Aron Ra vs Bob Dutko


On Monday, November 12th at noon central,

I will be live on a nationally-syndicated talk-radio show

debating conservative Christian, Bob Dutko

on ‘the [non] Existence of God‘.

WMUZ.com

This should be fun.

Comments

  1. JimB says

    Aron this guy is a real piece of work which I am sure you already know. I live near Detroit (but in Canada, Leamington you may remember my previous email to you about my conversion) and used to listen to him regularly. He is aware of just how lazy and uniformed the majority of his audience is and will talk over you the moment you attempt to give rational points to arguments you present. He states the he is utterly convinced there is a supernatural realm and has experienced it directly though he blames all the bad stuff (like nightmares about his daughter who passed away) on demons. I’ll only say that you’ll have to keep salient points as succinct as possible or he’ll accuse you of not being able to answer his “simple” questions. I look forward to hearing this and will definitely be tuned in live.

    Good luck!

    • says

      Clarissa, metalheads should never be confused with hippies. Bikers typically aren’t hippies either. Neither are vikings or most other men with long hair for that matter. Some of us would rather not cower to conformity. Some of us feel free enough to look and dress how we like without worrying about what random strangers might think it ‘means’. I’ve lived through the ’80s and I’ve had to listen to plenty of that already.

      Supposedly having one earring meant you were either gay or a drug dealer depending on which ear was pierced, but I happened to know a gay drug dealer who didn’t have either ear pierced. So I figured I should pierce both -just to rebel against all those idiotic stereotypes that I thought had died off by now.

      I don’t know what you look like, but I’d bet that your hair isn’t long enough for my standards, and whatever excuse you have for that will be insufficient. Given your comment here, it might be a safe guess that you would be offended if I implied that you should conform to MY sense of style regardless of your own preference. I wonder how offended you would be if my justification for that was to link you to some group you don’t like just because of what your general appearance reminds me of.

  2. N. Nescio says

    Oh, what do you know, yet another professional Christian who skipped past Matthew 19:

    http://www.toptenproofs.com/products.php

    I’m glad there are people like Aron Ra who’ll argue for demonstrable reality against the superstitious bullshit that slimeballs like Dutko are selling. I look forward to reading the transcript.

  3. davejones says

    Hi Aron.I’m from Canada, a little north of JimB,in Sarnia,and had been listening to him on WRDT Detroit for 3 or 4 year, until he was taken off a few months ago. I used to enjoy alternatley laughing and yelling at my radio at the nonsense (I drive a lot with my job). Didn’t know he was on WMUZ, but I’ll definately tune in to your debate. One warning; his standard “out” is “We’ll have to agree to disagree”. He’s a snake, but I’m confident you’ll shred him.

  4. Raymond says

    Sadly, AronRa’s debate with these atavistic mooncalf mimicking creaTURDs like Bob Dutko raises their nonsense to a more credible level in some people’s minds inspiring them to ever greater and greater imaginings of desperation at showing their ‘evidence'(one recently said dinosaurs have been spotted in Africa, dragons are dinosaurs, due to this gem: dinosaur nostrils were too small and that’s how dragons spewing fire came about as it would cause spontaneous combustion by the built up pressures) and having real scientists even talk to them about creationism gives them undue attention while normal scientific debate should be about Evolutionary topics within itself, not Evolution versus creationism(way too broad a topic to begin with), where there really is no debate, because it is like debating whether the Sun rises in the East(Evolution) or the Sun rises in the West(creationism), and we know that answer inside and out. I commend Aronra, Thunderf00t, and others for their infinite patience who stoop to even discuss this non-issue, Evolution and(I’m going to change the name here and now, to one that it deserves) creaTURDISM, in the scientific realm.

