Christians: Why You Need an Atheist Speaker at Your Next Conference

Christians: Why You Need an Atheist Speaker at Your Next Conference June 22, 2017

Truth fishI read or listen to lots of Christian apologists. Frank Turek. Norm Geisler. Dinesh D’Souza. William Lane Craig. Gary Habermas. Mike Licona. Jim Wallace. Greg Koukl. Peter Kreeft.

I went to John Warrick Montgomery’s two-week Apologetics Academy in Strasbourg, France in 2011. I want to hear the best that Christian apologetics has to offer.

The reverse is rarely true.

Christian conferences

I see the ads for Christian apologetics conferences that promise to equip dedicated Christians who want to win souls for Christ. Sometimes they cover arguments for a historical Jesus. Or review scientific arguments that can be used to argue for a deity behind nature. Or even role-play interaction with mock atheists.

It’s not enough. They need to hear from an actual atheist. A faux atheist is no foe.

To me, their refusal to invite one means that conference organizers don’t trust their material to carry the day. They’re afraid that they’ll get embarrassed or upstaged or that the attendees would get freaked out or overwhelmed with material that’s just too real.

But then how well do they prepare attendees? If the conference must tiptoe through the material to avoid the difficult topics, how will newly minted apologists do when they get out and talk to real, live, well-informed atheists? If you hope that God will give you the right words as he did with Moses, you are setting yourself up for embarrassment.

If someone wants apologetics lite, they can read a book, but a conference should ramp it up. Attendees shouldn’t be spoon-fed straw man arguments but given the real thing.

In this blog, I’ve responded to many Christian arguments—from books, interviews, articles, blog posts, podcasts, lectures, and debates. It’s one of my favorite kinds of posts because they pretty much write themselves. Christians’ arguments are easy to refute. I’ve seen enough to know that the good stuff isn’t kept secret, like magic tricks, and whispered only to worthy initiates. If you’re counting on an apologetics conference to show you the landscape, you will be disappointed. I’ve heard the good stuff, and it’s not very good.

My proposal

The next time you see a notice for an apologetics conference, tell the organizing team to invite me to speak, either in a debate or with a lecture.

I can educate the audience about atheism. (Yes, atheists have purpose and morality. No, atheists don’t see their worldview as empty or hopeless.) I can argue for same-sex marriage and abortion rights. I can attack intellectual arguments for Christianity, and I can provide positive arguments for atheism. And then you get the last word.

The Christian arguments will be tested in the field. Shouldn’t they be tested in the conference?

My fee: $0

Give me an audience of 50 or more, and I’ll do it for free. Just cover my expenses. I’m meeting you more than halfway—you donate expenses, and I’ll donate a day or a weekend of my time plus preparation.

Read my books and blog to see how I think. I’ll even provide my books to attendees at cost. If you want someone with a higher profile, that’s great. I’ll be happy to make suggestions.

You think that after an atheist presents the best that that worldview has to offer, you can give your audience an adequate response? Great—then an atheist would be an asset to the conference.

You know how to reach me.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD
— Isaiah 1:18

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Bob Jase

    I’m sorry but if you aren’t made of straw you’re not the atheist they want.

    • aikidaves

      Hmm – I’m not sure they’d do all that well against the Scarecrow from Oz, straw though he is.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they.

  • Lark62

    Will start holding my breath any moment now….

  • RichardSRussell

    I enjoyed the fish symbol you used to illustrate your generous offer, Bob.

    I always get a bang out of how that symbol has evolved in response to environmental pressures. First the plain double-arc that the early Christians used as their secret handshake. Then the inscription of IXΘΥ∑ inside it for the modern-day Xians who didn’t get the symbolism. Then going right straight to “Jesus” for those who didn’t get the Greek.

    Then came the Darwin fish that just showed the feet. Then they too figured that putting words inside (like “Darwin” or “Evolve”) got the point across better. Followed by the big bully “Truth” fish eating that (the one depicted above). Then some additional speciation occurred with the evolve fish as it was shown holding up a wrench, indicating tool use. Then there was the design with lots of little fish going after the big one.

    And so it continues — a marvelous example of evolution in action. And, of course, the religiots would be horrified to think that they’re helping to perpetuate it. But they are!

    • Michael Neville

      That’s not evolution, that’s intelligent design.

      • wtfwjtd

        It looks like it may be the evolution of intelligent design.

    • Complete tangent: I met a guy who had built a Creationism museum in his garage. I noticed that he had a curious belt buckle. He seemed to have been trying to get IXΘΥ∑ inscribed on it, but the manufacturer (not having access to Greek letters) created one that read instead: IXOYE. In other words, a belt buckle that said nothing intelligible in either English or Greek.

      Ya just can’t invent this stuff.

  • Castilliano

    I think there’s more (as in less) to this than you might think.
    -Matt Dillahunty had a recent debate (it’s on his Atheist Debates YouTube channel) where he referenced William Lane Craig to a crowd at an Apologetics Conference. Of course, he expected them to know the name, but only a few did. His debate opponent (Licona?) was equally surprised because WLC is the biggest name and isn’t Reasonable Faith one of the top apologetics books?

    -I have an acquaintance who organizes Christian conferences, including several for apologetics. There they have three degrees of classes for those: Green (rookie), Blue (intermediate), & Black (advanced). The greens cover basic doctrines & faith maintenance+ culture war (light version), blues begin to address basic internal apologetics (answers only a believer would swallow) + defending your culture war opinion and the blacks finally get into the type of apologetics you cover here, but not with skills or tactics on how to present them to outsiders, and definitely not with how to tackle common rebuttals.
    So in truth, there wasn’t much apologetics (one black option & maybe one to three blue options per workshop slot vs. six plus green options) and she admitted that was true. (She has a Masters in it.) But she said that a majority of the thousands that attend have no idea what apologetics are, so she has to gear it to their level.
    I do want to note she’s had an atheist (Matt McCormick) alongside his rival/coworker from the local university. They hosted one of many sessions on reaching diplomatically across belief boundaries and having fruitful discussions. She’s also taught about fallacies in depth so there’s hope for some rational discourse coming from this region, NorCal. (Which I think only helps us!)

    -My uncle, a kind, educated priest, had a discussion with me re: my atheism. Fist thing out: a comforting afterlife version of Pascal’s Wager, then followed by a “Where else could morals come from?”. I laughed, then politely addressed both while inside I was saddened by the lackluster discourse from a man who loves engaging in debate…I guess just not on this topic. I think he does live in a bubble where he’s used to deference on theological issues.

    All that to say that yes, there are some apologetics conferences that have atheists speak, but mainly that you might be overestimating the opposition when it comes to knowing apologetics. As we often quip, apologetics aren’t to persuade anybody but those who already believe. I think there’s a decent chance their conferences are geared toward just that, internal discourse for support versus believers’ doubts.
    My opinion (supported by anecdote!) is that deeper study of apologetics leads to disbelief, much like reading the Bible.

    • jamesparson

      Do you have any good resources that expand on what you just wrote about?

      • Castilliano

        I do not know which part you’re referring to…so going a bit shotgun style on my answer.

        -Dillahunty is on YouTube. The observation was commented on outside the debate itself. One of the more recent videos, last month maybe?

        -The conferences I either attended and/or read the overview materials (schedule & summaries of workshops). The latest, a year or so ago, was the one with the atheist and several discussion centered workshops. There’s an audio recording of the atheist/theist discussion that’s been offered me, but it wasn’t available. I’ll have to get back to them. Funnily enough, I offered up Bob’s services, but she had herself an atheist already. I do see McCormick’s name pop up every so often online in academic atheist posts. He’s likely our biggest local atheist (outside the Bay Area that is) so she recruited well.
        I do not have any of their materials from the discussion focused workshops. Given our history working on multi-belief groups together, she likely looked for an approach geared toward listening w/ questions. There was the air of proselytizing about the summaries, so maybe not. With a few different teachers with their own variant sub-topics, who knows what came up.
        The fallacy workshop was solid, but introductory, so you could likely find a substitute online, even on YouTube.
        Here’s the link to the next conference, quite far away so a bit sparse; https://thriveconference.org/apologetics
        I do like that some of the more toxic Christians from earlier conferences were filtered out. 🙂

        -I doubt you need to know more about my uncle. 🙂 Nice guy.

        Also, I found it quite funny that there was a YEC table only one table away from an OEC table. I was tempted to goad them into a debate, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Which is to say, even at an apologetics conference, there’s not just one version of the “truth” they’re arguing for.

        • jamesparson

          Thanks for the info. Checking out “Thrive”

    • Thanks for the interesting perspective.

      As for your priest uncle, I wonder if the question they’re answering isn’t “What are sufficient apologetics for Christianity?” but rather “What are the best answers to respond with?” They may simply be giving you the best that exist (and whether they’re good or laughable isn’t really the issue).

  • Grace Joy

    You want them to pay your expenses so you can debate them? Why should they care what you have to say? Talk about “apologist.” People like you took away their freedom of speech to say “god” in public. You condemn them for condemning homosexuals, etc. But you support a religion, Islam, punishes homosexuals by throwing them off buildings (it’s mandated in the Quran). You hate Trump for his p*ssy comment, but support Islam that mandates beating wives for disobedience; & condones torture, burning w/acid, & murder for a child bride trying to escpe; or a woman who’s raped (her fault).

    Hitler said if Germany had been Islamic, She’d have conquered the world. Now liberals & Islam have ganged up to take over the world. YOu are a fake & a coward. If you had any balls you’d go debate Islam. Coward to pick on Jesus while supporting a pedo mass-murdering prophet.

    • Good_Samaritan

      Pretty sure people have the freedom to say “God” in public…

      Also pretty sure Bob doesn’t “support” Islam.

      And Islamic and Christian apologists use the same exact arguments. Ever heard of William Lane Craig and the Kalam Cosmological argument” You know, the argument that Al-Ghazali put forward?

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        I think this ‘grace joy’ thing is suffering from the fallacy that Captain Cassidy refers to as the ” ‘Law’ of Conservation of Worship”. In short, ‘grace joy’ can’t understand we don’t worship ANYTHING supernatural, so it assumes we worship the worst thing ‘grace joy’ can imagine.

        • Grace Joy

          Fool. Your hatred & narrowmindedness are what’s allowing Islam to take over Europe & USA. Can’t even get your head out of your ass long enough to take a look to see if I have a point. Typical liberal fool.

        • Moron. Can’t even get your head out of your ass long enough to see where we’re in agreement?

        • Jim Jones

          Time this thing was ejected.

        • The ban hammer is hard to resist.

          I find it amusing that her chosen name is Grace Joy, but all she has is hatred, venom, and bile to offer.

        • Grace Joy

          You call people “moron” who are on your side? What side do you mean? I’ve only seen your followers insult me & Christians in order to be “respectful” of Mohammedans.

        • Then you’re confused. Atheists like me hate intrusions of religion into society where it shouldn’t be. Doesn’t matter which religion. And in the US, the bull in the china shop is Christianity.

        • BlackMamba44

          That wonderful Christian love…

          Matthew 5:22
          But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.~ Jesus.

        • Grace Joy

          You guys are so disingenous. You hate Christians, everything they stand for; then you throw bible quotes at people? You & your buddies refuse to insult Mohammed? You’re no atheists. Taqiyya to help people to put down Christians to make it easier for Islam to take over. Fucking lying psychopaths.

        • Greg G.

          We don’t hate Christians. In fact, we care enough about them to point out how silly their beliefs are. Some actually begin to understand and come back much happier.

          You & your buddies refuse to insult Mohammed?

          You are going to need to back up that claim. Please show where there has been anyone arguing for Islam that has not been answered and refuted. One such post would back up your claim.

          It is people like you who make Christains look bad.

        • Grace Joy

          I’m still waiting for anyone here to say something against Islam. That’s how I back up my claim. You’re lying Mohammedans disguised as atheists.

        • Greg G.

          People have said things against Islam but your extreme hatred has so blinded you that you think it is just what a Mohammedan would say. But your actions are what an ISIS extremist would do to stir up trouble against moderate Muslims and Christians at the same time.

          We have yet to have any indication that you are not an ISIS operative. The evidence you present with every post doesn’t come close to supporting that you are even sane.

        • BlackMamba44

          Muhammed sucks just like Jesus. See? No issues with insulting him. Your god is an asshole, too.

          I dont mind Christians. I’m surrounded by them and most are good people – they are my friends and family. But you are scary. Real scary.

          “Fucking lying psychopaths”.

          Projection. Go see a psychiatrist. That chemical imbalance isn’t going to go away on its own. I’m worried you are going to hurt some one.

        • Nonsensical

          mohammed was inspired by demons and started a political system based around worshipping the crescent-horned “morningstar,” aka the devil.

          You communists also worship the devil so you have a common goal with the mohammedans. You communists also stole taquiya from the mohammedans, where you can tell any lie you can if you feel it will further “the revolution.” What you matter doesn’t say as your actions prove where your allegiances lie.

          Also, a common soviet tactic is to accuse your political enemies of being “scary” or deranged / mentally unfit and then deserve to be locked up and “re-educated.” I see you are practicing your skills as a red guard, “comrade.”

          As for Christ, Christ is God. God is the creator and source of all. Sneering at God and insulting God will not make your shame go away.

          To quote Sheen:

          “No one can understand communism who does not believe in the devil. The communists believe in the devil. The communists organized a so-called “patriotic” church. A few brain washed were to be in charge of the churches because they were loyal to the anti-God regime. One of the first orders given by the communists to them was that the prayer to Saint Michael be no longer said because it invoked the protection of St. Michael against “the wicked and snares of the devil.” As one communist judge said: “We are those devils.””

        • BlackMamba44
        • Nonsensical

          Why would you praise the demon that wants to destroy you and damn your soul to nothingness?

          That is just stupid. My disgust for you has turned to sadness. Clearly you are hurting and need pity. I said a Hail Mary for you.

          To quote Sheen:

          “sin is not the worst thing in the world. The worst thing is the denial of sin.”

        • BlackMamba44
        • BlackMamba44
        • Grace Joy

          This is an example of how this site debates Christians? And you seriously expect to be paid for it?

          I’ts obvious you worship satan, because Islam is the religion of satan.
          You’re a filthy Mohammedan: You worship Deceit, Division, & Death.
          You hate Jesus because next to Him your purposeful evil is obvious.
          As a filthy Mohammedan, you can do ANYTHING & your fellows will tell you you’re god. This atheist BS is just cover.

          And no. Saying “Mohammed sucks just like Jesus” is Islam taqiyya; straight out of the book. Let’s see you put one of those creative images you have up of Mohammed. Insult Mohammed. Can’t do it, can you?

          Fcking lying Mohammedan scumbag.

        • BlackMamba44
        • BlackMamba44
        • BlackMamba44
        • Michael Neville

          No, this is an example of how this site debates idiots. People like Nonsensical and you. Right now I’m debating a non-idiot named Karl Udy elsewhere on this blog. The difference in tone between the way I talk to him and the way I talk to you shows that I respect him because he isn’t an idiot.

        • TheNuszAbides

          which is why i find Karl’s disingenuousness aggravating, and GJ and N’s ravings merely frustrating.

        • Michael Neville

          I agree. Karl knows better but he likes playing silly games every so often. Which is aggravating.

        • Greg G.

          This is an example of how this site debates Christians? And you seriously expect to be paid for it?

          No, you didn’t come here to debate. You came to rant and accuse people of ridiculous things. If you spout ridiculous things, you get ridiculed. Why would you expect anything different?

        • ORigel

          I follow the Seven Tenets of The Satanic Temple, not Islam or “Deceit, Division, and Death.”

        • ORigel

          And Mohammad married and raped a nine-year-old. He was truly a scumbag.

        • TheNuszAbides

          This is an example of how this site debates Christians? And you seriously expect to be paid for it?

          Not Even Wrong. you’re not keeping track of who or what you’re responding to. you’re in the weeds. you lose the plot every time you comment.

          please learn the First Law of Holes and start putting it into practice.

        • Greg G.

          As I like to say, “She’s so deep, she is likely to disturb a Balrog.”

        • katiehippie

          You wont even say if you are a christian. So who are we “debating” again? Why such fear?

        • Grace Joy

          That’s the creed of “atheist?” If I didn’t now better, I’d say you & some of your fiends are more like a closeted Christian (your version) than a Satanist. Or a closeted Mohammedan, if I consider your refusal to answer simple questions directly, deflections, distractions, falsehoods, insults, constant harassment & abuse, etc.

        • BlackMamba44
        • TheNuszAbides

          That’s the creed of “atheist?”

          if you think there is such a thing, you need a remedial education. you can start by trying to come up with a question that isn’t loaded. did anyone ever teach you how that’s done?

          If I didn’t now[sic] better,

          but that’s just it — you don’t, because you’re foaming at the mouth and the eyes. take some long breaths and try to comprehend what we’re actually telling you.

        • MadScientist1023

          It’s called sarcasm, Grace. Add it to your list of things to learn.

          Lucifer’s a imaginary character. Atheists believe in him as much as they accept Jesus Christ as their own personal savior, follow the teachings of the prophet Mohammed, and keep kosher (which is to say not in the slightest).

        • katiehippie

          A very bad case of I know you are but what am I. You are doing every one of the things you are accusing others of doing. Look, look at your nasty words. Why do you live in such fear?

        • MadScientist1023

          Nonsensical, has anyone ever told you how appropriate your name is?

          I’m not aware of anyone named Sheen who was instrumental in the design of communism or satanism. Which of those did he help construct to make him such an authority on how they work?

        • Holy shit, are you hateful and clueless. Tip: correctly state the other person’s position. When you handwave insults, you are doing nothing to convince us of your position.

          In the US, Christianity is the biggest problem. Get a clue.

        • Kodie

          The real reason you hate Muslims isn’t that they behead journalists or blow up innocent people. Christians are threatened that Muslims will “take over” and force you to live Muslim. Why not? Is Islam a superstition? If you can understand that, then you understand why atheists don’t like Christians “taking over” and running things and forcing Christianity on everyone. You’re JUST LIKE A MUSLIM!

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          We want secular policies that would protect all peoples and keep governmental powers and ALL religions separate.

        • BlackMamba44

          Muslims make up 1% of the US population. How are they taking over?

        • Greg G.

          They are always either rounding up the percentage to seem larger than they are or they round down to camouflage their numbers.

        • Nonsensical

          You clearly have very specific political aims and your marxist beliefs and your evil actions on those beliefs are well known.

          If only the two billion killed in the womb, hundreds of millions dead, mass degradation of society, and your outright devil worship could just be a figment of the imagination.

          You certainly pretend they are a figment of the imagination as you trot about excusing all manner of pure evil for fun, but they are unfortunately very real things.

        • TheNuszAbides

          your marxist beliefs and your evil actions on those beliefs are well known

          you’ve yet to establish, at the level of the blog you incessantly deign to stain, that you know anything well.

        • Greg G.

          He knows how to quote Fulton Sheen as well as SparklingMoon can quote Mirza.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perhaps he’s got a suppressed copy of Sheen’s heretical Messiafesto!

      • Indeed, “Kalam” is an Arabic word.

      • Nonsensical

        They have the freedom to say it, but then your kind is hard at work persecuting anyone who does. That isn’t much freedom then if the red guard is not far behind to “relocate” them.

        And bob does support islam. bob’s religion is marxism, and you marxists stole most of your tactics from mohammed. Your kind currently believes that you can use mohammedans politically to destroy mankind.

        Of course, you “comrades” never seem to realize what happens to you once your paymasters no longer have need of you. You avoid that truth as much as you avoid any other.

        The Church certainly does not need either mohammedans nor protestant heretics so your comparison of the two is moot.

        To quote Fulton Sheen:

        “As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

        As I told your friend, denying God will not make your shame go away.

        • Kodie

          I don’t have any shame. I didn’t know they let psych ward patients use the internet though. Can you tell me what hospital is keeping you from harming yourself or others?

    • Steve in UT again

      Please provide a specific example (link to post or comment, or other writing) where the author of this blog has “supported Islam”.

      If you do not, your comment is unadulterated (and misspelled) bullshit.

      • Grace Joy

        It’s common sense; I won’t waste my time w/you. To condemn Christians while being silent about Islam is enough. Double standards. Because Christians may insult him, but Islam would kill him.

        • Dus10

          You don’t get it do you. Islam is stupid. Christianity is stupid. Judaism is stupid. Scientology is stupid. They are all stupid because they all fall under the same umbrella of unevidenced beliefs. They all deserve ridicule for being ridiculous. Some people can’t examine their own beliefs and be honest about the conclusion. Religion fosters that mentality. The name of the blog is “cross examined” it’s topical. Do you get mad at your dentist for not performing c-sections?

        • Grace Joy

          How do you not see that Islam is not like the others? Stupid is one thing: Psychotic mass murders MANDATED by a religion is another. It spreads on lies & intimidation. Think of every movie you’ve ever seen of the devil, anti-Christ, etc. Islam is like that. The religion of Lies. Hitler even said if Germany had been Islamic, She’d have conquered the world (did you know Islam allied w/Nazis? Protocols & Mein Kampf are best sellers in Arabic).

          It openly says it wants to dominate & kill all infidels, & this site can only insult the Christians Hitler said were too weak to conquer the world? I call coward on all of you who think it’s fun to put down Christians & make excuses for Islam (if they come here, we run them off. They deserve respect until they show otherwise). I mean, PLEASE. Look this up. We’re running out of time. I can understand people here having no clue about SE Asia, Africa, the Balkans, etc.; but how can you not know what’s happening in Europe? What if I’m not crazy? It’s not worth investigating?

          https://www.islam-watch.org/home/139-louis-palme/1095-knowing-four-arabic-words-may-save-our-civilization-from-islamic-takeover.html

          It’s not just Iran Muslims. It’s the religion. It’s the End Times for Islam. http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/pages/iran/muslims_plan_for_world_dominance.htm

        • What an idiot. They worship the same God! You can say that they misunderstand, but then you say that about many of Christianity’s 45,000 denominations, too, so don’t pretend that you’ve got it all figured out when you can’t even get fellow “Christians” to agree.

          As for Muslim atrocities and what their holy book demands, have you read your own Old Testament?

        • epeeist

          As for Muslim atrocities and what their holy book demands, have you read your own Old Testament?

          Or looked at the history of Christianity in Europe over the last millennium. The only reason that Christianity is no longer a problem is because it has largely been defanged and its power curtailed.

        • BlackMamba44

          Three words: Lord’s Resistance Army.

          Look them up.

          Edit: spelling correction.

        • Dus10

          Here in the US we have a secular government with a separation of church and state. Sharia law will never happen here so long as we keep that wall of separation. Which group do you think has the most power to do damage to that wall here in the US? If we can keep the majority religion, which is Christians in the US, from disrespecting that separation then we have nothing to fear from the minority religion taking over. However if you allow the majority religion to weaken that divide then it makes it all that much easier for Islam to gain traction. Keeping Christians in check is also keeping Muslims in check.

        • Your argument is (1) slightly complicated and (2) not what Grace Joy wants to hear. I’m afraid it’s two strikes and you’re out according to her tiny dinosaur brain.

        • Joe

          I condemn both shitty religions.

          The one with the flying donkey, and the one with the Jewish zombie.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Everybody who has posted in favor of Islam in this forum has been refuted. Don’t worry.

        • Grace Joy

          That’s not going to stop Islam from taking over. How has Islam been taught in our schools since 9/11 to teach “sensitivity” so there would be no backlash from the attack; and Christians have not been allowed to pray? In TX, ther’s talk of adding prayer rooms for Mohammedans. Look at Sweden, how the kids are learning shahada; in Britain where they’re now taught to be “respectful” of jihadis. Does noone here know what’s happening in Europe? The gang rapes that are not prosecuted because the “refugees” don’t know better? The women in trouble if they complain; & told to dress more modestly? Seriously. We’re invaded. Look at Islam in MN. In MI. It’s all over USA. Google Islamic stages of Conquest. Look at history. Genocide anywhere it spreads, but you only hear about the Muslims killed: Not in “retaliation,” but in defense. Google a map of Muslim lands & remember it started in Arabia.

          Christians stopped islam once before, in the Cursades. And we’ve clipped their nails so Islam can walk right in.

        • epeeist

          in Britain where they’re now taught to be “respectful” of jihadis.

          I live in Britain, this is complete and unadulterated bollocks.

        • Grace Joy
        • epeeist

          https://www.jihadwatch.org/

          That’s it? A link on a dubious website to a review of a book in a right-wing tabloid with comments from a right-wing crank organisation with a membership that can be counted in the tens?

          I live just outside Manchester, my daughter lives in London. Believe me there is no respect for jihadis here.

        • Grace Joy

          Considering you automatically discount anything coming from a conservative, Christian, or non-mainstream site ; I can see how your mind is set. I’m glad to know that British kids aren’t being “sensitized” in schools; that the rapes in Sweden, etc., aren’t true; & that there’s no danger or problems w/your “refugees:” Either now or when your grandkids are older. With luck, you won’t have to Brexit, as all’s well in Europe. I imagine you’re enjoying the Mohammedans even more considering they’ll put the evil Chrisitans out of business!

        • epeeist

          Considering you automatically discount anything coming from a conservative, Christian, or non-mainstream site

          And you would be wrong.

          What I do though, which you obviously don’t, is to take account of the provenance of the information that I come across.

          In this case you have a newspaper, the “Daily Express” whose association with the truth is tenuous at best and a right-wing pressure group that, as I said, has a few tens of members.

          I imagine you’re enjoying the Mohammedans even more considering they’ll put the evil Chrisitans out of business!

          I live in an area with a comparatively high Muslim population. Strangely enough I haven’t been assaulted by them, had bombs thrown at me, spat at for being a non-Muslim or anything similar.

          In fact the only time that explosives have been used in the area is when a (white) drug dealer threw grenades at two policewomen and then shot them.

          Let’s ask you a counter question, are you enjoying the attempts to establish a Christian theocracy in the US (I am assuming that you are based in the US)?

        • Grace Joy

          Nice deflection of everything. Your rabid hatred of Christians, your unwillingness to speak against Islam, your inability to even have decent arguments against Christianity, your feigned incompetency when it comes to history, etc., show you to be lying Mohammedans in disguise.

          You want to “counter?” You’ve not held up your end of anything. Disgusting Mohammedans & your lies; because the only way anyone would accept such an atrocity as Islam would be through Deception & intimidation. Islam is the religion of Lies, Deceit, Death.

        • epeeist

          Your rabid hatred of Christians

          And you draw this conclusion from what precisely?

          your unwillingness to speak against Islam

          You want me to speak against Islam? Fine, I am happy to condemn it and speak against it as homophobic, misogynistic, reactionary and supremacist in the way it treats those outside its membership.

          You want me to speak against those who commit atrocities in its name? Fine, I am equally happy to do that. Their actions have been and are utterly barbarous.

          You want me to apply the same condemnation against all Muslims? Not going to do it, just because the majority of terrorism is committed by Muslims (and don’t forget that I live in a country in which there have been acts of terrorism by white supremacists in the last year) doesn’t imply that the majority of Muslims are terrorists.

          You want to “counter?”

          No, I want you to answer my question.

        • Grace Joy

          still waiting.

        • epeeist

          still waiting.

          Well given that you seem to be incapable of producing anything rational I dare say I will wait forever for a response to my question.

        • You’re concerned about religion not knowing its place in a Western society? Or only about Islam not knowing its place?

        • Grace Joy

          Islam knows its place: To dominate the world. That’s my concern. It is top priority, imo.

        • But Christianity’s goal of dominating the world isn’t?

          Let’s do this: create a secular society where religion can exist but knows its place. y’know, like the US Constitution defines.

        • Rudy R

          We’re all wasting our time debating this ignoramus. This is a person who gets their news from Infowars and Breitbart.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, our President gets his news from Infowars and Breitbart.

        • Rudy R

          And we see how that’s working out for him.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and we’d be wasting our time debating him too.

        • Greg G.

          Infowars and Breitbart have nothing to sell but fear itself.

        • Greg G.

          That’s not going to stop Islam from taking over.

          More Christianity isn’t going to solve any problems. More religion introduces more problems because it is resistant to reason.

          Your fear causes your anger. Get brave and start thinking clearly.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          As usual.

          When YOUR KIND are required to put up or shut up, you flee while shitting all over the board and whining about ‘oppression’.

        • igotbanned999

          You’re a retard. And, to preempt your inevitable counter: Fuck Mohammed, Fuck the Koran, and Fuck Islam.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I wish people didn’t equate these fuckskulls with the wonderful people I help day to day. Such is slang… *sigh*

        • Get the log out of your own eye first.

        • Grace Joy

          You take the one out of your ass first.

          You’re a fake.

    • Tommy

      Baseless slander.

    • Dannorth

      Hum, Bob’s argument in this post is that if you’re organizing a conference on apologetics, i.e. techniques to defend and promote your faith, you do a disservice to your attendants if you only present atheist arguments as seen from your faith point of view.

      • Grace Joy

        So why the double standards? Why not offer services to Islam; or is it too dangerous to “insult” Islam (or is he Mohammedan practicing taqiyya, See below)? Islam is recruiting all over the place; growing in leaps & bounds. Will be a majority around the world soon. The multiple wives is in part for population takeover,; in part to use as martyrs.Did it never seem strange to have all this hate for Christians while apologizing for Islam & saying it doesn’t bother YOU? https://civilusdefendus.wordpress.com/civil-defense/4-stages-of-islamic-conquest/

        It never dawned on you to investigate if what you’re told is the truth? Just in case?http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx

        “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.” ~Gaddafi (10 April 2006),

        • Dannorth

          If you know of muslim apologetics conferences that might like to invite Bob please send him the coordinates.

          I’m sure he will be interested.

        • Grace Joy

          Thanks, Dannorth. This is my first encounter with an Atheist Group. I didn’t know they or Apologetics were Organized. “Apologetics” (propaganda?) of Islam, 1400 yrs old, is Taqiyya, Tawriya, Kitman, & Muruna, specifically. I stumbled here accidentally, while researching Islam et al. Islam (24% Islam in world 2005, Wikipedia. 4 wives=4 babies/yr/man + slave births. Martyred to spread Islam & Paradise.

          From what I’ve heard here, it seems that atheists consider Islam Abrahamic, in that it FOLLOWS the others (same basic precepts, god, etc.). But the Hebrew Bible & NT you know are wrong. Islam was taught to Adam in the Garden. Jews & Christians “misinterpreted” the truth (any sins Mohammedans commit will be put on their heads for misleading everyone – tahrif). Ishmael was blessed, not Isaac. And history’s been revised as it happens: The back stories are complicated to begin with; & Islam’s propaganda moves ahead of it so future conquests have been “sensitized” to accept it more readily. It’s why, generally, only the “killing Muslims” side is ever reported (any genocide you read about, google Islam. It will be there as the cause.

          Islam worships death; so it has no trouble martyring its followers to sway world opinion. See the map below; & consider how it’s triumphant when everywhere it goes, everyone’s blindly genociding it for no reason. In 2010, Islam had 1,5 billion followers, or 22% of the world population. Starting in Arabia, Pew says in 2015 there were 50 Muslim-majority countries. It’s gained control of large swaths of N Africa & 1/2-way down; SE Asia; all of the M.E. except for Israel; Balkans; moving into Europe, USA, & Australia. As Islam proper is a bastardization of the Hebrew Christian Bibles, the history given to each area it conquers will likewise be different than that which came before.

          Apologetics, “i.e. techniques to defend and promote your faith.” Freedom of Speech regarding Islam is blasphemy, punishable by death (when high enough % of population). It does a “service” to the world to not allow selfish personal thoughts to interfere.

          Though I don’t excuse for any human misdeeds done under the auspice of any religion; my concern is Islam. It would be nice if atheists could help; but it’s more involved than baiting Christians. The histories of each area, their connections to each other, & the ease with which one not invested in the fight (knowledge of Judaism & Christianity from several point of view other than that of Christians) might fall prey to Islam’s taqiyya & make things worse, make it something I doubt atheists would find interesting.
          It would also involve insulting Mohammedans (disagreeing). I’ve not found anyone here interested in any of it. I’ll finish the nasty comments I’ve gotten here; perhaps one person actually answered a question or concern. Then I’ll move on. I’m happy enough to leave a seed regarding Islam’s not being what it says it is, on the surface.

          Islam is hurrying its End Times; black & white supremacists are chomping on the bits to kill the Jews; Christians tell me there’s nothing Man can do, only God; conservatives are busy debating liberals’ non-stop attacks; & atheists & liberals only care about trashing Christians & conservatives.

          I appreciate your taking the time to explain to me about this site. What I was researching was horrifying; & to randomly come across this article where everyone’s attacking Christians as if the whole thing’s a joke threw me for a loop. I probably came on strong considering I didn’t understand what you all do. Still, Mohammedans use the same deflections used here when confronted w/Islam’s crimes. FGM, even if it weren’t practiced now in the USA, would be something I condemn: PC & muti-culti acceptance aren’t my thing.

          Thanks again for showing me the light 🙂

          Consider the civil wars & genocides in these areas during Islam’s 1400 yrs. The Christian, African, Indian, Israeli, Sri Lankan, Buddhist, etc., atrocities against Islam are exaggerated; & nothing compared to what they’re fighting. Similar to Swedish women told to cover up to avoid being gang-raped by “refugees;” or being sent to jail for complaining.

          http://middleeastfacts2015.blogspot.com/2015/07/exposing-arab-falsehoods.html

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          But… but… but… how can that be if Allah isn’t the True God? If Islam parallels the widespread of Christianity then maybe Christianity previously becoming the largest religion meant that it is no more true than Islam.

        • Nonsensical

          The mohammedans worship the “morning star” and a crescent-horned demon. To put it simply: the Mohammedans worship the devil.

          There are no parallels between islam and Christianity, because islam is error and Christianity is truth. Moreover, truth is not based on novelty nor consensus.

          This is where your seething hatred of both reading and writing really hurts you: you are an utter simpleton.

        • TheNuszAbides

          your mythological ravings are fascinating, truly.

          a falsifiable argument would be even moreso.

        • Nonsensical

          You come to me out of the blue with this weak crap?

          You people seem to come with the same mental illness and the same rhetoric two at a time with exactly three messages apiece. This tactic of yours has happened three separate times now over the course of a day. This is far too organized for someone of your mental abilities so this has to have been planned.

        • TheNuszAbides

          your pattern-seeking prowess is transcendentally cromulent.

        • Greg G.

          Quite the iconoclast.

        • TheNuszAbides

          are they already making ikons of Soros? *panicked genuflection*

        • Greg G.

          Lisa Simpson icons.

        • ORigel

          Catholics worship false idol saints and popes and the Virgin Mary instead of God and are going to Hell.

          Or so say some Protestants.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Why do you keep disagreeing with God? Join God in worship of the space whales!

        • TheNuszAbides

          It never dawned on you to investigate if what you’re told is the truth?

          AMOS! another shipment of irony meters, plz …

        • Greg G.

          At least you don’t get the exploding shrapnel with GJ. Mine evaporated.

        • epeeist

          ~Gaddafi (10 April 2006)

          Whatever happened to Gaddafi anyway?

    • Otto

      >>>”…punishes homosexuals by throwing them off buildings (it’s mandated in the Quran)”

      It’s mandated in the Bible for you to stone homosexuals…

      • lawrence090469

        Well, I would not feel so all alone. Everybody must get stoned.

      • DorianGrayfox

        But then of course, ” christians” will stand around bashing Islam for being violent, when the Bible if filled with murder of all sorts. Working on the sabbath, DEATH, adultery, DEATH, homosexuality, DEATH. etc

      • Grace Joy

        My bible? Lol. Typical Mohammedan assumes everyone who objects to Islam must be a Christian. It’s why you focus on programming the lemming liberals to equate Christians w/homophobia to distract from your religion’s mandates. You slaughtered 80 million Hindus; Armenians; Serbs; you tried w/your Nazi allies to kill all the Jews; you’re 1/2 way down Africa; into Iraq & Syria; raping through Europe & starting in USA.

        But I digress. You must mean Leviticus 20:13 “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” The Hebrew bible was written in the 10th C BC. I never heard of it being done 2400 years ago before the Greeks conquered Israel; & it’s not exactly a book of law.

        Islam still practices it after 1400 yrs of existance: Though stoning is only one option. Sometimes it’s a chance for the “moderates” to join in the fun after body hits the ground: http://www2.memri.org/espanol/campana-del-eiis-en-ejecutar-a-homosexuales-por-lapidacion-disparandoles-lanzandolos-de-los-techos-torturandolos-publicamente-de-conformidad-con-la-ley-del-sharia-tal-como-ha-sido-explicado-por/8745

        It draws large crowds to make sure everyone’s on the same page: https://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/british-media-suddenly-discovers-sharia-law-thrown-to-death-for-being-gay/

        Hanging works, too: http://islammonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&id=1109
        http://www.barenakedislam.com/2015/07/22/oh-this-should-be-fun-swedish-conservative-group-plans-to-hold-a-gay-pride-parade-that-will-go-through-muslim-dominant-areas/

        You Mohammedans & your liberal supporters distract from the atrocities you commit by projecting your evils onto those you want to destroy & replace. Because you have nothing constructive to offer on of your own; all you can do is steal from those around you.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          NASA called. They want to use your projection as an environmentally-friendly launch platform for the Pluto mission.

        • Otto

          1) I am not Muslim nor do I support Islam. My point was that many Muslims do not follow the Quran literally on everything…just like Christians don’t follow the Bible literally on everything, a point that obviously flew way over your head.
          2) I have had conversations with a fair amount of Christians who would like nothing more than to kill homosexuals the same way some Muslims do. They just think the gov’t should do it…hmmm who does that sound like…
          3) You are nuttier than squirrel droppings.

        • Grace Joy

          1) Of course you support Islam. The Quran & hadiths mandate killing homosexuals. Every Mohammedan wants Sharia law. To say that “not all” want to be able to kidnap Christian girls & sell them as sex slaves; throw acid on their child bride if she tries to escape; crucify people who refuse to convert to Islam, etc., doesn’t change the fact that it is not only legal to do so, as per Sharia, but mandated. If a Christian doesn’t follow the NT, it means they’re not following Jesus’ word, which is to love your fellow man. You don’t see the difference? Smh.

          2) Good example of Christians not following Jesus would “like nothing more thn to kill homosexuals.” Still, how do liberals justify equating someone who DOESN”T follow a religions mandates (Jesus, to love everyone) “saying” they “want” to kill homosexuals with a religion that MANDATES it? Notice your words “the same way some Muslims DO.”

          3) You’re not a Muslim? Just an apologist? What do you think about the fact that the religion was founded by a mass-murdering pedophile? Do you approve such a prophet? Or would you deflect & not answer such a “rude” question?

        • Otto

          >>>”Of course you support Islam.”

          You are now bearing false witness….isn’t that in the top 10?

        • BillYeager

          If a Christian doesn’t follow the NT, it means they’re not following Jesus’ word, which is to love your fellow man.

          Um, Luke 12:47?
          Not a lot of loving his fellow man going on while JC is recommending that disobedient slaves be whipped.

          So should a TrueChristian™ follow his word or not in this regards?

        • Grace Joy

          Out of context. He also became angry at the money changers. You don’t read what comes before; you don’t take into account the times; you pick one tiny thing & pretend it makes Jesus so bad that all the atrocities (burning alive, crucifying, kidnapping & selling for slaves little Christian girls, raping across europe, throwing homosexuals off roofs, etc.

          And you STILLL deflect from anything Islam. Islam castrated the males. Used the females & children as sex slaes. Still does to this day. 2017, & Islam still does these things. And fgm cuts off the clitoris & lips of girls (only needed for whores); & sews the opening almost totally closed.

          Why does everyone here keep deflecting from Islam? Why do “atheistis” teach Chrstians how to accept criticism; yet those “atheists” can’t tolerate “insults” to Islam? Taqiyya much?

        • Greg G.

          Why complain “out of context” every time a verse is quoted. Every quoted verse is taken out of context. John 3:16 has been taken out of context by Christians more than any other verse.

          Luke 12:47-48 is bad in context or out of context. The teaching is comparing those doing the beating to God as the proper thing to do. Face up to it.

          Most of the things you are complaining about Islam were being done by Christians within the past 700 years. We oppose those things when Muslims do it and when Christians did it. You still have Christians killing children with faith healing. Religion is a problem.

        • BillYeager

          So becoming angry at money-changers absolves JC from his decision to encourage his followers to whip disobedient slaves? I don’t see how you can believe you are even making a coherent argument.

          As for your typical dishonest whine about atheists criticising your religion and not Islam, well, that is utterly false. Show me an example of where an atheist supports Islam. You don’t seem to get it, we reject ALL religious claims!

          Atheism, the clue is in the name.

        • Philmonomer

          Based on your posts here, I hope you are in some sort of counseling.

        • BlackMamba44

          Jesus also said to hate your family and yourself to follow him.

          He also said he will come with a sword to set family members against family members.

        • Grace Joy

          So? Were is the Christian law that has Christians killing people every day? Islam is a conglomeration of everything that came before. The psychopath Mo took every disgusting thing & made it Islam.

          You Mohammedans have it in your law & practice it EVERY DAY: It’s why you & your friends are disguised as atheists to spread hatred against Christians. You are a lying Mohammedan. Taqiyya. BS psychopath.

        • BlackMamba44

          Moron. I’m not a Muslim.

          You are the one who is unhinged, judging by your comments. I just commented that Jesus didn’t always preach love and you accuse me of being A Muslim and a psychopath?

          Disguised as atheists?? That is just hilarious!
          You’re a troll, aren’t you? If not then you need some serious psychotherapy and maybe some meds for that fear and paranoia you are suffering from.

          Your chemical imbalamce can be treated, you know.

        • epeeist

          You are the one who is unhinged, judging by your comments.

          Just think yourself fortunate enough not to be in spittle distance.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’d need an umbella.

          She’s probably in Church right now praising Yahweh for making her such a good and loving Christian.

        • Nonsensical

          You do make excuses for the mohammedans on the regular because you got the communist marching orders to do so.

          You do whatever they tell you without thought. Heh.

          Also it is easy to mistake you for a psychopath when you threaten violence and use “Spoooiing!!” repeatedly when confronted.

          I will agree with you that you are not “disguised as atheists,” this is exactly what your kind does on the regular.

          And there is once more you claiming your political oppnents must be drugged and “re-educated.” You soviets never change your tactics no matter the decade.

          As I said, you are blocked.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’m blocked….again!

        • BlackMamba44

          Are you Grace’s sock puppet? You two sound exactly alike.

        • TheNuszAbides

          no; they’re both right-nuts with the correlating addiction to labeling things they pretend they’re above defining, but Grace is cagey about its religious beliefs and Nonsensical can’t stop spewing RCC shibboleths.

          i briefly thought Nonsensi might be Ameribear’s Hyde-persona, but M.Neville pointed out that their responses to the pedophilia scandal don’t match up at all.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’m having a hard time telling the difference between any of them, anymore.

          And I can’t even comprehend the amount of hate, anger, and fear they suffer from. If they weren’t so nasty I would feel pity.

        • Greg G.

          I focus on the idiosyncrasies but I have trouble recalling their old handles. Kodie is good at that so I accept that her judgement is more reliable than my own.

        • TheNuszAbides

          wow. forget i asked about Quilliam. you’re not even a joke. dead serious stupid.

        • Greg G.

          Have you read the Old Testament? It is a conglomeration of everything that came before. Slavery, burning women alive, stoning children, stoning a person for picking up sticks on one day of the week, how to beat slave to death without punishment (it involves them suffering for a day or two before dying), killing non-virgin women and kidnapping the virgins as sex slaves, offering ultimatums of death or dying as a slave… and then there are talking snakes and donkeys.

        • katiehippie

          I looked up taqiya and you’re using it wrong. Literally the wrong meaning entirely.
          http://courantblogs.com/colin-mcenroe/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Go-home-youre-drunk.jpg

        • Dom Saunders
        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “lemming”

          You do know Disney murdered those lemmings, right? They chucked them into water to drown and made it look like they commited mass suicide. Are you hinting that you are pulling a con job, too?

    • MadScientist1023

      Grace, you really need to learn the difference between supporting a religion and believing people who believe a religion still deserve basic human respect until they do something to warrant changing that. If a Muslim joined this thread and started pushing their beliefs, you’d see plenty of pushback. So far, though, I haven’t seen it happen.

      • Grace Joy

        All you care about is someone here? Would you care if one said that Jesus was a Muslim Arab who was only a prophet foretelling the coming of the pedo prophet Mo? You’d think it was funny; w/no concept of the mentality that has revised 1400 yrs of history in preparation for domination. Islam is training its children for the new caliphate: Raping women in Europe & the girls are arrested if they object & told to cover up. A woman in Grand Rapids MI was kicked out of a mall for wearing a tank & shorts (“inapppropriate” in a Muslim area. No problem w/fgm, crucifying Christians; cutting Hindus into small pieces; marrying 9 yr old girls & throwing acid on them or torturing them if they try to escape; etc. How open-minded of you to support “basic human respect” for such a religion. And it never dawns on you to see if the warnings against Islam have any merit. No curiousity of how it spread from Arabia to 1/2 of Africa, slaughtering 80 million Hindus as it passed through SE Asia. Google Islam, click on images. Then add words like crucify (Christian, cat, dog), behead, acid, burn alive, child abuse, pedophilia, pederasty, etc.

        I see some of my posts are being deleted. What is this, a nest of Mohammedans pretending to be liberals to troll in more useful idiots? Smh.

        • Michael Neville

          Actually none of your posts have been deleted. There’s a glitch in Discus that hides some posts. This is a known problem, people have complained about it, apparently nothing can be done about it.

          I’m seriously considering blocking you. All you show it hatred and fear of Muslims and a pretense that atheists support Islam while condemning Christians. You need to stop ranting about your hates and fears if you want to get us to agree with you.

          Having said that, I’m sure you’ll call me an Islamic supporter when you actually don’t know what my views about Islam are. I’ve seen your type too many times before so I know what the response will be.

        • Grace Joy

          Block away. I’m done here. You are an Islamic supporter by default, at best, because you can’t be bothered to look into it. You choose to do the easy thing & attack Christians w/out bothering to look into a potential threat. By the time it’s in front of your face it will be too late. And then you’ll be sorry about stopping the Christians; as they’re the only ones who’ve ever successfully stopped Islam.

          Well, you guys enjoy your Christian bashing. Be careful not to say anything to a Mohammedan to his face. Google Islam crucify or behead in case you don’t know what the Quran mandates for “atheists” like you.

          https://www.islam-watch.org/home/139-louis-palme/1095-knowing-four-arabic-words-may-save-our-civilization-from-islamic-takeover.html

        • You’re a little slow. When Islam has the same impact on American society as Christians do, I’ll be equally outraged. At the moment anyway, it’s not the Muslims trying to get prayer in the city council meetings and Creationism in the public schools.

          Get your own house in order first.

        • Grace Joy

          I’m not slow. You’re obtuse, rude, narrow-minded, hypocritical, & have double standards. You’re a multi culti liberal who’s fine w/religions torturing people & vowing to kill you as long as it’s not on your steps. At least you don’t pretend it’s out of “respect” for humans like one of your followers.

          You support Islam bey default persecution of Christians. Why would teaching Creationism as a theory be a problem if you also have no problem w/USA kids being taught to bow w/their heads to the floor to learn sensitivity to IslamI imagine you have no kids in school so you’re not worried that the rape of a young girl in Utah by three “refugees” ended w/nothing much (“refugees” don’t understand)? Or learning how comfortable burqas are & good for the self esteem of Mohammedans? In MI a woman was kicked out of a mall for being dressed “inappropriately” in a Mohammedan area.

          Not one person here is willing to say anything negative about Islam because “it’s not here yet.” BS. It’s herre. It’s taken over cities. Millions more are coming & they have up to four wives & so many babies.

