Upcoming Debate 3/19/16: “Is it Reasonable to Believe in God?”

Upcoming Debate 3/19/16: “Is it Reasonable to Believe in God?” March 14, 2016

I will be participating in a public debate on the question “Is it reasonable to believe in God?” this Saturday (March 19, 2016) at 6:30 pm near Port Townsend, Washington. I’ll be debating local a Christian apologist, and I will obviously be arguing for the negative side of the question.

Opponent

Rob van de Weghe has a similar background to my own. He has a Masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science (1982) from a university in the Netherlands. His investigation of Christianity began after his retirement in 1999, and it led to his book Prepared to Answer: A Guide to Christian Evidence (DeWard, 2010). There’s more background at the event’s Facebook page.

I finished reading Rob’s book a couple of months ago in preparation for this debate. I liked the style—it’s well written with lots of footnotes—though the arguments were neither new nor convincing. Perhaps I’ll sift through for interesting arguments to showcase and critique in future posts. Unfortunately, while responding to the arguments in writing should be straightforward, responding on my feet with a time limit is more difficult.

Though I won’t give my opening presentation here, of course, the arguments that I’ll be using are all ones that I’ve written about in this blog. I will plan on Rob having read them.

Debate format

The debate format will be the typical 20-minute opening statement, 10-minute rebuttal, and 5-minute close. Rob will speak first. Following that will be audience Q&A, with a 2-minute answer from the person addressed, followed by a 1-minute rebuttal from the other debater.

Rob has requested that we focus on being informative rather than competitive. That’s a little hard to do in a debate, but I’ll do my best to match his demeanor.

Location and time

Date and time: Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Location: Chimacum High School Auditorium, 91 W Valley Road, Chimacum, WA 98325 (map)

 

This is a free event, and if you can make it, I’d love to see you there. If you’re a regular here at the Cross Examined blog, be sure to say hello. It will be recorded, and I’ll make a link available as soon as possible.

(And happy pi day! Using American calendar notation, today is 3/14/16, which is π rounded to five significant digits.)

If placing holy words next to people turned them from sinners to saints,
the mere presence of Gideon Bibles in motel nightstands
would have terminated adultery by now.
— Barry Lynn, God and Government
(referring to the value of placing the 10 Commandments in public view)

Image credit: Leo Reynolds, flickr, CC

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Grigori Schmidt

    And what is the purpose of all this formal debates? My opinion is that
    creationist’s and believer’s ignorance can only be shown in informal
    debates

    • Let a thousand flowers bloom, I suppose.

      The purpose of a formal debate in my mind is to summarize and simplify the arguments for an audience. It’s them that I might sway, not my debate opponent. Another reason is as an exercise to improve my own skills.

      Have you read Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Creating Atheists?

      • Grigori Schmidt

        No, I have not read it.

        • That might be an interesting book to read if you’re interested in a thoughtful approach to debate with Christians.

        • Grigori Schmidt

          Ok, If I will find it in the internet, I wil read

        • primenumbers

          But the type of questioning approach he proposes doesn’t seem to fit in with a standard debate format. An informal conversation would be more in line with the Socratic method PB proposes.

        • Right–Boghossian’s focus is on informal conversation limited to maybe 15 minutes.

        • primenumbers

          With what you’re doing, you’re not even debating another person really, you’re reaching out to a larger and wider audience, including those who’ll be watching the video later.

        • That’s true. And that’s to some extent what these comments are all about. Changing the minds of the Christians we engage with isn’t likely. But how many lurkers see the exchange? It’s they who are the real audience. And it’s for their benefit that I (sometimes) dial back the language when someone gets more irksome than usual.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perhaps the point of bringing up the book had nothing to do with ‘defending’ the upcoming event?

    • RichardSRussell

      I’ve been thru a couple of these myself, and my take-away point from them is that you don’t have to win! All you need to do is establish that atheists aren’t the complete spawn of Satan that fundy propaganda makes us out to be — that we have some legitimate, cogent points that people should spend some time thinking about. Simply represent. That suffices.

  • MNb

    A compartriot of Van de Weghe and mine – and a dang philosopher – ended his Opus Magnus with the half sentence “the ultimate conclusion of this book is that if we aim at being reasonable and intellectually conscientious, we should become strong disjunctive universal atheists.”
    This as just an encouragement; you’re not going to read the book within 5 days.

  • L.Long

    The question is not do you believe in gawd?? The real question is which gawd do you believe in?? Because even an atheist can say OK the initial cause of all this is something..we can use the word gawd for that something! That does not even come with 12 parsecs from yeow-Way or allah, or some incompetent preacher rising from the dead. So the question is, is there any human imagined gawd worth believing in? And being human imagined means he’s going to be a psychotic ahole with no real evidence other then fairy tales, which is exactly what we see in all the books o’BS.

    • If “God” is just another name for science, then we can believe in that, but that’s still a confusing way of looking at reality.

      • L.Long

        No! Not a name for science, but using it as a name for the mystery before the universe that brought it into existence. Because as far as I know science has yet to go back to the ‘before time’ to see the cause, although there are a number of WAGs! And that dude in the ‘before time’ is no where near being the psycho that impregnates 14yr-old girl.

        • TheNuszAbides

          you mean Celestial Isaiah? wait, Isaiah’s victim might have been younger …

      • RichardSRussell

        Years ago, I heard a speaker at an atheist convention make what seemed to me then to be a valid distinction, which I mentally bookmarked so I could start using it myself. Alas, I never turned it into a habit, but I should. It’s to eschew the use of the phrase “believe in evolution” and instead use “accept evolution”, because it’s a matter of demonstrable fact, not opinion, and we shouldn’t refer to it the same way we say “I believe that blue is the prettiest color” or “I believe that Donald Trump would make a great president”.

        • An excellent point. Another feature is that instead of believe/not believe, you have the dichotomy accept/reject, which might make clearer what the evolution denier is doing.

  • busterggi

    Of course its reasonable to believe in god(s) as long as you are a bronze-age goatherder and can’t explain what wind is or why thunder happens or where the sun goes at night.

    • Pofarmer

      Hold on, so the Sun doesn’t get hidden behind an mountain at night?

      • TheNuszAbides

        hey, man, it’s all relative … *passes the pipe*

        • Pofarmer

          Far out man.

  • gusbovona

    Bob, who sponsors this debate? How did you get invited? I just did my first public debate with a Christian (in front of 1200 people!) and I’d like to do more. Any info you can give me might help me get to the next step.

    • Rob’s son is the organizer. There is no over-arching organization to this; it’s just grass roots. Which is a pain for me as well–I’d like to get connected to a group that would make gigs for me.

      Wish I could help. But I’m jealous of your first debate. All my debates (4?) put together wouldn’t come close to the size of your first audience.

      • gusbovona

        Sorry for the delay in my replying.

        Hmmm, I wonder if there isn’t an opportunity for someone to organize likely debaters. I know that organizer isn’t me, but maybe for someone it’s just the thing.

        • I know the Secular Student Alliance has a speakers bureau. I suspect that the caliber of speakers may be a notch or two above where I am. You might check there or search for other speakers bureaus.

  • Myna Alexanderson

    If not for the distance, it would be great to attend. I followed the link on Facebook and then to the Windmill Ministries site. I have not read van de Weghe’s book, but browsing through the website would agree on the surface there is nothing new.

    I found this about Buddhism on the site: “During his life Lord Buddha wrote nothing. There is a gap of at least 150 years between his spoken words and the first written records. A gap of that duration (compared to the gospels written within 25-70 years of the resurrection and all by personal witnesses) with multiple generations of oral tradition is likely to raise serious questions about the reliability of the texts.”

    But that is funny.

    Might it not be fair to say: “During his life Lord Jesus wrote nothing. There is a gap etc.”

    • Christians walk a fine line–they must admit that legends do accrue, and that allows them to reject the noncanonical gospels. But they claim (A.N. Sherwin-White is often trotted out) that the canonical gospels are too early to have legendary accretions (complete bullshit).

  • Otto

    Will the ‘God’ referred to in the debate topic be a Deistic generic god or the Christian God?

    • Greg G.

      The Greek Pantheon variety.

    • Susan

      Will the ‘God’ referred to in the debate topic or the Christian God?

      There is no single christian “God”.

      I always hate the titles of these things. They immediately concede “God” or “not God” without defining their terms.

      I wouldn’t make it past, “Define God“.

      Easy for me to say. No one’s inviting me to debate the topic. I’m glad Bob is taking it on and I think he’ll do a heck of a job.

