Counter-apologetics, Facebook discussions, Seventh-day Adventism

Why I Doubt Daniel 2 Is True

Daniel 2 Doubts Wrapped Up in Daniel Book/Doctrine Doubts

The relevance of the second chapter of the book of Daniel to a believer in Seventh-day Adventist doctrine is entirely dependent upon that church’s twin doctrines known as “The Sanctuary” and “The Investigative Judgment”.


Both of those doctrines depend heavily upon a view of the whole book of Daniel which has largely been abandoned by modern liberal scholarship, as noted below. Both of these doctrines build upon that abandoned interpretation of Daniel 2 which relied upon it as prophecy written before the events it predicted rather than as history written after the events it pretends to predict (the modern view). Both of those doctrines are unique to a single denomination within Christianity, the Seventh-day Adventist Church; but even within that church, there is no agreement as to the reliability of those very doctrines! The best summary of the controversy over those twin doctrines is found in three parts:

  1. Part One is here: truthorfables.com/Sanctuary_Cottrell.htm (If not available there, try http://www.webcitation.org/6Qcfg7Rgu;)
  2. Part Two is here: truthorfables.com/Sanctuary_Cottrell2.htm (If not available there, try http://www.webcitation.org/6QcfhFSQG;)
  3. Part Three is here: truthorfables.com/Cottrell_IJ_Recollection.htm (If not available there, try http://www.webcitation.org/6QcfjoZU9.)

The Modern Scholarship Problems with Daniel Must Be Answered

“Perhaps the most infamous case of misdating and misrepresentation is the book of Daniel. It is a hotchpotch of stories, some in Aramaic, some in Hebrew; some (retrospectively) describing visions, some incorporating known Babylonian tales; some regarded as canonical, some apocryphal. It purports to have been written during the Babylonian Exile, but scholars now accept that it was written about 400 years later, between 167 and 164 BC, at least partly in Aramaic. It is propaganda compiled to encourage resistance to the Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes, who was then trying to crush the Jewish religion. It tells how Daniel and his associates refused to compromise on matters of faith during the Babylonian Exile, but displays ignorance of the period, and of the Persian succession, and uses Macedonian words that were unknown at the time it was supposedly written.” (Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church, Garnet (UK, 2011); Garnet, (USA, 2011) ;http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/aa0_ot.htm#authorship)

“Old Testament authors often failed to appreciate that times change. They frequently projected titles, rituals and customs from their own time into the distant past. The author of Chronicles (third century BC) did it writing about the time of David (tenth century BC). The author of Esther (third or fourth century BC) did it writing about ancient Persia around the fifth century BC, and the author of Daniel (167-164 BC) did it writing about events 400 years earlier. In each case the author was trying to present his work as being much older than it really was.” (Beyond Belief: Two Thousand Years of Bad Faith in the Christian Church, Garnet (UK, 2011); Garnet, (USA, 2011); http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/aa0_ot.htm#errors)

“The introduction to the Prophets concludes that Daniel was not written by Daniel, but by a much later writer (167-164 B.C.) who wrote of things past as if they were yet in the fututre [sic].” (The Jerusalem Bible, http://www.bible-researcher.com/jerusalem-bible.html)

“One of the chief reasons of the obscurity which surrounds the interpretation of Dan., ix, 24-27, is found in the imperfect condition in which the original text of the Book of Daniel has come to us. Not only in the prophecy of the seventy weeks, but also throughout both its Hebrew (Dan., i-ii, 4; viii-xii) and its Aramaic (ii, 4-vii) sections, that text betrays various defects which it is easier to notice and to point out than to correct. Linguistics, the context, and the ancient translations of Daniel are most of the time insufficient guides towards the sure restoration of the primitive reading. The oldest of these translations is the Greek version known as the Septuagint, whose text has come down to us, not in its original form, but in that given to it by Origen (died about A.D. 254) for the composition of his Hexapla. Before this revision by Origen, the text of the Septuagint was regarded as so unreliable, because of its freedom in rendering, and of the alterations which had been introduced into it etc., that, during the second century of our era, it was discarded by the Church, which adopted in its stead the Greek version of Daniel made in that same century by the Jewish proselyte, Theodotion. This version of Theodotion was apparently a skilful revision of the Septuagint by means of the original text, and is the one embodied in the authentic edition of the Septuagint published by Sixtus V in 1587.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Book of Daniel”; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04621b.htm)

“Briefly stated, the following are their principal arguments:

  • As it is now found in the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Daniel contains historical references which tend to prove that its author is not an eyewitness of the events alluded to, as would be the case if he were the Prophet Daniel. Had this author lived during the Exile, it is argued, he would not have stated that “in the third year of the reign of Joakim, king of Juda, Nebuchadnezzer, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and besieged it” (Daniel 1:1), since this conflicts with Jeremiah, xxxvi, 9, 29.
  • He would not have repeatedly used the word “Chaldeans” as the name of a learned caste, this sense being foreign to the Assyro-Babylonian language, and of an origin later than the Exile; he would not have spoken of Balthasar as “king” (v, 1, 2 3, 5, etc., viii, 1), as the “son of Nebuchadnezzer” (v, 2, 18, etc.), since Balthasar was never king, and neither he nor his father had any blood-relationship to Nebuchadnezzer;
  • he would have avoided the statement that “Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom” of Balthasar (v. 31), since there is no room for such a ruler between Nabonahid, Balthasar’s father, and Cyrus, the conqueror of Babylon;
  • he could not have spoken of “the Books” (Daniel 9:2-Heb. text), an expression which implies that the prophecies of Jeremiah formed part of a well-known collection of sacred books, which assuredly was not the case in the time of Nebuchadnezzer and Cyrus, etc.
  • The linguistic features of the book, as it exists in the Hebrew Bible, point also, it is said, to a date later than that of Daniel: its Hebrew is of the distinctly late type which followed Nehemias’ time; in both its Hebrew and its Aramaic portions there are Persian words and at least three Greek words, which of course should be referred to a period later than the Babylonian Exile.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Book of Daniel”; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04621b.htm)
From a very conservative scholar (one who ultimately argues for a view very friendly to the SDA interpretation), we find the admission that: “the book of Daniel is one of the most contested portions of the Old Testament, perhaps second only to the early chapters of Genesis.” (http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_daniel.html)

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Counter-apologetics, Facebook discussions

Case Study in Deluded Christian Credulity

UPDATE 3/26/2014 ON AGW PORTION:

“Given this broad agreement on the fundamentals of climate science, what cognitive mechanism would underlie people’s dissent from the consensus? We suggest that if a person rejects an overwhelming scientific consensus, such as the one for climate science, then that person needs to deny that the consensus emerged as the result of researchers converging independently on the same evidence-based view. Rejection of the scientific consensus thus calls for an alternative explanation of the very existence of that consensus.

