Atheists Disprove God’s Existence Again!

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The Lowdown: A Scientist managed to replicate religious experience with electromagnetic waves applied to different parts of the brain. He goes on to tell the world that this proves there is no God. It was an absolute pleasure watching the Reddit crowd blow up over this one, and to see my atheist friends post it on their Facebook walls with such grave, epitaphic solemnities as “let mankind know knowledge instead of ignorance” and “science has done it at last!” (This time it’s for sure, apparently.)

It gives me the opportunity to clear up — for their sakes — a common misconception about the Christian religion, or perhaps just to assert an uncommon conception: The belief of a Christian hinges upon a Miracle — the Resurrection – and not upon miracles. This is important to realize, for there is an unspoken assumption made by these bored and boring scientists, that if the presence of God can be simulated, then religious experience is not miraculous, and thus God is not real.

Which, of course, deserves this educated and mature rebuttal:

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Followed by this:

The logic that simulated religious experience disproves God would only hold water if an essential doctrine of Christianity was that God does not work through the physical world — our brains — but is confined to undetectable spiritual planes. This is not an essential doctrine of Christianity. In fact, it is a rejection of The Only Freaking Central Doctrine of Christianity — that God became man, and thus deigns not only to work through matter and flesh, but to be matter and flesh.

Not a spirit-God-thing, sorry.

Once again, the Atheist expects far more from God than the Christian. The Atheist demands magic. The Christian is comfortable with chemicals. The Atheist demands that God operate entirely outside of our bodies. The Christian is comfortable with religious experience being just that — an experience, and thus experimental. He knows himself to be an inseparable union of body and soul, and that the God-Man, of all beings, would never interact with just one of these two. If God touches my soul, he touches my brain. Sure, and why not, and duh, and I would hardly expect otherwise.

But the refutation of a stupid idea need be more than a reassertion of those forever forgotten facts; what Christians actually believe. Our Scientist’s logic sucks to begin with. Let us say there was such a thing as sex. Let us say that, scandalously, a large part of the population claimed to have it, and worse, claimed it to be quite an elevating experience, attributing to it all sorts of supernatural terms — “love”, “spiritual union” etc. etc. Let us then go on to say that, at the same time as all this sex, there lived a Scientist. Now our Scientist performs an experiment in which he stimulates all the necessary parts of the brain involved in sex. After much hard work, a painful divorce, and difficult dealings with awkward volunteers, he managed to perfectly simulate the sexual act by the power of electro-magnetic waves. He then publishes YouTube videos claiming the following, “The experience of sex in its entirety can be simulated by electromagnetic waves. Thus all claims of spiritual union etc. etc. are false. Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that there is no sex.”

Now put in this context, it sounds ridiculous, because the reality of sex is self-evident. God is not. But the same false assumption is made nonetheless: Because a thing can be simulated, it can only ever be a simulation.

This is ridiculous. We can chemically simulate every emotion under the sun; does this mean emotions don’t exist as anything but simulations? We can simulate hunger, flying, love, courage, drowning, dreaming, and dying; do these things become unrealities as a result? Of course not. This much seems apparent, that a simulation does not disprove a thing — it rather helps prove it. We have parts of our brain that, when stimulated, can make us nervous. Well, there is such a thing as being nervous. We have parts of our brain that, when stimulated, make us believe that there is a world beyond what we can perceive. Well then, it would seem to follow that there is a world we cannot perceive.

Otherwise the claim must be that a large portion of our brain is idiotic. The idea that we developed this part of our brain out of a fear of death is almost too stupid to mention here. But I will, because I like appearing intelligent without really trying. A happy afterlife is a relatively recent concept within Judeo-Christian religion. The Ancient Jews did not have a doctrine of Heaven. That came later. So immediately, the idea that the conception of a God came from a need to avoid the fear of Death and Dark and Nothingness is reduced to wishful thinking. Obedience of the harsh law of God came before any concept of a Divine Reward. Good luck explaining that away.

The simulation of religious experience only suggests that there is such a thing as religious experience. So as tends to happen, the fervent work of atheists further convinces me in the existence of God. We have, built into our very being, a concept of God. Religious belief is part of human nature.

  • Edward in RCIA

    This man might as well print a fake dollar bill, and in so doing claim he has disproved the existence of the Federal Reserve.

    • Jeremiah

      If only that would work!

    • Northern_Witness

      An excellent comment that captures the essence of the Atheist problem exactly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryliziz Mary Liz Bartell

    Your headline should be Scientists try to prove God doesn’t exist again!!! How can anyone disprove a person exists if they can’t recreate that person in a laboratory test? That’s a lack of relationship with God, and God reveals himself in prayer. Not in a test tube. If a person is praying it usually involves the brain, but doesn’t preclude the soul interacting in the prayer, the communication from God and to God. I love the relational aspect of God as Father, and that he’s not someone you would see jump through hoops to prove his existence. God is real. He doesn’t force himself on us. Does a Father force his children to love him, or to believe in him? A relationship that can’t be re-created in a test tube is this stumbling block for scientists and atheists everywhere. They don’t recognize the futility of their struggle. Belief comes from God. The fact Faith is a gift that people reject doesn’t make HIS real presence a lie or a false sensation in the brain of the faithful. His touch is one of spirit. Scientists can’t make a soul.

  • Lily

    Awesome article.

    On the flip side, another answer to those atheists is that not all religious people have had a religious “experience” or miraculous feeling. I’ve never had any of those awe inspiring feeling that my friends or other Christians have had. I guess when I pray I can tell someone’s listening (sort of like when you can tell you’re being overheard), but that’s not what makes me believe in God.

    I don’t get religious or holy feelings the way some people do, but I know that there is a God. I know this because Christianity is internally consistent, makes logical sense, fits with science and reality, and only does so if all the Churches teaching are true (they fit together like a puzzle, and fall apart if there is a piece missing). So I would tell those atheists that although religious feelings of awe are real and helpful (I’d love to have one someday), one can also know God on an intellectual level.

    • musiciangirl591

      its been years since i’ve had a religious experience, but i know He exists :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maximus-Lascivious/1206487456 Maximus Lascivious

      Yep, some people like yourself are just indoctrinated.

  • Anonymous

    Someone please take these so-called rationalists aside and explain about proving a negative. You can’t, you have to prove a contradictory positive. And it has to be exclusive, not merely alternative (as this is)—it must be a case where only one of the two can be true.

    And do they think Christians haven’t always known any given vision might just as easily be a hallucination?

    PS. God is, in fact, self-evident, to anyone who knows enough Christian natural theology to have a right to their opinion. Atheism is simply not a rationally tenable proposition. The question is not, in fact, “is there a God?” but “what’s this ‘God’ thing like?”

    The most productive movement in modern philosophy—existentialism—sought the answer to that question, though most of its proponents were so ignorant of theology as to think they were atheists.

  • Paula

    “Obedience of the harsh law of God came before any concept of a Divine Reward. Good luck explaining that away.” Outstanding!

  • God Helmet (TM) Representative

    THE GOD HELMET, just $139.95. No prayer or penance required, just plug it in, put it on and understand what it’s like to be in the presence of God (I mean, a magnet on your brain). Includes a complementary indulgence from Richard Dawkins.

  • http://thecatholicsciencegeek.blogspot.com/ Catholic Science Geek

    A scientist who jumps to conclusions AND “proves” something! Wow, I’d love to read THAT scientific article.

    In all seriousness, I can assure you all that every neuroscience book in my possession does not end with “…which proves that God doesn’t exist.”

    If you don’t mind the link…feel free to check out my thoughts on the generic “experiment that disproves God’s existence.”

    http://thecatholicsciencegeek.blogspot.com/2011/04/god-isnt-stupid.html

    Now, back to studying for my neuro final. :)

  • LT

    They spent all that effort on a mechanism to recreate a religious experience? Why didn’t they just study current and former hallucinogenic drug users? They can tell you all about neurological religious experiences. We are well aware that internal, external, and combination experiences exist. They certainly don’t disprove God.

  • frontrow7

    Interesting article, however a bit misleading. You mention that “He goes on to tell the world that this proves there is no god”.

    This is the quote from the Persinger/Healey paper “Experimental Facilitation of the Sensed Presence: Possible Intercalation Between the Hemispheres Induced by Complex Magnetic Fields”, Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 2002:

    (link here, but you will need to sign in to view it http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12193838)

    “We have not attempted to refute or to support the absolute existence of gods, spirits, or other transient phenomena that appear to be prominent features of people’s beliefs about themselves before and after death… However, we have shown that the experience of these phenomena, often attributed to spiritual sources, can be elicited by stimulating the brain with specific weak complex magnetic fields”

    a follow-up report in 2005 is viewable here (and worth reading if you have the time – you won’t have to sign in): http://www.laurentian.ca/NR/rdonlyres/54878F0B-BBDD-4119-AD45-497E5B298FD4/0/StPierre_Persinger_2006.pdf

    All they claim to show is that the “experience” can be recreated in a laboratory. How your atheist friends interpret that, of course, is their opinion. Does this take some of the excitement away from someone claiming they had this type of experience? Possibly, but it could also show the opposite is true, that these types of experiences are the brain’s reaction to something else going on. There is no way to disprove the existence of god or gods, but that also doesn’t mean that they exist either. What’s so wrong in saying we just don’t know for sure at this point, but let’s try to find out together?

    Now the christians take it a step further from “the possible existence of a universe-creator god” to the existence of “our god”, god the father who watches over us daily, and his son, jesus, who was immaculately conceived, died for us and resurrected. Those are scientific facts that we simply do not have proof for. Hence, why you have some people take it on faith, and other people reject it as insufficient… Since there is overwhelming evidence against these events being true, your atheist friends chalk this “god helmet” up to their tally, as another scientific endeavor that can show that these “religious experiences” are just the brain’s reaction to external, natural phenomena. The fact that the brain can have these experiences outside of a laboratory may also show that there could be some credence to external stimuli we don’t yet understand. If you decide to jump from that to jesus was resurrected, it is of course, your opinion. Either way, that god helmet looks pretty fun.

    Great blog though… and a well-thought, honest reaction to Hitchen’s passing. Classy

    Merry Christmas to you

    • trskms

      There’s actually pretty overwhelming evidence FOR those events being true.

      • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

        I don’t think you know what overwhelming means. There’s nothing here beyond the fact that a phenomenon that was previously considered to be divine can be induced with demonstrable physical events. Does that mean you could still say god also induces this, sure… but it’d be one hell of a leap that remains unproven.

        • John Abad

          I would not consider a hallucination to be divine, as some persons who suffer from schizophrenia have “mystical” delusions. Of course, I can only hope you know how to differentiate the two comparing the positive and negative side effects of someone who suffers this disease from say, a saint who doesn’t. If you don’t know that these side effects are present and don’t know what they are or how they are interrelated and exclude the diagnosis of persons who can have religious experiences without them, it is time for you to study psychopathology.
          I stated in my previous reply, which you probably had not enough time to respond, that this is nothing new. It is common sense that exogenous factors can influence the consciousness. From psychedelic drugs, trauma, to meditation and hypnotism. How does any of this disprove that God exists again? If you were to suppose that this is a religious experience being replicated, how do you know it was a religious experience? If it had religious terms involved in the explanation of such an experience by the person after the experiment, how do you know they were actually religious, from Divine inspiration (not intervention like you erroneously described before) and not ego-originated. If you truly do like science, as you seem to believe it proved God wrong in this case, it is time for you to start thinking like one. Let me give you a hint, as I myself am a scientist, try questioning these experiments and looking for flaws in order to search for more questions and more approximations towards truth.

  • Jay E.

    Well said. This argument always amused me. And so… when people are having religious experiences, are they wearing a “God-helmet”?

  • mary york

    This was very well said. Are you sure you are still a kid?

  • Safia

    I’m confused about a few things on a basic level — First, how does he know what consists of a “religious experience,” in terms of the physical/neurological experience? I’m sure that all believers “experience” God in very different ways. Second, how many believers experience God in the way this subject did? You can’t stimulate and/or compare this kind of comparison without a control group, but a control group in this situation is for him impossible, since his fundamental assumption is that God doesn’t exist.

  • Nelson

    Hi,

    I came onto your blog through the facebook of a friend of mine who is a pure-blood Christian. It happens to be that yesterday I saw a documentary by Stephen Hawkins on Discovery. Normally I’m not the kinda person to respond to blogs, but here he goes…

    I really like the way you analyze, and compare the study with the god-helmet to other things. But as frontrow7 explained, it just shows a part of the brain is actually capable of creating a feeling of a precense…

    If you want to see a documentary that more or less ‘disproves’ god exsistence, then maybe you should take a look at this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpb7NMR-XOo

    I’m kind of curious to your reaction on this one.

    Sincerely,
    Nelson

    • Ratio et Fides

      Suppose you walked into a house in the middle of nowhere and found it full of beautiful furniture, and then learned that people in the area believed it was all made by a Craftsman.

      Then you discovered a window into a shop full of wonderful, highly automated tools still producing furniture. You analyzed these tools and learned how they work, and could even predict what they would produce next.

      This many took to disprove the Craftsman.

      But who made the tools?

      Saw a great Tshirt that said “And God said ‘Let there be light’”: reverse side, Maxwell’s Equations.

      Science reveals the Creator of the perfect laws of the universe.

      • Nelson

        Did you watch the whole documentary?

        Because Mr. Hawkins clearly states that before the big bang, there’s no time. Time started with the big bang. Thus nothing proceeded it…

        I realy don’t mean to offend you, but I was just curious about your way of thinking about it. To me, it seems harder and harder to keep believing an invisible, supernatural force has an influence on our everyday life.
        And even more to believe there’s something after this…

        In my opinion science just reveals the laws of the universe (and there not all that perfect). No one has to have created them… To me there’s no need for a god, whatever kind, to explain why the world goes around..

        Please don’t take it to personal. I don’t mean to say that I’m against believing in something, or against someone who believes.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    I always figure it’s a mistake to let Christians and other believers try to drag a good atheist into their muddle of “Can you prove God doesn’t exist!!!” etc. This post and most of the comments are a perfect example. Of course God doesn’t exist, but I have no problem with people who believe God does exist, so long as they don’t try to enforce their beliefs on me, or use their beliefs to behave foully towards other people. I object to the Catholic belief that gays – and straight women – are lesser beings, not to the Catholic belief in God.

    • Jeremiah

      Ummm… You’re thinking Protestantism, sorry. You should really read On the Genus of Women by Blessed John Paul the Great. Or really all of Theology of the Body (especially Christpher West’s works, which JPM himself approved of).

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        Catholics are required to believe under pain of excommunication that a woman – or even an 11-year-old girl raped by her uncle – is just a babymaking machine, to be used till she’s broken and dead. Some Protestants are as bad as that, but mostly Protestant proliferism seems to be based in the belief that women who have sex deserve to be punished, rather than women who will die if they don’t have an abortion deserve to die. This of course isn’t exactly “pro-life”, since the death of a pregnant woman means the death of the fetus inside her too, so it’s really just anti-woman.

        • Brian

          EdinburghEye,
          Tell me truthfully, do you really believe these things you write?

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Tell me truthfully, have you really never thought about the godawful implications of the Catholic Church’s “morality” about abortion for women – straight or gay, any woman can be raped? Women die because the Catholic Church preaches they’re better dead than allowed to live if an abortion is performed.

          • Mahondennisj

            Translation: No, you don’t know, and don’t wantto know, what Catholics actually believe, and what abortion actually is.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Translation: you really, really don’t like having the Catholic view of women put into concrete, blatant language, and so choose to pretend it’s not true.

          • Anonymous

            You have equated “you’re not allowed to murder a rapist’s child” with “rape is A-OK”. I’d be curious to know what school of logic that is, it doesn’t even look coherent to me.

            Newsflash, the concept of women’s rights was invented by the Catholic Church. Every other school of thought—and really, how many pre-Christian ethics can you name?—held that rape was wrong…unless during war…or as a punishment…or committed on a slave… Well, except Jews, but even they thought rape was wrong because it’s unchastity on the part of the rapist, and not because of the woman’s rights.

            But then again, nobody from the British Isles gets to get self-righteous about rape, not to Catholics. Your pig-island was the first Western country ever to systematically use terror-rape, and they did it in Ireland, during their campaign against the Catholic Church.

            Stop projecting your predilection for rape onto the real people, you Anglo pig.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “You have equated “you’re not allowed to murder a rapist’s child” with “rape is A-OK””

            You’re not allowed to murder a child, though many Catholic priests have been allowed to rape children and then shielded from the legal consequences by the Church hierarchy.

            You are, in every civilised part of the world, allowed to decide to have an abortion, whether because the fetus was conceived by rape or for any other reason.

          • Jmsteve4

            First off, you cannot say that because indivudual priests do bad things that everything in the Catholic Church is wrong. We know rape is wrong. The Church teches rape is wrong. If the priests do that, they are not doing it with the sanction of the Church. Attacking them says nothing about Catholic teaching. If you want to say that we’re hiding them, go ahead. I’m not, and I sincerely hope nobody is.

            And would you not agree that murder is worse than rape? I might get called out for blasphemy here by saying some sins are worse, but don’t you agree that taking away years and years of living and happiness from a child just because they haven’t reached a certain point of development yet is more wrong than somehting that can be cured through counseling? No one has a right to rape, and no one has a right to murder, and just because someone already raped does not allow someone else to murder. Yes, it sucks, but there are other options. Adoption is not as good as being raised by both biological parents, but if one is a rapist and the other cannot support the child, it’s better than killing the child. You do not have a right to kill, and neither does the mother, even if she did not consent. And as I rational woman who makes my own choices, I can see that.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            Oh dear, this has gone too narrow again. Excuse me while I take it upthread.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “you Anglo pig”

            Sorry, neither.

            In my part of the world, Catholic priests who became known to have a predilection for abusing children used to be transferred to parishes in Ireland, because there (this was the 1980s) it was far less likely any complaints by victims or their parents would be paid any attention to.

