Christian Q & A Pages

Max suggests that this site offers some reading amusement. I agree. It debunks all those crazy atheist claims. Including some that no atheists actually say (like “Atheists have Proven God Does Not Exist. Right?”).

Here’s the conclusion to “If God Created Everything, Who Created God?”

God has no need to have been created, since He exists either outside time (where cause and effect do not operate) or within multiple dimensions of time (such that there is no beginning of a plane of time). Hence God is eternal, having never been created. Although it is possible that the universe itself is eternal, eliminating the need for its creation, observational evidence contradicts this hypothesis, since the universe began to exist a finite ~13.7 billion years ago. The only possible escape for the atheist is the invention of a kind of super universe, which can never be confirmed experimentally (hence it is metaphysical in nature, and not scientific).

I might be more partial to this other site. It answers all my questions in an irrefutable way.

Did Adam and Eve really exist?

Short answer: Yes, because the Bible says so.

Long answer:

Genesis speaks of the creation of Adam from the dust of the ground, not his evolution from other animals (Gen. 2:7). It speaks of direct immediate creation at God’s command, not long natural processes (cf. Gen. 1:1, 3, 6, 9, 21, 27). God created Eve from Adam; she did not evolve separately. Adam was an intelligent being who could speak a language, study and name animals, and engage in life-sustaining activity. He was not an ignorant half-ape.

Love that last line.

And this page raises the issue of sexual standards:

Increasingly, there are those who feel no one has the right to state any standard for sex and it should just be left at: sex with anybody is okay.

What do you think? Is sexual involvement okay when it’s:

  • with someone on a first date?
  • with someone you’ve been dating for four months?
  • with the opposite sex?
  • with same sex?
  • with a group?
  • with a parent?
  • with someone who is drunk or stoned?
  • with someone who unknowingly was given Ecstasy?
  • with someone who has an STD but doesn’t tell you?
  • with someone who has AIDS but doesn’t tell you?
  • with a sister or brother?
  • with someone who’s 15 years old?
  • with someone who’s currently married to someone else?
  • with someone who’s currently married if they are planning on divorce anyway?
  • with someone who’s three years old?
  • with someone against their wishes?
  • with someone who isn’t married, but you are?
  • with a corpse?

I’m disappointed there’s no submit button…


[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, Q & A, God, Adam and Eve, Bible, evolution, sex, STD, AIDS, necrophilia[/tags]

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Including some that no atheists actually say (like “Atheists have Proven God Does Not Exist. Right?”).

    I’ve got a strong suspicion that if you asked most blog atheists, cold and without prompting, to give a yes-no answer to “Atheists have proven God does not exist” you would be in danger of getting a majority saying “yes”. If you substituted the word “science” for “atheists” my guess is that you would get an even stronger yes vote, though anyone with any regard for the actual methods of science would know that statement is absurd.

    If atheists have not proven that God does not exist they why the arrogance, the flat assertions that God doesn’t exist (not to mention anything except in the physical universe as approved by Paul Kurtz and Randi)? Explain the pop-culture careers of Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the latest incarnation of Richard Dawkins. You telling me no one had the courage to tell them that it hasn’t been proven that God doesn’t exist?

    We can agree on most of the rest of your post, however.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com/ ollie

    Hmmm, isn’t one of the models of spacetime a closed manifold (e. g., no boundary, but perhaps some singularities) which would allow for a creationless universe; the 13-14 billion years is merely the distance along the geodesic in spacetime to the big bang singularity.

    Is that right?

    As far as most atheists that I know: most would say “we see no evidence for a deity” rather than “I KNOW there is no deity.”

    Most would go on to say that the existence of the current standard deities are highly unlikely, at best.

  • http://lifewithoutfaith.com/ Richard

    I think the question should not be does God exists. As we know, it is impossible to prove one way or another. As physicist would say, that theory is so bad it can’t be wrong.

    The question should be does a theistic God exist. Is there a God who listens to our thoughts, answering prayers, heals the sick, etc. If this Being does exist we can find His fingerprint anytime He reaches into our dimension and changes the laws of physics.

    Richard
    http://lifewithoutfaith.com

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Richard, changing the shtick to a “theistic God” really doesn’t help. Maybe the faithful are in error as to the nature of that god, just as an example.

