Insights into Bible Miracles from Magician Uri Geller

Insights into Bible Miracles from Magician Uri Geller July 19, 2016

Remember Uri Geller? He was the psychic (or entertainer) who bent spoons and performed similar demonstrations in the 1970s and later. He claimed that extraterrestrials gave him paranormal powers, but wet blankets like magician James Randi stated that all of Geller’s claimed paranormal demonstrations were done with conventional stage magic. Randi showed this by publicly duplicating all of Geller’s tricks.

Geller responded: “Sure, there are magicians who can duplicate [my performances] through trickery.” In other words, just because others can do these things as tricks doesn’t mean that he’s not doing them using paranormal powers. But Randi observed that if Geller was actually doing what he claims, “He is doing it the hard way.”

Miraculous Bible claims

I was reminded of Geller when I recently read a defense of one of the Bible’s miracle claims. Maybe it was the Genesis flood story (which looks a lot like the prior Gilgamesh epic). Or the creation story (which looks a lot like the prior Sumerian creation story). Or the Jesus virgin birth story (which looks a lot like prior virgin birth claims of other great men). Or the Jesus resurrection story (which looks a lot like prior dying-and-rising stories of other gods from cultures in the eastern Mediterranean).

It doesn’t much matter which Bible story the apologist was trying to shore up—the defense is the same. It’s the Uri Geller Defense. Geller would say that just because they did his stunts through tricks doesn’t mean that he’s not doing them for real. And the Bible apologist says that just because other cultures anticipated some of the Bible’s fundamental miracle claims long before the Bible story was written doesn’t mean that that Bible story isn’t for real.

Granted. But if Randi can duplicate Geller’s demonstrations as tricks, that makes the starting hypothesis that Geller did the same, and his paranormal claims are fraudulent. Geller has the burden of proof to show that this simple and obvious natural explanation is wrong. And if we have precedents for many of the Bible’s miracle stories, that makes the null hypothesis that these are just ancient Jewish versions of well-known supernatural stories. The apologist has the burden of proof to show that, while the other stories are just myths and legends, the Bible miracles actually happened.

Yes, but those earlier stories don’t count!

Some apologists try to dismiss the earlier stories, but early church father Justin Martyr tried to spin the similarities between Jesus’s virgin birth claim and those of other gods to his advantage. He turned the tables. Why should the Greeks dismiss this miracle claim of Jesus, Justin asked, when they make similar claims about their own gods?

About the Jesus resurrection story, Justin speculated that the similar Dionysus story was planted in history by the devil himself. (I give Justin’s arguments in more detail here.)

Another angle is to emphasize that each Bible story is different from its precedents. Of course it’s different—if the Jesus story were identical to that of Dionysus (say), we’d call him Dionysus instead of Jesus. The question is: how can we trust a Jewish or Christian story as history when it came out of a culture swimming with older (false) stories with the same supernatural claims?

How we deal with similar claims.

Psychics might really be talking to the dead. Though that’s not where the evidence points, desperate customers want the psychics’ story to be true.

Crop circles might really be made by extraterrestrials. Though that’s not where the evidence points (creators have documented how they do it), crop circle enthusiasts dismiss the mundane explanation.

Uri Geller might be for real, though that’s not where the evidence points. Similarly, the Bible miracle stories might be true, but similar miracle stories in nearby cultures make copying by Bible authors the best explanation.

We can’t prove that the Bible’s miracle claims aren’t for real, despite all the precedents, but that’s the way to bet. The plausible natural explanation makes the supernatural explanation unappealing and unnecessary. Only someone with a desire to support a preconception wouldn’t follow the evidence where it leads.

I don’t want to argue 
with people who believe the world is flat.
— Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong

Photo credit: Wikimedia

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 6/5/13.)

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  • ickytheologist

    The bible is true because it says it is.
    Sigh.

    • Andrea Fitzgerald

      Circular reasoning.

    • Dannorth

      Does it even?

      I recall a passage where an apostle is asked if the Bible is true (the OT I guess) and he answers that it is divinely inspired and fit for instruction. That was not a yes.

  • Bawdybill

    Psychics may talk to the dead, hell, even I can talk to the dead. Sombitches just don’t listen!

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      For all we know, the ‘dead’ could even be listening…

      We can say pretty conclusively that they don’t reply accurately, though.

    • Michael

      Even Shakespeare mocked a similar idea:

      Character A: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

      Character B: Why, so can I, or so can any man. But will they come when you do call for them?

      • David Appleton

        Glendower (“A”) and Hotspur (“B”) in Henry The Fourth, Part I Act 3, scene 1, 52–53.

        • Michael

          Thanks, I couldn’t remember the details.

        • Greg G.

          I was looking for that the other night. I think it was the tag at the end of one of Bob’x articles.

        • Michael

          Could be.

  • Michael Neville

    Virgin births are a dime a dozen among gods. The way a Greek goddess could keep from getting pregnant was to cease being a virgin.

    Resurrection is part of the boilerplate god contract: “If you get killed we have to resurrect you within a reasonable amount of time, up to three days for a simple death but longer if your body parts are scattered around.”

    Flood myths are found all over the place. Some of them came about by granddad saying: “This flood ain’t nothin’. You shoulda seen the one what happened when I were a lad. Like to flood the entire world!”

    • Joe

      The problem occurs when they try to dismiss other supernatural claims as fictional. It’s impossible without circular reasoning or special pleading.

    • Greg G.

      The way a Greek goddess could keep from getting pregnant was to cease being a virgin.

      So much for abstinence only.

  • Joe

    I think the harder an apologist tries to dismiss these claims [of biblical stories borrowing from pagan traditions] the more they destroy their credibility. It’s impossible to know what the bible’s original writers had read, or indeed who they were for the most part. The fact that the more hardcore apologists won’t even entertain the possibility shows they don’t care for the truth, just their version of it.

    • Greg G.

      It’s impossible to know what the bible’s original writers had read

      I think what they have read comes through in their own writing. The Old Testament comes through in quotes, paraphrases, and allusions. You can see a lot of Plato allusions in Paul’s letters. Mark and the other gospels have a lot of Homer. Luke used a lot of Josephus and Euripides’ Bacchae. Matthew used Josephus. John used Philo and probably some other Egyptian works.

      • Joe

        Yes, I meant ‘know’ in the absolute sense. At best, we can point to very close literary parallels, which is as good as we’re going to get.

        It’s not a great stretch of the imagination to think that, as the New Testament is written in Greek, that the education the authors had to have received (by nature of them being able to write) would have included classical Greek writings.

        • Greg G.

          It’s not a great stretch of the imagination to think that, as the New Testament is written in Greek, that the education the authors had to have received (by nature of them being able to write) would have included classical Greek writings.

          Exactomundo! If they were educated enough to write in Greek, they would have learned to read by reading Homer and Plato.

        • Joe

          Why is that so hard to admit for some people (well, we know why, it’s a rhetorical question)?

          It’s like a film school graduate making a film about a psycho in a motel and claiming never to have studied Hitchcock.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Or Melania Trump swearing she didn’t plagiarise Michelle Obama.

        • RichardSRussell

          Actually, Melania Trump herself most likely didn’t plagiarize Michelle Obama. I’m guessing that her own original contributions to “her” speech probably comprised occasional uses of “the”, “of”, and “Donald”.

  • Greg G.

    Justin Martyr got it exactly right. The devil anticipated everything Jesus was going to do and that Jesus wouldn’t be able to exercise free will without committing a sin, thus bringing down the whole shebang. </irony>

    • rubaxter

      Reminds me of that little Aristophanes ploy in The Frogs during the beat down of Euripedes, of adding “… little bottle of oil” to tragedian’s lines as a judgement of how good the writing really was…

      Also, reminds me of the old “They stamp them when they’re small” reply in MPFC.

  • Sophia Sadek

    The irony about Christianity is that it concentrates far more on what people said about Jesus than it does on what Jesus supposedly said.

    • Joe

      It’s ironic that Christianity was built around Jesus (or the myth of a messiah), not established by him. He was a Jew.

      • adam

        “He was a Jew.”

        At least in the story, which is probably why these words were put in his mouth.

        • Dannorth

          As I understood there was a conflict in the early church about whether Christianity was a Jewish sect or not.

          Paul was in the not camp and argued that you could be a Christian without obeying the Jewish laws (keeping kosher, circumcision etc) and Matthew was is the Jewish camp.

          So that quote probably was part of the arguments in that debate.

        • Sophia Sadek

          The Gnostic gospel of Thomas portrays Jesus question the institution of circumcision. The Greeks considered it an Egyptian import into Jewish culture. There are pious Jews today who abstain from the practice.

        • Michael Neville

          There are pious Jews today who abstain from the practice.

          I would think that being a pious Jew would require being circumcised.

          EDIT: I’ve just discovered that uncircumcised male Jews do exist.

          “The largest number of Close to one million Jews in the world never had a circumcision. uncircumcised Jews today are Russians who never had a chance to fulfill the mitzvah,” says Rabbi Yaron Amit, founder and director of Brit Yosef Yitzchok, which has provided for over 33,000 adult circumcisions since opening in 1989.

        • rubaxter

          Stop quoting the apostle with the Jewish Agenda. Read Paul, he’s older on paper…

        • Greg G.

          Paul also writes of disagreements between him and the Jewish Christians.

        • adam

          but Paul NEVER even met Jesus.

        • busterggi

          Neither did anyone else who wrote about him.

      • Sophia Sadek

        Christian often seethe with anger whenever they hear that Jesus was not a Christian.

  • Tyler Willis

    “We can’t prove that the Bible’s miracle claims aren’t for real, despite all the precedents, but that’s the way to bet.”

    It depends on what you are betting to win or lose. I don’t really know what to make of your statements here. The odds might be against you but Vegas is full of people wanting to play the games anyway, because they get something out of it.

    • Joe

      So, you’d say a percentage of Christians don’t believe in god, but are just in it for the kicks? Care to put a rough number to that?

      • adam

        My experience is that a lot of christians believe in Paul, because Paul has the Easy Button – BELIEVE and you are saved.

        I think most christians dont really examine what ‘God’ of the OT really was and that Jesus claims to be him.

        They ‘believe’ because they WANT biblical ‘faith’, not necessarily have biblical ‘faith’, but WANT it

        • Tyler Willis

          The first 3 or 4 times I saw these pictures you got me laughing out loud. Funny stuff it was.

          Now that I’ve seen several of these…oh, about 10 fucking times each it’s getting pretty fucking annoying.

          Do you have anything original or new to say or is this all you got?

        • adam

          Until the ‘other side’ has better ‘claims’, this appears to be effective.

        • Tyler Willis

          Effective for doing what? If laughter is what you are after then it works until the jokes get old and stale. You’re telling the same jokes to the same people.

        • adam

          “Effective for doing what?”

          Making the points I want to make as concisely as possible.

        • Tyler Willis

          That’s fine. I just wish you’d mix it up and make some new pictures. Then I could laugh at the new jokes.

        • MNb

          Or you could stop reading them as jokes and start reading them as serious criticism. That’s what I did.
          You may be comfortable to criticize both sides – but how about criticizing yourself?

        • Tyler Willis

          I could do that but I’m not convinced they are serious.

        • MNb

          Thanks for admitting that it’s your problem, not anybody else’s, including Adam. Now on with the self-criticism!

        • Tyler Willis

          That doesn’t sound right to me.

        • MNb

          That’s still your problem, not anybody else’s.

        • Tyler Willis

          Whatever you say boss

        • adam

          Mine almost always are serious.

        • Kodie

          They’re astute observations. If you don’t like them, there’s a new disqus feature, you can block Adam and shut the fuck up already about his memes.

        • Tyler Willis

          I didn’t know you could block people in disqus. I’ve looked before and it wasn’t available. Good to know about this new feature. Thanks.

        • adam

          I add all the time, but some fit better for particular arguments.

        • Kodie

          It’s Christian remarks that are old and stale. Why make an effort if they’re not going to?

        • Tyler Willis

          Probably why I don’t spend a lot of time arguing strongly for either side. I’m in the middle as an agnostic and feel comfortable lobbing criticism at both sides.

        • I’m an agnostic, too, though I’m not sure how that puts you in the middle. You either have a god belief or you don’t; I don’t see any “middle.” If you and I both don’t have god beliefs, that puts us in the same camp, though of course we can still be curious and open to arguments for the supernatural.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m undecided on the issue. I also don’t subscribe to your simple black/white category distinctions. A baby has no god belief but I would not categorize a baby as being an atheist. I wouldn’t put them in the undecided category either. I’d put them in some completely other category.

        • Greg G.

          A baby would be an implicit atheist, rather than an explicit atheist who has been exposed to the concept of gods..

        • Tyler Willis

          I don’t see it the same way as you do.

        • Susan

          I don’t see it the same way as you do.

          What do you see?

        • Tyler Willis

          What do you mean?

        • Susan

          What do you mean?

          How complicated was that question? You said that you don’t see it the way Greg G. does, which suggests that you see something different than what Greg G. sees.

          What exactly do you see differently than Greg G.?

        • Tyler Willis

          I don’t see babies as atheists of any kind.

        • adam

          ….

        • Tyler Willis

          A giraffe would also be an implicit atheist.

        • Greg G.

          Yahweh, however, would be an explicit atheist with expressions such as “there is no god besides me”.

        • Tyler Willis

          Well, there you go. Can’t argue with that logic

        • Susan

          A giraffe would also be an implicit atheist.

          How do you know that?

        • Tyler Willis

          I took what Greg said and applied it.

        • Susan

          I took what Greg said and applied it.

          Giraffes are not human babies. What’s your point?

          (Not that I’m optimistic you’ll make one.)

        • Tyler Willis

          Until I hear otherwise, he didn’t say other species were off limits.

        • Michael Neville

          Like many people, including a good number of self-described agnostics, you’re confused about the difference between agnosticism and atheism. Agnosticism is about knowledge, do you know if gods exist or not? If you do know then you’re a gnostic, if you don’t know then you’re an agnostic. Atheism is about belief, do you believe gods exist or not. If you believe in the existence of gods then you’re a theist. If you don’t believe gods exist then you’re an atheist.

          Please note that there’s two types of atheists. Strong atheists believe gods do not exist. Weak atheists don’t believe gods exist. The two beliefs are not identical.

