Comment roundup.

This weeks comment comes from google +.

Ryan BainesYesterday 10:54 PM

Why don’t you stop bashing other faiths and keep your faith of disbelief to yourself?

Ryan BainesYesterday 10:54 PM
My faith requires way less faith than your faith

Well Ryan, I don’t stop bashing the faiths of others because in many cases their incorrect beliefs about the world cause grievous harm to many of its occupants, and I give a shit about the suffering of others.

In other cases, people’s faith gives them a bad reason to be good (when good reasons are perfectly available) while spreading the idea that being unreasonable is ok, which feeds all of the people in the previous category.

And your faith requires less faith than mine?  First, what is my faith?  You didn’t say, which makes it hard for me to defend myself, since I have no clue what you’re getting at.  Is science my faith?  If you think my faith in science requires more faith than yours, I can show you my cell phone.  Show me your god.

Even without the fact that I base my beliefs on the constraining, but reliable standard of reality, consider the differences in our beliefs that we do know about.  You have faith that someone rose from the dead.  I think that’s, frankly, an extremely gullible belief at best, flagrantly stupid at worst.  I have all the evidence on my side that people don’t rise from the dead.  You can’t honestly tell me that it takes more faith to think people stay dead than to believe the laws of nature were suspended 2,000 years ago and somebody rose from the dead.  If you can, then you have exceeded sanity’s escape velocity to such a degree that there’s little hope of pulling you back to where any sensible person should be.

However, if you’re just throwing out “your beliefs require more than mine” because you heard it in church and didn’t really think about it before regurgitating it to me, then there’s still a chance you’ll take a moment to consider the implications of that sentence.  In that case, there’s still hope that you could actually discuss and defend your beliefs admirably and fairly, even if you don’t change them.  But defending your faith-based beliefs with “you require more faith than me” as if faith is a bad thing (which I think it is), doesn’t cut it, Ryan.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Makoto

    “I can show you my cell phone. Show me your god.” – I love this in so many ways.

  • Kimberly

    At least he didn’t insist that you watch the “Howard Storm went to hell and came back to tell about it” videos. He linked to those damn videos so many times on MY recent Google+ conversation with him that Google started marking his posts as “spam” and hiding them (from everybody except me). :-)

  • http://anthrozine.com Cubist

    Atheists say that Xtians are factually incorrect.
    Xtians say that atheists are broken, incomplete, inferior, not-quite-human beings who will burn in Hell for-fucking-EVER.
    So I’ll make you a deal, Ryan: When you Xtians stop saying bullshit-filled lies about atheists, I’ll stop saying unpleasant truths about Xtians. Okay?

  • SparkyB

    I think you made a compelling case for why you don’t keep your opinions on other faiths to yourself, but I would have added, why should you when other religions don’t? It is specifically the mission (pun intended) of Christianity to not keep it to themselves, so why should anyone else with competing beliefs? Just tell Ryan that you’ll stop when Christians stop imposing their faith on gays and women and atheists and everyone else.

  • Volzi

    “If you think my faith in science requires more faith than yours, I can show you my cell phone. Show me your god.”

    I seriously LOL’d

  • http://gravatar.com/improbablejoe Improbable Joe

    It is awesome how Christians in particular and theists in general want atheists to shut up and stop talking about atheism, while at the same time far too many of them also insist on the whole world being a captive audience for their superstitious nonsense.

  • Loqi

    So many good quotes in this piece.

  • Ryan Baines

    If you have belief in science, then tell me how the Big Bang happened which was proven in the 60′s. It came from nothing according to independent scientists and physicists and is still expanding at the speed of light still to this day from fifteen billion years ago? Answer: science has not a clue. Why can’t I show you factual evidence about my God you ask? Answer: You can’t gather evidence for anything outside of space and time. God is outside of space and time — in another dimension. You cannot gather scientific data of anything outside of our own dimension. 

    • Nick Johnson / Remijdio

      “It came from nothing according to independent scientists and physicists…”
      You sure about that?
      “You can’t gather evidence for anything outside of space and time.”
      If you cannot gather information for anything existing outside of your own dimension then how can you know it exists? How do you know it’s a god and not gods or a force of nature or a large group of highly intelligent beings?