    There is absolutely no way to scientifically study the results of “prayer”, it is a word that is entirely undefined and undefinable. And that’s just the beginning of the problems.

    It’s one of the worst results of things like “evolutionary psychology” that the simple fact that there are vast areas of life and the universe about which we have insufficient data or even know how to obtain the data to study scientifically. That’s what happens when you begin to substitute story telling about the irretrievable past instead of being honest about it and sticking to what is knowable.

  • http://lifewithoutfaith.com/ Richard

    olvlzl,

    I respectfully disagree. I would highly recommend the book, “God the Failed Hypothesis.” This book sets forth several falsifiable hypothesis and disproofs theistic claims.

    Recently there has also been a study that shows no evidence that prayer works.

    Richard
    http://lifewithoutfaith.com

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    I think Dawkins deals with the issue of creation, more then an existence of a god. There’s no fingerprint of a creator to be found. You’re free to believe in a deity, but not a deity which designed the universe.

  • http://lifewithoutfaith.com/ Richard

    Bjorn,

    I think Dawkins deals with the issue of creation,

    Who was talking about Dawkins? The book I mentioned was not written by him.

    Also, if the laws of physics are changed, the change would leave evidence (fingerprint). Just like a CSI team, the clues would point to the source of the changer.

    Does God heal? Falsifiable.
    Water to wine? Falsifiable.
    Stigmata? Falsifiable.
    God answers prayer? Falsifiable.
    God stops hurricanes? Falsifiable.
    Is God real? Not Falsifiable.

    Richard
    http://lifewithoutfaith.com

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Richard, since I mention both the postive and negative results reported in the media as being bogus, perhaps you would answer just the first problem. How do you know that there is one actual thing, activity, process, etc. that is meant by the word “prayer”. How do you know that even one person is doing that one activity at any given time, how do you know that even two people are able to do the same thing while they believe they are “praying”.

    The concept of God as an hypothesis falls right in with the absurd idea that all claims can be investegated with science. How could you test such a hypothesis, for many of the same reasons given in my piece linked to above? Even the definition of the problem is impossible. Unless you can test an hypothesis it can’t fail a test.

    The idea that only those things and ideas that science can verify are real is scientism at its most basic and unthinking level. Science is a pretty limited activity that can only deal with those things in the physical universe that can be observed, measured, defined, analyzed, etc. Anything that can’t be isn’t susceptible to scienctific investegation. As a proposed supernatural being, God falls definitively outside of what science and even logic can detect. I’ll give you a more uncontroversial item to ponder, where in science do you locate “the sparation of church and state”. If you reject anything that can’t be found by science then you can’t believe that it exists. Which I would be rather upset about because I’m rather fond of the wall of separation.

    You don’t have to believe on a God but it is a distortion of science to pretend that is possible to deal with such a concept with science. And I don’t care if a published author has pretended to. You might want to read the little piece I posted on my blog last week about an absurd statment attributed to Dawkins along this area. I was pretty unsurprised to see Dawkins propose doing science without any possible physical evidence or comparison possible, bringing us pretty much back to the time before Bacon. But then, I’ve read about his “memes” so it wasn’t surprising.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Bjorn, you can believe anything you want to, including a deity who created the universe and who runs it right down to the last gene, though not in the “meme” which doesn’t exist. Richard Dawkins book, if you’re talking about The God Delusion, is a series of self-serving, self-selected, self-constructed “Gods” that are easy to demolish. For example, the 747 bit was never seriously considered by anyone with much sophistication, it was an idea as absurd as Dawkins’ proposal to use probability to investegate the existence of a supernatural being. Exactly the same kind of effort.

    If there is a creator God any “traces” of their creation might be dectable or indetecable but science, for all the reasons above, wouldn’t be able to process the “created” nature of them. God would have to be a part of science for that to happen and since God is supernatural and science only can deal with the physical universe it just falls outside of science.

    I know a number of blog atheists just hate it but there are a lot of scientists who believe in a creator god and also that life developed by evolution through natural selection (and other factors). And I’m not talking about IDers but real research scientists who, I’d guess, even PZ Myers would envy for their professional position. Francis Collins is only the most prominent.

