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madmatt112  ·  739 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 295th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Greta Van Fleet: Bunch of kids out of Minnesota playing 70s heavy rock. First album out October 19th, and I'm very much looking forward to enjoying it two days after cannabis legalization here in Canada.

All good, I didn't add much context to my comment.

Bro, kleinbl00's words, not mine:


kleinbl00, I love it when you dump articles and your random quotes. Please keep it up!!

madmatt112  ·  788 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to Beat LinkedIn: The Game

Those people get un...linked (?) if I notice it happening. I hate that crap - I stay away from Facebook intentionally, I don't want it on L.I. as well. Especially as I'm already uncertain that it's giving me any professional benefit given the info-privacy tradeoffs.

madmatt112  ·  900 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I pissed on Ted Nugent's driveway

Sigh. Ted Nugent and the David Hogg use the exact same argument techniques - ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem. Hogg uses incredibly vicious, outlandish language to slander (or at least decry) everyone who disagrees with his views, no matter his opponents' strength of reason, and Nugent is no better. However, while Nugent is a grown man, these children are children, and the kids get a free pass.... why? They entered the political arena, and their views and tactics are fair game for criticism and derision as much as Nugent's or anyone else's. So I would say.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

That sounds like a decent prescription to me, man.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Hmm... I think I do too.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Hey man, thanks for apologizing at least. I appreciate it :)

I didn't expect quite so much response when I posted my first comment, so I'm not surprised it wasn't well articulated. Thanks for your honesty.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I think many people assumed that I support Trump, or that I think Christians should support Trump. I do not. I took the opportunity of this article to vent some other thoughts that were related - like the article's bashing of Christians who do support Trump because it's an easy attack.

I also would like to go back to a point I made elsewhere in this thread that the reason many Evangelicals voted for Trump is because they decided that in the final analysis, Clinton was the more immoral choice for the country. Again, I don't agree or disagree with that position, but I heard it from a LOT of more moderate Trump supporters.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Hey, I haven't once said that anybody should vote for, support, or oppose any specific political candidate or even party! I'm not arguing for Trump. I was stating the reasons I think many people ended up voting for him even he seems like a morally distasteful or even evil character. How does that make me full of shit? Man, you're being harsh on me today. It's fine to disagree with my ideas, but you've been downright hostile.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I suppose the reason I said "leftists" was because the article was written from a perspective I would define as "leftist", and I was taking issue with the article and some of the presuppositions and premises that leftist thought holds. Part of that is the moral relativism that I see eating the heart of civilization, decimating self-identity, and destroying social fabrics. I'm fine with you disagreeing with me on these things, and I don't want to start another argument, but I am trying to answer your question honestly.

I don't think Christians should oppose Trump. It's more nuanced than that. I think Hillary Clinton would have been equally un-Christian of a leader in the White House, that being said. I just don't think I'd prescribe Christians either 100% supporting or 100% opposing Trump - things are more nuanced than that.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I'm pretty gassed for the day from all of this (in the middle of a workday), so I'm going to sign off for now with the admission that I sometimes struggle to determine what is human interpretation and what is divine revelation. Even still, at the bottom of all things, I do see an objective reality that is informed by the bible and God's guiding hand throughout history. Of course, we haven't even scratched the concept of individual revelation that does help us understand God's will when we read the bible, but that would be a whole can o' worms on this page I don't want to open. I could anticipate how you will all react to it anyways - :)

I don't think it's fair to project into the future and predict exactly what society and culture will think about today's religions and philosophies. But we can disagree on this.

"Explaining and justifying all this 4000 year old theology" I prefer to look at what I do as pursuing the truths in the 4000 year old theology, and refusing to throw the baby our with the bathwater just because modern times seems to believe they've discounted the entire body of thought with a couple hundred years of sometime sketchy philosophy.

"I morally interpret without all that" This is a whole other debate to be had, about the source of morality. Theists argue that morality is inherent in humans and therefore needs to come from somewhere objective. I wonder how you make moral judgments and interpretations? What is the moral ideal against which you measure ideas, claims, and actions? (honest inquiry, not a gotcha)

I appreciate you refraining from attacking my character throughout all of this, I really do. It's tiring to hear over and over that I'm intellectually bankrupt, that I'm disingenuous, that I'm a sheep, etc. etc. etc. every time I talk about my worldview online. I appreciated hearing well-crafted arguments against my positions instead.

madmatt112  ·  905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

It's great that you have this image of me as a stereotypical Church-Warrior who's going to report back to my herd about my battles with the heathens, but it's inaccurate. Let's try and give other people some credit that they're deeper than what we can see. Religion as I've experienced it is people challenging each other on what they believe so that we can all discover what the truth is, rather than the herd-mentality echo-chamber that you seem to envision.

"You're not engaging us. You're not...you're playing "debate a heathen MadLibs" and we all know it. We can all smell it." This isn't an argument, it's a mixture of an ad hominem and strawman attacks. The strength of any of my claims has nothing to do with why I would be driven to make them, if we're having a rational discussion.