          You’re either a fake or a coward. You’re rude, & you have no idea of historical perspective when you speak of Christianity: All you can do is pick on a word or phrase & attack it w//no backup. I should go teach the Christians how to shut you up. One would think you’d actually know about something if you were to “teach them” how to apologize.

        • Wow—where does one begin with this bullshit? If people are being raped, we have laws to address that. That’s a bad thing, no matter the perpetrator.

          An argument built on a handful of unresearched anecdotes is a bad sign. Give me statistics instead.

          I love saying negative things about Islam. Suggest something and I’ll tell you if I disagree.

          I notice as well that you had to sidestep the main point of my previous comment. Coward, perhaps?

        • Michael Neville

          You are an Islamic supporter by default, at best, because you can’t be bothered to look into it. You choose to do the easy thing & attack Christians w/out bothering to look into a potential threat.

          I predicted that this would be your response. Thank you for being true to form for an Islamophobic Christian bigot.

        • Grace Joy

          Glad you love islam so much that you will only insult Christians. Why do you all assume everyone’s a Christian who doesn’t agree w/you? Smh.

        • You seem to imagine that you fight fire with fire. No, you fight fire with water.

          And I’ll be dispensing the cool, quenching water of Reason at this blog to the best of my ability.

        • What Michael said.

          It’s laughable to imagine that your bullshit would challenge my worldview. You’ll probably outlive your usefulness soon, but for now I suspect that you’re a chew toy for some of the participants.

        • Grace Joy

          Not sure what you mean by my “bullshit” since you didn’t specify; so it’s difficult to respond. I’ll respond assuming you refer to the concept of Jesus being a Muslim Arab who never rose from the cross; but only came to foretell the coming of Mohammed is BS, it’s not “mine.”

          My assertion was that you wouldn’t care if someone said that about Jesus. Your use of the word “laughable” means “you’d think https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9e29f0b477c881430e5edd428acfb33cbbbc4a6f70c423c201f1c790e1ad4de.jpg it was funny.” My point was that many people haven’t read the bible. And some are so liberal that they approve of changing narratives when people are “insulted” by what exists.

          My concern was what followed. Factually (as in, a narrative from a well-known book): To twist Jesus’ basic concept, & all of the religion Christianity, into a vehicle that supports Islam’s claim that Mohammed’s version of history (even if it’s just a “story”) & allah as correct; & turns everything from the Christian Jewish religions & history into support of Islam. Worse than Christians turning the Jewish People into a footnote of their NT, Islam takes the combined “power” (history) of all that came before & revises it as its own. Tahrif.

          To you this is laughable. Mad Scientist 1023 said “people who believe a religion still deserve basic human respect until they do something to warrant changing that.” Have I been attacked here (“chew toy?”) because atheists consider it “disrespectful” to speak truth about the religion Islam? The only religion that makes it clear that its purpose is to dominate the PEOPLE world?

        • TheNuszAbides

          so it’s difficult to respond.

          you were in difficulty with regard to the quality of your responses before you ever opened your silly yap in these threads. you’ve only dug a deeper hole of bull-headed nonsense since.

        • katiehippie

          Many atheists don’t believe Jesus ever existed(no proof), even as a regular person. So after that, all your bile and wrath and hatred and nastiness just falls flat.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          I think it’s become clear that this Grace Joy person suffers from severe mental illness, and probably shouldn’t be allowed the use of these blog comments as a platform any longer, as the responses only seem to exacerbate the symptoms presented.

        • TheNuszAbides

          no, see, only Nonsensical is a qualified arbiter of mental illness. you’re doing it wrong and/or “soviet”.

        • epeeist

          You’ll probably outlive your usefulness soon, but for now I suspect that you’re a chew toy for some of the participants.

          The current set of chew toys aren’t up to much, so far they haven’t managed to muster a coherent thought between them.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but Nonsensical at least knows how to c-p The Bombastic Assertions of Sheen!

        • BlackMamba44
        • BlackMamba44
        • .
          “… Google Faith Healing …” ? ! ?
          __________

          ( Thanks for that — got my day started with a titter! )
          .

        • BlackMamba44

          I meant Google “faith healing deaths”.

          I just searched “Google faith healing”…yeah, that was funny.

        • MadScientist1023

          Like I said, you need to learn the difference between a “religion” and “people”. You would be hard-pressed to find someone here that actually supports Islam. Most people here don’t support any religion. You are taking the fact that liberals aren’t Islam-bashing to mean we support it. That is incorrect. We tolerate it (using the original definition wherein we dislike it but don’t make a big deal out of it). We tolerate it because most Muslims are nothing like your characterization. Most are just normal people, many of whom are victims of violence themselves. We don’t judge all Muslims by the actions of ISIS or other violent groups, just like we don’t judge all Christians by the actions of the KKK, the WBC, or other Christian groups.

          We also tolerate it because you don’t see evangelical Muslims pushing their beliefs in this country the way evangelical Christians do. If anyone were on this thread pushing Islamic beliefs the way you push Christian ones, you would see similar pushback. But since they don’t, and since the American Muslim community mostly lives and lets live, we show them a similar courtesy.

        • BlackMamba44

          Bob doesn’t delete posts, troll.

        • Grace Joy

          Every comment you make is nasty. Someone else was kind enough to tell me that it sometimes looks like posts are deleted. In another place, someone recommended blocking me; but no doubt you’d play the semantic card just to feel superior. And the Christian guy who was rambling on had his posts deleted. You’ve deflected from answering questions. I’m not sure what your purpose is except to obstruct, insult, & waste time.

        • BlackMamba44

          What question?

          I respond to nastiness with nastiness.

          And the rest of this unhinged comment is just…

          Spooooiiiinnnggg!

        • Nonsensical

          You mean spong? The anglican heretic who became a full-blown devil worshipper?

          You people are strange.

        • BlackMamba44

          Spoooiiiinnnng!!

        • Greg G.

          Blocking only makes it so that the blocker doesn’t see the blocked person’s posts. It doesn’t limit others from seeing the posts.

          Sometimes Disqus doesn’t work. Nobody knows why. Don’t be paranoid. It happens to everyone.

          Sorry about telling you to not be paranoid. It seems to be your natural state of being.

        • I don’t delete comments, though I occasionally ban commenters. In your initial diatribe, you whined about freedom of speech, if I recall–ironic.

          I encourage non-atheist views, though you’ve given opinions without evidence or argument so far, so I’d encourage you to change your focus.

        • katiehippie

          “I know you are but what am I.”

          This is your entire argument with every comment. One trick pony.
          From your own mouth “Every comment you make is nasty”
          Over and over and over and over.

        • BlackMamba44

          Oh wow. I can replace “Islam” with “Christian” and get lots of search results.

          That’s one big ass log blinding you.

        • Grace Joy

          Since you insist on supporting what Islam does daily to terrorize people into submitting by deflecting to Christians: For argument’s sake, would you post a link to something you found under “Christian burn alive?”

        • BlackMamba44

          Since you insist on supporting what Islam does daily to terrorize people into submitting by deflecting to Christians:

          Haha! You’re funny!

          I support Muslims, not Islamists. Just like I support Christians, but not Fundagelicals. I don’t generalize. You should try it.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/36c63ee05bcdd28735b3cf925e09847da88fb7b14f8ae2624522a4313176ff6b.png

        • Grace Joy

          I wasn’t trying to insult you.

          You say you support Muslims & Christians. That’ great.
          You also said you found all those words under “Christian.”
          You deflected when I asked you to post a link you found under “Christian burn alive. Would you post one now?

        • Greg G.

          I did a search for “Christian burn alive” without the quotation marks. Google returned results for “Christian burnt alive.”

          The first article was “Christians Burned Alive by Muslims – Snopes.com

          It says the claim is false. The bodies are not “Christians burned by Muslims in Nigeria” as many reports say but the “photograph shows hundreds of people who died after an oil tanker exploded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2010.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          likelihood GJ devotes as much as a millisecond to considering the possibility of taking snopes seriously: 0.01%

        • Greg G.

          You’re an optimist.

        • TheNuszAbides

          take that back!!

        • BlackMamba44

          Nope, no deflection. There’s no need to look it up. I know what Islamists do. I know what Christians do.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/centralafricanrepublic/12018588/Christian-militias-in-Central-African-Republic-burnt-witches-at-stake-says-UN-report.html

          Central African Republic
          UN report
          The UN report, which was leaked to the Reuters news agency, said the witch-burnings took place between December 2014 and early 2015 under instruction from leaders of the mainly Christian “anti-balaka” militia. They have been fighting Muslim Seleka rebels across the country for more than two years.

          Compiled by UN human rights investigators, the report also contained grisly photographs of victims tied to wooden stakes being lowered towards a fire, as well as charred torsos.

          The UN investigators said the Christian rebels had used the local belief in witchraft – which remains strong in parts of Africa – to intimidate and extort money in the CAR’s more lawless areas.

        • Nonsensical

          witch hunting was always a pagan thing and it was officially banned by the Church in the year 700 or so.

          When pagans convert they naturally want to fight against the occult things they used to practice with violence. They still haven’t grown out of their pagan ways despite converting orherwise.

          There is no such thing as magic, and those that practice the occult only succeed in damning their own souls and nothing more.

          You are blaming Christians for something Christians do not do, and is openly rejected by the Church. Your kind seems to find that tactic to be a popular one.

          As I said, you are blocked.

        • BlackMamba44

          So, why are Christians doing it.

          And if I’m blocked, why do you keep responding?

          Edit.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perhaps ‘blocked’ is special RCC jargon for one’s unworthiness to be fed these curiously-disguised Pearls of Wisdom.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe it’s a Notre Dame Fighting Irish football term where being blocked prevents one from making a tackle one that play but may not apply on the next play.

        • adam
        • Nonsensical

          Yes you do try to calumniate against Christians because you think it will make excuses for your political allies the mohammedans.

          That isn’t in dispute.

          You support nothing but political narratives and vomit out pablum. You do generalize: you accept every communist talking point without thought and reject every Christian truth without thought.

          Also, contrary to what your mental illness tells you (and you are actually mentally ill, unlike how you accuse your political opponents of it), your ego cannot be used to ignore the truth.

          To paraphrase Flannery O Connor, truth is the truth regardless of your ability to stomach it.

          You are blocked

        • BlackMamba44

          Oh you did block me!! Yay!!

          Are you just a sock puppet of Grace Joy? You sound like the same person.

        • Nonsensical

          Clearly not.

          Though you seem indistinguishable from the half dozen trolls that have found me on here since yesterday. Your kind is quite organized in your attacks on Christians here.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Greg G.

          Make interesting arguments and you get interesting debate. Attack and you get attacked. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

        • Kodie

          We weren’t looking for you – you’re posting to a public atheist blog that dozens of people already read and post to. You’re so PARANOID!!!

        • TheNuszAbides

          the half dozen trolls that have found me on here since yesterday. Your
          kind is quite organized in your attacks on Christians here

          why is it not shocking that you show manifest ignorance of either (a) what a troll is or (b) what happens in comment threads when a ‘new face’ shows up among established regulars?

        • adam
        • adam

          “Would you care if one said that Jesus was a Muslim Arab who was only a prophet foretelling the coming of the pedo prophet Mo? ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e837665e20b0f559722113ef2ddaa0c4b5cb92de117ddba6e3d9af6d7f6c282a.jpg

        • ORigel

          “Would you care if one said Jesus was a Muslim Arab who was only a prophet foretelling the coming of the pedo prophet Mo?”

          No one said that but YOU on this thread. I’ve only encountered a couple Muslim posters before, on Friendly Atheist.

        • TheNuszAbides

          in GJ’s ragebubble, if any atheist is fake it’s a friendly one.

    • Abby

      … whaat?
      Islam is a monotheistic religion – Muslims believe in a god. Atheists do not think any gods exist, ergo they do not support or follow Islamic beliefs.

      He’s picking on Jesus because no one in the United States invokes Allah or Mohammad when cutting health care or denying rights to LGBT people. That’s all done in the name of Jesus.

      Also, I’m in public, I just said “god”, and I have yet to be arrested. People proseltyze for Christianity all the time without pushback, so don’t try for the persecution angle.

    • adam

      “People like you took away their freedom of speech to say “god” in public.”

      And yet you just said ‘god’ in public.

      What a SAD piece of shit you are.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/681785c573e0e941d7e81f66dd2e305bc7671f7e9b41f0b84b263f098be05d79.jpg

      • Grace Joy

        You’re a typical Mohammedan who disguises himself as a normal person to get away w/condemning any group that Islam wants to kill. For example, only Mohammedans think it’s clever to have a Je Suis Charlie avatar while condemning Christians in support of Islam. You’re a moron.

        • adam

          And you are a trolling IDiot

          I dont support DELUSIONAL religions including Islam

        • Michael Neville

          Please give links to show anyone here supporting Islam.

          Adam is right, you are a sad piece of shit.

        • Two Americas

          Since this sort of ugliness is almost always projection, I assume that you are disguising yourself as a normal person in order to get away with condemning any group that you want to see killed.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And you’re a typical brain-dead terrified twonk. The terror isn’t your fault, it was burned into you when you were too young to resist, but have you no shame of living in terror of a superstitious boogeyman for which there’s exactly zero credible evidence?

        • islandbrewer

          Oh thanks.

          I LOVE it when the extra-crazy christians accuse atheists of being muslims! You unwittingly signal just where you are on the clueless scale.

          Let me try:

          “Grace Joy, you Hindus are all alike! You worship your multi-armed animal headed multiple gods and try to make everyone worship a blue man! Only a Hindu would castigate someone who decries religious discrimination, or believes people with different beliefs should be treated equally!”

          What score would you give that? I don’t think it’s beats anything you’ve said, of course.

        • BlackMamba44

          We really need to improve straight jackets. These wackos are becoming regular Houdinis.

        • Greg G.

          Can Siri take dictation for Disqus?

        • BlackMamba44

          Im not sure. I’ll have to try my SVoice on Samsung when I’m not at my work desk.

          I think Siri is better.

        • Greg G.

          I wonder if there is a mode that capitalizes random words and spells “athiest”?

        • BlackMamba44

          If one is made then I want one that spells “Christain”. 🙂

        • Grace Joy

          Why would you assume I’m a Christian?

          Mohammedans spread Islam by Lies, torture, intimidation, & death. Lies are more likely before it’s a substantial % of the population. One of the manifestations of Islam’s lies is to disguise as an atheist or Christian to sow bad blood between atheists, Christians, & anyone else who comes along. A Mohammedan will always deflect to something else, often Christianity. If people here are actually atheists, I’d say that atheists tend to deflect to Christianity when confronted w/Islam.

          http://www.trevorloudon.com/2016/08/deception-in-islam-taqiyya-tawriya-kitman-and-muruna/

        • Greg G.

          Why would you assume I’m a Christian?

          Because you abhor Islam but you bring up Christianity consistently. Don’t be coy. Instead of asking such a question, just say, “I am not a Christian” and be done with it. If you are a Christian, then why ask the question?

        • Grace Joy

          WHY DO ALL OF YOU DEFLECT???? NOT ONE OF YOU WILL RESPOND AGAINST ISLAM. You’re not atheists: You work for Islam. Lying taqiyya pieces of shit. THIS IS WHY ISLAM IS DANGEROUS. Any REAL atheists here? Or just you fake atheists trying to train everyone to pick out a word here or there to pick on Christians & “resist.” Mohammedan LIARS.

        • TheNuszAbides

          NOT ONE OF YOU WILL RESPOND AGAINST ISLAM.

          ignorant and idiotic lie. stfu until you find the missing piece to your puzzlement. (hint: several of them have been on this page for days.) then at least you can start another paranoid ramble about how it doesn’t even matter what any of us say about anything because it won’t stop those naughty bad people.

        • Grace Joy

          Lying Mohammedan. It would be so simple for any of you. You’re all atheists but are so against speaking negative of Islam? I should go search for your comments? BS. You people aren’t atheists. Your purpose is to undermine Christianity to make it easier for Islam. LYING MOHAMMEDANS WON’T SPEAK AGAINST ISLAM.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i haven’t made anything ‘easier for Islam’. how do you feel about Quilliam?

        • Not one of us will respond against string theory. Maybe that’s because string theory (and Islam) aren’t the primary focus of this blog.

          Don’t come here and whine that we don’t attack what we’re not intending to attack.

          Idiot.

        • Michael Neville

          String theory is an evil hypothesis promulgated by nasty physicists in an attempt to lead ‘Murican youth against country music and to clasp rock n’ roll to their bosoms. It’s only string theory that keeps the Marshall Tucker Band from the obscurity they so richly deserve.

          And…and…and…Damn, I forgot the line of argument I was going to use. It’s string theory that forced that thought out of my head. That shows how evil it is.

        • Kodie

          the Marshall Tucker Band from the obscurity they so richly deserve.

          You’re dead to me.

        • ozarkmichael

          I don’t know which of you is saying what about the Marshall Tucker Band.I don’t know much about the MTB either

          All I know about them is one really great song:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkOsccnyFWs

        • Michael Neville

          The Marshall Tucker Band is a country group.

        • Kodie

          The Marshall Tucker Band is a country Southern rock group.

          FTFY.

        • Michael Neville

          AKA country rock.

        • Kodie

          In it’s time, it was too rock for country.

        • Greg G.

          Can’t ya see, can’t ya see,
          What that woman’s
          She been doing to me.

        • Dang! I didn’t realize it was quite as evil as all that. Thanks for removing the scales from my eyes.

        • Kodie

          Based on what you said, you’re the “mohammedan” here.

        • Greg G.

          Only ISIS operatives think it’s clever to pretend to be Christian while stirring up hatred toward moderate Muslims in support of ISIS. Are you an ISIS operative or just ignorant enough to do their bidding?

        • Kodie

          You’re paranoid.

        • Grace Joy

          Really? Hatred, diversions, deflections, & insults are the only responses possible for Mohammedans. It would have taken five minutes for an atheist to speak against Islam & its pedophile prophet. Christians would help themselves to “debate” morons like you? You act worse than any accusation you throw at anyone. Islam has no basis but everything disgusting & evil. This is no atheist group that protects Islam at every turn. Filthy lying Mohammedans who worship a lying god who demands its souls kill anything beautiful & free.

        • Kodie

          We do that when it’s on topic, but right now, you’re just hijacking the thread to scream about your hobby horse. Go fuck yourself ok?

        • Greg G.

          A Je Suis Charlie avatar is a condemnation of Islam you idiot. Your hate is paranoia.

        • epeeist

          A Je Suis Charlie avatar is a condemnation of Islam

          But it is in French, you don’t expect her to understand that do you?

        • Grace Joy

          No, it’s taqiyya.

        • Greg G.

          Did you read that in your Koran? I think you are an ISIS spy trying to foment hatred against moderate Muslims to provoke war. Everybody thinks you are a joke.

    • When Islam is a big deal here in the US, I’ll follow your advice. Right now, the bull in the china shop is Christianity.

      Tell you what–I’ll work on defeating Christianity’s anti-social impulses, and when I’m done, I’ll take a look at Islam. How does that sound?

      Pro tip: when you completely mischaracterize someone’s position, that doesn’t open the door to friendly discussion.

    • Rudy R

      And your god endorses slavery, so your Muhammad comment is a moot point.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      I’m curious.

      Do you actually get paid for making all those strawmen for the express purpose of demolishing them, or is it a hobby?

      Ditto with moving the goalposts all over creation.

    • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

      INABILITY TO SEE COLOR BLUE, IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH COLOR BLINDNESS.

      ATHEISM IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH SPIRITUAL
      BLINDNESS.

      By POPONNE.

    • guerillasurgeon

      You know what, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now. IT’S…. ALL…. FUCKING…. SUPERSTITION!

    • Jim Jones

      You are the only supporter of terrorism here.

    • BlackMamba44
    • Dangitbobby

      “…took away the their freedom of speech to say ‘god’ in public.”

      Right…

      See image: group of kids gathered around a school flag pole all praying to Jesus, outside, in public. In the United States. I’m sure the word “god” was mentioned somewhere… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1788e99c92537a447fa437efed495e89b41864d7de2487e8e71c50bf05555c1c.jpg

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      “People like you took away their freedom of speech to say “god” in public.”

      Why do you lie? GOD! There I said it in public just like you.

      “You condemn them for condemning homosexuals”

      The actions of the Christians starting the condemning well-earned them condemnation in return.

      “But you support a religion, Islam…”

      Your kidding, right? Because I don’t want to see people hurt who do not involve themselves in terrorism of people who share their religion (such as many Christians who are not Klansmen or part of other Christian terrorist organizations) I must therefore support their supernatural bullshit?!!?

      “Coward to pick on Jesus while supporting a pedo mass-murdering prophet.”

      We are in agreement on Mohammad. To be fair Jesus has supervised quite enough of his employees raping children with no calls to he cops that he is most certainly a pedarast as well if he exists.

      • Nonsensical

        The kkk is a freemason organization, and there are no Christian “terrorists.”

        There has been no “raping” in the Church, least of all of children. How could the Church support what is mortal sin?

        Your religion is very clearly communism and you very much give an example to the phrase “useful idiot.” Not to mention how vulgar you are.

        • epeeist

          The kkk is a freemason organization, and there are no Christian “terrorists.”

          The Lord’s Resistance Army.

          There has been no “raping” in the Church, least of all of children.

          Abuse in Ireland, Australia, Germany and of course Boston in America.

          Your religion is very clearly communism and you very much give an example to the phrase “useful idiot.”

          Another nonsensical claim, unless you can provide evidence to substantiate it.

        • Nonsensical

          Christianity refers to the Church. The kkk is a freemason organization that spent its entire life killing and persecuting Catholics.

          And I repeat, there are no Christian “terrorists.”

          The abuse scandal involved sodomites pretending to be priests while in sodomitic relationships. There were no children involved.

          Since sodomites do not occur in nature, they try to recruit from the young. I wholly reject the actions of any heretic/apostate and reject the actions of any sodomite.

          Would you have the intellectual honesty to reject sodomy, heresy, and apostasy or do you prefer to be an intellectually dishonest troll?

          How would I substantiate the claim that your religion is politics? That is self-evident if you know anything about communism, which you are a communist.

          You are using alinsky tactics here, and they don’t work on me.

        • epeeist

          And I repeat, there are no Christian “terrorists.”

          Ah, so the “Lord’s Resistance Army” don’t count as Christians. Presumably they don’t wear kilts either.

          The abuse scandal involved sodomites pretending to be priests while in sodomitic relationships. There were no children involved.

          Well that depends on how you define “children” doesn’t it. As Miranda Celeste Hale points out what the John Jay report does is to redefine “paedophilia” as abuse of children under 10 years old rather than use the DSM definition which puts the cut-off at 13 years old.

          Now even using the former figure then some 22% of those abused were children. If you use the American Psychological Association value then this jumps to 73%. In both cases your claim that “no children were involved” is a falsehood.

          As for the redefinition, sounds like truth-relativism to me.

          That is self-evident if you know anything about communism, which you are a communist.

          So come on, tell me how you deduce that I am a communist?

        • Nonsensical

          If they wear kilts then they are Scotch, and the Scottish HATE Catholics. Not to mention that the Scottish state religion is freemasonry.

          The scandal involved sodomites, not faithful priests as priests cannot be sodomites. In fact sodomites cannot be allowed into seminaries as that is not allowed. That means the sodomites had to lie at every step of the way to get to where they were, and they did it solely to attack the Church.

          The sodomites prey on the young and stupid to recruit. That is just their favorite pastime. Has nothing to do with the Church they were infiltrating. Once more I do not see you rejecting sodomites, and I only see you attacking the Church which openly rejects sodomy.

          I deduce you are a communist because you use their rhetoric and their tactics. Shall I wait for you to explicitly say that you are one when I know for a fact that communists never say “communist” and instead call themselves “socialists?” Your kind also boasts of “no top-down leadership,” which if you know anything about your governments is 2+2=5 levels of suspension of disbelief.

          Third strike, you’re out. Once more you practice your nazi and “community organizer” tactic of accusing your enemy of what you alone are guilty of.

          Good bye.

        • epeeist

          If they wear kilts then they are Scotch, and the Scottish HATE Catholics.

          Sigh, so you missed the “No True Scotsman” allusion, sad but hardly surprising.

          As it is some 15.9% of Scots are Catholic, it is the second largest denomination after Church of Scotland (Source).

          Not to mention that the Scottish state religion is freemasonry.

          This doesn’t appear to be reflected in the census data I linked to.

          The scandal involved sodomites, not faithful priests as priests cannot be sodomites.

          Ah, priests cannot be “sodomites” and if they are “sodomites” then they can’t be priests. In other words a classic example of petitio principii.

          That means the sodomites had to lie at every step of the way to get to where they were, and they did it solely to attack the Church.

          You know in science when the evidence contradicts the theory then the theory is wrong. With you if the evidence contradicts your ideological position then the evidence is wrong.

          I deduce you are a communist because you use their rhetoric and their tactics.

          To be blunt, given your posts I doubt you have even the slightest knowledge of even the simplest of logics. In other words, deduction is beyond you.

          Once more you practice your nazi

          So now I am both a communist and a nazi. Hilarious, but then again I would guess the majority of the people here have been laughing at you since you arrived.

        • BlackMamba44

          My entire family in Scotland along with my Mom (also Scottish) is Catholic. 🙂

          They sure do hate Trump, though.

        • ORigel

          The KKK is anti-Catholic but is still very much a Christian terrorist organization.

          You know that the RCC isn’t the only Christian sect, right?

          Or have you been in an echo chamber so long you don’t know that?

        • Greg G.

          There has been no “raping” in the Church, least of all of children.

          Now you are lying.

        • Nonsensical

          Again, you just had to waste my time with this non-argument?

          The scandal was of sodomite fake priests in sodomite relationships.

          The cnn narrative was that there was children involved, but that is ridiculous. pedophilia is a thoroughly pagan and communist past time. That is your thing.

        • Greg G.

          You are brainwashed. Priests and bishops have been caught in churches and schools all over the world for centuries. If enough people complain, the offending priest gets moved to a different parish with new victims and unsuspecting parents. Pull your head out of your ass.

        • Nonsensical

          Buzzwords are not arguments, neither are fake news narratives you convince yourself of out of hatred for truth.

          As I have said previously here, you are a gnostic. You feel you can “know” away reality and replace it with your mentally ill wishful thinking.

          It doesn’t matter what actually is to you, because you think you have a superhuman insight that allows you to disregard all reality.

          As I have also said before, you are blocked. Enough of this idiocy of yours.

        • Kodie

          Buzzwords are not arguments, neither are fake news narratives you convince yourself of out of hatred for truth.

          Stop blaming everyone else for your incompetence.

        • Greg G.

          Your denial is palpable. Seek help.

        • BlackMamba44

          It comes to an atheist forum spouting idiocy and proceeds to block everyone who responds.

          I’m having a good laugh on this beautiful Sunday morning.

        • Greg G.

          It claims to block people yet keeps on responding to them. I don’t think he is competent to do even that.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’ve been blocked a number of times now.

          This is fun!

        • epeeist

          Ha, ha, I was blocked before you. I win.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Step 1: Go to atheist blog and spout stupidity
          Step 2: Block atheist commenters on atheist blog
          Step 3: derp

        • Greg G.

          Congratulations! He blocked Michael Neville but went right on responding to him. He doesn’t appear to be competent enough to actually accomplish the task of blocking.

        • BlackMamba44

          I got a Hail Mary and a threat of hell.

          Yessssss!

        • Greg G.

          My life’s goal is to get a “Hail Mary”. I’m jealous.

        • Michael Neville

          I just got maybe blocked. No Hail Marys or threats of Hell for me. <snivel>

        • BlackMamba44

          Nah, I doubt you’re blocked. It’s just lying. I kept being told I was being blocked but it kept replying to me.

          Its really fun trolling the trolls, watching them become more unhinged.

        • Greg G.

          Hell! You will be damned to Hail Mary.

          Did I do that right?

        • Bruce Gorton
        • Nonsensical

          All of which is the result of sodomite’s pretending to be priests. I don’t exactly see you rejecting sodomites so your outrage over this is hypocritical.

          And Priests are far less likely than any to be involved in any scandal.

          pedophilia has always been a favorite of your sodomitic kind, as well as that of the police and public school teachers.

          Tell me, do fake news narratives like the garbage you posted make you feel better about your own evils? I think not. In fact, I would not be shocked if you were personally responsible for your own “abuse” and you need an innocent scapegoat to attack.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Considering the scandal was that the church was pulling a global cover-up often with the cooperation of local authorities, claiming that fewer priests get caught in such scandals means jack shit.

          And funny how your God wasn’t out there saying “Hey these aren’t real priests!”

          In fact they were indistinguishable from “real priests”, they went through seminary, they preached the same gospels and they were trusted by “real priests”. In fact the big scandal was that the entire church, right the way up to the Pope, worked damn hard to cover up for them fucking children.

          And your God didn’t say a damn thing. Your God remained utterly and completely silent while people raped children in his name. Your God remained silent while bishops swore victims to silence, your God remained silent as the church itself sent people it knew to be untrustworthy around children from church to church as they repeatedly got caught molesting kids.

          Now if your God exists, that silence implies your God didn’t care, it is almost like they were in fact real priests and you’re just a bigoted little asshole who just got caught lying, or your God doesn’t exist, in which case all priests are fake.

          You want to play games where your church gets to get away with fucking kids by claiming that the child fuckers are somehow not true Christians, so you get to keep your claims to moral authority without having actually behave in a manner that is even minimally morally acceptable.

          You want to get to vomit hate on those “pagans” and “communists” – by assigning them your evildoers. They get to be your scapegoats while your church fucks kids.

          Except none of us is accepting it, none of us is going to allow you, you perverted little enabler of kiddy fuckers. You, you despicable piece of slime do not get to get away with this.

        • Nonsensical

          Why do all of your messages here have two likes? Seems fake like you are doing it on your alts. No matter.

          You certainly wrote a lot to say nothing. Not to mention how vulgar you are. The irony is that your message says nothing about the Church, but it does say quite a bit about you.

          A Sheen quote to begin things:

          “Conscience, Christ, and the gift of faith make evil men uneasy in their sin. They feel that if they could drive Christ from the earth, they would be free from “moral inhibitions.” They forget that it is their own nature and conscience which makes them feel that way. Being unable to drive God from the heavens, they would drive his ambassadors from the earth. In a lesser sphere, that is why many men sneer at virtue–because it makes vice uncomfortable.”

          God respects free will as God loves what He has created. God did not create sin, as sin is division from God. Your evil kind always seems to have a problem with free will as you always misuse it. Of course, God knows exactly how you have misused your free will and you will be judged for it unless you repent of it. I think that scares you so you attack the Church by accusing us of what you alone do.

          As well as on the subject of sodomy, heresy, and apostasy God has clearly spoken. Spoken not only with clear words but also the destruction of sodom and the turning over of an unfaithful Israel to her enemies. What more needs to be said?

          As I said to your alt account just moments ago:

          The scandal involved sodomites, not faithful priests as priests cannot be sodomites. In fact sodomites cannot be allowed into seminaries as that is not allowed. That means the sodomites had to lie at every step of the way to get to where they were, and they did it solely to attack the Church.

          The sodomites prey on the young and stupid to recruit. That is just their favorite pastime. Has nothing to do with the Church they were infiltrating. Once more I do not see you rejecting sodomites, and I only see you attacking the Church which openly rejects sodomy.

          You hate the scandal but instead reject the Church who rejects sodomy instead of the sodomy that recruits from the young on the regular.

          You hate the Church but not the communists who were responsible for the infiltration of seminaries by apparatchiks.

          You speak nothing of the psychiatrists who removed sodomy from the dsm and told the bishops that what the sodomites were doing was just how they “express themselves” and will eventually stop. The only thing those bishops were guilty of was believing secular psychiatrists. Where is your rejection of secular psychiatry who makes excuses for evil on the regular?

          As I said, the chances that you yourself are a typical, child-abusing communist sodomite is very high. You just need an innocent scapegoat to pile your own shame onto. Not to mention the only one benefiting from a global cover up is yourself. There was no cover up in the Church, but there was a global cover up scapegoating the Church to protect sodomites.

          It doesn’t seem like your scapegoating makes you feel better about your evil. In fact, it seems more like you have become more miserable, not to mention insane.

          You sit in your miserable little room, stewing in your sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance and you search fake news articles desperately looking for a way to scapegoat God and His Church.

          You are channeling joseph goebbels as you sit here and accuse the innocent Church of what you yourself are guilty of.

          A Fulton Sheen quote before I block you:

          “If some of us who are blessed with its sacred privileges believed the same things about the Church that her slanderers believe, if we knew her only through the words of traitors or third‐rate lies of dishonest historians, if we understood her only through those who were never cradled in her sacred associations, we would perhaps hate the Church just as much as they do. The bitterest enemies of the Church, those who accuse her of being unpatriotic, as Christ was accused of being before Pilate; of being unworldly, as Christ was accused of being before Herod; of being too dogmatic, as Christ was accused of being before Caiaphas; or being too undogmatic, as Christ was accused of being Annas; of being possessed by the devil, as Christ was accused of being before the Pharisees — these do not really hate the Church. They cannot hate the Church any more than they can hate Christ; they hate only that which they mistakenly believe to be the Catholic Church, and their hate is but their vain attempt to ignore. Charity, then, must be shown to persons, and particularly to those outside the fold who by charity must be led back, that there may be one fold and one Shepherd.”

          I would say my message is plenty charitable as it corrects your mistakes thoroughly.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Again, you just had to waste my time with this non-argument?

          you mean like calling us communists?

        • Nonsensical

          You are communists. Your rhetoric is right out of the iron curtain and your tactics are right out of saul alinsky’s handbook.

          For people who deny being communists you are indistinguishable from the goons of soviet apparatchiks and their “community organizers.”

        • Greg G.

          You are lying again. Any sexual relationships between priests are consensual relationships between adults. Who cares?

          The Catholic Church has had priests and higher ranks raping children for centuries. A recent study showed that 4% of priests in the USA had been caught. All but about ten parishes had at least one case.

          Most rabid Catholics will try to evade the problem by pointing out that 4% of priests in the US is only 1% of priests worldwide which ignores that child-raping priests is a world-wide problem. So the math done is dishonest. But when you go into complete denial, it is suspicious. Are you a child-fucking priest? Have you been abused by a priest and are in denial because of it? If so, you have my sympathy. You should report it to law enforcement and seek professional help for your mental anguish.

          The cnn narrative was that there was children involved, but that is ridiculous. pedophilia is a thoroughly pagan and communist past time. That is your thing.

          The reports come from all news sources. Your deep denial of it seems to be a cry for help. It wasn’t your fault. Accepting all the Catholic bullshit won’t settle the problem. Seek counseling.

        • Michael Neville

          there are no Christian “terrorists.”

          Ever hear of the UDL (Ulster Defence League) or the IRA (Irish Republican Army)? During “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland over 3,600 people were killed and thousands more injured, mostly by these two Christian terrorist groups.

          There has been no “raping” in the Church, least of all of children.

          Why is Bernard Cardinal Law hiding in the Vatican? Do the names John Goeghan or Brendan Smyth mean anything to you?

          Yesterday, the Globe reported that Cardinal Bernard F. Law, during his first year in Boston in 1984, assigned Geoghan to St. Julia’s in Weston even though Geoghan had been removed from his two prior parishes for molesting children. In one of those cases, in 1980, Geoghan asserted that his repeated abuse of seven boys in one family, which was disovered that year, was not a “serious” problem. That is according to a church timeline of Geoghan’s career – six parish assignments in 34 years with accusations that he molested more than 130 children.

          Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth admitted to having potentially abused more than 200 children during his years in the priesthood

          There’s a saying among professional football players that “you can fool the spectators but you can’t fool the players.” You might consider that saying before telling us obvious untruths.

          Your religion is very clearly communism and you very much give an example to the phrase “useful idiot.” Not to mention how vulgar you are.

          You wouldn’t recognize a Communist if one walked up to you and kicked you in the nuts. This is just another example of the lies you tell. And if you think Giauz Ragnarock is vulgar, the you’ll be really dismayed when I tell you to take your child-rapist cult and shove it up your rosy red rectum.

        • Nonsensical

          You seem to respond immediately after I post things. You clearly are lonely.

          Those groups you mentioned from Ireland are fully communist, not at all Christian. Strange assumption that they are Christian just because they are Irish despite their communist actions and rhetoric.

          Of course the 3000 victims of those communists are nothing compared to the billions of unborn victims of communists and hundreds of millions of adult victims of communism.

          No they don’t mean anything to me. As I said, the abuse scandal involved sodomites pretending to be priests while in sodomitic relationships. Nothing to do with children. I am well aware of your media narratives, but what good are those in the era of fake news?

          Assaulting children is another communist pastime you blame the Church for. Like your mentor’s goebbels and alinsky, you accuse your enemies of what you are guilty of.

          More hateful vulgarity. As Sheen said:
          “sin is not the worst thing in the world. The worst thing is the denial of sin.”

          I hope you take that to heart and one day convert to the truth. As for me, you are blocked thanks to your conduct.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m involved in a conversation with you. Do you wander away from conversations and then return an hour or two later and continue as if you’d been there the entire time? If so, you’re weirder than I previously thought.

          While a case might be made for Communist influences in the IRA, the UDA were almost fascists. Ian Paisley, who had connections with the UDA, was proud of being more conservative than the British National Party. Learn some history before you make pronouncements about things you obviously know nothing about.

          You know nothing about my politics yet have denounced me as a Communist. You aren’t one of the brightest intellectual lights of the 21st Century.

          I see you blocked me because I don’t hold the Catholic Church in the highest regard. I’m sure tonight I’ll toss and turn in bed for at least four seconds, maybe even five, knowing you’ve blocked me.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “There has been no “raping” in the Church, least of all of children. How could the Church support what is mortal sin?”

          “Not to mention how vulgar you are.”

          I have never been vulgar. How could I be vulgar when that is something I cannot be?

          *Argument from consequences gets ’em every time! Heeheehee

      • Grace Joy

        “We are in agreement on Mohammed.” That’s it? Every singe Mohammedan believes in death to infidels: It’s in the Quran. Taqiyya means they’ll lie about their beliefs. You deflect to Christians & KKK; which is a nut cult that happens to claim Christianity; though there’s nothing in Christianity to mandate what they do. Then you make up stories that his kids raped children & he didn’t call the cops?

        You’re another one. You sound like a liberal in that you assert lies as truth. But a Mohammedan would vaguely mention Mo without condemning him; & then go on to make up lies about Christians. You’re a Mohammedan in disguise to teach atheists lies they can use to put down Christians. No doubt you’re loved here for your witty repartee & mature humor; but the truth is, you’re not an atheist who likes to discuss “apologies:” You’re here to spread lies about Christians to make Islam not look bad by comparison. You’re another follower of the religion of Lies.

        • ORigel

          “Every single Mohammedan believes in death to infidels: It’s in the Qu’ran.”

          No and yes.

          It’s in the Qu’ran, but not all Muslims believe it. Some don’t take that part literally. Or they just haven’t read their holy book throughly enough to get to that part.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “Then you make up stories that his kids raped children & he didn’t call the cops?”

          The Boston Globe beat Jesus to it, and they were at least decades late.

          “You sound like a liberal in that you assert lies as truth.”

          You are confusing me with a FUX News conservative, HAHAHAHAHA!!!

          “Islam not look bad by comparison.”

          They have their own list of “hold my beer” moments, except for the alcohol part.

          “You deflect to Christians & KKK; which is a nut cult that happens to claim Christianity”

          Hey, Jesus says they are his true followers- they tell us so just like all Christians do. I don’t want all Muslims condemned because some are terrorists, either.

    • Nonsensical

      You have to understand these people are not only supremely arrogant but they have very specific political ends.

  • Sheila Warner

    I pictured the two debate scenes in your book as I read this. I would love to see this happen in reality at an apologetics conference! If any organizer takes you up on your offer, I highly recommend your “Cross Examined” book be read before any debate. It’s still one if my favorites.

    • One vote for Sheila for conference organizer!

      • TheNuszAbides

        seconded.

  • Otto

    I had a discussion with a friend about raising my children in an atheist household. He asked if I thought it wasn’t a good idea to expose them to religion. I assured him I had. He responded by saying ‘yeah but you are biased’. I said I have offered to take them to churches, etc. and those options are always open to them. Then I pointed out in both his and my Christian upbringing that option of being exposed to atheist ideas and people was never afforded to us. He didn’t have much more to say on the subject.

    • MadScientist1023

      Why is he criticizing you for being biased? Is he not biased somehow?

      • Otto

        I don’t feel it was a criticism, he was just playing the other side.

    • islandbrewer

      I do this with my kids. We live right nest to a Catholic cathedral(/Catholic school) and my kids have lots of friends who attend.

      I’ve explained that, “while your parents don’t believe in a god, lots of very nice, smart people do – so-and-so’s parents are Catholic, would you like to go to one of their services across the street?”

      This only worked a couple times – the boringness of your average church service has seemed the biggest obstacle for religion at their age. But I try to teach them the basic tenets and distinctions among the various beliefs.

      • Otto

        I would never want to withhold information from my children, I will just ask some tough questions if they start going in that direction, but they need to decide for themselves. You wouldn’t hear Catholics doing that, or Baptists, etc.

        • Annerdr

          In high school, my atheist son started dating an evangelical Christian. I explained to be wary of girls who say they are taking birth control but aren’t and to be wary of any signs of “flirt to convert”. She wanted him to come to church with her family. Son agreed with the proviso that she go to Sunday Assembly with us. She refused. It ended up breaking them up.

        • Otto

          I would be so proud of my son if he did that, good for him and you.

          Never get into a relationship if you ever get the feeling the other person wants to change/fix you.

      • jamesparson

        From the Evangelical part of Patheos:

        Worship Should Be Exceedingly Boring
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ponderanew/2015/11/12/worship-should-be-exceedingly-boring/

        • Otto

          They are easily winning that battle.

    • Pofarmer

      My sons identify as Atheists. My oldest has been Student of the Month in high school as a Junior, which is really hard to do. They both have good grades and good work ethic and are all around good kids. They just aren’t religious. I think my wife sees it, but can’t process it.

      • jamesparson

        I am sorry to hear about your wife. I hope she knows that your sons are doing well and that she had a part in that

    • Jared

      We’ve freely allowed our (now 7) daughter to occasionally go with friends and family to Sunday services. But the last time the subject came up, the only thing she had to say was “Church isn’t my thing”.

  • lawrence090469

    Hey, all. This Grace Joy clown wandered over from Infowars and Shoebat. Not worth the effort.

    • Did you leave the door open?

      Thanks for the tip.

    • Joe

      No grace, nor joy, is to be found in her posts.

      • Grace Joy

        Not sure why you think everything in the world revolves around you & your opinion.

        Dom blocked me because freedom of speech isn’t allowed here. Similar to Islam, which considers freedom of speech to be abusive.

        http://www.limitstogrowth.org/articles/2014/05/06/left-fascism-threatens-freedom-in-europe-and-beyond/

        • Michael Neville

          freedom of speech isn’t allowed here.

          Another conservative Christian who doesn’t understand what freedom of speech means. It prevents the government from punishing you for making political statements. It does not guarantee you a soapbox to spew your fear and hatred. It does not protect you from criticism or ridicule. And it does not mean that anyone has to listen to you.

        • BlackMamba44

          Spoooiing!!

        • Nonsensical

          I suppose it shows the intellectual capability of your kind if three people liked a post of you going “Spoooiing!!” twice in a row.

        • BlackMamba44

          That’s because you are clueless on what I mean with the word.

          It’s the irony meter going off. You can figure the rest out.

          Are you going to block me?

        • Nonsensical

          Yes, I was right then, you are clearly ill.

          I was going to block you but got sidetracked with another conversation. Imagine my surprise when I go back to my profile and I have over a dozen new notes all from you.

          I just have touched a nerve.

        • BlackMamba44

          Nope. I’m having some fun and a good laugh at what you think are insults.

          Internet trolls don’t bother me at all.

        • Greg G.

          Blockqing someone does not prevent them from replying to you. It only makes you unaware of the replies. Apparently you have blocked reality from your consciousness.

        • Kodie

          Christians as deeply over the edge as this one have no sense of irony, sarcasm, or humor in general.

        • epeeist

          Christians as deeply over the edge as this one have no sense of irony, sarcasm, or humor in general.

          FIFY

        • Kodie

          While that’s true, it’s remarkable how hard it is for most of them to “get” humor at all.

        • epeeist

          While that’s true, it’s remarkable how hard it is for most of them to “get” humor at all.

          Accepted, my post was of course meant to be humorous, or at least tongue in cheek.

          I have known a number of zealots over the years, adherents of religious and other ideologies. All of them seem to have a humour deficit in one way or another.

          A Bertrand Russell quotation seems apposite:

          The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

        • BlackMamba44

          Yet here you are, still able to spew your shit all over the comments section. Your ass must be jealous.

          Where is your freedom of speech being squashed here?

        • Nonsensical

          You certainly are vulgar.

          Certainly her freedom of speech is being infringed upon in the outside world.

          Certainly she is being persecuted right here on this forum because a mental ill child who goes “Spoooiing!!” thinks attacking Christians will make his shame go away.

          Yet you are still ashamed because you do unnatural things.

        • BlackMamba44

          Being ridiculed is persection?

          Christians being killed by Islamists is persection. Being called out for spewing nonsense on an internet forum is not.

          You want vulgar? Why aren’t you in church on your knees sucking YahwehJesus’s dick? It’s Sunday.

        • Nonsensical

          Certainly is, as you are using it to silence her and make her leave. That is the definition of persecution, to silence someone and assault them for who they are.

          You spew nonsense against Christians for the same reason the mohammedans kill. You just aren’t yet at the level of evil where you will be seeking to kill yet.

          Now that is vulgar.

        • BlackMamba44

          Spooooiiinnng!

        • Greg G.

          Being silenced is not persecution. You are not banned so you are not silenced here and if you were, you are not silenced elsewhere. What you are doing here is persecuting us because we do not follow your religion. Nobody asked you to come and nobody is stopping you from going away. You are indulging your sado-masochistic fantasies.

          Nobody here is willing to kill over religion except the religious extremists that pop in.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Kodie

          You are vulgar, your beliefs and your harassment and hostility are totally vulgar. Yours are not the words of any true Christian. You are ugly and nasty and I don’t know why you think that’s necessary here. We like a good discussion, we do not like assholes. You’re not capable of a good discussion, you are only capable of lashing out and being an asshole. Go fuck yourself already. You are a nut who belongs on a streetcorner warning strangers about the end is nigh instead of on the internet.

        • Joe

          Not sure why you think everything in the world revolves around you & your opinion.

          Not sure where you got that impression from? Oh wait, you invented it to fit your own worldview.

          Dom blocked me because freedom of speech isn’t allowed here. Similar to Islam, which considers freedom of speech to be abusive.

          Dom blocked you because you’re a pure fantasist, who revels in holding wrong beliefs and will do anything not to change. I will be doing the same.

    • Dom Saunders

      Already blocked her.

    • Grace Joy

      Typical liberal who creates entire narratives from one tiny piece of information.

      • Michael Neville

        We also have your fear and hatred of Muslims which you parade so strongly on this blog. We see you whining that we don’t have the same fear and hatred you think we should have.

        You’ve delivered your message. It’s been rejected. Now do us all a favor and FUCK OFF!

        • Grace Joy

          Project much? I’m full of fear & hatred? You have nothing but hatred for Christians, Jesus, the religion; but you’re so offended when someone shows links & warns of the horrors coming from Islam that would put anything bad any Christian ever did to shame?