          • Cmatt

            You seem to refuse to toake the Catholic premise that both mother and unborn child are human beings, upon which the Church’s teaching is based. If you take that premise is true, do you then subscribe to the position that it is morally legitimate to sacrifice one innocent individual to save another? Further assuming that you would say yes (it would be the only way to explain your position) then you would have to agree that a person could legitimately choose to behead a five year old, or alternatively, his mother, if put to that choice by circumstance. Finally, assuming you would say yes (because that is the logical implication of your prior positions), well, there is not much more that can be done for you. We simply disagree on a primary premise – you believe deliberately killing an innocent is moral; i do not.

          • Rich Wilson

            Was Abraham moral?

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            The Catholic premise is that the woman is not human: she exists only as an incubator whose use is to create a baby from a fertilised egg. If that process is inflicted on her by force, as in rape, the Catholic premise is that the incubator can’t be allowed to decide that she will terminate: if the process will permanently damage her health or kill her, the Catholic premise is that this doesn’t matter: the incubator can be used till broken.

            “do you then subscribe to the position that it is morally legitimate to sacrifice one innocent individual to save another? ”

            Ah, the good old Catholic premise that it’s better to have the fetus die like a suffocated fish inside the dead body of the pregnant woman, than abort the fetus to save the mother’s life. The Catholic premise which regards the woman’s life as of no value: why save an incubator when there are always more.

            “We simply disagree on a primary premise – you believe deliberately killing an innocent is moral; i do not. ”

            But you do regard it as moral to have a pregnant woman let die. Presumanly because by the Catholic premise, she’s had sex, so is no longer innocent, so her death does not matter…

          • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

            You don’t have to be Catholic to hold that both the baby and the mother are human and thus, we are morally obligated to save both and at no point is it moral to deliberately kill one to save the other. The only hope for the abortion position is holding that the unborn isn’t human. They can’t do that without being arbitrary, subjectivist to the point of absurdity, or reliant on dogmatic special pleading (i.e. relying on assumptions that would never pass the standards of proof they are always insisting Catholics meet.)

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            It’s far from unique to Catholicism to believe that women can and should be used choicelessly until broken, mere breeding machines without conscience, dignity, or humanity.

          • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

            It isn’t a part of Catholicism at all and you haven’t provided a coherent argument that it is.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            It’s very much part of of Catholicism, as many of the commenters here openly agree – it’s just I’ve described it in terms of the results, women dead and women wished dead, whereas Catholics are supposed to express it bloodlessly in terms of opposition to legal abortion.

          • Anonymous

            That’s not a part of Catholicism, but it was historically a part of the “culture” of Great Britain.

            Freudian projection much?

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            It’s a very lethal part of Catholicism even today. Fortunately, abortion has been legal on mainland UK since 1967.

        • Ratio et Fides

          You have created a strawman to argue with. As a Catholic, I have never been expected to hold the awful things that you have said true.

          None of this is about punishment. Go fish.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “As a Catholic, I have never been expected to hold the awful things that you have said true.”

            A woman who decides to have an abortion to save her life, and the doctor who performs it – and on occasion even the medical ethicist nun who agreed it was OK if the woman would die otherwise – is excommunicated. The woman is required to believe she’s better dead than alive: the doctor is required to let her patient die: the nun is supposed to think two deaths are better than one. As a Catholic, you’ve evidently never thought about this, but it’s true: your Church requires that women regard themselves as babymaking machines, to be used until worn out.

          • Prolife AND feminist

            When the mother’s life is in imminent danger, she may be delivered of the baby by emergency C-section. The Church is clear on this, and it happened to my aunt who had an ectopic pregnancy. Again, you have obviously not opened the Catechism or googled for the truth.

            The stretch of the definition of the “danger” to a mother’s life in our laws unfortunately covers her inconvenience, her “feelings”, anything she says makes her feel bad.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “When the mother’s life is in imminent danger, she may be delivered of the baby by emergency C-section. ”

            The fetus may be too undeveloped to live – or too deformed to live – outside the uterus. So in effect, you’re offering as an alternative an unnecessary operation with an unnecessary risk in order to ensure one dead fetus and one damaged woman. Not all women can give birth again naturally after a C-Section. Even so, that’s better than what the Catholic Church can and has actually required – for example, to make a woman with cancer live with untreated cancer for months until the fetus can be delivered, because the life-saving chemotherapy would be an abortifacient. Catholicism teaches use of the woman’s body until she’s used up.

          • Paul H

            E. Eye,

            I am rather frustrated and perplexed by the blatant falsehoods which you are stating about the Catholic Church. Catholic teaching does not say that a woman must avoid life-saving chemotherapy if she is pregnant. Now it may be a laudable decision for her to do so (in order to give her baby the best chance at life), but by no means is she required or expected to do so.

            If you truly want to make a good argument that might convince someone to convert to your point of view, then you need to argue against what that person actually believes. Arguing against a false caricature of someone’s beliefs isn’t likely to convince him of anything.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “Catholic teaching does not say that a woman must avoid life-saving chemotherapy if she is pregnant.”

            Yes, it does.

            “but by no means is she required or expected to do so”

            Both required and expected and forced according to laws laid down by the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, and backed by the Pastoral Vicar of the Archdiocese of Managua, Msg. Miguel Mantica.

            “If you truly want to make a good argument that might convince someone to convert to your point of view, then you need to argue against what that person actually believes. ”

            If you don’t actually believe what the Church teaches, Paul – if you’re a secret rebel who thinks all women everywhere should have legal access to abortion on demand – then surely it’s not me you should be arguing with: it’s the hierarchy of your Church.

          • Paul H

            Your first link concerns the civil laws of Nicaragua. We are not talking about the laws of Nicaragua; we are talking about the teaching of the Catholic Church.

            Your second link says that the Catholic Church does not approve of abortion, and of course it doesn’t. I never claimed otherwise.

            If you want to learn what the Catholic Church teaches, then go to reliable Catholic sources. (The National Catholic Bioethics Center would be a decent place to start for this topic.) But if you just want to bash the Catholic Church for things that it does not teach, then I guess you can keep doing what you’re doing.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “Your first link concerns the civil laws of Nicaragua. We are not talking about the laws of Nicaragua; we are talking about the teaching of the Catholic Church.”

            The current laws of Nicaragua with regard to abortion, have been imposed on that country by the Catholic Church.


            If you want to learn what the Catholic Church teaches, then go to reliable Catholic sources. ”

            What, you’re claiming that the Catholic bishops and Monsignors and cardinals who so reliably tell us that women are better dead than permitted abortion, are not reliable Catholic sources?

          • Paul H

            You’ve made your choice.
            I’ll leave you to it.
            Merry Christmas

          • http://twitter.com/GregoryPCA1 GregoryPCA

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indirect_abortion If you have NEVER heard of this (your comments suggest you haven’t) you are insufficiently read on this topic.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “The stretch of the definition of the “danger” to a mother’s life in our laws unfortunately covers her inconvenience, her “feelings”, anything she says makes her feel bad. ”

            Thanks for one quick easy outline of how you can be either prolife or feminist, but not really both.

            Prolifers believe women aren’t rational human beings with intelligence and conscience, the right to decide for ourselves about our own lives and our own bodies: prolifers believe that some authority other than the pregnant woman should be the one to decide about her pregnancy, in all cases – and Catholic prolifers believe she should die rather than be permitted to have an abortion.

            Feminists believe that each pregnant woman, being equipped with reason, conscience, and human dignity, should be the one who gets to decide for herself what she’s going to do.

            Catholics seem to have a problem especially with the idea that women are human beings deserving of dignity, respect, and freedom of conscience.

          • Matt

            “Catholics seem to have a problem especially with the idea that women are human beings deserving of dignity, respect, and freedom of conscience.”

            No, our problem is that children to be born are human beings, deserving of dignity, respect, and freedom of conscience but are deprived of that. We don’t deny any of those things to women; and they are free to choose. If in they’re conscience they feel like one act of abuse, in all of its finality, is better than being born in a world where they could be abused from neglect or etc., then that is their choice, of course. We claim that it is morally wrong however. We’re not relativists. We believe in an objective truth.

          • piepie

            christianity is internally consistent? what does that mean?
            if you mean it is consistent-it sure isn’t!

          • Northern_Witness

            At its core, Christianity says that same things as other great religions. That is an example of internal consistency.

            If you are referring to scripture, i.e. the Bible, you have to sort out the references to social norms from the spiritual messages. Social norms can vary widely and be inconsistent just as today. Spiritual messages are given in metaphorical, allegorical, parable form. Good luck in identifying them and decoding the message. But it is in the spiritual messages that you will find more internal consistency.

          • Ratio et Fides

            The Arizona case, right?

            Your reply mixes specific allusions followed by false generalizations to which you expect a reply.

            I will address this: “evidently never thought ”

            You are then claiming you have evidence that demonstrates with exclusion the totality of my past thoughts? That’s more incredible than the God helmet!

            My Church does not require “that women regard themselves as babymaking machines, to be used until worn out.” Retract your rhetoric and we can address what it does teach.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “I will address this: “evidently never thought “”

            You claimed you’d never been expected to believe that women must die rather than have an abortion. So obviously, you had never thought about that aspect of Catholic doctrine. Glad to know you’re thinking about it now!

            “My Church does not require “that women regard themselves as babymaking machines, to be used until worn out.” ”

            Demonstrably not true.

          • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

            Both the woman and the unborn baby are human beings and it is always wrong to deliberately kill an innocent human being.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            The net result of this is of course that Catholics end up claiming it’s better to let both pregnant woman and fetus die, than to abort the fetus to save the pregnant woman’s life. Two deaths claimed as more morally correct that one.

          • Paul H

            Such a choice almost never occurs in real life. But if a person had to choose between (A) killing one person so that another person could live, or (B) refusing to kill the first person even though it means that both will probably die — then yes, a Catholic, or anyone with a properly formed conscience, ought to choose option (B). Even though the outcome seems to be worse, the fact is that (A) cannot be chosen because it is never right to murder one person to save another’s life.

            Put another way, we must never intentionally do evil that good may come of it.

          • Paul H

            Another way to look at it: Suppose that patient A needs a heart transplant and will die within a few days without it. Patient B will die of cancer within a month, but has a healthy heart. Is it morally right to kill Patient B in order to extract his heart and thus save Patient A? Of course not.

          • Paul H

            FYI: My two comments below are displayed in reverse order. The second one should be read first.

          • http://twitter.com/GregoryPCA1 GregoryPCA

            I think its REALLY weird that you picked that example, because it is literally the ONLY situation in which the RCC allows abortion.

          • Rugratmd

            It’s all she’s/he’s got. That and rage. There I added an ad Hominem just for good measure.
            :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

      EdinburghEye
      While I believe you are accurate, your description lacks the tact required to get the theists to think about reality.

      Try this:
      1. It is impossible for a woman to be named the pope – therefore, Catholicism treats women as second-class to men. It is a patriarchal religion.

      2. Catholicism doctrine also currently preaches that being gay is a choice and must be rejected. The modern psychiatric discipline has concluded that being gay is not a mental disease and that trying to live against one’s sexual orientation is not healthy.

      3. The Catholic church requires celibacy by it’s priests and this has led to numerous scandals involving pedophilia over the years.

      I object to the above which, in my opinion, clearly demonstrates that the Catholic church preaches that women and gays are lesser beings.

      • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

        1. There are many women saints in Catholicism and the greatest saint above all is Mary. The Church does not ordain women because it does not have the authority to change a Sacrament as it was handed down by Our Lord.

        2. The Catholic Church has no official teaching on the origins of sexual attraction. Rather it teaches that the only legitimate sexual contact is between a man and a women married to each other. Teaching chastity is no more unhealthy than helping alcoholics stop drinking.

        3. The is no evidence that celibacy causes pedophilia. If one looks at other non-Catholic institutions, they have similar instances of sex abuses.

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “The Church does not ordain women because it does not have the authority to change a Sacrament as it was handed down by Our Lord.”

          The notion that women were not among the apostles first ordained by Jesus seems to have been imposed on the later Christian Church as it grew into a patriarchal institution under the Roman Empire.

          “The Catholic Church has no official teaching on the origins of sexual attraction. Rather it teaches that the only legitimate sexual contact is between a man and a women married to each other. Teaching chastity is no more unhealthy than helping alcoholics stop drinking.”

          The notion that sex is like booze, it’s perfectly simple to tell people to just do without it, is completely false.

          “The is no evidence that celibacy causes pedophilia. If one looks at other non-Catholic institutions, they have similar instances of sex abuses. ”

          Actually, this is true. No one knows what causes pedophilia, though certainly the unhealthy attitude to sex between consenting adults promoted by the church may be a contributing factor. What absolutely caused the plague of child sex abusers allowed to function within the Catholic Church, shielded by those in authority, was its heritage as a patriarchal, hierarchical institution, where it matters more to defend those within the hierarchy than the people outside it who were victimised. The Pope is still participating in the Catholic game of trying to keep child abusers out of court.

          • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

            “seems”

            Well, call me when you have actual evidence rather than conspiracy theory. Plus you blew past my comment about women saints. I can’t blame you because it makes a hash of the Catholics-hate-women meme.

            “The notion that sex is like booze, it’s perfectly simple to tell people to just do without it, is completely false.”

            That is not my point. It is rather that just because someone has an inclination to do something, it doesn’t make doing it right.

            On the sex abuse scandal, it is right to focus on the cover-ups because they are are atrocious and I agree that alot more jail time needs to be handed out. But the idea that something unique to Catholicism caused this is bogus. As we see in other institutions, the cause is usually well-intentioned but ultimately erroneous desire to handle such matters internally.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “Well, call me when you have actual evidence rather than conspiracy theory”

            Coming from someone claiming without any evidence at all that Jesus declared, centuries in advance, that only men could be ordained… heh.

            “lus you blew past my comment about women saints.”

            Yeah, I should have made the point that Catholicism shows its misogyny further by celebrating the torture and death of women.

            “It is rather that just because someone has an inclination to do something, it doesn’t make doing it right.”

            And it’s typical of the unhealthy attitude to sex that you compare having consensual sex with a partner to being an alcoholic.

            “On the sex abuse scandal, it is right to focus on the cover-ups because they are are atrocious and I agree that alot more jail time needs to be handed out. But the idea that something unique to Catholicism caused this is bogus. ”

            I agree that patriarchal hierarchy and an unhealthily obsessive attitude to sex are not unique to Catholicism.

          • http://twitter.com/GregoryPCA1 GregoryPCA

            A centuries old written tradition is more evidence than a groundless claim.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        Darrell, I tried being tactful about Marc’s homophobic thinking, and got nowhere. Good luck, though.

        • Anonymous

          You “tried being tactful” by accusing other people of getting their ideas from mental illness?

          Crap, you make my tact look good.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            What makes you think I accused Marc of being mentally ill? Do you think his rantings about gay parents make him look mentally unstable? I disagree; I think they make him look homophobic.

          • Francis Doyle

            can we please just let this scottish optometry lady scream her ignorance into her own vacuum and stop engaging her? she’s the adult version of, “i know you are but what am i.” enough!

          • James H

            Mr/Ms/Unknown Eye is a total fruitcake. His incoherence is matched only by his ability to answer questions.

            Don’t bother. Marc, can’t you get the squawk-machine canned? Then we can have some real discussions.

      • Mahondennisj

        Darrell, could you present us with a logical definition of love?

      • David

        Darrell, let me guess….you have a masters degree in psuedo-knowledge. Time to grow up and seek the truth.

      • Anonymous

        Men can’t be Korean shamans. Therefore, Korea treats men as second class to women. It is a matriarchal culture.

        Oh, no, wait, no it’s not, not by a longshot.

        Or hey, in Navajo society, descent is matrilineal and women own all the property; even a man’s sons are taught about men’s role by their mother’s brother, rather than by their father. Yet essentially all Navajo medicine men are male, and no woman has ever been involved in the most significant ceremony, the night-chant.

        Sorry, patriarchy and religious gender-roles are uncorrelated, maybe you’d know that if you were actually acquainted with anthropology.

      • matt

        1. A woman obtaining a vocation or position as a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope has nothing to do with how the Church regards her status. It concerns scripture. If you don’t agree with how the Church has interpreted scripture for 2,000 years, then, there are plenty of protestant interpretations. Hell, you could start your own denomination and name a woman pope. Let me know how that works out for you.

        On another note, speaking of scripture, a woman has obtained a prestige greater than man. While the Jews were expecting the Messiah to appear in Solomon’s Temple, in Jerusalem, God did the unexpected and chose a young woman to re-establish the possibility for men and women to come into a relationship with God, in Bethlehem. Merry Christmas. Catholics revere that decision so much, to many protestant’s disdain, that we consider her a co-mediatrix with Jesus. She is the Queen of our kingdom, the Mother of God. Of course, we’re patriarchal, oh wait – that doesn’t make sense .

        2. See the Catechism of the Catholic church, 2357-8. The Church does not understand the causes of homosexuality, thus we do not necessarily claim it is a choice – although in some cases, it could very well be. The Church calls us to accept homosexuals and treat them as we would anyone else: with love, respect and compassion. However, because scripture condemns homosexual acts as morally wrong, we cannot encourage those. Therefore, homosexuals who are called to Christ do not have to change their orientation but they must live a life of chastity and bear their cross with Him. This may seem unfair to you, but you don’t have to be catholic. A similar requirement is pressed upon heterosexuals: the sexual act is wrong outside of marriage, but it’s okay to be sexually attracted to the other sex.

        3. This is wrong. Child abuse occurs in all denominations, religions and even state institutions. This shows that celibacy is not the cause. The good news is that because the Catholic Church is so integrated and got grilled in the press, they have reformed. Bad news. The loose string of protestant denominations is going to have a harder time.

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/04/07/mean-men.html

        • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

          “A woman obtaining a vocation or position as a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope has nothing to do with how the Church regards her status. ”

          Of course it does. As you clarify below, that’s how the oldest Christian churches have interpreted scripture. These churches expanded and grew in a patriarchal society, not one which could allow the idea that a woman with a vocation ought to be come priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope.