        • Tyler Willis

          Thanks.

        • Susan

          I’m undecided on the issue.

          About what issue?

        • Tyler Willis

          On the issue of God

        • busterggi

          Which one(s)?

        • Tyler Willis

          Any one(s)

        • Susan

          On the issue of God.

          What do you mean by “God” and what are you undecided about?

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m undecided if god exists. I don’t know what god is so I cannot tell you.

        • Susan

          I’m undecided if god exists.

          In the middle, you called it.

          I don’t know what god is so I cannot tell you.

          What a meaningless comment. At least, you boiled it down to its clear meaninglessness.

          Your willingness to level criticisms at “both sides” is also meaningless as you can’t even roughly define the terms that you think there are only two sides to.

        • Tyler Willis

          whatever

        • MNb

          Well, I’m very near to the utter extreme and feel comfortable lobbing criticism at both sides as well.
          So call me unimpressed.

        • Tyler Willis

          Impressive!

        • MNb

          Yeah, I already thought you were easily impressed by trivialities.

        • Tyler Willis

          You are impressive

        • MNb

          Thanks for confirming that you are easily impressed by trivialities – I am nothing special.

        • Tyler Willis

          Yes, you are nothing special. My apologies.

        • Aram

          You’re actually part of the problem, then. Funny how you don’t see that.

        • Tyler Willis

          How am I part of the problem? What problem?

        • Aram

          Like I said: Funny

        • Tyler Willis

          Okay, don’t answer.

        • Aram

          How does one explain colour to a person who has never seen?

        • Greg G.
        • Michael Neville

          The mouse-over text is: ‘But you’re using that same tactic to try to feel superior to me, too!’ ‘Sorry, that accusation expires after one use per conversation.’

        • Tyler Willis

          That too, yes.

        • Kodie

          Christians and other theists make fantastical claims. Tell me what you think you’re not an atheist about those claims. You want to criticize “both sides”, but yeah, a lot of people get into a lot of words to cut into the claims and fallacious arguments, sometimes a picture is good enough. I don’t know what the difference is, to you, between Adam posting the same picture twice or Greg G., for example, going into depth against a claim, for the 100th time. They are both repeating themselves. I like the memes, most of them are spot on responses to ridiculous claims, and don’t need to say more. I don’t care if I’ve seen them before, they’re not for me.

        • Susan

          I’m in the middle as an agnostic

          In the middle about what exactly? Agnostic about what?

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m not atheist and I’m not theist. I consider that to be in the middle but YMMV

        • Old jokes? Read the post, with quotes from Augustine and Frank Turek, and then tell me that no Christian of any note ever believes without compelling evidence.

        • Tyler Willis

          ? I was referring to adams repeated picture jokes

        • Greg G.

          Looks like Old Mother L. Ron is back.

          http://disq.us/p/1ad0896

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jokes? Or ridicule?

          How do you know it’s to the same people? I have no idea who reads these pages other than those who post comments and am betting you don’t either.

          Don’t we all have to put up with the same religious shite messages being repeated at every turn?

          Each new theist that pitches up here, comes out with the same ballix like it is an epiphany. Surely the same replies are required, no? If the replies are getting pretty fucking annoying, just think how pretty fucking annoying the same tired religious arguments being spewed ad nauseam here are getting.

          http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/68ada9833ef39da4727a0e324c59b58aa76d6654/c=70-0-2435-1780&r=x404&c=534×401/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2013/09/23/1379985940000-jesus-billboard.jpg

          The difference here is no one is being forced to stay and read the messages. If one is bored or annoyed enough, they can always self censor and fuck off. Churches in the country where I live don’t offer me such a luxury.

          http://shipoffools.com/signs/media/signs/google_jesus.jpg

      • Tyler Willis

        I’m saying people have many reasons for placing bets even when they know the odds are not in their favor. I’m not convinced that it’s universally wrong to do that.

        • Susan

          I’m saying people have many reasons for placing bets even when they know the odds are not in their favor.

          So, you’re saying that it might be good for people to make fundamental assumptions about reality that are very likely untrue?

          That is not the same thing as being “in the middle”.

        • Tyler Willis

          I think what I’m saying is clear. No need to rephrase it.

        • Susan

          I think what I’m saying is clear. No need to rephrase it.

          If it was clear, I wouldn’t have attempted to rephrase it in the most charitable terms I could and to ask you if that’s what you meant.

          You seem to have two separate positions that so far, are disconnected.

          On the one hand, you’re undecided about something you vaguely describe as “God”.

          On the other, you seem unsure whether it’s a bad thing if people hold funamental assumptions about reality that are very likely untrue (according to your description).

          You couldn’t be more vague.

          You seem more interested in submitting opinions than engaging in discussion.

          I was trying to have a discussion.

        • Tyler Willis

          I am interested in sharing my opinions. Aren’t we all?

          A “bad thing” is a value statement that is a reflection of the individual. Is it “bad” that people hold assumptions that are unlikely to be true? Depends on who you ask.

        • Susan

          I am interested in sharing my opinions. Aren’t we all?

          Some people are interested in checking their work before they share their opinions.

          And they are interested in making clear enough statements that they are wiling to have other people check their work.

          You just seem to be interested in sharing your opinions, as though the mere state of having one makes your opinion important to discussion.

        • Tyler Willis

          Likewise. Now fuck off

        • Kodie

          Aw, always a ray of sunshine, aren’t you? If you had something interesting to add, you would have added it already.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m not always this full of piss. Just caught me on a good day. She rants about worthless opinions while giving me her worthless opinion, hence my “likewise”.

        • Kodie

          Sorry you got bitter. I’m sure you had something worthwhile to preach about. Susan is particularly restrained in her language, among most of us.

        • Tyler Willis

          I wasn’t preaching about anything. I shared a few opinions and said I was agnostic. I guess that is threatening to some people.

        • Kodie

          How do you figure it’s threatening?

        • Tyler Willis

          That’s my take on her reaction to my comments. I could be wrong

        • Susan

          That’s my take on her reaction to my comments.

          Of course it is. It’s about as well thought out as any of your takes.

          Show me where I acted threatened.

        • Tyler Willis

          I feel no responsibility. That’s right. Whether you nod solemnly with what I say, or not, is up to you.

        • Kodie

          The apparent stupidity with which you reached your conclusion and have hence closed your mind is noted.

        • Tyler Willis

          Thank you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          From experience…am gonna go with “Susan thinks you have nothing but knobrottery to add to the debate” as opposed to ballix of threatening…but a could be way off.

        • Tyler Willis

          If I only knew what these terms meant I could comment. Notice that haven’t been debating and Susan is bent. Must I do that? If so, why aren’t you doing it now and why isnt’ Susan all over your shit too?

        • Kodie

          In case you haven’t notice before, the whole blog is covered with debate. You’re not interested in reasons to reject claims of god, you’re only interested in reasons to hate atheists. The lack of engagement on your part is what you get back. Nobody is going to hold IA responsible for dragging you to the debate, we have all seen plenty of posts and you can too, by him. Right now, the topic is you and your shitty attitude.

        • Tyler Willis

          I don’t hate atheists you lying piece of shit.

          I engage when I want to engage. I engaged on the topic of abortion several weeks ago. When I don’t want to engage I’m comfortable to refrain from doing that. I’m sorry that you are unable to respect my values.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know that you have any values. I know you have an unjustified (as yet) opinion. I know you care to defend your personal right to hold that unjustified opinion, share it, and not get asked any more questions about it. You probably can’t justify it, since you act so defensive and tough and touchy about merely not wishing to, that you become the topic and how “threatening” you think it is to anyone that you just don’ wanna, boo hoo. How much more of a shit should anyone give for your reasonless opinion?

          Why are you still here pretending it’s just your choice and not your incapability?

        • Tyler Willis

          Time for you to demonstrate your own capabilities. How do you justify an opinion? Let’s start with my opinion that seafood is horrible food. Pick one of your own if you’d rather do that. Tell me how a person justifies that opinion.

        • Kodie

          Is that interesting? You thought your mere opinion would be interesting. Now you’re whining about that’s all you chose to share, but telling people to fuck off if they ask you why you are agnostic. Nobody cares that you are, you got pissy when people asked why you are, and then accused people of being threatened because you just don’ wanna answer why. I asked you why you think we’d be threatened, and you didn’t feel like answering that either. WOW WE’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT HIDE THE CHILDREN HIDE THE DOGS AND CATS HIDE YOUR MAMA!!!!

        • Tyler Willis

          How do you justify an opinion? Your complaint was that I have unjustified opinions. I don’t know how justify an opinion, and apparently it’s very important – so teach me.

        • Tyler Willis

          Why am I agnostic? I’m agnostic because I’m not convinced that any specific god exists but I also wouldn’t say that I completely lack belief.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Agnosticism is not an opinion…if anything, it is the lack of opinion.

          Of course, it depends on your definition of “agnostic” and “opinion”, but since you are afraid talk about it, we’ll never know.

          Your analogy that it is the same thing as having a different taste in foodstuffs is just silly pants.

          I know why you are avoiding the conversation like the plague…I’ve seen the ensuing train wreck more than once over the years….

          Does an agnostic believe in god? If he did he would be a believer. Which he isn’t. So the answer is no. Of course, the agnostic slogan is “I don’t know”, but in a question of belief, there is no such thing. There is no way to not know if you believe in something. You either believe or you don’t, and if you “don’t know” that means you don’t. You fail to give a positive answer.

          The problem with agnosticism is that it gets you into meaningless statements about probability. An agnostic who adamantly repeats “I don’t know” is likely to be seen as low hanging fruit for believers and unbelievers alike. “Okay then, what do you think is more likely?” Agnostics in their drive to be even handed get pushed into saying that both are ‘equally likely’. Well, what on earth does that mean? Is that a statement about statistical probability? So in a repeatable experiment where the universe is created god appears 50% of the time? That’s absurd reasoning. We are not talking about something measurable and therefore there is no way to say ‘how likely’ it is.

          http://www.matusiak.eu/numerodix/blog/2009/2/8/why-agnosticism-is-a-pointless-stance/

          None of which makes one a bad person, but getting so obstreperous when asked to explain your position, is somewhat telling.

          Perhaps you should try on Igtheism* to see if it is a better fit…the definition of god is so ill defined that the term is meaningless, which certainly makes more sense than agnosticism in my view.

          * Ignosticism or igtheism is the idea that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and other theological concepts; including (but not limited to) concepts of faith, spirituality, heaven, hell, afterlife, damnation, salvation, sin and the soul.

        • MNb

          Fun! I can try to defend Tyler.

          “Of course, the agnostic slogan is “I don’t know”, but in a question of belief, there is no such thing.”
          During the about ten years I was an agnostic my slogan actually was “we can’t know”. That’s a respectable view, I think. Unlike BobS I think this is the default one.
          However that obliges us to find out if there are ways we actually can. When I realized that Modern Physics is incompatable with lots and lots of religious views I became a weak atheist and threw the slogan away. Figuring out if something is inconsistent with science is to me a way of knowing.
          It’s the dogmatic clinging to “we can’t know and no matter what you bring up, we still can’t” of agnostics that’s so annoying to me.

        • I’m an agnostic (since I don’t know) and an atheist (since I have no god belief). I prefer “atheist” because it’s clearer.

        • MNb

          I am not particularly obsessive with labels. The important thing is to make clear what they describe. In your case there is usually little doubt.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or at least both parties who are involved in the discussion being clear on the terms as they are discussing them, it avoids a lot of cross comms….and time wasting.

        • MNb

          Since a Dutch christian psychologist concluded that he became a terrorist by handing out christian pamphlets in a bar by changing the meaning of ‘terrorist’ in the middle of his little essay I have developed a strong dislike of such ambiguity.

        • Tyler Willis

          Nobody is under an obligation to do anything about “not knowing”.

          Your insistence that we can know is contrary to atheism being a lack of belief. But, hey, I’ll bite. Do you know that god doesn’t exist?

        • Kodie

          Nobody is under any obligation to consider your opinion worth much, and since you don’t care why, or you just want to keep your shitty reasons protected from scrutiny, there’s nothing else to talk about with you.

        • Tyler Willis

          Yep. Agreed.

        • Susan

          Do you know that god doesn’t exist?

          As you’ve already stated that you don’t know what you mean by the word, why keep using it?

        • Tyler Willis

          I can type out the letters though and leave it to others to tell me what it means. If you know what ‘god’ means, let me know.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your insistence that we can know is contrary to atheism being a lack of belief.

          You really don’t understand the terms being bandied about here…or are just very naive.

          There are loads of things we now know that are not, and not of, gods, which were once considered very much the opposite. Hence believers retreat to the god of the gaps position.

          But, hey, I’ll bite. Do you know that god doesn’t exist?

          Which one(s)? The YahwehJesus one as described in the Bible? Of course it doesn’t exist…logic buries that motherfucker.

        • Tyler Willis

          I probably am naive. He was complaining about the dogmatic “we can’t know” of agnostics. I then asked if he knew if god exists. If the answer is “no” then that is not a lack of belief in god or gods but rather a conclusion (or a belief) that would require a person to justify their conclusion (or belief) in the form of an argument. But that isn’t atheism – or is it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          But there are certain things we can know about the god hypotheses and even you know some stuff so agnostic is a bit of a red herring.

          If you are suggesting that the place-holder name deist god is the unknown, then I’d probably agree YOU might see that as unknown. But that is not what is being addressed. The god of deism I just call science, or physics, or cosmology and we know things about those things. But it is of no relevance because it does nothing to forward the conversation anyway.

          No, what is being talked about is the big “G” god of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. That god absolutely doesn’t exist.

          Paula Kirby, who I know from way back in my RDFRS days, articulates it pretty well…so no point in me making a balls and wasting time in trying paraphrase…so here I’ll just leave her words for your perusal…

          Since you write ‘God’ with a capital G, I assume you are thinking of the Christian god? If so, I am absolutely certain it does not exist.

          How can I make such a definitive statement? It is because, unlike some deist god who doesn’t intervene in the universe and whose existence or non-existence would therefore be entirely untestable, the Christian god is pretty clearly defined.

