Where Are the Good Christian Arguments? + The Problem of Evil

Where Are the Good Christian Arguments? + The Problem of Evil September 3, 2014

problem of evilLet me begin by admitting that, like most people, my sense of the best arguments in any field is limited. There is only so much time to listen to podcasts and read books and blogs. I try to stay up to date on what passes for compelling arguments in Christian apologetics, but I’m sure I’m missing some good stuff.

Two kinds of apologetics

Nevertheless, the Christian arguments that I come across are of two sorts. One category is the earnest statement of a weak argument. I’ll provide an example shortly. The second is the deep and convoluted “No, I can’t make this any simpler” philosophical argument.

I’ve tackled a few of the philosophical arguments (see the list at the end). I haven’t found any compelling, but one of the fallbacks for the apologist with this kind of argument is to say that I’ve only responded to some of the variants of that argument. They’ll point to a stack of books and demand that I respond to all the new ’n improved versions, despite the fact that even within the philosophical community these arguments aren’t widely accepted. Only the most popular interest me, because a boring, esoteric argument doesn’t make for an interesting blog post.

The bigger obstacle for me is the idea that a loving god who desires a relationship with humanity would make his presence known only with these vague and esoteric arguments.

Christian slapdown of the Problem of Evil

What prompted this post was a recent article by Mikel Del Rosario, the “Apologetics Guy.” He says that he’s a Christian apologetics professor, speaker, and trainer. He has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola and is working on a Master of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, so you’d expect a substantial argument.

You’d expect wrong.

I come across articles like this frequently. I’m eager to respond, but there’s just not that much to say. Either the points that come to mind are already out there in a few of my posts or I can deal with it in just a paragraph. My response becomes nothing more than a comment, not a blog post. Take a look at the argument, and you may see what I mean.

Del Rosario raises three points.

1. The Problem of Evil Isn’t An Argument for Atheism

Del Rosario says, “[The Problem of Evil] really isn’t an argument for atheism. It’s not even a challenge to the existence of God.”

He supports this claim by quoting atheist Sam Harris: “If God exists, either he can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or he does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil.”

If I may paraphrase Del Rosario’s response, he says, “Aha! You said, ‘If God exists’! If God exists, then you lose, Mr. Atheist.”

No, Harris doesn’t think that the Christian god exists; he’s simply arguing that evidence shows that any god in charge is impotent or evil, which conflicts with the Christian claims of omnipotence and omni-benevolence. Conclusion: the Christian god doesn’t exist.

If Del Rosario wants to accept Harris’s hypothetical, I don’t think it takes him where he wants to go, so this word game fails.

Del Rosario continues:

But some still insist that all the evil and suffering in the world, especially the stuff that seems totally pointless to us, must mean there’s no God.

No, what the evidence leads us to is no god.

2. The Problem of Evil Doesn’t Mean There’s No God

Del Rosario gives the example of pain and fear in a child during a medical procedure. The adults understand the importance of the procedure, but they can do nothing beyond supporting the child through it. The problem with this popular analogy, of course, is that the adults are limited while God isn’t. If God wanted to help a child with a medical issue, it could be done immediately and painlessly. If God wanted to terraform Indonesia, he could find a dozen ways to do it without the 2004 tsunami and without inconveniencing a single person. And yet he doesn’t.

Dr. Glenn Kreider said, “If God is good and evil exists, then God will one day do something about evil and … we have an eschatological [end times] hope that evil and all of its effects will one day be removed. So there is a redemptive work of God and he is acting redemptively in a fallen world.”

So there are problems in the world, and God will address them in his own sweet time? I await the evidence for this incredible claim.

The atheist view sounds far more responsible: some problems in this world we can fix, and some we can’t. Let’s not wait for some supernatural something-or-other without any obvious existence to pick up the pieces. Rather, let’s join together to make the most progress we can.

Next time: “The Hypothetical God Fallacy + The Problem of Evil.”

Appendix

Here are a few of the posts I’ve written that respond to philosophical apologetics.

Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people.
Otherwise there would be no religious people.
— Dr. House in House (season 4, episode 2)

Photo credit: Demarquet Geoffroy


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  • Jess Grew

    No low hanging fruit is safe from Bob and his posse.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      You keep claiming the the emperor is fully clad in high-hanging fruit.

      Show us the high-hanging fruit.

    • Greg G.

      Why doesn’t WLC to VenomFangX present the good arguments instead of low-hanging fruit? That there are good arguments in favor of a God is as big a myth as the existence of souls or that Jesus will return any day now.

    • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

      There is no low or high hanging fruit – it’s all on the ground and rotting fruit.

    • Sven2547

      Apparently squashing arguments for the existence of God is “low hanging fruit”…

  • GubbaBumpkin

    They’ll point to a stack of books and demand that I respond to all the new ’n improved versions

    The term for those new ‘n improved versions is polishing a turd.
    Polish all you want, it’s still a turd. Recent attempts at the ontological argument for example(WLC cough cough), run to hundreds of pages. It’s just more space in which to play Hide the Question-Begging.

    • And if you don’t refute every word of those 100s of pages to their satisfaction, they declare victory.

    • Kodie

      All of that is more for them than for us. Wrapping up a terrible argument in scholarly sounding language is to give them more confidence in their terrible arguments, and that someone who is arguably smarter than them did the deep thinking. Don’t they ask the same obvious questions we ask? The marketing scheme of religion cannot win without appealing to those pseudo-intellectuals who need their arguments presented in a satisfying “legitimate” way. See, we keep telling them they can’t use the bible to prove the bible is true, so this is how they handle that. Without these books, there are a lot of Christians who would think, yeah, this does sound pretty dumb.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    No, Harris doesn’t think that the Christian god exists; he’s simply
    arguing that evidence shows that any god in charge is impotent or evil,
    which conflicts with the Christian claims of omnipotence and
    omni-benevolence. Conclusion: the Christian god doesn’t exist.

    The God of Western philosophy is defined as omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent. This may be short-handed as the “omni-God.” Showing that under the conditions stated, God cannot possess one of those three properties does constitute an argument that the omni-God does not, or cannot, exist.

    I don’t think this should be confused with the “Christian God.” Some Christians use a different definition of God, based either on the Bible or pulled out their own orifice.

    My interest is in avoiding the bait-and-switch; when someone uses an argument for one definition of God to support another. For example, claiming that evidential arguments of evil against the omni-God may not be able to formally prove the nonexistence of that God somehow constitutes evidence in favour of the Old Testament God who created the universe in six literal days and destroyed the world in a gigantic flood is clearly a bait-and-switch.

  • Al

    The atheist has no response to evil. Its impossible because there is no ultimate responsibility for the evil that Hitler and the 911 terrorists. They died and that’s it. Game over. In Christianity there will be day of judgement where all men will judged and held accountable. Those that have done evil will be punished.

    • powellpower

      errrr…. so you are saying – I don’t like the idea of unfairness and hence a fair and just God (who kills and rape and murders as he wishes) is true?

      How about atheists say – there is no ultimate grand cosmic banhammer that will come down and level playing field, hence we should do our best to make the world as fair as possible during our lifetime within our scope of influence. This sounds much better than christians who just sit in pews and pray and wish that problems will go away.

      • Al

        The atheist needs to own up to the fact he has no answer to evil. Christians have been actively engage in fighting evil for centuries. What has the atheist done in name of atheism against evil that really doesn’t exist?

        • Wrong again. The atheist response the evil is the one with the track record. Indeed, it’s the same approach the Christian uses.

          (I’m ignoring prayer, of course, since it has no track record of success.)

        • Al

          No one appeals to atheism to understand evil or how to deal with it.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t understand The Problem of Evil. It’s not that evil things cause problems for humans. It’s that the god you claim exists could stop it but doesn’t. The theology that accounts for that fact is pathetic.

        • Al

          God does allow the evil deeds of people to continue for a time. Someday it will stop and all men will be held accountable for the evil they have done on judgement day.

        • Greg G.

          Justice delayed is justice denied. -Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

          If you have to offer excuses for an omnipotence, you are making excuses for your imagination.

        • Kodie

          Someday we’re going to go visit my great-uncle’s farm and see my dog again too.

        • MNb

          Someday Easter and Pentecost will fall on the same day.

          “all men will be held accountable for the evil they have done on judgement day.”

          Unless they convert, confess, repent and accept Jesus as their saviour. Then all the evil they have done suddenly doesn’t matter anymore.

        • Pofarmer

          It certainly seems like when those evil deeds stop, it is other people that stop them.

        • Dys

          The eventual answer to the problem of evil for most Christians usually boils down to this type of unsubstantiated presuppositionalism. It’s literally no different than stating “you just have to have faith”.

          It conveniently allows any inconsistencies or problems with an irrational belief to be hand-waved away

        • MNb

          Frankly I think “you just have to have faith, because I don’t know” is the only honest answer.

        • adam

          You know you could settle this RIGHT NOW, EASILY by demonstrating the MAGIC power of YOUR god…

          But we know if it were TRUE, you would have done so already…

        • I think I heard this on the playground long ago. Something like, “Wait’ll I tell my mom! Then you’ll be sorry!”

          The difference of course is that the mom probably really existed.

        • Why would they?

        • powellpower

          No one appeals to atheism to understand evil because atheists do not even believe in absolute EVIL.

          Are pestilence EVIL? Are earthquakes EVIL? Atheists simply acknowledge that shit happens in life due to the random nature.

          The problem of evil only appears when you have someone proclaiming that he is all good but doesn’t have anything good to show.

          This almost feel like a car salesman telling you – hey this is a brand new car and it can even fly. But all you are seeing is some rusty old crap and you tell him “hey this is not what you said”. Then the car salesman start to argue with you about what constitute “brand new”, definition of “fly”, and then another colleague of his come over and tell you oh the car is rusty because it is your fault. Once you polish it up it’ll look great. And a third one comes over and say oh you are just nitpicking because you are obtuse. The car is fine and is the best car ever, even though you can imagine a much better car in your mind.

          I think I am blabbering. But i guess that is just the side effects of talking to crazies. You can’t beat them u end up joining them.

        • Great analogy with the car salesmen.

        • Pofarmer

          Al, are you really think this stupid? we’ve wasted thousands of comments on this, why hammer all through it again?

        • Al

          Bob brought it up in his article. Talk to him.

        • Kodie

          Did you actually read the article?

        • powellpower

          errrrr… yeah? we have no answer to evil in the sense that we will never be able to fully eradicate unfairness. You know what is the funny thing? Just because you claim to have an answer to evil doesn’t mean your christian god is right. Btw, numerous religions have answers to evil. And the notion of hell wasn’t even in the old testament and only came about after the greeks theology have influenced the hebrews

          Christians have been actively engage in fighting evil? please read your history books before you talk mate. Let me guess, you are going to suddenly say that it is christians who eliminated slavery in america.

        • Al

          Christians were in the front lines in dealing with slavery. Don’t know of any atheist. Do you?

          Jesus taught that there was a hell and that it is eternal.

        • Striker

          Christians were in the front lines advocating slavery, too. So, you cleaned up your own mess.

        • Pofarmer

          “Jesus taught that there was a hell and that it is eternal.”

          Jesus also taught that the world was gonna end any day now. Dude’s wasn’t that reliable.

        • Al

          Christ gave signs to look for before He returns.

        • Pofarmer

          Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. Al.

        • Greg G.

          But they are either vague or simply common so that Christians have always expected him to return within their own lifetimes. “Wars and rumors of wars”, “earthquakes”. Like those are unheard of.

        • Nemo

          Jesus said there would be earthquakes in various places. Better steer clear of various places, eh? Oh, and he predicted that his wild, supernatural claims wouldn’t be believed by everyone, because, you know, there was totally a precedent to the contrary where a religion was accepted by everyone everywhere.

        • Dys

          Generic prophecies are awesome.

        • Yep, and he struck out. Maybe you ought to find someone with a better track record.

        • Pofarmer

          Have you looked for any? How about Abner Kneeland? Ever heard of Robert Ingersoll?

        • avalpert
        • We had slavery in America for so long because of support in the Bible. Why do you keep bringing this up? This argument is a loser for you. Still.

        • powellpower

          Hmm…

          Like what Bob said, Christians were also in the front lines preventing people from liberating slaves. soooooooooooooo….

          Using your logic, most Nazi soldiers are christians….

          sooooooooooooo……

          British Empire was full of Protestants and did atrocities in most of their foreign colonies… soooooooooooo…

          Ah wait, most of the rebels in French Revolution were Christians. So Christianity paved the way for modern democracy. Ah ok. At least you have something going for you.

          Well unfortunately since I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus what he teach is kinda pointless. I can only see that there wasn’t any teaching of eternal damnation in the past and suddenly this Jesus dude came out of nowhere and referenced nothing regarding his teaching on Hades. And you guys believe every single word. Good for you I guess? I’m not surprised that the Jews didn’t believe him. Oh but then again Jews are evil in your book right. That totally explains everything I’m so sorry I even questioned that.

          Just checking, you don’t believe in what Gautama Buddha taught about reincarnation right? Don’t worry, neither do I.

        • Dys

          “Christians were in the front lines in dealing with slavery.”

          Christians were also in the front lines propagating slavery. And your only real answer has been “Well, yeah. But they weren’t reading the bible the right way.” But there’s no real support for that assertion – it’s a post hoc rationalization based on the fact that slavery is now considered to be an immoral act.

        • MNb

          You might be interested in this guy:

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

          Question (not for you to answer): what test do theologians use to determine who reads the Bible the right way?

        • Kodie

          Fruit.

        • Wait–a Christian in favor of slavery? But Al told me that all Christians have been fighting to end slavery!

          I’m confused now … maybe my problem is listening to Al.

        • Kodie

          The Christian has no answer to evil, the Christian has excuses for why the god they describe is good is actually eviler than a zillion Hitlers. If there is no eternal justice for a zillion Hitlers, then god gets away with it!

        • MNb

          You need to own up to the fact that someone who has killed 1,5 million people will spend the rest of eternity in heaven. Yup, Rudolf Höss. Your only reaction thus far has been sticking your head firmly into the ground.

        • Pofarmer

          Christians have been fighting evil, and causing it, sometimes they do evil things in the name of religion, which is problematic.

    • The Christian approach is far better. Hitler confesses and accepts Jesus before he kills himself, so he gets a golden ticket into heaven. So much for accountability, eh?

      The atheist responds to evil as society responds to evil. You know–civics, legislatures, laws, debates, and all that? That’s what the atheist points to. It works OK–not perfect, but it’s the best we got.

      • Pofarmer

        So, atheists can’t deal with evil because we don’t believe people who committed evil acts will be punished after they die? I don’t see how this is even an argument.

        • avalpert

          It’s not an argument – it’s an emotional appeal. Some people just want to believe that their is cosmic justice so badly they will latch on to anything that promises it be it Christianity, karma or what have you.

          They are just typical weak human beings, no amount of arguing will change their mind so it really isn’t worth sweating over.

      • Al

        The atheist can appeal to something outside of atheism to even discuss what evil is. Can’t do within atheism nor even in science.

        Christianity can account for evil and acknowledge that it is a problem. It also tells us how to deal with it. Atheism can’t.

        • Pofarmer

          “Christianity can account for evil and acknowledge that it is a problem. It also tells us how to deal with it. Atheism can’t.”

          So, let me get this straight. Countries like Japan, in the high 90 percent Atheist range. Countries like Switzerland, 69% atheist, don’t have answers for evil? Really?

        • Striker

          If you are claiming that atheists have no moral or existential foundation upon which to judge any given act as good or evil, you might be right of some but not all atheists and certainly not of atheism as such. Nonbelievers such as Aristotle and many of the Stoics posited that morality is grounded in a cosmos that is intrinsically orderly.

        • Greg G.

          Al, allow me to suggest that you pray to omniscient being for guidance to present a persuasive argument. If you have already done so, you either don’t have enough faith which means you going to hell with us or we’re right and there’s nothing to worry about or argue about.

        • Kodie

          How do you deal with evil?

        • adam

          He LOVES it………..

          When it comes from HIS ‘god’, because THAT EVIL is LOVE….in his mind…

        • Al, Christianity is just made up. To say that your made up thing can deal with a problem is just a joke.

          Yeah, I know that your Christian friends aren’t laughing, but the rest of us, who expect you to show that your supernatural beliefs can actually hack it in the real world, aren’t impressed.

          Christianity can account for evil? So can the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

          Atheism has no problem dealing with evil, thanks.

        • Al

          Bob, you been reading to much Dawkins. I thought you were better than that.

          What specific moral principles within atheism itself deals with evil? How does atheism define evil?

        • Nope–if Pope Richard says it, I believe it. I must constantly immerse myself in the Word.

          Atheism has zero moral principles. What is this–the 10th time you’ve made this stupid error? Don’t you dislike being bitch-slapped in public? Do you have a memory problem? What??

        • Al

          I want you and your fellow atheist to be consistent. Don’t think you can say what evil is nor how deal with it from within atheism. Moral opinions without any objective moral grounding is just preferences. Preferences like which ice cream is your favorite. You may like chocolate today and vanilla tomorrow. Today you can say murder is wrong and tomorrow you can say its right. This is the kind of thing you need to own up to.

        • I’m motivated to start, “For the last fucking time … !” but of course I know this won’t be the last time.

          Atheism = lack of god belief. That’s it.

          Don’t think you can say what evil is nor how deal with it from within atheism.

          The only person saying otherwise is apparently you. Perhaps you’re thinking of Humanism, which actually does make statements about what encourages human flourishing?

          And your inept repetition invites me to point out, yet again, that the Bible does claim to be a book of morals, and those morals suck. You lose.

        • Pofarmer

          Murder is wrong today and right tommorrow would be the Bible. no wonder you’re so fuckin up.

        • adam

          If you want other to be consistent, you should start with YOURSELF..

        • Kodie

          If you’re not going to read us and respond to actual points, and just continue to repeat doctrine from your warped fantasy, there is no discussion to be had. You have a hard, hard head, Al.

        • MNb

          “I want you and your fellow atheist to be consistent.”
          Then you should stop pulling off logical fallacies.

          “Moral opinions without any objective moral grounding is just preferences.”
          Nobody contradicted that. If you want to debate atheist objective morals you’re on the wrong blog. Try Daniel Fincke and/or Adam Lee.

          “Today you can say murder is wrong and tomorrow you can say its right.”
          Yes, if I change my moral standard every day. Which I don’t and precious few people do.
          What’s more – you can do the same. Thanks to the God Command Theory you only have to claim that god ordered you to go on a killing spree, because your “objectivity” is that everything that comes from god is by definition good. So if there is a problem here – which I dispute – you haven’t solved it. Moreover you can console yourself with the idea that eventual innocent victims will go to heaven anyway. That’s exactly the attitude adopted during the Cathar Crusade.
          So if anything christianity only increases the problem.

        • Dys

          “Moral opinions without any objective moral grounding is just preferences”

          Please demonstrate that you have any objective moral grounding. Because otherwise you’re just making an assertion that conforms to wishful thinking, and you’re in the same boat with everyone else. Claiming to have an objective source for morality and actually having one are two different things.

        • Pofarmer

          10th time isn’t even close. and it isn’t an error. at this point its, willful ignorance.

        • MNb

          I suspect Ron above is right – Al is pulling of the argumentum ad nauseam.

    • Greg G.

      Al,
      The Problem of Evil is only a problem for the person who claims there is an omnipotent being that opposes evil. The atheist can say that bad things happen because there is nothing powerful enough to prevent bad things or doesn’t care to.

      Evil things happen. They wouldn’t if your god existed.

      • Al

        All that the atheist can say is that stuff happens. There is no real moral component involved. There is no such thing as a moral good or evil in atheism.

        Bob should work on defending atheism rather than attacking Christianity. Even he must know atheism is indefensible.

        • Pofarmer

          ATHIESM IS NOT A MORAL CLAIM YOU DIPSHIT!!!.

          ARGGGGJJJJJJ_++.

          Ban this douchebag already. His God!!!!!!!!!

        • Greg G.

          Atheism says there is no being capable of preventing evil. Evil does not refute atheism. Christians say their God is capable of preventing evil and opposes it. Evil should not exist if Christianity is true. Evil exists. Therefore Christianity is not true. There’s your problem.

        • Al

          You might want to take a logic course. It does not follow that “Christians say their God is capable of preventing evil and opposes it. Evil should not exist if Christianity is true. Evil exists. Therefore Christianity is not true. ”

          Christianity recognizes evil, gives examples of it and how to deal with it.

          The problem is with atheism. The atheist knows evil exist and sees it and yet cannot be consistent with his atheism with he encounters it. If he is a consistent atheist he will have to conclude that evil does not exist and the “bad” stuff he sees is really atoms in motion.

        • Greg G.

          If there is an omnipotence who really opposes evil, there cannot be evil. Your religion is obviously stuck with a god that can’t possibly exist. Christianity makes excuses for the existence of evil.

        • Kodie

          The problem is with your idiotic comprehension of what atheism is.

        • adam

        • MNb

          Might be the first time that I agree with Harris. Riddle: spot the subjective element(s).

        • MNb

          “You might want to take a logic course.”
          You should. You don’t even understand the difference between punishment and reward.

        • Pofarmer

          Contraception=evil, genocide=peachy is not much of a system.

        • Explain the inconsistency. (Just know going into this project that there isn’t one.)

        • Asmondius is gone thanks to his obnoxious uselessness. You may be following him soon. Become useful and give meaningful critiques and comments, or say goodbye.

        • MNb

          The “no real moral component” fallacy.

    • Nemo

      In Christianity, the Jews and the majority of 9/11 victims will be tortured. A small group of elect will be spared the torture that everyone else gets, but they’ll be required to worship the torturer. Christianity is more grimdark than Warhammer 40k. At least in the latter (written explicitly to be over the top scary), you can have someone occasionally manage to succeed to defying the Ruinous Powers. In Christianity, there are no heroes and hope.

    • MNb

      “he atheist has no response to evil.”
      No matter how often you repeat this, it is and remains wrong.

      “because there is no ultimate responsibility …..”
      No matter how often you repeat this, it is and remains a non-sequitur.

      “In Christianity there will be day of judgement where all men will judged and held accountable.”
      No matter how often you repeat this, it is and remains half of the story.

      “Those that have done evil will be punished.”
      No matter how often you repeat this, it is and remains dishonest. You yourself have explained that they are forgiven if just a minute before they die they have converted, confessed, repented and accepted Jesus as their saviour. Like

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

      The way Rudolf Höss is “punished” by your god is exactly the same as the “reward” you expect to receive. So I hope you rejoice at the prospect of eternally praising your lord while most of his victims will go to hell.

      • Al

        Then show me I’m wrong that the atheist has a response to evil from atheism itself.

        It is not a non-sequitur to say there is no ultimate responsibility in atheism for those who commit evil. There can’t be since no God holds a person responsible for any evil a person does.

        There have been Christians who in the name of Christ have done evil. This is an abuse of Christianity.

        It is true that a person before they die could be converted to Christ and be forgiven. However, this conversion must be genuine and from the heart. This does not change the fact that Christ did say there will be a judgement of mankind and many will be condemned for their evil.

        • Kodie

          You’re just not getting atheism. It just means we don’t believe in any gods, not the one you propose or any other god someone else proposes. Your religion is a construct of moral ideas and ideals, to some extent, but without god, that’s what some people do – construct one. Without god, we are also free to construct ideas and ideals of morality, we just don’t say they are from an external judgment, we’re not living in an epic story, we don’t have souls, we’re animals, and we’re all in this together, so how should we agree to get along? That’s not FROM atheism, because as has been explained to you AT LENGTH, REPEATEDLY, atheism is not a religion, it doesn’t have dogma, we don’t have a doctrine, and we don’t always agree, but we can talk about it, and agree on some things or disagree on them and get back to it later. If someone bad does something bad and they die without earthly punishment, that’s life. Nobody ever said life was fair. Haven’t you ever heard of that?

          Let’s think of it this way – slavery as we’ve discussed is ok in god’s book. Plenty of slave owners were devout and pious Christians, and died before slavery was outlawed. Plenty of devout and pious Christians are still bigots who blame black people for their own poverty, while denying them opportunities and advantages they enjoy. If slavery was ok, and not considered immoral by most of the white people, are they judged as “good” by god or “evil” and sent to hell, now that we all more or less agree that slavery was a heinous act against humanity? Did they all go to heaven before 1863, and hell after 1863? Did the ones who went to heaven get sent to hell after god looked over the Emancipation Proclamation and agreed?

        • Al

          Thank you for admitting what denies and what the implications are. However, you are still using language that an atheist should not be using. To say that “Nobody ever said life was fair” implies that life is either fair or unfair. Such ideas cannot come from atheism. To determine what fairness is you would need some kind of objective standard in which compare. That you do not have in atheism

          You can’t even say from atheism that slavery is wrong. There are no grounds in atheism to say this.

          The Christian can address all these issues and make moral judgement from within Christianity. The Christian can say that it is wrong to do evil to another human being because the law of God and the teachings of Christ forbid it. These laws and teachings are not based on the opinions of men but on God Himself who is the standard.

        • Nemo

          Christians today would largely disagree with the God of the Bible on what is moral. The Bible tells you to maximize the suffering of others, and even gives tips on how to do it. Be sure to keep the little girls alive for yourself. Wink wink.

        • Kodie

          However, you are still using language that an atheist should not be using.

          Only because you stubbornly cling to your religious notions of what atheism actually is. You can’t tell anyone what words they can and can’t use, you fucking douche.

        • adam

          1evil adjective ˈē-vəl, British often & US also ˈē-(ˌ)vil

          : morally bad

          : causing harm or injury to someone

          : marked by bad luck or bad events..

        • MNb

          “To determine what fairness is you would need some kind of objective standard”
          Repeating your errors ad nauseum only makes you look infinetely stupid. No. I don’t need any objective standard. My subjective one suffices.

        • adam

          1evil adjective ˈē-vəl, British often & US also ˈē-(ˌ)vil

          : morally bad

          : causing harm or injury to someone

          : marked by bad luck or bad events

        • MNb

          “Then show me I’m wrong that the atheist has a response to evil from atheism itself.”
          I never contradicted that – stress “ATHEISM ITSELF”. But I have told you before several times that there are quite a few ethical systems that don’t include some imaginary sky daddy. Pick your choice.

          “It is not a non-sequitur to say there is no ultimate responsibility in atheism for those who commit evil. There can’t be since no God holds a person responsible for any evil a person does.”
          Congratulations – you have turned your non-sequitur into a circular argument. Wow, what impressive progress.

          “However, this conversion must be genuine and from the heart.”
          The conversion etc. of Rudolf Höss was. You are not allowed to deny it because of Matth. 7:1.

          “This does not change the fact that Christ did say there will be a judgement of mankind and many will be condemned for their evil.”
          This does not change the fact that according to that same Jesus guy Rudolf Höss will pass that judgment and hence not condemned.

        • Dys

          “Then show me I’m wrong that the atheist has a response to evil from atheism itself.”

          You seem to have a disconnect here. Atheism isn’t a belief or moral system any more than theism is. Both are a single stance on a single question. Your demand is nonsensical.

          “It is not a non-sequitur to say there is no ultimate responsibility in atheism for those who commit evil.”

          Actually, this comment itself is a non-sequitur. Atheism is not a worldview, and therefore has no moral system. You’re constantly trying to appeal to tu quoue to get around the obvious problems with Christianity because “mysterious ways” and “you just have to have faith” are vapid non-answers.

        • Al

          Do you agree then that atheism has nothing to say about morality?

          Atheism has worldview implications that are huge.

        • MNb

          Indeed and given your silly backward moral views it might be an improvement.
          Note that once again you haven’t addressed my answer, just like all the many times before. Still I’m sure your going to repeat your shallow point again. Make me glad and show me wrong.

        • Dys

          I’ll repeat it again, as many others have, since you can’t seem to process it: Atheism is not a worldview, and makes no moral pronouncements. It can’t, because it’s only a single stance on a single issue.

          There are atheistic worldviews, just as there are theistic worldviews. But they aren’t atheism or theism themselves. Therefore, asking what atheism has to say on an issue of morality is a complete category error on your part. Atheism is a component of some worldviews, it isn’t one itself.

        • Kodie

          Your worldview has misled you about atheism (among other things).

        • adam

          Seriously?

        • nakedanthropologist

          Jesus fucking tap dancing Christ. I’m going to explain this as simply as I can. Atheism is not a system of belief – just as theism is not a system of belief. The only thing atheism is is an answer to a claim. A Muslim says “I believe in Allah (God)”. The atheist responds: “I don’t believe in any gods”. When the Muslim/Hindu/Christian/whatever asks “why?” the atheist responds with “because I have seen no evidence for any gods. However, if you have some objective evidence, I would be genuinely interested in seeing such.” To date, no one has been able to provide objective evidence for the existence of any gods. In order to address the problem of evil, one needs an ideological system that deals with such questions. In context of our current discussion, comparing Christianity to atheism as it concerns the problem of evil is nonsensical, because atheism is not an ideology or worldview. A fair comparison and debate about the problem of evil could arise between proponents of Christianity and secular humanism; atheism has no dog in the fight concerning the problem of evil. Do you understand now?

        • adam

          Seriously

    • adam

      “Those that have done evil will be punished.”

      If Jesus doesnt free you from the RESPONSIBILITY (and punishment) of doing EVIL, what good is ‘christianity’?

      • Al

        Its the best news ever. The fact is that Christ has taken the punishment for sin for those who repent and believe in Him. Those that don’t will be punished themselves for their sins. It amazes me that some want to take the punishment for their own sins instead of the way out that God has provided.

        • adam

          “Those that have done evil will be punished.”

          Makes you out a LIAR…..

          And Jesus a scapegoat for every babyraper and Herman Hess….

        • Al

          How does telling the truth that all men who have done evil will punished make me a liar?

        • adam

          “Those that have done evil will be punished.”

          Because you NOW claim they DON’T get punished..

        • Al

          Those who have done evil and trusted in Christ do not get punished for their sins. Only those who reject Christ are punished in hell.

        • adam

          So then you are a LIAR….”Those that have done evil will be punished.”

          Baby rapers and mass murderers who “and trusted in Christ do not get punished for their sins.”

          So EVIL does NOT get punished with YOUR god, only DOUBTERS get punished….

          And I am betting you ‘believe’ that THIS is ‘love’….

        • Al

          Christ took the punishment for the sins of those who believe in Him. All sin will be punished. Either in Christ or on those who reject Him.

        • adam

          So how is sitting next to Jesus in “heaven” punishment for EVIL like YOU claim?

        • Al

          Christ took the punishment for sin on the cross. In heaven there is no punishment for sin.

        • adam

          OH, so you LIED….

          “Those that have done evil will be punished.”

          We see…..

        • Kodie

          The punishment for sin is eternity in hell, so Jesus did not take the full punishment for sin if he’s in heaven.

        • adam

          So how is sitting next to Jesus in “heaven” punishment for EVIL like YOU claim?

        • Kodie

          The punishment for sin is eternal hell. Jesus only died for 3 days. So I don’t think so.

        • adam

          No the punishment for sin is “Heaven” if you are a believer AND a mass murderer like Hess or a cannibalistic baby raper…

          ONLY DOUBTERS get punished for DOUBTING…

          Everyone else gets a Free Right on Immorality Train….
          according to Al

        • Kodie

          I’m just trying to figure out why Jesus isn’t still in hell paying for Al’s sins.

        • adam

          Simple

          Jesus BELEIVES in the SAME Jesus that Al believes in and the only people he WANTS to TORTURE mercilessly for eternity are people who DOUBT him…

        • MNb

          Hence divine judgment is not about evil like murder and rape. They don’t matter.

        • Kodie

          So Jesus can pardon evildoers. You’re a liar if you’re certain Hitler is in hell.

        • MNb

          Because you admitted yourself just above that it’s not the truth:

          “those who reject Christ will pay for their own sins. That is what the judgement and hell is all about.”

          and not about murder and rape. They are peanuts compared to rejecting christ – the only sin that matters according to you and your god.

        • Ken

          Mark,
          You have been on this blog long enough to know you are misstating Christian teaching.

        • Kodie

          Al does such a poor job of explaining it, is that it?

        • Ken

          Yes, but MNb knows better because he has been on here every day for months. He knows and understands christian theology better than that. He is just poking fun at Al because he is having a hard time explaining it. He is turning Al into a “straw man” twisting his words around to make him look silly. Be smarter than that Kodie.

          BTW. MNb claimed earlier that he had fairies that tended to his garden. Anybodies words can be twisted around to make them look silly.

        • Kodie

          I think Al has a hard time understanding it. If you have a better argument than someone else, please don’t be hard on us, Al has been posting a long time and getting nowhere. He isn’t the only Christian, but his arguments do sound in essence like a lot of others. Some express it more literately, but they often have the same problems reading our posts and responding to what we’ve said, meaning they do not. We’re here to poke holes in your arguments, so if you think you have poke-proof argument and an ability to respond to what we’ve actually said instead of what you imagine, let’s get on with it and stop acting like we’re being mean to Al. He’s an insult to intelligence, not mine or anyone in particular, just the concept.

        • Ken

          There are many arguments for God, and they have all been made by more clever and articulate people than me. And every one of them can have holes poked in them. But I have never come across any argument, for any thing that cannot have holes poked in it. Can you think one?
          My point is, just because you can poke holes in an argument dosnt mean it isn’t true.

        • Kodie

          If only you had evidence. Not every argument can have holes poked in it. You, I mean you-you, or another Christian, has the obligation to examine the pokes. A lot of pokes do not make sense, so you are justified in wearing down the counter-arguments – that’s how discussion works. Too many Christians avoid the pokes and just revert to their argument or switch the argument or do other dishonest things like move the goalposts or whatever. If there is a rational argument for your faith, I haven’t heard it. I don’t care if you are convinced, that does not mean your arguments are rational and hold up to honest rational inquiry. I don’t care if billions of people are convinced. The arguments used to convince them are varied and none hold up to logic, but they are all clever in the sense that people can be easily misdirected and non-critical. Whatever gets people to buy something, that is called marketing and religion is sold, and what you get that is worth anything to you is nothing you can’t get outside of religion.

        • Ken

          “Not every argument can have holes poked in it”

          Ok, so give me one and I will poke holes in it.

        • Kodie

          I don’t find evidence for your god or any god credible. Go ahead and poke holes in that.

        • hector_jones

          Just like I said. Announcing there are arguments for ‘God’ without presenting them has been done many many times and totally fails to impress. What exactly do you think you achieve by this? I think it makes you look ridiculous.

          If you can poke holes in an argument then it pretty much does mean it’s not true. But rather than arguments about arguments, how about some arguments about your god? Don’t hide behind ‘more clever and articulate people’. That’s just a cop out. The soundness of an argument is based on the argument itself, not on whether the person making it is ‘more clever and articulate’ than you.

        • Kodie

          If you’re not clever and articulate enough to explain, how well do you think you can comprehend or make critical analysis of those arguments yourself? You can’t. How much more clever and articulate do you think most Christians are? There goes your 80% believers. Most of the ones we see here think that is a challenge we can’t ignore or get over, because 80% wouldn’t believe something if it wasn’t true… wouldn’t you tend to believe it because 80% did? So do the rest.

          And that’s one of the weakest, least clever, least articulate arguments there are. If you can’t find the fallacy, then you are going into your beliefs blind and stupid.

          “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” – W.C. Fields

        • hector_jones

          You’ve posted about half a dozen comments today and all of them are just preamble. Just so you know, you aren’t the first christian who seems to think that waltzing on in here and announcing you have great arguments for god is the same as actually presenting great arguments for god.

          So how about we get past the part where you preen and flex and tell us that our problem is we’ve never gone up against an apologist as good as you, and instead you show us what you are made of.

        • Ken

          I am by no means an apologist. Never said I was. Just a man who is giving his testimony.

        • hector_jones

          Ah I see. Well then please continue with your ‘testimony’. You say you met ‘God’. On what occasions did you meet him? Where did you meet him? What did he look like? What was he wearing? What did he say to you?

          You’ve said that just because there are lots of shitty arguments given for god, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. This implies there are good arguments for god. Do you have any?

        • Ken
        • Kodie

          So if you can’t articulate these good arguments on your own, how sure are you that you’re capable of understanding them?

        • hector_jones

          This is the lamest of all responses you christians ever give: “there are plenty of good arguments for god I just couldn’t be bothered to give you any, here’s a link”. This is just a dodge that tells me you can’t actually articulate why you believe in god and jesus.

        • Ken

          Or you could try Confessions of st Augustine.

          You keep asking people for the simple answer, and when you get it you ridicule it for being too simplistic.

        • hector_jones

          No I don’t keep asking for ‘the simple answer’. I asked for evidence. I haven’t seen any.

          I’m still waiting for this ‘testimony’ of yours. A link to an online store selling C S Lewis books isn’t your testimony. What exactly is it you are trying to accomplish by delurking after all these months?

        • Ken

          Hector,

          If you really want to know.about God you are going to have to do more than just talk to some guy on the internet. If that’s all you are willing to do then you have not done your due diligence in making what may be the most importaint decision of your life. I can point you in the right direction and answer some questions, but you are going to have to do some work. Knowledge of God is more about experience than just pure intellectual pursuit.

        • hector_jones

          Then tell us about your experiences with God. What’s he like? Is he as much of a dick in person as he is in his books? Or is that just for show? Come on, girl, don’t hold anything back. Dish!

          update: I have to add that it amuses me to no end that you seem to think that my exposure to ideas about god and christianity comes entirely from you, ‘some guy on the internet’. Hilarious!

        • Bob: as a fellow Bob, I’m sure you can see that my concern for your immortal soul is substantial. That’s why I’m concerned that you have made a mistake in what you rightly call the most important decision.

          You should be a Mormon (if this were a Tuesday, I’d say Muslim and Wednesday, Zeus worshipper).

        • Kodie

          Bob,

          If you really want to carry on a conversation with atheists, and you don’t know enough about your religion to tell them about it in a way that’s easily understood, then you’re really going to have to step off. If all you are willing to do is mock and warn us that we don’t share your delusion, you have not really done your due diligence in making what could be your only chance to help us make the most important decision of our lives. You can point us in the direction of people far more capable of bullshitting than you are, and basically fulfill the profile of the typical evasive, uneducated Christian. Knowledge of god is not an intellectual pursuit.

        • Guest

          Why would anyone want a conversation with an atheist? Atheists don’t know anything and are not very interesting.
          Knowledge of God is certainly an ‘intellectual pursuit’,
          but with your bad attitude it’s not one you’re capable of.

        • Kodie

          It’s a well-known fact Christians have no sense of humor, can’t detect sarcasm or irony, etc. I don’t have confidence in your intellectuality. But I thank you ever so much for taking the time to offer your input here.

        • MNb

          Yeah yeah, and if Hector fails to find knowledge about god he hasn’t worked hard enough. Tell this to Daniel Fincke (Camels with Hammers) and Ryan Bell (Year without God).

        • Kodie

          Nobody asked for the simple answer, they asked for the good argument. This is what’s wrong with the religious folks, they can’t remember or think about what they’re supposed to do. I can be certain there would be no “simple” answer to assert Christianity, I just don’t know why it’s so hard to make a good argument. When you come back here with your good argument, make sure it is as complex as it needs to be, but thorough and defensible, and not a lot of mumbo-jumbo and evasion and failure to understand differences between words like “simple” and “good”. Do you want to be taken seriously, and I think you probably do, just being relevant would be a plus. So far, you’re intent to take us on a journey of your favorite books you can’t summarize, and a bit of a failure to read for comprehension – doesn’t mix well.

        • Ken

          There are many arguments for.God. here are just a few:

          -The Argument from Causality: Look around for something that does not have a cause (and therefore a beginning). This sequence can work backwards indefinitely. But does it go infinitely, or does it ultimately stop? To say that it goes on infinitely leads to a logical dilemma. Without some initial cause, there can be no caused things, and no explanation for causality itself. The only rational answer is that there is at the beginning of all things an uncaused Cause, capable of causing all things.
          -The Argument from Design: Nature manifests a certain irreducible complexity. The design in nature requires a Designer. God is the creator and designer of all things.
          -The Ontological Argument: The idea of God exists in the mind, even in the mind of an atheist. The event of one’s mind understanding this idea must have a sufficient cause. The idea is one that contains infinite perfection, but one’s mind is limited by finite perfection, as is everything else in the natural world. A mentally imperfect being cannot produce a mentally perfect effect. Therefore, there is a perfect Mind transcendent to the universe, from which the idea of perfection can originate.
          -The Moral Argument: Morality exists. Whether we are considering a stone-age Amazonian cannibal or an intellectual savant at a prestigious Ivy League school, every human being has some sense of morality. Everyone has some level of mental obligation to do good and avoid evil. Why else do we have laws, government, military, prisons, and self-improvement books? The atheistic view is incompatible with real moral obligation. Therefore, the theistic view, which is compatible with real moral obligation, must be correct. Moral obligation cannot originate in the mind of man, and therefore must originate in the mind of a greater being, which is God.
          Although these arguments bear some intellectual curiosity, they are by themselves insufficient to persuade someone not to be an atheist. Nor are they necessary to do so. In fact, some of the arguments for God (and there are many more) may actually be paralogisms. While arguments for the existence of God may help to demonstrate that belief in God is not irrational, there is more that is necessary to bring real confidence for the Christian. Furthermore, more than philosophical rationality is necessary to truly dissuade an atheist from his or her belief.
          Ultimately you will need to have a personal conversion experience. If you don’t want to believe, then chances are you never will. God gives us free will.to chose Him or reject Him. So the fact is I cannot make you believe. I can only help you if you are seeking. I suspect you are not seeking, only looking for more reasons to not believe.

        • Kodie

          These are your basic list of typical ignorant Christian arguments.

          Argument from Causality – actually the internet tells me this is called the Argument from Causation. If there can be no uncaused cause, how is an uncaused cause your argument?

          Argument from Design – presupposition. You don’t know enough to make that conclusion, and your belief force you to ignore any knowledge that contradicts that conclusion.

          Ontological – perfection is imaginary and that’s why you need it to be true. You’re dissatisfied with the world as it is and use your imagination against god to create a perfect world that god did not give you. You write a story that it was here but taken away AND your own damn fault, but if you kiss the right ass, you can go there again.

          Moral Argument – evolutionary. We benefit from cooperation as much as self-interest. All animals have a sense of morality, and I’m glad you brought up Amazonian cannibals so you can’t talk about animals who eat their young not having a sense of morality. Morality comes from empathy and language. The reason it’s probably easy to eat and wear a lot of animals is because they lack the capacity to tell you how that feels, and for you to feel empathic for them. You assume since they can’t talk, they must not think of have an emotion. By the way, you’re ridiculously ignorant about evolution as well as the animal world. Did you know plants can communicate?

          Personal conversion experience – unfortunately this is where we get doomed. The experiences are real, you are just ignorant about the source. Imagine if someone told you a sneeze was a message from god. Sneezes are common enough but uncommon. You leave your senses and your whole body is taken over. Well believe me when I tell you why it’s a custom to wish people “bless you” when they sneeze! It’s because people used to think for real that this strange experience could let demons into your body, so say the magic word and it would stop the demons in their tracks. Phew!

        • Ken

          If there can be no uncaused cause, how is an uncaused cause your argument?

          That makes no sense. Can you explain?

          You say I am ignorant about evolution. Maybe you can explain evolution to me and then explain how it relates to this discussion. Does evolution give a better explaination for these arguments than God?

        • Kodie

          Look around for something that does not have a cause (and therefore a
          beginning). This sequence can work backwards indefinitely. But does it
          go infinitely, or does it ultimately stop? To say that it goes on
          infinitely leads to a logical dilemma. Without some initial cause, there
          can be no caused things, and no explanation for causality itself. The
          only rational answer is that there is at the beginning of all things an
          uncaused Cause, capable of causing all things.

          What about what you said did you not understand? If you’re prone to believe that everything has a cause, how do you just arbitrarily decide it has to stop somewhere?

          And why do you think that your uncaused cause is a “person”-like entity? If god is immaterial and an uncaused cause, where did he get the materials? If you assume a creator, creation also implies raw materials and tools. Intelligence and intention is also absent from this argument, and conveniently, infinity is only a logical dilemma for us. We didn’t even get to the part where you are assuming the god described in your bible is this person-like, intelligent, intentional, infinite, immaterial entity. That follows from presupposition.

