Sunday, 5 August 2007

How To Converse With Religious Fundamentalists


Typical Fundie: If You See Someone Like Him, Run For Your Life!!!


Many atheists often have trouble squirming out of religious conversations, especially those that are often unsolicited and can be downright insulting. This is something I can attest to, since I have a rather colorful, religious background, having been raised baptist, studied in a St Franciscan School, and have religiously pious Buddhist uncles and relatives.

Many years ago, a chance encounter of sorts happened to me on board a train: I was taking a train to my technical institution, when a religious fundie approached me; he was a Pakistani (at least he claimed he was) Christian, and happened to chance upon the sole infidel on that lonely train, which I had the misfortune to take on that fateful morning.

To be fair, mornings on board trains were invariably boring. Every passenger on board seemed to dread the awfulness of waking up in the early hours of a Monday morning, and one does not fancy an early proselytizing routine that early.

Regardless, I had my fun with him; it inspired me to write a skid about this encounter. Without further ado, I present to you the following skid:


Dialog Between The Beast And The Religious Fundamentalist

SEP,11, 2001
: Two airliners clashed into the twin towers of the New York World Trade Center Another airliner clashed into the Pentagon, and yet another clashed Pennsylvania. The result: 3030 dead, 2337 injured. Welcome to the ‘beautiful’ world of religious fundamentalism.

Since the advent of modern civilization, Man has always harbour an insane need to wage wars. The need for territorial domination and the insane need to instill fear and the power of death unto the meek and defeated has, for the longest time, been the driving force behind such war-related atrocities.

Religious violence, on the other hand, hardly existed before the arrival of Judaism, considered the oldest existing monotheistic religion in the world. Both Christianity and Islam were spawned from Judaism. While the birth of Christianity brought forth Antisemitism, the rise of Islam heralded the beginnings of several wars between Muslim and the Christian armies. These wars, better known as the Crusades in the Middle East, killed, maimed and devastated the lives of millions of people in the Middle Eastern regions throughout a span of several centuries. The toll on human life and suffering was unfathomable, and all these was done in the name of religion.

Even though the brutal nature of religions may or may not have originated from the founders themselves, all too often religious fundamentalists harbor crazy, stubborn ideals of bigotry and ego that renders them incapable of exercising tolerance towards other religions or creeds.

The extremist nature of fundamentalism brings about extreme actions from certain sections of the faithful flock. Some will resort to violence, believing that bestowing death to their God’s enemies will bring them heavenly rewards in their afterlives. Others feel the compelling urge to convert others who do not share their beliefs and customs, often in a rude and sometimes unforgiving manner, thinking that they are doing these “infidels” a huge favor. These people call themselves fundamentalists; they adhere to a very strict interpretation of their religious scriptures. Fundamentalists take great pride in following their religious scriptures, often down to the very letter. Depending on the severity/degree of their faiths, they will sacrifice and give up just about everything and do anything to propagate their interpretation of their specific religions. The term “infidel” is a label coined by fundamentalists on people who do not share their creed.

I have, on several occasions, been approached by fundamentalists who peddle their religion everywhere; from public schools and institutions to public transportation vehicles. They are usually Christians who believe that by converting infidels such as myself, I will thus join their “flock” and be re-united with their “shepherd” in heaven, when I am finally six feet under.

While they can be pretty irritating at times, there are times I find myself in a better mood to hold some kind of meaningful conversation with them. Although I do resent their hard-selling approach of “rewards in heaven”, from certain aspects I do admire them for being bold enough to approach complete strangers and sharing their religions with them. It is not a easy thing to do, believe you me. I was a salesman for two weeks, and I quitted because approaching strangers is not something one can adjust to easily.

The following dialog is a conversation between myself and a fundamentalist who approached me while I was traveling on the train from my home to school. The fundamentalist in question is a Christian, but for sentiment’s sake, I shall change his God’s name to Bob the Raingod, and his religion, Bobbism.

SCENE: Beast is traveling on a Mass Rapid Transit train; he’s listening in to his disc-man, which happens to be playing the latest songs from Eminem, when a fundie (short for fundamentalist) from the Bobbist Church approaches him. Beast’s got time to wild away, and he reckons he can do with some unsolicited entertainment, which goes like this………)


Fundie (Cheerfully): Good morning, Sir, how is your day?

Beast (looks around, removes the eyepiece connected to the disc-man, and realizes fundie is talking to no one but himself, and takes off earphone): Erm, you talking to me, dude?

Fundie: Yes sir, how is your day?

Beast (shrugs shoulders): Jeez, its 0630 hours, the day’s not even started yet, as far as I am concerned. Is there anything I can do for you?

Fundie (looks at watch, laughs): Yes, its true. Its very early indeed. Oops, I am sorry, I forgot to introduce myself; my name’s Paul, how should I address you?

Beast: You can address me as Beast. It is my pen name. I write articles for an independent magazine, and I sign off as The Beast.

Fundie (Surprised): You are a writer? That’s great!

Beast: I am but a amateur writer, my genre being a mix of humor and satire.

Fundie (Smiles): You must be a very smart guy.

Beast (Laughs): That’s very flattering, Paul, but I will accept it. Thank you.

Fundie: That’s good, we are off on a good start here. What is your religion, by the way?

Beast (Shrugs): I am an atheist. I subscribe to no religion.

Fundie (looks surprised): That can’t be, most people I know here have religions.

Beast (Gives a “Oh not again“ look): Oh well, you said “most". I happen to be the odd one out. But if you must know, the official religion of choice as stated in my identification card states Buddhism, and that was actually made official by my parents, who happen to be Taoists.

Fundie: I see, do you believe in a true and Living God?

Beast (Shakes head): No, I just said I am an atheist. An atheist is a person who does not subscribe to any deity, or any other supernatural beings that do not have the seal of proof. Scientific proof, to be more specific.

Fundie (Apologetic look on his face): I am so sorry to hear………

Beast (Interrupts): Sorry? Why the need to feel sympathetic towards my stance? Its not as if I am handicapped or financially bankrupt; neither have I suffered any grave misfortune. (Laughs) Not at the moment, anyway.

Fundie: I do not mean it in an offending way. I just feel sad when someone says he or she does not believe and know the True and Living God.

Beast (laughs): I think I am beginning to comprehend what you are trying to hit on here. Are you trying to tell me you have special access to some extraordinary, exclusive deity?

Fundie: Not a mere deity, but a True and Living God.

Beast: Ok. So who is this “True and Living God” which you claim to have access to? Do you possess any empirical evidence of such a deity?

Fundie: Have you ever heard of Bob the Raingod, or followers of the Bobbist Church?

Beast (laughs): Yes so I have heard. So what does this Bob do, bring forth the rains and floods?

Fundie (Slightly unnerved by Beast’s unnatural laughter): Well, yes and no. Yes, he does bring rain, but he is not solely limited to one ability. More than that, he is the Creator of the Universe, the planets, and all that is around us, including ourselves. All creation is proof of his existence.

Beast: Ok, perhaps so, but what else did he do? Simply create everything and leave his creations to their own devices?

Fundie (Gesticulates wildly): No, Bob will never abandon us! For he gave us the greatest love of all! He sent his only begotten son, Bob Junior, to Earth to live a mortal’s life. He cured the sick, rose the dead, and performed many miracles. He was innocent of all crimes, but he chose to die for our sins. Despite his powers, he chose to be persecuted by his very own people, and through his actions our sins are all but forgiven! Pray, tell me, what greater love is there, save the sacrifice of one‘s beloved son? Besides, Bob is all powerful, all loving and all knowing. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning, and The End.

Beast: I am sorry for interrupting your little soap opera, but I have a most serious question, with regards to your little tale.

Fundie (Looking pleased): That’s fine by me, really. It is good for you to ask questions. And good for me to know that you are listening and learning.

Beast (smiles): Thanks, but you said Bob was the only True and Living God?

Fundie: Yes I did say that.

Beast: But now Bob has a son, Bob the junior?

Fundie: Yes, he does.

Beast: Now this Bob has a son. So does that not make two deities?

Fundie: Ok, I see what you mean. Bob the Raingod is actually a godhood consisting of 3 Godheads: Bob the Father, Bob the Son and Bob the Holy Spirit. All three join together to form the Holy Trinity.

Beast (Looking slightly incredulous). Now wait a minute! I don’t think I am capable of grasping the very nature of your Gods! First you come to me, sharing some God, then you have two, and now you have Three! How many gods have you left out of the picture?

Fundie: I know it sounds incredible at first……

Beast: Not incredible. Simply illogical and ridiculous.

Fundie: It is one Godhood, with 3 God-heads.

Beast: (Laughs)

Fundie (uncomfortable, slightly agitated): May I know what it is you are laughing at?

Beast (tries real hard to stop): Pardon me, I am sorry. But from what you are telling me, I can give you three distinct possibilities.

Fundie: Really? Pray, tell me.

Beast: Option one: You are telling me a tale which you yourself cannot even begin to grasp. In short, you are either hallucinating, or you are still suffering from a hangover from last night‘s drinking bilge.
Option 2: Your God is actually a god with a certain mental disorder, commonly and medically known as “multiple-personality disorder“. Mental patients with this ailment suffer from multiple personalities, and will exhibit completely different personalities from time to time. In simple layman’s terms, it is akin to talking to three different persons, even if you are talking to one.
Option 3: There are actually 3 gods, all equally powerful. Kind of like an Alliance, really.

Fundie (Displeased look on face): Am I detecting a hint of blasphemy here?

Beast: I apologize for sounding a little offending here. I don’t mean to be rude though. I just analyze whatever information you have provided me with so far, that is all.

Fundie ( a little sullen now): Well, let me warn you that blasphemy against Bob the Raingod will cause you to incur his wrath, and I seriously suggest you not to babble such blasphemous remarks in future.

Beast: I think you have utterly misunderstood me. Allow me to rephrase my stance here: I am apologizing to you, because I feel that I may have unintentionally offended you in some way. I am not apologizing to your god, or gods (rolls eyes in disbelief), simply because I do not think he, or they, exist.

Fundie: It is “he ". One God. Not “they”.

Beast (throws arms in the air): Whatever.

Fundie (Shakes head): This is not very good. You know what the Bobbism scripture says? “Only a fool says there is no God.” And the Bobbism Scriptures is the best proof bestowed upon Man by Bob the Raingod, to guide us on the road to salvation.

Beast: May I ask you, my good Paul: Are the scriptures you just mentioned written by man, or Bob the Raingod?

Fundie: The scriptures were written by honorable prophets about two thousand years ago; they wrote what Bob inspired them to.

Beast: Ah… so the scriptures were written by men, not deities, is that so?

Fundie: Yes, that’s true, but they were divinely inspired.

Beast: Whatever their alleged divine sources, the fact remains, that these scriptures were written by men, the tales and rules were written in a time and age when science wasn’t as advanced as today, and passed down through numerous hands and handwritten transcripts. Errors and discrepancies caused by numerous translations notwithstanding, these laws may have worked very well at the time it was scribbled, but not so now, nearly two thousand years later. Two thousand years is an awfully long time, Paul. Whatever is written then may have suited their age and time, but not ours.

Fundie: That’s not true! Many of the rules written in the Bobbist scriptures are still relevant today, such as the golden rule, “Thou shalt not kill”. Without such laws, evil shall triumph over good.

Beast: Such rules have existed long before Bobbism took root. Besides, good and evil are shifting values. What is defined as good today, may be deemed evil tomorrow, and vice versa.

Fundie: Oh? Are you saying then, that the values of good and evil are never consistent? I think not.

Beast (Laughs): Absolute morals cannot be applied consistently, my friend. Perceptions change with every era. Surely you do know that a little over a century ago, slavery was a norm in the United States and Europe? Now, slavery is viewed as a abomination unto itself. A few decades ago apartheid was law, a law sanctioned by the white minority to segregate themselves from the blacks in the USA and South Africa. Nowadays it is a common view that apartheid has left a indelible black mark in world history.

Fundie: That is true. But crimes, such as rape & murder, as written in the Bobbist scriptures are still relevant today. Would you agree?

Beast: Such laws, being secular in nature, cannot be credited to the Bobbist religion itself, as they existed in a time that preceded as far back as the ancient Greek civilization, way before the first Bobbist scripture was ever penned. Certain laws inherited from ancient civilizations still apply, due to their well-proven ability to maintain and preserve civilization. The scriptures may have harped about certain common laws which have long been used and regarded as norms in other civilizations, but it doesn’t mean we should credit the scripture writers for their ingenuity in creating such wise, secular laws. Rather, there are other redundant, moral rules, spawned by such religious writers, which hold no intrinsic value to modern society.

