Why Atheists Blog About Religion Part II

This is the part 2 of this blog.  It’s an in-line response to the response I got from the blogger:

“And what exactly 2000 civil rights do gays not have that non-gays do?” 

Sorry, it was over 1,000, not 2, my mistake.  Around 1400 to be precise.  Here is a list of over a thousand rights and benefits denied to gay couples by the “defense of marriage act” alone.

“Not marry.  Hell, I can’t marry my second cousin in my State.  Damn, my civil rights are being violated.  Oh wait, there isn’t anything in the Constitution which covers marriage.  That’s a activity regulated by the States, and isn’t a civil right to begin with.  And if one really wants to marry, there are any number of States where it is legal.  Like with my second cousin, if it’s REALLY that big an issue, move to where it’s legal.”

So when blacks and whites couldn’t marry, that wasn’t a civil rights issue because it’s not in the constitution?  You’re compartmentalizing bigotry and inequality in order to justify it.

“Name any public office that one is barred from holding because of religious beliefs.  If someone can’t get elected because his religious views, or lack of them, is unacceptable to the voters, well damn, then I guess your problem is with the democratic process.”

No, my problem is with bigotry.  So your logic is that if something is harmful and unfair to me, but legal, I have no right to blog about it?  Fuck you too. 

Oh, and you can’t get mad at me for telling you to go fuck yourself because I’m just expressing my first amendment right to free speech, so if you have a problem with me you’re against the constitution.

(your fucked up logic, not mine)

“There have been a number of wars where one side or the other has been claiming to be acting in God’s name, where, when one actually looks at history, were fought for reasons other than religion.” 

Call me crazy, but if people say they’re killing people in the name of god and people support them because they say that, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say religion’s a factor. 

If I told you christianity has done good in the world you would say of course it has, it’s done tons of good, so many acts of kindness are done in the name of god by christians who follow their bible.  But what, the bad stuff doesn’t count?  Why the hell not?

“I might also add that the wars supposedly in the name of religion have paled compared to the wars fought for the good old atheist excuse of greed and power.”

Now you’re just being a bigot.  There is nothing atheistic about greed or lust for power.  I don’t go around saying pedophilia is a christian thing because some christians are pedophiles, I’d ask that you show me the same level of respect (which is really the bare fucking minimum).

“Actually, there are a number of reasons out there for anti-semitism.  Conflicting religions, racism, etc.” 

I said religion fuels anti-semitism, I didn’t say it’s the sole cause of it.  You just agreed with me.

“And it’s not even a position held by any Christian group I know of other than a few wing nut white supremacist  groups.” 

So christian groups aren’t anti-semitic… except for the ones that are?  In no way was I trying to paint all christians with the same brush (though you seem to want to do that to atheists).

“And blaming the Holocaust on religion is like blaming Stalin’s atrocities on atheism (with the exception that Stalin WAS actually an atheist).” 

Please provide me a quote from stalin saying there is no god, or that he’s an atheist or anything of the sort.  You can’t, I’ve looked.  In reality he was raised christian, studied to be a member of the clergy and reversed many of the anti-christian policies of his predecessors, including re-opening tens of thousands of christian churches that had been shut down.  He persecuted christians who opposed him as would any dictator, christian or not.  If persecuting christians makes you an atheist then the pope’s of old must’ve been atheists because most of the people tortured and killed in the inquisition were heretical christians.

“In both instances we have an evil man with power.  Unless of course, in the case of Hitler, you can accept the argument one can be a Christian while violating what the faith teaches.” 

If being christian means never violating scripture then no one is christian.  Or do you see many women walking around with head coverings as required in I believe it’s second corinthians?  No one even tries to follow the bible unless it happens to be a part of it they happen to agree with.  An atheist just openly admits they’re rejecting the rest.  Hitler ignored a lot of scripture, so do you.  Your character is determined not by whether you follow the bible, but by which parts you follow.  Because the actual text says everything from love thy neighbor to set thy neighbor on fire.

“And in his case the only evidence we have of his so-called faith, which, in his own writings he held in contempt, was authentic is his claim he was one (and which other than the claim, we have no evidence of).” 

There are hundreds of examples, public, private, from before he came to power, during his rule etc of him espousing his militantly christian (though admittedly psychotic) views.  There are maybe 2 or 3 quotes attributed to him, all from one book written after his death, which superficially seem to contradict all the other evidence.  And none of them say there is no god or the bible is false, they all just express contempt for christianity.  The only interpretation that makes sense to me is that he was either referring to conventional christianity which he saw as a perverse “invention of the jew”.  His christianity was one where jesus was not a jew and was an enemy of the jews.  Another explanation is that he was simply a heavily drugged psychopath (which he was) who had a few bad trips.  Either way I’m not claiming that christians are all evil because hitler was one, I’m saying that doctrines, dogmatic belief structures, authoritarian social structures etc have an effect on the world and are simply not comparable to belief in UFOs.

“However, we DO know Stalin was an atheist, and for the record, killed far more people than Hitler did.” 

No, we do not know that.

“Stalin didn’t kill his millions because he was an atheist.  He killed them because he was evil.  Just like Hitler.”

So now he didn’t do it because of his atheist greed and lust for power?

“And again, rather than make unsubstantiated claims about “science books being rewritten, how about providing one example of it.” 

You demand proof of something yet show you are well aware of it’s occurrence in the very next sentence.

“Most of the cases involving “science” are attempts to have intelligent design/creationism taught in schools.” 

Actually to have them taught in place of actual science.  It used to be that the garden of eden was taught in public schools in place of earth and life science.

“Here’s a idea.  if you’re going to exclude one theory about how life came about, let’s exclude all theories about how it did.” 

“Theory” in the scientific sense is not incompatible with the word “fact”.  That life evolves is a fact, not a hunch or a guess.  And I agree we shouldn’t tell kids how life began because no one knows for sure yet, but evolution has nothing to do with that.  Everything in science books can actually be verified, it’s not just conjecture (or if it is it’s stated as such).

“Because as far as I know, that’s really the only point of contention involving “science” involving religionists and education.  And there is a simple solution to that problem too, as we’ve discovered in my State.  You provide parents with vouchers for their childrens’ education which they decide how to spend.  They can then send their kids anywhere they want to be taught what they want..  End of argument and everyone is happy.”

Except the children, who get indoctrination in place of an education.

“But there is one unhappy fact that you seem to want to ignore.  There is far more anti-religious discrimination going on in this country right now than the other way.  You seem to want to brush that under the rug, and it doesn’t take any great effort to find out about it.  Some folks just like to ignore it while pretending they’re the victims instead.  And I could fill a blog with nothing but examples of it.  What would be the point?”

There will always be isolated instances of someone being a dick to you because of your race, religion, beliefs, nationality, whatever.  No matter who you are or what you believe there will always be dicks in the world.  That is wrong, but it isn’t persecution, it’s just people being assholes.  When millions of people band together to actually make policies that discriminate however, that’s actual persecution.  A federal ban on gay marriage is not comparable to some douchebag spitting in your onion rings because you have a jesus fish on your car (while of course that is horrible and that guy should be fired).  Discrimination on an individual level will always exist, I’m talking about actual government policy and huge social movements here.  What social movement is there to persecute christians in the US?  Show me an example of atheists trying to have more legal rights than christians.

“But let’s get to the point of the post, since both you and CT seem to want to ignore that.” 

How can I ignore something you just brought up?

“And most of the religious abuses you keep wanting to bring up either occurred so far in the past that either of you could possibly have experienced any of them.” 

Actually the majority of them occurred in living memory and about half of them are ongoing or happened recently, so no.

“During the period I was an atheist the Christian Church still held a good deal more influence than it does now, and it was no threat to any non-believer.  I didn’t need to study religion to be opposed to it.  I didn’t feel the need to discredit it, particularly by erecting the kind of flawed arguments you use against it.  I left it alone and it left me alone.  Again, this in a era where it was much more influential.”

I already gave specific examples of persecution, you just agree with it.

“Wanna deal with religion.  Ignore it.  The Church is in decline, and speaking as someone inside of it, it ain’t coming back.” 

I don’t want to destroy christianity, I just want to rip the ugly parts out of it.  The dogma, the hate, the part that tells people to willfully not think critically about things.  If you took all that away it would probably be a lot better.

“It’s filled with folks who are Christian in name only (sort of like most of the perpetrators of most of the wrongs you mention above), most of whom don’t even know as much about the Bible as you do.  Which is sad on two counts.  They don’t spend enough time studying it and that you waste so much time doing it.  Kinda ironic, eh?”

Many people are atheists because they finally got around to reading their bible.  And I agree that most of the people who supported the worst acts of evil were not gung ho religious nutjobs.  The harmfulness of religion isn’t that believing in god makes you a sociopath, it doesn’t.  The harmfulness is that the authoritarian morality of traditional theology creates a system where it’s easy to control people.  Gay people would have equal rights tomorrow except for the fact that millions of people who are sympathetic to gay people don’t have the stones to go against the grain, or if they did and they stood up in their church and said that gay people aren’t evil monsters and should have the same rights as anyone else, all the pastor would have to do to shut them up is quote some scripture and say “are you saying god is wrong?” 

Authoritarianism is any system in which a source of authority is absolute and cannot be questioned.  Christianity probably got it’s authoritarian bent from thousands of years of theocracy, and that part of it is still alive.  The evil of organized, dogmatic belief systems (religious or secular) is that they get otherwise decent people to go along with or remain silent in the face of atrocities.  As napoleon once said, “religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet”.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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45 Responses to Why Atheists Blog About Religion Part II

  1. Religion isn’t going away, as is very obvious by the recent crops of Republican candidates and laws. In fact, for those of us trying to “ignore it,” it seems to just be getting worse.

