God is First, but only sometimes

Crude has a nice post out on his blog where he points out that if you’re willing to die for your faith, you should be willing to kill for it. Here is an extended form of my response:

Would you kill to defend your family?

If the answer to that question is yes, but the answer is no if you’re asked whether or not you’d kill to defend your faith, you need to reassess your priorities.

Does that comment shock you? It shouldn’t. Jesus is very clear about this – faith, then family. If you’d kill to protect your family but not your faith, there’s a problem with your worldview.

I’m not saying that making a paradigm shift like that is easy, but it is, ultimately, necessary.

I’m also not saying I’m there yet. I have a very difficult time honestly imagining a situation where I’d react to a threat to the Church as strongly as I’d react to a threat to my family. But, here’s the important point – This is to my detriment. It is not a good thing. I, too, need a paradigm shift.

In fact, most people do.

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45 Responses to God is First, but only sometimes

  1. Hmmm… there’s 2 issues with this in regards to Christianity.

    1) We are told to die for the faith, explicitly. To kill for the faith is not listed anywhere. If anything we’re told repeatedly that we are to sacrifice of ourselves to God, not sacrifice others to Him. We’re also told to be “gentle as doves” (while being as cunning as serpents).

    2) Our families & the innocent we are told to kill for because life is valuable and not easily replaced. But the Church (regardless of the form we believe it to be) is eternal, there is no terrestrial threat that could strike it (I mean the very founder was killed and He still bounced back).

    If anything, to not kill for the faith is the higher calling and paradigm shift, because it is my instinct and pride to defend myself and in the process kill another. To say that I will cling to my faith yet not kill you no matter what you do to me because of my faith, that is much harder.

    • I don’t buy it. That would imply that sending forth soldiers to beat back attacks from Muslims in the Crusades was immoral. But I don’t agree – we were defending the Church from attacks from without.

      Tell me: If a group of armed muslims burst into a church with flamethrowers to desecrate the Eucharist (pretend for a moment, if you don’t already believe this, that you really and truly believe that the Eucharist truly IS Christ), can you kill them to defend them? Or should you let them flamethrower our Lord while you kill to protect your family?

      The whole concept of just war does not disappear because we’re defending the Church.

      To say that I will cling to my faith yet not kill you no matter what you do to me because of my faith, that is much harder.

      I disagree. It’s easy to proudly proclaim you would become a martyr. But who wants to go down in history as the man who killed people defending the faith?

      • I don’t buy it. That would imply that sending forth soldiers to beat back attacks from Muslims in the Crusades was immoral. But I don’t agree – we were defending the Church from attacks from without.

        But I believe that would fall under “defending innocents,” and it just happened to have a faith component. That starts getting into individual motivations though and the conflict between the individual’s goals (say a soldier that just hated muslims so much he had to go kill some – that’s obviously wrong) vs the larger goals (say the military who aims to defend innocents & home – that’s obviously right).

        Tell me: If a group of armed muslims burst into a church with flamethrowers to desecrate the Eucharist (pretend for a moment, if you don’t already believe this, that you really and truly believe that the Eucharist truly IS Christ), can you kill them to defend them? Or should you let them flamethrower our Lord while you kill to protect your family?

        Would flamethrowing our Lord be as bad or worse than nailing Him up on a cross? As I recall, Peter mentioned (and acted) to try and protect the Lord. Remember the Boss’s reply?

        I could be wrong (hell I probably am about a lot), but it strikes me that the Guy who was displeased at a follower cutting someone’s ear off when trying to defend His body thousands of years ago, would probably likewise be displeased at a follower killing someone when trying to defend His body today. Throw your own body over the Eucharist if you must, or quickly ingest it all so that only your body is burned, by all means. But if God did not spare His own Son to save the wicked, it seems odd that we should not spare the wicked to save His own Son.

        The whole concept of just war does not disappear because we’re defending the Church.

        Ok true, but there’s a lot of excluded middle between “defend the faith” and “kill for the faith.” A dojo I once trained in had a saying, I can’t remember the whole thing but it ended as, “We injure in order not to kill because all life is precious.” It’s also a reality that nowadays, when people hear “kill for faith”, they think of an offensive action, not a defensive one.