  • miller

    olvlzl,

    I’ve occasionally made the claim myself that science is the only meaningful way of determining truth. However, I admit that I am using an exceedingly broad definition of “science,” that includes all knowledge gained from deduction, induction, and observation. This definition ignores practical limits, such as long-gone evidence, the scientific establishment, etc. This definition of science can include “other ways of knowing,” since if you find a method that usually leads to truth, you can use induction to conclude that the said method is capable of determining truth.

    But perhaps this is a grave distortion of what “science” really is, or just a setup for an equivocation fallacy.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Miller, the confusion over just what science is could be due, in part, to the confusion among scientists themselves. I’ll give you the example I mentioned in my response to Richard.

    “Did Jesus have a human father, or was his mother a virgin at the time of his birth? Whether or not there is enough surviving evidence to decide it, this is still a strictly scientific question.” Richard Dawkins, quoted by H. Allen Orr in the New York Review of Books, Jan.11, 2007.

    After noticing that Dawkins fudges the fact that there simply is no physical evidence to base anything on and taking into account that people who believe in the Virgin Birth claim it is unique, happend outside of usual order of nature and only once in the history of the world, he claims that you can use science to investigate the question.

    Science without any physical evidence at all? Science for a question that is claimed to have happened miraculously in the way described above? How? The only way you can deal with the question in a parody of science is to distort the claim and make some kind of argument from analogy, but that doesn’t deal with the claim but a self-serving modification of it. I don’t believe in the Virgin Birth, on the basis of history and literature, which are the best evidence if you want to back up your doubt. But Dawkins holds an Oxford University seat For the Public Understanding of Science. Certainly the first thing to understand about science is when there isn’t enough data to do science.

    I’d go into the implications for Dawkins’ other proposals, memes, for example, and how those are not susceptible to scientific verification. If I remember even his #1 fan, Daniel Dennet has made some noise in that direction. I don’t believe in “memes” just as I don’t believe in the Virgin Birth. A lot of people make the mistake that inability to disprove requires belief, it doesn’t, it allows freedom of belief.

  • http://lifewithoutfaith.com/ Richard

    I appreciate your comments and I agree with most of what you are saying. Our differences are simply with semantics.

    I am not talking about “truth” per say. Science is not interested in truth but evidence and what theories can be made based on said evidence.

    Many great books have talked about this and I am sure there is no way to cover all of this here. I am sure Hemant would prefer us not to take up space. If you guys are interested, I would love to get this discussion going on the forum of my website. It is dedicated to such questions by open honest individuals.

    Thanks,

    Richard
    http://lifewithoutfaith.com

  • Logos

    olvlzl, no ism, no ist
    I thought you were leaving this site?

  • Aj

    If atheists have not proven that God does not exist they why the arrogance, the flat assertions that God doesn’t exist (not to mention anything except in the physical universe as approved by Paul Kurtz and Randi)? Explain the pop-culture careers of Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the latest incarnation of Richard Dawkins. You telling me no one had the courage to tell them that it hasn’t been proven that God doesn’t exist?

    I don’t know about Kurtz or Randi, although the interviews of Randi I’ve heard haven’t suggested anything like that. Harris, Dennett, and Dawkins don’t claim such things. And the readers of their books, I very much doubt would claim they know a intelligent creator exists.

    word that is entirely undefined and undefinable

    Hilarious, the undefined is redundant, but the real problem is claiming that a word is undefinable. I’d like to see you reason the various concepts related to the word prayer as undefinable, or any concept for that matter.

  • Tim D.

    I’ll give you a more uncontroversial item to ponder, where in science do you locate “the sparation of church and state”. If you reject anything that can’t be found by science then you can’t believe that it exists. Which I would be rather upset about because I’m rather fond of the wall of separation.

    That would seem to be a general logical consensus amongst the founders of our country (and a long line of people who came after) based on the atrocities that used to be committed when a fanatical sect of some religion or another obtained control of a government. Religion isn’t bad; government isn’t bad; but when you mix ideological warfare with control, it’s pretty much a recipe for disaster. An opinion, yes, but one that’s at the very least supportable by logic.

    I know a number of blog atheists just hate it but there are a lot of scientists who believe in a creator god and also that life developed by evolution through natural selection (and other factors). And I’m not talking about IDers but real research scientists who, I’d guess, even PZ Myers would envy for their professional position. Francis Collins is only the most prominent.