  2. galadrial says:

    Very well written.I have to say that the whole “since you’re an atheist you’re  not  entitled to an opinion on religion” argument to be more than specious.I never use a cell phone, or text when I drive…but since those who DO can kill me when  they do, I am certainly entitled to an opinion on the topic. Religion got VERY overtly political during the Reagan years…and it makes me nervous when any religious group tries to make their beliefs a platform for our politics. I would look like hell in a burka, and I am not about “obeying” anyone…so that would eliminate me form most “organized religion”. But back to topic…considering the number of holy wars, jihads, and witch hunts sponsored by religions past and present, we’d be NUTS not to take an interest. At least that way we know who to look out for when they start piling up firewood!

  3. Your last quote makes me think of some of my own thoughts on Christianity. Specifically that it is the perfect religion to keep oppressed masses subdued. “Don’t worry guys, the meek shall inherit the earth, those rich folks have a snowballs chance in hell of making it to heaven, this life may suck, but the next one is totally for you, so you know, just chill out, turn the other cheek, and don’t, you know, think too critically about it, or rise up against the system or anything…” Haha

  4. Haha.  Just having a part 2 on this issue kind of makes anyone’s point about struggling to let it go.  

  5. TheSutraDude says:

    good job. it takes time and effort to be well-informed. 

  6. Kellsbella says:

    My arch-nemesis actually said something quite profound. I understand now. “Debating Atheists is difficult: They have more faith than you and I, only they will not recognize or acknowledge it because of what that would mean to their argument.”

  7. agnophilo says:

    @GodlessLiberal – True dat.  I think it’s not so much that religion is going away as that the middle wishy washy religious chunk of america is becoming either increasingly secular or increasingly fundamentalist.  In the long term I do see religion as we know it biting the dust, but it won’t go without a fight.  And by fight I mean possibly bringing about the apocalypse, lol.@galadrial – True dat, and lol @ firewood.  A good christian friend of mine was once reading an email they got from their then-boyfriend to me and he said “I can’t see a woman in the early days of christianity holding a candle to you”, to which I laughed and said “If you were an atheist I could see a woman in the early days of christianity holding a candle to you”.Hilarious laughter ensued.@Lost_In_Reverie – As someone once said, religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.@TheTheologiansCafe – And who made what point exactly?@TheSutraDude – Yup : )@Kellsbella – Faith is belief without evidence – atheism is not believing something due to a lack of sufficient evidence.  Your arch nemesis needs to buy a dictionary.  Or stop mindlessly saying “I know you are but what am I” to atheists.

  8. Kellsbella says:

    @agnophilo – But you don’t believe and therefore it is its own religion.

  9. agnophilo says:

    @Kellsbella – As has been said, if atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

  10. @Kellsbella – Ah, the good ol’ line that atheism requires faith. *rolls eyes*http://in-reason-i-trust.xanga.com/673732483/atheism-is-not-a-belief-system-or-a-religion/See that idea getting demolished. ^

  11. QuantumStorm says:

    @agnophilo – @In_Reason_I_Trust – The local church of Non-Astrology is hosting a non-horoscope study session where we will be NOT studying horoscopes. 

  12. @QuantumStorm – Sounds like a religion!! 

  13. QuantumStorm says:

    @In_Reason_I_Trust – FREE TAX DOLLARS BITCHES

  14. black3actual says:

    “Faith is belief without evidence – atheism is not believing something due to a lack of sufficient evidence.  Your arch nemesis needs to buy a dictionary.”This is why I get such a chuckle from Atheists: they simply do not understand the “reason” they cite as support for their belief system.As I understand it, Atheists say God does not exist because we cannot prove He does.  Nice try, but you cannot prove he doesn’t (logical strike 1).Atheists claim they base their beliefs in “fact” and not faith, but – as I just pointed out – not being able to ‘prove’ God does not exist means you have to assume he doesn’t ON FAITH.  That is true by definition (Logical strike 2).Atheists say that they base their FAITH in materialism: a belief in what is and not what cannot be seen or proven (they like to call this the supernatural).  Here’s where the Atheist actually proves he does not understand the foundation of his argument.–Once upon a time, many things were considered ‘super natural,’ such as comets, shooting stars, etc.  But, as we grew in our understanding of things, we came to understand what these phenomenon are and how they function – thus removing them from the realm of ‘super natural.’  In other words, they were natural occurrences all along, man just did not understand it at that time.Well, we now know that this universe has at least 8 and possibly 9 dimensions (physicists have established this as a necessity).  As beings confined to the 4 dimensions we can perceive and manipulate (length, width, height and time), it is impossible for us to conceive of our work with these other dimensions in anything but the abstract (at least, at this time this is true).  Still, we have established that these other dimensions must exist.Now, does this mean that they are ‘supernatural,’ or just that we do not understand them fully as of this time in human history?  What if the dimensions we live in are just a part of our true nature – a part of what we call a life?  What if, when we die here, we continue in these other dimensions?  IF this is the case, then this ‘poo-pooing’ of life-after-death is nothing more than a denial of what is asserted in the same manner as a priest who seeks to pervert faith so he can manipulate the people through religion.  The same goes for the notion of Heaven and Hell: they could be real dimensions.  How about ghosts?  They are dismissed by most Atheists, yet we have recordings of their existence from the beginning of known time.  This would suggest there is a real phenomenon in play here, and the additional dimensions we now know exist can easily account for this.  The same goes for Biblical recordings of the sun disappearing or stopping in the sky.  If there is a 4th spacial dimension, and some entity knows how to manipulate it so it can interface with the dimensions we perceive, this would be a simple matter to stop or ‘disappear’ the sun.  And ALL of this would be as natural as gravity – we just don’t understand it.And then there’s that: gravity.  For all the things Atheists like to claim science has ‘proven,’ it has – in FACT – proven very little.  We can’t even explain gravity, only describe how we ‘think’ it works.  Then there’s light: how is it that it can be both energy and matter at the same time?  Science misses out there, too.  And the same applies to evolution.  The THEORY of evolution is just that: a THEORY – and a flawed one at that.  yet many have convinced themselves it is real.  Well, with respect to Dawkins, he has NOT ‘defended the THEORY of evolution,” he has begged the question by using the objection of irreducibility in explaining his thoughts on how life began.  That is a logical fallacy.  One cannot do that and claim credibility.So on the assertion that the Atheist deals with “what is,” that is logical strike three – and the fatal strike.  It is too easily shown that what we ASSUME “is” may – in FACT – not be ALL there is, only what we THINK we understand.Now, for the affirmative argument.  Why NOT God?  Because you can’t see or prove Him?  HA!  Then how could faith exist?  One does not have faith in something one KNOWS to exist.  So, if God made the world so his existence was undeniable, what faith could there be, and then how could we truly love Him?  We couldn’t.  Second, where did this world come from if there is no Creator?  I have read Hawking’s attempts to explain this and he – as well as his contemporaries – have built their explanations on fallacious arguments.  In Hawking’s case, he uses imaginary math to achieve his notion of a self-generating universe.  And even at that, he pre-supposes an existing energy field.  The flaws here are A – when you put REAL numbers back in his equations, you come back to the “Big bang” and the necessity for a creator and B – Hawkings doesn’t seem to understand that TRUE nature of NOTHING!  That means NO ENERGY FIELD!  Which brings us back to “How does one get something from Nothing?”Then we have SCIENCE: that’s right, SCIENCE says this universe is too perfectly balanced to have just happened.  The statistical possibility of 0 is 1*10 to the 50th power.  There are some 322 known universal constants that must be perfectly balanced for life to exist as we know it.  The statistical chances of this are 1*10 to the 322nd power.  Want to do the math and tell me how many times GREATER than statistical 0 that is?  Then we can talk about the implications of DNA (or the Encyclopedia Britannica in a molecule).  Finally, I hear Atheists tell me there is no proof of the Super Natural in history.  Oh, but there is!  You need to look up Thallus, Tertullian and Phlegon.  They were the scientists and historians of their time and they all record a great, GLOBAL phenomenon in the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e. 33 AD) at the 6th hour.  They record that the sky went black, the stars came out and the earth shook violently.  These men were spread out across the Mediterranean basin and they ALL said this phenomenon happened GLOBALLY (i.e. throughout the known world).  Guess what?  This substantiates the Biblical account of what happened when Christ died on the cross TO A “T!”  So there IS evidence that the Bible is real and God exists, but the Atheist chooses to reject it.THIS is why I say Atheists have more faith than those who believe in God: because they must have it to reject everything we know that supports Him and still believe He doesn’t exist.

  15. black3actual says:

    BTW:  The Supreme Court HAS ruled that Atheism IS a religion.  Now a court is ‘supposed’ to be based on reason.  How can the ‘reasonable’ court find you to be a religion and you deny it?  Simple: you – as an atheist – tend to deny everything counter to your assertions.  This is an operative definition of irrationality.  The truth remains: you cannot prove God does NOT exist, so – no matter what the tenants of your faith – your belief that there is no God is still based in faith.  It is an irrefutable fact of logic arrived at through a purely deductive chain of reasoning.

