Fundamentalist Jeremy Wiggins: Non-Christians Don’t Believe in the Existence of Evil

evil

Writer Jeremy Wiggins, a frequent contributor to The Stand, the official blog of the American Family Association, suggests that non-Christians don’t believe in the existence of evil. Wiggins writes:

The world has a problem with evil in that it basically denies the existence of evil. Unless of course, you disagree with the world’s rejection of evil, then you are evil. Confused yet? I know I sure am.

….

Individuals commit acts of violence because of the evil within their hearts. Period. How do I know this is true? Because, without Christ, we are all evil. By refusing to acknowledge that evil exists, the world refuses to see when one religion teaches evil and another religion teaches to love one’s enemies. While the religion of Islam may teach the slaughtering of infidels, let us remember that Muslims, pagans, Buddhists, and all other people, religious or not, are going to face the judgment of God.

….

While the world may not recognize evil, we, as Christians, know it exists; it exists very close by indeed – mostly within ourselves. We recognize the inherent wickedness of man, and that no one is righteous apart from Christ. We also recognize that the only solution to the problem of evil is the blood of Jesus. His sacrifice is the only thing that stands between our eternal destination and theirs.

I don’t know of one non-Christian who denies the existence of evil. Not one. Evil exists. We know this because we observe its work and influence. What non-Christians reject is not evil in and of itself, but Wiggins’ naive, simplistic view of the world. Wiggins, wanting to absolve Evangelical Christianity of its Islamophobic tendencies and the complicity of the United States in birthing modern terrorism, says that evil is a heart problem. People commit evil acts because their hearts are wicked. Instead of attempting to understand the reasons for terrorism, Wiggins reduces the matter to one of belief. According to Wiggins, ISIS terrorists recently slaughtered Parisian concert-goers because their hearts are evil. If the terrorists would only repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus, all would be well. His argument, of course, ignores the fact that many terrorist acts  are committed by people who worship the Christian God.

Lewis Dear Christian Terrorist

Just recently Christian Lewis Dear shot up a Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic, killing several people, including an Evangelical pro-life police officer. Surely Dear’s murderous rampage is an act of terrorism? Yet, here’s a man, Dear, filled with the Holy Spirit, committing an evil act. Should we reduce Dear’s actions to a matter of the heart? (I suspect that many Evangelicals secretly applaud Dear for doing what he did.) Or should we consider whether the recent inflammatory Planned Parenthood videos and subsequent Evangelical rhetoric and hysteria played a part in Dear’s decision to commit an act of domestic terrorism?

Wiggins, a Christian Fundamentalist, believes every person is born into this world a sinner. We don’t become sinners, we are sinners. According to Wiggins’ inspired, inerrant Bible, every person is dead in trespasses and sins. Every person is at variance with God. Every person is the sworn enemy of God, and unless each accepts this God’s Evil Solution™–the blood of Jesus–all will die in their sins and go to hell.

Taking Wiggins’ theology to its logical conclusion, every non-Christian is a potential terrorist. If, as the Bible saysthe heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it, doesn’t this mean that every non-Christian is evil? Of course, Wiggins doesn’t really believe this. No Evangelical does. Wiggins thinks certain people–Muslim terrorists (and perhaps Muslims in general)–are evil. Are there degrees of evil? Doesn’t the Bible say that God is no respecter of persons? Surely the Holy God of Evangelicalism doesn’t categorize sinners into different evil categories depending on their geographic location, ideology, and skin color? No, he doesn’t (actually he does, but I’ll leave that subject for another day), but Evangelicals like Wiggins certainly do.

While it would be easy to dismiss Wiggins’ words as the rantings of a simple-minded Evangelical, doing so misses the fact that his view has real-world implications. If terrorism is just really a matter of the heart, then the answer to the global terrorist threat is the slaughter of Middle Eastern Muslims. Kill the evil bastards, Evangelicals cry, and that will put an end to terrorism. (Oh the irony of the followers of the Prince of Peace advocating violence as the answer to anything!) Yet, despite the decade-and-a-half war on terrorism, the world is not one iota closer to eradicating terrorism.

