Is “Tebowing” an attack on Christianity?

posted at 7:00 pm on December 4, 2011 by Howard Portnoy

The question that forms the title of this post has been getting a good bit of play in conservative circles of late. It was hinted at in a segment of FOX and Friends on Friday that featured NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. And it is the main focus of a column by National Review Online news editor Daniel Foster that appeared on Saturday.

“Tebowing,” should the term be unfamiliar, takes its name from another quarterback, current Denver Broncos play caller Tim Tebow. More specifically, the term designates the now-viral mockery of his habit of kneeling down and bowing his head after a touchdown to commune with his God.

As Foster writes with more than a hint of indignation, Tebowing his become an Internet phenomenon, with its own website, a Twitter account, and most recently a YouTube video titled “Tebowing for Dummies.” At such sites, Foster continues:

[Y]ou can see an act of communion with one’s creator rendered as a bit of pop-cultural ephemera, [complete with] pictures of folks striking the pose everywhere from Oxford to Istanbul, with that muddle of irony and enthusiasm that has become my generation’s trademark.

Foster’s obvious pique at these send-ups derives in part from the fact of Tebow’s wholesomeness (he is in Foster’s words “squeaky clean, in a sport that notoriously is not”). Wherein, Foster insists, lies the origins of Tebowing. It is, in short, “the power of Tebow’s evangelical-Christian faith, and the earnestness with which he professes it [that] seems to annoy so many people.”

I’m going to have toss out my red challenge flag here. Foster may be right that for some people, the problem isn’t Tebow’s religiosity but the fact that professional sports are “so filled with clichéd Jesus praise that” fans doubt his sincerity. But I submit that for many who prefer to spend their Sundays watching the exquisite choreography of a perfectly executed screen pass, the problem is Tebow’s self-absorption.

Tebow is free to give “mad respect” to his lord, but I’d rather he do it on his own time. A number of players cross themselves on every play, but they do it discreetly — and expeditiously. Tebow’s prayer timeouts, by contrast, are as gratuitously in-your-face as the most flagrant end zone dance. And they last as long. Yet, according to his supporters, all of footballdom is supposed to give him a pass because his purpose is holy. Isn’t that what churches are for?

Another, subtler, ingredient in the widespread antipathy toward Tebow is that he is an anomaly. His success as an NFL quarterback (he is 4 and 1 since replacing Kyle Orton at the helm of the Broncos offense) doesn’t make sense to diehard football fans. His passing numbers — he has a 45% completion rate — are awful. His team is winning through a combination of razzle-dazzle and offensive schemes that haven’t been used by college, let alone NFL, coaches in two decades.

I am predicting that “this too shall pass” (to cite a proverb that Tebow should appreciate because of its religious roots). Sooner or later all 31 remaining teams in the league will develop defensive strategies to counter Denver’s pre-Knute Rockne offense, and Tebow — and Tebowing — will be gone.

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Seem’s pretty cut and dry to me.

SauerKraut537 on December 6, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The part that says ‘separation of church and state.’ You know, the part in invisible ink that only SauerKraut and the ACLU can read.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:11 PM

SauerKraut537 on December 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Your example is not an establishment of religion and an incorrect reading of the Establishment Clause.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Your example is not an establishment of religion and an incorrect reading of the Establishment Clause.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

If you get bored, you can go to this link and see some of SauerKraut’s fantastic arguments about the Establishment Clause and the founding of our country.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/18/aclu-still-managing-to-find-and-object-to-displays-of-the-ten-commandments/comment-page-4/#comments

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:19 PM

So Jains have a single point of intersection with your run-of-the-mill agnostic. That’s about it, though.

When atheists dream of their world with no Gods, they certainly aren’t dreaming of a world filled with Jains.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Not believing in a creator/ruler god of the universe would seem to be more than simply a single point of intersection, wouldn’t you say?

