiss other religions on the basis of their polytheism - they also dismiss that hardcore monotheist Islam, and Judaism as well. The argument I've heard most often is the "We've got a dead Jesus, no-one else has one of those" one, and believe me, I've heard it a lot.

Fair play to Phillychief and SI, though, nibbling at the already frayed edges is indeed a better system than repeated (intellectual) blows to the head. I stand corrected.

PhillyChief said...

It's not about better

The Exterminator said...

yunshui:
Christians do dismiss some other religions on the basis of those religions being polytheistic. Now, I never said that polytheism is the only reason that Christians might dismiss another religion. (Remember: a -> b does not lead logically to b -> a.)

In any case, for Christians, the concept that they, themselves, are polytheistic is horrifying. But it should be blatanly obvious to anyone who thinks about the Christians' multiplicity of gods (disguised in various other guises though they be) that Christianity is, indeed, a polytheistic religion. That's all I'm saying here.

Ordinary Girl said...

I think Christians try to represent their religion as monotheistic because of the Old Testament. Over and over and over again Yaweh says that he is the only god and none other may be worshipped.

But then how to explain the shift in the New Testament? Jesus talks to God and then there's that pesky Holy Spirit. So what is it, monotheistic or polytheistic? Well, of course, it depends on which Testament you look at. Since Christians claim they're under the New or both (when it suits them) they're again trying to play both sides without really making a commitment to one or the other.

It's another contradiction that can't be explained if it's written by an infallible god. Of course, since it's all fiction, it's pretty easy to explain with changing influences (Nationalism vs. the influence of the Greeks and Romans).

yunshui said...

Interestingly the concept of monotheism didn't arise in Judaism until quite late in its development - the earliest references to Yahweh being the "only" god (as opposed to the first among many, or the specific god of the Israelites) only appear around 530 BC (in the works of Second Isaiah). It appears this development was a response to the Babylonian exile and Jewish exposure to the cults of Marduk and his mates. Prior to this, the existence of other gods was pretty much taken as read by the Israelites.

Ordinary Girl said...

Yunshui, you're exactly right.

I was confusing the command to worship only Yaweh with monotheism. The command to worship only one god was what I was referring to, and then later the doctrine of monotheism or false (not real) gods.

But how to reconcile three goes with the command to worship only one god?

Rhology said...

Exterminator,

I've answered you. Anyone is welcome to read.

PhillyChief said...

It must be something about the weather, because all the christian bloggers are out and about in the atheosphere.

Before anyone goes to see the blog of the two who are one (Rhology) explain the three who are one, I suggest some Pepcid first, and perhaps a Tylenol for your soon to have migraine. The opening paragraph should stop you dead in your tracts. Is this what passes for comedy?

After much posturing and links, Rho attempts to explain in his own words, which is at least a welcome change, until you read what those words are which might makes sense if we were talking about an inferior Voltron (who of course was comprised of 5, not 3 "hypostases" as Rho would say).

The answer to the trinity for Rho is "the Trinity is mysterious, though neither irrational nor illogical nor contradictory". To support this he says........
I'm just kidding, he doesn't support this at all.

To answer Ex's "We've got three entities here, not one" his answer is "Christianity has never, ever claimed that.".

The rest is simply arguing that according to the bible, such and such just is or he argues for use of christianity's definitions and if you use THOSE definitions, everything makes sense. In fact, he even argues that an external critique of christianity is simply fallacious!

So to sum up:
• The Trinity is simply mysterious
• Christianity never said the Trinity is three entities, therefore it's not
• If you use christianity's definitions, it all works out
• It's all just fine because the bible says so
• External critique of the bible is fallacious

Well that settles that, right? Oh and in case you made it through the whole post ok, Rho finishes by showing off his vocabulary and trumpets his great victory.

I see no point in replying there. The nonsense of the post, along with the nonsense of the rest of the site should be enough to dissuade any sensible person, unless you're just itching for a nauseating exercise in futility.

Rhology said...

Your citation of Voltron is off-base - all 3 of the hypostases of the Trinity are fully God, while no one of the members of Voltron are fully Voltron.

To answer Ex's "We've got three entities here, not one" his answer is "Christianity has never, ever claimed that.".

Which is a perfectly valid answer, since the question is whether Christianity teaches polytheism. Try to follow your buddy's argument, OK?

The Exterminator said...

Rhology said:
Which is a perfectly valid answer, since the question is whether Christianity teaches polytheism.
Wrong. The question is whether Christianity is a polytheistic religion, whether it admits that it is or not.