While I have no objections to calling terrorists evil, I refuse to absolve Christian America of its own imperialistic, oil-driven terroristic tendencies. Crucial to ending the wars in the Middle East is getting Americans to understand the economic, social, political, and religious views that drive events in the Middle East. Simplistic views such as Wiggins’ reveal an ignorant understanding of how the world works. I wish everything  were as simple as Evangelicals think it is. But it is anything but simple, so we must continue to dig deeply into the reasons why a small percentage of Muslims are hell-bent on destroying Western Civilization. And while we are at it, let’s take a hard look at how the Evangelical view of the world fuels domestic terrorism. We truly cannot understand the complexity of terrorism until we are willing look at ALL the facts, not just those that line up with a literalistic, Fundamentalist interpretation of the Christian Bible.

Note

Jeremy Wiggins Bio: (link no longer active)

Jeremy Wiggins is a graduate of Liberty University with a B.A. of Religion and a Minor in Biblical Studies. A veteran of the United States Air Force, he and his wife were stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV, where Jeremy was an F15 Avionics Technician. He has written for the AFA Journal, One Million Dads, and has also had his work quoted in World Net Daily and Christianity Today. He has served as a guest host of AFR Talk’s Financial Issues, Nothing But Truth, Exploring the Word, and AFA Today. Since 2009, Jeremy has served at the American Family Association to help restore America’s Biblical and moral foundations.

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49 Comments

  1. August Rode

    “I don’t know of one non-Christian who denies the existence of evil.”

    I certainly don’t deny evil’s existence but I also acknowledge that I don’t define it the way that a Christian would. Christians tend to confuse the concepts of obedience and morality but I keep those concepts separate.

    “Individuals commit acts of violence because of the evil within their hearts. Period.”

    This is a sentence that says nearly nothing and what it does say is wrong. It does not require someone to have an evil nature in order for them to commit acts of violence as any martial artist can tell you, so what Wiggins means to say is “evil acts of violence” or, more simply, “evil.” To say that someone commits evil because they have an evil nature is tautological and explains nothing at all.

    I don’t understand the fascination with the metaphorical “heart.” I figure that if the only way that one can express a particular idea is through metaphor, then one is probably ill-equipped to be discussing that subject.

    “Surely Dear’s murderous rampage is an act of terrorism?”

    One definition of terrorism is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes,” so Dear’s action was indeed an act of terrorism.

    Reply
  2. Kenneth

    Evil by definition is “profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.”

    I, too, would agree there is evil in this world. However, I suspect the word is usually used much to the latter end of the definition (supernatural), which is where I could see non-Christians having a problem with it. Evil is subjective and its very definition depends on how you define morality and goodness. The Bible says everyone is evil unless they accept Jesus, but I think you can easily be Christian and Evil and non-Christian and “good”. Saying that we need to accept a human sacrifice from years ago or be damned, however, is very superficial.

    Reply
  3. Geoff

    Wiggins points about evil are just a stupid way of trying to justify biblical teachings, namely that Satan is the cause of evil, which atheists don’t buy into. And, of course, that’s on top of the fact that we’re all a bunch of sinners to begin with. It’s part of the ridiculous mentality that attempts to commandeer the right to morality as its own, that without god we can’t be moral. In reality, being religious makes morality harder to come by.

    Incidentally I’m going to assume that Liberty University degrees are pretty meaningless.

    Reply
  4. Drew Costen

    Well, I’ll go on record as one who doesn’t believe that evil exists, at least not as an actual thing. If you’re using the word as a label for “unpleasant experiences” or “things you profoundly dislike,” then sure, but I don’t buy into ontological evil.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I use the word evil to describe certain behaviors that most people consider wrong: premeditated murder, rape, child molestation, to name three. Evil is just a label I attach to these behaviors. It is not separate from, or in addition to, the person.

      Reply
      1. Drew Costen

        So it’s more of an adjective than a noun. That I can get behind.

        When I use the word (which is rarely), I use it to describe actions that are unnecessarily harmful to other people, so pretty close I guess. That said, I don’t actually believe it’s “wrong” to do any of those things, just unpleasant, but then I don’t actually believe in ontological right and wrong either.

        Reply
        1. Daniel Wilcox

          Seriously?!

