I want to try something new. For the first time since the start of this blog, I've received a couple of anonymous comments that challenge what I'm saying.
I'm fine with it. I'd be foolish if I didn't expect a public blog be challenged by people who have differing points of view. I'm not going to be some kind of nazi and police comments based on their content--but I'm also not going to let them just sit there in some dusty corner for someone else to find and wonder why I didn't address them.
With that in mind, the first (and I'm thinking, less serious comment) of the two is found in the entry Breaking Boards For The Glory Of God. Here the comment is in regards to masturbation:
masturbating relieves stress, helps prevent prostate cancer, and provides for better fertillity in the future. you should tell him to beat it all the more if he wants to feel better
Ok. Well the downside is that it misdirects the focus of sexual pleasure from your current (or future) spouse to yourself. Worse yet, he'd end up probably equating sex with what he gets out of it, rather than treating it as a giving of himself.
The first two reasons for continuing have holes in the logic. First of all, you do not need to masturbate to relieve stress. The stress relief comes from a release of endorphins upon orgasm, so it's more likely that the "stress" is caused by a light withdrawal from the endorphin rush that's caused by an orgasm. The problem with this argument is that whatever is causing the stress is still going to be there after you're done, but your body isn't going to be responding to it since it's had its fix.
If it's actual stress, then a better way to relieve it is to just fix whatever is stressing you out instead of wasting time beating off.
The second--preventing prostate cancer... Whoever wrote this probably isn't in danger of prostate cancer at his age, so if he's using this as an excuse then it's a total cop-out. But if you're that worried, then a foolproof way to catch this is to have regular check-ups. Prostate cancer is not dangerous if it's caught in time. It's the slowest growing cancer that a man can get and doesn't get really dangerous until late in the game. Personally, I'd rather know about it and have something done about it, rather than taking my chances by "reducing my chances".
The final reason, while not wrong, is still redundant. Yes, it may make you have more virile sperm, but you already have means of weeding out ineffective ones anyway. Your body absorbs sperm that aren't used so that "fresh" ones are always available.
You will not die of cancer, or go crazy because of stress, and your balls will not explode from not masturbating. So it's not something that needs to be done, and with that in mind, if all the positives are cancelled out, leaving only the negatives... then don't do it.
The second comment was left in an entry titled Finally:
I have actually gone to school as a bible critic and have studied extensivelly what parts made it in and what was left on the cutting room floor. I believe what that "quasi athiest" as you put it was getting at is there are hundreds if not thousands of little mishaps that have occured in the bible ending up in the different translations we have today. If even one word is changed in a passage it completely, and has completely, changed the meaning of what is being said. I don't think that you should renounced what "good" things you've learned from the book, but I would advise that you do some unbiased research of your own about the origins and contents of the "trusted" word.
Anonymous, I can tell you're a relativist. I see that you assume that my research is biased, with (I'm guessing) the reason being that you don't like the conclusions I've made.
Let me ask you this simple question: What makes you think you're right?
I've heard so many attacks against the Bible that aren't even backed up by examples. I would think that if the Bible is full of so many flaws and contradictions that, first off, Christianity would dwindle to extinction because of people becoming more intellectual, and second, people would at least present something instead of straw men and blanket generalizations.
I have actually gone to school as a bible critic and have studied extensivelly what parts made it in and what was left on the cutting room floor.
So you went to school and other people told you that the Bible was hacked, edited, and compressed for time and content to fit your tv, and you believed it. I can guarantee you that nobody who makes these claims was present at the time even one of the books of the Bible were written. How did they get their information then? Who told them? Who told the people who told them?
I believe what that "quasi athiest" as you put it was getting at is there are hundreds if not thousands of little mishaps that have occured in the bible ending up in the different translations we have today.
What I said to the person mentioned here was that there is no way to make a simple change to such a complex book as the Bible, and have it still be logically sound. There are still no contradictions in there. It's a conditional statement, and it implies that if a change would cause a contradiction... and there are no contradictions... then there have been no changes.
I'm not saying there aren't variants that DO have changes that DO change the meaning--those ARE the ones I'm decrying. But just because some of those exist doesn't mean that all Bibles, everywhere, printed at anytime, are flawed because of "guiltiness by association".
If even one word is changed in a passage it completely, and has completely, changed the meaning of what is being said.
That's true, but again, just having the possibility of that doesn't mean that every Bible is broken. And there are examples of a one-word change that totally uproots the true meaning of something. The Jehovah's Witnesses have re-worded the passage in John 1:1 from:
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.
See? They've added a simple word--just a letter, really--and changed the whole idea of God's triune nature and made it seem like a polytheistic religion.
So yes, adding to or taking away from the Bible is alive and well. But ask yourself this: What are they changing it from? Doesn't having a ton of variants imply that there is an original, un-fooled-around-with version?
I don't think that you should renounced what "good" things you've learned from the book, but I would advise that you do some unbiased research of your own about the origins and contents of the "trusted" word.
Again, what makes you think I'm the one that's biased? Do you feel that you should be free to do whatever you want, whenever you want, as much as you want, regardless of responsibility for those actions? If you're human, then you do--all of us have that nature deep down. So if the Bible says that you're not made to give glory to yourself, but to God... and you really want to just give glory to yourself, all the time... then it's reasonable to say that the biased one here isn't me.
Anonymous, you need to understand that there's not a single person that knows everything, and that has everything right. No one. People, instead of taking the approach of saying, "Hey, I might be wrong about this," changed it to, "Hey, YOU are wrong about this." If I'm wrong, if the Bible is wrong, that implies that there's something it can be compared to that IS right, and you haven't presented anything to compare it against.
Can you see where I'm coming from? If it's possible to say that something is wrong, and it IS wrong, then there must be some kind of standard or model to compare it against. But you haven't got anything to compare it against, just your claim that it's wrong. So... I don't know what you expect me to do about this.