        I disagree. It’s easy to proudly proclaim you would become a martyr. But who wants to go down in history as the man who killed people defending the faith?

        Based upon what? Only because of 2k years of Christianity does the western cultures have any recognition of martyrs. But looking at most other cultures and history, it seems almost everybody wants to go down in history as killing people to defend the faith. Have you heard the stories about the Jews between the testaments? This should be the video with it.

      • But I believe that would fall under “defending innocents,” and it just happened to have a faith component. That starts getting into individual motivations though and the conflict between the individual’s goals (say a soldier that just hated muslims so much he had to go kill some – that’s obviously wrong) vs the larger goals (say the military who aims to defend innocents & home – that’s obviously right).

        I don’t think it “just happened” to have a faith component, though. It was about the potential destruction of the Orthodox Church.

        Would flamethrowing our Lord be as bad or worse than nailing Him up on a cross? As I recall, Peter mentioned (and acted) to try and protect the Lord. Remember the Boss’s reply?

        Actually, you might be onto something, and we might be at false odds here. Let’s try another question. A Church in a predominantly Muslim country (I don’t remember which, this is a relatively old story and I’m going off of memory) decided to fight back against Muslims who tried to destroy the Church and kill them. Was this the right thing to do?

        Your talk about defending innocents is too broad, I think, because Christ is also innocent.

      • I don’t think it “just happened” to have a faith component, though. It was about the potential destruction of the Orthodox Church.

        True, I misspoke. Not sure how to put it… when it’s said “kill for faith”, myself (and maybe others, who knows) think that if faith was removed from the equation, killing would no longer be justified or will happen. Now with the crusades… well that’s tougher, because I think faith is an important factor in them obviously, but if faith was removed, they might still have happened. Such is the greyness and color of life.

        Actually, you might be onto something, and we might be at false odds here. Let’s try another question. A Church in a predominantly Muslim country (I don’t remember which, this is a relatively old story and I’m going off of memory) decided to fight back against Muslims who tried to destroy the Church and kill them. Was this the right thing to do?

        Probably also a difference in language. When you say “the Church”, do you mean the building (common vernacular), or the congregation (technically what it is)? The latter? Yes. The former? …My gut says yes, but my brain says maybe not. They can at least agree on that it shouldn’t be done lightly.

        Your talk about defending innocents is too broad, I think, because Christ is also innocent.

        Well I was just using it as shorthand to avoid an overlong response, but basically “innocent” can be summed up as children and noncombatants.

        Of course the ultimate sci-fi question would be: if you had a time machine, would you be right in taking back enough armaments to extract Christ from the jaws of the Roman military? It’s kind of a paradox of the faith that the answer is both yes and no.

        Perhaps a better example would be Serenity or the Book of Eli. “Are you willing to die for that belief?” If it wasn’t the Miranda message to broadcast, but the Gospel, should the Operative be killed so you can transmit? Should the villains be shot to keep them from weaponizing the Bible?

        Hmm…. maybe then. Maybe then.

      • “Tell me: If a group of armed muslims burst into a church with flamethrowers to desecrate the Eucharist (pretend for a moment, if you don’t already believe this, that you really and truly believe that the Eucharist truly IS Christ), can you kill them to defend them? Or should you let them flamethrower our Lord while you kill to protect your family?”

        Well, Our Lord is impassable, so someone who desecrates the Eucharist is really only harming themselves. That’s not the case with ordinary people like your or my family.

      • Okay, this discussion is great and all, but:

        Of course the ultimate sci-fi question would be: if you had a time machine, would you be right in taking back enough armaments to extract Christ from the jaws of the Roman military?

        That is literally the plot of “Take Up Your Cross”…i.e., a story I wrote that will be coming out in a day or so, in the fourth issue of the Sci Phi Journal. Seriously. The premise is a time traveler who tries to rescue Jesus before the Crucifixion occurs. True, my time traveler is armed with a pistol, but the principle is the same.