          You actually think that for humans to molest, rape, abuse, torture, persecute, slaughter, commit genocide, etc. is “just unpleasant.”!?

          Whew…

          Reply
          1. August Rode

            I think that whether one sees these things as wrong or not depends somewhat on how strongly one views human rights. The stronger the view of rights, the more likely it is that one would consider such actions (molestation, rape, etc.) as wrong or evil. If one’s view of human rights is weaker or absent, then one may perhaps prefer words like ‘unpleasant’ or ‘unfortunate’ or perhaps ‘irrelevant.’ That way lies sociopathy.

          2. Drew Costen

            Daniel:

            I’d say they’re extremely unpleasant. 🙂 But to be intellectually consistent, considering I don’t believe in ontological “right” or “wrong” (or absolute morality), what would suggest I call them?

          3. Drew Costen

            August:

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m strongly against all those things, and I’m also very pro-human rights. I just happen to be a moral relativist who also likes to be as intellectually consistent and precise with my language as possible. That’s all.

          4. August Rode

            Drew, you’ll have to forgive me for thinking that someone who sees the violation of another’s rights as “just unpleasant” doesn’t actually think that human rights matter very much. Perhaps you could explain to me why violating someone’s rights shouldn’t be described as ‘wrong,’ even if you don’t believe in absolute morality.

    2. Kenneth

      To me, “EVIL” has a strong association with anything supernatural, so I see the hesitation. It is, however, subject to a certain standard of morality. So again, we have biblical morality vs humanistic morality–which have very big differences.

      Reply
  5. Brian

    I am evil. As an atheist son of Baptist preacher, I claim the word back from the church. I am just a biped with a heart that isn’t the best and body that has managed 63 years and still manages to grin sometimes. I am evil because I have earned the right to reclaim the language co-opted, no, stolen from me at birth. I was never allowed to decide but one fucking thing, one fucking ugly bullshit thing and that was Jesus or doom. For fuck sake. I am evil. I don’t care for myself or my species enough to claim the whole language for myself but I will take back the parts of it that I was denied. For me, when you harm a child, you begin to define evil. When you turn away from suffering and need, you have a chance to understand what the word evil might mean. When you bomb strangers, evil is present. I am evil. The Hell they told me was elsewhere is not elsewhere at all but right here with me. Have a look in your own pocket and see what you find. I was never forgiven but I was judged from birth. Jesus saved me because my parents deserted me to him. I had no choice but to be in his arms. I was given over to the Lord. But it didn’t work because I wanted more. I wanted what was taken from me, my mom and my dad. I wanted them to love me, just love me and not give me to Jesus. Many of you will not understand this at all but I know very clearly that many others who have grown up inside it all know exactly what I mean.

    Reply
    1. Gene Stephens

      I understand what you are saying, Brian. I have seen it so many times in the church. This is what the Christian doctrine of hell does to people. It leads people to believe that the only thing that matters about anyone – even your own children – is whether they are “saved” or not. If someone prays the prayer of salvation, then they’re going to heaven and they have all they need. And if they refuse to pray that prayer, then they are given up to a reprobate mind. Either way, so many of their basic needs are deemed unimportant and go unmet. The only thing deemed important is whether people have received their “get out of hell free” card from Jesus.

      Reply
  6. Steve

    One thing though, Bruce: you’re forgetting that their “prince of peace” will slaughter millions at Armageddon!

    Maybe that’s where the Christians get their bloodthirstiness from, lol 🙂

    Reply
    1. John Arthur

      Hi Steve,

      Yes, I take your point.

      Christian churches need to face squarely the irreconcilable contradiction between the Jihadi Jesus of the book of Revelation and the non violent Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount. Evangelical churches are supposed to believe in the absolute trustworthiness of the bible in all that it affirms yet they are unwilling to face this issue that is in the very text they say they adhere to.

      The theologies of Evangelical churches are saturated with ideas of retributive justice and the justifying of violence said to be performed or commanded by the God of the bible which they think is moral, when much of it is plainly immoral by today’s standards. And it is clearly immoral in terms of the Sermon on the Mount, which Evangelical say is in their so-called verbally inspired text.