      But with titles like that, I can’t help but think the well is poisoned from the get go.

      • Otto

        When I say Christian God I mean the classical God of the Bible. I know that still does not cover all Christianities but I was trying to differentiate between a deistic god and the God that Bob’s opponent believes in. Too often these debates center around a undefined god and I think that lets them off the hook far too much.

        • Susan

          When I say Christian God I mean the classical God of the Bible.

          There is no “classical God of the Bible”.

          I understand the distinction you are trying to make and it’s an important one.

          The biggest problem with Pascal’s Wager is that “God” is undefined and when one asks for definitions, it is defined as the “classical God of the Bible, of course”.

          The big problem with these debates is that they are “God”-centred and “God” is never clearly defined.

          My question is always:

          “Specifically, what are you claiming and how can you support it?”

          I’m an igtheist.

          Nothing impedes reasonable discussion like the term “God”. What does it even mean?

          I agree completely with you though that they argue for a very vague universe- producing unevidenced immaterial agent that relies on non-sequitirs to support each christian’s personal version of an unevidenced immaterial agent that they take for granted is real.

          Which is why they like to call those personal beliefs “God”. That way, they can have it any way they like.

          Sorry Otto. I’m tired. Think I’ve got a bit of a stomach bug and should probably just go to bed. Did that make any sense? .

        • TheNuszAbides

          well, Otto’s not answering so far, but i reckon it’s worth more than an upvote: makes perfect sense to me!

          as far as i’m concerned, Bob covered the general value of the debates: practice in presentation and/or improvisation for the debaters. i’d tweak the opportunity for ‘convincing members of the audience’ to that of ‘presenting arguments they may not have encountered’. of course, that can go both ways: bolstering the comfort zone (not particularly valuable) or stimulating something like fresh thought. as to the latter i’m reminded of a description of dealing with cranks (iirc from C.P.Pierce’s Idiot America): the energy expended on weeding out the crap ideas and gleaning whatever original/useful perspective may remain [was worth the effort before imbalanced access to public airwaves maimed our national discourse, is the book’s main thrust].

          but anyway, your point is perfectly valid: without highly tailored ‘presets’, there’s no reason (other than some form of face-saving) such debates shouldn’t get bogged down in [the typical impossibility of] defining terms before they even get off the ground. “the classical god of the bible” is as malleable as “looking at the bible as a whole”–as if there is or ever has been One Clear Message/Identity/Motive/etc. ad nauseam.

        • I’d much prefer to respond to the fundamentalist god of my opponent. I’ve had discussions where my opponent was an ill-defined liberal phantasm that morphed even as he was described–no fun.

        • Susan

          I’ve had discussions where my opponent was an ill-defined liberal phantasm that morphed even as he was described–no fun.

          Many of us have joined you in some of those discussions right here on this site. 🙂

          I agree. They’re no fun.

          Also, they’re stupid and there’s not much we can do about that.

    • It’ll be the fundamentalist Christian god.

      I’d be wary of a definitions shifting beneath my feet (a la Susan) except that it’s pretty clear they want to defend the fundamentalist God.

      And even if they didn’t, that’d be the one I’d be attacking for the audience’s benefit! My opponent won’t change, and the only benefit is to put on an entertaining and educational show that might open a few minds in the audience.

      • Susan

        the only benefit is to put on an entertaining and educational show that might open a few minds in the audience.

        It’s an important part of the process. Good luck. I think you’ll do a heck of a job.

    • RichardSRussell

      In such contexts, I usually define “God” as an invisible being purported by his fan clubs to be all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, and all-loving, who created the Universe and everything in it, and is deeply, deeply interested in your sex life. That corresponds most closely to the lowest-common-denominator Christian version.

      • Otto

        I would agree with that and it closely resembles what I meant.

  • RichardSRussell

    Aaarrrrggghhhhh! Did we learn nothing from the Y2K near-debacle? It is most definitely not 3/14/16. That was 2000 years ago, when Jesus was just a horny teenager.

    • Even ignoring your input, the European standard of 14/3/14 (day/month/year) would make more sense. Or, to avoid confusion, 16/3/14 (year/month/day).

      • RichardSRussell

        In fact, what I always do in my own usage is follow ISO 8601, which would have it as 20160314 or 2016-03-14. This sequence is optimized for computer sorting, high to low order consistently from left to right. Do note, however, that the 4-digit year is part of the standard.

        • Greg G.

          In 8,000 years, RichardSRussell (X)(X)(X)MMCIX will be making a similar complaint about 4-digit years.

        • RichardSRussell

          Heh. Good point, Greg. What I should have said was “the full year”, not an abbreviated version of it.

          But your comment reminded me of a joke about a mainframe software engineer in 1998 who just got too frustrated with having to do nothing but maintenance programming on legacy code to fix all the built-in references to 2-digit years. He was so worn down by it that he decided to have himself cryogenically frozen for a decade, by which time he figured that all the shit that was due to hit the fan would’ve been cleared away.

          However, when he woke up, he was facing some oddly clad, rather nervous people who explained to him that, because of a snafu in entering the date on which he was to be reawakened, he’d been frozen for longer than he had specified. Much longer. Embarrassed, they told him it was now the year 9999.

          After he got over the shock, it occurred to him to ask why, after thousands of years, they had picked this particular time to revive him. After some hemming and hawing and foot-shuffling, they said “Well, we’re coming up on the year 10,000, and in reviewing your records, it seems that you know COBOL …”.

  • Grigori Schmidt

    Is it reasonable to believe in our fundamentalist God? Sure. Because if you wont, we will burn you alive (or will at least scratch some obscene words on your new car)

  • Greg King

    I can’t share this blog on G+. My pop-up blocker is off, so I know that is not it. I will let Patheos know.

  • Max Doubt

    Of course it’s reasonable.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_-ufsLBAQk

    • “1. It’s reasonable to believe that which is true.
      2. It’s true that God exists.
      Conclusion: therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that God exists.”

      Now that’s just rude–demolishing my argument and making me look bad in front of all my friends.

    • Greg G.

      The laugh track at the end is so fitting.

      • Nice touch.

      • Max Doubt

        “The laugh track at the end is so fitting.”

        1. It’s reasonable to believe that Sye Bruggencate’s opening remark would be met with uproarious laughter from the audience.

        2. It’s true that I added a laugh track to the video clip.

        Conclusion: Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that… uh… something… god something… something…

        That video was literally the first 50 seconds of that debate after the introduction of the participants. Sye’s position didn’t get any better for the next couple hours. He kept adding more words between, “It’s true,” and, “because it’s true.” But it didn’t get more meaningful or more substantial. Odd thing is, these apologists really seem to think they’ve strung some words together that actually make sense. It’s quite bizarre.

        • Conclusion: Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that… uh… something… god something… something…

          Oh, c’mon. The conclusion is always: Therefore, God exists.

          You should know this.

        • Greg G.

          I have heard and and read Sye’s argument before, and I think that one in particular. It’s always a circular argument with a near zero radius.

        • The Reasonable Doubts podcast (awesome, BTW) had two shows on presuppositionalism, as I recall. Seems to me that a dismissive wave of the hand is all it deserves.

        • Thought2Much

          The entire presuppositional stance is nothing more than an admission from Christians that they have lost the argument. Except the Christians using it don’t realize that, of course.

        • Pofarmer

          I watched the debate he did with Matt Dillahunty. I don’t see how you don’t come away with the conclusion that Sye Ten Bruggencate is not a very nice individual.

        • Max Doubt

          “I don’t see how you don’t come away with the conclusion that Sye Ten Bruggencate is not a very nice individual.”

          Sye is an utter asshole. His main shtick is to get you to acknowledge that you can’t be absolutely 100% certain of anything, then he will dismiss out of hand everything you might say after that. “You’ve already admitted you can’t be sure, so what ever you have to say is irrelevant.”

          He’s got that slippery Sam routine, and he has the spoiled six-year-old bit with, “How do you know that? How do you know that? How do you know that? How do you know that?” Not an honest bone in his body. Complete dickhead. The only way to manage a discussion with Sye is to not let him get you on the defensive. The better way is to not give any apologists the opportunity to do their dance. It only validates their superstition in their own minds and in the minds of other believers.

        • TheNuszAbides

          which is why it’s so lauded … by anyone who clearly can’t bear the prospect of undertaking an honest discussion or debate that would put their precious traditional feels at stake. or who is merely an insufferable egotist/egocentrist [for/cuz Jebus].

