Another blog (by the same person as the other one) about a tv show and another long reply:
“To assume that the earth is billions of years old requires faith and since I don’t base my knowledge on faith, rather empirical evidence (that means its testable) then it doesn’t matter how many “scientists” get together and say “We believe blah blah blah based on blah blah blah.”
You denounce the estimates of the age of the earth as faith based assumptions, then immediately dismiss the evidence they’re based on. Assumptions and conclusions based on evidence are two different things. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either it’s a conclusion based on bad evidence or an assumption based on ideology. Of course it’s neither, which is evidenced by the fact that even the vast, overwhelming majority of religious scientists in relevant fields agree with their estimates (and often are the ones who developed the science they’re based on).
“Not to mention that they continuously change the age of the earth and there are plenty of scientists who disagree.”
You are insinuating that these dates are in conflict, when they usually aren’t. Different evidence is used to establish the ages of different things. The US constitution can be dated back to 1787 via carbon dating. That doesn’t prove the world is 226 years old, but it proves it must be at least that old. Older artifacts push that figure back further and further. That an older artifact gives an older age is not a contradiction, nor does it invalidate the first piece of evidence. If we find a rock older than any other rock we’ve ever found, we adjust the estimate accordingly. But we don’t say the earth is that old and no older, we say it’s at least that old.
“In fact the margin of error “4.6 billion give or take a few million years” is humongous. Not scientific at all. That’s like saying “oh you’re 20 years old, give or take 100 years.”
Actually the latest estimate is 4.54 billion plus or minus .05 billion years, which is a margin of error of 1.1%, not 500%, as in your ridiculous example. If it was a margin of error of 500% that would be silly. But it’s not. It’s the equivalent of saying “You’re 20 years old, give or take 2.6 months”.
“Anyways. Back to the idea of spirituality and Christianity. There was one woman on the program who said that she was not a Christian, rather she was a follower of God and Christ and a believer in the Bible. Whenever she spoke, the other side could do nothing but roll their eyes and shake their heads. At the same time I rolled my eyes and shook my head, but not in agreement with the secular side. It amazes me that people who claim to be so open could be so close-minded.”
So rolling their eyes at a religious point of view makes them amazingly closed-minded, but you rolling your eyes at them makes you what exactly? A scholar?
“The woman’s child died and her faith in God INCREASED. Why is that?”
It’s called belief perseverance in psychology, it applies to many views, not just religious ones. People tend to believe things more strongly when confronted with conflicting evidence, especially if they’ve publicly stated their beliefs. It’s a form of denial.
“She said she speaks with God, which is true I can attest to that in some form or another.”
I’d love to get everybody who says they talk to god in a room and ask them to go home and ask god what denomination is the right one, what version of the bible is the right one, and what god thinks about gays, abortion etc. Then have them come back the next day and argue about the completely contradictory “responses”.
If even half the people who say they talked to god really did, christians would be a lot more on the same page about the big questions.
“What can you say in the light of personal testimony?”
Lots of things.
“Scientists testify all the time. The earth is billions of years old. Look at this rock I dated.”
That isn’t a subjective impression, it’s objective, testable, verifiable evidence.
“Were you there when the rock was laid down? Did you see it?”
So you’re saying any evidence older than you is invalid because you didn’t personally see things that happened before your birth? So the bible is horseshit? You weren’t there for any of it. The civil war never happened either, right? Or the holocaust. Or ice ages. And one orbit of pluto is about 250 years, so I guess it’s never gone around the sun because you weren’t there to see it.
If you come home one day and there’s a baseball in your living room that you don’t own, all the doors are locked and a window is broken in a baseball-shaped hole, do you conclude that god must’ve created your house with the baseball in it and created you with false memories of a baseball-free home sometime that day?
“Did you see this Big Bang you try so hard to prove?”
If you knew anything about the science you attack, you’d know that every astronomer has, in fact, seen the big bang since it’s still observably happening as we speak. The universe is expanding right now, we can measure it and everything.
“Seriously. The woman was there and heard the voice of God, and she’s not the only one.”
Hell, yahweh isn’t the only god people hear. Hindus stress a personal relationship with their deities, even believing in household gods and many cultures perform rituals to commune with and gain wisdom from the spirits of their ancestors. Apparently the sky is a crowded place.
“Moving on. Back to the show. So this one evangelical stands up, he says two words and sits back down. On the other side there is a panel of geologists, biblical scholars, physicists, scholars. And on the other side there is a catholic priest, a few religious scholars and a random practitioner from the audience. Complete bias.”
How the hell is that biased? Sounds pretty even-handed to me.
“The host is educated in all the atheist counter arguments and clearly supports the Secular side. Not only that, but he allows interruption after interruption and even applauds the other side. It’s clear where he stands.”
So a secular show where the host is secular and the religious side is very well represented with a whole panel of religious advocates is sickeningly biased, but the probably 99% of religious shows where only one side is ever represented is fine? Isn’t that offensive too? If not then you’re the one who is biased.
I on the other hand am used to people not agreeing with me.
“And why is this program even allowed to air on BBC? Is that amount of bias okay?”
Why do I have the feeling that if they’d been biased in the opposite direction you’d somehow be okay?
“But here’s what I hated about the religion side. Most of the people doing the most talking were not truly converted or had never really experienced God, were not filled with the Holy Spirit (oh you can tell) and frankly had no reason to believe in their religion. I’m not a Christian because I chose to be! I didn’t delude myself into believing in God! My life was changed back when I was eight and I realized the true danger I was in, but that didn’t stop me from sinning when I became an adult. I would have gone to Hell if it had not been for the Holy Spirit literally picking me up off of my seat and tossing me around like a rag doll. Most Christians are really deluded and believe that saying that you believe in something actually makes you a Christian. But why do you believe???? I don’t believe there is an invisible unicorn chewing on my toe. There has to be some kind of evidence and that evidence has to happen to me before I can believe. But the worst part is, most people think that if they continue saying they believe that somehow they will get into heaven.”