Fundie: Such as?

Beast: Such as rules, or laws, subjugating the rights of women, the harboring and treatment of slaves, laws prohibiting certain consensual, sexual acts; and laws prohibiting the general population from worshiping other gods other than those stated in the scriptures, just to name a few.

Fundie (Disappointed): So you disagree that such laws, as mentioned by you, are irrelevant with regards to the morals of our nation, or the world in general?

Beast (Laughs): Such unnecessary trivialities are but obstacles to a free and modern world. No one, with the exception of religious fundamentalists and terrorists, will ever want to live under the shroud of such restrictive and ill-advised laws. Besides, there is no way a modern society can enforce a law on, say, sexual preferences, without incurring the wrath and ridicule of the general public.

Fundie (Annoyed): You seem very hell-bent on discrediting Bob.

Beast (Gives a innocent, “Not me, its him!” look): That’s not my intention, my good Paul. I am merely stating facts.

Fundie: So you discredit my faith. So what proof do you have of your faith?

Beast: Didn’t I mention earlier I have no faith?

Fundie: Atheism is a faith. After all, it requires more faith to believe there is no god than there is a god.

Beast: Allow me to explain atheism in simple terms. Do you believe in fairies?

Fundie: No, of course not. That’s a pagan belief, is it not?

Beast: That’s beside the point. Why do you not believe in fairies?

Fundie: Because I jolly well know they do not exist.

Beast: I see. What if I say they did?

Fundie: Then I think you are either insane, or demon possessed.

Beast (Laughs): Really. What if I insist that fairies exist, despite your ardent objection of such deities ?

Fundie: Then you must prove to me that fairies exist.

Beast: What if I say fairies exist, that everything in existence is created by fairies, and that the playboy magazine was written by fairy-inspired authors, and that the monthly publications of Playboy magazines is a irrefutable proof of their existence, and your disbelief in fairies actually requires more faith than a belief in fairies?

(By this time the fundie knew that he had been outsmarted and outwitted by a very calm Beast, which somehow is very contradicting to the conventional depiction of a Beast as a wild, savage being.)

Fundie (looking dejected): I sense a lot of hostility from you towards Bob the Raingod.

Beast(Wide-eyed amazement): When on Earth have I shown my disenchantment or hostility towards Bob?

Fundie (Fuming): You blaspheme him time and time again, even to the extent of comparing him to fairies.

Beast: I think you are too sensitive.

Fundie: I think you are being too insensitive.

Beast (Laughs): I am sorry to know that your God is so emotionally fragile. Let us both stop accusing each other for the moment. Ok?

(At this point, the fundie seemed to be divinely inspired. He begins to brighten up, seemingly hell-bent on winning this theological battle with yours truly, a.k.a The Beast)

Fundie: So, in your opinion, God does not exist. How then, were you conceived, save by the hand of an All-knowing, All-almighty God?

Beast: I was conceived and borne of my mothers’ womb.

Fundie: And by whose hands were you placed into your mother’s womb?

Beast (Laughs hard): Jeez, do you suppose that I should give you a biological discourse on sex and pregnancy? (Laughs again) I don’t think so. Not on this train.

Fundie (Laughs, rather half-heartedly): Ok, that wasn’t what I expected from you. Let me rephrase the question: Who exactly was the cause of everything that exists, from the mega-sized galaxies, to the tiniest of microbes?

Beast: With regards to the universe and the galaxies, my answer would be that of the Big Bang. As with regards to life on Earth, evolution is the driving force behind all life on Earth.

Fundie (Stunned, as if he had been hit by a rock): Ok, so you believe Man evolved from Monkeys? Or that our ancestors were no better than hairy apes?

Beast (Smiles): From your very questions I suspect that you didn’t do well in your biological classes in school.

Fundie (Disgusted): Oh, we were taught in school we evolved from apes.

Beast: Either your biological teacher screwed you up, or you remembered it wrong. We did not evolve from apes. Rather, man and ape share a common ancestor.

Fundie (Skeptical look): Oh? Where’s the proof?

Beast: It is all there in the museums. Check it out.

Fundie: Don’t you know that there were many hoaxes found amongst these so-called “Pre-historic homo skeletons”?

Beast: So there was. But many species have been deemed authentic down the years, like the “Java Man” and the “Peking Man” fossils. If you are mentioning about fake fossils, such as the “Piltdown Man”, those fake fossils were actually exposed by credible scientists themselves, hence lending credence to the astute honesty and integrity of the scientific community.

Fundie: So you think man and ape are closely related?

Beast: Very close, genetically speaking our genes share more than 99% similarity.

Fundie: So science teaches that, huh? That we are actually no better than apes?

Beast: That’s your opinion, my friend.

Fundie (Looks imploringly. Poor dude, maybe he hasn‘t evolved, yet): Look at us, Beast. How can you compare us to apes?

Beast: Are you trying to imply that Apes are too stupid to be held in comparison to Man?

Fundie: Of course! We are definitely far more superior to mere apes! In fact, our intelligence surpluses that of all animal species on Earth. We were created in the image of Bob; we were gifted with intelligence to make decisions, to perceive good and evil. Man has the ability of speech to convey information and ideas, which animals are incapable of. Most important of all, we have been blessed with everlasting souls, hence our emotions and conscience. Animals do not possess such an impressive array of gifts from the most divine Bob. Most importantly, Bob gave us free will……

Beast (Interrupts): Ok, wait a minute. You are suggesting that :
One: Man is the only species on Earth blessed with intelligence, and that the rest of the Animal Kingdom exist on dull-witted brains or simply no brains at all, which means that they are incapable of intelligent actions or participate in decision making.
Two: Since you claim animals have no souls, it naturally equates to a definite absence of emotions and conscience.
Three: You are also implying that Man inherits supreme exclusivity to Bob the Raingod on the basis of the existence of our eternal souls. Right?

Fundie: Animals are sent by Bob our Lord to serve us. That is the reason why we are allowed to eat animals, without incurring the wrath of our Lord.

Beast (Laughs): I shall convey your opinions to the local animal rights groups. They will probably skin you alive.

Fundie (Laughs): I haven’t met any of them, but anyway, almost everyone eats meat, right?

Beast (Half-hearted attempt to stop laughing): That’s true. I think we are sidetracking a little here. So, the point is, am I right to assume that you believe that animals are just callous, stupid and dumb, and that we deserve divine favors on the basis of intelligence and the alleged existence of souls, traits which animals do not possess, according to you that is?

Fundie (Pauses for a while): Yes. That would be right.

Beast: Do you realize that most animals actually have brains in the first place?

Fundie: Yes they do.

Beast: So, are you saying that they never use their brains for anything else save eating, sleeping, defecating and copulating?

Fundie: You are correct.

Beast: How do you explain the ability of animals to hunt in groups? Lions, for instance, tend to form social groups known as prides. There exists a social hierarchy in every lion pride, and a leader from each pride is responsible for leading the pride during their hunts, and protects the pride from external threats. By hunting in groups, lion prides have the highest success rates amongst the Big Cats in terms of hunt-to-kill ratio. Elephants, too, have their social herds, and their mental faculties are almost on par with Man’s. There is documentary evidence of elephants actually mourning the deaths of their family members and relatives. So-called dumb animals, or animals of a less order, have been known to exhibit emotions anyway; I used to keep pet hamsters; and I can attest to the fact that even these “lesser” animals exhibit unique character traits. So how does that say of your charge that animals can’t feel, and hence do not have souls?

Fundie: But we can worship God, but they can’t, so that makes a difference.

Beast: Ah, so you are saying, the animals have feelings, souls, and intelligence, but they can’t worship gods. Is that another change in your stance again?

Fundie (Very flustered): I think you are trying to twist my words here.

Beast: I am not. I am just commenting on what you say, and then attempting to prove you wrong, that is all.

Fundie (Mildly frustrated): Ok, let’s put it this way. Animals do have intelligence; they do have emotions, but they have no souls, and when they die they simply perish. And the important issue being, that they do not have the ability to know the true and living god.

Beast: So now your claim would be that, our ability to worship a powerful God, is the sole reason why we should be superior to the animals?

Fundie (Pauses, thinks, before answering): Uh huh…………

Beast: I shall have to refute you on this. Animals do worship, actually, but in a far more subtle manner.

Fundie: Really? How so?

Beast: In the context of the animal kingdom, God would be a mere alpha male in the herd. This phenomenon can actually be observed in gorilla territory.

Fundie (Exasperated now): This is outrageous! You compare our Supreme God to a gorilla alpha male?

Beast (Shrugs): Well, our need to worship god is actually a throw-back to our ancient prehistoric ancestors. Since gorillas and man are, generally speaking, genetically related, it is safe to say that we do share similar traits. The worship of gods is quite akin to the animals who serve and look up to their alpha males for leadership.

Fundie (Angrily): This is blasphemy! I command you to stop this nonsense now, once and for all!

Beast (Fed-up, raises his beastly voice): Now don’t try to get personal on me, pal. If you wish to mix science with superstition, I think you have been barking up the wrong tree. These are facts that have been substantiated by reputed scientists, and unless you can find a better way to prove otherwise I suggest you keep quiet with regards to this issue.

Fundie: Don’t you see? Evolution is but mere theory! Not facts, but theory! Even the scientists themselves cannot make up their minds with regards to how evolution was supposed to happen!

Beast: So is gravity, my friend. The Theory of Gravity. Does gravity exist? No? Then you might as well float into the outer edges of space and perish. When Science accords a scientific idea as Theory, it simply means there is probably more than one way to explain a phenomenon. Take light, for example, it inherits the characteristics of both a wave and a particle. Evolution is already a fact; there are tons of fossils and carbon-dating records to indicate that evolution had taken place, and is still taking place today. The stuff scientists debate on are usually the way evolution has proceeded, not on grounds of validity as you have claimed.

( At this point it has become clear that he was not going to gain even an inch of ground with this preaching-turned-debate-turned-sour debacle. He begins to launch a religious tirade based on superstition and fear. It really indicates the desperation he feels, perhaps out of real concern that I may somehow be condemned to the fiery pits of hell.)

Fundie: Beast, my dear brother, it is my deepest wish, and that of God, that you repent of your sins and commit yourself to Bob the Raingod.

Beast (sensing a u-turn in the debate, laughs): So, you can’t outwit me, and now you are resorting to a religious conversion?

Fundie (Gives a desperate, listen-to-me look): I fear for your soul, my dear brother. Confess your sins to Bob and be forgiven! Otherwise you will be condemned to hell forever and ever. Do you truly wish to be tormented for eternity?

Beast (Laughs): I thought you mentioned earlier that Bob is a loving God?

Fundie: Indeed he is. He is an all-loving God.

Beast: And if that be so, why the need for hell? To roast chickens for an eternal barbecue for human souls? If your God loves me, why send me to burn for eternity in the fiery pits of hell?

Fundie: Because you are unrepentant of your sins, Bob has no choice but to send you to hell, as you so deserve.

Beast: If that is so, I am sure there are many non-believers of your religious creed, or infidels in your opinion, who shall fry with me Down Under. (Laughs) And I am not even talking about Australia, mind you!

Fundie (Getting all worked up): I pray that you do not suffer their fate! Repent and be saved!

Beast: Don’t make it sound like Armageddon, Paul. Bobbism is but a mere belief system, and if I am hell bound for not subscribing to your God or Gods, then your God, or gods, is no better than a tyrant.

Fundie (Shakes head, looks or fakes as if he is about to cry): Ok, so be it then, its your choice. If you die and meet Bob the Raingod, don’t say you were not told. You have been warned.

Beast: To each his own. Truly, Bobbism, or any other religion for the matter, is not my cup of tea. (Train reaches destination, door opens) Oops, time does fly, Paul! I have reached my destination already! That’s it, my friend. I am off. Cheer up, brother! It is not the end of the world! (Gives a huge smile)

(At this point of time the train has reached Beast’s point of destination. He shakes fundie’s hands, walks off and feels relieved that the final emotional discussion had been a short one. Can’t stand grown-up men crying. Its just too crappy. Tsk tsk)

119 comments:

DRD said...

ah, beast, finally I have found a way to post on your site.
I am very new to "blogging" so forgive my ignorance of the protocols here.

I have booked marked this site so you may respond to my comments. I am very sure you have some rather pointed remarks to make.

BEAST said...

Welcome to Atheist Haven. Feel free to post your comments.

DRD said...

my thanks...I am here to have you reply to my post on the other blog..you seemed to not want to discuss it there. So, I am here.
Please feel free to respond as you see fit. I am always up for a friendly discussion.