          “On another note, speaking of scripture, a woman has obtained a prestige greater than man. ”

          Catholics do rather obsessively harp on the point that they do allow that just one woman, specially born “without sin”, to have could have great mythical stature. But since they then declare that for a woman to be ordained as a priest is exactly as bad as a man raping a child, I’m really not clear what this is meant to prove.

          “God did the unexpected and chose a young woman to re-establish the possibility for men and women to come into a relationship with God”

          I think what would have been unexpected would have been choosing a man to become pregnant.

          “The Church calls us to accept homosexuals and treat them as we would anyone else: with love, respect and compassion. ”

          Someone should tell Marc that; he was arguing in earlier posts that same-sex couples deserve to be discriminated against and treated hatefully and disrespectfully.

          I’m joking. I’ve both read Church doctrine and listened to the Church hierarchy saying exactly the same as Marc and even worse: calling on lesbians and gays to be hated, disrespected, and hurt.

          “Therefore, homosexuals who are called to Christ do not have to change their orientation but they must live a life of chastity and bear their cross with Him. ”

          Yet, Catholic hierarchy doesn’t care if lesbians and gays are “called to Christ” or not: they just want everyone who’s gay to be treated meanly and differently.

          • matt

            It sounds to me that you want to nitpick the Catholic Church and that you are set in your beliefs. I could go on replying to your responses, but my point isn’t to argue. If you want to love Jesus, then so be it. Otherwise, find a group or community that will accept your views. What does it matter that a woman becomes a pope for you – will that re-establish your soul with God? Was Jesus not enough? Or is it your own pride that you wish to establish so that we can tell you how smart you are in criticizing our community.

          • [Sniper]

            EdinburghEye

            You seem to be attacking strawmen. Is that really all you’ve got in your arguments as an atheist?

      • Anonymous

        Your attempt to link celibacy and pedophilia is ridiculous. Celibacy is intended to transmute sexual energy in to spiritual energy, known in Hinduism and Sikhism as Ojas, and then to channel that Ojas upwards through specific pathways so that spiritual wisdom can be known.

        If some people are unable to do this and revert to their baser instincts, their doing so doesn’t invalidate celibacy or religion. In short, they would have been pedophiles with or without the cover of being a priest.

        The news carries stories of Boy Scout troop leaders engaging in pedophilia with the boys in their groups. That doesn’t make the Boy Scouts organization any less valid or valuable.

    • David

      Edin… Your understanding of Catholic teachings are steeped in pseudo-knowledge. Try reading some books written from the Catholic perspective.

      • Northern_Witness

        Don’t bother the Atheists with facts. Their minds, such as they are, are already made up.

    • Northern_Witness

      It is only fundamentalist sects, of which Atheism is one, that claims that God is an individual. Atheism’s argument is only with other fundamentalists/literalists. It is a carny sideshow.

      It is amusing to watch Atheists who claim to value logic to commit the elementary logical error of reification, as they try to turn an abstract into an individual entity.

      What is even more amusing is watching Atheists argue against their own creation. Sort of like watching a dog chase its own tail.

    • Valtarov

      The Catholic Church doesn’t view women as inferior. Paul says that there is no “male or female in Christ”.

      It does not say that homosexuals are inferior, only unchaste. To those who sin, the duty of the Christian is not to condemn. Rather, in the words of St. Isaac the Syrian, “Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.”

  • http://twitter.com/jdouglasj J. Douglas Johnson

    Well argued. Someone said to me once that they had identified the exact region of the brain responsible for our belief in God and if he zapped that region of my brain I would lose my faith. I responded with “the same thing would happen if you cut off my head. So what?”

    There is one point though you brush aside a little too easily though. You write:

    “Otherwise the claim must be that a large portion of our brain is idiotic.”

    Marilynne Robinson argues that this is exactly what the parascientific modernist movement wants to do. She writes that the “strategy of parascientific argument to strip away culture-making, as if it were a ruse and a concealment within which lurked the imagined primitive who is for them our true nature.”

    And then there is this quote:

    As Comte did before him, E. O. Wilson, a well-respected exemplar of this genre, has proposed a new “consilience” that will enrich both science and the arts and humanities by integrating them, a treaty he proposes in the course of asserting a theory of the human mind that is notably unfriendly to his project. He says,

    “All that has been learned empirically about evolution in general and mental process in particular suggests that the brain is a machine assembled not to understand itself, but to survive. Because these two ends are basically different, the mind unaided by factual knowledge from science sees the world only in little pieces. It throws a spotlight on those portions of the world it must know in order to live to the next day, and surrenders the rest to darkness. For thousands of generations people lived and reproduced with no need to know how the machinery of the brain works. Myth and self-deception, tribal identity and ritual, more than objective truth, gave them the adaptive edge.”8

    When exactly did the mind begin to be aided by “factual knowledge from science”? Where is the evidence that prescientific people see the world “only in little pieces”? Is he speaking of Herodotus? Dante? Michelangelo? Shakespeare? Does knowing “how the machinery of the brain works”—and, in fact, we still do not know how it works—have any implication for the effective use of the mind? Unlike science, the arts and humanities have a deep, strong root in human culture, and have had for millennia. Granting the brilliance of science, there are no grounds for the notion that in its brief history it has transformed human consciousness in the way Wilson describes. The narrowness of Wilson’s view of human history seems rather to suggest a parochialism that follows from a belief in science as a kind of magic, as if it existed apart from history and culture, rather than being, in objective truth and inevitably, their product.

    • Mahondennisj

      Well argued. Someone said to me once that they had identified the exact region of the brain responsible for our belief in God and if he zapped that region of my brain I would lose my faith. I responded with “the same thing would happen if you cut off my head. So what?”

      LOL. Touche’, sir.

  • http://twitter.com/jdouglasj J. Douglas Johnson

    One other thing…what is that picture supposed to be? After a minute of study, I give up!

    • Guest

      a face palm

  • Rich Wilson

    I didn’t see any claim that this disproved God. It showed a natural explanation for what some people may perceive as God, but any person with a modicum of logic will tell you you can’t disprove God. And the only place I’ve seen the claim that the claim is made that God is disproved, is here. Ok, I don’t hang around reddit directly, so I’ll have to take your word for it. But that a few atheists got excited is hardly new. It’s kind of like people getting excited over a picture of Jesus on a piece of toast. Which, we atheists do mock, so I guess turn about is fair play. Carry on :-)

  • http://biltrix.com Biltrix

    “…that God became man, and thus deigns not only to work through matter and flesh, but to be matter and flesh.” Beautifully put!

    I wish I could say as much for the producers of this video. We all know that emotional, psychological, and perceptive experiences are caused by or have some correlative event in the brain. We have also known for quite some time that these experiences can be induced (LSD, for example).

    But, first, you can’t reduce the religious experience to mere psychological affections.

    Second, even if you could reduce them to something else, it does not matter, because faith does not necessarily depend on a religious experience — consider saints who experienced long periods of dryness.

    Third, even in the event that faith did some how depend on religious experience, and that this experience could be reduced to psychological states, it would not prove that God does not exist.

    And as you mentioned, God can work through the world he created.

    I love science, when it’s real science. But this production was just flimsy. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://0xtc.com/ Tanin

    This has been a most fascinating read.

    “We have parts of our brain that, when stimulated, make us believe that there is a world beyond what we can perceive. Well then, it would seem to follow that there is a world we cannot perceive.”

    If you take the right mushrooms, you’ll see the sky open up and candy rainbow flow from beyond the universe. Well then, it would seem to follow that the sky can open up and candy rainbow can flow from beyond the universe.

    I must say, having read the article, what struck me most was that religious people have major problems forming logical conclusions. This deficit in logical faculties could explain the tendency towards religiosity in many people.

  • Michael

    First off, all this “god helmet” seemed to elicit was a feeling of “sensed presences”. Just as we can be artificial stimulated to be nervous without an external reason, we can, apparently, be artificially stimulated to sense presences without an external presence. It’s not evidence that we are capable of sensing a “world beyond what we can perceive”, it’s just evidence that our sense of the presence of other sentient agents can be tricked.

    Secondly, the idea that a large portion of our brains have to be “idiotic” in order to believe a falsehood is oversimplifying things in a pretty big way. As impressive our mental capacities can be, we are still capable of a wide spectrum of cognitive errors. Evolution doesn’t select for infallibile perspicuity, it selects for gene propagation, and I see no reason not to be open to the possibility that some “irrational” beliefs might be an adaptational advantage.

  • Rich Wilson
  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    Jmsteve4 wrote (far downthread):
    “First off, you cannot say that because indivudual priests do bad things that everything in the Catholic Church is wrong.”

    I didn’t, and don’t. That individual priests and nuns have raped and in other ways abused children and women they had power over is very wrong. That the Church hierarchy protected and supported the priests and nuns rather than their victims, and has only been made to come forward and acknowledge a part of the wrong by the secular courts, is a wrongness imposed by the patriarchal, hierarchical structure of the Church. That still doesn’t make everything in the Church wrong. But when the Pope sets as a priority protecting priests over protecting children, that is, you must admit, an extraordinary and structural wrong.

    ” We know rape is wrong. The Church teches rape is wrong. If the priests do that, they are not doing it with the sanction of the Church. Attacking them says nothing about Catholic teaching. If you want to say that we’re hiding them, go ahead. I’m not, and I sincerely hope nobody is.”

    Well, we know the Church hierarchy is still protecting priest who abuse children. Not least because Cardinal Bernard Law is apparently to be allowed to stay safely in the Vatican beyond reach of subpoena to a Boston grand jury, therefore unable to give testimony which might incriminate others.

    “And would you not agree that murder is worse than rape? ”

    And would you, as a Catholic, not say that letting a girl or a woman die is less of a sin than allowing her to decide to save her life by having an abortion? Even though this means you are saying that causing two deaths is more moral than letting one woman live?

    “I might get called out for blasphemy here by saying some sins are worse, but don’t you agree that taking away years and years of living and happiness from a child just because they haven’t reached a certain point of development yet is more wrong than somehting that can be cured through counseling?”

    You don’t think that. You think it’s okay to take away years and years of living and happiness from a raped child just because she hasn’t yet reached the point of development where she could survive the pregnancy forced on her by her rapist. Death can’t be cured through counselling, JM.

    ” No one has a right to rape, and no one has a right to murder, and just because someone already raped does not allow someone else to murder.”

    But it’s not murder just to let the raped girl die and the fetuses die inside her? You believe the Catholic Church has the right to force a doctor to let a patient die, and force the patient to die, just because she’s unable to survive her pregnancy?

    “Yes, it sucks”

    Wow. What moral fibre you display. It sucks to die. Too bad, you think.

    “but there are other options. ”

    Burial or cremation?

    “Adoption is not as good as being raised by both biological parents, but if one is a rapist and the other cannot support the child, it’s better than killing the child.”

    Your argument is not for saving the child’s life, but for letting the child die of a lethal pregnancy caused by rape.

    ” You do not have a right to kill, and neither does the mother, even if she did not consent. And as I rational woman who makes my own choices, I can see that.”

    Yet as a rational woman, you seriously argue that it’s better for the girl or the woman to be left to die, and the fetus die inside her like a suffocating fish in the corpse, than – oh the horror! behave as if the girl were a human being with a life of value, behave as if the woman dying were a unique human being to be valued and cherished, and perform an abortion that would save their lives? How is it rational to value death over life?

    Let’s also discuss, shall we, the murderous hatred that has caused so many deaths in the US of doctors and other clinic personnel by referring to abortion as murder? Do you want to consider how many people have been killed by this casual use of hate speech?

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    Jmsteve4 wrote (far downthread):
    “First off, you cannot say that because indivudual priests do bad things that everything in the Catholic Church is wrong.”

    I didn’t, and don’t. That individual priests and nuns have raped and in other ways abused children and women they had power over is very wrong. That the Church hierarchy protected and supported the priests and nuns rather than their victims, and has only been made to come forward and acknowledge a part of the wrong by the secular courts, is a wrongness imposed by the patriarchal, hierarchical structure of the Church. That still doesn’t make everything in the Church wrong. But when the Pope sets as a priority protecting priests over protecting children, that is, you must admit, an extraordinary and structural wrong.

    ” We know rape is wrong. The Church teches rape is wrong. If the priests do that, they are not doing it with the sanction of the Church. Attacking them says nothing about Catholic teaching. If you want to say that we’re hiding them, go ahead. I’m not, and I sincerely hope nobody is.”

    Well, we know the Church hierarchy is still protecting priest who abuse children. Not least because Cardinal Bernard Law is apparently to be allowed to stay safely in the Vatican beyond reach of subpoena to a Boston grand jury, therefore unable to give testimony which might incriminate others.

    “And would you not agree that murder is worse than rape? ”

    And would you, as a Catholic, not say that letting a girl or a woman die is less of a sin than allowing her to decide to save her life by having an abortion? Even though this means you are saying that causing two deaths is more moral than letting one woman live?

    “I might get called out for blasphemy here by saying some sins are worse, but don’t you agree that taking away years and years of living and happiness from a child just because they haven’t reached a certain point of development yet is more wrong than somehting that can be cured through counseling?”

    You don’t think that. You think it’s okay to take away years and years of living and happiness from a raped child just because she hasn’t yet reached the point of development where she could survive the pregnancy forced on her by her rapist. Death can’t be cured through counselling, JM.

    ” No one has a right to rape, and no one has a right to murder, and just because someone already raped does not allow someone else to murder.”

    But it’s not murder just to let the raped girl die and the fetuses die inside her? You believe the Catholic Church has the right to force a doctor to let a patient die, and force the patient to die, just because she’s unable to survive her pregnancy?

    “Yes, it sucks”

    Wow. What moral fibre you display. It sucks to die. Too bad, you think.

    “but there are other options. ”

    Burial or cremation?

    “Adoption is not as good as being raised by both biological parents, but if one is a rapist and the other cannot support the child, it’s better than killing the child.”

    Your argument is not for saving the child’s life, but for letting the child die of a lethal pregnancy caused by rape.

    ” You do not have a right to kill, and neither does the mother, even if she did not consent. And as I rational woman who makes my own choices, I can see that.”

    Yet as a rational woman, you seriously argue that it’s better for the girl or the woman to be left to die, and the fetus die inside her like a suffocating fish in the corpse, than – oh the horror! behave as if the girl were a human being with a life of value, behave as if the woman dying were a unique human being to be valued and cherished, and perform an abortion that would save their lives? How is it rational to value death over life?

    Let’s also discuss, shall we, the murderous hatred that has caused so many deaths in the US of doctors and other clinic personnel by referring to abortion as murder? Do you want to consider how many people have been killed by this casual use of hate speech?

    • Jmsteve4

      1. Thanks for moving it. I didn’t realize it would get so squished up there. Or down there I suppose.

      2. Please do not resort to ad hominems because of my phrasing. I don’t have a better way of saying it. Besides, resorting to ad hominems is just a way to show one’s lack of rational ability. If you’re going to argue me, argue what I’m saying, not how I say it. Not to say rhetoric isn’t nice. I wish I could form it better than I can.

      3. There is something wrong with anyone hiding a rapist. In that I do not think that the Pope has serious moral issues, I’m going to assume that whoever is saying he is hiding a pedophile is misinterpreting and/or lying, probabaly because people love attacking the Catholic Church. And I’m also not sure of the details of the case. I don’t follow these things closely.

      4. We are not saying that nobody has a right to self defense. If someone breaks into a convent, the nuns can fight back. But nobody has the right to intentionally kill a human being. Even if he/she’s in their body. By the way, it does seem rather unfair that it’s entirely up to the girl, and this is from a girls’ perspective. I think that the father of the child should have imput, even if they do not physically carry it for nine months. Like if the father wants to keep it and the mother doesn’t. I don’t think he has any legal imput. But that is completely beside the point. Anyways, we think people should choose life if they have a choice. But they don’t have a choice here. You can act like they do: live or, die, but it isn’t that simple. It is clearly morally unacceptable, and we’re both trying to protect all children and mothers here, both in this life and the next, by saying it’s never okay. You said something about checking the log in our own eye before the speck in our brother’s earlier. We know their are logs in our eyes, and that we do not choose what is good or bad, but God chose this, and because he chose this, it is morally clear.

      5. I think you mean the mother dying of pregnancy. And of couse we don’t want that to happen. But we don’t want the mother to get punished for choosing to kill her child either. Would it be prefferable that both lived? Of course? Do we wish there was a way to save them? Yes. But if one of those ways involves murder, we can’t do it. We are not allowed to, and for good reason. And we would cation the mother against commiting that crime as well. The argyument here is not whether one life is better than two deaths. That is clear. But since that is not a morally acceptable option, we cannot take it.

      6. I apologize for going out of order. I didn’t realize I hadn’t dealt with the issue head on. I think I was responding only to the abortion in case of rape argument, not the abortion in case of death one. but I think I covered that later, and again just now. No one can tyake anyone’s life. No one. Luckily, we have a comcept that we have a merciful God who may let us live happily if we try to follow His commands. Like to not kill. So in that case, death need not be feared if it is necessary.

      7. If people are telling the doctor’s they are bad people, attacking them specificallyy, that is just unaccpetable. Same with the mothers. Hate the sin, love the sinners. No one has a right to personally attack people for thbeir choices. But we can try to show thwm why that choice is wrong. If they think we’re wrong, then they shouldn’t have any problem with it. Only if they agree with us would the be upset with themselves. I assume you were referring to suicides here. If not, then IO have no idea who is killingh doctors, but that is not okay.

      8. I realize that I have made some arguments that are based on things that I think you personally don’t belive in, like that there is a heavan that is worth dying for and that God defines morality. I have tried to back everything up with other reasons. But I cannot take God away from the equation. Maybe someone who has spent more time with philosphy than myself can.

      • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

        JM: 2. No ad hom intended.

