Robert Stanley and Dale on the Bible: Unclear, at Best

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Enjoy the podcast

Here is my take on some topics that didn’t make it into the show. Enjoy. 

Robert Stanley, Dale, and I sat down to talk about three issues. As it happens, they all go back to the Bible. I believe this is the case for almost all discussions that matter between Christians and atheists. After all, without the Bible, there is no Christianity whatsoever. Moreover, there is no belief in the Christian god. After all, we don’t get these things from nature. It requires a special relation of some sort. And for Christians, the Bible is it.

When it comes right down to it, all debates on the bible end with the same conclusion: The bible is unclear at best. There is no method for interpreting the bible that makes it easy to understand. This is very literal. This is very nonliteral. How do you determine which is which? It is all very ad hoc. I am not being dismissive. I have listened to the best of them explain their idiosyncratic theories. I have read a number of books and sat through a number of lectures and workshops. No scholar has a consistent hermeneutic that makes sense of the whole bible. On the show, we didn’t do any better.

Being the only believer on the panel, Dale’s answers were often the most interesting because they were not always what you would expect to hear from a Christian. We talked about three topics. At the end of the day, it was really just one topic. Here’s how it went:

Reliability of the bible

We started by going right after the big question: Is the bible reliable. The original question was, is the bible true. I called that an ill-formed question and got some initial pushback from Robert. He tends to view the bible as a book making scientific and historical claims about what actually happened. I pointed out that not all Christians view it that way. They recognize that much of the material in the bible is allegory and mytho-historic. It uses metaphor and hyperbole to deliver true messages. But is not intended to be read as hard fact in all its details.

The interesting thing was that all three of us come from literalist backgrounds. So we, more or less, saw the bible the same way, as something to be taken literally and direct. I’m just not sure if that is how most Christians see it these days. I believe it is more complicated than that. Every Christian believes the bible is literal and direct in some parts. Every Christian believes there is some level of allegory and mytho-history. Whether or not the bible is true depends on the type of material you believe you are seeing.

Unsurprisingly, Robert thought the bible was not true or reliable and Dale thought it was. I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out the sorts of things Robert thought was untrue. He brought up the creation story, the flood, and the big fish. Dale surprised Robert by agreeing that the creation story was likely inaccurate. He also said the same for the flood while suggesting that the big fish was a literal miracle of god.

Needless to say, there was some interesting discussion. Being charitable, I concluded that at best, the bible is unclear.

Church and state

It turns out Robert is a bit of a political expert. So it was nice to have his perspective. We didn’t see eye to eye on history. But we agreed on the goal which is to have a secular state rather than a religion-friendly state. What Dale wants is a theocracy. That is a system of government where god is the ultimate ruler. He recognizes that is not the system we have today. It is, however, the system that will be in place after the second coming.

I pushed back by asking if what Dale really longed for is a return to a monarchy. Almost all developed nations have abandoned that system of governance. Also, what does heaven need with a king? Are we going to be serfs? What does a king have to do in perfected utopia? There are no roads to fix or build, no taxes to collect, no crime to control. It is just looking regal and being worshiped. What’s the point of a government in heaven?

After some back and forth, Dale suggested that the problem I was creating was merely semantic. Robert suggest Dale was trying to fit a Bronze-age vision into a modern context. I suggested that the bible was a book with a time-locked vision of the world that simply didn’t connect with modern readers. And if god didn’t mead to promote a vision of a feudal system, he could have picked a more timeless metaphor. At best, the bible is unclear about heavenly expectations and political hopes.

Biblical morality

I really tried to keep this from becoming just another debate about slavery and the like. It is super tough to accomplish that goal when the subject is biblical morality. To our credit, we mostly avoided that topic. I brought up the issue of using a book as a moral guide in the first place. My objection applies to any book. For a biblical example, I used the practice of shunning. It is immoral. And like most Christians, I ignored the rules for it laid out in the New Testament.

Robert went to the Old Testament and chose the death penalty for violating the sabbath. He cited the time when a man was caught gathering took on the sacred day and god ordered him to be stoned to death. Robert thought it unconscionable that the death penalty should be applied to a man who picked up sticks on the sabbath. Dale defended church discipline. And also defended the death penalty for picking up sticks. He had an explanation for why that was a special circumstance and why god was justified and not immoral for having the man killed.

The problem is that even if we grant Dale his explanation, which I don’t, it leaves the bible unclear at best on the matter of when violating the sabbath required death. With Dale’s explanation, one simply couldn’t know. I’ll let you listen to the podcast to see what he had to say.

We should all try to listen charitably as Dale does his best to make his case against two well-equipped skeptics. He gives us some interesting ideas to consider. Even if you don’t think Dale presented the best arguments for his side, take a moment to steel man the arguments and consider the best arguments you can come up with. I have done this. And in the best case scenario for the Christian, the bible is unclear. And for me, unclear is indistinguishable from unreliable.

And that’s the view from the skeptic.

David Johnson

49 thoughts on “Robert Stanley and Dale on the Bible: Unclear, at Best

  1. Is there any action taken by God that can’t be explained or justified with the Molonositic defeater? If not, how is this not simply a convenient free pass that gets God off the hook for absolutely anything He does?

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    1. Good observation. The molinistic defeater is just a get out of jail free card for god. It is what Christians use when all else is lost. There is usually some implication that god is not really all powerful or all good. God has this good characteristic that is immutable. But there is this thing over here that he is doing that goes against that good characteristic. The Christian tries out a lot of possible explanations that are all easily defeated. The molinistic defeater is their way of giving up. They don’t know why god did this or that. And on the surface, it appears to be bad. But god has his reasons. And his reasons are always good. It is their way of throwing a hail Mary without the football.

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      1. It was fun throwing Dale’s “molinistic-style defeaters” back his way as Vaalinistic Defeaters. (Where I was God and every attempt Dale made to reject the idea was vulnerable to “but how can you be in a position to KNOW that about God?”).

        The special pleading sprang forth in such abundance we had to call on a clean-up crew. 😉

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      2. Hi David,
        The challenge I have with the claim that God allows bad things to happen so that a greater good will somehow result down the line is why should humans try to stop bad things. Example: Let’s say a child falls into water and there is nobody around and drowns. Some might say that God allowed this bad thing to happen so that a greater good (and we don’t know what it is) will come from this. Well, same situation but a person sees the child drowning. If the person saves the child will that keep God’s greater good from happening?

        Just one aspect that I struggle with,
        Brian

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        1. Brian,

          It seems to me the answer will vary somewhat depending on the particular version of Free Will understood by a Christian.

