Denying What You Don’t Understand

The quote from Hemant Mehta in the image above comes from a post of his, discussing how young-earth creationists reacted to the announcement yesterday that ripples of gravitational waves from cosmic inflation soon after the Big Bang had been detected and confirmed.

It is ironic that anti-science creationists now oppose a scientific view which atheists initially balked at because it reminded them too much of Genesis.

I particularly liked the quote, because to genuinely and legitimately reject something, you really do need to understand it first. You need to understand the reasons why others find it convincing. You need to understand the evidence for it.

Denying something that you are only superficially acquainted with, about which you have an inaccurate or caricatured understanding, is really easy. If you want to deny mainstream science’s conclusions, at least have the courage to really inform yourself about it first.

And even though Mehta used the umbrella term “creationism,” do remember that there are people who believe that God created the cosmos but who accept the conclusions of mainstream science.

  • David_Evans

    I think creationists of all kinds are uneasy about inflation because in one of its guises, “eternal inflation”, it seems to say that our universe is one of many, and that though our universe had a beginning the set of all universes did not.

    Even if I’ve understood that correctly, though, I think we are still very far from confirming or denying that particular hypothesis.

    • Jakeithus

      As a creationist (although not of a young earth variety), I don’t see any problems with inflation or the recent findings. It’s somewhat ironic that you make that claim, as historically, it has been atheists uncomfortable with an inflating universe because of the implications this has for a cosmic beginning.

      From what I understand, “eternal inflation” has it’s own very serious problems, but these recent results really don’t influence that particular hypothesis in any serious way.

      • stuart32

        Actually, it’s been a long time since the Steady State theory was abandoned. Ironically, the one person who clung to it in spite of the evidence was Fred Hoyle, and he ended up becoming a creationist. I think you’re right that an eternally inflating spacetime isn’t actually eternal, though. May I ask why you are a creationist?

        • Jakeithus

          You’re right about an expanding universe being generally well accepted regardless of one’s worldview for some time now. It just struck me to hear that creationists in general should be uneasy of inflation, since outside of believers in a young earth, it’s historically been non-theists who have shown unease with the concept, even if they have generally come to accept it.

          As to your last question, I identify as a creationist because I’m not a materialist or a deist, and I feel that God’s creative influence is continuously at work throughout the universe. I’m somewhat agnostic on the exact methods used in this creative process, as I personally have some doubts about a strict evolutionary understanding, but ultimately think the position that one may take on that is of little consequence in the big picture.

          • stuart32

            I think the point about eternal inflation was that it might do away with the need for any kind of beginning, but that seems to be ruled out by Vilenkin himself – the discoverer of the theory – on scientific grounds. Even if that wasn’t the case I don’t think that it would solve the philosophical problem of the existence of the universe.

            • Jakeithus

              That’s my understanding as well, that Vilenkin’s theorem rules out any sort of true eternally inflating universe, regardless of whether you’re talking about a single universe or a multiverse.

              The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument remains a philosophical problem for the existence of the universe regardless of whether it is past eternal or not, although the Kalam cosmological argument would not longer pose a problem.

            • Matt Brown

              I have to admit that QM is very hard to understand when you get into specifics, but the overall conclusion by Scientists is that the Universe had to have an absolute beginning, and that would include Multi-Verse(If it exists).

              • stuart32

                Yes, that’s about the strength of it. I should say that I have considerable reservations about the multiverse, especially as a solution to the fine-tuning problem. Supposedly, the extra spatial dimensions which we don’t see can be folded up or “compactified” in 10^500 different ways and each of these represents a universe with a different set of physical laws. The vast majority are incapable of supporting life but since there are a supposedly infinite number of universes it’s no mystery that we live in one that does.

                This is pretty wild speculation. At least the above-mentioned scientific news is about real testable science rather than just speculation.

                • Matt Brown

                  Haha, yeah, you typically hear that argument from Atheists like Dawkins, who say that well fine-tuning isn’t really a necessary proof for the existence of God because if we have many universes that exist, we should therefore, not be surprised that our Universe is so finely-tuned.