    I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’m not opposed to the idea of the existence of a God. All I ask is that people in my everyday run of life stop trying to pretend they know for sure one way or the other. When a religious person tries to present “evidence” that “undeniably proves” the existence of God, it’s usually metaphor-laden and subject to interpretation; when an atheist tries to “prove” that it’s not possible for God to exist, that goes against the unspoken credo (which, I acknowledge, not all atheists abide by) not to “pretend one has all the answers.”

    I’ve occasionally made the claim myself that science is the only meaningful way of determining truth. However, I admit that I am using an exceedingly broad definition of “science,” that includes all knowledge gained from deduction, induction, and observation. This definition ignores practical limits, such as long-gone evidence, the scientific establishment, etc. This definition of science can include “other ways of knowing,” since if you find a method that usually leads to truth, you can use induction to conclude that the said method is capable of determining truth.

    I think one of the problems with science nowadays is that it isn’t being properly interpreted all the time. Even Native Americans believed you had to interpret religious rituals properly in order for them to lead you to the correct answer; science is not much different. For this reason, I tend to allude to “logic” as opposed to sceince (as indifferent as they basically are), since logic is quite a bit less socially stigmatic. It’s harder to call logic “anti-god” than it is to call science the same.

  • Aj

    correction: And the readers of their books, I very much doubt would claim they know a intelligent creator doesnt exists exist or otherwise.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Aj, having had enough discussion with the fans of the neo-atheist heavy hitters, I’m certain those books have many rather superficial readers, for whom the world of thought began with Sam Harris. However, I’m sure that not all those reading are unintelligent. Your claims about the people I listed are certainly contradicted by their writing and public speaking. If you don’t know about Kurtz, you should. He’s sort of the Rupert Murdoch of atheist propaganda, much of it under the misused label “skepticism”. I’m looking into his links with Corliss Lamont, the big money behind a lot of the earlier propaganda of that kind. By the way, I think Dawkins is the one I first heard ranting about “Neville Chamberlain Atheists”.

    Aj, Give me the one, universal, definition of “prayer” including how you can know that two people are doing the same thing when they are “praying” or even one person is doing it at two different times. And demonstrate by the literature of world religion that it is a definition that all “prayers” agree on. Then tell me how a “researcher” into “prayer” can know if it is present during even one run of their alleged experiment. Your assertion that there is a single definition of the word sufficient for use in science is ridiculous. Which doesn’t surprise me at all, your heroes are always getting away with that kind of bunkum, Dennett in particular.

  • Aj

    Your claims about the people I listed are certainly contradicted by their writing and public speaking.

    I’ve read and heard about as much as you can from them, and I can assure you that you’re absolutely wrong. Ask them by email, or supply quotes of them claiming they know whether God exists or not.

    By the way, I think Dawkins is the one I first heard ranting about “Neville Chamberlain Atheists”.

    That’s completely without context, I’ve heard him say similar things, but he’s not talking about the existance of God. I think he’s probably refering to self-described “agnostics”.

    Aj, Give me the one, universal, definition of “prayer” including how you can know that two people are doing the same thing when they are “praying” or even one person is doing it at two different times. And demonstrate by the literature of world religion that it is a definition that all “prayers” agree on.

    No, I will not. Don’t request the absurd from me. It’s also not necessary for a definition. People use words to mean many different things, they’re meaning carriers. Different cultures and religions have different ideas. They don’t need to agree.

    It’s not on me to validate or falsify your assertions on the undefiniable nature, at least, until you supply the reasoning behind it.

    Then tell me how a “researcher” into “prayer” can know if it is present during even one run of their alleged experiment.

    Not required for a definition. I haven’t weighed in on the experiment (I’ll leave that for a later date). You’re claiming that it’s something that is “present”

    Your assertion that there is a single definition of the word sufficient for use in science is ridiculous.

    That was not my assertion. I don’t understand how you could interpret anything I have written to mean that.

    Which doesn’t surprise me at all, your heroes are always getting away with that kind of bunkum, Dennett in particular.

    Your errors are demonstrated in your comments, I am not surprised you’re having trouble understanding Dennett.

  • miller

    Dawkins originated the “Chamberlain atheists” term. Orac was talking about a while ago.