          Christian theologian have long tried to reconcile the problem of free will with God’s Omniscience and, just like secular theories, there are theological Libertarian Free Will, Compatibilist Free Will and incompatibilism.
          Depending on which version of free will is under discussion it will change how it is God will know what anyone does and therefore what form his “plan” would take, and therefore how one could or could not act in accordance with the plan. (Some say that God can’t know what a free willed creature will choose!).

          In any case, I think the option is open to the Christian to say essentially: True if a baby needs saving whether I save it or not save it, the result will be part of God’s plan. But I can’t know which it is. And the only guide I have for how to choose comes from what God has told us – e.g. various commands in the bible and the example of the nature of Jesus etc. So God clearly wants, as a general rule, the type of people who “would save the baby.” That’s the moral thing to do, so I do it.

          But, if it’s the case that I try and fail to save the baby, that was part of God’s plan.
          And if I choose to be callous and let a baby die who I could easily save, it would turn out that’s part of God’s plan.

          But in any case, I’m judged on my actions. (As most Christians believe God gave them morally relevant free will).

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          1. I can’t follow the Christian logic at all. It is too sci-fi even for me. Free will is sovereign. If our will is not as sovereign as god’s, then it is not truly free. For my will to be free, I have to be able to thwart god’s plan for me. He has a plan for me. But I reject it and do something else. His plan fails.

            But there is another level we have to consider. God has an overall plan that goes well beyond me. But it involves me. So while his plan for me fails, his overall plan including me cannot fail. How can that be? How exactly does that work?

            God plans for me to be a doctor so that I can discover some great cure. But I want to be a race car driver. I follow my plan and die. So surely, god’s grand plan dies too, right? Wrong! He knew I was going to do that and arranged for my death to be the catalyst for curing diseases and eliminating unnecessary deaths. Boom! His plan worked after all and could not be thwarted.

            Does that scenario even make sense? I thought god’s plan was for me to be a doctor. What Christians are really saying is that god’s plan is whatever happens. It is their way of hiding the obvious failures of god’s plan. Under close enough examination, the idea falls completely apart.

            Just ask yourself, could Judas have repented and not betray Jesus. There is no possible way this could happen because god’s plan depended on the betrayal. Long before the earth was created, the betrayal was written into the stars. Part of free will is that we can change our mind. But once god hit’s PLAY on the machine, the actions are already written if his plan is sovereign and immutable.

            God does not just know what I am likely to do at any given moment, he has written it in stone. Now he knows, and is manipulating the situation so that I actually do what he knows I am likely to do. God needed Adam and Eve to sin. But they didn’t. So he tempted them with attractive fruit. They literally wouldn’t bite. Then he sent a talking snake. They finally fulfilled god’s plan which he immediately blamed on their free will. His plan would never have gotten off the ground had he not been able to manipulate them into sinning.

            You cannot have two opposing, sovereign wills. Only one can be truly free. The rest is way above my pay grade.

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            1. Good points David.

              But this is also why I wrote earlier it will depend on the account of Free Will taken by the Christian (or anyone).
              The problems you allude to seem hard to reconcile on the Libertarian Free Will account adopted by many Christians. That is: our decisions are not fixed/determined – they are causally excepted from world and completely up to us at the moment. This is the type of by-nature not completey predictable free will that some Christian theologians think even God can not determine or predict. That does end up being problematic for God having a “plan” if He can’t completely predict what you are going to do, and can’t determine it.

              On the other hand, there is a compatibilist account of Free Will, where freedom, choice, options, responsibility, morality etc is understood to be compatible with a fully physical, deterministic system. (Part of the argument being all those things could only actually make sense GIVEN a causally deterministic system, as wherever you try to insert a break in causation it seems to imply randomness, which can not be a basis for rationality and responsibility). So the standard reference is a “Laplacian Demon.” For those unfamiliar, grabbing the wiki description: “According to determinism, if someone (the demon) knows the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe, their past and future values for any given time are entailed; they can be calculated from the laws of classical mechanics.”

              So presuming we are part of this deterministic system, Lapace’s Demon could calculate what our decisions would be from the outset of the beginning of the universe. They are causally fixed before we ever make them.

              In the theistic situation obviously God takes the place of Laplace’s Demon. God, in setting the universe in motion, would have been able to calculate and know the decision everyone is going to make.

              But on a compatibilist account, this doesn’t threaten free will. The fact God can KNOW in advance what we will choose to do deterministically is still compatible with our having free will. This is a view adopted by some portion of theists.

              That pushes the main issue to the fact God, as Creator, created the system and determined the outcome before-hand. On a compatibilist account (and if compatibilist theists thought consistently they’d have to agree), in such a scenario our choices are still “free” and we bear some responsibility for them. But God as creator would ALSO bear responsibility for his role in setting up the scenario and how our choices would play out. So even a compatibilist version of free will doesn’t get God off the moral hook.

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              1. As you already know, this is not my strong suit. But I’ll take a crack at it:

                If I am understanding compatibilism, it is a way of saying that our free choices are a part of what has been determined from the beginning. I freely chose to write this post. But one with perfect knowledge could have simply seem the motion of atoms from the big bang and seen that I would choose to write this post. is that correct?

                If so, free will is meaningless to me because I had nothing to do with the big bang. Had it banged ever so slightly differently, then I (assuming there would still be an I) would have freely chosen differently. Let’s just assume I am wrong. My problem is that I can’t develop a mental picture of how the mechanism is supposed to work.

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                1. Yes I understand David, and I don’t intend to go over ground from another thread.
                  The intuition you are working on is very strong and hard to see around. (We all have it). But like the intuitions a huge proportion of our fellow creatures have such as “We get our morality from God/A Holy Text” or “We are in no position to judge God” it just doesn’t make sense when you play out the implications and try to explain much of what has to be explained in life. But the intuition is so strong, people are often either not willing or not interested in running through the implications.

                  Again, without going through all the arguments, some notes on what a compatibilist would argue are:

                  1. Free will is only relevant insofar as it pertains to the choices humans are making day in and day out – practical or moral. So it’s an account for the nature of our choice-making in the world. If we can make sense of applying words like “choice” “options” “alternatives” “could do otherwise” and agential responsibility that makes sense of these everyday intuitions and actions – especially one that is consistent with our wider understanding of the world – then we have an account of free will.

                  2. When you think about options, what you can or can’t likely do, or speak about or ask about them “I could take route A or route B to work” or “I’m on route A but it’s slow, can I take an alternate route?” this thinking is not based on metaphysics. When the waiter offers you a “choice” of options at the restaurant, you and the waiter are not doing metaphysics. You are doing standard empirical reasoning about what is “possible” IF you want to do it. And this reasoning, being not dependent on magic contra-causal metaphysics, is entirely
                  compatible with being physical entities in a physical world. In fact, it’s necessary for understanding the world.