In any case, I’m not sure I got your original point. I thought you might be saying that a belief in a creator/ruler god was a necessary foundation for morality. Is that what you meant? Or was it something else?

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I still can’t believe that you need ME to tell you why genocide is immoral. What’s wrong with you? Only sociopaths don’t know why genocide is immoral. You must be a sociopath.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

No, we’ve established that people who make laws against murder and then don’t obey them – like the God of the Bible – are sociopaths.

So tell us why we should derive morality from that document.

Anytime, blink.

Stop dragging you feet.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:28 PM

You know it’s wrong, but you don’t know why.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Ha ha ha

Yes we do.

Do you?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:29 PM

It’s clear that you don’t know what a sociopath is.

I was being charitable by not calling your God a psychopath, but that’s what you appear to want, so psychopathic murdering lawgiver it is.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re under no obligation to derive morality from “that document.”

blink on December 6, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Don’t play coy, coward.

Tell us from where we’re obligated to derive our morality. Clearly, you must know.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

In any case, I’m not sure I got your original point. I thought you might be saying that a belief in a creator/ruler god was a necessary foundation for morality. Is that what you meant? Or was it something else?

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I don’t think that people need a belief in a creator God to be moral, nor do I think that being religious or spiritual will automatically make someone more moral than someone who is irreligious.

However, you see a lot of Atheists talking about how bad religion is, how it makes people dumber, how it encourages barbarism, etc. I don’t think that irreligious types give religion a fair shake.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I was being charitable by not calling your God a psychopath, but that’s what you appear to want, so psychopathic murdering lawgiver it is.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Once again, God can’t murder anybody.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:39 PM

You’ve never even tried to answer the question.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I did, actually.

You didn’t like it, and then you moved onto something else without answering any questions thrown your way.

Without offering your brilliant definitions of morality.

Are you going to do that, by any chance?

Or are you just wandering in circles marveling at your reflection?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Once again, God can’t murder anybody.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:39 PM

The victims of Noah’s flood beg to differ.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:40 PM

The victims of Noah’s flood beg to differ.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Words have meanings, Good Lt. Even atheists and religious types can agree on that, can’t we?

So please, even if you can’t respect God, respect our shared language, and use it correctly.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Words have meanings, Good Lt. Even atheists and religious types can agree on that, can’t we?

So please, even if you can’t respect God, respect our shared language, and use it correctly.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM

God murdered lots of people in the flood.

Actions speak louder than words.

You didn’t actually. You never addressed genocide.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Neither did you.

We’re even.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:50 PM

As far as I’m concerned, you’re under no obligation at all to derive any sense of morality at all.

Tell us why genocide is immoral, and why.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:54 PM

You atheists are all alike – always trying to force others to comply with what YOU believe is right and wrong.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 3:52 PM

I wouldn’t say that they are all alike. But GL’s and SK’s capability to argue is pretty standard issue.

Axeman on December 6, 2011 at 3:57 PM

And for the record, I’ve never attempted to impose any sense of morality on you.

Unlike you, who has attempted to impose his sense of morality on others in this thread.

Unlike you, who has attempted to impose his sense of morality on others in this thread.

And for the record, I’ve never attempted to impose any sense of morality on you.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 4:00 PM

I wouldn’t say that they are all alike. But GL’s and SK’s capability to argue is pretty standard issue.

Axeman on December 6, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Tell us why genocide is immoral.

Then tell blink. He’s confused.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Theophobes tirelessly slogging on…

Akzed on December 6, 2011 at 4:05 PM

God murdered lots of people in the flood.

Actions speak louder than words.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Why do you hate the English language, Good Lt?

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Tell us why genocide is immoral.

Then tell blink. He’s confused.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Look Sniper, the theist theory of value is of no use to you. You only want a theory for a world that neither you or I live in. So your demands upon theistic morality is entirely irrelevant for morality in this world. God’s a big booger because he allows bad things to happen and you live in the world you do, end of story.

