Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Philadelphia Church of God "Imperial Academy" Creates Own Text Books Cutting Out All References To Evolution



Those fun folk at Philadelphia Church of God's Imperial Academy (the elementary school for the children of the chosen few) are conveniently taking any critical thinking out of their children's grasp.

Imperial has a teacher who is creating her own text books, conveniently taking out all references to evolution and inserting HWA and Flurry material.  That should be a hoot!

“I started out with the basic framework of open-source material, then took out all the evolution in Biology,” she said. She replaced evolution sections with booklets such as Does God Exist? and What Science Can’t Discover About the Human Mind, and created lesson summary and review questions based on her new custom text, which includes videos and hyperlinks.

To be a critical thinker one needs to understand both sides of the issue.  You can't sit there and debunk evolution without having an understanding of it.  The same applies in the opposite direction. To debunk creationism you need an understanding of the scriptures that are being used as weapons. However, to use outdated booklets by the WCG from the 1980's and earlier as PROOF that evolution is not possible shows how incredibly naive Flurryism is.

Armstrongism has always decided what was true and what they felt members needed to know.  anything beyond that and you were not supposed to be delving into it.  Critical thinking is NOT a Church of God tradition.

The article continues with this:

Winn said she was inspired to create her own textbooks because she had to change the state’s recommended curriculum every year to avoid covering worthless material. By getting rid of evolution instruction in Biology, she freed up time for students to spend the entire second semester dissecting earthworms, mollusks, starfish, crayfish, frogs, fish, turtles and fetal pigs.

The article then ends with this:
This school year, Winn said she plans to refine her textbooks to a higher level that God will be more pleased with. She also wants to get her students excited about science. “A lot of times, they view science as something that’s not going to apply to them because so much is thrown out from their curriculum before [IA],” she said. “I want them to see God in science.” 

129 comments:

Joe Moeller said...

I feel the evidence for "Intelligent Design" is compelling and overwhelming.

However, it appears that Flurry and the PCG actually do make a point for "UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN" simply by existing!

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my freshman year at AC Pasadena (1968-69). Minister wannabe Doug Winnail was assigned (much to his chagrin I'm sure) to teach Biology. This was the most pathetic course ever for me. Fortunately, I had excellent high school classes and so could laugh a little about the low-quality AC courses. Anyway, one of Winnail's test questions was, "Why the ear?". One of my classmates wrote, "To hang your glasses on". Yeppers, those were the days! Richard Plache was Dean of Students; ol' Richard later served four years in the graybar hotel for selling unregistered securities as I recall.

Anonymous said...

I am an Agnostic. I regard Intelligent Design to be just as much of a theory as evolution. I think that we may never know if life evolved or was created. Both theories have valid points that make some sense. However both theories also have alot of holes.

I don't have a problem with both evolution and creation taught in schools for what they are theories.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she can get Bob Thiel to show up and do a special unit on meteorology and gay people's impact on the formation of hurricanes.

Byker Bob said...

Books can and have been written about this topic, because it is a concern that the ACOGs share in common with mainstream Christianity. In fact, there is a gentleman named Russ Miller, prominent in some Christian circles for operating a creation ministry designed to assist parents and their children in dealing with evolution. Let me state for the record that I believe in theistic evolution. In other words, I know about this guy, but he's no kind of personal guru to me. The raisson d'etre behind Miller's ministry is that once biology class kills off Adam and Eve, it becomes a relatively small task to kill off Jesus Christ. A large percentage of the kids then leave church, in many cases as they go off to college or secure their first job.

What Ms. Winn is doing does have several precedents. The Jefferson Bible is but one example. In all honesty, most of us as adults perform figurative cuttings every time we read a book. Every fact we read is compared, consciously or unconsciously, with our entire accumulation of knowledge, and is also subjected to many tests for plausibility, including performance of additional research, especially in the topics with which we might only have casual familiarity. I have several problems with Ms. Winn's perhaps well-intentioned activities, though. For one thing, she sets a bad example for her students by taking presumably copyrighted materials, expunging the sections with which she takes umbrage, and inserting in their place the theories of Herbert W. Armstrong. I would guess that one of these is gap theory creationism, for which there is zero basis, and zero scholarly support. Still, before we become too critical, we must remember that these peoples' entire belief system is based on injecting the pet theories of Herbert W. Armstrong into their main textbook, the Bible. This is inherent in their culture and in their methodology.

Many parents allow their children the intellectual freedom to take in knowledge, while providing verbal guidance, and explaining their own beliefs to as yet maturing minds. One example would be a parent sitting with a child, watching a mature themed television program or film, and adding commentary as it plays out. Obviously, the child is going to factor in everything pertinent, and make up his or her mind later. The problem historically with ACOG children is that in implanting a value system, hammers are used where feathers would be more appropriate. It is much more likely that an ACOG child would be forbidden to watch a program that all of his/her classmates are watching, thus promoting social isolation at a time when social skills are normally developed. If done frequently enough, this sets the stage for massive rebellion towards an accumulation of things which could have been effectively handled kind of on an Occam's level.

Lastly, what are Flurry's students doing handling and dissecting unclean animals? Considering their beliefs, I would think that this would present much more serious moral dilemmas than reading about one of many theories they will probably encounter in the course of their lifetimes. It is yet another area of inconsistency.

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

Whatever "Intelligent Design" is, it is not something done by the cultic, jealous and slaughter hungry El Kabong of the Old Testament. It would be way outside of Bible speak and a "designer" who has chosen not to come onto the human scene yet.

Personally, intelligent design is not needed to explain all that is.

Anonymous said...

“I started out with the basic framework of open-source material, then took out all the evolution in Biology"

I guess it's just as well then that PCGers don't involve themselves in anything to do with medical research.

Next lesson.. perhaps geology, but with all the stratigraphy and plate tectonics ("But no one's ever SEEN the asthenosphere! It's just a theory!") taken out.

Michael said...

For anyone entertaining the ad-hoc idea of "Intelligent Design", this book is what the doctor ordered:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Accidental-Mind-Evolution-Memory/dp/0674030583

Our brain is a total design mess.
Somehow it manages to work, luckily! :-)

Random Lurker said...

@ Moeller

You just don't get it, do you. You simply do not understand how absurd your position must appear to everyone else here.

The UCG is just as crazy and unintelligent as the PCG. They are both controlling doomsday cults, rooted in utter nonsense, run by men desperately clinging to power and every last tithe-dollar. When viewed under the microscope, the differences between PCG and UCG are negligible.

You constantly coming onto this site (and others) criticizing various Armstrongist groups is hilarious. It’s like the Hummer owner giving shit to the Suburban owner for driving a gas guzzler. The epitome of hypocrisy.

Britain W. Stevenson said...

Yes, I know Coleen Winn. She is a very intelligent woman and has a son that was involved in the Jerusalem travels. The PCG is just making sure the rest of the kids don't start questioning things,HA!

I noticed Gerald Flurry is now giving out his e mail. When I asked for it, after Brian Davis disfellowshipped me for the second time, in February 2012, (actually the first time because the first time was really a "secret" and I was later told I was not disfellowshipped by Jeff Lowery, the PCG attorney, who I heard a few years back was also disfellowshipped himself), I was told Gerald Flurry does not have an e mail,(at least not for me to reach him at). Must be reading my blogs, and trying to make me out a liar.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon noted: Minister wannabe Doug Winnail was assigned (much to his chagrin I'm sure) to teach Biology. This was the most pathetic course ever for me.

I took that class! I had AP Bio and Chemistry in HS and that class was spokesman's club on stupid. Doug was a friend thru the years but I could never figure out what he was a Dr.of since he never talked the talk of a Dr. I knew he is a PHd in Bio though it's just you'd never know it. He let god hauntedness overide it all. He's also not the greatest teacher/speaker

BB worried:

"The raisson d'etre behind Miller's ministry is that once biology class kills off Adam and Eve, it becomes a relatively small task to kill off Jesus Christ. A large percentage of the kids then leave church, in many cases as they go off to college or secure their first job."

I am tempted to say "and your point is?" but I'll spare us. lol
However, the idea and western misunderstanding of the Adam and Eve story needs to be killed of. They never existed as advertised. It's a creation myth with political overtones for Israelites compared to the nations around them. It copies Sumerian creation stories with a Hebrew twist and few reversals but is not history. To think otherwise in this day and age is childish and springs from not being able to let go of Sunday School theology.

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"However, the idea and western misunderstanding of the Adam and Eve story needs to be killed of."

And the absolute clincher oughta be this:
Woman was not taken from man, it's the other way around.
The male gender is a variation from the basic "original" female plan. Simple as that.
The female plan has two copies of each chromosome.
It's only we males that have the deviated Y-chromosome.

Genesis 1-2 is a fairy tale based on ignorance.

Byker Bob said...

Dennis, that was not "my" point, it was Russ Miller's. It was as nearly a direct quote of Miller's as I could recall from a radio interview which I had heard probably three years ago while on one of my regular trips up to Flagstaff. I had totally forgotten about him and his ministry until Gary broke this emerging story from Imperial Academy. There is an obvious parallel.

I too am familiar with Gilgamesh, since listening to Dr. Gene Scott (he's was no kind of guru to me either) during the mid 1980s, and have also studied Akkadian and Sumerian mythology (Sitchin is one author who immediately comes to memory) but have never found these Hislop-like forays into ancient mythology particularly reliable, convincing, or even revealing as compared to actual history. I found the David Steinberg paper "The Evolution of the Religion of Israel" to be much more authoritative, and actually university quality research when I read it in October 2004, however, although I was agnostic at the time, I concluded that even that paper indulged in too much "educated" speculation, and sometimes unwarranted connections for it to be totally reliable. David Steinberg actually quoted your old buddy Finkelstein as one of his resources, as I learned from the extensive bibliography at the end of the paper.

In case you or others are interested in the Steinberg paper, I had found it at www.ardath-shalom.ca. I have no idea whether that website is still extant, as this was "news" nearly ten years ago. In my old notebook, preparing for this post, I also found one of my printouts on Sumerian history which was then available through www.crystalinks.com. Keep in mind, this is from my research notebook from 2004-2007, so some of these links may no longer work, and/or better papers may have been written in the intervening years.

I came to the conclusion that we will probably not be able to reconstruct the ancient histories which seem most relevant to us in a totally satisfying or 100% convincing way in this lifetime. I also concluded that in terms of authoritativeness, and authenticness, the Bible is at least equal to, and as the "next step" in the evolutionary process, probably superior to the mythologies of all the nations which both spawned and surrounded Israel in ancient times. Reading the complete works of Josephus and Eusebius four years ago gave me additional perspectives, not only because those men were 2,000 years closer to the source, but also because they had access to historical records which have since perished to antiquity.