          Why are you so angry & hateful that someone speaks the truth of the religion Islam; while all you can do is pick out words from the Christians’ bible to pick on? This is a site for thoughtful atheists to teach how Christians how to sell their religion? And you stop others from questioning you? Is it my insulting Islam that has you so upset? Why would my telling the truth about Islam upset you so much? I bet the Christians don’t become so angry at you when you “respectfully” tell them that you’ve taken another line out of context & insult them?

          Hypocrite? Mohammedan in disguise? I hope any “real” atheists here are watching. It’s not normal for atheists to enjoy being nasty unnecessarily to Christians; & then going batshit because someone insulted Islam.

        • Michael Neville

          You have nothing but hatred for Christians, Jesus, the religion

          I don’t hate Jesus. It would be silly to hate the figment of someone else’s imagination. I don’t hate Christians either, although some of them, you are a good example, aren’t too pleasant. You’re the one full of hatred. You hate and fear Muslims and, because we don’t share your hate, you hate us too.

          I don’t worry about Muslims in America. There have been cases of Muslim terrorism in this country, 9/11 being the most prominent, but Christian terrorism is much more wide spread. Dylann Roof was not a Muslim when he shot those people in Charleston, he was an evangelical Christian. Robert Lewis Dear, who shot up the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic killing three people, was another evangelical Christian. Timothy McVeigh and his buddies who killed 168 people, including 19 children, in Oklahoma City were also Christians.

          It’s quite obvious that we’re not buying what you’re selling. So do everyone a favor and fuck off.

        • Grace Joy

          You’re either an ignorant moron who actually has no idea what Islam is & is doing; or you’re a Mohammedan.

        • Two Americas

          Mohammedan in disguise?

          Are you deranged?

        • Michael Neville

          Anyone who doesn’t agree with her Islamophobia is automatically a Muslim. It doesn’t matter what our real opinions on Islam or radical Islam are, if we don’t hate and fear Muslims like she does then we’re “Mohammedans”. It’s a “you’re either with me or you’re the enemy” thing.

      • BlackMamba44

        Spoooiiing!

  • DorianGrayfox

    As a former Baptist, now atheist, I have offered to debate in my former church many times. Of course, there is never a response of any nature, other than, when I came out as atheist, several members of my former church contacted businesses that I dealt with to inform them of my atheism and to state that they would never purchase goods or interact with those companies. When my mother died, I was denied attendance to the funeral as my appearance was considered ” disruptive” to the congregants. But then these are good “christians” who turn the other cheek, love their enemies and welcome the shunned, correct?

    • I heard of a former pastor who was allowed to attend his own daughter’s wedding at his ex-church but only shadowed by members of the church. To make sure he didn’t confound people with evidence, maybe? Or maybe just to spread a little of that Christian hatred.

  • ryan

    You realize you’re putting your life on the line right?

    • I’m not sure if you’re joking or not. I’ve been to lots of Christian events and have always been welcomed, even when I made clear that I was an atheist.

      • ryan

        I wasn’t joking, and I’m honestly surprised that there hasn’t been any violence.

        • I hear the occasional story, but speaking only from my own experience, I’ve had no problem. I’ve had lots of liberal/atheist stuff on the back of my car, without mishap.

          Of course, I live in Seattle. If I lived in Montgomery or Birmingham, maybe I’d have had a different experience.

        • Michael Neville

          The only political bumpersticker I’ve ever had on a car read: “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”. Okay, so I’m a little behind on my electioneering.

        • TheNuszAbides

          sounds like a real hayburner.

  • wtfwjtd

    I know I’m “preaching to the choir”, but…apologetics conferences aren’t for actually teaching apologetics per se, but are generally designed for reinforcing the God belief of attendees. Holy smokes, I can see how an actual atheist at some of these might cause an uproar! Instead of a pat on the back, the wavering doubter would be given a balanced discussion, which just *might* tip the scales the wrong way.

    Since Christianity has been in the business of putting its thumb on the scales almost from the beginning, allowing a fair and balanced, factual discussion would be highly frowned upon. But still, the thought of such a discussion occurring is so appealing, that I encourage you to keep trying, it’s worth the effort. If it turned out anything like the discussions that occur in your book “Cross Examined”, it would be an apologetics conference to be remembered, that’s for sure! I’d love to see that.

    • I agree, though I still have a hard time with their claims. They claim to focus on preparing Christians for the battle. If any conference organizer read this post, I’m sure they wouldn’t deign to respond.

      That’s probably my bad for taking them at their word.

      • Jim Jones

        People often say one thing and do another. Crowds cheered Trump when he was making silly promises to win the election. Now they cheer him as he breaks every promise, one after another.

    • Jim Jones

      I went to a Billy Graham revival in 1959, at night, George Beverly Shea singing “How Great Thou Art”, a choir and a much younger Billy delivering a rip-roaring sermon.

      Several (but not a lot) of people “came forward”. I heard nothing to convince me. At the end, my reaction was, “Wow! How manipulative”.

      My much younger self wasn’t moved by any of this. I suspect those who did come forward had convinced themselves.

      • Pofarmer

        “Wow! How manipulative”.

        Yep, and unthinking. People just take an awful lot of shit for granted. My inlaws are Catholic to the point of stupidity. Some of the stuff they believe is genuinely scary and harmful. But they just cheerfully go along, brain dead in their religious beliefs, as it were.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS FRUITLESS BECAUSE IT IS STERILE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS DESTRUCTIVE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS MURDEROUS.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS WORTHLESS—-IT
    HAS NOT ACHIEVED ANYTHING POSITIVE.

    • Otto

      Marsupials have a pouch

      • guerillasurgeon

        Not much point in replying to someone who writes in all caps. 🙂

        • Max Doubt

          “Not much point in replying to someone who writes in all caps.”

          Maybe he’s a poor person who can’t afford a fancy keyboard with a shift key. Ever think about that? Huh? Did ya?

        • Greg G.

          I gave him the benefit of the doubt by figuring it was the Caps Lock key and he: a) hasn’t noticed, or b) doesn’t know how to undo the Caps Lock.

        • guerillasurgeon

          Either way, not much point in replying to them then. 🙂

        • rubellapox2

          Lol…

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS PESSIMISTIC——-PESSIMISM DEADENS ACTION, AND PREVENTS PROGRESS.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE RELIGION IS BUILT ON FRUITLESS AND FAKE fAITH.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    THE BASIC TENETS OF ATHEISM ARE ABSURD.

    The basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because
    they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began
    at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If
    their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

    • Otto

      Frankenstein scares me…

    • Someone needs a timeout.

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        Someone needs to stop being a coward.That coward is always picking on Christianity, thinking Christianity to be easy target.

        • epeeist

          Well it is usual for obnoxious children to be asked to be quiet when there are adults talking.

        • Nonsensical

          Yet you children still speak despite knowing nothing.

        • TheNuszAbides

          darn, guys, we forgot to finagle an IMPRIMATUR for all those scientific studies.

        • Nonsensical

          Certainly would help the sciences go back to being scientific instead of just being a front for the modern pagan religion you are mindlessly dedicated to.

          This trolling was poor. You’re blocked.

        • TheNuszAbides

          my “trolling” is beyond the grasp of your petty collection of adjectives for ideas you can’t abide.

        • Greg G.

          Coward? The only thing we fear from you is that you will bore us to death. You are just not very interesting.

        • ATHEISTS=FOOLS.

          REPEAT:

          Someone needs to stop being a coward.That coward is always picking on
          Christianity, thinking Christianity to be easy target.

          By POPONNE.
          [][]

        • Greg G.

          You are giving me a yawn attack. Someone call 911. Poponne is trying to fatally bore me with tediousness.

        • Suppose you were debating a Muslim or Mormon or Scientologist. Would it be difficult? Or would that bogus religion be an easy target?

          Tip: if the other guy has backed the wrong horse, and you know your material thoroughly, it’s an easy target.

        • ATHEISTS=FOOLS.

          REPEAT:
          Someone needs to stop being a coward.That coward is always picking on Christianity, thinking Christianity to be easy target.

        • Greg G.

          Someone needs to stop being a bore.That bore is always defending on Christianity, thinking Christianity to be so pathetic even he can shine the turd.

        • Actually, it is a rather easy target. You, too. Bye.

        • ATHEISTS=FOOLS.

          REPEAT:

          Someone needs to stop being a coward.That coward is always picking on
          Christianity, thinking Christianity to be easy target.

          By POPONNE.

        • DoorknobHead

          Rich-target environment. Oh I mean, target-rich environment.

    • Jim Jones

      Anyone else hear the Twilight Zone theme in their heads while reading this?

      • TheNuszAbides

        no, because i can’t force Rod Serling’s voice to dub shit grammar.

    • rationalobservations?

      All that exists is detectable. Radio waves are detectable. Electricity is detectable, wind is detectable. Even the thought process inside your head is detectable.

      No gods, goddesses or god-men are detectable and none have ever been detected.

      What do you claim is the difference between the undetected and the nonexistent?

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        Time travel to the PAST, when radio waves, and electricity were known ONLY to few inspired individuals, and atheists were oblivious of radio waves and electricity.

        The atheist morons said BACK then:
        “All that exists is detectable. No radio waves, no electricity are detectable and none have ever been detected. Therefore, radio waves and electricity do not exist.”

        Travel to the PRESENT day, and reasonable men can tell that atheists are really sub-moronic sub-imbeciles, and intellectually deficient, for believing in The basic tenets of atheism which are absurd.

        Indeed, the basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.
        IF THEIR DUMB UNDEVELOPED SPIRITUAL SENSE IS UNAWARE OF GOD, THEY STUPIDLY CLAIM GOD AS NOT EXISTING.

        • Greg G.

          The atheist morons said BACK then:
          “All that exists is detectable. No radio waves, no electricity are detectable and none have ever been detected. Therefore, radio waves and electricity do not exist.”

          Name one atheist who said there were no radio waves before radio waves were discovered. Name one person who said electricity didn’t exist before electricity was discovered.

          On the other hand, we can name theist morons who have denied evolution after it was discovered.

          Developing a spiritual sense is brainwashing yourself to believe something stupid. You are pretty good at that.

        • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

          You have adequately confirmed your stupidity.

        • Greg G.

          You cannot make a coherent argument. You can’t even make a coherent insult. Your greatest pride is the ability to create Disqus accounts. I doubt your parents are proud of that. I look forward to the new name of the Dunning-Kruger-Poppone Syndrome because you are the perfect example of it.

        • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

          Quote the whole comment, moron. No cherry picking. You have adequately confirmed your stupidity:

          Time travel to the PAST, when radio waves, and electricity were known ONLY to few inspired individuals, and atheists were oblivious of radio waves and electricity.

          The atheist morons said BACK then:

          “All that exists is detectable. No radio waves, no electricity are detectable and none have ever been detected. Therefore, radio waves and electricity do not exist.”

          Travel to the PRESENT day, and reasonable men can tell that atheists are really sub-moronic sub-imbeciles, and intellectually deficient, for believing in The basic tenets of atheism which are absurd.

          Indeed, the basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

          IF THEIR DUMB UNDEVELOPED SPIRITUAL SENSE IS UNAWARE OF GOD, THEY STUPIDLY CLAIM GOD AS NOT EXISTING.

          By POPONNE.

        • Greg G.

          Quote the whole comment, moron. No cherry picking. You have adequately confirmed your stupidity:

          I didn’t misquote you. I didn’t quotemine you. If you want a full response, write with quality. Otherwise, you’re only going to get laughed at. If you don’t have content, why bother with sock puppets. You look like a loser.

        • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

          FUTURE scenario:

          The atheist moron will say in the FUTURE:”Name one atheist who said God does not exist before he developed Spiritual sense and became aware of God.”

          Travel to the PRESENT day, and reasonable men can tell that atheists are really sub-moronic sub-imbeciles, and intellectually deficient DENIERS of what they atheists say and are LIARS, like this non-human called greg g.

        • Greg G.

          We can tell that you are drooling when you type because your keyboard shift key shorts out making randomly capitalized words.

        • rationalobservations?

          Your pathetic nonsense fails to address the matter of the existence of “the gods”.

          I must correct you on one major error in your furious angst ridden diatribe. Atheists DO NOT claim that your god does not exist. We observe that there is no evidence supporting the existence of any of the many hundreds of thousands of gods, goddesses and god-men among which your unremarkable and far from unique minor spooks reside.

          Karl Popper wrote a theory in which “is true” is replaced with “corresponds to the facts”. The existence of any of the many thousands of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men corresponds to similar endlessly recycled myths legends and lies but never empirical evidence supported facts.

          It’s a unremarkable coincidence that the religion of the nation in which any religionist is born is always the “real and true” one and all others are false.

          Fewer than 18% of Americans and fewer than 6% of Europeans (under 2% in the UK and Sweden) are currently active members of any cult, sect or business of religion according to the remaining religions own published attendance figures while the vast vast majority of the millennial generation shun all religion and ignore all phony gods, goddesses and god-men (including christian gods and god-men) and redundant churches litter our villages, towns and cities.

          To the non-indoctrinated and those of us who shrugged off indoctrination in favour of common sense, logic and evidence – nothing appears to distinguish one god, goddess or god-man/”messiah”., from any other of the many thousands of undetected and undetectable, entirely and exclusively hypothetical gods, goddesses and god-men/”messiahs.

          Christians are often baffled how atheists could deny the existence of their (originally Canaanite) god, “Jehovah/Yahweh” and their (Roman) god-man/”messiah” “Yeshu/Jesus”, but they shouldn’t be. Christians deny many tens of thousands of the same gods that atheists deny. Atheists just deny one more ridiculously unconvincing god and one more stereotypical and entirely mythical god-man (among many hundreds of thousands of extremely similar undetectable and imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) than Christians.

          Many among the declining cohort of the religionists (of the free, secular democracies of the world) join those christians who fail to justify their enthrallment to their specific brand of religion by pointing out that the non-existence of any of the gods cannot be proved.
          Evidence of the nonexistence of the nonexistent is nonexistent because the nonexistent is nonexistent.
          However – If inability to prove the non-existence of deities is enough for christians and other religionists to believe in them.,they must be very busy worshiping Amun-Ra, Apollo/Zeus, Odin, Quetzalcoatl, Pratibhanapratisamvit, (Buddhist goddess of context analysis) and Acat, (Mayan god of tattoo artists) and Tsa’qamae, (North American god of salmon migration) – and many thousands of other undetectable hypothetical entities among which the ridiculous “Yahweh” and “Jesus” remain merely mythical and of which no one ever provides proof or reason of (or for) existence and therefore non-existence may be sensibly and rationally assumed by default – as the third largest and fastest growing cohort of humanity (the godless / non-religious) conclude.

          All the evidence appears to indicate that the “christian” religion was cobbled together in the 4th century from mainly “pagan” components and exclusively “pagan” feast days and festivals.

          We have a lot of evidence of Simon “Christ” The “Messiah” Simon Bar Kochbah. That evidence includes messiah coins struck in his honour. There are not a single Greek, Roman or Hebrew text, artifact, inscription or archaeology records of Jesus until around 3 centuries after the time in which the legends are back dated to and merely set.
          http://www.livius.org/site/assets/files/18723/bar_kochba_coin1.200×0-is-pid38935.jpg

          The burden of proof and the onus of convincing the rest of us of the validity of the “proof” is always upon the religionists and the rest of the rapidly declining membership of fraudulent religions. All religionists, fail too rise to meet that challenge and therefore your myths, legends and human businesses of religion remain debunked in the minds of most young folk and a large and growing number of us older folk who saw through and rejected the bunkum at some time in our life.

          It’s very noticeable that no one can tell me (and the growing legion of the happy, peaceful and humanitarian godless) about (the originally Canaanite god) “Yahweh” and (Roman god-man) “Jesus” (or any of the many thousands of other mythical deities) through logic and actual authenticated historical and scientific evidence and without any reference to the confused and internally contradictory mythology within any of the many diverse and different versions of human authored bibles, papyri, manuscripts and texts that were written centuries after the time in which their tales are backdated and merely set.

          Atheists make no claims. Religionists claim a god and/or gods and/or a god-man/men exist. The onus remains upon them to justify, validate or excuse that apparently bizarre claim.

          Meanwhile; the rapidly growing rest of us simply find no compelling reason to believe in any of the gods or religions because they present nothing but myths, legends and lies and the fact that a declining cohort of mankind personally believe in magic, supernatural entities and the myths legends and lies in which such childish superstition exclusively resides – is unconvincing to those of us who have shrugged off that indoctrinated BS and the millennial generation who have mostly not been infected by that garbage.

          THE BASIC TENETS OF ALL RELIGIONS ARE ABSURD

          Please note this image of a Simon Christ coin commemorating the messiah Simon Bar Kochbah and showing him in front of the temple with the messianic star and other symbols of his divinity.

        • ATHEISTS=FOOLS.

          Yaaawwwwn!

          1. Your entire post is a mindless regurgitation of the rubbish you have been indoctrinated with, and it is the height of your folly to rattle off that nonsense to me, as if I am a member of your foolish crowd. I am a human being and can think, and therefore I cannot be a member of your cult. Obviously, you are even unaware that you are a victim of a sad and worthless indoctrination with the sad rubbish called atheism. A creature claims that he is not indoctrinated, and then goes ahead to discharge a load of rubbish atheism indoctrination from his skull, and is not even aware that at that very moment, he is exhibiting his indoctrinated state. karl popper? You must take that fellow as one of your “gods” and fake “saviours.” Pocket him very well, and the other legions you may have taken as your atheism “gods” —-I am not interested. You have been in this atheism state since your teens? Then, you are
          really stuck on teenage stupidity.[apologies to wise teenagers who certainly are your superiors and do not belong in your crowd.]

          2. How you must hate hearing this Truth: Jesus Christ is The
          Messiah.

          Go ahead, and burst an artery, who cares. You are inconsequential to the continuing Universal Victorious march of Christianity for all time.

          3. Deal with this, and this time, pocket your atheism indoctrination, and try to provide evidence by way of answering, that you are capable of thinking for yourself, the way we humans do:[and remember, it is the issue of the absurdity of atheism that is under scrutiny here.]

          REPEAT:

          Time travel to the PAST, when radio waves, and electricity were known ONLY to few inspired individuals, and atheists were oblivious of radio waves and electricity.

          The atheist morons said BACK then:

          “All that exists is detectable. No radio waves, no electricity are
          detectable and none have ever been detected. Therefore, radio waves and electricity do not exist.”

          Travel to the PRESENT day, and reasonable men can tell that atheists are really sub-moronic sub-imbeciles, and intellectually deficient, for believing in The basic tenets of atheism which are absurd.

          Indeed, the basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

          IF THEIR DUMB UNDEVELOPED SPIRITUAL SENSE IS UNAWARE OF GOD, THEY STUPIDLY CLAIM GOD AS NOT EXISTING.

          By POPONNE.

          [][]

        • adam
        • adam
    • adam
      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        HOW TO CURE YOURSELF OF ATHEISM. [3 Easy Steps]

        1. Write the name of the male you believe to be your biological father.

        2. Give reasons why you believe this male to be your biological father when you have absolutely no evidence to support your belief; and yet you believe this male to be your biological father.

        3. Realize that since, without any supporting evidence, you believe this male to be your biological father,whereas he is not, then you really have no point in NOT believing in God.

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        HOW TO CURE YOURSELF OF ATHEISM. [3 Easy Steps]

        1. Write the name of the male you believe to be your biological father.

        2. Give reasons why you believe this male to be your biological father when you have absolutely no evidence to support your belief; and yet you believe this male to be your biological father.

        3. Realize that since, without any supporting evidence, you believe this male to be your biological father,whereas he is not, then you really have no point in NOT believing in God.

        By POPONNE.

        [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

        • Greg G.

          You are just jealous because your parents deny that they know you.

          You could have come up with something clever like:

          1. Pick any male stranger.

          2. Give reasons for not believing he is your father.

          3. Apply those reasons to your own father.

          But that would have required a scintilla of intelligence.

        • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

          Ahhh, you are a confirmed BASTARD, then. That’s why are you are UNCOMFORTABLE with —–THIS:

          1. Write the name of the male you believe to be your biological father.

          2. Give reasons why you believe this male to be your biological father when you have absolutely no evidence to support your belief; and yet you believe this male to be your biological father.

          3. Realize that since, without any supporting evidence, you believe
          this male to be your biological father,whereas he is not, then you really have no point in NOT believing in God.

          I am not in your sub-moronic atheist gang that lack the intelligence to think for yourselves, but only allow your brainwasher to do it for you. So, I think for myself. Away with your lousy virtually VERBATIM suggestion from your brainwasher .You are really an idiot, you know.

          By POPONNE.

          [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

        • Greg G.

          Your version is at a grade school level. Can’t you function on an adult level? That’s not so much a question but a suggestion.

    • BlackMamba44
    • BlackMamba44
    • al kimeea

      You have failed to support your premise. Of course radio waves existed before we became aware of them. We have learned they’ve been around far longer than we have.

      Columbus was surprised by the Americas, thinking it to be Asia…

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        1. You have succeeded in supporting my premise, and have admitted that I am correct, and that your atheist beliefs are absurd.

        Of course radio waves existed before you became aware of them.

        Of course,God exists right now, even before such time you become aware of Him.

        Your problem is undeveloped Spiritual sense, a.k.a. Spiritual blindness.

        When you begin to see, [for right now, you are a blind moron], you will learn God has been around even while you were blind to Him, just like radio waves had been around, even when you were blind to it.

        2. And you have succeeded in supporting that The basic tenets of atheism are absurd.

        Indeed, the basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

        IF THEIR DUMB UNDEVELOPED SPIRITUAL SENSE IS UNAWARE OF GOD, THEY STUPIDLY
        CLAIM GOD AS NOT EXISTING.

        By POPONNE.

        • al kimeea

          Well, considering the best evidence for this deity is fanbois like you drooling drivel, it’s no wonder people who’ve been taught how, not what to think, don’t buy the slime you’re selling

        • epeeist

          Well, considering the best evidence for this deity is fanbois like you

          The latest set are a bit disappointing aren’t they, it seems to take all of them combined to reach an IQ in double figures.

        • ATHEISTS=FOOLS.

          Before you can buy it, first of all, you have got to become human, because right now, there is no evidence of your alleged humanity. Then, you have got to provide evidence of being capable of independent thought, because right now, you are simply parroting your atheism indoctrinated programming. Very, very, non-human.

          Smell this again:

          1. You have succeeded in supporting my premise, and have admitted that I am correct, and that your atheist beliefs are absurd.

          Of course radio waves existed before you became aware of them.

          Of course,God exists right now, even before such time you become aware of Him.

          Your problem is undeveloped Spiritual sense, a.k.a. Spiritual blindness.

          When you begin to see, [for right now, you are a blind moron], you will learn God has been around even while you were blind to Him, just like radio waves had been around, even when you were blind to it.

          2. And you have succeeded in supporting that The basic tenets of atheism are absurd.

          Indeed, the basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

          IF THEIR DUMB UNDEVELOPED SPIRITUAL SENSE IS UNAWARE OF GOD, THEY STUPIDLY CLAIM GOD AS NOT EXISTING.

          By POPONNE.

        • al kimeea

          oh look, another fanboi who says this –

          “you have got to provide evidence of being capable of independent
          thought, because right now, you are simply parroting your atheism
          indoctrinated programming.”

          and then proceeds to regurgitate the turd left by the previous fanboi

          atheist programming? oh you mean reading the holey christian text from cover to cover in Sunday School after being told it held all of life’s answers…

    • RichardSRussell

      I know that “FAIK” is Internet shorthand for “for all I know” and “FAQ” is “frequently asked questions”, but what does “FAK” stand for?

      • Greg G.

        Googling gave these possibilities:
        Acronym Definition
        FAK Focal Adhesion Kinase
        FAK First Aid Kit
        FAK Freight All Kinds
        FAK Federasie Van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge (Federation of Afrikaans Culture Organisations, South Africa)
        FAK Fußballklub Austria Wien (German: Vienna, Austria soccer club)
        FAK Feeding at Keyboard
        FAK Flyaway Kit (Royal Australian Air Force)

        I’m going with the penultimate one.

        • RichardSRussell

          See, I kinda figured it was “fuck all knowledge”, but I thot I’d be polite and ask.

        • Greg G.

          You changed my mind.

        • Greg G.

          His latest incarnation implies that he just figured out how to spell “FAKE”.

          http://disq.us/p/1jy6uox

        • Otto

          Fuck All Kangaroos Earnestly?

    • Greg G.

      Nobody believed in radio waves until evidence for them was discovered and other causes were ruled out. There is more evidence for Santa Claus than for gods but the evidence for Santa can be explained by the existence of parents. It makes no sense to start believing in something until you have sufficient evidence to support the existence of what you want to believe.

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        Thanks for shooting down your own argument, and for agreeing and admitting that the The basic tenets of atheism are absurd.

        Indeed, the basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

        Indeed, there are more evidence for Santa Claus being human, than for you being human. You have equally admitted that it makes no sense to start believing you to be human until we have sufficient evidence to support what you want us to believe you as being human; and until that evidence is provided, you are non-human.

        By POPONNE.

    • adam
      • ozarkmichael

        Yes, it is strange how people feel it is necessary to impugn the motives of those who disagree with them. But this is a human trait and not merely a Christian one.

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        It is hardness of heart and evil passions that incline some creatures to atheism, and atheists invariably try to hide this fact by engaging in unscrupulous intellectual dishonesty. This atheist unscrupulous intellectual dishonesty is glaring in the fact that : you deluded atheists say you believe in “facts backed by evidence”, so, what evidence backs your gullible belief in the cock and bull story of your whore mother, which claims that the male she calls husband to be your biological
        father, whereas he is not, and whereas the evidence is that you have no
        resemblance to this male.

        Since, without any supporting evidence, you believe this your mother’s male to be your biological father, you have no point in not believing in God. You are this unscrupulously intellectually dishonest, stupid and deluded, you know.

        By POPONNE.

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        It is hardness of heart and evil passions that incline some creatures to atheism, and atheists invariably try to hide this fact by engaging in unscrupulous intellectual dishonesty. This atheist unscrupulous intellectual dishonesty is glaring in the fact that : you deluded atheists say you believe in “facts backed by evidence”, so, what evidence backs your gullible belief in the cock and bull story of your whore mother, which claims that the male she calls husband to be your biological
        father, whereas he is not, and whereas the evidence is that you have no resemblance to this male.

        Since, without any supporting evidence, you believe this your mother’s male to be your biological father, you have no point in not believing in God. You are this unscrupulously intellectually dishonest, stupid and deluded, you know.

        By POPONNE.
        [[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        Thanks
        for confessing that “steveallen” is your “god” and fake “saviour”, whose OPINION you do not question but accept hook line and sinker, WITHOUT you
        atheists seeing any EVIDENCE.

        But then, you are an atheist.

        And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for
        themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe some other creatures
        should think for them. The end result is that WITHOUT seeing any EVIDENCE, these
        misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science myths
        a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by some creatures.

        By POPONNE.
        [[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    INABILITY TO SEE COLOR BLUE, IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH COLOR
    BLINDNESS.

    ATHEISM IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH SPIRITUAL
    BLINDNESS.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Sterile science is stupid and it is NOT hard to figure out it is
    stupid.

    Only dummies can’t figure this fact out. But then, you are an atheist.

    And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for
    themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile
    so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is
    that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science
    myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a. OPINIONS, concocted by creatures equally misguided
    as them.

    —-POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a.OPINION, concocted by creatures equally misguided as them.

    —-POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    All his life, an ignorant sterile so-called scientist reads multitude of books scribbled by equally ignorant and confused people, and is it any wonder that he never arrives at true knowledge, but ends up concocting his own brand of ignorant and confused myth a.k.a theories.

    A sterile science atheist religion fanatic barely reads the sterile science atheist religion myths, but only mindlessly crams the myths in slogan form, and believes he and sterile so-called scientists to know everything.

    By POPONNE.

  • Tommy

    Bob, Poponne is communicating through subliminal posts that he/she really, really needs to be banned. Would you please grant his/her request?

    • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

      Are you atheists trembling because of the truth of POPONNE’S comments. You atheists must be LIARS then.

      • Joe

        What is your purpose with these posts?

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          What is your purpose with your anti-Christian rants?

        • Herald Newman

          To get as many blocks as possible?!

        • Greg G.

          Even a miserable existence needs some validation.

        • Joe

          They have a high success ratio.

          I followed up soon after by blocking them. There was absolutely nothing to gain by engaging with them.

      • Otto

        The only person coming off as very insecure is you…

        • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

          Are your always in the habit of mistaking your OPINION as being FACT.

    • Michael Neville

      Poponne has exhaustively shown that he/she hates and fears atheism and atheists. We don’t need any further evidence of that hatred and fear.

      • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

        Now, why not clap for yourself with one palm.

        You atheist have exhaustively shown that you hate and fear Christianity and Christians. Christians don’t need any further evidence of that your atheist hatred and fear directed against Christianity and Christians

    • Yep, I’ve done so. He has popped up in different incarnations several times, and I ban them as soon as I realize it’s POPO yet again.

      As an aside, I do wonder what he expects to accomplish. Just being a dick, I guess?

      • Greg G.
        • Thanks. Banned.

          What’s the guy’s deal? Are the days of semi-plausible apologetics over, to be replaced by assholery and overconfidence?

      • STERILE SCIENCE ATHEIST FAKE

        I do wonder what you creature expect to achieve. Ehmm, just being a dick, I guess???

      • eric

        I do wonder what he expects to accomplish

        To bring back Victorian styles of writing? 🙂

        • epeeist

          To bring back Victorian styles of writing?

          Many Victorians wrote beautifully. This guy can scarcely write at all.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    To atheist fanatics, sterile science atheist religion myths a.k.a theories a.k.a. OPINION, are similar to software licenses. Atheists have not PERSONALLY experienced the myths a.k.a theories, but nevertheless believe the myths by faith. So, they sheepishly scroll down to the bottom, and click,”I agree,”

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    ATHEISTS ARE REALLY DUMB–YOU MUST BE DUMB TO BE IN THEIR
    GANG.

    “The color blue, does NOT exist, because I cannot see it.” so says the guy suffering from color deficiency a.k.a color blindness.

    But the guy that does not have color deficiency, knows that the color blind guy
    is wrong, and needs to develop retinal sensitivity.

    “God does NOT exist, because I cannot see Him.” so says the atheist fool suffering from Spiritual deficiency a.k.a Spiritual blindness.

    But the guy that does not have Spiritual deficiency, knows that the

    Spiritually blind atheist fool is wrong, and needs to develop Spiritual sense.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    You atheists fools claim you believe in
    “facts backed by evidence”, so, what evidence backs your gullible
    belief in the cock and bull story of your mother, which claims that the male
    she calls husband to be your biological father, whereas he is not, and whereas
    the evidence is that you have no resemblance to this male.

    Since, without any supporting evidence, you atheist fools believe this your
    mother’s male to be your biological father, you have no point in not believing
    in God. You are this stupid, you know.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    AN
    EXAMPLE OF STERILE SCIENCE aTHEIST rELIGION DOGMA.

    “Atoms cannot be created or be destroyed” is part of dalton’s theory
    and it is given as incontrovertibly true and has the sound of being presented
    as incontrovertibly true and authoritative, by an authority. It is a dogma. And
    it is a lie. And the lie is still taught.

    ——POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    ATHEISTS BELIEVE BY FAITH, AND NOT BY EVIDENCE.

    How would you atheist fools know what Dalton’s atomic theory states, when you have not even studied the sterile science atheist religion you have made your “god”. Yeah, you porridge-brained sub-idiots, accept whatever sterile science atheist religion tells you about itself, without you sub-imbeciles ever studying it to verify for yourself, much less PERSONALLY experiencing whatever nonsense the “peer review” of sterile science atheist religion brainwashes you with. You atheist fools are really sub-moronic non-humans, you know.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    ATHEISTS ARE INTELLECTUALLY DEFICIENT COWARDS.

    Atheist creatures, allegedly “male”, that cowardly shrinks to pacifism and expediency of comfortable philosophical-sounding myths when confronted with the perils of battle, is utterly feeble and contemptible, and is in no position to lecture real human males about how the real world works. Such an atheist creature who is so cowardly to enforce his duty of self-preservation, but instead resorts to his self-concocted highly opinionated comfortable “philosophical”-sounding myths, in order to hide his cowardice, usually, when confronted with the obvious irrationality of his
    OPINION, haughtily makes some more furious philosophical-sounding noises to
    hide his deficiencies.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Thanks for confessing that “mark twain” is your “god” and fake “saviour”,
    whose OPINION you do not question but accept hook line and sinker.

    You are such a dummy, aren’t you? Christians have been reading and have
    continued reading The Holy Bible; and over the centuries, rather than decline,
    Christianity continues to wax stronger and stronger.

    You see what a dummy you are to believe mark twain’s OPINION? But then, I am
    not surprised you believe his false OPINION.

    After all, you are an atheist.

    And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for

    themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile
    so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is
    that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science
    myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by creatures equally misguided
    as them.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    The Best cure for atheism is reading and believing the Bible.

    One of the best growth stimulants of Christianity is reading The Bible.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    A cure for sterile science atheist religion fanaticism, is the realization that one has not PERSONALLY experienced any so-called evidence alleged to support the sterile science myths a.k.a theories a.k.a OPINIONS.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    A CURE FOR ATHEISM IS TO GET COMMON SENSE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    A CURE FOR ATHEISM IS TO GET COMMON SENSE.

    —-POPONNE.

  • skl

    Do atheist conferences invite Christian speakers?

    • Not that I’ve seen, but debate isn’t really the point at those conferences. Apologetics and counter-apologetics aren’t much on the agenda, and girding atheists for the fight against Christianity isn’t the point.

      You raise a good question, but I don’t think it’s an issue because of this asymmetry.

      • skl

        If not debate/apologetics/counter-apologetics, what would be much on the agenda then at atheist conferences? Enforcing church/state separation?

        • All I know is that I’m frustrated that apologetics, my favorite subject, is rarely touched on at atheist conferences.

          If you were curious, you could check out the many conferences’ agendas.

        • Debby

          I just got back from a non-believer conference. We discussed science education in public schools…best methods to cook Christian babies..ways to improve our local groups..creating more inclusive communities…just average stuff. But nothing about trying to convert someone.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Yes, but the Christian speakers have aged a little ;-P

    • Otto

      They do for debates, and I have seen the same from some Christian conferences too.

    • TheNuszAbides

      go check out Robert M. Price. note what he calls himself.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    A cure for sterile science atheist religion fanaticism, is the realization that sterile science myths a.k.a theories are NOT facts, but are OPINIONS.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    A cure for atheism, is the realization that an atheist believes without evidence, that the male his mother calls husband, to be his biological father, whereas he is not, and whereas he has no resemblance to the male.

    Thus, an atheist has no point not to believe in God.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    A cure for atheism, is the realization that an atheist believes without evidence, that the male his mother calls husband, to be his biological father, whereas he is not, and whereas he has no resemblance to the male.

    Thus, an atheist has no point not to believe in God.

    By POPONNE.
    []]]

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    If you were a real human and a real woman, you would not have aborted your unborn baby. So, I am calling you “fucker” whatever name I like. You are really an atheist bitch, you know?

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Atheist moron, you that always demand for evidence before believing
    anything, you really have got to prove that you know what mind is and what
    dream is, by showing evidence that you have a mind and that you dream; failing
    which, you should shut the hell up, since you obviously do not know what you
    are jabbering about.

    By POPONNE.

  • STERILE SCIENCE IS ATHEIST FAK

    Your atheist guess is irrelevant and worthless. Show some evidence to
    support your guess. American Society is still religious and affluent, and there
    goes your guess up in smoke.

    Atheists are gorging themselves in gluttony of affluence, but they are not
    comforted, but still many of them have terminated their mal-existence in untidy
    suicides or died unhappy wretches.

    Thanks for confessing that “karl marx” is your “god” and
    fake “saviour”,

    whose OPINION you do not question but accept hook line and sinker.

    But then, you are an atheist.

    And atheists are low self-esteem creatures who cannot think for

    themselves, and who have been so brain washed to believe misguided sterile
    so-called scientists to be smart and should think for them. The end result is
    that these misguided atheists put all their faith in misguided sterile science
    myths a.k.a.theories a.k.a OPINIONS, concocted by creatures equally misguided
    as them.

    By POPONNE.

  • bob ingersoll

    From my experience, believers who may be interested in attending apologetics conferences, watching apologetics videos, running apologetics blogs or websites, have very little interest in actually putting apologetics into practice. There are a handful of pro’s, but the rest simply like to hear about it or talk amongst themselves…as if that qualifies as being involved.

    • TheNuszAbides

      From my experience, believers who may be interested in [consuming apologetics] have very little interest in actually
      putting apologetics into practice.

      what does ‘putting apologetics into practice’ look like, apart from regurgitating the hot air of the OP’s exemplars?

  • rationalobservations?

    Of course you will not get any takers, Bob. Religionists (and especially religious fundamentalists) DO NOT DEBATE. They ignore every point scored against them and plough on with their diatribe of unsupported nonsense and busted myths – then claim “victory”.

    Karl Popper wrote a theory in which “is true” is replaced with “corresponds to the facts”. The existence of any of the many thousands of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men corresponds to similar endlessly recycled myths legends and lies but never empirical evidence supported facts.
    It’s a unremarkable coincidence that the religion of the nation in which any religionist is born is always the “real and true” one and all others are false.

    Fewer than 18% of Americans and fewer than 6% of Europeans (under 2% in the UK and Sweden) are currently active members of any cult, sect or business of religion according to the remaining religions own published attendance figures while the vast vast majority of the millennial generation shun all religion and ignore all phony gods, goddesses and god-men (including christian gods and god-men) and redundant churches litter our villages, towns and cities.

    To the non-indoctrinated and those of us who shrugged off indoctrination in favour of common sense, logic and evidence – nothing appears to distinguish one god, goddess or god-man/”messiah”., from any other of the many thousands of undetected and undetectable, entirely and exclusively hypothetical gods, goddesses and god-men/”messiahs.

    Christians are often baffled how atheists could deny the existence of their (originally Canaanite) god, “Jehovah/Yahweh” and their (Roman) god-man/”messiah” “Yeshu/Jesus”, but they shouldn’t be. Christians deny many tens of thousands of the same gods that atheists deny. Atheists just deny one more ridiculously unconvincing god and one more stereotypical and entirely mythical god-man (among many hundreds of thousands of extremely similar undetectable and imaginary gods, goddesses and god-men) than Christians.

    Many among the declining cohort of the religionists (of the free, secular democracies of the world) join those christians who fail to justify their enthrallment to their specific brand of religion by pointing out that the non-existence of any of the gods cannot be proved.

    Evidence of the nonexistence of the nonexistent is nonexistent because the nonexistent is nonexistent.

    However – If inability to prove the non-existence of deities is enough for christians and other religionists to believe in them.,they must be very busy worshiping Amun-Ra, Apollo/Zeus, Odin, Quetzalcoatl, Pratibhanapratisamvit, (Buddhist goddess of context analysis) and Acat, (Mayan god of tattoo artists) and Tsa’qamae, (North American god of salmon migration) – and many thousands of other undetectable hypothetical entities among which the ridiculous “Yahweh” and “Jesus” remain merely mythical and of which no one ever provides proof or reason of (or for) existence and therefore non-existence may be sensibly and rationally assumed by default – as the third largest and fastest growing cohort of humanity (the godless / non-religious) conclude.
    All the evidence appears to indicate that the “christian” religion was cobbled together in the 4th century from mainly “pagan” components and exclusively “pagan” feast days and festivals.

    The burden of proof and the onus of convincing the rest of us of the validity of the “proof” is always upon the religionists and the rest of the rapidly declining membership of fraudulent religions. All religionists, fail too rise to meet that challenge and therefore your myths, legends and human businesses of religion remain debunked in the minds of most young folk and a large and growing number of us older folk who saw through and rejected the bunkum at some time in our life.

    It’s very noticeable that no one can tell me (and the growing legion of the happy, peaceful and humanitarian godless) about (the originally Canaanite god) “Yahweh” and (Roman god-man) “Jesus” (or any of the many thousands of other mythical deities) through logic and actual authenticated historical and scientific evidence and without any reference to the confused and internally contradictory mythology within any of the many diverse and different versions of human authored bibles, papyri, manuscripts and texts that were written centuries after the time in which their tales are backdated and merely set.

    Atheists make no claims. Religionists claim a god and/or gods and/or a god-man/men exist. The onus remains upon them to justify, validate or excuse that apparently bizarre claim.

    Meanwhile; the rapidly growing rest of us simply find no compelling reason to believe in any of the gods or religions because they present nothing but myths, legends and lies and the fact that a declining cohort of mankind personally believe in magic, supernatural entities and the myths legends and lies in which such childish superstition exclusively resides – is unconvincing to those of us who have shrugged off that indoctrinated BS and the millennial generation who have mostly not been infected by that garbage.

  • RichardSRussell

    I see the ads for Christian apologetics conferences that promise to equip dedicated Christians who want to win souls for Christ.

    Of course, that’s what they advertise to the gullible. The true purpose, tho, is what it always is for these con artists: “We’d like your money, please.”

    PS: That damn video ad keeps jumping my screen away from where I’m reading or typing. Can’t Patheos do something about it?

  • I like it!

  • Nick Winters

    Hey, you got a mention in the Evangelical channel for this article. John Mark Reynolds over at Eidos wrote an article “Don’t get cocky, kid” with a series of assumptions about you and your beliefs included about halfway down.

    • Good catch! Here’s that link.

      I don’t have time to respond in detail, but here’s the relevant bit for others who want to offer a gentle correction.

      Don’t get cocky, oldster me!

      This advice comes to mind as I look at the secular or non-religious community just now. The community is in a civil war between old-school atheists and more post-modern types. Like the Bolsheviks who took the name “majority,” old school atheists (mostly white, male, into scientism) took the title “new” atheists. They are my age! Real new atheists are more post-modern than scientistic and dislike the conference atheism of the 1990’s almost as much (though not quite) as they dislike theists. Yet when dealing online with old atheists, one is struck by an odd triumphalism.

      Small growth in the US (NONES!) (papering over global decline) has apparently gone to their heads. Those of us who have lived through the “Christianity in America is doomed” media narrative at least three times are not so concerned.

      Of course, fear sells so those interested in selling have latched on to the NONES phenomena almost as much as old/new atheism! Still, for a movement that mostly sells books to itself, has little academic standing (even in a secularized academy!), pop-atheism is oddly triumphant.

      Recently, one old school atheist suggested that he was needed at apologetics conferences so we could see how to talk to seculars. That would be great if we wanted to talk to seculars my age with no relevant training in any discipline, but that would make us cocky. Shooting down that TIE fighter is too easy . . . and not particularly relevant. The “all religious people are idiots or evil” school of thought rejoices at having shot down a few theists who were going about their business before being blindsided by secularists armed with “street epistemology.”

      (Dude didn’t even give me a link.)

  • RichardSRussell

    Just thot I’d share this letter to the editor that appeared in today’s [Madison] Wisconsin State Journal:

    Trust God’s word over fallible scientists

    Any Christian who professes to believe Jesus Christ is their lord and savior should be very careful about thinking it is possible to insert the evolutionary faith in a 4.6-billion-year universe into God’s authoritative word, as columnist Chris Rickert did in his June 11 column, “Room in Christianity for 4.6B-year-old Earth” .

    The evolutionary account of the origins of the universe and mankind is an anti-God, metaphysical philosophy that has nothing to do with the Bible. In fact, Bible-believing Christians were primarily responsible for beginning and nurturing observational science, and many Christian scientists today continue to conduct scientific research in all areas while believing in a “young” earth and a six-day creation.

    As a Christian, however, the ultimate example of Biblical belief must come from Jesus Christ himself. He clearly believed in Genesis as a factual, historical narrative meant to be understood and believed as it was written. If a Christian truly believes Jesus is who he says he is, then how can they not believe his word is authoritative and true?

    It really boils down to trusting in God’s word or in the fallible philosophies of prideful human beings. There really is no middle ground.

    Ralph Peters Jr., Fort Atkinson

    • Otto

      Evolution threatens some Christian’s belief, which is why they are always fighting against it. They then think if evolution was proven false it should equally threaten atheism, but of course it doesn’t. The agenda is all theirs.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Well said.

    • Max Doubt

      “As a Christian, however, the ultimate example of Biblical belief must come from Jesus Christ himself. He clearly believed in Genesis as a factual, historical narrative meant to be understood and believed as it was written.”

      Jesus clearly believed there’s an appropriate way to treat your slaves, too, if you buy into the Christian bible tales. I’m going to hazard a guess that Ralph Peters Jr. would find some excuse for why that story about Jesus doesn’t count as “a factual, historical narrative meant to be understood and believed as it was written”.

      • Grace Joy

        Why do you say that about Jesus & slaves?

        • Max Doubt

          “Why do you say that about Jesus & slaves?”

          In the Christian myth there were some rules laid down about how people could treat their slaves. That mostly came before the Jesus character was worked into the story. When Jesus took over the boss job he didn’t change those rules. These tales have been around for quite a long time. You can usually get a free copy of one version or other by asking around. There are even many versions available to read online. You could learn a bit about it for yourself if you’re interested.

        • BillYeager

          That mostly came before the Jesus character was worked into the story. When Jesus took over the boss job he didn’t change those rules.

          Luke 12:47 – Written after Jesus, supposedly about what Jesus explicitly asserted, namely, the recommendation to whip disobedient slaves.

          So he didn’t just ‘not change the rules’, he reinforced them.

        • Max Doubt

          “So he didn’t just ‘not change the rules’, he reinforced them.”

          Yep. It’s too bad those Christian bible anthologies are so difficult to obtain. If Christians only had a copy they could read for themselves… Maybe if there was an organization or two whose primary purpose is to dole out those bibles, place them in hotel rooms for example maybe, make them readily available to the poor deprived Christians, maybe even for free…

        • Greg G.

          The Bible is said to be the best selling book of all time but it seems that it is used more for decorative purposes that for informational content. If Bible buyers really thought it was the word of God, they would be more interested in what he had to say.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i have to wonder whether Nonsensical is an Ameribear sock, dropping atomic stinkbombs in lieu of digging holes.

        • Michael Neville

          Ameribear was more intelligent and somewhat more honest. He did admit there were priestly pedophiles. He didn’t assume that the world is divided into Catholics and Communists. Nor did he block people for disagreeing with him. I think that Ameribear and Nonsensical, while both Catholics, are two different people.

        • Kodie

          I still don’t know why people like to think two people are one person just because they share some of the same point of view. Yeah, someone might have their feelings hurt about getting banned or need to make up someone to agree with them, but it is harder to seem like two different people than you think, and there are tons and tons of Christians, not just that one pesky one.

        • Greg G.

          They could be different species. BlackMamba44 has begun to use “it” as a pronoun for Nonsense.

        • TheNuszAbides

          good point, i recall A.’s condemnation of that particular criminal element.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Doug Wilson is quite convinced Christian slavery was a good thing, so it’s not just atheists and antebellum Christian slavers who see this in the Jesus characters.

        • Nonsensical

          slavery has always been rejected by the Church.

          slavery is a pagan thing, especially loved by the ironically titled “liberty” followers.

        • epeeist

          slavery has always been rejected by the Church.

          It has? Strange then that it survived until the middle of the 19th century.

          Your claim sounds nonsensical to me.

        • Nonsensical

          And sin has persisted in mankind since our fall. The entirety of mankind is not Christian. Your idiotic sneer does not make sense.

          The Church has always rejected slavery.

          As I then said, slavery is a product of paganism. The mohammedans love slavery, you marxists love slavery, all pagans love slavery.

          Until there is no more pagans like yourself, there will be such evils as slavery.

