Christian Nonsense from People Who Should Know Better

Christian Nonsense from People Who Should Know Better January 17, 2018

Tom Gilson was provoked to produce his book True Reason because of the 2012 Reason Rally (which I attended). He demands: Why allow the atheists to seize control of the word “reason”?

He said, “The atheists claim to be the party of reason, but they don’t do it that well. Christianity on the other hand has a strong claim to be reasonable and based in reason.”

World famous apologist William Lane Craig agrees:

Christians are genuinely deeper, more thoughtful people than unbelievers are because Christians do wrestle with and think about these very profound, ultimate questions. . . . We do encourage hard thinking and self-reflection.

Respect for reason

We’re off to a good start. Christians embrace reason, and Christians are eager to wrestle honestly with tough questions their faith raises.

Let’s turn to Craig’s book, Reasonable Faith to see if Craig continues as the strong advocate of reason.

Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter. (Reasonable Faith, Third Edition, p. 48)

Record scratch. The “witness of the Holy Spirit” beats reason? How can you tell the Holy Spirit from wishful thinking? Dr. Craig seems eager to parrot support for reason when pressed, but his true evaluation gives it a secondary role. More from Craig:

It is the self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit that gives us the fundamental knowledge of Christianity’s truth. Therefore, the only role left for argument and evidence to play is a subsidiary role. (Reasonable Faith, p. 47)

Why bother showing the grounding of his belief? That’s really hard! So he just assumes it and declares it self-authenticating. (I wonder why science never takes this shortcut? Maybe because it’s not a reliable route to the truth.)

We do find some rationalization for this position:

It seems to me inconceivable that God would allow any believer to be in a position where he would be rationally obliged to commit apostasy and renounce Christ. (Source)

Wow—the guy’s got two doctorates and this is what he comes up with? Just assume God and fit the facts to that assumption?

Even [people] who are given no good reason to believe and many persuasive reasons to disbelieve have no excuse, because the ultimate reason they do not believe is that they have deliberately rejected God’s Holy Spirit. (Reasonable Faith, p. 50)

Did you see that coming? That’s impressive blame shifting—now it’s the atheist’s fault! Craig elaborates with an analysis of their motivations:

When a person refuses to come to Christ, it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Spirit on his heart. No one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God. (Reasonable Faith, p. 47)

Aha—so I love darkness. Got it. Yeah, what else could explain it?

More sources of delusion

William Lane Craig has plenty of company in Crazy Town. Are you a Christian who needs a pat on the head and assurance that you’ve backed the right horse? You can check your reason at the door, believe whatever the pastor tells you, and have confidence that you’re right.

  • Martin Luther said: “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—more frequently than not—struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”
  • The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
  • Apologist Greg Koukl said, “Intuitional truth doesn’t require a defense—a justification of the steps that brought one to this knowledge—because this kind of truth isn’t a result of reasoning by steps to a conclusion. It’s an obvious truth that no rational person who understands the nature of the issue would deny.”
  • Philosopher Alvin Plantinga said, “But lack of evidence, if indeed evidence is lacking, is no grounds for atheism.”
  • The statement of faith of Answers in Genesis begins: “The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”
  • Kurt Wise has a PhD in geology from Harvard but is a young-earth Creationist. He has an unusual relationship with evidence: “If all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate.”

An appeal for reason

But the Bible makes clear that Jesus intended his miracles to be evidence of his claims. He said, “Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works” (John 14:11). Demanding evidence is actually biblically supported.

To paraphrase physicist Paul Dirac: in science one tries to tell people, in a way understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in religion, one tries to tell people, in a grand and mysterious way, something they have no reason to believe—that an invisible God actually exists, that prayers are really answered, and that there is an afterlife.

Continue with More Sloppy Thinking from William Lane Craig

[The White Queen said:]
“When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day.
Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as
six impossible things before breakfast.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 6/4/14.)

Image credit: joseloya, flickr, CC

 

"I have a DhK, a doctorate in hard knocks. My undergraduate degree is a bunch ..."

A Distillation of Crazy
"But they didn't have pencil-thin mustaches, not like suave Errol Flynn:https://youtu.be/cXQS4S3vgGA"

A Distillation of Crazy
"That's some serious mustachery."

A Distillation of Crazy
"I think the idea is that all terminal degrees are the same. By that logic, ..."

A Distillation of Crazy

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • skl

    “But the Bible makes clear that Jesus intended his miracles to be evidence of his claims. He said, “Do not believe me unless I do the works
    of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works””

    All of Christianity seems based on miracles, which are by definition un-reasonable.
    If any of the miracles did occur, the evidence for them, in the form of witnesses, is long gone.

    • Doubting Thomas

      All of Christianity seems based on miracles, which are by definition un-reasonable.
      If any of the miracles did occur, the evidence for them, in the form of witnesses, is long gone.

      Which is why it’s a bad idea to try to prove religious claims using miracles. You’d think an all-knowing god would understand that.

      • Kevin K

        And yet … how does one know that the New Testament character called Dumbledore Jesus is a god-man? Because it can perform miracles. Without the miracles, including especially the last one of coming back from the dead and rising bodily into heaven, Jesus is just another nut-job wandering around Jerusalem throwing spitballs at the Romans.

        It is only the miracles that separates the character into some uber-human.

    • Susan

      All of Christianity seems based on miracles, which are by definition un-reasonable.

      Yep.

      If any of the miracles did occur, the evidence for them in the form of witnesses

      Witnesses, which by your definition, ignore reason.

      So, no. Not evidence.

    • Greg G.

      If any of the miracles did occur, the evidence for them, in the form of witnesses, is long gone.

      The evidence is, at best, hearsay evidence, but more likely fictional accounts based on the literature of the day, where they were done by other people.

    • We don’t have miracles; we have stories about miracles.

      Kinda not at all the same thing.

  • Aside from all that, where do they get off claiming atheists don’t wrestle with such questions? We do all the time. They all love to play at being mind readers.

  • Brian Davis

    Is there no greater pride and hubris than to rename your intuition, and claim it is the whispering of an infallible god? It must be nice to be that special compared to everyone else in the world.

  • Grimlock

    My impression is that doubt is encouraged… As long as what you do when doubting is stuff to enforce your waning beliefs; praying, reading the Bible, and whatnot.

    • Doubting Thomas

      I think it’s one of the head Mormons that gave the advice of “Doubt your doubts.” In essence, it’s a plea for gullibility.

  • Castilliano

    I was a Christian rationally obliged toward apostasy.
    My choice was to remain Christian, but the belief shroud fizzled away against my will, The sense of clarity which followed as I shed my cognitive dissonance was liberating. It was a mental breath of fresh air. I can’t fathom suffocating myself with false beliefs such as WLC’s, and have difficulty understanding how I once believed so other than by chalking it up to ignorance & culture.

    So when WLC says his god wouldn’t let apostasy based on reason happen, my experiences give further evidence there’s no Yahweh.
    When he follows it by saying somebody should still choose Yahweh if there was an imbalance of evidence and argument, he undermines his first point and his intellectual integrity.
    Then he caps it by saying such refusals are based on a love of darkness, which completely obliterates his efforts to link reason to belief, tars those outside his subculture, and undermines his moral integrity too. Does he not think people know kind (light-loving) non-Christians?
    It’s become a Frankenstein argument, built of disjointed parts to live, but it struggles to function and only sows fear, while displaying the madness of the creator.

    WLC in a nutshell: People should be Christian because Yahweh wouldn’t make it reasonable not to believe, and if he did it’d still be a bad choice, in fact, an evil choice, no matter the weight of evidence and argument. Essentially, be Christian or refuse and show your evil nature. He could have just stripped all the “reason” elements.

  • Thomas Price

    “Christians are genuinely deeper, more thoughtful people than unbelievers are because Christians do wrestle with and think about these very profound, ultimate questions. . . . We do encourage hard thinking and self-reflection.”

    On the contrary, William Lane Craig, the fact I have thought about these questions is precisely why I am an atheist.

    • JP415

      Christians might think about these questions, but they don’t think about them clearly. (Otherwise, they wouldn’t be Christians.)

    • Jim Jones

      There’s a reason that they say that Jesus was a shepherd and his followers are his sheep.

  • Tony D’Arcy

    Oh I love the “six impossible things before breakfast” from Alice in Wonderland ! Good one Bob ! How many rabbit holes does WLC have to lead us down before we realise he is talking bollocks ?

    When a supposed great apologist for Christianity like WLC, tells us to ignore the empirical evidence, and instead trust in the ‘holy spirit’ , I am very sadly reminded of the likes of Charles Manson and Jim Jones. As for the other Christian luminaries, such as Plantinga, mentioned in the article, their views are just as shallow, sallow and as baseless as Craig’s.

    • Michael Neville

      “Six impossible things before breakfast” is from Through the Looking Glass.

      /pedant

      • Tony D’Arcy

        15 Hail Marys before breakfast ! And the whip on the back.

  • Joe

    Why allow the atheists to seize control of the word “reason”?

    We didn’t seize it, it came of it’s own free-will. It was tired of being misused and ignored.

    • Kodie

      I think one of the ways religion takes control over people is stealing all the words so you think everything is Christian in origin or by association – love, justice, marriage, family, even the beginning of the universe, the beginning of life… how people think there were no myths of significant similarity before Christianity came along, how nobody ever had experiences like characters in the bible before it was written. I mean, how many Christians find the bible the word of god because the stories about humans can be so relateable? Wow, it’s just like god is telling us about ourselves, and not just like any other work of fiction, ever! Humans could never have made such keen observations on our own. Parables and allegories, advice, and stuff like wondering why life has to be so hard – holy crap, they used to wonder that too, isn’t that amazing? Isn’t it nice to know there’s a disgusting answer for that, and perfection is a real thing and not just something I can imagine or wish for. How many Christians have used the terrible argument that perfection is real or else we couldn’t imagine it?

      I never had a time when I thought anything in the bible was literal, but totally metaphorical, totally mythical, occasionally timelessly wise, and I think it’s that last thing that hooks people. As long as people keep promoting the bible as an authority from god’s own mind, they wish to associate everything that’s useful to it. I am not going to say “reason” isn’t part of it, though. Reason, i.e. rationality, logic, no. I imagine they think they are reasonable when they use an argument for this, and don’t worry if it’s contradicted by that – each Christian apologetic attempts to make its own tight logic, regardless of contradictions elsewhere. Emotional appeals, marketing, threats – those are all the reasons they have tried to use on us. When they speak, especially if they sound like they do have a brain inside their skull, they think those sound just like reason, just like they think ID sounds just like science. Lack of critical reasoning skills means they can’t recognize the marketing tricks, so it feels to them that they are using reason, and we must have some other reason they’ve been trained to think why those brilliant arguments won’t get through to us.

  • I wish Christians would just accept that they believe on faith and that reason has nothing to do with it.

    • TheNuszAbides

      plenty of them do that. it hardly makes any difference other than to how smug or unintentionally-ironically-pitying their corresponding attitude towards non-believing rationalists is.

  • Bravo Sierra

    “No one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God. (Reasonable Faith, p. 47)”

    In other words, I must love the dark place he intends to hide my body after I reject his religious nonsense.

    • Ficino

      So all that stuff about mean people at church, being mad at God, failing to understand Aquinas, not understanding the gospel — it’s all just a cover for the real truth that I like night time? OK, cool.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_4pirCKxE

      Oh, whoops, I forgot – the frat boy investment banker dude that Christine goes off with at the end is the muscular Christian. Got it.

  • Kevin K

    Craig annoys the fuck out of me. What in the world is self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit? That doesn’t actually mean anything. Do Christians actually think that means something?

    This is why aliens stick probes up our anuses.

    • Michael Neville

      I understand Craig to mean that he listens to the voice in his head. If he didn’t have religion as an excuse he could be considered psychotic.

      • Kevin K

        Craig is probably still mystified by the “got your nose” trick you do with babies.

      • Ellabulldog

        Someone that does what Craig does is no believer. He is a snake oil salesman. I doubt he believes at all.

        I doubt many popes believed.

        All about money and power. Craig makes money doing this. If atheism made more money many of these apologists would switch over and get a new job.

    • Greg G.

      self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit

      That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you think about God. You have a defective brain if you don’t get it or if you get it with the wrong god. WLC knows this because his warm fuzzy is not defective.

      • Lark62

        Or, that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you realize the eternal, all powerful, all knowing creator of the universe agrees with you … on everything.

      • Kevin K

        Except that’s not “self-authenticating” … that’s “recipient-reported”.

        It’s total bafflegab.

      • Doubting Thomas

        I’m guessing if a Hindu has the same type of “self-authenticating” feelings about the truth of Hinduism, then WLC will spew some word salad about how it’s not the right kind of warm fuzzy and therefore isn’t valid.

        • Kevin K

          And you’ve just identified the precise-and-exact reason why Craig’s line of bullshit doesn’t work.

          If indeed there was one-and-only one god, who wished to be known, and the way that one-and-only god made itself known is through the “self-authenticating witness of the Caspar the Friendly Ghost Holy Spirit”, then each and every person having a religious conversion experience would of necessity turn to the same religion. Instead, you have people becoming Christian in Christian countries, Hindu in Hindi countries (or did I get that backwards), Buddhists in Buddhist countries, and on and on. And what of conversion experiences in such “New Age™” nonsense as est? Or even $cientology?

          I don’t deny that something happens in the brains of people. And that it’s fairly potent. What it isn’t is a visit by a spirit of any kind.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Yup. I don’t have to doubt someone’s experience in order to doubt the conclusions they’ve drawn based on that experience.

        • Kevin K

          Yes, that’s it exactly. The experience is real enough — it can even be duplicated in the lab. Attributing that experience to an external something-or-other (Yahweh, Krishna, thetans) is something else altogether.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Seriously, Doubting Thomas? That’s all it takes for you,simply to doubt something is real
          because you yourself haven’t experienced it? Wow! I literally don’t know what to say to that…wow.

        • Joe

          I saw a unicorn yesterday. True story.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Learn to read better. I don’t doubt that the experience is real. It’s the bullshit woo that always seems to follow that I doubt.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I’m not sure what you think you mean by dismissing someone’s experience simply because YOU doubt it Doubting Thomas, but my reply to that is: SO WHAT? What does your doubt have to do with the reality/ unreality of someone else’s experience, if they perceive it as real? Unless you can debunk whatever the experience is, what does it matter if you doubt the reality/uneality of it? The point of YOUR doubt means what, exactly? Clarify.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Are you f’n daft??!! Let me highlight something for you.

          I don’t have to doubt someone’s experience in order to doubt the conclusions they’ve drawn based on that experience.

          It was the very first post you replied to. Learn to read.

        • Kodie

          I have no doubt that you experienced something. What you label it is only by the power of suggestion.

        • adam

          “What does your doubt have to do with the reality/ unreality of someone else’s experience, if they perceive it as real? ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/576b5354eb99d2993f45ae1c298d7ea1beb6be63a081a92e69a99632f9b856b3.jpg

        • adam

          “What does your doubt have to do with the reality/ unreality of someone else’s experience, if they perceive it as real? ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/786aa041db474d7281572474c8a28d1d8731be60a715708aaf2f858ea4bc78c2.jpg

        • adam

          “What does your doubt have to do with the reality/ unreality of someone else’s experience, if they perceive it as real? ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e80ae3342e94d0907369de9b1ee6138bd97ae2280fa9634600d5ad09d36f6ca2.jpg

        • Kodie

          You haven’t experienced it. You’ve been convinced by your own delusions.

        • adam

          “That’s all it takes for you,simply to doubt something is real
          because you yourself haven’t experienced it?”

          What about us who have actually had these mystic experiences and dismiss them as brain chemistry through science?

          https://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers/extreme-gravity.html

        • JP415

          “I literally don’t know what to say to that…wow.”

          Well, that about sums it up. Next topic, please.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What else *should* we need?

          A *reliable* witness would be necessary for us to believe without experience, and nothing in xtianity is reliably TRUE.

        • aikidaves

          Not to contradict the sentiment, but:

          Hindi is a language, Hindu describes a religion.
          /pedant

        • Kevin K

          Yeah, I kinda figured that was wrong — but I also figured a pedant would be along to correct me.

        • aikidaves

          You’re welcome! 😎

        • Illithid

          There’s a pedant comes down this street about every half-hour. Watch both ways.

        • Greg G.

          I think Craig and Plantinga both say the sensus diviniatis is defective. The idea goes back long before them.

          I doubt that i got the spelling correct. I’m waiting for the cough medicine to kick in so I can get back to sleep so I’m not doing any Googling at this time.

        • MR

          There’s nothing more dangerous than googling while medicating. Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s just missing another t before the a.

          /copyeditor

      • epicurus

        Yes, Craig’s ridiculous defense of knowing his witness is true versus a Mormon’s is painful to listen to, which he did on a podcast many years ago.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        I actually got a warm fuzzy feeling when it dawned on me that I had no reason to believe in god. What the hell does that mean?

  • WLC’s comments make me angry.
    I’m not normally an “angry atheist”, but he is so wrong and so personally insulting, it’s hard not to get a little mad.
    As someone who was devotedly Christian – who was initially persuaded by seemingly rational arguments to become a Christian – and who only reluctantly, after years of agonising investigation, left the faith, his codwallop is especially hurtful.
    In leaving, I had to go against what I wanted – risking my marriage and kids, all my friendships, my employment in ministry, my standing in the community and my personal desires and habits.
    All I ‘gained’ was intellectual integrity.
    It was totally worth it, because integrity is worth it (and my marriage survived, some friendships survived, and I have a job I enjoy).
    My personal ethics are largely unchanged, though I’m more willing to look at evidence on controversial issues and my views on some topics have changed. But I still think servant-heartedness is a solid way for me to feel fulfilled and happy (your mileage may vary).

    I know that I am not supposed to exist, in the Calvinistic framework that I came from. So I’m just lied about instead.

    • Kevin K

      Congratulations on your escape. Seriously, I know that must have been difficult.

      Craig is a self-absorbed bloviating narcissist. How else would you explain the fact that he wrote an entire book detailing the theological reasons why Einstein’s theory of relativity is wrong? Without providing a single equation to back his assertion?

      • Yes, thank you.
        And thank you for the new word: ‘bloviating’.
        Your description is perfect.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        “Self-absorbed bloviating narcissist”? Oh.My.Goodness! Thank you for that,Kevin K; I’m going to write that down!!