        Awesome that this was brought up.

      • labreuer says:

        Do link to the issue when you have. Then I will buy the one with “One Quadrillion Planets” and this one and read them. 😀 More theology and morality should be done through compelling fiction. I bet Alasdair MacIntyre would agree, based on his After Virtue. Bags of propositions are simply way too underdetermined; you’ve gotta see them simulated. Which is also what is supposed ingeniously at The Computational Theory of the Laws of Nature. Which is probably why the full revelation of God was a person in real life and not a text. Oh I could do this all day!

      • Mr. X,

        I think you’re stretching it with that one. The Lord is impassable, but that doesn’t mean He can’t be harmed. He was killed once.

      • “Mr. X,

        I think you’re stretching it with that one. The Lord is impassable, but that doesn’t mean He can’t be harmed. He was killed once.”

        Actually, that’s exactly what impassable means, and yes, ever since the Ascension Our Lord’s body is and has been impassable. You don’t harm Christ when you chew and eat a consecrated host, so why would you harm Him when you set fire to the same host?

      • That is literally the plot of “Take Up Your Cross”…i.e., a story I wrote that will be coming out in a day or so, in the fourth issue of the Sci Phi Journal.

        Neat, I’ll have to try and pick up a copy. (and make some time to read that and other issues)

    • Crude says:

      To say that I will cling to my faith yet not kill you no matter what you do to me because of my faith, that is much harder.

      I think people mistake ‘difficulty’ with ‘holiness’ sometimes, and this is one of those times. Something doesn’t become more holy, or even more laudable necessarily, just because it’s more difficult.

      Further, I’d question the claim that it’s easier to kill than be killed. I think people, especially nowadays, often are afraid of hurting others. They pull punches. They may even convince themselves that someone won’t kill them, until it’s too late to do anything about it. The 20th century was filled with people who were marched into gas chambers, or generally butchered while they hardly lifted a finger to fight back. Partly because they believed that if they just behaved they’d be spared.

      In fact, considerations like the above are one major reason I wrote what I wrote. I reject this idea that it’s ‘easier’ to kill than to sacrifice oneself. And it certainly isn’t easier to say in most quarters.

      Go ahead, say you’d die for your rights, and you’ll get even atheists complimenting your gentle nature and commitment to what you think is right. Then tell them you’d rather kill than have your rights trampled or be oppressed. See if the praise keeps coming.

      • labreuer says:

        Go ahead, say you’d die for your rights, and you’ll get even atheists complimenting your gentle nature and commitment to what you think is right. Then tell them you’d rather kill than have your rights trampled or be oppressed. See if the praise keeps coming.

        Crude, you’re aware of William T. Cavanaugh’s The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict, right? If not, some excerpts from Disqus user Jayman.

      • I think people mistake ‘difficulty’ with ‘holiness’ sometimes, and this is one of those times. Something doesn’t become more holy, or even more laudable necessarily, just because it’s more difficult.

        You & malcolm hash that out since he’s the one that brought up challenging. Though I’m sure some of the idea arises from some sayings about broad vs narrow ways or something like that.

        Further, I’d question the claim that it’s easier to kill than be killed. I think people, especially nowadays, often are afraid of hurting others. They pull punches. They may even convince themselves that someone won’t kill them, until it’s too late to do anything about it. The 20th century was filled with people who were marched into gas chambers, or generally butchered while they hardly lifted a finger to fight back. Partly because they believed that if they just behaved they’d be spared.

        Why yes, it is a lot harder to kill vs being killed when the other side has all the guns and you’re unarmed. But yes, I can see how wars and systemic killing of millions upon millions is such a great proof that people have such a hard time killing. Oh wait, that was sarcasm. And I mean just look at those Germans and Russians and Vietnamese and more… look at how many were willing to die rather than go with the program of killing others. Oh wait… Well it’s not like there’s ever been entire religions or societies built around human sacrifices and…

        Yes, in rich societies sloth may win over wrath and seem like mercy, but if there’s anything a long view of history has taught us, when wrath stirs mercy is much harder to perform.