        3. “I’m going to assume that whoever is saying he is hiding a pedophile is misinterpreting and/or lying”

        Oh, not just one child abuser. We have no idea how many child abusers the Pope is shielding. All we know is, he is not prepared to ensure every priest known to have abused children to be prosecuted by the secular courts – not unless the secular criminal justice system can discover the priest’s crimes independently. You can’t misinterpret inaction.

        4. “By the way, it does seem rather unfair that it’s entirely up to the girl, and this is from a girls’ perspective. ”

        You think it would be fair for a man to get to own and control a woman’s body because he had unprotected sex with her? A man has the same right to have an abortion a woman does – when he gets pregnant, he gets to decide.

        4. “It is clearly morally unacceptable, and we’re both trying to protect all children and mothers here, both in this life and the next, by saying it’s never okay. ”

        How are you protecting the lives of children or of adult women by declaring it’s never okay to save their lives even if pregnancy is going to kill them? (There is no “next life” – there’s only this one.)

        5. “But if one of those ways involves [abortion], we can’t do it. We are not allowed to, and for good reason. ”

        Because it’s never okay to save a woman’s life? Women’s lives are irrelevant to Catholicism: their deaths are all that matters.

        You can’t really claim to have a problem with murder when you declare yourself “not allowed” to save a raped girl’s life: if you take it as moral stance to let her die, you plainly have no problem with the central wrong of murder, depriving someone else of life.

        6. “No one can tyake anyone’s life. No one. ”

        But you’ve just declared it okay to take the life of a pregnant girl or woman. She doesn’t matter. So are they “not anyone”? As the fetus will die too, is the fetus “not anyone”? What is the moral stance that involves just declaring real human beings “not anyone” to make it okay to take their lives in sacrifice to your God?

        This is my central problem with the worst aspects of the religion: when it makes believers act more cruelly and inhumanely than they ever could on their own behalf, believing that God wants them to be this way so it’s okay. We know for a fact (demographic stats say) that Catholic women are no more and no less likely to decide to have abortions when they need them than women of any other faith.

        I’ve chosen to deal head-on with the very worst aspect of the Catholic disregard for women, the doctrine that no girl or woman should be allowed to have an abortion even if she’ll die if she doesn’t have an abortion. The doctrine that permanently mutilating a woman if she has an ectopic pregnancy (removal of the Fallopian tube) is somehow morally preferable to attempting to perform an abortion that may leave the woman with both Fallopian tubes intact is not far behind it. I am not an atheist because this is senseless cruelty: I know religious people, including Catholics, who would say, regardless of the doctrine of their Church, that this is absurd and murderous doctrine, imposed on the bodies of women by celibate men with no connection to the reality of women’s lives. I knew in all honesty that this would lead to an angrier discussion than the one on Marc’s homophobia, because in Catholicism it is worse to defend women’s human rights than to defend LGBT human rights.

        “7. If people are telling the doctor’s they are bad people, attacking them specificallyy, that is just unaccpetable.”

        People are killing doctors because people like you tell them that’s morally okay: after all, you and thousands of others like you tell the fanatics that abortion is murder, that doctors are murderers, and therefore, it’s okay to kill the doctors. If you find that unacceptable, stop using the rhetoric of the terrorists. Call abortion abortion, not murder. That’s the excuse that launched the pro-life murder of Doctor Tiller, the reason the director of an abortion clinic has to open all the mail herself because they can only afford to insure one member of staff against the risk that a parcel will contain a pro-lifer’s bomb. That’s what your need to call abortion “murder” does. If you find that unacceptable, don’t do it.

        “8. I realize that I have made some arguments that are based on things that I think you personally don’t belive in, like that there is a heavan that is worth dying for and that God defines morality. ”

        Well, my personal feeling is that if there’s a God who wants pregnant women to die in pregnancy rather than allow abortions to be performed: if there’s a God who thinks women exist to be used for breeding, without the right of reason and conscience: then that God is an evil God.

        But I don’t believe in God. I think the evil God you describe, who desires the death and the brutal use of women, is a particularly nasty invention.

        • Jmsteve4

          Oops, didn’t realize I had put 4 twice. Or had so many typos. And as for my off hand comment, I wasn’t referring to rapists having any imput. Just consenting couples. Sorry didn’t mean to imply anything there. Besides, I don’t imagine a rapist would care about the life of the unborn child since they didn’t care about the life of the mother anyways. But you can’t say that a man isn’t pregnant just because he is not physically carrying the child. he should be as involved in the process as the woman, even if he does not experiance those nine months which I am really not looking forward to in a few years.

          I didn’t know people were killing doctors. That is horrible. I am not sanctioning that, and neither is the Church. Is sort of like the Guy Fox incident. He has the right reason, but resorts to unnaceptable methods.

          Also, no one wants to kill women. If there were any other option, we would take it. But there isn’t. Abortion is a worse option than death. We believe that abortion is wrong no matter what. So we want to prevent anyone from having it, even if it means death. For us, it isn’t about earthly lives. Even if the child dies either way, and even if one way brings the mother death as well. I know you think I sound irrational, but I think that this is entirely because you believe that this is all there is. That life should be saved at all costs. In which case it’s strange you advocate abortion at any other time, probably because you believe that there is some arbitrary point at which the child becomes human. In any case, abortion is not wrong only because it takes the life of the child. If that were the only reason why, then it would be acceptable here to save a life instead of losing it. It is also wrong because no one has the right to do it, and we think that if they do, they will be punished. You don’t think there’s an afterlife and that’s why keeping the mother alive is important here, but we do. Unless you dissuade us against that, you can’t win this argument.

          • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

            “But you can’t say that a man isn’t pregnant just because he is not physically carrying the child. ”

            Actually I can, because he isn’t. When a woman decides to have a baby, the baby’s father is not pregnant. He isn’t going to end up with any of the permanent physical changes of pregnancy – or risk death.

            “he should be as involved in the process as the woman”

            But biologically, he can’t be.

            “Also, no one wants to kill women. ”

            Saying you don’t “want” to kill women, you just want to let women die – to you, safely uninvolved, that may seem like an enormous moral difference. But if you’re in hospital being told that your doctor could save your life, but won’t, because that would be wrong, and instead you will just have to die…. You know, I daresay you’re feeling comfortable it will never happen to you, and so you may even be able to think how heroic it would be to die. Try some muscular empathy. If not for the woman being told that the Catholic Church wants her dead, for the doctor who wants to save her life, and isn’t allowed to, because he works in a Catholic hospital, and so his employers tell him he’s not in the business of saving women’s lives….

            “I know you think I sound irrational, but I think that this is entirely because you believe that this is all there is. ”

            I think you sound on the one hand horrifyingly rational – reasoning away people’s lives in a thoroughly inhuman manner – and also completely naive. You really don’t know the value of human life, if you can dismiss it so completely from your rational calculations that it doesn’t matter if people die because they’ll go to heaven afterwards.

            Atheists and believers alike – those of us who value human lives don’t decide to shred them like toilet paper. You’re thinking like this not because you believe in Heaven but because you don’t yet believe in life. And that’s sad.

            “I didn’t know people were killing doctors. That is horrible. I am not sanctioning that, and neither is the Church.”

            Violence inspired by people calling abortion “murder” Call abortion “abortion”. Calling it “murder” is what thugs use to justify violence, terrorism, and actual murder – of real people, working at clinics, or volunteering outside clinics to keep the thugs away from the women going in. If you don’t sanction that, don’t use the language that justifies it.

          • Saint in the making

            I am praying for you! The quest for God cannot be found in the head, in knowledge, science, in facts…God can only be found in the heart. I pray that your heart will be opened and that his healing love and Truth will dispel all anger, confusion and doubt and that He will use you as a shining light to others. Peace!

          • Saint in the making

            Another thought, Edinburgh, I’m curious to know how many pregnant women *actually* risk death, when carrying a child to term. (My mom did, and she chose NOT to abort her 3rd child. Her doctor told her that if she were to get pregnant again, she would surely die. Given that I am child #7, and she went on to have 5 more after me, I’m glad she had faith in God instead of in the doctor!) This *exception to the rule* is argument is impractical and is the standby argument for pro-aborts use to justify their position for *unrestricted* access to abortion.

            At any rate, It is clear by your passion on this subject, that it has a deeply personal dimension. Perhaps you lost someone close to you who was in a difficult pregnancy?Maybe you got hurt by someone in a position of authority in the Church? Maybe your prayers went unanswered? Everybody has a story. Everyone soul who lashes out is wounded.

            Whatever your story is, my heart aches for your hurt and pain. God does not intend, nor cause these pains. No hurt or sin is greater than the mercy of God. He alone will fill the void that is aching in your heart…if only you will open the door to Him.

        • James H

          “No ad hom intended.”

          BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.rohm1 Kevin Rohm

    My own atheism is not “supported” by such experiments. It is the culmination of a deep study of the internal and external inconsistencies of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc…and the very fact that any dubious claim that has no evidence to support it can just as easily be dismissed without evidence. Without evidence even probability of a thing is nul and void. Now, if I were to have direct evidence of the divine then I have no doubt I would believe simply as to all that such evidence would imply, but to nothing more than that. So it would take a lot of evidence to go from a belief in deity to a belief in the Christian version of that deity. Evidence that does NOT exist currently.

    But another writer is correct… “You can’t (prove a negative), you have to prove a contradictory positive.” I have that kind of evidence that smashes the story of Moses….an exclusive contradictory positive. The evidence is archaeological. The Hibiru (Hebrew) people never left Canaan, were never the slaves of the Egyptians (in fact we have proof that Egypt was built by Egyptians, not slaves), and never made a mass exodus into the Sinai. I also have another piece of exlusive contradictory evidence regarding the home town of Jesus. It too is archaeological. The city of Nazareth was a graveyard at the alleged time of Jesus’ birth, and remained so until about 135 CE when it was first settled. This little fact also points to those parts of scriptural reference to Nazareth, that they were added or altered long after this little hamlet was established as a town. Now, I won’t say this disproves the story of Jesus. It doesn’t. But it does prove part of the story to be a fabrication, and fabrication is common in the long process of creating a legend from a grain of truth. The early references to Jesus and Nazareth, could be misinterpretations of the word Nazarite, which is a holy man who never cut his hair, never married, and never ate meat. There are references to nazarites in the Torah (Pentautach).

    But in the end, do I believe any of it? No. And I have no reason to.

  • Baker

    I have sometimes had the experience of being watched (eg in a large crowd), and on some of these occasions I have discovered that I was, to the evident embarassment of the observer. I do not know exactly what made me feel this way, and perhaps further study using this helmet may provide it, but so far none of the people I have detected have been divine.

    I don’t understand, firstly, why we should infer religious experience just because we can manipulate the brain to feel certain things.

    Secondly, I’m sure a clever scientist could make us think we could see a flying ship in front of us by stimulating the visual area of our brain. Using the same logic, ought we not conclude from this that sight is just in the brain and not ‘real’?

    If we take this line of thought to its ultimate conclusion we don’t get to “God doesn’t exist” but “nothing exists except my brain/mind” a la Descartes, a la Matrix.

  • Buster Fixxitt

    The only thing missing from this gathering of straw men is the word ‘checkmate’.

  • Marie

    I think it’s safe to say that this “scientist” never read C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity (and by your excellent response, Marc, I suspect that you have):

    “Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage.”

  • http://twitter.com/Fanshawe81 Ade

    Generalise much?

  • http://twitter.com/Fanshawe81 Ade

    And while I’m here, some thoughts upon being asked what it would take as evidence of god existing -

    If something/someone created the universe or lots of universes, it leaves us with the questions of who or what created the creator, when, why, what came before, and so on. It’s of absolutely no difference to asking what created this universe, what came before, when, why and so on. All it would do is replace the word ‘universe’ with the word ‘god’. That’s the part of science many can’t seem to grasp or like, that it’s neverending. It’s a pursuit of knowledge, the wonderful human ability to think and question, and there’ll always be questions and always be new evidence.

    People seem to make up their own definitions of atheist then criticise based on those preconceptions. Well I’d never say there isn’t a god, or isn’t a creator of the universe, or creator of multiverses. I see absolutely no evidence to make someone believe in it, but I don’t believe in stating things as fact when there’s no way I could know. Similarly i’d never claim to know what happens when you die, I just make a judgement based on evidence, of which there’s no reason to suggest anything happens. What there is, is a huge motivation to believe something happens, a tendency to fear death and an almost narcissistic desire to live on forever in some form. I imagine that just comes with consciousness, which in turn is a byproduct of a more developed brain and the evolution of language.

    So what would it take as evidence of a god? I don’t know really. Just evidence that something deliberately created the universe or many universes. You could then call that a god. It just means creator really. I’d still see no reason to worship it. The whole idea of worship is fairly vile really. It seems extremely self-serving, hoping to gain something, hoping to be rewarded, basically just playing up to the powerful. It’s the classic sucking up to the boss scenario. It also seems to suggest they believe in a fairly insecure god needing reassurance and reassertion of power. Bizarre.

    So if a creator popped up tomorrow, i’d be left with the questions i have about the universe. If he/she/them/it could answer those questions then brilliant. Some seem to think rationalists and science enthusiasts don’t want certain things proved, but nothing could be further from the truth. They argue against religion in the same way doctors argue against alternative medicines. It’s not because they don’t want it to be true, it’s merely because there’s no evidence to support it. If you could prove to a doctor that some herbal remedy could aid cancer treatment, they’d be fascinated and delighted, and likewise if you can prove to an atheist that there is a creator of the universe, they’d be the first to want to know all about it and study it.

    Those least likely to believe it, in my opinion, are those motivated by unbelief. To be rational, curious and seek evidence is to be truly open minded. There’s no motivation to believe one way or the other, belief is based if forthcoming evidence. When religion is involved, there is huge motivation to edit incoming information. If something backs up your religion, brilliant. If scientists proved jesus had no father, I’m 99% sure christians would suddenly embrace this scientific method. But while it picks apart their beliefs and highlights contradictions and inaccuracies, it’s ignored or criticised. It’s simply bewildering that anyone refutes evolution for instance, yet many do. Countless millions of pieces of evidence all pointing to the same explanation, a beautiful, stunning explanation of life, and it’s ignored in favour of an unimaginative ancient story. Imagine if it were a court of law. If 99.99999% of the evidence pointed to person X being guilty, but we just didn’t bother to go with that.

    Commonly you’ll hear the ‘arrogant’ call and that we should consider alternatives. Yes, of course. If there was a valid alternative to evolution, it would be considered. As said earlier, there’s no motivation to fake it and make out a theory is better than it is. But there isn’t another theory. What there is, is an ancient story not only without evidence, but without any logical foundation. If you believe that, then where is the line? You could invent any story as an alternative to any theory. Education would be redundant. I for one find it odd creationists believe the evidence for car mechanics and aviation enough to utilise those means, yet rule out evidence in so many other ways. The arrogance argument is an odd paradox. Atheists and scientists are the most likely people to say ‘we don’t know’ or ‘i’m wrong about that’, because their passion is further knowledge. Some individuals might be arrogant, perhaps a scientist making a theory his life’s work won’t want to find out he’s wrong about it. Some may even edit results, particularly with medical trials where money is the end goal rather than knowledge. But that’s not the discipline that’s arrogant, it’s individuals, and that’ll always happen.

    A bigger question would surely be ‘would you WANT it to be proven there is a god’? Clearly it could never be proven there isn’t, because no god in our universe doesn’t mean there isn’t one outside, and so on. Plus, if you’re an irrationalist not believing in evidence, the debate kind of ends there anyway. Some would even say evidence against god is more proof of god, and he’s merely testing their faith. So it becomes utterly impossible to disprove. However, the key point remains that the burden of proof is 100% on those positing a god. If i insisted the tooth fairy was real, the burden of proof would be one me. No-one could disprove it, but that’s irrelevant, as it’d be down to me to prove.

    I wouldn’t want a ‘god’ in the sense it’s known here. A random universe or universes is more beautiful in my opinion, makes life more stunning, feeling, brief and ultimately worth savouring. I don’t want someone watching over and judging, someone demanding worship, fear, blind following and faith. But that’s very much the god of the abrahamic faiths, which are so similar it’d make the endless fighting and wars comical if it wasn’t so epically tragic. If that god is real, then it’s a small, unpleasant universe sadly. If something else created the universe, something we can’t even comprehend, then fine, I’ll be as interested as anyone.

    I just hope we get to a point where we can agree it’s a good idea to focus on this life, make the most of it and enhance our understanding of science, nature, biology and physics as much as possible. To understand this universe ‘god’ did or didn’t create. Because one thing I’m sure of, if there is some form of creator, it didn’t intend to have us bickering and killing other ancient myth and folklore, or desperately trying to find a way to believe we can live forever.

    • James H

      Your whole post just reeks of ignorance. Asking ‘Who created God?’ might sound so very clever, but the question was answered over a thousand years ago, and refined 800 years ago. It’s a bit like explaining to a class the speed of light, how long it took light from the most distant objects to get here, and some smart-alec saying, ‘Sure, but what’s the speed of dark?’ and smirking as you gape in disbelief.

      Please, just read what Christians actually believe before holding forth.

      For the record, that which created space and time is by definition outside of it. Therefore, That Which Is, or rather Who Is, has no space or time to be limited to. Therefore, no beginning or end, or even multiplicity. Because it’s beyond our means of perception, there’s no way we could know about it unless it told us, or left hints. Evidence can therefore only be testimonial (as in a court case), and can only come from those who have been in communication with [Creator/God/whatever].

      Does that explain a few things?

      • http://twitter.com/alangnixon Alan Nixon

        A Hindu thinks his God(s) are greater than your God and could have created your God, is it so just because he defines it this way and feels that it is? It is not an ignorant question, it is a logical one which you are attempting to define your way out of. The cosmological argument was settled… as a fallacy, exactly because it relies on defining something into existence. Unless those communicating with God can find a way to prove/provide evidence of it to the rest of us, testimonial evidence is nothing greater than an opinion lacking in evidence.