                  3. Whether the universe is fully deterministic is still, strictly speaking, up for debate. But we can presume for argument that it is *sufficiently* deterministic at the scale macro objects like ourselves operate on. The thing is, whether the universe and we are fully deterministic, we are still living in the universe we live in. All the facts we observe and have to navigate are still there and REQUIRE understanding, categorizing, navigating, describing etc. If we assume the universe is deterministic, there is STILL a difference to describe between, say, you and I and someone chained in a serial killer’s basement, or an inmate in a prison. Still a difference to note between handing money to someone because we want to do it for reasons of our own, and handing over money because we are being robbed at gun-point. And our usual application of “free” vs “not free” toward describing these different situations (e.g. slaves or inmates or captives being made “free”) and “free willed choice” vs “coerced” etc, are useful descriptors as they always have been, and do not in fact identify *metaphysical* changes in scenarios but *physical changes* in scenarios, and hence do not contradict determinism.

                  Oh darn. I went on a bit there. But I tend to do that on free will.

                  Anyway…as the king said: “Well, there it is.”

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                  1. David…sorry meant to add:

                    When trying to get underneath how we are really thinking about “freedom” in this world, we need to make sense of how people routinely apply these words. Even if a theist has a theory of freedom that they *think* entails metaphysical commitments – e.g. something is only “free” insofar as it is it’s own cause, excepted from physical causation – we can see they are not actually thinking this way when they are describing situations in the world. An example is the fact that both a Christian (who believes in Libertarian free will) and you and I would use the normal concepts of “freedom” to describe a prison inmate being let out of prison. He is “free” once he’s out of prison, not “free” when imprisoned. Christians use this language like anyone else.
                    But that would not make sense if what the Christian is applying the term “free” metaphysically, as in a change in metaphysical state. After all, Christians think we are all endowed with free will as a part of our nature.
                    The inmate is human and has free will just as we do. It’s not some sort of metaphysical switch that goes on as soon as the inmate leaves the prison like “as soon as he steps outside the doors his Libertarian Free Will gets switched on.”

                    No, the Christian is simply identifying the same state of affairs you and I are: that while in prison the inmate’s “freedom” to do as he desires is highly curtailed by the physical situation he is in. Once he’s released from prison, his physical situation has changed and now his range of options, what he can do if he wishes to, is vastly expanded similar to our own. So the idea that even Libertarian Free Will believing people are employing metaphysical judgements to describe all these situations of “free” and “not free” and “having choices” etc don’t run through with the facts. The are identifying real world changes of states of affairs like you and me, employing the same underlying conceptual schemes, which do not, if you examine them, involve contradiction to physics or determinism.

                    (It’s similar to listening to a Christian say “I get my morality from God” and then running through the implications and seeing it’s quite clear they have misdiagnosed their own assumptions in matters of morality, where they are bringing assumptions derived from wider society, and also bringing their own moral judgement to the bible, not visa-versa as they think. So when Theists say “Morality is derived from God” the rational step isn’t to throw out morality, but rather to explain how they have a poor theory, a misdiagnosis, when trying to explain what we commonly take to be “moral”).

                    Cheerio!

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  2. Hello Dale, I was not impressed by Stanley’s diatribe about you telling lies. I think that is a mindless response from either atheist of believer. If I heard him incorrectly please correct me.

    He also say no difference between the flood, creation and the account of the whale.

    Well we have creation so we can investigate. We can also look at the geological evidence. We do not have the body of Jonah, so we cannot investigate it. It is thus a different kind of evidence even in principle.

    That’s petty straight forward.

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    1. Marvin, thanks so much for stopping by. That means a lot to me. Unfortunately, Dale will not be able to see your post because he has removed his profile and taken a break from the board. But I will actually agree with your first point. It is not good form to call your interlocutor a liar. With Dale, there is a bit of history of which you may not be aware. It does not excuse bad behavior. But it might explain it.

      I believe it was the first time Dale went on Robert’s show (though it may have been Smalley’s), Dale flat out called me a liar with regard to wither I was telling the truth about my having sincerely sought god in my lifetime. He threw me under the bus, drove over me, abandoned the bus, hijacked a lorry, and drove over me with all 18 wheels for good measure.

      It probably started even before that on a podcast we did last season where Dale laid out his “real seeker” criteria and declared that I was not a real seeker. While I don’t need Dale’s validation, I know what my life of religious dedication has been and he does not. I felt like he had no right to judge me in that way and told him as much on air. He doubled down and insisted that I was not telling the truth. Since then, he has also passed judgement on others regarding their honest seeker cred.

      What I am trying to express is that many of us have been frustrated by Dale calling us liars or doubting our sincerity quite publicly on the board and on multiple podcasts. So Robert was speaking in the tradition that Dale laid down earlier. I get that Dale doesn’t like his integrity questioned. I don’t either. And neither do you. To the extent that I have done that to you in the past, I publicly apologize. I was wrong to do that. And I hope you forgive me for behaving that way.

      As to your second point, I also agree, I think. We can look at the science of geology and astronomy and see that the earth is old and that there was no worldwide flood. Those things can be checked against the scientific record. We cannot do the same for Jonah. According to the story, god prepared a special fish. It would have been a one-off creation for that specific purpose. So there is no use looking into the fossil record.

      That said, my question is still valid. If we cannot trust the details on the big things we can check, why should we trust the details on other things we cannot check? Dale believes that the creation story and the flood story are likely biblical errors on a balance of probabilities. Do you agree with that? Just curious.

      Again, thanks for stopping by. You are welcome here and on the show anytime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ref Jonah,

        We can use an evidential process to analyse the story. It’s a case of examining the animals that we find in the oceans and check if there is one with an anatomy that could perform the feats described by the story. The answer is no.

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    2. Sigh, I thought I was finished with this nonsense once and for all but then I was notified today that David had once again taken to unfairly attacking me on his Boards this week whereby he was trying to blame me for Stanley’s saying that I was dishonest or an intellectual coward – honestly, I think that is nuts but this is how he thinks I guess. I’ve asked not to be notified when David goes after me in the future as I really am over his kind of bad faith tactics that he employs at this point. But I will explain for your benefit Marvin what he was saying about me;

      1. David said this;

      “I believe it was the first time Dale went on Robert’s show (though it may have been Smalley’s), Dale flat out called me a liar with regard to wither I was telling the truth about my having sincerely sought god in my lifetime. He threw me under the bus, drove over me, abandoned the bus, hijacked a lorry, and drove over me with all 18 wheels for good measure.”