        • TheNuszAbides

          Neil Carter did a killer nutshell of the standard presup “if … and if … and if … {etc.} then gotcha!” insta-chain of increasingly ridiculous and equally unsupported specificity. can’t find it at the moment, have overloaded this window …

  • RoverSerton

    I’m anxious to see your debate. I would be particularly impressed with the apologist if you switched sides. Always an interesting question to answer “what would it take to change your mind?” I can’t imagine an argument that good.

    • That question came up in the “Ham on Nye” debate.

      Bill Nye listed things that would get him to at least sit up and take notice. Ken Ham admitted that nothing would change his mind–so much for following the evidence.

      • Greg G.

        I’m praying for you.

        Good luck this evening.

        Git’r’done!

        • Thanks for not praying! The Templeton study makes clear that it only hurts things.

      • RoverSerton

        yes, Watching that debate was time well spent. Break a leg!

      • RoverSerton

        please post update and link when the debate is uploaded. on a side note, scale of 1 to 10, how did you do, how did he do and was it worth your time? thx.

        • It may be a week for the video, but I’ll put that up as soon as I have the link.

          One can approach a debate in many different ways. I did a bit of a Gish gallop, with 9 arguments. However, I think 7 of them were pretty much unchanged from my prior debate, and all of them have been extensively discussed in my blog. If he watched my last debate video, he’d have been well prepared.

          He kind of punted on most of it, saying that his focus was just on “God,” while much of my argument was an attack on Christianity. That seemed to me to be splitting hairs, because I’m pretty sure both of us read “God” as “Yahweh.” He raised a few nits (basically misunderstandings) that I corrected.

          He had 4 arguments, all quite standard. I’ll summarize those in a upcoming post.

          I would’ve liked to have had more discussion/chat time with the audience members before or after. That (and the Q&A) are the most enjoyable parts for me.

        • MNb

          “saying that his focus was just on “God”
          Next time you may have a joke ready about The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

        • Susan

          He kind of punted on most of it, saying that his focus was just on “God,” while much of my argument was an attack on Christianity.

          They ALWAYS do that. That’s why I hate the word “God” because it can mean whatever they want it to mean. Whatever they need it to mean, depending on the argument. It’s the skeleton key of ontological claims.

          Fascinating that the “God” they know so much about when it comes to their followers suddenly becomes any kind of “God” at all.

          Then they tell you it’s the cumulative arguments that prove their “God” beyond the really crappy argument they’re making right now and when you investigate the cumulative case, you find more crappy arguments, so nothing cumulative.

          Just a pile of really bad arguments repeated… well…lots and lots and lots.

          They make the most specific claims about their particular Jesus and when you challenge them, they change the subject to some vague agent that you can’t disprove.

          All said from the peanut gallery. You did the hard work.

          I’m looking forward to seeing it and/or reading it.

          You must be exhausted.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I would’ve liked to have had more discussion/chat time with the audience members before or after. That (and the Q&A) are the most enjoyable parts for me.

          ditto, especially after getting my fill of Hitch’s or Harris’s repeaters (not to mention the painfully obtuse rejoinders and homily-derails by their opponents).

  • Philmonomer

    I see that the debate starts in about 10 minutes. Good luck.

    • Thanks! It was a long night (a 2-hour drive from where I live), but some of my Seattle and Tacoma peeps made the long drive as well. It was nice to see some friendly faces. It was cordial, and I think everyone was satisfied.

      • Philmonomer

        Glad to hear it. I look forward to hearing the debate when a link becomes available.

      • Greg G.

        Are you still an atheist or did he convince you to reconvert?

        • Nope–he didn’t make a dent. You’re not going to see this proud hedonist bending the knee to the objective moral force that we all, deep down, know is there!

          I had two or three people say, “I’ll pray for you.” Perhaps I’m being harsh, but I wondered if that was just another way of saying, “Guess what? You didn’t make a dent, so forget you.”

          But I (and my atheist friends) were welcomed warmly, so it’s good. It’s good to stay in practice.

        • Susan

          I’ll pray for you.

          Makes you feel loved, doesn’t it?

          Perhaps I’m being harsh, but I wondered if that just another way of saying… fuck you.”

          You know it is.

          I (and my atheist friends) were welcomed warmly, so it’s good.

          Good for everyone. That’s progress.

          It’s good to stay in practice.

          Always.

        • Greg G.

          Ha! They told you that they would pray for you. The Templeton study shows that to be a tactical mistake.

  • Pofarmer

    Hey Bob. There is a script on your page that absolutely kills my older Windows Machine. Don’t know if it’s still the POS Worldtable stuff or what.

    • If it were WT, then you should see better performance with those blogs that used Disqus only. Is that what you see?

      With Patheos having to make money off ads, I imagine it will always be pushing the technology envelope, trying to get the most fancy stuff down the pipe while frustrating no more than an acceptable number of users.

      • Pofarmer

        I can reply fine while on the disqus homepage or one of the disqus comment pages. Your blog seems to he the worst, but Roll to Dissbelieve, which also had WT for a while is bad as well. I’ll have to try a couple blogs that specifically don’t use WT.

        • Myna Alexanderson

          I was having problems with XP on particular websites, this being one. I went on Amazon and ordered up a refurbished Dell upgrade with Windows 7, and knock on wood, works like a charm. About every 4 years, I order one off there, and it’s worked out pretty good.

        • If you find a connection that might help, you might contact Patheos technical support and let them know.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, it’s pretty much this blog and roll to disbeleive. Maybe I should just upgrade operating systems.

        • That would solve your problem, though it sidesteps the fact that Patheos pages can be a computational burden on any computer. Perhaps that’s unavoidable.

    • Greg G.

      What Bob is trying to say is that it takes a lot of computer power for Patheos to be able to afford Bob and his $65,000,000 jets.

      • I tried it the easy way. I suggested that if just 65,000 of you gave $1000 each, the work of this ministry would surge forward in luxury. Easy.

        So I guess we have to do it the hard way.

        • TheNuszAbides

          The Atheism Monolith: willing to get its hands actually dirty.

  • Pofarmer

    So, I called a friend of mine yesterday afternoon and He said that they had just got home from watching a movie. “Which movie” ‘Miracles from Heaven.” He says. ” You should watch it, it would really mean a lot to you with all the things that you have been through”. He’s gushing, so I ask “‘What about the other 999 kids who didn’t get a miracle?” “Well, I don’t know about that.” Confirmation bias is definately a thing.

    • Not sure you know this Po, but there is a movement in Hollywood to put out these religious movies lately– Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and her very wealthy husband, Mark Burnett – (he’s behind the show The Apprentice, The Voice, and Shark Tank) have been in the forefront of promoting movie producers to make these films – – I didn’t see this movie but I did see Heaven is Real (on cable – didn’t pay for it) which is from the same cloth and, as a Christian, they are inspiring and are touching but not worth the price of a movie ticket. My opinion – these are attempts by some wealthy movie execs trying to sooth their guilty consciences –

      • Greg G.

        I have noticed those movies. There are plenty of niches for the movie industry. It is funny to hear Christians comment about a big budget movie that has many parts that are not in the Bible but they complain about Noah getting drunk, which is in the Bible.

        • Yeah, and it’s this time of year, you’ll get a remake of the life of Jesus on TV but holy mackerel, every other week a religious movie is out in the theatres lately – linking it up to Bob S comments on the “angry” post – could this be a response to the recent successful efforts to secularize the public arena – regarding that Noah movie you refer to–Dude, the whole scene with Russell Crowe getting drunk had no correlation to the Bible what so ever – the only thing that movie had in common with the bible was that it rained a lot – I know it’s hard, Greg G, but please don’t confuse the movies with reality.

        • Huh? You really ought to read the Bible sometime.

          The Bible is very clear that Noah got drunk (Gen. 9:21). And that’s not the worst of it. He cursed his youngest son Ham and all his descendants.

          What a dick.

        • I guess I’m just objecting to Russell Crowe’s interpretation of Noah. Mel Gibson’s would have been much better.

        • Greg G.

          You made by point to reacting to the part that was in the Bible.

        • not really, my comment was more of a reaction to that part that was in the movie ….I couldn’t make head or tails of what Crowe was doing -he should’ve quit with his rendition of John Forbes Nash, Jr.

        • Greg G.

          Have you read the Genesis account? You should read the Bible fairy tale and not just accept the white-washed fairy tale about the fairy tale that you were told as a child.

        • it is true that I have not read it in a long while – I understand that it is an accepted fact that Noah over imbibed, and, as Bob S. said he was also upset at one of his sons because he did not protect his modesty – but from what I remember the account did not contain many details – in other words, the reader is to understand that not all facts were given and that the reader should trust that God’s punishments were above reproach. But, I have not problem reading it again to confirm-

        • Greg G.

