07
Feb
10

Benevolent Harpies

Me and my Calvinist friend like to rag on each other. The other day she stated that a naturalistic, atheistic worldview is simply illogical.

“Especially when compared to talking snakes and benevolent harpies”, I retorted. Oh! Your beloved blogger was in top form that day! If only I didn’t talk like George W. Bush immediately post-op, I could have taken that snap on the road. As it was I had to repeat it three times, which kind of ruined the delivery.

“Benevolent harpies”, for the record, is Snarkinese for “angels.” Essentially, that’s what they are, right? We humans love our flying people! Unfortunately the real world has a noted lack of Ornithian-Americans and other six-limbed tetrapods. (I believe they became extinct in the Late Outofmyassic period.) Anyway, civilizations the world over tried to rectify nature’s mistake by inventing magic bird people, each unique to the culture that spawned it. Alas, it’s only in our fevered minds that these beings can exist.

Or is it? I researched the topic further, and wouldn’t ya know it? Angels make sense.

Here’s a graph to prove it.

Damn you, Calvinist friend! You got me pegged this time!

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer a rebuttal. Dr. Carlin, if you would…?

(Video NSFW!)

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21 Responses to “Benevolent Harpies”


  1. 1 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Actually, if you had ever looked in a Bible, you would know that Angels do not look like the “hottie” in your picture. But of course, you have never read a Bible and know nothing of the Christian faith.

    • February 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      That depiction doesn’t seem to bother most Christians. Otherwise Precious Moments and every Hallmark store in the nation would go under.

      You are technically right. Somewhere in the Old Testement (Ezekial or Isaiah, can’t remember which), the seraphim are described as having three pairs of wings. Which makes three times more sense!

      (I’m no Bible scholar, but I do have several angel encyclopedias at home to make up.)

  2. 3 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I do like how you threw that chart together though. Good job on that.

  3. 4 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    The Westminster Confession’s Larger Catechism helps us see this issue clearly. In question 109 it states, “What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?” The answer is, “The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.”

    I didn’t put out any manger scenes this year at Christmas and recently got rid of a candle in my house that had an angel image on it. OBEY OBEY I am trying to OBEY

  4. 5 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 8, 2010 at 2:05 am

    http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/angels/

    This site has everything you need to know about angels, from the Reformed perspective.

  5. 6 Jim
    February 8, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Kaje, that chart is both handy and dandy. You need to get over to Pharyngula [http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula] and give that atheist PZ Myers a piece of your talent. He would really love it. – Jim

    PS You will burn in hell with PZ whether you give him the chart or not.

    • February 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

      OMG another PZ fan. High five!

      Unfortunatly I have no idea how to grab his attention. He gets so much stuff every day, it’s easy for a plug to get lost in the shuffle. He needs a Shameless Self Promotion Day like Feministe does.

      Threats of damnation don’t scare me. I’m already in SW MO. 😉

  6. 8 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Can physical science do full justice to reality as human beings experience it? Nagel doubts that. He writes:

    The reductionist project usually tries to reclaim some of the originally excluded aspects of the world, by analyzing them in physical-that is, behavioral or neurophysiological-terms; but it denies reality to what cannot be so reduced. I believe the project is doomed-that conscious experience, thought, value, and so forth are not illusions, even though they cannot be identified with physical facts.

    This is why many atheists believe Dawkins is wrong, that science cannot explain everything, and why scientific thought can be compatible with religious belief.

    Thomas Nagel quoted in The Reason for God by Timothy Keller on whether or not Richard Dawkins is correct in his belief that no rational person would believe in God.

  7. 9 Jim
    February 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    CaLWKYAB, If conscious thought, et al., are illusions, then so are behavior science and neurophysiology. Reduction to these areas of explanation is not an improvement over other disciplines.

    Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem shows that ‘science cannot explain everything’, and neither can anything else. The Second incompleteness theorem is and indictment of the omniscience of a religion (science not claiming omniscience).

    The history of science and religion has consistently shown that science’s power to explain has expanded, and religion’s explanatory role has continuously contracted. Science has begun to establish the physical basis for such ‘mystical’ phenomena as religion, altruism, affection, and rationality.

    Dawkins has already been proven correct, that ‘no rational person would believe in God’. There are, fundamentally, no rational people. – Jim

    PS You might find interest in my [Jim] link. Peace.

  8. 10 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I’m working and don’t have time for an intelligent answer to this right now, but one will arrive in time. It seems to me that Dawkins refuses to look at all of the evidence out of his own stubborn selfishness and the desire to never be proven wrong, especially by anyone “fool” enough to believe in God.

    Peace to you also and God willing, this conversation will continue.

    • February 8, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Jim keeps beating me to my responses. However, I do have more fun switcheroos:

      “It seems to me that (Christians) refuse to look at all of the evidence out of their own stubborn selfishness and the desire to never be proven wrong, especially by anyone “fool” enough to (not) believe in God.”

      “It seems to me that (Tom Cruise) refuses to look at all of the evidence out of his own stubborn selfishness and the desire to never be proven wrong, especially by anyone “fool” enough to (not) believe in (Scientology).”