Awesome.IBO™ said...

Hey brudders, wat is it tat u guys are discussing? Sounds interesting... and which blog is drd tokking about?

BEAST said...

Hi Rykel. Just another Christian Fundie on the blog.

DRD. Carry on. I will let you have a go first.

Beast

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Simple correction:
The Trinity is not 1 Godhood consisting of 3 Godheads, but is 1 Godhead consisting 3 Persons. If you remember Scripture says we are made in the image of God. The image of God consist of God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Correspondingly, man has a soul, body, and spirit. This is known as a triune being.

I didn’t realize the “golden rule” was, “Thou shalt not kill”. I could have sworn it was, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Check out the consistency of this thought, here. Of course, this being the second great commandment, the first is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” And “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

I only wish I could read the other side of the story. I am not saying you are not speaking the truth here, I have just always been told that one needs both sides of a story to get the complete context and meaning of actual events. Simply because we may see our perspective of situations in a different light that the other party, a putting of the both together gives us a more fuller and meaningful view.

DRD said...

Beast, my comments dealt with the issue of proof. I made the distinction between legal proof and absolute proof, and said I believed the legal proof supported a Creator's existence.
I used various examples, and even Einstein who left atheism to join the ranks of Spinoza after the laws of nature were more understood. In other words, for me, and even Einstein. Nature provided overwhelming evidence for the existence of a Creator. I realize not all will agree, and what is proof to me may not be to another.
I used the fact that the universe is electro-neutral as one example
and the angle of the hydrogen bond in water as another. These are but two of hundreds of 'coincidences' allowing life to exist at all.
Morals, I will leave that to another post due to time.

Marty said...

Hi Beast, good post. Wish I had your patience when dealing with these idiots, I'm afraid I just tell them to bugger off.

To DRD - how does your observation about the hydrogen bond in water lead to any sort of belief system that there's a guy in the sky who will give you eternal life?
And if you don't have that belief system, why even worry if there's a god or not?

BEAST said...

DRD:
Einstein was an agnostic, and although he spoke of "Spinoza's God", there is no evidence that he believed in any kind of Gods.

For more information, refer to the book, "2000 yrs of disbelief".

The so-called "coincidences" in physics you speak of could be the few successes out of billions of permutations, and do not represent proof of deities.

As for "legal" proof, I need you to present me a more cohesive explanation of "legal", in your terms.

Beast

DRD said...

Beast
Einstein was agnostic only from the point that he believed God was unknowable. Not that he doubted that some form of god existed. Once Hubble proved the redshifts were real, and space was expanding, Einstein unequivically pronounced that if there is movement then there must be a Mover. All effects have a Cause. Einstein clearly recognized this. In fact, he is quoted as saying "God did not play dice with creation". He recognized the amazing specificity with which the universe operates.

Your comment here:"The so-called "coincidences" in physics you speak of could be the few successes out of billions of permutations, and do not represent proof of deities."

Shows a lack of understanding regarding the characteristics of the universe. Note that you cannot have "permutations" of the beginning. The universe had one beginning, and at the beginning, the equivelant number of protons, to electrons were created. If the universe was not electro-neutral, it would never have expanded, and electromagnatism would dominate nature rather than gravity. If the former were the case, the universe would not exist in any form that could house life. The odds of creation randomly happening to allow for the subatomic particles of electrons and protons to neutralize one another is astonishing beyond imagine, and no "permutations" can account for it.

Marty, just as the electro-neutral universe gives credence to a creator, so to does the angle of the hydrogen bond in water. If even slightly different, water could not exist in all three forms on a planetary level, and in solid form water cold not be lighter than its liquid counterpart. If the solid form of water is not lighter, no life can form. Waters unique molecular property also allows for our biochemistry to operate under known biophysiolgy.
This again is just two of hundreds of examples of fine tuning that make leads me to a legal proof of a creator.

Beast, as I said before, legal proof is a preponderance of the evidence. In all truth, there is nothing that tests for absolute truth absolutely, but as far as scientific proof, repeatable and verifiability is the gold standard. We can never have this kind of proof of a god, or of a lack of god. We both will have to excersise faith that our interpretation of the evidence is correct. Of course, faith is the evidence of what is not seen (according to scripture in Hebrews).
I personally dont' believe in coincidences, and for the universe, or life in general to exist, the number of coincidences is overwhelming. This leads me to believe a Creator is responsible. And, yes, it lead Einstein to that same conclusion.

BEAST said...

DRD:

Very elegantly put, but alas, no substance.

There is no proof that the beginnings of neutrons and the basic blocks that make up the universe has to have a prime mover.

As for Einstein believing in God, Einstein himself puts it succinctly: He was an agnostic.

When he was saying "God does not play dice with the universe", he wasn't exactly talking about God as in the anthropomorphic sense.

As for faith, I do not need faith to "know" that fairies do not exist. And I shall apply this to the notion of Gods, Flying Spaghetti Monsters, and all other imaginary friends and fiends.

DRD said...

beast, talk about no substance. You said:"There is no proof that the beginnings of neutrons and the basic blocks that make up the universe has to have a prime mover."

Which is equivelent to 'nu hu'.
The simple fact is that effects have a cause. You believe that, you live as if thats a fact and you do not dispute it. The expansion of the fabric and matter of space is indisputable. In Hawkings book "A Brief History of Time" he and Penrose both acknowledged that if General Relativty could be shown true, it would be good proof (in the legal sense) of a god. Well, in the quarter of a century since they published that book, Relativity is one of the most studied and sure of all the laws in physics. It accurately predicts the movement of stars and planets and the movement of the universe is unmistakable. This is not directly dealing with my point, however; that being that the universe is goverend by gravity and not electromagnetism and that the subatomic particles (electrons, neutrons, and protons) make for an electro-neutral universe. The expansion is a whole different topic. Both are good examples of scientific evidence for a Creator. Just because you respond with a 'uh uh, no way' does not make it less so.
Einstein clearly accepted the hand of a supreme being as the Cause for the universe. I won't debate this with you, but any cursory reading of his material will bear that out.

In regard to your not needing faith to disbelieve fairies or flying monsters....ok, your right...but you do need faith to come to the conclusion that there is no god. I believe the overwhelming evidence with out argument would agree that fairies do not exist. That cannot be said for the existence of a Supreme Being. That is quite a leap of logic you make there.

Bdawg said...

You have WAY too much time!

L>T said...

Choosing to believe in God & choosing to believe that God does not exist is not the really the same thing if you think about it.

Choosing to believe in God as a anthropomorphic being & believing in a first cause is not the same thing, either. Or is it a "mover" or is it a "creator"? I'm confused... drd seems to flip from one to the other as is convenient for him.

BTW, I agree with marty. I have have no patience for those people either. Religious zealots are too strange for me, they often have psychological problems like persecution complexes or savior complexes.

DRD said...

I>t you said:"Choosing to believe in God & choosing to believe that God does not exist is not the really the same thing if you think about it."

How so, please explain that logic to me.

You also said:" believing in a first cause is not the same thing, either. Or is it a "mover" or is it a "creator"? I'm confused... drd seems to flip from one to the other as is convenient for him."

Don't let synonyms through ya big fella, they are interchangable words for the scenario I have given. The First Cause, Prime Mover, Creator, God...all synonymous, so yes, I use a different adjuctive when the situation calls for it...its really not that complicated. You are correct, convenience of conveying an image is the reason I would choose one descriptor over another. Great observation.
No worries mate, I probably have psychological problems since I disagree with you.

L>T said...

I said, Choosing to believe in God & choosing to believe that God does not exist is not the really the same thing if you think about it.
For one thing the reasons for believing in God & not believing in God are different. Soren Kierkegaard wrote about the leap of faith that we have to make in the face of existential dread. We have to commit ourselves to belief in God and Christ.
Anselm and Augustine seem to me to be making a similar kind of point: the way we understand the
world has to start somewhere, and this starting point (to them) must be with a deeply held faith in the
Christian God.
So there we have reasons for choosing to believe in God. There might be other reasons to choose to believe in God but the point is it's a choice based on a need to conjure up some type of ethereal being.

The person who doesn't believe in God? What is his choice based on? The need to reject a conjured up ethereal being? That doesn't make much sense does it? How do we unbelieve in something we do not believe exists in the first place?

I said, "Choosing to believe in God as a anthropomorphic being & believing in a first cause is not the same thing, either." I'm assuming you are a Christian, as you assume I am a big fella. You are wrong, so maybe so am I. Are you a Christian? If so, A belief in God clearly hinges on the belief that the Hebrew prophets had a direct telephone line to God.

Marty said...

drd, I assume you know what you're talking about re the hydrogen bond in water (I'm not a scientist) - but my question still remains as how you assume that leads to a "proof" of there being a literal "creator" who maintains an interest in every aspect of his creation, down to whether they harbour thoughts about tupping their neighbour's wife.
It becomes a moot point. If there is a creator powerful enough to set the universe in motion and fine-tune the laws of physics to create the opportunity for life to exist, answer the following;
1) Why would he be as childish and vengeful as described in the OT, "I am a jealous god" - getting up to such antics as having a bet with the devil that Job would endure the tortures he put him thru, wiping out whole tribes (including women and children) on a whim - and hundreds more examples of downright psychotic behaviour?
2) Why would he even be a he? As I>t said, god is portrayed by almost every religion as a male anthropomorphic being, who "shaped" man in his image. If "it" created the universe and everything in it, why couldn't it be a non-sentient, automatic type of organizing force?
3) In either case, why would "it" care about being worshipped by one of the species of animal on one small planet on one of the outer arms of one of the millions of galaxies it created?
4) Why would "it" fashion some sort of eternal life for these animals (reserved only for the subsection of this particular species who believes in it and prays to it), along with eternal suffering for the rest of this species - oh, but all the other animal, plant & insect life just dies and has no continuing life...

Measure this against Occam's Razor. Here are the choices:

a) In order to try and understand the physical world around them, and control developing communities, primitive man creates deity figures who must be worshipped and appeased to prevent natural disasters. Because they realise that they will die, and to create a "carrot & stick" situation to control their fellow humans, they invent the afterlife with its positive and negative aspects.

or:
b) There exists a being so powerful that it created the universe and everything in it - but not content with creating the circumstances leading to life, it then created a separate thinking animal in its own image (which looks remarkably similar to many non-thinking species and has a ridiculously close genetic makeup to them), and not only sees their every thought, action and intent, but will judge them by it (against a set of rules that bear no resemblance to common sense) and based on that judgement will condemn them either to eternal life singing its praises, or eternal suffering.

Which is more likely?

Beast said...

DRD:

I don't understand why Christians keep insisting the Einstein believes in any sort of anthropomorphic God, or even Christianity, for the matter.

Just to clarify the matter, I managed to muster some quotes, straight from the horse's mouth, on religion and beliefs:



From a correspondence between Ensign Guy H. Raner and Albert Einstein in 1945 and 1949. Einstein responds to the accusation that he was converted by a Jesuit priest: "I have never talked to a Jesuit prest in my life. I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist." "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one.You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from religious indoctrination received in youth." Freethought Today, November 2004


"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954.


From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954. It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, published by Princeton University Press. Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), p. 27.


"During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world... The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes... In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vase power in the hands of priests." Albert Einstein, reported in Science, Philosophy and Religion: A Symposium

Beast said...

DRD:

Just because the universe operates within certain physical laws does not necessitate an anthropomorphic God.

God is a needless hypothesis for the universe. In order to suggest a primer mover, you create another larger problem by either creating a need for a larger, more powerful deity to create this prime mover, or the need to explain why a deity of far higher improbability could exist out of nowhere to create the universe.

As far as physics is concerned, there has never been a need for deities. Like those creationists who try to use creationism to discredit evolution, you are using astronomy to askew scientific thinking.

drd said...

Beast quoted:""It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954.
The first quote I am unfamiliar with, and don't know its timing, however this quote is exactly what we are both saying.
Einstein did not believe in a 'personal God' that got involved in His creation, or in the lives of people. The god of Spinoza was an impersonal god.
He DID however believe in a supreme being that set creation in motion by his power and intention.

I can muster quite a number of quotes to prove it, however time is not permitting at the moment.
We can both agree that Einstein did not believe in a "PERSONAL god", he did believe in a CREATOR once he looked at the his own theory of Relativity, he concluded there could not no other explanation. Its a very interesting history actually.
Sir Arthur Eddington, then Chair of Physics at Cambridge was an interesting contemporary if Einstein.
Here two quotes from him:
"There are only two men on earth that understand Relativity. Einstein, and me"
Ya, he was cocky..I like that.

