Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Response to DB's essay

What follows is a response to an essay published by blogger "Da Bomb" on his site. The essay and direct comments can be viewed here.


If I did not want comments then I would not put it up to receive comments

Hounds released. No take-backs.

Atheism and theism is [sic] the central idea regarding our reality, our lives, our being.

Okay, before I get too involved here, I should say that irrespective of the content, the essay is not written well. The sentences are often too short and choppy, and the piece features grammatical errors which highlight the problems with its flow. Since these do not bear on the content, I shall try to avoid directly identifying them except as appropriate with respect to quotes.

That being said, this opening sentence features a false dichotomy. Even if you seek to contrast atheism against theism, the truth of the matter is that there are many "central ideas," not just the two you seek to compare.

The fundamental question for every person is the question “Is there a God?” We cannot sit on the fence in regard to this universal issue; the relations between belief or disbelief and the existence of God affect the very way we live and the way we perceive life.

You identified this explicitly as your "thesis statement," though based on the capitalization of "We" it is two statements... Taking the first, it is a bald assertion to claim that the question of the existence of a god or gods is fundamental to every person. You seem to take this as a universally supported premise, but this is clearly not the case. If this is part of your thesis, it needs to be argued; if it is not, then the whole paper is suspect based on the early dismissal of what is apparently a key premise.

With the second statement, we can sit on the fence with regard to this issue, and indeed a very many humans do exactly that. This goes back to the false dichotomy present in the opening sentence: there are other options besides atheism and theism.

Their qualifications and short bios are as follows...

As Bathtub already pointed out, it is your responsibility as a writer to either explicitly state the fact that these bios refer to the participants' positions at the time of the debate, or to provide updated bios. If this information is verified, it should be a major penalty in terms of the grade you receive.

There are a number of atheists that vary in their beliefs but there are examples from well known atheists that suggest the primary reasons for their disbelief in God.

In point of fact, every atheist differs from every other in terms of what he individually believes, which would be apparent if you ever frequented atheist forums. The one thing upon which atheists can be counted on to agree is that they all share an unbelief in gods. Beyond this, there should be some sort of qualifying padding to the 'suggestion of reasons,' such as, "...that suggest the primary reasons for their disbelief in God, some of which follow from Professor Dawkins' statements in the Dawkins-Lennox debate."

He states that the revelation of the theory of evolution showed him that the idea of a Supernatural Designer is not needed to produce complex creatures.

The ToE is not a revelation, and I expect Dawkins would never describe it as such. If you are citing a specific statement of his, you should include a quotation. If you are merely paraphrasing, you should include a reference and a time index.

These questions raise a number of issues such as “Does evolution take away the necessity of a Grand Designer?” or “Because we cannot scientifically test God does this mean that God is not real?”

Dawkins' questions, which you did not quote, have little, if anything, to do with these questions you'd evidently rather answer. Since these are your questions, not Dawkins', you should single-quote them to avoid a false association of them as actual quotes of Dawkins.

For the atheist, reasons such as these cause them to disbelieve in God.

This sentence fits better with the one about Dawkins' unreferenced reasons for rejecting the need for a deity, and I'd guess that's where it started before you later inserted the questions you'd prefer to address. It says nothing to your questions, which are not reasons in and of themselves -- their answers may be reasons, but you haven't provided us with any answers just yet.

Morality has been a controversial issue and is thought and considered by every person to some degree.

More bald assertion. Note that such assertions are unnecessary -- if you want to talk about morality, then do so. You do not need to invent universal experiences to introduce a relevant topic.

According to Dawkins, atheism has no absolutes regarding morality except for what our supposed evolutionary development has produced.

Important statements such as these must be referenced, and should be quoted. Be that as it may, Dawkins most certainly said no such thing. You are conflating "atheism" with "evolution" -- specifically, the development of morality with respect to humanity. Atheism doesn't say anything about morals whatsoever -- as shown by your definition a couple paragraphs ago.

However if [morality can be accurately described as "Dancing to our DNA"] then there is no real or absolute way to define what is morally right or wrong in a universal sense.

This does not follow. If Dawkins' statement is true, then we can define morality according to the 'dance,' and it is entirely possible that such a definition could be absolute and/or universal.

This kind of thinking is known as relativism...

While you are obviously trying to describe relativism, the existence of objective morals is not contingent upon humanity's ability to correctly identify them. It is not so much embracing relativism as it is acknowledging that actual knowledge of absolute morality may be inaccessible.