        • Northern_Witness

          Wrong. Yours is an ignorant comment. It shows your ignorance of Hinduism and Christianity and the core where they meet.

    • Larry Linn

      Who created G*d?

    • Lord Nightshade

      I believe that is the single greatest piece on the subject of religion, I have ever read I feel the same way you do.

  • Anonymous

    Atheists fly their flag of pride and ever so smugly. They ascend the mountain of arrogance and stand on the precipice of “intellect”, “science”, and “rationality”, where they beat their chests and crow loudly with self-adulation. “You fools”, they cry, “Belief in god is the mark of a cretan and a moron; only troglodytes, bigots and idiots hang on to a mythical skygod. We are free of this tyrannical god delusion. Free to follow our self, free to be free.”

    But alas, the precipice of pride was illusory. Their freedom was bondage, and their hate has exiled them from love and life. Soon their place of self-aggrandizement is engulfed by the clouds of Death, that great equalizer, and those that stood on the mountain of self-exhaltation and cursed God, fall from their footing of falsehood into the abyss, and the delusion is over. Eternity has begun, and the perfect will of the one they hated, is in full force.

    • Northern_Witness

      Right on! Now let the Atheists commence their ad hom arguments.

      • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

        You have no demonstrable, physical, repeatable evidence to back up your claim that a god exists, thus I reject your claim.

        … Oh man I apologize, that was sooooo ad hominem.

        • Northern_Witness

          News Flash! None of the world’s major religions postulate an individuated entity, called God. God is ineffable and not confined to a body in time and space. Demonstrable, physical, repeatable evidence are therefore inadequate parameters within which you attempt to confine God. Your mistaken anthropomorphizing is your own problem.

    • Lee

      I’ll agree that some atheists take it too far and say ridiculous things, but so do Christians. Though there are the extremists, there are some that aren’t as “hardcore” (for lack of a better word) as them. The same also goes for Christians. You drive each other crazy, and you both sound ignorant with a sense of (unearned) arrogance and superiority.

      • Northern Witness

        It is not that some Atheists take it too far and say ridiculous things. It is that ALL Atheists take it too far and say ridiculous things. That is why they are Atheists and not seekers.

      • Lord Nightshade

        Well put

  • http://twitter.com/Fanshawe81 Ade

    I assume the video is a joke, but with atheism, like any large group, there’ll be some who don’t make sense. Nothing can disprove a god. Not ever. At least not that I can comprehend. It’s just a question of logic. I’m not talking about the god’s humans have come up with, the god of the abrahamic faiths, egyptian gods, greek gods or the hundreds of others. Just take ‘god’ to mean an entity creating the universe, or universes. How would it be disproved? If we managed to understand this universe, completely explain its origins, it still doesn’t disprove it. Say for instance, the universe is the result of a collision between two other universes, and that was the origin of the big bang. Probably not true, but a possible theory. So a god wouldn’t have made this universe. But that doesn’t mean a god wouldn’t have made the other universes, or whatever is outside them.

    There are always more questions in science, there’s always the wondering of ‘what came before’ and ‘what’s outside the universe’, and those questions seem infinite. So the possibility for a creator remains infinite. That’s why atheists tend to suggest there probably isn’t a god, rather than ‘there isn’t’. There’s no evidence for one, no reason to believe, it’s just irrational to declare an ultimate knowledge of it and state ‘there definitely is no god’. Even Dawkins stated if 1 = there definitely is a god and 10 = there definitely is no god, he’d be an 8 or 9. No rational person could commit to a 10 just as no rational person could commit to a 0.

    • James H

      You’re assuming that space and time are constants, on any scale. But, we know from modern cosmology that space and time had a definite beginning, and we can’t possibly say anything happened ‘before the Big Bang’, because there was no time to define ‘before’ with. It’s like saying, ‘What part of a cone comes before its apex?’ There isn’t any cone there.

      So, that pretty much rules out multiverses and multiple gods. Steven Hawking describes ‘bubbles’ of singularities winking in and out of existence, like a boiling pot. But it begs the question: bubbles of what? Space-time? in what medium? Created by what? How are they varied, separated or shaped? Creation Ex Nihilo is simply the most elegant explanation.

      And incidentally, it’s only monotheistic religion that teaches that. Just about any other religions you can name assume a world or existence predating the gods, which was used for, or contained the substrate of, creation.

      And finally, worship takes different forms depending on the religion. Only Judaism and Christianity teach that God wants children. Islam calls us slaves; Hinduism and Buddhism regard us as ripples of ultimate consciousness with no permanent existence; classical religions were genuinely sucking up to capricious, amoral intelligences in the hopes of a better deal in this life (because there was nothing afterwards).

  • AWindingRoad

    Atheists attempt to make informed points about the non-existence of God, and attack Christians for their lack of logic, reason, etc., but there is something involved that atheists are unable to understand: a Christian is in love with Jesus the Christ. As you guys peer through the keyhole, there is the Christian, basking in the light of that love. But the keyhole view is futile; you must come in through the door to understand. All your arguing is merely prattling.

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “but there is something involved that atheists are unable to understand: a Christian is in love with Jesus the Christ”

      What makes you think atheists can’t understand that concept?

      ” Who are your heroes in real life?” – “Let’s go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful. The man Garry Wills describes “with the future in his eyes … paradoxically calming and provoking,” and whom Flannery O’Connor saw as ‘the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of [one’s] mind.’”

      Dorothy L. Sayers “Are Women Human?” – “God, of course, may have his own opinion, but the Church is reluctant to endorse it. I think that I have never heard a sermon preached on the story of Martha and Mary that did not attempt, somehow, somewhere, to explain away its text. Mary’s of course was the better part – the Lord said so and we must not precisely contradict Him. But we will be careful not to despise Martha. No doubt He approved of her too. We could not get on without her, and indeed (having paid lip-service to God’s opinion) we must admit that we greatly prefer her. For Martha was doing a really feminine job, whereas Mary was just behaving like any other disciple, male or female; and that is a hard pill to swallow.

      “Perhaps it is no wonder that women were the first at the Cradle and the last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words or deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.

      “But we might easily deduce it from his contemporaries, and from His prophets before Him, and from His Church to this day. Women are not human; nobody shall persuade that they are human; let them say what they like, we will not believe it, though One rose from the dead.”

      Now that is love as I know and understand it: it doesn’t matter that Jesus probably never existed, the person as depicted in the gospels is someone John Cusack and Dorothy L. Sayers both plainly and patently love.

      But if you try to convince me that someone who spends a lot of time convincing himself and others that it’s right to treat those perceived as “freaks and lepers and despised and doomed” as his legal as well as his moral inferiors – Marc, in other words – “loves Jesus”? Perhaps a little idol in his head, one that agrees with him – a way of loving himself. These Christians are certainly basking in self-love….

      • Guest

        Ms. Eye,

        Enough of the Marc bashing already. If you have points to make, then make them. Just as someone down the thread made personal attacks on you which was totally inappropriate, your personal attacks on Marc are inappropriate and I feel distract from the points you are trying to make.

        • Northern Witness

          If you are referring to the last paragraph, you are dead wrong. Eye makes a valid comment and a good point. Fr. Richard Rohr would refer to that “little idol” as “the loyal soldier”, a holdover from childhood conditioning and urge it to leave in peace. If all you have to offer as a guest is ill-informed personal opinion/veiled attack, then perhaps it is you who should rethink your contributions. Oh, yes, and allow your own “little idol”/”loyal soldier” to leave in peace so that you can become a mature adult/Christian.

      • Valtarov

        The fact that you view a love affair as a concept means you don’t understand. Conceptually “understanding” love and really being in love are two completely different things; so it is with the Divine Love.

        Morality is not Christian. We do say that certain actions are virtuous, but we never argue from mores. We say that certain actions will make you more Christlike and therefore closer to the height of human flourishing, and certain actions will move you away. To quote St. Isaac the Syrian, “Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them…and if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place, do not destroy their character.” This is the Christian tradition to which Marc subscribes.

    • Aljolson2012

      The absence of evidence for the Jesus character is at best astounding. Here you have “the saviour”, with not one bit of evidence for existence.

  • Arnobius of Sicca

    Really, how did this site let the troll go on for so long here?

    Basically, you can make anything or any person seem horrible by misrepresenting beliefs or motives… which is just what EdinburghEye does.

    His comments are so wildly irrational and bigoted, that it isn’t worth trying to debate.

    Don’t feed the trolls people

    • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      “His comments are so wildly irrational and bigoted, that it isn’t worth trying to debate.”

      Well, that’s one way of avoiding the issue.

      I do keep coming back hoping that Marc will have mustered up the moral courage to explain himself about the children of same-sex couples – why he feels they should be discriminated against because he thinks their parents are inferior – but I think he’s just dived into a hole and not coming out. I should quit so he can enjoy blogging here again…. though Patheos will be happy with him. Lots of traffic. :D

      • James H

        And you have signally failed in demonstrating that Marc thinks “the children of same-sex couples should be discriminated against because he thinks their parents are inferior”. All you’ve ever done is make the same assertion, again, and again, and again, without ever producing evidence to the effect.

        Like any gay-marriage advocate, you need to figure out that, just because you make the same point repeatedly on a playback loop doesn’t establish it as fact.

    • Anonymous

      Let’s not label EE a troll. He has a viewpoint. It’s wrong and twisted and illogical and EE doesn’t listen to logical and true rebuttal, but it is his POV. It is always good to learn about others, even if their views are boring inane and repetitive.

  • Rich Wilson
  • Cowalker

    “We have parts of our brain that, when stimulated, make us believe that there is a world beyond what we can perceive. Well then, it would seem to follow that there is a world we cannot perceive.”

    Well . . . there are drugs that make you feel like you’re melting into the ground, or that the CIA is after you or that you are conversing with your cat. Not everything we can imagine need be real.

  • Robert Landbeck

    Proof of God, in the theological sense, is of course a misnomer, a philosophical contrivance to avoid accepting our ignorance of such a reality. As a humanity, we have all been conditioned or indoctrinated, for all of history by ‘theological’ exegesis, particularly by those with their own religious claims and agendas, to accept that a literal proof of God is not possible for faith. And thus all discussion of morality and apologists ‘theodicy’ is contained within this self limiting intellectual paradigm and bubble of presumption, especially evident in the frictions between science and religion. It would now appear that all sides squabbling over the God question, religious, atheist and history itself have it wrong! That bubble could now burst at any time!

    The first wholly new interpretation for two thousand years of the moral teachings of Christ is published on the web. Radically different from anything else we know of from history, this new teaching is predicated upon a precise and predefined experience, a direct individual intervention into the natural world by omnipotent power to confirm divine will, command and covenant, “correcting human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness and human ethical perception beyond all natural evolutionary boundaries.” So like it or no, a new religious claim testable by faith, meeting all Enlightenment criteria of evidence based causation and definitive proof now exists. Nothing short of a religious revolution is getting under way. More info at http://www.energon.org.uk

  • Paul Beriault

    Why note just show here a movie or give here drugs and then say it is the same as a Divine presence. Luthur was actually not struck by lightning. Come on these scientists are a joke. Do some homework.

  • Christian Guest

    Christian Guest weighing in on this topic. Before I start, I must say that I’m disappointed in the tone many of these posts and responses have taken. Anytime we assign others labels or other values, we implicitly grant them to assign values or labels to us. Our beliefs, whether belief in God or non-belief are just that. They are beliefs, not truths.

    Now moving on to this topic, stating something like “religious people believe this” or “Atheists believe that” or “Catholics believe this” is making a generalization that only serves to divide. And its not like we need any help doing that. No matter what “group” you choose to examine, you will never have unity in any belief. Why? Because we’re humans with limited perspectives.

    I said that to follow it up with a statement about those who believe in a Creator–A Grand Designer–God. To believe that all people who believe in God believe in a young earth creation is to be uninformed. There are people such as Francis Collins who are Theistic Evolutionists. Yet others like Hugh Ross or Fazale Rana would identify themselves as old earth creationists.

    As for disproving the existence of God, that is a difficult proposition (if not impossible) because even with the advances in science over the last 100+ years, we are still in our scientific infancy. Richard Dawkins points to “placeholders” for the things that we can’t yet explain through scientific method. And yet how many other other discoveries are beyond the limits we now perceive?

    If God exists, He exists independent of our beliefs. If He doesn’t exist, then that too is independent of our beliefs.

    I’m not trying to convince you of the existence of God but rather to encourage you to open a dialog that would allow us to see beyond our limited beliefs, theories, doctrines, diatribes, dogma, accusations, and insinuations.

    • Rich Wilson

      Very Very well said.

      You are correct about generalizations of groups of people, however there is a single identifiable Official Catholic Church Doctrine about a great many things, including abortion and condoms. Not all Catholics agree with all of them, but criticizing (or defending) a doctrine of the Holly See is I think a reasonable thing to do.

      • Christian Guest

        I understand your point here, and I agree. What I was disappointed in, however, was the tone on both sides of the debate. When attacked, we will erect walls that keep us divided.

  • vance

    The Atheist scientific project to disprove the existance of God strikes me as being a little moronic. It’s like kids play Star Trek in their parents garage. Jesus Christ is the proof of God. He came to testify to the truth. Jesus performed miracles to show who he is in front of crowds of wittnesses. It is too bad that these morons were not there to see it happen. Even if there was video cameras around to capture the events, these morons would still not believe.

    • Aldespertarelclarin

      What did Nietzche say? He was fucking right.

    • Northern_Witness

      They may be morons but we still have to love them and protect them from themselves.

  • Malakh

    This is retarded. PURE RETARDATION! Since we have Schizophrenic people who hear voices and see people that aren’t there… so they see and hear things FROM THE BRAIN, this proves that voices and people OUTSIDE the brain do not exist??? SO STUPID!! Neuroscience will one day reach unimaginable levels of awesomeness, and believe me, the brain will be controlled into doing and creating whatever we want, but this is pure stupidity. Do the false experiences induced by drugs disprove the SAME real ones we encounter in life? Btw, I have yet to find a scientific experiment that will disprove how my cousin saw a saint that has been dead for more than 200 years, and the next day was healed of terminal skin cancer, yes, with medical proof and doctors as witnesses… Any “illuminated scientists” would like to try that one?

    • Anonymous

      I agree. A check of the DSMIV shows there is a big difference between schizophrenia and and spiritual emergence.

      The results obtained by neuroscientists may have a casual resemblance to spiritual experience, but they are not spiritual experience because the source is different.

      FYI: The brain is not the only source of knowing. The gut has neurons and can act independently of the brain. The heart has neurons that work differently from those of the brain and can be independent of the brain. Every cell of the human body has consciousness.

      The brain is not even a necessary source of knowledge. There even people who function very well in society, attending university, holding responsible jobs, etc. who have zero discernible brain structure.

  • $idhu

    so how this stone is floating on WATER if GOD doesn’t exist Tell me…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

      …. WHAT?

  • Northern_Witness

    Atheists make several mistakes in their rush to judgement on this notion. The first one is logical. They claim that religious experience can be had by stimulating parts of the brain. But because two events occur together does not mean those events are causally related. This is the fallacy known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc.

    Their second mistake is to assume that the brain is the source of consciousness. There are people with no discernible brain structure who still manage to lead normal lives.

    http://www.mindreality.net/is-your-brain-really-necessary

    http://www.fatemag.com/issues/2000s/2008-01article4.html

    Their third mistake was to assume that because an event seems to be a religious experience, it therefore is a religious experience. This is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Even if religious experiences do have an effect on the brain, recreating that effect does not necessarily recreate to a religious experience.

    Their argument is a gigantic circular argument employing unstated and false premises to give the illusion of reason.

  • Joshua Ulliac

    I failed to see the portion on the video where the scientist claimed to have disproven God. He however, does postulate that the religious experience that many religious/spiritual individuals claim to have is no more likely caused by a paranormal source than a natural source such as EMR. He further proposes the impact such an event can have on a persons life and how religions can/have used these events to inspire and convince people in the power of their respective religious figures. This is significantly different than disproving God, but demonstrate the absurdness of presenting a personal religious/spiritual experience as proof of a deity in any form.

    That being said the valuation of the religious experience being proof of God varies greatly amongst the Christian faiths. The Catholic value on the religious experience is significantly less than it is to the “Born again Christian” movement. Where many of these Churches have members experience the gift of tongues and various other claimed religious experiences during mass. This is in my opinion in stark contrast to the nature of any Catholic mass I have attended, which instead focused on the Biblical lessons and the importance of the sacrifice of Christ.

    • Northern_Witness

      The main logic error that the scientist is making is to assume a causal connection between two events that seem to have some surface similarities. Other factors that could be the cause(s) of one of the events.

    • http://indefinitecrisis.wordpress.com/ Michael H

      He however, does postulate that the religious experience that many religious/spiritual individuals claim to have is no more likely caused by a paranormal source than a natural source such as EMR.

      Well this is just stupid. In a controlled lab environment, sure, EMR. On any given Sunday, in any given church – or Buddhist temple on a Thursday afternoon or Islamic mosque at prayer time on a Monday morning or wherever – there are a handful of people having a “religious experience” when the person right next to them, in the same environment, subject to what would be that EMR, is not having a “religious experience” but going through the ritual.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

        And some people have epilepsy and some dont. And some people get sick and others dont. And some people cry at sad movie and others dont. See the problem with that argument you just made?

        • Northen_Witness

          Nothing said in the article or the comments invalidates religion or transcendent religious experience.

          The “experiment” mistakenly assumes that (1) consciousness is located only in the brain, or (2) the EMR results replicated actual religious experience. Just because certain parts of the brain light up due to two different reasons does not mean that the reasons are equal or that the lighting up is all that occurs in both.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

            Nothing in my response said it did. Please focus on my actual response not what you want my argument to be.

            Michael claimed that God exists because when two different people attend church only one of them experiences a religious event. My counter was that many people are affected differently by the same stimuli all the time. That’s it.

            Nowhere did I say this disproves god.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kickintheface Jacob Timothy Michael Hughes

    “Of course it’s in your head Harry. Why should that mean it isn’t real?”