Next he said of General Relativity:
"I would genuinely like to find a loophole due to its theological implications."

Eddington clearly saw that theological implications of a 'Prime Mover' or 'First Cause'. There are quite a few more astrophysicists who see the same, even today.
For instance one well known atheistic astronomer (I forget his name for the moment) exclaimed "Great, all my collegues will run off and join the Church of Jesus Christ and the Big Bang"

He exclaimed this after the WMAP from the COBE satallites revealed the background radiation measurements and aged the universe to 13.7 billion years old. This confirming a number of other independant studies aging the universe between 13.7-15 Billion years old.
In addition, the Astronomical Society of Japan boasts close to 50% of their members as Christian. They are so predisposed not due to the bible, or any evangelistic outreach, nor any emotional need to invoke a god...rather, they believe that in studying the universe, the conclusions are overwhelming in favor of a Creator. The reasons they pick Christianity are for another topic. My point is simply that studying the universe has led many a bright men to conclude that a Creator must be responsible, and for purely academic reasons.

My journey was very similar. It was through the study of sciences that I can to realize that what we see could not be an accident, therefore some Power had to purpose it this way...that begins the journey to figure out 'Who that power is, and why He did it"

DRD said...

Beast, why do you think many atheists in the scientific field are pushing for an overturn or an alternative to the Big Bang?
Why did Sir Eddington want a loop hole?

Simple, if there is a beginning, there is a Beginner. But, if we can 'theorize', I use the term loosely, as its not a scientific theory at all since it cannot be tested, that the universe is part of a 'multiverse' and that there may be a quantum ability to create universe that are infinite in number, always existing and being infinite in number?

Simple, if something is eternal, the need for a creator is moot.

You said:God is a needless hypothesis for the universe. In order to suggest a primer mover, you create another larger problem by either creating a need for a larger, more powerful deity

Your assertion that God is needless is not backed by any reason..other than what you stated here. The answer to that is simple and is undertstood by Eddington, Einstein, Kant and all the scientific world: its that something eternal that has no beginning, needs no creator. Hence, if the universe, or multiverse were eternal, then god would not be needed..thats why Eddington wanted a loophole, and why astronomers wailed at the notion of a singularity 13.7 billion years ago, and also exactly why Kant hypothesized a 'Steady State'universe in which the universe was eternal.

Einstein changed his relativity calculations to conform to a 'steady state model' proposed by Kant, Hubble showed him it was incorrect, and Einstein wailed that he made the biggest blunder of his career when he changed his original calculations. He took the "constant" (the one he added to negate for expansion) out of the equation, and allowed for expansion, and then Einstein saw clearly and stated that a god had to have started it all. No, not a personal God, but some "Mover"

Your assertion of the bigger problem does not exist for something eternal. Thats why the physicists want an eternal universe..not creator needed...unfortunately, science says different my friend..science says there was a beginning hence, some Beginner is needed.

DRD said...

Marty

Good questions. Unfortunately to answer them, I would refer to scripture and you dont' hold to it as any authrity at all...so, I believe, for the purpose of our discussion, we should first establish the likelyhood (or lack of) of a supreme being of any kind, and not be specific regarding the 'who' and the 'why'. If we get past (and I have my doubts) the idea that there is not reasonable reason to assume a god exists, which I absolutely believe there is good reason to believe a God exists, if we get there, we can start asking "then who is it and why did He do things like He did?"

Oh, one last thing: "non-sentient, automatic type of organizing force" as you said is kinda what buddhists think of.
However, if I am right, and life, the universe and creation itself is fine tuned for existence, then, we are dealing with a Being of 'intention' and 'will', or purposeful action. This would not be a non-sentient being at all.

Beast said...

That there has to be a beginning does not even necessitate a Creator. It is silly and absurd even for people the likes of you to even suggest this.

I can even say Santa Claus has to be alive to set the whole machinations of existence to come to fruition, and using your baseless arguments I could even make it sound convincing.

50% of Christians in Japan's Astronomy club in Japan believing in Christianity doesn't make it right. You could have 99% of them being Talibans, but it doesn't make the Taliban right.

Beast

Beast said...

DRD:

You said: "Beast, why do you think many atheists in the scientific field are pushing for an overturn or an alternative to the Big Bang?
Why did Sir Eddington want a loop hole?"

Didn't realize there was such a campaign going on!

In any case, the Big Bang is based on the observation of a readily expanding universe, and the fact that universes do have a beginning and and end does not necessitate the need for Creators.

We can all speculate in whichever way we want, but if every scientific phenomenon has to be explained using "Gawk", we'd be still be quivering at the first instance of thunder and lightning.

Marty said...

drd

Neat sidestep there - but tell me this; if the answers to my questions are only found in scriptures, what scientific basis do you have for the veracity and accuracy of the scriptures? And if you do believe in the bible, are you saying that before the alleged "Flood" of Noah, rainbows didn't exist? ("Behold, I establish my covenant with you...")

DRD said...

beast said:"That there has to be a beginning does not even necessitate a Creator. It is silly and absurd even for people the likes of you to even suggest this."

Again, classic case of 'uh-uh, no way'. Do you have a reason that you believe this assertion is absurd? Eddington, Einstein, and and host of modern day physicists totally disagree with you. In fact, the entire educated world in the realm of astrophysics disagree's with you. The implications of a finite time for the universe has clear theological implications. The whole educated world in physics does not agree with me that it means "God" is the answer, but to disagree, they have to come up with their own metaphysical explanations, such as an infinitely old universe (the oscillation universe) or the multiverse. Neither of which has a thread of testable or varifiable evidence.

DRD said...

Beast said:"50% of Christians in Japan's Astronomy club in Japan believing in Christianity doesn't make it right. You could have 99% of them being Talibans, but it doesn't make the Taliban right."

The point beast, is that reasonable and rational people, looking at evidence, have decided that its more rational to believe in God, than to 'not' believe in God. The examples of Einstein and Eddington and more are what I have used to make this point. In other words, creation itself bespeaks of God.
I make this point in rebuttal to the idea that believing in God is not rational. In fact, I believe its not only rational, but irrational not to believe in Him, once you have studied nature that is.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"In any case, the Big Bang is based on the observation of a readily expanding universe, and the fact that universes do have a beginning and and end does not necessitate the need for Creators."

Again Beast, what is your alternative explanation that is rational? Effects require a cause, period. If the universe were steady state as Kant thought, and Einstein hoped, then it would need no cause, because it would be eternal itself..if it came into being, then its an effect of something...What??? Give me a rational alternative Beast, and quite using the 'uh-uh' argument.

BEAST said...

'uh-uh, no way'?

Condescension of this sort does not breed good arguments, DRD.

So, Einstein disagrees with me? Have you read the quotes I gave you? Apparently not!

You trivialize my opinions, based on......what? What evidence do you have to prove me wrong?

Instead of ad hominem attacks, why don't you present some evidence for a change?

Beast

BEAST said...

The First Clause Argument, as purported by Aquinas, has been easily disproved, by none other than Bertrand Russell himself.

Using that logic, even God would require a Prime mover. If you claim that God does not require one, then I would say existence does not require one as well.

Your argument here centers pretty much on the "beginning of everything", and to you, this is an anthropomorphic God. Fine. Be it that way. But don't fucking tell me it is fact because you have no evidence to prove otherwise.

And if you keep insisting on ad hominems, trust me, you will find your stay here very unpleasant.

Beast

DRD said...

Beast said:
"'uh-uh, no way'?

Condescension of this sort does not breed good arguments, DRD."

the 'uh-uh' is simply a paraphrase of your rebuttal, and in no way an 'ad hominem' attack..as I have said NOTHING about you personally, but I have critiqed your response and summarized it appropriately. Sorry you don't like the summary, but you have offered no other reason other than the "uh-hu" response.

You further said:"And if you keep insisting on ad hominems, trust me, you will find your stay here very unpleasant."

Resorting to threats on a blog?? Wow. Now who is unreasonable? If I owe you an apology for any ad hominem attack, please copy which statement was personally attacking, I will certainly be man enough to apologize for it.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"The First Clause Argument, as purported by Aquinas, has been easily disproved, by none other than Bertrand Russell himself."



Ok, your first attempt at something other than na-uh. First Russel critiqued Aquinas but was not privey to the latest scientific discoveries that point more and more to the beginning of the universe and the need for a Cause. And, exactly what was his rebuttal beast? Can you summarize it for me? In doing so, you might actually post something besides a general disagreement with me w/o any real alternative positive assertions.

You also said:
"Using that logic, even God would require a Prime mover. If you claim that God does not require one, then I would say existence does not require one as well."

I have clearly explained that mathematically speaking eternal things need no creator. Only those things which actually have a beginning require this. For you to say "existence does not require one" is akin to again saying "uh-uh"...I say this NOT to attack you as a person (ad hominem) but rather to point out your claim does not follow logic or the evidence at hand. Namely by definition mathematically, eternal things do not need a creator. The universe has a beginning and hence is NOT eternal. We have established we both agree with this, so your claim does not follow logical reasoning, nor agreed upon facts in this argument.
Please dont' take that personal, its not.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"Your argument here centers pretty much on the "beginning of everything", and to you, this is an anthropomorphic God. Fine. Be it that way. But don't fucking tell me it is fact because you have no evidence to prove otherwise."

All I can say to this is "HU???"
You lost me here Beast.
What have I claimed is the beginning of everything? The big bang? Well, yes, thats the beginning of everything in matter/energy/space/time. I certainly don't believe thats everything in total, as I think that stuff had to come from somewhere. So, again, I am not sure of your point here.

DRD said...

Marty said:
"Neat sidestep there - but tell me this; if the answers to my questions are only found in scriptures, what scientific basis do you have for the veracity and accuracy of the scriptures?"

No Marty, I am trying to stick to the topic at hand, which when beast and I started this it was "is there a rational basis to believe in God", or is there any evidence that a god exists. I have postulated that the preponderance of evidence should lead a rational person to believe in God. Beast has disagreed. Your questions are good, but not on point to this discussion. I am more than willing to deal with your questions and I believe that the basis for the answer lay w/in scripture, but can be answered to your satisifaction...not easily mind you, and not quickly.
If you will consider my posts so far, I have laid out a case for the scientific evidence that leads many a learned men to say "God had to do it" based on scientific evidence, the law of cause and effect, and the fine tuning aspects in the universe and nature. All of which add up to a preponderance of evidence for a Creator.
I have not offered any specifics as to the who, or why, and thats what you asked about when you say I 'sidestepped'.

You really avoided the issue at hand, by going on that tangent. The question is:"is there good reason to believe, by looking at nature, and science, that God exists.


You also asked do I have any evidence scientifically that leads me to believe the bible is true. The answer is yes. However that takes us into a defense of the bible, when we are not even to the point of naming the "who god is" at this point in the discussion. I think to do this puts the cart before the horse.

But you may consider certain claims in the bible are supernatural in their origin. Issues of health, the spherical nature of the earth, and the fixed laws of nature are all described in the OTest long before mankind had any grasp of even the simplest aspect of these things.
Also, prophecy that is historically varifiable and centuries predating the event:to me, these things are overwhelming evidence of the truth of scripture.

L>T said...

drd reads alot into what the OT says. Saying that what the Bible contains is the universal truth for humanity. If I read the last comment right drd is saying that the Bible contains the scope of human knowledge. So the whole scope of human knowledge is within the confines of the "BOOK". How? It is passed down to us by God, the superior & perfect & all too Human being.

Marty said...

drd

You can't separate the issue. My whole point is - you say there is evidence that there is a creator, and from your comments it seems clear you are a christian. Therefore you believe the bible, which is a collection of meandering thoughts gathered, edited, distorted and translated over hundreds if not thousands of years.
Unless you can justify every illogical statement in that book, your entire stance is faulty.

BEAST said...

DRD:

Your argument centers on the First Clause: Prime Movers,the beginning of beginnings.

Eddington and Einstein are hardly religious people; neither do they profess to believe in Gods. Particularly Einstein, who had from time to time voiced out against the ignorance of religion and the stupidity of believing in Gods. They use "God" as a substitute for the forces of Nature that are not yet understood, and does not mean anything with regards to a anthropomorphical God.

I, for one, have often used Gaia to describe nature. But it doesn't mean that I speak of Gaia as a God, or any deity.

Lastly, I am quite pissed off by your condescending arguments. I have never said "uh huh, no way", nor used any such arguments. For you to say that is an ad hominem to me, as you are underestimating and insulting my intelligence, and if you wish to play like that, then don't blame me for being rude. The reason I am tolerating you is because you seem to be smarter than those dumb christians I talk to from time to time, but don't abuse my goodwill. I can be very, very nasty. Don't try it.