And by the way, I loved your characterization of me on your blog as "impolite and fairly abusive." Why only "fairly"? What keeps me from being full-fledged "abusive"? I hate these half-assed compliments.

But thanks for the link.

Rhology said...

So if it doesn't teach polytheism (and a religion is the sum of its teachings), it's still polytheistic if you say so?

My point is proved.

The Exterminator said...

Rhology:
So if it doesn't teach polytheism (and a religion is the sum of its teachings), it's still polytheistic if you say so?
No, not if I say so. If the evidence says so. You can take a bunch of pagan gods and call them whatever you wish, but doing so won't change what they really are. Just as you can serve a hunk of manure on a plate and call it a chicken pot pie. But if you look at it, touch it, smell it, and taste it, you'd have to be in a coma not to understand what it really is. Maybe you are in a coma of sorts: an intellectual one.

By the way, I do agree that a religion is the sum of its teachings. The operative word there is "sum." To understand a religion, one would have to look closely at the way all the parts fit together in a holistic sense. So, dishonestly dismissing any contradictory parts as mysteries doesn't really conform to your own criterion.

Yeah, you can use the word "hypostases" to weasel around having to use the honest word "gods." But no matter what language you use, the manure content is still the same.

Rhology said...

If the evidence says so

So go ahead and present some.

You can take a bunch of pagan gods and call them whatever you wish, but doing so won't change what they really are

Evidence that they were pagan?

To understand a religion, one would have to look closely at the way all the parts fit together in a holistic sense.

Which I did in my post and you haven't even attempted. Good point.

So, dishonestly dismissing any contradictory parts as mysteries doesn't really conform to your own criterion.

Evidence that they're contradictory?
I did address that very thing in my post. Not that you'd apparently know that, since one wonders whether you've even read it...

you can use the word "hypostases" to weasel around having to use the honest word "gods.

So... the early Christians meant "hypostasis". The medieval ones meant "hypostasis". The Bible means "hypostasis" since it explicitly says over and over again that there's only one god. *I* mean "hypostasis", as do all Trinitarians (aka Christians).
But b/c YOU ASSERT THUS, it means "gods". Hmm. It's pretty compelling, I have to admit. Your mastery of this topic is really on display here.

Peace,
Rhology

The Exterminator said...

Ugh, Rhology, you're so tiresome.

Evidence that there's more than one god in Christianity: Dad, Junior, Cosmic Goo, Satan, Mother Mary, St. This, St. That, St. The-Other. Call them whatever you want; they're supernatural entities with great powers to influence humans' lives. In any other religious system besides Christianity they'd be referred to honestly as "gods" or "demigods." Read my post again and answer the specific question without resorting to linguistic tricks.

By the way: "Hypostasis" is a word coined by lying ecclesiastics to avoid having to confront the very issue I'm raising here. I'll point out that in its one and only appearance in the bible -- in Hebrews -- it doesn't seem to have the same contorted meaning that the self-serving church "fathers" attached to it. Basically, the passage says that Jesus was the spittin' image of his Paw. If you ask me, I'd say that's nothing more than a primitive recognition of genetics.

And please, I'm begging you: Don't start with that silly homoiousias vs. homoousias business.

In fact, try to avoid Greek terminology entirely, OK?

PhillyChief said...

Which is a perfectly valid answer, since the question is whether Christianity teaches polytheism. Try to follow your buddy's argument, OK?

It's you who are failing to follow. The only doubt is whether it's because you can't or won't. That was not the question. Reread the original post and try again. If you need someone to explain it to you, just ask.

Your citation of Voltron is off-base - all 3 of the hypostases of the Trinity are fully God, while no one of the members of Voltron are fully Voltron.

Sure they are, according to Voltronity. I find your failure to exhibit knowledge of Voltronity quite telling. According to Voltronity, the 5 hypostases of Voltron are fully Voltron; therefore, the comparison is sound. I know it might seem hard for you to comprehend this, afterall it is quite mysterious, yet that's neither irrational nor illogical nor contradictory according to Voltronity, and of course let's not forget that it would be fallacious to externally critique Voltronity. ;)

Peas and Carrots,
PhillyChief

Rhology said...

Evidence that there's more than one god in Christianity: Dad, Junior, Cosmic Goo, Satan, Mother Mary, St. This, St. That, St. The-Other.

That's pitiful. You're just a hack who doesn't care enough to even try.

In any other religious system besides Christianity they'd be referred to honestly as "gods" or "demigods."