        • epeeist

          The Church has always rejected slavery.

          Simply repeating an unsubstantiated assertion does not make it true. Let’s try Matthew 18:23-25 for example

          23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

          24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him.

          25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

          or Ephesians 6:5

          Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

          or 1 Timothy 6:1-2

          1 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.

          2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers.
          Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.

          Look as though Jesus and his followers are perfectly OK with slavery.

        • Nonsensical

          The passage in Matthew you quoted is a parable where Christ is making an analogy to help make who He was speaking to understand a deeper point.

          Apparently even the idea of a metaphor is above your head. Pearls before swine.

          I remember another idiot trying to pass off that same disembodied verse from the Letter to the Ephesians as Paul condoning slavery. I will tell you what I told him: slavery is a very real thing and Paul was telling those who were slaves not to turn to violence against those who imprisoned them. You completely ignore the context of first century Christian persecution.

          As for the First Letter to Timothy, Christian slaves are again being told not to revolt against their slavemasters because the pagans will use that to claim that Christians are violent and that they are justified in persecuting Christians.

          Are you honestly so mentally ill that you would claim the fact that Christians themselves being slaves proves that the Church is all for slavery? You can’t possibly be that stupid, but yet I have empirical evidence right here that you are.

          Christians being enslaved and Christ making a point to first century Jews by using economic examples of the day is hardly a condoning slavery.

          If you had a scientific mind you could clearly see what is being said instead of toe trying to desperately shoehorn your prejudice.

          If you also had a scientific mind you would clearly see that the Church has been against slavery front he start, but you only care about your political religion and nothing of the truth.

        • Greg G.

          What do you mean by “the Church”. I presume it has to do with the Catholic Church but Catholic commenters sometimes refer to edicts put out by the Pope and sometimes it means the members of the Church, but not necessarily the leadership. It seems to depend on the argument.

          Some popes opposed slavery and threatened excommunication but were ignored by the masses. Pope Innocent VIII accepted slaves as a gift and, in turn, gave some to his favorite cardinals.

          Are there any records of Church opposition to slavery before the seventh century?

          The Church has always rejected slavery.

          That seems to be an exaggeration based on wishful thinking.

        • Michael Neville

          I have to disagree with you, Greg. I don’t think Nonsensical is exaggerating or indulging in wishful thinking. I think s/he’s either abysmally ignorant or flat-out lying.

        • Greg G.

          I have begun to think he is mentally ill. His complete denial of child raping priests makes me think he is trying to rid the experience from his memory. But that is just arm chair psychology.

        • Nonsensical

          The Church is the Church and has always been the Universal (Catholic) Church. Catholic means the entire whole with nothing removed and all encompassing.

          Your pedantry here in that meandering first paragraph is not an argument.

          The Church has always rejected slavery. You are of the same foolish ilk that claims the Church was created by Constantine or sold indulgences. I am well aware of the lies you people tell eachother about the Church, but they mean nothing as they are falsehood.

          The seventh century is 1400 years ago, and 600 years into the Church’s life.

          Of course the Church is against slavery, how would it be possible for the Church to support mortal sin?

          That is a question I have never once gotten an answer too. I expect you to dodge it just like your cowardly brethren.

        • Greg G.

          The Church is the Church and has always been the Universal (Catholic) Church. Catholic means the entire whole with nothing removed and all encompassing.

          Your pedantry here in that meandering first paragraph is not an argument.

          That was the point of the question. One Catholic says the Church is the body of members when the leadership is covering up child sex abuse by priests. Now you are saying the Church has always been against slavery when the leadership was denouncing slavery while the membership was holding slaves.

          If you are going to stick with the Church being inclusive of all, then you can’t say the Church has always been against slavery because it is obvious that pope after pope had to make threats against members because the members were ignoring them and continuing slavery.

          The Church has always rejected slavery. You are of the same foolish ilk that claims the Church was created by Constantine or sold indulgences. I am well aware of the lies you people tell eachother about the Church, but they mean nothing as they are falsehood.

          The seventh century is 1400 years ago, and 600 years into the Church’s life.

          Yet slavery existed during those 600 years and it was a novel thing in the seventh century for anybody in the Church to speak against it. If the Church was not against slavery for 500 years, then it is a lie to say they have always been against it. I gave you more than one time when the Church was not against slavery.

          Of course the Church is against slavery, how would it be possible for the Church to support mortal sin?

          That is a question I have never once gotten an answer too. I expect you to dodge it just like your cowardly brethren.

          Because slavery is supported and regulated by the canonized Old Testament. Christians have some fantasy about OT slavery being not so bad but slavery in the American colonies was based on it.

          Christians tend to confuse indenture with slavery. Indenture was available to Hebrew males, lasted six years and the servant went free in the seventh year. The slave was a foreigner who was bought with money. A priest could feed a slave bought with money with the offerings of passover, provided the slave was circumcised, but not the indentured servant. A fellow Israeli could not be treated harshly but this restriction did not apply to slaves. A slave could be beaten to death, as long as they suffered a day, with no penalty besides the loss of the slave. An indentured servant could be tricked into becoming a permanent slave by giving him a slave wife, then forcing him to decide to leave his wife and children or to become a permanent slave.

          Jesus never said a bad thing about slavery. His parables treated slavery as a positive thing.

          That’s why would it be possible for the Church to support slavery.

        • Nonsensical

          You have no idea that the Church created the sciences from nothing.

          You don’t know that every miracle is verified by the Church and then by independent labs in a blind study.

          You think the shroud is a fake because cnn told you and know nothing of the process that created it (it’s a giant photograph).

          You think priests “abused” children, again because cnn told you.

          You think the Church supports slavery, a mortal sin (as predicted you dodged why you think that is even a possibility).

          Every single message I am unfortunately plunged into a sea of your mental illness and I find out you quite literally know LESS THAN NOTHING!

          The Church is the Church, as I said. No Catholic claims the Church is merely all the members, as that is some protestant cop out you are trying to pass off as Catholic because you haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about.

          You also seem to forget that heretics exist. Apparently you are under the idiotic idea that people are slaves with no free will. Your mental illness dictates that you have to push these absurdist anti-Carholic narratives with a blind devotion and deafness to reason that I don’t see outside of paganism.

          I honestly haven’t the faintest clue why I would even be willing to speak to you at this point. You are hateful, you are a bigot, you are utterly *stupid*, and it doesn’t matter what I say because you will just assume I said whatever you think is convenient.

          You gave me no time when the Church was for slavery, you just regurgitated a date without regard to either sense or sanity.

          I have dealt with many of the pagan mental illness over multiple social platforms and all of you are pushing hard the narrative that the Church supports slavery. Did you all get a memo? This is a bit creepy that you all have the same error verbatim at the exact same time.

          There was never any slavery permitted in the Old Testament, as that is a mortal sin (which again you keep dodging). There certainly was slavery in that time period but mentioning historical fact is not support for something. It was the Jews who were enslaved by pagans not the other way around.

          The slavery in the south was by photo-marxist freemasons, which is your people and not mine. Once more you take up the desperate task of accusing me of what you are guilty of.

          Again, you completely dodge the question of how the Church condone a mortal sin.

          Your mental illness in the above message even claims that God Himself condones a mortal sin. How and where Christ speak “positively” of mortal sin?

          A mortal sin is a division from God so great it leads to the immediate death of the soul. The one you are guilty of here is called calumny, which is telling lies to try and destroy an honest reputation for political reasons.

          You are also guilty of blasphemy, which is so bad that it is one of the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.

          I suppose the fact that I refer here to your intentions as “mental illness” proves my point as to why you make such nonsense claims without regard to reality as further damning yourself at the same time.

          You are blocked. You have rejected enough pearls, swine.

        • Greg G.

          You have no idea that the Church created the sciences from nothing.

          You are lying. The start of scientific investigation began with the acquisition of Greek works in the 12th century. The Church adopted it under the assumption that it would prove its religion but they tried to suppress it because it actually showed dogmas to be false.

          You don’t know that every miracle is verified by the Church and then by independent labs in a blind study.

          You are lying. Miracles are assumed when they can rule out other knowable possibilities.

          You think the shroud is a fake because cnn told you and know nothing of the process that created it (it’s a giant photograph).

          You are a big, fat liar. The science you claim was invented by the Church showed it to be as old as the first reports of its existence. It may be three photographs as the front and back have a leg in a different position and the face is disproportional in size to the body.

          You think priests “abused” children, again because cnn told you.

          Again, you are a liar. I think priests sexually abused children because of many reports and the admission by the Church that it happened many times.

          You think the Church supports slavery, a mortal sin (as predicted you dodged why you think that is even a possibility).

          You are lying. I never said that. Your claim was that the Church was always against slavery and I showed that there were times when that was false which mean the Church was not always against slavery. You also asked why the Church could ever support slavery so I pointed out how the Old Testament supports slavery.

          Every single message I am unfortunately plunged into a sea of your mental illness and I find out you quite literally know LESS THAN NOTHING!

          You lie.

          The Church is the Church, as I said. No Catholic claims the Church is merely all the members, as that is some protestant cop out you are trying to pass off as Catholic because you haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about.

          Elsewhere, you have said that child raping priests were not priests, but Sodomites. Were they Catholics? Your argument changes to suit the discussion. Even you are not consistent.

          There was never any slavery permitted in the Old Testament, as that is a mortal sin (which again you keep dodging). There certainly was slavery in that time period but mentioning historical fact is not support for something. It was the Jews who were enslaved by pagans not the other way around.

          You need to actually read the Bible before you comment on it. I have read it. I have studied the verses regarding slavery and indentured servitude. You obvious have not. You are clueless about what the Bible says.

          The slavery in the south was by photo-marxist freemasons, which is your people and not mine. Once more you take up the desperate task of accusing me of what you are guilty of.

          WTF are “photo-marxist freemasons”? Nevermind, you lie so much I couldn’t possibly believe what you would tell me.

        • Otto

          >>>”You think priests “abused” children, again because cnn told you.”

          The Church admits this to be the case.

          >>>”You are blocked. You have rejected enough pearls, swine.”

          Typical….when you can’t reasonably answer the issues so you pretend they don’t exist.

        • Nonsensical

          Which is an unsubstantiated claim. You are fans of those.

          I do reasonably reply, far more than you deserve. Maybe actually read my posts instead of sneering at half-sentences and disregarding the rest.

        • Otto

          >>>”Which is an unsubstantiated claim.”

          So you are saying that the Church admission is unsubstantiated? That doesn’t even make sense….

        • Greg G.

          I do reasonably reply, far more than you deserve.

          You are so right. We don’t deserve you. Why don’t you be like Jesus and go away, then come back in a two thousand years or so to see how we have progressed? Please.

        • Kodie

          You think your rantings of a complete lunatic are pearls? Do you listen to your crazy self?

        • TheNuszAbides

          pretty sure he listens to nothing else.

        • Questioning54

          Paul sent the slave Onesimus back to his master with admonishments to treat him well. So in the bible slavery is ok as long as practised with a Christian veneer. Owning other people is not ok regardless of how they are treated.

        • Nonsensical

          Someone else tried this same nonsense with me earlier, as well as someone a while back. So I will quote myself from then.

          “Are you honestly so mentally ill that you would claim the fact that Christians themselves being slaves proves that the Church is all for slavery? You can’t possibly be that stupid, but yet I have empirical evidence right here that you are.

          The Christian was the slave, not the slavemaster you pedant. Paul told them not to revolt because the pagans would use that as an excuse to justify even more persecution.

          Funny how you persecutors of the Church always forget that.

          You claim to be “questioning,” but you never question your leftist memes or your pagan religion

        • Questioning54

          When people resort to rudeness and name calling you know they are rattled and their argument is on shaky ground. I didn’t try anything on you. Don’t personalise everything. I simply referred to what is in black and white in scripture. Your answer did not refer to that scripture but to another I didn’t even mention. Try to answer politely. I know a lot of mentally ill people who are better people than you (at least they have manners and are thoughtful and kind) and are more rational. Mental illness is an illness. Not an insult. You might as well call me diabetic.

        • Nonsensical

          When your kind has no argument, you sneer at tone. You do just that here.

          You used alinsky tactics. You try to “freeze, polarize, politicize” scripture to claim the Church somehow supports what it openly rejects. You quite literally claim that the Church supports slavery because Christians were enslaved.

          That’s like saying Christians support murder because you people kill us. It defies all reason, and therefore is clearly a political narrative.

          You also claim you don’t personalize things while making an ad hominem attack against me. Ridiculous.

        • Questioning54

          I didn’t sneer at anyone or anything. You did.

          Never heard of Alinksy. Googled him but not really interested in what he had to say.

          Onesimus’s MASTER was a Christian.

          “Political narrative”? Really?

          All i attacked was your attack on me. “Mentally ill” (unkindly using an illness genuinely suffered by some good people as an insult) “stupid”.

          Had to look up ad hominem. Your attack was “ad hominem”. It describes your attack perfectly. Thanks for that expression. Always something new to learn!

        • Nonsensical

          “I know you are but what am I” is not an argument.

          Every word you and your friends use (especially your occult leader bob) is directed by alinsky tactics. Your religion is marxism, everything you do and say is politically motivated.

          I can’t imagine his slavemaster was one for long. The Church was young and hidden at the time. The slavemaster was clearly in a state of mortal sin if he was enslaving people.

          Paul told the slave not to revolt because pagans like you would use that as an excuse to persecute Christians.

          This nonsensical trilogy attempt by you is over. Tell your friends to leave me be. You are blocked.

        • Questioning54

          Nonsensical raving…

        • Greg G.

          Welcome to the Blocked by Nonsensical Club.

        • Questioning54

          Thank you. I think I would be worried if Nonsensical didn’t block me!

        • epeeist

          Hands up anyone who hasn’t been blocked by Nonsensical.

          You will all have your report cards marked “Must try harder”.

        • Greg G.

          Paul told the slave not to revolt because pagans like you would use that as an excuse to persecute Christians.

          You are going to say Paul didn’t have enough faith in God to save them? Maybe you are right for once. But I expect you will change your mind if somebody agrees with you.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Tell your friends to leave me be.

          you don’t even know how many ways this is delusional, do you?

        • Kodie

          You’re not making any arguments. You are only yelling out your paranoia over and over and over again because atheism threatens you in a way that causes such an emotional flare-up that you just cannot even cope. You could not have an emptier position.

        • TheNuszAbides

          When your kind has no argument, you sneer at tone.

          ah, but you have a much more righteous crypto-excuse for calling “address the fucking argument” “violently vulgar”. too bad you are too exhausted to spell it out.

        • Greg G.

          The Christian was the slave, not the slavemaster you pedant. Paul told them not to revolt because the pagans would use that as an excuse to justify even more persecution.

          You really should read the Bible instead of Fulton Sheen. Philemon is the slavemaster who is a Christian. Here is Paul writing to him:

          Philemon 4-7 (NRSV)4 When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God 5 because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. 7 I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.

          From the first verse: “To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker.” How can you think that Onesimus is a Christian but Philemon is not?

          The letter is only 25 verses. Is that too much for you to comprehend? Do you even know how to look up a Bible passage?

        • Slavery rejected by the Christian church? Someone needs to read his Bible.

          Let me get you started: Lev. 25:44-46. And then you can search this blog for “slavery.” There’s lots to be said.

        • epeeist

          I gave him a few from the new testament but he waved them away, as usual if the evidence contradicts the ideology then the ideology is wrong.

          However he seems to specifically mean the Catholic church, in which case Dum Diversas would seem to refute his claim.

        • Nonsensical

          What is this “Christian Church” meme? The only Church is Catholic.

          I have read the Bible. You have not.

          The Church has always rejected slavery. How could the Church possibly support mortal sin?

        • You don’t respond to my argument. Why, I wonder? My guess: my argument is a little too hot to handle, so you want to change the subject.

          Am I wrong? Then respond to the fucking argument.

        • Nonsensical

          What argument? I responded to your post exactly as it was written.

          You made an absurd claim of a “Christian Church” which is a term I have never heard because the Church is Catholic, which means Universal.

          The Church (the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church) has always rejected the practice of slavery. That is the answer to your post, end of.

          I then asked you very clearly how the Church could support mortal sin.

          You dodged this question by a mile then pretended I said nothing while being violently vulgar at the same time.

          I have seen your mentally ill kind use the tactic of repeating questions when you don’t like the answer, but this is just absurd and vile even for your kind.

          Leviticus applies to the Isrealites in the 40 years of going through the desert. That was 2500 BC.

          I was talking about the Church which was established at Pentacost by the Holy Spirit.

          You can’t tell the difference? And you want honest apologists to pay you and feed you and you are this vulgar and clueless?

          This is beyond narcicissm. You are blocked. Tell your occultist followers to stop bothering me.

        • Kodie

          If your beliefs are too fragile to be challenged, you shouldn’t have started posting to a PUBLIC ATHEIST BLOG. The good news is you (hypothetically) can just stop posting. If you don’t want to hear opposition to your delusion, just go ahead and stop responding and people will stop responding to every fucking lunatic idea you keep posting.

        • Greg G.

          You made an absurd claim of a “Christian Church” which is a term I have never heard because the Church is Catholic, which means Universal.

          You need to get out of your bubble.

        • Greg G.

          I then asked you very clearly how the Church could support mortal sin.

          You dodged this question by a mile then pretended I said nothing while being violently vulgar at the same time.

          It is a stupid question. Sin is a made up concept to make poor honest farmers give food to priests. There is no such thing as mortal sin. That’s made up to scare you into not leaving the religion. Mortal sins include masturbation and missing mass. It’s purpose is to maintain fear and guilt.

          There are many Christians who follow the philosophy of sola scriptura where you do what the Bible says and you can ignore all the garbage the Catholics insist on. I think they are as wrong as you are, though.

        • OK. My “followers” won’t bother you anymore. Bye.

        • BlackMamba44

          While you’re at it, might as well ban her little buddy, Grace Joy. She’s back and just as bad

        • Rudy R

          The Church (the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church) has always rejected the practice of slavery

          Alas, your god has not. Does that make your church more moral than your god?

        • Greg G.

          I told you why. The Bible supports, sanctions, regulates, and approves of slavery. The Tenth Commandment is “Thou shalt not Covet” and one of the specifics is your neighbor’s servant. There is no “Thou shalt not own people” commandment.

          You have made too many stupid statements about the content of the Bible to make the claim that you have read it.

        • Ctharrot

          1. Y’all have been extremely patient here. Just wanted to let you know that I’m both impressed and much amused by these exchanges.

          2. Have you ever read George Armstrong’s 1857 The Christian Doctrine of Slavery? It’s a scripturally-focused defense of the institution of slavery from an Antebellum Virginia clergyman. A repellant but clear window into the mind of pro-slavery Christians.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks. I found a pdf at:

          http://archive.oah.org/magazine-of-history/issues/221/GeorgeDoddArmstrong.pdf

          It may be, that Christian slavery is God’s solution of the problem about which the wisest statesmen of Europe confess themselves “at fault.” ”Bonds make free, be they but righteous bonds. Freedom enslaves, if it be an unrighteous freedom.”

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          God agrees with you that there are MANY Bible verses that suggest otherwise which we should just annotate with “*I was drunk, OK? It worked for Mel Gibson…”

  • RichardSRussell

    “Those who argue for our side tend to present factual materials along with their opinions, whereas the religious have no factual materials, and only their scripts to work from. That leaves them with no way to attack the information, except to devalue it to the level at which they work, and with the necessity to attack the messenger who brought attention to facts they would rather remain hidden.”

    —Lloyd Harrison Whitling, American poet

    • Pofarmer

      Just saw this. Wow.

  • ozarkmichael

    The author said: To me, their refusal to invite one means that conference organizers don’t trust their material to carry the day. They’re afraid that they’ll get embarrassed or upstaged or that the attendees would get freaked out or overwhelmed with material that’s just too real.

    I find the same fear among Marxists, who cannot allow themselves to entertain a contradictory opinion for fear that they will be embarrassed or upstaged.

    The True Believers of any stripe are terrified of meeting the Other on equal terms.

    • newestbeginning

      “I find the same fear among Marxists, who cannot allow themselves to entertain a contradictory opinion for fear that they will be embarrassed or upstaged.”

      Wow. 622 comments, and that is what you got from the conversation???

      “The True Believers of any stripe are terrified of meeting the Other on equal terms.”

      Yes, that is the conclusion I draw from the conversation too. Pity.

      • ozarkmichael

        you aren’t a Marxist

        • newestbeginning

          I didnt ask you to tell me what i am. In fact i asked you not to tell me about myself. Begged in fact.

          I asked you to tell me what YOU are. 622 comments and you never got around to. It.

          I offered you honesty and humility. – equality. I Asked you to listen to what is said.

          You cant help yourself. Even now pretend such self righteousness, and superiority. You are the only true believer here.

          My response here stands.

          Thank you for the conversation

  • eric

    My admittedly limited understanding from reading Bart Ehrman is that mainstream seminaries actually do a good job of critical analysis of the Bible and Christian history. I think I’ve read three of his books, and in each of them he expresses frustration and mystification at how seminarians will learn what Bible scholars really know/think about the Bible…and then completely forget it when they’re in the pulpit. Literally refuse to discuss it with their congregants.

    Which is something of an aside, except to say that I don’t think they even necessarily need an atheist. They just need an honestly, critically thinking mainstream Christian. There are probably plenty of Christian academics in fields ranging from divinity to zoology who could tell them “that argument won’t work, because….” For example, if some fundamentalist wants good feedback on their science arguments, they don’t need to hire a Krauss or Dawkins just because they happen to be atheist; a Ken Miller will do the job just as well.

    • Good points. I guess it comes down to whether the focus on an apologetics conferences is training to convert atheists or if it’s to tamp down fellow Christians’ doubts.

    • Erp

      I would say ‘mainline’ (not mainsteam) and Roman Catholic seminaries though even some evangelical seminary professors teach historical criticism etc (at least until they get fired, see Peter Enns). And some ministers do take it to the pulpit (or adult education classes) though you probably want a progressive church.

      However the creationist evangelicals have made various topics that do not fit science or history as idols upon which their faith is dependent. I note by the way that one prominent creationist evangelical apologist, Ravi Zacharias, had a conference this past weekend on “Understanding and Answering Atheism”. There are a couple of what seem to be youtube videos from it up.

  • susan faccone

    I think it is simply fear that Atheist know their bible way more than them. It is because we have studied the bible that most of us became Atheist to begin with. Since they want to make us all out to be demons and the like, it is unnerving to talk with those who oppose their view, especially when we know our bible.

  • KarlUdy

    I can think of one simple reason that you would not be invited. You say:

    In this blog, I’ve responded to many Christian arguments—from books, interviews, articles, blog posts, podcasts, lectures, and debates. It’s one of my favorite kinds of posts because they pretty much write themselves. Christians’ arguments are easy to refute. I’ve seen enough to know that the good stuff isn’t kept secret, like magic tricks, and whispered only to worthy initiates. If you’re counting on an apologetics conference to show you the landscape, you will be disappointed. I’ve heard the good stuff, and it’s not very good.

    A quote like this betrays that either you don’t really understand the arguments and you think the issues are far simpler than they really are – in which case your material would be expected to be nothing more than atheist sophomoric arguments; or that you hold a contemptuous view of Christians and Christian belief – in which case you could hardly be expected to offer anything of value to the audience (no one gets any value out of being contemptuously sneered at).

    There are atheists that have healthy respect for religious belief and arguments. I’m sure their chances of being invited to speak at Christian conferences are much greater.

    • Otto

      I have heard atheists that respect the belief, I have yet to hear one that respects the arguments.

    • epeeist

      There are atheists that have healthy respect for religious belief

      Why should one respect belief? People yes, but the beliefs they hold?

      • Nonsensical

        Do you honestly believe that?

        Just mocking your imbecility with a little joke there.

        To quote Roger Scruton:
        “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

        • epeeist

          Just mocking your imbecility with a little joke there.

          I usually find that someone who resorts to ad hominem is unable to form an argument.

          To quote Roger Scruton:

          Well I would normally refer this as a “red herring”, but I wouldn’t be sure you would know what this is.

          Personally when it comes to truth I prefer Simon Blackburn to Scruton.

        • Nonsensical

          You prefer error to truth.

          Just like you hate all belief and I go and skewer you with the simple question “do you honestly believe that?”

          Chess players would call that “checkmate.” I very charitably call that a joke instead.

        • Greg G.

          He spoke of beliefs, not truth. He has a higher standard for truth than you do.

        • Nonsensical

          You wasted my time with this crap? You could have said “your mum” or nothing at all and still had the same intellectual content.

          The fool rejects all truth and has no standards but double standards.

          To quote Sheen:
          “A dogma, then, is the necessary consequence of the intolerance of first principles, and that science or that church which has the greatest amount of dogmas is the science or the church that has been doing the most thinking. The Catholic Church, the schoolmaster for twenty centuries, has been doing a tremendous amount of solid, hard thinking and hence has built up dogmas as a man might build a house of brick but grounded on a rock. She has seen the centuries with their passing enthusiasms and momentary loyalties pass before her, making the same mistakes, cultivating the same poses, falling into the same mental snares, so that she has become very patient and kind to the erring pupils, but very intolerant and severe concerning the false. She has been and she will always be intolerant so far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy, error, untruth, affect not personal matters on which she may yield, but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding. Meek she is to the erring, but violent to the error. The truth is divine; the heretic is human. Due reparation made, she will admit the heretic back into the treasury of her souls, but never the heresy into the treasury of her wisdom. Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. And in this day and age we need, as Mr. Chesterton tells us, ʺnot a Church that is right when the world is right, but a Church that is right when the world is wrong.ʺ”

        • Greg G.

          Oh, jeez. A dogma is a substitute for truth. Two thousand years of lies does not make something true.

        • Nonsensical

          A dogma is a true thought.

          From the same Sheen essay:
          “Why, then, sneer at dogmas as intolerant? On all sides we hear it said today, ʺThe modern world wants a religion without dogmas,ʺ which betrays how little thinking goes with that label, for he who says he wants a religion without dogmas is stating a dogma, and a dogma that is harder to justify than many dogmas of faith. A dogma is a true thought, and a religion without dogmas is a religion without thought, or a back without a backbone. All sciences have dogmas. ʺWashington is the capital of the United Statesʺ is a dogma of geography. ʺWater is composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygenʺ is a dogma of chemistry. Should we be broad‐minded and say that Washington is a sea in Switzerland? Should we be broad‐minded and say that H2O is a symbol for sulfuric acid?”

          The irony is that your claim about dogmas is a dogma, though an incorrect one, but one you hold with a pagan fanaticism.

          The Church is the one source of truth mankind will ever have, which is why you fools futilely try to destroy her.

          It shows both your mental state and your intellectual capacity when you think a mere claim is enough “know” away reality for the sake of your ego that has no right whatsoever to exist.

        • Greg G.

          Calling Thought A a dogma and saying a dogma is a true thought does not mean Thought A is a true thought. It is just a claim. When you back up your claim with evidence, you can claim a high level of confidence that it is true. Religion is notorious for its lack of evidence but it doesn’t slow their assertions of truth.

        • TheNuszAbides

          It shows both your mental state and your intellectual capacity when you think a mere claim is enough “know” away reality for the sake of your ego …

          another abject failure at reading the mind of your imagined enemy. but keep trying, maybe you’ll get lucky one day.

        • Kodie

          Why can’t you speak in your own words? All you have are insults and long quotes because you can’t articulate anything you believe. You should work on that and stop trying to cover up your incompetenceS.

        • BlackMamba44

          Matthew 5:22
          But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

        • Nonsensical

          Both greg g and epeeist are very charitably called “fools” in my message for lack of a more proper descriptor that probably would get me banned just mentioning it.

          You three will be called far worse and for far more concrete reasons by Christ Himself when you judged. You being bitter over just me telling the truth and rebuking you for your evil will be a minor upset compared to that.

          We must judge righteously, not rashly. I do just that, though my desire to be polite here leads me to not being as forceful as I have a right to be when facing evil monsters like you and your friends.

          Here is a quote from Fulton Sheen:

          “Conscience, Christ, and the gift of faith make evil men uneasy in their sin. They feel that if they could drive Christ from the earth, they would be free from “moral inhibitions.” They forget that it is their own nature and conscience which makes them feel that way. Being unable to drive God from the heavens, they would drive his ambassadors from the earth. In a lesser sphere, that is why many men sneer at virtue–because it makes vice uncomfortable.”

          You are blocked.

        • BlackMamba44

          Wow. Ignoring Jesus’ words and a threat of hell, too!

          There’s good Christian. ;D

        • Otto

          >>>”You three will be called far worse and for far more concrete reasons by Christ Himself when you judged.”

          So now you are reduced to giving proxy threats?

        • Greg G.

          BlackMamba44 got a “Hail Mary” out of it.

        • Nonsensical

          Threat? You WILL be called to judgement. No way to get out of it.

          As for being “reduced,” you were made in the Image of God but yet through sin you degraded into an internet troll who can’t even do that right.

        • Otto

          How is your threat different than a 5 year old telling another child their dad is gonna beat them up?

          Your immaturity is summed up in this threat.

        • Greg G.

          Threat? You WILL be called to judgement. No way to get out of it.

          Yeah, that’s what the ancient Egyptians believed.

        • TheNuszAbides

          you degraded into an internet troll who can’t even do that right.

          how many layers of irony can you pack into one phrase? it’s genius if it’s on purpose.

        • epeeist

          You three will be called far worse and for far more concrete reasons by Christ Himself when you judged.

          And when everything else fails roll out the standard argumentum ad baculum.

        • Otto

          We must judge righteously, not rashly. I do just that, though my desire to be polite here leads me to not being as forceful as I have a right to be when facing evil monsters like you and your friends.

          This sums up why I am no longer a Catholic rather well.

        • Nonsensical

          Because I am too polite to communist monsters? No, you were never Catholic. Your parents may have gone to Church, but that means nothing for you.

          You deny God because you think it will get rid of your shame. It will not, as you know.

          To quote Sheen:

          “As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

          Now to block you. I get two more of your kind in this article alone every few hours. I can’t deal with you more than one at a time.

        • Otto

          >>>”Because I am too polite to communist monsters?”

          The catholic Church is a perfect example of the evil of Communism/totalitarianism. It is based on the idea that ‘thought crime’ is not only acceptable but moral.

          >>>”No, you were never Catholic.”

          Oh if that were only true I would be ecstatic. Unfortunately you beloved criminal organization still counts me as a member. Would you be willing to write a letter supporting my excommunication? I would be forever grateful.

        • Michael Neville

          For Nonsensical the world apparently consists of Catholics and Communists.

        • Otto

          Communism and Catholicism have so much in common…

        • Greg G.

          For Grace Joy, it’s her and Mohammedans.

        • Greg G.

          To quote Charlie Sheen:

          I wish people would shift that focus on to themselves and their own family and their own friends and just maybe spend a little more time on their home front. And not some distant planet that is me.

        • Otto

          You blocked me…ah the sweet relief of denial…

        • Kodie

          If you can’t deal with posting to a public atheist blog, you can stop any time. Can you stop any time?

        • Greg G.

          Maybe he needs to drink some brake fluid to help him stop.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I can’t deal with you more than one at a time.

          you’re either a darkly-comic poe, or sadly deranged.
          surely one who follows only The True Teachingz isn’t imposing a petty time limit on itself?

        • Michael Neville

          I vote for smugly arrogant, thoroughly indoctrinated in a system that s/he doesn’t understand, and rather stupid.

        • TheNuszAbides

          definitely arrogant, too rigid to [bother to] check for irony, and understanding the system only well enough and internally enough to stay caged.

        • Kodie

          You are being very paranoid and incapable of a decent discussion.

        • TheNuszAbides

          You being bitter over just me telling the truth and rebuking you for your evil will be a minor upset

          the only ‘upset’ around here is my stomach after all of the laughter your colossally-swollen conceit engenders.

        • Otto

          >>>….but a Church that is right when the world is wrong.ʺ”

          but what we actually get is a Church that is wrong when the world is right.

        • Nonsensical

          The Church is right when the world is wrong, that’s why you hate us because your ego does not allow you to admit you are wrong.

          Three people liked this trash, once more showing he intellectual value of this place.

        • Otto

          The Church is unconditionally wrong, and claims to be right. It can’t get even the most basic aspect of morality correct.

        • Greg G.

          Three people liked this trash, once more showing he intellectual value of this place.

          You have upvote envy, too?

        • epeeist

          Just like you hate all belief and I go and skewer you with the simple question “do you honestly believe that?”

          Skewer me? I doubt you have the capability. But let’s answer that and discount the rest of your post which simply consists of invective.

          Should we respect people? Unless they give us cause not to then of course we should.

          Should we respect beliefs? Let’s switch it round shall we. Do you respect the belief that communism is the best way to organise society? How about respecting the belief in the pantheon of gods which includes Shiva, Vishnu and Ganesha? How about the beliefs about a dualistic god held by those who live in the Pays D’Oc in between the 12th and 14th century?

        • Nonsensical

          Yes, skewered you enough for you to get on alt accounts or call for backup from people who are eerily all alike.

          As I said to your friend hair before this:
          “You people seem to come with the same mental illness and the same rhetoric two at a time with exactly three messages apiece. This tactic of yours has happened three separate times now over the course of a day. This is far too organized for someone of your mental abilities so this has to have been planned.”

          Thankfully you alinkyite soros trolls are not exactly intelligent, as you go and say that you are openly discounting the majority of my post to cherry pick a strawman. You do this right in the third sentence, with the first two sentences being devoid of content.

          As for respecting you, there is no respect for error.

          You claim you don’t respect beliefs, in fact you go so far as to absurdly hate beliefs in general. Which ironically is a belief of yours, which you cannot even admit you have unless you discredit yourself immediately.

          You made an idiotic statement akin to “there is no dogma” which is a dogma in and of itself.

          Or “empiricism is the only valid form of thought,” which is a philosophical statement and therefore self-refuting.

          In fact you have made all three statements openly here, which is a hat trick of stupid.

          God is the uncreated, uncontingent cause and source of all. That is the definition of God regardless of religion as all things need an uncreated, uncontingent cause.

          The pagans like yourself and the hindus you used as a strawman all worship demons. There is no respect for those who deny God Himself to worship demons.

          Your dualistic crap is just gnosticism with a new label, and gnosticism worships the devil by way of their desire for human extinction.

          The communists are a political system made by marx based on his mentor’s philosophy he created called “atheism.” This philosophy called “atheism” is just another rebranding of gnosticism.

          There is no respect for you devil worshippers. There is no equality between Christians who love the truth, and your kind who worships suicide.

          There is only one truth and all else error. You are trying to use the mountain of error to democratically attack the truth.

          Allow me to quote Fulton Sheen before I block you with the rest of your gang:
          “Now, if it is right — and it is right — for governments to be intolerant about the principles of government, and the bridge builder to be intolerant about the laws of stress and strain, and the physicist to be intolerant about the principles of gravitation, why should it not be the right of Christ, the right of His Church, and the right of thinking men to be intolerant about the truths of Christ, the doctrines of the Church, and the principles of reason? Can the truths of God be less exacting than the truths of mathematics? Can the laws of the mind be less binding than the laws of science, which are known only through the laws of the mind? Shall man, gifted with natural truth, who refuses to look with an equally tolerant eye on the mathematician who says two and two make five and the one who says two and two make four, be called a wise man, and shall God, Who refuses to look with an equally tolerant eye on all religions, be denied the name of ʺWisdom,ʺ and be called an ʺintolerantʺ God?

          Shall we say that the reflected rays of the sun are warm but the sun is not hot? This we are equivalently saying when we admit intolerance of the principles of science and deny it to the Father of science, Who is God. And if a government, with the inflexible principles of its constitution, distant from the foundation of government by miles and separated from it by lifetimes, can empower men to enforce that constitution, why cannot Christ choose and delegate men with the power of enforcing His Will and spreading His benedictions? And if we admit intolerance about the foundations of a government that at best looks after manʹs body, why not admit intolerance about the foundations of a government that looks after the eternal destiny of the spirit of man? For unlike human governments, ʺthere is no other foundation upon which men can build than upon the name Jesus.ʺ”

        • TheNuszAbides

          for you to get on alt accounts or call for backup from people who are eerily all alike

          ah, your narrative is incapable of entertaining possibility then. no wonder you can’t keep up any of these exchanges.

        • Otto

          >>>”Just like you hate all belief …”

          I didn’t see him say that. He said “Why should one respect belief?”

          And I think that is a very good question, should beliefs be given automatic respect? I highly doubt you respect all beliefs, but for some reason mainstream religious belief is supposed to be given deference and the question is why? Shouldn’t that religious belief have to stand or fall on its own merits like any other belief?

        • BlackMamba44

          It obviously doesn’t respect Muslim beliefs. They’re all Islamists.

          And apparently so are we.

        • Greg G.

          He thinks that only Catholicism deserves respect.

        • Otto

          Coming from a Catholic background myself I find his type of religious dishonesty galling. Condescending, patronizing bullshit framed as intellectual. Makes my skin crawl.

        • Nonsensical

          That’s strange, why do you always respond 6 messages at a time spread over two people? Your communist “community organizing” tactics are absurd.

          The Church stands on its own merits, which you stupidly deny because your anti-Catholic hatred is your vain attempt to ignore.

          What does not stand on it’s own is your faulty beliefs. Your entire position is that of a mindless Soviet apparatchik.

        • Otto

          LOL…nothing I have said has implied in anyway that I am a communist. You are either delusional, or a liar, or both.

          But you are unquestionably a supporter of a criminal organization, the Catholic Church that has hid, defended and lied about its complicity and facilitation of child rape. You call us monsters and yet I can’t think of anyone worse that would do such a thing.

        • Greg G.

          That’s strange, why do you always respond 6 messages at a time spread over two people? Your communist “community organizing” tactics are absurd.

          You are paranoid, too.

          The Church stands on its own merits, which you stupidly deny because your anti-Catholic hatred is your vain attempt to ignore.

          What merits? You have only shown the pathetic side of your religion.

        • Kodie

          This is a PUBLIC ATHEIST BLOG. You decided to start posting where anyone can see you and respond to you, so there are quite a few of us who agree that you’re unhinged. You should check into a hospital for protection.

        • TheNuszAbides

          so you make an unjustified leap instead of making any attempt whatsoever to address the question “why should one respect belief?”

          you can’t seem to decide whether you’re here to argue your ‘pearls’ or just drop stinkbombs. and you give up so easily it’s not even pathetic.

    • BillYeager

      either you don’t really understand the arguments and you think the issues are far simpler than they really are

      The issues *are* simple, for all religions and it goes like this:

      Appeal-to-authority fallacious claim – “This is the truth because we say it is”
      Special-pleading fallacious demand to protect claim – “You must not hold our ‘truth’ to the same standards of critical analysis *everything* else in the Universe is evaluated by”
      Appeal-to-authority reinforcement of why Special-pleading fallacy is warranted – “Because we say it is”

      This is why there is no need to research every single argument or claim made by every single religion, because they are ALL rooted from the same fallacious seeds.

      Religion is not knowledge.

      • KarlUdy

        Bill, are you saying that the issues of consciousness, conscience, the existence of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, transcendence and divine, the efficacy of mathematics and logic, the human longing for purpose, desire to understand our origins, and insatiable curiosity are simple?! I cannot agree.

        • Greg G.

          I think he is saying that the religious basis for case for those things is simple. It’s just a few fallacies strung together

        • Michael Neville

          Those are not simple concepts. What do they have to do with whether or not a magic sky pixie exists?

          Good and evil and the entire question of morality does not need gods. Since according to your propaganda your favorite pet god is evil so we should hardly look to him as a source of morality.

          When the existence of transcendence and divinity has been show by evidence then we can discuss whether gods are involved in them. So, do you have any evidence for transcendence or divinity?

          There have been several discussions on this blog about whether or not gods are involved in logic. Each time it appears that logic, which is a complex idea, has nothing to do with gods. Nor does mathematics.

          If you need imaginary critters to give you a sense of purpose then you have no clue about what life is about. I personally find purpose in my family, my friends, my work, and my desire for knowledge. That’s enough for me. No gods are required for me to find purpose in life.

          I would like to know about the origin of the universe, the world, life and a myriad of other things. I have yet to see how gods are involved in those origins. I’ve asked many creationists for evidence to support their claims about their personal god creating anything. Other than pointing at 2500 year old creation myths in their “holy” book they fail to show any. What they do is try to poke holes in a heavily supported theory which they don’t understand.

        • KarlUdy

          There are a few things I find confusing in your polemic …
          What’s a “magic sky pixie”?
          What are “imaginary critters”?
          What do either of them have to do with anything I have said?

        • Michael Neville

          “Imaginary sky pixie” and “imaginary critters” are what you call Jesus and other assorted gods. You know, the guy in the sky who answers prayers except when he doesn’t and loves you so much he’ll send you to Hell when you die.

          As for relating to your posts, are you pretending that you weren’t making a supernatural argument when you were talking about good and evil, transcendence and divine and other suchlike religious ideas?

        • KarlUdy

          Why do say Jesus is”imaginary” and a “sky pixie” or “critter”. I can’t follow any of your logic in attaching these labels to Jesus.

        • Michael Neville

          If you want to play stupid that’s your prerogative. You’re not worth me making any further explanation of the bleeding obvious.

        • KarlUdy

          If your point is so bleeding obvious, then why are there a few billion more theists than atheists?

          Or are you deliberately using question-begging language?

          Maybe you’re not. But you’re not leaving me many options.

        • Michael Neville

          So, what’s your evidence that your magic sky pixie, aka GOD or YahwehJesusSpook, actually exists? This is a put up or shut up question. Give me evidence that all those billions of people, believing in a multitude of different magic sky pixies, are right and atheists are wrong. Or admit that you don’t have actual evidence, just the same-old same-old bullshit that atheists have been refuting for fucking centuries.

        • KarlUdy

          Not Magic.
          Not a sky pixie.
          Not a spook.

          But as an answer to an honest question that most closely resembles your petulant demand …

          The concept of God is evidence for the existence of God.

          Our consciousness is evidence for the existence of God.

          The intelligibility of the universe is evidence for the existence of God.

          Our conscience is evidence for the existence of God.

        • Michael Neville

          The concept of God is evidence for the existence of God.

          So the concept of leprechauns is evidence for the existence of leprechauns? This argument is just plain silly. Just because something can be conceived doesn’t mean it exists. Science fiction writers have conceived of faster-than-light travel but that doesn’t mean it exists.

          Our consciousness is evidence for the existence of God.

          No it isn’t.

          Where’s your evidence for this assertion? I can deny it because, as Christopher Hitchens put it so well: “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

          The intelligibility of the universe is evidence for the existence of God.

          Again an unevidenced assertion. Besides, who claims that the universe is intelligible? Another quote comes to mind. J.B.S. Haldane said: “Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

          Our conscience is evidence for the existence of God.

          Considering that according to Christian propaganda your pet god is an immoral, sadistic bully then I don’t see how conscience could possibly have anything to do with him nor he with it. I have a fully operational conscience with no inputs from any gods. Note that’s any gods, not just your favorite deity.

          So come back when you’ve got some evidence to support your delusion that a magic sky pixie exists.

        • KarlUdy

          So the concept of leprechauns is evidence for the existence of leprechauns? This argument is just plain silly.

          In some sense the concept of anything is evidence of its existence – although usually quite weak, I admit. In the case of God, certain characteristics of God, including transcendence make it much stronger evidence.

          Where’s your evidence for this assertion?

          Consciousness strongly implies the existence of a reality beyond the pure physical. A non-physical reality most likely requires a non-physical cause, and once you start talking about a non-physical cause of reality, then God comes into the equation.

          Again an unevidenced assertion. Besides, who claims that the universe is intelligible?

          I am not claiming that we understand everything about the universe. Are you claiming that we understand nothing? That we understand something about the universe suggests that there is intelligence behind us, the universe, and our relationship to it.

        • Greg G.

          In some sense the concept of anything is evidence of its existence

          The concepts of square circles and married bachelors is proof that mere concepts have no relationship to the reality or possibility of a thing. We can cry at the death of a character in a book or a movie, which shows that our emotions do not attest to the actual existence of something.

          Consciousness strongly implies the existence of a reality beyond the pure physical. A non-physical reality most likely requires a non-physical cause, and once you start talking about a non-physical cause of reality, then God comes into the equation.

          No, it doesn’t. That consciousness and memory are affected by drugs and the surplus or deficit of neurotransmitters is evidence that it is physical phenomenon. Long-term memory is shown to be dependent on physical structures forming connections between neurons. Drugs, such as those used in date rape, block the proteins that form the physical structure between neurons and thus the formation of long-term memory. Accessing a memory makes those structures less stable so those drugs are being used to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by giving the patient a dose and having them talk about their bad memories. Some of the connections that hold that memory break down and cannot reform, so the memory loses its power.

          I am not claiming that we understand everything about the universe. Are you claiming that we understand nothing? That we understand something about the universe suggests that there is intelligence behind us, the universe, and our relationship to it.

          No, he is saying that believing in things without evidence leads you to believe lots of things that are not true. It makes no sense to choose between theologies that have the same amount of evidence which is just that somebody imagined them.

        • KarlUdy

          Greg, what is a married bachelor?

        • Greg G.

          It is a concept that is contradiction in terms so it cannot exist. It proves that the ability to have a concept of something is not evidence for the existence of something. It is nothing but evidence that the human mind is capable of holding concepts of imaginary and contradictory things. Look at science fiction or read Homer’s Oddysey for other concepts of creatures and things that do not exist.

        • KarlUdy

          Greg, can someone really have a concept of something that is a contradiction in terms? I don’t think so.

        • Kodie

          Consciousness strongly implies the existence of a reality beyond the pure physical. A non-physical reality most likely requires a non-physical cause, and once you start talking about a non-physical cause of reality, then God comes into the equation.

          This is the unsupported assertion that convinces billions of people that there is a god of some kind. You’re not willing to believe that many people can be persuaded by an illusion, but they are.

        • Michael Neville

          . In the case of God, certain characteristics of God, including transcendence make it much stronger evidence.

          I agree that your favorite god is transcendent, i.e., beyond the limits of ordinary experience. Imaginary critters, like leprechauns and gods, have that attribute. It’s still not a strong argument for existence.

          Consciousness strongly implies the existence of a reality beyond the pure physical.

          Imagination, intuition, sensibility are not purely physical and are products of consciousness. But are they reality? Only in so far as consciousness is real.

          A non-physical reality most likely requires a non-physical cause, and once you start talking about a non-physical cause of reality, then God comes into the equation.

          Imagination has a physical cause, it’s generated in the brain. So your argument is that God is a product of the brain, i.e., imaginary. Congratulations, you’ve given an argument for atheism.

          I am not claiming that we understand everything about the universe. Are you claiming that we understand nothing?

          I agree that we understand certain things about the universe.

          That we understand something about the universe suggests that there is intelligence behind us, the universe, and our relationship to it.

          Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m seeing this as the cosmological or first cause argument. We don’t know the cause of the universe, it could be an uncaused creator or it could be the universe created itself or it could be something completely different. We don’t know.

          As for our relationship to the universe, since it lacks consciousness it doesn’t know or care about us. If you’re arguing that a creator does care about us, consider that it’s estimated there are at least 200 billion galaxies in the universe but new research says this number may be ten times greater. Would a god who created hundreds of billions of galaxies and trillions of stars and planets concern itself with your sexual habits or whether you give 10% of your income to its spokesmen?

          http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/08/06/6357448152984422211993330593_Not.png

        • … because a godless universe would not have consciousness, intellgibility, or conscience, right?

          Show us.

        • Joe

          Our conscience is evidence for the existence of God.

          So before there was human consciousness, there was no God?

          I would tend to agree with you somewhat on that point.