Beast

BEAST said...

DRD:

You said:"Your assertion that God is needless is not backed by any reason..other than what you stated here."

My reason is simple. You have no proof stating that God exists. Something as complicated as an eye has been proved by Dawkins to have evolved over time. Irreducible Complexity has been completely debunked. Just ask Michael Behe. His case for the irreducible flagellum was thrown out of court when he tried to reinstate Creationism as "legitimate Science".

What we see as complicated need not be a product of creation. There are probably countless elements in space which do not form the equinessentials of life, while some substance, such as water and carbon, happen to be the basic building blocks of life on Earth. The sheer randomness of life can be justified by the fact that out of the billions of solar systems in the universe, we seem to live on that one planet that supports life. The chances of life being formed is very, very remote.

Like Dawkins explains in "Climbing Mount Improbable", we are probably very, very lucky to be what we are, thanks to the random machinations of the universe and Evolution.

DRD said...

I>t said:
"drd reads alot into what the OT says. Saying that what the Bible contains is the universal truth for humanity. If I read the last comment right drd is saying that the Bible contains the scope of human knowledge. So the whole scope of human knowledge is within the confines of the "BOOK". How? It is passed down to us by God, the superior & perfect & all too Human being. "

Not at all what I said. The Bible is in no way a comprehensive text on all human knowledge, and I am not sure what I wrote that gave you the idea I believed that.

DRD said...

Marty said:
"You can't separate the issue. My whole point is - you say there is evidence that there is a creator, and from your comments it seems clear you are a christian. Therefore you believe the bible, which is a collection of meandering thoughts gathered, edited, distorted and translated over hundreds if not thousands of years.
Unless you can justify every illogical statement in that book, your entire stance is faulty."

Marty, how do you come to that conclusion. If I am wrong about the "Who" namely the God of the Bible, but I am right on the fact that a God exists; how does my case of mistaken identity negate the issue of the presence of a supreme being. All it means (if I cannot substantiate ever claim of scripture) is that the bible is wrong, not the underlying postulate of our discussion, which is 'Is it reasonable to assume God exists'.
Please explain how you 'don't' seperate the two.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"My reason is simple. You have no proof stating that God exists. Something as complicated as an eye has been proved by Dawkins to have evolved over time. Irreducible Complexity has been completely debunked. Just ask Michael Behe. His case for the irreducible flagellum was thrown out of court when he tried to reinstate Creationism as "legitimate Science".

No Dawkins, who is a doctorate in the philosophy of science, not a doctorate in biology, gives, what HE thinks is a rational explanation for the evolution of the eye...but it has TONS of presuppositions and inferences, in addition to facts not in evidence in science at all. He just 'assumes' this is the way it happened.
Next Behe's irriducible complexity has not been debunked. Certainly it has its critics, and its supposed 'proofs' against IC, but if you read Behe's response to critics, you will see his theory had not been explained away, and is still a viable critisism of evolution.
The reason the court through it out as a method of teaching a new scientific theory, is that ID and irriducible complexity in general, is not a true scientific theory. It makes no predictions, and is not testable.

What it is is this:
"ITS A VIABLE CRITISISM OF THE PRESENT EVOLUTIONARY PARADIGM".

What its not is this:"A SCIENTIFIC THEORY THAT CAN BE TAUGHT AS SUCH, SINCE IT IS NOT TESTABLE OR VERIFIABLE, AND IT MAKES NO PREDICTIONS.

Do not mistake the fact that Behe has critics, for the fact that his critique of evolutionary theory is very very valid, and no one has completely overcome his objections to modern evolutionary thought.

Also, do not read into the fact that 'courts' threw something out, when all this means is ID or IC does not meet the critiria for being taught as a theory. I should, however, be recognized as valid critisism of present theories, and the only reason it is not, is because of the political hotbed that accompanies it with the ACLU and the issue of theology in the classroom.

Its sad, since a valid scientific critique should be viewed on its own merit, not on what scientists or courts think the 'hidden agenda' might be...and the judge in Georgia made it plain that he through ID out because of what he preceived to be their 'hidden agenda' and not because it lacked academic credibilty.

Sad indeed...politics are playing with education and not allowing people to make up their own minds by looking at the facts, rather they limit the facts presented to their set of facts, to protect their own religious presuppositions.

BEAST said...

Behe, valid? Don't make me laugh!

His own university has disowned him, his recent book, "Darwin's Black Box", is so lame that I couldn't even read it beyond the tenth page.

Dawkin's arguments for the evolution of the eye can easily be proven: Evidences for the different stages of eye development abound in Mother Nature, including a frog which happened to develop an eye in its mouth. Behe lost not because of political play: He lost because scientists were able to produce many scientific thesises to prove that the flagellum could operate even without the sum of all its parts, and Behe admitted he didn't even read through these reports. If you want, I can give you the link.

As for Dawkins, he is a biologist, also voted the best British intellectual by his peers. You want to discredit Dawkins? Try harder, dude.

BEAST said...

Behe's own university disclaimer, for your preview:

http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/evolution.htm

BEAST said...

Richard Dawkin's CV, here:

http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/CV.shtml

DRD said...

Beast please note:

"It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific. "

They deny ID not because of what it says (which is valid) but because it has been presented by IDers as a scientific theory. It is not, and should not be prososed as such, because it is not science in this sense:
IT IS NOT TESTABLE AND VERIFIABLE AND MAKES NO PREDICTIONS.

That does not mean its content and critiques are not valid. Rather it means that ID cannot stand on its own as a valid scientific theory for the reason above.

This is also a political hotbed, adn is more entrenched in scientific politics than in real science..and thats a fact.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"his recent book, "Darwin's Black Box", is so lame that I couldn't even read it beyond the tenth page"

Beast, please, this is NOT his most recent book. Keep reading my friend.

Behe has answered his critics both of IC and his most recent publications, and IC although his one example may have holes, is very valid for most of nature.

BEAST said...

Sorry, its the edge of Evolution, I wrote wrongly.

Beast

BEAST said...

What cannot stand on its own in the realm of science is negligible.

If we accept ID as science without evidence, then fengshui, levitation, astrology, and all the rest of the pseudo-mythical nonsense can claim a place in the realms of science. Clearly, this is not happening.

If Behe was so great, he wouldn't have been discredited, both legally and academically. The scientific community, in this case Behe's former university, has made a very firm stance with charlatans and hucksters like Behe.

As for validity,Behe has as much validity as Kent Hovind, who, oh, by the way, is now a full time jailbird because of tax evasion.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"What cannot stand on its own in the realm of science is negligible.

If we accept ID as science without evidence, then fengshui, levitation, astrology..."

Beast your just not getting it. It stands on its own as far as a critique just fine. Its when IDers try to offer it as a 'theory' that it does not stand, and for the reasons I have high lighted in prior posts.

Behe was not academically discreditted at all..that is a HUGE reach. He is a tenured Prof in Biochem at an elite university.
He holds philosophical differences that call his scientific conclusions into question with the atheistic minded science world.
His actual science has not been questioned, only his conclusions regarding philosophy of science.
This is more a result of the rampent atheistic movement in science than any real issue with his science.

This again is off topic. I am not here to defend Behe..but your opinion, to which you are entitled, is just off base.

DRD said...

Beast, note the number of peer reviewed journals that have published Behe...I think he has established himself academically just fine.

The idea of Ir complexity from the example of the flagella may have detractors, but his overall science is top notch, based in his published and peer reviewed studies and his history.

THATS HOW HE GOT TENURED!!

DRD said...

Hovind, like the YEC crowd in general (those that are vocal) disdain science, and have no credibility whatsoever.
This is the main reason academics rebel against any critisism of evolution. They assume it comes from a YEC mind set, and assume any critique of evolution is one that denies science. That is a wrong... period....., but its the prevailing thought for sure.

BEAST said...

I guess you are not from the academic circles.

When your OWN UNIVERSITY publishes such a disgraceful post on their website, its not a slap on the wrist. It means that you are disbarred from their team. Kicked out. Finished. Got that?

He may have been peer-reviewed, but that was before he came out with his ID beliefs. He never once wrote a thesis about the irreducible complex. His peers would have thrown it out anyway for the lack of scientific proof.

Behe is no longer associated with his dean. As far as his research in mainstream science is concerned, he is finished. Gone to the dogs. None from the mainstream science will associate themselves with him, including, well, his own university!

Well, he must have made enough money swindling those Christians....so its ok for him I guess.

BEAST said...

http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,1360,Inferior-Design-Richard-Dawkins-reviews-Behes-lastest-book,Richard-Dawkins

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

I have enjoyed reading this conversation. drd, do you have a blog of your own?

Michael Behe's Response to Richard Dawkins.

Tim

BEAST said...

Two fundies at one go. Bring it on!

Beast

DRD said...

Ya, well, pretty amazing how biased this gets hu?

Dr Gonzolez also was denied tenure for no other reason than his ID positions. The undertones of descrimination against theologically minded individuals in science is tragic. They are branded regardless of their positions scientifically but rather against the repungence science holds for those of faith. I say again, brought on by the YEC movement that has been less than genuine.

BEAST said...

I say again: The reason that Behe was disowned is because of his abandonment of the true endeavor of scientific research, which is to seek truth through the pursuit of evidence in the form of scientific, empirical data.

Nothing biased. By the way, the biologist who discredited Behe was a Christian biologist (Kenneth Miller).

BEAST said...

Science is right to hang people who are overtly religiously inclined out to dry.

While I am not picking Christian scientists or even muslim scientists in particular, people who are too steeped in faith cannot be trusted to make the right judgment. They askew science by linking everything they find with a stupid deity. That is not science.

Faith must step aside in the face of Science, for Science is superior. Faith is merely a metaphorical piece of shit.

Beast

DRD said...

splinter of silver.
No sorry, no blog of my own. Pretty new to this "bloggin" gig actually.
The interesting thing is the presuppositionalism in all of it.

My second old son got a prestigious research fellowship position at the end of his freshman year (this summer) at UF.
He went to lunch with his research team and the post doctoral candidate who he answers to, and found out every person on the team was atheist/agnostic. Surveys have shown that of the students that enter the sciences today only 5% profess a believe in God...now thats BEFORE their training begins!! There is a very godless flavor that has permeated science academics since the late 1800's and, I believe, YECism is an over reaction to this movement.
But, it is clear that to be a scientist and be a Christian (in particular) you are treated as if your second class and doors certainly close for you..and not for any reason of academic merit, but pure bias.

Read this paper by Walter Bradley of Baylor Univ...awesome scientific evidence of God paper. Yet, for years he hid his faith due to political threats and difficulties you face in academics if your Christian. I listened to a great CD by him talking about being a research scientist and a Christian, and the difficulties he faced..
here is the link:
http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/evidence.html

I have yet to hear any good rebuttal to his paper. He was intimately involved in the biochem department post grad, doing polymer research, so his background is very appropriate.
Enjoy.

BEAST said...

That is true. Most scientists in the upper echelons have no religious beliefs, which is a good thing.

Religion tends to fuck up the show. Everywhere religion goes, you get death, destruction, ignorance, general stupidity, and what the fuck have yous.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"Everywhere religion goes, you get death, destruction, ignorance, general stupidity"

LOL..oh come on man...everywhere HUMANS go you get that stuff. You can blame religion all you want, its a cop out period.
The simple fact is humans are selfish sinners who are greedy, self consumed and insecure. The result is whatever you see. Religion can be the scapegoat if you wish, but, I am sure its been pointed out to you that the war that killed more people than all wars combined was perpitrated by atheism, not theism. One excuse for mans bad behavior is as good as another, you choose to blame religion...good for you.
I choose to blame the inherent nature of humans.

Anonymous said...

FRom BeHE
"At the end of his review Dawkins chides me for lack of peer-reviewed publications. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. If Dawkins himself has many peer-reviewed research publications in the last few decades, he must be writing them under a pseudonym. Dawkins’ hypocritical complaint makes a nice little example of Darwinian gate-keeping. The nebulous, wooly-minded scenarios Dawkins spins in his books, of the origins of bat echolocation, spider webs, and so on, have no real justification in peer-reviewed publications. Yet Dawkins is free to write trade books without howls of protest from the scientific community because his stories fit the way many scientists want the world to be. But if (ahem...) someone publishes a book critically analyzing the data from a different perspective, the reaction is dramatically different."