          Evolution – I know I can’t explain it as good as some other people. Morality is observed in many species, humans are not the only species with morality or empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else is feeling, so you can avoid doing something to someone you would not like happening to you. In social situations, it tends to be a poor idea to cut yourself off by making a faux pas. You shake hands and attempt to make small talk with someone you don’t like, because you may need that person to cooperate with you down the line, so burning bridges with that person is not a great idea until you’re sure you don’t need them for anything. This is also incidentally how your mafioso religion works – the cost of leaving belief is not hell, but social repercussions. Your community abandons you. The threat of losing social ties in a religious community can often be enough for many people to lie to keep the peace. I wonder how many closeted atheists go to your church.
          Here is an interesting documentary researching whether plants have a social life, and therefore a sense of morality:
          What Plants Talk About.

          Also, more on evolution that I posted a few days ago:
          Your Inner Fish is not apparently available for free online, but you should at least check it out if you would like to learn and understand evolution better. If you plan to argue against evolution, I simply recommend learning what it is first, not the cockamamie bullshit the organization to which you pay an unspecified amount lies about so their “evidence” can impress the gullible. Maybe it is available at your library, it is also a book.

        • Ken

          Kodi,
          Didn’t we go through this whole thing where you kept telling me to give evidence for what I believe, or at least a good rationl argument. Now when I ask for evidence on what you believe you say I should go to the library? Come on. You say you believe in evolution and you are unwilling to even try to explain it to me. It is so easy to knock dow other peoples attempts to justify what they beliee when you are unwilling to stand up for anything.

          Funny you gave the example of someone lying to keep the peace. I know people.do this, and I have myself at times, but I felt guilty. Why do you suppose this is. If lying helps maintain my social.status then it is evolutionarly advantages to me. So why should I feel bad? If evolution and survival of the fittest is the driving force behind morality then the sociopath should dominate and people with a conscience should be going extinct.

        • Kodie

          Yours were not good rational arguments. I didn’t say go to the library, I said try to understand evolution. You do not want my explanation, and I was hoping someone else on this blog would pick it up. I have a feeling it’s been explained to you before, and I have explained it before but not to you. I do not have the patience or focus to sit down and write a manual for you today. Maybe you have the patience and focus to study it on your own time, and not for me, but for yourself. If you are intent on arguing against something, it is a good idea to understand what it really is and not just what your church tells you to believe. They are not objective and have an interest in you believing a different story, so they pass along a terrible miscomprehension of what evolution is.

          2nd. People don’t feel bad for lying to salvage their social situations, they don’t feel bad for lying to other people. They feel bad when they can’t be themselves, because the people of their community are so cruel as theists of every variety tend to be. The crime of being an atheist in many communities costs every social relationship you have, and in some countries, the cost is death.

          You do have a poor understanding of “survival of the fittest”. This is not evolution, to lie to maintain your social status. That’s self-preservation, another human instinct. Morality, the kind where people are decent to each other, seems to be absent in cultures where obedience takes precedence. If your tribe is amidst a habitat of bears, you have to learn behaviors quickly to avoid the notice or attack of bears, for the tribe’s safety. But remove these rules from a habitat of bears, and the rules become silly behaviors you may say handed down from the gods, and a sin to violate them. For your society to use these rules to pressure you to conform is exactly what Christianity does. But what does obedience to these rules have to do with morality?

          I don’t know why you bring up sociopathy as an evolutionary strategy. Killing people who get in your way is not an advantageous strategy for passing on your genes in a social species. But it works in war, because your preference is for a society that is large enough to work socially and economically, and not for a society that is in competition for resources and usually at odds with your goals and preferences. Since your group is at odds with their goals and preferences, who is to say who is right? If everyone is motivated to self-preserve their way of life, a war will happen and whoever wins is “right”. Everyone on either side thinks they are right, so it stands to reason that everyone who survives and wins will still feel in the right. Or you can also choose to form an alliance with that group.

        • Dys

          Evolution doesn’t entail survival of the fittest.

          Lying can also weaken social cohesion, which is detrimental to social animals like humans. There are actual scientific hypotheses about the evolution of lying and guilt.

        • MNb

          “If evolution and survival of the fittest is the driving force behind morality”

          http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA500.html

          Modern Evolution Theory has abandoned “survival of the fittest” since long. Evolution is about getting offspring, not about survival.

        • I don’t follow where you’re coming from. Are you saying that these arguments are what your own belief is built upon? Or are these just arguments that you toss out to try to convince the atheists, even though they don’t mean much to you?

        • Ken

          I think they are all valid arguments. The one that was particularly persuasive to me is the morality argument. Second is the design argument. The most persuasive thing was the testimony I heard from people I knew and seeing how God changed their lives. The proof is in the pudding. It dosnt matter how good your recipe sounds, if the pudding is no good, it was wrong.

        • Kodie

          You assume god changed their lives, and that they didn’t just delude themselves that their changes didn’t come from themselves. That’s how superstition works.

        • So are you saying that if I overturned the morality argument to your satisfaction, you’d stop being a Christian?

        • Ken

          No, but there was a time when perhaps that would have made the difference. Today I have too many years of personal experience to be persuaded by cleaver arguments. If I had a very cleaver argument that say your wife and kids were just an illusion would you be convinced? I should hope not. It is the same with me.

          Please go ahead with your argument though. I am sure others would like to hear it.

        • MNb

          Then this

          “I think they are all valid arguments.”
          is meaningless. Arguments work two ways or they don’t work at all.

          “Today I have too many years of personal experience”
          My personal experiences tell me that there is no god. Now what?

        • Kodie

          So you have years invested, how many dollars? Of course it is too expensive to change your mind now.

        • If you convinced me that my family was an illusion, obviously I’d think that my family was an illusion. Yes, of course, that would convince me–by the very statement of the hypothesis.

          Back to the morality argument, there’s no point in my arguing against it since it doesn’t mean much to you. Whether it stands or falls, your faith is unchanged.

          Is there any argument on which your faith is based? If not, then (from my standpoint) your faith is “just cuz.” There’s no outside-your-head evidence that we both share that I can analyze to show you anything on this subject.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m not sure there’s any inside Bobs head evidence, either.

        • MNb

          There is evidence in my head for immaterial entities talking to me – I hear voices now and then.
          I think I’ll go with the scientific explanation. I’m sure you won’t mind.

        • Kodie

          No, he still believes the testimony of true believers. He pays the church an unspecified amount of dollars per year to get the experience you can get from nothing else.

        • Seeing it as an experience you pay for makes sense.

        • Dys

          Causality breaks down at the quantum level – it’s not universal.

          Irreducible complexity is intelligent design creationism jargon, which is a pseudoscience. Furthermore, it has been shown that evolution is capable of creating the irreducibly complex mechanisms claimed by said creationists.

          The ontological argument is little more than an argument based on wishful thinking – it’s defining god into existence.

          The fact that morality is a thing does nothing to demonstrate that a god exists. It is quite easy to show how some of the basic tenets of morality probably arose without any need to resort to an all powerful magician.

          The fact is that all the logical arguments for the existence of god are flawed, and don’t point to the Christian god at all. At best they get you to generic theism.

          “The most persuasive thing was the testimony I heard from people I knew and seeing how God changed their lives.”

          Great. So the atheists that feel relief after deconverting from Christianity is evidence that Christianity is false.

          But your “proof is in the pudding” statement is a false dichotomy. Just because something makes your life better doesn’t make it true, just as something that makes your life worse doesn’t make it false. Beliefs can change lives regardless of whether they’re true or not.

        • Ken

          Thank you for that thoughtful response. Can you please explain what you mean by causality breaks down at the quantum level?
          Irreducible complexity is not id. jargon (which is irrelevant) irreducible complexity was first described by Charles Darwin. It was one of three things that he felt stood in the way of his theory being accepted. Funny how it takes a bunch of Christian nuts to keep science from forgetting that. It has not been shown that evolution is capable of creating the irreducibly complex SYSTEMS. It has been theorised how these systems could have arisen by the process of evolution. Because someone has a good sounding theory does not make it true. Many good.sounding scientific theories turned out to not be true.

          The ontological argument is not a very.good.argument . I agree.

          You say that ” it is quite easy to show how some of the basic tenets of morality probably arose without any need to resort to an all powerful magician.” Ok, so do it. Show me how they arose without God.

          Yes I agree that all these proofs don’t get you to the Christian God. I do however believe that a reasonable person would conclude that they do make it very likely that some kind of God exists. Do you disagree with that statment?

        • Dys

          ” Can you please explain what you mean by causality breaks down at the quantum level?”

          I don’t know much about quantum mechanics at all, but virtual particles are said to be uncaused. In any case, even without that, causality doesn’t get you to a god. This universe may simply be the result of a collapse and subsequent expansion of a pre-existing universe. And that’s assuming it makes any sense to talk about something before the Big Bang, since time began then as well. We simply don’t know.

          “Irreducible complexity is not id. jargon”

          Yes, it is. Michael Behe came up with the term. And Darwin recognized the objection, and then handily refuted the concept in terms of the human eye. And intelligent design proponents have failed miserably in making their case. They spend the majority of their time trying to attack evolution theory instead of supporting their own creationist speculation.

          “Many good.sounding scientific theories turned out to not be true.”

          In contrast, there aren’t any religious scientific theories. At all. And the problems with scientific theories are discovered by…science. The self-correction mechanism in science is a strength, not a weakness. It helps in avoiding the problems of religion, i.e. dogmatic thinking that can’t be overturned no matter how much evidence is presented, or how irrational and unreasonable the claim is.

          All you’re basically presenting is 1) Science has been wrong, and 2) You can’t prove god didn’t do it, along with an appeal to incredulity (which is what ID boils down to). But not knowing how something happened or finding it unlikely that something happened naturally in no way supports the contention that a god ever did anything. Science being fallible and not being able to conclusively prove that god doesn’t exist does not, in any way, place science and faith on equal footing. When it comes to explaining reality, science wins.

          “Show me how they arose without God.”

          Humans are social animals – that’s an objective fact. As such, there are some actions, such as murder and theft, that are fundamentally damaging to cooperation and social cohesion. It doesn’t take much imagination at all to understand how those actions would achieve a poor moral valuation.

          “I do however believe that a reasonable person would conclude that they
          do make it very likely that some kind of God exists. Do you disagree
          with that statment?”

          Yep, I disagree. Because all of the supposed logic proofs are flawed, and have been refuted. In short, without supporting evidence, I don’t think it’s reasonable to conclude that a god exists, and I think it’s even more irrational to assume to know anything about the proposed god.

        • Ken

          Chapter 6 pg. 189. Origin of Species:
          If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed[,] which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive[,] slight modifications[,] my theory would absolutely break down.

          Yes the term was coined by Behe, but Darwin identified the concept.

        • Dys

          Jargon – special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

          In other words, “irreducible complexity” is intelligent design jargon. Like I said.

          And to date, there has been no indication that there is any complex organ that could not possibly have been formed by evolution (despite the ID nuts trying to calculate probabilities that no one has the necessary information to calculate).

        • Kodie

          Is your concept of evolution and atheists that we worship everything Darwin said as complete and true? If you don’t have a concept of something outside the framework of worship, uncritical belief, and hierarchy, then you are a sucker for your church, and gullible for every explanation they have.

        • Pofarmer

          Peoples brains changed their lives. Read some books, some books you don’t agree with. Coyne, churchland, Dawkins, Spong, Price, harris, ehrman, carrier. Your reasons suck, sorry.

        • MNb

          “Look around for something that does not have a cause (and therefore a beginning)”
          Look at a radioactive atom decaying. There is no cause for it decaying at point in time X iso Y. Still the decay has a beginning. Your argument from causality can be put in the dustbin.
          According to modern physics the fundamental principle of our Universe is probability. Causality is a special case of probability (namely with correlation 0 or 1). Like dyslexic DNA writes underneath it doesn’t work anymore on quantum level.

        • MNb

          Then your previous remark about Al and me is silly. Al is an apologist.

        • Ron

          Fairies are real.

          “For since the creation of the garden, fairies’ invisible attributes—their eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what they made, so that people are without excuse.” Roses 1:20

        • Ken

          Lol. I like . Send it to MNb

        • MNb

          “He knows and understands christian theology better than that.”
          Thanks for the undeserved compliment.

          “MNb claimed earlier that he had fairies that tended to his garden.”
          I did so to show that Al and you don’t have reliable methodology to separate correct claims about the supernatural/ immaterial/ transcendental from incorrect ones. Every single argument for your immaterial god can be used for my immaterial fairies.
          If you think you can do better you’re invited.

        • Kodie

          Hmm. How does it make you a liar? If you are telling the truth and all men who have done evil will be punished, and there’s a fucking loophole where the man who has done evil can find Jesus and avoid being punished, you are a liar.

        • MNb

          “The fact is that Christ has taken the punishment for sin for those who repent and believe in Him.”
          Like Rudolf Höss. While his victims have taken not only the punishment for their own sins (after life) but also for Höss’ sins during the last years of their lives. Wow, if that’s the best news ever according to you I don’t want to learn what bad news is.

        • Al

          The bad news is that those who reject Christ will pay for their own sins. That is what the judgement and hell is all about.

        • MNb

          Yup – living a life as good as I can, but rejecting christ is a far worse sin than killing off at least 1,5 million of people. Thanks for finally admitting that the judgment is not about murder, rape etc. It’s only about rejecting christ or not. That explains why so many inmates are christians. Atheists don’t need to shift off their moral responsibilities. You do.

        • Kodie

          It amazes me that grown-ups can be so delusional as you are.

  • busterggi

    Most conservative believers know their version of god is a petty tyrant which is why they have the devil and don’t ask questions.

  • Pofarmer

    So, my 8th gradeh is having a conversation today with one of his classmates. The kid is a, YEC fundamentalist Catholic, of all things. So he says, if evolution is true, why are there still apes and monkeys. My boy says, “because they evolved IN TO apes and Monkeys. Class mate says “I’m gonna laugh while you’re burning in hell. ” My boy says. “I don’t believe in hell, either.” Gonna, be an interesting hear. TThis kid isn’t in the mood, to take, any more, shit. Feel the Christian, love.

    • Great to hear. Middle and High school are a pain for almost all of us, but it’s a growth experience. The dicks you find here are the same dicks you find out in the real world–gotta learn how to deal with them at some point.

  • KarlUdy

    Define “good” and “evil”

    • 90Lew90

      Good question.

    • MNb

      That’s up to the apologist who claims that a) god is good and b) he can address the Problem of Evil.

  • Nemo

    I actually agree that the Problem of Evil is a weak argument. It can only be used to critique the character of any deities proposed to exist if they did exist. And let’s face it, the Bible boasts of the pain and suffering Yahweh inflicts on the world. Here are some Christians who have explained the Problem of Evil:

    http://www.fstdt.com/Search.aspx?Fundie=Anna+Diehl

    http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=100360

    Sure, their answers are not emotionally satisfying. And yeah, they clearly use a different definition of “good” and “evil” than any sane person. But the God they describe is internally consistent and not challenged at all by the existence of suffering. Christianity’s real Problem of Evil is that the world isn’t grimdark enough.

    • You’re right, it’s not a very solid argument for or against the existence of God. The Christian can’t imagine the suffering in the world unmitigated by the notion that there’s a vague agency behind it; the atheist can’t imagine worshiping a deity who would allow such suffering to exist if He could prevent it.

      Not for nothing, but if there were an omnipotent God who thought nothing of making His creations suffer, I’d at least say nice things about Him in public.

      • MNb

        Even if he still would make you suffer in exactly the same way? That’s a peculiar attitude, which generally doesn’t help victims in say concentration camps. The best strategy there is not drawing attention and saying nice things in public totally does.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, no matter what shits on your life, you have to thank god for giving you the blessing of life, because everything can always get worse. I think that’s what hell is? The concept that no matter how bad things are, it can always be worse. I mean, you’re dealing with an abusive megalomaniac, and you’re trying not to attract more beatings. “God is good” is a fear statement. God wouldn’t be doing this without a very good unknowable reason, and we have no choice but to be as glad as we can to have as little as we get, or else. If you think about any system of oppression or abuse of power, the boss or the parent barks and threatens, and the subject obeys and resolves to work even harder… it is never good enough to please.

          I don’t know about the Dutch, but in America, a lot more people than you might believe think this is how it works, and employ these techniques to anyone in a weaker position than them, for their own good and to motivate the best out of them – parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, it’s called “light a fire under your ass.” It’s not a pep talk, it’s reverse psychology, they tell you you’re weak and it’s supposed to want to make you prove them wrong by working harder and gain their approval, and it is often used successfully. It’s why I don’t fit in because I have a very “fuck you” attitude, and it’s never been in my best interest to have a “fuck you” attitude. If you don’t think I can do it, then I’m not going to do it for you, because fuck you.

        • Ron

          “…no matter how bad things are, it can always be worse.”

          Reminds me of this scene from Young Frankenstein:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AFf0ysgNiM

        • MNb

          “a lot more people than you might believe think this is how it works”
          In some churches it works this way as well. I have known some deconverted people who still regularly went to church on Sunday for the joy of getting told how wicked and doomed they are. I never discussed it, because I simply don’t get it.

      • Greg G.

        The Christian god is supposed to be omnipotent which means any end could be reached with or without evil or suffering. That means all suffering is unnecessary. Since suffering exists, either the omnipotence has chosen for there to be unnecessary suffering, which makes it sadistic and not the benevolent Christian god, or it doesn’t exist at all.

        But why call an impotent or a sadistic being God?

        • Al

          Just because God knows all things does not mean that suffering is unnecessary. We know from Scripture that God uses suffering to conform Christians to the image of Christ.

        • adam

          The image of Christ sitting on his Golden Throne in Heaven after being inconvienced for 3 days?

        • Greg G.

          You don’t even know the difference between omnipotence and omniscience. Oh well, Shinola happens. Remember that you can’t quit stupid cold turkey.

        • MNb

          Then please explain me why the suffering of Elisabeth Fritzl was necessary (remember: she was raped by her father two, three times a week for 24 years). Not that I haven’t asked you a gazillion times before.

        • Al

          It wasn’t necessary but God allowed it to happen for a greater purpose that we don’t know.
          What does the atheist say to this since there is no such thing as evil in atheism? Matter in motion and that’s it.

        • MNb

          Ah – god’s mysterious ways. Explains everything, hence nothing.

          “What does the atheist say to this”
          I’m more than an atheist. Unlike you I am capable of empathy. You are the one who can’t see the difference between punishment and reward: Rudolf Höss going to heaven, his victims going to hell. You are the one who heartlessly claims that “god says ‘fuck you’ to Elisabeth Fritzl, in the grand scheme of things her suffering doesn’t matter”.
          My empathy is the emotional foundation of my moral system. The funny thing is that this applies to lots of believers as well. Far from all are as heartless as you are. I only removed god from the equation.
          The rational foundation of my moral system is that to be happy – whatever happiness means – is better than to be unhappy. From this it’s easy to derive that Papa Fritzl and Rudolf Höss did a lot of evil, whether they converted at some point or not. Or must I spell this out for you as well?
          If you are interested I can give you the example of a Dutch orthodox protestant woman and resistance fighter during WW-2 who argued exactly like these lines, did not need god and silenced a vicar who was also in Dutch resistance. Ain’t that remarkable? Two orthodox christians using unreligious moral arguments?.

        • Kodie

          So your Christian answer is I guess god knows what he’s doing, because otherwise we’re all fucked, and the atheist’s answer is her father’s a heinous monster. There’s no good reason for her suffering. There’s a bad reason, and that is her father’s a heinous monster.

          Let’s review: your celestial reason is – it has to have had a good purpose and reason or god wouldn’t have allowed it. Our earthly reason is some people are heinous monsters.

          You’re saying, you keep repeating that an atheist has no morality with which to judge her father – have you ever been raped once, much less 2-3 times per week locked in a basement for over 2 decades? Do you really think you need god to determine that as something you wouldn’t really enjoy?

        • adam

          Of course there is evil in atheism
          We’ve covered this numerous times

          1evil adjective ˈē-vəl, British often & US also ˈē-(ˌ)vil
          : morally bad

          : causing harm or injury to someone

          : marked by bad luck or bad events

        • Kodie

          “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

          Do you ever analyze what you believe?

        • You’re asking the wrong guy. A little God-talk goes a long way with me. I just wanted to say I agree with Nemo that this isn’t a really solid argument, because it all boils down to what we personally consider acceptable limits in the game of Let’s Pretend.

    • MNb

      I agree as well that it’s not that good an argument. However it makes most abrahamistic versions of god very unlikely. Still I haven’t seen any abrahamist yet reconverting to some form of polytheism for this reason. This shows the intellectual dishonesty of apologetics.

  • Blizzard

    I see he quote-mined Richard Dawkins. Dawkins was replying to a priest who basically said that evil and suffering confirms that the Christian god exists. And then Dawkins basically replies to that and says evil and suffering don’t confirm that the Christian god exists. There would be evil and suffering if the Christian god didn’t exist as well as if the Christian god did exist. (Yeah, duh.) So try and take it up a notch from copy and paste quote-mining, Mr. Mikel Del Rosario fancy scholar guy, thank you very much. It’s a legit quote, but unfairly quoted.

  • MNb

    “I’m sure I’m missing some good stuff”
    I’m not so sure. I have read variants of both the Cosmological Argument and the Ontological Argument and all the variants are essentially the same. It’s still a good thing that there are variants, because it allows critics to compare them, to get at the core and argue against that.

    “They’ll point to a stack of books and demand that I respond to all the new ’n improved versions,”
    The answer is simple: “please explain me how these versions improve, then we’ll discuss that.”

    “if God exists at all, atheism is false.”
    My, this is stupid. Both in philosophy and science it’s common practice to tentatively accept a statement (“for the sake of argument” is the common expression) and see what the conclusions are. Del Rosario handwaves that. But let’s be charitable.

    “So, if God exists, but he’s too weak to stop evil, atheism is false.
    And if God exists, but doesn’t care to stop evil, atheism is still false!”
    Yeah – and so are most versions of the abrahamistic gods. But will Del Rosario convert to pastafarianism?

    “No, that the evidence leads us to no god.”
    Even here I am more charitable: that abrahamists have a problem to address. Denial a la Del Rosario won’t help.

    “Del Rosario gives the example …..”
    Besides that this is just cherry picking. If we atheists are supposed to address the best theist arguments than apologists are supposed to bring up the most difficult example – like Elisabeth Fritzl. Of course Del Rosario fails here.

    “then God will one day do something about evil”
    Yeah and one day Eastern and Pentecost will be on the same day. Just have a little more patience!

    • Kodie

      “if God exists at all, atheism is false.”
      My, this is stupid. Both in
      philosophy and science it’s common practice to tentatively accept a
      statement (“for the sake of argument” is the common expression) and see
      what the conclusions are. Del Rosario handwaves that. But let’s be
      charitable.

      I’ve actually had discussions online with Christians who cannot take the angle “for the sake of argument,” there is no god. But for the most part, their version of a world without god is a cartoon made up for them by theists to retain them in faith. They do not listen or hear atheists tell it like it actually is, and prefer their fantasy (like they always do) because who is more likely to lie about such a thing? Atheists trying to draw them away from god, and isn’t that what we’re sort of trying to do? It’s never the clever marketing scheme of religion.

      The thing is, in a world without god, “for the sake of argument,” people invent or seek frameworks in which to get along, and I don’t mean just religion, but in a world without god, some people need there to be so they believe that there is, and that’s their framework. We say this is not morality but obedience, but they sincerely believe their desire not to kill their neighbor comes from having Jesus inside them causing the natural amoral and self-serving urges to go away, so that without god, we would all be out for ourselves, and not feel emotions of guilt or grief at killing another person. And since some people do kill their neighbor or whatever, those people have the evil inside them because they don’t have Jesus to take away the inclination toward murder that sinners naturally have. Despite the fact that most animals get along with their species for the most part and murder is not that common in any godless species.

      And even though most atheists don’t murder their neighbor doesn’t mean that we’re good without god; they just claim that only proves we’re in denial, and god has given us free will to deny he exists even though we’re perfectly aware that he does. I think it sounds really convincing if you’re already indoctrinated, and not that skeptical about the source. It makes a plausible scenario and the framework that has an interest in retaining their obedience wouldn’t take their money if they weren’t offering something of substance in return, would they? Good Christians wouldn’t do that, because of morality, right?

      • MNb

        “I think it sounds really convincing”
        I would not know. Some deconverted christians say it does, others admit that they had doubts all the time.

        • Kodie

          I think it depends on how badly you need to oil your snake.

  • Ron

    For the love of Loki, why is everyone still responding to Al? He’s a troll…and not even a particularly clever one.

    • Ryan3857

      If I may, to be fair, without Al and myself it would just be a bunch of atheist agreeing with each other. I wouldn’t call that a good time. ha

      • MNb

        That thought has occurred to myself and you have a point, But in practice BobS seems to be very good at attracting christian apologists. Al and you are absolutely not the first ones to show up here, not even last six months.
        I hope you stay. You are fun, in a positive way.
        Al was fun, in a negative way, but the fun is getting stale quickly because he repeats the same errors over and over again without addressing the answers we give him.

        • Philmonomer

          Yes. Al appears either unable or unwilling to understand the answers given to him. That becomes old quickly.

        • Al

          You give answers that lead to further questions. I guess that bugs ya.

        • Philmonomer

          Yup. That’s it.

        • MNb

          Apparently I give answers that lead to repetition, because no matter how often I point out that Rudolf Höss is enjoying heaven according to you, you maintain that murderers are judged and punished by your god when they die.

        • Al

          If Hess truly repented and believed in Christ before he died that would be a great thing. I expect there will be a lot of ex-murderers etc in heaven. There will also be a lot of “good” people in hell to.

        • SuperMark

          evil people in heaven and good people in hell yet you still believe your god is just?

          this is exactly why I’m not a christian anymore, your god is a monster.

        • MNb

          That’s no “if” for you, because assuming otherwise violates Matth. 7:1.

          “I expect there will be a lot of ex-murderers etc in heaven.”

          So much for justice and punishment. F**k the victims.

        • adam

        • Kodie

          I expect there will be a lot of ex-murderers etc in heaven.

          I’d love to see that on a billboard.

        • Kodie

          Al, frankly what bugs me is that you’re not asking relevant questions if you don’t understand something.

        • Al

          Don’t blame me for repeating myself. There is just not that there is not much substance to atheism and the attacks against Christianity that are made here are basically assertions.

        • Greg G.

          They aren’t assertions when the explanations are given. You can’t understand problems proposed before Christianity.

        • Al

          What “problems proposed before Christianity” are you referring to?

        • Greg G.

          The Problem of Evil from 300 years BC. Don’t bother proving once again that you don’t understand it.

        • Al

          Right. How can I understand something when you are not clear.

        • Greg G.

          The problem has existed for 2300 years. It’s not hard to find. It has been explained to you many times. Any lack of clarity is at your end.

        • Al

          Evil has been in the world since the beginning. Christianity deals with this issue.

        • Greg G.

          I told you not to bother displaying that particular ignorance.

        • Kodie

          Dump the evil into a pit of fire. That’s it?

          Look, if someone I think is harmful is imprisoned or dead, they can’t hurt anyone anymore. You want them to be punished, I just want them to be gone. I’m satisfied with gone. You’re not satisfied with gone. The solution to evil in Christianity is to allow it to persist until something kills it, and then punish it, when it can’t hurt anyone anymore anyway. What about the evil of cancer or the evil of a tornado. God doesn’t seem to have a solution for those.

        • adam

          How by forgiving baby rapers and mass murderers?

          That ONLY allows the worse of people to be JUSTIFIED…

        • Kodie

          Right. How can I understand something when you are not clear I can’t read.

          FTFY.

        • MNb

          “Don’t blame me for repeating myself.”
          Who else? BobS, because he has a gun pointed to your head? Your god, because else he won’t admit you to heaven?

        • Kodie

          You’re right, the only substance of atheism is “I do not believe in any god or gods.” Everything else is approached with and derived from reality, I mean, in theory, but humans are fallible (not sinners), and even an atheist can believe something wrong. We don’t have a dogma or doctrine like Christianity or reasons we “believe” in atheism. The arguments in favor of theism are rejected, with reason, and conclude with atheism.

          In summary, all Christianity (and other religions) has to offer is bullshit. So we don’t believe it. That’s all there is to that, and if you want to respond to that with something relevant, give it a try.

        • Kodie

          AL. I notice you haven’t responded to so many posts. The posts that make points and assume you have no canned answer to them. The points you are responding to, you respond to with irrelevant remarks, because obviously you cannot think for yourself, and only use canned answers from your religious sources. This is why you’re called dishonest.

          Repetitive, yes. You don’t know very much. You don’t have the capacity for intelligent discussion. You only have the capacity to repeat yourself, and dishonestly pretend you are keeping up. NEWS FLASH AL, you are not keeping up.

      • I’m delighted to have thoughtful Christians here. I’m sure they have a lot to teach me. The emphasis here must be on the word thoughtful, however.

      • Kodie

        But where are the good Christian arguments? Where are the Christians who can actually hold up an end of the discussion without resorting to trolling? Why are atheist blogs so short of intelligent arguments in favor of Christianity?

        If there is a good argument for Christianity, how come few Christians can express it? Where are the Christians who can argue in good faith? Why do so few of them read the content of our posts and respond to them? Some of us really put some thought into it until it becomes clear the troll’s not listening anyway, so the “good time” comes from ridiculing them. I agree that’s not productive or conducive to a discussion, but if any Christian has a decent argument in favor of Christianity, they are purposely keeping it from us. Just because some argument changed your mind doesn’t mean there aren’t major flaws, so prepare to have your arguments analyzed and the flaws pointed out to you. I don’t see Christians pointing out any flaws in our arguments likewise, I see most of them avoiding the content and instead, preferring to repeat the myths about atheism that go along with their religion and which are supplied to them by the same people.

        It seems like the best argument most Christians think they have for Christianity being true is that it gives more comforting answers, and they mostly accomplish that by jumping to non-comforting conclusions of atheism that do not reflect most of our experiences, or that we manage not to be so freaked out by.

        • adam

          Because:

      • Pofarmer

        It can actually be quite enligbtening.

      • Greg G.

        MNb and I disagree a lot. I learn a lot from him and he has learned a thing or two from me but we tend to agree always when Al says something. Where’s the fun in that? Miguel and Asmondius are a little more sensible than Al, like Moe and Larry were a little smarter than Curly.

        You are an interesting fellow though, at least, so far.

  • Ryan3857

    If evil didn’t exist, would we know what goodness is?

    -Just to throw this out there…Just as bodily pain makes you realize that something is wrong with your body, maybe evil and pain is there to make us realize that something is broken with our world. Maybe it’s there to show us our need for God?
    I just find it odd that if we experience bodily pain, there is a reason for it, to draw attention to what is wrong, so it can be fixed. But if you zoom out to other pain/suffering in the world an atheist would attribute it to the indifference of the universe. Why is that?

    • MNb

      If goodness didn’t exist, would we know what evil is?

      “Maybe it’s there to show us our need for God?”
      Or maybe it’s there because of the general human desire for happiness. Here. On Earth.

    • smrnda

      The presence of bodily pain evolved so that we would survive by avoiding things that were painful. This in no way implies there is a god

      As a person who ascribes to mostly utilitarian ethics, ‘evil’ is just lots of suffering. We just naturally want to avoid it, but I don’t see how this implies any existence of a god.

      Even the presence of physical pain doesn’t imply that you can fix what is wrong with your body or mind.

      Our awareness of evil is just our awareness of pain plus empathy. It’s a trait to help us survive. It’s why we would find the actions of ISIS disturbing, because we don’t want that to go on where we live.

    • Kodie

      Oh Ryan and your terrible analogies! It’s my favorite.

      Bodies can be unhealthy, we feel pain, and we address it with medical attention. If the world is “broken” as you call it, is it best to try to fix it with dreams or with action? Because you’re saying it’s best to take suffering and pain in stride and wish for it to go away.

      • Ryan3857

        dang, what was wrong with that analogy?! haha. It was drawing a comparison that led to a question. As long as the question made sense then the analogy served its purpose!

        -“Because you’re saying it’s best to take suffering and pain in stride and wish for it to go away.”

        -I did not say that.

        • Kodie

          Well for one because you rationalize that pain always serves a purpose, and the purpose that you came up with was god trying to send us a message that the world is “broken” and? So you can find him, seek his help, his strength, his wisdom? And do what with it?

          If something is painful in your body, then something is wrong, then you take a medical approach. Well, maybe if a piano falls on you, it’s too late. It’s not so much to tell you something then. To say that pain and suffering around the world has a purpose to tell you something that needs to be fixed, that would be a more parallel analogy. To say god allows the suffering so that you know him is… probably an unintentional kind of hilarious.

    • Maybe evil and pain are clues that there is no loving god out there at all. Can we consider that possibility?

      • Ryan3857

        absolutely we can, but what would be your answer to my above question?

        • That evil is here to show us our need for God is meaningless and desperate. You think that’s where the evidence points? You’d only say that to support a presupposition.

    • Philmonomer

      Don’t both types of “pain” have a similar end result: to make life/environment “better” for people? I think evolution explains that.

      To explain further:

      When I experience “pain/suffering” in the world (say, I feel bad for people killed in a tornado), the cause of the pain/suffering is simply “atoms in motion” (i.e. the tornado itself). But I react to it with empathy–a desire to help/identify with/support those people. Maybe I give them money. Maybe I work to try to lessen the impact of tornadoes. Regardless, I have an (innate) desire to fix what’s wrong. Why? Because that is what helps me/my tribe/my species. (i.e. evolution).

    • Greg G.

      ” If evil didn’t exist, would we know what goodness is?”

      If pain didn’t exist, we would still know that an orgasm is ecstacy.

      A newborn kitten knows that mother’s milk is good without knowing anything about evil. The “goodness requires evil” idea is one of those crazy ideas religion pushes and everyone nods and says “amen”.

      • MNb

        I suppose that you accept the idea the good and evil are moral categories developed by Homo Sapiens. If that’s the case good requires evil indeed – and the other way round. So imo the Problem of Evil is not so much that evil exists, but the amount and distribution of evil.

        • Greg G.

          Yes but if there was an omnipotence who opposed evil, or a minimum level of not good, that wouldn’t be the case.

        • Kodie

          Maybe this is tangential but I was still wondering about the variety of experiences and how “bad” is relative to one’s common experience, as in “1st World Problems” or “white people problems”, etc. These are expressions meant to draw attention to how petty some problems are compared to others, and yet if you’ve ever had a problem that is maybe not “so bad,” it still hurts or feels terrible. You have nothing to compare it to but “good” or even envy of what you imagine to be good. We have abstractions of worse experiences but do not experience them or have any way of feeling it. Like, there is a notion that if you took someone with the worst problem, and gave them your mediocre situation, it would be a luxury and they would have the perspective of much worse, so as to find your situation not as bad as you might think it is.

          In another recent thread, I posted a video about North Koreans in rural areas who were so hungry, they ate their children. I don’t know it’s ever that bad in the US, but hunger is hunger. Does resorting to eating a person compound the suffering? Like, to say to someone in the US who is hungry (and I’ve been hungry about 2-3 days, it is distinctly unpleasant), suck it up at least you don’t have to eat your children yet…. this is the sort of harsh comparison I’m talking about.

          Because I’m thinking, the perception of suffering is chemicals in the brain, they feel bad, can they even feel worse if your circumstances are worse? Is it fair to tell someone they’re not suffering because they could be suffering in a worse way? That they can consciously shut off their perceptions, because depression is a disease like this, there is no perspective, only chemicals. I have often denied the diagnosis of depression itself but do not deny that I can be depressed, but as a result of frustration of a different illness or failure to make the right move. When I’m in the zone, I feel much better, but I can’t reliably unlock that zone, and I don’t identify with common symptoms that sufferers of depression express that they feel. Anyway, that’s kind of a sidetrack, but I think “bad” is how one feels, in their brain, and it can’t be compared with the “bad” someone else feels who has experienced something we as humans measure as “worse”.

          So what I’m trying to address is an ambiguous thing as “minimum level of not good.” What do you think is the worst thing now, and what do you think the least worst bad thing would be like? And how do you think people would experience it if there were nothing worse? People have their fears, for example, someone could be afraid of water, and going near the water feels as bad to them as someone else feeling from actually being drowned and eaten by sharks. It may be irrational, but since many people are not afraid of water, they can’t imagine how someone could say it’s as bad as drowning and being eaten by sharks. If you could make a world that is less evil, and the worst thing that happens is that some people are stricken with an irrational fear of water, can you say that’s a better world than the one we live in now?

        • Greg G.

          As I see it, an omnipotence could prevent everything from excruciating agony to psychosomatic problems to irrational fears to mild diaper rash if it wanted to.

        • Kodie

          I can’t really imagine a world like that, god or no god. Stands to reason things could be worse all around, and maybe sooner than later, they will be for humans. I just can’t imagine a world where everyone feels fine all the time and has no complaints, not even jeans that are too tight, a chair with a leg a little too short, rain, a noisy neighbor, sports rivalries and upsets. I mean, people enjoy watching sports competitions and feel invested in one team beating another, and they can’t both win. What would a world without this source of joy and pain be like? And if things could be worse all around, is there any way they could be much better? I mean naturally, outside of human solutions of maybe a more agreeable economy, or a knack for finding the right cures to our most impossible diseases, just not as much to contend with, a world that could support life, and did not have the extreme properties of weather or disease. I think it would take a difference in our own nature, and maybe that is something that humans can work out someday if we have time.

          I just think without a god, things could be much better all around and still people would be miserable about some things, and irrational things; and with a god, could everything be happy all the time? What if one of the things you love is your family, and another thing you love is the exhilaration of roller coasters, and another thing you like is a good meal followed by watching a movie in your easy chair with no interruption. What if one of these things went away, could you be happy with the other two, forever? What if your family did not like the other two of your favorite things? Is it even possible not to like something? If something were taken away, would the other two things make you happy or would you spend time doing the other two things missing the one you could never do again? I cannot imagine a world where misery to some extent is impossible.

    • adam

      Who has a ‘need for God’ other than those who profit from it?

  • Ryan3857

    Also, I’m sure this has been answered before, but could somebody tell me the atheist’s viewpoint on how life formed at the very beginning with intelligence? (in laymen’s terms please, I’m not the best with scientific jargon) Thanks.

    • MNb

      I don’t entirely understand your question.

      “how life formed at the very beginning”
      That subject is studied by abiogenesis. Scientists haven’t settled on an answer.

      “how intelligence formed at the very beginning”
      I have no idea. What I do know is that intelligence is not unique.

      http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/swarms/miller-text
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/08/06/swarm-intelligence-how-the-behavior-of-ants-can-be-used-to-improve-everything-we-do/

      That suggests a naturalistic explanation.

      • Ryan3857

        abiogenesis seems to be (from my light reading on it) a very questionable theory with not a whole lot of explanation (correct me if I’m wrong on that). I would say that it would take faith to believe in that theory.

        -I think if an atheist has the faith to believe that life arose out of abiogenesis and intelligence came from evolution then further down the line it has logical answers to the problems of evil, suffering, etc. (they just happen)

        -I would think it would be like a detective making a case that “Sally” committed the crime, because if she did, it would be the easiest way to explain what happened. Whereas, if “Jack” committed the crime there would still be questions of how and why. A lot of times in criminal cases, “Jack” is actually the criminal. (I hope this analogy isn’t taken too far and my point can be seen. I will admit, I just came up with it, so it may need some refining. (Kodie, I’m looking directly at you).)

        -It seems like atheists do what theists do, try to explain how and why we are here. Both believe in their theories of origination, both take faith to believe that they are true.

        • MNb

          Abiogenesis isn’t a theory. It’s a field of scientific research. Hence this

          “I would say that it would take faith to believe in that theory.”
          is nonsense. Abiogenesis proposes a few theories. All are firmly linked to biology and chemistry. You won’t maintain that you need faith to believe those branches of science, I may hope.
          The problem with abiogenesis is a lack of data, so scientists haven’t the faintest idea which theory on abiogenesis is right. They might all be wrong indeed. That decision depends not on faith but on observations and experiments.

          “It seems like atheists do what theists do, try to explain how and why we are here.”
          How, not why (in the strict meaning of this word). The two get easily mixed up way too often.

        • Ryan3857

          “Abiogenesis isn’t a theory. It’s a field of scientific research”

          -Got it. Thanks for clarifying. I will read up on it more to be sure.

          I guess then that the faith aspect on it would be that life happened “somehow, but we don’t know how, we just know that a God couldn’t be involved.” Would that be an accurate statement?

        • MNb

          Almost. The metaphysical assumption is that every phenomenon / event within our Universe (or Multiverse) has a naturalistic explanation. The justification is that it works and that inserting god doesn’t (see David Hume’s On Miracles).
          However this does not mean god isn’t involved; if god is it is in a way that science can’t detect. I can’t imagine how that works out, but that may be my deficiency.
          So the good news for you is that even if scientists manage to “create” life in a lab that still won’t disprove god. So now you know why so many scientists can be religious – I don’t buy the incompatibility argument as defended by PZ Myers and JA Coyne.
          See what I mean? You’re fun in a positive way.

        • adam

          Not faith but SCIENCE..

          http://www.sciencechannel.com/

          In
          the EXTREMELY short time we have had an understanding of how life may
          have started, we can see the mechanics behind it fairly well.

        • Royce_Benjamin

          “I guess then that the faith aspect on it would be that life happened “somehow, but we don’t know how, we just know that a God couldn’t be involved.” Would that be an accurate statement?”

          No. An accurate statement would be that all of us, atheist and theist alike, know that life happened somehow. That’s a point of agreement we can start from, unless someone wants to be truly obnoxious and claim we can’t really know that either. However, we have no evidence whatsoever that any deity was involved in anyway. In fact, we have no evidence whatsoever that any deity was ever involved in anything, ever. We have no evidence that any deity actually exists. And those who argue that a deity was involved have provided no mechanism other than “POOF! And so it was!” This doesn’t even rise to the level of being wrong. It is worthless to a scientist.

          The current view of most scientists studying abiogenesis is that life began from an RNA world. The textbook Molecular Biology of the Cell has a brief section on it which can be read here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26876/

          Note that the RNA World hypothesis is based on empirically determined processes. It makes accurate predictions (or retrodictions in this case) about what we should observe in living cells. The same cannot be said for the god hypothesis. This does not mean, however, that we can ever say with certainty that life arose from an RNA world. Even if scientists observed life coming into being from an artificially created RNA world in the lab, it would not prove that this is really how it happened around 4 billion years ago. However, the evidence we currently have shows quite conclusively that the origin of life is no obstacle to a naturalist worldview.

          I think the god hypothesis is a lot like the Underpants Gnomes hypothesis. I may never be able to prove exactly how my underpants came to be missing from the laundry, but there are plenty of good natural explanations with evidence to back them up: they were put in the trash instead of the hamper, my dog took them and buried them, they fell behind some furniture, a perverted neighbor broke in and took them. All of these are phenomena that we can observe taking place in many other instances. I would be a fool to say that since I can’t prove any of these explanations in the case of my missing underpants I may as well believe the Underpants Gnomes took them.

        • hector_jones

          No. It’s not that ‘we just know that a God couldn’t be involved’ it’s that there is no evidence that this thing you call ‘a God’ was involved. What is ‘a God’ exactly?

        • Armanatar

          It’s more that saying that God did it is not unlike saying that it happened by magic. That explanation does nothing to further our understanding of anything else, provides no basis for further research, cannot be tested or disproven, and has proven to be an inadequate explanation every time we’ve used it in the past, so maybe it’s not the best go-to default answer. People thought that lightning was caused by gods, and we proved it wasn’t. Despite Bill O’Reilly’s confusion, God is not needed to explain how the tides work. And so on. It’s part of the reason why the God of the Gaps argument fails; we’ve filled in many of those gaps over time, to such an extent that asserting that the current remaining gaps are totally for reals God, and not just like all that other stuff that turned out to have natural explanations, seems a bit ridiculous.

        • Ryan3857

          What doesn’t make sense to me is if science doesn’t know how life originated or how intelligence came to be, why would God not be a hypothesis? Bob and others keep asking for the evidence, but if there is a God, wouldn’t everything be evidence (life, intelligence, the universe, etc)?

          – It seems to make rational sense when you see these things to think that someone intelligent might be behind it. It seems to make more sense than to believe that life came out of something lifeless and unintelligent, and that unintelligent life became intelligent.

