Thanks for the Books, Gideons!

At South Dakota State University, the Skeptics Atheists Agnostics Freethinkers and Empiricists (SAAFE) celebrated their first fall organization fair yesterday with a Fiction 4 Fiction drive.

Students could turn in their holy books and get classic (better written) works of literature in return :)

There were 21 Christian groups at the fair, but SAAFE was the sole freethinking group present.

That must have pissed off the Gideons, though, since they were handing out mini-Bibles not too far away… Ultimately, SAAFE ended up with most of their books:

Beautiful. If you’re at the school, consider joining their Facebook group to learn about upcoming meetings!

(via Lots of Tiny Robots)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Digdougdogman

    That is just to good.

  • Jen

    Did the Gideons have a rebranding campaign? These pocket Bibles look stereotypically hip and cool. I only got boring ugly ones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    I still have my Gideons  new testament that they handed out in college ten years ago.  I find it handy to have something smaller than the full blown bible if I need to look up something.  A book swap seems like a good idea i wish my school had done something like that.

  • ben

    What does SAAFE do with these books?

    • Gus Snarp

      I don’t know, but another great event to host on campus is a barbecue…

      • ben

        If you’re making a joke, I don’t find the idea burning books very funny.  

        • Gus Snarp

          You’re right, they’re a very inefficient fuel source that contributes to global warming and air pollution. LP gas would be a better choice.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          What’s wrong with burning a stupid book that you own? It’s just paper.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          If they were actually trying to suppress something then I’d agree. But there are plenty more bibles and there’s no danger of short supply.

        • Coyotenose

           Burning books is only a vile deed when it is actually done for the purpose of banning ideas. That is currently impossible in the West, so, at the very worst, book-burning in earnest comes across as merely childish and dumb. “TimelessApologistic”, if you will.

        • Gus Snarp

          Yes, burning books comes with a lot of historical baggage, but no one is seriously suggesting an attempt to take all holy books out of circulation, and such an attempt would be ridiculous anyway. Even the Nazis couldn’t manage to take a book out of circulation today, let alone one as widely published and available as the Bible or the Koran.  There are millions of copies of these books in homes, libraries, and hotel rooms around the world. They are freely accessible online at a moment’s notice. They are not threatened by the destruction of a handful of copies on a college campus. 

          Hell, I have a Bible in my house, as well as an anthology of holy texts from Buddhism and Hinduism and a book that is the Japanese Buddhist equivalent of the Gideon’s Bible. I keep them for reference if I ever need them, but if I got another copy, I would throw it away because it has no value to me, nor do I consider it something I wish to pass on to someone else.

          Meanwhile, publishers routinely destroy thousands of copies of books on a regular basis because it’s more economical than keeping them around when they don’t sell. I love books. I think we should keep them around. But they are not in short supply, especially not these. They are not, as objects, magical. Any magic is in the reader. They are cheap, common, routinely destroyed objects. You just object to the symbolism.

    • Dwayne_Windham

       Yes, I’m interested in what ends up happening to the little bibles. Not sure what the best course of action is on that front…

      • Gus Snarp

        Given the ecological issues with burning them, I’d recommend composting or recycling. If the binding and paper in question prohibit that, then there’s always the landfill.

  • http://etratio.blogspot.com/ linford86

    That’s awesome.

  • Stan

    Where did they get the works of literature that were traded for “holy” books?  And what were the titles?  I’m very interested in providing a similar service at events here in L.A.

    • Mandycommandy

      The books were donated. There was a wide range of books including the Dexter series, Virginia Woolf, Carl Sagan, The Stranger, etc. 

  • http://twitter.com/DizBizzle Desarae Biggins

    It’s great to see SDSU along with Black Hills State have such a growing presence of free thinkers!  Way to go!

    • Mandycommandy

      South Dakota represent!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Are the Gideons ashamed of the Old Testament?

    • Coyotenose

       It’d be to their credit if they were.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson


    better written ”

    I wouldn’t knock the Gita.  Even in English translation I quite enjoyed it.

  • Timelessapologist

    @Hemant

    Here is the problem though:

    Just because you say X is fiction, it doesn’t magically make it the case that X is a fiction.   You have to ARGUE why it is fiction, first starting with why it is highly unlikely that a God exists.  I mean Hemant if you to debate online, just give me your email or a place where we can meet up somewhere (ie: on a FB page.)  Email would be better IMO.   The topic will be:

    Does God exist?

    You seem to talk alot, but I never see any real substance to support YOUR CLAIMS.

    By youJust saying ‘NATUREDIDIT, therefore God” will not cut it.  You constantly talk about Theism being false, well I say put your money where your mouth is and let’s debate about it.

    It annoy me to see atheists walking around like they won something, well guess what?  A Natural origin has not been proven yet either by philosophy or science so the game is still on.

    • Timelessapologist

      *”NATUREDIDIT, Therefore ~God”

      This symbol ~ didn’t come up in my last comment.

    • Gus Snarp

      Bwahahahahaha!

      • Timelessapologist

        Nice logic and reasoning  Gus!!!

      • Timelessapologist

        Bwhahahahhah

        Atheism fails

        ^do you understand now, why logic is important when arguing, and emotions just plainly fail^

        Or do you just want to go around saying, so you can think yourself as smart?

        Cf: 

        GUS:   ” HERP DEPR NATUREDIDIT, IMA FREE-THINKER NOW, AND THEISTS ARE DUMB”

        • Gus Snarp

          Oh, you were serious? I just assumed anything that silly was satire. And now you’ve assumed that just because you demanded one that we’re having an argument and I have to take part? I do not, nor does Hemant. It’s interesting that there seem to be a lot of people showing up in these comment lately who, like you, seem to think that this blog should be what you want it to be rather than what it is. The purpose of this blog is not to lay out the philosophical case for atheism. Certainly it need not be laid out at the top of every single post where a holy book is called fiction. The case exists, it has been made by smarter and better philosophers than anyone writing or commenting on this blog. The same is true for the philosophical case for belief. Some people just want to discuss real life events from their view point, not to pretend that they have to philosophically defend that view point to all comers every time they mention it. 

          And some of us are scientific atheists who believe that there is absolutely no evidence that any sort of god exists.  Absent that evidence, there is no reason to believe in a god. The philosophical arguments are irrelevant to this point because they cannot provide evidence.

          Moreover, whether or not a god exists is a question that likely cannot be settle definitively and philosophers will probably be arguing over it forever, or more optimistically until they realize the whole debate is pointless and move on, but people like you will surely work to prevent that. Hopefully you will be ignored. But whether or not god exists actually has no bearing on whether or not the Bible, or the Koran, or whatever holy book is true or not. Here we need not rely on philosophy or unanswerable questions at all. Legitimate scholars generally agree that these books are collections of myths in which there may be some grains of truth, but not actually factual. Even most Christians will acknowledge that the Bible is mostly stories and metaphors, not to be taken as literally true (by what magic they divine what is literal and what is not, I do not know). The events described in Genesis did not happen. We know this and can prove it scientifically. This is true of every creation myth in every holy book. They are all fiction.

          The Big Bang may not be a fully accurate description of the beginning of the Universe (though it is clearly more likely than anything written in a holy book). It is even possible, however remotely, that some conscious entity acted to create the Universe. But it did not do so the way the books describe. What we do know, with as much certainty as we know that when we walk out the door the world will still be there, is that the Earth was formed from the coalescing remnants of a supernova over four and a half billion years ago, that life arose on this planet somehow (and there is plenty of evidence that this could have happened without outside influence of any kind, but there is a small possibility of some kind of extraterrestrial life origin and an even smaller possibility that a god of some sort acted to begin life) and that life evolved through a process of random mutation and natural selection from self replicating molecules, to single celled organisms, to something like sea sponges and medusae, to fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, apes, and eventually, humans. There is, again, a very small possibility that a god guided this process, but there is absolutely no evidence for that, and no reason to assume it.

          No holy book describes this accurately. They are all fiction, even if they are “historical fiction”. I just read James Michener’s Caribbean, an excellent work of historical fiction, and I expect it had more truth in it than any holy book, but still it resides on the fiction shelf. And Michener is kind enough to provide a guide as to which characters and events are real and which are made up from whole cloth.