    • JimB says

      A large % of the population believes in it – that’s why it is necessary. The number is staggering in an absolute sense. For my part, being an ex-believer looking back, without people like Aron directly challenging creationism ‘where it lives’ I would still be stuck in that system. Unless you would rather ‘abandon’ those who can be convinced to see through it like me, whether or not it lends some type of credibility to creationist arguments is irrelevant. I’ve heard this opinion bandied about a lot (subjective I know) since my de-conversion and I have to say it provokes some anger in me because it displays (proudly it would seem) your uncaring thought process. A lot of folks aren’t stuck believing these things because they are just stupid but because they have been brainwashed (yes BRAINWASHED) their whole life to believe a lie and people they love and trust all through their lives have reinforced it and fight against it. Mutually reinforcing brainwashing is nothing less than a travesty – but being so widespread as it is we need to heartily get behind people like Aron and help in any way we can. There are many very intelligent believers that just need to hear a credible, logical, palatable argument from someone like Aron so they can begin to break the cycle. It doesn’t happen over night though. That Aron was (and continues to) speaking out in a rational, credible way is the reason I am no longer a believer.

      I don’t want to sound aggressive towards you Raymond but this particular view comes off to me as so much ivory tower snobbery that it really just makes the situation worse. Sure, there is no scientific debate with creationism vs evolution – but there is a very real debate and battle for minds. Minds that are not garbage (people that aren’t stupid) but have been fed garbage their whole lives and suffer because of it. If you have nothing but contempt for those who could be convinced to see through the BS then fine, keep expressing this view. But if you are any type of humanist then at the very least, keep this unhelpful view to yourself and let Aron (and others) get on with the business of helping those that they can.

      • kosk11348 says

        No one is saying creationists shouldn’t be rebutted, but the format matters. Written debates give both sides to research assertions and back up relevant facts. Live debates, by contrast, are often not decided on the state of the evidence but on who can bullshit the fastest. This is because nonsense can be spewed faster than it can be refuted. See Tim Butler in comment #8. Does he sound like he learned anything?

        • Raymond says

          Thanks kosk, that was actually my point that for creationists a forum like this just reinforces their prejudices. I’m unaware of the stats of just how many are actually turned around in their views after hearing say, this upcoming debate. I wasn’t really being as militant as JimB has made me sound, or intolerant, or even being a snob about it, it’s just that atheists aren’t as angry as they’re made out to be. Case in point, when was the last time an atheist knocked on your door, a stranger, and wanted to tell you the good news that the Jesus story was found to be bunk and a massive load of garbage, and how you will be rewarded just by believing what was just said, and that if you didn’t believe you maybe endangering your afterlife by burning for eternity in a fire and brimstone environment?
          While many Xians are definitely guilty of wanting to shove their religion down everyone’s throat(spreading the gospel they call it)whether we want to hear it or not; historically accusing Native Americans of being savages, and needing to be saved from their unholy lives of original sin; while Xians get upset over atheists questioning the existence of god as if it is an attack on their personal beliefs, and atheists wanting to display a billboard about it, well, that’s about the worst you can do to a Xian. If Xians have god what more do they need?Do Xians think god really needs them to fight the gay agenda, or the liberal agenda, or is it their faith is so weak that they know god isn’t really gonna come to their aid after all, since he/she just ain’t there in reality. Some ride the fense and think if I give up my god belief what does atheism/humanism hold for me?Answer: Nothing cuz’ you are just looking for a crutch if you want to replace your belief in a deity for a belief in a non-deity, then you’re just a sad human being who just refuses to think for themselves, which means not having all the answers, not relying on anything to ‘get you through’ this life, but instead letting life be and take it as it comes, as there are no ultimate answers, or a cure-all for the sadness in your life or the bad times. Projecting hope is possibly the worst anyone can do.
          I do think, sad as it may be, scientists such as AronRa, Dawkins, and others must ‘debate’ the creaturdives, and ideally they should not get their stature from contact with learned scholarly individuals, as the scientists and it just shows how the creaturds creationism garbage is bankrupt and can’t stand on its own merit, but requires saying Evolution isn’t right therefore creationism is, and how they must quote mine, associate with those whom they ‘think’ know as they rely so heavily on authority, which is really part of their problem, as in science there is no authority, the evidence is all there is and if ‘your’ evidence can muster the necessary credibility then you may have a great new hypothesis , or theory to push.
          So, Jimb, sorry if I insulted your sensibilities somehow, but I suggest that you mull it over, the points I made rather than feel insulted. Personally, I couldn’t give two shits if more people believe nonsense than believe good sense, hell, there are astrology columns in the newspapers everyday, and the fact is your obstetrician factually had more of an affect on you when you were born than the constellation you were born under did, as he/she was much closer than the star arrangement was. The difference here is that there aren’t astrologer lobbies out there pushing star formations on the entire population saying it is the answer to the good life for all citizens nor are they trying to insert their ideas of star arrangement as being necessary for all needs to affect your daily life in making, or being a part of gov’t policies that all are forced to go along with. Believing nonsense isn’t the problem as much as having an entire majority population watch FOX news, agree with what is said, truth or not, and require that gov’t policies and laws be enforced based on those higher viewerships.
          Many more people are paying more attention to Jersey Shore, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, or the score to the latest game, than to the tragic high numbers of dead kids under age five, that died last night of ‘preventable’ starvation and/or malnutrition, and I sometimes talk ’til I’m blue in the face about the tragedy of it, and that we must ‘do something’ only to be rebuffed by comments like, ‘there will always be poor starving people’ and many others will make other excuses for it. So, the notion that many people believe something in high numbers therefore it should be talked about mildly rather than critically, and not ridiculed just means very little really, as I rail against those who watch popular shows and give no concern for those who died unnecessarily. What then is more important here, the few who would give a shit enough to help, or those who care less, but feel they must not be ridiculed or laughed at, or made to feel stupid, or whatever?