          -Also, I think Science has some shortcomings. It is not built to answer all of our questions. Science can’t answer the question of “Who was the first President of the United States?” Just as math can’t answer “Why is Barry struggling with depression?”

          -I make this point to respond to those who say that “if there was a God, He is untestable to science.” There are so many things that are untestable to science. If there was a God, why would He have to be testable to science? Shoot, science couldn’t even test out my great great grandfather at this point…

          -Interested to hear the responses to these questions as I appreciate hearing other’s perspectives.

        • Kodie

          First, do you understand the difference between an intelligent creator of some kind and the god you worship? Almost every culture has an origin myth, a simple legend with no basis in fact. I can, for argument’s sake, propose that an intelligent being created the universe, but cannot infer your religious beliefs or any others. They are traditions passed through as divine from the gods and sins are breaking the traditional but often arbitrary or obsolete rules of these gods. I cannot infer any specific religious belief from experience alone, only facts and evidence, and that’s where the differences between religions count.

          It seems to make rational sense when you see these things to think that
          someone intelligent might be behind it. It seems to make more sense
          than to believe that life came out of something lifeless and
          unintelligent, and that unintelligent life became intelligent.

          It does seem to make rational sense, and I think it is rational, but you will misunderstand me. Humans are easily mistaken, so it is rational to agree that humans would make inferences based on experience. It’s irrational when you expect me to believe what you’ve simply inferred, because you are flawed, and I am flawed, but I can point out to you that it’s not logical to infer that something intelligent is behind whatever you see, just because you can’t think of it any other way. It’s rational to say “that makes sense” on the order that it’s a rational evidenced fact that humans are not always rational. Maybe not even often rational.

          If god is a fact, we should eventually arrive at the single only answer to that question. If god only exists in the imaginations of billions and billions of people, we can study their experiences and find no god. If god has ways of interacting materially, we would be able to detect it and discover the source. If god is immaterial, in what way can he interact with the material world? In what way could he be detected? By your feelings? Emotions come from the brain, and we have instruments to study the brain. Keep in mind we didn’t always, we didn’t even very recently, have a way to study where these experiences and emotions derive, so making inferences about the experiences was “god” and we make instruments to discover the real answer. The real answer has never been god so far, and isn’t likely to be detected in the future. Your great-grandfather necessarily existed, because you are here. That’s a fact of reproduction. You might not know his name or you might have been told it’s someone else than it was, and everyone involved believed that to be the case, but that doesn’t mean your great-grandfather didn’t exist.

          Your great-grandfather and god are not even in the same category of existence. Another “terrible analogy by Ryan™”

        • Ryan3857

          First off, thank you for trademarking that for me. I will give you a small percentage of the royalties from it…cause like many TV evangelists, I am all about the money. (I’m also sending you some holy water as a gift of appreciation. You can only get that stuff for a limited time…;)

          Anyways…


          “First, do you understand the difference between an intelligent creator of some kind and the god you worship”

          -Although I am a Christian, anything that I’ve said hasn’t been making the case for the Christian God. Instead it is a case for a Creator. Once you arrive at a possibility for a Creator, only then do you start looking outside of science into history, etc. for WHO that God may be. I’ll respond to the rest shortly…

        • Kodie

          It just may shock you Ryan but TV evangelists are hardly the only ones in your overall umbrella of faith turning a profit. There is no evidence in history for your particular or any god being the origin or cause of the universe. The only evidence in history is the existence of believers of many, many myths. None of them have any evidence that the particular creator they believe in is the true story of how or why the universe was created. The question of why is a natural human question but it implies there is a necessary answer to that question, a who, someone who intends something. That’s just a flaw in human reasoning. I do not believe there’s a who. It’s fairly common for Christians to use the same arguments you do without showing the work, i.e., how the version of a god they have come to believe can be inferred in any way by the arguments you suppose.

          HTHY.

        • MNb

          “Once you arrive at a possibility for a Creator”
          you are already looking outside of science, including history.

        • Ryan3857

          I love that science has figured out natural phenomenon’s, but I think that could also serve as showing us HOW God works, instead of saying ITS MAGIC! I don’t believe that Christianity and science are opposed to each other. I think science is a great tool to discover how God works. -(Obviously this is from a Christian’s perspective.)

        • Kodie

          That’s presupposing not just god but your own version of the myth. Theology borrows liberally from science at its own convenience to support the existence of YOUR god, and discards or distorts whatever is inconvenient to their presupposition. No other field of study uses theology to reinforce itself. Does that tell you anything?

        • Kodie

          Good. You have Jack and Sally mixed up. It’s actually easiest to make up a story about why we’re here and where we came from and why everything is the way it is. Any time the story is criticized, it finds a new excuse. You’re here on real planet earth with real people among you and invent an invisible but conscious force and creator over you. It’s easy to repeat that and believe it. Theology is not a research field. It’s a how can we patch the new hole in our arguments? How can we retell this story to convince a new batch of gullible marks?

          Science actually has to look and find it. Religion’s “answers” are a convenient story, like Sally did it. The real answers may be unknown and unknowable and speculative, but they have never involved magic before, and they’re unlikely to at any time. Your god is what we call “hidden.” I know you don’t conceive of him as hidden at all and that’s why it’s very difficult to have conversations with Christians because you see a giraffe and you can’t understand why we don’t see it. But when you talk about it, it’s all symbols and signs and metaphors and excuses.

          Abiogenesis is not the same kind of placeholder as god. It’s just a word and an idea, not a fact, not something we have “faith” in. Abiogenesis can be studied, although not easily, but still more than god. If someone gets a grab on abiogenesis, they can give evidence and study it some more, and it will be open to study from others. I am explaining the scientific method poorly to you, but scientists test things to fail, basically. If someone says “I hypothesize that abiogenesis is how life began from non-life on planet earth,” they will have to show their work, and their work will be punched to shit by the scientific community trying to prove that it’s either wrong or holds up. Intelligent Design is another idea, invented by creationists and the scientific community has punched it to shit (it was not that hard) and it doesn’t hold up. Abiogenesis doesn’t have enough data to even get to that stage, but rest assured when it does, or some other competing explanation does, they will all be subject to the “punching to shit” phase of scientific acquisition of knowledge. It’s not something people have faith in now, and it’s not something people will have faith if it does hold up to being punched to shit, because then it would have evidence. No amount of theology can contradict evidence.

        • adam

          Not faith but SCIENCE..

          http://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/science-channel-presents/videos/creating-synthetic-life.htm

          In the EXTREMELY short time we have had an understanding of how life may have started, we can see the mechanics behind it fairly well.

        • Al

          That’s the problem. The more we understand what life entails the more problematic natural causes fail to account for it.

        • MNb

          That only applies to braindead people.

        • Dys

          “God did it” and “I don’t know” are explanatory equivalents. The difference is that the latter is intellectually honest; the former isn’t.

        • Al

          How is “I don’t know” an good answer? Its not even a scientific answer.
          Its going to take more than saying “God did it” to claim that is dishonest. What you need to demonstrate with facts that God does not exist. If you just assert without any facts for your claim then you are lying.

        • hector_jones

          Demonstrate for me with facts that Zeus does not exist.

        • Al

          Belief in Zeus and atheism are the same. Neither has any evidence it.

        • hector_jones

          Atheists don’t believe in Zeus. Your reply proves conclusively that your arguments for god are just special pleading.

        • Al

          Same kind of thing though.

        • hector_jones

          God and Zeus are the same kind of thing. That you argue they are not is special pleading.

        • Al

          Not really. Is Zeus said to hate sin? Is he said to be omniscient? Has Zeus always existed?

        • hector_jones

          And what does hating sin have to do with ‘fine-tuning’ or the creation of the universe? Nothing, hence special pleading.

          Has your god always existed? Prove it with evidence.

          And where is your evidence that your god hates sin? For someone who hates sin he sure does a lot of it in the bible.

        • Al

          There is no way to prove something is eternal. Not even the universe is.
          Sin has nothing to do with fine-tuning or the creation of universe.
          We know God hates sin because of revelation and in that revelation it tells us that He killed Christ because of the sin of men.

        • adam

          We know YOUR ‘god’ LOVES sin, because it created it….

        • Al

          Sin or evil is not a thing. Sin and evil is the result of a human being who is created in the image of God who breaks God’s law in some way.

        • adam

          REALLY?
          Where did ‘original sin’ com from?
          What “God’s Law” was broken?

        • Al

          The first mention of evil was when the angel Lucifer wanted to be greater than God. For that he cast out of heaven. Next he caused Adam and Eve to sin by disobeying a command of God (not to eat of specific tree). From that the human race fell into sin because we are all decedents of Adam. We all come into the world with a bent towards evil and sin.

        • adam

          Nowhere does it state that YOUR ‘god’s’ talking snake is Lucifer…

          And why would an all knowing god create a talking snake?
          And then punish his creation for being EXACTLY how he created them?
          And punish EVERY one else for the disobence of two?

        • Kodie

          So evil was acquired from behavior but is passed through genetics? That’s kinda out there.

        • hector_jones

          How convenient. Just stick ‘human being’ into the definition of sin and voila! god’s acts aren’t sinful.

        • adam

          so there was sin before YOUR god invented it?

        • Kodie

          You mean disobedience, not immorality.

        • hector_jones

          There is no way to prove something is eternal. Then you have no basis for asserting that your god is eternal. You lose.

          Sin has nothing to do with fine-tuning or creation of the universe. So why did you bring it into a discussion about fine-tuning and creation of the universe?

          God says in the bible that he hates sin. Then he turns around and commits acts which are sinful, such as killing his own son because of the sins of others.

        • Al

          If God is not eternal then we have the problem of the eternal regress.
          Where did I connect sin, creation of the universe and fine-tuning?
          God does not sin, men do. He killed Christ because He put all the sins of those who believe in Christ on Christ and punished Christ in my place. Christ was my substitute.

        • adam

          God does SIN………

        • hector_jones

          If god is eternal we have a problem of no proof that he’s eternal. You don’t solve anything by making up an eternal god.

          “God does not sin, men do.” That’s just more special pleading. The very same horrible act is only a sin when a person does it, not when your god does it. That’s an unprincipled and indefensible argument. Killing ‘Christ’ for the sins of others makes your god an unprincipled murderer. You haven’t even begun to explain how killing ‘Christ’ was necessary or how exactly you can put sins of one person onto another and then remove them by killing that other person. This is just nonsense.

        • Al

          Do you understand the problem of eternal regression?

          What is your objective standard-criteria to claim that God is evil and has sinned? If you can show me what this is then I will know you not just asserting your opinion.

        • Dys

          “What is your objective standard-criteria to claim that God is evil and has sinned? If you can show me what this is then I will know you not just asserting your opinion.”

          What’s yours? You’ve yet to demonstrate that you actually have one.

        • Al

          First answer the question. What is the objective standard-criteria to claim that God is evil and has sinned?

        • Dys

          What’s your objective standard-criteria for determining that God is good? All you’ve done in this entire thread is duck answering questions, or provide baseless assertions as “proof”.

          I asked you a while ago how you’ve determined that you actually have an objective source of morality, and you never answered it. I mean, I know since you think it’s god that you can’t actually demonstrate that you have an objective source for morality, but still, I did ask first.

        • hector_jones

          God is good because Al defines god that way. God’s actions have nothing to do with it.

        • Kodie

          Dear Leader.

        • adam

          For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exodus 34 14

        • hector_jones

          What is the objective standard-criteria to claim that he’s good and hasn’t sinned?

        • powellpower

          lol oops. I asked Al the same question without realizing that you have already ninjaed.

        • MNb

          Don’t worry. Only when he has been asked a gazillion times there is a non-neglectible chance that Al will answer.

        • Kodie

          I made the same answer this morning, trying to catch up. It’s a good question!

        • Kodie

          What is the objective standard-criteria to claim that god is good and loves you.

        • hector_jones

          You don’t solve the problem of eternal regression by making up an eternal god. Do you understand the problem of making things up?

          Prove to me that the universe is not eternal.

        • MNb

          That last remark is a bit tricky. Some physicists argue that the Universe (Multiverse) is eternal, others argue it isn’t. Don’t fall into your own trap.

        • hector_jones

          I’m aware of this. But I want to see Al make the argument that he knows the universe is not eternal (therefore God) because some physicist says so.

        • MNb

          “Do you understand the problem of eternal regression?”
          No. I do understand eternal regression though. One fine example is the circle – each point on the circle is preceded by another. Not exactly a problem, is it?
          Or, as Victor Stenger remarked, if your god can be eternal then the Universe (or Multiverse) can be as well.

        • Kodie

          He hurts people, he justifies it, I’m a person, I know how that feels. Do you think your feelings for things come from an external source?

        • powellpower

          Do you even understand eternal regression? Just because you say god is eternal doesn’t make it true. Even if god is real and he did create the world, this doesn’t mean that he is eternal. you are basically taking his word for it. For all you know your god is a liar and is the equivalent of satan in his realm – e.g. there is a God God and the is God Satan.

          What does this mean? mayb God Satan has just created us and let his creation suffer for shits and giggles. Maybe there is a place where people who do good goes to, but instead of bliss and happiness God Satan decide to torture you. How would you know? Because he say so?

          What is your objective standard-criteria to claim that God is good and has never done anything bad? If you can show me what this is then I will know you are not just asserting your opinion.

        • Dys

          I’m going to use AI logic here…Since he’s failed to provide any actual evidence for his assertions, we can safely assume he’s lying.

        • adam

          Bearing false witness is EASY when you ‘believe’ that you wont be held accountable by your own god….

        • MNb

          “Christ was my substitute.”
          Because you are too feeble to take responsibility for your own wrongdoing.

        • MNb

          “We know God hates sin because of revelation”
          And we know revelation because god gave it to us.
          The perfect circular argument. Congratulations.

        • Pofarmer

          “Not even the universe is.”

          We actually don’t know that.

        • Kodie

          Well that’s rather douchey.

        • Kodie

          Have you ever noticed how much the god of the bible is like a volcano god? It is simply angry, and we have to figure out how to quiet it down and appease it. It probably values what we value, precious virgins.

        • hector_jones

          Prove to me that Zeus doesn’t hate sin. Prove he’s not omniscient. Prove that he hasn’t always existed.

        • hector_jones

          waiting …

        • Kodie

          Sorry hector! Your myth does not have the same qualities of MY myth! So you lose!

        • Kodie

          Al, can you honestly answer me and tell me you are literate?

        • adam

          Of course there is evidence for atheism.

          I am an atheist.

          Definition of ATHEISM
          2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

          I disbelieve in the existence of deity…

        • Al

          Your beliefs about atheism is not proof of atheism. You need some facts to support your claim of atheism.

        • adam

          Of course it is.

          Can’t you understand the definition of atheism?

        • Dys

          Another mistake you keep making. Atheism does not have to be the positive assertion that there are no gods. At its most basic, it is a lack of belief in gods.

          In other words, there is nothing in the definition that necessitates a knowledge claim.

        • Al

          Your claim of atheism needs some solid support. It won’t work to claim that the evidence you have is not sufficient. You need some facts that show why its not sufficient.

        • Dys

          “It won’t work to claim that the evidence you have is not sufficient.”

          Sorry, but it’s entirely sufficient. If I don’t have enough evidence to conclude a god exists, I won’t be convinced that a god exists – I won’t believe. Therefore, I am an atheist.

          Once again, atheism does not have to be a knowledge claim. And since the positive claim carries the burden of proof, you still need to provide it. So far, you’ve failed.

        • powellpower

          Your claim of theism needs some solid support. It won’t work to claim that the evidence atheists have is not sufficient. You need some facts that show why atheism is not sufficient.

          Anyway, I’m done mirroring your bad arguments.

          Btw, pls note that you are the one making the claim. We simply disbelieve your claim. If there is no evidence for both side, the one who makes the claim loses by default. Please learn about null hypothesis.

        • MNb

          The fun thing is that I have provided two or three positive arguments for atheism, but that Al consistently prefers to ignore them.

        • Kodie

          Al. BE RELEVANT! Reading what people write and responding to what they’ve said would be cool to do here. You choose to be ignorant, and you choose to be RUDE!

        • Guest

          Not that I agree with Al, but he’s been called “braindead” many times on this blog. I am not convinced by his arguments and I do find his posts rather monotonous, but the insults I feel are kind of harsh.

          And Al, due to the way atheism is defined, “proving” atheism is synonymous with “disproving” theism. It makes no sense to say, if every evidence for theism were invalid, then it is still logical to believe in theism because there is no evidence for atheism. Think of evidence for theism as a meter, the higher it goes the more evidence there is for theism, but the bottom–zero point–is atheism.

        • Kodie

          “Guest” – Al doesn’t use his own brain, he is a puppet, a pawn. He doesn’t read and think what would make a relevant response. I have not seen the word “braindead” in any comments, and if you did, respond to that comment if you think it’s too harsh a label.

        • adam

          athe·ism noun ˈā-thē-ˌi-zəm

          Definition of ATHEISMa : a disbelief in the existence of deity

          I have that disbelief…

        • Guest

          If you don’t believe you could say nothing and not partake, but by declaring yourself an atheist you are making a knowledge claim.

        • Pofarmer

          By declaring myself an Atheist, I am saying that I don’t believe that there is sufficient evidence for your God, or anybody else’s for that matter.

        • Dys

          “but by declaring yourself an atheist you are making a knowledge claim.”

          Nope. Atheism is, depending on how you define it, a lack of belief in gods, or the belief that there are no gods. Neither is a knowledge claim. If you don’t believe, you’re an atheist. Period.

          Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive, and agnosticism is not a middle ground between atheism and theism.

        • Kodie

          Nope. The atheist is just saying, if you say there is a god, “I don’t believe you.” I don’t find any of the arguments credible, and most outright ridiculous. Al, you’re a clown.

        • adam

          athe·ism noun ˈā-thē-ˌi-zəm

          Definition of ATHEISMa : a disbelief in the existence of deity

          I have that disbelief…

        • Kodie

          Fact supporting atheism: I find arguments for theism to be unconvincing.

        • powellpower

          your beliefs about theism is not proof of theism. You need some facts to support your claim of theism

        • adam

          It is an HONEST answer, rather than to pretend you know something you dont.

          YOU have not demonstrated that YOUR god does exist.

          Like Bob and you already agreed, there is no default position that leprechans exist, or YOUR ‘god’….

          If YOUR god was ANYTHING but IMAGINARY, you would have been able to demonstrate the MAGIC POWER in which it works…..

          And YOU have been running COWARDLY away from this subject since I have been here.

        • Al

          Its a dishonest answer to claim God did not do it when you have yet to prove atheism is true. Don’t be a COWARD. Just PROVE atheism is true.

        • hector_jones

          Don’t be a coward. Prove that your azeusism is true.

        • adam

          It is not dishonest when there is no evidence of such….
          OF COURSE you could put this to rest, but you keep running from demonstrating that YOUR ‘god’ exists, while you have no demonstrable evidence except your own EMOTIONS….

        • Al

          Thank you. No evidence for atheism. I want to be clear on this.
          The resurrection of Christ proves God exist.

        • adam

          Then PROVE the resurrection of Christ….

          You have had ample opportunity, but RUN from it every time.

          DEMONSTRATE this MAGIC power of YOUR ‘god’

        • Al

          “3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”
          I Corinthians 15

        • adam

          Then THIS proves Spiderman is real………..

          THAT is the VERY BEST evidence you have for YOU ‘god’ isnt it?

        • Al

          You believe spiderman is real?

        • adam

          As real as the ‘god’ of the bible, yes…

          Weren’t you convinced by the ‘evidence’ I presented that is exactly like YOURS?

        • Al

          Billions and billions of people through the centuries have believed God is real and a fictional character.

          You presented no evidence for atheism.

        • adam

          Yes, I AM EVIDENCE of atheism…

        • Al

          I wonder what Bob would say.

        • adam

          Why does that matter?

          You arent even going to BEGIN to demonstrate that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY…

        • Al

          Bob is the master atheist around here and his opinions do carry “weight”.

        • adam

          Wont change the definition of atheism…..

          YOU LOSE…..

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          When it comes to atheism I don’t need any master. I’m not braindead like you. That you are not capable of anything but repeating the same weary non-arguments over and over again, like a needle stuck on a record, does not mean that we aren’t. That you are so insecure that you can’t imagine living without worshipping an imaginary master in the sky and a son that has been dead for 2000 years does not mean that we are that insecure.

        • powellpower

          Al is the master theist around here and his opinions do carry “weight”

        • Kodie

          There’s no hierarchy. He’s just interested enough to write a blog.

        • MNb

          “There’s no hierarchy.”
          That’s beyond Al’s comprehensive skills.

        • Dys

          Well god is a fictional character, so at least a few of them have been correct.

          But beyond that, surely you know the ad populum fallacy when you’ve committed it?

        • adam

          Yes, I am proof…
          You just dont have the fundamental ability to understand a basic dictionary

        • MNb

          “Billions and billions of people through the centuries have believed God is real”
          No matter how often you repeat this, those billions and billions of people were, are and remain wrong.

        • Kodie

          Do you think you’re intelligent, Al? After hundreds of posts where you claim to have “many” good arguments for Christianity, the only one you really have is a book that says so. A book that someone wrote that says something. That’s all Spiderman is. Billions and billions of people through the centuries have believed in something other than Jesus, whether that is an equally fictional deity or nothing. Numbers of believers don’t make something true, especially using the uneducated illogical arguments you make, I have a suspicion about their intelligence. A lot of people can be that stupid, Al. Depressing but true. We’re just trying to tell you something, you can’t read, or choose not to read, or learn. You don’t know anything, you only know what the church tells you to know. And if you want to believe it’s true, I guess we’ll never convince you not to, but you’ll never ever convince any of us that there’s an imaginary sky deity and imaginary sky vacationland, and imaginary fire pit, or any of the ideas you think are sound. You’re not intelligent enough to gauge what is “sound.” You’re ignorant, and that’s not all your own fault.

          Let me ask you, how much money do you pay to your church annually?

        • adam

          “BILLIONS SERVED”, huh?

          Ahhhh, the infamous Big Mac proof of god….

          Unfortunately, YOUR god is even worse for mankind…

        • Kodie

          You don’t believe Spiderman is real? Where is your evidence that Spiderman is not real???????????????//

        • powellpower

          you believe god is real???

        • Dys

          Story in a book != proof. Also, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You’ve failed.

        • Kodie

          That just says some book says what someone wrote. How do you think that what it’s saying is true?

          You’re never going to convince anyone from 1 Corinthians 15, not a month ago, not now. All it proves to me is you’re really gullible.

        • Dys

          AI’s been watching too many imbecilic Shock of God videos on youtube.

        • Kodie

          Where is your positive good argument to prove Christianity? There is nothing to prove atheism, we are just not convinced by your elaborate stories that do not explain reality and are at odds with knowledge we can prove.

        • powellpower

          which God?

        • Dys

          I didn’t say it was a good or scientific answer. I said it was an honest answer. Reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit.

          “What you need to demonstrate with facts that God does not exist.”

          No, I don’t. Any more than I need to demonstrate that leprechauns don’t exist. The burden of proof lies on you to demonstrate that a god does exist, as it is the positive claim.

          “If you just assert without any facts for your claim then you are lying.”

          And you don’t know what words mean either. I find it incredibly funny that you don’t see any problem making unsubstantiated assertions about god, but you think you’re in a position to accuse me of lying if I declare god doesn’t exist.

          What I actually said (and what you completely failed to address) is that using god to explain something is nothing more than substituting a nebulous concept in place of ignorance. It lets you pretend that you know something you don’t.

        • hector_jones

          No, I don’t. Any more than I need to demonstrate that leprechauns don’t exist. The burden of proof lies on you to demonstrate that a god does exist, as it is the positive claim.

          Al’s had this explained to him about 50 times now. He’s no closer to understanding it now than he was when he first got here. He will never get it. His head is too firmly crammed up Jesus’ ass.

        • Al

          Not true. I have proven God exist. Resurrection of Christ is one argument for the existence of God.
          I just want the atheist to man up with some facts that support atheism. Right now I don’t care if atheist think leprechauns exist or not. I want evidence for atheism and no one has ever brought one shred of evidence to the table for it.

        • Dys

          “I have proven God exist.”

          No, you haven’t.

          “Resurrection of Christ is one argument for the existence of God.”

          You haven’t demonstrated that anyone has ever come back from actual death. Evidence fail.

          “Right now I don’t care if atheist think leprechauns exist or not.”

          Right now it doesn’t appear that you care if anyone treats you seriously or not. Did you pick up your apologetics from the side of a cereal box or something? You don’t understand what you’re arguing against.

          “I want evidence for atheism”

          Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. There are people that don’t believe any gods exist. Ergo, atheists are proof that atheism exists. It’s not necessarily a knowledge claim.

        • hector_jones

          LOL. If you say so.

        • adam

          I have given you PROOF already

          Your CLAIM of ressurection is hardly proof and hardly the only ressurection story in mytholody.

        • MNb

          “I just want the atheist to man up with some facts that support atheism.”
          Fact: you don’t have a methodology do separate correct claims about the immaterial / supernatural / transcendental from incorrect ones. That’s why you should care about leprechauns and fairies.
          Fact: you are not capable of telling us how your god – or any immaterial / supernatural / transcendental entity – is supposed to interact with our material reality.
          Fact: atheism and materialism began in human history at least twice. Your hero Jesus only wandered a small part of Earth once.

          I have brought these facts up several times; you have never addressed them; so you are a liar.

        • MNb

          “What you need to demonstrate with facts that God does not exist.”
          Ah, here we go again. What you need to demonstrate with facts is that there are no immaterial fairies in my backyard tending my flowers, so that they blossom more beautifully. You’re invited.
          For the gazillionth time.

        • Pofarmer

          “Its not even a scientific answer.”

          Sure it is, when you don’t know.

        • Kodie

          The shitty arguments for Christianity lead me to conclude that it’s not true. I can’t help it if you wish it’s true. But it’s a placeholder, it really means I don’t know anything. I don’t know and I don’t want to know and I will believe anything, even ridiculous things, in order to feel like I do know.

          So where are your positive good arguments for Christianity? You don’t have one! Not even one.

        • Ken

          There are shitty arguments for christianity just like there are shitty arguments for every thing else, including atheism, capitalism, communism, education, evolution, whatever. You can’t say I believe X because someone failed to make a good argument for Y. That to is a shitty argument.

        • MNb

          Correct. The thing is though that not “someone” failed to make a good argument for christianity, but literally every single apologist I have met last 6 years. That includes Craig, Feser, Plantinga, Haught, the Dutchies Rutten and Riemersma (I have read their theses and followed their blogs for a while) and the Flemish theologian Erik Buys. And I’m far from the only one. So yes, tentatively it is justified to say there is no god, because apologists can’t provide evidence and/or good arguments.
          Not recognizing this because you have read just one comment of one commenter is also shitty.

        • Ken

          I was responding to that “one commenter” not you MNb.

          Why do you suppose that different people can read the same books and listen to the same arguments and come to such different conclusions? Many , if not most people who read those think they are overwhelmingly convincing. Wht are you not convinced?

        • Kodie

          You have to be specific. I have found the very basic idea of a conscious invisible creator of all preposterous and the arguments most Christians lead with are really terrible. Christianity makes a lot of claims beyond what is just “god” or a creator, claims of what you have to do to be in his favor, hoops you have to jump through et al., and not only is it hard to even believe, there’s no evidence, and a lot of the claims contradict each other. Evidence is not a book telling you the book is true, especially if the claims are magical things happening that do not happen. They are myths, silly myths like all the other myths.

          If you have a particularly winning argument that you think ought to convince someone, you’ve been invited repeatedly to say what it is and not just complain that atheists don’t get it, because of idiots like Al. If Al is misrepresenting your religion poorly, you either get mad at him or mentor him, but cut the shit, you’re also starting to get boring because of all the meta, still no winning argument.

        • Ken

          I never said Al was an idiot. You again are putting words in my mouth. I said Al was having trouble explaining things to a group of people who were set on misunderstanding him. And no I have no silver bullet winning argument. I have many arguments, all of which you can and will poke holes in. My belief is not based on any one convincing argument, but on a perponderance evidence from many different arguments, witnesses, and my own experience. At a certain point it takes more “faith” to believe all the alternate explainations. But if you only want to focus on the holes, then you will see nothing.
          BTW. I am not going to write you a whole book here on this blog. There are many good books on the subject and I would be doing you and anybody reading this a disservice by trying to summarize them here.
          Like I said before, there are millions of miracles, visions, and eye witness accounts of God. There are people who have died and been brought back to life. If you like you can chalk all these uo to coincidence, delusions, luck, and whisfull thinking, but I think that takes more faith than to just believe.

        • Kodie

          Preponderance of marketing and misdirection and the gullible leading the gullible. Tell me something else I haven’t heard, because if you’re just going to be general like this, my general counter-argument is I’m sorry but you’re a fool.

        • hector_jones

          Yeah. A preponderance of ‘evidence’ that he can’t actually present, because he had to ask me what ‘actual evidence’ means. Apparently he doesn’t understand what it is I am asking for, while at the same time he claims he has a preponderance of it. But he can’t actually prove his god exists any more than he can prove his name is Bob.

        • MNb

          Less. Far less. It’s not hard to provide verifiable information regarding his name.

        • Ken

          What makes you so smart Kodie? How is it that you alone can see through all this misdirection and not be fooled like the st of us?

        • Kodie

          My brain. I’m not alone. Logic.

        • Ken

          I was once like you Kodie. I thougnt Christians were stupid and ignorant. The only way someone could believe all that stuff is if they ere indoctrinated at an early age and didn’t have he common sense to question it. Then I started meeting some smart rational people who where Christians and I had to rethink my position. It turns out I was the one who was ignorant.

        • hector_jones

          So what arguments did your fellow AA members use to convince you?

          Surely after all the thinking you did on the subject you can come up with something better than telling us there are arguments out there and libraries full of books. You also don’t seem to see the contradiction in your position. One second you say it was ‘smart rational people’ who convinced you after you had to ‘rethink’ your position. This implies that evidence and argument convinced you. But elsewhere you say you can’t really prove any of this and it’s all based on experience and contact with god.

          Here’s the thing: if you became a christian because of the arguments of ‘smart rational people’ who made you rethink your position, then tell us what those arguments are. If, on the other hand, it was experience that convinced you, surely you can see how merely claiming ‘experience’ isn’t enough to convince anyone else? You really have no business calling someone ‘small minded’ because they aren’t convinced by your arguments or experience, neither of which you could be bothered to articulate except in the most vague and general terms. If I told you you should believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster because ‘there are arguments’ and because ‘I have experiences’ would that satisfy you? No further questions or details required?

        • You raise an interesting thought experiment. What if all children worldwide were taught religion only after they became adults. It’d be like other adult activities (voting, drinking, cigarettes, sex, etc.). What do you suppose would happen?

        • MNb

          Twelve, thirteen is old enough. That’s the age at which children start thinking critically.
          Well, a research population of two is not exactly convincing, but both my son and I were largely raised without religion. We both became unbelievers. Mind you – I had sung in a church choir (fond memories); my son had visited a catholic and a muslim school (both liberal ones).

        • Kodie

          I’m not that sure of your method. I was also raised without religion, but holy crap my mom has no critical thinking skills at all it seems. I don’t know where or when I got able to think. My parents are pretty uneducated and I know my dad isn’t an atheist, don’t know what my mom believes, and I grew up in the northeast US in the suburbs, where it never seemed like religion was that big a deal to most people. Due to circumstances it was not discussed at home. I guess it turns out it’s just not the custom to praise publicly, but you’re assumed Christian unless otherwise noted, and if you are a Hindu or a Jew or whatever, turns out that’s ok, still not ok to say you’re an atheist though.

          But anyway, this bullshit is out there, and without something to grab onto from home, one is likely to grab onto something. Hope is one of those human things that tends to lead to being susceptible. There are lost souls of secularity just waiting to get pounced on. Since we still never discuss these things, I can only assume by my sister’s facebook, her horoscope means everything to her, as does every once in a while some “spiritual” quote on a picture of a beach or some shit. She has the same parents as I do, but did not automatically develop critical thinking skills at 12 or 13, nor did I, I don’t think. I actually think adolescence is a dangerous time to include religion, I mean, that’s how cults operate intentionally.

        • Ken

          I am one of those people. I never went to church or learned about religion until I left home at 19. Also, the minister who was most influential in my conversion was also not raised christian. He converted in college. In fact I have many friends who were adult converts.

          To answer your question, those of us who converted late in life are usualy more serious and devout than those who were raised in a church environment.

        • I don’t doubt that it happens, but that doesn’t answer the question.

        • Kodie

          I still think an empty vessel at any age does not necessarily have critical thinking skills. Religion appeals to the broken, and with no prior experience with learning about religion, like comparatively or critically, or learning logic or something like that, no matter the age, the wanting of there to be something is all that it takes.

          Earlier or in another thread, someone mentioned Chinese conversions, those raised in an authoritative atheist regime did not come to atheism by critical thinking and rejection of theist arguments, but authority, and their primitive brains (all our brains are primitive like this) conjure up superstitions, which is all religion is, and share it with the population and make it custom. Chinese people are not converting spontaneously to Christianity, they’re being evangelized by Christians with intent on building their numbers, not saving the Chinese from hell. Scientologist missionaries could overtake Christian missionaries in China if they wanted to, and convert all the Chinese without a firm religious belief to Scientology instead.

          But these Christians think the Chinese are converting because the message they’re sharing is true; they’re converting because they’re being targeted for a widespread marketing campaign, and they’re susceptible, just like Africans are targeted by the Catholics. If Protestantism and Catholicism are at odds (they both claim), then conversions in non-Western cultures don’t mean a thing. Conversions in Western cultures don’t mean a thing, either.

        • Interesting point. We could make it a tougher challenge: suppose people had to be 18 and take some sort of comparative religion class. This would be equivalent to driver’s ed before you can get a driver’s license.

        • Kodie

          I think that’s drastic except as an experiment. So far, having a religion doesn’t seem to be a detriment to life, or to procreation, I know it’s also they’re majority, and tend to collect the unspecified amount of donations from fools, and even voluntarily lowering one’s household income by 10% gross to pay for imaginary peace of mind is not an impediment to procreation. In the very near future, this mindset is probably going to cost the rest of us, while they have the means to save themselves… as if they are frightened of the hereafter, but I digress. I just think enforcing such a rule is a violation of the establishment clause, like it or not. Putting critical thinking skills into curriculum might help. They’re suspicious of the sciences, they think without god, we’re “indoctrinating” students in evolution, and apparently “what the schools aren’t teaching your children!!!!!” panic is causing a little backlash.

          I really don’t know where or when I got the ability to step back and really think about the fallacies in their arguments, because I did not come from a foundation to counter it with logical counter-arguments. It just seemed to dawn on me one day that grown adults believe this deeply for real? And yet at the time, I can still think I wanted to believe in other paranormal stuff like astrology, tarot, biorhythms, and all that garbage, and didn’t know whether ghosts could be real or not. I tell you, this is where my sister got stuck and I got out. Christianity was one thing, but witchcraft or pagan whatever was not off the table, because I had a concept that “other stuff” was different in ways I have to say I was unable to articulate. I didn’t have the intellectual capacity to file similar things into a category and discard all of it, while all the time thinking I’m an atheist. I wasn’t an anti-Christianist, I just didn’t have a backing to discard other supernatural bullshit into the same bin at the time.

          Does that make sense? It wasn’t like I was raised by witches to think that stuff may have some merit. This stuff is just out there, and if you’re lost and want something, something is always there. Without critical thinking, I’d probably be some kind of pagan homeopath spellcaster by now. It’s not unheard of.

        • I agree—I propose this only as a thought experiment. But that’s sufficient to make the point. Bob the Truck says that he became a Christian as an adult (I suspect that that was due in part to acculturation) but whatever—let’s agree that you can become a Christian as an adult.

          EDIT: But back to the thought experiment: Christianity would die out in a few generations if fueled only by adult converts. What does that tell us about what drives people to be Christians?

          Dawkins argues that childhood indoctrination is child abuse, but I don’t find that avenue fruitful. I have nothing productive to say on that. (Ditto the Christ Myth theory.)

          It’s good that you didn’t drop Christianity and then move over to New Age stuff. I hear that’s what’s filling much of Christianity’s vacuum in Britain.

        • MNb

          Same in The Netherlands.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ietsism
          http://new-age.startpagina.nl

          If you like to measure your Spiritual Quotient:

          http://www.sqbewust.nl/sq-test

          “Dawkins argues …..”
          I also read Libby Ann and she has made me conclude that Dawkins has a point. But I also think he is guilty of a hasty generalization here.

        • Kodie

          Hmm. You are a pawn. They worked you, buddy. Can’t see how you’d avoid it, since you’re not clever or articulate enough to see the scheme in process.

        • Guest

          Imagine what would happen if you started meeting some smart rational people who were Muslims! I think a part of it is the way that one is taught things. I think one is more likely to accept something as true if it’s told to them by kind, and hospitable people than by rude or dismissive people. I’ve seen many interviews with former Christians becoming Muslims and how they now know the truth. It gives me a feeling that emotion plays a huge factor in whether or not one will find a religion true, despite emotion often being a roadblock to truth. Unfortunately, this means that a religion will seem truer based on a subjective reaction of an individual.

        • MNb

          Weird. I have never even been baptized, but never thought christians were stupid and ignorant. Some are, but some atheists are as well. What’s more: there are quite a few people who are absolutely not ignorant, but still stupid. Finally I have done stupid things in my life and written stupid things on internet a plenty.

          “Then I started meeting some smart rational people who where Christians and I had to rethink my position.”

          Also weird. Internet is a fine medium to present rational arguments. Still you wrote elsewhere that talking to you – who has met smart rational christians, hence must be familiar with rational arguments for christianity – is not enough to acquire knowledge about god. That’s quite inconsistent.

        • hector_jones

          You said regarding Al:

          There are shitty arguments for christianity just like there are shitty arguments for every thing else, including atheism, capitalism, communism, education, evolution, whatever. You can’t say I believe X because someone failed to make a good argument for Y. That to is a shitty argument.

          The implication was that you think Al makes shitty arguments for god. Now you seem to be back-pedalling and claiming that his arguments were good, but he just wasn’t very articulate and we were set on misunderstanding him – so it’s our fault for misunderstanding shitty arguments.

          Why don’t you set us straight then? Will you just claim we are set on misunderstanding you? If so, why are you even here? Your approach is very passive-aggressive.

        • MNb

          “There are people who have died and been brought back to life. ”
          You’re invited to provide a credible scientific source. If you don’t I couldn’t care less.

        • hector_jones

          I guess you haven’t heard that an argument can be ‘shitty but true’. So don’t let the shittiness of Bob’s arguments fool you.

        • Ken

          http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/2014/07/01/fulton-sheen-and-the-miracle-of-baby-james/

          There it is. Better than the proof you gave me that you woke up this morning.

        • Greg G.

          But if you only want to focus on the holes, then you will see nothing.

          Can holes have holes?

          Like I said before, there are millions of miracles, visions, and eye witness accounts of God.

          The things people call miracles fall into two categories: absurd and completely absurd. Take a critical look at those resurrection claims and you find holes. There are books that claim lots of possible miracles but they have poor evidence. Where are the books about well-documented miracles? If what you say is true, there should be a library full of them.

        • Al

          What holes in the resurrection claims are you referring to? After all, the resurrection has never been refuted in the 2000 years. Maybe you will be the first to do it.

        • Greg G.

          The resurrection claims made new Bob. Don’t you realize the context of a reply to another comment should be consider?

        • Al

          Ya.
          Good book on miracles is the over 1200 pages on Miracles by Craig Keener. He has over 200 pages of footnotes. Its a massive scholarly work to demonstrates have happened and some are very well documented.

        • Greg G.

          Come on, Al. In the comment you first replied to in this thread I said, “There are books that claim lots of possible miracles but they have poor evidence.” Keener is the top of the list. Keener doesn’t validate any of the claims in the book, which is just as well because he is unqualified to validate any miracle claims.

          Its a massive scholarly work to demonstrates have happened and some are very well documented.

          Name one.

        • hector_jones

          No no you are supposed to say it this way ….NAME ONE!!!

        • Greg G.

          I screwed that one up, didn’t I? I should have emboldened the text, too.

        • Kodie

          It’s been refuted. You remain credulous.

        • Ken

          I believe there are libraries full of them. You just dismissed what I said by saying they are absurd. Hardly the hard scientific evidence I would expect from someone who claims to be so rational.

        • Greg G.

          Do you know of any documented miracles? It’s one thing for a professor to collect a bunch of claims of miracles but another to validate the claims. The former is easy and profitable because gullible people swallow it as good enough. The latter is more difficult because they tend to get debunked.

          I don’t want libraries of poor claims. How about some well-documented miracles?

        • Pofarmer

          You need to readA) thomas Paine, “the age of reason” and b) michael shermer “why people believe weird things”. Eric Hoffers “true believers” wouldn’t be a bad one either, maybe then we could have an intellegent conversation.

        • If you’re like all the Christians I’ve interacted with who’ve made similar claims, you’re not wedded to any particular miracle. That is, if I spend the time necessary to research one and found holes in it, you’d just paw through your pile of miracles and find another one. Which of course gives me zero motivation for investigating.

          Show me a miracle claim on which your faith is based and I’d have more motivation.

        • hector_jones

          The only miracle that really matters for christianity, is the resurrection. They can’t back that one up, so I think I am justified in my deep skepticism about all the others. Now if a christian really thinks some miracle is really solid and probative of something (how do we know that miracles aren’t proof of Zeus?) then I’d be willing to have a look at the evidence in detail. But “libraries full of them” is even less convincing than Mitt Romney’s ‘binders full of women’.

        • Al

          Hector I’m disappointed in you. I have backed up the resurrection of Christ with evidence. You can look at I Corinthians 15 for starters.

        • hector_jones

          You’ve backed it up with lousy evidence – just an ancient myth. Even your fellow Christian, Bob with the truck for an avatar, thinks your arguments are shitty. Sorry, Chester.

        • Al

          Before we can determine if any miracle claims are true are you asserting that miracles are impossible? If so, on what basis?

        • I do not assert that. I’m surprised that you’ve been here this long and ask that question.

        • MNb

          You claim miracles are well documented. You are the one who has to back up. Vague claims like “libraries full of them” are not sufficient. Moreove I have already learned that you don’t mind bearing false witness.

        • Ron

          “libraries full of them” ~Bob

          Is that you, Mitt “binders full of women” Romney?

        • Ken
        • Greg G.

          The first miracle is a doctor who had a heart attack. He had to read the EKG himself because they weren’t able to at the clinic. How many times did he spontaneously start breathing before his wife arrived. He still suffered liver and kidney damage. There are many questions that could be raised.

          It mentions Keener’s book of unqualified claims. He admits to limitations that prevented any investigations. Lacks of funding, time constraints, most of the claims are healing and he is not a medical doctor. How can a business as lucrative as religion not put money into validating one of their major claims?

          The Lourdes page has miracles from praying to Our Lady of the Grotto. Is that your God?

        • MNb

          One of remarks refer to Craig Keener. You might google on Craig Keener debunked. His methodology appears to be unreliable.

        • MNb

          “I was responding to that ….”
          I can jump in whenever I want to. If you dislike that it’s your problem, not mine.

          “Why do you suppose that different people can read the same books and listen to the same arguments and come to such different conclusions?”
          Because they use logical fallacies and neglect inconvenient facts. Yup, the burden is on me to show it.
          I’ll give you one simple example: WLC has repopularized the Cosmological Argument. It assumes causality. Alas for WLC the CA makes a claim that belongs to the domain of physics and all modern physics is based on probability, of which causality is a special case. WLC always has neglected that and consequently got creamed by Sean Carroll a few months ago.
          My compatriot Rutten does recognize the problem. His answers are far from sufficient. One of them makes a strawman of Quantum Mechanics.
          So the Cosmological Argument is a failure, every single version of it – until someone shows me otherwise. Note: the CA has several more problems than just this one.
          Another note: I also have two positive arguments for atheism. The only apologist who ever tried to address them only argued that I as an atheist cannot make those arguments. I’m sure you’ll recognize how lame that is.

        • Pofarmer

          Many are looking for validation. How many have the required knowledge to spot a good argument vs a bad one?

