Argument for God from Differential Equations

equationsNo serious mathematical understanding, aptitude, or even interest is required to enjoy this post. There’s a fascinating thing that I want to share with you, but there’s a bit of mathematical throat clearing we need to get through up front.

Here’s an example of a differential equation (seriously, this isn’t on the test):

E1

This differential equation describes a damped oscillator. Imagine a weight on a spring. Drop the weight, and it bounces up and down, but less each time until it comes to a stop. That motion is described by this equation. Here it is in graphical form:

damped_osc

Equation 2 is a simplified representation of equation 1 (the dots represent a derivative with respect to time):

E2

Move some terms around for one last simplification:

E3

Analog computers

Okay, now it gets interesting. Decades before the early room-sized electronic digital computers like ENIAC, there were analog computers. They solve differential equations like this one.

Analog computers are made from elements like integrators, multipliers, and adders (I leave as an exercise for the reader why integrators make much more sense than differentiators).

To solve the equation above, we first assume that we have ẍ.

Crazy, right? We just proceed blithely along after first assuming that we already have the second derivative of the thing we’re trying to find.

Stick with me and see how this turns out. First, integrate it twice (each integration removes a dot—that is, one derivative of time). The signal moves from left to right through two integrators:

analog computer 1

Okay, we’re almost there. We use the analog computer to create the right side of equation 3:

analog computer 2

Magic time!

And here’s the fun part. We’ve now computed the right side of equation 3. But wait a minute—that’s equal to  ! So that bizarre, unfounded assumption—we just assume that we have what we don’t have—was actually justified. We feed that output back in as  and we’re done. Here’s the final layout:

analog computer 3

Ah, if only faith worked like that in religion.

Augustine’s contribution to differential equations

Augustine (354–430 CE) didn’t have much to say on this subject, but see if this sounds like our analog computer project: “Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.”

Just believe. Don’t worry about it making any sense—understanding will come with time. It’s like solving a differential equation with an analog computer: assume the result, and you will be rewarded.

The problem, of course, is that it actually works with an analog computer. Every time. By contrast, “just believe” is terrible advice when evaluating a claim with poor evidence—fairies, leprechauns, Oz, the Force, and so on.

Begging the question, Christian style

We see a similar assumption of the conclusion with many responses to challenges against Christianity. For example, we see in the gospels just what we’d expect to see if the resurrection were true. Therefore, the Christian apologist says, the gospels are important evidence for the resurrection being true.

Or, take the order and beauty we see in the world. The apologist tells us that this is just what we’d expect if there were a god.

But is this approach justified? Take an analogous argument:

  1. If space aliens caused car accidents, we’d see car accidents.
  2. We do see car accidents.
  3. Conclusion: we now have more evidence that space aliens cause car accidents.

The Gigantic If

Or (for a different kind of rationalization) take the Problem of Evil, the puzzle of why an all-good god allows so much bad in the world. An all-knowing god could have his reasons, couldn’t he? That you skeptics don’t understand is hardly surprising—your finite mind may just be incapable of understanding it from that god’s perspective.

In other words, assume the Christian position and rearrange evidence to support it rather than start with the evidence and then reach a conclusion. This is the Christians’ Gigantic If: an argument that begins, “if God exists . . .” or “if objective morality exists . . .” or “if Jesus resurrected. . . .”

Yes, Mr. Christian, if God exists then you win the argument, but you don’t get to just assume God or any other fanciful claim. Simply showing that your claim is compatible with the facts counts for nothing. You must do it the hard way, like a scientist or historian, showing the evidence that leads us unavoidably to your conclusion. I’ve seen the Gigantic If so often that it’s like fingernails on a blackboard for me, and I hope that it will be for you, too.

Assuming the conclusion works great when solving differential equations, since we have evidence that it works. The opposite is true for supernatural claims.

 In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, 
blind physical forces and genetic replication, 
some people are going to get hurt, 
other people are going to get lucky, 
and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. 
— Richard Dawkins

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 12/11/13.)

Image credit: Bryan Alexander, flickr, CC

 

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  • Herald Newman

    In some ways this highlights how mathematics is an analytical system, and in many cases you can prove that your solution is actually correct. The same doesn’t hold true when it comes to synthetic propositions.

    We demonstrate the truth of the synthetic with evidence, but we can never actually be sure that we’re correct. Without empirical evidence to support (what are effectively) empirical claims, the claims are worthless!

    • Kevin K

      Bingo^

  • Gregory Mullaley

    Wow, oh wow, this math stuff is so much easier than I thought. NEXT!

    • Michael Neville

      You’re right. I didn’t run out of fingers and toes when I read that math like I usually do when I’m balancing the checkbook.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Bob:
    “This is the Christians’ Gigantic If: an argument that begins, “if God exists . . .” or “if objective morality exists . . .” or “if Jesus resurrected. . . .”

    Chuck:
    The “Gigantic If” that I see is:

    “If God exists and He can do anything, including doing things that violate the natural ways of our universe. . . ”

    Anything at all would include deceiving Christians and tricking them into worshiping The Evil One (Satan). The God of the Bible is actually Satan in disguise.

    Why would a benevolent God play such a trick?

    An all-knowing god could have his reasons, couldn’t he? That you Christians don’t understand is hardly surprising—your finite mind may just
    be incapable of understanding it from that god’s perspective.

    This is what happens when a philosophy or belief system becomes disconnected with empiricism – – – testing ideas in the real world.

    Of course, the religious fanatic would then play his trump card, and merely declare that “I don’t feel in my heart that God would ever play such a trick.”

    That, of course, would resolve the “Satan-As-God” problem.
    It’s good for resolving any kind of problem.

    And in this way, the religious fanatic is his own God.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      “God did it” is unfalsifiable. As a result, it’s useless.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Bob:
        “God did it” is unfalsifiable. As a result, it’s useless.

        Chuck:
        I prefer to falsify God Himself.

        This is easy to do.
        You just collect the attributes and accomplishments of God and show that they are false. The Old Testament God is easily falsified by science.

        Then the Progressive Christians step in to recreate God in their own image. Many God claims are declared “merely metaphorical” to make Him more credible to today’s audiences.

        So, instead of God being unfalsifiable, new Gods are invented in response to logical doubts.

        With an infinite supply of made-up Gods, He only seems unfalsifiable.

    • Tommy

      Their “trump” card doesn’t resolve anything. People who are fooled don’t believe they’re fooled.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Tommy:
        “People who are fooled don’t believe they’re fooled.”

        Chuck:
        A great deal of theological effort goes into keeping the fooling machines running. Such machinery manufactures the trump cards.

  • Chuck Johnson

    It has been announced that Windows 10 is the final operating system that Microsoft will create. – – – This is just a subterfuge.

    Actually, Windows ∞ will supersede windows 10 at a future date to be announced.

    Windows ∞ is an OS so powerful that it requires no hardware to run on. Once launched, Windows ∞ is able to create its own virtual machine consisting of virtual hardware.

    This operating system won’t be released until Windows Defender can be very substantially upgraded with fail-safe systems included.
    This is to prevent paradoxes, inconveniences and dangers to the user, and the possible destruction of all life on earth.

  • Only Some Stardust

    The other problem is that even if you treat God as a variable in an equation with a solution and try to compute for the other unknowns, that shit doesn’t work.

    Evil in World = God + Reasons

    But, there is no way to compute “reasons” in this, so this is not an answer. Evil in World – God = Reasons doesn’t make a lot of sense, and God = Evil in World – Reasons is amusing and sounds like an argument for atheism.

    Or, a better computer program:
    GodFunc(thinking_holy_thoughts) = reasons + evil, that’s still not really a solution to anything, but we can see that thinking_holy_thoughts is a constraint here, and if we carefully define what we mean by good, then clearly some ‘reasons’ output will be made invalid, simply because not every reason under the sun goes. There will be a limited range of possible reasons, and it’s possible here that they aren’t compatible with range evil at all.

    I’d also like to note that assuming there is a solution does not work for every math equation, if we’ve defined the axiomatic system, say one without imaginary numbers, and then try to compute an equation with imaginaries in it, it won’t work. And it also doesn’t cause the quantities to suddenly pop into existence even if your equation does work out.

    Writing ‘Wishes = Infinity’ may be mathematically valid, but it won’t grant me infinite wishes in real life. When one writes those equations, one is making a huge assumption that the equation exists in the real world, which is one reason why assuming there is a solution can work so well. It may not actually exist in the real world, in which case assuming there is a solution can blow up in your face.

    For derivatives, though, we know rate of change is a real thing in the world and that’s incredibly mundane, so assuming it exists isn’t a leap of faith at all in my opinion. You actually know ahead of time that the answer for that does exist and that the equation (or ones like it using similar math tools) is a real thing in the real world, there’s no faith you have to hold there and say afterward ‘Well, the evidence shows this leap of faith works in this situation so we should keep doing it’, because we already know ahead of time that the thing (rate of change and derivatives) exists so no faith is required.

    • Tommy

      Evil in World = God + Reasons

      If that’s so, then god is the origin of evil.

  • epeeist

    But is this approach justified? Take an analogous argument:

    If space aliens caused car accidents, we’d see car accidents.

    You do realise that this is an affirmation of the consequent?

    • TheNuszAbides

      How does it need to be valid as an argument if it’s merely illustrating the fallacy of the theistic version? Or do you mean he should be calling it by name rather than (or in addition to) illustration?

      • epeeist

        Wasn’t sure Bob knew the correct term for such an “argument”.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I should’ve expanded on that. In fact, I’ve written about that error before.

      I agree that it’s a fallacy. I’m saying that Christians commit the same fallacy.

      • epeeist

        The thing that gets me is that with a whole taxonomy of fallacies that they keep committing the same few over and over again.

        How many times have we seen arguments from ignorance or from force, special pleading, straw man, false dilemma and their especial favourite equivocation?

        You would think that they would try for some of the others in order to give us something new to cope with.

        • Michael Neville

          We also see non sequitur, argumentum ad populum and the favorite of fundamentalists when discussing other Christians, No True Scotsman.

        • Tommy

          How many times have we seen arguments from ignorance or from force, special pleading, straw man, false dilemma and their especial favourite equivocation?

          What would christian apologetics be without them?

          You would think that they would try for some of the others in order to give us something new to cope with.

          C’mon. This is christian apologetics we’re talking about.

  • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

    True, but they think that if God could have a reason, even if it’s not revealed, that defeats the argument from evil (it’s called the “unknown purpose” defense). That seems pretty dubious though.

    • TheNuszAbides

      They can give it all the fancy names they want. It’s still bald wishful thinking.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Yeah, I don’t buy it, naturally.

    • Otto

      I agree God could have a reason, but there is the added issue of if it is a good reason. Both parts are assumed.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Well yes. They usually assume an all-good God exists to begin with but that is precisely what this argument defends against attack.

      • Michael Neville

        When it looks like the reason may not be good then the fallbacks are “God works in mysterious ways…we’re mere humans, we can’t understand God’s plan…since God is all good then the reason must be good, even if it looks evil.”

        • Otto

          ‘Mystery’ held up as something to enjoy instead of being problematic is my favorite… ala the Catholic church.

        • Otto

          I agree, but if we can’t know for sure if God might have an ultimate reason than we also can’t know for sure if it is a good reason.

  • RichardSRussell

    A similar, if somewhat more pragmatic, math problem:

    Given: Religion + Good Works = Good Works

    Solve for Religion.

    • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

      Here’s a sample interview from the National Study of Youth and Religion, a longitudinal study of 3370 American youths, starting from the age group 13–17 in 2002:

          Yet an equally logical outcome of moral individualism turned out to be a live-and-let-die lifestyle. That is because another theme in the morally individualistic outlook, especially as applied to possible moral obligations of people to help each other, is a belief that, since each person is responsible to take care of themselves, no person is particularly morally responsible to help other people in need. This exchange illustrates that logic well:

      I: Do you think people have any moral responsibility or duty to help others or not?
      R: Um, if others are your family and you see someone in danger, yeah. But I don’t ever stop when I see somebody on the side of the road, so I guess somewhat sometimes. Maybe if someone is burning in the car, you should try and pull them out, but, no, not really.
      I: Are there some other examples of ways we’re obligated to help other people?
      R: I mean, I really don’t donate money, and even if I had money I don’t know if I would, so.
      I: What about helping people in general? Are we as a society obligated to do something?
      R: I really don’t think there’re any good reasons, nope, nothing.
      I: What if someone just wasn’t interested in helping others? Would that be a problem or not?
      R: No, I don’t see why that would be a problem.
      I: And why is that?
      R: Because I mean is that really our duty, to help others? Is that what we’re here for? I mean, they can help [themselves], if they’re just getting by, doing what they do by themselves, then do they really need anyone else? So if they don’t need help from anyone else, if somebody’s asking for some other people all the time then they’re not giving in return.
      I: So if someone asks for help, we don’t have an obligation to them?
      R: Yeah, it’s up to each individual, of course.
      (Lost in Transition, 25–26)

      Now strictly speaking, this is a criticism of radical individualism, where there is no common good outside of the family. But plausibly humans cannot be satisfied with some static notion of the common good; plausibly ambition cannot tolerate such a “finished” state of affairs[1]. A notion of the common good which is changing/​growing over time, toward which we could strive, seems awfully similar to what goes by the name “religion”. Now, as per usual, when there are significant goals to be attained, ambition is given fuel and can lead to bad places. Should we take the risk, or try and play it safe?

       
      [1] Abraham Lincoln both assumed a finite “finish”, and predicted ambitious destruction when it neared:

          In 1838, when he was only twenty-nine years old, he was invited to address the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield on the topic “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.” In this instance, the young orator read the dangers to perpetuation in the inherent evil of human nature. His argument was that the importance of a nation or the sacredness of a political dogma could not withstand the hunger of men for personal distinction. Now the founders of the Union had won distinction through that very role, and so satisfied themselves. But oncoming men of the same breed would be looking for similar opportunity for distinction, and possibly would not find it in tasks of peaceful construction. It seemed to him quite possible that in the future bold natures would appear who would seek to gain distinction by pulling down what their predecessors had erected. To a man of this nature it matters little whether distinction is won “at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen.”[5] The fact remains that “Distinction will be his paramount object,” and “nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.”[6] In this way Lincoln held personal ambition to be distinctive of human nature, and he was willing to predict it of his fellow citizens, should their political institutions endure “fifty times” as long as they had.” (The Ethics of Rhetoric, 87–88)

      • Phil Rimmer

        Americans!

  • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

    Augustine (354–430 CE) didn’t have much to say on this subject, but see if this sounds like our analog computer project: “Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.”

    Just believe. Don’t worry about it making any sense—understanding will come with time. It’s like solving a differential equation with an analog computer: assume the result, and you will be rewarded.

    Isn’t this how perception works? You first accept that you have perceived thus and so, and then you try to make sense of it. Obviously sometimes your percepts have troubles, but that is the exception and not the rule. When a scientist encounters an unexpected result, belief sometimes has to precede understanding. Yes, the instrument could be miscalibrated or the experiment wrongly done, but barring those things, understanding often isn’t the first horse out of the gate.

    There is an analogy to hearing agents make claims. If God says that the world could operate differently in some way, the response of one’s understanding may be to reject this, on the basis that there is no known way for it to work that way. People have a habit of taking much in their social worlds for granted, such that the term social fact makes a great deal of sense. In Greek and Roman times, it was widely believed that nature and society were structured the same way, such that there wasn’t even the distinction we can now draw. It was all one: the kosmos.

    The idea that we could get to a better social reality by questioning the current one would have been a pretty radical thought to those in Augustine’s time. After all, the greatest empire known to exist was crumbling. The Course of Empire would have to cycle again. Unless … there was another way. But so many pieces would have to be in place for a radically different kind of existence. We might not be able to understand how exactly they fit together until religiously adhered to for centuries—much longer than Francis Bacon’s plan which took two centuries to yield real benefit to humanity. But hey, let’s always have understanding first. Trust is dangerous. Understanding is safe. At the very least, understanding won’t send us to places we can’t imagine.

    • oracle

      When a scientist encounters an unexpected result,
      belief sometimes has to precede understanding.

      So belief often has temporal precedence; what possible relevance does that have here?

      • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

        That understanding comes and doesn’t permanently play second fiddle to belief. It’s almost as if that’s what happened with Abraham being called out of Ur …

        • oracle

          It’s almost as if that’s what happened with Indiana Jones on his way to find the holy grail. But again, what does the temporal precedence of belief have to do with Bob’s article or Anselm’s prayer?

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          “Anselm” only shows up in your comment; I think you meant “Augustine”. If you want society to change from how it was at Augustine’s time to something capable of supporting the institution of science—surely requiring some level of egalitarianism—then perhaps some belief preceding evidence is required there, too. But no, that’d be like believing in leprechauns.

        • oracle

          Augustine exhorts; Anselm turns it into a declaration and explicitly acknowledges the circularity of giving primacy to belief. You still haven’t answered my question​, but don’t worry about it.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Let’s take Bob’s stance:

          In other words, assume the Christian position and rearrange evidence to support it rather than start with the evidence and then reach a conclusion.

          What this presupposes is that there is no extant framework for organizing the evidence—e.g. a kosmos—which might need challenging. But to challenge the extant framework can easily require belief to precede understanding. To always give the kosmos priority until enough anomalous evidence mounts is dubious, because one’s kosmos can distort evidence and screen out evidence. Kuhn discovered this.

        • oracle

          You might want to read Augustine (and Anselm) in context before making the leap to Kuhn.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Sure, Augustine had nothing like Kuhn’s ideas fleshed out articulately. The critical question is whether he can be embedded in the tradition leading there. Folks like Bob seem to want to say that on the contrary, he stood in the way. To prioritize this interpretation over others requires evidence and/or reason, neither of which has been provided. All that exists right now is a system of dogmas in the background, which characterize religion as bad in various and sundry ways. They’re the kind of dogmas which lead to this:

              Serious defects that often stemmed from antireligious perspectives exist in many early studies of relationships between religion and psychopathology. The more modern view is that religion functions largely as a means of countering rather than contributing to psychopathology, though severe forms of unhealthy religion will probably have serious psychological and perhaps even physical consequences. (The Psychology of Religion, Fourth Edition: An Empirical Approach, 476)

          It is especially when one embeds Augustine’s words in a 21st century mindset—where we are used to empiricism and rationalism—that one can portray them as backwards. But if you embed them in a 4th century mindset—where the kosmos reigned—things look rather different. The question is whether folks here care about the context in which Augustine wrote, or whether it’s just another famous religious person who can be mocked—truth be damned.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t much care about the 4th century mindset except in how we can understand what Augustine was actually saying. If you’re saying that the translation that I used is poor, then give me a better one.

        • Michael Neville

          Augustine did most of his writing in the 5th Century.

          I like Augustine for his criticisms of the literal interpretation of Genesis. Basically he considered creationism over 1700 years ago and rejected it for many reasons, both theological and pragmatic.

          Augustine was one of the Doctors of the Church who had a serious obsession with sex. He had several mistresses which caused him considerable guilt. As a result, he denounced sex, even for procreation. I’ve wondered if he had been married instead of having lovers whether he might have had a more sensible attitude towards sex. His most famous quote shows his hypocrisy but raises a chuckle: Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo. “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet”.

        • Otto

          It’s always nice when a person has a huge problem with an aspect of life and then they infer everyone has to have the same problem.

        • Greg G.

          AIUI, Augustine thought the six day creationists had doubts about God’s power. Augustine thought God would have created everything instantly with no need to rest.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          A better translation isn’t going to help you understand the consequences of kosmos-type thinking. A better translation isn’t going to help you understand that at the time, the cyclic understanding of civilization represented by The Course of Empire was dominant, and Augustine’s deviation in The City of God profound. A better translation isn’t going to help you understand the following:

          Augustine was the inventor of the argument we know as the ‘cogito’, because Augustine was the first to make the first-person standpoint fundamental to our search for the truth. (Sources of the Self, 133)

          We take this for granted. It is so deeply ingrained in our ideological DNA that it seems ridiculous to think that there was a time when it was new. But if Charles Taylor is right, then perhaps it might be important to understand Augustine’s words in this light. You might even have reason to be thankful that Augustine existed—if you care about what it takes to develop independent thought.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A better translation isn’t going to help you understand the consequences of kosmos-type thinking.

          Do I care? You do a remarkably poor job in getting me to do so.

          If I’m misunderstanding what Augustine meant, then clarify. Give me a translation that is more accurate. If you’re eager to ramble off onto a tangent, I’m afraid I don’t have time, but thanks.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Translation only goes so far; you have to understand the context in which Augustine was writing. Fail to do this and your “understanding” becomes a Procrustean bed for Augustine’s words.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Dang! I was hoping to benefit from your wisdom, but I’d have to really earn it.

          I guess I don’t want it that much.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          You’re just asking for something impossible: that a better translation carry with it all the relevant information.

        • oracle

          I suspect that Bob didn’t so much intend to mock Augustine the early church father as criticize the presuppositionalist apologetics of today, but that’s still just a distraction. Have you read the relevant quote in its immediate context(s) yet? Whether you have or haven’t, this thread makes it difficult to take your “—truth be damned” seriously.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Can you find anything in Tractate 29 § 6 which necessarily contradicts what I said? The whole Tractate? And can you guarantee that there is nothing—absolutely nothing—about the thinking which permeates Western modern thought which is presuppositionalist in any way? (That is, Christians are being criticized for doing something the person criticizing does not do.)

        • oracle

          No, of course not. Augustine doesn’t have anything to say about Luke Breuer’s scientist encountering an unexpected result. That’s exactly the point.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          It’s like you didn’t read the second two paragraphs of my original comment. And your bit about whether I “read the relevant quote in its immediate context(s) yet” was a red herring.

        • oracle

          It’s certainly possible that I have misinterpreted your original comment. It seems to me that you were connecting Augustine’s “believe in order to understand” with the subjectivity of perception and its consequences in the practice of science.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Most fundamentally, I was talking about questioning one’s current categories of thought, via taking seriously (i) new percepts or (ii) ostensible communication from God. I took these to be about (i′) the natural world; (ii′) the social world. Now, the Greek notion of the kosmos was that these two things were unified: there was no difference. From there, I argued that Augustine promoted the questioning of (ii′)—that the social world could be other than it currently is/seems. But if that is the case, perhaps the natural world could be other than it currently is/seems. This last step Augustine did not take, but I claim it is plausible to think that he paved the way.

        • oracle

          The quote might not do justice to Augustine’s broader epistemology, but I still don’t think Augustine is really Bob’s target here. Why did he choose that particular quote for this article?

          The problem I have is that embedding Augustine’s broader epistemology into the text (and into modern science) doesn’t do justice to the quote either. To put “this room feels warm” or “that’s a strange result” in the same category as “My doctrine is not my own” seems crass, even to hardened leprechaun-denialist like myself.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Huh? Jesus’ “My doctrine is not my own” (Jn 7:14) matches quite well with “My kingdom is not of this kosmos.” (Jn 18:36) Jesus is claiming to inaugurate a new way of living, one established not by yet another human. This required a radical shift, well-illustrated by the insanity of the Beatitudes (when judged by his own context, not ours). “Things could work quite differently—and better—than you are used to, but it will require a good deal of obedience to dictates you’ll initially find weird and/or hard in order to get there.” Dare I say a similar process is required to become a scientist?

          As to Bob’s intentions for choosing the quote, that is rather unclear. I like how @UWIR:disqus qualified Bob’s claim:

          BS[OP]: The problem, of course, is that it actually works with an analog computer. Every time.

          U: This isn’t quite true, is it? The method is based on the idea that the solution is an attractive fixed point for the domain in which the initial conditions lie. That’s not the case for all differential equations and initial conditions.

          If in fact both strategies only work some of the time, it becomes important to ask just when they do work. In Augustine’s case, my guess is precisely if Jesus’ doctrine is not his own, but reflects how reality and humans are structured at the core. A point where I guess I deviate from a lot of Christians who inform the notions of Christianity held by many on CE is that I expect such “doctrine” to empirically manifest. Paul notes that “the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power” and Jesus says to judge trees by their fruit—assuming that there will be fruit.

        • oracle

          Huh?

          This is why I asked several times if you had read the quote in its context. This is why I questioned the relevance of your original comment. This is why I said “don’t worry about it” after the first two tangential replies.

          I’m glad to hear you expect empirical “fruit”, but I do hope you learn to be a better communicator before you join our side.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          I’m sorry, but I don’t know what your criticism is, other than possibly “Augustine was talking about more momentous things.” But I think your “”this room feels warm” or “that’s a strange result”” is a caricature of my “questioning one’s current categories of thought”. Galileo questioned established categories of thought (with the help of Scholastic thinking).

        • oracle

          I can’t take credit for the caricature, which happens to be the object of my criticism.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          The object of your criticism is a caricature of my argument.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “taking seriously… ostensible communication from God.”

          I will when whatever “God” is actually communicates with people. So far we only have human say-so.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Isn’t this how perception works? You first accept that you have perceived thus and so, and then you try to make sense of it.

      Is that what Augustine was saying? You should have been his editor since it sounds very different when you say it. Or maybe not, if you’re changing the meaning.

      When a scientist encounters an unexpected result, belief sometimes has to precede understanding.

      Agreed. I don’t think what the scientist is doing is the same thing Augustine is recommending.

      • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

        I see; Augustine must be an idiot religious person?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If you say so.

          I think we’re not talking about the same thing, so I’ll stop talking now.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Right. In that section, you used a bunch of terrible examples in the OP:

          The problem, of course, is that it actually works with an analog computer. Every time. By contrast, “just believe” is terrible advice when evaluating a claim with poor evidence—fairies, leprechauns, Oz, the Force, and so on.

          The claim that the kosmos could operate very differently probably had exceedingly poor evidence in Augustine’s time. So I guess he was really stupid to suggest that maybe there are cases in which you have to tentatively accept things, act on them, and then see what comes? Maybe it’ll actually be good? No, that would be like believing in leprechauns.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As I gently suggested before, I don’t think Augustine’s point and your valid point–sometimes you need to believe it to see it–are the same thing.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          I get that. But why is your understanding of Augustine superior? I’m no Augustine expert, but I think my take is consistent with the basic outline of Augustine’s The City of God. I am also somewhat aware of how people in Augustine’s time thought very differently from how we do. Or do you not actually care whether you’ve got Augustine’s meaning right, as long as it slots into your narrative?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s what I like about you–not only do I get your opinion, in roundabout Lukan form, but I get a good scolding as well.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          You give much better than you get, at least from me. You also ignore questions, such as “why is your understanding of Augustine superior?” It’s as if you prefer metadiscussion to dealing with the topic at hand, or presuppositions of the topic of hand.

        • Susan

          why is your understanding of Augustine superior?

          He didn’t claim that. He addressed Augustine’s statement.

          I’m no Augustine expert

          K…

          but it think my take is consistent with the basic outline of (blue link to Wikipedia reference to a a work by Augustine)

          I don’t.

          I am somewhat aware

          No idea what that means and see no evidence to support it…

          of how people in Augustine’s time thought very differently from how we do.

          Could you be any more vague? Which people? Who are “we”?

          do you not actually care whether you’ve got Augustine’s meaning right

          I do. But you’ve done nothing to show that you have. Nothing.

          as long as it slots into your narrative?

          You’ve got to be kidding.

        • Susan

          I see.

          (fingers crossed)

          Augustine must be an idiot religious person?

          Darn it.

          No.

    • Phil Rimmer

      Three modes of knowing; feeling, equivalent to common sense; then an extension, which is understanding via a newly elaborated metaphor, conferring a sufficient feeling of familiarity; finally, mastery, a model, often mathematical, that is successfully predictive and withstands current tests of its compliance with observation and may confer no (immediate!)feeling of familiarity.

      Mastery is the ultimate scientific mode and the middle one, achieving understanding, is the educational mode.

      No “belief to perceive” is ultimately desirable.

      • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

        No “belief to perceive” is ultimately desirable.

        I’m sorry, what did you think it was I argued?

        • Phil Rimmer

          According to Richard Gregory perception is always preceded by an expectation of what will be seen. It is the natural mode and perception, smooths saccades and fills in blindspots, scales for distance, makes faces stick out and puts a friends face on a stranger. It is the root of illusions and the stumbling block to perceiving any subtle novelty. It evolved to speed perceptions using crude heuristics and continual simple simulation, getting timely responses with much lower energy use.

          Belief to perceive is the route to an erroneous understanding most often. We see the signal we most want in the noise. This is one area where AI can outperform the pattern seeking scientist or the doctor in her diagnosis.

          So….

          I am disagreeing with Bob and yourself over the implied utility (?) of…

          When a scientist encounters an unexpected result, belief sometimes has to precede understanding.

          I think Augustine is really interesting from a neuro-psychology perspective with souls mapping to pre-frontal corteces providing the introspection on visceral, bodily sensation and emotion to manufacture what Antonio Damasio then labels as feelings. (For Damasio, feelings are emotions introspected upon.) Feelings of course become the grist of our intentional mill. They are the signpost stuff of our better (more considered) selves.

          I see little intersecting material between say Damasio and Gregory at the moment. (This needs more explanation from Augustine’s side. I’ll try and remember to come back to this.)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am disagreeing with Bob and yourself over the implied utility (?) of…

          “When a scientist encounters an unexpected result, belief sometimes has to precede understanding.”

          The idea of “you have to believe it to see it” does make sense to me in some cases where revolutionary new ideas (gravity–action at a distance, for example) are introduced. You don’t agree?

        • Phil Rimmer

          Perhaps if I could believe in the principle I could see it more?

          Perhaps a more specific illustration. What evidence will I fail to notice if I don’t believe in a new principle like gravity/action at a distance? I will see the apple falling, say.

          “you have to believe it to see it”

          Are you using “see” in the above to imply some sort of understanding? Or are you suggesting that once you have this idea (gravitation) you will see its influence again and again (Kant and Herschell theorising planetary formation out of a solar disk of debris)?

          To me this sort of seeing is an impediment to proper proof for others. It is Cavendish and not Newton with apples and planetary paths (all fully palpable evidence) that nails action at a distance, without an intermediary step and away from prosaic familiarity.

          Rather, I think you have to disbelieve it to not see it….if its there.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Perhaps if I could believe in the principle I could see it more?

          More precisely: if you could open up your mind to action at a distance or interconnectedness across distances or whatever, you could understand the Theory of Gravity or quantum entanglement (respectively).

          What evidence will I fail to notice if I don’t believe in a new principle like gravity/action at a distance?

          If you just say, “That’s bullshit!” or “That offends my common sense!” then you won’t give the theory a chance.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Sorry. I was editing my post.

          I think our last sentiments concur. But simple open mindedness is the sought for attribute surely?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Certainly. I think the trouble lies at the edge of understanding, when common sense has been left far behind–quantum physics, and that sort of thing. Even something like plate tectonics might fall into this category–its implications are so far reaching that the ordinary geologist might need to suspend disbelief, just to try the idea on.

          But surely even this would be very rare.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Then again all it may take is an experience of a floating crust e.g. where oxides of iron and other rocky compounds float on molten iron in the crucible. Or the skin on a thick soup driven by a convection current. (Even though convection is probably not the actual driver of plates, but rather the pull and the push of cooling denser subducted rock and the lateral pressure of rising molten rock at the mid ocean ridge.)

          We have wonderfully metaphorical minds. I think gods are not ephemeral at least to start but a version of our dad. Belief simply takes us to another existing experience if it is to work powerfully.

          I am arguing against pure belief, faith, as a driver. A model of sorts is always needed that will have features like thus and so for which we’ll look.

          The realm of Quantum Mechanics is different. Once you trust in the maths, these days, you simply go where it takes you….

        • Phil Rimmer

          OK.

          It may be that having an experience of action at a distance from lode stones suspended may create an openness to to action at a distance and indeed lead the inquisitive to be on the look out for more examples.

          Being open to the power of spirits and the power of magnetism are two very different things, though. Without lode stones, action at a distance is in the former category and mightily risky. A principle observed first is on much more solid ground. This is no longer in the category of pure belief but of established principle.

          (Without this insight we might have had to wait for the crystaline spheres upon which the planets moved to be morphed into curved space…. and skipped this intermediary nonsense of gravitational fields.)

        • RichardSRussell

          Well, I for one don’t agree. I think you need to be open-minded, but that isn’t the same as mortgaging your brain to whatever stray thot happens to wander into it. IOW, you can think something may be possible (however outlandish) without going all the way to thinking it’s true (which is what the word “believe” implies).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          OK

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          According to Richard Gregory perception is always preceded by an expectation of what will be seen.

          Yes, this is theory-ladenness of observation (a fact), and matches perfectly with what I recently wrote to @disqus_gA49pUGiJt:disqus: “I was talking about questioning one’s current categories of thought”. I recall an experiment where two groups of people were asked to watch two balls of greatly differing mass get dropped, like Galileo’s experiment. One believed the pre-Galilean way, one the post-Galilean way. The former group “saw” the more massive ball hit the ground first, while the latter group “saw” both balls hit simultaneously. What you need the former group to do is suspend their understanding.

          LB: When a scientist encounters an unexpected result, belief sometimes has to precede understanding.

          PR: Belief to perceive is the route to an erroneous understanding most often. We see the signal we most want in the noise. This is one area where AI can outperform the pattern seeking scientist or the doctor in her diagnosis.

          I don’t know what you mean by “belief to perceive”. Were you to sketch out the precise conditions of said “outperform”, I suspect things would be rather less interesting than you make them out to be. In fact, I suspect the “AI” would end up being locked within given categories of thought. Sometimes that is beneficial in comparison to alternative available strategies—hence the lock-in working.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Well this certainly overlaps with our earlier discussion on an open creativity. But an analysis of which ball strikes the ground first or which microscope slide is more correlated with early death given this database of slides and outcomes, is in a different category. This is not AI inventing.

          Belief to perceive was shorthand for “you have to believe it to see it”.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Belief to perceive was shorthand for “you have to believe it to see it”.

          Sure, take a look at Grossberg 1999 The Link between Brain Learning, Attention, and Consciousness (partial tutorial). A tl;dr is that if there are patterns on your perceptual neurons which does not well-match any pattern on your non-perceptual neurons, you may never become conscious of that pattern. If we call patterns on your non-perceptual neurons “beliefs” and require of “seeing” that one become conscious of it, then “you have to believe it to see it” becomes true, if Grossberg 1999 is close enough to correct.

          Perhaps what is causing grief is Hume’s notion that we receive atomistic “sense-data” which we then process to find patterns. Such a notion is pregnant with the idea that all the patterns to be found are readily available to consciousness, if only we will practice enough “simple open mindedness”. This suggests that structure in the mind is antithetical to seeing what’s really there. If categories of thought can distort and occlude, just don’t use them!

          However, Hume was wrong. Kant showed this in Critique of Pure Reason. We can also consider that the innovativeness of evolution is an exceedingly thin layer of mutation on top of a massive complex of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental structure. The question is not whether you have categories of thought (recall your own “mastery, a model, often mathematical”), but whether they have ossified or are open to change. In Augustine’s time, there was a lot of ossification. He, I argue, was pushing against that. This should be praiseworthy to anyone who values the outcome of something other than cycle illustrated by The Course of Empire, but I find that atheists have a terrible time recognizing when a religious person innovates in a way too close to their bête noire.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Quickly. I think Grossberg doesn’t do what you want it to. But its interesting so I’m going to read it. Brains wire to their task in the first few years of life. (Perinatal rerouting of optic nerves to auditory regions in some poor creature I recall resulted in good enough vision. A Chinese woman without a cerebrum coped well enough without the Purkinje cells that favoured multi-stimulus skill acquisition. Brains are plastic and cope as best they can particularly when young.)

          Many random patterns exist in the manic confusion of massive brain growth in the first 18 months of life. These are not the motherlode of insight into the universe but the “nonsense” of synaesthesia. (Though genuinely random, I have contended earlier this may be a route to the greatest “stumble upon” innovation.)

          Our brains rather wire to a world at the scale of the cubit and the foot and the pace. Structures and scales of fields are hugely various and our brains never wire for the task of coping with these. Access is via cultural Apps, levered by metaphor.

          Kant was wrong about our having some sort of access to the noumen in our heads. I rail against Schopenhauer in many things but not this.

          I think you may have a particular skill in aggravating atheists. My atheist friends completely recognise that until the most recent times most thinkers needed a creator for a complete account of the world and a spirit to account for conscious experience.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Quickly. I think Grossberg doesn’t do what you want it to. But its interesting so I’m going to read it.

          I look forward to your thoughts. I don’t know how consciousness could operate differently—surely it has to ignore the vast majority of sensory input at any given time, lest it be overwhelmed. Knowledge of reality builds bit by bit, and what we’ve learned so far, combined with what is innate, largely determines what we can observe and how we will understand it. There is the possibility of fuzz where growth can happen, although we can also squash the fuzz and turn hard-hearted (ossified categories).

          Kant was wrong about our having some sort of access to the noumen in our heads.

          I don’t think that has anything to do with his critique of Hume’s notion of the “sense impression”, the atomic bit of sensory actuation which we only afterwards associate with objects and causation.

          I think you may have a particular skill in aggravating atheists.

          That’s easy enough; I take them seriously. Any outsider to a group is likely to aggravate if [s]he does this. We don’t like our hypocrisy pointed out and we don’t like our taken-for-grantedness questioned. What is key is to use people’s own standards to judge them. If you use yours, the result is likely to be rather uninteresting, with each party coming away feeling justified.

        • Pofarmer

          You’ve been called on this bullshit before. Pointed out why it’s nonsense.

          Dishonest Asshole.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          [citation needed]

          (Andy Schueler took exception to one particular way I articulated this, tying particular beliefs to patterns on non-perceptual neurons. I do not believe I ever repeated that mistake.)

        • Pofarmer

          You pulled the same stupid dishonest s*** over and over. Don’t you get tired of it?

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          You’ve yet to demonstrate a single thing to be dishonest or stupid—other than your own, evidence-free claims.

        • Andy_Schueler

          Bollocks. I pointed out many times that the article has literally nothing what-so-fucking-ever to do with beliefs in the first place and that you can’t quote anything from the article that explicitly or implicitly ties it to beliefs rather than perception.
          Strange that people call you a dishonest asshole, isn’t it?

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          If “the article has literally nothing what-so-fucking-ever to do with beliefs”, then patterns in non-perceptual neurons have “literally nothing what-so-fucking-ever to do with beliefs”. But I don’t take you to be a Cartesian dualist.

          Last time, I believe the problem was requiring a 1:1 relationship between certain patterns to certain beliefs, instead of allowing it to be 1:N.

        • Andy_Schueler

          If “the article has literally nothing what-so-fucking-ever to do with beliefs”, then patterns in non-perceptual neurons have….

          Oh, fuck that noise, this is your fabrication and has nothing to do with the article – which is why you never actually quote it when you lie about its content.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Exactly what claim did I make about what the article says, which needs a quote to support it? Be precise.

        • Andy_Schueler

          No, I won’t. Because you’ll keep lying about the paper anyway and I’ll keep calling you a liar for it.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Fuzzy accusations of lying can be dismissed on the ground that they’re fuzzy. If you had a real criticism, you’d be able to quote exactly what is a lie.

        • Andy_Schueler

          Funny how others are always supposed to do the work that you are never willing to do yourself. You ask people to just trust you that Grossberg1999 supports your BS without quoting it – but when I call out your bluff, I obviously have to waste time copy-pasting and linking to your BS.
          Fuck you.

        • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

          Fine, I’ll do some of your work for you. Do you think the following is an example of BS:

          LB: Sure, take a look at Grossberg 1999 The Link between Brain Learning, Attention, and Consciousness (partial tutorial). A tl;dr is that if there are patterns on your perceptual neurons which does not well-match any pattern on your non-perceptual neurons, you may never become conscious of that pattern.

          ?

  • UWIR

    “The problem, of course, is that it actually works with an analog computer. Every time. ”

    This isn’t quite true, is it? The method is based on the idea that the solution is an attractive fixed point for the domain in which the initial conditions lie. That’s not the case for all differential equations and initial conditions.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You’re saying that not all differential equations will work on an analog computer? I could buy that.

  • DoorknobHead

    BEHOLD! THE BEST EQUATION FOR GOD, IN THE ETHER OF EVER!
    Behold! the equation of the truth of gods’ existence! The equation that describes the reality of the sum total of all of gods’ assigned characteristics! It describes the effect and influence that any entity or entities of the supernatural domain has, and can be show to have, upon reality. Here it is! Here it comes! Hang on to your hot dogs and your honey dew melons [please note, all food items in this last sentence, and any resemblances with any body parts, sexual or otherwise, were completely coincidental; no foodstuffs were harmed in the making of this last sentence: also, quite yourself and get back in your seat, Sigmund; CBS cares].

    T = 0

    It’s just that simple. You’re welcome.

  • kimpatsu

    A Xian once told me that because pi is an infinite decimal (3.1415926…), god resides at the end of it in an “unknowable place”, and that this was evidence for the existence of god. So I wrote pi as a fraction–22/7–and asked him where his god was hiding now. He called me a very rude word and stormed off.

    • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

      you cannot write pi as a fraction. 22/7 is an upper bound of pi (possibly so famous because of archimedes). also, 22/7 = 3.142857142857 … so it’s also an “infinite decimal” (without an end for god to hide).

      • http://joslynrenfrey.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art Joslyn Renfrey

        I’d ask how that god gets along with the god at the end of Log 2. Are they friends with the one at the end of sqrt(17)?

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          i don’t know, but i’m sure the god at the end of 0.5000… (infinitely many zeros) feels a bit stupid.

        • epeeist

          Not forgetting the god of i (or j for the electrical engineers who might be reading).

        • Phil Rimmer

          Nor the triune god of Euler’s identity

          e^(i*pi)=-1

        • Michael Neville

          Nor the dualism of Zoroastrianism:

          √4 = 2 or -2

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      22/7 is a coarse representation of pi, and the decimal expansion can’t be expressed to arbitrary precision. But if you express it as a continued fraction, you can:

      http://functions.wolfram.com/Constants/Pi/10/0006/MainEq1.gif

      • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

        another way of writing pi, using a “mixed-radix expansion”, is 2.222 …_b where instead of the usual base (1/10,1/10, …) one uses b = (1/3,2/5,3/7,…):

        pi = 2 + 2*1/3 + 2*1/3*2/5 + …

    • Tommy

      A Xian once told me that because pi is an infinite decimal
      (3.1415926…), god resides at the end of it in an “unknowable place”,
      and that this was evidence for the existence of god.

      If it’s an infinite decimal, then there is no “end”.

    • RichardSRussell

      Now, now, little numbers, let’s all get along, OK?

  • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

    one can also do this by hand if the example is simple enough. for y” = -y, with appropriate integration constants, one calculates the taylor series expansion of the cosine function (which is the example in this chalkdust article about this topic).

  • BeaverTales

    You’re making two different mathematical arguments: A logical one and a topological “set-cover” one.

    In (more) plain English: Logic is the use of deductive and/or inductive reasoning to describe an entire system based on analysis of parts on any scale that the observer can measure and therefore create an inference about how the entire system works. You cant use probability (or statistics) if you don’t have a measurable space.

    ****************************
    RE: Logic

    Theists use abductive reasoning , a type of ‘first order’ logic where the premises cannot guarantee the conclusion. When the premise is unfalsifiable and faulty, the logic still works, but the conclusion is wrong because the inputs are wrong.

    For Christians, God is the solution to every equation based on assumptions they’ve made about how the parts relate to the whole, with no ability to prove the relationship actually exists.

    When you use fallacious logic, you can make any inference you like and dismiss the “fudge factor” to divine intervention.

    ******************
    RE: Topology

    Using logic gates to infer God is different than using the ascending and descending chain conditions that comprise the (more subjective) set-cover theory of Infinitesimals. “Set-covering” is a fancy way of saying there is a (probabilistic) relationship between a whole and its parts from its Cardinality.

    Differential Calculus is the study of Infinitesmals…unmeasurable but finite quantities approaching zero (that are not zero) that both contain and preserve the mathematical property of dimension across all measurable scales.

    For example: A single point is a finite description of space, yet has no measurable height, width or depth, but add multiple points together and you get a measurable line that has the property of length. Add multiple lines and you get a 2 dimensional system called a plane that has the properties of width as well as length. Stack multiple planes and you get a third characteristic called depth.

    These assumptions we make about unmeasurable Infinitesimals can be proven in calculus because we created measurable definitions before we tested them. We can’t infer a higher dimension from a lower dimension without the ability to analyze (i.e. test) the relationship of each dimension to the entire system in a way we can also measure (i.e. observe).

    Creating a unique set of boundary conditions in differential calculus allows for measurement of relationships that preserve the cardinality between a larger whole and its smaller parts. This “set cover” allows for separation and logical analysis of the behavior of each of the parts in a component-wise manner that comprise a measurable system.

    • epeeist

      Theists use abductive reasoning

      So of course does science, hence we get an inference to the best explanation.

      This also fits with the Duhem-Quine thesis on under-determination of theories.

      • BeaverTales

        Yes, but the abductive reasoning in Medicine comes down to *measurability* of the hypotheses.

        Coughing blood could be cancer, tuberculosis, or a vascular lesion, and there are reliable ways to measure outcomes using medical tests (CT scans, AFB smears or bronchoscopy for example) to narrow down or “collapse” your a priori probabilities into a posteriori ones.

        We can’t infer what we don’t know without the ability to observe/measure/test if we accept Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem, and he was a theist. God may be the simplest explanation for everything but it isn’t the “best” explanation, if God isn’t observable or testable?

        Duhem-Quine’s work is a bit abstruse for me. My background in logic is mathematical, but I agree that knowing any number of axioms that describe a formal system doesn’t guarantee you can infer the remaining ones.

        I’m off to read your link….thanks for sharing it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Can you tie this back to the original post?

      • BeaverTales

        I agree with your post. I was just saying that you’re making two different categories of argument, and these are the best examples of each kind:

        [1]Logic gates and faulty reasoning

        we see in the gospels just what we’d expect to see if the resurrection were true. Therefore, the Christian apologist says, the gospels are important evidence for the resurrection being true.
        Or, take the order and beauty we see in the world. The apologist tells us that this is just what we’d expect if there were a god.
        But is this approach justified? Take an analogous argument:
        If space aliens caused car accidents, we’d see car accidents.
        We do see car accidents.
        Conclusion: we now have more evidence that space aliens cause car accidents.

        If you changed the inputs to your logic gates for this algorithm, you’d have a tautology if you used “drunk driving” instead of “space aliens” as your argument (input). Drunk driving is measurable with breathalyzers and with neurological testing of the driver when the alcohol level is consistent with drunkenness.

        Space aliens and/or God are not measurable inputs. The logic works, but for first order logic/abduction, the premises need to be proven before the conclusion is called “True”. How God and aliens influence drivers or cars is not provable without a way to demonstrate a connection.

        [2]Inductive/Deductive reasoning using set theory [are the proper subsets of a set sufficient to generalize about the whole?]

        Assuming the conclusion works great when solving differential equations, since we have evidence that it works. The opposite is true for supernatural claims.

        Hypothesis: [Differential equations prove that the mathematical theory of Infinitesimals is true], even though they can’t be observed or measured directly
        Conclusion: the theory of infinitesimals is true because differential equations are computable (predictable) and their consistency can be demonstrated across a multitude of physical systems. i.e. they don’t work differently in celestial mechanics or combustion engines or computer programs.

        The existence of God using Epicurus’ algorithm is logical, but the fact that God exists can’t be demonstrated because the “God is True” algorithm isn’t demonstrable in even one single system. It never leaves the hypothetical stage.

  • https://biginsanehappy.com/ J. Burrello

    So many assumptions. Whenever I’m given a logic series for God that does this, I’m quick to point out that we have to assume a big If off the top. It never even gives them a moment’s pause.

  • RichardSRussell

    Interesting that we’ve gotten a hundred comments on the subject of God and equations and nobody has yet posted the most famous math cartoon of all time, Sidney Harris’s take on their confluence:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d6/e7/54/d6e754d24aaef324c1595e68583ace7a.jpg

  • Clement Agonistes

    If God did exist, we would see X happen.
    We do not see X happen.
    Therefore, God does not exist.

    Given time, science will explain everything.
    Science can’t explain some things.
    Therefore, science just hasn’t had enough time yet.

    Cuts both ways, Bob.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It would cut both ways if I said the second thing. I don’t. I’ve never said, “Given time, science will explain everything.” Indeed, I can’t think of anyone who does.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        I’m struggling to see why the latter half is a problem even if someone had said that. What am I missing?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Given time, science will explain everything” is a very bold statement. I could make an argument in that direction, but it claims far more than I ever would.

          But don’t let me speak for you.

          I’ve written more on this here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/08/a-universe-thats-understandable-points-to-god-but-how-understandable-is-the-universe/

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          “Given time, science will explain everything” is a very bold statement. I could make an argument in that direction, but it claims far more than I ever would.

          I get that, my point is that the syllogisms aren’t related in the way Clement seems to think they are.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The first one contains the fallacy of affirming the consequent (if A then B; B; therefore, A). And the second one isn’t a formal argument.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          I must be doing a poor job of explaining my position. I don’t disagree with you about either thing (the fallacy and the lack of an “everything claim regarding science), my point is that Clement sees some shared problem that eludes me.

      • Clement Agonistes

        Sure, let’s walk through why it’s implied. There is no such thing as the supernatural. Everything is natural. Science can explain everything that is natural. Therefore, there is not scientific explanation … yet.

        So, that first Big If … you are OK with that? That one cuts both ways?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I already told you: no.

          Will science explain everything? Maybe. But that’s certainly not a claim I make.

        • Clement Agonistes

          You only addressed the 2nd point.