One of the main reasons I look forward to the afterlife is that those of us with an intellectual curiosity on these topics will at last be able to have some satisfying answers. We'll know whether Gilgamesh, and other early sources were a distortion of original revealed truth that was later lost to paganism, or whether the creation and flood narratives of the Bible were simply Jewish derivatives of those earlier sources. In the mean time, the most important result from all of our research is that Armstrongism has been totally debunked. Beyond that, as is said in the transportation industry, "Your mileage may vary."

BB

Anonymous said...

The evidence for "Intelligent Design" is compellingly comedic, and overwhelmingly disingenuous, at best.

It's basically a Trojan horse, designed to appear as "scientific", with it's religious bits removed in order to keep it under the radar enough to get it into public classrooms.

BTW- There's lots of homeschooling curricula available that teaches ID, and I wonder why the woman didn't simply choose from those available resources. Heck, even the Raëlians teach ID and they may have been willing to help her out, since the ID teachings of theirs are "sorta kinda Biblical", and her PCG church's teachings are "sorta kinda Biblical", too.

DennisCDiehl said...

ah ok, gotcha BB. Good ol Russ. Probably one of the most cranky people I knew on FB etc.

I at least appreciate being able to get outide the Bible box for scientific and historic exploration. There is so so much more to know than the Bible talks about. It is a dated book and losing relevance in our times and I am sure even more so in the times to come.

DennisCDiehl said...

BB noted:

"One of the main reasons I look forward to the afterlife is that those of us with an intellectual curiosity on these topics will at last be able to have some satisfying answers. We'll know whether Gilgamesh, and other early sources were a distortion of original revealed truth that was later lost to paganism, or whether the creation and flood narratives of the Bible were simply Jewish derivatives of those earlier sources."

But this is a faith based statement right and not based on evidence of any kind indicating that this is how it all really is, right?


Anonymous said...

Zecharia Sitchin was mentioned by Byker Bob, and I realized that Sitchin may have been an unnamed "source" of the UFO/alien teachings about human origins taught by the Raëlian religion's founder and guru Claude Vorilhon, now known simply as 'Raël'.

I've noticed something about religions- that preexisting ideas, mythologies, teachings and concepts tend to be 'borrowed' from older sources as religions are created and/or evolve,(to put it kindly), without attribution.

Anonymous said...

So help me understand: we have not been able to create so much as an amoeba from scratch, using all the molecular ingredients it is made of, bring them together into this simple entity, feed this entity, energize it and expel the by product, give it the ability to replicate, etc., etc ;

yet even if we could do all the above, we couldn't without some intellect or intelligent design, but suddenly such rules we are all bound by only apply to us, we whom can't even remember when he was conceived???

Behold the superiority complex of mankind, who years doesnt even exceed 120 commonly, yet he has said in his heart if it cannot be done by man it cannot be done...

Byker Bob said...

Wrong Russ, Dennis. That's a common name apparently, but the one I 've referenced in connection with the creation ministry was never associated with WCG.

So far as your second response goes, while your final sentence is an oversimplification, of course faith is one element. That is part of everyone's life. Without the evidence from having checked or being able to see through walls, I have faith that there is a nice little red Impala in my garage. Speaking of faith, I cannot accept the way you have connected Christian beliefs to ancient pagan myths and astrology as being factual, or evidentiary either. In fact, as I hinted, that methodology reminds me of Hislop. And, as in the case of Hislop, you will always find people who want to believe it.

BB

Corky said...

Looking forward to the afterlife is equivalent to looking forward to the day when the only life you know is gone.

Sadly, it's, in all probability, the only life you have. IOW, if you don't learn it now, you don't learn it at all.

Joe Moeller said...

Response To Lurker:

It is self evident that there are massive differences between UCG and PCG. UCG has a democratic structure, does not or extremely rarely "disfellowships" people, allows for internet use, allows fellowshipping beyond church boundaries, and does not claim to be the only true church on Earth.

There is no one declaring themselves to be a "Bible Character", or "God's Only Special Apostle or Spokesman". UCG is quite calm by any COG standard.

There are many other profound differences as well between UCG and any other top down hierarchical group out there in the COG universe. In fact, it is unique in its structure and government.

That said, I believe that UCG is indeed in need of some sociological change, and that there are certainly some individuals within its ranks that are tares and misfits. This is true of any large group of people. However, I do believe the UCG is struggling with its issues and is moving in the right direction, and not in total denial of its own shortcomings.

I "attend" at UCG. It is a matter of seeing some friends, hearing a message, and eating a cookie and then going home. Christianity is a very personal thing, and is lived out the other 166 hours a week. I have my own ideas and life to live. A church should never be "your life". It is supplemental and support only, it is not the center point of life, nor the official only conduit for your pathway to God.

Church , in any denomination, should be held in its proper perspective, and place. This is healthy.

I find it funny that some people try to make "ME" the conduit for their internal angst. I dont "represent" the UCG, and will be just as quick on the draw about bullcrap there as anywhere else. However, you are a bigot, and paintbrush everyone with a label Lurker. In your eyes, it is impossible to be a human being and be in the UCG, or to be an enlightened, good citizen and neighbor and be in the UCG.

Life is not that simple. There were "good Nazis" and "Bad Americans" in WWII on the personal level. You dont even know me Lurker, yet you would love to tar and feather me, because of some vague connection you have with some bad experiences in your past, and you fitting all other people into your "world view past".

Childish thinking Lurker. In fact, such thinking is responsible for much evil in the world, such as racism, ethnic cleansing and religious persecution. Up your game and think a little deeper. Do not view the world through the mask of bitterness, anger and resentment, and realize that it is a complicated one with no "one size" fits all.

I suggest that your complaints against UCG be addressed to their headquarters in Cincinnati. A personal ad honimem attack against me personally is actually meaningless, accomplishes nothing, and is unmerited. If you have a direct question to ask of me, I am happy to answer.

Peace Brother
Joe Moeller
Cody,WY





Anonymous said...

Yes, I would think it was wonderful if there were some stage of existence that would allow us to gain more knowledge about the unimaginably huge universe we inhabit than we ever will during the short time we have to putter on our pale blue dot.

But while it's fun to think about, I'm fully aware that this desire has no rational basis, no testable hypothesis. To me, the cynical practice of shoehorning religious philosophy in to the curriculum under the guise of science speaks poorly of the values of the religion these people are trying to promote.

Corky said...

Just because mankind doesn't have all the answers (yet) doesn't mean that the answer is "god-did-it". That's a false premise that has led the world away from true knowledge for thousands of years.

DennisCDiehl said...

BB said:

", I cannot accept the way you have connected Christian beliefs to ancient pagan myths and astrology as being factual, or evidentiary either. In fact, as I hinted, that methodology reminds me of Hislop. And, as in the case of Hislop, you will always find people who want to believe it."

Please feel free to write a rebuttal of "as above, so below" and the coinicidences of solar worship and Christianity. All religion is based on solar cycles and the journey of the sun through the 12 signs of the zodiac. The stars, constellations and seasons were the Discovery Channel of early humans.

One of the reasons the Bible forbid the average peasant from looking up to the heavens was that they might figure out where the priests were getting their mystery religions from.

Anyway, you are welcome to write a rebuttal of clarification of how Solar cycles are not the origins of religion

Byker Bob said...

Why should I? You just hung yourself with the following statement: "ALL religion is based on solar cycles and the journey of the sun through the 12 signs of the Zodiac." When you studied logic in high school or junior high, what did your teacher tell you about words like "all", "every", "none", etc?

Back in the '90s, I got to hang out with some people who claimed to be psychic. They were well known, and were occasionally interviewed for TV news. The lady did charts for clients who called in on their (800) phone line. They also claimed to do channeling. During the time I spent with them, they acquainted me with the Vedic calendar, which they considered to be the only calendar able to be accurately used in preparing astrological charts.

The Roman calendar contains the names of "gods" from their pantheon. When one superimposes the astrological signs over the Roman calendar, the signs need to be timed mid-month to correlate. As an example, Pisces, signified by two fish swimming in opposing directions, runs from mid February to mid March. Astrologers use the Vedic calendar for their calculations and prognostications, then transpose the dates to the Roman calendar so that it is meaningful to their clients. They can do this because the Roman calendar has twelve months. In some cases, astrological forecasts can be based on other bodies, such as the planet Saturn passing through a given constellation.

The Hebrew calendar is a solar-lunar calendar, and some years consist of thirteen months. The only unique measurement of time in it not based on the cycles of the sun and moon is the seven day week. Not all calendars throughout history had this seven day week, although it is pretty much standard in our own era. The Hebrews were specifically instructed not to copy the pagans in their worship of the sun or moon.

We often observe with great wonder the "sheeple" who find paganism in everything. We notice that they often make ridiculous jumps in their assumptions. The reason they believe as they do is that in a world in which there is nothing new under the sun, great similarities and parallels can often be found. Therefore, we too can make ridiculous jumps and assumptions, only in a counter direction. The important factor in the formulation of opinion becomes how one connects the dots, and that is subject to review. If there is one thing I've learned, it is that everything you could ever "know" will be contested or debated, and sometimes by people for whose opinions your acceptance becomes their validation.

BB

Anonymous said...

Clearly the answer is that it takes advanced knowledge and intellect to do it, as evidenced by our inability because of our lack thereof.

Yet whenever someone uses the phrase intelligent design, the scoffer exposes the additional folly of denial despite the obvious.

It's not a question of if "god did or did not do it", but whether or not it takes advanced intelligence and knowledge.

Now regarding the premise that we haven't done it yet, given the current pace of our increase in knowledge and our tendency to have contempt for life rather than a propensity to create it, we will have sooner destroyed the planet before we gain the knowledge to create even a living single cell organism.

Anonymous said...

What most people never get is that Occam was a making a philosophical point, not a scientific one. His principle is frequently abused. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Science has made amazing strides since HWA wrote about evolution and the human mind. He died about 25 years ago. His material on evolution and the mind is way out of date. The COGs have not kept up. Sometimes they pretend to, like the UCG's position on mitochondrial DNA but they quote selectively and don't understand it. Mitochondrial DNA came from a virus. I guess Eve was a virus. Duh.

Random Lurker said...

Terms that Joe Moeller clearly does not understand:

1) bigot
2) Doomsday cult
3) ad "honimem"


Here are the real questions we should be asking him:

Does Joe believe the end of the world is near?

Does Joe believe that he has been personally called (to his beliefs) by god?

Does Joe believe that a "great tribulation" will occur in his lifetime?

Does Joe believe that he will be taken to a place of safety during said event?

Does Joe believe us to be "laodicean" or "fallen away"?

Does Joe believe that the US and Britain are modern day tribes of Israel?

Does Joe observe a select group of old-testament customs while arbitrarily ignoring others (based on the personal preference of one HWA)

Does Joe attend an Armstrongist church whilst posting on an ex-armstrongist forum?