      Dale’s Take:

      So, this is true to some extent but it hardly went down the way David makes it sound here. David and I did a show with Smalley on S&S (see here =https://skepticsandseekers.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/david-smalley-5-topics/ ) during which David, of his own accord (seemingly just to stir up trouble and have Smalley go after me) brought up the issue of my notion of the “real seeker” (a notion upon which my whole RSM site’s purpose is founded upon). David requested I give an example to illustrate my point as to why I don’t think he is a real seeker to which I provided his lack of research on the Shroud when I presented him with the opportunity to learn about it. David then said that he has researched it which was a blatant lie on his part based on things he had told me both in private and publicly- his comments are still there for everyone to see and confirm that he has not done any meaningful type search into it at all apart from listening to one or two shows I did on the matter on S&S and even then it is debatable how much he got out of those shows. That said, recently, I’m told he has read one source I provided him on the Shroud and so I won’t take that away from him, but still that was not the case at the time I said what I said.

      Smalley then invited me onto his show (see here = https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/401-christian-apologist-vs-david-smalley/id493845276?i=1000431669693) where he forced me to speak about the issue and asked me why I said what I said, I was clearly uncomfortable, but in the end I just told the truth as I saw it and the truth is that I believe David lied to Smalley about being a real seeker on the Shroud (I still believe this about him to this day)- but this had nothing to do with my saying he lied about seeking the truth about God in general during his lifetime- I never said that and I’ve stated the exact opposite many times now.

      After the show, David treated me very poorly and threatened to sue me (as though I was too stupid to know that was a load of rubbish). Anyways, after I realized how upset he was about this, the point was that after considering and asking people for their feedback on whether I did the right thing or not here, I realized that I probably shouldn’t have answered any questions about David when he wasn’t there to defend himself. I apologized for doing that, offered to make a public apology (which he said there was no need) and promised never to speak about him when he wasn’t there to defend himself again (which I have honoured to this day whenever I guest star on other people’s shows).

      Instead of being an adult and letting it go, David and others continue to use this mistake I made as a justification to treat me like filth and call me a liar or dishonest whenever they want without my ability to react or be angered when they do so- this is just childish hypocrisy on their part imo.

      2. David said this;

      “It probably started even before that on a podcast we did last season where Dale laid out his “real seeker” criteria and declared that I was not a real seeker. While I don’t need Dale’s validation, I know what my life of religious dedication has been and he does not. I felt like he had no right to judge me in that way and told him as much on air. He doubled down and insisted that I was not telling the truth. Since then, he has also passed judgement on others regarding their honest seeker cred.

      What I am trying to express is that many of us have been frustrated by Dale calling us liars or doubting our sincerity quite publicly on the board and on multiple podcasts.”

      Dale’s Take:

      So as I said before, yes its true that I’ve said that David as well as some others are not real seekers on their end and I’ve done so many times. This doesn’t mean I questioned their sincerity or that they were lying about their having searched or wanted Christianity to be true back in the day- in fact I’ve publicly stated from the beginning show in Season 1 that David speaks of that I wasn’t saying I thought David was deliberately lying about wanting Christianity to be true during his deconversion stage (there is no excuse for him not to know this at this point). The fact of the matter is I have outlined my criteria for what a real seeker is, as an explanation to the skeptical argument as to why God allows people who don’t believe in Him in the world today and why He doesn’t prove He exists in an undeniable way to everyone. The three things that I think humans need to do to be a real seeker and thus have a salvation-fit character is my answer to this skeptical claim (see here = https://realseekerministries.wordpress.com/mission-statement/ ).

      Now, David as well as some others have publicly stated themselves many times that they are not “real seekers” as they fail to fulfill one or more of my criteria (they do so on the basis that they disagree with them in one way or another). Fine, but I don’t care whether you agree with them or not, the fact is I believe the real seeker criteria are necessary for God to have an “obligation” or for us to have a “faithful expectation” (terminology for you Teddi) to reveal Himself and the simple fact is to be a real seeker in my sense you have to fulfill those 3 things, if you self-admittedly don’t fulfill one or more of those criteria, then this by definition means you are not a real seeker; there should be nothing offensive about this mere statement of the obvious. When skeptics do object to my real seeker notion, they offer nothing as to why, the most I’ve gotten are misunderstandings such as I say someone has to be a scholar and study things to the same extent that I have or that my Point of No Return notion is contradictory to the Bible in some way (which I’ve refuted).

      So, is this analogous to what Stanley and/or the other skeptics do to me- No, not at all as I don’t use this as a way to discredit their “substantive points” when doing a show unless its relevant to the topic at hand. When Robert brought up Numbers 15 or errors in the Bible, I didn’t feel the need to say, “Yes but you only raise those issues because you’re not a real seeker”- no, my real seeker notion had nothing to do with the topic at hand and thus I responded to those objections appropriately. But, in the shows where David brings up my real seeker notion or mentions an objection about why God didn’t reveal this or that to him personally, well then my real seeker notion applies as a relevant response and hence I bring it up in those shows- it’s not my fault that David keeps bringing up the same issue again and again and thus I have to give the same answers again and again.

      Anyways, I was planning on just ignoring this when I was notified but then I saw that you had posted here Marvin and I felt compelled to give you an accurate picture of the things raised by David to unfairly impugn me. I have no doubt he will try to dredge up some other examples like our recent spat about the validity of his testing God and try to make me look bad with that, I will not be dragged back into this kind of thing again, but just remember on the two examples he did give you here, you’ve seen that he has misreported (either intentionally or unintentionally) what happened so as to make me look worse than I am or to make the case that I’m somehow comparable to how he and his skeptical ilk treat me on these Boards and thus I deserved how Stanley spoke about me in this show (as though Stanley was even aware of these prior incidents anyways).

      Take care Marvin and I look forward to having you on RSM.

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    3. Sorry I meant to post that to you and not David.

      Sigh, I thought I was finished with this nonsense once and for all but then I was notified today that David had once again taken to unfairly attacking me on his Boards this week whereby he was trying to blame me for Stanley’s saying that I was dishonest or an intellectual coward – honestly, I think that is nuts but this is how he thinks I guess. I’ve asked not to be notified when David goes after me in the future as I really am over his kind of bad faith tactics that he employs at this point. But I will explain for your benefit Marvin what he was saying about me;

      1. David said this;

      “I believe it was the first time Dale went on Robert’s show (though it may have been Smalley’s), Dale flat out called me a liar with regard to wither I was telling the truth about my having sincerely sought god in my lifetime. He threw me under the bus, drove over me, abandoned the bus, hijacked a lorry, and drove over me with all 18 wheels for good measure.”