Therefore atheistic relativism has the consequence of ultimately no universal “rights”

This is false association -- all relativism would be subject to this consequence, if your "argument" is valid.

Therefore universal morality is evidence of a standard not made by human means, but by God.

Awesome. You go from arguing that there may be objective morals, to concluding that there must be god. Not merely weak, this is pathetic.

A significant issue is raised...

This entire paragraph is a stream-of-consciousness nightmare. No sentence follows from its predecessors in a grammatically appropriate fashion. It's so awful that I don't really know how to begin. Expect to see lots of red question marks next to this "paragraph" when the graded essay is returned...

If someone disbelieves in God it throws a challenging light onto their justification to practice reliable science, because if the laws were not designed, then they are potentially less able to be trusted.

This is fractured logic at best. The laws need only exist and be stable for science to be something we can practice -- there needn't be any designer at all. Of course, since Christianity admits of miracles, which are necessarily suspension of physical laws, it is under theisms such as Christianity that we cannot trust physical laws.

There are two types of atheists; one is a strong atheist who claims to know there is no God and the other is a weak atheist who does not know if there is a God.

If these are stated as definitions, you should cite the source, as you have done with other definitions. If it is your opinion, or some credible source's opinion, you should qualify it as such. In my experience, a "strong atheist" is one who makes the claim that there are no gods -- note there is no implication of actual knowledge. Likewise, in my experience a "weak atheist" is one who expects that there are no gods. Neither claims to know, but each is based on an expectation, which is itself based on evidence. I would say that "strong atheism" is on roughly equal footing as theism, whereas "weak atheism" is clearly an appropriate starting point. Agnosticism, to contrast "weak atheism," contends that it is not possible to know whether there are gods.

Therefore atheists basically believe in what they can be sure of, mainly through scientific demonstration.

You continue to paint all atheists with a humongous brush, but you must know this generalization is invalid. Many atheists may hold such a view, and perhaps even most, but no matter how you state it, you must qualify such statements through reference, or be guilty of falsely applying a universal generalization.

There is no scientific proof of God, nor is there scientific proof of no-God.

The first part is true, but the second part is patently absurd. It's not that there is scientific proof that there is no god, but that a universal negative cannot be proven except by definition. That is, if chalk by definition is white, then I could prove the universal negative, "No chalk is black." Since that is not the general definition of god, it does not apply. Saying "There exist no planets in the galaxy Andromeda" is not possible to prove, no matter how many times we fail to find a planet, until we are able to survey all of the Andromeda galaxy. The same is true of proving there is no god, except the problem becomes more magickal -- since god may not exist in our directly experienced dimensions, it would effectively require omniscience on our part to actually prove there is no god.

While it is true that there is no evidence for god, and it is trivially true that there is no evidence against any possible god, the two are not of equal value. There could conceivably be evidence for god, but there cannot be evidence against any possible god, without a provision of omniscience.

For theists finding truth and having faith is about taking the best conclusion with the evidence they have laid out before them, they take a belief in something beyond a reasonable doubt.

While this statement includes a reference, it is clearly untrue to say that all theists draw their conclusion(s) based on evidence, and it is certainly true that few classify their belief as "beyond a reasonable doubt." While they may consider their beliefs 'beyond doubt,' for most theists, reasonable doubts must exist, else a) no reasonable theist would change religions, or b) this statement carries an implied assertion that all theists so scrutinize their belief system. Of course, no matter what, the sheer number of mutually exclusive variations of theism requires that some of these beliefs which lie 'beyond a reasonable doubt' should be doubted. Either it is better to be unreasonable, or the assertion that these beliefs are 'beyond a reasonable doubt' is fallacious.

[B]elief is not merely speaking out what someone believes, but is more like speaking and then acting on what they believe.

You cannot define a term and then declare that definition invalid by fiat. If believe is based on what one considers true, it need not be related to how one behaves.

It is an attempt to shift the burden of proof onto the theist.

No, it is a reinstatement of the burden of proof. It lies squarely with the theist, who makes a positive claim. If the atheist made a singular negative claim, a case may be made that the burden of proof lies with him, but since the atheist makes a universal negative claim, the burden of proof cannot be shifted away from his opponent.

The theist in reply to the atheist’s disbelief in God might as well reply “I just disbelieve in the non-existence of God”

In spite of the source's credulity, this is nonsense. Consider the following:

Adam claims there exists X somewhere.
Bob claims there does not exist X anywhere.