As for "Bitterness"? In my experience, that's the first item in the armstrongist arsenal.

Ignoring structural and procedural differences, the beliefs of UCG are ideologically identical to those of COG splinters in general. (IE: negligible differences)

Joe would rather split hairs and compare my thought processes to "racism, ethnic cleansing and religious persecution" (LOL!) than accept the reality that he appears to subscribe to eschatological nonsense.

But never mind all that, I'm just "bitter" after all.

Anonymous said...

The male gender is a variation from the basic "original" female plan.

Really? Bacteria are female?

Anonymous said...

"Our brain is a total design mess."

So why trust anything it comes up with?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cycles ... Armstrong lied when he said there are EXACT 19-year cycles, and he lied some more when he said events in the church happened on those EXACT cycles. He fudged dates. He contradicts it himself. I think you have to read the old co-worker letters to see the real dates for some of those things.

I can still hear him saying it again and again: EXACT ... EXACT ... EXACT. Rotten liar. That was one of his big proofs God was doing a work through him.

Anonymous said...

As evil as he was, HWA was right about the fact that modern Christianity was almost totally pagan.

Michael said...

Anon rebutted:
"Our brain is a total design mess."
So why trust anything it comes up with?

Anon, the structure of the brain is not like an intelligently planning designer would have constructed it.

We can trust our brains, however, because evolution demanded that they, even with a mishmash structure, it had to work in order to for us to be functionally successful in the real world. Brains that didn't conform to reality were useless and got weeded out pretty quickly.

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
The male gender is a variation from the basic "original" female plan.
Really? Bacteria are female?

Who said anything like that?

Byker Bob said...

There just aren't words strong enough to deal with people like Random Lurker, and their attitudes. I believe the hateful words he spews towards Joe are symptomatic of a deeply conflicted and troubled mind.

Joe, don't pay any attention to him. You've got plenty of people here who would gladly hang out with you over some beer and chips, and that's all that really matters.

BB

DennisCDiehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DennisCDiehl said...



Blogger Byker Bob said...
Why should I? You just hung yourself with the following statement: "ALL religion is based on solar cycles and the journey of the sun through the 12 signs of the Zodiac." When you studied logic in high school or junior high, what did your teacher tell you about words like "all", "every", "none", etc?


I generalized, you're right, it should have said "most" . Christianity certainly is. The religions of Egypt are as well as much of the Hebrew spin off from Egypt. Others are agriculturally and fertility based. Some on ancestor worship.

However, the "Why should I?" part sounds rather defensive and evasive and more like something Dave Pack would say when I ask to chat with him.

You've been through the cycle of belief, disbelief and rebelief and the defensiveness shows at times. I'd probably be somewhat unwilling to pick something to explain as literally true as opposed to mythically true if it was a threat to the cycle again.

You often make statements of religious "fact" that are merely emotional hopes and could never be proved in reality that few if any here challenge because you are a sincere guy and we all understand what each can go through in the search for truth.

We still need to chat on the phone sometime just for friendship.
864 905 9506, if you wished.

Anonymous said...

@ Biker

Where is the hate, Bob?

Someone points out the hypocrisy of one armstrongist mocking other armstrongists, get labeled a bigot for his/her troubles, asks legitimate questions, and this makes them troubled?

Face facts: Moeller seems like a nice guy, but is clearly pro-armstrongist. He's more or less an apologist for the entire belief system. So, if he wants to come onto what is essentially an ex-cog website and pretend that other splinters are bad but his is OK, he should be called out on it.

Or am I wrong?

Random Lurker said...

LMAO @ Troubled and conflicted. Are you qualified to make that assessment, Bob?

Hardly.

Troubled? Not so much. Conflicted? Not since I left the cult. My compass is very much pointing in one direction these days.

I will, however admit to being a antagonistic prick, when the situation calls for it.

So, that said, the situation called for it. I cannot tell you how many times I've come onto this site, read Joe babbling about this COG or that COG, and not said something. It does, however, get to be ridiculous to see him constantly jumping on-board the cult-bashing train, so long as it's any group but his.

I point that out and he calls me a bigot, ignores my point entirely and then goes on to make absurd remarks about my thought processes. I'm surprised he didn't manage to work a comparison to Hitler into his tirade.

As for yourself, Bob, I can only wonder what caused you to chime in.

Could it be the fact that - despite not being an armstrongist (currently, anyway. god only knows when you'll flip-flop yet again and go back) - you took offense at some of the questions I had for Joe?

Things that don't sit well with you as a christian. Perhaps those troublesome little bits about "return of christ", "end of days" and of course, being "personally called"? Beliefs you almost certainly share with Joe?

No matter. Joe is still a hypocrite, I am still a douchebag and you are still naive. Some things never change. Funny to see how fast the theists will band together when a nonbeliever enters the room!

Anonymous said...

Folks, as all here know, a word can have different definitions.

I mention this because belief in things like the Rapture, going to Heaven, living forever in an afterlife Kingdom where we'll be able to ask God questions like "What happened to that bolt that disappeared from my car's glove compartment?", a personal God-friend, a personal animal spirit-friend, etc,...

are all very different than having 'faith' that your car is in the garage even though you can't see through walls, and having 'faith' that you sit down on your chair without it's leg breaking.

Such comparisons happen all too often, and are sad examples of the "sleazy salesmen for Jesus" side of religious argument and dialogue in our culture.

Douglas Becker said...

Anyone who has British Israelism as the core of their belief system has no business trying to use history, science, biology and logic and has no basis for any sort of academic endeavor.

Anonymous said...

I thought the creation story(s) in Genesis were a polemic against pagan superstition: the sun, moon and stars were made to give us light,not gods to be worshipped.

Anonymous said...

Do we need to account for human consciousness, freewill, and unitary self?

Imperial academy claims evolution can't, Dennis claims the unitary self doesn't exist.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous 9:04 said:

"What most people never get is that Occam was a making a philosophical point, not a scientific one. His principle is frequently abused. Just saying."

Anon, I know you're "just saying" (i.e. trolling), but just in case some innocent takes you seriously, let me point out that a few ideas propounded by philosophers have relevance in the real world. Among them Occam's razor stands in the first rank. Any scientist who ignores it is going to get slammed in peer review.

Head Usher said...

Since it hasn't been argued so far, I will offer that ID and religion with it's "pre-known" dogma and scientific inquiries are like oil and water and need to be separate.

I know, religion hasn't always been separate; they've often been emlusified together. Albright did his archaeology with "a shovel in one hand and bible in the other," and many of the great thinkers of centuries past (when nearly everyone was religious) such as Newton, co-mingled the two. Using Albright's methodology, pursuing "science" to find support for pre-existing conclusions, is just a codified and systematic bias. The evidence you want to find gets cataloged, while evidence that contradicts the conclusion you're determined to support gets thrown over the edge of the cliff. That's why Albright's conclusions were unreliable and have been subsequently overturned. He wasn't really doing science, he was grinding a religious axe. Still, whether we're talking about archaeology or creationism or ID, or any other scientific endeavor, science done well cannot consider religious claims backed up only with questionable "revelations." But these might not be the most important reasons why.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson has pointed out, as soon as you invoke "god," as a scientist, you've declared a boundary for the future between the knowable and the unknowable. You've said, here's the boundary where scientific inquiry ends and "magic" begins. Here's a set of things for which no naturalistic explanations should ever be expected to be found. Many scientists of centuries past have invoked god, including Isaac Newton, but always at the threshold, where they ran out of naturalistic explanations, never anywhere else. Yet, later scientists always seemed to come along and find naturalistic explanations to account for things that earlier scientists had previously attributed to "god" simply because at the time, they were at a loss, and so that's where they would plug "god" in.

What ID does, by attempting to inject god into science, is attempt to carve out intellectual territory which, to IDers, is beyond scientific inquiry, and thus there is no need to attempt to explore there, because there's (obviously) no naturalistic explanations to be found there. So, we might as well shut down scientific inquiry that attempts to probe into such territories because it will (obviously) be fruitless, right? However, that claim about territories to which ID has staked a claim is itself a faith-based claim, without any reason to think it's true. It certainly isn't a claim based on evidence. How many other such claims have fallen in the face of advancing science?

ID is not good science, if indeed it can be called science at all. What it really is, is faith-based defeatism and an obstruction to good science. One way of looking at is that ID is simply an attempt to dust off Albright's methodology and once again propose it's a valid approach to scientific inquiry, when it's too obvious it isn't. Islamic dogma put an end to Arabic science around the 12th century, and nobody is going to let dogma interfere with science these days, no matter what kind of candy-coating people wrap that dogma in. ID is a faith-based proposition that springs forth from dogma, not evidence, so there is no reason to trust ID or any claims that spring forth from it. There is every reason to suspect they will prove to be unreliable guides to the natural world, and no more trustworthy than guesses.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I am not "Random Lurker", but would like to comment about his and Joe Moeller's comments.

This is a site that is critical of the "church that Herb built" and it's splinter orgs, and the UCG is among those.
So, no surprise that a UCG member who has the balls to promote and defend them here would be on the trigger-hair defensive.

Joe Moeller writes, "UCG has a democratic structure, does not or extremely rarely "disfellowships" people"

I wouldn't call it a true democratic structure. Yes, those on the Council of Elders are "elected", but the only voters are only other Elders! The average UCG member does NOT have voting rights, nor does even one single woman within the UCG!
(Please correct me if I'm wrong, Joe.)

As far as "disfellowships" go, I am glad to hear it's rare now, but it has to do with the fact that the aging membership has by now "boiled down" to those who are comfortable there and less likely to be targets of that action.

I know people who were disfellowshiped by ministers WHO ARE ON TOP NOW AT the UCG, and this occurred back when those ministers were still in the WCG secretly plotting to leave the WCG and form their splinter org because they disagreed with the changes imposed by the Tkach regime. You want to know what's TOTALLY CRAZY about those "disfellowships"? It's that they were done to lowly members who ALSO disagreed with the changes imposed by the Tkach regime! But at the time, those ministers still in the WCG had to PRETEND to go along with the changes, so they could still collect salaries from a church whose teachings they no longer believed, and not blow their cover while they secretly plotted to leave and form the UCG.

And also there's the HWA-worship that's ingrained in UCG's membership. If the dozen UCG members I know are any indication of attitudes in their church at large, it's a big problem.
Joe deserves kudos for saying that the large portrait of Herbert W Armstrong hanging prominently at UCG's headquarters "is a problem", and it would be great if he's been expressing his grief to their leadership about it, and if that fails to produce results he can ride his horse through the UCG HQ's front doors, lasso it, and drag it to the parking lot and have his horse dance on it and smash it to bits.

Joe doesn't strike me as a bad guy, and I can't fault him for attending UCG services because he wants to eat a cookie and talk with some friends there. He reminds me of Whoopie Goldberg, who strikes me as a good person too, but when her cult church (Scientology) was criticized her response was harsh, and reminds me of Joe's response to Random Lurker.

