25 Reasons We Don’t Live in a World with a God (Part 11)

Do we live in a world with a god? It doesn’t look like it (read part 1 of this series here).

Let’s continue our survey with the next clue that we live in a godless world.

21. Because doctrinal statements exist

Doctrinal statements (faith statements) are contracts that Christian scholars must commit to at many Christian universities and ministries. These statements might, for example, declare that life didn’t evolve but was designed by God, or they might state that Jesus had a virgin birth.

The problem is that they’re not a commitment to follow the evidence but a commitment to a conclusion regardless of the evidence. Suppose a professor has signed a doctrinal statement that includes the virgin birth and then writes a paper arguing that the virgin birth was historical. What good is that paper when we knew beforehand that they were obliged to reach that conclusion? The professor has no reputation for honest scholarship, and readers must critique the argument themselves, which is beyond most readers’ ability.

A university that constrains its professors with a doctrinal statement has created a straightjacketed environment. Even if scholars honestly followed the evidence where it led, readers could only think that they were parroting their doctrinal statement.

More importantly for our purposes, that university has created scholarship with training wheels by prohibiting all that pesky contrary evidence. Their arguments can’t take the critique that historical arguments must face in the real world, so they have created their own parallel kindergarten with a low bar of evidence. (More here and here.)

If we lived in God World, no one would need to discard rigorous standards for scholarship because the evidence for God would meet those standards. Said another way, the low standards for Christian “scholarship” and its inability to compete with other disciplines makes clear that we don’t live in God World.

22. Because prayer doesn’t work

The Bible makes clear that, when it comes to prayer, God is pretty much a vending machine. In Matthew, Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” In Mark, Jesus says, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” In John, Jesus says, “He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.”

But that’s not the way it works in the real world. Christians often lower expectations of what prayer can deliver so that it doesn’t disappoint. Here’s one Christian example:

Instead of understanding prayer to be conversation with God as with a friend, we generally see prayer referred to as something reminding us of Santa Claus or a vending machine. And that sets us up for disappointment or disillusionment. . . . Let’s enjoy conversation with God as with a friend—without prayer jargon, vague language, or a list of requests for God to break natural law.

One response is to say that God answers prayer with Yes, No, and Not Yet, but of course that is not what the Bible says.

Experienced Christians sometimes say that a person’s faith “matures.” One sign of this maturity is an acceptance of how reality shows prayer works over how Jesus claimed it works. Atheist blogger Neil Carter observed, “The mature Christian eventually learns to wait and see where the arrow lands, then they draw a target around that spot, calling God faithful and his word true.”

The 2006 Templeton prayer study is probably the most famous and comprehensive scientific study of prayer. It showed no benefit. The “researchers” who should best know if prayer works are televangelists. If prayer actually worked, they would simply ask for prayers, but of course they don’t. It’s always prayers plus donations.

Not only does prayer not work but Christians themselves admit this when they make it their avenue of last resort. When a Christian actually takes Jesus at his word and relies on prayer for something important, society doesn’t rally around to celebrate their marvelous, powerful faith. Instead, they react with varying degrees of shock. Parents have prayed for their sick children instead of taking them to the hospital, people have sold their worldly goods to make themselves right with God before the end of the world, and one person closed their eyes to pray while driving. These situations did not turn out well.

If God existed, prayer would work as he promised. It doesn’t. (More on prayer here, here, here, here, and here.)

To be continued.

When atheists accuse religious people of just praying
instead of “doing something”
I often chastise them for not getting it
that prayer is often just what people do
after they’ve done all that they personally could
and wish there was something more.
— Camels with Hammers blog

.

Image via Dmitry Kalinin, CC license

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  • Doubting Thomas

    Doctrinal statements (faith statements) are contracts that Christian scholars must commit to at many Christian universities and ministries.

    Doctrinal statements are also what make the original God’s Not Dead the most cluelessly ironic of the entire trilogy.

  • RichardSRussell

    Once, when I was at a rest stop on the Interstate, a woman from a nearby car asked me about my bumper sticker, “Nothing Fails Like Prayer”. I told her briefly that religion in general, and prayer in particular, were just a giant scam to separate suckers from their money. The woman was not convinced. “God is so good,” she said. Skipping right past the temptation to inquire what she thot of omnicide, I quoted to her the Bible verse that basically goes “ask and it shall be given”, then challenged her to run a little experiment. She was obviously a person of faith, the very sort of person whose prayers “God” is most likely to listen to and grant. “Just pray that no bugs will hit your windshield for the entire rest of your trip today,” I suggested. “This would be trivially easy for God to accomplish, it would save life (well, those tiny little lives, anyway), it wouldn’t hurt anyone, and it would demonstrate clearly that your prayers were answered.” Never found out how it turned out, of course, but I’ve often wondered.

    • Greg G.

      I have been doing city driving all spring and didn’t have many bug splats on my windshield. Yesterday I drove 165 miles and stopped to clean the windshield before my return trip. I was thinking about how those bugs survived the winter only to get splattered. I wonder how many baby birds could have been nourished if the bugs had flown into their gaping maws instead of obscuring my vision.

      I should have prayed for my windshield to stay clean during my return home, for the bugs’ sakes.

    • I wonder why prayers for world peace aren’t answered. Typical objections (“That’s too selfish!”) wouldn’t apply.

      • ildi

        Oh, oh, I got that one! “Free will!”

      • Michael Neville

        An old Jew would go to the Temple Wall in Jerusalem and pray every day. Another Jew asked him what he was praying for. “World peace.” “Do you think your prayers are answered?” “It’s like talking to a wall.”

  • Orange East Yellow

    Nice article !! I like it. Really !! But the headline is misleading, assumptive, overstating, or claiming more than what the article is actually doing. Headline mentions “God”, while the article is only dealing with the Christian/Biblical God. There are many other “God” title claimants out there, and behaving as if the Christian god is the only worthwhile god is actually supportive of the Christian god.

    • epicurus

      The headline says “a” God, which should address your concerns.

      • Orange East Yellow

        No. I still think my reading was correct.

        • Michael Neville

          This blog is called “Cross Examined”, which should give your a big hint about which flavor of theism is generally discussed here. We’re mainly Americans on this blog (there’s two Brits who are regulars and a Canadian or so) and Christianity is the primary religion in our part of the world. We have to deal with Christians who want to replace science education with teaching mythology, Christians who want to outlaw abortion, homophobic Christians, and Christians who try to impose their religious strictures on us. We don’t spend much time talking about Sikhism or Shinto because they don’t affect us like Christianity does.

          So while your reading is technically correct, so fucking what?

        • Orange East Yellow

          I too have a difficulty with Christians, for same, similar, and more reasons, while being a theist. However, prob is, you are not discussing among yourselves. You are writing widely accessible articles, and a lot of your readers arent American / British / Canadian, etc. So, I feel you should write articles with a wider, global perspective in mind.

        • ildi

          Start your own blog

        • Orange East Yellow

          NO. And even if I do, people can still validly point out that you are releasing articles to global audience, while lacking global perspective.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          What sort of god do you think this does not argue against? the general thrust is, if there was a god then you wouldn’t need to ignore evidence to come to that conclusion, and if there was a god then prayers should be answered. These two points are applicable to any interventionist deity, not just the Judaeo christian one. and no one here could give a tinkers cuss about a non interventionist deity as it makes no difference if they are real or not. The examples given for both arguments are taken from a christian perspective but that doesn’t change the base argument.

        • ildi

          NO! What a weird hobby you have, critiquing people’s choice of subject matter in THEIR OWN FUCKING BLOG. How is that working for you, or is Bob the only ‘lucky’ one?

        • Orange East Yellow

          I wasnt critiquing the choice of subject matter. I was critiquing the headline. The headline can be changed without changing the subject matter at all. If that much is also difficult, let’s leave it alone. OK?

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t see that you and Michael Neville had already made this suggestion before I did.

        • Michael Neville

          If you want to have articles with a “wider, global prospective” then there’s nothing to stop you from running your own blog where you can discuss the evils of Jainism and how ancestor worship scares the bejeezus out of you.

        • Orange East Yellow

          You cant take valid, constructive criticism.

        • Lark62

          “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop discussing things that matter to you! Only discuss things that matter to me! Wahhh!”

          is not “constructive”. It’s just childish.

          What are you going to do next? Hold your breath until you turn blue?

        • Michael Neville

          Offer some and I’ll take it. So far, all I’ve seen from you is vacuous whining that Bob isn’t talking about what you want discussed.

        • Orange East Yellow

          I see there is no enthusiasm for that point around here. So, let’s leave it. I have offered some suggestions, (not criticisms) in a reply to Greg G, that can be taken up in future, in this, or other articles. I know these are well known points, but I still feel they need more focus. What do you think?

        • Greg G.

          Bob is open to guest posts if you have something you want to say.

        • Lark62

          Easy solution. Go away.

        • Greg G.

          If the internet does not have a forum to discuss what you want to discuss, start your own blog.

    • ildi

      ” There are many other “God” title claimants out there, and behaving as if the Christian god is the only worthwhile god is actually supportive of the Christian god.”

      No….. pointing out reasons why the Christian god doesn’t exist is not supportive of the Christian god.

      • Orange East Yellow

        Arguing against the Christian god is clearly not being supportive. OK. But giving the Christian god such level of primacy, where you write as if the christian god is the only worthwhile/noticable one, where the Christian god becomes synonymous with God, is certainly being supportive, in that way, at least.
        EDITED

        • Lark62

          Grow up. Most of us live in a place where over 90% of elected officials claim to be christians and approximately 0% admit to rejecting the existence of deities.

          We are surrounded by christians. Our kids are preached at in public schools by christians. Our elected officials work to get their nonsense christian beliefs enshrined in law.

          And you can’t figure out why we don’t care about druids? Seriously?

        • I reject the supernatural in its entirety for lack of evidence. But (as other commenters have pointed out), we need to focus. That focus here is Christianity.

      • RichardSRussell

        The original statement follows the same logic as “You say that Donald Trump is a terrible liar, but there are lots of other liars out there you didn’t mention, so you must support Donald Trump.”

    • Joe

      You might want to pay attention to the title of this blog.

      • Orange East Yellow

        Yes. But all readers cannot be expected to be Sherlock Holmes, who understand all the clues, and hidden/double-meanings, at lightning speed.

        • Greg G.

          How many articles did you read before you figured out that the blog focuses on Christianity? Did you read them all at lightning speed? If you are from another culture, then it is understandable that you may not have associated the first word of Cross Examined with Christianity but those of us who are in a culture dominated by that religion pick up on it rather quickly.

          But we are happy to discuss any superstitious nonsense you happen to believe in. I would be particularly interested in how you distinguish your beliefs from your imagination.

        • Orange East Yellow

          I did read them all. I went through headings of all the 22 points raised so far, and think the writer has done an excellent job of dealing with the points raised so far. I did read a bit beyond the headings, to “get” what was being said. I am a pagan, polytheist, and believe in most of the polytheistic deities. If you consult the Encyclopedia of religions, you will find there are millions of pagan, polytheistic deities, and I dont think you want to get into that. But you can try if you want. No prob here. Being a polytheist, I have no prob believing any number of deities. Coming back to point, I think the writer has done an excellent job so far. However, I find some important points, which can weigh heavily on the theist mind, are missing. For example,
          1) Xians have claimed thousands of times, starting from Yeshua ben Yosef himself, that the world is going to end. World has not ended.
          2) Yeshua ben Yosef was a jewish rabbi, and had no vision or ambition outside of Jews or Israel. How does god select a Jewish rabbi, with such limited vision, as messenger to humanity? And even if he did select the Jewish rabbi, why did Europeans have to hide the fact that he was Jewish rabbi, by changing his, his father’s name, changing his appearance, designation, etc. ?
          3) How does a kind god decide to send anyone into eternal hell? And how does he decree that anyone who does not believe, including babies who died young, mentally challenged, illiterates from far off lands/islands who never heard of J, should go to eternal hell?
          These points seem to have been left from the 22 dealt so far. Maybe the writer was already planning to deal with them. If not, I suggest some of these points be taken up.

        • Greg G.

          Being a polytheist, I have no prob believing any number of deities.

          I can imagine any number of deities, too. I just cannot distinguish a real deity from an imaginary deity. How do you do that?

          1) Xians have claimed thousands of times, starting from Yeshua ben Yosef himself, that the world is going to end. World has not ended.

          This topic is dicussed quite often in the comments. The Messiah myth goes back to Hasmonean times, if not earlier. The Old Testament has promises that David’s throne would last forever, then there are hedges on the promise that the Jews have to obey, and on to promises that the throne would be restored.

          2) Yeshua ben Yosef was a jewish rabbi, and had no vision or ambition outside of Jews or Israel. How does god select a Jewish rabbi, with such limited vision, as messenger to humanity? And even if he did select the Jewish rabbi, why did Europeans have to hide the fact that he was Jewish rabbi, by changing his, his father’s name, changing his appearance, designation, etc. ?

          Most Europeans wouldn’t be very much aware of what a non-European looked like so the art would reflect the cultural expectations. The name “Jesus” is a Greek transliteration that goes back at least as far as Zechariah in the Septuagint. The New Testament is nothing but Greek writings that relied more on the Septuagint than other scriptures.

          Many of the regulars are convinced that the Jesus character is imaginary. The extra-biblical evidence is too late to be reliable and appears to be derived from the gospels. Three gospels are derived from Mark and Mark appears to be contrived from the literature of the day and most of that literature still exists. The early epistles never refer to Jesus on Earth nor as a teacher or a preacher. They only refer to him in Old Testament references and allusions.

          It seems to me that the early Christians thought a person lived and was killed then resurrected in heaven back in Isaiah’s time or so, but was intercessing for sins. I think it was their reading of Isaiah 53 that led to that belief backed up by Zechariah 3 where they got the name Jesus. Paul came up with the idea that Christians didn’t need to follow the Jewish Law so strictly especially the food laws and circumcision. He also came up with the crucifixion death but the other Christians rejected him.

          Paul expected this Messiah to come in his lifetime. Josephus’ Jewish Wars tells us that the Jews who fought to the end in the Siege of Jerusalem also expected the Messiah to return and defeat the Romans.

          Maybe the writer was already planning to deal with them. If not, I suggest some of these points be taken up.

          He mentioned “the second coming” in http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/04/c-s-lewis-put-up-or-shut-up-queer-twist/ last month. Christians know it is a problem but they have excuses like “a thousand years is like a day to God” or something like that from 2 Peter 3:8 and “how do you know that some of the people Jesus was talking to at the time are not still alive?” They hang on to faith for stupid things like that.

        • Orange East Yellow

          I easily believe any number of deities, and you dont believe a single one. How I do it is impossible to explain, particularly when the difference is so great. Let’s just say, I do it through unscience and illogic. But that is too simplistic a way to put it.
          I agree Christians have some easy excuses to 1) but what is the excuse for christian numerologists etc. predicting end of the world thousands of times? They predict apocalypse in every new century, and also in almost every year too. This has great mockworthiness.
          2) is a serious problem, if framed properly. This is the proper way to frame it, and Christians are yet to find an answer, when framed in this way.
          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/why-christians-were-denied-access-to-their-bible-for-1000-years_b_3303545.html
          Names, appearance etc. were not change due to aesthetic reasons, or because European artists did not know. This article shows a much more compulsive reason. Yeshua was actually totally Jewish, and so unconcerned about others, that, if reality became known, it would be impossible to market Yeshua to anyone except Jews. His name, appearance, etc. were all changed to make him widely marketable. This charge is a devastating blow to the theist mind.
          It doesnt matter how far back the word “Jesus” goes. While alive, according to Christian history itself, he was called “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus”. To the fundie theist, only the actual name can have magic qualities to it. So, this is another serious problem with name change.
          Then, 3) is an almost impossible problem for theists to solve. What we are talking about is ETERNAL hell. Temporary hell is one thing. But eternal hell is almost impossible for modern theists to accept. And when the souls are innocent, like babies who die young, or illiterate people living on uncontacted islands, who have no way of even hearing about Yeshua. How can god send them to eternal hell, for not accepting? They had no chance to accept, and still go to eternal hell? God is totally heartless and is a total idiot?

        • Doubting Thomas

          How I do it is impossible to explain, particularly when the difference is so great. Let’s just say, I do it through unscience and illogic. But that is too simplistic a way to put it.

          Throw in a dab of irrationality and a sprinkle of unreasonableness and you probably have a pretty good summary of how one comes to believe in god.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And when the souls are innocent, like babies who die young, or illiterate people living on uncontacted islands, who have no way of even hearing about Yeshua. How can god send them to eternal hell, for not accepting? They had no chance to accept, and still go to eternal hell? God is totally heartless and is a total idiot?

          But those souls don’t go to Hell…Christians have a caveat in the con job for those souls eternal salvation.

        • Greg G.

          Let’s just say, I do it through unscience and illogic. But that is too simplistic a way to put it.

          I understand you to be saying that you have no rational way to distinguish a random thought that pops into your head from reality when it comes to deities so you accept it anyway. I think you are saying that you do the same with random thoughts that popped into other people’s heads. Do you try to separate ideas that have a logical basis from those without?

          I agree Christians have some easy excuses to 1) but what is the excuse for christian numerologists etc. predicting end of the world thousands of times? They predict apocalypse in every new century, and also in almost every year too. This has great mockworthiness.

          Agreed.

          Names, appearance etc. were not change due to aesthetic reasons, or because European artists did not know. This article shows a much more compulsive reason. Yeshua was actually totally Jewish, and so unconcerned about others, that, if reality became known, it would be impossible to market Yeshua to anyone except Jews. His name, appearance, etc. were all changed to make him widely marketable. This charge is a devastating blow to the theist mind.

          That is a plausible explanation.

          It doesnt matter how far back the word “Jesus” goes. While alive, according to Christian history itself, he was called “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus”. To the fundie theist, only the actual name can have magic qualities to it. So, this is another serious problem with name change.

          You are losing it with the “While alive” bit. There were many people named “Yeshua” who lived in the early first century. The Jesus of the New Testament was not one of them because he is an imaginary character. The Epistles are about an imagined Suffering Servant metaphor read midrashically as a “hidden mystery”. The earliest epistles only refer to him in Old Testament terms, not as a first century person. The gospels were written after the destruction of Jerusalem which was nearly a lifetime from when the Jesus story was set but they are complete fiction.

