I’m sorry to come off strong

Published December 29th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

I’m sorry to come off strong and all but as my school we have believers that follow this. I dont mind in what you believe in for all seriousness BUT the pictures, some are a mockery that you are apperntly trying to put on catholics,jews,lutherians,e.t.c. We dont blast on your religion DONT BLAST ON MINE OR OTHERS! You guys want to be taking serious? well then do it proffessional..

144 Responses to “I’m sorry to come off strong”

  1. bill tomlinson says:

    @perna de pau

    With respect to your relativism objection. Notice that you are saying that people may indeed have different concepts of “good”. But if they are different concepts, why are we using the same word to refer to different concepts. If they are really different concepts, give them different labels. See what I mean?

  2. Jennyanydots says:

    OK, moving on now to look at the next unread bit, starting from chapter 12.
    Para 1 – “in are own ways”
    Para 3 – “which OF our negative character traits”
    Para 5 – “what are moral weaknesses are”
    Para 10 – “if WE knew this was true of us”
    Para 13 – “what are vices actually are”
    Para 15 – “a person might make a commitment to oneself” – him or herself might be better here, to keep the link with “a person”, rather than saying “one might”, which I think would sound too much like the ‘royal we’ here. Also – “consequent” or “consequence(s)”? From your phrasing, I realise it could be a term that’s used to have a precise, technical meaning but I’ve never come across it in that context before – to me it seems more like a synonym for ‘resultant’ and feels as though there should be a word after it. Just ignore me if you know it is technically right.
    Para 16 – stylistic point, but I was always taught you shouldn’t start a sentence with “but” – you can maybe get away with it occasionally for emphasis, but twice in a 4-sentence para could be over-doing it a bit.

  3. Perna de Pau says:

    @ bill tomlinson:
    On right and wrong: rules are, of course, not invented without a reason (at least they should not be). If they are there it is because it was felt that they were “good”. But my point was just that society’ rules seemed to make more sense than God’s laws. There is no reason why one should not also discuss whether God’s laws are right or wrong or to follow them just because they are God’s laws.
    It is interesting to note that the argument “because it is a rule of our society” does not seem convincing, as you say and I agree, while the argument “because it is God’s law” has been accepted by many for thousands of years. Anyway I very much doubt that if you are caught speeding by the police you manage to escape by discussing whether the rule (speed limit) is good or bad.
    On relativism I see what you mean but I still do not agree. People do have different perceptions of what is nice, beautiful, tasty or indeed good. This does not mean that there is no general agreement (it is not because I do not like it that a book, a film or a law is not good). My point was not to pretend that ethics are subjective but that ethics evolve over time and are therefore not absolutely objective.

  4. bill tomlinson says:

    @Perna de Pau
    On your first point. The reason I prefer the reference to ‘God’s law’ is precisely because it is inappropriate within religious tradition to ask if God’s laws’ are right or wrong. Instead, the religious are more likely to say ‘because God says so’. This carries more weight than ‘because society says so’ because everyone knows that societies change what they say.
    I can’t imagine a reasonable defending the ‘rightness’ of an action by saying ‘because society says its right.
    But if you think that it is always appropriate to ask ‘are society’s rules right?’ or ‘are god’s rules right?’ then that suggests that they not are part of the meaning of ‘right’, at least not the fundamental meaning.
    On relativism, just because different people find different things tasty, doesn’t mean that the concept of ‘tasty’ cannot be objectively defined. If it could not be then you would not be communicating anything to me by saying such and such is tasty. The thing about defining ‘tasty’ is you have to do it by referring to a person. There is no such thing as ‘tasty’ without ‘tasty to who’.
    Sometimes I think the difficulty of explaining this has more to do with many not having a formal understanding of what a definition is supposed to be.
    Are you sure it’s ethics that evolves over time or is it instead our concept of ethics that evolves over time? I would suggest the latter. That as time goes by we get clearer understandings of what is right and what is wrong. Not only is slavery not right, it was never right.
    Another consideration. If what is right is what is kind and respectful, are you suggesting that will change?