          No, the Bible says Noah got so drunk he passed out. It is not an accepted fact that Noah existed. The story comes from the Babylonian account of Gilgamesh with some Egyptian influences.

          The Flood never happened. There is no God. Nobody was divinely punished. The Bible lies. There was no Adam and Eve. There was no Abraham. There were never a great deal of Jews enslaved in Egypt. There was no Exodus and no Moses. The Canaanites, et al, were never conquered by the Jews.

          Read what Genesis actually says. Read about a talking serpent and a talking donkey. Recognize that it is all fairy tales. You are doing yourself a disservice by not reading it. Compare it with the archaeology done the past 30 years. There is a reason your church doesn’t want you to read it.

        • Lex Lata

          Gotta love this part of Genesis. Almost immediately after we read about Yahweh making his covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:1-17), the dude plants a vineyard that produces the wine on which he gets passed-out drunk (Gen. 9:20-21). Literally the only crop explicitly attributed to Noah is grapes.

          YAHWEH: I will never execute 99.99+% of all humanity again. Enjoy the rainbow.
          NOAH: . . . Eh? Sorry, I was just thinking that this floodplain soil would produce a lovely Muscat.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And here’s a bit of a problem for the veracity of the flood yarn of Noah…

          The earliest form of grape-based fermented drink was found in northern China, where archaeologists discovered 9000-year-old pottery jars, while the earliest archaeological evidence of wine particles found has been in Georgia, where archaeologists discovered evidence of wine residue inside ceramic jars that were dated back some 8000 years and Iran (c. 5000 BC). The earliest evidence of wine production was discovered in Armenia within the Areni-1 winery in 2007 and is at least 6100 years old, making it the oldest winery in the world. The development of a winery implies wine had started being produced much earlier.

          …which is all very surprising, given that the Earth covering Flood in Genesis happened around 2348 BC…or so the Christians reckon anyway. Bug nutty bat shit crazy feckers the lot of them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Never gonna happen.

        • MNb

          Yeah, you really should suck your aunt’s hemorrhoids iso trying to teach me how to read your favourite Holy Book.

        • Ignorant Amos

          This is not the first time Greg has displayed poor knowledge in the contents of his holy book either. He is certainly teaching us all something, just not the something he thinks he is teaching. The man is a religious train wreck.

        • Michael Neville

          the reader should trust that God’s punishments were above reproach.

          According to your own propaganda your god kills people because he can. The story of the Noachian Flood has Yahweh killing almost everyone just because he’s feeling pissed at them. Lot’s wife gets knocked off because she looks the wrong way. 42 children get mauled by bears whistled up by Yahweh because Elisha whines about being teased. I’m certainly not impressed with your god and his punishments. I don’t consider him or them above reproach.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and Job’s fuck-around could quite easily be read as the best case for bottom-of-the-barrel nihilism, even granting that Yahweh is real. the “only you are meaningless” brand of nihilism. personal nihilism? (but aren’t they all?)

        • I have not read it in a long while

          Then next time some detail of a Bible passage comes up, remind yourself that your understanding of your book is poor and look things up before you shoot off your mouth.

          Your “the whole scene with Russell Crowe getting drunk had no correlation to the Bible what so ever” was ever so slightly wrong.

        • Lex Lata

          Cut him some slack, would ya? He told Ignorant Amos and me that he’s researching the tax code, so he’s probably just too busy to double-check scripture.

        • My bad. I can expect him to be an expert in only so many areas.

        • It’s ok, you were right, I wasn’t clear – for the record, Genesis reports that Noah was drunk – what I intended, was to criticize Russel Crowe’s portrayal of Noah -to give the guy his due, I knew he was acting as if he were drunk but it really was a bad performance and the whole movie was such an exaggeration – they were obviously trying to appeal to a broad audience to rake in as much money as possible – I guess I veered into a hotly disputed area – but seriously – how could anyone argue Noah wasn’t drunk – that’s just not right.

        • Greg G.

          how could anyone argue Noah wasn’t drunk – that’s just not right.

          How could anyone argue that the Noah who survived a world-wide flood actually existed? That’s just absurd.

        • Greg

          now it is you, my friend, who is not clear – are you saying how can anyone argue how Noah survived a world-wide flood or how can anyone argue that Noah, who purportedly built an arc and survived a world-wide flood, actually existed.

        • Greg G.

          There has never been a world-wide flood since life moved out of the waters. Therefore there cannot be human survivors of such a flood.

        • I thought that references to a flood have been found in many religion stories- am I wrong?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, there are references to floods in many religions. Yes you are wrong to infer a world wide flood from that.The geological evidence shows that here was never a world-wide flood. A good rule of thumb is that if science and religion disagree, science wins because it is usually right and even if science is wrong, it is not as wrong as religion.

          Civilizations need fresh water as that is a basic human need. Rivers are a good source of fresh water. Rivers flood occasionally which can bring disasters to civilizations in a flood plain. People create stories. People exaggerate. People create false religions. Priesthoods exploit those people.

          Many of the flood stories are taken from older religions. The Noah story comes from the Babylonians with some touches from Egyptian mythology.

        • “The geological evidence shows that here was never a world-wide flood..”

          Greg G., in my opinion, the above statement you made is the key to proving the validity of your prior statement, “There has never been a world-wide flood since life moved out of the waters”.

          So I’m intrigued, I just went to the internet and found a half dozen sites some that say there is geological evidence and some that say there isn’t – do you have the definitive website that puts this issue to rest?

        • Greg G.

          http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-flood.html

          Let me guess. The pages you found that favored the flood story were Christian and Bible based, maybe some Muslim pages. You might even find Christian sites that argue against the flood.

        • You look at the scientific consensus. We can’t be certain that it’s correct, but it’s the best bet for we laypeople.

          The consensus, as Greg G has patiently explained, is that there never was a worldwide flood.

        • ok –

        • I guess I veered into a hotly disputed area

          Not at all. You simply made a statement about your own Bible that was clearly false. And now you’re trying to tap dance away from it rather than say, “OK–I was wrong about my reference to the Bible.”

          You can decide which problem is worse.

        • I was wrong about my reference to the Bible.

        • Thank you. That makes for much more efficient communication than your first approach. It also polishes your image.

        • You have never been anything but fair and respectful to your guests- you deserve the same.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s ok, you were right,…

          This is the point to stop digging your proverbial hole Greg and learn from experience. But alas, your Dunning-Kruger prevents this and you do what is now the norm which is to try and rescue your embarrassing ignorance by rolling your sleeves up and getting your back into the task of self dick making.

          I wasn’t clear –

          Oh ya were. Clearly wrong…again.

          …for the record, Genesis reports that Noah was drunk –

          Yes Greg, WE know, it was you that was ignorant of that fact.

          …what I intended, was to criticize Russel Crowe’s portrayal of Noah -to give the guy his due, I knew he was acting as if he were drunk but it really was a bad performance…

          Yeah, a bad performance of a fictional character, how does that work exactly? What have you to compare that would be considered a good performance? Or are you suggesting that Crowe was bad at acting a drunk? Or he is just a bad actor?

          Well yet again Greg is at odds with the experts…

          The Guardian: Noah: ‘Russell Crowe is just about the only actor who could have pulled this off’ – first look review — “As for Noah himself, Russell Crowe is just about the only actor who could have pulled off the mixture of muttering, furrowed-brow intensity and slice-and-dice combat (occasionally in concert with some rather preposterous CGI human-smashing giants made from rocks) that the role calls for. Crowe’s commitment is entirely commendable, and he brings his A game: the furious singleness of purpose, the savage whispering, the unadorned machismo. It’s this, in truth, that carries the picture through its sporadic longueurs and intermittent structural lurches; it also helps get over the occasional absurdities of the sonorous, cod-biblical dialogue.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_(2014_film)#Critical_reception

          Ballix Greg, do you insult our intelligence by infering we are all as dense as you are? And none of this misdirection has anything to do with whether a certain element is in Genesis or not. You thought not and that displays an ignorance of scripture. How could ya forget such an embarrassing detail?

          …and the whole movie was such an exaggeration –

          Spooooiiiing! Duh! An exaggeration of what Greg? The Epic of Gilgamesh? You are hard to take seriously.