Joe Moeller said...

Mr. Lurker:

Perhaps against my better judgement, and against the sound advice of Byker Bob, I will answer your questions, for I did make the offer of answering direct questions.

***Does Joe believe the end of the world is near?

I have no idea when the end time will be, nor does anyone else. We live in interesting times with WMDs of all types. Will mankind last another 1000 years? Sooner or later though, there will be an endtime. For me, the end times may be today when Im driving the truck to the feedstore and I get in a wreck. At best, old Joe has got 35 more years on this old Earth. End times is a relative term. Using end times "fear" to recruit people is a wrong form of evangelism IMHO.

***Does Joe believe that he has been personally called (to his beliefs) by god?

Anyone who believes in God would say that God is the "Causal Force" in there understanding. This is a dumb question.

***Does Joe believe that a "great tribulation" will occur in his lifetime?

Again answered above. There is a great tribulation in the Bible. If you believe in the Bible, then you believe it will happen eventually. Does anyone have an "inside track" on "when" this will be? NO. Im sure it will be a surprise to everyone, including believers. No way to predict in advance.

***Does Joe believe that he will be taken to a place of safety during said event?

Well Id like to hope so if possible! The POS idea is a very vague one and not well defined Biblically. It appears that some Christians die and some dont. No one knows the details of who, what , where, when or how.

***Does Joe believe us to be "laodicean" or "fallen away"?
I do not believe in the concept of "Church Eras". However, as examples of human attitudes and nature, the 7 Churches do exemplify human behavior. I have been all 7 of those churches at different times in my own life.

***Does Joe believe that the US and Britain are modern day tribes of Israel?

I do not, at least in the direct genetic sense. US and BC are very weak theories with many holes. However, I do feel there is some kind of manifest destiny involved with the United States. A country that has produced more Bibles than any other in history, puts "In God We Trust" on its currency, has sworn every President in on a Bible, has a prayer before every session of Congress and Senate, and has the 10 commandments posted in the Supreme Court is unusual in a historical Christian sense. Although not genetically linked, is the USA some type of "spiritual Israel"? Certainly not an illogical question to ask. The genetic thing is not logical though IMHO.

(CONTINUED IN PART 2)

Joe Moeller said...

(PART 2)

***Does Joe observe a select group of old-testament customs while arbitrarily ignoring others (based on the personal preference of one HWA)

I view the Armstrongs as deviant and confused individuals. I could care less what their own personal judgements were on a whole manner of topics. The UCG does not rely on HWA for its internal governance and relies on "sola scriptura" judgements. I personally disagree with a few UCG judgements as well, and am working towards reform of those areas. I am not a "policed" individual and have the freedom to make my own judgements.

***Does Joe attend an Armstrongist church whilst posting on an ex-armstrongist forum?

You have to define what an "Armstrongist Church" is. Any church that defines HWA as an Apostle, or Bible Character is whacked out. UCG does not make that definition of HWA. The COG 7th Day has doctrine very similar to UCG, and even has a number of Holy Day observers. Does this make them "Armstrongist" too? Since when is the definition of this forum as "Ex-Armstronist" anyway? Based on polls here, at least 50% of the visitors are currently attending a COG of some sort. Gary has been quite gracious in allowing an open forum here, and I find the mix of comments here challenging, enlightening and thought provoking, whether they be from current or former COG people, whether they be Byker, Dennis , Dexter, Doug Becker etc. It is a learning experience for all. I like to think I add to the mix a camera angle to sharpen and refine your own positions and allow them to be defensible in your own mind. I sense great fear, a lack of peace and reaction in you Lurker. Indeed you are unsettled. I am not the problem Lurker, it is your own sense of internal doubt. I am at peace with everyone here on this forum, and would enjoy the company of almost everyone of them because I am secure within myself, and they are the same with themselves. I have even spoken with a few here on the phone, and we had a nice time in our exchanges. I hope that you can find that peace, and not fear reasonable men, with reasonable disagreements enjoying the "iron sharpens iron" experience of discourse, debate and intellectual exploration on a wide variety of culture, politics , and religion. I am at peace with the idea that people have different ideas. Apparently you are not. I hope you find the answers that will provide that solace.

Peace Brother
Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Why must humans resort to magic as an explanation for things they do not yet understand?

I suppose this is understandable in the case of cavemen looking at the moon, or any other time in history when man had not yet developed tools to answer such questions, but for people in our modern society where scientific data is readily available (from the hard work of others), there is no excuse.

Evolution happened. It is still happening. Wishful thinking, censoring textbooks, praying, or willful ignorance will not make it go away. And if you must- if evolution is so very threatening to your religious belief system- then set up camp with the Intelligent Design people. You can still have your imaginary cake and eat it, too. The head of the NIH does.


How's kicks, Dennis?


Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

So we're getting together for chips and beer are we? Thanks for the invitation. Some fall we'll have a big ex-feastgoers feast and hash it all out in person. If I can win the lottery, I'll attend too. We can all crash Pack's feast site in Wadsworth and harass his members with annoying placards and flyers. We'll usher Dennis to the stage on the last great day after tying up Pack.

Anonymous said...

Joe should be called out on his inconsistencies. Somebody has to do it.

Corky said...

Evolution is true...evolution actually happened. There is nothing in the bible that connects evolution to the God of the bible either. If you see something that you think does do that in some metaphorical or allegorical way, you are seeing a mirage, a figment of your own imagination and wishful thinking.

Modern science has absolutely destroyed the "holy bible" along with its God...it's time for people to wake up to the facts and get their heads out of their asses before the consequences of their superstitious beliefs destroy us all.

Iroquois said...

Umm Lurker just because Joe still remains in an Armstrongist group doesn't mean he isn't free to browse and comment on ex-Armstrongist sites like this one. So what we all have to qualify as an ex-Armstrongist to comment on this site? I'm sure that's a fallacy like pro-abortionists asserting that men cannot speak or have a view on abortion because they're not women or straight people cannot have an opinion on gay marriage because they're not gay.

Byker Bob said...

Haven't we said in the past that we want more ACOG people, not fewer, to become courageous, and to defy their leaders or councils of elders by coming here to comment about what is wrong with Armstrongism??? If we jump them all like Joe, they will leave, and we will cut them off from honest discussions about all of the stuff we know is wrong, and us from what they share about their ACOGs.

Also, there have been honest critiques Joe has made about UCG, which, if certain people happened to see them, he might have some 'splainin' to do.. Yeah, he's mostly commented about the other groups, but he has also stuck his neck out critiquing his own. I fail to see any hypocrisy in that.

I once had a friend who attacked forum groups he discovered that embraced certain core doctrines common to Armstrongism, labelling people as Armstrongites who had never even heard of HWA, GTA, or the WCG. It's an extreme example, but it illustrates the depths of some of the emotions which we've all felt from time to time. The Messianics and Sacred Names people he went after were shocked!

I believe we would all feel much better if there were no longer any believers in Armstrongism. It tends to bother one that a person, or persons, somehow seem to be making such an abhorent, life-wrecking philosophy work. I know I'd feel much better if my parents saw the light. It is human nature to feel validated when others reach the same conclusion as we have reached ourselves and it is easy to feel irritated when in the presence of those who have not.

The first Armstrong-related forum in which I became active, I almost did not join. Some of the people seemed knowledgeable as well as cool, and I wanted to become involved in their discussions. But there were also some of what I then called "Jesus freaks" adding their comments, it was a turnoff, and I wondered how long I'd be able to participate without blowing my top, and getting booted. I wondered what was wrong with them, to be honest. Why could they not see that all religion was pure unadulterated (my vocabulary at the time) horseshit?

But, I learned some things. First, there isn't a friend or relative walking the earth that you don't have to make some sort of allowances for. Secondly, as one of the ladies on that forum pointed out, different people are at different learning stages in life. That can put us at odds. There are also some really competitive people who believe the most important thing in life is to win an argument. Ultimately, there were occasional ideas expressed which, though they initially made my blood boil, then forced me to do more research and further thinking.

Somebody brought up the nice guy or gentleman thing. But, it's not as if I've been some kind of forum angel myself. Over all, there has been much education, but, along the way, I've flamed people, been chastised for extreme vulgarity, was instrumental in at least one person losing faith (I thought it would feel good, but it was truly awful), and even blew some people clear out of their favorite forums. This was on ACOG dissident, or recovery forums. One of my occasional screen names on non-Armstrong forums was Ibullybullies.

It's not only Christians, ACOG members, and Republicans that get attacked. I've seen atheists such as Corky receive assorted ad hominems. Years ago, Dennis had an absolutely horrible initial entry to the old Painful Truth forum. He had been a WCG minister, and, since he made himself accessible, most posters intended to hold him accountable for all of their pain. To this day, I don't know how he survived the dogpiling, but he did and is now seen as a kind of wise elder statesman in certain circles.

So, Random Lurker, what is your objective in going after Joe? Were you simply attempting to register your displeasure, or is this a de facto attempt at kicking him off the forum?

BB

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous 9:35, why do you think Joe should be called out on his inconsistencies?

If he had any inclination (coupled with authority) to impose his inconstancies on other people, then yes, he should be called to account. As long as Joe's opinions govern only Joe, however, it is not our duty to reform him, which is just another way of saying "try to substitute our own inconsistencies for his."

The impulse is natural, of course. We all (except trolls such as Lurker) think the world would be a better place if people had the same proclivities we ourselves possess. As Mark Twain said, "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits."

Not that we should ignore the issue, you understand. We should exploit it for our edification and amusement. As Mark Twain said further, "It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races."

Anonymous said...

Let's take a poll on who Random Lurker is. Running his post through my literary analysis software, most probable candidate is...................Leonardo.

Random Lurker said...

Iroquois said...

Umm Lurker just because Joe still remains in an Armstrongist group doesn't mean he isn't free to browse and comment on ex-Armstrongist sites like this one. So what we all have to qualify as an ex-Armstrongist to comment on this site? I'm sure that's a fallacy…


Negative, ghost rider. Joe can comment all he likes. My beef is with the hypocrisy, the point some people on here seem to be missing.

Retired Prof said...
Anonymous 9:35, why do you think Joe should be called out on his inconsistencies?

If he had any inclination (coupled with authority) to impose his inconstancies on other people, then yes, he should be called to account. As long as Joe's opinions govern only Joe, however, it is not our duty to reform him.


It’s not our “duty” to come to this site. It’s not our “duty” to comment, or respond to comments. We make personal decisions to do these things. I have made a personal decision to call Joe out on his inconsistencies and here are my reasons:

First instance of Moeller-trollin’:

“Man up and be honest about your own cultic ambitions in your atheistic faith and your excitement of sucking off the shortcomings of others. Liberators of others you are not. You are self absorbed cynics.”