“The ideation of a secretive conspiracy among researchers can serve as such an explanation (Diethelm & McKee, 2009; McKee & Diethelm, 2010; Smith & Leiserowitz, 2012). Moreover, the ideation of a conspiracy may also serve as a “fantasy theme” that permits groups to develop and share a symbolic reality. Such fantasy themes (e.g., the denier as “Galileo” who opposes a corrupt iron-fisted establishment) operate as bonding agents that build group cohesion by creating a shared social reality. Fantasy themes are known to play a major role in climate denial (McKewon, 2012b, 2012a),” 

-from http://uwa.edu.au/recursivefury
Note use of ‘Galileo fantasy’ in AGW-related discussion below.
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The Facebook conversation on which this is based is found here: https://www.facebook.com/tom.doud/posts/10152337530993854?stream_ref=5

The opening post (OP) is made by my cousin Tom, and these are his words [typing errors are uncorrected; this was cut-and-pasted]:
“We need to state it plainly. This talk of global warming from CO2 is so far from scientific and based on greed not concern for doing the right thing. I know many people involved are sincere and confused on the so called science but its time to see it for what it is. Smart people cannot continue to support this rubbish.

“This is not a political issue although politics are involved. It is clear evidence that our civilization is dying mentally. When well read citizens and be so concerned with following the crowd that they cannot see truth from lie we are doomed.
“Let me say it plainly, anyone who in any way promotes the idea that we need to change policies to limit CO2 to prevent global warming is engaged in evil. They are working to hurt poor people by higher taxes and costs. They are taking money from programs that can truly help people and better stewardship of the planet.”

He commented thus when he found an article to his liking on a Facebook group called Carbon Dioxide, which is the FB presence of a website called “iloveco2.com”. That’s I Love CO2, in case you were napping. The article itself came from a blog called “Rat Nation: exposing the lunacy of liberalism one post at a time”, and its topic was an interview between Sean Hannity and energy industry shill Patrick Moore, a man who pretends to have co-founded Greenpeace (they deny it, and have the papers to prove it) but left the activist group when they supposedly sold out to climate change hysteria. Now he makes as many public appearances as he can attempting to bolster the claims of climate deniers, especially the kind that make his nuclear industry clients happy.

Tom’s theme throughout the ensuing discussion stays fairly focused on his perception that our nation is losing its ability to reason logically, and his opening argument was to point to how supposedly the IPCC models have been proven wrong, and everyone knows this, and yet they can’t logically reason their way to ignoring the alleged Big Government political conspiracy of Global Warming and Climate Change.

When commentors debunked Patrick Moore’s claims, and then provided evidence that the IPCC models are actually accurate, Tom went into high gear denial. He simply didn’t engage with the offered rebuttals, and instead skipped right to denying CO2’s role in AGW (as does his favorite weatherman– and climate change denier– Joe Bastardi), and also denying that there’s any consensus amongst climate scientists.

When consensus was shown to be real and genuine, he changed his argument yet again. Now his assertion was that science doesn’t work by consensus, only politics does. After being shown that this was an absurd idea, he circled back around to a favorite theme of his, namely that generally, science isn’t done very well at all. As if to say, when I can find science that bolsters my preconceived conclusions, that’s what you call good science; if lots of science evidence appears to disagree with my conclusions, then that’s what is known as junk science; and Tom is the one who decides what’s junk and what’s not.

He then offered a quote by scientist Richard Feynman, and a link to an article in which Feynman expertly attacks modern pseudo-scientific ideas while explaining how science should rely on transparency and openness to whatever direction the evidence takes us, even if it disagrees with previous hypotheses or pet theories. Again, apparently without seeing the irony there.

Around this point in the discussion, Tom said, “Jim and Bill I just want to say I am sorry if my words are harsh. This post is most intended for the casual person who doesn’t take AGW as gospel truth. I don’t expect either of you to change. If someone has strong liberal beliefs they would only change if they heard it on NPR and major media. I could show the lack of correlation w CO2 and AGW with graphs prior to 98 as well. We didn’t need the 15 – 18 years of no warming to show there is no correlation. As far as the evil comments about ‘deniers’ the AGW world has ample supply of corrupt people. That is a distraction. What I am asking is to not take sides in the politics but have people think for themselves.”

What isn’t clear is how well Tom takes his own advice, and thinks for himself, instead of letting Sean Hannity, and meteorologist/deniers Joe Bastardi and Anthony Watts do his thinking for him. It also isn’t clear that Tom would ever change his strong beliefs, no matter where he heard the evidence coming from.

And a little later, “There is a consensus among those who are politically motivated to want to believe in AGW that it is true but that is not science. Science is a model that works.” Again, ignoring the evidence presented that the models DO work; it’s easier to deny evidence by just pretending it doesn’t exist, and moving on.

And just after that, “Newtonian physics was a consensus refuted by deniers.” Which happens to ignore the irony that Newton’s physics still have explanatory value, and that Newton himself was a denier of many of the church’s teachings, which were subsequently shown to be in error by those who took Newton’s teachings to their logical conclusions. The argument from authority here comes back to bite Tom in the butt, especially when he occasionally morphs into Catholic Defenderman.

And, “The primary evidence that CO2’s effect is not well understood is the failure of the IPCC models. It is helpful to do experiments that fail but what is needed is the observational ability to claim them as failures for true science to evolve in a logical manner.” Apparently only Tom and fellow AGW deniers are logical enough to admit the failures of the IPCC models (never mind that the models haven’t failed.)

Thus, Tom cannot be convinced that IPCC’s models are of any use. They failed, he claims; and as failures, they need to be recognized as such by the larger CC community, discarded, back to the drawing board as it were, so that other more pressing problems can be addressed. Some of Tom’s favorite FB newsfeed soapboxes include EMF toxicity, Jack Kruse’s diet woo, and helping the poor of the world– but the Catholic way, since he’s fundamentally anti-government. He’s a hardcore Catholic, and defends everything Catholic right down to Bill O’Donohue and the Catholic League (see https://www.facebook.com/jim.miles/posts/10152804288011758?stream_ref=5).

A Tom Leqoc chimes in eventually, and between the two of them, they set forth historical examples illustrating how the progress of scientific discovery often resulted in an orthodox view, and what they retroactively re-imagine as “denialists.” For example, there once was a time when the earth was believed to be the center of the universe, but Galileo the denialist came along, and eventually won the day. Yay for denialists. There once was a time when Eugenics was acceptable. Denialists saved us from that tragedy. Yay, denialists.

Then Tom injected Catholic theology into the mix, confusingly: “To be scientific one needs to develop a model and show all the data to the world. Show them how to plug in the CO2 data and what it will do to temps. Then they can run it and watch temps agree with real measurements. See Feynman’s article for a better description. This how Aquinas did in in the 1200’s in his Summa. He started with objections and transparency. The models were wrong because they claimed an amplified effect of CO2 and now we know that was wrong.”

And later, “Real science takes the time to test prove retest not rush forward and try to drown out skepticism. Real science wants skeptics. St. Augustine gave praise to the heretics because they forced the church to better define doctrine. We need more Feynman’s and less Gore’s.”

Note a switch there, unintentional or not (not sure?): from Aquinas to Augustine. At any rate, Tom sees parallels between how Catholics do theology and how scientists do science. This from a guy who credits western ‘Christian Civilization’ with basically inventing modern science. Which of course flies in the face of the facts about Greek science predating Christianity, and having no influence on Judaism before it. Christianity slowed innovation and learning and questioning down to an anemic trickle during a millennium of dark ages fear-mongering about science.

I keep rereading the OP, and I just cannot wrap my head around it. A later post somewhat backs off from the strident tone of the OP, however I have listened to Tom hold forth on the topic enough now to know that he does feel strongly about it, and I think his OP actually was an eloquent and accurate reflection of his true feelings on the matter.

Which is why I keep circling back to it, and each time my confusion deepens.