        I mean shall we ask George Zimmerman which was harder? Fighting back or letting himself be killed?

        In fact, considerations like the above are one major reason I wrote what I wrote. I reject this idea that it’s ‘easier’ to kill than to sacrifice oneself.

        So in other words you think Jesus had the easier task that night than Peter did. Right, you go tell Him that. I mean that’s why the Bible records all the disciples came running up and marched all the way to the cross with Him, because it was so much easier to die than to kill.

        The body’s instinct is to fight or flee and live. To stand and fight when you could flee is courage. To stand and not fight or flee goes against every fiber of our beings and you say it’s easier? I’d say go pick a fight tonight, and see which comes easier to you.

      • labreuer says:

        The body’s instinct is to fight or flee and live. To stand and fight when you could flee is courage. To stand and not fight or flee goes against every fiber of our beings and you say it’s easier? I’d say go pick a fight tonight, and see which comes easier to you.

        To throw a chunk of meat into the waters, I will point out that in Bound to Sin: Abuse, Holocaust and the Christian Doctrine of Sin, Alistair McFadyen employs feminist theology to argue that there are two roots of sin:

             (1) sloth: failing to pursue the good
             (2) pride: mistaking what is the good

        Sadly, a lot of contemporary Protestant teaching focuses on (2) almost to the exclusion of (1). Anyhow, I think it’s important to note (1), which has support such as Ja 4:17 and Rom 12:9. Furthermore, one can ask what “fighting” ought to look like, and perhaps use 2 Cor 10:3–6 and Eph 6:10–20 as a model, not to mention all the speeches before rulers and authorities in the Book of Acts.

        Is it perhaps easier (≠ more effective) to fight the flesh than the spirit?

      • Is it perhaps easier (≠ more effective) to fight the flesh than the spirit?

        in that, you are very very right.

      • labreuer says:

        So many people think that if you kill a person who is acting in an evil fashion, that you have destroyed the evil spirit. Sadly, it kinda seems like Crude believes this. If only we exterminate enough evil people, the amount of evil goes down in the world. I just don’t see how this works. At best, the evil goes into hiding, and is harder to track down. For example, from Why are women leaving the tech industry in droves?:

        That’s one difficulty in tackling the problem, said Alaina Percival of Women Who Code, a group that aims to attract more women to the tech industry.

        “They’re [things that are] so small you’d never even complain about them,” Percival said. “But they happen day after day. They’re the kind of things that separate and exclude you from the team and make you say, ‘Hey, is this the right career path for me?'”

        Ahh, yes, punish those who overtly discriminate. Surely that will make discrimination go away. That’s what Paul claims in 2 Cor 10:3–6 and Eph 6:10–20, right? Oh wai

      • I’m going to defend Crude here, because he never said that or implied it, and that you’re imputing this weird view to him is a little odd.

      • labreuer says:

        Luke: Sadly, it kinda seems like Crude believes this.

        Malcolm: that you’re imputing this weird view to him

        Do you mean to say that “kinda seems” ⇒ “imputing”?

      • Crude says:

        But yes, I can see how wars and systemic killing of millions upon millions is such a great proof that people have such a hard time killing. Oh wait, that was sarcasm.,

        You don’t understand what I’m getting at. Do you recall the people who were thrown into camps putting up all that much of a fight in Nazi Germany? I recall someone who lived through the Stalinist era openly wondering how things may have gone if people were just willing to fight back.

        Oh wait… Well it’s not like there’s ever been entire religions or societies built around human sacrifices and…

        And entire ones built around peace, forgiveness, and passivity? It goes both ways.

        I mean shall we ask George Zimmerman which was harder? Fighting back or letting himself be killed?

        Considering it took getting his head smashed against concrete to provoke it, it seems like fighting back was pretty hard.

        So in other words you think Jesus had the easier task that night than Peter did.

        Y’ever stop to think that not all people are the same, Nate? That it’s extremely easy for one guy to not be a lech, and harder for another?