Meanwhile, your atheistic fumblings at morality–or argument–are of no value to me. The effect of atheism on human morality is a net negative. No question.

Axeman on December 6, 2011 at 4:15 PM

So you can’t answer either.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM

So you can’t answer either.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Nothing that you could follow.

Axeman on December 6, 2011 at 4:38 PM

I hereby declare Good Lt winner of the debate!

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Do you define winning as imposing one’s moral standard on others??

blink on December 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM

No, of course not. Don’t be a sore loser blink blink.

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Nothing that you could follow.

So no.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 5:50 PM

It seems as if you do. That’s the only rational explanation for your comment.

Don’t be a sore loser blink blink.

Ha! I objectively won this debate – with help from sauerkraut.

I will admit that I’m not a gracious winner – one could say a sore winner.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Dude, you lost. Let it go.

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Are you able to make this claim via anything other than low powered, dim witted comments???

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:00 PM

No. Your low-powered dim-witted comments were key.

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Are you able to make this claim via anything other than low powered, dim witted comments???

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Dude. You lost.

Let it go.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:09 PM

I’m not like Good Lt. I don’t impose my moral standards on others.

LOL

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:10 PM

For those keeping track, I’m living rent-free in blink’s head imposing my “atheist morality” on him.

Pray for him.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:11 PM

For those keeping track, I’m living rent-free in blink’s head imposing my “atheist morality” on him.

Pray for him.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Trolling religion topics = living rent-free in people’s heads.

Good Lt. not only defines his own personal objective morality, he also grafts his own meaning onto words and phrases. He’s almost acting like….well, God. :)

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Dude, you lost. Let it go.

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 5:58 PM

If you couldn’t follow my original point (which I thought was fairly obvious), and if you honestly think that Jains and agnostics have a lot in common, then you’re not really qualified to judge a winner or loser in this debate.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …

Every “believer” in the world is living rent-free in your head.

You lose, again!

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Whoa.

Time to get some help, bud.

Seriously.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

You lose, again!

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Good Lt. doesn’t actually know what my religious beliefs are, but he’s 100% sure they’re incorrect.

How very ‘intellectual’ of him.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

So you can’t answer either.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Rich. You’re busting on someone for not being able to answer a question?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM

If you couldn’t follow my original point (which I thought was fairly obvious), and if you honestly think that Jains and agnostics have a lot in common, then you’re not really qualified to judge a winner or loser in this debate.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Thank you, hyper-qualifed debate moderator.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Quite the crusade.

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Good Lt. doesn’t actually know what my religious beliefs are, but he’s 100% sure they’re incorrect.

Nor do I care.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Quite the crusade.

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

I’m not alone here. Did you notice?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Whoa.

Time to get some help, bud.

Seriously.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

A perfect execution of Rule #2 of the 12 Rules of Flaming.

Even the Soviet judges had to give that one a 10.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

A perfect execution of Rule #2 of the 12 Rules of Flaming.

Even the Soviet judges had to give that one a 10.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Stop enabling his mental illness.

He needs help.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

I’m not alone here. Did you notice?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Don Quixote lugging around Sancho Panza didn’t turn those windmills into giants, Good Lt.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Stop enabling his mental illness.

He needs help.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Shift to another flaming tactic, Good Lt. Overplaying Rule #2 is just hacky.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Don Quixote lugging around Sancho Panza didn’t turn those windmills into giants, Good Lt.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Fascinating.

My point to hawkdriver – that there are at least as many crusaders crusading against me remaining here (more, actually) – remains.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Comedy Gold!

Let me know when you get tired of “believers” living rent-free in your head.

And you should discontinue your disgusting practice of pushing your morals on others on here.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Troll harder.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Nor do I care.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Ah, yes, that’s how intellectual people debate.

“I don’t care what you believe, I just know it’s wrong.”