                  However, what they fail to realize is that if one of these constants or values were changed by less than a decimal point…than life wouldn’t exist at all. No chemistry, physics, or QM,etc.

                  The question that needs to be answered is why our universe so finely-tuned for life to exist? Why is our Universe not like the other ones that would fail or come out with a different set of physical laws? So far..only three explanations have been put forward: Physical Necessity, Chance, and Design.

                  I think this is probably one of the best arguements for the existence of God, apart from the Resurrection of Jesus.

                  • Psycho Gecko

                    Actually, you have the fine-tuning thing turned around. It’s more like a famous quote from Douglas Adams:

                    “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking
                    up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

      • arcseconds

        Inflation is different from expansion in cosmology. Cosmologists are practically unanimous that the universe is expanding from the Big Bang. Here ‘expansion’ means much the same as it normally means — getting larger.

        However, ‘inflation’ means something much more specific. This is a specific hypothesis, that the universe at one point expanded extremely rapidly, faster than the speed of light. Not all cosmologists agreed on that, although it’s likely to get more agreement after the recent revelation.

        I doubt atheists in particular have ever been particularly concerned about inflation due to theological hangups. It doesn’t seem any more problematic than the more general expansion.

        • Jakeithus

          You’re right, and you bringing up the difference between expansion and inflation and the actual findings of this study is a good point. As far as I have read and can understand, there is no theological or philosophical issues raised by confirming that the expansion of the universe was not uniform in the past, and that it experienced moments of rapid inflation early in it’s history.

          • arcseconds

            As far as I know, the mechanism for inflation is not well understood (actually, I think ‘no-one’s got any real idea of what caused it’ would not be far from the truth).

            So, I suppose in some possible world enough theists might be hanging their hats on a ‘God did it’ idea to make some athiests uneasy about the entire hypothesis, but that world isn’t our world :-).

    • Matt Brown

      I don’t have a problem with the inflation theory. It proves that even if a multi-verse that too must have an absolute beginning.

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

    Thank goodness there are Christians that agree with science. However they pull that off, I don’t care, just so they stop getting in the way.

    • Matt Brown

      So it really sounds like your objection is a philosophicall rather than scientific?

      • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

        Sorry, Matt. I’ve no idea what you are asking.
        Fitting a “God” creator into a science explanation seems bizarre to me — but I don’t care what theological knots people tie to make themselves comfortable, just as long as they stay out of the way of methodological naturalism.

        • Matt Brown

          I’m saying that it sounds like you are happy when Christians agree with Science, but when it comes to philosophy i.e. “methodological naturalism” you would disagree with us Christians on the conclusion of science?

          • Psycho Gecko

            Christians are often forced to compromise their beliefs somewhat in order to accommodate science, such as in the old age of the universe, evolution, abiogenesis, and all that. We just prefer it when y’all aren’t trying to sabotage science by trying to push your religion into science courses or outlaw certain research because it goes against your religious beliefs.

            • Matt Brown

              Well Science hasn’t disproven Christianity, nor God. The Bible doesn’t say the age of the earth is 6000 years old and neither does Science. I don’t have to comprimise anything.

              I’m not a young-earth creationist, but rather a Theistic Evolutionist. There’s no way for you to object to that since i’m not disagree with the evidence other than on philosophicall grounds:)

          • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

            Yeah, Matt, still can’t make sense of that.
            Doing science is doing science. I don’t care what religious beliefs someone has as long as it doesn’t interfere with the process of testing and revamping theories. Pretty simple, really.

            I am saying that trying to preserve a theistic spirit creator (intervening, all loving ) god in your explanation of the universe is bizarre, but as along as it doesn’t interfere with our politics or science or education, you can keep the weird thoughts.

            Is that more clear?

            • Matt Brown

              I understand what your saying. Your objecting on philosophical grounds not scientific. I’m not an atheist simply because it’s not based on evidence.

              I’m not sure what makes that “weird” when it’s fact.