      • My comment about difficulty was poorly worded. It was meant to refer to this exchange:

        B: Here, let me help you out. If someone came to my house, intending to pull me out of it to cart me off somewhere to execute me for being Christian, I’d blow his head off.
        A: That’s…
        B: Hell, he could just want to throw me in prison for that, and I’d do it.
        A: I… that sounds wrong.
        B: Why? You’re no pacifist. You think World War II was just, yeah?
        A: Yes, but…
        B: But being willing to die for your rights sounds a whole lot better than being able to kill for them, eh?
        A: …
        B: Everyone loves a martyr. No surprise it’s easy to say we’d be one.
        A: It makes you sound like a scary zealot to say you’d kill people.
        B: And that matters why?
        A: I don’t want people to think I’m a scary zealot.

        Some people have trouble showing mercy instead of fighting, like Peter. And some people have martyr complexes, like…most SJW’s, actually. Anybody who compares themselves to a famous persecuted person or group because of strong disagreement I would say has a martyr complex.

        For such people, it’s quite easy to say you’ll die for your faith, because in their eyes it makes them look like a hero without having to be active. But to be looked at as a killer? To get up in your attacker’s face and spit in their eye? The thought is repellant.

        This, by the way, is wrong about martyrdom properly speaking. That’s just the idea such people have. I know. I’ve seen it.

      • You don’t understand what I’m getting at. Do you recall the people who were thrown into camps putting up all that much of a fight in Nazi Germany? I recall someone who lived through the Stalinist era openly wondering how things may have gone if people were just willing to fight back.

        What would they fight WITH? You’re essentially accusing people of sloth for not taking on tanks with their bare hands. (and before you bring up Tienanmen square, let’s just point out the reason the photo is famous because it’s the only time someone stopped a tank)

        And entire ones built around peace, forgiveness, and passivity? It goes both ways.

        Not until the recent history with the development and rise of Christianity. To say “it goes both ways” is to say that a ball game with a score of 107 to 6 has “gone both ways”

        Considering it took getting his head smashed against concrete to provoke it, it seems like fighting back was pretty hard.

        …All in under less than a minute! “Pretty hard”? We’re talking about an attack that happened in seconds. It’s not like a fighting combo or QTE in a video game! Just… how… SERIOUSLY go pick a fight and see how things operate in the real world instead of theory or inside your head.

        Y’ever stop to think that not all people are the same, Nate? That it’s extremely easy for one guy to not be a lech, and harder for another?

        Oh sure, NOW you want to walk back the generalizations. And sorry, but you’re off here. The fight/flight response in people is like breathing. In this, yes, people are the same. There might be some variations, but everyone has it (if there happen to be any exceptions, it’s so rare as to be insignificant).

        And some people have martyr complexes, like…most SJW’s, actually. Anybody who compares themselves to a famous persecuted person or group because of strong disagreement I would say has a martyr complex.

        For such people, it’s quite easy to say you’ll die for your faith, because in their eyes it makes them look like a hero without having to be active. But to be looked at as a killer? To get up in your attacker’s face and spit in their eye? The thought is repellant.

        I’d be curious about any studies on how likely these people are to follow through on their so called martyrships. Like John C Wright has pointed out, you’ll notice few of them will pick fights with Islam, or things that might REALLY get the martyred.

        Plus the reactions to #gamergate seems to show that those who have martyr complexes are pretty darn eager to martyr others. I mean “to be looked at as a killer… is repellant”? You clearly need to go visit some of the corners of tumblr, kid. Or I can start sharing links! 😀

      • Crude says:

        What would they fight WITH? You’re essentially accusing people of sloth for not taking on tanks with their bare hands.

        Tanks don’t pull people out of homes. Tanks don’t march them onto trains. Nor have I accused anyone of sloth – I’m saying that, contrary to your statements, ‘using lethal force when threatened, even with death’ doesn’t come naturally to every single person on the planet. Not even most, likely.

        But now you’re changing your story from ‘People fight to the death all the time lol’ to ‘okay um they won’t but that’s because tanks, also you accused them of sloth, I pulled that one out of my ass but maybe you won’t notice’.

