Does god Really Heal?

The following post was submitted by Jeremy Wells, AKA the Not So Friendly Atheist, who blogs about the logical flaws in religious arguments.

Does god really heal? This is a simple question that I put to the test when I was a Christian- the results convinced me to abandon religion. One of god’s promises is that he will heal all believers that pray for it. This is one of the foundational beliefs in religious doctrine. Certainly god should honor his word in this area, but does he?

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.

If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:14-16)

Many Christians claim that atheists take verses out of context, but these verses leave little room for personal interpretation. Throughout history, religious people have claimed that god is capable of healing. If the bible is the inspired word of god then this verse provides the evidence needed to support this claim. If it is valid then Christians should be the healthiest people we know and this should be evident throughout history.

During the 14th century there was a massive plague that annihilated roughly 30% of the European population; Christians had the same probability of death as anyone else. Why is this? Surely, an omnipotent god that promised healing to all that asked would have been able to answer these people’s prayers. Some might say that the 70% that survived were the true believers so I will bring this into perspective. We will examine a recent case to see if prayer is a reliable source of healing.

Many people have used prayer in conjunction with medical assistance and had “miraculous” recoveries, but this doesn’t prove the efficacy of prayer. Jesus and his apostles never took a person to the hospital and according to this verse neither should modern Christians. If prayer is truly effective then there is no need for a doctor. If a doctor can heal a person through modern medicine then prayer is futile. Recently, a story has swept across the nation that shows what happens when prayer is relied upon without the intervention of medical personnel.

The Wyland family from Oregon had complete faith in healing and put it to the ultimate test. Their newborn baby had an abnormal growth of blood vessels above her left eye and for six months they relied solely on prayer. Obviously prayer didn’t work for them and unfortunately many more children have died because of this belief in faith healing. What harm is there in faith?

Newspapers considered the family’s church to be “cult-like” and “extreme,” but they were simply following god’s word. What conclusion can we draw from this story? Either prayer works or it doesn’t; YOU BE THE JUDGE! If prayer has no effectiveness in practice then why use it? People say that religious belief gives hope to followers, but this girl didn’t need hope. She needed healing and it is apparent that god couldn’t provide it. This ailment was completely preventable by medical treatment, but now she might have suffered irreparable damage. Many people might say they have seen people recover after prayer, but the failed attempts far outweigh the subjective experiences of a few. Why would god be so inconsistent when fulfilling his promise? It appears that modern medicine yields much more consistent results. If medicine is more effective than religious belief then what does this say for the validity of faith healing?

  • http://theascendancymemoirs.blogspot.com/ wazza

    testing has actually shown that prayer has a small negative effect; that is, people with heart conditions (the condition on which prayer was tested) were less likely to recover if they knew they were being prayed for, all other things being equal.

    • Michael

      There’s really not enough evidence to come to this conclusion. If memory serves, this was the result of a single study on the effect of prayer.

      Of course, such a result is only possible if the people know they are in the group being prayed for (which was the case in that study). I think the effect–if it was even really present–was chalked up to performance anxiety.

  • http://larianlequella.com Larian LeQuella

    You NEVER see prosthetic limbs at a faith healing revival do you?

  • vasaroti

    More about those studies:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070314195638.htm

    Personally, I’d like to have somebody document what happens to the “healed” after they leave the big-top prayer session. Meet them in the parking lot and see how they act as they go home and resume normal life. Should be at least as amusing as that new reality show about beard-growing competitions.

  • Brian

    Sad stuff. I don’t know why some Christians think modern medicine is bad. When my grandmother had cancer we prayed a lot for her. But we also took her to her chemo treatments every time. When my other grandmother had a brain tumor, we prayed for her. Bur we also took her to a neuro-surgeon and had the tumor removed. The worst part of this is that its children who are suffering. If it was someone’s self-inflicted abstinence from medicine, that’s one thing, but these are children who are being denied medical treatment that is effective and, as far as I can tell, NOT “of the devil .”

  • Noelle

    A cochrane review search shows no significant difference in a metanalysis of 10 studies on intercessory prayer, total 7807 people.

    Some mild improvement possible in personal prayer for some conditions (anxiety), and is usually considered comparable with meditation.

    I’m surprised the doctors didn’t intervene legally to treat, the patient being a minor in this case. If she can’t use her eye from birth, the necessary neuro connections won’t be formed for her to see correctly.

    Many believers get past this whole problem by saying God gave us doctors and gave them the wisdom to treat so let’s pray and let the docs do their work while we pray. Most docs are happy to work with that.

  • http://www.sosnomore.com Kirby Clendenon

    Back when I was coming out of Christianity, I challenged my wife to a prayer duel. We had for years written down the verses we were believing in the Bible and watching our prayer life. It seemed so random. So I told my wife to pray to God as she always had, and I would pray to the lamp in the living room. We would keep track of our prayers, answers vs. no answers, and guess what. I did slightly better than she did. Prayer is ineffective and a deception. Forget it.

    • Len

      Sounds like you demonstrated that your living room lamp does answer prayers. We should start a pilgrimage to your living room.

      • http://www.sosnomore.com Kirby Clendenon

        You’re right. It underscored the futility of always looking elsewhere for help. We need to take responsibility for our lives. Prayer is futile. People say, I’m praying for you, I say, please don’t. Once when I was young and was kneeling next to my bed saying a goodnight prayer, my back snapped and went out on me. I said, “Are you kidding me? Can’t you even watch over me while I pray? I said, ” I’m never kneeling to pray again. From now on, I’m getting into bed, getting comfortable and then I’ll pray.” Ha. But nowadays, I just think prayer is a farce.

      • FO

        ALL HAIL THE HOLY LAMP!

  • SunshinEsBH

    I developped a serious problem with my lungs in my late 20s – had trouble walking more than a few feet without resting.

    I remember being told that I was healthy after being prayed for and that i was allowing the devil to deceive me into believing i was still sick. Altho i had all the faith in the world that i was healed i still got sicker and sicker.

    I eventually had a psychological breakdown as i tried (unsuccesfully) to bridge the gap between the illness i really had and the supposed “reality” of my healing. “Just keep on trusting the lord and dont listen to the lies of the devil.”

    Long story short i was eventually treated by a really competant physician and after 2 weeks in hospital was pretty much cured. (With the exception of one relapse a few years back I am totally healthy to this day.) And guess what – after my release from hospital it was “praise god for this healing”

    This illness accompanied by the psycholigical breakdown was the start of my leaving christianity and the beginning of my actually living in reality. Even tho it took me another 10 or so years to finally accept the reality of the non-existance of god.

  • Robster

    If this prayer thing doesn’t work, heaven is a furphy, jeesus probably never existed etc. The whole perceived attractiveness of clinging to an odious religious belief system is shown to a waste of time and energy. Why bother when it obviously doesn’t work? Time to move on.

  • Thin-ice

    My wife teaches a special ed class (severely handicapped) in Oregon City where this church (the child with the eye cyst) is located, and one of the students – about 8 years old – comes from this church. The parents of that baby are serving jail time, due to Oregon’s new law which removed the exemption from prosecution that religious folks got when their children died for withholding medical care. (The church locally is called “The Kissers”, because of the tendency of it’s members to marry within the church, thus almost everyone is related in some way.)

    Some other parents in that cult had a child in her classroom, and when the school district said they would call an ambulance in case of a medical emergency with their daughter, they pulled their daughter out of school.

    I maintain that these people are ignorant, but consistent with Jesus’ teachings, whereas the more mainstream christians in town are ignorant and hypocritical because they trust medical science when sick, rather than relying on prayer, as Jesus told them to. (Ignorant because they still think Jesus’ sayings are wise somehow…)

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    I can see that you didnt have faith that God could and would heal you or you wouldn’t have forsaken him. He said that he would never leave nor forsake you. You really are interpreting the scriptures that you have quoted out of context. You see God has never promised us any of our desires including physical healing whenever we ask him. If it is his will for us to be physically well in a certain point of time, he will make us well. His desire is for every one to be well for eternity, that’s why he created the eternal resting place of heaven. But when the initial sin was committed he told Adam “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” – Genesis 3:17. We are never promised through the whole word of God that he will heal us with our command physically. The scriptures that you have quoted pertain to a spiritual healing. Have you ever prayed with someone who is laying on their literal earthly death bed in a hospital or nursing home? I have. And there is no sight in the world like seeing someone comforted in the Holy Spirit, knowing that things are going to be alright, that if they are not healed and delivered out of the grasp of death here, then they are going to be with him for ever in the shining city on the hill. “If he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” James 5:15 in the scriptures that you listed is proof of this context, in case it is not the Lord’s will for the sick person to be delivered in the physical body, they will be forgiven of their sins and be ready to go and meet him in Glory. As far as Christian people being more healthy than others, this also is a mis-understanding of the doctrine of the word of God. God placed judgement on everyone that has ever lived and will ever live on the face of the earth because of mans sin nature. Therefore he said that he would rain on the just and the unjust as well the Apostle Paul says this: “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comformable unto his death.” – Phillippians 3:10. If the only begotten Son of God had to suffer here on earth, we may have to as well. Also the middle ages marks a significant time in the church history. The ages were still dark with little light from the Christian people breaking through. The word of God was locked away in monasteries, not available to the common people for them to read and study for themselves. The people that went to church were just going on what the priests were telling them and most of the time they were not in the line of work for the sole reason of the Glory of the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t until the character who is somewhat controversial in his beliefs to many, including myself, walked up to the church at Wittenburg and tacked 95 theses as to what was wrong with the contemporary church. Along with these 95 theses was reinforcement in the fact that we are “saved by grace through faith, not works of man” – Ephesians 4:8. So that is probably not a good example for you to use in arguing the health of Christian people. I hope and pray that I have cleared up some issues for you. If you have any questions you should feel free to contact me personally. If you don’t want to contact me, I would recommend that you ask someone who knows what they’re talking about and can explain things to you because your eternal, immortal soul is a very serious issue. Thank you for your time.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Please stop quoting scripture. It’s not evidence. In fact, it’s slightly less convincing than quoting Harry Potter.

      • UrsaMinor

        Petitio principii. This is fast becoming my most-used phrase on these boards.

      • Revskeens

        This person quoted scripture to Make his point. I’m simply using scripture to make mine. I would like to point out that while making my point I did it respectfully. Mocking what I believe in and comparing what I consider the Holy word of God is a prime example of why Atheists are discounted in the academic circles of the church. If you would like to have a grown up debate, I would be happy to satisfy.

        • Jabster

          @Rev

          … and exactly what would you like a grown up debate about?

          Oh and saying you made your point respectfully and then saying “… is a prime example of why Atheists are discounted in the academic circles of the church.” is that respect – I think not.

          • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

            I do apologize, I didn’t mean any disrespect to anyone, I just believe that we have the capability to discuss two opposing points of view without mocking one another and making fun of each others beliefs. Debate is just a term that I use in place of discussion. I am intrigued by the atheistic beliefs and why people believe this way, just as I am sure you are intrigued as to why I believe what I do. That’s all, no disrespect.

            • Len

              Atheists don’t have “beliefs” as such – at least, not beliefs that could be considered as necessarily common to all atheists (ie, you must believe this to be an atheist). What we all do have is a lack of belief in any god. That’s what makes us atheists.

              For me (and probably many others), that’s mainly because no evidence for any god has ever been shown.

        • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

          The church doesn’t have academic circles (unless there’s been some innovation on Google + I haven’t yet heard about).

        • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

          Tell me Rev, how exactly should I differentiate the parts of the bible which are anecdotal from the parts I’m supposed to take literally? Is there a code? Or a seperate numbering system? I mean this question completely seriously, by the way.

          On a seperate note “church” academics are not academics by any definition. Academics seek to explore and reveal new facts. Churches are invested in supressing facts at all costs to maintain the faith of their flocks.

          • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

            Still waiting.

      • Brian

        This board is claiming that there is an inconsistency with the purpose of prayer and the results of prayer.

        Based on the author’s definition of prayer, there would be a “disconnect” between it. The rev is disagreeing with the author’s assessment of the purpose of prayer in order the show that there is no disconnect between purpose and results. He’s not using scripture to prove scripture. He’s explaining the internal consistency of the Christian doctrine of prayer.

        He’s completely on topic and is not proof texting using scripture.

        I’m surprised you don’t see the line of argument your opposition is taking… You can disagree with his exegesis of the biblical text, but you cant claim that he isn’t arguing on the terms this post set at the onset – namely that the Christian doctrine of prayer is inconsistent with the results one should expect given that the doctrine is true.

        This post is an exercise in biblical exegesis. Plain and simple.

        • Jabster

          “He’s not using scripture to prove scripture. He’s explaining the internal consistency of the Christian doctrine of prayer.”

          … or cherry picking the Bible as it’s also know.

          • Brian

            So the author of the post can quote 2 pieces of scripture but the rev can’t quote several without being accused of “cherry pickin?’” he even cited the same passages the author used in his post. Obvious double standard.

    • http://www.sosnomore.com Kirby Clendenon

      Re: You see God has never promised us any of our desires including physical healing whenever we ask him.

      I’m sorry Custador, I agree about the scripture quoting, Rev. Skeens obviously believes it’s the Word of God, so here is my quote: John 14:12 reads “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” And guess what the Bible says Jesus had just been doing? Raising the dead!

      So, I believed, I prayed all night, made sure I was right with God, and then went into a mortuary and called my friends dead son to rise and be healed in the name of Jesus. Guess what, nothing happened to this day.

      I’m sorry Rev. Skeen, for me the Bible just doesn’t deliver. I believed it for 45 years, and I have to conclude, it’s a book whose first scratchings on paper happened about 100 BC, then was edited, changed, had parts added, had parts deleted, embellished and finally elevated to God-status in Christianity. It’s a historical fiction at best.

      • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

        I understand your disappointment. All I can offer you is that I have seen many, many lives snatched up from very bad places by the preaching of the gospel. Drug addicts, Prostitutes, Murderers and thieves taken out of those lifestyles by the grace of God. I myself was all but in the grave when I got saved, I know that people on here are making fun of that statement, but, I was. I was working 12 hour shifts at the hospital taking a shower at work, then going straight to the bar and staying there until it was time for me to go back to work. On my days off that was the only thing I was concerned about, where I could get my next drink and where the drugs were going to come from. In a way I guess you could say that my resurrection was greater than Lazarus’ because I had no hope at all. I just know that if the Lord wasn’t in my life right now, I would miss him.

        • Nzo

          I understand your disappointment. All I can offer you is that I have seen many, many lives snatched up from very bad places by the preaching of the gospel. Drug addicts, Prostitutes, Murderers and thieves taken out of those lifestyles by the grace of FSM. I myself was all but in the grave when I got touched by his noodly appendage, I know that people on here are making fun of that statement, but, I was. I was working 12 hour shifts at the hospital taking a shower at work, then going straight to the bar and staying there until it was time for me to go back to work. On my days off that was the only thing I was concerned about, where I could get my next drink and where the drugs were going to come from. In a way I guess you could say that my resurrection was greater than Lazarus’ because I had no hope at all. I just know that if the FSM wasn’t in my life right now, I would miss him… especially that noodly appendage.

          Fixed

          Your god obviously doesn’t exist. The FSM tricked you into believing in something else (‘cuz that’s what noodles do!)

          Anyway, it’s ok that you don’t understand, see… unlike the god the FSM tricked you into believing, the FSM is actually a pretty nice plate of spaghetti! FSM actually forgives all, and everyone goes to heaven with a stripper factory and beer volcano!

          • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

            The great thing about my God is that when I can’t understand why someone sees the need to be disrespectful and disgusting like the person that made this comment, He still loves them. Therefore, I forgive you whoever you are, I’m sure there’s a reason for you acting the way you do and I’m praying that you will seek help for your issues.

            • Skippy

              Waaaaaah. Your persecution complex is pathetic and tired. You do realize that you came here. Go trundle off back to whatever fetid corner of the Internet you oozed forth from and commiserate with your fellow godbotherers.

            • Yoav

              Rev. skeens:

              There are many ways that people can be deceived into believing in other gods besides the true and living God. I have actually seen voodoo work before when I was on the Ivory coast of Africa. The presence of evil was so thick over there that the natives could make the figures, say a few words as to what they wanted to happen and it would.

              Nzo:

              Your god obviously doesn’t exist. The FSM tricked you into believing in something else (‘cuz that’s what noodles do!)

              Anyway, it’s ok that you don’t understand, see… unlike the god the FSM tricked you into believing, the FSM is actually a pretty nice plate of spaghetti! FSM actually forgives all, and everyone goes to heaven with a stripper factory and beer volcano!

              How is the second one any more disrespectful then the first other then in that it deal with your favorite version of an imaginary friend?
              Why don’t you come with something new instead of playing the victim, it’s not even entertaining anymore.

            • Skippy

              It never was entertaining. This “Rev. Skeens” humanoid is trotting out all the tired old cliches as though this our first rodeo. Hell, where else is there to go after “I’ll pray for you”? I guess that’s all he’s got, cause Spock knows he ain’t thinking.

            • Bill

              The entertaining thing about Revy is how fast he went through the cliches. Seems like we set some kind of speed record here.

            • Bill

              How on earth is this “disrespectful and disgusting?” He literally used your words in the context of another religion to demonstrate how preposterous claims from personal experience are. If you find his words disrespectful and disgusting, don’t you have to admit that your words are disrespectful and disgusting to a non-Xian?

    • kholdom0790

      Can’t tell if trolling or just stupid.

  • Bill

    “You see God has never promised us any of our desires including physical healing whenever we ask him.”

    Compare with:

    James 5:15: “Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.”

    Try again Rev. If the Bible is true, it clearly indicates that a prayer of faith will heal the sick. Yet we know that prayers of faith fail to heal the sick all the time.

    Hmmmmm, what could cause this kind of disconnect?

    • Bill

      Oops – put this in the wrong place. Obviously I was responding to the good Rev Skeens.

    • Revskeens

      The disconnect is in the fact that you are still taking this in the wrong context, as I explained already this is referring to spiritual comfort of a sick person. God makes sick people well every day. I have a disease that has caused me to be legally blind. While I am sick in the body, the prayers of faith have given me comfort of spirit and strengthened me to where my physical affliction doesn’t bother me. Only a true and living God can do that.

      • Jabster

        “Only a true and living God can do that.”

        … and you know that how?

        • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

          I know that because when I didn’t have a relationship with him I was miserable. I did not want to leave my house after I lost my vision. I lost the ability to drive a vehicle and everything else that I took for granted for nearly all of my life. You never know how much you miss just going for a walk and enjoying being able to see nature until all has been taken from you. But when I came to the realization that there was more out there for me, all things changed. I have traveled literally across the world and loved every bit of it.

          • Yoav

            People have, throughout history, got the same effect from believing in any of the thousands of gods they made up. Why should your personal anecdote be accepted as evidence for your favorite imaginary friend while the exact same story from someone else isn’t a proof for the existence of Allah, Vishnu, Zeus, Odin, Anubis, Baal, Xenu, the angel Moroni…, you see where this is going.

            • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

              I understand the question but, I can’t speak as to what someone in a distant country felt in their spirit some time ago. What little I do know about most of these God’s that you have named suggests to me that they didn’t feel that they had personal relationship with God. The muslims believe that the prophet Muhammad was the only person ever to see Allah face to face and when he died there was no other way to get to God. I believe that most of the ancient occult religions believed that they had to do something in order for God to answer their needs or prayers such as sacrifice, all i know is that I don’t have to do anything for the God of Heaven to have a relationship with me, only believe in his Son.

            • UrsaMinor

              You haven’t spoken to the point, which is that people throughout history have prayed to gods other than the Christian one, and believe they have been healed.

            • Yoav

              The point is that followers of other gods can tell the same story you did about how their faith gave them comfort and helped them cope with disease and loss.

          • Bill

            Oh – we are accepting personal annecdotes as evidence? Cool, I have a Scietoligist down the street who assures me that L. Ron Hubbard saved his ass from drug addiction.

            • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

              If you want to consider someone losing their vision at 22 years old an amusing anecdote, that’s your call. I can’t speak to what your neighbor says about how he was delivered from drug addiction. What evidence can you offer me that what I believe isn’t true?

            • UrsaMinor

              Again, not addressing the point.

            • Bill

              Yeah – there’s a huge difference between a “personal anecdote” and and “amusing annecdote.” There is nothing amusing about someone losing their vision. (Although apparently your god is ok with it.)

              I have yet to see any verifiable evidence for the existence of your god.(Or any god for that matter.) If you have some I would love to hear about it But please note the word “verifiable” in my request.

              Even if you can prove the existence of your god though I have some very serious questions for him before I will join in worship. He’s going to have to explain the existence of war, famine, disease, the Boston Red Sox and the Republican Party. (In other words, the existence of evil.)

              Moreover, on the topic of the healing power of prayer I suggest you read this:

              http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?pagewanted=2

              When the healing power of prayer was scientifcally analyzed: “researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.” In other words, science indicates that what you believe is wrong.

            • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

              There are many ways that people can be deceived into believing in other gods besides the true and living God. I have actually seen voodoo work before when I was on the Ivory coast of Africa. The presence of evil was so thick over there that the natives could make the figures, say a few words as to what they wanted to happen and it would. They would make people sick and attacked by animals, all sorts of bad things would happen when they took part in this stuff. The point being that just because people found comfort in this particular practice and it worked for them, doesn’t mean that they were worshipping the God that I serve.

            • UrsaMinor

              Elementary error in reasoning. It is called “special pleading”.

            • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

              And how do you know you weren’t deceived into worshipping some false god? Hell, what evidence do you have for the existence of your god?

      • Bill

        So “heal the sick” doesn’t actually mean “heal the sick?” It actually means “make you feel better about suffering?”

        Seems like a really mean god to me. One might even say a psychopath.

        If I understand correctly, your god turns to a child with eukemia and says:

        “Listen Johnny, I’m all poweful. I could heal you with out any real effort at all on my part, but I’m not going to. I know you’ve begged me to do it, and that the suffering is immeasurable, but I just won’t heal you. I know your parents have pleaded with me – - hey your old man even offered his own life in exchange for healing – - but I’m just not gonna do it.

        Here’s what I will offer. If you pray a whole lot I’ll make you feel a little bit better about all the suffering. Mind you, I won’t actually take away the pain – - and truth is you’re still going to die a long and extremely painful death – - but I may if asked very nicely make you feel a little less sad about it. But mind you, you’re going to have to really really beg for help, and even then I probably won’t provide all that much comfort. But hey – I’m busy.”

        Not really the nicest guy.

        Of course there is a much more logical explanation.

        • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

          I have actually seen a few people that were healed from different types of cancer, and these people were not under my ministry, so I’m not trying to promote myself in any way contrary to what a lot of preachers say, we aren’t the ones that heal anyway. But the latest example that I can think of is a 17 year old girl from Houston, Tx that was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was just 12 years old. She was in the hospital back in May and multiple doctors were called in for their medical opinions, to see if there was anything that they could do for her. Every single doctor that was called in gave her less than two weeks to live, her white count was so ridiculously elevated they couldn’t believe she was still living. But the church had their media team go to the hospital the following Sunday and broadcast from her hospital room and she was up out of a bed that she had not moved from in over a week putting on make up and was on her way out to play with the other kids in the pediatric ward. Just to say that God has a plan for everyones life. Why some kids get healed from cancer and some don’t, I don’t know nor do I understand. But an angry mean God he is not. He has given us a way to not have to suffer anymore one day. And if you have ever seen one of these 12 year old kids with cancer that are in their death bed, I have, I used to be a pediatric oncology nurse before I got Sarcoid in my eyes, that have a relationship with God, They have a comfort that can’t be explained by human lips. They know that God has the ability to heal them from their disease, but, if it’s not his will they are going to be with him for ever. Just the same way with elderly people, I am on the volunteer chaplain staff at the local hospice center and I can always tell when a Christian person is passing because they leave with the most peaceful look on their faces, it’s just like they fall asleep. I can’t tell you why certain people suffer more than others, I just know that a loving God has given us a way to escape the sorrows of this life for ever.

          • Bill

            “But an angry mean God he is not.”

            A god who has the ability to heal children but instead allows them to suffer may be angry and is definitely mean. (I note that you don’t deny that if he exists this is exactly what he does, only that you don’t understand why.)

            And yes – I’ve seen a child suffer from cancer. Any god that would allow it is at the very least unworthy of worship, but more likely actively evil.

            Of course, there is a much simpler explanation….

            • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

              The definition of anecdote is “a short and amusing or interesting story.” Whether you believe it or not, me losing my vision, becoming legally blind not completely blind, saved my life. I was in a very bad place beforehand and if I would have continued on that path I would be dead right now, or even worse could have very possibly caused someone else to be hurt with my actions. So yes I do believe that the disease I have is by the grace of God. Church information isn’t the only information that can be subjective to opinions. Scientific information can very much be affected by someones personal beliefs. For instance your article says prayer has no effect on people, my article says it does. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032302177.html

              By the way you are actually a pretty funny guy, I think that the Red Sox are a product of evil as well.

            • Bill

              Your selective quoting of anecdote doesn’t help your case:

              “1. A short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
              2. An account regarded as unreliable or hearsay. ”

              Please note definition number 2.

            • Bill

              That article doesn’t come close to saying prayer heals, or even that it has a positive effect. At best it says the scientific evidence indicates no effect, but some people still believe it does. It’s peppered with quotes like this:

              “Krucoff, a cardiologist, published a study last summer involving 748 heart patients at nine hospitals. That study failed overall to show any benefit.”

            • Skippy

              You believe that your deity smiting you with blindness/near-blindness/whatever is a good thing? Your narrative is straight out of the typical Christian “I was a horrible, horrible being before JAYZUS saved me.” Seriously, do you not think we’ve heard the same pedantic treacle before? And why is it people like you think that your pedantic treacle is supposed to serve as evidence of anything other than a subjective reflection that is predicated upon the belief in an imaginary sky friend?

            • Yoav

              This christian prosecution complex is getting really old. When we talk about anecdotal evidence we mean the use of specific cases to make a general statement. For example, over the years my parents had 3 cats all of which were white if I followed your way of reasoning I would use it to claim that all cats are white, you will agree that this would have been a very flowed statement.

  • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

    You said: “I used to be a pediatric oncology nurse before I got Sarcoid in my eyes, that have a relationship with God, They have a comfort that can’t be explained by human lips. They know that God has the ability to heal them from their disease, but, if it’s not his will they are going to be with him for ever. Just the same way with elderly people, I am on the volunteer chaplain staff at the local hospice center and I can always tell when a Christian person is passing because they leave with the most peaceful look on their faces, it’s just like they fall asleep. ”

    Wait. Upthread you said you lost your vision. Now you’re saying that you can tell blah, blah, christcakes, because of the look they have on their faces. How do you know what expression is on someone’s face when they’re dying? Pick a lie and stick with it.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Devil’s advocate: You don’t have to be completely blind to be legally blind. That being said, Rev has implied that he is a lot more blind than a person who is capable of still reading facial expressions.

      • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

        Precisely–if his sight is so bad that he can’t drive and see nature, then I find it implausible that he can make out expressions on people’s faces. That’s why I’m calling out what I think are lies.

    • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

      Legally blind, not completely as I stated in one of the earlier comments. you should really know what you are talking about before you call someone else a liar. It’s just good manners.

      • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

        Dude, I’m quoting you. You said you lost your sight at 22. Then you said you can’t see nature. If you can’t see nature, then how in the hot hell can you make out expressions on people’s faces? Now you’re saying you can make out the expressions on people’s faces as they die.

        It’s also good manners to not lie, even if it is for Jeebus.

        • Bill

          Well in fairness, the Rev doesn’t seem to like quoting all that much. When I quoted the bilbe a bit further up he told me it doesn’t actually say what the quote clearly says. That’s probably what’s happening here. Blind enough to not see nature doesn’t ACTUALLY mean blind enough to not see nature.

          Skippy you just need to read it in context. Silly atheist.

          • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

            I just found the quote, I did say see nature. That’s not what I meant. I meant be able to enjoy it like I used to before this happened to me. sorry for the confusion.

        • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

          I have glaucoma in both of my eyes from Sarcoid, I don’t expect that you know what that is but it is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. Usually affects the lungs. the pressure caused both of my optic nerves to become pale. Therefore the damage to my optic nerve has made it to where I have no peripheral vision. I can only see what is directly in front of me and only between 5-10 ft in front of me can I see. So when I go for a walk outside, I have to be looking at where I am walking and I can’t “enjoy” nature, that’s what I said. But seeing that I am not walking around I am either standing or sitting right beside the bed when I am visiting people at hospice and I have been called to the room to comfort the family/patient, I can usually see the expression on their faces. I hope that you understand now.

          • Bill

            “So when I go for a walk outside, I have to be looking at where I am walking and I can’t “enjoy” nature, that’s what I said.”

            That’s not what you said. This is what you said:

            “You never know how much you miss just going for a walk and enjoying being able to see nature until all has been taken from you.”

            I don’t really doubt that you have the disease you claim to have, but you aren’t being consistent in your description of it. I suspect because you think your description helps bolster your argument.

            • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

              I admitted that’s not exactly what I said. But that’s what I meant as to be able to go for a walk and enjoy seeing objects in my surrounding like I used to be able to.I don’t think it helps the argument, I’m just telling what I have experienced in my own life.

          • Skippy

            Even if I bought what you’re trying to sell (which I don’t), all you have is anecdotes about people you saw die. That isn’t evidence of the existence of your god–what of the Buddhist who dies peacefully or the Muslim who dies happily thinking they’re going to their version of the afterlife? Does that prove the validity of their religious belief? Also, what evidence do you have for the existence of your deity?

            • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

              The evidence that I have has already been noted on here by you guys as subjective, I concede that point to you. My belief in the God of heaven is based on what I have read in the word of God, what God has delivered me out of in my life, what God delivers people out of that I minister to. I do a lot of work with drug addicts because we have a terrible problem with addiction here in the region that I lived. We lost 42 lives to drug overdose in 2010 in my county alone. So I see these people when the come in for help and they are using IV drugs, robbing and stealing for drugs, young women are prostituting themselves in order to buy drugs and living out of cars. Just in terrible shape. And when they go to our Long term treatment facility and it is shown to them that they are held accountable to someone other than themselves, shown the love of Christ, they are nearly transformed overnight into something that we can hardly even recognize. Also taking nature into account, knowing the things that exist, I just have a hard time believing that all of this stuff is here by accident. In all honesty it takes more faith for an atheist to believe that the earth and everything on it is just what happens with mud if given enough time then it does for me to believe that everything here was created by a supreme ruler of the universe. I’m honestly not trying to sell anything or change anyones mind, I’m just trying to figure out how you guys believe. It’s foreign to me, as I’m sure my beliefs are foreign and absolutely crazy to you.

            • Skippy

              Then you might as well be talking about rainbow unicorns and fluffy puppies and Santa Claus. And “you’re trying to figure out how [we] believe”–believe what? Just on this thread alone, you should be able to see that what “we” live by in terns of claims is proof. It’s pretty simple; you make a claim, you’re responsible for presenting evidence to support the claim. Personal anecdotes, no matter how “moving” or Lifetime-ready they are, aren’t evidence.

              Oh, and this little gem of stupidity: “In all honesty it takes more faith for an atheist to believe that the earth and everything on it is just what happens with mud if given enough time then it does for me to believe that everything here was created by a supreme ruler of the universe”

              This right here is a truckload of stupid. It doesn’t take faith–it takes an understanding (even a rudimentary one) of cosmology and evolutionary biology. In other words, a person with a moderately functional brain who paid even the slightest attention in middle and high school can grasp that the human race exists as a result of billions of years of stellar, planetary and evolutionary processes. No magic sky daddy with a predilection for genocide needed.

            • Yoav

              “It’s a relationship”, “other religions are under the power of satan” and now “it take more faith to be an atheist”, I only need “I used to be in a cult playing D&D” to complete the christian cliches bingo card.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    I said in the comment that my proof is subjective. I admit that. You are making the statement that what I believe isn’t true, can you offer me objective proof that what I believe isn’t true? There are two definitions available for faith, the first is “complete trust in someone or something” It seems to me that you have complete trust in the fact that the earth is what it is and got there by years of sitting and breeding living organisms. That’s what I meant, still think that we can discuss this issue with respect towards one another. As far as cliches go, I have a whole page full of them in this discussion, Christians are crazy, what they believe is a fairy tale, on and on. So I don’t think you have sufficient ground to pull the cliche card.

    • Yoav

      We have evidence that the universe is over 13 billion years old, we know humans are descended from earlier life forms which pause a major problem for the doctrine of the fall, we know there was no global flood. We also know that the bible was written centuries after the fact, that it contradict itself on many points and that large parts of it are not supported by the archeological finding, making it a very unreliable source. We know that there is no extrabiblical, contemporary mentions of jesus or any of his miracles. Put together these points make the existence of the christian god unlikely to the level that we can presume it’s existence disproved as much as the you can’t prove something doesn’t exist, which is never 100% but it put it on the same footing as Russel’s teapot and the invisible pink unicorn.

  • Skippy

    “You are making the statement that what I believe isn’t true, can you offer me objective proof that what I believe isn’t true?”

    FAIL. That’s now how it works. You make claims, YOU present evidence and proof to support your claims. Further, the more extraordinary the claim, the more extraordinary the proof has to be.

    Your second fail emanates from a complete misunderstanding of the scientific method. Either you didn’t pay any attention to your science classes or you didn’t receive sufficient education in science. Here you go: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml

    Do you honestly think that those of us who know that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and that humans are descended from a common ancestor pulled this out of thin air? Stop trying to denigrate centuries of scientific exploration by bringing it down to the level of your Bronze Age fairy tales.

    • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

      That’s how you said it works, you make a claim and you provide proof as to what you are saying. You are telling me that I can’t possibly say that what you and other people believe was just pulled out of thin air. Then you say that what I and over 2.1 billion people on the earth believe is pulled out of thin air. I don’t understand what makes you think that your belief is any more relevant that mine. I did pay attention in high school and even as a non Christian I still had trouble believing that every different species of plant and animal on the face of the earth has just evolved through time to be what it is today. I appreciate the interjection of respect from the previous statement.

      • Nzo

        You are telling me that I can’t possibly say that what you and other people believe was just pulled out of thin air.

        Ever been to a doctor? Driven a car? Used a computer?

        Then you say that what I and over 2.1 billion people on the earth believe is pulled out of thin air.

        Prayer doesn’t work, nor does your god smite anyone, say anything, or exist in general.

        I don’t understand what makes you think that your belief is any more relevant that mine

        Facts vs imaginary friends

      • Nzo

        Ever thought about opening up a discussion on your webpage? Nah, didn’t think so. You’d wind up having to censor any atheist posts since your beliefs don’t hold up under any serious scrutiny. Of course, this is a great way to promote that group confirmation bias that’s so integral to the continuation of your religion… let people post, delete atheist posts… say god did it.

      • Skippy

        Really. You “don’t understand”…with all the scientific evidence out there that points towards evolution? Then you really need to go back to school.

        Oh, and citing 2.1 billion people is argumentum ad populum–a logical fallacy. You’re the one positing the existence of a deity. Thus it is incumbent upon you to present the evidence of this deity’s existence. The atheist’s position is that there is no credible, scientifically verifiable evidence of the existence of a deity–we don’t have to disprove anything. It’s all on you to present the proof.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    I’m not playing a victim to any extent. I just expect the same amount of respect that I am showing you people in this discussion. Furthermore the facts that you state you have as to why I am crazy are skewed to say the least. First of all, the evidence that you have that the earth is billions of years old is less than convincing to me. Radio Carbon dating? something that the scientists admit from the lab can be of one way or the other by hundreds of thousands of years doesn’t hold my confidence at all. The evidence you have that there was no global flood, where is it? Scientists have found sea organism fossils as high as 20,000 ft in the Andes and the Alps. The fact that there are no contemporary mentions of Jesus Christ’s death burial and resurrection, how did you come by this information? This link may help you out: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2011/02/extra-canonical-sources.html The fact that the Holy Bible is not supported by archeological evidence?? Solomon’s Temple, The Western Wall of the temple mount, Jail cells that have been uncovered by archeologists with crosses scratched in the stone walls and floors dating back to at least 100 AD. The tombs of Samuel the prophet and Samson in the Valley of the Shadow of Death – The Kidron Valley, Egyptian Hieroglyph’s depicting battles being fought and won by the Hebrew people, But you are absolutely right, there is very little archeological proof left these days as it pertains to the Word of God because excavation of the majority of the Holy City and most of the country has been shut down for years with the hopes of wiping out any Jewish/Christian history of the country. There is objective proof on both sides of this discussion that neither one of us are going to change our minds on. But nevertheless, I will believe what I believe no matter how crazy you guys think that I am nor how much you insult my beliefs with elementary remarks.