What would the Great Lord Science say about such blatant intellectual incuriosity, Good Lt? Say 12 “Hail Dawkins” and get back to me in the morning.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Good Lt you have been ranting for three days. Talk about a mental illness and you yourself needs help. I am sure that you still fall under your parents’ health plan . Good luck. You’re truly pathetic.

CW on December 6, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Why do you hate the English language, Good Lt?

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Why do you hate the people God murdered in the flood?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:35 PM

If you couldn’t follow my original point (which I thought was fairly obvious), and if you honestly think that Jains and agnostics have a lot in common, then you’re not really qualified to judge a winner or loser in this debate.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM

So Jains aren’t agnostics now? Perhaps you should reveal your definition of ‘agnostic’. Otherwise it’s hard to tell if you actually had any original point at all.

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 6:36 PM

So, you don’t stop at forcing your moral standard on others.

You also diagnose mental illness on here.

Big bravado – little brain. I wish I had never thought that you were any type of Lt.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Yes, that’s nice.

Troll harder.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Yes, Good Lt, everyone’s against you despite the fact that you’re the one attempting to impose your moral standard on others. Project much?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Keep trolling, troll.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:38 PM

My point to hawkdriver – that there are at least as many crusaders crusading against me remaining here (more, actually) – remains.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

But how could you possibly be on a crusade, Good Lt?

You’re just a “Not Stamp Collector,” so clearly, why would you fight the good fight to get people to stop collecting stamps?

I’m a “Not Hockey Fan.” You know how much time I spend daily thinking about/arguing about hockey? 0. It’s a complete non-factor in my life.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Is this what your argument has been reduced to?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Why don’t you let the poster to whom it was directed answer, troll?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Best thread since Sarah announced she’s not in the race, and I’m still on mod/ queue.

Wimper . . . . . . . whine . . . . . . . sulk . . .

listens2glenn on December 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Ha! You’re calling me a troll?

Yup.

You must be desperate to try this since you know that the Hot Air community knows that I’m not a troll.

Whatever you say, champ.

Are you out of intellectual gas?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM

You call your trolling ‘intellectual?’

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I’m not alone here. Did you notice?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 6:50 PM

There you go again. Attempting to impose your standards on others.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Is your handle “Good Solid B-Plus,” troll?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I like Tebow.

ReformedAndDangerous on December 6, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Stick a fork in you. You’re done. You’ve been reduced to blathering idiocy while barking out orders.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:49 PM

And yet here you are, troll.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I’m not alone here. Did you notice?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I understand Christians coming back to defend thier faith. But like I told you before your, going on three day, rant against them is cruiously strange.

A crusade.

Do you know the Facebook site Black Squirrel?

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Stick a fork in you. You’re done. You’ve been reduced to blathering idiocy while barking out orders.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Heh.

Perceptron on December 6, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I understand Christians coming back to defend thier faith. But like I told you before your, going on three day, rant

It’s a debate, not a rant. They respond, I respond back, etc.

A crusade.

An argument.

Do you know the Facebook site Black Squirrel?

I don’t. Is it awesome?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Yes, because I’m not going to allow you to impose YOUR blogging standards on me any more than I’m going to allow you to impose YOUR moral standards on me – despite your best attempts at doing so in this thread.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Told you I’m living in your head, troll.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Why are you trying to impose your standards on me? Just because YOU don’t think someone should answer for someone else doesn’t mean that EVERYONE has to think that, too.

You’re obviously overly conditioned to imposing your moral standards on others, and this is causing you to aggressively impose your blogging standards on others, too.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Dance, raggity man.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 6:58 PM

I hate it when I’m late to a party… so hard to catch up on the conversations.

Let me point out where I sit before mentioning where I stand. If someone had to shoehorn me into a box, “agnostic” would probably be the closest. There’s a big component of Bayesian processing thrown in.

To the author’s original point, as I take it. I suspect that there’s a strong mis-reading of Tim Tebow’s intent when he points skyward, and when he kneels on the sidelines from time to time. I heard a radio interview with him which pointed out a valuable distinction that I think the author missed.

