Same Sex Marriage: Slippery Slope or Uphill Battle?

Slippery Slopes
Slippery Slopes (Photo credit: Kevin Saff)

I was one of those kids at the local park that always insisted on walking up the slippery dip (or slip-n-slide) the wrong way. I had a great sense of accomplishment when I negotiated the slippery surface all the way to the top instead of going around the other side and using the ladder. And of course, once I got to the top, I would whoosh back down again with vigour only to repeat it ad nauseam.

In debate and rhetoric a slippery slope is often condemned as a unreasonable form of argument that assumes every small concession or compromise leads to disastrous worst case conclusions. The problem with that condemnation is that it is one of those self defeating or self contradicting rebuttals. Because not all slippery slope arguments are irrational conspiracy nut rants. Some have valid concerns. The challenge is to uncover which. We can’t do that without recognition and ownership of our bias when entering the argument and we can’t do that without giving the time and opportunity to both sides to engage, explain and defend their point.

Such is not the case in the same sex marriage debate in Australia or elsewhere in the West it seems. When someone with conservative, call them traditional or whatever, views on marriage remaining as an exclusive legal covenant between one man and one woman raises their objections they are summarily dismissed as irrelevant, dinosaurs and bigots. *sniff sniff* smells like a slippery slope argument to me… Anyway, when one of the questions asked by the traditionalists opens up the matter of how far do the changes to marriage laws go, they are shouted down for being fear mongers. It is a slippery slope, say they, to suggest that gay marriage will open the door to polygamy, bestiality, incest and pedophilia (however the last 3 are a completely different category & I do not agree they are by any means natural, necessary or by any stretch, logical next steps from gay or polyamourous relationships between consenting adults). We just want our equal human rights, they say.

Whether it be a slippery slope or a daisy chain, can those of you in the ‘LG’ of the ‘LGBT’ community please explain why ‘LG’ (at least those defining marriage as 1:1) have a superior claim to these rights above the ‘BT’ (who may not, potentially, define it as strictly)? Can you do it in a reasonable, civil tone without name calling and unnecessary derision? Demonstrate that the slippery slope is, in this case, a fallacy. If you can put aside your ad hominem taunts against my so-called puritanical, dinosaur-like traditionalism and engage the issue, some clarity may emerge. After all, if we all lined up at the ladder instead of climbing up the slippery slide, everyone would get an equal turn.


20 thoughts on “Same Sex Marriage: Slippery Slope or Uphill Battle?

  1. In asking for my thoughts you made a very clear request for courtesy, I don’t care , but mikebull1 seems to have been up there for two months, Are you surprised then, when most non believers think of religion as hypocritical? Either way, you’re not that ignorant, you must know that there is no philosophical term, slippery slope argument, there is only slippery slope fallacy. Zeno’s paradox to get to the door first I must go halfway, then another half, then another….. but I walk through doors all the time! You must know that this nonsense only came up so that some nasty fundies in the states could go on telly and suggest that gay people wanted to have sex with dogs.
    Besides, it’s a legal argument anyway about the rights of citizens to enter into contracts. Sooner or later it ‘ll get fixed the constitution will insist..
    All my life I’ve watched the Nation’s congregation shrink And I’ve listened while a procession of shrill bigots like Fred Nile and Pell have condemned our society as vile and wicked, I’ve spent my adult life lurching from fight to fight as these pompous fools tried time and again to limit my freedoms by trying to impose thier supposed moroality on me using my democracies legal system. Here’s the thing Albert, during this time, who have been the real moral monsters?
    If people are spiritually fullflled, can you think of anything that would lure them from their church?
    The church is destroying itself, it’s called the ptolemaic fallacy, are we going around the sun or visa versa. I’m sure like me you witnessed, year in, year out a small bunch of gay kids beaten, bullied and victimised all through school. I used to think that it was these the sermon on the mount was addressed to and when I realised the truth I understood. Those gay kids, they went back and faced it down again and and again and on average they all left school with much better marks than their persocutors can you think of any group of believers any where in a positioin to unite under that kind of righteous indignation. Everytime Pell says something as fatuous as being gay’s a choice thousands walk away from the church in disgust. Meanwhile a few dozen catholic priests have used the molestation of children and tainted the respectability of every single other religious persom in the country and most don’t even know
    This campaign focuses some dwindling bigotry for a bit anf the faithful think for a bit now we’re back on track and still nobody looks in the mirror. All of these battles, have already been lost, further the church lost the integrity and honesty it would need to face these flaws years ago. There may be some sort of religious project by the end of the century, but it won’t be much. The funny thing is it will boldly march to the grave spittin venom at Dawkins, Hitcens punk rock and the gays
    Illl leave you with this, “Though shallt not suffer a witch lo live” go and look it up, have a good look at it read around it, see where it tells you how to identify a witch, oh , that’s right it doesn’t. Have a good look Albert, it’s a later inclusion too, isn’t it. Can you think of a more perfect mechanism for generating evil??? To start with, There’s no such thing as witches! But the way that in struction leaps off that page, you can’t not do it, And so that harm will always visit the most vulnerable, so the history of Europe and the Afarica of today proves again and again and agfain