        • Kodie

          Every Christian fails to make a good argument for Christianity. It lacks plausibility from the get-go. There is no secret winning argument, all Christians who post here or write books or whatever start in with the weakest shit. If that’s what you believe, you believe in some weak shit. There is no substance, only illusion. If you happen to have that secret winning argument that’s supposed to convince anyone – with a working rational brain – let us know. Don’t complain because atheists are just working with the material of centuries of terrible regurgitated arguments and massively increasingly ridiculously twisted versions of the same-old same-old, popularly called “theology”, then go ahead and spill. We’ve been waiting for you.

        • hector_jones

          It’s pretty obvious from the context that “The shitty arguments for Christianity” means all the arguments for Christianity that Kodie has ever encountered are shitty.

          But lo and behold, God has finally sent you with some good arguments. So let’s hear them, oh wise prophet.

        • adam

          Not at all, the more we understand life, the easier it is to understand what chemistry is required for life.

          It is ONLY more difficult and problematic for the willfully IGNORANT who CHOOSE not to try and understand fall back on superstition and mythology.

        • Al

          That is not true. Here is one of the major problems that science is facing on this issue: where did the complex-specific information come from for the 1st DNA molecule that is necessary for life in the cell? How could natural forces that are not intelligently focused create molecular machines (which have over 30 parts that must fit together perfectly to function) that are in cells and are also necessary?
          These 2 items alone are more complicated than a car and no one believes a car could ever be created by the forces of nature alone.

        • adam

          Yes it is TRUE….

          RNA
          and other ‘building blocks’ like organics from space
          http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FIAU%2FIAU4_S251%2FS1743921308021078a.pdf&code=6186fd41ad960ec079829c68c457666d

          And no the simplest life forms dont need 30 parts, YOU are just making stuff up out of IGNORANCE….

          http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/subcellular.html

        • Al

          So your moving the origin of life off the planet. That actually makes it more difficult for you because now you have to explain how space created life.

          I never said the “simplest life forms don’t need 30 parts” but that the molecular motors in cells have at least 30 parts to them. These “motors” are what makes the cell function.

        • adam

          Chemistry
          And I didnt move the origin of life off the planet, only demonstrated that the CHEMISTRY needed exists all over our galaxy and most likely the universe.

          OBVIOUSLY you didnt look at the links and PREFER ignorance.

          The Qb virus doesn’t need anything as complicated as a cell in order to replicate: a test tube full of suitable chemicals is enough. The experiment, conducted by Sol Spiegelman of the University of Illinois, consisted of introducing the viral RNA into a medium containing the RNA’s own replication enzyme, plus a supply of raw materials and some salts, and incubating the mixture. When Spiegelman did this, the system obligingly replicated the strands of naked RNA. Spiegelman then extracted some of the freshly synthesized RNA, put it in a separate nutrient solution, and let it multiply. He then decanted some of that RNA into yet another solution, and
          so on, in a series of steps. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/subcellular.html

        • Al

          You need to get intelligence out of the experiment. Let me give you a head start. If you were to lay out on your kitchen table all the ingredients for life and you just left them there how long would it take for the ingredients to come together to form a cell?

        • adam

          Since when life began I didnt have a kitchen table it doesnt replicate the conditions on this planet when life started.

          And you didnt even read my post, didja?

          The topic IS

          Subcellular Life Forms

        • Al

          Ok. How about getting all the ingredients for RNA and leave them on the kitchen table. How long would we have to wait before we get RNA?

          How do the guys in the white lab coats know what the planet was life billions of years ago? What proof do they have?

        • adam

          Are there kitchen tables everywhere RNA forms?
          The PROOF is what we are doing TODAY with chemistry and physics RECREATING the building blocks of life.

          That is how science works…

          NOW, it you think YOUR god had anything to do with this…..
          What PROOF do YOU have?

        • Al

          This recreating the building blocks of life requires intelligence. It can’t work without it.

        • adam

          THIS does, but it demonstrate that it is nothing but chemistry and physics that already exist….

          No ‘god’ needed….

          And NO PROOF of YOUR ‘god’ forthcoming from you..

        • adam

          Ok, but I have left perfectly good food on the kitchen table for just a couple of days.
          I ate part of it when I first put it on the kitchen table and it was tasty, nutritious and GOOD….
          But after only a couple of days it turned ALL BY ITSELF into some poisonous mixture that seemed like it would kill me.

          Am I to believe that this was just chemistry and physics or some supernatural entity that changed this food?

          I have also seen a can of PERFECTLY good soup explode into a mess that didnt appear to have any resemblance to the original soup.
          MAGIC or just simple chemistry and physics?

        • Kodie

          Your proof of what life was like billions of years ago is?

        • Kodie

          If that’s how you think scientific research is done…. I can’t even finish the sentence. For the first problem, a non-sterile environment like a kitchen is teeming with life. You can’t control for non-life in a living environment like a kitchen. This is why religion isn’t just stupid, it makes people stupider.

        • Pofarmer

          Actually, we know that there are amino acids present in space. They have been found in meteorites. Things come together differently in a weightless environment, and stars and gas clouds are producing different compounds all the time. It may be probable, or improbable, but it is more possible than an infinitely powerful undetectable being who impregnates a Virgin with himself to make himself a sacrifice to himself. Teh science is interesting.

        • Ken

          God is not an infinitely powerful undetectable being because God is not a being at all. This is a silly (child like ) understanding of what God is. Perhaps you should take a little more time to understand what it is you are disbelieving in.

        • Pofarmer

          There are all kinds of God beliefs. What’s yours?

        • Ken

          I understand God in the classic greek sense of the Logos.

        • Pofarmer

          Go on.

        • Ken

          In Stoic philosophy, which began with Zeno of Citium c. 300 BC, the logos was the active reason pervading and animating the universe. It was conceived of as material, and is usually identified with God or Nature. The Stoics also referred to the seminal logos, (“logos spermatikos”) or the law of generation in the universe, which was the principle of the active reason working in inanimate matter. Humans, too, each possess a portion of the divine logos.

          The Stoics took all activity to imply a Logos, or spiritual principle. As the operative principle of the world, to them, the Logos was anima mundi, a concept which later influenced Philo of Alexandria, although he derived the contents of the term from Plato.

        • MNb

          How does that show that your god is not a being – or officially, an entity?
          Btw you already have made a mistake.

          “I understand …” only tells something about you.

          “what it is you are disbelieving in” refers to all believers on Earth. You’re not representative for them, so your previous comment is silly.

          Fortunately we are flexible on this blog. Tell us what you believe and why and we will tell you why not.
          First of all I don’t see any reason to understand god in the classic greek sense of the logos. As Tolkien has shown in Ainulindale we can as well understand god in the sense of melody. Why should I accept one and not the other?

        • hector_jones

          It’s nice that you think you ‘understand’ god in this fashion, but a more accurate word would be ‘imagine’. You are going to have to adduce actual evidence that what you think you understand about god is true.

        • Ken

          What exactly do you mean by “actual evidence”? Do you have actual evidence that you woke up.this morning? Maybe you just ‘imagined’ it. Maybe you are imagining this conversation right now? I believe in God because I have first hand experience. I have been in His presence. I know many others who have as well. I have seen miracles and heard of many more. should I disregard that which I know to be true, because some scientist I never met wrote in a book that it is not? Why should I disregard my own senses and experience because some guy named Hector on the internet says I imagined it?

          I can’t prove that God exists anymore than I can prove to you that my name is Bob. All I can do is testify to what I know. Men have been sentenced to death on the testimony of two witnesses. How many witnesses do you need to save your soul? God has reached out His hand to you, and so have I. I cannot make you believe.that which you do not want to believe, nor can a soul be saved that does not wish to be saved. It is up to you.

        • hector_jones

          I can’t prove that God exists anymore than I can prove to you that my name is Bob.

          I didn’t expect you to give up quite this easily, but ok. Nice talking to you.

        • Kodie

          You’re sounding more and more like a typical Christian with typical arguments. You attributed an experience to the presence of something you’re so sure of but cannot explain or demonstrate. It has to come from deluding yourself and then getting in the right frame of mind, and then calling whatever it feels like “god”. After that, you’ll believe anything like a fool.

          Without anything more specific, that’s typical.

        • hector_jones

          Talk about disappointment. Watching Bob present non-shitty arguments for god was like watching a heavily-hyped contender get knocked out 7 seconds into the first round. Where can I get my money back?

        • Kodie

          Wait in line behind Al.

        • hector_jones

          Dang.

        • Ron

          Similar testimony is given by the devout followers of every other religion on the planet. By what metric did you conclude you’ve picked the right one?

        • Ken

          How do you explain that 80% of the world believes in God (of some kind) and that only you and a small minority of people are clever enough to see through scam? Are you some how.smarter than the rest of us?

        • Kodie

          How do you explain a preference for junk food?

        • hector_jones

          What? Do you fruit-and-vegetables-only people think you are smarter than the rest of us? Bahh!

        • hector_jones

          How do you explain the ‘of some kind’ part? Why don’t they all believe the same thing about your god? According to his holy book, non-christians have no excuse. Yet you use the existence of non-christian believers as an excuse for your god.

          Throughout history most people on this planet have believed in a god or gods other than the one you believe in. Are you somehow smarter than those people? Are you smarter than every buddhist and muslim? You don’t get to claim them for your side against atheism without explaining why you and buddhists and muslims have very different and incompatible beliefs about god. Christians don’t even agree among themselves. I know catholics who think protestants are all going to hell. But when you argue with an atheist you just can’t resist claiming that all these believers support your very specific and unsupportable beliefs about your god that they don’t agree with.

          By the way, you have just presented an argument and become an apologist, in spite of your claims that it is your ‘testimony’ that we could look forward to. And you’ve presented a terrible argument that employs the often-debunked fallacy of argumentum ad populum. You agreed that Al’s arguments were ‘shitty’ and yet you’ve just gone and presented a shitty argument – one of the same shitty arguments that Al presented.

        • Ken

          I’ve made many good arguments before. You can click on my name and read them if you like. I don’t want to rehash them again. The funny thing about you atheist is that you all demand proof from believers about God, but you don’t believe in anything so have never been asked to offer proof of what you believe. I challenge you and Kodie to offer up proof, irefutable proof for something you believe. I don’t care what it is. Could be politics, science, philosophy, what ever. The truth is you can’t prove anything over the internet and you know it. So the fact that I can’t prove it to you means nothing except that you don’t want to believe.
          Any ways, I’m board with your small mindedness. As Jesus said, I will kick the dust off my shoes and move on.

        • hector_jones

          Good riddance.

        • MNb

          Strawman and hence irrelevant. From psychology we know that Homo Sapiens is very good at self delusion. That applies as much to that 80% as to us atheists. The only way to remedy this is to agree on a set of rules (like logic) and to correct each others mistakes. I have made more than I’d like to admit.

        • Ken

          Yes, for once I agree with you. Homo sapiens ae very good at self delusion. It is a good thing you are a robot and are able to use clear unbiased logic to come to your conclusion. The rest of us will just have to muddle through in our self deluded state.

        • MNb

          Tsssk. I wrote explicitely “That applies as much to that 80% as to us atheists.” and “I have made more than I’d like to admit.”
          So you bear false witness. Go repent if you take your own belief system seriously.

        • Ron

          To my knowledge, no one enters the world possessing “god” beliefs, much less beliefs in the Middle Eastern tribal god worshiped by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Such beliefs must be impressed upon us continuously from birth onwards until they’re successfully adopted. And once they’ve been adopted, they’re seldom questioned—especially if asking questions invites the risk of severe ostracism or even death. That’s why Islamic nations remain Islamic, and Christian nations remain mostly Christian, and Hindu nations remain Hindu, etc.

          So back to my question: By what metric did you conclude you’ve picked the right religion? Why should I believe your personal religious experiences are any more genuine than those of a Muslim, or Hindu, or Tibetan monk, or Nepalese shaman or Haitian witch doctor?

        • Ken

          I think your first assumption is completely wrong. People are born with an intrinsic knowledge of God. In the first few centuries of the Christian era the church grew very fast and almost entirely from conversion. Even today people in places like China are being converted by the thousands. These are people who were raised in the communist, atheist dogma and often risk persacution for their beliefs. In the Roman years many people were converting even though they faced horrable death if they were found out. Religion is in some ways just putting this intrinsic knowledge into words. When they hear and understand christian teaching it just makes sense.
          To answer your second question. How do I know I picked the right one? I am a convert to Christianity myself. I spent a great deal of time studying the great religions of the world before I chose the path I’m on now. When you get right down to it you find that they are more simler than different. For the most part they are just different ways of explaining the same truths. There are really o ljubljana two religions in the world. The one that worships God and truth, and the one that worships man and the world.

        • MNb

          “People are born with an intrinsic knowledge of God. ”
          Has been falsified.

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

        • hector_jones

          You still here? Apparently the dust isn’t as easily shaken from thy feet as at first thou did thinkest.

        • So the Muslims, Mormons, and Methodists are all going to the same place when they die? It’s only the atheists who will have a hot time of it in the afterlife?

        • Kodie

          How are they born with it and have to be converted? What about the animals?

        • Ron

          My first “assumption” is informed by Daniel Everett’s work with the Pirahã people of the Amazon. As a missionary, he discovered they had no god beliefs or conception of such an entity—they were natural atheists. And when he attempted to tell them about Jesus, they requested [**gasp**] EVIDENCE:

          When I first started working with the Pirahã, I realized that I needed more linguistics if I was going to understand their language. When I began to tell them the stories from the Bible, they didn’t have much of an impact. I wondered, was I telling the story incorrectly? Finally one Pirahã asked me one day, well, what color is Jesus? How tall is he? When did he tell you these things? And I said, well, you know, I’ve never seen him, I don’t know what color he was, I don’t know how tall he was. Well, if you have never seen him, why are you telling us this?

          […] The Pirahã, who in some ways are the ultimate empiricists—they need evidence for every claim you make—helped me realize that I hadn’t been thinking very scientifically about my own beliefs.

          […]

          I sat with a Pirahã once and he said, what does your god do? What does he do? And I said, well, he made the stars, and he made the Earth. And I asked, what do you say? He said, well, you know, nobody made these things, they just always were here. They have no concept of God.

          He goes on to say:

          In the 1700s, the first Catholic mission to the Amazon area made contact with the Pirahã and the related people, the Muras, and abandoned them after a few years as the most recalcitrant group they had ever encountered. Other missionaries have worked with the Pirahã since then. Protestant missionaries have worked with them since about 1958, and there’s not a single convert, there’s not a single bit of interest.

          His research presents a strong argument against the notion that people are born with an intrinsic knowledge of God.

        • MNb

          “Do you have actual evidence that you woke up.this morning?”
          Yes. My female counterpart witnessed it. Plus we have a theory of biology that describes it, though it is in several respects rather shaky.
          Extreme skepticism won’t help you out.

          “I believe in God because I have first hand experience.”
          Unfortunately the best scientific theory that describes that experience suggests you were deluding yourself.
          I already told you elsewhere on this page that I have two positive arguments for atheism. Here they come.

          1) I assume your god is an immaterial being. Your senses rely on materialistic impressions to give you experiences. How did your god, who by definition lacks the material means, trigger those senses?
          If you don’t use your material senses for your experiences of god, which ones did you use and where within you can they be found? How do they work? How can your experiences be verified?
          2) How do you separate correct claims from incorrect ones? What is your methodology? I can claim that I have experienced fairies in my backyard tending my flowers, so that they blossom more beautifully. If you reject my claim, why should I accept yours?

          My statement is that these questions can’t be answered. Hence claims about the supernatural/ immaterial/ transcendental are meaningless. Hence there is no god.

        • Ken

          How do you know your female companion witnessed it. Maybe she just said she did, or maybe you are still asleep and just dreamed that you woke up. Its happened to me many times. more to the point, how do I know. Perhaps you are not a real person at all. Perhaps you are just a computer. You can’t prove any of these things to me. I believe you are a real person, that you are concious and that you are responding to me because that is the most likely explaination.
          As for your second question. There are many things that are immaterial. Conciousness is immaterial. You cannot see conciousness. You can not touch it or feel it, but you know it exists. Conciousness is an experience, or do you believe that is just an illusion too?

        • hector_jones

          How do you know your female companion witnessed it. Maybe she just said she did, or maybe you are still asleep and just dreamed that you woke up. Its happened to me many times. more to the point, how do I know. Perhaps you are not a real person at all. Perhaps you are just a computer. You can’t prove any of these things to me.

          Nothing can be proven, so you get to believe in whatever you want. But the rest of us don’t – We have to believe in what you believe, even though you can’t possibly prove it, because you say so. Failing to believe in what you believe and can’t prove is being ‘small-minded’.

        • MNb

          “You can’t prove any of these things to me.”
          In the end that’s correct. Unfortunately such a hyperskeptical attitude doesn’t lead us anywhere. Plus the conclusion that I did not wake up this morning is a non-sequitur, because such hyperskepticism needs to be researched with the very same hyperskepticism if you want to be consistent.
          Rejecting hyperskepticism doesn’t mean belief in god is justified though. You need to provide a solid foundation for it.
          Indeed I never claim anything with 100%, unchangeable, eternal, absolute certainty. The scientific method is reliable enough to maintain my claim that I woke up this morning with near 100% certainty. That’s a lot better than your god claim, which totally fails when scrutinized by the scientific method.

          “Conciousness is immaterial. You cannot see conciousness.
          You are using the term matter in a way too narrow meaning. You cannot see gravity either. Still it’s a mistake to call it immaterial. No matter no gravity. It’s the same with consciousness. No brains, ie not matter, no consciousness. Hence consciousness is material too.

          “Conciousness is an experience, or do you believe that is just an illusion too?”
          Irrelevant. Experiences are also material. You need senses to have them and you need a brain to process them.
          Your god by definition doesn’t have senses nor a brain. So you cannot even begin to describe how he can have experiences and have thoughts.

        • Kodie

          The topic is “Where are all the good Christian arguments?” If this is a silly childlike understanding of what god is, then it’s the same silly childlike understanding Christians have when explaining it. If you have a better understanding, you’re specifically invited in this thread as per the topic itself to go ahead and explain it. If you just want to be an irritating typical evasive Christian, we already have one, “Bob” his name is “Al.”

        • Ken

          You can follow my conversation with Pofarmer. BTW. all theists are not Christians, and all Christians are not the same.

        • adam

          Yes, we understand that.

        • Kodie

          A lot of Christians (and other theists) who post on blogs are about the same. They may have variations of their beliefs, even, but the tactics are awfully similar. I don’t know that you’re having a conversation with Pofarmer, but I will look for it.

        • hector_jones

          Ah yes, the Courtier’s Reply.

          So god is an infinitely powerful undetectable thingamajig. That certainly clears things up.

        • Al

          Even if you have all the ingredients for life on your kitchen table that does not mean you have life. How long would you have to wait before all the ingredients come together (without any intelligent help) to form DNA and molecular motors that are composed of over 30 parts? There is not enough time in the universe for this to have happened.

        • Kodie

          Kitchens are dirtier than bathrooms

          26 Microscopic Horrors In and Around Your House Right Now

          How much are you paying the organization that wants to keep you this stupid?

        • Pofarmer

          you must have to actually work at it to become this stupid.

        • Al

          What’s stupid is thinking you can get one cell from natural processes alone. That’s like saying your computer was created by nature this morning with all the software installed and ready for you to turn it on.

        • Kodie

          Your computer was probably assembled by robots.

        • Al

          Did nature create the robots?

        • Kodie

          Did god create the robots?

        • adam

          Interesting to study the EVOLUTION of robots…

        • Kodie

          What’s really interesting to me is how long before the current robots will be not only outmoded but considered primitive. Why didn’t god create methods of efficient mass production? Alright alright, I guess fruit trees, but everything else is kind of slow, and “intelligence” and “innovation” is not god giving us what we need when we need it, it’s that we can always find a thing lacking in some way. People have told me that I’m “too negative” and don’t like a lot of things, and one time someone said something to me to the effect of the opposite of this, it was like, it’s happy positive people who improve things for humanity or something like that, with a definite reference to invention, not just spreading happy moods.

          We love new things that are better than the old thing, but someone is always finding fault, and those are the people who suggest improvements. Inventions are more and more catering to some human need, a lack of something and a solution to make it better, incrementally. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Thomas Edison. It’s not even that, it’s “ugh, this is so slow!” that’s the mother of invention. For all the problem that comes with inventions that take away jobs, it’s really that nobody likes doing these tasks anyway, human labor can only get so fast before a machine can be faster, and humans tend to need to live in society and pay for things, making their labor more expensive than a machine. Doing things the old way just to keep people employed is a somewhat difficult dilemma. People like the money that comes from doing even a dreadful job, but how many people like to wash their clothes on a rock? People like leisure, and invention is supposed to be the deliverance of leisure, and what has happened is that the people who do work, have to work the same hours and produce more, instead of producing the same and working less.

        • Al

          What??? Robots evolve to????

        • Pofarmer

          Not really. Do you understand what a parallel computing is? Well, the Universe, and the earth, are massively parallel.

        • adam

          //

        • Guest

          ​ ​ ​​

        • adam

          But they are not poorly inspired….

          And some people are just too ignorant to understand anything more complicated.

        • MNb

          When life originated some 3,7 billion years ago there were not kitchen tables around yet. Apparently kitchen tables are not a necessary condition for life. So your analogy is false.

        • Kodie

          Through what method of inquiry do you know about cells?

        • MNb

          Here is another major problems science is facing:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-temperature_superconductivity

          Physics can’t explain it. Must be your god toying around to dispel boredom.

        • hector_jones

          God of the gaps. Yawn.

        • Kodie

          What is the difference between life and non-life? It’s just chemicals.

        • hector_jones

          This is an absurd statement. You really are just pulling it out of your ass.

        • Al

          Not so. See what I wrote to Adam below. Maybe you have answers that he doesn’t. I hope so.

        • hector_jones

          The only answer you have for everything is ‘God did it’. This raises more questions than it answers.

        • Al

          True. However, it does answer some questions such as the origin of the universe and why the laws of nature are the way they are. It also answers why the universe is fine-tuned and where intelligence comes from.

        • hector_jones

          It doesn’t answer any questions because you can’t demonstrate that this god of yours exists or has any properties.

        • Al

          Many excellent arguments for the existence of God. From the creation of the universe to the life of Christ.

        • hector_jones

          We’ve gone around this merry go round with you many many times. You haven’t produced any good arguments or evidence for your god or that ‘Christ’ was what you claim.

        • Kodie

          And you have shared none of them. If there is one, you have not shared it. There can’t be many, I’ve never heard any.

        • adam

          Demonstrate that the creation of the universe was YOUR ‘god’…..

          the life of Christ is mythology…

        • Dys

          It answers nothing. It’s a placeholder for ignorance, nothing more.

        • Kodie

          God did it is still the answer to those questions! You don’t have real answers and you don’t seem to be interested in finding out the real answers. You don’t realize just how ignorant you are, and how willing you are to be satisfied rather than knowledgeable.

        • Guest

          The thing is it doesn’t answer these questions. You probably reject “It’s just so” as an explanation for the universe. But how does an intelligent being make things any clearer. Why does this being exist. If it’s “just so” is an acceptable answer, then congratulations on your double standard. Assuming an intelligent being created the laws of nature, that doesn’t explain why they are the way they are. An intelligent being could have made any number of different laws, but randomly decided to create these. If these laws are somehow “ideal”, then that’s only because they are ideal according to the laws that we can observe, making the assertion that the actual laws of nature are ideal tautological and not giving any new information.

          As to the fine-tuning, how do you know there was some other way the universe might have unfolded? Keep in mind, just because you can imagine that life did not develop naturally does not mean that it was possible for life to not develop. It only seems possible in our limited knowledge because we’re not sure it isn’t. I don’t know about you but I don’t assume that by “default” the universe or any “fine-tuning” therein should not have happened and therefore needs some intelligence to make it happen.

        • Al

          Some of this is true. If God created the universe that explains somethings but it also brings up other questions such as how and why.

          Models of different universes tells us that if the laws of nature as we know them we would not be here. Change the strength of gravity ever so slightly and it would have major effects across the universe. We also know our world is fine-tuned on multiple levels such as our orbit around the sun and the size of the sun. If these 2 things were slightly different this world would not exist like it does. There are over 100 fine tuned characteristics that makes our possible. No way to explain all of this by mere chance or coincidence.

        • Kodie

          No way? Take a hundred gray pebbles and paint one of them green. Throw them all up into the air and let them land wherever they land, in an open area, and draw a circle around where the green one lands. You don’t understand probabilities. Life arose on our planet because it could. The green pebble didn’t land inside a circle that was already drawn, nor did you draw a circle somewhere and pick up that green pebble and move it to the circle you already drew.

        • adam

          “No way to explain all of this by mere chance or coincidence.”

          Prove your CLAIM, otherwise we will all understand you have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

        • MNb

          “Models of different universes tells us that if the laws of nature as we know them we would not be here.”
          That’s correct. Unfortunately for you we are the result, not the purpose.
          If I throw 12 with two dices we don’t conclude either that the chance is so small that god must have done it. In technical terms: you’re doing statistics with population 1 while you already know the outcome. That’s simply bad math.

          “Such as our orbit around the sun and the size of the sun. ”
          And this is wrong even according to your own logic. The Universe is ridden with stars (gazillions of them similar to our Sun) and planets. As soon as our Universe began – ie the natural constants were fixed – it was only to be expected that some form of intelligent life would develop somewhere, just like it is to be expected that someone wins the lottery.

          “There are over 100 fine tuned characteristics”
          Your ignorance is cringeworthy. There are about 30.

          http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/tables/funcon.html

          The Fine-Tuning Argument, if we accept it, rather suggests polytheism than monotheism, let alone christianity. See, the FRA argues for a fine-tuner – a first cause a la Aristoteles and Thomas of Aquino. So every fine tuned natural constant must have its own fine tuner. Still you won’t reconvert to say hinduism, which shows you don’t believe because of this argument.
          Finally the FTA obviously depends on the Cosmological Argument. Like I wrote it argues for first causes. Unfortunately for you the basic principle of our Universe is not causality but probability. So what the FTA at best argues for is a bunch of gods throwing dice – not exactly christianity.
          Thanks for defeating your own belief system.

        • Kodie

          That’s the problem. The more we understand what life entails the more problematic natural causes fail to account for it.

          Who the fuck tells you things?

    • Philmonomer

      I too don’t entirely understand the question. (For example, what do you mean by “intelligence?”)

      But I offer up this: (I suspect this is not what you are looking for, though):

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

    • Kodie

      I recently watched most of the 3-part series (based on the book) “Your Inner Fish” on PBS. It doesn’t seem to be available online right now, but there are plenty of informative clips at PBS. It was an interesting series, and if you have about 3 hours, it might be on netflix or amazon to purchase.

      http://www.pbs.org/your-inner-fish/watch/

      From what I read of reviews of the book at least, it’s a pretty good source for someone unfamiliar with biology, evolution, or science in general, which means it makes it easy to understand, but may contain some liberties toward that end.

      • Keiko Mushi

        It is actually one of the books on my to-read list. I seriously need to read more, but at least I have a bunch of neat massively open online courses to learn more about science, history and whatnot. Complexity Explorer has a course entitled “Introduction to Complexity” that begins on the 29th of September. http://www.complexityexplorer.org/online-courses/19 One should make it a priority to learn new things regularly and focus on dispelling ignorance, but first we must identify which areas that we are ignorant. That can be rather difficult when it is heavily ingrained.

    • The earliest life didn’t have intelligence. How intelligent life came from that is “evolution.” How the first life came about is “abiogenesis.”

      The other comments had some helpful links on these subjects.

      • Al

        And you know this how? Looks to me like blind faith.

        • adam

          No simply science

          As for creating life from scratch, a big step was taken last May when famed geneticist J. Craig Venter and his team unveiled the first synthetic organism. The scientists crafted an entire genome from chemicals in the lab. They then implanted this synthetic genome in an empty cell, after which the cell booted up and began cranking out copies
          of its modified self per the implanted genetic instructions.

          This artificial life form, dubbed Synthia, required the leftover cellular machinery made by a natural, preexisting organism, so science hasn’t reached back to square one yet. “Venter did not create life,” says Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, who was involved in the research. “But he showed that an artificial genome can power a bacterium, thereby taking a crucial step toward the demonstration that synthesizing life is possible.”

          Venter and other geneticists are persevering in their efforts to boil life down to its very molecular essence—the minimal blueprint needed for an independent cell to persist and replicate. By studying the simple
          fatty and nucleic acids that make up the most basic forms of life, scientists hope to discover the boundary between mere chemical reactions and self-sustaining, evolving beings.

          Along with these efforts to construct “wet,” biochemical artificial life, computer scientists have already largely succeeded in creating life in digital form. The difference between the two is not as stark as you might think; after all, biological life’s basic purpose is to make more copies of itself via instructions in DNA, and a computer program
          can be made to replicate itself in much the same way.

          The digital organisms in the Avida project, based at the Digital Evolution Laboratory at Michigan State University, do just that—and like real critters, they compete, die and evolve. http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/sciences-greatest-unsolved-mysteries-creating-life#slide-4

        • Al

          Big problem here. Intelligence was used and a pre-existent artifact of life was also used. For this theory to be true it has to happen in nature all by itself with no intelligent help.

        • adam

          Doesnt matter, it shows what CAN be done by chemistry and physics alone.

          If you want to posit that it takes intelligence for the beginning of life, then you SHOULD demonstrate that intelligence.

          And just WHERE that intelligence came from.

          But, alas, you would if YOU ONLY COULD….

        • Al

          It does not show “what CAN be done by chemistry and physics alone.” The scientist is always involved. He is part of the experiment.

          We know there is no evidence in nature that chemistry alone can account for the origin of life. Some intelligence is required to arrange the chemical etc into the right combinations. No force or forces of nature can do this alone.

          The intelligence that did this has always existed.

        • Kodie
        • adam

          Yes it does show ‘what CAN be done by chemistry and physics alone’….

          None of your MAGIC is required, only conditions similar to the experiment.

        • Guest

          The fact that humans can reproduce something found in nature does not mean that it requires intelligence. Your argument is like saying, “Humans have found a way to generate electric sparks therefore thunder must be caused by an intelligent being.” No, we are just reproducing the conditions which would be in place naturally. What you seem to be neglecting is that single-celled organisms wouldn’t form naturally in a Sunday afternoon or any time frame convenient for you. And I’m not sure of any scientists who claim this either.

        • Al

          A cell is like a car or computer. Its complex. No one would claim that a car or computer could ever be created by the forces of nature alone. It could never happen. Since the cell is more complex than a car and a car requires intelligence for its existence then so must the first cell.

        • Kodie

          Through what method of inquiry do you think you learned so much about cells? How much are you paying the organization that misuses this information to leap to illogical conclusions?

        • Al

          Science is helpful but if the conclusion of science concludes that the life came about by natural forces alone then I have some property to sell you on the moon.

        • Kodie

          Is it on the light side or the dark side?

        • adam

          Then DEMONSTRATE for us that supernatural forces are required………….as YOU are CLAIMING..

        • adam

          Subcellular Life Forms

        • Guest

          That analogy has a glaring problem. We already know that cars and computers were created by humans without the need for arguments. You can go to factories and see them being assembled. We say that cars and computers “need” to have been created by humans because as far as we know, only humans make them, not because of their complexity. A vase is not very complex, but prior knowledge of human pottery leads me to believe that any vase I see was probably created by a human since they’ve never been seen in nature.

        • Al

          A cell is more like a car than a vase. Even the vase though needs intelligence to put it together.

        • MNb

          “it has to happen in nature all by itself”
          Nope. The circumstances can be considered as a given. But thanks for providing me with the next cop out in case scientists manage to “create” life in a lab indeed using chemistry and physics alone. I’m sure that if we would fulfill your demand you just would cry out “Look! Goddiddid again!”
          That’s the nice thing – your god explains everything, hence nothing.

        • smrnda

          Intelligence was used, but it does not mean it is necessary. Just similar conditions would have to exist.

        • Al

          Of course it was necessary. The experiments that Adam describes requires intelligence. It can’t happen in nature without intelligence.

        • Kodie

          To try to understand what happened requires intelligence. But to do that requires simulating non-life conditions, which never exist on your kitchen table. You are a fool who doesn’t understand words, and you don’t understand science. You don’t even understand the arguments you’re using, you’re a puppet, a pawn. Keep picking the corn out of your crap and calling it an argument. How much are you paying annually to the organization that tells you what you want to believe? Answer that – how much? How much are they charging you for your loyalty?

        • Al

          Don’t get angry at me. I’m just trying to keep it simple for you ,Adam and his friends.

        • adam

          Sorry, I am NOT the one who needs it ‘simple’.
          Nothing is more ‘simple’ minded than your CLAIM of MAGIC…

        • Kodie

          You’re not trying, you’re just simple. How much are you paying annually to the organization that likes you better that way?

        • adam

          Intelligence was used, but it does not mean it is necessary. Just similar conditions would have to exist. smrnda

          PROVE – ” It can’t happen in nature without intelligence.”
          Or else we will all know you have no idea about what you are saying.

        • Al

          Its very easy to prove if intelligence is necessary. Put all the ingredients for life on your kitchen table in piles and then wait to see if the ingredients come together by themselves and DNA and molecular motors are created. How long do you think we will have to wait to see life?

        • adam

          Sorry that is not proof, just your EMOTIONAL opinion…

          IF YOU BELIEVE that an eternally intelligent being is behind DNA, then DEMONSTRATE that BEING…

          We all KNOW you would IF you only could..

        • Al

          There is no way to demonstrate a being. You need to provide an explanation how the forces of nature alone could create the specified-complex information that is in DNA. This is a HUGE problem for science.

        • Kodie

          It’s only a huge problem for those like you who are pathologically averse to learning what the scientific method is and how using it finds stuff out that we can all learn and benefit from. The real scientific method strives to be free from bias, where as the Christian crock science uses liberal piles of bias to draw its faulty conclusions. How much money are you paying them to steer you so very, very wrong?

        • Al

          I should be paid for being here.

        • Kodie

          So how much are you paying them, and then voluntarily doing your duty by spreading their manure for them?

          Answer the question, Al. Just answer the question.

        • Al

          Bob doesn’t pay me a dime to be here. I’m sure you would agree that he should.

        • Kodie

          Do you not understand the question?

        • adam

          I certainly HOPE you are…

        • adam

          Not a huge problem for science at all, we are just beginning.
          We have barely mapped the human genome but are already making great strides in manipulating genomes and creating them from scratch.

          Nature works with basic CHEMISTRY and PHYSICS….

          If you have no way of demonstrating YOUR MAGIC ‘being’ then is certainly sounds even MORE IMAGINARY…

        • avalpert

          There is no way to demonstrate a being? Seriously, of course you can demonstrate a being – beings are easy to demonstrate, non-being is the hard part.

        • Al

          Not when the being is immaterial and invisible.

        • avalpert

          But your supposed being is material and visible – the Bible says so

        • Al

          God in His essence cannot be seen by human senses such as sight.

        • adam

          REALLY?

          And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

          Genesis 32:30King James Version (KJV)

          30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

        • Al

          These appearances of God were not of His essence.

        • adam

          how so?

          es·sence noun ˈe-sən(t)s

          : the basic nature of a thing : the quality or qualities that make a thing what it is
          :
          a substance that contains in very strong form the special qualities
          (such as the taste and smell) of the thing from which it is taken

        • Guest

          Out of context, what a surprise.

        • adam

          No it’s not, what a surprise….

        • Guest

          Yes it is, and that makes you a liar.

        • adam

          No you a liar.
          And a poopy-face.

        • avalpert

          So Jesus was invisible or he wasn’t God?

        • Al

          No. Jesus the man was not invisible but His deity was.

        • Kodie
        • avalpert

          Right, the immaterial father than knocked up a material virgin…

        • MNb

          Neither can the fairies in my backyard.

        • adam

          They dont seem to be doing very well in my backyard.
          Is there some kind of incantation I can do to pray them into keeping up my flowers?

          Are they like ‘god’ in this manner?

        • MNb

          Yes. You must have more faith. And water your flowers. They only help you if you help yourself. Then the fairies will make the flowers blossom more beautifully.

        • Al

          What a world you atheist live in. You throw God out and now you believe all kinds of nonsense. Sad.

        • Kodie

          Why are you sad, you believe in nonsense.

        • Kodie

          The fairies in my backyard throw trash, and I have seen them, and I have also seen the building maintenance crew ignore trash that is obviously there and mow over it. If flowers grow back there, it is not from fairies but dog shit… although I have seen fewer dog-walking tenants since the management let the grass grow and neighbors fairies trespass.

        • adam

          No you mean when the being is IMAGINARY….

        • MNb

          RIght – like the fairies in my backyard. Thanks for admitting that they are there.

        • Kodie

          Don’t put all the ingredients for life on your kitchen table and the answer is still 0 seconds.

        • avalpert

          That’s exactly what the experiments are doing – and they are finding the conditions under which it happen (or at least getting closer to the the potential sets of condition under which it could happen).

          You are either being completely disingenuous in your responses or are really dense.

        • Al

          Not dense but critically thinking through the problems. Its one thing to create an experiment and another to explain without intelligence how these things came about. Huge difference here.

        • avalpert

          I set up an experiment where I let a ball go at the top of hill to see if it would roll down per the laws of physics and it did – of course my conclusion is that balls require intelligence to roll down a hill…

          Nope, definitely dense.

        • Al

          Ok. Now do this with the ingredients of life. Put the chemicals that are necessary for life in a container on leave it on the kitchen table. How long would you have to wait before you get life?

        • Kodie

          Al, I know you’re not going to understand this, but ingredients also require conditions. As you may be aware from looking out your cell window, the earth has many conditions that do not require the intervention of a human, but which can be replicated by a human. Have you ever watered a garden? That’s a human replicating rain so the result is the plants will get the water required to grow and not dry out and die. Does that require intelligence?

        • Al

          Watering the garden requires intelligence. It requires intelligence to know where to water, how much. The plants need to be in the right place and soil conditions to grow.

        • Kodie

          And yet… weeds.

        • MNb

          “Watering the garden requires intelligence.”
          Really? So it is god who makes it rain according to you? See, the plants in the garden don’t care where the water comes from.

          “It requires intelligence to know where to water, how much. The plants need to be in the right place and soil conditions to grow.”
          Ah, god did the job indeed as plants in nature have been around on Earth much longer than Homo Sapiens. Or you simply don’t know anymore what you’re arguing.

        • Al

          Interesting isn’t that there are no weeds on Mars. Why is that?

        • adam

          Goddidit?

        • MNb

          Interesting isn’t it that there are no weeds on the Northpole. Why is that?

        • avalpert

          That’s exactly what the experiments they were talking about are doing…

        • Al

          To do the experiments requires intelligence. The next step will be to see if it happens in nature. That has yet to be demonstrated.

        • Kodie

          Nature is already alive. The circumstances of non-life can only be replicated in a sterile environment like a lab. By a person. Sorry if that is inconvenient to your propaganda.

        • adam

          Yes, the EXPERIMENT requires intelligence.
          The CONDITIONS do NOT….

        • MNb

          Totally irrelevant. With every single experiment circumstances are controlled, whether in or outside a lab.

        • Al

          That control is done by intelligence. Let’s see nature it.

        • adam

          THAT is what we see….what nature has done.

          UNLESS…….

          YOU are FINALLY able to demonstrate this ‘god’ of yours is responsible???????

        • MNb

          So you argue that experiments tells us nothing and hence produce dismissable results?
          You argue that avalanches can’t go downward because nature can’t control, so your god does it?
          You argue that nature can’t control the circumstances for rotational motion, so your god makes sure the Moon circles around the Earth?
          Do you even understand your own arguments?

        • Al

          I’m just showing that when you take away intelligence you don’t end up with life. Not even close. I’m sure even Adam gets this.

        • adam

          No ‘Adam’ doesnt see any EVIDENCE that you’ve provide which would lead to such a conclusion.

          You AGAIN have shown NOTHING.

        • Pofarmer

          Nature today isn’t like nature a couple billion years ago.

        • Al

          And you know this how????

        • Pofarmer

          Science tells us this. Read some.

        • avalpert

          Doing the experiment with the ball and the hill requires intelligence also – yet you seemed to be able to grasp the conclusions of that.

          It actually has been demonstrated that it happens in nature because it has happened in nature – the challenge is understanding how it happened and that’s is what these experiments are getting to. And just as we ultimately did with gravity, friction, conservation of energy etc. we will keep developing a better understanding of the how without relying on magical fairy dust.

        • adam

          Until people like Al get what they want:

        • powellpower
        • Kodie

          Love it!

        • powellpower

          Have fun waiting for something that takes billions of years. In the meantime we’ll be following where the evidence leads

        • Kodie

          How many times do you have to be told there is already life in your kitchen, your “experiment” does not provide the conditions or controls for a proper replication. Get a microscope and go look at your kitchen table with it.

        • adam

          Ok, Now get some fresh food, like a very rare steak, a tomato, some lettuce, a lit mayo

          Put them on your kitchen table.
          How long does it take this perfectly good meal to become toxic.

          Are we to assume that the decay and GROWTH on these foods are YOUR supernatural MAGIC or natural chemical and physical properties?

          And AGAIN, the ENVIRONMENT of a kitchen table is NOT what was demonstrated in the experiment.

        • Kodie
        • adam

          But THAT isnt ‘similar conditions’ to the experiment.

        • Guest

          Whenever I hear an argument of this kind I wonder, what exactly exists that you think did NOT have to have been created by an intelligence? If you believe everything that exists had to have been created by an intelligence, your claim is groundless since you have no way of comparing something that needed to be created by an intelligence and something that did not if you believe nothing of the latter exists. Is there some mathematical way to determine how complex something must be for it have to have been designed? Or do you just say, “Well look at that! It must have been designed!”

          The Argument from Design is as invalid as the Argument from Sentience. The Argument from Sentience goes: “All sentient beings have a cause. But an infinite chain of causality cannot exist. Therefore, there must be a non-sentient first cause.” Basically, we cannot know from intuition anything about what started the universe, let alone that it (or they) has emotions.

        • Kodie

          You dumb shit. You are dumber than dumb shit. How are we to study something by waiting for the conditions to create life to occur in nature? Nature is already fucking alive. But a scientist can recreate conditions in a lab.

          Is your hair burning yet?

        • MNb

          “The scientists crafted ….”
          Wow, they are closer than I thought.

        • adam

          And we have been trying for only a few years..

        • Kodie

          The only fault with your post is that Al can’t read. But a lot of other people can, and I did with interest, and learned something new. Thank you.

        • adam

          OH, I understand that Al ‘BELIEVES’ he knows EVERYTHING knowable already, but because he cant demonstrate it, it PROVES he knows NOTHING besides the hollow Propaganda which he spreads like manure.

        • I know know. That’s where the evidence points. Sorry to break your heart–I have no blind faith in anything. That’s your department.

      • Guest

        There is no evidence for either of those.

        • MNb

          Actually there is, but yes, it’s weak and far from sufficient. So what?

        • Yipes, another evolution denier.

          Sorry, bud. It’s the scientific consensus.

        • Guest

          Not hardly, but even if it were, there is still no evidence for it.

        • Evolution? I’m pretty sure it’s the scientific consensus.

          What is your relationship to the scientific consensus? That is, by what argument would you reject the consensus view?

        • Guest

          What if someone told you, “Believe in evolution or Charles Darwin will de-evolve you into a single-celled organism?” Would that be a good enough reason to believe in evolution?

        • Kodie

          How much money are you paying annually to get the privilege of believing science is just a conspiracy, and also how much do you pay for the internet or data plan you’re using?

    • RichardSRussell

      Please be assured that I’m not trying to dodge your question, but the only thing on which there is an “atheist’s viewpoint” is the question of whether any gods exist. Atheists don’t think so. After that one point of agreement, there’s lots of divergence on other subjects and no “holy writ”, authority, or dogma that all atheists subscribe to. So the best you can hope to get is an answer as to what some atheists believe, with the caveat that they’re not speaking for atheists in general.

      • Ryan3857

        Thanks Richard, that is a good point. What would your answer be?

        • RichardSRussell

          It would be that life “at the very beginning” didn’t have intelligence. Also didn’t have eyes, legs, fingers, stomachs, lungs, hearts, or brains. It barely had mobility or reproductive capacity.

