NY State Senator Quietly Rewrites Press Release Denouncing Atheists, Unaware of Something Called a ‘Screenshot’

Remember how New York State Senator Andrew Lanza was outraged by American Atheists’ billboard in Times Square?

He said the digital billboard, images of which are below, was “religious persecution of the kind that similarly lead to the Holocaust.”

Anyway, get this: In the original press release, Lanza wrote the following:

While it is not surprising to me that people who do not believe in God are hateful and malicious, I would have hoped that the people who own this billboard, those who live in Manhattan and around Times Square and the community’s political leaders would have decried this hate speech as something not to be tolerated or allowed.”

Senator Lanza is also calling for the revocation of the American Atheists’ 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status because he doesn’t believe that tax dollars should be used to spew religious hatred.

Both of those bold-faced sections have been altered in the current version of the press release on Lanza’s site.

The first part — calling atheists “hateful and malicious” — has been changed to the following:

While it’s not surprising to me that people who are hateful and malicious of god would endorse such an advertisement, I would have hoped that the people who own this billboard, those who live in Manhattan and around Times Square and the community’s political leaders would have decried this hate speech as something not to be tolerated or allowed.”

It’s still completely wrong — atheists don’t hate God. Atheists just don’t believe in God. (We don’t hate unicorns and leprechauns, either.) But the change suggests that Lanza knows what he said was unfair and untrue. Instead of apologizing, though, he’s just changing the press release after the fact so he can pretend it never happened.

And what about calling for the IRS to revoke American Atheists’ non-profit status?

He’s just removed it altogether in the latest version.

Maybe he realized that if AA’s tax-exemption was revoked for something as harmless as that billboard, religious-based groups like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage would be in jeopardy as well. And members of those groups are likely to make up his voting base.

Again, no apology. Just an attempt to whitewash the past.

The weirdest thing is that he didn’t even bother to change the line about the Holocaust!

Whatever. I still want an apology. He knows what he said was wrong, so why can’t he just bring himself to admit that publicly?

Just in case he changes anything else, here’s the original version of the press release, captured forever no matter what he changes on his website.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Fallulah

    HOW CAN WE HATE SOMEONE WE DON’T THINK EXISTS?????? This man is so stupid, how did he get elected? Damn America!

  • https://soundcloud.com/eddieboydmusic flyb

    AMERICA!! FUCK YEAH!!!1!12

  • JeromeMac

    All xian fundies think we hate this god, and that we worship a devil. They know less abou atheism than my cat does about quantun mechanics.

  • momtarkle

    Then, who fixes his quantun?

  • tubi11
  • squinney

    You Win

  • newavocation

    And they know even less of their own bible.

  • Leiningen’s Ants

    Tell me you didn’t name your cat Schrodinger…

  • Black Leaf

    The popular Christian meme is that God’s presence is obvious to everyone, so anyone who claims not to believe in him is obviously lying for some presumably sinister reason.

  • Pepe

    I’ve heard this so many times, but I still don’t understand it. Is there a good explanation on how this kinda thinking works?

  • baal

    Doesn’t make sense to me either. I classify it under argument from assertion.

  • Matt Bowyer

    They just can’t comprehend how a person can simply not believe in their God, so they have to rationalize it somehow.

  • unbound55

    It’s pretty much the same thing as the die-hard Apple or Android fanboy is about their phone (they can’t comprehend how you aren’t choosing the obvious superior phone) except even further devoid of anything like objectivity.

  • Alierias

    I loved my Iphone, then the new IOS came along. Steve Jobs is spinning in his grave fast enough to power Arizona in a heat wave…

  • quasibaka

    While I agree fanboys exist in both smartphone OS camps , comparing fundies to fanboys is hardly fair ! The consequences of fanboyism is just internet trolls and flame wars . Realise that no one actually gets burnt or beaten to death!

  • scmike

    Hi Pepe. I think I can help. Romans 1: 18-21 teaches that EVERYONE knows that God exists, but some choose to suppress that truth in order to avoid accountability to Him. That is, they profess to not believe in God, but then live as if they do believe in Him and the truth of the Bible when they appeal to concepts such as morality, truth, knowledge, and absolute laws of logic.
    Immaterial, universal, invariant concepts such as these cannot be made sense of in any atheistic worldview (after all, how does a strictly material, constantly changing universe give us concepts and laws that are not made of matter, apply everywhere, and don’t change?) but can be made sense of via the Christian worldview as a direct reflection of the absolute character and nature of God. As such, atheism (and all competing non-Christian worldviews, for that matter) is reduced to absurdity, as it does not comport with any of the necessary preconditions of intelligibility, and therefore cannot be logically justified. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that believing in things with no logical justifcation for doing so is the very definition of an irrational position, no? Merry Christmas!

  • cary_w

    scmike, you just have no clue how messed up that whole statement is, do you? I wish for you to find knowledge and logic in the New Year :-)

  • scmike

    Thanks for the warm wishes Cary_w. Regarding your assertion about my statement, you provided no justification at all to substantiate it. Did you have a rational objection to the argument?

  • spookiewon

    You mean other than it’s circularity?

  • scmike

    Hey spookie. I disagree with your allegation of circularity here. Nevertheless, you do raise a very good question. Why are circular arguments not allowed in your worldview? What standard of logic do they violate and why do you feel that that standard absolutely should not be violated?

  • jmslmore

    Now you’re just taunting. Surely you are aware of the problem with circular argument. If not, here is a refresher: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/files/2010/01/napkin-religion.jpg

  • scmike

    Never said I wasn’t aware of what circular arguments are. The question is: why are circular arguments not allowed in your worldview? What objective standard of logic do circular arguments violate and why SHOULD that standard absolutely not be violated? Well?

  • jmslmore

    “…why are circular arguments not allowed in your worldview?” They can’t be substantiated.

    “What objective standard of logic do circular arguments violate…” See above.

    “…why SHOULD that standard absolutely not be violated?” See above.

    Are you advocating for circular reasoning as an acceptable rationale? Or, just in one ‘special’ case?

  • scmike

    No. I, however, have justification for the existence of absolute, immaterial, universal standards in my worldview, since they are in agreement with the character and nature of the God of the Bible. I want to know how you account for such standards in a universe without God (especially since those characteristics do not agree with a strictly material, constantly changing universe). Well?

  • jmslmore

    “No” appears contradictory. Effectively, according to your comment, your justification is the same as for the napkin religion pictured above. This is where we differ. Your ‘standard’ with regard to all posited deities is, in my opinion, arbitrary and inconsistent when it comes to the God of the Bible. Thus, your standard is variable according to your whim. I simply apply the standard across the board. And, as far as I am able to determine, there is no good reason not to. The justification for all of them is the same, i.e., none. Unless you can show why the Christian God is superior to any other without an appeal to the Bible, there is no reason to give Him any more credence than any other imagined god.

  • scmike

    Sorry, jm. We can discuss opinions some other time. For the purpose of this discussion, I am only interested in what you know and how you claim to know it. Since you have admitted that the standards you are attempting to impose on me here are unjustified and arbitrary, you have forfeited any basis for rational discussion, knowledge, or truth in your worldview, as every claim you make could be false for all you know. This places all of your assertions in the realm of blind faith, as they are (by your own admission) baseless and without justification. Sadly, this is what a worldview without God amounts to. I hope you’ll rethink you position on this.

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

    The character and nature of the God of the Bible is that of a petty, bigoted, jealous, genocidal abuser. Why would you worship such a being, or take its example as a good one to follow?

  • scmike

    Firstly, Feminerd, I deny your gross mischaracterizations of the God of the Bible. However, you do raise some good questions here: by what objective moral standard do you condemn any of the behaviors you cited above? How do you account for that standard? Why does it necessarily apply to anything or anyone? I welcome your responses.

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

    How is it grossly mischaracterizing God’s character? He is petty (he himself describes himself as both an angry and jealous god), he clearly does not like gay people or women (bigoted), he clearly demands genocidal actions from his followers (the genocides of the Amorites, Amalekites, Hittites, and many others), and he is an abuser who demands you love him or be punished. If a man told his girlfriend “love me or I’ll hit you”, we’d tell her to run and never look back. But somehow when a deity says “love me or I’ll burn you forever”, that’s love.

    At any rate, the best moral standard anyone has ever come up with is both halves of the Golden Rule combined- do unto others as you would have them do to you, and do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you. It creates the greatest good for people as a whole and individual persons both. We have no objective moral standards, but can only measure different moral standards by their outcomes and see which ones are the most beneficial. The Golden Rules produce the healthiest, most educated, happiest human beings, and thus are the best moral standard to use.

    As for where it comes from, our morality and ethics come from evolved empathy as we are a social species, and empathy allows us to cooperate and thus survive better as a species. Empathy causes us to hurt when others around us are hurt- it literally lights up the same pathways in the brain to see someone else in pain as it does to be in pain yourself. We don’t like to hurt, so we don’t hurt others, and they don’t like to see us hurt, so they don’t hurt us. Oh look! Golden Rule again.

    Do keep in mind that if your “objective moral standard” allows for and encourages homophobia, misogyny, slavery, and genocide, it’s probably going to be a pretty bad standard of morals to adopt.

  • scmike

    What you don’t realize, Feminerd, is that we will interpret any evidence (including the Bible) via our respective presuppositions. I presuppose that God exists and that His Word is true, while you presuppose that God does not exist and that the Bible is not true, hence your innacuracies and mischaracterizations of God and the Bible. The question then becomes, which of our positions is internally consistent, comports with reality, and can be rationally defended? You answer that question very clearly in your above comments when you profess not to believe in objective morality and then contradict yourself when you say that if another standard allows for certain behaviors, it is a ‘pretty bad’ standard of morals to adopt. This is terribly inconsistent, as the most you could ever hope to say about any behavior is that it is ‘different’ from the one you hold, but certainly not ‘good’ or ‘bad’. If morality can be arbitrarily stipulated, then anyone is free to stipulate their own and you lose any rational foundation for arguing against them. After all, if I say “I like the color red” and you say, “yeah, but I like blue”, what is your personal preference to me? You should give this some serious thought.

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

    Your assumptions are flawed. I start with no presuppositions. I merely ask to be convinced by evidence that things are true, and if no convincing evidence is presented, go with the null hypothesis instead.

    So people tell me the Bible is true. Really? Prove it. They can’t- the Bible is clearly untrue in many places (rabbits do not chew cud, bats are not birds, pi is not 3, etc). God is real? Show me some evidence. There is zero evidence for any creator deity at all, let alone their version. So, okay, since the Bible clearly isn’t true and there is no evidence of any deities, that’s what I believe until such time as sufficient evidence is presented to me.

    You start with presuppositions. I start with a tabula rasa- a blank slate- and just look at it skeptically. You should never start with your answer and then try to prove it- that just makes for rationalizations and poor thinking. Start with the question and work down from there.

    As for morality- humans adopt morality. Bad standards of morality hurt people; we know they are bad because we have empathy and we don’t like it when people are hurt. It’s not objective, but it is the best standard of morality to adopt because it causes the greatest good to the greatest number of people without actually hurting those who aren’t in the greatest number (a classical failing of pure utilitarianism). If you can argue that slavery is moral, I will argue that slavery hurts people, and I will base it on our evolved empathy as a reason to reject slavery. What will you say if someone tells you slavery is moral? Your god likes slavery.

  • scmike

    “”I start with no presuppositions. I merely ask to be convinced by evidence that things are true, and if no convincing evidence is presented, go with the null hypothesis instead.””
    Actually, Feminerd, your very statement that you start with no presuppositions is, itself, a presupposition which makes your claim a self-refuting one. In addition, there are many others that you hold as well. Take the concepts of logic, truth, proof, and knowledge for instance; clearly, you would have to accept the existence of these things prior to proving their existence. My position is that the God of the Bible is the necessary precondition for the existence of any abstract, universal, invariants such as the ones listed above, as they cannot be rationally justified or accounted for outside of the Christian worldview. In order to argue against my claim, you must assume the opposite position (i.e. God does not exist and the Bible is not true) and you will interpret any evidence presented to you via those assumptions. The problem is, in doing so, you destroy any foundation of your own for rational thought or the ability to know anything in your worldview. You also lose any logical basis for making any moral assesment, as your claims about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are reduced to nothing more than mere subjective personal opinions which have no binding authority whatsoever. After all, why should anyone care about your opinions if it is their desire to do otherwise?
    Fortunately, you do not live in accordance with your professed beliefs, as is evidenced by your claim that you believe one standard of morality to be ‘better’ than another, as opposed to just being ‘different’ from one another. Absent a known absolute, overriding, correct standard by which to gauge this, one standard could never be ‘better’ (i.e. more correct) than another. If I say that 17 is the answer to the question ‘what is 2 + 2’ and you say the answer is 6, both answers are incorrect, but your answer is the ‘better’ answer because it is closer to the known absolute correct answer of 4 (in base 10 mathematics). What is the absolute correct standard of morality by which all people should live and behave, Feminerd? How do you account for such a standard? Why does it necessarily apply to everyone?

  • Spuddie

    When you have a rational argument, you will get a rational objection. How about these objections:
    -Appeal to bigotry as you insult all other faiths/religious ideas
    -Unsupported argument
    -improper definition of terms such as logic and rationality
    -Shifting the burden of proof away from the person making the claim

  • scmike

    Hey spuddie. As I have grown accustomed to in these types of discussion, you provided zero support for any of your objections. Surely you can see that absent justification for your claims, you are doing the very thing you are (falsely) accusing me of doing, no?

  • Spuddie

    No.You have just grown tone-deaf to them. There is a difference here. Ironically your responses do everything to support my position

    It is not my job to dissect your writings word for word in an effort to stroke your penchant for self-wankery. You’re sole response is to ignore all responses and shift burdens of proof. As you are doing here. You ironically already provide support for my position by doing so.

    Your little remark about “non-Christian” religious ideas being absurd is nothing but an appeal to bigotry and hate. Your own words support my position again in that respect as well.

    I have not seen one iota of support for your position other than smug self-declaration. Since you are the one making the claims, the burden is yours alone. It is not for me to cough up a valid objection, it is your duty to make a valid claim first.
    You use the terms logic and rationality but to ends which are not supported by either. Insulting other ideas and declaring yourself to be logical or rational is not a logical or rational argument. Obviously you don’t use the terms correctly. Again, your own words support my argument.
    You are a sectarian bigot with no sense of irony.

  • scmike

    You said: “”I have not seen one iota of support for your position other than smug self-declaration.””
    How ironic.
    Look, Spuddie, I have given you my worldview’s justification for the existence of abstract, universal, invariants such as logic, truth, etc. You may not like the justification that I have given, but to say that none has been provided is patently dishonest of you. Surely you can see that continuing to evade my requests for you to provide your own competing justification for the very laws of logic you are using to even evaluate and critique my comments only serves to lend credibility to my claims, no?

  • Spuddie

    No you patted yourself on the back and asked everyone to just accept it because you love Jesus so much. Well, that may work among other Born Agains. They are not a very critical bunch for this sort of thing.

    Obviously you are not used to dealing with those outside the bubble of people who do not consider themselves mini-Jesii with anything other than smug contempt.

    While others were willing to overlook your obvious sectarian bigotry, I am not. You are nothing more than a person who loves to hate. Someone who thinks following Jesus means not really having to follow him with that whole “love thy neighbor” stuff. A sham Christian who thinks being born again means they can demand respect which has not been earned.

    Btw you do realize everyone here thinks you are an idiot?

  • scmike

    I’m sorry to hear that you feel that way, spuddie. I guess I should probably just go away and stop exposing the irrationality of atheism, huh? Riiiiiiiiight!!!!
    Giving truth to those who are in error, in hopes that they might come to their senses and turn from their folly, is one of the most loving things a person can do. Remember, the truth only hurts when it should, and I can tell by your responses that you’re definitely smarting from it. Perhaps you should give some thought as to why that is?

  • Spuddie

    Typical passive aggressive born again response.

    You are sorry that I felt offended by your words, not that your words were offensive. Utterly nasty and phony yet civil. At least you didn’t say you would pray for me. We all know around here that’s Christianspeak for “go fuck yourself”.

  • Olive Markus

    You greatly mistake irritation with baseless arguments for personal offense and hurt. No need to condescendingly feign worry over Spuddie’s well-being.

  • scmike

    Hey Olive. Your desire to aid spuddie in his self-deception is duly noted. What you may not realize is that is the very epitome of a feigned concern for his well-being, on your part. He would do well to take note of this as well and to steer clear.