  5. bill tomlinson says:


    Thanks again. I just haven’t found a way to stop starting with ‘but’ in many cases. I suppose you’ve noticed that I have a lot of them. You are right though 2 ‘but’s close don’t make good reading. I fixed it.
    But, hehe, you may have also noticed that I never begin a sentence with an “and”. And I never will.

  6. Jennyanydots says:

    Been out for a few days and not had chance to read the next bit, but just thought I’d weigh in here on Perna de Pau’s suggestion. When I first read it, I felt very uncomfortable with the suggestion that God’s law was one of the three main requirements for morality, as it seemed to jar with the whole suggestion of the document explaining why atheists can be moral. I agree that once you reach that chapter and explain that it isn’t actually needed at all in the theory it makes sense – you couldn’t have that argument without first setting it up as part of the theory to look at closer but you do have to read quite a bit of this text before you get to a clear explanation as to why you put it in there. As a compromise, might it be worth setting something in place when you first refer to this list to clarify why it’s in there.

  7. Jennyanydots says:

    Got through the next couple of chapters so I’ll leave you something to occupy your time over the weekend! Have a good one.
    Chapter 13
    Para 1 – “can be reduced it to the other two” – no “it”.
    Para 4 – “is that it WOULD be able”.
    Para 5 – insert punctuation of your choice after “possibilities”.
    Para 10 – “This is what is aT stake”.
    Para 12 – “In particular when the question comes up ‘…’” – re-ordering this would make it a better sentence. Try moving “comes up” to after the quote (and the ?) and see if you prefer the way that reads, otherwise it would be worth rewriting it more comprehensively. Also, “by asking ourselves ‘…” – you open the quote but don’t close it again.
    Para 13 – I’m not convinced the opening sentence is as clear as it could be here – it might be worth checking it over to see if you can reword it to make it utterly transparent. The overall theme is understandable (assuming I understood it right, anyway), but I did have to read it very carefully.
    Para 14 – you might want to put a “will” in here too (before “still be interpreted”).

  8. Jennyanydots says:

    Chapter 14
    Para 1 – think “the” may not be needed before the title, unless it’s actually part of the title, in which case it should be formatted to match. Also, you either need to replace the “by” with a comma, or put a comma after the name and then say “HE introduces”.
    After your suggested truth no. 7 (taking this as para 4, but wanted to make sure I identified it clearly as such so you can tie in any later comments to the right place) it should be “jump out at us”, rather than “we”.
    Possibly a few too many instances of starting with “But” again in the rest of this section – you might want to consider them each in turn and see if you can rework any of these to bring it down again. I’d also suggest looking in particular at para 11 to think about clarity of that first sentence. I’d also be interested to see you expand on the parts of our mind affected by religion – is 7 a generally agreed figure, or a number you came up with? In either case, I’d recommending explaining why you say this, and preferably indicate what those bits are, or give somebody a reference to the medical or psychological studies to follow up on this. It’s an interesting concept that I think needs more explanation.
    ‘Are we alone’ – Para 1 – “paying attention to are aloneness” – should be “our”. Also, being picky again, you’ve got a random space in between the end of the sentence and the .
    ‘Does life have no obvious meaning’ – para 2 – “feelings… don’t” or “feeling… doesn’t”.
    Para 4 – either “by Peter Ward”, or “I read Peter Ward’s…” would be better better phrasing. Then “life may BE common”.
    ‘Are we ultimately responsible for our life’ – Para 3 – you need another word, perhaps “became”, before “totally responsible” at the end of this para.
    Para 4 – not sure about the phrasing for “why this freedom…” I think the reader has to make too much of a leap in figuring out what you want to say, which opens it up to misinterpretation.
    ‘Is nothing certain?’ – para 2 – “he IS not being a good person”.
    Para 3 – It’s been a long time since I did statistics, but something doesn’t seem to ring true on the probability thing. Can you find a mathematician able to clarify this – it seems to me that, unless you put a time frame in, the probability must be equal – either the car is there, or it is not. Is probability the right word here, or is chance more apt? I’m waffling here, because I really can’t recall how this is supposed to work but I’d advise checking it out with someone who does understand it.
    ‘No justice, no significance’ – para 2 – “insignificant”, rather than “insignificance”. Also “seem”, not “see”, and you might want to look again at “they should not have added here”.

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