        Not until the recent history with the development and rise of Christianity. To say “it goes both ways” is to say that a ball game with a score of 107 to 6 has “gone both ways”

        Hahaha. Christianity, that recent history. Also, buddhism and hinduism – intrinsically warlike religions! No built in subservience in a caste system or another religion, no sir.

        Hold on, hold on, let me make this scientific. Uh the numbers are 900 to 5 in favor of my claim. There we go.

        …All in under less than a minute! “Pretty hard”? We’re talking about an attack that happened in seconds.

        Thank you for not repeating the lie that he was a bloodthirsty savage intent on gunning down a poor, widdle, innocent black boy who just wanted some skittles. That said? The *attack* lasted seconds. The threat? Longer.

        Just… how… SERIOUSLY go pick a fight and see how things operate in the real world instead of theory or inside your head.

        Buddy, you can’t even comprehend a simple conversation. The only evidence that you understand how real threats and violence works for people amounts to “you’re displaying evidence of massive head trauma during this conversation.”

        Oh sure, NOW you want to walk back the generalizations. And sorry, but you’re off here. The fight/flight response in people is like breathing.

        What generalizations am I walking back? Look, I can appreciate that you’ve been punched in the head so many times that you’re apparently engaging in a herculean task by spelling most of your words correctly, but the idea that some people are more inclined to violence, and others to peace – even along cultural lines – has been maintained by me. Hence the examples which include both A) people who are violent and B) people who are not.

        I know that readin’ and thinkin’ s a plum-chore for a feller like yourself, but uh – try it anyway, rather than trying a fight by cockiness. It’s not working out for you.

        Plus the reactions to #gamergate seems to show that those who have martyr complexes are pretty darn eager to martyr others. I mean “to be looked at as a killer… is repellant”?

        Hahaha, we’re gonna walk down that one, complete with yet another recent outing of a faked threat from an anti-GG source, Wu getting caught trying to harass herself on Steam, and otherwise?

        The whole GG blowup has shown *precisely* how much people value martyr status, even when it’s completely fucking unwarranted. Go ahead, share some links – I’d like to see how long it takes before the screaming shows up once we get through the recent spate of SJWs faking rape claims and more, all for attention.

      • labreuer says:

        Crude: The only evidence that you understand how real threats and violence works for people amounts to “you’re displaying evidence of massive head trauma during this conversation.”

        Crude: Look, I can appreciate that you’ve been punched in the head so many times that you’re apparently engaging in a herculean task by spelling most of your words correctly, […]

        Compare to:

        Paul: Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

        A curious contrast.

      • Tanks don’t pull people out of homes. Tanks don’t march them onto trains. Nor have I accused anyone of sloth – I’m saying that, contrary to your statements, ‘using lethal force when threatened, even with death’ doesn’t come naturally to every single person on the planet. Not even most, likely.

        But now you’re changing your story from ‘People fight to the death all the time lol’ to ‘okay um they won’t but that’s because tanks, also you accused them of sloth, I pulled that one out of my ass but maybe you won’t notice’.

        No you moron, people the tanks was a hyperbolic metaphor to try and help your feeble mind to grasp the tactical difference and imbalance between the attackers who were well armed and a citizenry that had been disarmed.

        I said you were accusing them of sloth because it was actually the more merciful interpretation of your point that the soviet and nazi victims were “unwilling to fight.” I mean, you’re saying that people who can make a logical and tactical decision: “Hmm… if I try anything, I’ll be shot immediately – if I comply, I might have a better opportunity later for survival.” are somehow incapable of using lethal force. You are confusing tactics with unwillingness. If anything the nazi & soviet methods PROVE my point because the states knew to use methods that would avoid tripping the instinctual flight/fight response in people, instead constantly invoking the rational segment of people’s brains to lure them into traps (which is how traps WORK). You seen Schindler’s List? Why do you think at one point the gas chamber is used as a shower? For that purpose! If everyone grasps: “enter here == death”, you’ll have riots and such among the groups being led to it. If you establish “oh there’s a chance I’ll live.” Seriously, do you have like, ANY real world experience?