  • http://wintershaven.net Jacob Wintersmith

    observational evidence contradicts this hypothesis, since the universe began to exist a finite ~13.7 billion years ago

    This is a very common misunderstanding of the big bang model. All the model really says is that ~13.7 BYA, the universe was in a very hot dense state and that space has expanded since then. If you extrapolate a short way backwards in time from that hot dense state using the theory of General Relativity, you find that GR predicts a singularity, i.e. a “beginning of the universe”.

    It is traditional to label this singularity t=0, and reference other events in the big bang from that point in time. This, however, is done merely for convenience. Actually, physicists are pretty certain that GR breaks down under the conditions which the big bang model postulates. So, that backwards extrapolation is actually not legitimate, and we shouldn’t attach any real significance to the point in time we labeled t=0.

    To understand what happened in the very early stages of the big bang (prior to the end of the Planck epoch), we need a theory of quantum gravity. And we don’t have one. So, maybe there was a beginning of time, or maybe things happened differently. We don’t know.

    Scientists are trying to answer the “big questions” about the universe. If you personally are interested in / worried about these questions, you should learn some physics and come help us. What you shouldn’t do is bury your nose in some ancient holy book — in case you haven’t noticed, these books have been around for thousands of years and have done absolutely nothing to improve our knowledge of how the world works. From lightening, to heliocentrism, to the development of life, holy books have been wrong again, and again, and again. Meanwhile, people who tried to understand the world, by… well, studying the world have actually accomplished a few things over the centuries.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    No, I will not. Don’t request the absurd from me. It’s also not necessary for a definition. People use words to mean many different things, they’re meaning carriers. Different cultures and religions have different ideas. They don’t need to agree.

    Aj

    Oh, so you propose studying, scientifically, something that isn’t any one thing, something that can’t be defined, something whose presence can’t be verified, etc. And yet you think you understand what science is? See comments about Dawkins bringing science back to the middle ages with similar ideas. Your assertion that my statement that it could not be defined was what led me to assume that would mean in context that a definition suitable for practicing science was available, I’d imagine most people would.

    By the way, I think Dawkins is the one I first heard ranting about “Neville Chamberlain Atheists”.

    That’s completely without context, I’ve heard him say similar things, but he’s not talking about the existance of God. I think he’s probably refering to self-described “agnostics”. Aj.

    And why does the Czar of atheist purity dislke agnostics? Maybe it’s because they admit that you can’t know if God exists or doesn’t exist? That’s been a feature of atheists practically since the term was invented, always complaining that those darned agnostics wouldn’t pretend that they didn’t know that God doesn’t exist and join their ranks.

    I’ve read one book of Sam Harris, a number of articles which leads me to believe that one book of his books suffices, The God Delusion as well as a few of Dawkins earlier books – I’ve thought he was a pseudo-scientist since his “selfish genes” days, and a number of Dennett’s screeds, unfortunately, from library copies that I returned after reading them. But I don’t think anyone familiar with, certainly Harris and Dawkins (who wanted to have it declared child abuse for parents to teach their own children their religion) are confident that you can know God doesn’t exist. Dennett, he’ll agree with whatever Dawkins says.

    You know, the fad might be peaking? I heard someone comment on how bored they are listening to loudmouthed, conceited atheists. The comment was from an atheist. My friends, you get more bees with sugar than with salt but watch out for the stings.

  • Aj

    Oh, so you propose studying, scientifically, something that isn’t any one thing, something that can’t be defined, something whose presence can’t be verified, etc.

    No, I’m pretty sure I challenged your assertion that it can’t be defined, and “isn’t any one thing”.

    Your assertion that my statement that it could not be defined was what led me to assume that would mean in context that a definition suitable for practicing science was available, I’d imagine most people would.

    I can’t be sure until you actually put forward a case to why you think that.

    And why does the Czar of atheist purity dislke agnostics?

    He is an agnostic, in the sense of what Huxley meant by it. The rest of your paragraph is incorrect once you realise this.

    I’ve read one book of Sam Harris, a number of articles which leads me to believe that one book of his books suffices, The God Delusion as well as a few of Dawkins earlier books – I’ve thought he was a pseudo-scientist since his “selfish genes” days, and a number of Dennett’s screeds, unfortunately, from library copies that I returned after reading them. But I don’t think anyone familiar with, certainly Harris and Dawkins (who wanted to have it declared child abuse for parents to teach their own children their religion) are confident that you can know God doesn’t exist. Dennett, he’ll agree with whatever Dawkins says.