Upon whom do you think the burden of proof lies? If you like, you may replace "X" with trial terms, and see if it helps. I suggest trying terms like "Werewolves," "interstellar teacups," "one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eaters," "corn," "chairs," "transparent objects," or "god." Irrespective of the actual existence of "X," I expect you can correctly identify the location of the burden of proof in all but perhaps one case... I wonder why.

Belief or disbelief in the existence of God is not a matter of “I don’t know”, but a matter of “taking the best conclusion”.

This is untrue based solely on your descriptions of "weak atheists" and "agnostic atheists," much less the general (and unmentioned) groups of agnostics and pure skeptics. For these sorts of people, belief or disbelief in the existence of god -- according to your own definitions in two cases -- is by definition a matter of "I don't know," regardless of what that person views as the best conclusion.

Atheists not only disbelieve in God but by their actions they actively believe in no God by not acknowledging or following His ways.

This is absolutely preposterous. How exactly can a person who does not believe in X acknowledge or follow the ways of X? Grow up.

Without God there can be no absolute right and wrong outside of what individuals think; individuals live the way they like (The Dawkins Lennox debate, 2007). For example, a murderer who has a lifestyle of a murderer cannot say and be neutral (even if he is honest) “I don’t know if there is a state law by which we will be judged”.

Your references leave much to be desired. I cannot determine from your poor referencing whether the whole statement is referenced, or just the portion following the semicolon. Furthermore, the debate itself is not a reference -- it is the document, sure, but to be a reference it must identify the actual person who made the remark. If you were referencing a book with multiple authors, this might work, but a debate by definition consists of differing viewpoints, such that referencing the debate is inappropriate.

Apart from the "reference," the "example" is no such thing. If individuals live the way they like, there is no reason a murderer cannot honestly be unaware of the laws in his territory. Indeed, even if individuals can't live the way they like, a murderer could still be legitimately unaware of the laws which apply to him.

The Bible makes the Christian theist’s position clear...

...just as the Qu'ran makes the Muslim theist's position clear, and just as the Tanakh makes the Jewish theist's position clear, and just as the Book of Mormon makes the Mormon theist's position clear...

What's clear is the fact that the atheist's position (generally, that there is most likely no god) is actually clear, but the theist's position (generally, that there certainly is some god) is likewise actually clear, but that the bible -- specifically, the New Testament as cited -- applies only to a select few versions of theism. You have moved the goalposts considerably, and you are poised to beg the question by assuming that not merely theism, but Christian theism, is valid.

It is imperative that people make a conscious decision about where they stand regarding belief and the existence God. [sic]

This statement would make a pretty good thesis, but you didn't really argue the case, either for this statement or for your declared thesis. Regarding your declared thesis, you ignored the fact that some people very consciously decide to "sit on the fence" regarding committing one way or another to the notion of the existence of any gods, and you really didn't argue why people should get off the proverbial fence.

All told, the paper was poor. A generous community college instructor might give it a C, and I'd be surprised if it received a passing grade at a university -- unless, in either case, the grade was inappropriately based on whether or not the grader agreed with the thesis and/or bias exhibited in the paper. You should seriously consider handing papers such as these to English majors for a grammar and format critique before turning them in, and you should familiarize yourself with informal fallacies before trying to make logical arguments. Unless you're taking a course in logic, philosophy, or theology, however, I wouldn't expect the quality of your argument to bear out too much with respect to your grade.

I respect your position, believe it or not, but the way you argue for it is terrible. Ignoring the reference problems, the grammatical problems, and the fragmented thought process, the actual arguments are generally awful. Insofar as I agree with the final statement made in the essay, the conclusion does not follow from the argument presented in support of it, and the implicit dichotomy is invalid -- making a conscious decision regarding one's belief in the existence of god may include indifference as well as an admission that insufficient information is available to make a determination, and you have set up your "argument" to specifically exclude these sorts of very plausible possibilities.

Of course, it is practically impossible to consciously extricate oneself from the proverbial fence in the case of every specific god, in which case a strong case could be made against your thesis -- making conscious, informed decisions regarding the existence of specific gods is not possible, so by superposition, neither might it be possible to make a conscious, informed decision regarding the existence of any god whatsoever...

Surely, you haven't consciously considered the possibility of the existence of those gods about whom you are unaware, and surely there are various gods about whom you will remain unaware for the duration of your life, so it follows that you will be unable to consciously consider the existence of those gods.

...so in principle it may be impossible to consciously consider the existence of the actual god, if any such being actually exists. Perhaps, then, the prudent decision is instead one of "weak atheism" or agnosticism. Odd, then, that you would proudly proclaim that you are an atheist with respect to gods you've never considered...