          As I said, it is the logical implication of your view. If science would never be able to explain everything, then that only allows for supernatural, not natural explanations to fill the gaps. You most assuredly don’t want to make that claim.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re ignoring two kinds of “science”: (1) that which humans know or will know about reality through the scientific method and (2) that which an infinitely smart being could know through the scientific method.

          You’re talking about 2. I’m talking about 1. #1 is limited by our abilities.

        • Clement Agonistes

          It’s just a matter of time before #1 becomes #2.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s nice to imagine humans becoming infinitely capable, but that’s yet another thing that you (apparently) think I think that isn’t the case.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Oh, ferpetesake. Here, for the sake of practicality, let’s only deal with it in the hypothetical sense. You have always been kind enough to deal with God as a hypothetical, it’s only fair that I return the favor.

        • Greg G.

          There may be something that would require testing but the test would require more energy that a galaxy produces. There may be a whole new field of physics that will never be known because of the energy limitations.

          Richard Feynman has described science as being like an onion, peeling back one layer of skin at a time, but there is no way of knowing how many layers there are or even if the number of layers is finite.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, Clement makes two dubious assumptions in his hypothetical: that all questions are answerable and that questions are finite. Either one being false short circuits his argument immediately.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          It’s just a matter of time before #1 becomes #2.

          So you think at some point humans will literally know everything?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Given an infinite amount of time, yes. Keep in mind that I expect to live for an infinite amount of time. I do, however, think that science answers more questions daily, and will continue to do so until Man breathes his last. As with every answer brings up ne questions.

          I offered Bob to consider this is as a hypothetical. I welcome you to do the same. Theoretically, would science be able to answer all questions about the natural world, give an infinite amount of time and a finite number of questions?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Why do you presume there are a finite amount of questions?

        • Clement Agonistes

          To make it easy. Could science just answer the questions it has right now, given an infinity of time?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          I don’t know. But you can’t “make it easy” in this manner because your hypothetical relies on both every question being answerable and a finite number of questions.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Sure I can – it is my hypothetical. Hey, look this is fun helping you guys squirm, but we really aren’t getting anywhere. Bob did a whole series on “10 Tough Questions”‘ in which he said science explains issues even when it says it has no answers. And, when we don’t know the answers, we can rest assured that theism won’t have any answers.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          So you acknowledge that you’ve intentionally designed a faulty hypothetical? And this is supposed to be a point in your favor?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Science has studied supernatural claims but found only natural causes. Is there any reason to expect a diversion from that course?

          Sure, science has unanswered questions. It always has. But, it has a startling ability to find the answers.

          I don’t present these arguments because they are points in my favor. I present these arguments because they are points in your favor. My point is that they should be given the same scrutiny you give theist points. That is when the dance of avoidance began. Why deny your own points?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Pointing out a flaw in your hypothetical is a “dance of avoidance”?

          Speaking of avoidance, are you ever going to provide your definition to “supernatural” that I asked for above?

        • Greg G.

          Religion gave answers to questions for thousands of years. Science has shown that those answers were wrong and has given far better answers in their place. The questions science has not answered are questions discovered by science and never imagined by the religious.

          If religions gave lots of answers to those scientific questions, they might come up with something that could be construed as sort of right if the answer was vague enough to not say anything specific using the blind squirrel method.

          This is not to say that a religious person could not come up with a solution using scientific methods, however.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          look this is fun helping you guys squirm

          Oh? I missed that.

          You asked a bullshit question, and I clarified your problem.

          . . . but we really aren’t getting anywhere.

          You’re right.

          when we don’t know the answers, we can rest assured that theism won’t have any answers.

          Well, it never has in the past. I suppose it might in the future, but I can’t imagine that. Are you saying that it’s going to start actually being useful? I’d like to hear your reasoning if so.

        • Clement Agonistes

          So, you can’t even “imagine” that science might not have the answers to the nature of reality. You can imagine a multiverse. You can imagine that “nothing” is so unstable that it has to produce “something” (the energy and mass of uncountable galaxies). You can even imagine the thought processes of an infinitely wise being. But, you cannot imagine that theism might ever produce anything useful to mankind. You don’t think, just maybe, you are exaggerating?

          I asked a very simple question: are you willing to apply the same standard to your own thoughts that you apply to theism. We’re 3 days into the evasions …. and counting.

        • Michael Neville

          The problem with your “questions” is they make either make no sense or are misrepresentations of what we believe.

          Science doesn’t know everything and it’s probably impossible for it to learn everything. However science has a lot better understanding of the universe than any flavor of theism has. Science examines evidence and makes theories which are subject to change if new evidence or new interpretations arise. Theism reaches conclusions based on what theologians think an imaginary critter is thinking.

          We don’t claim that “something came from nothing”. We don’t know what, if anything preceded the creation of the universe. So your claim that we “can imagine that “nothing” is so unstable that it has to produce “something”” is a misrepresentation of what we think.

        • Greg G.

          There is no reason to think that science will never be able to figure out something yet there is no reason to think that it won’t. It’s an open question. Why insist that we think something we don’t?

          If one universe can come into existence, then the conditions are such that universes can come into existence. A universe that can prevent other universes from existing would seem to have some complex property that is unlikely to be the case so it follows that other universes exist. I have seen in my newsfeeds that a cold place in the universe that seems to have the same temperature everywhere, which might be a point of contact with another universe. Perhaps more spots like that will be discovered and they can work out other possibilities. (I haven’t bothered to read the articles as such are usually more hype than fact. I’ll pay more attention when I notice that experts taking notice.)

          I linked to some articles of interviews with Alan Guth yesterday but from a different computer so I don’t have them available. He explains how the whole universe could have come from a small event on the atomic scale.

          But, you cannot imagine that theism might ever produce anything useful to mankind.

          I can imagine that theology might come up with something useful in the absence of verified knowledge. Perhaps treatments for sick people might help even if the underlying cause is completely misunderstood, but it might also delay actual knowledge with such sayings as “nothing that enters a man through the mouth can defile him” or that the demon theory of disease might delay the germ theory of disease.

          Do you know what you call folk remedies that have been proved to be effective by medical science? Medicine. Do you know what you call folk remedies that have been studied and not shown to be effective? Placebos. Blind squirrel theology is wrong about lots of things but it may be right about some things. It takes scientific methodology to discern the wheat from the chaff.

          I asked a very simple question: are you willing to apply the same standard to your own thoughts that you apply to theism. We’re 3 days into the evasions …. and counting.

          Keep up your counting but I think you may be counting valid justifications for thoughts as evasions.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I guess I was thinking more along the lines of contributing ideas that help people live with each other, more than scientific breakthroughs.

        • Greg G.

          But stealing ideas that help people live together and claiming them as religious ideas is not really a contribution, especially when it adds harmful ideas to the mix. Killing rape victims might make it easier for people to move on but is it a good thing?

          What sort of thing do you have in mind? Do you mean the Golden Rule that is like the Ethic of Reciprocity in many other forms in many other cultures? Is beating ignorant slaves less than educated slaves a good thing? What does Christianity contribute that didn’t come from the Greeks and Romans?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So, you can’t even “imagine” that science might not have the answers to the nature of reality.

          You talk with a lot of people, and maybe you’ve forgotten our conversation. Maybe that explains why you got my position completely wrong. In fact, I seriously question whether human science will answer all possible scientific questions.

          You can imagine a multiverse.

          Heck, I can imagine quantum physics (in my own amateurish way).

          You can imagine that “nothing” is so unstable that it has to produce “something”

          Not my position.

          But, you cannot imagine that theism might ever produce anything useful to mankind.

          Wrong again. “I forgot” isn’t an excuse this time. Reread what I said in my previous comment and try again.

          I asked a very simple question: are you willing to apply the same standard to your own thoughts that you apply to theism. We’re 3 days into the evasions …. and counting.

          You’ve asked lots of stuff. I’ve never evaded anything. I don’t remember this challenge from you. Ever.

          Answer: I always apply the same demands on clear thinking that I apply to my antagonists.

          Get those glasses checked. Your reading comprehension sucks.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “Heck, I can imagine quantum physics (in my own amateurish way).

          You can imagine that “nothing” is so unstable that it has to produce “something”

          Not my position.”

          I didn’t assert that it was your position, only that you could imagine it. You have, many times, imagined God without God’s existence being your position.

          And, FWIW, Harris’ comment about the instability of nothing related to quantum physics.

          “theism won’t have any answers.

          Well, it never has in the past. I suppose it might in the future, but I can’t imagine that.”

          Tell me what the alternative comprehending of that statement would be.

        • epeeist

          Could science just answer the questions it has right now, given an infinity of time?

          What do you mean by “answer”?

        • Clement Agonistes

          And, what do I mean by “science”, “questions”, “now”, “infinity”, and “time”. Yeah, yeah, I know how the game is played. Look, this isn’t an ESL course. We all know the meanings of words, and do not have to play the game of pretending we don’t know definitions of common words.

          If you don’t want to address the point, you can just scroll down to other comments to find one that isn’t uncomfortable for you.

        • Greg G.

          Science can “answer” any question with “probably”, “probably not”, “we have no idea”, or “what a silly question”. Science will never “answer” question with certainty as scientific answers are provisional and subject to revision should new evidence emerge. In the early days, there may have been some false certainties but science has evolved since then, yet the false certainties were better approximations of truth than the beliefs they replaced.

          Can God answer all the questions?

          The Bible quotes God as saying, “There is no god besides me.” But can God even be an omniscient atheist? An omnipotent being (or even a sufficiently powerful being) could give a plate of pasta consciousness and virtual reality of omnipotent acts yet hiding itself from the plate of pasta for “ineffable reasons”. Knowing this, God could never be certain that he is not such a plate of pasta.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Can God do something which is logically absurd? Yeah, that is kind of a fun exercise. FTM, can we ever question our own existence?

          “Can God answer all questions?” I guess infinite knowledge and wisdom would be a big leg-up on doing so, so sure.

        • epeeist

          I guess infinite knowledge and wisdom would be a big leg-up on doing so, so sure.

          How can your god know that it has infinite knowledge?

        • Clement Agonistes

          It is one of the premises of God. Greg asked about “God”, not “god”, and cited the Bible. That narrows down the premise of his question enough for my answer.

          Are we playing the game of Endless Questions before you can address the very simple question posed at the beginning? Because, I asked first.

        • Kodie

          It’s an imaginary quality for an imaginary character.

        • Greg G.

          It is one of the premises of God. Greg asked about “God”, not “god”, and cited the Bible. That narrows down the premise of his question enough for my answer.

          But that is still somewhere inclusively between an impersonal ground of all being (according to some Christians) and a clumsy oaf who steps on turds in the dark (according to Deuteronomy 23:13-14).

        • Susan

          It is one of the premises of God.

          An insupportable premise.

          I might be wrong. Support it and playing your game is a worthwhile pursuit.

          Greg asked about “God”, not “god”.

          So? You just have a god you call “God” without justification. You call Yahwehjesus “God”.

          (yawn)

          Are we playing the game of Endless Questions

          No. We are trying our best to honestly answer questions that don’t seem honest on the surface.

          People are asking for clarification.

          A reasonable request.

        • epeeist

          It is one of the premises of God

          Wow, so you can just declare that your god has a particular property and poof, it has it. Brilliant, I am going to declare that my wallet has the property of always containing five £20 notes, I need never be short of cash for a drink for myself and my friends again.

          That narrows down the premise of his question enough for my answer.

          But the bible isn’t the evidence is it, it is the claim. Otherwise the Vedas would be evidence for the existence of Hindu deities, the Theogony for the existence of Greek deities and the Eddas for the Norse gods and that couldn’t be right could it…

          Because, I asked first.

          And I answered.

        • Clement Agonistes

          If we were discussing God, as conceived by Hinduism, we would have to discuss it on Hindu terms.

        • epeeist

          If we were discussing God, as conceived by Hinduism, we would have to discuss it on Hindu terms.

          Nice side swerve.

          I infer that you are unable to provide any reason why we should treat the bible as evidential, or at least as any more evidential, than the other books I mentioned.

        • Clement Agonistes

          You analogized to Hinduism.

          We are discussing God, as envisioned by Christians. You clearly don’t want to have this discussion. Let’s not.

        • epeeist

          You analogized to Hinduism.

          No, I mentioned Hinduism as an example.

          You appear either not to understand the argument I am making or do not wish to understand it.

          It really is quite simple, if the bible is evidence for claims about Judaism and Christianity then ceteris paribus the Vedas, the Theogony, the Eddas etc. must be evidence for their respective religions.

          If you wish to argue that they are not evidence for these religions then again ceteris paribus the bible cannot be evidence for Judaism or Christianity.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Your question at the beginning of this exchange was how my god (little “g”) could know that he was all-knowing. I can’t answer that question without circular logic. Omniscience means God would know everything. By definition, that would include knowing about his own omniscience.

          The qualities of God in this hypothetical exercise are givens. There is no requirement for evidence beyond the fact that Christians attribute these qualities to God. You seem to be going off in a different direction. So, no, I don’t understand where you are going with this.

        • Michael Neville

          The qualities of God in this hypothetical exercise are givens.

          You still cannot or will not explain what these “qualities” are. But somehow it’s atheists’ fault that you can’t.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I have stated qualities of God

          … repeatedly

          … in this forum

          … all week.

        • Michael Neville

          No, you’ve talked about your god but you have yet to give the characteristics of this god. I asked you for those characteristics some days ago. You accused me of giving you the choice of two strawgods (one of which actually wasn’t one) when I didn’t but that was because you didn’t actually read what I wrote.

          You talked about how your Jesus was born of a virgin and became undead a day and a half after being killed and stuff like that. Those are incidents in your god’s existence, not characteristics of your god.

          Try again, this time giving some thought to your answer.

        • POPONNE

          What are you going to do with the “characteristics” of God, if you manage to grasp it—if you can?

        • Michael Neville

          Like many atheists, I’ve discovered that when discussing “God” with Christians that the characteristics change depending on what’s needed to bolster the Christians’ arguments. Clement has proposed a discussion about God but before I get into one I need to know what God is being discussed. Essentially I want to set ground rules. I suspect Clement realizes this, which is why he’s so coy about his god’s specifics.

        • MR

          Oh, he’s a coy one, alright. His arguments are like newly hung wallpaper. You squish a bubble here and it appears over there. They know if they define them, they’ll pop.

          “Why are most believers so reluctant to specify the meaning of the religious propositions they cherish? There are at least three reasons. First, there is security in obscurity. Precision invites refutation….”

          –Walter Kaufmann’s Critique of Religion and Philosophy

        • POPONNE

          It is interesting that you claim to be an atheist, but yet, here you are seriously struggling to discuss God whom you believe and claim does not exist, and you are going to a great length demanding to be told His Characteristics. You must be lying to yourself. I firmly believe that the truth is that you believe that God exists, but you are desperate to disbelieve what you believe. Had it been you do not believe in God, you would not bother to discuss Him. However, if you still insist that you are an atheist, I suggest yOU discuss your atheism which you claim to believe and leave off discussing God you claim not to believe in.

        • Michael Neville

          Like your buddy Clement I see that you don’t actually read what I’ve written. I told you that I wanted Clement to define his god so I would know which god I was arguing against. Arguments against a deist god are not relevant against an omniscient, omnibenevolent, other omnis as desired god and but the arguments against that god don’t work against a sex-obsessed white bearded geezer who turns traffic lights green so you get to work on time.

          The majority of Christians who come to this blog are proselytizing in some way or other. I enjoy taking their arguments apart if for no other reason than it’s mentally stimulating. There’s the further point that I’m proselytizing back. I think you and your fellow Christians are flat-out wrong in believing in a magic sky pixie who forgives the sins that your religious masters have decided are sinful.

          Furthermore, I believe that religion is harmful to society. Too many theists not only want to act according to their beliefs but want everyone else to act that way as well. Creationists want to replace science education with teaching mythology. Catholic bishops, who own approximately 15% of all US hospitals, want to prohibit contraception. A whole lot of Christians use their god to justify their homophobia and misogyny. You can believe all you want but don’t try to force your beliefs on me. I don’t mind Jesus, I’m not fond of his fan club.

          I don’t believe in any gods, not just your favorite deity but any gods. When I was in my teens I stopped believing in the Catholic god I was exposed to from infancy and I’ve never felt the need to replace that god with any other. Contrary to your belief about me, I do not have a god-shaped hole in my psyche crying to be filled.

          However, if you still insist that you are an atheist, I suggest yOU discuss your atheism which you claim to believe and leave off discussing God you claim not to believe in.

          I don’t believe in gods because there’s no evidence for them. There, that’s all I can say about my atheism. Sorry if that’s not satisfying to you but there’s literally nothing more to say about my atheism.

        • POPONNE

          1. Quoting you”I told you that I wanted Clement to define his god so I would know which god I was arguing against.”Unquote.
          Response:
          It is interesting that you claim to be an atheist, but yet, here you are seriously struggling to discuss God whom you believe and claim does not exist, and you are going to a great length demanding to be told His Characteristics. You must be lying to yourself . I firmly believe that the truth is that you believe that God exists, but you are desperate to disbelieve what you believe. Had it been you do not believe in God, you would not bother to discuss Him.
          2.Quoting you:” Arguments against a deist god are not relevant against an omniscient, omnibenevolent, other omnis as desired god and but the arguments against that god don’t work against a sex-obsessed white bearded geezer who turns traffic lights green so you get to work on time.”Unquote.
          Response:
          I firmly believe that the truth is that you believe that God exists, but you are desperate to disbelieve what you believe. And so, you go about it by trying to give God the characteristics that do not condemn your hedonistic lifestyle and you want to give him the characteristic from your florid imagination that will conform to your reckless lifestyle, so as to make you feel good. No sorry. It does not work that way. When you do that, I insist you must be defining your personal god and not God, and you can go ahead and insist that this your personal god does not exist. That makes you an atheist, and you should be happy.
          3. Quoting you:”The majority of Christians who come to this blog are proselytizing in some way or other.” Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          Provide evidence that they are Christians, and provide evidence that they are proselytizing, or remain shut.
          4.Quoting you:” I enjoy taking their arguments apart if for no other reason than it’s mentally stimulating.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          You enjoy THINKING you are taking their arguments apart. This is different from actually taking their arguments apart which you have to prove to have done. Until you prove you have actually taken their arguments apart, this your opinion remains just that–your OPINION. But I understand that you enjoy this delusion. Why? Because the truth is that you believe that God exists, but you are desperate to disbelieve what you believe. And so, you go about it by entering into an argument where you keep on trying to give God the characteristics that do not condemn your hedonistic lifestyle and you keep on trying to give him the characteristic from your florid imagination that will conform to your reckless lifestyle, those characteristics that make you feel good. And then you delude yourself that merely expressing your OPINION in an argument has made your OPINION fact. It is a form of mental therapy that stimulates you from the depression induced by your lying to yourself that you do not believe in God and lying to oneself is a terrible thing that induces depression. The mental stimulation is not of long duration. Once it wears off you, you seek for another argument where you will get the opportunity of expressing OUT the lies you have been telling yourself WITHIN, in other to get another mental fix. Very elementary.
          5.Quoting you:” There’s the further point that I’m proselytizing back.”Unquote

          RESPONSE:
          Wrong. You are getting another mental fix.
          6.Quoting you:” I think you and your fellow Christians are flat-out wrong in believing in a magic sky pixie who forgives the sins that your religious masters have decided are sinful.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          Christians know that you are flat out wrong to believe in a magic sky pixie,that approves of all your hedonistic and perverted lifestyle which you and your puppet masters approve of, and which you and your puppet masters do not see them as sin or sinful.
          Christians know that you are flat-out wrong and grossly ignorant of what Christians believe and who makes Christian doctrinal decisions.
          7.Quoting you:” Furthermore, I believe that religion is harmful to society.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          Your OPINION is irrelevant.
          However, the truth is that religion is useful to society, and atheism is harmful to society. Atheism breeds chaos in the society of those that adhere to it. How is your family?
          8.Quoting you:” Too many theists not only want to act according to their beliefs but want everyone else to act that way as well.”Unquote.
          Response:
          And you so-called atheists not only want to act according to your perverse lifestyle, you also want every one else to approve of your perverse lifestyle. So, why are you murmuring if Christians proselyte back.
          9.Quoting you:” Creationists want to replace science education with teaching mythology.”Unquote.
          Response:
          Sterile science atheist religion fanatics, are so intolerant that they are fighting tooth and nail to ensure that their sterile science atheist religion mythology propaganda a.k.a theories, continue to be brainwashed into vulnerable school children, and that REAL education in the Truth of Creation be not even mentioned in schools. So intolerant, and so insecure of your sterile science atheist religion mythology a.k.a theories, that you want to protect your sterile science atheist religion myths from any Truthful opposition. If your sterile science atheist religion myths a.k.a theories are strong, I challenge you to campaign for the Truth of Creation to be taught in schools.But you would not ACTUALLY do that, simply because your sterile science atheist religion myths a.k.a theories, cannot stand scrutiny when placed side by side with Education in the Truth of Creation. Sterile science atheist religion mythology propaganda that brainwashes school kid into the false notion of being apes, should of necessity be replaced by Education in the Truth of Creation, and not the other way round as presently is the case, where REAL education in the Truth of Creation has been replaced by propaganda of sterile science atheist religion mythology. When school kids are being brainwashed into the notion of being apes, the result is obvious in abundance of self-denigration and in lack of self-esteem. Sterile science atheist religion and their mythology is harmful to society.
          10.Quoting you:” Catholic bishops, who own approximately 15% of all US hospitals, want to prohibit contraception.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          And atheists are so selfish that they want to prevent procreation. Atheists must be under the false notion that after they have been conceived, that event should be the end of human existence. No, atheist are wrong. They must procreate and not contracept, in order to give other souls the opportunity of experiencing this facet of existence. And if atheists cut down on their greed and hence reduce the quantity of unnecessary food they stuff into their faces, the result is that atheists will not be obese and will not fall sick frequently which means they will save money that would have gone into treating themselves, and thus atheists will have enough to provide for their kids WAITING to be born. There is enough to go round if atheists are not so selfish. Most of all, atheists are so selfish that after bothering their parents in childhood and have been reared to adulthood, they want to escape the debt of rearing children and thus give back to their own children as their own parents have given to them. Atheists are a very selfish lot.
          11.Quoting you:” A whole lot of Christians use their god to justify their homophobia and misogyny.”Unquote.
          Response:
          A whole lot of homosexuals and female-supremacist creatures a.k.a feminists, want to justify their perverseness by deluding themselves, that by their denying the existence of God who condemned their rebellion against Divine Order, that their denying would SOMEHOW justify their perverseness. No sorry, but it does not work that way. God and His Divine order stands despite your contrary OPINION.
          Repeat: a whole lot of homosexuals and female-supremacists creatures a.k.a feminists, aim to justify their perverseness by denying the existence of God.

          A whole lot of homosexuals and male-hating female-supremacists creatures a.k.a feminists, hate God so much as to CLAIM to deny His existence, simply because God condemned their rebellion against Divine Order.
          12.Quoting you:” You can believe all you want but don’t try to force your beliefs on me.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          You sterile science religion fanatics and homosexuals and male-hating female-supremacists creatures can delude yourselves all you want, but do not try to force your delusions down on Judeo-Christian Society, because you will always be countered and be confronted with the Truth and Sanity.
          13.Quoting you:” I don’t mind Jesus, I’m not fond of his fan club.”Unquote.
          Response:
          In the High matters of The Eternal Global and Universal Victorious March of Christianity, your OPINION remain inconsequential. You do not matter. You are not missed.
          But in order to disabuse your mind of any delusion that you may have of being of any consequence, your puny opinions must be exposed at every turn, for the inconsequential rants they are.
          14.Quoting you:” I don’t believe in any gods, not just your favorite deity but any gods.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          Wrong. You believe in your favorite deities of your sterile science atheist religion. Your gods formulate your sterile science atheist religion myths a.k.a theories, which you believe, and your gods are humans like you, most of them dead. Your gods are members of the peer review, who formulate opinions a.k.a theories, put them in simple slogans for you to chant, all in order to get you to think and act just the way they want you to, such that you view reality in reverse, which is why there is “review” in “peer review”—viewing reality in reverse. They are your gods and you are the worshipper. Make no mistake about this.
          15. Quoting you:” When I was in my teens I stopped believing in the Catholic god I was exposed to from infancy and I’ve never felt the need to replace that god with any other.’Unquote.
          Response:
          Wrong. You replaced your Catholic God with your sterile science atheist religion god. And this started in you teens. That you are still holding on to your teenage DELUSIONS shows you are still in your teens no matter how old you body must have deteriorated with age, but you soul is still immature and stunted. So, when are you going to grow up as in really grow up. Some people, by the time of their teenage years are already mature wise souls, and do not have to pass through your teenage delusions. You have to undergo a deep introspection as to try and ascertain why you are still stuck on teenage delusions and be boasting of it.—-a full bodily grown man, and an alleged retired “naval chief.” What the hell.
          16.Quoting you:” Contrary to your belief about me, I do not have a god-shaped hole in my psyche crying to be filled.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          Wrong. There are several small resident gods in your psyche that go by the name of sterile science atheist religion theorists a.k.a tale-spinners, and they have not been able to assuage the need of your psyche. You must know I am correct. But how did I know.
          17:Quoting you:” I don’t believe in gods because there’s no evidence for them. “Unquote.
          Response:
          You believe in sterile science atheist religion gods and you have not PERSONALLY seen the atom they spin-tale you about.
          As for me, I do not believe you are a human being, because there is no evidence for you. You might as well be a computer soft-ware. Prove your humanity.
          18.Quoting you:” There, that’s all I can say about my atheism.”Unquote.
          RESPONSE:
          I understand that is all you CAN say about your atheism, and not all THERE IS to say about your atheism. Of course, if you attempt to say MORE about your atheism, it shall be torn to shreds like the worthless OPINION that it is. As for the OPINION you have expressed about your “atheism”, I have this to repeat:
          You believe in sterile science atheist religion gods and you have not PERSONALLY seen the atom they spin-tale you about.
          As for me, I do not believe you are a human being, because there is no evidence for you. You might as well be a computer soft-ware. Prove your humanity.
          19.Quoting you:” Sorry if that’s not satisfying to you but there’s literally nothing more to say about my atheism.”Unquote.
          Response:
          I am satisfied that all that so-called atheist can say about their “atheist” nonsense, is a one sentence slogan, formulated by their puppet master gods for them to parrot mindlessly. Who dares accuse atheists of thinking, talk-less of deep thought. A mindless slogan is all that is needed to deceive them.
          About a month ago or thereabout, I once asked an atheist called “the observer”, why he believes the male her mother calls husband to be his biological father whereas he is not and whereas there is no evidence to support that the male is his biological father, since there is no resemblance between the two of them. And the atheist “the observer” could not answer my question that revealed his hypocrisy in demanding for evidence for him to believe in God, whereas he “the observer” still believes a male to be his biological father without any evidence; but he got angry at me. So, I am not asking you that question and I refuse to ask you that question.
          Another atheist, an old-in-body creature but stuck on mental immaturity, claimed that what happened to his head when he stuck his head in a large hadron collider, was his evidence to believe in the existence of protons. And I replied to him that when he stuck his head in the large hadron collider, and something happened to his head there, the ONLY thing that would have been proved is that something happened to his head and NOT that protons exist. Something caused the effect on his head in the collider. If he insist that to be proof of protons existing; I equally insist that to be proof of the existence of God and that the whole of ordered nature is proof of the existence of God.
          The ball is in your court. Please be polite as I have been.
          [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

        • Michael Neville

          TL:DR

        • POPONNE

          BBIF

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          how clueless are you? God doesn’t exist, but Christians do. They’re the problem.

        • POPONNE

          How clueless you are to think you are human.Ignorant atheists stuck on teenage delusions, and computer bots with delusions of being human, both exist. They are the problem.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I have discuss omniscience, benevolence, and wisdom with Bob. In the creed thread (you mention “virgin birth”, so you have an awareness of it), I went through the implications line by line pointing out power, justice, mercy, love, personability, etc.

        • Michael Neville

          Alright, I’ll accept that you’ve characterized your god as having various virtues. Now comes the 64 dollar question, do you have any evidence to support these claims? When I read the Old Testament I see a god who acts like a spoiled bully. He sends spies to Sodom and Gomorrah to check out these cities. Why would an omniscient god need to do that? He kills people just because he can, which is hardly benevolent. He orders genocide and rape, which is the antithesis of justice and mercy. He condones slavery, which does not display either love or justice. Personability I will grant you, however my cats display personability, so it’s hardly a godlike virtue.

        • Clement Agonistes

          In fairness, I’ve only mentioned a couple of times that I think the NT is more descriptive of the Christian view of God while the OT is more descriptive of the Jewish view.

          I’ll also grant that qualities can also be virtues. I agree that being personal – capable of having a relationship – is kinda iffy, but, sadly, your cat doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you. If you want a friend, get a dog.

        • Michael Neville

          Like many people you appear to think that cats are aloof, superior creatures. My cat Genghis Khat can be like that but her sister Kublai Khat is quite affectionate. I don’t describe Kublai as my cat, instead I am her human.

        • Clement Agonistes

          People own dogs. Cats own people.

          I’ve heard it said that cats are voluntarily domesticated. This is more like a hobby for them. The dog is all-in.

        • Kodie

          Like many people, you are prejudiced and unfamiliar with animals, which has been evident from the beginning of all your comments here, as it has come up several times.

          The reason I don’t have a dog is I don’t want to time feedings so that I have to time walkies so I have to go back downstairs to walk around in any and every weather, picking up steaming dog shit with a thin plastic baggie. If you didn’t do that, the dog would shit and piss all over your fucking house, and you would be considered abusive. A cat knows to go in the box.

          The other complaint I’ve heard a lot is that “cat” people, if you have one cat, you are apeshit about cats, you’re a cat “lady” who might any second start collecting dozens of cats and make videos and knit sweaters from shed cat fur, but in my experience, dog people never shut the fuck up about the cute thing their doggie did, and the clever friendly little name they gave their doggie. They are just like people with kids who never stop talking about their kids. Another reason I don’t have a dog is I don’t want to be like that or risk having to socialize with another person walking their dog who wants to talk about their dog. I like dogs, don’t get me wrong. I just find the prejudice ridiculously distorted and oblivious.

        • Kodie

          There you go again, knowing nothing about animals. You really aren’t a credible kind of person with knowing so little about reality, no wonder fantasy is so attractive for you. Why should you try to make that my fucking problem? Go, believe whatever you want. What’s the point for you arguing about it and trying to defend it to anyone? Aren’t you secure enough in the love and forgiveness of god? You are looking elsewhere than the lord for validation?

        • Greg G.

          Omniscience is impossible so any gods with that property are imaginary. A sufficiently powerful being could give a rock sentience and the illusion of omniscience yet hide itself from the rock. An otherwise omniscient being could not know that is was omniscient as it could not distinguish omniscience from the perfect illusion of omniscience. But knowing that would prove to the rock that it was not omniscient.

        • epeeist

          The qualities of God in this hypothetical exercise are givens. There is
          no requirement for evidence beyond the fact that Christians attribute
          these qualities to God.

          And this is the difficulty, you define your god to have certain attributes and claim your definition is true a priori. And then you get huffy when people ask why we should accept this.

          You seem to be going off in a different direction. So, no, I don’t understand where you are going with this.

          I am simply using something that Plato does in the Protagoras namely self-reference. To say I know that p is to say; p is true; I believe p to be true; I have justification for that belief.

          If the premiss is “your god is omniscient” then it would know that it is omniscient, but unless it can justify that premiss then how can it claim to know? And how can it provide a justification?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Do I need to present a case for the existence of God in order to have a hypothetical discussion about the existence of God? The point of this has been “Would God do X, if God existed?” If it is totally implausible, then God does not exist, and the proof you demand would be irrelevant. If it is plausible, *then* we might move on to the discussion you want to have.

          And, really, hasn’t that angle been bludgeoned to death around here? How about something besides hamburgers for dinner every night?

        • epeeist

          Oh I am quite willing to have a discussion about hypotheticals, however from past experience what happens is that the supposed “hypothetical god” becomes an actual one.

          Similarly, discussing the “ground of all being” or similar with a theist is fine, until this suddenly becomes the god of the bible.

          So, by all means raise a hypothetical, but I am watching for the bate and switch.

        • Kodie

          See, you even say “Christians attribute these qualities to God.” They aren’t facts, they’re guesses.

          “God” is nothing more than the personification of all that can be known. You imagine that knowledge isn’t just floating in the atmosphere, waiting to be learned and known, or never discovered by any human brain, but that there is a big brain of the universe that consciously knows all things. All the things that are and all the ways things work, and every leaf on every tree, what you ate for breakfast 25 years ago yesterday, what began the universe, what your dog is really thinking, what you are secretly thinking, if perhaps fleetingly, when your wife introduces you to her new friend from work, things you think no one can know, you place that on “god” and he knows all these things, because they are in some sense knowable because they’re real, they are not impossible to know if you have special access to the thoughts of dogs, to count leaves on trees, perfect memory, an eternal lifespan, and secret thoughts you keep from your loved ones.

          You have invented a personal witness and repository for all knowable events. You have leapt from the idea that all things that have ever happened must also be known and recorded somewhere, somehow in the universe.

        • Clement Agonistes

          So, there’s really no need to mischaracterize those beliefs as a means of disproving the plausibility of Christianity, is there? Yet, the other atheists seem to think there is.

        • Kodie

          No, it’s fiction. You are overly careful not to anthropomorphize animals to the point you think they are something like robotically programmed creatures who are extremely different from humans, but you still believe in anthropomorphizing your wishes. Your wish would be an amazing being who knows all, who was there, who witnessed everything that ever happened everywhere, from the beginning of the universe to the shape and color of the next chip of paint falling off a wooden chair in an abandoned hospital. EV-ERY-THINGGGGG.

          The question is how would god know if he was omniscient? Meaning, you don’t know what you don’t know. How can you label a being you don’t even comprehend fully as omniscient, did he tell you he was? How does he know? How would you know if he wasn’t omniscient if he told you he was and demonstrated knowing things just beyond your knowledge?

          You have labeled a characteristic based on the idea of the literal universe is full of hypothetically knowable details, that someONE must know all of it. You don’t know there is a someone, and you don’t know if there is a someone that does know everything.

        • MR

          Nice insight, Kodie.

        • Greg G.

          We would have to discuss imaginary Hindu gods in terms of Hindu terms but if the Hindu gods actually existed, we should be able to talk about them as existent beings.

        • Clement Agonistes

          We are using the hypothetical as a means of testing the plausibility of the concept of God. I am being told by atheists that the Christian concept God is not plausible because the hypothetical does not work.

        • Greg G.

          If the hypothetical isn’t plausible, then it doesn’t work. It’s simple as that.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I agree, Greg.

        • Greg G.

          Can God do something which is logically absurd? Yeah, that is kind of a fun exercise. FTM, can we ever question our own existence?

          Even God can’t solve the Problem of Solipsism.

          I guess infinite knowledge and wisdom would be a big leg-up on doing so, so sure.

          How do you distinguish the presumption of infinite knowledge and wisdom from the illusion of infinite knowledge and wisdom? It is possible to imagine impossible things and infinite knowledge and wisdom seems to be one of them. Having a god with those properties is a sign your god is imaginary.

        • epeeist

          And, what do I mean by “science”, “questions”, “now”, “infinity”, and “time”.

          To paraphrase Aristotle, if you want to discuss something it is best to have a common understanding. All I was attempting to determine was what you meant by the term.

          Since it is an example I have recently used I’ll reuse it.

          Do we have an answer (an explanation) as to why the dimensionless magnetic dipole number is 2.002331836 rather than 2.0? Yes we do (it stems from Feyman’s “sum over histories” approach to quantum mechanics and in particular quantum field theories).

          Is the answer exact? No, there is an error of ±0.0000000048 between the observed and calculated values. So if by “answer” you mean something that provides an exact correspondence between observed and measured values then the answer is no, science can’t provide that.

          Could the explanation be wrong? Of course, theories in science are both contingent and corrigible. Quantum field theories are known to be incomplete since they don’t include gravity. At some juncture there may be a theory of quantum gravity that will include QFT as a special case.

          So if by “answer” you mean something that is known to be true then no, science can’t provide that.

          But there again, what can provide an answer that both has an exact correspondence between description and reality and is true in the sense of universal, necessary and certain?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Science makes no claims about the supernatural. The problem you see is of theists own making; they’ve defined the term to be perpetually outside the scope of science.

          Before continuing down this rabbit hole, will you please give your definition of “supernatural”?

        • Clement Agonistes

          There is no such thing as the supernatural – that which is beyond the natural.

          My only claim here is that you guys won’t apply the same standard to your own claims that you apply to those of theists.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          There is no such thing as the supernatural.

          Is this your claim or that which you think scientists are claiming? If it is the former, what is your problem, exactly?

          My only claim here is that you guys won’t apply the same standard to your own claims that you apply to those of theists.

          This seems rather presumptuous. Give me an example of said differing standard.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Clearly, as a theist, I am not claiming there is nothing supernatural. I thought you guys would instantly recognize the wisdom in that statement. Maybe I am being presumptuous in assuming that you do not think there is such a thing as the supernatural. Do you?

          I provided such an example in my original post. “If God did exist, then we would see X happen.” One of the reasons I am told there can be no God is that God is doing things all wrong. If there is a God, the theology of those who deny his existence (atheists) is superior to those who devote their lives to trying to understanding the infinite. That is clearly an example of the Big If.

          Another example: If there were no God, we would expect to see exactly what we are seeing (In contrast to all those other times when there really was a God?).

          In the echo chamber of an atheist blog, there is nothing but affirmation for atheistic claims.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Clearly, as a theist, I am not claiming there is nothing supernatural. I thought you guys would instantly recognize the wisdom in that statement.

          It did seem a little odd, but when I asked for your definition of “supernatural” that was the response you provided.

          Maybe I am being presumptuous in assuming that you do not think there is such a thing as the supernatural. Do you?

          I can’t answer that until I have a workable definition of the term.

          So, what is your definition of supernatural?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If there is a God, the theology of those who deny his existence (atheists) is superior to those who devote their lives to trying to understanding the infinite.

          Do you mean “theology” here? I don’t know any atheist who thinks that their theology is superior to anyone else’s. Their morality is superior to God’s; maybe that’s what you meant?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Yes, I mean theology. A standard ingredient of your blog entries is telling Christians the nature of God and their beliefs.

          However, the list of things atheists think is superior to others is a long one. They are a prideful people.

        • Michael Neville

          The reason why we tell Christians the nature of their god is that so few Christians have any understanding of their own dogma. Most of us are ex-Christians who have studied what Christian doctrine says and what it means.

          Of course there’s the problem that the nature of the Christian god changes depending on which particular group of Christians we’re talking about. Pat Robertson’s god is a lot different from Pope Francis’ god and both differ widely from John Shelby Spong’s god. But all three of these men call themselves Christians.

          Atheists are no more prideful than other people and a lot less arrogant than some. We’re not the ones who claim that the creator of the universe cares if we find a parking space.

        • Clement Agonistes

          You guys go off into the weeds of minutia so you can magnify it to straw men which can then be knocked down. I suggested a while back that we just stick with the common ground of creeds, and you’d think I had suggested sticking yourselves in the eyes with sharp sticks.

        • Michael Neville

          Fine, which god are we supposed to discuss? The vague deist deity who kickstarted the universe and then faded into the background? The white bearded geezer who helps you find your car keys, decides which high school football team wins, and has an unhealthy obsession with sex? Or some other god? Define which god you want to discuss and we can discuss it.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Well, the elderly, white-bearded dogma is pretty much the core of Christianity, so let’s just go with that straw instead of the other ones.

        • Greg G.

          Don’t you have any that are not made of straw?

        • Michael Neville

          +1

          I ask Clement specifically to define the god he wants to discuss. He chooses the most ludicrous one and admits it’s a strawgod. Why should I take Clement seriously?

        • Phil Rimmer

          Clement must address a personal God, else we have a Deist dabbler, at this distance indistinguishable from physics or a clean up artist judging the timing of the rapture for maximum satisfaction, morality or whatever, but either way, moot.

          .Science knows what sorts of things it cannot know, that must remain forever hypotheses and never grow into a theory sustained by a wealth of corroborated observations. The Matrix cannot be disproven. The 2D hologram at the edge of space mathematically indistinguishable from our current spacetime may actually be. Trapped nearly 14 billion years in the future There may be countless never knowns to silently jeer at our burgeoning hypotheses.

          But God, that personal God that screws with morality, now, and makes puppets of the credulous, now, is the one that needs an account here by Clement, not some universe with the Cheshire Cat smile of a deist or the scowl of a Bad Santa hand on switch about to turn off the lights.

        • Clement Agonistes

          In general (minus the editorial flourishes), I agree with you Phil.

        • Phil Rimmer

          So this is the here and now asymmetry that atheists mostly are concerned with. And you must deal with a “revealing” personal god leading people today in wildly different directions and a daily informing science that helps people navigate their own lives, even morally as it reveals the nature of ourselves what we may truly share and what we may never share and that meant-to-be is still just an occasional wish. The balance tips every day in favour of science. No we cannot know where the scales will be come some “day of reckoning”. But that day is one in your head only. No-one (except an enthusiastic teen) defends science as you suggest.

        • POPONNE

          So long as there are demons like you. But then you will be dealt with for
          murder. Good riddance to you bad rubbish.[]

        • Phil Rimmer

          Earnestly, get help.

        • POPONNE

          Look into a mirror,and convince yourself of the truth that the only creature that should earnestly get help, is one that murders and enables the murder of innocent helpless babies on the altar of abortion, and still deludes itself of being human and a good one at that.

        • Phil Rimmer

          But everything I seek to achieve is to reduce the number of abortions. I think you need to seek a less florid state of mind and consider if your mind is truly your own.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Your god doesn’t care about the miscarriages under his watch. Why should he care about abortions?

          Tip: if you want to reduce abortions, work on unwanted pregnancies. Kinda obvious, I realize, but few anti-abortion activists seem to get that.

        • POPONNE

          You do not care about your wife having sex in your house under your watch. Why should you care about her being raped in your house?

          Having said that, here is a tip in response to your tip: If you want to reduce unwanted pregnancies,work on zipping up your zipper and your libido, and have sex only when you want pregnancies.
          Kinda obvious, I realize, but few anti-pregnancy activists seem to get that.

          The ball is in your court.Your turn.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My argument striking a little close to home so that it’s embarrassing to respond directly? I’m flattered.

        • POPONNE

          My counter argument has struck right into the home, and you know you have been check-mated and that you can’t counter my argument without at the same time countering yours?Hence your evasive response? I should be flattered by worthy opponents. You are far toooo easy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sorry–I’m too stupid to even understand your counterargument.

          Let’s take things in baby steps. Respond to my points first.

        • POPONNE

          Respond to my POINTS first.Then it will be obvious you have no points in existence.

          Here, I repeat:

          You do not care about your wife having sex in your house under your
          watch. Why should you care about her being raped in your house?

          Having said that, here is a tip in response to your tip: If you want to reduce unwanted pregnancies,work on zipping up your zipper and your libido, and have sex only when you want pregnancies.
          Kinda obvious, I realize, but few anti-pregnancy activists seem to get that.
          The ball is in your court.Your turn.

        • Greg G.

          have sex only when you want pregnancies.

          Have you never had a sexual relationship?

        • POPONNE

          Have you never been able to zip it up?

        • Greg G.

          No. I once complained that other people’s blue jeans wore out at the knees and they could make shorts out of them but mine always split at the crotch. It was pointed out that other people have big knees.

        • Pofarmer

          Pro tip. God actually condones abortions in the case of adultery, He also considers a fetus as less than a life.

        • POPONNE

          Reasonable and God believing people are not interested in your OPINION.Take a stroll.

        • Pofarmer

          You never read numbers or Deuteronomy? Why am I not surprised.

        • POPONNE

          Why are you not surprised?
          Because you are habitually always wrong.
          Reasonable and God believing people are not interested in your OPINION.Take a stroll.

        • Pofarmer
        • Clement Agonistes

          You gave me a false choice, Michael. You are not being genuine.

        • Michael Neville

          I see reading comprehension is not one of your attributes. I gave two examples of gods and then said ” Or some other god?”. Does this sentence make sense to you? Do you need me to explain what “some other god” means? Or can you figure out that I’m not limiting you to the two examples I gave without further hints from me?

          If you need further help in understanding simple English just ask. Helping the mentally handicapped is one of the corporal works of mercy (that’s a Catholic concept that you’re probably too stupid to understand, given your misunderstanding of what else I’ve said).

        • POPONNE

          michael neville,you must apologize to the guy you have insulted, or you are in for a lot of insults that will see you crying to the moderator to save your ass by censorship.

        • Michael Neville

          Pardon me, Sir, but who invited you to give lessons on proper decorum? I don’t remember voting for you to be the etiquette monitor. If you feel that you want to insult me then go ahead. I should warn you that I’m a retired Navy Chief. Does the expression “swears like a sailor” mean anything to your dumb ass?

        • POPONNE

          That you are a dumb ass is all that matters to me. Your fake credentials are retired,just like what is sitting in your skull, that once passed for a brain, and does not mean anything to reasonable people. Tell us, how many naval battles did you win.Your specialty should be online canoe maneuvering.Naval chief indeed.Take a stroll.

        • Michael Neville

          Please explain to me exactly why I should give a rat’s ass about what some internet troll thinks about me? Also justify your claim that you’re a reasonable person. All I see from you is a buttinsky who whines about complete strangers. After you’ve explained that to me please do me a favor. Fuck yourself and the horse you didn’t ride in on.

        • POPONNE

          Moron, you are giving a rat’s ass about what I think of you, that you are a dumb ass. That is why you are angrily responding to me and caring to respond.That you are not aware of this shows you are an unreasonable oaf. But then, what can one expect from an expired brain with an expired fake credential,who is now no more than a canoe fake chief maneuvering online.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m not angry with you. You’re a minor irritation, a self-important snot-nose, not someone who should be taken seriously. I’m just showing contempt for you, not anger. If I was angry with your dumb ass then you’d know I was angry. Don’t give yourself airs, boyo.

        • POPONNE

          You are always in denial. You once boasted about your “sailor “oath.” So, this is the best you can do. Very pathetic. And because it has been shown to be pathetic, you are into the denial by saying QUOTE”I’m not angry with you——If I was angry with your dumb ass then you’d know I was angry.”Unquote.
          And here I am telling you that I know you are angry with me, and you are denying what you admitted I know. Or have you forgotten that you admit this by saying, QUOTE” If I was angry with your dumb ass then you’d know I was angry.”Unquote.

          What else do you have to say, “”canoe “chief” maneuvering online. Give another go.

        • Michael Neville

          You really do have delusions of adequacy. BTW, shit for brains, if you think you’re insulting me by calling me “canoe chief” then you’re even more stupid than I thought before. And I already knew you were pretty fucking stupid.

        • POPONNE

          Look into a mirror and read your comment OUT LOUD. That is an apt portrayal of a shit for brains that you are, finally telling your self the truth that you are pretty fucking stupid and have delusions of adequacy to even think you are impressing any reasonable person by claiming to be a “naval””chief” whereas you are nothing more than a canoe chief maneuvering online. How many “naval” “battles” have you won. Please,clear off the road, and make sure you park well by the side.

        • Michael Neville

          The “I’m rubber you’re glue” comeback stops working after you reach seven years old. You’re obviously too stupid and too ignorant to come up with any real replies to me, which is why I’m not angry with you, just contemptuous.

          I’m particularly unimpressed with that you think I wasn’t in the Navy when you’ve read only a couple of posts from me. Why is it such a big deal for you to pretend I wasn’t in the Navy? Are you envious? Or just plain stupid? Note these choices are not mutually exclusive.

          Just your information, I was a YNCS(SS). No, I’m not going to explain what that means. You’re not worth the effort.

        • POPONNE

          No reasonable person is impressed with hearing your stutterings about your failures in life as a “chief” canoes deck cleaner.You are really stupid you know.Doesn’t it bother you at all, that you have merely existed in more than 50 years of your miserable and worthless life. Of course, you are not bothered,reason being that you are stuck on teenage stupidity.[apologies to wise teenagers who certainly are your superiors and do not belong in your crowd.]

        • Michael Neville

          Is this an attempt at insulting me? I ask because it’s obviously written by a person who has no knowledge of the Navy, no knowledge of me and no knowledge about how to insult someone. You need to step up your game, boyo, because you’re failing miserably when you try to go into insult mode.

          Insults should cause anger and shame. All you’re doing is showing that contempt is a reasonable reaction to you.

        • Greg G.

          cleaner.You are really stupid you know.Doesn’t

          I expect that MN is devastated by being called “really stupid” by someone who hasn’t mastered the space bar.

        • POPONNE

          No reasonable person is impressed with hearing your stutterings about
          your failures in life as a “chief” canoes deck cleaner.You are really
          stupid you know.Doesn’t it bother you at all, that you have merely
          existed in more than 50 years of your miserable and worthless life. Of
          course, you are not bothered,reason being that you are stuck on teenage
          stupidity.[apologies to wise teenagers who certainly are your superiors
          and do not belong in your crowd.]
          []

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I hesitate to mock you further with your content-free insults in case you blast me in return with a powerfully effective Christian argument.

          And then I remember that you probably are shooting blanks. Go ahead.

        • POPONNE

          By all means you continue mocking yourself, and you do not at all hesitate or mind. Humans hesitate at self-mockery, but I understand you do not really mind, it being part of your programming.