    That’s not an excuse for not providing support for your claims. The simplest answer is that you can’t remember what you have read, and you’re biased against them because you disagree with them. You’re actually inventing things they never claimed so you can disagree with them someone. Either acknowledge this, provide evidence, or regretfully I have to decline from discussion with you.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Aj, the simplest answer is that I’m not going to take the time to find quotations when just about everyone here has read at least a representative sample of the authors in question. I’m sure it would be a surprise to his admirers to find out that Dawkins isn’t an atheist. Almost certainly to him also. Will Sam Harris ask him to retract his endorsements of him? Will Daniel Dennett abandon his master? And what will Christopher Hitchens have to say in the next issue of Skeptical Inquirer? Will he have to give up his subject heading of “Atheism”?

    I don’t think you can answer the points I made above about the impossibility to deal with the non-physical claims of religion with science and even many of those which have a physical component. Pretending that they can be is a mainstay of pop-atheism and even much of the old-fashioned kind. That’s not only dishonest, it distorts what science can and can’t do. Either back up the claims of using science with scientific evidence or give up the pretension of it, and the resulting arrogance. Science is only reputable when it holds itself to rigorous standards of inquiry. When it doesn’t it might gain some short-lived currency but it is destined to be overturned within the slightly longer term.

  • Aj

    Aj, the simplest answer is that I’m not going to take the time to find quotations

    I know why, you know why, everyone knows why.

    I don’t think you can answer the points I made above about the impossibility to deal with the non-physical claims of religion with science and even many of those which have a physical component.

    Either back up the claims of using science with scientific evidence or give up the pretension of it, and the resulting arrogance.

    I made no such claims.

    That’s not only dishonest, it distorts what science can and can’t do.

    You’re being evasive about my challenge and I can only assume lying about Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Aj, I’m not being evasive, I’m saying I’m not going to bother taking up a challenge by someone who has made such a silly assertion. Is Sam Harris an agnostic too? How about Dennett? I assume that even you wouldn’t try to tell Hitchens that he isn’t an atheist. I’d imagine that if quotations exist that refute what I said someone else will provide.

    Sam Harris has a website, you know, with a number of articles he wrote. Go find agnostic tendencies there. Explain Dawkins signing the petition to make it illegal for anyone, even parents, to teach children about religion. I’m not going to let him off the hook for that even though he retracted it in the face of condemnation. He has been a public personality for enough years to know what he’s doing in the first place.

  • Aj

    I’m not being evasive, I’m saying I’m not going to bother taking up a challenge by someone who has made such a silly assertion.

    On the case of undefinable words, I made no assertion, you did. You have yet to respond to my request for clarification of your reasoning. You are being evasive, you have repeatedly attributed claims to me I didn’t make, and not answered my challenge.

    Is Sam Harris an agnostic too? How about Dennett? I assume that even you wouldn’t try to tell Hitchens that he isn’t an atheist. I’d imagine that if quotations exist that refute what I said someone else will provide.

    Sam Harris has a website, you know, with a number of articles he wrote. Go find agnostic tendencies there.

    I am not going to go search your quotes against your assertion. The burden of proof is on you. When you do come up with quotes *laughs* then I’ll come back with quotes that suggest that they do not claim knowledge of the supernatural.

    Explain Dawkins signing the petition to make it illegal for anyone, even parents, to teach children about religion. I’m not going to let him off the hook for that even though he retracted it in the face of condemnation.

    Actually, I think I’m going to ignore your idiocy from now on.

  • Anthony

    with someone who has AIDS but doesn’t tell you?

    The question is: “WIth someone who has HIV but doesn’t tell you?”

    In 2007, people should have a better understanding of HIV/AIDS. Course, the Catholics don’t think much of HIV – they do, afterall, try to ban condoms in the most AIDS-torn places in the world.

  • Anthony

    Oh, so you propose studying, scientifically, something that isn’t any one thing

    Uhh… in my Freshman course on research methodology, we learned about the difficultly in assigning quantitative measurement to abstract concepts (such as ‘praying’) since they have so many meanings, and that the work of the body of knowledge is to examine many meanings of a concept and narrow in on measurements over time. Entire sections of social science studies explore their difficulty in defining concepts, and providing exceptions to their data in this regard.