      Dale’s Take:

      So, this is true to some extent but it hardly went down the way David makes it sound here. David and I did a show with Smalley on S&S (see here =https://skepticsandseekers.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/david-smalley-5-topics/ ) during which David, of his own accord (seemingly just to stir up trouble and have Smalley go after me) brought up the issue of my notion of the “real seeker” (a notion upon which my whole RSM site’s purpose is founded upon). David requested I give an example to illustrate my point as to why I don’t think he is a real seeker to which I provided his lack of research on the Shroud when I presented him with the opportunity to learn about it. David then said that he has researched it which was a blatant lie on his part based on things he had told me both in private and publicly- his comments are still there for everyone to see and confirm that he has not done any meaningful type search into it at all apart from listening to one or two shows I did on the matter on S&S and even then it is debatable how much he got out of those shows. That said, recently, I’m told he has read one source I provided him on the Shroud and so I won’t take that away from him, but still that was not the case at the time I said what I said.

      Smalley then invited me onto his show (see here = https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/401-christian-apologist-vs-david-smalley/id493845276?i=1000431669693) where he forced me to speak about the issue and asked me why I said what I said, I was clearly uncomfortable, but in the end I just told the truth as I saw it and the truth is that I believe David lied to Smalley about being a real seeker on the Shroud (I still believe this about him to this day)- but this had nothing to do with my saying he lied about seeking the truth about God in general during his lifetime- I never said that and I’ve stated the exact opposite many times now.

      After the show, David treated me very poorly and threatened to sue me (as though I was too stupid to know that was a load of rubbish). Anyways, after I realized how upset he was about this, the point was that after considering and asking people for their feedback on whether I did the right thing or not here, I realized that I probably shouldn’t have answered any questions about David when he wasn’t there to defend himself. I apologized for doing that, offered to make a public apology (which he said there was no need) and promised never to speak about him when he wasn’t there to defend himself again (which I have honoured to this day whenever I guest star on other people’s shows).

      Instead of being an adult and letting it go, David and others continue to use this mistake I made as a justification to treat me like filth and call me a liar or dishonest whenever they want without my ability to react or be angered when they do so- this is just childish hypocrisy on their part imo.

      2. David said this;

      “It probably started even before that on a podcast we did last season where Dale laid out his “real seeker” criteria and declared that I was not a real seeker. While I don’t need Dale’s validation, I know what my life of religious dedication has been and he does not. I felt like he had no right to judge me in that way and told him as much on air. He doubled down and insisted that I was not telling the truth. Since then, he has also passed judgement on others regarding their honest seeker cred.

      What I am trying to express is that many of us have been frustrated by Dale calling us liars or doubting our sincerity quite publicly on the board and on multiple podcasts.”

      Dale’s Take:

      So as I said before, yes its true that I’ve said that David as well as some others are not real seekers on their end and I’ve done so many times. This doesn’t mean I questioned their sincerity or that they were lying about their having searched or wanted Christianity to be true back in the day- in fact I’ve publicly stated from the beginning show in Season 1 that David speaks of that I wasn’t saying I thought David was deliberately lying about wanting Christianity to be true during his deconversion stage (there is no excuse for him not to know this at this point). The fact of the matter is I have outlined my criteria for what a real seeker is, as an explanation to the skeptical argument as to why God allows people who don’t believe in Him in the world today and why He doesn’t prove He exists in an undeniable way to everyone. The three things that I think humans need to do to be a real seeker and thus have a salvation-fit character is my answer to this skeptical claim (see here = https://realseekerministries.wordpress.com/mission-statement/ ).

      Now, David as well as some others have publicly stated themselves many times that they are not “real seekers” as they fail to fulfill one or more of my criteria (they do so on the basis that they disagree with them in one way or another). Fine, but I don’t care whether you agree with them or not, the fact is I believe the real seeker criteria are necessary for God to have an “obligation” or for us to have a “faithful expectation” (terminology for you Teddi) to reveal Himself and the simple fact is to be a real seeker in my sense you have to fulfill those 3 things, if you self-admittedly don’t fulfill one or more of those criteria, then this by definition means you are not a real seeker; there should be nothing offensive about this mere statement of the obvious. When skeptics do object to my real seeker notion, they offer nothing as to why, the most I’ve gotten are misunderstandings such as I say someone has to be a scholar and study things to the same extent that I have or that my Point of No Return notion is contradictory to the Bible in some way (which I’ve refuted).

      So, is this analogous to what Stanley and/or the other skeptics do to me- No, not at all as I don’t use this as a way to discredit their “substantive points” when doing a show unless its relevant to the topic at hand. When Robert brought up Numbers 15 or errors in the Bible, I didn’t feel the need to say, “Yes but you only raise those issues because you’re not a real seeker”- no, my real seeker notion had nothing to do with the topic at hand and thus I responded to those objections appropriately. But, in the shows where David brings up my real seeker notion or mentions an objection about why God didn’t reveal this or that to him personally, well then my real seeker notion applies as a relevant response and hence I bring it up in those shows- it’s not my fault that David keeps bringing up the same issue again and again and thus I have to give the same answers again and again.

      Anyways, I was planning on just ignoring this when I was notified but then I saw that you had posted here Marvin and I felt compelled to give you an accurate picture of the things raised by David to unfairly impugn me. I have no doubt he will try to dredge up some other examples like our recent spat about the validity of his testing God and try to make me look bad with that, I will not be dragged back into this kind of thing again, but just remember on the two examples he did give you here, you’ve seen that he has misreported (either intentionally or unintentionally) what happened so as to make me look worse than I am or to make the case that I’m somehow comparable to how he and his skeptical ilk treat me on these Boards and thus I deserved how Stanley spoke about me in this show (as though Stanley was even aware of these prior incidents anyways).

      Take care Marvin and I look forward to having you on RSM.

      Like

      1. Dale, you and Trump have a similar relationship to truth. There is your version. Then there is the version that everyone else remembers. I will just say that you are incorrect about me threatening to sue you. That simply never happened. But in your mind, that is what went down. I don’t think you are being dishonest on purpose. But you remember things in a way that makes you the perpetual victim and hero of your own story. That is understandable. But it is not convenient when everyone else was there to see the events unfold in a way that is different than your recollection.

        I prefer not to reference private conversations when possible. But since you mentioned it, I will try to clear it up for you. I told you that you were very close to committing an act of slander when you called me a liar on Smalley’s show. And that had it been someone other than me, you could be facing legal repercussions. You really should be more careful about making such accusations about other people in public.