    • UrsaMinor

      You’re just not very good at critical thinking, are you? The archaeology shows that some places mentioned by the Bible existed, and indicates what religions were practiced there. It does not prove that those religions got it right.

      You can make a similar argument for ancient Egypt. A great deal of literature has come down to us from it, and a great deal of that literature is corroborated by archaeological findings in Egypt. Some of the places written about were real. We know what religions were practiced. By your standards of evidence, this definitely proves that the ancient Egyptian religion was true and Osiris, Thoth, Seth, Anubis and Bast were all real.

      Why do you disbelieve the ancient Egyptian religion? Why does your religion get a special exception?

    • Bill

      Carbon dating is unreliable? Are really going to rehash this bullshit again?

      Ursa would you please handle this? The last time this came up it was so entertaining watching you take the Xian to school.

      • UrsaMinor

        I’ll keep it short and sweet, because I don’t feel like running through the whole thing again:

        Radiocarbon dating has nothing to do with determining the age of the planet. It’s not a relevant point.

        To give an analogy of how irrelevant it is, imagine that I presented you with an argument that claimed Christianity can’t possibly be true because nobody can prove that Muhammed really existed.

    • Yoav

      Your link talk about the sources used by the writers of the gospel but here is a major issue, you don’t actually have any of these sources. The western wall is a reminder of Herod’s temple build a 1000 years after Solomon supposedly lived and the existence of a temple is no more prove of Yahwe then the dome of the rock is proof that mohammad rode to heaven on a flying donkey or the acropolis a proof of athena. And you just dismiss decades of research in numerous disciplines and we suppose to put your unbased statement on the same footing as piles of evidence from biology, geology, cosmology and physics quite arrogant of you. And for the umpteenth time, carbon dating is not used for dating the earth, just a rule of thumb for you, if you hear it from Ken Ham it’s bullsh*t.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    Someone posted still waiting and I don’t know what they are still waiting on?? You are absolutely correct the Western Wall of the Temple Mount is a remainder of what was left of the base of the temple after being destroyed in the 70′s and it’s a magnificent place to go and pray, the wailing wall it’s called because the Jewish people go there to literally wail and weep at the thought of the temple being built again. I don’t think it’s arrogant of me, the same argument can be made for people that have been studying these things for decades and completely dismiss traditions and accounts that have been passed down for over 3,000 years. I’m not arrogant enough to say that I am any smarter than these people who have recorded history as they lived it. If the couple of sources that are listed on that page aren’t enough for you, there are a whole library of books that were not canonized in the Bible. Many, Many books that were written documenting not only Old Testament accounts but New Testament accounts as well. And the works of Flavius Josephus who is not a true primary source of information but has been accepted in academic circles inside and outside the church as a near primary source of information.

    • UrsaMinor

      The Pantheon in Rome is a magnificent place, too. It is well-recorded in historical accounts, and we can see the structure itself today as proof. Surely this proves that the Roman religion was true.

      Critical thinking, sir. If the criteria that you are using to prove the veracity of your own religion are so broad that they apply to other religions as well, you might want to reexamine your criteria.

    • Yoav

      You do understand the difference between physical evidence and stories that have been passed and adapted and changed by who know how many, not always objective, parties. India and China have traditions that go back thousands of years further then the Jewish/Christian ones, does that make their religions twice as true?

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    Once again, the cliche card really shouldn’t be pulled when there is a whole page of comments of anti-Christian cliches. You are absolutely correct, radio carbon dating is irrelevant, but one way or another I have been asked by modern science to believe that they can tell the age of the earth by a pile of rocks, sorry but I just can’t believe they can tell by that, I know I’m a crazy Bible believing Christian and my existence is a threat to society but that’s what I believe. Bill, you know how nzo or nvo whatever their name is was disrespectful I’m not going to dignify that by repeating it but they weren’t quoting what I said. Good night to all.

    • Yoav

      Science doesn’t ask you to just believe, the evidence is there and the way the age of the earth is calculated is described in detail if you want you can study geology and inspect the calculation to determine if they are correct or not. Asking you to back up your claims is not a vicious attack it’s how a reasonable debate is carried out, stop playing the victim.

    • UrsaMinor

      No, you have not been asked by modern science to believe in the age of the earth. You have been given evidence supporting the conclusion. This is a very important question theologically; one would think that a serious seeker of the truth would take the time to learn about radioisotopic dating, and what it can and cannot tell us, and then make a judgment.

      Yes, Nzo can be pretty disrespectful. But sadly and very tellingly, you have taken the typical Xtian route and avoided tackling the polite, tough questions in favor of the easy route- getting offended by the posters who are disrespectful, and ignoring the serious ones.

      You have yet to offer one single argument or piece of evidence as to why your religion is any more real or true than classical Roman and Greek polytheism. If you had evidence, I would think that it would be an important point that you would be eager to make. All of your defenses of Christianity so far have amounted to special pleading, or circular reasoning. What the Bible says is irrelevant until you establish the existence of the biblical God independently; its veracity as the Word of God rests on the existence of God, and you cannot prove that God exists by assuming that God exists.

      Old arguments. Old fallacies. I’m surprised that most posters haven’t been crankier.

      • Nzo

        I hope I waited long enough. Were you still having fun with him? Or were you about done?

        • UrsaMinor

          Pretty much. His arguments to support his position are overly broad or logically flawed in very elementary ways, where they’re not completely irrelevant to his point. I don’t see him trying to sharpen them. He avoids direct questions that he can’t answer without undermining his own position. It’s like playing with a dead mouse.

          • Nzo

            It’s like playing with a dead mouse.

            Though terribly cliche, I find that insulting – - to the dead mouse 8(

    • Bill

      Rev – I’ve tried to avoid accusing you of playing the victim card here, but now I feel compelled to. You showed up there and challenged a position taken. That’s great, we actually encourage that around here. But when you in turn were challenged and asked to support your position, you did nothing but avoid direct questions and throw out cliches we’ve seen a thousand times. I suppose it’s to your credit that you kind of admitted that you have no verifiable evidence for the existence of your god, but it didn’t much help your case.

      Now you are claiming NZO has been disrespectful because he used your own words to drive home how silly your argument is. This may be a radical idea, but your religious beliefs aren’t entitled to any special respect. People are entitled to disagree with you, and there is nothing disrespectful or disgusting about it.

      You should read what real scientists have to say about the age of the earth. It’s really very interesting.

      Good luck sticking the flounce.

    • Bill

      I’m probably going to regret this, but now I’m curious. What exactly are the “anti-Christian” cliches you referenced?

    • Nzo

      You’ve done nothing to earn any respect here. Your arguments are childish, have been debunked numerous times, and you can’t seem to find even one of your arguments defensible, yet you continue to post more and more as if you’ll get a different result.

      Let me help you out:

      Any – - – ANY argument that you’ve gotten from your preachers/teachers/internetreligiousgurus etc. that you do not fully understand both sides of, will NOT work here. You’re speaking to people who obviously know more than you do, and have DIRECT knowledge of both sides presented.

      Take a trip through any number of forum posts, or blog threads – look up the atheist answers to your pathetic arguments in youtube, or anywhere on the internet that doesn’t censor.

      Basically, You can’t argue a point, because you don’t have the knowledge to make a point. You’re pretending your ‘god’ will help you know things that you haven’t researched, but he hasn’t. You’re getting destroyed, because despite all your praying, squirming, and positive thinking, you still have no actual KNOWLEDGE.

      Seriously… try it. Learn about science, or whatever you’re arguing against, from the scientists, before posting here and making yourself look stupid.

      I echo Bill – “What exactly are the “anti-Christian” cliches you referenced?” besides, of course, the fact that you’re wrong, about just about everything.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    I can’t speak to what the Chinese and Indian people experience in their own spiritual walk. I do know that the major traditions in these country don’t outdate the Jewish traditions. Taoism and Confucianism were both introduced into China around the 5-6th Century B.C. and Buddhism was introduced into India around the same time. Moses lived and wrote the first five books of the Bible in the 15th Century B.C. Bill, believe it or not, this is not my first rodeo either. I have a good friend that is and atheist and I have heard all of the cliches as well. “The Bible is just a good book of bedtime stories” “The Bible contradicts itself time after time” “The Bible was made up by some King in England to take control of his people” “There isn’t any extra canonical references to Christ” “If Christians are so Moral what about Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Baker” “My parents were Christians and they didn’t love me” My grandparents were Christians and they were drunks” “My uncle was a Christian and he cheated on my aunt” on and on. I didn’t say that this has been a vicious attack, and man you guys really like to throw that victim card thing out there don’t you?? Is that all you have to keep saying to me when I make a point?? I have tried to answer any and all questions that you have asked me without redirecting the question to the best of my ability but you can’t stay on one topic long enough for me to do this, you pick one little point out and ride it till the hooves fall off. You argued with me for almost 2 hours about whether or not I have a disease in my eyes and am LEGALLY blind. It all boils down to this, I have faith in a God that I cannot see nor have I ever seen. I have never been to China nor have I ever seen China. But I believe that China exists.

    • Nzo

      The Bible is just a good book of bedtime stories

      Hardly

      The Bible contradicts itself time after time

      Can truth be cliche? Do I really need to spell it out here again that this is unequivocally true?

      The Bible was made up by some King in England to take control of his people

      You don’t read much non-apologist works about your book, do you?

      There isn’t any extra canonical references to Christ

      Josephus was debunked – and that’s the only one that came close.

      “If Christians are so Moral what about Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Baker” “My parents were Christians and they didn’t love me” My grandparents were Christians and they were drunks” “My uncle was a Christian and he cheated on my aunt”

      Getting desperate?

      I didn’t say that this has been a vicious attack, and man you guys really like to throw that victim card thing out there don’t you??

      Could you point out where this happened?

      I have tried to answer any and all questions that you have asked me without redirecting the question to the best of my ability but you can’t stay on one topic long enough for me to do this, you pick one little point out and ride it till the hooves fall off.

      How… do both of these happen? Either we can’t stay on topic, or we do. Also, you’re a liar. You’re the one that cannot seem to find a defensible position, and move on. We’re more than happy to respond to any actual responses to our posts, even if the rest of the thread moves on. You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here…

      You argued with me for almost 2 hours about whether or not I have a disease in my eyes and am LEGALLY blind.

      When you lie about something… or misrepresent your position, then go back and correct it, it either shows you’re a moron that doesn’t know what you’re saying, or you’re a liar.

      It all boils down to this, I have faith in a God that I cannot see nor have I ever seen.

      Exactly, now stop acting like you’re taking the high road, when to us, you just look like a child with an imaginary friend. Stop pushing your beliefs, and stop pretending there’s a reason to believe.

      I have never been to China nor have I ever seen China. But I believe that China exists.

      A child could destroy this argument… do I really have to do it myself? Either you’re a lying swine, or you’re really this stupid. I’m really not sure which to believe at this point.

      • Jabster

        “Either you’re a lying swine, or you’re really this stupid.”

        Maybe both?

    • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

      “I have tried to answer any and all questions that you have asked me without redirecting the question to the best of my ability but you can’t stay on one topic long enough for me to do this, you pick one little point out and ride it till the hooves fall off. You argued with me for almost 2 hours about whether or not I have a disease in my eyes and am LEGALLY blind.”

      You really don’t know how to be internally consistent, do you? Either we jump from topic to topic or we stick to a topic until its hooves fall off. Which is it? And you still don’t know why I questioned your arguments about “seeing” the expression on the faces of dying people? Get off the cross, Skeens.

    • Bill

      With the possible exception of the bible being inconsistent, I don’t think any of your “cliches” has been raised in this thread. (And I don’t think that’s really a cliche.)

      You really haven’t answered direct questions. I invite you to re-read the thread and perhaps start with Custadors direct question about how we can tell which parts of the bible are literally true.

      I’d also appreciate it if you could point out where I said you thought you were the victim of a “vicious attack.”

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    I’ve stayed out of this one until now.

    God doesn’t do shit.

    I’m disabled. I used to believe. And guess what I got from “God”?

    NOTHING.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    Alright, I’ve had a good time trying to see what makes an atheist tick. I’ve got to do something productive today so I just want to do this quickly. You have told me that I am “stupid” or unlearned, when the truth is that I am not. I have a double bachelors in Nursing and Biology, I was actually going to be a doctor before I got sarcoid which caused me to be LEGALLY blind and I also have a minor in psychology so maybe we can come up with a more logical explanation as to why you believe what you believe. I’m going to respond to “Skippy” but the rest of you can surely apply this to yourselves. First of all Skip, you can’t stay on topic means exactly what it sounds like it means. The topic of this post was “Does God really heal?” I posted what I believe and it was on the topic. So you take this topic to mean, does God really exist and argue as to why he doesn’t, which is ok, I was prepared for that. Then you take the dumbest point out and which has no bearing on whether God exists or doesn’t and ride it until the hooves fall off. In the name of science, what all of you seem to hold dear in your heart, I’m going to make a scientific assessment on what I believe is the reason why you are the way you are. First of all, you seem to think that you are smarter than everyone else that doesn’t believe the way you do. You use big words that most of the time you are using completely out of context, to try to make someone who is arguing the opposition, feel inferior to you. Really Skip buddy that just shows a sign of insecurity. You are unhappy with your own accomplishments in your life and you have to get on the internet where nobody knows who you are to try and prove to yourself that you are something different. Someone who you held in regard was a Christian either a parent or grandparent, just someone who you had faith in and they let you down. And whatever this one person has done to you has turned you against the Christian community as a whole. You feel like this is the only way that you can be different from the rest of society, it’s a way of seeking attention for you. The 60′s version of getting tattooed or the 80′s version of letting your hair grow long. It’s what is fashionable for you today. You are self righteous, you can’t stand the fact that you are going to be held accountable one day for your actions and the thought that you actually may need to be pleasing someone else by the way you live just terrifying to you because the only person you are worried about is you. Well all this is very sad, but, it’s more of a scientific, logical explanation as to why you could possibly be an atheist. In the name of science, right skip? You dismiss any argument at all from the opposition because you don’t want to believe that there is a higher power out there that is seeing what you do on a daily basis, whatever that may be. All of you kept asking me to speak for someone else in a far away country and explain how they felt hundreds and thousands of years ago. I can’t do that, but that shows that you are insecure in your beliefs by asking me to disprove it by doing something that is impossible. And none of you responded directly to the support that I have shown you for my beliefs, archeological and scientific, it was just ignored and dismissed. I think you are scared to discuss it, because you know that if there is a higher power out there that is keeping tabs on you and your life, you have a lot to answer for. Well, I’m off to help drug addicts as a part of my ministry, what do atheists do to help their communities?? Sit around and complain about the people that do??

    • UrsaMinor

      Someone who you held in regard was a Christian either a parent or grandparent, just someone who you had faith in and they let you down. And whatever this one person has done to you has turned you against the Christian community as a whole. You feel like this is the only way that you can be different from the rest of society, it’s a way of seeking attention for you.

      Not even close. But this canard is a common last fall-back of theists.

      And none of you responded directly to the support that I have shown you for my beliefs, archeological and scientific, it was just ignored and dismissed.

      That is, quite simply, a lie. I responded quite specifically to this. You ignored me.

      You dismiss any argument at all from the opposition because you don’t want to believe that there is a higher power out there that is seeing what you do on a daily basis, whatever that may be

      You dismiss any argument at all from the opposition because you want to believe that there is a higher power out there that is seeing what you do on a daily basis.

      Well, I’m off to help drug addicts as a part of my ministry, what do atheists do to help their communities?? Sit around and complain about the people that do??

      Typically, we donate money to non-religious charitable organizations and participate in things like Habitat for Humanity. You don’t need to be religiously motivated to help your community. But I expect you to reject this information because it doesn’t fit with your world-view.

      You have repeatedly made unsupported assertions. You are working from the unexamined assumption that there must be a God- and further, that it must be your god- and for the conversation to go anywhere, you must first establish that this is true, or at least likely. The validity of every one of your arguments rests on demonstrating this. You have never left the starting gate.

      • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

        What do I do to help my community? I save their lives. That’s not a brag or a boast or something I think makes me special, that’s just a statement of fact. That’s what I do to help my community.

        • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

          Hey, I got moderated! And I didn’t even curse! LOL!

          • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

            EH! Looks like the srver monkehz fixed it!

            THANK YOU SRVER MONKEHZ!!!!

            [ook, ook]

      • Bill

        Rev – Please don’t question what we do to help our communities. Generally the answer is a lot. Turns out you don’t need god to do good works.

    • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

      Rev…

      I’m sorry you got accused of lying about your blindness. I dated a blind guy for a while and he had some partial peripheral vision that helped him a little, but he still needed a guide dog. People sometimes questioned his blindness and would ask us to leave an establishment (usually a restaurant, but also a grocery store one time) and it was really infuriating. We used to say to people, “you are not an eye doctor, so you don’t get to make a diagnosis”.

      The reason for the suspicion is that plenty of Christians come here and lie about their life circumstances, pretend to be other people, or pretend to be atheists and proceed to act like jerks. That’s why people get suspicious. Even so, I can imagine that it is infuriating to have someone question your disability.

      I was a special education teacher for two years at a public school and have been a learning specialist/private tutor for about 8 years as well. I worked with people with severe cognitive disabilities as a public school teacher and now I work with kids who have learning disabilities/differences. After I left public school, I attended Columbia, where I studied neuroscience. I was inspired by my students with cognitive disabilities and I wanted to help find treatments and cures to ease their suffering and save their lives. As a researcher, I participated in stem cell research (in mice and rats, but it had applications for human stem cell research), yet George Bush’s moratorium was put in place, and so I had to change research focus… which I did… to the genetics of learning and memory (this research I did in Eric Kandel’s lab, who won a Nobel Prize in 2000).

      Did I mention that I’m an agnostic atheist?

      You mention cliches about atheists and in calling them chiches, you dismiss the real impact they’ve had in people’s lives. My dad was the deacon (on the board of directors) at his Baptist church for about 25 years. He and his wife abused me terribly and I just found out that they are facing Federal prison for stealing $8.6 million. It’s not a cliche to me, it a painful reality.

      My painful reality caused me to seek out help from the “Wonderful Couselor” the “Prince of Peace”, and I asked fervently, repeatedly, and faithfully for peace and healing in my life. Do you know what I got back?