Tebow’s intent is most definitely NOT to draw attention to himself, it is in fact exactly the opposite. As I recall him explaining, he is at those moments trying to deflect attention and credit away from himself, and to redirect to where he thinks it belongs: with God. He described specifically that some of the kneeling and prayer was not only to offer praise for the talents he had been granted, but also to ask for humility and to help combat personal pride.

One of the biggest personal tests that I have for judging the genuineness and sincerity of someone’s purported moral and ethical beliefs is the way they live their lives. And from what I’ve seen of Tim, he’s a pretty solid exemplar of what I look for when it comes to “walking the walk”. I don’t have to share his particular beliefs to see that there is a noticeable positive effect of those beliefs on his outward behavior, and thus to think that (for him) his belief system is a net-positive.

That’s not to say that all other supposed adherents to similar belief systems comport themselves nearly as well. I think it’s pretty obvious that many don’t… which is part of what seems to make Tim stand out so much from the background.

I find it ironic that Howard would call such behavior “self-absorption”, when it so transparently seems to be the exact opposite. I don’t see anything at all self-absorbed about that kind of self-abnegation. I’ve watched several complete Broncos games, and this is not ostentatious behavior on his part. He very deliberately doesn’t impact the flow of the game through any of this behavior.

Is the “Tebowing” phenomenon a mockery of the practice, and by extension a mocking of Christian beliefs? I’m sure that, to some, it’s intended as a mocking, but Tebow’s response reinforces that he’s very much into “walking the walk”, even when it comes to dealing with such mockery. I suspect that at least some others do not intend it as mockery, but instead as a non-verbal show of support for the notion that Tim is bringing more to the forefront. As a confirmed agnostic, I find it refreshing, and think the world would likely be a better place if a higher fraction of self-described Christians were to comport themselves as well as Tim.

So many different points to address in the comments… I’ll try to sample some:

it has a following…

Following which supernatural deity? If there is none, than it isn’t religion.

sounds like a religion to me.

tinkerthinker on December 5, 2011 at 8:20 AM

It doesn’t. Being purposely obtuse doesn’t make your claim correct, as I just showed you.

Good Lt on December 5, 2011 at 8:23 AM

I know several Buddhists (and considered becoming Buddhist myself at various times). None of them that I know of follow a supernatural deity. Yet Buddhism is pretty clearly a major religion. It sounds like your test is a bit too simplistic, Good Lt.

I’m pointing out actions. Public praying after a score, but not after any other aspect of the game. it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the prayer is for the score. My interpretation is just as valid – in fact much more analytically valid – than your interpretation. You know what is in his heart as much as I do.

It seems to me that these types of activities – praying for scoring a touchdown, is the type of thing Jesus wasn’t fond of. I could be wrong. but don’t call me “unfaithful” b/c you pick and chose what parts of the bible to read.

Monkeytoe on December 5, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I’m more inclined to believe that Tebow is more likely to know what is “in his heart” than anyone else here, and my take-away from listening to his explanations doesn’t comport well with the interpretation you’re providing.

Tim certainly seems to subscribe to an ethical system wherein credit for positive outcomes should be granted to his creator, rather than to himself. It is at moments where the outcome is most positive (like immediately after a score) where people are most likely to be looking to heap praise upon him. What I took away from listening to that interview was that his acts of prayer at such moments are twofold: one, to offer up thanks not for the outcome itself (he’s not praying FOR a touchdown), but instead to offer up gratitude for the gifts that he has been granted which enabled the use of those talents, and secondly to help shield himself against the temptations of pride, as those are the most natural moments to be drawn into prideful thoughts.