Second instance of Moeller-trollin’:

Wow, the world is a safer place now. I put your efforts on the same level as the breakthrough of polio vaccine.

Perhaps you should receive a Nobel Peace price, or a Congressional medal of honor.

We will all sleep well tonight. What would we do without your heroic efforts!

…..NOT!


Third instance of Moeller-trollin’:

I think that there should be a wikipedia entry created for “Silenced”.

Then we can have a “Silenced Initiative” and post about the nihilism of the creators of Silenced, and their disgusting lifestyles as they have revealed on here.


And my personal favorite, Moeller-intimidation:

When you are man enough to face me eyeball to eyeball , let me know. I have served with real men and know the difference between a hero and a coward, and someone who knows how to talk big, but is a worthless weenie when in person.

Joe Moeller
Master Sergeant (Retired)
United States Army Rangers


The point here is that Joe has repeatedly shown himself to be a troll and COG apologist on another ex-COG website. Maybe he’s a nice guy, here. Maybe he’s toned down the rhetoric here. Who can say.

But when I see someone I know to be a COG apologist & troll, coming onto an ex-cog site and being blatantly hypocritical, over and over and over again? Yep, I am going to call him out on it.

Does that make me a “troll” also, Retired Professor? Maybe. I really couldn’t care either way.

But, what I am not, is a hypocritical and willing participant in perpetuating a corrupt system of manipulation and lies and abuse.

We all know who that is.

Anonymous said...

"ID is not good science."

Those kind of statements are way too general. It depends on how it was done. You can't rule out an entire line of inquiry like that. You have to refute each specific argument.

Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

"As Mark Twain said 'It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races.'"

We are not talking about horse races, we're talking about destructive cults. Big difference.

Anonymous said...

Occam's razor is a general guideline or a rule of thumb, nothing more. It's not a law of science and nobody ever discovered it in a test tube.

Oh the futility of "debating" with the great unwashed.

Byker Bob said...

Obviously, whoever wrote all those inquisitional questions for Joe must be exRCG! They were just too similar to the questions Dave had listed for the ministers from the other ACOGs that were expected to respond to the Haggai marketing campaign.

BB

Random Lurker said...

@ Moeller:
Joe Moeller wrote:

"Mr. Lurker:” .”


No need to stand on ceremony here, Joe. Call me Lurks.

“Using end times "fear" to recruit people is a wrong form of evangelism”

Nah, far better to rope em’ in with the flowery stuff. Fortunately, UCG realized this and is now trying a warmer, fuzzier approach for recruiting purposes. However, if you think end-times don’t play into the mentality of the average UCG member, you’re fooling yourself, Joe.

“Anyone who believes in God would say that God is the "Causal Force" in there understanding. This is a dumb question.”

Nah, it’s a relevant question, Joe. Have you ever heard the term “Called out ones”? Of course you have (over and over again). The idea is that you are a part of “True christianity” called out from among “The world”. (Granted, UCG plays remarkably well with the other splinters in this area.) There’s nothing casual about it, direct intervention by god is implied. (This, by the way, reeks of arrogance. )

“I have no idea when the end time will be, nor does anyone else.”

Said with a nod and a wink by countless COG ministers for the last 40 years now. Come now Joe, I know you’re not this naïve…

“It appears that some Christians die and some dont. No one knows the details of who…”

Actually, COG doctrines historically have defined the “who”. They say specifically which group flees and which group stays behind to suffer, which brings me to:

“I do not believe in the concept of "Church Eras".”

And you still attend with UCG? Those must be some powerful cookies! Seriously though, I doubt many of your fellow attendees (to borrow your term) feel the same way.

“I do not, at least in the direct genetic sense. US and BC are very weak theories with many holes.”

You viewpoints, while commendable, are almost certainly in the minority. This is a core tenet of the UCG beliefs. You’ve managed to reconcile yourself with the fact that DNA does not support this doctrine. Kudos! Unfortunately, you’ve also found some “spiritual” wiggle room to avoid shaking the foundations of your faith any further.

“I personally disagree with a few UCG judgements as well, and am working towards reform of those areas.”

Also commendable. I would, however, argue that this makes you the “tare” within the flock. The reform you seek does not change the current reality of what your church is and of what the generally accepted doctrines are. You’re a rebel, in a sense. So was a mythological hero of mine! ;-)

“You have to define what an "Armstrongist Church" is.”

Oh, c'mon. Any splinter with ties to/roots in the WCG under Herbert W Armstrong up to and until the changes and subsequent breakup in the early 90’s. Please don’t dodge my question.

“I am at peace with the idea that people have different ideas.”

Of course they can. Unfortunately, it seems as though you are projecting your rebel mindset onto the larger body of UCG membership. I believe this to be wishful thinking at best and delusion at worst. UCG is considered by many to be the most “liberal” of the COGs. Most say that in a negative way. Personally, I think it’s a positive thing. That said, they are still a WCG splinter, clinging to the vast majority of its doctrines in action if not word.

The "good Nazis" to borrow your term, did not noticably influence the course of events in Hitler's Germany. Were they all bad? No. Could they stand up and leave? No. Can you?

“Peace Brother”

Likewise. For what it’s worth, I think your heart is in the right place. But as long as you actively attend (IE: lend moral support to) a COG, expect any hypocritical comments regarding other COG’s to be met with the same reaction from myself and others. That said, my opinion of you is higher than most COG members. Clearly we’re still going to disagree on issues of cosmic significance. What can ya do lol

Adios.

Anonymous said...

it's kinda funny watching these folks get their hackles up over the implication that God is real....

Amused Lurker said...

"Let's take a poll on who Random Lurker is. Running his post through my literary analysis software, most probable candidate is...................Leonardo."

The atheist calling out a COG apologist regarding his hypocrisy strikes you as being a long-time theist, armstrongist troll?

Your software is faulty.

And on the subject of faulty software: Bob, Iroquois & Professor. I responded to all of your posts. For some reason, my post didn't make it through the moderation process. I'm not sure why, there was no legitimate reason to block the comment and it was actually rather illuminating as to the motives behind my not giving Moeller a pass on the hypocrisy.

I'm just going to chalk it up to being a glitch and not waste any further time on it.

Of course, if I'm wrong and Gary would care to elaborate... I'm game ;-)

Retired Prof said...

Lurker, I see in your most recent post that you actually are engaging the issues, not merely trying to score personal points and disrupt the discussion.

On the basis of your abrasive style I referred to you as a troll. That was a mistake. I'm sorry.

Retired Prof said...

Well, Lurker, since you yourself characterize what you are doing as "trolling," I will retract my apology if that will make you feel any better.

Byker Bob said...

Cheap thrills. Get a reaction. Swoop down from nowhere, and under cover of anonymity, attack someone from the comfort of your keyboard. But you forgot something. As a community here, we're generally a pretty accepting, and tolerant bunch. But, In a greater sense, when an unknown outsider accuser comes here to launch an attack on one of us, he has attacked us all.

Do you know, long term, Random Lurker, what difference you will have made on this blog? None. Absolutely none. I dare say that within a few days, maybe a week, or a month, the situation here will return to what was normal prior to the dumping of your bag of Home Depot steer manure on the backside of your little ventilator fan. As a community, we will have cleaned up your little impotent mess, and will have returned to our normal discussions.

One day you might just learn that if you respect people, and assume they possess a certain degree of intelligence, and attempt to discuss ideas and concepts with them in a measured way, you will advance your cause more than you would by going on the attack. You may temporarily intimidate someone by hurling accusations and calling them names, but in so doing you totally lose any opportunity of educating them from their mindset to something more consistent with your own (if, in fact, that attempt would not be presumptuous).

Hope you feel better. I don't know what you "proved".


BB

Random Lurker said...

@ Retired Professor:

Thanks man.

Head Usher said...

Anon11:25PM,

The reason why I stated, and stand by my statement that "ID is not good science, if indeed it can be called science at all," is because ID is predicated upon, not evidence, but religion (supposed revelation) and it is an attempt to revitalize an antiquated, discarded, and demonstrably faulty and biased methodology.

As I mentioned before, I am merely bringing to the table a point made much more fully and articulately than I could by Neil deGrasse Tyson in a talk he gave 3 or 4 years ago entitled "The Perimeter of Ignorance." Please, follow the link to Youtube and give it a watch.

In this presentation, he makes the point that ID is nothing new. It's been around for thousands of years. All the great scientists of centuries past, except perhaps Galileo have invoked ID at the limit of their knowledge and understanding. As Tyson brings out, Ptolemy did it, Newton did it, and Huygens did it. When they had a satisfactory naturalistic explanation that offered good predictability, they never invoked god, but at the boundary of their ignorance they all did. However, in retrospect, we can now look back on those deistic references made by Ptolemy, Newton, and Huygens, and even religious people can agree that they were at least "misplaced," because now we have naturalistic explanations that they lacked. And ID is still being invoked today. Future generations will look back on the claims made by ID today, and will say, just as we do about scientists from generations that went before us, and they'll say that they invocation of a higher-power-designer (god) made by ID in the early 21st century were, at least, "misplaced."

The point that Tyson makes here that's so important is how "'revelation' replaced investigation" in 12th century putting a stop to the Arabic enlightenment, from which it never recovered. And this is the danger of ID to "good science" today. ID makes an epistemological claim that we will never be able to find a naturalistic explanation through evolution for how certain structures came to because no such naturalistic explanations exist. Upon what authority does ID make such a claim? How do the proponents of ID claim to be in possession of such knowledge about the epistemological landscape of biology? Am I being clear?

And this is the foundational assumption at the root of every specific claim that ID makes, and how I can thus refute each specific claim that ID makes in one fell swoop. All of ID's claims arise by accepting "revelation" in place of "investigation." And if we were to take their word for it, we would have to throw our hands up and stop investigating, which is the danger that Tyson is warning against. The assumptions of ID are inimical to investigation, because they claim to possess knowledge in advance of investigation. Regardless of whatever else you want to call it, that's dogma, and dogma has no place in science. This is why ID is not only "bad science," but is actually an impediment to "good science." And furthermore, since it is unmoored from any evidential basis, the "entire line of inquiry" as you put it (badly, I might add, since it is the opposite of inquiry) is also "ruled out" as being unreliable, also in one fell swoop. All ID claims are like a house, and they stand or fall together when their foundation is shaken. ID does not even have a foundation of sand, it is a castle built in the air. Sorry about that. Sorry you can't see that.

Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Who's buying the beer?

Anonymous said...

Head Usher:

Your claims about ID are false false false. You do not understand ID. ID is not a faith and has zero to do with dogma.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"I know people who were disfellowshiped by ministers WHO ARE ON TOP NOW AT the UCG, and this occurred back when those ministers were still in the WCG secretly plotting to leave the WCG and form their splinter org because they disagreed with the changes imposed by the Tkach regime. You want to know what's TOTALLY CRAZY about those "disfellowships"? It's that they were done to lowly members who ALSO disagreed with the changes imposed by the Tkach regime! But at the time, those ministers still in the WCG had to PRETEND to go along with the changes, so they could still collect salaries from a church whose teachings they no longer believed, and not blow their cover while they secretly plotted to leave and form the UCG."