          It is all-powerful
          It is all-loving
          It is all-knowing
          It is all-just
          It is the source of absolute morality
          It created our universe and everything in it, including everything that lives
          It is omni-present
          It longs to be known and for us to believe in it
          It answers prayers
          It occasionally performs miracles
          It heals
          It was incarnated by means of a virgin
          It died and was resurrected 3 days later
          In so doing, it absolved us of all guilt for our ‘sins’, provided we believe it has
          It will judge us all, and those who pass muster (i.e. who believe that their sins have been forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus) will spend eternity in heaven and those who don’t (i.e. who don’t believe …) will spend eternity in hell.

          And probably more besides. This gives us a lot of claims that are testable, by empirical experiment and by logic. If such a god existed, it should be possible to demonstrate the fact, because there is plenty here to work with. But the fact is, such a god fails at every turn.

          Prayers demonstrably do not get answered more than we would expect through sheer chance.

          Faith healing demonstrably does not work more than we would expect through sheer chance and placebo effect.

          Alleged miracles are always totally lacking in reliable evidence.

          Even theologians have acknowledged that this god cannot be all-knowing AND all-powerful AND all-loving because otherwise there simply could not be so much suffering in the world.

          Evidence shows that living forms were not created but evolved; any suggestion that God drove the process of evolution would again immediately categorically contradict the characteristics of omnipotence and omnibenevolence, since evolution proceeds through the application of cruelty (remember: evolution is a statement of reality, not of desirability).

          It cannot both long to be known and be all powerful and all knowing and yet STILL remain hidden to us
          It cannot be just and yet consign any living being to eternal hell (no one – LITERALLY no one) has ever been so bad as to make that a just and commensurate punishment; and a punishment that isn’t proportionate to the crime is by definition unjust).

          For the same reason it cannot be all-loving.

          It cannot be all-just and believe in the idea that guilt can be transferred to someone else. This is not justice, it is obscenity. As Christopher Hitchens has pointed out so eloquently, I can, if I am very generous, take your punishment on your behalf, but I can never assume your responsibility for the crime. To do so would be to undermine the very basis of morality, which assumes that we are responsible for our own actions.

          Morality has been shown to be a) not absolute and b) not to be remotely dependent on any deity but to have evolved and been shaped through entirely natural processes.

          And so I could go on. The Christian God is logically impossible. I cannot say with absolute confidence that there is nothing out there that we might conceivably call a god (though there is not the slightest evidence for one and therefore I don’t believe in one); but even if there were, it could not POSSIBLY be the Christian one. The Christian one is impossible, by its own definition.

        • Tyler Willis

          Thanks…

          “I cannot say with absolute confidence that there is nothing out there that we might conceivably call a god (though there is not the slightest evidence for one and therefore I don’t believe in one)”

          She’s talking about god (small g) here. Why would she leave the question open if there is indeed NO evidence, none zero? She would probably say there’s not the slightest evidence for the moon being made of green cheese. Would she then say “I cannot say with absolute confidence the moon is not made of green cheese?” I cannot imagine that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          She’s talking about god (small g) here. Why would she leave the question open if there is indeed NO evidence, none zero?

          I shouldn’t have thought that was a question without an obvious answer to the likes of you.

          Ever heard of Last Thursdayism? Solipsism? Arthur C. Clarke’s third law?

          No, seriously though, there is NO evidence yet for a lot of things. There was no evidence yet for a lot of things attributed to gods, but now there is and it ain’t a god. There is no evidence yet that a teapot orbits Jupiter, it is not very likely. That said, it isn’t like YahwehJesus, a logical impossibility. Teapots are real, Jupiter is real and orbits are real. Unless we are all in the Matrix. }8O)~

          Here, we are talking about the big “G” Abrahamic concept of God, but feel free to put forward any proposition of god that you feel warrants an inspection.

          There are a plethora of assertions for which there is NO evidence and they can’t be shut out arbitrarily, but we rational folk don’t give them much credence, others we do, for one logical reason or another. Can you think of any Tyler? Ghosts and aliens for example, maybe?

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m not convinced its irrational for a person to give these things a lot of credence. There can always be strong values-based reasons or preference-based reasons or experience-based reasons for giving an assertion lots and lots of credence.

          Take evil as one example. There’s no evidence that evil human behavior exists in any real form (like teapots, Jupiter, etc), but evil is givin a lot of credence by a lot of people. I do that, and you probably do too. I would say that is a rational response.

        • adam

          “Take evil as one example. There’s no evidence that evil human behavior exists in any real form ”

          But there is:

          Full Definition of evil Merriam Webster

          3 a : causing harm : pernicious

          “I’m not convinced its irrational for a person to give these things a lot of credence. ”

          ‘strong-values’ ‘preference based’ ‘experience based’

          All sound like EMOTIONAL reasons

          Simple Definition of rational Merriam Webster

          : based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings

          : having the ability to reason or think about things clearly

        • Tyler Willis

          Webster has a definition of “god” too. “harm” is defined by humans and many argue that the same is true about the term “god”. There’s no evidence for “harm” or “evil” being like a teapot or Jupiter, and that was the orginal criteria (or complaint). There’s evidence for “harm” and “evil” once humans define the term, but that same logic also applies to “god” and probably a lot of other things. I’m not seeing the irrationality.

          Emotional reasons are a-rational reasons, not irrational. There’s also experiential reasons that are also a-rational. You experience harm without thinking or reasoning to it.

          (with lots of editing)

        • adam

          “Emotional reasons are a-rational reasons, not irrational”

          Simple Definition of rational Merriam Webster
          : based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings

          So without fact or https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3298cec031aed87ecad68eda344651ff1991966d8bad9d120ff60083677e2bd4.jpg reason and based on emotions or feelings.

          Biblical ‘faith’

        • Tyler Willis

          The experience of harm is a-rational, the desire to avoid it is also a-rational. I’m not seeing the irrationality of it.

        • adam

          Simple Definition of harm

          : physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

          So physical damage or injury is without ration?

          Simple Definition of rational Merriam Webster
          : based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings

        • Tyler Willis

          I’d just be repeating myself.

        • adam

          Then I dont understand where you are coming from.

          Physical damage is not a-rational.

        • Tyler Willis

          We become aware of damage by experiences, similar to our awareness of color or consciousness. It’s not a rational process that makes us aware of color or consciousness. The awareness happens.

        • adam

          “The awareness happens.”

          So does the damage.

          A person who is physically harmed, ie stabbed, shot or limb cut off is a rational observation of fact.

          It is a rational process to observe and document such damage.

        • Tyler Willis

          Hmm….”damage” isn’t a physical property so I don’t understand how damage can be a fact. I would say we observe things that happen and experience it non-rationally in such a way that we refer to that experience as “damage”. Similar to morality I’d say. Behaviors do not have the property of “good” or “evil” but we experience them and (in hindsight perhaps) refer to it as an “evil” experience or whatever.

          Ah, maybe I’m full of shit like KOdie said, but that’s been my experience so I’m sticking to it.

        • Kodie

          I think you are even more full of shit than previously estimated. You don’t explain anything, you think you are just dropping bombs or something. Damage is physical. It can also be subjective. We describe something to another person, and damage is one of the words we use, and it is nearly always understood what it means. It is not always agreed when someone describes something as damaged.

          Like, if you suffered damage to your car, your insurance agent might not agree that you have as much damage as you claim to have. If you cried and whined over a paper cut, a lot of people would think you’re making way too much of it. I mean, they hurt, but you didn’t die, and just put a band-aid on it and shut up. If your house burned down, the Red Cross would (in my experience) put you up for two nights at a hotel and then you’re on your own. Good donors also give out food vouchers and clothing vouchers, and they give them to you whether they’re useful to you while you’re still hunting for a place to stay or not. A lot of people might feel for you though. They might invite you to sleep on their couch a few nights. People understand a common value of “damage” but not necessarily agree to the degree you describe it as damage.

          Outside of your community, it’s likely nobody cares. Outside of your species, it’s probable that not another living creature on earth gives a shit about what you describe as damage. Do you care about damage they feel? The northern white rhino is about to go extinct, and one wonders if they know it. There are 3 left on earth, and to some extent, who cares. Reports make is seem like there aren’t other rhinos. Some people cry about it, and some people poach them for profit from sickos who think powdered rhino horn will fortify their strength in some way as humans. How are they different than a mouse living in a hole in your wall, breeding a new family every 3 weeks, and eats crumbs you drop on the floor? Well, mice are just trying to eat, but humans are atrociously self-important, trying to make their dick bigger.

          And what’s the damage, after all. One day, the sun will expand and everything we ever made will dissolve in the heat death. Just because something doesn’t mean what we mean it to mean in the present forever doesn’t make it a-rational. You never fucking explain what you say, you just say things. That’s the problem with you. It could be interesting to talk to you but you don’t want to be interesting. You just want to say things without backing them up. It’s just how you feel. It comes without knowledge, it just comes out of you like diarrhea. Whatever you feel, you can’t stop it, you just feel that way. You seem to have no aspiration or curiosity to refine your feelings whatsoever, but that makes you uninteresting. Your experience isn’t that interesting.

        • Tyler Willis

          “Damage is physical.”

          I don’t think it is. That term is usually referring to a thing that is no longer suitable for a purpose and purpose is a human derived concept. If you remove the human derived concept from the equation, where is the damage?

        • adam

          And if you removed the human derived concept, why respond to hunger or thirst with food and water?

        • Kodie

          Are orgasms physical? If no one else felt it, did it really happen?

        • Kodie

          It’s a physical state of the thing. How is it not physical, just because only humans would think of it as damaged?

        • adam

          “”damage” isn’t a physical property”
          How not so?
          You have a physical object that suffers physical damage.

          “I would say we observe things that happen and experience it non-rationally in such a way that we refer to that experience as “damage”.”

          But we arent talking about an experience, but a physical object with damage.
          Something with physical evidence outside the experience of an individual.

          “Behaviors do not have the property of “good” or “evil” but we experience them and (in hindsight perhaps) refer to it as an “evil” experience or whatever.”

          Not talking about behavior either.

          “Ah, maybe I’m full of shit like KOdie said, but that’s been my experience so I’m sticking to it.”

          Made me laugh, take a look at it as the paragraph you wrote…

          But which of us are not full of shit.

        • Tyler Willis

          How not so??

          Well, the physical thing has been altered. I think we can all agree to that. We experience that alteration and have a non-rational perception to that alteration. But “damage” is a human derived concept. Something is damaged when it no longer functions for an intended purpose. That’s why I say that neither damage or purpose are a physical property.

        • adam

          ” But “damage” is a human derived concept. ”

          No, a crushed skull is damaged, and when damaged enough the person will die.

          The skull is physical, the damage is physical.

          And not just to the person ‘experiencing’ damage, but to those trying to save the person from the damage.

          But lets examine the idea of where it appears that you want to plant your flag.

          “But “damage” is a human derived concept.”
          Isnt thirst, hunger and the ‘need’ for air just ‘human derived concepts’?

          If so, I am curious why you breath, drink and eat?

          Surely like ‘damage’ these can’t be physical properties either?

          So why do you participate in them?

        • Kodie

          Because he’s a 12-year-old pseudo-intellect.

        • Tyler Willis

          “The skull is physical, the damage is physical.”

          I still don’t see it. A skull is a physical thing just like any other. There’s nothign special about it so let’s look at something else to avoid the emotional connection we all tend to make and ask some questions.

          A body of water is in the mountains and a bird lands on the water. Has the water been damaged by the bird? Suppose the water evaporates faster and the water level starts to lower. Is the body of water damaged? How about if it rises higher instead – damaged now?

          All I’m seeing are changes to physical things like skulls and bodies of water. I don’t see damage UNTIL human derived purposes are added into the equation.

        • adam

          “I don’t see damage UNTIL human derived purposes are added into the equation.”

          Then your body of water example makes no sense.

          There is nothing emotional about a physical skull being demonstrably damaged.

          You have a physical skull belonging to a live human being with physical damage that ended a life, all of this is supported by physical evidence, x-rays, mri, death of the patient, no emotion needed

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

        • Tyler Willis

          “no emotion needed”

          Ahh, yes there is. You have an emotional attachment to living and you are dwelling on it as if living is THE purpose of human beings. We all think this way but the fact remains: the human has no purpose. Damage is relative to living, but damage can also be relative to dying.

          I tried to get us away from these tangled emotions using the body of water example. If you look at the human being like a body of water you can better see the emotional connections (and purposes) that you are smuggling in.

        • Kodie

          Not emotional, so much as labels humans have for states of physical objects. I even went so far as to describe to you in another post that humans often disagree on what constitutes damage. We all know what damage is, but one person’s damage is not necessarily another’s. If your house burns down, you might call that damage, yes? It’s not just because you’re emotionally attached to your house, it’s because it can no longer function as your house. That is because it was physically damaged. Don’t be so dense. It’s like your skull is damaged but you’re in denial. “Perfectly fine! My brains haven’t fallen all the way out!”

        • Tyler Willis

          Human derived purposes are involved. Just admit it.

        • Kodie

          That doesn’t mean it isn’t physical, you dummy.

        • Tyler Willis

          Hahahaha!! You think physical things have the physical property of purpose inherent to them. Do you work at the DI in Seattle?

          Aaaahahahahah!!

        • Kodie

          Does your asshole have an inherent purpose? Is it posting to this blog using your login?

        • adam

          “Ahh, yes there is. You have an emotional attachment to living and you
          are dwelling on it as if living is THE purpose of human beings. ”

          Nope, you are projecting.

          “Damage is relative to living, but damage can also be relative to dying.”

          Nope, damage can happen to non-living PHYSICAL OBJECTS.

          “I tried to get us away from these tangled emotions using the body of water example.”

          Then you are failing miserably, because no emotion is needed to determine damage.

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

        • Tyler Willis

          How do you damage a non-living physical object? Can you give me an example without invoking a human derived purpose?

        • Kodie

          Do you have trouble paying attention to language? How does having a human derived purpose prevent damage from being physical? You keep ignoring this and going on your own path, but your trap isn’t working as well as you want. Pretend you are winning.

        • Tyler Willis

          To damage means to result in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness. Both “value” and “usefulness” are human derived concepts. Take those elements away and you cannot physically make any distinction between “damage” and “improvement”.