        I hoped that would wake to up to the seriousness of what you had done. It did not. You simply recast the entire thing in your mind so that you were not in the wrong. It took your more responsible friends correcting you before you decided that maybe you went to far. But it still did not change how you thought. You were only sorry for saying it in public on another show.

        I’m sorry you are offended that people are talking about you. I have tried to respectfully tell them that you have decided to take a break from the boards and will not see their posts or respond to them. I even took Marvin’s side and agreed that Robert’s comments were inappropriate. But they were understandable. Understanding another’s motivation does not excuse the action. But it places that action in context. I’m sure Robert has heard you on Smalley by way of simple research. And he has heard at least some of our shows. He could have easily heard you using such language about me and others. So he was probably surprised when you reacted the way you did.

        I have no intention of blocking you from the board as all are welcome here. But you really should take a break and perhaps give others a break from your particular brand of persecution complex drama. You have not been mistreated. You throw stones from the dubious safety of a glass house. No one else reacts the way you do. And that should perhaps be a sign that you are at least a part of the problem.

        You have offended a lot of people on every board I have seen you on. People are going to talk about you and your theories after you’re gone. You will not like some of what people have to say. But that is the challenge of being a public figure who says controversial things. I deal with the same things. But I am doing my best to reconcile with Marvin while you seem to be doing what you can to sabotage that effort.

        Just go away for a while and cool off and appreciate the devastation you leave in your wake. People are unhappy, bitter, and unkindly disposed to you right now. That is not a conspiracy. That is you. You will be remembered and talked about, just not how you envisioned it. Please just make good on your promise to go away for a while. Start by not responding to this post. Thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. David,

          Understand I only responded for Marvin’s benefit so he would have the truth about what happened rather than the fake news version you presented. I gave Marvin the actual shows to reference, so I’m sure he’ll be able to see that I’m right in my synopsis, so happy to leave it there and ignore the hypocrisy of you projecting your own faults onto me.

          One thing would be helpful for you to ponder on your own is why is that only Dale has been able to get some Atheists and Agnostics (Kyle, Reza, my brother, Tim O’Neill, etc.) to all agree with me about the behaviour of you and the skeptics on here and you’ve not managed to get a single Christian to agree with your assessment of me as the sole cause of problems on these Boards. I’ve had one or two Christians disagree with me and my take before- sure and I’ve even had some slightly admonishing me by saying I could have responded better, but not a single one of them denies that you guys are the one starting and asking for a well-deserved dose of your own. It was none other than these same reasonable friends of mine who told me I ought to apologize to you for the minor Smalley thing who usually 9 times out of 10 always agree with me that you and the skeptics are way out of line in how you address and respond to me whenever I check with them about some of the heated convos. Something to think about on your end perhaps.

          That said before you block me from here, would it be too much trouble to ask you to publically apologize to me for falsely saying that I’m trying to sabotage you and Marvin. I’ve explained to you in private that nothing could be further from the truth- you took it upon yourself to misrepresent me in response to Marvin, so I corrected the record, that was all, I’m sorry if you see that as sabotage but you are public figure and you must resign yourself to the fact that I have the right to defend myself with a fellow brother when I’m being falsely impugned.

          I have never, not once ever, used my contacts to sabotage or undermine your efforts in the same way I feel you have undermined me with some of our guests we had on S&S- never once have I emailed people behind your back and told them not to work with you- whether that be Marvin, Teddi or anyone else. I even offered to still host the show with you and Marvin but you didn’t care and so I now refuse to do it for my own reasons of not wanting anything more to do with you. I didn’t tell Marvin not to come on S&S with you if he still wants to do so- that is between you and him, I don’t care one way or another. Further, even after all of this, I was receiving emails from Robert L. White about coming on your S&S show as per your request, if I wanted to sabotage you, I wouldn’t have backed you up and instead I would have told him to have nothing to do with you. I didn’t do that despite my anger and feeling of betrayal because of how you’ve treated me- I don’t take unfair advantage of the people who wrong me, I’m a bigger man than you give me credit for.

          Anyways, I hope you will at least apologize for falsely saying I’m trying to sabotage you but if not then whatever that will speak for itself. Feel free to block me to ensure that I won’t be commenting further and feel free to do so permanently if you like, I’ve already blocked you from my site and emails as I have no intention of coming back ever again- this isn’t a break from S&S for me, I’m done with it.

          Take care.

          Like

          1. You blocked me from RSM? That’s rich. Yet I have not blocked you despite your insistence on causing as much damage as you can with your tantrums. I think your brand of Christianity speaks for itself. Thankfully, there are less corrosive brands to explore.

            To everyone else, take a breath. Cross your fingers in hopes that the long, national nightmare is over, and let’s get back to discussing the show and or related issues. Thanks for your patience.

            Like

            1. And no apology for lying about me and my motives eh David- OK, just wanted to see if you had any once of integrity left or not- Anyways, yes back to your regularly scheduled program.

              Like

              1. This is comedy, right? At this point, I am wondering how long you will just keep coming back to defend your honor and toss another grenade. I can do this all week. I live here. You are the one who keeps quitting and swearing you will go away for good.

                Dale, I will take your word that you are a seeker. But there is nothing real about your ministry efforts. Having been a minister, I can confirm that you don’t know the first thing about ministering to real people. You are toxic, and make a mockery of the one you call your king. Notice how I haven’t blocked you even now, while out of rage, you block me? I’m not even on your site. But you just need a way of not feeling impotent in your rage. You are not helping yourself at all.

                People are going to keep talking about you because you have said a lot of incendiary things. If you are going to pop up in fight mode every time that happens, you are foolish to think you can run your own site. This is the life. And if you are very lucky, you will attract some crazy drama queen who keeps popping up and doing their best to harm your efforts. Take this one last piece of advice from me, Take a deep breath, pack up, and walk away from this board.

                Anyone want to make bets on Dale popping back up and responding to this post? Put your chips in now. Betting begins at 50.

                Like

                1. David,

                  Lol, you are the one who keeps trying to perpetuate this convo with me, I even let most of your lies about me go in your previous 2 responses. As to why I blocked you from Skype, email and everything is I’ve concluded that you are bad company that corrupts my good character (1 Corinthians 15:33) as you made yourself pretty clear on this front in terms of not caring about me or all I’ve done for you.

                  But yeah, nothing I’ve said here was done out of rage or vindictiveness, not even the blocking- I just want to be done with you and never have to deal with you again, I gave you the last email and didn’t respond to that as you requested- but I didn’t anticipate receiving an email this morning notifying me that you were continuing to harass me post my leaving and in front of Marvin of all things. If you were an adult, then you wouldn’t have held grudges for things I’ve said like a year ago now and apologized to you for at the time (by the way even Andrew agreed with me that while I shouldn’t have said that on Smalley’s show, you were way out of line in blowing it out of proportion, so apparently your own best friend agrees with me and not you about the seriousness of what happened).

