Butterfly Cauldron

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Today I am a real blog...


I have a troll! I'm so excited. Nine months without a troll? I was starting to get disappointed. But no! Anonymous (which isn't a very good name for a troll, by the way) has commented on a few posts to tell me I'm a hedonist and question my definition of sin. I'm all giddy.

(Well, he/she also wanted to introduce me to the harsh reality of life that fat people suck and are lazy, but you know. Also, that my theology is wrong and I'm going to Hell. Isn't it fun?)

So -- a few groundrules. Disagreement is welcomed, but insults are not. You don't agree with me or my commenters? Okay! I don't mind and I'm pretty sure they don't either, so long as you're not stupid about it. You want to talk about religion? Okay! I can do that, but don't expect to convert anyone. I certainly don't expect to convert anyone to my beliefs. I do, however, expect everyone to respect other people's beliefs. Which means, as soon as you start going on about any of us going to Hell, burning forever or anything like that, I'm killing your comments. Why? Because it's my blog and I set the rules.

This blog isn't a place for flame wars. Disagreement, respectful argument? Fine. This doesn't have to be an echo chamber. But you should remember that I'm the one who makes the final decision on what gets put up and what doesn't -- if it offends me, too bad.

Also -- please leave a name on your comments, will ya? It's a mark of cowardice not to own your own words and why would anyone take you seriously if you're not even willing to sign a name?

Labels:

posted by Zan at 8:27 AM

16 Comments:

Oh, Zam, I'm so sorry; this blog doesn't have enough readers to warrant a troll.

...has commented on a few posts to tell me I'm a hedonist...
Um, no, I think if you'll be kind enough to refer back to my post, you'll find I actually said that although I'm aware our culture's shifting behavorial standards, i.e. morality, give approval to moral relativity and engaging in a mentality of "doing what feels good to you," it's still called "hedonism." Whether your own self description makes that term applicable to you or not, well that's something you've decided, not me.
Now why can't you just tell your readers, both of them, what I actually said instead of engaging in hyperbole? Or maybe you just can't grasp the concepts I'm explaining to you. *shrug*

...and question my definition of sin.
Well, Zam, I simply question your definition of sin because you admit to questioning your own definition of sin. It's a sin (and I don't use that word often, because I generally don't believe in sin)...
Sound familiar? Hmmmm?

he/she also wanted to introduce me to the harsh reality of life that fat people suck and are lazy...
Tut, tut, tut, Zam. More over the top hyperbole and distorting what was actually said. Here's my quote: “I'm sorry I have to be the one to rudely introduce you to reality, but maybe you should eat less and move more…It's really not okay to revel in gluttony because that's "who you are and you're beautiful." There are people who live with real problems not of their own making and real psychic hardships who would love to have the opportunities you do.”
Please, Zam, don’t lie about what I said. Y’know, that’s very hurtful and it doesn’t contribute at all to an intelligent exchange of ideas. Plus, I’m a very delicate person and my feelings are hurt easily. I’ll refer to your “groundrules” about “disagreement, respectful argument.” I’d appreciate it if you would show me the same respect I’m showing you. Thanks.

Also, that my theology is wrong and I'm going to Hell.
Well, uh, your theology is demonstrably wrong and I simply asked if you’d like to comprehensively examine the evidence for what you believe (after all, if you believe it, it must be true based on something objective, right?) and the evidence for what I believe and we’d see which one took more blind faith to believe, that’s all. You’re obviously an intelligent person, if you knew the truth, wouldn’t it make you change?
As for anything about “going to hell,” again, I never said that and I’d appreciate if you’d stop repeating what you wish I had said and start repeating what I did say, okay?
As an aside, I’m starting to wonder about your reading comprehension ability.

I do, however, expect everyone to respect other people's beliefs.
As do I. I defend your right to choose any religion or no religion in which to believe. That’s one of the fantastic things about living in the United States of America, eh? (Despite that nasty, ol’ meanie, George W. Bush trying to brainwash us and strip of us all of our civil rights! LOL!)

Also -- please leave a name on your comments, will ya? It's a mark of cowardice not to own your own words and why would anyone take you seriously if you're not even willing to sign a name?
Oh, I agree! Unfortunately, my parents were not deep thinkers (they were leftists) and therefore they gave me the unfortunate name of “Anonymous.” (Hey, is was going to be “Zam,” so at least I got kind of lucky!)
Have a wonderful day, my friend! Here’s to public discourse!

11:09 AM  

Ouch. I'm crushed. I really, really am. I mean, how could I not be when you can't even get my name right and it's all over the blog? These tears you see? From the heart.