    Tell me your thoughts Albert

    What’s more do it as insultingly as you like.

    1. Thanks James.
      You’ve asked a lot of questions that many Christians and Churches would do well to ask themselves – especially in terms of what it means for them to uphold real justice with a perspective of mercy (i.e. per the Bible in Micah 6:8). I know you didn’t use those terms, that’s just my take from some of your comments. For what it’s worth, those gay kids you mentioned, should have been defended by their Christian mates from the bashings & bullying. The Christians don’t have to endorse gay sexuality to do that, just be decent human beings. I agree with you on that.

      Mike’s comment didn’t really add to the debate. But me deleting or censoring it doesn’t either. Anymore than it would if I did the same to yours.

      I’m not sure I can respond to all of your comments in this context as it is quite a complex discussion. However much there are fundamentalist Christians with their extreme emotive rhetoric there are fundamentalist secularists on the other end of the spectrum. Both aren’t engaging the debate on the level of;
      What are human rights and what role does the state play in defining or better, recognising them?
      What voice do citizens of the state have in this process? i.e. both the secular and religious, as both are citizens who, in a democracy, require representation.
      How do the issues of morality, children, human flourishing factor into these discussions?

      Regardless of your basis for defining morality, how does it stand up to scrutiny?
      Why are the conservative Christians (lets leave the far-right-wing fundamentalists out of it for the moment, shall we!) the ones who have the burden of proof? Why can’t the secularist tolerate the same level of cross-examination of their position?

    2. Hi James

      Hope you don’t mind some brief points from me in response. You make some good points but you base your arguments on some fundamental assumptions, as do we. It boils down to whether it is your worldview that is true or the one in the Bible.

      I won’t change your mind, but you might at least understand Christians a little better.

      – Romans 1 gives us a clear rundown on the process of a “slippery slope.” It begins with people rejecting God and ends with them so blinded by their lusts that they can’t even tell what’s right any more. This goes for straights as well as gays, but the last spin of the barrel before a culture goes over the falls seems to be the legislative protection and even promotion of homosexuality.

      – The only reason we have this debate now is because marriage was basically dismantled forty years ago. So you are correct. Some battles were lost long ago. I’ve written about this from a biblical perspective here:

      – The lobbyists for easy divorce said it would make society better. They were wrong. It has destroyed countless lives and brought poverty. Sexual freedom has turned relationships into a battlefield and given us rampant disease, which is still on the increase. Broken families cost Australia between 3 and 5 billion dollars every year.

      – To assume that same sex marriage will make things better and have no consequences is irrational. We are living off the last moral capital remaining to us from the Reformation. All the great things we enjoy are the direct result of a Christian worldview, not human rationality. Take a look around the world at the results of other religions (including atheism, which resulted in the deaths of over 100 million in the 20th century, and 40 million abortions in America alone since 1972). To call fundies “nasty” is like cutting the rope on the cultural life ring.

      – It’s not gay people who have sex with dogs. But there are most certainly people with other perversions of human sexuality lining up to claim the same rights as gay people. Whether or not this is defined as a slippery slope becomes irrelevant. It’s happening.

      There’s plenty of hypocrisy anywhere you look, including inside the gay lobby.

      This doesn’t excuse anyone, especially Christians. But pointing out sexual abuse in the church doesn’t make sexual perversion outside the church okay.