      “It seems to me that (doctors) refuse to look at all of the evidence out of their own stubborn selfishness and the desire to never be proven wrong, especially by anyone “fool” enough to believe in (homeopathic remedies).”

      Besides, where is this “evidence?”

  9. 12 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Johnny,

    The biblical angels were also always represented as male, but they are genderless. So, when you called them Harpies I was confused. Angels in the bible are male figures, powerful and mighty, Harpies seem to be siren-like. So, your comment made no sense to me.

  10. 13 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    February 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Dawkins is so full of “there is no God, I hate God”. That is of what I speak. You can’t have it both ways.

    If you told me that Caspar the friendly ghost was standing beside you, I wouldn’t argue the issue with you
    because I know that it is a ridiculous thing for you to say.

    When one is so ready to argue against God the reason must be that one knows that there is a God, maybe only in their subconscious mind, but they know that He exists.

    Jim, science has not proven that “no rational person would believe in God”.

    “Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs-and equally compatible with atheism.”

    A quote of atheist scientist Stephen Jay Gould on the fact that a “great number of his most respected scientific colleagues had traditional religious beliefs about God. One of the reasons Gould does not agree with Dawkins is that he was much more willing to concede that science might not be able to account for everything about human existence to every thinker’s satisfaction”. From Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God.

    Also, on evolution, according to many of the early supporters of this theory, religion would die out as we evolved and no longer had a need for it. I guess you know how the Christian church has grown tremendously in China and Africa these past 20 years or so and that orthodox Christian beliefs appear to be growing in the US.

    Also, whenever Christianity is persecuted it grows, and grows and the church shines brighter and brighter. So, Dawikins, who thinks that if he keeps screaming that Christians are idiots and morons, etc., thinks that he and all of his atheist friends will eventually be able to “kill God” once and for all, it will always have the opposite effect.

    So, God will use anyone, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris,
    to bring glory to His name forever and ever, Amen.

    • February 10, 2010 at 12:51 am

      “If you told me that Caspar the friendly ghost was standing beside you, I wouldn’t argue the issue with you because I know that it is a ridiculous thing for you to say.”

      If you lived in a country where the vast majority of citizens believeed in Caspar, and that belief affected everything in the country (from laws to politics to culture to the very civil rights of those who displease Casparites in some fashion), you most certainly would argue and raise a stink about it.

      Why do you hate Caspar so much? He just wants to be your friend, if you just open your heart to him…

      • 15 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
        February 11, 2010 at 4:42 am

        I’m a Calvinist, remember? I don’t open my heart, God gives me a new heart. God predestined my salvation before I was born. At the time He choose he gave me a new heart. I have nothing to do with it and apply no effort in my salvation. You are speaking of the free will way of salvation.

        With me it would work this way. Caspar would make me believe in him, and I would not exert any effort in his completion of giving me a new heart so that I would believe in him.

        For a Calvinist, you can look for God for a very long time, you’ll never find Him. The Bible says “no one seeks God”, Romans 3:11. He comes to you.

  11. February 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    CaLWKYAB, I will share something with you that is a frequent occurrence in online (well, not just online) dialogues. Since you are Kaje’s friend, I want to be clear that I am offering this comment in a spirit of sharing and a desire to improve all our relationships.

    It is very common for people of all attitudes and dispositions to not read or listen carefully. I have had my moments, too. The most devisive force in dialogue is a misperception about what someone wrote, or intended to write. I try to be very careful and communicate clearly when both reading and writing, allowing for other people to respond similarly. Some people cannot, apparently for emotional reasons, allow themselves to avoid misperceptions. Others are merely unskilled and unpracticed.

    There are three ways to percieve what is read: the actual content, the implied content, and the projected content. The first two are supplied by the writer. The third is supplied by the reader. The first and third are easier to perceive than the second. A reader who can consciously differentiate between these perceptions is somewhat open emotionally and has developed skills and practiced them.

    Your comments “Dawkins is so full of …” contain some misperceptions. Please take some time to re-read the prior comments and consider the actual content. I am not in a rush to have an unconstructive dialogue. Understanding is worth waiting for.

    You know something of the Gould-Dawkins philosophical axis. I am sort of around there, kinda, with some different axes tossed on – you can understand me a little by reading my link ‘What Happened to Christian Doubt?’.

    There are other things you mentioned that we will find worthy of dialogue, later. Peace, Jim

  12. 17 imherefromtheinternet
    November 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Wow. Nothing but godbotherers in here.

    That’s a nice chart. I like how well it points out the total arbitrariness of the religions that currently rule the world. They could have been based on any kind of stupidity, and people would still follow them.

    Saluting the other two Pharyngulites…

  13. 18 anon4cec
    December 26, 2011 at 5:27 am

    This chart is funny as shit. I am home visiting my family in the Ozarks for Xmas, and just saw a report on the local news about the “butterfly angles” in Joplin. This is the first I’ve heard about this, because, you know, I live in a civilized part of the country now.

    Get me the hell out of here.


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