  16. agnophilo says:

    “As I understand it, Atheists say God does not exist because we cannot prove He does.  Nice try, but you cannot prove he doesn’t (logical strike 1).”In case you didn’t know, the vast majority of atheists do not claim to know there is no god, just that there is no good reason to suppose there is one.  I don’t believe in god the same way I don’t believe in unicorns.  I don’t claim to have proven their non-existence, I just have no good reason to suppose they ever existed.  What you are attacking is positive atheism, a position almost no atheists hold.  So it is not a strike against atheists or me, it is a strawman.”Atheists claim they base their beliefs in “fact” and not faith, but – as I just pointed out – not being able to ‘prove’ God does not exist means you have to assume he doesn’t ON FAITH.  That is true by definition (Logical strike 2).”Again, a position I do not take, nor do basically any atheists I have ever met.  This would be like me saying that christianity is false because genetic testing proves native americans are not a lost tribe of israel as one branch of christianity (mormonism) maintains.  While this certainly discredits the book of mormon this belief is hardly universal among christians and for me to portray it as such in an attempt to claim to have disproved all of christianity would be either ignorant or dishonest.I’m going to hope for ignorant, but I’ve seen plenty of dishonest in my time, so your response will reveal which it is.”Atheists say that they base their FAITH in materialism: a belief in what is and not what cannot be seen or proven (they like to call this the supernatural).  Here’s where the Atheist actually proves he does not understand the foundation of his argument.”The materialist position is that matter/energy is either a) all that exists or b) all that matters since it is all that can empirically be known.  A materialist doesn’t deny the possibility that non-material things may exist, just their importance.   Nowhere does faith enter into it.”–Once upon a time, many things were considered ‘super natural,’ such as comets, shooting stars, etc.  But, as we grew in our understanding of things, we came to understand what these phenomenon are and how they function – thus removing them from the realm of ‘super natural.’  In other words, they were natural occurrences all along, man just did not understand it at that time.”I agree completely.  Isn’t it possible that what you call supernatural is also the parts of nature you simply do not understand?  If god really does say cure sick people in the hospital for instance, isn’t that assumed because doctors don’t understand how they got better?  Isn’t it very likely we are just doing the same thing our ancestors did?  Bear in mind also that many of those natural things are considered supernatural in scripture, even the star of bethlehem may have been a comet.  Eclipses, “blood moons”, morning stars, illness, clouds, lightning, thunder, earth quakes, drought, floods and many other things are given a mystical basis in scripture.  All are natural phenomenon we now understand.”Well, we now know that this universe has at least 8 and possibly 9 dimensions (physicists have established this as a necessity).  As beings confined to the 4 dimensions we can perceive and manipulate (length, width, height and time), it is impossible for us to conceive of our work with these other dimensions in anything but the abstract (at least, at this time this is true).  Still, we have established that these other dimensions must exist.”I don’t believe scientists have “proven” that these extra dimensions exist, and dimensions themselves are abstract human concepts, a way to describe the world mathematically.  They don’t actually exist any more than inches or miles do, they are imaginary.”Now, does this mean that they are ‘supernatural,’ or just that we do not understand them fully as of this time in human history?  What if the dimensions we live in are just a part of our true nature – a part of what we call a life?  What if, when we die here, we continue in these other dimensions?  IF this is the case, then this ‘poo-pooing’ of life-after-death is nothing more than a denial of what is asserted in the same manner as a priest who seeks to pervert faith so he can manipulate the people through religion.  The same goes for the notion of Heaven and Hell: they could be real dimensions.”  “If” is the basis of all fiction.  Anything would be true “if” it were true.  Yes, that would all be fascinating if it were real.  If there were another dimension where peter pan lived in never-never land that would be equally fascinating.  I am not hostile to what you are saying or closed-minded to it.  I don’t not want there to be an afterlife any more than I don’t want there to be a never-never land.  I just honestly have no reason to think there is one.”How about ghosts?  They are dismissed by most Atheists, yet we have recordings of their existence from the beginning of known time.”  Everyone I know knows someone who claims to have seen, heard or otherwise experienced a ghost, sightings are about as common as fender benders.  The reason I doubt the validity of these claims and think they’re far more likely to be just peoples’ minds playing tricks on them, hallucinations, delusions, optical illusions etc (all of which we know for a fact are real) is because in all those hundreds of millions of ghost sightings, not one has ever been caught on a camera phone or a security camera.  Search youtube for “fender bender” or “car crash” and you will find thousands of crystal clear, high definition videos of them.  Search for “ghost” and you’ll find a bunch of out of focus lens flair nonsense or anonymous fakes.  If ghost sightings happened as commonly as people claim every convenience store in america should have them on tape, ghosts should occasionally wander onto the field during sporting events or walk behind the president during his speeches etc.  There are numerous videos of people being attacked by sharks, though this only happens a few dozen times a year worldwide.”This would suggest there is a real phenomenon in play here, and the additional dimensions we now know exist can easily account for this.”  About as “easily” as we can account for peter pan.”The same goes for Biblical recordings of the sun disappearing or stopping in the sky.  If there is a 4th spacial dimension, and some entity knows how to manipulate it so it can interface with the dimensions we perceive, this would be a simple matter to stop or ‘disappear’ the sun.  And ALL of this would be as natural as gravity – we just don’t understand it.”If the sun disappeared the earth would go flying into space, and the sun appearing to stop would mean the earth’s spin actually suddenly stopped, which would mean the spin of the earth went from over a thousand miles per hour to nothing.  That would be the equivalent of everyone and everything on the earth being in a 1,100 mile an hour car crash.  So no, that never happened.  If it had there would be no one left to report it.”And then there’s that: gravity.  For all the things Atheists like to claim science has ‘proven,’ it has – in FACT – proven very little.  We can’t even explain gravity, only describe how we ‘think’ it works.  Then there’s light: how is it that it can be both energy and matter at the same time?  Science misses out there, too.”  This is another strawman, who is claiming science has all the answers?  Science is an ongoing process.  You’re just attacking foolish ideas no one (least of all me) are actually putting forth.  And what does any of this have to do with my blog?”And the same applies to evolution.  The THEORY of evolution is just that: a THEORY – and a flawed one at that.  yet many have convinced themselves it is real.” The theory of evolution attempts to explain the fact of evolution.  How and why life evolves is always up for revision, but that it evolves is no less speculative than that gravity pulls things toward the earth.”Well, with respect to Dawkins, he has NOT ‘defended the THEORY of evolution,” he has begged the question by using the objection of irreducibility in explaining his thoughts on how life began.  That is a logical fallacy.  One cannot do that and claim credibility.”I have no idea what you’re talking about, and even if I did what does it have to do with anything in this blog?”So on the assertion that the Atheist deals with “what is,” that is logical strike three – and the fatal strike.  It is too easily shown that what we ASSUME “is” may – in FACT – not be ALL there is, only what we THINK we understand.”Again, not something most atheists claim to know.  Evangelists often portray atheists as thinking this way though.  It may benefit you to get to know atheists rather than learning about them (as I assume you have) via evangelical materials which misrepresent them.”Now, for the affirmative argument.  Why NOT God?”  Why not vishnu?  I’m trying to find truth here, not justify a particular religion to myself.”Because you can’t see or prove Him?  HA!  Then how could faith exist?”  Why should it exist?  It’s been made into a virtue but by that logic isn’t it virtuous to believe in Allah?  There’s just as little evidence for his existence.  Or valhalla or unicorns or a million other things which must be take on faith.  What would be the point?I want to understand reality as it is, believing in things for which there is no evidence seems impractical and counter-productive to say the least.”One does not have faith in something one KNOWS to exist.  So, if God made the world so his existence was undeniable, what faith could there be, and then how could we truly love Him?  We couldn’t.”So you have to not know something exists in order to love it?  So the apostles didn’t love jesus?  And you can’t love your family, spouse, children etc?  By that logic I can love an elf more than I can love a beautiful woman.  I just simply reject that claim.”Second, where did this world come from if there is no Creator?”  Don’t know.  Where did lightning come from if not zeus?The logic of “we don’t know how the universe began therefore we know how the universe began” is problematic to say the least.”I have read Hawking’s attempts to explain this and he – as well as his contemporaries – have built their explanations on fallacious arguments.  In Hawking’s case, he uses imaginary math to achieve his notion of a self-generating universe.  And even at that, he pre-supposes an existing energy field.”  Um, didn’t you just use imaginary math to justify the existence of extra dimensions, heaven, hell and ghosts?  Me thinks thou dost protest too much.”The flaws here are A – when you put REAL numbers back in his equations, you come back to the “Big bang” and the necessity for a creator” Not understanding something does not logically necessitate a creator.  And even if it did it wouldn’t necessitate that it be the god of the bible or any other doctrine.”and B – Hawkings doesn’t seem to understand that TRUE nature of NOTHING!  That means NO ENERGY FIELD!  Which brings us back to “How does one get something from Nothing?”I don’t know.  How do you get a creator from nothing?”Then we have SCIENCE: that’s right, SCIENCE says this universe is too perfectly balanced to have just happened.”So evolution is bullshit and science doesn’t know everything… unless a scientist says there must be a god, in which case we’ve got it all figured out?  You can’t shit on science one minute and invoke it as an all-knowing authority the next.  Both, are of course, invalid.”The statistical possibility of 0 is 1*10 to the 50th power.”  One, probability*.  And 2, it is impossible to evaluate the probability of something occurring unless you understand well the dynamics of it’s occurrence, which we don’t.  So any claim about the statistical odds of the universe turning out a certain way is by definition hogwash.”There are some 322 known universal constants that must be perfectly balanced for life to exist as we know it.”  Two problems with this – one is that there are 26 perceived constants in nature, not 322.  The second is that there’s no reason for life as we know it to exist unless the universe exists as we know it.  If there had been more anti-matter in the universe than matter then all of the matter would’ve been destroyed there would probably be life made of anti-matter instead.  It’s like arguing that life as we know it couldn’t exist without an oxygen rich environment.  If there hadn’t been an oxygen rich environment there would simply be other forms of life (and there were, oxygen arose as a byproduct of early life).  Life adapts to the environment, there is no magical conditions needed for “life” since there is no one kind of life.  The conditions one form of life needs will kill another form of life.  And just as life began in the ocean and adapted to land, then adapted to colder climates etc and became more specialized and dependent on those environments as it went, the same thing could happen in a universe with another configuration.  A universe that was fundamentally different wouldn’t have mammals but this doesn’t matter any more than the fact that a planet without an ocean wouldn’t have sharks.”The statistical chances of this are 1*10 to the 322nd power.”  A few problems with this – one, why would the odds of 322 things being true be 1 in 10 to the 322nd power?  That sounds like lazy/bad math.  Second, mathematical impossibility does not mean actual impossibility.  The odds of every grain of sand being exactly where it is in the universe at this moment exceeds the figure you just gave by a staggering amount.  Does that mean it’s not true?  Mathematically unlikely things happen all the time.  Move every grain of sand and you’ve just made another mathematically “impossible” thing happen.  Walking across a beach can be considered an “impossible” act from a mathematical perspective.  Thus the expression that there are three kinds of lies.  Lies, damn lies and statistics.  The statistic is irrelevant, the logic behind the statistic is what is valid or invalid.  And third, in order to evaluate the odds of 10 things being true we would need to know what the odds of each of them being true is – we don’t know the odds of the various perceived “constants” being the way they are, so this is baloney. “Want to do the math and tell me how many times GREATER than statistical 0 that is?  Then we can talk about the implications of DNA (or the Encyclopedia Britannica in a molecule).”Or walking across a beach.  Anything complex is improbable, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.  The reason walking across a beach and displacing each grain of sand and each atom in precisely a particular way (while mind-staggeringly unlikely) does not indicate that it didn’t happen is because no matter what happens it will be equally unlikely.  Buy a lottery ticket – the odds of you getting the exact right sequence of numbers and winning the big jackpot are something like one in 170 million.  But the odds of you getting the exact sequence of numbers on any losing ticket are identical.  You win the lottery and beat the odds every time, no matter what numbers you get.  This is also true of existence.  Even if the odds of the universe being as it is were as unlikely as you claim, it would be true in any universe.”Finally, I hear Atheists tell me there is no proof of the Super Natural in history.  Oh, but there is!  You need to look up Thallus, Tertullian and Phlegon.  They were the scientists and historians of their time and they all record a great, GLOBAL phenomenon in the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e. 33 AD) at the 6th hour.  They record that the sky went black, the stars came out and the earth shook violently.  These men were spread out across the Mediterranean basin and they ALL said this phenomenon happened GLOBALLY (i.e. throughout the known world).  Guess what?  This substantiates the Biblical account of what happened when Christ died on the cross TO A “T!”  So there IS evidence that the Bible is real and God exists, but the Atheist chooses to reject it.”It sounds like an ordinary eclipse.  And none of them were alive when it supposedly happened.  This you consider proof?  But you reject evolution?  Your standards of evidence for one kind of claim are extremely low and your standards of evidence for another are extremely high.  There’s no other word for this than bias.”THIS is why I say Atheists have more faith than those who believe in God: because they must have it to reject everything we know that supports Him and still believe He doesn’t exist.”So you know god exists?  By your own logic this defeats the purpose of his existence and makes it impossible for you to love him?  You can’t have it both ways.”This is why I get such a chuckle from Atheists: they simply do not understand the “reason” they cite as support for their belief system.”You’ve given nothing but strawman statements, none of which I would ever state or have ever stated on any blog (you can google search my site if you like).