      – Gay kids get bullied. Christian kids get bullied. Bullying is wrong. But practising homosexuality is also wrong. We don’t see the government taking our taxes to educate other school children on the benefits of Christianity. We see them doing it to promote homosexuality and minimising the terrible personal and social damage it does. There’s a reason gays generally die younger and are prone to more substance abuse, and by and large it’s not bullying or ostracism.

      – The church isn’t dying. It is in fact booming around the world, particularly in the global south. It is western culture that is dying. We have been through the three steps outlined in Romans 1 (notice that Romans 2 rips into religious hypocrites with a vengeance as well). Our spiritual sickness led to demographic decline and now economic failure. There’s a brilliant book on the relationship of faith to fertility I can recommend if you are interested:

      – One organisation took some stats last year and found there are 300 less atheists in the world every day. This is partly due to conversion, but also because atheists have far less children. It’s the atheists and gays doing the spitting, in God’s eye. What’s interesting is the only reason modern atheism is so eloquent is our literary culture, which is a direct result of Christianity over the centuries (the Reformers began literacy classes so people could read the Bible). So Dawkins, and you, can only slap God in the face because you are sitting in His lap.

      – God Himself isn’t anything like Christians who give way, out of frustration, to hatred. But God certainly hates sins and if any culture gives itself over to perversion, He will deal with it — especially cultures like ours that should know better. Read what Jesus said to the religious crowd in Matthew 23-25.

      (His words were fulfilled one generation later: )

      He never spoke to sinners in that way. He offered forgiveness and then died for them. But He never told them their sin was okay. He warned them that if they didn’t repent they would be destroyed. He came to rescue us — including the hyprocrites.

      – Finally, we can set ourselves up as judges over the Law of Moses, such as the command to execute sorcerers. But if we had not relaxed the laws concerning marriage, for instance, we would not be facing the family breakdown, sexual confusion, disease, mental health problems and rise in suicide that we are facing now. Moses’ law (which was for Israel as a church-state) was to demonstrate God’s perfect justice. Jesus came to demonstrate His love and His mercy.

      – Plenty of people have turned from homosexuality, just as plenty recover from alcoholism or leave promiscuity behind them. It’s just another sin on the list of human brokenness. God isn’t going to judge gays any more harshly than straights, but the public acceptance of homosexual behaviour historically has been the indicator of the end of a culture. This, combined with low birth rates and infanticide, is God “cutting off our generations.” No children means no cultural future, a spiritual, demographic, economic disaster.

      – I hope you can understand why Christians are as passionate about this as you, and also the logical process behind it. We do base our thinking on the Bible, which although it is being scapegoated as the source of injustice, is actually the only hope we have for cultural renewal.