That is an excellent summary of the type of people now collecting paychecks in the UCG and now running the UCG show. It speaks volumes about what one can expect from these same people in the future too. Either pay attention now or else learn some even harder way in the future.

It does not surprise me anymore that UCG ministers do not seem to care at all about right and wrong, but will let in some of the most godless, wicked, and malicious people around, yet will quickly get rid of whoever these perverts want to slander. The UCG ministers are just continuing to do what they think is politically expedient.

For those who still believe some of the things that they were taught in the past by the WCG under HWA, notice that the people who go to the UCG typically despise HWA, disagree with much of what HWA taught, and even say that HWA was a deviant old pervert.


Head Usher said...

Anon,

You're free to say that. You're free to say anything you want. But understand that's just a baseless (and indefensible) opinion, as you've provided no argument to back up your statements, as I have. You've cited no scholarship, as I have. Nor, indeed, have you demonstrated that you have even read and comprehended any idea I've expressed. All you've done is make a knee-jerk denial. A five-year-old with a spell-checker could do the same.

Appreciate that you're not just disagreeing with me, you're disagreeing with Neil deGrasse Tyson and the overwhelming majority of scientists. We can all see right through ID to the dogmatic assumptions at it's core, even if you can't.

If nothing else, please comprehend the following quote:
"I don't want the religious person in the lab telling me that 'god' is responsible for what it is they cannot discover. Because look at the hubris of that. You're in the lab and you say, 'I don't know how this works, and not only that, no one alive on earth knows how this works, and not only that, no one who will ever be born will know how this works. That's kind of audacious when you think about it." —Neil deGrasse Tyson on Intelligent Design

Regardless of your opinions, the following remains true:
"ID makes an epistemological claim that we will never be able to find a naturalistic explanation through evolution for how certain structures came to because no such naturalistic explanations exist.

If you even want to appear relevant you need to address the following questions:
1) Upon what authority does ID make such claims about what is knowable?
2) How do the proponents of ID claim to be in possession of such knowledge about the epistemological landscape of biology?

We both know the answer to the first question is "god" (dogma), and the answer to the second question is "revelation" (dogma). You can say those aren't the answers, but that's not good enough. In order to refute those answers you'll need to provide some more credible and compelling answers and cite the research that provided them. There's only one problem, no such research has been done, which is also why the majority of scientists don't know about it, which is why they disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

If an archaeologist digs in the earth and finds a rock or lump of clay which looks like it might have been man-made, he examines it more closely to see if it bears the hallmarks of intelligent design (i.e. if it is man made), or whether it was formed merely by the forces of nature alone.

That is science, not dogma.

If you examine living things with an open mind to see if they could have come about by forces of nature alone, that is not dogma, and it's not unscientific unless you are biased by religion.

In the COGs they insist that man started 6000 years ago, so they are biased.

If you reject the possibility of a creator out of hand, you are also biased.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that ID has been hijacked by Biblical Creationism and so now the two have become pretty much synonymous in the eyes of the wannabe scientists who write articles about it on the web. Either that, or the amateur scientists pretty much conflated the two terms so they could dismiss ID by pretending it is just Biblical creationism trying to pass itself off with another name.

Anonymous said...

"Science is failing to self-correct. We must understand why in order to fix it."

Astronomer Halton Arp.

Head Usher said...

Anon,

"If an archaeologist digs in the earth and finds a rock or lump of clay which looks like it might have been man-made, he examines it more closely to see if it bears the hallmarks of intelligent design (i.e. if it is man made), or whether it was formed merely by the forces of nature alone. That is science, not dogma."

This is a bait and switch. We don't have to rely on "revelation" to know that we exist. If the jury was out on the existence of mankind (LOL), and therefore also man-made objects, then you might have a point. Since that's not the case, you don't.

"If you examine living things with an open mind to see if they could have come about by forces of nature alone, that is not dogma, and it's not unscientific unless you are biased by religion. In the COGs they insist that man started 6000 years ago, so they are biased. If you reject the possibility of a creator out of hand, you are also biased."

Down through the ages we know that various peoples have believed in more than 100 different creator deities besides the one you happen to believe in. If your claim that I am biased has any merit, then the fact you reject them out of hand means that you're biased. If you really believed that, you'd have to admit that you believe that any scientist who didn't accept the possibility of all known creator deities was "biased." You can see how quickly any attempt to be consistent about applying your claim descends into absurdity.

The burden of proof rests upon the one making the positive claim. When Jesus, Zeus, and Santa Claus come in the clouds, then I'll believe they exist. But as long as they remain hidden, then they necessarily remain in the realm of Russell's teapot. The bible doesn't say Jesus condemned Thomas for doubting, so in the event he does exist, why would Jesus condemn me? I guess he could be a respecter of persons. Zeus and Santa Claus, however, now they are an entirely different matter.

You put the burden of proof where it belongs in most cases. Anything else is psychologically and neurologically untenable and and unmanageable. But when it comes to religion all of a sudden you become inconsistent about where you believe the burden of proof ought to lie.

As a tangential aside, WCG didn't typically preach YEC. There might have been some ministers who did, but it was not taught in Pasadena when I was growing up. I was an adult when I first heard of YEC, and I thought it was a pretty strange thing to believe. That's when I found out I believed in the "gap theory." I know for a fact that Herman Hoeh believed in the gap theory.

Noticeably absent from your reply however, was any attempt to deal with Neil deGrasse Tyson's quote or the two questions you needed to address. Obviously you did not because you cannot.

In addition, it would be good if you could elucidate what it is exactly that I, Tyson, and the vast majority of the scientific establishment, do not understand about ID, but that you obviously do. Please enlighten us all?

Finally, I could not help but notice that you have privileged access to this blog, such that you are able to read my comment and respond to it before my comment has been approved and made publicly available by the blog author. Interesting.

Head Usher said...

Anon 4:31PM,

ID has not been hijacked. It is synonymous with biblical creationism, not in the eyes of wannabe scientists, but in they eyes of the overwhelming majority of real scientists including the most respected scientists in the world. No one needs to "conflate" the two, or "pretend" they are the same thing. They are the same thing, period.

From one point of view, ID is just creationism trying to pass itself off with another name. From another point of view, ID is just a new name for the age-old phenomenon of invoking "god" at the "perimeter of ignorance." If you're determined to do that, fine. But at least be honest about it, you know, like the bible says to do? (Funny how the bible is filled with so many commandments that are obligatory for xians, unless they can come up with compelling reasons to break them.)

This is beyond dispute because ID makes a central claim that there are certain things that are not known and will forever remain unknown because they are unknowable. But how do they know these things are unknowable? This claim is not based in evidence or teleological philosophy. The basis for it can come from nowhere else but religion. The only people who cannot see this are those wearing religion-colored spectacles. It's really not very complicated though.

What if, as in centuries past, the proponents of ID turn out to be wrong and these "unknowable" things prove to be knowable after all as soon as the "perimeter" of science and knowledge overtakes them? The same thing that has always happened: they will be fully explained as natural effects brought about by natural causes and people won't think "god" had anything specifically to do with that niche of biology anymore. End of story.

But let's face it. ID has less to do with science or religion, per se, as it does with the politics of education.

Anonymous said...

1) Upon what authority does ID make such claims about what is knowable?
2) How do the proponents of ID claim to be in possession of such knowledge about the epistemological landscape of biology?

We both know the answer to the first question is "god" (dogma), and the answer to the second question is "revelation"

False. False. That is your false description of what ID is. ID makes no dogmatic claims whatsoever and draws

The answer to 1) is that ID makes it's claim of God's existence on observation. You have it backwards.

The answer to 2) is that ID has no connection to revelation whatsoever except in your mind and in those who wish to misrepresent it in order to discredit it.

Anonymous said...

Tyson is not an authority on anything. He's a fool. Stop listening to idiot box "scientists". The media have their head up their backside. They don't know a real scientist from some retard like Hawking or Tyson at all. Duh. Science is all about the scientific method, which those fools reject in spades. Turn off the idiot box, get some real books, and learn to examine both sides of an issue.

You probably believe in man-made global warming, UFOs, and Roswell also. You can get all that from TV. Ever hear of a library?

Michael said...

Anon 4:15 said:
"If an archaeologist digs in the earth and finds a rock or lump of clay which looks like it might have been man-made, he examines it more closely to see if it bears the hallmarks of intelligent design (i.e. if it is man made), or whether it was formed merely by the forces of nature alone."

Scientists look at jury-rigged design in biological organisms, strings of DNA information packed together in a haphazard manner, their only redeeming quality being that they happen to represent fitness for the current environment, and conclude these are not hallmarks of intelligent design. Humans having vestiges of ape-like DNA just hanging around like ancient Greek ruins? Not intelligent design.

I haven't been around here that long, but 76+ comments on a post seems to be close to some sort of record isn't it? :-)

Anonymous said...

As astronomer Halton Arp said, the scientific process is broken. It is not working due to corruption in science. If you worked in science like I have you would know they are crooked cheats and liars just like the COGs and the rest of this lying society.

Byker Bob said...

Michael,

I think it is kind of a record for here, although, given a similar confluence of hot topics in the past, the magic 100 might have been passed occasionally.

When I moderated a folder on another forum, we used to get such heavy commentary that I'd have to close off a thread and start a new one, just so people could continue to follow and make sense. We didn't have linear commentary like you do on a blog, and the thread looked like an ever expanding outline, with new comments coming in at different locations in the thread.
If you missed a day or two of reading, you were often overwhelmed when you saw how it had grown! Made me wonder if some people actually had lives!

BB

Lurker Departure said...

IMHO, comment moderation/censorship is awfully stifling where an ongoing discussion is involved.

I don't know who is holding the reins at this point but Gary has never suppressed my comments in the past. I'm left to wonder if he's farmed that task out to someone else. That said:

1) I've given not one reason to had a comment go unpublished, let alone several.

2) Head Usher brings up a valid concern.

With that, I return you to your regularly scheduled lovefest.

Lurker: out!

Head Usher said...

1) Upon what authority does ID make such claims about what is knowable?
"The answer to 1) is that ID makes it's claim of God's existence on observation."
Sure. Um. Observation of what exactly?

2) How do the proponents of ID claim to be in possession of such knowledge about the epistemological landscape of biology?
"The answer to 2) is that ID has no connection to revelation whatsoever except in your mind and in those who wish to misrepresent it in order to discredit it."
??? How does that even attempt to answer the question?