          Ex:
          – Lack of air “improves” a physical human body by promoting the value and usefulness of death.
          – Lack of air “damages” a physical human body by impairing the value and usefulness of life.
          – Abundance of air “damages” a physical human body by impairing the value and usefulness of death.

          Does lack of air improve or damage a body?

          (with edits)

        • Kodie

          You’re confused. Why do you persist in thinking damage isn’t physical because it’s a human concept? It’s a human language word to describe states of being, i.e. physicalness, from our perspective, it’s our meaning of the word. How does that deplete the physicalness from the state of its fucking being? Please stick to the subject instead of inventing ways to be ignorant.

        • Tyler Willis

          Show me the physical property and I’ll believe you. Until then you’re talking out ya ass.

        • Kodie

          Tyler, I speak English and you appear to comprehend the language. Why don’t you answer my question instead of pretending you know what you’re talking about? What isn’t physical about damage – it is a change in the physical state of a thing. Doesn’t matter if it’s human or not. It’s what we call it, doesn’t take away from it being fucking physical. Easy to understand except for you, ignorant liar.

        • Tyler Willis

          I already explained what isnt’ physical about it. If you take a human body and take away the air what happens?

          The resulting body is both “damaged” and “improved” RELATIVE to the some HUMAN derived value and utility. Damage has the SAME physical properties as “improvement” (which is less damage)

        • Kodie

          Chrissake, you’re too dumb to have a conversation with. It’s a physical change is it not? Why does being from a human perspective take that away? You NEVER FUCKING ANSWER THE QUESTION, IS IT TOO HARD FOR YOU?

        • Tyler Willis

          Of course it’s a physical change ya fucking bitch. Prove that the change is “damage” rather than “improvement”.

        • Kodie

          You’re the one denying damage is physical. It’s been explained and you seem to acknowledge THAT IT IS. That’s on you, asshole.

        • Tyler Willis

          It’s your claim so you have the burden of proof.

        • Kodie

          It’s not worth explaining to you AGAIN. Dope, I’m hanging up, you’re a worthless piece of pseudo-intellectual shit, who can’t follow his own fucking logic. You admit it’s physical, but you deny it’s physical. Go fuck yourself.

        • Tyler Willis

          It’s your claim

        • Kodie

          You know, just fucking shut up. You’re too stupid. When someone is slow to answer questions and state what they mean, it’s because there’s nothing there to back it up.

        • Tyler Willis

          Prove that the change is “damage” rather than “improvement”.

        • Kodie

          Fuck off now you illiterate dumbass.

        • Tyler Willis

          Run away if it makes you feel better.

        • Kodie

          I’m not running away, you are just too stupid to read. I’m not going to repeat myself if you’re that stupid. You LOVE to think people are threatened by your giant intellect, but it’s really not that. Really not that at all.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m just a regular guy who isn’t convinced by your claim.

        • Kodie

          You’re just too arrogant to admit you are:

          Of course it’s a physical change ya fucking bitch.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m not convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage. If damage is physical change then they are synonymous terms. It’s your burden.

        • Kodie

          Answer the question. I must have asked it at least 3 times if not more. You already admit it’s physical, now you just have to answer the question – how does a human description take away the physical aspect of damage? That’s the last time, I have more productive ways to spend my time than arguing with a lying moron.

        • Tyler Willis

          The description of the physical INCLUDES a reference to human derived values and utility. I have you an example already. The value and utility are not part of the physical, so I do not admit that “damage” is physical.

          The change is physical, yes. The description that the change is “damage” or “improved” requires the addition of human derived concepts.

        • Kodie

          You seem to be one of those dummies who think there’s no morality or meaning if it’s derived from a human perspective.
          No point going over it again, you’ve demonstrated you’re too brainless to comprehend it.

        • Tyler Willis

          And you think meaning is physical. You sound very religious to me.

        • Kodie

          How so? Be very specific or don’t bother.

        • Tyler Willis

          You think meaning can be observed in naturally occurring physical things. Specific enough for ya? Sounds mystical.

        • Kodie

          Sounds like you have a lot of trouble reading and have a inclination to lie your way through arguments you can’t win.

          Bye!

        • Tyler Willis

          See ya!

          But before you go…is “loss of value or the impairment of usefulness” a physical property?

        • adam

          “how does a human description take away the physical aspect of damage? ”

          Apparently, you just need ‘faith’ Kodie.

        • adam

          “I’m not convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage.”

          Ever?

        • Tyler Willis

          I’m not convinced. Yes.

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ce82f879ae8a165fb2da855fd2b3fa920a2f99a13ded7bdb234e74ad28b8b5c.jpg

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

          Loss of monetary value.

        • Tyler Willis

          We’re going in circles. I don’t know what else to say.

        • adam

          I don’t know what else to say.

          Well of course not.
          What else is needed.

          We have the resulting loss in value demonstrating damage.

          You appear to have nothing but your emotional DESIRE to limit damage to something you’ve failed to define and demonstrate.

        • Tyler Willis

          Your claim is that “loss in value” can be found in the measured physics.
          Where?

        • adam

          NO, that seems to be your arbitrary conditional.

          Not the dictionary’s

        • adam

        • adam

          “Prove that the change is “damage” rather than “improvement”.”

          A simple loss of monetary value demonstrates damage.

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

        • Tyler Willis

          a “loss of monetary value” is not found in the physics. If you cannot find it, you cannot demonstrate damage.

        • adam

          “a “loss of monetary value” is not found in the physics. If you cannot find it, you cannot demonstrate damage.”

          So, not necessary by definition

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

        • Tyler Willis

          Huh? What do you mean by not necessary by definition?

        • adam

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

          “a “loss of monetary value” is not found in the physics.”

          Loss of value is clearly in this definition of damage without the arbitrary stipulation you’ve added.

        • adam

          …..

        • adam

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

          Damage doesnt require a human derived purpose.

          So I dont understand your tangent.

        • Tyler Willis

          Is “loss of value or the impairment of usefulness” a physical property?

        • adam

          Impairment of usefulness is:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ce82f879ae8a165fb2da855fd2b3fa920a2f99a13ded7bdb234e74ad28b8b5c.jpg

          And there is also the resulting loss of monetary value.

        • Tyler Willis

          The concept of purpose is a human derived concept. I can “see” the impairment here because I know about the purposes of windshields and cars.

          Naturally occurring physical objects have no purpose. I cannot “see” any impairment until I add in the human derived concept.

        • adam

          “The concept of purpose is a human derived concept.”

          So?

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

          Damage doesnt require a human derived purpose.

          So I dont understand your tangent.

          “Naturally occurring physical objects have no purpose. ”

          So?

          Damage doesnt require a human derived purpose.

        • Tyler Willis

          RESULTING in “loss in value” or “impairment of usefulness”. If you cannot find these physical properties in the resulting physical object, then they are not part of it. Am I wrong to conclude this?

        • adam

          ” If you cannot find these physical properties in the resulting physical object, then they are not part of it. ”

          Yet the damage is physical, the windshield is physical and the resulting damage is to the windshield object.

          They are inseparable.

          “Am I wrong to conclude this?”

          So far.

        • Kodie

          “Of course it’s a physical change you fucking bitch” but unless the universe would universally agree that it’s damage, it’s not physical.

          That’s pretty much it.

        • adam

          Sounds like Luke and his search for objective morality

        • MNb

          More like creacrap.

        • Ignorant Amos

          This exchange is so hard to watch.

          How can someone be so asinine with just one head?

          Tyler wants to play games of semantics and is just being a silly pants.

          It’s the old, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” routine and it is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. Tyler is just doing it poorly.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_a_tree_falls_in_a_forest

          Damage = Deteriorate = Disintegrate = …

          http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/damage

          Disintegrate:-
          a. to decay.
          b. (of a nucleus) to change into one or more different nuclei after being bombarded by high-energy particles, as alpha particles or gamma rays.

          http://www.dictionary.com/browse/disintegrate

          This article deals with Radiation damage due to ionizing radiation on physical objects.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_damage

          Tyler is playing silly buggers for the sake of it.

          So, does damage occur if no one is around to witness it?

          Of course it does, by definition.

        • WayneMan

          I’m glad I’m not the only one watching this with amusement and amazement. Tyler seems obsessed with somehow winning an argument over an obscure, warped triviality of a word definition.

        • adam

          “Tyler seems obsessed with somehow winning an argument over an obscure, warped triviality of a word definition.”

          I think he would be better off using his time and effort to use language to clarify rather than obstruct what ever definitions and points he is trying so hard to make.

        • WayneMan

          Ditto that. I’m pretty sure no one even remembers what his initial point on the title topic was, after all of this mental masturbation over a single word.

        • adam

          ” I’m pretty sure no one even remembers what his initial point on the title topic was”

          I dont think he ever made one……

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’ll be the human derived concept of mental masturbation, so nothing that can be taken as a real thing…or can it? I’m all confused now…I can’t tell what’s real anymore and what’s human derived concept…perhaps I’m just a brain in a vat.

        • adam

          “It’s the old, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” routine and it is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. ”

          What I thought he was trying to do.

          He got hung up on ‘damage’ being a physical thing.

          But he always keeps going back to ‘human derived’
          As it seems, ‘human derived’ somehow negates damage.

          Then I asked about hunger and thirst being human derived and why he eats and drinks.
          And of course, his answer is human derived, as well.

          And FINALLY, we are talking about the ‘value’ of the acknowledged damage.

          So apparently, I have demonstrated damage to his satisfaction and he wants to debate the ‘value’ of said damage. For the DAMAGED windshield, I will leave the ‘value’ of said damage up to the insurance company, or the government agency regulating windshield regulations and requirements.

        • MNb

          I pity you a bit (not much) for your persistent attempts to clarify matters – but he getting annoyed by your attempts remains funny.

        • adam

          No need to pity me at all.

          The search for truth and clarity IS its own reward.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It doesn’t seem to phase him that all human thought is human derived. Damage is the human derived special word for a particular type of physical change. At this point, I’ve no idea what his point is on this idea anymore.

          Damage has different value depending on POV, but whatever that POV, there is still a physical change.

          Other words are synonymous with the same physical change. Other words apply to a different physical change…they are all human derived, but physical change isn’t human derived. It’s been a constant from the very beginning…it will go on well after we humans are gone…no matter what words are used to describe the act.

        • MNb

          What’s really stupid is that he actually has a point. So I’ll make it for him. The unbroken windshield has value for us because we can use it to look through. The broken one hasn’t because we can’t.
          However the usage of the word purpose is clumsy at best but possibly a product of bad thinking. Oxygen has value for us because we use it to stay alive. Only creacrappers would conclude that the purpose of oxygen is to keep us alive. Rather funny how TW’s determination to firmly hold the middle ground tempts him to defend a creationist argument.

        • adam

          What’s really stupid is that he has a stupid point that he cant seem to make without redefining ‘damage’ to include an ‘absolute objective definer of damage”. (Which he does not define as well)

          Which is why I have asked him this:

          “But “damage” is a human derived concept.” TW
          Isnt thirst, hunger and the ‘need’ for air just ‘human derived concepts’?

          If so, I am curious why you breath, drink and eat?

          Surely like ‘damage’ these can’t be physical properties either?

          So why do you participate in them?
          In all honesty I cant tell if he just pulling my leg, pulling an apologetics ploy, or being cre crap as you state.

          But I am always suspicious of those who try and use language to obscure rather than to clarify a point. It reeks of dishonesty. Which was Lukes problem.

        • Tyler Willis

          “need” is a human derived concept. Why do I breath and drink and eat? Because I want to stay alive? I’m not sure what this has to do with anything.

          I suggest you read what I said to MNb above. He gets it.

        • adam

          “”need” is a human derived concept. Because I want to stay alive?”
          I’m not sure what this has to do with anything.”

          Why?
          Staying alive is human derived concept.
          And certainly wanting to stay alive is a human derived concept.
          And since you cannot ‘see’ damage on “any physical object” and the human body being a physical object, you cannot see damage that the deficit of food, air and water deprivation MIGHT cause, why would you ‘believe’ that you ‘need’ such things to protect against a ‘damage’ that you cant see ?

          “I suggest you read what I said to MNb above. He gets it.”

          “However the usage of the word purpose is clumsy at best but possibly a product of bad thinking.” MNb

          “More like creacrap.” MNb

          Look I understand your theological ideas that ‘value’ is subjective, you have yet to demonstrate that it needs to be objective to be considered ‘damage’

        • Tyler Willis

          “you have yet to demonstrate that it needs to be objective to be considered ‘damage'”

          Excuse my French, adam, but HOLY FUCK!
          You have repeatedly claimed that damage IS physical.
          What is physical IS objective. Your claim is an objective claim about physical things.
          Don’t try to get all subjective on me now.

        • adam

          You’ve done this already for me:

          “” The unbroken windshield has value for us because we can use it to look through. The broken one hasn’t because we can’t.””

        • Tyler Willis

          You’ve misunderstood because I have not done this. Let me clear it up here. The glass has value in the same way a $10 bill has value. It’s value is human derived.

          Your claim is that it’s all physical.

        • adam

          “Your claim is that it’s all physical.”

          Of course, the glass is physical and the damage is a physical alteration reducing its monetary value and function..

        • adam

          “Your claim is that it’s all physical.”

          My claim is that the damage is physical to a physical windshield, and so far you’ve failed to demonstrate that is not the case.

          The ‘value’ of the damage is another issue, of course it is human derived.

          So is HUNGER and THIRST

          But I bet you still continue to eat and drink just like it was real.

        • Tyler Willis

          “My claim is that the damage is physical to a physical windshield”

          Gee. I said that already (Your claim is that it’s all physical).

          I’ve asked many times for you to explain the concept of damage using the language of the physical. Can you at least make an attempt to do that?

          Example: “damage is the physical result of an object hitting glass with enough force to cause that glass to chip or form cracks”

          Feel free to write it out using your own words.

        • adam

          I already demonstrated the same with the windshield picture.

          A few times.

          And with this:
          Of course, the glass is physical and the damage is a physical alteration reducing its monetary value and function.

          A couple of times

          What am I missing?

        • Tyler Willis

          “But I bet you still continue to eat and drink just like it was real.”

          So? Of course I do. I never said otherwise. I really don’t get your point here.

        • adam

          ” I really don’t get your point here.”

          Hunger and thirst are human derived.

          Seems that you’ve been using this term to discount damage, or am I missing something?