  • The danger with trying to twist answers to the problem of evil is they often do harm to the world, because people need to rationalize the question “Why did evil happen to that person?”
    So people who want their to be a reason for evil in the world will say things like.
    “Because they must have deserved it, even if we don’t know why.”
    “Because it’s for a greater good that this person suffers.”
    “Because that’s the way things are and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

    • adam

      Yes, I believe that this ‘justification of evil’ IS why there is so much evil in the world.

      Theist justify that evil is good because their god does it and their god is ‘good’.

      Pretty warped to me…

  • Pofarmer

    Garth brooks has a new song out. “People loving people.” Check it out.

    • MNb

      Nope. I think Garth Brooks boring.

      • Pofarmer

        Well, you ole grumpy dutchy you.

  • RichardSRussell

    Well, the apologist is right about one thing: The Problem of Evil doesn’t, in and of itself, disprove the existence of God. All it does is point out unmistakably what an incredible asshole such a God would be. For some reason, they never seem to follow up their argument with that logical conclusion.

    • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

      If you accept the argument it disproves (in the logical form) and renders unlikely (in the evidential form) the existence of a god so defined in the argument.
      No doubt you can hold belief in anything you wish as call it “god”, or you can reject one of the premises. But, if god is god only by virtue of having omni-max characteristics, and you accept the argument, it does prove that god doesn’t (or probably doesn’t) exist.

  • Dys

    After reading through the comments, it is quite clear that if there are any good arguments for Christianity, AI doesn’t know any of them.

  • Hey, Bob. Thanks for your e-mail about this post. (1) The POE isn’t argument against God’s existence because atheism isn’t the antithesis of Christianity. It’s possible that theism is true, even if Christians are mistaken about God’s goodness or power. (2) According to Christianity, God’s top priority isn’t helping people avoid inconvenience or pain as he acts in human history. It’s possible that God has morally justified reasons for allowing evil, as Plantinga’s Free Will Defense suggests. – Apologetics Guy

    • Greg G.

      That argument doesn’t work for the Problem of Suffering. With an omnipotent being, all suffering is unnecessary or omnipotence has no meaning. So the omnipotence chooses that unnecessary suffering exists which makes the omnipotence sadistic, not benevolent.

      • Al

        The problem you have is that you are claiming to have greater knowledge than God by saying “all suffering is unnecessary”. Suffering actually can make a person a stronger better person.

        • adam

          God?
          This IMAGINARY being you keep ranting about?

        • Greg G.

          So God isn’t potent enough to make a person better without suffering? That’s sadistic.

        • Al

          No.

        • Greg G.

          God is potent enough to make a person better but makes them suffer anyway for no reason. I was that what you’re saying?

        • adam

          But there IS a REASON, it is a CRUEL and SADISTIC ‘god’

        • Al

          God does not allow suffering for no reason. He has chosen suffering in this world to conform believers to the image of Christ and for unbelievers to believe in Him. When an unbeliever is unwilling to be in God because of his suffering this will only harden his heart even more. That hardening is very dangerous because it can lead to his destruction.

        • adam

          Yes, as we have pointed out YOUR god is a CRUEL god and it’s followers are cruel in justifying their ‘god’s’ cruelty.

        • Al

          How can that be when Christianity has done so much good over the centuries? What good has atheism done over the centuries?

        • adam

          Yes, I UNDERSTAND how you think the idea of punishsing the innocent for ‘original sin’, the genocides carried out by YOUR god in the flood, and commanded by YOUR god, the Crusades, The Inquisitions, The Witch Burnings, Slavery and religious wars are are “GOOD AND JUST”

          Like Thomas said: Belief in a Cruel God….

        • Pofarmer

          People who happened to be good have done much good over the centuries. But, you know what has done more good? Science, which dismisses god off hand for results and knowledge.

        • smrnda

          Christianity was not so good to the Jews in Europe.

        • Guest

          It wasn’t supposed to be. It was part of the curse they fell under when they rebelled against God. All the terrible things in Deuteronomy that they were warned would happen to them happened to them, just as God said they would.
          When it was over it was Christians who helped the Jews reclaim their original country, just as God said they would.

        • Kodie

          So Hitler had to have his way to fulfill prophesy?

        • Kodie

          Exactly the rationale I was referring to a moment upthread. He has “chosen” suffering as the method by which he will gain followers? Has he never heard of candy? Seriously, that is the problem. You Christians say it would be a bad parent to just give their kids candy to be popular to them, but “suffering” is ok with you? God gives people suffering to say “I love you, so I have to beat you so you love me back,” and when the poor victim doesn’t love him back? You say that’s their own fault?

          You are describing a very sick fuck belief system that says I have to beat you to get you to obey and like me. And if you don’t like the beatings enough, and thank god every day for the beatings, you are in danger of going to hell eternally because your heart is hardened because you don’t like being beaten?

          Holy shit Al. Do not even try to rationalize this anymore You are absolutely a sick fuck with a disease called Christianity. Nobody wants what you’re selling, goodbye.

        • Al

          Suffering is part of life because men are fallen. No one in their right minds would dismiss the fact the world is screwed up because of what people have done. Its messed up on the world level and the personal level.

          In this kind of situation God has given the Christian the way through this mess.

          You don’t have a way in this world that is victorious. All you can do is curse God and complain why He didn’t do better. I certainly don’t want what your selling. It has no hope and way to deal with world except but to deceive yourself.

        • Kodie

          Suffering is part of life because men are fallen.

          Show cause and effect. I believe this planet is just a planet and I’m alive on it and it can be dangerous and unpleasant at times. Some of it is because of humans and some of it is not. Do you think climate change is real or not, and why?

          Its messed up on the world level and the personal level.

          Some people surely think things are pretty peachy where they sit. The world is not screwed up at all. Can you elaborate what is screwed up in your opinion and what humans did to make these circumstances come about?

          In this kind of situation God has given the Christian the way through this mess.You don’t have a way in this world that is victorious. All you can do is curse God and complain why He didn’t do better.

          A god could do better. My observation is that there is no god, not because he could do better but because there is no credible evidence for any such god. What way out do you have that’s more victorious than the peaceful sleep of death?

        • Pofarmer

          “Suffering is part of life because men are fallen.”

          Worst, most hateful, theology ever.

        • MNb

          “In this kind of situation God has given the Christian the way through this mess.”
          Yes and we already have found out what that way is: kill of at least 1,5 million of jews in Auschwitz, convert, confess, repent, accept Jesus as your saviour and you’re fine. Never mind your victims.
          I prefer a more difficult way, so thanks, but no thanks.

        • hector_jones

          You mean you’d rather end up in hell with me and Kodie and BobS and pofarmer and wtfwjd and Greg and Lew and Ron and Richard and the gang, rather than end up in heaven with Al and David Berkowitz? Are you mad?

        • Greg G.

          Right, so you are saying God cannot “conform believes to the image of Christ”? Does suffering get unbelievers to believe? God can’t provide unambiguous evidence? God hardens hearts of unbelievers because he is not powerful enough to persuade them?

          If you say that God is powerful enough to “conform believers to the image of Christ” and all the rest without suffering, then he doesn’t need to cause or even allow the suffering. To allow or cause suffering if he is powerful enough to make do without it, then he is doing it maliciously and sadistically.

        • Al

          What Scripture tells us what God does and what you think He should do are 2 different things. God has His reasons for doing it this way and not your way.

        • Greg G.

          I agree that if there is an omnipotence, it can act in accordance with the definition of “sadistic” if it wishes and there’s nothing anyone can do about. But it is a lie to say it is not sadistic. Arguing that sadism is benevolence is as dishonest as you can be. Why do you do it?

        • adam

          Yes. It IS sadistic.

        • Kodie

          God can allegedly see the future? You are focusing on the heartwarming stories of triumph over suffering, and you think the key here is Jesus Christ. You or someone had said that suffering was meant to get people to conform to god’s will. That’s what he wants, to hurt you until you obey (and possibly continue hurting you after you obey and kiss him on the mouth for your suffering). If that’s the formula you think an omnipotent and omniscient god requires in order for your faith, you are a sick fuck. The god you describe is an authoritarian, abusive, insecure, and can’t find his ass with both hands. Humans know better than this now. A good parent doesn’t act like that. Only an asshole parent whose own parents beat them until they obeyed thinks they turned out ok and treat their own children this way.

    • adam

      ..

      • Al

        What does this have to do with Christianity? God is not cruel. What is cruel is atheism and evolution. Both degrade humanity.

        • adam

          Nothing degrades people like an IMAGINARY authority figure who has the emotional immaturity of a spoiled 5 year old.

        • Al

          Here again is what the great Richard Dawkins has said about how people are degraded:

          ““The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation.
          During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease.
          It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.
          The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
          ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

          You had to copy this and put this on your refrigerator door so you can be reminded of this every time you go for a beer.

        • adam

          I dont drink berr, and I understand it fine….

          What has it god to do with YOUR cruel god?

        • hector_jones

          Do you agree with Dawkins that the total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation? If you agree, then you and your god have a lot of explaining to do. If you don’t agree, then you will have to clarify your reasons for quoting this passage.

        • Al

          He is probably right about the suffering in the natural world.
          Dawkins is being consistent with his atheism and evolution views. I don’t agree that our lives are purposeless or that the universe has no purpose because the Scriptures tells me otherwise.

        • adam

          So there is suffering in “an” unnatural world?

        • Al

          What’s an “unnatural world?”

        • adam

          I was guessing it was something else imaginary..

          Al said “He is probably right about the suffering in the natural world.”

          So then he is right about all suffering, god IS imaginary.

        • Al

          If God doesn’t exist then suffering is meaningless.

        • adam

          On the contrary, religious people often worry that life is meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. Atheists tend to be quite sure that life is precious. Life is imbued with meaning by being really and fully lived.
          Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so. Atheists tend to find this fear of meaninglessness
          … well
          … meaningless.
          .
          Sam Harris

        • Al

          How can life have meaning in a universe without meaning? You are born and then you die. That’s it.

        • adam

          By stepping back from the manure like propaganda and understand what ‘meaning’ means……

          mean·ing noun ˈmē-niŋ

          : the idea that is represented by a word, phrase, etc.

          : the idea that a person wants to express by using words, signs, etc.

          : the idea that is expressed in a work of writing, art, etc.

        • Al

          What meaning does the universe have?

        • adam

          : the idea that is represented by a word, phrase, etc.

          : the idea that a person wants to express by using words, signs, etc.

          : the idea that is expressed in a work of writing, art, etc.

        • Kodie

          Do you think everyone is going to have the same answer to that?

        • Al

          For the atheist, yes.

        • Kodie

          Because you stubbornly believe the church you pay to tell you things says so? How much do you pay annually by the way? Not “by the way” I mean, for the dozenth time.

        • adam

          Whatever a person imparts on it.

        • Kodie

          You don’t have any friends or family? Your problem is a chasm between the words “meaning” and “eternal”. If your friend wants to meet you for lunch because he likes your company, his opinion means nothing? By all means tell him his friendship is meaningless.

        • Al

          In a meaningless universe and a life that ceases to exist at death then its all meaningless. Even Dawkins would agree with this.

        • Kodie

          Do your friends and family know you’ve decided not to love them because only god’s love counts?

        • Al

          God commands me to love those whom I don’t like.

        • Kodie

          1. F-r-i-e-n-d-s and f-a-m-i-l-y. Do you understand these groups to be comprised of people you don’t like?

          2. So you wouldn’t love them if you didn’t have to?

          3. You’re not actually addressing the point here.

        • Al

          Some of my family I don’t like because of what they have done to others.
          Right now one has brought wicked charges against me that are untrue. That is a challenge to love that person.

          Do you love those who you don’t like?

        • Kodie

          No I do not. I don’t find it a challenge to love my family even if they aren’t perfect. My sister is a rag a lot of the time and I just avoid her when she’s like that but I don’t say I don’t like her. She’s what I just say hard to get along with sometimes. I am curious what wicked charges could be about, though. If it’s personal I won’t pry but I can’t suppress my curiosity just the same. I guess “god” would challenge me to mind my own business and forget about it, but brains work differently than you want them to sometimes.

        • Al

          I do like my family members. My oldest brother was an alcoholic and did a lot of damage to his family. He never owned up to it and lost everything. I have more compassion for him today but also sadness.

          The current issue that my niece has accused me of is pure evil. Being unjustly accused of something that is serious in nature is a challenge. I don’t hate her but I don’t trust her. I’m grateful we don’t live close by.

          Its easy to love someone when they are nice but a greater challenge when they are not.

        • Kodie

          Well I don’t say I love everyone in my family or like them. Beyond my immediate family, my parents my sister my brother, their children, I love them all and like them, even if they are hard to get along with sometimes, I manage to do what I can to keep the peace if I can. I might like or love some of my cousins but I haven’t seen them in a long time, due to a rift in my own parent’s sibling relationships. Not seeing someone for a long time tends to make them strangers rather than family so I don’t know them now and can’t tell you if I would like them. I do not love people if I don’t know them. I think Christianity warps and confuses that word, but to me I can be nice to people, helpful, charitable, but I don’t say that I do it out of love for them personally or out of humanity. Love is not a word I use like that.

        • adam

          But at LEAST, YOUR ‘god’ will forgive you for what you did to your neice..

          NO MATTER how evil it was…

        • adam

          Wow!
          Bearing FALSE WITNESS AGAIN….

          When it was so easy to good what he said about meaning.

          “There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a
          responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult
          view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as
          wonderful as we choose to make it.”


          Richard Dawkins,

          The God Delusion

        • MNb

          That’s the problem for Al. Without his imaginary sky daddy he isn’t capable of making his life as meaningful as he chooses.

        • Al

          You are not well read. Here again is what Richard wrote about meaning:

          “. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes,
          blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no
          evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
          ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

          BTW- has any life formed on your kitchen table yet?

        • Kodie

          We’re not the ones in denial of reality, Al. One statement does not negate the other. You are trying to fit them in your own scheme, and I pity you would feel lost without external and eternal validation. I, for one, am glad that you will end one day, and cease to have meaning to anyone.

        • adam

          Sorry, but your quote didnt counter mine at all..

          Here is what Dawkins said about meaning:

          Wow!
          Bearing FALSE WITNESS AGAIN….

          When it was so easy to good what he said about meaning.

          “There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”


          Richard Dawkins,

          The God Delusion

          I dont have a kitchen table….
          And besides it does not replicate the conditions of the experiment, but you KNOW that already….

          It is just the VERY BEST that YOUR religion has prepared you for in dealing with you own delusion.

        • smrnda

          How can words on a blank piece of paper mean anything when the paper and the ink have no meaning?

        • adam

          How does an IMAGINARY god affect the meaning of suffering?

          suffering noun
          : pain that is caused by injury, illness, loss, etc. : physical, mental, or emotional pain

          sufferings : feelings of pain

        • Al

          An IMAGINARY god would have no affect on the meaning of suffering.

        • adam

          So then your point is invalid.

        • Al

          An IMAGINARY god can do nothing. Right?

        • adam

          Except in the imagination and actions of it’s ‘believers….

        • Kodie

          That’s not true – your god is imaginary yet you persist in believing that suffering has to have meaning, and you invent stories about those meanings, well, not you, but you listen to the stories and believe them. You never answer me when I ask you how much you are paying them to have you believe their stories?

        • Kodie

          Then why did you quote that passage? Do you think god has a plan for all the animals?

        • Al

          Don’t know.

        • Kodie

          Are you going to think about it a little?

        • Al

          Some do think that there will be animals in heaven. Isaiah 65:25 maybe an example of this,

        • Kodie

          So…. animals are in heaven because they accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior? Their suffering was to reach them and get them to conform to god’s will, and they can … get into heaven despite the fact that your nonsense story means horseshit to them? And yet, I, good citizen and generous helpful, and caring human being will go to hell. FOREVER.

          Aside, let me ask you if you think forever is a long time to rot in hell? If you were god, can you pretend that if you were god? If you were god, who would go to hell in your own opinion, not his, and who would get a lighter sentence, and maybe a weekend in hell or something like that.

          2nd aside, do you think animals are in heaven? Do you think all animals are in heaven or do you think some of them are in hell, and based on what?

          Thank you very much in advance.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m pretty much trying to understand what’s wrong with that whole passage. It seems self evident if you actually look around.

        • Kodie

          You have a warped sense of morality even if the only part of it you believe is that eternity in hell is for people who are good but do not believe in Jesus.

        • Al

          The issue of hell is not about someone doing good but punishment for sin and evil.

        • Kodie

          It’s sin not to believe in god, simply that, he cannot stand, so fire up the BBQ. I wish one time you could read.

        • Al

          It is evil to reject God either by ignoring Him (unbelief) or by breaking His laws in your life.
          God has provided a way out of this predicament. Repent of your sins and believe in your heart that Christ died for those sins and rose again. When I tell an atheist this, they reject it as nonsense. So what is God to do when His offer for forgiveness is rejected?

        • Kodie

          I didn’t do anything wrong that requires it. I don’t know why you think this is a good system. It’s a shitty system. It’s a mafioso system. The god you describe is a bully. What is god to do when I reject his “offer” for forgiveness I don’t accept? Be cool! He is omnipotent. You are acting like his hands are fucking tied and it’s the bureaucracy that he can’t do anything about it.

          That’s all human shit. Your god acts like a human, and not one of the best, most practical, most loving kinds of humans. Sorry but your god is an asshole. You are in love with a total fucking douchebag.

        • Al

          You are doing what I found so often. Instead of owning up to your sin before a holy God, you dismiss it as nonsense. You know in your heart you have not lived up to a moral pure life and you know the guilt from it.
          So long as you are unwilling to accept your sins as your own making you will never find peace before God.

        • Kodie

          I don’t have a lot of guilt for anything that’s pretty stupid. That is really a disease you have accepted that you have and the only cure is Jesus Christ. You fear hell so you believe out of fear. I’m a human animal and nobody is perfect, and I try to do my best, and you may say I answer to nobody, but I answer to a lot of people, every day. I don’t like to have other people upset with me because I care about how they feel, and their comfort and security. I don’t like it when others infringe on my comfort and security. That’s because I live in a society. When I make a mistake, I tell someone that is affected that I’m sorry and I feel bad and mean it. I don’t require their forgiveness but what is the worst that can happen to me if they don’t. Life is different than you think it is for an atheist.

        • Al

          You are guilty for the sins you commit whether you feel guilty or not. You are guilty for breaking God’s not just once or twice but thousands of times in your life.

        • MNb

          There is no god and before you ask: I already gave you the facts why I can say that.

        • Al

          You don’t give facts. Only assertions and assertions are not facts.

        • MNb

          It’s a fact that you can’t tell us how immaterial entities like gods and souls interact with our material reality.
          It’s a fact that you don’t have a reliable methodology to separate correct claims about the supernatural/ immaterial /transcendental from incorrect ones. You have tried once and failed miserably.

        • hector_jones

          I think he’s tried more than once, and failed miserably each and every time.

        • hector_jones

          That’s just an assertion. Hence, not a fact.

        • Kodie

          What sins? Tell me what sins god is going to punish me for, and after that, show me the evidence.

        • Al

          Your disbelief in Him, your ungratefulness for His blessings in your life and your blaspheming of Him. These are some of the sins you are guilty of.

        • hector_jones

          Like I said, disbelief in Him is said to be the biggest sin of all. I’m not important enough for him to bother to pick up the phone and give me a call to get that personal relationship started, but he needs me to believe in him soooooooooooooooooo bad that if I don’t he’s going to punish me for it. Your god is even more of a shit-for-brains than you are, Al

        • Al

          That is right. You are not important enough for a personal call. No one is.

        • hector_jones

          Then god is without excuse.

          Your god is pathetic and needy. He needs me more than I need him. I’m not important enough for a personal call. I can’t even get a call from the Pope, just some shitforbrains on the internet who goes by the name of al. And you know what? I really don’t care. I sleep just fine without his calls and without any evidence that he even exists.

          But apparently he needs me to believe in him so bad that if I don’t, he’s personally sending me to hell. Your god sounds psychotic to me. He should see a shrink real soon.

        • Al

          God does not need you or anyone. Its because of His mercy and love that He has not only communicated with us but died for us.
          You can sleep fine now but the day may come when you will face death and then it may be to late.

          If you don’t care about this then why are you having this conversation with me?

        • hector_jones

          If God doesn’t need me or anyone, then he has no need for me to believe in or worship him. And yet he will punish those who do not worship or believe in him with everlasting hell. That’s not the behavior or someone who doesn’t need anyone.

          I don’t care about god because he doesn’t exist, but I do care about the damage being done in his name by people like you. Lives wasted and ruined over an imaginary god is a profound tragedy. How many times do you christians need to have that explained to you?

          If you ask me, you don’t really believe in god either. You know in your heart that it’s bullshit, but you are scared. Scared of life, scared of being merely human, and above all, scared of dying. So you will cling to anything that eases your existential pain rather than face reality. You show time and time again with every comment you post that reality is something you just cannot cope with.

        • Al

          True. God has no need for you to worship Him. However, He has the authority and power to command all men to worship. In fact, some day all men will bend the knee to Him whether they want to or not.
          Hell is something to be feared. That is a good thing because there is still time for people to do something about it and not end up there.
          You can live your life anyway you want to right now. However, don’t forget that you will give an account of it in the judgement. Better to live by the truth than a lie and lose your soul.

        • smrnda

          So… your god is just a super-powerful version of Chairman Mao during the Cultural Revolution now?

        • MNb

          “In fact, some day all men will bend the knee to Him whether they want to or not.”
          Boooooohh, Al is frightening me again.

          “and lose your soul.”
          But above we already agreed that I don’t have a sould (according to you that explains why I’m an atheist) so I don’t have anything to lose.

        • adam

          ..

        • Kodie

          Plus he pays an unspecified amount for the privilege of being “loved” by his abuser.

        • MNb

          Another thing your god has in common with Hitler. He did not need you or anyone either. It was because of his mercy and love that he has not only communicated with us but committed suicide for us.

          “You can sleep fine now but the day may come when you will face death and then it may be to late.”
          Boooooooohh. Al frightens me again.

          “If you don’t care about this then why are you having this conversation with me?”
          Because you bring up shitty arguments.

        • Kodie

          The question is why does god need you?

          The organization to which you pay an unspecified amount has told you that abuse is love, and that hell is real, and that the only reason you matter is because god makes you matter. And you want to threaten us? You’re a pawn. You don’t care about us, because if you did, you would listen and hear us. The organization to which you pay an unspecified amount has led you to fear godlessness with threats and lies. Because they love your money. There is no substance to their threats, just profit. They found an idiot and then they sent you out to talk to us. We don’t deny or reject or fear god because it is only a myth. You belong to a cult that attracts members who find the message more attractive because you’re the one who is missing something, and you fill that missing something with any damn thing to comfort your childish insecurities, you follow orders, and you thank them for scaring you and scarring you by paying them an amount which you have not yet specified.

          It’s a business model.

        • adam

          Why Does God Need Us

          This is a very interesting and important question, and it is the key to revealing God’s true nature. First of all, it should be obvious that an extradimensional, beyond-the-Universe omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient superduperbeing would have no need of our worship any more than we require the worship of ants or bacteria. If we saw someone ‘revealing his wrath from above’ on some anthill, stomping on it because the ants refused to heed his commandments, we’d either laugh, or call for the fellows in the white coats, whether we’re Christian or not.

          It is obvious then, that a vastly superior being has no need for the worship or obediance of vastly inferior beings, by definition. And yet, God very clearly demands human worship and obediance. Furthermore, when confronted with disobediance, unbelief, or belief in rival gods/goddesses, he reacts (and persuades his followers to react) with as much fury and force as he (and they) can muster. In other words, God acts like a cornered animal whose very survival is at stake.

          To answer the question, why does God need worshipers, we need only ask, why does a king need subjects? A king without subjects is not a king at all. But with subjects who obey him, a king has enormous, and genuine power. He can speak a command, and an army marches. A temple or a palace springs into being. At the king’s word, his enemies can be slaughtered, and an entire nation of people can act as one.

          In other words, by proclaiming himself to be a King,
          God not only confesses that he is not “omnipotent,” he admits that humans have power that he lacks. Everything God commands people to do, from waging wars, to passing collection plates in church, to banning gay
          marriage is ironclad, demonstrable proof-in-action that God cannot do these things in and for himself.

          Kevin Crady

          OF COURSE YOUR ‘god’ NEEDS…

          He NEEDS blind worshipers like you, otherwise he would go the way of Zeus, Mithra and thousands of other gods that people grew out of.

        • Kodie

          Despite all your efforts, I remain unconvinced. How bad do you feel that you failed?

        • adam

          Blasphemy is a political crime for political power.

        • adam

          But you can be forgiven of cannilbalistic baby raping and mass murder, IF YOU JUST BELIEVE….

          You can do the MOST VILE and DISGUSTING things to other, you can LIE, CHEAT and STEAL
          And get away with it all

        • Guest

          There’s nothing even being argued anymore. There’s just a back and forth of “No, YOU’RE wrong.” Besides, if there is a God and he has a serious problem with unrepentant sinners who don’t even believe in him, then why create them in the first place? If God knows that someone is going to be worthy of hell before he even creates the first molecule of the universe, then for what purpose is he creating them? If he doesn’t like seeing his creation going to hell then he’s doing something he doesn’t like billions of times if your claim that anyone who rejects God or Christ goes to hell is true. And the most brain-rattling part to me is that God gets nothing out of this, unless… If it pleases God to create people he knows are going to hell then he is pretty sadistic. If it displeases God to create people he knows are going to hell then he’s probably incompetent. If he’s apathetic about his creations going to hell, then how much meaning can you claim to have for yourself if your eternal fate is meaningless to your own creator?

        • Guest

          Whoops, I meant to reply to Al with that post.

        • What’s surprising? You won’t own up to your sins before a holy Flying Spaghetti Monster.

          Walk the walk, bro.

        • hector_jones

          Seems to me that if Pascal’s Wager teaches us anything it’s that one should get down on one’s knees and confess one’s sins to, and beg for mercy from, every possible god one can even imagine, just to be safe. Hedging is a well-recognized gambler’s strategy. Christians, however, are really advising us to go for broke on a long shot.

        • 90Lew90

          Book Of Job in short…

          Satan: I bet your favourite person would curse you if you tortured him enough.

          God: I’ll take you up on that. I’ll bet you half a shekel because I don’t gamble for profit. Oops. Did I just mention I gamble?!

          Satan: Go on then. Torture the bastard.

          God: Hmmm… Where to start? Fingernails? Nah, that’s a bit Mafia. Kill all his animals, all his family and his entire livestock. And then cover him with suppurating boils? That ought to do it.

          [Stage left, poor old Job finally loses the plot. Driven clean mad. And has the gall to question God. God help him, he made a mistake there.]

          God: Fuck you ya cheeky wee bastard. Who d’ye think ye are?!

          [Job looks gormless.]

          God: I’ll have yer fuckin’ guts for garters. Wee cunt. I’m going to hit you with a pile of questions here. And don’t be answerin’ back.

          [Job carries on looking gormless. Licking some pus off his weeping knee and spitting. God runs his mouth off with the pile of questions.]

          God: Right sorry about that old bean. I guess I have a bit of a temper on me and that Satan… Well, he’s a one. Here, have your life back and a whole new set of really goodlooking daughters. Would you like a wee donkey? Never mind the psychological damage I inflicted on you for no good reason. Gird up your loins.

          Job [presumably]: Aye, thanks very much aye.

          P.S. H.L. Mencken’s ‘Where is the Graveyard of the Dead Gods’: http://nowscape.com/atheism/dead_gods.htm

        • And all those gods wouldn’t catch the hypocrisy, either.

        • smrnda

          I’m actually pretty proud of my life, and of the things I’ve done people might label ‘sins’ I really don’t see the big deal. I feel very, very little guilt and shame about anything, though I feel there is some injustice in me being more privileged than other people, but as far as I can tell, privilege simply entails responsibility.

          Sure, I’m not perfect but the forgiveness is between me and the people I disappointed, and isn’t a matter for third parties like your god. I don’t need peace with your god any more than I need peace with Kim Jong-un. I need peace with the people in my life who are actually real.

        • adam

          Yes, Kodie

          Own up to god, you can be a cannibalistic baby raper or a mass murderer like Rudolph Hess and SIT besides Jesus in HEAVEN, IF you only BELIEVE….

        • Yeah–it is nonsense. Imagine someone from another religion giving you a similar ultimatum.

        • hector_jones

          It would help a lot if god actually presented this offer in person, instead of through a numbskull like you. That’s what god is to do when his offer is rejected.

        • Al

          The message has nothing to do with me being a numbskull or not. What matters is the message itself which Christ Himself taught and supports. It won’t help you in the day of judgment to claim you didn’t like the messenger. That won’t cut it.

        • hector_jones

          You’re not getting it, Al. You are a very stupid person. VERY stupid. So fucking stupid it hurts stupid.

          My point is that there is no message which Christ Himself taught and supports. There are only people like you who claim that such a message exists. If it’s a genuine message to me from a genuine Christ Himself then Christ Himself has to show up and deliver it. He hasn’t even texted, phoned, emailed, or sent me a snail mail letter. Zip. Nada. So far, it’s just you, and numbskulls like you, with a dusty old book of mythology, who insist that this message is out there, that it’s addressed to me, and that I have to accept it or else. If you were capable of critical thinking, you would see how utterly unconvincing that is.

        • Al

          Hector you are dense. You believe all kinds of messages from people who are not the source of the message. So don’t be stupid thinking you deserve a personal message from Christ. That is total nonsense.

        • hector_jones

          Well if I don’t deserve a personal message from Christ, why is Christ so concerned about me and what I do? The worst sin, Christians tell me, is to not believe in a guy who doesn’t care enough about me to even send me a personal message to let me know he’s real.

          I accept messages from other people because I have evidence that people are a real thing and that they send messages to one another. I have no evidence that gods are a real thing and that they send messages to anyone. I just have dumbfucks like you telling me this.

          Any god who would send a shit-for-brains moron like you as his messenger has absolutely no excuse for punishing me because I don’t believe the message is real. There are plenty of cons out there, Chester, and your religion is one of them.

        • Al

          He created you and owns you and you are accountable to Him as everyone else is. That is why there is a judgement.

          You can deceive yourself there is no God but that doesn’t work here. The fact is He has given you plenty of evidence for His existence and you still reject it. You can reject the message but there will be negative consequences for you after death.

        • hector_jones

          My parents created me. Your imaginary god doesn’t own me and I’m not accountable to him. I’d tell him to go fuck himself, but he’s not real. There is no judgement.

          He has given me no evidence of his existence. I reject the message because all the evidence shows you got it from an old book of mythology.

          You can deceive yourself that there is a god but that doesn’t work here. One day you will die and simply cease to exist, just like before you were born. There is no heavenly reward waiting for you. Stop deluding yourself and wasting your time believing nonsense and ancient superstitions. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal for the afterlife. This is it. You don’t get a second chance, no matter how hard you believe.

        • Dys

          AI is a presuppositional apologist who doesn’t realize he’s a presuppositional apologist. Which is why he just keeps asserting theology without providing any good reason to accept those assertions.

        • adam

          AFTER death? What a SCAM.

          Prove it…

        • adam

          Here Hector, here is your personal message from Christ

        • hector_jones

          LOL yep. God’s own messenger, an obvious idiot, calls me dense and stupid. And god wonders why I don’t return his calls.

        • Al

          You’re imagining things now. He’s not calling you.

        • hector_jones

          A moment ago you said he has a message for me. Now he’s not calling me. See why I call you a shit-for-brains?

        • Kodie

          How illiterate are you? Didn’t god send you here for hector? And didn’t you call hector dense and stupid?

          Would Jesus be pleased that is the way you are spreading his message? There is no “goodness” in your faith and no evidence. You have nothing to show so you called hector dense and stupid for thinking a competent and existent god would either show himself or at the very least, his followers would be able to argue intelligently. You are a bad example, I don’t want to be a Christian specifically because of you. You’re a huge turnoff.

        • adam

          But arent you his ‘messenger’?

          Delivering YOUR ‘god’s’ ‘message’?
          Incoherently…

        • Kodie

          Some idiot on the internet said I was going to hell. I guess I’ll believe him.

        • MNb

          Booooo. Al threatens me again with christ the boogeyman. I’m scaaaaarrrreeeed.

        • Kodie

          You’re proof that if god exists, he’s not only not perfect, he’s incompetent. He put the message in your hands to bring to us, and he allows you to blame us for thinking you’re a fucking moron.

        • hector_jones

          Amazing how Al really does think he’s god’s messenger. God sends us an idiot, whom another christian concedes has only ‘shitty’ arguments, and then when I reject the message what is god to do? Apparently I’m not important enough for god to deliver the msg personally. That’s too much for the all mighty creator of the universe to handle. But he will take the time to see to it that I burn in hell for an eternity. What else is an all powerful all loving all knowing all good god to do? Seems I have god stymied.

        • Al

          You don’t have anyone stymied. Your making stupid arguments.

        • adam

          THEN DEMONSTRATE HOW they are stupid…

          You CAN’T seem to demonstrate ANY of the other claims you’ve made

          And WE have already DEMONSTRATED that you are a Willful LIAR, when it suits you…

        • Al

          Anyone who wants God Himself to deliver His message or it will be rejected is stupid.

        • hector_jones

          It would only be stupid if after saying that he has to deliver it personally, I sat around the house waiting for his call, like a teenage girl with a crush. Of course he’s never going to call, because he’s not real.

        • adam

          Hector, Al’s ‘god’ is INCAPABLE of personally delivering a message to you, he can’t get out of Al’s imagination…

        • hector_jones

          And anyone who expects that a real Nigerian prince would be able to do his own banking and not need to access someone else’s bank account, is stupid too.

        • Al

          No true. Go read the gospels. He personally delivered the message. Simple enough for a child to understand but to deep for a skeptic to grasp.

        • adam

          It is MYTHOLOGY…..

          Too deep for childish thinking….

        • Al

          God doesn’t make house calls and He doesn’t suffer fools.

        • hector_jones

          He doesn’t make house calls because he’s not real.

          He doesn’t suffer fools because he’s not real. Lucky for you, because you are a fool.

        • Kodie

          So I guess you’re going to hell.

        • adam

          Here let me help Al and his ‘god’ out a bit

        • Kodie

          Do you think you’re doing a good job for Jesus? Do you really?

        • hector_jones

          Al, you’ve been stymied since the day you were born. And as for your god, he’s even weaker and more pathetic than you. At least you are here typing some comments. What’s he doing? Absolutely nothing.

        • Al

          He showed up in person 2000 years ago and did some things you can’t understand.

          If you don’t show up at my door in 5 minutes that means you don’t exist.

        • hector_jones

          Oh 2000 years ago? I guess I must have missed him. Too bad for me, I’m goin’ to hell.

          If I don’t show up at your door in 5 mins that means I don’t exist? God’s had more than 5 mins now, and I’m not god, you discombobulated shit-for-brains imbecile. You are trying to tell me it’s impossible for your god to show up at my door in 5 mins? You are one of the stupidest people I have ever encountered. And I’m including codygirl in the count.

        • Al

          You don’t exist. You never showed up so that means you don’t exist. I’m having a conversation with a fantasy. Crazy..

        • hector_jones

          “I’m having a conversation with a fantasy.”

          Probably not the first time.

          “Crazy..”

          It is beginning to look that way.

        • Al

          A fantasy called Hector….

        • hector_jones

          Christianity is so lucky to have you, al.

        • adam

          A fantasy called ‘god’

        • Kodie

          At least you’re finally able to admit it.

        • adam

          But see hector COULD show up, YOUR god cannot escape from your imagination and show up to hector.

        • Kodie

          You never told me how much money you are paying this organization for their fairy tales.

        • Kodie

          If we can’t convince you of atheism, all you get is a lifetime of stupid, oh, and how much are you paying your church for this service?

        • adam

          Ahhh……….

          The ultimate proof of Al’s ‘god’

          The Ad Hominem….

        • adam

          Yes, you WOULD think that ‘god’s messenger would have a clue how the Real World works…

        • adam

          But god is a sinner, does he forgive himself
          Or does someone else have to get tortured and die before that happens?

        • MNb

          It was evil to reject Hitler either by ignoring The Führer or by breaking his laws in your life.

        • 90Lew90

          “So what is God to do when His offer for forgiveness is rejected?”

          Kill ’em all and send them to the fiery pit? Have a nice Sunday.

        • Ken

          Maybe hell is here on earth, and you are already in it.

        • 90Lew90

          That thought hadn’t escaped me.

        • hector_jones

          Maybe. But that doesn’t really fit in very well with what’s in that holy book of yours.

        • adam

          Act like an immature spoiled 5 year old like it usually does.

        • Al

          Not believing in the true God leads to more sin.

        • MNb

          Ah, that’s why there are so relatively few atheists in prison.

        • Guest
        • MNb
        • Guest

          Actually no, your link is to a site that perpetuates the lie.
          According to the accurate figures about 0.5% of the population are atheists, and 0.25% of prisoners are.
          That means half of atheists are in prison, which is very damaging to atheism’s reputation, so it’s no wonder they lie.

        • Guest

          sorry, that should say 20.5% of prison population, not 0.25

        • MNb

          That still is damaging your reputation regarding calculation. 20,5 % of 10 000 = 2050 which is still not half of atheists.
          Plus you provide exactly zero evidence for that 20,5 %.

        • Guest

          approximately 220 000 000 adults in USA
          0.5% of 220 000 000 = 1 100 000 atheists
          approximately 2 100 000 prisoners in USA
          20.5% of 2 100 000 = 430 500 atheists
          just under half, yes

        • MNb

          “That means half of atheists are in prison”
          You’re not very good at calculation, are you?
          I’ll spell it out for you. Suppose a country has 1 000 000 inhabitants. 0,5% atheists = 50 000. Suppose that country has 10 000 prisoners. 0,25% = 25. Now 25 is not exactly half of 50 000.

          “which is very damaging to atheism’s reputation”
          No, this is damaging your reputation. Regarding calculation amongst others.

        • Kodie

          You’re not measuring the same thing. How math works:

          .25% is half of .5%, but that means atheists represent a lower percentage in prison than they do in the population in general. It does not mean half of all atheists are in prison.

          You have 1 million cows. .5% of all cows are green.
          That’s 5000 cows that are green.
          99.5% of cows are not green.

          10% of all cows are in barns.
          That’s 100,000 cows that are in barns.

          .25% of all cows in barns are green.
          That’s 250 cows in barns that are green.
          99.75% of cows in barns are not green.

        • Pofarmer

          Holy cow! How is somene who doesn’t understsnd simole math like that going to give a coherent answer for
          God? Oh, that’s right, they’re not.

        • Guest

          There are people who sin who believe in the “true” God anyway. I bet you’ll pull a No True Scotsman and say those people don’t really believe in the One True God™. But then you’re simply defining “believing in God” as “not sinning” which makes sense if you define “sin” as disobeying God. But to atheists that’s as futile as suggesting that we are bad people because we don’t believe in the god of Hammurabi from which it is claimed he received his law from. Maybe we should all start believing in Hammurabi’s God lest we all suffer his wrath just in case he/she/it exists.

        • Al

          You are bad. You break God’s law every day, multiple times. You will sin thousands of times in your life if you life just 50 years.

        • adam

          And YOU are sinning right now.
          Willfully.

        • Kodie

          You don’t have morality, you have obedience. Your religious beliefs don’t make you good, they make you actually kind of an asshole who only cares about pleasing a deity to avoid the punishment of hell. He doesn’t care if you care about other people. Did you molest your niece?

        • adam

          No quite the opposite.
          God FORGIVES the EVIL that men do who are ‘believers’ that ALLOWS more people to do MORE evil, because they ‘believe’ they can get away with it.

          Just like YOU ‘believe’ you can get away with lying…

        • Ken

          I think the problem here is that while many people.reject Jesus because they are wicked, some may truly not know who He is and there for arenot rejecting Jesus so much as rejecting some misconcieved version of Him. I don’t think these people are going to hell, but only God knows the truth and can judge according to the secrets in mens hearts.

        • 90Lew90

          Sorry but you cannot equate rejection of your personal god with wickedness. Epitome of non sequitur.

        • Kodie

          You mean Jesus the cartoon character everyone’s talking about, constantly? We’ve never heard of him.

          /sarcasm

        • hector_jones

          So you’ve met Jesus and got to know him, and I haven’t? But I’d really like him lots, just like you do, if I met him?

          So tell me what it was like to meet him. I’ve asked you this question a few times now and for some strange reason you seem very reluctant to give me the details of meeting the most important person in your life, who you also think is very important for me to meet too. That’s just weird.

        • Al

          Jesus was very clear about hell in His teachings. People don’t go to hell for not knowing about Christ but for sin that they know they do.

        • MNb

          Jesus was wrong.

        • Al

          How do you know He was wrong? What counter facts do you have to proves it?

        • MNb

          There is no shred of evidence for hell. It’s an incoherent concept. That’s because it implies human beings have souls. The soul is a meaningless concept.
          Before I provide you with more details (but possibly you can guess them: is hell material or immaterial?

        • Al

          There is no evidence for all kinds of things you believe are true. Hell is not an incoherent concept. Its quite reasonable. In fact we have temporal examples of it in our world. Life in prison is an an example. The death penalty is another.

          If we don’t have souls then all we are, are meat machines and nothing more.

        • MNb

          “If we don’t have souls then all we are, are meat machines and nothing more.”
          Yes, and? That you have a problem with this means exactly zilch.

          “Life in prison is an an example. The death penalty is another.”
          Manmade, hence no evidence for hell.

          “Hell is not an incoherent concept.”
          Is hell material or immaterial?

        • Al

          If you are a meat machine that means you have no independent free thinking. Thinking is just the chemicals in your brain and nothing else.

        • Al

          Hell is a place and a condition.

        • MNb

          Is hell material or immaterial?

        • Al

          Scripture only tells us that its a place of darkness, gnashing of teeth and torment. It is unending.

        • MNb

          So you don’t know. Thanks for confirming that hell is an incoherent concept. It can’t even address a simple question like this one.

        • MNb

          Yes, and? That you have a problem with this means exactly zilch. In fact you are a perfect example – I never have caught you producing an independent thought. Not that I blame you. During the 50 years of my life I have produced exactly one original thought myself at best and I highly doubt if it was an independent one.
          Is hell material or immaterial?

        • Al

          Your belief in atheism is only because of the chemicals in your brain. This is what you get when there is no soul-mind.

        • Kodie

          Do you know just how much you sound like you’re in a cult?

        • MNb

          Yes, and? That you have a problem with this means exactly zilch.
          Your belief system in exactly the same way is also only because of the chemicals in your brain (it’s actually a bit more complicated, but never mind).

          “This is what you get when there is no soul-mind.
          Let’s get our terminology straight and clear. Soul is immaterial – that thing that is supposed to go to heaven or hell. Mind is material. It describes what happens within our brains and is studied by psychology.
          Hence I do have a mind.
          Indeed I don’t have a soul. Thanks for confirming that my atheism is evidence that human beings don’t have a sould indeed.

        • Pofarmer

          It seems to me, if you are a meat machine, all you have is independent free thinking.

        • Kodie

          I love how you think there are temporal examples of hell and not just that hell is the most eternal jail EVA!!!

          If you found out you didn’t have a soul, really how would your life change?

        • adam

          Hell is “quite reasonable”
          Unmerciful Eternal TORTURE is ‘quite reasonable”

          THIS is the very reason there is so much EVIL in the world, people who JUSTIFY EVIL..

        • hector_jones

          “If we don’t have souls then all we are, are meat machines and nothing more.”

          Since you think this means we must have souls, it’s back to argumentum ad consequentiam once again for you, al. We went over this problem with you weeks ago. This is why we call you stupid. Because you prove with every comment you post that you are completely incapable of learning even one thing.

        • Al

          You of all people have never refuted this. It is stupid to think we are just meat machines but thats what we get if we have no souls-spirit. You need to be consistent.

        • hector_jones

          Shifting the burden of proof once again too. You really haven’t learned a fucking thing, ever.

        • smrnda

          Let’s say someone tells me that human beings have mites in our eyebrows. How would we determine if this was true? If someone tells me that human beings have 2 kidneys, how do we find out?

          If you say we have souls, please define a soul so we can go about finding some means of testing this.

        • MNb

          You have never refuted the statement that people don’t have souls. And I gave you two arguments that people don’t. These arguments are the same as against your god, simply because both the soul and your god are defined as immaterial entities. You have refused to address one argument and failed to disprove the other.