        Hahaha. Christianity, that recent history. Also, buddhism and hinduism – intrinsically warlike religions! No built in subservience in a caste system or another religion, no sir.

        Yes, among the entire history of mankind, Christianity is “recent”. If we estimate around 6k years (about the start of writing), that means Christianity has only shown up in the latest 3rd.

        But right, it’s not like buddhists ever fight (I mean just look at those peace lovers in Japan… oh wait, that was after we bombed them). Hinduism is a bit tougher because they are a very ahistorical religion but I will point out that their mythology does contain wars and warrior gods.

        That said? The *attack* lasted seconds. The threat? Longer.

        What threat from who? Trayvon invading the territory or George “stalking” him? If anything the evidence shows that Trayvon was the one feeling threatened and George was blindsided. So you’re point is that Trayvon, who was feeling threatened, attempted to kill George and so that proves how unwilling people are to kill?

        Hold on, hold on, let me make this scientific. Uh the numbers are 900 to 5 in favor of my claim. There we go.

        Buddy, you can’t even comprehend a simple conversation. The only evidence that you understand how real threats and violence works for people amounts to “you’re displaying evidence of massive head trauma during this conversation.”

        I can’t comprehend? You’re the one that’s suddenly trying to claim that obviously hyperbolic use of metaphors to help convey a point is “making it scientific.” You a ‘sperg or something?

        What generalizations am I walking back? Look, I can appreciate that you’ve been punched in the head so many times that you’re apparently engaging in a herculean task by spelling most of your words correctly, but the idea that some people are more inclined to violence, and others to peace – even along cultural lines – has been maintained by me. Hence the examples which include both A) people who are violent and B) people who are not.

        Ok, then find me one civilization or culture or segment of the world which has NO history of violence or war.

        I know that readin’ and thinkin’ s a plum-chore for a feller like yourself, but uh – try it anyway, rather than trying a fight by cockiness. It’s not working out for you.

        Said the man who can’t grasp hyperbole or metaphor.

        Hahaha, we’re gonna walk down that one, complete with yet another recent outing of a faked threat from an anti-GG source, Wu getting caught trying to harass herself on Steam, and otherwise?

        The whole GG blowup has shown *precisely* how much people value martyr status, even when it’s completely fucking unwarranted. Go ahead, share some links – I’d like to see how long it takes before the screaming shows up once we get through the recent spate of SJWs faking rape claims and more, all for attention.

        What? Are you wanting examples of anti-GGers pretending, or examples of them actually attacking GGers? Or other examples of tumblrinas pulling stuff like getting people fired or threatening parents?

      • For that matter, let me be clear: The conversation got angry. Period. No holier than thou games, please.

      • labreuer says:

        No holier than thou games, please.

        But is that what’s happening? What might be happening is that a person’s point of view is being declared invalid. How is this not utterly dehumanizing? “Your interpretation of reality† is worthless, let me stamp mine on you so that you become acceptable.” Now, this is hyperbole, but how close does one have to get to it before it is a decent model?

        † Whether in whole or in part, it doesn’t matter. Refusing to really listen to someone (see Edward Feser use “listen” effectively in his The road from atheism) is just dehumanizing.

  2. Hrodgar says:

    Perhaps it might be acceptable to kill in defense of the faith in some circumstances but not in others, even as it is in defense of family? It is not necessary to condemn the Crusades to condemn, say, the cutting of an arresting officer’s ear.

    Of course, Crude’s character’s hypothetical also suffers from a very significant weakness. “B” is not discussing killing to defend his faith, or even his family, but himself. No Host or sacred place or object or person other than the one being arrested is mentioned. Defending the faith is not to be conflated with defending oneself from being persecuted for the faith, not when the witness of so many martyrs has done so much to advance it.

    And I suppose in the interests of full disclosure I should mention that I’m DungeonHamster over at Crude’s post. No need to have folks thinking any crackpot opinions of mine are more widely held than they are. I should probably update my Google profile; most of my commenting has been under Hrodgar in recent years, anyway.