        • Tyler Willis

          “The ‘value’ of the damage is another issue, of course it is human derived.”

          I’m glad to see you correct yourself and deviate from your prior comment that included value. You said “A simple loss of monetary value demonstrates damage” which accurately translates to “A simple human derived concept demonstrates damage”. We’re making progress.

        • adam

          “A simple loss of monetary value demonstrates damage”

          So AGAIN, like THIRST and HUNGER

          All are ‘human derived’ concepts.
          So is language.
          Isnt everything humans conceive of ‘human derived’?

          What are you REALLY trying to say?

        • adam

          I didnt correct myself or deviate from my prior comment

          “A simple human derived concept demonstrates damage”.

          So?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ce82f879ae8a165fb2da855fd2b3fa920a2f99a13ded7bdb234e74ad28b8b5c.jpg

          AGAIN, you have a physical windshield that has physical damage which caused a loss in monetary value of the windshield as well as its ability to shield from the wind.

          DAMAGE

          AGAIN, HUNGER and THIRST are human derived concepts.

          What progress are we making.

          And what are you REALLY trying to say?

        • adam

          “You’ve misunderstood because I have not done this. Let me clear it up here.” TW

          “I suggest you read what I said to MNb above. He gets it.” TW

          “What’s really stupid is that he actually has a point. So I’ll make it for him. The unbroken windshield has value for us because we can use it to look through. The broken one hasn’t because we can’t.” MNb

        • Tyler Willis

          We have language that describes physical things. Because your claim is that “damage” is physical, you should be able to use that language to describe “damage” for me.

        • adam

          I answered this elsewhere. Look for it.

        • Tyler Willis

          I see “A simple loss of monetary value demonstrates damage” but no description of this in the language of physical things.

        • adam

          “A simple loss of monetary value demonstrates damage”

          By definition

        • Tyler Willis

          Stop hiding behind language. You’re doing a proof by dictionary. I can do that too and you justifiably would object to that. If “damage” and the physical thing are inseparable as you claim, you can describe damage using language that describes physical things. Go!

        • adam

          ” The unbroken windshield has value for us because we can use it to look through. The broken one hasn’t because we can’t.”

          So by definition it has ‘damage’

          There is both a ‘loss in value’ – which if covered by insurance will be compensated for.

          And it has “impairment of usefulness”, at least it does in my state, where driving with such ‘damage’ is illegal.

        • Tyler Willis

          You’ve misunderstood so let me clear it up here. The glass has value in the same way a $10 bill has value. It’s value is human derived.

          Your claim is that it’s all physical.

        • adam

          “Your claim is that it’s all physical.”

          Of course, the glass is physical and the damage is a physical alteration reducing its monetary value and function.

        • Ignorant Amos

          AND…the demolition of a bridge, i.e. physical damage, for a retreating army, is a positive action. It increases the monetary value, improves the normal function and usefulness. The demolition of a minefield has the same effect for the advancing army.

          The construction of a bridge and minefield, i.e. physical change, also has the same effect if the army is going the the other way.

          So, depending on ones position, physical change can have positive or negative attributes and those objective actions will have a subjective effect…as per MR’s comment.

          But what do I know?

        • Tyler Willis

          You understand my point and have repeated it pretty accurately (with noted excepted below). You refer to the human derived concept of value for both the windshield and oxygen examples.

          Where you go wrong is you think I said oxygen has the purpose of keeping us alive. I didn’t say that and wouldn’t say that.

          Other than that, good job. If only adam were as intelligent.

        • adam

          “If only adam were as intelligent.”

          Oh, I understand your word dance diversion, but I dont understand your point, because you havent made it yet.

          Your point can only be made the way you want to make it by disregarding the definition of damage that I have presented

          And so ONCE AGAIN.

          “But “damage” is a human derived concept.” TW
          Isnt thirst, hunger and the ‘need’ for air just ‘human derived concepts’?

          If so, I am curious why you breath, drink and eat?

          Surely like ‘damage’ these can’t be physical properties either?So why do you participate in them?

        • Tyler Willis

          I answered this elsewhere. Look for it.

        • adam

          ” The unbroken windshield has value for us because we can use it to look through. The broken one hasn’t because we can’t.”

          So by definition it has ‘damage’

          There is both a ‘loss in value’ – which if covered by insurance will be compensated for.

          And it has “impairment of usefulness”, at least it does in my state, where driving with such ‘damage’ is illegal.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Also its usefulness to offer protection is depleted vastly…it is called a windshield after all.

        • adam

          But of course.

          But apparently the damage is not objective enough for TW to see ‘damage’ even though he acknowledges the damage.

          “”I’m not convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage.” (TW)

          Ever?”
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/c

          “I’m not convinced. Yes.” (TW)
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/c

          So he seems convinced that he is not ever convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage.

        • MNb

          Neither am I …. assembling a car is also a physical change.
          Like I already wrote it’s typical for damage that we consider something valuable before that physical change while it has lost that value after.

        • adam

          “Neither am I …. assembling a car is also a physical change.”

          So?

          Why cant a physical change be synonymous with damage.

          LIke you just said,
          “it’s typical for damage that we consider something valuable before that physical change while it has lost that value after.”

          What am I missing in discussion?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m missing something too.

          Not all physical change is damage, but I would contend that all damage involves physical change as per the definition of damage being used.

          Whether or not that physical change has value seems academic to me. Like MR has said, the value will be subjective, but the fact that damage has occurred is undeniable. That’s the word we use to describe a certain physical condition.

          Damage:- inflict physical harm on (something) so as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function.
          “the car was badly damaged in the accident”

          As for the value aspect. Some damage can result in positive outcomes. Neuroplasticity for example. Culling is another. Art is another. A damage liability insurance payout is another. Still involve a physical change. But that’s another story.

          I don’t need to be directly effected, value-wise or not, to know that damage has occurred as a physical condition of a thing as defined.

          I would say that whatever the damage, a physical change has occurred.

          The Power Thesaurus lists 1,200 synonyms for damage and quite a few of them involve physical changes.

          https://www.powerthesaurus.org/damage

          Then again, perhaps I’m just not getting some point or other…since the clever folk are claiming otherwise.

        • MR

          Excellent contribution in this and your other posts on the topic. I’d also note that even a dispassionate observer can describe damage without assigning value to it.

          In your examples elsewhere of destroying bridges, a historian can describe the destruction of a bridge without choosing sides in the battle, or having an opinion either way about the results of the destruction or even the outcome of the war. I can describe an asteroid obliterating a planet without having an opinion of it being good or bad.

          You can strip value labels and speak in terms that Data (or Spock, depending on your generation) might use, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t objectively describe damage and harm.

          It also doesn’t change the fact that some beings (humans, for example) do place subjective labels like “good” and “bad” on things, and that can also be referred to objectively because I can describe something objectively from a specific point of view.

          From the point of view of humans, destruction of their planet would be “bad,” and that could be objectively stated. Again, the universe may not care, but we do.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But we have a special name for that type of physical change, construction. Is anyone going to say construction is not a physical change.

          The two main aspects of my job in the forces were construction and destruction. I was given extensive training in both.

          We called the destruction aspect, demolition. The demolition part was about damage. The damage we caused had a positive value, at least to us.

        • MNb

          “Is anyone going to say ….”
          Not me. I didn’t mean to contradict Adam’s argument here, rather to reinforce it by making a small correction.
          I have no idea any more what TW would say. That guy excels in not making sense.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That guy excels in not making sense.

          He seems to think that you are the only one here that gets what he is trying to say and that all the rest of us are a bunch of dumbo’s.

          But from where I’m sitting, your assessment above is spot on.

        • Kodie

          Even I would say they’re not synonymous. I said so in my very first post to TW, not every human agrees to the terms of damage, even. I said damage is physical, and he agrees that it’s a physical change, but the philosophical implications of what constitutes damage is meaningless to, say, a racoon family that gets to live in that neat-o car. That’s what’s really important to Tyler, that damage isn’t a physical property, it’s a human definition. and as the apologist pseudo-intellect that he is, human definitions of everything are garbage. It’s only meaningful if it is universally true and objective. Morality, meaning in life, etc. I mean, the flies that eat his garbage don’t think Tyler is a pseudo-intellect, so durr, he’s not! That’s just some mean opinion from some super-bitch on tha innternets.

        • adam

          “Even I would say they’re not synonymous.”

          Ever?

          “not every human agrees to the terms of damage, even. ”

          Not every human agrees with the definitions of any words.

          Does that mean that damage is like “God”, IMAGINARY?

          dam•age
          (dămˈĭj)

          n.

          Harm or injury to property or a person, resulting in loss of value or the impairment of usefulness.

        • Kodie

          I think damage is physical, but damage is not a synonym of physical change. It’s like a square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square. Even if a square is a kind of rectangle, I wouldn’t label square a synonym of rectangle. They don’t mean the same thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They don’t mean the same thing.

          The problem is, up to a point, by definition they do. We just understand at a certain point that they do differ and in what way they do differ and we have special words that cover the difference for use in common parlance.

          A square is a special kind of rectangle, but a rectangle by definition all the same. A rectangle is a special kind of parallelogram, but a parallelogram all the same. A parallelogram is a special kind of trapezium (trapezoid), but a trapezium all the same (depending where ya are).

          We don’t refer to a square as a special kind of rectangle, because we use the word square and most of us are happy enough that we know those properties that make it a special kind of rectangle, parallelogram and trapezium. Oh, and a rhombus.

          Pick up a thesaurus and you’ll find many synonyms for square, rectangle among them. Check out the word rectangle and you will find just a couple, square among them.

          Damage is a special kind of physical change, but physical change all the same. We don’t refer to damage as a special kind of physical change, because we use the word damage and most of us are happy enough that we know those properties that make it a special kind of physical change.

          That’s my take on it anyway.

          Triangles are interesting too.

        • MR

          What’s really stupid is that he actually has a point.

          He often actually does have a point, but since he’s not the sharpest cheddar on the cracker it’s hardly worth the trouble of trying to parse out nuances he’s not going to bother to try to understand. That I can see, he’s simply an apologist disguised as an agnostic whose interest is to keep the waters muddied.

        • Tyler Willis

          MNb restated my exact point. He bothered and got it, why can’t you? It takes effort to miss the obvious and you’re well on your way.

          What don’t you understand about “value” being a human derived concept and not a physical property of glass or oxygen?

          I do like cheddar on crackers.

        • MR

          He bothered and got it, why can’t you?

          Who says I didn’t? I likely agree with you more than you think; it’s just where you take it from there. I’ve seen you in action, you retreat into–as Susan notes–lazy thinking. As I said, it’s hardly worth the trouble.

          With a nice glass of orange juice.

        • Tyler Willis

          Complaining about what hasn’t happened yet? Geezzzz, tough crowd.

        • MNb

          No, MR isn’t.
          Funny guy.

        • Tyler Willis

          What’s funny is your reading ability.

        • Tyler Willis

          Oh, and your inability to show that I am wrong about adam’s claim. That too is funny.

        • MR

          Just noting your modus operandi.

        • Tyler Willis

          That hasn’t happened in this discussion yet.

        • MR

          We’ll have to agree to disagree.

        • Susan

          He often actually does have a point.

          Give me another example.

          he’s simply an apologist disguised as an agnostic whose interest is to keep the waters muddied.

          Or he’s just an egotistical blowhard and a lazy thinker

        • MR

          Sorry, I certainly shouldn’t have said “often.” There have been a couple times he’s brought up an interesting point, but it only seems to be to cloud things up, not follow through. I don’t find him sincere. The “evil” question is an interesting one, but he always seems to end up chasing his tail in equivocation. No different than talking to an apologist.

          Or he’s just an egotistical blowhard and a lazy thinker

          And that, too.

        • Kodie

          He compared me to a creationist, I don’t think he’s bringing up any good points. They’re the kinds of “points” that apologists think are good, like, “without god, we would all just kill and steal.” “There is no meaning in life, atheism is too depressing.” There is no ultimate meaning of damage, therefore damage isn’t physical. That’s as wrong as “there is no meaning ln life without god, it’s just us humans liking one flavor of ice cream or another”.

        • MR

          That’s why I don’t really buy that he’s an agnostic. He makes half a statement and then interprets the follow up through a theistic prism. Value statements of “good” or “bad” may have no objective “value,” but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be described in objective terms. A windshield can be defined in terms of material, form and function. A projectile can produce a change in the form such that it becomes non-functional, which can be objectively demonstrated. That we think it a “bad” thing may be a subjective stance, but that the change produced causes the windshield to be non-functional is an objective one. That humans place a value on that change (I think it “bad” that my windshield was broken by a rock) can also be objectively demonstrated. Just because something doesn’t have objective value doesn’t mean it doesn’t objectively have subjective value. The universe doesn’t hold an opinion about my broken windshield, but I do.

        • MNb

          “I don’t think he’s bringing up any good points”
          And because he’s an egotistical blowhard and lazy thinker he refuses to improve the formulation of his point if he hits at one.

        • MNb

          What about both?
          Like MR I also noticed that he sometimes has a point, fails to formulate it properly and then refuses to improve it.
          Quite funny imo.

        • adam

          ” So I’ll make it for him. The unbroken windshield has value for us
          because we can use it to look through. The broken one hasn’t because we can’t.”

          So he appears to understand the damage with the windshield, but that doesnt jive with his statements:

          “I’m not convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage. ”
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/07/insights-into-bible-miracles-from-magician-uri-geller/#comment-2827236915

          “”I’m not convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage.”

          Ever?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/07/insights-into-bible-miracles-from-magician-uri-geller/#comment-2827299520

          “I’m not convinced. Yes.”

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/07/insights-into-bible-miracles-from-magician-uri-geller/#comment-2827353054

          So he seems convinced that he is not ever convinced that physical change is synonymous with damage.

        • Tyler Willis

          Showing me a picture doesn’t demonstrate your point. I can’t see “damage” in any physical object. If I were to show you a picture of jesus and say “see, there’s god. he’s right there. just look” you’d probably get the point I’m making.

          You have to explain what you mean by damage (you’ve done that) and tell me where the concepts of the definition can be found IN the physical object.

          Where’s the “loss in value” or “impairment of usefulness” in this physical thing?