      With respect,
      Mike Bull

      1. From the place in the universe that is located just behind my eyes there is a perspective that seems to be explained and understood in a certain way. For a while I though that because it worked so well for me, I should share it. There is a place along the road to atheism where you’ve got to pull over and throw away some baggage. At the time, I took my instruction from the wilderness, and handed my infinite bliss to satan and sent him packing, I’ve never missed it and it was never anything I was interested in any way. The other bag is much harder to surrender. Even as a teenager Id acquired the endless narrative of horror that still awaits that justice. But, it wasn’t my horror, it was intellectual, and was handled philosophically. After that I would find myself on that roadside helping someone lose their luggage and every now and then they’d go back one bag clutched to their chest. One day I found out what my horror tasted like. it’s always amused me that evangelicals think infinite bliss is a real sales pitch. The genius of the beatitudes is that the thirst for justice is unquenchable. Eventually, I realised that some of the most important and instructional ideas behind my eyes were so effective there, because that was where they belonged. I’ve also learnt that ideas that can fill me with horror, in other people, seem to bring forth amazing things.
        The only conclusion I’ve been able to draw is that the view from behind those other eyes must be very different.
        Mike, if you and I are to find ourselves in a wilderness as the sun sets to a point there is a worthwhile argument, that the wolves won’t attack from the light that we concentrate our watch for danger in the same direction. At some time, though we are better off agreeing to the difference, stand back to back and from our different points of view concentrating on getting us home safely.
        Thanks for the trouble you went to. Although we are in conflict on some points, it doesn’t matter to me. Whether gay marriage is codified or not is a function of time alone. I will answer any specific questions you may have, I have no particular urge to argue them.
        There is a reason the conversation is taking place in Sydney. The Gold Coast’s theological/philosophical debate is exactly what you would expect from a city whose great cultural icons are called “world”. When I was a kid there were a few old guys around, but by the time I met them the only depression they’d talk about was on the other side of the next sandbar and contained fish.
        There are a few congregations that might be thought of as traditionally australian, but they struggle, and the couple I have some personal experience of seem to have an almost incomprehensible talent to use pastoral care as a weapon.
        There is an image of The Coast as being somewhat like Hollywood, dragging the naive and talented in from the nation and then returning them debauched and looking for smack.It’s not true of course, we have no real film or music industry.So we don’t get the naive and talented, which brings me to our evangelical community. While I struggle to see the global evangelical project as being anything other than a comedy written for my benefit, When I tell you the southern hemisphere office for Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar are local I hope you will let me keep my use of nasty.
        On a shelf, the bible is just another book, and so I don’t blame it for anything. Indeed, your God and the note left on the desk where mine used to be the say same thing, something like You lot look after the shop, you are responsible.
        For the bible to kill someone, even one of those real big ones first someone has to pick it up. Atheism is exactly the same except that it’s not even really a complete idea. To call my community atheist is in some very important ways to miss the point. It’s not even a real answer to the one question it’s offered in answer to. Largely because of the way the American operates it’s become this amazing thing. The American Evangelical community have a very bipolar world view and have spent the last twenty years applying the label wildly and defining themselves as the cure. That the way the term is being used at the moment has stepped beyond the ridiculous is contained right here;”Atheism in the 20th century has killed more people than. . . .”
        Of course you know you are in big trouble when the main function of a sentence is to hide information rather than provide it. It’s the same fallacy that many Atheists always make me cringe, which is to find one horrible story and on that strength declare the whole bible evil.
        Atheism was one of the big ideas in play on the killing fields of the twentieth century certainly. Stalin declared it the state religion in an effort to destroy the power of the orthodox church. How did that atheism cause the economic killing fields of the five year plans, and how does that also inspire anti-semitism and Auschwitz. While he claimed to be catholic and also described the final solution was doing god’;s work, and I agree, I don’t think he believed either. In fact the tragedy of all this nonsense is that our Grandfather’s offered their lives to free us of the tyranny that always seems to happen shortly after somebody declares they have all the ideas we’ll need and so we only need listen to him.The funny thing is to apply the label atheist to me is to find out very little indeed.
        So if somebody thinks the most important thing to be gained from speaking to me is to tell me i’m an atheist, then the next thing I’m about to learn is very strange indeed.
        There are parts of the bible I love, one of the things most believers find difficult to believe is that on average we know it 20% better than they do.(I don’t ask you to believe me, google it). The thing we find most difficult to believe is what they think we believe.
        To clarify, Atheism is only the place holder response to the question do you believe in god. The actual answer will usually be something like what do you mean by god? If you want to know what an atheist thinks you’ll need some more terms and to ask some questions.It’s always good to remember that our interests are very rarely served by painting each other in the issues of another nation the forces at play in the American political arena are as dangerous and polarising as the President’s skin colour tells you it should be. In America there is also a demographic feature that means the atheist population is represented in the Democratic party and upper end socio economic. They use it as propaganda. The fallacy is that the artifact is geographical. The south is poor and neglected, which is the anger driving the religious right, and as the cycle feeds itself both sides of the debate myre themselves in their own self interest.
        The moment any community forgets that your neighbours kids are more important to you than anything else except yours, trouble is on it’s way.
        The main political force at play here is exactly the opposite, we are all sitting in the middle refusing to agree with either party. When I see political venom at play overseas, I think of 1974 and smile. Standing on the Abyss of constitutional crisis we didn’t start a civil war.To us that seems ridiculous, a civil war??>? but read a newspaper, every else in the world the day after crisis, it says civil war, we didn’t even riot. Look at Serbia, or Syria.or anywhere really. My promise to my fellow citizens is That you and your kids are ok will always be the most important idea I have.
        One of my favourite questions to ask, because it can tell you alot, though it rarely does, is to ask, What is your favourite part of The Bible? The Beatitudes, Samaritan, prodigal son and we’re on the same page.Tantrums in the temple, fat guys in needles aaaaaaand lads get out of the way of the kids and we probably vote the same. The crucifiction, forgiveness etc wil be an interesting conversation but I will struggle to understand the only miracle I ever get is over a drink. I’ve only encountered genesis once in Australia by a poor broken guy who wasn’t having a good time at all. You see genesis on youtube of course, but I have no idea what that says about them and that’s about 20% of my answers the other 80 % is all the same answer. I’ve tried over the years to modify the question to eliminate it I’ve tried, that doesn’t insult me, not to convert me, really reached out to you when you needed it, I’ve even tried after you’ve told me and I’m doomed to hell. The sad truth is that the most important thing my nation’s christian community have to tell me is that i’m a fool, and going to burn. I always laugh when proven with a capital Truth, but delivered with the full TRUTH, the only thing keeping my confession behind my lips is how much i’m wallowing in my sin…So here’s some stuff I do know about Christians about 80% are about one question away from a little humiliation and if we happen to be in public and your evangilising in nearly a quarter of cases you’ll be crying, often when it occurs with the regular mob in The Queen Street mall it’ll be me that talks you into getting back up to speak. No matter what ideology is in play from Islam to Atheism to Cold Chisel Fans The two pointers to danger are certainty and superiortity, and if we’re ever engaged in conflict the crucible is there. The other factor that makes me nervous because in theses cases superiority and certainty are always in play is isolationism. If the only thing people need to know about me is that nobody has convinced me about god.
        You don’t get the easy question yours is a little harder. When you answer you should remember Though, when you’ve said it’s about angry guys in the desert who hate women more than the tribe of Moses you’ve got the Koran covered as much as I prefer the bible it carries no more authority.
        Question 1. To people like me who live on the vulnerable side of angry people with TRUTH, phrases like “cultural renewal” always make us very nervous.If it was on a banner below Newtown Single mum’s, we’ll probably take a stall. But if it’s more an excited stompy thing with nasty stories about families with funny names, I’d want to ask if you’re absolutely certain that The trying to get along together has failed. I know there are lot’s of youtube videos that have the full ABSOLUTE UNDENIABLE TRUTH!!!! as impressive as that may be if we want to talk about our nation’s accelerating spiral into the abyss we should start with some numbers from The Australian Bureau of Statistics after all we’re already paying for them.
        and Further let’s test your offer of respect. if we’re going to make a go of this Newtown project, I agree and insist on The Bible being central to the project, I spoke to the IMAM he’s got the girls in black linen bags organised to do a karaoke show and I’;ve got The serious lesbians in overalls poetry group coming down from the uni to do their crying in spring spoken word.
        How can we make them all feel welcome ? If you think I’m being frivolous, I should tell you that one of my favourite stories involves everyone sitting down for a fish picnic together, and the punchline is that nobody went hungry.,