          You can cram your god into whatever gaps you need to keep believing in it, but don’t pretend the Bible is literally true, it’s not. Don’t pretend your sophisticated theology proves it true, it doesn’t. If my description of the origin of Earth and life thereon is wrong, aside from because of any lack of detail or minor errors on my part as a layman, then we cannot be sure of anything at all. We cannot be sure when we rise from bed in the morning that we will be the same person we were when we went to bed. We may wake up a hunter gatherer in Africa, or wake up in a prison cell where we have been for twenty years, when we should have woken up next to our wives or husbands listening to the kids playing in their rooms. If we can’t know what we know of the origins of earth, then we can’t know anything at all, and in that reality there is nothing to do but go on behaving as if we can. I’ll also note that there are no holy texts of which I am aware (outside of what might be called spoof religions) that suggest such a colossal fraud on the part of god. So you can believe that if you wish, but I believe things that work in the reality I live in, things that can be tested, things that have evidence. Keep your philosophy, I have science, and whatever your philosophical problems with it, it works.

          There, now your two posts six hours apart in reply to my off hand comment have garnered a response. Read it if you wish, accept it or don’t, I simply don’t care. Your argument doesn’t matter to me. Do not expect me to respond to you again in any way.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      A supernatural origin has not been proven, but that doesn’t stop theists walking around like they won something.

      These debates get very tiresome, but if you really want to practice Kalam somewhere, maybe try http://www.atheist-experience.com/

      • Timelessapologist

        I never said a supernatural origin has been proven, but just because a supernatural origin hasn’t been proven that doesn’t mean we are to say “Therefore NATUREDIDIT”.    Also I don’t walk around like aIwon something if I did then why would I waste my time here?  hence I wouldn’t feel the need to debate anyone?

        Regarding the nature of reality, I see Theism as more plausible of a solution than naturalism and that’s what I will argue for.

         But since you are attacking a strawman here, whilst being intellectually dishonest at the same time I will let you know that  I’ve already delt with that horrific show they call the atheist experience in which NOT ONE PEER-REVIEWED article has come forth from Matt D and his fellow layman  philosophers.  They basically banned me, because I educating them on epistemology.  So I will gladly practice my kalam along with temporal contingency argument and cosmological arguments, but perhaps you feel comfortable being protected with village atheists around you on the atheist experience site (and I’d have to use another comp), how about we pick a neutral site?

        Or maybe a big-mouth such as yourself would like to go one on one?  Shoot me an email addy, you don’t have to be afraid of me, I just want to refute your bad arguments.Ty

        • HannibalBarca

          I’ve seen pretty much every available episode of the Atheist Experience, and Matt and co. have done a very good job of showing why theists have it wrong on the origins of our universe. But, as they have said time and again, even if you can “prove” that the universe needs a designer, that gets you only to deism, not any particular brand of theism.

          In short, we know that natural processes exist. We do not know whether supernatural processes exist. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to conclude that natural forces are the best explanation for everything we see around us. That doesn’t mean there is no God, but the burden of proof for that god is entirely on YOUR shoulders, not ours.

          • Timelessapologist

            They attack strawman and horrible Theistic arguments. 

            Now your argument here is ‘nature exists, therefore naturedidit’

            Well let me jump in, what you are doing is the old cameraman in a box routine.

            You the naturalist, go into a box, take pictures of the box, and assume the box is all there is.
            This is a terrible argument that begs the question that nature is all there is.  I must also add that one isn’t concerned with material causes, all that matters is the ‘efficient cause’ of the universe.

            Lastly I could also argue about your presuppositions.  You say “I see natural processes”  Well what is nature?   In fact what is matter?   We have even atheist scientists such as Roger Penrose who will admit that we don’t exactly know what matter is, so what is it?

            Now to the Deism, so what?  Atheism is false if Deism is true.  Arguments for Deism can be made and  Theism can still be compatable, ATHEISM CAN NOT. So are you saying if Deism is shown to be more rational than atheism you will still remain an atheist?

            Also you haven’t even heard any arguments yet, so why are you presupposing that all arguments lead to Deism?   Christianity can use a cumulative case that involves arguments for Deism.   Atheism cannot be compatable with Deism.

            Lastly the burden is on the person making the CLAIM, please learn basic philosophy.  Hemant stated Christianity is fiction so the burden is on HIM to show us why, hence HE MADE THE CLAIM.  

            • HannibalBarca

              Wow, you are dense. We have natural explanations for the origins of the universe. There is no evidence for supernatural origins. If you are going to sit here and say that we should consider supernatural origins as a possible explanation for the existence of the universe, then it is your job to put forward a hypothesis. You have not done so; you have only repeated several times that we shouldn’t discount supernatural forces.

              When there is no evidence for a position, we don’t need to waste time wondering if we should hold that position.
              P.S. There are only horrible theistic arguments. There isn’t any other kind. Perhaps that’s why you haven’t actually advanced any, and have only whined at us several times not to discount supernatural forces. Give evidence of supernatural forces if you expect us to take you seriously.

              • Timelessapologist

                There is no evidence for a natural origin, you are commiting a fallacy of composition.  You are just stating that “nature exists, therefore Naturedidit”.  No how about there are perceptions in our visual output.  That’s the starting position. You are presupposing naturalism to be true, and then arguing from there.  This is circular reasoning

                Nature exists, so the efficient cause of the universe is natural

                You equate a material cause as an efficient cause and this won’t work.

                You are making the claim that nature is all there is, so why aren’t you defending it?

                You are also making the claim that all Theistic arguments are horrible, WELL SHOW ME

                WHy are you so afraid to put your money where your mouth is BACK UP YOUR WORDS.

                Are you that scared that you need me to babysit you through this?

                All I’ve seen so far from you is

                Hannibal says “the supernatural does not exist, therefore the supernatural cannot exist”

                ^this is what is known as Hume’s Abject failure, supernatural reasoning at it’s finest!

                • HannibalBarca

                  I will give you exactly one more chance to supply evidence for the existence of supernatural forces. The only options are that supernatural forces exist, or they do not. If they do, you should be able to provide evidence for them. I asked you to do so, and all you did was demand me to dissect some theistic arguments, which you would invariably either disavow as “horrible theistic arguments” or waste my time with obfuscations and bad philosophy. If you are saying that not all theistic arguments are horrible, how about you man up and actually advance one that you don’t consider to be horrible? So either respond to this with a non-horrible theistic argument, or take your ball and go home.

                • Timelessapologist

                  I just did HannibalBarco who is afraid to share why he thinks NATUREDIDIT is a rational position.

                  If I’m dense then you are an ignoramus.  Funny how the first insult came from the atheist though :)

                  Perhaps you aren’t too sure of your position and it frustrates you, well hopefully this doesn’t frustrate you some more:

                  Again
                  Necessity of possibility

                  The deduction using the above
                  principle is well known. Below is one way to spell it out.

                   

                  Let ‘~’ abbreviate ‘it is not
                  the case that’.

                   

                  Let ‘◊’ abbreviate ‘it is
                  possible that’.

                   

                  Let ‘□’ abbreviate ‘it is
                  necessary that’ (or ‘~◊~’).

                   

                  Let ‘N’ abbreviate ‘there is a
                  Necessary Being’.

                   

                  The deduction now proceeds as
                  follows:

                   

                  1. ◊ N.

                  2. So: ◊□ N. (by definition of
                  ‘N’)

                  3. So: □◊□ N. (by the necessity
                  of possibility)

                  4. So: ~◊~◊~◊~ N. (by
                  substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                  5. So: ~◊□◊~ N. (by
                  substituting ‘□’ for the middle ‘~◊~’)

                  6. So: ~◊◊~ N. (because □A
                  implies A)

                  7. So: ~◊~ N. (because ◊◊A
                  implies ◊A)

                  8. So: □ N. (by substituting
                  ‘□’ for ‘~◊~’)

                   

                  ◊◊A implies ◊A:

                   

                  1. ◊◊A.