          Whenever I remember how interesting it is to know how far non-humans can adhere to their programming, I encourage you to mock yourself further.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You can’t make an argument for God’s existence? Not even a squeak?

        • POPONNE

          You can’t make an argument that you are human? Not even a squeal–you know, like a pig?

        • Greg G.

          1. There is this blog, the articles, and his posts that are evidence of Bob’s existence.
          2. To err is human.
          3. Sometimes Bob errs.

          There for Bob is human.

          4. To forgive, divine.
          5. I forgive Bob when he errs.

          Therefore I am God.

        • POPONNE

          First off, the saying “To err is human, to forgive is Divine”, is an OPINION, and not evidence. So, it is worthless basing your fallacy on a fallacy. A chimp as well as a pig errs, so you should label them “human” too. How ridiculous. Therefore, I hereby give you zero over 10 marks[0/10]. Try not to waste my time. So, next time, think before you post.

          2. You said, QUOTE:” There is this blog, the articles, and his posts that are evidence of Bob’s existence. ” UNQUOTE.

          RESPONSE:
          I equally insist that the trees, the flowers , the birds and the whole of ordered nature and the universe, are evidence of the existence of God.

        • Greg G.

          Whoosh! That sailed right over your head.

          RESPONSE:
          I equally insist that the trees, the flowers , the birds and the whole of ordered nature and the universe, are evidence of the existence of God.

          Do you also accept disasters, catastrophes, and bone cancer in children as evidence of God?

          Isaac Newton, a Christian, showed that gravity is responsible for the order of the universe. He left God out of his equations. Science has grown exponentially since people stopped trying to account for gods in equations because there is no need for that hypothesis.

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          Now, the idiot is quoting Newton his “god” and
          “saviour”. What a dummy. Newton would give you a dirty slap, for
          stupidly worshipping him and your ignorant misinterpretation of his OPINION.

          QUOTING you: “Isaac Newton, a Christian, showed
          that gravity is responsible for the order of the universe. He left God out of
          his equations. “UNQUOTE.

          RESPONSE:

          Do you know that by your thoughtless posts above, you have stated
          that the so-called bob is non-existent. Therefore, you are yet to provide
          evidence that bob exists.

          Because, by your line of thought, you have indeed asserted
          that the so-called bob does not exist. And that computers and the internet[not
          so-called bob] are responsible for this blog, the articles, and the posts on this blog. You have left bob out of
          your mockery of “thinking”. So, the so-called bob does not exist.

          This one has overheated your
          head by some degrees. Cool your head, and try again. Fools that you are,
          thinking your foolish doubt to be smartness. One of the things I have achieved
          on this blog, is to expose the vast intellectual emptiness of you atheist
          creatures.

          BY POPONNE.

        • Greg G.

          His argument is, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

        • Pofarmer

          I think the Dude’s listened to way too much talk radio and Fox news.

        • BlackMamba44
        • MR

          Do you ever think that sometimes your policy is a little too lax?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Oh, yes. I do prefer to err on the side of letting the conversation continue, even if I think that the Christian is a waste of space. If well-established commenters complain or if assholes get abusive, then I look for a way to end the madness.

        • MR

          And I totally agree with that. I just don’t think there was a conversation happening here. And I don’t think you should label him as “Christian,” he’s simply a troll with no interest in dialog. I personally don’t mind insults so much, it would be nice if it didn’t happen, but it does add some spice. I’d like to think, though, that if an atheist came in and just threw around insults at the Christians without presenting any form of an argument we’d be just as displeased. I like to put red pepper flakes on my pizza, but I don’t want to eat a bowl by themselves. I know you can’t follow every thread, and it’s possible I missed some substance somewhere, but from what I’ve seen, this guy is just some asshole with a baseball bat who is here to break things, not to present his case.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Good point–I wasn’t sure what his purpose was or what position he was supporting.

          I agree that an argument-less and abusive atheist is as bad as the same category of Christian. Arguments with condescension or ridicule aren’t so bad as ones that are insulting or (worse) threatening, without any argument at all. And that’s what POPO seemed to grace us with.

        • Michael Neville

          The resident troll seems intent in shooting himself in the foot as many times as possible.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          To continue the analogy, he shoots himself in the foot, and he has no pain sensors to realize it.

        • Kodie

          Does your teachermom know you’re on the internet?

        • Pofarmer

          Funny cuz it’s prolly true.

        • POPONNE

          Does your mom know she needs to show you evidence that the male she calls husband to be your biological father?

        • Kodie

          Is Alex Jones on vacation this week or something? You bored? Go try and make a friend, you pasty motherfucking asshole. Come up out of the basement, take a shower and go outside and try to make a fucking friend, you turd.

        • POPONNE

          How would you know, when you have confessed that you are RIGHT now in the basement , and that you are a friendless yourmotherfucking turd and asshole combined.

        • Kodie

          You’re the one who showed up here with nothing but harassment. You don’t have a point, you don’t have a brain, and you obviously don’t have any friends.

        • POPONNE

          Now, you, the loser, are whinning. Know that when you harass and seek to impose your atheist-religion delusions on Judeo-Christian Society, you will be countered and be shown to be friendless in OUR Judeo -Christian Society.

        • Kodie

          I’m really not interested in your nazi agenda.

        • POPONNE

          So says the nazi with a nazi agenda. Jew-hater,keep deceiving yourself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Expand on this. What is the atheist agenda? What do we atheists want to do with American society?

        • POPONNE

          An atheist asking what the atheist agenda is.You being an atheist, are you not in a position to know, or are you no longer an atheist? I firmly believe you should be able to make the mental dilatation as much as you please. No?

          Again, Judaeo-Christian Society.

        • adam

          “Again, Judaeo-Christian Society.”

          Yes, we understand through history the Judaeo-Christian agenda…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fa7eb6a996f1d1803edec05ed6940f176a2fae1df66450d6e526122a5c782acf.jpg

        • Greg G.

          Judeo-Christian society is ancient Judaism reformed by Greek and Roman influences. As much as Rome liked blood sports and public executions, they thought stoning children for mouthing off and stick-picker-uppers needed to be reined in

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m quite clear what my agenda is: ensure that the separation between church and state in the US stays strong. (Which, BTW, is the best thing for the Christian as well.)

          Most atheists in the US who have an opinion on the subject feel the same way, I’m guessing.

          So I’m quite clear what the agenda is, but thanks for asking. You’re the one with your head up your ass, dodging yet another challenge and showing that you have no idea what you’re talking about. My question is: what is your agenda? I realize of course what happens in your wake–people hate you and realize that you have absolutely no argument, and that doesn’t reflect well on the Christian apologetic agenda. Is the agenda in your head different? If so, pretty funny.

        • GREOP

          Lying to cover your atheist agenda is part of your atheist indoctrination. Clauses in the constitution are certainly not your atheist agenda, [so quit lying], simply because the Constitution is not an atheist document. It is a Judaeo-Christian document.
          Your wouldn’t have been so rattled at my mention of atheist agenda to such a degree as to ask for an expansion of my comment as a way of your determining whether I have zeroed in on your atheist agenda, if your atheist agenda had been same as clauses in the constitution.
          To get a glimpse of your atheist agenda, human beings have only to take a look at the millions of human beings you atheist monsters murdered in USSR, and the millions you atheist monsters murdered in the killing fields of Cambodia, and the millions of babies you atheist monsters are murdering in your abortion altars.The above are the disastrous results that follow when a group of wicked atheist creatures have cast off all moral restraint, even to the extent of claiming that God the Source of morality as being non existent, all in a bid to give you clear latitude to indulge in your immoral totalitarian wickedness.
          So, since you have your head solidly up your ass, it is not surprising you deceive yourself as having any capability to achieve any successful cloaking of your atheist agenda.
          []]]]

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          POPO—you’re back! You shouldn’t have! So I banned you again.

          But while we’re exploring our bromance in public, let me respond to your points. You really ought to read the Constitution. It defines a secular public square, with which I’m delighted. I’m assuming you’re Christian. A secular public square is the Christian’s best friend as well as the atheist’s.

          The Constitution a Judeo-Christian document? God damn—where does one start with that? Recommending remedial reading, I suppose.

          I’ve replied to the “Yeah, but Stalin was an atheist!!!” argument in a previous post. Search for it.

        • MR

          Well, at least we’ve got some substance this time! So I’m just thrilled to learn that I’m part of a grand conspiracy, Bob, you really should tell us these things. Exciting!

          No, you know I remember one of the big blows to my Christianity was when I heard George Bush speaking to a Christian group. I hadn’t clued in at that point that he had been courting evangelicals behind the scenes. My church’s message had always been that all government was suspect. Democrat or Republican, it didn’t matter, both were to be regarded with a wary eye because it was Government, capital-G, that was going to be part of the end times conspiracy. I remember him saying, “You know ‘x’ (I forget now), and you know ‘y’,” and he leaned forward over the podium and said with a nod and a wink, “and you know what I believe.” And the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. That little dog whistle was first time I clued in that we had chosen a side and evangelicals were working politically behind the scene. My first thought was, “For want of a conspiracy, we became a conspiracy.” It felt like a betrayal. My Christian peeps had soiled themselves with politics…. And now look how far they’ve come and who their champion is. 😛

        • Dys

          POPO wants to keep letting us know about his idiotic opinions…

          He’s “STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK” now.

        • Kodie

          Nobody’s rattled, you are just a big uneducated baby.

        • Michael Neville

          You think reasonable people are influenced by a semi-literate rant? As I told you before, you’re a failure at insults. I haven’t seen any reason why I should have any reaction to you other than contempt.

        • POPONNE

          Excuses of a loser. I am not surprised you hold your sorry self in deep contempt. That explains a lot about your more than 50 years of mal-existence. The more you confess, the more you expose yourself, and the more insight is being gained into your psyche. Ride on.

        • Greg G.

          I consider that high praise to be mistaken for Michael Neville.

        • POPONNE

          Not “mistaken for”. Of course you have high praise for yourself. That is what OPINION you think of your narcissist self.Reality of more than 50 years stuck on teenage stupidity, says something different. [My apologies to wise teenagers not part of your crowd]

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          At this blog, thoughtful Christians are in particular welcome. You don’t sound like one. You need to do so (by providing good evidence and arguments for your religious beliefs) or get banned.

        • Pofarmer

          Sounds like the typical Dennis Praeger, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh listener. “Argumentative” style is certainly the same. ie, there isn’t one, except to shout that the other person is wrong.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s an interesting point. Where I come from, having nothing but bluster makes clear that that’s the best you’ve got–in other words, bluster without an argument.

          But then I guess POPO doesn’t come from there. It’s hard to believe he doesn’t understand “put up or shut up.”

        • Pofarmer

          If you listen to Dennis Praeger once, you’ve heard every show. “The left is always wrong.” “The lefts ideas are stupid.” “Christianity is necessary for the U.S. to Survive.” That’s pretty much it. And that’s pertty much this ignoramous.

        • POPONNE

          “Banned”? Who do you think is afraid of your ban? You must be slow
          of mind and very unthoughtful not to have realized so far, that I have been deliberately courting your “ban.” Please, feel free to implement your threat of your “ban.”
          In the presence of your absolute inability to provide any good evidence and
          arguments for your belief of being human, your recourse to ban will further
          demonstrate the weakness and total lack of good evidence and argument for your programmed atheist-religion delusive beliefs. So,while at it, never forget to ban yourself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I have been deliberately courting your “ban.” Please, feel free to implement your threat of your “ban.”

          You’ve made my day. Bye, bitch.

          I’ve encouraged you, both with gentle words and insults, to give us your argument for God’s existence, or indeed for anything interesting. And you had nothing. You’re a waste of space-time.

          And, you’ve helped encourage the snap judgement that, sight unseen, that claimed killer argument for Christianity from any Christian, is yet more bullshit. Congratulations–Jeebus must be proud.

        • Kodie

          He just seemed to show up out of nowhere specifically to harass Michael Neville, and then anyone else who happened to speak up. I love how these losers think getting banned is a win for their position after engaging in nothing but inflammatory and contentless opinions and empty threats. Some people just don’t get how a conversation works.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Perhaps he’s off at some other blog bragging about how he and his big dick taught those atheists a thing or two.

        • Kodie

          No, of course he made a sock puppet.

        • Greg G.

          I gave a silly argument to one of his silly requests – to prove you are human. He seems to have missed that it was supposed to be humorous as he attacked it seriously. It was the only argument he ever addressed, as far as I know.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          In his inept hands, that argument wasn’t good for anything. I had no idea where he was going.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As for atheist arguments, this entire blog of 1000 posts is dedicated to that purpose. You’re welcome to sit in timeout and read.

        • Greg G.

          I have a wonderful life, a lovely wife, fond memories, and still making more of them. I have no fear of death and will live until I die. It is amusing that some punk on the internet who can’t put a space after a period thinks he can insult me.

        • POPONNE

          There is no need to insult a punk on the internet that you are, when you are doing a fine job of insulting yourself. A chimp also describes its “wife” as “lovely”, but we humans know its perception is non-human, just like your perception.So does a pig claim it has “a wonderful life” of gluttony, “fond memories” of past gluttony, “and still making more of” gluttony, and boasts of “no fear of death” ——until the day of slaughter for sausages, and the boasting turns to petrified horror at the reality of its wasted existence and the reality of ending up sitting as a sausage in a fast food joint.What a wasted mal-existence. And you are not at all amused.No matter how much you pretend.I know how to drive in the “sharp point” and twist it to cause you maximum psychological ache. But then, all my “sharp points” about you remain the truth. Deal with that.

        • Greg G.

          Are you trying to hone some skill so you have something to put on your résumé? I’m sure somebody would be willing to pay big money for someone with your skills. Huuuge income.

        • Kodie

          You just sound like a bitter 7-year-old who can’t cope with reality so just keep believing there’s a Santa Claus… one more year, at least.

        • POPONNE

          Look into a mirror and read your comment OUT LOUD. That is an actual and apt portrayal of yourself finally telling yourself the truth about yourself alone. Amen.

        • Kodie

          You don’t make a point, you just make a lot of noise.

        • POPONNE

          Believe me, your OPINION is irrelevant. But if you must make an opinion, try and make some sense.Cheers.

        • Kodie

          It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. You rant and rave and act like a total lunatic, I bet you think you are being a badass, I bet you think what you say is intimidating anyone.

        • POPONNE

          You certainly have this opinion, that if you shout loud and long enough claiming an opinion to be fact, that humans would somehow be intimidated into accepting the opinion to be fact which it is not.
          We humans are not intimidated.

        • Kodie

          Nobody here is impressed by your “attitude”. You are just delusional and uneducated.

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          By
          “educated”, yOU must mean that your brain has been fried by leftist propaganda. How educational standards
          have so fallen, that a brainwashed fool that you are, is under the delusion of
          being educated.

        • Greg G.

          You seem like the kid who always gets bullied. You think of what you should have said and what you are going to say next time but can’t get it out when the time comes, and if you do, they make fun of that, too.

          It gets better, kid. In the real world, people are more concerned with getting to work and getting home.

          Your insults need a bit of wit to them. You are spewing ignorant nastiness that is way off the point.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          He thinks he is a psychological surgeon, twisting the scalpel. In his mind, he has eviscerated you. I think it is a technique he learned from a click-bait internet page.

        • Pofarmer

          He’s more like working with a wooden spoon.

        • Kodie

          More like a wooden head. The spoon is imaginary.

        • BlackMamba44

          Somebody got out of their straight-jacket.

        • adam
        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          Look
          into a mirror and read your comment OUT LOUD. That is an actual and apt
          portrayal of yourself finally telling yourself the truth about yourself alone.
          Amen.

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          You obviously have an ear infection.

        • Michael Neville

          Thank you for the compliment, Greg.

        • Pofarmer

          Or Parenthesis, apparently. ()

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Jesus must be so happy that you picked his team.

          Make and argument. Y’know, with evidence. Here–let me start you off: “God exists because …”

        • POPONNE

          If you care for an argument, get over to the other thread, and not on this thread. Or are you deaf? Go over there and make an argument that you are human. You know, with evidence. Something like: “I bob is human because—–“

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No, not deaf–on vacation and away from my primary computer. Make it easy on me, and I’ll read your argument. It’s inconvenient for me to search for an argument which almost surely is just more Christian bullshit.

          But don’t let me put you to any trouble.

        • POPONNE

          Since you claim you are not deaf, and that you are incapable of a search, then remain here. While here then, make an argument that you are human. You know, with evidence. Something like: “I bob is human because—–“

          Or you can ignore my suggested argument and go evasive. In fact, I firmly believe it is convenient for you to focus instead on yOUR pretended “argument” which surely is just more atheist religion delusive bull shit.
          []

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then you have no argument. OK, I didn’t think so.

          I’m surprised. I would’ve thought that a thoughtful Christian like you would like the platform to share with us why your beliefs are intellectually grounded instead of just being the bullshit you were taught as a child.

          As for “I bob is human,” I have no idea how to respond to that challenge in a satisfactory way.

          Which “pretended argument” of mine are you referring to? You could respond to the argument in the post. Or, you could find another in this blog that you find more engaging and respond to that.

          Can’t you offer anything?

        • POPONNE

          Give some evidence of your alleged being human. You have no argument then. I am not surprised that you are only capable of regurgitating the teenage delusion bullshit programmed into you by a more than 50 years old failure stuck on teenage stupidity[apologies to wise teenagers who are not in your crowd]. How are your programmers going to provide an evidence of your humanity when your humanity does not exist. No wonder you are stuck.Will rebooting help?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s weird–why do I suddenly have the impression that I’m reading the Dr. Bronner’s soap label?

        • Rudy R

          That is an apt portrayal of a shit for brains that you are, finally telling your self the truth that you are pretty fucking stupid…

          I’m sure Jesus is very proud of you.

        • POPONNE

          When you are in hot soup, you suddenly remember and appeal to Jesus you hate. It does not work that way.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Appeal to Jesus? Do you not know what an atheist is?

        • Kodie

          He knows he hates them.

        • POPONNE

          “Do you not know what an atheist is?”
          Good.That is the exact question you have to continue asking yourself whenever you appeal to Jesus. You have to make up your mind.Or are you getting more and more confused as to what you claim to believe and not believe, as time goes on.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A little slow today? I’m an atheist. I never appeal to Jesus. I never claim to believe, nor do I ever believe.

          Thanks for your concern, but I’m not confused.

        • POPONNE

          “Do you not know what an atheist is?”

          Good. That is the exact question you have to continue asking yourself
          whenever you appeal to Jesus. You have to make up your mind. Or are you getting more and more confused as to what you claim to believe and not believe, as time goes on.

        • Dys

          You’re right, it doesn’t. The “no atheists in foxholes” bullshit is ignorant Christian propaganda, not reality.

        • POPONNE

          You have to be able to provide evidence for all your mindless ignorant atheist chants of “ignorant Christian propaganda.” You have no evidence.
          Face this reality, that you are not even yet in a hot soup as hot as a foxhole, and here you are, already appealing to Jesus.You are living in denial. Ignoramus,try and face reality—for once.
          REPEAT:
          When you are in hot soup, you suddenly remember and appeal to Jesus you hate. Aiming to eat your cake and still have it. It does not work that way.

        • Greg G.

          Why do you think people hate fictional characters?

          If you learn how to bake cakes, you can eat all you want and still have some.

        • Dys

          So your response is just to repeat your mindless babble. Thanks for confirming you’re a complete moron. Keep eating those paint chips.

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          And the reason why you are offended, instead of being satisfied with the lies you are telling yourself, is because you believe that the Truth is that there is God, and that you are no atheist.

          Only a fool does not face reality honestly by seeking for all the help he can get, and instead depend only on his inept self. You are one such moron. Next time, do not call the police, I guess that will be your idea of “dealing with reality honestly”.

          You have to be able to provide evidence for all your mindless ignorant atheist chants of “ignorant Christian propaganda.” You have no evidence.

          Face this reality,that you are not even yet in a hot soup as hot as a foxhole, and here you are, already appealing to Jesus. You are living in denial. Ignoramus,try and face reality—for once.

          REPEAT:

          When you are in hot soup, you suddenly remember and appeal to Jesus you hate. Aiming to eat your cake and still have it. It does not work that way.

          By POPONNE.

        • Dys

          Repeat: You’re an ignorant moron troll who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

          When you are in hot soup, you suddenly remember and appeal to Jesus you hate. Aiming to eat your cake and still have it. It does not work that way.

          You’re right, it doesn’t work that way because that scenario is just your masturbatory fantasy.

          But since you’re too immature to face up to the reality that you could be wrong, you’re stuck wanking off to the idea of all these atheists pleading to Jesus when things get rough. And sure sometimes that happens. What you can’t wrap your tiny little deluded mind around is the fact that a lot of times, it doesn’t.

        • GREOP

          I am your intellectual and spiritual and knowledgeable superior, who knows
          exactly what I am talking about. So, I am actually hitting the nail on the head
          by saying that: When you are in hot soup, you suddenly remember and appeal to
          Jesus you hate. In your case you have appealed to Jesus Christ. Any contrary
          SPECULATIVE belief your may have of it not being so, is just your habitual
          “masturbatory fantasy,” which I have ruptured for you. You should now
          be able to “face reality honestly” without resorting to your escapist
          “masturbatory fantasy”, you pervert.

          You have to be able to provide evidence for all your mindless ignorant atheist
          chants of “ignorant Christian propaganda.” You have no evidence.

          Face this reality, that you are not even yet in a hot soup as hot as a
          foxhole, and here you are, already appealing to Jesus. You are living in
          denial. Ignoramus, try and face reality—for once.

          REPEAT:

          And the reason why you are offended, instead of being satisfied with the lies
          you are telling yourself, is because you believe that the Truth is that there
          is God, and that you are no atheist. Only a fool does not face reality honestly
          by seeking for all the help he can get, and instead depend only on his inept
          self. You are one such moron. Next time, do not call the police, I guess that
          will be your idea of dealing with reality honestly.

          By POPONNE.

          []]

        • Dys

          Moron troll Poponne continues to masturbate over his fantasy of atheists calling out to a Jew that died over 1,500 years ago.

          Somehow thinks he’s superior to anyone, despite being an uneducated delusional fuckwad.

        • Rudy R

          OK, omitting Jesus’ pride in your language, when you resort to school yard juvenile name calling, like Trump, you have lost all credibility.

        • Pofarmer

          He never had any credibility, that I can tell.

        • POPONNE

          Has it ever occurred to you that your OPINION is nil, as in zero.?
          Please, clear off the road, and make sure you park well by the road side.

        • POPONNE

          Direct your caution to your buddy michael. He resorted to school yard juvenile name calling, and I merely held up a mirror to his face. Are you such a hypocrite not to have seen his “shit for brains” name calling[of himself].

        • Rudy R

          Didn’t your mother ever teach you, two wrongs don’t make a right?

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          Didn’t
          your mother tell you that one wrong does not make a right, and that my response
          to your buddy’s wrong, is a corrective chastisement to his stupidity and
          therefore right.

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          Believe me, your OPINION is irrelevant. But if you must make
          an opinion, try and make some sense. Cheers.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Zero content–congrats.

          We’re not impressed with insults, just arguments.

        • POPONNE

          But you are impressed with insults when you are the ones dishing it out and thinking you are winning. But when you are clearly outmatched, you resort to the pathetic excuse of the loser in a conflict which the loser started and have clearly lost. You have no argument. Clear off the road, and make sure you park well.

          I have opened two treads with that fellow on this article—-the insulting thread which he started and which is this one. And the other thread which is argumentative. If you care for an argument, get over to that thread and engage me in arguments. This has become necessary, because your buddy has thrown in the towel. Try your hand at helping him. I am certain that I will outmatch you in argument. Now get the hell over there.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’ve made an argument? Great–give me a link to it.

        • POPONNE

          You must mean, give you eyes?

        • MR

          I’ve gone through my emails and don’t see one argument by this guy. He walked in with insults and abuse and that’s pretty much all he’s given. Not that we mind insults and abuse around here, but we usually take it with a side of argument. This one is here only to yank chains.

        • Greg G.

          If his arguments are as mild as his insults and chain yanking, it’s probably best he avoids getting into real arguments.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Thanks for the input. I often can’t even scan every comment, and I was wondering if POP was that rare–nay, unique–Christian apologist who actually had a great argument.

          Sounds like not.

        • Greg G.

          This comment from Rex went into the moderation queue. Michael Neville replied to it while I was in the process of replying but it wouldn’t let me post.

        • Michael Neville

          Neither of your threads is argumentative. In one thread you’ve tried and failed to insult me. “Canoe chief” is an insult? A common term that U.S. Navy sailors have for the Annapolis Naval Academy is “Canoe U”. I got a mild chuckle out of “canoe chief” but only a mild one, since it came from someone who obviously has no idea what a Chief is.

          Your other thread is you telling me that I actually do believe in your god. You’ve just read a few posts from me but you “think” you know me better than I know myself. Like many theists, you prefer your illusions to reality. I’ve been an atheist for over 50 years. I know why I’m an atheist and I know what would make me change my mind. Nothing you or any other theist has every said has come close to making me change my mind on my atheism.

        • POPONNE

          Your mind is not worth changing.You know why? Because it is worthless—has been for more than fifty years.

        • Michael Neville

          So you’ve given up on argumentation and continue with insults, except that you should give up on those as well because you fail there as well. You’re just a contemptible little piss-ant, incapable of rational thought and worthy of disregard.

        • epeeist

          You’re just a contemptible little piss-ant, incapable of rational thought and worthy of disregard.

          Here in the UK we would say “All mouth and no trousers”, I believer the equivalent phrase in the States is “All hat an no cattle”.

        • POPONNE

          Hypocrite, you are the one that lack any argument and that have been continuing insulting yourself. Enjoy .

        • POPONNE

          Look into a mirror and read your comment OUT LOUD. That is an apt portrayal of a contemptible little piss-ant loser creature that you are, finally telling yourself the truth.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The love of Jesus is strong in this one.

        • POPONNE

          “Do you not know what an atheist is?”

          Good. That is the exact question you have to continue asking yourself
          whenever you appeal to Jesus and CRAVE for The Love of Jesus. You have to make up your mind. Or are you getting more and more confused as to what you claim to believe and not believe, as time goes on.

        • Pofarmer

          What fuckin numb nuts.

        • Greg G.

          That probably seemed like a sharp retort in your mind but you should have passed on posting when you typed it out.

        • POPONNE

          Tell him that his comment “probably seemed” to him like “a sharp retort in” his “mind but” he should have refrained from “posting when” he “typed it out”.

        • Susan

          You gave me a false choice

          Of course he didn’t. He also provided the choice of making a clear claim.of your own

          But then you’d have to support it.

          And you can’t.

          Better to pretend that no one’s playing fair.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I don’t understand your question, Greg. Are you saying that I would be (figuratively) worshipping straw, or that I have fabricated a God that is not really what Christians argue for (a straw man argument)?

        • Greg G.

          I don’t understand your question, Greg.

          The phrase “so let’s just go with that straw instead of the other ones” implies that you are selecting a straw man version.

          Are you saying that I would be (figuratively) worshiping straw, or that I have fabricated a God that is not really what Christians argue for (a straw man argument)?

          Yes, to both. There are many versions of God conceived and worshiped by Christians. Whichever version you worship is imaginary and it may or may not correspond to the imaginary versions of God that other Christians tout.

          If you worship the wrong god, many Christian religions believe you get the ultimate punishment, per the first few Commandments. But if God is infinite, you cannot comprehend the whole being and can only worship an approximation of that God, not the actual God. So you are, by definition, worshiping the wrong one. If that’s good enough, then there is no problem, even for atheists. There’s a fuzzy line between not worshiping a real god and worshiping an imaginary god.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Ah, OK. Thanks for the clarification. OK, so here is what I have in mind:

          The God of Christianity is the creator of the universe. Jesus Christ is the son of God, and is an aspect of God. Jesus was conceived by the holy Spirit, another aspect of the essence of God. Jesus’ mother was Mary, who had never had sex prior to the birth of Jesus.

          Jesus was tortured by Pontius Pilate prior to being crucified to death. Jesus was buried in a tomb, but 3 days later he physically came back to life through the actions of God.

          After visiting with various people, Jesus went to Heaven where he judges people.

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God, resulting in us being judged worthy to live forever with God.

          This is the core belief of what I consider to be Christianity. Issues beyond this that Christians disagree over are superfluous.

          Let’s talk.

        • Michael Neville

          So you believe in a generic Christian god who poofed the universe into existence and is made up of three parts: Dad, JC and The Spook. JC, aka Jesus, did the normal god thing of being born to a virgin except she was raped by The Spook.

          Jesus managed to piss off the religious authorities who turned him over to the civil authorities for torture and death. Jesus spent a lousy afternoon hanging around the cross and then, day and a half later, he’s all good again.

          After spending time with his homies, Jesus went to magic sky land where his ass is kissed by people afraid of death.

          Do I have it right?

        • Greg G.

          OK, let’s start with “Jesus was tortured by Pontius Pilate prior to being crucified to death.” The flogging is mentioned as part of the Barabbas story in three of the gospels. Luke has some of the elements but the order is arranged differently but the flogging by Pilate is one of the missing elements. Mark used both Latin words and Aramaic words and that name is Aramaic. Mark never explained the Latinisms, which indicates that his audience was probably Roman, but he usually explained the Aramaicisms. He explained that the name “Bartimaeus” meant “son of Timaeus”, in Mark 10:46. In Mark 14:36, Jesus opens his prayer with “Abba, Father”, which informs his audience of the meaning of “Abba”. (Paul used the same phrase in Galatians 4:6 and Romans 8:15, though he wasn’t quoting Jesus). So his readers know that the name “Barabbas” means “son of the Father”, the kind of coincidence that brings to mind the Atonement ritual from Leviticus 16:5-22 where two goats are used. One is killed for the sins of the people and one is released into the wilderness. It is kind of clever but the Atonement ritual is performed on Yom Kippur which is months later.

          That whole sequence is immediately followed by the Mocking of Jesus. The whole sequence matches with Philo’s Flaccus, Book VI 36-39, where some “children and wanton youths” mock a certain madman. The madman is driven to the public gymnasium and Jesus is led to the Praetorium. The children flatten out a leaf of papyrus and put it on the madman’s head in place of a diadem while the soldiers weave a crown of thorns and put it on Jesus’ head. The madman is dress with a common door mat instead of a cloak and make a spectacle of as if he had been adorned as a king while Jesus is clothed with purple cloth as royalty wore. Whereas Jesus had been led by soldiers, the youths pretended to be soldiers, using sticks as spears and imitating bodyguards. The youths came to salute him, they pretended to plead their causes, and wished to consult him, while the soldiers bowed to their knees as if paying homage to Jesus and said “Hail, King of the Jews”, just as the youths were calling out “Maris”, which was what the Syrians called kings. Luke omits this stuff but you can find it in Mark 15:15-20, John 18:40-19:3,5, and Matthew 27:26-31, with elements that seem to have been borrowed from Mark, but Mark seems to have modeled the story on Philo’s tale. Luke 23:11 simply says that Jesus was mocked and dressed in luxurious clothing by Herod.

          One more thing, the madman in Philo’s story was named “Carabbas” and even in Greek, the spelling of Barabbas and Carabbas differs in only the first letter. The name of the madman is given just before the mocking and Barabbas is mentioned just before the mocking. This is a good indication that Philo’s story was the inspiration for Mark’s account of the Mocking by the Soldiers, the Barabbas story, the opening of the Gethsemane prayer, and the name of the blind man in Mark 10:46. It is a piece of literature, not an actual historical event.

          The flogging of Jesus is quite weak to add to the God belief.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Have I clarified the God that I am talking about?

          Of all the things for you to single out from that statement, Pilate has to be the most curious. It may be the only part of my statement that atheists could actually agree with.

        • Greg G.

          That was the kickoff. It establishes that the other gospels rely on Mark and that Mark is literary fiction. A theology that relies on the fictional gospels is bound to be fiction.

          Maybe you should switch to the early epistles. They are dependent on the OT and not first century history.

        • Clement Agonistes

          When they are alike, they are copying. When they are different, they can’t get their story straight. No matter what the evidence, the conclusion has already been written.

        • Greg G.

          When they are alike verbatim, letter for letter, jot for jot, and tittle for tittle, it means one was copying the other. When they are different, the copyist was rejecting something from the text. Matthew and Luke omit the spit miracles and any miracles that are not instantaneous.

          Did you ever wonder why none of the gospels not attributed to Mark mention the naked boy in Gethsemane? Have you ever wondered why Luke jumps from Mark 6:46 to Mark 8:27 in mid-verse and mid-sentence? Why did Luke place the Feeding of the Five Thousand in Bethsaida instead of the wilderness like Mark and Matthew? Is it because Mark says they were planning to go to Bethsaida but they ended up in Gennasaret so Luke put them in Bethsaida originally, instead of Jesus doing a miracle yet ending up in the wrong place?

          The other gospels also used different sources to invent new stories.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Matthew and Luke omit the spit miracles

          They are rather awkward, with the omnipotent Son of God having to take a few tries to get his magic to work.

          Maybe he hadn’t practiced in a while.

        • Kodie

          I wouldn’t say the differences are superfluous, as per:

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God, resulting in us being judged worthy to live forever with God. [emphasis mine]

          How to behave and what to feel guilty about doing or shame others about or try to encode into law accounts for major differences among denominations. You are taking the same book and interpreting it vastly different enough for that to count. You have a basic skeleton of a god, and then how you dress that god skeleton is what makes it a religion. I mean tell me there’s practically no difference between what you believe and what the Westboro Baptist Church believes.

        • Susan

          After visiting with various people, Jesus went to Heaven where he judges people.

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God, resulting in us being judged worthy to live forever with God.

          OK….

          How do you support it?

        • MR

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God, resulting in us being judged worthy to live forever with God.

          That makes no sense. Do you not see the disconnect there?

        • Clement Agonistes

          It makes no sense whatsoever. What does God owe us? Squat. Yet ….

        • Kodie

          Yet …. if you were inventing a god, you’d make sure your crummy self wouldn’t be rejected. You’d let yourself off the hook. Nothing you say makes me believe there’s an actual figure god, only an imaginary, what-people-wish-for kind of god.

        • MR

          In other words, you don’t see the disconnect. It seems to me that your religion has warped your thinking. Forgiving someone doesn’t make someone worthy of something. Only the person can do something to make themselves worthy. If you want people to believe your fairy tale, it should at least make sense. Far from giving me a reason to believe you, you give me reason to doubt, [and make me] think that your religion clouds your reason.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Since we’re putting words in other people’s mouths. allow me to do the same for you. You see no difference between forgiveness and non-forgiveness. The relationship between the 2 parties is unchanged.

          I’m going to treat this as if you were serious, although history around this blog shows that to be a fool’s errand. In Christian theology, only perfection can exist in Heaven. God is perfect. Jesus is perfect. I would hope we could all agree that we are far from perfect. Perfection is the absence of imperfections. Jesus provides the mechanism by which imperfections can be removed.

          Whether you guys believe it or not is not my concern here. I respect your beliefs. And, let’s be honest, we’re all set in our ways anyway. My goal here is that Christian beliefs be fairly stated. I think you guys want the same for your own.

        • MR

          I’m not putting words in anyone’s mouth. They’re your words:

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God, resulting in us being judged worthy to live forever with God.

          Don’t blame me because you state things that make no sense. You need to work on a coherent message.

        • Clement Agonistes

          The condition of perfection is not subjective. Since “coherence” is an issue, let me state it in a different mode:

          P1: Only perfect people get into Heaven.
          P2: People can only be made perfect through the forgiveness of their imperfections.
          P3: Jesus both forgives imperfections and judges whether perfection is present..

          I suspect the point you would be making if you stated it coherently would be that God could simply change the rules, and allow imperfection.

        • MR

          You’re completely clueless, aren’t you? You aren’t even addressing the issue. This is the invitation you’re extending, “You, too, can check reason at the door.” This is how cults work. Clearly you’re just going to dance around the point, so I have nothing further to say if you can’t address the stupidity in your claim.

        • Kodie

          It’s the kind of pitch people who have low self-esteem would be receptive to.

        • MR

          Precisely. We’re supposed to react emotionally and ignore the fact that it makes no sense. Time and time again, it’s like they try to sell us on a god who fails at reason and logic. Why is an omnipotent being weak in this area? Oh, maybe because it doesn’t exist.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Is this the part where I insult you back and you say, “Oh, now I get it!”?

          Hey, if I only wanted insults, I could talk with my family. If you just need someone to bully, torture your dog.

        • MR

          No, this is the part where you either reconcile your statement or admit it was a stupid claim.

          Your claim:

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God, resulting in us being judged worthy to live forever with God.

          You’re asking me to believe something that makes no sense, and on top of it, you appear to have ignored (unless I missed it somewhere) other people’s requests to support this statement.

          You’re the one making the claim, you said something stupid (see above), and then berate us instead of retracting or supporting your statement. Yet, you want us to believe you.

          Would you accept this nonsense from someone who was proposing a religion different than yours? I bet you’d point out the stupidity in their claim, too.

          I don’t believe you because you give me reasons not to believe you. This is not my fault.

        • Kodie

          Forgiveness doesn’t make anyone perfect. If you think you’re going to heaven, you won’t be perfect. It would just mean your god determined that it’s ok if you come to heaven anyway.

        • epeeist

          P2: People can only be made perfect through the forgiveness of their imperfections.

          Nope, forgiving somebody for their imperfections does not remove them. The only effect is on the entity who does the forgiving.

          To remove the imperfection you would need to act on the person with the imperfection.

        • Greg G.

          He would owe the people who he made less gullible sufficient reason to believe he exists if he was going to torture them for not believing. Why should people with a low standard for evidence get off the hook?

        • MR

          And why should people with a low standard for reasoning get off the hook? If Clement can’t even admit he made a stupid statement and immediately goes into obfuscation mode, why should I buy anything he says?

        • Kodie

          You are constructing god in totally human terms, like a fallible, flawed, emotionally-driven kind of person with human reactions like pettiness and wrath over minutia, then like an abusive parent, comes crawling back with presents, for your forgiveness of him. He goes with the flow, he thinks what we think, he magically forgives you when you loathe yourself. You’re a pathetic and wrecked person if you need external validation from a fictional character. That’s exactly like saying Superman doesn’t owe me anything, but he saved me from falling out of a burning building anyway. Utterly human fiction invented for people like you who are too frightened to face reality.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          This only relays a few stories of things that happened to or by your god, which is not particularly useful. Can you please describe its characteristics?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Wonderful exercise! Let’s look at that creed, and see what characteristics we can infer.

          “creator of the universe”. That suggests an enormous amount of power … perhaps omnipotence. I think it also suggests that God had something in mind in bothering to create the universe … maybe a purpose.

          We have Jesus, God Among Us. I infer a personal interest in humanity, that God wants to interact with us and reveal his nature. Personal.

          Jesus suffered and died at our hands. Well, clearly, our sense of justice and interest in what God would communicate to us sucks. Justice.

          Jesus is resurrected, confirming that what he communicated was valid, and suggesting that the same might be possible for us. Hope.

          Jesus forgives us, and judges us. He is a judge who throws out convicting evidence. God is not fair. He skews the trial in our favor. God wants us to live forever. Mercy. Benevolence. Love.

          That’s just a 5-minute run-through, but that should help.

        • Kodie

          Those are the qualities of a god imagined by humans out of pure wishful thinking, arrogance, and judgment of others.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          You’re getting there but still stuck in apologia.

          Perhaps an analogy would help. We’re in the middle of a conversation when I casually refer to, “Fwarble”. Unsurprisingly, you ask what I’m talking about.

          My first response is, “Fwarble did X, and Fwarble did Y”. You stop me and rightly point out that this doesn’t describe what a Fwarble is so I follow this up with, “Fwarble is really nice and super strong!”

          Do you now know what a Fwarble is?

        • Clement Agonistes

          You guys go to enormous effort to avoid discussing something you claim to have better knowledge about than anybody else.

        • Greg G.

          The universe exists because Fwarble created it. That implies that Fwarble has great power. I can’t prove that but I read it on the internet. It’s equivalent to the claims of Genesis 1 & 2, except is is less contradictory, thus more likely to be true.

          Remember that your god claim is hypothetical. It is what you imagine from reading a collection of books of ancient superstitions.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Hypothetically, we are discussing Christianity, not Fwarble. You guys needed a definition. Note that I provided it, and the conversation was promptly dropped in favor of the next evasion. It was never a sincere request.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Your definitions were insufficient.

          I can’t but recall that this entire conversation started because you complained about differing standards. Do you think a scientific hypothesis that contained nebulous terms wouldn’t generate requests for clarity? Do you think scientists would respond with accusations of evasiveness and insincerity?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I don’t think one skips from Hypothesis to confirmed conclusion. I don’t think name-calling is one of the steps in the methodology. If one wants to test the hypothesis, one has to construct an appropriate experiment. In order to interpret the data from that experiment, one has to recognize the difference between success and failure.

          While I don’t think these issue lend themselves to this kind of analysis (measuring the supernatural through natural means), I am at least willing to entertain the notion within its limits. IMO, you guys are setting up an experiment with your conclusion already written. Working backward, you set up criteria to evaluate data in a way that guarantees your conclusion will be validated. In science, the data should lead to the conclusion, not the other way around.

          Atheists are construct theology on behalf of Christians which is not representative of Christianity. The fix is in. One only needs to fix the results when the results are broken (do not lead to the desired conclusion).

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Atheists are construct theology on behalf of Christians which is not representative of Christianity.

          Hence why I’ve repeatedly asked you to define your terms and clarify your position. Would you care to stop accusing me of things I haven’t done and actually answer the questions asked?

        • epeeist

          Atheists are construct theology on behalf of Christians which is not representative of Christianity.

          To a certain extent this is true. You then have ask why we attempt to do this, my answer would be because we can’t get a comprehensive and coherent description that all Christians agree on so we construct something in the hope of getting push back.

        • Kodie

          because we can’t get a comprehensive and coherent description that all Christians agree on

          FTFY.

        • Greg G.

          Hypothetically, we are discussing Christianity, not Fwarble.

          How do you know that God and Fwarble are different topics?

          You guys needed a definition. Note that I provided it, and the conversation was promptly dropped in favor of the next evasion. It was never a sincere request.

          I have been addressing the definition by showing that every part of it is a literary composition. They didn’t have any better way to know about God than we have today. They were just making stuff up and borrowing stuff someone else made up. The tradition continues.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Fwarble and God are the same.

          … said no one, ever.

          For the sake of THIS discussion (it may yet be salvaged), I grant your premise about literary composition. The source (the Genetic Fallacy) of Christian beliefs would not change what they are.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          It’s just the opposite, actually. Seeking clarity with regard to terms is an effort to have a more productive conversation, not to avoid it. It is interesting that theists regularly confuse the two, though.

          Since you apparently didn’t grasp the analogy, I’ll be more blunt. What is a god? You’ve offered actions done by one, and some personal characteristics, but these only help differentiate between gods. What are the things that determine whether an entity is a god or not?

        • Michael Neville

          You are going to enormous effort to keep from defining your particular, personal god. We want to know its characteristics, not what it had for breakfast.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus Christ is the son of God, and is an aspect of God.

          gMark has Jesus baptized for remission of sins and only then does God adopt him. gMatthew has John the Baptist apologize to Jesus for baptizing him instead of the other way around but Jesus says, “No problem. This is only for show to self-fulfill some prophecies.” gJohn doesn’t actually say the JtB performed the baptism, only that he witnessed the light show. gLuke throws in the arrest of JtB just before the baptism is mentioned, which serves to obfuscate who performed the baptism. It’s like the gospels that had Jesus being divine from conception or before were uneasy with the idea that Jesus would need the remission of sins. It shows the changing theology. (The John the Baptist passage in Josephus specifically states that John’s baptism was not for remission of sins, which makes it look like an interpolation into Antiquities of the Jews, possibly done around the time of the later gospels.)

          Jesus was conceived by the holy Spirit, another aspect of the essence of God. Jesus’ mother was Mary, who had never had sex prior to the birth of Jesus.

          gMark and gJohn say nothing about that. gMark never mentions Joseph and gJohn never mentions the mother of Jesus by name, even though gJohn has two other women named Mary with Jesus’ mother and one of them was her sister. gMatthew is notorious for taking OT verses out of context to create a narrative to have a fulfilled prophecy. Here Matthew must have been reading the Septuagint, as it has the Greek word for “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14, though the Hebrew texts use the word for “young woman” with no independent connotation of virginity. Hebrew has a word for a “virgin woman” that is very similar to the word for “virginity” itself. Isaiah uses “almah” for “young woman” only in that one verse but the word for a female virgin is used four other places.

          Matthew 1:18, 24-25 only tells us that Joseph never had sex with Mary until after the birth. Luke 1:34 quotes Mary as saying she doesn’t know a man before she was pregnant. The stories don’t rule out that the Holy Spirit was cuckolded by her boyfriend before the Holy Spirit could cuckold Joseph.

          Jesus Christ is the son of God, and is an aspect of God.

          Jesus was buried in a tomb, but 3 days later he physically came back to life through the actions of God.

          Nit: If Jesus was buried just before the beginning of the sabbath and they found the tomb empty in the morning after the sabbath, that is not 3 days. If he was resurrected on the sabbath, it would be the next day or 1 day later. Being resurrected on the day after the sabbath, it is 2 days later. The story doesn’t even rule out that Jesus stopped playing dead as soon as they rolled the stone into place.

          These core beliefs are beginning to look hollow.

        • Clement Agonistes

          You are chasing rabbits that aren’t the issue. I presented you what are the common elements of the definition of Christianity because that is what you asked for.

        • Dys

          And that’s not even getting into the incoherency of the trinity, and how any attempt to explain it in a way that sorta/kinda makes sense winds up being a heresy.

        • Dys

          The wrong things we have done can be forgiven by God

          No they can’t. Otherwise the entire illogical substitutionary atonement loophole of Jesus’s death and resurrection serves no purpose.

          If God can just forgive whoever he pleases, the faith vs. works debate is pointless.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Both of those are down on the food chain from the topic at hand. Personally, I have no problem reconciling either issue. Sins are forgiven by God through Jesus. Works are an inevitable result of faith ( grace).

        • Dys

          Sins are forgiven by God through Jesus

          Except that’s not really logically sound, but that’s your prerogative. Substitutionary atonement and forgiveness aren’t the same thing, and one does not reasonably follow from the other.

          Works are an inevitable result of faith

          Nope. Someone can do good works independent of the Christian faith. If God could just forgive whomever he likes, faith is unnecessary.

          But if I understand you correctly, for this thread you’re taking the tenets as given, regardless of any problems with them. So I’ll cede that they’re down the food chain of what you’re attempting to discuss.

        • Joe

          That’s a good point. If God can forgive us at the pearly gates, what was the point of the little performance that Jesus gave?

          Was it like those show houses that prospective buyers can visit, where all the fruit is fake and the appliances are made of cardboard?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’ll have to support the “prideful” claim. Presumably that’s a derogatory word in this context?

          If I’m better at X than you by some objective, unbiased measure, then my saying, “I’m better at X than Clement,” in some contexts, would simply be stated a fact.

          Example: I’m more moral than Yahweh*. That’s just a fact; it’s not prideful or bragging.

          *assuming ordinary human standards of morality (incredibly, that sometimes needs clarification).

        • Clement Agonistes

          God doesn’t exist, yet you are more moral than it. Morality is an invention of men and subject to the whims of the particular age is in which they were invented, yet there is a standard there. “Fact”. Eh, whatever.

          Out of the list, only morality gets used as an example. So, how would you rate against an omniscient God in terms of your knowledge about God’s existence or his nature? How would you rate against an infinitely wise being in terms of your wisdom? Knowledge and wisdom would top my list of areas where atheists think they are superior to mankind and God.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          God doesn’t exist, yet you are more moral than it.

          Right. I’m also more moral than other evil characters from mythology, legend, or fiction. You, too, I’m guessing?

          Morality is an invention of men and subject to the whims of the particular age is in which they were invented, yet there is a standard there.

          Not an objective standard, as far as I can tell. Is that your claim?

          So, how would you rate against an omniscient God in terms of your knowledge about God’s existence or his nature?

          So we’re assuming that God exists now? I would do poorly when compared to an omniscient being. Obviously.

          Knowledge and wisdom would top my list of areas where atheists think they are superior to mankind and God.

          Oh? I’ve never seen that. You must run in different circles, or maybe you’re just confused about what atheists think. It’s happened before.

          I do quite well when compared against the God of the Bible. When compared against a hypothetical omniscient, omnibenevolent god, however, I do poorly. The difference, obviously, is that God isn’t those things, at least according to his publicists in the Bible.

        • Clement Agonistes

          This is actually a pretty good example of the kind of hubris I am talking about. Rather than defining God by the standards of those who hold the belief, you invent your own, superior to your mind, definition. And, then, in true straw man fashion, knock down your own creation as if it was the argument of those you oppose.

          The Big If …. God existed, AND had the characteristics Christians attribute to him (infinite knowledge and wisdom), then you wouldn’t know whether God had a higher morality than your own, admittedly, subjective morality.

          You do quite well against your own straw man.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Rather than defining God by the standards of those who hold the belief,

          I defined God as what the OT says about God—invalid?

          I also defined God as the omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe. Is that invalid as well?

          then, in true straw man fashion, knock down your own creation as if it was the argument of those you oppose.

          You really have to think just a bit before you compose a reply. What did I knock over? As I recall, I said that I was indeed inferior to the omni- God.

          The Big If …. God existed, AND had the characteristics Christians attribute to him (infinite knowledge and wisdom), then you wouldn’t know whether God had a higher morality than your own, admittedly, subjective morality.