          Since you claim the physical thing and the concepts of the definition are “inseparable” you can describe everything in physical terms. Please do that now.

        • adam

          “. I can “see” the impairment here because I know about the purposes of windshields and cars.”

          So you agree that there is damage.

          “But “damage” is a human derived concept.”
          Isnt thirst, hunger and the ‘need’ for air just ‘human derived concepts’?

          If so, I am curious why you breath, drink and eat?

          Surely like ‘damage’ these can’t be physical properties either?

          So why do you participate in them?

        • adam

          ” There’s nothign special about it”

          Please demonstrate.

          You can’t just replace a skull with a rock

        • Tyler Willis

          I can’t demonstrate the absence of a physical property.

        • Susan

          Webster has a definition of “god” too.

          Webster has a few definitions. They are not the same.

          So far, you have none.

          You’re not going to actually think about any of this, are you?

          Please definei the subject you’d like people to engage in.

          Emotional reasons are a-rational reasons.

          Emotional reasons are not rational reasons.

          Define “rational”.

        • Tyler Willis

          I already asked you to define god for me. I’ll think about it more closely when you tell me what god is.

          I agree that emotional reasons are not rational reasons. Emotions are not irrational and that was my point.

          Amos said it was irrational to give unevidenced things any credence. Do you agree with that?

        • adam

          “Emotions are not irrational and that was my point.”

          I am missing your point, still.

        • Susan

          I already asked you to define god for me.

          Why would I define a word you keep using? I have no idea what you mean by “god” and it seems you don’t either or you would have defined it by now.

        • Susan

          It’s the dogmatic clinging to “we can’t know and no matter what you bring up, we still can’t” of agnostics that’s so annoying to me.

          What I find really annoying is someone claiming there are two sides to a subject they will no make no effort to define.

          And thinking they have said something useful in doing it.

        • Tyler Willis

          As you might expect I don’t see it the same way as you do.

        • Michael Neville

          Militant agnostic: “I don’t know and you don’t either!”

        • Greg G.

          There is a difference between an uninformed opinion and an informed opinion. An unjustifiable opinion is probably not an informed opinion. If an opinion can’t be justified, why express it?

        • Tyler Willis

          That helps somewhat. My opinions about me (what I like, prefer, believe, desire, value, etc) are informed by my experiences, among other things. They always are, right?, so I don’t see how anyone can have an uninformed opinion.

        • Tyler Willis

          Why express an opinion that is uniformed? Well, to begin with I don’t believe there is such a thing as an uniformed opinion but maybe you can explain how that can be true.

          For example, my experiences inform me that my opinions are worth expressing, so I do that. How is that uninformed?

        • Greg G.

          If your experiences lead you to believe the moon is made of green cheese, it is an uninformed opinion.

        • Tyler Willis

          If it’s true that my experiences lead me to actually believe that the moon is made of green cheese then that opinion is an informed one. My opinion of the moon can be false, but my opinion is informed by my experiences. So again, I don’t believe there is any such thing.

        • Don’t you just get your science from the scientists? That’s how I do it, and that makes supporting one’s scientific opinions easy.

        • Tyler Willis

          Yes I do that, sure. When it comes to unscientific opinions I can’t do that though.

        • Susan

          Let’s start with an opinion that seafood is horrible food.

          This is a category error.

          Your choice in food has nothing to do with your opinion about the existence of something you haven’t put any thought into.

          One is a matter of taste and the other is a claim about the existence of something.

          Pick one of your own if you’d rather do that.

          Some people are of the opinion that the world flood described in the bible really happened.

          Now, they are making a claim about something that exists in reality.

          Nothing to do with whether or not seafood is to your taste.

        • Tyler Willis

          My taste exists in reality otherwise I cannot HAVE a reality-based matter of taste.

          How do I justify this opinion?

        • Ignorant Amos

          If I only knew what these terms meant I could comment.

          Why? You don’t seem to have had anything of substance to say so far, why would start now?

          But anyway, don’t you know Google is your friend?

          Notice that I haven’t been debating and Susan is bent.

          I didn’t say YOU were debating, I said you have come here with a lot of knobrottery to add to the debate, the debate is happening whether you like it or not. Your “opinion” is the knobrottery being added. Try reading for comprehension. Your high brow is getting lower.

          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=knob%20rot&defid=1438668

          I’ve known Susan many years, your opinion knobrottery of her being bent is erroneous.

          Must I do that? If so, why aren’t you doing it now and why isnt’ Susan all over your shit too?

          I have no idea wtf those two questions are about and I can see no context where they make sense of meaning.

          So with that, and since you have nothing to say other than unsupported opinion which is like an arsehole, everyone has one, why don’t YOU follow yer own advice and fuck off.

        • Kodie

          But why do you think any of us would be threatened? You’re blowing your agnostic shit out of your ass, basically. You have not given an argument to shake up anything or discuss anything. You have your opinion, we heard you, and then you have nothing but to repeat yourself. I don’t find that threatening. If you have anything whatsoever to support your trepidation about making any firm choice one way or another, you would have said it already. It doesn’t seem you’re interested in listening to any arguments why you might decide, you just came here to tell us how it’s somehow superior to be undecided. You don’t like how atheists are, and you maybe don’t care for theists either, like you are scoping out what people are like to decide whether you want to identify as something, rather than the arguments. I can’t think of a stupider way to make a decision like that, I mean, you don’t have to hang out with anyone.

        • Tyler Willis

          Why? I don’t know why. I do know that you’re threatened that I’m only offering opinions and blowing shit out of my ass – whatever the fuck that means since I’m not giving an argument.

          What about your mere opinions these last several comments – and the ass spewing shit that goes with it? You haven’t given me an argument to shake things up. Should I rant in likewise fashion as you are doing here? Let me know.

        • Kodie

          I’m not threatened, you piece of shit. I don’t even know why you bother to talk, you say nothing.

        • Susan

          How do you figure it’s threatening?

          It protects his ego to think so.

        • MNb

          Guess again.

        • Tyler Willis

          I did.

        • MNb

          How nice.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah ha…ya don’t know….???? Okay….I don’t know about a lot of stuff either…doesn’t necessarily make ya a stupid person. But then don’t get above yerself and go beyond yer remit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Unlike the brain fart that is full of piss….pah!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Spunkers are twa’a’penny….at least here they are.

        • Susan

          Likewise.

          No. Not likewise. What a silly response.

          You stated that you were an “agnostic” and just as happy to criticize “both sides”. I asked you what you were agnostic about. You said “God”..I asked what “God” is. You said you didn’t know.

          So, you’re happy to criticize a maximum of two sides on a subject that you have no definition for.

          When pressed, you said you are interested in sharing your opinion. Your claim. Not mine.

          So far, all you’ve done is share your opinion.

          So, no. Not close to likewise.

          Now fuck off.

          No.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya found out his wankeryisness and cuntishness now let’s see how the smart Alec responds…am pished by the way…no excuse a know….but sometimes a just like believers more than agnostics…it’s a conviction thing.

        • Susan

          sometimes a just like believers more than agnostics

          I like clarity, thoughtfulness and a willingness to engage in discussion.

          Labels don’t interest me as such.

          I’ve asked many theists what eaey are claiming and how they support it and they usually have a lot of trouble with the first part (and more with the second).

          Tyler Willis seems even more thoughtless than they are on the subject.

          If he’s put more thought into it than I think he has, he has yet to show it.

        • Tyler Willis

          Thanks for the he said, she said (with quotes) but I can read.

          Yes, I’m happy to criticize, comment, say I don’t know, offer opinions, etc.

          What more do you want and why should I give it to you?

        • Kodie

          A productive discussion why you believe what you believe and why we believe what we believe? Because there’s nothing else interesting about what you say, if it lacks reason.

        • Tyler Willis

          I’ll let you know when I’m interested in having a productive discussion. I’m not interested right now.

        • Kodie

          We’ll all be waiting for the big news that you have something interesting to say.

        • Tyler Willis

          Thank you for caring.

        • Tyler Willis

          Your recent comments are nothing but criticisms, statements and opinions so, yes, likewise applies.

        • Susan

          Your recent comments are nothing but..

          I made effort after effort to engage with you respectfully about a subject that you brought up.

          You responded with vacuous comments and handwaving. Finally, you said “I am interested in sharing my opinion. Arent we all?”

          That’s when I responded with a single criticism. An appropriate one on a forum dedicated to discussing christian/theist claims.

          An ACCURATE criticism. Your response was to say “likewise” (although I’ve done nothing likewise) and to tell me to fuck off.

          Also to interpret my response as me feeling threatened without a speck of evidence to support it and without making even the slightest effort to justify that accusation.

          I wondered why you were agnostic and what you were agnostic about.

          Now, I don’t wonder at all. It’s just a thing you blurt that has no meaning.

          In a discussion forum, nobody cares what your opinion is if you show no ability to discuss the subjects you weigh in on. .

          This is basic.

          It’s not reality TV where you get to feel special for texting in your vote.

        • Tyler Willis

          When a person chooses to ignore a repeated effort to get into a pissing contest, you should take that as a clear sign that they are not interested in getting into a pissing contest. I’m content to leave mostly “vacuous comments” on this forum.

          Nobody cares what my opinion is? You do. You’ve spent several comments telling me how much you care about my vacuous comments by attempting to engage me. You want to dig deeper into my opinions.

          You want to argue, dissect and analyze my every word because you are interested in knowing more about the weird agnostic guy making vacuous comments. No thank you.

          Let it go.

        • Kodie

          No, your opinion is just so worthy. We’re glad you stopped by to make us think about your opinion, and wonder and ask what reasons you might have, and you have explained how you have none, so buh-bye now.

          Not threatened, you’re just a waste of time.

        • Susan

          When a person chooses to ignore a repeated effort to get into a pissing contest

          There was no effort to get into a pissing contest. There was a series of respectful questions aimed at furthering discussion that you were unable to address.

          Nobody cares what my opinion is? You do.

          I’ve already stated that I don’t. What I was interested in initially was what you meant by your original statement. But you didn’t mean anything. You made that clear.

          I’m content to leave mostly vacuous comments on this forum.

          Already noted.

          you are interested in knowing more about the weird agnostic guy

          I struck the word agnostic because it’s meaningless so far when you use it. All efforts on my part to find meaning in your statements have been fruitless.

          And no. I couldn’t be less interested in the guy making vacuous comments. The world is full of them. He’s just one more.

          Let it go.

          I have already let go any hope that your original statement is useful for anything.

          I explained that already.

        • Tyler Willis

          “unable to address” and “you didn’t mean anything” = Susan’s attempt to start a pissing contest by using rhetoric to provoke a response.

          I’m able to address and I do mean something by my words, but I don’t want to get into a pissing contest.

        • Susan

          “unable to address” and “you didn’t mean anything” = Susan’s attempt to start a pissing contest by using rhetoric to provoke a response.

          No. “Unable to address” and “you didn’t mean anything” were statements I made further along after all attempts to get you to address the issues you chose to bring up proved fruitless.

          I’m able to address

          Then, address.

          and I do mean something by my words

          Then, what do you mean?

          I don’t want to get into a pissing contest

          Then, I suggest ithat instead of telling someone to fuck off when they ask perfectly reasonable and direct questions, you make efforts to address those questions.

          P.S. If I wanted to use rhetoric to provoke a response, I would have asked you if you’ve always been this idiotic.

          I didn’t. But I should have. Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

        • Tyler Willis

          Still unable to follow clear instructions, I see.

        • Susan

          Still unable to follow clear instructions, I see

          And you’re accusing me of trying to engage in a pissing contest.

          You’re a real peach, TW.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your wankeryisness and cuntishness has been noted…next?…Or will you not just fuck off and give our head’s peace?

          Agnostics are more times than not, much more worse than theists fer fecks sake.

        • Susan

          worse than theists fer fecks sake.

          Careful. He’ll think you are feeling threatened.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A lot of things have threatened me….physically and mentally….dogs dicks like this are the worst,ya can’t feel them, touch them, see them, smell them, hear them….ya always have to be careful who the enemy is...“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”….exaggeration of course….but through many sleepless nights already.

          Imagine et tu Brute…watch the fuckin’ Ides of March after the heads up ya fuckwit…”I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, Than such a Roman.”….Pah!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Haa…Haa…

        • Tyler Willis

          Fuck off and stop reading my comments then. Block me from your view. Do whatever you want…..please (see how nice I can be)

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ll decide…or Bob S will…not you.

        • Tyler Willis

          “do whatever you want” means you decide, not me. Thanks for repeating what I just said.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You really struggle with the basics don’t you? I didn’t repeat what you just said. Try reading my comment, perhaps a bit slower for comprehension.

          I don’t get to “do whatever I want” around here, nor do you. I can “fuck off”, or stop reading your comments, or block you from view…those things I’ll decide. But it’s Bob’s house, so I don’t get to “do whatever I want”…no one does but Bob.

          Clear enough for ya?

        • Tyler Willis

          Even Bob cannot do whatever he wants. Disqus and patheos have some say in that. Just sayin

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not so much Disqus I imagine, though on that a could be wrong. I guess Patheos will have T & C’s, so you are probably right on that score, but it’s not very relevant in any case. But thanks for the correction all the same.

      • rubaxter

        For a person stuck in a strange land/city with no family, a church can be a VERY useful safety net. It’s not just for kicks.

        • Kodie

          What I keep telling people who don’t think atheists need anything like a church. Sure, anyone can go out of their home and make friends, but church isn’t just friends, it’s babysitters and networking and matchmaking and pulling volunteers to check on the older folks all in one place. Without church, you have to go all over town for each of those benefits. You can’t just join some club as an adult and find support for the other needs you have or for the rest of your family. A lot of people are afraid to go out and try something new by themselves, but will go if they can grab some generic friend to go with you. It’s easy enough to find other parents with kids the same age as your kids if they are enrolled in a program, but then you are focused on them instead of having an adult conversation with another adult whom you relate to – I mean if there’s something about moms who like to talk about their kids, but then also want to talk with others who know what that’s like but without talking about it so much, instead of busting into some book club and thinking, all we have in common is we like to read. Or whatever. I am sort of stereotyping a little, but gathering as a community at every age and interest, generically, the thing that bonds us as a group is our location, but we wouldn’t approach each other outside of the force of this gathering to compare interests or discover things we might have in common if we’re from different backgrounds, marital statuses, ages, etc.