      Shalom,

      John Arthur

      Reply
  7. Daniel Wilcox

    You wrote, “I don’t know of one non-Christian who denies the existence of evil. Not one. Evil exists. We know this because we observe its work and influence.”

    We obviously have met very different non-Christians. Many non-Christians who have spoken to me have argued that “evil” doesn’t exist.

    Heck, only a couple months back, one famous blogger and several commenters tried to convince me that “evil” is only a subjective term.
    One of them even tried to convince me that slavery is no different than liking/disliking the “color blue”!

    Even Richard Dawkins in an interview said that rape was only a subjective preference.

    I’m glad there are humanists in the world who reject both religion and it’s horrific opposite–relavitism.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Yes, evil as a noun doesn’t exist, but evil as an adjective does. It’s all about behavior. Religionists have hijacked the word and turned into a dark entity that lurks in the shadows waiting to cause harm and death. This evil, like God, is a fiction.

      Reply
      1. Daniel Wilcox

        Hmm…I’m not sure I understand the semantics of your statement. Murder is a noun. It is the very real action of destroying 14 lives, what Farook and his wife did out here in San Bernandino. Also, slavery, a noun, was a very real destructive institution which existed for thousands of years, and that still exists in the “shadows” of modern society.

        However I do agree that evil isn’t some “dark entity that lurks in the shadows…” Evil is what happens when conscious, rational, primates use their abilities to cause harm, abuse, destruction, etc. Evil is also the process which moves through a society that majors on it. Consider Nazi Germany. At the start of the 20th century, many historians think Germany was at the height of civilization. Many of the top philosophers, scientists, etc. were Germans.

        Yet Germans developed various processes of thought that had been slowly growing for centuries including antisemitism, and they reacted contrary to ethical insight when faced with crises, instead turning their brilliance to ethnocentricism and genocide. No Satan caused the havoc and abyss.

        Or think of the Islamic State. It wasn’t taken over by a real personal devil/Satan, but its members have succumbed/accepted/developed a twisted sense of ethics based on delusion and a letting loose of the “little fascist” within. The latter is a metaphorical term by Dr.Eric Berne, the Atheist psychiatrist, famous author of Games People Play, and originator of Transactional Analysis.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          It is not semantics. Evil is not a person, place, or thing. Believing it is reflects how deeply religion has affected our thinking. Evil is what people do. The same goes for good or goodness. Good and evil are what people do. I’m at a loss to understand why you would have a problem with this. Do you think evil is some sort of invisible specter lurking in the shadows?

          Reply
          1. Daniel Wilcox

            I thought I was clear that I agreed with you that there is no devil, etc.

            Where I was confused was with your saying that evil is an adjective, not a noun.

            Please read my paragraphs again. Evil is a noun describing human actions that are contrary to what is true–dishonesty, rape, slaughter, abuse, molestation, prejudice, slavery, cruelty, greed, etc.

            As I wrote previously, “Evil is what happens when conscious, rational, primates use their abilities to cause harm, abuse, destruction. etc.”

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            YIu are still appealing to some sort of objective, absolute moral code. Here’s what I’m saying: Evil Bob commits murder. Murder is evil. Is murder, in every instance, evil. No. Is murder evil in most instances? Yes.

            I can’t talk more on this now. If you have other questions, please post them, and I will get to them when I get home.

  8. Connie

    Thank you Bruce, for this post. Evil has been on my mind lately.

    What I discovered is a Möbius strip of logic. The clue is in the phrases ‘as above, so below’ and ‘we are defined by our choices’.

    I have the knowledge of doing harm or inflicting hurt to others. I make a choice each day to recognize myself in others so that I live for the good of all and may it harm none.

    I choose to honor others in order to honor myself. As above, so below.

    I choose not to allow my violent tendencies loose upon the planet, even though I am very good at total destruction. My choices define me.

    Where I see evil (adjective) is when people choose to harm others in a perceived notion it makes themselves somehow more.

    I have no idea of how to change people’s attachment to the notion of my enemies downfall makes me a better person, especially if I use torture or deception to achieve my goal.

    Möbius strip of logic indeed.

    I hope you and yours are doing as well as can be expected this holiday season. 🙂

    K – I forgot the OP
    People like Wiggins are black & white thinkers. Unfortunately for them the world is gray.