          …were obviously trying to appeal to a broad audience to rake in as much money as possible –

          Ya don’t say…does that deduction come from yer lawyering skills Greg? Am so envious. /s

          I guess I veered into a hotly disputed area –

          No Greg, it is not a hotly disputed area at all. Noah plants a vineyard to grow grapes to make wine, which he bangs into himself and ends up pished to the point where he strips off stark bollock naked and proceeds to collapse in a drunken stupor. An offspring walking by observes the sparked out Noah lying starkers and goes to tell his male relatives who proceed to cover pops up. Noah comes out of his drunkeness and for some reason takes his embarrassment out on the youngest, claiming that he did some dirty deed that warrants a cruel punishment. Noah is a cockhead, simple as. Now we all know that ya never got told this part of the yarn as a child in Sunday school, but that is part of the problem. It’s called cherry-picking and part of the indoctrination process that angers Bob, myself and many others here. It should anger you too, not least because that lack of knowledge has left you now wanting on an atheist internet forum.

          …but seriously – how could anyone argue Noah wasn’t drunk – that’s just not right.

          But seriously, we know. It was you that was doubting that part of the saga…to the point that you needed to go read it. If you are seriously wanting to make your case that ya really did know it all along, but forgot about it…and anyway, that was not your complaint about the scene, but Crowe’s poor portrayal of Noah, then you are now delving to new level’s of dishonesty.

        • Susan

          the reader is to understand that not all facts were given and that the reader should trust that God’s punishments were above reproach.

          No facts were given.

          And the reader would have to shut down their intellect and empathy to trust anything of the sort.

        • Greg

          “And the reader would have to shut down their intellect and empathy to trust anything of the sort.”

          Susan – in order to have faith, it takes no intellect – don’t you see, that’s the genius of God.

        • Susan

          in order to have faith, it takes no intellect – don’t you see, that’s the genius of God.

          I am officially convinced that you are a Poe.

          I’m not swinging at that softball.

        • What’s a “Poe”?

        • Susan
        • ty…

        • Susan

          yw…

          I’m sceptical that the link was necessary but it is a straight question that, in principle, deserves a straight answer.

        • I actually tried looking it up, and I have seen it referred to a couple of times in the blogs, but thank you for that straight forward link – I can count on you Susan for being straight forward and honest. But Susan, I’ m not a Po -what I wrote is true – I always write honest statements about my Catholic Faith – albeit with a twinkle in my eye.

        • Greg G.

          Your Catholic faith has given you very wrong impressions about what the Bible says. What else has your faith deceived you? Isn’t it time to step away?

        • Greg G. you live in Ohio, not many Catholics from what I understand, I remember when I lived in Iowa, I met mostly Lutheran, my point is you don’t know the Catholic Faith at all if you haven’t given it go – how can you be so confident to say it has deluded my reading of the Bible. and while, we are on the topic of confidence, how can you write so confidently that there was no world-wide flood when you admit that there are sites on the internet that argue both sides?

        • Pofarmer

          “there was no world-wide flood when you admit that there are sites on the internet that argue both sides?”

          There is absolutely no question, from a scientific standpoint, that there was no world wide flood. There are sites that argue that the Twin Towers were detonated with explosives. They are just as crazy. You might look for the book “The rocks don’t lie” written by a Christian.

        • I understand what you are saying – the websites can be numerous and written by people with very little credential – it makes sense to go the books – the authors would have to reveal alot more about their education, experience and resources – to be honest, it matters not about the author’s religion, but I get what you are saying – you eliminate a bias if it’s a christian – but here’s the thing, my gut is telling me that if I go to the library, I used to work in one, and open the card catalgue, you’re saying I won’t find three or four books on each side of this issue? I certainly wouldn’t want to state for certainty someting, if I don’t have unanimity on it –

        • Pofarmer

          The thing is, you won’t find any GEOLOGY books on any other side of the issue.

        • ok, but in those GEOLOGY books, is the author saying it is “conclusive” there was no “world-wide” flood or that it is his theory based on his review of the evidence- you know hedging his bets kinda deal? And, then I would want to read the critiques by other geologists about his conclusion -hey, don’t blame me, I’m just a sceptic…like you.

        • Greg G.

          Most geology books wouldn’t address Noah’s flood because it is absurd. It is no longer worth considering. It was put to bed by science a couple of centuries ago. Why does your church not explain this?

        • I go to geology books for geology, my church for religion.

        • Greg G.

          No you don’t. You are entertaining the idea of a world wide flood during human times. That does not come from geology. It comes from religion. The problem is that you cannot distinguish between reality and religion. That comes from getting your reality from religion.

        • Pofarmer
        • Greg G.

          Do you mean the comment about Revelation. That is interesting. I haven’t paid much attention to Revelation because I don’t do drugs.

        • Pofarmer

          Yes, the one about Revelation. Oh, I think Revelation is mostly Astrology, but you knew that. Re dating it to the third century makes things more interesting.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i heard there are killer shrooms on or near Patmos.

        • Pofarmer

          You can get Montgomery’s book for $10 on Kindle, or at your local library and see for yourself. But, Mongomery says, yes, it’s conclusive. Didn’t happen.

        • fair enough… I will see for myself, thank you.

        • Po, I googled the book “The Rocks don’t Lie” you told me about – here’s what I found –

          “In this Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study lecture, geologist David Montgomery, University of Washington, Seattle, explores the interface of science and religion through flood stories from cultures around the world.

          Montgomery investigates the ever-changing nature of truth and how the work of early scientists, theologians, and natural philosophers—which we often assume to be at odds—actually led to important developments in their fields. While offering a robust defense of scientific inquiry, he takes us through the history of the polarized perspectives of science and creationism to show how religion shaped science and how science, in turn, influenced theology.”

          Do you see what is wrong here? The guy is smack dab in the middle of the theology debate – this is wrong, wrong, wrong. If you want to be sure there was no “world-wide” flood, like me, then you would want what I want – which is a bona fide geologist with no connection to religious debates at all – who researched the whole issue using the scientific methods we both trust and stands up in the scientific community and expresses his conclusion that there was no flood!! Then, you know what would happen? The other geologists would begin their work to prove or disprove his theory -the minute I read the guy is into the theology debate, it’s over – And, my request is not unreasonable – the research on this event need not be tied to religion – just answer the question – flood or no flood? And this just compounds the gravity of my earlier question to Greg G – how can you be so certain there was no flood when you have no scientific proof to back up your opinion?

        • Greg G.

          But there is evidence of no world wide flood. There are lots of places with evidence of local floods and there are places with evidence of no flood for millions of years. That is evidence of no world wide flood.

          Google the Goosenecks of the San Juan River. If there was a world wide flood, how is that not filled in?

        • Greg G. there is evidence, but is the evidence there enough to make you certain, I guess is my question.
          #Need to know if there was a flood.

        • Greg G.

          There is a detectable layer of Iridium found all over the world. Iridium is rare in the Earth’s crust but common in meteors. The layer is found in 65,000,000 year old strata all over the world. If there had been a world wide flood, there would layer that could be dated that showed there was a flood and when it was. It would be unmistakeable. Lots of sedimentation with volcanic layers above and below it which could determine when it was to a high degree of accuracy. There is nothing like that anywhere.

        • Pofarmer

          “who researched the whole issue using the scientific methods we both
          trust and stands up in the scientific community and expresses his
          conclusion that there was no flood!! Then, you know what would happen?
          The other geologists would begin their work to prove or disprove his
          theory”

          They actually won’t. The Geology has been essentially settled for 250 years. Andrew Dickson White talks about it, and nothing has changed since.

          “how can you be so certain there was no flood when you have no scientific proof to back up your opinion?”

          I wish you were kidding, but I’m certian you’re not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Greg, it is a scientific impossibility that there was a worldwide flood covering the planet in totality circa 2500 BC.and which a 600 year old guy called Noah built a boat in order to rescue enough life to have another go, not that an omnipotent universe creating being would need to go down that route in the first place.

          The possibility of a worldwide flood is is only a small part of the problem.

          Do yerself a favour Greg, get some education before commenting any further on this subject. Else you do yerself no good whatsoever. You are looking pretty dim up to now as it is, so please no more before research.

          When one reads the story of the great flood in the book of Genesis, one is struck by the matter-of-fact style of the narrative. While it definitely has the larger-than-life flavor typical of legends, the reader would not suspect that he or she is dealing with the bizarre impossibilities we have detailed above. After all, the ancient Hebrews lived on a small, disc-shaped world with a dome overhead and waters above and below. There were only a few hundred known animals, and subjects such as ecology, genetics, and stratigraphy were not even imagined. The deluge was a mighty act of God, to be sure, but nothing that the ancient Hebrews would have found too extraordinary.