        • Michael Neville

          Notice that while Ringo is happy to sneer at atheists, he doesn’t even attempt to defend his fellow Christian apologist, Craig. Perhaps even Ringo, as arrogant and absurd as most apologists are, realizes that defending Craig is a futile endeavor.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Hey, Mr.Neville! I actually have a number of Dr.Craig’s books, including
          one I haven’t read yet (I’ve trying to get around to it,so)—It’s actually not my place to try and defend him; from my perspective he does a pretty admirable job himself.But, let me ask you this question, Mr.Neville:Why must we be considered “arrogant and absurd” simply because we don’t agree with the opinions of atheists? It may surprise you to know that when the subject of atheism comes up in conversations with my co-religionists, I don’t allow anyone to disparage,insult, run down,or utter perjoratives in discussing your concerns or contentions. I don’t have a problem with atheists per se; I normally don’t engage with websites of this nature, knowing that my views and those of my fellow Christian theists will be subject to scorn, mockery, ridicule, contempt, and actual hatred. But I won’t shy await from the hatred and contempt, because I am called to engage with the world, not run from it.So…there you have, Mr.Neville. God Bless

        • Ellabulldog

          Your religious assertions are subject to questioning. If you can not defend your assertions then it is your fault. it isn’t hatred, ridicule, mockery or scorn at all. It is your feeling of frustration when losing an argument that you never had a possibility of winning.

          Quite simply you are blaming the messenger and getting angry at atheists for pointing out that your faith is irrational and without evidence.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I don’t mind questioning of my beliefs/worldviews, Ellabulldog. But unless you’ve been reading another website, I would think that honesty would compel you to admit that some of the replies that I’ve been subject to HAVE been viciously perjorative, hateful, and insulting,so let’s not engage in fantasy here. Contrary to your assumptions, I’m not frustrated by anyone on this site; i may not give the expected answer to an enquiry or challenge, but I think I can hold my own, and I’m thick-skinned enough to withstand the vile insults I’ve been subjected to; truth be told, I’m having a ton of fun; I actually appreciate atheistic contentions; they solidify my position and let me know that I can’t take my faith for granted. So, let me pause here and say: Thanks, my dearly- loved atheist friends!!! ☺☺. If we wake up in the morning and the sun is rising in the West, that will mean one of two things:(1), I was wrong about everything I believed,or (2), Almighty God has a great sense of humor!! Until then, you have NO arguments that can EVER turn me away from Him. PEACE IN CHRIST, ALWAYS!!!

        • Ellabulldog

          What vile insults? Your assertions don’t deserve respect. I doubt someone attacked you personally as that is not allowed.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m thick-skinned enough to withstand the vile insults I’ve been subjected to

          Another lie from our Christian liar. I remember how bent out of shape you were when I used the word “fuck”. You were so thin-skinned that you threatened never to speak to me again. A threat which lasted almost 24 hours. But it did divert attention from the fact that I asked you a difficult question which you still haven’t answered.

        • epeeist

          But it did divert attention from the fact that I asked you a difficult question which you still haven’t answered.

          Hey think yourself lucky, he hasn’t responded to any of my posts even though they were very polite.

        • BlackMamba44

          Awwww, poor little tone troll

        • Kodie

          Most theists who come by here at least attempt at a discussion of some substance. You’re just here to whack off! It makes you so happy to mock us without any substance to back it up, so how are you supposed to be dealt with? You’re obviously a lonely old man with nothing better to do, and a very firm opinion and no desire to respect us or learn anything new. That’s why you’re being told to go fuck yourself. It’s obvious you just have nothing to add to the conversation, but you still want attention, that’s called “troll”. So don’t blame us for treating you poorly, and don’t think it’s just because you’re a Christian. It’s because you are an asshole.

        • JP415

          He probably had no idea who Craig was before he read this post. He doesn’t strike me as being very well read.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Sorry to disappoint you, JP415, but I’ve been acquainted with William Lane Craig’s work for years, so that was an unwarranted assumption on your part. And while I didn’t go to college/university, I am a life-long, voracious reader; I have a small library of about 4-500 books,98% theological, the rest miscellaneous. (I do enjoy political thrillers,and I’m a history buff,so…)—While I admit that I’m not an expert grammarian, I can put a sentence together well enough to be understood. Peace.

        • Doubting Thomas
        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          That’s cute, Doubting Thomas! Actually “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was one of my very favorite T.V.shows; I watched EVERY single episode! (You remember when the little Binards stole the Enterprise? That was an AWESOME episode!!!

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’ve never watched an episode. Sorry.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Really? Oh my,,,You are seriously deprived! (Just kidding

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Citing evidence is ‘self-bloviating’?

          Dude, you have some SERIOUS self-examination to do, and not just of your testes.

      • al kimeea

        Maybe Craig should ask the Japanese how worng Einstein was…

        • Kevin K

          Ha! He probably uses a GPS to get to his speaking engagements — which wouldn’t work without an understanding of time dilation.

        • al kimeea

          A lawyer once told me there’s no evidence supporting Albert, just conjecture. I mentioned Hiroshima and GPSs. He huffed that I have too much time on my hands, took his ball and went home. Or to his office.

        • Kevin K

          Both general and special theories of relativity have been passed the evidence bar many, many times over. Most recently with the detection of gravitational waves — predicted by Einstein but never detected until recently.

        • al kimeea

          Yep, all kinds of things have been shown – gravitational lensing, space acting like a fabric – and it’s not like this info isn’t out in public…

          You may like how this discussion with the lawyer began. A story appeared on the lawyers political website that argued there are no indigenous writers on the NYT Best Sellers list because… wait for it… of how science perceives the colour yellow…

    • Congratulations on your exit, and thanks for sharing your story.

      Have you listened to the Living After Faith podcast? It’s by Rich Lyons and his wife, talking about his exit from religion. It makes me very happy that I was never deeply in Christianity.

  • Michael Neville

    Alvin Plantinga said, “But lack of evidence, if indeed evidence is lacking, is no grounds for atheism.”

    Why does anyone take Plantinga seriously? For a PhD philosopher he appears pretty ignorant about basic logic.

    • Joe

      You wouldn’t want him as your defence attorney, that’s for sure.

      • TheNuszAbides

        well – not in any Earthly court …

    • Susan

      he appears pretty ignorant about basic logic

      He did some work on modal logic.

      But it all goes out the window in his Jesus arguments.

      Also, he didn’t seem to bother to consult with science on the subject of evolutionary biology.

      ‘Cause Jesus.

      • Michael Neville

        In his argument against materialistic naturalism he also misuses statistics.

    • Kevin K

      Yeah, I’ve read a little Plantinga (always have to check the spelling … it always seems misspelled) and his thinking doesn’t seem to rise beyond “god-shaped hole”.

  • epicurus

    Randal Rauser’s book “Is the Atheist My Neighbor? : Rethinking Christian Attitudes Toward Atheism” does a good job of highlighting the problems with the rebellion thesis put forward by people like Craig.

    • epicurus

      That is, I should add, highlighting the problems from a Christian perspective.

    • Kevin K

      Well, I would think that one primary problem is that the thesis implies a certain diminution of Yahweh’s “omni” powers.

      If an all-powerful being wishes to be known, then what is the barrier to its being known? The fact that humans can “willfully” reject the knowledge means that the all-powerful being is anything but. And if an all-benevolent being cannot “forgive” the rejection of this knowledge, but is instead so petty and mean that it would consign the human soul to an eternity of torment — that’s not “benevolence”.

      I’ll never understand why Christian theologians insist on an omni god.

      • epicurus

        Because it makes Him greater than non omni I guess, just like the Arian controversy of the 4th and 5th centuries, Jesus is greater if He’s fully God than not. Toss in a heaping of Greek philosophy and voila! It does come back to bite one in the bum later on though, trying to square it with the less than admirable portrayals and ideas in the Bible.

        • Kevin K

          Yes, but a non-omni god solves so many other problems. The Problem of Evil goes away if the god in question is not omni-benevolent but rather omni-don’t-give-a-crap. And the whole conundrum of why an omni-benevolent god even create such a thing as a “hell” in the first place is also avoided. Because hell in and of itself demonstrates the god is neither powerful enough to avoid having souls be assigned there, and not benevolent enough to be able to forgive them for whatever gets them sent there.

          Christians really need to re-think their god. A “sorta-powerful, doesn’t-really-give-a-crap” god would be much more accessible to non-believers than this ultra-super-awesome god they’ve created.

        • epicurus

          Just tossing out ideas here – I wonder if it’s a case of early Christians trying to out do or out power other beliefs in a polytheistic society without realizing or caring where it would lead, then later Christians just feeling they need to defend it because it has become ingrained and tradition, as well as avoiding the painful idea that one’s God has become diminished. Maybe a bit like the books of the Bible that are generally recognized as forgeries but there is no way they will be dropped from future editions- the tradition is just too strong and the outrage from lay people would be unbearable.

        • Kevin K

          Yeah, the evolution of Yahweh’s properties would make an interesting article/series. It’s clear that the earliest depictions of him did not have him have any of the omni-properties that Christians have appended to him. He’s powerful but not all-powerful. He’s also humanoid in form, and acknowledges himself to be one of many gods. It’s only later on that the concepts of single-god, with omni-properties, and non-humanoid-looking (not amenable to being looked at at all) come into play.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Like dropping Pluto from the list of major planets?

        • epicurus

          Are non scientists freaking out over that? I haven’t really been following the reaction.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Just a LOL…

        • TheNuszAbides

          The Problem of Evil goes away if the god in question is not omni-benevolent but rather omni-don’t-give-a-crap

          … or not omnipotent, but rather Beset By Cosmic Adversary, or part of an extensive pantheon (I dunno enough about Hinduism as to whether they have an excuse for destructive [or at least profoundly uninspired] deityhood/leadership).

          Apropos of next to nothing, my comfort zone with this in worldbuilding/storytelling terms is when the Good Guy Gods are either abysmally subtle/vague (practically deist), silent (i.e. just as questionable as they are here IRL), or whose cults and powers simply have low influence, and the Bad Mean Nasty Gods are littering our intrepid party’s lives with copious evidence of their existence on the regular. The ‘Cthulhu mythos’ of Lovecraft and arguably the Warhammer Fantasy game world from Games Workshop are my go-to examples.

  • RichardSRussell

    William Lane Craig has 2 doctorates? In what? And can the granting institutions be sued for malpractice?

    • Kevin K

      I can guarantee that neither of them is in physics.

    • Michael Neville

      Craig has doctorates in philosophy from the University of Birmingham in England and theology from the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München in Germany. They are both legitimate universities.

      • RichardSRussell

        I’m reminded of Richard Dawkins’s observation that theology shouldn’t be considered a legitimate academic discipline at all, no more than, say, phrenology or numerology.

        • Kevin K

          Careful, or I’ll report you to the Ministry of Magic!

        • Michael Neville

          Phrenology is a legitimate study. I’m a great believer in retrophrenology [LINK].

          Modern retrophrenology has evolved from the “Hit and Hope” method to greater sophistication. Innovations in 21st century technology forwarded various technological advances that revolutionized the progress of increasing the sophistication of retrophrenology which have benefited from the endlessly receding boundaries of science which have pushed the development of new possibilities in bringing forward rapid new ideas when it comes to upgrading the previous static knowledge of this study, encouraging scientists to come up with new and novel inventions to further the cause.

        • Kevin K

          Holy shit. So many words!

        • RichardSRussell

          I bow in gracious defeat before the sublime wisdom of the estimable Dr. Pratchett.

        • Jim Jones

          And you can, I have found, ‘adjust’ the personality of the studied human by judicious tapping of its skull with a ball peen hammer.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          a la Bugs Bunny?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          That’s Dawkins’ opinion, and I’m sure you’ve heard the timeworn adage about that,right RichardSRussell?

        • RichardSRussell

          I’ve heard a variety of opinions about other people’s opinions. Which one in particular did you have in mind?

        • Jim Jones

          In all other disciplines one studies actual events and things.

          In religion, everyone studies what other people say or have said about it. There is no research except for that.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Some opinions have EVIDENCE to support them, LCR.

        • Ellabulldog

          or astrology or tarot card reading:)

        • Kelvin Swords

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c96139dace1b55bc5d348669e45f62e2378260710de47c5f50ccc3bc53581eb4.jpg HEY!!!

          I read Tarot Cards!

          I just don’t use them to “predict the future” or to “RUN my life!” That would be no better than flipping a coin for every decision I ever make.

          But they ARE a useful tool for getting a person to look at a problem in ways that normal thought processes will overlook. THAT happens all the time with me when I just “play it by ear.”

          As well, they do a great job of letting me know when I am injecting personal ego into a real-world problem!

          The problem is when people use Tarot Cards as Crystal Balls or Determiners of Reality.

          Image is the card I use to make sure I focus when I am too easily distracted. From the Robin Wood Tarot deck. The Seven of Cups.

        • Kodie

          I like to use the Myers-Briggs test to get a positive spin on my flaws and come up with some good adjectives to use on a resume or cover letter.

        • Kelvin Swords

          You’re a lot more brave than I am… then again, Myers-Briggs probably has nicer things to say about you.

          “Myers-Briggs always DID like you best!” (With apologies to the Smothers Brothers!)

        • Kodie

          The first time I took it was a high school psychology class, and it had me just about in the middle. It might have been a shortened version. When I’ve taken it online, I have no way of knowing how far either way on the line I scored. Anyway, I’ve heard it’s about like your star sign. I’ve looked at all the answers, and that’s about right. I have gone INFJ to ISTP. I don’t even consider myself that introverted. Pick a personality you want to be, and gather some positive adjectives to describe yourself. https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

        • MR

          A friend has taken to insisting that everyone lay out their Chinese cookie fortunes on the table and then each person chooses the one that best applies.

          Est unusquisque faber ipsae suae fortunae.

        • Mike, a deep state agent

          In bed?

      • Ellabulldog

        so he got useless degrees in woo…:)

    • Since he’s not going to use them, perhaps he can give them back.

  • RichardSRussell

    In my essay “How We Decide”, which Bob was kind enuf to reprint here back in 2016, I lay out the 8 methods we humans use to arrive at conclusions, in order from most to least reliable. #1 is logic, and following closely behind it is #2, reason. Way down at the bottom, at #8 and way below #7, is faith. But that’s really all the TBs have going for them, so they do their damnedest to try to conflate the term with more reliable methods. “You have faith in your parents, don’t you?” No, you have trust. “You have faith that the lights will come on when you flip the switch, don’t you?” No, you have confidence. If you have actual evidence, you cite it; you’re not reduced to appeals to faith.

    Here the apologists try to conflate faith with reason, but they’re no more successful at it than they are with regard to trust or confidence. They’re basically con artists desperately hoping that enuf suckers will continue to fall for the con that they can continue to put caviar on the table and Cadillacs in the garage.

    • Kevin K

      …And are aided by the knowledge that PT Barnum was off by at least an exponent with regard to the rate at which suckers are born.

    • Foxglove

      “You have faith that the lights will come on when you flip the switch, don’t you?” No, you have confidence.

      This was perhaps the first thing I ever taught my son–what a light-switch does. He was hardly more than a babe in arms when one day I demonstrated the principle of the light-switch to him–on, off, light, dark. It only took about four goes for him to get the idea. So he tried it himself. It worked! Fascinating discovery! But I never told him anything about “God”.

      These days he’s into computers. He knows a hell of a lot more about switches and that sort of thing than I do. And he doesn’t believe in God.

      • Jim Jones

        Occasionally the switch doeasn’t turn the light on. But we don’t then resort to praying for the favors of some god to restore it to full functionality – usually we find a new light bulb does the trick.

        • Foxglove

          Oh, that works for you, too! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

  • hzcummi

    The seven days of Genesis convey seven different time periods on Earth. Five are from the ancient past. The second day is of modern mankind, of which Adam and Eve were formed. The third day is of the future, when Yeshua will forever rule over the New Earth (Feast of Tabernacles).

    The order of the days follow the same sequence as the Seven Feasts of Yehovah. First is Passover, which is Wednesday, the Fourth day, which is the only day of Creation Week that Moses was shown. The next four days were periods of restoration that followed extinction on Earth. That is why we have the fossil record going back millions of years.

    Yes, Creation Week was 168 straight hours, being one week. But that is not what God was showing Moses. Rather it was the ancient history of Earth, the history of modern mankind, and the future era of peace and immortality when there will be no more death. But churches and creationism do not want to teach the truth. They want to teach their own foolishness, causing unbelievers (secular world) to reject the Word of God.

    Herman Cummings
    ephraim7@aol.com

    • Kevin K

      Ooo. Numerology! That’s like astrology without the stars, you know…

      • RichardSRussell

        Ya gotta just love the way the TBs use declarative didactic sentences proclaiming the most outlandish BS the same way they’d say “the tabletop is flat” and “water is wet”.

        • Kevin K

          Ha! Yes, I noticed that. I would take credit for a one-post dismissal of the purveyor of said nonsense … but looking at his history, he appears to be the archetype for a hit-and-run commenter.

          I kinda don’t have the heart to tell him that at the beginning of Earth’s history, the days were less than 24-hours in length. Only about 18, in fact. That would screw up his numerology something fierce.

        • Foxglove

          . . . the days were less than 24-hours in length. Only about 18, in fact.

          Doesn’t this kind of prove the existence of God? How often people complain, “There aren’t enough hours in a day!” So God gave us more.

        • Kevin K

          Well, it does prove the existence of tidal forces…

        • Foxglove

          Damn! I was sure I could work God in there somehow.

      • hzcummi

        Young Earth creationism denies scientific reality. Old Earth creationism denies literal interpretation. Applying the seven appointed times (moadim) as a template is the only approach that embraces all truth, including the 4.6 billion year history of Earth, the five previous advents of mankind, and literal 12 hour days which Moses was shown.

        Herman

        • Kevin K

          Or…you’re trying to square the circle that is the disconnect between the words written in the myth and the scientific facts.

          The Genesis myth is a “just so” story — it’s actually a combination of two other stories. Written by primitive people who didn’t know where the sun went at night, thought that all the stars and planets were contained within a dome a fixed distance away from Earth, which was itself flat and immovable. And the dome protected Earth from the waters above.

          As a myth, it’s a pretty good one. As a science project — not so much. As prophecy — inane.

        • Kodie

          I think the nutty ones who try to search for secret codes in the bible are my favorite.

        • Kevin K

          My Facebook feed this morning had a post about someone who — yet again — has discerned a specific date for the End of the World(TM), based on a careful reading of various numbers. It’s in June.

        • Kodie

          Good. Summer’s so hot. Can’t wait to miss it.

        • Mike, a deep state agent

          What time? I want to make sure that I’m doing something fun when the Rupture hits.

        • That’s Rupture®, pal. You’ll get into copyright trouble with God’s lawyers if you’re not careful.

        • David Cromie

          I was under the impression that the supposed christer ‘god’ was into ‘Rapture’.

        • adam

          Mine too.

          but for them it works so well.

          they have secret decoder rings that nobody else has that allows them to cherry pick their bible
          then they get ‘persecuted’ for being so nut-so delusion, which they then use the bible to claim this persecution demonstrates that they have an inside connection to their ‘God’.

        • Kevin K

          The problem with most of them is that they’re so fixated on their idea, that that haven’t the ability to actually reply to any critique of it. Instead, they merely repeat their fixation over-and-over.

        • Max Doubt

          “Young Earth creationism denies scientific reality. Old Earth creationism denies literal interpretation. Applying the seven appointed times (moadim) as a template is the only approach that embraces all truth, including the 4.6 billion year history of Earth, the five previous advents of mankind, and literal 12 hour days which Moses was shown.”