    Reply
  9. Daniel Wilcox

    For Drew Costen (There was no reply button.)

    You wrote, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m strongly against all those things, and I’m also very pro-human rights. I just happen to be a moral relativist ..”

    There can be NO human rights if there are no ethical truths. Rights have to do with what is right. If everything is subjective, then of course there is no right.

    Furthermore, human rights have nothing to do with your statement about what is wrong being “just unpleasant.”

    On the contrary, working for human rights is very dangerous. Even if every human again declared slavery is good and found it to be so,
    slavery would still be wrong. Owning another conscious individual, using them as a thing is wrong.

    Nothing relative about it.

    Now that I have pulled myself off the floor after the semi ran over me;-), thanks for sharing your very contrary perspective.

    Reply
  10. Daniel Wilcox

    Bruce, you wrote, “Is murder, in every instance, evil. No. Is murder evil in most instances? Yes.”

    My response: Is slavery in every instance, evil? Is molestation in every instance, evil? Is rape in every instance, evil? Is genocide in every instance, evil?

    It sure the hell is!

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Have they always been considered evil? No. And that’s the point. Morality is subjective, and there are many factors that come into play when determining a behavior is moral, immoral, or amoral.

      Reply
      1. August Rode

        I’m not sure if I could disagree with this any more than I do, Bruce, but I have to confess that I look at this from my admittedly subjective perspective. Because of the way that *I* define what is moral and what isn’t, in my world, immoral acts are *always* immoral. It also happens that they may sometimes also be the preferred course of action. Killing someone, for example, is always wrong. However, if that person is a tyrannical despot, it may be even more wrong to leave them be.

        Morality is about making choices. That includes situations where all of the choices are wrong to some degree.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          I think you are missing my point. Either that or I’m not being clear. What behaviors we consider moral, immoral, or amoral depends on context, culture, tribal influences, religion, and geography. My point is that to understand morality and immorality we must consider all the factors that go into determining the moral qualities of a specific behavior. If we are unwilling to “think” about these things, we are no different from the Fundamentalist Christian who appeals to the Bible/Ten Commandments as the objective, authoritative standard for morality (especially since we now consider some Biblical commands to be immoral).

          In the 17th century our forefathers, based on the Bible and commonly held moral beliefs, considered it just, moral, and righteous to slaughter native Americans. We must understand their behavior in its historical, economic, and religious context. Yes, we now consider their behavior to be immoral, but they didn’t. We rightly say we are right on this matter, but 17th century Christian settlers thought differently.

          Reply
          1. August Rode

            “Either that or I’m not being clear. What behaviors we consider moral, immoral, or amoral depends on context, culture, tribal influences, religion, and geography.”

            Again, I disagree. What behaviors one considers *acceptable* are based on those factors you identified above. As an example, there are many Islamic countries that prohibit apostasy and treat it as punishable by death. If members of one culture see this as moral behavior but members of another see it as immoral behavior (as I do), then what good is it? Actions that harm are wrong but it’s also true that they’re sometimes the preferred course of action.

            Apparently I have fairly strong feelings about this. Who knew?

      2. Daniel Wilcox

        No, ethics aren’t subjective. Ethics are objective. I was again put on the jury list here this week. Every trial is based on the concept of finding justice. There are sometimes mistakes–innocent people convicted, but the goal is to be as “objective” as possible. Murder is NEVER okay. It’s always wrong.

        For instance, it is morally wrong to mutilate little girls. Such an action is wrong everywhere and has always been wrong. Even though about 90% of parents in Egypt support such mutilation, that doesn’t make it good! It’s still wrong.

        In fact I could show you plenty of own posts where you judge others (and I agreed with you) for dishonesty, statutory rape, hypocrisy, evidently assuming that such actions are unjust.

        If it such actions were only subjective, why judge others for doing them? Then it would be, do what others in Rome do.

        Look again at slavery. Even though it was practiced by most humans for thousands of years, that didn’t mean that it is true that slavery is okay for conscious, rational human beings.

        Maybe you need to take a look at Michael Shermer’s new book, The Moral Arc. He also argues that ethics aren’t subjective.