          I talked about a god who was omniscient and omnibenevolent and made clear that he is far greater than I. You’re good with strawman arguments, but I fear that’s because you set up so many yourself.

          Back to the points you didn’t respond to: do you claim objective morality? You also dropped the point about your claim that atheists think they have both more knowledge and wisdom than God—don’t want to discuss that one, either?

        • Clement Agonistes

          “I defined God as what the OT says about God—invalid?”

          Yes. It is more relevant to Judaism than Christianity, and yours is a straw man for 2 religions. Again, you place yourself in the position of knowing more about theology than the believers. it is condescending.

          If you think that is fair, then let’s break out the sauce for the gander and define science as it was in 400 B.C.

          “I also defined God as the omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe. Is that invalid as well?

          Not according to my poor reading comprehension you didn’t. You stated, “a” “god” (generic, not specific), and only how you would compare to such a “being”.

          “I talked about a god who was omniscient and omnibenevolent and made
          clear that he is far greater than I. You’re good with strawman
          arguments, but I fear that’s because you set up so many yourself.”

          I’ve lost you here, too. What straw man did I set up? How did I mischaracterize your argument? My understand was that you claimed better morals than God.

          “Back to the points you didn’t respond to: do you claim objective morality?”

          I claimed that atheists view morals as a subjective invention of Man, and found it peculiar to describe such a flimsy thing as a “standard”.

          “You also dropped the point about your claim that atheists think they
          have both more knowledge and wisdom than God—don’t want to discuss that
          one, either?”

          I addressed that point again in the post you were responding to, yet you claim I had dropped it. I’m not really sure what to make of that.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “I defined God as what the OT says about God—invalid?”

          Yes. It is more relevant to Judaism than Christianity, and yours is a straw man for 2 religions. Again, you place yourself in the position of knowing more about theology than the believers. it is condescending.

          Condescending to say that Christians accept the OT as canonical and that it gives many clues about Yahweh’s character?

          You have an amusing definition of “straw man.”

          If you think that is fair, then let’s break out the sauce for the gander a nd define science as it was in 400 B.C.

          I refer to “modern science.” Things did kinda change roughly with the Industrial Revolution.

          “I also defined God as the omniscient, omnibenevolent creator of the universe. Is that invalid as well?
          Not according to my poor reading comprehension you didn’t. You stated, “a” “god” (generic, not specific), and only how you would compare to such a “being”.

          Ah, well at least we are in agreement of what your problem arises from.

          I’ve lost you here, too.

          Ah, if I only cared enough to explain it to you.

          “Back to the points you didn’t respond to: do you claim objective morality?”
          I claimed that atheists view morals as a subjective invention of Man, and found it peculiar to describe such a flimsy thing as a “standard”.

          Which doesn’t answer my question. Is there some reason to avoid it?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Condescending to say that Christians accept the OT as canonical and that it gives many clues about Yahweh’s character?

          You have an amusing definition of “straw man.”

          Seriously, Bob? Is my issue with you whether the OT is canonical or not? Really? You must be amused since your every post sets up arguments for me that I am not making.

          If you think that is fair, then let’s break out the sauce for the gander and define science as it was in 400 B.C.

          I refer to “modern science.” Things did kinda change roughly with the Industrial Revolution

          Ah, well then good that we introduce “modern” for the first time.

          My real issue here (as opposed to your straw men) is your cherry-picking of the argument about the nature of God you create on behalf of both Jew and Christian. (We are clear that both consider the OT canonical, right?) Neither religion view God in the way you characterize God for them.

          My complaint regarding the blog entry in question was whether you substituted your own, fabricated theology for believers as a means of defeating your own argument as if it were theirs. You certainly don’t like it when other people do the same for atheism. How about treating other people the way you want to be treated?

          You have been steadfastly unserious throughout this conversation, but on the chance that you’d like to change that, I’ll address your straw man here, as I have addressed the others. If the concept of God and his nature had been perfect at the time of David and Solomon, there would be no need for the ongoing revelation of God. There would be no need for tens of books of the Bible when only one would do.

          For the Christian, the NT represents an updating of that conception, much as “modern” science represents an updating of previous understandings of nature. When we discuss what we believe about nature today, we should discuss the state of science no, not 3000 years ago. When we discuss Christian beliefs, let’s discuss what we believe now, not 3000 years ago.

          You continue to say I did not address your evasion about “objectivity”. As with all such tactics, I treated it seriously, and referred you back to my comment on it. I’m trying to avoid the smarminess of challenging your reading comprehension … what, specifically, didn’t you understand about my comment?

        • Philmonomer

          For the Christian, the NT represents an updating of that conception, much as “modern” science represents an updating of previous understandings of nature. When we discuss what we believe about nature today, we should discuss the state of science no, not 3000 years ago. When we discuss Christian beliefs, let’s discuss what we believe now, not 3000 years ago.

          To my mind, the question is, which is more likely/which makes more sense? 1) God has “ongoing” revelation with humanity, so that understanding of God might change as the culture/times/people change or 2) each culture creates God, in dialogue with the past and the present, such that the understanding of God changes as the culture/times/people change?

          Position 2) seems overwhelmingly likely, given that we can see how the concept of “God” changes around the world, across time and space. There are now 17 million (or so) Mormons. Their concept of God is radically different. There are 500 million Buddhists. Their concept of ultimate reality (“God”) is radically different. Same with Shintoism. Taoism. Hinduism..

          1) seems hugely unlikely to be true, while 2) seems overwhelmingly likely to be true.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, it’s interesting that god is only capable of revealing that which humanity was ready to discover on its own.

        • Joe

          The world was ready for penicillin the day it was discovered, and not a minute earlier, despite all those millions of people who died of treatable infections in the preceding millennia.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Just imagine how many more would have died had god not decided we were ready to discover it! Thanks be to Jesus!

        • Clement Agonistes

          Let me take a stab at paraphrasing: Is it our understanding of God that is changing, or is it us that is changing? Does God change society, or does society change God? I think you make a wonderful case for your POV. If all there is are natural explanations, that (society changing God) would have to be the explanation.

          I think we can all conceive of society maturing. As individuals, we go through a maturation process. As an infant, we understand nothing. Our understanding of the world gradually increases as we get older. Teachers and parents build on last year’s accomplishments. Finally, we arrive at a mellow adulthood. It is a natural process for the individual; it should be natural for society, as well.

          By the same token, our understanding of everything should go through that maturation process, including God. The maturation of society does not preclude a maturation of understanding of God.

          I think your point about Mormons and Buddhists is that they would represent control groups. Rather than seeing the understanding of God converging on one common understanding, it is going off in the opposite direction. I’m not so sure about the premise or the evidence.

        • Philmonomer

          I think we can all conceive of society maturing.

          I’m not sure what this means. What are some examples of mature societies? Immature societies? Aren’t you just projecting “things that I like” = “mature society”?

          Or are you simply saying that: As we get older, we know more things? (and there is no “moral” component?) When I think of “mature,” I think it has a moral aspect (one behaves as one “should” at an older age.)

          As individuals, we go through a maturation process. As an infant, we
          understand nothing. Our understanding of the world gradually increases
          as we get older. Teachers and parents build on last year’s
          accomplishments.

          Now it seems like we are talking about 2 things: 1) The collective knowledge of the world that an individual has. 2) maturity, as in acting mature (“he is mature beyond his years”)

          It is a natural process for the individual; it should be natural for society, as well.

          This doesn’t follow to me. Because individuals learn more about the world as they get older, therefore societies learn more about the world as they get older? I don’t see any specific reason to believe this is true. For example, Individuals also go through natural human reproductive stages as they age, does that mean societies do too?

          That said, I think we can look at the world around us and see that, yes, as societies get older, they tend to learn more things (about the natural world). That is, scientists use previous generation’s knowledge to grow the current knowledge. However, this seems to me largely be a function of science, and the scientific method.

          How doe this apply to theology? Does that mean Mormons of 1880 are more mature than Catholics of 1400? I don’t see how we can decide between Theology that is more “mature” (rather than just “wrong.”) As but another example, surely Universalism is more mature than a fire-and-brimestone hell?

          Also, It isn’t clear to me that the native American of say 1400, had more “maturity” (by which you seem to mean “knowledge of the natural world”) than say, the native American of 400. ( Was the knowledge of God of the native American of 1400 better than the knowledge of God of the native American of 400? Was the city of Rome of 1100 AD more mature than the city of Rome of 100 AD?)

          By the same token, our understanding of everything should go through
          that maturation process, including God. The maturation of society does
          not preclude a maturation of understanding of God.

          I’m still not clear what you mean by “maturation process.” Again, I think you just mean “has more knowledge of the world.” So, your claim seems to, “as people have been around longer,” their understanding of God grows, because it can build on the past.

          I guess the question is where does this “more mature” knowledge come from?

        • Joe

          Another question comes to mind: Why is society more mature than it was at a time when God was supposedly walking among us and talking directly to us?

          Did we do better without him around?

        • Philmonomer

          I think your point about Mormons and Buddhists is that they would represent control groups.

          I’m not following you. I don’t see them as control groups. I see them as one part of the Religious landscape, as are Christians. The presence of Mormons and Buddhists makes 2) more likely. [1) God has “ongoing” revelation with humanity, so that understanding of
          God might change as the culture/times/people change or 2) each culture creates God/its own understanding of ultimate reality, in dialogue with the past and the present, such that the understanding of God/ultimate reality changes as the culture/times/people change?]

          Rather than seeing the understanding of God converging on one common understanding, it is going off in the opposite direction.

          I don’t think it is converging on one common understanding, nor do I necessarily think it is going in the opposite direction. I have no opinion on the matter, and more or less see the whole thing as irrelevant.

        • Joe

          Is it our understanding of God that is changing, or is it us that is changing?

          We can never know unless we know the initial conditions of god.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Seriously, Bob? Is my issue with you whether the OT is canonical or not? Really?

          I seem to get my wrist slapped at everything I say to you.

          I want to assume the OT god and give it a critique, and then I’m told that my assumption is wrong. So yeah, I’m going to push back. If you’re frustrated at the tangents, stop saying stupid shit and stay on topic.

          Ah, well then good that we introduce “modern” for the first time.

          I’m surprised that you thought that the conditions of science within medieval Europe were the same as today’s, but I’m glad we could put that small matter behind us.

          My real issue here (as opposed to your straw men)

          You’ll have to share with me this army of straw men (or even just one), unless this is just your private joke.

          is your cherry-picking of the argument about the nature of God you create on behalf of both Jew and Christian.

          One reasonable definition of God, IMO, is “Yahweh and Elohim as described in the OT.” (I realize that there are others.) Seems reasonable to me, but apparently that leaves you in stitches. If we must, explain how this completely misrepresents any reasonable Christian’s view today.

          Neither religion view God in the way you characterize God for them.

          Explain, unless you’ve already done so.

          You certainly don’t like it when other people do the same for atheism. How about treating other people the way you want to be treated?

          Golly . . . what a concept! Sounds nutty, but sure, let me try that, if only for a while. That’s quite difficult for atheists, as you can imagine.

          You have been steadfastly unserious throughout this conversation, but on the chance that you’d like to change that

          No idea what you’re talking about. I’ve been serious by my definition, as usual. I won’t [change] my approach, so if you don’t like it now, it won’t improve.

          But this treading water or throat clearing or whatever it is is fascinating.

          If the concept of God and his nature had been perfect at the time of David and Solomon, there would be no need for the ongoing revelation of God. There would be no need for tens of books of the Bible when only one would do.

          A real god could explain his nature in a page. He certainly could get it out by the end of the Pentateuch.

          Your view, that God’s nature is metered out slowly, is an understandable fallback, given the poor hand that you’ve been dealt. But OK, your view is that God is revealed slowly, over centuries.

          For the Christian, the NT represents an updating of that conception, much as “modern” science represents an updating of previous understandings of nature.

          Where modern science says something different, that older view was wrong.

          You might want to double check that analogy.

          When we discuss Christian beliefs, let’s discuss what we believe now, not 3000 years ago.

          First, “we” don’t believe much more in common than could be expressed in a sentence. You delude yourself if you imagine a unified view within Christianity.

          Second, you’re trying to compare Christianity and science again. Science has reality as an objective backstop. Religion has even less commonality than exists within Christianity—“there is a supernatural,” might be it.

          Third, I agree with you that Christian beliefs have morphed over time. With science, that’s a good thing. With Christianity, supposedly grounded in an omniscient god who is eager for us to get it, it’s fatal.

          You continue to say I did not address your evasion about “objectivity”.

          You continue to toss in insults like “evasion” without justifying yourself. Do so.

          As with all such tactics, I treated it seriously, and referred you back to my comment on it. I’m trying to avoid the smarminess of challenging your reading comprehension … what, specifically, didn’t you understand about my comment?

          All of it. Maybe if I reset the question: (1) Do you claim that (a) objective morality exists and (b) we humans are able to reliably access it? (2) If 1a and 1b are Yes, please support this claim.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “A real god could explain his nature in a page. He certainly could get it out by the end of the Pentateuch.”

          This is the kind of thing I was talking about in my initial post:

          If God did exist, we would see X happen.
          We do not see X happen.
          Therefore, God does not exist.

          It is you dictating what Christian theology ought to be … unless God doesn’t exist. It wasn’t even the only time you did it …. in this post:

          “One reasonable definition of God, IMO, is “Yahweh and Elohim as described in the OT.”

          What distinguishes Judaism from Christianity is the NT. You want to define Christianity by the OT definition, then impose that definition on Christians. Christians do not argue that the OT understanding of God’s nature is complete.

          While on the subject of your construction of straw men for those you disagree with, I have pointed these out to your numerous times since this conversation started. In this post, you pretend that has not been the case. I think this is disingenuous. This is why I say you are not serious. If you were serious, you would respect the truth.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The OT is canonical for Christians, too. I’m afraid they’re stuck with the definition of God there.

          And I sense that I’m being rude with the question about objective morality. You clearly don’t want to (or are unable to) discuss it. Apologies for pushing the question.

        • Clement Agonistes

          We’re stuck with 400 B.C. God in the same sense that you’re stuck with 400 B.C. science, right?

          It’s not rudeness. It’s just that you originally introduced it as a red herring as part of evading my point. And, I did address it, but you ignored that. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

          (No, not really, or else I wouldn’t be doing this.)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          We’re stuck with 400 B.C. God in the same sense that you’re stuck with 400 B.C. science, right?

          Nope. You’re stuck with the 1000 BCE Yahweh. You’re stuck with the canon. There is no “canon” within science.

          you originally introduced it as a red herring as part of evading my point.

          Oh? Give me the quote so I can agree with you. I’m guessing there is no such red herring on my part.

          And, I did address it, but you ignored that.

          I guess I’m confused about what to apologize for. Let me try again: I apologize for your giving a clear explanation about your position on objective morality in response to my question. I don’t remember such a thing. And it’d be rude to ask for a repeat, since we know that you already did it once. So: don’t bother responding to my question about objective morality. You’ve already thoroughly done it once (I don’t remember anything of the kind, but we can assume that that’s just my forgetfulness), and I don’t want you to have to repeat yourself.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I’ve got a better idea than me going back and re-quoting the context and my reply, how about I make some snarky comment about you poor reading comprehension skill and tell you to “Go back and re-read my post”? It calls my sanity into question to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result this time.

          Science builds on previous science. Theology builds on previous theology. Heck, why stop with the OT? Hold me responsible for the theology of cave paintings.

        • epeeist

          Science builds on previous science.

          And it does this by building a stronger explanatory framework, enlarging the number and variety of phenomena it can handle and improving the empirical fit.

          It also does this by discarding poorer explanations, or at least reducing them to special cases of broader theories.

          To be blunt, I don’t see theology doing this.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And this incoherent freight train slowly grinds to a stop–an appropriately unceremonious end to a pointless conversation.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Congratulations!

        • Greg G.

          Science converges on the same ideas because it gets its information from reality and is constrained by reality. Theology, on the other hand, diverges because reality is not a constraint.

        • Clement Agonistes

          They are analogous, Greg, not identical. Cars and telephones can both experience analogous improvements in quality without being used for the same purpose.

        • epeeist

          Cars and telephones are both natural and their operation is dependent on the underlying science.

          Theology, not so much so.

          If you are going to try for an argument from analogy then you need to make sure that there are more similarities than differences between the subject of discussion and the analogy.

        • Greg G.

          Science and technology have increased their usefulness exponentially over the past couple of centuries. Religion has changed somewhat to adapt to the changing philosophies and attitudes of the modern day, not guiding the attitudes, because people are not as superstitious as they used to be.

        • Joe

          reality is not a constraint.

          It’s more of a minor inconvenience, best avoided at all costs.

        • Kodie

          It calls my sanity into question to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result this time.

          Probably because your religious beliefs are incoherently expressed, not by us, we’re just going by what you say. You’re either not articulate enough to express coherent ideas coherently, or they’re actually not as coherent as you sincerely wish them to be.

        • MR

          As my father used to say, “Yes.”

        • Joe

          In these comments sections, it’s always the fault of the atheists here for not understanding the theists posts, questions or motivations. It can’t possibly be a failure of communication on your part, it’s that everyone else is too dumb to understand!

          Luke does the same. It’s a variation on the ‘Galileo Gambit’.

        • Clement Agonistes

          If I had a nickle for every time an atheist has told me I just don’t get it …. and he/she doesn’t have the time to explain it to a [obscenity] moron like me …. I could afford to pay Donald Trump to clean my toilet

          …. without a brush.

        • Joe

          So you feel vindicated in behaving in the exact same way?

        • Clement Agonistes

          “Vindicated”? From what? Uh, no. What a peculiar question.

          You made an assertion … and absolutist one, at that … that does not jibe with reality. I was pointing out how easily it was disproved.

          Heck, my assertion has been that the atheists here DID understand my point, and that is why wrapped themselves into contortions to avoid acknowledging it. Any “vindication” regarding that is inferred from the evasions and the difficulty people have of acknowledging a mistake.

          If someone has a belief that is objectively wrong – a characterization of Christian theology in this case – even giving them the correct information isn’t likely to get them to retract the mistake.

          Several atheists here strike me as people who sincerely wants to get it right. But, that is a function of the higher parts of the brain. The instinctive reaction is to fight (name-calling) or flight (evasions). It’s possible that pointing out the error even results in a kind of knee-jerk rebound effect where the person doubles down (much as we witnessed with the “loser” thread), embracing the error even more tightly.

        • Kodie

          I’m sure one or more of us have explained it to you in glaring detail why and what happens when we get impatient. If you’re going to answer like a dope, eventually there is nothing to say to you, because you don’t give relevant responses or acknowledge what’s already been said.

        • Susan

          Ah, the Donald Trump maneuver

          Anyone who bothers to follow the exchanges you’ve had here will notice that most of the exchanges between you and those who don’t accept your claims have been civil.

          That you dodge requests that you support your beliefs, that you divert to analogies that are so weak as to be meaningless and that you make sweeping statements about atheists is on record with all the other failed theistic efforts.

          fI had a (sic)nickle for everytime an atheist has told me I just don’t get it

          It’s very simple. You are making a claim about reality that you don’t bother to support. When asked very straight forward questions on the subject, you attack the messenger.

          Try addressing the subject.

          Saying that theology is like science is like saying that astrology is like science.

          It’s not until you show it is.

        • Clement Agonistes

          My claim about reality is that Christians do not define God as he was defined in 400 B.C. You, and seemingly everyone else here wants to change the topic.

          My analogy about science and theology is merely that they both have changed over time.

        • Kodie

          No, that’s not what you implied.

        • Greg G.

          My analogy about science and theology is merely that they both have changed over time.

          The difference is that the changes in science are objective improvements. Theology of 400 BC had fairy tales about a God who could do miracles and got in fist fights and wrestling matches with Bible characters. Psalm 77 is a lament about God not doing those miracles anymore. Modern theology counts positive outcomes like a single survivor of a tragedy with multiple fatalities or found car keys as a miracle while negative outcomes are “mysterious ways”. Theology is still a game of imagination and pretending.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I wasn’t discussing the differences, only the one similarity. As I pointed out to Bob, if the revelation of God had been complete in the first chapter of Genesis, the rest of the Bible would be pointless. The definition of God became more specific … improved … over time.

        • epeeist

          If I had a nickle for every time an atheist has told me I just don’t get it

          Your problem is that you appear not to know how to put forward a coherent argument or to recognise one that is.

          Couple that with a distinct lack of background knowledge on other subjects and this explains why you have so many difficulties understanding what is being put to you.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Yeah, Joe, that’s the kind of thing I am talking about. And, I’ll bet it is not unique to me as a theist.

          IF I had the proper reasoning and knowledge, then we wouldn’t even have to discuss anything because I would be an atheist. We can know that I don’t know enough and am not thinking logically *because* I am a theist. How easy is it to simply dismiss my points with a wave of the hand when it is already known that I cannot possibly have a good point? There is no need to explain one’s stand to such a person when that stand’s correctness is a given.

          So, understand, Joe, how hollow your hypocritical lament sounds.

        • epeeist

          Yeah, Joe, that’s the kind of thing I am talking about. And, I’ll bet it is not unique to me as a theist.

          Who said it was?

          IF I had the proper reasoning and knowledge, then we wouldn’t even have to discuss anything because I would be an atheist.

          Be careful with any matches you have nearby, so much straw could cause a large conflagration.

          There is no need to explain one’s stand to such a person when that stand’s correctness is a given.

          Instead of the self-pitying whine why don’t you go out and actually learn how to put an argument together. This course might be a reasonable starting point. Otherwise I would recommend some of Douglas Walton’s books such as Informal Logic.

          As a broad sweep I would also recommend Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.

          EDIT: I’m not Joe.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I was pointing out to Joe that his complaint about theists’ treatment of atheists. is true about atheists’ treatment of theists.

          “Yeah, Joe, that’s the kind of thing I am talking about. And, I’ll bet it is not unique to me as a theist.

          Who said it was?”

          I wasn’t saying that to contradict another assertion. I was predicting that I am not the only theist who gets the kind of treatment Joe was complaining about. Now, I’ll go even farther to say that I would expect that to be the way the majority of theists get treated on this blog.

          My complaint about your style is that you make claims about logic without specificity. Your complaint about my logic sounds more like innuendo than any kind of specific complaint. You seem to be content to merely make the accusation regardless of its merit.

        • Susan

          My complaint about your style is that you make claims about logic without specificity.

          All you (or any lurker) has to do is click on epeeist’s responses to you to see that that is untrue.

          He has consistently pointed out the problems with your logic. He’s been very specific.

          You seem to be content to merely make the accusation regardless of its merit.

          No. Epeeist is never content with that and the evidence shows it. Give me an example if you think that’s the case.

          I’ll go even farther to say that I would expect that to be the way the majority of theists get treated on this blog.

          I have asked you more than once what you are claiming and how you support it.

          A perfectly reasonable question that gets to the heart of the question.

          And you have never chosen to respond.

          I mean specifically about the existence of Yahwehjesus as an explanation for reality.

          Please be specific. I hope you aren’t content to merely make the claim regardless of its merit.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “All you (or any lurker) has to do is click on epeeist’s responses to you to see that that is untrue.

          He has consistently pointed out the problems with your logic. He’s been very specific.”

          So, all one has to do is to “click on” epeeists responses to me to see that I am wrong, and he (?) is specific?

          OK, let’s make this easy. Since all one has to do is click, here is the post I was responding to. Show me the specificity:

          Yeah, Joe, that’s the kind of thing I am talking about. And, I’ll bet it is not unique to me as a theist.

          Who said it was?

          IF I had the proper reasoning and knowledge, then we wouldn’t even have to discuss anything because I would be an atheist.

          Be careful with any matches you have nearby, so much straw could cause a large conflagration.

          There is no need to explain one’s stand to such a person when that stand’s correctness is a given.

          Instead of the self-pitying whine why don’t you go out and actually learn how to put an argument together. this course might be a reasonable starting point. Otherwise I would recommend some of Douglas Walton’s books such as Informal Logic.

          As a broad sweep I would also recommend Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.

          Susan, there is not even one specific example of the logical mistake I am making. So, your claim that all one had to do was to click a post of his to see that I am wrong ….. is wrong.

          But, ….. ah-HA … let’s play the game of nit-picking and point out that my reading comprehension is bad. You used the plural – “responses”. We need more than one example.

          So, instead of just the Most Recent Post, let’s go all the way back to the 2nd MRP. Show me on this one where there is a specific detailing of my error:

          “Your problem is that you appear not to know how to put forward a coherent argument or to recognise one that is.

          Couple that with a distinct lack of background knowledge on other subjects and this explains why you have so many difficulties understanding what is
          being put to you.”

          So, Susan, it wasn’t I who was making a mistake, but you. I had no difficulty whatsoever in finding post which supported my claim. Based on our previous exchange, I won’t hold my breath, waiting for a recognition of this.

        • MR

          And you have never chosen to respond.

          They think we don’t notice, but it’s what they don’t say that undermines everything they do say.

        • epeeist

          I was pointing out to Joe that his complaint about theists’ treatment of atheists. is true about atheists’ treatment of theists.

          I would disagree. While a good proportion of atheists seem to have at least some understanding of the theist position the same cannot be said of the theists understanding of the atheist position. I would go further and say that in many respects theists don’t have an understanding of the theist position.

          My complaint about your style is that you make claims about logic without specificity.

          Examples please. While I try to be clear in what I write I may not always succeed.

        • Clement Agonistes

          In my reply to Susan, I pointed to your 2, immediately preceding posts. You told me that my logic and knowledge were bad without specifically telling me *why* they would be bad. That gives me no opportunity for clarification or correction (I don’t know what to clarify or correct).

          Joe’s complaint was that theists “always” blame the atheists’ reading comprehension and motivations. I stated my experience of getting the same treatment from atheists. You, as if on cue, criticized my knowledge and ability to think clearly.

          The rule in my house has been that it is OK to complain about a problem, but you have to provide a suggestion for solving the problem. It really cuts down on the complaining if there is no solution. I try to apply that same rule in discussions like this. If I can’t provide a solution, then I have nothing to contribute to the conversation (and I’m better off to remain quiet).

        • Pofarmer

          Then maybe the problem is you?

        • Kodie

          The things you say are just not computing in reality.

        • Susan

          I’ve got a better idea than me going back and re-quoting the context and my reply

          No need to go to all that trouble. You can just right click on the time stamp of the comment where you did what you said you did. (Easy enough to click on your own history and find it.) And then copy/paste it into a comment box in response to Bob’s comment.

          Disqus. It’s the dog’s breakfast. But in some ways, it’s user friendly.

        • Clement Agonistes

          WOW! Thanks for that tip. That was great.

          Hey, I can’t pass up this opportunity – how do you quote from the other person with that vertical blue bar to the left hand side of the quote? It’s a great way to provide context that isn’t as confusing as quotation marks.

        • Greg G.

          <blockquote>Your copied text here.</blockquote> =

          Your copied text here.

          <b>bold</b> = bold
          <i>italics</i> = italics
          <u>underlined</u> = underlined
          <strike>strike</strike> = strike
          <spoiler>spoiler</spoiler> = spoiler

          Remember that “blockquote” must be spelled correctly in both places and the “/” is very important in the closing tag.

        • Greg G.

          My first post was incomplete and therefore incorrect. If you are viewing it from clicking on the “new reply” link or looking at your email notification, you will need to reload the post.

        • Susan

          Thanks for that tip.

          You’re welcome.

          I’m not very good at explaining the block quotes but I will try.

          Type (blockquote) before the quote and (/blockquote) after it.

          Like this: (blockquote)WOW! Thanks for that tip. That was great.(/blockquote)

          Don’t forget the slash in the second one.

          But use pointy brackets instead of round ones. That will give you:

          WOW! Thanks for that tip. That was great.

          I hope that helps. Greg G. (and others here) are better at explaining this than I am.

        • Greg G.

          You can use &lt; and &gt; to make the angle brackets. Note the abbreviations are for “less than” and “greater than”.

        • MR

          And how did you get the “& l t ;” to show?

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          hm … &lt; … yep, you write “&amp;lt;” (which in turn is “&amp;amp;lt;” …).

        • MR

          That’s almost as confusing as your username….

          Thank you!

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          it could be worse. you can also “escape” the usual ascii characters. besides those “named character references” (like &lt; and &amp;) there are also “numeric character references” (so also m or m for the letter “m”).

        • Greg G.

          The trick it the ampersand:

          &amp; = &
          &amp;lt; = &lt;

        • Susan

          <blockquote>

          Testing.

          Edit: Thanks!

        • Clement Agonistes

          I hope that helps. Greg G. (and others here) are better at explaining this than I am.

          This feels like using Dos from 25 years ago. If I didn’ have to edit this post, you both did a wonderful job of explaining it. I think this will be helpful to everyone. Thanks!

        • Greg G.

          Many standard HTML tags work but not all. The “spoiler” tag is not HTML as it only works in Disqus, mainly for discussing movie plots without spoiling it for others.

          Disqus will activate links but you can also use:

          <a href=”yourURLhere”>Your text here</a>

          <a>Differs according to color scheme of blog</a> = Differs according to color scheme of blog

          <b><i>You can do <u>this</u>, too.</i></b> = You can do this, too.

        • Joe

          Nope. You’re stuck with the 1000 BCE Yahweh.

          You’d think an omniscient being would have realized the negative implications for 21st Century apologists his douchebag behavior would cause at the time?

          Maybe he just didn’t care?

        • Greg G.

          I claimed that atheists view morals as a subjective invention of Man, and found it peculiar to describe such a flimsy thing as a “standard”.

          Actually, some of our morals are probably from evolution in our social pre-human ancestry. Certain innate behaviors may have been selected for. That doesn’t mean the behaviors are right, just that they were beneficial to survival at the time.

        • Phil Rimmer

          I claimed that atheists view morals as a subjective invention of Man, and found it peculiar to describe such a flimsy thing as a “standard”.

          And yet it is as substantial as any of our cultural inventions rooted as it is in the very fibre of our being. For me the very flower of religious thinking (it has flowered twice) is the emergence of the UK Quakers and their profound insight that an objective moral dogma could not possibly fit into a book and remain useful. For them comes the understanding that we ourselves are the moral authors, that it is our day job, and we are so equipped to do that job. It is the only coherent way it could happen, why we have this profound sense of free will, why we understand a coerced or merely obedient goodness is a sham. We have to morally grow up.

          UK Quakers and I believe the same thing. They and I believe we are equipped for our assumed task of moral authorship, they by the Inner Light (of Jesus). I think we evolved this way because we are mammals and have oxytocin creating bonding way beyond mother-child into whole groups and we have a unique abundance of mirror neurons, which as kids allow us the high fidelity copying of adults through over-imitation and the ability of culture-forming and its evolution, also the insight into the feelings of others; we have a general thinking tool, a pre-frontal cortex that allows introspection and inference drawing (if this then that); spindle cells to speed these slowly derived insights to the anterior cingulate cortex our error detector and if possible stay the brutish hand about to strike the mother-in-law because our stupid, antique amygdala doesn’t know when to shut up; our wild and rich associative corteces’ cross-wiring grown when our brain grew explosively after our premature birth, conferring metaphorical language and understanding, facilitating the formation of those abstract ideas of money and morality, justice and joy.

          Most religion is hundreds of years behind the Quakers’ insight. They are intellectually and morally poverty stricken. Infantilisation is the result of their moral dirigismes. UK Quakers have emerged increasingly as freed individuals. They have often been in the moral vanguard of this country.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I can’t speak with authority about the UK flavor of Quakers, but what has traditionally define Quakers is their reliance on the ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit for guidance (which can be verified using the Bible). They are not the ones fabricating morality, but are having God’s morality revealed to them. It is not subjective.

          Freezing the definition of God at the OT stage (as Bob did) certainly rules out Quaker interpretation.

          I have seen strong cases for atheist objective moralism … Ayn Rand, in particular, but also Richard Dawkins (sound similar to your biological angle).

        • Phil Rimmer

          traditionally define Quakers is their reliance on the ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit for guidance (which can be verified using the Bible). They are not the ones fabricating morality,

          You see what is different about them, then? The direction they work. They are the authors. The bible offers corroboration for the benign and the obscene. They can usually find cover to suit.

          This is why they authored their 1963 paper on Sexuality that was a corner stone of the 1967 Bill decriminalising homosexuality.

          “The Book” can never cover the better path between all possible future moral choices. It can though create the gross immorality of of the RCC happy to do nothing when faced with a moral conflict for the sake of a personal salvation. Perhaps one of the greatest and most cowardly derilictions of moral duty.

          UK Quakers know pretty much its up to them to create moral clarity. (I have no high regard for US Quakers, being altogether more pious and less moral.)

        • Clement Agonistes

          “You see what is different about them, then? The direction they work.
          They are the authors, inspired by the “Inner Light” we all carry.”

          Look, I will defer to you on Quaker theology, but that isn’t what I understand them to be saying. It is not “their” morality; it is God’s, revealed to them. That is pretty close to orthodox Christian thought.

        • Phil Rimmer

          But, because of its origins, from the heads, experience and wit of caring individuals it is moral. They believe they are made for the job as they believe all are. They believe the source of my moral authorship is the result of my own Inner Light, ignorant of this or that theology as I might be, and they don’t put their deliberations above other wise and concerned people. BUT the point is this process starts with the individual NOT with moral dogma, not certainty but doubt and a question.

          It is perhaps no surprise that with UK Quakers, happy with the moral efficacy of doubt and query, modesty and duty, that half self describe as agnostic. Any loving father of children would wish them free and moral, doing good in the world.

          Religion yielded a fine flower. Its second.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I’ve done a little bit of research on this, and cannot find your characterization of the Quakers’ inspiration. Would you be willing to provide a cite supporting your claims?

          I promise that if you do and I am wrong, I will publicly say so here.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Start with this

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inward_light

          I don’t have time this weekend to take you through all this but pertinent bits are scattered through the article. It duly notes this split over “light” before bible

          My guide for modern British Quakerism was one Richard Fox a history lecturer and my neighbour and indeed a related Quaker Fox, though I never found out how direct the descent from George is. I’ll give you his version of what is in there. But, quickly, he characterised the UK Quakers as predominantly inspiration before text though it had its Luddites.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Yeah, I see why you are not holding your breath. I cannot find in that article where it supports your claim about Quaker beliefs. Here are some quotes:

          “The first Quakers were known to sit in silence and meditate on the words of the Bible until they felt the inward light of God shining upon them and the Holy Spirit speaking.”

          The Bible plays a huge role in this. And, it is the Holy Spirit’s thoughts, not their own.

          “the word light is commonly used by Christians (including Quakers) as a metaphor for Christ,”

          Again, it is not their light, but Jesus’.

          “It is important to note that many Friends consider this divine guidance (or “promptings” or “leadings of the Spirit”) distinct both from impulses originating within oneself ”

          The article directly says it is not from the person.

          Your point, the one I think you are imposing on them, is that there is a natural explanation for what they are experiencing. It is certainly plausible that you are correct, but that is not the claim they are making.

        • Phil Rimmer

          The point is entirely they don’t start from dogma. As I said right at the start, their account would have been that it is the Inner Light of Jesus, because, then, what else could it be? Now they are sophisticated folk, scientists and high achievers. Mechanisms have become more open to facts. The principles are identical. I think this deviates not one iota from what I said.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I didn’t pick up on the importance of the “dogma” point in your previous posts

          … nor that the Liberal Friends were the UK ones. I generalized about Quakers.

          I apologize for my errors. We all know my reading comprehension leaves much to be desired. :)

        • Phil Rimmer

          No problems, Clement. You promised an open handed response. I could wish for no more.

          I’ll round this out a little later with a few comments from Richard Fox that I remember from my teens.

          One thing I’d like to do is revisit your comment about a flimsy subjective morality. From my description of where it came from (just about every aspect of our humanity) do you still think it flimsy or were the Quakers on to something? Is morality, or at least the tool set for discerning it, written into the very fabric of our being?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I appreciate the effort you have put into this topic already. You were certainly under no obligation to do so. It is always a good day when i learn something. I had no idea that Quakers had anything to be split over. Anything you can add to this is icing on the cake.

          do you still think it flimsy or were the Quakers on to something? Is
          morality, or at least the tool set for discerning it, written into the
          very fabric of our being?

          Aren’t you the clever one. Well, since I owe you …

          I don’t think morality is subjective in the general sense. There is a core of morality that is constant and is modified in nuances. There is also a subjective fringe that comes from humans and changes with human whims. In the early 20th century, for instance, eugenics were considered moral – culling out the weak seeds from the human race. 100 years from now, current silliness will have been replaced with future silliness. The objective core will remain.

        • Phil Rimmer

          In the early 20th century, for instance, eugenics were considered moral

          Quite extraordinary. No.

          A few argued for it particularly in the USA. Nazi Germany implemented it and an excellent account of it is given in the book Neurotribes. What comes across is the slowness of thinking by the general public happy to cede decision making to “experts” even when the result is unspoken but implied state killing. There was never any consensus for it. Irish folk were equally slow witted in accepting the blandishments of nuns, moral guardians, surely, taking in unwed young mothers and children and presiding over an unnecessary death rate, with childrens bodies ending up in the septic tank rather than buried, as recently revealed.

          So this core morality? What does it constitute?

        • Phil Rimmer

          Is this the end of the conversation?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I don’t think we are going to resolve our philosophical differences about the nature of reality, if that’s what you mean. Are our thoughts something that exist beyond our physiology, or inside it?

        • Phil Rimmer

          We were discussing your core morality. I proposed what mine was.

          I didn’t intend changing the subject. I was going to give an account of how my core morality was not a choice but an evolutionary product and what the many sources of evidence for its 99% appearance in other humans….

          edited at 36 minutes.

        • Clement Agonistes

          There is no common ground between our two views that clarification can smooth out. I wasn’t saying you were changing the subject, merely that the purely evolutionary explanation is incompatible with my view. I’m game to discuss it, but I don’t see any hope of resolution.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Is that related to your earlier question about where thoughts reside or originate? If so we can accept a difference in our views and still discuss the relative risks of moral error. The key difference from the foregoing is only in starting from dogma and the risk of taking words written by inspired men dogmatically. UK Quakers often believe themselves directly inspired rather than accepting say that those thoughts came from their own subconscious or that they were a product of differing evolutionary processes as I do. Some hold these views to be compatible. There needs to be a process and apparatus put in place for inspiration. The key commonality is starting moral deliberations from one’s self and using all assets and learning and insight to steer the better path.

          I have and had religious friends with whom I have had moral discussions and you could not tell our views apart. Our thinking runs very similar courses. BUT they approach each dilemma as a fresh problem with some new confounding aspect that requires effort from them.

          I believe that humans have a deep visceral disgust at killing and harming others who are not an Immediate threat to them. WWII soldiers probably aimed to kill or harm only 25% of the time. In the trolley problem people most often choose not to personally kill an individual to save the lives of five later. We need to be trained to kill. By Vietnam, soldiers were trained to dehumanise the enemy in their talk and thoughts to overcome this reluctance, kill rate went up and huge numbers of vets suffered PTSD. Of course it makes evolutionary sense to tend not to kill except in desperation (the mad axeman bearing down on your wife and kids, no trolley problem there, though PTSD may be a price to pay.)

          It is notable that UK Quakers are in the forefront of pacifism. NOT starting from dogma may lead to a more moral place.

          I worry this might not be music to your ears…

        • Clement Agonistes

          Not at all. You’ve obviously given this a lot of thought.

          I’m still confused about the UK Quaker angle. They are “inspired” by . . . . God? Themselves? Some unnamed Deity?

          I’ve had conversations with Ayn Rand libertarians who also appeal to a kind of universal, objective morality of evolutionary origin.

          Please continue . . . .

        • Phil Rimmer

          I asked you about your own core morality.

          I don’t think morality is subjective in the general sense. There is a core of morality that is constant and is modified in nuances.

          Yep. We may agree in the crudest of ways. I think people mostly really really really don’t want to kill or harm others. What do you see your own core morality as comprising?

        • Phil Rimmer

          I’m sorry that we can’t discuss your “core morality” and what it is. I would like to understand how this thing looks from your perspective….

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          But if “their” received morality differs from other theology’s received moralities, then morality is not being transmitted reliably. Or somebody everybody is making it up and claiming it was received from above.

        • Clement Agonistes

          We have, I think, discussed a similar thought previously (If not, I apologize). How does one distinguish between God’s communications and one’s own wishes (or demonic inspiration)? Why is it that within Christianity, even within the same church, people hear different messages?

          IMO, God communicates morality with not only Christians, but other religions …. and atheists. And, it serves God’s purpose to be vague. I have bounced this idea off Christians who are far better versed in the Bible than I am, and they quote me chapter and verse in support of this notion.

          “Reliably” is in the eye of the beholder.

        • Pofarmer

          AND had the characteristics Christians attribute to him (infinite knowledge and wisdom),

          But those aren’t the only Characteristics, are they? It’s when you combine them all,that it becomes untenable. The Tri-omni Christian God just isn’t in evidence, and is in fact, deeply contradicted by what we do see in the World.

          If God has a divine plan for each
          of us, then he had a divine plan for Hitler too. It is when you stop to
          think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

          Now let’s imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What
          difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down
          its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who
          died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death
          had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they
          would still die. The idea of a “plan” makes the idea of a
          “prayer-answering relationship with God” a contradiction, doesn’t it?
          Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the
          irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

          http://godisimaginary.com/i6.htm

        • Clement Agonistes

          You touched on God’s knowledge and wisdom briefly (quoting me), then ignored them.

          I agree that God has more attributes than the two I cited. They are, however, the most relevant to the topic. Bob’s assertion about his own superior morality is based on Bob having a complete knowledge of everything there is to know (or else he is making a decision without sufficient evidence … something Bob would never do), and having sufficient wisdom to know what to do with that information.

          Those 2 attributes also relate to your point about evil. Christian theology is that God also created evil. And, God created us to be prone to evil. Even evil can serve a greater good. One would have to have comparable attributes (knowledge and wisdom) in order to make a judgement.

          IMO, people have a lot of bad ideas about the purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is to bring us closer to God. Anything we might pray for could be perfectly predicted by God well in advance. It would be unnecessary if its only purpose was to reveal to God our thoughts.

        • Kodie

          People who think evil has a greater purpose need to show their work. It’s been hundreds of thousands of years and no purpose has emerged. Individuals cite their own suffering as a productive means to how they became a better person, but are just arrogant, in my opinion. You become self-centered about how your own life could not have been how it might be now without an earlier period when you were suffering when you absolutely don’t know that – it’s just rationalization, out of context, and bereft of perspective or compassion (qualities you theists think you have exclusive access to).

          There is no purpose, it just is. It’s just a fact of life, it serves no “ultimate” purpose. It doesn’t demonstrate that humans are alive for any reason, or any particular humans are alive for any reason, or that humans are special in or to the universe. There is no “closer” to god, it’s just self-centeredness.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “People who think evil has a greater purpose need to show their work.
          It’s been hundreds of thousands of years and no purpose has emerged.”

          Pause for a moment and consider those 2 sentences. People (who disagree with you) need to show their work (support their claim). Then, you follow up with a claim that you do not support.

          When we – both theist and atheist – look back on OT times, we recoil in horror at what they thought was permissible. You guys define God in OT terms for that very reason. If our morality is superior to what it was thousands of years ago – one of the few areas we agree on – then things have changed for the better. Our explanation for why things have changed would differ, but the underlying fact would not.

          The very definition of good is its contrast with evil (and visa-versa).

        • Kodie

          You are bereft of perspective and compassion! I already told you. You think animals aren’t even really alive, practically, you think of only human suffering, and you think, just because we can’t know “the mind of god,” a fictional character, then we can’t know what ultimate purpose that character may have anyone’s suffering may have. OT times are irrelevant. You bring up irrelevant points! I don’t even understand why you brought it up.

        • Greg G.

          Even evil can serve a greater good.

          If evil has a greater good, then it is logically possible to achieve that good. Therefore, an omnipotent being could achieve that good without relying on evil to do it. So it is unnecessary to inflict the evil on anybody. A being that inflicts unnecessary evil on others is not benevolent. A good achieved without evil is better than the same good achieved with evil.

          If God is malevolent, evil can happen whether a greater good is involved. Since there is evil and suffering in the world, there cannot be a being that is both omnipotent and benevolent.

        • Clement Agonistes

          There can be no morality without the choice between good and evil. There can be no Free Will unless one has the ability to choose evil. You are pointing out that God could have created a world without morality or FW.

        • Kodie

          NO, you are saying there is a mysterious purpose of the free will choice to cause suffering beyond allowing free will – that the victims of these choices suffering serves some great purpose. Therefore, morality is bullshit totally, because whatever people do is already programmed, so they can’t have free will because they are instead serving an ultimate purpose.

          That’s what you’re actually saying. You are saying two different things that you don’t think about the cross-contradiction of those claims.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Allow me to state what you are claiming I am saying in a more organized form:

          P1: God has a purpose in allowing people the Free Will to do as one pleases.
          P2: The suffering of people serves a greater good.

          CONCLUSION: Morality is BS, like, totally, because people are programmed to make the decisions they will make.

          I am OK with the way you characterized my premises. The conclusion that you draw on my behalf does not follow from those premises, and is not accurately characterize my conclusion.

          I would add a few more premises based on my post you were responding to:
          P3: Morality can only exist when there is a choice between good and evil.
          P4: Sometimes people choose to do evil.

          MY CONCLUSION: The good God can bring out of people’s immoral choices out weighs the evil of the acts themselves.

        • Greg G.

          You still do not get the PoE. Any good is tainted by the means from which it is achieved. A good granted by an omnipotent benevolence with no negative taints in its production will be greater than the same good achieved through suffering. The omnipotence means the suffering is unnecessary. So P2 is your problem.

          P4 promises that it is inevitable that people will make bad choices. P3 then means that morality is necessarily a means to make people suffer.

          An omnipotence could make all decisions have good consequences, preserving free will yet preventing suffering.

          That you must continue to make excuses for suffering allowed by an omnipotence tells us that you have not grasped the concept of the Problem of Evil. Your god must be malevolent or impotent. Choose one.

        • Clement Agonistes

          OK, so let’s review the claims:
          1. Any good is tainted by the means from which it was achieved. How do we know this?

          2. A good granted by an omnipotent benevolence with no negative taints in
          its production will be greater than the same good achieved through
          suffering. How do we know this?

          3. The omnipotence means the suffering is unnecessary. How do we know this?

          4. Because FW means people will choose evil sometimes, the existence of morality means people will suffer because of the existence of evil. I have no defense for this point. The second sentence logically follows from the first. This is good logic with good support.

          5. An omnipotence could make all decisions have good consequences, preserving free will yet preventing suffering.

          a) Not and have true FW.

          b) Again, without evil for comparison, good couldn’t be known… and chosen.
          c) If we are going the omnipotence-over-all route, then omnipotence can simply obliterate the suffering after the fact. I don’t see how you can ignore the big picture here for this one factor. Omnipotence is the servant, not the master.
          d) Benevolence implies a level of respect for the objects of the benevolence. Parents have the power lock children away in closets to shield them from evil, but they will not mature to full functionality. Love demands that it be voluntary, or else it is not love, just as the charitable giver who only gives grudgingly isn’t sincere.

        • Greg G.

          Are these things that hard to understand for you?

          1. Does the end justify the means? A diamond is beautiful but if you learn that people died trying to retrieve it, a sympathetic person will be dismayed by that. A psychopath may not be troubled by it.

          2. You can have a perfect diamond as a gift from an omnipotent being. You get to choose whether you get it with your child suffering an excruciating death or your child having a nice day. Which do you prefer?

          3. We’ve been over this many times. Please pay attention this time. Fight through your cognitive dissonance. If suffering does nothing, it is unnecessary. If suffering does something, then that suffering is logically possible to achieve. If a being cannot do anything that is logically possible, then it is not omnipotent by the weakest definition of omnipotence. Therefore, an omnipotence can achieve that something without the suffering. If the omnipotence can do the something, it is not necessary for the suffering to do it, leaving no necessity for the suffering.

          5.
            a. If I have a choice to brush my teeth with Crest or Colgate, I have free will with no suffering involved. It’s not like I must choose whether to use Crest or torture somebody.

            b. We don’t need to have a headache to know that an orgasm feels good. We don’t need to have horrible consequences to know that some things are better than others.

            c. But if the omnipotence allows the suffering, it is being sadistic. If you torture someone after giving them a drug that prevents long-term memory formation, you are still sadistic. Torturing someone, then killing them humanely obliterates the memory of the torture but it is not something a benevolent being would do.

            d. Benevolent parents might do things to protect their children that might hurt them. Parents that are both benevolent and omnipotent don’t have to make such choices.

          You are flailing at coming up with a justification for suffering, omnipotence and benevolence. You are not even coming close. Perhaps you need to think about what omnipotence means a bit more.

        • MR

          Nice.

        • Kodie

          MY CONCLUSION: The good God can bring out of people’s immoral choices out weighs the evil of the acts themselves.

          In other words, murder away, it’s helping god achieve his purpose most efficiently.

        • Clement Agonistes

          That is a straw man argument. I am not advocating evil, only pointing out that it can be used for good by an omnipotent being. Having auto insurance doesn’t mean I want you to wreck your car.

        • Michael Neville

          Evil is causing harm to others. If your god allows rape to happen because the rapist’s free will must be allowed, then harm is done to the victim, which is evil. There’s the further point that the victim’s free will wish not to be raped has been violated, which is further evil. Your god is an evil being.

        • Greg G.

          Sure, an omnipotent being can use suffering to do a good, but it is not necessary for the omnipotent being to use suffering to do the good because the definition of the word “omnipotent” means it can do the good independent of the suffering. To use suffering unnecessarily means the omnipotence is sadistic and not benevolent.

