That Awkward Moment When Creationist Gets Outwitted by a Sixth Grader (Part Two)

Back in November, during a debate on God’s existence between Young Earth Creationist Eric Hovind and atheist Bernie Dehler, 11-year-old Chad Dehler (Bernie’s son) challenged Hovind with a simple question: “What is your evidence of God?” How do you know you’re not just talking to yourself?

Hovind’s answer, in a nutshell, is that we can’t know anything to be true unless we know everything… therefore, God has to give you revelation… therefore PROOF! That makes perfect sense, right?

And at the end of the video, Hovind claims that Bernie Dehler, unlike his son, would say that there may be evidence of God’s existence.

It’s taken Chad a few months to process all that gobbledegook and he’s come to the conclusion that it made absolutely no sense! So Chad went back in front of the camera to ask Hovind the same question once again:

Maybe this time, Hovind can offer an honest response: The proof just isn’t there.

For what it’s worth, Bernie didn’t put Chad up to this; he did this entirely on his own.

(Thanks to Truman for the link!)

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.

  • kielc

    I am certain that I know my address and name. So, wow, I know everything! Yay me!

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    This argument, and other philosophical ‘proofs’ like Kalam, work equally well to prove the FSM.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    EH says that if you don’t know everything, then you don’t know anything for certain, so you have to trust someone who is omniscient. But how do you know that person is omniscient? You would have to know everything to know that.

    • Guest

      You should send that comment to EH. I’d love to watch his head explode as he mulls that over and tries to give a rational response.

      • Hat Stealer

        He’ll just pull some more gobbledygook out of his ass. That’s all these people can do. The RCC has made an entire industry out of goobledygook.

      • decathelite

        That’s where he sidesteps the question and says, you are using logic, how can you know logic without god? Justify your use of logic without an omniscient deity.

        If you ever get into an argument with him, ask him how he can know he hasn’t been hit on the head with a rock.

        • meekinheritance

          Are you channeling The Inconsistent Atheist? (ducks) ;-)

          • decathelite

            It’s that whole presuppositionalist school of thought: I’m right, and you’re wrong, because the Magic Man in the Sky told me so. But if I’m ever wrong about something, that’s when I was acting without guidance from the MMitS, so just forget I ever said that.

            • Mairianna

              Recommended revision to this: “I’m right, and you’re wrong, because the Magic Man in the Sky told me so.”

              I’m right, and you’re wrong, because SOMEONE ELSE TOLD ME that the Magic Man in the Sky said so. :)

          • allein

            I’m in the middle of reading that thread; as frustrating as he is I just can’t stop myself. (How do you know that? Well, how do you know that? But how do you know that?) At least he’s consistent… ;)

      • Artor

        I don’t think Hovind has ever mulled anything except some Xmas wine, and wouldn’t know a rational response if it bit him in the ass.

    • averydashwood

      How do you know you need to ask someone if you don’t know anything?

    • IGGY

      I found it interesting that the atheist dad admitted that he was raising his son to be an atheist.

      All that stuff about atheists raising kids to just use reason and decide for themselves was always just so much BS wasn’t it.

      • allein

        Yes because this one dad represents all atheists.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Aside from the fact that I can’t find where his dad said that (citation?)…

        Gee, so in other words not every single atheist on the planet is in lock step as to how to raise their kids? Wow!

      • unclemike

        Considering that atheism is the default position from birth, simply by not indoctrinating kids into one religion of another they stay atheist.

        It’s the churches that have to force an unnatural belief unto people to survive.

        • tesmith47

          that is right, like i tell my bible toting african american friends, if the muslims had enslaved you (ancestors) you would be ranting about allah!!!!!

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        The existence of an isolated example of doing so does not disprove the overall trend being not doing so. The data from Altemeyer and Hunsberger’s “Atheists” study (ISBN 978-1591024132) indicates about 20% of the sort of atheists who join groups (nearer 5% among those who don’t) try to get their kids to adopt their (ir)religious views by stressing that point of view as they were growing up. This contrasts (same study) to more than 90% of Christian fundamentalists.