          When, however, this same story is brought into the twentieth century and insisted upon as a literal account of historical events, a considerable change is observed. No longer a simple folk tale, it has become a surrealistic saga of fantastic improbabilities. Events which seem relatively straightforward at first glance—building a boat, gathering animals, releasing them afterwards—become a caricature of real life. The animals themselves are so unlike any others that they may as well have come from another planet; genetic Frankensteins with completely unnatural social, reproductive, and dietary behavior, they survived incredible hazards yet remained amazingly hardy and fecund.

          In fact, these sixty-eight verses of Scripture, when interpreted literally, are crammed with more miracles than any comparable piece of literature anywhere on earth—miracles that are often pointlessly complicated and unedifying. Building one large ship of wood rather than many small ones, landing it on a volcano instead of a plain, preserving all five varieties of venereal disease while permitting thousands of species to become extinct—these examples plus more add up to a thoroughly senseless level of supernaturalism. If there was ever a situation in which Hume’s distinction between the credibility of miracles and the credibility of miracle-tellers applies, this is it.

          How can we account for this transformation? Put simply, the tale of the ark grows taller in inverse proportion to the advance of science. Two centuries ago, when biology and geology were in their infancy, the theory of a worldwide flood as a major event in the earth’s physical history seemed perfectly plausible and, in fact, was advocated by various scientists.

          But as geology progressed and as evolution gradually achieved a position of fundamental importance, the concepts of biblical literalists were shown to be untenable and were falsified. At the same time, the disciplines of biblical criticism, comparative religion, and archaeology uncovered the true origins of these stories and myths and showed that they were a natural part of the religious development of the Near East.

          people, including most Christians, have been able to accommodate themselves quite satisfactorily to these changes. But there are others who cannot and who, with a flush of bravado, have clung tighter to their beliefs the more impossible they have become.

          http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

        • TheNuszAbides

          actually, bro, Noah was only like 15 hours old cuz it was in Godspeedz? so whoa, even more miraculous!

        • Ignorant Amos

          A guess so…after all, it says a day is like a thousand years, so any shit the moonbeams can dribble is just.

        • Science is never absolute. You know that, don’t you? Science is always tentative. And yet all the evidence points to no global flood.

          I’m just a sceptic…like you.

          That’s insulting. None of us like you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sceptic: a person who questions the validity, authenticity, or truth of something purporting to be factual, esp. religion or religious tenets.

          In what universe does that describe you Greg?

        • Greg G.

          Observe the road cuts where layers of rock are exposed. You can sometimes see where a stream has eroded a Gulley in the rocks and it was then buried and new rock layers formed above it. That shows the rock layers are not from Ye Olde Flood.

          Look at the Gooseneck of the San Juan River. It has a series of bends that are each greater than 180 degrees cut through a thousand feet of rock. The current could not have been fast as it would lose momentum making the turns. If it happened slowly, it would take millions of years. Nearby are 1100 foot cliffs above the flat valley where the San Juan flows.

          There is abundant evidence for some rapid erosion downstream from Niagara Falls. We should be able to see evidence like that for a world wide flood everywhere. Instead, everywhere you look is evidence of no flood.

          All we see on the internet is lying creationists lying about the flood.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Are you fuckin’ sure you are a lawyer?

        • Greg G.

          I came from a small town. Everybody knew everybody, where they lived and who they were related to. There was a Catholic Church in town. I was a Christian for about half my enlistment in the military. I have known plenty of Catholics and was exposed to the religion.

          Faith is the problem. It is pretending to know something you don’t. It is believing things that you don’t have evidence for. It is counting the absolute inability to know as a positive quality.

          Catholicism has the faults of every other religion, then contributes it’s own. The traditions fall apart when they are given scrutiny. The Catholic philosophy is based on where the great Greek philosophers went wrong.

          Then they add superstitions like saints who answer prayers. That makes it polytheism yet they play word games when they keep saying it’s monotheism.

          It’s no wonder the institution keeps getting morality wrong, even turning it on its head. They protect pedophiles and have made the AIDS epidemic worse. They buy up hospitals and deny young women proper healthcare if she is or might be pregnant. They are so keen on circumcision, they will distort the benefits of it to parents.

          Yes, there are websites that argue for the flood. Their arguments are poor and they lie about the evidence. They lie for religion. If your religion leads you to believe the world wide flood is a possibility, you should sue them to get your money back for the fraud.

        • thank you for your service.

        • Greg G.

          Have you ever given a thought to where the water for the flood came from and where it went? Have you considered how many species of animals there are and how 8 people could feed and clean up after millions of them? The Ark dimensions are too big to be made of wood yet too small to hold so many animals let alone their food and fresh water. You shouldn’t need evidence for no flood. You should laugh at those who believe such a ridiculous story, including a younger me.

        • “You shouldn’t need evidence for no flood.”

          Are you making an argument for common sense, Greg G.?

          A man after my own heart.

        • Greg G.

          More like critical thinking. The flood story is so out of the ordinary, it should require significant evidence before one accepts it. Instaed, all the evidence points the other way. If your religion gets you to believe things like that, you’ll believe anything.

        • MNb

          Says the superstitious guy who practices cannibalism by eating a wafer every Sunday.

        • Susan

          my point is you don’t know the Catholic Faith at all if you haven’t given it go

          I gave it a go. It started (as almost always) as an involuntary go, which turned into a voluntary go until it just couldn’t go any more.

          From what I see, Greg G. has its number pretty solidly. As always, you’re ignoring the substance of GG’s comments and diverting to fluff.

          how can you be so confident to say it has deluded my reading of the Bible.

          You have established a reputation on this site of not having read yer bible. Very catholic of you. I would suggest his confidence is similar to someone’s confidence when they are at a book club and conversing with a person who clearly hasn’t read the book but attempts to bluff their way through by quoting reviews they read the night before.

          you admit that there are sites on the internet that argue both sides?

          If science were based on some guy’s false model that figuring out reality is done exclusively by choosing one of two human “arguments on both sides”, there wouldn’t be an internet.

        • All I am is honest, Susan. I am seeking the truth about the flood – and if you follow the thread of the argument, the existence of the flood falls not to a certainty but to a concensus, if you will, and a plea to the use of common sense – Which is ok, but that allows much room for the “reasonable man” to believe the flood happened. Oh, and you only have to read the Bible once, (I’ve read it much more than once), but the “right” way – you have such great potetntial, Susan, if only you would “listen”.

        • that allows much room for the “reasonable man” to believe the flood happened.

          Absolute bullshit. No man is reasonable when he thinks that a worldwide flood happened. What evidence would he point to??

          you only have to read the Bible once … but the “right” way

          Let me guess: that’s your way, right?

          And yet their are bazillions of Christians who are far smarter than you who have their own, incompatible ways of looking at the Bible. Why would anyone listen to you?

        • MNb

          “how can you write so confidently that there was no world-wide flood?”
          Because some elementary science, that for instance calculates the entire Earth doesn’t contain enough water to flood the entire planet.
          You should ask your pastor to penetrate you from behind. That can only improve what comes out of the upper end of you digestive system. Or does your pastor also have a preference for the underaged?.

        • “Because some elementary science, that for instance calculates the entire Earth doesn’t contain enough water to flood the entire planet.”

          I respect your opinion, MNb, and you are extremely “honest” – heck, you have even told everyone here your “tell”. Your “tell” is that when you are backed into a corner and you realize you are wrong, you make a joke. The above comment is full of silliness – obviously you are wrong – so now I want you to be honest and “reaonable”- you believe the flood happened, don’t you.

        • MNb

          I didn’t make any joke in my previous comment, Liar Greg.
          Have you already asked your pastor to penetrate you from behind? This answer of yours demonstrates why you should. Every single sentence of it contains a stupid, ignorant lie.

        • You seem to be avoiding your position on whether you believe the flood existed, is it the topic that bores you -would you rather you and I engage in an argument on “Whether it is Reasonble to Believe in God” – you and me, here and now? If you respond with idiocy, I’ll understand.

        • MNb

          I already made my position on the global flood already two comments ago, Liar Greg. You even quoted it.
          Have you asked your pastor already? Or can’t you disturb him because he’s busy with some underaged members of his flock?

        • MNb

          “I always write honest statements about my Catholic Faith”
          but not about what other people write – then you have no problem lying your ass off plus the filthy guts to accuse your victims of being misleading.
          How do the hemorrhoids of your aunt taste? Better times for have not arrived yet, so you should suck some more.

        • Susan

          thank you for that straightforward link

          Again, you’re welcome.

          what I wrote is true

          I don’t disagree that ‘faith’ requires no intellect.