  • John-Logan

    Great point at the end about the need to understand that which you intend to reject before doing so. “If you want to deny mainstream science’s conclusions, at least have the courage to really inform yourself about it first.” The reverse of this equally true for those who wish to deny the validity, use, or goodness of religion and faith. And I’d say that Christians make much more of an attempt to learn about science than atheists and agnostics often make to understand religion, or Christianity specifically. The ignorance of science in Christianity can be shocking, but what’s more shocking is the far greater ignorance of religion and religious meaning on the part of most critics of religion, and perhaps most nonreligious people in general.

    • Psycho Gecko

      I was raised Christian. I was saved. I am now an atheist. Most atheists in the U.S. are former Christians. Studies show that atheists generally know more about the bible than Christians. Plus, unlike more fundamentalist Christians, we’re not afraid of looking back into how it was compiled. There’s also the presence of the Clergy Project, which deals with preachers and so on who have become atheists.

      Our failure to compromise on religious claims isn’t a matter of not trying to reach y’all half way. You need evidence in order to convince most of us.

      • Matt Brown

        1. And you atheists need evidence to prove the non-existence of God. You can’t merely assert it and expect to not share your burden of proof along with us Christians….

        2. There is no such thing as a “Former” Christian. You were never saved. Someone who was really saved would stay till the end. Your going showed that you were not Christ’s sheep.

        • Psycho Gecko

          Speaking of someone denying what they don’t understand, there you go being all presuppositional by claiming that I could never have been a True Christian (or Scotsman, the fallacy works with either word).

          Simply put, I was a Christian. A fundamentalist one, in fact. If you really think it’s fair to deny that, then that’s just your radical Islamic jihadi upbringing showing through. Oh, what, you weren’t raised a radical Islamist terrorist? Can’t understand you with all of your own medicine in your mouth.

          Now that point 2 is addressed, let’s go back to point 1.

          The person who makes a claim has to provide evidence of a claim. For instance, if the state says “You committed murder” then the burden of proof is on them. Innocent until proven guilty. They have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you did this. You have to provide evidence for a claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

          Similarly, the verdicts aren’t Guilty and Innocent. The verdicts are Guilty and Not Guilty, because even if a person thinks they did it, they are being asked to weigh in on if they think the evidence has been presented that makes its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In this analogy, that’s the part where atheism is about the lack of a belief in a god, not a counter claim that “There is no god” as some theists say.

          Theists like yourself make the claim that a god exists. When we atheists ask for evidence, you say “Nuh uh, you have to prove you didn’t commit murder!”

          • Matt Brown

            Point 2: Actually it’s not a True Scottsman fallacy since Jesus gave a standard. You either know Christ or you don’t. If you truly knew Christ, then you wouldn’t have walked away.

            Point 1: I think your reasoning here is severley flawed. It sounds like you’ve been reading arguements from Infidels. Innocent until proven guilty only works in a court of law. However, just because the prosecution couldn’t show that the defense was wrong does not mean that the suspect on the defense isn’t guilty! He could still be guilty.

            An absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence. Your really an agnostic since you don’t know and withold belief until the theist gives more evidence. Atheism makes the claim “There is no God”, which is just as much as a knowledge claim as “There is a God”. Agnosticism is the default, not atheism.

            Also, “Extraordinary Claims, requires extraordinary evidence” is fallacious. No claim requries extraordinary evidence. All a claim needs in order for it to be true is evidence and or a sound arguement to prove that it’s true and objective.

            • Andrew Dowling
              • Matt Brown

                Thank you for the link:)

            • Sven2547

              Atheism makes the claim “There is no God”

              Actually, atheism makes the claim “I do not believe in god(s)”. You are referring to a specific flavor of atheism known as gnostic atheism or “strong” atheism.

              Agnosticism is not exclusive from atheism, it is a position on a completely different question. In short, gnosticism versus agnosticism is “What do you know?” (or: “What is knowable?”). Theism versus atheism is “What do you think?”

              This is really basic atheism 101, by the way. I thought you told me you had “read and studied the atheist worldview”?