        Anecdotally, there’s also those who consider an emphasis on critical thinking when raising to be functionally equivalent with raising a kid to be an atheist (though not having an assured outcome, as with raising a kid to be religious).

    • Spuddie

      You can’t know anyone is omniscient because you can’t know everything. You have no way of knowing if someone knows everything.

  • Jasper

    “You don’t know everything so you don’t know everything” – this is a complete non-sequitur. I don’t know how how he gets from A to B.

    • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

      He’s talking about knowing with absolute certainty as in, you can’t know with absolute certainty that in all possible cases 2+2 = 4. In that case, if you can’t know anything, you can’t know everything either. Reversing the order of his postulates would at least make logical sense. No matter which way he puts it though, what’s demonstrated is that his conclusion is logically impossible and that he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about..

    • sighthndman

      You mean “You don’t know everything so you don’t know anything”?

      I think the “with absolute certainty” is critical. Without that qualifier, “for practical purposes”, or “for everyday use”, we most certainly do know things. (As an example, “for everyday use” I don’t even care whether we came into existence through evolution or a separate creation. It doesn’t matter in my line of work, which is anything except molecular genetics, any fields that deals with bacterial evolutionary changes [although, since bacteria aren't mentioned in the Bible, maybe you can get around it] and maybe a few others.)

      What we don’t know is whether our knowledge is universal. There is a long history of discussions (about white swans and black swans among philosophers (which “normal” people paid no attention to), but the discovery of black swans in Australia caused great consternation because “All swans are white!” (Of course, philosophers had been debating for 2000 years whether that was true or it just _appeared_ to be true, subject to the limitations of our experience.) How can we ever know?

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        There’s math for resolving that philosophical problem in probabilistic terms, to the degree such resolution is actually possible.

    • rwlawoffice

      He is referring to the philosophy of David Hume. This is my general understanding of it and could be corrected- That all our knowledge and reasoning is base upon deduction which is based upon other deductions so unless we can know everything, we really know nothing.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I’m not sure if he got it from Hume directly. I suspect he’s had it filtered through someone else. AFAIK Hume is considered an atheist after all :-)

        But more importantly to the “you know nothing” he’s adding “if there’s an omniscient being that cannot lie, and it tells you something”, without explaining how, if you can’t know everything, you can somehow reliably know that this being does and cannot lie.

      • Spuddie

        He’s doing it badly. Very badly.

        Hume was all about puncturing the assumptions and arguments of theistic philosophy. His point was we know things based on what we perceive. Not that we know nothing. But that we can’t know everything. There is a BIG difference.

        Hume was saying the basis of our knowledge is our perception of it. There can be no conception of perfect knowledge of everything because there is no such thing as perfect perception of everything. So notions of God and omniscience will never be proven to exist. It will always be just wishful guesswork.

        You are throwing in some badly misquoted Socrates into the mix.

      • tesmith47

        yeah well Hume was sort of a ass too

  • BobaFuct

    Well, to be fair, Eric Hovind only has a 5th grade education, so it makes sense that he’d lose a debate to a 6th grader.

    • tesmith47

      now that is funny!!!!

  • Malcolm McLean

    There’s a disease called “chatterbox syndrome”, or “Williams syndrome”, where suffers talk fluently, even with better language skills than normal, but actually have extremely severe problems understanding the simplest logical problem. They are totally unable to estimate measurements, for example. A chatterbox might not know that 2+2 = 4.
    So how do you know that you’re not suffering from the same condition?

    • Spuddie

      So you are saying Eric Hovnid was making sense?

      Because to anyone else who is not a lying Creationist shill, it looked like spurious bullshit.

    • decathelite

      I can go to other people to check my answers. Suppose that 99% of the population tells me independently that 2+2=4. What is the likelihood that 99% of the population has chatterbox syndrome?

      And if they do all have it, what does that say about a designer who purposefully makes logical arguments difficult to understand?

      • Malcolm McLean

        If you had chatterbox syndrome, you might use that argument. But you wouldn’t know the difference between 99% and 1%. If there’s another chatterbox being cared for you in the same facility (as happens), you’ll get another person agreeing that 2+2=4, and as far as you’re concerned, there’s no difference between that and 99% agreement.