        • Pofarmer

          So, is a dog a meat machine? An ape?

        • smrnda

          Civilized nations have rejected the death penalty, and reject inhumane treatment of prisoners. Some have even abolished life in prison. Ever read about Swedish prisons?

        • adam

          But ETERNAL MERCILESS TORTURE…………that is GODLY in Al’s eyes..

        • Greg G.

          In Mark 2, around verse 23, Jesus says David shared bread with his companions. If you read 1 Samuel 21 and the back story, David was lying about having companions. Jesus is wrong about other details in that story, too.

        • Al

          Not true. Here is what Jesus said in Mark 2:25-26:
          ““Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest,..”

          Jesus did not say Abiathar was the high priest but that this happened in the “time of Abiathar” and not during his tenure as high priest.

        • Greg G.

          The bit about Abiathar being the high priest could be a later interpolation. The bit about David and his companions being hungry is wrong. David was alone and lied about being on a secret mission from the king and having companions. He was alone because he was running from Saul who was paranoid about David’s popularity.

        • Greg G.

          Hey Al,
          Are you ever coming back to discuss the argument I made? The Jesus Seminar rejected over 80% of the deeds and over 80% of the words attributed to Jesus in the gospels but this passage was voted as likely true.

          Do you have a response or are you renouncing the Gospel of Mark?

        • hector_jones

          That’s pretty bad reading comprehension for a god. Oopsie.

        • hector_jones

          The fact that I’ve never seen anyone who ever cut his hand off or gouged his eyes out because he used them for sin. Anyone who would do such a thing would have to be a nutcase. Then again there might be a lot of catholic priests running around who have hacked their own genitals off, which I have no way to verify. But I doubt it.

        • Kodie

          Deuteronomy 23:1, I recently noticed, says you can’t get into heaven with a maimed package.

        • Pofarmer

          Those early jews, and then Christians, sure were worried about mens sex organs.

        • hector_jones

          So the problem of priests trying to hack their gonads off is an old one.

        • Kodie

          I’m going to say something very sensitive… I bet they think the reflex guys have when someone is going to maim their package comes from god. I also wondered a little about the history of vasectomies because of the virility angle and unwillingness to procreate from sex, but I looked it up on wikipedia and it says the first recorded vasectomy was on a dog in 1823, long after the bible; also shows a photo of bruised and shaved scrotum post-vasectomy.

          Anyway, according to wikipedia, slaves were often castrated to keep them loyal. I mean, as if one indignity weren’t enough, nor simply them both, but then not even get into heaven. Bob S is going to have to revisit this slavery topic sooner than later.

        • Guest

          But I thought people could avoid Hell if they repent. That is, if a guy sincerely says “I’m sorry” to God at confession and you happens to get hit by a car on the way home from church then he’s golden! He could be a serial-killing, raping thief but if they accept Jesus none of that matters. Don’t turn around and say, “Well it’s not like atheists can say that murder and rape are wrong”. You know that’s not the point of what I’m saying. Is it true that YOUR belief system holds that this guy wouldn’t go to Hell under the given circumstances?

        • Al

          It takes more than forgiveness to avoid hell. That person must also believe and entrust himself to Christ. They must confess that Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead. Only then can they avoid hell.

        • Kodie

          It’s very disappointing to realize how gullible grown adults can be. How afraid of hell are you, and how big a factor is hell in your decision to just do whatever god tells you to do?

          How much money do you pay the organization to keep you this afraid of someplace that doesn’t exist?

        • Al

          Christ said that it would be good to cut your right hand off and gouge your eye out if these things cause you to stumble and sin and be thrown into hell.

        • Kodie

          I think if you want to be precise, he said it’s better to maim yourself than jerk off.

          Just not true – how many handless, eyeless Christians do you run into?

        • hector_jones

          But Kodie, Christians never jerk off, except for Ray Comfort. Just ask Al.

        • Dys

          “Christ said”

          Actually, all you can say with any degree of certainty is that you have an anonymously authored story that claims Jesus said this.

        • adam

          So have you done so?
          We have demonstrated already that you LIED about god punishing people for their evil.

          So have you cut off the hands that typed that LIE?

        • adam

          So then AGAIN you LIE…

          Christ is NOT an antidote for EVIL, ONLY for NON-BELIEF..

        • hector_jones

          Just like David Berkowitz. I’m sure he and Al will be best buddies up in heaven. Sorry, Mrs. Moskowitz

        • Kodie

          So why are you dooming all of us to Hell????????

          If we never heard about Jesus, we’d be just fine!

        • Al

          Christ is the antidote for sin. Without Christ you are not fine but in a state of being condemned.

        • Kodie

          Why do you say “people don’t go to hell for not knowing about Christ”? Do you really think you’re the best person to share this story with us if it is really true?

        • Al

          People don’t go to hell because they don’t believe in Christ. They go because of their sins.

        • Kodie

          Stop contradicting yourself and getting caught in lies. If I can see it, why do you think your god can’t?

        • adam

          See, Kodie

          Al can LIE all he wants, he can mass murder, rape babies and eat them alive afterwords and he wont god to hell because he is a ‘believer’…

        • Dys

          People don’t go to hell because it’s an imaginary place.

        • adam

          So who that doesnt believe in Christ NOT go to hell?

        • Al

          No way to get to heaven except through Christ. There is no other way.

        • adam

          So then they dont go to hell for their ‘sins’ like YOU CLAIMED, but for their doubt.

        • Kodie

          How much do you pay your church to threaten you with hell if you leave?

        • MNb

          Yup. Alas christ is not the antidote for genocide.

        • Dys

          Sin is an imaginary disease. No antidote required.

        • Al

          You wish it was. Sin causes pain, suffering and death.

        • Dys

          Should I bother asking for evidence? Or will you just resort to more theological assertions that you can’t defend?

          Also, stating that “I wish it was” implies that I believe something to the contrary of what I claimed. Which isn’t true – as far as I’m aware, there is no such thing as sin (at least as it’s typically defined by Christians).

          And besides, Jesus can’t be the antidote for anything. He’s a long since dead apocalyptic Jewish prophet. Claims to the contrary face a substantial burden of proof that, to date, has not been met.

        • adam

          Look at it from the facts here in this thread,
          Al has to LIE to make his ‘god’ points.

          Scammers worldwide would be proud of his grifting…

        • Al

          Christ is not dead. If Christ is not the antidote for sin then all men will perish.

        • Dys

          “Christ is not dead.”

          There aren’t any 1,900+ year old Jewish prophets walking around that I’m aware of. Jesus, if he actually existed, is dead now. All you can offer to the contrary are faith based assertions.

          “If Christ is not the antidote for sin then all men will perish.”

          Yep. All the women too. Because people die. Your wishful thinking doesn’t change reality.

        • Kodie

          What about the word “perish” scares you?

        • adam

          No it is YOU who WISH it was……
          Otherwise your MAGICAL world will not free you from the responsibility of your own actions.

        • adam

          Yes, we understand your point.
          Christian mass murderers like Rudolph Hess and Christian cannibalistic baby rapers are NOT condemned.

          ONLY DISBELIEVERS…

          Your religion is just FEAR MONGERING over DOUBT….nothing more…

        • hector_jones

          A christian proselytizer is a person who slips poison into your glass then after you drink tells you not to worry he has the antidote and he’s doing you a big big favor by giving it to you. But it will cost you.

        • adam

        • Ken

          Yes, I agree.
          I have found in my life that many people reject God and Christ because they are living wicked lives contrary to the teachings of our Lord. It is easier for them to change their view of right and wrong than to change their behaver. After all, if there is no God then who’s to say if something is wrong or right. Of course their conscience will bear witness, but eventualy it will become numb and they will be free to fornicate, or be drunkards, greedy, liars, gossipers whatever.

          Then there are those who have never really heard the good news of Jesus. Their mind has been poisened by those who have ether been a poor witness to them, or those who have deliberitly misrepresented who and what God is. I was one of those people. When I finally understood what Christianity was about I believed, and accepted Jesus as my lord. Of corse there was sin in my life that was getting int te way of me seeing things clearly too.

          Unfortunatly I think most of the people on this blog are in the first category. There is really nothing we can say to change their mind, but I keep hoping that there is at least one who is reading This that is open minded. What do you think?

        • Al

          You never know where people are. Something rejected today may change a mind tomorrow. I like dialoguing with atheists and skeptics. They should be engaged just as Christians should. After all the truth is worth fighting for.

        • Pofarmer

          The truth is worth fighting for. I think i am through the looking glass.

        • Ken

          Yes. A seed planted today may not produce fruit for years.

        • Kodie

          And that’s the slim hope that keeps you going. How much money do you pay them to use you as a pawn?

        • hector_jones

          And yet when you first got here you conceded that Al’s arguments for christianity were shitty. But now a shitty argument is a seed that may produce fruit, albeit years from now. Must be because it comes packed in its own manure.

        • adam

          But what fruit does DECEPTION and DISHONESTY produce?

          17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

          18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

          19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

          20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

        • Al

          The ” fruit does DECEPTION and DISHONESTY ” is atheism.

        • Kodie

          How much do you pay your church to teach you to be suspicious of anyone who doesn’t believe what you believe?

        • adam

          Atheism does not need deception and dishonesty to make its points unlike YOUR brand of religion which appears to RELY on it…

        • Dys

          Then you might want to start planting seeds, because the only thing you’ve got right now is bullshit.

        • Dys

          “I like dialoguing with atheists and skeptics.”

          No, you don’t. You like making assertions that you can’t back up with atheists and skeptics. You’re not involved in a dialogue or conversation, because you basically just ignore what the atheists and skeptics say, and just keep repeating your theology.

        • adam

        • MNb

          “eventualy it will become numb”
          Why again are there relatively so few atheists in prison?

          http://www.skepticfiles.org/american/prison.htm

          You complain about shitty arguments, but you yourself are not exactly above them.

        • Pofarmer

          Has anybody told you that you’re a judgemental doofus jackass?

        • hector_jones

          He’s also a liar because he told me he was going to make like jesus and shake the dust off his feet, i.e. leave, but he’s still here. How many times have we seen christians pull that stunt? I’ve lost count.

        • Pofarmer

          In dunno, but these self righteous jackasses are getting really, really old.

        • Kodie

          He meant 3 days later.

        • Ken

          No, But if that is your best come back then it seems you have lost this argument.

        • hector_jones

          Ah so it’s going to be all about the come backs from now on when it comes to you. Thanks for the heads up.

        • Pofarmer

          It wasn’t a comeback, it was just an observation.

        • Dys

          What argument have you actually presented? You made a judgement, and implied that the people here are close-minded. That’s not an argument, that’s an arrogant, judgmental opinion. There was no argument to lose.

        • Ryan3857

          any chance I could hear your opinion about my comment towards the top of the board. looks like things have gotten a little cray down here. (I’m also offering free holy water to those who share their opinion. Its limited time, so hurry!)

        • Pofarmer

          Can you try to link to that comment or copy them here? There is no guarantee that I can, see them.

        • Ryan3857

          This is what I originally wrote…

          -What doesn’t make sense to me is if science doesn’t know how life originated or how intelligence came to be, why would God not be a hypothesis? Bob and others keep asking for the evidence, but if there is a God, wouldn’t everything be evidence (life, intelligence, the universe, etc)?

          – It seems to make rational sense when you see these things to think that someone intelligent might be behind it. It seems to make more sense than to believe that life came out of something lifeless and unintelligent, and that unintelligent life became intelligent.

          -Also, I think Science has some shortcomings. It is not built to answer all of our questions. Science can’t answer the question of “Who was the first President of the United States?” Just as math can’t answer “Why is Barry struggling with depression?”

          -I make this point to respond to those who say that “if there was a God, He is untestable to science.” There are so many things that are untestable to science. If there was a God, why would He have to be testable to science? Shoot, science couldn’t even test out my great great grandfather at this point…

          -Interested to hear the responses to these questions as I appreciate hearing other’s perspectives.

        • adam

          “What doesn’t make sense to me is if science doesn’t know how life originated or how intelligence came to be, why would God not be a hypothesis?”

          Why would Flying Invisible Pink Unicorns not be a hypothesis?

          Where would YOUR ‘god’s’ ‘intelligence’ come from?

          Science can answer “Who was the first President of the United States”
          Science may be able to answer “Why is Barry struggling with depression”, why would math even try?

          God can’t answer any questions.

        • Pofarmer

          Paragraph by paragraph as I can’t cut and paste.

          First paragraph. God of the Gaps. As Neil Degrasse Tyson says “God is an ever decreasing pool of scientific ignorance.” If you haven’t read Andrew Dickson White or Carl Sagan or Michael Shermer-you should.

          Presuppositional argument. Read Jerry Coyne, “why evolution is true”. Richard Dawkins “the selfish Gene” or “unweaving the rainbow.” If we were intelligently designed, why do we share the same sugar processing DNA as an oak tree, for instance.

          History isn’t a science? I think that would be news to historians and archeologists and geologists.

          What, exactly, is untestable by science, and what does that have to do with God? Sounds an awful lot like argument from ignorance.

        • hector_jones

          What sort of horrible horrible sins do you think most of us on this blog are into, Bob? Drunkenness? Fornication? Greed? Lying? (that’s a sin? then wow your christian friends are in for a world of hurt in the afterlife) Gossiping? Whatever?

          Seems to me the only ‘sin’ you’ve got on us is we don’t believe in your god and hence we don’t show him any respect, which is a victimless crime and no crime at all except in your deluded mind. Beyond that we atheists are just regular people. Yet you listed a whole host of sins that you imagine we must be guilty of, without proof, because what else can explain our refusal to be persuaded by your non-arguments? It’s funny because Muslims make the same arguments about people who reject Islam, which happens to include you, Bob. I think you reject Allah because you are a drunken fornicating lying greedy gossip-monger, Bob. Prove me wrong.

        • Ken

          “Me thinks thou dust protest too much.”

          I wasn’t speaking of you in particular Hector. Inwas relating my own experience with people I have known person ly. But now that you ask, you sound like a fornicator to me.

        • hector_jones

          You were speaking about ‘most of the people on this blog’ you lying fucking worm. You sound like a child molester to me.

        • Pofarmer

          Could we get some smarter Christians? Is this really the best they’ve got. I promise to he nice if Norm sends some of his smart friends over.

        • Al

          You will get some when you get some smarter atheists.

        • adam

          No, all we get are ignorant ones like you…

        • Dys

          All you have to offer is “repent or else”, with no evidence. You don’t have an argument, you just have assertions.

          You’ve confused conviction of belief with knowledge.

        • Al

          What counts as evidence? After all, atheism has no evidence for it.

        • Dys

          How many times do you have to be told that atheism is not a positive assertion or knowledge claim before it sinks through your thick skull?

        • Pofarmer

          Apparently never.

        • Kodie

          I still want to know how much he pays to the church. Isn’t it kind of funny he ignores that line of inquiry? He hasn’t even said so much as “none of your business”? He believes everything they say.

        • Guest

          You positively assert there is no God,
          therefore you make a knowledge claim.
          Prove it.

        • Dys

          You could have just admitted you don’t know how to read, and saved us both time.

        • Whew! Must be nice not having to shoulder the burden of proof all the time. I can see how shirking that would be a goal.

          But speaking of which, how have you done with your share? Have you provided good reasons to believe the remarkable claims that Christianity makes?

        • Guest

          I have no burden of proof here, it’s your blog.

        • When I make a claim, sure. However, I don’t claim that God exists. How about you?

          You do know that when you shirk your burden of proof, baby Jesus cries, right?

        • adam

          I am evidence for atheism

          Definition of ATHEISM
          2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

          I have that disbelief.

        • Kodie

          Show me the money.

        • Kodie

          I’m guessing you didn’t mean to say something that stupid.

        • adam

          ‘But now that you ask, you sound like a fornicator to me.’ says Bob..

          Like your mother wasnt?

        • Al

          Yep. You are guilty of those sins.

        • adam

          So YOU are just looking for a way to avoid responsibility for YOUR actions…

        • Al

          No way to avoid responsibility.

        • adam

          So for your lies and other sins you will be held responsible and be sent to ‘hell’?

        • 90Lew90

          Guy’s a joke.

        • Al

          No. Christ paid the debt for my sins. The unbeliever will pay the debt himself and be condemned.

        • adam

          So there IS a way to avoid responsibility….

          Why do you keep LYING about this?

        • 90Lew90

          Pay your own debts like everyone else. Your way of thinking has brought about unnumbered horrors. And you’d look down your nose at an atheist? Pack it in.

        • Dys

          Substitionary atonement makes no sense. It’s incoherent and immoral. And at its core, it’s an excuse to avoid responsibility for the repercussions of one’s actions and an exercise in loophole theology.

        • Kodie

          1. Is Jesus spending eternity in hell? If not, how did he pay the going price for your sins?

          2. If you are a Christian, why do you still lie so much? I thought Christ was the antidote for sin. Turns out you can just believe in him and sin at will.

        • hector_jones

          You just said Jesus paid the debt for your sins, but atheists have to pay the debt for their own sins. That’s avoiding responsibility on your part. You’ve done a dine and dash and left Jesus with the bill.

        • Kodie

          Don’t worry Hector, they have to pay their debt by paying $$$ to their church for the privilege of being a pawn and watching their back for god’s wrath the rest of their lives.

        • 90Lew90

          You what? Don’t judge by your own standards.

        • MNb

          You forgetting Matth. 7:1 once again confirm once again that you are the one who suffers from pride.

        • hector_jones

          I bet you’ve done all those things, al, more than once.

        • Pofarmer

          Ya know what Bob? Fuck you. I’m a husband, a father of 3 boys, a 4-H instructor and coach, serve on the local fairboard. I coached basketball at our local Catholic school when none of those pious Catholic parents could find the time. And ya know what I got for thanks? Nothing. So keep your jerkoff judgemental bullshit to yourself.

        • Dys

          “Unfortunatly I think most of the people on this blog are in the first category”

          Oh boy…more arrogant and presumptive “you just love your sin” style garbage.

          Actually, it has far more to do with the fact that your superstitions do not warrant belief. The arguments for Christianity are weak, and the evidence is non-existent.

          “I keep hoping that there is at least one who is reading This that is open minded.”

          And this is self-congratulatory crap, patting yourself on the back for claiming to be open-minded, when you clearly don’t know what the term means. Being open-minded means being open to new ideas, not uncritically accepting old religious claims that have failed to meet their burden of proof. Your claims and arguments have been examined, and rejected as being insufficient. That’s not being close-minded. That’s being open-minded and rejecting bullshit.

        • Ken

          That’s funny. You sound like I used to sound. Back when I thought I was soooo smart. I used to make fun of Christians too. Then slowly I began to realise there may just be something there. When I finally realised it was true I just wanted to run around and tell everybody. “Holy shit! This stuff is actually true!” Ya that’s how I talked at the time. I was surprised that even people I knew dismised this new found revelation without even listening. “Ya ya we’ve heard it all before” I slowly began to realise that no one wanted to hear it. College is the time to drink, and party and get layed, not find religion. For most, religion would have spoiled heir fun.

          Funny how many people say that science and in particular evolution are what proves God dosnt exist. I would say that 9/10ths of those people have almost no understanding of science, but they have faith that the scientist know what they are talking about and would not lie, and that what they read in a text book must be true. But if someone has the same faith in the church and the Bible they are considered closed minded and ignorant. Funny, don’t you think?

        • Dys

          I find it more than a bit amusing that someone who just went with the idiotic “you just love your sin” assumption is accusing me of being arrogant. I’ve got some news for you Bob – you’re still acting like you’re “soooo smart”, attempting to dictate to others why they don’t accept the superstitions that you have. It’s false humility, unfortunately something I’ve noticed in quite a few Christians

          “This stuff” as you put it, doesn’t appear to be true at all. You’ve presented no argument, no evidence. It’s just theological dogma from both you and AI. In a blog post asking for good arguments for Christianity, both of you are reduced to making unsubstantiated assertions.

          And based on your silly, nonsensical attempt to place science and religion on equal footing in terms of faith, I’m going to go ahead and say one of the people who doesn’t have any real understanding of science is you. There is value in expertise – we don’t all have time to learn everything; specialization is necessary. But the most important distinction between the two is methodology. Science has experiments, evidence, repeatability, and predictions. Religion has dogmatic assertions, and relies on faith, not evidence. When it comes to understanding reality, science trumps religion, hands down.

          Neither science nor evolution prove god doesn’t exist. Firstly because science doesn’t prove anything – it can’t, by design. What science and the theory of evolution do demonstrate is that the Genesis account is at best a fable, a myth.

          The funny thing is that you are making the same old flawed points as just about every other Christian wannabe apologist. We act like we’ve heard it before because we have. Pointing out that you’re not offering anything new isn’t being close-minded.

        • Ken

          AND,
          Why is it so many people got mad when I pointed out that some people reject God becouse they are sinners? I also pointed out that many reject God because they don’t understand who He is and / or they have had bad examples of christianity presented to them. This was a refutation of Al’s assumption that sin is the only reason people reject God.

          I also went further to say that I was one of those people who rejected God more because I didn’t understand that because I was a sinner.

        • Dys

          “Why is it so many people got mad when I pointed out that some people reject God becouse they are sinners?”

          Because you’re putting the cart before the horse, and seem to be confused as to how beliefs are formed. You don’t just decide there’s something you want to do that the bible says you shouldn’t, and then decide to stop believing in god. Beliefs aren’t choices.

          In order to accept the Christian understanding of sin, you have to believe in god. No god, no sin. That doesn’t mean, however, that right and wrong cease to be moral valuations. It just means you’re not tying them to religious decrees anymore.

          And I pointed out that there are plenty of people that understand the claims made on Jesus’s behalf and haven’t had any particularly bad experiences with Christianity and still reject it because it doesn’t stand up to inquiry. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and Christianity doesn’t have it when it comes to miracle claims.

        • Kodie

          +99999

        • Ken

          That is interesting, but kinda side stepped my question. Why did so many people get mad? Its one thing to disagree, but several people were obviously mad and offended when I put out there that sin was one possible explaination for why people reject God. And no, people are not that rational. Emotion plays a huge part in our perception. That is well proven.

        • Dys

          I’m sorry…I thought my explanation would make the answer clear. People got upset because it’s the same uninformed, presumptive nonsense that Christians always throw at atheists. It’s the “you just love your sin” or “you just want to do whatever you want” type of assertion that says far more about the person making the accusation than anything else. It’s essentially an insult. And as I said, it relies on a very poor understanding of how beliefs are formed. They aren’t decisions.

          “And no, people are not that rational.”

          And that excuse sidesteps the criticism I made. There are very good reasons to not accept the claims made on behalf of God and Jesus. Simply claiming that people are emotional does nothing to dispute that, nor does it change the fact that people can change their minds for intellectual reasons as well as emotional ones (or a combination of the two).

        • Kodie

          You’re arguing from personal experience, and deriving therein that all of us are as broken as you were.

          We’re mad because you’re so fucking arrogant about it, judgmental, and such. You think you know us and without god, you know exactly what we need, because, because, oh, you were once like us…

          Buddy boy, you were never like us. You don’t have enough brain cells put together. You got fooled and you don’t want to admit it, and then you want to make an arrogant remark. Your weakness made you susceptible to an attractive but false offer. Nobody here is buying, and maybe not because we’re not in a place of weakness, but we are in a place of critical analysis that you do not and have never possessed. You thought you were so smart, but let me tell you from my angle, you never were, and you know it. You admitted it. But the problem with being that not-smart is falling for the bullshit. Don’t tell us we’re stupid because you were stupid. We’re not in denial of god, we’re in disbelief, apparently a distinction you’re too unintellectual to grasp. You’re not saved, you’re heavily invested, and there’s a distinction I am intellectual enough to grasp.

        • Ken

          I wish you would stop telling me I am not smart just because I don’t agree with you. That is starting to sound pretty lame. If you are only going to resort to personal attacks then this conversation has become futile. BTW. I’m still waiting for your explanation of evoluton. I’m beginning to think you have less understanding of evolution than you do of religion? Its ok. The public school system sucks. All they really want to get across is that evolution it true and that it disproves God. Do you have any more to offer on the subject?

        • Dys

          “The public school system sucks. All they really want to get across is that evolution it true and that it disproves God.”

          You don’t get out much, do you? Did you think that train wreck of a movie God’s Not Dead was an accurate portrayal of college as well?

        • Kodie

          It’s so late I missed that’s what he said. It’s a fucking conspiracy! He pays between 5 and 10% a year to the source of this propaganda.

        • Kodie

          I’m telling you you’re not smart because you’re not smart. It sounds lame because you are defensive. I’m not resorting to personal attacks, I am defending my lack of beliefs to someone who calls people wicked and surmises to know shit about them and judge them to make his own beliefs seem rational. They’re not rational. You were duped because you were vulnerable, and are now a pawn.

          If someone else doesn’t tell you about evolution I will get to it tomorrow, even though you’re so ignorant and lied to by your church that it will be futile.

        • Kodie

          I award you 105 internets.

        • SuperMark

          Acceptance of scientific consensus and faith are not the same thing. Tired old christian argument, you’re not even trying.

        • Pofarmer

          Bob. Just FYI quite a few of us used to be christian. I’m 44, gave it up about completely about 2 years ago. The world looks so much different now. So, what’s your atory, anyway?

        • Kodie

          He was a drunk, aren’t you paying attention? Someone came along to invite Bob to his cult to dry him out. And he felt so grateful, he gave the cult his routing number.

        • Pofarmer

          I had kind of inferred that. Think the drinking did some permanent damage.

        • Kodie

          I don’t say that. He was just unable to beat the figurative demons and his low opinion of himself that led to all the drinking is why Jesus was more attractive, and then there was the ignorance,the vulnerability, the things he wanted so badly to hear, and nobody to say them. Cults look for marks like him.

        • Ken

          I was raise by secular agnostics in a suburb of San Francisco. My father was a scientist, and while he believes God probably exists, he dosnt believe people can really know anything about Him and that religion is just some group of people’s opinion. My mom thinks church is nice but probably not true. We never went to church growing up. We were baptise on the insistence of out grandmother, but never stepped inside a church after that. By the time I was a teen I had basically concluded that religion was.just a bunch of fairy.stories and if people went it was just as a social.gathering or tradition. Since no one I knew was religious I concluded that no one really took that stuff seriously anymore. And after all, science had disproved all that stuff by now.

          I was half way through a biology degree when I met a group of young Christians. I was struck by the fact that young, intelligent, educated people actually took this stuff seriously. I had to take another look.

          Its getting late. I will finish this later if you are interested.

        • Kodie

          Wow, Bob. My story is almost exactly like yours. I am guessing you didn’t finish your biology degree.

        • Ken

          No, changed to history about one year latter. How about you?

        • Kodie

          Lol. You inferred wrongly that I was a bio major.

        • Pofarmer

          By all means

        • Kodie

          I think it’s funny that you think you are a good judge of anyone’s intellect. If you don’t understand the big words when we’re talking, you do not know the difference between “thought I was soooo smart” and “smart”.

        • adam

          Open minded to what?…

          Magic?

        • Dys

          To Bob being right, despite not having any evidence or compelling argument. That’s what they always mean when they talk about being open minded.

        • Kodie

          I could be wrong as Bob is, but I think what’s wrong-thinking about these Christians is that they assume we’re all broken and in a position to need what they’re selling. To be “open-minded” is salesman bullshit. If you go to a make-up counter, for example, the make-up artist will subtly suggest you will look uglier than you felt coming in unless you buy their expensive products, and they only work as a kit, you can’t just buy the item you like and use it in combo with your less expensive drugstore cosmetics, unless you want to look like a clown-whore. And that moisturizer you’re using? Your grandmother doesn’t even use that old-fashioned stuff anymore, if you really want to get ahead of the wrinkles and make investing in the cosmetics worth all your money, you need the scientific breakthrough chemicals made from this exotic melon that looks exactly like another melon, but for reasons we can’t explain, never rots. Something to do with the natural soil balance of 200 acres in rural France, so it’s rare and expensive to transport, but you don’t want to look shriveled up, and it’s really the only product available that can make you more youthful and attractive so your husband won’t leave you for a younger woman.

          Are you open-minded yet?

        • Dys

          Yep. They have to convince you that the imaginary disease exists and that you have it before they can sell you the cure.

          And their appeals to open-mindedness are part of the sales pitch.

        • Kodie

          The deception also occurs because the person selling to you claims to be the expert on these things, or you’re meant to make that assumption. Make-up artists have to have a certain aesthetic, and some even wear white lab coats. So that makes the person in that position seem like they really know their stuff, they have studied that melon in France and aren’t just repeating what’s in the sales manual. I used to be in sales, and one of the ways I got to be at all good at it (I was never any good at it!) was my manager lied to me, and I would repeat these lies convincingly to prospective customers. Just one time, I asked him about something I overheard him telling one of his customers, and he shrugged and smirked at me. He was so natural at making the cheaper item a customer could afford look shoddy next to a similar item of higher price point and convince them the next item would last longer and be worth the investment long-term. But none of it was true, he just sounded knowledgeable, and the idiot customer would develop confidence in the salesman’s superior grasp of quality materials.

          You have to follow the money. That’s why I keep asking these apologists how much money they are paying to their respective organizations. As I understand it, some churches have incentives for bringing new people to church, and why I call apologists pawns, since they are not only doing it for free, they are paying their church for the pleasure of building the pyramid scheme. Not all products and services are a scam, but that just means you can’t trust the “expert” if they are motivated by a commission. You have to do your own independent research, and not rely on the church for information about Jesus and also information about the horrors of atheism. They have an interest in breaking you down and preying on your insecurity to make you need their product. And these pawns like to think they have convincing evidence because if it wasn’t convincing, they wouldn’t be convinced of it. Ha ha. If it wasn’t convincing, they couldn’t convince anyone else of it! I shudder at the thought of anyone insecure and uncritical enough to be convinced by an idiot like Al or Norm. That must be a real broken, really dumb person, and they are so proud of being able to dupe someone that dumb and that insecure.

          And the church continues to profit.

        • MNb

          I totally would buy that stuff from you as soon as I entered your shop.

        • Ken

          Dont worry Kodi, your husband is not going to leave you because you get wrinkly.

        • SuperMark

          WTF bob that’s a really fucked up thing to say. Are you really a christian?

        • Kodie

          Wow, is what I’m saying that far above your intellect that your response is an ignorant sexist remark?

        • SuperMark

          So my life is “wicked” because I don’t believe the same thing you do? And people like you wonder why Christians seems so arrogant and conceded to all of us on the outside.

          “You’re a wicked, disgusting, worthless piece of shit but don’t worry we can save you”

        • Al

          You are wicked because you break the law of God. You are wicked because you refuse acknowledge and worship Him. You accept His goodness but you never thank Him for all the good in your life.

        • SuperMark

          You are wicked because you think you are better than everyone who disagrees with you. I do not accept your god’s goodness he is a monster for torchering people for not worshiping him. All of the good in my life is because of my country, my family and my hard work. All your god ever did for me, according to your warped beliefs, is a body that constantly betrays me.

          Fuck you!

        • Al

          I’m not the standard. God is. It His standard you fall short of.
          You could do nothing if He didn’t allow it. Your hard work could never produce on its own one good thing.

        • adam

          So WHOSE INTERPRETATION of that standard are you putting forward here?

        • SuperMark

          you should be ashamed, do you not realize that words have meaning. we might call you an asshole or a dumbass but that’s not the same as calling someone wicked.

          one of the main reasons why i think your god is a monster. no matter what i do no matter how good it it’s all shit to him if i don’t worship him. so fuck him; even if he is real, even if jesus appeared to me personally i still wouldn’t follow him because he is a monster.

          your religion has polluted your mind.

        • Al

          It is evil and wicked to break the commandments. Your atheism has polluted your mind. It makes you angry.

        • SuperMark

          no, you make me angry.

        • Al

          Why? I’m telling you what people have known for thousands years. Your pride blinds you to your true nature.

        • SuperMark

          Just spreading the good new right: “your a worthless, wicked, disgusting piece of shit and deserve to burn forever because god loves you”

        • Dys

          You consistently use the word ‘know’ when you should be using ‘believe’ instead.

          AI, your theology is insulting and degrading to human dignity. If you want to believe you’re a despicable and evil human deserving of eternal torment, that’s your problem. But it’s nothing to do with anyone else.

        • adam

          YOUR pride shows us YOUR true nature…

        • Ken

          If he wasn’t right you wouldn’t be so angry Mark.

        • SuperMark

          he makes me angry because he thinks his religion gives him the right to judge other peoples lives that he knows nothing about. do you know what the word self-righteous means?

        • Dys

          Do you practice making these kind of idiotic statements Bob? Or does it just come naturally?

        • Ken

          It’s a gift

        • adam

          Thanks for presenting the VERY BEST evidence you have of YOUR god…

          Ad hominem

        • Ken

          So what’s your answer Adam? Why are we here? How did we get here? What is the meaning and purpose of life? Is there a true morality, or is it just one group of peoples opinion?

        • Dys

          “How did we get here?”

          Evolution. Before that, probably abiogenesis. And before that, the Big Bang. And before that, no one knows.

          “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”

          Whatever meaning and purpose you imbue it with. Everyone provides their own meaning. Some attach themselves to a religion and derive their meaning from that, others don’t. But the notion that without some mystical absolute meaning that life suddenly becomes completely pointless is incredibly naive and nihilistic.

        • Kodie

          Is there a true morality, or is it just one group of peoples opinion?

          What are you talking about? CAN YOU READ?

        • Ken

          When are you going to tell me about evolution Kodi? This great theory that explains away my God.

        • Kodie

          Is there a god or is one group of people in charge of making the rules for everyone based on whim? Why should I conjure up the concentration to explain something to someone who is so far away from reality?

        • Dys

          Evolution doesn’t disprove God (but it doesn’t require God either). It does kill off the Adam & Eve and Noah’s Ark myths though. And basic cosmology (along with biology) ruins the creation myth. But as long as you retreat from a literal reading and explain them (and all the other problems the bible has) as ‘metaphorically true’, you can still pretend the bible is inerrant.

        • adam

          Why are we here?
          Because we have survived

          How did we get here?
          Evolution

          What is the meaning and purpose of life?
          Whatever you impart it to be

          Is there a true morality, or is it just one group of peoples opinion?
          Neither
          There is an evolutionary need for cooperation and competition.

        • adam

          Besides….

        • Ken

          Thank you.
          Can you explain how evolution got us here?

          What have YOU decided the meaning of life is Adam? That was the question.

        • adam

          Can you explain how evolution got us here?
          Diversity and natural selection

          What have YOU decided the meaning of life is Adam? That was the question.
          For me it has been discovery.

          That is certainly what brought me to YOU, this site and similar sites.

          YOU all CLAIM fantastical claims of MAGICAL powers and abilities with VERY POOR or non-existent evidence of such.

          I am still waiting to see the MAGIC that YOU claim is REAL…..

        • MNb

          Excellent non-sequitur, Bob. A very shitty argument. Racists aren’t right but still can make me angry.

        • Kodie

          Why do Christians really think that? Because otherwise you’re wrong. You can’t just accept you’re annoying and wrong.

        • Ken

          I’m sorry for being so annoying Kodi. You could just stop reading my posts.

        • Pofarmer

          You could stop writing them. Now theres and idea. M

        • Kodie

          Lol, you’re the one who asserted that people were angry because Al is right. How do you expect us to let that silly bullshit stand?

          Let me be clear – the amount of wrongness and stupidity and ignorance and arrogance from you is annoying. But how can I correct you if I don’t read your posts?

        • Ken

          Thank you Kodie for correcting my wrongness.

        • Pofarmer

          Add Greta Christina to your reading list “why are you atheists so angry.”

        • Ken

          There, that says it all.

        • SuperMark

          yup, i know just as much about christianity as you do and yet i still reject it.

        • MNb

          And you tell us what gods standard is without providing any reason to accept what you tell us.

          “You could do nothing if He didn’t allow it. Your hard work could never produce on its own one good thing.”

          Prove it. I can provide evidence for the opposite: I do good according to many believers while not believing.

        • hector_jones

          God helps those who help themselves.

        • Kodie

          You are a pawn because you pay your church for the privilege of being frightened of a fate that cannot happen, and try as you might to draw people not to Jesus because Jesus isn’t real, but to the church, where they can add to their profits. How much money do you pay them?

        • MNb

          And breaking the law of god, not acknowledging and worshipping him and not thanking him is wicked. Once again a circular argument, Al.

          “You accept His goodness”
          No, I don’t. He hasn’t given me anything ever.

        • Ken

          No. That’s not what I said at all. I said you don’t believe in God because your life is wicked. People’s sin blinds them from seeing God. People often believe what they want rather than what makes the most sense. If you want to believe your sins are not sins then believing in a righteous God gets in the way. As long as there is no God then anything is ok.

        • SuperMark

          It’s really fucked up to tell people their life is wicked, if you cannot see this then there is something wrong with your way of thinking. I don’t care if there is a god or what it thinks about my life.

        • Dys

          “As long as there is no God then anything is ok.”

          Nothing says “I don’t understand how morality works” quite like this vacuous crap.

        • Dys

          Cool. This means we can inform you of the reasons why you believe in god then, right? Because obviously we would know your mind better than you do.

        • Ken

          Isn’t that what you and others here have been doing this whole time? Telling me that I only believe because I was indoctrinated at an early age, that I am ignorant and closed minded, that I don’t understand science. That I don’t understand morality. That I likjre being a Christian so I can look down on other people and judge them.

        • Dys

          “Isn’t that what you and others here have been doing this whole time”

          This is an appeal to hypocrisy (it’s a fallacy), and even if true, it doesn’t invalidate the criticism against you at all. My accusations have been based on your responses. I’m not responsible for what others have said.

          “that I don’t understand science.”

          Since you tried to equate religion and science in terms of faith, that’s a fair claim.

          “That I don’t understand morality.”

          You quite literally said ‘As long as there is no God then anything is ok.’ This is a demonstration that you don’t actually understand morality.

          “That I likjre being a Christian so I can look down on other people and judge them.”

          I didn’t say that was the reason you liked being a Christian, but you have presumed to know people’s reasons for atheism, and the fact remains that it’s knowledge you don’t have.

        • Kodie

          You never said how much money you pay to reinforce your ignorance!

        • Ken

          I don’t keep track, but I think between 5 and 10%

        • Kodie

          Of what?

        • adam

          No quite the opposite. WITH god then ANYTHING is ok….

          Cannibalistic baby rapers and mass murders who repent to your god makes it OK, with YOU and YOUR god…

        • Ken

          That is some pretty bad theology Adam. If you were a Christian I would call you a heretic.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repentance

        • adam

          Yes, I think it is pretty horrible too.

          If I was a Christian, you would call me a Christian…
          Your definition backs up what I was saying

        • Kodie

          Then go ahead and call your buddy Al a heretic!

        • Ken

          That is not what Al said.

          When are you going to explain evolution to me Kodi? You can’t tell me you believe in something and then act you have no idea what it is. That’s just blind faith.

        • Kodie

          Al has explained how great it is if god can forgive Rudolf Höss, he can forgive you, meaning me, or one of us. Al has explained that “oh well” if someone I think is evil is actually forgiven by god and sent to heaven, while his reaction to someone he thinks is evil dies, if atheism is true, is the horror of “getting away with it”. You don’t have as much experience with Al, but according to you, Al is a heretic.

        • Kodie

          Do you require me to explain evolution to you to prove something, or will it suffice if someone else explains it to you so you understand why morality comes from evolution?

        • MNb

          According to all the people I know – most of them believers – I don’t lead a wicked life. Still I don’t believe.
          According to some brand of christians all people lead wicked lives, including themselves. So this

          “you don’t believe in God because your life is wicked”
          and this

          “People’s sin blinds them from seeing God.”
          don’t make sense. Assuming that you’re a sinner as well – and according to the NT all people are sinners – you should be blinded from seeing god as well.
          Hence you provide quite a shitty argument.

        • Kodie

          If you want to have an imaginary friend at your age, knock yourself out, but your threats are kind of easy to see through. You need us to believe along with you or you just feel pretty stupid.

        • Ken

          I wish all you people would stop trying to get inside my head and tell me why I think the way I do. You are all way off base.

        • Pofarmer

          You have got to be fucking kidding me with that statment.

        • MNb

          You still gave a shitty argument, like I showed underneath.

        • Dys

          Then stop telling people that their lives are wicked, stop pretending you know why people don’t believe, and stop accusing people of being close-minded because they don’t accept your assertions.

        • Kodie

          Itym delusions.

        • Dys

          I was being generous, lol

        • Kodie

          Hit a nerve?

        • Ken

          When are you going to explain evolution to me. If it really disproves God don’t you think I should know about it?

        • Kodie

          Do you not feel stupid enough?

        • Pofarmer

          “People often believe what they want rather than what makes the most sense.”

          Do you often feel a horrible sense of cognitive dissonance?

        • SuperMark

          Oh don’t you know Po that’s the devil trying to deceive them. Just like when they hear their conscience it’s not their brain it’s the “holy spirit”.

        • Ken

          No

        • Pofarmer

          You should.

        • Kodie

          Must cost extra.

        • adam

          “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.”

          Thomas Paine

        • Guest

          Oh the irony.

          “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins

          What was your point again?

        • adam

          Yeah, that will do.

        • Guest

          You get that Dawkins and his ilk are the cruel ones, right?

        • adam

          No I dont follow you…

        • Just what Dawkins is saying–that the god of the OT is a jerk. (You’ve read the OT, right?)

        • Guest

          Dawkins believes in a cruel God, so, according to Paine, Dawkins is a cruel man. Is that the point you want to make?
          Works for me.

        • Uh, no. Dawkins doesn’t believe in any gods. He’s an atheist, remember?

        • Guest

          That’s immaterial.

        • This uncomfortable fact kinda makes a hash of your last comment. That seems material.

        • Guest

          Well it isn’t. His view of God’s character is what is relevant, not whether or not he believes in his existence. This page has a long-running script that keeps jamming my browser so I’m done with this thread.

        • And do we judge you by the nonexistent gods you don’t like as well?

          You don’t like Loki? Yipes–he was a nasty piece of work. Doesn’t reflect well on you, my friend!

        • Kodie

          I’ve never heard such a moronic failure to read for comprehension. Jenna Black, is it you?

        • thinrommy

          When you “see” God, what do you see?. What does God look like? Is he really the angry old man we see in the bible stories?

        • Dys

          Everyone knows what God looks like:

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think what you say is “the good news” is all that good but more than that, I think it is not true. When you say “wicked lives”, what exactly are you accusing me of?

        • Ken

          I’m not accusing you of anything Greg. I don’t even know you.

        • Dys

          Yeah Greg….he accused SuperMark of having a wicked life, not you. He was pretending to knowledge he doesn’t actually possess with a completely different person.

        • Greg G.

          Oh, I see. He is using words like “fornicate”. Makes me feel guilty.

        • Kodie

          Have you ever read Kissing Hank’s Ass?

        • Guest

          I lol’d.

        • adam

          Thanks!

        • Ken

          Ok, that was good. I wish you could see the smile on my face. I get the analogy, but really that’s not what I’m about. I have met a few people like that so I get the humer. But really, did anything I write imply that I believe in God just because the Bible says so? I think that is the first time I have written the word Bible in our conversations. You can go back and check if you like.

        • Kodie

          What the hell are you talking about?

        • Ken

          In yoir analogy “kissing Hanks ass” Hank’s list represents the Bible, Hank is god, the million dollars is your eternal reward and Hank kicking your ass is eternal punishment. Kissing his ass represents the prais and worship we give to God as well as the money we give to the church. Leaving town represents dying.

          In our conversations I have never said people should believe in god because the Bible tells them so. I have also never said you should believe in God in hopes of receiving an eternal reword. I really shouldn’t have to explain your own parody Kodi.

        • Kodie

          Sorry Box, I didn’t know that a little technicality like that made your story more true.

        • Pofarmer

          “I have also never said you should believe in God in hopes of receiving an eternal reword”

          That’s generally kind of a big one.

        • Ken

          Not for me. Yes of course I would like to go to heaven some day, but that is not the main reason I became a Christian, nor do I think it is a good reason for most others. And truethfully, if God came down and told me face to face.that everybody dies and their is no afterlife, it would not change how I live. I would still.go to church and praise God for all the goodness he has given me. And I would still honer Him and try to obey Him as best I could. And teachmy children the same.
          Honestly, you people have some pretty messed up ideas about christians. It makes me sad.