  17. agnophilo says:

    @black3actual – Actually it has decided it has the same rights as any religion, not quite the same thing.

  18. black3actual says:

    Strawman?You’ve provided little reason for a person who actually has command of logic to suspect you know what that term means.Case in point:”It sounds like an ordinary eclipse.  And none of them were alive when it supposedly happened.  This you consider proof?  But you reject evolution?  Your standards of evidence for one kind of claim are extremely low and your standards of evidence for another are extremely high.  There’s no other word for this than bias.”An eclipse seldom covers more than 150-300 miles of the earth’s surface: this report covered over 1,000 – a physical impossibility in the case of an eclipse.  Furthermore, the sun does not disappear and the stars do not come out during an eclipse.  Evolution: show me proof that this THEORY is real.  You have assumed it to be so, but that is a fallacy.  Many of the explanations we call myths today were based on sound reasoning of what was observed in ancient times, yet – today – we know they had no basis in reality.  The same applies to the THEORY of evolution: it is a nice, rational SOUNDING explanation, but the THEORY is in direct contradiction to observed evidence.  The implications of the Cambrian age explosion and the reversal of the evolutionary tree are actually nails in the theory’s coffin – and were predicted as such by Darwin, himself.  In short, we have found the very evidence Darwin said would destroy his theory, and we have never found a slightest hint of support for the evidence Darwin said would affirm it.  This is sound science in your book?  THERE is straw man for you.Next, what does this mean?”So you know god exists?  By your own logic this defeats the purpose of his existence and makes it impossible for you to love him?  You can’t have it both ways.”That is a non sequitor (i.e. irrational).  You need to make something of an argument, you can’t just state an absurdity and act like you’ve made a point.  And you claim reason as your foundation?  HA!Yep, as useless to attempt to reason with someone who has renounced the rules of logic as it is to administer medicine to the dead.

  19. agnophilo says:

    @black3actual – “Strawman?”Yes, by definition.”You’ve provided little reason for a person who actually has command of logic to suspect you know what that term means.”A strawman argument is a weak and easily defeated position that your opponent hasn’t stated which is stated by you (in this case) in order to defeat it and give the superficial appearance of having defeated your opponent’s real position.  In this case, attacking things like positive atheism which I not only didn’t espouse in the blog in question, but have never espoused in my life, then pretending this disproves agnostic atheism when it doesn’t.”Case in point:”It sounds like an ordinary eclipse.  And none of them were alive when it supposedly happened.  This you consider proof?  But you reject evolution?  Your standards of evidence for one kind of claim are extremely low and your standards of evidence for another are extremely high.  There’s no other word for this than bias.”  An eclipse seldom covers more than 150-300 miles of the earth’s surface: this report covered over 1,000 – a physical impossibility in the case of an eclipse.  Furthermore, the sun does not disappear and the stars do not come out during an eclipse.”  Okay, so they were wrong.  As I said, none of them were alive at the time.  This could be anything from a typo to a lie to something they reported based on shoddy evidence.”Evolution: show me proof that this THEORY is real.”  It is a fact that life evolves, there have been countless evolution experiments and observations that prove this.  The term “theory” refers to a well tested hypothesis and is the highest form of explanation in science.  Creationists who stress the word “theory” as though it means hunch or guess or un-tested idea are either ignorant of the scientific meaning or they’re trying to deceive people.  Either way that nonsense is just word games.  And I’d be glad to give you proof – before I do though could you explain how life evolves as best you understand it?  I can’t give you evidence until I ascertain your level of understanding of biology (which I predict is slim, I’ve never met someone yet who understood evolution and still rejected it).”You have assumed it to be so, but that is a fallacy.”  No, I haven’t.  Actually ironically you assumed I assumed it to be so, which actually is a fallacy.  You’re just making shit up about me, which is kind of rude.”Many of the explanations we call myths today were based on sound reasoning of what was observed in ancient times, yet – today – we know they had no basis in reality.  The same applies to the THEORY of evolution: it is a nice, rational SOUNDING explanation, but the THEORY is in direct contradiction to observed evidence.”  What evidence contradicts evolution?  I’ve seen countless creationist articles and videos claiming evidence contradicts evolution, but as a science nerd I can tell you they’re either making stuff up or outright lying.”The implications of the Cambrian age explosion” The so-called “cambrian explosion” is a period of millions of years in the fossil record in which primitive forms of life appeared to have emerged fully formed, the fossil record briefly seemed to have dead-ended there, and creationists claimed that this was proof life had been created.  Two things to note are that a) evolution doesn’t have anything to do with how life began, only how it adapts once it exists, and darwin even assumed it had been created – in no way are evolution and life being created by god (or aliens or whatever) incompatible.  The second thing to note is that we’ve found countless pre-cambrian fossils – in fact the fossil record goes back 3.4 billion years (six and a half times as far as the cambrian period).  The period before the cambrian “explosion”, the supposed beginning of life, actually constitutes almost the entire fossil record of life on earth.  What the cambrian “explosion” actually was wasn’t the emergence of life, but the emergence of structures like bones and exoskeletons which are hard enough to fossilize.  Fortified cell structures can fossilize under the right conditions and so can bones in animals, so the cambrian “explosion” was really more of a gap between single-celled life and multi-cellular life that had body parts hard enough to survive fossilization.  But today we find pre-cambrian fossils in the forms of carbon outlines of buried animals and impressions in stone from soft-bodied animals.  Do a google image search for “pre-cambrian fossil” if you don’t believe me.  Creationists still lie though and claim we’ve never found pre-cambrian fossils.”and the reversal of the evolutionary tree are actually nails in the theory’s coffin” How is that a “problem” for evolution exactly?”- and were predicted as such by Darwin, himself.  In short, we have found the very evidence Darwin said would destroy his theory,” What was that exactly?”and we have never found a slightest hint of support for the evidence Darwin said would affirm it.  This is sound science in your book?  THERE is straw man for you.”No, just an ignorant claim.  We’ve never found any evidence darwin predicted?  He predicted bird fossils would be found that had separate digits (something no living bird has which had not been found in the fossil record).  They were found in his lifetime.  I can give more predictions if you like, but please acknowledge this one and admit your claim is wrong first.”Next, what does this mean? [So you know god exists?  By your own logic this defeats the purpose of his existence and makes it impossible for you to love him?  You can’t have it both ways.]”That is a non sequitor (i.e. irrational).  You need to make something of an argument, you can’t just state an absurdity and act like you’ve made a point.  And you claim reason as your foundation?  HA!”I was repeating what you said, jackass.  You said:”So, if God made the world so his existence was undeniable, what faith could there be, and then how could we truly love Him?  We couldn’t.”Then mocked atheists for rejecting supposed proof of his existence:”THIS is why I say Atheists have more faith than those who believe in God: because they must have it to reject everything we know that supports Him and still believe He doesn’t exist.”It isn’t a non sequiter, you’re just too lazy (or dishonest) to look at the context.”Yep, as useless to attempt to reason with someone who has renounced the rules of logic as it is to administer medicine to the dead.”Condescending isn’t a form of logic or argument.