    • John Eberhard

      “If you have belief in science, then tell me how the Big Bang happened which was proven in the 60′s.”

      Well, first of all, the Big Bang theory is the most widely accepted hypothesis for the origin of the universe, with a lot of evidence for it, but it has not been “proven”. If you weren’t ignorant about science, you wouldn’t use the term “proven”, because science doesn’t claim to “prove”: that is what mathematics does. Science accumulates evidence. Many times it accumulates so much evidence that to withold at least provisional consent is foolhardy.

      You seem to be saying that if science has not YET procured ALL of the answers then “god(s)” are the default answer. This is Ryan’s version of the god of the gaps argument.

      The Big Bang Theory was first proposed in 1931, Ryan. It accumulated enough evidence verifying it to be deemed correct in the 1960s, in large part because of advances in technology. The point here, Ryan, is that prior to 1931, you could have demanded, “If you have belief in science, tell me how the universe began”……..and you would have gotten the same answer as you get to today’s question: “We don’t have enough scientific knowledge and sophisticated equipment to provide a fairly certain answer for that YET.” But that doesn’t mean the answer is “goddidit”,any more than the cprrect pre-1931 answer to how the universe started was “goddidit” instead of the Big Bang.

      I have little doubt that when we do reach that time when we can provide the scientific answer for “how the Big Bang happened” (and we are getting closer all the time), the fallback position of the theist will be to just take it back anther step and ask what caused that to happen. And the theist will continue merrily on ignoring that every single supernatural explanation we have ever had has always eventually been replaced by a physical answer backed up by mountains of evidence. It has never happened the other way: that a physical answer has been replaced by a supernatural one backed up by mountains of evidence. Not. Ever.

      As to “It came from nothing according to independent scientists and physicists….” How could they possibly know what was before the Big Bang? “We don’t know” isn’t the same as nothing.

    • Rowan

      Also, whatever, God is outside space and time, therefore we should expect nothing in terms of evidence, and since thats what we find, hey, told you he was real because you cant find evidence…

      Lets buy into that for a second, God is outside space and time…ok, but according to most religions with a god, it impacts our world (grants prayers, leaves holy books, performs miracles, does magic tricks at parties), so we should be able to find evidence of that, right? God may reside outside space and time, but when he deems to step in to our world, there should be evidence…and there isn’t.

      At best the whole ‘outside space and time’ magic God gives you a deist type god, and is really indistinguishable from no god, and is clearly not Bible God.

      • Ryan Baines

        Many ask is got transcendent, or descendant. The answer is yes, he is both. What you atheists don’t understand and probably will never accept until you die and are in the spiritual dimension, is that there are spiritual battles going on around us that we cannot see. There are many other dimensions with many different forms of life all over. What is important is not our outer form but our inner man. Me arguing with you guys is probably going to be a waste of my time because most of you guys are so closed minded it is sad. And yes the Big Bang was proven and here is a article from NASA stating that is has been proven. http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/nobel_prize_mather.html

        • Rowan

          Must be my atheistic close mindedness…but I barely understood a god damn word you said (well, individually sure, but strung together like that?…) You do know its important to convey ideas in a conversation, and that you don’t actually win an argument by just saying the most words?

          Also, very few people here (I’d venture to say none, but theres still people who believe in a flat earth out there, so you never know) will argue that the Big Bang didn’t happen…what they are saying is that “prove” actually means something beyond its layman definition, and it isn’t something that science does.

          ctrl+f on that link of yours…search for ‘prove’ or ‘proof’…notice how theres 0 results.

  • Ryan Baines

    What else can I educate you on? oh ya…So you think your cellphone proves God doesn’t exist LOL. Also, please tell me if the Bible is a worthless book written by a bunch of loons thousands of years ago, how the Bible backs up in chronological order everything that happened after the Big Bang in the beginning of Genesis, before we had any scientific data on the event and the formation of the earth? There was no day before the third day so you cannot say that the Bible is putting 24 hrs to a day. 

    • Drakk

      You do understand that the scientific data on the formation of the earth directly falsifies the claims in genesis, right?

      You do understand that the claims made in genesis aren’t true, right?

      • Ryan Baines

        How so? You can’t just state something and give to evidence to support your claim.