I really do like how you believe I only have two readers. It's kinda cute, in a pathetic sort of way. And how you seem to believe, if I only have two readers, it's okay for you to come spew your garbage here.

And while you didn't come right out and say I was going to hell, you suggested it when you said fire and brimstone was a necessary part of Christianity. And frankly, I've heard it all before.

I have no question about my definition of sin. You might, because it's not the same as yours, but that's a personal problem, not mine. As to truth? Well, you've got yours and I've got mine and I doubt they are the same. Ah well.

As for my hyperbole, I trust that my readers (all two of them, even!) can read your comments for themselves and decide for themselves how to feel about them.

Now, go away. I've got better things to do than argue with you.

12:58 PM  

Wow. I'm glad you and Belledame both outed this. Holy crackpot meanies! Please allow the rest of their diatribes in full. I need the cerebral exercise. It's so much fun picking it apart, looking for the grains of truth in an otherwise assinine diatribe. And it's a good lesson to us all in how NOT to be a complete arsehole. Keep voicing, babydoll, you're doing great.

9:38 PM  

Wow. Here I was thinking about converting to Christianity, but if "No Fat Chix" bumper stikcers are part of the dogma, I'm afraid I have to rethink my plans to accept Jesus Christ into my heart. At least, until he gets some better field reps.

10:27 PM  

I'm crushed. I really, really am. I mean, how could I not be when you can't even get my name right and it's all over the blog?
Oops, color me embarrassed, Zan. I obviously didn't pay much attention to your name, but I instead tried to focus on what you were thinking and your worldview because I care about what you have to say and why you are the way you are. Hey, maybe I should question my reading comprehension, eh? Again, I apologize, Zan.

I really do like how you believe I only have two readers. It's kinda cute, in a pathetic sort of way.
Um, okaaaaay. And by the number of comments on this post, I see they've all rushed to your "defense," not that you need defending because I haven't attacked you, although you attempted to cast me in that light by lying about what I actually said.
Hmm, given the number of comments, maybe I overestimated? (Quick, get the sock puppets out! LOL!)

...if I only have two readers, it's okay for you to come spew your garbage here...
Actually, I don't believe it's okay to spew garbage anywhere. I'm disappointed that you take observations based in reality and an open invitation to an intelligent debate and exchange of ideas as "spewing garbage." Yes, disappointed, indeed, especially when you posted that you were "giddy" about my being here. What's changed?

And while you didn't come right out and say I was going to hell, you suggested it when you said fire and brimstone was a necessary part of Christianity. And frankly, I've heard it all before.
Ah, but this hits at the nature of truth, doesn't it? As I asked you, if you knew the truth, would you change?
My thoughts are too lengthy to post here, although I'd love to explore this issue with you, per my standing invitation, but suffice to say that we can prove the Bible is divine rather than human in origin through a number of avenues. Among these are manuscript evidence, archaeological evidence, fulfilled predictive prophecy of the Bible, the science of statistical probability, science itself, credible extra-biblical sources and several more. My listing these avenues is merely to point out that once we prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the Bible is in fact the word of God, we can then appeal to Scripture to see what the truth is.
Let me just say that Christ, the creator of the cosmos, clearly communicated hell's irrevocable reality. He spent more time talking about hell than he did about heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount alone, Jesus explicitly warned his followers of the dangers of hell a half dozen or more times. In the Olivet Discourse, Christ repeatedly warned his followers of the judgment that is to come. (I realize all this probably sounds antiquated and not applicable to modern day times with our hairspray, plasma televisions and internet, but just keep in mind what I said about appealing to history and evidence instead of the blind faith-thing, okay?)
Furthermore, the concept of choice demands that we believe in hell. Without hell, there is no choice and without choice, heaven could not be heaven, it would only be hell. The righteous would inherit a counterfeit heaven and the unrighteous would be incarcerated in heaven against their wills and that would be a torture worse than hell, don't you think?
And as an addendum, we each must take personal responsibility for the choices we make in this life, don't you agree? We're all deciding even now whom we're going to serve.
Oh, rest assured, I know you'll attempt to cast me as some "backwards" and "superstitious" Bible-thumper, probably "scientifically unenlightened" and you'll even say that I should go back to snake-handling and leave you alone or some inanity like that...but I'm just the messenger and I sincerely hope, Zan, that you would consider the message and examine the evidence for yourself so that you can come to an informed decision. Whether you decide to accept or reject the message is entirely up to you. My only goal is to provide you with some of the evidence on which to base your decision. Hopefully, you'll be intelligent enough to continue on and seek out the rest of the info for yourself.