        • Kodie

          No, it’s not a straw man argument. It’s you not facing the fucking implications of your beliefs.

        • Greg G.

          It’s exactly what we should expect from an omnipotent benevolence. If there was no evil option, then morality would be unnecessary. Free will could still exist if all the choices were evil-free and suffering-free.

          Morality is only necessary in a place with no omnipotence.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “It’s exactly what we should expect from an omnipotent benevolence.”

          Based on …. WHAT?

          Look, I’m going to rip off you guys’ riff here, but based on what evidence? You guys say there is not now, nor has there ever been a God – omnipotent, benevolent or otherwise. There is no data bank of Gods from which to draw our evidence of what to expect from a God.

          So, what we are doing is speculating based on what we would imagine God, as described by the doctrines of Christianity would be like. If we just can’t find a plausible way to shoe-horn it into reality, then God as conceived by Christianity simply cannot exist.

          Now, your assertion above is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to be benevolent, and still allow evil. There would be *no* other option than for God to eliminate *all* evil

          … and give us the Free Will to choose between good and good (there is no evil; no “Choice B”). Of course, without evil, we wouldn’t even know that “good” was good, because it “just is”. If all there was was light, we wouldn’t know it was light because we’ve never experienced darkness. It just is the way thing are. We could choose light …. or light.

          Omnipotence is neutral. It is irrelevant to the issue of morality. It is tangential to Free Will (it is one aspect of one species on one planet of the universe – a big project).

          Morality is only necessary …. if it serves the purpose of an infinitely wise God.
          You are going to have to support your claims. Merely saying, “We would expect X” has to make logical sense.

        • Tommy

          There can be no morality without the choice between good and evil

          There can be no choice between good and evil without knowledge of good and evil.

          There can be no Free Will unless one has the ability to choose evil.

          Says who?

        • Phil Rimmer

          But who would want a will that is free to be wrong? That is free to be utterly spurious. I want my freedoms constrained by reason whenever morality is at stake. I don’t want to be free in my thoughts so much as right. I have the greater satisfaction, of course, when I am right and others are not, and the greatest satisfaction when I convince others out of their own freedom to be wrong.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m sorry, but if God’s wisdom required nearly 100 million of us to die in the fires of WWII alone for his mysterious plan, then that God isn’t worth worshiping anyway. That God should be done away with.

          And wait a minute. We’ve had other Christians right hear arguing that God did NOT create evil. Ya’ll need to get your stories straight.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “… nearly 100 million”? you mean, if we round to the nearest 100 million? Look 70 million would make your point. Heck, 10 million would make it. There is no need to exaggerate.

          I get that even if there were a God, you would not want to worship him. I understand your moral indignation.

          Give me this person’s name and a thread title, and I will back you up on God creating evil.

        • Pofarmer

          I was pulling the number off the top of my head. Turns out the range is 50-80 million.

          Maybe there is a God worth worshiping, we don’t have evidence of it, but certainly the Christian God is not.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Look, I don’t want your point to get lost in the nit=picking over the numbers. I meant that as an aside. Most of the time when you hear someone throw out the 100 million number, it is in reference to the combine internal (just based on what they did to their own people) totals of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the Kim family (Communist dictators).

          God created such evil men, and they are hardly a complete list. How would it be possible to praise a being that would simply sit by and do nothing to stop … heck, permit … this kind of tragedy to take place?

          This is the Problem of Evil that comes up in every conversation with atheists. It is your best argument; the one so many ex-Christians point to as the decision-maker.

          I’m sure you’ve heard my response, as well as others’, and find them unsatisfying (else this wouldn’t keep coming up). Is there any point in repeating them?

        • Kodie

          I didn’t see your response to my post yet, Clement.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I apologize, but you are kind of the Gabby Hayes to everyone else’s John Wayne. Which comment was it, I’ll give it a second look?

        • Kodie

          Go fuck your opinion of me. I pointed something out to you that you couldn’t defend, so you ignored it.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/argument-god-differential-equations-2/#comment-3351015583

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t find the Problem of Evil personally that compelling. You can explain it away if you’re brainwashed or braindead enough. What is enough is looking at all the older myths and seeing that Christianity is just a continuation and modification of all the other religious traditions in place in that area in that time. Specifically combining Egyption religion(dying and rising gods), with Hellenistic thought. What convinces me is that fact that none of the theological innovations really make any damn sense. God made himself born to make himself a sacrifice to himself? Sorry, no. God didn’t create evil. Men are Primates. We behave substantially like other primates, and other mammals. No God requited to explain evil. At all.

        • MR

          My problem with the problem of evil is the use of the term evil. Evil as a thing doesn’t exist. It’s just a shortcut way of describing an action of great harm perpetrated (generally with intent) on another person (animal, ecosystem….). But, to a Christian it is a supernatural force guiding a person. Talking about the problem of evil is to talk past one another.

        • epeeist

          My problem with the problem of evil is the use of the term evil. Evil as a thing doesn’t exist.

          You mean Christians engage in unsafe reification? I’m shocked I tell you, shocked.

        • Greg G.

          But evil is still a problem within their paradigm that there is an omnipotent being who hates evil yet they recognize posit that evil exists.

        • MR

          I think it’s important to make the distinction, otherwise the rebuttal makes no sense to them. In effect what they hear is “(capital-e) Evil exists, but God doesn’t.” Zzt. Cognitive dissonance kicks in because that obviously makes not sense. They dismiss it out of hand. We expect them to follow the logic through that “Oh, that makes no sense, therefore, my belief must be faulty.” But the cognitive dissonance field rebuffs further thought and they remain at “You’re wrong. Period.”

        • Greg G.

          This is the Problem of Evil that comes up in every conversation with atheists. It is your best argument; the one so many ex-Christians point to as the decision-maker.

          Very committed Christians have become ex-Christians when the implications of the PoE finally hits them. Even Bart Ehrman did.

          The existence of an omnipotent, benevolent being is inconsistent with the existence of suffering, whether it is the result of some evil or from a natural disaster. A person shouldn’t have to make excuses for an omnipotence.

        • Michael Neville

          The problem with the number of deaths in World War II is that there aren’t reliable numbers for countries like China and the USSR. Chinese civilian death estimates range from 20 million to over 50 million. Soviet military death estimates range from 8.8 million to over 10 million. So Pofarmer’s estimate of nearly 100 million, while towards the top of the range, is not unreasonable.

          EDIT Source: National WW2 Museum

        • Susan

          I understand your moral indignation.

          I don’t think you do.

        • Clement Agonistes

          That’s an interesting claim. Can you be specific?

        • Greg G.

          An omnipotent being that allows unnecessary suffering does not deserve worship. Why would one be so obsequious? An impotent god that so many claim is omnipotent owes us all an explanation.

        • MR

          God is supposed to be our moral model. When what is right for God is wrong for man, that model breaks down. Genocide is both good and bad depending on the perpetrator, finite sins deserve infinite punishment so injustice becomes justice. Where is objective morality?

        • Kodie

          Puny human minds come up with things like “well, they were all wicked and deserved to die”. Just like you said in your opposition to the word “evil”, wicked is not a real thing the way they talk about it, like it’s a disease or permanent condition of living somewhere or being from a certain tribe. Exterminating something like termites takes into account, they are termites, and it is their nature to eat your house, and if you want to live in your house, the only way to be comfortable and stable there is to dominate those “wicked” termites.

          Genocide in the bible seems to be in similar terms. They are not people whose minds can be changed or manipulated or influenced, they are pests by birth, just like a termite. And then, I don’t know if these people were any worse than the tribes that attacked them. It seems like customs might be different and they had some good land, and they didn’t like other tribes telling them how to behave, and they didn’t react submissively if others started coming onto their settled land. It’s like, if you let them move in, they’ll just try to take over, so instead of trying to live there, they just slaughtered everyone instead.

          It’s like how it is now – if in the US, some people don’t like Muslims, I can understand they are afraid of the terrorist ones, but just to make sure, let’s label them all radicalized, because that’s how Muslims are. Having lots of children is another way religious people try to populate their tribes, but seriously, religion is taught, it can be untaught or taught a different one. Nobody is permanently born in a state of having a religious belief, nobody is that something that makes them wicked just by association.

          We could extend this to people in prison (as generally decided have committed a crime, which is clear evidence of wickedness, right?), but in America we mostly just store them as humanely as required by law and begrudge them anything beyond that. When they are released and harder than ever, just look, see, they are completely through-and-through born wicked, always wicked.

        • Clement Agonistes

          1. You and I have already been through this. The subjective “unnecessary” part is the problem.

          2. That doesn’t address the issue. I stated that I understand how Profarmer would find the deaths of 100 million people to be immoral. Susan doesn’t think I could do such a thing. It is such a peculiar conclusion that it begs for clarification.

        • Greg G.

          1. The “unnecessary” attribute necessarily follows from the omnipotent attribute. Once you claim omnipotence, all suffering becomes unnecessary. If suffering is necessary, then you don’t have omnipotence.

          2. If the 100 million lives were cut short, it was either necessary or unnecessary. If they were necessary, then there is no omnipotent God that could make the deaths unnecessary and there would might not be anything such a god could do. If the deaths were unnecessary, then God would be not benevolent to allow them.

        • MR

          Billions of people live their lives without torture, extreme violence and suffering, so it’s hard to make a case that such suffering is necessary. How many people have experienced these things that no one ever knew about? What use did it serve? “Hidden reasons we can’t know” just means he can’t support his case. There’s a simpler answer. He gives me no reason to believe.

        • Susan

          Bob’s assertion about his own superior morality is based on Bob having a complete knowledge of everything there is to know

          No. I can compare my moral positions and actions to someone else’s without complete knowledge.

          And if complete knowledge is required to evaluate Yahwejesus, then you have no basis to call your imaginary deity moral. No more than Bob has when he calls it immoral.

          IMO, people have a lot of bad ideas about the purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is to bring us closer to God.

          Gazillions of christians make all sorts of claims about the purpose of prayer. Why should anyone prefer the claim you chose?

          You are very big on giving your opinions, stating your beliefs, claiming that other christian beliefs are strawmen.

          But your position is no better supported than any other position of Yahwehjesusites.

          We know your beliefs. We’ve heard them from countless others as well as countless conflicting beliefs from Yahwehjesusites.

          But none of you has ever been able to show that Yahwehjesus is anything more than one among gazillions of mythical characters.

          You’ve been here long enough. It’s time you made an honest attempt.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “No. I can compare my moral positions and actions to someone else’s without complete knowledge.

          And if complete knowledge is required to evaluate Yahwejesus, then you have no basis to call your imaginary deity moral. No more than Bob has when
          he calls it immoral.”

          So, here’s an analogy (sorry) for how I’m thinking about this:

          There is a news report that a man was shot by another man. Was the shooter justified?

        • MR

          Not if he were omnipotent.

        • Greg G.

          There is a news report that a man was shot by another man. Was the shooter justified?

          If the shooter was omnipotent, then the shooter was not justified in shooting anybody. An omnipotent gunman could have used any means to resolve the situation without violence or suffering. We can conclude that the shooter was not both omnipotent and benevolent.

        • Clement Agonistes

          You are getting ahead of me. If that is all the information I am given, then my answer would be that taking the life of another person is immoral. I could easily whiplash back and forth with each additional piece of information. It would be wildly subjective.

          Once I have complete information, then I could render a good opinion. You don’t have complete information. You jump to a conclusion based on one criteria – omnipotence. It’s too subjective.

        • MR

          And once you throw in omnipotence, Greg’s point stands. Throw in all the information you want, at the end of the day, if the shooter was omnipotent, he wouldn’t have to kill the man. Your analogy fails, and the failure is highlighted even more because you ran away from Susan’s question.

          If you want to hide behind “we can’t know if there was a good reason [behind the PoE]” then it also implies that we can’t know if there is a bad reason [or no reason, for that matter], and you therefore give no reason to believe you. Especially when the obvious default that does make sense is that the whole thing is simply not true.

          “We can’t know, but you should believe anyway” is an excuse used by cult leaders to indoctrinate people. Is that the best you can come up with? You water down even the concept of God with these excuses. It’s just not believable.

        • Greg G.

          If that is all the information I am given, then my answer would be that taking the life of another person is immoral.

          You don’t have enough information to make that determination. Sometimes shooting someone is justified and sometimes it is not for beings that are less than omnipotent. You are jumping to an unwarranted conclusion.

          Once I have complete information, then I could render a good opinion. You don’t have complete information. You jump to a conclusion based on one criteria – omnipotence. It’s too subjective.

          It is easy to rule out that the shooter did not have the combination of omnipotence and benevolence. If the shooter was omnipotent, he could have resolved the situation without the bullet or any harm coming to anyone. If the shooter was also benevolent, then it would not have shot the person.

          A benevolent person who is not omnipotent may have been forced to shoot in order to protect self and others.

        • MR

          If the shooter was omnipotent, he could have resolved the situation without the bullet or any harm coming to anyone. If the shooter was also benevolent, then it would not have shot the person. A benevolent person who is not omnipotent may have been forced to shoot in order to protect self and others.

          You support your stance; Clement can’t.

        • Clement Agonistes

          If that is all the information I am given, then my answer would be that taking the life of another person is immoral.

          You don’t have enough information to make that determination. Sometimes shooting someone is justified and sometimes it is not for beings that
          are less than omnipotent. You are jumping to an unwarranted conclusion.

          In my next sentence, I said, “Once I have complete information, then I could render a good opinion.” Based on the limited evidence I had, I gave my opinion. With each additional piece of evidence, the value of my opinion would improve.

          You guys point to the paucity of evidence and make the determination that God does not exist. You don’t have enough evidence to make that determination, but you do it anyway.

          We have no definitive evidence of how omnipotent, benevolent beings behave. Yet both of us have opinions on the subject. Mine is definitively wrong, and yours is definitively right.

        • Michael Neville

          You guys point to the paucity of evidence and make the determination that God does not exist. You don’t have enough evidence to make that determination, but you do it anyway.

          You’re right but not in the way you mean. Since we have no, zero, nada, nil, zilch evidence for the existence of gods then we make the determination that no gods, not just your pet deity but any gods, exist.

          What POPONNE fails to understand about us is that we’re discussing God, god, gods, etc. as a purely intellectual exercise. The difference between two Trekkies discussing Star Trek and the discussion we’re having with you is that both of the Trekkies know they’re arguing about fiction. You don’t hold that idea about your god, we do.

        • Greg G.

          Certainly, the more information, the better. But even with that paucity of information, we can rule out a benevolent being with super-human powers. You were trying to make a point that perhaps we don’t have enough information to judge God. We saw through that. It doesn’t work because omnipotence means there is no justification for suffering so you must give up benevolence or omnipotence. But then you don’t have anything worth worshiping.

        • Tommy

          You guys point to the paucity of evidence and make the determination
          that God does not exist. You don’t have enough evidence to make that
          determination, but you do it anyway.

          That makes no sense whatsoever.

          We have no definitive evidence of how omnipotent, benevolent beings behave.

          We have no evidence of omnipotent, benevolent beings period.

        • Clement Agonistes

          OK, let’s go over my quote, and you tell me where I go off the rails.
          1. The first sentence strikes me as a given. Do we agree it makes some sense whatsoever?
          2. The first half of the second sentence is pretty much a recapitulation of the first sentence, so we should be good there.
          3. So that leaves the last 5 words, and the conclusion it arrives in relation to the rest of that paragraph.

          Ironically, you have given me a paucity of evidence to work with here, so I am left to fill in the blanks. My hunch is that you are not giving me a high-5 for my insight (the theists here have their own problems), and are equating your own default answer to the existence or non-existence of God to an evidenced conclusion.

          When someone says, “God would to X”, it has to have a basis. My basis is Christian doctrine. The atheist version is “Gods don’t behave that way.” So, I ask, on what is that conclusion based?

        • Tommy

          No. Lack of information is justification for disbelieving that gods exist.

          When someone says, “God would to X”, it has to have a basis. My basis
          is Christian doctrine. The atheist version is “Gods don’t behave that
          way.” So, I ask, on what is that conclusion based?

          On Christian doctrine(s).

        • Clement Agonistes

          Straw man Christian doctrines. This relates to my original attempt to correct Bob’s misstatement of Christian beliefs. His defense was that it was legitimate to choose the understanding of God Jews had in 1000 B.C. on behalf of Christians.

        • Kodie

          Why would the concept of god change unless you were making up a new god? Christians have had to deny the bible version of god and adapt their characterization so it wouldn’t seem as ridiculous.

          This was how I understood god in the present to be as made up superstition as gods of the past. You say he has “reasons” and stuff, but that is because his “goodness” does not match reality, so you have to create a loophole where he can still exist.

        • Pofarmer

          Straw man Christian doctrines

          See, that’s the problem. You almost can’t strawman them because they are so varied. That’s where the term poe comes from.

        • Clement Agonistes

          When you get down into the weeds of Christian doctrines, there are differences (nuances). ALL of them pertain to the New Testament.

        • Pofarmer

          Young Earth Creationism, as just one example, is not New Testament. Where do you get this stuff?

        • Clement Agonistes

          1. I am not a YECist.
          2. It is not at the core of what it means to be a Christian. Think in terms of what differentiates Christians from Jews as a rough guide. What Christian points to the Torah and says, “This is what it means to be a Christian.”

          In the context of this blog, surely, you have an awareness of your conflict of interest.

        • Pofarmer

          Conflict of interest?

        • Clement Agonistes

          It is in the interest of discounting Christian beliefs to misrepresent them. You are hostile to a correct depiction of them.

        • Pofarmer

          Actually no. No I’m not. And that’s not what a conflict of interest is, any way. I’m quite happy to deal with the Claims Christians make. The problem that you have, is that the claims that you’re particular flavor of Christianity make, aren’t the only ones. There are probably as many or more differences between Christian sects as there are between Christians and Jews. In most cases, there isn’t one “correct” argument, other than to you . That’s why there are 40k odd sects and growing. That’s why there have been about 3-4 new little non-denominational churches start up in my little berg town in the last year or so. That’s why I asked you to restate the argument you were trying to make the other day, which you never did. I’m more than happy to deal with the arguments as they lie, but attempting to make absolutist arguments, like you just did, is going to create a lot more problems for you than me.

        • Clement Agonistes

          The beliefs that unite Christians are those defined by the NT. Christian sects disagree about topics that Jews don’t even discuss. You guys set up straw men positions on behalf of Christians. You are not being objective observers, but activists.

        • Pofarmer

          Right. So you’re saying The Garden of Eden Story. Sodom and Gomorah, the Flood of Noah. David and Goliath, Dueteronomy, Numbers, Psalms, don’t unite Christians. Don’t be a moron.

        • Clement Agonistes

          The OT is shared by Christians … and Jews. All of those stories help to define the nature of God. What distinguishes Christians from Jews … according to morons … is that Christians look to the NT for the completion of that definition. Jews, according to morons, do not point to the NT as the source of their most important core beliefs.

          This is from Wikipedia’s definition of Christianity. see if you can spot the part that distinguishes Christianity from Judaism :

          “Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.[7]
          Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, descended into hell, and rose from the dead, in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. “

        • Pofarmer

          You do realize that things like the Nicene creed were formalized because there were groups who DIDN’T believe the things it contains, right? Take away the OT, and you are going to remove the basis for most of Christian theology. Sorry.

        • Greg G.

          Take away the the references and reasoning based on the OT from the epistles and the gospels and what do you end up with? Pretty much the kingdom of heaven/God theology with some Greek Stoicism and Cynicism.

        • Greg G.

          Christianity and Judaism are not the same religion. They treat the OT differently for sure. But different denominations of Christianity treat the OT differently than other denominations of Christianity. Most of Christianity is willing to drop the parts of the OT that are repudiated in the NT and many denominations are willing to drop the OT parts that are refuted by science while other groups reject science instead. Some Christianities accept the miracle stories of the OT and/or the NT while others consider them to be legends. It is not like there are a lot of monks who have sold all they own and given it to the poor. Most Christians give lip service to that but few do it, and that’s in the NT.

        • Greg G.
        • Clement Agonistes

          Yes, that was the post I was referring to. You need to include that next sentence in your good description: “Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed.”

          “Irreconcilable differences” pertain to the AC and NC. One cannot reconcile the definition of Christianity with beliefs that exclude the core tenets that define Christianity. This is the point I have been trying to communicate for some time now. No matter where one draws the line, some group will always be on the other side of that line. They do not disprove the line.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, that was the post I was referring to. You need to include that next sentence in your good description: “Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed.”

          In that case, I do not accept it. The creeds essentially cover what the description that I cited says. What the creeds add makes it less objective. You are adding something from another paragraph from another source.

          No matter where one draws the line, some group will always be on the other side of that line. They do not disprove the line.

          Why draw the line if you are drawing it wrong?

          Matthew 7:21-23 (NRSV)21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

          You might be able to convince yourself that you are one who does the will of Jesus’ dad but Jesus says you should sell everything and give the money to the poor. Maybe the only True Christians™ are monks.

        • Clement Agonistes

          In that case, I do not accept it. The creeds essentially cover what the description that I cited says. What the creeds add makes it less objective. You are adding something from another paragraph from another source.

          1. I am quoting *the next sentence*. It is one continuous thought, flowing from one sentence to the next, building on what s previously said, and clarifying it.

          2. *You*, OTOH, quoted from “further down the page” from a thought that did not clarify. And, you edited out the clarifying context that had been provided. You did what you accuse me of doing.

          And, speaking of context, your quote from Matthew is in the context of recognizing false prophets (wolves in sheep’s clothing who use people’s faith to prey on them).

          Your reference to giving away everything to charity is also out of context. Jesus’ point there was that the rich man in question *said* that he loved God, but really loved money more. It was not a general command as you portrayed it.

          These are 2 great examples of the kind of arguments that you guys set up for us that are not really our arguments. If your argument were strong, you wouldn’t have to do this kind of thing.

        • Pofarmer

          Sell your possessions and give to the
          poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure
          in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth
          destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Lk 12:33-34)

        • Clement Agonistes

          Much of that chapter is devoted to this topic. The Parable of The Rich Fool. He saves up his wealth (to spend on himself), only to die and have nothing worthwhile to show for his life.

          Jesus goes on to tell the Disciples that they shouldn’t worry about where their clothing and food will come from during their ministry – God will provide for them.

          That is the context leading up your quote from Luke. The other Gospels help clarify this point.

        • Pofarmer

          But it’s expected that this is what you’d do to be a true disciple.

          Luke 12:47-48New International Version (NIV)
          47 “The
          servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not
          do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.
          From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from
          the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

        • Greg G.

          Yet you have more than the Rich Fool could have ever imagined. Things he would have spent his fortune on. Yet you don’t think the message applies to you.

          I bet you haven’t even plucked out an eye or chopped off a hand, either.

        • Clement Agonistes

          None of those red herrings fall under the definition of Christianity.

        • Michael Neville

          Jesus didn’t think so:

          8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Matt 18:8-9 (NIV)

        • Pofarmer

          I simply don’t know what to think of this one. He/she seems earnest, but-damn.

        • Greg G.

          Nope, just another rat hole.

        • Pofarmer

          Then what does the disciple ask after that, and how does Jesus supposedly answer it?

        • Clement Agonistes

          In Matthew, Peter says that the Disciples have left everything to follow Jesus and asks something to the effect of “What’s in it for us?” Jesus says their reward will make all of that pale in comparison to heaven.

          Mark’s account is almost identical. Jesus tells them that the rich man loved money more than he loved God, and this would prevent him from going to heaven.

          The money itself is not the problem. The OT figures like Abraham and David were rich, as were a number of early benefactors of Jesus, including a Roman centurion, Joanna, Mary, Martha, & Lazarus, and Joseph of Arimathea. The love of money was the problem.

          In Luke, Peter asks whether it was just the Disciples, or everyone that He told the Parable of the Rich Fool. Jesus replied that those who are mean to those they are responsible for will be punished.

        • Pofarmer

          Holy fuck you’re thick.

        • Greg G.

          1. I am quoting *the next sentence*. It is one continuous thought, flowing from one sentence to the next, building on what s previously said, and clarifying it.

          You wish. There is a paragraph break in there. Here is a copy and paste of the first two paragraphs of the page as of June 17, 2017:

          Christianity[note 1] is an Abrahamic monotheistic[1] religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion. It is the world’s largest religion,[2][3] with over 2.4 billion followers,[4][5][6] or 33% of the global population, known as Christians.[note 2] Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.[7]

          Christian theology is summarized in creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, descended into hell, and rose from the dead, in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. The creeds further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and that he will return to judge the living and the dead and grant eternal life to his followers. His incarnation, earthly ministry, crucifixion and resurrection are often referred to as “the gospel”, meaning “good news”.[note 3] The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus’s life and teaching, four of which—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—are considered canonical and included in the Christian Bible.

          Footnote 7 links to:

          Woodhead, Linda (2004). Christianity: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. n.p.

          As I said, the part I quoted ends a paragraph and is taken from a book by Linda Woodhead. The part you want is in the next paragraph.

          The definition of Christianity is the first sentence:

          Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion.

          I think that is a pretty good definition, though I question whether it is “monotheistic” as the Trinity concept is a trick to turn three gods into one while Satan is more of a god than most of the gods in polytheism. [Edit: I think it would do well with a few additions of the word “imaginary”.]

          2. *You*, OTOH, quoted from “further down the page” from a thought that did not clarify. And, you edited out the clarifying context that had been provided. You did what you accuse me of doing.

          I quoted something that says what I have observed for over 40 years and have been arguing about in this very conversation. I didn’t get the idea from this author nor do I think the author got it from me.

          What context are you complaining about? the first sentence was, “There are many important differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible and sacred tradition on which Christianity is based.” That’s it. That sentence completes the entire introduction of a new header, then it breaks down into individual topics. I provided the link. Just click on the blue text. I removed the footnote for the quote to clean up the text but follow the link and click on it to see that the first sentence is based on a different source than the second sentence.

          And, speaking of context, your quote from Matthew is in the context of recognizing false prophets (wolves in sheep’s clothing who use people’s faith to prey on them).

          Right. Those wolves in sheep’s clothing don’t know they are wolves. They think they are sheep. They are surprised when Jesus says he doesn’t know them. So how do you know that you aren’t a wolf who has it all wrong?

          Your reference to giving away everything to charity is also out of context. Jesus’ point there was that the rich man in question *said* that he loved God, but really loved money more. It was not a general command as you portrayed it.

          You have a computer. I presume you have an oven, a refrigerator, a television, an automobile (or perhaps public transportation), a home with heating and air conditioning, running water (the cleanest in history), flush toilets, and a wonderful variety of foods to eat. The poor ol’ rich man would be quite envious of what you have. You have far more to sell and give to the poor. That you have not shows that you value these things more than you value what Jesus says in the New Testament.

          These are 2 great examples of the kind of arguments that you guys set up for us that are not really our arguments. If your argument were strong, you wouldn’t have to do this kind of thing.

          You have given the typical Christian response of “but-but-but-but Jesus was talking about other people, not me.”

        • Clement Agonistes

          1. I am quoting *the next sentence*. It is one continuous thought, flowing from one sentence to the next, building on what s previously said, and clarifying it.

          You wish. There is a paragraph break in there.

          It is *the next sentence*. There is not even one sentence in between. They are part of one continuous train of thought. Each sentence leads to the next. Each paragraph leads to the next.

        • Greg G.

          The first sentence of a paragraph usually indicates the beginning of a new topic or thought. In this case, the first paragraph is about “Christianity” in general and the second paragraph is about “Christian theology”, which are different topics.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “Christian theology” is about Christian beliefs – our topic.

        • Pofarmer

          Except you simply discount any theology your particular sect of the cult doesn’t agree with. It’s circular question begging, which is what it always boils down to.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I have been saying for weeks now that the theology that defines Christianity is in those early creeds. My disagreements with my fellow Christians are about topics of far lesser importance.

          You guys are the ones who dismiss the defining theology of Christianity.

        • Pofarmer

          The early creeds did define early/mid Christianity. But not in the way you are implying. There were MANY beliefs in early Christianity. The Nicene creed forced a belief on sects that DID NOT BELIEVE THAT BEFORE THE FUCKING CREED. There was a MULTIPLICITY OF BELIEFS ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY. Non Nicene creed groups persisted for NEARLY A THOUSAND FUCKING YEARS UNTIL THE FUCKING CATHOLIC CHURCH MURDERED OR FUCKING CONVERTED THEM. Their are non-Nicene groups THAT PERSIST AND ARE MAJOR PARTS OF CHRISTIANITY TODAY. Now stop being an ignorant, pedantic fuckwad. Good Lord. LEARN FUCKING SOMETHING. Read some Ehrman, for Pete’s sake. Read some Robert M. Price. I’m sure that there is plenty more for someone as ignorant about this as you are. Holy FUIUUUUUIUCCCCCKKKKKKK.

        • Clement Agonistes

          OOoooooohhhhhh. Why didn’t you say “fuck” earlier? Why didn’t you call me names earlier? (OK, you had that one covered) I didn’t see the rationality of your argument until the emotional outburst. NOW you argument makes scientific sense.

          Not one single point you make here hasn’t been made before. Not one single fact you present hasn’t been presented earlier. They are …. irrelevant to the conversation.

          If you are going to call someone an ignorant, pedantic fuckwad, it really helps you case if you are not an ignorant, pedantic fuckwad, yourself. It just adds “hypocrite” to the list.

        • Greg G.

          But there are people who call themselves Christians who have every bit as much right to do so as you do but you won’t acknowledge them even though you can’t prove they are any more wrong than you. As far as you know, maybe they have received more progressive revelations than your group.

        • Clement Agonistes

          If I call myself an elephant, does it make it so? Do we get to suspend the objective definition in favor of the subjective one?

        • Greg G.

          But you can say an Indian elephant is not an elephant but that doesn’t mean it is not objectively an elephant.

          The definition of “Christianity” that you are pushing is like African elephants saying Indian elephants are not really elephants.

        • Otto

          When you can show that the definition of what Christianity is was objectively determined I will agree with you, but we know that Christian creeds were decided through conflict, politics, war and violence. Not exactly an objective path.

        • Mark Sibley

          Ah, the Genetic Fallacy. Look, you can either deal with the definition as it exists or not. If you guys just want to make up stuff with no regard to whether it is accurate or not, be my guest. I come in here trying to keep it real. People who were genuinely, scientifically curious seek the truth, not mistakes.

        • Otto

          Which definition would that be? How did the definition come about? What makes the definition scientific? Is the definition overwhelmingly widely accepted?

          And BTW, what I wrote did not address whether Christianity is true or false so your claim of the Genetic Fallacy is a non-sequitur.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Yet you really don’t own the franchise, least of all by the cheap trick of “putting words into God’s mouth”. Shove off, you shout, get your own Christ! We’ve got a contract…er

          It is based on no fact but a surmise. Obliterate this singular thing from all minds and it will not likely regenerate itself ever again.

          A religion as lived is what its adherents, in fact, say it is…

        • Greg G.

          Christian theologies are interpretations that might discern denominations but not the religion in general. The definition should separate Christianity from Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and such. “Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion” does just that.

          Trying to introduce the theologies of Christianity only brings in the “irreconcilable differences in theology and a lack of consensus on the core tenets” to the definition. Islam and Judaism have different sects with different theologies but that doesn’t distinguish them from other religions.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Re-read the article. It said the “irreconcilable differences were those outside of the early creeds that unite Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant sects. The theologies that distinguish them are not in those creeds, nor the definition provided by the article.

        • Greg G.

          The second paragraph under Creeds says:

          Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith, even while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. The Baptists have been non-creedal “in that they have not sought to establish binding authoritative confessions of faith on one another.”[24]:p.111 Also rejecting creeds are groups with roots in the Restoration Movement, such as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada and the Churches of Christ.[25][26]:14–15[27]:123

          But even if I was to grant the creeds, we still have “these irreconcilable differences in theology and a lack of consensus on the core tenets.” And I think these differences makes the agreement on the creeds insignificant. It is like I said at the beginning or before this beginning, you barely have enough to identify them as Christians, and then we find more disagreements than agreement.

          But you are still leaving out Christian Unitarians, for example.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I don’t think you are even close to understanding what the author is trying to say. My point is that if you presented the Nicene of Apostles’ Creeds to, for instance, a Baptist, and ask which parts they disagree with, they will say, “None.”

          The article DEFINES Christian beliefs in terms of those 2 creeds. In order to make your case against Christianity, you NEED to define it in ways other than the accurate way. That should make you uncomfortable.

        • Greg G.

          Under the Beliefs heading and the Trinity subheading, it lists “Trinitarians” and “Nontrinitarianism”. Under Trinitarians, it says, “Almost all Christian denominations and churches hold Trinitarian beliefs.” Your definition is an attempt to change that to “All Christian denominations and churches hold Trinitarian beliefs.” “Almost all” means that there are some Christians that are not included.

          Why is that so uncomfortable for you?

          The definition “Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who serves as the focal point for the religion” includes you. Why bring less inclusive theology?

        • Mark Sibley

          Greg, I have walked through the math with you on this issue. They are insignificant, and only apply with a very broad definition. You, clearly, do not feel comfortable with what is “almost always” true as being a fair definition.

          We passed “absurd’ quite a while back, and I have tried to be tolerant with this dodge in the hopes that we can get back to the discussion. I realize now that discussion is not going to happen.

        • Greg G.

          Are Mark Sibley and Clement Agonistes the same person or somebody’s socks?

          You, clearly, do not feel comfortable with what is “almost always” true as being a fair definition.

          What is wrong with a definition that is always true? Why do you have a problem with that?

          In logical operations, they must always be true. Those that are almost always true are called fallacies. You cannot build a logical argument if one of your premises is almost always true.

          You tried to use a Wikipedia definition by combining stuff from different paragraphs after passing over the definition given. That is where you passed “absurd”.

        • Michael Neville

          I question whether it is “monotheistic” as the Trinity concept is a trick to turn three gods into one while Satan is more of a god than most of the gods in polytheism.

          I’ve maintained before that Catholicism is even less monotheistic since Catholics treat Mary as a goddess. I know they say she isn’t a goddess but what they do is more revealing than what they say.

          Regardless, many Jews and Muslims, who definitely are monotheists, hold that Christians are polytheists.

        • MR

          Not to mention the saints. I spend time in a Catholic country and was struck, particularly in rural areas, by the forms of saint worship. For this protestant, it was rather shocking and felt blasphemous. But I also got to see that paired with how ancient Roman traditions and customs were “catholicized.” Throw a cross over a pagan ritual or tradition and call it “Christian” and your good. It’s not hard to see how the various Roman gods with their various attributes got translated into the saints.

        • epeeist

          I’ve maintained before that Catholicism is even less monotheistic since Catholics treat Mary as a goddess.

          I was in Chiavari a couple of weeks back. Wandering in to one of the many churches I was struck by the candles in the various chapels, St. Anthony go a few but the display in the lady chapel was dazzling.

        • Pofarmer

          My MIL has a picture or some kind of artifact to Mary in literally every room in their house. It creeps me out. She and my wifes oldest sister recently brought my wife one of those gaudy awful immaculate heart pictures with both Mary and Jesus on them side by side. Same size and everything. But, nope, they don’t worship Mary at all.

        • Pofarmer

          Who appeared in Mexico? Our Lady of Guadelupe. Who appeared in Fatima? Why the Virgin Mary!!!! Of course, I dunno, maybe if it were visions of Jesus it would mean the end of the world or something. Catholics are complicated.

        • MR

          And to complicate things even further they will even treat them as if they are different entities. This Virgin will have different attributes than that Virgin, and the Virgin of my hometown is better than the Virgin of your hometown.

        • Pofarmer

          And they’ve consecrated Ireland to the Virgin Mary, how many times? Amid all the drug violence in Mexico the Church decided to consecrate Mexico to-why, the Virgin Mary!!!!

        • Greg G.

          Also, the Luke 12:33-34 version, which Pofarmer quoted, is given to the disciples, not to the rich.

        • Clement Agonistes

          We agree. So, the conversation starts with a question from the audience about a brother who will not share his inheritance. Jesus replies by warning people against greed, then transitions to say that people worry about things which are not important in the long run (a good hint for you guys’ worries about Christianity). He continues to the needs of the Disciples will be taken care of by God.

          Only when decapitated from its context can this passage have your interpretation. Can we move on from this distraction?

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps this makes you uncomfortable.

          Mark 8:34-37 (NRSV)34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

          See also Matthew 16:24-26 and Luke 9:23-25. The settings are different but Mark has Jesus addressing the multitude. It makes the same point. Perhaps you are trying to take the eye of the needle route to heaven.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Why would that make me uncomfortable?

        • Greg G.

          The Bible can be interpreted many ways. That’s why there is so much diversity. Westboro Baptist Church can cite verses to support their theology.

          You believe in an omnipotent being that is benevolent but the existence of suffering says you are wrong. You cannot comprehend it.

          You should be uncomfortable with your cherry-picked theology that couldn’t possibly be true.

        • Clement Agonistes

          OK, now *that* is a bizarre take-away from that passage in Mark. I am now uncomfortable … for you. Awkward.

        • Greg G.

          2. It is not at the core of what it means to be a Christian. Think in terms of what differentiates Christians from Jews as a rough guide. What Christian points to the Torah and says, “This is what it means to be a Christian.”

          Better not let a YEC hear you say that. They would call you a “salad bar Christian” because you are picking and choosing which parts of the Bible you are emphasizing. It’s all or nothin’ to them.

        • Clement Agonistes

          My bet is that if you asked them to list their beliefs in order of importance, the sacrificing of animals to balance out sin will not make the Top 100.

        • Greg G.

          Original Sin will be near the top. The Ten Commandments. Noah’s Flood. Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 53.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “Abraham”. Let’s work with that. Muslims are Abrahamic, also. Do you think it is accurate to *define* Islam as “Abraham”?

          My point above is that Christianity is not distinguished from Judaism by the OT. “Jesus” needs to come into the conversation … early. Many OT beliefs of Jews were thrown out by the NT. Pointing to a random OT passage and saying it is sufficient for defining Christianity is absurd.

        • Pofarmer

          Take away Original Sin, and you have no need for Jesus.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Takeaway Jesus, and there is no Christianity. Without the NT, there is no Christianity.

        • Pofarmer

          Paul prefigures his Jesus based entirely in OT scripture. Christianity is an outgrowth of OT Judaism. It’s theology is based on it. You can’t seperate them and remain coherent.

        • Clement Agonistes

          For the thesis to be valid, the Nicene Creed must be equally applicable to Judaism as it is to Christianity.

        • Pofarmer

          The Nicene creed, at the time it was instituted, wasn’t applicable to all of what would call itself Christianity at the time, of for at least another 600 years. And it’s not Universally applicable even today. You might not call those people Christians, but they do.

        • Clement Agonistes

          The sects that the NC does not apply to are insignificant in number. It’s purpose was to prevent the kind of divergence the prayer in the Gospel of John was talking about. It was an attempt to define what it meant to be a Christian … the topic we are discussing here. When we look in dictionaries, and Wikipedia (as I quoted earlier), this is how Christianity is defined. God, as defined in 1000 B.C. does not include Jesus – the indispensable element in defining Christianity.

          I’ve gone about as far as I can with the direction you guys want this to go. We’ve got to bring it back to reality.

        • Michael Neville

          The Mormons are not an insignificant sect and they don’t accept the Nicene Creed.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Do the math and the theology. 1% of Christians, and many consider them to be non-Christian *because* they don’t fit the nicenean definition.

        • Greg G.

          The Baptists, and other fundamentalist types, don’t consider the Catholics to be real Christians.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Again, when discussing an objective truth, people’s opinions about it don’t carry much weight. Catholics fit the Wikipedia definition of Christianity. Mormons’ problem is that their theology doesn’t fit the definition. We base calling them Christian on their own claim, not the objective definition.

        • Pofarmer

          Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally
          affirm themselves to be Christians. They worship God the Eternal Father
          in the name of Jesus Christ. When asked what the Latter-day Saints
          believe, Joseph Smith put Christ at the center: “The fundamental
          principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets
          concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the
          third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only
          appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.”1 The modern-day Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reaffirmed that testimony when they proclaimed, “Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. … His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”2
          In recent decades, however, some have claimed that The Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian church. The most oft-used
          reasons are the following:

          https://www.lds.org/topics/christians?lang=eng

        • Greg G.

          That definition rules out everybody who died before 325 AD. If you are going to arbitrarily include the apostles as Christians, then you have no reason to exclude Mormons and Baptists. Paulinism and Jewish Christianity were melded together in the late first or early second century. Wikipedia lists Adamites, Ebionites, Elcesaites, Marcionism, and Nazarenes as known types of pre-Nicene Christians while Bardaisanites, Basilideans, Carpocratianism, Nicolaitans, Sethianism, Simonians, and Valentinianism were Gnostic and pre-Gnostic Christians, except by your definition.

          Is it rational and objective to choose a definition that is the result of centuries of killing those who disagreed with the Nicene Creed? If a religion is supposed to profess “turn the other cheek”, then most of today’s Christian denominations should be rejected.

        • Clement Agonistes

          The NC merely codified what already existed.

          It is rational to use the proper definitions of words.

        • Greg G.

          The 325 creed is pretty much Pauline. It rules out the Jerusalem Christians who thought circumcision was important.

          The 381 creed brings in crap from the gospels and Trinitarianism. Trinitarianism is still rather half-baked compromise of different beliefs. It rules out Unitarians.

          Both rule out the ideas of Gnosticism, and other versions of Christianity, that existed at the time, which was the purpose of creating the creed and altering it.

          It is rational to use the proper definitions of words.

          Then you should find a proper definition of “Christian” besides a creed meant to rule out other Christians. The 381 version of the creed you are citing includes Trinitarianism which is not rational. Maybe we should stick to the 325 version. How many Christians recite that?

        • Clement Agonistes

          Either last night or this morning, I presented the definition from Wikipedia. Are you OK with that definition?

        • Greg G.

          I meant to reply here but put it under the post you are referring to after I found it. See http://disq.us/p/1jnwkla

        • epeeist

          It is rational to use the proper definitions of words.

          It is a truism that dictionaries describe rather than prescribe usage.

          I have been busy doing other things (notably a visit to the Farne Islands) but vaguely following this thread it looks as though you are trying to come up with a demarcation criterion between Christians and non-Christians.

          This is a question I seem to recall we have done before, in attempting to determine how one decides whether someone is Catholic or not, whether baptismal records are necessary and sufficient or whether someone is actually active in the church and takes the sacrament.

          To continue the analogy, if someone says they are a member of a denomination that accepts the Nicene Creed but never attends services or meeting then would you count them as Christian or not? Contrarily, if some belongs to a denomination that does not accept the Nicene Creed but that person regularly attends church services and is otherwise active in the church then would you count them as Christian or not?

        • Greg G.

          What if a person was an active member of a denomination that accepted the Creed but did not completely accept the entire Creed?

        • Clement Agonistes

          This is a question I seem to recall we have done before, in attempting to determine how one decides whether someone is Catholic or not

          That was not me.

          As to non-attendance, IMO everyone is responsible for their own actions and beliefs. Attendance makes beliefs and actions easier, but beyond that is of little value.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Farne Islands? Small world–I visited Iona and Staffa yesterday. Miserable weather but still a great visit.

        • epeeist

          I was a little more fortunate as the photographs show.

        • Michael Neville

          Those are some very nice photos. I particularly like the one showing the shitehawk perched on the man’s head.

        • epeeist

          When I booked the boat trip I was told to wear a hat when visiting Inner Farne. The Arctic terns dive bomb you and peck your head as you walk the path alongside which they have built their nests.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Beautiful I’m envious of your camera skills/equipment!

        • Pofarmer

          Mormons are the fourth largest religious denomination in the U.S. Claiming 15 million adherents. Oneness Pentecostalism claims another 24 million worldwide. Jehovas Witnesses today claim another 20 million adherents. These are not “small” movements. And they consider themselves Christian. Further more, very early on in the Church you had the Gnostics, Arians, and the Marcionites, and the Cathars, among others, none of which were Nicene-creed trinitarian type faiths. The Nicene creed was basically formulated to force and enforce dogma on sects that had widely varying beliefs.

        • Clement Agonistes

          1. Combine all of these, declare them all to be “Christian”, and they account for less than 5% of Christians.
          2. The reason their Christianity is debatable is because their belief about the nature of God does not conform to the definition of Christianity. *That* is the topic of our conversation.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t even know what the original topic of discussion was. You keep going on these little sideshow tangents to nowhere.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Understandable. The original topic was the assertion that there can be no God as understood by Christians because Christians’ understanding of the nature of God is from 1000 B.C.

          God would do X because that is how God would have acted in 1000 B.C.

        • Pofarmer

          Which is another one of your army of strawpeople.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “The OT is canonical for Christians, too. I’m afraid they’re stuck with the definition of God there.”
          – Bob, 9 days ago.

          “You’re stuck with the 1000 BCE Yahweh.
          – Bob, 9 days ago (next post)

        • Pofarmer

          That’s not the strawman.

          Holy fucking shit this is difficult.

          God would do X because that is how God would have acted in 1000 B.C.

          That’s the strawman.

          It’s like having a conversation in Crayon.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “I want to assume the OT god and give it a critique”
          – Bob, 10 days ago.

          “One reasonable definition of God, IMO, is “Yahweh and Elohim as described in the OT.”
          – Bob, same post.

          Those are just to reinforce the claim that Bob (you guys) want to substitute the 33 A.D. understanding of God with the 1000 B.C. version.

          “A real god could explain his nature in a page. He certainly could get it out by the end of the Pentateuch.”
          – Bob, same post.

          “I do quite well when compared against the God of the Bible.”
          – Bob, 11 days ago.

          “I do quite well when compared against the God of the Bible.” – Bob.

          “I’ve seen the Gigantic If so often that it’s like fingernails on a blackboard for me”

          The last quote is from the article itself. The Big If is the characteristics (nature) of God. Bob acknowledges that if everything Christians say about God is true, then Christians win the argument with atheists. I was pointing out how many times Bob has used his own Big If to define God in non-Christian terms in order to prevent that argument from being won.

        • Michael Neville

          The Mk 1 Mod 1 version of God isn’t quite as sadistic, narcissistic and bullying as the Mk 1 Mod 0. Many fundamentalists prefer the Mod 0 over the newer and improved Mod 1 because the Mod 0 allows those Christians to be more judgemental, more self-righteous and more sanctimonious than the Mod 1. However the Mod 1 isn’t free of those attributes.

        • Susan

          The original topic was the assertion that there can be no God as understood by Christians because Christians’ understanding of the nature of God is from 1000 B.C.

          Of course it isn’t. The original article is about reliable forms of thinking.

          The problems with beginning with your conclusion.

          You would rather look for imaginary strawmen that Bob has invented than explain what you are claiming and how you can support it.

          You completely skipped out on the question about torturing babies, avoiding it completely and proclaiming victory without showing any justification.

          Now, you’re back to the the No True Scotsman routine.

          Such a simple and honest question. What are you claiming and how do you support it?

          Why do you suppose you aren’t willing/able to answer it?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I answered it directly. You nit-picked over some word choice. OTOH, you side-stepped my question to you, and claimed that you had addressed it.

          Words have meanings. You guys want to ignore the dictionary definitions in favor of those produced by your own bias. I can only do so much to try to bring you to objectivity.

        • MR

          And still not willing to answer it, I see.

        • Susan

          I answered it directly.

          No. You told me what real christians claim according to you. I asked you how you support those claims and you’ve provided nothing.

          As far as my question about torturing babies, you changed the question.

          I did not change your question to “If a man shoots another man for fun, is he justified?” That would have been dishonest.

          I also asked you if you had a different answer than my answer to your question. No response.

          You just settled for proclaiming that your answer to my question was better than mine to yours even though you didn’t answer my question, and you haven’t told me what’s wrong with my answer to yours.

        • Clement Agonistes

          My answer is unchanged. I played your game and it has gone nowhere … as usual. I’m not a big fan of this kind of game playing.

        • Susan

          I played your little game.

          My little game?

          I’ll try to condense this. Let me know what I missed.

          I said that you have no basis on which to judge Yahwehjesus good if there is no basis to judge him.

          In a little more detail than that.

          You responded with an analogy, ignoring my point. Your analogy was:

          There is a news report that a man was shot by another man. Was the shooter justified?

          To which I responded:

          There is a news report that a man tortures a baby to death. Was the man justified?

          (A reasonable response if you’d like to address the problem of suffering while claiming an all-good agent plucked reality out of metaphysical nothingness)

          You responded:

          I asked you first.

          So I answered your actual question. I didn’t change your question to “There is a news report that a man was shot by another man for fun. I answered it.

          Like this:

          where a man shoots someone, unless ,justification is provided for that action, I don’t assume that he is justified.

          You told me that was not a good answer, at least not as good as your answer to my question. But you haven’t showed me where it is a bad answer nor showed that you have a better answer. I asked you what you would answer. No response so far.

          Then, you changed my question by adding “for fun” without justification. I asked you to remove those words and answer the original question. You haven’t.

          Now, you are saying your answer “is unchanged” when it is on record that you created a strawman and responded to that rather than answer an honest question based on your original deflection to an analogy.

          And you are making me write it all up again (and any readers who haven’t lost patience by now) read it all again.

          Who is playing games?

          1) How would you answer your question better than I have?

          2) What is your response to my real question, not the one you made up?

        • MR

          It’s mind boggling that you get accused of playing games when he’s the one trying to wriggle out of exposing his poor argument. Like we can’t see through his little game. This is the kind of intellectual dishonesty that we come across time and time again. I commend you for holding him to it. He painted his own self into that corner. I hope other more honest Christians have been following that thread and have pondered why Clement refuses to answer the question.