        • penn

          Factual errors in the order of creation from Genesis 1:

          God creates the earth before the sun.
          God creates night and day before the sun.
          God creates terrestrial plants before the sun or moon.
          God creates terrestrial plants before the creatures of the sea.
          God creates birds before creatures of the land.

          Each of these blatantly contradicts the actual order of events.

        • Rob

          What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

          Evidence for God please, pointing at the Bible is not evidence.

    • sqlrob

      BWAHAHAHAAHAH
      /breathe
      BWAAHAHAHAH

      Please explain away every one of the red lines in the following URL in an internally consistent, objective manner. http://www.project-reason.org/bibleContra_big.pdf

      JT, That link (or its canonical source, if that’s not it) is something you might want to put on the sidebar.

    • Glodson

      “So you think your cellphone proves God doesn’t exist ”

      I wanted to comment on the Big Bang, but that has been handled. And yes, I’m slightly bitter as it was handled better than I would have. So I’m going to talk about this.

      That’s not what he’s saying. Read the piece again. When JT wrote ” If you think my faith in science requires more faith than yours, I can show you my cell phone. Show me your god,” he isn’t saying that a cell phone is a evidence that god doesn’t exist. He’s saying that a cell phone is evidence that science works, that the technology we have all around us is evidence that science works. We aren’t placing faith in science with no reason, without evidence.

      This is a challenge, and a quip. The challenge is that we who hold that science reflects reality have evidence for holding this to be true. The very fact that you are reading this shows that science works. Just starting at my finger tips with this wireless keyboard, to the screen I’m looking at, the signal being set to my wireless modem, and to a number of servers and computes and connections, all to get to your screen. Which could be almost anywhere on the planet. Imagine what science has done in the past 100 years, just the past 100 years.

      The cell phone, how it works and why it works, is evidence that science is real. The challenge is now to show that god is real when the claim is that we have more faith than the theists. We’re saying “okay, we have almost any piece of amazing technology to show that science is real, now where’s the evidence for god that requires even less faith.”

    • RobMcCune

      Actually the bible says the earth, seas, and plants, came before the sun, moon and stars. And life on land predates life in the ocean. So no the bible doesn’t describe the history of the earth or the cosmos accurately. In fact it fails miserably.

      • Ryan Baines

        You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Go read your Bible, oh wait, you have probably never opened one.

        • http://anthrozine.com Cubist

          sez rob mccune: “Actually the bible says the earth, seas, and plants, came before the sun, moon and stars. And life on land predates life in the ocean. So no the bible doesn’t describe the history of the earth or the cosmos accurately. In fact it fails miserably.”

          sez ryan baines: “You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Go read your Bible, oh wait, you have probably never opened one.”

          sez me: Okay, Baines, you obviously think McCune’s summary of the Creation story in Genesis is inaccurate. Let’s go to the source and see, shall we?
          Creation of Earth: First day. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen 1:1)
          Creation of the seas: Third day. “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” (Gen 1:9-10)
          Creation of plants: Third day. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Gen 1:11)
          Creation of the Sun: Fourth Day. “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” (Gen 1:16)
          Creation of the Moon: Nth Day. “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” (Gen 1:16)
          Creation of stars: Nth Day. “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” (Gen 1:16)
          So: According to the Bible, the Earth, seas, and plants were created on, respectively, day 1, day 1, and day 3; the sun, moon, and stars were all created on day 4. Which means that yes, the Bible does say that the Earth, seas, and plants were all created before the Sun, Moon, and stars. Thus, McCune was absolutely correct to report that the Bible says “earth, seas, and plants, came before the sun, moon and stars”. And you, Baines, have the unmitigated fucking chutzpah to sit there with your face hanging out, in front of God and everybody, and make noise about how it’s McCune who… doesn’t merely “have no idea what [he is] talking about”… but “obviously (has) no idea what (he is) talking about”? And by you, it’s McCune who “(has) probably never opened (a Bible)”, never mind that McCune was absolutely right about what the Bible actually says?
          You know, Baines, there’s a Middle Eastern religion that enjoins its adherents to be truthful in all things, and which promises that liars will spend their eternal afterlife burning in a lake of fire. It’s clear that you have no familiarity with this religion, but I think you could benefit from studying it. The name of this religion is “Christianity”.