      2. Brushing my teeth I remembered another favourite bible response from years ago at The Salvo’s Kitchen in The Valley. They always had a couple of white collar crims doing community service for fraud who were a bit too fragile for boggo road I’d asked the major her favourie passage from the bible, she whacked this community service guy between the shoulders and as he sprawled through the door to the store room and a plie of those red bread trays, she shouts rich fat guys and needles!

      3. [links removed]

        Mike, This is not about the gay issue. Whatever it is you want to say, just say it without the words slippery slope, because it makes you look like a [removed]. Please go and have a look.

      4. Just to clarify the issue over slippery slopes
        this is how my community treats those who get it wrong

        [links removed]

        Whatever she’s talking about in the slope video, she’s blown it it’s a first order face palm,
        you can be pretty sure that there are some nasty edit’s of that video coming soon
        . And i would feel much better if my friends were elsewhere.

      5. James,
        Feel free to post your stuff on your own blog. Thus [links removed].
        You haven’t answered any of the questions. Most of what you’ve posted so far is, at best, off topic rants. Mike’s video advances the argument because it explains direct and immediate consequences of the legal changes.
        The potential legal precedents have a trajectory and the arguments of those in favour of introducing changes to the marriage act have not addressed the concerns raised about that trajectory.
        That aside, the inevitable or otherwise or non-existant trajectory, of the argument isn’t really an issue. It is a question of perspective and authority. The Christian, yes perhaps at times naively, takes the perspective that God has revealed himself in scripture and in Jesus and has authority as creator over his creation. That’s the basic theistic presupposition.
        Outside of that, deist, agnostic, atheist or otherwise your presupposition is what?
        Citing random instances of inconsistency only shows more inconsistency that is being used as a lame excuse to dismiss and reject God as revealed in scripture.