          Yet you haven’t even found any flaws in my critique of your silly assertions above. Until you do, I think we can all agree that I am at least as correct in my understanding as you could possibly be in yours. How ’bout it, Herman, are you going to stop preaching and start discussing? Or are you going to hide behind your willful ignorance and hope that protects you from honestly considering your beliefs?

        • basenjibrian

          The latter. By far the best choice when you are engaged in MSUing (Making Shit Up).

        • adam
        • basenjibrian

          Herman: It is so very sad that Time Cube is no longer an active “project”.
          You would have been an outstanding assistant to Dr. Otis Eugene “Gene” Ray, DCub (Doctorate of Cubism)

        • Michael Neville

          Herman does sound like a candidate for “Wisest Human”. But first we have to determine if Herman believes that Greenwich Mean Time is an international conspiracy, that all modern education is designed to deny reality, and whether or not each day actually consists of four days.

        • adam

          “Applying the seven appointed times (moadim) as a template is the only approach that embraces all truth, ”

          Science embraces truth, religion embraces emotional delusion.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e5bf0bb965dfea057390a60ed5831b4a71e150c0766d79eca7bf17a4b30f682.jpg

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Xtianity denies scientific reality. All you’ve got is retconning.

    • Max Doubt

      “The seven days of Genesis convey seven different time periods on Earth.”

      Of course you can’t know if that was a prediction about the seven fingers Mr. Bauder had. Yes, he was my wood-shop teacher in high school.

      “Five are from the ancient past.”

      No. Three are. Two are for how many apples I have in the fruit basket in the kitchen.

      “The second day is of modern mankind, of which Adam and Eve were formed.”

      No. The second day meant two, a pair, the Wright Brothers. Or in some versions, the second day indicates the second floor of the apartment building I live in.

      “The third day is of the future, when Yeshua will forever rule over the New Earth (Feast of Tabernacles).”

      You are so fucking wrong. The third day is about my third car, a 1967 red Mustang. Disagree? Prove me wrong.

      “The order of the days follow the same sequence as the Seven Feasts of Yehovah.”

      The order of anything that goes from 1 to 7 is, uh, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, same as the order of anything else that has seven of something or other.

      You need to fix all your mistakes, prove that all your assertions are objectively supported better than my explanations, and if you can’t, admit you’re talking out your ass. Then I’ll go through the rest of the results of your little Christian masturbation session and show that everything else you wrote was nonsense, too.

      The challenge for you is to set aside your willful ignorance and work up the honesty to admit you’ve got nothing but a bunch of wild-ass guesses. Frankly I don’t think you’ve got the honesty or human decency to do that. Surprise us?

      • adam

        Upvote x 10

        • basenjibrian

          Upvote X the eternity we are supposed to spend being tortured by the Lawd while the oh so moral Christians celebrate. (Because they are so very, very moral, dontchaknow?) I know I dream of torturing people I disagree with for eternity!

    • BlackMamba44

      I don’t reject the “Word of God”. For me to reject the “Word of God” I would have to believe that “God” actually exists and has a “Word”. I don’t.

      You got any evidence? If you do, cough it up.

      TIP: The bible is not evidence.

    • GalapagosPete

      Were you there, Herman? Because if you weren’t, I’m afraid we cannot accept your claims as authoritative. There is no reason to believe you know any more about this than I do, or anyone else here does.

      And, yes, TIP: the bible is not evidence.

    • adam
      • GalapagosPete

        And that’s a Spider-Man *Treasury Edition*, so it’s *way* more authoritative.

    • Jim Jones

      Why doesn’t the bible mention Theia? Or the Missoula floods?

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Oh, bullshit.

      That’s pure retconning to meet your desires.

      • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

        Why do so many of these apologist doofuses want us to have their e-mail addresses?

        • Greg G.

          It would be a sin for them to subscribe to porno sites themselves but if someone else does it for them…

  • Bob Jase

    How can non-believers be blamed for their non-belief if, as Craig, et al, say, faith come from grace which only god can grant?

    But consistancy is not part of dogma.

    • epicurus

      And Craig isn’t even a Calvinist, as far as I know.

      • Kevin K

        I’m not so sure about that. He’s certainly a fan of the Divine Command theory, which is pretty Calvinist.

    • Yup–I’m an atheist because of God. It’s hard to imagine him having the grounds to complain then.

  • Scooter

    I find this quote very interesting especially coming from an agnostic.
    “Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close.
    Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close.
    Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close.
    Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.
    Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough.
    Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close.
    Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough.
    Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park.
    Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.”
    ― David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

    • GalapagosPete

      We have no need to offer such “proof,” people who claim there are gods need to provide good evidence of their claim. The rest of his statement are either irrelevant, trivial or delusional.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Says who, Galapagos Pete? YOU? You don’t have to offer proof to bolster YOUR claims? Try again, my friend…

        • GalapagosPete

          What claims about the existence of god have I made?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Didn’t you claim that Almighty God DIDN’T exist,Galapagos Pete? If you didn’t, my apologies; wrong post.

        • GalapagosPete

          Nope, and apology accepted. Easy to get confused in these threads. But if I ever do claim as a fact that “Almighty God” doesn’t exist, please do call me on it, because I better be able to back that claim up!

        • Joe

          I doubt that was a genuine apology. Christian apologists like Ringo here don’t really interact with our arguments, only with what they are taught to argue against. He got caught out but he’ll try that trick again sometime.

          His intent was to flip the burden of proof. As soon as somebody says “god doesn’t exist” they are on solid ground (sort of) and they go on the attack, changing the subject and derailing the conversation.

        • GalapagosPete

          Perhaps, but it never hurts to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

        • adam
        • GalapagosPete

          Well…okay, sometimes it does…

        • TheNuszAbides

          As soon as somebody says “god doesn’t exist” they are on solid ground (sort of)

          i’d go with ‘equal footing’ rather than ‘solid ground’, keeping the ‘(sort of)’ of course. in this context they are never on solid ground and never have been.

        • epeeist

          i’d go with ‘equal footing’ rather than ‘solid ground’

          Absolutely, in both cases “God exists” and “God does not exist” there are ontological commitments and hence equal burdens of proof.

        • David Cromie

          Not so.

          The onus of proof lies with the person making a claim, especially one involving supposed supernatural entities, and their interactions with people. If one were to claim that they keep a unicorn in their garden, but could not provide any evidence of the fact, then we would be inclined to call that person a liar, or extremely deluded at best. Then add the claim that the said unicorn is invisible into the mix…!

          Now tell me that anyone who does not accept the unicorn claim has a duty to prove their position.

        • epeeist

          The onus of proof lies with the person making a claim

          Accepted.

          1. “I have belief in the existence of X” is an ontological commitment to the existence of X.

          2. “I have belief in the non-existence of X” is an ontological commitment to the non-existence of X.

          3. “I lack belief in the existence of X” makes no ontological commitments.

          The person making claims 1. and 2. have a strong burden to demonstrate the truth of their claims.

          The person making claim 3. also has a burden, but it is the weak one of showing that the arguments supporting 1. do not stand up to scrutiny.

        • David Cromie

          Re 2. It is logically impossible to prove a negative. Why would any sane person believe in an X for which there is not a shred of irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence of its truth forthcoming? Some people do sincerely believe in faeries, so are they justified? Do you share/defend their belief? If not, why not?

        • epeeist

          Re 2. It is logically impossible to prove a negative.

          Irrelevant, 2. is still an ontological commitment. The fact that it is impossible to demonstrate the non-existence of something only shows that it is a silly position to espouse.

          Some people do sincerely believe in faeries, so are they justified?

          I take the sceptical position, show me the justification and I will decide whether it stands up to scrutiny or not. My current position would be to lack belief in the existence of faeries in that I have seen no evidence for said existence. I might be convinced if a) the person who believes in their existence can provide a good description of said entities and b) evidence for their existence that does stand up to scrutiny.

        • David Cromie

          “My current position would be to lack belief in the existence of faeries in that I have seen no evidence for said existence. I might be convinced if a) the person who believes in their existence can provide a good description of said entities and b) evidence for their existence that does stand up to scrutiny”.
          So you agree with me, in spite of the ‘ontological’ commitment of believers in faeries!

        • epeeist

          So you agree with me, in spite of the ‘ontological’ commitment of believers in faeries!

          With respect you appear to be missing the point that I am making.

          The person who says “there is a dragon in my garage” and the person who says that “there is no dragon in your garage” are making equivalent claims and have the same level of burden of proof.

          This is a higher level of burden to the person who says “I see no evidence for a dragon in your garage”.

        • David Cromie

          You do spout illogical nonsense!

        • epeeist

          You do spout illogical nonsense!

          The first two above:

          p:X
          p:~X

          and the third one

          ~p:X

          If you don’t understand doxastic logic I would suggest something like Gensler’s Introduction to Logic.

          If you don’t understand the idea of strong and weak burden’s then Walton’s Informal Logic or Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation should put you on the right track.

        • Jim Jones
        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. I claim you haven’t met the burden of proof, so I’m under no obligation to you or your belief.

        • Joe

          I don’t see him making any claims.

        • RichardSRussell

          Says anyone with a basic grounding in logic or the scientific method.

          You don’t start off just assuming that some existential assertion is true, you start off doubting it until some evidence for it is adduced by its proponents. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the one who says “Show me whatcha got.”

          Example: “Unicorns exist”. It’s not incumbent on me to prove that they don’t, it’s incumbent on the person who says they do to demonstrate it. This isn’t all that hard to do for anything that really does exist, but it’s monumentally difficult for anything of a supernatural nature since by definition it’s outside of nature.

        • Kodie

          All I have to prove is that I don’t believe your claims. Am I supposed to believe them even though they are total bullshit? Stop trying to blame other people for your idiocy and gullibility.

        • adam
        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          My claim is “I don’t believe you, since you haven’t provided ANY reliable evidence.”

          How can you refute that without claiming to read my mind, even if your claim is buttressed by your book telling you I’m lying? I don’t have to believe your book, so that’s another fail for your assertion.

    • GalapagosPete

      Let me add that if you are impressed by an anti-atheist or anti-science quote because it comes from an agnostic, you are obviously easily impressed; agnostics are simply people who take the position that the existence of gods is or may be something we can never verify. It does not give them special insight into…well, anything, actually, and it certainly doesn’t make them skeptics, any more than being an atheist makes a person a skeptic.

      • Scooter

        I’m actually impressed by an honest skeptic who isn’t making a case for any religion but sees that when science moves into the area of life dealing with meaning, purpose and loving relationships for example with the autocracy and arrogance of a single scientific vision for all of reality, they are moving beyond the purview of science and consequently become very unscientific.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          That’s a good one, Scooter(I read that somewhere years ago.)— I think the primary Achilles heel of much of what is labeled atheism is that they “worship” at the altars of their own egos and intellects; if they literally can’t put their hands on a thing, or somehow figure it out in their own minds,well…obviously it isn’t real or logical. What a small-minded, truncated view of reality that is. Sad.

        • Joe

          if they literally can’t put their hands on a thing, or somehow figure it out in their own minds,well…obviously it isn’t real or logical.

          Isn’t that inherent to the definitions of “real” and “logical”? Silly atheists. Of course, theists are also guilty of this……..

          What a small-minded, truncated view of reality that is. Sad.

          Possibly, but wishful thinking doesn’t change said reality.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          To a certain extent there’s some truth to that, Joe. But as I’ve probably said somewhere else, just because you can’t put your hands on a thing or completely figure it out in your own head doesn’t mean the thing isn’t real; it just isn’t real TO YOU. And since I myself don’t deal in wishful thinking, I’m not sure what your comment is apropos to. PEACE.

        • Joe

          But as I’ve probably said somewhere else, just because you can’t put your hands on a thing or completely figure it out in your own head doesn’t mean the thing isn’t real;

          It doesn’t mean it is real either. So what to do?

          And since I myself don’t deal in wishful thinking, I’m not sure what your comment is apropos to.

          Your comment:

          What a small-minded, truncated view of reality that is. Sad

          Implied that imagining things we don’t know to be real are real (what I termed “wishful thinking”) would somehow change the reality we live in. It can’t.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself that your god isn’t wishful thinking but if you can’t put your hands on your god or provide the slightest evidence that even hints that it might possibly, if the wind’s blowing in the right direction and the stars are in the proper position, could maybe be perhaps real, then it certainly looks like wishful thinking.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Well, I’m sure you know that in the 2,000 years plus since Jesus’ Advent, Ministry, and Ascension, untold billions of people from ALL walks of life and every single continent and nation have been, and are being convinced of His existence, Mr.Neville, so if you have an explanation for this ongoing phenomenon, I would love to hear it. I myself have been/still am a Born-again, Blood-bought, Spirit-filled Child/Servant of Almighty God in Christ Jesus for over 40 years now, since the age of 22 (I’m 63 now), and I’ve yet to hear or read ANY credible arguments that could convince me that Almighty God doesn’t exist. I have read the words of those who claim that they…”used to be christian, or are ex-christians”…or whatever, and that may well be true.But speaking only for myself, I could no more cease being a Child of God in Christ than I could physically walk out of my own skin.It would be the equivalent of me walking into my mother’s bedroom and saying: “Hey,Mom,guess what? I no longer consider myself your child!!” Does anyone think that an idiotic declaration like that would make it so? One may view oneself as a so-called “ex-christian”, but that is NOT a Biblical concept.So…mull and reflect, people—I await your reply.—PEACE!!

        • epeeist

          Well, I’m sure you know that in the 2,000 years plus since Jesus’
          Advent, Ministry, and Ascension, untold billions of people from ALL
          walks of life and every single continent and nation have been, and are
          being convinced of His existence,

          So what percentage of the world’s population believe in Christianity? As a percentage of the world’s population is it rising or falling? Is it rising or falling in different parts of the world, for example is there a difference between the developed world and the developing world?

        • Michael Neville

          For thousands of years untold billions of people were convinced that the Earth was flat (there are still some today who hold that belief). Does that mean the Earth is flat or does it mean untold billions of people were wrong? The Argumentum ad Populum is a logical fallacy.

          My sole argument against the existence of ANY gods (remember there’s millions more gods than the sadistic, narcissistic bully you worship) is the complete and total lack of evidence for ANY of them. You got any evidence for the existence of your god? Of course you don’t because if you had you’d be shoving it at me as fast as you could. The lack of evidence coming from you tells both of us that you not only don’t have evidence but you know you don’t have evidence.

          That your wishful thinking has convinced you that some god named Jesus exists has no effect on me other than to tell me that you’re gullible. Your pretense that you’re not indulging in wishful thinking tells me that you’re not in the least introspective and that you deny what’s obvious to any outside observer. Of course you don’t accept evidence for the non-existence of a figment of your imagination. You’re too arrogant and self-centered to admit the possibility that your delusion about Jesus is wrong.

          Incidentally, there’s a space between “Mr.” and “Neville”. Learn to put that space in that position, it’ll make you look slightly less stupid and ignorant. Also this isn’t the 1990s any more. Emojis are no longer in style. Using them makes you look slightly more stupid and ignorant.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I want you to provide evidence equivalent to that of gravity, air, or radio waves.

          Until you can do that, you have no call to demand ANY obeisance, much less belief, from any of us.

        • adam

          “Well, I’m sure you know that in the 2,000 years plus since Jesus’
          Advent, Ministry, and Ascension, untold billions of people from ALL
          walks of life and every single continent and nation have been, and are
          being convinced of His existence,”
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6b5240f53deb4a0141b0d9196de29540d1f8931a4c8d5713b9547eca65cbd2f.jpg

          Say you believe or die, huh?

        • adam

          “Well, I’m sure you know that in the 2,000 years plus since Jesus’
          Advent, Ministry, and Ascension, untold billions of people from ALL
          walks of life and every single continent and nation have been, and are
          being convinced of His existence,”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/102697e7faecdc67306ad919c76a1e01e698f44fbed89fa96dcc85012ac3ce5f.jpg

        • adam

          ” it just isn’t real TO YOU”

          Neither are imaginary friends and enemies

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0448eba69db49e807bec179970f830b0e42028a0c8c2c1ffa23cfab9dba3693e.jpg

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Who is supposed to be an image of? Is there a new horror movie coming out?

        • adam

          Imaginary Satan from the Bible,

          Yes there are always new fundie bible movies coming out.

        • GalapagosPete

          “…it just isn’t real TO YOU.”

          A thing is real or it is not, there is no third category. If something cannot in any way be detected and cannot be shown to have any effect on the real world then there is no good reason to accept its reality, and your statements to the effect of “Just because all that may be accurate doesn’t mean something doesn’t exist” are true, but useless. The time to accept something exists is when it can reasonably shown to exist, not before.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          The effect that Jesus the Christ has had/still has on the world in general and Western Civilization in particular simply CANNOT be refuted nor credibly denied by ANY sane, right-thinking person, PERIOD. I would think that that historical record would demonstrate the reality of Him more than adequately enough, GalapagosPete, don’t you? It’s not historians who claim Jesus the Christ was/is a myth.
          .

        • epeeist

          The effect that Jesus the Christ has had/still has on the world in general and Western Civilization in particular simply CANNOT be refuted nor credibly denied by ANY sane, right-thinking person

          You are begging the question in that your sentence assumes the existence of Jesus and that he was also an element of a tripartite deity. Secondly, it is the effect that Christianity has had that cannot be denied, this is rather different to the effect of a “Jesus”.

          It’s not historians who claim Jesus the Christ was/is a myth.

          The difficulty for Christians is that for them it is necessary that Jesus existed, if he didn’t then there is nothing to build the ideas of Christianity upon. Now personally I have no problem with a minimal historical Jesus, but the existence of such a person can only be assigned some kind of probability and not certainty.

        • Kodie

          Again, you are confusing the effect believing in a myth has with the effect of an actual person/god. People who believe in Jesus exist. People who believe Jesus has affected their lives exist. What has no evidence is that Jesus actually exists. People can fool themselves very easily and be convinced by the power of suggestion so very very easily. I like to watch out for that. Someone like you is convinced that Jesus is having an effect, despite the massive lack of evidence for that.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Try again. The jeebuz *story* has had an effect…and a lot of it was due to Roman politics.

        • Kodie

          He’s just going to ignore the explanation and regurgitate this foolishness.

        • Susan

          He’s just going to ignore the explanation and regurgitate this foolishness.

          Judging by his participation here and from his commenting history elsewhere, LCR seems to be nothing
          but a troll out for kicks.

        • JP415

          I wonder whether he’s some kind of computer simulation, like a Turing test. His answers seem canned.

        • adam

          “The effect that Jesus the Christ has had/still has on the world in
          general and Western Civilization in particular simply CANNOT be refuted
          nor credibly denied by ANY sane, right-thinking person, PERIOD.”

          Agreed

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6b5240f53deb4a0141b0d9196de29540d1f8931a4c8d5713b9547eca65cbd2f.jpg
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e80ae3342e94d0907369de9b1ee6138bd97ae2280fa9634600d5ad09d36f6ca2.jpg

          “I would think that that historical record would demonstrate the reality
          of Him more than adequately enough, GalapagosPete, don’t you?”