          I always write honest statements about my Catholic Faith

          Then, my heart breaks. I mean that sincerely.

        • Susan, it’s time. The “Greg” persona will retire now. I’ll be honest, I am doing this for one reason – your community can live without me but they just aren’t the same without Kodie, MR and perhaps others and BobS will not ban me without good reason, so – farewell.

          (can’t promise I won’t spring up under some under moniker, but he won’t have the persona of “Greg” – it will be the one with the “twinkle in his eye”)…

        • Susan

          The “Greg” persona will retire now.

          The internet is a place where “personas” can safely hack genuine discussion.

          they just aren’t the same without Kodie, MR and perhaps others

          I miss them both dearly. Bob was in an impossible position when Kodie left. He had warned you to up your game or be banned. Kodie left when he couldn’t reasonably ban you as he’d warned you and you stayed low for a while. It wouldn’t have been honest moderation to ban you when Kodie left. It was terrible timing. I don’t blame Kodie for finding better things to do with her time. I don’t blame Bob either.

          MR said he was shutting down his e-mail notification because of SteveK and now that he’s banned, I wish I could e-mail him and let him know.

          There’s burnout when engaging with theists’ endless special pleading, diversion and fallacious arguments that are all any of them seem to have when it comes to supporting the assertions they make. I have experienced this burnout.

          BobS will not ban me without good reason.

          Bob S. had lots of reasons to ban you but his blog seems to be based on letting the arguments lead where they will and even he finally threatened you with banning if you didn’t step up.

          It will be one with the “twinkle in his eye”.

          Is that code for Poe? Because I have no time for twinkly eyes. These are ultimate claims that have consequences for all living beings. It’s fucking important, Greg. That’s why I invest so much time and energy challenging it. It’s not a game.

          Are you really a catholic? Do you really believe this shit? Or do you think the discussion can’t continue without a fake catholic leading things along?

          Now, you know what a Poe is. It’s official. Are you a Poe?

          Please be honest. Life’s too short.

        • Bye

        • Ignorant Amos

          I do hope that if the dick pops up in a sockpuppet he gets dispatched forthwith by the banhammer.

        • That “Bye” was the bye of death. I took the opportunity to make Greg’s farewell permanent.

        • MNb

          Thank Bob.
          Now I hope Kodie will make my day and return.

        • No World Table and no Greg the “lawyer”? It’s heaven on earth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ditto

        • Ignorant Amos

          I am officially convinced that you are a Poe.

          You are too generous, I am officially convinced that Greg is really that dense.

        • of course you do, if you thought otherwise, you might be forced to sit down with a cup of tea and reflect on my wisdom, admittedly, with all it’s faults.

        • Greg G.

          We have contemplated your wisdom. The totality of your wisdom can be contemplated in the blink of an eye.

        • the totality of my wisdom? are you ready for an argument that I have not revealed as of yet, but may convert even you?

        • Greg G.

          The Dunning-Kruger is strong in this one.

        • TheNuszAbides

          way too many golden opportunities to pull a Columbo us already. good riddance.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Greg, if it is wisdom you really think you display, then I’m well happy to stay a dopey bastard.

        • MNb

          “my wisdom, admittedly, with all it’s faults.”
          What you call your wisdom consists of nothing but faults.

        • in order to have faith, it takes no intellect

          Faith is mindless? It’s popular these days to say that faith is the same thing as trust, that is, belief firmly grounded in evidence. I’m surprised that we agree.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Susan – in order to have faith, it takes no intellect – don’t you see, that’s the genius of God.

          You owe me a keyboard Greg.

          “In order to have faith, it takes no intellect”…well hallelujah, something we can ALL agree on.

          Once I cleared the tears of laughter from my eyes, re-read that comment a few more times, removed the palm from my face…I’m now in a state to say…

          http://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/61513230.jpg

        • lol, you read correctly, IA, and I mean it – don’t you see? the genius of God is that he made faith accessible to all.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That part is just word salad shite talk and ave no time for it…the evidence for the existence of your premise is not meet, so everything else written is superfluous.

          It was the bit I emphasised that I was referring to in your comment.

        • If you didn’t like Russell Crowe’s version, that’s fine. You seemed to be saying that the Noah-getting-drunk bit didn’t happen. Of course, it did.

        • Dys

          I don’t think you want Mel Gibson portraying any Jews besides Jesus. He kind of doesn’t like them.

        • Greg

          Exactly, that’s what makes him a good actor!

        • Dys

          Anti-semitism makes Mel Gibson a good actor? How does that work?

        • Here’s an example of good acting – One show I enjoy on TV that happens to be on tonight is “Modern Family”. One of the men on the show is straight but he plays the role of a gay guy – that’s good acting.

        • Dys

          I daresay he doesn’t hate gay people however.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope…the bit about Noah getting pished on wine and lying about nude is not Crowe’s interpretation, it’s one of the few details in the movie true to Genesis.

          Given that you claim not have seen Gibson’s Passion, I fail to see how you could possibly have any idea if he would have been much better. I’ve news for you, Gibson bastardised the Passion narrative in his movie too.

        • Gibson’s Passion was too violent for me – I get it, Jesus suffered, I don’t need my face pushed into it – and to have young children see it is wrong. As much as I love the violent action movies – I hide my eyes at the really violent parts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Gibson’s Passion was too violent for me – I get it,

          But how do ya know, ya didn’t see it? But I wasn’t even talking about the gratuitous violence, that Gibson thinks the central character endured. I was talking about the actual story itself, Gibson makes a ballix of that too.

          Jesus suffered, I don’t need my face pushed into it – and to have young children see it is wrong.

          Whaaaa? Now you are just taking the piss. The whole edifice of Christianity is built upon suffering ffs. You do know that the crucifix is a model of your Jesus being strung up on an ancient torture device, right? Do you ever think about the stuff you write before pressing the post button…I don’t think ya do.

          And while I agree that it is wrong on so many levels for it to be shoved down anyone’s throat, particularly to frighten the shite out of young children, that’s what your church has become expert at doing.

          http://i.imgur.com/k9hIq.jpg

          BTW,you do know the censorship rating prevents young children from seeing it, yes?

          As much as I love the violent action movies – I hide my eyes at the really violent parts.

          You’d miss most of Gibson’s film then, but not to worry, and this is not a spoiler, ya already know how it ends.

        • TheNuszAbides

          wherever you got that one, i hope it credits Bill Hicks. though it’s worded more like a Denis Leary ripoff.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The reason why he cursed his youngest son Ham and all his descendants is an interesting question too.

          “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him.”

          Most assume Ham, but it could be Canaan…what could he have “done” to deserve such a curse? Surely not just seeing his father/grandfather lying naked in a drunken stupor, that would have been involuntary and Noah’s fault anyway, for getting himself into such a state in the first place. So what did Noah know what had been “done” to him? The mind boggles. Whatever it was, you’d think a man of such maturity, 600 years old at the time, might be more forgiving. Something as severe as I have in mind was the reason for the feckin flood in the first place, so the new age wasn’t getting off to a great start. Naked pissed up Noah the most righteous and his sinnin’ offspring, one would expect some smotin’ from the big bejayus fella, he has form for smotin’ lesser sins.

          http://www.bricktestament.com/genesis/noahs_curse/01_gn09_18-19.html

          Or maybe it was all a big poorly thought out load of nonsense based around a plagiarised myth from another older culture that had previously subjugated the Hebrew’s …do ya think?

        • Cronos, father of Zeus, castrated his father Uranus and is even depicted with the sickle with which he did it. If this was a motif for gaining power, maybe that’s what Ham did to Noah.

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Cronos_arm%C3%A9_de_la_faucille_(harp%C3%A8)_contre_son_p%C3%A8re_et_divers_m%C3%A9daillons_pierre_grav%C3%A9e_crop.jpg

        • Greg G.

          I have heard the idea that castration was what made Noah so mad. Another theory is that Ham sodomized him.

          If Noah is an amalgamation of myths, that would explain his ability to issue a magical curse.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s the idea I was alluding too, horny Ham took advantage of the auld lad and stuffed one up him. Six months on a big boat with nothing but a few animals and his own five fingered friend got too much for him and the chance of some incestuous rumpy-pumpy rape got too much for him also and he had to let fly. There is precedence in the Bible for it.

      • Going to see “God’s Not Dead 2: Supernatural Boogaloo”? I’m counting down the days until April Fool’s Day.

        • Wherein you can once again yell, “Stay dead, Zombie!” lol.