WOW how appropriate!! Dawkins publish in peer review? HEAVEN FORBID! LOL
The last peer review paper that showed evolutionary problems published got one of the editors fired. Even though the review panel passed it on scientific grounds, the backlash was furious because it was anti-evolutionary establishment in its results! NO WAY that stuff should be allowed to be published! The bias in science against critisism runs very very deep.

Anonymous said...

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
Wed Aug 8, 1:32 PM ET

The theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis, evolved into Homo erectus, which then became us, Homo sapiens. But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years, Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature.

oopps...another problem in the evolutionary tree.

How did evolution have time to occur in a species that lived at the same time as its supposed evolved counterpart???? Interesting, very very interesting.

DRD said...

anonymous:
Although true, the issue of fossils is not on target with the discussion. We are deciding whether there is enough evidence to support the notion of a divine Creator, or whether that is an emotional quagmire of deception. I think I would like to remain focused on the issue of the logic of God, vs the logic of atheism. Which makes more sense when we look at matter/space/energy/time.

BEAST said...

Sour grapes from Behe again as usual.

Are you sure Dawkins never publish in peer reviewed papers? Think before you speak.

As far as Behe goes, he's finished. There's nothing really much to speak about him.

As far as religion and wars are concerned, I have spoken at length in my previous issues on morals. If you want, you can read it. If not, leave it. I got better things to do at the moment.

This conversation has gone too far, in any case. Its tiring me out, and I am not achieving anything. Say your final words, and be at peace.

Beast

BEAST said...

"Religion can be the scapegoat if you wish, but, I am sure its been pointed out to you that the war that killed more people than all wars combined was perpitrated by atheism, not theism."

Oh yes, sure thing. Hitler was a Catholic, not an atheist. As for Stalin, I have my reservations about him, but the fact that he set up an entire communist cult based on religious pontification speaks volumes of religious indoctrination, not atheism.

You are probably left now with the excuse of Pol Pot, who murdered two million people, and that had more to do with paranoia than even Communism.

Christians who claim that atheism kills more people are generally ignorant of history. Hitchens points that out beautifully in his book:"God is not great, and how Religion poisons everything".

DRD said...

Beast, let me say, in a non-personal way, that your statement (not you) is plain ignorant. Hitler was raised Catholic, however, he was a HUGE fan of Nietzsche. That is where he got the superman concept, and that is why he was building the arian race.
Stalin tried to whip out all religion, burned bibles and closed every church. If Hitchens denies this, then he is in a huge state of denial.
It was Nietzche's ideas based in atheism that got Stalin, Hilter and to a lessor extent Mussolini. Certainly Pol Pot is another huge example. If any atheistic writer denies that the world view of perpetrators of WWII were not based in man as the center of the universe, and not god, then they are totally deluded.

DRD said...

beast, your tiring of our conversation? Wow, you asked me to come here and 'fight'..are you worn out? Hmmmm...losing arguments tends to do that ;-)

Seriously now..let me then switch topics and ask you a simple question:
If you would tell me your opinion of what Christians think the definition of a "Saint" is.
I am not referring to the popular Catholic notion of Saint.
As an atheist, what do you think Christians mean by this term? (with the above distinction not withstanding)

BEAST said...

DRD:

I never lose to a Christian. I am pretty much bored with all these repetitions and banter being thrown around in a blog post that seems to be about a dialog I wrote but seldom discussed.

Hitler could well have been a fan of Nieztche and even Eugenics, but this in no way alludes to the fact that Hitler borrowed his anti-semitism from the Catholic Church, which have for centuries repudiated the "perfidious Jews" in their litanies. A cursory read of Mein Keimpf will tell you that Hitler was as much a fervent Christian as anyone in his era.

Stalin is a strange preposition: I have often argued for, and not against Stalin, while fully aware that Stalin was pretty much a brute and a tyrant. Without Stalin and his 5-yr plans, I honestly do not think Russia could have withstood the Nazi onslaught, let alone Japan's assault on the East. Stalin can be credited for building a strong Russia, as well well ruining the lives of millions of farmers who lost their lands to work for the Russian Industrial Revolution.

Stalin had a disdain for Churches, but he did not totally annihilate them. He attempted to subjugate them in a bid to control the masses (like all tyrants before him do), and inevitably destroyed those that don't.

In short, I view Stalin both as an ambivalent figure and an a brilliant leader. He was bad on human rights, but without his iron hand, Russia would have been finished.

As for Pol Pot, I don't even think atheism or even communism had anything to do with it. He slaughtered his own people, namely professionals, intellectuals and including religious people. He killed for no other reason than his paranoia. To say that he did that on behalf of atheism is a blatant lie, a lie perpetrated by stupid Christians who know nothing about history.

It is you, DRD who is deluded, not me.

Beast

BEAST said...

What is a saint?

Well, pretty much an over-hyped religious fool who did nothing more than beguile the masses with bullshit.

drd said...

Beast
Our dialog on the reasonableness of the idea of a "god" or not can be summarized, fairly I believe by saying that bright me, in both camps, have looked at the data and evidence and concluded differently.

A hard look at the question of morals and other rights and wrongs sheds even more light on it, and when time permits I will point out some missing elements in your essay on morals.

Your comments on Hitler and Stalin seem to be missing key ingrediants in their world views. Stalin tried to subjegate churchs but disallowed any bible teaching or worship and completely personally disavowed god...that is atheism pure and simple...pol pot likewise professed atheism, and although Hitler does not say it specifically in his memoirs he was a devote follower of Nietzche...who was an atheist...so make of it what you will.

Now, to clerify the "saint" question.
I am not talking about an overt preacher, writer, or speaker but how do you believe Christians define the term. You believe they are an overhyped religous fool...I got that...but what do you think Christians define the word as???
Stay with me here Beast, I am not asking your opinion of a saint, but your opinion of how Christians define it.

DRD said...

Another interesting article just out, that throughs evolution into a tail spin downward.

Rutgers scientists debunk a life-origin theory



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

By BOB GROVES
STAFF WRITER



For the first time, there are solid data to refute a popular theory that life came to the Earth aboard a comet, Rutgers researchers said Monday.
Deteriorated DNA from microbes, frozen for millions of years in the Antarctic ice, shows that organisms could not have survived the bombardment of cosmic radiation during deep space travel from outside the solar system, said Paul Falkowski, a Rutgers biologist and oceanographer"

here is the full article:
http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3MTc4ODY4JnlyaXJ5N2Y3MTdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Mg

The question of Origin of Life has so evaded researchers that they are resorting to crazy stuff, like Cricks 'panspermia'..but at every turn, science debunks these notions, and the most logical explanation seems to be the intervention of God.

Marty said...

Ho hum.

drd, if you bore everyone you meet the way you bore me, you must be a lonely person. The wierd thing is that you actually seem to have half a brain, but it has this major kink in it due to your religious beliefs.
If you put half as much effort into real science as you do in trying to defend half-assed pseudo-science such as ID, you might actually accomplish something.
Before you answer me, be advised that I won't be following this comment stream any more so as to avoid being inflicted by you. Just a thought for you before I go, please consider this. You said earlier that almost 50% of Japanese scientists in some group or other were christian. What proportion of ID proponents are NOT christian?
Now bugger off and get a life.
Marty

L>T said...

Interesting conversation, good arguments... But, There are a few Christian mindset views that drd interjects that skew a lot of his spiel though. I found this quote by him interesting "If any atheistic writer denies that the world view of perpetrators of WWII were not based in man as the center of the universe, and not god, then they are totally deluded". It true that since ancient times humanity has believed it occupies the physical center of the universe. Religion & specifically the Christian religion, very much supports this point of view & has helped perpetrate it. It's science that shows that anthropocentric views glorifying man are false:

The Earth is not flat with Jerusalem at its center but is globular with no focus on its surface. The Earth is not at the center of the heavenly bodies but orbits the Sun.
The Universe does not have a center.
The Milky Way is unexceptional and only one of billions of galaxies.
Humans are descended from animals.
Humans and other animals share most of the same genes. Most human genes are the same as bugs. We even share nearly half our genes with bananas and other plants.

Christian theology still supports the notion that humanity occupies center-universe, although it is now conceived of in a spiritual sense since science has forced them to abandon the material sense.

drd also says this"The simple fact is humans are selfish sinners who are greedy, self consumed and insecure. I choose to blame the inherent nature of humans." This is another Christian world view not shared by everyone.
Man/bad... God/good. I for one do not follow this philosophy.

& drds critique of Nietzsche, who I've read alot of & who is also very difficult not only for lay people but for scholars to understand. I believe the overwhelming consensus from those who do work to understand Nietzsche is that Hitlers regime very much misinterpreted Nietzsche & they used those misinterpretations for their own ends.

BEAST said...

Hi Marty:

Like you, I am beginning to find DRD boring, but ignoring him would mean that he would declare victory, and I am not going to let him have his day on my turf.

DRD:

First off, I can't comment on what Christians think about saints, for obvious reasons: I am an atheist, not a christian. Besides, different denominations have differing and divergent beliefs on such matters. Hell, the unitarians can't even agree with the trinitarians on the true nature of god.

As for Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, I have not come across any historian who thinks that they derived their bigotry and murderous ways from atheism, simply because atheism is not a religion and has nothing within its ranks to speak of any form of religious doctrine. If you wish to read about religious evil, it is very much documented, from the evils of that malevolent book, "The Witch's Hammer", to other unspeakable events of the Inquisadators and their dastardly deeds in the Americas. These events alone would have killed more people than Pol Pot and Stalin combined (Count hitler out, he was a catholic).

As for life from comets, mainstream science is more deferential to the "premordial soup", the theory that ingredients for life exist at certain points on our planet that give rise to the beginnings of life.

Beast

drd said...

Beast said:
As for life from comets, mainstream science is more deferential to the "premordial soup", the theory that ingredients for life exist at certain points on our planet that give rise to the beginnings of life.

This is blatently incorrect. From the mouth of the very researchers themselves, at a conference at UCF post grad biochem department this comment was uttered:
"although we cannot admit it publically, because so many of us are still searching for the almight grant dollars, the truth is we are all but giving up on the idea that life can spontaneously generate on earth. Thats why most of the federal grants are now exploring extra-terrestrial sites as the possible source for life on earth"

This is why SETI and the search for water baring planets is so much in the news. The O of Life community is completely frustrated that every proposed mechanism fails when put to the test. The uneducated and scientifically unsophisticated public might be duped to believing that we still have hope for proving or even reasonably conceiving of a 'primordial' soup mechanism, those in the know, know better. Dispite what you read. That is merely a front to keep grants flowing.

drd said...

beast said:
"First off, I can't comment on what Christians think about saints, for obvious reasons: I am an atheist, .."

Sure you can Beast, even if your not a christian, you have developed impressions of us, and how we think, I know you have, I see it all over your blog. Why are you so reticent to answer this question? Marty would say 'nice sidestep'.

drd said...

beast said:
"(Count hitler out, he was a catholic)."

Raised catholic or not, he was not a christian, nor were his actions brought on by any aspect of his religious upbringing, but rather philosophies generated from a devote atheist.

BEAST said...

DRD:

SETI, and the search for life in outer space, does not crash with the "premordial soup" theory, which Dawkins also agrees.

I applaud the efforts of scientists when it comes to looking for life in outer space: After all, our planet is smaller than a mere speck of dust in the grand scheme of the universe. This is truly a great endeavour.

BEAST said...

DRD:

This is a non-sequitor argument.

If a criminal starts believing in the writings of a philosopher, does it mean that that philosopher is to be blamed?

Nietzhe speaks of the "Aryan Superman": While it sounds rather blatantly racist, what he meant to speak was the emergence of man from ignorance to a higher alleviation. Nietzhe certainly didn't speak of killing Jews, neither was he a Catholic.

Some would say that he was not a "true" Christian. Great coup out. How about me saying that Stalin and Pol Pot were not true atheists?

Hypocrisy never works. It serves only to construe facts, which you have proven yourself to be good at. Unfortunately, experienced debaters like myself see through your fabric of deceit. You are clever. But try harder.

Beast

BEAST said...

"Sure you can Beast, even if your not a christian, you have developed impressions of us, and how we think, I know you have, I see it all over your blog. Why are you so reticent to answer this question? Marty would say 'nice sidestep'."

I honestly cannot put a finger to any form of answer, and I am honest enough to say that I do not have any answers to these questions.

I was raised as a conservative Baptist, and back then, my church pastors hardly ever mentioned any saints to us. Another strange thing was that we never celebrated the usual Christian holidays: Easters, Christmas and the like. Sounds funny? Yeah. But its true.

I really don't know the answer to this.