          I also think church can get a little too nosy, too gossipy, judgmental and cliquey, and since I don’t really like people, I skip joining any such thing. I don’t like chit-chat, small talk, big talk, controversy, people, being polite, having to listen to someone for a long time before I can think of a reason to get away from them, or being punctual. I don’t like being in the wrong place at the right time for someone who needs help moving or doing yardwork at their dead mother’s house so it can be put on the market; come to my daughter’s graduation from middle school, it’s a pot-luck; etc.

          If I wanted to belong so tightly to a community that I could die choking, I’d move to a small town. I’m not used to people breathing down my neck all the time, and I accept the trade-off is I have no one to help me move or do yard work or populate/feed guests at a party I won’t be having.

          But anyway, so what if belonging to a church as the newbie in town has a safety net? Is god real? If they’re not there because they believe god is real, then it is just for kicks. Not ha ha kicks, but friends and free* help.

          *It’s not free if you have to help them too.

        • MNb

          Wow. Finally I’ve met someone who’s more antisocial than me. I do like chit-chat etc., but only with some carefully selected people. Above all I want a big say in defining the limits.

        • Kodie

          If I have to be out of the house, I do enjoy people’s company, I mean, I like to have someone to talk to instead of just be that woman who won’t say hi. I’m actually pretty friendly and sociable, but being authentically happy to see someone is kind of important to me. Like, if I am out shopping at a store, I don’t want to run into anyone I know. I don’t know if this has to do with when I was a kid, it killed me when my mom ran into someone she knew and stopped to chat forever. Boring. And I get that if I run into someone I know and say hi but don’t linger in any conversation, that’s a reflection on me they later remember, that I’ve essentially cut someone off and was polite enough, just that they know they probably shouldn’t invest in any talking to me when we’re in another context, when I have time or am in more of the mood. I can’t really imagine people like to be detained this way. I’ll talk to you some other time, right? It’s one of the major deterrents to getting a dog. People who walk their dogs seem to get trapped into talking to other people walking their dogs. You can’t do anything about it. There’s this lady in my building who likes to trap people and socialize with other dog havers. I used to be more social with her, but once I was in a rush, and now we just say hi and pass. Holy fuck, she saw me at a store once. I think the conversation was, I mean, she saw me getting in my car while she was on her way in the grocery store, but “wow, I never see anyone from our building – out here -!!!” That was it. I can stand that, but I also feel awkward, did I dodge a major bullet there? She’s the only one I think has lived here longer than I have, and if it keeps up, we should probably become friends. I’m conflicted. I’m a little bit lonely as a cost to cutting things short to avoid becoming good friends with a lifesucker. Having a dog is like saying “talk to me, strangers, when I’m walking down the street.” I mean, I think having a dog would take me out of my comfort zone too far, having to leave the house more times a day than I want and confront me with a regular cluster of strangers who will corner me into talking about dog stuff. It’s already awkward too much sometimes when I see my cute mailman who loves to talk, or the cashier at my supermarket who tells me I look nice today. Too much intimacy! It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to move to a place no one knows me, again, and start all over again.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f2LJXz-l2k

        • Michael Neville

          I have numerous acquaintances but few friends. In meatspace I’m shy, introverted, and I’m an Aspie. I’m also a cat person.

        • MNb

          “Like, if I am out shopping at a store, I don’t want to run into anyone I know.”
          That’s what I mean. I don’t mind, but I’m happy to have developed the skills (including some rude ones) to cut it off the moment I see fit. When the other person doesn’t appreciate and/or respect it it’s not my problem.

          “I also feel awkward”
          I have unlearned that. Why would I feel awkward if the other person doesn’t feel awkward forcing me to do something I don’t want to at that moment? Where is the balance? Exactly this is what I dislike so much about self sacrifice. That lady in your building is demanding if not forcing self sacrifice from you for totally egoistic reasons. It’s not the egoism that’s wrong; she just pursues her own interests. It’s demanding self sacrifice that’s wrong and all the more if not giving in makes you feel awkward.
          I know exactly zilch about your background, so I’m just speculating. This sounds like a remnant of christian shame and guilt culture to me (and you don’t need to be an ex-christian to have been influenced by it).

        • Kodie

          I think the main guilt comes from my basic empathy, or experience, i.e., how would I feel if someone saw me coming and made an excuse to get away. Sometimes, you got other stuff to do, or you want to get in and out of the store, or whatever, and get home by a certain time. But if it happens a lot, and I make it happen a lot, it means “I don’t really like running into you, anywhere, or have to talk to you.”

          I don’t really like avoiding people or situations where I feel like I’m put on the spot, but I like it more than being put on the spot. People are really weird. While it’s supposed to be normal to be social and sociable, I always seem to end up with nutty people who give more sociability than I think anyone should expect. I had these neighbors at my first apartment, which opened at ground level, and never really talked to them at all. A couple who was maybe 5-10 years older than me.

          This is kind of an involved story over a couple days, starting Friday and ending up on Sunday. Friday afternoon, I came home from my job and then went back out for some reason, and the guy was waiting on the sidewalk because he was waiting for his ride. I made a polite acknowledgement as I was getting in my car, but he said “do you want a dresser?” It was on the sidewalk by the dumpster, a tall, narrow dresser. It’s the kind of thing lots of people would not want to end up in the trash, and hope that it would still be useful to someone, especially when I was young and probably couldn’t afford to buy my own furniture (what they did not know was that my job was selling furniture). I didn’t have a lot of money, and very inadequate salesperson, so I could not buy even at wholesale what I wished to have, and said, sure. What they also don’t know is I like a project – strip and paint some piece of sidewalk garbage into a charming piece, or whatever. It was solid wood and not pressboard, so I said sure. After I hauled it in my apartment, I went wherever I was going, came home, and went to bed.

          That night, someone tried to break in my window, they didn’t succeed, I had the light on by my bed and saw them trying to climb in and screamed, and they went back out and ran. The police came, I made a statement. I was traumatically frightened, etc. It was the weekend. The dresser proved useful to block the door for the remainder of my tenancy.

          On Sunday, we had contact with the landlord and was provided with window stops. I also had been there with the shitty blinds they provided but not real curtains. Sunday, my mom and dad came to do what they could and put up some curtains so I would feel secure. It was summer, and they didn’t like the front door closed while they were inside, so opened the door.

          Guess who didn’t knock, guess who opened the screen door themselves and walked right in, guess who introduced themselves to my parents, guess who looked in my refrigerator, guess who assumed I owed them hospitality because … we gave her a dresser for free.

          My father still remembers these fucks. This happened over 20 years ago, and maybe the wildest example of being socially generous to someone who flips it all fucked up ways. At my next apartment when I moved to Boston the first time, I think this was almost by the time I was going to leave my apartment, I was nice to an older gentleman next door whom I’d never seen before. You know from the beginning, I don’t really want to get started, but I think a normal response is “what’s the harm?” You say hi, you get into a conversation, and that’s supposed to be nice, neighborly behavior, especially to someone old who might not have a lot of social life or his children never visit or whatever. So, then he’s asking me to go with him to get ice cream down the street. Well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and I didn’t think he was asking as a date but to just go along with him where he was headed, but somehow he got it in his head that I (a woman then of 25), would accompany him on a cross-country road trip in his convertible. Ew.

          Come on. Socializing with people is a total crapshoot. You give a little because it’s normal. I think most people would. I think most people do, and don’t get sucked in by weirdos. These are some of the most extreme, but pretty much exemplify the dangers of being sociable and neighborly. I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying hi. I think it’s normal. I think it’s normal for people to want to know who their neighbors are, and then keep boundaries and not just pop in as soon as they know you’re home. I don’t think it’s normal to not know who any of your neighbors are, especially in a building where you might not want to let someone come in behind you because you never saw them before. Like, even if you have a key, that’s kind of an insult, but it’s not their fault. I’d rather be left outside the door with my own door key than think my neighbors would let anyone in. I am quite aware of my behavior here as “that quiet neighbor who always kept to herself”. If there’s ever a homicide on the premises, guess what that means.

          It’s just that my own experience with people is if you let them near you, they will assume a lot of your space and time that’s not normal. I have an issue drawing boundaries, because I think when people talk to you, it’s not a contract. It’s a brief, friendly, polite conversation. They want to know who their neighbors are, and I am not a big secret. I don’t mind it an awful lot. I do mind it when they recognize me at a store! I don’t want to stop and chat. It’s not the same thing as being in the laundry room for a couple minutes and fleeing to run upstairs to watch the rest of The Price is Right. If you’re already in the same store, you could leave, but you didn’t have the leisure of browsing without breaking apart from this person and then running into them again twice before you could leave. People that want to talk to me, and I think that’s ok (hypothetically), often turn out to be lifesuckers who surprisingly cross all boundaries just because you said hi to them like a normal person.

          I’m saying this leads me to a different kind of life, because now I just avoid these interactions from the start. Too much trouble to get involved, a little, then you have to be rude just to get them off you. Then they tell everyone else what you’re like – rude and impersonable. Weird, quiet, keeps to themselves. Watch out around her. It’s really tricky to be just nice enough that people don’t think you’re horrible just because you don’t want to stop and chat, but I blame them.

        • MNb

          “they will assume a lot of your space and time that’s not normal.”
          If the cost is higher than the benefit to you it’s the sensible thing to do. All I can say is that I have learned to set my boundaries and not to give a f**k if I have to be rude to protect them.

        • Kodie

          I’m in situations where it’s not kosher to be too rude to some people. I’ve got to say I have a boundary issue too, and may be because I have slow processing and a little bitchy otherwise. Lots of times I give a yes not thinking too far ahead. I took over a position in a camp where someone totally beloved had stood for 30 years before me. I don’t wish to alienate him, but he has a knack for showing up or threatening to show up when it would create the most anxiety for me. I feel terrible because he is a nice man and this job was important to him for a long time and he feels sad because he decided he was too old to continue it, and visiting would not be inappropriate. However, I want to meet with him, he just shows up at the worst times, and sometimes I just say something I later think I should have said something more boundary-like, like, how about come by later in the week? It’s a camp, not a huge secret. I am working at a camp, and he is not an annoying person, he just appears at the worst times because I have anxiety and cannot just bounce like other people, yeah, that guy is here, no problem, adapt. I noticed a lot of other people at this camp are really great at boundaries and it doesn’t mess up how nice, tolerant, welcoming, etc., they are. You ask a question or need something, and it’s like, go fuck yourself, to me, sometimes. RTFM, or why not just deal with it, it’s not a big issue. It is to me. Some things are for fairness, and other things are for safety. Other people can set their limits, but sometimes I miss my chance, and other times, I just don’t get my way when it feels like other people can. When I try to get my way, it just comes out too bitchy and not just firm and credible. Anyway, throwing a fit is just not done, and I value the creative atmosphere. I’ve lost a lot of jobs trying to set what I think are reasonable limits, like locking my office door when I am not around, and not asking people what I can bring back from the cafeteria because not only I’m not paid for that time to do people favors, but they don’t have precisely what anyone wants and I’m supposed to figure it out. Fuck you, get your own lunch. Christ sake people take that shit personally, and I’ve not had enough power professionally to shove that back on them.

          So, your advice is fine for people who have security. Thanks.

        • MNb

          Rudeness is never kosher. Sometimes it’s the lesser evil.

        • MNb

          I happen to live in a strange country (not that strange anymore after 20 years of course) with no family. I never needed any church, mosque or temple. I build my safety net starting with my job.

      • Ignorant Amos

        A UK ipso mori poll commissioned by Richard Dawkins back in 2011 found that 6% of those polled who claimed to be Christian, didn’t believe in God.

        Half (54%) of the self-identifying Christians describe their view of God in Christian terms, with the others using the term in the sense of the laws of nature (13%), some form of supernatural intelligence (10%), or whatever caused the universe (9%). Six per cent do not believe in God at all.

        https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/2921/Religious-and-Social-Attitudes-of-UK-Christians-in-2011.aspx

        The number appears to be a lot higher in the Netherlands.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism

        They are all Christian Atheists, go figure.

        • adam

          “They are all Christian Atheists, go figure.”

          LIke Buddhist Atheists or Thomas Jefferson’s brand of christianity.

        • frank

          jefferson wasn’t an atheist. he was a deist.

        • Myna A.

          Thomas Jefferson adhered to Deism philosophically, but never openly claimed to be a Deist. His core beliefs died with him. His own words attest to his refusal to speak his deepest beliefs to anyone. We can surmise, but never really know.

        • WayneMan

          Except that he took his Bible and did a cut and pasted (literally) to create his own version. He gutted any passages related to miracles or supernatural stuff, which indicates he was more a fan of Jesus the philosopher, than Jesus the Messiah.

        • adam

          More like Buddhism, than what is commonly call christianity

        • Myna A.

          Yes, of course. The Jefferson Bible. And it is true, Thomas Jefferson did not believe Jesus was a supernatural agent.

        • adam

          I dont know, he seemed pretty clear on his beliefs

        • Myna A.

          The thing with Thomas Jefferson is that one can find 10 quotes that present a clear direction toward deism, and 10 quotes that he held a spiritual philosophy. He always refused to speak his deepest feelings on the subject and often said he would die with them. That he was a man of reason and relished the freedom to exercise it, there is no doubt, but that he constantly struggled with personal “spiritual” questions, there is also no doubt. It’s just the way he was.

        • adam

          ” but that he constantly struggled with personal “spiritual” questions, there is also no doubt.”

          It certainly seems as though his struggles w ‘spiritual’ questions didnt include magic and the supernatural.

          And his view of Jesus appears to be that of a philosopher like Buddha, with no divinity.

          I think that Jefferson, while ahead of his time, was a product of his time on his ‘spirituality’, probably much in the same way as Einstein was growing up. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e17b2dd4865046795ad46a07af685d629098b74489ea4f9e70002636d5601637.jpg

        • adam

          And believed that Jesus was not a deity.

        • frank

          which means what?

  • Ol’ Hippy

    Unfortunately the apostles didn’t have smart phones with handy video features back in the day. But my money is with the James Randi crowd. The stories in the Bible and other ancient texts are indeed good stories but need a good dose of common sense as to claim that real miracles occurred. If one wants to accept the leap of faith for their religion, fine, just please don’t try to convince others that natural physical laws were magically suspended for ‘miracles’.