          Perhaps the name started out as the Hebrew “Joshua.” Perhaps it started out from an Aramaic Old Testament with “Yeshua”. But was transliterated for Koine to the Septuagint translation. The New Testament authors mostly relied on the Septuagint. Then it was transliterated to Latin. Whether we say “Gee-zus” or “Hay-sous”, it is transliterations. It is irrelevant because the Jesus of the New Testament was never actually called “Yeshua”, “Joshua”, or “Jesus” anymore than Spiderman was ever called “Peter Parker” for the same reason. Both are imaginary characters.

          Then, 3) is an almost impossible problem for theists to solve. What we are talking about is ETERNAL hell. Temporary hell is one thing. But eternal hell is almost impossible for modern theists to accept. And when the souls are innocent, like babies who die young, or illiterate people living on uncontacted islands, who have no way of even hearing about Yeshua. How can god send them to eternal hell, for not accepting? They had no chance to accept, and still go to eternal hell? God is totally heartless and is a total idiot?

          The idea of heaven is just as absurd.

        • richardrichard2013

          hello Greg

          avalos :

          You provide no evidence that Jeremiah 8:8 is only speaking about reinterpretation. The reference to “scribes,” the professionals who specialize in copying, MAKING the Torah into a lie can include BOTH reinterpretation AND changing the text.

          i showed the above response to an apologist, here is her reply :

          – Judeans possess God’s law, just as they possess the temple. But their scribes (the professional copiers and teachers of the Scriptures) have altered God’s word to fit their own desires. Thus, they have made it into a lie. All God’s prophets agree on this (as recorded in the OT).

          These so-called ‘wise men’ (8:9) will be put to shame (2:26; 6:15) because of their changing of God’s word. Rejecting God’s word proves they are really unwise. When prophet and priest deal falsely with God’s word, the nation becomes greedy for unjust gain, and enemies take their wives and fields (8:10).

          The false prophets were dubbed “salvation prophets” because they were preaching that all would be ok when the people needed to hear the truth – they were sinning against God. God spoke to Jeremiah saying “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. – Jeremiah 8:11 (cf. 6:12–15). The wicked prophets and priests are like incompetent doctors who tell a patient he or she is healthy when in fact the patient is desperately sick (17:9; cf. 57:18–21)

          Furthermore, I propose that the presence of an inclusio in the book implies that every word in the book must be taken as Jeremiah’s, whether the text says so, or not (Jer. 1:1; 51:64). Critically, in asking what it means to “hear the words, plural, of Jeremiah with the word, singular, of God?”, Shead declares that “Jeremiah unmistakeably draws our attention to the theology of the word of God at the very outset.” He also argues that every word contained in the book makes up the message of God and concludes, convincingly, that the aforementioned inclusio “limits the words of Jeremiah, embracing the entire book except for its final chapter, a version of 2 Kings 25.” (2012, pp. 42-43).

        • Greg G.

          It sounds like violent agreement but the first sentence of the last paragraph shows the person replying has their head up their biblical butt. The accusation against the scribes in Jeremiah 8 might come from scribes copying Jeremiah or anything between Jeremiah 1:1 (“The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah”) and Jeremiah 51:64 (“Thus far are the words of Jeremiah”). That opening and closing are the words of the scribe. There is no telling what else in there is. too.

        • richardrichard2013

          no idea whether she is agreeing with avalos or she is assuming that there was textual corruption and another “pure version ” of the law which jeremiah knew about .

        • Orange East Yellow

          You seem to know quite a bit about early stages of Xianity. I agree its not sure that Jesus actually lived. Anyway, coming to my point now. Have you ever wondered about the motive for starting a new religions like Christianity, etc.? Why did people start Christianity, while Judaism was already around? My guess is that people start new religions/cults to bypass existing priests, stake a claim on all the tithe, power, prestige, etc. What do you think? We cant understand anyone/anything unless we understand the motive. Right?
          EDITED

        • Religious syncretism is the blending of two religious views. It is seen in many religions.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism

        • Orange East Yellow

          Yes. But syncretism is usually about existing religions appropriating practices/concepts of other existing religions. I am wondering about the motive for starting **new** religions/cults, with a new set of priests(who claim that they should get the tithe now), new set of places of worship, etc. Syncretim may have similar motives. My point is that, in order to understand the birth of so many new religions/cults, including the birth of Christianity, we should explore the **motives** of the people who give birth to such new religions. My view is that the motives are tied to staking claim on tithe, power, prestige, etc.

        • Greg G.

          My view is that the motives are tied to staking claim on tithe, power, prestige, etc.

          There is no need to start a new religion for that. Witness Joel Osteen.

          Religions diverge constantly into new sects because they are not based on any reliable facts. Christianity seems to have evolved from sect of Judaism that went extinct when Jerusalem was destroyed but out lived all the other forms of it.

        • Orange East Yellow

          In Judaism, only the tribe of Levi have the right to become priests, and take the tithe. So, if someone else wants to stake a claim on the tithe that the tribe of levi were getting, one does need a new religion, and new places of worship, to bypass the tribe of levi in that way. That is exactly what happened when Christianity was born. People were told that there was no need to go to the Jewish temple, or the tribe of levi. We are the new priests, come to us (and give the tithe to us, of course). That is still continuing, even today.

        • Greg G.

          I am not sure these examples are actually new religions. They all seemed to think they were following the path of the religion. Synagogue Judaism was not the same as Temple Judaism, which consisted of Pharisee Judaism, Sadducee Judaism, and Essene Judaism. There were Zealots and Messianic Jews, though they may have been the same, and proto-Christianity may have been another sect of Messianic Judaism. Then it divided into Gnostic Christianity and many others until one was chosen by an emperor and turned into the RCC. Then that divided several times, including into Protestants, which has divided into thousands, and they all think theirs is the one correct religion intended by God.

          In 1 Corinthians 9, it appears that someone has suggested that the Corinthians cut off financial support to Paul and he is arguing to justify that he deserves to be paid because he is a worker, even the hardest worker, and he cites OT verses to support his claim.

        • Greg G.

          Sure, some religions start that way. Look at L. Ron Hubbard. But I think some religions bud off when a sect believes a prophecy is being fulfilled and the rest don’t. I theink Judaism may have been cobbled together during the Babylonian exile through nostalgia for a time that never was.

          I think they may have read in Babylonian libraries about the Habiru (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habiru ), marauders of many cultures, and adopted them as ancestors, even deriving “Hebrew” from their name by transliteration.

          The Egyptians had the Ogdoad (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogdoad_(Egyptian) ), four pairs of gods, male and female, representing primordial forces, which appear to be mentioned in Genesis 1:1-2, Nu and his counterpart represented the waters, another pair was invisible forces (wind of God), another was chaos (the void), (memory loss for the other, darkness maybe?). Some ancient Egyptian art depicts Nu (the water god) holding a boat over his head with the other seven on board with a scarab. Combine that with the flood story from Gilgamesh and you have Noah, perhaps a transliteration of Nu, his wife, his sons, and their wives, with at least one animal to represent the animals in the Gilgamesh story.

          The gods of other stories of polytheism get turned into people who wrestle with God of monotheism. Some characters are hairy which suggests they came from sun gods. Samson is similar to the word for sun and Delilah is similar to the word for night. Jacob is not hairy but his twin, Esau, is and Jacob usurps Esau. Elijah is hairy and Elisha is bald and Elisha replaces Elijah.

          Archaelology shows that most of the Old Testament is fiction. There may have been a David but he was not as rich and powerful as the story lets on. The Israelis were never slaves in large numbers in Egypt so there was no Moses or an Abraham.

          Perhaps priests were useful at some point, but as their families grew, they needed higher pay more sacrifices so they made stuff that everybody did into a sin that needed a sacrifice, especially something edible.

          The Jewish religion also has a lot of astronomy that seems to have taken a back seat in modern Judaism. Twelve is an important number and the moon goes around the earth 12 times a year. Their calendar is based on cycles of the moon. There were seven wandering lights in the sky and they have seven day weeks. Josephus described the Temple curtain depicting the heavens and the earth.

          It isn’t hard to see parallels with other religions in ancient Judaism. It seems to have borrowed from them.

        • Orange East Yellow

          Yes, Judaism is likely to have borrowed from others, and those others may have borrowed from still others. I know a bit about that, not much though. But Judaism gives a special status to the tribe of levi, in priestly functions. The temple was functioning at that time, and great amounts of tithe was coming in on a daily basis. Besides that, priests at the temple would have enjoyed awesome power and prestige because of their unique position in the great temple. Its easy to see that some other Jews, from some other tribe, would get jealous, and want to commandeer their fortune by starting a new religion. It is also good to keep in mind that initially, Christianity was just a sect of Judaism, and became a separate religion a few hundred years later only. So, maybe someone came up with the Yeshua fable after the temple had been destroyed, and tried to get the tithe at new places of worship, with a new set of rules and storybook, a new set of priests, who need not be from the tribe of levi.

        • Greg G.

          The Messiah idea goes back at least to the Hasmodean era, I think. By Paul’s era, they had a name for the Messiah, probably from the Septuagint version of Zechariah 3, and that he had lived and died long before but would return as a resurrected being. But the only datable information in Paul’s letters is the mention of King Aretas (IV) who was king from about 9BC to around 40AD, unless it is Aretas III who was earlier in the first century BC. But I think that since Paul thought the Messiah would come during his lifetime and so did the Jews who defended Jerusalem to the end, they were probably from the same era. I think Mark came up with the first century Jesus idea but I am not sure he was any more serious than was Mark Twain writing A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

        • Greg G.

          I tried to post to a different response but got “You cannot reply to a post that is not active.” So I am replying here.

          There are also people who cant accept Jesus because, the law prevents them from doing so, on pain of death. Many Muslim countries have criminalized apostasy.

          They do it through unscience and illogic. They believe things despite the lack supporting evidence. There is no telling where you will end up if you cannot separate the things that are probably true from that believed out of the fear of being dead.

        • Ignorant Amos

          OEY must be unaware that the Muslims do accept Jesus, just not as the earthly avatar of Yahweh/Allah.

        • Greg G.

          Tried to respond to this: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/05/25-reasons-we-dont-live-in-a-world-with-a-god-part-11/#comment-3896117916

          2) Is not just a plausible explanation. Its a devastating, highly problematic explanation, and seems correct too.
          It does not matter whether Yeshua/Jesus etc. actually existed, or in what form, or in which century. What matters is that according to xtian believers, he spoke aramaic, and in that language, according to Xtian believers, he was called originally called Yeshua. So, according to xtian fundie thinking, only the aramaic version of the name, which is Yeshua, would have magic/supernatural powers. So, to the fundie mind, it is unacceptable to change it to anything else. But it has been changed. So, its a great problem.

          That was actually the final nail in the coffin for my Christian faith over forty years ago. I was struggling to regain my faith and went to the church where I “got saved”. The sermon was about why people take the Lord’s name in vain. The preacher’s reason was, “Becaaaause There Is POOOWEERRRR In The NAAMMME Of The LOOOOOORRRRDDDD!” I thought, “Bullshit! Oh, there’s the same power in that word, too.” It doesn’t matter what word is used, the power is only in the taboo. If the commandmenthad been, “Thou shalt use the name of the Lord in any way that relieves tension plus any sex term or references to body parts and bodily waste products”, there wouldn’t be any dirty words in our culture.

          But **eternal** hell, is highly problematic, revolting, unacceptable.

          To some, but many Christians revel in the idea of people they despise burning forever.

        • Millions of polytheistic deities? That surprises me. I would’ve thought a few dozen for the Norse, Greek, Roman, and so on religions. Are these deities named?

          You’re right–I have lots more issues to bring up in this series.

        • Orange East Yellow

          Yes, there are millions. You can look into the encyclopedia of religion. There are thousands upon thousands of different religions/cults out there, lots of them are historical. They do have names too, and the polytheistic religions can have lots of deities, with names, and a single deity can have thousands of names too.

        • Lark62

          Millions of deities. Wowzer. And until you provide evidence for even one of those deities, I’m going to stick with my conclusion that imaginary friends are imaginary.

        • Orange East Yellow

          That people believe in millions of deities is easy to prove. Just dive into Macmillan, Thomas Gale, Encyclopedia of religion. It runs into 15 volumes. I have no problem if you stick with your conclusion.

        • Orange East Yellow

          Yes. I too can suggest some issues. Of course you can decide which look worthwhile to you. If you look above, I have explained a bit more about the 3 issues I had suggested earlier. What do you think?

        • 1) More general: “Christian prophecy that’s been wrong.”
          3) “Christian immorality.”
          Yes, they’re already on the list.

        • Orange East Yellow

          I hope you will make some guess about the motive for making so many apocalyptic prophecies. Since the world is going to end, a lot of faithfools would donate large sums of money, or property, to the church. Such possessions are about to be destroyed, become useless, so… they donate. Then, when world does not end, nothing is returned. Then, after some time, another apocalyptic prophecy…

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do you have any evidence for this?

          Makes no sense whatsoever to give ones wealth to a church or pastor that ain’t gonna need it after the fact. That’s not to say no one does it, these rapture fuckwits have very little in the way of sense when it comes to these sorts of things in the first place. But am not sure the aim of apocalyptic predictions is about the predictor cashing in, that’s all.

          That nutjob Harold Camping for example, him and his cohorts blew millions on a world wide advertising campaign for his failed rapture prediction.

          The former engineer [Camping] has long predicted the apocalypse, most famously in 1994, but his new date — May 21, 2011 — has received unprecedented publicity. That is thanks to a worldwide $100-million campaign of caravans and billboards, financed by the sale and swap of TV and radio stations.

          http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/21/local/la-me-rapture-20110521

          Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired transportation agency worker in New York, said he had spent more than $140,000 (£85,000) of his savings on advertisements in the run-up to 21 May to publicise the prediction.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13489641

        • Orange East Yellow

          It does make sense to donate before apocalypse. You earn some brownie points(by doing pious deeds) in the eyes of God. It does not matter whether the church or pastor will need it or not. You earned your brownie points, and they will still be there after rapture. I have already shown that lots of people did donate. Its easy to see lots of unconnected churches would also benefit from people donating in order to earn some brownie points.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m not doubting that eejits donate, but donated for what? I’ve shown that what they donated for was not the personal benefit of the predictor.

          You need to demonstrate that the predictor was running a scam and didn’t believe their own predictions. And that they were going to benefit substantially by wash, rinse, repeating the scam. I haven’t seen you do that…yet.

        • Orange East Yellow
        • Orange East Yellow

          Here’s another one. He collected $4.4 million from his flock, in the name of a predicted rapture, and invested it in bonds, which won’t mature, until after the rapture he predicted.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dami_Mission

        • Greg G.

          God won’t fulfill a prophecy if the prophet hedges.

        • Orange East Yellow

          Yet another candidate, needs some more investigation, before we become sure about this though
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/693078.stm

        • Imagine if he’d really believed his own bullshit. He would’ve sold his radio empire and made the Camping Foundation. He wouldn’t need it after May 21, right? That foundation would even now be spending millions per year on good works.

          Nope. Apparently even he didn’t believe his nutty story.

        • Greg G.

          Unfortunately, many followers spent their life savings on billboards to warn us.

        • But that’s OK, because Harold Camping made them financially whole after he realized that he’d made a big mistake.

          /s

        • Ignorant Amos

          What good could a foundation do after the end of the world?

          Had he have done just that, sold his radio station and funded a foundation, that would’ve been evidence of him not believing his own bullshit.

          As it was, his failed predictions cost his business.

          End May Be Coming For Harold Camping’s Family Radio Ministry

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/end-may-be-coming-for-har_n_3274262.html

          And the old fool admitted in a letter that he had been “sinful” in trying to predict the end time in light of Matthew 24:36…

          36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

          https://www.charismanews.com/us/32958-harold-camping-admits-rapture-prediction-was-sinful-statement

        • What good could a foundation do after the end of the world?

          Not much, but he might as well do something with it to put his money where his mouth is. Anyway, we were foretold 5 months of Armageddon between the Rapture in May and the end of the world in October. The foundation could’ve been useful during that period (unless doing good works would thwart God’ fabulous Plan).

          Yes, I’ve twirled my long mustache and cackled in delight as I’ve watched Camping’s empire slowly crumble.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Apparently, the rapture was due in May. But when it didn’t happen, he claimed that was a “spiritual” event. The date was then set for the physical shindig in the October. Ohhhps, that didn’t happen either. In 2012, the nut job reneged and admitted he hadn’t a scooby wtf he had been wittering on about. The arse dropped out of his ministry after that.

          The question is, did he believe his own mind rot, or did he know that the snake oil he was peddling was duff? It’s hard to tell. It cost him dearly if he knew that what he was peddling was not going to materialise. That seems to me to be the stupid part.

        • Maybe he was in too far to back out, and he just had to put a brave face on it and go through with it? Of course, he was very old. Maybe he thought the embarrassing part would be after he died. But wouldn’t a guy like that be concerned about his post-death reputation?

          (I figured that “scooby” was Cockney rhyming slang. I guess “poo.” Whoops.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          Scooby-Doo……clue. He hadn’t a clue.

          http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk/slang/scooby_doo_1

        • Thanks.

        • Greg G.

          The thing about these religious scams is that the scammed won’t even admit to themselves that they were scammed.

          Edgar C. Whisenant spent a decade writing about the coming rapture beginning with 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. Apparently it is an urban legend that the sequel was 89 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1989.

        • Orange East Yellow

          Seems the urban legend is actually true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_C._Whisenant
          He sold millions of copies of the book, and his effort wasnt wasted, in that sense. So, he went on to write at least three more doomsday books. From what I am seeing, I am led more and more towards the view that all this is just a money-making scan. Its true that some just refuse to admit, but there comes a point when they do give up. We should help. And whenever anyone is behaving in a crazy looking way, there will usually be money in it. Exposing/scandalizing the money/scam issue is a great way to help.

        • Greg G.

          I recall that some atheists offered a service for the Camping Rapturites to care for their pets if they got raptured. Of course, they had to pay in advance.

        • The sequel that Wikipedia gives is The final shout: Rapture report 1989.

        • Orange East Yellow

          I have shown proof of the scam/motive aspect in some of my posts below, please take a look, I will look at your articles in the meantime.

        • John Hagee’s “4 blood moons” was clearly a scam. Harold Camping certainly didn’t walk the walk, though he seemed a bit more honest.