Here are some questions and comments in an attempt to crystallize my confusion, addressed rhetorically in the first person toward Tom; whether I’ll ever direct these at Tom on Facebook remains to be seen:

  • “Evil.” Context = “anyone who in any way promotes the idea that we need to change policies to limit CO2 to prevent global warming is engaged in evil. They are working to hurt poor people by higher taxes and costs. They are taking money from programs that can truly help people and better stewardship of the planet” (italics mine).
    • Evil implies malicious motives; it would be difficult to prove motive, as it is in the courts, but punishments of criminal behavior are handed down every day based on judgments of others’ motives. Share two or three of your most damning exhibits of evidence, Tom, which lead you to impugn the motives of climate scientists and/or their policy-maker allies in government. Just two or three, but no less, please; the charge of evil intent is rather extraordinary, so let’s have more than guessing and circumstantial evidence. No witch hunt testimony, if you please!
    • “they are working to hurt poor people” is your subclaim. Please let your evidence also demonstrate that there are climate scientists or climate policy makers motivated by a desire to hurt poor people. You will need to show that instead of being well-intentioned public servants and scientists whose concern for the future of their children and the planet are instead putting all that on as a show; it’s a sham, an act, and underneath their pretended fears for the future of the human race, there is nothing but base greed for gain (this is the essence of your claim).
  • “Greed.” Context = “This talk of global warming from CO2 is so far from scientific and based on greed not concern for doing the right thing.”… “They are working to hurt poor people by higher taxes.” Not that you’re a fossil fuel industry shill, or even necessarily a fan, but your tax dollars have been subsidizing US oil companies since their founding right up to the present (and subsidies of alternative energy sectors has thus far paled by comparison, http://bit.ly/1cyrsi3). That, too, represents Robin Hood in reverse, since the industry hasn’t needed those tax breaks for decades even though they continue taking them, and each dollar of subsidy is a dollar we cannot spend on more worthy programs, like job training, small business loans, scholarships, food stamps, unemployment, and extending health care to the least of these our brethren.
    • Do you fight as passionately against that kind of corporate socialist welfare waste as you do against misbegotten scientific pursuits? 
    • And to flip it around a little: Inasmuch as greed and self-interested actions form the basis of the American free market system, and inasmuch as competitive strategies currently legally include lobbying for as much political and policy support as can be afforded by profit margins, then why are we criticizing what some are calling the “Global Warming Industry” for following the highly successful examples of the military industrial complex, the health insurance industry, the financial industry, and the energy industry? Why is corporate socialism only evil for green energy motivated by climate change, and not evil in any other industry?
    • And if we admit that all these evils are equal, and we should stop robbing our poorest to subsidize our wealthiest, let’s start with the oldest offenders and work our way to the present.
  • “Doomed.” Context = “I know many people involved are sincere and confused on the so called science but its [sic] time to see it for what it is. Smart people cannot continue to support this rubbish. This is not a political issue although politics are involved. It is clear evidence that our civilization is dying mentally. When well read citizens and [sic] be so concerned with following the crowd that they cannot see truth from lie we are doomed.” 
    • Seeing “it for what it is,” is, presumably, the evil mentioned above, the damage done to poor people. What damage is being done to poor people by climate scientists that isn’t being done a thousand-fold more by a fossil-fuel dependent American economy hijacked by the radical libertarian policies of the Tea Party? 
    • What about your church, whose leadership perpetuates money-laundering of the wealthiest criminals’ blood-money and obfuscates law-enforcement efforts to bring their pedophile priests and the bishops who protect them to justice? All while enthroned in a golden temple surrounded by priceless art and architecture which, if ever auctioned off, could finance world-changing efforts to raise the poorest women of the world out of grinding poverty by means of loans and education. It seems that religion and ideology-driven pseudo-science spells “DOOM” for civilization far more than climate science does.

Anti-liberal, anti-secular ideology is found in virtually all of the sources to which Tom links, such as Sean Hannity and his employer, Fox News (the original source breadcrumb-linked to Tom’s OP), and the ideologically poisoned website “ILoveCO2.com”. By cherry-picking his sources, or rather, pruning them of any possibly inconvenient truth-containing content, Tom is able to pretend to rely on a wide variety of evidence, and convince himself that like a good scientist, he’s just following the evidence wherever it leads him. What he isn’t admitting is that he’s already decided where the evidence must lead him, and he’s guiding his own research in order to make sure he gets to the same a priori conclusions every time. This is the modern Christian’s modus operandi when they approach science in order to use it to bolster their own religious and ideological world-views.
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https://www.facebook.com/jim.miles/posts/10152804288011758?stream_ref=5

New topic, same voice discussing it. The link in the OP (Opening Post, i.e., the discussion topic) was to militant defender of Catholicism (head of the US-based Catholic League) William O’Donohue being schooled on the logic of providing children with loving families, whether the parents are hetero- or homosexual.

The discussion was wide-ranging, and included evidence that Mother Teresa doesn’t deserve the praise she gets, or a sainthood; lots of back and forth on historical evidences of church fallibility and imperfection, including the child-abuse scandal; a particular detour spotlighting the fact that the church as changed its doctrines over the past 2000 years; and eventually back to homosexuality. At one point, a Danny Klopovic (from another group I post in occasionally) jumped in to argue that the church’s original pacifist doctrines have been changed by the Catholic Church to justify war.

Tom’s initial loyalty to his church emerges early in the discussion, as he clings to the idea that a few bad apples (or even if a majority of the apples are bad, or even all of them) doesn’t change the fact that God is in charge of his church. When pressed on the child abuse scandal, for example, his first reaction is misdirection: abuse is worse in other sectors, like the Protestant and secular world.

Then he repeats a popular two-pronged trope of Catholic apologists: the child abuse scandal is 1) not really children but “post-pubescents,” and 2) mostly due to allowing homosexuals into the clergy, a problem he insists is now solved.

Then he repeats his initial loyalty idea: “remember all sins are due to individuals not following the church (Christ’s) teaching.”

Tom cannot draw a line from the massive historical and contemporary record of violence, corruption, and abuse within the church’s leadership connecting to the weak, fallible authorities the church uses to teach itself its doctrine. The authorities of the church include fallible popes, changeable teachings, the writings of corrupted medieval ‘church fathers,’ and the Catholic version of the Scripture as taught by the Catechism. To Tom, there is no connection; Catholic theology is a science established by Aquinas and perfected over intervening centuries of church councils; the writings used by the theologians are perfect in that God inspired them and all who teach them, and no amount of evidence will convince Tom otherwise.

So what Tom has done is begun with a conclusion: The Church has not changed over the last 2000 years, it has survived many attacks over those years intact and preserved pure Gospel teaching as God’s vessel for truth about Himself. Beginning with that conclusion, and turning to the church’s own repositories of documents justifying its own existence (which is in almost endless supply by this late date in its history), Tom unsurprisingly finds an endless supply of evidence to confirm his presuppositions and biases. If anyone offers evidence in conflict with his conclusion, he cannot see it or hear it. He sweeps it aside and refuses to consider it. He has many fallacies handy to use in his own defense, like misdirection, pseudo-science, and special pleading.

That last is probably his most often used. At one point, pressed on the cover-up of abuse by high church officials, he goes back to defending his initial presupposition like a champ: “there is no skirting of this being a huge evil but it is the allowing of secular sinful practices to invade the church. The churches guilty of not being Catholic enough.”