          But it doesnt:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0ded0c20f62b9d1996f93afe9c98e20dc6bf1035eaa16eb5acf23323c3cb09f.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          Nobody denies that the STORY of Jesus had and continues to affect the world. So what? The Quran has a similar effect as do the Vedas. So why aren’t you embracing Allah and Vishnu along with your Jesus?

        • GalapagosPete

          There may very well have been someone on whom the Christ myth was based, just as there was a Mohammed. Doesn’t mean that this person could perform miracles or rose from the dead.

          But, as you are aware, since you referenced “Almighty God” in an earlier post, the rest of us are talking about your god, the existence of which you have yet to demonstrate.

        • Jim Jones

          Where is the graveyard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year – and it is no more than five hundred years ago – 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried out with the sun. When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood.

          But today Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Richmond P. Hobson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler and Tom Sharkey.

          Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother Tezcatilpoca. Tezcatilpoca was almost as powerful; he consumed 25,000 virgins a year.

          Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quitzalcoatl is? Or Xiehtecuthli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Of Mictlan? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitles? Where are their bones?

          Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard-of Hell do they await their resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Of that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jackass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods, but today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them.

          But they have company in oblivion: the Hell of dead gods is as crowded as the Presbyterian Hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsalluta, and Deva, and Belisima, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshipped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose – all gods of the first class. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them – temples with stones as large as hay-wagons.

          The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests, bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake.

          Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels; villages were burned, women and children butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence.

          What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley?

          What has become of:
                Resheph                       Baal
                Anath                         Astarte
                Ashtoreth                     Hadad
                Nebo                          Dagon
                Melek                         Yau
                Ahijah                        Amon-Re
                Isis                          Osiris
                Ptah                          Molech?

          All there were gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Yahweh Himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following:

                Arianrod                      Nuada Argetlam
                Morrigu                       Tagd
                Govannon                      Goibniu
                Gunfled                       Odin
                Dagda                         Ogma
                Ogryvan                       Marzin
                Dea Dia                       Mara
                Iuno Lucina                   Diana of Ephesus
                Saturn                        Robigus
                Furrina                       Pluto
                Cronos                        Vesta
                Engurra                       Zer-panitu
                Belus                         Merodach
                Ubilulu                       Elum
                U-dimmer-an-kia               Marduk
                U-sab-sib                     Nin
                U-Mersi                       Persephone
                Tammuz                        Istar
                Venus                         Lagas
                Beltis                        Nirig
                Nusku                         En-Mersi
                Aa                            Assur
                Sin                           Beltu
                Apsu                          Kuski-banda
                Elali                         Nin-azu
                Mami                          Qarradu
                Zaraqu                        Ueras
                Zagaga

          Ask the rector to lend you any good book on comparative religion; you will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest dignity – gods of civilized peoples – worshipped and believed in by millions.

          All were omnipotent, omniscient and immortal.

          And all are dead.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          And you said all that to say what, Jim Jones?

        • Kodie

          Maybe you’re just not smart enough to read for comprehension. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you’re not intellectually up to having a discussion on the topic. I don’t care what you believe, but I do care that you’re hanging around acting like a fool. If you want to be a fool, be a fool, but you’re not adding substance to the discussion, only your idiot one-liners.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your ‘god’ will be forgotten, too…or disdained, which would be more fun while you folk grasp so desperately to it.

        • adam
        • Jim Jones

          To defeat your silly claims. Mission accomplished.

        • GalapagosPete

          “[atheists] ‘worship’ at the altars of their own egos and intellects…”

          No, atheists have decided that there is no good reason to believe in gods because theists have failed to provide good evidence for their claims. If you can provide such evidence I would expect atheists to change their position.

          “if they literally can’t put their hands on a thing, or somehow figure it out in their own minds,well…obviously it isn’t real or logical.”

          If a thing has not been demonstrated to be real then there is no good reason to believe that it is. Theists keep making claims and get made when everyone doesn’t just take their word for it. You have a god? Fine, show us the evidence. And neither the bible (nor any holy book) nor a lack of explanation for any or all natural phenomena is evidence for a god. No one here, least of all I, is claiming as an absolute fact, that there are no gods, only that you have not shown that there are – or even that the existence of gods is a possibility.

          “What a small-minded, truncated view of reality that is.”

          Why? I’m not saying that things for which I have no evidence do not exist, only that I don’t except their existence until the evidence is presented. And while people have believed in gods and ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties for thousands of years, in all that time no good evidence – by modern standards – has *ever* been presented showing they really exist.

        • adam

          ” I think the primary Achilles heel of much of what is labeled atheism is
          that they “worship” at the altars of their own egos and intellects;”

          You are so funny, speaking as someone who believes that reality cant exist with themselves and their God created all this for just them.
          And they cant accept death, nothing more egotistical than that.

          ” if they literally can’t put their hands on a thing, or somehow figure
          it out in their own minds,well…obviously it isn’t real or logical.”

          Lots of things we cant put our hands on that we can all verify as real.

          And coming from someone whose primary argument is God of the Gaps.
          What a small-minded truncated view of reality that is.Sad.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Adam: (1), don’t try to put words in my mouth; If I didn’t say it, don’t claim I said it. (2), don’t presume to claim knowledge for me that I don’t express myself; you are guilty of projecting your own conclusions on what you presume I believe. Try again.

        • adam

          “(1), don’t try to put words in my mouth; If I didn’t say it, don’t claim I said it.”

          You mean like you hypocritically did about atheism.

          “don’t presume to claim knowledge for me that I don’t express myself; you
          are guilty of projecting your own conclusions on what you presume I
          believe.”

          don’t presume to claim knowledge for atheism that atheism doesnt express itself; you
          are guilty of projecting your own conclusions on what you presume atheists
          believe.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/681785c573e0e941d7e81f66dd2e305bc7671f7e9b41f0b84b263f098be05d79.jpg

        • basenjibrian

          Better to believe in an invisible creator of the entire universe (which we know is far, far, far vaster than ancient Hebrews ever imagined) has a PERSONAL PLAN for you!
          Better to believe that this creator wants to spend an eternity with you.
          And you claim that Atheists are arrogant? ROFLOL

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I’m not getting what you’re talking about here, basenjibrian; clarify….What’s particularly arrogant about “-God so loved the world”? I await your reply. ☺

        • basenjibrian

          I’m talking about Christians like yourself who believe this stuff and their arrogance that they “know” what the creator of the universe wants and that they are just that important.
          You are not “all that”, no matter what your books and preachers claim.
          As I don’t believe Yahweh exists, there is no point in arguing about “His” arrogance.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          “As I don’t believe Yahweh exists”…Now THAT comment never fails to amuse me to no end, LOL

        • Joe

          Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that

          2 main reasons:

          1. A lot of harm is done, in the real world, by humans in the name of something that has not been demonstrated to exist. This is the main reason.
          2. We like to engage in debate about the theoretical to amuse ourselves. I don’t think that can fairly be described as “getting sooo worked up”

          Why do Christians get SOO worked up about Islam? You might want to ponder on that for a while.

        • basenjibrian

          Thanks Joe. You made my response for me!
          I would add further: Isn’t the Christian ideal to battle “evil”? Given that I find the fundamental theology of Christianity definitively evil on so many grounds (it offends me) why would I not argue against it?
          Note that there are Christians who do good work, who I respect, who I think engage the world in a very positive and helpful manner. No, I will not spend time arguing with a Sister from Catholic Charities about Jesus as she completes a project to house 20 homeless vets. I won’t say a peep if someone works a disaster relief site in the name of their religion. I would note, pace Joe, that there are Islamic charities that do good things, too.
          This is an Atheist website. You are SURPRISED we vocally attack your….nonsense…when you come in and try to Evangelisplain away your nonsense, in frankly insulting ways? Wow.

        • Joe

          Of course, he won’t accept this answer. It wasn’t even a genuine question, just a parroted apologetic line meant to be some kind of rebuttal. That’s what we’re dealing with here, not somebody who doesn’t understand our posts, not somebody who misinterprets our replies, but somebody who never intends to honestly interact with them in the first place.

          Still, the best way to respond is to present a clear argument, so they will be further exposed as a hypocrite.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          Isn’t the Christian ideal to battle “evil”?

          I think any social cause/ organization/ tribe you could join uses the appeal that they are fighting against something they determine to be bad. I can’t find the exact article I’ve posted before, about how this guy got sucked into the KKK and eventually got out of it. I think it was called “What does a reformed racist look like?” because searches turn up that title, and it looks familiar, but none of the articles I found give the details of how he was drawn in. As like a cult, they saw a teen who was vulnerable and self-destructive, and they gave him something to care about, to fight against, and to fight for – such as even KKK members have what you could call “values”. Anything that threatens those values is seen as evil, and so they think they are fighting for righteous reasons, and don’t see themselves as having ugly, hateful, destructive qualities. If you’re going to protect what you value, in that sense, you have to be willing to destroy with prejudice anything that threatens it.

          Nazis didn’t think they were horrible people, genociders don’t see themselves as villains. They see themselves as protecting their righteous values from people who threaten them.

          Christians think they are more moral, and they don’t hate the sinner, they hate the sin, and they love you and want you to get rid of your sin and join them, and if you refuse, they will not quite genocide, but they will perform their passive-aggressive things like refusing to serve, “just go somewhere else” until you have to leave town to get your needs met by a community that will serve you, until you run out of places to go, until you give up and pretend. They want to look outside and see nothing but what they like, and not have to confront people who behave in ways they disapprove, because that threatens their values. It’s totally tribal.

        • Jim Jones

          In the name of ‘god’:

          <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11615457/Australias-worst-paedophile-priest-molested-every-boy-at-school-in-Victoria.html”>Australia’s worst paedophile priest ‘molested every boy’ at school in Victoria

          Australia’s royal commission into child sex abuse told that senior Church leaders were aware of the crimes of Father Gerald Ridsdale and an “evil” paedophile ring that he operated for decades

          The commission heard that, in 1971, each of the male teachers and the chaplain at the St Alipius primary school was molesting children.

          Philip Nagle, who was abused at the school, held up a photograph of his fourth grade class and said that twelve of the 33 boys had since committed suicide.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          The pedophile priests committed these vile, atrocious acts because they wanted to have sex with children—It had absolutely NOTHING to do with God. What are you talking about, Jim Jones? Do you actually believe that there are no atheist child-rapists? Seriously?

        • Kodie

          Nothing has anything to do with god. It’s the delusional people who prop up their behaviors and arguments and laws in the name of a fictional character in a myth book. Can’t you understand why that’s a dangerous idea? No, of course not.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          RELIGION gave him the cover he needed to commit these acts.

          RELIGIOUS authorities moved him around and allowed him to continue to commit such heinous acts of hate.

          So RELIGION *doesn’t* make people better, and the sooner you realize it, the better.

        • adam
        • Jim Jones

          Riiiiight. So your ‘god’ couldn’t stop ‘his’ priests from raping ‘his’ altar boys. Very impressive – not!

        • Kodie

          It’s the people, moron.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          We get worked up because a**holes like you try to legislate based on your hateful myths, rather than letting us live rational lives by secular law.

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2fd2559922f1ca705a86f0e9046bfe5701b6b95aab90982be137815bd477fe56.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/576b5354eb99d2993f45ae1c298d7ea1beb6be63a081a92e69a99632f9b856b3.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2a0c489aaa08880d81edb21febaa7862da5b6803a4c9ad943f73429909ace05.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0aec5bb6e3813d658dc99a8138b4905b1dbed26d29a303d2d70f69694c44450.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cdf1945c329723ddbb7c03a5aa7c5a3ef1bae3c5f93caabe7aed79f438227c78.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66a160199586083737e3545d423dd5a367cb4d7ececffba31ddd17f6c8b255cb.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d134665ed0517a1f26d646a9aca0769ab8888ea98b22ac830fc9c881177381a.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98d6f0128b8af0c7099d981d0028fdce9cf890c7b4e1a4e7b8c1d16db7e1572d.jpg

        • adam

          “Why do atheists get SOOO worked up over that which you adamantly
          insists DOES NOT EXIST?? Somebody, ANYBODY, help me with that! ”

          Here you go!

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

        • Kodie

          Why do theists get so worked up about something that doesn’t exist? That never fails to terrify me to no end lol, gtfo.

        • Michael Neville

          Because Christians and other theists won’t leave us alone. You theists can believe whatever silly nonsense you want but you want to inflict your silly beliefs on the rest of us. Creationists want to replace science education with teaching religious mythology. Anti-abortionists want to control women’s sex lives (if they really wanted to decrease abortions they’d promote the two things proven to lower abortion rates, sex education and ready access to contraceptives). Catholic bishops control 15% of all American hospitals, none of which will provide any abortion or contraceptive services even to non-Catholics. Evangelical fundamentalist Christians are bullying GLBTs because “gawd thinks butt sechs is icky!

          As I said, believe whatever you desire. However you won’t keep your beliefs to yourselves but instead try to force everyone else to follow them. So we have no choice but to get “worked up over that which we adamantly insist DOES NOT EXIST” because you assholes won’t let us do otherwise.

        • Jim Jones

          Which gods? And what is a ‘god’?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Hmm…I really can’t answer that question for you, Jim Jones; nor,presumably, can anyone else; you’re on your own with that.I know what I mean when I say God, what YOU mean, well…Peace

        • Jim Jones

          Yes. He’s an imaginary daddy who will beat up the people who mock you if you lie on the floor and hold your breath and threaten him.

          Very mature of you – not!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The arrogance is in assuming your fairy tale is true without evidence, and demanding that we honor that idiocy.

        • Otto

          I would say it is far more egotistic to claim you know there is a God, you know what that God likes and dislikes, and you are personal friends with him.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I get my info inre Almighty God from 2 sources, Otto: Sacred Scripture and His revelation In ChristJesus. How about you?

        • Otto

          Do you have a point?

        • adam
        • Jim Jones

          It appears you have failed to grasp the essential nature of ‘reality’.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          How is reality defined according to you, Jim Jones?

        • Jim Jones

          What did you eat for breakfast?

        • adam

          Definition of reality

          plural realities

          1

          : the quality or state of being real

        • GalapagosPete

          Agnostic and skeptic are not synonyms; to be fair, neither are atheist and skeptic. That said, I have not heard that science has taken positions on meaning and purpose – perhaps you could provide links to the research on those topics. As for “loving relationships,” the most it can do is show the parts of the brain that are active when love is felt.

          You seem to be upsetting yourself over things that do not exist.

        • adam

          “but sees that when science moves into the area of life dealing with meaning, purpose and loving relationships for example”

          And religion addresses that how?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/33db0ae24b2227b6e9d5a68e163db56f694d809309548bb015e1279858262217.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          the autocracy and arrogance of a single scientific vision for all of reality

          How is the autocratic and arrogant religious vision of all of reality an improvement? At least science has evidence for its conclusions, while religion is based on wishful thinking, delusion and superstition.

        • eric

          He’s a fellow of the Discovery Institute; he is, indeed, making a case for creationism.

          And the problem with your ‘moves into the area’ idea is that we often can’t separate such questions cleanly from empirical ones. So this red line you want draw can quickly become a heckler’s veto on science. “How old is the Earth” is (IMO) clearly an empirical question, approachable via the scientific method. But to some Christians, that question is fraught with meaning, purpose, and implications for the relationship between humans and God. So does science avoid answering that question just because some Christians put it in the ‘meaning and purpose’ category for them? Or does science ignore the fact that some people see meaning and purpose in this question, and just go about answering it because it’s an empirical question? If the latter, then shouldn’t that be true of other, less obvious examples?

    • RichardSRussell

      What’s “scientific atheism”? Never heard of it before.

      • Joe

        It’s probably the straw man view of science used by apologists who neither know or care about what science actually entails.

      • adam

        that’s where your actual knowledge of reality (science) causes disbelief in a Magical Sky Daddy.

        • RichardSRussell

          Well, I guess that’s a nice flavor of atheism, tho I confess my continuing preference for the intrinsic kind — you know, the sort that everybody is born with and some people never get brainwashed out of.

    • Michael Neville

      David Berlinski is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute. He may claim to be an agnostic but he belongs to an organization which prides itself on being a fundamentalist Christian Biblical literalist group. Berlinski has a PhD in philosophy, specializing in the philosophy of mathematics. He’s a general science denier, criticizing evolution, quantum mechanics and relativity. In short, he’s a religious fanatic pretending not to be religious.

      • GalapagosPete

        “He may claim to be an agnostic but he belongs to an organization which prides itself on being a fundamentalist Christian Biblical literalist group.”

        Well, if you’re going to pick *nits*… ;^)

        But I agree that if he *is* an agnostic – and I believe that when it comes to the existence of gods, you pretty much have to be – he is almost certainly an agnostic theist.

      • RichardSRussell

        Let’s call out the self-proclaimed “Discovery” Institute for what it truly is: an oxymoronic propaganda mill masquerading as a research facility but completely dedicated to pushing the dominionist dogma of “intelligent design” as if it were real science. What has it ever actually discovered since it was founded in 1990? Nothing! That’s because it employs no scientists, operates no laboratories, conducts no experiments, sponsors no colloquia, publishes no papers, and has no intention of ever ever ever submitting its hypotheses for peer review.

      • Jim Jones

        > Berlinski has a PhD in philosophy

        To create a mountain of bullshit, add philosophy to religion.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          No, I wouldn’t do that. Good philosophy, like science, opposes religion.

        • -MARK-

          Why?

          Who made you the arbitrator of good and bad philosophy?

        • Max Doubt

          “Who made you the arbitrator of good and bad philosophy?”

          Gary has a serious misunderstanding about his own intellectual prowess and ability to reason. He seems to truly believe he can prove the gods of the Christians, Muslims, and Jews don’t exist. He doesn’t realize the god he imagines isn’t the same as the gods they imagine, and he will go to any length including flat out lying to keep himself convinced it is.

        • -MARK-

          Yes

          I have been down that road before

          He called my definition of God, not sufficient or something like that.

          He also said that if a god existed it would do x

          I pointed out why?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I just don’t believe you.

          Are you capable of convincing me?

        • -MARK-

          Are you being Poe

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Gawtcha…read it too fast. sry

        • Joe

          Why wouldn’t god do x?

        • David Cromie

          Because it is not omnipotent, nor prescient either, it seems.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Why what?

          If you disagree with my claim, try to give an argument for your position.

        • -MARK-

          I already did

          I gave my opinion and claimed it as such

          You gave your opinion and claimed it was the truth

        • Gary Whittenberger

          An opinion is not an argument or a defense. You are being vague and evasive.

        • David Cromie

          Having an opinion is not making an argument.

    • adam

      “Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close.”

      so it was a MAGICAL being?

      “Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. ”

      Our universe is nowhere near fine-tuned for the existence of life. Demonstrate life outside this little clump of earth, or even just a few miles above or below the earth.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de704260c6038172c69830f5b8a4718830b6eecec8c4b134d8197a027a59c2d2.jpg

    • Doubting Thomas

      This would’ve been a great post if you were posting it in order to point out all the problems with reason and logic the author has.