        • Mark Sibley

          You are like the grandparent who only wants to talk about here grandchild. No matter what the topic is, she always keeps bringing it back to the grandchild.

          You have your agenda, and want me to talk about what you want to talk about, regardless of whether it pertains to the topic at hand. You play this game of “!000 Questions”, and any attempt to answer merely elicits another 1000 questions. …. especially if the answer is not the one you wanted (the only “right” answer).

          It’s exhausting and fruitless. I could devote 30 minutes to each response, and never get genuine conversation in return. It’s busywork. Who needs that?

        • MR

          So Clement Agonistes is Mark Sibley?

          Susan’s question is absolutely valid and you don’t want to answer because it’s embarrassing for your argument. Be honest with yourself if no one else, but don’t blame Susan because you painted yourself into a corner. You need to answer the question for your fellow Christians. Walking away is as good as admitting defeat.

        • Susan

          Why it’s Mark Sibley. I should have known. Nice of you to drop in by another name after failing so badly last time.

          I think the last thing you said to me 7 months ago was this:

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_great_debate_theism_vs_naturalism_where_does_the_evidence_point/#comment-3033201812

          Susan, I’m sorry, but my patience with your endless excuses, denials and fallacious questions is at an end. Good luck to you and all those you care about.

          You were breathtaking then and you’re back at it.

          You have your agenda, and want me to talk about what you want to talk about,

          I want you to address the Problem of Suffering and not handwave it away with bullshit analogies.

          You play this game of 1000 questions.

          I made a statement. That one can’t judge Yahwehjesus good if one can’t judge Yahwehjesus bad based on your requirement of total knowledge.

          Then, you asked me a question as though no one understood your silly total knowledge business.

          I asked you a question that makes an effort to address the history of life on this planet if you want to claim it was created by a powerful and “good” deity. A question much more appropriate for the Problem of Suffering.

          You said I asked you first and I graciously answered. You still haven’t explained what was wrong with my answer.

          You , on the other hand, have still not answered that single question. You answered a question I didn’t ask. I have to assume at this point it’s because you don’t have an answer.

          It’s exhausting and fruitless.

          What’s exhausting and fruitless is attempting to get an answer from you on the subject of your choice, in the format of your choice.

          I could devote 30 minutes to each response, and never get genuine conversation in return.

          Sproinggg!!! Sproing! Sprooo-iii-iiinggg!!!

          Do you have any idea how expensive Irony meter repairmen are during weekend hours?

          Let’s see you devote one or two minutes to my very simple question instead of none.

          I am trying to have a genuine conversation.

          That seems to be the last thing you would like to have.

          .

        • MR

          Why it’s Mark Sibley. I should have known.

          If it hadn’t been for that meddling Susan, I’d have gotten away with it!

          https://horrorpediadotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/scooby8.png

        • Mark Sibley

          I throw myself at your mercies. Please don’t contact me at home or work.

        • Susan

          I throw myself at your mercies. Please don’t contact me at home or work

          Please stop being such a weasel.and answer your own single question and my single question.

          This is why it’s so hard to tell the difference between christian apologists and tobacco lobbyists.

        • Kodie

          Christians are dishonest and evasive, what can you do about that?

        • Michael Neville

          Friendly word of advice, Clement. Susan is very patient, much more patient than most of us, but she is neither stupid nor is she easily diverted. Pay attention to what she writes and answer the questions she asks rather than the questions you’d like her to ask.

        • Kodie

          You’re not a big fan of honesty?

        • Michael Neville

          I was wondering if you’d play the No True Scotsman card. Thank you for not disappointing me.

        • Pofarmer

          Mormons, Jehovas witnesses and Unitarians are non-nicene, among others. Seventh Day adventists, too, I think. The Cathars were a very large non- nicene community up until the Catholic Church wiped them out. That’s reality. Learn it.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Those would be good examples of the kind of divergence from true Christianity we were talking about a few weeks ago in reference to the passage in John. These are what you have to point to in order to make your point. With just about any topic, we will run into the fringe where we transition from an unquestionable “X” to an unquestionable “not-X”. You are appealing to the grey area as evidence of a black or white argument.

        • Pofarmer

          Do you know what a “No True Scotsman” fallacy is?

          You are appealing to the grey area as evidence of a black or white argument.

          What black and white argument would that be?

        • Clement Agonistes

          The definition.

        • Pofarmer

          Well why you’re committing it actually.

        • Greg G.

          You are appealing to the grey area as evidence of a black or white argument.

          If there is a gray area to appeal to, then it is not a black or white argument.

        • Clement Agonistes

          re is always a gray area, especially if you want it bad enough.

          Guys, are the beliefs of modern Christians the same as for Israelites of 1000 B.C.?

        • Greg G.

          Guys, are the beliefs of modern Christians the same as for Israelites of 1000 B.C.?

          No. The beliefs of the Israelites of 1000 BC were not the same as the beliefs of the Israelites of 165 BC nor were those beliefs the same as the Israelites of 65 AD, either.

          The beliefs of some first century Christians were similar to the beliefs of first century Israelites, especially where they differed from the beliefs of the Israelites of 1000 BC.

          Are the beliefs of modern Christians the same as any group of first century Christians?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I agree with every word you said. I have stated here that it is my belief that our understanding of God has been a process, with each new understanding building on the previous understanding.

          Your question uses the modifier, “any”. Even within the 1st century, orthodox church, there were nuances of belief (johannine and pauline, for instance). The purpose of the NC was to prevent divergence of beliefs from a core that was solidly rooted in those early Apostles.

          IMO, the Holy Spirit continues to reveal God’s nature to modern Christians. That could make “similar” a better word than “same”. I think if I were having a conversation with one of those 1st century leaders from, say, 95 A.D., we would be having the same kind of conversations Christians have today. Each of us would be comfortable with what the other one was saying.

        • adam

          “IMO, the Holy Spirit continues to reveal God’s nature to modern Christians.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/878b8e07d2b942087c85ac234890ad18b3e8f811594bc275918c5d05cbe88467.jpg

        • Greg G.

          But that process is more consistent with believing imagination-produced concepts with no reconciliation with any reality. When science is used, different people can do different tests on reality and come to similar conclusions. But religions are not coming to an accord, they keep getting further apart. The religious imagination is not constrained by anything real.

        • Greg G.

          “Abraham”. Let’s work with that. Muslims are Abrahamic, also. Do you think it is accurate to *define* Islam as “Abraham”?

          I am not trying to define any religion narrowly. That is what you are doing by trying to minimize the differences in the various denominations of Christianity.

          My point above is that Christianity is not distinguished from Judaism by the OT.

          My point is that other denominations disagree with you on the importance of the OT.

          Pointing to a random OT passage and saying it is sufficient for defining Christianity is absurd.

          Which is what you did with the animal sacrifice reference.

          YECs tend to hold to the “Original Sin” theology so they must take the Genesis account literally, and thus the rest of the Bible that way. Their reasoning is that “if Adam and Eve didn’t really exist, then Jesus died for a metaphor.”

        • Clement Agonistes

          I am not trying to define any religion narrowly. That is what you are doing by trying to minimize the differences in the various denominations of Christianity.

          I am not defining Christianity narrowly. I am defining it as broadly as possible – only the most crucial elements. The differences between sects are narrow differences.

          My point is that other denominations disagree with you on the importance of the OT.

          True, but the definition of Christianity is a different topic.

          Pointing to a random OT passage and saying it is sufficient for defining Christianity is absurd.

          Which is what you did with the animal sacrifice reference.

          Not really. Bob stated that the definition of Christianity was as valid from 1000 B.C. as it is now. Even in Jesus’ time, animal sacrifice was still a crucial part of people’s relationship with God.

        • adam

          “Many OT beliefs of Jews were thrown out by the NT.”

          You mean rewritten for a new crowd.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/70ccf6cc6f356ddadace81e1e23459204c40c7dbbe834f59eb5f620ea553cc59.jpg

        • Kodie

          Jesus came to liquidate the offerings system.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus didn’t come to save humans, he came to save cattle and goats.

        • Tommy

          ‘Straw man Christian doctrines’? LOL. Is that a game where you never say what doctrine you do believe in, only the ones you don’t believe in?

          His defense was that it was legitimate to choose the understanding of God Jews had in 1000 B.C. on behalf of Christians.

          His defense is justified, since over half of the Christian bible is composed of books based on Jews’ understanding of God.

        • adam

          “His defense was that it was legitimate to choose the understanding of God Jews had in 1000 B.C. on behalf of Christians.”

          Not a problem if you remove the OT.

          After all what does Jesus have to do with the God of the OT.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73a4f0f1c72a49d8724b747333e9e34a19846e8916aaf92b146d08edf984b950.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          Why don’t you restate your argument.

          We’ll help, if necessary.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Which part needs restatement? Don’t just say you’re going to help. Do it.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, honestly, at this point, I can’t make heads or tails at what you’re trying to get at. Maybe that’s just the vagaries of disqus threading. That’s why I asked you to restate it, as a formal argument if possible. I don’t want to strawman it.

        • Pofarmer

          We have no definitive evidence of how omnipotent, benevolent beings behave. Yet both of us have opinions on the subject. Mine is definitively wrong, and yours is definitively right.

          Finally, we’re getting somewhere.

        • Clement Agonistes

          LOL. Well played, sir. Gotta keep it light.

        • Greg G.

          You guys point to the paucity of evidence and make the determination that God does not exist. You don’t have enough evidence to make that determination, but you do it anyway.

          The paucity of evidence means we do cannot determine that a god exists. To decide that one does on this paucity of evidence is wishful thinking. We have a paucity of evidence for nuclear-powered pine trees but it would be ridiculous to live our lives on the off chance that they exist. The same goes for every other mythical person or creature in all the lore of the world throughout history.

          We have no definitive evidence of how omnipotent, benevolent beings behave. Yet both of us have opinions on the subject. Mine is definitively wrong, and yours is definitively right.

          There is definitive evidence of how particular beings would behave in the adjectives used to describe them. An omnipotent being must be omnipotent or it does not exist. A benevolent being must be benevolent or it does not exist. If an omnipotent being exists, then all suffering is unnecessary. If the being were also benevolent, then it would not allow sentient creatures to suffer unnecessarily. Therefore, we can rule out the existence of a being that is omnipotent and benevolent. We can even lower the bar to rule out the existence of a being that is sufficiently potent to prevent suffering and sufficiently benevolent to prevent suffering.

          There is no sense praying to such a god for relief from suffering. All you can do is pray for things that might happen anyway and hold that memory strongly when it does happen while forgetting all the prayers that didn’t work out. But that is how prayer “works” for theists.

        • Michael Neville

          Since having complete information is impossible, then we, you’re included in “we”, make conclusions based on the information we do have. If further information becomes available then those conclusions can be changed. This is basic epistemology.

        • Susan

          There is a news report that a man was shot by another man. Was the man justified?

          There is a news report that a man tortures a baby to death. Was the man justified?

        • Clement Agonistes

          I asked you first.

        • Susan

          I asked you first.

          You did. I was trying to let you off easy with the single case of a finite human being torturing a baby to death.

          It was an effort to demonstrate how inadequate your question was.

          In any case where a man shoots someone, unless ,justification is provided for that action, I don’t assume that he is justified.

          Why are we talking about a man? . Omnipotent beings don’t have to shoot anyone.

          I let you off easy with the single case of a man torturing a baby to death.

          Now, it is your turn.

          There is a news report that a man tortures a baby to death. Was the man justified?

          Then, you can explain why an omnipotent being created a system in which an unfathomable number of life forms (a huge percentage of which were/are babies) have been tortured to death over the course of hundreds of millions of years.

          Your question is a complete mess on a lot of levels and you have avoided my main request that you provide evidence for the existence of Yahwehjesus.

          I would like you to answer the question.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Both you and Greg went off in a direction I wasn’t going on this one. That’s OK since it was still interesting, but …

          I was not making an analogy of the shooter being God (God – Jesus – could just as easily been the victim, if that were the case). The point was about evidence for morality. In this example, our conclusion can swing wildly with each new piece of evidence.

          As to your question, I cannot conceive of a circumstance whee torturing a helpless child for pleasure could be justified.

        • Pofarmer

          Morality is a human invention, a result of our consciousness and intelligence and our status as social Primates. We share very many pre-moral attributes with other Primates and other Mammals. What more evidence do you need other than to look around at the rest of the world around you? We are related to all the life on this planet. We flow from it, we derive from it. We are connected to it.

        • MR

          Morality is a human invention

          I wholeheartedly agree with the rest of your comment except in your use of the term invention. Morality is emotional instinct and reason. It is a result of social evolution, evolved behaviors that promote cooperation. It is imperfect, subjective, and can be overridden by reason, which is perhaps where you feel it to be “invented.” It feels objective to theists because we all seem to agree on certain principles, but this is only because we are all human and our biological make up is the same.

        • Pofarmer

          It feels objective to theists because we all seem to agree on certain principles

          I’m gonna pick a nit here then. HA! It only feels like we agree on certain principles because the group that we normally cooperate with does. For pretty much any moral principle you can come up with, you can find some group that contradicts it. The feeling of objectivity is really just a lack of scope.

          I also agree that our behaviors are due primarily to our biology and etc, but the whole concept of “morality” not the actions that we actually take, is what I’m considering a human invention.

          As another poster once said, I believe it was epeeist. I think we are violently agreeing.

        • Greg G.

          For some cultures, it feels right to kill a sister or daughter for honor. They can’t understand why a woman can wear a bikini in public and not expect to be raped.

        • MR

          I’m gonna pick a nit here then. HA!

          Hence the “seem to agree….” 😉

          I agree, you scratch the surface, and it starts to unravel, and you’re absolutely right, group tribal dynamics plays heavily into it pretty much everything.

          I agree we agree, but I still have heartburn over the term invention, though I understand your clarification. But the term “invention” implies something very different, and I think the term is misleading and confusing. Laws, moral codes, etc., our explanations for morality, might be inventions, but they are based on real moral instincts. It’s just that those instincts are open to interpretation.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, morality, largely, is just behaviors, some instincts, some chemical reactions. But then, when you get into things like honor killings, which Greg. G. referenced, which are clearly social constructs that go against(IMHO) our biological instincts, then what do you call that? And what do you call the complex moral systems developed by Entities like the Catholic Church,or Baptists, or secular societies? I think some of these things, like Catholic Natural Law, for instance, go way beyond explanations to creations within themselves. The idea that everyone has the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, is, in itself, also a kind of moral code that goes beyond most of what would have been understood at the time. So I think that “explanations” doesn’t go far enough.

        • MR

          Agree. I think we need to make those distinctions.

        • Kodie

          I feel like we can’t discount the effect of socialization, though. For the moment, the examples I am thinking about are when the news reports something bad has happened and specifically mention when the victim is a baby, a child, a young (white) woman, especially a young pregnant woman, or a member of the clergy, especially when something bad has happened to a bunch of people, like a car went out of control and hit a crowd of people, killing 8, including a 3-year-old pregnant baby priest. A victim is a member of someone’s family, loved by someone, known by someone, and will be missed by someone, but they emotion it up for the social morality that it’s worse if something happens to certain classes of people. If something happens overseas, they want to pick out the victims from your local region, like that matters that they might have grown up 50 miles from your house in case you want to send flowers.

          Stuff like that might have used to matter more, but I don’t think it’s relevant, and part of morality is feeling empathy for others, as though you were this close to being a victim, or the victims were innocent and kinda arbitrarily determined to be especially valuable or vulnerable, and the news wants to make sure you feel it real hard, if you can relate. Like not “who would do such a thing, but who would do such a thing to a 3-year old pregnant baby priest?????? Tha ‘umanity!

        • MR

          Right. And I think those kinds of things point to biological triggers. We’re wired to favor self, family, tribe, babies, innocents, fairness, loyalty, etc. Degrees vary and can be overridden through reason, socialization, coercion, manipulation (as you illustrate), any number of factors…, but they still play of biological aspects of our nature. We don’t learn to care about children, we have a visceral reaction. I can’t pass a baby without a smile and some ridiculous baby talk coming out of my mouth…, and I can’t stand children. Our indignation at injustice is an emotional reaction first before it becomes a rationalization. But, injustice is defended first to those in our group. If I were to see an injustice committed on someone while traveling in a foreign country, I might react viscerally, but when it’s filtered through the news, with a them vs. us spin, my reaction might be that the bastards deserved it.

        • Pofarmer

          Wife drug the boys to Church last night, so I get to hear about the Sermons later. And I though this was topical. I guess the one last night was how society was teaching us as individuals to value self more than our relationship with God(aka Church, they are the same to Catholics). An awful lot of what the Catholic Church teaches is in opposition to our normal moral hard wiring.

        • MR

          Yeah, I see church as “tribe,” and that’s a potent one in the list of triggers. It permeates everything and manifests itself in religion, politics, race, sports, school, work, vocation, city, state, country, age group, yada, yada, yada.

        • Kodie

          I dunno. I feel like it’s sort of there, but also socially reinforced, so like, if you don’t coo at a baby, people will think you don’t fit in, or that you’re a bad person or something, so you have to socially reinforce your status as a member of society by performing liking children. I work with kids, so my sister shows me this kid from a friend of ours growing up and isn’t she cute, and I just don’t think she was that cute and I don’t care I’m never gonna meet her. I’m over how “cute” kids are, and I kind of also think my sister is phony too, like everyone has to say how adorable a kid is all the time, it’s something parents do, I notice – how adorable, how grown up, what cheeks, I want to eat those feet, etc.

          I don’t stare or play games with babies waiting on line at the store or in a restaurant or anywhere. I also feel like how sometimes women don’t get any attention after a baby is born, I hate reinforcing that I’m ignoring them but paying lots of attention to a strange baby, or like the whole notion that parents have elevated status among us, so any invitation for an adult to start telling me all about their child is something I try to avoid. It helps I live in a city where people mind their own business.

          I mean, I get that we’re wired a certain way (to feel something more adoring or protective of young), but I think what’s more wired in us is to do what everyone else is doing, to mirror their empathy and pay attention to whatever they think is important, to get along socially. That’s where morality comes from on the subconscious level, not biological urges to protect babies.

        • Pofarmer

          That’s where morality comes from on the subconscious level, not biological urges to protect babies.

          I’m not sure it’s strictly either/or.

        • Kodie

          You don’t think there’s a more recently developed cult around children than there used to be, like a hundred years ago or more? As humans, we more or less care for our young, but in a more cultural way, it’s become… different.

        • Pofarmer

          I think it’s become a lot different just in the last 70 years. Pre WWII, which would be pre antibiotics, it wasn’t uncommon for childhood mortality to be 1 in 4 or greater, and folks would routinely have more kids. Plus, people didn’t generally have the means to make a big deal about kids, or the time. It wasn’t uncommon to work 6 days a week sunup till sundown.

        • Kodie

          That’s why I’m leaning toward the biological programming is deeper on the side of going with the trends. We see it everywhere in everything. People didn’t used to be afraid of clowns or say they hate the word “moist”, people want to be like the others.

        • MR

          …going with the trends.

          Going with the tribe, perhaps? I think Trump is a perfect illustration of this. It’s not difficult to imagine the howls of outrage and disbelief from Republicans (or however the individual might define his or her tribe: conservative, religious right, whatever) had Donald Trump been the Democratic candidate and won the election. On a visceral level, I think anyone dropped in a room with him without knowing who he was would easily recognize him for a scoundrel. The fact that that visceral reaction can so easily be overwritten by tribal loyalty is a testament to the strength of that particular biological programming.

        • Greg G.

          When Chevy Chase did the news on Saturday Night Live (that’s how old I am), he once said that there was a plane crash in some foreign country with some number of victims, then added, “On the lighter side, there were no Americans on board.” The news reports that because it brings the story a little closer to home, but it does illustrate that we care less when the victims are distant from us.

        • Kodie

          I would lean toward invention too, sort of like how fire isn’t invented but a stove is.

        • Kodie

          Clement’s ignorance about animals is willful and massive. He thinks we’re just related to god and all the other animals are just animals doing animal things that animals just do by instinct.

        • Pofarmer

          Ain’t just Clement.

        • epeeist

          He thinks we’re just related to god and all the other animals are just animals doing animal things that animals just do by instinct.

          Straight out of the Aristotelian, Scholastic and Cartesian play books.

        • Pofarmer

          And today it’s denialism.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I enjoy the speculation. It’s as far as we can go in these discussions. If evidence is the holy grail here, then you have no more basis for your statement of belief than the theist has.

        • adam

          “: If evidence is the holy grail here, then you have no more basis for your statement of belief than the theist has.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c6338d1c2d9058da691571a6688df25eccabd8e89b7749c14069533aa53e08b8.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          That’s not true even a little bit.

          Try the work of Patricia Churchland, for instance. Specifically her last book(as far as I know) “Braintrust.” We can look at other species and see the Basis for the same behaviors we exhibit. It’s undeniable.

        • Kodie

          You choose to ignore the evidence, and pretend there is none. I mean, here we are, having a conversation, and you refuse to be educated about animals. You would rather keep saying things that make you look totally stupid and then complain about being called names than learn anything that will upset your beliefs!

        • MR

          And yet by your argument there could be a good reason for torturing a helpless child that we just don’t know, so don’t worry about it and go ahead and worship this person. The bottom line is that it doesn’t make sense, and defending it with “we can’t know if there is a good reason,” also opens up the possibilities that there is no reason, there is a nefarious reason, or that it’s simply not true. There are other, better explanations. Yours gets us nowhere.

        • Greg G.

          Both you and Greg went off in a direction I wasn’t going on this one.

          Of course, you weren’t. Your cognitive dissonance acts as a governor to keep you from those considerations.

          As to your question, I cannot conceive of a circumstance whee torturing a helpless child for pleasure could be justified.

          There is no reason for an omnipotent being to allow a child, or anybody else, to suffer unless it pleases the OB to allow it.

        • Susan

          As to your question, I cannot conceive of a circumstance whee torturing a helpless child for pleasure could be justified.

          I didn’t say for pleasure.

          Please remove that phrase and try again.

        • Kodie

          You didn’t say helpless child either.

        • Clement Agonistes

          “It’s not personal. It’s business.”?

          I think I gave you a far better answer than you gave me to my question.

        • Kodie

          Typical evasive Christian.

          Why does god torture a helpless child for pleasure?

        • MR

          Typical evasive Christian.

          It never changes.

        • Clement Agonistes

          Susan specified that a man was doing the torturing.

        • Kodie

          It went over your head.

        • Susan

          I think I gave you a far better answer than you gave me to my question.

          You didn’t answer my question.

          You changed it to one you could answer without having to address the problem with your position.

          Try again.

        • MR

          You’re supposed to look the other way, Susan, when they paint themselves into a corner. Just point, and say, “The reset button is over there.”

        • Susan

          than you gave me

          Far too late to edit without doing it behind your back unless you are hanging on my every word which is unlikely.

          You haven’t responded to the problem with your answer to my very simple question.

          Which was:

          In any case where a man shoots someone, unless ,justification is provided for that action, I don’t assume that he is justified

          Do you have a different answer?

        • Kodie

          Depends, did he rape it also and was it fun?

        • Susan

          Depends/

          While I fully understand, why I can’t access your comment history, sometimes it’s a day or more where I can’t follow the dialogue and it’s frustrating that I can’t click on your comment history and follow the discussions.

          Just another reason to hate Disqus. They should be on that shit. Or at least Patheos should.

          Rather than deal with the problem of stalking assholes who contribute nothing to the conversation, they ignore everything wrong and offer World Table as a solution.

          Doesn’t it drive you frickin’ nuts some times?

          :-)

        • epeeist

          There is a news report that a man was shot by another man. Was the shooter justified?

          Since you want specificity:

          Was the shooter a) a policeman engaged in his duties; b) a policeman shooting an unarmed black man; c) a random passer-by shooting someone engaged in a robbery or assault; d) a passer-by shooting someone in self-defence; e) someone shooting someone else during an altercation; f) a toddler shooting his mother using a weapon left in the back of a car…

          In other words, your hypothetical is badly framed and does not contain sufficient information to form a considered opinion.

          Let’s assume it turns out to be b), but that is all we know. Can we come to a definitive decision? No, we cannot because we lack information about the context. However based on previous incidents we have a prior probability on which to work and we can say that the policeman may not have been justified. As more information comes in we may have to revise our position.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I didn’t say I wanted specificity.

          The point of the scenario is the absence of information. The flimsiness of subjective, human morality is how our conclusions change with each new piece of information.

        • adam
        • MR

          Every Christian repeatedly dodges your question, “What do you believe and how do you support it?” I think Clement’s argument of “we can’t know,” is an admission that he can’t support it.

        • Susan

          Clement’s argument of “we can’t know,”

          It’s a complete dodge whether he knows it or not.

          Bring up MNb’s Engine Gremilins or my Immaterial Snowflake Fairies and we have a logical equivalence.

          But they don’t accept either. They never engage with these examples except to be offended. Same with Thor, Garden Fairies and The Flying Spaghetti Monster. All entities in which ultimately we can say “We can’t know.” Last Thursdayism, epeeists Floating Gas Bags and anything we care to make up while we have this little chit chat all fall into the “We can’t know yet.” category.

          We can’t disprove Yahwehjesus. For some reason, that statement is all they ultimately have to support their ontological claim.

          When all the other crappy arguments fall apart because they are riddled with fallacies and have no evidential support, they always end up with “You can’t disprove Yahwehjesus”.

          And that is enough for them to think it’s special and explains all reality.

        • Greg G.

          The purpose of prayer is to bring us closer to God.

          It’s a the first step in confirmation bias, which leads to delusion that leads away from reality.

        • MR

          Prayer trains your brain to believe in the imaginary. It’s a form of mind control we practice on ourselves. I’ve known for a long time that Muslims pray five times a day, but when I went to the Middle East and actually saw it in action, it really struck me the effect this must have on the psyche. What better form of mind control! Prayer in Christianity is less regulated, but how many prayers a day must I have sent up as a Christian! It’s the same thing. you train your brain to believe, like a cult leader trains his followers through repetition and ritual.

        • Greg G.

          It’s self-gaslighting.

        • Michael Neville

          God doesn’t exist, yet you are more moral than it.

          Actually Bob said that “I’m more moral than Yahweh.” This is the god described in the Old Testament. He’s portrayed as a sadistic, narcissistic bully with the emotional maturity of a spoiled six year old. He condones slavery, orders rape and genocide, and kills people just because he can. It’s not hard to be more moral that that. In a similar way Bob is more moral than Saruman, another bully who starts a war with his neighbor, lies to his allies, and despoils nature for grins and giggles. Neither Yahweh or Saruman are real but they’re described well enough in the books they appear in that it’s possible to determine how moral they are.

        • Greg G.

          Are you sure that Bob is more moral? I have heard that atheists eat babies and that he is one of them.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ix-nay on the abies-bay!!

        • Greg G.

          I hear black helicopters. Did I say something wrong?

        • Michael Neville

          You hear the blackness? I’m impressed. I can’t distinguish colors just by sound. What’s the trick to it?

        • Greg G.

          Most helicopters go “woomp, woomp, woomp, woomp” but some go “black, black, black, black”. Old farts can’t hear that distinction.

        • Michael Neville

          I acknowledge that I’ve reached old fartdom and can’t hear as well as when I was a middle aged fart.

        • Michael Neville

          …babies and that he is one of them.

          Bob looks a little too, how can I put this nicely, creaky to be a baby.

        • Kodie

          You’re talking about an imaginary character again. The one in the bible doesn’t have wisdom or morals. I have a lot more wisdom than you do, that’s a fact. Seems like theists get pretty butthurt that someone else might think they are smarter or better or better off than they are without god. It’s just that you take this argument personally, not just you, but the idea that theists are defending their beliefs all the time, ridiculously, well, we know all that shit and it’s wrong. You can keep believing it, don’t let me try to stop you.

        • epeeist

          God doesn’t exist, yet you are more moral than it.

          Let me introduce you to the conditional subjunctive.

          To rephrase Bob’s statement:

          “If it was the case that the god of the bible existed then it would be the case that I am more moral than it.”

        • Philmonomer

          However, the list of things atheists think is superior to others is a long one. They are a prideful people.

          As are Christians, IMHO. I once encountered (online) a christian who stated unequivocally that she was a much better person than she used to be, before she became a Christian. She thought she was more loving, more compassionate, more understanding, etc.

          I asked her if she thought that her experience was typical, and she said yes. I then asked her if she thought that Christians, as a whole, were better people than non-Christians. Oh, no, she said. Definitely not. We are all sinners.

          I pointed out to her that these things can’t possibly be true, logically speaking. She had no answer. (Well, I guess if all people who became Christians were worse than the general population before becoming Christian, and then “rise up” to the level of the general population when they become Christian, then I guess it could be true. I guess some people just need Christianity to be as good as everyone else?)

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          There is also the fact that theists think the greatest conceivable being created the universe just for us and that they personally play a critical role in this being’s plans.

          But it’s atheists who are prideful.

        • Clement Agonistes

          …. hence the guilt that Christians feel for being POS, according to Kodie.

          We can’t win for losing.

        • Michael Neville

          We can’t win for losing.

          Not when your religion keeps repeating that you’re all losers, no matter how good and pure you might be. Your religion invented “original sin”, the concept that you are a sinner before conception and remain a sinner until death unless you kiss your god’s ass often and hard enough.

        • Clement Agonistes

          You are putting words in the mouths of others as a means of defeating an argument that only you are making.

        • Michael Neville

          Do you deny that Christianity insists that “all are sinners”? Do you deny that Christianity invented original sin? Do you deny that the only way your sins can be forgiven is by your god? So what is wrong with the argument that I’m making in response to your whine “We can’t win for losing.”

        • Clement Agonistes

          Your argument wasn’t accurate. You stretched the truth beyond the breaking point.

        • Joe

          Which part?

        • Clement Agonistes

          “your religion keeps repeating that you’re all losers”

          “Your religion invented “original sin”, the
          concept that you are a sinner before conception and remain a sinner
          until death unless you kiss your god’s ass often and hard enough.”

          Was that what you were asking for? Your post didn’t have any context other than proximity.

        • Joe

          Those parts are accurate, as far as I can see.

          They just aren’t couched in the familiar language theists use, instead they use a plainer interpretation.

        • Clement Agonistes

          So, “loser” is the same as “sinner”, huh? Man, Trump voters are everywhere these days.

        • Joe

          Wouldn’t being a loser be a consequence of sin?

          Don’t both have similar negative connotations?

        • Clement Agonistes

          So, *any* concept that has a negative connotation would be defined as “sin”?

          You’re trying to hard, Joe. Christians do not view all of humanity as “losers”. Michael was exaggerating for effect.

        • Greg G.

          Wouldn’t falling short of the glory of God pretty much be in the loser category? And everybody has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, per Romans 3:23.

        • Clement Agonistes

          That’s setting the bar for “non-loser” pretty high, don’t you think? “Any grade less than a 100 defines “loser”.

        • Kodie

          I’m going to upset you with an analogy, but god is like the BMOC at school. I think we all know how school social dynamics work – where kids either just want to be popular or they tend to reject popularity as conventionally defined … it goes a little deeper than that, but let’s just start there.

          So you just want to meet the guy, you want him to validate you, to give you the soft punch on the shoulder that you are okey-dokey to him. But every time you encounter this guy, his power is so intimidating to you, that you think you said something stupid, and you beat yourself up about it for hours or days, and wonder if he hates you now. You’re constantly afraid of losing this validation, of making some social error that will annoy him or disgust him, and him liking you is the only way you think you can matter at school. If that guy puts you on the list of people he can’t be seen with, then you’re cooked, you have to go emo.

          In the sense we’re talking about it, loser means sinner, you’re not measuring up, and you worry about it to a pathological degree. I can’t believe you think loser and sinner are two different things. You’re just trying to be validated by the world’s most popular guy, and there’s a lot of things he doesn’t like, and you’re never completely sure if you got the right list or the whole list of his dislikes, and you can modify your behavior to be pleasing to him, but you know you might not be able to hold it together forever, and you’ll mess up, and that will be the end of your relationship.

        • Greg G.

          That is what Paul said. If you think that is bad, look at 1 Corinthians 15:19. He says if you follow Jesus your whole life and you are wrong, you are to be “most pitied”.

        • Joe

          That is what Paul said.

          That loser?

        • Joe

          Who sets the bar?

        • Michael Neville

          I wasn’t exaggerating. It is a cornerstone of Christian dogma that each and every human is a sinner from birth, deserving of everlasting punishment which can only be “forgiven” by a merciful god. I went through 12 years of Catholic education and learned that by heart. Calvinists have it worse, since their god only forgives a tiny minority who win the lottery.

          Fire and brimstone sermons have gone out of fashion, at least for the majority of preachers, but the underlying concept of being tortured forever unless you kiss God’s ass is still part of Christianity. Some of the more liberal churches retcon Hell into “absence of God” but the lake of fire is still a major concern for many Christians.

        • BlackMamba44

          My sister-in-law, a Baptist, lost her mother (health) and brother (in and out of jail. Choked on his vomit in a drug induced sleep) last year, within 6 weeks of each other. Her husband was in a horrific accident right before Xmas. Still a 50/50 chance of losing his arm. She thinks she is being punished by God for never getting baptized.

        • Michael Neville

          Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law’s troubles.

        • BlackMamba44

          She had a rough year and I feel bad for her.

          But she’s also a very, very nasty person and I don’t think too much of her.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, it’s truly bizarre that somehow “loser” is supposed to be a drastic overstatement of “sinner”, yet the latter means we are inherently deserving of eternal punishment.

          Nah, I’ll just be a loser, thanks.

        • Joe

          So, *any* concept that has a negative connotation would be defined as “sin”?

          Aren’t all negative aspects a result of sin?

          You’re trying to hard, Joe. Christians do not view all of humanity as “losers”.

          You presume to speak for all of Christianity? Please tell us how ‘Christians’ actually view humanity?

          Remember we deal with all manner of people claiming to be Christians here, with all manner of different views. Forgive us for picking the one we encounter most often as the default view.

        • Kodie

          Even if DT would like to have you believe, he didn’t invent the word or popularize the usage of the word “loser”. But then, you didn’t address the comment, you made a shitty off-hand remark like a typical Christian loser.

        • Michael Neville

          I ask again, do you deny that Christianity insists that “all are sinners”? This is a yes or no question.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I have also already addressed this issue in other posts. The Patheos format can be a difficult one. Is it possible that you are not reading my responses to other posters?

          Or is this just part of that whole hostility persona of yours

        • Michael Neville

          I haven’t been hostile to you. I was sarcastic when you falsely accused me of giving you two choices because you didn’t read what I actually wrote. I was persistent in brushing off your attempts to not answer me, but that persistence finally paid off when you gave me the response I’d spent two days asking for. But I haven’t been hostile to you. Believe me, if I was hostile there would be no doubt in your mind that I had been.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Theists, and Clement in particular, view requests for clarity as hostility and/or evasiveness for some odd reason. Or, strike that, the reason is actually pretty easy to figure out.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          You keep implying contradictions that aren’t there. In this case, it is two sides of the same coin: the inflated sense of self means failures are magnified.

          This isn’t true for everyone, of course, but either way it has nothing to do with the overarching topic of this thread or your dubious claim that atheists are uniquely prideful.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I didn’t say that atheists are uniquely prideful.

          The contrast is between you stating that Christians regard themselves as so important that they think of themselves as the center of the entire universe with Kodie’s saying that Christians regard themselves as PsOS.

        • Joe

          People are capable of holding competing ides simultaneously.

          That’s not actually a contrast though, unless you reverse the theology that says God is not part of this universe?

          You can be a ‘POS’ and still be important. There’s a very obvious example in politics that I won’t go into for fear of derailing the conversation.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Well congrats, you finally found a genuine contradiction. It’s one of Christianity’s own making, but it’s legitimate nonetheless. Don’t think I didn’t notice the not-so-subtle exaggeration of what I said earlier, either.

          Also, what does “they [atheists] are a prideful people” if not uniquely prideful?

        • Kodie

          Gaining the validation of a supernatural character even though you’re just a scummy little piece of shit who can never be perfect is the essence of thinking you’re the center of the universe. The whole idea of an ultimate purpose, the reason why god lets you continue to live, the “gift” of being made to suffer until you learn your lesson and come to Jesus is the fucking essence of thinking your personal Clement Agonistes’ existence is mandatory to god’s ultimate purpose.

          I have no such delusions, no atheist has.

        • MR

          The whole idea of an ultimate purpose… I have no such delusions….

          The humility narrative is so incredibly ironic. “I’m not worthy, but it’s all about me.”

          It’s a big deal for some to take that step of understanding you don’t matter in the big scheme of things and to be able to say, “That’s okay.”

        • Kodie

          Apparently, some people need the tools of Christianity to stop being a total piece of shit. Most people aren’t total pieces of shit, but feel like they are anyway, because Christianity told them they are. So, does Christianity help more than it just manipulates people to support itself? It’s just marketing – like where someone feels really good about themselves, but their friends, co-workers, and advertisements tell them they are old, fat, and/or unpopular until they look in the mirror and start to believe the negative messages, and then they need to buy and use a bunch of crud to feel like they’re allowed to be part of the group.

          Christianity really doesn’t help people feel good about themselves for who they are, despite the overall message of forgiveness for being such a total piece of shit, god loves even you. It’s all about measuring up and measuring yourself against your community and peers.

        • Clement Agonistes

          LOL. I’ve had that same conversation. I think I know what she means. Let’s presume there are only 2 categories of people: 1) Sinners, and 2) non-sinners. Which category to Christians fall into?

          Well, “Sinners”. All people are sinners.

          The woman is pointing out that there are bad things that she no longer does. She’s not as-bad of a sinner as she used to be.

          … but she still falls short of the ideal.

          If I may step out of the blog pig sty for a moment (something rarely rewarded), C.L. Lewis made a strong case for pride being at the heart of so many other wrongs. One cheats on a spouse because the new lover appeals to one’s pride. One steals or envies the wealth of others because it hurts one’s pride to have less. An insult in a bar, or to a nation causes conflict.

          Is it any wonder that someone as wonderful as I am has to struggle to restrain pride?

        • Philmonomer

          The woman is pointing out that there are bad things that she no longer does. She’s not as-bad of a sinner as she used to be.

          … but she still falls short of the ideal.

          I think my question genuinely threw her (actually, she specifically said it did), as she had never noticed before that she can’t hold both views at the same time–that 1) Christians are better people than they used to be (when they were pre-Christian), and 2) that Christians are no better than anyone else.

          If I may step out of the blog pig sty for a moment (something rarely rewarded), C.L. Lewis made a strong case for pride being at the heart of so many other wrongs. One cheats on a spouse because the new lover appeals to one’s pride.

          This doesn’t strike me as true. But I haven’t given “Why do people cheat?” much thought. Maybe I’m wrong.

        • Clement Agonistes

          I agree that your question threw her off. She hadn’t thought about it from that angle. She knows she is a better person than the one she used to be. It also goes against Christian teaching to take pride in one’s good behavior as if it were a personal accomplishment. And, there is no denying that there are wonderful people who subscribe to different explanations for reality.

        • TheNuszAbides

          And, there is no denying that there are wonderful people who subscribe to different explanations for reality.

          well, there certainly is denial of such in some quarters. but your sentiment is appreciated.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “One of the reasons I am told there can be no God is that God is doing things all wrong.”

          We can only base the thought experiments on what happens in reality including the claims of fellow humans. God makes no claims about their actions to even know if they are being truthful, dishonest, mistaken, etc.

          “If there were no God…”

          We don’t even know what a “God” is outside of human-generated media. Without a “God” being part of this conversation your position that one exists is as good as saying they do not (otherwise you wouldn’t feel the need to speak instead of the person you believe could at the least speak just as well as you can).

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “There is no such thing as the supernatural.”

          “The supernatural” does seem to agree with that in absence of its own opininion, yes.

          “Everything is natural.”

          For an overall definition, natural is a word for everything that exists.

          “Science can explain everything that is natural.”

          Science is a body of knowledge and methods used to study the universe, but the explanations are limited to our tools at the time. There always seems to be greater precision and accuracy that can be acheived in the results, so there is no way to be sure we have “explained” everything. Science helps us to keep our questions very specific, follow the evidence, and make as few unsupported claims as possible.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          I’m still waiting for a cogent test to tell the difference between a supernatural explanation and a natural one that we were previously unaware of.

          For instance, if ghosts were confirmed tomorrow, is that corroboration that the supernatural exists? Or does it mean that our understanding of the natural world will then expand to accommodate their existence? What is the distinction between the two?

    • epeeist

      The conclusion to your second modus tollens would be fine if the initial premiss was true. However how many people here (or elsewhere for that matter) would accept it as true?

  • Rex

    Hi Bob. If differential equations prove God, then don’t imaginary numbers prove he’s imaginary, and irrational numbers prove he’s a nut-case? Sorry mate, you’re cherry-picking the mathematical data. Your final quote from Richard Dawkins is provocative. He also said ‘there’s as much chance of finding God, as there is of finding a china teapot orbiting the sun’. Eureka, I have found Dawkins’ teapot! It’s sitting in my kitchen 99.99999999999999999999 percent of the time, and in orbit for the remainder. I’m assured by quantum theory and Schrodinger’s wave equation that its atoms exist in any one place as probability waves which extend to every point in the universe. Therefore the teapot exists in orbit extremely briefly, and at an infinitesimally low probability, but ‘low probability’ is not ‘no probability’. My teapot definitely orbits the sun!
    Bob, with your maths ability you could calculate the teapot’s orbit, but I fear Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle will get in the way. ‘If a teapot’s position is known, its velocity is unmeasurable, and if its velocity is known, its position is unmeasurable. Its position is ‘in my kitchen’ at present with no measurable velocity, but I saw it flicker once, so I’ve tied it down with some string theory. It’s a nice little teapot, and keeps the tea hot in its orbit close to the sun. Who said modern theoretical physics is useless in practical matters?
    Richard Dawkins is wrong about there being no justice. Physicist John Wheeler opines that the universe is solely about information storage. That means karma is probably true. When we create information by our actions, by the law of conservation of energy those actions cannot be negated, and by Newton’s third law the effects must return. What we give is what we get, so justice exists. Tell Richard D. he can drop by for a cuppa. You can join us, but no maths please, it makes my head spin.
    Kind Regards, Rex

    • Joe

      Those words don’t have an intelligible outcome when put together in that way.

      and by Newton’s third law the effects must return.

      Newton’s ‘Law’ is descriptive, so effects are under no obligation to ‘return’. Let alone in the form of some kind of reciprocity for a specific action.

      Besides, you’ve already brought up quantum mechanics, at which level no such cause and effect relationship necessarily applies.

      • Rex

        Obligation is hardly the word Joe. If you jump off a cliff, there’s no obligation for gravity to accelerate you to the bottom at 9.8 mtrs per sec per sec, but because we live a deterministic universe, I have every confidence you will. (P.S. Don’t try this at home!)

        • Joe

          Obligation is hardly the word Joe.

          Then why did you use the word ‘must’?

        • Rex

          Hi Joe. ‘Must’, because the law of gravity is not only descriptive, it’s also predictive and inexorable. All natural laws are descriptive, but consequences don’t end there. The word ‘obligation’ is a social word, implying there’s a choice about gravity, or Newton’s third law. I’d suggest your usage is inappropriate.

        • Joe

          And I suggested your usage was inappropriate, which is was the basis of me making that comparison.

        • Rex

          Hi Joe. What goes up must come down, I guess.

        • Joe

          Not necessarily.

        • Rex

          Orbit! Now we’re getting somewhere instead of going round in circles forever.

        • Joe

          Are you related to Luke Breuer in any way?

        • Rex

          Not officially, but my male relatives have never been on their best behaviour when overseas. Probably ‘No’, at the 98% level of confidence. But then there’s cousin Reggie, so make that 95%.

        • epeeist

          Hi Joe. ‘Must’, because the law of gravity is not only descriptive, it’s also predictive and inexorable.

          We wouldn’t describe Newton’s ideas as “Laws” these days but as theory.

          And the thing about theories is that the they both tentative and provisional. This of course means that predictions from theories are probabilistic, not inexorable.

        • Rex

          Hi Epeeist. Touche! However Newton is accurate and inexorable enough to land man on the moon, or win at snooker, baseball, or cricket. His was the G.U.T. of the day, and deserves the title ‘law’. Theories today are like ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’, but the pin has become as insubstantial as the angels.

        • epeeist

          However Newton is accurate and inexorable enough to land man on the moon

          But not good enough to make your satnav work accurately or predict gravitation micro-lensing. In fact Newton’s theories are special cases of GR and QM for a limited range of velocities, sizes and masses.

          His was the G.U.T. of the day, and deserves the title ‘law’. Theories
          today are like ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’, but the pin has
          become as insubstantial as the angels.

          Theory is the gold standard for science, there is nothing higher. Theories do not become laws once they have remained unfalsified for a specific period. Laws are what Marc Lange refers to as “Nomic necessities”.

        • Rex

          Theory was certainly the gold standard in ancient Greece. Earth, water, fire, and bags of hot air. I disagree there is nothing higher. Theories are only temporary intellectual expediencies that generate testable hypotheses, but experimental results can modify laws and throw out theories. At science’s heart is good old ‘trial and error’, and ‘take another look’, these are the true gold standards. You’re in danger of becoming an alchemist who turns gold back into lead.

        • epeeist

          I disagree there is nothing higher.

          On what basis do you disagree?

          I take my view of what constitutes a scientific theory from the initial teaching I had on the subject plus keeping up with the subject over a long period of time.

          As for laws, as I say I take Marc Lange’s view of laws as nomic-necessities as set out in his chapter in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science and his Laws and Lawmakers: Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature

          At science’s heart is good old ‘trial and error’, and ‘take another look’, these are the true gold standards.

          You really think that scientists operate merely by “trial and error”? Could I ask what your qualifications and background in science and the philosophy of science are?

        • Rex

          Hi Epeeist. Do you really need to make all those appeals to authority? Science doesn’t work like that, religion does. My academic background is psychology, not that it matters. ‘Prove all things, hold fast that which is good’ (1Thess 5:21). That is the spirit of science.

        • epeeist

          Do you really need to make all those appeals to authority?

          You don’t appear to know what an “appeal to authority” is, it has nothing to do with citing those who are recognised authorities on a subject and accepted by their peers.

          Science doesn’t work like that, religion does.

          Well Nullius in Verba of course. But do you really think that each and every person working in science builds from the foundations, or do they accept, tentatively at least, the work of other scientists.

          ‘Prove all things, hold fast that which is good’ (1Thess 5:21).

          Sounds like an appeal to authority to me.

          To be blunt, I call bullshit. I don’t think you have a clue about the methodologies and underlying philosophy of science.

        • Rex

          We rearrange the knowledge we already have which generates theories, then test them using experiment. Results provide new knowledge in a feedback loop, that in turn alters the theories. I am not an epistemologist but did you know there was just one statement in the Bible consistent with the philosophy of science?

        • TheNuszAbides

          but did you know there was just one statement in the Bible consistent with the philosophy of science?

          i reckon you’re unlikely to get epeeist to request the punchline, but please feel free to provide it anyhow.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      If differential equations prove God

      You misunderstand. That’s not what I’m saying.

      Richard Dawkins is wrong about there being no justice.

      I’d be quite surprised if Dawkins said that there’s no justice.

      • Rex

        Hi Bob. I was quite surprised to discover he said that, but there it is on your blog, a quote by Dawkins saying just that. Obviously I’ve missed something here, especially the maths. Of course I misunderstand, I failed maths at school because I said that two and two equals five, my justification being philosophical. ‘The final total is greater than the sum of the parts’. It’s commonly used to motivate ‘togetherness’ people, but it also means two and two equals five. I can’t cope, sorry.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sorry–you made the connection with the quote in the post, and I missed that.

          Anyway, now that I’m on board, let me respond to the point you make about Dawkins.

          He’s saying that there’s no justice within nature. For example, if I get cancer, it’d be unjust for me also to get into a car accident, but nature doesn’t work that way.

          Nevertheless, human justice exists just fine.

        • Rex

          Accidents and illness aside, justice may exist along with nature if physicist John Wheeler is correct about the universe being an information storage device. Garbage in, garbage out. It’s interesting that we all have a sense of justice, but unfortunate that it’s usually biased in our own favour.

        • Michael Neville
        • adam

          “It’s interesting that we all have a sense of justice, but unfortunate that it’s usually biased in our own favour.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

    • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

      the funny thing is that one can use these so-called imaginary numbers or complex numbers to easily solve ax” + bx’ + cx = 0 (a,b and c constants). iff a solution is of the form x(t) = exp(rt), then r is a root of ar^2 + br + c = 0 (“the characteristic equation”).

      already in the simple case of a = 1, b = 0 and c = 1 is the characteristic equation r^2+1 = 0, and the roots are “imaginary” (i and -i, famously), so exp(it) and exp(-it) should be two (complex-valued) solutions, as well as c1*exp(it)+c2*exp(-it), thankfully (the superposition principle). if one remembers euler’s formula exp(it) = cos(t)+i*sin(t), then one can rewrite the general solution in terms of the real-valued functions sine and cosine: (c1+c2)*cos(t) + i*(c1-c2)*sin(t). if c1 and c2 are complex conjugates, then c1+c2 and i*(c1-c2) are real and the general solution is real-valued (the imaginary numbers cancel out).