              • Matt Brown

                I’m sorry that’s not the correct definition. There is no”Gnostic Atheism” or “Gnostic Theism”. Atheism is already a knowledge claim. Atheism is the claim that God does not exist. That’s just as much a knowledge claim as God does exist. Both require justification. Agnosticism is the defualt becuase it makes no knowledge claim. The agnostic has no opinion on the issue. He/she witholds belief until the theist or the atheist gives more positive evidence or reason for their position.

                What’s strong or weak is not the claim itself, but the justification for the claim. Some atheists have strong reasons for thinking God does not exist. While other atheists have weak reasons for thinking God does not exist.

                • Sven2547

                  Sorry, pal. You don’t get to invent your own definitions of atheism and agnosticism. You most certainly can be an agnostic atheist, an agnostic theist, a gnostic atheist, or a gnostic theist.

                  Consider these four positions:

                  1: “I’m not sure if God exists, but I doubt it.”
                  2: “God surely does not exist, that’s preposterous.”
                  3: “Surely God exists, it’s obvious.”
                  4: “I’m not sure if God exists, but I suspect He does.”

                  #1 is agnostic atheism, #2 is gnostic atheism, #3 is gnostic theism, and #4 is agnostic theism. If atheism and agnosticism are mutually exclusive, how would you define position #1? How about position #4?

                  If you are, in fact, serious about studying the atheist position, I suggest doing some reading. Start here:
                  http://evolvingthoughts.NET/2011/07/atheism-agnosticism-and-theism-4-existence-claims/

                  • Matt Brown

                    Your equivocating knowledge with certainty as though they were both the same. Knowledge is not the same as certainty. Certainty is a property of belief. I suggest you read epistemology from a philosophy website like Stanford.

                    One still needs justification for their belief in the non-existence of God.

                    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/certainty/

                    • Sven2547

                      I seem to recall asking you a couple of questions. Would you mind answering them? You’re quibbling while avoiding my primary point.

                      While I personally have justification for my disbelief, justification is not required.

                    • Matt Brown

                      Your questions are misplaced because like I said in my previous post,… you can’t compare knowledge with certainty.

                      Although Certainty is really good..it’s not necessary in order for you to be classified in one position or another.

                      For ex: I think it’s going to rain today. How certain am I? I would personally say 80%. Does this make me an agnostic about the rain because I’m not absolutely certain that it’s going to rain? No. Because I know that it’s going to rain, I am therefore justified in my belief that it’s going to rain today, no matter how certain I am of it.

                    • Sven2547

                      So what you are saying is that positions #1 and #4 do not meet your definition of “agnosticism”?

                    • Matt Brown

                      An agnostic by definition is “A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
                      “http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/agnostic

                      If your an agnostic about God then you don’t know and you don’t disbelieve in God, nor do you believe in God. You withold judgement until one side gives evidence that is more probably true than not. Your basically 50/50.

                      Your definition of 1 and 4 are misplaced becuase you keep thinking that someone has to be 100% certain in order for them to maintain a position.

                    • Sven2547

                      So then you consider “I’m not sure if God exists, but I doubt it” to be an atheist position. You certainly don’t consider it an agnostic position.

                      Yet earlier, you said atheism makes a factual claim of the absence of God. Position #1 is making no such claim.

                    • Matt Brown

                      I would consider that agnostic, but as I said before you don’t need to be certain 100% in order to hold a position.

                      Atheism is the claim that God does not exist. That is a knowledge claim that requires justification.

                    • Sven2547

                      I would consider that agnostic

                      Yet you just said

                      An agnostic by definition is “A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

                      …Your basically 50/50.

                      Which does not describe position #1. You are contradicting yourself.

                    • Matt Brown

                      No I’m not. Your still making knowledge equal with certainty.

                    • Sven2547

                      If your an agnostic about God then you don’t know and you don’t disbelieve in God, nor do you believe in God.

                      That does not describe the position of “I do not know if God exists, but I doubt it“. Yes, you are contradicting yourself.

                    • Matt Brown

                      No, your creating false definitions. The question is still on the table: Is there a God or not?

                    • Sven2547

                      The question is still on the table: Is there a God or not?

                      Position #1 doubts it. That’s an atheistic position.

