Kind act is doubted during debate on social media
By Greg Holden
A random act of kindness took place in Chatham yesterday. A local woman, Phyllis Lawlor, sought out on Facebook someone in need and delivered to them a free meal.
“Please private message me with someones tel and address that is shut in or in need and we will deliver a hot home cooked meal at 5:30 this evening for free”, said Lawlor. “I prayed to God this afternoon, ‘Lord how can I please you’ (and) the verse ‘feed the least of these’ came to me.”
The Facebook page where the free meal was offered is called Chatham Swappers Rant and Rave !! A page dedicated to rants and raves about local shopping experiences but also includes questions people pose on matters from finding a good photographer to how to rid a cat of fleas.
Lawlor indicated her mother passed away two years ago and she was in part motivated by her memory. The meal she said she delivered consisted of homemade scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots and boneless chicken. Options were open for dessert.
Kind Act Leads To Debate
The act of kindness had immediate results with suggestions of deserving families and courtesy of yours truly a robust debate on religion. By the time the dust settled over 800 comments were contributed, nearly half of them my own. The ensuing discussions were civil for the most part. Only a few religious people degraded into personal attacks, which is expected of them. I faced challenges to the arguments I presented by respectful people who disagreed, which is also expected of them.
No-one disagreed it was a good deed by Lawlor. All people who commented said so, except Lawlor herself who claimed the meal was a “love gift, from god to you!” My first comments stated “to take such a sweet idea and turn that into an act by a nonsensical being” had some likes to it and naturally some dislikes which were more vocal. I offered to deliver the food myself if no religious connection was a part of it.
A discussion on what beliefs are, what proof is and why saying the christian god does not exist is not a belief unfolded. The proof provided to those who saw it (you can join and see it yourself) was that it is contradictory to assert any omnipotent being exists. This is proved by an old argument, sadly it is not my own. The argument asks if an omnipotent being can form a rock so heavy that it cannot be lifted. If the religious person says yes, then they are saying god is not omnipotent as god cannot lift the rock. If the religious person says no, then they are saying god is not omnipotent as god cannot create the rock. Christians are out of options. Either way their proposed god is not omnipotent, a criteria for all factions of christianity.
Greg, You Are Ruining A Nice Story!
What could possess my mind to take these arguments to such a nice story? It isn’t so nice if your motive is to sell religion. It is deceptive and dishonest. Oh it is a good deed alright, the family that was fed would be the first to agree there. If more people did what Lawlor did then the world would be a better place, minus the religion. However when that good deed is steeped in dogma then it is questionable if the motive was to do good or to sell religion. Those who wished to defend this form of activism tried to compel an argument along the lines of “it is her beliefs”. Counter to that I showed why they are not beliefs, but false instead. I could have used many more such arguments, but I rested my case on two. The other argument is that an omnipotent and eternal being cannot commit suicide and be eternal and if it cannot commit suicide then it is not omnipotent. Two proofs of why saying a christian god exists is false and not a belief. There are many more arguments that fall within this same plane. The bible says the god of the bible never repents and says the same god repents. Impossible. The god that never repents and repents is not a possibility. All beliefs however are possibly true and possibly false. A proven contradiction is not a belief statement.
Muted But Heartfelt
The resulting mayhem was muted by comparison to most like-minded debates. Chatham-Kent, even the ranters and ravers, seems timid about entering debates like that. It is as if fear penetrates people, paralyzes them from coming forward with what is on their mind. Even at last years Great Debate at the Pines, the notions people have were very much kept to themselves. Asking people in the audience about what they had to say was like pulling teeth. Some people lost it entirely, blaming my commentary for disparaging what was a lovely gesture. Two people “friended” me on Facebook, one of them the most polite christian I have met in some time. Plenty more wanted my head in a noose, demonstrating the blood lust of what they worship perhaps. For me it boiled down to the meal being described as a “love gift, from god to you!” Either the gift was from Lawlor or god and I argued it was from Lawlor. Complaints that I diminished her good deed went unheeded, so long as Lawlor herself gave the credit to a god that has been proven to not exist. Suggestions that “this is her belief” were rejected and shown to be untrue. No falsehood is a belief.
Ultimately however I do not govern the rules of logic that so troubled the religious. I do not make the rules, I simply know what they are. In time I expect many more will as well. For all the bluster and emotional diatribes that were no more than misplaced frustration, the interest level for understanding and explaining beliefs from truths or proof from opinion were alive and well. Chatham has a heart, as shown by the free meal and the rhetoric used to defend it. A muted heart, but it beats. Some people thanked me for explaining, some people admonished me as mentally ill. It is about time people who live in the modern age stopped and took the time to go find out what proof is, how to attain it, how it works. There is no more room for ignorance of how to prove something is real or is not existent. These are basics and should be taught in grade school. Any hope that muslims would have locally has to be questioned. If the local people cannot handle the truth and formal logic, how will they handle a large influx of people who doubt the concept of a god taking a day of rest? As it looks, some will say they are mentally ill and some will be afraid to say anything at all. More debates like at the Pines are required to break Chatham-Kent into the modern age of reasoning. If Facebook is any indication, there is a long way to go.