        • Pofarmer

          Tell your story then, in all it’s emotional glory, I’ve told mine on here several times.

        • SuperMark

          where you do you think “some people” get those messed up ideas about christians? From christians like you.

        • Ken

          Not like me, but yes. Christians give christianity a bad name.

        • Dys

          Of course not…your version of Christianity is obviously the “right” one. Just like every other Christian’s.

        • adam

          Jesus is SO thankful FOR Bob…..

          He could have never done it without Bob….

        • Kodie

          And yet your major argument is the testimony, ah, the testimony.

        • MNb

          “It makes me sad.”
          What should make you sad is that christians can’t agree on anything. The fundies Al and Norm (who is banned) told us it’s all about going to heaven.
          This guy is absolutely not a fundie:

          http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com

          Still he wrote (translated from English to Dutch and back, so possibly clumsy):

          “It’s not our task as christians to improve society or people, it’s to announce them that they are sinners, that God still loves them and wishes them a better life, now and later, for the sake of themselves.”
          Later refers to afterlife.
          So don’t blame us atheists for understanding you wrong. Make yourself clear.

        • Kodie

          Why does Christianity make it so easy to sound like a crackpot?

        • adam

          It boils down to how MAGIC infects their brains with delusional thinking.

        • Ken

          I try, but its hard when people have so many preconcieved ideas.

        • Kodie

          Holy shit, Bob. You have been parroting propaganda, you have no “try”.

        • MNb

          Atheists are no better people than believers.

        • hector_jones

          It’s also hard when you have nothing but shitty arguments and ‘testimony’ which you don’t actually present.

        • Pofarmer

          Gobsmacked.

        • adam

          It is not the preconceived ideas that Magic is a scam and a sham it is the EVIDENCE…

        • Kodie

          Really if there were no difference in outcome, you would still go to church and praise god? How much does that cost vs. sleeping in on a Sunday? The messed up ideas about Christians come from Christians. Unlike your messed up ideas about atheists that also come from Christians.

        • Ken

          Yes I would still go to church and praise God for y life.

          I actually had a pretty neutral opinion of atheist before I got on this blog. You are all much worse than I had thought.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know why you would do that. Can you give me a good reason if you were informed there were no reward or penalty, you’d still give them your money?

          How are we worse? I said we were here to poke holes in your arguments. We’re not cranking on Christianity or theism in our regular lives constantly the way Christians take for granted that they can preach and crank on atheism. I mean, take those “intelligent” Christians you encountered in college. You’re not likely to encounter a roving band of atheists trying to find out what makes you tick and prey on your insecurities, and attract you to our cult, since atheism isn’t a cult.

        • Ken

          I’m glad you are not cranking on Christians in your regulat life Kodie, but there are many who do. You may not notice because it dosnt effect you, just like many white people say that racism is no longer a problem, because it isn’t for them.

          Yes, I would still give them my money. Why? Because I believe in supporting those who do good, and my life is much better because of the church and my relationship with God. It want others to have what I have, and it makes me sad that people are so rejecting of it because life is just so much better with Him in it. It frustrates me that I can’t explain it to people, and I know I get a little mean on here, but I really just want people to have what I have.

          Anyways, I can see this is going no where and I am wasting too much time so I probably won’t get on here after tonight. I wish you well Kodie.

        • Dys

          If you can’t provide a compelling reason or evidence that what you have is actually real, you’re not going to get anywhere.

          Personal revelation is necessarily limited to the person who received it (if it actually happened). If your life is better because of your religion, that’s great. But that doesn’t place any burden on atheists to accept your assertions without actual evidence.

        • Kodie

          Are you fucking kidding me Bob? Christians enjoy far more privilege in the US, and far more prejudice as you have yourself displayed against atheists. You have got to fucking fucking fucking be goddamned kidding me Bob. With this nutshit asshole judgmental gall to act like you’re in a persecuted group. You’re in a criticized group you’re maybe feeling it for the first time in history, because you’re on the fucking internet, where people can tell you without losing their potential social ties, the abject ignorance you sow in public life, disparaging public schools as being conspiratory institutions, you fucking ignorant fucking judgmental fuckingn slime of an immoral doomed human being.

          I do not insult you lightly. I am really offended by all your insinuations, and the absolute nerve you have to compare yourself to a black person oppressed. That takes a lot of arrogance and ignorance. You have no idea of your fucking privilege. You are a pawn who believes any goddamned bullshit your church sells you to pass along. How dare you!!!!!!! How dare your fucking goddamened fucking idiot self dare to tell me I’m oppressing you, and that I have a conspiracy to tie you down and shut you up. You have no fucking clue outside your Stockholm Syndrome that you are the privileged class, and that allows assholes like you to demean atheists and judge us. OH MY FUCKING GODDAMNED HELL you fucking asshole.

          You ignorant head up your ass numbskull.

          How many dollars do you pay them to spread their propaganda?????????

        • Ken

          ” Are you fucking kidding me Bob? Christians enjoy far more privilege in the US, and far more prejudice as you have yourself displayed against atheists. You have got to fucking fucking fucking be goddamned kidding me Bob. With this nutshit asshole judgmental gall to act like you’re in a persecuted group. You’re in a criticized group you’re maybe feeling it for the first time in history, because you’re on the fucking internet, where people can tell you without losing their potential social ties, the abject ignorance you sow in public life, disparaging public schools as being conspiratory institutions, you fucking ignorant fucking judgmental fuckingn slime of an immoral doomed human being.

          I do not insult you lightly. I am really offended by all your insinuations, and the absolute nerve you have to compare yourself to a black person oppressed. That takes a lot of arrogance and ignorance. You have no idea of your fucking privilege. You are a pawn who believes any goddamned bullshit your church sells you to pass along. How dare you!!!!!!! How dare your fucking goddamened fucking idiot self dare to tell me I’m oppressing you, and that I have a conspiracy to tie you down and shut you up. You have no fucking clue outside your Stockholm Syndrome that you are the privileged class, and that allows assholes like you to demean atheists and judge us. OH MY FUCKING GODDAMNED HELL you fucking asshole.

          You ignorant head up your ass numbskull.

          How many dollars do you pay them to spread their propaganda?????????”

          You know I have always been civil to you Kodie. Can you imagine the flack I would get from everybody on here if I talked to you or any other atheist like that. Ya, I usually get ten or fifteen nasty replies just over someone misunderstanding me. Do you see the hypocracy here. I don’t know where your from, but you might be surprised how people around the San Francisco area treat Christians.

        • Or, you could respond to the points Kodie is raising. Is the swearing without merit? If not, you’ve still got some ‘splainin’ to do.

        • Kodie

          You may not notice because it dosnt effect you, just like many white
          people say that racism is no longer a problem, because it isn’t for
          them.

          It want others to have what I have, and it makes me sad that people are
          so rejecting of it because life is just so much better with Him in it.
          It frustrates me that I can’t explain it to people, and I know I get a
          little mean on here, but I really just want people to have what I have.

          The severe disconnect you have between these two ideas and several other prejudiced ideas that you’ve expressed about atheists is why I think you have some fucking nerve. Some fucking nerve, Bob. If you have no idea why a person like me would read your insulting bigotry and rip into you like I did, then you are more ignorant than I thought you were. You’ve been paying 5-10% of your income for them to reinforce your brokenness and therefore your “kind” purpose is to misunderstand and dismiss atheist testimony and exchange it for the crap they tell you. You have confirmation bias, you do not have truth. You cannot supply evidence, so your next strategy in the handbook is to tell us we’re broken and you used to be like us until you got this great solution called Jesus.

          When I compared this to a commissioned salesperson’s pitch at a high-end make-up counter, instead of noticing the similarities, you made a sexist remark. Not making a good example for the morality argument.

          But no evidence. You pay them money. They have a financial interest in you being dependent on Jesus and scared to leave, as well as a financial interest in you fetching new business for them. They lied to you Bob, and I say that because I care. They lied to you about yourself, and they lied to you about us. They don’t want you to have the best in life, they want you to continue to pay them, and to continue to prey on individuals because you only want them to have what you have! I have no interest in joining such a scummy operation. You’re still scum, if you thought you were before, but you’re a new kind of scum. You were in a vulnerable position and easily persuaded to grab whatever rope you were thrown, and misdirected, like what magicians do, to believe in their nonsense and trust everything they say to you and about you and about us.

          You’re not listening TO US. And you have the nerve, the fucking nerve, to not only think we’re broken and not only think you have the single solitary only solution, you think we don’t know how persecuted Christians are, that we don’t experience as much bigotry as you do. I don’t know how Christians are treated in San Francisco, but I think it might have something to do with telling people they’re broken! It might have something to do with making assumptions about people and trying to proselytize them when they don’t need it. It might have something to do with you assuming they do need it because you needed it and were fooled by it and now you’re trying to peddle Jesus at people who find you personally annoying, and Christianity to be populated with judgmental fools who do not employ critical thinking. You only employ bigotry. You’re employing it in every post you make about us, generalizing us. But if Christianity is so true, why are the only ones telling us all about it so stupid they can’t find their ass with both hands? There would be evidence of its truth, and you could intelligently make an argument instead of resorting to insults of our collective character, as if you know. If you care about us, you would listen to us. You wouldn’t make assumptions about us, and spread lies about us.

          You disgust me.

        • MNb

          “It want others to have what I have”
          Typical christian arrogance and thus a grave sin. You don’t care if I want what you have. The question doesn’t even occur to you.

          “it makes me sad that people are so rejecting of it”
          That’s your problem, not mine.

          “because life is just so much better with Him in it.”
          More christian arrogance. You’re not the one who gets to decide what makes my life better and what worse. I am the one to do so and your belief system will make my life definitely worse.

          “It frustrates me that I can’t explain it to people”
          Again your problem, not mine.

          “I really just want people to have what I have.”

          Sticking to the sin of arrogance.

        • Ken

          No Mark., its not my problem, its yours. Weather you believe or not has no effect on me what so ever, but it does effect you. And please stop responding to me because I am not going to respond to you. You remind me of my three year old. He thinks he has won some great battle when he gets away with not brushing he’s teeth, but in the end it is he who will get the cavity and have to suffer, not me. People like me and Al are only trying to help, and maybe we re wrong, but out intention was good.

        • MNb

          “Wether you believe or not”
          is my problem indeed, but was not what I was talking about.

          “And please stop responding to me”
          If you don’t want me to respond you you must quit this blog.

          “because I am not going to respond to you.”
          That again is your problem, not mine.

          “You remind me of my three year old.”
          Good for you.

          “have to suffer”
          You should be happy then that you’re not responsible for me.

          “People like me and Al are only trying to help,”
          People like you never wonder if I need your help. Hint: I don’t.

          “and maybe we re wrong, but out intention was good.”
          The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

        • Is that your attitude about the Muslim who’s eager to convert new believers? That he’s just trying to help, and his intention was good?

        • hector_jones

          “You may not notice because it dosnt effect you, just like many white people say that racism is no longer a problem, because it isn’t for them.”

          You poor, dear oppressed soul. Being a christian is just like being a victim of racism.

          “I know I get a little mean on here, but I really just want people to have what I have.”

          You were arrogant right from the start. But that’s all part of doing us the big favor, right?

          “so I probably won’t get on here after tonight”

          You lied the first time you said you were leaving. Why should we believe you this time? Why do you idiots even threaten to leave at all? Do you think it hurts our feelings? If you are going to leave, just leave.

        • Dys

          When you go to an atheist blog to proselytize and don’t provide anything to back up the points you’re trying to make, you’re going to get a chilly reception.

          “You are all much worse than I had thought.”

          Eh, it’s probably just due to your own bias, general inability to defend your position, and failure to recognize that you’ve said some fairly offensive and presumptive things yourself.

          And quite honestly, I don’t care what you think of me.

        • Ken

          This is not an atheist blog. There in a different one listed at the bottom of the sight for atheists. http://www.patheos.com/Atheist This is a forum for atheist and believers to share ideas and perspective, but it has become and atheist blog because every believer is treated so badly by people like you that we give up. It just shows you don’t want to know the truth.

          One of the biggest stumbling blocks I had to Christianity was the seeming unfairness of God judging people simply for not believing. I ignorantly assumed that other non believers were just like I was. That they just needed it explained to them, and given some good evidence. It has become quite clear t me that people don’t believe because they don’t want to. That is the sin you will be judged for. Your eyes are blinded and your judgment is clouded because of your pride and your sin.

        • adam

          Of course we WANT the TRUTH…
          When are you going to DEMONSTRATE IT?

          The reason you get treated so badly is because you are so DECEPTIVE and DISHONEST….

        • Dys

          “This is not an atheist blog.”

          Just because it encourages communication between atheists and theists doesn’t mean it’s not an atheist blog. It is, after all, in the Atheist channel on Patheos. But you’ve missed the bigger point, namely that all you’ve really bothered doing is proselytizing. If you want to preach, you’re in the wrong forum.

          ” It has become quite clear t me that people don’t believe because they don’t want to.”

          You’re a fool. I’ve told you at least three times – beliefs are not choices. It has become quite clear to me that you’ve arrogantly decided why people don’t believe, as I mentioned previously. You are pretending to knowledge you don’t have.

          “every believer is treated so badly by people like you that we give up.”

          You started spouting the normal cliched and insulting reasons that YOU decided described atheists. You did little more than make baseless assertions, and provided no evidence.

          “That they just needed it explained to them, and given some good evidence.”

          Plenty (most?) of us understand Christianity just fine. And in talking with you, I daresay we might understand quite a bit better than you do. But you’ve got the god blinders on, and are content in your ignorance. You just can’t seem to get it through your head that there are people that understand Christianity and reject it because it doesn’t make sense and doesn’t have the evidence to support it. And you’ve failed in making anything approaching a compelling argument, and you’ve provided no evidence. You seem to think just making assertions and drawing fallacious comparisons between religion and science is going to sway people who have actually bothered to think about these things. When you’re asked to back up your points and have your errors pointed out to you, you failed.

          “Your eyes are blinded and your judgment is clouded because of your pride and your sin.”

          And you’re delusional, believing things that simply do not have enough supporting evidence to warrant belief. Sin is an imaginary disease – it isn’t real. And you are obviously incapable of demonstrating otherwise. There’s no evidence of any cosmic judge, nor any eternal reward or punishment.

          But please, keep calling atheists close-minded and prideful while you continue to decide why they don’t believe. Maybe the cognitive dissonance will finally make you realize that you don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, Bob, you’ve been here for several days,, and Al, and John, and Asmondious and many before. I can guarantee you my second comment would have gotten me banned on any Catholic blog, and sent to moderation on almost any a Christian blog. The only place that the free exchange of ideas takes place, in my experience, is on the atheist blogs

        • Your mileage may vary, but in my experience, the people who get yelled at deserve it (at least to a large extent). Come here with an open mind, learn a few things and share a few things, and you’ll get treated like a fellow seeker of the truth. Closed-minded people don’t fare so well.

        • Kodie

          People don’t believe because it’s baloney. Prove it’s not baloney.

        • hector_jones

          And if you won the big lottery you’d still keep your job and show up for work each day.

        • Ken

          I’ll never win the lottery because I don’t play, but if I did I would probably give most of it away, because I don’t need it. There are people who need it much more than me.

        • hector_jones

          Oh so you are still here? That’s twice now you’ve lied about leaving. So I should believe you when you say you’d give your lottery winnings away? Why should I believe anything a proven liar says?

        • adam

          Yes, people with good bullshit detection are not all that popular with snake oil salesmen…

        • hector_jones

          He’s only saying that because he thinks god has his brain tapped and he has to say that, or else.

        • Kodie

          Gahhh! Pofarmer, but he never said it! If Bob never used the arguments in the parody, he’s different! Can’t you even read???? He’s not the same!!!!

        • Pofarmer

          I dunno, Bob seems particularly dull, and not especially introspective with his beliefs.

        • Kodie

          His answer to the parody is that it does not apply to his beliefs because it doesn’t parallel his experience in superficial ways. And yet he’ll latch onto Al, even though Al has used the bible and heaven as arguments and incentives. Still no evidence, just baseless assertions like John and Mary.

          Look, Bob, if Al is representing your beliefs poorly, don’t feel you have to agree with him about everything. Feel free to contradict him at any time like you just did.

        • MNb

          “did anything I write imply that I believe in God just because the Bible says so?”
          Everything you wrote implies that. You have provided exactly zero positive evidence and arguments for your god.

        • Pofarmer

          One thing seems certain, after their “logical” arguments fail, most all Christians on these blogs will simply turn to assertions and prosyletizing.

        • Dys

          You can’t go on and on about Jesus without referencing the bible, since that’s the only real source of any supposed information about him.

          It doesn’t matter to us what Jesus said about hell (or heaven, for that matter), because there’s no evidence that such a place exists. It’s precisely as credible as Hank in the analogy.

        • Dys

          “while many people.reject Jesus because they are wicked”

          A lot of people also reject the religious claims for Jesus due to the fact that there’s no evidence for them.

        • Pofarmer

          Asking for evidence, what a revolutionary developement.

        • adam

          And some people reject the STORY of Jesus because it is UNBELIEVABLE mythology.

        • adam

          No it isnt you’ve already stated that ‘believers’ dont get punished for their EVIL, they get REWARDED with ‘heaven’ and get to sit next to your Jesus…

        • Ken

          Simply put, evil people don’t believe in Jesus, because if they did they would stop being evil.

          When the bible says you must believe in God and Jesus , it dosnt simply mean that you believe some.statmemt of fact. Like I believe in Santa Clause or I believe in evolution. The bible states very clearly that even Satin and all hi s demons believe that. Believing in God and Jesus does not get you any closer to heaven.

          Jesus says, “not all those who say to me ‘Lord Lord’ will be part of my kingdom. Only those who DO my will and that of my Father in heaven will ne part of my kingdom.”

        • Pofarmer

          Tell that to all the children abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy. Tell that to,the women interred in the magdalene laundries or single mother homes in Ireland. Tell that to,the hundreds of thousands to millions of young women in spain and around the world who had their babies stolen and sold for adoption. Tell itmto tje people who went to Mother Theresas homes for the dying with treatable conditions and died there anyway. This is sophomoric nonsense that should be dispensed with.

        • Kodie

          Well, Bob, then you and Al have a fundamental difference that you can’t seem to reconcile. He’s a huge believer that an evil person can simply repent. They don’t go to hell no matter what they’ve done as long as they simply repent.

        • adam

          So demonstrate that YOUR ‘god’ YOUR version of Jesus, Satin and all his demons are anything more than IMAGINARY.

        • adam

          REALLY?

          People who believe in Jesus do all kinds of EVIL….

          Why is it that LIES are needed to support YOUR ‘god’.
          Doesnt that make it the God of LIES?

        • Kodie

          Not to mention, trying to sway public opinion about the sciences for profit.

    • (1) The POE isn’t argument against God’s existence because atheism isn’t the antithesis of Christianity.

      Never said it was. I said that the PoE makes clear that the man in charge is not both omnipotent and omnibenevolent, which contradictions Christianity’s claims.

      It’s possible that God has morally justified reasons for allowing evil, as Plantinga’s Free Will Defense suggests

      I finish up with Monday’s post, and my response to this will be clearer.

    • Pofarmer

      All sorts of things are possible, but it seems like we need to look at whats reasonable based on the evidence.

  • Ken

    The question is not where are all the Christian arguments. The same arguments have been around for thousands of years, that hasn’t changed. The question is, why are some people convinced by these same arguments, while others find them week and even ridiculous? Many atheists would have us believe that those who are convinced by these arguments are naive, gullible, ignorant, uneducated, or just stupid, while those who are not convinced by these frail arguments are wise, intelligent, educated, or free thinkers. These assumptions do not bear out. While there is some correlation to the fact that more educated people often tend to be less religious, there are countless examples of intelligent educated people who are Christians. Among the more well known are men like C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins (director of the human genome project and PhD.) and Max Plank (father of quantum physics ) the first two examples are adult converts to Christianity.

    Since these same arguments have been around for thousands of years, and since today we all have access to books and internet as every body else, the answer seems to be in.the people hearing the arguments, not in the arguments themselves.

    • adam

      The question remains where are all the GOOD Christian arguments.

      You need to understand that MOST people in the world do not believe as you do.

      Yes, with more information it is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH easier to see the other side of the ‘traditional christian arguments’ and see that they are merit less. It is easier to spread the other side of these arguments as well since ‘christianity’ is no long killing its opponents or keeping them from making a living (well at least for most).

      The fact that FACTS are readily available where they have not been in the past and that these FACTS counter the CLAIMS of MAGIC by theists it will become harder and harder to convince the educated that this MAGIC exists at all.

      Collins was WISHING for something to believe in, and he found it in a frozen waterfall, no DEMONSTRATION of MAGIC, just a demonstration of willful delusion.

      • Ken

        If you think Christianity is about magic you have totally missed the point. The funny thing here is every single one of you on this blog, and I’ve been here way too long, are trying to disprove some weird version of Christianity. Not one of you seems to have a clear understanding of what true authentic Christianity is. You all think it is abut magic and some invisible man in the sky, and floating up to heaven when you die and believing it things you know are not true. I still havn’t figured how many of you actually believe this bs and how many are deliberately misrepresenting it to make Christians look stupid.

        • Pofarmer

          Christianity is based on a miracle claim.

          I don’t think anyone is particularly missrepresenting anything, especially when the variety of christian belief is so vast. I don’t have any doubt you believe these claims are true, just as I have no doubt that you are wrong and insulating yourself from contradictory scholarly opinions. I’m sorry you got sucked in.

        • Kodie

          Yes, it’s the propaganda – as long as they are getting all their information from the church, they can’t know anything for real. The church makes a dependent of the believer, who doesn’t know what to think until they ask, and the church knows everything about themselves, about us, about everything, and if someone from the outside contradicts what the church “knows”, we’re “indoctrinated” or “misunderstanding” or “deliberately misrepresenting”.

          So Bob learns that he’s not allowed to assert the sky is blue without asking his church if it is, and if they say it is green, he will tell us he used to be like us but he’s much smarter now, and of course the sky is green.

        • Al

          The “miracle claim” called the resurrection of Christ has never been refuted in 2000 years. I have asked a number of atheist to do so and not one has succeeded including Bob. That’s how certain it is.

        • Kodie

          Al, how much money are you paying your church?

        • Pofarmer

          If you don’t consider a billion odd Muslims and 10 ‘ of millions of Mormons a refutation, I suppose.

        • adam

          It is YOUR claim, the burden of proof is on YOU.

          You havent proven it to be true, YET!

        • Greg G.

          In one post you say:

          Many atheists would have us believe that those who are convinced by these arguments are naive, gullible, ignorant, uneducated, or just stupid…

          And in the next post:

          I still havn’t figured how many of you actually believe this bs and how many are deliberately misrepresenting it to make Christians look stupid.

          The thing is that what we argue against and what you are reading from the defenders of Christianity really is what most Christians believe. You think they are stupid yet you accuse atheists as portraying them as stupid. Your version of Christianity is a fringe group.

        • Ken

          No I’m Catholic. 1.2 billion people. The largest and oldest instution in the world. Not a fringe group. I believe i habe not said anything that is not in line with the official teaching and doctrines of the Catholic church.
          And while I have been reading what other Christians have been writing it boggles my mind how they and I can be so consistently misinterpreted. I have to wonder if you people are doing that on purpose. If you are not I would.be happy to explain it to you, but if you just don’t want to understand then their is no point.
          BTW I don’t think the other Christians on here are stupid. Ido see a problem with people who have been Christians their whole lives have trouble because they make statements without building a proper foundation of understanding for non Christians. They assume you know what they are talking about. That of course is assuming you are t deliberatly misunderstanding.

        • Kodie

          I think it’s funny that you think we’re misinterpreting you. What’s happening here is what you think sounds like one thing in your head and another thing out loud to someone not clouded by your dogma. You’re insulting, for one. You think you’re doing us a favor, but what sounds in your head to you like a caring act of sharing sounds to us like you really believe someone else’s account of us than our own. You constantly try to guess why we’re atheists, and because your church tells you that you’re a wicked piece of shit, you have to believe we’re also a wicked piece of shit that needs to be roped in to Jesus, or as my dad calls it “the magic show.” Because Jesus is the only hope for a wicked piece of shit in this universe, but I don’t think I’m a wicked piece of shit, and I don’t think you’re a wicked piece of shit either. I think you’re a sucker, but that’s not the same thing. You represent yourself poorly – we’re not misunderstanding you or misinterpreting your words.

        • MNb

          “No I’m Catholic.”
          That doesn’t tell us much. These guys

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Óscar_Romero
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jozef_Tiso

          were both catholics too.
          How do you call someone (yup, I have a christian in mind – one you have tried to defend) who asks the same question over and over again, despite getting the same answer all the time, if you don’t call him stupid?

        • Greg G.

          Hi Bob,

          Most of the atheists here were Christians for a long time. We each came to realize that the things we believed, the things are friends and families believed, the things we were being told were false. All believers have moments of doubt and there are good reasons for that – they’re moments of lucidity. What you see as a caricature of Christianity is what it is at its core. You’d be surprised how many Catholics do not hold your particular beliefs. I know some practicing Catholics who embrace evolution and some who embrace the Genesis account. You may be surprised at the number of Catholics who use birth control, too.

          It’s hard to keep track of each individual commenter’s beliefs.

          If we argue against something you don’t believe, don’t assume we don’t understand Christianity. There are many. Don’t be the guy who was walking int the stadium for a Cubs game and heard somebody shout “Hey, Dave!” He stopped and stared up for a minute before going on in. In the 3rd inning, he heard “Hey, Dave!” shouted from above and behind him. He turned and scowled. In the 6th inning, he heard a shout of “Hey, Dave!” He’d had enough and turned and shouted, “My name’s not Dave!”

          We can discuss your beliefs but if a particular belief doesn’t coincide with what most Christians hold, you should explain what you believe and why you believe it. If you believe it simply because it’s what the Church believes simply by tradition, we would be happy to point out why that is not rational.

        • Al

          The atheist is in worse position given that there is no evidence or good reasons for atheism being true. Its not rational.

        • Greg G.

          The complete lack of evidence for gods makes atheism rational. The contrary beliefs of theists shows most are wrong and probably all are wrong which leaves atheism as the only rational position.

          You still haven’t addressed some questions. In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus had a “reading comprehension”.

        • adam

          Of course there is evidence Al.
          We’ve covered this NUMEROUS time.
          All atheists are good reasons for atheism being true.

          Definition of ATHEISMa : a disbelief in the existence of deity

          It is VERY rational..
          Because there are not good enough RATIONAL REASONS to believe in YOUR ‘god’.

        • Kodie

          It is the Christians misrepresenting themselves then. You don’t have the capacity to see it from outside and see it for a delusion and a superstition. If you want to change our perception, you have to do something different than you’re doing.

          What do you see when you look at or hear the arguments of a person who believes something different from you do? What are your perceptions and observations and opinions on what is going on in their brain? You have already expressed what you think about atheists – because you are a wicked piece of shit, you have to believe we are, and we are hopeless without the salvation of Jesus that you have. But I don’t feel like a wicked piece of shit that is only worthy if a magical sky daddy says so. That’s the difference between your experience and mine. Maybe I can’t buy what you’re selling because I clearly don’t need it, and you will persist and insist that I am blinded and that I really do need it! Your church is primarily a money-making institution that exists by entrapping the vulnerable weaklings and “saving” them through a magic feather called “Jesus”, and calling you terrible names so you can feel superior to everyone else because you made it out of the slime and into the light. That’s a scam. And it gives you the sales pitch “I used to be like you and now I’m better, now I have worth!” You use the same sales pressures as the make-up artist at the counter, preying on the insecure and offering them a deceitful product.

          Hello? It’s the money. You get me to join your church and they make more money.

          http://www.desiderata.com/desiderata-poem.html

        • adam

          Full Definition of MAGIC
          1
          a : the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces
          b : magic rites or incantations
          2 a : an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source

          The resurrection is a MAGICAL event
          The stopping of the earths rotation, zombies rising from their graves and waliknig around town is a MAGICAL event
          The CLAIMED ‘powers’ of YOUR god is MAGICAL

          Talking snakes and donkeys, heaven, eternal life
          All MAGIICAL by Definition.

          HOw am I ‘deliberately misrepresenting it to make Christians look stupid’

    • Pofarmer

      Francis Collins was converted by an emotional experience, not a rational one. That theme is nearly universal. It is certainly true of Lewis,, as well. Why are members of the National Academy of Sciences orders of Magnitude less religious, than, the general population.

      • Ken

        I don’t know that Collins was converted by an emotional experience. If that is true he does not say so in his book. Perhaps you are privleged to some special information that I am not. Please explain. Lewis explains very clearly in his writings that he was originally trying to disprove Christianity and that he was in his own words “the most unwilling convert”

        As for scientist, well what would you expect from a group of Ph.D’s who spent the first 25 or 30 years of their lives in predominantly atheist schools being indoctrinated into the dogma of philosophical naturalism. Besides, when you have spent that much time and money getting your degree you are very emotionally invested in it. They have een toold for years, ether directly of subtly that “smart “people don’t believe in all that stuff. They all want to be smart because there self esteem is built around that. Believe me I know the type. I was one of them for a while. My father was a biochemist at Stanford and so was my best friend’s dad along with many of our family friends. I was studying to be a biologist until i was 22, so I was deeply entrenched in the scientific community and culture. And don’t mistake, there is a very distinct culture among scientist and along with it are strongly held attitudes and beliefs that are no more scientific or rational that those held by any other culture or sub-culture.

        • Pofarmer

          So, what did you decide to study?

        • Ken

          History

        • Pofarmer

          Lewis was right. I had to make a choice. A full year had passed since I decided to believe in some sort of God, and now I was being called to account. On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains during my first trip west of the Mississippi, the majesty and beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ. (Ibid, p. 225)

          Yeah, not an emotional conversion at all.

        • Ken

          Well duh! Of course a.persons conversion experience is emotional. How could it not be. That is entirely different than saying a person converted because of emotion, rather than reason. Collins, Lewis and I did a great deal of research and study into our decision. Were you emotional on your wedding day? I assume you were (if your married). That dosnt mean the decision to get married was not rational or based purely on emotion.

        • Pofarmer

          So, what research did you do? Did you read Dennet, Harris, Churchland, Ehrman, Helms, Pervo, Spong, Price and other contemporary scholarship on the bible? Maybe take some comparative religion courses?

        • Al

          All these guys you mention have been refuted. They don’t make good arguments.

        • Kodie

          You’re mind-bogglingly stupid and have given no reason to take you seriously. By comparison, your idiot friends Bob the truck, Karl, John and Ryan can put together a literate sentence and try to make or refute a point.

        • adam

          Sorry, I think you have them confused with yourself…

        • Kodie

          I think marriage is a terrific example. People often want to get married so badly they ignore all the things telling them they shouldn’t.

        • Pofarmer
        • Kodie

          Bob, you don’t do yourself any favors comparing yourself to smart people.

    • No, the point is that these intellectual arguments convince no one. They don’t convince atheists because they’re stupid arguments. They don’t convince Christians because they believe for non-intellectual reasons. Like you, their foundation isn’t built from arguments like these.

      The purpose of these arguments is that a smart guy like you can pretend that he’s actually following the evidence.

      Respond to my thought experiment. You make religion an adults-only thing (like alcohol, driving, and voting), and Christianity would whither away within a few generations. Religion depends on fresh, gullible converts.

      • Ken

        I will give you the same response to that question I gavr you several days age. I, myself am an adult convert as well is the man who brought me to the faith and so are many friends I have. There are also many great Christian thinkers, like Francis Collins, C. S. Lews, as well as classic thinkers like St Augustine and St Paul who were adult converts. Christianity is growing in communist countries like China where religion was suppressed for generations as well. It is growing almost exclusively by conversion. This idea that people only believe because they were brought up that way is not only wrong, but is completely unfounded and frankly ust plain ignorant wishfull thinking by atheist.

        • We’ve been over this. Yes, I understand that you were an adult convert. In the first place, most adult converts still come from a Christian environment. But forget that–I’m saying that eliminating conversions as children would leave American Christianity pretty much empty in just a few generations.

          Please focus on the issue at hand, not on the question you wish was asked.

        • Ken

          That sounds like a statement not a question. Besides, what does that mean “a Christian environment” do you mean that if I never met another Christian I would not have come up with Christianity all by my self?

          Let’s try a different thought experiment. Let’s say we don’t tell children about evolution until they are adults.do you really think you could convince an adult that all the apparent design we see in the natural world just came about by chance if they hadn’t been told that since they were small children?

        • Pofarmer

          Yes. There is a ton of evidence for evolution, and most study isn’t initiated until high school.

        • MNb

          Definitely yes. Only five years ago I tended to reject the hypothesis of the Multiverse. When I found out what the fundament of the hypothesis was I changed my mind.
          The thing is that science works. Evolution Theory is an integral part of science. Rejecting ET means rejecting science. Accepting science means accepting ET – if you want to be consistent.

          ” all the apparent design we see in the natural world just came about by chance.”

          This is a strawman. Evolution depends on natural selection and that is the exact opposite of chance. You show here that you don’t understand ET.

        • Well, yes, if you had never heard of Christianity, you wouldn’t have reinvented it on your own. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

          Your evolution example is excellent. If you only taught evolution to students when they were seniors in high school, they’d have no problem understanding and accepting the evidence.

          And my thought experiment stands, unchallenged. If you teach Christianity only to adults, the religion would quickly atrophy.

        • Kodie

          I challenged it.

        • Apologies. I’m way behind in reading comments and missed that one.

        • Kodie

          You responded to it.

        • Al

          If its true that if we were to “teach Christianity only to adults, the religion would quickly atrophy” then how was it possible for Christianity to survive in the beginning when it was taught to primarily adults? How is that there are over 2 billion people on the planet that do believe it?

        • Kodie

          They were converted from another belief and yours was merely a more attractive offer. Can you tell me why there are still Jews?

        • Al

          You should really read some history. To become a Christian in the beginning was asking for serious problems such as death and loss of family.

          Why shouldn’t there be Jews?

        • Kodie

          Because even the bible tells people how to be brave for your beliefs and ignore everyone around you. Sounds like a way for a scam to take root. Why are there still Jews when it’s no longer dangerous to change your beliefs?

        • Christianity grew in the early days like any religion–explain them and you’ll explain Christianity.

          Today, Christianity survives only because it’s taught to children before they’re able to separate sensible claims from nonsense. Teach it only to adults, and it would wither.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s well demonstrated that we build up thought patterns, and it’s very difficult to extract ourselves from those patterns, once they’ve become ingrained.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, sure, let’s train our best human resource to be dumb as a box of hammers. If you like the conveniences of stuff like computers and surgery and clean water and things like that, let’s do an experiment and thoroughly impede, nay, halt our scientific progress. Why do you think god needs us to be stupid? The church needs stupid people, the church needs so badly for you to believe science education is the propaganda. How much are you paying the church to take over your brain?

        • Jibaro

          See, this is one of the things that turn me off on religion. What makes you think that evolution is wrong? A couple of know-it-all got together and nit picked the Bible to say that the creation took 6.000 years and the rest of the know-it all’s decided that those guy were very clever and accepted that argument but the does not make their claim true.

          Now, God is an eternal being. He has no beginning and no end, so, he has all the time in the universe to do whatever he wants to do. He is also a creative artist. The universe is his master piece. So, having all the time in the universe to create the Earth he did it in 6,000 years?

          We are so full of ourselves we think we know it all and we don’t. Science has just scratched the surface of reality and religion tries to hide it. For all we know God took his time creating the universe and might have erased things that he didn’t like, just like any artist does. For all we know he is still doing so and, we better hope so, because he might get tired of us and erase us out of the picture.

        • Kodie

          Bob is not trying to figure it out, Bob is entrenched. He used to be “like” us, but he was luckily rescued by a few Christians he determined were “intelligent” and making “intelligent arguments” so he checked out what they were saying, proved it to himself with an “experience” and now solidly trusts whatever they tell him and distrusts anything that conflicts with them. After all, they take his money, why would they give him nothing of value?

        • Jibaro

          I think Bob is wrestling with his beliefs. He accepted a religion and he must convince himself that his beliefs are right. To do so he might believe that convincing other people might show that it’s so.

          I really applaud his efforts.

        • MNb

          “he must convince himself that his beliefs are right”
          You don’t realize that this applies as well, do you? I am talking about the silly scientist conspiracy theory you provided above, which makes you ignore relevant facts.

        • Jibaro

          Your comment doesn’t seem clear to me. If you refer about applying that to myself, then know that I do.

          As for my silly theory, well, there are historical facts that prove that science is used to control people and to make sure knowledge does not eliminate the possibility of making a profit. Tesla is an example. Also check the history of psychiatry, when and where it was created and how it was used.

          Anyway, again, we have wandered far from the main subject.

        • Kodie

          Can you point on the doll where the bad scientist touched you?

        • Pofarmer

          Too funny.

        • Jibaro

          Sarcasm is Ok but it doesn’t have to be taken seriously.

          Something else, people use attacks to defend themselves when they see that their arguments are becoming weak. You seem to be an intelligent person and have forced me to think and remember, exercises I really need, so I hope you don’t fall into that trap.

          By the way, the bad scientists are touching all of us with medicines that destroy our health, while making a lot of money for the pharmaceuticals. They also find ways to control our needs and wants with commercials that brainwash the consumers.

          Bad science is also depriving us of the benefits of plants, like Marijuana, just to name a few things.

        • Kodie

          I’m just asking you to be specific about it, because you sound unreasonable.

        • Jibaro

          Kodie, are you trying to save me from my “madness”? Don’t worry about it. Fact is that our lives will end someday and on that day one of us will be surprised. Not me because if I’m wrong I will just dissipate into nothingness and so will not be able to feel surprise or anything at all. Of course, if I’m right, you will find yourself looking at your loved ones and suffering the frustration of not being able to communicate. In that case you might remember what I wrote and decide what you want to do.

        • Kodie

          What are you doing here? Are you trying to convince us, you said no. Are you here to be challenged, you’re not game. Pascal’s wager? Seriously?

          There’s another option and we’re both surprised.

        • Kodie

          He is not wrestling, he has the obligatory confirmation bias. He’s also called us swine as Christians like to do when their arguments aren’t being soaked in for the “goodness” they believe them to be, and threatened to leave three times already since last week.

        • Jibaro

          Well, Kodie, I’m new here and have not seen insults, at least nothing I would consider an insult. Disbelief and the consideration that I might be delusional is just a negative analysis of what I believe but not really an insult.

          Calling people “swine”, telling them to take their meds or to put on the tin foil hats, those are insults and attacks on anyone who disagrees. I have not seen that here and am happy that it’s so. Much better than Newsvine, absolutely. So, if the person is prone to that, then, it might be a good thing is he leaves but I still believe he is wrestling with his new found faith and does not want to accept that he might be wrong.

        • Kodie

          Why you assume he’s here to wrestle with his beliefs, ask questions and learn – he’s here to do what most Christians do, and that’s to ignore everything that atheists tell them and insist we’re wicked pieces of shit with meaningless lives unless we take the lord Jesus Christ as our savior. They’re just pawns trying to win souls, and they think they’re saving our lives.

        • Jibaro

          I can only judge from what I have read. So far I have not seen him fly of his handle. If I do I will certainly change my opinion.

        • Kodie

          Where did I say he flew of the handle?

        • hector_jones

          Why would you applaud this? I think what you are describing is contemptible.

        • hector_jones

          If only people like Al could read this and realize that this is exactly how they come across to atheists.

          Jibaro’s ideas are nutty but no more nutty than Al’s. The difference is Jibaro came up with this himself as a confused muddle of his own irrational ideas and religious ideas he’s heard elsewhere, while Al got his from the bible, which is a confused muddle of its ancient authors’ own irrational ideas and religious ideas they heard elsewhere. The bible enjoys the privilege of having been around long enough now and repeated enough times by enough people that we are all used to its nuttiness.

        • Jibaro

          Well, my ideas might be nutty but they are my ideas.

          The difference between you and me is that in my nuttiness I show respect for other people. I might not agree with them but I don’t resort to insults to prove my point.

          Now, I would like to know where I got my ideas from. Since you say I got them from somewhere, then you must know where. Otherwise you are just blowing smoke.

        • hector_jones

          I’m really feeling the respect right now.

          I already said your ideas were a combination of other bad ideas and ideas of your own. I will happily concede that many of your ideas come straight out of your own butthole and nowhere else.

        • Kodie

          Pattern-seeking, self-centeredness, and the ability to imagine things that aren’t true – that we all have, we can lie or be mistaken or create fiction (and know that it’s fiction). Once you can’t tell if you are creating fiction or deciding that what you believe is actually true, you are in a delusion. As I said earlier, much much earlier, the creation of a religion has to do with fear and not knowing. Once you have come up with what seems to be a reasonable idea why the volcano might be angry at you, you think you can try to control it, and it works some of the time, so there you have confirmation bias. Prayer works the same way if you pray to god or a gallon of milk.

          Never mind where he says he assumes you’re a Christian, it’s totally analogous to your beliefs and where your beliefs come from.

        • Pofarmer

          “This idea that people only believe because they were brought up that way is not only wrong, but is completely unfounded and frankly ust plain ignorant wishfull thinking by atheist.”

          Nah, it’s pretty typical, actually. Eric Hoffer ” the true believers.”

        • Ken

          Where is your proof?

          While it is true that most Christians in the US were raised in christian homes, this is what you would expect in a country that is 75% Christian. But what about countries that are not predominantly Christian. How about those that are actively hostile to Christianity? http://m.christianpost.com/news/panel-looks-at-christianitys-rapid-growth-in-china-despite-persecution–120850/

        • Pofarmer

          I listed a book. You should attempt to read it.

        • Kodie

          It could be that Christians see a market there. They bring their propaganda and call it a “good cause” to get the volunteers to go and evangelize. Bob, it’s about money, and it’s about silly arguments that idiots like you bring “look at the growth, look at the numbers! So many people could not be convinced if it weren’t true!!!!” That’s how gullible you are that you think that’s an argument.

          I happen to believe an empty vessel at any age is vulnerable to religious marketing. But you know they’d be Scientologists in China if Scientologists went over there and outnumbered Christian missionaries.

    • Jibaro

      Bob, you are assuming that because a writing is thousands of years old what it says is true. People have used the lie conveniently since they became people and stories change as the people in charge determine convenient for them.

      What we got to do is look at the claims and see if there is the possibility of truth in them. Now, I don’t know the details about the source of the different biblical stories but, as an example and if I remember right, Moses had a tent where God resided. The people could see signs that showed that God was there.

      So, if God was willing to show his presence to his people at that time and, if God wants us to kow tow to him; then why doesn’t he show his face now? It would end all these discussions and a lot of atheist who are really good people, would fall in line. I mean; who wouldn’t?

  • Jibaro

    Perhaps there are other possibilities that are not being considered by religious people. It might be that when God created us, in his image, he did not give us physical bodies. Like him, we are spirit and immortal. There is no way we can really harm ourselves, so he does not worry about the things we consider tragic and cataclysmic. He appears to us not to care because he knows the truth we refuse to face. So, the appearance is that he does not care, or he does not exist.

    As for evil, it might be that there is no such thing for God. Evil is a concept that we invented and it’s used to describe behavior that we consider destructive, malignant. So, evil is something that all of us, irregardless of our religious beliefs, should face.

    Why do we have bodies and live such short lives? Well, perhaps it’s because eternity is a long time. It can be very boring for some of us, so we decided to play games while in perishable physical bodies. That way we can fake death by forgetting our previous lives and end the monotony of eternal life.

    • Maybe God is a concept invented by people, and he doesn’t actually exist.

      • Jibaro

        It’s a possibility that can’t be ignored. I believe that he does exist for my own reasons but the fact remains that the only sensible proof of there being something out there are the possibilities assigned by science in terms of chance for life to develop. Even then, it’s only numbers, in reality they don’t prove anything. So, what we are really left with is what we can perceive.

        • What we are left with is Christian claims that look very much like other manmade religious claims. We should follow the evidence.

        • Ken

          That’s funny Bob because I just finished arguing with several other atheist that said that Christianity was not believable because all the other religions conflicted with it. Now you are saying Christianity is not believable because it sounds too much like.other religions. So what I am hearing here from you guys is that if Christianity is to similar to other religions it is not believable and if it is too different it is not believable. I think you just don’t want to believe.