Why do we not see the same sorts of “outward” displays on a three-and-out (which have been extremely abundant, putting the Broncos number one this year in that dubious distinction) or a muffed pass attempt? Because it’s not part of the underlying ethic. It’s not an expectation in his system that blame be attached to his creator for sub-optimal outcomes. Is that inconsistent or hypocritical? Perhaps. But that’s the system under which he operates. Not seeing him behave as someone “consistent” would doesn’t mean he’s being an attention-hog or insincere, it looks instead to me like he’s simply “all in” on the underlying notions of this ethical system, regardless of whether that opens him to criticism for inconsistency or hypocrisy.

You are positing that the universe is self-generated. If that’s the case, then self-generating things and beings would be in evidence somewhere within the universe, since self-generation would be a quality of the universe. And since earth is the most diverse planet we know of, we could expect earth to have self-generating things and beings most in evidence.

Also, you must ascribe divine qualities to matter, such as eternity and self-generation, in order to maintain your argument. For anything to exist, there cannot be a time when nothing existed, unless there is a creator.

Nothing can’t make anything, at least not that you can point to: unless you point to everything, which would be begging the question.

Akzed on December 5, 2011 at 10:01 AM

This strikes me as one of the most classic of epistemic blunders. People have been falling for it for millenia. I know I did for quite some time.

The question which tends to lead down that rabbit hole is “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”

You came remarkably close to my own position with part of this, Akzed: For anything to exist, there cannot be a time when nothing existed, unless there is a creator.

I would point out that it is the qualifier at the end that is not only unnecessary, but ultimately misleading. I would state it as thus: For anything to exist, there cannot be a time when nothing existed.

What tends to be treated as an unstated premise (and in reality, a begged question) in the phrasing “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” is this notion that “nothing” is a possible state of existence.

Yet we see no evidence whatsoever that “nothingness” is a state that could actually obtain. Why would anyone think that “nothing” could actually be? The verb “to be” is the verb of existence, after all. How can non-existence actually exist? That’s self-contradicting.

I contend that existence exists, because it cannot fail to exist. There is “something” because there cannot be nothing, by definition, and no one has any experience whatsoever with actualized nothingness… so why accept the notion that it is an actualizable state?

Now, that’s not to say that the contents of existence must take the same form eternally, or distribution, or anything like that. Things can change, but that doesn’t imply that existence itself is created from nothing. There is no reason to believe that existence began. Even the Big Bang Theory, when seen in detail (rather than the popularized versions), doesn’t posit that existence itself started at the Big Bang… instead, it states that, if our premises are correct, there is a limit beyond which our current science cannot see when looking backward in time, because the math breaks down into singularities. We can’t see or determine what the state was, but that is not the same thing as saying it didn’t exist.

An infinite series of bang-crunch-bounce cycles is not mathematically ruled out by big bang theorists. Thus, even in current scientific models, there is nothing convincing which points out that existence itself is not infinitely old.

If that notion is correct, the Kalam cosmological argument breaks down, because existence itself did not “begin to exist”. It has always existed, because it cannot fail to exist, and we’re instead dealing with an infinitely long series of re-shufflings of the same underlying “stuff” of existence, put into different configurations.

No creation ex nihilo needed, no deities or special pleadings necessary.

Makes more sense to me than the alternatives, but hey, your mileage may vary.

I’m an agnostic…something just about anybody here who knows me knows. Accept it SauerKraut…you’re either a narcissist, or incredibly insecure about your own beliefs, so you try to paint anyone who doesn’t agree with you theologically as “scared”.

That’s the essence of religious fundamentalism…when you declare others as deficient for not sharing your guess as to the nature of higher intelligence. You’re pushing your belief system on me through bullying. Tell me, what do you think when someone of an established religious background does that to others? I would hope you’d have no problem with it. If you don’t, you’re a hypocrite, as well as a religious bigot.

I hold no belief in any god or gods. Whether actual knowledge of any gods, if they exist, is possible, is something I’m not entirely sure of. However, I am far more certain that most, if not all of us, are not developed or advanced enough to properly convey the message of any such gods, if they exist. I am additionally certain that just about every arrogant douchepuddle that puts others down for not believing the same as they are as clueless as the most recently birthed child.