                      Furthermore, that doubt is not the same as your neither-belief-nor-disbelief “50/50″ (your words) concept of agnosticism, which you are now running away from. That’s because “agnostic” is a broader term than you are willing to admit.

                    • Matt Brown

                      I’m not running away from anything. You’re simply taking terms and adding certainty to them when I repeatedly said that knowledge is not the same as certainty.

                      Either you hold that God exists, does not exist, or you don’t know. There is no in between.

                      Which one are you: Atheist(God does not exist) or Agnostic( God’s existence is unknowable)?

                    • Sven2547

                      Either you hold that God exists, does not exist, or you don’t know. There is no in between.

                      And as I have amply demonstrated, your rigid categories do not account for nuanced positions of belief/doubt under an umbrella of uncertainty. Position #1 never claims that knowledge of God’s existence is “unknowable”.

                      I personally am a gnostic atheist. I will happily sit here and tell you that God’s hypothetical existence is preposterous. That said: most atheists are not like me in this regard. They are agnostic atheists. People who do not believe in gods, but are unwilling to make a factual claim in this regard.

                      Truly you are a wonderful representation of this blog posting. You are denying the existence of a large school of thought (agnostic atheism) that you clearly do not understand.

                    • Matt Brown

                      I do understand, but I think it is you who has the misunderstanding because I don’t know why your still bringing up certainty=knowledge when the two are in fact not equal.

                      You need to provide some justification for the non-existence of God

                    • Sven2547

                      You need to provide some justification for the non-existence of God

                      So if someone honestly does not believe in gods, but cannot “justify” it, or if they refuse to make a factual claim of the absence of gods, they’re not atheists? You have some very, very bizarre definitions going on here.

                    • Matt Brown

                      Your only justified in your belief if you know it its true. Knowledge is justified true belief. You also said that “Belief in God is proposeterous”.

                      That is a knowledge claim. How do you know that God does not exist?

                    • Sven2547

                      How do you know that God does not exist?

                      Well now we’re just changing the subject. I want to make myself clear that I didn’t come here to bash religious belief, only to correct the ignorant smear-job you were performing on atheism. If you really want to know, here is a partial list:

                      * The tested and proven Laws of Thermodynamics preclude the existence of any immortal entity.

                      * The Problem of Evil discredits the notion of an all-powerful all-good agent.

                      * Omnipotence is a self-contradictory concept.

                      * Gods are invisible, intangible, inaudible, undetectable, and unverifiable. In short, indistinguishable from nothingness. Common sense points towards “nothingness” being the most likely candidate.

                      * Never once, in the history of skeptical inquiry, has a claim of the supernatural been verified. In stark contrast, many many supernatural claims have been proven bunk. Given this, there is no logical reason to presume supernatural agency in anything until the existence of the supernatural is proven. The burden of proof is on them.

                      * The universe, and the world we live on, is not particularly optimized for human habitation. The notion that the universe was created for our sake is silly.

                      And these are just reasons to reject the hypothesis of a broadly-defined Judeo-Christian God. The reasons to dismiss various individual religions are quite numerous.

                    • Matt Brown

                      I didn’t come here to bash atheists. You said that “God is proposterous”. I take that as you saying that” the existence of God is absurd and that God does not exist.” That is a knowledge claim that requires evidence.

                      *The tested and proven Laws of Thermodynamics preclude the existence of any immortal entity.*

                      How do they show this?

                      *The Problem of Evil discredits the notion of an all-powerful all-good agent.*

                      Actually this proves that God exists. In order for evil to exist, then your implying there’s a such a thing as good. If Good and Evil exists, then there’s a moral law or standard. If there’s a moral law or standard, then there must be a moral-law giver(God). On the atheist worldview there is no such thing as right and wrong. It’s just part of evolution.

                      “Omnipotence is a self-contradictory concept.”

                      Care to elaborate?

                      * Gods are invisible, intangible, inaudible, undetectable, and unverifiable. In short, indistinguishable from nothingness. Common sense points towards “nothingness” being the most likely candidate.*

                      So, according to your arguement, in order for something to exist it needs scientific evidence in order to proove that it exists?

                      God is audible. God can speak to people.