  20. Kellsbella says:

    Not to offend either one of you, but your discourse has gotten me a bit excited…..in a good way. This would be such fabulous dialogue for a play…..just thinkin out loud here….

  21. Nushirox2 says:

    @Kellsbella – I agree to certain extent, but when most people say atheist, they mean very very skeptical agnostic.Richard Dawkins describes it being on a scale of 1-7 where 1 is “God Definately exists” and 7 is God definately does not exist he is a 6.9.And I think most atheists are too.

  22. Kellsbella says:

    @Nushirox2 – I always figured M. was a 7. Of course, I think he’ll say he’s a 10. His voice is…..

  23. @Nushirox2 – 6.9 means you’re confused. God either exists or he doesn’t.Dawkin’s continuum is just more proof that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and that he knows he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  24. @agnophilo – ” Faith is belief without evidence – atheism is not believing something due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Your arch nemesis needs to buy a dictionary.”Your definition of “faith” is ridiculous.  “Faith” has many meanings in the New Testament.  Saving faith is faith on the basis of examining the gospel accounts, which are the result of the scrutiny of the corroborating testimony of the apostles.  “Faith” can also mean the general belief system of the first century church.  It can mean “belief.”  Nowhere in the New Testament does “faith” mean “belief without evidence.”I speculate that atheism can result from a perverse and ignorant epistemology.

  25. @agnophilo – “a science nerd I can tell you they’re either making stuff up or outright lying.”As someone with a degree in chemistry and another in physics, I can say that you are either ignorant or lying.

  26. black3actual says:

    Well, I don’t see my comments as strawman.  First, i did not say YOU made these assertions, I said other atheists have.  Second, I addressed some of the strongest assertions made by atheists, not the weakest.  So I did not make a strawman argument.Next, as I have stated, it is difficult to hold a rational discussion with someone who has renounced the use of reason.  Here is an example of how you are doing just this.  When presented with evidence that refutes your position, you simply dismiss it:”Okay, so they were wrong.  As I said, none of them were alive at the time.  This could be anything from a typo to a lie to something they reported based on shoddy evidence.”How can you say they were wrong?  You were not there.  They were the equivalent of modern day astronomers and historians, and it is accepted practice to take them at their word – especially lacking any evidence to the contrary.  This is one reason I find atheists entertaining: they claim reason, but they refuse to use it whenever it is detrimental to their cause.  By definition, this is irrational behavior.As for your claim that they did not live at the time: again, your objection is fallacious.  As the scholars of their day, we should expect they had access to materials that have been lost to us.  After all, they were writing about an event that, in Thallus’s case, was only distant to the time he wrote it by some 19 years.  So, if we use your reasoning, you can’t make any statements of fact about anything that happened before 1993.  A reasonable person will see the folly in your objection: that you – 1,960 years removed from the time – assume to know more about what happened in 33 AD than a man writing 19 years after it happened.  Reason alone tells us that Thallus may well have lived through that period and, if not, he could definitely have spoken to many who had experienced it first hand.  Furthermore, his accounts substantiate those of latter scholars, especially since – given the times – it is likely they wrote in total ignorance of each other.”It is a fact that life evolves, there have been countless evolution experiments and observations that prove this.”Patently FALSE claim!  1 – adaptation is NOT ‘evolution’ as Darwin defined it.  2 – in all of recorded history, we have NEVER – not once – witnessed the evolution of a new species.  HOWEVER, we HAVE discovered them.  Unfortunately, your bias blinds you to the implications here.”No, I haven’t.  Actually ironically you assumed I assumed it to be so, which actually is a fallacy.  You’re just making shit up about me, which is kind of rude.”My friend, I made nothing up, you did say this.  You JUST said it.  I’ll remind you:”It is a fact that life evolves…”How can you sit here and tell your readers you did not claim evolution to be fact and that I lied in saying you have assumed it to be true when I just accurately quoted you saying exactly what I claim you said and you denied saying?  This is yet another example of why I have trouble debating atheists: they renounce reason while demanding to be accepted as rational.As for the issue dealing with the Cambrian age, you missed the point – again:”How is that a “problem” for evolution exactly?”Do you understand how the scientific method works?  You observe something, then you devise a testable explanation for what you observe, then you test it.  If what you find does not agree with your predictions, you go back to the drawing board.  Darwin said we would go from 1 single celled organism to many, larger, more complex creatures.  the reversal of the evolutionary tree directly contradicts the THEORY of evolution.  Now, suppose Newton had seen an apple on the ground and then looked and saw them in the tree and said: “HA!, proof that gravity pushes things from the ground into the air1” and proceeded to insist that anyone who pointed out the apple fell from the tree to the ground was being unreasonable.  We would think Newton irrational, would we not?  So why is there a problem on my part for looking at the evidence available to us and applying the scientific method to Darwin’s THEORY and concluding that evidence does NOT match his predictions?  I’ll tell you why: it contradicts the atheists religion.  To you, it is heresy.  To a TRUE scientist, it is simply good methodology.Incidentally, I happen to believe that evolution is perfectly consistent with the existence of God.  So it a 13.5 billion year old universe.  But the mathematical barrier between the balance of the 322 known universal constants necessary for human life and the claim of randomness IS a barrier that a good scientist would recognize and the atheist ignores/denies.”What was that exactly?No, just an ignorant claim.  We’ve never found any evidence darwin predicted?  He predicted bird fossils would be found that had separate digits (something no living bird has which had not been found in the fossil record).  They were found in his lifetime.  I can give more predictions if you like, but please acknowledge this one and admit your claim is wrong first.”THIS is strawman – on YOUR part.  You are only citing Darwin’s predictions that favor him, not those that HE said would be fatal to his THEORY.  In this case, we have NOT found the intermediate fossil records, nor have we found evidence of the predicted evolutionary tree (the one we just discussed).  By ignoring this and trying to divert the discussion to something you believe supports your argument, YOU commit strawman (and red herring).  The lack of intermediary records is sufficient to destroy the THEORY of evolution.  The reversed evolutionary tree and Cambrian explosion are also fatal evidence tot he THEORY.  Rejecting or denying the implications they present is irrational (and bad science).”I was repeating what you said, jackass.  You said:””So, if God made the world so his existence was undeniable, what faith could there be, and then how could we truly love Him?  We couldn’t.”Ad hominem: always the sign that you are losing an argument.  Anyway, my apology: I did not realize you were so obtuse.  OK, God created the universe such that people like you could convince themselves He does not exist.  the rest of us who understand that reason implies the necessity for His existence cannot ‘prove’ He exists because that would make it impossible for you to deny Him.  That does NOT mean there is no evidence pointing to Him, only that it is indirect – and as we have seen, you like to reject/ignore inductive reasoning.  Is that better?Oh, and it does NOT defeat the purpose of our existence or make it impossible for me to Love God.  I have NO idea how you made that leap as it has no apparent logical or coherent line of reasoning – at least not that I can detect.  It seems more an unsupported opinion than anything else.”It isn’t a non sequiter, you’re just too lazy (or dishonest) to look at the context.”More ad hominem, and from a person who claims reason as his foundation while wallowing in fallacious reasoning?  If you have reason on your side, then start dealing with my objections rather than dismissing them and then posing as though you’ve made some sort of point.  You haven’t.  You’re begging the question and relying on the ignorance of your audience to support your claims to being correct.”Yep, as useless to attempt to reason with someone who has renounced the rules of logic as it is to administer medicine to the dead.””Condescending isn’t a form of logic or argument.”John Wayne once said words to the effect that it is not bragging if you can do it.  I’ve always placed that with “the truth is an absolute defense against slander/libel.”  As I have just shown, my quoting of Paine is not condensation on my part, it is simple fact: you have rejected the established rules of sound reasoning.  That you take it as condescending only strengthens the validity of my accusation: not because I say so, but because you have failed to address my objections.Now, if you want to be honest with yourself and your readers, address these issues:1 — How did the universe come to be from nothing? (everything we know about the creation of the universe suggests this is exactly what happened)2 — How is it that the universe, a sealed system, can be expanding AND accelerating while maintaining all of the known universal constants in equilibrium?  (this is a violation of all known laws of physics, yet we know it is actually happening).3 — If there is no God, how can you have a notion of morality?4 — If there is no God, how can you have the notion of free will.5 — If you are a finite being, how can you understand the infinite?6 — If you are a material being, confined entirely by the laws of physics, how is it you can control and manipulate those laws?

  27. @soccerdadforlife – Agno believes that the Modern Synthesis isn’t dead.The Modern Synthesis is the idea that evolution consists primarily of genetic mutation + natural selection.  Evolutionary biologists today believe that genetic drift is far more important than either mutation or natural selection.There’s a lot of question about the role of natural selection.  For Darwin, natural selection resulted in the survival of the fittest.  Nowadays, the notion of the survival of the fittest is passe.  No one is even sure what natural selection really means anymore, if anything.Epigenesis is also thrown into the mix.  Basically, it says that the expression of DNA can be modified in germ cells (e.g., sperm or egg) without actually changing the DNA base pair sequence.Some people are looking at the influence of accidents or luck.Some people are looking at cooperative evolution, where two or more kinds of creatures act cooperatively.These are all potentially important factors and may have different amounts of influence on different kinds of creatures.Of course, genetic drift by itself killed the Modern Synthesis.  Some people are just hardcore science refusers.