He even uses the terminology of science and skepticism as he pursues confirmation bias, often repeating phrases similar to this: “We should be about following the truth here no matter where it leads,” apparently immune to the irony there.

When presented with the stance against homosexual discrimination and shaming taken by the professional organizations AMA and APA, Tom’s response is dismissive, “Jim AMA and APA are political organizations,” and a crack about posting opinions on business from the American Communist Party (so what if we did? Wouldn’t that be following evidence wherever it leads? As we see, some evidence just isn’t allowed to be considered).

When presented with evidence answering his claim that the science is settled and homosexuality has no genetic connection, the links offered were properly conservative about their claims. In other words, they did not try to claim too much; they merely showed that the science is not all in on this, that much remains to be researched, BUT thus far, there is much that leads us to conclude that there are strong components of genetics and biology explaining the minority who are homosexual in orientation. I suppose the fact that room was left for future research, or the fact that room was left for a percentage of gay lifestyles to have been choice-driven rather than biologically determined was all Tom needed. His surprising reply to this was, “I see you found a link that shows HS is not genetic. Done there.”

When presented with evidence that Vatican II changed church dogma on whether you have to be Catholic to be saved (from Yes to Not Necessarily), the evidence linked to had been compiled by catholic women trying to change church teaching on women in the priesthood. They reference Vatican documents, but Tom cannot see it, he chooses instead this reaction: “Nothing has changed. Poorly researched links by anti Catholics not scholarly. Just read what was taught in 1st century,” and links to the Didache.

After dealing with that misdirection and pressing Tom on the changed in Vatican teaching, he returns to special pleading: “VII teaches clearly that there is no salvation outside the church as previous but explained it better. Catholic theology has always taught baptism of desire for example. Christ knows the depth of every mans heart better than himself and if someone responds as best they can to what grace they have God will save. One does not need to go by the ordinary means of sacramental life (ie thief on the cross wasn’t baptized). …Many will get to heaven and only then understand the true meaning of church. Remember Catholic means universal so it means what was practiced across the Mediterranean in the first century. There is no change in teaching here only a better explanation. That was the whole point of VII is not to change but to explain the faith to the modern world.”

When FURTHER pressed with a clear side-by-side comparison of infallible statements in conflict with each other, he takes his special pleading to a new octave: “Jim all those old statements are true and VII doesn’t change them. What a reader who does not understand the meaning of church might infer is that you have to be a card carrying Catholic to get to heaven. God understands how individuals can be confused and yet seek God in a sincere way. The church has always taught that one must freely accept the faith but finally put in to doctrine in the 700’s that conversion by force is sinful. If anyone in history forced conversion that was in direct conflict with Catholic teaching.”

A few (as far as I can tell) non-sequitur remarks are tossed in: “This same logic [note application of science/skeptic terminology–‘logic’] applies to someone inside the church proper. I could not follow the letter of the law out of ignorance yet be sincere in my heart and God understands. By the letter of the law missing mass on Sunday is mortal sin so by the same logic if objectively not following Catholic teaching lost your salvation about 80% of modern practicing Catholics wouldn’t be saved.”

Back to special pleading: “Papal infallibility was established by Christ and cannot be taken away by man. That is like saying the church should get away of sin, the Trinity and the Holy Spirit. She didn’t choose it and doesn’t have the power to remove it.”

Toss in a non-sequitur: “On the practical side its nice in cozy modern era to be critical of the Christians who were getting massacred by Islam. [return to special pleading]There were many sinners in the church over the last 2000 years but that was predicted by Christ and should be no surprise to anyone with a cursory understanding of the New Testament.”

So we can see then that no matter what sinful corrupt behavior of Catholics one could dredge up for Tom, including Popes and Church Fathers themselves, perhaps even saints like Teresa, Tom’s gift of special pleading allows him to vault over it, and appeal to a yet-older authority. In this case, he got all the way back to AD 633, insisting that the Council of Toledo’s injunction against forcing Jews to convert was the TRUE teaching, and the many ways in which the Inquisition and the Crusades just happened to ignore that injunction were, well, bad apples in essence.

He doesn’t mind vaulting back even further, claiming that bible teaching is Catholic doctrine, even though that claim is subject to its own brand of special pleading and pliable interpretation. Danny Klopovic later points out the changes made in church teaching on the use of military violence; Tom’s special pleading goes back to Christ: “Danny you are just saying there were sinners in the church. Christ predicted that. More proof of her divine guidance.”

And later, to Danny’s insistence that Tom answer the charge of a change in war dogma, Tom pleads this: “2000 years of saints working for the poor in slums disagree with you. You will know by fruits. The Catholic Church built western civ. what did any other denomination bring?” and also this: “The violence was defending from the attack of Islam and Protestants. Not denying sins in church but that is not doctrine. It is sinful to not defend oneself and the weak.”

When Danny finally gives up attempting to pierce Tom’s airtight circular reasoning (“The Church has always been perfect, therefore everything the Church has ever done or taught must have always been perfect; anything imperfect done in the name of the church therefore cannot be credited to the church”), Tom returns to it yet again, pleading this: “Danny to the extent the church has been violent it is not following Christ and that is obvious my point is separating doctrine from sinful practice. I agree that others have their faults like not practicing the sacrament of the Eucharist and it is not their fault in most cases. My ancestors are Puritans and I am proud of their sincerity despite their doctrinal errors. Let us pray that we can all be one. Unity comes through the love of Christ and pleased to have this discussion with you brother.”

There appears to be no heights to which Tom’s special pleading will not go to reinforce his initial presupposition that the Church cannot err (even when it does err). Including these gems taken at random:

“Most of history is scrubbed of the involvement of the church. In secular history you don’t learn how the church developed universities, hospitals and science. All you typically get is some garbage about the dark ages followed by Luther saving the world. The church changed a western pagan culture that would have seen Hitler as another Caesar and never thought him evil to a moral culture that sees him as a monster. The difference is the church and its effect on moral thought. It has changed the world in a dramatic way. There would be no UN and concern for the environment if it weren’t for the church. The secular culture has adopted some Christian morals but does not know where they came from.”
a link to a book with the title: “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization”
Tom has the last word on the conversation at the time of this writing. I had supplied a link to the book I recently finished reading on these topics, Beyond Belief (http://amzn.to/1gxKVw0), which provide overwhelming proof that all versions of Christianity, Catholicism included, are simply man-made and bear no marks of divine creation. Here’s Tom’s twin replies:

  • “Jim your quote I like: From it: ‘The fact is that there is no clear reliable authority in the Christian Church, or any of its many branches. Orthodoxy has developed according to the tastes of the dominant factions of the moment.’ It should be logical that if there is no authority at first it cannot develop later. There is either the authority of the Catholic church or Christ lied and left it alone for men to develop. As far as your statement re man made religion that is spot on for denominations that point to men as their origin. By that I don’t mean a spiritual connection to someone in the first century but that their sect started with Luther or Zwingli. The divine sign of the Catholic church is that it spread very fast yet where the leaders had no or little control (ie Paul’s letters describing problems). Under this persecuted and powerless church all doctrine was established. The mode your author most likely takes is very Hegelian and sees all human development in an Darwinian sort of evolution. The mean dominant group beat up the weak and established orthodoxy through power, etc. This was not possible in the early church. Later yes but at that time doctrine was already well established (and Catholic). If there is not divine intervention and guidance you get division as you see in the 30k divisions of Protestantism.”
  • “That is why I love when people point out the many sins of the church or more precisely its members. The more you know about the bad church history the more you should question why it is still here. Some of the best tried to kill it. Napolean, Islam, Henry VIII, Luther, Hitler, Stalin come to mind. And those not as damaging as incompetence within. How can you trust any organization to not split in many parts and change teaching? Men can’t provide unity but God can. The church is a hospital for sinners not a collections of the elect.”It truly is possible to be Gish Galloped when debating facts with a believer. When they freely use fallacious strategies like the non-sequitur, it can severely hamper your ability to weed out their actual replies from the off-topic rants. When they toss in so much special pleading that universes of documented evidence are ably swept aside in favor of their a priori conclusion, it withers your mind’s ability to see any point in the discussion. And when it all streams out at breakneck speed like a fire-hose, and especially when it’s accompanied by just the right amount of snark, one cannot help but conclude that arguing with a believer is often a lost cause. 