    • sandy

      “scientific atheism” or atheist. I like it. Such as when science has disproven Noah’s Ark, the exodus, adam and eve and so on. Victor Stenger would definitely be a scientific atheist, as an example, as I would think most of us here. Just might use that handle from now on, thanks.

    • Otto

      Has anyone provided proof that Unicorns don’t fart rainbows? Not even close.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Don’t Unicorns have to exist in order to fart, or do anything else, Otto?

        • Joe

          Are you saying they don’t exist?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Well shucks Joe…in this era of Instagram, YouTube, and “going viral”, it’s a given that its practice impossible to hide a Unicorn, don’t you think?

        • Joe

          That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Well, Joe, let’s see a picture of YOUR unicorn then—GO!!

        • Joe

          I don’t have a Unicorn. Are you saying that only things that have been photographed exist?

          Of course you aren’t, you’re just deflecting.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Seriously, Joe…are you playing some kind of atheist game here? YOU brought up unicorns, dude. Either put up, or move out of this bizarre fantasy world you’ ve suddenly entered…Sheesh!

        • Joe

          No, I didn’t bring up unicorns. Check again. Or answer a question for once. What have you got to lose?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Sigh…”Are you saying they don’t exist”? “That doesn’t mean they don’t exist” You posted both these responses to a question and a comment, so YOU DID bring up unicorns, Joe. Are you high,or…?

        • Joe

          Wasn’t that in response to your post about unicorns? Otherwise what was I referring to when I said “they”?

          Maybe I did smoke crack without realising. Or maybe it was the holy spirit. How can one tell?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          How can one distinguish a real present god from an unreal nonexistent one?

        • Aram

          A quick read of the thread shows that Otto originally brought up unicorns, not Joe. You then denied they existed with a flick of the wrist. Then you went on to demand your god did exist, also wrist flicked into being, just because you think he does. Finally, you completely failed to grasp the parallel between someone believing in unicorns saying they exist has just as much evidence as you do for your god.
          Seems the only one smoking crack here is you, Ringo. Just a huffing away on Jesus’ crack, you are!

        • adam
        • BlackMamba44
        • adam
        • Kodie

          Unicorns definitely exist. Whereas god is described as like a person with personal qualities and abilities, and not just an old man with a white beard, or a young blue-eyed man with long brown hair and a beard, a unicorn is simply a horse with a horn sticking out of its head. I’ve seen dozens of them. They are not particularly rare unless you require a biological animal that is a unicorn (and I don’t mean a rhino or narwhal). I’ve also seen human old men with long white beards, and young blue-eyed men with long brown hair and a beard, but since that is not the definition of god, I know they’re just people. I was also at the Ringling Bros. circus the year they boasted a living unicorn, a poor goat with a horn attached to its head. So.

          [LINK]
          Here’s the Hideous Goat Creature Ringling Bros. Claimed Was a Unicorn in 1985

        • Phil

          So only a photograph will do to prove unicorns exist? Where’s the photograph of your god? I have a photo of Santa that delivers pressies every year.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Since Jesus Himself explicitly stated to Nicodemus that…”God is Spirit”…therefore lacking corporeality, it stands to reason that He cannot be seen, ergo no photo can be taken of Him; He has revealed Himself in Christ, Phil. PEACE.

        • Phil

          So you are saying your god hasn’t the ability to make itself seen in a photo. More impotent that omnipotent.

        • BlackMamba44

          Photos are Yahweh’s iron chariots.

        • Phil Baldwin

          I wonder what the difference is between an undetectable god and one that doesn’t exist.

        • BlackMamba44

          Mysterious ways…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And James T. Kirk asked “What does a ‘god’ need with a starship?”

          See, I can cite fiction, too.

        • Sophotroph

          He explicitly said that? Can you link to the video?

        • Kodie

          He has revealed himself in human imagination, i.e. he’s imaginary.

        • Otto

          We know pink unicorns are invisible because they can’t be seen, we know they are pink through our faith.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          1. If God did exist, even if he were a “spirit” (whatever that is), he would manifest him in a body and present himself universally, thereby producing objective unequivocal evidence of his own existence.
          2. This has not happened.
          3. Therefore, God does not exist.

          Jesus said he wasn’t God. Read your Bible.

        • Max Doubt

          “1. If God did exist, even if he were a “spirit” (whatever that is), he would manifest him in a body and present himself universally, thereby producing objective unequivocal evidence of his own existence.
          2. This has not happened.
          3. Therefore, God does not exist.”

          As always, your syllogism only applies to the god you imagine. Other people’s gods clearly aren’t subject to the weaknesses you attribute to yours. So you’ve worked out how the god you imagine doesn’t exist – big deal. It seems pretty silly for you to keep insisting it doesn’t, but what is even sillier is your implication that your god’s vulnerabilities are shared by other people’s gods. They aren’t.

        • David Cromie

          Can you adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the real existence of your favourite supposed ‘god’?

        • Max Doubt

          “Can you adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the real existence of your favourite supposed ‘god’?”

          I have no favorite supposed gods. All claims of gods’ existences appear to be objectively unsupportable. But relevant to this part of this discussion, Gary’s persistence in attributing particular characteristics to the gods other people imagine then attacking those characteristics is inconsiderate and dishonest.

          Gary has defined a god that has certain vulnerabilities, claims to have discovered the kryptonite that penetrates those vulnerabilities, and trumpets his success at proving other people’s gods don’t exist because the god he imagines can’t exist. This glaring flaw in his reasoning, that the gods other people imagine are immune to his “logic”, has been pointed out to him time and again. Methods for demonstrating his failure have been offered. Gary’s strategy for dealing with that criticism is to willfully ignore it, whine about it, and badger other people for not acquiescing to his “proof”. His method for dealing with a test that shows he’s wrong is to willfully ignore it. That’s dishonest and a really shitty way for him to treat the other people in these conversations.

          This is Gary’s “proof”…

          1. Gary imagines a god whose existence is dependent on some particular traits.
          2. The god Gary imagines doesn’t meet those requirements.
          3. The gods Christians, Muslims, and Jews imagine can’t exist because Gary’s god can’t exist.

          Obviously that’s nonsense. He’s redefining other people’s positions in order to argue against them. It’s the same kind of bullshit inconsideration and dishonesty as when Christians insist the atheist position is a claim that gods don’t exist.

          Gary isn’t interested in reasoned honest discourse. He’s interested in being right about disproving a god’s existence, even when he is demonstrably wrong, even at the price of his own willful ignorance and dishonesty. Gary is one of the least honest, least civil alleged atheists ever to cross the threshold of these Non-Religious Patheos forums. Long ago he relinquished the privilege of being treated nicely by those he’s made an intentional effort to shit on.

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8638fdedfe8fad3b245ca0981085794967c878d6bfba020d03d8b426a1c98936.jpg

          Peter Parker himself states that he obtained super powers from the bite of a radioactive spider.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          And your point is what, exactly, Adam?( By the way, Peter Parker/Spiderman’s creator, Stan Lee, stated that. Come back to earth, Adam.

        • adam

          Obviously you havent read Spiderman.
          Peter Parter clearly states, just as Jesus clearly states……

          Oh, I see, you understand that Jesus is just another story already..

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e5e587289bac5ccc1992d78778c7358acb676a2e909c99b3508dce327e1cd29.jpg

        • GalapagosPete

          A character in a book talking to another character in a book isn’t evidence of anything. Except that someone wrote a book with characters talking to each other.

        • axially/tilted

          Wait… aren’t WE supposed to be made in HIS image???

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Ditto your ‘god’, LRG

        • adam
        • GalapagosPete

          So you think that invisible pink unicorns show up in photographs? What evidence do you have of that?

        • epeeist

          Are you saying they don’t exist?

          Whoosh.

          EDIT: This was a mistaken response to LRG, but I will leave it here. It is rather obvious that he has missed the point of this small piece of repartee.

        • Otto

          Prove they don’t.

        • David Cromie

          If all it takes to prove your supposed ‘god’ exists is mere belief/blind faith, then, by the same token, Unicorns must also exist if anyone sincerely believes that they do. The same holds for faeries, or any other supernatural entity you care to mention.

        • adam
    • Nullifidian

      Scooter, this is for you:

      EUDEMONIA

      Jehovah, Christianity’s Almighty Lord God,
      lords it over Heaven, though he’s a sordid old sod.
      He’s capricious, malicious, jealous, and genocidal,
      homophobic, misogynistic, and megalomaniacal.
      He tasked a minor god, Satan, with cruel sadism in Hell,
      torturing ‘sinners’ for all eternity, and atheists as well!
      So, as the problem of theodicy remains unresolved,
      Jehovah, from his turpitude, cannot be absolved.

      He’s the father, the son, and a goddamn ghost;
      some priests can conjure the son out of wine and toast!
      Christians boast that their god, in its Empyrean lair,
      is omniscient, omnipotent, beneficent and fair.
      But should one do good works, or be born to the Elect?
      To get a ticket to Heaven, which theology’s correct?
      Confused by Christian dogma, no god-fearing fogey,
      can fathom the nature of the Bible Bogey.

      Yahweh, god of Zion, is a meshuggener and a jerk.
      Oy vey! Why such strict rules on when to work,
      and how to dress, and what to sup or sip,
      and mohals giving baby boys the snip?
      Yahweh’s a nudnik; so, what else is new?
      Is a shiksa blonde kosher? Is the Pope now a Jew?
      Religious rules, begot by Bronze Age nomads,
      have got observant Jews by their gonads.

      Allah, the god of Islam, is a fierce judgemental djinn,
      who’ll reward you with houris, if you submit to him.
      Apostasy, from Islam, is treated just like a crime;
      Moslems’ll threaten to kill you, to keep you in line.
      And if you dare to draw Mohammad in a comic cartoon,
      there’ll be chaos and killings from here to Khartoum.
      So, face Mecca at prayer, five times a day at least,
      and stick your ass up in the air for the Religion of Peace.

      Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist,
      Zoroastrian, Baha’i, Mormon, and Scientologist,
      Spiritualist, Wiccan, a New-Age Hippie into woo,
      Confucianist, Shintoist, and Taoist too.
      Yea, verily, those of each and every religion
      are mired in the miasma of superstition.
      See, all the faithful at prayer all look vacant or simple;
      prayer’s n’er been shown to work, not one jot or one tittle.

      All the gods from the Bronze Age up to modern times,
      and from the Arctic down to tropical climes,
      have begotten theology that’s unsubstantiated twaddle,
      on what an invisible and silent god’ll
      devise as its inscrutable, eschatological plan,
      but all the gods were made in the image of man.
      Materialistic monism makes for a majestic understanding;
      objective evidence of a spirit realm’s obviously lacking.

      So, why should yours be the ‘One True Faith’
      in a magical, phantasmagorical, astral wraith?
      The varieties of religious experience reveal
      a sense of a god’s immanence can feel quite real,
      but feelings of the numinous are clearly psychological,
      so belief in a god is ludicrously illogical.

      It’s evident we have just this one life,
      with all its pleasures, challenges, toil, and strife.
      As social beings we evolved our moral sensibility,
      combating selfishness, lust, and venality.
      Human evolution’s due to Natural Selection,
      so life derives no purpose at any god’s direction.

      Religion should have no say in the politics of a nation;
      its revelations and dogmata lack a rational foundation.
      Aristotle’s eudemonia, (human flourishing), conflicts
      with the social engineering that religion inflicts
      on societies that could democratically endorse
      rationality-based ethics, mores and laws.
      The most religious nations often are the most barbarian,
      whereas the least religious are the most egalitarian.

      Religion validates discrimination and oppression;
      religious faith stifles policy on research and education.
      Moderate religion’s like fertile soil, full of pious ordure,
      wherein extremism can take root, to terrorize and torture.
      Holy texts, from ancient times, in ignorance divine,
      were blind; LGBTQ and straight folk are all equally fine.
      See, a new era beckons, where humanity could be,
      as reason infers, one great family.

      But there’s no need for you to blame your genes;
      your faith’s the fault of socio-religious memes.
      They corrupted your mind with a contagious infection
      of superstitious ideas that can’t stand close inspection.
      So, cast them out, get rid of that insanity,
      then you can revel in your unfettered HUMANITY!

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Wow,Nullifidian…You’ve got WAAAY too much time on your hands!(I’m gonna keep this; it’s actually intriguing—-that’s why I like atheists. ) By the way,prayer DOES work; I can testify to that!!

        • Joe

          If you have a postmodern definition of “work” that differs from the commonly accepted definition. A definition that even Christians switch between. Sure.

          Between you and Clement, I’m getting tired of this new-age bullshit dressed up as Christian theology. “Prayer WORKS, man! You just have to believe. Groovy!”

        • Jim Jones

          > By the way,prayer DOES work; I can testify to that!!

          Who can’t? It’s a core method used by all religious swindlers to pluck the pockets of the weak willed and easily deluded.

          Show me multiple people ‘praying’ and I’ll show you one or more people preying.

        • Scooter

          Laurence I suspect Nullifidian was just waiting for an opportunity to unleash this “work of art” on to the blogosphere. There’s just too much drivel to respond but a line from Herman melville’s “Moby Dick” seems appropriate: “Heaven have mercy on us all-for we are all somehow dreadfully knocked about the head, and sadly need mending.”

          BTW-I have to chuckle at how the skeptics get their shorts in a knot over your comments.

        • GalapagosPete

          And we chuckle at how much you feel the need to exaggerate our reactions to your ignorant and, frankly, delusional posts to fulfill your need to feel as if you are accomplishing something other than making yourselves look ever more foolish.

          Just saying.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          *sniff, sniff*…I detect whining butthurt.

        • adam

          “By the way,prayer DOES work”

          Then cure all the children with cancer.

          “I can testify to that!!”

          Yes, you can but you cant demonstrate what is not true.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Uh…You’ve got yourself mixed up here, Adam.I can’t cure anyone. Stay on point here, O.K.? I meant my own personal experience with answered prayers. PEACE!

        • adam

          ” Stay on point here, O.K.?”

          OK
          Point is:

          “By the way,prayer DOES work”

          Demonstrate by curing childhood cancers.
          Use as many ‘christians’ as you need.

        • eric

          As the saying goes, even seeing single prosthetic limb given up as not needed any more would be a big start.

        • adam
        • Bob Jase

          Haaving achieved world peace due to prayer its not as if Christains have anything better to do.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Seriously, Adam? What part of…”I can’t cure cancer”…are you not getting? WAKE UP!!

        • adam
        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          2 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

        • Kodie

          You mean your personal delusions? You don’t give a shit about anyone else? How Christian of you.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Sigh…You know what, Kodie? I struggle mightily to be civil in these dialogues, but for some reason you atheists seem to have a mission to make that as difficult as possible. The idea that…”I don’t care about anyone else”… doesn’t even have any coherent context; what are you talking about?? Secondly, as I stated earlier, I have had experience with answered prayers; your opinion that I’m delusional is supposed to mean what to me,exactly? You need to start make sense here, my friend. I await your reply.

        • Kodie

          You’re not even close to being civil.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I’m as civil as I need to be in dealing with the atheist mindset; as I said in an earlier post, maybe some of you are simply too thin-skinned; your certainly give the impression that you think you know everything, so…If you don’t this that I’m civil enough for you,tough; man/woman up and get over yourselves.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Goalposts: moved.

          All of a sudden when you’re called out, you claim to not need to be polite to atheists for calling out your bullshit.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          It’s not a matter of being polite as defined by YOU; obviously that means cowering down and knuckling under your bullying, HairyEyedWordBombThrower. Here’s a quick lesson in Bible hermeneutics for you and your fellow atheists: “Turning the other cheek” is primarily in regards to our dealings with our fellow believers; we are to exercise wisdom and prudent judgment in dealing with unbelievers. So, sorry.you don’t get to run all over us in situations like this. We have a mandate to defend our beliefs the best we know how, so…There it is.

        • eric

          “Turning the other cheek” is primarily in regards to our dealings with our fellow believers

          Wow. Ignoring for the moment that Jesus was a Jew talking to other Jews before “your fellow believers” even existed, do you really think Jesus’ goal in the Sermon on the Mount was to set out the limits of the mercy and forgiveness people should show to each other?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Umm…You do realize that Jesus (Wait,suddenly He exists now? Watch it, Eric; the vicious attacks are on the way!) didn’t limit His instructions to JUST His Jewish audiences, don’t you? And no,I don’t think that,so…?

        • Michael Neville

          Here’s Matthew 5:38-41 (NIV):

          38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

          Nope, don’t see anything there about just being applicable to Jews. In fact I’ve just read all of Chapters 5, 6 and 7 (usually lumped together as the Sermon on the Mount) and didn’t get a hint of “this only applies to Jews, forget about being nice to heathens and apostates.” You might also want to consider the lesson of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

          36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
          Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (NIV)

          Like many Christian apologists, you’re quite ignorant about your own religious propaganda. And no, I don’t believe you have a bazillion books on religion and theology stashed away in your library.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Better re-read MY post, Mr.Neville; I said nothing about Jesus’ instruction being applicable only to the Jews. And I said that I have 4-500 books that are primarily theological in nature in my library(both hard-back and paper-back)—What on earth is so difficult to believe abound that, Mr.Neville?? I ‘ve been involved in theological study and research for over 25 years; what would make it particularly difficult to amass a library of that modest size, and for what purpose would I lie about that? What’s wrong with you?

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right, you didn’t say that Jesus’ instructions were limited to the Jews. I apologize for mischaracterizing your comment.

          What’s wrong with me is I have to deal with a semi-literate, ignorant, rather stupid man named Larry Chuck Ringo or something like that. Do you know this stupid jerk doesn’t realize that there’s a space between a title like Mr. and a name? How dumb is that? Have you every come across anyone who’s a third grade graduate who does idiotic shit like that? This guy claims to have lots of books about theology but he’s shows no reason to believe he’s ever read any of them.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Wow and wow again!! An actual apology from the LAST person I expected to render one! I am literally left with my mouth agape! (I’d better quit while I’m ahead and savor this moment, LOL!

        • David Cromie

          A problem arises if one only buys books that agree with ones ingrained world view. LCR needs to get out more and explore the real world.

        • Kodie

          It’s hard to believe you have that many books and yet sound so incoherent. Just decorative, I guess.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Have you ever read any theology or apologetics? It’s as incoherent as LCR is. His problem isn’t not reading. It’s his choice in reading material.

        • David Cromie

          I very much doubt that someone with a brain the size of a gnat’s would actually understand what he was reading.

        • Kodie

          I haven’t. I have seen other Christians at least seem literate enough. I don’t mean literate in the ‘wide variety of genres’ sense, but they can either repeat the arguments they believe, or like one in particular usually does, send you straight to the book. LCR already said he’s not going to debate. He’s not going to try. But he insists on hanging around, not knowing how to use punctuation or how to have a conversation with adults.

        • Kodie

          Sounds like you have a prejudice. You are aggressive and judgmental, which I think is hostile, so you’ll be treated as such, especially when your posts don’t contain any content.