        • Orange East Yellow

          Yes. I have shown two more scams below, I am sure there are many more to be found. The “scam/money as motive” is a despiriting way of framing these doomsday predictions. I have looked at your linked article. Its a great read. I think the money/scam aspect should be given a bit more prominence. And not just on this issue. The scam/money angle can be explored on many more issue, in many more ways. If you can scandalize, choke the money flow to these weirdos, you have won.

        • Highlighting the inanity of their arguments is something I can do. It won’t do much to prevent future incidents, but it’s my finger in the dike.

        • Greg G.

          God had some plans for me during the fourth blood moon. I fooled him by flying over the North Pole during the Full Moon so he had to cancel the whole deal.

          You’re welcome.

        • You saved the world? That’s certainly worthy of worship. But then, of course, you are a wizard–I can see your photo.

        • Orange East Yellow

          $100 million fund, by making a false apocalyptic prediction. This is big business. https://psmag.com/news/why-are-so-many-christians-obsessed-with-predicting-the-rapture

        • Greg G.

          A fire and brimstone church made themselves feel better by putting up a picture of fire on a billboard at a traffic light on my way home from work and it had the words, “You will meet the Lord when you die.” Across the street, a Camping follower put up a billboard that said, “Jesus is coming May 21, 2011.” I thought, “How convenient! Maybe I won’t have to die after all.”

        • If you look up “Harold Camping” here, you’ll find several posts about his shenanigans.

        • Ficino

          I have heard it said that Hinduism has more than 300 million gods.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So have I.

          Or 33 million, or 330 million, but who would know?

          Hindu’s don’t think so anyway.

          https://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/05/330-million-gods-in-hindu-religion.html

          We Celts are not short of a few deities either…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Celtic_deities

        • Kevin K

          Methinks trolly trolls are trolling.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Seriously? Clues? …hidden/double meanings? Lightening speed?

          C’mon…your flash-to-bang time might be slow, but you are being ridiculously dim.

          The “About” tab?

          “This blog explores intellectual arguments in favor of Christianity (Christian apologetics) from an atheist perspective and critiques Christianity’s actions in society. I began writing it in August, 2011.”

          The forum title banner?

          “Cross Examined…clear thinking about Christianity”

          The comment policy?

          “Cross Examined Comment Policy…Christians and atheists welcome.”

          The subject matter of the articles?

          There is slow on the uptake, then there is glacially slow…no wonder yer head is away with the fairies if that’s how sharp ya are.

    • Lark62

      On what possible basis do you conclude our host or most of the readers here think the christian deity is “worthwhile”?

      A class in reading comprehension may be in order.

      Until then, rest assured that we find all deities equally pointless and equally imaginary.

    • RichardSRussell

      This is a terrible blog because it says nothing — nothing! — about the awfulness of daylight saving time, a world-wide plague upon humanity.

      And don’t even get me started about the designated-hitter rule!

      • Otto

        Daylight savings time is the best thing ever….heathen!!

        • ildi

          There is only ONE daylight to save-apostate!

        • Michael Neville

          You’re so wrong. You need to study the wisdom of the World’s Wisest Human™, the late Gene Ray and his Time Cube [LINK].

          http://timecube.2enp.com/timecubeflierimg.gif

        • ildi

          Anything with a complicated chart must be true – I have seen the light!

        • Greg G.

          Dear Gene Ray,

          At the poles, there is one sunup and one sundown per year so the Harmonic Cube does not apply on a planet where its rotational axis is not perpendicular to its orbital plane. Your ignorance of the Temporal Tesseract is appalling. You owe me a $1000.

          Yours truly,
          Greg G, Tesseracic rex

        • Kevin K

          So wait … if the Earth’s axis weren’t tilted, you could go to the poles and there would be no such thing as a “day”?

          Mind blown!!

        • Greg G.

          It would be eternally dusk-dawn where Santa Claus lives.

        • Kevin K

          The elves would go on strike.

        • Bob Jase

          Does that mean that elves are crepuscular?

        • Greg G.

          Yes. I had to look up that word.

          I remember when I was a Christian, we would have a session where people would tell about an answered prayer. Two guys said they went fishing at a lake. Around dusk, the mosquitoes started to bothering them. Finally, they decided to pray about it and pretty soon, the mosquitoes stopped bothering them. I thought that was amazing.

          A few years after I dropped Christianity, I read that mosquitoes are most active after sunset when it is too dark for birds but not dark enough for bats. Now I know that mosquitoes are crepuscular.

        • I thought I knew what crepuscular meant, but it didn’t fit your context. I looked it up and then I realized I was thinking of crepitate.

        • Greg G.

          Now that is three words I have had to look up in the last 24 hours. The first was “oleaginous” used in a George Will article.

          I crepitate myself trying to get out of bed in the morning.

        • Lark62

          Reading Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True site is good for the vocabulary. For a while I kept a list of useful new words.

          After learning the word “maturate,” I soon found occasion on another site to say “Don’t maturate on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

          Ah, and a fine day that twas.

        • I remember reading the distinction between suck and suckle (a baby sucks; a mother suckles). But I didn’t need to find out the definition of “maturate.” Damn you!

        • Lark62

          See my edit. Micturate is the word. I may be brain dead, but I’m blaming my phone,

        • Greg G.

          I’d rather be shit at and missed than pissed at and hit.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          And Rod Serling would monologue every time some poor SOB made the pitiable mistake of existing there!

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Rod_Serling_1959.JPG

        • Greg G.

          You have entered the something something.

      • Michael Neville

        You know who is in favor of the designated hitter? The Damn Yankees!

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Great band, though I don’t know why it’s important that they favor the DH.

    • Halbe

      Most of the 22 reasons so far are valid for any of the major monotheistic faiths. Most references and examples refer to the Christian God, so it takes a bit more effort to see that they cover the other Abrahamic religions as well. However, if you have some sort of unique special individual theistic faith: explain it to us and we are happy to trash that as well.

    • Because I live in the US, my focus is on the popular god there–the Christian god.

      behaving as if the Christian god is the only worthwhile god

      Read a few posts, and I think you’ll see that that god isn’t worthwhile at all.

  • Anthrotheist

    This was an interesting epiphany for me when I started to really contemplate my atheism. I quickly realized that everyone that I knew that claimed that they believed in God appeared to behave exactly the same way I did, even though I do not believe. What was most telling was that their expectations were identical to mine; not only were their circumstances no different from a non-believer’s, they didn’t seem to even realize that they should be any different. I knew why I didn’t expect prayer to heal the sick or save the imperiled, all while I watched them fervently praying and then showing no surprise or outrage when their ‘efforts’ were fruitless; their actions indicated that they expected prayer to have an effect, but in the end their unconsciously genuine reaction to its failure proved otherwise.

    • Ficino

      Exactly. Where is the guy who was saying, “What, you want God to break His own natural laws?” Well, that’s kind of how He rolled back in Bible days …

  • Otto

    OT: I know the writers of the blogs have no control over the ads but sheesh…now I come to the non-religious site and all I see are religious ads for the Pope movie and political ads for a religious pro-life bigot running for the House in my state.

    • Greg G.

      Click on an ad you don’t disdain and you will see it more often. I clicked on an American Cruise Lines ad and now I get one on pretty much every page.

    • Ignorant Amos
      • This is an old story, but I’ll repeat it for the amusement of anyone who missed it.

        Christian guy comes onto an atheist blog and complains about the ads. Apparently they’re all gay porn. So he makes a comment about how he should’ve known that atheists are all fags and so on.

        Someone replies to educate him about how online ads work–they’re not part of the site you’re at but pick up your browsing internet preferences, and those preferences follow you around at various sites. You see gay porn? It’s because that’s what you’ve been browsing.

        Christian guy wasn’t heard from again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s a good’un.

          I understand how the directed advertising works. I bought a treadmill yesterday, and because I was browsing Amazon, I’m know being bombarded with offers for treadmill’s. Same with smartwatch’s, hash grinder’s, multitool’s, etc. But am fecked if I can remember browsing for mad swami guru’s to go see, or ladies dresses, or…well a will say no more…taking the fifth.

        • Michael Neville

          Taking the fifth of what? I assume you’re talking about some whisky or other strong drink. And I’m sure you would look fabulous seeing a mad swami guru while wearing a ladies dress.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Asian ladies dating sites for one.

          I’ve an ad for an overnight stay on a luxury yacht in London…reduced from £344 to £167…sounds reasonable, but wtf?

          I’m not adverse to wearing ladies dresses…a favoured pastime for squaddies fancy dress parties…any excuse really. But some woo-woo swami guru is where a draw the line chum.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m sure if you spent the £177 you saved on the overnight stay you’d be able to afford a really good swami guru.

          In submarines on each run we’d have Half-Way Night when various amusements would be presented. Some of those included sailors dressed up in ladies garments for the entertainment of other sailors.

        • Greg G.

          I searched for rates of air fare to Asia last year and am still getting ads for that two months after returning from the trip.

    • Kevin K

      Once again … AdBlock is your friend.

      I have been lately seeing some web sites which ask me to turn off AdBlock before being served their content. No thanks, your content isn’t that important to me. I can surely find what I’m looking for elsewhere. It’s a very large internet.

      • Otto

        I have AdBlock…and it is on…yikes

        Edit: Now I am thinking it must have gotten turned off somehow, no ads are showing anymore. I certainly don’t turn it off.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          ‘Adblock Plus’ and Ghostery make a nice pair.

  • katiehippie

    “a list of requests for God to break natural law” So god can’t break his own laws? I thought god could do anything.

    • Kevin K

      God breaking natural law is the preferred definition of “miracle”.

  • Ignorant Amos

    Off topic…but I just have to share…

    Dear Paul,

    THANK YOU! Our campaign to stop the Government from lifting the 50% cap on religious selection in English schools is over: and it’s a WIN!

    The Government has just this second announced that new religious free schools will not be able to select all their pupils on religious grounds and operate as 100% monocultural enclaves, as Theresa May and Damian Hinds had originally planned. Thank you so much for your support on this campaign. You forced this Government to back down from a manifesto commitment, in the interests of inclusion and integration.

    Now this battle over the 50% cap is over, we will need to push, harder than ever, for the complete abolition of state faith schools in the UK. To meet these challenges, we need your help.

    Together we’ll create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail.

    Yippee…the battle is won, the real war has just begun.

    • epeeist

      It isn’t quite as good as you make out. It will still be possible to open free schools with a 100% religious admissions policy.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Of course, and it won’t do much for the predicament here in NI either, but it is a move in the right direction.

        Whenever the government backtracks due to public opinion, it’s usually a good thing. And on this occasion, it most definitely is a good thing.

    • Congratulations!

  • Kevin K

    If we live in God World, doctrinal statements would be unnecessary because there would be no competing visions of the “truth”. It would just be the way it is … God is over there, doing his god thing and you can access him in the following ways (sacrifice a pigeon, etc. etc.).

    Doctrinal statements are prima facie evidence that all of that shit is just made up shit.

  • Triggerman1976

    By the logic employed in 21, you’ve proved that atheism is false because atheist organizations have “faith statements”.
    22 doesn’t cite the claimed source (had to Google it). The study has a number of problems, like its assumptions.And then there’s the meta study problem (such as Duke’s Koenig) which essentially refutes it.

    • Damien Priestly

      Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity(s). End of story. No faith statements.

      • Triggerman1976

        That’s a faith statement.

        • Michael Neville

          No, it’s a belief statement. No faith is required to say “I do not believe gods exist due to the lack of evidence for their existence.” Faith is what’s needed when there isn’t a good reason to hold a belief, for example the belief that gods do exist.

        • Triggerman1976

          Actually, that’s a distinction without a difference.

          It requires a tremendous amount of faith—blind faith— to say that when I can just as easily say that “I believe that God exists BECAUSE of the evidence.” Faith—defined as “believing loyalty”—is what HAPPENS when there IS good reason to hold a belief.

        • Michael Neville

          You appear confused about the difference between belief and faith. Belief is an opinion that something is true. Faith is a belief that is not based on evidence. Belief can be based on either evidence or faith. As I said before, there is no faith required to say “I do not believe gods exist due to the lack of evidence for them.” Despite what some people may claim, a lack of evidence is evidence of lack, in this case a lack of gods. Since there is evidence for “I do not believe gods exist” that statement requires zero faith.

          Note that “I do not believe gods exist” is not the same as “I believe gods do not exist.” The first is a statement of belief, the second is a claim which requires exactly the same type of evidence as “I believe gods exist” and is therefore a statement of faith.

        • Triggerman1976

          I reject your definition of the word “faith” based upon the fact that you have faith in it’s accuracy of defining the term in its fullest sense, which it DOES NOT, there are at least 3 defintitions and context determines its meaning not some schoolyard atheist, parroting tripe. The full definition, when I use the term, it’s NEVER in the context of a lack of evidence, but in the face of it (eg I have faith/believe [note the synonymity] that my wife will call me before lunch. Why? Because she calls me every day before lunch so that we can meet and have lunch together.<–evidence based.)

          Further a CLAIM that there is a lack of evidence is not in fact proof of a lack of evidence, it is a claim. It's akin to standing in a room with the president of the United States with ones eyes closed while shouting "I don't see the president of the United States." Dismissal of evidence is not the same as there not being evidence. The more honest atheists say, I do not find the evidence persuasive that way they don't look like complete philosophical nincompoops.

          Also, the statement, "I do not believe gods exist" is a statement of faith regarding your belief that gods do not exist. Hiding it behind a negation does not remove the fact that it is a POSITIVE belief and a statement of faith.

        • Michael Neville

          So you reject my definition of faith because it shows you’re wrong when you claim that atheism is a “faith statement”. I realize it’s difficult for someone as arrogant as you to admit to mistake. That doesn’t change that you’re wrong about faith. Paul agrees with my definition: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

          Further a CLAIM that there is a lack of evidence is not in fact proof of a lack of evidence, it is a claim.

          Reread my comments, you won’t see the word proof anywhere in what I wrote. I used the word evidence repeatedly and on purpose. Can I prove gods do not exist? No, so for me to say that gods do not exist would be a statement of faith. Instead I have said, again repeatedly, that I do not believe gods exist AND I have given evidence for that statement of belief. Since evidence is given no faith is needed and therefore it is not a faith statement.

          Dismissal of evidence is not the same as there not being evidence.

          So got any evidence that any gods exist? That’s any gods, not just your favorite pet god. Bring it out so I can examine it. I suggest that you not use the ontological argument, one of the cosmological arguments, the transcendental argument, the argument from morality, fine tuning or complexity of life. Those arguments are relatively easy to refute. So whatcha got?

        • Triggerman1976

          I reject your definition because it is an incorrect one, and demonstrably so. Then you go and set up a straw man: I never said “atheism is a faith statement.” The only “arrogant” person in this conversation is the one who who is deliberately misrepresenting statements because he thinks that he is right. Like the assertion that Paul wrote Hebrews…there is no historical evidence for that either in vocabulary or style (the best arguments for authorship lean toward the disciple Apollos, given its eloquence and intense interaction with Leviticus).

          I love how atheists proof-text, it makes its so easy to refute because its like they forget that there’s 41 additional verses that follow it to explain what he means, especially since it’s the first premise of an argument.

          “proof” and “prove” are not the same thing. Since a “faith statement” is merely about what is or, in your case, is NOT believed, you still have not gotten around that.

          I’ve got plenty of evidence. We just have to come up with a cogent and coherent worldview that can account for the ability to analyze said evidence and that can account for things like the reliability of memory, reliability of the senses, the uniformity of nature, and universals such as logic and moral duties.

        • Damien Priestly

          I started this sub-thread by saying;:”Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity(s).” … Lack of belief is not any statement at all — let alone a faith statement…it is like saying “I have no favorite team”…

          Like many religious people, especially Christians defensive about no evidence for god(s)…you try the laughable “not enough faith to be an atheist” dodge — to try to cover for embarrassment about the bizarre god-man Jesus and other ancient legends that cannot be defended with rational logic and empiricism.

          But, hey…plenty of fundamentalist and other magical thinking religious blogs that would eat up your non-rational arguments…try your luck there !!

        • Triggerman1976

          Did you not say what atheism, in fact, believes? Yes you did. Hence a statement of belief that is definitional of it means to be an atheist.

          I find it interesting that atheists feel that they don’t have to prove their claims but happily shift the burden…guessing its because they realize that what they believe isn’t true or that they have good reasons to believe it.

          They hate me because I expose their irrational thinking too.

        • Pofarmer

          What claim would you have me prove? That I don’t believe your evidence stacks up? There you have it.

          Moron.

        • Triggerman1976

          That’s a claim that you have to prove.

        • You demand evidence and good arguments? Good for you.

          I suggest you lead by example. Give us a compelling argument for God.

        • Triggerman1976

          Apart from him you cannot prove anything.

        • Damien Priestly

          He said, compelling. You provided nothing, as usual !!

        • Triggerman1976

          Nothing like declaring that bias up front, eh?

        • Damien Priestly

          So you still have nothing!..At any point here, you could have provided a shred of evidence that the OP was incorrect…instead you just whine when you are stumped.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          A bias for evidence is a GOOD thing…

        • Triggerman1976

          Not just “evidence”, but “compelling evidence”, that’s what you said. Which is a subjectivizing bias. It’s a precommitment to a particular feeling being generated rather than simply being about the evidence itself, which does nothing apart from a cogent and coherent grid that is necessary account for the ability to properly perceive and interpret said evidence.

        • Greg G.

          Subjective evidence is not objective evidence. Objective evidence would be compelling evidence. You are projecting your prejudice on others.

        • MR

          Aren’t we waiting for a response from TM on what evidence he would give someone with no bias?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jaysus sake…how do you expect to be taken seriously when you talk so much ballix.? Ffs…for evidence to be any use, it needs to be compelling.

          compelling-: not able to be refuted; inspiring conviction.

          Evidence that is not compelling is about as useful as no evidence at all.

          Of course it depends on how extraordinary the claim being made, as to how extraordinary the evidence required to be compelling.

          My word for it that I drive a 14 year old VW Polo is all the evidence most people require to believe it’s a fact. Why would I make that up?

          My word becomes less compelling as evidence when I claim I drive an intergalactic time machine. Most folk are less reluctant to accept that as a fact. Understand?

          Religious claims require evidence a lot more compelling than the former…and even more compelling than even that for the latter. To date, none exists. Got evidence?

          The Mormons have evidence that the angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith two golden tablets from which he deciphered the text of the Book of Mormon. You and I don’t find that evidence compelling, otherwise we would believe the truth value of it and become Mormons. So while Mormons think they have evidence, you and I don’t think it’s evidence at all. We can go further and investigate the Mormon evidence and make some comments on why we don’t think it is compelling evidence, nor why it shouldn’t be put forward as evidence at all.