One can only hope to plant seeds of good reasoning in the bad soil of believers’ terrible abuse of logic and rational thought.

Another conclusion I’m forced to is that taken by my previous post, Credulity. To return to that topic a bit, I am reinforced in my theory stated there that once a person embraces religious beliefs, perhaps especially Christian religious beliefs, one is thereby opening oneself to all manner of other erroneous ways of perceiving reality, including pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.

Tom’s climate contrarianism is usually bolstered by his own claims of conspiracy. He claims we are being lied to. He seems to truly believe that a conspiracy is afoot, with so-called ‘limousine liberals’ calling the shots, to dupe the world’s nations into thinking that CO2 is bad for the environment, and to make money off of their endeavors to reduce or eliminate emissions of CO2. A simpler explanation (a la Occam) would be that the consensus on climate change is actually correct, but to believers who have already tossed out Occam’s razor in favor of the convoluted teachings of Christianity, that’s not good enough. Conspiracy makes more sense to them. Pre-loaded with their a priori conclusion that climate change cannot be caused by human actions, their confirmation bias cherry picks through the abundant orchards of denial supplied by the industry and their many crackpot ‘think-tanks’ and bloggers. The poor, defenseless oil, coal, and natural (fracktural) gas industries should say hail Marys to thank God for their courageous defenders in people like Tom.

It’s the same with his Catholic supremacy theories. His presupposition is that Jesus himself found the Catholic Church, and has never stopped guiding it. If the church’s critics turn up the heat too high, Tom cries ‘Conspiracy!’, ‘anti-catholicism!’, ‘bigotry!’, and alternates such cries with heroic special pleading, betraying such an unthinking loyalty that he deserved an honorary clerical title: “The church is the source of all things good- Science, Morality, Philosophy, Logic, Environmentalism, the U.N., Hospitals, Universities, Western Civilization!”

Tom has elsewhere asserted that EMF radiation from wireless and microwave technology is part of a cover-up of the known science proving it is a carcinogenic toxin constantly bathing us all in a danger yet-unforeseen (but it can’t be good).

He has also claimed that the USDA (or was it the FDA? probably both) have conspired to misinform the public on the topic of nutrition; luckily, Dr. Jack Kruse and his version of an optimized lifestyle and diet (think paleo on steroids) is around to set us all straight on that.

There’s no point arguing with someone whose a priori conclusions will always be allowed to trump any evidence which disagrees with their presuppositions. Especially is this the case with people like Tom, who also know a lot about science and logic and philosophy, and aren’t afraid to name-drop and term-drop from the ranks of those who (if they knew he was referencing them in his own defense would spin in their graves) actually HAVE set our society toward a brighter future for all their efforts to draw humanity away from superstition, religion, and pseudoscience.

To Tom, HE is the one being logical (presumably because he’s in the correct church, the one which invented philosophy and logic), HE is the one properly using science (after all, his church invented science), HE is the one with the correct perspective on moral questions (since his church is the God-ordained repository of morality). Tom has decided the above conclusions ahead of any argument you wish to bring to him. He is unable to justify his long loyalty to his church without such a priori conclusions and his free exercise of confirmation bias, cherry picking, special pleading, and flat out ignoring evidence when it is too detrimental to those conclusions.

And THAT is the clearest case study I can present that Christianity is indeed a harmful delusion. From my experience, it makes me sad, since I was right there where Tom is, valiantly (I thought at that time) fighting the good fight, defending the faith. I was very certain of everything I believed, and certain also that God was pleased with me for that certainty and for taking up the fight against his enemies in the Facebook discussions, in the chat rooms, in the comments sections, and in every corner of the Internet it could be found.

I am saddened because of the years I lost, giving my mind over to such wasteful and harmful misuse. And because of the many I misled on the Internet and (worse) in my private school classrooms. Humanity needs to shed its superstitions, stop clinging to its outmoded religious modes of morality, and embrace being good without God–the only way to truly be good, and to truly benefit the well-being of all our fellow humans.

We need a truly secular society, a science-based society, one which allows for the few to retain their individual faith traditions, will not allow its increasingly humanist majority to be held back any more by the powerful and corrupting anti-scientific forces within organized religious and pseudoscience lobbying organizations.

Standard
Economics, Ethics, Facebook discussions

Single Payer Healthcare Please!

UPDATE (02/02/2015): What It’s Like When You’re an American Using Britain’s NHS 

UPDATE (11/19/2014): Canadian woman hit with $950K medical bill after unexpectedly giving birth in US hospital

UPDATE (6/21/2014): US Doctors migrating north to escape dysfunctional US health insurance system. pnhp.org/news/2014/june/us-doctors-migrating-north

UPDATE (05/16/2014): Canadians love their system, contrary to  US health insurance lobby propaganda: pnhp.org/news/2014/march/doctor-who-schooled-us-senator-thrilled-by-canadian-support

UPDATE (12/31/2013):  Outrageous costs of U.S. healthcare: viralnova.com/hospital-bill/

UPDATE (10/31/2013): LISTEN TO REASON! The following two links both let you listen in on an intelligent conversation between host David Feldman and Dr. Paul Song and Dr. Nancy Niparko from Physicians for a National Health Program. They explain why America needs a single payer healthcare system right now. The first link is the most important five (5) minutes of the show. The second is the entire show.

Link #1 (4:48 mins): youtu.be/tcmfgR25VnQ
Link #2 (90 mins): davidfeldmanshow.com/obamacare-isnt-enough/

UPDATE (10/3/2013)  Another release of damning statistics which prove the U.S. system of healthcare is extremely dysfunctional: huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/health-care-costs

[Note: first published at Hubpages.com on 06/21/12; the comments immediately following were copied from that location for reference. Please comment here on blogspot.com.
Updates to this post will continue to appear above this line]

Single Payer Government Run Healthcare Q&A: Some interesting questions arose when I asked my Facebook friends if they were as ready for a single payer system as I am. I decided to answer them here, on my blog, so a potentially wider readership could chime in, too…

Disease-care, or Healthcare?

Have you checked your blood pressure today? I did.
Have you checked your
blood pressure today? I did.
Source: © cienpies.net

The following statistic speaks volumes:

“52 percent of doctors would get out of medicine if they could. So many young doctors are recognizing how broken the system is…”  –from Escape Fire, a new healthcare documentary; read the interview with the maker here.

Do Canadians come here for important health care needs (in statistically meaningful numbers)?