                  So if you weren’t vindictive and rageful than you wouldn’t have felt the need to impugn me to Marvin when he said Stanley was out of line, you simply would have said yeah that’s right Marvin, he did go too far there and end of story, but you felt the need to bring up old grievances with me (not even new stuff but old old stuff). All I did was reach out to Marvin to correct the record by giving my side of it along with the links to the shows so he could he see for himself how you misrepresented me.

                  Again as to the issues you raised, not sure what more I can say on them- here is my take that hopefully you will take to heart.;

                  1. Calling you a liar is something I believe is true in relation to the Shroud thing, its just me being honest- that said I was wrong to say that when you weren’t there to defend yourself. Perhaps, you might want to rethink your strategy of using an S&S guest to make me look bad when you know I won’t defend myself properly so as to not look petty in front of them and then go on to joke about punching me in the face in front of Smalley- yeah all of that fun stuff is all right there in the show for everybody to listen to, I don’t think the Christians believe you were well behaved in that show whereas I was and also was doing my best on Smalley’s show there as well. The truth of it is, you seem to be butt-hurt over being exposed as a fake seeker and thus you wanted to start some drama between me and Smalley for some reason and well look what happened to you, you got embarrassed in front of Smalley’s enitre audience by my innocently trying to tell the truth when Smalley asked me about it on his show- so it was you that is to blame for getting him so hyped up on that internal debate between us not me.

                  2. The Real Seeker thing, I’ve already explained to you why I say what I do and why you yourself admit to not being one; it should not be offensive to you at this point; you claim to be this enlightened person but you secretly hold grudges against people for even the most minor of offences. I on the other hand am always upfront with where I stand, I don’t hold vindictive grudges against people at all and even after everything was willing to put your needs above my own and you make it clear you don’t appreciate that- well OK fine, than I won’t do anything for you then.

                  Up to you if you are so immature that you want to keep going or not, I got some spare time to kill but it is you that said you want the others to speak about the show- if that is truly your aim, than I suggest you thank me for my time and/or just let it go and let people comment on the substantive points- its your site so I will follow your lead on this.

                  Like

  3. I will collect all those bets from those who thought Dale would keep his word and go away. 🙂 Here is one I’m sure he wishes he could delete:

    Feel free to block me to ensure that I won’t be commenting further and feel free to do so permanently if you like, I’ve already blocked you from my site and emails as I have no intention of coming back ever again- this isn’t a break from S&S for me, I’m done with it.

    He has replied two or three times since then, and now promises more. Dale, you are officially a liar. Shame!

    You have made your dramatic exit. Yet there you are still at the door, unable to just leave already. Perhaps if you try another even more dramatic exit, maybe it will take this time.

    Like

    1. David: I will collect all those bets from those who thought Dale would keep his word and go away. 🙂

      Pretty sure no one thought that was going to happen. Dale is far too addicted to toxic drama.

      Like

      1. You’re breaking my heart. Surely someone thought Dale was good for his word.

        Like

        1. David: You’re breaking my heart. Surely someone thought Dale was good for his word.

          You can put up a poll if you want. But I am pretty confident in my assessment.

          Like

    2. I gave you sincere last statements in all but my last response, but yes the last reply was one too far, I shouldn’t have played your game but I just wanted to see what you’d do, that’s all. Feel free to delete it and this reply if you like.

      Goodbye.

      P.S.- That was cute, your mindless little pet Darren came out to mock me in the end as well, that was a nice little farewell.

      Like

      1. No one believes it is the end. They hope and, dare I say, pray. But no one believes. Shall we take new bets?

        In your mind, you will take this little silliness and tell people I took out a restraining order on you. Seriously, I’m done with goodbyes. How about, get lost!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. David,

          Personally, I find it hard to get lost, I’m just too good with directions, how about you get lost first and then tell me how it’s done lol 🙂

          Bye bye my friend.

          Like

          1. Just wanted to pop in and see if there are any bets to collect. Nobody? Dang it! 🙂

            We all have equal parts brilliance and bollix. Neither of us have covered ourselves in glory today. But I had a blast anyway. What the reader may not understand is that you did too. Heck, you may not even understand it. Your horse and the sunset await. Do even better with your next opportunity.

            Bets, anyone? 🙂

            Like

  4. As I mourn the recent loss of my father( a Church of Christ elder who was with my late mother the pillars
    of their local congregation) and reflect upon the fact that he truly lived a life of serving and loving others
    and following the biblical example of Jesus with unbelievable consistency, I look at Dale and try to think of even one quality of his that speaks to him being “Christ-like” and I confess I come up completely empty.

    I may be an Atheist but to paraphrase former VP candidate at a Llyod Benson “I served with Christians.
    Christians are friends of mine. You Dale, are no Christian”.

    Like

    1. You and I have much to talk about as we both share a religious heritage. I also share your assessment. Dale would not have made it long in a Church of Christ. Funny thing is that most Christians would consider the Church of Christ a toxic form of Christianity. But the Church of Christ would have considered Dale a toxic kind of Christian. If they considered him a Christian, which they likely wouldn’t, they would disfellowship him. What a world I used to inhabit.

      Like

    2. My goodness Drew, I was about to just like David’s comment and move on as he finally realized he needs to stop addressing me if he wants me to stop. Understand though, my first replies on here were honestly made in good faith to Marvin and him- all this could have ended after I found it he didn’t want to apologize to me for saying I was trying to sabotage him- that should have been the end of the line.

      That said, not sure how recent the death of your dad is but obviously you don’t care about any of this given your loss and so in honour of your father, regardless of anything false or unfair you said about me here and our past history, I’m truly sorry that you lost your dad. I’ve not lost a parent myself, but I do know what its like to lose those you love. So at the end of the day, I will just say that I’m happy to hear that your mom and dad were true Bible-believing Christians and gave you a better example than I have as to how to live a Christ-filled life and I really am sorry for your loss.

      Take care Drew

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have too many failings of my own to cast stones at someone else’s personality. I don’t dislike Dale at all and I repeat yet again that I think he is a good, nice person. Like many Christians he’s stuck defending some execrable ideas from the bible. Although there is certainly some level of feed-back system in how any Christian interprets and defends the bible (it both forces them in some cases to swallow precepts they wouldn’t otherwise abide, while in some cases we see the individual Christian making God in his own image, whether it be placing a more loving spin on the text than that God deserves, or by making God a mouthpiece to the “you’ll get yours” darker part of our personalities).