                  2. So: ◊□◊A. (by the necessity
                  of possibility)

                  3. So: ◊~◊~◊A. (by
                  substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                  4. So: ◊~◊~◊~~A. (because A
                  implies ~~A)

                  5. So: ◊~◊□~A. (by
                  substituting ‘□’ for ‘~◊~’)

                  6. So: ~◊□~A. (because ◊~◊A
                  implies ~◊A)

                  7. So: ~◊~◊~~A. (by
                  substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                  8. So: ~◊~◊A. (because ~~A
                  implies A)

                  9. So: □◊A. (by substituting
                  ‘□’ for ‘~◊~’)

                  10. So: ◊A. (because □P
                  implies P)

                   

                  ◊~◊A implies ~◊A:

                   

                  1. If ◊A, then □◊A. (by the
                  necessity of possibility)

                  2. So: if ~□◊A, then ~◊A. (by
                  modus tollens)

                  3. So: if ~~◊~◊A, then ~◊A.
                  (by substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                  4. So: if ◊~◊A, then ~◊A.
                  (because ~~P implies P)”

                  Which premise do you deny?  Or do you deny that God is not metaphysically possible?

                • HannibalBarca

                  What the hell is a “Necessary Being?” Would you care to define that?

                • Timelessapologist

                  “What the hell is a “Necessary Being?” Would you care to define that?

                  Wow that’s it?

                  For a person who states I use ‘bad philosophy” you sure are quite the layman when it comes to the Philosophy of Religion LOL

                  Well, ok
                  A necessary being is that necessarily exists and can cause something else to exist or occur.

                • HannibalBarca

                  What caused the necessary beingto exist?Or do you just shut your brain off once you think you’ve identified what you admitis only a possible solution?

                • amycas

                   I, for one, don’t care about the philosophy of religions. I’d like to see some evidence.

                • Timelessapologist

                  So do you thnk it is not metaphysically possible for a necessary being to exist?

                • Stan

                  Gibberish.

                • Timelessapologist

                  translated:I stan am not a logician, so I will see this as gibberish.  Therefore God does not exist LMAO

                  Anyways there is hardly any room to write anything else so I started everything back up again up above.

                  This is fun arguing with layman who think they know everything, but you aren’t living up to your sterotype.  Atheists aren’t supposed to get schooled in logic by the Theists amirite LOL

                • Stan

                  (Sic).

                • amycas

                   So, because you are unable to explain your argument in layman’s terms (this is not a philosophy blog), it must mean that we are stupid. If you want to communicate an idea with someobdy you have to do it in a language they will understand and avoid unnecessary jargon. This is basic communications 101.

                • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

                   There is a necessary mistake in your modal reasoning.

                  Let M denote such a necessary mistake.

                  ◊ M
                  ◊□ M
                  □◊□ M
                  ~◊~◊~◊~ M
                  ~◊□◊~ M
                  ~◊◊~ M
                  ~◊~ M
                  □ N

                  QED.

                • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

                   Wait. Argument 1 is that it’s possible for there to be a necessary being, and therefore a necessary being is necessarily true? That’s silly.

                  Secondly, if all created things have creators, who created God? Is it Gods all the way down?

                • Coyotenose

                   The first insults came from you. You’re a lying turd. Enjoy lying awake at night thinking about that, Liar.

                • Timelessapologist

                  Saying ‘X is using bad philosophy’ is actually more persuasive when REASONS are given on why ‘X is using bad philosophy’.  I mean your logic of  “taking your word for it”, might work for you, but it will not work for a rational person.  I just think you’d be better off replacing your  OVERTONE with SUBSTANCE.  That’s all 

                  You are really just all about bare assertions and a subjective comfort of making claims whilst convincing yourself that you have no burden to back them up.
                  Reason > Emotion

              • Timelessapologist

                And basically it’s ok for you to whine about not giving arguments, but yet you are making more claims than I am, and you fail to support one of them LOL

                Well then

                Here is why a necessary being exists:

                Part one, defending the necessity of possibility

                via  A. Pruss*

                The deduction using the above
                principle is well known. Below is one way to spell it out.

                 

                Let ‘~’ abbreviate ‘it is not
                the case that’.

                 

                Let ‘◊’ abbreviate ‘it is
                possible that’.

                 

                Let ‘□’ abbreviate ‘it is
                necessary that’ (or ‘~◊~’).

                 

                Let ‘N’ abbreviate ‘there is a
                Necessary Being’.

                 

                The deduction now proceeds as
                follows:

                 

                1. ◊ N.

                2. So: ◊□ N. (by definition of
                ‘N’)

                3. So: □◊□ N. (by the necessity
                of possibility)

                4. So: ~◊~◊~◊~ N. (by
                substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                5. So: ~◊□◊~ N. (by
                substituting ‘□’ for the middle ‘~◊~’)

                6. So: ~◊◊~ N. (because □A
                implies A)

                7. So: ~◊~ N. (because ◊◊A
                implies ◊A)

                8. So: □ N. (by substituting
                ‘□’ for ‘~◊~’)

                 

                ◊◊A implies ◊A:

                 

                1. ◊◊A.

                2. So: ◊□◊A. (by the necessity
                of possibility)

                3. So: ◊~◊~◊A. (by
                substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                4. So: ◊~◊~◊~~A. (because A
                implies ~~A)

                5. So: ◊~◊□~A. (by
                substituting ‘□’ for ‘~◊~’)

                6. So: ~◊□~A. (because ◊~◊A
                implies ~◊A)

                7. So: ~◊~◊~~A. (by
                substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                8. So: ~◊~◊A. (because ~~A
                implies A)

                9. So: □◊A. (by substituting
                ‘□’ for ‘~◊~’)

                10. So: ◊A. (because □P
                implies P)

                 

                ◊~◊A implies ~◊A:

                 

                1. If ◊A, then □◊A. (by the
                necessity of possibility)

                2. So: if ~□◊A, then ~◊A. (by
                modus tollens)

                3. So: if ~~◊~◊A, then ~◊A.
                (by substituting ‘~◊~’ for ‘□’)

                4. So: if ◊~◊A, then ~◊A.
                (because ~~P implies P)”

                So which premise do you deny?  I figured I’d go first since you are afraid to show me which Theistic arguments fail.

                • Stan

                  Would any intelligent person be convinced by this gobbledegook equation that a god exists or could potentially exist?  Or is it more likely a desperate attempt to justify a presuppostion?

                  Fail.

                • David McNerney

                  I don’t think it’s gobbledgook.

                  What I do think it is is an attempt to “Blind with science”.  It’s probably accurate but that’s not it’s purpose.  we are supposed to be impressed with Timelessapologists grasp of logical theory and use of esoteric philosophical terms.

                  If the argument was actually valid, it wouldn’t need this “secret code”.

                • amycas

                   lol, secret code

                • David McNerney

                  Sorry mate but that’s nonsense, and if you weren’t copying and pasting you might see why.

                  Steps 1-8 after the ”
                  The deduction now proceeds asfollows: ” point demonstrates that if N is possible, then N is necessary.  You have used N to mean “a necessary being” – however, N works just as well if N is anything.

                  Therefore, if anything is possible, then anything is necessary.

                  It is possible that God does not exist, therefore it is necessary that God does not exist.

                  If it is possible for your proof to be wrong, then it is necessary that your proof is wrong.

                  All valid conclusions.  Back to the drawing board with you.

                • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

                   Again, there is a necessary mistake in your modal logic.

                  Let M denote such a mistake.

                  ◊ M
                  ◊□ M
                  □◊□ M
                  ~◊~◊~◊~ M
                  ~◊□◊~ M
                  ~◊◊~ M
                  ~◊~ M
                  □ N

                  QED.

                • amycas

                   Perhaps you should try stating your logical argument with words instead of expecting all of us to learn a new system of communication. If you want to communicate with us, then you should use terms we are likely to know, not jargon and symbols which you have to redefine every time.

                • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

                  Modal logic is only marginally more abstruse than standard Boolean propositional or quantifier predicate logic. While he should expect to have to give an introduction (which he did), it’s not completely unreasonable to hope that some of the people here can follow and respond (which I did).

                  As with many things, Wikipedia’s entry on Modal logic provides a quick-and-dirty introduction, with the references list giving an entry point to more advanced reading.

                • Coyotenose

                   Is this the same idiot from a week earlier who was posting quotes of forumlas he didn’t understand?

              • amycas

                 I’m loving your responses, HannibalBarca

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I’ve only watched a couple of them.  As I said, the same old arguments over and over again get tiresome fast.  But from what I’ve seen, if you’ve actually managed to get Matt to ban you, then I’m pretty sure I don’t have the patience for your big mouth either.

        • Coyotenose

           GMFBO!