        • Your blissful paradise where everyone embraces the same beliefs doesn’t exist. You theists can’t even agree on the number or name(s) of the god(s).

          That huge number simply means that man has a need or tendency to invent the supernatural. Different cultures intent different gods.

        • BillYeager

          I cannot agree

          That is because you conflate a number of disparate concepts into a big pot of reverential mysticism.

          For example, ‘right and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘evil’, are merely arbitrary subjective terms lacking any true definition.

          There is, instead, ‘functional’ and ‘dysfunctional’ as objective terms to describe and evaluate behaviours or systems.

          Functional systems, in terms of human interaction are based in objective secular morality, which is extremely simple to describe :

          All autonomy is equally valid where informed consent is equally honoured.

        • KarlUdy

          For example, ‘right and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘evil’, are merely arbitrary subjective terms lacking any true definition.

          An interesting view. What do you think ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ mean?

        • Roger Peritone

          Not on what any abrahamic “god” says they are, I bloody hope!

          ex 1) http://www.wearesmrt.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17281

          ex 2) http://www.wearesmrt.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15947

        • BillYeager

          What do you think ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ mean?

          That you need to ask me this question proves my point about the subjectivity of those two terms.

          Put it this way, you have to admit that no matter how similar your beliefs may be to somebody else, the simple truth is that you will disagree at some point on what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. But you will both feel ‘correct’ about your own personal interpretations. Because there is no objective measure to define those concepts.

          Functional and Dysfunctional, however, describe exactly what they mean, irrespective of subjective personal opinion. They are so objective and logically correct you can recognise them in math, in computer code, in biology, in neurology and in psychology.

          Functional systems are healthy and will thrive as they propagate, dysfunctional systems are unhealthy and the propagation of their dysfunction inevitably leads to their own collapse.

        • BillYeager

          Hey Karl, any chance you could reply to the answer I gave you about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and functional systems?

          If you’re intellectually honest enough to acknowledge my assertions as being interesting, a rare quality among theists, I’d genuinely like to hear any rebuttal you may have to it.

        • KarlUdy

          Bill,
          I think for most people ‘functional/dysfunctional would have some overlap with ‘right/wrong’. I do wonder about the relationship between your proposed use of functional/dysfunctional and what others might term ‘evil systems’.

          In terms of your maxim of

          All autonomy is equally valid where informed consent is equally honoured.

          I wonder how that would play out where someone has the opportunity to rescue someone else.

        • BillYeager

          Thanks for getting back to me, appreciate it.

          While much of what you believe to be ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are likely to also be examples of ‘functional’ and ‘dysfunctional’, a lot of it will simply be fallacious and, as I pointed out, anything outside of functional/dysfunctional which you consider right/wrong are just as justifiably argued contrary to your subjective belief, by somebody else’s subjective belief.

          With the evaluation of the value, or otherwise, of an action being objectively measurable through the use of ‘functional/dysfunctional’ one reaches an answer which is wholly ‘true’, whereas, in the case of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ being substituted instead, the evaluation loses that objective measure because those words have no true definition and becomes, instead, one of appeal-to-authority subjective assertion for which there exists no ‘true’ answer and, ergo, is dictated by power, not reason.

          With regards to the secular morality maxim:

          All autonomy is equally valid where informed consent is equally honoured.

          I find it interesting that you appear to have to resort to an area of traditionally complex moral argument in order to question if it would still function and, without even needing to ask you for an example (although I’d like you to propose one you believe truly cannot be evaluated reasonably), I will confidently assert that it does function because it is wholly definable and not dependent on fallacy.

          When I apply secular morality expressed in this fashion, in conjunction with the use of ‘functional’ and ‘dysfunctional’ as a reliable measure of value, I have yet to discover any human behavioural ‘quandary’ which cannot be objectively resolved. It also serves to negate your concerns regarding ‘evil systems’ because no functional system can be, to use your term, ‘evil’ (best guess: systemically harmful) and also honour informed consent.

          Which is why I am particularly looking to theists to proffer up what they believe would be a scenario whereby their arbitrary subjective morality rules would be a superior tool of evaluation compared to secular objective morality.

        • “My argument is complex, so therefore it’s right”?

    • Michael Neville

      We’ve heard the “serious” arguments for theism in general and Christianity in particular. As BillYeagher notes below, they’re based on fallacies. There’s also a noticeable lack of evidence to support these arguments.

      Let’s look at a couple of the more popular arguments for gods:

      * The Argument from Efficient Causality: Everything we know of has a cause, something outside of itself that caused it to happen. There has to be an Ultimate Uncaused Cause which we can consider to be God.

      First, this is an argument for a deist deity, not for Yahweh or Jesus. It’s also special pleading. “Everything is caused except for one thing.” The infinite regression problem is not answered by hand waving a god. It’s just as likely that the universe caused itself. However that’s also speculation because we don’t know what the ultimate cause is.

      * The Argument from Design (also known as the teleological argument): When I see a complex object such as a watch, I know it has been designed: therefore, when I see a complex object such as a human, I should infer that it has also been designed. William Paley is famous for advancing this argument but it goes back to Thomas Aquinas (incidentally Paley did not claim it was original with him).

      This act of comparing two objects and drawing similar conclusions based on similarities (while ignoring important differences) is a prime example of a false analogy.

      Argument from design also fails on another level. It assumes that evidence of design is an objective quality obvious to all viewers. In reality, the ability to discern design is largely a function of familiarity and cultural context. Paley’s “watchmaker” analogy presupposes that anyone finding a complex man-made object would immediately conclude that it was designed; however, there have been cases where observers from cultures unfamiliar with such objects have concluded that they were natural, such as flint tools found in Europe during the 17th century. Not to mention the multitude of phenomena we now know are natural, but which in the past were explained through intelligent design or benevolent creation, such as the Giant’s Causeway or the numerous legends explaining how various glacial erratics ended up in their current positions.

      Sorry, Karl, but Bob and many other atheists are familiar with the arguments for gods. Bob has been critiquing these arguments for years and they all fail in various ways.

      • Bruce Gorton

        Another issue with the causal argument: it collapses when you’re dealing with quantum mechanics, where uncaused events appear to happen fairly regularly.

        • ORigel

          And the universe was once smaller than a proton, so quantum mechanics should have been really important.

    • Greg G.

      A quote like this betrays that either you don’t really understand the arguments and you think the issues are far simpler than they really are – in which case your material would be expected to be nothing more than atheist sophomoric arguments; or that you hold a contemptuous view of Christians and Christian belief – in which case you could hardly be expected to offer anything of value to the audience (no one gets any value out of being contemptuously sneered at).

      Here’s what William Lane Craig says about arguments for God.

      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/does-god-exist-1

      Alvin Plantinga, one of the world’s leading philosophers, has laid out two dozen or so arguments for God’s existence. Together these constitute a powerful cumulative case for the existence of God.

      If there was one argument that worked, then Craig and Plantinga would tout that arguments. Instead, they tout two dozen or so failed arguments for God’s existence. The cumulative case for two dozen or so failed arguments for God, after thousands of greater failed arguments are forgotten, is powerful evidence against the case for the existence of God.

      • KarlUdy

        Prosecution: I have three arguments for the guilt of the defendant. He was witnessed committing the murder, his fingerprints were found on the murder weapon, and the victim’s wallet was found in the defendant’s possession.

        Defence: That my counterpart has three arguments is clear evidence of my client’s innocence. If the prosecution had one argument that worked, they would have used that and not bothered us with any of the other arguments.

        Hmmm. Still not convinced

        • Michael Neville

          Defence: The witness to the murder recanted, saying he was suborned by the police. The fingerprints were on a different weapon than the murder weapon. The victim’s brother saw the victim giving his wallet to the accused for save-keeping.

          Suddenly the open and shut close is a little more dubious than you previously thought.

        • KarlUdy

          I think you’re missing my point

        • Michael Neville

          I think you’re missing mine. You’re saying that three lines of argument are better than one and I agree. However when all three lines can be shown to be faulty then none of them are useful in supporting your main contention.

          Plantinga, a philosopher I have little respect for, produced 20 lines of argument to support his god. Previously on this thread I mentioned two of them and showed problems with them. Do you know that Plantinga’s final argument is Pascal’s Wager? Do you need an explanation about the many, many problems with that bit of sophistry? Likewise all of the other arguments are faulty.

          EDIT: Rationalwiki on Pascal’s Wager

        • KarlUdy

          Do you think Plantinga believes his arguments to “work”?
          If so, how does that influence how you perceive his presenting of multiple arguments.

          If not, what do you think he is doing?

        • Pofarmer

          If any of the arguments actually worked, he wouldn’t need the rest of them.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m sorry, I’m fluent in two languages and can get by in a couple more but gibberish is not one of them. Do you want to rephrase your gibberish into English or French?

        • KarlUdy

          Just start with the first question then …
          Do you think Plantinga believes his arguments to “work”?

        • Michael Neville

          He thinks he was successful or else he would not have presented his lecture nor published his lecture notes. William Lane Craig agrees that Plantinga was successful.

          I read Plantinga’s arguments (they were linked some months ago on this blog) and my response was “that’s 15 minutes I’ll never get back.” It was the same-old same-old that Christians have been tossing out for centuries and have been refuted for as long. Plantinga gave Anselm’s ontological argument (God is perfect, perfection requires existence, therefore God exists). Anselm published this argument in 1078 and within a year Gaunilo of Marmoutier published a criticism, pointing out that it’s not an argument for God but an exercise in semantics. So the ontological argument was refuted (by a monk) over a thousand years ago yet Plantinga trots it out again. There are reasons why I do not hold Alvin Plantinga in high regard.

        • KarlUdy

          So are you saying that everyone accepted Gaunilo’s criticism, and the ontological argument was never used by Anselm or anyone else from that point forward?

        • Michael Neville

          So are you saying that Gaunilo’s criticism isn’t valid? Are you saying the ontological argument is actually valid? Are you saying that Anselm was right? If so, justify your claims or admit you can’t rebut Gaunilo’s criticism.

        • Greg G.

          I do not think that Plantinga thinks his arguments “work”. If he thought he had one that worked, he wouldn’t put forth arguments that do not work. He would try to create more arguments that work and wouldn’t be satisfied with falilures. Even Craig doesn’t think any of them work, unless, “to work” means to get gullible Christians to buy books.

        • KarlUdy

          So, Plantinga and Craig are just in it for the money?

          Surely there are more lucrative outlets for someone who cares only for money?

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s a happy side effect of many an echo chamber.

          your dichotomy addiction is showing.

        • Greg G.

          So, Plantinga and Craig are just in it for the money?

          Surely there are more lucrative outlets for someone who cares only for money?

          No, I said Craig doesn’t think any of them work unless you define “work” some other way. You could define “work” to mean “accept his books for free” to get the same meaning. As long as his fans think they work, he’s good with it. The point I am making is NO, CRAIG DOES NOT THINK THE ARGUMENTS WORKS IN THE LOGICAL SENSE OF PROOF. Do I need to emphasize that with bolding, italics or underlining?

        • You could say that for most professions, and yet there are people in those roles.

        • Otto

          I think you missed Greg’s point. The arguments touted by Plantinga are failed arguments, not solid arguments with direct evidence that point only in one direction. Additionally, if I am not mistaken, they are specifically arguments for a deistic God, and you specifically referred to good arguments for Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          The prosecution has one argument based on evidence.

          Edit at 40 minutes to add the preposition.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Lets take one of the more famous of those arguments Plantinga raises, the sensus divinitus.

          We know that argument is fundamentally false because if we have a truth-sense then we wouldn’t have liars now would we? Lying would in fact be entirely pointless because our ability to sense truth would make it impossible.

          Instead what we can ascertain regarding “truth” is simply the accumulated evidence of our senses and normal reasoning, which is to say flawed and prone to falling for various illusions.

          So how much weight does that add to the pot for religion? Zero.

          And that’s how it goes for the rest of the Gish gallop that constitute the 20 arguments. You don’t add stuff that’s that clearly stupid unless the rest of your list is particularly dire to begin with.

          This is also my criticism of Swinburne’s Bayesian argument – it is basically a big pile of nothing with numbers thrown in to make it look mathy. It is just flim flam.

          With regards to your court case example: Multiple lines of evidence are great so long as they are all valid.

          So lets take the witness: if the witness can be found to have been lying, or mistaken, then that is thrown out of the case.

          That there was a witness no longer contributes.

          If the prints on the murder weapon were found to be planted, that no longer contributes to the case. It the wallet was found to have been planted by the cops, that no longer contributes to the case.

          What various Christian apologists do however is try to keep all of that in the case in order to claim that it all proves their position when taken cumulatively. They know that each argument on its own fails, so they hope by presenting them all together they will overwhelm their critics into not thinking to hard about them.

          But if an argument is fallacious it actually contributes nothing. It doesn’t actually do anything except waste everyone’s time.

          It is just a bunch of fast talk.

        • Nonsensical

          Ah how desperate your kind is.

          Strange how you always seem to have a problem with free will. I think it because of your “activities” with children that you claim you cannot control, but really just have no interest in stopping because you are evil.

          Your entire non argument is discredited by sin and the ways you evil monsters try to destroy goodness with your lying.

          A very applicable Fulton Sheen quote before I finish blocking you:

          “As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

        • Bruce Gorton

          The discussion between us – in another thread, involved you claiming that pedophile priests were actually pagans and Marxists, in other words taking what your Church was guilty of and claiming it was the work of other people.

          Considering your pattern on this sort of thing, I think you just revealed that you personally fuck kids. Quite frankly I am not surprised.

        • Greg G.

          His complete denial of child molesting priests last night led me to believe he could be a child molesting priest, a victim of a child molesting priest, or both.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i think it’s just another True-Path-er who either doesn’t know how free thought works or is mortified by its selectively ‘pagan’/’communist’ correlations. can’t establish an axiom to escape a wet paper bag bcuz pearls/swine. o woe.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re not using arguments,. You’re using evidence.

        • Joe

          “Imagine, your Honor, the murder weapon exists in one possible wold…..”

        • Greg G.

          Dammit! How does one get half-chewed granola bar off a monitor?

        • Joe

          Imagine a perfect monitor. A perfect monitor would have the property of no-granola-bar-on-screen.

          Not sure if that helps?

        • Michael Neville

          Snortle!

        • TheNuszAbides

          inb4
          Karl: “but someone said there IS NO evidence”
          someone: “the point is whether there is SUFFICIENT evidence”
          Karl: “No True Evidence!?”
          someone: “go away”

        • Joe

          OK, but if you’re going to use that example, what physical evidence do these apologists have?

        • Matt G

          Horrible example, and you won’t come up with a better one. You are describing how science works, not theology. Our confidence in our theories depends on the strength of our evidence, and multiple lines of evidence strengthen our confidence. In your irrelevant example, eyewitness testimony varies in reliability, as do fingerprints. The wallet can be explained many ways. The arguments for God(s) are evidence-free. Just because you have a lot of them doesn’t mean any of them are any good, and more isn’t better.

          I work at a school supported by a high profile “serious” church. They had a priest with a Ph.D., and the title Theologian in Residence. I was shocked by how weak his sermons and books were. This isn’t some televangelist church, and this is the best they can do?

        • Michael Neville

          When we look at the “serious apologists” like William Lane Craig and Mike Licona we see them making the same arguments for gods that the hoi polloi use. I suspect that’s because the lumpenproliteriat look to apologists like Greg Koukl and John Lennox for the “best” arguments. Lane Craig has two PhDs, Lennox has three, surely these people know the best arguments.

          When atheists look at these best arguments it’s obvious they’re not very good. Lane Craig makes a big deal about how he “feels the Holy Spirit” and thinks that’s a serious argument. Alvin Plantinga thinks that Pascal’s Wager is a good argument. Josh McDowell claims that everyone really does believe in his favorite god because Paul said so in an epistle.

          I’ve maintained for years that the reason why theists, particularly Christians and Muslims, claim that faith is a virtue is that faith is all they have If they had actual evidence for gods they couldn’t find enough ten-foot poles to keep faith away. But they don’t have evidence and they know they don’t have evidence, so they’re rely on faith since there’s literally nothing else.

        • Matt G

          Absolutely. All of those who call themselves “people of faith” also think that religious claims are reasonable, rational, and sometimes even obvious. You can’t have it both ways! If you could PROVE that God exists, then you wouldn’t need to BELIEVE God exists. You wouldn’t need FAITH in God’s existence.

        • Greg G.

          When one’s source material says invisible things are clearly seen, your standards for making sense must remain very low.

        • Greg G.

          I nominate this for Post of the Day! Any seconds?

        • Otto

          I like it too….but I have to go with Joe’s….

          “Imagine a perfect monitor. A perfect monitor would have the property of no-granola-bar-on-screen.”

        • Joe

          If only for the use of the word lumpenproliteriat.

        • Nice summary.

        • Michael Neville

          Thank you.

        • Lark62

          Lets change these to christian arguments:

          Prosecution: I have three arguments for the guilt of the defendant.

          – Someone said that someone said that they saw him commit the murder many years ago. But we don’t know the names of tbe witnesses or those who claim to have heard the witnesses.

          – Fingerprints were found at the scene and the defendant has fingers.

          – I believe in my heart that the defendant is guilty. Pay no attention to the fact that convincing people he is guilty will make me very rich.

          Nope. Not convinced.

      • Frank G Turner

        So in simpler terms, while absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, re-usage of poor evidence is at least suggestive that the one presenting the poor evidence lacks better evidence. Why would one present poor evidence if one had better evidence?

      • ORigel

        I googled the list. Platinga admits his set of arguments from scripture are circular, but he says that just because the arguments are circular does not mean they’re invalid.

        Yes, it’s all so very clear now! I have been touched by the Holy Ghost and have repented for my sins. I’ll even give up my pagan idols and Communist ideology and eating calculators!*

        Checkmate, atheists! Just because his arguments are flawed does not mean they’re flawed.

        *The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster points out that in a witch attack, scientists would be able to do nothing to stop them because all they can do is throw calculations at them and witches eat calculators. (Though I’ve burned the book of that demon carbohydrate false god.)

    • Chuck Johnson

      There are atheists that have healthy respect for religious belief and arguments.-KarlUdy

      You are not being very specific here.
      Religious beliefs and arguments might consist of supernatural assertions, or maybe not.

      Belief in supernatural or magical things is not respectable. Scientific examination shows us that.
      The remaining components of religion may be respectable or not and are subject to critical examination to figure out just how respectable they might be.

    • Frank G Turner

      That is playing to the emotional tendency of humans though. Just because one has or demonstrates a more healthy respect for those with deeply held religious beliefs, does not mean that one’s non-religious arguments are particularly educational. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy and not everyone who praises you is your friend.
      .
      Though I don’t disagree, if it is your goal to be invited to a conference in which you think the basic reasoning is flawed, showing that you have respect for those who organized it is a more likely way of achieving that goal.

    • Grace Joy

      These people aren’t real atheists. Notice they refuse to say anything bad against Islam; only deflect to Christians. They claim to respect people (Mohammedans & Christians); are nasty to anyone they think may be Christian; & pretend that Islam is no danger to USA (they’re worried about Creationism being taught in schools: Islam is OK). This is taqiyya.

      • Greg G.

        Maybe you are part of an ISIS sleeper cell trying to stir up trouble.

      • Poor baby. Everything is twisted so you can be assured that everyone’s mean to you?

        How you think and atheist blog embraces Islam I can’t imagine.

        • epeeist

          How you think and atheist blog embraces Islam I can’t imagine.

          Your mistake is to think she is rational. I am reminded of Kate Wilhelm’s novel Let the Fire Fall which deals with irrational fear of the other.

        • Jim Dailey

          Can you please provide blog references where you question Islamic beliefs, methods, leaders or history?
          Thanks

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think Oslamism has ever been addressed anywhere.

          SparklingMoon is a Muslim who has made many posts to various articles. See if you can find any of his posts here that have gone unanswered.

          Here’s one:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/08/illogic-of-the-garden-of-eden-story-2-of-2-genesis-bible/#comment-2867955208

        • Jim Dailey

          Question was for Bob Seidenstecker.

        • Seek and ye shall find. There’s a search box for this blog up above.

        • Jim Dailey

          Thanks – so I search the term “Islam” and note that the search returns 10 references. Does that sound about right to you? That is – have you written substantially more than 10 posts presumably as critical of Islam and Muslims?

        • Sure. My focus here is Christianity, not Islam.

        • Jim Dailey

          Actually Bob, I did search Islam, and saw 10 posts, all of which were generally supportive of Islam. Appears that Grace Joy is exactly correct.

        • Greg G.

          Why? Did he compare Islam and Christianity? That is not being supportive.

        • Jim Dailey

          This blog is mot “nonreligous” or “atheist. Like other commenters here I have discussed religion with rational atheists.
          This blog is more accurately “anti -Christian”.
          I can easily dig up quotes from any of the “Islam” blog posts that will suppprt my contention, but not for you. You are obviously a troll.

        • Greg G.

          This blog is more accurately “anti -Christian”.

          No, it’s more accurately “anti-Christianity.” It’s not against people, it is against ideas, particularly religious ideas. The title is “Cross Examined”. Get it? It is about giving scrutiny to the religion that has had its way in this country and having hissy fits because people are out-growing it.

          I can easily dig up quotes from any of the “Islam” blog posts that will suppprt my contention, but not for you. You are obviously a troll.

          Awww, shucks. I said “please” in my other request.

        • As others have challenged you: show where I support Islam.

          Jeez–what part of “atheist” do you not understand? In the US, it’s Christianity that’s blundering around, doing all the damage. The separation of church and state is your best friend if you’re freaked out about Islam.

          You are obviously a troll.

          Cool. You’ve been here for a short time and yet you can already see into the soul of every one of us here. That’s spooky power.

          In fact, Greg G. is one of the most easy-going commenters and is quick to provide lots of useful information. He could be a good resource to you. That you see him as not tells me a lot about you.

        • Jim Dailey

          Sorry for picking on your little buddy. Clearly he eagerly validates your thinking.

        • Greg G.

          So, are you going to give the references from those 10 pages or not?

        • Jim Dailey

          No. Reading them once was painful enough.

        • Caught in a lie, are we? Oopsie.

          Suggestion for next time: be a little bit more honest. You’ll get a better reception, and your argument will be more compelling.

        • Greg G.

          You should have documented them when you read them the first time. Didn’t you expect to be asked for evidence of your claims?

        • Jim Dailey

          I don’t do my first read of anything expecting to reach a conclusion. It’s called having an open mind. You should try it.

        • Greg G.

          But you were expecting to make a conclusion, you reached it, and now you can’t support it. You wanted to see if GJ was right.

        • Sidestepping the issue? Nice move–I didn’t even see it.

        • epeeist

          Actually Bob, I did search Islam, and saw 10 posts, all of which were generally supportive of Islam.

          Links please.

        • Jim Dailey

          Following Bobs advice, I used the Search bar embedded in the blog and entered the term “Islam”
          None of the articles are critical of Islam, Muslim history, beliefs or practices.
          This blog is entitled Cross Examined, so I would expect it was critical of Christianity. However, Seidensteicker’s purported “atheism” is merely a thinly veiled cover for his mean-spirited anti- Christianity. I suppose it gets more clicks in the West, and is more politically acceptable than true atheism. However, it is crass, and base, and essentially bigoted rankings.

        • I live in the US. Christianity is the primary problem here, not Islam. Many of the arguments I make apply equally to Islam (arguments for atheism or rebuttals to deist arguments), so I think religion gets an appropriate thrashing, if that’s your concern.

          I’m anti- anything that causes problems within society. Christianity makes people cross the church/state line, and it’s not true. That’s the motivation.

        • Jim Dailey

          if you are truly anti-anything that causes problems in society, I am pretty sure your focus would shift from Christianity to another major world religion Bob.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right. Those damn Jains must be wreaking havoc in American society. It’s truly amazing what problems a few thousand individuals can inflict on the rest of us.

          Hey wait! Jains aren’t causing turmoil in American society. Neither are Buddhists, Hindus or Muslims. It must be some other religious group trying to regulate women’s reproduction, trying to replace science with religious mythology in schools, and trying to deny GLBTs basic human rights. I wonder what religion could be doing those things.

        • Jim Dailey

          I always thought stopping murder was a higher priority than, say, giving voice to weirdos about where they poop, but you are right, pooping comfortably is also worthy of blog posts.

        • Michael Neville

          The murder rate of transsexuals is over three times that of heterosexuals. Transsexuals face more than just finding a place to poop.

        • Greg G.

          If you really “always thought stopping murder was a higher priority,” you would have been out there stopping murders rather than talking about poop in blogs.

          If we tax churches, we can have more trained police officers stopping murders.

        • Rudy R

          If Evangelicals didn’t place such a high priority on poop and cake, secular humanists and atheists wouldn’t blog about it.

        • DoorknobHead

          MURDER IN VAT OF POOP OR . . .
          POOP IN A VAT OF MURDER
          Murder versus poop. I guess that depends what causes more harm. If the murder rate is very low and contained, and pooping in the streets causes more deaths and societal harm, then pooping should be the priority.

        • Are religiously motivated Muslims causing more murders than Christians in the US? I need statistics.

        • Jim Dailey

          Did you mean to say “”religiously motivated” Christians?

        • No. But if it’ll get you to say something interesting, add that qualifier.

        • Greg G.

          One is more likely to be killed by a toddler finding your gun than by a terrorist.

        • Greg G.

          Well, duh… If somebody has a list of problems and the worst problem is solved or diminished, then the next one on the list becomes the worst problem. That is not a character flaw, it’s just how priorities work.

        • Then you’ll have to visit the United States some time. In this country, Christianity is the one attacking the wall separating church and state, not Islam.

          The crazy thing is someone like you who’ll likely quickly tell me that Christianity is society’s bullwark against Islam, when they’re actually attacking the thing that the Constitution put there for that very purpose.

        • Jim Dailey

          actually, the people regularly attacking the church/state wall are you secularists. Telling a bunch of nuns they have to offer abortions in their health care plan is just laughably stupid.
          As for your gutless, chickenhearted refusal to criticize Islam, well , there is no comversation to be had with a quivering coward. Grace Joy has your number Bob.

        • Telling a bunch of nuns they have to offer abortions in their health care plan is just laughably stupid.

          Good point. The nuns probably offered that in the health care plan knowing that no one who had heard their message would have an abortion.

          As for your gutless, chickenhearted refusal to criticize Islam, well , there is no comversation to be had with a quivering coward.

          Do you understand how you sound to thoughtful people? Criticizing Islam isn’t the point of this blog, just like critiquing chemistry isn’t.

          Have you noticed the title? Show me that you can read and understand it by repeating it to me.

        • Jim Dailey

          Ha ha “Thoughtful people”. Ha ha ha.

        • Michael Neville

          You certainly aren’t one. But as a rule bigots aren’t particularly thoughtful.

        • Jim Dailey

          That should get you some upvotes!
          Name calling is a very successful strategy for that on this blog.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s not my fault that your Islamophobia shows that you’re a bigot.

        • Jim Dailey

          Interesting. So what does your Christianophobia make you? Enlightened?

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t hate and fear Christians at all. Most of my family and friends are Christians. They’re good people. The vast majority of people I know are Christians, they and I get along fine.

          However you hate and fear Muslims as shown by your repeated demands that Bob criticize them, your support of Grace Joy, and your comment:

          if you are truly anti-anything that causes problems in society, I am pretty sure your focus would shift from Christianity to another major world religion Bob.

          You give no reasons for your fear of Muslims, so I’m forced to believe that you hate them because you just hate them. That makes you an unthinking bigot. As I told you before, it’s not my fault you’re a bigot.

        • Jim Dailey

          “Why, some of my best friends are Christians!”

          Clearly not the words of a bigot.

        • Michael Neville

          Can you say the same thing about Muslims? For that matter, do you have friends?

        • Oh, so you can’t read and repeat the title and subtitle of the blog. Thought so.

        • Jim Dailey

          Ugh.
          Peace be with you. I hope you see the light someday.

        • Peace be with you.

          Let me guess: Christian-ese for “fuck you”? Or is that just Dailey-ese?

        • adam

          “there is no comversation to be had with a quivering coward. ”

          Which is everybody is school you rather than trying to have a comversation…

        • Michael Neville

          One of our biggest complaints about theists is that they not only believe nonsense but insist that everyone else believe their nonsense. If nuns don’t like abortions then they don’t have to have any. But that doesn’t mean that every other woman should be prohibited from having abortions.

          You obviously haven’t given much thought to what the wall of separation actually means.

        • Greg G.

          Telling a bunch of nuns they have to offer abortions in their health care plan is just laughably stupid.

          Why do people pay for house insurance when their house isn’t on fire? Insurance spreads risk. You get insured for all problems because you don’t know which ones you’ll get or how many. Many people are against abortion until their teenage daughter gets pregnant.

        • Jim Dailey

          Bob was telling me how well-informed you are in a separate comment.

          I think Bob should send YOU to speak at Christian conferences. You obviously are representative of the level of intellect displayed here. Congratulations!

        • adam

          “if you are truly anti-anything that causes problems in society, I am
          pretty sure your focus would shift from Christianity to another major
          world religion Bob.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e60da69b09f90cdf455366214de1c302250519c28b2fc82edbcdee62ca93a7e3.jpg

        • epeeist

          Following Bobs advice, I used the Search bar embedded in the blog and entered the term “Islam”

          As did I, I get five articles with “Islam” in the title.

          None of the articles are critical of Islam, Muslim history, beliefs or practices.

          So you don’t find this one or this one critical at all?

          This blog is entitled Cross Examined, so I would expect it was critical of Christianity.

          As it says in the summary”Bob explores intellectual arguments in favor of Christianity (Christian apologetics) from an atheist perspective and critiques Christianity’s actions in society.”

          I suppose it gets more clicks in the West, and is more politically acceptable than true atheism.

          Which is more likely, that the US becomes a Christian theocracy or that it becomes an Islamic theocracy?

          And what is “true atheism”?

          However, it is crass, and base, and essentially bigoted rankings.

          Unsubstantiated and irrelevant assertion.

        • The list of things that this blog doesn’t cover well is very long. I would only tangentially discuss economic policy, string theory, chemistry, recycling, Islam, and lots of other topics. The focus is Christianity.

          Grace Joy is right about very little. What do you think she got right? That the focus of this blog isn’t Islam? If so, that would be one of her few correct observations.

        • Rudy R

          It may appear to you that Grace Joy is exactly correct, but it appears to the atheists in this combox that she is not. I’ll second epeeist’s request for the 10 posts that you say BobS is supportive of Islam.

        • Joe

          I’ll take just one.

        • Rudy R

          I predict you won’t get one. Christian trolls like Jim Dailey try out arguments they learned in their Christian bubble and when they find them seriously lacking, they pop-off just as quickly as they popped on.

        • Greg G.

          He refused to provide any of those references to me because he said I was a troll.

      • Jim Dailey

        Grace, you are exactly right. I followed Bobs advice below and searched his blog history for “Islam”. All 10 references returned were generally supportive of Islam, none were even slightly critical. Bob an “atheist”? Ha ha. You called it!

        • Greg G.

          Can you please cite your claims?

        • Ouch! I’m really glad you didn’t search for the religion of the Zulu people, because I didn’t mention that one at all!

        • Jim Dailey

          Taqiyya.

          You really are a little too blatant about it though.

        • So I’m a good liar about my closeted Muslim beliefs, but an honest Christian like you can see through it? Must be great being clairvoyant.

          And I think all of us are still eager for the places where I said positive things about the supernatural claims of Islam. Go ahead–make it all public. Deny me the ability to hide behind my tissue of lies.

        • Jim Dailey

          No, you are a bad liar about your taqiyya. That is why I said you are a little too blatant.
          10 for 10 on your posts containing “Islam.”
          ISIS should reprint your posts to try to convince those pesky Coptic Christians to convert.

        • I thought Christians weren’t supposed to lie. That crying in the distance is baby Jesus.

          Say–I have an idea! Instead of just making up shit, why not back up your claims with evidence? You’ve never done that before. Give it a try–it might be fun! You can start with the claim that I support Islam in this blog.

          Go.

    • Well, we disagree, so we have something interesting to talk about. It’s curious that we’re quite far apart.

      Why/where am I missing the boat? You say that my view is far too simple, but that doesn’t help uncover my mistake.

      There are atheists that have healthy respect for religious belief and arguments.

      Assuming I understand your point, you’re right: I don’t have much respect for religious belief (because it’s wrong) or arguments (because they’re elementary and unconvincing to outsiders). But where’s the problem? Show me that the beliefs are correct and the arguments are profound and convincing.

      • TheNuszAbides

        maybe the trick is to invent a way to crack the Cassandra Barrier. You know, how nobody ever believes or cares about anything a prophet says until it’s too late for that ugly naughty filthy city that just happened to be on a fault line?

      • KarlUdy

        Assuming I understand your point, you’re right: I don’t have much respect for religious belief (because it’s wrong) or arguments (because they’re elementary and unconvincing to outsiders). But where’s the problem? Show me that the beliefs are correct and the arguments are profound and convincing.

        If you are certain that the beliefs are wrong and the arguments are elementary, then it sounds like your mind is already made up, and you will interpret any argument you see in a way that fits your prior understanding. Your statement actually tells me nothing about the arguments, but only about you.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Bob’s more than once made the effort to imagine that there could be excellent beliefs and arguments out there that support some kind of purely religious claim. where are your efforts to exercise your imagination as to one man’s motives?

          Your statement actually tells me nothing about the arguments

          i suppose if someone weren’t faking such ignorance — unless you’re about to unveil some mind-blowing Gotcha that “the arguments” have in fact not been addressed repeatedly and at length for years on this blog, as indicated by the post above — one might be otherwise desperate to assume so simple-minded a focus …

          for example, if all you’re getting at is “Bob won’t open his heart before investigating!”, you really should just blow that whistle clearly and cleanly. you’re not actually in danger of tripping anyone up.

        • You’ve engaged with me and others here enough to know that “sounds like your mind is already made up” won’t do. I have a mountain of posts engaging honestly (though bluntly) with Christian arguments. Those arguments suck. That’s a conclusion, not evidence of a closed mind. Want proof? Give me a good argument and watch me say, “Wow–that’s a good argument.” You’ll presumably say that I’ve dismissed all of your best arguments as crap, but again, I reply that that’s my conclusion, not my bias.

    • Susan

      A quote like this betrays that either you don’t really understand the arguments and you think the issues are far simpler than they really are

      Or it just shows that the arguments are terrible and that things being complicated has nothing to do with you supporting your argument.

      The quote does nothing of the sort.

      in which case your material would be expected to be nothing more than atheist sophomoric arguments; or that you hold a contemptuous view of Christians and Christian belief – in which case you could hardly be expected to offer anything of value to the audience (no one gets any value out of being contemptuously sneered at).

      Of course that doesn’t necessarily follow from your unsupported premise but as your premise is unsupported, it doesn’t much matter

      What are you claiming Karl and how do you support it?

      Please send a christian who will actually address this question.

      For some reason you don’t want to do that.

      (Please.)

      • KarlUdy

        Or it just shows that the arguments are terrible and that things being complicated has nothing to do with you supporting your argument.

        When someone claims that billions of people are so stupid that they fall for obviously wrong arguments, but that they have a clear understanding of all the issues, somehow such a person does inspire confidence in me. Maybe I’ve heard too many conspiracy theories.

        Of course that doesn’t necessarily follow from your unsupported premise but as your premise is unsupported, it doesn’t much matter

        I really don’t know what your objection is here, Susan.

        What are you claiming Karl and how do you support it?

        I am saying that if Bob thinks he can go to a conference and address an audience with a message along the lines of “You guys are so dumb to believe what you do. Here’s the simple truth that you all missed,” then he’s going to find that the audience either finds him embarrassingly foolish for not really understanding what they believe and why, or annoyed at having to listen to a peevish rant.

        • TheNuszAbides

          claims that billions of people are so stupid that they fall for obviously wrong arguments

          pretending that mitigating factors aren’t addressed here is pathetic even for you. but you seem to be especially on a roll with the straw-men today.

          but that they have a clear understanding of all the issues,

          go on, let’s see you dig up an instance of that being claimed.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “You guys are so dumb to believe what you do. Here’s the simple truth that you all missed,”

          and how do you support the claimsuggesiton that that’s “along the lines of” what he’d say?

          what do you suppose Turek or D’Souza or Keller or Craig or Peter Hitchens or some other apologist expected to hear from Dennett or Shermer or Dillahunty or JT or Christopher Hitchens or some other atheist? do you suspect they were blindsided by the tone of their debate opponents?

          it’s already on record that one apologist would rather sneer and pat himself on the back than rise to Bob’s bait. any more prophecies about how others will react?

        • Lark62

          How many of the billions of Christians examined the claims of christianity before becoming a Christian?

          Seriously. The vast majority of adherents of any religion became believers as small children because trusted adults told them it was true. Some people became Christians as adults due to an emotional upheaval.

          Very few people join Christianity or any other religion after closely comparing and examining the claims of multiple religions. However, lots of people like to be given carefully selected pseudo evidence confirming what they have already chosen to believe. That is why apologists rake in the money. Their material is written to keep current followers content.

          There is in fact a word that applies to people who carefully examine evidence for religion. They are usually called “atheists.”

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          It has nothing to do with being dumb. Unless one is aware of a bunch of cognitive flaws all human brains have, narratives and logical fallacies meant to take advantage of those flaws will continue to dupe them.

        • If I go to a conference, I obviously won’t open with, “You guys are a bunch of idiots,” but thanks for the tip.

          If I’ve misunderstood the Christian position or Christian arguments, point that out. Show me where I’ve mischaracterized them.

        • Otto

          I am constantly told I don’t understand the Christian position, even though I was taught it by Christians when I was a Christian.

          I don’t understand the Christian position because at the root level it does not make sense.

        • Susan

          When someone claims that billions of people are so stupid that they fall for obviously wrong arguments

          You and I both know that most christians (like most hindus and muslims) did not find their way into their beliefs through argument. Believing Allah or Yahwehjesus or Vishnu are real models of reality is a matter of uprbringing.

          Very, very smart people can be wrong. And most people aren’t very, very smart people.

          I note that you once again completely dodged my “What are you claiming and how do you support it?” question.

          I am saying that if Bob thinks he can go to a conference and address an audience with a message along the lines of “You guys are so dumb to believe what you do. Here’s the simple truth that you all missed,”

          The claims are mostly unquestioned.

          Yahwehjesus! Yahwehjesus! Rah! Rah Rah! 😉

          When someone finally questions them, there is a merry–go-round of terrible arguments to defend the claim.

          Bob has never said people are stupid when they make/accept those claims.

          He’s just engaged with the terrible arguments (the barbed wire at the edge of the compound) and showed how they are wanting.

        • KarlUdy

          You and I both know that most christians (like most hindus and muslims) did not find their way into their beliefs through argument.

          Thus far, you could well be right. I don’t know the figures but I wouldn’t dispute the claim, other than to say it is also true for people of no religion.

          Believing Allah or Yahwehjesus or Vishnu are real models of reality is a matter of uprbringing.

          Here you appear to commit the genetic fallacy. Just because some people hold a belief because of their upbringing has no impact on the truth of their belief, or that the belief is reliant on their upbringing. After all, there are many people of all sorts of religions who were not brought up in their religion.

          Very, very smart people can be wrong. And most people aren’t very, very smart people.

          Agreed. I have no doubt that Bob is very smart. Yourself too. I also don’t think that our different views on the existence of God have any bearing on intelligence. You both may well be much smarter than me.

          I note that you once again completely dodged my “What are you claiming and how do you support it?” question.

          No, I gave you what you asked for. And I’ll quote it to you again …
          I am saying that if Bob thinks he can go to a conference and address an audience with a message along the lines of “You guys are so dumb to believe what you do. Here’s the simple truth that you all missed,” then he’s going to find that the audience either finds him embarrassingly foolish for not really understanding what they believe and why, or annoyed at having to listen to a peevish rant.

          The claims are mostly unquestioned.
          Yahwehjesus! Yahwehjesus! Rah! Rah Rah! 😉
          When someone finally questions them, there is a merry–go-round of terrible arguments to defend the claim.

          I’m sorry that has been your experience. It has not been mine, and an examination of Christian history shows that the claims have been questioned repeatedly over the centuries.

          Bob has never said people are stupid when they make/accept those claims.

          He did say:

          Christians’ arguments are easy to refute.

          and

          I’ve heard the good stuff, and it’s not very good.

          That seems to imply that he considers someone to be stupid to accept the arguments, or to think that they are good.

          He’s just engaged with the terrible arguments (the barbed wire at the edge of the compound) and showed how badly they are wanting.

          Again, he says the good stuff is terrible, with the implication that it all is.

        • I wouldn’t dispute the claim, other than to say it is also true for people of no religion.

          I don’t see the symmetry. I wrote about that here.

    • Lark62

      The leprechaun society claims to exist to convert people to the worship of leprechauns.

      Leprechaun Apologists make lots (and lots) of money from leprechaunists by claiming to know how to convert non-leprechaunists to the faith.

      Non-leprechaunists get pretty disgusted with being the perpetual target of conversion attempts. Some with stronger stomachs read the apologists’ literature and identify the many logical failures in such literature.

      A leprechaun apologist holds a conference where he makes money by claiming to be able to teach leprechaunists to convert others.

      An honest apologist (there are some) will 1. Address the valid criticisms of the informed non-leprechaunist and 2. Be honest with his audience about non-leprechaunists and there acceptance of leprechaun apologetics. He will be sincerely interested in talking to non leprechaunists.

      A dishonest apologist (there are many) will distort the objections of non-leprechaunists and the effectiveness of his apologetics. He will be sincerely interested in getting leprechaunists to part with their money.

      Honest apologists would welcome discussion with non-leprechaunists, including those who “disrespect” leprechaunists’ beliefs. Dishonest apologists are revealed by their attempts to keep their marks from realizing non-leprechaunists find their claims easy to debunk.

      There is no reason for the non leprechaunists to respect belief in leprechauns. No intellectually honest non-leprechaunists could respect that belief.

      Now replace tbe above with Christian terms. No intellectually honest non christian respects christian myth. That should not prevent honest apologists from having discussions with them.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        They never get around to having a leprechaun present the leprechaunist apologetics even though such a situation logically follows from what the apologetics describe a leprechaun as capable of doing. Come to think of it, why would we need the apologetics? It’s like a catch-22 or something…

    • Phil Rimmer

      A quote like this betrays that either you don’t really understand the arguments and you think the issues are far simpler than they really are – in which case your material would be expected to be nothing more than atheist sophomoric arguments; or that you hold a contemptuous view of Christians and Christian belief

      That’s it? The only two choices you can summon up? The only two?

      Might this confidence be the problem?

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      “A quote like this betrays that either you don’t really understand the arguments”

      Perhaps God could explain the arguments for Bob.

  • BeaverTales

    This explains why a local Christian college keeps peppering our local poverty stricken atheist group with debate invitations, when all actually we do these days is (rarely) socialize and fantasize about raising the cash to bring an atheist speaker to our very Christian and forlorn red state. Maybe we’ll find a way to take you up on this.

  • Brad Feaker

    I read or listen to lots of Christian apologists. Frank Turek. Norm Geisler. Dinesh D’Souza. William Lane Craig. Gary Habermas. Mike Licona. Jim Wallace. Greg Koukl. Peter Kreeft.

    How is it that you have not driven knitting needles into your eyeballs yet? Masochist` 🙂

    • Greg G.

      His keepers don’t allow sharp objects. They even rounded off his mouse pointer.

  • JedRothwell

    I do not see much point to this proposal. The author points out that the arguments in favor or religion are well known (not a bit secret). So are the argument in favor of atheism. If a Christian apologist speaker wishes to address the actual arguments propounded by leading atheists, he can easily find them. He can read Robert Ingersoll, Bertrand Russell, Dawkins or Harris, and then quote them verbatim and address their arguments.

    I would say that an apologetics lecturer who has not read these atheist authors is no expert on the subject, any more than an atheist would be who has not read religious texts and apologist books.

    If the people at these conferences seriously wanted a full analysis taking into account all major points of view, they are free to read books by leading atheists.

    I doubt that ministers and apologetics are invited to address atheist conferences. Democrats seldom invite Republicans to address their conventions, or vice versa.

    • Jim Dailey

      Very rational point.
      Except I think your use of Republican/Democrat as an example devalues the two outlooks. That is, I think that both Christians and atheists search for truth, rather than whatever our current bipolar political system is hoping to find.

    • Greg G.

      Democrats seldom invite Republicans to address their conventions, or vice versa.

      I think that happens every chance they get and the person gets a prime time slot.

      • JedRothwell

        Please list an example in recent history in which a member of one party addressed a convention of the other party. I do not know of any examples. Not in prime time, or any other time.

        • Michael Neville

          Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) addressed the Republican National Convention in 2008, praising John McCain and saying that Obama was not ready to be President.

          EDIT: Also remember that Lieberman was Gore’s running mate in 2000.

        • JedRothwell

          Lieberman was a renegade Democrat by that time. He was a Republican in all but name. This is equivalent to someone coming to a Christian apologetics conference and saying, “I was once an atheist but now I am a believer, and I will tell you what atheists believe.” Such people are fairly common in religious circles. Based on what they say and how they describe atheism, I do not think they were ever really atheists by my standards.

          I do not think you can come up with any other examples of Dems or Reps invited to speak at the other party’s convention. Certainly no examples of current party leaders.

        • Michael Neville

          When he addressed the Republican Convention Lieberman still had (D-CT) after his name. I agree that by that time he had become a Republican but officially he was still a Democrat.

        • Greg G.

          Certainly no examples of current party leaders.

          That is a moving goalpost and it is likely impossible to reach. If a person spoke at the opponent’s convention, they would not ever be a “current party leader”. It’s a good way to become a persona non grata.

        • Greg G.

          http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-democratic-convention-2016-live-some-republicans-are-speaking-to-1469747502-htmlstory.html

          2016 Democratic Convention

          First up is Doug Elmets, a longtime political consultant from Sacramento who served as a White House spokesman during the Ronald Reagan administration.

          Jennifer Pierotti Lim, who helped found the group Republicans for Hillary last May, will follow.

          On Wednesday night, a high-profile former Republican, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, endorsed Clinton. Bloomberg, who was a Democrat before running for office as a Republican in 2001, now identifies as an independent.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Democratic_National_Convention

          2012 Democratic Convention

          Charlie Crist former Republican Governor of Florid

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Democratic_National_Convention#Principal_speakers

          2008 Democratic Convention

          Former Republican congressman Jim Leach gave his public endorsement of Barack Obama.

          2004 Republican Convention

          Democrat Senator Zell Miller at the 2004 Republican Convention

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Republican_National_Convention

          2012 Republican Convention

          Bob Buckhorn, Democratic Mayor of Tampa.

          Artur Davis, former Democratic United States Representative for Alabama’s 7th congressional district and 2010 Democratic candidate for Governor of Alabama.

          For the 2016 Republican Convention, Michelle Obama wrote Melania Trump’s speech.

        • JedRothwell

          “Jennifer Pierotti Lim, who helped found the group Republicans for Hillary last May, will follow.”

          That’s a Democrat! That’s like saying “Jews for Jesus” or “an atheist who believes in God will explain atheism.” Someone who comes out in favor of the party’s nominee is in that party whether they say so or not. Especially the Democratic Party which is an incoherent mess, and proud of it. As Will Rogers said, “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.”

          Now if Jennifer Lim had been invited to say, “you should vote for Trump” that would make her a Republican. And it would be unprecedented for either party.

          “For the 2016 Republican Convention, Michelle Obama wrote Melania Trump’s speech.”

          Too true! Touche.

        • Greg G.