        • Greg G.

          Every religion exploits similar human frailties yet all are different. That’s how we tell them apart. But each is wrong for the same reasons and each is wrong for their own individual reasons. Religions are wrong on many levels.

        • Pofarmer

          All religions have miracle claims, for instance. Hell, there are yogi’s and shamans today who claim to be doing miracles. Research Sayeth Sai Baba for a modern, very recent example. He had millions of followers and was purported to do all kinds of miracles. So, yes, christianity is the same but different, with the crucial difference that every believer pretty much has his own version of it.

        • How does this resolve my concern?

          What tips you off that the other religions are false? Maybe that they’re not believable, for example? Show me that Christianity doesn’t have these traits.

        • Kodie

          Being able to read is kind of important here. Too many theists believing such drastically different things that they would condemn a person to hell demonstrates that you ALL think you have it right and there is NO WAY to figure out which is true. From our own perspective, it’s all a bunch of dogma the same, different, doesn’t matter, file it as dogmatic trash propaganda.

          So when you’re reading and you think this is contradictory, that tells me your ability to read has been compromised by your beliefs, or perhaps your inability to read is how they got you in, but anyway, your inability to read demonstrates to me that your ideas about your own religion are crap, because you can’t tell the difference between true and false, fact and deception. I mean you’re a bad representative of your own beliefs because it is too hard for you to comprehend what you read. Doesn’t give me much confidence in your pitch.

          You think it’s OUR FAULT??? We just don’t want to? You don’t make it very attractive to a person who’s used to using their brain for important stuff like navigating around scams.

        • Jibaro

          Christianity is not believable because it claims many things that are not. Other religions are not believable because they do much the same thing. There are reasons for that.

          Religion is a fine tool for control of the masses. It can be used to create obedience without need for force. It creates credibility for lying politicians. It creates a basic for hating the next guy simply because he accepts a different faith or because he does not belong to the chosen few and so on.

          There is evidence, as an example, that the Catholic church made changes to it’s holy book. That’s why the protestant movement came to be. This brings to mind that, if in the search for power modern leaders made changes to the holy books then; what makes you think that it was not done so with the Torah?

        • Jibaro

          I agree with you but have difficulty with some of the other posts.

          The problem with science is that, like politics, the people with the money control it. Scientists who find results that indicate there is more to life than meets the eye are quickly ridiculed and ruined.

          There is a scientist specializing in cell functions, I believe his last name is Lipton, who found and showed that DNA does not determine what cell forms. He showed that all DNA was is a template for building proteins and, even in the absence of DNA a cell will keep on functioning. The only other use for DNA was reproduction. So, if DNA does not determine what a cell in a fetus will become; then what does?

          There are other examples but I will have to look them up, my memory is not what it used to be.

        • MNb

          Well, scientists are human hence imperfect. So good ideas and evidence sometimes has to wait a long time before being recognized. It might take an entire generation (ie until all the old geezers have died).
          But generally good ideas and solid evidence get accepted. I’m not familiar with the Lipton case, but you haven’t exactly provided evidence that he was censored or something.

          “the people with the money control it.”

          This is silly. Have you any idea how much money outfits like The Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis can spend?

        • Jibaro

          Have no idea how much money an institute spends but I do know that people with money like to invest in things that would make their wealth grow and, or, attacking things that would weaken their positions.

          I also know that leverage is important, so, if I were rich and could have under control a couple of scientists with big reputations, it would be cheap to invest on them and, to control the mavericks, I would only have to deny funds for their research. They want money, they have to fall in line.

          I think that a lot of the money assigned to research institutes also come from the government and that the government is controlled by the rich. So, they don’t even have to dig into their pockets to invest on scientists. All they have to do is get our politicians to put our tax dollar into it. Just like they used our military to destroy the ME looking for control of the oil fields there.

          Anyway, I would think that it would be very inconvenient for the people who control the US if the people in general discovered that there is such a thing as a spirit, that the spirit has no sex (just a preference), that the spirit has no race or nationality. that we could be born anywhere we chose because there is nothing to limit our choices. and that the enemy out there could be your brother or a loved one. That would make war pretty difficult.

        • MNb

          “people with money like to invest in things that would make their wealth grow and, or, attacking things that would weaken their positions.”
          Irrelevant. DI and AIG are institutions that have a strong interest in their wealth grow and attacking Evolution Theory (which weakens their positions). Similar for Templeton Foundation. They have the money. So people like Lipton do have a platform for publicing their ideas. That makes this

          “It’s another tool used by people who hunger for power to control the rest of us.”

          irrelevant. Scientists are not capable of controlling people like Lipton. The fact that you ignore this shows that you are not looking at life objectively, something you claimed above.

        • Jibaro

          Didn’t say that scientists control anybody. Rather, what I say is that scientists are used to control people.

          I don’t know where the interests of the companies you name are but I do know that there are people who use any means possible to confuse the subject so that they can get what they want. Politicians are good at this and lawyers are experts.

          The evidence that they are just confusing the subject lies in that there doesn’t seem to be any progress in the discussion. If those groups wanted to clear the field of doubts, there would be common points of agreement on the floor already that would make the discussion more logical but I don’t see that.

          By the way, scientists are people. Some of them could be politicians. Some of them could hunger for power. To ignore the fact that scientists are human beings capable of doing the things other humans do is idealizing them and that is not realistic. It borders on religious thinking.

          Anyway, we have wandered far from the main subject.

        • Kodie

          It’s pretty important to be able to rely on the sources, so find the sources and tell us how you know which ones are reliable and which ones are being bought. Stop talking about it in vague conspiracy-theory terms like science is oppressing you, and show me where the problems are.

        • Jibaro

          Science is not oppressing me or anyone else. The people who buy scientist in the same way that they buy politicians are the ones oppressing us.

          Can anyone talk about that in any way without being accused of being vague and conspiracy-theory like? No, no one can. You are talking about a practice that is very wide spread and difficult to pin point. As an example, DDT, it was prohibited because supposedly it softened the eggs of eagles. It was proven that it was not so and it only affected a particular type of eagle that was in the US but the prohibition was world wide. Now insect borne diseases are attacking us and DDT would be very useful to stop that, so, it’s being claimed that DDT causes cancer. It never did until now but “scientific” proof is being created to show that it’s so.

          Can I prove that what I’m saying is true without being accused of being a conspiracy-theorist and being hounded by experts, no I can’t. Any proof I gather would be drowned by the people who would want to stop me. I would be an ant trying to fight a fire, I would be easily overwhelmed. The proof is out there. It’s easy to find. The hard part is getting people that are blinded by their beliefs to accept what is obvious.

          It would be very much like the battle between atheist and religious people. The fight would never end and that would be very convenient to those who want DDT out of the picture because while we are fighting, nothing will happen.

        • Kodie

          If you’re going to say radical conspiracy-theory things about science as a whole, as a conglomerate monopolistic capital-driven industry that suppresses the real truth about everything, you’re going to have to be specific. A few examples does not do anything for me, because of course it can happen. Why should that upset you and suspicious of everything, or is it that they deny, reject, or refuse to study things you’re positive are true but have no way of showing us evidence for?

        • Jibaro

          A few examples are not good for you because you don’t want to accept them. Therefore a lot of examples will not do it either. So, trying to prove my point will not work.

        • Kodie

          I have yet to see you post a citation for your claims. You sound paranoid and butthurt that science rejects things you believe to be true, and are swept up in “things the government/big business/big pharma doesn’t want you to know”. That’s a line made for suckers who want to think they’re smarter than average, and so we need to see how reliable your sources are.

        • Kodie

          Scientists who find results are not ridiculed and ruined. If you are led to believe that, I think you might be too far into the propaganda. A result is only as good as the experiment, and scientists publish so that their experiments can be repeated and thoroughly over-checked by other scientists. If the result doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, then that’s not the money’s fault.

          If you want to know about how the money goes, how much money do you pay to your church? I have been asking and only one answered “5-10%” but that is not an amount. Churches have a vested interest in training you to be suspicious of anything that conflicts with the “results” its non-scientists want you to believe. If you are not able to discern between an actual scientist and a church-sponsored scientist, then you should be trying to figure it out. If the church is sponsoring a “scientist”, they are paying for the “results” that conflict with real findings in real science. Furthermore, they like to poison the well and train you to believe they’re being ridiculed and ruined because they differ from real science, like they are the mavericks and what “the conspiracy of science” (where the money goes! lol) doesn’t want you to know!

          Where do you think your money goes when you give it to the church? Why do you think they are looking for the truth, and not just looking for the illusion of science to appeal to ignorant people like you? Why do you think it’s not a marketing scheme to retain your loyalty and your money?

        • Jibaro

          You confuse me with a religious person who believes in the church. I don’t, nor do I participate in any religion,so, you see, the only people that take my money are tax collectors.

          There are scientist that have been ridiculed and persecuted to stop their work, Tesla was one. Not too long ago, two guys in the US found evidence of cold fusion. They have to leave the US because of persecution. One of them ended up in Japan and the other in Germany.

          As for how the money buy “scientists” your own comment prove my point. How many “scientists” does the church own and how much money do they get?

        • Kodie

          I would classify all of what you said as “human error” and one of the reasons “wishful thinking” of religion gets nowhere in science, but pretty far in deluding people that what they’re doing actually is science. I might be saying that wrong. We might be trying to idealize science too much, but science is an open book that expects to be criticized and overturned by better and more accurate information. The church is against that, and spends its time propagandizing people like Bob and Al to distrust science and to spread the dirty word that everything we learn from actual science is a “conspiracy” run by atheists to destroy the churches. That’s sort of just a side-effect. The church has to appeal to people who think they’re smart, it has to come up with a plan to compete with science by resembling science and scientific inquiry, because scientific inquiry leads to thinking the church might be wrong. And there goes the money.

        • Jibaro

          So, what I claim is human error but, I guess I’m just a human being trying to look at life objectively, so, I make mistakes. The difference is that I can accept my mistakes and make corrections on my judgement.

          Science has become another religion. It’s another tool used by people who hunger for power to control the rest of us. Some scientists work for powerful industries, others work for religions, others play with both but just about all of them work for themselves. They have to make a living after all.

          There is a minority who are true scientists that are really looking for the truth. Those are backed into a corner to keep them quiet. It’s the way things work in a planet where greed and selfishness rule.

        • MNb

          “I’m just a human being trying to look at life objectively”
          Above you stated “but, I don’t” in answer to “If I were to believe that I’m a piece of matter that …”. How is that the result of tyring to look at life objectively?

        • Jibaro

          I learned to stand back from a subject and look at it as if I were not a part of it. If I remember things right, I learned that in my science classes. It’s what a scientist is supposed to do.

          As for my belief that I’m not just a piece of matter, well, I have seem that I’m not. So, how could I believe otherwise?

          Anyway, the subject was evil and religion and we are getting side tracked. Perhaps another post can be created to discuss the possibility that there is more to us than science accepts but not what religions claim.

        • Kodie

          You say you stand back from a subject like religion or Christianity and judge these things for what they are. Then you make up a new religion because you feel it and perceive it, and draw personally invented conclusions from it. That’s subjective.

        • Jibaro

          Well, I guess that you can call what I believe a religion but it’s a religion of one since I don’t think that there is someone else in the world that believes what I believe. Though in my religion there is no real “deity”. God would be a person, like us. Perhaps a very much larger person in terms of capacity for creation and change but a person never the less. He is a person that exists but does not require worship from anyone.

          Perhaps this is very subjective, perhaps it fits perfectly what I would prefer but, even so, it’s what I believe for the moment. I would say all religions are subjective, even atheism because there is no proof of God’s existence either way, just opinions.

          The only thing that is not subjective would be pure science and pure science will one day show that there is more to life than DNA. It will show that there is an energy involved that can’t be identified because it has been seen already but that energy will not be proof that there is a God. It will only show that we have a lot to learn and a long way to go to find and accept what we are.

        • Kodie

          Your beliefs are what you cobble together from your experiences and uneducated assumptions of how things should work. No different from any other creation of a religion. A religion doesn’t need a god, I don’t think, it just needs some kind of idea there’s a supernatural spirit and made-up properties of that spirit, like a superstition. Like, if you told me you can tell me my future from tarot cards, or spoke to the dead.

        • Jibaro

          Actually, there are many things that could be called religions. As an example: atheism.

          One of the definitions of religion goes like this “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held with faith and strong feeling”. That could be said about atheists and people who defend science with intense fervor.

          Now, you accused me of making assumptions and you end up making assumptions about me.

        • Kodie

          You’re saying a bunch of unfounded, uncited screwy shit you thought up, and I don’t believe you. How is that a religion?

        • Can you just put together whatever supernatural beliefs you like and then believe them? I thought you had to have evidence.

        • Jibaro

          I think you have the thing backwards. I experience life first, collect what I have seen and, since I believe in myself, I believe what I conclude from my own experience. Evidence is necessary when a person is trying to convince others. I’m not trying to convince anybody, I just answer questions and comments with what I hold to be true.

          I believe, because I don’t remember exactly, that science already accepts that there is some kind of energy field surrounding the body. There are scientist right now admitting that DNA does not determine what a cell becomes. That by itself does not prove that God exists but it’s a step forward towards recognizing that there is more to us than meets the eye.

          It may be that we never demonstrate that God exist but one day we will demonstrate that there is some kind of energy necessary for life to exist. That mere matter can’t show signs of life without said energy but that is in the future. Meanwhile, I believe what I believe and I don’t need others to accept my beliefs, nor do I need a church so that I will not feel lonely.

        • Kodie

          since I believe in myself, I believe what I conclude from my own experience

          Top-notch methodology you have there.

        • one day we will demonstrate that there is some kind of energy necessary for life to exist.

          You mix laudable caution with statements like this one, where you’ve already made your conclusion (and which science doesn’t share). I prefer to accept just the scientific consensus rather than toss in speculations from me, a non-expert.

        • Jibaro

          Scientists explore a problem and reach a conclusion based on the data collected. They methodically collect the data and the way they obtained the data so that they can report it, get others to do their own experimentation and ascertain that their conclusion is right. Then they will get credit for their efforts and science takes another step forward. Sometimes scientists reach the wrong conclusion for whatever reason. Other scientists report that the conclusion is wrong because the original scientist missed a piece of data or because he let his imagination go in the wrong direction. Those are scientists.

          I’m not a scientist, nor do I keep careful control of my data, nor do I report it so that others can repeat my experiments. Fact is that I don’t think people will believe my data if I had it carefully logged to demonstrate what I believe. What is stored in a person’s mind can easily be written of as delusion. There is all kinds of claims made by psychiatrist that are accepted widely that would make what is in our minds unbelievable even to the person that is experiencing it.

          As a consequence we have to wait for science to plod along, fighting the resistance of society and of people who have gained power and wish to keep it. Each of us have to form his or her own opinion.

        • Each of us have to form his or her own opinion.

          And when you have insufficient data, you just reserve judgment. It might be cool for your beliefs to be true, but without the evidence, so what? Why believe them? Just wishful thinking?

        • Jibaro

          That’s right and that’s why I don’t push my beliefs on anyone. The only reason I bothered to mention them here is because I was asked questions that led into it. Those beliefs could very well be wishful thinking on my part, they might be delusion and I know it.

          Scientists, the ones that make discoveries, sometimes do so because the little data they had inspired an answer in them. When they tested the answer they guessed at, they found that they were right. Some times those answers can’t be collaborated an so, they must accept that they were mistaken and so, must start all over again.

          As far as I know there is no way I can demonstrate what I believe is true, so, I must keep what I believe to myself, unless someone asks about it. Then I must answer because I believe it and I will not deny the fact.

          I don’t expect people to accept what I believe. I expect to be questioned. Perhaps in the process I can learn something new. What I don’t accept is ridicule, profane language and name calling. Individuals that do that need help and I can’t provide it for them, so I ignore them.

          When they insist trying to impinge they behavior on me, I just go somewhere else. I will not give them the attention they crave.

          I also expect people who are intelligent and analytical to post their doubts and, if I don’t accept what they say and I don’t post an answer that they consider valid, to ignore my presence as I ignore anyone who I consider a troll.

        • Kodie

          You know what we expect? Claims backed by citations, evidence. You sound like someone who is not used to being challenged, and doesn’t know what’s expected to happen when you make an unfounded baseless assertion, or as it turns out so many of them. You really just ignore what we’re asking, and that’s rude. You say prejudiced, fearful things about atheism without asking, that aren’t true. And that’s also rude. So you’re sensitive to people getting impatient with you? That’s your weakness, you say things and when you’re challenged, you ignore it, and then people start giving you shit, and you say you’re above it and ignore them.

          Typical evasive Christian OR “other”.

        • Jibaro

          Perhaps my beliefs satisfy a need in me, perhaps my ideas are wishful thinking but I don’t see why some people think they might be so important.

          Now the philosophical argument that this discussion is about does not prove that God doesn’t exist. It just proves that religions are wrong about God. Thinking that God does not exist because of the conclusions of the argument presented is also wishful thinking, it’s just an assumption based on a logical argument.

          Of course, someone can say that there is no evidence that God exists either because there is no direct evidence that God exists but those too are assumptions. Unless God decides that he wants to be seen by us, we ain’t going to have any proof, so belief is a personal thing.

        • Kodie

          There is no evidence that a god exists. How is that wishful thinking? Why would a god exist? You are making emotional arguments because you want to believe. Your argument is “all the other religions are wrong about god,” but you have invented your own. That’s why I’m an atheist – it somehow hammered the point home that thinking what a god would be like means I was poorly conceiving through my own experience and inventing a version of the same god everyone else has invented or believed. Inventing a figure of some sort and then attributing qualities or powers or reasons or decisions to it is to lose track of your senses and simply want there to be a good answer. We’re just animals and there is no evidence or reason to think there is anything more to it.

          And – it’s not a personal thing, it’s a hazardous influence on people, who make terrible dangerous and imposing decisions for all of us because they’re superstitious, and if we can’t see what they see, they will still make us follow their rules. As a conspiracy theorist, I would think you’d know this. But you don’t apply it to yourself, because your beliefs are “personal”, “harmless”, “special” – and that’s how all the Christians think they sound too.

        • adam

          George Bush (and Adolph Hitler)’s ‘beliefs’ satisfied a need in them to commit mass murder.

          So unless YOUR ‘god’ decides that he wants us to ‘believe’ in it, we havent had any proof of anything except that YOUR ‘god’ OBVIOUSLY does NOT want us to ‘believe’ in it.

        • adam

          Then why create us?

        • Jibaro

          Well, I suppose I have reached the end of my participation on your site. There is nothing else for me to learn here anymore and some of you have become unmanageable.

          My God, your God, or no God, as far as I’m concerned is the same thing since he does not participate in our games.

        • Kodie

          Love how you blame us for challenging you to come up with even one citation, and you can’t. “Unmanageable’!

        • adam

          Except that it participates in our politics by proxy.

          Have fun and goodbye then.

        • Kodie

          1. You’re confusing objective and subjective.

          I don’t distrust science as a concept. That’s kind of the difference. You are getting skeptical about things and that’s ok, but to be suspicious and paranoid is uncalled for and baseless. Sometimes scientists can be bought but show me those examples of bad science and bad scientists. Don’t condemn the whole area of study unless you have reasons. Show me the “minority” of true scientists, lol, and what they believe that you believe. You’re being vague and overly paranoid, but if you think someone’s crooked, why? You need to show how they’re crooked and corrupt.

        • Jibaro

          I don’t distrust science. There was a time I wanted to be a scientist. You know what the first lesson we were taught? It was to beware of fake experiments. They were abundant and payed for by rich companies. Some were financed by the government to further a political goal. Like experiments on Marijuana, as an example, and then, there is the prohibition of DDT and many other “scientific” claims.

          There were also the “scientists” who claimed that white people were superior to black people. There is more but why continue?

          There is plenty evidence that science is used as a political tool, just like there is evidence that religions are wrong. It’s a matter of whether the people out there will accept the truth or not.

        • Kodie

          You keep making vague statements like this, you are going to sound like a lunatic. Be specific about what you’re talking about. And don’t just say “x study was corrupted by money” and make a generalization. I’m not particularly well grounded in the sciences, so I am leery of believing something stupid because it appears scientific and hold out for more information. But you sound like you don’t think there’s very much legitimate science, and all of it is some capitalist pyramid scheme because you heard of one study that was bought. Most of the people I know, at least here, are much better at science and will freely criticize something that doesn’t seem right without painting the whole broad field of study suspiciously.

        • Jibaro

          It seems to me that to prove my point to you and other people like you, I will have to spend a lifetime collecting data to present as evidence. Once I do so, the data overdose that anyone reading the comment will just generate ridicule and disbelief. It wont matter how much data I collect, to you I’m just another Joe out there who is not to be believed because there is a professional of some kind saying something else. The tittle would give that professional more credibility than I can obtain.

          My opinions are based on things I studied at school and things I picked up along the way. The information is readily available for anyone who is interested in looking the info up.

          I don’t say and I have not said that all scientist are a fake but I do say that if a scientist out there comes up with something that is not acceptable to the people who control our society, the information will be suppressed and the scientist hounded until ruined.

          Look up vitamin b-17 and find the info that makes people believe that it’s poisonous. You will find that the scientist who made that claim didn’t even complete the experiment that he used to make the claim. You will also find that there is evidence that b-17 attacks cancer cells directly and is more effective than chemotherapy but it’s still considered poisonous.

          I know that b-17 is not poisonous because I eat everyday seeds that supply the vitamin as a preventive for cancer. I also get it for my family. No one has shown any negative signs because of its use.

          You can believe, or not, it’s your choice.

        • Kodie

          Any time anybody tries to sell you something “they don’t want you to know,” do a lot more research on it. That’s what I do.

          Also, I notice you have made a dozen or so posts making claims but no citations. So….

        • So what are you saying? That science has made 1 or more mistakes so therefore it’s useless?

        • hector_jones

          He’s saying he wants to be able to grow marijuana and spray it with as much ddt as he thinks fit.

        • Maybe he’s smoking the DDT and not the pot …

          That might explain it.

        • Jibaro

          Nah, read the whole comment. I did not abandon my career in science because it was useless or because I though it was controlled by anybody. Fact is I believe in science and it’s science that will give us the answers we need to resolve all these conflicts.

          There are scientist out there right now demonstrating that some common beliefs are wrong. They are having a hard time because materialistic thinking is strongly entrenched but change is coming. Even the most hard headed scientist can’t deny what can be demonstrated and acceptance is growing that DNA does not determine what the cells become. So, if it doesn’t, then what does?

        • Kodie

          If it’s true then we’ll all come around to believe it. That’s fucking how it works. If it’s not true, fuck you and your whining about the conspiracy. Show us some citations instead of yammering on about it. We have no way of knowing what your sources are and how reliable they are. We have you and you sound like a gullible moron so far.

        • So, if it doesn’t, then what does?

          Let’s reach that point first, and then this will be an interesting question to ask. Until that point, this sounds like nonsense.

        • Jibaro

          Right, so let’s wait and see.

        • Works for me. I’m surprised that this works for you. You seem determined to pick and choose fringe beliefs that tickle your fancy and proceed, convinced that they will become the new scientific consensus.

        • Kodie

          Why didn’t you look it up on the internet and find a source and post it?

        • hector_jones

          I’ll bet he thinks Andrew Wakefield, a scientist who was bought, is really a good guy who was ‘hounded into the ground’ because something something.

        • Greg G.

          Two scientists thought they had found evidence of cold fusion. Other scientists were eager to confirm it. It would have opened new fields of study and technological growth. The experiment was not confirmed.

        • Jibaro

          Actually, I believe that it was confirmed. That’s why Japan and Germany picked them up after they were hounded into the ground in the US. Though I did not keep up with it, I believe what really happened is that they did not find a way to raise the energy output to something usable. No commercial value, so, we haven’t heard anything else about it.

        • Greg G.

          Actually it was Fleischmann and Pons who were suing other scientists who reported negative results when they repeated the experiments. After many negative experiments and the retractions of the few positives due to discovered errors, Pons and Fleischmann did go to Europe where they blew through tens of millions of research funds with no positive results before repeating it in another country.

          Edit: My first sentence has an error. They didn’t sue other scientists. They sued a journalist.

        • Jibaro

          Well, from what I read, they split up. One went to Japan and the other to Germany. At least that is what I remember but the bottom line is that their efforts did not produce any commercial value.

          That doesn’t mean that cold fusion experiments are not happening event though they are ignored and condemned to the shadows. As a matter of fact there is a cold fusion power plant that is supposed to be on the market this year. Don’t know if it’s true, we will see if it’s so because the oil companies are going to blow a fuse.

        • “As a matter of fact …”?

          “Don’t know if it’s true …”?

          Pick one or the other.

        • Greg G.

          One went to Toyota in France. Japan did some research too but I didn’t see that either went there. There hasn’t been any positive results published for some time. It sounds like the same conspiracy theories about water burning cars and other supposed technologies.

        • Jibaro

          According to the Internet there is a cold fusion power plant available this year. That might be someone’s complicated hoax since there are people out there that go out of their way to create illusions but, it’s there.

        • Kodie

          Jibaro, do you not know how to copy and paste links?

        • “According to the internet.” Wow–I’m convinced already.

        • Greg G.
        • Jibaro

          Yeah it would be. Same as what is being said about advancements with the theories Tesla put out. As a matter of fact there is a company that uses that name and sells cars. The fact that they are having problems with the government of the US to sell their cars here makes me think that there might be something real about their products, though they are a little expensive for my taste.

        • MNb

          “event though they are ignored and condemned to the shadows”
          They are because of lack of reliable experimental results backing up the claim.

        • Jibaro

          If I were a scientist and someone claimed to have discovered something new with importance and, if in the process of verifying the experiment I find doubtful conclusions, I would wait to see further developments rather than hounding the scientist who originate the idea.

          If, on the other hand, the results were negative, then I would report to the scientist that he must have made a mistake, that he should revise his experiment to see what went wrong. The purpose of a scientist is to discover what is hidden, not to haggle each other.

          By the way, one of the guys that participated in the cold fusion experiment was a reputable scientist. I doubt very much that he would put his reputation on the line with a hoax that he knew his peers would check to its smallest detail.

        • MNb

          You still have problems with the facts. In case of cold fusion – the only example you gave – not the scientists were hounded, but their methods.

          “I would report to the scientist that he must have made a mistake, that he should revise his experiment to see what went wrong.”
          Which is exactly what happened in the case of Pons and Fleischmann. As they had sought and found publicity those reports went public as well.

          “was a reputable scientist”
          Doesn’t matter. If a scientist is wrong he/she’s wrong. If his/her experiments/observations are sloppy then they are sloppy.

          “I doubt very much …..”
          So when it suits you you totally have faith in scientists. When it doesn’t suit you you fall back on a conspiracy theory. Totally convincing.
          It looks like you don’t even know anymore what you’re arguing for, except “Look what they did to poor Pons and Fleischmann!”

        • A theory is shown to be false and that’s “hounded into the ground”?

        • Jibaro

          Sometimes a theory is proven wrong and work continues looking for answers. Other times a theory is declared wrong and the people involved ridiculed to destroy their credibility. Perhaps you should read the history of Tesla.

          Any how, there’s supposed to be a cold fusion power source available this year. If that is so, then the scientists were not wrong.

        • Oh? What makes you think that cold fusion will be producing power for the nation’s electrical grid in 2014?

        • Jibaro

          Jesus Bob, do a search about cold fusion and you will find an article about a cold fusion power station that is coming out. Is it true? I don’t know, the Internet is full of all kinds of stuff. Some of it is true and some of it is garbage.

          There is also something out there about the Chinese trying to get to the moon to mine Helium 3 (whatever that is) because it would be very valuable in regular fusion, or something to that effect. Is it true? I don’t know but it’s out there.

        • hector_jones

          Jesus Jibaro, do a search …

          E-Cat, or Energy Catalyzer to give its full name, is a technology (and company of the same name) developed by Andrea Rossi — an Italian scientist who claims he’s finally harnessed cold fusion. Due to a lack of published papers, and thus peer review, and a dearth of protective patents — which you would really expect if Rossi had actually discovered cold fusion — the scientific community in general remains very wary of Rossi’s claims.

          http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/171660-1-megawatt-cold-fusion-power-plant-now-available-yours-for-just-1-5-million

        • Kodie

          Is it ok with you if I just choose to believe he was muzzled?

        • hector_jones

          Sure, why not? Believing makes it so. Just ask Jibaro.

        • Kodie

          I don’t remember Bob making the assertion, so why are you getting mad he didn’t do your homework for you?

        • So you have a remarkable claim that is “somewhere in the internet(s)” but is not plastered on the front page of every newspaper.

          That’s enough information for me to form a tentative hypothesis about the veracity of the claim. Thanks.

        • Jibaro

          I know this is very hard for some people to understand but newspapers, like any type of media, are businesses. Businesses have owners and those owners have interests that they defend with their product. There are very rich people that are trying to monopolize the media, that’s a fact, and there are governments that control the media in their countries. When the media is controlled, you hear what the media wants you to hear and the way they want you to hear it.

          During the Iraq war, there was a lot of information that we did not get in the US unless you had a satellite dish and listened to the news in foreign countries. I know because I had a satellite dish at the time.

          So, if in fact there is a cold fusion power plant on the works and the newspapers in the US don’t report it, it’s no surprise for me, but, to believe that there is a cold fusion power plant out there I would need to see it operating. Meanwhile the fact is that there is an announcement in the Internet, for what that is worth.

        • Kodie

          Two more questions for you:

          Do you wear a hat? And, is it by any chance made of tin foil?

        • Let me try to follow your logic. Newspapers are businesses. They need lots of customers. Great news stories get readers. Cold fusion would be a great news story. So any credible stories about cold fusion would be front page news.

          Do I have it right?

        • Jibaro

          That would be the logical sequence but; what happens if the owner of the newspaper owns oil companies? Will he want you to know that there is an alternative that would cut his business down in size?

          How about this, reporters are not scientists. They have their savvy but they rely on the interpretations of other experts. So, how would they ascertain that the results of an experiment is valid if the experts say that it isn’t?

          Then there is us, the people. Generally speaking, we are not experts. We must rely on the information we get from sources we consider trustworthy. So, the front page says that there is a new discovery but those sources claim that those discoveries are a hoax. Who are you going to believe?

          Today we know news stories are misrepresented and facts twisted to such an extend that many people have ceased to believe. The ranks of the “conspiracy theorists” are growing. We have groups like Anonymous trying to expose the government in their way and so on.

          Anyway this is a complex theme. It requires a lot of time and for me to go into it would need to know that I’m arguing with reasonable people. Some of the people here are not very reasonable and their attitude bug me, so I’m leaving the site. I don’t need this. What I need is a logical discussion that allows for difference of opinions without the use of insults and ridicule.

          Nothing in life is black and white. There is a little bit of both, so usually things are gray. If someone decides that everything is white, or black, then the person is going into fanaticism and fanaticism is beyond logic.

          I might be wrong in my analysis but fanatics are always wrong. There too, someone might decide otherwise, such is the world.

        • Kodie

          You think it’s unreasonable for people to challenge you to bring a citation for your claims? You make a lot of claims and some of them are absolutely insulting and misinformed about atheists. Most of them are just “hi I’m a dummy who believes in reincarnation and a big pharma conspiracy”. You bring lots of excuses and no substance.

        • Are all media outlets controlled by oil companies? If not, then your paranoia about censorship doesn’t make any sense.

          Yes, the lay reporter should report what the scientists say. They may well say that an experiment is bogus.

          Conspiracy theories are not on the menu here, so if that’s what we’re talking about, let’s talk about something else.

        • MNb

          What’s with Tesla? His work on electromagnetism was never controversial among physicists. He was a fool though to reject Einstein’s Relativity even in 1938.

          “people involved ridiculed to destroy their credibility”
          happens far less often than you seem to think. Same for cold fusion. If some scientist, no matter who, manages to pull it off all physicists (and a lot more people) will immediately pay attention. Physicists either don’t reject empirical data or get marginalized – like Tesla regarding Relativity and Hoyle regarding the Big Bang.

        • Jibaro

          As I said in my previous comment experimentation continued over seas and now there is a cold fusion energy source on sale. Came out this year. Is it real, well, I don’t know, too expensive for me to experiment with.

        • hector_jones

          Uh huh.

        • Show me the article that says that we’ll get cold fusion power in the grid in 2014.

        • Jibaro

          I did not say that we would get cold fusion into the grid in 2014. What I said is that there is an article about a power plant that will be sold this year. I also said that it could be a hoax since many things in the net are hogwash.

          Since you can’t find it, here is a link: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/171660-1-megawatt-cold-fusion-power-plant-now-available-yours-for-just-1-5-million

        • Kodie

          That’s rather large of you to post a link to support your claim and so others can examine both the validity of the claim you made as well as the reliability of your sources, since it’s really Bob’s job to do your homework for you.

        • That’s OK. Hector’s link about the E-Cat technology was enough.

          Agreed–many things on the net are hogwash. Every indicator suggests that this is as well.

        • MNb

          As I wrote in the reaction to your previous comment Fleischmann and Pons did not continue their experiments on cold fusion in France.
          There are others who keep on researching cold fusion. They are organized in the “International Conference on Cold Fusion” and “The International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science”. They are allowed at the American Physical Society. The big problem – and it’s big – is not imaginary persecution, but the failure to produce reliable empirical results.
          Neither Tesla nor cold fusion physicists confirm your claim that

          “Scientists who find results that indicate there is more to life than meets the eye are quickly ridiculed and ruined.”

        • hector_jones

          Why would it be ‘hounded into the ground’ if it had no commercial value? Most conspiracists I see try to argue that the reason such technologies are suppressed is because they had enormous commercial value that would put big oil and big coal out of business and that’s who is behind suppressing it.

        • MNb

          Japan and Germany did not pick them up; Toyota did and employed them in France, where they did not do any work on cold fusion.

          “Though I did not keep up with it”
          That’s quite obvious – my guess is from the moment on some sensational tabloid reported about cold fusion in 1989.

        • Jibaro

          Nope, once in a while I would look cold fusion on the Internet to see if anything came out of it. It would seem that there were people working on the subject. This year a cold fusion power plant is being sold. Of course, the Internet being what the Internet is can be the source of another hoax, so, we have to continue waiting and see if the plant is bought and used somewhere.

        • hector_jones

          It’s easy to confuse you with a religious person who believes in the church, because you espouse a whole bunch of nutty ideas.

        • Jibaro

          Well since you don’t seem to have the capacity to show respect for other people nor to provide ideas worth discussing I am asking you to please ignore my comments and I will dutifully ignore yours.

        • hector_jones

          Your ideas aren’t worth discussing because you have no evidence for them. You’ve already admitted that just because something is true is no reason for you to believe it.

          I’m not going to ignore your comments now. I am going to mock them relentlessly until you leave or smarten up.

        • Jibaro

          Yeah, I figure you were a troll. So attack away and demonstrate to everybody here what you are.

        • Kodie

          If you don’t want to be ridiculed, try being intelligent.

        • hector_jones

          Telling you you have no evidence for your ridiculous ideas doesn’t make me a troll. You are every bit as stupid and ignorant as any christian who comes in here and you have just as little reason to believe your ideas are correct as they do about theirs. Your new age bullshit isn’t any less crazy or stupid just because you don’t call it religion.

        • Kodie

          We’re here to analyze your nutty ideas to see if they hold water and yours do not.

        • Jibaro

          Well, I was enjoying our discussion but, since you side with someone I consider a troll and there is no possibility of intelligent communication without accusations then I will ignore your comments too. What I don’t understand is what difference could my nutty ideas make on you. They must be having an effect because you continue digging into it but I’m not here to convince you, or anyone else.

        • Kodie

          So you weren’t expecting your unfounded uncited thoughts to be challenged vigorously? Do you know how patience works? First you have it, then someone abuses it.

        • MNb

          You should read the story of Tesla. He never was persecuted by physicists. He was financially abused by Thomas Edison, a first class piece of shit – and not a scientist.
          Fleischmann and Pons weren’t persecuted either. Their claims were thoroughly debunked in 1989. When an Italian journalist heavily criticized their work they sued him – so if anything they were the persecutors.
          The two guys did not go to Japan and/or Germany, but moved to France to work for Toyota over there. Their research there failed as well. That was more than three years after their cold fusion claim, long after the “controversy” had died out.
          Facts are not your strong point, are they?

          “You confuse me with a religious person who believes in the church.”
          That might be correct – but you seem to be a conspirational theorist and that isn’t any better.

        • Jibaro

          It all depends on what facts are acceptable to the person and how he weights those facts.

          Now, I read Tesla’s story. From what I read Tesla and Thomas Edison were enemies because Edison was developing DC power and Tesla overturned him with AC. The fact that Edison did not hold a degree in physics does not change the fact that he was a scientist and a businessman developing a product.

          Edison tried to destroy Tesla as a scientist by making unfounded claims and torturing animals but the person that ended Tesla’s career was a big banker, I think his last name was Morgan, who was pissed because Tesla gave away information that led to wireless communication and was creating a cheap power source that would eliminate the profits he wanted.

          Destroying Tesla was easy because he was totally dedicated to his investigations. He did not care about money and money was what he needed to continue his work, so , he was an easy target for the banks.

          That is history, not conspiratorial theory. The fact is conspiracies happen all the time. They happen in businesses, they happen in politics and they happen in everyday life. That’s why there are laws to handle those things.

          As for cold fusion, I found the concept interesting but not interesting enough to go out “fact” checking. If I need to, I will do so but, since there is a cold fusion power plant available this year; why bother? If one of those goes up somewhere, then. there will be nothing to discuss. It will prove that those two guys were onto something real.

        • Kodie

          The reason for fact-checking or “fact” checking as you call it, is that you’re making baseless claims and if you want to be credible, you need at least to cite your sources for this information. And for what it’s worth, your language about the Tesla/Edison thing makes you sound very very flaky and incredible. You use terms like “from what I read”, I ask where did you read that, and “I think his name was Morgan”, you don’t fucking know? When you relay a story, don’t make it sound like you don’t fucking know how it exactly went down. And “the fact that conspiracies happen all the time” – it’s too vague a statement, and makes you seem paranoid and irrational. The fact that they happen sometimes should make you careful, but you seem to be writing off all science as a capitalist conspiracy.

          The FACT is you don’t know how to discern reliable sources from unreliable sources, and that frightens you a little, it frightens me too, but in your case, it seems like you’re listening to people who use phrases like “what the government doesn’t WANT you to know!!!” and other alarmist horseshit.

        • 90Lew90

          Hello. You’ve rather betrayed that you don’t know the first thing about DNA.

          “There is a scientist specializing in cell functions, I believe his last name is Lipton, who found and showed that DNA does not determine what cell forms.”

          Bruce Lipton “found and showed” *NOTHING*. He is thoroughly debunked here: https://spiritualityisnoexcuse.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/motivational-biology-with-dr-bruce-lipton-cancer-quack/#more-4757

          DNA is not some sort of “brain” in the cell. By the time a cell has formed DNA has already done its work. You can remove it and the cell will continue to function but mistakes will pile up leading to the eventual death of the cell. But it is a fundamental, undeniable fact that DNA together with RNA and proteins is required for cells to form.

          He has trouble finding acceptance because he’s a new-age quack who misrepresents science.

        • Jibaro

          Actually, I did studied experiments with cells similar to what Dr. Lipton describes. We saw similar results, he just seems to have taken the experiments a little further.

          I have not bothered to check his claims about the nuclear membrane and it’s function since I can’t perform the experiment and reading the experiments, and analyzing conclusions can be a pain.

          If he is a quack, I don’t know, but I do know that some of the sites claiming to debunk things claimed in the Internet seem to be really useless. I just mentioned him to show that there are other claims out there. Once in a while scientist have to back track because something accepted as true, isn’t. It happens but it takes time.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, analyzing conclusions can be a pain. Get off the fence and show your work.

        • 90Lew90

          You did experiments which showed that genetic mutations are not random and that we can effect them with our beliefs? Citation needed. I’d like to read the journal where you reported those findings. As for cells having “brains”, that’s off-the-chart silly. Come on man!

          Believe what you like but don’t attempt to call it science. This guy’s a charlatan whose claims are spurious scientifically speaking. That’s what gets my goat. Stop masquerading. It’s dishonest and it’s unhelpful and in this guy’s case potentially dangerous because he’s not leading fit, healthy people up the garden path; he’s misleading sick people, jeopardising their interest in receiving proper treatment and giving false hope. That’s some of the worst kind of dishonesty there is.

        • Jibaro

          I said similar, not the same and it was way before Lipton. We did not go as far as he did and I don’t think we could at the time. The most we could do was remove the nucleus of a cell and observe its behavior and the purpose was not to discover something new but to see how experiments are performed. So, I do understand some of what he says but I have not researched about the advances in the information about the cell or nuclear membranes. Got better things to do. I leave that to those who are dedicated to investigation. I’m not.

          The worst kind of dishonesty is denying sick people what they need to get better and subjecting them to torture to make money but that would be another conversation and I don’t see that there is any way we could make headway on it.

        • 90Lew90

          Well your experiment sounds pretty stupid to me. Did you not know beforehand that a cell without a nucleus is a dead cell? Surely if you were doing work of that sophistication you would have known that in advance. I smell a rat. I really do. Nice attempt at sleight-of-hand on the dishonesty thing.

          Incidentally, on subjecting sick people to torture. Are you for assisted dying then?

        • Jibaro

          Did I not mention that I was a student? Did I not mention that we were looking at experimentation processes? By the way, you seem to be very knowledgeable guy but a cell is not dead until it dies. Remove the nucleus from a cell and it will keep on functioning until it runs out of the proteins it needs to keep on going.

          You also tend to go beyond what I consider proper and are the third person in this site that I have decided to ignore. Perhaps I have come to the wrong place since an open mind seems to be a rarity here.

          So, be happy, this is my last day here. Enjoy your site and your limited reasoning.

        • Kodie

          So what you’re saying is you don’t know how ignorant you are or how quickly annoying that gets, and you don’t like your ideas getting challenged. Got it.

        • 90Lew90

          Sorry if I come on a bit too strong. I just can’t be bothered with flim-flam and there’s a lot of that from the religious bluebottles who descend here. That and I quite like an argument(!). I take your points. I shot from the hip. I’ll cut to the chase with you. I am not for mysticism because it too easily transmutes into fanaticism. Having said that, I am happy to admit that religions answer a human need or else they wouldn’t have endured. Aldous Huxley, in his book ‘The Perennial Philosophy’, explores the possibility that there is some sort of ‘ultimate truth’ which he calls “the ground of being”. I’m not with him on that (the guy was an early user of acid and mescaline, so I can see why he would have thought as he did), but to banish what we call religious experience is not going to work. It would be to try to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but the baby is tethered to the bath. The baby stays. I’m quite enamoured with Buddhism. Its mythology is more beautiful and more gentle than the Abrahamic ones, but more importantly, the practice it prescribes is proven to actually work, unlike prayer. So look, I extend a hand. I’m just grumpy. But I think you’ll get short shrift here if you start trying to invoke science when what you’re talking about is mysticism. That just won’t do. And rightly so.

        • Greg G.

          Actually science leans toward life being likely given that signs of life have been discovered in rocks nearly as old as when the earth was cool enough for liquid water.

          You may be thinking of the Drake Equation but that was based on the knowledge of the day. Science has found that planets are far more common than were imagined before there was technology capable of detecting them.

          But if you think biological life is unlikely, gods should be unlikely squared.

    • Ken

      I think you may be on to some thing. Perhaps things that seem really horrble right now may not really be such a big deal from Gods eternal perspective. Like when my son screams that I am just terrible because I make him clean his room. As a parent you know the lesson learned about work and responsibility is far more important than a.clean room. From his short perspective all he sees is that he has to stop playing and do something he dosnt want to do. Perhaps something like getting cancer and dying are not such a big deal and we will look back on these things 10,000 years from now and realise the lessons learned from that short experience was worth the pain.

      • Greg G.

        Even you realize that eternity would be so mind-numbing that experiencing cancer or other excruciating agony is needed to make it worthwhile. No wonder your cult is so small.

        • Ken

          What cult???

        • Greg G.

          The one that thinks Christianity is not “abut magic and some invisible man in the sky, and floating up to heaven when you die”.

        • Kodie