          You have no problem with this system when you apply it to other belief systems idea of “evidence”, but your knickers get in a tangle when asked to provide your evidence that compelled you to believe the crap ya do. The thing I find most amusing is that you already know the evidence you have is so shitty, and know it is not compelling, that you are shit scared to offer it up for scrutiny. Probably because the ridicule and mockery it enlists, is well known to you already.

        • Greg G.

          I am riding an intragalactic time machine. It travels through time at one second per second, except when you are having fun.

        • Greg G.

          If that were true, you cannot prove anything until you prove God.

        • Pofarmer

          Nothing like some good old pre suppositional bullship.

        • Triggerman1976

          Proof of God is that anything can be proven.

        • Greg G.

          Proof of God is that anything can be proven.

          No, it isn’t.

          Presuppositional bullshit is the sign of a failed apologist who realizes his most important belief cannot actually be proved. You have given up accepting the burden of proof because it is a failure for all theists. Faith makes you a failure.

          Just assuming it is a logical fail. You have to prove that logic comes from a god and not just that some implications are true while some are usually true and humans couldn’t possibly notice that. Humans are quite capable of separating logical implications that are always true, and calling them logical statements, compared to relationships that are almost always true, usually true, sometimes true, or prudent to assume true, and calling them logical fallacies.

        • Triggerman1976

          You really need to talk to someone about your use of straw men and your ignorance of presuppositionalism.

        • Greg G.

          That’s what presuppositionalists always say when you try to talk to them. They just don’t have anything to support their assumptions.

        • Triggerman is apparently saying that a godless world would have no logic. That’s a fascinating claim, but it needs evidence.

        • Greg G.

          It is standard Presuppositionism. They say that God created logic. That way they don’t have to prove anything after giving that retort.

          But if logic is supposed to be of divine origin, why does it require empirical observation to establish most premises?

        • epeeist

          But if logic is supposed to be of divine origin, why does it require empirical observation to establish most premises?

          And why was it formulated in pagan Ancient Greece (not forgetting India and China), rather than by the Hebrews? How come there is inductive logic, propositional, predicate, modal, doxastic, deontic, paraconsistent, many-valued and quantum logics?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. You’re assuming your conclusion.

          Try it withOUT assuming your conclusion.

        • Triggerman1976

          Try to start reasoning apart from that fact.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You haven’t demonstrated anything yet, so we don’t have to take your word for anything.

          Put up or shut up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Put up or shut up.

          It appears the tube has chosen the later.

        • Greg G.

          For once, he chose wisely.

        • John MacDonald

          I think Dr. Bart Ehrman gives us a compelling argument against the Christian God of Love with the problem of suffering. If there was a loving, caring, personal God who watches over us and has a plan for our life, why are there such things as 3 year old children dying of cancer? That isn’t love. Granted, that is only evidence against a certain type of God (The Christian loving God), but it is still evidence in favor of secularism. To be sure, regarding such matters as tragic childhood cancer, there may be a God who is impotent, insane, indifferent, or whatever, but the omnipotent/omniscient/omnipresent/omnibenevolent God of Love certainly does not exist.

        • Yes, the supernatural can’t be proven impossible, but the Christian god is proven impossible by the conditions here on earth.

        • Pofarmer

          How is, “I don’t believe you” a claim?

        • Damien Priestly

          This idiot has been backed into a corner…he cannot admit when he has lost the argument so he resorts to “no, you are” — to cover his lame thinking.

        • Pofarmer

          The problem with this particular idiot, as the other idiots, apparently, listen to him. I don’s see why, certainly.

        • Triggerman1976

          You left some out of that sentence.

        • Pofarmer

          No, I actually didn’t . I don’t believe your claims about God. How is that substantially different?

        • Greg G.

          If he believed your evidence stacked up, he would believe and would be on your side. The fact that he opposes you means your evidence does not stack up. QED

        • Triggerman1976

          Jesus said that a man coming back from the dead wouldn’t cause anyone to believe.
          It’s got nothing to do with evidence, either in quality or quantity. It’s about predisposition, or as Jonathan Haidt notes in THE RIGHTEOUS MIND, the binds and blinds of precommitment.

        • Damien Priestly

          -> “Did you not say what atheism, in fact, believes? ”

          No !!

          You still don’t understand that “lack of a belief” is not a belief statement. I doubt you have the intellectual capability to understand that. You belong in a second-grade level discussion….or you are just trolling. Either way…back to the kid’s table for you.

        • Triggerman1976

          It is a statement of belief. Denying it doesn’t change that fact.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I don’t believe in Bigfoot.

          Is that a belief statement, or a withholding of belief based on a lack of evidence?

        • Triggerman1976

          Statement of belief.

        • Phil

          Wow! I am going to cut that out and treasure it always. Such a succinct example of complete and utter gibberish.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s a complete cornucopia of just such gibberish on tap at the rhubarbs blog…it’s flabbergasting how much word salad can be produced by someone with just the one head.

        • epeeist

          I find it interesting that atheists feel that they don’t have to prove their claims but happily shift the burden

          It is the person making the ontological commitment that has the burden. As a theist you are presumably claiming that your god exists, thus the strong burden falls upon you to demonstrate this.

          Are atheists making an ontological commitment? No, they are not. There is a burden upon them, however it is a weak one; to show that the theists arguments for the existence of their god do not stand up to scrutiny.

          Now this is impossible with you, since you have provided nothing that looks like an argument in the time that you have been here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I find it interesting that atheists feel that they don’t have to prove their claims but happily shift the burden…

          If someone approaches you and claims that immaterial snowflake fairies exist…who has the burden…you or the claimant?

          And btw, I accept the burden that isn’t mine, the omni-attributes of YahwehJesus make it a logical impossibility to exist. That’s my claim, it is demonstrable, show me I’m wrong.

          …guessing its because they realize that what they believe isn’t true or that they have good reasons to believe it.

          Do you believe your disbelief in Brahma isn’t true? When did you realise it? What about Space Ponies? What’s your position on them, and when will you realise it isn’t true?

          They hate me because I expose their irrational thinking too.

          You really are this dense. Dime Bar.

        • Thanks4AllTheFish

          Just for the record, I’m an atheist and I don’t hate you or what you write. I feel sorry for you, but I don’t hate you.

          For 2000 years Christian theologians/apologists have been spending inordinate amounts of time, money and energy to out maneuver the skeptics of their incongruous, irrational and conflicting tome in an effort to keep the faithful from straying and their coffers overflowing. You are just another in a long line of mis-educated biblical scholars more interested in proving the claims of your dead ancestors than in improving anything of substance. You are wasting everyone’s time here with your personal definitions of words and pseudo-babble bereft of empirical evidence.

          Fuck it,…I’m outta here.

        • If someone spent his time memorizing the stats of his favorite baseball team, that’d be rather useless, but at least baseball actually exists. Not so much the supernatural world imagined by the Bible.

        • Thanks4AllTheFish

          It is unfathomable to me how someone can spend more than ten seconds with their nose in that gilded, zippered book of fables. I’ve already spent too much time just typing this just to tell you that. Give me a Haruki Murakami novel, a warm fireplace and two fingers of a good quality speyside scotch any day. That’s what heaven’s about.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya got me with the whiskey.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I hear a bunch of assertions, but FUCKALL for evidence.

          Put up or shut up.

        • Michael Neville

          My definition of faith is identical to the one given in Hebrews. Whether or not Paul wrote it is immaterial, it’s canonical, i.e., an official Book o’ da Bible™. I realize you’re not a Biblical literalist but again, so what? Your “holy book” says I’m right. All of your tap-dancing and hand-waving don’t change that. As for your blather about “41 additional verses”, they don’t change what was written in verse 1.

          Your nonsense that “proof” and “prove” are not the same thing just shows me you’re grasping at straws to keep from admitting you were talking out of your rosy red rectum when you pretend a statement made with supporting evidence is somehow a “faith statement”. I don’t believe gods exist for the simple and straightforward reason that there is no evidence to support their existence. Note that’s any gods, not just the magic sky pixie you fancy. Zip point zero faith is required for me to make that statement.

          I’ve got plenty of evidence.

          Bring it out. I enjoy a good laugh while smacking down the feeble arguments Christian apologists somehow think could maybe perhaps, if the wind’s blowing in the right direction and the stars are aligned, just possibly resemble the slightest hint that the some god has the merest prospect of almost existing. So instead of nattering about “reliability of memory” and “uniformity of nature”, show me what you have.

        • Triggerman1976

          “My definition of faith is identical to the one given in Hebrews.“

          That’s false, not to mention circular reasoning.
          1.Im going to define X thusly.
          2. I’m going to import my definition of X into Context Y.
          3. Surprise! Definition of X means what I want it to mean in Context Y.

          I can’t say that I didn’t see that coming a mile away.

          “Ἔστι δὲ πίστις ἐλπιζομένων ὑπόστασις, πραγμάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεπομένων ἐν ταύτῃ γὰρ ἐμαρτυρήθησαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι.

          Let me give you the Triggerman translation from the original language:
          “Now, what is loyalty? It is a resolute trust proven [by things] that aren’t seen [yet], and [this is found] in the commendable acts of the ancestors.” (Most translations obscure the fact that v1 and v2 can be translated as a single sentence).

        • Michael Neville

          Thanks for showing you don’t even understand what circular reasoning is. Why am I not surprised about that.

          You still have yet to show how making a claim and supporting that claim with evidence requires any faith. You also have yet to show that faith is anything but belief unsupported by evidence. In short, you’re talking out of your ass and solely because it would annoy you to admit you’re wrong and a despised atheist is right.

        • Greg G.

          The bracketed “yet” is what makes your translation exactly what Michael Neville is driving at. If you do not have evidence yet, you do not have justified belief. Having faith that your faith will eventually be proved is the same thing Michael is saying faith is. Faith is belief based on a lack of evidence. Religious faith is a different meaning than trust in someone you know to exist.

        • Triggerman1976

          “Note that’s any gods, not just the magic sky pixie you fancy. Zip point zero faith is required for me to make that statement.”

          It takes A LOT of faith to believe that statement. The faith of stubborn recommitment.

        • Michael Neville

          I love how your reply boils down to “yer rong cause I say so”. If you had a real argument to support your silly supposition, you’d be throwing it at me. Instead all you’re doing is being contrary because you’re to arrogant to admit to error.

        • I have no god belief. No, that’s not a faith statement.

        • Triggerman1976

          Self-refutation is ugly, Bob, but you do it so well.

        • One of these days you’ll have to substantiate your position. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to make do with your bon mots.

        • Greg G.

          You may think him a fool when he doesn’t substantiate but from what I have seen when he does make the attempt, he removes all doubt.

        • Triggerman1976

          Got an entire blog dedicated to doing just that, Bob.

        • Phil

          If I have got this right, “I have no god belief” is proof he/it exists. Am I right?

        • Perhaps Triggerman thinks that’s what I think.

        • You remember the book I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist? How is the word “faith” used in that book title?

        • Triggerman1976

          Turek defines the term himself at the end of the introduction to the book as “[certainty] beyond a reasonable doubt.”

        • Greg G.

          Certainty beyond a reasonable doubt would be knowledge. Religious faith is something else. We can believe things according to the strength of the evidence, but religious faith is belief beyond any supporting evidence.

        • Triggerman1976

          I wholeheartedly disagree since “knowledge” is most commonly defined as a “justified, true belief”. Everything that I believe is evidence based and can be demonstrated directly or by reasonable inference from the available evidence, which is in direct contradiction to your assertion. Now, perhaps you’d like to try to point out something that I believe that has no evidence. You’re welcome to try to identify, but if I were you, I would check my site out to keep from looking too silly and avoid a straw man. http://www.triggermanblog.wordpress.com

        • Ignorant Amos

          You don’t seem to be getting very much traffic over at that dump you call a blog.

          The couple of articles I read had but a few replies, and those were made by you.

          Is your purpose here is to drum up some foot fall at your own house?

          If not, then stop linking to the shithole and make your arguments here…canvassing for ones own blog is bad etiquette and frowned upon…if ya are, then do us all a favour and fuck away off.

        • Triggerman1976

          I get lots of traffic (my Google/Facebook traffic is insane). And my posts get lots of views. I just host the comments and discussions elsewhere.

          What comments I do get there are usually ad hominem from atheists who can’t handle the arguments. I don’t clutter the com box with those.

          But, yes. Feel free to visit, but make your comments constructive and well reasoned.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I get lots of traffic (my Google/Facebook traffic is insane). And my posts get lots of views. I just host the comments and discussions elsewhere.

          Non sequitur…who is talking about your Google/Facebook traffic and gives a fuck?

          What comments I do get there are usually ad hominem from atheists who can’t handle the arguments. I don’t clutter the com box with those.

          Well given your performance here, I doubt you’d recognise the ad hom fallacy if it jumped up and bit ya on the arse. But it is still interesting that what traffic you admit you get is usually from atheists. Since you moderate them out, we’ll never know what they said. I’m calling you out as a liar on this one. You are the coward who can’t deal with the arguments against your fuckwittery.

          But, yes. Feel free to visit, but make your comments constructive and well reasoned.

          Given yours are not. And given that you delete atheists arguments. I see no point. But maybe you can link to an atheist engaging in “constructive and well reasoned” commenting on your blog. Or is it your assertion that there has never been one? I’ll wait to see what pish ya come away with next.

        • Triggerman1976

          You did. You’re the one questioning my interaction traffic on my blog in a conversation about the relevance and definition of faith statements and the validity of a prayer study. What’s that called? Oh, yeah: a red herring.

          That’s a really nice straw man of what I said.

        • Greg G.

          You still don’t understand what a faith statement for a Christian organization is. It is a legal document that must be signed for employment. If a person doesn’t adhere to it by writing or saying something contrary to the faith statement, the person becomes unemployed. A statement of belief is not a faith statement. A belief statement is made by a person. A faith statement is generally written by someone else and agreed to which gives the other person or persons some power over the person who signed it.

          Prayers studies with methodological flaws that could allow someone to influence the results intentionally or unintentionally tend to show positive results for prayer. Studies that eliminate the possibility of bias return negative results. Why would your god withhold miracles because someone prays in a valid test?

          Ignorant Amos said:

          But maybe you can link to an atheist engaging in “constructive and well reasoned” commenting on your blog.

          A link would have been the proper response. It seems you are shooting blanks.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m pretty certain that goes wherever.
          Oh…wait…that’s absolutely right, it does. If I’m a college recruiter at a specific college and I start telling particular recruits to go elsewhere, I would be unemployed rather quickly and for good reason. Or if I was a clerk at a store and started sending customers to the competition, I’m pretty sure that I would be looking for a new job rather quickly.

          Faith statements are ubiquitous, some implicit others explicit.

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps you are getting it but you won’t admit you were wrong. It is obvious that you are grasping at straws.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You don’t follow threads and conversation very well, do ya?

          I was talking about you continually linking to your dumbass blog like we are interested. If you go to someone else’s house to watch the game, it’s a cunt’s trick to start poaching other guests to leave and come with you back to yours.

          The key point in my comment was…

          Is your purpose here is to drum up some foot fall at your own house?

          Because having had a quick scope at your blog, there’s no fucker there doing much commenting except some narcissistic tit called Triggerman.

          Hence me leading with…

          You don’t seem to be getting very much traffic over at that dump you call a blog.

          So, when you can employ some reading for comprehension, you’ll realize why I give zero fucks about who is talking to you on Google/Facebook…you are not linking to either of those, so that is a non sequitur.

          So when you actually take the time to learn about the fallacies you are bandying about like the prick you, then maybe your time here hasn’t been a complete waste of time.

          Here’s a wee hint…my comment had nothing to do with either faith statements or the validity of a prayer study, it was about your repeatedly canvassing for your own blog. So no, not a red herring or a straw man…ya moronic Dime Bar.

        • Phil

          So if you have evidence for your faith, you don’t have faith, you have proof. If you have proof, what’s the point of faith?

        • That’s so weird. I don’t think I’ve seen you dance away from a question like that. Was it a little too hot to handle? That’s so unlike you–usually when you make an idiotic statement, you’re willing to stand up and take your medicine.

          Since you don’t have the courage to answer the question, let me do it for you. Geisler and Turek, in the very title of their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, are using the word “faith” to mean something like “belief despite evidence” or “belief unconcerned about evidence.”

        • Greg G.

          Then Off is a television channel. Bald is a hair color. Perfect health is a form of disease.

        • Triggerman1976

          Category error. It is. And yes, for some people it is.

        • Greg G.

          Exactly. Conflating non-belief with belief is a category error.

        • Triggerman1976

          assuming that non-belief isn’t itself a belief is a category error.

        • Greg G.

          It would require faith to make an assumption like that.

          I do not believe you have 37 pennies in your pocket. I do not believe you have less than 37 pennies nor do I believe you have more than 37 pennies in your pocket. I have no belief about the number of pennies in your pocket or whether you are wearing anything with pockets. I do not even believe you do not have 37 pennies in your pocket, either.

        • Triggerman1976

          Do you believe that?

        • Greg G.

          No, I have no belief about coins in your pockets, whatever else you have in your pockets, whether you have pockets, whether you play pocket pool, or whether you play away games.

        • Triggerman1976

          Do you believe that?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Incorrect.

          Maintaining that the null hypothesis is a belief, rather than a careful LACK of making a belief decision, betrays your willful misunderstanding.

        • Triggerman1976

          That’s a belief

        • Phil

          Can we now call it the triggerman fallacy?

        • Greg G.

          Wouldn’t that imply there is only one?

        • epeeist

          Can we now call it the triggerman fallacy?

          Let’s call it for what it is, fucking idiocy.

        • Damien Priestly

          Yeah…then lack of belief in werewolves and pink-unicorns is a faith statement too. Learn some epistemology!

        • Joe

          Compare that simple definition to a faith statement from, say, a religious college, and you will soon see you are mistaken.

        • Triggerman1976

          If it declares what a group, or a person believes… it’s a faith statement.

        • Greg G.

          A faith statement is about what is believed on faith. A statement about what someone doesn’t believe because of the lack of evidence is not a belief statement and especially not a faith statement.

        • Triggerman1976

          A statement about what someone doesn’t believe IS a statement of belief.

        • Greg G.

          I think you are still confused about “doesn’t believe”. Michael Neville already explained it to you.

        • epeeist

          A statement about what someone doesn’t believe IS a statement of belief.