    • frank

      is parthenogenesis a miracle?

      • MNb
        • frank

          you seem to have misinterpreted my response. or maybe i’m misinterpreting yours. i agree that parthenogenesis is no miracle which is why i made the comment and which is why the virgin birth of Jesus is utterly possible within the realms of modern science. BTW, reptiles,fish,insects,birds,plants,amphibians and mice can all reproduce asexually.

        • adam

          So obviously no “God” was needed….

        • frank

          teenage girls asexually reproduce everyday?

        • adam

          Yep, that is the CLAIM

        • frank

          claim? by who?

        • adam
        • frank

          glad to see that you agree with the biblical narrative.

        • adam

          You mean the MYTH in the bible?

          More than 30 percent of the women reporting apparent virgin births in this study had signed chastity pledges, compared with 15 percent of non-virgins who reported pregnancies and 20 percent of the other virgins.

          The researchers also found that parents of women who reported virgin births were more likely to indicate lower levels of communication with their children about sex and birth control. The women, however, were not
          particularly more religious than the rest of the participants, according to the study published today (Dec. 17) in the medical journal
          BMJ.

          Virgin births can happen in certain animals, including certain fish, snakes, lizards and birds, by asexual reproduction, which doesn’t exist in humans.

          http://www.livescience.com/42040-virgin-births-modern-day.html

        • frank

          you forgot mice.

        • MNb

          Especially the mouse called Jesus.

        • frank

          i think you need to brush up on your repartee.

        • MNb

          Wrong.
          You never think.
          Try again.

        • frank

          keep trying.

        • frank

          without God there is nothing. not even silly responses from doltish liberals.

        • Myna A.

          Hmmmm. I’m flagging this one. No capitalization of sentences. Looks like a replay of yesterday.

        • Greg G.

          Good spot. Hubbard only capitalized one word, the same one frank capitalized.

        • Kodie

          frank is a different guy. Even less articulate.

        • Myna A.

          Honestly, Kodie, the only way I can reconcile that ch and f are not one in the same is by conceding two different guys, but in the same head…in a pathological way. It’s not only the exact composition style (no capitals, except for God and some abbreviations), but the same linear thinking evidenced in sentence and word structure, the same adolescent-like immaturity in trollish snark, the splattering of information that has no coherent form, and then there is the god-complex thing, the instructing aspect, the delusion of knowing, the apparent inability to pick up cues. And f, with these uncanny similarities, shows up the day after ch is banned.

          Now, I could be seeing patterns were none exist, and both you and MNb are trustworthy sources of information, but I’ve got to say that if I were a profiler, I’d go with it being the same guy. Or, if not, then two guys in the same room where one has picked up the other one’s patterns.

        • f and ch couldn’t be two separate Disqus accounts used by a single idiot? Once ch got banned here, may he switched to f.

        • Myna A.

          That’s what I’m thinking. It’s one guy housing more than one account and trolls or comments according to mood. He was just pissed off enough to come back with a vengeance once the alternate identity was banned. There is some disagreement of it being the same guy. I’m of the mind that it’s the same guy.

        • MNb

          Frankly I don’t really care if they are the same guy. What I have seen is that Frankie goes to Hollywood ruins comment sections faster than the moderators can ban him.

        • Thanks for the tip.

        • Myna A.

          You are right. When all is said and done, it doesn’t matter any shifting guise or not, that troll is particularly malignant and no doubt proud to be one.

        • Kodie

          Not really sure if it’s the same frank, but I’m always skeptical also when people call sock puppet without too much investigation. This frank has too few comments to be officially frank, but he could have easily started another account after getting banned over and over (which I’m certain he has). New frank also writes more than 6 or 7 words and though not much substance, a little more wordy to get whatever point he thought he had than original frank, where original frank thinks it’s just obvious in as little as 2 words, and at most, maybe 7, and never more than one sentence.

          Still don’t think he’s christopher hubbard just because he doesn’t capitalize his name or much else. Lots of douchey posters don’t capitalize, that doesn’t make them all the same person. frank didn’t sound like christopher hubbard to me at all. He was talking about other stuff.

        • Dys

          Does it really matter? Every single “frank” that’s posted here that I can recall has been a blissfully ignorant troll with a massively undeserved superiority complex.

        • WayneMan

          Frank (the troll) was banned from the Godless In Dixie forum.

        • adam

          While doing his Ted Haggard best trolling.

        • And now he’s banned from here. He’s on a roll.

        • adam

          An IMAGINARY ‘God’ produces nothing

        • frank

          wait, i thought asexual reproduction was a NATURAL occurrence?

        • adam

          Virgin births can happen in certain animals, including certain fish,snakes, lizards and birds, by asexual reproduction, which doesn’t exist in humans.

          http://www.livescience.com/420

        • Myna A.

          Adam, this is the same jerk as was here yesterday and banned.

        • frank

          wrong, try again.

        • Myna A.

          Termite alert!!!!

        • adam

          frank is a closeted homophobe, like Ted Haggard, who keeps trying to come out

        • Greg G.

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        • frank

          being autistic is nothing to be ashamed about. it’s not your fault. there are some very good programs that deal with the spectrum. seek them.

        • Greg G.

          If you say I’m sick, it must mean that I am perfectly healthy. You don’t seem like the kind of person who is right about anything, including by accident.

        • frank

          i’m not saying anything. i simply pointed you in the direction of peer-reviewed science. nothing more.

        • Greg G.

          Are you lonely?

        • frank

          dude, go back to playing w.o.w. or pokemon go. or get a job.

        • Greg G.

          Why are you posting here? You are not here for a conversation as you admitted that you aren’t saying anything.

          Are you lonely because Pokemon won’t play with you?

          Edit: spelling and punctuation correction.

        • frank

          i see you have over 13000 posts. 13000! dude, seriously, get a life. or a job. be a productive citizen instead of spending all your time arguing over something that [doesn’t exist]. you are quite a sad case verging on pathetic.

        • Greg G.

          At least all of my posts are all under one avatar and one handle.

          Are you lonely because the other trolls kicked you out from under the bridge?

        • frank

          you have 13000!!! i mean really. do people with any kind of social life. or any life at all actually have the time to post so many comments? it seems that you don’t really have any friends which is sad. truly. and in truth, could literally be linked to an autistic spectrum disorder. inability to socialize in a personal manner is one of the main identifiers.

        • Greg G.

          You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. One day you will have 13 million posts. A person as lonely as you are should reach out to anybody who will listen to you.

          You sure know a lot about psychological problems. You seem to have first hand knowledge. I’m sorry you have to experience that. Just keep telling yourself that you “have a life and a job and grown-up responsibilities” if it makes you feel better.

        • frank

          denial is not a virtue. and being socially inept is not a crime. seek help. get a job. get a girlfriend. or boyfriend. anything that will get you out of your parents house and into the real world. be a productive citizen and give something to humanity other than inane ramblings about a non-existent being.

        • Greg G.

          You poor little boy. You use those sayings as weapons because they hurt when they are pointed at you but they are only effective when there is truth in them.

          You could help out the world by trying to come up with a more creative name than “fireplace”. It could be a life-long pursuit for you.

        • Myna A.

          He’s here to show that HRH shall not be banned!!! My suspicion is that unlike our old pal, George, he has a reserve backup of posting identities to show a history. He’s high functioning enough to not let that cunning ruse pass. It’s just a matter of time this evening. I am confident Bob S. will give his trolling boorish butt the boot.

        • Michael Neville

          He doesn’t even bother to change his posting style (lack of capitalization) or his smug, rude attitude. He must think we’re as stupid as he is.

        • Myna A.

          My theory: The posting style might be some OCD issue and the smug attitude the god complex thing. Thinking we are stupid is just part of his alternate universe.

        • frank

          your lack of substance and depth is evident when you start going grammar/spelling nazi.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re so stupid that you don’t even know what a grammar/spelling nazi is. I was commenting to somebody else that despite your name change you’re still the smug, pompous, pretentious, patronizing idiot you were before you were banned.

        • frank

          nah, you see, i actually have a life and a job and grown-up responsibilities. i don’t have 20 hours a day to post arguments as to whether an entity exists or not. it’s called earth. come join us.

        • Michael Neville

          I see Christopher whatsisname can’t even bother to change his posting style or his attitude when he changes his name.

          Christopher, we’re not as stupid as you think we are. We know damn well you’re just trolling us.

        • frank

          i don’t care enough about you to troll. and i don’t have the time. i actually have a life.

        • MNb

          We all encourage you to return to that life that usurpates all of your time.

        • Michael Neville

          So you’re just trolling for grins and giggles. Nice of you to admit what the rest of us had determined some time ago.

        • adam

          He couldnt make it to the Republican convention…

          http://nypost.com/2016/07/21/male-escorts-are-making-crazy-money-at-the-rnc/

        • MNb

          You just have said that you’re not saying anything, so you have said something.

        • adam

          being gay is nothing to be ashamed about. it’s not your fault.

        • frank

          you have a problem with homosexuals?

        • adam

          Only hypocritical ones like you and Ted

        • frank

          so we know who the true homophobe is now don’t we? maybe you should actually hang out with a few before you judge them.

        • MNb

          Logic a la Frankie goes to Hollywood: if you have a problem with hypocritical homosexuals you’re a homophobe.

        • adam

          I’ve been hanging out with you for years, and your just a Ted Haggard wannabe…

        • Maybe frank wants to be gay, too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or maybe just take crystal meth and go with rent boys. After all, Haggard told CNN that he has…”completely shunned away any homosexual feelings he has had in the past.”

        • adam

          I think frank is already gay, but is just too afraid to fully come out.

        • If that were the case, he’d find life much more accepting if he’d discard his conservative and religious baggage.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Therein lies the problem for such an individual. It must be like Superman v Batman raging between the ears… complete and utter headfuck.

        • adam

          Probably too afraid to out his ‘partners’

        • MNb

          I doubt it strongly. See, I have met Frankie goes to Hollywood before on other Patheos Atheist blogs. He’s even more obnoxious than the guy from yesterday.

        • Myna A.

          The composition styles are not only similar, they are exact. The attitude of both names on various forums is too close not to take note of. I think he travels under various guises. If he gets banned, he has a backup. If he’s in one mood, he exchanges one name for the other.

        • MNb

          Anyhow, while I have had some fun with Chrissy Hubby it’s impossible with Frankie goes to Hollywood. I’d like BobS to send him exactly there.

        • Myna A.

          Could be a personality disorder that he’s got.

        • frank

          again, you forgot mice.

        • MNb

          Like Jesus?

        • MNb

          Sure.
          See that you don’t understand science?
          You think “plants can do it hence Mary and YHWH can do it.
          Plus plants usually are not impregnated by ghosts.

        • Greg G.

          If you are trying to convince us, you should provide evidence for that claim. If you are trying to convince yourself of that claim because you are afraid it isn’t true, then have at it.

        • frank

          not trying to convince you or anyone else of anything. my end point is that you are probably autistic and should seek neurological assistance. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psyched/201205/does-autism-lead-atheism

        • Greg G.

          You are the one with a sicko compulsion to post under a new name to a blog where he was banned.

        • frank

          ???????????

        • MNb

          I doubt it strongly.
          I’ve met Frankie goes to Hollywood on other Patheos Atheist blogs.
          This is his style.
          If you thought Chris Hubbard and George Watson empty you indeed haven’t met Frankie goes to Hollywood yet.

        • Greg G.

          I think frank is christopher hubbard. He has the same writing style which has no capitalization except for the word “God” and an occasional random uppercase word.

        • MNb

          Or the other way round – like I wrote I recognize Frankie’s style.
          Anyway my conclusion is the same: band Frankie. If Chrissy Hubby isn’t Frankie it’s because the latter is even more obnoxious.

        • Myna A.

          Dear Bob S. Christopher Hubbard aka Frank has pulled a George Watson!!!!

        • frank

          i know, i know. science hurts.

        • adam

        • frank

          clever. and i see your two proselytes have up-voted you. how precious.

        • frank
        • MNb

          Sure.
          It’s just that you don’t know anything about science and neither care for it.

        • frank is gone. 🙁

        • Dys

          That article doesn’t say what you think it does.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course it doesn’t.

          But sure frank is a dopey feckin clown, so why should we expect anything more from such a cretin.

        • MNb

          Rather will Trump vote for Hillary Clinton than Frankie goes to Hollywood provide evidence.

        • More empty banter? That’s the best that you’ve got?

        • adam

          “That’s the best that you’ve got?”

          Worse, that’s ALL he’s got.

        • Dys

          It is a fact that pretty much anything frank ever says can be effectively refuted with “no, you’re wrong”.

          not even silly responses from doltish liberals.

          As opposed to mentally stunted and immature conservatives like yourself?

        • MNb

          Aha.
          Apparently Jesus was a reptile, a fish, an insect, a bird, a plant, an amphibian or a mouse.
          I didn’t interpret anything. You asked a question. I replied.

        • Joe

          Then it wasn’t a miracle.

        • Peter White

          The virgin birth of Jesus through parthenogenesis

          is not possible within the realms of modern science. Parthenogenesis in humans can only produce female offspring since there is no Y chromosome present to produce a male child.

  • Philmonomer

    I’ve seen Christian apologists argue that the presence of other similar stories is perfectly reasonable because it was God preparing the pagans for the message of Jesus.

    How can you argue with that?

    Utter nonsense.

  • rubaxter

    I would have though Geller’s, I mean Jeebus’ power would have seasoned and let him now do things like find airliners on ocean floors or even holding the liners up until rescuers could come to their assistance?

    Still just bending spoons, Uri, I mean, Jeebus? How…. quaint…

  • Ignorant Amos

    Similarly, the Bible miracle stories might be true, but similar miracle stories in nearby cultures make copying by Bible authors the best explanation.

    Verisimilitude anybody?

    Signs of Fiction in Ancient Biographies — & the Gospels

    http://vridar.org/2016/06/06/signs-of-fiction-in-ancient-biographies-the-gospels/

    • Myna A.

      That’s a great link, Amos. All the way around!

    • Michael Neville

      Thank you for that link. The comparison of the Bible with Suetonius’ Twelve Caesars was quite interesting.