      “That this subject [imaginary numbers] has hitherto been surrounded by mysterious obscurity, is to be attributed largely to an ill adapted notation. If, for example, +1, -1, and the square root of -1 had been called direct, inverse and lateral units, instead of positive, negative and imaginary (or even impossible), such an obscurity would have been out of the question.” – carl friedrich gauss

      • Greg G.

        If, for example, +1, -1, and the square root of -1 had been called direct, inverse and lateral units, instead of positive, negative and imaginary (or even impossible), such an obscurity would have been out of the question.” – carl friedrich gauss

        I like the “lateral” terminology. I remember the delight I felt when I was just sitting there, minding my own business, when my subconscious injected into my conscious thought that “rational” and “irrational” terminology were derived from “ratio”, not a declaration of the sanity of the numbers.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          yes, and “complex” in “complex number” just means it is a composite of a real part and an imaginary part, not necessarily something complex or complicated.

        • Rex

          Ah!, I see again! Greg G. has a subconscious mind that puts things into his conscious mind. I have a wife who performs the same task. She’s an irrational number, in the Freudian sense. I had to get her permission to post this comment.

        • Greg G.

          In high school, my subconscious put a method to trisect an angle into my conscious mind. I was able to prove that the method was not correct, so I don’t take those random ideas seriously without verification.

          When my wife puts an idea into my head, I do it without question. If it doesn’t work, she only has herself to blame.

        • Rex

          Hi Greg. I’ve had similar bad experiences with my subconscious. My dreams are often like academic papers written by Alfred E. Neuman. Did you study him in high school too? As a result my thesis explaining Roman/Christian history is in ‘Spy vs Spy’ terms; you know, the little fellows in pointed hats. I don’t expect to get it published anytime soon.
          Wives? Yes, obedience is a most cunning responsibility avoidance device. As Laurel and Hardy used to say ‘another fine mess you’ve gotten us into’. (Actually, my wife is a fine lady, a great blessing to me, as I try to be for her.)

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I started a lawn mowing service in high school so I could afford MAD and chocolate milkshakes.

          I think it was Al Bundy who said that when he got married, he told his wife that she could make all the little decisions and he would make all the big decisions but deciding if a decision was big or little was a little decision so he had never had to make a decision since then. It was the best advice ever.

          My wife hates to change lanes when she drives and it bugs her when I do. I try to maintain a constant speed so I will pass when I need to and change lanes so a tailgater will speed up to tailgate the next guy.* We went on a vacation last week where I drove 2300 miles through 11 states and she was driving me crazy. But I figure if that’s her worst complaint, we’re doing great.

          * I’m talking about when I’m in the right lane with very little traffic and the car will be right up behind me. I change lanes to the left lane and the car speeds up but they wouldn’t just go around me on the left.

        • Rex

          US, eh? I’m in New Zealand. MAD’s are to the mind what chocolate milkshakes are to the body. We drive on the left over here, and so would you if it wasn’t for the American revolution. Don’t blame us. Our ‘gov’mint’ issue driver licenses willy-nilly to ‘right-hand-drive’ tourists driving on the left for the very first time. Talk about chaos theory behind the wheel! (In both cases.) Keeps our undertakers busy burying overtakers. I crawl along well over to the left, and drop back if someone wants to overtake. Chaos theory accelerating ahead is easily seen, a full 95% less dangerous than ego psychology approaching from behind. In case I make a wrong diagnosis I carry a funeral plan in the glove-box, and a headstone in the boot.
          Returning to Richard Dawkins’ teapot, New Zealand recently became the 11th nation to launch into space. We have limited carrying capacity, but for philosophical reasons I shall suggest a teapot be inserted into orbit. When scientists believe in ‘branes, superstrings, bubble universes, and other untestable theories, the existence of a non-interacting God is quite possible. We have limited our concept of God to the Judeo-Christian version, which is easily falsified even from its own scriptures. But what if God was a scientist running a blind experiment? Are we that experiment? The question we should be asking is: ‘would God be able to run a double-blind experiment, or does his omniscience make that impossible?’

        • Greg G.

          I see the driving as an equatorial issue. It’s not that we drive on different sides of the road regarding left or right, it’s that we drive on the top side of the road and it is difficult to learn to drive on the bottom. Your mileage may vary. In Vietnam, they drive on the right side but my first day riding in a taxi left my right leg sore from pushing an imaginary brake pedal.

          It’s a great idea to carry your funeral plans with you. Does it contain a codicil that if the vehicle bursts into flames that you should be cremated with a discount?

          Does New Zealand have any advanced technology to keep the tea warm in space?

          I think the mystery of the Trinity would allow God to run a double-blind experiment. Adam & Eve and Cain & Abel could play hide & seek with God because who had to ask where they were. He made the Israelites bury their poop so he wouldn’t step in it when he walked through the camp at night. Jesus and God were not on the same page, either as Jesus said only the Father knows when. It appears that even God has cognitive dissonance that keeps his omniscience from contemplating some things.

        • Rex

          Hi Greg. Underground driving? Like, ‘pushing up daisies’? (Phone’s wife) ‘Sorry, I’ll be late home dear, I’m stuck in gridlock at cemetery junction’.
          To be perfectly honest Greg, I have no funeral plan and I don’t have a tombstone in the boot. I’ve done some entertaining, newspaper column writing, a trade business, and a little academia. My education consisted of MAD’s, British war comics, and Christianity, a potent mix of multinational propaganda. My brain didn’t stand a chance! I became a freethinker after realizing the British war comics seldom mentioned the American input into WW2, or the Russian’s. Being a lateral thinker I jumped sideways to conclude that all official stories are mainly lies, and therefore honesty is the only solid foundation for ethics. Without it there’s nothing but shifting sand.
          Rocket tea is warmer, or cooler, according to where in the teapot’s highly elliptical orbit you access its contents. Perihelion is inside Mercury’s orbit. The tea will be a little overbrewed, what Kiwis call ‘railways tea’.
          Nice one Greg about the trinity mystery having double blind uses. I didn’t think of that, probably because I’m a Unitarian agnostic. Yes, the mental context of the Biblical ‘God’ is not omniscient. We only ask questions while in a state of ignorance. A clever theologian will explain God’s questions away as ‘rhetorical questions for educational purposes’, but it’s still a man made idol of words.
          Every Biblical statement has a contradiction within the Bible, as you’ve noticed. Jesus said ‘I have heard all things from the Father’. In contradiction, only the Father knows when he’s allowed to return. Also, a person who is ‘given power’ by another, God in Jesus’ case, cannot have ‘all power’, only the person who gives them their power has that. We can be sure a God who gives power away won’t give it all to someone he doesn’t even give all knowledge to. Power without knowledge is chaos. God must retain the power to take away power from those he gives it to, in order to remain God. That makes Jesus’ statement ‘All power in earth and heaven has been given to me’ (Matt 28:18) false, but one of the cleverest oxymorons in the Bible. It has its own contradiction built in. The clue is again in Jesus’ words. ‘It is better to give than receive’, which is never considered alongside (Matt 28:18) about power.
          We must expand our contexts.The only use I can see for these subtle absurdities, was sorting out slaves able to understand them, from those not so blessed. No Roman slave-master wanted slaves able to out-wit him. You and I would have been labelled heretics and sent to the arena to fight each other to death. Choose your weapon sir, biro or pencil. As a scientist I’m choosing pencil so I can erase my mistakes. The Bible is written in biro, and locked into an unchangeable orbit. Must go, tea time.

        • Michael Neville

          Rex, a friendly word of advice. Paragraphs are your friends, learn to use them. I had an English teacher who told her students: “If you make something difficult to read then people won’t read it.”

        • Greg G.

          He said he did some newspaper column writing. I think paragraphs are the editor’s job.

        • Rex

          Thanks Michael, I hit the spacebar twice, the results are okay on the draft, but disappear on the published result. Newspaper freelancing I was only allowed so many column-inches, old habits die hard. Remember the good old student days cramming into ‘phone boxes? Same stuff I guess.
          If I’m still being read despite being difficult to read, I’ll settle for that. Your English teacher is quite right, bring her an apple. I wonder how she’ll do online

        • Rex

          I hit spacebar four times before writing: ‘If I’m still being read–‘. As you see, no gap on final result. How do you guys get a paragraph break? I’m elderly and fairly new to this stuff.

        • Greg G.

          The “Return/Enter” key a couple of times will do it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’ve been burned before …

        • Greg G.

          Your reply went into moderation for some reason, sometime while I was writing up my reply but after Michael Neville got his in. I opened a new window for it but it had no “Reply” below it. Another poster had some of his posts do this but we blame Disqus.

          Below is my reply to your other post.

          I have no funeral plans because I plan to live forever. So far, so good. If things don’t work out that way, I’m not going to worry about it.

          I went to Sunday school every week until I realized I didn’t have to go. Then I tried an even sillier version of Christianity but gave it up while I was in the Air Force. Then took the long way around to get an engineering degree. Now I do high level maintenance on different types of processing equipment.

          My propaganda was All-American. I’ve had friends from other countries that gave me a different perspective. Ended up with a wife from Vietnam, probably because I had taught myself how to used chopsticks. Thanks for showing me how to keep pho warm in space.

          We have been debating with Clement Agonistes, an amiable, intelligent theist, but it has been difficult to get him to understand that if an omnipotence exists, suffering is unnecessary, because even if suffering can have a positive outcome, omnipotence can do it without the suffering. If suffering can do something, it is logically possible to do that something, therefore an omnipotence can do that something.

          My choice of weapons was going to be an eraser. Second choice is the backspace key, but it’s worn out.

        • Rex

          I see.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    In my years of hearing and reading about speculations of sterile science, I
    am amazed at how gullible many people can be as to ignore the scam that is
    sterile science.

    Sterile science is allegedly based on facts and not on faith, and yet within
    science are contradictory theories based on speculations [guesses] and not on
    evidence, and these theories are accepted by sterile science fanatics by FAITH.
    Sterile science is alleged to be superior to religion, yet sterile science is a
    speculative religion dependent on Faith and dependent on contradictory theories
    that get discarded, as evidenced in its history of confused penchant for
    churning out theories. The theories of
    burning comes to mind. In FACT, sterile science is inferior to REVELATIONAL
    RELIGION. These contradictions and historical discarding of fallible theories
    are evidence that sterile science is unreliable and actually fallible.

    SCIENCE AS A RELIGION THAT USES FAITH:

    A LOT IN SCIENCE DEPENDS ON FAITH:

    Sterile science also operates at the level of Faith which
    sterile science fanatics accuse religion of. A lot in science depends on faith.
    In science not everything is proved, and a lot is accepted by faith. No human
    being ,no scientist, has ever seen an electron or a proton or a neutron or an
    atom, yet all these are accepted by scientists by faith. In fact, science is a
    religion.

    BELIEVING IN STIPULATIONS OF SCIENCE BY FAITH:

    Sterile science fanatics believe in the existence of atoms and of electrons
    and of protons and of neutrons. I emphasize, that these fanatics have never
    seen an atom nor an electron nor a proton nor a neutron. And neither have
    they “measured precisely the
    DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity”, as they
    blatantly claim; and yet these sterile science fanatics believe in the
    existence of these particles by what, if not by faith.

    The atomic theory was introduced by
    the English Chemist John Dalton, and how ever much this gentleman may have
    –and I mean, may have—-, as regarding
    these theoretical particles, “measured precisely the DEFINING fact about
    them, namely their mass or velocity”, and however much other scientists
    may have —and I mean, may have— as
    regarding these theoretical particles ,”measured precisely the DEFINING
    fact about them, namely their mass or velocity”, the truth is that sterile
    science fanatics, have never , as regarding these theoretical particles,” measured
    precisely the DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity.”
    Yet, despite a deficit of these fanatic’s own personal experience of these
    theoretical particles, and relying
    solely on the account of other men, these fanatics accept the stipulations of
    Dalton’s atomic theory hook line and sinker. If this is not faith, what is it.
    Yet these sterile science fanatics have
    the effrontery to don a haughty attitude towards religious individuals who
    possess religious beliefs based on faith in the credible witness of other men of truth. These sterile science
    fanatics accept these theoretical particles by
    faith, while adherents of religious Truth ALSO accept their beliefs by faith; so
    what really is it that fuels sterile
    science fanatic’s arrogant disdain of
    religion: Simply intolerance .

    For years, nay centuries, science accepted Dalton’s atomic
    theory, and this acceptance is not restricted to the relatively few scientist
    who may have –may have, I repeat–conducted relevant investigations, but this
    acceptance extends to the vast mass of students schooled in science, who, come
    to think of it, have never and would never conduct any investigation connected
    to verification of the atomic theory, talk less of ” measuring precisely
    the DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity.” In a nut
    shell, they all and other sterile science fanatics accept Dalton’s atomic
    theory by FAITH. So when I state that science is a religion to its adherents, I
    know exactly what I am saying.

    CONFLICTING STIPULATIONS OF MODERN SCIENCE ARE BOTH
    ACCEPTED BY FAITH:

    One of the stipulations of Dalton’s atomic theory is that
    atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided. This stipulation is one
    example of what sterile science fanatics
    call ” scientific facts”, “scientific truths”,
    “universal laws” “scientific reality” “measurable
    facts” “verifiable facts”. According to the gist of their rants,
    this scientific stipulation was arrived at through the scientific method of
    1)observation,2) quantification,3)logical deduction,4) systematic
    induction; and that from a mass of “raw data of
    science” this stipulation is “encapsulated” into some algebraic
    equations possessing “PREDICTIVE POWER”. To sterile science fanatics,
    this stipulation is an example of “scientific truth” that they dream
    would invalidate what they label the ” falsehoods of religion and
    irrationality,” and that it is this stipulation among others, instead of
    what they call “the impractical and irrational “religious
    truths”, {that }is blazing an
    unstoppable trail.”

    What sterile science fanatics have described is the method
    of STERILE science! Despite all the above fantastic claims of rigorous efforts,
    the truth is that STERILE SCIENCE always eventually arrive at CONFUSION instead
    of at truth, if it is considered that the above stipulation of Dalton’s atomic
    theory stating that atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided, has been
    invalidated by the same sterile science with the discovery of radioactive
    elements. The much trumpeted “scientific fact” is no longer fact, we
    are now told. The much touted “scientific truth” is no longer truth,
    we are now told. The much explicated “universal law” is no longer
    law, we are now told. The so-called “scientific reality” is now
    unreal, we are now told. The much boasted “measurable fact” is no
    longer precise, we are now told. The much announced “verifiable fact”
    eventually proves elusive, we are now told. Yet adherents of STERILE science
    ACCEPT BOTH CONFLICTING POSITIONS BY FAITH.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Is this one of the slogans your atheist puppet masters gave you to memorize and chant in other to keep you dumb?

        • adam
        • GREOP

          Thanks
          for confessing that “brenning manning” is your “god” and
          fake “saviour”, whose OPINION you do not question but have adopted
          hook line and sinker.

          But then, you are an atheist.

          And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for

          themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided
          sterile so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The
          end

          result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided

          sterile science myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by

          creatures equally misguided as them.

          By POPONNE.
          []

        • Speedwell

          Atheists could be gibbering idiots being medicated for severe schizophrenia, and it would still not be proof of your God, or anyone’s God. Suggest you start with the proof and work from there.

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        In my years of hearing and reading about speculations of sterile science, I
        am amazed at how gullible many people can be as to ignore the scam that is
        sterile science.

        Sterile science is allegedly based on facts and not on faith, and yet within
        science are contradictory theories based on speculations [guesses] and not on
        evidence, and these theories are accepted by sterile science fanatics by FAITH.
        Sterile science is alleged to be superior to religion, yet sterile science is a
        speculative religion dependent on Faith and dependent on contradictory theories
        that get discarded, as evidenced in its history of confused penchant for
        churning out theories. The theories of
        burning comes to mind. In FACT, sterile science is inferior to REVELATIONAL
        RELIGION. These contradictions and historical discarding of fallible theories
        are evidence that sterile science is unreliable and actually fallible.

        SCIENCE AS A RELIGION THAT USES FAITH:

        A LOT IN SCIENCE DEPENDS ON FAITH:

        Sterile science also operates at the level of Faith which
        sterile science fanatics accuse religion of. A lot in science depends on faith.
        In science not everything is proved, and a lot is accepted by faith. No human
        being ,no scientist, has ever seen an electron or a proton or a neutron or an
        atom, yet all these are accepted by scientists by faith. In fact, science is a
        religion.

        BELIEVING IN STIPULATIONS OF SCIENCE BY FAITH:

        Sterile science fanatics believe in the existence of atoms and of electrons
        and of protons and of neutrons. I emphasize, that these fanatics have never
        seen an atom nor an electron nor a proton nor a neutron. And neither have
        they “measured precisely the
        DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity”, as they
        blatantly claim; and yet these sterile science fanatics believe in the
        existence of these particles by what, if not by faith.

        The atomic theory was introduced by
        the English Chemist John Dalton, and how ever much this gentleman may have
        –and I mean, may have—-, as regarding
        these theoretical particles, “measured precisely the DEFINING fact about
        them, namely their mass or velocity”, and however much other scientists
        may have —and I mean, may have— as
        regarding these theoretical particles ,”measured precisely the DEFINING
        fact about them, namely their mass or velocity”, the truth is that sterile
        science fanatics, have never , as regarding these theoretical particles,” measured
        precisely the DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity.”
        Yet, despite a deficit of these fanatic’s own personal experience of these
        theoretical particles, and relying
        solely on the account of other men, these fanatics accept the stipulations of
        Dalton’s atomic theory hook line and sinker. If this is not faith, what is it.
        Yet these sterile science fanatics have
        the effrontery to don a haughty attitude towards religious individuals who
        possess religious beliefs based on faith in the credible witness of other men of truth. These sterile science
        fanatics accept these theoretical particles by
        faith, while adherents of religious Truth ALSO accept their beliefs by faith; so
        what really is it that fuels sterile
        science fanatic’s arrogant disdain of
        religion: Simply intolerance .

        For years, nay centuries, science accepted Dalton’s atomic
        theory, and this acceptance is not restricted to the relatively few scientist
        who may have –may have, I repeat–conducted relevant investigations, but this
        acceptance extends to the vast mass of students schooled in science, who, come
        to think of it, have never and would never conduct any investigation connected
        to verification of the atomic theory, talk less of ” measuring precisely
        the DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity.” In a nut
        shell, they all and other sterile science fanatics accept Dalton’s atomic
        theory by FAITH. So when I state that science is a religion to its adherents, I
        know exactly what I am saying.

        CONFLICTING STIPULATIONS OF MODERN SCIENCE ARE BOTH
        ACCEPTED BY FAITH:

        One of the stipulations of Dalton’s atomic theory is that
        atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided. This stipulation is one
        example of what sterile science fanatics
        call ” scientific facts”, “scientific truths”,
        “universal laws” “scientific reality” “measurable
        facts” “verifiable facts”. According to the gist of their rants,
        this scientific stipulation was arrived at through the scientific method of
        1)observation,2) quantification,3)logical deduction,4) systematic
        induction; and that from a mass of “raw data of
        science” this stipulation is “encapsulated” into some algebraic
        equations possessing “PREDICTIVE POWER”. To sterile science fanatics,
        this stipulation is an example of “scientific truth” that they dream
        would invalidate what they label the ” falsehoods of religion and
        irrationality,” and that it is this stipulation among others, instead of
        what they call “the impractical and irrational “religious
        truths”, {that }is blazing an
        unstoppable trail.”

        What sterile science fanatics have described is the method
        of STERILE science! Despite all the above fantastic claims of rigorous efforts,
        the truth is that STERILE SCIENCE always eventually arrive at CONFUSION instead
        of at truth, if it is considered that the above stipulation of Dalton’s atomic
        theory stating that atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided, has been
        invalidated by the same sterile science with the discovery of radioactive
        elements. The much trumpeted “scientific fact” is no longer fact, we
        are now told. The much touted “scientific truth” is no longer truth,
        we are now told. The much explicated “universal law” is no longer
        law, we are now told. The so-called “scientific reality” is now
        unreal, we are now told. The much boasted “measurable fact” is no
        longer precise, we are now told. The much announced “verifiable fact”
        eventually proves elusive, we are now told. Yet adherents of STERILE science ACCEPT BOTH CONFLICTING POSITIONS BY FAITH.
        [[[[[[[[[

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    CONFLICTING STIPULATIONS OF MODERN SCIENCE ARE BOTH ACCEPTED BY
    FAITH:

    One of the stipulations of Dalton’s atomic theory is that atoms cannot be
    created or destroyed or divided. This stipulation is one example of what sterile science fanatics call ”
    scientific facts”, “scientific truths”, “universal
    laws” “scientific reality” “measurable facts”
    “verifiable facts”. According to the gist of their rants, this
    scientific stipulation was arrived at through the scientific method of
    1)observation,2) quantification,3)logical deduction,4) systematic
    induction; and that from a mass of “raw data of
    science” this stipulation is “encapsulated” into some algebraic
    equations possessing “PREDICTIVE POWER”. To sterile science fanatics,
    this stipulation is an example of “scientific truth” that they dream
    would invalidate what they label the ” falsehoods of religion and irrationality,”
    and that it is this stipulation among others, instead of what they call
    “the impractical and irrational “religious truths”, {that }is blazing an unstoppable trail.”

    What sterile science fanatics have described is the method of STERILE
    science!

    Despite all the above fantastic claims of rigorous efforts, the truth is
    that STERILE SCIENCE always eventually arrive at CONFUSION instead of at truth,
    if it is considered that the above stipulation of Dalton’s atomic theory
    stating that atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided, has been
    invalidated by the same sterile science with the discovery of radioactive
    elements. The much trumpeted “scientific fact” is no longer fact, we
    are now told. The much touted “scientific truth” is no longer truth,
    we are now told. The much explicated “universal law” is no longer
    law, we are now told. The so-called “scientific reality” is now
    unreal, we are now told. The much boasted “measurable fact” is no
    longer precise, we are now told. The much announced “verifiable fact”
    eventually proves elusive, we are now told. Yet adherents of STERILE science
    ACCEPT BOTH CONFLICTING POSITIONS BY FAITH.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Thanks for confessing that
        “asimovr” is your dead “god” and fake “saviour”,
        whose OPINION you do not question but accept hook line and sinker.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          To atheist fanatics, sterile science atheist religion myths a.k.a theories, are like software licenses. Atheists have not PERSONALLY experienced the myths a.k.a theories, but nevertheless
          believe the myths by faith. So, they sheepishly scroll down to the bottom, and click,”I agree,”

        • adam
        • GREOP

          Ignorance possessed by atheists and sterile science fanatics, most
          frequently begets confidence, than does
          knowledge possessed by Spiritually, intellectually and mentally advanced
          individuals. It is atheists and sterile science fanatics who know so little
          that it is a disgrace, and NOT Spiritually and intellectually and mentally
          developed individuals, who positively assert this or that Reality as
          impossible.

          “Ancient goat herders” have far more knowledge of
          the natural world than these atheist and sterile science atheist religion
          fanatics ignoramus like you, you who
          actually think mangoes are produced in
          factories; and “ancient goat herders”
          are even more knowledgeable than you atheists, and sterile science atheist religion
          fanatics, and all the normally false prophets of sterile science, you who
          ignorantly doubted the fact of virgin birth, and doubted transmutation of base
          metal into gold, and doubted the possibility of an iron ship, and doubted
          teleportation.

          The truth of Virgin birth was SKEPTICALLY declared
          “illogical” by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED atheists and so-called
          “SCHOLARS” whose problem is
          their restricted minds. But today, the “illogicality” of Virgin birth
          has been seen to be “logical” through the technique of cloning.

          The idea of transmutation of base metal to gold was SKEPTICALLY
          declared “illogical” by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED atheists and so-called
          “SCHOLARS” whose problem was
          their restricted minds. But today, the “illogicality” of transmutation of base metal to gold has been
          seen to be “logical” through techniques of radioactive Physics and
          radioactive chemistry.

          The idea of a flying machine was SKEPTICALLY declared
          “illogical” by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED atheists and so-called “SCHOLARS”
          whose problem was their restricted minds. But today, the
          “illogicality” of a flying machine has been seen to be
          “logical”.

          The idea of an iron ship was SKEPTICALLY declared
          “illogical” by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED atheists and so-called “SCHOLARS”
          whose problem was their restricted minds. But today, the
          “illogicality” of an iron ship has been seen to be
          “logical”.

          Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about
          the behavior of a physical material such as iron it can sense, and consequently
          SKEPTICALLY declared the idea of an iron ship as “illogical” and
          therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the
          Truth about God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation.
          But today iron ships exist and have been seen to be “logical”.

          Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about
          the behavior of physical materials such as metals which it can sense, and
          consequently SKEPTICALLY declared the idea of transmutation of base metal to
          gold as “illogical” and therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the
          Truth about God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation.
          But today transmutation of base metal to gold exist and have been seen to be
          “logical”.

          Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about
          the biological processes of living things such as human beings which it can
          sense, and consequently SKEPTICALLY declared the Truth of the Virgin birth as
          “illogical” and therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
          God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
          virgin births exist and have been seen to be “logical”.

          Therefore,

          1.Truth cannot be
          known by relying on the opinion of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS”.

          2.Truth cannot be known through human “logic”.

          3.Human “logical” thinking leads to ERRORS.

          4.Human “logic” is dependent on human knowledge,
          and since human knowledge is limited, human “logic” cannot lead to
          Truth.

          5.Therefore, in a mind limited in knowledge, the
          “logical” appears “illogical”, Truth appears as errors.

          6.Truth can only be known through Divine revelation, simply
          because Almighty God is Omniscient.

          7.”Logical” is a human term to describe what
          restricted minds can accept as possible, and therefore the term
          “logical”, in human context ,describes a limitation. Call it human
          “logic.”

          8.To God everything is possible, and God accepts that
          anything is possible, and God can make anything possible, therefore to God
          EVERYTHING is “logical” and nothing is “illogical”.
          Therefore, in the Divine context, the term “logical” cannot describe
          a limitation. In other words , God sets the limits of the “logical”
          as he desires, and the limit is infinite. Call it Divine “logic”.(
          Mark 10:27;Luke 18:27)

          9. Therefore, all the human “logical” and
          “illogical” droning and citing of
          the opinion of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS” in trying to
          know the Truth of the things of God, are efforts in FUTILITY, and cannot lead
          to knowledge of Truth, but definitely lead to ERRORS.

          *ATHEISTS ARE SO IN NEED OF HELP, THAT THEY ARE YET
          TO BECOME HUMAN.”

          1. The guy suffering from color deficiency, says to the guy
          that sees clearly: “You believe a color blue exists, you believe in a sky
          that is a blue, and in a sea is that is a blue; and you think I am the one that
          does not see clearly and needs help?”

          The guy that can see clearly looks at the poor guy in pity, knowing
          that the color blind guy’s problem is restricted vision.

          2. Atheists have such restricted minds, such that virtually everything
          to them, is IMPOSSIBLE.

          To atheists it is even impossible to them that they are the
          ones that need help to over-come their restricted minds. But we that are
          spiritually developed and know better, are in no doubt that they are so in need
          of help, that they are yet to become human.

          By POPONNE.
          /[]]

        • GREOP

          Ignorant atheists and sterile science fanatics whose motto is “evidence before belief”, and who positively assert that this or that problem “will” be solved by sterile science, should provide evidence for believing in their baseless assertions, or remain shut.

          Ooooh, I see that a chief flatulent buffoon had already shut his mouth with his finger.

          By POPONNE.
          [[]]]]

        • GREOP

          Obviously, the flatulent buffoon has no evidence for his OPINION, and has therefore shut his mouth.

          —POPONNE.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          ATHEISTS ARE SO IN NEED OF HELP, THAT THEY ARE YET
          TO BECOME HUMAN.”

          1. The guy suffering from color deficiency, says to the guy
          that sees clearly: “You believe a color blue exists, you believe in a sky
          that is a blue, and in a sea is that is a blue; and you think I am the one that
          does not see clearly and needs help?”

          The guy that can see clearly looks at the poor guy in pity, knowing
          that the color blind guy’s problem is restricted vision.

          2. Atheists have such restricted minds, such that virtually everything
          to them, is IMPOSSIBLE.

          To atheists it is even impossible to them that they are the
          ones that need help to over-come their restricted minds. But we that are
          spiritually developed and know better, are in no doubt that they are so in need
          of help, that they are yet to become human.

          By POPONNE.
          [[]]]]]

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Sterile science is allegedly based on facts and not on faith, and yet within
        science are contradictory theories based on speculations [guesses] and not on
        evidence, and these theories are accepted by sterile science by FAITH. Sterile
        science is alleged to be superior to religion, yet sterile science is a
        speculative religion dependent on Faith and dependent on contradictory theories
        that get discarded, as evidence in its history of confused penchant for
        churning out theories. The theories of burning comes to mind. In FACT, sterile
        science is inferior to REVELATIONAL RELIGION. These contradictions and
        historical discarding of fallible theories are evidence that sterile science is
        unreliable and actually fallible.

        SCIENCE AS A RELIGION THAT USES FAITH:

        A LOT IN SCIENCE DEPENDS ON FAITH:

        Sterile science also operates at the level of Faith which
        sterile science fanatics accuse religion of. A lot in science depends on faith.
        In science not everything is proved, and a lot is accepted by faith. No human
        being ,no scientist, has ever seen an electron or a proton or a neutron or an
        atom, yet all these are accepted by scientists by faith. In fact, science is a
        religion.

        BELIEVING IN STIPULATIONS OF SCIENCE BY FAITH:

        Sterile science fanatics believe in the existence of atoms and of electrons
        and of protons and of neutrons. I emphasize, that these fanatics have never seen
        an atom nor an electron nor a proton nor a neutron. And neither have they “measured precisely the DEFINING fact
        about them, namely their mass or velocity”, as they blatantly claim; and
        yet these sterile science fanatics believe in the existence of these particles
        by what, if not by faith.

        The atomic theory was introduced by
        the English Chemist John Dalton, and how ever much this gentleman may have
        –and I mean, may have—-, as regarding
        these theoretical particles, “measured precisely the DEFINING fact about
        them, namely their mass or velocity”, and however much other scientists
        may have —and I mean, may have— as
        regarding these theoretical particles ,”measured precisely the DEFINING
        fact about them, namely their mass or velocity”, the truth is that sterile
        science fanatics, have never , as regarding these theoretical particles,” measured
        precisely the DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity.”
        Yet, despite a deficit of these fanatic’s own personal experience of these
        theoretical particles, and relying
        solely on the account of other men, these fanatics accept the stipulations of
        Dalton’s atomic theory hook line and sinker. If this is not faith, what is it.
        Yet these sterile science fanatics have
        the effrontery to don a haughty attitude towards religious individuals who
        possess religious beliefs based on faith in the credible witness of other men of truth. These sterile science
        fanatics accept these theoretical particles by
        faith, while adherents of
        religious Truth ALSO accept their
        beliefs by faith; so what really is it that fuels sterile science fanatic’s arrogant disdain
        of religion: Simply intolerance .

        For years, nay centuries, science accepted Dalton’s atomic
        theory, and this acceptance is not restricted to the relatively few scientist
        who may have –may have, I repeat–conducted relevant investigations, but this
        acceptance extends to the vast mass of students schooled in science, who, come
        to think of it, have never and would never conduct any investigation connected
        to verification of the atomic theory, talk less of ” measuring precisely
        the DEFINING fact about them, namely their mass or velocity.” In a nut
        shell, they all and other sterile science fanatics accept Dalton’s atomic
        theory by FAITH. So when I state that science is a religion to its adherents, I
        know exactly what I am saying.

        CONFLICTING STIPULATIONS OF MODERN SCIENCE ARE BOTH
        ACCEPTED BY FAITH:

        One of the stipulations of Dalton’s atomic theory is that
        atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided. This stipulation is one
        example of what sterile science fanatics
        call ” scientific facts”, “scientific truths”,
        “universal laws” “scientific reality” “measurable
        facts” “verifiable facts”. According to the gist of their rants,
        this scientific stipulation was arrived at through the scientific method of
        1)observation,2) quantification,3)logical deduction,4) systematic
        induction; and that from a mass of “raw data of science”
        this stipulation is “encapsulated” into some algebraic equations
        possessing “PREDICTIVE POWER”. To sterile science fanatics, this
        stipulation is an example of “scientific truth” that they dream would
        invalidate what they label the ” falsehoods of religion and
        irrationality,” and that it is this stipulation among others, instead of
        what they call “the impractical and irrational “religious
        truths”, {that }is blazing an
        unstoppable trail.”

        What sterile science fanatics have described is the method
        of STERILE science! Despite all the above fantastic claims of rigorous efforts,
        the truth is that STERILE SCIENCE always eventually arrive at CONFUSION instead
        of at truth, if it is considered that the above stipulation of Dalton’s atomic
        theory stating that atoms cannot be created or destroyed or divided, has been
        invalidated by the same sterile science with the discovery of radioactive
        elements. The much trumpeted “scientific fact” is no longer fact, we
        are now told. The much touted “scientific truth” is no longer truth,
        we are now told. The much explicated “universal law” is no longer
        law, we are now told. The so-called “scientific reality” is now
        unreal, we are now told. The much boasted “measurable fact” is no
        longer precise, we are now told. The much announced “verifiable fact”
        eventually proves elusive, we are now told. Yet adherents of STERILE science
        ACCEPT BOTH CONFLICTING POSITIONS BY FAITH.
        [[[[[[

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    LACK OF THE SO-CALLED “PREDICTIVE POWER’ OF STERILE
    SCIENCE:

    The Polish Chemist Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie made pioneering investigations in radioactivity.
    Being scientists, sterile science fanatics maintained that their investigations followed these steps , viz: 1)observation,2)
    quantification,3)logical deduction,4) systematic induction. And still keeping
    to the “pristine” methods of science these sterile science fanatics
    boasted about, the mass of “raw data of science” accumulated by this
    French-Polish couple was made to “fit into one or more algebras” and
    that it is “precisely this encapsulation into some algebra” that
    makes the data to possess PREDICTIVE POWER.

    Despite the boastings sterile science fanatics have written about the
    PREDICTIVE POWER of sterile science, the truth is that the so-called PREDICTIVE
    POWER was absent in the case of Marie Curie, considering that no amount of
    strings of algebraic equations was able to predict to her, the then UNKNOWN
    TRUTH that exposure to radioactive Radium would result in fetal malformation.
    Thus ignorant of the danger, the poor woman got pregnant only to give birth to
    a severely mal-formed baby that never survived. PREDICTIVE POWER indeed!

    The theoretical physicist Albert Einstein is regarded as some kind of god by
    a section of the scientific community. Based on results he obtained solving
    algebraic equation (courtesy of sterile science fanatics) Einstein PREDICTED in
    his theory of relativity that nothing can move faster than light, and many
    individuals accept this PREDICTION based on nothing but speculative faith.
    Today, the same sterile science, still adhering to its inability to arrive at
    truth through logical reasoning but instead at confusion, is now asserting that
    faster than light motion is possible after all. So much for PREDICTIVE POWER OF
    sterile science.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        You see what a dummy you are?Sterile science is stupid and it is NOT hard to figure out it is stupid. Only dummies can’t figure this fact out.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          All his life, an ignorant sterile so-called scientist reads multitude of books scribbled by equally ignorant and confused people, and is it any wonder that he never arrives at true knowledge,
          but ends up concocting his own brand of ignorant and confused myth a.k.a theories.

          A sterile science atheist religion fanatic barely reads the sterile science atheist religion myths, but only mindlessly crams the myths in slogan form, and believes he and sterile so-called scientists to know everything.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          If you were a real human and a real woman, you would not have aborted your unborn baby. So, I am calling you “fucker” whatever name I like. You are really a bitch, you know?

          By POPONNE.

        • GREOP

          All his life, an ignorant sterile so-called scientist reads multitude of books scribbled by equally ignorant and confused people, and is it any wonder that he never arrives at true knowledge,
          but ends up concocting his own brand of ignorant and confused myth a.k.a theories.

          A sterile science atheist religion fanatic barely reads the sterile science atheist religion myths, but only mindlessly crams the myths in slogan form, and believes he and sterile so-called scientists to know everything.

          By POPONNE.

          [[]]]]

        • adam
        • GREOP

          I
          firmly believe that a creature, allegedly “male”, that cowardly shrinks
          to pacifism and expediency of comfortable philosophical-sounding myths when confronted with the
          perils of battle, is utterly feeble and contemptible, and is in no position to
          lecture real human males about how the real world works. Such a creature who is
          so cowardly to enforce his duty of self-preservation, but instead resorts to his
          self-concocted highly opinionated comfortable “philosophical”-sounding
          myths, in order to hide his cowardice, usually, when confronted with the obvious
          irrationality of his OPINION, haughtily makes some more furious philosophical-sounding
          noises to hide his deficiencies.

          By POPONNE.

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        LACK OF THE SO-CALLED “PREDICTIVE POWER’ OF
        STERILE SCIENCE:

        The Polish Chemist Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie
        made pioneering investigations in
        radioactivity. Being scientists, sterile science fanatics maintained that their
        investigations followed these steps ,
        viz: 1)observation,2) quantification,3)logical deduction,4) systematic
        induction. And still keeping to the “pristine” methods of science
        these sterile science fanatics boasted about, the mass of “raw data of
        science” accumulated by this French-Polish couple was made to “fit
        into one or more algebras” and that it is “precisely this
        encapsulation into some algebra” that makes the data to possess PREDICTIVE
        POWER.

        Despite the boastings sterile science fanatics have written
        about the PREDICTIVE POWER of sterile science, the truth is that the so-called
        PREDICTIVE POWER was absent in the case of Marie Curie, considering that no
        amount of strings of algebraic equations was able to predict to her, the then
        UNKNOWN TRUTH that exposure to radioactive Radium would result in fetal
        malformation. Thus ignorant of the danger, the poor woman got pregnant only to
        give birth to a severely mal-formed baby that never survived. PREDICTIVE POWER
        indeed!

        The theoretical physicist Albert Einstein is regarded as
        some kind of god by a section of the scientific community. Based on results he
        obtained solving algebraic equation (courtesy of sterile science fanatics)
        Einstein PREDICTED in his theory of relativity that nothing can move faster
        than light, and many individuals accept this PREDICTION based on nothing but
        speculative faith. Today, the same sterile science, still adhering to its
        inability to arrive at truth through logical reasoning but instead at
        confusion, is now asserting that faster than light motion is possible after
        all. So much for PREDICTIVE POWER OF sterile science./[/[

        • adam
        • GREOP

          Atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for
          themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science myths a.k.a.theories, concocted by creatures equally misguided as them.

        • adam
        • adam
        • GREOP

          Atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for themselves,
          and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile
          so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end
          result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided
          sterile science myths a.k.a.theories, concocted by creatures equally
          misguided as them.

          []]]

        • adam
        • GREOP

          Thanks for confessing that “mark twain” is your “god” and fake “saviour”,
          whose OPINION you do not question but accept hook line and sinker.

          You are such a dummy, aren’t you? Christians have been reading and have continued reading The Holy Bible; and over the centuries, rather than decline, Christianity continues to wax stronger and stronger.

          You see what a dummy you are to believe mark twain’s OPINION? But then, I am not surprised you believe his false OPINION.

          After all, you are an atheist.
          And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for
          themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by creatures equally misguided as them.

          By POPONNE.

        • GREOP

          The Best cure for atheism is reading and believing the Bible.

          One of the best growth stimulants of Christianity is reading The Bible.

          By POPONNE.

        • GREOP

          A cure for sterile science atheist religion fanaticism, is the realization that one has not PERSONALLY experienced any so-called evidence alleged to support the sterile science myths a.k.a theories a.k.a OPINIONS.

          By POPONNE.

        • GREOP

          A cure for sterile science atheist religion fanaticism, is the realization that sterile science myths a.k.a theories are NOT facts, but are OPINIONS.

          By POPONNE.

        • GREOP

          A cure for atheism, is the realization that an atheist believes without evidence, that the male his mother calls husband, to be his biological father, whereas he is not, and whereas he has no resemblance to the male.
          Thus, an atheist has no point not to believe in God.

          By POPONNE.
          ——–[[]]—-[][]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE RELIGION MAKE UP{THEORIES} AND STERILE SCIENCE
    FANATICS BELIEVE THEY ARE TRUE WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE OR REASON. IN OTHER WORDS,
    STERILE SCIENCE FANATICS BELIEVE THESE MADE UP LIE WITH ALL THEIR
    HEART.

    Did sterile science make up the theory that atoms cannot be created or be
    destroyed .YES.

    Did sterile science later claim that atoms can be created and be destroyed?
    YES

    Did sterile science fanatics believe with all their heart in the theory that
    atoms cannot be created or be destroyed? YES.

    Did sterile science later claim that this non creation and indestructibility
    of atoms to be a lie? YES.

    Is it accurate then to state that sterile science fanatics believed in a lie
    with all their hearts as regarding this theory? YES.

    Does sterile science still teach the theory that atoms cannot be created or
    be destroyed? YES.

    Does sterile science ALSO STILL teach the CONTRARY theory that atoms can be
    created and can be destroyed?YES.

    Do sterile science fanatics still accept BOTH CONTRADICTORY theories they
    have NOT personally evidenced? YES.

    Is this Faith in stipulations of sterile science? YES.

    • adam

      ..

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        You see what a dummy you have been?
        Sterile science is stupid and it is NOT hard to figure out it is stupid. Only dummies can’t figure this fact out.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          Atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for themselves,
          and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile
          so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end
          result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided
          sterile science myths a.k.a.theories, concocted by creatures equally
          misguided as them.

          []]]]]

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Please seek help for your anger issues and your obsessive compulsions. Church is not helping you.

        • GREOP

          Atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by creatures equally misguided as them.

          By POPONNE.

        • Greg G.

          Please seek help, even if you have to go to an Emergency Room. You cannot distinguish reality from any thought that pops into your head. You are projecting your anger onto others. I fear that you may soon start acting out toward people around you. You are not acting normal.

      • Michael Neville

        I find the following to be the best response to the troll:

        Comment by STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK blocked.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE AS A SPECULATIVE RELIGION SIMILAR TO SPECULATIVE
    PHILOSOPHY:

    Both before and after the discovery of radioactive elements ,{which after
    all have been existing naturally from the dawn of time}, it should be
    emphasized that the existence of atoms have remained a matter of speculation
    albeit clad in the glorified term of “theory”, all aimed at giving
    explanation to naturally observed phenomenon. This is the same
    “speculation” sterile science fanatics accuses every religion of ,
    despite the fact that NOT every religion engages in speculation. Bearing in
    mind those religions that engage in speculations, and bearing in mind that the
    same speculative practice forms one of
    the bed-rocks of science albeit in the guise of “theory”, sterile science
    fanatics should therefore understand
    that sterile science is nothing but a SPECULATIVE RELIGION akin to
    speculative philosophy. I shall not delve into REVELATIONAL RELIGION since I
    suspect that judging from the mundane inclination of sterile science fanatics,
    it would at the present be a waste of time.

    The existence of atom or electrons or protons or neutrons; the stipulation that atoms cannot be created or
    destroyed or divided; the COUNTER STIPULATION that atoms can be created and destroyed and divided, are all
    speculations aimed at explaining observed phenomenon, and their acceptance is a
    matter of faith. This faith is based on speculations. It is SPECULATIVE FAITH.
    It is different from facts based on sensorial perceived phenomenon such as the
    observation that some material are stable(non-radioactive) while some are
    unstable(radioactive). Attempts to
    explain these phenomenon takes sterile science into the realm of
    speculation and speculative faith, and makes it similar to speculative
    religion. I shall not delve into FAITH BASED ON HISTORICAL TRUTHS AND
    DIVINE REVELATION,
    for that would be a waste of time considering the
    mundane inclination of sterile science fanatics.[]

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        STERILE SCIENCE AS A SPECULATIVE RELIGION SIMILAR TO SPECULATIVE
        PHILOSOPHY:

        Both before and after the discovery of radioactive elements ,{which after
        all have been existing naturally from the dawn of time}, it should be
        emphasized that the existence of atoms have remained a matter of speculation
        albeit clad in the glorified term of “theory”, all aimed at giving
        explanation to naturally observed phenomenon. This is the same
        “speculation” sterile science fanatics accuses every religion of ,
        despite the fact that NOT every religion engages in speculation. Bearing in
        mind those religions that engage in speculations, and bearing in mind that the
        same speculative practice forms one of
        the bed-rocks of science albeit in the guise of “theory”, sterile science
        fanatics should therefore understand
        that sterile science is nothing but a SPECULATIVE RELIGION akin to
        speculative philosophy. I shall not delve into REVELATIONAL RELIGION since I
        suspect that judging from the mundane inclination of sterile science fanatics,
        it would at the present be a waste of time.

        The existence of atom or electrons or protons or neutrons; the stipulation that atoms cannot be created or
        destroyed or divided; the COUNTER STIPULATION that atoms can be created and destroyed and divided, are all
        speculations aimed at explaining observed phenomenon, and their acceptance is a
        matter of faith. This faith is based on speculations. It is SPECULATIVE FAITH.
        It is different from facts based on sensorial perceived phenomenon such as the
        observation that some material are stable(non-radioactive) while some are
        unstable(radioactive). Attempts to
        explain these phenomenon takes sterile science into the realm of
        speculation and speculative faith, and makes it similar to speculative
        religion. I shall not delve into FAITH BASED ON HISTORICAL TRUTHS AND
        DIVINE REVELATION,
        for that would be a waste of time considering the
        mundane inclination of sterile science fanatics.[/////]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    What evidence have I seen that I should be compelled to believe the myth
    that the device I am using is made by a non-existent “kind folks that
    understand boolean algebra”

    If sterile science atheist fanatics believe this nonsense, then they must of
    necessity believe that the complex universe and nature is made by an intelligent
    being that has great understanding. If they
    disagree, then they are LIARS to believe that the device I am using to
    be made by a non-existent “kind folks that understand boolean
    algebra”

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE IS DOGMATIC.

    The theory that atoms cannot be created or be destroyed, is a dogma and
    sterile science atheist fanatics believe it, despite their lack of personal
    experience of it.

    All sterile science definitions are dogmatic definitions which sterile
    science fanatic sheep are mandated to accept without question. Sterile science
    atheist fanatics must be deluded to parrot them to me as if I belong to their
    deluded pack. I have long extricated myself from that stupidity.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Censorship is the usual recourse of the feeble minded and the intellectually challenged.

    • adam

      Blasphemy is the usual recourse of the feeble minded and the intellectually challenged.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/adb34696e37c4044fa70ab831144ad6fd7e22c2b39567170fe3702636759364e.png

      • GREOP

        Close
        to 300 years of free speech and free thought, and atheist continue to be proved
        wrong they have been all along, and the creatures continue their usual
        worthless so-called “predictions” that never come to pass, simply
        because they are stuck on stupid. atheists are a fringe lunatic cult, already
        dead and buried.

        —–POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    AN EXAMPLE OF STERILE SCIENCE DOGMA.

    “Atoms cannot be created or be destroyed” is part of dalton’s
    theory and it is given as incontrovertibly true and has the sound of being
    presented as incontrovertibly true and authoritative, by an authority. It is a
    dogma.And it is a lie.And the lie is still taught.

    • adam
    • epeeist

      “Atoms cannot be created or be destroyed” is part of dalton’s
      theory

      Well I know I am replying to an idiot with a brain the size of a small peanut but I can’t let this one pass.

      The idea that atoms cannot be created or destroyed actually comes from Democritus not John Dalton.

      • GREOP

        How would you know what Dalton’s atomic theory states, when you have not even studied the sterile science atheist religion you have made your “god”. Yeah, you porridge-brained sub-idiot, accepts whatever sterile science atheist religion tells you about itself, without you sub-imbecile ever studying it to verify for yourself, much less PERSONALLY experiencing whatever
        nonsense the “peer review” of sterile science atheist religion brainwashes you with. You are really a sub-moron, you know.

        AN EXAMPLE OF STERILE SCIENCE aTHEIST rELIGION
        DOGMA.

        “Atoms cannot be created or be destroyed” is part of dalton’s theory and it is given as incontrovertibly true and has the sound of being presented as incontrovertibly true and authoritative, by an authority. It is a dogma. And it is a lie. And the lie is still taught.

        ——POPONNE.
        [[]]]]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE IS rELIGION AND gOD OF aTHEIST fANATICS WHICH THEY
    ACCEPT BY fAITH

    Sterile science atheist religion fanatics think because they have not seen
    God, that it takes faith to believe He exists. Then these fanatics should also
    accept that because they have not seen an atom, that it takes faith to believe
    an atom exists. The failure of sterile
    science atheist religion fanatics to understand that belief in science theories
    is based on faith, shows that these atheist religion fanatics are kindergarten
    outsiders to sterile science which they have made into their god.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Sterile science atheist religion fanatics should show me an atom,
    and not a story.

    Here is my story.I and other Men of God have seen God, and there are photographs
    of His Son Jesus Christ.

    Is the atom and theories story of sterile science atheist religion
    fanatics,superior to mine? NO.