        • Spuddie

          Or more exactly, your statement is merely just an excuse to fling unwarranted insults.

        • decathelite

          It seems to me that you are suggesting that if I had this syndrome, I could not understand the difference between 1 person agreeing with me and one million people agreeing with me. What does that say about a designer that makes one of my genes defective such that I could not perceive reality as it really is?

          If I am genetically wired to not be able to differentiate between 1 and 1 million people, how could I possibly be expected to differentiate between the True Religion and the thousands of false ones?

          • Malcolm McLean

            You think that reality is material, and language is just an epiphenomenon that is built on the top of that. But what if reality is linguistic, and matter is the epiphenomenon? Then the chatterboxes, with enhanced linguistic skills, would actually have a better model of reality than you.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Then what we spoke would change reality. Since it doesn’t (saying “this is purple” when looking at a blade of green grass doesn’t make it change), that’s clearly not how the world works.

              It’s a fun counterfactual world, and I could totally see a sci-fi author going there. As a means of dealing with this particular universe in which we live, though, it’s a very disingenuous argument.

            • decathelite

              Suppose that you are right and I am not capable of seeing the world as it really is. Why am I designed with an imperfection that does not allow me to construct reality as well as others? What does that say about a designer that makes me incapable of understanding Him, and then threatens hell because of my inability to understand?

              • Malcolm McLean

                Calvin taught that some are predestined to be saved, whilst others are predestined to be damned, and you can distinguish the two by “signs of election”. But that was condemned by the Church as a heresy. Some humans do have very limited capacity, for instance a boy at school was found to be selling on stolen goods. He simply didn’t have the maturity to understand that what he was doing was as bad as stealing itself, in his view, if he hadn’t taken them, he wasn’t a thief. You can’t expect more of people than they are capable of delivering, on the other hand, the fencing operation had to be shut down, there are still absolute standards of right and wrong which need to be asserted.

                • phantomreader42

                  Calvin was a delusional sociopath, and so are you, Malcolm. Your response has no meaning or relevance, you are just babbling nonsense, because that is all you know how to do.

                • Malcolm McLean

                  Possibly, or possibly Hovind has been taught a philosophical position, but doesn’t understand it on a deep level, and Chad doesn’t understand it at all, which is hardly unexpected, because Hovind can’t do a good job of explaining it and Chad’s only a child, after all, and you have a similar level of understanding to Chad.

                • GCT

                  When you can formulate it in a way that is not self-refuting, then, perhaps, you’ll have room to denigrate the understanding of other people.

                • Malcolm McLean

                  I’ve done that. I’ve got to emphasise that here what I’m doing is explaining the philosophical position that Hovind was advancing, I’m not saying it is necessary for a Christian to hold it.
                  It’s not necessary to communicate with the omniscient being for his existence to transform the situation, from “true” and “false” being inherently undeterminable to having a meaning, for all propositions. Once we have an omniscient being, we can define a “true proposition” as “one the omniscient being agrees with”. But we might not actually know whether He agrees with it it or not, we still know that it’s either true or false.
                  But what about the proposition that there is an omniscient being itself? That’s a classical paradox, (apply a statement to itself). But it’s resolvable by saying that there is such a thing as mysticism, and that’s actually how Christians do resolve it.

                • GCT

                  I’ve done that.

                  No, you haven’t, as I’ve continually pointed out.

                  It’s not necessary to communicate with the omniscient being for his existence to transform the situation, from “true” and “false” being inherently undeterminable to having a meaning, for all propositions.

                  This is nonsense. The existence of someone more knowledgeable than I does nothing to impact my ability to know if something is true or not.

                  But we might not actually know whether He agrees with it it or not, we still know that it’s either true or false.

                  And, here your argument is self-refuting. You admit that the mere existence of an omniscient being is not a sufficient condition to know whether a proposition is true or not. That leaves us with no mechanism for knowing the truth or falsity of a proposition, including the proposition that some things can be true or false to begin with. Your argument doesn’t even get off the ground because it defeats itself from the get-go.