        There are many others, surpassing myself and Mike by proverbial light years in how extensively they have thought through these things that you might like to check out. Unless you’re avoiding them for what you see as soft targets in the likes of myself. If that’s the case, you’re not honestly engaging the debate.
        Tim Keller is a low level starting point. But there are others.

        In the mean time, feel free to keep responding. But there’s a time limit (via WordPress) on how long the comments remain open on each post. If the rants and name calling continue though, I’ll close it.

      6. My intentionsa were as stated, no ill will intended.
        Look after yourselves.

  2. I dunno, but I wouldn’t get these idiots to install a home theatre system. They’d get the cabling all wrong.

  3. I believe that while our society is trying so hard to be fair to everyone… seems it is losing sight of the very morals on which our society is founded – I believe it is indeed a slippery slope!

    1. “The morals on which our society is founded”
      Do you think so? Really?
      It’s not a big deal for me, When I get called forth I have a long list of his crimes ready to go.
      I shall judge and condemn god for his evil

      Here’s the thing, you know how needy he is love me, worship me
      How are you going to explain that you haven’t read his book?
      Potty darling, just go and bone up on a bit of Deutoronomy and Kings..

      How’d you go? That Lot he really knows how to treat a daughter. what’s your favourite, the gang rape or the incest?.Noiw the thing that still lifts me up is that he’s so moral! Angels come and visit him
      How dare you pass your self righteous judgement on others. What does Jesus think? O h that’s right you don’;t even know what’s in it How about some John; Let he amongst you who is without… what Potty? What should we be without before we Judge?”? That’s right, Sin

      So now, what kind of person pretends to be religious, and then uses that to cause hurt for people she doesn’t even know? Yes, that’s right, such a person would be a bigot, Im so glad we don’t have people like that in our country, hey Potty

      1. I think it’s best (my blog, my rules!) that you avoid transference of guilt by association with any of the other commenters.

        Also, if you want to engage a Christian on how the Bible is interpreted, then I would suggest you read up a little and understand how they do that and not assume what their process is.
        As a particular example from some of the things you mentioned here, the Bible, as literature, mentions numerous activities and events in a descriptive, not prescriptive way, especially in the narrative portions of the Old Testament. Many of the actions are reported and summarised without comment, either condoning or condemning the action. Just as a newspaper or TV news reporting a murder isn’t condoning the action, simply relating an event that happened. Lot is never described as moral. The Angels visiting him did not condone or portray that at all. I suggest, that if you have misread that account, there might be other portions of the Bible you have similarly misread. Perhaps asking questions a little more patiently and calmly without emotive invective would help further the debate. Responses like this only close down the debate as many conservative Christians will simply write you off as, yet another angry, irrational, anti-theist.

      2. Albert, cut me, don’t cut me. You asked me a question, I answered it. In terms of human rights etc it’s all over, the idea of a priori respect for a faith or claim is lost.What if the recent LBGT debate was never conducted with a strategy to convince, What if a group within the community had offered the churches a chance to let bygones be gone and a chance to commit to that respect by swallowing some pride and graciously share the term.the chance lost because some thought there was an argument that could win.
        I know all the traditional arguments, but I choose not to play. If there are 1.3 billion christians then there are probably 600 million interpretations. The rest not having read it. Every new reader is a new schism in the church. Which is just another problem for the church. To most of the general public, they can’t even see what it supposed to be about.
        Here’s part of my ethical code,
        Respect the person and property of others
        Treat as treated
        I will always choose the disadvantaged side in conflict
        I shall resist and not respect all arguments from authority
        In as much as I am able, I will hold all authority
        respect and disdain are earned

        In the case of ill considered disrespect, I will always act as I did in Potty case. You’re a smart guy, and you know the wellspring of malice generated by ignorance, that if stemmed, would almost solve rural youth suicide. So, though I’m unable to offer a compromise for my tongue.this is your garden, The problem of censorship is yours. From the previous issue I know you understand that censorship always cuts both ways, and often unexpectedly., What right any one to ask more..