Beast

Anonymous said...

Rutgers scientists debunk a life-origin theory



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

By BOB GROVES
STAFF WRITER



For the first time, there are solid data to refute a popular theory that life came to the Earth aboard a comet, Rutgers researchers said Monday.
Deteriorated DNA from microbes, frozen for millions of years in the Antarctic ice, shows that organisms could not have survived the bombardment of cosmic radiation during deep space travel from outside the solar system, said Paul Falkowski, a Rutgers biologist and oceanographer

Full article

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3MTc4ODY4JnlyaXJ5N2Y3MTdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Mg

I guess you didn't see this when it was posted earlier.

Its not possible, can't happen, keep trying, but quit wasting our tax dollars on a losing effort just to pad bank accounts with grant dollars we know what reveal any new info on this subject.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"Hypocrisy never works. It serves only to construe facts, which you have proven yourself to be good at. Unfortunately, experienced debaters like myself see through your fabric of deceit. You are clever. But try harder."

Here you prove yourself to be two things.
1. The first to actually succumb to ad hominem attacks.
2. To have an over inflated view of your ability.

In regard to the "saint" question:
I ask because I get the sense that most atheists believe Christians think Saints are pious, righteous, people who rarely if ever sin.

Is this a fair definition from an atheistic point of view? Just curious if this is how you perceive what we might think about ourselves or Christians who are termed "saint"?

BEAST said...

DRD:

First of, this is my blog, and I set the rules. You make a hypocritical remark, and I am here to remind you. Simple as that. Not happy? Fuck off.

Second: I don't really give a damn what stupid morons think about saints. It doesn't mean shit to me. Besides, Christians of all denominations fight over such useless beliefs, and have been doing so for millennial. Why should I care?

Don't drag this any longer than necessary. If you want, post on my other posts. I think this has gone far too long.

If you aim is to proselytize and convert any atheist here, you have failed. If you are trying to win an argument, you haven't stated anything beyond what most Christians have already done. Granted, you are more intelligent than most of them, but its just a rehash of all those things they have already said.

Let's not drag this any longer. This is a blog, not a forum.

Beast

drd said...

Beast, your getting testy, a sure sign, in any debate, that one side is losing.

In regard to hypocrisy: you believe it is hypocritical of me to point out that someone who claims a catholic background might not really be a christian? Wow.

Beast, you are just not thinking this through. If a jew from Israel says "I am a Jew"..does that mean he believes in the God of the OT?

Do you think the Godfather really was a practicing Catholic?

Do you believe that some, just might 'use or pervert' religion for their own selfish motives, that are much more centered on an atheistic world view, despite their religious background?

Religion's role in atrocities has always been one of someone 'PERVERTING and SUBVERTING their religion to justify their personal behavior.'

If you believe, for one sec, that religion is the underlying cause of mans poor behavior, your deluded. Not hypocritical, but deluded.
Your use of the term hypocritical implies you are really not sure of its definition.
In regard to your "blog", your correct, it is yours, and I have no idea of what blog rules are verses "forum" rules...so bad me or ignore me as you see fit.

DRD said...

You said "
"Second: I don't really give a damn what stupid morons think about saints. It doesn't mean shit to me. Besides, Christians of all denominations fight over such useless beliefs, and have been doing so for millennial. Why should I care?"

This comment shows great internal anger and deep rooted issues Beast. You should care what people think if for no other reason, than to understand them so society can function better. Understanding is the key to 'getting along' and isn't that what you atheists think this is all about? In fact, your underlyig premise is religion keeps us from doing that, and your way is better.
Hmm...not a real cohesive approach beast.

drd said...

You said "Let's not drag this any longer. This is a blog, not a forum."

Ah but Beast, you wanted me to come here to 'fight'.
Yet you have not addressed or refuted the fact that there is good evidence that can lead rational people to conclude 'God exists' (none other than you disagree with what I have said)
You have posted NO information to refute any of the evidence I presented. You have refuted none of my premises (unless you want to include 'hitler is a catholic', but that is real weak as pointed out earlier)

Yet, you want this to end? You are right, I do claim victory.

WOW, this will piss the fundy atheists off hu?

BEAST said...

DRD:

You cannot claim victory here. I have never lost to a Christian, and you are obviously not good enough.

I don't understand your motive with regards to "saints", never occurred to me, and not much of it is mentioned to me from fundies. What do you expect me to say what I do not know? It will be hypocrisy on my part to give you an answer, and I won't because I don't think its fair to you or the readers.

As for the "fighting", the chief reason is for you not to post over at my friend, vjack, forum with your crap. And I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, you were different from the other Christians I trash from time to time. I was wrong.

Since then, you have failed:

1. To explain how God is involved in the intricacies of physics and biology.

2. To explain why atheism is murderous, because I have refuted it.

3. Not converted any atheist here with your deluded nonsense.

You declaring victory? Trust me, dude, you haven't.

Beast

BEAST said...

You said I haven't provided evidence?

I profoundly expressed quotes on Einstein to refute the basis of his purported religious beliefs.

I have also cited Mein Keimpf and the Witch's hammer to prove Hitler's catholic fervor and the dastardly result of religion (particularly Christianity). All these can be read through historical documents.

DRD, please, for your own self-respect and decency, I will not advise to declare victory. That will look very funny to the atheists who peruse this blog.
Tsk Tsk

Beast

BEAST said...

Since Godfather is not a "catholic", I hereby declare Stalin and Pol Pot not "True Atheists".

Beast

L>T said...

beast I hope you don't mind me interjecting in here once in a while. But I am finding some of drds arguments interesting, Although, I feel drd is now arguing just for the sake of arguing. If he's a Christian then his whole argument is based on the faith premise that there is a "God" anyway.
drd said Religion's role in atrocities has always been one of someone 'PERVERTING and SUBVERTING their religion to justify their personal behavior. But what perpetrates this perversion? Religions role in atrocities is more fundamental then just some bad guys using it for their own ends. Fundamentalists in all religions are a major cause of trouble in the world. They always have been. Religious knowledge is mainly based on faith placed in the alleged revealed wisdom provided by a Deity. Religious knowledge is obtained from ancient scripture, alleged revelations, mystic experiences and alleged divine intervention. It is the religion itself that has the fatal flaw that enables it to be subverted in the first place.

BEAST said...

Agreed, IT

Religion enforces the "tribal morality" which I was already expounding on my blog, and hence I did not bother to refute DRD on this one.

Thanks for raising the point.

Beast

drd said...

Beast said:
"Since Godfather is not a "catholic", I hereby declare Stalin and Pol Pot not "True Atheists".

Beast do you have any clue the lack of knowledge (ignorance, I make this distinction so you know its not personal) this statement shows??

Catholic has become very cultural over the centuries, its becomes more social and cultural than 'religious'. This is the same for the Jews and their faith. Many Jews attend synogog, but claim to be atheist, and thats ok with them. Its a cultural identity.
Atheism does not have a cultural identity like some forms of religion do and Hitlers Catholicism falls under this. I hope you can follow this simple logic, and discontinue this clearly irrational line of reasoning, its not becoming of a man of your ability and talent (see your previous post ;-)

DRD said...

Beast lets examine the score card:

You showed Einstein quotes....ya..ok..and one was 'pre-god' understanding, and one was post..the Post quote clearly stated he didn't believe in a 'PERSONAL GOD'...hence, he did believe in a supreme being, which the quotes I provided PROVED...you lose this round.

DRD said...

Next, you position on Hitler being catholic is as you say, a non-sequitur, for the reasons I have stated..Stalin was clearly atheistic, as was Pol Pot and many others who committed atrocities....

You lose that round as well.

DRD said...

"Since then, you have failed:

1. To explain how God is involved in the intricacies of physics and biology."

Oh ,but that was not my intent to show 'how'..only that the evidence points to the likely hood of a Gods intervention..I never proposed to show 'how' God is involved..
You lose here too, since you were unable to offer any rational position in opposition to my points in this area other than the fabled , "I don't agree"

DRD said...

2. To explain why atheism is murderous, because I have refuted it.

You refuted what?? I don't think so, maybe in your mind...not in a rational mind.

However, again, I never proposed to suggest 'why atheism' was..instead I proposed people were, in general, and noted the absurdity of using religion as the excuse..since clearly atheists (which by the way, are a very modern construct, thats why past murder's were not atheists..they didn't exist centuries ago.)

Back to my point, clearly atheist can be as terroristic and brutal as religious..

So, no, you did not win that one either..you lose there too.

DRD said...

lastly, you say I have not converted anyone...ok you got me.

I am a real real bad sinner...cause that should be my intent...but...again..I confess, alas, it was not.

I just wanted to see if a fundy atheist could be civil and intelligent and hold a decent dialog, while remaining rational.

Again, you seem to be losing on this point as well (getting pissed off is usually the first sign your losing here,...just an FYI)

DRD said...

IT
I respect your input and glad to have it...we obviously disagree, but thats ok.

I would suggest to you that your feelings that 'religion is the cause of all ills' is based in a presuppositional world view that colors your opinion.

You say there is something fundamental about religion that allows for the abuse...but, it could just as easily be a fundamental problem with humans that allow us to use anything at our disposal as rationel for bad behavior.

Logic would lead us to conclude my opinion is more in line with reality..consider this:

If religion is man made, and totally false, then it is nothing more than a philosophy with out any real truth behind it (which is what you believe), hence religion is fictional, and cannot be the cause: Man, who invented it, is to blame.
Likewise, if man uses Nietzche's superman and god is dead philosophy, and decides to recreate humanity in the image he has of perfection (Hilter) than this becomes a philosophy leading to abuse...there is NO difference, both are to blame.
In the end, then, we are back to "humans are to blame"..

If you believe religion is a figment of mans imagination ,then you cannot blame it for ills, since it, in reality, does not exist. Your opinion has not basis at all if you extrapolate it out to the logical end.

BEAST said...

DRD:

You are acting like a child, and it is not easy to see why.

Let us go through the list again, shall we?

1. The "GodFather" Argument

Obviously, there seems to be an argument about who is, or who isn't a true Christian.

Let's simplify this once and for all: If a person believes in the Bible, and believes that Jesus Christ is God, then he or she is a Christian.

And that includes Hitler and The Godfather.

2."Do you believe that some, just might 'use or pervert' religion for their own selfish motives, that are much more centered on an atheistic world view, despite their religious background?"

Another not so fair-minded, conservative view of yours again: You are blaming that the ills of misbehaving Christians are achieving atheists in disguise? Such insinuations are again, hypocritical, and not very intelligent.

3. "You showed Einstein quotes....ya..ok..and one was 'pre-god' understanding, and one was post..the Post quote clearly stated he didn't believe in a 'PERSONAL GOD'...hence, he did believe in a supreme being, which the quotes I provided PROVED...you lose this round."

Again, a non-sequitor argument: I don't believe in a personal god, so I must believe in a supreme being.....where's the logic in this???

4."To explain why atheism is murderous, because I have refuted it.

You refuted what?? I don't think so, maybe in your mind...not in a rational mind.

However, again, I never proposed to suggest 'why atheism' was..instead I proposed people were, in general, and noted the absurdity of using religion as the excuse..since clearly atheists (which by the way, are a very modern construct, thats why past murder's were not atheists..they didn't exist centuries ago.)

Back to my point, clearly atheist can be as terroristic and brutal as religious.."

First of all, atheism is not a modern construct. Socrates was one of the earliest recorded atheists. There was, and always will be atheists. Probably not many outspoken ones, but enough to spark off the age of Enlightenment.

The problem with religion is this: All too often, tyrants and monarchies rely on the ignorance of the masses to cement their rule, and to do that, religion is often the superglue. Napoleon Bonarparte was quite succinct when he explained:"Religion prevents the poor from murdering the rich". Religion forbids people to think, doesn't do justify to the intelligence of man, and breeds the worst kinds of people ever to walk on the face of the Earth.

Regarding Hitler, I have made my arguments very clearly. He was in fact a practicing Catholic. He never was excommunicated, and his book, Mein Keimpf, pays tribute to his unwavering faith. Why don't you read it for yourself instead of trying to make yourself look stupid? Do you wish me to quote? I can!

4."I just wanted to see if a fundy atheist could be civil and intelligent and hold a decent dialog, while remaining rational."

I would love to. However, you started off on the wrong footing with your insinuations of infantile languages such as "uh huh no way", which is a blatant disrespect to someone who actually invited you.

Normally, I tend to abuse people who have no respect for anyone. In your case, I am actually holding back out of deference to your intelligence.