      Silence.

      The silence was confusing to me, so I sought answers in the Bible and I continued to pray and seek peace and healing. Do you know what I got back?

      Questions.

      The Bible is filled with contradictions and mythical stories about human origins, a wrathful God, a Savior who asked his followers to abandon their wives and children, and converted persecutor of Christians who tells women to sit down and shut up in church. So I sought to get help with my questions from the church. So you know what I got back?

      Admonishment.

      I was told that my faith was weak, that my questions were inappropriate, that it was a mystery, that I needed to keep my focus on the “Good things of God”, that I was undereducated in all things theological, and that there were answers out there because Christianity was coherent. So I kept seeking. And you know what I got back?

      Agnostic atheism.

      I am not a cliche. I am a person who is profoundly disappointed in the broken promises of the Christian faith. I never received peace or healing or comfort from the profound depression that I have lived with (off and on) since I was 19 because of prayer or faith. I received help from counselors… secular counselors and psychiatrists who used science to help me.

      I accept science as the best means of knowing what to do because IT WORKS. Prayer doesn’t.

      Until your “god” can demonstrate any kind of practical usefulness instead of silence, I will remain a skeptic. That doesn’t make me a cliche, it makes me smart enough to realize a losing strategy when I see it.

    • Bill

      “…because the only person you are worried about is you.”

      My family and friends would beg to differ.

      • UrsaMinor

        Yes, that’s another canard, like “atheists don’t help their communities” and “atheists are atheists because some Christian disappointed them”.

        I demonstrate a great deal more caring and concern for my friends and family than quite a number of Christians that I know. Whether or not you believe in the Christian god has nothing to do with how caring a person you are.

        The ignorance and condescension on display by the Rev is nothing short of astounding.

        • Skippy

          You’d think this moron was new at the Internet or something. I mean, seriously. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this elementary special pleading, whinging, and general unctuousness.

    • kholdom0790

      I’m a (volunteer) firefighter who has spent many, many hours in training, and at various incidents attempting to make my community safer for EVERYONE who lives there – atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim. For you, Skeens, to say that atheists only care about themselves or don’t help their community, is everything the others have claimed and more. You are an arrogant and vile representative of your religion and I can’t understand why you expect us to be just like you.

      • kholdom0790

        I also donate blood regularly – doesn’t make me better than anyone else, but does mean I’m not just out for myself.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

      “You dismiss any argument at all from the opposition because you don’t want to believe that there is a higher power out there that is seeing what you do on a daily basis, whatever that may be.”

      Ha ha NO.

      And the idea of an invisible man in the sky that watches everything you do? That’s CREEPY.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    I want to reply to LRA later when I have more time, I just want to get these couple of things out of the way quickly while I am on lunch. These things that you are telling me now seem to be “anecdotes” which I was strictly told aren’t accepted as proof on this site. To refresh your memory Bill: Your selective quoting of anecdote doesn’t help your case:

    I can say that my family and friends would tell you that I’m a good looking guy, but it doesn’t make it a true statement. I can tell you that I just built a million dollar state of the art facility for homeless people in my community, doesn’t mean that I actually do a lot to help my community. Generally stating that you do “a lot” to help people isn’t going to persuade to believe otherwise. I’m not saying that you don’t personally help your community, I hope that you do and if you do then I applaud you for it. But, there are only three things that the “atheist fundamental group” in my community are noted for and they are as follows:
    1. Filing an injunction with my city to stop people from blessing their food in a public facility in which they just so happen to meet in.
    2. Filing an injunction with our local college to stop Christian day cares from providing single mothers with child care when they are trying to earn an education and a better life for themselves and their children.
    3. Filing an injunction with my city to stop a Christian organization from providing homeless people breakfast and lunch on Saturday morning when no other community kitchen is open, in a public city park.
    And as far as world famous atheists go, who could forget Stalin, what an ambassador to his community he was. Before this gets twisted, I’m not putting anyone of you in the same class as this guy, not saying that all atheists are like him at all. I’m just stating facts that are archived in city documents an the history books to tell you why I have reason to be suspicious of what you are telling me now. The shoe seems to be on the other foot, smelly isn’t it??
    I

    “1. A short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
    2. An account regarded as unreliable or hearsay. ”

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Saw it coming. Can I have a cookie?

      Stalin, just like Mao and Kim Jong Il, was the head of a personality cult. They got rid of Christianity in order to become the “divine” worshipped entity themselves. That doesn’t make them atheists. It makes them very good at manipulating people. To throw your argument back at you: Who could forget that famous confirmed Catholic, Hitler, and the nation of devout Christians he led to perform the worst mass slaughter of humans in history?

      Secondly, I highly doubt your local atheist group is doing any such things. They might be arguing that you city shouldn’t fund any group that requires prayer before they’ll help people (the Salvation Army is a good example), but that’s not the same as trying to stop individuals from blessing their own food as private individuals. I highly doubt any organisation of atheists would be so stupid, so I’m going to go right ahead and say: Links to news sources or STFU.

      • UrsaMinor

        Ding! Ding! Ding! Reductio ad Hitlerum! I was wondering which side was going to pull this one out first.

        All possibility of rational discussion on this topic is now officially over.

        But you knew that a long time ago. :)

        • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

          In fairness, I did the Reducto ad Hitlerum in order to demonstrate how stupid such comparisons are.

          • UrsaMinor

            Yes, I know. It sure beats the “Hitler was an atheist!” argument, too. Mostly because “Hitler was a Catholic” has the virtue of being true.

      • Brian

        Do I hear bagpipes?

        Sorry, but with how often people throw this out, its impossible not to call you on it. Stalin claimed to be an atheist. Which, if I’ve read enough threads on here to know the laws of inference utilized (and I have) – Stalin must be an atheist if he claimed to be. Just like that crazed Norwegian gunman who claimed to be a Christian must be a Christian.

        The only difference is that atheism can legitimately degrade into mass murders and ethnic cleansing, while Christianity cannot.

        This is absolutely not to say that if you are an atheist then, you will commit genocide. This is just to say that mass murder is a deviation from Christianity, whereas it isn’t NECESSARILY a deviation from atheism.

        Nevertheless, these comments have all gotten rather vitriolic today. From every side…

        • Bill

          “This is just to say that mass murder is a deviation from Christianity, whereas it isn’t NECESSARILY a deviation from atheism. ”

          See now it seems to me that mass murder fits in perfectly with a god who DROWNED EVERYONE ON EARTH!

          • Brian

            Heres my beef with that comment, but I know neither of will get anywhere, so maybe we can agree to disagree after this? Perhaps if you’d like to discuss what I’m about to propose in more depth, maybe we could interact on YouTube mail… Anyways…

            Something is wrong only if you don’t have a good reason for doing so. For example, if I shoot someone, the moral rightness or wrongness depends on the context. If I walked in their house at night and did it, we would call it murder and it would be morally wrong. Now if the person I shoot walks into my house with a gun, then shooting them would be self-defense and would be morally commendable. the morality of an act is, at least to some extent, contextual.

            Christians contend that God had a morally sufficient reason to flood the earth (or whatever old testament story you’d like to cite), just as I would have a morally sufficient reason to shoot the intruder in my house.

            Now, since you are claiming Christianity is INTERNALLY inconsistent, what you’d need to do is show that this explanation causes some other inconsistency or that Christianity does not have good reasons for thinking that an omnibenevolent God has a morally sufficient reason for committing the apparent atrocities. Pardon my run-on sentence :-)

            Once again, if you’d like to discuss this in more detail, I’d be more than happy to. I could write a blog post and link it, if that isn’t against this blog’s rules… Custador, if you could let me know if that would be acceptable, I’ll check back later.

            all the best.

            • Bill

              “Now, since you are claiming Christianity is INTERNALLY inconsistent, what you’d need to do is show that this explanation causes some other inconsistency or that Christianity does not have good reasons for thinking that an omnibenevolent God has a morally sufficient reason for committing the apparent atrocities.”

              No I’m not.

              I’m claiming murder – specifically mass murder – is entirely consistent with Christian doctrine.

              You claimed such action “Necessarily” deviates from Christianity. It doesn’t. the Xian god is a mass murderer, therefore mass murder is consistent with Xianity.

              Now if you want to discuss whether your hypothetical god hypothetically had good reason to kill all of mankind except for one family, I’m happy to have that conversation. (Here’s a hint – he didn’t.) But don’t conflate that discussion with the question of whether murder is consistent with Xianity.

            • Brian

              Like I illustrated in the last post, something is only murder if there is no morally sufficient reason to kill someone. If we are going to conditionally grant that the Christian God exists and that he is all good, them we know he must have a good reason for doing something.

              If you’re going to make a positive claim to knowing something, you need to present some arguments and provide us with support of your claim that god did murder those people – which is to show that he had NO good reason to kill the people you’re referring to.

              I’m not conflating the questions – for if god did have good reasons to kill all of humanity save one family, then he didn’t murder them. If he didn’t have a good reason to kill people, then it was murder. They are completely interrelated questions. The answer to the first question gives us the answer to the second.

        • Yoav

          Christianity have been used as a justification for mass murder and enslavement for centuries, just asked the indigenous population of the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa. As for Stalin his murderousness didn’t stem from his atheism what I would argue is that the kind of men who become dictators are the ones that don’t have much problem with killing anyone who stand in their way, these dictators may be atheist they may be good catholics like Haiti’s Duvaliers they can be muslim like the guys running most of the middle east or any other flavor of religious idea.

          • Brian

            Bagpipes are ringing in my ears, Yoav. What you’re saying is that those who claim to be Christians and do terrible things do it because of their religion. But Stalin was just a bad guy and it had nothing to do with his buying into the “ubermench” or his atheism?

            All I’ve stated is that mass MURDER is a deviation from Chrisitianity, whereas that act can legitimately come out of atheism without contradicting the worldview.

            You have to give some kind of support for your claim that Stalin was a murderous guy regardless of his beliefs about a world in which God does not exist.

            • Elemenope

              But Stalin was just a bad guy and it had nothing to do with his buying into the “ubermench” or his atheism?

              Someone likes using buzzwords without knowing what they mean, it seems.

            • Brian

              Uvermench means “super man.” due to the obvious fact that Americans who hear “superman” immediately think of a spandex wearing alien, it was translated “higher man” or “upper man.” believe me, I’m quite familiar with this “buzzword.” I do wonder why you would even call it that, since I have never seen anyone use that term in this or any other thread.

              do you have anything to say about the content of the comment, or are you just going to make quips that avoid interacting with what I wrote?

            • Elemenope

              If you thought that Stalin was an admirer of Nietzsche’s philosophy, you are as mistaken as it is possible to be. Hence, your using “ubermensch” in that context demonstrates either you don’t know what the concept refers to, do not understand its origination and original context, or you have misattributed it to someone whom is not an exponent of that concept.

              The rest of your comment was too silly to engage with, mostly because you fundamentally misunderstand that religions and atheism do not belong in similar attribute categories. Inverting analogies and substituting one for the other in similarly structured arguments routinely leads to gross errors.

            • trj

              All I’ve stated is that mass MURDER is a deviation from Chrisitianity, whereas that act can legitimately come out of atheism without contradicting the worldview.

              Well, yes, that’s what you’ve stated, but you’ve never got to actually explain why you assert this. Since the concept of murder is tied to moral values, I surmise you think atheism is not tied to morality or moral accountability and is therefore not opposed to mass murder? In contrast to Christianity – which worships a god who allegedly killed an entire world.

              Sorry, you’re not making much sense.

            • Jabster

              @trj

              Ah yes but’s there’s murder and then there’s the Christian god murdering people either directly or indirectly which isn’t murder.

            • trj

              @Jabster:

              Indeed, God had a really good reason to exterminate all humans. Therefore it was not murder. At least that’s what Brian seems to suggest, though I seriously doubt he can tell us what that good reason was – well, except all those people obviously deserved to die, and shouldn’t that be reason enough? I mean, we’re talking ’bout God here. Who are we to question God’s wisdom, we can’t possibly comprehend the bigger picture, blah blah, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

              Killing a world is moral as long as God is the one doing it, even though we don’t know why it’s moral. It just is, okay? Because God.

            • Jabster

              @trj

              That’s pretty much the reasoning I’ve heard more than once – now it may not seem like a loving act to you but this is the Christian god’s love which is somewhat different to our love.

            • trj

              Yeah, God killed everyone because he just loves us so darn much. God’s love is tough love – the kind of love that kills millions of humans, infants, unborn and all.

            • Brian

              TRJ,

              I never said I knew what the morally sufficient reason was, nor do I have to for my defense to be successfull. I’m not saying this will lead us to the conclusion that Christian Theism is true – merely that we cannot know what the morally sufficient reasons are. This is a very plausible answer that we all would agree to if used to defend another question. for example – the main downfall of utilitarianism as a moral theory is that we CANNOT know what actions will bring about the greatest good for the greatest know. We are limited in time and space and are cognitively unable to see 100 years, or even a week into the future. All I’m concluding is that you need to take a more modest position about what God’s morally sufficient reason is for killing those folks.

              If we are conditionally accepting the premise that an O3 god exists, which we have thus far in this discussion, then we can’t rule out a conclusion like what I’ve presented because, “we can’t possibly comprehend the bigger picture.” If you’re arguing against the internal consistency of God, you have to do better than present an argument that assumes God doesn’t exist or simply DOESN’T have a good reason to do what he does. THAT is arguiing in a circle. You have to show that some of the premises I’ve presented are contradictory.

              As for killing infants, on my view they were saved when they died. I believe in the salvation of infants and that they experienced heaven when they died. So they weren’t done wrong. Once again, you can’t ASSUME naturalism is true when arguing against this – you have to show that my position is internally inconsistent since you are the one attacking Theism’s consistency…

              You are also assuming that God didn’t have a good reason to kill someone – which is, sorry to say, arguing in a circle. You can’t use the premise “God didn’t have a good reason to kill those people” without supporting it – which I have contended is impossible given our spatial, temporal, and cognitive abilities. You have to show that we CAN know the results that untilmately come from an action, and what those good reasons actually ARE.

              I’m merely presenting a defense – you all are the one who has to provide the arguments.

            • trj

              Your whole defense of God’s atrocities boils down to “we cannot know why God did it.” Sorry, that is a lame defense. It becomes doubly lame when it is also your basis for exclaiming that Christianity is opposed to murder but atheism is not. Basically, what you’re saying is you can’t defend the morality of God’s massacres, but you’re convinced that they’re moral none the less. Why? Because they just are. Because, you know, it’s God doing them. So they have to be moral.

              In fact, your argument is even worse than that since you claim that it is actually impossible for anyone to know why God’s killings are moral. Yet you claim to know they are. Funny you accuse me of circular arguments.

              Since you seem to subscribe to the literal view that the Flood really did happen, let me ask you a question: Can you name one historic occurence where you think genocide would have been justified? For instance, how about WW II where the Germans tortured and killed millions of Jews in the most horrific ways imaginable (one might argue that this was an act of pure evil). Do you think it would be justified to kill the entire German people because of what they did?

              I’m guessing your answer is no, it would be immoral to do that. In fact, I’ll warrant you can’t come up with a single example where you think genocide would be justified. Yet you think that God’s genocides were moral, which means the people must’ve been simply indescribably evil. All the people were evil (otherwise it would be unjust to kill everyone). Does that sound plausible to you? Or does it sound like the kind of simplistic characterisation one would expect to find in a fable?

            • Brian

              TRJ,

              You are confusing a defense with a theodicy. All I’m claiming is that the position held by many on this thread is incorrect and hasn’t been properly supported.

              As I’ve said multiple times – this thread has attempted to show that Christian theism is inconsistent and internally incoherent. I have shown that, given the conditional premise that THIS THREAD presented (namely, that an O3 God exists), then we have good reasons to believe that this God has a morally sufficient reason for any action. I’m arguing on the terms set at the outset of this discussion!

              there’s nothing circular about the argument – the idea that an O3 God can know every contingently true future event and that we cannot know every contingently true future event is absolutely not incoherent or circular – it’s obviously true given the conditional premise that the O3 God exists.

              In response to your Nazi illustration -
              Basically, you would agree that only those who were evil deserved to die. So obviously we wouldn’t be OK with killing all the German people – just the Nazis and war criminals.

              If we apply this idea that killing horribly evil people is morally acceptable, then it is fair that everyone who was evil was killed. You have to give us some reason to think that ALL the people on earth save one family wasn’t evil.

              Once again – since we are arguing with the conditional premise that the Christian God exists, you need to give us something that doesn’t assume atheism, which would be arguing in a circle… You can do an exegesis and see how the original audience would have understood this passage and if they would have understood it as myth or something of the sort.

            • trj

              If your premise is an omnibenevolent God then it’s hardly surprising that you conclude God is omnibenevolent. All tautologies are inherently consistent and trivially true.

              My main focus wasn’t theodicy, though, but your claim that murder deviates from Christianity but not from atheism. Since you’ve elaborated on this in the thread below this, I will continue the discussion there.

              Before then, let me just say, though, that I find it strange that when you claim that everybody before the Flood was evil and therefore deserving of being killed, I am the one expected to prove your claim isn’t true. I’m not the one making the claim. Anyway, I already stated that this doesn’t sound like real life but like something out of a fable. Everybody was evil, with no redeeming qualities, such as has never since been seen? Sounds extremely far-fetched to me. But perfectly consistent with the kind of nonchalant exaggeration one would find in a fairytale: Once upon a time there was a land where everyone was evil…

            • Brian

              TRJ,

              I said “I have shown that, given the conditional premise that THIS THREAD presented (namely, that an O3 God exists), then we have good reasons to believe that this God has a morally sufficient reason for any action”

              You responded, “If your premise is an omnibenevolent God then it’s hardly surprising that you conclude God is omnibenevolent.”

              I think you need to look at the purpose of a conditional premise in an argument. It is not a tautology, and the fact that you confuse a conditional premise with a tautological statement is rather strange.

              Concerning your discussion on burden of proof – I have a very early document that posits that everyone was evil. The early origins of the document are argument for the truth of the premise “All the people were evil.” Not only the authenticity of the text itself, but also the the genre of the text itself, which is not considered by biblical scholars to be myth, but rather historical narrative.