        Lastly, it seems most of the basis of humanism is based in the Enlightenment–that racism is always wrong, that equality is true for everyone.

        Even Albert Camus (one of my heroes) who thought the universe was absurd, still did think that it’s always wrong to kill little kids, for instance.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Sure, murder, in some circumstances is okay. Even our laws reflect this. It’s called justifiable homicide. In WW II, the US government murdered hundreds of thousands of civilian Germans and Japanese. We call it war, but in any other setting such behavior would be called murder. By all means, explain to me the difference between the Paris shootings and the nuclear bombing of Japan.

          I refuse to view morality and ethics in a vacuum, as if some deity wrote on tablets of stone a set of moral precepts that everyone must obey. I refuse to blindly embrace moral absolutes, knowing that exceptions are made for every one of these so-called absolutes. I refuse to ignore the historical and cultural context of morality. If you want to ignore all of these things, fine, but I cannot do so.

          You err if you think I am some sort of moral relativist. I have a fully developed, complex view of morality and ethics. I suspect you and I would agree on many of the moral and ethical principles that govern our lives. The difference between you and me is that I don’t think morality is some sort of mystical, universal standard. I choose to THINK about these issues instead of making absolute moral statements about specific human behaviors. One reason for this is that I spent 50 years in a religion, Christianity, that purported to teach absolute moral beliefs. I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t let you or anyone else be a God in my life who tells me what is moral and ethical. I’m intellectually capable, using all the tools and data I’ve mentioned in my comments, of determining what is moral and ethical.

          If you want to talk about specific moral issues, I’m game, but I’m not going to spend any more time trying to explain my view, in general, of morality and ethics. Every time I write on these issues you object, and every time I try to explain my viewpoint. You can’t or won’t understand where I’m coming from. And that’s fine, but it like with your objections about my use of swear words. You are resolute in your beliefs and nothing I say is going to change your mind.

          Reply
          1. Daniel Wilcox

            “Sure, murder, in some circumstances is okay.”

            No, murder in all cases is always wrong. In court setting if the murder wasn’t wasn’t premeditated, then there is a lesser charge, but it is still murder.

            In the case of ” In WW II, the US government murdered hundreds of thousands of civilian Germans and Japanese” this was horrific murder!

            When the U.S. intentionally slaughtered innocent civilians of a dictatorship it was murder.

            This is even the opinion of some former generals and of former soldiers such as Kurt Vonnegut. He fought Nazis in WWII, and was a prisoner of war in Dresden. He strongly opposes the intentional slaughter of the over 100,000 innocent civilians there.

            That’s what his very bitter satirical novel Slaughter-house 5 is all about, how he as a prisoner of war, a killer of Germans but who was protected by the German army, but how the Allies intentionally
            slaughtered so many innocent people, including infants, children, the elderly; then there was a second wave of bombers to kill fire-fighters, when the latter came out to stop the holocaust, etc.

            A powerful book to read on this is Atheist A.C. Grayling’s Among the Dead Cities.

            We strongly disagree. There is nothing subjective about rape, murder, etc.

            But thanks for the dialog.

            I won’t bother you anymore.

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Justifiable homicide. A policeman kills a man and the government determines it was justifiable, yet many people think it was not. Whether a the man’s death is homicide then depends on subjective, historical, environmental, cultural, and religiously driven standards. One person says it is a murder and another says it is not? Who decides? You? The government? The majority?

            It is evident that I am either unable to make my position clear to you or you refuse to or cannot understand it. This is unfortunate, but such is the nature of blogging and public discussions.

        2. Geoff

          I disagree entirely that ethics (by which I assume you mean morality) are objective. That is the basis of much apologist argument, and is soundly debunked every time I see it properly argued.

          Yes, of course we have laws that set out rules of behaviour and much, much more. But what happens when circumstances decree that the rule of law is inapplicable. For example, suppose I see a terrorist about to detonate a bomb and I have both the opportunity and means to kill him, which I do. That would be unlawful killing, murder, in pretty well all circumstances but consideration of the facts here would allow me to claim justifiable homicide. Of course, if I was wrong about the bomb and him being a terrorist then I’d have a problem.