All christians think they’re the only “real” christians. I agree that cultural/indoctrinated christians and born-agains are altogether different breeds.
“That’s ridiculous. Confess and believe in your heart. That means that just like the bowl of cereal that you eat out of, God is real. just like the couch that you sit on, God is real. In that case it wouldn’t be belief. I don’t “believe” in couches. I don’t “believe” in cereal bowls, they just are. And the same is true for God. God is. And people who change their “beliefs” never “believed” in the first place.”
Bowls and cereal exist independent of individual experience and can be equally observed by everyone regardless of their culture or worldview. Gods cannot be observed and events and feelings attributed to them cannot be causally linked to them. People say “I’ve seen god cure sick people” but that god had anything to do with it is always an assumption, or a conclusion based on faulty reasoning like the post hoc fallacy.
“And it not like there isn’t plenty of evidence either! Even secular scientist acknowledge the existence of God by acknowledging that Jesus existed. It’s not a “belief,” it is an absolute fact that Jesus existed! And there is evidence! So what? Do you still “believe”? Ridiculous. “
That a man named jesus existed and that he was the son of god are two different things. Alexander the great was said to be the son of god, born of a virgin and immaculately conceived. He was even said to have fulfilled prophecies, some from the bible. Why don’t modern scholars believe this? Because he was said to be the son of zeus.
“So back to the show. Of course no one on the other side was really adamant about their beliefs because they were not true believers. The Muslims are ridiculous. I don’t see how they can even maintain this farce of a religion. Islam is absolutely the most ridiculous religion ever. Here’s why. 1. The prophet Muhammed is Dead.”
Aren’t the gospel writers dead? And isn’t jesus dead and in heaven?
“2. They believe that the Bible has some truth. Enough said. You took your beliefs from another religion. So why is only part of the Bible true and the rest untrue?”
Learn the history of your own religion, the new testament and the koran are both based on the torah, the founding texts of judaism. And the torah is based on older texts like the code of hammurabi (golden rule, eye for an eye etc) and the epic of gilgamesh (flood story and adam and eve).
“Do you have proof? Really, you can’t have it both ways. Either all of it is true or none of it is true. Same goes for the Bible.”
Nah, some could be true and some could be false, mis-translated, copied incorrectly, or incorrectly included in the compilation. The bible is after all many texts, and many more were excluded.
“Which brings me to my next point. Literal interpretation of the Bible. What? You mean to say that you don’t think that the Word of God, breathed and handed down through generations unaltered (Dead Sea Scrolls), eyewitness testimony from people who literally walked with Jesus and talked to Jesus, is a story????? Adam and Eve are a story? Wha? I can’t.”
Actually the bible has been heavily altered from earlier texts, and the new testament itself is an alteration of earlier doctrines.
“The first words of Genesis don’t say “Once upon a time,” and they certainly don’t leave any room for anything but a literal interpretation.”
In my christian school they taught me about different types of literature. Fables, they taught me, contain exaggerated or fantastic events and characters, the most common of which are talking animals. The bible has a talking snake and a talking donkey, enchanted trees and many other fantastic things. It is as easy to take figuratively as the three little pigs or little red riding hood.
“God made. That’s it. God said and it was. “And these are the generations of man.” Does that even sound like a story to you???”
“But they insist that anyone who doesn’t read this as a story is completely stupid. Not only that, but if Adam and Eve were a story, then what about everyone who follows after them? Are they made up? Is Abraham a story? And if its a story, why go through all the trouble of listing generations and geneology and denoting real places and geography. No. It’s not a story. It’s real.”
Nearly all fictional stories mention real places, peoples, cultures, languages and historical events. And here’s the genealogy of the greek gods. If someone took the bother to write it down must it be true also?
“I just can’t believe the audacity that people have. I mean, how can you be so sure about something you know no thing about??”
You seem to manage just fine.
“The secular side cherry picked verses and claimed them as proof of contradiction (of course taken out of context anything can be contradictory). The Bible wasn’t even originally divided into verses, so reading it verse by verse is wrong in the first place. And its really easy to tell the difference between a parable and history in the Bible. Just ask any kid in Sunday School.”
Hang on, I thought that the entire bible was literal history, now you’re saying when it suits you some parts aren’t?
“At this rate, Christianity will be dead overseas in a few hundred years. Why? Because people don’t have the Holy Spirit.”
If christianity goes extinct like all the other religions wouldn’t that suggest it’s just another incorrect religion?
“But the Bible says it, so I’m not really surprised.”
Oh it says a lot of things.
“In fact, the state of the world as it is now doesn’t surprise me a bit. Evil is running rampant and people are sicker and more depressed than ever. Wars, famine, drought, earthquakes, floods. There is no surprise there.”
This is like pointing to the fact that it rains occasionally as though that proves something about the state of the world. There has never been a time in human history where somebody wasn’t at war with somebody or building up to war or just having finished a war, and where there wasn’t too much rain somewhere and not enough someplace else. These are constants, they mean exactly nothing.
“Am I worried, nope. I already know that this world is temporary. We pay for our sins, then we move on to glory. Those who refuse to acknowledge their sins, well they won’t move on.”
Glad to know you have an “I’ve got mine Jack” philosophy.