MadisonConservative on December 5, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Quoted for Truth. This aligns strongly with my own belief system.
SauerKraut537, Pablo Honey and Good Lt leave me more with the impression that they are “anti-theists”, focused specifically on tearing down and ridiculing those who hold theistic beliefs. I don’t see general utility in that behavior. Sure, there are “bad apples” in the mix of theists, and we might agree that we see no good reason why they should believe as they do. But why act up about that fact?

So they believe differently than you… so? Why behave like a complete jerk about it? I commend the words of Thomas Jefferson to them (who had some of his own issues with the mysticism and superstition that he saw in Christianity):

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

Assume for a moment that you are right, and the theists are wrong. Acting as you do, even if it serves the end of demonstrating that they are in error, does not make you a better person.

To the contrary, your choice of method shows me that you are far less of exemplars of civil behavior than the average theist that you tar with your broad brush.

I disagree with the subset of theists who contend that only those who believe in their god (or piggyback on that belief by others) can actually be moral. The example of roughly a billion Buddhists tells me otherwise.

Yes, some believers can be jerks. That doesn’t give you license to also act like a jerk in response. You earn the same sort of condemnation that you seek to heap upon them, and from what I’ve seen, you are often deserving of far more.

And I definitely don’t see Tim Tebow as one of those jerk-like believers. He strikes me as an extremely stand-up guy, who is harming no one at all as he walks his path. He’s “doing it right” as he sees it, and I see zero objective harm that arises from his unabashed embrace of his ethical code.

I’d touch on more of the thread, but this is too long as it is.
Perhaps more later.

VekTor on December 6, 2011 at 7:00 PM

What you’re engaged in is not debate.

Why do you hate Christians so much?

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 7:03 PM

The irony is too wonderful. I’m gloating.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 7:00 PM

You spelled “trolling” wrong.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 7:03 PM

What you’re engaged in is not debate.

Why do you hate Christians so much?

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 7:03 PM

With blink? He’s just a troll, and has been for days.

Let’s pretend he’s not here.

I don’t “hate Christians,” even though I use “believers” in a pejorative manner as a euphemism for believers in scripture.

That also includes Jews, and even Mormons, BTW.

I’ve said before -I take issue with belief itslef. The thread subject was Tim Tebow. He’s a Christian. I began by saying essentially that Jesus – assuming he exists as the son of God, of course – doesn’t care about Tebow’s football playing, and if he does, his priorities are out of order.

I wasn’t the only one to posit this.

A loooooong debate and argument ensued, where I was on one side, arguing it pointedly (with several others), and the others were on the other side.

I’m not sure what the big deal is over someone maintaining a debate for a sustained period on this site. Ever join a forum? Some of those threads go for years.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Is this the best you got? Do you seriously have nothing left?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 7:05 PM

You’ve nothing to offer, troll.

So congratulations – you’ve trolled yourself out of the discussion!

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 7:13 PM

For days I’ve been demonstrating that your arguments are pure nonsense.

I’ve also been demonstrating how you attempt to impose your moral standards on others via “social negative sanctions” – specifically ridicule and shame.

And I’m not sorry about it, either.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Fabulous, troll! Here’s your medal.

I don’t blame you for wanting to exclude me from the discussion since I repeatedly make you look like a monkey.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Troll on, wayward son.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 7:11 PM

GL, you started this. I pointed that out yesterday and you conceded as much. On any thread you get involved with, with Christians, your own behavior is no better than the trolls. And nothing you’re doing here has any honor to it.

When you treat one Christian to the words you offer here, you’re saying it about all of us. You would intestinally deliver earthen building blocks if anyone spoke about gays like you’re speaking about Christians. Do you think we’re all worthy of the condemnations you keeps posting here?

hawkdriver on December 6, 2011 at 7:32 PM

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