              So based on this we have good reasons to accept the premise that all the people were evil. You can’t just say, “Nuh-uh.” You need to actually do the research to support your claim. It’s certainly POSSIBLE that you’re right and that the properly interpretative context for the OT is myth, but we don’t have any reason to think that you ARE right. You need to present defeaters for both pieces of evidence I cited, as well as present a positive argument for your conclusion.

            • trj

              Your explicit premises are the three omnis, of which omnibenevolence is the most pertinent to the discussion. Or put even simpler, you predicate that God is always moral (which is derived from his omnibenevolence).

              And so, even when you can’t point out how God is actually moral, and even though you say it is in fact impossible for us to evalute his morality, you say he is moral. Effectively, you simply refuse to evaluate the morality of whatever acts God is doing. It wouldn’t make any difference either since no matter what God does/did your conclusion will always be that God is moral. Thus the conclusion that God is moral is not based on any actual argument but is simply a foregone conclusion. A conclusion which you also used as your premise.

              All of which is perfectly self-consistent. It’s just that it’s completely useless and uninformative, as any tautology is.

              Re. the “everyone was evil” discussion:

              I have a very early document that posits that everyone was evil. [...] which is not considered by biblical scholars to be myth, but rather historical narrative.

              *cough* Let me guess, the book of Genesis? If you think that such tales as the Garden of Eden or the Flood or the Tower of Babel are considered by serious biblical scholars to be “historical narratives” rather than etiological fables and mythical hyperbole then you are sorely mistaken, in fact painfully so. But seeing that you subscribe to the Flood having actually happened, you probably also believe the Pentateuch was authored by Moses, in which case this discussion is futile.

            • Brian

              TRJ,

              Goodness – As I’ve repeated multiple times now – the O3 God is a CONDITIONAL premise that the author of THIS blog presented. I’m merely arguing on the terms set by HIM. I’m not introducing a new premise – I’m working ont he premises set at the outset of this discussion.

              I never said “it is impossible for us to evaluate his morality.” I simply stated we are limited in time and space and are not omniscient. I think that’s a pretty reasonable statement, don’t you?

              Let me once again reiterate the concept of a conditional premise: a conditional premise is merely a premise that both sides of an argument will agree to for the purpose of advancing a discussion. The author of this post used the premise “The Christian God exists,” in order to show that Christianity is incoherent. So I’m not introducing the premise “the Christian God exists,” in order to defend the Christian God. I’m introducing the premise “there are future contingent events that we are unable to know.” I introduced this premise to show that there is no inconsistency.

              A tautology is “If I am self existent with myself, then I am self-existent with myself.” There is no even APPARENT similarity between what I’ve proposed and a tautology – making your insistence that a conditional premise presented by the author is a tautology and useless for me to assume for the sake of the argument even stranger.

              Please cite some of these serious biblical scholars you reference. I think Moses was an author of the Pentateuch, but there were obviously other redactors who helped compile and arrange the verbal and written traditions that were passed down from Moses and likely other sources.

            • trj

              I think maybe we’ve understood the conditional premise in different ways. As far as I can tell, you take “the existence of an O3 god” to mean that we should (for the sake of argument) agree on a god with certain characteristics, one of them being that God is moral. Whereas I’ve understood it merely as a premise of an omni-god without the implicit premise of this God being moral. I think we’re beating a dead horse here, so let’s just forget it. It’s not that important.

              Re. biblical scholars who will tell you that much of Genesis is not historically accurate (and specifically that many of the stories early in Genesis are myth), I’d actually imagine that any scholar who is not a literalist (which would be the majority) will tell you this.

              But you can try these for a start: James L Kugel, Richard Friedman, Bart Ehrman, Marc Zvi Brettler. I especially recommend “How to Read the Bible” by Kugel.

            • Sunny Day

              As for killing infants, on my view they were saved when they died. I believe in the salvation of infants and that they experienced heaven when they died.

              This is the same kind of logic that can be used to torture people into conversion to a different religion. Gratz on your monsterhood.

            • Jabster

              @Sunny Day

              It’s a weird one isn’t it – it you really believe the whole before the age of accountability then surely the moral thing to do is to kill your children before they past that age or to be even more efficient have abortion after abortion and indeed encourage others to have abortions. Surely a moral god would see that although those acts are technical classed as murder it must be in their interest to ensure they get to heaven.

            • Sunny Day

              It’s also a good reason to keep the missionaries home, since if you haven’t heard the “Good News” Gowd can’t mess with you cause you were ignorant.

            • Yoav

              You should work on your reading comprehension, what I said is that dictators tend to be the murderous types and this is independent of their religion. You have not provided any actual argument to support your claim that atheism is in some way compatible with murder. While Stalin and Mao may have been atheist they killed to further their personal power while the Spanish conquistadors or the inquisition were acting in the name of Christianity and while that doesn’t mean that Christianity necessarily make you a mass murderer it show that they are fully compatible.

            • Brian

              Yoav,

              speaking of reading comprehension – what I said was that you need to present some evidence that shows “Stalin was a murderous guy regardless of his beliefs about a world in which God does not exist.”

              You can’t just claim that Stalin’s actions are independent of his worldview without supporting it.

              What I’ve always told people is that you can’t judge a worldview on the actions of its fringe – you must look at it on it’s own merits. the fact that people deviate from Christianity doesn’t make Christianity compatible with that deviation. There is no rule of inference that could rationally provide you with that conclusion. The only conclusion we can come to is that people who claim to be Christian deviate from the objective standard of Christianity.

            • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

              Umm, Brian… I hate to tell you this, but the Catholic church was not the fringe… it was the mainstream. And yes, the RCC started the Crusades and the Inquisition, both for religious (and political) reasons.

            • Yoav

              Brian, our actions are influenced by a lot of things but I haven’t seen anything that will indicate that hunger for power wasn’t Stalin’s main motivation. I have mentioned other mass murderers that were theists and I don’t claim that atheists can’t be murderers while you made the claim that murder is incompatible with christianity which is just a general no true scotsman argument since this will just allow you to dismiss any christian murderers as not being christians.

            • Brian

              LRA,

              Pardon, allow me to rephrase my statement – We cannot judge a worldview based on ANYTHING but the worldview itself. I won’t judge Islam based on bin Laden’s actions. I’ll judge Islam based on its own merits. I won’t judge atheism based on Stalin’s actions – I’ll judge atheism on its own merits.

              I just happen to believe that atheism and Islam both allow for gross deviations like bin Laden and Stalin.

            • Brian

              Yoav,

              I never said “If you murder someone, then you were never a Christian in the first place.” I said that murder is a deviation from Christianity. A christian can still be a Christian if they sin (deviate from the worldview).

              If, however, they have a lifestyle that is constantly in conflict with Christianity, then it’s emminently plausible they aren’t a Christian. You would say the same thing about a person who claimed to be an atheist but was always praying, reading her Bible, and evangelizing. :)

              It’s not a no true scottsman fallacy because I never said anything that would merit that accusation.

            • Nzo

              I just happen to believe that atheism and Islam both allow for gross deviations like bin Laden and Stalin.

              Crusades and witch hunts (both the historical ones and the ones currently in africa resulting in the stoning of children)

              Your argument has been nullified.

              Also, Stalin didn’t do anything in the name of atheism, I think you’re comparing apples and oranges.

            • Nzo

              The only conclusion we can come to is that people who claim to be Christian deviate from the objective standard of Christianity.

              You paint yourself into a “no true scotsman fallacy” with this sentence alone. There is no “objective standard of Christianity”… if there were, it’d be like Mark 16:17, wouldn’t it?

            • Brian

              Nzo,

              A no true scottsman fallacy in this situation, “Well, they were never a Christian anyway.” That’s not what the sentence you cited says at all. Let’s try and move past an accusation that is obviously false.

              In reference to your claim that there is no objective standard of Christianity – so you think there are no commands in the Bible that inform a Christian how they are supposed to interact in the world? You reference a verse that was most likely only applicable during the apostolic age (2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4).

              As for the drinking of poison – grammatically the assurance of snake handling/drinking poison is a conditional statement. If they chose to pick up a snake or drink poison they’d be protected. Persecutors would occassionally force believers to do so. It didn’t warrant the voluntary picking up of snakes or drinking poison, practices not attested to the early church practices.

              These weren’t even objective standards of Christianity – they were merely signs meant to authenticate the message of the believers during the apostolic age.

            • trj

              We cannot judge a worldview based on ANYTHING but the worldview itself.

              It seems rather academic to evaluate an ideology purely in theory while ignoring the practical effects of it, but ok, let’s try it.

              What you still haven’t done is provide an explanation for how atheism as an ideology can encompas murder. Since atheism is a lack of belief in gods I infer you mean that by not believing in the Christian god atheism is open to relative morality, under which murder can be ok (provided you reduce the idea of morality to a low-brow majority rules model or something). Morality is the link to avoid murder, and morality is inherent in Christianity but not in atheism. Am I right so far?

            • Brian

              TRJ,

              We aren’t ignoring the practical effects of an idealogy by judging it based on things that are in conflict with said idealogy! We can’t judge atheism based on a few people who claim to be an atheist but believe that Jesus was the Messiah or that there is no god but Allah. That’s not a practical effect of atheism – it’s an obvious deviation from it.

              And Atheism is NOT just the lacking belief in any god. Atheism states, “There is no God.” On your view, my dogs are atheists. The chair I’m sitting in is an atheist because it too lacks belief in God.

              Agnosticism is the position that claims we either don’t know if a god exists OR that we can’t know if a god exists.

              I’ve presented several different times in various threads why atheism allows for a deviation into murder. A world where God does not exist allows for a wide range of worldviews, many of which attempt to provide meaning (existentialism) or moral value (moral realism). Another view is that there is no meaning in life whatsoever – nihilism. Nihilism is perfectly compatible with atheism, and I would contend that atheism is a necessary condition for it to be a viable option.

              Belief in the Christian God has nothing to do with morality – we are talking about moral ontology here. God’s existence or non-existence is where moral values come from. On pain of contradicting Rev Skeens, I know that atheists do great things for their communities. I have several friends who are atheists and are good people – their morality is not connected to their belief in God.

              Murdering someone, if God exists, is necessarily wrong. If God does not exist, it is possible to kill someone without it being a moral act.

            • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

              Oh, here we go. It’s either morally absolute or it’s complete relativism. Never mind social construction.

              Sorry Brian, but your reasoning here is not very convincing.

              (1) Atheism is only a statement of disbelief. A-theist means literally, “One who is without god.” There is nothing more or less to that statement.

              (2) You’ve not bothered to deal with the Euthyphro ‘s dilemma that you’ve set up here. Moral realism comes from God’s existance? Really so something is moral because the God loves it? Or does the God love it because it is moral?

              (3) Atheism and agnosticism aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive terms. The former is a statement of belief and the latter is a statement of knowledge. If knowledge is justified, true, belief (excepting the Gettier examples), the atheism is a component of agnosticism.

              (4) Christianity has been judged based on its merits by many people, myself included, and on its merits alone it has failed. It lacks internal consistency, for one. It relies on shoddy “evidence”, as well (the eyewitnesses of the NT do Jesus no favors as we know that eyewitness testimony is among the most questionable of evidences). It’s practical effects in today’s complex world of science, technology, industry, academy, and capitalism are also lacking. (IE, why pray for healing, when you can go to a doctor? Why pray for guidance when you can go to a psychologist/counselor? Why pray for wisdom when you can go to college?)

              (4) My system of morality comes from Secular Humanism. As an agnostic atheist, I’m only commenting on my knowlege/belief situation. As a Secular Humanist, I’m commenting on my morals. Not every agnostic/atheist is a Secular Humanist.

              (5)How people justify their morals is a whole ‘nother can of worms. I justify my morals based on social and psychological sciences and on an understanding of empathy as a built-in part of my neurological make up. I think that morals change and develop as society does. As such, morals are socially constructed. Some morals have staying power better than others. Even so, definitions of what constitutes an immoral act also change over time. Murder isn’t just one thing, not even in our legal system. We have multiple definitions of murder that have developed over time. Is someone dying accidentally because of your neglect murder? Now it is. That hasn’t always been the case.

              (6) The burden is on you to prove “God’s” existence if you want to use “God” as an underpinning to your morality. Since you cannot do so, I doubt you can prove that your morality is any better than mine. Fortunately for me, my morality does not have such a burden attached to it. Therefore, at the moment, it appears that my moral system is superior to yours because it lacks the flaw that yours has.

            • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

              Brian,

              You might wan to check this out:

              John Dewey, “Intelligence and Morals”

              http://www.brocku.ca/MeadProject/Dewey/Dewey_1910b/Dewey_1910_03.html

              It offers a good explanation of how Greek/ Christian thought may not be as rock-solid universalist as they think it is.

            • trj

              Brian, I have the following objections:

              1) You’re performing the usual trick of semantic violation. Now suddenly you claim morality is some phenomenon which comes straight from God instead of the usual understanding, which is that morality is an assessment of how people think and act. Your God-morality has nothing to do with the conventional meaning of morality. You’re using the word “morality” in a way that is entirely disconnected from thoughts and deeds which makes it meaningless.

              2) You’re saying God is morality. This is mere assertion. I might as well claim Allah is morality. After all, Allah is an O3 god and so according to your own earlier argument (or lack thereof) we’d be perfectly justified in assuming he is moral and by extension represents your special God-morality.

              3) Your sense of morality is based on “the end justifies the means”. This is the excuse you give whenever God performs any of his numerous atrocities. God is always 100% justified in killing, torturing, and massacring, according to you. Allow me to suggest that such a concept of morality is not the best conduit for moral behavior. Historically we’ve seen the consequences of this kind of thinking in the inquisitions, the burning of witches and heretics, genocides, religiously justified wars, crusades, and all kinds of religious slaughters. They are all intricately associated with the “morality” the Bible presents. For you to say that murder is a deviation from Christianity is naïve to say the least. History says otherwise.

              4) Atheism (no matter if you define it as “a lack of belief in gods”, or the more assertive “positive disbelief in gods”) says nothing about morality as it doesn’t pretend to be a normative model of behavior. Or I should say at least in theory it doesn’t. In practice, not being a Christian means one can discard all the dogmatic “morality” of the Bible which most modern people will consider immoral by any conventional sense of the word. It means one can dispense with the misogyny, the homophobia, the adversity to contraception and artificial insemination, etc. As long as you can’t explain why your god’s commandments are actually moral – except to claim they just are because God is morality – I’m more than happy to miss out on your kind of morality.

            • Brian

              LRA,

              I never even implied that atheism leads to moral relatavism. I I said that atheism ALLOWS for actions like murder, theft, etc.

              By the way, Social construction theory IS social moral relativism. Each society is able to build morals, values, caste systems, etc based on the individual input of those living in a society and the feedback given to the individual based on the input and social “conversation.” Peter Berger is an excellent place to start with this. I don’t believe he is a Christian. His “Social construction of reality” and “The Sacred Canopy” are both excellent works.

              When you break down the grammar, yes Atheist is “not a theist.” But it’s deceptive to change the traditional definition of a word as it has been used for hundreds of years and pretend like that’s the way it’s always been used.

              Moral realism is a theory of morality propounded by atheists and agnostics, not by theists. I believe Mario Bunge has done a lot of work on this theory.
              In response to your Euthyphro dilemma (when will this ever die out??) – Something isn’t good because God wills it, nor does God will something because it is good. Something is good because God IS the good. Allow me to give an analogy – Suppose you buy a cd that is “High fidelity.” What this means is that the sound of the cd is very close to the original sound that the band would create if they were right in front of you. the cd, in other words, is an accurate copy of the band “live.” Now obviously a live band wouldn’t be “hi-fi,” – for lack of a better phrasing – they would be “fidelity.” The same can be said of the “good.”

              Atheism as you’ve described it isn’t even atheism, really. It’s just a soft agnosticism. So obvioulsy it isn’t mutually exclusive with your definition.

              Knowledge just is “true belief.” Agnosticism is simply the claim that we don’t currently know if God exists (soft) or that we can’t ever know if God exists (hard). That doesn’t mean God does or doesn’t exist (either could be true on agnosticism), just that we don’t or can’t know. There is a disconnect between the arguments made on this blog (namely, that God does not exist) and the claims you are making (we don’t or can’t know if God exists).

              Eyewtiness accounts, as well as the passing down of verbal tradition, was MUCH more effective and accurate than it is now. If you would do a study on the ability of the ancients to memorize events, you would see they were much more capable of doing that than us today. besides, you’re referring to the eyewitess accounts of a few. We have hundreds of eyewitnesses of the NT events.

              Your objections to prayer all assume that prayer is useless. It genuinely doesn’t even warrant a discussion. I pray for healing, but I also go to the doctor. I doubt I would go to a counselor for guiding, mainly because I’m just too cheap :) though I would go to a counselor if I was struggling with some issue that I needed to work through like unemployment or the death of a spouse. Considering how idiotic many college students are (see “Campus PD”), I doubt college is a great arbiter of wisdom :)

              I’ve already discussed the idea tha social construction leads inevitably to moral relativism. the way you’ve described your moral theory just is moral relativism. In some societies something may be wrong, while in another it wouldn’t be wrong. Regardless what we call it, neglecting an infant until they die is morally wrong. Just because we ascribe different punishments or nomenclature to an act doesn’t make it more or less moral – we just change what kind of punishment is acceptable for it.

              I’ve done quite a bit of teaching the role of a conditional premise in an argument throughout this thread.

              IF God does not exist, then objective moral values don’t exist.
              OMV do exist.
              Therefore, God exists.

              God’s existence is not a premise in the argument. this is a standard modus pollens logical argument.

              back to your moral theory – it has a pretty big flaw in that we have no reason to think that human flourishing is more moral than the flouishing of ants or corn. We can learn a lot about human flourishing from the sciences, but we can also learn a lot about the flourishing of corn. That’s no reason to think that actions which conribute to the flourishing of corn is “the good.” You can’t move from an “is” to an “ought” on your moral theory – a tremendous flaw indeed.

            • trj

              @Brian:

              Your argument is flawed. Let me repeat it:

              p1) IF God does not exist, then objective moral values don’t exist.
              p2) OMV do exist.
              c) Therefore, God exists.

              You can’t draw a conclusion from a double negative like that. If I similarly say:

              if x does not exist, then y does not exist

              … then I can’t conclude that if x DOES exist then y must ALSO exist (or vice versa). But that is what you do.

              Anyway, I don’t buy your p2, that OMV exist.

            • trj

              Also, I assume you mean modus tollens. Which your argument is not.