                  But it’s resolvable by saying that there is such a thing as mysticism, and that’s actually how Christians do resolve it.

                  That’s not a resolution at all. That’s not even in the same solar system as a resolution.

                • Malcolm McLean

                  You haven’t got it. The existence of an omniscient being means that 2+2 = 5 is either true or false. If you don’t have such a being, it might be true for Winston, but not true for the chatterbox.

                • RobMcCune

                  Well it is hard to get how something is both philosophy and irrational mysticism at once without contradiction.

                • GCT

                  You’ve not given a causal reason why the existence of an omniscient being makes 2 + 2 = 5 true or false. It’s a non sequitur. Additionally, you’ve admitted that the existence of this omniscient entity has no bearing on whether we can discern whether something is true or false, which puts us back at square one. It’s a non-starter argument, and made worse when you include Euthyphro’s dilemma slightly changed to talk about knowledge instead of morality, as another poster (I think Rob McCune to give credit where it’s due) already observed.

                  Face it, your argument is shit and it’s not getting any better now matter how much you try to polish the turd (and move the goalposts, etc).

                • phantomreader42

                  With or without an omniscient being, if you have two lights, and add two more lights, THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS! That is how arithmetic works. That is how real objects in the real world behave. Reality exists. Constantly screeching your delusions will not make it go away.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  My (tongue-in-cheek) impression of this particular logical construction:

                  Step 1: We can’t know anything without an omniscient being

                  Step 2: There is an omniscient being, so we can know things

                  Step 3: An omniscient being existing doesn’t mean we know anything for sure because we could always be wrong

                  Step 4: MAGIC

                  Step 5: Therefore Jesus

                  I’m … very confused.

                • RobMcCune

                  You’re not in any position to critique another’s level of understanding after your other comments here.

                • decathelite

                  Why would a designer implement right and wrong, and then not give certain people (like the boy) the maturity to understand the difference?

                  If we can’t expect people of delivering more than they are capable, because the designer deliberately designed them to be less than capable, what does that say about the designer that then condemns that person to eternal hell for not doing right?

    • RobMcCune

      I don’t think Hemant suffers from that condition, why did you choose this post as the place to bring it up?

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      this guy would have me believe that 2+2=4 only because he (in his hypothetical assertion) claims to know everything and because he says it is? I reject that. We shouldn’t just take anyone’s word for something. They should provide is with evidence and logic to prove their assertions. “Because I said so” is not a sound argument for anything. In fact, “you just have to trust me” is the biggest red flag I can think of that someone is trying to con me.

    • Matt D

      It’s quite simple to “know” you aren’t suffering from a disease when the symptoms and information of it is public.

      http://www.williams-syndrome.org/what-is-williams-syndrome

      Now that this is out of the way, how about answering the sixths graders question?

      • Malcolm McLean

        O’Brien, Winston, Big Brother, and everyone else agree that 2+2 = 5, except a child with Willam’s syndrome, who thinks they make 4. So how would you resolve that situation?

        • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

          You might read up on the Byzantine Generals Problem, and related math from the computer science literature.

        • decathelite

          Wait, so now the child with chatterbox syndrome knows the correct answer? In your original example the chatterbox could not know the right answer.

          For your comment to work, all of O’Brien, Winston and Big Brother have to be suffering from Williams syndrome.

        • Matt D

          When you can return the courtesy of answering the question I’ve asked of you, I will be happy to continue this discussion.

          • Malcolm McLean

            The question is a bit of a distraction. What the theory is really saying is that if an omniscient being exists, then there’s a standard by which we can measure truth (is the proposition consistent with the omniscient being’s opinion), if he doesn’t exist, there’s no such standard, ultimately the term truth doesn’t have any absolute meaning, it inherently can’t be determined. You don’t need to actually communicate with the being, as long as He exists, it’s meaningful to label a proposition as “true” or “false”.

            Whilst this sounds extremely theoretical, in fact it’s quite practical. Non-Christians very commonly resist the idea that something can be true, it’s just “true for you, but don’t try to claim it’s true for anyone else”.

