Originally posted by masqua
Originally posted by Lucifer777
When I describe the defenders of the Biblical deity as having the psychology of "genocidal psychopaths" I certainly mean to give offence, just as any philosopher in a debate would try to ruthlessly attack the "ideas" and "character" of an opponent, and I hope that I "do" give offence, but this is not merely an arbitrary insult, as a child would throw in a playground; I consider it "fair game" to describe those who would defend a sadistic and genocidal definition of a deity as being psychologically sadistic and genocidal themselves.
If you MEAN to give offence and attack the character of your fellow members rather than just the ideas they may hold dear, then perhaps ATS is not the best place for you.
Remember the T&C's?
16) Behavior: You will not behave in an abusive, libelous, defamatory, hateful, intolerant, bigoted and/or racist manner, and will not harass, threaten, nor attack anyone.
edit on 12/2/11 by masqua because: bbcode edit
Let us say hypothetically that there are two football hooligans who are supporters of the two different football teams having an argument in a pub in Oxford, and at the same time there are two philosophers having a public debate at the Oxford University Student's Union, and that one of these philosophers is attemtping to defend and justify the primitive and savage definition of the biblical deity and the other philosopher is opposing that definition of a deity.
Let us say that one of the football hooligans says to the other that he has a big nose, that he has no taste in clothing and that his shoes make him look like a girl; this is all quite acceptible in an "ad hominmen" attack in a pub, but at the Oxford debating society, the moderater of the debate would most likely object to such remarks.
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your apurses, Nor a bag for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet a staff......... (Mt. 5)
"... everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock...........And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand’" (Mt. 7)
"...and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." Luke 22.36
So, for example, while it is innapropriate in a "debate" to use the strategy of a football hooligan and to attack the "appearance" or attire of one's opponent, this does not apply to debates with Christians who, if they are wearing more than one robe, are monetarists (Capitalists), shoe wearers, or if they have ever cut their beard or their hair (unlawful acts according to te Mosaic Law), or if they have not sold their one robe to buy a sword and have become nudists; this is certainly an attack on the "appearance" of a Christian, and the accusation of "hypocrisy" is an attack on their character, but it is entirely appropriate in a debate between philosophers; if a person who represents an "anti-shoe-wearing" or "anti-monetarist" mentor and attempts to debate while wearing shoes or carrying money, it is appropriate to criticise the person over such issues and refer to the person as a "hypocrite." This will obviously give offence to the person and is intended to d so, however it is entirely appropriate, and to befrank one cannot have an honest debate if one attempts to avoid such exchanges.
They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. ...... Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" ........ Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.
In a debate with a Biblical fanatic, if one uses the debating strategy of the "Devil's Advocate" it is entirely appropriate to suggest that the Biblical fanatics should be slaughtered and that their virgin daughters should be taken as sex slaves; it does not matter at all if the philosopher making such an argument is making such a suggestion "seriously" or not; further if one attacks the "character" of the defenders of the Biblical deity and refers to them as morally subhuman or "immoral," that is also entirely appropriate and to refrain from expressing such a judgement, irrespective of how much offense is causes, would be tantamount to dishonesty .
The central argument which I have made in the OP is that if one worships a deity which, as Richard Dawkins has stated, can be defined as "[i[arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully" then the devotee of such a deity is likely to take on such characteristics themselves; the "Joshua experiment" and the long and bloody history of Christianity is ample evidence of this.
If I allege that those who atempt to defend and justify the Biblical deity also have the characteristics of being " petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freaks; vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleansers; misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bullies" then while these nouns and adjectives may give offence, they are entirely defensible and appropriate in an intelligent dabate; in fact to avoid using such nouns and adjectives would be tantamount to flattery and dishonesty.
There is a difference between just throwing arbitrary insults on one's opponents and using descriptive nouns and adjectives which are designed to give offence, but which are entirely descriptive. If, for example, I were to refer to George ("God told me to invade Iraq") Bush as a deluded, genocidal religious schizophrenic, he and his admirers may well take offense to that, and it is most certainly an attack on his character, but it is not merely an arbitrary insult and it is a description which can be intelligently defended,
Some nouns and adjectives (describing words) are certainly used to criticise and demean others, but if we ceased to use such critical terms, we would be unable to describe anyone honestly and would be reduced to flattery