    Their story is inferior to mine.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE RELIGIOUS:

    The modern sterile scientific movement is becoming more and more religious.
    It started off as exact sciences{STERILE SCIENCE} where anything that could not
    be measured was rejected. So, initially only Physics, chemistry , biology,
    mathematics were studied. Gradually, reality forced the expansion of biological
    studies to include the relatively new field of ecology. Before the middle of
    the 20th century, the highly subjective and difficult to quantify field of
    psychology and psychiatry were already established as respectable sciences,
    and by the middle of the cold-war
    researchers on both sides of the iron curtain were already making a lot less tentative thrusts into the realm
    of the human psyche .I am talking about the study of paranormal phenomenon. And
    it is debatable if the explanation offered by modern sterile science to account
    for these observed paranormal phenomenon is in any way superior to that of the
    priests of SOME ancient cultures. []

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        STERILE SCIENCE IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE RELIGIOUS:

        The modern sterile scientific movement is becoming more and more religious.
        It started off as exact sciences{STERILE SCIENCE} where anything that could not
        be measured was rejected. So, initially only Physics, chemistry , biology,
        mathematics were studied. Gradually, reality forced the expansion of biological
        studies to include the relatively new field of ecology. Before the middle of
        the 20th century, the highly subjective and difficult to quantify field of
        psychology and psychiatry were already established as respectable sciences,
        and by the middle of the cold-war
        researchers on both sides of the iron curtain were already making a lot less tentative thrusts into the realm
        of the human psyche .I am talking about the study of paranormal phenomenon. And
        it is debatable if the explanation offered by modern sterile science to account
        for these observed paranormal phenomenon is in any way superior to that of the
        priests of SOME ancient cultures. [////]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    DIVINE INSPIRATION GIVES SUCCESS TO MODERN SCIENCE:

    The material progress of science, especially in the 20th century when
    science BEGAN TO SHED SOME OF THE GARB OF STERILE SCIENCE, is indeed
    remarkable. But this progress is in no way due to human logical reasoning, but
    is rather due to the operation of a great religious truth which some
    individuals are aware of and which some individuals have stumbled upon, but
    which I am loath to reveal openly to the profane save to say that ITS CATALYST
    IS FAITH. Moreover, any individual who applies this truth, no matter how poor
    his educational qualification, will make remarkable progress. Were this
    progress to depend on the profundity of logical reasoning or the proficiency in
    algebraic calculations as sterile science fanatics would like us to believe,
    then Thomas Edison, perhaps America’s most famous inventor, who had little
    formal education, would never have
    eventually invented the electric bulb. Equally, Nikolai Tesla, that
    prolific inventor, would never have made his numerous spectacular devices.

    Another catalyst propelling the progress of science is DIVINE REVELATION.
    Fact is that Divine revelation is what science has always needed and have
    received, and not your defective human “logic”. In fact, the really
    successful Scientists and inventors acknowledge that their scientific
    breakthroughs and inventions are
    revealed to them in dreams, or in
    flashes of inspiration while awake.

    The great Chemist Kekule failed severally by means of defective human
    logic” to arrive at THE STRUCTURE OF BENZENE, and when human “logic” failed him, and he
    slept, it was revealed to him in a dream, “in a vision of the night”
    so to speak.(Job33:15-16,Job 4:12-16) And that revelation marked
    a great advance in the field of modern chemistry due to the fact that it
    unraveled the structure-activity relationship of benzene, which further made it
    possible to synthesize several drugs and chemicals; for benzene is indeed a
    principal molecule of organic chemistry which has revolutionalized our material
    world. What made this advance possible is Divine revelation and not defective
    human “logic” of sterile science fanatics.

    Nikolai Tesla, that prolific inventor, that invented the alternating
    electric current motor generator {a.c. current motor} that is responsible for
    the wide-spread generation and distribution of electricity, which electricity
    you are enjoying right now, received the invention as a flash of idea, and not
    through your defective human “logic”. Nikolai Tesla has this to say,
    and he also confirmed the reality of knowing scientific truths by revelation,
    contrary to your denial ,“As I uttered these inspiring words the idea came like
    a flash of lightning and in an instant THE TRUTH WAS REVEALED. I drew with a
    stick on the sand the diagram shown six years LATER in my address before the
    American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and my companion understood them
    perfectly. The IMAGES I SAW were wonderfully sharp and clear and had THE
    SOLIDITY of metal and stone, so much so that I told him, “See my motor
    here; watch me reverse it.” I cannot begin to describe my emotions.
    Pygmalion seeing his statue come to life could not have been more deeply
    moved.”

    So sterile science fanatics, should stop being deceived into claiming that
    the progress of science is as a result of
    their defective human “logic”, and not through Divine
    revelation. For your information, man’s material and Spiritual progress is
    driven by revelations from God. Without God we can do nothing( John 15:5).

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Atheists are slavers e.g enslavement of Black Africans.

        Atheist are murderers.e.g atheist USSR and killing fields of Cambodia and present day abortions.
        Atheists are hypocrites. e.g. trying to hide their atrocities by pretending to be good, whereas they are evil.

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        DIVINE INSPIRATION GIVES SUCCESS TO MODERN SCIENCE:

        The material progress of science, especially in the 20th century when
        science BEGAN TO SHED SOME OF THE GARB OF STERILE SCIENCE, is indeed
        remarkable. But this progress is in no way due to human logical reasoning, but
        is rather due to the operation of a great religious truth which some
        individuals are aware of and which some individuals have stumbled upon, but
        which I am loath to reveal openly to the profane save to say that ITS CATALYST
        IS FAITH. Moreover, any individual who applies this truth, no matter how poor
        his educational qualification, will make remarkable progress. Were this
        progress to depend on the profundity of logical reasoning or the proficiency in
        algebraic calculations as sterile science fanatics would like us to believe,
        then Thomas Edison, perhaps America’s most famous inventor, who had little
        formal education, would never have
        eventually invented the electric bulb. Equally, Nikolai Tesla, that
        prolific inventor, would never have made his numerous spectacular devices.

        Another catalyst propelling the progress of science is DIVINE REVELATION.
        Fact is that Divine revelation is what science has always needed and have
        received, and not your defective human “logic”. In fact, the really
        successful Scientists and inventors acknowledge that their scientific
        breakthroughs and inventions are
        revealed to them in dreams, or in
        flashes of inspiration while awake.

        The great Chemist Kekule failed severally by means of defective human
        logic” to arrive at THE STRUCTURE OF BENZENE, and when human “logic” failed him, and he
        slept, it was revealed to him in a dream, “in a vision of the night”
        so to speak.(Job33:15-16,Job 4:12-16) And that revelation marked
        a great advance in the field of modern chemistry due to the fact that it
        unraveled the structure-activity relationship of benzene, which further made it
        possible to synthesize several drugs and chemicals; for benzene is indeed a
        principal molecule of organic chemistry which has revolutionalized our material
        world. What made this advance possible is Divine revelation and not defective
        human “logic” of sterile science fanatics.

        Nikolai Tesla, that prolific inventor, that invented the alternating
        electric current motor generator {a.c. current motor} that is responsible for
        the wide-spread generation and distribution of electricity, which electricity
        you are enjoying right now, received the invention as a flash of idea, and not
        through your defective human “logic”. Nikolai Tesla has this to say,
        and he also confirmed the reality of knowing scientific truths by revelation,
        contrary to your denial ,“As I uttered these inspiring words the idea came like
        a flash of lightning and in an instant THE TRUTH WAS REVEALED. I drew with a
        stick on the sand the diagram shown six years LATER in my address before the
        American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and my companion understood them
        perfectly. The IMAGES I SAW were wonderfully sharp and clear and had THE
        SOLIDITY of metal and stone, so much so that I told him, “See my motor
        here; watch me reverse it.” I cannot begin to describe my emotions.
        Pygmalion seeing his statue come to life could not have been more deeply
        moved.”

        So sterile science fanatics, should stop being deceived into claiming that
        the progress of science is as a result of
        their defective human “logic”, and not through Divine
        revelation. For your information, man’s material and Spiritual progress is
        driven by revelations from God. Without God we can do nothing( John 15:5).
        []

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    ANCIENT ROOTS OF SCIENCE AS RELIGION:

    Man has always been aware of the diverse phenomenon in his environment. He
    has always been aware of the forces of nature such as lightening, such as fire, such as wind, the
    rushing of water e.t.c. And trying to give explanation to what is brought to
    his awareness has been equally as old , and did not start with sterile science.
    In some cultures existing in ancient times, the study of phenomenon was
    undertaken by an organized body of individuals, with highly restricted
    membership. The medicinal properties of plants and minerals was of interest to
    them. So the practice of consulting a trained healer is an ancient practice,
    and did not start with the modern doctor or Pharmaceutical Chemist contrary to
    what sterile science fanatics would have
    us believe. But this ancient organized body of individuals did not restrict
    their studies to only mundane matters, but delved into the investigation of
    non-material phenomenon and the question of existence. The explanation they attach to the data they
    accumulate through their keen observations, and through other incidental higher
    faculties, is what sterile science
    fanatics call ” impractical and irrational “religious truths”
    the falsehoods of religion and irrationality.”

    Sterile science fanatics should know, that science is nothing new but have
    always existed in SOME ancient cultures as priestcraft. It has been part and
    parcel of some religions. One of the key difference today is that this modern
    day priestcraft called science is far more visible to the generality of the
    public as regards their experimental methods and obtained results, and the
    membership is no longer restricted. So much for sterile science fanatics’
    pipe-dream of replacing religion with sterile science. Indeed, the achievements
    of science are nothing new really. These are re-inventions. We have been there
    before, and by we, I mean the human
    race. Advanced civilizations arose in the past, made advances in their material
    developments and got destroyed, and their recorded achievements sound to
    ignorant people such as sterile science fanatics, as ” impractical and
    irrational “religious truths” the falsehoods of religion and
    irrationality.” But men of insight know better. And one such man was
    Robert Oppenheimer the leader of the American Manhattan project for the
    development of the atomic bomb. This man searched a religious text I must refrain from identifying, and found where
    it was recorded that such an explosive device had existed in the past and had
    indeed been used. The petrified remains of certain ruins in certain parts of
    the world, ruins remarkable for their molten earth fused as by enormous
    temperatures, bear eloquent proof of a nuclear explosion in ancient times. And
    Robert Oppenheimer took note, and the atomic age was reborn.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        ANCIENT ROOTS OF SCIENCE AS RELIGION:

        Man has always been aware of the diverse phenomenon in his environment. He
        has always been aware of the forces of nature such as lightening, such as fire, such as wind, the
        rushing of water e.t.c. And trying to give explanation to what is brought to
        his awareness has been equally as old , and did not start with sterile science.
        In some cultures existing in ancient times, the study of phenomenon was
        undertaken by an organized body of individuals, with highly restricted
        membership. The medicinal properties of plants and minerals was of interest to
        them. So the practice of consulting a trained healer is an ancient practice,
        and did not start with the modern doctor or Pharmaceutical Chemist contrary to
        what sterile science fanatics would have
        us believe. But this ancient organized body of individuals did not restrict
        their studies to only mundane matters, but delved into the investigation of
        non-material phenomenon and the question of existence. The explanation they attach to the data they
        accumulate through their keen observations, and through other incidental higher
        faculties, is what sterile science
        fanatics call ” impractical and irrational “religious truths”
        the falsehoods of religion and irrationality.”

        Sterile science fanatics should know, that science is nothing new but have
        always existed in SOME ancient cultures as priestcraft. It has been part and
        parcel of some religions. One of the key difference today is that this modern
        day priestcraft called science is far more visible to the generality of the
        public as regards their experimental methods and obtained results, and the
        membership is no longer restricted. So much for sterile science fanatics’
        pipe-dream of replacing religion with sterile science. Indeed, the achievements
        of science are nothing new really. These are re-inventions. We have been there
        before, and by we, I mean the human
        race. Advanced civilizations arose in the past, made advances in their material
        developments and got destroyed, and their recorded achievements sound to
        ignorant people such as sterile science fanatics, as ” impractical and
        irrational “religious truths” the falsehoods of religion and
        irrationality.” But men of insight know better. And one such man was
        Robert Oppenheimer the leader of the American Manhattan project for the
        development of the atomic bomb. This man searched a religious text I must refrain from identifying, and found where
        it was recorded that such an explosive device had existed in the past and had
        indeed been used. The petrified remains of certain ruins in certain parts of
        the world, ruins remarkable for their molten earth fused as by enormous
        temperatures, bear eloquent proof of a nuclear explosion in ancient times. And
        Robert Oppenheimer took note, and the atomic age was reborn.
        -=-==

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    SUCCESS OF INSPIRED SCIENCE:

    When it comes to stating facts about the capabilities of sterile science
    taken in isolation, kindly leave it for the real big boys who know their
    onions, and I mean scientific researchers who rely on Divine assistance in
    their investigations. And these big boys know that nothing worthwhile has been
    achieved nor can be achieved by science without the mental state religion
    nurtures: FAITH AND ASSISTANCE OF GOD.

    How did Kekule arrive at the structure of benzene if not enabled by Divine
    revelation through dream. The truth which sterile science fanatics cannot wish
    away is that science adopts the same methods which you accuse Religion of
    namely :FAITH.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Thanks for confessing that “christopher” is your “god” and fake “saviour”, whose OPINION you do not question but accept hook line and sinker.

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        SUCCESS OF INSPIRED SCIENCE:

        When it comes to stating facts about the capabilities of sterile science
        taken in isolation, kindly leave it for the real big boys who know their
        onions, and I mean scientific researchers who rely on Divine assistance in
        their investigations. And these big boys know that nothing worthwhile has been
        achieved nor can be achieved by science without the mental state religion
        nurtures: FAITH AND ASSISTANCE OF GOD.

        How did Kekule arrive at the structure of benzene if not enabled by Divine
        revelation through dream. The truth which sterile science fanatics cannot wish
        away is that science adopts the same methods which you accuse Religion of
        namely :FAITH.
        [][]]]

        • adam

          “How did Kekule arrive at the structure of benzene if not enabled by Divine revelation through dream”

          Dreams are from the mind, not a Magical Sky Daddie

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/637bfeb32fe76da958e611fbfd841246baeabb7b96c48f9a41144e316ea0e22d.jpg

        • GREOP

          Atheist moron, you that always demand for evidence before believing anything, you really have got to prove that you know what mind is and what dream is, by showing evidence that you have a mind and that you dream; failing which, you should shut the hell up, since you obviously do not know what you are jabbering about.

          By POPONNE.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Kinda hilarious when you undercut your own argument.

          The guy who had a dream or imagining of a snake grabbing its tail (which led him to the ring structure of benzene) did not write a paper saying, “Hey! I dreamed that a snake bit its own tail, so therefore benzene has a ring structure!”

          No, he used this as an idea only, pursued the hypothesis with science and came up with an answer based on evidence.

        • GREOP

          Keep deceiving yourself, mr “moderator”. You really need to moderate your stupidity. Because, all your rants about hypothesis, sterile science and “evidence”, are products of your feverish delusions. And you are not amused.
          Hellooooooo, wake up and smell the coffee, as I undercut your delusion with this, which you obviously missed, due to your poor comprehension skill:

          “The
          great Chemist Kekule failed severally by means of defective human logic”
          to arrive at THE STRUCTURE OF BENZENE, and when human “logic” failed
          him, and he slept, it was revealed to him in a dream, “in a vision of the night”
          so to speak.(Job33:15-16,Job 4:12-16)”

          By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    The usual practice of sterile scientists of theorizing AFTER the fact of an invention in order to
    give the FALSE impression that their BELATED theories led to the invention, is
    dishonest.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    THE BASIC TENETS OF ATHEISM ARE ABSURD.

    The basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because
    they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began
    at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If
    their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Sterile science atheist religion and the peer, are your “gods.”

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        THE BASIC TENETS OF ATHEISM ARE ABSURD.

        The basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because
        they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began
        at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If
        their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.//////

        • Greg G.

          There is evidence for radio waves, so atheists accept that radio waves exist. You should provide evidence for God, then there will be no more atheists.

          It is stupid to fault someone for not believing in things that have no evidence.

        • Dys

          There are no tenets of atheism. You’re an idiot who doesn’t know what words mean.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          Every creature has an OPINION.
          That is democracy.
          But OPINION is not Truth.
          Wise people never mistaken OPINION for Truth.
          Atheists make that mistake. And the result is obvious in their ruined mal-existence.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you think before you post?

          There is good evidence for radio waves, so science tells us that radio waves exist. There is no good evidence for God, so I don’t believe in God.

          You say you have evidence for God? Give it to us.

        • GREOP

          1. Mr so-called “moderator”, it is significant that your very first sentence since your ridiculous so-called ban, began with an insult. Let me assure you that I will not pull punches in dealing back to you with the same weapon you have clearly chosen. The choice has always been yours.

          2. “The color blue, does NOT exist, because I cannot see it.” so
          says the guy suffering from color deficiency a.k.a color blindness.

          But the guy that does not have color deficiency, knows that the color blind guy is wrong, and needs to develop retinal sensitivity.

          “God does NOT exist, because I cannot see Him.” so says the
          atheist guy suffering from Spiritual deficiency a.k.a Spiritual blindness.

          But the guy that does not have Spiritual deficiency, knows that the
          Spiritually blind atheist is wrong, and needs to develop Spiritual sense.

          3. What I said about radio waves illustrates atheist your attitude before and after the discovery of radio waves, and adequately serves to illustrate the basic tenet of atheism, which is clearly absurd. You need to develop comprehension skill, and be able to understand what you read. If that is such a difficult task for you to understand my post, do you rather I put my post in slogan form which is easy for you. But sorry, I do not do propaganda.

          4. THE BASIC TENETS OF ATHEISM ARE ABSURD.
          The basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

          By POPONNE.

        • adam
        • GREOP

          INABILITY TO SEE COLOR BLUE, IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH COLOR BLINDNESS.

          ATHEISM IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.

          By POPONNE.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So much certainty but so little evidence. Sad.

          Bye.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    The reason why Sterile science fake religion theories are ALWAYS
    CHANGING is because they are THOUGHT-CONTROL TOOLS to keep atheists in a state
    of DUMB.

    QUOTING thanks4allthefish” Published peer review is critical to
    ascertain the truth of scientific claims.”UNQUOTE.

    RESPONSE:

    Are you part of the sterile science religion peer review? NO

    Yet you believe the sterile science religion peer review will be honest to
    report the truth and not lie? Yes you believe so.

    Is there any PERSONAL evidence on which you base your belief in the honesty
    of the sterile science religion peer review? NO.

    Why then do you believe the sterile science peer review will be honest? You
    believe so by faith.

    How is this faith in the sterile science religion peer review extracted from
    you? By brainwashing you to accept the sterile science religion peer review as
    honest.

    A gang of sterile science religion fanatics forms themselves into a peer
    with an agenda to promote the world view of sterile science religion.

    By using propaganda techniques, they have been able to brainwash a
    particularly gullible and unintelligent section of the population into
    believing the lie of them being trustworthy, smart, knowledgeable, and
    so-called “experts.” Once the peer has gotten these poor brainwashed
    idiots to believe them by faith, the peer presents to them the OPINIONS of
    sterile science religion which are falsely claimed to be FACTS. Without
    PERSONALLY having experienced these OPINIONS, the dumb brainwashed sterile
    science religion fanatics accept the presented OPINIONS entirely BY FAITH.

    The type of OPINION of sterile science religion which is falsely presented
    as FACT at any point in time, is dependent on HOW the peer wants these sterile
    science religion fanatics to BEHAVE at that point in time. The peer goes about
    it by FIRST getting the sterile science religion fanatics to BELIEVE the
    SELECTED OPINION of sterile science religion by faith. Once the THOUGHTS of
    these sterile science religion fanatics have been trapped by the SELECTED
    OPINION, they begin to BEHAVE in the manner following from the selected
    OPINION. This is PHYSICAL BEHAVIOUR CONTROL through THOUGHT CONTROL. The
    membership of the peer is exclusive to those sharing the sterile science
    religion worldview, and any contrary OPINION to that presently SELECTED, is
    ruthlessly suppressed and discredited by being denied publication in the peer
    promoted so-called “reputable” publication.

    In the FUTURE, if the peer wants the dumb sterile science religion fanatics
    to BEHAVE in a manner CONTRARY to the PREVAILING behaviour the peer had
    PREVIOUSLY promoted, the peer simply brings one of theirs to attack the
    PREVAILING behaviour. They go about this attack by getting one of theirs to
    present the previous prevailing OPINION of sterile science religion as the
    falsehood it had been all along. This same one of theirs then presents another
    selected OPINION of sterile science religion which is also falsely claimed to
    be fact. The newly selected OPINION of course must be that whose acceptance by
    faith by the sterile science religion fanatics will lead to the new behavior
    wanted in them. The peer announces that BY CONSENSUS they have rigorously
    reviewed and confirmed the “truth” of the new OPINION and the
    falsehood of the OPINION they had previously promoted and now have discarded.
    Without PERSONALLY having experienced the validity of the NEW OPINION or the
    invalidity of the previously promoted OPINION now discarded, the dumb
    brainwashed sterile science religion fanatics, entirely BY FAITH, accept the
    NEWLY presented OPINION and reject the OLD OPINION the peer had previously
    brainwashed them to accept but has now replaced with another. With the change
    in thought, the brainwashed sterile science fanatics undergo a change in
    behaviour tailored by the new thought. This is PHYSICAL BEHAVIOUR CONTROL
    through THOUGHT CONTROL. “That’s what science does.” says
    thanks4allthefish. Yeah, you are correct, that this is what sterile science
    does by their always changing OPINIONS. When the peer changes the OPINION they
    want the dumb brainwashed idiots to believe, what they actually want to change
    is the behavior of the dumb brainwashed idiots. And the dumb idiots let them
    succeed by accepting the new OPINION. No wonder the sterile science religion
    peer is excited when they get one of theirs to present an opinion conflicting
    with the prevailing opinion they had all along promoted and falsely supported
    as true, for it signals to them as the beginning of their plan to get the dumb
    sterile science religion fanatics, to think and behave in the new manner the
    peer had decided and dictated for them. The dumb sterile science religion
    fanatics are also excited, thinking they are making progress and increasing in
    knowledge. Yeah, you are making progress and increasing in knowledge indeed by
    accepting a “new truth” [—whatever that nonsense means—] because,
    what possibly is the sense and increase, in a “new truth” that is a
    lie that conflicts with and replaces an “old truth” that is also a
    lie; and what accretion is there in 1-1+1.

    thanks4allthefish confirms and says” Further, if the evidence of
    something I have accepted as true is proven down the road as false through
    additional scrutiny from experts who know more about these things than I do, I
    will change my mind and embrace the new truth.”

    Yeah, that is what I have been saying above, you moron. I do not need you to
    tell me, because I already know , that the sterile science religion peer of
    so-called “experts”, have a paid job of thinking for you and getting
    you to think and behave in whichever
    manner they want you monkey to think and behave AT ANY POINT IN TIME, by simply
    brainwashing you to believe by faith that a “new truth” that is a
    lie needs to enslave your thoughts and thus action by replacing an
    “old truth” that is a lie they had previously given to you .

    “That’s what science does. It polices itself and scientists are excited
    when someone has a conflicting idea about a
    theory.”—–thanks4allthefish.

    I know what sterile science religion does, and it is not what you are
    brainwashed into believing.

    But you almost got me there thinking you might be having a glimmer of
    insight, when I got to where you wrote,”it polices–“. Until I read
    to the next word that happens to be,”itself.”

    “It polices itself?”

    sterile science religion polices itself?

    No, you moron, it does not police itself——–it polices YOU.

    It is the THOUGHT POLICE assigned to police your thoughts and hence your
    behavior. It is what the peer wants you to believe that you believe. And once
    you begin to think in that way, you begin to behave in the corresponding
    manner.

    “Science is about learning new things about the universe around
    us.”——-thanks4allthefish

    Sterile science religion is all about dictating to you new OPINIONS about
    the universe around you, the opinion being fashioned in such a manner as to
    make you think and behave in the manner chosen by the peer of sterile science
    religion. Sterile science religion is interested in controlling you with
    misinformation, superstitious cock-and-bull theories, and deadening your
    natural sense of self preservation by programming in you a false sense of
    bravado by which you eventually self-destroy. No wonder you are suicidal. A
    form of population control. The best way sterile science religion has been
    doing this is to maintain your ignorance by giving you a false sense of
    increasing in knowledge through inundating you periodically with ever changing
    false OPINIONS erroneously labeled as knowledge. Sterile science religion
    appears to be succeeding with you.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        The reason why Sterile science fake religion theories are ALWAYS
        CHANGING is because they are THOUGHT-CONTROL TOOLS to keep atheists in a state
        of DUMB.

        QUOTING thanks4allthefish” Published peer review is critical to
        ascertain the truth of scientific claims.”UNQUOTE.

        RESPONSE:

        Are you part of the sterile science religion peer review? NO

        Yet you believe the sterile science religion peer review will be honest to
        report the truth and not lie? Yes you believe so.

        Is there any PERSONAL evidence on which you base your belief in the honesty
        of the sterile science religion peer review? NO.

        Why then do you believe the sterile science peer review will be honest? You
        believe so by faith.

        How is this faith in the sterile science religion peer review extracted from
        you? By brainwashing you to accept the sterile science religion peer review as
        honest.

        A gang of sterile science religion fanatics forms themselves into a peer
        with an agenda to promote the world view of sterile science religion.

        By using propaganda techniques, they have been able to brainwash a
        particularly gullible and unintelligent section of the population into
        believing the lie of them being trustworthy, smart, knowledgeable, and
        so-called “experts.” Once the peer has gotten these poor brainwashed
        idiots to believe them by faith, the peer presents to them the OPINIONS of
        sterile science religion which are falsely claimed to be FACTS. Without
        PERSONALLY having experienced these OPINIONS, the dumb brainwashed sterile
        science religion fanatics accept the presented OPINIONS entirely BY FAITH.

        The type of OPINION of sterile science religion which is falsely presented
        as FACT at any point in time, is dependent on HOW the peer wants these sterile
        science religion fanatics to BEHAVE at that point in time. The peer goes about
        it by FIRST getting the sterile science religion fanatics to BELIEVE the
        SELECTED OPINION of sterile science religion by faith. Once the THOUGHTS of
        these sterile science religion fanatics have been trapped by the SELECTED
        OPINION, they begin to BEHAVE in the manner following from the selected
        OPINION. This is PHYSICAL BEHAVIOUR CONTROL through THOUGHT CONTROL. The
        membership of the peer is exclusive to those sharing the sterile science
        religion worldview, and any contrary OPINION to that presently SELECTED, is
        ruthlessly suppressed and discredited by being denied publication in the peer
        promoted so-called “reputable” publication.

        In the FUTURE, if the peer wants the dumb sterile science religion fanatics
        to BEHAVE in a manner CONTRARY to the PREVAILING behaviour the peer had
        PREVIOUSLY promoted, the peer simply brings one of theirs to attack the
        PREVAILING behaviour. They go about this attack by getting one of theirs to
        present the previous prevailing OPINION of sterile science religion as the
        falsehood it had been all along. This same one of theirs then presents another
        selected OPINION of sterile science religion which is also falsely claimed to
        be fact. The newly selected OPINION of course must be that whose acceptance by
        faith by the sterile science religion fanatics will lead to the new behavior
        wanted in them. The peer announces that BY CONSENSUS they have rigorously
        reviewed and confirmed the “truth” of the new OPINION and the
        falsehood of the OPINION they had previously promoted and now have discarded.
        Without PERSONALLY having experienced the validity of the NEW OPINION or the
        invalidity of the previously promoted OPINION now discarded, the dumb
        brainwashed sterile science religion fanatics, entirely BY FAITH, accept the
        NEWLY presented OPINION and reject the OLD OPINION the peer had previously
        brainwashed them to accept but has now replaced with another. With the change
        in thought, the brainwashed sterile science fanatics undergo a change in
        behaviour tailored by the new thought. This is PHYSICAL BEHAVIOUR CONTROL
        through THOUGHT CONTROL. “That’s what science does.” says
        thanks4allthefish. Yeah, you are correct, that this is what sterile science
        does by their always changing OPINIONS. When the peer changes the OPINION they
        want the dumb brainwashed idiots to believe, what they actually want to change
        is the behavior of the dumb brainwashed idiots. And the dumb idiots let them
        succeed by accepting the new OPINION. No wonder the sterile science religion
        peer is excited when they get one of theirs to present an opinion conflicting
        with the prevailing opinion they had all along promoted and falsely supported
        as true, for it signals to them as the beginning of their plan to get the dumb
        sterile science religion fanatics, to think and behave in the new manner the
        peer had decided and dictated for them. The dumb sterile science religion
        fanatics are also excited, thinking they are making progress and increasing in
        knowledge. Yeah, you are making progress and increasing in knowledge indeed by
        accepting a “new truth” [—whatever that nonsense means—] because,
        what possibly is the sense and increase, in a “new truth” that is a
        lie that conflicts with and replaces an “old truth” that is also a
        lie; and what accretion is there in 1-1+1.

        thanks4allthefish confirms and says” Further, if the evidence of
        something I have accepted as true is proven down the road as false through
        additional scrutiny from experts who know more about these things than I do, I
        will change my mind and embrace the new truth.”

        Yeah, that is what I have been saying above, you moron. I do not need you to
        tell me, because I already know , that the sterile science religion peer of
        so-called “experts”, have a paid job of thinking for you and getting
        you to think and behave in whichever
        manner they want you monkey to think and behave AT ANY POINT IN TIME, by simply
        brainwashing you to believe by faith that a “new truth” that is a
        lie needs to enslave your thoughts and thus action by replacing an
        “old truth” that is a lie they had previously given to you .

        “That’s what science does. It polices itself and scientists are excited
        when someone has a conflicting idea about a
        theory.”—–thanks4allthefish.

        I know what sterile science religion does, and it is not what you are
        brainwashed into believing.

        But you almost got me there thinking you might be having a glimmer of
        insight, when I got to where you wrote,”it polices–“. Until I read
        to the next word that happens to be,”itself.”

        “It polices itself?”

        sterile science religion polices itself?

        No, you moron, it does not police itself——–it polices YOU.

        It is the THOUGHT POLICE assigned to police your thoughts and hence your
        behavior. It is what the peer wants you to believe that you believe. And once
        you begin to think in that way, you begin to behave in the corresponding
        manner.

        “Science is about learning new things about the universe around
        us.”——-thanks4allthefish

        Sterile science religion is all about dictating to you new OPINIONS about
        the universe around you, the opinion being fashioned in such a manner as to
        make you think and behave in the manner chosen by the peer of sterile science
        religion. Sterile science religion is interested in controlling you with
        misinformation, superstitious cock-and-bull theories, and deadening your
        natural sense of self preservation by programming in you a false sense of
        bravado by which you eventually self-destroy. No wonder you are suicidal. A
        form of population control. The best way sterile science religion has been
        doing this is to maintain your ignorance by giving you a false sense of
        increasing in knowledge through inundating you periodically with ever changing
        false OPINIONS erroneously labeled as knowledge. Sterile science religion
        appears to be succeeding with you.
        [[]]]]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    THE PEER IS A GANG OF PROPAGANDISTS AND BRAIN-WASHERS WITH AN
    AGENDA TO PROMOTE THE FALSEHOOD OF STERILE SCIENCE FAKE RELIGION WORLD
    VIEW:

    A gang of sterile science religion fanatics forms themselves into a peer
    with an agenda to promote the world view of sterile science religion. Yeah,
    they are a peer, and they view the normal
    world in reverse, hence peer re view.

    By using propaganda techniques, they have been able to brainwash a
    particularly gullible and unintelligent section of the population into
    believing the lie of them being trustworthy, smart, knowledgeable, and
    so-called “experts.” Once the peer has gotten these poor brainwashed
    idiots to believe them by faith, the peer presents to them the OPINIONS of
    sterile science religion which are falsely claimed to be FACTS. Without
    PERSONALLY having experienced these OPINIONS, the dumb brainwashed sterile
    science religion fanatics accept the presented OPINIONS entirely BY FAITH.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        THE PEER IS A GANG OF PROPAGANDISTS AND BRAIN-WASHERS WITH AN
        AGENDA TO PROMOTE THE FALSEHOOD OF STERILE SCIENCE FAKE RELIGION WORLD
        VIEW:

        A gang of sterile science religion fanatics forms themselves into a peer
        with an agenda to promote the world view of sterile science religion. Yeah,
        they are a peer, and they view the normal
        world in reverse, hence peer re view.

        By using propaganda techniques, they have been able to brainwash a
        particularly gullible and unintelligent section of the population into
        believing the lie of them being trustworthy, smart, knowledgeable, and
        so-called “experts.” Once the peer has gotten these poor brainwashed
        idiots to believe them by faith, the peer presents to them the OPINIONS of
        sterile science religion which are falsely claimed to be FACTS. Without
        PERSONALLY having experienced these OPINIONS, the dumb brainwashed sterile
        science religion fanatics accept the presented OPINIONS entirely BY FAITH.

        []//]][[[][[[//

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    QUOTING thanks4allthe fish. “If Steven Hawking tells me that 2+2=5, he
    had better have a huge proportion of the scientific
    community behind him to show the empirical evidence of his conclusion.”UNQUOTE.

    RESPONSE:

    A HUUUUUUUUGE proportion!

    To you, 2+2=5 must be TRUE so long as a HUUUUUGE proportion of the sterile
    science religion say so.

    To you, one LONE voice stating that 2+2=4, must be wrong.

    You are a daft idiot to believe consensus as being what determines truth.
    Truth is truth and cannot be dictated by consensus. That you do not know this
    nature of truth, but rather believe it to be dependent on consensus, shows your
    extreme naivety.

    Moreover, have you PERSONALLY experienced the empirical evidence on which
    the conclusion of this HUUUUUUUUGE proportion is based? NO.

    But to you, your PERSONAL experience is irrelevant, so long as the HUUUUUUGE
    proportion claim to have experienced it. To you, 2+2=5, must be accepted by you
    by FAITH to be TRUE so long as a HUUUUUUGE proportion of sterile science
    religion say so, despite the total deficit of your PERSONAL experience of the
    empirical evidence on which the conclusion of this HUUUUUGE proportion is
    based.

    Has it ever occurred to you that the consensus of majority of so-called
    “experts” of your sterile science religion, have been proved wrong
    over the centuries by inspired science?

    There was a consensus of so called “experts” of sterile science
    religion, claiming the impossibility of
    virgin birth, but that consensus has been proved wrong by an inspired
    minority.

    There was a consensus of so called “experts” of sterile science
    religion, claiming the impossibility of transmutation of base metal to gold,
    but that consensus has been proved wrong by an inspired minority.

    There was a consensus of so called
    “experts” of sterile science religion, claiming the impossibility of
    an iron ship, but that consensus has been proved wrong by an inspired minority.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        QUOTING thanks4allthe fish. “If Steven Hawking tells me that 2+2=5, he
        had better have a huge proportion of the scientific
        community behind him to show the empirical evidence of his conclusion.”UNQUOTE.

        RESPONSE:

        A HUUUUUUUUGE proportion!

        To you, 2+2=5 must be TRUE so long as a HUUUUUGE proportion of the sterile
        science religion say so.

        To you, one LONE voice stating that 2+2=4, must be wrong.

        You are a daft idiot to believe consensus as being what determines truth.
        Truth is truth and cannot be dictated by consensus. That you do not know this
        nature of truth, but rather believe it to be dependent on consensus, shows your
        extreme naivety.

        Moreover, have you PERSONALLY experienced the empirical evidence on which
        the conclusion of this HUUUUUUUUGE proportion is based? NO.

        But to you, your PERSONAL experience is irrelevant, so long as the HUUUUUUGE
        proportion claim to have experienced it. To you, 2+2=5, must be accepted by you
        by FAITH to be TRUE so long as a HUUUUUUGE proportion of sterile science
        religion say so, despite the total deficit of your PERSONAL experience of the
        empirical evidence on which the conclusion of this HUUUUUGE proportion is
        based.

        Has it ever occurred to you that the consensus of majority of so-called
        “experts” of your sterile science religion, have been proved wrong
        over the centuries by inspired science?

        There was a consensus of so called “experts” of sterile science
        religion, claiming the impossibility of
        virgin birth, but that consensus has been proved wrong by an inspired
        minority.

        There was a consensus of so called “experts” of sterile science
        religion, claiming the impossibility of transmutation of base metal to gold,
        but that consensus has been proved wrong by an inspired minority.

        There was a consensus of so called “experts” of sterile science
        religion, claiming the impossibility of an iron ship, but that consensus has
        been proved wrong by an inspired minority. ////[[[]]]

        • adam
        • GREOP

          You see what a dummy you have been?

          Sterile science is stupid and it is NOT hard to figure out it is stupid.

          Only dummies can’t figure this fact out. But then, you are an atheist.

          And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by creatures equally misguided as them.

          By POPONNE.
          [[[]]]]

    • Speedwell

      Make with the proofs, then.

      • Greg G.

        He will need new socks to come back.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    No serious minded human being that values Truth, should attach the
    least value to the thickly-opinionated incoherent lies issuing from the appalling babel that is the mind of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS”.

    In fact, millions of serious-minded
    people like myself that value Truth, have always known to REJECT the lies from
    SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
    so-called “SCHOLARS”, but I have chosen to also EXPOSE the untrustworthiness of their interminable thickly-opinionated babblings
    that pretend to be knowledge. I reject these SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED
    UNINSPIRED so-called
    “SCHOLARS” because I very well know their flawed nature, and
    understand that by their very nature, they are full of errors. SKEPTICAL
    STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called
    “SCHOLARS”, are by their nature, creatures with very limited
    knowledge and with very narrow exclusively materialistic view of universal existence, who despise
    Divine Inspired knowledge and who depend exclusively on their limited knowledge
    and SKEPTICAL narrow-mindedness and inaccurate physical senses, to arrive at
    deeply erroneous self-pandering OPINIONS.

    Limited knowledge begets lying limited OPINIONATED conclusions and NOT
    Truth..

    Narrow-mindedness begets lying narrow-minded
    OPINIONS and NOT Truth.

    Inaccurate senses begets lying inaccurate OPINIONS and NOT Truth.

    Exclusively materialistic perception begets lying parochial and
    non-universal OPINION and NOT Truth.

    Moreover, should Truth and all that is Holy stand in the way of their narrow
    minded self-glorifying opinion, they are
    willing to sacrifice Truth and all that is Holy in order to prop up their lying
    opinions. This makes these SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS” to be
    inherently dishonest and therefore untrustworthy. And when they wrap themselves with that toga of
    so-called “scholar”, the intention is clearly to invoke that
    term “scholar” to force issues past the ignorant, figuring that by so
    doing they could somehow manage with a bold face to
    force their opinion down the throat of the ignorant, and putting on such
    arrogant airs that pretend as if their opinions have already attained the
    status of Truth.

    When a group of creatures takes it upon themselves to follow the career
    of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED
    UNINSPIRED so-called
    “SCHOLARS”, I believe you have a group irresponsibly bent on the
    incapacitation of man’s capacity for progress. For to them virtually every idea
    , every credible historical belief and reality, is met with irresponsible
    destructive scathing skepticism. And in return they offer nothing but narrow
    minded self-glorifying lying opinions.

    How human society have suffered from these creatures and their restricted
    minds!!!!

    That society has advanced, is in spite of them and not due to them, and is
    partly due to the fact that majority of Divinely Inspired mankind have refused
    to buy into the asinine opinion of these SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED
    UNINSPIRED so-called
    “SCHOLARS”.

    Here are reminders:

    The idea of an iron ship was SKEPTICALLY declared “illogical” by
    SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
    so-called “SCHOLARS” whose problem was their restricted minds.
    But today, the “illogicality” of an iron ship has been seen to be
    “logical”.

    The idea of a flying machine was SKEPTICALLY declared “illogical”
    by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
    so-called “SCHOLARS” whose problem was their restricted minds.
    But today, the “illogicality” of a flying machine has been seen to be
    “logical”.

    The idea of transmutation of base metal to gold was SKEPTICALLY declared
    “illogical” by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS” whose problem was their restricted minds. But
    today, the “illogicality” of
    transmutation of base metal to gold has been seen to be
    “logical” through techniques of radioactive Physics and radioactive
    chemistry.

    The truth of Virgin birth was SKEPTICALLY declared “illogical” by
    SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
    so-called “SCHOLARS”
    whose problem is their restricted minds. But today, the “illogicality”
    of Virgin birth has been seen to be “logical” through the technique
    of cloning.

    Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about the behavior of
    a physical material such as iron it can sense, and consequently SKEPTICALLY
    declared the idea of an iron ship as “illogical” and therefore as
    impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
    God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
    iron ships exist and have been seen to be “logical”.

    Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about the behavior of
    physical materials such as metals which it can sense, and consequently SKEPTICALLY
    declared the idea of transmutation of base metal to gold as
    “illogical” and therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
    God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
    transmutation of base metal to gold exist and have been seen to be
    “logical”.

    Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about the biological
    processes of living things such as human beings which it can sense, and
    consequently SKEPTICALLY declared the Truth of the Virgin birth as
    “illogical” and therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
    God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
    virgin births exist and have been seen to be “logical”.

    Therefore,

    1.Truth cannot be known by relying on
    the opinion of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS”.

    2.Truth cannot be known through human “logic”.

    3.Human “logical” thinking leads to ERRORS.

    4.Human “logic” is dependent on human knowledge, and since human
    knowledge is limited, human “logic” cannot lead to Truth.

    5.Therefore, in a mind limited in knowledge, the “logical” appears
    “illogical”, Truth appears as errors.

    6.Truth can only be known through Divine revelation, simply because Almighty
    God is Omniscient.

    7.”Logical” is a human term to describe what restricted minds can
    accept as possible, and therefore the term “logical”, in human
    context ,describes a limitation. Call it human “logic.”

    8.To God everything is possible, and God accepts that anything is possible,
    and God can make anything possible, therefore to God EVERYTHING is
    “logical” and nothing is “illogical”. Therefore, in the
    Divine context, the term “logical” cannot describe a limitation. In
    other words , God sets the limits of the “logical” as he desires, and
    the limit is infinite. Call it Divine “logic”.( Mark 10:27;Luke
    18:27)

    9. Therefore, all the human “logical” and “illogical”
    droning and citing of the opinion of
    SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
    so-called “SCHOLARS” in trying to know the Truth of the things
    of God, are efforts in FUTILITY, and cannot lead to knowledge of Truth, but
    definitely lead to ERRORS.

    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        No serious minded human being that values Truth, should attach the
        least value to the thickly-opinionated incoherent lies issuing from the appalling babel that is the mind of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS”.

        In fact, millions of serious-minded
        people like myself that value Truth, have always known to REJECT the lies from
        SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
        so-called “SCHOLARS”, but I have chosen to also EXPOSE the untrustworthiness of their interminable thickly-opinionated babblings
        that pretend to be knowledge. I reject these SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED
        UNINSPIRED so-called
        “SCHOLARS” because I very well know their flawed nature, and
        understand that by their very nature, they are full of errors. SKEPTICAL
        STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called
        “SCHOLARS”, are by their nature, creatures with very limited
        knowledge and with very narrow exclusively materialistic view of universal existence, who despise
        Divine Inspired knowledge and who depend exclusively on their limited knowledge
        and SKEPTICAL narrow-mindedness and inaccurate physical senses, to arrive at
        deeply erroneous self-pandering OPINIONS.

        Limited knowledge begets lying limited OPINIONATED conclusions and NOT
        Truth..

        Narrow-mindedness begets lying narrow-minded
        OPINIONS and NOT Truth.

        Inaccurate senses begets lying inaccurate OPINIONS and NOT Truth.

        Exclusively materialistic perception begets lying parochial and
        non-universal OPINION and NOT Truth.

        Moreover, should Truth and all that is Holy stand in the way of their narrow
        minded self-glorifying opinion, they are
        willing to sacrifice Truth and all that is Holy in order to prop up their lying
        opinions. This makes these SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS” to be
        inherently dishonest and therefore untrustworthy. And when they wrap themselves with that toga of
        so-called “scholar”, the intention is clearly to invoke that
        term “scholar” to force issues past the ignorant, figuring that by so
        doing they could somehow manage with a bold face to
        force their opinion down the throat of the ignorant, and putting on such
        arrogant airs that pretend as if their opinions have already attained the
        status of Truth.

        When a group of creatures takes it upon themselves to follow the career
        of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED
        UNINSPIRED so-called
        “SCHOLARS”, I believe you have a group irresponsibly bent on the
        incapacitation of man’s capacity for progress. For to them virtually every idea
        , every credible historical belief and reality, is met with irresponsible
        destructive scathing skepticism. And in return they offer nothing but narrow
        minded self-glorifying lying opinions.

        How human society have suffered from these creatures and their restricted
        minds!!!!

        That society has advanced, is in spite of them and not due to them, and is
        partly due to the fact that majority of Divinely Inspired mankind have refused
        to buy into the asinine opinion of these SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED
        UNINSPIRED so-called
        “SCHOLARS”.

        Here are reminders:

        The idea of an iron ship was SKEPTICALLY declared “illogical” by
        SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
        so-called “SCHOLARS” whose problem was their restricted minds.
        But today, the “illogicality” of an iron ship has been seen to be
        “logical”.

        The idea of a flying machine was SKEPTICALLY declared “illogical”
        by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
        so-called “SCHOLARS” whose problem was their restricted minds.
        But today, the “illogicality” of a flying machine has been seen to be
        “logical”.

        The idea of transmutation of base metal to gold was SKEPTICALLY declared
        “illogical” by SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS” whose problem was their restricted minds. But
        today, the “illogicality” of
        transmutation of base metal to gold has been seen to be
        “logical” through techniques of radioactive Physics and radioactive
        chemistry.

        The truth of Virgin birth was SKEPTICALLY declared “illogical” by
        SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
        so-called “SCHOLARS”
        whose problem is their restricted minds. But today, the “illogicality”
        of Virgin birth has been seen to be “logical” through the technique
        of cloning.

        Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about the behavior of
        a physical material such as iron it can sense, and consequently SKEPTICALLY
        declared the idea of an iron ship as “illogical” and therefore as
        impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
        God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
        iron ships exist and have been seen to be “logical”.

        Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about the behavior of
        physical materials such as metals which it can sense, and consequently SKEPTICALLY
        declared the idea of transmutation of base metal to gold as
        “illogical” and therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
        God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
        transmutation of base metal to gold exist and have been seen to be
        “logical”.

        Human “logic” that failed to know the truth about the biological
        processes of living things such as human beings which it can sense, and
        consequently SKEPTICALLY declared the Truth of the Virgin birth as
        “illogical” and therefore as impossible, CANNOT know the Truth about
        God whom it cannot sense, except such Truth is given by revelation. But today
        virgin births exist and have been seen to be “logical”.

        Therefore,

        1.Truth cannot be known by relying on
        the opinion of SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED so-called “SCHOLARS”.

        2.Truth cannot be known through human “logic”.

        3.Human “logical” thinking leads to ERRORS.

        4.Human “logic” is dependent on human knowledge, and since human
        knowledge is limited, human “logic” cannot lead to Truth.

        5.Therefore, in a mind limited in knowledge, the “logical” appears
        “illogical”, Truth appears as errors.

        6.Truth can only be known through Divine revelation, simply because Almighty
        God is Omniscient.

        7.”Logical” is a human term to describe what restricted minds can
        accept as possible, and therefore the term “logical”, in human
        context ,describes a limitation. Call it human “logic.”

        8.To God everything is possible, and God accepts that anything is possible,
        and God can make anything possible, therefore to God EVERYTHING is
        “logical” and nothing is “illogical”. Therefore, in the
        Divine context, the term “logical” cannot describe a limitation. In
        other words , God sets the limits of the “logical” as he desires, and
        the limit is infinite. Call it Divine “logic”.( Mark 10:27;Luke
        18:27)

        9. Therefore, all the human “logical” and “illogical”
        droning and citing of the opinion of
        SKEPTICAL STERILE-MINDED UNINSPIRED
        so-called “SCHOLARS” in trying to know the Truth of the things
        of God, are efforts in FUTILITY, and cannot lead to knowledge of Truth, but
        definitely lead to ERRORS.
        ]][[

      • GREOP

        You mean this “hard” ,moron:
        ḭǪ→√↓˃ų.
        That is how hard Religion is.
        You atheist morons are not even funny.

  • Michael Neville

    Bob, the resident troll has morphed again. It’s now GREOP but still spouting the same anti-science, anti-atheist crap as before.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS FRUITLESS BECAUSE IT IS STERILE.

    • Otto

      The lunatic is on the grass.
      The lunatic is on the grass.
      Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
      Got to keep the loonies on the path.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE FAKE RELIGION IS FRUITLESS BECAUSE IT IS STERILE.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE RELIGION IS FRUITLESS BECAUSE IT IS STERILE.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE IS FRUITLESS BECAUSE IT IS STERILE.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE FAKE RELIGION IS FRUITLESS.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS DESTRUCTIVE.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS MURDEROUS.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS WORTHLESS—-IT HAS NOT ACHIEVED ANYTHING POSITIVE.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS PESSIMISTIC——-PESSIMISM
    DEADENS ACTION, AND PREVENTS PROGRESS.

    • Otto

      It’s ‘they’re, not ‘there’.

  • GREOP

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS BUILT ON FRUITLESS AND FAKE fAITH.

  • GREOP

    INSPIRED SCIENCE IS GODLY.

    • Speedwell

      “Inspired” science is unprovable.

      • POPONNE

        Your dubious paternity is unprovable.

        • Michael Neville

          Comment by POPONNE blocked.

        • Speedwell

          Your God is nonexistent and you have no proof, only juvenile and off-target taunts that don’t distract from the topic at hand.

        • Greg G.

          So you admit his undubious paternity is proved.

  • GREOP

    INSPIRED SCIENCE IS FRUITFUL.

  • GREOP

    INSPIRED SCIENCE IS OPTIMISTIC —-OPTIMISM PROMOTES ADVANCES IN
    WORLD DEVELOPMENT.

  • GREOP

    INSPIRED SCIENCE IS BUILT ON FRUITFUL AND GENUINE FAITH.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Give me one example where religion, not science, taught us something new about reality.