I also don't think of you as a heathen, I barely know anything about you and your experiences in life - I'm not out here trying to win Jehovah's Witness Points To Avoid The Rapture And Make It To Heaven. I'm trying to discover the truth.

"If you don't think you're better than anyone, why wrap yourself in concepts such as "moral supremacy?"" Because I think that the objective morals I live by are better than any other - that is significantly different than saying I am better than other people. You aren't able to see a difference between the two because your arguments rest on the presupposition that subjective interpretation is the firmament of reality for any person.

You've betrayed your worldview with the words "There are no truths. There are no maxims". If you do actually believe that about existence, then we can go no further in this discussion. You are now trying to pull me into your framework of subjective relativism, when a basic education/reading in logic and philosophical reasoning would show you the internal incoherence of the claim "there are no truths", and all the rationales that follow it. Your paragraph stating that the individual's interpretation is the ultimate definition of a text also reinforces your buy-in to this philosophy.

I lay claim to an objective reality and objective truths that exist outside a person's subjective experience of them. If we are unable to reconcile these two viewpoints, then we won't find common ground about this topic.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Hey steve, this is a really interesting question. My thoughts follow, and I'm really curious to know what yours are!

I think a large part (not the entirety) of why Trump voters voted the way they did, even the Evangelicals (let us be charitable and agree that not all Evangelicals are the same, not even close, but for expediency treat them as a unit here), boils down to two major themes:

1) Hillary Clinton was a garbage candidate from start to finish, and the DNC was abhorrent in its push to crown her as President at the expense of all else. Her and the DNC's messaging (often amplified by sloppy media operations[this is my way of saying Liberal Media Bias without sounding like a moron]) was often insulting to vast swaths of conservative Americans, and helped a) push moderates to the right, and b) get republicans voting in droves.

2) Many Americans hold political views, values, and beliefs that are better represented by the Republican party than the Democratic party. This is simple - they'll hold their nose about Trump and vote for him anyways because they fear worse outcomes from the Democratic option than the Republican option. There is often not a viable third option, and that is part of why D.T. is a thing.


madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I'd just like to say that I love this place because so many of you are engaged enough to go on at length about why I'm wrong. This is wonderful!! This is what hubski tries to be! A more thoughtful web. Some of you have given me food for thought, and challenged me in good ways. I appreciate all of you. I look forward to more discussions in the future - and not just about religion and God. I'm encouraged to stay engaged in this community and be excellent to one another.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

"PTR found an example of your book wherein the execution of disobedient children is spelled out discretely."

Indeed, the passage does exactly that. However, a key understanding of the bible is that the New Testament explicitly "retcons" the Old Testaments laws and legal structures. I explained this a bit more at length in my reply to PTR's comment elsewhere in this thread, and I would prefer not to type it out again to avoid clutter, but I do think it's a key point that explains why that passage doesn't cause me mental friction.

The O.T. Israelites had only the Law and their adherence to it to redeem them/get to heaven/be godly. Jesus' Big Claim is that his death and resurrection as atonement for all mankind forever replaces the Law with His Love. Even if you don't beleive in Jesus, this retroactively changes the way that we must scholarly read a lot of the O.T. passages, especially when they are prescriptive or legalistic in nature. The contradictions don't matter in the light of Jesus' paradigm shift. The moral codes of a Christian are vastly different than the moral codes of a pre-Christ Jew, and this is important. Where the morality comes from is different.

The book is the word of God, and the "no bueno" parts are therefore read in an incomplete or context-lacking manner that doesn't take this very important N.T. reality into account. Someone who points to Zachariah and Elizabeth to justify child sexual abuse is blatantly misreading the bible. This is something both you and I agree on. But you use this misreading to claim that the seeming contradiction discredits the rest of the book, whereas I claim the seeming contradiction is actually a misunderstanding of the way the N.T. informs the O.T.

I'd also like to point out that if someone were to discount "everything [I] have to say" because I claim that my "book gives me [(more specifically, the religion or the philosophy, and person of Christ, I follow)] moral supremacy", then I'd say that person is unreasonable. Literally, that person is unwilling to reason with me further because of a single claim. That's not my problem - that's a lack of critical thought and and uncharitable way to engage with other people.

protip: I don't think I'm better than anyone. Christianity teaches me that I'm not. God tells me I'm no better than you. That's a foundational tenant of Christian worldview. You put word in my mouth when you say things like that.

You certainly don't see no Jesus, and that's fine. If you looked, with an honest vulnerability and humility that you don't already know the truth about everything (not to imply that you do think so, just saying that's part of the journey for anyone), you'd find Him in some way that He revealed Himself to you. Part of Christian understanding is that the free will we're granted means we have to open the door and let him in. He's not going to barge in and shout in your face about how you need to believe in Him. He doesn't need me interpreting for Him, but He has called His people to proclaim the truth, whatever that may be.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far :)

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I'm glad you're engaging, and I can handle some barbs - I am a Christian in the modern world, and barbs are common and not always misguided.