            • Yoav

              Atheism as you’ve described it isn’t even atheism, really. It’s just a soft agnosticism. So obvioulsy it isn’t mutually exclusive with your definition.

              This word game is getting really annoying, the bottom line is I don’t believe in god/s, if it give you a kick to claim I can’t call myself an atheist go for it, I will still won’t be believing in god/s.

              IF God does not exist, then objective moral values don’t exist.

              Citation needed.

              OMV do exist.

              Prove it.

              Therefore, God exists.

              Since you didn’t actually prove your premises your conclusion is meaningless.

            • Elemenope

              Knowledge just is “true belief.”

              No, actually, knowledge is defined as justified true beliefs that exclude Gettier cases (i.e. the justification component cannot be disjoined from the truth it confirms). The justification schema is a crucial component, without which a person who believed every possible statement would be said to possess knowledge even though the number of believed statements by the person that were false would vastly (in fact, infinitely) outnumber the number of believed statements that were true.

            • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

              Brian, you’re wrong. But since I don’t have time to educate you on basic philosophical matters, I’m going to have to leave you this:

              http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-relativism/

              http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/social-construction-naturalistic/#WhaSocCon

              http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/

              Please read up on these technical terms before you make more incorrect assertions.

            • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

              And while you’re at it, Brian, please read up on why moral arguments for “god” are flawed:

              http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-arguments-god/

            • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

              And here is primer on metaethics:

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

              The bottom line– you can’t prove or even demonstrate the existence of “god”. Your moral system depends on “god”. Therefore, you can’t demonstrate the validity of your moral system.

            • Brian

              Elemenope,

              do you really think Stalin, barely 40 years removed from Nietzsche, wasn’t familiar with him or was at odds with him philosophically? Certainly not. Hitler was, to some extent, in agreement with Nietzche, and Stalin was no different…

              religion and atheism DO belong in similar “attribute categories.” THEISM and ATHEISM. They are just at odd on the same exact question, namely, does God exist? the theist answers in the affirmative, the atheist in the negative (and let’s not get into some odd argument on the semantic domain of “A” in “atheism” – it is traditionally understood as the view that holds the position “God does not exist”).

              And what analogies have I inverted? Please cite and don’t use general statements – we all need to know what you’re referring to.

            • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

              Brian, if you can show that Stalin had read Nietzsche or invoked Nietzsche, have at it.

            • Brian

              skippy,

              You’re telling me that you think Stalin, a native born Georgian who loved Russian literature, DIDN’T read the most prominent and influencial author in Russia (and arguably the most influencial writer in western literature in the past century) who lived around the same time as him?

              Every atheist knew Nietzche. Even now, 100 years after his death, every atheist knows Nietzche. To believe otherwise would be like questioning whether Richard Dawkins is familiar with or has read Charles Darwin.

            • Elemenope

              Nietzsche wasn’t Russian. He was a German citizen of German and Polish ancestry. Stalin may well have been familiar with Nietzsche’s work, though it really wasn’t his style and he *definitely* didn’t agree with it. Socialism was incompatible with Nietzsche’s ideas in a number of ways (as Nietzsche himself pointed out in The Wanderer and His Shadow).

              Every atheist knew Nietzche. Even now, 100 years after his death, every atheist knows Nietzche

              This is pretty damn LOL-ful. Besides, for the first fifty or so years after his death, the most attention paid to Nietzsche’s work was by Jewish Zionists. Theodor Herzl wrote approvingly of Nietzsche several times and pointed out the many ways in which his philosophy was respectful of Judaism as a cultural identity (as opposed to a religion), and powerfully opposed to anti-Semitism. That the Nazis attempted to appropriate some twisted fragments from Nietzsche’s notebooks to achieve that which he was fighting against is one of the persistent tragedies of modern times.

              And that fact that at no point in this conversation have you even managed to spell Nietzsche’s name right (never mind Ubermensch) indicates that you are really a dilettante in this area, and not a very well informed one at that.

            • Jabster

              “Even now, 100 years after his death, every atheist knows Nietzche.”

              LOL … of course they do, of course they do.

            • Elemenope

              religion and atheism DO belong in similar “attribute categories.” THEISM and ATHEISM. They are just at odd on the same exact question, namely, does God exist? the theist answers in the affirmative, the atheist in the negative (and let’s not get into some odd argument on the semantic domain of “A” in “atheism” – it is traditionally understood as the view that holds the position “God does not exist”).

              It is almost always an error to assume the structure of a belief is functionally identical to the structure of the inverse belief. This is an area in which thinking in terms of propositional logic can actually lead one astray.

            • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

              “Every atheist knows Nietzsche”
              –citation needed.

            • Yoav

              do you really think Stalin, barely 40 years removed from Nietzsche, wasn’t familiar with him or was at odds with him philosophically? Certainly not. Hitler was, to some extent, in agreement with Nietzche, and Stalin was no different…

              This type of bastard child of the appeal to authority fallacy theists keep using is a complete nonsense. Let’s say I accept your claim that Stalin was not just familiar but a Nietzsche fan, so fukcing what, how is that in any way apply to atheists in general? It’s the same as the insistence by someone recently (I think it was the Mark troll) that because some Ayn Rand fanboy wrote on his blog that some element of quantum mechanics he didn’t really understand is incompatible with objectivism all atheists are required to agree that quantum mechanics contradict the idea of a naturalistic universe, ergo jeebus.

            • TrickQuestion

              War, Mass Murder, same thing.

    • Bill

      Ok Rev – Let’s dance.

      You made a specific accusation directed at those you were debating. “…because the only person YOU are worried about is YOU.” (Emphasis added.) In response to that I pointed out that there are hosts of people I care about , and if you asked them they would tell you that my behavior is consistent with someone who cares.

      That’s a far cry from your use of anectdote, which went something like: “I use to be an awful drug taking ahole, but then I asked jeebus for help and now I’m a great guy….Therefore god exists.”

      If you really can’t see the difference between those two scenarios I have to seriously question your reasoning skills.

      Moreover, your implication that asking my family and friends if I care about them is a poor way to gauge if I actually care about them borders on the absurd. (“I can say that my family and friends would tell you that I’m a good looking guy, but it doesn’t make it a true statement.”) Actions are exactly how we gauge what someone feels.

      Further, your recitation of what atheist groups in your community do is at best one sided, but actually says very little about the good works atheists do. First, a strong argument can be made that each example cited (despite your one sided description), is a public service and an attempt to make the community better for all people living there. Second, it is very rare that atheists join atheist groups for purposes of doing community service. More often the purpose of atheist organizations are to discuss issues related to atheism and its place in society. We do our community service on our own, because we think its the right thing to do.

      As for what I do, here’s a partial list. Probono work for the poor. Volunteering and donation at my local food pantry. Volunteering at a local mentoring program for disadvantaged kids. Monetary donations to organizations and political candidates that help fill the enormous finacial gap we’ve created. Volunteering at my kid’s schools.

      I suggest you ask every atheist you meet about what they do to help in their community. You will be surprised to find out we don’t need god to help those in need.

  • Skippy

    “And as far as world famous atheists go, who could forget Stalin, what an ambassador to his community he was. Before this gets twisted, I’m not putting anyone of you in the same class as this guy, not saying that all atheists are like him at all. ”

    Bullshit. You just did.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    Stalin is quoted as saying “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God…all this talk about God is sheer nonsense” in E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1940 – sounds like a pretty atheistic statement to me, it’s proof that you want me to back up my statements with, right?

    As I said already, I’m not putting anyone in the same class as either Lenin or Stalin because it is like putting me in the same group as Hitler or this other guy that just murdered innocent people in Norway just for being a Christian. But you have claimed to me that generally speaking atheists “do a lot” to help people that are sick and hurting in the community and I offered you proof as to why I am suspicious of this statement. You have the right to doubt that your buddies here in my area aren’t doing the things that I have listed and you have the right to be wrong because you are. I have spent countless hours in city hall and thousands of dollars of my own money defending the rights for Christian people in my city. So if you really want to help, petition these people to stop hindering us from helping people.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      If you’re not making comparisons, why bring it up at all?

      You know how I know how much atheists do in their communities? Because I live in a country where most people are atheist. People who Bible-bash and God-bother are rightly considered to be a little bit weird in my country. And yet here I am in a country with healthcare that’s free for all at the point of delivery, a social safety-net, free education, free housing, free care for the ill, free money and cars for those disabled and unable to work. We have soup kitchens and homeless shelters and clothes banks and all the rest, just like you. We have Boy Scouts and Girl Guides and Army Cadets. We have all the same stuff that your nation of mostly Christians has, and a lot more besides. There’s less homelessness here, less crime and less illness. We have a longer average life-span. In short, we as a society look out for one anither. AND WE DO IT WITHOUT GOD OR SUNNY JESUS.

      And like I said: Links or shut the fuck up and stop lying about it.

      And you still haven’t answered my question from yesterday about how you know which bits of the Bible are allegorical and which are literal.

      And you fail hard at comment nesting. There’s a “reply” button for a reason.

    • Bender

      But you have claimed to me that generally speaking atheists “do a lot” to help people that are sick and hurting in the community and I offered you proof as to why I am suspicious of this statement.

      So your “proof” that atheists generally don’t help people is that Stalin was an atheist. That’s a retarded argument even for a fundie.

    • Skippy

      You haven’t offered any proof that the group in your city haven’t done anything for charity. As Custador said, present your evidence.

  • http://www.journeytocalvary.org Rev. Skeens

    I didn’t say that they don’t do anything for charity, I am simply implying that the people that are associated with the local group are spending the time that they have trying to stop Christian people from serving our community. Stalin being an atheist isn’t proof that atheists don’t help the community, I said that along with other activities that I am aware of are proof as to why I am suspicious of all of the great deeds that I am hearing about. Skip, buddy, I used to think that your ignorance was kind of funny. But now I am really just starting to feel sorry for you. I’m glad that calling me a moron may help you get over, in whatever fashion, the troubles that you have with your shortcomings though. What could possibly have happened to you as a child to make you act the way that you do?? I apologize, it must have been something terrible.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Ease off the personal insults or get banned. Make a choice.

      • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

        Nope. Sorry. Enough. You were warned. Goodbye.

        • Jabster

          Custy … too quick with the ban hammer.

          • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

            Not really. I at least gave this one a fair warning.

            • Jabster

              Personally I don’t think he warranted it as he wasn’t derailing threads – as for the insults, well if you get banned for them then I would have been banned a long time ago. I suppose what I’m saying is that why ban people unless they are totally disruptive?

            • Sunny Day

              I too think the hammer came down too soon or fast.

              I’d prefer they dig the hole a bit deeper before throwing the noose around the neck.

            • UrsaMinor

              The worst insult he hurled was “moron”. Sure, he’s evasive and not making a lot of sense, but he’s not that actively offensive.

            • Bender

              I think you guys didn’t read his last post. He totally earned it.

            • Bill

              Was there a post removed, that I haven’t seen?

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              Yeah, in order to ban him I have to mark his post as spam so that the spam-filter picks up the next ones. It means that the last post doesn’t stay up.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              I don’t know, I thought the stuff about Skippy’s “shortcomings” and discussion about “what happened to [Skippy] as a child” was pretty close to the knuckle.

            • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

              Been watching this conversation, not participating but; Don’t you think that banning someone kind of ruins the fun? If someone gets out of line and actually says something truly threatening or mean, why not let it stand as an ever-present, forever referenceable example of what sort of behavior, in this instance, a Christian devolves into when backed into a corner? If it’s a case of you’re tired of the conversation because you’ve long passed the point where you know it isn’t going to get anywhere, why not just cease responding to him?
              I have a thing about deleting posts or comments that I or others have made on my own site because I never want to forget what actually was said, and I don’t mind having a record available of past discussions even if they are now distasteful. I’ve said some pretty stupid things in my life and online, but being forced to remember them is sort of how you get better.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              You make interesting points…

            • Nzo

              Maybe there should be some kind of closing-argument, where a single post by custy sums up the things the cratard needs to answer, or said creatard is then considered a troll to be teased, and talked-down to mercilessly? Maybe they should have a special name for ‘special’ people!

              It appeals to my darker side at any rate.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              HAH! I like that :D

            • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

              Great idea! Someone needs to develop a ‘reply if’ (certain criteria are met) script for comment threads now. Would probably need to be a smarter program than the people who would be required to use it, though…

            • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

              Or you know, you could type up a sort of form response for those kind of situations. Something like:

              (Name- Rev. Skeens), we regret to inform you that have now officially reached your quota of bullshit on this topic. Until you answer the following discussion points without using a No True Scotsman, a petitio principii, straw man or other circularly reasoned argument, this is the only response you will get, from anyone.
              1) Discussion point; “Prove It”
              2) Discussion pont; “Links Please”
              etc. etc…

              Any further comment by you which fails to meet the above criteria will simply be responded to with a duplicate of this form response and you should be aware that we here at Unreasonablefaith.com will be placing bets on how many times this form will be used before you either meet the requirements or stop posting, based on just how stupid each of us estimate you to be.

              Yours respectfully, etc. etc.

  • Bill

    ” I am simply implying that the people that are associated with the local group are spending the time that they have trying to stop Christian people from serving our community. ”

    1. That’s not what they are doing. They are trying to keep church and state separate so that those in need don’t have to be exposed to unwanted sermons in order to get much needed services. If your Xian friends would take the religion out of their community service, I’m sure there would be no issue.

    2. You have no idea what time those people have, and their involvement with the injunctions you list may be just a small part of their public works.

  • Skippy

    You said,
    “But, there are only three things that the “atheist fundamental group” in my community are noted for and they are as follows:
    1. Filing an injunction with my city to stop people from blessing their food in a public facility in which they just so happen to meet in.
    2. Filing an injunction with our local college to stop Christian day cares from providing single mothers with child care when they are trying to earn an education and a better life for themselves and their children.
    3. Filing an injunction with my city to stop a Christian organization from providing homeless people breakfast and lunch on Saturday morning when no other community kitchen is open, in a public city park.”

    Custador asked you for proof of these allegations, and I asked you for proof that this group does nothing else–as evidenced by your statement that there are “only three things” that this group is known for. Thus far, you’ve not provided the proof to support your allegations. That is not *implying* anything–you’ve flat out stated that they don’t do charity. Mentioning Stalin-as-atheist is a way of damning atheists by association, but you knew that, didn’t you?

    Mind you, you point your browser to an atheist blog. You proceed to trot out every cliche’ and logical fallacy in the book (argumentum ad populum, special pleading, and goalpost-shifting, just to name a few). You then proceed to “act” all butthurt when people call you out on all of your illogic and question evasion. Along the way, you distort science and try to make it as logically imprecise as religious faith and even deploy the ever-so-offensive, “I’ll pray for you”–really, what point do you think saying that to atheists will get you? Take your false concern, your false sympathy, and your false humility and go be a pestilence elsewhere.

  • Bill

    You know what, let’s try this:

    Rev – Do you want me to believe in your god?

    • UrsaMinor

      You are more patient than I am, Bill. He is never going to do anything but deflect.

      • Bill

        Ursa – You probably are right, but I’m becoming more and more intrigued by the question of why Xian’s come here to evangelize. I assume they want to convert us. If that’s the case, I don’t understand the approach they take. If they aren’t here to convert I don’t understand the point.

        • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

          They want the smug, self-satisfied glow of “witnessing” to us heathens.

          • Bill

            But toward what end? I assume it’s conversion, but the approach they all take utterly fails to take in to account how we analyze the question of god’s existence. Makes no sense at all.

            Do you think it’s literally just to feel good about having witnessed? Because that just seems extraordinarily stupid.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              Of course. They’re programmed to feel like they’re endangering their soul or some shit by even talking to us. Now he gets some kind of warped Christian bragging rights and a warm, smug glow of righteousness. Basically he’s a douche-nozzle.

  • Bill

    Can I just say I love the term “douche-nozzle.”

    • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

      I prefer the term “douche-canoe”, but that’s just me…

      • Bill

        Phenomenal – consider it stolen.

  • One last time

    Come on moderator, are you really not going to let that go through? What reason do you have for not letting me point out the fact that there is a ridiculous double standard among these people?? I just want to defend myself. These people are claiming that I was hurling insults and I need to point out that I wasn’t. Let the comment post, that’s all I ask and I will go away. I will go back to where the right to free speech is valued.

    • Nzo

      Who are you, and who are you addressing? It’s obvious to me that you’re too stupid to even cover these basic necessities when attempting to address someone on the internet.

      Let me guess, you made some arguments, got them completely demolished, made some new arguments, got destroyed, etc. etc. ad nauseam? You know how to continue posting here? Make arguments that are defensible, or at least pretend that you’re not a complete retard when it comes to anything you choose to post about, and have some knowledge of both sides up front.

      • One last time

        Have you ever seen a Psychiatrist?? You really should, although I really find it hard to believe that you have the courage to say the things that you do when you are speaking to other people in person. You are a very sad example of what we call in my profession, a coward. You get on the Internet, by the way that doesn’t make you intelligent, my 6 year old niece can get on here and type a bunch of irrational garbage jumbled together and I’m sorry but it doesn’t make her a rocket scientist, and you hide behind three initials knowing that if anyone recognized who you are, they would expose who you are in real life. I’m just taking a guess here but you are the person who eats lunch by themself because nobody can stand to be around you. You sit at home on The weekend on here tossing insults at people because it’s the only contact that you have with other people and it makes you feel like somebody. You are desperate to be accepted by anybody so you think that insulting Christian people will earn you respect from the atheists. When really, most of these people probably just feel sorry for, as I do. You are a very Sad little person.

        • Jabster

          @Olt

          … and you can tell all of that just from Nzo’s posts … wow, what an insighful person your must be! Oh hang on, you can’t tell that at all can you you’re just using it as an excuse to insult him but in you mind you’re not insulting him you “telling a few home truths”.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

            Not to mention projection powerful enough to use the Moon as a screen…

        • Nzo

          Have you ever seen a Psychiatrist??

          Yup, as a child I did things like the opposite of what you apparently think here:

          I really find it hard to believe that you have the courage to say the things that you do when you are speaking to other people in person. You are a very sad example of what we call in my profession, a coward.

          Turns out, even psychiatrists/psychologists have their limit of how much truth they can handle before asking my parents not to bring me back.

          You get on the Internet, by the way that doesn’t make you intelligent, my 6 year old niece can get on here and type a bunch of irrational garbage jumbled together and I’m sorry but it doesn’t make her a rocket scientist, and you hide behind three initials knowing that if anyone recognized who you are, they would expose who you are in real life.