                      Science can’t prove that Math exists. Science can’t prove that moral values and duties exist. Science can’t prove that you and I are a body lying in the matrix. Science can’t prove that you and I are a brain in a vat being stimulated by a mad scientist to think that we exist. Science can’t prove there are other minds other than my own. Science can’t prove itself.

                      Immaterial does not equal non-existence..that’s a non-sequitir.

                      “Never once, in the history of skeptical inquiry, has a claim of the supernatural been verified. In stark contrast, many many supernatural claims have been proven bunk. Given this, there is no logical reason to presume supernatural agency in anything until the existence of the supernatural is proven. The burden of proof is on them.”

                      By what logical rule of inference does this follow that because no supernatural claim offered to the skeptical inquiry has been proven “true”, that it therefore means the supernatural doesn’t exist?

                      That it no way disproves the existence of the supernatural. There are supernatural miracles that happen all the time in all parts of the world. Simply disproving false claims or magic tricks does not mean the supernatural doesn’t exist. You would have to show that miracles and other supernatural events aren’t happening around the world right now.

                      * The universe, and the world we live on, is not particularly optimized for human habitation. The notion that the universe was created for our sake is silly.*

                      Are you kidding me? The universe is extremely fine-tuned in order for life to exist. If any of the constants or values of our universe were changed by an atom or a decimal place, life, the universe, physics, chemistry, or anything would not exist.

                    • Sven2547

                      How do they show this?

                      If you understood the Laws of Thermodynamics, you would not need to ask this question. In short, to be eternal is to disregard entropy, and nothing can disregard entropy.

                      Actually this proves that God exists.

                      I’m pretty sure you don’t know what “The Problem of Evil” is. It is not merely the existence of evil, but your supposed all-good all-powerful God’s either unwillingness or inability to prevent it.

                      Question: On what grounds do you judge the God of the Bible to be good? No circular arguments please.

                      Care to elaborate?

                      Google “omnipotence paradox”

                      So, according to your arguement, in order for something to exist it needs scientific evidence in order to proove that it exists?

                      No, I’m saying that in the complete absense of evidence, it is completely logical to assume something does not exist. The burden of proof is on you.

                      God is audible. God can speak to people.

                      Still waiting for him to say something. Atheism wouldn’t exist if God could speak to people and actually cared whether people believed or not.

                      By what logical rule of inference does this follow that because no supernatural claim offered to the skeptical inquiry has been proven “true”, that it therefore means the supernatural doesn’t exist?
                      That it no way disproves the existence of the supernatural.

                      That’s not what I said. I didn’t say the supernatural is proven to not exist, I said there is no logical reason to presume it exists. The burden of proof is on you, and that proof has been sorely lacking.

                    • http://www.batman-news.com/ KeepToTheFactsPlease

                      SVEN … you’ve made this a delightful discussion. Thanks for the interesting read and very compelling arguments that you’ve made. I’ve found it highly enlightening and entertaining as well.

                      +1 upvote

                    • Sven2547

                      Unfortunately it has devolved from “Why you’re wrong about atheism” to the standard back-and-forth on God’s existence.

                    • Matt Brown

                      Hey Sven2547, Do you mind if I answer your objections later? I have to write a 750 word paper due by midnight? I like this civil debate we are having:)(unlike pyschogecko’s unfortunately)

                      -Thanks

                    • Sven2547

                      Take your time. Comment sections lend themselves well to asynchronous discussion.

                    • Matt Brown

                      Yes..haha:) Thanks for understanding.

                    • Matt Brown

                      Hello:) Care to join the conversation? Your gladly welcome..

                    • http://www.batman-news.com/ KeepToTheFactsPlease

                      Thanks for the offer but I believe that this is best left to those with more knowledge on the arguments for and against. I am more here to get a better understanding of this issue. I do have certain beliefs and thoughts on this issue but I now realize that those are far to cursory in comparison to the discussion that you have had with SVEN and PG. It’s pleasant to find a civil discussion and debate on any of the disqus boards so I’m enjoying the entertainment value. And yes, I do believe that even PG was being quite civil in his points and that he made fairly good definitional arguments to start off this discussion on the difference between atheism and agnosticism.