Are Canadian doctors leaving Canada to practice in the United States (in statistically meaningful numbers)?

Has an elaborate, private-insurer-supporting mythology emerged surrounding the supposed evils of the Canadian system?

Insurance industry lobbyists are like this scary clown: they wear suits, they have the blood of innocents on their hands, and they are deceptively masked. And they don't sleep well at night.
Insurance industry lobbyists are like this scary clown:
they wear suits, they have the blood of
innocents on their hands, and they are
deceptively masked. And they don’t sleep well at night.

It’s reminiscent of misguided corporate/political PR campaigns of days gone by:

The Finnish love saunas,
public schools,
Nokia phones,
and universal healthcare!
Source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/_marta

Would an increase in welfare state measures be bad for the economy?

No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus, but every December, at noradsanta.org, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will use your dad's taxpayer dollars to mock this childish fantasy of yours!
No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus,
but every December,
at noradsanta.org,
the North American Aerospace Defense Command
will use your dad’s taxpayer dollars
 to mock this childish fantasy of yours!
photo source: Jim Miles

Doesn’t the U.S. Government always screw up everything it does?

See Myths, above; but for the patriots, here’s a very partial list:

Now, if the question is whether modern campaign-cycle-frenzied U.S. politicians screw up more often than not, I might tend to agree there.

The one sector of the economy with the most to lose in the switch to a single-payer, government-run healthcare system is the current private health insurance industry. Expect the most vehement lobbying/mythologizing from those mega-corporations and the media outlets they support and the candidates and elected officials they support. But that’s just common sense, right?

Newsflash Headline: Campaign-Addicted Politicians May Not Make Good Decisions!

Good Ideas for a Single Payer system for the United States

What would Jesus do... about your pre-existing conditions?
What would Jesus do…
about your pre-existing conditions?

Penultimate question:

What’s a good place to start browsing information about proposals for a single payer system for the United States?

(Disclaimer: I am NOT affiliated with any of the pro-single payer organizations linked above or below!)

Is Canada The Only Country That Does This?

UPDATE (8/13/2013): GREAT NEWS!

The Senator who leads the majority party in the United States Senate just made some amazing comments about single payer healthcare. He has basically predicted that eventually we will have it in this country. He calls Obamacare a necessary step toward single payer.

Please read the following story of Harry Reid’s recent ground-breaking comments:
pnhp.org/news/2013/august/harry-reid-congress-someday-will-end-insurance-based-system

[Editorial note: the comments directly below, ending with d.william, were added to this essay as it appeared on Hubpages.com, through November 25, 2013. Dates of each comment are as of November 28, 2013. Current comments continue below, here at blogspot.com]