          My intellect makes me intelligent; yours makes you a retard.

          You sit at home on The weekend on here tossing insults at people because it’s the only contact that you have with other people and it makes you feel like somebody. You are desperate to be accepted by anybody so you think that insulting Christian people will earn you respect from the atheists. When really, most of these people probably just feel sorry for, as I do. You are a very Sad little person.

          I actually just got off work, what have you been doing all day?

          As for what people here think of me, you’re mistaken if you think I care about being ‘accepted’, nor if I cared about people feeling sorry for me. I’ve more or less gotten on most of the regular’s sh*t lists at one time or another, and I’m proud to have done so. I enjoy the intellectual discourse, the community, and the topics discussed here, but most of all, I LOVE wrecking the pathetic arguments of retards like you.

          • Nzo

            missed a f*cking tag – sorry 8(

            starting with “I actually just got off work…” should be out of quotes.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              Fixed by teh srvr mnkys.

            • Nzo

              Ah lubz dem srvr mnkys

          • One last time

            You wouldn’t recognize intelligence if it smacked you in the forehead.

            • Jabster

              Says the man who just said “I actually have a little bit of an easier time believing that some people are descended from monkeys.”

            • Nzo

              That’s the best you could do? Seriously? Everything you say just points more and more towards your absolute goal of proving to me that you actually may be, medically speaking, a retard.

              Your post is so childish I can barely read it without going cross-eyed. Is this all someone calling me a ‘coward’ has to offer? It’s just beyond pathetic.

        • Nzo

          Also, I would be surprised if at least SOME of the posters here didn’t find my posts to be amusing, intelligent, entertaining, and all around highlighting the massive stupidity of others in a refreshingly offensive way.

          • Jabster

            I think that a vibrant forum needs all types of characters and perish the thought that we all just got along and agreed with each other – just how boring would that be? Yourself Nzo, well yes you can be a bit abrasive but then so can I and others.

        • DragonflyBella

          One Last Time…What is your profession?

          • Nzo

            He’s probably an unskilled worker pretending to have a profession.

  • One last time

    I don’t get you guys. Did you read what this person literally just posted?? In one comment he said that I was stupid and called me a “retard” which is the most offensive name that someone can call another person. I would rather be cursed all day long than to hear someone just throw that term around loosely. I have a kid in my church that has downs syndrome and anyone that thinks that a mental disease such as that is funny is completely heartless. And dismissing all of that, I am the insulting one?? I am just calling these people out. There is absolutely no reason for some of the people on here to talk the way that they do, like a bunch of uncivilized animals. In seeing some of these comments I actually have a little bit of an easier time believing that some people are descended from monkeys.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

      OMCC, shut UP already!

    • Nzo

      In seeing some of these comments I actually have a little bit of an easier time believing that some people are descended from monkeys.

      Right, science didn’t make the case, but my antics did? I knew you were a retard.

      I would rather be cursed all day long than to hear someone just throw that term around loosely. I have a kid in my church that has downs syndrome and anyone that thinks that a mental disease such as that is funny is completely heartless.

      Fortunately, in common vernacular, “retard” refers to someone that mentally operates at the level of someone with Downs, (or other serious mental deficiency,) without actually having it.

      There is absolutely no reason for some of the people on here to talk the way that they do, like a bunch of uncivilized animals.

      Massive amount of failure here. We ARE uncivilized animals. Especially the religious, and unlearned of our species. Me? I’m more civilized than you could possibly imagine – towards those I find worthy of civility.

      You just sound like a whiny, snot-nosed brat to me.

      • Jabster

        ‘Oh hang on, you can’t tell that at all can you you’re just using it as an excuse to insult him but in your mind you’re not insulting him you “telling a few home truths”.’

        … and as if by magic:

        “And dismissing all of that, I am the insulting one?? I am just calling these people out.”

        Just how predictable are you?

      • One last time

        Your excuses for acting like an animal are weak. You still sound to me like the kid that has issues because he was bullied in school. Unfortunately, trying to defend the heartless use of the word “retard” in any sense at all still doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies. If saying that people have to meet your standards before you can be civil toward them makes you feel better about not having any friends, the. By all means, whatever you have to tell yourself.

        • Nzo

          Your excuses for acting like an animal are weak.

          I made excuses? *rereads my post* Nope – don’t see any. Massive cognitive failure on your part, retard.

          You still sound to me like the kid that has issues because he was bullied in school.

          That’s funny – You sound a lot like someone that’s bullied right now. Also, why do you think I was the one that was sent to the psychologist? It certainly wasn’t because I was the one bullied.

          Unfortunately, trying to defend the heartless use of the word “retard” in any sense at all still doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.

          I wasn’t – I was attempting to educate a retard about how the word “retard” is used in common vernacular. Apparently your thought process stops at your pathetic emotional response to the word “retard”. You’re terribly close to being fractally wrong here.

          If saying that people have to meet your standards before you can be civil toward them makes you feel better about not having any friends, the. By all means, whatever you have to tell yourself.

          It’s true that most of my friends have a high IQ, but it only really takes realizing that you’re on the left side of the dunning-kruger effect chart, and changing your attitude to match, to earn my respect. Then again, you probably wouldn’t believe how insanely stupid you are even if you performed a double-blind study on this conversation yourself.

        • Jabster

          I see the online psychologist is still at work. Why do you think that you have some special insight into Nzo’s “problems” … just how many of his posts have you read?

          p.s. What is your point of posting here … is it to make you feel better about how you stuck it to the atheists before you go to Church today or maybe so that you can “confirm” how nasty and wicked atheists are. Honestly I’m interested as I really don’t understand why you are posting here?

          • Nzo

            I’m actually wondering how many of my posts he’s read too. Along with these questions:

            -How many does he understand
            -How many did he need to use Google to understand
            -How many supported any of his assertions about me

          • Jabster

            It confuses the hell out of me – I’m going for the stick it to nasty atheists using the same tactics that he uses with his own social circle. Must come as a bit of a shock that you’re sort of expected to be able to back up your statements.

            On a plus side he/she hasn’t claimed that we are only atheists because of a bad experience with religion and Christianity isn’t a religion anyway, it’s a relationship.

            • Nzo

              True – It’s kinda refreshing having different arguments! OLT is giving me something to do while I wait-out this massive headache.

  • DragonflyBella

    I really don’t understand One Last Time…
    I think the purpose of this is to argue pro and/or cons about a certain topic, but this guy is just whining about his stupidity on how he CAN’T make an argument on the subject of, “Does god really heal”.

    • One last time

      And yes the bigger point on this topic is that God can heal the hole in the hearts of people that causes them to be so unhappy and angry at the world. We see the proof of this in these posts, there is a God shaped void inside of every human being and it can only be filled by the Holy Spirit. Until you receive that gift, you are seeking happiness in other things but won’t find it.

      • Jabster

        “proof” … it doesn’t mean what you think it does.

      • DragonflyBella

        Stupidity irritates me! Do you really believe that I have a hole in my heart?

        The heart is a muscular organ, not anything romantic or something you fill with love, so the hole is… what????

        Medication heals humans, not god! Praying for someone is not going to heal him/her or “save their soul”. After all, how can you save something that doesn’t exist?

        Is there any scientific proof of how god heals people?? Any scientific paper that you want to link? You can’t expect people to just believe in imaginary things!

  • DragonflyBella

    No reply…. interesting!!

  • One last time

    Actually, the point is that no matter how disrespectful or “nasty” some of you can be, especially the ones like “nzo,” God still loves you for who you are. He may not love what you are doing or how you believe right now, but he loves you. I will be praying for you.

    • Nzo

      This is the token “I give up” that all christians use when they realize they’re nothing more than intellectual peons on a forum with posters who operate on a level resembling a galactic albatross above the christian’s heads.

      • Nzo

        Eww, that was poorly written. Oh well, you get the idea.

        You’re giving up. “I’ll pray for you” is so cliche as a last-resort to help you sleep at night after a sound @ss-whupping.

      • One last time

        We’ve gone back and forth a little bit but in all seriousness you actually do seem like an intelligent person. I would like to ask you a serious question, with no personal insults in the answer or attempts to degrade my intelligence. Do you believe that murder is morally wrong??

        • Jabster

          Oh FFS … so when Nzo says yes you’re jump all over it and say we can’t have morality without god and in particular your god even though he seems pretty keen on murder himself but when your god does it, it’s not classed as murder is it – it’s classed as love.

        • Nzo

          What a subjective question. The answer differs depending on the situation.

          If someone raped my daughter, I’d feel morally justified murdering them in any fashion I chose. I’d feel it was morally justified to do so even if it wasn’t me.

          If someone murdered a thousand people, I don’t think it’s morally wrong to put a bullet in his head.

          If someone threatened my family with a gun, I’d feel morally justified murdering them.

          If someone stole the retirement funds of old people, and spent it all, I’d feel morally justified murdering them. (this one’s tricky, but how many of those old people couldn’t afford food, housing, or healthcare because of that person? How many would starve to death, or die from lack of healthcare or shelter?)

          I consider the above to be rather heinous, though the list could probably go on much further.

          Is it wrong to murder someone that hasn’t committed a heinous crime? Yes.

          Your thoughts?

          • One last time

            I believe that the death penalty is justified in circumstances, many of them that you listed would warrant it. But I think we both basically believe that just grabbing a gun for no reason at all and shooting someone that has done nothing to you at all, is morally wrong. Now what I have trouble seeing, is if we as humans are just another species of animal and we have the spirit of the beast with no accountability to any higher power. And we have just evolved into what we are from other beasts, how are we separated from all the other animals in the world by knowing that murder, robbery, rape, etc. Are all heinous crimes? Again, I appreciate your serious answer and would like to keep it that way, with a serious discussion.

            • Nzo

              Now what I have trouble seeing, is if we as humans are just another species of animal and we have the spirit of the beast with no accountability to any higher power. And we have just evolved into what we are from other beasts, how are we separated from all the other animals in the world by knowing that murder, robbery, rape, etc. Are all heinous crimes?

              I’m not sure about any “spirit of the beast”, but I think I understand what you’re saying there.

              Humans don’t have claws, or long tree-swinging arms, or prehensile tails, or anything else that would help us survive in the wild. What allowed us to survive? The intelligence to create weapons out of sticks and rocks.

              The only difference between us and other species is that what wound up working for our species was the ability to think, and problem solve, better than our predators and prey.

            • One last time

              By spirit of the beast I just mean the natural instincts of the animals, they only react to the fact that they know they have to eat, drink, sleep and in most cases protect their territory. I agree, I completely understand that humans have been set apart by our intelligence. But scientific studies show that there are many, many species of animals that are also very intelligent. But they still don’t have the ability to make what we call moral decisions. They have no ability to decipher between right and wrong, in reacting to their instincts if they see food, whether it belongs to another animal or not, they take it. Other animals have absolutely no conviction concerning right and wrong. My question is, where does that conviction come from in humans? I really want to continue this conversation later but I have to go right now. I’ll be looking forward to your reply.

            • DragonflyBella

              By spirit of the beast I just mean the natural instincts of the animals, they only react to the fact that they know they have to eat, drink, sleep and in most cases protect their territory.

              *in all cases protect their territory <– fixed (no charge) :)

              But scientific studies show that there are many, many species of animals that are also very intelligent.

              Every species of the planet is intelligent to some degree. For all living animals, they’re intelligent enough, and adapted well enough, to survive!

              They have no ability to decipher between right and wrong, in reacting to their instincts if they see food, whether it belongs to another animal or not, they take it.

              Humans have instincts – animal instincts, and that’s the genetic history that we share with the rest of the species. The fittest animal is the one that is going to take the food, you can equate that to when a better qualified person is hired over the less qualified person for a job.

            • Nzo

              But they still don’t have the ability to make what we call moral decisions. They have no ability to decipher between right and wrong, in reacting to their instincts if they see food, whether it belongs to another animal or not, they take it.

              Think about it this way,

              If your survival hinged on whether or not you got that food that another animal had, would you take it, or starve to death? This is a very real possibility for wildlife.

              Other animals have absolutely no conviction concerning right and wrong. My question is, where does that conviction come from in humans?

              Now if you’re referring to how social animals (like humans and piranha) don’t eat each other, or fight over food, the ones that work together are the ones that survive. A lone piranha doesn’t pose much of a threat to a larger predator, and will either be a nuisance, or a meal to the predator, but a pack of piranha…

              So the social ‘morals’ of the species evolve to include not fighting over food, or eating/killing each other.

              The most recent examples I can think of, in the most nature-ish setting, is how you hear of tribes of Indians in the Americas that worked together to ensure their survival, yet they waged war with other tribes to gain their resources, women, slave labor…

              These things were all considered moral then, because the social, subjective morality of these people included the same kinds of things written in the old testament of the bible. To that culture, slave labor was moral, just as it was when Exodus 21:7-11 was written.

            • DragonflyBella

              Now what I have trouble seeing, is if we as humans are just another species of animal

              We are another species of animal: Kingdom: Animalia; Phylum: Chordata; Class: Mammalia; Order: PRIMATES (yes we are monkeys!!!!!); Family: Hominidae; Tribe: Hominini; Genus: Homo ; Species: Homo sapiens

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              Apes, not monkeys. Ook.

        • Sunny Day

          Define Murder.

          If you mean killing someone against their will then the answer is, sometimes.

    • Jabster

      “God still loves you for who you are.”

      … although he will put you in hell unless you follow his rules. Nice version of love you have there.

      “I will be praying for you.”

      Instead of wasting your time doing that why don’t you try actually answering some of the questions put to you?

      • One last time

        You have to understand that he’ll was not created for us it was created for the devil and his angels. Then we, mankind, decided to follow him to hell in our sin. God doesnt send anyone there, we choose where we go. A loving God has supplied us with a way to not have to go there. I see people posting on here about the flood of Noah, saying , what kind of God would murder the whole world?? He didn’t murder anyone we as believers understand that “the judge of all the earth shall do right,” he had to destroy mankind because the earth had become so wicked. But you have to see that a loving God provided not just Noah and his family, a way to escape the flood, but, anyone could have gotten on the ship. All they had to do was believe what Noah was preaching and that judgement was coming. By getting on the ark they would have repented and would have been saved. The Bible isn’t a story about an angry God, it’s a record of a sinful race of people that have been given the gift of grace.

        • Jabster

          … and I’ll repeat again. Murdering people (not to even mention placing them in hell) on the grounds they disagree with you is not a defintion of love. If you want to describe your god’s behaviour use words as they are commonly understood.

          • One last time

            You’re still missing the point. All the people had to do was believe that he could save them and they would not have perished. That is like if you were starving to death and someone offered you a free meal and you just refused it for no reason. Whose fault would it be if you died? And besides all of this God still gave these people that died, not only in the flood, but everyone that died all of the way up until Christ was crucified, a chance to believe in him and escape the clutches of hell and go to heaven. Christ spent three days in the heart of the earth preaching to them and once again all they had to do was believe that he could take them out.

            • Jabster

              You really don’t see what you’re doing do you – you enter with the “fact” that your god is all loving so by definition all that he does must be loving and that is a position that you will not move from regardless of how unloving you god’s actions are in any meaningful way. This is why you have to fall back on ridiculous analogies like a starving man. Can you not see that it’s not even remotely similar. Your god puts put in hell unless they follow his rules – how is that in anyway loving?

            • One last time

              It is absoltely the same idea. In love God has offered you a gift that will ensure that you will live for eternity if you accept it, if you don’t then you will die for eternity and go to a place of suffering and torment. The choice is ours to make. In making this choice you decide whether or not you are going to live by his statutes and commandments which falls back on the conversation I’m having with NzO, making moral decisions. There has to be laws and rules in society. Can you imagine a US without laws, jails or prisons to take away the thieves, rapists and murderers from our communities? These statutes are made and enforced for the welfare of our communities and the protection of the people in them. That’s the same way with God’s laws. It’s not just because you don’t agree with him, it’s because you broke the law and didnt follow the commandment that was laid down in order to get into heaven.

            • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

              Why didn’t God create a Slightly less Hellish Hell, one with perhaps a window with a view of the petunias, for people who aren’t necessarily evil, just too retarded to see and understand his gesture of Love? Be careful, if you say “Purgatory”, you’re a Catholic!

            • Jabster

              “In love God has offered you a gift that will ensure that you will live for eternity if you accept it, if you don’t then you will die for eternity and go to a place of suffering and torment. The choice is ours to make. In making this choice you decide whether or not you are going to live by his statutes and commandments”

              … and I’ll say yet again, how is this love by any acceptable standard?

    • DragonflyBella

      That’s your argument man “god still loves you” hahaha. Maybe instead of praying for us, you should pray for some intelligence? I mean, your god WANTS you to succeed here, right? right? … right?

      Yeah, of course he would!

      Or maybe you could read a f*cking book

      • Jabster

        I wonder how many facepalms god does a day when he looks at the PR he’s got?

        • Nzo

          I lol’d

  • One last time

    I have to go right now but I’ll be back later. I really appreciate you guys having a respectful, civilized conversation with me. It means a lot.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      What a pity that you started it out with a barrage of insults, hey? I’ve just read through this thread, and I must say I laughed. One last time / Rev. Skeens (same person, in case anybody didn’t realise) strops in, shits all over the room, acts entitled – and then acts all butt-hurt when called a retard!

      “The most offensive thing you can call somebody” is “retard”? Really? “Retard” is a medical term that specifically describes an adult with the mental capacity of a seven to twelve year old child. I personally can think of far more offensive things I could call you.

      You’ll get no respectful discussion out of me until you earn it be behaving in a decent way here. Until you do that, I’ll continue to regard you as a donkey-raping shit-eater, and treat you in the requisite manner.

      • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

        Skeens is back? What the frak is s/he getting out of this? Of course, that question presupposes that Skeens is a rational human being. Given the toxic amounts of passive-aggression and cross-humping, that presupposition is quite shaky.

    • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

      “One Last Time”, we regret to inform you that have now officially reached your quota of bullshit on this topic. Until you answer the following discussion points without using a No True Scotsman, a petitio principii, straw man or other circularly reasoned argument, this is the only response you will get, from anyone.
      1) “In love God has offered you a gift that will ensure that you will live for eternity if you accept it, if you don’t then you will die for eternity and go to a place of suffering and torment”: Prove it. (protip: anecdotes aren’t evidence)

      2) “That’s the same way with God’s laws. It’s not just because you don’t agree with him, it’s because you broke the law and didnt follow the commandment that was laid down in order to get into heaven.” Again, Prove it. First, you have to prove the existence of YOUR “god.” Second, you have to provide independent proof of the existence of these “laws” of this “god” of yours. Your own Bible seems rather inconsistent about what the subject deity wants from humanity (e.g., slavery. OT God’s pretty cool with it. Even NT God is all “meh. Whatev.”)

      Any further comment by you which fails to meet the above criteria will simply be responded to with a duplicate of this form response and you should be aware that we here at Unreasonablefaith.com will be placing bets on how many times this form will be used before you either meet the requirements or stop posting, based on just how stupid each of us estimate you to be.

      Yours respectfully, etc. etc.

      • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

        [Teh Srvr Mnky Stamp of Approval]

        • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

          Thanks, but all credit is due to messiestobjects for the form letter.

        • http://messiestobjects.typepad.com messiestobjects

          Sweet! I’m all chuffed now.

        • Nzo

          Did he get banhammered again?

    • Sunny Day

      The Rev has to do his sunday morning lie fest and pass the collection plate a few times. I predict a sermon glorifying his puriel attempts to preach to atheists.

      • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

        I’m sure at Nondescript Center of Banal and Pointless Worship, Skeens will spin a yarn of the awful internets and how he braved the wilds of an atheist forum to simply and humbly ask sincere questions and was met with the fiercest, most savage knives of cruel and heartless internet atheists. His flock will lap it up, confident in their assertion that all atheists are vile, baby-eating troglodytes who, if only they knew the power of the Dark Side–oops, sorry–the power of Jesus, would come flocking to Nondescript Center of Banal and Pointless Worship.

        • TrickQuestion

          Oh, he already did that on the ministry’s facebook page. Of course he only posted his own “letter to an atheist” and none of the before or after posts for it.
          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Journey-To-Calvary-Outreach/102526396480256?ref=ts

          • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

            Wow. Did you read that word salad? It was nothing more than a bunch of Bible verses strung together with flimsy logic.

            • TrickQuestion

              It’s too bad that people like that won’t allow comments that are not supportive of their views to ever besmirch the sanctity of their precious public display.

            • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

              I suppose some brave soul could “like” his “ministry” page in order to comment on the utter stupidity of his Bible word salad.

            • TrickQuestion

              I was debating doing just that.

            • Yoav

              Don’t bother, he will just block your comments and then spam your FB page.

            • TrickQuestion

              Just depends on how things are worded :D

            • Nzo

              Or just a ‘helpful’ link to the discussion?

          • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

            Hah! Told you that’s what he was about. Hey Rev Skeens, how come the picture of Jesus on your facebook group page looks so Caucasian?

          • http://lydiafromtexas.wordpress.com/ LRA

            Wow. The dude studied at Liberty “University”.

            That explains soooooo much…

            • Nzo

              I KNEW he was an unskilled worker!

            • TrickQuestion

              Yeah, Nzo. So am I.

            • Nzo

              x.x see above: “people in my profession call you a coward” or something like that from OLT.

              I’ve nothing against unskilled workers, but OLT was attempting to convey a small amount of authority by invoking his ‘profession’; a profession that requires less thought, effort, and skills than a part-time wal-mart or mcdonald’s employee.

              So, please don’t take offense when I meant none.

            • TrickQuestion

              But, what he does IS a skill, really. Do you think lying and feeling good about taking money from gullible people on such a grand scale is just something you’re born with? doesn’t that kind of morality only come from a loving god?

              :P

            • Nzo

              GHA!!

              Public speaking, public motivating, manipulating, censoring…

              You’re right… skilled in the art of being completely immoral x.x… turns out the one who’s unskilled is ME!

            • Nzo

              But seriously…

              If OLT can do it, everyone can. The guy is a walking IQ vacuum…

              *GHAKK*!!

              Or he’s so insanely smart that he KNOWS that the IQ requirement of a preacher is <36 and can modify his behavior/speech/thought process to match! He's smarter than all of us!

            • Jabster

              For what I would assume is his type of evangelism the assets required are being a convincing liar or a bit dumb. Those are the two categories that can deliver his type of “sermon” while still keeping a straight face.

  • Baconsbud

    Brian you are wrong about all atheist knowing Nietzche. I have heard the name and that is about all I know of him. Blanket statements tend to be wrong as yours is.

  • Nzo

    @Brian

    Ohh, I was asleep when you responded to me, however, I feel keenly the need to shove what you said right back down your throat.

    A no true scottsman fallacy in this situation, “Well, they were never a Christian anyway.” That’s not what the sentence you cited says at all. Let’s try and move past an accusation that is obviously false.

    The sentence I cited DOES say exactly that. You’ve given no argument to show, in any way, how my accusation is false. Do I need to quote the sentence again?

    The only conclusion we can come to is that people who claim to be Christian deviate from the objective standard of Christianity.

    A) (understood claim)Christians do not deviate from the ‘objective standard of christianity’
    B) (actual claim)the people who claim to be christian deviate from the ‘objective standard of christianity’ (i.e., they weren’t/aren’t REAL christians)
    C) (truth)there is no objective standard of christianity(as evidenced below)

    In reference to your claim that there is no objective standard of Christianity – so you think there are no commands in the Bible that inform a Christian how they are supposed to interact in the world? You reference a verse that was most likely only applicable during the apostolic age (2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4).

    Cite your sources that this verse was “most likely only applicable during the apostolic age” or apologize for being a useless apologist. (not to me, to your imaginary god)

  • JUSTME

    Enormous wall of caps-locked fundie evangelical shouty bullshit – Redacted. Regards, Custador.

    • UrsaMinor

      First present your evidence that God exists. Once that question is settled, we can get down to discussing what it does or wants.

      • trj

        What, didn’t you see all those capitalised letters? Clearly his evidence is very strong.

        • UrsaMinor

          Well, in that case, Classical Roman religion is probably truer, because they used all caps.

          • trj

            Did the Romans use excessive exclamation points?????? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!

            • Kodie

              Did you ever consider that the Roman Empire may have not fallen if only they had used excessive exclamation points? I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • theplaintruth

    Yes. Go on cussing, sarcasm false SO YESTERDAY theoroms that GOD DOES NOT EXIST. STUPID COMMENTS ABOUT ROMAN CLASSIC RELIGION BLAH BLAH BLAH. Yes Mr TRJ it was THE ROMAN CENTURION IN THE BIBLE WHO TURNED TO JESUS AND HAD MORE FAITH THAN ALL THE ISRAELITES. Was it not the Roman Centurion who said to Jesus:””Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, “II tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.” Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well. YES MR TRJ, MAYBE THE CLASSICAL ROMAN RELIGION IS TRUER like you say afterall the ROMAN CENTURIONS WHERE THE BACKBONE OF THE ROMAN ARMY.

    • Kodie

      So what? You are too easily convinced from this story and take us all for morons. You believe it because a Roman Centurion believed it? And Jesus says, WOW, you really really like me! Holy cow, I don’t have a friend in Israel as great an ass-kisser as you are, Roman Centurion! That means I’m real!

      No, it doesn’t.

  • theplaintruth

    But despite my plain patriotism to the faith and human flawed character which resides within me to merely attack and defend my faith. I lay down my CAPS to say. JESUS LOVES YOU ALL. YES HE DOES. That is why he gives you breath in your lungs even though he has the capacity to take it away. He allows you to enjoy the food he has made, the beautiful earth he has created. Because he knows he has given you a free will to choose whom you will serve and to take that free will away will take away from his very nature and will for you to FREELY CHOOSE. So choose ye this day whom you will serve. LOVE. theplaintruth.

    • Sunny Day

      Your god is a lie and you are a liar. Why should we believe anything you have to say?

    • Kodie

      Nobody “puts” breath in my lungs. Watch me make this pencil look like rubber!

    • Troutbane

      So you are quoting a fairy tale to prove your religion. I can do that too:

      LO, WAS IT NOT GANDALF WHO SENT POOR FRODO TO MOUNT DOOM KNOWINGST THAT HE MAYETH PERHAPS PERISH IN THE FLAMES TO SAVE THE WORLD. AND WAS IT NOT FRODO THAT SO LOVETH THE SHIRE AND THE WORLD THAT HE WAS WILLINGTH TO SACRIFICE HIMSELF IN THE NAME OF GOOD?

    • Jabster

      Poe or twar … who knows?

    • trj

      Yes, if there’s one thing that demonstrates how much Jesus loves us it’s that he could kill us at any moment, yet chooses not to. It’s the very definition of love.

      • Troutbane

        Yes, if there’s one thing that demonstrates how much Cthulhu loves us it’s that he could kill us at any moment, yet chooses not to. It’s the very definition of love.

        PH’NGLUI MGLW’NAFH CTHULHU R’LYEH WGAH’NAGL FHTAGN!

        • Troutbane

          Sorry trj, I thought you were theplaintruth at Poe level 11 and totally missed the sarcastic context. My bad :(

  • theplaintruth

    What? You are playing chess with words. See if you can get me into checkmate. Maybe you already have checkmated me in your minds. The war of words can continue because I admit you have a vast elaborate vocabulary and many years of books and alphabet stored in your minds compacting together your theoroms and argumentS. My challenge to you is that you just do not bash out these theoroms and words but PROVE BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT you exist, JUST BECAUSE and that GOD IS NOT REAL. Do not piggy back on the philosophy’s of other’s because it is not something YOU HAVE PROVEN. PROVE IT YOURSELF. Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened :-P.

    • Azel

      We can be two to play that game: PROVE BEYOND A SHADOW OF DOUBT THAT you know of God. Do not piggy back on the words of others because it is not something YOU HAVE PROVEN. PROVE IT YOURSELF. And as to proving I exist…I am writing to you. Buf if you’re unwilling to accept such a proof, where do you live ? :D

    • Kodie

      Yeah, you are not going to win at chess. You may win at Bonkers!

    • trj

      It’s called theorem, not theorom.

      Here’s a challenge for you: Prove that Vishnu is not real.

      And a bonus challenge: Learn to use the Reply button.

    • UrsaMinor

      Yes, I second trj. Since you’re apparently not going to produce any evidence of Yahweh’s existence for us, the least you could do is prove that Vishnu is not real.

  • theplaintruth

    Lol. You remind me of a bunch of kids trying to bully another into giving your toy back. Kodie, you have found the right word. Bonkers!!! That what this is. Imagine I use your indirect theorem (thanks trj for my english lesson, well noted!) that God is cruel because SOME PEOPLE SUFFER AND DIE.Then introduce this thought. God actually heals all people since the beginning of humanity and NONE dies. The question is, which I perceive your brilliant minds can phathom: Would this planet hold enough resources to accomodate such a theory? I suppose your answer would then be, and a rather intellectual one (husky voice) “If he is God then he can figure it out…ha ha ha” The truth is I do not need to extract words from old rusty books or fight to prove God exists. Existence of people like you who form forums just to take time to punch God with your humanity, which he has given, like tiny ants toytoying to convert us who believe into your cardboard existence. I place this before you. I know God is real, because he is there when I wake up in the morning, he is there when tears flood my eyes, he speaks to me whilst i’m sleeping and yesterday my reply was. God will show himself to each one of you on this forum soon, because he told me so. God Bless.

    • Jabster

      Is your god there when you get called a twat? If so he really would have to enjoy your company …

      I’ll pray for you …

    • UrsaMinor

      In other words, like every other theist before you, you’re not going to show us your evidence that your god exists.

    • trj

      God will show himself to each one of you on this forum soon, because he told me so.

      I note that God is very vague on when that’ll happen. You just never can get that guy to give a specific date. It’s almost as if his spokespersons don’t want to be held accountable for their promises.

      Also, it’s interesting how God conforms to your behavior. God will reveal himself to people on a forum you frequent? I guess he must think you’re important.

  • theplaintruth

    No, I have no need to. You only need to prove something that you doubt. I have none. God caters for Thomas’ like you, did he not. I told you early,….before the end of this month :-P And somebody keeps deleting it. My mission here is accomplished, be it that I am a young being which stumbled upon this website, like you angered by the things which happened in my life, disproving, to me tangibly, that my God exists. Jobs wife said “Curse God and Die” and my mind was ranting, telling him that he was not proving himself, my circumstances in disarray. He did not redirect me to a field of positive anecdotes about him, instead he brought me here and your words invoked much pain, cause i realised that God has to deal with a creation so disillusioned, constantly motivated by hate for each other, FOR HIM, yet he chooses to LOVE. God is not the author of the anarchy and pain which exists, we are. He gave Adam the authority to rule. I am here just to thank you that you helped my sudden onset of doubt to turn into a much deepend LOVE for my father, Lord Jesus Christ. I love him more that ever now than before. I did not need some evangelistic preaching to encourage that, i just needed the hateful taunts which you so freely give. Just remember, all things come to an end. ONEDAY YOUR MOCKING WILL END.

    • UrsaMinor

      Ah, that clears things up a bit. You’re not here to help other people see the Light of Christ, you’re here for the sole purpose of making sure that your own personal salvation is secure, and the opportunity to say “nyah, nyah!” to everybody else.

      Bravo! Most Christian of you, sir.

    • trj

      Ah yes, the good old “atheists are angry and hateful, that’s why they don’t believe in God”. Wrapped up with a thinly veiled threat.

      You say you’re young. So hopefully you’ll learn to have a more nuanced perspective and rely less on stereotypes and black-and-white thinking. They’re actually not helpful to your belief, or to your general approach to the world. Good luck.

  • theplaintruth

    Thanks trj for being soo honest, describing yourself is a positive move and Minor, I am no Sir but thanks for the kind gesture. And regarding the averment to “the thinly veiled threat” let me place on record, we only pose the threat to ourselves because the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God eternal life. Oh, Mr Minor, thanks for reminding me that to win souls is wise, i shall commence on my journey to do so and for the record, I did not perceive it possible to win over people who are so hardened against God so I just took the opportunity to find more of him :-P, but should you wish to disprove me, then go ahead.

    • UrsaMinor

      The majority of atheists are not “hardened against God”. We simply do not have any more more evidence for the Christian god’s existence than we do for the existence of Allah or Zeus or Thor or Vishnu, and therefore quite appropriately do not believe in their existence. The Christians I have met, both in real life and on the Internet, are uniformly unable to produce evidence for the god that they are so sure of, and most of them are unwillingly to even try, which seems a curious thing. I am not in any sense committed to disbelieving; the moment that I acquire evidence that Deity X exists beyond reasonable doubt, I will believe in it. And possibly even start worshiping it, if it is an ethical deity.

      I anticipate your next statement will be something along the lines of “I know that my god exists because I feel it to be true in my heart”. Well, lots of people feel things to be true in their hearts, and the vast majority of them are not Christian. If you are going to scoff at the idea that external evidence is required, and accept internal mental/emotional experiences as reliable validation of the truth of one’s own beliefs, you should at least have the honesty to admit that other people’s very different experiences carry exactly the same weight as yours.

    • trj

      I’m kind of awed by your ability to reinforce the clueless fundie stereotype.

      We’re all impressed by how strong your faith is (which you apparently feel the need to constantly repeat), and you’ve got us totally stumped with your sophisticated reverse burden of proof, so maybe you should just go away now. I’m sure you have some proselytizing to do elsewhere.

    • Kodie

      There is no god to be hardened against. What don’t you get? God is imaginary. You are a flake! Did you come here to argue that god exists or doesn’t exist, no, you work from a faulty, deluded (I might add) premise that your god exists and you exist to “win” souls for him and that he will like you for doing your job, or for trying. For going to those hardened people and just trying. You had no intention of succeeding! You just want credit from your invisible friend for trying. If god exists, he should try to win my soul himself! But he doesn’t. He sends an idiot like you with no proof, some weird and very unconvincing stories, here’s your caps-lock moment: WEAK. God has some weak shit in sending you, your efforts are weak, the whole system smells like a scam. It’s not like no one hear ever heard what you said before, and it’s not that we’re hardened. It’s just not true or even a little bit convincing. That’s why the most “winning” of souls happens in early childhood. Take an inexperienced person and lie to them, victory! You are such a big shot to try coming here on the internet to an atheist forum and weakly trot out your lies and take credit for trying.

      For your INFORMATION: Many people here were as foolish as you are now, even moreso, with very profound faith, they just didn’t have to stay that way. You seem to be a little hardened to reality, but it’s not over until it’s over. But until then, NO EVANGELISM HERE. It’s boring, it’s unconvincing, it’s like you’re trying to sell us a bottle of magic air. Would you buy a magic bottle of air from you? Your faith is just getting stronger from taking credit for trying to win souls you knew you couldn’t and failing. What kind of new-age horseshit is that? Send out all the good little morons to bother people with their weak shit=winning souls! You get a full stamped ticket, go pick up your self-esteem trophy at counter B.

      What you look like to us: http://www.newmediaist.com/files/FarSide.jpg

  • theplaintruth

    No you cannot anticipate what I would say Mr Minor cos I know it is physically impossible for you to present “external evidence” that my God DOES NOT exist. NO, no atheist uniformly has presented EVIDENCE that GOD DOES NOT EXIST. Furthermore, you could not mock Allah because …that would just be tooooooo dangerous, would it not. So you say that these other God’s exist, why do you not ask them to join in on our conversation, Mr Minor, respectfully I ask.

    • UrsaMinor

      Yes, absolutely, it is impossible to prove a negative of any sort. At least you have gotten that point correct.

      I never said that other gods exist. Are your reading comprehension skills really that poor, or are you deliberately making silly stuff up and attributing it to me so you can mock it?

  • theplaintruth

    Lol Mr Minor, no need mock my intelligence, its not my intelligence that is on trial now is it. And trj, that’s correct, I am saying goodbye to this trail of christian bashing comprehensions. I leave with this: Why does God need an human being to prove his existence. Does God need a lawyer, does he need a doctor, why would the creator need his creation to substantiate his existence..if he did….he would not be God would he. Its like asking you mr trj and mr minor to prove to yourself that you exist. So I say go look in the mirror, cos you are made in his image, its as easy as that and lastly i will say….Let God Be God and every man a……(________)…fill in the missing word :-P

    • UrsaMinor

      Goodbye.

    • Kodie

      If god knows everything and sends you to do his work because you exist and he doesn’t, and you’re not that bright, if you are made in his image then I extra-don’t believe in god. You have further convinced me of the lack of a deity.


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