"Tyson is not an authority on anything. He's a fool. Stop listening to idiot box "scientists". The media have their head up their backside. They don't know a real scientist from some retard like Hawking or Tyson at all. Duh. Science is all about the scientific method, which those fools reject in spades...You probably believe in man-made global warming, UFOs, and Roswell also. You can get all that from TV. Ever hear of a library?"

Right. Tyson is not a "real" scientist. Nor is Steven Hawking. He's just a "retard." And who is? Michael Behe? LOL! You obviously have no idea who these people are. And you attempt to use ad hominem attacks to discredit them? LOL! Meanwhile, you demonstrate a complete incapability to discuss the substance of the ideas they've brought to the table. You can't answer a question intelligently, and you put your ignorance on parade every time you reply.

You have yet to say one meaningful thing. Every statement you've made has been a dogmatic statement, which is to say, an unsubstantiated one that you hope I will believe for no other reason than because YOU had the chutzpah to say it.

Thank you, I have no further questions for the witness. The prosecution rests.

Byker Bob said...

Just for the record (since I know Armstrongism programmed everyone to look for conspiracy theories): My comments to Michael in no way indicate that I fill any type of moderating or advisory rolls here. I do not. They were intended soley to share past experiences vis a vis the formidible task it can be to manage such exchanges of ideas when they come in hot and heavy.

BB

Anonymous said...

If people had ever looked at both sides themselves they would not be asking me to cite the Science Professors who question orthodox science because they would have already found many such experts themselves.

Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions of books by scientists that the liar Hawking and his lying PC puppets don't want you to read.

The Static Universe: Exploding the Myth of Cosmic Expansion.
The Big Bang Never Happened.
Is Relativity Necessary?
Seeing Red.
Space, Time, And Matter And The Falsity of Einstein's Theory Of Relativity.
Il Grande Grido.
The Big Bang, A critical Analysis.
The Virtue of Heresy.
The Trouble with Physics.
Bankrupting Physics.
The Einstein Myth.
Farewell To Reality.

Science today is all about careerism, status and making money. Truth is often the least of their interests. I know they lie because I've worked with them and they are full of corruption, deception, and BS like everyone else in this crooked world. The global warming debate should have woken everyone up about corruption in science, given all the lies we were told, and Al Gore's clearly politically motivated and undeserved Nobel prize, but people are slumbering on.

Yet many people can see that science is corrupt, which is why they sadly cling to dogma and stay in cults.

It is a futile never-ending debate to contend with those who don't bother to consider both sides, so I don't discuss details. That's what the books are for, and there are piles more if anyone cares to look for them.

Anonymous said...

"I could not help but notice that you have privileged access to this blog, such that you are able to read my comment and respond to it before my comment has been approved and made publicly available by the blog author. Interesting."

The only thing I have "privileged access" to is the refresh button on my browser.

Anonymous said...

Head Usher, you have rested your case apparently before reading any of the books like the ones I mentioned. That is precisely why you are not worth debating with. And you use straw-man arguments. You think you know it all and your mind is closed.

Anonymous said...

"Armstrongism programmed everyone to look for conspiracy theories..."

Despite his many evils, what HWA did right is he taught us that the Christian churches have been suppressing a lot of damaging information. I.e. they are dishonest. That is not a conspiracy theory but a conspiracy fact. You don't have to believe Hislop because modern Bible scholars agree with that basic fact. History is full of lies and conspiracies. The same is true today. Science is a human endeavor and is no different.

Anonymous said...

When I google "intelligent design" I get the following dictionary definition:

"The theory that life, or the universe, cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity."

No mention of dogma there.

RSK said...

Geez, you guys :)

Anonymous said...

Usher,

You've fallen into the quicksand of debating a wannabe guru who is clearly out on the fringes. Plus, he, she, or it does not take responsibility for posts. Any of the anonymous posts on this thread could be by the same individual, and you could never tell. If you give "it" the power over your time to read the list of books, "it" will be glad to continue to be a time hole for you.

This is why I take power over my own widely eclectic reading materials, and why I never cozy up to anyone!

Anonymous said...

Posting under "Head Usher" which is not a real name is not much different than posting under "Anonymous".

Anonymous said...

"You've fallen into the quicksand of debating a wannabe guru who is clearly out on the fringes."

There is nothing morally wrong or unscientific about being "out on the fringes". It's often the result of having the courage and intellectual confidence to buck the trend. Science is not a democracy where the majority rule. The attitude of dismissing those "on the fringe" just shows group-think which is clearly not conducive to doing science.

Calling someone a "wannabe guru" is imputing motives and an ad homenim.

caseywollberg said...

"Anonymous said...

"ID is not good science."

Those kind of statements are way too general. It depends on how it was done. You can't rule out an entire line of inquiry like that. You have to refute each specific argument."

Already been done. It is reasonable, therefore, to make the general statement you are reacting to.

caseywollberg said...

" Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I google "intelligent design" I get the following dictionary definition:

"The theory that life, or the universe, cannot have arisen by chance and was designed and created by some intelligent entity."

No mention of dogma there. "

OMG, you're a moron. Furthermore, just because you can list a few anti-science books written by cranks doesn't mean your position is thereby defended. Also, your opinions about science being broken are just more conspiracy theory bullshit and don't, in any case, demonstrate that ID is legitimate science. All you nincompoops can ever come up with are non sequiturs.

caseywollberg said...

"We often observe with great wonder the "sheeple" who find paganism in everything. We notice that they often make ridiculous jumps in their assumptions. The reason they believe as they do is that in a world in which there is nothing new under the sun, great similarities and parallels can often be found."

I agree that many of these presumed connections are dubious (e.g., the tripe rolled out in that ridiculous Zeitgeist film--or Hislop). However, I have to wonder how you can assume that means there IS something new under the sun (i.e., the Abrahamic faith tradition). It doesn't follow. At least if you're using Armstrong's definition of "paganism", it's pagan all the way down. There is actually good evidence for connections other than those that have been debunked. Certainly, monotheism was not initially practiced by the Canaanite hill people we now refer to as the Hebrews. I'd be interested in reading the paper you recommend. I wonder if it reaches similar conclusions to those of ancient Near East scholars like Mark S. Smith in his seminal work, The Early History of God.

Anonymous said...

1. There is no such thing as an ad hominem attack on an anonymous poster.

2. *"courage and intellectual confidence to buck the trend"
Omigosh! Does anyone happen to have the phone numbers for Bob Thiel, James Malm, Ron Weinland, Dave Pack, anf Gerald Flurry? Boy, do we ever owe those poor gentlemen one heck of an apology! Seems they were simply displaying courage and intellectual confidence!

3. Bloggers' etiquette calls for distinguishing your posts in such a manner that other bloggers will know who is saying what. Unless everyone is an expert in literary analysis, one will not know which "anonymous" is posting what. Head Usher has been posting here under that name for months. We don't care whether his real name might be Joe Liebowitz or Rastas Slocum, just so long as we can tell what posts are his, and repond appropriately.

caseywollberg said...

" The attitude of dismissing those "on the fringe" just shows group-think which is clearly not conducive to doing science."

X. Wrong. It is precisely in science where an appeal to consensus makes sense. This is because of how science actually works: peer review, replication, independent verification, etc. Cranks who buck the consensus are most likely to be doing so because their science is sub-standard. They can't get their "results" published, typically, because they can't be reproduced or because their methodology is flawed, etc.--in a word, they are doing bad science. And this, of course, is where the evil scientific establishment conspiracy theory (so beloved of cranks everywhere--not to mention their ideological cheerleaders among the hoi polloi) comes in to rescue, in ad hoc fashion, whatever quackery is being promoted.

caseywollberg said...

"There is no such thing as an ad hominem attack on an anonymous poster."

LOL, this wins the thread. I have to point out, though, that this comment was posted by an "anonymous" too! :)

Byker Bob said...

Casey,

I don't believe that paper will disappoint. Just checked and it is still there: www.ardath-shalom.ca/israelite_religion.htm

Hope you enjoy it!

BB

Michael said...

Anonymous said...
"1. There is no such thing as an ad hominem attack on an anonymous poster."

Hmmm. Interesting, but I'm not sure about that. Anytime the presenter of an idea/argument is evaluated instead of the idea/argument itself, I would think that falls under "ad hominem", whether or not the presenter is anonymous.

Joe Moeller said...

I confess, that I am the real RASTAS SLOCUM!

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts-

Strong growth in a church, movement or idea doesn't make it right or show it's being "blessed by God".

Might doesn't make right, despite what manipulative bullies would have us believe.

It's hard to miss the irony that a person dissing and telling Random Lurker he's wrong to "intimidate" Joe, uses bullying and intimidating tactics himself in doing so. (Especially when a person bullying has repeatedly claimed that because of Jesus he completely no longer bullies.)
Besides, I don't think Joe is that easily intimidated: for example, he's said he and his "bad ass wife" will be shooting people who come to take their stores of food in the future.

It's no more correct to try to relegate RL to the status of an "outsider" who's influence is "absolutely nothing" and "manure" for having jumped on Joe as having "attacked us all", than it is to say that the bullying tactics of such a defender of Joe have "attacked us all", too.

I'm glad Joe is here. It helps show some ludicrous ideas that UCG members have, such as the false belief that "the UCG is a democratic organization". (I mean, really, would you consider the USA to be a democratic country if ONLY other politicians could vote for the country's political leaders?(and no ordinary citizens and not even a single woman in the whole country had voting rights?)
Plus, he's a rebel within the UCG, and I look forward the him reporting here the results of his complaints.

I'm also glad that Random Lurker posts here, and hope he continues to refute false things which Armstrongists and people in various Armstrongist splinter groups claim to be true, in addition to other insightful comments.

Retired Prof said...

" There is no such thing as an ad hominem attack on an anonymous poster."

This could actually be true. If the poster is a woman, it would be an "ad feminam" attack.

Considering the apparent identity of our trolling poster's mother, however, the most likely term is "ad canem" attack.

Random Lurker said...

@ Anonymous 7:32

Thank you. At least someone here can see reason. I was starting to wonder.

@ Retired Professor

Stay classy, buddy.

caseywollberg said...

A slight correction, BB. The site is ADATH-shalom, rather than ARDATH-shalom.

So that URL is www.adath-shalom.ca/israelite_religion.htm reproduced here in its correct form for copy/pasting purposes, in case others are interested.

Now that I found it, I'll check it out, and thanks!

caseywollberg said...

"The interpretation of the name of Yahweh is not entirely devoid of meaning, then, when it comes to establishing his character. If yhwh does indeed mean 'He blows'..."

I approve, Bob.

Seriously, though, it looks like legitimate scholarship to me, and it is a subject that I find fascinating--even apart from its ideological implications. Good stuff.

Joe Moeller said...

Follow Up To Anonymous at 7:32 who said...
"I mean, really, would you consider the USA to be a democratic country if ONLY other politicians could vote for the country's political leaders?(and no ordinary citizens and not even a single woman in the whole country had voting rights?"