          You are confusing two statements in doxastic logic:

          1. ~p:X

          and:

          2. p:~X

          EDIT: insufficiently edited cut and paste

        • Greg G.

          T1976 can’t grasp the difference between unbelief and disbelief. He can’t construct a meaningful analogy. He doesn’t seem to have anything in his toolbox to grasp symbolic logic.

        • Pofarmer

          He can’t construct a meaningful analogy

          How many theists have come here with these crap analogies? This one has even made up his own fallacy, which is also a crap analogy. It’s a two fer.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Depends.

          If the lack of belief is due to the Null Hypothesis, I disagree with you.

          Making an active negation of a statement would fit your bill, but that’s not atheism, that’s ANTI-theism.

        • Greg G.

          A faith statement is not a declaration. It is a contract that you can be fired over if you do or say something considered contrary to it. Mike Licona was fired because he wrote that maybe the zombie mini-apocalypse in Matthew 27:52-53 might not have actually happened.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          ‘Faith’ is a special case of belief, since it not only doesn’t require evidence, but it can exist DESPITE easily available counterevidence.

        • Triggerman1976

          You really like the definist fallacy, don’t you?

        • It’s hard to be a faith statement without any reference to the supernatural.

        • Triggerman1976

          A “faith statement” is simply a statement of belief, you’re simply adding a category in an attempt to engage in special pleading.

        • One of these days we’ll have to talk about what “faith” means. You ought to read one sometime.

          A “faith statement” is simply a statement of belief

          Right. As opposed to an argument with evidence and reason.

          Show me an atheist faith statement. Let me make your job easier by suggesting this one:
          https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/tenets

          You’re saying that’s a faith statement?

        • Triggerman1976

          Told you and you still didn’t believe me.

          Oh, I’ve already beat you to it. https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/what-is-faith/

          And taken apart a misrepresentation of it
          https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/defining-faith/

          You’re late to the party, like dredging up tired, long refuted/responded to Marshal Brain-quality arguments. And quite frankly, given some of what you’ve done in the past…I’m not sure that you can be honest
          https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/name-calling-and-the-myth-of-neutrality/

        • quite frankly, given some of what you’ve done in the past…I’m not sure that you can be honest

          Hilarious! Immediately after this, you link to one of your posts titled, “Name-calling and the Myth of Neutrality.” Nice irony.

        • Triggerman1976

          I thought it as very apropos given the fact that you dismiss someone by calling him a “fan boy”, then pretending to be a neutral party, when you demonstrate an incredible amount of documentable historical ignorance and linguistic naïveté as well as set forth a number of fallacious arguments beside the ad hominem.

        • You’re such a tease! You know in detail a bunch of mistakes that I’ve made in my post … but you’re not going to tell me about them.

          I’ll have a hard time sleeping tonight.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I fail to see what the problem is with calling a fanboy of Jesus, a fan boy of Jesus. Aren’t all male followers of Jesus fanboy’s?

          fanboy:- a boy or man who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fanboy

          And if not, aren’t they all supposed to be?

          And if you had dismissed a fanboy of Jesus’ argument for no other reason than it is because of his being a fanboy of Jesus, you’d be guilty of the ad hom fallacious argument. But I don’t see it in this series of articles. Am a missing something?

        • You didn’t respond to my example at the end. I’ll be charitable and assume you forgot in your eagerness to name call.

        • Triggerman1976

          The entire post is a response to it. I’ll be charitable and assume that reading comprehension isn’t one of your strengths… and given your ham-handed way of handling Christian sources, you need all the charity that you can get.

        • You’re adorable! I always know that I’ll get a little spritz of Christian love whenever I read one of your comments.

          I’ve grabbed the Satanic Temple’s 7 Tenets to make my point in another comment, so I won’t repeat myself here.

        • Joe

          So the statement “I believe you shouldn’t put ice in good Scotch” is a faith statement on my part?

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s the only thing that should be put into good whisk[e]y. Or as in my case, good whisk[e]y into ice.

          My evidence? I have two special glasses produced for that purpose. I get two tumblers full to a wedge. They go into the freezer on rotation. Sipping ones good whisk[e]y from these glasses is essence.

          https://cdn0.lostateminor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Whiskey-Wedge-a-device-that-makes-slow-melting-ice-for-a-glass-of-undiluted-whiskey-990×500.jpg

        • Speaking of special glassware, have you seen this glass from SHTOX? I have one. Maybe put it on your list for Father Christmas.

          They have several styles. Here’s one:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsUC6DPkoJM

        • Ignorant Amos

          That would put my head away, some of the elephant’s trunk states I get myself into…could be a bit of a giggle though. I’ll have to have a wee look on Amazon.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wow…fifty quid? Defo a birthday gift to myself that one…be afraid to use it ffs.

        • Joe

          Too much dilution for me, generally. I use whisky stones in the height of the Australian summer, but generally I take it neat or with just a drop of water.

        • Pofarmer

          I have some whiskey stones, but they get a freezer burnt taste that I don’t particularly enjoy.

        • Triggerman1976

          Yes… and I would heartily agree to it dogmatically.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          *Religious* faith is gullibility.

          Other definitions of faith include ‘reasonable certainty based on evidence of recurring past events.’

          NOT the same thing, and shouldn’t be conflated for this purpose.

        • Triggerman1976

          Nice definist fallacy.

        • BlackMamba44

          You: “God exists!”
          Me: I don’t believe you. Got any evidence?

          Please explain how my statement is a faith statement?

        • Triggerman1976

          You: contrive straw man argument
          Me: point out straw man argument

        • Oooh! Someone’s feeling the heat of having said something stupid and then being forced to double down in public.

          Awkward.

        • Triggerman1976

          Pot…kettle on line 1.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’ve alread commented on this.

        • BlackMamba44

          Please explain how my statement is a faith statement.

          ETA: You claimed that “Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity (s)” is a faith statement. I just reworded it.

        • Triggerman1976

          That’s a statement about what atheism requires one to believe. You cannot be an atheist and believe in a god. Therefore, when an atheist makes the positive statement “I lack belief”, that is a statement of belief.

        • BlackMamba44

          “I lack belief” is not a positive statement, moron.

        • Triggerman1976

          In statements regarding beliefs, a negative formulation is always regarded as a positive statement.

        • BlackMamba44

          Says who?

        • Triggerman1976

          Philosophers and theorists of religion, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists.

        • BlackMamba44

          Who? Name some.

        • Triggerman1976

          Eliade, Smith, Uzarevik, Yamagata(?)…Yamaguchi(?)…the Japanese names always get me…Clobert…

        • BlackMamba44

          Who are they?

        • BlackMamba44

          Mircea Eliade:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mircea_Eliade – Oh wow. This guy was off his rocker.

        • BlackMamba44

          I found another one! Uzarevic:

          https://cdn.uclouvain.be/public/Exports%20reddot/psyreli/documents/Religion_sexuality_Preprint.pdf

          Make Love and Lose Your Religion and Virtue: Recalling Sexual Experiences Undermines Spiritual Intentions and Moral Behavior

          Abstract
          In contrast with traditional considerations, sexuality is often perceived today as being rather
          compatible with religion/spirituality and morality. However, there may be some inherent
          opposition between (a) sexuality (thoughts, affects, pleasure) and (b) religion/spirituality
          (attitudes, motives) and (interpersonal) morality (dispositions, behavior). The two imply,
          respectively, self-enhancement vs. self-transcendence, disinhibition vs. self-control, and
          disgust indifference vs. sensitivity. We hypothesized that sexual experience attenuates
          spiritual and moral concerns and behaviors. In three online experiments, young adults were
          asked to recall a personal sexual experience. Compared to a control condition, sexual
          induction diminished spiritual behavioral intentions (Experiments 1 and 2), in particular
          among those with high individual disinhibition (Experiment 1), as well as behaviors of
          prosociality and integrity/honesty (Experiment 3). The effects were independent of individual
          religiousness/spirituality. These findings suggest that combining sexual pleasure with selftranscendence
          and moral perfection, even if a legitimate ideal, is not an easy enterprise.

        • Triggerman1976

          Interesting.

        • BlackMamba44

          Loonie.

        • epeeist

          Philosophers and theorists of religion, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists.

          Citation required.

        • BlackMamba44

          I found 2 of the 4 names he gave me:

          Filip Uzarevic and Mircea Eliade. Both were all about the woo-woo.

        • OK, but just because they’re woo merchants doesn’t mean … oh, wait a minute, it does.

          Never mind.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think you understand any of them. epeeist showed the symbolic logic that shows there are two different types of negative formulations. One is disbelief and one is lack of belief. You cannot tell the difference. “I believe there is no god” is not equivalent to “I do not believe there is a god”. The former is disbelief, the latter is lack of belief.

        • The former is disbelief, the latter is lack of belief.

          You’re using that atheist juju, aren’t you? You and your logic!

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I peeled a banana to make it work, too.

        • Triggerman1976

          Both, however, are positive statements of belief in regard to the person, and are merely acts of linguistic hoop-jumping, especially since symbolic logic can be used to prove even the most irrational arguments.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Wrong.

          The first is a positive statement. The second is non-acceptance OF a positive statement.

        • Greg G.

          since symbolic logic can be used to prove even the most irrational arguments.

          With a valid logical structure and true premises, symbolic logic cannot prove irrational arguments. With an invalid structure and/or premises that are not true, it cannot prove anything.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          A statement of disbelief is not a statement of negation.

          It’s merely sticking to the Null Hypothesis of not believing until sufficient evidence is presented.

        • epeeist

          Therefore, when an atheist makes the positive statement “I lack belief”, that is a statement of belief.

          I lack beer, so this must be a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord in my hand.

        • Triggerman1976

          You’re making this too easy.

          Especially by admitting what you’re holding.

        • epeeist

          You’re making this too easy.

          Well yes, but that is because I have a such a massive target I scarcely need exert myself.

        • Pofarmer

          Wow.

          Argument went right on over.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          It’s DEscriptive, not PROscriptive, so, as usual, nope.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          How?

    • Greg G.

      22 doesn’t cite the claimed source (had to Google it).

      The bold font underlined in red are links to the source. The study was done by a Christian organization. The study was done because the methodology on all prayer studies before it was poor. None of them eliminated bias. A meta-study using biased studies is worthless.

      • Triggerman1976

        The link provided went to one of Bob’s posts. It’s funny that you assumed that the studies were “biased”, especially when one of the researchers at Duke who did the meta study was an atheist.

        • Greg G.

          The link provided went to one of Bob’s posts.

          I apologize, I assumed it went to an article on the Templeton study.

          It’s funny that you assumed that the studies were “biased”,

          I did not assume that. I have read about many of the studies and the methodological flaws were apparent in every single prayer study I had read. I read about the Templeton study with interest before it was carried out and I awaited its results. Articles on the Templeton study also pointed out the flaws in the previous prayer studies and was specifically designed to eliminate them.

          especially when one of the researchers at Duke who did the meta study was an atheist.

          The Templeton Study was done because all previous prayer studies had faults in their methodology. An atheist combining the results of inherently flawed studies does not eliminate the flaws and biases.

          If the group that was not prayed for in the study had the numbers of the group that was told they were prayed for, Christians would no doubt be touting this study as support for the efficacy of prayer. As it is, the differences were not significant though the worst group was on the verge of being significantly worse than the other two.

        • Triggerman1976

          Christians actually take their theology seriously, which is one of the serious flaws in the study. Further, the Duke study wasn’t on efficacy of prayer: it was on the relationships and outcomes of people inside and outside of faith communities in regard to health, recovery, and post operative wellness, not some attempt at dog-calling.
          If atheists read the Bible as much as they claimed that they read it, they would have seen the flaws a mile away.

        • Greg G.

          The study was on intercessory prayer for others, not what the Bible says.

          The problem with the other studies were that they allowed the possibility of human bias, intentional and unintentional, because there were so many Christians involved. This study was kept everybody doing treatment and evaluations in the dark regarding which group the patient was in.

          Further, the Duke study wasn’t on efficacy of prayer: it was on the relationships and outcomes of people inside and outside of faith communities in regard to health, recovery, and post operative wellness, not some attempt at dog-calling.

          Was that the study that noted that people who went to church regularly were less likely to die than people who didn’t go to church regularly? That was a flawed study because it lumped everybody who was too sick to go to church in the non-church-goer group and only people who were not so sick that they could go to church regularly in the church-going group. It also put everybody who went drinking until the bars closed on Saturday nights in the non-church-goer group.

          Imagine that! The group with all the sickest people had a higher death rate. That is a flaw.

        • Triggerman1976

          And that was the problem. Dog-calling.

        • Greg G.

          I have no idea what you are talking about now.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh, there’s plenty more of that mindwankery over on the rhubarb’s blog. A fuckwit fest if ever there was one.

        • The link provided went to one of Bob’s posts.

          … which provided the relevant information: “The 2006 STEP experiment, often known as the Templeton Study because of the foundation that funded it, showed no value in third-party healing prayer.”

          I’m missing the problem.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m trying to see the relevance in a study with a flawed methodology, not only scientifically but theologically.

        • The STEP experiment was a $2M study conducted by a Christian organization. Are you saying that the study was flawed?

        • Triggerman1976

          Oh, wow! They spent $2 million on it. Yes, I am.

        • Greg G.

          Why does God make prayer studies with methodological flaws in them turn out positive but makes a prayer study that removes the methodological flaws look like there is no prayer effect of any kind?

          It’s like there is no god at all.

        • Susan

          It’s like there is no god at all.

          Don’t be silly.

          If Yahwehjesus were distinguishable from other imaginary claims, that would be a violation of our Free Will.

          That Yawhehjesus appears to be non-existent is just more proof of its existence.

          If that’s not obvious to you, it’s because you don’t understand metaphysics.

          And you want to sin.

        • ildi

          And you’re rebellious – a rebel sinner. And angry. An angry rebel sinner.

        • Susan

          And you’re rebellious-a rebel sinner. An angry rebel sinner.

          Durn tootin’.

        • ildi

          I think I saw An Angry Rebel Sinner play out the other night. Good show.

        • Pofarmer

          I knew I had good cause to like you.

        • Greg G.

          I am angry because God killed my dog.

        • Pofarmer

          Yahwehjesus is slippery. I see why his symbol is a fish.

        • Triggerman1976

          The chief methodological flaw was the bad theology that went into it…and the dog-calling fallacy. For example

          I want to see if I have a dog named “Skip”. I walk out onto my porch three times a day, and call out for three minutes each time, “Skip! Skip, come here! Come home, Skip!” Methodologically, that SEEMS like a good test, because if Skip never comes, I can happily assume that I do not have a dog named “Skip”.

          Except, what if Skip is in a pen around back? Or is deaf? Or just doesn’t give a damn if I call his name because he likes my wife? Or that I don’t have a dog named “Skip”? Which of those is true?

          That’s why the study is flawed.

        • Greg G.

          The chief methodological flaw was the bad theology that went into it…and the dog-calling fallacy.

          You don’t know the difference between methodology and theology. I think “bad theology” is redundant.

          Here are some examples of what the New Testament says about prayer.

          Matthew 18:19-20 (NRSV)19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

          Does that mean God stops listening if four people or a congregation prays together? Maybe church prayer groups should break up into pairs or trios when they pray for world peace.

          Matthew 21:21-22 (NRSV)21 Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.”

          Mark 11:24 (NRSV)24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

          John 15:7 (NRSV)7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

          1 John 5:14-15 (NRSV)14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.

          I want to see if I have a dog named “Skip”.

          Yes, the experiment is flawed for your purpose. What the test actually proved was that there was no creature within hearing distance that was willing and able to come when you called the name “Skip”.

          What happens when you walk down the street calling for your dog named “Repent”? What if you named your puppy “Stains” because of the carpet but when your girlfriend’s parents visit, you call your dog by saying, “Come Stains!”?

          What the Templeton study shows is that there is no entity or force that responds to intercessory prayer. But the study certainly does rule out the effectiveness of Christian-style prayer.

          Many religions believe that prayer is effective. People pray but they are not surprised when their prayers are not answered so they do not form a strong memory for it. But sometimes something close enough to the prayer happens and they recall it as an answered prayer. That is confirmation bias.

          If one does a prayer study with a methodology that has a person deciding which patient is assigned to the prayer group or the non-prayer group, bias arises. The person may have a tendency to put the best cases into the prayer group and the most hopeless into the non-prayer group. If the evaluators know which group the patient is in, their judgement might be affected. If they try to compensate for that bias while trying to not overcompensate, a bias will still be in the mix. Another bias is the publication bias that favors positive results vs negative results. If a study comes out negative, it is less likely to be published because of the obvious faults in the methodology and sample size but if it has a positive result, it is more likely to be published.

          The Templeton study eliminated those issues with their methodology. Why is it that studies with poor methodology tend to come out positive for prayer while studies that eliminate possible sources of bias turn out negative?

        • Pofarmer

          What in the hell is this “Dog calling” fallacy?

          Sorry, saw it. It’s stupid.

        • Greg G.
        • Triggerman1976
        • Pofarmer
        • Triggerman1976

          You mean ACCURATELY handling information so as not to engage in a fallacious argumentation? Sorry, intellectual honesty and rational thinking must prevail.

        • Pofarmer

          Nah, the whole stupid “vending machine” apologetics routine. You sure do make a lot of excuses for why your god doesn’t show up.

        • Triggerman1976

          I never said he had to. Keep bringing straw men.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, Good Lord.

          What “Straw man?” I was repeating your own fucking argument.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re claiming a ‘god’ exists.

          Show it or STFU & GTFO.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The only accurate information I’ve seen from you is “I believe in this religion because of this book, even though I haven’t read through it or thought about whether it’s self-consistent or not.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya know what Biblical hermeneutics is, don’t ya?

          Google the many interpretations of the Bible, see what ya get, and all the variety of apologetics that attempt to fudge and weasel the excuses.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_hermeneutics#Diverse_interpretations

          Which Jesus is it you follow?

          Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/01/will-the-real-jesus-please-stand-up/

        • Triggerman1976
        • Pofarmer

          I wasn’t making an argument. Moron. You’re really taking it to another level to be fallacious in a meme. Holy shit.

        • Triggerman1976

          Exactly, you weren’t making an argument. Glad to know that you’re self-reflective enough to realize that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wtf did you post a meme inferring Po was making an argument, when he clearly wasn’t?

          You are special kind of Dime Bar, aren’t ya?

        • Triggerman1976

          Stay out of this

        • Or else what?