There you go. Not much in the way of constructive criticism, but genuine comments nonetheless. Try to organize your thoughts better, learn to write more effectively, and make sure your arguments are well-formed. Read and re-read your papers before submitting them -- on paper, if possible -- and try to ensure that you are fair to the opposing viewpoint. In my experience, the more concessions you provide to the opposition, the more favorably your own conclusion will be regarded. Failing that, however, you must at the least ensure that your arguments are air-tight.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Dominoes deliver

In a thread over at "Da Bomb's" blog, Pilgrimage, the discussion has stalled somewhat, and at the risk of directly insulting Da Bomb, I've no idea why.

The subject deals with the responsibility and/or culpability of god with respect to the outcome of his creative act, specifically when this god is given the generally accepted attributes asserted by Christians, which follow:

  • Omniscience
  • Omnipotence
  • "First Cause" or "Prime Mover"
  • Timelessness (eternally living)
Really, no other attributes need mentioned, but clearly "omnibenevolence," or "maximal goodness," could be added to the list, as could others, but they'd be of no consequence with respect to the argument I've formed.

Now, the astute reader, whether or not familiar with my past arguments on this subject, will likely see where this is going and how, but for whatever reason, Da Bomb just doesn't follow, even though I've spelled it out in what I feel is the simplest way possible for any reasonably comprehending human to honestly grasp. He continuously asserts that humans have "free will," and that god has not predetermined everything, going so far as to make each of the following statements:

God occasions evil but is NOT the cause.
(Emphasis DB's)

I will state it loud and clear FOREKNOWING IS NOT PREDETERMINING.
(Emphasis again DB's)

People are not a direct cause and effect action from God Himself but more of a separate cause and effect if that makes sense?

That last one is the kicker, in my view, since it exposes his misunderstanding -- whether intentional or unwitting -- regarding the implications of the suggestion that there are cause/effect systems which are separate from god. I'd prefer to think he's smarter than this, but that would require that he be dishonest, and I'd prefer to think otherwise. Could it really be confusion, or is it just pure cognitive dissonance on display?

At any rate, here is the argument I've presented for him, in YouTube video form. The instructions are simple:

  1. In the first 20 seconds of the clip, pause it at some point and identify "your" domino -- the one that represents you -- and note its location.
  2. Choose an arbitrary number and configuration of dots for your domino -- you have limited "free will," after all.
  3. Resume the clip. You are free to change the number and configuration of dots on your domino any number of times until it falls.
  4. Note any effect your "free will" had on the fate of your domino.
  5. Consider if the boy is responsible for the falling of any individual domino beyond the first.
  6. At the conclusion of the video, consider if the boy's foreknowledge that the dominoes would all fall, including the order in which they would fall, coupled with his decision to tip the first in the sequence, constitutes a rough equivalent to omniscience and omnipotence in the world of the dominoes, their individual ability to rearrange their dots notwithstanding.
  7. Ask yourself if it is any individual domino's fault for falling.
At this point, you should have a few perspectives resulting from the Q&A built in to the instructions, which influence what you need to do next.

  • If you, like Da Bomb, still think that the boy is not responsible for the falling of domino #2742 in the sequence (or whichever domino represented you), run the video again, and see if the position of your domino changes, or if it falls at a different time index in the video. Repeat this process until you either accept that the boy is responsible for your domino falling, or you awaken from a coma.
  • If you, like Da Bomb, think each individual domino is responsible for its own fall, run the video again, utilizing every bit of your domino's "free will" by rearranging the dots into every conceivable pattern and number. Repeat this process until you either accept that no action on the part of the domino can forestall its fate, or you awaken from a coma.
Now that the instructions are known and understood, here is the video:

So if there is an omniscient, omnipotent, "first cause" sort of god, then I am as a domino in a long sequence of dominoes, and while I may have the ability to arrange or number the dots on my individual domino, I may not change the fact that I am a domino in a long sequence of dominoes, and I may not halt the process of domino tipping domino. This god's omniscience is represented by his positioning of each individual domino. His omnipotence is represented by his manufacturing of each individual domino. His "first cause" status is represented by his tipping of the first domino.

Who is responsible for any domino's fall?

Ask Da Bomb.