  • Olive Markus

    I was actually making fun of your statements more than actually coming to his aide (that he didn’t need), but thanks for making no sense whatsoever.

    You’re actually saying he needs to steer clear of me? Brilliant. Thank you for the laugh, at least :).

  • scmike

    No harm meant, Olive. Just thought the inconsistency of your statement should be exposed, you’re certainly not doing spuddie any favors by supporting him in his suppression of the truth. If anything, you’re making it worse for him.

  • Olive Markus

    I agree with Spuddie on all accounts

  • scmike

    Color me surprised.

  • Pepe

    Hi Scmike,
    Thanks for trying to explain. I just don’t understand how or, more importantly, WHY, we would just try to suppress the ‘truth’. Especially if it means that we know we’re gonna burn in hell for ever. Why would anyone be stupid enough to do that?

  • scmike

    Some people would rather be god than submit to God, Pepe. Denying his existence allows them to live the way they would like to and continue in their sin, rather than obeying Him and forsaking their own ways. It is for this very reason that the Bible calls those who deny God, ‘fools’—-because they are denying what they know to be true despite the dire consequences of doing so. Nothing could be more foolish than willfully rejecting God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ and choosing to perish instead.

  • Pepe

    Dude, that doesn’t make any sense! I’ll have to be a masochist of the highest order to WANT to go to hell. And I sure as hell, am not.

  • scmike

    Well, you’re surely not doing yourself any favors by continuing to live in denial of God’s revealed Truth. There are only 2 types of people, Pepe; those who profess the truth and those who suppress it. I trust I don’t have to tell you which side you’re presently on? God doesn’t send people to hell for what they don’t know, but for denying the God that they do know exists and rejecting His offer of salvation. Repent and trust in Jesus Christ and God will forgive you of your sins and for your denial of Him.

  • jmslmore

    Well, for once we can (almost) agree. You are correct that there are only two types of people, however, they are: those who believe there are only two types of people and those who don’t.

  • jimlouvier

    Yeah, it’s very foolish to research and seek evidence about something as opposed to blindly believing it because an old book told you to.

  • scmike

    Hey jim. Your irrational bias against the Bible and Christianity is duly noted. Take care.

  • scmike

    Actually, jim, research and evidence both make perfect sense in the Christian worldview, as they aid in the gaining of knowledge which is something God has commanded us to pursue. However, since knowledge is certain by definition, how is it possible for you to know anything for certain in your non-Christian worldview with only your limited senses and experience of the universe to go on? Apart from Divine revelation, couldn’t you be wrong about everything you claim to know?

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    I don’t want to go to your non-evidenced hell, nor the hundreds of Chinese hells or Allah’s hell or even the Norse hel. I also don’t want to worship your non-evidenced god, nor Allah, Odin, Vishnu or Buddha, or any of the thousands of other gods mankind has had over the millinea of civilization. I reject them all.

    Why should I believe your Xian hell is real, much less your god is real?

  • scmike

    No one is talking about belief here, Bear. Rather the argument is that you KNOW that God exists, but are suppressing that truth in unrighteousness. Your comment reveals a precommitment to the concept of ‘evidence’ which alludes to ‘proof’. Proof of anything requires truth, knowledge, and absolute laws of logic, none of which can be accounted for apart from the God of the Bible. If you dispute this, feel free to provide your competing account for the existence of any of these things without God. You will not be able to, as these concepts do not comport with atheism in any way shape or form, but I think the exercise will be helpful to you. Take care.

  • Spuddie

    No, that is wrong. You are talking about belief here. Stop lying.

    From your own statements:

    “(and all competing non-Christian worldviews, for that matter) is reduced to absurdity”

    You clearly think your Christian beliefs are vastly superior to another religion.
    As EVERYONE HAS POINTED OUT TO YOU, there is no reason why anyone needs to take such a view on its merits since you provide nothing to support it.

  • scmike

    Again, spuddie, your lack of a competing account for the preconditions of intelligibility serves to support my position quite nicely. Thanks again!

  • raveries

    The Bhagavad Gita says ” He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge.” It also says that those who fail to recognise God are fools. Given that there are pretty similar claims made in Christianity, Islam and Judaism how can you say which one is the Truth?
    How can you justify, when there is a crossover is philosophies (and in actual content in the case of the Abrahamic religions) that only one particular religion or sub-religion is true and picking the wrong one will result in eternal torment?
    And why would a loving God create a multiplicity of religions, load them up with similar arguments, presumably allow billions of people to choose the wrong one and then wager our eternities on the outcome?

  • scmike

    “”how can you say which one is the Truth?””
    Because God has revealed Himself to all people such that we can be certain of who He is and that the Bible is True, by the impossibility of the contrary.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Because God has revealed Himself

    Again and again, you assert that your non-evidenced god exists.

    Again and again, I ask you “Where’s your evidence?”

    Why won’t you give any evidence? I suspect you ave nothing but words and so rightly reject your claim.

    to all people such that we can be certain of who He is

    The billions of Muslims and Hindus, not to mention the followers of thousands of other non-Xian religions, disagree.

    and that the Bible is True,

    The billions of Muslims and Hindus, not to mention the followers of thousands of other non-Xian religions, disagree.

    What evidence do you have that the bible is true?

    by the impossibility of the contrary.

    Another claim without any evidence to back it up. I reject your claim.

  • scmike

    “”The billions of Muslims and Hindus, not to mention the followers of thousands of other non-Xian religions, disagree.””
    Agreement has nothing to do with truth, bear.

    “”I reject your claim.””
    Proof does not equal persuasion. Again, I am happy to leave our discussion here.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts
    The billions of Muslims and Hindus, not to mention the followers of thousands of other non-Xian religions, disagree.

    Agreement has nothing to do with truth, bear.

    No, I’m not talking about “agreement”, scmike. Those billions of Muslims and Hindus are just like the billions of Xians: They all think that *their* religion is the true religion. They all disagree with all the other religions out there. And they don’t only disagree with all the other religions out there, they ACTIVELY believe that all those other religions are wrong.

    With the thousands of religions out there that COMPLETELY disagree with each other, what are the chances that one of them is true and all the others are false?

    I reject your claim.

    Proof does not equal persuasion.

    WTF? Evidence is necessary for any claims to be true. You’ve claimed that 1) your non-evidenced god exists, and 2) that it is responsible for truth. Despite repeated requests for evidence, you’ve completely ignored your burden of evidence for the claims you’ve made.

    Again, I am happy to leave our discussion here.

    Me, too. I’m happy to leave it here, with your complete failure to evidence your claims. You’ve done a great job failing. That’s something for you to be proud of….not!

  • Olive Markus

    Let me rephrase what I said before: Why do you think you can make certain claims without any evidence whatsoever and demand that we simply accept what you say?

    Every single argument you’ve used can be applied to any creature I care to make up. What?! You don’t believe in the almighty Purple SnowUnicorn? Well, that is your fault. The evidence is all around you if you’d just decide ahead of time to believe in him! As long as you believe it’s there, you’ll see it in everything!

    Spending Christmas with my nephews putting on an elaborate show of Santa Clause’s arrival just made me realize even more that there is no more evidence of God than there is of Santa Claus. If one wants to believe, then they will, reality be damned.

  • scmike

    Hey again, Olive. I have provided the evidence to support my claims days ago. I understand that you may reject the evidence due to your presuppositions about God and Christianity, but that does not negate the presentation of the evidence in any way.

    If you would like to test your hypothesis that the Christian claim can be duplicated by ‘made up’ creatures, feel free. I think you will find very quickly that it is not possible for ‘made up’ creatures to account for the existence of objective standards of logic, truth, morality, and knowledge that exist in reality. It is interesting, though, how atheists must consistently go outside of (i.e abandon) their own professed worldview in order to try and justify their worldview rationally. That is, atheists must assume that their position is false in order to try and prove that it is true. This of course is self-defeating and woefully irrational. In fact, one atheist on this very thread has even gone as far as to posit flying pasta as their justification for the existence of abstract, universal, invariant laws of logic. Such is the absurdity of atheism. Why trust such a hopelessly irrational position?

  • Olive Markus

    So… May I ask what your precise definition of objective morality is?

    After that, please point out the objective moral beliefs as found in the bible.

    When you manage that, tell me how all 41,000 denominations of Christianity practice this objective morality.

    Actually, when you manage that, tell me how a single denomination has managed to practice objective morality for 2,000 years.

  • scmike

    “”So… May I ask what your precise definition of objective morality is?””

    Moral standards revealed and prescribed by God.

    “”After that, please point out the objective moral beliefs as found in the bible.””
    Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. To condense even further: Love = good, Hate = bad.
    God’s moral standards are not Christian specific, Olive. They are absolute, immaterial, universal laws that reflect the absolute character and nature of God and have been revealed to all people directly by Him as the prescribed way He expects us to behave and conduct ourselves, being made in His image. This is what makes things like rape, murder, child molestation, terrorism, etc. ABSOLUTELY wrong in my worldview. However, this is something you could never say, as you have espoused a position in which morality is reduced to subjective personal preference. This leads to consequences that you probably won’t want to accept, such as the possibility that the behaviors I listed above could be perfectly acceptable and even ‘right’ in your worldview. You see, if morality can be arbitrarily stipulated, then anyone is free to stipulate their own moral standards and you lose any basis for arguing against them, as one personal preference is no more valid than another. While you may profess to believe this, you (thankfully) do not live that way. I hope you’ll give this some very serious thought.

  • Olive Markus

    So you condone slavery (and sexual slavery) and consider that an objective moral good?

    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5)

    “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.” (Exodus 21:7-11)

    You think killing children is an objective moral good?

    “So this is what the LORD Almighty says about them: “I will punish them! Their young men will die in battle, and their little boys and girls will starve. Not one of these plotters from Anathoth will survive, for I will bring disaster upon them when their time of punishment comes.” (Jeremiah 11:22-23)

    Forcing a woman to marry her rapist is an objective moral good?

    “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

    Bashing babies against rocks is an objective moral good?

    “Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.” (Psalms 137:9)

    Just curious.

  • scmike

    Hey Olive. Regarding your questions:
    1) Biblical slavery, yes (the passages you referenced have nothing to do with sexual slavery). Modern day slavery as we know it, no. Apples and oranges.
    2) The taking of any life by God is good, as ultimately all life belongs to Him and is His to do with as He pleases. Fortunately, we can be certain that God has a morally sufficient reason for everything that He does per His promises in the Bible.
    3) You’re confusing absolute moral laws with those non-absolute civil and ceremonial mandates prescribed upon the Jewish people of ancient Israel who lived under God’s Theocracy (i.e. The Old Testament). Apples and oranges.
    4) No. It was good at the times and places commanded by God.
    Now, my follow up question to you would be: by what objective standard of morality would it be wrong to do any of the above in your worldview, Olive? How do you rationally account for such a standard?

  • Olive Markus

    Why was it good then but not now? Why was it good in certain contexts but not in others? Who decided that certain parts of the bible were ok in the past, but needed to be reformed?

    I think you’re the one confusing objective morality. See, you are picking and choosing which things God advocated as good or as contextually ok but not applicable to modern life. There are other Christians who look at the bible and say that it condones modern slavery. What part of the bible says that modern slavery isn’t ok? How do you, exactly, decide that these things are no longer moral?

  • scmike

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in my prior explanation, Olive. I will try to simplify here. Absolute moral laws are derived from the absolute, universal character and nature of God as revealed to us in His Word. These laws reflect His perfect holiness and are the prescribed standard by which ALL people should behave since we are made in His image. Take lying for instance; lying is not wrong simply because God says not to do it, it is wrong because it is a direct violation of His nature. God cannot contradict Himself and therefore demands that we not do so either. Look at adultery; adultery is not wrong simply because God says it is, it is wrong because God is perfectly faithful and commands us to be as well. Ultimately, all sin is a violation of God’s character and that is what makes it so damning. When we sin, we are in essence lying about who God is, since we bear His image and have his laws ‘written upon our hearts’.
    Absolute moral laws are not to be confused with those commands given to only specific people, at specific times, in specific places, and for specific purposes (such as the civil and ceremonial laws and mandates of the Old Testament that were specifically prescribed to the ancient Israelites, who lived under God’s direct Theocratic rule, and which were subsequently fulfilled by Christ as prophesied beforehand). Again, apples and oranges.

    Now, I appreciate your questions and hope that you see my willingness to accommodate them. However, I would also ask that you respond in kind, as well. My questions to you still remain unanswered. Here they are again: by what non-arbitrary standard of morality do you call any behavior wrong in your worldview? How do you account for that standard? On what logical basis should anyone else adhere to that standard if they don’t want to?

  • raveries

    I have to disagree with your claim that the moral prohibition against lying is absolute or universal. Lying is wrong in certain circumstances because it causes physical or financial harm to another (e.g. if I lie about the condition of a car’s brakes when selling it). Lying can also be wrong because it violates an implicit or explicit standard of conduct within a relationship, essentially changing the terms of that relationship in a way that disadvantages one party without that party’s consent.

    However, lying is not absolutely or universally wrong because there are circumstances when it prevents greater harm than it causes e.g. (warning – Godwin’s law in action) the people in occupied Europe who lied to Nazis about the presence of Jews were causing harm to the Nazi engaged in looking for Jews by forcing them to spend more time looking for victims and creating a risk to the Nazi of reprimands from their superiors, but they were avoiding the far greater harm of the people they were hiding being tortured and killed, rendering the lie morally acceptable.

    If the lie was unacceptable because it was contrary to your god’s nature, wouldn’t it be impermissible in all situations, even ones involving Nazis?

    “by what non-arbitrary standard of morality do you call any behavior wrong in your worldview?”
    my basis for causing a behaviour morally wrong is that the harm it causes to others outweighs the utility derived from it.
    “How do you account for that standard?”
    by the fact that humans function best when living in groups so we are best served when our moral standards reflect the long-term interests of that group and its members.
    “On what logical basis should anyone else adhere to that standard if they don’t want to?”
    I’m not suggesting that anyone else adhere to my moral standards so long as they do not engage in behaviours that cause needless or disproporitonate harm to others. I know that people measure harm differently than I do and I respect their right to do so where they don’t fall below basic levels of respect for others.

    Also, on the argument you keep making about the existence of logic proving the existence of your god, this article addresses the exact point you’ve raised:

    http://infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/logic.html

    I should thank you for raising this argument because it made me research the nature of logic, so I’ve learnt something new due to your posts even if it’s not the thing you wanted me to learn :)

  • scmike

    “”If the lie was unacceptable because it was contrary to your god’s nature, wouldn’t it be impermissible in all situations, even ones involving Nazis?””

    Yes. The the justifiableness of a behavior has nothing to do with it being absolutely right or wrong. You are making the mistake of assuming that preserving human life is the greater good as opposed to obeying the commandments of God.

    “”I’m not suggesting that anyone else adhere to my moral standards so long as they do not engage in behaviours that cause needless or disproporitonate harm to others.””
    Um, that is a moral standard that you are attempting to impose on others, raveries. Why should people refrain from behaviours that cause needless or disproportionate harm to others if they don’t want to? Surely not because you say so? Who gets to determine what harm is needless or disproprtionate? How do you know that minimizing harm is the proper goal of mankind as opposed to maximizing harm if we are simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes over time? If morality is arbitrarily stipulated, then anyone is free to stipulate their own morality (including rapists, murders, and child molesters) and you have no rational complaint against them apart from your subjective personal preference (which itself is subject to change). Like it or not, this is what atheism is reduced to when followed to its (il) logical conclusion (s). Why trust such a hopeless position?

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    No one is talking about belief here, Bear.

    No, we are. You have asserted that your non-evidenced god exists (claim). I don’t believe you (rejection of claim). It is incumbent upon you to provide evidence for your assertions. Please do so.

    Rather the argument is that you KNOW that God exists, but are suppressing that truth in unrighteousness.

    No, I know no such thing and you cannot say I do. Claiming I do know your non-evidenced god exists is hubris and insulting on your part. I know what I know and you can’t claim otherwise. It is dishonest of you to try.

    The argument here is that you claim that your non-evidenced god exists. It is your burden of evidence to prove it does, not mine.

    Your comment reveals a precommitment to the concept of ‘evidence’ which alludes to ‘proof’.

    Damn straight it’s my “precommitment” because without any evidence, crazy beliefs are possible, like your still-un-evidenced god. Why won’t you give any?