    • Northern_Witness

      If it’s all in your head (which it’s not) how does one distinguish between the real and the illusory? How does the paranoid person know whether he/she is mentally ill or that people really are out to get him/her?

      With no references outside the head (as you put it) life become complicated, if not impossible. Your theory means that everybody’s opinions are valid and there is no basis for organizing societies except ‘might is right’. This is close to the dilemma that Atheists find themselves in as they deny an Absolute.

  • http://twitter.com/lovellspice w1nL0v3

    scientists simulate the feel-good effect of chocolate on the brain, disproves the existence of chocolate

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

      Not exactly, it just provides evidence that chocolate isn’t magic but a natural effect of the natural world. Not a supernatural yummy treat.

      • John Abad

        actually, chocolate isn’t an effect.

        • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

          You’re right.

          Should read “..it just provides evidence that the feel-good effect of chocolate isn’t magic…”

          Good for you. 10 months later and ya got me :)

          The overall point still stands. The ability to replicate something that is most often considered a miracle or divine intervention should at least give you pause. If it doesn’t then there’s something standing in the way of your ability to re-evaluate your position when new evidence is presented.

          • John Abad

            In response to Noah Miller:
            It took me only a second to figure out your mistake actually.
            It’s interesting, I didn’t need scientists to prove to me that the emotional responses (not feel good””) which can follow the ingestion of chocolate isn’t magic. What is your proof that theism believes it is magic? I suggest you define magic to the best of your ability and from there relate it with theism, and afterwards, how both determine that magic is the source of the emotions coming from eating chocolate. It seems that you have provided no logical explanations as to your conclusion against theism here. This is obviously a straw-man as it shows not logical deductive or inductive reasoning to support your statement.
            On what does your point stand? Be more specific. From what I can gather, you are saying that the activities of the soul are considered miracles and divine intervention. In fact, this is what you wrote. You are wrong on these counts, as God does not (take the word literally) intervene with the actions associated with the generated emotions which are caused by eating chocolate. Furthermore, if you are referring to the definition of a miracle by divine intervention (an imposition of God’s will), as there are various definitions, you are refuted by the same argument. Essentially, you are unaware of God and his relation to creation, at least by Aquinas’s standards. I suggest you read Aquinas before you get ahead of yourself thinking you know anything about God. You’d be surprised how many of your assumptions were based on ignorance.

            If you are using the definition of wonder through participation (read Plato) in God by miracle, you have refuted nothing at all.

            Furthermore, it has long been known that certain bodily functions and properties exogenous to the body can cause out of body experiences. Certain drugs with psychedelic properties also can form certain thoughts in religious content, psychotic bizarre delusions, “perceptions” of multiple dimensions, imagined psychological regressions, aliens, and other forms which lack proof or evidence physically or even (keyword here) metaphysically. Therefore, this is nothing new, it is the same concept and not one that disproves religion or theism at all. It has long been known that exogenous acts and materials can alter the state of mind, what a breakthrough!!! I suggest your read D.M.T. the spirit molecule in order to understand how out of body experiences are differentiated between religious or spiritual ones which often have a logical system to understanding such an experience from the many other ecstatic experiences which are not religious.

  • http://twitter.com/joshuamcgee0325 Joshua McGee

    I think there’s an important distinction to make here: After watching the video, it doesn’t seem like the scientist is actually trying to disprove God’s existence. He’s just looking at the “God Effect,” and recreating it artificially. I think it’s all the atheists who saw this video came up with the conclusion that this video disproves God existence.

    • Northern Witness

      The guy didn’t recreate the “God Effect” but rather merely created an superficial and artificial approximation of it. Big difference.

      One of the major problems of these “neuroscientists” is that they believe that because there seems to be a correlation between religious experience and brain activity, there must necessarily be a direct causal connection with the brain causing the religious experience. This is faulty logic in the extreme.

      If there is a correlation it could be that both experiences were due to a third factor. Of course, “neuroscience” has not a clue what that third factor could be so they deny it and continue on their merry way as it didn’t existence. Unfortunately for them, their denial does not amount to disproof, a curious anomaly for a group that claims to value logic.

  • CL

    Trying to explain this to certain people is like trying to describe the smell of a rose to someone with no sense of smell. “Well I can’t smell it, so you must be delusional!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.picknell.1 Jack Picknell

    They disproved their straw man yet again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

      No where is this saying that god must not exist, it’s only showing that the feeling people attribute to god can be created without a god.

      Does that mean god isn’t using this part of the brain? No. But be honest what is more likely, we have the ability to feel like there is a god, or a magic being exists that is for some reason pressing on our brains in order to… do what exactly?

      If it’s all powerful why does it need a natural process to prove its existence?

  • Feklahr

    Take that, straw man!

  • Montague

    Actually Lewis already pre-refuted it in Letters to Malcom, by showing how not a religious experience need be from God (“mystic vision” not = to “true revelation”). His analogy is that, just as leaving shore is the same for all journeys from a place whether you leave for Canada or Australia, the actual destination is the determining factor. Thus, though mystical experience may all be similar in many ways, the end products could not be more different.

    I am pretty sure that Orthodoxy gives people time paradoxology powers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/abinley Andrew Binley

    being able to replicate religious sensation or experiences in the brain scientifically…does that prove that the brain has religious experience sensation capacity by being able to do that. and does not totally disprove existence of God. what is God . just quick comment and not read article properly.

  • Mitic

    their (atheists) error is that they are making conclusions based on god of the gaps “if we know something, that’s now even less space for god in the equation”…without realizing that knowing something is penetrating into god’s thought manifested as natural laws and processes

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

      How do you know that? How do you have special knowledge about your god?

      • Norther_Witness

        The short answer is , Yes. The whole point of religious ritual is to change consciousness, overcome the limits of linear thinking and, eventually, to know the truth.

        Incidentally, God is not an individual. This is the elementary mistake that Atheists make because of addiction to linear “thinking”.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

          I’m sorry I don’t know your specific take on god. But the question still stands, how do you know what your god wants. I assume it (or the multitude you say is god) wants something. So what’s your magic formula for knowledge?

          • Northern_Witness

            Noah, you keep using the term. “your god”. Mistakenly believing that God is an individuated entity is the fundamental mistake that Atheists make. Before you start questioning/attacking religion you should understand religious tenets and practices.

            Second, God does not want anything. God just is.

            Third, one cannot “know” God because knowing entails a knower and a known. There is separation by necessity. However, one is not separate from God. One therefore can change consciousness, leaving behind the binary/dualistic/egoistic/phenomenal type of consciousness in which Atheists are mired and attain a transcendent consciousness attuned to God. d

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

            How do you know any of this?

          • Northern_Witness

            Again, to know something is to be separated from it. There is the known and the knower. One does not and cannot “know” God/god/Allah/Brahman/the Great Spirit because God et al is everywhere all the time, permeating and constituting the core of our being, therefore separation is not possible.

            Rationality/linear thinking/binary thinking is inadequate for the task you have set it because separation is required for your process to operate. It is impossible to be separate from God as required for your “knowledge” of God.

            There are however well-known techniques that can change elevate (change the vibration rate of) one’s consciousness so that one becomes aware that one already that which is sought.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

            Ok, lets try this how do you know that the “well known” techniques actually do what you claim they do and don’t do something else.

          • Northern_Witness

            Take a breath. Reread my comments on “knowing”. Then you will not continue asking questions about knowing because to do so is futile.

            You cannot put yourself outside the answer. To paraphrase Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see…”

            I will give you another hint, Be There. Done That.

            All you have to do is to apply the techniques with an open mind and you can answer your own question.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nrmmm Noah Miller

            Hold on, you said these techniques were well known, so obviously there are things that can be known.

            You’re making the claim that knowing is impossible. If that’s the case then you don’t know what you are claiming is true. And if you can’t know it is true then its pointless to claim to anyone else that you’re right. Because you have no way to prove it. And simply saying “it’s a new form of logic” is utter nonsense.

            To be honest, it seems like you’re completely aware that you cannot prove your claims to be true so you’re pushing off the burden of proof. But no one will ever take you seriously if that’s the way you treat it.

            If you don’t care enough to prove your position, why should anyone care?

          • Northern_Witness

            The techniques are known. The result of using the techniques cannot be known.

            The techniques are employed to bring one to God consciousness. That cannot be known or described, only experienced. Then your original question and quandary will be clear.

            Again, one cannot know God, one cannot prove God, because God is not and individual, is everywhere all the time and therefore is not subject your type of investigation.

            It is not a case of pushing off the burden of proof because there is no burden of proof. There cannot be a burden of proof. There is no knower and known. You are unable to accept that your tools are inadequate for this job you have assigned to them. You are also unable even to conceive of other tools that would work differently to bring you satisfactory resolution of your dilemma.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            That sounds like a huge cop out. And if it truly is the case that the physical laws of the universe as we know them do not apply in any way, and not even the ability to observe can be trusted… then why do you even care? Why spend time commenting here and not ascending to this weird godhood state you claim exists, then return and demonstrate this god consciousness to us by violating the physical laws of the universe?

            I know exactly why, because you can’t.

          • John Abad

            God does not violate the physical laws of the universe, rather as he created them, he is beyond them and not subject to them. If you were to believe in the big bang for example, something had to exist outside the time-space in order to create it, as every effect needs a cause. Read up on Aquinas buddy, you have a lot to learn. Furthermore, I would say that if you read Aquinas, you would, if your hubris did not get in the way, that God can be known through his effects, but not known absolutely, and this has been proven by Aristotelian logic already many years ago. Many atheists shoot themselves in the foot, figuratively speaking, claiming themselves superior in knowledge to theists, sometimes unaware that their lack of study in theology and ridiculous skepticism without answers of their own to replace theist logic, is exactly what keeps them from progressing. In other words, hubris is what makes you think you know, when you are unaware of how little you know, considering you are discussing a subject matter which has been already proven by logic metaphysically many times before you were even born, yet you argue without knowing what has already been argued.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            John please re-read what Northern has posted, realize it doesn’t represent you. In this instance you’re arguing your version of god against my response to his version of god. So… Nothing you said has any meaning in this context.

          • John Abad

            It does represent a few of my beliefs actually, and yes, they are clearly within context. Firstly, I don’t believe in any version of God as He does not belong to any genus, as explained by Aquinas. I agree with Northern on several aspects. My argument mainly pertains to the how God is not part, everywhere in actuality, and unknowable absolutely (Platonic absolutism), which are things which he states. I am unsure of his belief’s in the God Consciousness and the human understanding of God and the natural limits, as there are varying beliefs on this and arguments, and I see this as a extrinsic belief (read perennial philosophy), but the argument can be used in the defense of God in those aspects we both share.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Then your god cannot be described or defined and is useless. Cool. There’s nothing left to discuss at that point.

          • John Abad

            Actually, you have failed to refute any logical proofs I have put forth thus far. God can be known by his effects and also through negative proofs. I have stated this before yet you have conveniently ignored it. Typical of an atheist with no seriousness besides protecting his ego. There is much left to discuss, it is simply that you are not willing to discuss, considering the massive amount of information I have put in several of your posts, and you have refuted none of them…

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            What are you talking about, god doesnt just exist because I’ve chosen not to engage a crazy person who has no interest in providing demonstrable physical evidence for his claim. That’s my level, you must provide demonstrable physical evidence of your claims. You can’t do that you haven’t proven a darn thing.

            Sorry if I’m not going to play your game.

          • Northern_Witness

            Again, God is beyond the limits and failures of observation. language and rationality. It is not a good idea for you to ignore other means of gaining knowledge and, more importantly, other ways of accessing God. It is irrational for you to do that and insist on squeezing everything the ego-centric vortex of rationality. The futility of your quest was pointed out by Abraham Maslow when he observed, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything will look a nail.” Or, as Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar and unto God the things that are God’s.” Better you should add a few more tools to your kit and learn how to use them properly.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            I’m still waiting. I’m more than happy to have god invade my mind and make itself known.

          • John Abad

            I have made a response, you can find it before Northern’s. But before you read, know that you are not happy to have God “invade your mind” as the simple choice of words of invasion prove otherwise. You are clearly not looking to find out anything about God whether it be through science, philosophy, or subjective experience. Considering you run away from the first two (effects being empirical), and the last one clearly refuted as you deny the will to deny your own ignorance on God and the inability to escape from a purely passive and fallacy rich logic.

          • John Abad

            it often comes to this point with my arguments with atheists. Not being able to respond logically, they often choose to either ignore, or put themselves in the position of, prove it to me… instead of providing logical refutations with good premises and proper conclusions.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            I think that has more to do with you then us, you write long flawed comments that would take hours to dissect. You’re a walking gish gallop and I’m not interested in dealing with that. So I stick to the simplest part of your argument, where it falls apart, your broken unproven premise. The part you all skip. YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE FOR YOUR CLAIM.

            So… Do you have demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim or not?

          • John Abad

            So you continue to ignore my premises. You also continue to provide ad hominems. You are simply running away. I have made many statements with logical premises thus far. This is clear to see and, in fact, empirical evidence, as it is written history that I have actually written down these statements.
            The evidence is there, and is waiting for you to refute it. Do you know what logic is? Do you know what a formal science is? I am following the rules here, and you clearly are not. You are committing logical fallacies and running away from the argument.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Do you have demonstrable physical repeatable evidence for your claim that a god exists?

            I know your answer is no, and that’s why you refuse to answer the question. It scares you to realize that your entire argument is based on an unproven and unprovable assertion. You can flitter about pretending to have a grasp on logical fallacies (you don’t) and assuming that you know how logical proofs work (you still don’t) but at the end of the day you refuse to provide the basic evidence that would be needed to prove the existence of anything at all.

          • John Abad

            Yes, I already stated numerous times that there is evidence. I do not “have” it as you erroneously stated, as if this evidence is something I can contain materially.

            The physical repeatable evidence has already been show as Aristotle and Aquinas were both empiricists. How about you read them. How do you think the first cause was demonstrated? By both metaphysics and physics. This and many more observable qualities in reality were ways Aquinas and other before him described God. Why don’t you actually read what I wrote instead of ignoring each time I state there is evidence.

            You do not know that my answer is no, because you are actually wrong. The proofs are there, and there are many more, if you are up to it, go disprove the information in summa theologica.

            On the contrary, the logical fallacies I have shown are clear to see for anyone who studies logic. They are not a dependent on your interpretation or opinion.

            Your reasoning then is this: You don’t know. That is all you are saying. You are ignoring every premise I made in the previous comments. The proofs are in the premises and conclusions. I suggest you study logic, and then try to refute the arguments, good luck on that one.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Please look up the words DEMONSTRABLE and REPEATABLE and PHYSICAL.

            You obviously don’t know what they mean. For example you can test the strength of gravity over and over and over. You can test the make up of a rock. Over and over and over.

            Saying Aristotle was an empiricist isn’t enough and you know it.

            So do you have demonstrable physical repeatable evidence? You now claim you have it so what is it? Point to where god interacts with the physical universe and show me what it does that cannot be explained any other way, and can be repeated over and over and over.

            This is basic. You want to move on to proofs, you start here first. You don’t get to skip to the last step just because you can’t do the first one.

          • John Abad

            I have already stated the premise of first cause, and there are many other empirical proofs, such as the quinque viae from Aquinas. The first cause for example, takes it’s origin from empirical observation. This is clearly experimentally applicable and common sense.

            “Point to where god interacts with the physical universe and show me what
            it does that cannot be explained any other way, and can be repeated
            over and over and over. ”

            This is what I have already stated before, as knowing God through his effects. I gave you one example already, the first cause or cosmology argument. You can choose whether to believe in God or not as the creator, but there must be a first cause. What is your first cause if not God? If you believe in the big bang, what created it? What is the proof against God that makes you so sure that God did not create it?

            On the contrary, you have made another mistake. You have not understood the first cause and it’s empirical origin. If you are asking me to show you God physically that is impossible as He transcends (logically proven) material reality. You cannot say, however, that there is no evidence or proof. This is not enough to refute any of the premises.

            Aristotle and Aquinas were both empiricists, are you saying otherwise?

            You keep asking the same question for some reason and I keep giving the same answer. Yes there is demonstrable repeatable evidence, as to the effects of God, but no one can know God absolutely, and He is immaterial, as it would be impossible for Him to be subject to time-space. This has been argued for many years and never refuted. Therefore, to be an atheist is to believe without evidence, including to illogically ignore the metaphysical proofs of God.

            Now that you are trying somewhat to refute the premise, it is my turn to ask questions…
            What created the universe? what was before time-space to create it?
            Why has no life been found outside earth so far, and why is this world so intricately complex and unique?
            (do not go on a tangent trying to disprove creationism as this does not depend on that belief).

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • John Abad

            You are ignoring the argument, yet you are still posting comments. You do not want to refute any proofs, yet you continue to post. I will make sure that the last comment shows your lack of courage to accept the fact that you simply are agnostic in ability and atheist by belief.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • John Abad

            You have the proofs and evidence. A combination of physics and metaphysics. I have stated the premises, you have failed to refute. It’s that simple. You are a typical atheist who can’t prove whether God exists or not. You deny any proofs for his existence, as if the superior processes of the neo-cortex were unnecessary and inferior to sense perception. I’ll let you have the last post, as I’m sure plenty of others who read this blog will scroll down to see how you were incorrect, and perhaps they may learn something correct from the information I provided below your insistent running away from the argument.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

            And unable to provide this you continue the generic apologist arguments which never rise beyond the level of “you can’t prove my invisible friend doesnt exist.”

