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Letter to an Atheist by Michael Patrick Leahy
Posted: 06 May 2007 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 676 ]  
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“Hence, the lonely mind of the atheist cannot see, does not wish to see, all the factual evidence that does not support his or her religion of “non-belief”, a religion that ultimately is rooted in the atheist’s narcissitic elevation of his own moral and intellectual superiority over that of all believers”

You call those who disagree with you “lonely minds”  and “narcissitic,” and you don’t consider that nasty?  Typical christian behavior.  Once again I say, you are only here to sell your book, and that is why you started a new topic with its title and your name.  You simply are hoping people here will buy it so you can reap the benefits of the billion dollar industry of christianity, and you do this by capitalizing on someone else’s proven success. 

In addition, you have not addressed the issue of your own dishonesty—that is, you claim that you do not want to convert people to christianity.  Again, I repeat: If you are a christian, you follow the bible which says it is your duty to do so.  You are the dishonest one here.  If you are not trying to do that, why come to this forum at all?  Beyond wanting to christianize us, you want to sell your book.  Isn’t there a quote in the bible that says something like, “Before you try to get the splinter out of your neighbor’s eye, first take the log out of your own.”?  How about “judge not lest ye be judged.”  You seem to be judging a lot of people here, but that is the christian way; you have all the rules down but you miss the worthy parts of your own book.

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Posted: 06 May 2007 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 677 ]  
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And by the way, I haven’t seen anyone shying away from any debate you have suggested.  Rather, it just hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped.  In fact, please see the numerous challenge by many other posters to participate in threads other than your own.  Who is guarding their fragile shell of theory?

Intellectual honesty is a relative term.

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Posted: 06 May 2007 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 678 ]  
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msdiver,

You suggest applying the term “narcissistic” to some atheists is nasty.

I suggest that it accurately describes the thought process of someone in love with the isolated workings of their own mind, conducted in the absence, in fact in direct contravention to, overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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Posted: 06 May 2007 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 679 ]  
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I suggest that it accurately describes the thought process of someone in love with the isolated workings of their own mind, conducted in the absence, in fact in direct contravention to, overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Pot.

Kettle.

Black.

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Posted: 06 May 2007 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 680 ]  
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[quote author=“msdiver”]I think we should ignore this nutcase completely.  He clearly is delusional, and he is only using this forum to get people to buy his lame book.  Christianity is a billion dollar business, and he is clearly looking to cash in on it by writing a book with a title that speaks to one that is a NY Times bestseller.  On his own, he couldn’t get a letter to the editor published, i’m sure.

I couldn’t agree more.  Not only is his response excessively nasty (and it is so, by the way, because like any animal backed into a corner, MPL is going to show his teeth), but he also quite explicitly lies about me.

He says, [quote author=“MPL”]You apparently feel compelled to show me every possible verse in the Bible that refers to slavery, and throw it out as “evidence” that the Bible endorses the type of chattel slavery legally recognized in America until 1865, triumphantly claiming such “evidence” shows the moral failings of the Bible.

But of course I NEVER asserted that the Bible endorses the kind of slavery that was legal in America until 1865.  In fact, I quite explictly argued that this was NOT the kind of slavery sanctioned by God.  Yet I also argued that this fact is 100% IRRELEVANT since the very core notion of slavery is that a human being can be owned, as propery, by another human being.  Exodus 21:20 very explicitly endorses such a notion.

Now, in order to defend his morally disgraceful God, MPL has to put words in my mouth and claim that I asserted that God endorses the American version of (race-based) slavery.  BUT I NEVER SAID THAT.  Michael does this, of course, because he cannot address the real issue, namely, that Exodus 21:20 very explicitly endorses the notion that human beings can be property.  HE CANNOT DEFEAT SUCH AN ARGUMENT SO HE PUTS AN ARGUMENT IN MY MOUTH AND TRIES TO DEFEAT THAT ARGUMENT INSTEAD OF MY ACTUAL ARGUMENT.  This is pathetic and dishonest. 

MPL is the most intellectually dishonest person that I have ever debated on this forum.  And he derserves to be ignored.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 06 May 2007 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 681 ]  
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I consider christianity the home of the true narcissist.  The main concern is what will happen upon death….life eternal for those who believe.  The narcissist is worried about saving his hide first and foremost.  How about the idea that some great powerful being is watching your every move.  He cares if you gain any pleasure out of YOUR own body.  Everything about christianity is narcissistic.  As a friend of mine always tells me, “don’t rely on good works,” because of course he does none himself.  The god of your religion tells you that it’s more important to sit around on your knees telling it how great it is than to help the poor and needy?  God=narcissism….it’s the ultimate model of it.  As far as you are concerned, have you noticed that no one else posts his/her names under the “new topic” category?  You post not only the title of your book, which you stole from sam harris, but your full name.  Now that’s what I call narcissistic, and it’s very sad, albeit transparent, indeed!