  3. labreuer says:

    What would the world look like if Christians only died for their faith, but never killed for it? I think it’s a worthwhile thought experiment. It plays on whether evil can actually be destroyed, or whether God only ever designed the laws of reality to allow it to be redeemed.

    • Thought experiment? Wasn’t that like… the actual history of the first century or more of Christianity???

      • labreuer says:

        Touché. But I mean to dig more deeply than just that. I know many simplistic narratives about the marriage to Caesar and how everything went to pot (a not-so simplistic version from a sociologist I respect is Jacques Ellul’s The Subversion of Christianity), but I don’t know how rigorous they are, how well they match what we know of early Christianity. I do suspect, with Ellul, that much revolves around whether power is used more to dominate, or more to build up. (And this could be “slightly more”.)

        Incidentally, I asked James Davison Hunter (author of To Change the World, inventor of “culture war”) about the above contrast in how power is used, and he balked, instead asserting something like what Bent Flyvbjerg concludes in his Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice:

        Proposition 1: Power defines reality
            Power concerns itself with defining reality rather than with discovering what reality “really” is. This is the single most important characteristic of the rationality of power, that is, of the strategies and tactics employed by power in relation to rationality. Defining reality by defining rationality is a principle means by which power exerts itself. This is not to imply that power seeks out rationality and knowledge because rationality and knowledge are power. Rather, power defines what counts as rationality and knowledge and thereby what counts as reality. The evidence of the Aalborg case confirms a basic Nietzschean insight: interpretation is not only commentary, as is often the view in academic settings, “interpretation is itself a means of becoming master of something”—in the case master of the Aalborg Project—and “all subduing and becoming master involves a fresh interpretation.”[4] Power does not limit itself, however, to simply defining a given interpretation or view of reality, nor does power entail only the power to render a given reality authoritative. Rather, power defines, and creates, concrete physical, economic, ecological, and social realities. (Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice, 227)

        I’m not so convinced. It would seem that Ellul, and Peter Berger (e.g. A Far Glory, The Precarious Vision: A Sociologist Looks at Social Fictions and Christian Faith) believe that one can separate into “power to dominate” vs. “power to build up”. The latter, of course, is arguably the essence of agápē.

      • And after that first century we were forced to go to war to save the Orthodox Church, and possibly Europe, from destruction by Islamic invaders.

      • Right, I believe it was Christianity on Trial that said something like, “Christians had no concept of holy war until Islam invaded and gave them the idea.”

      • Well, I submit that the first crusade was a necessary holy war, but otherwise I’d agree with that.

      • Well, I submit that the first crusade was a necessary holy war, but otherwise I’d agree with that.

        Uh… yeah it was. Not sure how it’s relevant or what it means to the statement but yeah, totally necessary.

      • Just a general point about violence sometimes being necessary.

  4. I will also, separately, note that the paradigm shift I mention is not meant to be towards a point where I am ready to kill people as if I’m actually a Crusader. Rather, the shift is about MEANING IT when you say “God is first in my life”. I submit that most people, PARTICULARLY families, don’t.

  5. Mal, did my reply to Crude get stuck in moderation because of the links?

  6. Okay, everybody involved: I actually like all of you, so dial it down please. Rudeness is covered under rule three of the guidelines:

    https://malcolmthecynic.wordpress.com/commenting-guidelines/

    Since I like all of you, I’m also going to apply rule 6, because I VERY MUCH don’t want to ban anybody, which has happened only once, and to a sock puppet. So consider this a warning of a warning. Just cool it with the insults, please.

    • Crude says:

      Hey now, I’m a gentle and soft-spoken fella, as everyone knows.

      But considering Nate apparently thinks I’m, ha ha, anti-GG, I’ll just consider my points proven and bow out. Got to blog more about the brand-spankin’ new religion, ‘Christianity’, that’s new on the scene!

      • But considering Nate apparently thinks I’m, ha ha, anti-GG, I’ll just consider my points proven and bow out.

        I never said anything about you being anti-GG. I never had any idea if you ever knew what #gamergate was.

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