        • BlackMamba44

          If you come in here acting like a judgemental, ignorant, arrogant asshole you will be treated like a judgemental, ignorant, arrogant asshole. Deal with it.

          What is the atheist mindset, oh One that thinks he knows all about it?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          The atheist mindset has been amply demonstrated on this site, BlackMamba44. Seriously, What are you not getting here??

        • Michael Neville

          We understand your interpretation of the atheist mindset: “You guys are big meanies because you don’t believe in my favorite pet god and you continually tell me that the reason why you’re big meanies for not believing in my favorite pet god is because I don’t have any evidence that my god exists. Just because I don’t have any evidence is no reason not to believe in my favorite pet god. Also you’re potty mouths and you think I’m an asshole.”

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          That’s pretty funny, Mr.Neville. The atheist mindset needs no particular interpretation; again, you’ve openly displayed your hostility, animus, mockery, and disdain for people of faith; you’ve made no attempt to do otherwise, Mr.Neville. So, what exactly needs to be” interpreted”, sir? You’ve made it abundantly clear that you don’t believe in Almighty God, or you deny that there even IS any God,so whether you’re talking about what you refer to as my”pet god” or whatever is assumed to be god/gods, is irrelevant; the end results in your mind will be the same, so…Here we are, continuously talking past one another. What’s the remedy for this contretemps?

        • Michael Neville

          I have no problem with people of faith. I have a problem with you. We happen to be discussing your religion but I’m sure if we were discussing politics or movies (I know better to discuss literature with a semi-illiterate like you) that you’d be just as arrogant, just as pompous and just as ignorant in those subjects as well.

          The remedy for this is quite simple. Stop being arrogant and pompous, learn to write, stop posting stupid emjois (what are you, 12?) and respond in good faith. For instance, I wrote that the myth of Jesus didn’t require an actual Jesus. Instead of giving a reasonable reply you blew me off with:

          “The story of Jesus would work perfectly well without an actual Jesus”…Wow. The fact that you actually believe that is simply mind-boggling.I’m at a loss for words.

          That, you pompous twit, is not a reasonable reply. If you disagree with me then rebut me, don’t spew a non sequitur and think that’s all that needs to be said. BTW I notice you did a little editing, it’s polite to say that you edited your post since I commented on the original error.

        • Pofarmer

          So all you have is non sequiters and bluster. Good to know.

        • BlackMamba44

          That didn’t answer the question.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Read the posts, BlackMamba44— you’ll see the atheist mindset on full DISLAYD!—PEACE.

        • Kodie

          You mean the mindset that there is no credible evidence for god? What about the lunatic Christian mindset that keeps yammering on like an idiot about their imaginary friend, mocking unbelievers, drooling like a moron, and doesn’t even try to understand the issue we’re having? I mean, please go ahead and behave like an ass because your superstition is ridiculous. If you can’t or won’t or don’t want to even try to defend it, you’re just making it look all the stupider.

          But go ahead. If trolling atheists is all you got, you must be terribly lonely and sad.

        • Pofarmer

          There seems to be a lot of that.

        • Kodie

          You’ve demonstrated yourself to be an inconsiderate asshole. I don’t care if you’re a Christian. You came in whining like the shitty craphole you are as a human, and also turn out to be incapable of following or having discussion. RUDE AS FUCK YOU ARE. You came in looking to feed your need for persecution, not for discussion. That’s why you’re treated as you are.

          That’s not an atheist mindset – that’s just, you’re rude as fuck. What kind of feedback did you expect from acting like you do? You don’t struggle to be polite, you don’t seem to have control over yourself at all.

        • al kimeea

          LCRingo – you certainly give the impression that you think you know everything

          ‘You’, of course, being atheists.

          Why are we here?

          Many atheists: I don’t know.

          LCRingo: My deity did it.

          Your arrogance is showing.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          What on earth are you talking about, al kimeea??

        • Kodie

          How sad you’re just unable to follow a discussion. I hope you do get banned, because you’re useless here.

        • Susan

          I hope you do get banned, because you’re useless here.

          I hope he gets banned because he’s just an asshole, shit disturbing troll here for the pathetic thrill of being an asshole, shit-disturbing troll.

          Any glimpse at his comment history makes that obvious.

          There is no reason to think he’s anything but a troll taking advantage of the forum.

          I would flag him and report him but Disqus provides these useless check marks that prohibit that. Anyway, they ignore real reasons to flag people.

          And I have no reason to think it goes to the moderator.

          Much as I don’t necessarily advise that ignoring a troll is the best way to deal with one, in Laurent’s case, I think it’s good advice.

          The fewer of us who respond to him as though he is interested in serious discussion, the better.

          If he keeps going after that, someone should just e-mail Bob.

          Ameribear is probably not fake. Nor Clement nor Karl nor probably even Scooter.

          But Laurence is just an internet vampire.

        • Kodie

          The last time I was harassed by a guy who mimicked my account and posted troll shit everywhere, disqus as much as admitted to me that they have no power or interest in limiting these assholes who violate their rules.

          Edit: Looking back at the thread I started at disqus discuss (which, by the way, is only for admins, and there is no way for the common poster to craft any sort of elaborate, detailed complaint about another poster), they actually admitted it to someone else (whose posts are deleted), who had added their similar complaint to my thread. The review committee appears to be an overworked panel of volunteers who advise you to block the poster so they don’t have to ban their account.

          Regular posters are supposed to be satisfied with reporting another poster with the 3 dots by their name on their profile and checking only one violation. Once you do that, you can’t report this person ever again for anything, as though they are reviewing the complaint, and you have no way of explaining how severe the violation was, unless you crash the admin-only message board and choose some irrelevant topic for a header.

          If you are on someone’s post and flag them instead, I think they go to the moderator, but I’m not sure. You can flag the same post a lot, there’s apparently no limit, so I don’t know where they go, but you know Bob doesn’t care to ban people that easily, but there’s a great chance flagging the post has as much effect as downvoting their post.

        • Susan

          as much as admitted to me that they have no power or interest in limiting these assholes who violate their rules

          They have power. It’s obvious they have no interest.

          Numbers are their game. These assholes (as well as the assholes who hijack accounts to upvote us and others in order to sell “sexy young girls who are hot for action” without being flagged for doing so) add to their numbers.

          They’re a “forum for discussion” but they don’t give a shit about discussion.

          Add “Patheos” to the equation and it gets worse.

          Trying to have an intelligent discussion under those guidelines is as aggressive as atheism gets.

          We can’t have it at dinner tables or school classrooms or at funerals for our dead friends whose names are mispronounced while they use that good person’s death to go on about Jesus.

          It’s rude.

          So, we have here. Squished into some dog’s breakfast with no continuity and where there are no mechanisms to deal with the worst kind of internet trolls.

          Where I can’t follow your participation (unless I find you in Recent Comments (thanks to Greg G. months ago but newcomers won’t know unless they link to long-buried Haeckel) because you are forced into anonymity.

          Still, christians only show up occasionally to repat the same old PRATTs and to accuse us of hostility for raising the subject.

          It makes me understandthe value of billboard campaigns.

          They’re not ideal but that’s how humans work.

        • Kodie

          When I feel like the danger has passed, I unblock my account. I assume if you follow me, then you suddenly get new updates. I don’t follow anyone. I just get threads I subscribe to go to my email, and then I have to read all the emails. Sometimes, there are too many and I just scroll really fast, but most of the time, I read everything.

        • Susan

          When I feel like the danger has passed, I unblock my account.

          I didn’t realize that. Even e-mails screw up for me and in the past month or so, I’ve been working where I only got internet on my phone and my phone’s not set for that much internet because it hasn’t been necessary for so long.

          After nearly a month without it, I don’t even want to look at my e-mails which are clogged up with more stuff than Disqus.

          I would see you, Ameribear and Pofarmer have an exchange and because you’re all blocked, by the time I got back to recent comments, there was no way to find it again, except to reload through the discussion, which is way too heavy for Disqus to handle.

          Not only would it get me nowhere, it would cost me great big gobs of data to get nowhere.

          I rely pretty much on Recent Comments and Notifications.

          The rest is nearly impossible to navigate.

          There were a few months there years ago where I was using my phone and now, I’m pretty sure it’s on my record that I upvoted myself a few hundred times because I was still trying to figure out Disqus.

          Which is why I’m slow to accuse someone of upvoting themself.

          I don’t like using my phone. It’s hard enough to load these discussions on a computer without doing something stupid.

        • Kodie

          I don’t deal with any of this shit by phone. I have 4 email accounts, including one I run for a business (not my business). One of them is dedicated to my disqus account. I have to wait until I get home to look at new posts, and so occasionally get really backed up. I will read your comments eventually.

          I used to not upvote as often, but I think I upvote more. It used to be if I read an email I wanted to like or respond to, clicking “reply to” in my email took too long to load the page. Now it loads the page to the post faster, but I’m not already logged in, so I have to upvote, then it logs me in, then I see that I have upvoted. I think it takes altogether as much or more time than it used to load each page where I was already logged in.

          It is still better than that world table bullshit. I also go to my disqus profile to see the responses to posts I’ve made, and it’s easier to reply there. I feel like I have all the emails I need to see, so I don’t follow anyone. I don’t think I could handle an additional set of email notifications, isolating a person’s comments outside of context.

        • Susan

          It is still better than that world table bullshit.

          Well, only because World Table did nothing to address the problems of disqus and provided terrible new problems.

          Now, we’re supposed to be grateful.

          What’s wrong with, I don’t know, reliable mechanisms to point out stalkers? Or sock puppet trolls?

          It’s not unheard of in moderation systems.

          The American Idol method of popular voting is about as useful as American Idol is to musicians.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          You would “flag me and report me” for what, Susan? If this site won’t flag YOU for the vile, profane rant you just posted, what basis would they have for flagging/banning me?Only in YOUR small, truncated world does that make sense. I would remind you that this is a public forum, and you are certainly free NOT to respond to any of my posts. Are you SERIOUSLY proposing that this site stifle free speech? I guess that indicates how I would fare in your singular, atheistic world, doesn’t it? TRUTH WILL OUT!

        • Susan

          Are you SERIOUSLY proposing that this site stifle free speech?

          No.

          Fuck off.

        • epeeist

          I would remind you that this is a public forum

          Is it, or is it part of a privately owned web site?

          Are you SERIOUSLY proposing that this site stifle free speech?

          Do you have the right to post anything on, say, the New York Times or Breitbart web sites? Or do they have commenting guidelines on what you can and cannot post? Do these restrictions impinge on your right to free speech?

          I guess that indicates how I would fare in your singular, atheistic world, doesn’t it?

          One of the things that is obvious is that you came here to provoke in order to support you confirmation bias. Your posts contain little of substance or interest and you never provide answers to questions that are put to you.

          I find you rather like Ernie in The Hogfather, of whom Mr. Teatime said “Wasn’t he dull?”

          TRUTH WILL OUT!

          Ah, an argumentum ad litteras maiusculas, colour me convinced. Personally I don’t think you know what constitutes truth.

          EDIT: Removed extraneous content.

        • Michael Neville

          So Larry Chuck is yet another whiner who doesn’t understand what free speech entails. Free speech means the government will not prosecute you for making political statements. It does not guarantee you a forum, it does not promise you an audience, and it does not protect you from rebuttal, criticism or mockery.

          TRUTH WILL OUT!

          It’s extremely arrogant of you to think you have possession of TRUTH.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Hi again, Mr. Neville. (1), my comment wasn’t in regard to speech policed by our government, sir. I was referring to the ordinary expressions of the citizen in interactions between each other, as on this site. Susan would have me banned simply because she doesn’t like what I’m saying; ergo, according to her, I ought not have the right to say it. Unfortunately for her, again, this is a public forum(If I am mistaken, as someone else suggested, whoever owns this site certainly has the right to ban/block me, but so far they’ve not chosen to do so, despite Susan’s and others sour grapes. THAT is the only point I was trying to make. If this site has no problem allowing the dropping of the “F” bomb, then I for one would be perplexed as to why I should be banned/blocked. Perhaps you or Susan or Kodie can explain it to me, me being the slow-witted, knuckle-dragging fundamentalist that I’m presumed to be. Maybe the moderators of this site don’t approve of online bullying…Ya think? ) (2 ), the truth I’m speaking of is the truth about the atheist mindset, so amply displayed on this site. Mull and Reflect, sir. PEACE!

        • Susan

          1), my comment wasn’t in regard to speech policed by our government

          Then,you were wrong when you suggested that I proposed that this site stifle free speech. Michael Neville corrected you.

          Susan would have me banned simply because she doesn’t like what I’m saying; ergo,

          No.

          whoever owns this site certainly has the right to ban/block me,

          Yes. Which is why I suggested Bob S. be sent an e-mail asking him to evaluate your commenting history. He is the only moderator and trolls can run rampant here before he has a chance to catch up. Of course it’s up to him.

          being the slow-witted, knuckle-dragging fundamentalist that I’m presumed to be

          I didn’t say you were any of those things. I think you are a troll, intentionally trolling.

        • Kodie

          I called him trash.

        • Kodie

          Nobody likes what you’re saying because it’s just trash. I don’t care if you’re a Christian, you don’t serve another purpose than behaving like an asshole here. If you want to debate, discuss, converse, you can go ahead and start any time. You don’t, you won’t, you’re afraid to, so you serve no purpose. You’re just garbage speaking.

        • JP415
        • Michael Neville

          Susan called you an asshole, shit-disturbing troll for one simple reason, that’s an excellent description of you. Susan is probably the calmest, most tolerant regular on this blog, so for her to call you what she did shows those of us who know her that she is really, truly annoyed with you.

          Why is she annoyed? Because you’re arrogant, pompous, pedantic and ignorant. You are, in fact, an ignoranus, i.e. an ignorant asshole. Whining about “f-bombs” or, as normal people say it, FUCK, tells us that you’re also a prissy prude. That you don’t like that language is your problem, not ours.

          I’ve told you before that there are other ways to be rude besides using foul language. Your inability to answer questions or to rebut our arguments, and your general air of unwarranted superiority are all quite rude. As JP415 points out, you’re also sealioning us.

          You haven’t been bullied here. Susan, Kodie and I have given our opinions concerning you. That those opinions are not flattering is your fault. If you weren’t an asshole, shit-disturbing troll then we wouldn’t think you were one. You might give some serious thought that if several people have the same opinion about you then maybe you should change your habits.

          This website, like the vast majority of sites in the blogosphere, is private property. This particular blog belongs to Bob Seidensticker who also moderates it. If Bob thinks that you should be banned then bye-bye and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just so you know, Bob gets annoyed when someone sockpuppets to get around a banning.

        • JP415

          LCR is totally sea lioning us! It’s like the term was invented to describe him in particular. Maybe he’s some kind of troll mastermind, and this whole thing is a diabolical prank.

        • Kodie

          You’re not contributing anything to a discussion among adults, you’re just provoking with dull remarks for your own amusement. You didn’t even see the list of Christians Susan said aren’t fake, and are, in their way, keeping up their end of a discussion among adults. Go fuck yourself.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Sigh…Unless Susan, or anyone else on this is a mind/reader, there IS no list that can be provided to indicate who is/isn’t Christian, Kodie. Seriously? Wow.(By the way, I so enjoy your invitations for me to attempt to engage in anatomically impossibilities with myself! Man, you atheists ARE funny! Who’da thunk it?—

        • Kodie

          So you can’t, don’t want to, choose not to, or are afraid to, engage with us as an adult? I think you are a fake adult. Go fuck your pillow then.

        • JP415

          You’re pulling our leg! There’s no way your serious.

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t Clement actually Mark Sibley?

        • Susan

          Isn’t Clement actually Mark Sibley?

          I don’t know. Probably. It’s all a blur. He sure seems familiar.

          But with christians showing up repeating PRATTS and so many sockpuppets, I lose my ability to see the whole picture.

          Laurence has definitely been here before, probably more than once.

        • MR

          I seem to remember that it was established long ago that Clement was a sock puppet.

        • Kodie

          I think so, but I wouldn’t swear because I might be mixed up. That was a long time ago, but I do remember Clement from before.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          al kimeea didn’t propose a discussion, he offered a nonsensical opinion that, frankly, made no sense; hence my question…That’s what I have trouble with, Kodie.I’m not inclined to chase anyone down pseudo-phylosophical rabbit holes, including yours. Peace.

        • Kodie

          You’re not inclined to uphold your beliefs in a forum where we discuss that sort of shit, intellectually. It sounds like you don’t give a shit about spouting your nonsense in the wrong place. Good try pretending to be civil.

        • JP415

          I’ve been using Disqus for about a year, and LCR is the biggest clown I’ve encountered so far.

        • Kodie

          I’ve seen bigger clowns. Sometimes, when I think I’ve seen the biggest clown I’ve ever seen, along comes an even bigger one. Welcome.

        • al kimeea

          edited comment for clarity

        • JP415

          Are you really 63, Laurence Charles Ringo? You write like a teenage girl.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nonsense. You’re impolite and full of bullshit, cloaked in fine words.

        • Kodie

          Eh, I wouldn’t say fine.

        • eric

          He seems pretty sensible to me: he’s saying that individual personal testimony is insufficient for acceptance of this claim. The real irony is that you almost certainly would agree with him, in cases of testimony coming from someone outside your religion in support of a faith claim that contradicts your own.

          To paraphrase an old adage, we reject your one faith for the same reasons you reject the thousands (if not millions) of other faiths. We just go that one faith further.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Umm…No. You would have to have some mechanism by which you could reliably ascertain whether the individual giving the testimony is being truthful; barring actually being there yourself, I’m not sure how you could do that, Eric.There are authenticated records of untold numbers of people receiving miraculous answers to prayers; I count myself among them.But the actual results of the prayers are rarely witnessed; usually those who were the most intimately aquainted with the individual in question, who knew that they had suffered some ailment and hadn’t gone to a doctor or hospital, can testify to the inexplicable nature of their healing/delivery, again, events that have been well attested to throughout history and in the present day. So…there it is.

        • Otto

          Define ‘authenticated’…

        • eric

          you would have to have some mechanism by which you could reliably ascertain whether the individual giving the testimony is being truthful; barring actually being there yourself, I’m not sure how you could do that

          “Being there” is exactly how you do that. If, as you claim, prayers are answered, there should be no problem in setting up the cameras in preparation for the next prayer. You’re not claiming prayer only worked in the past, r ight? You’re claiming it will work again tomorrow. So do your prayer and miraculous response in front of tomorrow’s cameras; we will “be there.”

          Of course we know the results of such requests, don’t we? Prayer “response” isn’t consistent, isn’t reproducible, isn’t even statistically significant.

          the actual results of the prayers are rarely witnessed; usually those who were the most intimately aquainted with the individual in question, who knew that they had suffered some ailment and hadn’t gone to a doctor
          or hospital, can testify to the inexplicable nature of their healing/delivery

          I agree with you that bodily healing is often inexplicable. But “inexplicable” /= God did it, just like it /= Thor Did It or Vishnu Did It or the invisible dragon in my garage did it. Inexplicable just means humans don’t know how it happened.