    Proof of anything requires truth, knowledge, and absolute laws of logic, none of which can be accounted for apart from the God of the Bible.

    You’ve already added that second claim to your side of the ledger: that your still-un-evidenced god is responsible for truth & etc. You still have failed to evidence either of those two claims, merely asserted them. Why should I believe you?

    If you dispute this, feel free to provide your competing account for the existence of any of these things without God.

    Nah, you asserted two claims that you’ve thus far failed to evidence at all. You still owe me some and I don’t accept your assertions.

    You will not be able to, as these concepts do not comport with atheism in any way shape or form, but I think the exercise will be helpful to you.

    Funny, of the two of us, you’re the one with two claims on the table and no evidence. Give me some, then we can continue talking.

  • scmike

    you said: “”You still owe me some and I don’t accept your assertions.””

    However, you do believe in proof, knowledge, logic, and truth, which are necessary for holding any discussion (including this one) and determining the veracity of any claim. You may not like how I justify the existence of those concepts in my worldview and you may even disagree with me. However, none of that matters if you can’t account for the existence of those same concepts in your own worldview. Again, posit your logical justification for the existence of abstract, universal, invariants such as logic and truth which provide you with an objective basis for argumentation and evaluating any claim in your worldview, or just admit that you can’t (in which case you accept them on blind faith). Don’t worry, I’m patient.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    However, you do believe in //snip//

    No, you don’t get to frame this “discussion” in any way until you fulfill your burden of evidence about your two claims: 1) that your non-evidenced god exists, and 2) that your still-un-evidenced god is responsible for those things.

    You may not like how I justify the existence of those concepts in my worldview

    You’ve done NOTHING to justify your claims, you have merely asserted them. Since I have made no claims whatsoever, by merely rejecting your claims, it’s not my job to tell you anything about my position until you evidence yours.

    and you may even disagree with me.

    I reject your claims. Evidence them then we can continue.

    However, none of that matters if you can’t account for the existence of those same concepts in your own worldview.

    Bulls#!t. You still have two assertions on the table with nothing to justify them. I don’t have to account for ANYTHING because I reject your claims. It is incumbent on YOU to evidence your claims, not me.

    Try again.

    Again, posit your logical justification //snip//

    No, you evidence your claims, you dishonest liar for your still-un-evidenced god.

    Don’t worry, I’m patient.

    Since you’ve failed spectacularly to evidence any of your claims, I reject them.

    Come back with evidence, not assertions.

  • scmike

    Again, bear, just because you don’t like the evidence you’ve been given is not rational grounds for dismissing it. I could just as easily say that, since you have not provided any evidence that you can justify the existence of logic, truth, and knowledge in your worldview, then all of your statements are therefore illogical, untruthful, and baseless as of now. We both believe in the existence of knowledge, truth, and logic, and all any intellectually honest reader has to do is scroll up to see that only one of us thus far has presented any justification for why that is. Surely you can see that borrowing concepts that can only be made sense of in the Christian worldview to try and argue against the Christian worldview, is woefully self-refuting, no?

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Again, bear, just because you don’t like the evidence you’ve been given is not rational grounds for dismissing it.

    Liar. You’ve given no evidence. You’ve merely asserted. Please educate yourself on the difference between evidence and assertion.

    Here’s what assertion is defined as:

    -a positive statement, usually made without an attempt at furnishing evidence (Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged)

    -a positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason; allegation. (Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary)

    -something declared or stated positively, often with no support or attempt at proof. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

    By each of these definitions of the word, you’re repeated claims are mere assertions, statements without support or evidence.

    I could just as easily say that, since you have not provided any //snip//

    From the guy who’s given NO EVIDENCE for his claims, this is dishonest and hubris.

    Provide your evidence for your still-un-evidenced god or your claim is justly rejected.

    any intellectually honest reader has to do is scroll up to see that only one of us thus far has presented any justification for why that is.

    Any intellectually honest reader can see, quite clearly, that you’ve merely asserted your claims without evidence and have provided no justification at all for either of them.

    Additionally, any intellectually honest reader can see that, despite repeated requests for evidence for your claims from me, you’ve failed again and again and again and again to provide any.

    That intellectually honest reader must be asking themselves why you’ve ignored each and every request I’ve made, why you’ve repeatedly failed to give evidence, and so that intellectually honest reader is justified in rejecting your claims, just as I have.

    Surely you can see that //snip//

    No, stop lying. You’ve got two claims on the table: 1) your still-un-evidenced god exists, and 2) your still-un-evidenced god is responsible for truth.

    I have rejected both claims. It is your burden of evidence to provide justification for your claims.

    You have failed over and over and over again to evidence both of these claims, despite repeated requests from me to give some.

    Any intellectually honest reader can see that you are full of crap, have no evidence to back up your wild claims and are justly ignored because your claim is easily rejected.

  • scmike

    No problem, bear. The great part about public forums like this one, is that intellectually honest folks can review these dialogues and see clearly which side has justified their position and which side has only evaded the questions that they can’t/ don’t want to deal with to keep from having the inconsistency of their position (further) exposed. I am fine with that. Take care.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    The great part about public forums like this one, is that intellectually honest folks can review these dialogues and see clearly which side has justified their position

    Yeah, the great thing about this is you’ve presented two claims 1) that your non-evidenced god exists and 2) that it is responsible for truth. Where is your justification for these claims? Nowhere. You’ve repeatedly failed to evidence your non-evidenced god. Repeatedly, even when I’ve asked you again and again.

    and which side has only evaded the questions that they can’t/ don’t want to deal with to keep from having the inconsistency of their position (further) exposed.

    And yet, even though I’ve asked you over and over for some or any evidence for your still-un-evidenced god, you’ve completely evaded your burden of proof.

    I am fine with that.

    Thanks for your dishonesty. Intellectually honest readers can see that you make unsubstantiated claims then refuse to back them up, even after repeated requests for evidence.

  • Spuddie

    Since your definition of “fools” also include people who have religious beliefs other than your own, let me point out that not only are you full of smug pride in your religious convictions but also hateful towards those of anyone else. 2 deadly sins in one package for one claiming to be righteous.
    Nobody else seemed to notice the sectarian bigotry in your statements, but I won’t give you a pass on it. You are like everyone else who pretends wrapping hate in the trappings of religion makes it free of criticism or sanction.

  • scmike

    Hey again, spuddie. You seem to have a penchant for making unjustified claims and allegations. As of now, everything your have asserted above stands unsupported (and unsupportable). I seem to remember a well known atheist stating that claims made without evidence should be dismissed in the same manner (or something like that). Sounds reasonable to me.

  • Spuddie

    I am using your own statements as support! You have already provided proof supporting my position.
    Your own words betray a lazy sectarian bigot who is unable to make a coherent argument without ignorance trolling and circular statements. We can add sloth to your deadly sin collection as well.
    You called “all competing Non-Christian” beliefs absurd and lacking logic or rationality That is just plain religious bigotry and phony pride on your part. Support your statement as why should it not be considered so. Those were your words not mine. Either stand by them or shut the hell up.

  • scmike

    Thanks again for the help, spuddie! You continue to do wonders for my claims and the cause of Christianity! Keep it up!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Thanks again for the help, scmike! You continue to fail to evidence your claims and set back the cause of Christianity due to your dishonesty and hubris! Keep it up!

  • Spuddie

    So you don’t stand behind your own words.

    I get the feeling that even other Christians think you are an idiot. Which is why you are here.They don’t want you around.

    I have known plenty of Christians who are intelligent and capable of supporting their own statements or at least giving a coherent argument. You will never be one of them.

  • scmike

    Hey spuddie. The very fact that you want me to stop using these arguments against your position is verification that I shouldn’t. Although, I do understand why you’d want me to. I’d say the same thing if I were in your position.

  • Spuddie

    Its more like watching Barney and Friends with a three year old. You want them to stop because it can’t be healthy and its kind of pathetic. But they enjoy it nonetheless.

  • scmike

    And so name calling and baseless allegations are the way you demonstrate that you hold the intellectually superior position in such cases? Riiiiiiiight.

  • Gehennah

    That argument is stupid, sorry, it just is.

    The argument that “we just want to live in sin” is exactly what the Christian religion is all about, no accountability. According to Christianity, someone who lives a good life helping others but doesn’t believe burns, yet a serial killer can go to Heaven. There is no accountability at all there, it is a complete cop out.

  • scmike

    Actually, Gehennah, it is the Christian position that no one lives a ‘good’ life (Rom. 3:12), but that all have sinned and are in need of the righteousness that can only be obtainted via repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. I hope this is clear now.
    A profession of atheism is simply a means of attempting to declare oneself autonomous from God so that the individual can continue in unrighteousness due to a love for their sin and a hatred for God and His righteousness. This is perfectly consistent with what the Bible states about the depraved nature of mankind and their desire to rebel against their Creator. The fact that atheists suppress what they know to be true about God is easily demonstrated by the fact that they do not live consistently with their professed beliefs. I’ll show you what I mean in response to your comments below.

  • Frank

    Hell is a creation by the religious leaders to instill fear and obedience. No rational thinking modern person can believe these fairy tale stories.

  • scmike

    Thanks for the opinion piece, Frank. Should you ever decide to actually provide proof for your claim and/or provide the objective standard by which you determine what is ‘rational’, feel free. Take care!

  • jmslmore

    Circular reasoning: Why should anyone give credence to Romans:1:18-21. Non-supported assertion: ‘Everyone knows [the Christian] God exists…’ Everyone? really? what about the ones who didn’t in the past, don’t know now or won’t in the future? Non-supported assertion: that ‘a strictly material, constantly changing universe give us concepts and laws that are not made of matter, apply everywhere, and don’t change?)’ can only be explained by the ‘Christian worldview’ How so? and why not other ‘worldviews’. Define ‘Christian worldview’ – which is so vague as to be absurd on its face. In fact, unique to each individual and may or may not be considered ‘Christian’ by others who claim to know the breadth and width of what is meant by the concept: ‘Christian’. Non-supported assertion: ‘as it does not comport with any of the necessary preconditions of intelligibility, and therefore cannot be logically justified.’ You mean any other ‘worldview’ out side of ‘Christian’? Please explain why that would be so and it might be helpful to provide an example of why these ‘preconditions’ are ‘necessary.’ Sorry, Scmike, your ‘logic’ doesn’t hold up. I feel for you though. I’m certain that deep down you must realize that the Christian God is not actually real, and therefore you must at least suspect that you are deluding yourself in believing. Of course, that sort of delusion could be considered a form of dishonesty, a lie to oneself, as it were. Thus, your faith in God could very well be entirely immoral in its conception and perhaps should be abandoned immediately for the honest and strict morality of reality. Warm holiday traditions to you!

  • scmike

    Hey jm, thanks for your response and the warm wishes. I think your post is a very good example of what I’m talking about and will be happy to demonstrate for you and those following along the truth of my claims. Your comments reveal that you believe in a standard of logic that we SHOULD adhere to in our reasoning and argumentation as well as a standard of morality by which you decry things like lying and dishonesty. You also claim that it is possible for you to be certain of things in your worldview is well. I would like to know the following:

    1) What are the standards of logic and morality you are appealing to here? How do you account for those standards in your worldview? Why do they necessarily apply to anything or anyone, let alone this discussion?

    2) How is it possible for you to be certain of anything with only your limited experience and observations to go on?

    That should just about do it. Take care!

    P.S. As for your claim that there were people in the past who didn’t know of God’s existence; God has revealed Himself to all people through time via natural and special revelation, beginning with Adam and Eve and continuing to this day. I have no doubt that this very thread will serve to confirm that truth. Talk to you soon!

  • galactic Frank

    Religion by definition belongs in museums and is a part of ancient society based on obsolete views. Modern spiritual science totally devoid of judgmentalism, bigotry, arrogant “this is the only truth” reasoning, is more consistent with modern society.

  • scmike

    Problem is, Frank, you betray your own standard here. Your very statement about religion is itself a religious one–it is judgmental, bigoted, and arrogant, as you are asserting your position to be the ‘only truth’ with regards to the place of religion in the world. Such is the inconsistency of those worldviews which deny the God of the Bible.

  • jmslmore

    scmike, thanks for your response. To answer your questions, the standard of logic I’m appealing to in your case is simply to support your assertions. That’s where it starts, yes? You don’t seem to recognize that. Example: you claim, “…God has revealed Himself to all people…” I am going to assume you refer to the Christian God here. I interpret your assertion to mean that all people, including those born and died before the advent of Christianity, babies and children before they are inculcated with the idea, people in isolated non-Christian societies and mentally handicapped people all not only knew/know of this God but are innately cognizant of His literal existence. You may choose to believe that that is true but why would you expect anyone else to accept such a patently ridiculous notion? One might as well assert that every human is born knowing that Zeus rules the universe. You and I both agree on the absurdity of that idea, yes? Simply ask yourself why you don’t believe in Zeus and apply the same logic you already do with regard to the thousands of other Gods posited by societies over the history of mankind. You see, you’re already one of us. 99.99% atheist! As I mentioned earlier, it is ok to free yourself of that sort of immorality; lying to yourself, I mean. Just 0.01% further and you’ll have it in the bag.

    In terms of standards of morality, allow me pose this question: If you came to know without a doubt that God in fact does not exist, would you immediately become a mass murderer or engage in some other heinous behavior? Not likely. Ask yourself why not and you’ll have your answer.

    Merry Christmas and good luck with your preferred imaginary deity.

  • jmslmore

    P.S. scmike, The standards of logic were first developed by the ancient Greeks, who, of course, believed in a pantheon of Gods, Zeus being the God of the heavens. Perhaps it was Zeus who ‘revealed’ these truths approximately 300-400 years before Jesus entered the picture and nearly 1000 years before the Bible was finalized. So, obviously, the ancient Greeks could not have been aware of a Christian God. But since your notion that the rules governing the universe require a god to bestow them, Zeus may indeed be the better candidate for you. Just sayin’.

  • scmike

    A couple of questions regarding your position that logic was developed by the ancient Greeks:

    1) Could the universe have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way before the Greeks ‘developed’ the logical law of non-contradiction?
    2) Against what did the Greeks who developed logic measure their own reasoning beforehand? Did they use logical or illogical reasoning to develop the laws of logic?

  • jmslmore

    1. No
    2. a) Superstition, b) logical

  • scmike

    1) Then clearly the Greeks did not develop logic if logical laws were present BEFORE the existence of the Greeks.
    2) You’re contradicting yourself here, jm. (a) There would have been no way to distinguish between superstition and rational thinking prior to the development of logical laws, as they are the standard by which rational reasoning is measured. (b) This means that the Greeks would have had to develop the laws of logic without a valid standard by which to gauge the accuracy of their own reasoning while the laws were under development. As such, you are arguing that the laws of logic were developed using reasoning devoid of logic (i.e. superstitious, illogical reasoning). Surely you can see the absurdity of such a position, no?
    Hopefully it is clear to you now that laws of logic are not man-made constructs. Rather, they are a transcendant, universal standard of correct reasoning that directly reflects the absolute, universal mind and thinking of God and are the way that He expects us to think and reason, being made in His image.

  • scmike

    Didn’t see any answers to my questions here, jm. Here they are again:

    1) What are the standards of logic and morality you are appealing to here? How do you account for those standards in your worldview? Why do they necessarily apply to anything or anyone, let alone this discussion?

    2) How is it possible for you to be certain of anything with only your limited experience and observations to go on?

  • jmslmore

    1. a) what is ‘true’, b) what is ‘just’, c.1) the physical necessity of determining what is ‘true’. c.2) the sociological imperative for justice. d) They don’t ‘necessarily’, but in my opinion it’s better if they do, otherwise, the discussion has no practical purpose. Sort of like playing chess with a partner who refuses, or is unable, to move his piece.

    2. Why is ‘certain’ relevant? I’m certain that the sun came up this morning. I see it. I’m not absolutely certain about other things. ‘Certain’ is a continuum; more or less certain depending on the available information, and how much of that information can be demonstrated to be ‘true’.

    Perhaps you will now do me the courtesy of a rebuttal to my other comments?

  • scmike

    1) So the standards you are using are arbitrary then? If that’s the case, on what basis SHOULD anyone else adhere to them if they do not want to? Surely not just because you say so?
    2) Because knowledge is certain by definition. I am trying to find out what your justification is for the knowledge claims you are making here. You see, as a Christian, I account for certainty in that God (who knows everything) has revealed some things to us such that we can be absolutely certain of them (such as the fact that He exists and that His the Bible is His inspired Word). Seems like you are appealing to your senses and reasoning here as your ultimate authority for the things you claim to know. The question is, how do you know that your senses and reasoning are reliable and that they are providing you with valid information? If you don’t know that, you can’t know anything.