Trust me, when my patience runs out, you will truly see the real Beast. Ask Mr splinter at www.splintersofsilver.blogspot.com

Ask him how I treated him. You don't want the same shit from me, and I don't want to give you the hairdryer.

5. As for declaring victory, you won't and you can't. You are not good enough.

Beast

BEAST said...

"Since then, you have failed:

1. To explain how God is involved in the intricacies of physics and biology."

Oh ,but that was not my intent to show 'how'..only that the evidence points to the likely hood of a Gods intervention..I never proposed to show 'how' God is involved..
You lose here too, since you were unable to offer any rational position in opposition to my points in this area other than the fabled , "I don't agree""

Again, whether I agree or not is not the issue at hand. I cannot see the proof of god in the realm of physics and biology.

The "irreducible complexity" has been roundly refuted by many scientists, and I really don't see why you claim this is only my point of view.

You claim that at some point, God must intervene. Which point? Behe's edge of evolution and irreducible complexity has been roundly refuted. And physics never says anything about God running black holes or galaxies.

So what proof do you have? Don't expect me to come up with any proofs because the burden of proof lies on you who claims it.

Beast

BEAST said...

Fundamentalist Atheist....what a chic word.

This is an oxymoron, right of the bat, because atheists have no religious scriptures nor a subset of beliefs to be "fundamentalist" about.

Sure, some atheists are pretty much committed, but this surely does not equate to fundamentalism. My dedication to my dayjob cannot be considered "fundamentalist", any more than more appreciation of the female breasts is "chauvinistic".

Beast

L>T said...

drdI would suggest to you that your feelings that 'religion is the cause of all ills' is based in a presuppositional world view that colors your opinion.. I have to refute this because I don't feel that way. & my world view is not presuppositional in that way. I did say, "Fundamentalists in all religions are a major cause of trouble in the world. " & I did say religion was fatally flawed.

drd said...but, it could just as easily be a fundamental problem with humans that allow us to use anything at our disposal as rationel for bad behavior. Of course the human mind is capable of casting about & finding things to use to justify bad behavior. & The fundamental flaws I stated that are in religious thinking make it a prime target for this kind of justification.

drd said If religion is man made, and totally false, then it is nothing more than a philosophy with out any real truth behind it (which is what you believe),There you go assuming what i believe, again. I can see where you might infer that i think that but, I have to refute this too. I've never said that about religion.

I understand Religion & philosophy as 2 different things. "A philosophy" is a set of values or principles. A particular religion might then have a "philosophy" associated with it, but particular "philosophies" will not necessarily have religious elements. Philosophical claims are justified by arguments, which provide reasons to believe those claims; religious claims don't have to rest on arguments, but appeal to faith. Actually, a friend & I have been debating this question, "What came first, first religion or philosophy?" So you see I view them as separate things. As far as religion "being man made" I tend to believe it is innate & by that I mean that the concepts we have of incomprehensible and our concept of a perfect being, and any other concept that is naturally of a religious nature is built into the human psyche(?) & is manifest by religious feeling or experience.


drd concludes If you believe religion is a figment of mans imagination ,then you cannot blame it for ills, since it, in reality, does not exist. Your opinion has not basis at all if you extrapolate it out to the logical end.

Well, I hope I've shown that I don't "believe" the way you assume I believe.

I stated, "Religious knowledge is mainly based on faith placed in the alleged revealed wisdom provided by a Deity." This I think is a fundamental flaw of religion. Not a thing to base truth on & certainly not a thing to go around killing other people over.

DRD said...

Been gone a bit..so here we go:
Beast said:
"Let's simplify this once and for all: If a person believes in the Bible, and believes that Jesus Christ is God, then he or she is a Christian.

And that includes Hitler and The Godfather."

Really? This is not how Christians define it. But, its your blog so I guess you can make up your own definitions. Actually, claiming to be part of a 'culture' like a catholic culture is more appropriate in defining those men. But if you think they are Christians, you call it how you want..no reasonable person can call your argument logical.

DRD said...

Beast said:
"You are blaming that the ills of misbehaving Christians are achieving atheists in disguise? Such insinuations are again, hypocritical, and not very intelligent."

What is not intelligent is your inability to follow reason. I never said "all"...I am following up on the Hitler example. Clearly to any reasonable person who has read Hitlers stuff, he claimed a catholic background, all the while claiming to follow Nietzhe's principles, which were decidedly atheistic. I asked if you believed that someone (an individual not everyone..stay with me here beast) might be following atheistic presupps all the while holding on to a religious background. Clearly this is what Hitler did. This point goes to the 'common sense file' and the fact that your still debating it is testimony to your lack of debating skills (despite you self-accolades)

DRD said...

Come on Beast, PLEASE!!!

You said "Again, a non-sequitor argument: I don't believe in a personal god, so I must believe in a supreme being.....where's the logic in this???"

I gave you the quotes by Einstein that showed he DID believe in a higher power, although not personal god. THATS why it does follow..and its sequitur not tor.

DRD said...

So what proof do you have? Don't expect me to come up with any proofs because the burden of proof lies on you who claims it.

Beast

Did you read the paper I attached from Bradley? So I don't have to go back and give you a ton more examples, start with that.
In essence, the same things that lead Einstein to conclude there was a higher power, and the same reason Eddington hated the implications of cosmology, I say that this is good evidence for a reasonable man to believe in a God.
You have offered NO defense to this whatever.

DRD said...

IT
you said "religious claims don't have to rest on arguments, but appeal to faith"

Let me just say, if it were not for the rational nature of my 'faith', I would not have it.

Next, you claim to be an atheist. Are you implying by this statement that arguments for atheism are so air tight that you excersise no 'faith' component to your final conclusion? Do you claim to have infinite knowledge of all things such that you can be certain no god exists? Or, rather, are you saying that from you presups(IT, we ALL have them, me, you, everyone)you have interpreted the data at hand, and have concluded that god most likely does not exist.
If so, you are exercising faith that your conclusions are correct, and that no other data or evidence exists to refute your conclusion.

Unless you are omnipotent, you excercise faith in you conclusion.
Hence, your entire thesis to this post is incorrect.

BEAST said...

DRD:

I thought you wouldn't be coming back!

Again, regarding to Hitler issue, I would advise you to read up on Mein Keimpf before I start quoting and debunking your stupid arguments.

As for Hitler, I must say I have quoted more extensively than you, with sources and so on, and you only have things which Einstein professes in abstract terms, such as "God does not play dice in the universe".

As an atheist, I have often quoted using Gaia as nature, but no Christian has ever called me a theist. That is because I am not a famous scientist, and christians like you want einstein on your side despite the fact that Einstein has very explicitly explained his agnosticism, which by the way was affirmed and criticized by his very own Jewish community (Dawkins mentions this in his book, the God delusion).

You call me a poor debater because you have no basis of truth to back up your facts. You come strutting into my blog thinking you can get away with your bullshit.

Not on my turf, old boy.

Beast

BEAST said...

DRD:

Your argument on faith with I>T has been refuted by myself in one of the posts. You might as well read about it and tell me what you think.

Beast

DRD said...

Beast said:
" Einstein has very explicitly explained his agnosticism, ...."

Beast beast beast..here are two quotes that debunk your theory.

"God does not play dice with creation"

"If there is movement (of galaxies and star systems) then their must be a 'Mover', all effects have a cause."

These are NOT agnostic comments, except as they relate to naming the 'who' of who God is.

Again, your just off here beast, it is not me who is slinging BS here, your graspin.

In regard to your rebuttal of my faith comments. Please point me to where I may read your rebuttal. Is it in this blog or is it attached to one of your essays?

BEAST said...

DRD:

The actual quote is: "God does not play dice with the universe". You got it wrong.

Mere rhetorics cannot get you anywhere, DRD. You can't even get Einstein's quotes correct.

Here is another quote (along with the source) to debunk the myth that Einstein was a believer of Spinoza's God:

* I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, but admire even more his contributions to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and the body as one, not two separate things.

-As quoted in Glimpses of the Great (1930) by G. S. Viereck There have been disputes on the accuracy of this quotation.

I wonder who's trembling now, DRD. As for the post on faith, its on my blog. Look for it on the right column of the blog.

Beast

BEAST said...

http://atheisthaven.blogspot.com/2007/08/faith-of-atheist-debunking-myth-of.html

concerned citizen said...

drd took exception to my assertion that "religious claims don't have to rest on arguments, but appeal to faith" Well, it's true they don't. drd claimed to be an exception to the rule, but he really can't deny the truth of my statement.

drd said, Next, you claim to be an atheist. Are you implying by this statement that arguments for atheism are so air tight that you exercise no 'faith' component to your final conclusion? Do you claim to have infinite knowledge of all things such that you can be certain no god exists? Or, rather, are you saying that from you presups(IT, we ALL have them, me, you, everyone)you have interpreted the data at hand, and have concluded that god most likely does not exist.
If so, you are exercising faith that your conclusions are correct, and that no other data or evidence exists to refute your conclusion.


whether I'm an atheist...? so much rides on definitions & how we each interpret the definitions. believe it or not drd, Atheism can be a broad term and it's implications are debated among freethinkers. ...For this reason i usually identify myself as an "agnostic secular humanist", So I'll try to answer your charge & explain my position in that context.

drd asks, Are you implying by this statement that arguments for atheism are so air tight that you excersise no 'faith' component to your final conclusion? Do you claim to have infinite knowledge of all things such that you can be certain no god exists? my answer is no.
drd continuesOr, rather, are you saying that from you presups(IT, we ALL have them, me, you, everyone)you have interpreted the data at hand, and have concluded that god most likely does not exist. acually I just leave the concept of God (esp. The Christian one) out of the equation. I try to "interpret the data" in a purely humanistic way. I see no reason to presuppose a God, that I can neither prove or disprove.

drd leaves us with this zingerUnless you are omnipotent, you excercise faith in you conclusion.
Hence, your entire thesis to this post is incorrect.
the problem is, Not everyone fits into the slot you want to stuff them into drd, you assume way too much.

Like has been said before faith in a Christian God & faith in a chair are not the the same thing. I wonder, are you reading too much C.S. Lewis?

DRD said...

IT or Concerned Citizen said:
"drd took exception to my assertion that "religious claims don't have to rest on arguments, but appeal to faith" Well, it's true they don't. drd claimed to be an exception to the rule, but he really can't deny the truth of my statement."

No, I am simply saying all faith SHOULD be rational. If someone has irrational faith, it should be challenged..I am not claiming to be an exception. So ,yes, I do deny the truth of your statement.

DRD said...

Next you say:
"drd..... and have concluded that god most likely does not exist."

acually I just leave the concept of God (esp. The Christian one) out of the equation. I try to "interpret the data" in a purely humanistic way. I see no reason to presuppose a God, that I can neither prove or disprove.

IT, this statement shows clearly you are presuppositional in your thinking (no biggy, we all are),you see, you 'chose' to interpret it from a humanistic perspective...there is your presup..right there.
You chose to not presup god..another presup there.
Do you have any reason that you omit the 'Christian God' especially and more so than others?

DRD said...

IT said:
"drd leaves us with this zingerUnless you are omnipotent, you excercise faith in you conclusion.
Hence, your entire thesis to this post is incorrect." drd
You reply:
the problem is, Not everyone fits into the slot you want to stuff them into drd, you assume way too much.

What slot are you refering to? How does this comment address or respond to my remark, and what have I assumed?

L>T said...

drd Christian Faith is not rational, period. whether you think it SHOULD be is beside the point.

"presuppositions" can be a theological term meaning choosing to decide in the Christian God? am I correct? drd askes Do you have any reason that you omit the 'Christian God' especially and more so than others? My answer: We agree that we all choose to decide in something. We have to decide that what we choose is the most logical presupposition, me choosing to base my decisions on what is human as apposed to "Pie in the sky" assumptions is the most logical presupposition for me. & There really is no sense in arguing about it anymore at this point though, is there?

DRD said...

Well IT, my point is that belief in a God is indeed rational..for all the reasons I have stated. I have also pointed out that any believe, even atheism relies on faith.

Note the prolific writer and well known atheist Antony Flew and his recent book:
There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.

If you glance through it, you will find that Antony was convinced of the rationality of belief in a god after reviewing the scientific evidence, which is how I started this conversation originally. An avid atheist was convinced by the preponderance of the evidence for god.
I again refer you to this paper for your review.
http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/evidence.html
Take the time to digest it, its very insightful, and no one has contradicted any of it.

All conclusions about philosophical areas, including theology are based in some reason and logic, even if its faulty. No one developes a world view they believe to be irrational.

PS you never did answer why Christian faith is particularly bothersome to you over other forms?