I apologize if I mis-characterized your reading of the bible. I certainly made some assumptions based on your reply, and it seems many of them were incorrect. I'm sorry for that - poor debate and discussion skill on my part.

So, I would argue that if you used a single passage to negate the bible because of that passage's seeming contradictions, then yes you have cherry-picked, but I don't cherry-pick when I disagree that the same passage is not contradictory. But let me explain why.

In my understanding, from my own readings and from the teachings I've received from others in the faith, the bible taken as a whole and understood properly as a collection of different writings with different objectives (this is important - not every passage in the bible should be taken literally, and this is supported by the context of the literature of the day in which each piece was written and the historical reading thereof), the New Testament tells the story of how the Passion Story and Jesus' Resurrection (etc.etc.) not only creates a new paradigm between man and God, but also abolishes a lot of the Old Testament legal structures because in Jesus is found the New Law, the New Way. For O.T. Israelites, the Law was the only way to godliness/heaven. The N.T. creates a radically new narrative in which the Law is no longer that Way. Jesus is the Way now. I'm sure none of this is new to you, having been raised in the community. But it's key, because I find it supports my claim that cherry-picking is not necessary for the bible as a whole to be consistent and true. It's holistic in its entirety, and the key is the radical change that Jesus brings to reality.

It follow that moral supremacy is a valid claim, because I'm not "discredit[ing] the text based on [my] preferences". I'm informing passages that SEEM contradictory at first blush with the wider context of the rest of the biblical narrative. And this is where the argument that I'm cherry-picking becomes weak for me - I don't see it as cherry-picking. I see it as reading the passages into the greater context. Inter-textual (between the books in the bible) reading is critical because the work is complete in its wholeness, not in specific passages.

If you have some more blatant passages to point out, I'd appreciate it. I may not be able to refute your claims, as I'm only human and still have a long life journey ahead.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Do you claim that Christians should be outraged at the existence of Donald Trump? I don't think he lives a demonstration of Christian values and beliefs. Donald Trump does not represent all Christians. Donald Trump is a person, not an archetype. His likely total lack of knowledge of the bible does not surprise me, but it does nothing to nullify the bible itself.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I don't think Trump embodies any Christian morals that I know of. I'm certainly not trying to argue that he does, nor am I claiming that Christians should have voted for him. Hope that clarifies :)

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I think our conversation has reached it's conclusion, if the only thing you have left to say to me is that I'm an idiot. I may be, but I don't think so. I appreciate the time you've given to our little back-and-forth, even so. Thanks, tacocat.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Unfortunately, you're making a specific claim that what I said is nonsense. Having made the positive claim, the onus is on you to support your claim. I'm sorry, but I can't just magically "awaken" to something you know. I consider myself quite self-aware, and do a lot of self-work to stay humble and learning. Jungian Analysis, etc.etc.etc - your ad hominem argument that I am not self-aware is not valid in regards to your claims.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

I agree with you! That passage IS hilarious, but the context of the day and the historical understanding that large penises were often seen as crude, vulgar, or savage in many cultures in that time helps me understand why the author (and all the subsequent "shepherds" of the bible) kept it in there to help illustrate his point.

All of this being said, that Ezekiel passage has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the bible's claims, teachings, morality, and the wider Christian religion itself though. And that's something I notice in discussions around Christianity and faith in general - these passages are red herrings that allow someone to criticize the text, but they have very little relation to the broader religion and worldview.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Hey man, I'm really quite open to listening and understand your views. I really am. I'm not here to fight or bash you. I may defend my views at times, but I really do want to hear what you have to say. If someone can explain that I'm misguided in some way, I'm all for that - it's happened many time before, and will happen many times in the future.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

That's cool that you think it's nonsense. I'd appreciate if you helped me understand what specifically was nonsensical about what I typed. Seems fairly coherent and structurally consistent to me.

madmatt112  ·  906 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump

Hey, thanks for replying - I appreciate you took the time to do so.

I'd like to say that you took a single, relatively short passage of an entire 66-book wisdom tradition, which contains poetry, myth, history, and correspondences, and used it as a strawman or false equivalent to discount not only the rest of the "book", but also the centuries of rich, thoughtful guidance that has developed alongside it.

If American (or more broadly, Western) society can disagree and debate about the intent or interpretation of such recent, smaller, explicitly prescriptive documents as the Constitution, then I claim it would behoove us to give that much more consideration to something like a millennia old religious framework and worldview. Rather than throwing it all out because there are textual contradictions or some parts that you disagree with (I also disagree and discount some parts).

I think your reading of the source material is ultimately shallow if your comment is reflective of your thoughts as a whole regarding Christianity. There is a wealth of thought surrounding how the New Testament changes the way the Old Testament Laws (specifically including the Deuteronomy passage) are to be conceptualized and interpreted, if at all.

Again, thanks for engaging.