            • Psycho Gecko

              Point 2: The True Scotsman fallacy still stands. You take the presuppositional stance that only people who stay Christians were ever True Christians. Nevermind the fact that I knew Jesus just as well as anybody.

              Point 1: I am an agnostic atheist. As Sven points out below and as you repeatedly get wrong, agnosticism and gnosticism are a different question than atheism and theism.

              You are also wrong about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence, but considering that you don’t even have regular evidence, that’s not much help to your position.

              Really, considering your lack of knowledge not just about atheism but also about theism, as well as your presuppositionalism (which tends to stem from such a lack of knowledge), then it’s pretty much a waste of time to try and correct you. You’re just going to go on your way, contributing yourself to the statistics regarding the Dunning-Kruger effect.

              • Matt Brown

                Point 2: Nope, because Jesus proved to be God, so that means his standard is true. You were never a Christian to begin with. Your going showed you never really knew Christ as your Lord and Savior.

                Point 1: Agnosticism is the default position. Please show what I got wrong. Agnostics withold belief until the atheist or theist gives more evidence. They are 50/50. Atheism and Theism are both knowledge claims. God does exist and God does not exist both require justification.

                “You are also wrong about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence, but considering that you don’t even have regular evidence, that’s not much help to your position.”

                No becuase extraordinary claims do not require extraordinary evidence. In order for that statement to be true, then all events that appear to be extraordinary like the lottery, need extraordinary evidence. However, we don’t need extraordinary evidence to prove that the lottery happened. We just need evidence to show that it did happen. In order for a claim to be true, it just needs to be proven “objectively”. Asking for extraordinary evidence is subjective.

                If your really going to have a bad attitude on here, then your right..it is a waste of time trying to have a civil argument with someone who clearly is rational(you), but favors junk arguments that are irrational and not philosophically sound.

                At least Sven was being civil. I can tell your goal is to try and bash Theists without giving any arguments for atheism…smh

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  I find this comment to be full of problematic statements. To assume that someone who lost their faith never had faith is just a way of making oneself feel more secure. To say that a claim to a miracle, or seeing a unicorn, is the same kind of unlikelihood as winning the lottery, misunderstands different sorts of improbability. And there are several other points that likewise are, at the very least, not self evident in the way your tone seems to suggest they are. :-(

  • Bobby Gilbert

    maybe it is not one or the other, it is about the allegory of the week and understanding the allegory of the week in light of its truth in dealing with the finiteness of the week. We are locked in a time period of seven days whether it be 7 “normal” days with the count of the “day” limited to the 12 hours of the day. As Christian or possibly, Jew, this should give meaning to understand the working of the week. This understanding does not reduce or diminish the reality of night. The twelve hour day gives meaning to what is going on in the week or the day. The week has certain elements that can be best understood during the week jesus suffered, died, buried and rose. The day that he died there is a 12 hour count. It is really important to understanding the day and the week. For instance, it liken itself to the 12 years (or 12 hours metaphorically) of the Holocaust. The Holocaust and the surrounding time period of events bleeds the format and events metaphorically, allegorically and in reality of a week. It is a week. The Holocaust is the middle of the week.

    The day hours can be number by an hour being a week, a month, a year, a generation, etc etc.

    To simplify this thought, “weeks end”. If a speck pushed the universe in hyper gear, the same speck could possibly reverse its total effect. The week would end just as quick as the week began.

    One can look at it this way. Our whole “historical” existence is less than a second in comparison to time and if the week ended tomorrow.

    When Jesus speaks of time, he often says “the time is short”.

    The Passion Paradigm

  • dallasmay

    “Creationism” should really be discussed as more of a spectrum of philosophical and theological beliefs. They range from basic “watchmaker” style philosophy (owing no additional belief as to what kind of watchmaker there is) to fundamentalist “bible-said-it” dogma. There is really a lot of theological room between those two extremes, but both are forms of “Creationism”.

    • Matt Brown

      I would probably say I’m Theistic Evolutionist.


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