          You do know that you’re a guest here, right? Act like one.

        • Triggerman1976

          And as a guest, I don’t go around butting into peoples conversations with irrelevant matters. As a good host, that’s something you should know.

        • Here, every conversation is my business. See where it says “Mod”? Think “God.”

          I don’t go around butting into peoples conversations with irrelevant matters

          That’s nice, but you’re still an asshole. That’s the bigger crime.

          Pro tip: most atheists realize that every group will have its assholes, but you do your community a disservice when you act like a dick.

        • MR

          But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

          He doesn’t appear to be part of that community.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As a guest, you shouldn’t be stepping on the sight owners toes by dictating. On an open forum, anyone and everyone is entitled to interject in any sub-thread they want. You were commenting ballix AGAIN and I was letting ya know. Try and learn something rather than whining like a stuck pig.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Who ta hell do ya think you are Billy Big Balls?

          This place isn’t a theocracy like that heavily censored pig sty you call a blog. You don’t get to dictate who comments to whom, what.

          Go take yer heed for a shite.

        • Triggerman1976

          Unless you’re contributing something meaningful to the immediate conversation, you’re just static on the line.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve not seen you put up any content even remotely close to what Ignorant Amos is capable of. You can fuck right off.

          Oh, and he was correct in the statement you were apparently incensed by.

        • Triggerman1976

          Opinions are like armpits.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And ogres are like onions…

          your point?

        • Triggerman1976

          Opinions aren’t facts, and I’ve yet to see your boy Amos demonstrate anything remotely close to being able to present a coherent argument.

        • Greg G.

          How would you know what a coherent argument is. You continuously demonstrate that you don’t understand logic or evidence. Do you understand yet that a faith statement is not just any statement of belief?

        • Ignorant Amos

          When you present something to present a coherent argument against, that would be nice.

          So far, fuckwittery with no substance. Give a boy a chance ffs.

        • Greg G.

          Evidence is like soap. It makes your opinions smell better.

        • MR

          Has he responded yet why he believes or what evidence he would give someone with no bias?

        • Greg G.

          No, he hasn’t responded to me lately at all.

        • MR

          Hmmm, maybe he realized his position is untenable. Or, maybe he’s ashamed for being such a dick.

        • Greg G.

          I received this:

          If you ever wAnt to see TRiggErman agaiN&%*#$^@… Connection lost

          Not sure what it means.

        • MR

          There is a god?

        • I’m seeing a silver lining here …

        • Ignorant Amos

          We’ve had worse…it’s just that the latest always seems to want to appear a bigger onion heed than their predecessor.

        • epeeist

          No, he hasn’t responded to me lately at all.

          He has only ever responded to one of my posts. For some reason he seems to be avoiding my more substantive comments…

        • Ignorant Amos

          For some reason he seems to be avoiding my more substantive comments…

          Because it’s what they do. What else can we expect when all they’ve got are weak arguments, or no arguments at all?

        • Greg G.

          It looks like he has not commented on Disqus since shortly before I posted your question.

          Perhaps he has some personal business IRL. OTOH, Croydon lacks internet access.

        • Pofarmer

          Perhaps he’s off seriously reconsidering the basis for his beliefs.

        • Greg G.

          Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are contributing data points for how trite and trivial Christian understanding can be.

        • Triggerman1976

          Atheists have the exact same problem.

        • Greg G.

          The exact same problem: Triggerman1976.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          YABA (Yet Another Baseless Assertion)

        • Ignorant Amos

          You really think you are contributing something meaningful…period?

          Go and get stretched ya oxygen thieving Dime Bar.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, and BTW, some of us here either were Catholics or are pretty intimately familiar with your bullshit. We know that for you to maintain your fuckwittery a tight control on the narrative is essential. Diverse voices are welcomed here.

        • Triggerman1976

          That explains the usage of straw men and the ignorance about what the Bible actually says.

        • Pofarmer

          You wouldn’t know a straw man if one lit you on fire.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When a text has multiple interpretations, of what the buybull “actually” says, including your own personal subjective interpretation, then there is really no “actually”. There is no straw man fallacy being made. Go learn the definition of the fallacy ya imbecile.

        • Triggerman1976

          I think that you’re confusing categories, because there can only be one interpretation that is consistent and harmonious with every other text, there can be variations in application. Got a video on my YouTube channel about that, so you’re simply wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh, because you’ve got a video on your YouTube on it, I’m simply wrong. Well colour me old fashioned, but you’ll have to demonstrate through rational discourse right here why I’m wrong. I give zero fucks about your YouTube video.

          And I’ve got scholars of the Bible and the variety and diversity of interpretations being made by theologians as evidence that yet again, you are talking out of your arsehole.

        • Greg G.

          There can be many consistent and harmonious interpretations. What you need is more facts that can distinguish one from another.

          However, your interpretation is not harmonious with the observation that the early epistles only refer to Jesus in Old Testament references and allusions and not as if he was recently alive.

        • Greg G.

          This is a public forum. You don’t get to control who says what.

        • Triggerman1976

          You’re right, I don’t control it, but I can tell someone where to get off.

        • Greg G.

          You can. Good luck with that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which you did…and you’ve been told to cram it…move on now ya gurney bastard.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What the Templeton shows is what Christians already know: God is not a celestial Coke machine that you pop a prayer into, make a selection, and get what you want out.

        • Triggerman1976
        • Pofarmer

          argument 6 is the killer, IMHO.

        • You mean proof #6 from God Is Imaginary?

          http://www.godisimaginary.com/i6.htm

        • Pofarmer

          Yes.

        • Pofarmer

          To me, it just points out how ludicrous prayer is, and worship too, in a world with a tri-omni deity who knows and sees everything. Pointless doesn’t even start. If everything is set in advance, it doesn’t matter if you pray or not, what was going to happen will happen. Ditto for worship. Why would this being need to be worshipped? It already knows everything that has and will happen, so worship is pointless, as well.

        • barry

          If God was perfect before creation, he would have been perfectly ‘content’ before creating, thus preempting any desire to ‘create’ in the first place. The created things are utterly pointless too, under Christian theology, unless it be admitted that God was lonely, or imperfect. Then some apologist will “explain” that God lives “above nature”, and is “outside” time and that his ways are “mysterious”, and us spiritually dead people are supposed to do something other than laugh at such sophistry.

        • Some apologists like to use atheists’ arguments against free will (Sam Harris, for example), and yet you outline why free will is an issue for the Christian as well.

        • Pofarmer

          Given modern Christian theology there simply is no free will. It’s another point they vacillate back-and-forth on as necessary. Thinking tap dance around it but I really don’t feel like they can escape it.

        • Triggerman1976

          Opinions are like armpits, (most) everyone’s got a couple, and they stink.

          If by “argument 6” you mean “part 6”, Bob forgets that science can only answer material questions about the universe, it cannot answer the question of meaning, nor can it answer a question of value, but assumes both a priori.
          Someone might want to tell him to read some philosophy of science.

        • Pofarmer

          Science can certainly study value. What do you think psychology and sociology do?

          And, I meant this.

          http://godisimaginary.com/i6.htm

        • I agree–science doesn’t answer questions about meaning. But what’s your point? That Christianity can? Show us.

        • epeeist

          science can only answer material questions about the universe

          Wrong, it answers questions about effects in the material universe. This is just a statement of methodological naturalism, as anyone with an acquaintance with the philosophy of science knows.

          , it cannot answer the question of meaning, nor can it answer a question of value, but assumes both a priori.

          It does? Show us.

        • Phil

          First you have to show that there has to be a meaning which is not self-evident. Then we can discuss it. but as you cannot show there must be a meaning to life, the argument is mute.

        • epeeist

          the argument is mute

          Sorry to be picky, but it should be “moot” rather than “mute”.

        • Phil

          You are right, I think it was wishful thinking that someone would mute him. – fixed

        • Greg G.

          If we want to be pedantic… (and who doesn’t?)

        • epeeist

          Well, “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.”

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Meaning is subjective, hence it has no definitive answer.

        • Susan

          Yeah, that God is imaginary

          You have one that isn’t?

        • Triggerman1976

          Yeah, the one that sent his Son to enter into history and raise up a people unto himself.

        • Greg G.

          You haven’t provided evidence.

        • Triggerman1976

          Why would I? Using your bias, you’d simply dismiss it.

        • Greg G.

          Not if you had evidence. Why is it so hard to present the evidence? It shouldn’t be hard. I’m waiting for my wife and I see cars and trees and people. I am quite convinced that all of them exist so it isn’t difficult to convince me with a modicum of evidence.

        • MR

          When I hear the cry of bias foul, I sometimes wonder what evidence they would provide someone who had no bias. I imagine an alien comes to earth who has no concept of a god or gods and all the world’s religions come out to present their case that their version of of religion is true, that god or gods exist. Maybe “alien” is too weird, but I like the idea of no bias, not even a human bias. So, if alien is maybe too weird, what about someone who was stranded on a deserted island from childhood and had never been exposed to god ideas, no besides Brooke Shields. What evidence would the world’s religion present to someone who has no bias whatsoever? The world’s religions could draw lots for who gets first crack and who is next and so on and when it came TM’s turn maybe the alien/castaway would then ask,

          “Ok, now why do you believe?”

        • Greg G.

          what evidence they would provide someone who had no bias.

          That makes a good question to ask.

          ETA I just used it.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          What evidence would you give to someone with no bias?

        • barry

          Gee, Triggerman1976, what happened to your faith in God to turn the hearts of unbelievers like he allegedly did in Ezra 1:1?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Try us.

          But it has to be actual evidence, not just an assertion you feel really strongly about.

        • Greg G.
        • Pofarmer

          Horus?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Zeus?

          Numerous scholars have compared narratives surrounding the Christian figure of Jesus with those associated with Dionysus.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_comparative_mythology

        • BlackMamba44
        • BlackMamba44
        • Pofarmer
        • Greg G.
        • Pofarmer

          thks Don’t know why I can’t consistently get pics to show.

        • Greg G.

          Using Windows, I right-click on the image, then click “Copy image address”, then paste the link into the Disqus combox. Wait a few seconds to see if you get a thumbnail version. If not, the host site might be blocking the image. If the thumbnail pops up, you’re good. Otherwise, try the copy image option of the right click, then paste it into a photo editor, save it, then upload it from your computer. If that doesn’t work, try taking a screenshot, then cropping it in your photo editor and doing the save/upload.

        • BlackMamba44
        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s your story, and you appear to be sticking to it.

          But there’s no reason WE should have to believe it, and you also need help in learning capitalization, dude.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, good luck demonstrating that ballix is anything more than a not-very-entertaining fairy tale, ya turkey.

        • Triggerman1976
        • Ignorant Amos

          Who was it said that a meme is not an argument? That’s right…some dopey hypocritical Christian cunt that was on here about a week ago.

          I’ll repeat…

          Yeah, good luck demonstrating that ballix is anything more than a not-very-entertaining fairy tale, ya turkey.

        • Greg G.

          The lack of evidence for Jesus’ existence where there should be evidence is a good reason to doubt his existence. The evidence that shows he was made up is the reason to think he never existed.

          Your meme implies you have compelling evidence that Jesus existed. Bring it with you next time.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your meme implies you have compelling evidence that Jesus existed. Bring it with you next time.

          Ya think? When top notch Bible scholars can’t do it, what chance has this Bozo eejit?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Christian’s spending Christian’s money to discover what you claim Christian’s already know? And the Christian’s that you claim already know giving it to them to waste? Wise ta fuck up.

          Pssst…all gods are imaginary…unless you’ve got evidence that your particular flavour of god is any less imaginary than the next guys god. Got evidence?

        • Triggerman1976

          I’ve got plenty of evidence, of course you’re inherent bias will prevent you from considering it, so I prefer to take a different route: atheism presupposes a meaningless, purposeless, and random world (via Hume, Nietzsche, Satre, Russell, and Rosenberg) on what basis can you appeal to any future outcome without engaging in viciously circular reasoning?

        • Greg G.

          atheism presupposes a meaningless, purposeless, and random world

          No, it doesn’t. It comes the lack of evidence for any type of god. When you pretend you have got over that hump, you can have all kinds of pretend meanings of life.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m just going to guess that you’ve never actually read anything written by actual atheists about atheism. So, let me ask you this question: do you believe that all life, past and present, is the end result of evolution, which is often depicted by scientists, as being an unguided and accidental, both in origin and end?

        • Greg G.

          I’m just going to guess that you’ve never actually read anything written by actual atheists about atheism.

          Jumping to conclusions is all you ever do. You should learn the value of evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          He should shut up and go away. It would actually make his case less bad.

          Oh, and can you guess which fallacy he’s embarking upon?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve come to realise that shutting up and going away is not what we should be aiming for here. The more verbal diarrhoea the fuckwits spew, the more embarrassing there untenable position gets demonstrated. Let the Dime Bars have at it I say. Poster boy for how the religious mind virus can really fuck an individuals critical thinking skills right up. Absolute evidence that YahwehJesus can’t exist if these are the best it can muster. Rhubarb’s the lot of them.

        • BlackMamba44
        • barry

          Life is “ultimately” purposeless. But where Frank Turek and his followers (like you) go wrong is in assuming that “ultimate” purpose is all that matters. The lower life forms are driven by instinct to care for their young and solve problems that threaten their happiness, thus “temporal” purpose. Yet they are not made in the image of God even according to you. So if humans are doing the same, that points to naturalistic instinct, not to special creation. That is to say nothing about the other problem that the “god” hypothesis should be rejected precisely because it is incapable of coherence and is infinitely more “ad hoc” than any naturalistic theory. When you start talking about invisible people living in another dimension, you get escorted to the playroom, and Grandma will be there shortly with your happy meal. Now be nice to the other children or the bogey man will get you.

        • Phil

          Duh, that’s what all the actual evidence points to

        • BlackMamba44

          Why would he need to? He is an actual atheist. You are at an atheist blog.

          What the hell does atheism have to do with evolution?

        • Pofarmer

          Shhhhh. He’s trying to work into the fallacy of Consequences.

        • BlackMamba44

          They love their fallacies.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The problem that we see, is that they throw their fallacies around with wanton abandon…erroneously.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You guessed wrong.

          We *are* atheists, communicating via text.

          We also know what we believe exists, and ‘gods’ don’t fall into that set.

        • Triggerman1976

          Where’s this “lack of evidence”?, Unless it’s being presupposed and front-loaded as a bias. Because that’s what I’m seeing.

        • Greg G.

          The lack of evidence is in every post you have ever made. The lack of evidence is everywhere.

        • Greg G.

          Excuses. That’s all theists ever give when asked for evidence. It’s no wonder atheists have never seen any evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          Words mean things, moron. For nearly everyone, atheism is a conclusion, not a presupposition. The one showing presuppositional thinking here has clearly been you. If you think you have evidence, you could just bring it, couldn’t you? All this back and forth could be put to bed.

        • MadScientist1023

          Trigger, how does someone cite something that isn’t there? You seem to do this a lot. You think the absence of something is something itself. Why don’t you try explaining what you consider to be evidence of your god instead?

        • Susan

          Where’s this “lack of evidence?”

          From you? Right here at this site. You have provided none since you arrived.

          Unless it’s being presupposed.

          No. It’s evident. In that you have provided no evidence since you got here.

          Because that’s what I’m seeing.

          If you can show us where you’ve provided evidence and we’ve rejected it, then we would see the same thing.

          But you can’t.

          Or at least so far, you haven’t.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Evidence is.

          Lack of evidence is when an assertion is made without producing testable, reliable, repeatable data to support it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve got plenty of evidence, of course you’re inherent bias will prevent you from considering it, so I prefer to take a different route:

          Of course ya have. Is it something similar to all the evidence that those believers in not your religion think they have too? Ya know the plenty of evidence that you hand wave away as not evidence…or at least not evidence worthy of considering as such? Because guess what? You are not one of those other believers, believing in their silly woo-woo, with evidence that is so pathetic, you think it is ridiculous.

          So don’t trot out yer pathetic, “I’ve got plenty of evidence but your inherent bias will prevent you from considering it” crap. The reason I’m a Christian turned atheist is because the shite you think is evidence, is the same shite you think is not evidence for other folks woo-woo.

          You are the pillock with the “inherent” bias…look it up soft boy.

          …atheism presupposes a meaningless, purposeless, and random world (via Hume, Nietzsche, Satre, Russell, and Rosenberg) …

          Absolute utter ballix. Demonstrating you are know nothing fuckwit on the subject. But let’s say for the sake of argument you were right, so what? Hard cheese. Life is shite…for most folk anyway…then ya die. Wishful thinking there is something else, doesn’t make it so.

          …on what basis can you appeal to any future outcome without engaging in viciously circular reasoning?

          I’ve no idea what that word salad even means, and I suspect you don’t either, but it sounded to you by tagging it onto the end though a suppose.

          ETA: sort your sentence structure out.

          What’s the difference between “viciously circular reasoning” and just the commoner garden variety of “circular reasoning”?

        • BlackMamba44

          Yet another one that claims they have a bunch of evidence but they just won’t show it to us.

          Is there an original one in the bunch?

        • barry

          But God can overcome inherent biases of unbeliever with his magically coercive telepathy (Ezra 1:1). You have no biblical excuse for refusing to provide this “evidence”.

        • BlackMamba44
        • barry

          I don’t see your point. Ultimate purposelessness as required under atheism doesn’t mean there cannot be any temporal purpose. You have a purpose in picking your nose…I don’t suppose it it to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…? Not even Christians think God’s existence makes “everything” meaningful (unless you are one of those sicko fundies who literally thank god for everything, including taking a shit?). So going into the world motivated solely by internal sense of purpose, is rationally warranted. Frank Turek’s reductionist bullshit is a laugh-a-minute. Ultimately, yes, we are nothing but moist robots disagreeing with each other’s ideas about morality. But temporally, it is rational for intelligent beings to do what they personally feel is the best to facilitate and nurture present and future life. The fact that a hammer is ultimately a collection of atoms arranged in a certain configuration, doesn’t mean that’s ALL it is. That configuration proves more useful around the house than does a pile of rust underneath the Studebaker in the back yard.

        • Susan

          I’ve got plenty of evidence.

          Then, provide some.

          of course you’re inherent bias will prevent your from considering it

          You don’t even have evidence of our inherent bias.

          So I prefer to take a different approach

          To shift the burden by attacking a strawman? Nothing very different about that. It’s standard feeble apologetics.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Assertion is not evidence.