            Christians have a simple answer though. The being became incarnate, and spoke. Those words were recorded, maybe inaccurately, maybe bits were added and taken away, but the substance remains. So we’re not in the situation where the being is an abstract philosophical entity. There might be other, more extraordinary communications with God.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              The being became incarnate, and spoke. Those words were recorded, maybe inaccurately, maybe bits were added and taken away, but the substance remains.

              There are multiple competing divine revelations with no independent means of determining which one is correct. With no way to know which set of instructions are the corrrect set of instructions, we effectively have no set of instructions.

              • GCT

                To make matters worse, we’re told we can’t know because we aren’t omniscient. Hovind’s argument (and Malcolm McLean’s defense of it) are self-refuting.

                • Malcolm McLean

                  You’re confusing the argument with Chad’s attempted refutation, which is that you can’t know that you’re communicating with the omniscient being. That’s not actually necessary. As long as there is an omniscient being, there’s a standard by which propositions are true or false, so we can apply these words to them.
                  But that’s why the Church has always taught about mysticism, which is a sort of “knowing” that transcends the intellectual.

                • GCT

                  No, I’m not. And, you have subtly shifted the goal posts from the original argument (that you yourself were trying to defend) and are now pretending it was the argument all along.

                  It’s a non sequitur to assert that the existence of an omniscient being somehow allows us to know things in our own right. It literally does not follow. It also does not follow that one would be able to tell what the standard is simply because a standard exists. In order to know that, we’d have to have some way of discerning what the standard is and how to apply it. You’re still caught in a self-refuting argument.

                • RobMcCune

                  As long as there is an omniscient being, there’s a standard by which propositions are true or false, so we can apply these words to them.

                  And what makes this omniscient being so special as to decide what is true and what is false? Is it simply an arbitrary whim? Or is it because said being knows the truth of everything, because that’s the case your argument is self refuting.

                  Your argument depends on an omniscient being having complete knowledge of reality. This is the standard by which a being can be said to be omniscient. If true and false are defined by the omniscient being’s knowledge, and it’s omniscience allows them to be defined, then they are defined by their correspondance to reality, not by the being in question.

                • Malcolm McLean

                  Reality is what God knows. You can’t separate the two, if you believe in an omniscient God. Obviously there can’t be something that God doesn’t know, and if God knows something, then it exists, because mental constructs have existence.

                  But sure, you can attack Hovind’s philosophical position. You can find Christians who don’t accept it and, perhaps more commonly, atheists who do accept it. It’s not uncommon for atheists to take the line that a statement is “true for you”.

                  That’s not the point. The point is that Chad didn’t blow it away with his objection, which was good, and very good for a child, but not the killer that our blogger thinks it was.

                • GCT

                  Is it true because god knows it, or does god know it because it is true? Claiming they are inseparable doesn’t answer the mail.

                  And, this whole “true for you” thing is a red herring of your design that has nothing at all to do with the topic at hand. So, given that your arguments are self-refuting, that you have demonstrated that you don’t understand the objections, and your constant need to invoke non sequiturs and red herrings as well as move the goal posts, don’t you think you should think twice before claiming that the argument you clearly don’t understand isn’t very good?

                • phantomreader42

                  Are you trying to get yourself elected High Priest of Humpty-Dumpty? No, mental constructs do not “have existence” in the same sense that real objects in the real world “have existence”. Your hallucinations do not magically become real because you babble moronic nonsense about them.
                  Is your next brilliant strategem of self-refuting circular idiocy going to be that your god exists because it is a mental construct in your diseased mind, which magically makes it real, but that somehow every other mental construct in every other human mind is somehow exempt from this, because jeebus?

                • phantomreader42

                  Are you trying to get yourself elected High Priest of Humpty-Dumpty? No, mental constructs do not “have existence” in the same sense that real objects and entities in the real world “have existence”. Your hallucinations do not magically become real because you babble moronic nonsense about them.

                  Is your next display of self-refuting circular public mental masturbation going to be that your god exists because it is a mental construct in your diseased mind, which magically makes it real, but that somehow every other mental construct in every other human mind is somehow exempt from this, because jeebus?