          Look, if someone claimed an inexplicable healing after praying to Vishnu was evidence that the Hindu religion was correct, you would reject that assertion, yes? You think Hinduism is incorrect and the occasional, irreproducible correlation between an inexplicable event and a prayer to Vishnu is not sufficient to change your mind. Well, we agree with you on that. And like you, we apply the same logic to assertions about Thor. Like you, we apply the same logic to assertions about invisible dragons in garages. But we also apply the same logic to the Christian God, whereas you abandon this logic when it comes to your own religion. And that makes no sense.

        • David Cromie

          I know what would be a ‘real miracle’; a bunch of christians praying for an amputee, and then a new limb starts growing, complete with before and after photos, at least, if not a time delay camera recording the whole thing. It should not take too long if your supposed ‘god’ can create a universe in just six days.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, ignorance is timeless. So what?

        • Greg G.

          No. You would have to have some mechanism by which you could reliably ascertain whether the individual giving the testimony is being truthful; barring actually being there yourself, I’m not sure how you could do that,

          We rely on evidence to distinguish imaginary concepts and reality.

          A real religion should be impossible for a fake religion to imitate so it should be easy to distinguish a divinely-manufactured religion from a man-made one.

          Yet no single religion can get a majority of the world to believe it and large religions are divided into man-made sects.

          So we should doubt all religions.

          If it is possible for a malevolent being to manufacture religions that are indistinguishable from the real religion, we should doubt all religions. If a real deity cannot provide evidence to distinguish it’s religion, then it’s not much of a deity.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

          So cure cancer in children, scumbag.

          Or don’t you WANT to?

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Is there some sense I’m not aware of that you have myself and Almighty God confused, “HairyEyedWordBombThrower”??

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Hmmm, did you miss the passage from Matthew?

          Or do you not want to cure kids of cancer.

          The passage says you CAN, per Jeebuz.

    • Ellabulldog

      1. your job to prove not others to disprove.
      2. science is a system to explain our environment and to test it. It is not a system set up to explain away human’s delusional assertions.
      3. Smart people tend to not be religious. Even then some are brainwashed early in life and struggle with it.
      4. What is good, right and moral. Religion has nothing to do with those subjects.
      5. Secularism is how the US is governed. Better than theocracy.
      6. Religious belief is one of three things. Indoctrination or brainwashing. Wishful superstitious thinking. Or based on fear.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Hmm…You’ve got it all tidied up in a neat little mental bow of your own making, huh Ellabulldog? Wow.That must be comforting.Tell me: Can you name 3 world-famous scientists who were Christian theists? Let me give you a start: Kelvin. Faraday. Copernicus. Kepler. It would seem that your…”smart people tend not to be religious”…is more opinion than fact, Ellabulldog.Try again. Peace.

        • Ellabulldog

          Read the second sentence of #3. brainwashed early in life.

          Or the last word of #6. Fear.

          Now someone may be great at math and still be superstitious. They are compartmentalizing.

          And I said tend not to be. It is not absolute but in free societies today most brilliant scientists, doctors and others of high intellect are not religious. Some may still pretend as society still places a high value on “fitting in”.

          A nuclear scientist in Iran will be a Muslim. If not he will be killed or jailed.
          In N. Korea a nuclear scientist will worship the leader as his god. Or he will be jailed or killed.

          Kepler, Kelvin, Faraday and Copernicus were religious at a time when most people were. If born today in Europe it is doubtful that they would ever set foot in a church.

          Not much of a choice back then

          I could easily say that everyone in North and South America 600 years ago were not Christian. I would be correct. Then we work on drawing conclusions as to why that is so.

          So you can now see why your four were Christian. Culture.

          It wasn’t because they had evidence or used logic. Or their scientific minds especially. They had to turn that part off to believe.

          If they really did believe.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          That’s interesting, Ellabulldog.Is mindreading a genuine scientific research activity? I mean, you’re engaging in that right now, AND you’re reading the minds of people long dead!! Wow! What the what? And you think Christian theists are delusion? THAT is a good one; thanks for the laugh!!

        • Doubting Thomas

          Your inability to distinguish between someone saying something is probably true and someone claiming to read the minds of dead people is duly noted.

        • Ellabulldog

          Abductive reasoning is what it is called.

          Most scientists today are not religious. Most scientists 200 years ago were religious. If a scientist from 200 years ago were alive today more than likely that person would not be religious. ” Western Europe?US”

          People still kill others for not following the dominant culture’s faith. Hundreds of years ago someone could be killed or jailed for not being Christian. Hence scientists if wanting to stay alive or out of jail would say they were Christian.

          Not 100% of course but more than likely.

        • Meepestos

          As late as the nineteenth century you could even get expelled from a prestigious university for being an atheist; that would certainly limit your prospects to becoming a science faculty member.

          Today, there are thirteen countries where it is illegal to be an atheist. Atheists in some of these nations cannot come out and admit they are when they are doing science or studying abroad in fear of being prosecuted upon returning home.

        • Ellabulldog

          Even in the States many still will “pretend” to be religious for social reasons and peer pressure.
          Sure they won’t be killed but people are still fired over it. Just discreetly. Or just not hired at all.

          The need to fit in is stronger for many than being correct about the issue. Or the need to get along with the majority by suppressing their voice.

          It is slowly changing but we are not quite to the point where being atheist is seen as a stance on the subject and not a condemnation of a person.

          Someone near me is running for Congress. On her ad is that she is a member of some Christian organization. If she put member of FFRF would that get her votes or hurt her?

          Still a ways to go.

        • Meepestos
        • Ellabulldog

          Good for them.

          Side note and trivia question for you. If you travel south from where I was born you would hit Canada. It isn’t always north of the US. 🙂

        • Michael Neville

          You were born in Detroit?

        • Ellabulldog

          Yes. One day the Lions will win the Super Bowl. Never mind now I sound religious with such an outlandish claim. 🙂

        • Michael Neville

          Isn’t there a song about that? “To Dream the Impossible Dream”

        • Meepestos

          You were born in Detroit?

          Here’s one for you, what island that belongs to France, is just off a Canadian Island; a Canadian island that used to be its own country.

        • Susan

          St. Pierre-Miquelon.

          (I know a few Newfies who travelled to France by ferry.)

        • Meepestos

          I’ve never been to NFLD or St Pierre-Miquelon, but knew folk from NFLD.

        • Susan

          I’ve never been to NFLD or St Pierre-Miquelon

          I’ve only made it as far as Cape Breton island, where my Mom was born, but that’s just short of The Rock.

          but knew folk from NFLD.

          Same here. Nothing like a Newfie accent. It’s a lovely thing.

        • Ellabulldog

          yes, such a lovely city:).

          I had to google that. Newfoundland and Saint Pierre and Miquelon?

          Didn’t know that. Weird climate. Never hot yet never super cold either.

        • Meepestos

          Corrrect.

          Canada’s west coast can have an interesting climate also. With it’s wet temperate winters, weird things can happen such as Roses blooming in December, the nice smell coming from fields of cilantro in January, and cherry blossoms sometimes in February.

        • David Cromie

          Christian theists are delusion, one only has to read the opinion-based nonsense they post.

        • JP415

          I can tell that I’m dealing with a very high-powered intellect when a guy includes smiley faces in his reply. You, sir, are a great scholar!

        • adam

          ” Can you name 3 world-famous scientists who were Christian theists?”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de704260c6038172c69830f5b8a4718830b6eecec8c4b134d8197a027a59c2d2.jpg

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then explain HOW their xtian theism led them TO the great scientific discoveries which make them memorable.

          I’ll wait.

          FYI, science requires *skepticism* that religion can’t overcome.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’d be more interested in how they used the scientific method to establish the truth of their religious claims.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          NDT has a great lecture where he explains that great thinkers invoke ‘god’ when they can’t analyze any further, like Newton and the 3 body problem.

      • Scooter

        In reply to your 6 points:
        1. Consider these questions: How did the universe come into existence? Why does the universe exhibit the ‘appearance’ of ‘fine tuning’? How did life originate? Why does biology exhibit the ‘appearance’ of ‘design’? How did human consciousness come into being? Where does ‘free will’ come from? Why are humans so contradictory in nature? Why do transcendent moral truths exist? Why do we believe human life to be precious? Why do pain, evil and injustice exist in our world? To answer these questions both theists and atheists share a singular burden of proof. As a Bible-believing Christian I argue for God’s existence and activity. But you Ella need to argue that adequate answers exist only through sufficient naturalistic explanations. The burden of proof is not limited to the theist; all of us need to be able to make a case for our choice of answers. One side defends supernaturalism, the other defends philosophical naturalism.

        2. When you read the likes of Dawkins and other new atheists these days in general, they believe that science ‘explains away’ any evidence for the existence of God. But science does no such thing. Over centuries scientists have discovered laws of nature, and physical processes. Scientists such as Kepler, Galileo and Bacon would have told us that these discoveries don’t explain God away. They in fact expected to find an ordered rational structure precisely because they believed the universe was designed by a rational agent.

        3. This third comment is just wrong. But let me point out that there are smart people on both sides. Perhaps the question isn’t about ‘smarts’ so much as it is about wisdom-“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” As far as brain-washing is concerned there is much of it going on these days in the public schools and colleges with evolution, psychobabble and other forms of secularism.

        4. Does God have anything to do with good, right and morals? Consider what a brilliant mind of a former atheist turned Christian wrote: “As an atheist my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has an idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” C.S. Lewis realized the straight line was the moral standard of God.

        5. The kingdom of God is comprised of people from a variety of ethnic groups, tribes, tongues, nations who have been brought into this kingdom by the Sovereign will of God. There would be many American believers within this family but it doesn’t seem to be God’s intention to create a theocracy in any nation today. Ancient Israel for a time was governed as a theocracy. The only folks I can think of who would love to spread a theocracy of Allah and dictated by the Koran would of course be the Shariah law of the Muslims. And this would be very bad news!

        6. Religious belief can involve indoctrination for sure-consider the Muslim extremists; superstitious? again yes-consider the pagan religions of history. And the Christian can have fear-but not the kind you’re thinking of. It’s a reverence for the One who is perfect in holiness. It will be this holiness that will cause men to tremble with great fear and beg the mountains to fall on them when Christ appears at the end of days in judgment and wrath against all unholiness and evil.

        • Ellabulldog

          1. fine tuning doesn’t exist. it is a human invention used to describe what we see.
          2. don’t know yet.
          3. It doesn’t appear designed.
          4. conciousnous is from our brains.
          5. no such thing as free will, that is a religious term used to explain away some woo.
          6. morals are subjective based on culture
          7. human life precious? who thinks that? do you comprehend history and man’s inhumanity to other men. Humans do not see other human’s lives as precious.

          Those questions were easy.

          Next.

          I don’t read Dawkins or anyone. Science is not here to explain away religion. If religion makes a silly claim and science happens to discover something that refutes it then it really is just a coincidence. Evolution was discovered because we wanted to learn how life evolves. That it wrecks the bible’s assertions is secondary.

          Next. Someone can be “smart” but also be superstitious and wrong. So on this subject their mind fails them.

          CS Lewis’s argument is bunk. The Universe is neither just or unjust. Nature is Nature. His explanation is not persuasive in the least.
          That he wrote fictional stories great. His views on his faith are just him trying to justify why he believes nonsense. He never did prove his assertions.

          Your last rant is very telling. You believe in God because of the carrot and the stick. It appears the stick really works on you. You fear some judgement day so you are hopelessly stuck in this belief.
          Your mind is not free to decide because emotion “FEAR” is overriding reason. It is obvious.

          That is what many religions and cults do to control the minds of people.

          You have to let go of the fear to really be able to think about this with an open mind. Hard for people to do. Good luck.

        • Michael Neville

          Scientists such as Kepler, Galileo and Bacon would have told us that these discoveries don’t explain God away.

          All three of these scientists were intellectual lights of the first half of the 17th Century. Got anyone more modern?

        • epeeist

          How did the universe come into existence?

          Don’t know, neither do you.

          Why does the universe exhibit the ‘appearance’ of ‘fine tuning’?

          Fine tuning for what?

          How did life originate?

          Don’t know and neither do you, however it is the subject of an amount of scientific research.

          Why does biology exhibit the ‘appearance’ of ‘design’?

          Does it appear designed? Or merely optimised to environmental and ecological constraints?

          How did human consciousness come into being?

          Don’t know and neither do you, however there is substantial evidence that it is an emergent property of brains.

          Why do transcendent moral truths exist?

          They don’t, ethical systems are developed within particular societies and develop over time.

          To answer these questions both theists and atheists share a singular burden of proof.

          There are two problems with this, firstly both sets have people have to come to an agreement as to what can be accepted as justification and warrant. Secondly, agreement is necessary as to what counts as an explanation. In both cases there has to be an equal balance, the same level of rigour has to apply both to the theist and the atheist.

        • Jim Jones

          >> How did life originate?

          > Don’t know and neither do you, however it is the subject of an amount of scientific research.

          A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life | Quanta Magazine

          https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-thermodynamics-theory-of-the-origin-of-life-20140122/

          From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.

          “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said.

        • epeeist

          A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life | Quanta Magazine

          That’s an interesting article, non-equilibrium thermodynamics was something I never really got into.

          The only time I tend to reference it is when creotards attempt to use the 2nd law of thermodynamics to show that evolution is impossible, they do of course neglect the fact that there is an enormous yellow ball in the sky which means that the earth is not an equilibrium system. They also never realise that the second law is statistical and that there can be local pockets where the entropy is different to the overall system.

        • David Cromie

          Thanks for that word-salad of superstitious religiot gobbledygook. Has it never occurred to you that the first step in any discussion involving any supposed supernatural entity, when such is claimed to exist, would be to adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that it actually does exist?

        • Jim Jones

          Science: Questions that may never be answered.

          Religion: Answers that may never be questioned.

        • Joe

          The burden of proof is not limited to the theist; all of us need to be able to make a case for our choice of answers. One side defends supernaturalism, the other defends philosophical naturalism.

          OK, as evidence for naturalism, I present a rock. Please counter with evidence of something supernatural.

    • eric

      Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.

      Anyone who believes that must be smoking something. The big bang being an obvious counter-example; rejection by mainstream science of a multitude of non-reiigious theories would be another whole set.

    • adam

      “Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational?”

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/576b5354eb99d2993f45ae1c298d7ea1beb6be63a081a92e69a99632f9b856b3.jpg

      • Scooter

        Adam, Surely you understand the difference between this act of insanity and the Biblical command to love your neighbor as yourself. No?

        • adam

          ” Surely you understand the difference between this act of insanity and
          the Biblical command to love your neighbor as yourself. No?”

          Surely you understand this was the same kind of ‘test’ given Abraham.

          “Love your neighbor as yourself’?

          You mean like OWNING them as PROPERTY?
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb4831e1694c2ba934736efcb24fc7f67501a3f169ecaeac7e1a8fd31de3d3f6.png

        • GalapagosPete

          The most interesting thing is that Abraham full expected to sacrifice his son – he believed that his god was the type of being that would require you to murder your child.

          So in this story, both Abraham and his god were murderous assholes.

        • Bob Jase

          Yep, apparantly no one at the time thought it odd for god to demand human sacrifices.

        • adam
        • adam

          “Biblical command to love your neighbor as yourself. No?”

          then you have an OBVIOUSLY warped view on what ‘love’ is:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f94b0037eccec85b544dc3d581c61382e53517cfe2cd379c0be014b4d64b78f9.jpg

        • Kodie

          You need a book to tell command you to be nice to people? How weird.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Tell me, Kodie, assuming that you are somewhat in touch with the usual goings on of humanity, through your own observations, or through the news,”fake” or otherwise: ARE human beings naturally nice to each other? The interactions I myself have encountered on this site disproves that notion.I await your reply.

        • Kodie

          You’re not nice. Or relevant to my comment.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yep. For the most part, humans ARE nice or neutral to each other.

          Otherwise we’d fail as a social species.

        • Jim Jones

          Unfortunately humans are wired to form into groups and having done so, to hate or barely tolerate ‘outsiders’.

          Google (football fan violence) : About 8,340,000 results

        • BlackMamba44

          ARE human beings naturally nice to each other? The interactions I myself have encountered on this site disproves that notion.I await your reply

          Do you need some cream for that butthurt?

          Here you go: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f1471e8986f0f4e027f2b9d87f77ebe3bbda4ec655befdf028e16585fdaf3dca.jpg

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          There we go…I love you, BlackMamba44!!

        • BlackMamba44

          I don’t think I am superior to anyone else.

          There’s you’re answer.

          As for the rest; https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de21088614b92123e9c8428209dab1aeb993622fc8b4cd95d13790bb4b654a49.png

        • Scooter

          You will find “nice” people serving life sentences in the State pen. for murdering, not loving their spouses. Their shocked neighbors will tell you what “nice” people they were. Loving people is not just about being nice to them but telling them the truth such as Laurence has.

        • Susan

          telling them the truth such as Laurence has.

          Fascinating. Laurence is such an obvious troll that I refuse to engage with him as if he were an actual christian. He has made no effort to say anything “true”.

          I think his presence here is an insult to sincere christians.

          But there you are snuggling up to him as though he were one.

          Poe’s law turned outside in. The snake eating itself from the tail on up. .

          You’ve done more damage to christianity than I ever could with that approach.

          You are an indoctrinated idiot, apparently and sadly beyond reach. .

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Hmm…Now, there was a time when calling someone an idiot was considered an insult, depending on the context in which it was delivered. Alas, it would seem that time has passed,sadly. By the way, Susan: When did YOU become the arbitrator and judge of what constitutes a “true Christian”? I always thought that Almighty God had that job covered; If He passed it own to any him being, we didn’t get that memo. (Well,Pope Boniface VIII thought that he had Jesus, but…no.—“Unam Sanctum”). At any rate, I await your reply, Susan.

        • MR

          =D

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Thank you, Scooter; glad to have you join the fray! I was started to feel like Don Quixote for a minute there!

        • Scooter

          I don’t think Susan would have you over for coffee! or me for that matter being the indoctrinated idiot that I am!

        • Susan

          You will find “nice” people serving life sentence in the State pen.

          But the crimes they are accused of and for which they are serving sentences aren’t consider “nice”.

          So, what’s your point?

          No one put John Wayne Gacy (for instance) into jail for being a clown at children’s parties.

          Loving people is not just about being nice to them but telling them the truth

          But you can’t even tell yourself the truth, let alone people here.

          Link the discussion to a single instance where you justified your truth claims.

          Or where Laurence even tried.

          You have cherry-picked quotes.

          Laurence has trollish strategies and happy faces. I’m not even oonvinced he’s a real christian. That you take it for granted that he is, only shows how deep down you’ve sunk.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Wow, Susan…I’m interested in the criteria by which YOU would judge me to be a real Christian, as opposed to a fake one, which obviously you can unfailingly recognize. Send me your”Real Christian” criteria, and we’ll go over it together and see if we can reach a consensus,O.K.? I await your reply. (By the way, I like my happy faces; the fact that get some people on this site bent out of shape is VERY telling. Mull and Reflect, Susan…

        • Jim Jones

          > Send me your”Real Christian” criteria.