What does "Timelessness" have to do with any of this? Well, obviously it is not pivotal, but if god is eternal, then he existed prior to creation as a singular entity, contentedly alone. It follows from this that god did not have to create, or position and tip the dominoes. Indeed, he may have positioned the dominoes in any configuration, or none at all, or he may not have manufactured a single one. Since the Christian god is alleged to have this property (timelessness) in addition to the three others, his creative act must also be viewed as deliberate, which is where the domino argument becomes the PoE, and disproves the Christian god by way of internal contradiction with respect to the existence of evil and/or the doctrine of a populated hell (of eternal torment).


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recent [Unreported] M.E. Genocide

A recent report, which was kept quiet by Western media outlets, has emerged regarding the destruction of an entire village on the Egyptian side of the Egypt-Israel border. Details are sketchy at best, and this investigator's resources are quite limited, but the village in question seems to have been in the vicinity of the Egyptian city of Kuntila.

The perpetrators of the incident are likewise difficult to identify, for they left behind no witnesses, and the Egyptian media censors are being extremely tight-lipped about the situation. As near as can be told, the entire village, including all its inhabitants -- young and old, male and female -- was decimated in a bloody fracas, scarcely leaving buildings standing. The one Egyptian official who was willing to give an interview (yet who required that he remain completely anonymous) described the scene by saying, "[It was] brutal and savage; even pets and livestock were shot and killed in this slaughter." He went on to speculate on the identity of the responsible party, and on the application of justice.

Of those others who would talk about the catastrophe, there was much fear and angst present in their moods. One female resident of Kuntila said, "We don't know who did this, and we don't know if they'll do it again. We hope that they don't come for our city next." Most of those questioned felt that the event was based on religious values, and that the perpetrators were "misguided savages," in one man's view (although the translator apologized, noting that there is no English translation for the word given as "savages" which quite portrays the profane nature of this curse). That same man, a Kuntila shopkeeper, said that "Allah will find these [pig-fornicators], and visit his vengeance upon them. Killing armed men is one thing, but killing women and children is perverse. If they think they are doing Allah's bidding, they are blind fools."

Until more details emerge, assuming they do, little is expected to be learned from this event, but if the group responsible for this bloody attack seeks to attempt the same on a different township, expect the locals to be armed and prepared, and although we'd never wish for such an event to repeat itself, if it does, we should at the least find more information available, including, perhaps, an official statement from Egyptian officials.

The War on Terror, it seems, is not only far from over, but it seems to be increasing in its ferocity. This genocidal event, even if an isolated incident, can be little more than a harbinger of worse events still -- especially if the agents of terror are convinced that their god had ordered the bloodshed. If they are willing to believe their god wants an entire village wiped out, what greater evils could they seek to perpetrate in their god's name?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fine Tuning: An Argument from Masturbation

A simple glance at the universe will convince an honest observer that yes, the universe is fine-tuned, specifically for the existence of life -- especially human life. For those fools who would deny this exceedingly obvious fact, reason is offered in the form of the "Fine-Tuning Argument."

Please, don't confuse this argument with the Chinese song played at the beginning of any orchestral performance, known as "Tu-Ning." This argument is very different, and is not a song.

The "Fine-Tuning Argument" generally illustrates, through various specious claims regarding the assumed probabilities that various natural constants might have the values we today measure, versus some other arbitrary set of values which we might otherwise see. Additionally, the argument draws from probability itself, typically assigning a vanishingly small number to the likelihood that the universe might unfold in its currently observed form. The argument is compelling only to those who are unfamiliar with mathematics (e.g., those who believe that if
a = b + c, that 1/a = 1/b + 1/c), and, as one may be able to deduce from the opening statements in this post, the argument is superfluous: the universe is obviously fine-tuned. Who needs an argument when we have intuition and obviousness...?

All that being said, it is nonetheless useful to promote a version of the Fine-Tuning Argument, which, for posterity's sake, I shall hereby abbreviate as the Fine-Tuning Argument for the existence of God: the FAG.

The best version of FAG is the argument which recognizes the incredible unlikelihood that any of us might have come to existence, considering the fact that we each -- well, the vast majority of us -- arose from a single sperm. A sperm which, had our fathers been a little more aggressive, or a little less sensitive, may have ended up in a sock, or a tissue, or otherwise spilled on the dusty ground.