                • RobMcCune

                  Reality is what God knows. You can’t separate the two,

                  Sure you can, knowledge is knowledge of a thing, not the thing itself.

                  But sure, you can attack Hovind’s philosophical position.

                  I let 6th graders do that, they seem to handle it just fine. What I really want to attack is your attempt to recast Hovind’s argument into something you think is more defensible.

                  The point is that Chad didn’t blow it away with his objection,

                  Yes he did, Hovind’s bargain basement presuppositionalism is about actually knowing what’s true and false, not about whether the words have meaning. Google presuppositionalism and you’ll see that Hovind’s version is closer than yours.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  If an omniscient being talks in a forest where there’s nobody capable of hearing it, does it make a sound?

            • RobMcCune

              “if he doesn’t exist, there’s no such standard, ultimately the term truth doesn’t have any absolute meaning,”

              This is false, the standard is reality. Which exists independent of any beings knowledge of it, omniscient or otherwise. Basing that standard on anything else is either redundant or nonsensical.

            • Matt D

              The answer to your previous question:
              I am not a medical professional, so I’d resolve that situation by seeking one out.

            • phantomreader42

              Ah, so you’re retreating into solipsism, and denying the very concept of reality! Just the kind of ridiculous bullshit liars for jeebus have to resort to once it becomes obvious they’re full of shit. Because you know that the only way to keep your sick death cult from crumbling to dust is to shield your idiotic lies from the truth at all costs. Apologetics is nothing more than lying and hiding from reality. It’s worthless garbage, and so are you, Malcolm.

    • Sven2547

      What are you suggesting? That Hovind’s conclusions are simple and obvious, but atheists are incapable of getting it?

      • Malcolm McLean

        Hovind has obviously been taught a philosophical position, which he understands reasonably well, but not completely.

        If you’re omniscient, then you know yourself to be omniscient, and you can mark other people’s beliefs as “true” or “false” depending on whether they match your own. If you’re not omniscient, you don’t have this faculty. We’ve no gold standard. Ultimately we can’t determine truth or falsehood, just whether we consider propositions to be more or less consistent with each other.

        I’m not saying that this position cannot be attacked, or that a Christian must hold it, or that an atheist necessarily rejects it. I think it’s a recognised position, however, and it’s robust to the objection that 2 +2 = 4.

        • GCT

          Ultimately we can’t determine truth or falsehood, just whether we consider propositions to be more or less consistent with each other.

          It seems that you, yourself, don’t understand this position either. If you can’t determine the truth or falsity of a claim, then you similarly can’t, even if god tells you whether something is true or false, because you have no way to verify that god is telling you the truth.

          • Malcolm McLean

            You still haven’t got it. The position is that if Winston says that 2+2 = 5, and the chatterbox says its 4, and we have no omniscient being, then 2+2 is neither 4 nor 5. If there is an omniscient being, we might not be able to find the answer, being mathematically challenged and unable to ask the omnipotent being, but there is an answer.

            • GCT

              This is nonsense. You’re basically claiming that there can be no reality unless a god exists. It’s pure assertion on your part that has no basis in rationality or logic. And, it’s quite different from your previous claims (are those goal posts heavy). Problem for you is that it’s still self-refuting, because you still have no idea whether you can tell if something is true or not regardless of the presence of an omniscient being.

              • Malcolm McLean

                I’m not claiming anything much. I’m just explaining what I think is the philosophical position that Hovind has been taught, and which I think he understands on some level, but not deeply enough to really defend it.
                Reality for me is a flat screen, with a pinkish wall behind it. Reality for you might be a tablet computer and a railway carriage. There’s no particular reason to privilege one over the other, unless they contradict. But then whose reality is really real?

                • GCT

                  It’s called reason, rationality, and science. You may believe that reality is that you can fly, but when you jump off a cliff you’ll be quickly disabused of that notion.

                  And, your explanation is still self-refuting and devoid of logic.

                • phantomreader42

                  Reality is that Malcolm McLean is an escaped mental patient who rapes farm animals. There is no need to even attempt to support this claim with evidence, as Malcolm McLean denies the possibility of evidence for anything.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Well, we can get two objects and another two objects and count them up. One answer (4) comports with reality and the other answer (5) does not, giving us the correct answer.