      • Pofarmer

        I’m a little more cynical than that. Folks saw how successful “Passion of the Christ” was, and thought “I wanna get me some of that.” After that we’ve had a flood of religious movies. Their are pamphlets up in churches, “Ask for movie X to be played in your cinema.” Are they successful? I dunno. “RIsen, has thus far grossed 34 million on a “Production budget” of 20 million. I doubt if that covers promotion, so, whether it makes money is anybodies guess. “Miracles from Heaven” has thus far done 18 million on a “production budget” of 13 million. ” Heaven is for real” grossed 101 million on a production budget of 12 million. So, I guess there is a question, Is the audience getting worn out? I dunno. But, oh, back to my cynical self. I think groups want to use these movies to make money (obviously) and not only proselytize but use the money for political action.

        • “I’m a little more cynical than that.”

          Maybe.

          “ Folks saw how successful “Passion of the Christ” was, and thought “I wanna get me some of that. After that we’ve had a flood of religious movies.”

          Mel Gibson stumbled upon this religious lucrative audience that was unknown until the movie. Mark Burnett is jumping on the band wagon.

          There are pamphlets up in churches, “Ask for movie X to be played in your cinema.”

          Po, I know of some churches in my area who were paying for buses to take youth groups to see the movie – I’ll be honest, I was not happy with churches who were actively promoting children viewing this movie – I was equally unhappy when they wanted to stop people from seeing the Da Vinci Code and the Hunger Games – I tend to agree with Bob S here, Churches have a role in society – I think they overstep that role when they do that –

          “Are they successful? I dunno. “RIsen, has thus far grossed 34 million on a “Production budget” of 20 million. I doubt if that covers promotion, so, whether it makes money is anybodies guess. “Miracles from Heaven” has thus far done 18 million on a “production budget” of 13 million. ” Heaven is for real” grossed 101 million on a production budget of 12 million. So, I guess there is a question, Is the audience getting worn out? I dunno. “

          Time will tell, but, Po, at the end of the day, if the movie-going audience feels they are being swindled by the product then you know what will happen.

          “But, oh, back to my cynical self. I think groups want to use these movies to make money (obviously) and not only proselytize but use the money for political action.”

          Makes sense, it is never more evident how much power is craved by people, than in an election year.

          Po, how lost is our society where people look to the movies to find religion and God – for a few minutes over a bucket of popcorn and cup of Cola they find a connection with God, as they walk out leaving their trash on the floor, they return to the world as empty as they were when they went in – maybe my cynicism is deeper than yours.

          (P.S – I didn’t see the Passion and I did see and read the Da Vinci Code and Hunger Games – I go to the movies for entertainment and I go to church for religion.)

        • Greg G.

          I go to the movies for entertainment and I go to church for religion.

          So do I, except I get way too much religion without church.

        • if the movie-going audience feels they are being swindled by the product then you know what will happen.

          Sounds like this is like the self-policing action of televangelists and other scammers. If they do anything inappropriate, their flock would shut them down. That they exist is proof that they’re not doing anything inappropriate. Praise the Lord.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Mel Gibson stumbled upon this religious lucrative audience that was unknown until the movie.

          I doubt very much if Gibson stumbled upon this religious audience at all. Given that he has stated from his own mouth that the target audience was everyone. Though I doubt very much that it was for the same reason for everyone in that audience, given the subject matter and the controversial way it was portrayed. This is a movie that he had been contemplating doing for 12 or so years, so not so much of a stumble.

          He is an anti-semite bigoted Traditionalist Roman Catholic zealot, and like all Catholic’s, has turned out to be just another lying bloody hypocrite. He is well aware of that bigotry in others around him. Did he exploit that bigotry? Too friggin’ right, but that is par for the course anyway. A point of the film, among others, was to inflame that bigotry.

          http://ncronline.org/news/art-media/decade-later-passion-still-raises-questions-anti-semitism

          (P.S – I didn’t see the Passion and I did see and read the Da Vinci Code and Hunger Games – I go to the movies for entertainment and I go to church for religion.)

          I seen the movie at the time it was released. I love movies based on religious tales. The first movie I ever seen in a picture house was “The Ten Commandments” starring Charlton Heston, memorable because it was just my father and I that went.

          I like them in the same way I like war movies, because I’m knowledgeable enough to be able to pick holes through them. Gibson’s made a horror movie which strys from the story it is based on, but then only folk that know that story properly would know the film is farcical.

          Ironocally, Bart Ehrman relays the anecdote where in his Bible Studies class each term, the first thing he asks the pupils is how many of them have read the Bible. No more than a couple of his pupils in each class raise their hands. He then asks them how many have read Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, straight away most of his pupils arms shoot up. He then laughs and says to them that don’t you think a book that is of the importance of the Bible that more people might be interested to see what is in there?

          Now if students entering a university Bible studies class haven’t bothered to take the time to read the Bible, what are the chances that the rest of Joe Public has bothered? Especially as it is such a hard read.

          Oh that a lot more would get their fingers out and make an effort to read and take on board it’s contents, that would be sweet.

        • Whatever happened to Santorum’s big plans for a world-changing Christian movie production company? I haven’t heard of any movies that he’s been behind.

        • I just checked: Santorum is the CEO of EchoLight Studios. I scanned the list of films and didn’t see any that I’d heard of.

        • TheNuszAbides

          how about any Richard has heard of?

      • Dys

        My opinion – these are attempts by some wealthy movie execs trying to sooth their guilty consciences –

        Um…yeah. Actually, it’s because the budgets tend to be on the low side, and if you can convince movie-goers that it’s their Christian duty to support the film, you can make a ton of money.

        Guilty conscience has nothing to do with it. It’s just a market they’re tapping into with a pretty decent cost-benefit risk analysis on its side. It’s about money.

        • Greg

          agreed – the terms wealthy movie exec and guilty conscience is somewhat antithetical – my solo attempt to attribute a positive to their actions – failing miserably….

        • Then there’s convincing churches to do all the leg work of organizing a showing at their venue. Free church labor can be sweet.

    • Well, all I know is that I got that parking space when I really needed it, so you’re on your own if you want to dismiss miracles.

  • Pofarmer

    Another new church in town. It looks like loosely affiliated with Southern Baptists.

    http://genesisbegins.com/

    • TheNuszAbides

      where would endlessly vague notions to indulge fear and comfort be without fresh meat?

  • I look forward to your making the debate viewable fo us, BobS and I wish you good luck, because your opinion is legitimate and honest and should be respected,

    Be that as it may, I’d like to post my own view of how I might debate you on this topic, if I were given the chance.

    We all know that BobS on this blog, approaches the question “is it reasonable to believe in God” in good faith –

    Let’s be honest, BobS makes no bones about it –he is an atheist who demands that God’s existence be proved scientifically, with the intellect, not with faith, in other words, by reason –

    but here’s the problem about BobS – he’s the one being “unreasonable” – you know why? His demand is not based on a meaningful expectation.

    You laugh. Expectations are important guys – it separates the reasonable and the unreasonable demand –

    BobS is like the guy who brings his beautiful duck back to the farm and tells the owner, I want a refund. The owner says, Refund? Why? To which BobS responds my duck does not cluck like a chicken. Long story short – no refund, why? No expectation – in the history of all that we know about ducks, they don’t cluck like chickens – therefore, anyone who buys a duck has not meaningful expectation that this will be one of the characteristics of the product they are buying – no refund.

    In the history of all that we know about God, God is the creator of all and wants all of his creation to know him, inclusively. That is the meaningful expectation as you approach the question of knowing God – Inclusive, not exclusive.

    And this characteristic of the “inclusiveness” of the family of people seeking to “know” God is not just a throw away fact – it is central to the concept of and is intrinisic to the “knowing” of God – and it is good – God being accessible by intellect and faith together, not by intellect alone, does not isolate any portion of his creation

    And so that’s it – the problem, the dirty little secret about BobS, is that his restriction, his requirement, his law to know God intellectually and without faith is antithetical to the characteristic of God, has no meaningful expectation and therefore is downright unreasonable – in other words, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck and not a chicken – no refunds.

    • I like arguments, but I have no idea what you’re saying here and little interest in finding out.

      If anyone else finds anything compelling here, point it out to me.

      • TheNuszAbides

        the Final Flail. or Ultimate Dud. bronze it for the perusal of all just in case he was finally dropping a pearl of great price. yeah.

      • Dys

        As per usual, Greg is giving a paltry excuse as to why he’s never been able to give any compelling evidence for the existence of God, and that you have to delude yourself into believing God exists before you get any evidence for that belief.