  28. Kellsbella says:

    M., I love your site because the different opinions (not an echo chamber) truly make me think, and I like that. I love to read and this has been extremely enlightening. I truly wish I had an ounce of scientific knowlege in my bones, er, brain, but that is not where my talents lie…… But, hey! Anytime you boys wanna do a show…………..Sorry, but I’m still envisioning a production……

  29. black3actual says:

    @agnophiloOK, assuming evolution is how different species come to be.  Please explain a few things to me (soccerdad, feel free to help, as I am actually asking).1 — If mutation and natural selection is the process (or any other drift mechanism), how does the first of its kind reproduce in the face of a need for a female/male of its same kind, at the same time and in the same geographical location?2 — Suppose a male and female of the same kind mutate in the same place and time, how is it that they can actually reproduce?  Not only is there the problem of mutations not being able to breed, but genetics tends to self-correct, so the mutation may not be passed to the next generations (in fact, if self-repair were not a characteristic of genetics, I’m not sure how life could exist at all). 3 — If we have to fear a species dying out today when the gene pool reaches a critically low mass, how dose a new species come to be a healthy population from the first two specimens?Now, I’m asking.  I hope you can answer, as these are the easier questions.  How life came from inanimate matter is an entirely different and much more difficult set of questions.  So I will settle for rational answers to these 3 questions, as well as the 6 I left you with in my last post.  I hope you’ll be kind enough to provide some insightful and rational defense here and not just toss more ad hominem and dismissals at me.

  30. agnophilo says:

    @black3actual – I actually wasn’t going to reply to you at all since you were so obnoxious in this comment, but since you seemed to be actually asking questions and engaging the subject matter in the next comment, I’m going to give it a shot. “Well, I don’t see my comments as strawman.  First, i did not say YOU made these assertions, I said other atheists have.”  You put forward a weak position I wasn’t arguing for, attacked it, then claimed to have refuted my position which is only superficially similar to it.  That is what a strawman is.  As I said in the initial comment, that would be like me attacking young earth creationism or something some christians believe (if you did not) and pretending that disproved all of christianity.  You attacked a stupid, irrational form of atheism and then pretended that proved there was a god.  “Second, I addressed some of the strongest assertions made by atheists, not the weakest.  So I did not make a strawman argument.”How can you claim they’re not weak arguments for atheism when both of us think they’re idiotic and illogical?  You know positive atheism is an illogical position, that was your point.”Next, as I have stated, it is difficult to hold a rational discussion with someone who has renounced the use of reason.”  I would appreciate it if you could avoid obnoxious generalities.  You’ve used fallacies, I don’t go around trying to label you.”Here is an example of how you are doing just this.  When presented with evidence that refutes your position, you simply dismiss it:  “Okay, so they were wrong.  As I said, none of them were alive at the time.  This could be anything from a typo to a lie to something they reported based on shoddy evidence.” How can you say they were wrong?  You were not there.”  So because I wasn’t alive 2,000 years ago I can’t suggest they were wrong, but you can suggest they were right?  You must be pretty old…”They were the equivalent of modern day astronomers and historians, and it is accepted practice to take them at their word – especially lacking any evidence to the contrary.”  That what they said is (according to you) physically impossible isn’t evidence to the contrary?  And they could’ve just gotten the date or the area that the eclipse was visible from wrong.  Or it could’ve been a freak phenomenon like a rogue planetoid passing through the solar system.  Or they could’ve been reporting the equivalent of a modern urban legend, it’s not like modern history books don’t contain errors and inaccuracies and aren’t colored by biases of the authors.  I grew up reading that christopher columbus discovered the americas.  I found out later that literally millions of people got there before him.  “This is one reason I find atheists entertaining: they claim reason, but they refuse to use it whenever it is detrimental to their cause.  By definition, this is irrational behavior.”Again, you’re making generalizations which is dickish.  I’m not making general jabs about christians, I’d appreciate the same courtesy.”As for your claim that they did not live at the time: again, your objection is fallacious.  As the scholars of their day, we should expect they had access to materials that have been lost to us.  After all, they were writing about an event that, in Thallus’s case, was only distant to the time he wrote it by some 19 years.  So, if we use your reasoning, you can’t make any statements of fact about anything that happened before 1993.”  No, by my reasoning if someone makes a claim that something happened 19 years ago or a thousand years ago or last week, it isn’t necessarily accurate.  My point was that they didn’t see it with their own eyes, not that it was in the distant past to them.  It wouldn’t even be admissible in a court of law if all three of your historians were witnesses, it would be considered hearsay.”A reasonable person will see the folly in your objection: that you – 1,960 years removed from the time – assume to know more about what happened in 33 AD than a man writing 19 years after it happened.”  I don’t claim to know what happened, I just think an incorrect date or description, exaggeration, lie etc is more likely than a physical impossibility.  Bear in mind there is no shortage of fantastical claims from this period of history – surely you don’t accept them all simply because someone said they happened.”Reason alone tells us that Thallus may well have lived through that period and, if not, he could definitely have spoken to many who had experienced it first hand.  Furthermore, his accounts substantiate those of latter scholars, especially since – given the times – it is likely they wrote in total ignorance of each other.”You said they likely used source materials from earlier scholars now lost to us – could they not have been common sources?  In this case the source for the claim is unknown.”Patently FALSE claim!  1 – adaptation is NOT ‘evolution’ as Darwin defined it.”  Um, yeah it is.  If not, then give darwin’s definition of “evolution”.  To my knowledge it was descent with modification.”2 – in all of recorded history, we have NEVER – not once – witnessed the evolution of a new species.”  We actually have.  Google “observed instances of speciation”.  Speciation is the splitting of one species into two.  By the way you blew off my request for you to explain how life evolves as you understand it (I suspect because you don’t know enough about the actual science to respond).  I gather though from your second comment that you don’t understand the dynamics of speciation at all.  This is okay, there’s no shame in not knowing something, if you’re willing to learn.  I will do my best to explain it if you want to know about the science you are attacking.”HOWEVER, we HAVE discovered them.  Unfortunately, your bias blinds you to the implications here.”I actually try very hard to be objective.  And I have no reason to be biased about evolution, it has no bearing on any belief of mine that is emotionally charged, nor do I cling to my beliefs as many do to faith.  You don’t know me at all, could you please stop judging the shit out of me as though you do?[“No, I haven’t.  Actually ironically you assumed I assumed it to be so, which actually is a fallacy.  You’re just making shit up about me, which is kind of rude.”]”My friend, I made nothing up, you did say this.  You JUST said it.  I’ll remind you: “It is a fact that life evolves…” How can you sit here and tell your readers you did not claim evolution to be fact and that I lied in saying you have assumed it to be true when I just accurately quoted you saying exactly what I claim you said and you denied saying?”  You misunderstand what I meant.  I didn’t say I didn’t say evolution is a fact, I said I didn’t assume it’s a fact.  If I had said “no, I haven’t” in response to you saying I said evolution is a fact, that would be what I said, but it wasn’t.  What I was responding to was you saying I assume evolution was true.  I essentially said, no I don’t assume it’s true.  And I don’t, it’s a conclusion based on thorough examination of the evidence.  Why would I want to believe life evolves?  I no more want to believe life evolves than I want to believe the earth is round.  It just is, to the best of my knowledge, round.”This is yet another example of why I have trouble debating atheists: they renounce reason while demanding to be accepted as rational.”Again with the dickish generalizations…”As for the issue dealing with the Cambrian age, you missed the point – again:”You just blew off everything I said.  Thanks.  And what point did I “miss”?  You keep making statements like “you don’t GET it!” and then not elaborating.   It’s very obnoxious.”Do you understand how the scientific method works?  You observe something, then you devise a testable explanation for what you observe, then you test it.  If what you find does not agree with your predictions, you go back to the drawing board.  Darwin said we would go from 1 single celled organism to many, larger, more complex creatures.  the reversal of the evolutionary tree directly contradicts the THEORY of evolution.”  I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here.  I have never heard the claim you’re referencing, could you give a reference, link or quote for it?”Now, suppose Newton had seen an apple on the ground and then looked and saw them in the tree and said: “HA!, proof that gravity pushes things from the ground into the air1” and proceeded to insist that anyone who pointed out the apple fell from the tree to the ground was being unreasonable.  We would think Newton irrational, would we not?  So why is there a problem on my part for looking at the evidence available to us and applying the scientific method to Darwin’s THEORY and concluding that evidence does NOT match his predictions?  I’ll tell you why: it contradicts the atheists religion.  To you, it is heresy.  To a TRUE scientist, it is simply good methodology.”I’m a science nerd and I can tell you the fossil record matches the predictions of darwin and many other scientists.  I already gave examples of this and you ignored them.  Please give an example of a prediction darwin made which falsifies evolution.”Incidentally, I happen to believe that evolution is perfectly consistent with the existence of God.  So it a 13.5 billion year old universe.  But the mathematical barrier between the balance of the 322 known universal constants necessary for human life and the claim of randomness IS a barrier that a good scientist would recognize and the atheist ignores/denies.”I don’t see how acknowledging it and discussing it at great length is “ignoring” or “denying” it.  You blew off my response entirely though, so I think you need to look in the mirror.”THIS is strawman – on YOUR part.  You are only citing Darwin’s predictions that favor him, not those that HE said would be fatal to his THEORY.”  One, that is nothing close to what the term strawman means.  And two, I know of no predictions made by darwin which necessitate evolution or common ancestry are wrong.  You are saying that I’m committing a fallacy by not contradicting myself and agreeing with you – that isn’t how logic or the rules of debate work.  And I was contradicting your claim that none of darwin’s predictions have come true (which is not true), for which I need only one counter-example.”In this case, we have NOT found the intermediate fossil records,” We haven’t found prehistoric birds with separate digits in their wings as darwin predicted?Here’s a photograph of one.  Zoom in, there are not only separate digits but they even have claws.  Discovered in 1861, two years after darwin published On The Origin Of Species.  You’re making a claim that was falsified over 150 years ago.”nor have we found evidence of the predicted evolutionary tree (the one we just discussed).”  There are entire fields of study dedicated to the evidence.  If taxonomy is bullshit that will be news to every biologist, geneticist, paleontologist, geneticist, zoologist etc in the world.  I’d be happy to explain the evidence to you, but you need to calm down and try to have a civil discussion.”By ignoring this and trying to divert the discussion to something you believe supports your argument, YOU commit strawman (and red herring).”  You made a claim, I gave evidence that it was false.  So contradicting your claims isn’t allowed?”The lack of intermediary records is sufficient to destroy the THEORY of evolution.”  There are thousands of intermediates in the fossil record, and literally more found each year.  Please tell me what intermediates you’d like and I’ll see if we’ve found them yet (we’ve filled in most or all of the major transitions already).”The reversed evolutionary tree and Cambrian explosion are also fatal evidence tot he THEORY.  Rejecting or denying the implications they present is irrational (and bad science).”I explained what the term theory means in science – you ignore me and scream the word at me on my own blog.  I explained what the cambrian “explosion” was and why it’s not problematic for evolution – you totally ignore every word I said (if you even read it).  Let me know when you want to stop throwing a tantrum like a toddler and have a real conversation.”Ad hominem: always the sign that you are losing an argument.”  One, I insulted you – I didn’t do so in lieu of an actual argument.  Two, you make ad hom attacks against me and all atheists constantly, so shut the hell up.”Anyway, my apology: I did not realize you were so obtuse.”  See, like that.”OK, God created the universe such that people like you could convince themselves He does not exist.  the rest of us who understand that reason implies the necessity for His existence cannot ‘prove’ He exists because that would make it impossible for you to deny Him.  That does NOT mean there is no evidence pointing to Him, only that it is indirect – and as we have seen, you like to reject/ignore inductive reasoning.  Is that better?”I don’t agree with it, but I’m not going to bother debating it.”Oh, and it does NOT defeat the purpose of our existence or make it impossible for me to Love God.  I have NO idea how you made that leap as it has no apparent logical or coherent line of reasoning – at least not that I can detect.  It seems more an unsupported opinion than anything else.”I didn’t make that leap, YOU DID.  I rejected that claim as absurd in the original comment (the blog above).  Then when you said there was proof of god’s existence I then asked if (as you said prior) this means it is impossible to love god.  Now you’re bashing me for saying what you actually said.”More ad hominem, and from a person who claims reason as his foundation while wallowing in fallacious reasoning?”  Look in the mirror.”If you have reason on your side, then start dealing with my objections rather than dismissing them and then posing as though you’ve made some sort of point.  You haven’t.  You’re begging the question and relying on the ignorance of your audience to support your claims to being correct.”There literally isn’t a syllable of anything you’ve said that I haven’t addressed at length.  You’ve ignored huge swathes of my responses.  Again, look in the fucking mirror.”John Wayne once said words to the effect that it is not bragging if you can do it.  I’ve always placed that with “the truth is an absolute defense against slander/libel.”  As I have just shown, my quoting of Paine is not condensation on my part, it is simple fact: you have rejected the established rules of sound reasoning.  That you take it as condescending only strengthens the validity of my accusation: not because I say so, but because you have failed to address my objections.”No, I haven’t.  Not one of them.”Now, if you want to be honest with yourself and your readers, address these issues: 1 — How did the universe come to be from nothing? (everything we know about the creation of the universe suggests this is exactly what happened)”I replied to this in the blog above already.”2 — How is it that the universe, a sealed system, can be expanding AND accelerating while maintaining all of the known universal constants in equilibrium?  (this is a violation of all known laws of physics, yet we know it is actually happening).”I think you mean isolated system.  And it’s believed to be a result of the effects of dark matter, but even if I had no idea or if dark matter turned out to not exist, that would no more suggest your god is responsible than it would any other god or the tooth fairy.”3 — If there is no God, how can you have a notion of morality?”Morality does not come from religion or the idea of god, it comes from many different sources, from biological impulses (even wolves don’t rip each other apart the second they miss a meal) to psychology, natural consequences (if you hurt others they will hurt/not help you) to philosophy to how we’re raised etc.  The reasons why we are good or bad are complex, and are more or less the same whether or not people believe in god.  The most “godless” countries actually have pretty low crime rates, for instance.  The homicide rate in the US fluctuates between about double and 7 times the homicide rate in sweden and norway (the two most atheistic countries, where 70-80% don’t believe in a personal god).  Precepts like the golden rule did not originate with jesus or the bible, the oldest known instance of the golden rule is from the code of hammurabi (babylonian law) which pre-dates the oldest book of the old testament by around a thousand years. “4 — If there is no God, how can you have the notion of free will.”I don’t see how you can have a notion of free will with or without a god.  If god is omnipotent and knows what we’re going to do, how does that not negate free will?  Part of the problem is we just don’t understand how the brain works on a fundamental level.  Free will, consciousness etc are new frontiers in science.”5 — If you are a finite being, how can you understand the infinite?”I don’t pretend to understand it.  And I also don’t pretend to know it exists.  You are the only one making claims about infinite things.”6 — If you are a material being, confined entirely by the laws of physics, how is it you can control and manipulate those laws?”My free will may be an illusion, I may be just a series of cosmic cause and effect that is just so complicated that wants, needs, opinions etc are a part of the mechanisms of my brain.I’m okay with this possibility, because if that is the case then it doesn’t matter, so I may as well sit back and enjoy the ride.  Christians see life as being like a pilgrimage, buddhists see it as being like a dream.  Free will is less important in eastern philosophy.  This is why (if you play video games) eastern RPGs are like a set story where you don’t have much say in how it ends up, and western RPGs are all about being able to control the environment and make choices.