davidlaw2 profile image
davidlaw2 17 months ago
I flat out believe that the current Republican attack on universal health insurance is a conflict between the wealthy and the working class who need the insurance.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 17 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
I agree, David. Thanks for contributing to my Hub.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 17 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
This article is timely, given the waiting game we’re all playing, until the SCOTUS decides what to do about ACA:
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davidlaw2 profile image
davidlaw2 17 months ago
Hello JimMiles: The people who need this program are people who earn $80,000 or less per year. They are also the people who pay, without corporations, the largest amount of income tax. The people who are against the insurance earn over $250,000. Most if them are the people that have more than $100,000,000. They are the ones who pay to spread untrue informating to get the public to vote against what they critically need. I included your name so this would go directly to you.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 17 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Good point, David. I guess I can’t blame those with wealth looking out for their own interests; but so much of the new anti-middle class legislation feels truly cruel. I hope we’re better than this, as a nation; hopefully, the history books will be able to say that about this chapter…
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davidlaw2 profile image
davidlaw2 17 months ago
Hello again JamesMiles” I don’t blame the rich for being rich. The problems have been developing with TV and the huge amounts of money paid by the super rich on ads to get their candidates elected. The tactics of spinning facts and flat out lying when it will not be checked out and exaggerating facts has become the problem. The news papers, Fourth Estate, historically was to catch on-truths and exaggerations and supply correct facts independently without taking political sides. The new media does not do this anymore. Most everyone is doing commentary that belongs on the editorial pages or editorial programs and not programs disguised as news. When I listened to a recent programs, three flat out lies were stated by commentators. I am working on an article designed to plant the seed to develop non partisan committees to evaluate the information presented by politicians and present the facts to the public through a website. This site will not be an anti government or free-press format. The committee will be made up of paid researchers dedicated to tell the truth. The goal will be to do what the current news media can’t do because they are owned by people with political interests. Please excuse any errors in this comment. I just came out of surgery a few hours age. My major in school was journalism. Very little of what is called news resembles what I was taught that news must be.to be news. I would like your feedback on developing this program.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 17 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Hope your recovery is speedy and complete! Thank you again for your work in this area, and I look forward to a website like you describe which can perform a watchdog function largely left undone by popular media. Ever heard of http://www.fair.org?
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davidlaw2 profile image
davidlaw2 17 months ago
I had not heard of the site but I will check it out. Thanks.
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mio cid profile image
mio cid 17 months ago from UruguayLevel 1 Commenter
I will start right now writing the hub you spoke about in the meantime let me share a couple of hubs with you.http://mio-cid.hubpages.com/hub/Cuba-Ozzie-Guillen
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wetbaknproud profile image
wetbaknproud 17 months ago from new jersey
hello jim,I will gladly make a hub about a subject that i love as is politics, and the reality of the socialist ideology which by the way is very present and has been present in american domestic policies since the beginning of the twentieth century .
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davidlaw2 profile image
davidlaw2 17 months ago
I am amazed at how many people don’t know what socialism is. The Preamble to the Constitution would be considered Socialist by a large percentage of the population because it says that the government is to promote the general welfare: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
A survey was taken a number of years ago as to what people thought the first 10 amendments to the Constitution were. Far to many people thought they were part of a communist plot. Programs to assist the population are in no way socialist or communist. People are lead to believe they are by the use of propaganda tactics by our political leaders. It is an attempt to limit the amount of money the wealthy have to contribute.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 17 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Thank you, mio cid and webaknproud, for commenting and I look forward to your upcoming Hubs.
davidlaw2, that’s so true. That’s the frightening power of the modern PR/message management industry. Whoever controls the narrative in the minds of the majority of people, controls the public’s memory of history. The actual facts of history do not matter. What matters is what the majority of people THINK are the facts.
This has to do with disinformation. This is also related to psychological warfare, which used to be called winning “hearts and minds,” or propaganda campaigns.
Now that public education has degenerated to a short-term memory exercise in teaching to the test, everything learned is quickly forgotten, cut up into tiny segments that fit into a multiple choice question. There is no longer any such thing as deep contemplation of large issues. Attention shrinks to such a microscopically small span of time, for teachers now, too, increasingly, that technology is moving from the crutch to the “fascinating” center of so-called cutting edge educational technique. It’s never stopped being a crutch; we simply cannot see our addiction to it replacing any desire to connect with the stream of big ideas of our historical ancestors or do the hard work of thinking through the origins, progress, and solutions of our society’s big problems.
America is one or two generations away from a fatal vulnerability to foreign domination. Most other nations are continuing to teach their children how to think; we have not successfully imposed our dumbing-down regime on almost any other Western nation. What will happen when America’s military is fatally corrupted by the softness eroding away the strength of the larger society? The nation’s leaders have cried wolf too many times in the name of “national security;” soft-minded Americans won’t be able to even hear the final call to arms if and when a hungry, jealous foreign power decides they are ready to be the next superpower, and to do it from the platform of this land of ours.
Wake up, people!
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Mighty Mom profile image
Mighty Mom 16 months ago from Where Left is Right, CA
Winning hearts and minds, indeed. And the American sheeple are willingly dumbing themselves down and hardening their hearts to make that winning over job even easier.
Thank you for this hub.
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Jean Bakula profile image
Jean Bakula 16 months ago from New JerseyLevel 6 Commenter
Good job Jim. It is truly scary how people believe the lies that the polititians spread, and do not research or think for themselves. I fail to see how a health care system as Obama has outlined (it needs some clarification) can hurt our country. It seems the moral and sensible thing to be sure every citizen has access to health care. Our young people are getting terrible eductions. My son is a kindergarten teacher, he wanted to start at the foundation, before children start to dislike learning. He says he may as well have been home schooled (he wasn’t) because although he always got straight A’s, he insists it was because of his own reading and what we taught him as parents. Basic civics and even any helpful tech classes have been eliminated from curriculums. I think since young people take their SATS and HS is pretty much over in Jr. year, Sr. year should be about wood and metal shop, car repair, cooking, childcare, sewing, basic economic and budget planning, and general life experience. Our country does not make anything anymore, and the schools are not preparing them for life or skills they will need. Having a degree from college doesn’t make you stand out anymore, and at the huge costs, parents are paying more to send their children to college than they will make in the career of their choices. I think the trades must start to be taught in America again.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 16 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Good perspective on the difference between having babies in the US vs Canada. “How I Lost My Fear Of Universal Health.”
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phdast7 profile image
phdast7 15 months ago from Atlanta, GeorgiaLevel 7 Commenter
Wow! How have I missed your hubs all this time. Even your comments on this hub alone make you worth following. Great research, great information. Thank you very much. Looking forward to reading more. Sharing with followers. 🙂
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 15 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Thanks for helping to get the word out, phdast!
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JayeWisdom profile image
JayeWisdom 15 months ago from Deep South, USALevel 7 Commenter
I’m so glad Theresa shared this terrific hub, for I’ve not seen your writing before. I will be reading you regularly now as a follower. You’ve provided a wealth of information that I will bookmark to re-read at leisure.
It is so sad that the people who need universal healthcare the most believe the propaganda against it. That’s one of the major problems in the U.S.–a lack of understanding by the poor, mostly uneducated or under-educated, and vulnerable to lies that cause them harm. I’m still reading about Americans who believe the president’s program has “death panels” to decide who can have life-saving healthcare. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to this type of propaganda (pardon me) crap.
I actually raised my voice at a friend on the phone a few days ago when she referred to the healthcare act as “Obamacare”, a term that;s used in a derogatory manner, causing my blood pressure to rise and making me want to spit! My friend is constantly worrying that the healthcare act will cause her to lose Medicare benefits. (Unfortunately, she doesn’t believe Medicare or Social Security are in danger from Republicans, which is much more cause for alarm.) These harmful rumors are believed as truth, and the insurance industry continues to shell out barrels of lobby money to keep that rumor mill running.
Thanks for this hub, and I’ll check out your others this weekend.
Your new fan,
Jaye
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phdast7 profile image
phdast7 15 months ago from Atlanta, GeorgiaLevel 7 Commenter
Still an excellent a informative hub on the second read. I hope readers will follow some (or all!) of the links. Their is a wealth of information out there. I appreciate your efforts on all of our behalves. Theresa Sharing of course!
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 14 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Thanks for all the love, phdast7, JayeWisdom, Jean Bakula, and Mighty Mom! Now, more than ever, the lies about health care are spreading in campaign ads. I just saw a testimonial-style ad by a Republican Super PAC in which a Canadian woman claimed that she had to come to the US to get emergency cancer-related surgery, or else she would have died because of the “broken” Canadian system. It then said that Obamacare is moving us in that direction.
The Supreme Court really damaged political discourse with their Citizen’s United ruling, allowing unlimited LIE money to pour deceit into the public airwaves, which too many intellectually lazy citizens will swallow hook, line, and sinker. False advertising banks on the truth that there’s a sucker born every day.
Keep showing the truth to those born suckers out there, and get them to wake up to the lies they’ve been feeding on.
Single-payer healthcare NOW, PLEASE!
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Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 14 months ago from Ontario, CanadaLevel 2 Commenter
The Canadian system does have some fixes that are direly needed but my finding as a Canadian is that when My family and I need care it is there. We are not turned away and we do not rack up excessive debt for basic health care needs and general surgery. Unfortunately, the population of Canada is aging so the incidence of cancer and more serious illnesses are on the rise. It does make wait times longer. Is our health care system broken? No. Does it needmodifications? Definitely so
Unfortunately change takes time, most of us balk at change.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 14 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Words of wisdom, @Teresa Coppens. The hyperbolic rhetoric coming from the political right wing in the US, and from the corporations who have the most power and the most to lose (health insurance, INC) by such a single-payer improvement, is so obviously obstructionist that it’s a dead giveaway– these interest groups have NO interest in the public good, only in their own profits.
Out of one side of their mouths they get elected by screaming “WE BUILT IT, WE CAN BUILT ANYTHING!”, but when you suggest building a system improving upon the strengths of Canada/UK/Scandinavian nations, all they can say (as they protectively shield their wallets) is “WE CAN’T BUILD THAT!”
Greed and hypocrisy. It’s the only message I can get from Rightwing USPolitics, INC!
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ib radmasters profile image
ib radmasters 14 months ago from Southern California
you can put all the links you want but that won’t change the truth.
Waiting two years to get knee surgery, in Canada.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 14 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Well, I’m sorry about that, but you cannot say that just because your system makes you wait (which, being still alive, it obviously was no emergency), that the system is bad, broken, or hopeless. Which is exactly what the US propagandists say, and worse. They conveniently forget their own supposed genius for improvement, innovation, and invention, as if there just could be no way for the U.S. to build a better system, in which people did not have to wait!
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Mighty Mom profile image
Mighty Mom 14 months ago from Where Left is Right, CA
It’s fascinating (like a train wreck) how they are changing the complexion of the lies. Have you noticed? I can tell when the propaganda machine is busy by what I read in the forums. The current big lie is how Obama is taking money from seniors (Medicare) to fund Obamacare. If you think about that for half a second you realize how utterly crazy such a strategy is. Healthcare for ALL.
All we can do is calmly correct the misinformation whenever we see it. Quillographer recently did a sweet rebuttal in one of the forums. Hammer with facts. We don’t have and never could have Super PAC funding. But we have Hub Pages! Keep up the good work, JimMiles! MM
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suzettenaples profile image
suzettenaples 14 months ago from Naples, FLLevel 8 Commenter
Thank you for a very interesting and informative article.
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AudreyHowitt profile image
AudreyHowitt 14 months ago from CaliforniaLevel 6 Commenter
Very nicely done! Thank you for including so many sources!
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Jenna Pope profile image
Jenna Pope 14 months ago from Southern California
Interesting Hub. Excellent documentation. I am going to read it a couple more times before I express how I feel. Voted up!
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Sooner28 14 months ago from OklahomaLevel 2 Commenter
Human beings have become able to now provide health care as a basic human right. The U.N. has affirmed this, and most other industrialized nations. The United States is committing a moral travesty by not passing a universal system into law. Whoever is to blame will someday be looked at in history as cruel and unusual to their fellow humans.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 13 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
http://www.escapefiremovie.com/ just out October 5, promises to reignite the discussion. We must keep healthcare at the top of the list; it’s life or death, people.
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 12 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Jon Stewart destroys Papa John’s CEO: Should’ve pushed for single-payer
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JimMiles profile image
JimMiles 11 months ago from Orlando, FLHub Author
Another bit of data proving that government can insure healthcare more efficiently than the private sector can.
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junko profile image
junko 11 months agoLevel 3 Commenter
Single Payer healthcare is anti-capitalistic. It would be less costly because stock owners, executive bonuses, and continued yearly profits forever wouldn’t make America’s health cost the highest in the world. Healthcare in America drives the cost of the federal debt almost as much as the defense Dept. Single payer would go a long way at solving the debt crissis, and a 15% cut in defense for one year would solve the crissis.
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Josak profile image
Josak 2 months ago from variableLevel 4 Commenter
Nailed it, single payer is by far the best system and ALL the data from the UN to the CDC reports to the G20 back it up.
Great hub, voted up, interesting etc.
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d.william profile image
d.william 3 days ago from Somewhere in the southLevel 6 Commenter
Interesting hub, and i am surprised that so many agree with the single payer health system idea. They are obviously NOT republicans.
Those who oppose it and the new Obamacare (Affordable Health Care) are irrational and object just for the sake of objecting to whatever this president stands for. I have never seen anything like the current level of obstructionism in this country. The objections are totally irrational, illogical and certainly not based on any kind of factual data.
A single payer health care system would be the best thing that could happen to the American people.
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Counter-apologetics, Facebook discussions