          I’m pretty sure that voting for one Democrat does not make a Republican a Democrat. If they were Democrats, they would be called “Democrats for Hillary”. Probably everyone on the list voted for the candidate of the party they spoke at that year.

    • These comparisons aren’t apt. A Christian apologetics conference is specifically designed to discuss how best to engage with the other side and convert them.

      • JedRothwell

        I know nothing about these conferences so I will take your word for that. However, the comparisons might still be somewhat apt, because for example, the Democratic National Convention is specifically designed to win over voters, and most of the time that includes some GOP voters or the party will lose the election. Yet they seldom invite Republicans to address the conference. I wouldn’t know, but apparently apologetics conferences are organized on a similar basis: let the opposition be represented by our version of what they say. (This has not worked well for the Democrats in recent elections.)

        My point is, if they don’t invite you, then debating with actual atheists is not really on their agenda, regardless of what they say. My impression is that they are “preaching to the choir.” They do not wish to engage with real atheists, or try to persuade them. They wish to encourage people who are already Christians to keep the faith. While I have not attended these conferences, but I have read apologetics, and sermons and listened to AM radio stations devoted to Christianity. To me, what they say isn’t merely unpersuasive; it is baffling, pointless, unfocused, illogical, dream-like. If the purpose is to persuade atheists, the effort is a grotesque failure, so I suppose it must have some other purpose, which — as I said — is to appeal to the already-faithful.

        My impression is they are doing “inside baseball.” That is, describing minutiae that appeals to insiders and makes them feel like members of the club. I do not see how you could contribute to that.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes.
          See my comment to Bob.

        • yes, I think we’re on the same page.

          I’ll continue to point out their hypocrisy on this point, however.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Hmm…so,JedRothwell, let me ask you this: Do you acting know any atheists who’ve embraced Jesus the Christ? Become believers in the Gospel message? Have you talked to them, or are you simply voicing your ill-informed opinion? I have/still am what is referred to in Biblical parlance as a “Born again, Spirit-Filled” Child/Servant of the True and Living God for over 40+ years, and a student of Biblical Theology and Ecclesiastical History for over 25 of those years,and these isn’t a lot about the “baffling,pointless,unfocused,illogical,dreamlike” Christian worldview I don’t know.

        • adam
        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          That’s sorta clever,Adam…when I was born again(Oct.4th, 1976 at 1:30 am.), that was when I grew up.Peace to you in Christ

        • JedRothwell

          No, I personally have not met a former atheist who embraced Christianity. I have only read essays and columns by them. Based on what they wrote, I do not think they were originally atheists in the sense that I am. However, there are many different kinds of atheists, just as there are many different kinds of religious believers. So, perhaps I may be accused of a “no true Scotsman” logical fallacy.

          You wrote: “If every atheist whose works I’ve read lived a million years apiece, they could NEVER persuade me to relinquish my faith in Him.Take that as you will . . .”

          Here is how I take that! As an atheist, I wouldn’t want to persuade you to relinquish your faith, any more than I would want you to renounce your marriage, give up tennis, or enjoy eating sushi. I am indifferent to your beliefs, as long as you do not try to impose them on others.

        • Greg G.

          I do not think they were originally atheists in the sense that I am.

          Everyone is born as an implicit atheist and stay that way until someone starts feeding them theology. An explicit atheist is someone who has considered the possibility of gods and rejected due to lack of evidence.

        • JedRothwell

          “Everyone is born as an implicit atheist and stay that way until someone starts feeding them theology.”

          I do not think so. Small children tend to believe in things like magic and talking animals, which resemble religion. They half-believe Winnie the Pooh books at age 3 to 5. They often don’t make the distinction between fantasy and reality. That looks like religion to me.

          Religion is nearly universal. It was universal in all pre-modern societies that I know about — and I know a lot of ’em, in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. That does not mean it is true, or good, or valuable. Torture and slavery were also universal but no one today thinks they were a good idea. However this does mean that religion springs from deeply ingrained human nature. It is something that groups of people everywhere came up with, on their own, in one form or another. So it must be intrinsic to our nature. We may override it or or suppress it, the way we have largely suppressed slavery. But we can never fully escape the urge to be religious. It is part of us, and always will be.

          Most of us, anyway. Like any other instinct, some people have it stronger than others. Some people are far more inclined to enslave others, or go to war. But even the most peaceful people, such as me, may still feel a primal thrill when we hear Henry V, St Crispin’s Day Speech:

          “. . . And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
          From this day to the ending of the world,
          But we in it shall be rememberèd-
          We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
          For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
          Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
          This day shall gentle his condition;
          And gentlemen in England now a-bed
          Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
          And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
          That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

          That’s pure bullshit, but it is still thrilling. I have absolutely no stake in the matter and no reason to support Henry’s attempt to take over France, but it still brings tears to my eyes.

        • Do you have reasons for your God belief? Reasons that should convince the atheists here? You’ve now got your platform: tell us these reasons or arguments.

      • Chuck Johnson

        A Christian apologetics conference is specifically designed to discuss how best to engage with the other side and convert them.-Bob

        Ostensibly, yes.
        But consider the possibility that the “conversion assertion” is just one more facet of Christian ignorance and dishonesty.
        Politics instead of truth.

        http://tinyurl.com/y77z4b6a

  • ThalesThoughts

    I like the proposal very much. A year or two ago a few churches had atheists speakers in, with good results.

  • BlackMamba44

    Haha!!

    Thank you Atheist Pig!!

    This is for Nonsensical (who I think has been banned) and Grace Joy. Thank you for some Sunday entertainment. I really enjoyed it. 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc40cb950d6b2722c4d73fcdb0b0934e0bd4bb59eeb13ea5e44fecf894a8cf3f.jpg

    • Greg G.

      his is for Nonsensical (who I think has been banned)

      In his blocking frenzy, he blocked the moderator. I don’t know if that prompted a ban but it’s certainly a sign that he needed to be banned.

      • BlackMamba44

        And told Bob to tell his occultist followers to stop bothering him. I saw Bob respond to that with “Bye”. I’m assuming banned.

  • Deryl Fisher

    Go Bob Go!

  • JustAnotherAtheist2

    This post seems to have brought several trolls out of the woodwork. As painful as it is to scroll through so much nonsense, at least I learned a few things in the replies.

    • BlackMamba44

      That’s why Cross Examined is my favorite on Patheos. I’ve learned a lot.

      And the trolls are good entertainment. 🙂

    • katiehippie

      There is not even a word for the level of unhinged they are.

      • Michael Neville

        Au contraire (that’s foreign for nope). The technically correct psychological term is “stark staring bonkers”.

    • Annerdr

      That’s the real reason I respond to trolls. They are generally not going to say, “ooo, I see what you mean. I have been mistaken all my life. Thank you for opening my eyes!” However, others who come by later and read may get something from it.

  • Greg G.

    I just recollected that Matt Dillahunty became friends with a local preacher and got invited to speak, perhaps it was a debate, at the church.

  • ATHEISTS=FOOLS

    The basic tenets of atheism are absurd.

    The basic tenets of atheism are absurd. Radio wave doesn’t exist, because they don’t see it. And when radio wave is discovered, then its existence began at the moment of discovery. If it is not discovered, it does not exist. If their dumb senses don’t sense it, it does not exist.

    By POPONNE.

  • Uncouth Angel

    I actually agree with this. As the late Carl Sagan said, if you don’t know where your opponent stands, you don’t know where you stand. The first books in the philosophy section that I gravitate toward are the ones on atheism. None of them have convinced me, but understanding where atheists are coming from helps me to have more confidence in my own faith.

    • I applaud your open-mindedness and your interest in other sides of the argument.

    • Susan

      None of them have convinced me, but understanding where atheists are coming from helps me to have more confidence in my own faith.

      Along with Bob S., I applaud your open-mindedness and your interest in other sides.

      But I’d also like to know what you mean by your statement.

      • Uncouth Angel

        Exactly what I said I meant.

        • Susan

          Exactly what I said I meant.

          Respectfully, the meaning of what you said is unclear. I’m trying to have a respectful discussion about it.

          understanding where atheists are coming from

          Where are atheists coming from, in your view?

          helps me have more confidence in my own faith

          What is your faith and about what are you confident?

        • Uncouth Angel

          Where are atheists coming from? That depends on which atheist argument you’re referring to, because while they are compelling if you accept their premises, these are often premises that I don’t grant, whether moral, epistemological, or otherwise. I don’t consider atheism to be a cohesive ideology unto itself, because it is no more well defined than theism. That said, I think it’s important to understand the viewpoints of various atheists and their arguments, because doing so helps me to refine my own position better, and hopefully avoid straw-manning and any similar errors in future discussions. I don’t fancy myself as a logician, but I value intellectual honesty. Truth is truth, regardless of the source. You can reject someone’s position while still finding something valuable in it.

          Now what is my faith and about what am I confident? I am a practicing Catholic, but not a particularly good one. I think there’s a strong historical case to be made in favor of Christianity in general, a strong scriptural argument for the authority of the Church, good historical arguments for the importance of Christianity to Western Civilization in general, and good philosophical justifications for the moral and metaphysical claims of Christianity.

          Do you actually want me to provide an expansive treatise or argument here? Because I won’t do that. I am not going to attempt to act as an ambassador for my faith in this thread. There libraries of books on these subjects, written by higher minds than my own, which you may well have read and rejected already. You have your reasons, and they’re probably well justified. But I’ve likely heard them already, too.

        • epeeist

          I don’t consider atheism to be a cohesive ideology unto itself

          Well that’s because it isn’t an ideology, it is simply a lack of belief in the existence of deities.

        • Pofarmer

          So you just came by to be a drive by Proselytizer? That’s rather being an asshole.

        • Uncouth Angel

          I didn’t proselytize for anything. I only said that I agreed with this article despite not being an atheist myself. Did you actually read what I wrote?

        • Pofarmer

          I am not going to attempt to lay out an extensive argument or to act as
          an ambassador for my faith in this thread. There are libraries of books
          on these subjects, written by higher minds than my own, which you may
          well have read and rejected already. You have your reasons, and they’re
          probably well justified. But I’ve likely heard them already, too.

        • Uncouth Angel

          I see reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude. Just either participate or quit. It’s up to you whether to be a typical faith based asshole or not. I truly could care less.

        • Susan

          So you just came by to be a drive by Proselytizer?

          Hi Po. Not necessarily.

          Uncouth Angel commented that he agreed with this article. I asked further questions and UA responded.

          Let’s give him a little bit of room.

          It would be nice to try to have a dialogue.

          I want to try.

        • Susan

          Hi Uncouth Angel,

          Thank you for responding to my question.

          That depends on which atheist argument you’re referring to

          I wasn’t referring to any atheist arguments. To which ones are you referring?

          Mostly, I’m an atheist because the arguments for gods are so terrible and there is no evidence for any of them.

          I don’t consider atheism to be a cohesive ideology unto itself, because it is no more well defined than theism.

          It’s not an ideology at all. It’s a single stance on a single question. “Do you believe god(s) exist?” If you want to know where atheists are coming from and avoid strawmanning them, I think it’s important that you start there.

          That said, I think it’s important to understand the viewpoints of various atheists and their arguments, because doing so helps me to refine my own position better, and hopefully avoid straw-manning and any similar errors in future discussions.

          I agree that it’s useless to strawman positions. I’m glad you are concerned about it.

          I am not going to attempt to lay out an extensive argument or to act as an ambassador for my faith in this thread.

          I wasn’t asking you to. I was genuinely curious about how “knowing where atheists are coming from makes your faith stronger.”

          I’m still not sure how that works.

          Respectfully, what good historical, moral and metaphysical justifications are there for the existence of Yahwehjesus?

          I hope you are here to discuss these things. I’m an ex-catholic.

          What makes your faith stronger?

        • Uncouth Angel

          “Mostly, I’m an atheist because the arguments for gods are so terrible and there is no evidence for any of them.”

          I at least agree that the burden of proof is on the believer. However, you have to be careful when talking about “evidence”, because this word is often packed with loads of unspoken epistemological assumptions. I’ve found that when someone says “There’s no evidence for the existence of god”, what they usually mean is “There’s no evidence for the existence of god that I’ll accept”.

          There is usually an underlying assumption of radical empiricism in regards to what constitutes “evidence”. I define the word “evidence” as anything presented in support of an assertion, which could be strong or weak.

          I don’t think it’s fair, for instance, to demand empirical evidence for a non-empirical claim, and then say there’s no evidence for said claim. I’m certainly not saying that all atheists do this, but I’ve noticed that quite a few of them do. The claims of theism could well be wrong, but in order to refute them, you at least need to take them seriously. There are quite a few a atheist philosophers like Michael Ruse who stress this point.

          There are also non-empirical arguments that count as evidence against the existence of god. The problem of evil, for instance.

          (Though in my opinion, Alvin Plantinga has done a good job answering the logical side of this one: https://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/)

          “It’s not an ideology at all. It’s a single stance on a single question. ”

          Also agreed. I hope I didn’t give the impression that I thought otherwise. There are many reasons one might have for not believing in a god or gods, so I try not to assume that all atheists think the same way.

          “I was genuinely curious about how “knowing where atheists are coming from makes your faith stronger.”

          I’m still not sure how that works.”

          Perhaps I misspoke a little there. I certainly find atheists less intimidating after understanding them better. Of course, refuting an argument against my position is not an argument for my position. It’s entirely possible we could both be wrong.

          “Respectfully, what good historical, moral and metaphysical justifications are there for the existence of Yahwehjesus?”

          The existence of Yahweh, or the existence of Jesus? Or both?

          I think the strongest argument for Christianity is Jesus himself. I sincerely hope you aren’t one of those silly mythicists. There’s a reason that almost no one with relevant academic credentials takes them seriously, and it isn’t because the world of biblical scholarship is filled with biased Christians. Atheist historian Tim O’Neil does a pretty good job of refuting their nonsense right here:

          https://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-1-of-2/

          https://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2/

          In fact, I would highly recommend his blog “History for Atheists” in general,

          Gary Habermas has laid down an interesting argument for the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, which is often referred to as the “Minimal Facts” approach. It’s not a fool-proof argument, of course, but it’s remarkable because it shows that one can make a case for the Resurrection without assuming the infallibility (or even the general reliability) of the New Testament at all. I think there’s an entire video on youtube of a lecture where he sums it up.

          For an in-depth understanding of scripture that takes history and cultural context into account, I always find N. T. Wright to be helpful.

          For Catholic theology specifically, I rather enjoy Bishop Barron and Professor Peter Kreeft, though I suppose they’re less accessible to non-believers. They do, however, have an excellent grasp of the relevant literature. But there are no shortage of modern Catholic philosophers to chose from. Alexander Pruss, Michael Gorman, Gyula Klima, David Oderberg, Michael Rota, Eleonore Stump, John Haldane, Brian Davies, Mika Aquilina, Scott Hahn, Karl Keeting, etc. The list could go on and on.

        • Susan

          I at least agree that the burden of proof is on the believer.

          Good, then we can agree that “atheist arguments” have nothing to do with it. If you want to understand things from an “atheist point of view”, you can begin with the problems of god claims.

          “There’s no evidence for the existence of god”, what they usually mean is “There’s no evidence for the existence of god that I’ll accept”.

          One can say the same for ghosts. That is, what is a ghost? How does a ghost work? What evidence can you provide that lifts ghost claims from the white noise and supports their existence?

          There is usually an underlying assumption of radical empiricism in regards to what constitutes “evidence

          If you claim ghosts exist or Yahwehjesus exists (especially Yahwehjesus because the claim is that everything was plucked out of metaphysical nothingness into metaphysical somethingness, based on a specific holy book among several), then there is nothing radical about asking someone to support that claim.

          Generally, the arguments that eventually emerge are made to intimidate formerly indoctrinated people (those who make it out of childhood, still questioning incoherent and unsupported claims), and they aren’t very good arguments at all.

          I think the strongest argument for Christianity is Jesus himself

          No. An intinerant preacher who had a contingent effect on the history of human belief based (let’s face it, not on reason, but on combinations of war and culture) does not support the claims that christianity makes.

          Any more than the existence of mohammed supports the claims of islam.

          I sincerely hope you aren’t one of those silly mythicists

          I’m agnostic on the issue. As I am on the issue of a real Paul Bunyan. I assumed the existence of Jesus was based on the historical method, but I’ve recently started to notice that when someone snarls at people who don’t necessarily accept that the stories about Jesus are based on a historical human, they don’t provide strong examples of the historical method in support, nor any examples at all.

          If there was a real person on whom the stories are based, this does not support “christianity”. Still, if you are going to claim the stories are based on a real human, then you’ll have to show it.

          For Catholic theology specifically, I rather enjoy Bishop Barron and Professor Peter Kreeft, though I suppose they’re less accessible to non-believers

          They’re completely accessible to non-believers. They provide nothing original. There is nothing original about their work. They repeat flawed apologetics as though they hadn’t been debunked countless times.

          Is there a specific argument that they make that you think is strong?

          I know from experience, that catholics don’t support their arguments.

          They train you to punt to people who supposedly make good arguments.

          The problem is that they never do.

          It’s the barbed wire at the edge of the compound aimed at those who notice catholicism, indeed theism, doesn’t add up.

        • Cynthia

          Re “historical Jesus” or not and Christianity:

          One interesting exercise is to look at other faiths with messianic traditions.

          For example, did you know that some members of the Chabad Lubavitcher Hasidic group think that their late leader, who died in New York in 1994, was actually the messiah? Now, we know that this man existed. What is fascinating is that messianic expectations were so high that some refused to believe that the he had died – they just say that his presence is concealed but will be revealed later when he comes to finish the job. At which point the rest of the Jewish world points out that this is sounding a lot like the Second Coming doctrine that they have always rejected….Anyway, it is sort of a living laboratory example of how a Messiah and resurrection myth gets started. For more info: https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.myjewishlearning.com/article/chabad-messianism/amp/ The cool part is that we have objective evidence of when he lived and when he died, so we can see where myth takes off from reality.

        • I’ve recently started to notice that when someone snarls at people who don’t necessarily accept that the stories about Jesus are based on a historical human, they don’t provide strong examples of the historical method in support, nor any examples at all.

          I’ve noticed the same thing. Their strongest argument is just as Uncouth says, “I sincerely hope you aren’t one of those silly mythicists.” That is, they hope to at least score a point of sorts, hoping that this pawn is unguarded.

          I’m getting a “methinks the lady doth protest too much” vibe, and I’ve become more interested in the mythicist hypothesis, and that’s thanks to the anti-mythicists themselves.

          (Which, curiously, is how I became an atheist. A fundamentalist Christian relative and I began debating the God question, and that turned me from an apatheist into an atheist.)

        • Uncouth Angel

          “If you claim ghosts exist or Yahwehjesus exists (especially Yahwehjesus because the claim is that everything was plucked out of metaphysical nothingness into metaphysical somethingness, based on a specific holy book among several), then there is nothing radical about asking someone to support that claim.”

          I’ll have to ask for your pardon here, because when I wrote “radical empiricism”, the term I was actually looking for was “logical positivism”:

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

          “Generally, the arguments that eventually emerge are made to intimidate formerly indoctrinated people (those who make it out of childhood, still questioning incoherent and unsupported claims), and they aren’t very good arguments at all.”

          What would that refer to, something crude like Pascal’s Wager? Pascal’s book ‘The Pensées’ has a heck of a lot more going for it than that. Likewise for the works of Aquinas, Augustine, and so many others.

          “No. An intinerant preacher who had a contingent effect on the history of human belief based (let’s face it, not on reason, but on combinations of war and culture) does not support the claims that christianity makes.”

          On reason too, without a doubt! The first Christian apologists needed to develop a strong intellectual tradition in order to respond to their critics, and without any institutional support from anyone.

          But let me clarify my former point a bit: The existence of a historical Jesus does not prove the claims of Christianity, I agree. However, the resurrection certainly would. As I said earlier, I think there are good arguments to be made regarding that. And even if we discount the resurrection, or remain agnostic about it, there are other reasons why Jesus is not analogous to any of the mythical figures that some try to compare him to. The Christian apologist may try to claim that the mere survival of Christianity is proof of its validity, and while this is far too simplistic an explanation, the circumstances surrounding the origins of Christianity are peculiar enough to warrant special consideration. Skeptical biblical scholars like Bart Ehrman understand this. Even Luke Muehlhauser from Common Sense Atheism would concede this point to William Lane Craig:

          http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=538

          “Is there a specific argument that they make that you think is strong?

          I know from experience, that catholics don’t support their arguments.

          They train you to punt to people who supposedly make good arguments.

          The problem is that they never do.”

          Well, I could say the same about the atheists who refer me to the likes of Richard Carrier, as if he were some sort of awesome logic bomb, while I scratch my head at his shenanigans and wonder why anyone would take him seriously to begin with. Likewise for the so-called four horsemen, whom I am thoroughly unimpressed with. It is a curious phenomenon that we as humans seem to learn better when we’re being taught by someone who already shares our own biases. It’s also why we tend to become more partisan the more we learn about politics.

          Grant anyone their premises, and they have something to say.

        • Susan

          I’ll have to ask for your pardon here, because when I wrote “radical empiricism”, the term I was actually looking for was “logical positivism”

          OK. But wouldn’t you agree that that’s a strawman? When you don’t want to attack them? The fact that I don’t accept what seem to be ordinary supernatural claims that are no more impressive than all the supernatural claims that you don’t accept doesn’t mean I subscribe to logical positivism.

          On reason too, without a doubt! The first Christian apologists needed to develop a strong intellectual tradition in order to respond to their critics

          But mostly war and culture. Like most other religions. What about those “strong, intellectual traditions” stands up now?

          What would that refer to, something crude like Pascal’s Wager?

          Everything I’ve heard. What do you think is the best argument for these claims?

          The existence of a historical Jesus does not prove the claims of Christianity, I agree. However, the resurrection certainly would. As I said earlier, I think there are good arguments to be made regarding that.

          What arguments are those? Do you take resurrection stories seriously about other figures? Or just Jesus?

          the circumstances surrounding the origins of Christianity are peculiar enough to warrant special consideration.

          Please be specific.

          Well, I could say the same about the atheists who refer me to the likes of Richard Carrier, as if he were some sort of awesome logic bomb

          He’s a trained historian who provides peer-reviewed material. Whether one agrees with his position or not, it doesn’t seem fair to say that considering his case means one is calling him a “logic bomb”. That’s not how history works. Have you read his books?

          As I said, whether an itinerant preacher lived on whom the supernatural claims of Jesus are based isn’t the issue. That’s an issue for historians and history buffs.

          It does seem unreasonable to dismiss someone who’s put academic work into the issue without showing why they should be dismissed.

          But the “historical Jesus” thing is a digression.

          Likewise for the so-called four horsemen, whom I am thoroughly unimpressed with

          Again, you’re dismissing people. Not addressing their arguments, nor making a case yourself.

          . It is a curious phenomenon that we as humans seem to learn better when we’re being taught by someone who already shares our own biases.

          Another strawman. Unless you can show the bias I share that makes me dismiss good arguments for Yahwehjesus.

          You’ve provided nothing to support Yahwehjesus claims, and though you’ve admitted that you have the burden of proof, you haven’t supplied a thing yet that shows you’re willing or able to carry it.

          Attributing that to bias is unfair, so far.

          Grant anyone their premises, and they have something to say.

          What do you mean?

          As an ex-catholic I am honestly trying to have an honest discussion with you.

          Your statement that “understanding atheists better has only strengthened my own faith” (probably paraphrased but that seemed to be the gist) confused me.

          I wanted you to explain what you mean. As a followup, there’s been a lot of insubstantial handwaving at various atheists and nothing to support your claims.

          If you want to “understand atheists”, you need to show that you’ve made an effort.

          I mean this respectfully.

          Also, it bothers me that you’ve provided no support at all for your position (one for which you admit you carry the burden). It also bothers me that it doesn’t seem to bother you.

          Recognizing that problem would take you a long way toward “understanding atheists”.

        • Susan

          Hi UA.

          I know it’s the internet and you can’t be held responsible for responding in someone else’s time demands.

          But I defended you.

          I tried to have a discussion.

          The fact is that you said that you didn’t want to attack strawmen and that your faith was strengthened by “atheist arguments”.

          It turns out that when pressed, all you had were strawmen.

          My efforts (as an ex-catholic) to discuss that subject with you resulted in your disappearing.

          Also, you have blocked your commenting history for no apparent reason.

          So,it’s possible you came here to attack strawmen, after all.

          I hope you address my points.

        • ozarkmichael

          I posted here when the article was first written, and received notifications of recent activity, and subsequently read the new posts with some interest. It seems to me that in your last post you are making accusations that you cant possibly prove. If you think that is going to make your debate opponent return, it will probably have the opposite effect.

        • Susan

          It seems to me that in your last post you are making accusations that you cant possibly prove.

          For instance?

        • ozarkmichael

          You don’t know what happened to him, so your accusations as to why he left have no proof behind them. Is that how you always handle yourself in an argument? Make evaluations with no proof whatsoever?

          Furthermore, his last post went unanswered by you for 5 days. Thats a long time.

          I note that he didn’t use your delay to thump his chest and declare victory. But that’s exactly what you just did. Out of nowhere. After he posted and you went silent for 5 days.

          All in all, that was bad form at best, and deceitfulness at worst.

          P.S.

          I might not post for a few days… but feel free to declare another unearned victory…

        • Susan

          You don’t know what happened to him, so your accusations as to why he left have no proof behind them

          I didn’t make accusations as to why he left. That’s why I opened my comment with:

          I know it’s the internet and you can’t be held responsible for responding in someone else’s time demands.

          Furthermore, his last post went unanswered by you for 5 days.

          No, it didn’t. It was answered (here) https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/christians_why_you_need_an_atheist_speaker_at_your_next_conference_79/#comment-4427490611 the same day.

          I note that he didn’t use your delay to thump his chest and declare victory.

          Nowhere in my post did I do that.

          All in all, that was bad form at best.

          Speaking of making accusations that you can’t support, I would suggest that you retract your statements on the subject.

          I know Disqus is a bitch but your characterization of my attempt to have an honest discussion with Uncouth Angel is unfounded.

        • ozarkmichael

          There is no evidence to support your claims. Nor is there a post in this thread to show that you replied to him. Nor does your link go anywhere. (BTW, I will not make an issue of that, except to say that whenever I made a faulty link during an argument, atheists usually heap scorn on me for it and instantly claimed victory. I will not do the same to you.)

          But your ‘it all turned out to be strawmen’ was not based on fact, your attribution of why Uncouth Angel did not answer you immediately was not supported by any evidence, nor was your chest pounding a good thing.

        • Greg G.

          There is no evidence to support your claims. Nor is there a post in this thread to show that you replied to him. Nor does your link go anywhere.

          As she told you, Disqus can be a bitch but it is sometimes possible to find specific posts. When she posted the second reply, the original post became a parallel subthread. If I can find it, you could have, too, instead of making false accusations toward her.

          The link to the post:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christians-need-atheist-speaker-next-conference/#comment-4427490611

          It was posted shortly after that post from Uncouth Angel.

          You should apologize to her and beg forgiveness for being an ass.

        • Susan

          The link to the post:

          I checked my link when I posted and it worked fine for me. It still does.

          Does it work for you?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, it opens on the Disqus page. I didn’t try it before. I apparently gave ozarkmichael more credit than he deserves.

          I altered the same link so that it would open in Patheos/Cross Examined.

        • Pofarmer

          Worked for me.

        • ozarkmichael

          It worked for me now. It did not work before.

        • Greg G.

          Are you going to apologize to her for the false accusations you made against her? That post was there all along.

        • ozarkmichael

          Your side tossed some trash at me, and I am not anticipating apologies.

          In these discussions things have to be equal. The rules are the same for everyone.

        • Greg G.

          You stepped into a conversation (which is fine) and made comments that were vague here:

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christians-need-atheist-speaker-next-conference/#comment-4436789161

          When asked for clarification, you replied with several accusations that were all flat out wrong.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christians-need-atheist-speaker-next-conference/#comment-4436972074

          You were told you were wrong and you refused to understand. You didn’t know what you were talking about at all and wouldn’t back down so you got insulted.

          You started it and you were wrong and now you are too proud to admit it.

        • ozarkmichael

          You are claiming far too much. My accusations which you refer to are still largely correct, and you refuse to admit that. More importantly, you have not admitted your rudeness and I am certain that you wont apologize for it. I am not looking for nor asking for an apology,

          We all have to play by the same rules. I know you believe that somehow you are exceptional, but no thanks. We will play as equals.

        • Greg G.

          Susan said:

          It turns out that when pressed, all you had were strawmen.

          My efforts (as an ex-catholic) to discuss that subject with you resulted in your disappearing.

          Also, you have blocked your commenting history for no apparent reason.

          So,it’s possible you came here to attack strawmen, after all.

          I hope you address my points.

          UA did attack strawmen. He disappeared after her last reply that was the same day of his last reply. He did block his commenting history without comment. She didn’t accuse but merely suggested “it’s possible you came here to attack strawmen, after all.” Then politely asked him to address her points.

          You said:

          You don’t know what happened to him, so your accusations as to why he left have no proof behind them. Is that how you always handle yourself in an argument? Make evaluations with no proof whatsoever?

          She didn’t make accusations the way you made accusation toward her. She asked him to return. She handles herself far more politely than you do so you have no grounds for making such accusations. The sentence about “evaluations with no proof” makes no sense.

          Then you said:

          Furthermore, his last post went unanswered by you for 5 days. Thats a long time.

          That is wrong. You have been given links to the reply she posted the same day. You were told you were wrong and would not back down. You continued to make false accusations.

          Then you said:

          I note that he didn’t use your delay to thump his chest and declare victory. But that’s exactly what you just did. Out of nowhere. After he posted and you went silent for 5 days.

          She replied the same day. There was no delay. She did reply and UA went silent for 5 days, then she replied a second time. The second reply created a parallel thread. You couldn’t figure out how to see the first reply and went crazy with your reply.

          We all have to play by the same rules. I know you believe that somehow you are exceptional, but no thanks. We will play as equals.

          There are few rules. A concession that you were wrong would be a courtesy. Susan would apologize if she were wrong. Maybe you aren’t her equal. You do you.

        • Susan

          You are claiming far too much. My accusations which you refer to are still largely correct, and you refuse to admit that. More importantly, you have not admitted your rudeness and I am certain that you wont apologize for it. I am not looking for nor asking for an apology,

          We all have to play by the same rules. I know you believe that somehow you are exceptional, but no thanks. We will play as equals.

          Holy fucking irony meters.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t think introspection is his strong suit.

        • ozarkmichael

          The link did not work before. On two different visits. I already said that the link works now. I could make up some convenient explanation that blames you for that. You know, the worst kind of assumption that makes me look good and you look bad. But I didn’t do that. And I wont do that. Lets stick to the facts as much as possible.

          Notice that I was not impolite or rude, as your mates have been towards me. This is apparently a team sport for you, and if we are going to be demanding apologies your side can send some my way. Note that I am not asking for apologies and I certainly don’t expect any. So lets just state the facts and move on.

          One more thing. I have not sworn at you and I wont swear at you. Try to be calm and refrain from swearing. Profanity might be normal in your crowd, but to me it is intentionally rude. I am not going to retaliate, I merely ask a favor. Please refrain from coarse language. I imagine you can do fine without swearing.

          Your statement ‘it all turned out to be strawmen’ was not based on fact, your attribution of why Uncouth Angel did not answer you was not supported by any evidence whatsoever. Nor was your chest pounding a good thing. I stand by that and we can discuss it further if you like.

        • Greg G.

          I found the link using publicly available information from Disqus. I just checked her comment history on her Disqus profile. Easy peasy. You could have done it, too. Disqus is not rocket surgery.

          Did you check the link that came up? Disqus will turn a link into an active link but it will include any punctuation at the end of an URL as part of the URL, even if it is one of its own links. A Disqus comment link ends with 10 digits. If there is something else at the end, you could delete it. This is a second way.

          Notice that I was not impolite or rude, as your mates have been towards me.

          You made false accusations toward her. That is far worse than using crude language.

        • Susan

          The link did not work before.

          It did for me and everyone else. If it didn’t work for you then, you can see now that I responded to him that very day. If you didn’t see that then, you can see it now, so there is one accusation you can retract. But you haven’t.

          You know, the worst kind of assumption that makes me look good and you look bad

          You mean like assuming that I was crowing triumphantly when I was trying to have an honest and respectful discussion?

          I didn’t do that.

          Yeah, you did.

          This is apparently a team sport for you,

          No. I was attempting to have an honest and respectful conversation with someone else when you wandered in and accused me of things for which you have no evidence. Even when presented with evidence against your position, you have chosen to hold your ground. Even when I gave you an out, which is that Disqus can be a bitch.

          Note that I am not asking for apologies and I certainly don’t expect any.

          You would get one if I owed you one. But I don’t. You were wrong. Even if my link didn’t work for you, nowhere in my comment did I behave the way you accused me of behaving.

          I have not sworn at you and I wont swear at you

          I gave you no reason to swear at me. You set off a warehouse of irony meters in the comment to which I responded “Holy fucking irony meters.” It was a perfectly reasonable and restrained response.

          Your statement ‘it all turned out to be strawmen’ was not based on fact

          So far, it is. He started with accusing people who have no belief in Yahwehjesus of “radical empiricism” and then switched it to “logical positivism”, neither of which are accurate. I pointed that out to him in an effort to have a conversation.

          your attribution of why Uncouth Angel did not answer you was not supported by any evidence whatsoever

          I challenge you to show that I accused him of anything. This is at least the third time that you’ve accused me of accusing him and you’ve produced nothing.

          Nor was your chest pounding a good thing.

          I challenge you to support your claim that I did anything of the sort.

          I stand by that

          On what basis?

          and we can discuss it further if you like

          Sure. Support your accusations (which are real) and retract your claim that I made accusations against UA (unless you can support it).

        • ozarkmichael

          I stated the truth. The link didn’t work before. I did not guess why at the time. The link works now. I am not going to guess why. I have stated what I know and been honest about it. This is the second time I provided the facts. What more do you want on this particular point? Do you expect apologies?

          And yes, lets admit that this is a team sport for you… I see that your response to my assertion is “No”, but you ought to admit that you have a cast of supporting characters. They take up for you in their comments to me and upvotes for you. I don’t mind the situation, but am curious… why are you denying it?

          How is that “honest and respectful” for you to deny it? Anyone can see it, why pretend it isn’t there? Maybe you don’t see their remarks to me, but they are the same people giving you upvotes. I just gave you an upvote to see how it shows up. It does show up, right? I can provide their posts if you don’t see them.

          You said “no” to my assertion that you are on a team. But that isn’t true. I am alone on my side and you have others who take your side. Please admit that. And after you admit that, if you go further and apologize for it… then I might apologize to you. But really, apologies aren’t needed or expected. Lets stick to the facts.

          And I ask you once more, as a favor, to leave swearing and cussing out of it. Please don’t justify swearing and cussing by repeating it. Just leave it go. I think you can do that and still communicate effectively.

        • Greg G.

          I stated the truth. The link didn’t work before.

          You said that she didn’t post a reply to the guy which was not true. The link was posted after that accusation. I believe you when you say the link didn’t work. Sometimes Disqus doesn’t download and thread the comments so you don’t get the linked comment and sometimes Patheos causes a problem even when the link is good.

          That post could have been found by going to her Disqus page and scrolling down to the thread in question. I did it. I didn’t need a link to find it and you didn’t either. Recent comments are easy to find by that method if the person doesn’t block them.

          And I ask you once more, as a favor, to leave swearing and cussing out of it.

          Gosh darn it. You aren’t mature enough to admit you were wrong when you accused her of not replying to UA in a timely fashion. You are not mature enough to read a naughty word. You are not mature enough to handle a link not working on the internet at one point in time. You are so insecure that you have to set vocabulary restrictions on other people when you have nothing interesting to talk about. You are not mature enough for adult conversation.

        • ozarkmichael

          …you have nothing interesting to talk about

          Listen, Greg… your accusation is unfair. For now we are still figuring out apologies. I am not upset about it, but its funny that the more I answer your demand for apology, the more you seem to think I have nothing else to say.

          ‘Apology’ is not my choice of topic. You have made ‘Apology’ the central topic several times, first calling me names for not apologizing, and today you are making accusations against me because I am not discussing something more interesting. So I am dancing to your tune and now you blame me for it.

          Scroll up and read your posts to me. I am right about this.

          Its cool. I am not upset about it. That’s just how atheists here do things I guess. I have read other posts here before and I get it. But I ask you to understand that when you aren’t apologizing, then you confirm what the rules are here. Knowing the rules, I am going to play as an equal. That’s a promise that I made to myself years ago.
          Next, in spite of your next accusation… I assert that swearing is not a sign of maturity, and my request that Susan refrain from swearing is not a sign of immaturity. That’s another false accusation you made. False accusations, whether malicious or mistaken, happen all the time. Some places have etiquette about apologizing for mistakes. Some places not so much. I don’t ask for, nor do I expect an apology from you because that’s not how you guys roll. I am the one who is new here, so I play by your rules.

          We are going to play as equals, and your team establishes the rules of civility. Except I made one request: that we refrain from swearing. It is only a request from one guest(me).

          Your 3rd accusation/insult in this post was that I am “so insecure”. Wrong. But again, no apology needed.

          There is nothing wrong with Susan having supporters helping her out. I asked Susan to just admit how it is. Susan refused(at least so far). I don’t demand an apology from her. I am not complaining. I am explaining to you the customs of the natives.

          Today you accused me of three bad things(no apology needed) but I sincerely appreciate that you are not calling me a liar. Since you are giving me a little room I rehash the events leading to this impasse:

          When Susan’s ‘hidden’ comment was originally made, I read it at the time but did not memorize the date on it. I was following the conversation and rather enjoyed it piece by piece and respected both participants, even though I didn’t understand some parts and would question other parts. When I saw the most recent “strawman” post, I did not like it because it went from a good conversation to chest-thumping. The chances of good conversation continuing dropped to zero with a comment like that. And so I finally came to see the “entire” thread, and after that I made my comment. Later, when the link worked, I saw the ‘hidden’ comment. And I admitted it immediately.

        • Greg G.

          Dude! I suggested that you apologize. It is clear you will not. C’est la vie. I don’t care.

          You accused Susan of not having responded to a post when she had responded the same day. You were wrong to do that. Whether the linked worked is irrelevant as the post was there all along. That comment was never hidden. It was just a different subthread because each reply to a comment is a different subthread. Susan found it and I found it independently. You could have found it the same way.

          Nobody is saying the link didn’t work for you. Did you try to figure out why it failed? You seem to be blaming Susan for the failure without providing evidence that it was her fault. It could have been a Patheos problem, a Disqus problem, even your own internet connection. If it had been her fault, it might have been that Disqus incorporated a punctuation mark in the URL, which could have been spotted and corrected with three seconds of inspection and hitting the backspace once. If Susan had made an error and corrected it, she would have noted the correction because it is the mature thing to do.

          You act too immaturely to not be immature. Your denial of being immature can be added to the list of signs that you are immature.

          You stepped in to make a false accusation. You were told that there had been another post that you weren’t seeing. You couldn’t manage a failed link that amazingly works now. The mature thing for you to have done would have been to say that you see that the post was there all along after all and you were wrong to have said it was not there. Yet your sanctimonious pride won’t allow you to do that.

        • ozarkmichael

          Dude! I suggested that you apologize. It is clear you will not. C’est la vie. I don’t care.

          It is clear that I will not apologize.. under these conditions. You don’t know how I usually act, or what I usually do. In fact I am usually the first person (and sometimes the only one) to happily admit errors and apologize. But I have learned to play by the rules of the natives. You have accused me falsely. I don’t expect you to retract or apologize. I understand how you do things, and I play by your rules.

        • Greg G.

          It is clear that I will not apologize

          I told you that I don’t care.

          You have accused me falsely.

          You keep making that false accusation toward me. I said you made a false accusation toward Susan when you said she didn’t respond to UA because you couldn’t find her reply. Susan’s reply was there all along. You simply weren’t savvy enough to find it. I found it and it wasn’t difficult.

          This whole conversation is because you make a false accusation toward Susan. Why do you continue to bring attention to your stupidity?

        • Pofarmer

          You and I and Susan are atheists. How dare we accuse the righteous.

        • epeeist

          How dare we accuse the righteous.

          Why not, Elizabeth Anderson does.

        • ozarkmichael

          Nothing wrong with that. Can we accuse atheists? Apparently not…

        • epeeist

          Can we accuse atheists?

          The difficulty you have with this is that atheism is a simple answer to a single question, “Do you believe a god of any kind.”

          Are there atheists who have killed? Of course there are. Are there atheists who are moral monsters? Again the answer would be yes. The question then is, did they kill in the cause of atheism? Is it atheism that drives them to their monstrosity?

        • ozarkmichael

          Interesting. And you present it fairly. I appreciate that. I will accept the better part of what you say and then question the rest: In our current situation, you are saying that if atheists are trying to use a double standard, then I can complain. That is precisely my complaint. You will support fairness on that, I hope. Perhaps I ought not blame atheism for it… hmm, maybe you are right.

          The larger question you ask me, is, as you say, a difficulty.

          The difficulty here is all mine but I am not sure that atheism is totally inconsequential. Does acceptance of atheism lead to… nothing? Is atheism of no use in any human endeavor? Do you find in your own life that atheism is completely inconsequential?

          That seems insulting to atheism. I ask you to help me with my difficulty.

        • Susan

          Does acceptance of atheism lead to… nothing?

          Does non-belief in astrological claims lead to… nothing?

          Is atheism of no use in any human endeavor?

          Is non-acceptance of astrological claims of no use in any human endeavour?

          Do you find in your own life that atheism is completely inconsequential?

          Do you find in your own life that non-acceptance of astrology is completely inconsequential?

          That seems insulting to atheism.

          That seems insulting to non-acceptance of astrological claims.

          I ask you to help me with my difficulty.

        • ozarkmichael

          Thank you for asking but I too am a beginner. It is a difficult question you ask, and I had to think about it for awhile.

          I reckon that Non-acceptance of astrological claims make a difference in how I live because my frame of reference is different and I think about my decisions in a different way. When it is time to act, I act differently, and so I impact the world differently. To say otherwise is to insult not only astrological claims, but also to insult non-acceptance of astrological claims. Lets not insult everyone.

          So at the decision point of acceptance/nonacceptance, we find it makes a big difference which way we turn. Don’t you agree?

          If you need more help with this, let me know. I am just now learning about all this but I am happy to help a fellow beginner.

        • Susan

          It is a difficult question you ask, and I had to think about it for awhile.

          You ignored my first question. Does non-acceptance of astrology lead to nothing?

          That’s not a difficult question.

          I will also note, for the record, that although you came here to accuse me of accusing Uncouth Angel of things and of crowing triumpantly, you have yet to support your accusations.

          i.e. the models upon which astrology are based are badly formed and the evidence for astrology is unconvincing.

          That is, if you even bother to take its claims seriously enough to investigate them in the first place.

          Do you see the connection?

          You do like to digress, don’t you?

        • ozarkmichael

          The original issue is whether atheism(non-acceptance of religion) leads to nothing. As a way of proving that atheism leads to nothing, you challenged me to decide whether non-acceptance of astrology leads to nothing.

          You asked “Does non-acceptance of astrology lead to nothing?”

          I did answer your question immediately. The evidence, and I highlight it for you:

          I reckon that Non-acceptance of astrological claims make a difference in how I live because my frame of reference is different and I think about my decisions in a different way. When it is time to act, I act differently, and so I impact the world differently….

          Your accusation that I didn’t answer you was a false accusation.

          Notice that I dont demand apologies or retractions. And notice that I don’t mind if you disagree about how to answer the fundamental question. By all means, please do that.

          Speaking of the fundamental question, your accusation towards me about astrology being ‘based on badly formed models’ was not the original question. As if… AS IF I was speaking about whether the models of astrology are reliable or not and had taken the affirmative side. We both know that wasnt the question. You cant saddle me with that because you are substituting a new and simple question(is astrology reliable) for the more complex issue which we are dealing with.

          Your question about the ‘non- acceptance’ is the track that we go down, and over the next few posts we will explore it further. Perhaps I will prove that I am right if you can sit still without backing away from the original question by tossing out strawman arguments.

          I don’t expect retractions or apology for your strawman argument. I just want to move forward on a good chat without that sort of thing.

          First two sentences edited to conform with the exact verbiage

        • Greg G.

          Non-acceptance of astrological claims make a difference

          <b>Bold</b> = Bold

        • ozarkmichael

          thank you. I went back and fixed it

        • Pofarmer

          Dude. You didn’t answer the question.

          You’re attempting to be a condescending asshole, but you’re not smart enough to pull it off. Get over yourself.

        • Susan

          You asked “Does non-acceptance of astrology lead to nothing?”

          Yes, I did.

          I did answer your question immediately.Non-acceptance of astrological claims make a difference in how I live because my frame of reference is different and I think about my decisions in a different way….

          That doesn’t answer my question. It was originally your question. I just reframed it with astrology. The obvious answer seems to be “no” but if you’ve got something that suggests it does, you can correct me.

          AS IF I was speaking about whether the models of astrology are reliable or not and had taken the affirmative side. We both know that wasnt the question. You cant saddle me with that because you are substituting a new and simple question(is astrology reliable) for the more complex issue which we are dealing with.

          I don’t see it as more complex. Explain how it is.

          I don’t expect retractions or apology for your strawman argument.

          It is not a strawman argument. I have no reason to retract it nor to apologize. I haven’t done anything wrong yet.

          I didn’t ask for an apology. I asked for a retraction. You appeared here accusing me of doing things I did not do (i.e. “accusing” Uncouth Angel and “crowing triumphantly”) neither of which I did. You have failed to support those accusations ever since you made them. That’s why you should retract them. They are unfounded.

          Now, back to your accusations that I am making a strawman argument. Show me how I’ve done that.

          Also, explain why god claims are more “complex” than astrology claims.

          (I added bold where you meant to place it. Disqus is a bitch.)

        • ozarkmichael

          Thank you for the helpful edit.

          I travel the internet alone, and I have found that it is difficult to address several questions at once, especially when the person I am talking to has several friends/teammates/fellow travelers who also make comments and ask questions. This multiplies the number of topics and answering to them all means that I would never get to the bottom line on anything. Nothing wrong with that, especially in a friendly conversation. But these are arguments. I like to get to the bottom line if possible so I tend to push forward on one particularly interesting/difficult question.

          Answering one question without confounding it with other issues and emotions is the way to go. Therefor I investigate one hypothesis and control variables. I use that process in my job, I use it in my thinking about real life, and I use it here.

          This is not to say that the one question I am working on atm is the most important question. Nor am not saying that fellow travelers are bad.

          Epeeist got my attention with what he described as the “difficult” question for me. (If atheism is defined only as a rejection of religion, does atheism lead to anything?) he also recently refined the question and I am looking into that.

          You unexpectedly helped me by giving me a neutral case(non-acceptance of astrology) to work with… a case that removes the possibility of offense to anyone, and that really presses the focus on the question at hand(does rejection of religion lead to anything?). It was brilliant. I assumed that you operate the way I do and are really good at it, which means you are my equal or better.

          That is why your sudden insistence on changing the question(to something like ‘does the model that religion is based on have validity?’)… and your simultaneous accusation that I am the one who ignored the initial question was perplexing. I see now that I misunderstood your initial purpose, which I took as help to focus on the one hypothesis, but which you actually meant as a way to ask what you consider to be a more essential question. I am trying to see your statements in the best light possible.

          Setting aside misunderstanding and accusations, as well as retractions and apologies, next post I will take up the original question. I will use your case because it is a good way to eliminate variables and it supports the atheist by framing their choice in a neutral way. It was brilliant, whether knowingly or not.