              Science!

            • phantomreader42

              With or without an omniscient being, if you have two lights, and add two more lights, THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS! That is how arithmetic works. That is how real objects in the real world behave. Reality exists. Constantly screeching your delusions will not make it go away.

              • Malcolm McLean

                O’Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed.

                ‘There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?’

                ‘Yes.’

                And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the scenery of his mind changed. He saw five fingers, and there was no deformity.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  And then an invisible Unicorn pranced into the room and whispered in Winston’s ear “there are four fingers!”.

                  Strangely, O’Brien’s hand didn’t change with that statement.

                • phantomreader42

                  As hard as it may be for you to admit it, denying reality doesn’t magically make your delusions real. You aren’t omniscient, Malcolm. You’re a delusional liar. Quoting Orwell won’t change that, especially not when you can’t figure out that YOU are the one trying to be O’Brien in this scenario. It’s not working. Your bizarre display of your prowess at mental masturbation isn’t going to magically convince people that you’re a god. It’ll just make it more obvious that you’re a lunatic.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Thus proving that our minds can trick us and show us things that aren’t really there under the influence of torture, sleep deprivation, and drugs.

                  We already knew that.

                • TCC

                  I think we have a new fallacy: argumentum ad fictionem.

        • phantomreader42

          If you’re a lunatic, and mistakenly THINK you’re omniscient (such as Eric Hovind or Malcolm McLean), then you’ll mark other people’s beliefs as “false” because they don’t accept your delusions, and refuse to test your beliefs against reality becuase your diseased mind can’t tolerate the fact that there are actual things in the actual real world that contradict the testimony of the voices in your head.
          If you deny the existence of reality, there’s no way to distinguish an actual omniscient being from a being that is imaginary or delusional, and there’s no way to distinguish the truth from a lie. This is why religious apologists keep denying reality, because their delusions cannot survive any contact with facts.

    • phantomreader42

      Given that YOU are the one who is incessantly babbling nonsense and obviously incapable of understanding the simplest logical problem, how do you know YOU aren’t suffering from this condition, in addition to extreme projection?

  • ORAXX

    The internet is the worst thing to ever happen to religion.

    • Spazticus

      I would argue that organized religion is the worst thing to ever happen to religion.

      • ORAXX

        You are, arguably, right. The difference is.. organized religion is self perpetuating where as the internet is blowing holes in it.

    • Loren

      Also the amount of people I see as just pretending to be religious, to further some agenda, like politicians for example. Another terrible thing to help destroy religion and give it a bad name.

      • tesmith47

        actually religion like capitalism self destructs because of the inherent lack of logic

  • wil9000

    I heard a debate about the existence of God where Dinesh D’Souza’s basic argument was that since you can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe, therefore: Miracles Are Real, therefore God Is Real. Honestly, that was his “strongest” argument. I take the opposite view.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Are you smarter than a sixth-grader? Obviously not.

    Where is this “absolute certainty” argument coming from? No, I don’t know anything to be absolutely true. I can’t prove that there’s not some unaccounted for exception out there that we haven’t found yet regarding anything. Why is that a problem to admit that. it means that I still have an open mind and am willing to accept new evidence even if it contradicts what I already know. I see that as a positive thing.

  • S. Douglas

    As someone who actually does know everything, I can confidently say that Eric Hovind is a bloviating imbecile.

    • Bdole

      I finally found someone who knows everything! But, hey, just a minute. How do I know you’re the REAL S. Douglas?

  • Sven2547

    The news here isn’t that a sixth-grader is smarter than Eric Hovind. That’s actually pretty common. The news here is that this sixth-grader is bold enough to make that fact known.

  • Cat

    So the argument boils down to ‘I know God exists because he told me so, and I KNOW he knows everything so he must be right’ How could Eric Hovind, or anyone, fail to see the big gaping hole in that logic?!

  • tesmith47

    what? no evidence of god?, you mean i have sacrificed all those virgins for nothing!!!???


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