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Posted: 06 May 2007 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 682 ]  
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Mr. Leahy, it appears that only three members of this forum continue to take you seriously (MDBeach, Waltercat, and a warm welcome to msdiver).  If they were to cease responding to your self-promoting drivel would you consider it a victory for you?

MDBeach has brought up a valid argument, namely that logic cannot be built upon a faulty premise.  You are welcome to debate whether or not Sam Harris has lied about your faith, but before this charge can be levied you are required to establish that your god has any veracity whatsoever, since slander cannot be charged against a work of fiction.  Sam Harris has challenged you, and all others of all faiths, to establish the veracity of your faith, and your best response is to pick apart Sam’s interpretation of someone else’s poll. 

I have steadfastly refused to engage your tarbabies while you have likewise refused to honestly and sincerely answer the hard questions anyone on this forum has posed, but instead have dismissed them in the hope the question will be lost in your smoke screens.  Prove your god exists, Mr. Leahy, and this proof will make atheism, and every other religion that exists today, irrelevant.  Until then . . . you have nothing.

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Posted: 06 May 2007 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 683 ]  
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[quote author=“Skipshot”]Mr. Leahy, it appears that only three members of this forum continue to take you seriously (MDBeach, Waltercat, and a warm welcome to msdiver).

I no longer take MPL seriously.  I responded only because I thought it necessary to publicly confront MPL with his own dishonesty.  It was quite evident in my (very old) response to his response to Exodus 21:20 (way back on page 18 or so) that I was talking about God’s endorsement of the notion that humans can be the property of other humans (NOT the particularly American version of said institution).  MPL chose to micharacterize my views and thus he has lost credibility in my eyes and I will not be responding to him any longer (absent a very public apology and mea culpa). 

Just for the record, Michael, I note that you chose not to respond to the following:

[quote author=“waltercat”]1. Is the notion that a person can be property a morally repugnant notion?

2. Does the God of the Bible endorse the notion that a person can be property?

3. Does the system of slavery, as practiced by the Hebrews, entail that a person can be the property of another?

4. Why would a good God not take the opportunity to be very clear about his attitude toward the notion that a person can be the property of another?

5. If God thought that persons cannot be property, would he have spoken a passage such as Exodus 21:20?

6. If a human government contained a provision within its constitution that says that slaves are property and that also expressly permits slaveholders to beat their slaves to death (provided that they don’t die immediately) wouldn’t that be an very strong indication that the government endorses slavery (and thus endorses the notion that a person can be the property of another)?

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 07 May 2007 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 684 ]  
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As I have said many times already, MPL is also lying about the types of slavery that existed, and were condoned by the ancient Hebrew community (i.e, by its “God” as put down in commandments).

Here’s a few more slaveries than the indentured slavery MPL is talking about:

1. Female sex slaves
These had no time-limitation on their misery, and remained with their masters till he got bored with them.

2. Non-Jewish slaves
These are property, and remains so to the end of their days. Read more about them in Leviticus.
Leviticus specifically states that the Hebrew indentured servants are NOT to be treated as harshly as you are allowed to treat members of category 2.

3. Prisoners-of-war/Criminals
As with any other community in this time, persons in these categories could also be made into slaves. There is no reason to assume they were to be treated as the Hebrew slaves; more likely, at least for the criminals, they would be put in category 2.


MPL will continue to ignore these facts, and remain dishonest about the whole slavery issue.

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Posted: 21 May 2007 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 685 ]  
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Mr. Leahy, it appears that only three members of this forum continue to take you seriously (MDBeach, Waltercat, and a warm welcome to msdiver). If they were to cease responding to your self-promoting drivel would you consider it a victory for you?


I agree totally. There are 47 pages devoted to Mr. Leahy. Makes me wonder how confient in Mr. Harris some of you are.

Mr. Leahy is a theistic evolutionist. So am I. Some of the atheists here sound angry. Wouldn’t that anger be better spent if it were diected toward the folks at ICR? Like it or not, you, me and and MPL are on same page when it comes to those fanatics.

Maybe the reason is that Mr. Leahy is NOT a “nutcase” as watercat so described him. Young Earth creationsits will lilkey defeat themselves, but Leahy just might make religion seem credible—or at least have a sound argument against some of Harris’s claims.