          Later today I will present some thought experiments to test the proposed hypothesis “Non-acceptance of astrology leads to nothing.” The null hypothesis would be that it leads to something equally impactful as an acceptance of astrology, and finally, the alternative hypothesis would be that non-acceptance leads to more impact than acceptance of astrology.

        • Susan

          I have found that it is difficult to address several questions at once, especially when the person I am talking to has several friends/teammates/fellow travelers who also make comments and ask questions.

          This in an open discussion forum. The points you raise will be addressed by many participants. It’s not a sport. It’s a discussion.

          I sympathize with the “dogpile syndrome” but you really need to stop pretending there is some sort of “team” involved in defeating you. If you can support your points, you will do fine in this discussion.

          This multiplies the number of topics.

          People are responding to the topics you raise.

          That is why your sudden insistence on changing the question(to something like ‘does the model that religion is based on have validity?’)… and your simultaneous accusation that I am the one who ignored the initial question was perplexing

          Perhaps I misunderstood. I have no idea what your point is.

          Which is why I provided a parallel example of “Does not believing unsupported claims lead to nothing?” As I said, Disqus is a bitch.

          Setting aside misunderstanding and accusations, as well as retractions and apologies

          Again, I’ll make this very simple. You entered this discussion accusing me of accusing Uncouth Angel and of crowing triumphantly. Neither of which I did. You provided no support for those accusations. All I did was ask you to retract them until you could support them. You have not supported them. You should retract them. This is basic to honest discussion.

          As to your last paragraph (and perhaps, your general point), are you talking about the consequences of not believing unsupported claims?

          Are you talking about an Argument from Consequences?

        • ozarkmichael

          I sympathize with the “dogpile syndrome” but you really need to stop pretending there is some sort of “team” involved in defeating you

          No need to sympathize because 1) I chose to be on the spot and think for myself. I learn more than way. 2) I have no syndrome 3) it is a fact that you have fellow travelers who are jumping in to support you. I am not sure why you feel the need to cover this up as if I am ‘pretending’ that you have supporters… when anyone reading this can scroll up and see that its true. Do I need to name names?

          The only reason it is an important fact is because I learned from reading posts by your comrades, that they do not retract or apologize. Further posts from you confirm the same. This is ok with me, I am fine with that. I will play by the same rules which you and your fellow travelers employ. That’s just my adaptation to the environment. If the environment changes then I would change( for example, if you or one of your colleagues retracted an accusation then I would cheerfully do the same) but I have no demand or expectation of change. Lets drop this subject, yes?

          The Infamous Link Malfunction aside, I still have my original opinion about the Infamous Chest Thumping. Your recent post that accused me of “liking to digress” is a sort of chest thumping and only confirms my first impression. Certainly your impression of me is not a good one. I can live with that.

          But my opinion about your style and transgressions is really not important to you. It isn’t that important to me either. Substance matters more. Even more important is the difficult question. To tackle a difficult question correctly, one must set everything aside (including one’s own opinion, including other things that are important) with the goal of exploring the question thoroughly. Most people cant do that. Or wont. Maybe they don’t understand. Probably the question that I am working on isn’t important to them … even if they were the ones who said it was important. A momentous challenge to me which they want me to take seriously but they couldn’t be bothered to work through. Maybe they already know all about it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case most of the time.

          I am happy to take the question seriously anyway. Its my choice and I am happiest while I work a difficult problem through. There is no sad ‘dogpile syndrome’ here. You don’t know how happy I am to think about a challenging question, to wonder how deep it might go and have no recourse to anyone else’s assistance, at odd moments of the day to pick it up and try to puzzle it through a little further. To do this honestly and as fairly as possible. To be creative all the way. To learn something that I did not know before, perhaps to discover something no one else knew. You mistake joy for a sad syndrome. Your mistake might be due to malice… or to misunderstanding. It is certain that I don’t understand you either, so I am not going to commit to a guess and turn it into an accusation of malice.

          This post is quite a digression so feel free to accuse me of that today. I will read your accusation that this post is a total digression, if you choose to go that route. I leave you the last word on this and you should take my silence as an agreement with you. Also, your teammates accusation that I am not saying anything interesting applies to this post. Take my future silence about this to be an admission that he is right.

          From now on, I will avoid digression which means I wont write any more posts about my method, who is being honest and who isnt, who is digressing and who isnt, apologies, retractions, teammates, syndromes.

          Instead I want to work on the difficult question.

        • Susan

          1) I chose to be on the spot and think for myself. I learn more that way.

          It’s an open discussion forum called Cross Examined.

          2) I have no syndrome.

          I wasn’t suggesting you have a syndrome. I was referring to the nature of open discussions.

          3) It is a fact that you have fellow travelers who are jumping in to support you.

          They aren’t jumping in to support me. They are participating in discussion. You would like to see it as a some kind of team sport against an individual. Convenient but inaccurate.

          I learned from reading posts by your comrades, that they do not retract or apologize.

          For what? They did not accuse other interlocutors of things of which they are not guilty, fail to support those accusations and change the subject. In civilized discussion, people retract accusations when they can’t support them. It’s basic. You haven’t so until you can support those accusations, everyone is free to disregard them.

          They are not my “comrades”. Get over it. Either you are interested in participating in an open discussion or you are not.

          I will play by the same rules which you and your fellow travelers employ.

          Read above. You have notplayed by the same rules. Support your claims or drop them.

          I want to work on the difficult question.

          K.

          What is it?

        • ozarkmichael

          I begin a thought experiment. The hypothesis/null hypothesis and all that fancy talk isn’t necessary. Case one:

          A person has been in a sort of ‘bubble’ since birth, never sees or hears anything. Is given nutrition through a peg tube, but no teaching or instructions. Does this person’s “non acceptance of astrology” lead to nothing?

          Answer: yes. It makes no difference whatsoever. This case highlights that ‘non acceptance’ can be taken to mean a passive state which does not involve rejection.

          EDITED: lightly for clarity

        • epeeist

          A person has been in a sort of ‘bubble’ since birth, never sees or hears anything. Is given nutrition through a peg tube, but no teaching or instructions.

          This is essentially a paraphrase of Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument.

        • ozarkmichael

          Thanks for the info, epeeist. I did not know that. My inspiration for this came from the ‘deprivation chamber’ where a person is just suspended in water and knows nothing else. I am not familiar with physicalism, or with Jackson’s refuting it. Honestly, I knew nothing of the argument.

          But for my purposes, I needed to think up a situation where the “non acceptance of astrology” was not even a decision, and that the non acceptance made no difference in a person’s life or thoughts. Not only is there no entailment, there isn’t even a consequence.

        • ozarkmichael

          I have presented two cases, and then promised to explore consequences/entailments, but after thinking about it I realize that was premature. I have not presented all the types of ‘non acceptance of astrology’. I want to be more thorough. So now I present Case #3:

          [I]A person lives in a nation where the government has changed by revolution from the old one which was saturated with astrology for 1,000 years. As a new government overthrows the old, they hope to establish a new basis of jurisprudence, social structure, civics, even need a different justification for warfare, manners, and literature. There remains a faction of the people who still want the old ways to be back in power. The new ruling class perceive astrology is a threat to order and fear that it delegitimatizes their position. The new government presents the question of astrology as a test of loyalty to their new order. Does a person’s “non acceptance of astrology” lead to nothing?[/I]

          Answer: No. here we see a case where “non acceptance of astrology” is neither a passive inconsequential ‘non-decison'(Case #1), nor is it an active rejection(Case #2). This Case #3 shows that “non acceptance of astrology” can be an assent to a program or an agenda.

        • Kodie

          Dear lord, you are just making this more difficult than it is. If an oppressive theocracy is involved, being an atheist of the predominant or required belief, or as you make up, some revolution… do you think that is fascism or more democratic? You didn’t say, you just say they don’t believe in astrology, and so dismantle any oppressive astrology-bound theocracy policies. Like, you can’t marry someone with an incompatible sign, and maybe some states dictate the color scheme of your house and make sure you are following a career path indicated by your rising sign or whatever. So not believing this, you can marry whomever and have the freedom to decide how to decorate your home, and follow whatever interests you to whatever career you end up with.

          I’m not seeing your point. It loosens the rules, so people can do what they actually wanted to do. Plenty of people will remain superstitious. What is your actual point?

        • ozarkmichael

          The question is not ‘is astrology correct?’ or ‘Is atheism better?’ or ‘is astrology oppressive?’ or ‘marrying who you want’ or ‘decorating the way you want’ or ‘isn’t democracy better than a theocracy’… and who knows what else. There are a myriad of complications that could be introduced which I intentionally left out. . I kept things as neutral as possible. You simultaneously accuse me of leaving those details out, while accusing me of making it complicated.

          The question is “does non acceptance of astrology lead to nothing?” I have first kept things neutral to leverage greater understanding and focus on the idea of “non acceptance”. Later we will probably be able to flesh out the questions you have.

          But scroll up: the question which was posed to me about atheism, with the heightened warning that it was a difficult question for such as me, was “does atheism lead to nothing?” Epeeist explained that might be a consequence but no entailment. Susan seemed to be saying the is no consequence or entailment of atheism. and she challenged me to work it out on the line of “non acceptance of astrology leads to nothing”.

          I then set up a thought experiment to explore the question “Does non acceptance of astrology lead to nothing?” Seems that there three cases, each one focusing on a different meaning of what ‘non acceptance’ could mean. So far: “non acceptance” might be a sort of passive thing where the opportunity or need to accept or reject astrology is absent. A different meaning of “non acceptance” in Case #2 was equivalent to ‘rejection’ of astrology. Case #3 illustrates that “non acceptance” can also be taken as an ‘assent’ to something else’.

          It seemed to me that it would be best to first isolate the meanings of “non acceptance”(which is almost done) then we work through the cases to explore the consequences with a goal to categorizing them. I am already forming preliminary answers and I did not hide that. I informed the readers immediately. Later we will explore further and at that point ‘fascism’ or whatever might come into play.

          The trick here is to remain objective and focus on the ‘difficult’ question, avoiding emotions and not triggering the bias with which we are so easily entangled. Some people like bias, and instead of seeing it as an entanglement they see it as a way of getting hold of the situation.

        • Kodie

          Maybe you need to do more to explain the reason you used this example? I mean, You made a revolution against an astrological theocracy. I don’t know what the new regime would be like, or if not believing in astrology in those extreme conditions, what the concept of a religion would be or what was the intention of whomever was leading the overthrow.

          You really aren’t getting it, so these side thoughts of yours really aren’t working.

        • ozarkmichael

          I never said Case #2 was a theocracy. It could be. It could be other things. That’s how I want it.

          I never said that the new regime in Case #3 looked like anything.

          Specific particulars were intentionally left out. Intentionally! In fact, my own criticism of my three cases is that they have too much detail for this preliminary stage. They arent vague enough to be as flexible as they should be. I want each Case to foreshadow the multiple shades of reality that could exist near their locus. To accomplish that, the Cases should be worded differently. Case #1 wasn’t even a normal human relationship with society, just a guy in a bubble. Really, it was an accidental insult to atheists because it removes the best of human activity. But the worst thing is that the bubble guy cannot be adjusted slightly to describe a different specific situation, or adjusted a little more to describe another specific situation. Elsewhere I expressing regret for this deficiency and quickly upgraded. Wasn’t good enough for epeeist. He, (like you) wants specifics or else I am “spectacularly missing the point”

          Specifics are premature, but I being pressed to go into specific situations, and my attempts to explain why that isn’t needed yet “aren’t working” as you say.

          Fine. My Cases will just have to be employed ‘as is’ instead of further tuning them. It will still work.

          These side thoughts are my answers to you. I agree it isn’t going anywhere, but maybe something will click…

        • epeeist

          Answer: No. Here we see that “non acceptance of astrology” leads to something.

          Except this has got nothing to do with astrology per se, what it has to do with is acceptance or otherwise of the decrees of the government. It has nothing to do with the lack of consequences of not believing in astrology from a purely personal view.

          Your analogy does work when one considers societies where religion was enforced, here indeed not believing in a particular god or even a particular view of a god could lead to dire consequences.

          You might want to think about this in terms of libertarian free will, i.e. in a situation where I can make a free choice between alternatives does atheism entail any particular choice? For example does it entail that I become a socialist rather than a conservative? That I should follow consequentialist rather the contractualist ethics? That I should be a metaphysical naturalist or a substance dualist? And so on. In each case the answer is no, the lack of belief in a god of any kind does not lead to any particular choice.

        • ozarkmichael

          The thought experiment uses “astrology” as a placeholder and so you are exactly right this has nothing to do with astrology per se The actual thing we are testing is the atheists “non acceptance”. My first task was to clarify “non acceptance” and that’s what each case does. You understand this. I can tell from your questions.

          Case #2 could be understood as something less that a theocracy. It also works in societies where religion was influential for generations so the consequences are less dire. I appreciate your comments, epeeist. I will delve into this next post.

          My regret is that case #1 is very weak. It doesn’t have the open endedness that the other cases have and it isn’t really even a normal human situation. May I amend it and say that the person lives in a society or a time where astrology doesn’t exist yet, or that they live in a time where astrology no longer exists. In both cases we can say that the “Non acceptance of astrology has no consequences.” All good there I think.

          That said, lets talk about Case #2 next. You are ready for it, and your patience ought to be rewarded.

        • epeeist

          That said, lets talk about Case #2 next.

          Let’s not, in that they spectacularly miss the point.

          Let us accept that in societies that enforce conformance with an ideology then non-conformance will have consequences (this would include the 40 or so states that have laws against atheism and the 13 states which execute atheists).

          What is under discussion are the consequences of the lack of belief in a particular set of ideas, be that belief in the existence of gods or the effectiveness of astrology. As I noted above, and which you ignored, in a situation where libertarian free will applies non-belief entails no particular position.

          A simple question for you, what are the consequences of your non-belief in the existence of Ahura Mazda?

        • ozarkmichael

          Each of the three cases is a only a tiny point on a very large spectrum of all possible situations. I remind you that I am working through your difficult question. If the difficult question is all about you, and your personal life experience, then I am missing the point spectacularly. I was considering human nature as a whole and the possibilities of non acceptance past present and future. Or do you believe that your situation in life is ubiquitous in the long history of the human race across the planet? I believe your situation to be important, but it isn’t everything.

          But to your question. Contrary to your sharp spectacular accusation, yes I did respond:

          My regret is that case #1 is very weak. It doesn’t have the open endedness that the other cases have and it isn’t really even a normal human situation. May I amend it and say that the person lives in a society or a time where astrology doesn’t exist yet, or that they live in a time where astrology no longer exists. In both cases we can say that the “Non acceptance of astrology has no consequences.” All good there I think.

          I was setting up a better Case #1 in response to your objection. I addressed your point. I adjusted case one to be flexible enough to be even expressed regret and said the case was weak. Why? because the initial construction of a life in a bubble was not a social situation or a human society. and tried to quickly amend that but still kept case #1 as inconsequential as possible.

          Now to your specific question, which I answer directly at your request. Please note that this is still going into specific cases, which I wanted to do later. But lets do it now. In my personal situation, my non acceptance of Ahura Mazda is a variant of Case #1. I don’t know what Ahura Mazda is, and no one in my little corner of the world is Ahura Mazda, so it neither impacted my thinking(that I know of) nor my relationship to society(that I know of).

          But is there is absolutely no consequence of my non acceptance? What if Ahura Mazda, in the distant past, made a foundational contribution to our society, but the knowledge of this was forgotten? I would say in this version of case #1 that there is a consequence. I would unknowingly accept and perpetuate an ignorance of where I came from. To not even consider Ahura Mazda would be ungrateful to something that I ought to remember even if chose not to believe in it. And then I wonder if Ahura Mazda’s foundational contribution to our society would be less secure for future generations because I did not even understand it. So perhaps there is a consequence that I don’t know of. But I am just one human out of millions. My situation is important, but it isn’t everything.

          There can be(and of course there are) variations on case #1, case #2, and case #3. I am already aware that my cases are too specific in some details. I have expressed to you my regret that it isn’t perfect.

          I have one atheist taking me to task for making this too complicated, another who wants to complicate things with specifics before we align the Cases correctly, and a third who wants to teach me how great atheists are at critical thinking and I need to learn it. There is some irony here.

          But I know my place, I know that atheist prejudiced accusations against a Christian (of spectacularly missing the point, of not utilizing critical thinking) is one of the entailments of atheism, so the accusations are going to sit there with no apology or retraction. I don’t mind. I am working methodically on the difficult question about atheism which someone placed before me.

        • Greg G.

          I have one atheist taking me to task for making this too complicated, another who wants to complicate things with specifics before we align the Cases correctly, and a third who wants to teach me how great atheists are at critical thinking and I need to learn it. There is some irony here.

          You do you.

        • ozarkmichael

          First Stage: A General Case to set up each particular meaning of “non acceptance”.(DONE x3 Cases)
          Second Stage: Each meaning of non acceptance explored by postulating specific realistic examples to find if their are consequences or entailments to “non acceptance”(NOT EVEN STARTED)

        • Susan

          First Stage: A General Case to set up each particular meaning of “non acceptance”.(DONE x3 Cases)
          Second Stage: Each meaning of non acceptance explored by postulating specific realistic examples to find if their are consequences or entailments to “non acceptance”(NOT EVEN STARTED)

          Oh ffs.

          It’s very simple.

          God claims are incoherent and/or unsupported. Therefore, there is no reason to accept them.

          If you can provide examples of god claims that are not incoherent and/or unsupported, have at it.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve never seen the word “Entailment” used anywhere before. Doesn’t necessarily main anything. Just never seen it.

        • epeeist

          I’ve never seen the word “Entailment” used anywhere before.

          Sorry, that was my fault, I used the word in a post to him. I remain to be convinced that he knows what the word means.

        • ozarkmichael

          I am examining the Atheist assertion that “non acceptance of (X) has no consequence”.

          Atheists proclaim that their assertion is a difficulty for religious people, but I begin to perceive that critical thinking about the assertion is a difficulty for Atheists too. None of the Atheists want to focus on the assertion, and they seem to be at lose ends when questioned about their assertion. I didnt expect that to happen.

          Maybe Team Atheist is not used to being questioned. Or maybe their assertion is a sacred part of Atheist doctrine, and they really need it to be true. It seems to be the unexamined premise required for some important Atheistic conclusion or payoff. This is just an impression in the moment. I have no idea what their payoff would be, I am not going to guess… because I want to focus on the Atheist assertion.

          I am doing you a favor because I am willing to tackle the Atheist’s difficult assertion, because it seems to be difficult for Atheists. I do this even as you ask completely different questions which would only be a distraction.

        • Susan

          I am examining the Atheist assertion “non acceptance of (X) has no consequence.

          I’m going to try to make this as short as I possibly can but there are a lot of problems with this post

          1) No reason to capitalize Atheist. “I don’t believe you.” is a position, not a political or cultural group. No need to make it a proper noun.

          2) No atheist here made the “assertion” you claim they did. You asked if atheism led to nothing and I compared it to astrology.

          That is, not accepting incoherent, unsupported assertions does not lead to “nothing”. I might have mistaken your point for the standard “Do atheists believe nothing?” as your phrasing was foggy. That it does not lead to “nothing” does not mean it has no consequences.

          3) You are doing everything you can to avoid the burden if you believe/claim that Yahwehjesus exists.

          4) argumentum ad consequentiam is a logical fallacy, so if that’s all you’ve got and if you are going to drag us through tortuous rounds of getting you to cut to the chase, and if all you have at the end of it is and argumentum ad consequentiam, you need to stop now.

          Maybe Team Atheist is not used to being questioned.

          Maybe you need to carry your burden and stop attacking strawmen.

          I am doing you a favor because I am willing to tackle the Atheist’s difficult assertion,

          No. You are attacking strawmen.

          I do this even as you ask completely different questions which would only be a distraction.

          A distraction? How is asking what you are claiming and how you support it on the subject of Yahwehjesus a distraction?

          I don’t believe you if you claim that Yahwehjesus exists. That is why I am an atheist.

          No one who claims he does has ever supported that claim in my experience.

          It’s so simple.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • epeeist

          I am examining the Atheist assertion that “non acceptance of (X) has no consequence”.

          Susan has pointed out some problems with your approach, here is another. You use the term “non acceptance”, to me this is loaded in favour of the existence of a god of some kind and that the atheist simply does not accept this existence (I am going to drop the a-astrologist, in that it is confusing and doesn’t add anything to the argument).

          Whereas it is the case that the atheist lacks belief in the existence of gods, i.e. there is no presupposition of the existence of such entities.

          In effect the atheist is taking the null position and not accepting entities for which there is no substantive justification into their ontology (this fits with Quine’s ideas detailed in his paper On What There Is). After all if you allow one thing for which there is no justification into your ontology then how can you refuse to include other things for which there is no justification?

          This all fits with Susan’s comments about burden of proof. If you want me to include something in my ontology then you have to provide substantive justification for it, otherwise why should I accept it. In one of my previous posts I mentioned Ahura Mazda, the god of Zoroastrianism , do you accept this god into your ontology? If not, then why not?

        • ozarkmichael

          Susan is the one who challenged me to think of Atheism as a “non acceptance”. She was correcting me, and I cant find the post right now but I believe she repeated the phrase more than once. It seemed to me that ‘non acceptance” brilliantly removed the prejudged conclusion about God’s existence one way or the other, so I thought it was helpful. I actually believed at the time that she was improving my thought experiment. I was so impressed that I incorporated her language. But later I found that Susan thought it demolished my argument(or strengthened hers).

          I understand that you think ‘non acceptance’ is loaded in favor of the existence of a god. We seem to have three different opinions about the implications of ‘non acceptance’. Susan thinks it helps Atheism, I think it helps avoid bias one way or the other, and you think it hurts Atheism.

          I am not sure which way to go here. You are appealing to Authority with Quine. Maybe Susan appeals to someone else?

          Contamination of doctrinal purity seems to be one of the disadvantages of playing on Team Atheism. A gentle reminder: the whole point you are trying to prove was that there was no Atheism doctrine at all. Another gentle reminder: I am the person who supposedly knows nothing about all this. Maybe you shouldn’t put me in charge of overriding Susan.

          If Susan doesn’t retract her “non acceptance” correction against me then I am obliged to stick with “Non acceptance”. It isn’t right for me to decide otherwise.

          So “Non acceptance” it is… unless Susan would be willing to take one for the team by making an apology(as Greg suggested should be made when one person falsely accuses another). Maybe you can convince her in the huddle to retract and apologize before the next play begins? If not, I advise you to let Quine(and whatever it entails) go. The rest of Team Atheism seemed ok with “non acceptance” anyway. Just let it go.

          If you cant let Quine(and whatever it entails) go, if doctrinal purity is important, then you must stamp out the abominable “non acceptance” heresy. Maybe an Atheist Inquisition of some kind would help straighten out a recalcitrant Susan because she is oblivious to the importance of your doctrine. Make an example of Susan and the rest will follow.

        • Greg G.

          I see that I have a reply to this waiting in moderation. I was disputing that epeeist was using Quine as an authority. He cited the argument used by Quine, not his authority.

          I pointed out that the underlined text was a (I used a dirty four letter word that begins with “L” and ends with “ink”) which is a taboo word that gets the post moderated on Patheos nowadays.

        • ozarkmichael

          The post I wrote had an important point which I sharpened to the point of hilarity. One would do well to take my post as seriously as possible, and then laugh at the gadfly Christian’s humorous observations as well as laugh at the predicament of “Team Atheism”, and then make some revisions and retractions. All would be well. Nothing would really be lost. But the existence of the team thing, and maybe the existence of some Atheistic entailments could prevent that from happening. I said elsewhere that if one Atheist broke out of Team mode I would stop saying “Team Atheism” . Here I referred to it in past tense because you are not in team mode. One Atheist breaks the spell so enough of that.

          There are several logical fallacy accusations lodged against me that are still hanging out there. I was ribbing epeeist about ‘argument by authority’, which is about as valid as those accusations against me… which is to say not much validity there. I admit his was not merely an argument by authority.

          Oh dear. That was a retraction. You made me forget how the game is played here. Gotta get my curmudgeon game face back on

        • ildi

          You made me forget how the game is played here.

          Maybe switch to online Scrabble?

        • ozarkmichael

          eheheh

        • epeeist

          Susan is the one who challenged me to think of Atheism as a “non acceptance”. She was correcting me, and I cant find the post right now but I believe she repeated the phrase more than once.

          If you had stopped there things would have been fine.

          We seem to have three different opinions about the implications of ‘non acceptance’. Susan thinks it helps Atheism, I think it helps avoid bias one way or the other, and you think it hurts Atheism.

          But you had to go on. Where do I say that using “non acceptance” hurts atheism?

          Contamination of doctrinal purity seems to be one of the disadvantages of playing on Team Atheism.

          Doctrine? So what is the “doctrine of atheism”, perhaps you could enlighten us as to what you think this is.

          As for “Team Atheism”, given you are so keen on critical thinking perhaps you could provide us with some actual evidence for people here being on a team. You would need to provide a warrant to connect that evidence to your assertion too.Unless you can do so it simply looks like a guilt by association move.

          If not, I advise you to let Quine(and whatever it entails) go.

          Why should I let one of the foremost logicians of the 20th century go? Especially on the say-so of a random person on the Internet?

          But back to critical thinking, I am fond of Douglas Walton’s book Informal Logic. In one of the earlier chapters he presents a table of “negative persuasion rules”, a set of bad strategies when it comes to argumentation. Included in these are “Failing to define, clarify or justify the meaning or definition of a significant term used in an argument”. I believe you still owe me a definition of what you mean by “platonic atheism”.

          Another one would be “Failing to reply appropriately to questions should not be allowed, including replies that are unduly evasive”. You still owe me the name of the dialogue in which Plato presents a definition of such atheism. On top of that you claimed to know that making prejudicial accusations against Christians was entailed by atheism. You still owe me a proof that this is so.

          Another one that Walton lists is “Trying to shift the burden of proof to the other party, or otherwise alter the burden of proof illicitly is not allowed”. Not only have you not responded to any of my points on the burden in my post you have (deliberately?) avoided taking on the burden when challenged to do so by others.

        • ozarkmichael

          You seem to be claiming that it is an immediate necessity for me to support the claim that Yahwehjesus exists. You are saying that I cannot investigate atheism, or answer a difficult question about atheism, until I first prove that Yahwehjesus exists.

          You seem to be saying that critical thinking about Atheism cannot be done unless one FIRST proves Yahwehjesus exists.

          Maybe that is true. After all, no Atheist here engages in critical thinking about Atheism.

        • Susan

          You seem to be claiming that it is an immediate necessity for me to support the claim that Yahwehjesus exists

          No. I am explaining that until someone does (and no one has) that I don’t believe them. Which means I’m a non-believer. An atheist.

          You are saying that I cannot investigate atheism

          I am saying that atheism is a single position on a single subject:

          “Do(es) god(s) exist?”

          You can stop capitalizing it, now.

          If you can’t support a god claim, then you should understand why there are atheists.

        • MR

          If you can’t support a god claim, then you should understand why there are atheists.

          That simple really. Why all the squirrels? It should be easy to support his claim if it were true.

        • Susan

          It should be easy to support his claim if it were true.

          Yep.

          Seems to be the last thing he wants to do.

        • ozarkmichael

          I didn’t understand what you were saying at the time so I didn’t answer. Were you encouraging me to just be myself and move forward? Just do it? If so, that is a kindness and a sort of permission to speak and be heard. If so… thank you.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, that is what I meant. Do things your way. You aren’t exempt from criticisms, though, and they may be worth considering. Then you can do things in your new and improved way.

        • Susan

          I know that atheist prejudiced accusations against a Christian (of spectacularly missing the point, of not utilizing critical thinking) is one of the entailments of atheism

          Nope. Atheists just don’t believe god(s) exist.

          You have provided no reason to think one does.

          You are going to great pains to evade that burden.

          And now, you have claimed that “atheist prejudiced accusations against you is one of the entailments”. Another unsupported accusation.

          Cut to the chase.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

          You seem to be more interested in a tortuous attempt at an argument from consequences (a fallacious argument), now that you’re engaged.

          And attacking strawmen now.

        • epeeist

          Each of the three cases is a only a tiny point on a very large spectrum of all possible situations.

          And each of your cases is concerned with societal pressure on atheists, none of which I would dispure (from your user name I am assuming you live in the Ozarks, though I have no idea in which part. If you live in Arkansas you constitution has the clause, “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.”).

          However what I and others are concerned with are, for example, the ethical implications of atheism. Does atheism imply a specific code of ethics, to which the answer is no.

          I know that atheist prejudiced accusations against a Christian (of spectacularly missing the point, of not utilizing critical thinking) is one of the entailments of atheism

          OK, let’s start from here. One can define atheism in doxastic logic as:

          1: ~p:G

          Let’s write the proposition “Make prejudiced accusations against Christians” (using imperative logic) as:

          2: A

          Now if 1. entails 2. then given that you state that you know that 2. is true then you should be able to fill in the rest of the schema.

        • Pofarmer

          Dunning Kruger combined with apologetics is just the best. Ignorant Arrogance.

        • ozarkmichael

          had the first thrown at me before. nothing original, nothing creative. This got an upvote for rising to the level of critical thinking?

        • Pofarmer

          I’m not trying to be original or creative. I’m just making an observation.

        • Kodie

          You’re maybe just not as smart as you are smug about how smart you think you are, and that’s not a maybe. And that’s not just not as smart, it’s a lot less smart. Why don’t you settle down and try to pay attention to the discussion, and give relevant responses that demonstrate that you aren’t just interested in making up scenarios to support and confirm your bias. I don’t know how you think what you’re doing demonstrates critical thinking. Critical thinking isn’t going on tangents and being in love with the sound of your own flaky thoughts, it’s seeing what’s laid out before you, and if something doesn’t check out for you, don’t run away from it, tell us what it is directly, so we can actually get some-fucking-where.

        • ozarkmichael

          The misunderstanding that you have is that you are reverting to a platonic definition of atheism, which substitutes idealism for critical thinking about what actually happens, and what things are in practice. Platonic forms do not have much to do with atheists on the ground.

          There is nothing wrong with idealism, but too many people use it as a shield to justify ignorance or even evil deeds. The platonic ideal of atheism that you placed before me is only a screen between yourself and reality. It is real life we must examine because Atheists are only human beings, and their decisions in various environments seem to have consequences(as yet unexplored) in spite of the atheist assertion that it is not so.

          The examination I make of atheism involves critical thinking instead of platonic wishful thinking. I know atheists are not comfortable having critical thinking turned upon themselves. No human is. But don’t you think it needs to be done?

          If the process that I am laying before you makes you uncomfortable or you think it is a waste of time, that’s ok. Just don’t read it.

        • epeeist

          The misunderstanding that you have is that you are reverting to a platonic definition of atheism

          As others here will tell you I am more of an Aristotelian, though I have of course read The Republic, as well as the Meno, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo and Timaeus. However I have never come across a Platonic definition of atheism, in which of the dialogues does it occur?

        • Pofarmer

          It’s like watching a cat play with a baby rabbit.

        • ozarkmichael

          I can only imagine your puzzlement when a close friend commented that you had a platonic relationship with her. You must have wondered why she thought it was a threesome when you haven’t even kissed the girl…

        • epeeist

          I think we can draw the conclusion that you can’t provide a “platonic (sic) definition of atheism”.

        • Kodie

          The original issue is whether atheism(non-acceptance of religion) leads
          to nothing. As a way of proving that atheism leads to nothing, you
          challenged me to decide whether non-acceptance of astrology leads to
          nothing.

          I don’t know if or how much further it went back, but you seem to be misunderstanding. I seem to recall it did go back further, and this is just your way of twisting it. Does atheism lead to “nothing”.? It doesn’t lead to anything specific. It does not lead necessarily to critical thinking, and I don’t believe anyone claimed that it did.

          Why don’t you start by listing all the things you think being an atheist means to an atheist. Be thorough.

        • Susan

          Why don’t you start by listing all the things you think being an atheist means to an atheist. Be thorough.

          I agree. That would be a good place to start.

          Right after he defines “platonic atheism”.

          He’s been given many opportunities to start there but invented a term instead.

        • epeeist

          Right after he defines “platonic atheism”.

          I thought all my Christmas’s had come at once when he rolled that out.

        • ozarkmichael

          You ask what ‘platonic atheism’ is, and I notice that you did so without your usual careful word-for-word quotation. It was one of the good things about you, Susan. Real and full quotation like that is an admirable habit, and it is strange that you didn’t employ your usual good habit. Let me supply the quote for you:

          you are reverting to a platonic definition of atheism, which substitutes idealism for critical thinking about what actually happens, and what things are in practice. Platonic forms do not have much to do with atheists on the ground.

          There is the phrase I used. Read the rest… ah, surprise! There is the explanation too! A platonic definition substitutes idealism for reality, and removes critical thinking about whatever-it-is that is being defined.

          There really isn’t much excuse for the poor performance of Team Atheism on this particular point. Even the cheerleader is waving his pom-poms as if points have been scored. ‘its like a cat toying with a baby rabbit’ (!)

          Is Atheism really the home of free choosers and thinkers who are not tied to any doctrine? Then why did you all suddenly lower your standards of investigation? I will not assign a bad motive to you or your comrades for what might be only sloppiness. But if every individual atheist simultaneously engages in intellectual sloppiness together, then it is right to say that the Atheism exhibited here is no longer an intellectual pursuit, but a team sport at best. Or worse… much worse… it might have significance about Atheism generally… could it be? I didnt expect this. I don’t know what to say.

          If one person on Team Atheism retracts their sloppiness and apologizes for their false accusations, then I would retract my statement that this is a team sport for all of you.

          But we all know how it goes here. False accusations just sit there, and I am beginning to understand why… it really is a team sport.

        • Greg G.

          it really is a team sport.

          Dude, you are posting in a public forum where many atheists read and respond to posts. If someone posts in a public forum where mostly theists read and respond, there will be lots of theist replies. Atheists get more replies from atheists than from theists in forums like this, too. It is a demographics thing, not a team thing.

        • ozarkmichael

          Teams. They do function slightly differently if they are a dominant big team or an upstart small team. They also function slightly differently if they play at home or away. But teams of humans have overwhelmingly common characteristics and so those differences are slight. Teams have internal rules. teams have internal expectations. teams have an image of themselves which everyone on the team wants to live up to. Teams have an external face. To claim that a team has no entailment is a human impossibility. (that’s a hint!)

          This comes from the fact that human nature is one thing, that was my first assertion which has not been accepted here. The other basic fact which I assert: we are all equal, and derived from that fact: we should treat each other that way. Furthermore: we have to play by the same rules.

          If Atheists think that rejecting religion removes them from the bad effects of a team, I disagree.

          I am not castigating others for qualities which I surely have as well. I like human beings, I appreciate human nature. Part of human nature is to maintain an idealized version of one’s tribe. Don’t get me wrong, teams are important, and there are good effects of being on a team.

          But to maintain the Atheist’s illusion that there is no entailment to atheism, nor is there even a a team… I thought I could gently explore the question in a neutral nonthreatening way starting with the three Cases. It was actually designed to carefully explore these questions without insulting atheism, religion, or anyone.

          Today you have introduced a little reality with no accusations against me and no denials of human nature. I appreciate that. Would you like me to continue the thought experiment?

          As everyone else protests, blocks, accuses me of bad faith, tells me I don’t understand, “Team Atheism” is falling all over itself to prove me right as we speak. I did not intend for this to happen but it is funny. I confess that I have been laughing while I wrote posts this morning.

          I could playfully pop the bubbles of pretense for a week. All it takes is one person acting in a more human way to make me drop saying “Team Atheism”, and sober up, and get back to the thought experiment. Would you like me to do so?

          Do I have permission to go forward with my thought experiment? I

        • Greg G.

          Most of us are curmudgeons. We will reply if we want to. If our replies are upsetting, so much the better. If you share in the underlying humor, better yet.

        • Greg G.

          Do I have permission to go forward with my thought experiment?

          Please proceed.

        • Kodie

          You must have gone to Home Depot this morning to buy a bigger shovel.

        • Susan

          Here is the entire post which is now pending that I sent you.

          But with the “f” word (spelled out accurately) removed and replaced by the term the “f” word”. (sigh)

          you are reverting to a platonic definition of atheism, which substitutes idealism for critical thinking about what actually happens, and what things are in practice. Platonic forms do not have much to do with atheists on the ground

          .
          So, still an argument from consequences. A fallacy. If you’d like to call that concept “platonic idealism”, help yourself but I don’t see where epeeist has reverted to anything of the sort.

          There really isn’t much excuse for the poor performance of Team Atheism.

          Keep that up and I’ll use the “f” word again.

          I’ve pointed out that atheist simply means “I don’t believe you.” when people make claims about (god)s.

          You have provided no reason to believe those claims (nor have countless others before you.)

          Instead, you seem to want to attack people who don’t believe your unsupported position.

          False accusations just sit there.

          Your original post was a couple of false accusations. You still have not retracted them, though you have yet to support them.

          Let’s face it, Michael. You are unwilling to support your position. All you have is tortuous appeals to some vague (yet undemonstrated) consequences and poo-flinging at people who don’t believe in (god)s.

          In which case, you are boring. And a little obnoxious.

          If you are claiming Yahwehjesus exists, support it.

          Until someone supports those claims, I don’t believe them.

          Which makes me an atheist. No team about it.

        • Pofarmer

          A little obnoxious?

        • Sample1

          When I ask what the consequences are for not accepting a Christian brand of metaphysics, I get,”you’ll find out in the afterlife.” Maybe threats worked in the past but they can’t seem to fathom how ridiculous it is to use them as compelling persuasion for an argument. The theory of electricity, on the other hand, does persuade me to keep metal forks out of outlets. Something I’ve never done but have evidence for.

          I’ve also yet to find out how such metaphysicians are able to know when their metaphysics is wrong (think I got that from Andrew G.). It’s an incomprehensible question for them and the pat reply is that such a question comes from scientism. And then I want to stick forks in my eyes. 🙂

          Mike, faith free circa 2011ish

        • Susan

          When I ask what the consequences are for not accepting a Christian brand of metaphysics, I get,”you’ll find out in the afterlife.”

          I’m not even sure ozarkmichael was going there. He was very unclear. So vague, it was frustrating. And intent on attacking “Atheists” and completely unwilling so far to support Yahwehjesusism. Burden shifting from the get go.

          (Feel free to comment, ozarkmichael, if you’re reading this. I don’t want to misrepresent you but I still have no idea what your point is.)

          And then I want to stick forks in my eyes. :-);

          I hear ya, brother.

        • Sample1

          Off topic. Having a reproductive rights convo on SN for the last week or so. I don’t think anyone gets the risk of the state being able to require a woman to deliver or face punishment.

          Relinquishing that autonomy to the state is an enormous risk. It is the same thing as giving the state the same power to require women to have an abortion or face punishment. Crickets on that.

          Whenever these discussions get going and all sorts of philosophical and metaphysical ideas get bandied about all I can think of is a frightened girl or woman sitting in a chair in some clinic with nobody to support her. Some relief it must be for her that Internet phantoms are debating a topic that they will never experience. /s

          Mike, faith free

        • Susan

          I don’t think anyone gets the risk of the state being able to require a woman to deliver or face punishment.

          I don’t think the consequences of gestating and delivering a baby are important to people who argue against that woman’s right to make a choice, based on the knowledge of medical practiitioners who are committed to medical consequences.

          It’s based on souls. And there is no reason to believe souls exist.

          And it’s also based on women being lesser. It really is.

          “God” is always a “He”.

        • Sample1

          And it’s also based on women being lesser. It really is.

          Sadly, I think this is correct.

          Mike, I was never a zygote

        • Sample1

          @disqus_xYWVllyPLU:disqus

          Your observation really stuck with me today. I like to think that generally this is no longer the case, particularly in democracies but just taking Catholicism, what do we have?

          We have a history of men raping who receive no punishment but if a woman merely thinks about her own body, the entire edifice is brought down upon her to silence her.

          Forks in eyes.

          Mike, excommunicated

        • Susan

          I like to think that generally this is no longer the case, particularly in democracies but just taking Catholicism, what do we have?

          We have a superstitious position that claims authority that was either oppressed or oppressed in other times. (And still holds one of those positions in many countries.)

          We have made up stuff that oppresses women.

          We have a history of men raping who receive no punishment but if a woman merely thinks about her own body, the entire edifice is brought down upon her to silence her.

          That’s a problem.

          Also, women who have learned to manipulate or silence their bodies is a problem.

          Women contribute to all of these extremes. Men and women perpetuate them.

          Forks in eyes.

          Yep.

          Very frustrating.

        • epeeist

          And it’s also based on women being lesser.

          I would go further, it is based on women being chattels.

        • Greg G.

          “God” is always a “He”.

          It made an impression on me when I read that yesterday as:

          “God” is always a “lie”.

          The “li” turned into an “H” when I saw it this morning. It makes more sense in context now anyway.

          Is it plagiarism if I steal my misreading?

        • Kodie

          I’m not even sure ozarkmichael was going there. He was very unclear.

          4 days ago, or roughly Friday, May 31st, ozarkmichael said the following:

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christians-need-atheist-speaker-next-conference/#comment-4483414396

          I don’t know what Ahura Mazda is, and no one in my little corner of the world is Ahura Mazda, so it neither impacted my thinking(that I know of) nor my relationship to society(that I know of).

          But is there is absolutely no consequence of my non acceptance? What if Ahura Mazda, in the distant past, made a foundational contribution to our society, but the knowledge of this was forgotten? I would say in this version of case #1 that there is a consequence. I would unknowingly accept and perpetuate an ignorance of where I came from. To not even consider Ahura Mazda would be ungrateful to something that I ought to remember even if chose not to believe in it. And then I wonder if Ahura Mazda’s foundational contribution to our society would be less secure for future generations because I did not even understand it. So perhaps there is a consequence that I don’t know of. But I am just one human out of millions. My situation is important, but it isn’t everything.

          In other words, what if there’s a consequence after we die, because it doesn’t seem to affect anything down here, never having heard of something we ought to be grateful for and share with everyone we meet. I don’t think he answered my comment in response to it, and that’s possibly because it might have been in moderation. Maybe this comment will be stale by the time anyone reads it, for that matter. I think he’s pretty clear.

        • Susan

          Excellent point, Kodie.

          I took that to mean an impact on a culture.

          But it’s possible he meant it as an eternal impact.

          Again, he’s been so vague and so intent on attacking “Atheists”, that it was very difficult to understand what he was ever getting at.

        • ozarkmichael

          Let me fill in more detail to my “non acceptance of Ahura Mazda”. But first I want to just state where this is heading so that people wont accuse me of being evasive or unclear. What I was considering was consequences to my life and life generally. This kind of consideration requires a person to humbly suspend their own doctrine(including atheism) for a moment and consider our ancestors with the same respect which we accord ourselves in order to trace out the benefits that our ancestors bestowed upon us. This consideration does not posit or threaten anyone with consequences “in the afterlife”. This consideration could, however, keep an eye out for the consequences after we have died….to our human family in generations to come.

          If Ahura Mazda as a religion was influential in our distant past, then those human beings within that past were living and acting during a formative era of what would later become our civilization. Even if there is not a single adherent to the Ahura Mazda religion today(“And good riddance, goodbye to all that!” interjects the atheist), it would still be possible for us(even atheists) to discover Ahura Mazda impact on our roots. Just as ancient thoughts were expressed in ancient words, which over time, under the influence of millions of people using those words and subtly loading the words with their Ahura Mazda habits and their Ahura Mazda worldview… influencing economy, literature, battle tactics, law, manners, and more… all the way down to today those concepts and events are being utilized to our benefit… without me being aware of it.

          My “nonacceptance”, which in my particular situation was not based on a rejection of Ahura Mazda doctrine, but simple and complete ignorance, has been shown to possibly have some consequences after all. It would be like living in a house for a long time and after awhile I assume that I designed and built it myself. But in fact I built on a preexisting foundation and solid walls, and I used materials and techniques and principles that were invented long ago mixed in with some of my own original design. The first consequence of my ignorance is a poverty of thought. It is a hidden thing behind the plaster and paint that I applied so there is no physical consequence, but I like to understand what is true and ignorance of truth is a shame. The second consequence of my ignorance is that my house is not really understood and I might make bad decisions as I care for it. The perpetuation of this ignorance may not have a physical consequence in my lifetime, but in my children or grandchildren’s lifetime.

          Ignorance is easy to bear and maintain if we assert our own importance and deny the importance of anyone outside our tribe. Ignorance is easy to bear and maintain if we rely on others to think for us. Ignorance is easy to bear and maintain if we line up our doctrine as an impenetrable wall that screens us from reality. Ignorance is easy to bear and maintain if we run back to a familiar strawman and take some whacks at that instead of doing the hard work of examining a new approach.

          We often claim that we would like to be challenged with something new, but when confronted with something new… we reflexively go back to our old habit. Its true of all of us because we are all human beings alike.

          The project which I am working on is the consequences of non acceptance of astrology and today at your request I worked on a variant of Case #1(non acceptance” can mean not being aware of astrology/Ahura Mazda).

          To work through variants of Cases #1-3 requires us to cultivate generosity towards the human race, a love for them that exceeds our love for ourselves, but also to maintain objectivity. What a strange admixture it is: objectivity and love. But I know that you are inclined to do it because you and I have much in common. The reader is capable and need only make the effort.

          When I first proposed Case #1 it was supposed to assert that non acceptance of astrology had NO consequence. Today I have demonstrated a particular where Case #1 could have consequence after all. That’s not good. Maybe my original Case #1 of the guy in a bubble was better.

        • Kodie

          Why don’t you cultivate some generosity toward atheists? We’re not ignorant of Christianity. We refute that principles of our culture arose from Christianity, in general, and that those principles and morality are not unique to Christians or even to humans.

          Please, I beg of you, to actually listen more.

        • ozarkmichael

          After such a heartfelt and polite invitation I can only respond with “Yes I will listen even more”. Listening to atheists informs the flow of my investigation. More listening helps me, and my future writing will reflect the knowledge which you provided today. So, thank you, Kodie.

          Case #2 has progressed to the moment when a person decides or realizes “I do not believe” and this is presented by atheists as the simple and only defining aspect of Atheism. The simplicity and limited nature of this decision/realization is a doctrine held by Atheists about themselves, whether they call it the “Simple No” or when they present a face to the world that is “Nope”, or if they challenge a Christian with the “difficulty” of understanding this compact and tidy Platonic conception of Atheism. (from the first mention of it, it has been on my mind. Not because I already understood, but because it is not in accordance with human nature as a Christian understands it. By listening to the atheists here who are correcting me, and reflecting on the atheist’s teaching, I have made progress on the concept. With each step the author understands the concept better and now I utterly and completely reject the “Simple No” concept, even if every atheist believes it. It simply isnt true and I will strive to prove it isnt true. I wrote this paragraph so that no atheist can accuse me of hiding something or being vague)

          Back to our Case #2. Surrounded by believers, in a culture shaped by belief, traditions enshrining that belief, a government which claims to be supported by the Diety, all from a 1,000 year history of religious influence, at some moment the new born Atheist says “No I dont believe”. Are there consequences? Are those consequences simple/minor or are they important/complex? Are those consequences random or predictable?

          We removed from consideration after-life consequences. We even removed social or physical consequences by having this Atheist remain silent. These removals were made to eliminate variables and focus on the internal process that an Atheist will undertake.

          After “No I dont believe”, the atheist’s first thought is probably of relationships, either with parents, a spouse, or with friends. It is just human nature to ponder loved ones first. Seems pretty simple initially, especially since our Atheist in this case is going to remain silent. Ah but even in silence there is thought. Perhaps deep thought. As they say ‘still waters run deep’ and so it is with the Atheist’s re-evaluation of their own commitments. Why? Because many of these commitments were made while under the influence of belief. Immediately there are new and unexpected questions for the atheist to wrestle with “what value to place on my past belief?” and also “what value to place on the belief of others?” The atheist seeks to establish an ethical level of tolerance that the atheist can live with. That seeking does not negate the “No, I dont believe” it is merely an ethical evaluation of how to relate to others.