          Anyone who says they’re a Christian.

        • Otto

          >>>”Loving people is not just about being nice to them but telling them the truth…”

          You get a lot of love here than…

        • Kodie

          You’re warped! I don’t need a book to tell me to care about other people. I think your idea is “pester everyone about Jesus” and that’s all you have to do to “love your neighbor.” That’s the major disconnect between you and Laurence, and reality. I mean, your whole answer to me is a non sequitur.

        • Jim Jones

          And yet the prisons are full of Christians and other believers; while non-believers are very rare.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          No difference between insanity and fervent religion.

          You ought to think about that.

        • Scooter

          If you consider something like fanatical Muslim suicide bombers as fervent religion I agree. Now loving your neighbor as you love yourself would seem to be a good thing would it not?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What about the asshole who shot Dr. Tiller? Or the asshole who shot up the PP in Colorado?

          Same Shit, Different Religion.

        • Kodie

          I still don’t know why you need a religion to know that?

        • Jim Jones

          Not if she’s someone else’s wife.

        • BlackMamba44

          Luke 14:26 (NIV)

          26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

        • Scooter

          I can appreciate your confusion with such a verse-even Christians have questions about some of Jesus’ sayings. But Jesus is not teaching a new commandment of hating people. If you read the context of the verse what Jesus is saying is clarified. He is teaching about the cost of following Him. So note Luke 14:33 “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” On a typical day there were many crowds that were around Jesus listening to his teachings. Why were these crowds following him? They must have been stirred by his healings, feeding of the thousands and other miracles. As Jesus addresses the crowd in Luke 14:26 he wants to make clear that there will be a total cost in following him if anyone wanted to be his disciple. In other words you have to place Jesus first before even other important people in your life-even before yourself.
          Note also that the Greek verb miseo, the word “hate” is a misleading translation. As used here, the verb means, “to regard with less affection,” “to love less,” “to esteem less.” So, again Christ is simply telling us that He must come first in our love and commitment. On another occasion, Jesus spoke the same truth, but more plainly: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37).

        • Jim Jones

          ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
          Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
          All mimsy were the borogoves,
          And the mome raths outgrabe.

          “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
          The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
          Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
          The frumious Bandersnatch!”

          He took his vorpal sword in hand;
          Long time the manxome foe he sought—
          So rested he by the Tumtum tree
          And stood awhile in thought.

        • BlackMamba44

          That doesn’t make it sound any better.

          But you did some nice twisting there .

          It’s funny. All the nice verses Christians take at face value. They mean exactly what they say. The bad verses apparently need to be explained in an essay as to why they aren’t so bad.

          Got any evidence of what Jesus did other than the Bible? He supposedly did some amazing things yet other than some cryptic stories cobbled together well after his supposed death…crickets.

        • Kodie

          Like how your family would worry about you when you join a cult, and the cult leader saying cut them out of your life and follow me.

          Abuser Tricks: https://newhopeforwomen.org/abuser-tricks

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          think Matthew 10. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send [or bring] peace, but a sword.”

        • Scooter

          Well Hairy this is another one of Jesus’ sayings that could be misinterpreted but it doesn’t need to be if you consider context and other explanatory sayings of Jesus. And since you bring this up I have to tell you that you are involved in this verse-I’ll explain shortly.
          So what’s the context? The passage Matthew 10:34–36 describes Jesus telling the disciples that He came not to bring peace to the world, but a sword. Jesus’ sword was never a literal one. In fact, when Peter took up a sword to defend Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus rebuked him and told him to put away his sword, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Why then, did Jesus say, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” What kind of sword did Jesus come to bring?

          First let’s note that among the names of Jesus Christ is that of Prince of Peace. Such verses as Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:14, and John 14:27 make it clear that Jesus came to bring peace, but that peace is between the man and God. Those who reject God and the only way of salvation through Jesus (John 14:6) will find themselves perpetually at war with God. This is you Hairy. But those who come to Him in repentance will find themselves at peace with God. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are restored to a relationship of peace with God (Romans 5:1).

          But again consider the context of the verse and you understand that Jesus is explaining what can and does happen within a family in which some are believers and others are not.

          In Matthew 10:34–36, Jesus said He had come at this time not to bring peace to the earth, but a sword, a weapon which divides and severs. As a result of His visit to the earth, some children would be set against parents and a man’s enemies might be those within his own household. This is because many who choose to follow Christ are hated by their family members. This may be part of the cost of discipleship, for love of family should not be greater than love for the Lord. A true disciple must take up his cross and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24). He must be willing to face not only family hatred, but also death, like a criminal carrying his cross to his own execution. True followers of Christ must be willing to give up, even to the point of “hating” all that is in our lives, even our own families, if we are to be worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37–39). In so doing, we find our lives in return for having given them up to Jesus Christ.

          One example-I have a young Jewish teacher friend who was brought up in the Jewish faith. Without going into the details of his conversion to the one who many rabbis won’t even speak his name, you can imagine the disruption this caused in his family but particularly to his father. Incensed by this turn of events Mark’s father hired a couple of thugs to kidnap and keep him in a warehouse for a weekend attempting to deprogram him. Today Mark is a faithful follower of Christ and thankfully has been reconciled to his family. So this is just one example of the family cost involved for some who choose to commit their lives to Christ.

      • David Cromie

        All part of a loving supposed ‘god’s’ plan, of course.

        • adam

          Of course.

      • GalapagosPete

        Some friends of mine, also atheist, had a daughter who started hearing voices. Because she had never been indoctrinated with the idea that actual beings like angels or devils or gods were communicating with her she realized she was suffering from schizophrenia and they got her medical help.

        Who knows what could have happened otherwise? Oh, wait, we do know, don’t we?

        • adam

          Yes, we do know that.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I’m curious, GalapagosPete…what could have happened? (I can’t wait for this one…)—Go!

        • Kodie

          You have a lot of trouble following conversations you’re participating in.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          I asked GalapagosPete a question, Kodie…what am I not following? Clarify, please.On the contrary to what others may claim, I’m not adverse to learning, so…GO!! ☺

        • Kodie

          Do you know how to scroll up a little? I mean, when you go to answer someone’s comment, SCROLL UP A LITTLE to get the context. You can’t be THAT STUPID, can you? You’re pretty stupid, but how stupid do you have to be to not know how to follow a discussion – it wasn’t days or weeks ago or far upthread with dozens of other comments piled on it before you. You wonder why people have had it with you.

        • TSkis

          One led to gruesome murder, the other to psychiatric help.

          Now, go back and reread.

        • GalapagosPete

          I’m sure you’ll eventually catch on to what I am alluding to.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower
        • BlackMamba44
        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          So, if a schizophrenic did that and made the same”voice of god” claims, that would imply what, BlackMamba44? Would the punishment administered by the courts be qualitatively different somehow? Presumably, from our justice system’s perspective, both individuals would more than likely be considered insane, I’m not certain. One thing is for sure: Claims that “god told me to do it” has never,to my been an successful defense in our nation’s courts. So, your point is…?

        • BlackMamba44

          Whoosh…

        • Aram

          Listen up, Jesus’ crack huffer, I’m going to explain it to you nice and slow. The salient difference is the person who was NOT indoctrinated knew ‘hearing voices’ in their head wasn’t normal, and got help. Meanwhile, your fellow indoctrinated Jesus humper instead assumed ‘God’ was literally talking to her, and did exactly as The Voice told her to do. So, do you thus now see the potential danger of religious indoctrination? Or does your obtuseness continue to know no bounds?

        • Kodie

          You mean, you don’t even notice that a baby died because someone had religious beliefs?

        • eric

          Indeed both would likely have been considered insane. You realize that doesn’t bolster religion’s claims, it undermines it, right? You’re in effect saying that you fully agree that the court system doesn’t and shouldn’t put any stock in a ‘religious revelation’ defense. Now I agree with what they’re doing. I’m glad they don’t put any stock in such defenses. But the courts not taking such religious claims seriously is a mark against the credibility of religion. It’s similar to the courts ignoring/throwing out claims of harm based on intercessory prayer (i.e. legal suits based on the claim that someone cursed you or prayed for you to have an accident). I fully agree such claims should be thrown out. I’m glad the courts do that. But the courts utterly dismissing these sorts of claims as unreasonable is a mark against the credibility of a theistic ‘prayers work’ claim.

          Secondly, I don’t think BlackMamba or others are trying to imply that a religious schizophrenic is worse behaved than a nonreligious schizophrenic. I think she or he is simply arguing that since a religious person may be less likely to begin with the “medical problem” hypothesis, they are less likely to seek medical help early on.

        • MR

          That Abraham’s schizophrenia ultimately led to Christianity?

        • GalapagosPete

          A lot of people’s schizophrenia!

      • Jim Jones
    • Jim Jones

      It is all twaddle though. Unless you are posting here by writing on sheep skins carried by a running servant you are utterly indebted to science.

      • epeeist

        Unless you are posting here by writing on sheep skins

        How were the sheep skins prepared? What was used for writing and how was it made?

    • So much for the theory that Berlinski is an objective outsider who’s worth listening to.

      I didn’t realize he was such a dick. Thanks for clarifying.

      • Scooter

        So if an agnostic disagrees with you he’s not worth listening to? I would suggest your comment is not worth anything-why bother?

        • Not at all. If a guy is a close-minded fool who spouts biased nonsense, then he’s not worth listening to.

        • Scooter

          Can you be specific-what for example would you classify as biased nonsense?

        • It’s hard to believe you can’t do this on your own, but OK.

          Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close.

          And also not the issue.

          Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close.

          Uh, yeah. Science has unanswered questions. So what? Or are you just trying to change the subject?

          Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.

          Citation needed.

          Scientists are just meanies, I guess.

          Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough.

          Rationalism does a pretty good job. You got something better? Then say it.

          Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close.

          Citation needed.

          Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough.

          ??

          Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park.

          Cool. So you’re saying that Scientology religious belief is rational? Mormons? Raelians? Zoroastrianism?

        • Scooter

          It’s really quite interesting to see the reaction from the secular world when one of their own like Berlinski steps outside the naturalistic paradigm. I recall the largely irrational protest against Anthony Flew by people whose intellectual pretensions should have moderated their reaction. It appears that an a priori naturalism can effectively stop intelligent minds.

        • Thanks for jumping the gun to lampoon secular thinkers. I needed the laugh.

          Berlinski is not “one of my own.” Didn’t I make that clear with my critique in my last comment? Perhaps you should read it.

          (It’s Antony Flew.) Flew was welcome to decide that for himself. The error someone makes is to think that his change of heart was meaningful. He was known as a formidable philosopher. The arguments he cited for his conversion to deism were creationist arguments, a domain in which he’s a novice. So the proper reaction to “Antony Flew is now a deist!” is “Yeah, so?”

        • David Cromie

          The US ‘friends’ who adopted him during his visit to America, when he was in the early stages of Alzheimers, and then wrote the book claiming that Flew had become a deist, lied. Flew, himself, denied the claim after he had read the book.

        • I read the book. It was obviously ghost-written with minimal input from Flew.

          However, I didn’t hear that Flew later rejected the claim that he had become a deist. Did I hear that right?

        • David Cromie

          I read an article, some tears ago, which dissected Flew’s ‘conversion’. If memory serves me, the writer of the article interviewed Flew himself, who denied the book’s claim. It was also from this article that I first learned of Flew’s early stage Alzheimers onset.

        • Interesting, thanks.

        • David Cromie

          Any of your posts will suffice!

        • Scooter

          Well, thanks for reading anyway.

        • Kodie

          You’re bothering, so…

        • Michael Neville

          It doesn’t matter if Berlinski is an agnostic or not. What does matter is that he says stupid things about science and silly things about secularism.

  • Aram

    ‘The Shack’ sold 20 million copies, the movie made 100 million bucks. Yeah, gonna go with Christians not being the party of reason.

    • TSkis

      Not all Christians slurp that drivel up. Each time another sappy movie like that comes out, I do a facepalm in embarrassment.

      • Aram

        You want to know the real kicker: That drivel encapsulates some of the best Christian attempts at a loving interpretation of Christianities’ brutal inanity that I’ve ever seen. And yet it still stinks.

        • TSkis

          The American evangelicals and Fundamentalists are all about sentimentality (for themselves) when they run to this dross.

          They forget the basics of the message of Christ: love God and love your neighbor (who is *everyone*… yep, even atheists 😉

        • Aram
        • TSkis

          I’ll read your link soon. But Christ really did say to love God and our neighbor.

        • Aram

          So did the Eloquent Peasant (c. 2040–1650 BC). Hardly groundbreaking stuff. More to the point, Jesus (as written in the Bible) said a LOT of shit (as outlined in the link).

        • TSkis

          Yep. Sh*t that shook up the religious Establishment back then. If he came today, the same groups in power would hate him for being a hippie socialist do-gooder who loves the poor, the prostitutes, the outcasts, LGBT, refugees and basically everyone that the American Fundies hate today.

        • Aram

          Oh my, the Kool-Aid is strong in you, wee grasshopper. In short, no. Jesus spoke a lot of shit as in shit. As in he said shitty things. Read the link.

        • TSkis

          I did read it. Good post.

          Well… shit. He said some hard things to understand. I sure don’t claim to know it all… or exactly what he meant in every case. :-/

        • Aram

          I highly recommend Captain Cassidy’s blog for your questioning. Here’s a great post to start 🙂
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rolltodisbelieve/2017/11/18/christians-lied-life-without-christianity/

        • TSkis

          Thank you.

        • TSkis

          Reading it now… One thing to be aware: I’m not a fundagelical and never have been. I’m in an affirming Episcopal church at the moment, so a lot of the article is outside my experience. Prior to this, I was Orthodox, and a few of those strict items were sometimes seen, sadly.

        • Aram

          Well, to be clear, since seeing your liberal side I’m surprised you called The Shack drivel. It is, after all, almost as liberal as Christianity can get before ceasing to be Christianity – hence why the Fundies called it a heresy, I suppose.
          Anyway, as to Cassidy’s site, I recommend just reading it as a matter of course. Always interesting, good group of commentators to engage with, and no doubt you’ll find some critiques that apply to even your toned-down version of ancient thoughts 🙂
          EDIT: Of course you’ll also find relevant critiques on this site. For example, the post directly above this one:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/01/personal-relationship-jesus-doubt/

        • TSkis

          I admit, I did not read the Shack. And I usually try to not make a comment about something if I haven’t read or seen it — but ugh, that genre of “christian fiction” is SO bad overall that I just couldn’t stomach it. Overly sentimental and stocked with cliches, from the few items I’ve tried to get down in the past. They’re like Harlequin Romance novels for Evangelicals, IMO.

        • Jim Jones

          But ‘he’ said a lot of other shit too.

        • al kimeea

          iirc, in context, the neighbour thing meant within the tribe…

    • Michael Neville

      “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” -attributed to H.L. Mencken

      • Jim Jones

        His actual words were:

        “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
        ——————————————–

        He also wrote this:

        “Indeed it may be said with some confidence that the average man never really thinks from end to end of his life. There are moments when his cogitations are relatively more respectable than usual, but even at their climaxes they never reach anything properly describable as the level of serious thought. The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of clichés. What they mistake for thought is simply a repetition of what they have heard. My guess is that well over eighty per cent. of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought. That is to say, they never think anything that has not been thought before and by thousands.”

        ― H.L. Mencken, Minority Report

        Hie estimate of 80% would be wonderful. IMO, the number is closer to 98%.

        • Ficino

          Fake news! Sad.

        • epeeist

          The first sentence of Aristotle’s Metaphysics reads:

          All men by nature desire to know.

          Aristotle was wrong, the large majority of people simply require the easy answer that they don’t need to think about.

        • David Cromie

          Philosophy means a ‘love of knowledge’ (with ‘wisdom’ as a non obligatory outcome of attaining that knowledge). Science (i.e, modern, systematic, knowledge) was known as ‘natural philosophy’ for many years.

  • Dr Sarah

    ‘[H]e fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God.’ (Reasonable Faith, p. 47)

    Wow. Has Craig not noticed that there exist other monotheistic religions in the world than Christianity?

    • Kelvin Swords

      The religions other than (his flavor of) Christianity ARE Atheists in his definition.

      Believing in ANYTHING other than HIS God, using HIS Spiritual Canon, and HIS interpretations thereof are NOT worshiping the “One-True-God-of-ALL”

      At that point, Doctor, the writer has insulated his personal faction of Faith from all others… while relegating all others to the omnibus category of “Heretics and Deniers-of-Truth.”

      Buddhists don’t believe in (his) God. Therefore they are Atheists.
      Taoists don’t believe in (his) God. Therefore they are Atheists.
      Pagans don’t believe in (his) God. Therefore they are Atheists.
      Other sects of Christianity don’t believe in (his) God. Therefore they are Atheists.
      Jews don’t believe in (his) God. Therefore they are Atheists.
      Muslims don’t believe in (his) God. Therefore they are Atheists.

      Ditto Animists, Shamanists, Scientologists, Ancestor-worshipers,.

      “und so weiter”. ALL atheists! At least he’s not accusing everyone above of being SATANISTS!

      “If you’re not with us, you’re against us!”

      Which brings to mind the Wisdom of Ricky Bobby’s dad in “Talladega Nights…”

      “If you’re not first, you’re last!”

      Words to live by. eh?

      • Actually he’d probably call them heathens.

        Besides, he clearly doesn’t believe anyone is an atheist, because they are all “willfully rejecting the pull of the holy spirit”. One cannot willfully reject something one doesn’t believe exists.

        I don’t claim to be a Christian, however one has only to look at the tale of the good Samaritan to see how Jesus rated belief in relation to good deeds.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    He said, “The atheists claim to be the party of reason, but they don’t do it that well.

    It’s a simple misunderstanding. He was trying to say that atheists don’t party well.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Nahhh, that would be *introverts* 😉

    • MR

      Christians, at least Mormons, are total partiers. I know this because I was listening to Glenn Beck today, and in the middle of the show was an ad about DUIs. One moment they were talking about the love of Christ and the next how to avoid a DUI. I thought, dang, these people know how to have a good time!

  • Chuck Johnson

    Don’t forget Pope Smiley’s advice on intellectual exploration:
    https://tinyurl.com/nlm7kun

    • Jim Jones

      Holy crap. How many ways can you say that “Religion is for the ignorant and incurious”?

      • al kimeea

        yet, many, many xtians would disagree with the thread of anti-intellectualism that Pope Fluffy’s words reveal

  • ravitchn

    Christians talk constantly about love but the more they talk the less love there is to see.

  • TheMountainHumanist

    “Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.”

    So it boils down to “Ghosts are never wrong?”

  • bobbyb

    “If all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate.” seems?? lol…..the’ word of god’ has to be one the stupidest expressions…… it might as well be the ‘ word of mother goose’ .nonsense stories many guys wrote over 2000 years ago in the desert…