    • RowanVT

      “how the Bible backs up in chronological order everything that happened after the Big Bang in the beginning of Genesis, before we had any scientific data on the event and the formation of the earth? ”

      …. really?
      Order of creation according to Genesis:
      Day 1 story 1- Earth created. No sun yet.
      Day 2 story 1- Light, but nothing to generate it.
      Day 3 story 1- Dry land and water. Plants.
      Day 4 story 1- Sun and moon finally appear.
      Day 5 story 1- water animals and flying animals.
      Day 6 story 1- Land animals, then humans (both genders) after land animals.

      Genesis story #2, mankind now created before animals and plants and rain.

      That’s a strange definition of “backing up” you have there.

  • Ryan Baines

    You show me your cellphone. I will show you life to prove that God exists. It’s quite comical +JT Eberhard, science still has no idea how life was started. So you believe in science when it can’t even prove the most basic question of life. Like I said earlier, your belief, once you learn all of the facts, takes more faith than mine.

    • Nick Johnson / Remijdio

      haha
      Stop using science you CLEARLY DON’T UNDERSTAND to support your opinions.
      You’re using the word fact wrong bud. Fact implies truth. Truth has proof. Proof is not faith.

    • Drakk

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

      But you probably won’t read it.

    • Rowan

      Actually, all you showing life is evidence of…is life.

      Whereas with a cell phone, you can track it back to the factory, you can see it being made, you can meet the people who designed it, see patent applications, early design sketches, prototypes, older models, etc etc etc. By showing a cell phone, you are showing the process that created it, and who created it is easily ascertained.

      In order for showing life to be evidence of a God, you’d have to establish that God made it…

  • Laurence

    Ryan Baines is showing us a classic example of a god of the gaps argument. Just because we cannot explain some aspect of the world does not mean that God is a good explanation for it. Positing God as the explanation brings way more questions to the table than explanations. And those questions don’t have good and rational answers.

    • sqlrob

      For the sake of argument, let’s assume the God of the Gaps.
      Now, given that god and the existing gaps, how the hell (pun intended) is that the Abrahamic God?

      • Glodson

        Okay, I’ll give this a shot….

        He’s hiding in the gap because he’s embarrassed about that whole Binding of Issac thing?

        Goddamnit, that doesn’t make since. The dude isn’t embarrassed about killing at all.

  • http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/ peicurmudgeon

    Scientists have been able to recreate the basics of life in laboratories by mimicking the conditions of the early Earth. Researchers such as Stephen Hawking have explained how there is no need to postulate religion to have 3establish the conditions prior to the Big Bang. Using an explanation such as “I don’t understand it, so it must have been God” is just lazy thinking. At least make an effort to understand and, if possible repudiate, the existing theories before ridiculing them.

  • Ken

    Bah. Ryan’s no fun. He’s just regurgitating the old God of the (ever-decreasing) Gaps argument. He can’t explain explain how we get toast from bread, so… God!

    Well, Ryan, as those gaps get ever smaller an more insignificant as science continues to explain more an more, your god will also get ever smaller and more insignificant. Apparently, based on your argument, that’s fine with both of us.

  • Rebecca Hensler

    JT, mind if I meme “If you think my faith in science requires more faith than yours, I can show you my cell phone. Show me your god.”?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Knock yourself out. I’d be flattered. :)

  • Matt in Memphis

    This poor guy’s arguments consist of little more than God of the Gaps jumbled into teenage text-messaging LOL-speak and sentence fragments. Sadly, I doubt this one can be reached.

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

    I’m finding Ryan pretty boring as well. He sounds like he’s parroting back all the stuff he hears in church withough actually thinking about anything. Since his church proably tells him that thinking is dangerous, I’m sure he’s doing it just the way they want.

    Congratulations Ryan, you get a gold star on your Sunday School homework, and a few brownie points from your imaginary friend. But from me you get a big yawn. I’ve heard all this stuff before, and if it had any validity I’d still be a churchgoer.

  • IslandBrewer

    What’s worse than being a “god of the gaps” regurgitator, is that he clearly (most likely intentionally) is misreading JT’s argument. Ryan, JT’s cellphone isn’t proving that a giant invisible man in the sky doesn’t exist (that’s a different argument), it’s a response to your idiotic statement that JT’s beliefs take more faith than yours, and I think you know that. JT’s “faith” doesn’t really require what is colloquially known as faith, while your’s does.