          I’m not sure if it’s more amusing or sad that you think that:

          Your arguments haven’t been dissected, literally, several hundred thousand times or more online;
          That you came here angry and snotty out of the gate and expect to be taken seriously;
          That you’re making childish, petulant demands and, again, expect to be taken seriously;
          That you claim to be a master at this sort of thing, but you are ignorant of (or else dishonestly overlooking) the concept of Burden of Proof;
          That you think Philosophy can prove things about Physics.

          I’ll go with Sad, actually, having had two or three seconds to think about. That your first response to someone pointing you at a venue for what you claimed to want was to directly insult that person reveals what you are: A childish troll with delusions of grandeur. Grow up, Junior.

          • Timelessapologist

            SHow ME ONE DISSECTION

            JUST ONE and we can discuss this

            You think your little diversion is going to work?

            Philosophy underpins physics.   Don’t you realize all the philosophical presuppositions that go into physics?

            try doing physics without the use of philosophy and tell me how it goes?

            Also by saying philosophy can’t prove things about physics IS A PHILOSOPHICAL CLAIM ABOUT PHYSICS IN ITSELF.

            If I’m going to grow up, then you should build up your philosophical skills and buy a beginners book in philosophy.

            Lastly

            disagreement does not equal trolling.

            You seem like a person is intolerant of disagreement, well then there is no reason arguing any longer, for you do not have an open mind.   Not everyone has to agree with you, and if you want to dance I’ll show you why your views are completely irrational.

            for starters your mind came about from natural processes concerned with ‘survival’ and not ‘truth’ so why trust your cognitive faculties?

            • Stan

              Is Cluelessapologist capable of writing a proper sentence?

              I’m frankly not at all interested in the so-called philosophical arguments in favor of the existence of a god or gods that he claims to have mastered.  Simply put, something cannot be argued into existence.  It can only be demonstrated to exist through the presentation of evidence.  The rest is all just mental masturbation.

              (Incidentally, his mother should disengage the caps-lock function on his keyboard.)

              • Timelessapologist

                Stan

                Are you saying that ‘evidence” cannot be used philosophical means?

                (Incidentally, his alter ego should disengage in philosophical discussions if he dismisses philosophy whilst making use of philosophy in the process)

                Self-refuting logic is self-refuting stan.

                You also make a claim that is supported by a bare assertion.

                You say: Something cannot be argued into existence

                How about we back this up with some reasoning attached to it? 

              • Timelessapologist

                Also I can tell you are a layman, I wasn’t making a philosophical argument for God.  I was arguing why naturalism fails as it has an epistemic problem right off the bat. 

                You choose to ignore this and went on whine about my mother.  You obviously didn’t even realize that I wasn’t even arguing for God in that quote LOL

                Please L2Philosophy

                and stop getting mad, because you don’t know how to argue.  I WANT TO SEE ARGUMENTS NOT EMOTIONS, BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS

                TY

                • Stan

                  I am neither angry nor emotional.  If I were, one telltale clue would be a penchant to use capitalization for emphasis, a disregard for proper sentence structure and a failure to punctuate appropriately.

                  Having offered that, I wait with baited breath for you to argue something into existence.

                  Go ahead.  Who’s a good boy, then?

                • Stan

                  Sorry, that should have read, “bated breath.”  My error, fully admitted.

            • Coyotenose

               Trolling equals Trolling. If you’re too stupid to recognize your own actions when described in detail, or too much of a liar to own up to them, that’s your problem, Dimwit.

          • Timelessapologist

            You are all talk and no game, I guarantee you cannot dissect one argument that you think I hold.  In fact I think you are afraid to discuss anything in which you are in disagreement with, only because of the FEAR of you being wrong.

            Well when you can get some guts, we can argue.   Ok Pops?

      • Timelessapologist

        Don’t worry, I can assure you this debate will not get tiresome.  I will come back tommorow or Thurs to see if you or Hemant has accepted.   If I get a ‘no’ then  I will label this group as a bunch of cowards who want to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.  It’s easy to say ‘X is fiction” without defending why that is so. You say what I believe is fiction how about you give one of us a chance to say OUR SIDE before jumping to your conclusions?  And I don’t want to hear the nonsense of “well I’ve heard it all before from Josh Mcdowell or other popcorn apologists” usually when I hear that I notice that the only arguments you heard were from young Earth creationists spouting out their Fundy-Theology. 

        Perhaps I can also make a visit to your FB page, that might be easier as well. 

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I will label this group as a bunch of cowards

          When I was 13 I out maneuvered a bigger kid in soccer.  He was so pissed he spent the rest of that day and the next trying to goad me into a fight.  If I manged to live down being called a coward by someone I knew at age 13, I’m pretty sure I can manage being called a coward at 46 by some random person on the internet.

          how about you give one of us a chance to say OUR SIDE

           Nobody’s stopping you.  This isn’t a duel.  You don’t need anyone to pick up your glove.  If you think you’ve got a new argument for God, please, entertain us.

          • Timelessapologist

            Well when the opposition says “Christianity is Fiction” the duel begins, so if you have a problem with people defending their beliefs then I advise you to ban me now so you can feel comfortable with yourself, hence you and your boys like dishing it out, but aren’t up to the task when taking it.

            Anyways to answer your last question, that depends on what arguments you have already heard?  

            You see, I’m pretty sure you don’t understand THE OLD arguments as well.

             As you said in your reply I am a stranger, and I don’t have access to the details of your life.  So I can’t tell what arguments you have heard and dismissed until you go over them with me.

            Alexander Pruss’ Leibnizian Cosmological Argument?
            Robert Maydole’s Modal Perfection Argument?
            Richard Swinburne’s Teleological Argument?
            Tim Mcgrew’s Argument from Miracles?
            Well, I think what is going to be the most entertaining feature here is watching you try to explain what the top Theistic arguments are and describing them in detail, usually I jump in and point out the strawmen.  So let’s see it shall we?

            • Bella

               I have considered the impudent accusations of [you atheists] with
              exasperation at [your] lack of serious scholarship. [you] has apparently not
              read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the
              exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor’s boots, nor do [you] give a
              moment’s consideration to Bellini’s masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor’s Feathered Hat.
              We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the
              beauty of the Emperor’s raiment, and every major newspaper runs a
              section dedicated to imperial fashion; [you atheists] cavalierly dismisses them
              all. [you] even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive
              arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who
              famously pointed out that the Emperor would not wear common cotton, nor
              uncomfortable polyester, but must, I say must, wear undergarments of the finest silk.

              [you atheists]  arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

              Personally, I suspect that perhaps the Emperor might not be fully
              clothed — how else to explain the apparent sloth of the staff at the
              palace laundry — but, well, everyone else does seem to go on about his
              clothes, and  [you atheists] is such a rude upstart who lacks the
              wit of my elegant circumlocutions, that, while unable to deal with the
              substance of his accusations, I should at least chide him for his very
              bad form.

              PZ Myers

              • Timelessapologist

                PZ you are an ignoramus and if your worldview is correct then existential nihilism is true, and nothing really matters LOL

                Cf:  Fredrick Neitzsche, Albert Camus and Bertrand Russell – All Atheist philosophers

                Please read some philosophy, and understand why philosophy underpins the science that you do every day.  Notice all the philosophical presuppositions that go into your use of science, without it, all you would be doing is staring at your observations.

                Cf:  Karl Popper – Atheist Philosopher

                Ironic how I can use atheists to destroy your horrific objections that are just philosophically naive.

                You are also an abject coward that fears William Lane Craig and you know he completely refute everyone of your awful arguments that you make against the existence of God.   

                You are a terrible scientist that got destroyed by thunderf00t, and YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF FOR CENSORING HIM.     Rumor has it, you were afraid of him

                SO YOU ATHEISTS, shouldn’t offend you because the unconscious, unintelligent, purposeless, valueless, meaningless universe doesn’t care whether or not you live or die.

                See you create your own meaning to cope with your depressing worldview that states NATUREDIDIT.

                You better equip your fellow Nature-head atheists with some better arguments, as I don’t see them doing well once someone actually gets back in their face with objections.

                Oh and one more thing

                Philosophy > Science

                Science cannot tell us whether or not ‘truth matters’ only philosophy does that.

                 ty

              • Timelessapologist

                bella

                Using PZ myers for support in an argument is the same as a Theist using Kent Hovind for support in an argument.

                Both = ignoramuses

                • amycas

                   Maybe you should actually address what the Courtier’s Reply is saying, instead of just dismissing it because of who said it (genetic fallacy, much?)

            • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

              Cosmological argument.  In a nutshell, posts that since the odds of the universe being hospitable to us are remote, the universe therefor must be fined tuned to us.  Except that this is putting the cart in front of the horse.  We are here because conditions in the universe allow us to exist.  The conditions do not exist because we are here.

              Modal Perfection Argument is a good argument why modern philosophy is nothing more than word salad.  

              Teleological Argument is somewhat like the Cosmological argument.  The idea is that if it looks designed it must be designed.  If it is designed then there must be a designer.  Problem is that if it looks designed it doesn’t actually have to be designed. Attempts such as IC and IR intelligent design have failed miserable. 

              Argument from Miracles could be renamed why magic is real.  Eye-witness testimony to miracles is not proof.  It’s really easy to lie about what you saw, or to be tricked.  Saying Jesus rose from the dead isn’t proving that he was God.  It just shows that you believe in absurd things.   Unless, you are going to argue that all Las Vegas magicians are preforming real magic.  

        • Gus Snarp

          I’m not sure you understand the definition of “tiresome”. You can guarantee it will not get tiresome to you, but not that it won’t get tiresome to me. It was tiresome to me from the moment I saw your first comment. That’s why I responded with derisive laughter. That and I honestly thought you must be joking. It was tiresome to atheist philosophers before you were born. And it is objectively tiresome to most blog readers when the comment thread is nested so deep you can’t fit a sentence on one line anymore. I promise, no one but you and maybe some opponent who got themselves a little too caught up is reading that crap anymore.

          I think “Timelessapologist” actually indicates your approach well, since you never know when to stop. But perhaps you would be even more accurate if you called yourself “Tiresomeapologist”.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      It can’t conclusively be shown that God is fiction (although there are very strong arguments in support of that position). But the Bible is full of material that is factually in error beyond any reasonable doubt (things like Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, stopping the Sun in the sky, and much else). So even if you want to assume that some of it might be true, much remains fictional.

    • Stan

      “A Natural origin has not been proven . . .”

      That is correct.  Therefore, it is purely an argument from ignorance to assert that subsequently some supernatural being willed the cosmos into existence (never mind the mythical god as posited by the Christian Bible).

      A key difference between theists and atheists is that we are perfectly willing to admit that we don’t know the answer, and move on from there.  When we do that, however, theists are more than happy to seize on this and proclaim, “See!  YOU don’t know, but WE do!,” despite their complete and utter lack of evidence to support their contention.

      • Timelessapologist

        Umm, Theists are perfectly willing to admit that we don’t know the answer either.

        I see no problem with commiting to an inference to the best explanation.    ALl you are doing here is creating a false dichotomy by stating “well since we don’t know we should all be naturalists”  I’m sorry, but that’s just plain ignorant.

        You obviously shouldn’t speak about my position in which you haven’t studied very well, perhaps I can offer some suggestions?

        Though, If you want to discuss evidence, give me a time and a place and we will see who holds the more rational position.    So far an unconscious, purposeless, valueless, meaningless natural origin doesn’t do it for me.

        I don’t find your “Theists posit lack of evidence, because I say so:” very persuasive.

        ty

        • Stan

          Let me get this straight;  you think that “commiting(sic) to an inference to the best explanation” is “no problem,” but then you excoriate me for purportedly inferring “since we don’t know we should all be naturalists” (which is not remotely what I said or even intimated), which is essentially the same, but for the disagreement as to what constitutes the “best explanation?”

          Your response reminds me of the Christians who have said to me, “I wouldn’t want to live in a world in which God did not exist.”  My reply is, “Well, guess what?  Apparently you do.”

          Also, please explain this ungrammatical serving of word salad: “You obviously shouldn’t speak about my position in which you haven’t studied very well, perhaps I can offer some suggestions?”

          Perhaps you can offer some evidence, but probably not.

          • Timelessapologist

            Then how else should I take the obvious?
            All you are doing here is being intellectually dishonest and trying to shift the goalpost, here is what you said:
            “A key difference between theists and atheists is that we are perfectly willing to admit that we don’t know the answer, and move on from there.”

            First off, the only difference between Atheists and Theists is that Theists believe in a God.  I don’t see exactly where your definition of atheism is being supported here, other than your emotional reasoning.

            Secondly, if we use your logic all you are doing is creating a false dichotomy.  You are basically stating that Theists shouldn’t argue for God, because every argument is an argument from ignorance.   That is absolutely philosophically naive.   There is nothing wrong with arguing by use of an inference to the best explanation.   I admit that I don’t fully ‘know” how it all began either.  What I am doing is just answering this PHILOSOPHICAL question with what I perceive to be the best explanation that’s it.  So as you said we move on from there.

            But in no way shape or form does a naturalist get special treatment as he himself would be making an argument from ignorance as well.  

            You can’t just state “we don’t know, but we do know it wasn’t God”  or “we don’t know, but if one is a Theist they act like they DO KNOW”.  That is dishonest and ignorant, but if that’s your game then so be it.  I’m interested in the truth not which side should receive a handicap before arguing.

          • Timelessapologist

            Why don’t you offer evidence that a natural origin > God

            Why are atheists becoming so afraid to back up their claims?

            If you are a naturalist You are making claim on the nature of reality.  It is a metaphysical claim that atheists can no longer hide behind their precious little re-defined definition of atheism.

            Why is naturalism true?   If it is then we cannot trust our brains, and therefore have an epistemic problem.

            Cf: Darwins Doubt

            “Nevertheless
            you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly
            than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then
            with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind,
            which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value
            or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s
            mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? ”

            Darwin to William
            Graham July 3rd 1881

            So right off the bat, naturalists have an epistemic problem in which evolution under naturalism shows that our brains have been adapted to “survival” and not “truth”.  So we have a defeater for trusting our cognitive faculties.  Well do you live life like this?

      • Timelessapologist

        So anyways I don’t see any refutations here.

        Are you doubting your position that you decided not to defend?

        Well this one is a little bit easier, maybe you can take a crack at this one eh Stanny?

        I mean cmon, you atheists constantly run your mouths as if you hold the rationality card, so why is this so difficult for you to refute.

        All you said so far was

        “I say X is giberrish, therefore because I said so, X is gibberish”

        Anyways try this one, because you FAILED to refute the other argument:

        Let

        Ax =df x is maximally great

        Bx =df x is maximally
        excellent

        W(Y) =df Y is a universal
        property

        Ox =df x is omniscient,
        omnipotent, and morally perfect

        Deduction

         

        1 ◊(∃x)Ax pr

        2 (x)(Ax ≡ Bx) pr

        3 (x)(Bx ⊃ Ox) pr

        4 (Y)[W(Y) ≡ ((∃x)Yx ∨ (~(∃x)Yx)]
        pr

        5 (Y)[(∃Z)(x)(Yx ≡ Zx) ⊃ W(Y)] pr

        6 (∃Z)(x)(Ax ≡ Zx)
        2, EG

        7 [(∃Z)(x)(Ax ≡ Zx) ⊃ W(A)] 5, UI

        8 W(A) ≡ ((∃x)Ax ∨ (~(∃x)Ax)
        4, UI

        9 W(A) 6, 7 MP

        10 W(A) ⊃ ((∃x)Ax ∨ (~(∃x)Ax) 8, Equiv, Simp

        11 (∃x)Ax (~(∃x)Ax) 9, 10 MP

        12 ~◊~~(∃x)Ax ∨ ((∃x)Ax)
        11, Com, ME

        13 ◊(∃x)Ax ⊃ (∃x)Ax
        DN, Impl

        14 (∃x)Ax 1, 13 MP

        15 (x)(Ax ≡ Bx) ⊃ ((∃x)Ax ⊃ (∃x)Bx) theorem

        16 (∃x)Bx 14, 15 MP (twice)

        17 (x)(Bx ⊃ Ox) ⊃ ((∃x)Bx ⊃ (∃x)Ox)
        theorem

        18 (∃x)Ox 16, 17 MP (twice)

        19 (∃x)Ox 18, NE

        ^which premise do you deny^

        According to everything I hear about atheists and how they beat their chest thinking they are the only people reasonable and Theists are irrational, this shouldn’t be hard for you.

        In fact, I won’t even defend my argument this time.  I’ll make it easy for you so you can feel comfortable with yourself.  Don’t worry, I will not make an objection this time so you can feel special.

        • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

           The fundamental error here is in “maximal”, which implicitly presumes a linear ordering; the argument fails if the ordering relationship may be for a poset, which may be lacking a unique maximum.

    • Nox

      According to the first chapter of the first book of the bible, sunlight precedes the Sun by 3 days.

      Just because you believe X, doesn’t make it not fiction.

      • Timelessapologist

        “Just because you believe X, doesn’t make it not fiction.”Well I think you meant to say Non-fiction, anyways:So what your saying is

        If Christianity is true, then Biblical literalism is correct?

        In other words you assume all Christians are YEC’s?   And you are throwing out all other interpretations to the Bible, because you want to attack a strawman and feel good about yourself.

        Well I see a problem with this, you are disregarding A GOOD NUMBER of scholars, such as Bruce Waltke and Victor Hamilton.  You are disregarding a good number of philosophers such as John Lennox, Alvin Plantinga, Tim Mcgrew, Alexander Pruss, WLC, Richard Swinburne, Nicholas Wolterstorff and so on, and lastly you are disregarding a good number of Theologians such as Alister Mcgrath and Wolfhart Pannenberg.

        Well if you are going to make the claim that a YEC exegesis is the best interpretation, please argue why this is so.

        • Nox

           No, I was responding to your claim that the bible is not fictional. One does not need to establish that there is no god to notice the many plot holes in the bible.

          You don’t know which scholars I am or am not disregarding as I didn’t say anything about those. You’re still just making assumptions based on your assumption that atheists have not addressed these theistic arguments. This assumption is rendered incorrect by the numerous atheists who have already addressed these arguments. Also you haven’t actually provided arguments, you’ve provided names. You’re not trying to argue for god, you are trying to further the conception that others have done that.

          Many have put forward arguments which they claim establish the necessity of a god. None of these arguments stand up to the slightest scrutiny. Some are more complex than young earth creationism, but they all rely on special pleading.

          For example, Swinburne uses a multi-step bayesian calculation to pretend that logic suggests the resurrection is a highly likely event. In forming his calculation he arbitrarily selects probabilities for the existence of god, and Jesus’ behavior during his lifetime, then plugs biblical assumptions into a calculator and acts like it means something when he gets biblical results. If he just wanted to establish the resurrection, and didn’t mind counting the bible as evidence, why not simply point to the parts of the bible which claim resurrection? Perhaps because he was trying to pretend that wasn’t what he was doing.

          I’m not saying a YEC exegesis is the best interpretation. I’m saying that all christian interpretations of the bible are YEC, or YEC dressed up as something else. The church started as fundamentalist, and some branches have dropped parts of the literal reading, only after they have been discredited by science.

        • Gus Snarp

          You have this all wrong. It’s not ”
          If Christianity is true, then Biblical literalism is correct?”, it’s if the BIBLE is true, then Biblical literalism is correct.

          The Bible is not true. Therefore Biblical literalism is not correct. But also, therefore Christianity in general is in serious doubt since the Bible is the source for the divinity, nay the existence, of Jesus, and the Bible has a bad track record with truth.

      • Timelessapologist

        It’s usually good to take your time advocating proper hermeneutics whilst making claims about hermeneutics.

        All you are doing here is attacking a strawman, by assuming all Theists hold to Strict Biblical Literalism

        • Gus Snarp

          No, you’re overly emotional, or just itching to have this philosophical debate the rest of us find uninteresting. You seem to think the OP was saying Christianity is fiction in all its forms. If Hemant had actually said that, then you could argue that biblical literalism is a straw man all day long, but that’s not what he said. What he said is that the Bible, and other holy books, are fiction. They are. If the Bible were factual, then Biblical literalism would be the only reasonable position. Because the Bible is fiction, Biblical literalism is silly and a position held only by a subset of silly Christians. Your very statements on Biblical literalism imply a fictional Bible, thus acknowledging that it is you who have attacked a staw man by claiming Hemant said Christianity is fiction, when in fact he said the Bible is fiction, a statement you seem to agree with.

          But Christianity is fiction.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      It’s fiction because nearly every historical fact mentioned in the book is wrong.  (World wasn’t created in seven days.  Israelites were never slaves in Egypt.  Noah’s flood never happened.  Jericho’s wall fell several hundred years before the Israelites supposedly came through the area…..)  

      Every single description about how nature works is wrong. (Hail isn’t stored in a warehouse.  Darkness doesn’t have speed. A rabbit doesn’t chew its cud.  You can’t hold the sun still in the sky.  Nor can you build a tower to heaven.)

  • Annonoguest

    Is it wrong that I want to trade in my Ayn Rand books for one of the Korans?

  • Foster

    Lol, so in your opinion, “The Devil Wears Prada” (upper left of second picture above) is “better written” than the King James Bible?  

    You atheists really do live on a different planet. 

    • HannibalBarca

      And the people who believe in that book think that burning bushes can talk and guys can walk on water. You theists really do live on a different planet.

      • Foster

        Hey, whether or not you agree that miracles are possible, I’m just saying: have you read “Prada?” Yeesh.  Getting through that was a miracle itself (long plane ride).  Aesthetic arguments are like that though, it’s either self-evidently true or self-evidently false.  Oh, don’t even get me started on teen vampyre fiction Bella and Parse. Four words: just bite her already. 

    • Parse

      Foster, 
      Twilight is better written than the King James Bible.  Hell, even Fifty Shades of Grey is better written than the King James Bible.  

      For one thing, neither of those books have over 20,000 different fan clubs, each certain that they have the One True Interpretation of their book.  Or don’t you consider clarity of message to be an important factor in determining if something is well written or not?

      • Bella

         You’re Team Jacob, aren’t you? Edward is way hotter.

        • Parse

          I’m Team Buffy.  Go strong, independent, kick-ass women!

          • amycas

             I miss Buffy.

        • Foster

          Human debate over all kinds of truth is inevitable, Parse, as Bella has just demonstrated.  And is an independent question of a work’s aesthetic value.

      • Donaving

        “Twilight is better written than the King James Bible”
        Really? I’ve read some pretty fucking stupid things today but you, my friend, have delivered the gold.

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

           As horribly written as Twilight is, and it is.  It at least has a consistent plot.  And it also does not contain specific instructions to kill homosexuals, and rape victims.   And as one dimensional as the characters are, at least they are true to there motives.  Belle is always a weak helpless woman.  Edward is always a stereotypical brooding hero that sparkles.   The character of God on the other hand is a schizophrenic madman.   Telling people that killing is bad, and then giving people a set of instruction on who to kill.   Telling people that he is truly moral, then giving instruction on how to sell your daughter.  Even Jesus can’t stay in character for more than a chapter.  I come to bring the sword, but turn the other check.  Not one word of one law is stricken, but let he who is without sin cast the first stone.   Come on, it’s as if the bible was written by a bunch of half literate nobodies each working on a chapter without knowing what the others were working on.

        • Parse

          If you thought what I wrote was intended as praise for Twilight, well, you should keep your precious gold medal for yourself.
          If you couldn’t tell, I have a pretty damn low opinion of Twilight.  I have an even lower opinion of your bible.  Note, however, I give one very real, actual reason why Twilight is the better book – it is at least clear enough that there are only three Real True Viewpoints: ‘Team Edward’, ‘Team Jacob’, and ‘Team All-Parties-Suck’.  Your supposedly-holy book has spawned over 20,000 different denominations, all of which generally consider themselves to be the One True Church.  But of course, you choose to respond with misguided abuse, not with counterarguments.  Way to live up to Jesus’s example there, Christian.  I guess I must have misread all that stuff about turning the other cheek, and loving your fellow man, even when they do you wrong.  

        • Foster

          Hey, Donaving, I understand where you’re coming from and share your perplexity at the willful ignorance and *exotic* literary tastes here.
          That said, swearing at people is not the way to win hearts and minds, nor is it respectful of other human beings made in the image of God. 

          • Donaving

            Fair enough. I wrote that late last night after more than a few beers & it was a knee-jerk reaction. I threw the f-bomb in there to give it a bit of “punch”. Ah–this ability to instantly publish one’s thoughts–it is what it is, I guess. Apologies.

          • amycas

             I don’t think people here are upset at all about the use of the word “fuck.” We’re more perplexed that Donaving didn’t understand the original comment about Twilight vs. the Bible (in which apparently, Twilight won), was just to show that the Bible is indeed that terribly written.