In this form, the FAG notes that in any given ejaculation, as few as 200 million sperm are ejected from the penis during a typical ejaculation, and thus, the odds that the individual sperm which defines each of us are vanishingly small, especially when we consider the masturbatory practices of our fathers, or even the ejaculatory frequency he exhibited -- with or without assistance from our mothers. The odds get smaller still when we recognize that the particular configuration of genetic material contained in any given sperm necessary to produce the genetic configuration we see in ourselves is yet again far, far more unlikely. The 1:200 million probability quickly gives way to something like 1:god-must-have-done-it. It's the only way that Dad's propensity to dolphin-flog could've been mitigated!

Clearly, then, if our fathers had jizzed one more time before that final, self-defining spurt, or if "the other man" had gushed more forcefully before our actual father, the sperm which defines us could've ended up as a snack for Mommy. If one is unconvinced by the intuitively obvious evidence surrounding us daily, the FAG (Masturbation) should prove enough to change one's mind. The next time, then, you find yourself enjoying a little quality time alone, think of how your self-gratification is providing further irrefutable evidence of the Fine-Tuning of the universe.

Coming up in a possible future: a discussion on Deductive Ontology Used to Commit Hubris Explicitly -- DOUCHE -- which is sometimes appended as the Bullshit Argument for the existence of God -- DOUCHEBAG. If this possible future obtains, expect the world's largest DOUCHEBAG, Sye TenBruggencate, to be prominently featured, with special attention payed to his inability to read, and his utter failure in his "debate" with Darrin.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Christ Returns... to Delaware. One Raptured.

The disappearance of Steven J. Hastings in late 2008 was understandably not reported in the Newark Post, but it turns out that this humble short-haul trucker was the Christian for whom Jesus returned to earth. Hastings' employer, Old Dominion Freight Lines, considered him a simple no-call/no-show on January 3, 2009, and after a week of no response, they updated his status as "voluntary termination." Repeated messages went unanswered, and the matter was forgotten.

Hastings wasn't actually reported missing until last week, when the manager of his apartment entered his home, in Felton, Delaware, on the assumption that he had vacated without notice. To his surprise, however, everything in Hastings' apartment was exactly as one would have expected if the man was sitting at his breakfast table... well, if he was sitting at his breakfast table four months ago. His television was on, and tuned to KYW, the local CBS affiliate. His cereal (Wheaties) was poured, with milk, and partially consumed -- though quite obviously long since expired. His uniform was lying on a table, and his computer was on, with a partially composed email opened. The apartment manager promptly alerted the authorities, but with no known relatives, little was immediately done, other than a cursory Missing Persons report.

When officials interviewed Hastings' co-workers, few were able to tell much about the man. Hastings drove various regional routes, servicing Old Dominion's Northeast region, but spent little time actually engaged with his peers. The only direct interaction Hastings seemed to have with his fellow drivers was his propensity to proselytize -- several current and former drivers mentioned this annoying quirk, with one, Jon Semperly, describing Hastings' approach as, "dumb and stupid" (emphasis Semperly's).

Further investigation found that Hastings was a member of the Church of God of Prophecy, in Felton, DE, where he practiced an Evangelical form of Christianity. The church teaches that the Bible is the true and literal Word of God, and that on Jesus' return, all true believers will be "raptured" -- they will disappear, taking on a spiritual form, and be whisked away with Jesus to heaven, while the Tribulation begins. Although the official Church of God of Prophecy doctrine remains intentionally ambiguous with respect to eschatology, church members who were familiar with Hastings noted that he was a Pre-tribulational (dispensational) Premillennialist -- a point on which he was quick to debate.

Investigators took note, then, when the bizarre circumstances of his disappearance (which took place at approximately 3pm local time on December 28, 2008, according to the time at which the incomplete email message was initialized), coupled with his evident faith and eschatological convictions, seemed to undeniably point to the Second Coming of Christ as having passed, with Hastings alone being raptured. The only conclusion which can be drawn is that all other religions, including the various extant forms of Christianity, are incorrect on one or more key points. It is unfortunate, authorities say, that Christ's return did not include a detailed orthodoxy, so that the remaining people may yet convert to the appropriate version of Christianity.

For those who take issue with the Return being so obscure, we must realize that Revelation 1:7 has been fulfilled -- all were witness to His return -- but with the apparent lone exception of Steven Hastings, we all suppressed the Truth before us.

The best course of action, then, is for humans across the globe to seek to identify Hastings' specific beliefs, and to emulate them. All we know at present is that he was a member of the Church of God of Prophecy, and that he was a staunch Pre-tribulational (dispensational) Premillennialist. Join the effort to determine the rest of Hastings' beliefs, and with the Grace of God, perhaps we can increase heaven's eventual population.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Nothing to see here, nothing to see.

Maybe later.