          The Atheist in Case #2 is doing this internal re-evaluation without the aid of anyone. The internal answers are highly charged with ethics and are life altering as well, but the Atheist must answer alone. The easy answer from the tradition practiced and tried by millions of people for 1,000 years are of no use to the Atheist. One Atheist alone ponders what is right or wrong, what is worst or best. The more intelligent the Atheist is, the more she is aware of owning total responsibility for her answers. There is no eternal consequence, not even a social consequence, for not a word passes the lips of the Atheist. An outsider looking at the Atheist would never guess. There is no ripple or splash on the surface. Everything seems as it was before. But for all that, still waters really do run deep. And the more thoughtful the atheist is, the deeper the waters run.

          The “Simple No” theory is in danger and we have barely begun.

        • Susan

          Listening to atheists informs the flow of my investigation. More listening helps me, and my future writing will reflect the knowledge which you provided today..

          How many times have you been politely informed that “atheist” needs no capitalization? Why do you mention “Atheist doctrine”?

          You’ve been informed repeatedly that it’s a single position on a single question.

          I have no idea what you’re trying to get at. I’m not sure you do either.

          I asked you not to do the Argument from Consequences thing, especially if it’s going to take you 20 comments to do it. It’s fallacious and time-wasting.

          all from a 1,000 year history of religious influence, at some moment the new born Atheist says “No I dont believe”.

          What the hell is a “new born Atheist”?

          Look. There is no support for Yahwehjesus claims. You know that already, which is why you’re avoiding that very basic point and pretending not believing those claims is some sort of religion, with capital letters and doctrine. And desperately fumbling towards an argument from consequences in lieu of acknowledging that there is no support for Yahwehjesus claims.

          The “Simple No” theory is in danger and we have barely begun.

          Huh?

        • ozarkmichael

          Was planning to come back in a few days, but reading yours above I return for a moment.

          Sometimes what appears to be ‘vague’ is actually focus on one thing. I sacrifice(a better word would be ‘suspend’) my own beliefs about important issues(and expect others to do the same) in order to answer a question. Once I start on that one thing I will keep thinking about it and testing it. The focus is on a claim that Atheists make about themselves and their “non acceptance”. What follows from it? and is it really how things work?

          My method here is to think in terms of human nature, how things work, what happens, and that informs me about an important aspect of the question. So I am NOT trying to prove you are wrong about Christianity. I am NOT claiming to encompass or defeat Atheism. I merely tackle the one ‘doctrine’ that was presented to me: the “difficulty” about Atheism as a Platonic concept. Nothing wrong with that, except Atheists think that they partake of it, but I don’t believe it is humanly possible most of the time. The Platonic concept does not confer itself upon its followers.

          Now I just expressed the problem as a ‘Platonic Concept’ (which is risking inaccuracy, but I am willing to run that risk because I am trying to find novel ways to explain it to you since my first attempts didn’t work) as a way to jump start your understanding.

          One more thing. Remember the ‘chest thumping’ accusation? Well, this time it was me. I was chest thumping in some posts this weekend by claiming victory. Victory or not, it really isn’t necessary. Even if we score a point, it just isn’t good form.

          Per house rules, there will be no retractions or apologies.

        • Susan

          I sacrifice(a better word would be ‘suspend’) my own beliefs about important issues(and expect others to do the same) in order to answer a question.

          Then, phrase your question clearly.

          The focus is on a claim that Atheists make about themselves and their “non acceptance”

          I don’t accept Yahwehjesus claims. They are incoherent and/or unsupported. If that has something to do with your question, you’ll need to start there. You have provided no reason to accept those claims. Nor has anyone else. Mostly, they attack strawmen.

          What follows from it?

          What follows from “I don’t believe incoherent and/or unsupported claiims?” Not much. I’ll go on to make choices about morality, the nature of the universe and countless other things, based on learning about those subjects. But I don’t have to waste time and energy factoring in one superstitious claim (which is unsupported) among countless others.

          Is it really how things work?

          Yep. I don’t believe you. Until you provide a solid model for taking your position seriously, (until you support your burden), then I will continue to not believe you on the subject of Yahwehjesus. It’s an ancient supersition (one among many).

          I am trying to find novel ways to explain it to you since my first attempts didn’t work) as a way to jump start your understanding.

          You are assuming there is a problem with my understanding, not with your model. Yet, you are unwilling to provide a model which you can support.

          I’ve lost count of the number of times you have begged the question in your time here.

          Remember the ‘chest thumping’ accusation?

          Of course I do. You wandered in here without bothering to read the discussion I was having with UA (who, by the way, has never responded), who claimed his “faith was strenghtened by atheist arguments” without ever explaining why, or what that meant. I politely and respectfully tried to engage him on the topic on the very same day, he never responded and you accused me of “accusing him and crowing triumphantly” a charge which you’ve never supported.

          Since then, you’ve added charges against (sic) “Atheists” that you haven’t supported.

          Also, you’ve ignored the very basic concept that atheists don’t believe god(s) exist because no reason is provided. Rather than provide reason to believe that, you’ve decided to attack “Atheists” by builidng strawmen and beating the stuffing out of them.

          Well, this time it was me.

          Now, you are pretending that last time, it was me. It wasn’t. Show it or retract it.

          I don’t care if you chest thumped. You seem to want to talk about anything but the very basic concept that christians can’t support the existence of Yawhehjesus. Theists of other stripes can’t either.

          Because none of you can, there are atheists. (Remember. “atheist” means I don’t believe a god exists).

          Per house rules, there will be no retractions or apologies.)

          Those aren’t house rules. Those are your rules.

          Retractions and apologies are made here all the time when they’re warranted.

          YOU made accusations you can’t support and have yet to retract them.

          I challenged you to support your accusations. You haven’t even bothered trying.

        • Kodie

          100 upvotes. However, I don’t think any amount of slow, deliberate clarification will get through. You did the best though.

        • Susan

          Thanks. 🙂

          I don’t think any amount of slow, deliberate clarification will get through.

          All any of us can do is try.

        • You are assuming there is a problem with my understanding, not with your model.

          😀

          A very simple concept, and yet it’s surprising that you needed to bring it up.

        • Susan

          A very simple concept, and yet it’s surprising that you needed to bring it up.

          That’s what you’ve been writing about for years.

          It’s the bit they don’t seem to want to acknowledge, let alone talk about.

        • ozarkmichael

          Susan said: “I’ve pointed out that atheist simply means “I don’t believe you.” when people make claims about (god)s.”

          I see that Atheists define Atheism as a simple dismissal of an unproveable claim. That allows me to open the next Case. Lets work this as a particular situation, not necessarily Susan herself, but a variant of Case #2, where a particular religion is predominant and has been so for a thousand years. Dear reader, in this case you are not standing within the atheistic fortress of idealism, abstraction, or platonic ideals. Nor are you examining the truth or falsehood of religion. Nor are you attacking the “I don’t believe” statement. You are critically examining what “I don’t believe” entails, which supposedly is a “difficulty” for a Christian to understand, but which perhaps a Christian is the only one who actually wants to understand, and in a short time has begun to understand something that you live by without caring if it is true or not.

          I remind the reader that as we answer the difficult question Does non acceptance of claims about gods have any consequences, and if so… what sort of consequences? we are not considering or proposing after-life consequences.

          We are focusing on one human being who simply means “I don’t believe you” as she lives among other human beings who are mostly believers, in a society long saturated with belief.(as postulated in Case #2). The method here is to ignore the doctrines of atheism and look at people in a more human way and explore atheism as it is in real life. This requires an appreciation or something like love for a human person, but also objectivity and some curiosity about human nature. This is within the cultural competence of all of us because of our common heritage.

          Lets clarify: the atheist does not have to say out loud “I don’t believe you” to anyone in order to be an atheist. In this particular scenario it might be dangerous or socially awkward to say it out loud. Besides, a statement like that from a lone person for the first time would probably be arrived at only after careful consideration. It is not a frivolous decision to make one’s way apart from the many. But at some point, an instant comes where a person realizes and confirms silently to themselves, “No I don’t believe you”, or simply, “No I don’t believe.” It could be accompanied with a feeling of liberation, or of sadness. I suppose the realization “I don’t believe” could be filled with sadness and liberation at the same time. The Silent “No” is completely internal and never expressed to anyone. Are there consequences?

          How simple is this Silent “No, I don’t believe”? As I made clear when I first created Case #2, it is a nonacceptance which is NOT based on ignorance, it is a thoughtful and knowing rejection. Now I go further. I flesh this out and say the following in a fancy block for emphasis:

          The more thoughtful the atheist is, the more consequences there are to the presumably simple “No”. I completely reject the inconsequential nullity which atheism insists on for itself. Instead I propose a vast interiority of one human being who is present in this moment, particularly the one who has the strength to silently say “No” and I strenuously assert the consequences are monumental… even if the atheist never says aloud “No I dont believe you” to a single soul for the rest of her life. By pondering her interiority, I will thereby answer the “difficult question”, which was eloquently summarized as a “Simple No”. I think it is dangerous for atheists to reduce “No” to a nullity. It is dangerous for Christians to defer the question to judgement in an afterlife. As a Christian I hold you to be important and deep enough(ie a human being), that right now at this moment(ie not after death) we will earnestly grapple with the difficult question.

          We will further explore this variant of Case #2 tomorrow. As you begin to understand, perhaps an atheist out there could contribute to exploring whether “No” in Case #2 is simple or not. The more careful and thorough the better.

        • Greg G.

          I see that Atheists define Atheism as a simple dismissal of an unproveable claim.

          Well, it is not just unproveable. There is no evidence to distinguish the claim from being completely imaginary.

        • ozarkmichael

          I stand corrected on how Atheists define Atheism.

        • Greg G.

          Atheists don’t necessarily define it as “an unproveable claim”. It is more like theism is “an unsupported claim”.

        • ozarkmichael

          I stand corrected again.

          Wait, no. I should say that I accept your correction of yourself.

        • MR

          As if he cares to try to understand that. The atheist understands, the person struggling with their faith understands. His response is sarcasm. This is what drives people away from the nest. This shows the bankruptcy of Christianity.

        • Kodie

          Please, just one honest Christian.

        • ozarkmichael

          Your first correction went like this:

          Well, it is not just unproveable. There is no evidence to distinguish the claim from being completely imaginary.

          And I graciously understood, acknowledged, and accepted your view of the matter. ” I stand corrected on how Atheists define Atheism.”

          But apparently that wasn’t enough. Your second correction went like this:

          Atheists don’t necessarily define it as “an unproveable claim”. It is more like theism is “an unsupported claim”.

          Fine. I accepted that. Since you already got me to “stand corrected” once, I simply noted that you were correcting yourself at this point. So suddenly there are snarky comments and upvotes for it by Team Atheism.

          Which reminds me what the rules are here. It reminds me who I am dealing with. I had begun to forget which was careless of me.

        • Susan

          suddenly there are snarky comments and upvotes for it by Team Atheism.

          There is no “Team Atheism”.

          What snarky comments? (At this point, I’ve given up asking you to support your claims and accusations. You seem to feel no responsibility to do so… but I’ll add this to the growing list of things for which you have provided no support.)

          Which reminds me what the rules are here.

          The rules here are that you support your claims.

          I had begun to forget which was careless of me.

          Who’s being snarky? Stop inventing things. It doesn’t look good on you. It didn’t look good when you first entered, accusing me of things I hadn’t done and it still doesn’t look good.

          Stop it.

        • Greg G.

          You took the wrong point. I tried again.

          We don’t know that it is unprovable. All you need to do is show the evidence.

          There have been gods and religions throughout thousands of years of history. None have provided compelling, unambiguous evidence. But we are waiting.

        • ozarkmichael

          I let you define atheism’s relation to religion because my definition didn’t suite you. I promptly agreed with you. I stood corrected. I said it plainly. I figure that you are the Atheist and your definition takes priority. You came at it a second time. That’s fine because you have every right to keep adjusting your definition… but at that point it was your definition that you were correcting. Your correction was really of yourself, not me.

          I was being gracious(far more gracious than you shall ever be towards me) and kept allowing you the priority of defining atheism’s relation to religion. For Team Atheism to accuse me of dishonesty or whatever… I see now that you were not correcting the definition, you wanted me to argue with you about religion. Isnt that right? But I am a little busy here applying some critical thinking to Atheism. One would think that it would be important to Atheists. One would think they would be curious…

          The take home lesson is that Atheists really are afraid to have their own doctrines examined. Instead they long for familiar old arguments that they have been through 100 times before. They want me to say stuff they are used to. But no, I have provided something new, and Team Atheist apparently cant handle it, so accusations and snarky comments followed.

          Of course no apologies expected from Team Atheism. That’s how you guys roll.

        • You presented a new argument that atheists have no answer for? Cool! But, sorry, I missed it. Maybe you could point it out to me.

        • ildi

          But I am a little busy here applying some critical thinking to Atheism.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e1554287291227c6a55267a48c80032b38b7d36099ffdb327519ec86e4cd6f6.jpg

        • Kodie

          What critical thinking have you done? What atheist doctrines? You just sound really brainwashed to persist with your line of thinking, but it would be helpful to know the full list of everything you think is a necessary consequence of being an atheist, i.e. what you think is in these imaginary doctrines you’ve been brainwashed to believe exist (just like god).

        • ozarkmichael

          Since the ‘non acceptance of astrology’ project was guided all the way by Team Atheist statements, and since my response and has been original, that’s a pretty strange version of “brainwashing”.

        • Kodie

          You picked out the wrong thing to answer. Typical evasive Christian.

        • Susan

          Since the ‘non acceptance of astrology’ project was guided all the way by Team Atheist statements

          No. I used astrology as an example of something you probably don’t take seriously, and that when examined, doesn’t add up.

          @epeeist suggested we don’t go there (and I dropped it) because it was making things too complicated for you.

          Don’t be an eyesore. Drop the “Team Atheist” thing. You have wandered into a discussion (badly, by making accusations you’ve made no effort to support, and which are plain wrong).

          You have disregarded the reason people are atheists (you can’t define nor support your claims, and you haven’t even bothered to try), you have persisted in claiming there is a “Team Atheist” with “doctrine” and then you assume that any negative reactions (or positive reactions for the points others have raised) must be because we have formed a “Team” of “Atheists”.

          Don’t be a such big baby. Stop flinging poo.

          If you can’t support your claims, there is no reason to believe those claims.

          Why is that so difficult to understand?

        • ildi

          It appears that ozarmichael is one of those christians who don’t believe that unbelief in (the christian) god is possible, therefore the statement that atheism at its core is the lack of belief is a “doctrine.” They are saying that the “difficult question” atheists here are unwilling to face is that their unbelief is actually a facade for rejection, and they’re are just trying to bring the light, bless their heart!

          (edit word)

        • ozarkmichael

          It appears that ozarmichael is one of those christians who don’t believe that unbelief in (the christian) god is possible,

          From the beginning I have accepted the possibility as a fact. After some thought I described not only one but three ways that Atheist ‘non-acceptance’ exists as a fact. You werent here for any of that, so your mistake is understandable.

          I could request a retraction of your false accusation, and an apology for your little insult which followed. But I know where I am and I know the rules here. Its all good.

        • ildi

          After some thought I described not only one but three ways that Atheist ‘non-acceptance’ exists as a fact.

          Here you go using weasel-language again. It’s not ‘non-acceptance’ it’s at its core a simple unbelief or lack of belief, so no false accusations here you thin-skinned sad sack. You’ve stated that based on your christian understanding of human nature you reject the concept of the “simple no” and calling this core belief some sort of fancy-pants platonic idealism doesn’t change the fact that you’re calling atheists who say that they simply don’t believe deluded or shallow.

          You obviously don’t know the rules: the rules here are don’t condescend to people by pretending you know better than they do whether their beliefs are based on reality or not-especially when your own beliefs are specifically based on “faith.”

        • ozarkmichael

          The only reason that I brought my faith into the discussion at all is because several atheists demanded it, and would not engage without my doing so.

        • ozarkmichael

          Susan said

          I used astrology as an example of something you probably don’t take seriously, and that when examined, doesn’t add up.

          Yes, and I went along with that. I am granting to you(for the sake of argument) that your essential decision to reject religion is reasonable and true. I am assuming you are correct. Why? so I can focus better on the “difficult” question. I am giving you everything you ask for at every turn because I am studying the consequences of the Atheist’s ‘no’. I have been told that Atheism has no doctrine. I have been told the ‘no’ is simple. That is what I am focused on. I am testing your opinion of what atheism is, not my own. You defined it, not me.

          You cannot say I haven’t explained this. How many times have I explained that I am setting aside my own opinion?

          Don’t be an eyesore. Drop the “Team Atheist” thing.

          The funny thing is that my thought experiment actually portrays the Atheist as a very good and thoughtful person, wrestling with really important questions as an individual. The thought experiment does not question the ‘no’ of atheism, it leaves it as a fact. I am giving you everything you could want there.

          But in our conversation, the atheists are not thinking as individuals. Not a single one of you has engaged with my thought experiment. I could conclude that all of you as individuals lack curiosity or comprehension, but instead I merely chalked it up to a sort of pack mentality. Until that pack mentality changes… “Team Atheist” is appropriate and a far kinder thing than to make a judgement about each one of you individually.

          You have disregarded the reason people are atheists (you can’t define nor support your claims, and you haven’t even bothered to try)

          I might try sometime. Maybe I have tried in the past. That isn’t what I am working on now. Why is it absolutely necessary for you to daily jump into the trenches and replay the same battles you have fought before? I have learned from this conversation that is all Team Atheist can think of. Everything else just sails past them.

          Part of “Team Atheist’s” response to my thought experiment was to attack my motive. So I searched my soul and decided to admit that my Christianity does influence what I am doing here. My thought experiment assumes that human beings are deep. That assumption applies to all of us, unless we play in team mode which artificially diminishes that human depth for the sake of the tribe.

          By calling out “Team Atheist” I am merely attacking the shallowness as a temporary state, and the hidden assumption is that you are not really a shallow person. If that makes me an ‘eyesore’… so be it.

        • ildi

          So I searched my soul and decided to admit that my Christianity does influence what I am doing here. My thought experiment assumes that human beings are deepthe christian god exists and that atheists are deluding themselves when they don’t accept this a fact which is totes obvious to me – the idea that the simple lack of belief may be based on reality makes me need to wee myself just a little bit so I have to come with this wacky platonic ideal tripe.

          fixed it for you

        • ozarkmichael

          ildi accuses me:

          My thought experiment assumes that human beings are deepthe christian god exists and that atheists are deluding themselves when they don’t accept this a fact

          prove it.

        • Susan

          I promptly agreed with you.

          That religious claims are indistinguishable from imagination?

          I figure that you are the Atheist and your definition takes priority.

          You desperately need to capitalize “atheist”, don’t you? So you can pretend that it is a claim. Even though you’ve made it obvious that you are unable to support any religious claim.

          I was being gracious.

          No. You weren’t. You don’t even have to be. You just have to acknowledge that people don’t believe what you believe because you (and no one else) is able to support those beliefs/claims. End of.

          For Team Atheism to accuse me of dishonesty or whatever

          Well, you have been dishonest. You showed up here accusing me of things I never did and for which you never provided support. You have shirked your burden, capitalized “Atheist”, referred to rules that aren’t rules here, rules that you use but accuse others of using.

          You keep referring to “Team Atheism” rather than accept basic rules of normal discourse in a open discussion forum in which you are required to support your claims or you will be held accountable.. The list goes on but it’s not worth the effort to follow every dishonest move you’ve made.

          The take home lesson is that Atheists really are afraid to have their own doctrines examined.

          There you go again. There is no atheist “doctrine”. I don’t believe god(s) exist(s). There is no doctrine there. You believe what appears to be imaginary nonsense. The same nonsense they filled my head with when I was a child but for which they have no support. There is no doctrine. I don’t believe you. You know you can’t support the nonsense. No one has. Not believing you is a single position on a single claim. There is no doctrine. If you use the term again, you are persisting in your dishonesty.

          Of course no apologies from Team Atheism.

          For imaginary crimes levelled by someone who entered this discussion accusing someone of imaginary crimes? From an imaginary “Team”? No. You’re going to have to participate. This is a discussion among adults.

          That’s how you guys roll.

          No. It is not.

          So, any support for Yahwehjesus claims? Or are you just going to flounder around desperately trying to establish an argument from consequences (a fallacious argument if you even ever manage to make it, which you haven’t) and pretend putting capital letters on the word “atheist” and pretending it’s a “team” with “doctrine” that cheats, while you are just trying to challenge “doctrine”?

          It’s entirely forking dishonest. Cut it out.

          Either there is evidence for Yahwehjesus claims (or some other god) or there is not. If you can’t provide any, stop ballshorting. Admit that it is reasonable not to believe your claims.

        • You desperately need to capitalize “atheist”, don’t you?

          Maybe he’s German?

        • Susan

          Maybe he’s German?

          If he capitalized every noun he ever used, I would take that into consideration.

          But…

          he picks and chooses.

        • ozarkmichael

          This in my post four days ago:

          Susan said: “I’ve pointed out that atheist simply means “I don’t believe you.” when people make claims about (god)s.”

          my response: “I see that Atheists define Atheism as a simple dismissal of an unproveable claim.”

          I wanted you to know that I read and considered what you said, since I am constantly being accused of not listening. I put it in my own words instead of repeating verbatim because I wanted to reassure you that I read your comments, and also reassure that you had priority in defining how atheists see themselves and their relationship to religion. This little kindness on my part has been very costly, as Team Atheism has jumped on it with a cascade of false accusations. That’s ok, its how you guys roll. Obviously this is a team sport

          Which is fine. I just forgot where I am and who I am dealing with. Score one for Team Atheism!

        • epeeist

          Score one for Team Atheism!

          You have been asked, multiple times, to justify your claim that we are a team. Yet again you avoid producing such justification.

        • Kodie

          Stop playing “victim,” you’re actually some kind of Christian assholle. You didn’t listen, the flucking FIRST THING was stop capitalizing Atheist and Atheism, NO YOU DO NOT FLUCKING UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, and pouting every time someone says anything to you like you’re making an effort? You are such a phony, I don’t even know where to begin.

          If you are not up to having an honest discussion among adults, it’s a pity your religion has stunted your maturation, but maybe you can’t handle it and should take a look at your experience here as a product of your own participation. You have not been honest, you have actually been quite full of shiit. You have not tried to be kind, you are hostile, and you say hostile things, while pretending to be a victim of hostility. So go fuuck off if you can’t handle honest discussion.

        • epeeist

          I was being gracious(far more gracious than you shall ever be towards me)

          Except you haven’t been, you have simply done what many theists who come here do. You disappear for enough time to press the reset-button and then return with the same points as you started with as though nothing had been said, as well as leaving the difficult questions put to you unanswered.

          We are still waiting for you to say what you mean by “platonic atheism (your non-capitalisation of “platonic” is at odds with your capitalisation of “Atheism”), still waiting for the dialogue in which Plato defines this. We are still waiting for you telling us what the “doctrines” of atheism are. Personally I am still waiting for you to justify your claim to knowledge that making prejudicial accusations against Christians was entailed by atheism. I, and others, are also waiting for you to provide evidence and warrant for your intimation that we are a team.

          In my last post to you I mentioned a number of “negative persuasion rules” in an actual book on critical thinking (Walton details these further in his Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation). Perhaps you ought to take these into account in any further posts.

        • ozarkmichael

          epeeist said:

          We are still waiting for you to say what you mean by “platonic atheism (your non-capitalisation of “platonic” is at odds with your capitalisation of “Atheism”), still waiting for the dialogue in which Plato defines this.

          You didn’t have to wait. I explained it before you asked, and explained it after you asked, and referenced it a few times more. My initial quote which you questioned contained some clues to what I was referring to:

          you are reverting to a platonic definition of atheism, which substitutes idealism for critical thinking about what actually happens, and what things are in practice. Platonic forms do not have much to do with atheists on the ground.

          and when you asked for a reference from Plato, asking me to literally quote Socrates definition of Atheism, I thought that was funny :

          I can only imagine your puzzlement when a close friend commented that you had a platonic relationship with her. You must have wondered why she thought it was a threesome when you haven’t even kissed the girl…

          later I said this:

          Ignorance is easy to bear and maintain if we line up our doctrine as an impenetrable wall that screens us from reality.

          later I said this:

          My method here is to think in terms of human nature, how things work, what happens, and that informs me about an important aspect of the question. So I am NOT trying to prove you are wrong about Christianity. I am NOT claiming to encompass or defeat Atheism. I merely tackle the one ‘doctrine’ that was presented to me: the “difficulty” about Atheism as a Platonic concept. Nothing wrong with that, except Atheists think that they partake of it, but I don’t believe it is humanly possible most of the time. The Platonic concept does not confer itself upon its followers.

          and most recently 4 days ago:

          Dear reader, in this case you are not standing within the atheistic fortress of idealism, abstraction, or platonic ideals.

          Here now, I will add a quote from the internet:

          One of the most famous uses of this phrase is certainly Fitzgerald’s use in The Great Gatsby, in which the character Nick begins his story about Jay Gatsby saying that Gatsby “sprang from his Platonic conception of himself,” but it could be, and has been used in many other contexts, all referring simply to an idea based on the philosophical theories of Plato.
          Essays and indeed entire volumes have been devoted to Plato’s philosophies. For example, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy is quoted on the Philosophical Society’s website (http://www.philosophicalsociety….) in a brief essay describing “The Platonic Conception Of Philosophy.” The essay describes Plato’s philosophical ideas about the very concept of philosophy itself —Confusing? Shouldn’t be. Everything has to have an “ideal” or “perfect version,” such as “the perfect man,” the “perfect vacation,” or the “perfect day.”

          Or the “perfect Atheist”. I contend that actual reality is very different from the perfection. Or are you going to protest that Fiztgerald should have provided a reference from one of the dialogues where Socrates defined what a Jay Gatesby was? LOL!

          I hope this clarifies for you, epeeist. Understand yourself further if you will: when you and Team Atheism keep asserting that your unexamined ideal is actual reality, and wont even consider the facts on the ground, then I am right to call your idealism a doctrine of Atheism

          My goal has been to test that little doctrine. The goal of Team Atheist is to change the subject.

          The moment that one person broke out of team mode I stopped saying “Team Atheist”, but for a few days now we are back to “Team Atheist”, so I call it what it is again.

        • Kodie

          You seem to be having a conversation with yourself and not participating in this one. Every time you say something, you are off in the weeds, and we’re asking you to explain yourself, and you think you already did. It’s like trying to find out what happened from a 3-year-old.

          Can you keep up? Can you stop distracting yourself and actually answer any of our questions? I do not believe that you can, that’s another thing I do not believe!

        • epeeist

          Distraction is all he has got, he is almost as good at it as skl.

        • MR

          It’s a tiresome game.

        • Susan

          It’s a tiresome game.

          It’s exhausting. And it all started when I was trying to have a respectful discussion with Uncouth Angel (who never returned).

          He likes to say “Team Atheism” as though we have lined up our troops to disintegrate any comment that doesn’t go our way.

          Instead of acknowledging that we are atheists because theists claims are bad models and/or unevidenced.

          We can point that out over and over. “I don’t believe Yahwehjesus claims for this reason.”

          And he invents definitions of “Atheist” that have nothing to do with the ordinary and reasonable conversation we’re attempting to have.

          This is your brain on apologetics.

        • MR

          At some point you have to leave them by the wayside and hope for an honest discussion.

        • Susan

          At some point you have to leave them by the wayside and hope for an honest discussion.

          Or hold their feet to the fire(in a metaphorical sense, Michael,not in the way the RCC and the Protestants used to do it, in case you are reading)

          And insist on one.

        • epeeist

          As I noted in a response to Pofarmer the other day, I think a number of the theists who come here have never had a critical conversation on their faith with those outside it (Pax Christus would be a prime example). As soon as they get push-back they really have no idea how to respond.

          As for ozarkmichael, his claim to critical thinking has no basis in fact.

        • MR
        • ozarkmichael

          Perhaps I have had a critical conversation on my faith with those outside it. Perhaps not. I set that aside.

          Here, in this space, I have challenged you to have examine what you believe about Atheism. I am listening to what you say and am discovering that your beliefs about yourselves are questionable, and in danger of being proven false.

        • ozarkmichael

          LOL, you said that while trying to distract me.

        • epeeist

          You didn’t have to wait. I explained it before you asked, and explained it after you asked

          No what you produced was gibberish.

          and when you asked for a reference from Plato, asking me to literallyquote Socrates definition of Atheism, I thought that was funny :

          No, I asked you which dialogue Plato discusses this, the Crito or Phaedo for example. Instead of producing a reference you made a silly little aside in order to change the subject. My inference is that you cannot produce such a reference.

          Here now, I will add a quote from the internet:

          Yet another red herring, one that won’t work given that I, unlike you I suspect, have actually read some Plato.

          Or the “perfect Atheist”.

          There is an atheist form from which actual atheists derive their properties? Do tell, what properties are these?

          As it is, given that atheism is defined in terms of theism then presumably there must be a “perfect theist”, this being so do you want to tackle the properties for this as well.

          My goal has been to test that little doctrine.

          And yet again you avoid saying what the “doctrines” of atheism are.

          The goal of Team Atheist is to change the subject.

          No, that would be you. In your time here you have obfuscated, littered the site with red herrings, generally evaded questions and avoided taking on the burden.

          This is easily seen in that once again you have avoided justifying your claim that posters here are a part of a team.

        • Pofarmer

          Why can’t these guys just come out and support their fucking propositions? That would be great. Why do they have to dissemble and lie and basically make asses of themselves? Why can’t they deal honestly with what we say? Dunning/Kruger? God Virus? I don’t know what it is, but I know it isn’t making me any closer to accepting their propositions.

        • epeeist

          Why can’t these guys just come out and support their f​ucking propositions?

          Oh that one is dead easy, it is because they are incapable of doing so.

        • Pofarmer

          So then, how devoid of self reflection do you have to be to basically resort to gaslighting as your primary strategy?

        • epeeist

          We are currently in the throes of electing a new leader for the Conservative party, who will also become Prime Minister.

          One of the candidates was:

          1. Sacked as a journalist for lying in one of his columns

          2. Sacked as a junior minister for lying to his boss

          3. As London mayor promised to eliminate rough sleeping. It actually doubled

          4. Falsely claimed that Turkey was close to joining the EU which would precipitate hordes of Turks coming to the UK in order to benefit from our welfare state

          5. Asked of one of his mistresses who became pregnant why she couldn’t just say someone else was the father

          6. Was implicated in arranging for a journalist investigating a friend of his to be beaten up

          7. Was responsible for a whole series of projects which cost the tax payer millions while he was London mayor and didn’t come to fruition.

          And so on

          He, Boris Johnson, is currently the front runner and is likely to be elected. Why does one need self-reflection when your audience isn’t concerned about examining your words or deeds.

          Which is what we get here, theists who have rarely stepped out of their bubble and are not familiar with any of the arguments contrary to their position.

        • ozarkmichael

          Is this supposed to bait me? Accusing me of a distraction, while trying to draw me away from the question at hand with that post… my… the contradiction you indulge in. You cant really be that unfair as a person. Its all for Team Atheist. Go Team!

        • ozarkmichael

          I forgot to include another place where I explained what I mean by “platonic atheism”. For completeness sake this is from my response to Kodie three days ago:

          The simplicity and limited nature of this decision/realization is a doctrine held by Atheists about themselves, whether they call it the “Simple No” or when they present a face to the world that is “Nope”, or if they challenge a Christian with the “difficulty” of understanding this compact and tidy Platonic conception of Atheism.

          So I have been explaining and explaining. Not to say idealism isn’t important, but every now and then we ought to check where we actually are on the ground. Do you follow my meaning?

        • ildi

          If I understand you correctly, your assertion is that unbelief in god is impossible because of human nature, so atheists are deluding themselves when they say they don’t believe and what they’re actually doing is rejecting god.

        • Kodie

          You ignored my response to that post, and you want to trot it out again as if nothing had been said? Seriously, you are showing your dishonesty in very bright stripes now. You aren’t here to have an adult conversation, because you’re not mature enough to have one.

          Get out.

        • ozarkmichael

          My disappearances here have to do with real life intrusions which left me less free time to post here. That does not reset anything.

          Personally I am still waiting for you to justify your claim to knowledge that making prejudicial accusations against Christians was entailed by atheism.

          That was me fighting back against a landslide of false accusations. I reacted with a counter false accusation which I should not have made.

          I should have said that prejudicial accusations against Christians are part of playing on Team Atheism. Plenty of evidence of that. Just read your comrade’s posts.

        • epeeist

          That does not reset anything.

          And yet here you are like the needle stuck on an old vinyl record.

        • Pofarmer

          The problem is you keep making unsupported statements that people respond to. Good Lord.

        • Rudy R

          And what new argument may that be?

        • Kodie

          Why do you keep calling it “Team Atheism”? You can say you’re overwhelmed by the attention from literate people whose job it isn’t to keep quiet and let you spin out. It’s an atheist blog with atheist regular posters. Don’t expose yourself as ignorant and largely irrelevant to a population of individuals who think you are ridiculous, and ridicule you accordingly and then complain about it.

        • ildi

          Which reminds me what the rules are here. It reminds me who I am dealing with. I had begun to forget which was careless of me.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f3f510d48ceb3d965c341c587a763b3ae695a42ab29a66458117211bcbd186a7.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          I see that Atheists define Atheism as a simple dismissal of an unproveable claim.

          Uhm, no. The atheist dismisses a claim that should be proveable. But isn’t. If it is , why don’t you just prove it?

        • MR

          If you are claiming Yahwehjesus exists, support it.

          I mean, what are the consequences of believing something that isn’t true? Show me that something is true first. All of this other stuff is just a dishonest apologetic tactic.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re not working on the problem. You’re weaseling around trying to get the answers you want.

        • Greg G.

          The thought experiment uses “astrology” as a placeholder and so you are exactly right this has nothing to do with astrology per se The actual thing we are testing is the atheists “non acceptance”.

          To do a thought experiment about atheist acceptance, you should base it on how atheists tend to “accept” things. Atheists aren’t atheists to be atheists. Atheists don’t reject religion because they don’t like religion or a particular god thingy. Atheists don’t reject astrology because they hate Sagittarius or Capricorn. Atheism is just the position on one topic. Atheism, the non-acceptance of astrology and other superstitions comes from critical thinking.

          Critical thinking is a discipline that eliminates cognitive bias, confirmation bias, and fallacious reasoning as much as possible to facilitate a clear, open-minded, systematic, objective, rational approach to evaluating claims and evidence. Critical thinking is used to objectively scrutinize most any religion, they all appear the same, using the same evidence and confirmation bias to support their own. That is why John Loftus’ Outsider’s Test for Faith works. Atheists do not reject astrology because it conflicts with some religion, it is rejected because it doesn’t stand to the scrutiny of critical thinking and evaluation.

          Atheists tend to accept evolution of life because it stands to the scrutiny of the evidence. Even many religious people accept it for the same reason though they tend to exempt their religious beliefs from critical thinking.

        • ozarkmichael

          Critical thinking is used to objectively scrutinize most any religion.

          Cant be used to scrutinize atheism? Or maybe it could be but you aren’t aware of it.

        • Greg G.

          Cant be used to scrutinize atheism?

          Of course it can! Atheism is the null hypothesis position regarding the existence of gods, which means it is the position that there is insufficient evidence to warrant a belief that god(s) exist. So it is just a matter of scrutinizing the evidence for god(s), and the evidence falls short of being sufficient. That is why religions must insist on faith.

          If you disagree, provide sufficient evidence for god thingies. If you cannot, you are holding an unsupported position. You should adopt the atheist position.

        • ozarkmichael

          Here I am with time on my hands, so I present Case #2 of my thought experiment:

          A person lives in a nation where the people have accepted astrology for 1,000 years. At this point, astrology has played a role in the development of culture over centuries, from jurisprudence, social structure, and civics… to warfare, manners, and literature. The people perceive astrology as a pillar upon which everything is built. The ruling class perceive astrology as a support for order and a justification of their position. Does a person’s “non acceptance of astrology” lead to nothing?

          Answer: no. This case highlights that “non acceptance” must, in some instances, be classified as a “rejection”. It is incumbent upon me to explain exactly what the rejection leads to in this case. For now I stop … in case Susan (or anyone else) wants to contribute, but I remind the reader that the question is not whether the model astrology uses is valid. Instead we focus on the difficult question which Epeeist placed before me.

        • Greg G.

          Does acceptance of atheism lead to… nothing?

          Atheism says nothing about most anything. It is only about one thing – a position on the existence of god thingies. That is it. You can use a screwdriver for many things but not other things. Screwdrivers are not very good at window washing. You use the right tool for the job.

          Atheists can still think about other things and address other issues. It is a matter of using the right tool for the job. You use mathematics for math problems. You use science to answer questions that science can investigate.

          Religion is not a tool that is reliable for anything. Is slavery OK? The slave doesn’t think so but the Bible can justify it.

        • Kodie

          Atheists don’t have any invisible friends they are trying to please. Does that help you understand?

        • epeeist

          The difficulty here is all mine but I am not sure that atheism is totally inconsequential.

          You have to distinguish between consequences and entailment. Does atheism entail any particular social attitude? No. Does it entail any particular political outlook or system of normative ethics? No. Does atheism entail metaphysical naturalism? No.

          However you will find that the atheists here do have a position on all of these, simply not one drawn from their atheism.

          There is one consequence in my own life, and for other others here. I am a secularist, I am perfectly happy for people to practice a religion providing it does not harm to themselves or others. The difficulty I have is when people mover from “These are my beliefs and I live by them” to “These are my beliefs and you must live by them”.

        • Greg G.

          You accused an atheist of something and it was proved to you and everybody that the accusation was false.

          Maybe you should be more careful with your accusations.

        • Susan

          Can we accuse atheists? Apparently not.

          You can accuse anyone you like if you can support those accusations.

          Your first post here was to accuse me of “accusing Uncouth Angel” and to accuse me of “crowing triumphantly”.

          I have challenged you more than once to show me where I did that and you have produced nothing.

          In which case, you should retract those accusations.

          They are completely unfounded.

        • ozarkmichael

          You have accused me of things that aren’t true. When I realized it is ok for you to speak that way and not apologize… I realized that I should not apologize either. We will play by the same rules whether the atheists like it of not

          This whole conversation is about what the rules are.

        • Greg G.

          You have accused me of things that aren’t true.

          Here is a sample of something you said I accused you of:

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christians-need-atheist-speaker-next-conference/#comment-4458832865

          …you have nothing interesting to talk about

          Listen, Greg… your accusation is unfair.

          That is hardly an accusation but the fact of the matter is self-evident. This whole thread is from you accusing Susan of not replying to UncouthAngel because you were not smart enough to find the reply she actually made. She found her reply and I found her reply and you could have found it the same way we did, so whining about a busted link doesn’t help your argument.

          I may have accused you of being too immature to apologize to Susan for accusing her of not replying to UA when she actually did and it was proven to you. But you have refused to apologize to her for immature reasons.

          This whole conversation is about what the rules are.

          No, it is because you are a immature jackass. You were wrong, you won’t apologize, and you can’t let it go.

          There are no rules about apologizing. You do or you don’t. Nobody really cares but it enhances your reputation if you apologize for making a false accusation when it is shown to be false. It’s probably too late for that now. It wouldn’t seem sincere.

        • Susan

          I stated the truth. The link didn’t work before

          Which I accepted. Which is why I wrote, “If you didn’t see it then, you can see now that I responded to him that very day… there is one accusation that you can retract. But you haven’t.”

          You still haven’t.

          lets admit that this is a team sport for you.

          Get the chip off your shoulder. This is an open discussion forum. It’s not a sport. I was trying to have a respectful discussion when you piped in and accused me (without evidence, and still without evidence) of things for which I am not guilty.

          You have a history on Disqus so you’re familiar with the open discussion format and with upvotes. People aren’t reacting to you because you’re a christian. They are reacting to your behaviour. Which is to show up unannounced and unjustifiably accuse people of things they haven’t done.

          if you go further and apologize for it… then I might apologize to you.

          I have nothing to apologize for. You’re making stuff up in order to avoid your burden. You accused me of one thing for which the evidence directly contradicts your accusation. You know that now. That’s where a reasonable interlocutor would say “Oops! I was wrong.”

          As to the rest of the accusations, you’ve provided no evidence to support them.

          You have access to the whole discussion I had with UA and I challenge you to show me where I did anything you accused me of e.g. “crowing triumphantly”.

          If you can’t, then retract it. That’s how civilized people discuss things.

          If you’d like to pick up where Uncouth Angel left off, i.e. stay on topic, then you’re welcome to do so.

          I ask you once more, as a favor, to leave swearing and cussing out of it.

          Don’t be silly. I barely swear. I swore once when it seemed appropriate. I’ll swear if I feel like it.

          I think you can do that and still communicate effectively.

          As I have in all these comments except one? You still managed to misconstrue everything I said.

          You don’t get to wander into a discussion, ignore its substance, ignore its context, make false accusations and then make rules about the language people can use.

          Grow up.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re being a dumbass. Just stop already.

        • Susan

          It worked for me now

          All right. Then, you can see I posted 17 days ago, the same day as Dark Angel did.

          As I said, you should retract your accusations.

        • Pofarmer

          Because of the vagaries of discus you aren’t seeing the whole thread, and your being an a**. If there’s anyone here who is not a chest Thumper it’s Susan. I don’t know exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish, but you’re doing a fine job of poisoning your own well.

        • Greg G.

          When ozarkmichael said, “atheists usually heap scorn on me for it and instantly claimed victory,” I think he probably deserved the scorn, the atheist won, and ozarkmichael is clueless about what happened.

        • Susan

          Also, he seems to imagine people “claiming victory” when no such thing has happened.

        • Kodie

          Croyden for sure.

        • Grimlock

          The existence of a historical Jesus does not prove the claims of Christianity, I agree. However, the resurrection certainly would.

          You seem to have left this thread. But this caught my eye.

          Suppose that Jesus came alive after having been dead for three days. Suppose he then also demonstrated impressive powers, such as being able to fly and walk through walls.

          How does that help demonstrate the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient ground of all being?

        • epeeist

          Atheist historian Tim O’Neil does a pretty good job of refuting their nonsense right here:

          https://strangenotions.com/

          https://strangenotions.com/

          O’Neil is not an historian, though he does play one on the Internet.

          As for Strange Notions, many of us were banned from the site and had our posts removed by Brandon Vogt, though he lied about the reasons for doing so and the process he followed.

        • Pofarmer

          Oneil is a hiring manager at a University with a BS in Midevil literature. He’s no more qualified on the topic of the historicity of Jesus than I am.

        • Grimlock

          Well said. I don’t find all the people you reference to be particularly compelling, but I find your general approach to appear similar to my own.

          I’m curious. If you were to point to a single argument for theism’s plausibility, what would that be?

  • ozarkmichael

    haha. this discussion has become hilarious

  • ozarkmichael

    I accept your definition of atheism. I scrupulously accepted everyone’s definition, and their redefinitions, and their amendments, and cheerfully endure their mockery over this, from the beginning.

    For some reason this continues to be a problem for Team Atheism even though I am completely compliant with your definitions.

    You have been asked, multiple times, to justify your claim that we are a team. Yet again you avoid producing such justification.

    Your doctrine about what happens after ‘no’ seems to contain a contradiction, and that is the question I am working on. I will not accept your contradiction. I will not be distracted away from the question. I will not be hounded away by the bouncers here. The fact that not a single Atheist is curious, or even trying to deal with the question is proof that they are not thinking critically as individuals, but as tribal team players.

    I can maintain my belief that you are intelligent, well meaning people. The only way I can do that is to say that you are sacrificing your real depth, curiosity, and intellect for the sake of being a good team player. Go Team Atheism!

    • ildi

      I accept your definition of atheism.

      … except that you really don’t, so maybe quit with your disingenuous lying?

      My method here is to think in terms of human nature, how things work, what happens, and that informs me about an important aspect of the question. So I am NOT trying to prove you are wrong about Christianity. I am NOT claiming to encompass or defeat Atheism. I merely tackle the one ‘doctrine’ that was presented to me: the “difficulty” about Atheism as a Platonic concept. Nothing wrong with that, except Atheists think that they partake of it, but I don’t believe it is humanly possible most of the time. The Platonic concept does not confer itself upon its followers.

      • ozarkmichael

        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. I entertain, or “provisionally accept” atheism as truth for the sake of investigating what it means. I am able to entertain atheism as if it is true. For you to describe that ability “disingenuous lying” is one of the most disappointing things I have read in awhile.

        But don’t stop ildi. Don’t retract your false accusation and don’t apologize to me. You are a major player on Team Atheism and you don’t want to let your comrades down.

        edited

        • ildi

          I accept your definition of atheism.

          Eight hours later…

          It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

        • ozarkmichael

          You know exactly what I meant at first. and now. When I accepted how an atheist defines atheism, that never meant I was an atheist. I accepted it for the sake of argument. I entertained the atheist’s thought.

          But I never said I was an atheist.

        • ildi

          Oh, my dude! Accepting the definition of atheism is just that – ACCEPTING IT! That doesn’t make you an atheist. Just be honest and say clearly that what you mean is you accept that that’s what atheists THINK is the definition, but you in your infinite wisdom know that they’re WRONG! So go ahead and spit out your definition-why keep everybody in suspense?

    • ildi

      Your doctrine about what happens after ‘no’ seems to contain a contradiction, and that is the question I am working on.

      First of all, as others have stated before, there is simply no “doctrine” at all, despite your insistence on this point. Would you care to elucidate what you think this doctrine is? Maybe that would make it clearer what question you think “Team Atheism” is in denial about. If you have in your other comments, I’ll tell you up front your communication style sucks and is not achieving your intended goal.

    • epeeist

      I accept your definition of atheism.

      I take it therefore that are unable to produce anything to support the idea of “platonic atheism”, nothing to substantiate it, no references to such a thing in Plato.

      For some reason this continues to be a problem for Team Atheism

      If you actually knew anything about critical thinking you would know that if you make a claim then you need both backing for it and a warrant to connect that backing to the claim. Despite numerous request both from me and from others you have not provided any justification for your claim that we are a team. Given the amount of time you have had and the complete lack of substantiation then I think we can dismiss this as “gravelled for lack of matter”.

      Your doctrine about what happens after ‘no’ seems to contain a contradiction

      Similarly with this, you have evaded answering when people have asked you what this doctrine is over a long period of time. You have provided nothing to show that we have such a doctrine or that there are things that follow necessarily from a lack of belief in the existence of gods. I think we can dismiss this one too.

  • MR

    Looks like om has discovered a clever ruse. Rail, rail, rail against a strawman. A useful tactic when you can’t defend your views. [Oops, forgot to add my original thought]: Christians wielding deceit as a weapon, who could have imagined! Except we see it every day.

    • epeeist

      Rail, rail, rail against a strawman.

      To use a phrase I stole from someone else long ago, “Enough straw to contain an infinite number of Edward Woodwards”.

      • MR

        Is that a Wicker Man reference? I finally got around to watching that a couple years ago after discovering it in one of those weird six-degrees-of-separation Wikipedia searches which has you clicking down rabbit holes. I think it started when someone recommended I see “Don’t Look Now” before a trip to Venice.

        • epeeist

          Is that a Wicker Man reference?

          It is indeed, though I preferred Edward Woodward in Callan.