MY RESPONSE:

Anon, you must not know your American Civics or history very well. There are many offices in the United States that are voted in only by other politicians. Examples : Justices of the Supreme Court, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and all Cabinet Members. Arguably these are the most powerful of positions in the whole country.

Furthermore , up until 1913, Senators were elected by State legislators, not by direct vote. Women did attain suffrage in the United States until 1920, less than 100 years ago. Many American Indians had no voting rights whatsoever until 1965.

Technically, the USA is not a democracy, but a representative republic with democratic principles. The same could be applied to the UCG. Just keeping the facts straight.

Luv,
Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

RL, I would be a bit guarded about my enthusiasm for A-Non 7:32. He be a skorekeeper, and never fergets. I guarantee you he was taking notes on your posts and if he disagrees with you in the future, he'll be using those notes.

Anonymous said...

RL, I would be a bit guarded about my enthusiasm for A-Non 7:32. He be a skorekeeper, and never fergets. I guarantee you he was taking notes on your posts and if he disagrees with you in the future, he'll be using those notes.

Byker Bob said...

Casey,

Sorry about the typo. My browser evidently corrected for the wrong spelling when I verified the site, further throwing me off.

I've posted about that paper numerous times over the past years, but you are the only one who ever showed any interest.

Looking forward to hearing your opinions after you have digested it!

BB

TD said...

Joe said: "Technically, the USA is not a democracy, but a representative republic with democratic principles."

Umm no it's not, I'm afraid Joe. It may have been founded as a Constitutional Republic, but the term that best describes the American form of government today would be an oligarchy.

And with that, "the same could be applied to the UCG" not to mention the rest of the "copy of a copy of a copy" WCG clones...

Anonymous said...

The same could be applied to the UCG. Just keeping the facts straight.

Joe, I am amazed at how you can so willfully bend and distort facts to fit your UCG agenda. This is absolutely not true and you know it -- the comparison is not even close to accurate. Here in the USA we elect our representatives. Members in UCG get no such choice -- the only individuals with voting rights are the elders, and who appoints the elders? That's right, other elders, not the members. In case you skipped out on a few civics classes, here in the USA we the citizens elect representatives who then represent our interests in Congress. Not so in UCG.


Anonymous said...

"RL, I would be a bit guarded about my enthusiasm for A-Non 7:32. He be a skorekeeper, and never fergets. I guarantee you he was taking notes on your posts and if he disagrees with you in the future, he'll be using those notes."

Hello, I wrote the 7:32 post.
You are wrong about what you believed so strongly about me that you 'guaranteed' it. It's beyond me why someone would think I took notes on Random Lurker's comments, and warn him in a "guarantee" I was doing so and may use what he wrote against him in the future.
Of course, I mentally "noted" it, which is simply how our brains work when we Homo sapiens read something.

What's ironic is that I post as anon now because of online bullying, as per my wife's request.
Someone with whom I'd corresponded privately had promised to adhere to my request to not refer to my previous online identification, because that might cause strains with members of her family who are still in Armstrongite churches. However, that bully broke 'his-or-her' promise in responses to me posting things 'he-or-she' didn't like, and used the bullying tactic of, "he's not worthy of being listened to because of bla bla bla", while both outing me and attacking me.
Oh, well, shit happens and I've dealt with it as needed.

Moving on. again.

As to Joe Moeller's response that "Anon, you must not know your American Civics or history very well. There are many offices in the United States that are voted in only by other politicians."

That's incorrect, Joe. I do realize what you claim I don't, and my point that the UCG is not a democratic organization (contrary to your assertion) still stands.
Here in the USA, the President, Vice President, all members of the House of Representatives, and all members of Congress, along with Governors and so many other offices are elected because of the citizen's vote.

As you say, there are some offices filled by appointments and/or voted in by other politicians. You offer a red herring in claiming your UCG is a democratic organization and ignore the larger facts in the comparison.

If you know of a Democracy or Constitutional Republic where it's top leaders ARE NOT elected as a result of voting by it's citizens, please let me know and I'll stand corrected.
Yes, I'm aware the USA is a Constitutional Republic, and the term "Democracy" is often used as a descriptive colloquialism that's understood by most people.
What's ironic in your counterpoint, Joe, is you countering that the USA is a Constitutional Republic(or as you said, "representative republic"), BUT, in a Constitutional Republic the general population has MORE power than they'd have in a Democracy, which makes my point even more substantive.
So, let's look at the United Church of God, folks-
The general membership has no voting rights- They are prohibited from voting to elect it's governing body known as the Council of Elders. Only other UCG Elders can vote. If you like to call that a Democracy, then sobeit.

And one last point about the UCG and voting-
Apparently, the UCG's Elders don't trust the general membership enough to let them vote.
However, the UCG recently had a huge split in which half it's elders left, but only one third of it's members left to form another splinter church (the COGaWA).
For a person who believes in the UCG, wouldn't this indicate that the member's hearts have been "in the right place" MUCH MORE than it's Elders' hearts have been "in the right place" ?
Wouldn't this indicate that it would behoove the United Church of God's Council of Elders to actually change the UCG into a democratic organization, in which the general membership is allowed to vote?

Anonymous said...

"Just keeping the facts straight."

And what are the facts?

What do the governing documents and rules of association of UCG say? These are the facts.

They say UCG is a corporation. The only "members" of that corporation are "ordained elders in good standing" who have chosen to be members of the GCE. If you are not a member of the GCE, you are not "a member of UCGIA, a Nonprofit Religious Corporation."

The rules of association define the term "church member" to be a "baptized" individual. If you're "baptized" then you're a member of the "Church of God" (regardless of organizational affiliation). They might even refer to you as a "member of UCG" the church. However, you're not a member of UCG the corporation. No siree. Intentionally subtle and misleading distinction? Perhaps. Important distinction? Absolutely. To be a member of the corporation means everything. To be a member of the church means nothing. This is the preeminent fact to be kept straight.

Now let's compare the UCG to the USA. If all you are is a "church member" not only do you have no vote, you're not even a citizen! Your standing with UCG is equivalent to that of a resident alien (i.e. forget about getting a vote, technically, not even the Bill of Rights applies to you). All you are is a stranger in a strange land. Everything else is mumbo-jumbo.

Of course, it's set up this way so that no "church member" has any legal standing to make a claim against the assets of the corporation. Still, patronizing but erroneous figures of speech are just that, and what is enforceable is Ten-Tenths of the law. If you are not in the GCE, then UCG has no connection to you whatsoever. You can be "baptized," show up every sabbath and send them a significant portion of your income, but in return, they own you exactly *nothing.* You may "feel" connected to UCG, but you are not. You might be on their mailing list. You might also be on the mailing list of Publisher's Clearinghouse. You might not "feel" as connected to other corporations that also send you junk mail, but their connection to you is just as real.

These are the facts that need to be kept straight.

Anonymous said...

If you are on forums specifically bullying your wife's family's ACOG, you might want to do more than just change your screen name! Personalities come through even in anonymously written postings, and people take these things very seriously. Your in-laws have a tremendous influence on whether your marriage will last or be happy.

Anonymous said...

For months, some "one trick" anonymous poster has been trashing UCG, in little drive by episodes. Anger seemed quite evident. There was a question in my mind as to whether he might have been doing this for the sole purpose of baiting Joe. Baiting is one of the (im)practical applications of trolling, and is also a form of bullying.

Most of the regulars blew off his drive-bys, until he made a direct attack on the object of his contempt. Although most of us don't believe in the sanctity of any of the ACOGs, the majority of us lined up behind Joe, who is actually well liked here by all with perhaps one notable exception. I had thought initially that his "unliker" might have been the attacker, but over several posts, noticed some differences in both personality and intellect.

Who would ever have imagined that Joe's bully would then turn around and claim to be the victim of bullying himself when most failed to come down on his side? As Steve Harvey says, you just can't make this stuff up!

~Tabasco~

Anonymous said...

I like Joe Moeller, but since he sometimes uses inaccuracies in his talking points to make the UCG seem like an attractive church, it's good that various astute commenters here refute them.

It's to be expected that a member of an Armstrongist church would defend their emotional investment, and tend to see it and describe it through rose colored glasses.
Plus, I think Joe may have one hoof out the door of the UCG, anyway. After all, he's the only member of an Armstrongite church who regularly posts here, AFAIK.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those differences in personality and intellect are the sign that there's more than just one anonymous poster? Maybe there's a number of persons hanging around who while they don't want to dogpile, aren't blowing off those other drive-by UCG trashings, but are silently agreeing with the substance of them. That doesn't mean it's personal, or that Joe isn't liked, or that the rest of us are baiting him, or that we aren't willing to line up behind him if someone is getting personal. It just means that we're loathe to let a sales pitch for UCG go unanswered and unopposed. That's a distinction that needs to be understood. If a "one trick" poster is going to voice opposition, then others can remain silent, and all the moreso if he's trolling. Yet this is an odd place to come promoting Armstrongism and an odd place for a committed Armstrongist to hang out and post under his real name. Either Joe's days are indeed numbered, as you say, or else he's been asked by Mike Snyder to serve as a volunteer to come here and shill as part of UCG's rather aggressive image-scrubbing PR initiatives, a very real possibility which shouldn't be dismissed too lightly.

Anonymous said...

Two ways to know that science is crooked is to understand academic politics and the money trail. Few people have have any grasp of either. The peer review process is also badly broken for a number of reasons the public has no clue about.

Anonymous said...

The USA is an oligarchy controlled by big money. There is a democratic element to it, but that element is not as powerful as the media, the parties, the special interest groups, and the big companies, all of which have more power than the people because they keep the people divided and in the dark, and know how to manipulate the system more then the people do.

Anonymous said...

Wow man, there some opinionated people on here with no first hand experience in the stuff they are talking about. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes drive by shooters make good points.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people dislike anonymous posters because they want to be able to attack people for what they said months or years ago, instead of dealing with the substance of the post.

Anonymous said...

"...here in the USA we the citizens elect representatives who then represent our interests in Congress"

Actually, the big-money special interests own both parties and let people choose which of the two to choose from. Similar to Iran where the clerics determines who gets on the ballot, but in the USA it is controlled by money. They don't care much which side wins because they own them both.

Then the elected person represents the interests of big money and special interests while _pretending_ to represent the people.

It's a fake democracy, not a real one. It amazes me that many people still haven't figured this out.

The media are part of the fake system.

Anonymous said...

Real science is defined by the scientific process of discovery. It's about HOW you discover things and critically analyze them, not what you believe, who you are, how popular they are with other "experts", or how many degrees are behind your name. Looking a both sides carefully (i.e. what they say for themselves, not what others say about them) is a vital part of the process that very few actually do.

Many great ideas started out "on the fringe"!