        • Coyotenose

           That you aren’t bright enough to understand what story structure is about doesn’t reflect badly on anyone but yourself.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Have you read the King James Bible?  The first two chapters contradict each other. 

       Most of the time they are taking about who begat who, which is as interesting as reading the phonebook. 

      Then it wastes time telling me what I can and can not eat.  Cookbooks don’t make great literature.

      When it gets to the action part, it’s usually horrible violent.  Cities pillaged.  Women raped.  But even then, it’s like reading an arrest report.  the Israels killed 10,000 here, 20,000 there, but little personal details that make me want to care.

      There are a few decent stories here and there.  But then there are so really awful things in it.   The the gang rape and dismemberment of a servant.  It’s like really really boring slasher porn.
       
      And one of the most important characters doesn’t get introduced til about 2/3 of the way through the book.  And the he dies four chapters latter.   Then the rest of the book is dedicated to other people taking about what the dead character stood for and wanted, despite there being no indication that he wanted some of that stuff why he was alive.
       
      And the ending just doesn’t make a lick of sense.  

      • Foster

        Many things don’t make “a lick of sense” when one lacks an understanding of the original intent of the author, cultural history, symbolism and communication forms understood between author and original audience.  You could say the same about the Iliad, Aeneid and the Divine Comedy, all of which are texts that concern the religious figures of their cultures.   

        But if you *did* say this to him, any educated English or other Literature Professor is going to laugh at you. 

        I realize there are reasons to be an atheist, not compelling ones, not ones that trump the reasons for belief, but reasons.  But you only do damage to your position when you champion cultural ignorance with these de facto book burnings.  Who’s the better atheist on this issue, you or Richard Dawkins?

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/may/19/richard-dawkins-king-james-bible

        • onamission5

          You could say the same about the Iliad, Aeneid and the Divine Comedy, all of which are fictional texts that concern the fictional religious figures of their cultures, just like the bible.

          FIFY

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          The bible is a collection of fables and myths, exactly like the Iliad, Aeneid and the Divine Comedy.  It is an important piece of literature.  It should be treated as that.  There are some well written and beautiful parts.  But there are some parts that aren’t.  And there are some parts that well, are appalling.    The book condones kill rape victims, homosexual, and children.  I would take the Iliad, Aeneid or the Divine Comedy any day over the bible.  

          The greatest problem isn’t the bible.  It’s the people who demand that the bible is true.  It’s the people who blindly look past all of the flaws inherent in their holy book.   

          As for Dawkins, I would say that the bible is an important piece of literature, and understanding it is import in understanding western culture.  But it’s not  literature.  It’s not something that I would recommend someone reading for fun.    

          (P.s. I would love for everyone to read the bible, cover to cover.  I can think of no better way for people to see how full of it religion is.  I don’t recommend book burning, as it does in the bible itself.)

        • Coyotenose

           You only do damage to your position when you cite the existence of compelling reasons for belief that magically can’t actually be explained.

          You only do damage to your credibility and our ability to treat you as a grownup when you compare trading books to book burnings, thus trying to stupidly Godwin things.

          You only do damage to any claim to education you have when you aren’t competent enough to grasp the concept of storytelling and how it’s done, and that such is what Holytape was talking about.

          You shred all vestiges of logical capacity when you start talking about context in general as a desperate apology for specific, well established problems with the structure of the Bible.

          Congratulations.

  • Timelessapologist

    Ok so Hannibal said, what caused the necessary being.

    /Facepalm

    He obviously doesn’t understand ‘necessity’.  If a being is necessary then this being isn’t caused by anything LOL

    So basically by his logic, anything that is necessary must be caused by something else.  Well this wouldn’t make X necessary now would it?

    Leave it to a layman!

    hannibal  are basically asking what caused the uncaused cause, this is a logically incoherent statement we might as well ask what is the name of the married bachelors wife.  Or how many miles are there in an century.

    Now wait, there is more!!

    So let’s look this over, naturalists will state the universe wasn’t caused by anything, and that it always existed, but when it comes to God the naturalist such as Hannibal wants to use ‘special pleading’. 

    He wants to say, the universe is self-existent, but God cannot be.  This = a special pleading fallacy.

    And this is what people like myself have to deal with when talking to layman village atheists who never want to get off their lazy behinds and pop open an intro to philosophy book.

    • Timelessapologist

      So Hannibal here is a Counter-point since you are using an objection that has little to do with the original argument  I presented to you. 

      Did the nature laws create nature or did nature create the natural laws?

      I’m sure that denying logic might help you out here, but I’m curious what solves this metaphysically absurdity?

    • Stan

      Boy, talk about setting fire to a field of strawmen!

      This guy is tangling himself in knots trying to support his presuppositionalist foofahraw.  He’s like the legendary Ouroboros, enthusiastically swallowing its own tail.

    • HannibalBarca

      You are the one doing the special pleading. You say the universe must have a cause, and then you invent a supernatural cause and say, “this is the cause, but this cause didn’t require a cause.” Why? Well, just because! Haha. Why is your god exempt from requiring a cause? Why I can’t I just make the baseless assertion, like you have done with your god, that the universe doesn’t require a cause?
      Regardless, I’m done wasting my breath on you.

    • Jim_Lahey

      Leave it to a layman? You are bigoted prick aren’t you?

  • Timelessapologist

    Ok well, I’ve been on here for hours now, and I haven’t seen ONE intelligent ARGUMENT from an atheist that shows why Naturalism > God.

    I haven’t seen ONE refutation other than

    “X is gibberish, therefore because I said so X is giberrish”

    or

    “Herp derp You are a bad philosophy, but can you please tell me what you mean by necessary being (shouldn’t be explained unless the person is a layman, therefore HAnnibal – layman calling people bad philosophers)”

    Or the best yet

    “Nature exists, therefore NATUREDIDIT”

    So I’m going to have to conclude that the atheists here who obviously by their responses are just atheists only because they hate Christians. I highly doubt anyone here has ever thought over their position, but when you have an anti-religious mindset such as the atheists I’ve encountered here today, EMOTIONS take over reason.

    Notice how the first insults came from the athiests, this leads me to believe that they weren’t too ‘secure’ on their arguments, or whatever they called those objections.

    So as for now, atheism fails and I’ve clearly defended Theism as the more rational and logical position.

    Now I understand why atheists try the old “i’ve debated theists so many times and their arguments are bad” cop-out.

    I gave numerous opportunities for these atheists making that claim to explain these arguments that were bad, and I didn’t see ONE example.

    I admit that there are bad theistic arguments, I just want to know what arguments you have actually heard.

    So far, the friendly atheists will now be known as the irrational and emotional friendly atheists who call Christians names only because Christians disagree with them.

    I am all about Debate not hate, and I was disappointed here today with the people who thnk an unconscious, unintelligent, purposeless, reasonless, valueless, meaningless natural origin makes the best case for the nature of reality…

    QED

    ty

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Nature is what it is.   Gravity has no morals.  Electricity has no intelligence.  Weak force has no purpose or conscious.  The universe is cold, emotionless, and purposeless.  Get over it.  

      Nothing in the observable universe has been shown to need a super natural cause.   At best there are things we don’t know.  But our lack of knowledge doesn’t mean that there needs to be a god or gods.  Look at lightening.  Once it was given to the Gods and supernatural causes.  We know understand it without resorting to God.  The movement of the planets and stars were once assigned to the Gods; we know better now.   To assign God to be the cause of things we don’t know, is the classic God of the Gaps.  Which means that your all powerful, all known God gets smaller and smaller everyday.

      Furthermore, so far every religious claim about how things actually work has been shown false.  The earth was not created 6000 years ago.   God doesn’t move the sun across the sky, nor does he have warehouses full of hail or rain.  Religion has not actually helped us understand anything about the universe we live in.

      As “Nature exists, therefore NATUREDIDIT” you should probably read a little closer, because usually find out how nature did it. 

    • phantomreader42

      “Apologist” is just a fancy word for “liar”.  You’re full of crap, TimelessLiar.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      You haven’t seen it because most of us are completely uninterested in having any kind of debate with you.  This post was about an interesting event, not an invitiation to a debate of the sort that we’ve have had way too many times.  You are attempting to derail the conversation to what you want to talk about, which is trollish bevavior.  You want to control the topic of conversation?  Go do it on your own blog.