Wow - that's an amazingly illuminating observation. Thanks.
There are some religions where you'd be decapitated as well. As if that matters to the discussion at hand.

"Hypostasis" is a word coined by lying ecclesiastics to avoid having to confront the very issue I'm raising here.

Any time you want to actually bring some evidence to the table, I'm sure it will edify everyone.

the passage says that Jesus was the spittin' image of his Paw

Yes. And?

I'd say that's nothing more than a primitive recognition of genetics.

For a supernatural, immaterial entity, huh?
OK...

that silly homoiousias vs. homoousias business.

As if that's relevant. My guess is you brought that up for no more reason than to look more knowledgeable about the issue than you really are.


PC,

You like being silly, apparently. It's cool, whatever.
the 5 hypostases of Voltron are fully Voltron

If you say so. Now why won't you and the Exterminator extend to ME the same courtesy, to let me define my own position?
This is a point against your friend. I hope he won't mind.
It's also a DIFFERENT point, so it would appear you're abandoning the original point. Again, it's cool with me.

and of course let's not forget that it would be fallacious to externally critique Voltronity.

Have you seen me do an external critique on your made up religion? No.


Peace,
Rhology

PhillyChief said...

If you say so. Now why won't you and the Exterminator extend to ME the same courtesy, to let me define my own position?

You're right, your position on christianity deserves just as much credibility as a position from Voltronity.

Have you seen me do an external critique on your made up religion? No.

Have you seen me say you have? No, but now you've passed judgement on Voltronity by saying it's fictitious. Of course I shouldn't get upset. If you'll allow me to extend the same courtesy to you as you did to atheists on your blog, concerning your opinion of Voltronity, 'as if anyone should care what a-Voltronians believe here.'

"P"s & "Q"s
PhillyChief

The Exterminator said...

Rhology:
How can I give you any more evidence that there's a multiplicity of gods in Christianity other than listing some of them? I've done that. Would you like a personal introduction? Sorry, I can't provide that because, if you remember, I don't believe they exist.

You're caught up in the specific language used in the bible. (You do speak Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, I assume -- but I don't. So you've got me there.) What I'm asking you to do, however, is to forget the conventions by which things are named and to examine the things themselves. Think again of that shit on the plate.

You came to No More Hornets in response to a question I posed. So the onus is on you to answer that question -- which you haven't done. Instead, you've tried every way you can to voice your objections to the question, itself -- as if that were relevant. It isn't.

When challenged to provide an answer, you've squirmed out of doing so: by misdirection, by attemting to redefine terms I've clearly defined ("gods," for instance), by making groundless assertions, by throwing around schoolyard insults, and by linking to your own site.

These tactics are all Christian parlor tricks. My readers are wise to them. Philly and I have asked you more than once to answer the question. I urge you to do so now in your own words.

Rhology said...

in your own words.

\:-|
Are you saying that someone else wrote the blogpost response? Those are somehow not my own words?

If you refer to the "hypostasis" and "homoousios" words, that's responded to there as well. It doesn't look like you've brought anythg new to the table to respond to me.
I'm done here unless someone says sthg substantive. You've had quite a few chances.

Peace,
Rhology

PhillyChief said...

Aside from more laughter, how could anyone respond to...
• The Trinity is simply mysterious
• Christianity never said the Trinity is three entities, therefore it's not
• If you use christianity's definitions, it all works out
• It's all just fine because the bible says so
• External critique of the bible is fallacious

So no, there's nthg new to add, except maybe more Voltron


Pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance
PhillyChief

The Exterminator said...

Rhology:
I'm not saying that someone else wrote your response at your own blog. I'm not even implying that. Don't put words in my mouth; that's another common instance of Christian sleight-of-hand. I'm merely asking you to respond here in your own words. F'Chrissake, you've demonstrated in your rambles that you have enough of them. Could you use a few to answer the question directly?

Apparently not. I'm done here unless someone says sthg substantive.
OK, so when faced with an opportunity to answer a question posed by a -- gasp! -- atheist, you fulminate in comment after comment -- ducking and weaving around the challenge. Then, when you've exhausted the possibilities to further contort a simple and direct query, you run away. Brilliant.

So, let me leave you with this parting question as I watch you scamper into the distance: How have you added anything of value to this conversation?

And a related question: Have you ever added anything of value to any conversation?

Rhology said...

Haha, you have made my case for me. Let the reader judge. Nice talking to you.

PhillyChief said...

Cartman strategy. Screw you guys, I'm goin' home.