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    April 13th, 2012 @ 11:57 am by Kevin

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  1. Yeah, maybe you should take a hint.

    Do you ever read any serious lit. on hell? By classic authors? Ever?

    like… Dante? Lewis? Boethius? Augustine? Milton?

    Because you sure seem to be blundering along and trying anything to say hell isn’t there. You’re not the first person to try. You’re not the first person to be answered by any good arguments (and bad ones too, I’m sure), and any discussion on hell should include some rational people who manifestly are saintly but do believe in hell. So you get the OFFICIAL position of the universal church. Because we should never ask Westboro Baptists for the views of Saints on hell.

    • Montague,
      Did you realize that Dante’s Inferno had no relation to the scripture, never claimed to be revelation, and called itself part of a “Divine Comedy?”
      Did you realize that Milton said that regardless of whether you said that man consisted of body, soul, and/or spirit, that in death none of these parts suffered any sense of consciousness or awareness?
      And by what measure do you call Augustine a Christian saint?
      It is true that Kevin responds emotionally rather than logically, but the serious literature that needs to be read starts with Genesis and ends with Revelation. I would be thrilled if he could be reached from scripture and logic, rather than personal feeling and pep talks from atheists telling us that we have no free will or responsibility for our actions.

      • I agree that Milton and Dante can hardly be regarded as serious literature on the topic. I also agree that the books of the Bible should be regarded as the primary literature on the topic. But the relevant reading hardly begins or ends there. Let’s not forget the writings of the Church fathers whose thoughts preceded the canonization of Scripture. Let’s also not forget the thousands of Christians who have contributed so many valuable insights over the years. The idea that you can simply sit down and read the Bible and then come away with THE correct interpretation is arrogance of the first degree.

        As for Sam Harris, Andrew, we do need to have a conversation on this video at some point. I simply don’t have time to have a lengthy discussion via text. I also don’t think it’s a very fruitful way to resolve theological arguments. However, judging by your description of Harris’s video in your comment, you failed to comprehend even the most basic points he made. I guess it really was an hour wasted. 🙂

        • Kevin, if you are going to post a series about logic, please try to be logical. According to my description of the Harris video, I provided proof that I listened to the entire thing, and stated that it was more absurd than I even expected.
          How does your reply of “you failed to comprehend the most basic point he made” logically follow? It doesn’t. We have not begun to discuss the video content, because you proceeded to evade discussion (as I had predicted and you had indicated was not your intention). Since you have had no opportunity to examine my analysis of Harris, it seems that you just employed the “non sequitur” fallacy described in the above video series. Your remark is illogical and simply does not follow any of the evidence. Perhaps I comprehend Harris rather too well and see him as a fool.
          The longer you wait to discuss the specific video, the more my memory of it will fade. That’s simply a fact. However, I did make notes, so unless you have access to a transcript these will have to suffice as being the primary record of the video.
          However, the reality is that we must talk using text, and text is the optimal way in which to engage in a logical rational discussion. I am going to ask you some questions to find out what might be common grounds of agreement, and proceed from there. Do you have any objections to having a couple designated observers, to ensure that we are discussing fairly, answering each other’s questions, and not running away?
          Please email me – I shouldn’t have to keep your blog pages open in a browser and keep hitting “refresh” to see if there is a reply. Thanks.

          • Andrew: As I stated in my comment, I simply don’t have time to engage in lengthy debate with everyone who stops by my web site or Facebook page. Particularly a text-based debate, b/c it takes so much time to put thoughts into words. That said, if you want to send your opening questions, I’m fine with that. Just don’t expect prompt answers.

            Also, re: my comment about you failing to comprehend Harris, if you really think he was arguing that we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions, you have totally misunderstood his argument. If anything, he argues exactly the opposite. But he also argues for a shared responsibility for actions, which is entirely accurate in my view. But I can see how that runs up against your highly individualistic theory of causality.

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