    I’d argue that science is all about “studying something that isn’t any one thing”. In the face of such challenges, science shines.

  • Aj

    There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies?

    Richard Dawkins, date/origin unknown, http://richarddawkins.net/quotes

    Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’

    Richard Dawkins, 2006, The God Delusion, p55-56

    1 am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    Richard Dawkins, 2006, The God Delusion, p56

    He explains that the position of Temporary Agnosticism in Practice (counter to Permanent Agnosticism in Principle) is a legitimate position, but it’s overly complicated and is covered from pages 52-56.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Anthony, “prayer” is not only undefinable but it is undetectable, you can’t know if “prayer” is present at any time when even a large group is doing it, you can’t know what effects it might have, you don’t know if any control group is, in fact, not being prayed for, etc. I don’t think that even a junior methodology course could design an experiment that could identify “prayer” as having happened during any part of its run. Do you think you could design a an experiment that could answer all these points? And, don’t forget, since it’s “prayer”, you’ll have to get the cooperation of a possible deity, spirits, forces, whatever might answer prayers. Oh, and you’ll have to get them to promise, no curing in the control group.

    Aj, well, in the face of his intolerance of Lawrence Krauss’ statement last year that science couldn’t address the existence of a god (Dawkins got into quite a swivet, or so I’ve read) and his position that teaching children religion is child abuse and should be a crime, I guess he’s either an inconsistent hypocrite or he’s only fudging for an audience. Wait a minute, did I say “or”, it being Dawkins it’s quite possible he’s doing both.

    I wonder if you asked the question cold on a selection of atheist blogs, without any kind of warning or prompting “Is Richard Dawkins an atheist?” what do you think would happen?

  • Aj

    well, in the face of his intolerance of Lawrence Krauss’ statement last year that science couldn’t address the existence of a god (Dawkins got into quite a swivet, or so I’ve read)

    He disagrees, calling it “intolerance” is taking the piss considering its usual definition, especially given the nature of their discussion.

    teaching children religion is child abuse and should be a crime

    Quote? Oh wait! You don’t like evidence.

    I guess he’s either an inconsistent hypocrite or he’s only fudging for an audience

    option 3: You haven’t read his book, don’t read or listen to anything from him, and are making up stuff for fun.

    You’re not going answer my challenge to the nonsense you posted about prayer, you’re not going to supply quotes to the lies you’re telling about people, and you’re so deluded, when presented with evidence, you ignore it completely. Are you a theist?

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Aj, he got pretty heated from what I saw.

    The petition? Oh, dear, you must have been busy with the Christmas season. I first read about his petition signing here. It was all over the place for a while.

    I’m used to hearing his adoring fans accuse people who disagree with him of not having read his book including the large number of prominent and learned reviewers in some of our best magazines and reviews. I liked the one in Harpers by Marilynne Robinson especially well. I have, in fact read trying to recall, “The Selfish Gene”, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mt. Improbable and The God Delusion. What religious books of any sophistication have you ever read?

    Why do you think he named the last one “The God Delusion”? Doesn’t something have to not be real to be a delusion?

    I notice you haven’t come up with an experimental design to study “prayer”. I don’t need to, I only pointed out that it couldn’t be done.

    If you are going to continue in your activities you might want learn the basics of what are required of science, like the simple fact that it can’t be done quite a lot of the time, or to just continue to argue out of bigotry and invective. You don’t need to argue that.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    In case you want to read that review from Harpers, here it is.

  • Anthony

    “prayer” is not only undefinable but it is undetectable

    Alright, olvlzl, you win. I’ll send a memo to the world’s social scientists informing them that any study of prayer is hereby pointless and absurd, because ye hath spoken. In fact, let’s make a list of “Olvlzl’s List of Words which cannot be Conceptualized for Measurement and Study”. I am sure you will save many researchers months of work by your invaluable insights.

    Hell, let’s just let you write methodology textbooks for your amazingly in-depth perspectives on measuring vague terms.

    Do you, by any chance, froth at the mouth when you ramble your paranoid “the humanists are coming to get me!” bullshit and your solipsist drivel?