        While I’m certainly ok with seeing the program expand to “fresh blood” I’m still sorry to see this fall-out.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Vaal, I also see you the same way despite our sometimes spats. Drew’s loss does put things into perspective in terms of making this whole spat between David and I seem pretty silly and he is right that I have some major flaws on my end so this is not all one-sided in terms of the fall-out.

          That said, you are always welcome on my site when I post up my chapters and arguments from time to time, but just please let’s try to stick to substance only and not go into ad hominems (my end) or assessing people’s motives (your end). I’ve had great substantive talks with Travis, Brian, Matt, Marvin and others over there so I would love to hear what you think when I get my 100+ page and Podcast show up on the Cosmological argument up in a couple months or so- up to you though 🙂

          Like

          1. Ok, thanks Dale!

            Liked by 1 person

      2. My father died Dec 13

        Like

  5. I’m interested in thoughts on the middle section of the podcast. What need does paradise and perfected beings have of a government of any kind, let alone, a king?

    Like

    1. Doesn’t make any sense to me. But you could insert an almost infinite set of things at the end of the sentence and it wouldn’t make sense.

      And if things were perfect before this fallen world, what assurance do we have that perfection will be maintained in this supposed perfect afterlife?

      Like

  6. I made a little change to the top of the page. But you don’t have to scroll up. Here is a link to a podcast supplemental to the Robert Stanley show. It is just me taking less than 40 minutes to go over some of the interesting points in the program worth discussion.

    This week got a little derailed with, well, you know. All that is behind us because I “took care of it.” (said in best mobster voice)

    The supplemental is my way of getting the discussion back on track and generating good conversation. Enjoy.

    https://anchor.fm/skeptics-and-seekers/episodes/Robert-Stanley-Directors-Cut-eamrg3

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good follow-up that raises some needed discussion points. I’ll have some substantive responses a little later.

      Technical FYI, my Apple Podcasts file is 1.5 hours long but you seem to end your thoughts at about the half hour mark…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So…I’m assuming Dale has taken his 53% belief and his ball and won’t be back on the podcast?
    I always enjoyed the two of you interacting and appreciated Dale until he said he’d kill his child if God told him to.
    I was chilled to the bone.

    Like

    1. Yes. S&S is preceding without Dale. The future looks bright. Thanks for listening and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good news, everybody! Skeptics and Seekers is getting a much needed overhaul, new features, and a new address. We are moving to SquareSpace. There, I can give you the ability to play the podcast right in the browser. And I can also provide Disqus commenting. Take a look at our new home and leave feedback right in Disqus underneath the blog post. I simply reproduced this one. Feel free to continue your commenting over there.

    http://www.skepticsandseekers.squarespace.com

    Like

  9. When fundamentals fundamentally believe our fundamentals are broken, things cease to be fun but go mental.
    I see the apocalypse has happened this week.

    Unfortunately, if you ultimately see fellow humans as broken, sinful and deserving of whatever hell you believe in, you have managed to dehumanise them. That’s ultimately how, he who has left the building, saw us. We all felt it. With that as a backdrop, it’s no wonder conversations veered off track. We are but hell kindling.

    No emotional appeals to Dale seemed to work here on the boards. For sure they were often expressed with not a little exasperation but it was the cyber equivalent of shaking someone to make them see sense. So it was good to literally hear Robert’s jaw dropping and sense his eyes widening, when Dale admitted he thought stoving someone’s head in with rocks till they die for picking up sticks on the sabbaths was justified. It’s the right reaction. It’s proper to pull the person back from this insanity. If not, it can lead to this type of twisted thinking because ‘it says so in the bible’. https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/05/23/8-steps-to-confront-your-wifes-sexual-refusal/
    Read this guys blog if you dare. Radicalisation is not funny. Dale was not that far off this chaps musings.

    Personally, I think Dale left so suddenly because I brilliantly exposed his real seeker theory as being bunkum. 😉😉 At the very least it showed he didn’t really believe it either. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Did you all miss it? I’ll post it again if need be. It was rather good and will probably remain my greatest and possibly last contribution. My last because, as of yesterday, the coronavirus has hit my mountain village. These are the first cases in France and it happens on my patch. 🙄 Brought over by a travelling tourist.

    We’re supposed to be vigilant for coughing etc. I’ve been at a friend’s house with their kid who played with one of the infected victims a few days ago, who, along with entire family, has now been evacuated to hospital buy helicopter and quarantined. There are emergency numbers to call, protocols to follow, the minister of health has descended, press conferences, police everywhere and town hall meetings (though who wants to be among people at this juncture!!). All rather unsettling. On the upside, the ski pistes were pretty quiet. Every cloud and all that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah: “If not, it can lead to this type of twisted thinking because ‘it says so in the bible’. https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/05/23/8-steps-to-confront-your-wifes-sexual-refusal/
      Read this guys blog if you dare.”

      Hi Sarah,
      First, I’m sorry to hear that the virus is so close to you. I hope you and your loved ones will all be safe.

      Second, I read a little – but not much of the blog you linked to. It seems to me that the Bible says people are to love one another – to me that means wanting and working for what is best for them. Putting their desires and needs above one’s own desires. In general, respecting a spouse’s feelings and desires (or lack of them) about sex is a loving thing to do. Not respecting them seems, on the surface, not to be an act of love. The author mentioned illegitimate reasons for not having sex – seems to me that any reason either person has would be a legitimate reason and should be respected.

      May people in relationships love one another and work so all of their needs and desires are met – and that any damage between them be healed,
      Brian

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Brian,

        Yes, and I totally agree with you about people not being forced to do something they’re not up for. But this chap, who has no business giving people advice in this area since he’s majored in theology not sex education, is using biblical principles to say such egregious things as women should not be allowed to vote and must stay home to look after children and be disciplined in front of the church if they do not repent for not putting out to their husbands. As I say, Dale’s thinking is not far behind. He believed in shunning and church discipline, stoning Sabbath workers and gays and child sacrifices because it’s in the bible.
        Some people understand love is the main goal and can work round the silly passages. Others can not.

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Brian: It seems to me that the Bible says people are to love one another…

        About 1% of the bible does say that. The rest is a manual on how to be truly terrible to other people.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. For any old time atheists around here am I the only one starting to see echoes of VenomfangX in Dale’s approach? I really hope he doesn’t start down the same road. Shawn was very lucky the MS crew wasn’t more vindictive and in 2020 I don’t think you can count on anyone not to be.

    Like

    1. You should view, the site has moved to http://www.skepticsandseekers.squarespace.com

      This blog continues there.

      Like

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