    Misrepresenting his statement is basically lying. Misunderstanding it is just ignorance. Which do you plead, are you a liar, or are you ignorant? And please, lying really doesn’t make you look smarter.

  • Mark

    Cubist,

    Genesis 1:2, “. . . and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
    Exodus 13:22, “And the Lord went before them. . . by night as a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”
    Revelation 21:23 “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the lamb.”

    So, whether you push day-age or 24-hr days, the Bible provides an explanation for how plans and trees might get light without the sun.

    • Rowan

      Well no shit, even if it didnt have some out built in (although that says nothing about supplying the earth with sun-like light that plants can use to photosynthesize and keep warm, merely as light to see by), what CANT you hand-wave away by just saying he just Godded the problem away?

      Why did he create birds before land animals when all evidence shows birds evolving from dinosaurs? Well because that’s just how God wanted it done…he likes Birds, but tried out having really big ones with scales and teeth, but didn’t like them as much so he buried them in different rock layers to give people with shovels something fun to do.

      Why even use his great radiance to power the earth when he could have just made the sun first and saved himself that trouble? God just wanted it so that when humans learn how stars and solar systems are made, they’d see that ours was made all backwards, which is a MIRACLE! see, its not wrong, its just showing how awesome God is and how special we are…

      The thing is, that isnt even the main thing people are objecting to right now. Someone comes in and says, “hey, the bibles creation story mirrors what scientists say happens exactly, how could they have known that without God!?” Well…they couldn’t, which is why they didn’t, because its wrong. The order is all out of whack.

    • http://anthrozine.com Cubist

      sez mark: “So, whether you push day-age or 24-hr days, the Bible provides an explanation for how plans and trees might get light without the sun.”
      That’s nice. It doesn’t have anything to do with what I was replying to, but it’s nice. Let me give to some context, so you don’t have to scroll up and hunt thru the nested comments-and-responses…

      RobMcCune wrote: “(T)he bible says the earth, seas, and plants, came before the sun, moon and stars. And life on land predates life in the ocean. So no the bible doesn’t describe the history of the earth or the cosmos accurately. In fact it fails miserably.”
      In response, your friend and his, Ryan Baines, wrote, “You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Go read your Bible, oh wait, you have probably never opened one.”

      That’s the context. McCune made a statement about the factual accuracy of the Bible, Baines said “nuh-uh!”, and I cited chapter and verse to demonstrate that McCune was correct about what the Bible said. What you just said here is all very well and good, but what does it matter? Does your statement alter the fact that the Bible does say that the Earth, seas, and plants all came before the Sun, Moon, and stars? No, it doesn’t. All your comment does is demonstrate that if you’re allowed to drag in an omnipotent whatzit as a fudge factor, you can ‘reconcile’ absolutely any described state of affairs with absolutely any physical evidence, because by definition, a whatzit that genuinely is omnipotent has the power to spackle over absolutely any discrepancies whatsoever between description and empirical fact. Which I suppose is true enough. My-omnipotent-whatzit-can-make-everything-right, plus $5, will get you an overpriced coffeeoid at Starbucks, and who the fuck cares?

  • John Horstman

    *Sigh*
    “Goddidit” is not an acceptable null hypothesis, as it leads to an infinite number of conflicting null hypotheses with any imaginable god figure being the default assumption. Since you don’t think the Buddah did it as your null hypothesis (the null hypothesis being what we assume in the absence of any evidence) or the Vishnu did it or a jengu water spirit did it, you can perhaps understand why someone who doesn’t already presuppose the existence of Yahweh without evidence doesn’t consider Yahweh did it to be an appropriate null hypothesis. This is the quick and dirty (explained by analogy, the more absurd versions being the ones intentionally constructed to illustrate the point, like the Invisible Pink Unicorn or the Flying Spaghetti Monster) version of why the null hypothesis is that no god or gods exist, and why you need positive evidence that your proposed god both exists and is responsible for things like life and the existence of the planet. The God of the Gaps argument you’re deploying is based on a faulty premise, the presupposition of the existence of a particular god without evidence.

  • Pingback: The flattery of my heroes. :)

  • Pingback: Comment roundup.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X