    P.S. Are you absolutely certain that it is not possible for you to be absolutely certain of other things?

  • jmslmore

    I’m comfortable with uncertainty. In my acquisition of knowledge I welcome new information which I use to assess and re-assess my perception of reality. This works quite well. It is not always reliably ‘certain’, of course. I’m ok with that. Seeking information allows for revision and refinement of knowledge. Appeals to magical beings, supernatural effects, superstition and myth has no place in it. I have actively sought and assessed the information and deem such things useless for ‘knowing’ anything. Except perhaps that religions generally are a quite clever innovation to govern groups of people and exploit them to acquire wealth and power. One can turn on the TV any Sunday morn and observe the charlatans ply the same trade laid out in the old testament. Those burnt offerings in Leviticus, barbecued on the tabernacle fire, sure made a “pleasing aroma to the Lord,” and undoubtably made a tasty supper for the priests!

    You have selected a particular set of so-called certainties amongst a huge array, most of which you justifiably reject based on your perceived valid standard. How do you account for the inconsistency? As I mentioned, you’re almost there. You have a lot invested and it might seem frightening. Yet, awe and wonder awaits, my friend.

    Thanks for an interesting conversation. Take care.

  • scmike

    The point is, jm, we BOTH believe that it is possible to know things for certain in our worldviews. I have told you how the certainty of knowledge makes sense in my worldview. If you are intellectually honest, you would be forced to admit that an omniscient, omnipotent Being could reveal things to human beings such that we could be certain of them. I want to know how it is possible for you to be certain of ANYTHING in your worldview. You have admitted that it is possible, now what is your justification for that belief? Blind faith?

  • Spuddie

    So in other words an irrational worldview which involves broad unfounded assumptions, amoral thinking, improper/nonsensical definitions of terms, magical thinking and belief in the absence of evidence does not make sense to an atheist.

    You are damn right! There is no reason why anyone would want to accept such a thing in the first place if they were thinking about it.

    “As such, atheism (and all competing non-Christian worldviews, for that matter) is reduced to absurdity”

    So you throw in your insult to all other religions as well and come off as a self-interested sectarian bigot. The offensiveness of your post is plainly obvious and you are probably completely tone deaf to such things. Prejudice tends to do that to people.
    ” I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that believing in things with no logical justifcation for doing so is the very definition of an irrational position, no?”

    The irony is just too much to take without giggling. The only irrational position on display is your own

  • scmike

    Hey, you’re free to giggle all you like, but you do so without any foundation in rationality or logic, as you (yet again) provided zero support for your claims. Have fun!

  • Spuddie

    Not at all. I am merely providing the same level of support as yourself in one instance (my first two paras) and a well supported one in the next with the balance using YOUR OWN STATEMENTS.
    Your sole response is evidence trolling. Well maybe you should read your Bible about what one expects to get from one’s reaping. It is a book, not a bludgeoning tool. Maybe if you treated it like one you might not come off as such an ignorant whinybaby.

  • scmike

    Tu quoque much?

  • Spuddie

    You don’t even know what that means.

  • UWIR

    Trying to have a productive conversation with you is probably futile, but as an intellectual exercise, I will try to respond. I will first note that you have presented your argument in a quite obfuscatory form that hides its intellectual bankruptcy. If it were actually presented in explicit form, its fallaciousness would be quite evident. Here are is my effort to present your claims explicitly:

    (1) Atheism does not explain truth.
    (2) Atheism is incompatible with truth.
    (3) Christianity provides a reason to believe in truth.
    (4) Christianity is the only reason to believe in truth.

    Now let’s go through these claims:

    (1) Absolutely true. Atheism is merely the absence of a belief, and the absence of a belief cannot explain anything. Not believing in God no more explains truth than not playing baseball wins the Super Bowl.

    (2) Absolutely ridiculous, and does not follow from (1).
    (1) = not (atheism -> reason for believing in truth)
    (2) = atheism -> not (reason for believing in truth)
    In implying that ( not (A ->B) ) = (A -> (not B)), you are showing yourself to not understand basic logic. To continue my analogy, not playing baseball does not provide a means for one to win the Super Bowl, but to conclude that that means that those who don’t play baseball can’t win the Super Bowl is absurd.

    (3) You should look up “conjunction fallacy”, because this is what you’re engaging in. It’s logically impossible to support an assertion by simply making a stronger claim. Again, you are showing yourself to be ignorant of basic logical concepts and reasoning. The mere claim that truth exists cannot possibly be less likely than the claim that truth and God exist. By adding the God hypothesis, you have more to explain, and are therefore farther, not closer, to having a set of hypotheses that are adequately explained.

    (4) You have presented only two candidates for explaining truth: atheism, and Christianity. You have ruled out atheism, and concluded that Christianity is the only explanation remaining. This is known as a “false dichotomy”, and is YET ANOTHER fallacy that you are engaging in. Just because you have rejected one alternative to Christianity, does not mean that Christianity is the only explanation remaining, as you have ignored all possible explanations other than atheism and Christianity.

  • scmike

    Hey UWIR. I appreciate the time you put into your post, however, the argument you have addressed is not my argument. In explicit form, the correct argument would be as follows:
    1) A rational person must have logical justification for what he believes and acts upon; he has a rational reason
    2) Only the Christian worldview provides a rational reason for believing in abstract, universal, invariant concepts such as logic, truth, and knowledge (by the impossibility of the contrary)
    3) Therefore, when non-Christians appeal to such concepts or use them in their daily lives, they are being irrational, since they cannot logically justify their beliefs and actions.
    Hopefully this is clear now. I welcome challenges to my arguments and would like to guide you in constructing one. Since my conclusion follows validly from the premises, any attempted refutation must challenge the truth of one or both of the premises. You must either argue that (1) it is perfectly rational to be arbitrary–to believe things with no logical reason whatsoever, or (2) that there is at least one self-consistent non-Christian worldview that has a basis for the existence of abstract, universal, invariants. I suggest you try to refute number 2. You won’t be able to, but I think the attempt would be a valuable exercise. Any response that does not include this has missed the point and is thus no refutation at all. Take care.

  • UWIR

    You present no justification for your premises, so by your own logic, it is illogical to believe in them.

    Furthermore, your argument is full of equivocation. You don’t provide a rigorous definition of “have”, “logical justification”, or “rational reason”

    Your conclusion does not follow from your premises; not being rational does not equate to irrational, and you have further equivocation in saying ” they cannot logically justify their beliefs and actions” as to whether you’re talking about their belief in abstract concepts, or the other beliefs built upon them.

    In recapitulating your argument, you engage in further equivocation. You equate not having logical justification to being “arbitrary” and to believing in things “with no logical reason whatsoever”. You further demand a self-consistent non-Christian worldview that has a basis for these concepts. But that is not necessary to contradict your second premise. The claim “only X is Y” is generally understood to mean not only that no non-X is Y, but also X is Y. Therefore, to refute your second premise, it is sufficient merely to note that Christianity fails to meet the criteria.

    Your argument is simply an exercise in equivocation. It consists of presenting ambiguous criteria that are interpreted one way when asking Christianity to satisfy them, and another way when asking other worldviews to satisfy them. I have already given you an example of a worldview that satisfy your requirement just as much as Christianity does, The Chronicle of the Flying Spaghetti Monster asserts that logic was conferred by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You have not even attempted to refute that.

  • scmike

    Well, at least you’re not an atheist—I am pleased with that! If you’d like to now tell how the fsm accounts for abstract, immaterial, universal laws, the floor is yours. Also, feel free to provide the objective support for your claim. To match the Christian claim, such support should be able to be examined by all, comport with reality, be internally consistent, and make sense of abstract, universal, invariants. Take care.

  • UWIR

    “If you’d like to now tell how the fsm accounts for abstract, immaterial, universal laws, the floor is yours. Also, feel free to provide the objective support for your claim.”

    I have already done so.

    “To match the Christian claim, such support should be able to be examined by all, comport with reality, be internally consistent, and make sense of abstract, universal, invariants.”

    Christianity has no support other than its own assertions.

  • scmike

    Please show me where you have told how the characteristics of a spaghetti monster who flies accounts for and comports with the existence of abstract, universal, invariant laws (especially since the former contradicts the latter). I must’ve missed that explanation. Take your time.
    Interestingly enough, one of the main supports of the Christian position is the absurd claims that those with competing positions must posit in order to try to justify the preconditions of intelligibility that they cannot account for in their own worldview. Thanks for the confirmation, UWIR (not that I needed it, though)!

  • UWIR

    You come back a week later and expect me to hunt through the thread to find my previous post? You didn’t have a response to it when I first posted it, why should I expect you to have a response now?

    I have presented the claim that there is a supernatural being that conferred logic. You claim that there is supernatural being that has conferred logic, and you’ve claimed a whole bunch of other stuff, too. If the claim that I have presented is “absurd”, then your claims are even more so. That you refuse to acknowledge how absurd Christianity is simply confirms how much of an ideological blind spot you have. My entire point is that for any goal you claim Christianity achieves, I can present a less absurd worldview that also achieves that. As expected, you either aren’t able to comprehend my point, or are deliberately ignoring it.

    Furthermore, this entire discussion started with regard to the claim that people who claim to be atheists actually believe in God. You may believe that you have an argument for Christianity, but even if it were valid (which it is not), that wouldn’t change the fact that atheists don’t accept the argument, and don’t believe in God. Even if you believe that a disbelief in God is somehow “inconsistent”, that doesn’t change the fact that it is sincerely held.

  • scmike

    Hey, UWIR, you made the claim and it is up to you to defend it. Sure, you may have posited a ‘deity’ (and consequently abandoned your atheism, which is a fact that still pleases me) as an attempt to counter the Christian position, but you have yet to rationally defend your claim. I have shown how the God of the Bible provides a rational basis for the existence of abstract, universal, invariants, such as the laws of logic, as they comport with these aspects of His revealed character and nature. You, on the other hand, have yet to tell how you reconcile the non-absolute, non-universal, material nature of spaghetti with the existence of such standards. I am eager to do a thorough internal critique of your professed pastafarian worldview and demonstrate further why it is not rationally defensible, if/when you decide to address this fundamental inconsistency. I won’t hold my breath for you to reconcile the irreconcilable, though.
    P.S. I should remind you that positing claims which cannot be rationally defended on your part only serves to validate the Christian claim of the impossibility of the contrary. I am grateful for that!

  • UWIR

    I have already defended it. It’s not my fault you lack the long-term memory to remember it.

    “I have shown how the God of the Bible provides a rational basis for the existence of abstract, universal invariants,”

    Well, now, that’s just another example of your dishonest equivocation. Even if you had so shown (which you haven’t), the challenge is not to provide a rational basis for invariants, but to present a rational basis for believing in invariants.

    “as they comport with these aspects of His revealed character and nature.”

    “Comport with” is quite a bit weaker than “rational basis”, and by appealing to alleged revealed nature, you are begging the question.

    ” You, on the other hand, have yet to tell how you reconcile the non-absolute, non-universal, material nature of spaghetti with the existence of such standards.”

    We aren’t discussing spaghetti, we’re discussing the FSM.

  • scmike

    I know that intellectual honesty is not your strong point, UWIR, but unless the ‘S’ in FSM stands for something other than ‘spaghetti’, you stand (self) refuted and remain without any rational justification for the laws of logic you are attempting to employ in arguing against the Christian claim. Your position is therefore reduced to one of blind faith. I am pleased with that!

  • Gehennah

    The issue with using the Bible to prove a point is that it is demonstrably wrong on so many things it isn’t funny. It gets some mundane things correct, but so do comic books.

    And the atheistic worldview accounts for morality, truth, knowledge, and the laws of logic just fine,

  • scmike

    See what I mean? You believe in things like morality, truth, knowledge, and laws of logic, but how do you rationally justify the existence of these abstract, universal, invariant concepts in your naturalistic worldview? So far, no one on this thread has even come close to providing an answer to that question. I don’t suspect there will be one.

  • raveries

    Hinduism says that before the universe there was silence, and the universe expanded from a single point through the will of the godhead Brahman. Then the god Brahma (an aspect of Brahman) created the contents of the universe and its laws (including the laws governing concepts such as truth and logic, which is why his other half is Saraswati the goddess of knowledge), and will create a new universe when this one is destroyed.
    Why do you think this story is wrong?

    P.S. Saying it’s wrong because the Bible disagrees with it is no more a valid argument than my saying the Bible is wrong because the Bhagavad Gita disagrees with it.

  • scmike

    First things first, raveries. Are you a Hindu?

  • UWIR

    By “this thinking” do you mean Christians thinking that everyone believes in Christianity, or atheists allegedly believing in Christianity, but claiming to not believe in it? If the former, once one believes that anyone who does not accept Jesus goes to hell, one must subsequently accept either that good people go to hell, or that people who don’t accept Jesus are bad people. Once one accepts that anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus is a bad person, it follows that everyone has had the truth of Christianity revealed to them and has rejected it; if someone were to honestly not believe in Christianity after making a good faith effort to discern the truth, that would make them a good person who is still going to hell, which must be rejected.

  • scmike

    Hey John. As a born again Christian, I would say ‘self-deceived’ is probably more accurate terminology when it comes to describing atheists and their suppression of the truth. Merry Christmas!

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

    The truth that we see insufficient evidence to believe in any gods? Especially yours?
    Happy Holiday!

  • scmike

    No. The truth that the very concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘evidence’ are evidence of God’s existence and the truth of the Bible, as neither can be accounted for otherwise. If you disagree, feel free to tell how it’s possible to know anything to be absolutely true in your worldview and how you know for certain that any evidence presented to you is valid or invalid as a proof.

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

    Oh dear, you’re pulling out that apologetic again?

    OK, here’s one thing it’s possible to know for certain in my worldview – that I don’t know everything there is to know. I know this as a 100% fact, absolutely true, and I have no need for there to be any god out there to be able to know this.

    Here’s a second thing I know to be absolutely true – you also don’t know everything there is to know.

    My concept of “truth” means “consistently corresponds with reality”, and has nothing to do with ancient books.

  • scmike

    You forgot the most important part, ubi—-HOW do you know any of that with 100% certainty and HOW do you know anything to be absolutely true in your worldview absent omniscience or revelation from same?

    You say that ‘truth’ is that which corresponds to ‘reality’. If multiple people have conflicting perceptions of ‘reality’, how do you determine whose is ‘true’ in your worldview?

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

    Wait, so are you claiming that it’s possible that I’m mistaken about my not knowing everything there is to know? If I’m mistaken, then that means I would know everything there is to know, which would make me omniscient! Ta-dah!

    Seriously, the argument you are using fails really hard when you try it on non-believers, we see right through all the sophistry. Apologetics aren’t for converting non-believers and ex-believers, they’re for persuading christians that there are actually good reasons for them to believe things that don’t make any sense. I see you’ve also tried “no true christian” and “shifting the burden of proof” already. So you’d better get on with trying “uncaused cause” and then shaking the dust off your sandals when we don’t buy that one either.

  • jmslmore

    Simple. The scientific method. It’s the only proven reliable means to the closest to ‘true’ humans can attain. That is why religionists disdain it. It is responsible for all the luxuries you currently enjoy; computers, vehicles, electricity and on and on ad infinitum. What are the contributions of religion to society lately? Sectarian strife, rivers of bloodshed, terrorism, constant praying and worshipping to no effect, attempted oppression of others based on ideology, fake war on Christmas propaganda, solidarity with the Duck Dynasty guy. Are you kidding me? Here’s the ‘truth’ about all religions: Butts in the seats. In the U.S. its an entertainment industry for gullible, fearful people willing to take out their wallets to avoid burning in hell. Stay classy, Christians.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    The truth that the very concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘evidence’ are evidence of God’s existence and the truth of the Bible, as neither can be accounted for otherwise.

    You now have two claims to evidence: your god and that your god is responsible for truth and evidence.

    If you disagree

    I disagree but you don’t get to tell me how I respond. First you have to evidence your two claims. So far, you have failed to provide any evidence whatsoever to support your two claims except to assert that they are true.

    Try again.