          Suppose a train is hurtling down a line and there are five people in its way, who don’t hear it (yes it’s just a standard philosophical textbook conundrum). I am next to a set of points and am able to divert the train, but there’s still one person on the other track, meaning if I do nothing I allow five people to die, but if I save them then I deliberately allow someone else to die. No amount of objective morality or law is going to help there.

          Obviously you can keep thinking up examples of ‘greater good’ for any scenario and any action we normally consider wrong, and of course that is the very thing that the God of the bible demonstrates. He lays down a few rules (which, by the way, most societies had worked out for themselves without help), such as not killing and stealing, but when it came to it he flagrantly ignored his own rules. He carried out great acts of genocide, even killing all people and animals in the world bar a few, and the only reasons he could possibly offer would be that it was for the ‘greater good’. In other words he was a consequentialist; even God didn’t really believe in objective morality.

          Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Take genocide. Our forefathers committed genocide when they slaughtered the Indians. They considered their behavior to be moral and just. Only now do we say their behavior was immoral or evil. This means our morality has evolved over time. The same could be said for slavery.

      Take murder. Many American consider the nuclear bombing of Japan and the fire bombing of Germany to be just. I don’t. Had I been a teenager/adult in the 40s I might have viewed these immoral acts differently.

      Reply
  11. Susan-Anne White

    Robert Lewis Dear is not a “Christian” terrorist as you gleefully described him. He was a heavy user of marijuana/cannabis which predisposed him to acts of violence which culminated in his murderous rampage in Colorado. Please read the article below.

    http://barbwire.com/2015/12/03/planned-parenthood-killer-was-a-deranged-pothead/

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Nice try Susan-Anne. He’s your crazy uncle, so deal with it. As far as the link to a Matt Barber article. Barber is a first class lying Christian asshole.

      Reply
      1. Susan-Anne White

        Mr.Gerenscer, may I ask why you insist on being foul-mouthed and vulgar? If you have problems with Mr.Barber, why can’t you say so without using vulgarity? You have accused him of lying and have not offered one shred of evidence to back up your slander. You would not like it if someone accused you of lying, and, if someone did, you may seek legal redress to deal with your accuser. Have you any evidence to prove that Matt Barber has told lies?

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          I call them like I see them. And you are in the same category as Matt Barber. You might as well quit getting your panties in a knot every time I use a swear word. I have no intention of stopping, and if you don’t like it, don’t read.

          Reply
        2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Here in America public figures have little recourse if someone tells a lie about them. Do a web search on my name and you will find several Lovers of Jesus who seem to have no problem with lying about Bruce Gerencser or distorting what I have written.

          In Barber’s case, I’ve yet to see him accurately represent liberalism, atheism, Planned Parenthood, Democrats, or any other group or person he disagrees with.

          Reply
        3. August Rode

          “Mr.Gerenscer, may I ask why you insist on being foul-mouthed and vulgar?”

          Right now, Bruce is able to affect your emotional state and *you* give him this power by reacting to how he is expressing himself. They’re just words, Susan-Anne, and you’ll be happier as soon as you realize that they won’t wound you if you don’t let them.

          Reply
        4. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          The lies on Matt Barber’s site are quite easy to find, Susan-Anne. Seek and ye shall find. Don Boys, an insufferable, arrogant, self-righteous lover of Jesus, wrote an article about atheists for Barber’s website. I have posted the relevant portions below. Do you think Boys accurately describes atheism and the motivations of individual atheists? Do you have a problem with Boys’ use of words like asinine? How about the other disparaging adjectives Boys uses in his article? How about Boys saying we atheists have barnyard morals?

          (BTW, I find it interesting that Boys doesn’t mention Bart Ehrman, a NT scholar and an atheist/agnostic, who has singlehandedly, through his books, destroyed the Evangelical belief that the Bible is an inspired, inerrant text)

          http://barbwire.com/2015/10/11/new-atheists-are-obsessive-oppressive-obnoxious-god-haters/

          Boys wrote:

          Angry atheists, shallow scholars, silly scientists, pagan preachers, and embattled evolutionists have declared war against Christ, Christians, and Churches. Of necessity, their main attack is on the Bible for if they can denounce, deny, distort, and denigrate it, they will win more converts to atheism.