      I’m more interested in what’s to be done with all the gideon bibles.  Compost? Mulch?  Paper-mache? 

      • amycas

         I like the paper-mache idea.

        • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

          Pinatas maybe?

      • Parse

        You know how the stereotypical ransom letter is composed of a bunch of cut out letters?  I’m thinking using the books for making such letters would be hilarious.  
        “We have your holy books!  If you want them back unharmed, um… shoot.  Didn’t think that through.”

    • Jim_Lahey

      Heres what I don’t get. You claim to be a great debater. I have no doubt of that. In saying so you could probably debate either side of this arguement and win. So what. I am a layman an have no need of debate or philosophy to aid my beliefs. I use observable evidence and real life common sense. If a book is as contradictory and full of holes as the bible is. I have difficulty falling in line with doctrine based on it. Doctrine that has changed in time with the evolution of human morals is even more suspect to me. As to the debate, god either exists or doesn’t. As I said, I bet you could win an arguement for either. But only the factual answer would be correct, regardless of the outcome!

      Hope I didnt come off angry
      Cheers

    • Jim_Lahey

      Is it only versed philosophers then that have legitimate reasons to not believe? For all the philosophical BS spouted here, I still have no reason to believe! You really do come off as nothing more than a troll spoiling for a fight. Only your approach is like the bully. You recognize that there are laypeople here and try and intellectually bully them. There is no other reason for your being here. You definately have no desire for honest discourse, and no need for philosophical sparring. So what’s the point? Perhaps the obvious is what is going on here! Kinda like why I’m an atheist, the obvious is probably the best answer!

      Cheers

    • Coyotenose

       Screamy Man-Baby Liar.

  • Timelessapologist

    One last thing to hannibal

    If something exists and is not contingent upon something else, then it is NECESSARY.

    That is basic philosophy 101 

    till next time

    • Nox

       That isn’t what “necessary being” means. A being which must exist is a necessary being (neither you nor Aquinas have demonstrated that any being belongs in this category).

      That is basic theology 101.

  • banana_slug

    For those interested, here is my best effort at a translation of the “logic” presented.  This is of course assuming that the characters are showing correctly on my screen ( why use ~ in two different statements?) and that the original has no typos, which based on most of the other posts is not the best assumption.  Also, A is never defined, I’ll just assume it can be any argument, in this case probably N.

    #########
    The deduction now proceeds as follows:

    1. ‘it is possible that’ ‘there is a Necessary
    Being’

    2. So: ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘there is a Necessary Being’.

    3. So: ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ ‘it is necessary that’ ‘there is a Necessary Being’.

    4. So: ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ ‘it is necessary that’ ‘there is a Necessary Being’.

    5. So: ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is not the case that’ ‘there is a Necessary
    Being’

    6. So: ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is not the case that’ ‘there is a Necessary
    Being’.

    7. So: ‘it is necessary that’ ‘there is a Necessary
    Being’.

    8. So: ‘it is necessary that’ ‘there is a Necessary
    Being’.

    ◊◊A implies ◊A:

    1. ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is possible that’ A

    2. So: ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ A

    3. So: ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ A

    4. So: ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is not the case that’
    A

    (Or ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it
    is possible that’ ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is not the case that’ A)

    5. So: ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is not the case that’
    A

    6. So: ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is not the case that’ A

    7. So: ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is not the case that’ A

    8. So: ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible that’ A

    (Or ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is possible that’ A)

    9. So: ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ A

    10. So: ‘it is possible that’ A

    ◊~◊A implies ~◊A:

    1. If  ‘it
    is possible that’ A then ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is possible that’ A

    2. So: if ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ A then ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ A

    3. So: if ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is necessary
    that’ ‘it is possible that’ A then ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ A

    4. So: if ‘it is possible that’ ‘it is not the
    case that’ ‘it is possible that’ A then ‘it is not the case that’ ‘it is possible
    that’ A

    So which premise do you deny? I figured I’d go
    first since you are afraid to show me which Theistic arguments fail.

    ########
    WOW!!!  There it is!!!  Irrefutable proof that I should accept jesus as my personal lord and saviour, the bible is inerrant, and that my atheism is wrong.  Excuse me while I go and convert to…Oh.  Wait.

    • Nox

      TA attempts to mask this (since using words instead of symbols would involve plainly stating the part that makes his argument ridiculous), but his “logic” here is just a cut-n-paste of Plantinga’s ontological argument.

      • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

         Actually, I think the modal logic form may have been swiped directly and explicitly from Gödel.

    • David McNerney

      It is possible that your atheism is correct, therefore….. em.  How does that end again?

      • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

         With a happy and fulfilled life.

    • Stan

      Thanks for clearing that up, Banana.  And here I thought it was just a mass of meaningless folderol.

  • banana_slug

    So
    what shall I deny?

    First,
    it is possible that there is a necessary being. Of course it is also possible
    that there isn’t. It is possible that there are fairies in my garden that plant
    weeds and eat my peppers. It is also possible that there aren’t.

    Second,
    can you be a little more precise in your definition of a necessary being? Once
    we’ve established that, can you tell us who it is? God? Baal? Huitzilopochtli ?
    Is it…me?

    Third,
    ‘it is necessary that’ ‘it is
    possible that’ A.  No, it probably isn’t.  It is not necessary that it is possible that
    unless I keep my anti-weasel charm on me at all times, weasels will rip my
    flesh.  I am pretty sure that is not a
    necessity for the universe to exist.

    I’m sure there are others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    Just out of curiosity…..what the hell do they then do with all the books of gobbledygook they collect?

    • Foster

      Probably burn them.  Just like…Oh, wait, maybe that shouldn’t be in the ad campaign.

      Yeah, Even Richard Dawkins, atheist extraordinaire, thinks that the Bible is a monument to Western Literature worthy of study for its literary and historical value, but this atheist anti-intellectual don’t-read-this campaign really tips the hand and tells you what *these* people care about: not rational argument and exploration, just social domination.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/may/19/richard-dawkins-king-james-bible

      I am a devout Catholic, and I believe that the “gobbledygook” (the Bibles anyway) as interpreted by the Catholic Church is the Truth on God and human morals.

      Oh, and I own a Q’uran.  Because you don’t deal with competing ideas by putting your head in the sand.

      • Nox

        Traditionally, the catholic church has answered that question by burning the competing book, and forbidding the flock to have access to their own book.

      • Gus Snarp

        It’s funny though.

        Seriously, yesterday I replied to every comment on this thread to which I replied in a humorous manner. Because what these students are doing is using humor. It’s funny. They’re not hiding, burying their heads in the sand, or reducing anyone’s access to these books. You don’t think the Gideons have plenty left over? You don’t think the vast majority of the students who got a Gideons Bible thrust into their hand as they walk by already have a Bible at home and don’t need another? You think the students manning the table don’t have their own copies at home? That anyone who wants to can’t read all those books online at their leisure? No one’s trying to censor holy books here, they’re making a point about what they think of the content of those books in a humorous way. It’ s just not funny to you because you think the book is magic.

      • NoDoubtAboutIt

        Wow.  You really give money to an organization that enables and covers up the rape of children, and are willing to admit so in public?  I am SO interested in spending eternity around people like you.  

      • Coyotenose

         So you had to invoke Nazis and just make up things in order to have anything to criticize? God you’re a slimy sack of crap pedo-enabler.

  • Marcie

    I spent a year and a half at SDSU and for the most part loved every minute of it.  However, homophobia and conservative religion is rampant there.  We had 2 gay body builders come to campus to discuss homosexuality (this is way back in 1992) and I was shocked and embarrassed by my classmates narrow mindedness.  I remember being handed a bible on my way to class one day, I was tempted to rip it up in front of the holy rollers but didn’t have the guts to back then.  I sure would now though!  

    Go Jacks!!  Congrats for getting a secular organization.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    ‘script kiddies’ search for computer vulnerabilities discovered by others.   They may do some minor scripting themselves to piece the bits together and maybe even automate attacks, but they don’t really create much themselves.  They might have a vague understanding of what they find, but they’re not capable of writing a stack overflow that actually does anything.

    They are mostly driven by their need to feel intellectually superior, and spend more time bragging than actually doing anything, not that what they do is particularly useful.

  • amycas

    That’s awesome. lol

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    Instead of destroying the NTs, they should use a highlighter on all the wacky passages.


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