          • John Abad

            good luck! this only a taste.

            go ahead and refute the five proofs.

            http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/web%20publishing/aquinasfiveways_argumentanalysis.htm

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • John Abad

            ok so, I just posted this a few seconds ago and you already replied. Which means that you actually did not even read the link, much less refute the information in the site. You have proven yourself someone wanting attention for your comments. There is no other reason besides that really. Excellent refutation! next time actually read before you respond.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            What are you not getting about the fact that I’m not engaging with your arguments until you can provide the required evidence? So to reiterate…

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • John Abad

            Summa Theologia

            Article II. Whether the existence of God is demonstrable:

            Let us proceed to the second point. It is objected (1) that the
            existence of God is not demonstratable: that God’s existence is
            an article of faith, and that articles of faith are not demonstratable,
            because the office of demonstration is to prove, but faith pertains
            (only) to things that are not to be proven, as is evident from
            the Epistle to the Hebrews, 11. Hence that God’s existence is
            not demonstratable. Again, (2) that the subject matter of demonstration
            is that something exists, but in the case of God we cannot know
            what exists, but only what does not, as Damascenus says (Of the
            Orthodox Faith, I., 4.) Hence that we cannot demonstrate God’s
            existence. Again, (3) that if God’s existence is to be proved
            it must be from what He causes, and that what He effects is not
            sufficient for His supposed nature, since He is infinite, but
            the effects finite, and the finite is not proportional to the
            infinite. Since, therefore, a cause cannot be proved through an
            effect not proportional to itself, it is said that God’s exisence
            cannot be proved.

            But against this argument the apostle says (Rom. I., 20), “The
            unseen things of God are visible through His manifest works.”
            But this would not be so unless it were possible to demonstrate
            God’s existence through His works. What ought to be understood
            concerning anything, is first of all, whether it exists. Conclusion.
            It is possible to demonstrate God’s existence, atthough not a
            priori (by pure reason), yet a posteriori from some work of His
            more surely known to us.

            In answer I must say that the proof is double. One is through
            the nature of a cause and is called propter quid: this is through
            the nature of preceding events sirnply. The other is through the
            nature of the effect, and is called quia, and is through the nature
            of preceding things as respects us. Since the effect is better
            known to us than the cause, we proceed from the effect to the
            knowledge of the cause. From any effect whatsoever it can be proved
            that a corresponding cause exists, if only the effects of it are
            sufficiently known to us, for since effects depend on causes,
            the effect being given, it is necessary that a preceding cause
            exists. Whence, that God exists, although this is not itself known
            to us, is provable through effects that are known to us.

            To the first objection above, I reply, therefore, that God’s existence,
            and those other things of this nature that can be known through
            natural reason concerning God, as is said in Rom. I., are not
            articles of faith, but preambles to these articles. So faith presupposes
            natural knowledge, so grace nature, and perfection a perfectible
            thing. Nothing prevents a thing that is in itself demonstratable
            and knowable, from being accepted as an article of faith by someone
            that does not accept the proof of it.

            To the second objection, I reply that, since the cause is proven
            from the effect, one must use the effect in the place of a definition
            of the cause in demonstrating that the cause exists; and that
            this applies especially in the case of God, because for proving
            that anything exists, it is necessary to accept in this method
            what the name signifies, not however that anything exists, because
            the question what it is is secondary to the question whether it
            exists at all. The characteristics of God are drawn from His works
            as shall be shown hereafter, (Question XIII). Whence by proving
            that God exists through His works as shall be shown hereafter,
            (Question XIII). Whence by proving that God exists through His
            works, we are able by this very method to see what the name God
            signifies.
            To the third objection, I reply that, although a perfect knowledge
            of the cause cannot be had from inadequate effects, yet that from
            any effect manifest to us it can be shown that a cause does exist,
            as has been said. And thus from the works of God His existence
            can be proved, although we cannot in this way know Him perfectly
            in accordance with His own essence.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Short answer: No, you cannot provide demonstrable evidence of god, thus your version of god is useless, pointless and non-existent. Sweet. Thanks for the concession.

          • John Abad

            Nice try… but:

            You have been proven wrong…

            If you want more proofs read the actual book, where potentiality, actuality, essence, participation, cause and effect, perfections and imperfections are all explained in the existence of God…

            Much more logical than your non existent explanation to why creation exists.

            Summa Theologia

            Article II. Whether the existence of God is demonstrable:

            Let us proceed to the second point. It is objected (1) that the
            existence of God is not demonstratable: that God’s existence is
            an article of faith, and that articles of faith are not demonstratable,
            because the office of demonstration is to prove, but faith pertains
            (only) to things that are not to be proven, as is evident from
            the Epistle to the Hebrews, 11. Hence that God’s existence is
            not demonstratable. Again, (2) that the subject matter of demonstration
            is that something exists, but in the case of God we cannot know
            what exists, but only what does not, as Damascenus says (Of the
            Orthodox Faith, I., 4.) Hence that we cannot demonstrate God’s
            existence. Again, (3) that if God’s existence is to be proved
            it must be from what He causes, and that what He effects is not
            sufficient for His supposed nature, since He is infinite, but
            the effects finite, and the finite is not proportional to the
            infinite. Since, therefore, a cause cannot be proved through an
            effect not proportional to itself, it is said that God’s exisence
            cannot be proved.

            But against this argument the apostle says (Rom. I., 20), “The
            unseen things of God are visible through His manifest works.”
            But this would not be so unless it were possible to demonstrate
            God’s existence through His works. What ought to be understood
            concerning anything, is first of all, whether it exists. Conclusion.
            It is possible to demonstrate God’s existence, atthough not a
            priori (by pure reason), yet a posteriori from some work of His
            more surely known to us.

            In answer I must say that the proof is double. One is through
            the nature of a cause and is called propter quid: this is through
            the nature of preceding events sirnply. The other is through the
            nature of the effect, and is called quia, and is through the nature
            of preceding things as respects us. Since the effect is better
            known to us than the cause, we proceed from the effect to the
            knowledge of the cause. From any effect whatsoever it can be proved
            that a corresponding cause exists, if only the effects of it are
            sufficiently known to us, for since effects depend on causes,
            the effect being given, it is necessary that a preceding cause
            exists. Whence, that God exists, although this is not itself known
            to us, is provable through effects that are known to us.

            To the first objection above, I reply, therefore, that God’s existence,
            and those other things of this nature that can be known through
            natural reason concerning God, as is said in Rom. I., are not
            articles of faith, but preambles to these articles. So faith presupposes
            natural knowledge, so grace nature, and perfection a perfectible
            thing. Nothing prevents a thing that is in itself demonstratable
            and knowable, from being accepted as an article of faith by someone
            that does not accept the proof of it.

            To the second objection, I reply that, since the cause is proven
            from the effect, one must use the effect in the place of a definition
            of the cause in demonstrating that the cause exists; and that
            this applies especially in the case of God, because for proving
            that anything exists, it is necessary to accept in this method
            what the name signifies, not however that anything exists, because
            the question what it is is secondary to the question whether it
            exists at all. The characteristics of God are drawn from His works
            as shall be shown hereafter, (Question XIII). Whence by proving
            that God exists through His works as shall be shown hereafter,
            (Question XIII). Whence by proving that God exists through His
            works, we are able by this very method to see what the name God
            signifies.

            To the third objection, I reply that, although a perfect knowledge
            of the cause cannot be had from inadequate effects, yet that from
            any effect manifest to us it can be shown that a cause does exist,
            as has been said. And thus from the works of God His existence
            can be proved, although we cannot in this way know Him perfectly
            in accordance with His own essence.

            Article III. Whether God exists.

            Let us proceed to the third article. It is objected (1) that God
            does not exist, because if one of two contradictory things is
            infinite, the other will be totally destroyed; that it is implied
            in the name God that there is a certain infinite goodness: if
            then God existed, no evil would be found. But evil is found in
            the world; therefore it is objected that God does not exist. Again,
            that what can be accomplished through a less number of principles
            will not be accomplished through more. It is objected that all
            things that appear on the earth can be accounted for through other
            principles, without supposing that God exists, since what is natural
            can be traced to a natural principle, and what proceeds from a
            proposition can be traced to the human reason or will. Therefore
            that there is no necessity to suppose that God exists. But as
            against this note what is said of the person of God (Exod. III.,
            14) I am that I am. Conclusion. There must be found in the nature
            of things one first immovable Being, a primary cause, necessarily
            existing, not created; existing the most widely, good, even the
            best possible; the first ruler through the intellect, and the
            ultimate end of all things, which is God.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            What is this, 10 or 13 posts since you said you were quitting and giving me the last word? You have a problem my friend. So if you’re sticking around then we get back to it.

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • John Abad

            It seems clear to me that you just want the last word, as I have not asked for the last word yet, but you seemingly imply that you wish for it here. You say I have a problem yet the posts I have made were varied, while yours were reminiscent of a one trick pony, except that the trick didn’t say much in and of itself except for emptiness. I must say, unless you give me some kind of logic here to work with, I must stop.

            Remember now Noah, it is you who keeps repeating himself with the same illogical sentences every time.

            I know you want the last comment so, until you actually post a proper rebuttal, here you go. Enjoy your last comment so that everyone can see you! (Once you post up something more meaningful, I will definitely respond).

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Good luck my friend you’re going to need it, until you can attempt provide demonstrable physical evidence you’re going to continue being ignored and confusing being ignored with people “running” from you.

          • John Abad

            I care not if I am ignored by a person who has proven through discourse that irrationality reigns in this specific context.

            Once again, and for however many times I have to, I repeat, that there is demonstrable physical evidence coupled with the higher faculty of reasoning and logic to prove the existence of God.

            On the other hand, you have failed to answer to any of my numerous premises, and proven to be quite handy with the logical fallacies, although probably without being conscious of it.

            It is clear you are a slave to power. You want me to prove something to you, and once there are proofs, you insist as a child on being proven in ignorance to the information already presented. Then you wish to hold on by meaninglessly elongating this discussion without providing any refutations to the previous premises what so ever. And you finish by saying that you are ignoring me instead of running away. This is clearly stemming from an inferiority complex, as irrationality is shown through the clear truth that you are not engaging in proper logical discourse.

            Also, you have failed to answer the call to express what you believe to be the cause of the universe, what a quantum is, and my other arguments to your other posts further below.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Ignoring everything you’ve written and continuing to ask the only question that matters which you are unable to answer:

            What specifically is your demonstrable repeatable physical evidence for your claim that a god exists?

          • John Abad

            read what I just posted on the other post you just responded to.

          • Northern_Witness

            God is not an “it”. But God is already an aspect of you.

          • Northern_Witness

            God is not an “it”. That is why God is beyond the limits of rationality. But God is already an aspect of you.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Obviously you’ve had a revelation of godhood that many of us haven’t had. So, tell the godhead you’re in contact with to hurry up and offer me the same revelation. Then I’ll believe and everything will be good.

          • Northern_Witness

            You have just displayed what prevents you from engaging God–your self-absorption. Lose that and you will be in contact with God. Good luck.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            In other words I need to already believe. I’m utterly open to revelation. The only one who seems self absorbed here is the one who believes he’s special because he has some amazing advanced “god consciousness” which he cannot define nor demonstrate actually exists.

            Do something that cannot be done without this state of consciousness and you might be able to help people, open eyes, convert, whatever– if what you say is true. And if you refuse to do so then you’re utterly selfish and a bad human being.

          • Northern_Witness

            Wrong again. Belief has nothing to do with it. Attitude does though and yours is not only inappropriate but a hindrance.

            In falling back on your plea for narrow rationality, you make the usual Atheist logical error, the aptly named, argumentum ad nauseum, whereby you seem to believe that that the more times your repeat your contention that your version of rationality is supreme the more likely it is to magically become true.

            Here’s a hint: Instead of focusing narrowly on the neurons of the brain, try including the neurons of the heart and gut. Also, be aware of Dr. Candace Pert’s discovery from the 1990′s that every cell of your body has consciousness.

            Finally, as usual, when the Atheist is unable to defend or even explain his theories and belief system, he resorts to argumentum ad hominem attacks, another logical error.

            Have a nice day.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            And another person proves they don’t know what an ad hom is.

            For clarification an Ad hominem argument would be me dismissing your argument because you’re nuts, or reprehensible, or that I disagree with your political stances. It is not simply calling you a name. Please for the love of the god you can apparently talk to take the time to learn what an ad hom is and don’t throw it around like this. It’s just silly and sad and you’re diluting what the term actually means.

            If you have an advanced level of consciousness beyond a mortal man then you can demonstrate it by doing something the rest of us cant. But you cannot demonstrate this, or you refuse to. So you’re either wrong, delusional or selfish. Which is it?

          • Northern_Witness

            You have committed yet another logical error, namely, bifurcation, when you insist on a choice between the alternatives you present, when, in fact, there are other alternatives. Of course, you were a bit sneaky in presenting three false alternatives instead of the usual two.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Feel free to present other alternatives, but if it’s the same tired “you can’t accept it” argument then you need new material. You claim to have access to a higher reality of some sort. Information that the rest of the mortal world doesn’t have, why is it you won’t demonstrate this ability?

          • Northern_Witness

            Au contraire, mon frère. A sizeable percentage of the world’s population has accessed the supra-rational reality of God. That is why religions continue to exist and thrive. You can be provided with the information on the techniques required to attain the same access but you have to practice, practice, practice. Are you ready?

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Northern you’re dodging, if you have access to special knowledge and abilities you should be able to demonstrate this. Once you’ve demonstrated you can do things which no normal human can do with your connection to this higher plane, then I’ll gladly follow this path you’re talking about.

            So, why won’t you demonstrate this connection?

          • Northern_Witness

            Again, there are no “special knowledge and abilities” because they are available to all.

            Demonstrations to prove a point are egotistical and would have the effect of estrangement from God.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            Now you’re playing word games.

            Do you have knowledge, information and abilities that I do not have based on your claimed god consciousness? Yes or no.

          • Northern_Witness

            Word games to you indicates your lack of comprehension.

            This latest thread is just your insistence of rationality dressed up in a different guise. But no matter how much lipstick you put on it, a pig is still a pig.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            And there you go dodging again. I’m sorry I’m the rational one here but if you claim to know things that you can only know through your magic connection to a mystic deity but cannot provide the smallest shred of information knowledge or demonstration, then why should anyone ever listen to you, and why should you spend time talking about this thing you refuse to even attempt to prove.

            If it doesn’t matter enough to you to demonstrate it, why does it matter enough to spend any time at all talking about?

          • Northern_Witness

            Argumentum ad nauseum…again.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            To translate: “I have special powers but only when you’re not looking.”

          • John Abad

            Abraham Maslow! I loved learning about his beliefs on auto-realization. He also had some interesting things to say about the founders of religions, and the continuing believers, and the importance of ritual afterwards. Some interesting stuff. Good to see you know about him.

          • John Abad

            “What are you talking about, god doesnt just exist because I’ve chosen
            not to engage a crazy person who has no interest in providing
            demonstrable physical evidence for his claim”.
            You have committed the red herring fallacy just now, going on an illogical tangent without returning to the matter at hand (the existence of God).

            Nowhere did I say that God’s existence is dependent on you engaging in argument with myself. You actually made this premise for your conclusion that God’s existence is not dependent on the premise of you not engaging with me. I, however, never implied any such thing, and this shows your tangential thought process when caught in a position where your ignorance is exposed.

            You have committed an ad hominem against me by implying I am crazy without any psycho-pathological determining knowledge of me.

            Let’s inspect further the word “crazy”. I would like to know how I am crazy. If you are serious about truth, you would include psychopathology data, perhaps DSM-IV or V is a good starting point to show my what symptoms I have. Good luck on that one!

            Aquinas was an empiricist as was Aristotle, all the evidence I gave started from perceptual information being processed. Therefore your conclusion of physical evidence for my claims has been refuted partly, by origin. As to the demonstration of immediate truths, luck up Aristotle for that. You form part of the group of those whom don’t understand the nature of the first cause, which is immediate, and refuse to believe in anything not demonstrable in completeness through the senses.

            Furthermore, you prove to know nothing by putting yourself in a position of prove me, while you prove absolutely nothing nor refute any premises previously stated.

            Your level is one of skepticism and denial of premises without refutation logic. Therefore, your “level” is quite low. You clearly are acting as a child right now.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            1.) We’re not debating. I’m not engaged with you in debate, so there’s no way I can commit an ad hominem against you.

            2.) An ad hom attack requires me to dismiss your argument because you’re crazy. I don’t I dismiss it because you cannot provide demonstrable physical repeatable evidence for your claim.

            One single question: Do you have demonstrable physical repeatable evidence for your claim that a god exists? Yes or no?

          • Northern_Witness

            God is ineffable, beyond the limits and failures of observation, language and rationality. And yes it is better to experience God directly instead of ruminating about God.

          • Noah “Suppresso” Miller

            I’m ready whenever god is. I’ll be waiting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.sarmiento.1297 Joel Sarmiento

    we only able prove the existence of God trough reason,and observe the mechanism of the whole creation,that is pointed to a God the great and perfect world that we all have and fit to live as a human being. Another way to prove God is the ability of man to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man,it can be experiment of every atheist if they like,just surrender yourself to Jesus,and follow the simple step,and be born again. let the baptism of the Holy Spirit cover your whole self,and become a spiritual being.this stage will be the moment you will prove the existence of God. The purpose of God in our life is the most essential element to prove that God is real. The question is what is the purpose of God? The purpose of God is that all creation will worship Him. Look the world all creation the sea the mountain,living creature are worship God even plants and all non living things worship God to follow the order of things. The suffering, people experience is because all of us is not follow the order of things that God design meant for us. The ultimate solution to realize it,God Himself has formulate the ultimate solution,this is a cross acting as a bridge to worship Him again,so that we follow the order of things that God meant for us.

    • Northern_Witness

      Until you have attained God Consciousness you cannot prognosticate on what is the purpose of God. You do not have that consciousness yet. You are too reliant on reason. Reason is what estranges you from God. But keep up the good work (on yourself).

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.sarmiento.1297 Joel Sarmiento

    the failure to make it happened lie with all of us. As long as the four great institution of the world do not response to the call we will never achieve the goal to prove that God exist. the only way to prove God exist is to answer the call of God, What is that call? the Call of God is the Call of nature, the call of nature to us is to follow the order of things like the nature did. And what is that the order of things? It was define in the bible,it should be learn and implement by the government,religion,science and the business ( this is part below comment)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.sarmiento.1297 Joel Sarmiento

    if this four institution fail to do so,this is the time God will intervene again in human affair like what happened in the day of noah,but in a different manner. It is reveal in the apocalypse or end time.(another part below comment.)