I have no question about my definition of sin. You might, because it's not the same as yours, but that's a personal problem, not mine.
Ah, but again, here's the issue of truth. So, you do admit that sin exists, correct? All we have to do now is find out from whence your definition of it comes. If it comes from your own personal beliefs and not an objective standard, then you will undoubtedly admit that it's merely arbitrary and based on your own personal whims, nothing more, right?

As to truth? Well, you've got yours and I've got mine and I doubt they are the same.
So you say truth changes from person to person based on his own beliefs, eh? Well, is your statement that truth changes true for everyone? If so, then how can truth change from person to person? Ah, Zan, you've just made a self-defeating truth claim which, ironically, proves that truth exists, does not change and it is in fact objective.
And we've reached the real issue, haven't we?

Zan, the choices we make today have consequences in eternity, whether you'd prefer to believe that or not.
It's later than you think, Zan. Please think about what I've said.
-Anonymous

12:46 AM  

"Or we shall taunt you a second time!"

Seriously, I honestly can't tell with some people: How d'you tell the difference between someone who really is like this and a deadpan parody who...well, also pretty much would be an asshole, at that. "Huh."

1:00 AM  

*pets the pretty Troll and puts a frilly pink ribbon in his hair* That was a lot of big words, hope it didn't take too much out of you.

I find it amusing how you think I haven't made an informed choice. Since the only informed choice would be the one you made? Simply put: no one can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God exists. Further, they cannot prove which God exists. There are thousands of them, you know. We all make our choices on what to believe or not believe based on experience, evidence and personal conviction. The story of Jesus is rooted in pagan mythology. (And no, I'm not using that word to mean 'untrue'. I'm using it to describe a system of belief, the say way I'd say Christian mythology or Hindu mythology or Jewish mythology. It's not a loaded term.) Son of God? Done about a thousand times before JC. Born of a virgin? Also done a thousand or so times before. Die and live again? Done and done. Promise to return again at the end of the world? Check out Norse mythology, their entire pantheon is coming back for the final battle. Even that Hell thing you want to talk about, it's been done a thousand times before too.

Does that mean I think Christianity isn't a valid belief system? No, actually. I think it's just as vaild as any other system -- provided it's practictioners don't go out killing and harming people. (Which, you know, the church doesn't have a very good record with. What with the Crusades, Inquisition, colonization of the Americas, etc. Though, I must give you guys credit for calming down the overt violence in recent years.)

Of course, you could argue that means I'm a fan of relative morality. Me, I personally think I've just studied religion and seen the common threads throughout them.

I use the word sin because it's handy. I don't believe in sin the way you do, I'm pretty sure. Sin is deliberately hurting other people. It could be something big or it could be something small, but you have to mean to do it. No one and nothing is inherently sinful. People can do bad things, but that doesn't make them bad people. Not to day there aren't bad people in the world, but most of us? Eh, no.

And you may as well call me a Sophist, because I reject all Platonic notions of Ultimate Truth. Which isn't to say that Truth changes, but that no one is capable of knowing it all or fully understanding what they know. We think we know, because we've found out little bit of it, but we miss the fact that everyone else in the world has a little bit of the Truth too. And their bit of the Truth may not be the same bit that we found. Does it make them wrong? No, it just means they've found a different bit of Truth that we have.

7:54 AM  

*pets the pretty Troll and puts a frilly pink ribbon in his hair* That was a lot of big words, hope it didn't take too much out of you.

I've told Belle and now I'm going to have to tell you: It is not nice to make me fall out in laughter when I'm trying to follow a serious discourse.

What disappoints me is that Anonymous is pedantic and condescending. I think we'd all be a lot more receptive to what they have to say without the bumtight squeak and presumed authority. And what's with all the 'Ah'? It's like Jesus is doing a Pepsi commercial.

8:47 AM  

But doesn't he look pretty with the ribbon? :)

I know, the aura of smug superiority eminating from Herr Troll is a bit suffocating. Reminds me of all the Oh-So-Wise people who filled up my parents' Southern Baptist church when I was growing up. Of course, these were the same people who were abusing their children, cheating on their spouses and getting insanely drunk every night but Sunday -- because Sunday is the Lord's Day, doncha know?

And really, Jesus would never do a Pepsi commercial. He's a Dr. Pepper man. (Didn't you know, one of DP's 32 flavors is the blood of the savior? Drink enough of it and you get a free trip to Heaven!)

9:04 AM  

Zan - i'm here from Belledame site. OMG love'n your style... cheers!

11:57 AM  

Damn. Is it gone already? I wanted to ask if it could play "Melancholy Baby." So few can, you know.

You know what I don't get? Okay, so let's just assume for the moment that Pinky there is right. About everything. He's goin' to heaven; the rest of us are doomed to the fiery place unless we Repent. Of, what is it now? being fat? (does he work for Curves or something? Jesus loves you & thin thighs in thirty days!) O.K.