  31. agnophilo says:

    @soccerdadforlife – The theory of evolution has been revised for over a century and a half when new discoveries come to light, how is this any different?  And I don’t think it’s really debatable whether natural selection happens.@black3actual – “OK, assuming evolution is how different species come to be.  Please explain a few things to me (soccerdad, feel free to help, as I am actually asking).  1 — If mutation and natural selection is the process (or any other drift mechanism), how does the first of its kind reproduce in the face of a need for a female/male of its same kind, at the same time and in the same geographical location?”Well first of all most organisms are asexual (genderless), there are genderless animals and all different kinds of configurations of genders, even animals that change genders as needed etc.  Nature isn’t just boy animals and girl animals making babies.  And when a new species emerges in sexually reproducing animals, it’s not a one-step process where an animal gives birth to a member of a different species.  How it works is more like there are a population of  a million squirrels and something separates 50,000 of them from the rest (a new river forming at the end of an ice age, continental drift separating land masses, a mountain forming, or just migration over long distances).  Somehow or another they are cut off from the rest of the population.  What this means is that they can no longer share DNA with them, so there is no mechanism updating their DNA and keeping it the same as the other population.  So they diverge and over time become less and less like the original population.  This is similar to how languages branch off to form new dialects.  Did you know that every european language, french, german, italian, spanish etc all diverge from a “common ancestor” language?  This is why they all have the same roman alphabet of 26 letters.  Granted some of that was from people being conquered, but we can actually trace the changes back through the “fossil record” of texts over time and verify this.  How it happens is that language changes over time, every generation re-defines terms and makes up it’s own slang, like genetic mutations in DNA.  The reason english speaking people can understand each other is that they’re constantly communicating by proxy with each other.  You talk to someone who talks to someone who watches a tv show that I also see.  This is why we can understand each other.  It is also why we’re still the same species, because my parents had parents who had parents who at some point had sex and got the DNA from someone who had kids, who then had kids etc who were your parents.  If we’re a hundred generations removed we’re compatible enough that we’re the same species.  If we were a million generations removed we would not be.  Similarly if the last time you or your ancestors had spoken to an english speaking person was 50 years ago, we could understand each other – but if the last time your ancestors had heard english was 500 years ago, it would be a lot harder, right?  And a thousand years ago would be impossible.  Make sense?  Any questions?”2 — Suppose a male and female of the same kind mutate in the same place and time, how is it that they can actually reproduce?  Not only is there the problem of mutations not being able to breed, but genetics tends to self-correct, so the mutation may not be passed to the next generations (in fact, if self-repair were not a characteristic of genetics, I’m not sure how life could exist at all).”I already explained this in a way that hopefully makes sense.  Speciation happens when two large populations of the same species become genetically isolated and gradually diverge.  This is why there are entire families of species, not just one-off species.  There are many kinds of horses, many ethnicities of humans, many types of spiders etc.  Is the idea that black people, white people, asians etc are distant cousins reasonable, but the idea that these are all related unreasonable?”3 — If we have to fear a species dying out today when the gene pool reaches a critically low mass, how dose a new species come to be a healthy population from the first two specimens?”As I said, speciation can happen without the population ever dipping below the millions.  This is a common misunderstanding of the concept.”Now, I’m asking.  I hope you can answer, as these are the easier questions.  How life came from inanimate matter is an entirely different and much more difficult set of questions.”  No one knows for sure, at best we can explain how it might have happened as there is no record of the earliest life for the same reason there are only trace fossils from the cambrian – life that was simpler than modern single celled organisms would not have had the fortified cell structures necessary for fossilization.  It’s possible we may discover more fossils the better we get at detecting simpler chemicals though, just as we can now get DNA from fossils over 200,000 years old in some cases.”So I will settle for rational answers to these 3 questions, as well as the 6 I left you with in my last post.  I hope you’ll be kind enough to provide some insightful and rational defense here and not just toss more ad hominem and dismissals at me.”Be honest, I’ve dealt with every single thing you’ve said to me in an intelligent and reasonable way.  The only reason I called you a jackass is because you were being one.If we made a list of all my ad hominems and all yours, your list would probably be around 3-4 times as long as mine.