  • scmike

    The support for my claims is the lack of any competing justification for ‘truth’ and ‘evidence’ from any of the professing atheists on this thread thus far. I have seen plenty of name calling and baseless accusations from you folks, but no one has yet even come close to telling how any abstract, universal, invariant concept (such as truth, logic,or the certainty of knowledge) comports with an atheistic worldview. Perhaps you should be reminded how discussions work, Bear; I present my claim, you present yours, and THEN we evaluate. I have given you my worldview’s justification for the concepts above. Now, you may not like my justification, but where is yours?

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    The support for my claims is the lack of any competing justification for ‘truth’ and ‘evidence’ from any of the professing atheists on this thread thus far.

    No, no, no. That’s not how evidence works. You might as well say that the Moon is made of green cheese because there’s a lack of any competing response from the anti-green-cheesists.

    Claims require evidence to back them up, otherwise they are merely words that mean nothing.

    Again and again I ‘ve asked you for evidence for your claim that your non-evidenced god exists. Again and again you ignore that request and keep repeating yourself, adding more and more claims without evidence.

    Do yourself a favor: give me some evidence. Otherwise, I completely reject your claim.

    I have seen plenty of name calling and baseless accusations from you folks,

    And I have seen you baselessly assert that your still-un-evidenced god exists. The burden of evidence is on the person making the claim, not on the person rejecting the claim. I reject your claim.

    but no one has yet even come close to telling how any abstract, universal, invariant concept (such as truth, logic,or the certainty of knowledge) comports with an atheistic worldview.

    Sorry, but you have to evidence your claim first before we can continue this discussion. The burden of evidence is on the person making the claim, not on the person rejecting the claim. I reject your claim.

    Perhaps you should be reminded how discussions work, Bear; I present my claim, you present yours, and THEN we evaluate.

    No, that’s not how discussions work. You presented your claim. I have rejected it because you have repeatedly failed to provide ANY evidence for it whatsoever. I REJECT IT PERIOD FULL STOP. We can only continue when you give me some evidence.

    I have given you my worldview’s justification for the concepts above.

    Mere words with nothing to back them up. The burden of evidence is on the person making the claim, not on the person rejecting the claim. I reject your claim.

    Now, you may not like my justification, but where is yours?

    I don’t owe you anything until you have evidenced your claim first. Then we can continue this discussion. The burden of evidence is on the person making the claim, not on the person rejecting the claim. I whole-heartedly reject your claim.

    How many times do I have to ask you: give me evidence that your still-un-evidenced god exists.

  • jimlouvier

    Th concepts of truth and justice are evidence that Superman exists. How can you claim that a book written by men is divine? Man created god, not the other way around. Until you have proof otherwise, science invalidates your Bronze Age superstitions.

  • Spuddie

    All hail prophets Siegel and Shuster and their mighty works
    -Up Up and Away, Amen

  • scmike

    Uh, jim…….did you have any justification for your above claims, or should I just add them to the (large) pile of baseless assertions that has accumulated from the atheists on this thread? Let me know.

  • Olive Markus

    Again, concepts of truth and evidence are not proof of God’s existence. You are simply asserting that this is true without any evidence to back it up. Just saying it is so does not make it so…

  • scmike

    Thanks for the demonstration, Olive. Pot meet kettle, kettle pot.

  • Olive Markus

    So you’re admitting that you’ve been making assertions with no evidence? I’m not making assertions, by the way, I’m rejecting yours and explaining why.

  • scmike

    Not at all. Just simply pointing out that you are doing the very thing that you are (falsely) accusing me of doing, as your entire original comment consisted of 3 assertions with no evidence to back them up. Just scroll up.
    P.S. The claim that you are not making any assertions, IS itself an assertion, by the way. Thought you should know that.

  • Olive Markus

    You’re right. I’m asserting that until you actually provide concrete evidence for your God, I will continue to not believe he exists. I’ll own that.

    I am asserting you’re making assertions with no proof. You think you are, but you are not.

    As far as not giving evidence myself,I don’t need it to point out the fact that you’ve given absolutely none yourself and that your arguments are based entirely on naked assertions with no proof or justification.

  • scmike

    Again, Olive, your assertion that I am making assertions with no proof is itself an unsupported assertion, as is your claim that concepts of truth and evidence are not proof of God’s existence. If it is your position that lack of evidence is a sufficient basis for rejecting claims, then surely you can see that, by your own admission, your unsupported claims should also be rejected as well, no?
    If the concepts of truth, evidence, and logic are so easily accounted for without the God of Scripture, then perhaps you should ask yourself why no one here (including yourself) has been able to provide a rational justification the existence of such concepts within the atheist worldview (despite my repeated requests to do so over the last 2 weeks)? That should tell you something.

  • baal

    ” suppression of the truth. Merry Christmas!”
    Hey! Thanks Scmike for stopping by to give atheists a hardy xtian-fuck you just to make the holidays that much more special! I suggest next time that you do it straight up instead of passive aggressively!

  • scmike

    Glad to see that you also have no rational objection to the argument! Take care and again, Merry Christmas to you!
    ‘Skeptical and friendly at the same time’…..what a hoot!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Glad to see that you also have no rational objection to the argument!

    You claim a god exists. Our rational objection is that you merely claimed it without giving us evidence.

    The ball (and the burden of evidence) is in your court, bub. Why should we believe that your non-evidenced god exists?

  • Spuddie

    You have no rational argument. You came here insulting people. Friendly does not mean feeble.
    You came here with hate in your heart, you should expect the same in return. Jesus was very big on making that clear. Evidently you missed the memo. Too busy being born again to show a modicum of respect for those who are born once.

  • scmike

    Spuddie, I would be shocked if you didn’t at least feel the slightest twinge of guilt as you wrote your above comment, given the host of baseless allegations you have made against me and the litany of names you have called me thus far.

    (Not that I mind, though, as I have found that such tactics are usually a good indication that an opponent has run out of rational arguments. Keep it up!!)

  • Spuddie

    Fuck no.

    [please by all means take offense for the language I employ. Tone trolling isn’t going to make you sound any more credible anyway]

    Your own statement was that all religions other than Christianity are absurd. Nothing baseless about it. Your denial is as dishonest as the rest of your spiel.

    Are you so stupid that you think such a statement not be considered offensive to anyone? I doubt that. You just didn’t care about it. It was an offhand remark by a sectarian bigot who is too self-aborbed to care who gets insulted as long as you can blurg about Jesus in a self-satisfying masturbatory manner.

    You are proud of your new-found faith. We get that. But it doesn’t mean anyone else has to give a flying crap or it suddenly makes you someone to take seriously.

  • Alessandro

    Yeah, we are ‘self-deceived’ because we find it hard to believe stories from a book by primitive sheep herders that tells of taking animals, hair that gives superpowers, morals like slavery good, picking up sticks on the Sabbath bad, and so deserving of death.
    And a million more insane stories and immoral pronouncements that are carefully ignored, like self deceiving really, by all good Christians.
    Happy Winter Solstice.

  • scmike

    Hey Alessandro, looks like you and Amor have chosen the same irrational line of reasoning. You don’t like the Bible—I get that. However that is not a logical justification for dismissing it. Put together something rational and I’ll see what I can do. Merry Christmas!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    You don’t like the Bible—I get that. However that is not a logical justification for dismissing it. Put together something rational and I’ll see what I can do.

    My logical justification for rejecting the bible is because no Xian has provided any evidence that the bible is true.

    Xians merely assert that the bible is true.

    Care to give some evidence?

  • scmike

    Sure, absent the God of the Bible, you have zero justification for the existence of truth, logic, knowledge, proof, or the uniformity of nature (i.e. induction) and must accept all of these things on blind faith alone. This is being demonstrated by the atheists on this thread as we speak—just scroll up.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Sure, absent the God of the Bible,

    You assert the god of the bible exists but have provided no evidence to support that claim. I justifiably reject that claim.

    you have zero justification for the existence of truth, logic, knowledge, proof, or the uniformity of nature (i.e. induction) and must accept all of these things on blind faith alone.

    You assert that with zero justification. I reject your assertion.

    This is being demonstrated by the atheists on this thread as we speak—just scroll up.

    No, the atheists on the thread, including me, keep asking for evidence to your claim that your still-un-evidenced god exists. Please provide it, otherwise you have zero justification for the existence of your god. (See what I did there? I used your own words back at you. Feel free to provide some evidence that your god exists beyond merely saying so on blind faith alone.)

  • Alessandro

    Sure, I am irrational because I don’t believe in fairy tales.
    Sorry, your trick is not working, projecting yourself onto people you don’t know only reveal that you suspect you are the irrational one.
    Goodbye troll.

  • scmike

    Nice (non) argument, Alessandro. Too bad, as I was hoping for rational debate. Oh well.

  • Alessandro

    You’re still only trolling.

  • unbound55

    Cool story bro!

    And you know Christianity is right because it’s the most popular religion right? And the most popular denomination is Catholicism…oops, that could be a problem for you…

  • Black Leaf

    1.5 billion Muslims can’t be wrong!

    Wait a second…

  • scmike

    Hey John, what people ‘believe’ has nothing to do with truth. If everyone in the world stopped believing in gravity, their believe would not negate the truth of its existence. A little more thought next time…..?

  • Black Leaf

    That was a joke. You do know how jokes work, right?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarriedFreeThinkers The_Intellectual_Atheist

    You said it best when you said ‘belief has nothing to do with truth.’ Truth is based on evidence. Like the example you gave of gravity…And i’ll even add evolution and the expansion of the universe from a dense point, as truths that dont need your approval. It hasnt been discovered what caused this universe yet. Science doesnt have an answer and neither do you. You have provided no tangible falsifiable evidence. All you can provide is your own personal interpretations of evidence that would be easily refuted in a peer review process from the people that actually investigate questions of physics, biology, paleontology, and cosmology.

  • gkadams69

    Haven’t you heard? Gravity’s just a theory.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarriedFreeThinkers The_Intellectual_Atheist

    Yup, So are germs

  • scmike

    Hey, I.A.. Is all truth based on empirical evidence? If so, please provide the empirical evidence to support that assertion (and also tell where you have examined ALL truth, as I would love to have a look myself!).

    As for the rest of your claims, they are surprisingly void of evidence to support them—especially since your whole post was put forth in defense of the necessity of evidence in order to substantiate truths. That type of inconsistency could cause the intellectual honesty of a person to come into question………just sayin’.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarriedFreeThinkers The_Intellectual_Atheist

    What the hell are you talking about? When did I say I examined all truths? Where did you get that from? I agreed with you that beliefs don’t impact truth. You listed gravity as an example that isn’t impacted by anyones beliefs, then I added evolution and the expansion of the universe as truth that isn’t impacted by peoples beliefs. You never gave reasoning why gravity is true just like I never gave reasoning as to why evolution and expansion of the universe is true…..Anyways it sounds like you’re cherry-picking facts and pretending not to. You’re just as bad as the people that claim there is no evidence for gravity. The universe expanding is demonstrated by observing galaxies pushing away from each other at an even and constant rate. Evolution is true because we can observe and identify changes in gene frequency in all living organisms. Those tiny changes between parent and child brings about diversity over vast periods of time. Evolution is the reason why antibiotics have to continuously be changed to treat the organism that mutate to overcome the drug. Truth is defined as ‘what is so’. What we actually know is true is only based on reason & evidence. The undiscovered truths still remain true and we don’t start BELIEVING it’s true before we have evidence. We believe the undiscovered truth AFTER the evidence is presented. Not a moment before.

  • scmike

    “”What we actually know is true is only based on reason & evidence.””

    I welcome you to share one thing that you know for certain to be true and to tell how you know it.

    “”The undiscovered truths still remain true and we don’t start BELIEVING it’s true before we have evidence.””
    Oh? And what was the evidence that was presented to you that caused you to believe in things like logic, truth, and the concept of ‘proof’? Clearly you would have to accept the existence of these things BEFORE proving that they exist. That’s what presuppositions are, they are the foundational assumptions by which we interpret the world around us, including all evidence. I presuppose that God exists and that the Bible is true and then reason from that position, while you do not. As such, logic, truth, and knowledge can be justified in my worldview as a direct reflection of the revealed absolute, universal, immaterial character and nature of God. How do you justify the existence of such concepts in your worldview, I.A.?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarriedFreeThinkers The_Intellectual_Atheist

    Sure let me keep it simple….1+1=2 is true, because if you have a single object and add another single object then you will have one more than you had. Which is 2. Math is based on REASON. Another example of truth is that women give birth to children. That’s based on evidence of observing sonograms and live birth…. Logic and truth are not presuppositions because logic is a method of figuring out what is so and what isn’t. It isnt based on what you presuppose. This argument sounds extremely childish and you are the only one I’ve ever heard of thinking that logic and truth are pre-suppositions. ‘Pre-suppose’ means you believe something before its demonstrated to be so. Reason is a logical thought process based on the continuance of how things are demonstrated to work already. You apply them to your pre-supposition AFTER you make any presumption. Reason isnt something you suppose before you actually suppose something. This isn’t a worldview or an opinion. Logic/reason is applied to presuppositions. Its not a presupposition itself. Even you said it when you said ”I (presuppose) that God exists and that the Bible is true and then (reason) from that position”<–How can you apply reason to a presupposition, if you believe reason is a pre-supposition?…be consistent dude. Btw you were talking about gravity being true earlier. You mean to tell me its just a presupposition? Lol. This argument is just as silly as a gynecologist arguing with a creative idiot that claims babies are born through stork theory and thinks the gynecologist has a presupposition on equal footing with the stork when it comes to explaining how babies are born….Gotta love theist wisdom. When you try to strengthen your argument by taking basic foundations of assessments away, you now open the door for any irrational thinker to create fictional characters in their heads in which there is no way to validate because its ''their presupposition.'' You've gone full retarded on me and I tap out by your submission of stupidity.

  • scmike

    Hey, I.A. Just saw your response. You sure made a lot of knowledge claims here, but you never told HOW you know any of these things for certain. Anyone can posit a bunch of unjustified claims. I want to know on what basis you claim that what you have posited above is true and cannot be false. Well?
    P.S. If you are going to appeal to your senses and reasoning as your basis for knowledge, please tell how you know that they are valid and are providing you with reliable information. Thanks!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarriedFreeThinkers The_Intellectual_Atheist

    Not wasting my time with your confirmation biases

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    The difference between your non-evidenced god and the Theory of Gravity is that gravity can be repeatably demonstrated.

    Care to give any repeatable demonstration of your non-evidenced god?

  • scmike

    Your repeated avoidance of my requests to account for abstract, universal, invariants in your non-Christian worldview, despite appealing to them over and over again, should do just fine. Take care.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    scmike,

    Your repeated avoidance of my requests for evidence for your two claims is noted. Feel free to continue avoiding that burden of evidence as it shows every intellectually honest reader that you are intellectually dishonest and have no evidence to support your still-un-evidenced god. But, if you do write back, including evidence for your two claims should do just fine.Take care.

  • raveries

    So other religions have ‘beliefs’ (love the scare quotes btw) but Christians have knowledge? Please tell us how you know that all other religions and various sects within your own religion are wrong.

  • scmike

    Popularity has nothing to do with it unbound55. Truth has nothing to do with consensus. Merry Christmas!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Popularity has nothing to do with it unbound55. Truth has nothing to do with consensus.

    Excellent! So now maybe you’ll quit wasting our time with mere assertions and give some evidence for your still-un-evidenced god.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    ummmm… I am self-deceived because I don’t believe the Bronze age story of a God that raped a virgin so He could give birth to Himself so He could kill Himself to atone for the sins of the original man and woman eating a forbidden fruit that He made in the first place… And he loves me, but if I don’t believe in Him, he will send me to Hell for eternity?

    No, really – you are calling ME self-deceived?

    Happy Saturnalia!

  • scmike

    Sorry Amor, you haven’t presented any logical objection here, either—just a bunch of gross misrepresentions of the Bible, which only serve to show a very hostile bias on your part. If you’d care to posit something rational, I will see about formulating a response. Again, Merry Christmas!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    If you’d care to posit something rational, I will see about formulating a response.

    You claim a god exists. Please provide evidence for this god.

  • scmike

    Sure. The very concept of evidence is evidence for God’s existence, as it alludes to ‘proof’. Truth, knowledge, and abstract, invariant, universal laws of logic are necessary preconditions for proving anything. Concepts such as these do not comport with any atheistic worldview or evolutionary model, while they do comport with the abstract, universal, invariant character and nature of the God of the Bible. As such they can be made sense of in the Christian worldview by the impossibility of the contrary. It then follows that Christianity is logically defensible while atheism is not, as it ends in the absurd conclusion that knowledge, truth, and logic are not possible. Why trust such a hopeless position, Bear?