          If it was actual evidence, we couldn’t honestly deny it.

          So either you don’t have it or you’re accusing us of dishonesty.

          Which is it?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Not a CHANCE I’m sending you clicks.

          If it’s important enough to you, summarize it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The moonbeam’s blog is a clusterfuck. All the same lame arguments ya’ve seen many times before, only presented even worse.

          The imbecile is trying to canvas to his dump of a blog, because no one is there. He even replies to his own comments ffs.

          He says there are no atheists commenting there because there is no “constructive or rational” discussion, just “ad hom”, so he banhammers them all. If his level of commenting here is what he considers “constructive and rational” by his standards, Bob shoulda banned his sorry arse a long time ago. He’s nothing but a Dime Bar.

        • Greg G.

          I gave him a click and escaped with minimal dain bramage. You have to read every thing he says two or three times because you keep thinking you must have read it incorrectly but you didn’t.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s my new place to go when I need a good chuckle. I’ve added it to my favourites. It’ll be one to recommend as an example of Christian brain virus and how fucked up some folk get on it.

          Pishing myself laughing at the sheer asininity of the arsehole mindwankery picks me up no end. And him with just the one head too. It’s nearly as good as a drink, not quite, but nearly.

        • God is not a celestial Coke machine that you pop a prayer into, make a selection, and get what you want out.

          Someone needs to read his Bible.

        • Triggerman1976

          I do. But I don’t read it like it’s a quote book, which is how atheists often treat it.

        • Greg G.

          You recognize that praying to God is not reliable despite what the Bible says. You are trying to find a different meaning to the words that explicitly say that God will answer prayers under certain conditions:

          1) If two or three pray. Matthew 18:19-20
          2) If you can guess what God’s will is. 1 John 5:14-15
          3) If you have the faith of a mustard seed. Matthew 17:20
          4) If you believe it is answered whether it is or not. Mark 11:24
          5) If you pray with faith. Matthew 21:21
          6) If you confess your sins and pray. James 5:16
          7) If you abide in him. John 15:7
          8) If you are righteous. James 5:16
          9) If you believe in Jesus. John 14:12
          10) If you ask in Jesus’ name. John 14:14

          But you know that none of that is any more effective than praying to a milk carton or the one remaining wall amidst the ruins of a temple. It’s only accepting a coincidence as an answered prayer.

        • You might anticipate the “You atheists read the Bible literally, like fundamentalists!” argument.

          Well, not really an argument, more like a retort. Well, not really a retort, more a mouthfart. But anyway, something!

        • MR

          If it doesn’t mean what it says and you have no objective way of knowing what what it says means, then it doesn’t mean much no matter what it says because you can just make it mean whatever you say.

        • Damn that irrefutable Christian logic!

        • Pofarmer

          Doesn’t saying that atheists read the bible like fundamentalists basically reinforce that atheists, are, indeed, taking it seriously?

        • Greg G.

          Even more since most Xtians read the Bible like a EULA. Just scroll to the bottom and click “I agree.”

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I worked for a lawyer who writes them, and said that s/he (no clues here) that they don’t read them, either, unless they’re proofreading their own work.

        • It’s hard to fault fundamentalists (or atheists) for taking the Bible at face value. The hard part to justify is anyone who doesn’t. “Oh, that’s allegory” or “Oh, that wasn’t meant to be taken literally” gives one liberty to twist the Bible into a pretzel.

        • Greg G.

          Allegory, shmallegory. I got that from today’s Jesus and Mo.

          http://www.jesusandmo.net/comic/full/

        • Allegory, shmetaphor.

          Or did I not take away the right lesson?

          http://www.jesusandmo.net/wp-content/uploads/full-1.png

        • Greg G.

          Nailed it!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          How many different ways can they say, “I don’t like that, so I’ll do whatever I have to in order to discount it”??

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “There you go, using LOGIC again!”

          😉

        • barry

          The problem with the neo-fundies who ceaselessly defend with this retort, is that they end up with an ancient text full of truth-propositions, NONE of which can ever be verified by evidence or experience. That puts them in the category of Mormonism: no matter how obvious it is that this religion is false, it’s believers merely conclude such arguments are mere tricks of the devil, allowed by God for the purpose of increasing their faith.

          But there IS hope…Walton and Sandy allege:

          “So for example, it is no surprise that ancient Israel believe in a solid sky, and God accommodated his locution to that model in his communication to them. But since the illocution is not to assert the true shape of cosmic geography, we can safely set those details aside as incidental without jeopardizing authority of inerrancy.” (John H. Walton, Phd., D. Brent Sandy, Ph.d, The Lost World of Scripture: Ancient Literary Culture and Biblical Authority, IVP Academic © 2013, p. 46).

          I challenged them in a private email as follows: Suppose I write an op-ed in a local newspaper in Washington state. Suppose I make the statement “corruption is rife in California’s capital city of San Francisco and in most of California’s other big cities, and the citizens need to combat this in exercise of their constitutional right to reform government.” Could I escape having falsely named California’s capital city (it’s actually Sacramento), under your theory of illocution (i.e., my purpose in speaking wasn’t to give a lesson in US Geography or in the history of John Sutter, but in motivating the people to make changes for the better, therefore, my statement contains nothing that would jeopardize the claim that it was inerrant)?

          ————

          When I made the above-challenge to Walton and Sandy by private email, they replied, saying the Israelites understood the sky to be solid, the earth to be flat, and the sun to move across the sky from one horizon to the other, and that Scripture often says things that sound like error but that the error doesn’t count if it wasn’t part of the “gist” of the bible author’s point in context, and that they didn’t care whether their locution/illocution theory worked in any other hypothetical examples, but only whether it “explained” scripture. (!?)

          I find the confession of inerrantists Walton and Sandy, to the effect that the errors in scripture don’t “count” unless they are part of the ‘gist’ of the biblical author’s point, to constitute admission that biblical inerrancy is false doctrine. They would hardly hold to such an absurdly nuanced form of the doctrine of they felt the traditional form of the doctrine could be reasonably defended. They themselves are inerrantists, after all.

          Let’s just say that the intense inferno of debate about inerrancy that occurs solely between Christian scholars, provides rational warrant to the unbeliever to conclude that the bible’s statements about itself are fatally ambiguous, and to therefore unbelievers are rationally justified to do what any person with common sense does after concluding the data at issue are fatally ambiguous, and trash the crap and look elsewhere for answers. If God’s like-minded ones dealt with this crap for 2,000 years and couldn’t reach consensus, spiritually dead people can hardly be expected to think there’s any “truth” to it whatsoever.

        • Triggerman1976

          Somewhere in this thread I’ve responded to each of those demonstrating that they are prime examples of the proof texting fallacy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Spoing!

          That is the irony, because that is exactly what Christians do, proof text the NT to support their own eisegesis. There’s a very good reason why there are 45,000+ flavours of Christianity…and that doesn’t include the plethora that have been and gone over the past 2 millennia. A lot of proof texting getting done with scripture.

          “A man dissatisfied with his life decided to consult the Bible for guidance. Closing his eyes, he flipped the book open and pointed to a spot on the page. Opening his eyes, he read the verse under his finger. It read, ‘Then Judas went away and hanged himself’ (Matthew 27:5b). Finding these words unhelpful, the man randomly selected another verse. This one read, ‘Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”‘ (Luke 10:37b). In desperation, he tried one more time. The text he found was: ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.'” (John 13:27)

          But let me guess, you are not proof texting, because you have the one true interpretation? Amirite?

          You do know that the gospels are the result of proof texting the OT…yes?

          The other thing that seems to be among your major malfunctions is that the majority of us here were born into Christianity. We grew up in it. A good many have spent a lot of there lives invested in it. Proof texting is NOT an atheist thing, it’s what Christians do…especially apologetic Christians that are as thick as pig shite.

          And that’s why those passages quoted can be held up as examples that YahwehJesus is a vending machine, and why lot’s of Christians pray for stuff as if he is a vending machine. And why Christians can get beatification.

          Step four: Verified miracles

          To reach the next stage, beatification, a miracle needs to be attributed to prayers made to the individual after their death.

          The prayers being granted are seen as proof that the individual is already in heaven, and hence able to intercede with God on others’ behalf

          Step five: Canonisation

          Canonisation is the final step in declaring a deceased person a saint. To reach this stage, a second miracle normally needs to be attributed to prayers made to the candidate after they have been beatified.

          Now fuck off with your bullshit apologetics that God doesn’t answer prayers…like a vending machine…because what matters is that plenty of Christians pray to him in the belief he does.

        • barry

          But since Matthew doesn’t qualify his application of Isaiah 7:14 to Mary, you must think Matthew engaged in the proof-texting fallacy too?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Reading something in context is now a ‘proof texting fallacy’ because it doesn’t align with your interpretation?

          Fail. Do better.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If it doesn’t fit his eisegesis…it is proof texting…he’s a dumb arse.

        • barry

          Then you don’t read Isaiah like a quote book either, despite Matthew having treated it that way without qualification. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:22-23. What’s funny is that church tradition is unanimous that Matthew wrote for the Jews, even writing his original in Hebrew letters. Yeah…he expected the Jews to find his application of Isaiah 7:14 to a literal virgin living 700 years after the context of Isaiah 7, to be without controversy.

        • Greg G.

          Especially since it is the Septuagint that uses a word for “virgin”. The word in Hebrew is also used to describe an adultress so it obviously doesn’t mean virgin.

        • barry

          My impression was that the “sign” wasn’t the pregnancy, but the timing between the boy in question and the fall of the rival kingdoms Ahaz feared. And its probably no conicidence that Isaiah considers his own kids as divine signs in ch. 8. And check out this link for a Christian who would rather die than admit the immediate context of Isaiah 7:14 places the fulfillment of the sign in the days of King Ahaz. http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2018/05/isaiah-714.html.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, yeah, the prophesy was completed in the book of Isiah. I think it was at Christmas, I was reading through that particular “Prophecy” and I kind of went “Holy Shit” Matthew just pulled that one out of context and reused it. Of course, that’s pretty much entirely what the Gospels are.

        • Phil

          So what is the point of it? Every religious person I have ever met quotes from it. If it isn’t an authoritative text, it’s only use is as a door stop.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And yet we get Christian’s shoving quotes from the bloody thing, right, left, and centre. Go figure.

          https://difog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/bible1.jpg

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          In context, it said prayer is a magic gimme machine.

        • Greg G.

          Matthew 18:19-20 isn’t about prayer, it’s about church discipline.

          Where the passage uses the word “ask”, you don’t think it is about prayer? Then the passage says it will be done by the Father. Which Father would that be? How is that not what the Templeton Foundation was testing? They had people of faith asking for something, but it was not done by the Father.

          Matthew 21:21-22 what’s the question that is being answered? Oh, that’s right it’s in regard to the symbolic judgment on the fig tree and the disbelief that they were expressing, of which Mark 11:24 is its parallel.

          Yes, they are parallels but the phrasing is different. I left out the redundancy. But why are there construction companies with huge earth moving equipment. If prayer worked the way Matthew and Mark say it does, think of all the overhead that could be cut from construction projects by having only two people move mountains. The Markan verse seems to imply that you pray and pretend it happened no matter what. Ignore the complications for the patients in the study, because Christians prayed for no complications so one must believe there were none, else the Bible lies.

          John 15:7 what’s to be asked? the desire to abide with Christ.

          Did you read the whole verse? It says that you just have to make a wish and it will be done.

          1 John 5:14-15 what is to be prayed for is in vs16-17: the salvation of ones brother from sin.

          You make the Bible the dummy for your ventriloquist act. Verses 16 & 17 are specific examples while 14 & 15 are general statements. Verse 14 says “if we ask anything according to his will”. But “according to his will” is an important caveat that shows that the author knows that prayer doesn’t actually work by throwing that in. If the prayer appears to work, then you prayed “according to his will” but if it doesn’t work, you prayed “against his will”. But, then, if you didn’t pray at all, it follows that it would happen anyway because it was “according to his will”.

          What the Templeton shows is what Christians already know: God is not a celestial Coke machine that you pop a prayer into, make a selection, and get what you want out.

          Again, why do prayer studies with methodological flaws tend toward prayer working? Why was this one study with the flaws taken out, the one that showed no benefit to prayer? Why didn’t all the other studies prove that “God is not a celestial Coke machine” despite the flaws?

          Why do other religions come to the same conclusions about prayer? Many religions believe that prayer works but not like a pop machine. If they are praying incorrectly to the wrong god and not in Jesus’ name, they shouldn’t have any reason to think prayer worked if the Christian model of prayer is correct. If it is Satan making their prayers appear to work, how do you know it isn’t Satan making your prayers appear to come true. If Satan could do that, then the other religions’ prayers should work like pop machines just to show God up.

          OTOH, confirmation bias accounts for all appearances of answered prayer. Any result with a connection to any prayer counts as a hit but all the misses are just counted as prayers that haven’t been granted YET. But even Christians know that isn’t the case because they always use the vending machine analogy as an excuse.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Makes me wonder why all those dopey Christian spend millions visiting places such as Lourdes on pilgrimage? Don’t they know about the vending machine apologetic…the sure don’t act as if they do?

          As for me, when I recall my trip to Lourdes I remember the grand drama of my experiences there, the processions and masses and the exultant feeling of being surrounded by so many pilgrims. But I recall with special fondness something that may seem small and trivial in comparison—all those shops selling Virgin Mary souvenirs. While one can complain about the commercialism, I think there’s something pleasingly subversive about those endless shelves of knick-knacks. I imagine the places where those trinkets are likely to end up, how they will find their way into nursing homes, hospital rooms and bedside tables, into the pockets of chemotherapy patients and the hands of soldiers going off to war. Though small and inexpensive, those tokens carry a powerful message: they are a reminder that the broken and wounded will be the first to enter the Kingdom of God, that miracles are possible even when the darkness seems overwhelming, and that the most unlikely among us can receive a life-changing vision of light.

        • Greg G.

          More people have died in accidents traveling to and from Lourdes than have received a miracle.

        • The Church itself has declared only 69 “miracles” from Lourdes since it became a thing in 1858.

        • Pofarmer

          Probably by an order of magnitude. Lourdes far underperforms even spontaneous remmisions. You’d be far, far better off to just do nothing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And as Dawkins remarks in “The Root of All Evil”, and I paraphrase, of the 66 alleged miracles at Lourde out of the untold millions that have visited, none are limb regrowth and all can be explained naturally. Ya don’t see piles of crutches and wheelchairs that have been left by those that have had a missing limb miraculously re-grow left behind at Lourde. I guess some things are just beyond the miraculous and an omnipotence’s power.

          Also, apparently the likelihood of picking up some lurgy or screaming abdab that a visitor did previously have, is greatly increased, because of the numbers of people trying to get rid of the lurgy or screaming abdab pitching up to get cured.

          First 8 minutes.

          https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xpqpb9

        • Phil

          I knew someone who went to Lourdes and miraculously new tyres appeared on his wheelchair.

        • Kevin K

          Ahem … “miracle”. Alleged. Purported. Claimed. No one, and I think I’m on solid ground here, but no one has ever-ever received a “miracle” anything.

        • Greg G.

          no one has ever-ever received a “miracle” anything.

          Yes. But there was a train wreck a century ago going to Lourdes that killed several people. Who knows how many people died in car accidents going to (or from) the airport without their final destination being considered.

          Phil said that someone visited Lourdes in a wheelchair and received the miracle of new tires.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes. But there was a train wreck a century ago going to Lourdes that killed several people. Who knows how many people died in car accidents going to (or from) the airport without their final destination being considered.

          All a necessary part of Gods plan according to argument #6 though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think Greg was referring to the small number of claims being recognised by the RCC as “miracles”, not any actually real supernatural occurrence. But I guess ya knew that already. //s

        • Kevin K

          Yes. I was merely insisting on the use of scare quotes (or virtual air quotes). Lest someone wander in, look at that and declare “AHA!!! You DO believe in spooks!!”.

        • Greg G.

          AHA!!! You DO believe in lurkers!!

        • Kevin K

          I have seen evidence of lurkers!!

        • Greg G.

          I was ambiguous in an effort to be enigmatic. That fine line between enigma and weirdo is an impenetrable barrier to me.

        • barry

          Ok, assuming your flawed interpretation is correct answer this one:

          14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
          15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
          (Jas. 5:14-15 NAU)

          Now explain why this promise fails with routine regularity. Or else provide the evidence that convinces you that it doesn’t fail.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Triggerboy has done a runner…and it’s no bloody wonder when there’s all these folk asking so many prickly questions that he can’t answer. He wandered off his reservation and he got lost. Evil atheists.

        • Pofarmer

          This may be the dumbest fucking analogy ever. Is Skip Omniscient? Is Skip omnipotent? Is Skip Omnibenevolent? Is skip Omnipresent?

        • Greg G.

          Maybe Skip only answers to Allah or Yahweh or J*h*v*h.

        • Pofarmer

          Watch it, that last one’ll get ya stoned.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe Skip comes every time but is invisible.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And has no teeth and can’t bark.

        • Pofarmer

          Probably – immaterial. hmmm…………………………… Strokes chin.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Outside time and space? I’ve got a dog like that too…not sure if it’s called Skip, or anything else for that matter.

          He’s not a bad spud, doesn’t leave a mess, doesn’t need fed, doesn’t need walked, takes up no room at all…no vet’s bill’s…in fact, it’s like he isn’t around here at all…and so I live my life like there is no dog about the place at all. And I don’t worry about it one wee bit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s one dopey bastard that goes onto the porch to call “Skip the Dog” if they don’t even know they have a dog, let alone wtf it’s called.

          Why settle on calling “Skip”…how many other dogs with different names is he not sure he owns.

          I think that “dog-calling fallacy” was pulled from his bum-hole.

        • Greg G.

          I knew someone who had a cat that only responded to “Whirrr” when the can opener said it.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m looking for the specific relevance of the specific qualities to the analogy, whose entire point is to illustrate the inherent fallacy present in the study.

        • Greg G.

          Your “analogy” omits all of the relevant factors.

        • Pofarmer

          I thought it was fairly clear.

        • Triggerman1976

          My analogy doesn’t have to.

        • BlackMamba44

          You’re analogy doesn’t have to have relevant factors?

          Then how is it an analogy?

          Analogy:
          LOGIC
          a process of arguing from similarity in known respects to similarity in other respects.
          synonyms: similarity, parallel, correspondence, likeness, resemblance, correlation, relation, kinship, equivalence, similitude, metaphor, simile
          “there’s a thinly veiled analogy between his fiction and his real life”
          antonyms: dissimilarity

        • Triggerman1976

          The analogy was with the methodology.