Well,

1) If the Good Place is full of 'stains like THAT, I think i'd rather hang out with y'all for all eternity given the choice, thanks

2) Wouldn't you think that someone who knew he was Saved and was going to the Good Place for all eternity would be a bit, well, happier about it? I mean, I dunno, spread the Good News and all, but he doesn't SEEM very happy.

3) What would happen if we just said "Okay, you're right! We ARE going to hell! So howzabout you leave us to enjoy our few miserable debauched sinful years on this our fallen mortal coil in relative peace? You already won the grand prize; and, hey, if and when the Rapture and Tribulations and yadda come, SOMEONE has to get struck down in fiery retribution for y'all's schadenfreudic delectation, right? Isn't that how it goes?

Oh, wait, I already know the answer to that one:

It's only because he Cares.

Lot of that about these days, innit?

I mean it just sort of oozes out of him really, this Christlike compassion and empathy and desire for justice. No Pharisee he! And certainly no scribe.
He is clothed in the armor of the LORD.
Although, dude, gotta tell you: your fly's STILL unzipped.

Also? You've got some spinach or something between your teeth. Some greenish-blackish crap that--Ew! What have you been eating, anyway?

Nice ribbon, tho'. The pink brings out the burst blood vessels in your eyes.

3:38 AM  

*snicker* You make me laugh. I must wipe away the tears now...

That's what I've always wondered -- if you're so happy to be saved, then why don't you act like it? Most of the Christians I see are just so....worried. I want to ask them, you know, I'm happy and not worried with my little heathen path. Why would I trade in my joy for a world of angst and 'did I forget to confess any sins today? Because that would send me to hell if I died in my sleep!!"

I have met a few truly happy Christians. And I can talk to them. I can have a conversation about beliefs and they don't try to do a hard-sell on me. We just talk. And those guys, I like. I get why they believe what they believe, because frankly it's not so far away from what I believe. (Except for that whole fallen being bit, but people of good faith can disagree on such things and still get along.)

7:10 AM  

Pseudo congratulations on your humorless troll. Any self-respecting troll would start signing "Herr Troll," or, better yet, "Beribboned." So I hope if you get another troll, it actually has a name.

If I didn't already have my own pretty pink ribbon, I would briefly, though not seriously, consider trolling just to win one. But then, I am fond of my perfect name and I wouldn't bother with what I thought was hell fodder with only two readers.

I couldn't read through all his comments because they are rife with spelling errors. Grammar is a harsh mistress, and I belong to her.

4:54 PM  

That would be a wonderful troll, wouldn't it? One with a sense of humor? Ah well. Perhaps when I get beyond a mere two readers I shall attracted higher quality trolls. I can dream ;)

And I like you, so I shall give you a pretty pink ribbon of your very own. No need to compete!

You are quite right; grammar is a harsh mistress. I know her well -- she attempted to kick my ass when I wrote my thesis. *shudder*

6:22 PM  

Yay, another ribbon!

Thank you kindly.

7:30 PM  

>I have met a few truly happy Christians. And I can talk to them. I can have a conversation about beliefs and they don't try to do a hard-sell on me. We just talk. And those guys, I like. I get why they believe what they believe, because frankly it's not so far away from what I believe. (Except for that whole fallen being bit, but people of good faith can disagree on such things and still get along.)>

Yah, that's kind of where I've been arriving at, I mean, across the boards, you know, politically, too, yadda. It's like: yes the dogma, doctrine, ideology, what you will, matters; and sure it shapes your behavior to some degree, but, well, first of all, WHY do people become attracted to the beliefs that they do, and second, more important:

Anybody home?

Knock, knock.

Know what I'm saying?

It's really not about matching beliefs -or- backgrounds -or- "swell fella, can't really get behind a word he says, but wouldn't mind havin' a beer." It's about (taps breastbone), first and foremost. And: does this person WANT to connect, with me; and if not that right now, at least: does this person appear CAPABLE of connecting, with, well, anyone, -really.-

i think a lot of people and especially the politically inclined, esp. on the left interestingly enough, don't really tweak this at all. i could be wrong, but that's my impression. There are reasons for this, ideological, yes; Enlightenment hooha something, i think, maybe (if you just REASON with the person sie will UNDERSTAND, if only you can find a common language, is the paperback version of this)

But, well, na-uh, with some people.

anyway: if rhyme OR sweet reason OR attempts to connect via empathy/emotion don't work: know what? Buh-bye, person.

but honestly that's got very little to do with purported beliefs, i think, at the end of the day. or well anyway goes beyond.

4:41 PM  

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