He did gloss over the Exodus passage. But what about his charge that Sam misrepresented the facts about the number of adults who beleive the earth is 6,000 years old? It surprised me when reading Harris that the number of young earthers is really this high. Leahy’s postion therefore seems plausible. Now, I just discovered this thread, since I was directed to it since I posted a topic on Leahy myself. I haven’t read every page, just the first few. For all I know, someone may have shown that Harris’s data is exactly correct, and Leahy is the one shifting evidence to prove his point.

But assuming Harris did misrepresent facts in order to emphasie that dire threat posed by religion, this should trouble you. Not because it shows atheism is false, but becasue ANY misrepresentation of facts will only provide fodder for Harris’s opponents.

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 21 May 2007 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 686 ]  
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[quote author=“Tad Trenton’s Ghost”]Maybe the reason is that Mr. Leahy is NOT a “nutcase” as watercat so described him. Young Earth creationsits will lilkey defeat themselves, but Leahy just might make religion seem credible—or at least have a sound argument against some of Harris’s claims.

Who is watercat?  And where did he call Mr. Leahy a nutcase? 

I know that I never called him a nutcase.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 27 July 2008 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 687 ]  
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For MPL:

After skimming all the posts:

I doubt that Sam will agree to meet you in debate to support your transparent and shamelessly financial promotion of your book.

Wassail
Wotansson

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Posted: 29 August 2008 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 688 ]  
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Michael Patrick Leahy - 15 April 2007 11:57 AM

Skipshot:

My book is a direct response to Sam Harris’ numerous false assertions about my faith that he set forth in his book. I respond to his assertions, not his speculations.

As to my speculations on an afterlife—I offer these not as a book for consideration for the world, but instead as a direct response to a question posed to me by Mr. Kelly as part of the ongoing discussion here in this forum.

As an aside, I will in fact be posting my awaited response to the Exodus 21:21 passage on slavery at 1:00 AM EST this morning (about 10 hours from now) and I am very interested in your considered review and response to that post.

Wow. This entire thread is about your website, your book and you. I didn’t know Christians are capable of cultivating such a big ego. You know that what you have to say is of little interest to most of the people on this forum and trying to use Sam Harris prestige and popularity of his work to lift yourself out of obscurity is quite dishonest.

The most hilarious argument you presented here was to me that about slavery. According to you, we have to excuse your god who was simply sensitive to the barbaric feelings of Egyptians and that’s why he didn’t spoke stronger against the slavery. Well, the same god wasn’t so sensitive when he wiped out (almost) all inhabitants of this planet with a deluge. Nice. He would make an excellent politician by today’s standards.

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Posted: 02 September 2008 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 689 ]  
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In God MPL trusts, all others pay cash!

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Posted: 30 October 2012 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 690 ]  
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Michael Patrick Leahy - 11 April 2007 02:20 PM

Sam,

I've just written another response to Letter to a Christian Nation.

In it, I document your intellectual dishonesty, starting with the following big lie you keep telling:

“ Half of the American population believes that the universe is 6,000 years old.”

The evidence suggests that, at a maximum, only 18% of Americans, not 50% as Harris recklessly claims, might arguably be said to believe the universe is only 6,000 years old. And even that 18% might not completely agree with the 6,000 year figure. ...

For the entire article which demonstrates how you completely misrepresent the Gallup Polling information, as well as the percentage of Americans who are "young creationists" , you can go to http://www.lettertoanatheist.com/biglie.html

For the entire book you may go to http://www.lettertoanatheist.com

I hereby challenge you to a debate. When and where ?


Hello Michael.


I read your post and a few replies below it. I agree with you that its bad for Sam Harris to cite false statistics. What is Sam’s intention? To paint a worse picture of theists. What does he stand to gain from doing that? He gets to make atheism look better than theism. Its a bad tactic and its a bad goal. Why is it a bad goal?


What matters? What makes a person a good person? What makes society a good place to live? Morality.


Today, some atheists are way more immoral that most theists. So, the idea that atheism is better than theism is false, because plenty of atheists are morally worse than plenty of theists.


Why is it that some atheists are worse than most theists? Its because when people drop their religion, they sometimes drop their religion’s morality too (some keep it—for example, Sam Harris believes that all lying is bad, a Christian idea). And what are they to replace it with? Some atheists replace it with nothing (like, “Whatever I want, is the moral choice for me”). This says that morality is relative. Its horrible and its responsible for much of the suffering in the world. So what about the rest of the atheists?


The rest of the atheists realize that morality is objective. And Christianity also holds this view. So why is Christianity so bad? Its not. But, if you compare it to Objectivism, its really really really bad. Today, Objectivism is the best moral philosophy. No religion or philosophy even comes close.


For an example of how Objectivism is better than Christianity (and all other religions and philosophies), see this post:

http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/17047/

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