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Sure. The very concept of evidence is evidence for God’s existence, as it alludes to ‘proof’.

    Again, you make that claim as you’ve done before. I reject that claim. Please provide evidence it is true (and your earlier claim that your still-un-evidenced god exists).

    Truth, knowledge, and abstract, invariant, universal laws of logic are necessary preconditions for proving anything.

    Again you assert but with no evidence. I reject your assertion.

    Concepts such as these do not comport with any atheistic worldview or evolutionary model, while they do comport with the abstract, universal, invariant character and nature of the God of the Bible.

    Again you assert but with no evidence. I reject your assertion.

    The scientific method includes iterations and recursions of these four elements: characterizations (observations and measurements), hypotheses (theoretical and hypothetical explanations), predictions (reasoning including logical deduction from hypothesis) and experiments (tests of all of the previous three). Each is subject to peer review for refinement and correction.

    The Theory of Evolution has withstood 150+ years of peer review and is fact.

    Your non-evidenced god can’t even make it past the first element: characterization.

    Care to use the scientific method to evidence your god?

    As such they can be made sense of in the Christian worldview by the impossibility of the contrary.

    Again you assert but with no evidence. I reject your assertion.

    It then follows that Christianity is logically defensible while atheism is not, as it ends in the absurd conclusion that knowledge, truth, and logic are not possible.

    Again you assert but with no evidence. I reject your assertion.

    Why trust such a hopeless position, Bear?

    You’ve spent your whole response with one assertion after another. I reject them all because you haven’t done anything to evidence that they are true except say they are.

    Using your line of argument, you’d have to agree with a Muslim who said that Allah was real, or a Hindu speaking about Vishnu. But you reject their assertions about their gods just like I reject yours: you are merely saying it’s true without demonstrating so.

    Try again.

  • Spuddie

    So why should anyone take your self-styled blather supporting belief in Christianity any more than support for any other religion?
    What evidence do you bring to the table?

    Do you even bother to be civil towards the belief of anyone else?
    Why would anyone even want to associate with you or your religion?

  • scmike

    Hey again, spuddie. See above.

  • Spuddie

    And you think your farts smell like roses.

  • purr

    You are an idiot.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    Of course I’m hostile, you ass – you called me “self deceiving” in my “suppression of the truth”.

    “gross misrepresentations”? I’d agree with, “gross simplification” – but it’s all there in that book called the Bible. I’ve studied that book many different ways. I can quote you all the passages that my gross simplification is based on.

    Happy Festivus.

  • scmike

    Hey Amor. I’m sure you’ll understand if I don’t take Bible exegesis from you given your penchant for misrepresenting the Bible and your presuppositional bias against it, no?

  • Rob Stone

    Dear scmike, As an ex-christian I appreciate your point of view and I understand that not everyone has the capability to think for themselves, however, “self-deceived” is inaccurate. There are very few that truly and honestly believe in god. If you really did think god was in control of your life you would act very differently. Those that actually follow ALL of the bible are called crazy even by other “christians”. Westboro Baptist for example. Your religion is intolerant, hypocritical, and dishonest. If you were to follow everything that god commands in the bible then you too would be called crazy.

  • scmike

    Hey Rob, I’m running out of time to comment here today, so I’m going to have to be brief. In response to your claim that you were a Christian and now are not, I would ask you if you knew the Lord back then? You of course will say ‘no’, which means that you were not a Christian (the Biblical definition of a Christian is one who knows God and has surrendered to Him and His Word as their ultimate authority through Jesus Christ). If you reasoned yourself away from the position that God exists, then clearly He could not have been your ultimate authority and the foundation of your reasoning.
    The problem you have now, is that in denying God’s existence and the authority of the Bible, you lose any foundation for calling anything ‘crazy’, as you have no objective standard of logic by which to make such an allegation in your worldview. Absent an absolute standard by which people should behave and reason, your complaint boils down to nothing more than your subjective personal opinion/ preference. While I care about your opinion, it carries no academic meaning and no authority in this discussion.

  • Olive Markus

    I’m going to assume that by making this accusation, you, of course, know the Lord yourself. Since that is the case, you should have no trouble explaining exactly what it means to “know” the Lord, proving his existence, showing that that the Bible is indeed his word, that his word is Truth and that we are all compelled to live out this Truth. We’re waiting.

    Otherwise, simply claiming that you know the Lord intimately without any evidence carries no academic meaning and no authority At All.

  • scmike

    Hey Olive. Everyone knows the Lord in the sense that they are aware of His existence. A Christian is one who surrenders to Him and His Word as their ultimate authority and is born again by the indwelling of His Spirit.

    God’s existence is proven in a variety of ways evidentially, however, no evidence will satisfy those who do not wish to be convinced by it. Therefore, I argue from a presuppositional position which exposes the internal inconsistency of those worldviews which deny the God of the Bible. So, to answer your question, the proof of God’s existence is that without Him, you can’t prove anything. The necessary preconditions for proving things are truth, knowledge, and logic. None of these abstract, universal, invariant concepts can be made sense of outside of the Christian worldview, and are, in fact, mutually exclusive to atheism. As such, atheism is not a rationally defensible position (which makes it false), while Christianity is.

  • UWIR

    “Therefore, I argue from a presuppositional position which exposes the internal inconsistency of those worldviews which deny the God of the Bible.”

    I deny the God of the Bible. Show me how my worldview is inconsistent, based solely on the fact that I deny the God of the Bible.

    “None of these abstract, universal, invariant concepts can be made sense of outside of the Christian worldview”

    Even if they didn’t make sense, they don’t need to. For me to use logic, I just need to know the rules of logic, I don’t need to “make sense” of them, in the sense that you are using that phrase.

  • Olive Markus

    I am not aware of “His” existence and have seen no evidence that he exists at all. You can’t claim that we are all fully aware of his existence and are simply refusing to surrender. That is nonsense. You can’t make something up and call that proof.

  • scmike

    The proof that you are suppressing the truth of God’s existence, Olive, is the internal inconsistency between what you profess to believe about God and your actual behavior. In other words, you profess not to believe in Him and then live as if He does exist when you appeal to objective standards such as logic and morality that cannot exist in an atheistic universe. For instance, you said: “You can’t make something up and call that proof”. Not that I agree with your allegation that I am making things up, but my question to you is: why not? What absolutely forbids one from doing so? What standard would this violate and why SHOULD that standard not be violated according to your worldview?

  • Olive Markus

    In what way does the use of logic, or any reasoning to make sense of the world around us, prove that God exists? Logic is something humans made up in order to navigate the world around us. We use consistency to process information.

    Nothing forbids you from making nonsense claims like you are. As a matter of fact, you’re doing it and the universe hasn’t collapsed. My point is that I use certain standards to understand the world, and the amazing thing is that it works, wonderfully. Your comments are not up to that standard so I feel perfectly justified saying that if you can’t put your beliefs into some form that makes sense to the same logical thinking that is used to discern other aspects of life and the universe successfully then either your comments are faulty or the beliefs are faulty.

  • scmike

    Because God is the necessary precondition for abstract, invariant, universal concepts such as the laws of logic (by the impossibility of the contrary). Your prior comments and the ones by the other atheists on this thread have so far served to substantiate this fact very well.

  • Olive Markus

    There is no universal law of logic. Even if it were, God isn’t necessary for its existence. You simply keep stating things without any evidence over and over and over…

    You are assuming that God is a prerequisite for all things, and then using that assumption as your proof. You’re simply asserting that this is true with no foundation in reality. You realize that it is faulty because anybody can make the same assertion about anything without any evidence, right? I’ve decided that nothing can exist without the The Purple SnowUnicorn. I’ve made a statement without any evidence. How is this different from what you are doing?

  • Olive Markus

    “Logical reasoning is not an absolute law which governs the universe.”

    I find it interesting that your claims make no logical sense, but in order to defend them you try to tell me that the only reason I want logical arguments in the first place is because I believe God created logic as some universal law. Again, Nonsense. And again, you are allowed to speak nonsense as much as you’d like without violating any universal law.

  • scmike

    What is the standard by which you deem anything to be ‘nonsense’ in the first place, Olive? Absent an objective standard by which to base this on, your complaint is meaningless and is reduced to arbitrary personal opinion. What is that to me (or anyone else for that matter)?
    See, you profess not to believe in a universal standard by which people SHOULD reason and think, but you behave as if there does exist such a standard when you continue to make allegations that I am being illogical. If there is no logical standard of correct reasoning, then no reasoning can ever be incorrect (i.e. illogical). As such, the most you could ever say is that my thinking is ‘different’ than yours. The fact that you do believe that some reasoning is incorrect betrays your professed position and reveals the internal inconsistency of your worldview. As a Christian, I can say with certainty that internal inconsistencies are absolutely irrational and therefore false, since they violate an absolute, universal standard of logic prescribed by our Creator. This is something you could never say or justify in your worldview. I hope you’ll give this some serious thought.

  • Olive Markus

    It is nonsense according to rules I use to navigate the world (as do many others) quite successfully. You aren’t certain of anything as you have no personal interaction with God and have provided no evidence of his existence. I’m using logic, yes. I’m not saying that logic doesn’t exist and doesn’t work. I am, however, saying that it isn’t a universal law and it isn’t useful simply because “God did it.”

    I am giving what you say serious thought and you aren’t making the profound statements you think you are. I was a Christian once, too.

  • scmike

    Perhaps this will help:
    1) Where in the universe do laws of logic not apply? Does the logical law of non-contradiction apply to the universe itself, or could the universe both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same way?
    2) How do you know for certain that I am not certain of anything?
    By the way, the profoundness of any statements will be interpreted via the presuppositions of the one examining them. No evidence will convince someone who doesn’t wish to be convinced, Olive, as proof doesn’t necessarily equal persuasion. However, it is my hope that you will come to see the irrationality of your position as you consider, and attempt to formulate answers to, the above questions. Sure, you may choose to continue to profess atheism after this discussion, but it will be despite sound logic and certainly not because of it.

  • Olive Markus

    1) Logic can and should be applied to everything. But a logical conclusion is not necessarily a true conclusion.
    2) Not one person has been able to provide evidence of a personal relationship with God. Not one. I suppose perhaps you are certain you have one, but certainty doesn’t equal truth. I’ll redact my statement and rephrase: Until I see actual evidence that anyone has a personal relationship with the Christian God, I’m not going to believe anyone has one, regardless of how certain you are.
    I consider it perfectly logical to reject assertions, particularly ones with profound implications, without evidence. Your claim that God must be presupposed in order for anything to exist can be applied to anything of anyone’s choosing. Choose a deity, and one can use this argument. There is no more evidence to support your assertion than theirs. I consider it reasonable to demand evidence. And no, that am using reason is not proof of God.
    Don’t assume what I have wanted and not wanted to be convinced of. I endured many painful years of losing my faith and wanted nothing more than be convinced of his existence (and goodness, more importantly) at one time. Don’t be an ass.

  • scmike

    1) Then you refute your claim that logic is not universal, as that is what universal means. Now, why SHOULD logic be applied to everything and says who?
    2) How do you know any of this for certain?
    Again, Olive, you live and act as if logic is a universal standard that necessarily applies to everything, and that it is possible to know things for certain, but you have yet to give any rational basis for those beliefs. I submit to you that you will not be able to, as such concepts are inconsistent with an atheistic worldview. This type of internal and behavorial inconsistency is really what exposes that professing atheists do, in fact, know in their heart of hearts that God exists, but are choosing to suppress that truth. As an atheist, you must borrow immaterial, universal, invariant concepts such as logic, certainty, and truth (which could not possibly exist if your position were true) from the Christian worldview (in which they can be and are rationally accounted for), in order to even begin to argue against the Christian worldview. This of course if woefully self-refuting and irrational. I hope you will come to see that.

  • Rob Stone

    I was raised in a very christian environment. I attended a private christian school from k-9th grade. I attended church 4 times a week every week during those years. I have read the bible in its entirety hundreds of times and wrote many “book reports” concerning the teachings of the christian religion. I was very into the bible and christianity throughout my childhood. Back then yes I “knew god”. It wasn’t until I was old enough to ask questions that I realized nobody really and I mean REALLY believes in god either……If you go to the doctor for any reason you do not believe in god or that he has a plan for you. I was taught and the bible states many times that if you have enough faith then anything is possible. Well if that is the case why do you need doctors? If it is gods plan for you to get sick and die then that means that is his plan for you. How dare you try to deny gods will and seek to stay on this earth when gods plan is for you to get sick and die. I know you can cherry pick verses to dispute this and I’m sure what I said is “”out of context”” but if heaven is a much better place than here why in the world would you even WANT to stay here??? If ANYONE truly believed that heaven exists and it is “”paradise”” then getting a terminal illness would be the absolute greatest day of their life because they would soon be with god. They sure wouldn’t want to delay going to paradise….

  • scmike

    Hey Rob, thanks again for the response. You are the first professing atheist that has ever admitted that they do, in fact, know that God exists. This means that you can’t possibly be an atheist, as you can’t know something or someone which could be false or who doesn’t exist.

    As for your questions: I appreciate them, but with all due respect, they are very flimsy reasons for choosing to live in rebellion against the God whom you admittedly know exists. For instance, why could God not choose a doctor as the means through which he brings about healing? If you are intellectually honest, you would be forced to admit this possibility. Indeed, heaven is a much better place than earth, but since life is a precious gift from God, I see no reason why we shouldn’t seek to preserve it until the day of our appointed departure (especially since we know that sickness, disease, and death are natural enemies of mankind and are a result of the curse). I recommend that you give some serious thought to the real reasons for your denial of God and that you will repent and trust in Jesus Christ, as these objections will not hold up when you stand before your Creator.

  • Rob Stone

    Whoa…never said I knew or know that god exists…..but we will talk further…

  • Rob Stone

    I do enjoy discussing this subject and if you would like to you are welcome to e-mail me robstone08@gmail.com

  • scmike

    Thanks, Rob. I just might take you up on that as soon as things calm down a bit. As I mentioned, my time here is limited (as I’m sure everyone else’s is too right now) and it is unlikely that I will be online very much the next few days in order to devote my time to family. Your comments exhibit a fresh breath of openness and honesty that I find very refreshing and I would very much like to speak with you in a more private venue. Talk to you soon and Merry Christmas!

  • Rob Stone

    sounds good hope to hear from you soon….there is a little atheist in all of us..lol just kidding of course…Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • jimlouvier

    You’re using the “you weren’t a real Christian” argument? You repeatly fail to even address the one challenge given to you. Prove your statement that your god exists with actual evidence. You resort to changing the subject and passive-aggressive attacks. Present your evidence or concede that your belief is founded on confirmation bias and self-delusion.

  • scmike

    Hey jim, just because you don’t like the evidence presented, doesn’t mean that none has been given. Of course, rejecting evidence simply because you don’t want to accept it is the very definition of an irrational position.

  • Olive Markus

    Nothing that you presented is evidence. It amounts to no more than you saying “God exists because I believe he exists” and “My proof that he exists is that I presuppose his existence.”

    You also greatly insult those of us who wished mightily for evidence of God’s existence during our painful deconversions.

  • jmslmore

    ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

  • scmike

    Nope. Mutual exclusivity. Nice try, though.

  • jmslmore

    So, by mutual exclusivity, no Christian who may have at any time harbored a doubt about the existence of God, can be a ‘real’ Christian. Wow, that cuts out, well, nearly everyone.

    It must be very satisfying for you to be perhaps the only ‘real’ Christian left. How illustrious a personage you must be!

  • RobertoTheChi

    And a Merry Passive-Aggressive Christian Version of Fuck You to you as well!

  • scmike

    So much for being ‘skeptical and friendly at the same time’, eh? Can’t help but imagine a tear in Hemant’s eye right about now. Tsk, tsk.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    atheists and their suppression of the truth

    Xian: “My god is real!” (Claim)

    Atheist: “I don’t believe you. Gimme some evidence.” (Rejection of claim)

    Xian: “Stop trying to suppress the truth!” (Failure to give evidence to support claim)

  • scmike

    Actually it’s more like this:

    Christian: The evidence that God exists is that without Him you can’t prove anything, as abstract, invariant, universal concepts can’t exist if atheism is true. To demonstrate, tell me how you account for any of these concepts, which we both believe in, according to your worldview.

    Atheist: You’re a bigot. The Bible isn’t true. Your God is mean and I don’t like Him.