  32. agnophilo says:

    @black3actual – “Morality does not come from religion or the idea of god”I meant to say it does not exclusively come from religion or the idea of a god.  Obviously religion does effect why many people do what they do (both in positive and negative ways).  I wasn’t trying to say that religion is not a source of ethics, just that it is not “the” source.  If you put a thousand atheists on an island separated from civilization they would erect laws and form moral agreements and discuss right and wrong the same way pre-christian and pre-jewish societies did.

  33. black3actual says:

    I knew the ad hominem was coming.  Thanks for not disappointing me.I read – tried to read your replies.  I must admit, it was difficult when you, the person who has been using fowl language and being generally insulting of your opponent accuse me of being the ugly actor here.  But still, I tried.  But it is difficult when you show such a blatant ignorance of so many things.There is no use me wasting my time here.  You know so much that just isn’t so; and there is so much more that you don’t even know you do not know.But I’ll address one point by way of example, because it is sufficient to illustrate the rest of your ’tilting at windmills.’SEALED SYSTEM (try to keep from redefining everything when it isn’t necessary: it’s fallacious reasoning).The universe IS a sealed system.  Just a large one.  And even IF dark matter is real (which it has not been proven to exist as of yet), IT STILL DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM I POSED TO YOU!!!  And this is why you do not do well in defending your position: you do not understand that you have not answered my challenge, most likely because you do not even understand why you swung and missed.IF dark matter exists, it was part of the universe from the time of creation.  This means it was part of the equilibrium from that point.  So, if the universe is expanding – and everything we know says it is – and if it is accelerating – and everything we know says it is – this means matter and energy must be getting added to the universe.  If it is not, then the constants would not be constant – and everything we know says they are.So, my friend, dark matter does NOT answer the question.  Which leaves you with this next little puzzle:If the universe is apparently violating all known laws of conservation of matter and energy – as well as the second law of thermodynamics – are these actually ‘laws’ or not?  Or is the universe being maintained by some super natural force such as – Oh, IDK – THE CONSCIOUS WILL OF CHRIST! (which happens to be exactly what the bible tells us, and did so centuries before we were even aware of the paradox I just laid out). The Bible also tells us that the universe is like a tent.  Another startlingly accurate description of our modern understanding of the universe: an expanse with a definitive boundary with no definitive center.  That’s checkmate, my young friend.  But as with all atheists, you will not realize it, so you will reject it and call me names so you can feel better about wallowing in your indefensible position.  Do yourself a favor: learn soemthing for original sources and stop regurgitating the stuff you read from people who do not know what they are talking about, themselves.  That way, you might be able to offer a competent defense of your positions rather than being forced to wave ‘magic wands’ at everything (that’s ‘begging the question’ – in case you’re wondering.  Oh, and it’s another fallacy).You have an equal number of problems with your other replies, but as you obviously did not understand the implications with my question about what we know of the universe, it’s obvious I won’t be able to explain how grossly you misunderstand morality (here’s a hint: you’ve constructed a self-serving but hopelessly flawed definition).

  34. agnophilo says:

    @black3actual – Sorry, I don’t respond to douchebags who openly admit they ask questions and then don’t read the answers.  Enjoy a life of willful ignorance and backwards thinking.

  35. black3actual says:

    Well, maybe if you had complied with my request:”So I will settle for RATIONAL answers to these 3 questions, as well as the 6 I left you with in my last post.  I hope you’ll be kind enough to provide some insightful and R-A-T-I-O-N-A-L defense here and NOT just toss more ad hominem and dismissals at me.”You see, your answers were none of that.  All you gave me were patently ignorant replies laced with insult – as you just did when you called me a ‘douchebag.’  Like I said before, that is a sure sign you have lost the argument and lack the maturity to admit it.But thanks for not banning me from your page.  I suppose that’s something, because that’s how people on your side of these issues usually deal with someone who can actually present a strong refutation tot he atheist’s position. 

  36. agnophilo says:

    @black3actual – Yeah I’m pretty sure this is loborn I’m talking to.  Why don’t you stop making alts, it’s not like people will respect you more with a new screen name if you just keep spewing the same hateful bullshit.And I was perfectly civil in the response you refer to.  A response which you admitted you didn’t read, so you have no right to even talk.

  37. black3actual says:

    Kells,See what I mean?

  38. black3actual says:

    @agnophilo,I am doing this ONLY because Kells asked me to (although indirectly – she never does anything directly).  Whether or not you get anything out of it will depend on your own allegiance to yourself.  There are too many specific examples in our exchanges here to address each one directly.  There is simply too much that you do not seem to understand; it would take too long.  So I picked just one example.  Do you remember this?ME: “Well, we now know that this universe has at least 8 and possibly 9 dimensions (physicists have established this as a necessity).  As beings confined to the 4 dimensions we can perceive and manipulate (length, width, height and time), it is impossible for us to conceive of our work with these other dimensions in anything but the abstract (at least, at this time this is true).  Still, we have established that these other dimensions must exist.”YOU: I don’t believe scientists have “proven” that these extra dimensions exist, and dimensions themselves are abstract human concepts, a way to describe the world mathematically.  They don’t actually exist any more than inches or miles do, they are imaginary.I would point you here to start (though I think you need to actually read much more advanced material on this subject, this will do as it is a much more simplified presentation):Physicists Find Wat to ‘See’ Extra DimensionsThe mathematics of string theory suggests that the world we know is not complete. In addition to our four familiar dimensions – three-dimensional space and time – string theory predicts the existence of six extra spatial dimensions, “hidden” dimensions curled in tiny geometric shapes at every single point in our universe.This is but one example of what I was trying to point out to you: you simply do not know nearly as much as you ‘believe’ you know.  And, when presented with something you do not know that presents a problem to your foundational belief system, rather than take time to examine and try to understand it, you dismiss it.  This is irrational, and it is not rude nor insulting to point that out: it’s simply a fact.Now, I understand it is easier for you to just deny the reality of anything that undermines your world.  It’s a perfectly understandable human response.  But it is still emotionally driven.  It is not reason.  And it will not make those uncomfortable FACTS go away.Next, there is a line in the article I linked you to above that you should try to understand:“You can theorize anything, but you have to be able to show it with experiments,” Are you aware that there is a society that has worked out the math to explain all but some of the most difficult retrograde phenomenon astronomical observations to describe the universe with the Earth at its center?  Feel free to look it up.  I do not believe the earth is the center of the universe, but that is not the point here.  The point here is it can be mathematically explained.  Math is an aspect of science and a form of formal logic, but, in the example I just provided, it has been used to describe something – accurately – that is not reality as we understand it.  Man can devise many different explanations (i.e. theories) for the things he observes, but that does not make them correct – even when our testing seems to confirm that explanation.  We can still be wrong!  The theory of relativity, the most confirmed theory in human history, is now being brought into question by advancements in quantum physics.  But those same advancements are also suggesting Relativity may work fine for the larger parts of our universe but not at the quantum level – and vice-verse. This is the point I think you miss.  Reason, logic, science: these things are all tools, and like all tools, they can be used incorrectly.  If that happens, they will provide incorrect explanations/answers.  Figuring out whether or not these tools has been properly applied to arrive at an answer in which we can have a reasonable degree of confidence requires understanding and wisdom – both of which are unquantifiable in the sense you seem to want to confine the world around you.  By that, I mean that understanding and wisdom cannot be measured.  Science does not work on them.  You cannot describe them in a sense that you seem to want to address everything in the world.  Which – whether you understand this or not – places understanding and wisdom outside the definition you have constructed for ‘real.’  They do not exist in your definition of ‘materialism,’ yet we know they are real.  And that is just one of the inherent contradictions in your world view, and just one of the fatal flaws I have tried to get you to face.Now, you can do two things from this point: you can continue to deny the truth of what I have been presenting to you and just dismiss me with more insults, but just understand this is irrational and in contradiction to the paradigm your profess to believe.  Or you can face them, try to learn about them; understand how they challenge your espoused world view and then either find a way to refute them, incorporate them or change your world view to fit the reality they describe.

  39. Nushirox2 says:

    @PrisonerxOfxLove – Actually, it’s proof that he does.He understands that atheism has absolutely nothing to do with faith. Someone who is a 7, has faith and therefore stops being an atheist and creates a new religion.

  40. @Nushirox2 – Atheism is a faith-based belief. And it is indeed a religion.Faith is the belief in something that cannot be proven. You cannot prove that God does not exist.Therefore atheism cannot be proven. Therefore atheism is faith-based belief.And whereas Christians worship God, atheists worship themselves and/or some other charismatic figure (usually a politician).Therefore atheism is a faith-based religion.

  41. Nushirox2 says:

    @PrisonerxOfxLove – Which is why TRUE atheists don’t believe that God DEFINATELY does not exist. True atheists believe that God probably doesn’t.

  42. agnophilo says:

    @Nushirox2 – It’s not a matter of being a “true” atheist, just a logical one.  And the person you’re talking to is loborn (and I suspect black3actual is also loborn), it’s not worth dealing with them.

  43. @Nushirox2 – Words mean things.  This is what “atheist” means:a·the·istnoun: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supremebeing or beings. 

  44. Nushirox2 says:

    @agnophilo – Thanks for the warning. 😀

  45. Kellsbella says:

    @Nushirox2 – I don’t know who the hello loborn is, but I know B. personally. It’s ironic that agno and black actually have Biblical names……

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