          ….

          I have re-read some of the older critics and found them as shallow, silly, and sarcastic as when I first read them. However, my main criticism is they are unimpressive, untrue, and unworthy of true scholars.

          ….

          More correctly, they are obsessive, oppressive, and obnoxious God Haters!

          ….

          Like Hitler, (intended comparison) they have made it clear what they want: no teaching of children about Hell or an exclusive way of salvation.

          ….

          Every New Atheist states his motives clearly: It must be illegal for any teacher, preacher, or parent to teach any child about Hell or an exclusive salvation based on the death and resurrection of Christ. It should be treated as child abuse in the view of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris and Company…

          ….

          It is an obvious fact that their books are filled with mistakes, mishmash, and misinformation. Every time I finished one of their books, I thought, “I can’t believe a scholar would write hundreds of pages filled with numerous errors and put his name on the cover.” This is a good example of what happens when an author writes on a subject outside his field of training and experience. They are so sure there is no God, they lose all control and emotions take control.

          ….

          These New Atheists are tacky tyrants and toady totalitarians in the pursuit of their desire to remake America in the old Soviet image. If that happens, blood will flow through the streets as children are taken from their homes and Sunday schools and parents and pastors are charged with child abuse.

          ….

          The New Atheists take a hatchet to the Bible because it limits their ungodly lifestyle of barnyard morals. If they can disprove God then anything goes with no present or eternal accountability.

          Angry, asinine, and arrogant atheists see every Bible difficulty as a discrepancy, every confusion as a contradiction, and every problem as proof of the Bible’s unreliability…

          ….

          Reply
    2. August Rode

      Susan-Anne, are you seriously suggesting that one cannot be both a Christian and a pot-head?

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Marijuana use. Moral, immoral, amoral? Susan-Anne definitely thinks it is immoral. I think, in most circumstances, its use is amoral. But, if its use causes someone to rob, rape, or murder, then I would consider its use, for that person, to be immoral.

        We are a people of laws. Our laws define what we as a society consider good and bad/criminal behavior.

        Some of our laws I disagree with. For example, I think if a person buys something it belongs to them and they should be free to use it as they wish. If I buy a CD, I think I should have the right to copy it and give it to someone else. Our laws say my behavior is criminal. I disagree, but I also understand that if I am caught I will be prosecuted.

        Reply
        1. Geoff

          I agree completely Bruce, though I don’t necessarily agree with your examples.

          That, however, is precisely the point. We, as a society, have to constantly assess what we consider ethically right, moral if you like, and we do that by talking about it rationally. What is right today may not be right tomorrow, and what is right will vary according to circumstances.

          That is what makes such a nonsense of the idea of objective morality, that a rule can be laid down that applies in every instance, and so lays bare the irrationality of one of the underlying arguments of the apologists. Not that Christians really believe that there is objective morality; if they believed it then they could not support capital punishment, nor ever go to war, nor own guns.

          Reply
      2. Susan-Anne White

        Is there such a thing as a “Christian” thief, a “Christian” stripper, or a “Christian” rapist? NO, absolutely not. It follows that there is no such person as a “Christian” pothead (your word.) Christians may indulge in drugs (foolishly) and could/will become addicted. Such a person would be described as a backslidden or “fallen” Christian who is in need of help in overcoming the drug addiction and in being restored to the Lord. The words “Christian” and “pothead” are mutually exclusive, or should be.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          You mean like Christian and bigot or Christian and homophobe?

          Reply
        2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Can a Christian be a stripper? Sure, at least according to the Christians on this website:

          http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f46-heated-debates/2460317-can-christian-stripper.html

          Reply
        3. August Rode

          “Is there such a thing as a “Christian” thief, a “Christian” stripper, or a “Christian” rapist? NO, absolutely not.”

          Would it be fair to say that you think that Christians can’t be sinners?

          …pothead (your word.)”

          Actually, no. That word came directly from the article that you linked to, which is why I used it. I’m more than a little surprised that you didn’t realize that.

          “The words “Christian” and “pothead” are mutually exclusive, or should be.”

          Why? Can’t someone who smokes pot believe that Christ is their saviour?

          Reply

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