    Christian: I get that. However, it’s irrelevant to the discussion at hand. What is your justification for the objective standards of logic and morality in the first place by which you condemn any behavior or call anything irrational?

    Atheist: You’re a bigot. The Bible isn’t true. Your God is mean.

    Christian: Sigh.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Let me correct that for you:

    Christian: The evidence that God exists is that without Him you can’t prove anything, as abstract, invariant, universal concepts can’t exist if atheism is true.

    Yet the same Claim you keep on insisting is true with no evidence to back it up.

    Asserting that it is true doesn’t make it so unless you can demonstrate it is true.

    Since no evidence is forthcoming, I easily and whole-heartedly REJECT your claim.

    To demonstrate, tell me how you account for any of these concepts, which we both believe in, according to your worldview.

    Attempt by the Xian to ignore burden of evidence.

    I don’t have to account for ANYTHING related to your Claim. It is your burden to evidence it, not mine.

    Atheist: You’re a bigot. The Bible isn’t true. Your God is mean and I don’t like Him.

    Thanks for showing how dishonest a troll you are. No honest person could ever claim that “I don’t believe you. Gimme evidence” could even morph into what you wrote above.

    You, sir, are a liar. And your own bible rails against dishonesty.

    Christian: I get that. However, it’s irrelevant to the discussion at hand. What is your justification for the objective standards of logic and morality in the first place by which you condemn any behavior or call anything irrational?

    A second attempt to ignore the burden of evidence incumbent upon the person making the claim.

    Atheist: You’re a bigot. The Bible isn’t true. Your God is mean.

    A second attempt showing your dishonesty.

    Liar for your non-evidenced god. For shame.

    Christian: Sigh.

    Atheist: Sigh. scmike, just another Liar for his still-un-evidenced god.

  • jimlouvier

    You can’t claim something to be truth without evidence. If you have no evidence, the most it can be is an opinion.

  • scmike

    And where is the evidence for that claim, jim? If you have none, guess what that makes your statement (by your own admission).

  • Spuddie

    As a born again Christian you seem to have a lot of unchristlike hate in your heart for anyone who believes otherwise.
    You seem to be deceiving yourself if you think anyone should take your sectarian nonsense seriously.

  • scmike

    I’d say the same thing if I were in your shoes, spuddie. No doubt it is uncomfortable seeing atheism exposed for what it really is, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be exposed. Take care.

  • Spuddie

    You can see an atheist is someone who does not take foolish arguments seriously and does not tolerate sectarian hatred and bigotry, even if said offhand.

    Your own words,
    “(and all competing non-Christian worldviews, for that matter) is reduced to absurdity….”

    Deal with the consequences of your actions. There is no way that statement read as anything other than religious based bigotry. Your denial is feeble and stupid. Its typical of fundies. their sectarian bigotry is so ingrained they do not realize half the time they are being offensive.

    Your entire argument is “Christianity is the best, most rational and only real religion because I said so. You can’t prove me wrong”. Everyone has pointed out how infantile your argument is. How so bereft of rationality and logic it is. Everyone has raked you over the coals for your demand for evidence but unwillingness to support your claim in a rational manner.

    Take care = Born-again speak for go fuck yourself.

  • CassandraJK

    Oh, please. If common sense, ethics, and intelligence became requirements for holding office, half of the elected officials in the U.S. would have to resign. And I’m being kind by saying only half.

  • Oranje

    *whew* I’m safe for now. I was appointed to finish someone else’s term.

    /totally the Gerald Ford route to government

  • http://www.DanielleMuscato.com Danielle Muscato

    Oh, this is just classic.

  • Deus Otiosus

    People like this senator kind of make every penny you guys spend on billboards worth twice as much, don’t they? (You’re the guy from AA, right?)

  • WallofSleep

    The Information Age has not been kind to these theocratic dinosaurs.

  • ScottG

    In some ways, the Information Age has been VERY KIND to his kind. With over 1000 channels of TV to choose from, and millions of web sites, he can push his NEW message to those places where his kind only go, and they won’t be aware of the change.

    It’s like a kind of self-selected version of Orwell’s 1984, complete with a memory hole. Sure, the Jon Stewarts of the world will do the equivalent of showing the inconsistency, but Mr. Lanza’s “type” don’t watch Jon Stewart.

  • WallofSleep

    Indeed you are right. I was thinking more along the lines of no longer being able to float a bullshit claim without having an army of keyboard warriors fact-checking the shit out of said claim.

  • Alenonimo

    Everytime I tried to open this article from the Twitter app for iOS, it would, after a while, redirect me to download the “Dragon City Mobile” on the app store.

    What gives?!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Maybe you have the 12 Dragon Balls to summon the wish-granting Dragon (ala Dragon Ball Z)?

  • Nichelle Wrenn

    Just lock the guy in a room With Ricky Gervais, Penn Jillet, and the ghost (I don’t think ghosts are real but it’s a nice image.) of Christopher Hitchens. See how long it takes for them to verbally tear this guy a new bodily orifice with which to expel the excrement that must be up to his ears.

  • toth

    I’m not sure I’d put Penn or Gervais anywhere close to the intellectual and rhetorical prowess of Hitch. Don’t get me wrong, I like them just fine. But I wouldn’t list them on a dream team of defenders of the (lack of) faith.

  • Deus Otiosus

    Especially if we get to include dead people.

  • MN Atheist

    Oh I don’t know…Ricky is pretty persuasive. And he generally speaks at a level that even this Lanza could understand. Could…but probably not.

  • toth

    Pretty much the only times I’ve heard him speak about atheism is on his Twitter account or in his standup, and I can’t say I’d be convinced.

  • Fallulah

    Gervais is a friggen genius. Hitch was good too…but really, do not underestimate Gervais’s intellect.

  • LesterBallard

    This guy is becoming one of my favorite shit stains. Wonder what he thinks about Phil Robertson?

  • http://www.facebook.com/prototypeatheist Prototype Atheist

    Instead of trying to engage atheists in a meaningful conversation and trying to understand their worldview, he instead applies misconceptions and outright falsehoods to demonize us and continue on in his fervent belief that his chosen religion is the only true and correct one.

  • jessica

    I don’t even live in New York but was so angered I felt the need to write to him. I did, I’m sure there will be no response as I’m just this hate mongering godless heathen. My email was polite and direct, not filled with the ranty rhetoric his initial statement made. I cry for human kind and the closing of minds. Glad I don’t live in his district.

  • Deus Otiosus

    While your anger is understandable, and your action commendable, if this tool doesn’t care about secular-minded people who can vote for him, he sure as hell won’t care about those who cannot.

  • jen

    Non-ranty is the way to go. Don’t give them an easy excuse to discount your opinion (they will do it easily enough anyway!) I’m not in his district either but I wrote in as well. Sometimes, the more reasonable you are, the more it pisses them off.

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

    I think it might be fairer to say that Atheists tend to hate God like they tend to hate Voldemort, Hank Rearden, Bill Sikes, Jar Jar Binks, Joffrey Baratheon….

    Merely because a character is fictional does not preclude the character being loathesome.

  • baal

    I might have an easier time hating god were he less abstract.

  • toth

    That’s exactly what I was going to say. I keep seeing atheists say “We don’t hate God because we don’t believe he exists”. Well, I *do* hate god (the Christian sort, anyway). I hate the character, even though it doesn’t correspond to anything in reality.

  • scmike

    Well, at least you’re honest that your rejection of God is not founded upon any logical basis, but rather your own arbitrary personal preference. Of course, rejecting a philosophy simply because you don’t like it is completely irrational. Progress!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Well, at least you’re honest that your rejection of God is not founded upon any logical basis,

    No logical basis? Have you read the bible? Your still-un-evidenced god condones and supports rape, murder, genocide and slavery in the bible:

    Murder: Romans 1:24-32 NLT, Numbers 1:48-51 NLT, Exodus 31:12-15 NLT, 2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB, 1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV, 1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT, 2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB, Isaiah 14:21 NAB, Hosea 9:11-16 NLT, Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT, Exodus 12:29-30 NLT, Jeremiah 51:20-26, Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT, Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT, Judges 15:14-15 NAB, just to name a few….

    Slavery: Exodus 21:2-11, 21-22, Leviticus 25:44-46, Ephesians 6:5 NLT, just to name a few….

    Genocide: Genesis 5:32-10:1, Exodus 23:23, 1 Samuel 15:2-3, Jeremiah 15:1-4, Ezekiel 35:7-9, Joshua 8:1-29 NLT, just to name a few…..

    Rape: Judges 21:10-24 NLT, Numbers 31:7-18 NLT, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, 28-29, just to name a few….

    but rather your own arbitrary personal preference.

    Since you’ve failed to provide any evidence for your non-evidenced god, you, too, have an “arbitrary personal preference.”

    Of course, rejecting a philosophy simply because you don’t like it is completely irrational.

    Rejecting Xianity is truly rational when Xians like you repeatedly lie about their still-un-evidenced god.

    Why should we believe your outrageous claims?

    Progress!

    Progress would be if you provided evidence for your claims. You’ve posted here again and again, and I’ve requested again and again, but you keep failing to evidence your claim that your non-evidenced god exists. Fail on your part.

  • toth

    I didn’t say I don’t believe in God *because* I don’t like him, you dumb sack of pubic lice, I said I don’t believe in him *and* I hate him.

  • zero

    Certainly there are more personable and sympathetic gods to be found elsewhere…

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Odin might even wander on over for a cup of tea and some soup. You never know.

  • Little_Magpie

    Tea? Odin? Mead, more like. Or a good hearty ale, if no mead is available.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    He’s fickle.

  • Artor

    Tea? That might earn you a blood eagle from Odin. He’s a mead man for sure, but still far more reasonable & friendly than Yahweh.

  • Alierias

    I’ll take Thor, the marvel Comics Thor that is…

  • unbound55

    I have no feelings for Voldemort, Hank Rearden, Bill Sikes or Joffrey Baratheon.

    Jar Jar Binks on the other hand…

  • scmike

    “”I think it might be fairer to say that Atheists tend to hate God like they tend to hate Voldemort, Hank Rearden, Bill Sikes, Jar Jar Binks, Joffrey Baratheon.””

    Yet none of them call themselves a-Voldemortists, a-Hank Reardenists, a-Bill Sikesists, a-Jar Jar Binksists, or a-Joffrey Baratheonists. I wonder why that is? Perhaps because they do indeed hate the God that they know exists and are trying very hard to suppress that truth per Romans 1: 18-21? Sure sounds like it to me.

  • dandaman

    Followers of Voldemort, Hank Rearden, Bill Sikes, Jar Jar Binks, Joffrey Baratheon, etc. don’t base foreign/public policy on them either. Big difference. I don’t hate “god”, I love the natural world and my extensive, but limited, understanding of it. No need for fairies, even virgin ones.

  • scmike

    If they did, would it be absolutely morally wrong for them to do so? If so, by what standard of morality?

  • DavidMHart

    This is astonishingly silly. Atheists also tend to ‘hate’ Allah, Kali, Vishnu, Ahura Mazda and any other gods or supernatural figures whose followers are causing harm and distorting public policy because of their beliefs. And you know that our reason for ‘hating’ those other supernatural beings is based entirely on the fact that their followers are causing harm, not on the idea that we secretly think they actually exist. Why on earth would it be any different with the god of Christianity than with the gods of Islam, Hinduism etc?

    Of course, in the real world, most English-speaking atheist activists direct their ire predominantly against the followers of the god of Christianity only because that’s the god whose followers are doing the most harm in the English-speaking world. If that changes (or in places where it’s already untrue), expect to see the focus change too. But don’t arrogate to yourself the right to state that those who campaign against harms caused because people believe in things that probably don’t exist are actually secret believers in those things. Otherwise we might just as easily say of you that deep in your heart of hearts you know that your god doesn’t really exist, but you hate the idea of being in a god-free universe so you just pretend to yourself that he does.

  • scmike

    Hey David. Not that I agree with your comparison of Christianity to the other (false) religions you mentioned, but you also raise a good question here: as an atheist, what is the objective standard of morality which says that people SHOULD NOT cause harm to one another? What is your logical justification for why anyone else SHOULD abide by that standard if they choose not to?

    Also, since rapists, murderers, and terrorists also evolved according to your worldview. How do you know that they didn’t evolve the correct standard or morality and you didn’t evolve the incorrect standard? In other words, how do you know for certain that causing harm isn’t want we should be doing vs. not causing harm?

  • UWIR

    Suppose that God does exist, and does provide an objective standard of morality. Why SHOULD I act in accordance with that standard?

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

    That seems kind of implicit in “objective standard of morality” — in that such would define what OUGHT objectively IS, bridging Hume’s gap. (Contrariwise, it seems that at most God can provide semantic identification of which of the power-set sized possible ordering relationships over the set of choices that He is referring to by the term “OUGHT”.)

  • DavidMHart

    You don’t have to agree with my comparison. But until you can demonstrate to a reasonable standard that your religion is true, and all the other ones false, you still have to accept that you don’t get to demand that people treat your religion differently from all the others.

    As regards your second paragraph, haven’t you been on these here intertubes long enough to come across dozens of essays answering that question? Haven’t you at least read Adam Lee’s succint summation?

    Anyway, here goes. There is no conceivable statement using the word ‘should’ that does not carry at least an implicit ‘if’. Thus, for example, we should try to minimise harm to other beings if we want to live in a universe where as little harm is suffered by beings capable of experiencing suffering. Or alternatively, we should obey God unquestioningly if we want to live in a universe where God’s will is carried out as closely as possible, regardless of what suffering may result.

    Now I would certainly prefer to be in the first universe than the second. You are welcome to argue that as a matter of fact, obeying your god will result in us getting closer to that universe of minimal suffering than trying to work it out for ourselves. You are welcome to argue that obedience to god will get us into another universe of unimaginable happiness, and save us from entering another universe of unimaginable torment, after we’re dead, and that any wellbeing or harm experienced in this universe is of utterly negligible consequence by comparison. You are also welcome to argue that as a matter of fact God’s wellbeing and suffering are so much more important than anything else’s that they outweigh any consideration for the wellbeing of things that are not God – to argue, in effect, that God is a utility monster, but you would still be making an argument that, at some level, boils down to concern to avoid harm and increase wellbeing.

    And in fact, most people’s conceptions of morality do at some level boil down to a concern for avoiding harm and increasing wellbeing. If you think that something else is more important, then we just have to accept that when you use the m-word, you are talking about something else that has nothing whatsoever to do with what I and many other people mean, just as a maker of violin bows and a zoologist can use the word ‘frog’ to describe, respectively, the adjustable piece that tensions the bowstring, or an animal that is a member of a semiaquatic group of spawn-laying vertebrates. Your rapists and murderers are either people who do not care about others’ wellbeing or are profoundly mistaken in how to work towards it, and we need not pay them any more attention than chemists need pay attention to alchemists, or astronomers need pay attention to astrologers (with the proviso that there are some circumstances, such as assisted suicide, where one person’s care to reduce suffering is actually the same as someone else’s ‘murderer’, but we can deal with special cases as and when we need to).

    So if your ‘should’ has a different ‘if’ attached to it, you will need to
    1) accurately define what that ‘if’ is – what you think morality is for
    2) explain why we should want to work towards that ‘if’, without at any time appealing to questions of harm or wellbeing (since you apparently reject that),
    and of course 3) demonstrate that your god actually exists and actually wants what you think he wants.

    Until you can do that, your concept of morality is at least as philosophically ungrounded as one based on harm/wellbeing concerns.

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

    It basically comes down to David Hume’s “Is-Ought” problem. I find the mathematical concept of the “poset” useful for grasping the issue (with “ought” involving an ordering relationship over a set of choices); however, I also find relatively few theists with the patience to follow through the axiomatic underpinnings.

  • raveries

    If you really think that the only reason not to cause harm is because you think your God (sometimes) tells you not to…
    I actually don’t know how to convey how appalled I am.
    Also, the ‘objective and unchanging’ morality of the Bible sanctions slavery, which most people agree today is immoral. Do you account for this change as moral progress, or do you believe that anti-slavery campaigners were wrong to move away from the Biblical model of God’s chosen people being allowed to own slaves?

  • Richard Thomas

    Because if murderers evolved the “correct” standard we’d be extinct, genius.

  • scmike

    Hey Richard. How do you know that extinction is not the proper goal of mankind vs. self-preservation? In other words, how do you know that extinction is not what we SHOULD be striving for? I welcome your response.