  • Maria

    okay, with the Dawkins petition thing, check out here:

    http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

    where RD says he didn’t read it all the way through before he signed it, and he asked to have his name removed. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, as people make honest mistakes all the time, and also I’ve never heard him say anything supporting forcing parents to not be allowed to teach their kids religion. I think he just didn’t read the thing all the way through. I’ve done that many times. And he did come out and admit he made a mistake, which is more than can be said for many people.

    that being said, I can’t help but notice that some people on here get awfully touchy if someone disagrees with Dawkins, and I have to say I find that ironic.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Anthony, I’d hope that you would see the futility of trying to study “prayer” scientifically because the arguments I made against it are valid. As to the worlds social sciences, while there are a few, largely unknown to the wider world who actually manage to do some real research, it’s those who do pseudo-research and construct imaginary grand unified theories that get into the news.

    Do I sound unhinged? Were my arguments obviously irrational? It’s interesting how an adherence to hard reality and strict standards of research in the social sciences sounds like raving to so many socalled scientists*. Look into one of the few prominent CSICOPs who have ever shown he knows something about research. Look at Ray Hyman’s writings criticizing experimental design, of course, it’s all right with you folks when its subjects you don’t like being researched but you’re not willing to hold yourselves to the same standards. If you’re more interested in hard science, look at former CSICOP Dennis Rawlins account of “sTARBABY” which can be found online and you’ll see just how good the atheist guru of thirty years ago was at experimental design, execution, evaluation and his honesty about his own disastrous incompetence.

    * What my chemist friend calls social scientists. It would be interesting to know what people in the physical sciences really think about the research standards and results of the social sciences. You know, the people who actually know what they are studying is there.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Maria, at first I thought that I’d let Dawkins off the hook but then I thought that his fans have never been willing to do the same. Besides, someone of his influence should be held accountable when they do something so clearly having the potential to damage civil liberties. The excuse “I didn’t read it carefully enough” is pretty pathetic, it wasn’t more than a handful of words. Though it might be a window on why his research into religion, as demonstrated in The God Delusion, was on about the level of a middle range Jr. High paper.

  • Aj

    Richard Dawkins and the Petition

    Richard Dawkins:

    I signed it having read only the main petition: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make it illegal to indoctrinate or define children by religion before the age of 16.”

    http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2006/12/dawkins-admits-mistake-removes-name.html

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Aj, that’s his story now. I’m fully aware that, well after he was fimilar with the contents of the petition and in the face of heavy criticism, Dawkins “retracted” his signing.

    Considering how much milage has been gotten by some fundametalist atheists out of the unauthorized use by Coral Ridge Ministries of a filmed interview given by Francis Collins, for an entirely differnt purpose, the back peddling on Dawkins signing of that petition is more than holding differnt viewpoints to a double standard. There is every reason to believe that Dawkins was able to read the thing and little reason to not believe that it fits right in with his career as the world’s most prominent atheist.

    Why is it that someone as accomplished as Dawkins needs so much in the way of special pleading and double standards? Is that really the best that pop-atheism provides by way of considered, informed, rational thought and action? I’ve known a lot of atheists in my time and I know you can do better than the latest crew. But more rational people won’t give you the ability to feel superior and don’t tend to waste time appealing to the worst in people.

  • stogoe

    Stop. Just stop. No one can reason with olvlzl, no ism, no ist, because all he has is mischaracterizations of people and ignoring evidence presented to him.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    stogoe, is this the best you can do by way of refutation? Doesn’t surprise me.

    So, why don’t you answer the questin, is Richard Dawkins an atheist or is he a Neville Chamberlain atheist?

  • http://www.godandscience.org Rich Deem

    Of course atheists have claimed (and still do claim) to have proven that God does not exist. You can find dozens of these arguments on the Infidels website. Of course, this site tends to be visited by intellectual atheists (I’m not sure if the friendly ones visit there – maybe not from your assumption!).

    You also failed to provide any kind of evidence that the universe is eternal or created itself. Do friendly atheists not think about such things? Doesn’t it bother you that anything exists at all. It bothered me as an atheist in elementary school.

  • Name?

    As far as I’m concerned, atheism is an absence of faith. That’s all it is. There’s nothing special about it. Being an atheist doesn’t make you smarter or even very different from religious people. An atheist simply lacks a basic, common need to believe in The Good and Righteous System that Protects Us.
    Atheists are not religious. That’s all they are; human beings who are not religious.


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