  • Charlie Harry Smith

    Brilliant writing, horrendous story… I agree totally that demonstrating false religious experience doesnt disprove God, but at the same time, I dont think any rational, intelligent person would actually claim that. All this is trying to show is that Terror Management as a theory is able to be demonstrated. The unrelated metaphors didnt really help, and to be honest by adding evidence to the TMT, this video DOES help in disproving God. TMT and other theories to do with group cohesion completely explain why we have religion as a bi-product of useful brain features. It’s a shame not everyone takes the time to do the reading and understand these issues and instead plugs holes in their knowledge with fantasies like religion… as a starter, you guys might want to try watching this: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/derren-brown-the-specials/episode-guide/series-14/episode-4 Obviously it’s an entertainment show, but really good food for thought!

  • Jenny

    But Christian belief is not simply based on FEELING the presence of God. It is primarily based on
    FAITH. So, determining God’s existence cannot be based on experiencing His
    presence. It should be based on faith, which leads us to experience God’s
    miracles and wonders, the ones that cannot be denied. I can openly claim to
    have experienced those miracles, which cannot replicated or simulated.

    My brother once got terribly sick. When my mother took him to a doctor, he told
    her that he couldn’t do much for her and that my brother would become
    academically paralyzed as a result. My mother, who experienced God’s miracles
    before, went on a 7-day fast of prayer to Jesus. Returning from the fast, my
    brother was COMPLETELY healed; he felt no more excruciating pain. He later
    returned to school and has graduated high school with Honors and is currently
    studying to become an Actuary.

  • Jenny

    Great article, by the way!

  • Horus

    The author has done an excellent job obfuscating the topic using imprecise analogies that superficially resemble the subject matter but which upon “scientific” examination prove flawed and invalid

    . He uses the physical act of sex as an example, and says that if the emotions felt during this act could be artificially replicated in a laboratory environment, an atheist, therefore, would claim that sex is not real is not a valid comparison in any way. But this is the sort of assumption and argument true-believers always level at skeptics and non-believers. There is no physical act of religion, it is entirely spiritual or mental if you prefer. We are all religious from birth? Well, perhaps a better way to say this is “spiritual” or “inquisitive”. Possessing the intellectual abilities that we do (which many of us choose to ignore or not exercise to their full potential), we do seek answers to the unknown, the point where scientific research and knowledge ends. The thing is, this point is constantly and exponentially shifting as we become more scientifically and technologically advanced (well, at least some of us). The same cannot be said for religions that date back millennia or centuries which mostly preserve archaic, mystic and mythical legends and traditions that were passed down orally centuries and millennia before they were actually written by scores of old men upon parchment and papyrus. And powerful religious leaders of all kinds
    have never helped in these scientific endeavors, if anything, they vehemently resisted and felt threatened by them and imprisoned, tortured, excommunicated, ostracized, ad even killed those who would dare challenge the old ways. Pioneer scientists, inventers and discoverers may have been practitioners of one faith or another, but they were not docile lambs just willing to follow the flock and never question the authority of the religious hierarchy and their own faith itself.

  • Jordan

    Just going to drop this on you. The bible The thing know through out most religions, Was made by man or a “profit.” please set me strait if I don’t know what i’m talking about, but how do we know this wasn’t just made a long time ago. By man to fool us into worshiping a fake “roll model” figure. For example: The game telephone? you say something into one girls ear then it gets passed around the room and “hi” turns into “hey”. what if….this was made by parents or some type of higher power so people would fallow the path of god? stay pure or good there hole life. what if this is a fake figure created for us to live are life pure?

    Sorry if that seemed jumbled….i was typing it as the thoughts came out.

    One more
    Example: My parents came up with this idea. They told me that (fake name) Jhony was a good boy and got every thing he wanted because of it. So in return i acted like him to get what i wanted. What if god is Jhony and and we are the kids trying to act perfect to get the best out of life.

    Last but not least…there as so many things to disprove “god”. and when you confront some one about it, all you get is you must stay faithful? or he works in mysterious ways that’s a lot of “faith” to put into some one that no one can even prove exists. Maybe its just me but id like some sort of self proclaiming evidence of his existences.

    Let the record show i know vary little about the bible or god. I do not wish to say he exists or does not exist. i believe i will find out when i die, And if he does exist then he wont have a problem with that in my mind Because 1) he made this way or so people say…..

  • Lord Nightshade

    This was verry well wrote, I am agnostic for the verry reasons you suggest because it is impossible to disprove a deity. I quite enjoyed this article and I will gladly read any other artical you have produced.

  • Servant of Christ

    Tipical Human. Wanting to belive in something tangible. I feel sorry for you

  • Alex

    Hi, I hope you all do not mind my interjection, but it would appear that the writer of this artical, and a some of those who have commented, appear to have some bias in what has been said. To put it simply, someone, probably at the start of this story, used emotive language to provoke such a respons. To be fair though, if what is being reported here is true (that the scientist claims this disproves god) he is no scientist.
    You see, from what I’ve managed to find on this research, the scientist was only looking to replicate experiences such as those at faith healing and ect.
    Anyways, it should be pointed out that many comments about scientist being all atheists is quite untrue; most (about 60%) are religious to one degree or another. Also, there is a difference between what scientists are, and what hatemoungering extremeists, whom try to manipulate people by using their own beliefs as a weapon, say they are.
    A scientist does not care for their own beliefs, obides by the ethics of society, and work for the furthement and benefit of all humanity, and a little bit for the thrill of being the first to know something knew.
    I apologies if my words come across negatively, it is quite late as I write this, and my brain is in need of a rest after a day of work. All the same, I hope you all see the truth of the matter through the tangled web of words that has been spun like ‘Chinese whispers’ (if you pardon the expression).

    • Northern_Witness

      Your uber-positive view of scientists is, in a word, wrong. Most scientists are not objective, but rather seek to promote their own viewpoints, caring little for niceties such as ethics as they strive to publish or perish. Most scientists are locked into linear, dualistic “thinking” by believing, for example, in a simplistic world of truth or falsity, which is a logical error known as bifurcation or false dichotomy.
      Science itself, is deeply flawed by its exclusive reliance of sense data because of the limits of sense data, because of the inherent errors of sense data, and because relying on sense data ignores (and belittles) other means of acquiring knowledge and, more importantly, wisdom.
      So when it come to “science” you have a collection of flawed and fearful people employing a flawed methodology to tinker with their supposedly material world.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        So you’re saying non-sense data is better than sense data? How exactly does that work?

        • Northern_Witness

          Not even close to what I said. You are so eager to argue and promote your own “scientific”, “rational” viewpoint that you first commit the straw man logical error of misrepresentation which then leads you to commit the red herring logical error of irrelevance. Two logical errors in a single 10-word sentence. You may just win a prize for that – the booby prize!

          • Alex

            Northern_Witness, within any and all groups of people there are those who have their own agendas, all adults know this. Before I continue, I must say I can sense a hostile tone to your comments (if this is not the case I can only apologies), and would like to know the reason for this.
            Now, I must say your use of linguistics within the first comment does indeed indicate you are intelligent and have thought about this matter quite thoroughly, and I sincerely respect your views. (The second comment is unclear to me as to the reasoning). However, it appears you have been misinformed as to what the scientific method is, at least to a sense. Of course there is the ‘hypothesis, tests results &conclusion’ that we all learn in school, and then there is the theoretical physics side of things, and so on. The point here being that not all knowledge relies on sense data (if I have interpreted what you mean properly), just ‘reason and logic’ (please bare in mind that there is a subtle difference from the scientific contextual meaning of these words to the everyday use; e.g. Within quantum mechanics/physics, where everyday logic would make no sense at all).
            All this said, I do not feel I can adequately portray “my” side of this discussion due to a lack of understanding of how to explain what it is I am saying. I apologies for this. However, I feel is adequate enough to state that most (certainly around a minimum of 99.98%) of modern life is based of these methods and scientific thoughts; though this is stating the obvious I know. Also, scientists, whilst keeping to a basic ‘skeleton’ of thought and experimental process, are always looking for a better way of doing things. And of course you get those who want to stick to the past, but that’s because there human.
            I must also say that your comments intrigue me, in a good way, and I wonder whether you could furnish me with examples of the flaws you mentioned

          • Alex

            Also, could give us a simplistic and clear explanation of you second comment, and on any part I may of misinterpreted or just missed. I look forward to continuing this discussion and welcome all who wish to put across their views.

          • Northern_Witness

            What do you consider my second comment to be?

          • Alex

            The comment with the ‘straw man logical error’ and ‘red herring logical error’.
            I must ask, when you said “mean spiritedness”, where you referring to my comments? I did not mean them to come over in this manner. A will ask however, for you to not disregard a discussion just because I struggle adequately explain my point of view, but rather that you have patience with me.
            Getting back to the topic at hand, scientist are not addicted or stuck to the physical world, as indeed the theoretical physics shows, the idea of a ‘physical’ universe is quite absurd (e.g. As show in string theory, the 11 ‘known’ dimensions, ect). I do however, struggle to see how logic, as a whole, is limited to sense data; for example, the existence of microbes was reasoned to be true a good 100-200 years before people in general recognised their existence.
            On a similar topic, have you seen, or herd of Ontological proof: a proof by reason alone of something of something reason alone cannot prove
            kirk gurgle used model logic to prove conclusively that … Exists

          • Alex

            I apologies for the last part of the above comment of mine, my computer suffered som sort of error.
            What I was saying was, Kirk Gurgle (if I have recalled his name correctly) used model logic to produce an ontological proof that proves Gods existance. Kirk was he man Einstein looked up to, stating that Kirk was ‘the reason he went to work’. My point here being that a physicist (Kirk) was able to use logic – the same logic as used by all scientists – to prove Gods existance, at least to some degree.
            Two questions if I may:
            First, as all sense data is derived from the quantum world (where the smallest ‘things’ are in every universe simultaneously), is it not acceptable to use such data, and to extrapolate with logic, or rather is the issue with the limits of what the human is capable with perceiving from it senses?
            Second, just out curiosity, do you think of me as an Athiest, Christan, or something else?
            I look forward to your reply.

          • Alex

            I was paying attention, was was curious of the conversation. Also, it is, if you had understood my meaning, not that I cannot explain my POV, but rather it is difficult to due so.
            But in all seriousness, I must thank you for the information in your reply, it has been most helpful. I can see your point that ‘physical’ data is not enough per-say, and whilst we may not agree on a diffinactive aproch, we certainly have a great deal of common ground. I have very much enjoyed our discussion.

          • Northern_Witness

            An insistence on an either-or solution is a logical error known as false dichotomy.
            I have no interest in categorizing you.

          • Northern_Witness

            If you had been paying attention you would have recognized that the reply was addressed to Rich Wilson.

            Again, if you cannot explain your position how can you expect discussion on it?

            I had already said that I agree that some theoretical physicists are capable of transcendental thought. But just they may not believe in a physical universe there are, nevertheless, many legions of “scientists” and Atheists who do believe in a physical universe.

            The Ontological argument was used in the defence of God. But it has been shown to be not valid by many philosophers, most notably, Kant. The Ontological argument and most of the rebuttals depend on (1) assumptions that God is an individual and (2) equivocation on the word “existence”.

            There is, however, a method of using reason to access that which is beyond reason. This is known variously as the Via Negativa path of Roman Catholicism; the Jnana Yoga path of Hinduism; the Lahoot Salbi path of Islam, found principally the Shia and Sufi paths; the Ein-sof aspect of Judaism plus Buddhism and Taoism or Daoism. This path differs from the Via Positiva approach which assumes that positive statements can be made about God. The Via Negativa path to the Divine has been practiced for many millenia by all religions. It is the mystical approach to the Divine.

            Perhaps the clearest expression of Via Negativa can be found in Jnana Yoga. “Neti. Neti.” which means “Not this. Not that.” characterizes the Jnana Yoga path. By eliminating what a person or subject is not like, the seeker moves toward an understanding of what the person or subject truly is, particularly as the seeker eliminates all that can be gleaned by the senses and turns inward to access intuition realization.

            Via Negativa denies that aspects or attributes said to be of God as are actually indicative of God. This approach assumes that God is ineffable and that attempts to apply human characteristics to God, such as existence or non-existence, are not only inadequate but misleading. Because God is indivisible attempts to ascribe attributes to God are only references to an aspect of God as perceived by humans who have locked themselves into the notion of a phenomenal world. This tactic of non-identification with God qualities includes a gradual non-identification with the qualities of phenomenal world. It seeks not only to eliminate all limiting concepts about God but also to eliminate all limiting ideas about the seeker. At some point, the seeker, if he or she is serious, objective and rigorous in their inquiry, moves beyond a phenomenal mindset and develops the type of consciousness necessary to access the transcendental.

          • Northern_Witness

            You admittedly can’t explain your POV so there is nothing to discuss. Nor do you refer to my comments other than sense data limiting science so again there is nothing to discuss, except that logic too depends on sense data and therefore is limited in its usage. Your comment that “most (certainly around a minimum of 99.98%) of modern life is based of these methods and scientific thoughts” has zero to do with the ability of science, reason, logic to know God which is the subject at hand and the basis of Atheism. Your statement does, however, point out the complacency of Atheists as they limit themselves to becoming comfortable in the so-called physical world-and their meanspiritness when forced to leave that addiction and acquire real knowledge instead of sense and logic based posturings. As it is now, Atheists are similar to stewards on the Titanic rearranging deck chairs as the ship sinks. One last comment: your reference to theoretical physics is bang on. That area is the only area that is capable of and is coming ever closer to an understanding what lies beyond the mundane in which most Atheists are content to wallow. The “discoveries” of theoretical physics have been known by most religions for millennia.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Your entire dismissal of science was one giant straw man.

            Oh, and mine was a joke. I know what you meant, but c’mon, “exclusive reliance of sense data” was just inviting “non-sense”.

          • Northern_Witness

            I’m all for “non-sense” ways of acquiring wisdom. They are the only way to know That which is known as “God”

          • Northern_Witness

            I dismissed science as a means of investigating the transcendental. Your extension to an “entire dismissal of science” is yet another straw man fallacy. You don’t seem to be getting the hang of this logic thing.

  • Frederick

    Hey man, substance dualism is dead. Read some Heidegger and get off this mind-soul interactionist bullshit.

    • Northern_Witness

      What gives you the notion that I agree with substance dualism? Especially since there is no such thing as the physical. Then you jump to mind-soul interaction. Calm down, try to understand what is being discussed. Here’s a hint: if thought is involved then one has not accessed the Divine. Have you graduated yet?

  • John Abad

    Argument against the God helmet:
    How does this scientist prove that
    what is thought is actually an innate and universal effect of the
    anxiety of the ego’s death? Some people will believe anything they hear
    from a scientist. There is no proof that what she experienced is
    this. Let’s disprove this “scientific” theory.
    First, the girl’s
    experience is described by her as, things, and bodies of nothing.
    According to Aquinas, God is incorporeal and not a thing, nor multiple,
    and pure being, not a non-being.
    Three premises have already been refuted…
    When
    asked how many, she named various, and therefore these are inconsistent
    with the logic of the first mover from Aristotle, as God cannot be
    various.
    And one of the favorite logical fallacies of the atheists
    (red herring). Diverting the attention from the absolute lack of
    intellectually organized evidence, the Dr. calls the helmet, the God
    helmet, as if to prove a gullible listener that these are religious or
    mystical experiences.

    Furthermore, the Dr. describes five
    faceless beings. How can any of these be God? This obviously does not
    reconcile with the cosmological argument or first mover. Also, the
    right hemisphere is quite a huge area of the brain with many functions,
    any scientist (I am one) would quickly question as to what specific
    areas of the brain were being triggered more than others, what type of
    brain waves, etc., although this would still not prove that it was an
    ecstatic experience with God.

    It is likely that she had an out of
    body experience, which can happen from meditation, hypnosis (self or
    otherwise caused), psychedelic drugs, etc. She had bodily perception,
    but she was watching herself “on the road” which means it was an out of
    body experience. This is not exactly what you would call a mystical
    experience. Where is the God in this again?

    Her experience
    was floating in the first test described, and in the next test she
    described fire. She said she wanted to float again. Where is the
    religious experience in this again? Mystical experiences have religious
    connotations and references, there is no self-actualizing, revelation,
    enhanced learning associated with this out of body experience.

    Now
    the Dr. commits a logical fallacy by creating a false analogy, without
    providing the proper evidence, on suggesting that her entire life would
    be impacted by changing the surroundings to a religious one. He has
    ignored the whole process of proving how the (keyword) content of the
    experience was not mystical in itself, but a simple out of body
    experience which many humans have experienced in their lives due to
    various endo and exp-genous factors. For further study into this
    matter, it would be who of those who are serious in search of answers,
    to read the book;
    D.M.T. the spirit molecule, giving prime
    importance to the differentiation between a religious mystical union
    with God and the various out of body experiences.
    This scientist
    showed absolutely no logical premise and uses the logical fallacy
    (begging the claim), considering there is no logical premise offered,
    when he states the religious “figures” have had labile temporal lobes.
    How does he have proofs of this? It is more ridiculous to try and prove
    that they had labile temporal lobes than to prove or disprove the
    existence of God. Considering this is not replicable, nor measurable as
    these persons no longer are in material today, it is also not science,
    and this scientist is making an empirical conclusion without the proper
    empirical premise.

    In conclusion, this Dr. was unable to prove
    the relation between the experience and God, as God is known through his
    effects (Aristotle) and none of the descriptions here of Him or
    mystical, religious experience coincides with the ones described by
    Saints and other spiritual persons. This was simply an out of body
    experience as proven, and you can get that through conscious altering
    drugs and hypnosis to name a few triggers.


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