  • Richard Thomas

    If you think self-extinction is the way to go I’m not going to stop you. Have fun.

  • rtanen

    1. The term skeptic, which many atheists also identify with, encompasses a disbelief in all phenomena not supported by evidence, including Voldemort and Jar Jar Binks.
    2. We display our lack of belief in a god rather than our lack of belief in Voldemort because the latter is assumed. You do not go around introducing yourself as a warm-blooded mammal, do you? It is just taken for granted that all humans are. Likewise, I do not bother advertising my understanding that Star Wars is a work of fiction, because everyone assumes that I know it is a work of fiction.
    3. Even if we somehow knew that a god existed, how would we know which god? Many religions claim to have access to the teachings of the one true god in their texts, just as the Christians claim in their bible, so how would one choose?

  • scmike

    Easy. God has revealed Himself such that we can certain of Who He is and that the Bible is true. It is the only holy book that is objectively verifiable, comports with reality, is internally consistent, and makes sense of abstract, universal, invariant concepts such as laws of logic, mathematics and morality. If you dispute this, feel free tell how any abstract invariant makes sense in your worldview.

  • Savpunk

    Huh. Funny. All the Muslims I work with tell me the exact same thing about their religion, their god, and their holy book. The exact same thing. Keep reading those last four words until you understand what rtanen was telling you in point #3.

  • Dodger

    Trust me guys..no point in arguing logic with a theist who refuses to argue with logic…

  • Savpunk

    I know. You’re right. I’m gonna go watch This Is Spinal Tap for the 80 billionth time and forget that guy exists.

  • UWIR

    The Bible is false. Full stop. If you refuse to admit that, then you’re just showing yourself to be impermeable to reason.

    The Chronicle of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, on the other hand, asserts that morality, logic, etc. were bequeathed upon humanity by the FSM. It also says that pirates had cannons, and they attacked merchant ships. Archaeological research has determined that pirates did in fact have cannons. Also, having cannons is consistent with attacking merchant ships. Thus, tCotFSM is objectively verifiable, comports with reality, is internally consistent, and makes sense of blah dee blah blah.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    UWIR, I have eaten spaghetti and meatballs many, many times. Will your god have pirates with cannon attack me for that? I live far from the water so they’d have to have flying ships to attack me. Will my distance from that water save me?

  • rtanen

    1. The bible is not internally consistent. If you think it is, then tell me who greeted the visitors to Jesus’s tomb on the first Easter morning. Was it a young man (Mark 16:5), an angel (Matthew 28:2-5), two men (Luke 24:4), or nobody (John 20:1-2)?

    2. How does the bible make sense of the laws of math if it claims pi is 3 (1 Kings 7:23) “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”?

    3. The laws of math are more a set of concepts to describe how things work, or could work, than things that had to be created. Once you assume a few postulates, the rest follows from them. Laws of logic are just rules for how to accurately describe things, as inferred from reality. Morality is more relative and emotion-based than something abstract and universal. This is obvious because morality varies from person to person (Alice might think it acceptable to steal to save a life, while Bob might not).

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

    The laws of math are still more a set of abstract relations of abstract entities, which are sufficiently general to be able to correspond to pretty much anything. The question is not whether you can describe something with math, as which bit of math actually does describe it.

    For example, morality seems to correspond pretty well to “posets” — involving an ordering relationship over a set of choices, where given a pair of options A and B, you may have A better than B, B better than A, A equivalent to B, or A incomparable with B.

    The question is not whether a poset exists. (The abstract existence of a set of such posets can be shown constructively as theorem from ZF or vNBG axioms.) The question is, which poset corresponds to what someone means by “morality”.

  • scmike

    Hey rtanen. Just saw your comment. Normally I don’t entertain Biblical criticism from those who can’t account for logic or the validity of the senses and reasoning they employ in order to do any textual analysis. However, just so those following along don’t think that your allegations of inconsistency are in any way valid, I will address them:
    1) There is no inconsistency here. Proper exegesis reveals one angel on the stone with wo inside the tomb.
    2) Your allegation here is false. The Bible never claims that pi = 3. It only tells us that 30 cubits went around a space of 10 cubits. Since a cubit is an approximate unit of measurement in the Bible (about the length of a forearm) and varies from person to person, it is not possible to derive a precise mathematical ratio, such as pi, from it.
    3) Problem is, if mathematical laws are merely descriptive in nature, then they lose their universality and only apply to whatever they are describing at that moment. There would be no reason to expect that these laws applied to past unobserved events in history (such as the extinction of the dinosaurs, the reproduction of the first species on earth, or the formation of galaxies and stars in the universe) or to expect them to hold 2 seconds from now in the unobserved future. As such, you lose any rational justification for relying on them at all or assuming them to be true, as they could now be false for all you know.
    Regarding laws of logic: clearly they also cannot be mere descriptions of reality, as you would then have no reason for believing that they apply to anything outside of your own limited experience and they could vary based upon peoples’ differing perceptions of reality, with no way to resolve the conflict between competing standards of logic absent an absolute overriding standard by which to determine which were correct. Also, there would be no reason to believe that laws of logic have applied in the unobserved past or the unobservable future. This means that you would have to allow for the possibility that the universe itself may have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way BEFORE there were humans around to observe reality and infer the logical law of non-contradiction. This, of course, is absurd.
    Regarding morality: Behavior has nothing to do with the existence of a universal standard. The fact that some people like to behave immorally in no way negates the existence of the standard they are violating (in fact, the term ‘immoral’ presupposes the existence of a correct standard of human behavior). The question is not whether or not certain actions can be deemed acceptable by other people, rtanen, but whether YOU would ever accept certain behaviors (such as rape, murder, or terrorism) as OK if they were perpetrated against you or someone you care about. Everyone knows that these are absolutely wrong and not just a matter of personal preference, but only Christianity provides us with a rational justification for why that is.

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    If American currency said “In Voldemort We Trust,” if the Pledge of Allegiance had “… One Nation, Under Voldemort, With Liberty and Justice for All” at the end, and if American politicians tried to pass laws because “Voldemort is in my heart, and told me He wants this law enacted,” you’d join me in becoming an a-Voldemortist.

    Feel free to substitute Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, Zeus, Thor, Odin,… And, yes, your Jesus and your god, for Voldemort. How do those taste in your mouth?

  • Fallulah

    I certainly hate the god character in the bible.

  • Matthew Baker

    Reductio ad Hilterum has a huge diminishing return factor. The more you use it the less impact it has.

  • Oranje

    Is that the Mr. Hilter who is running for council from Minehead? I bet he won’t have much fun in Stalingrad!

    /it’s a wonderful bit of Monty Python if you’ve not seen it

  • https://docs.google.com/document/d/1al-RuUEVxHk3ldQQC8o0U5ES3T7MfnmxdaKjVAl0Zzc/pub Angra Mainyu

    But the change suggests that Lanza knows what he said was unfair and untrue.

    Or he believes it’s true, but reckons (perhaps, because of some of his advisers told him) it would be negative politically.

    Maybe he realized that if AA’s tax-exemption was revoked for something as harmless as that billboard, religious-based groups like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage would be in jeopardy as well. And members of those groups are likely to make up his voting base.

    That may be possible. Alternatively, he may have reckoned (maybe because someone told him) that that would be politically negative publicity. Or both.

    Incidentally, tax exemptions are not the same as tax subsidies, and no tax dollars are going to American Atheists due to the tax exemption. Might his failure to see that difference be a problem too?

  • Rain

    hateful and malicious of god

    He could have at least put “religion” or “purported gods” in there instead of “god” so as to avoid the ambiguity jamboree fest that religion just loves so freaking much. Not that it would make it any more true. It’s a regular equivocation marathon with these religious fuzzy-word-salads. A veritable cornu-freaking-copia.

  • doc3559

    I DO hate self-righteous fools like Lanza, though. When I was a precocious inquisitive 12 year old, i told my rabbi i didn’t believe in god. He slapped me in the face. In the half century since my bar-mitzvah, i have seen far more of the pious persecuting the non-believer.

    If i truly had a relationship with the creator of the universe, i’d keep quiet and bask in the love and truth they say comes with it. But it’s nothing more than the emperor’s new clothes, so they all have to make public displays of their piety to compensate for their doubt.

  • jen

    Second displeased letter of the day DONE! This is a pretty good vacation so far. Here’s what I wrote to Lanza:

    Mr. Lanza: As an atheist, I’m used to hateful and derogatory language from people who don’t know me. I’ve heard it from public figures and private citizens; I’ve heard it from people who claim to follow the loving example of Jesus and from those who think they are fighting a holy war. But your comments are the most egregious and offensive of all. That’s because you made your comments as an elected official and used the power of your office to disparage a group of people you clearly know nothing about. You think I’m hateful? Maybe you should ask my loving family and friends. You think I don’t believe in kindness to fellow human beings? Maybe you should ask the impoverished children with genetic disorders that I have treated over the last 13 years. Your knee-jerk ignorant response to a simple billboard isn’t going to be overlooked. We know there will always be people who disagree with us, but we certainly don’t shut up and go away when an elected official decides to slander us.

  • guest

    I think him and the American Atheists deserve each other. Let them have their phony war on Christmas; I’ll be over here enjoying the sparkly lights and presents.

  • Matt D

    I fully support that idea. You go ahead and enjoy “sparkly lights and presents”, while the grown ups discuss issues that are more important than how entertained you are.

  • Croquet_Player

    I have contacted New York Senate minority leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to find out who will be running against Senator Lanza in November. Who’s prepared to join me in the fight to unseat Lanza? I want this appalling bigot to lose big.

    I have posted this on Senator Lanza’s Facebook page and sent it to him via email.

    “Senator
    Lanza, Your attack on atheists is appalling and bigoted. I have
    contacted the democratic leadership in your district. I’m sure a great
    many of my fellow atheists will be only too happy to join me in offering
    my full support to any candidate who opposes you next November.
    Congratulations – your bigotry and open hostility to freedom of speech
    and religion has earned you an organized and vocal group prepared to do
    whatever it takes to see you lose in 2014.”

  • Timmah

    There is no room in Merica for religious persicution!

    BTW I don’t like what you are saying, so I’m gonna take away your tax exempt status.

  • tbc_6970

    I just talked to him. For a bout 20 minutes. I do not find him to be
    malicious in his intent. He has stated he would clarify his words as
    being against any group that uses hateful words to prove a point, as
    unamerican in nature, including religious groups. He admitted the changes on his site and realizes
    that it appears the correction, was seen as side stepping the issue of
    his statement. We shall see. Damage control, maybe.

  • Pitabred

    Even correcting his statement, the fact that he abrogated his responsibilities as a public servant so utterly in the first place… there are times when “I’m sorry” doesn’t fix things. This is one of those.

  • poliltimmy

    I told him not everyone would accept his clarifications. I was right. No one should have to.

  • tubi11

    “He has stated he would clarify his words as being against any group that uses hateful words to prove a point, as unamerican in nature, including religious groups.”

    Well, sure, but what does that have to do with the ads in Times Square?

    Although, really, what’s more American than using your freedom of speech to express your views?

  • Little_Magpie

    Congratulations, Mr. Lanza. You lose.

  • Kroegs

    He’s vote mining. Meaning: He knows full well this isn’t going anywhere. He wants gullible people to sign his petition to later use their information to solicit donations.

  • Christopher Griswold

    It is certainly possible to hate things that do not exist in reality. I hate Yahweh… and Voldemort, Edward Cullen, and Diesel10. I also can be reasonably sure that deities, wizards, vampires and sentient train engines are not real.

  • Gerry Mooney

    He’s silly because he thinks New Yorkers are going to be intolerant of a BILLBOARD!!

  • Brodestar

    It doesn’t matter how Lanza tries to spin this he is still wrong and a HUGE apology is required to get out from underneath his remarks. His remarks are not just hate speech but the new version shows that he has no clue what atheism even is. It’s just pathetic that he thinks this will blow over somehow, or that it’s ok to offend a group of people he doesn’t like and clearly doesn’t understand.

  • Rob Stone

    says it all

  • http://avengah.wordpress.com Matt Davis

    He’s changed it again.

  • spookiewon

    LOL That’s internet 101. It is impossible to remove something from the internet.Can you say “google cache” and “Wayback Machine?”

  • poliltimmy

    -His apology

    “I have, for the second time, amended the content of this statement. I’ve
    done so based upon conversations which I have had with callers
    describing themselves as atheists. They have expressed concern, based
    upon misinterpretation, that my original statement can be taken as
    offensive to atheists based upon their beliefs. This is not only the
    furthest thing from the truth, it is completely contrary to what I have
    intended to accomplish with my stand. My opposition to the sign has
    nothing to do with the beliefs of atheists, it has to do with the belief
    of many that it is hurtful and hateful toward people of faith at
    precisely the time they are celebrating what they believe. While our
    constitution protects such unkind statements, so does it protect my
    right to denounce them. I extend my apologies to those atheists who
    might have been offended, even if that is by virtue of misunderstanding.
    I simply believe that it is wrong to do nothing in the face of hatred. I
    defend the right not to believe as strongly as the right to have faith.
    I firmly believe, however, that neither should be used to demean the
    other. What we need is good will toward each other, and I hope this
    debate and my position has helped people focus upon that.”

  • scmike

    Thanks to all for the respective exposure of our worldviews! Running short on time now and probably won’t be back for a few days. Merry Christmas!

  • purr

    Good riddance.

  • Spuddie

    What the fuck would you know of any other worldviews? You spent hours insulting every one but your own and extolled yours on the basis of “because”.

    I am certain there are plenty of intelligent born agains who facepalm when they read your nonsense. Do they ignore you on the christian websites because they find you inane? Did you come here because they won’t let you play in their reindeer games?

  • UWIR

    “Lanza Continues Drive to Remove Malicious Advertisement”

    Really? He’s embarked on a campaign to eliminate all advertisement that is “malicious”? Funny how the only example of such that he’s found is an atheist billboard. I don’t recall him doing anything about all the anti-atheist billboards, or the Ahlquist incidents, or the whole “In God We Trust” stuff.

    “Just as millions of Americans are preparing to celebrate Christmas, a secular activist group, American Atheists, unveiled its latest anti-Christmas ad in Times Square which asks, “Who needs Christ during Christmas? “ and answers with “Nobody “. The group declares that “Christmas is better without Christ.” ”

    How is presenting one’s views on how to improve Christmas anti-Christmas?

    Also, some pedantry: it should be “SENATOR ANDREW LANZA DENOUNCES AMERICAN ATHEISTS’ HATEFUL TIMES SQUARE ADVERTISEMENT that says ‘NOBODY’ NEEDS ‘CHRIST DURING CHRISTMAS’ ” and “led to the Holocaust”.

  • Peter Naus

    I’ve really appreciated the detailed and sophisticated responses to the troll ‘scmike’. It’s really helpful to see his lack of understanding of any of the rules of logic, rational discussion, and argumentation.

    It can be frustrating to have to deal with someone who simply asserts statements with no evidence, and who then refuses all requests for evidence or clarification. It’s obvious he’s simply trolling, if you watch Monty Python’s “Argument” sketch!

    The frustration of so many members is evident, but in the main, you’ve been remarkably unemotional, and (again, asserted without evidence by Mr Troll) refusd to stoop to his level of faked argumentation.

    Unfortunately for smug Mr Troll, the explanations of his logical fallacies, incoherent data, circular arguments, evasion of proofs, argument from ignorance, and assertion without support have been superb examples of how to deal with those problems.

    Absent evidence, I suspect mike has a group of cloise, personal friends who he’ll crow to, claiming he’s taken on a whole clot of atheists and beaten them. His close personal friends will all nod sagely, high-five each other, and write something special in each other’s Daily Holy Journals.

    Without intelligence, there can be no learning, and I’ve really appreciated seeing the remarkable brains behind the names here. Thanks, everyone.

  • UWIR

    ” It’s obvious he’s simply trolling, if you watch Monty Python’s “Argument” sketch!”

    No, it’s not!

  • Peter Naus

    That isn’t an argument!

  • UWIR

    Yes it is.

  • Peter Naus

    No, an argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition!
    :)

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

    Whether he’s a sincere Christian or someone trolling for the lulz, intelligent responses can be educational to the rest of the audience.

    That said, you might want to gaurd against your own confirmation bias, and see if you can spot subtle logical flaws (or not so subtle) in the responses.

  • UWIR

    I think this blog title is a bit inaccurate. He did make note of the fact that he had changed his press release, so the “quietly” isn’t exactly correct.