        In debate, any thing biblical is only ever illustrative, and chosen because of anticipated familiarity. I don’t offer, and hence shall never ask for recognition of any authority. I do enjoy a strictly formal debate but only observing strict scientific materialism, otherwise you just end up stuck in some strupid orbit around one end of Kalam

        So if what you’re looking at seems to be just a nasty little jab aimed to undermine the conceit of ignorance then that’s all it is. If you were expecting a higher tone, good you’ve always had it. I concede the malice, but you must admit it’s nicely placed.

        So independant of any theological consideration, I’d like to know your thoughts on the witch mechanism, along the lines I was talking aboutr

  4. To be clear, I’m not saying I agree there is a slippery slope, I’m asking for the argument to be engaged and responded to in a courteous manner.

    1. It just occured to me, I’m probably being obtuse. We can move in off the patio if you prefer, just go directly to my email

      1. Happy to keep it in the open, as others, whilst not engaging, are following the conversation.
        If you’re in/near Sydney, I’d be happy to chat in person over a coffee or whatever.

        As for your last question prior to this one (can’t extend that thread any deeper due to WordPress limitations), one of my big things is that no thoughts or opinions (of anyone, theist, non-theist, anti-theist or any combination or variation of the 3) are independent of theological considerations. I’m prepared to admit to my bias. Everyone has a bias, pretending not to, or that somehow a particular bias is more honorary than others, is, what was that term you used in an earlier comment… hypocritical and I would add unproductive and unhelpful to any conversation.

        Anyway – my offer of a face to face chat is open. I think dialogue is important and online, blogs, email etc can help with timing and follow up, plus there’s always the appeal of copy and paste to the trickier questions šŸ˜‰ but real discussion is best in person.

      2. If you’ve seen the star trek prequal that may help pull all the bits together.
        The vision for the future I painted last night is not going to happen but is happening now. Our experience of life in retrospect often appears as a series changeless oases connected by unremembered corridors of change but such regular memories seem to be an artifact of the process. In the living, the process is one bewildering waves of change constantly hiding and sinking our goals. That’s in a good year.
        Many in the secular community carry on about how religion won’t adapt to inevitable change and there may be some truth in that, I don’t think we’re any different. Western society does have a mechanism for adapting to change and I must admit that it’s record is 100%. I’ve come to think that maybe there’s a method that doesn’t involve setting fire to all of Europe. Even if we could organise it, I doubt the Jews would come again
        So yes, it’s about a book, a book about change.
        There have been a few attempts to investigate the field in the past, the theistic school see no problem, the atheistic school seem to find no solution for people.. The book needs to be a collabaration to be worth it. Left to you it won’t have the teeth and left to me would be much much worse. My initial though was for someone more like me, a better fit. When I saw the footage of Jay Baker stand up in front of his black congregation and say next week we’re lbgt. that model collapsed..
        I got pretty disallusioned during the gay marriage debacle and had left it fr a while, when the muslim community took control of themselves during the last set of riots, Since then, I’ve read bits of your stuff and been thinking about it again. There is no point in the project done by halves.
        I also suspect that there will be a few long dark nights of the soul for you, I also think it would be dishonest to suggest that the worst of these won’t be yours. We would need a code, because we may need a fairly robust debate. If we can’t man up to some ugly issues, there’;s no decent book. As you can see, there’s no book if you dall out with Jesus

        If you’re not interested, I understand, I’m disappointed, it’s been a bit of a challenge finding the right sort of protagonist so I was going to suggest an initial casual warm up.

        I’m going to visit my brother for a couple weeks at the end of november.

        So a few weeks via the webs. I’m on The Gold Coast. I’ll introduce you to some things I’ve been thinking about,get to know each other a bit better, and when I get back if it seems worth persuing I’ll come down for a weekend or something


      3. Sorry. You’ve lost me a little.
        This seems like it was either meant for another person or that there’s a portion of the reply missing from the beginning?

      4. I must have . In the recentish Trek movie one of the central themes was how the divergent perspectives of Spock and Kirk when applied to a problem etc etc Synergy the point anyway soz half asleep.

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