Category Errors?

[This is a reconstruction of a discussion which began on the morning of October 31, 2013, on the Facebook link-sharing platform. All spelling/grammar errors are from the original; we are strictly cut-and-pasting here, with a bit of font adjusting. I reconstruct it here so that I may involve more voices in that discussion, because I’m curious where it may lead…]

Tom Doud via Word On Fire Catholic Ministries
October 31 at 10:12am [shared only with Tom’s Friends–hence my efforts here]

Great line from article ‘
“This is why the new atheists and their army of disciples are committing a category mistake when they confidently assert that scientific advances cause religion to retreat onto ever-shrinking intellectual turf or when they stridently challenge religious people to produce “evidence” for God.”
Happy Hallows Eve


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Counter-apologetics, Facebook discussions, Seventh-day Adventism

The Great Divide?

This is the fourth of four points I made in a Facebook discussion found here: https://www.facebook.com/jim.miles/posts/10152361298826758
I feel like I missed lots of points made earlier in the discussion.
I only mention names for reference; anyone is welcome to offer comment.

POINT #4: THE GREAT DIVIDE?

In order to generically address many of both Tom and Gil’s most recent comments, I would say the following.

We’re talking across a great divide. On my side, I am skeptical about the Bible and its many claims. I am skeptical about the existence of God, and all things supernatural. On their side (Tom and Gil’s), however different they are to each other in their doctrinal specifics (SDAs have VERY little in common with RCs on church dogma), they are both at the opposite end of what we could call a belief spectrum– they are both convinced that God exists, and that He spoke through the Bible’s writers.
Of course I’ve been aware of that divide all along, but I get the sense in their latest comments that they’ve forgotten about my basic position of rejecting the Bible’s authority, veracity, and supernatural origins. I’m not convinced that the Bible presents the same picture of God which is presented by either Gil’s or Tom’s denominations. But they keep presenting to me their church’s picture of God as if that will answer my questions about the behavior of God as presented in the Bible, as presented to a READER of the Bible who is unbiased about it by any particular CHURCH.

I am not interested in trying to convince Christians that God doesn’t exist, even though that is my conviction. Rather, I’m interested in building a moral and ethical code which is free from the influence of religion. I address Christians with moral and ethical questions about God, because I think a person who values moral and ethical behavior would need to be first convinced that God is someone who can be trusted and who is worthy of imitation BEFORE trusting and imitating Him. I think most Christians come to their belief in God without first fully knowing what they are being asked to believe.

I was baptized as an infant in the church Tom calls home, the Roman Catholic Church. And like a good Catholic I did all the rituals of that faith my whole childhood, and every single Sunday I heard the teachings from the pulpit. Only after becoming firmly entrenched in the Catholic way of perceiving God and the Bible, did I attend catechism classes, as an adolescent. Catechism was followed by my first confession in the booth to a priest, which also ended up being my last. Within five years I had quit the Catholic church entirely.

After later lapsing in my teen years, by age twenty I was joining the church Gil calls home. My wife (Gil’s daughter) and I raised our daughters in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and they both experienced it much like my Catholic upbringing: from their infant dedication, to their childhood Sabbath School and home influences, to their attendance at an Adventist pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary school. They had the SDA way of perceiving God and the Bible ingrained in them long before ever being presented with the opportunity to join the church as members, which they both were very eager to do from their earliest years. As it happens, Gil baptized them both.

As a professional Adventist Bible teacher, teaching SDA teens how to perceive God and the Bible the Adventist way, I was participating in the mission of the larger Christian “Church”, by which I mean the whole history of Christianity, including the many flavors of competing and cooperating denominations active right now. That mission has always included adding more members to the body of Christ, a biblical way of referring to the Church.

I always had respect for the Word of God, and would try to get my students to really step back and evaluate it on its own merits. I reminded them often to study it for themselves, and not to simply take my word, or anyone’s word for it; they were capable of comprehending God’s message to them for themselves. I believed in the idea that God, in the Bible, is presenting His side of the story, presenting His case before the world, in a kind of cosmic courtroom drama. Obviously, He is the overall Judge, but He also invites readers to judge HIM for themselves. No mediator is required, just come and see; “taste and see…”.

That was always the most powerful part of the Bible’s message for me– The Invitation. I felt it was incredibly fair and just of God to honor our freedom of choice so completely. For me back then, it was amazing to think that God had created the Bible. He gathered his vast powers and put them to the task of creating an exhaustive case study of His own character. He behaved and spoke and acted and reacted in various ways throughout human history. Then He stepped back when the Bible was complete, as if to say, “It is done. That’s who I AM. Make up your own mind about Me. Am I the kind of God worthy of your devotion? If so, follow Me. If not, I’ll miss you, but I won’t force you to spend eternity with Me.”

Now, as I said above, I reject the supernatural origins of the Bible. However, that doesn’t change its message. I still know what the Bible says. I didn’t forget it just because I reject its claims. And the above paragraph is accurate about its message, in my professional opinion. And though I no longer profess to be a Christian (whether Catholic or Adventist), I still want to build my own moral and ethical values and beliefs, this time without the religious input. Though I am becoming a non-religious person, I will never become an unethical or immoral person, because I choose not to be that way.

And I still would like to challenge the notion that without God or religion, its difficult or impossible to behave and believe morally. And to challenge the idea that the God presented in the Bible always behaved morally.

I really am not helped in my quest for answers about God’s behavior by homilies from Pope Francis or Ellen White. I would rather get answers to my questions in the words of the Christians themselves, the actual people with whom I am interacting and discussing.

I know what the Bible says; what do YOU say?

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