I read an article by John Piper this evening and it has left me feeling a little sick. It’s a Letter to a Perplexed Eleven-Year-Old, and it unintentionally teaches some rather disturbing things.
First, Piper attempts to establish an emotional connection using Paul’s awkward “members of the body” metaphor: The Bible says that you and I are like parts of the same body. You are like an arm, and I am like a leg. That means that when you are having a hard time, I feel it, because the Bible says “If one member suffers, all suffer together”.
Do all Christians feel the suffering of all other Christians at all times? Is it felt to a lesser degree by the people who aren’t directly experiencing it, like a sympathy pain? Why in the world is an arm injury affecting a leg, anyway?
Nitpicking, I know. Let’s move on.
- Today’s free advertising goes to Subaru and their beautiful BRZ Coupe. See the pictures. No need for more words.
What’s on my mind, Facebook? I’m curious if anyone has any guesses about when and where the Subaru BRZ might hit the bottom of its depreciation curve. I would expect that the depreciation is determined by some fairly quantifiable factors, such as:
- how favorably the car is rated by owners
- brand name
- popularity vs number produced
- reliability and build quality
…and perhaps several more. If you could find patterns in data from cars that have already depreciated, couldn’t you construct a reasonably accurate forecast of any given car’s future depreciation? This could be applied to relatively low-production but popular vehicles, to project when they will be at the bottom of the depreciation curve, where they have nowhere to go but up.
You could also apply the same principles to monetary appreciation of classics by examining the common features found in them, and how the culture affects the appreciation of certain cars. Sometimes they were used in movies, famous races, commercials, posters, media, basically anything automotive we saw in our childhood that appealed to our sense of wonder…and appreciation for, shall we say, coolness.
So in conclusion, Facebook, I think what’s on my mind is that it must be possible to mathematically predict which new cars will be most likely to become valuable in the future market, and when they will hit the bottom of depreciation.
I’ve noticed that one way religions exert control over their followers is to hijack morality. They do this in a few different ways: disregarding the human senses of empathy and justice, making people doubt their own ability to distinguish between good and evil, and asserting that morality must come directly from the commands of authority. Essentially, they force people to suppress their natural morality and replace it with arbitrary rules that are backed up with nothing but “god says so”.
My ongoing conflict with Christians over morality has, unsurprisingly, turned up zero definitions of objective morality or objective good. In fact, I’ve already had debates with two Christians who started out claiming morality was objective and ended up admitting it’s subjective, although they still insisted that it’s defined by god. Like I said a while ago, there is no way to define good or evil in objective terms. You always have to base your definitions on the opinions or experiences of a sentient being, whether human or god, which makes it subjective. This is simple logical truth. When you say something is good you are making a statement about the value of it; you are saying that it is desirable. There is no such thing as value in a universe without entities capable of desire.
This is a word-for-word transcript of a debate I had on Facebook with a Christian. I left out the initial part that led us into discussing the definition of good, but otherwise made no changes. The Christian’s comments are marked with his initial, P, and mine with M. Enjoy.
P: God is good. We know what is good based on Him.
M: Are you attempting to define good as “that which is consistent with god’s nature”, or “what god says is good”?
P: What He says is good is that which is consistent with his nature.
M: Okay. Since you said that god is good, I assume you think all of his actions are consistent with his nature.
In Genesis, god supposedly kills everyone on earth except eight people, undoubtedly including many children. In Exodus, he kills every firstborn child in Egypt. Later, he explicitly commands genocide, again killing many children.
Based on your definition, since god’s actions include killing children, and his actions are always consistent with his nature, and things that are consistent with his nature are good, we can conclude that killing children is good.
Care to revise your definition of good?