        • barry

          11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
          12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
          13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
          14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.
          (2 Tim. 2:11-14 NAU)

          Hey Triggerman1976…are you “wrangling words” in this debate, yes or no? If not, provide an illustration of what you think Paul meant when saying Christians should not “wrangle words”, then explain why your illustration doesn’t required God’s condemnation of 99% of the scholarly bickering that has occurred in Christian v. Christian and Christian v. Unbeliever debates in the last 2,000 years.

        • BlackMamba44

          Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

        • Pofarmer

          I thought it was with the theology?

        • Greg G.

          Then it is a non sequitur.

        • MadScientist1023

          Then your analogy has no relevance to the discussion.Can your God be contained in some way? Does it have some defect in its ability to hear prayers of its followers? Does it only listen to the prayers of select individuals? If not, your analogy has no relevance.
          Your holy book says your God answers prayers and heals the sick, without any caveats listed. By the standards laid out in your holy book, this experiment should have worked. Does your holy book fail in its description of your God? Or is there some passage saying it doesn’t answer prayers when people are looking because your god doesn’t want physical evidence it exists?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “By the standards laid out in your holy book, this experiment should have worked.”

          But T won’t accept any data where his side isn’t allowed to cheat in order to win.

        • Lark62

          So which is it?

          Is the all poweful deity locked in a pen out back?

          Or is the all knowing deity deaf?

          Or maybe the all loving deity doesn’t give a shit?

          You just confirmed the Christian deity does not exist.

          And/or explained why no one should worship the worthless putz.

        • Triggerman1976

          Starting with false premises doesn’t make the argument logical.

        • Greg G.

          The value of the premises does not determine whether an argument is logical. A logical argument yields a true conclusion if the premises are true.

        • Triggerman1976

          The truth of premises determines the validity of an argument.

        • Pofarmer

          Actually no, it doesn’t. An argument can be valid, even if the premises are false. The truth of the premises determines whether the argument yields a correct result.

        • Greg G.

          No it doesn’t.

          1. Roses are red.
          2. Violets are blue.

          Therefore, I can retire in luxury.

          The premises are true but the argument is not valid.

          If you have true premises and a valid logical structure, your conclusion will be true. If you have a logical structure and at least one false premise, the conclusion is indeterminant.

        • Pofarmer

          Eventually this dude is going to actually know something. I can just feel it.

        • Greg G.

          He seems to believe, without evidence, that he is so smart that any idea that pops into his head must be true, no evidence required.

        • Pofarmer

          I have to admit, what I know about this kind of formal logic and argument and philosophy came mainly from watching Theoretical bullshit on YouTube. But, c’mon, that dude knows his stuff. He’s the one who taught me to check an arguments premises. If the premises were false, you could still have a correct answer, but you wouldn’t have a correct argument. If the premises were true, you could still have an incorrect argument and get either a correct or incorrect answer. Logic alone doesn’t determine whether an argument is true or false. You check the premises, you check the argument, and then you double check it all against reality outside the argument. That’s how science is essentially done, and that’s how we advance. Why is that so hard?

        • Lark62

          Yet my question, answer you did not.

          It was your analogy. Is your deity locked up, deaf or apathetic? Enquiring minds want to know.

          Of course, he may just be busy out back taking a crap.

        • Phil

          Such as the bible is the word of a god perchance?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What premises are you calling false?

          Name them.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Ignorant Amos

          And you should know, being an expert at making statements from false premises.

        • Triggerman1976

          You’d have to provide a coherent justification for truth before you can claim that anything is false, and you can’t get there apart from presupposing the existence of God as the foundation for truth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Absolute balderdash and gobbledygook.

          Which god btw?

        • Greg G.

          You’d have to provide a coherent justification for truth before you can claim that anything is false,

          Bullshit. If I was accused of murder, I can prove the accusation is false by providing an alibi. I don’t have to solve the case of who actually committed the murder.

        • epeeist

          Starting with false premises doesn’t make the argument logical.

          Ah, someone who doesn’t know the difference between a valid and a sound argument.

        • Triggerman1976

          Someone who doesn’t know the difference between false and true premises and how they effect the outcome of the argument.

        • epeeist

          Someone who doesn’t know the difference between false and true premises and how they effect the outcome of the argument.

          Oh, I think I know a little about theories of truth and the truth (or otherwise) of statements thank you.

          You on the other hand…

        • Greg G.

          Your Dunning-Kruger is apparent.

          ETA:
          If it is raining here, my sidewalk is wet.
          It is raining here.
          Therefore, my sidewalk is wet.

          That is a valid argument whether it is raining or not. It is sound only when it is raining.

          A valid argument has a logical structure that is necessarily true when its premises are true. A sound argument is a valid argument with true premises.

          So your response is nonsense.

        • Triggerman is back?!

          My cup sloppeth over.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And back with the same sad fudge and waffle.

        • Hang on–didn’t you guys invent English? How come I can’t understand half of what you say??

        • Ignorant Amos

          No idea chum….am using Merriam – Webster definitions…

          sad: of little worth

          fudge: foolish nonsense —often used interjectionally to express annoyance, disappointment, or disbelief

          waffle: empty or pretentious words : tripe

          I’ll try again…

          And has returned with similar, of little worth, foolish nonsense and empty pretentious words…aka, a lot of tripe.

          Better?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Theology, being immune to testing, has ZERO place in scientific testing.

          Yet again, you fail.

        • al kimeea

          You’re not sure if you own a dog? smh

        • epeeist

          You’re not sure if you own a dog?

          Oh, I misread this. I thought he was on about a dog owning him.

        • Thanks for that. Your position is much clearer now.

        • Pofarmer

          Given the breadth of Christian theology, not to mention theology of the Abrahamic faiths, how can you even have a study that’s theologically flawed?

        • Great point. Who is Triggerman to say that it’s flawed?

          I haven’t seen his reasoning for saying that the STEP experiment was flawed, and I’ve long since lost interest in reading it.

        • Greg G.

          T1796 yells at us for not reading the Bible but he reads built-in excuses into the text. If the text makes a general statement about prayer, then gives a specific example, he reads it as being limited to the example. The general statement means nothing because it is too easy to prove prayer doesn’t work that way and he knows it.

        • Pofarmer

          God is not a vending machine.

          At least not a reliable one.

        • Greg G.

          More like a slot machine if you count the dollar you found on the floor a jackpot from the machine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          One of those arcade “grab” machines where the prizes are too heavy for the jaws, but the gullible still queue up to give their money away, regardless.

        • God is not a vending machine.

          You got that right. Now, who’s going to break it to Jesus?

    • BlackMamba44

      Find me an atheist organization with a “faith” statement.

      • Triggerman1976

        American Atheists

        • My suggestion is to take the faith statement from a Christian organization–say, Answers in Genesis–and compare that with the position statement of American Atheists.

          You seem reluctant to come out from under your rock. This is how you’d make your case.

        • Greg G.

          You seem reluctant to come out from under your rock. This is how you’d make your case.

          He doesn’t understand much. He doesn’t understand the value of evidence. Dude can’t even distinguish the meaning of “religious faith” from other definitions of faith.

        • Triggerman1976

          Unlike you, I take what atheists say seriously.

        • Yeah, what I asked was quite difficult, wasn’t it? Even though it was your moronic challenge, let me help out, since understanding this seems to be beyond you.

          Here is part of the Answers in Genesis “Statement of Faith.” It blathers on and on, but here are some highlights. Feel free to skim.

          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.
          The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
          The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.
          The various original life forms (kinds), including mankind, were made by direct creative acts of God.
          The great Flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide (global) in its extent and effect.
          Death (both physical and spiritual) and bloodshed entered into this world subsequent to and as a direct consequence of man’s sin.
          The Godhead is triune: one God, three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
          The Holy Spirit enables the sinner to repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
          The Holy Spirit lives and works in each believer to produce the fruits of righteousness.
          Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone and expressed in the individual’s repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God.
          All things necessary for our salvation are expressly set down in Scripture.
          Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
          Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, and shall return in person to this earth as Judge of the living and the dead.
          Satan is the personal spiritual adversary of both God and mankind.
          Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.

          Notice that these bold, sweeping statements are made without evidence. And it’s not like they’re compelled to point to where the arguments and evidence are. This is a faith statement. These claims are just taken as true, whether they think they have evidence or not.

          Let’s move on to the Statement of Faith at American Atheists. Curiously, they don’t have one. That surprised me, because you assured me that they did. Perhaps the Our Vision page?

          American Atheists envisions a world in which public policy is made using the best evidence we have rather than religious dogma and where religious beliefs are no longer seen as an excuse for bigotry or cause to receive special treatment from the government. We fight for religious equality for all Americans by protecting what Thomas Jefferson called the “wall of separation” between state and church created by the First Amendment.

          There’s more, but it’s the same thing: goals. No evidence-less claims. No faith required.

          And, for completeness, let’s check out the “Seven Fundamental Tenets” of the Satanic Temple. I suggested them, but you were too busy (or too frightened or too apathetic or something) to follow up. So I will.

          One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
          The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
          One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
          The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
          Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
          People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and remediate any harm that may have been caused.
          Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

          These are principles that they hold. They’re not beliefs held with no concern for evidence.

          So, no, you don’t take what atheists say seriously. You don’t even seem to take what comes out of your own (virtual) mouth seriously. Atheists have no faith statements. The old kindergarten try fails, I’m afraid.

        • Triggerman1976
        • Greg G.

          Who says that “One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures”? That’s a rather dogmatic claim.

          “Thou shalt strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures” would be dogmatic. Your religion has the 10 COMMANDMENTS. Satanism has the 7 Suggestions. You have religious brain damage.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You have religious brain damage.

          Don’t they all?

          Some of them just have it to an irreparable level.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Triggerman1976

          Name calling is not an argument. It’s a positive demonstration that one doesn’t have an argument.

        • BlackMamba44

          You’re right. I don’t have an argument. I don’t argue with idiots.

        • Triggerman1976

          Yeah, that’s what people say when they don’t have an argument.

        • BlackMamba44

          Correct. When someone doesn’t have an argument, they will say “I don’t have an argument”.

          You’re an idiot.

        • Triggerman1976

          And you enjoy name calling…which is what people who don’t have an argument engage in.

        • BlackMamba44

          Like I said. That’s all you’re worth.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s just – wow.

        • Lark62

          If one cannot tell the difference between an argument and an insult, perhaps that merely confirms the accuracy of the insults.

        • Triggerman1976

          An insult is not an argument either.

        • barry

          Which means Jesus and Paul were not providing argument when they insulted their own critics (John 8:44, Acts 23:3).

        • Lark62

          Like I said ….

        • al kimeea

          In this case, it’s an opinion based on your arguments…

        • BlackMamba44
        • Triggerman1976

          Name calling: last resort of the atheist who doesn’t have an argument.

        • BlackMamba44

          Name calling is all you’re worth at this point, idiot.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. Just batting you around like the catnip toy you are.

          Useless, but kinda fun…also gross because you have spit all over you (props to Steve Martin for that last detail…)

        • BlackMamba44

          “Useless, but kinda fun”…

          Yep. 🙂

        • Lark62

          Bravo

        • BlackMamba44
        • It’s hard to believe that you can look at these examples and not see the differences. And if you can (and are just quibbling with my characterization of those differences), then you do so.

          you’re either totally ignorant or willfully blind because every single one of those statements from AiG is, in fact, evidence based

          Irrelevant. Every one of those statements is stated as something that AiG people just believe. Readers of their statement of faith aren’t given any evidence. Evidence is completely separate from a statement of faith. We know what they believe; that’s it. We don’t know if there’s evidence or if they think they have evidence—not at all the point.

          For someone who claims to understand faith statements, you seem to understand nothing.

          to assert that their beliefs are not based upon evidence is…oh, what’s the word…oh, yeah…dishonest.

          Irrelevant again, since I didn’t say that. I’m trying to help you understand what a “faith statement” is.

          I find the dogmatic statements of atheists interesting

          Which dogmatic statements?

          . . . mainly because of the unjustified presuppositions and the false notion that they have a coherent or even cogent grounds to examine ANY evidence

          Why is this?

        • Triggerman1976

          Bob, you’ve got to learn that there’s a logical difference between WHAT someone believes and WHY they believe it. They aren’t arguing for the WHY, they’re simply stating the WHAT. That’s what any statement of faith/beliefs/values/mission is: an expression of the WHAT in regards to definition, it’s a conclusion. WHY is an entirely separate question. This seems to be a running theme with you in not recognizing the difference between the two.

          You’ve stated it repeatedly, explicitly and implicitly, I know because I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now. If what you’re saying is that you didn’t say it here, then you’re correct.

          The list is long and distinguished, but I’ll just go with one that you seem to personally love to pronounce: Jesus is a legend. Probably one of the most dogmatic and viewpoint biasing statements that you make.

          Key word: epistemology.

        • Explain the differences between the 3 examples I gave above. Or are you saying that they’re indistinguishable?

        • Triggerman1976

          Key difference: worldview.
          Key similarity: they all state what they believe.

        • Which does nothing to illuminate your position.

          I know! Let’s just say that it’s all due to my stupidity and move on.

        • Triggerman1976

          “Stupidity” implies a mental defect. You’re clearly a smart person, so I’ll attribute it to malicious ignorance.

        • MR

          Why do you believe?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Unless you can demonstrate it, it doesn’t matter what you believe or why you believe it.

          Show me or don’t waste my time with your hot air.

        • epeeist

          Bob, you’ve got to learn that there’s a logical difference between WHAT someone believes and WHY they believe it.

          Putting the word “logic” in a post doesn’t mean to say that you are being logical. Let’s see the schema for your claim.

          Jesus is a legend. Probably one of the most dogmatic and viewpoint biasing statements that you make.

          I think you will find that the majority of people would say “Jesus may be a legend”. It is the theist who makes the claim that Jesus definitely existed who is being dogmatic. Key words: justified true belief.

        • barry

          Your idea that atheism prevents the atheist from having a coherent ground to examine any evidence, sounds like you are reading less Epistemology 101 and more Frank Turek and his “Stealing from God” bullshit. If we exchange our atheism for a biblical metaphysics, then we’d have to conclude that God predestined us to arrive at whatever conclusion we do when examining evidence (Proverbs 16:1, 9), and we could never tell whether a conclusion we reached was from our own analysis or reached because God made us think like that, the way he made pagan unbelievers like Cyrus think certain ways (Ezra 1:1). So the bible prevents even Christians from claiming objectivity in their analysis of evidence. And the cherry on top? The bible says God sends strong delusion on people who reject the gospel (2nd Thess. 2:10-11), and with all the in-house bickering Christians do about what exactly the “gospel” is, you can never be sure that the “gospel” YOU preach is actually the right one, thus opening the door to the possibility that YOU might be one of those upon whom “god” has sent “strong delusion”. One would figure that if the conservative evangelical position be the “right” religion, conservative evangelical scholars wouldn’t disagree with each other so much on every biblical thing.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “because every single one of those statements from AiG is, in fact, evidence based, derived from the testimony of Scripture “

          You fail right there.

          We don’t recognize your ‘scripture’ as something to be trusted without independent corroboration.

          So you DON’T have evidence. Logic fail.

        • Greg G.

          evidence based, derived from the testimony of Scripture as their evidence for the conclusions which they draw

          This shows you have no idea what evidence means nor what evidence there is.

          The archaelogical evidence in Egypt shows that the Israelites were never there in large numbers.

          The archaelogical evidence of the Sinai shows that there was never a large group of people wandering in it for 40 years.

          The evidence in Judea shows that there was no change in culture at the time the Israelites were supposed to have annihilated the Canaanites. The evidence shows that there were sites with identical cultures except that some had pig bones and some did not, which tells us the Israelites came from Canaanites with a religious aversion to pork. The walls of Jericho had collapsed due to natural causes long before the Israelites were supposed to have arrived.

          There is evidence of David but Jerusalem was not heavily populated at the time so the stories of David and Solomon are contrived.

          If no Exodus from Egypt, then there was no Moses nor Abraham. The story of Samson and Delilah is a fairy tale about night conquering day. Elijah was hairy which implies that he was a sun god and he was replaced by bald Elisha. Esau was hirsute but he was usurped by Jacob who faked out his father, so these are more fairy tales of sun gods being demoted. Plus the sun and moon gods were demoted to humans to fit into monotheism.

          The evidence shows that the Bible is a pile of fairy tales. It should not be taken at face value unless there is independent evidence to support it. But what is not supported is still suspect so the Bible by itself is not evidence of anything but ancient imagination.

        • barry

          What would you say to the unbeliever who refuses to discuss anything about God, holy books or theology with theists, on the grounds that when even Christians themselves obtain advanced degrees in those subjects, they STILL disagree with each other on those topics and so the unbeliever concludes that there is every good reason, based on such evidence, to conclude that the biblical wording is fatally ambiguous, and no amount of debating or learning is going to help a person notice when they’ve run across any actual “truth”?

        • BlackMamba44
    • barry

      I think the point was not that faith-statements indicate the organization is lost or wrong, but that if God were truly guiding the church as promised, today’s churches would not need faith-statements. God would just exercise his Ezra 1:1 magically coercive telepathy on unbelievers, and all those whom God wishes to get saved, would feel compelled enough to do so to actually go out and actually get saved.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Show me an atheist organization with a faith statement.

      I’ll wait.

      • al kimeea

        Want some popcorn?

  • barry

    “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. (Mk. 11:24 NAU)

    “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
    and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. (Jas. 5:14-15 NAU)
    ——-
    Apologists would have us believe that the disciples were professors of systematic theology, and therefore “knew” there were implied “limitations” on this promise. They “knew” that because other scriptures say God is sovereign, they have no more guarantees of getting what they want from God than they have of getting what they want from a stranger off the street.

    Unfortunately, the real world provides so many exceptions that they swallow up the rule. What is the point of making such grandiose promises, if absolutely nothing about them can be confirmed true by experience or evidence? But when you remember that the idiot who made the above promise was also the idiot who assured others of prosperity if they gave up custody of their kids just to follow him around (Matthew 19:29), it’s pretty safe to conclude Jesus was nothing but a cultist, typically big on promise and typically short on delivery.

    Faith does not have the ability to move mountains, however, it does have the ability to make you think a mountain has moved.

    • Greg G.

      Or that finding a good parking spot is the equivalent of moving a mountain.