  5. Justin says

    You know he is going to change the name of the debate at the last minute to something like “Why does darwinism take so much faith to believe in?!”

    Good luck, though if his audience has a pair of brain cells to rub together you wont need it.

  6. Tim Butler says

    Just listened to the interview. Bob owned the debate. Totally. Aron chooses the topic (“Does God exist”) and then tries to divert the discussion to other areas when Bob tries to tie him down. Clearly, Aron was backed into a corner on the existence of God. When Bob pressed the issue, Aron wents nuts and tried to talk over Bob. Bob also surprised Aron with evidence that he hadn’t heard of before for the recent existence of dinosaurs. Aron couldn’t respond. Ultimately, Aron admitted that he didn’t have time to discuss the very topic that he himself had chosen for the interview.

    Great radio discussion. Really appreciated how Bob wouldn’t let Aron off the hook and really put him in his place.

    • manhattanmc says

      ” Bob owned the debate. Totally.”

      If by ‘owned’ you actually mean ‘misrepresented his opponents position while doing a hell for leather Gish Gallop, okay then.

      “Aron chooses the topic (“Does God exist”) and then tries to divert the discussion to other areas when Bob tries to tie him down.”

      Only if by ‘tie him down’ you mean make him agree to a misrepresentation of his position which Aron repeatedly corrected.
      Aron’s point stands. Dutko should have debated Lawrence Krauss is he wanted to talk cosmology. Doubtless if he had Krauss on he would talk evolution.

      “Clearly, Aron was backed into a corner on the existence of God.”

      Odd that you would precisely echo Dutko’s own phrase.
      There was no ‘corner’. There was only a false dichotomy coupled with a straw man. Ra did not agree that energy and matter began with the big bang in spite of Dutko’s continual insistence that he must. And Dutko refused to consider the significance of the historical track record of religious versus scientific explanations.

      “When Bob pressed the issue, Aron wents nuts and tried to talk over Bob.”

      Only if you redefine ‘pressing the issue’ as ‘repeating a misrepresentation’ and ‘tried to quickly correct a misrepresentation to prevent time wasting’ as ‘went nuts’.

      “Bob also surprised Aron with evidence that he hadn’t heard of before for the recent existence of dinosaurs.”

      At this point everyone with more than two brain cells is giving Dutko a wide birth to avoid collateral damage from the inevitable lightening bolt from Ra. You obviously haven’t exposed yourself to any of Aron’s previous debates nor watched any of his videos if you think Dutko is going to prevail on that topic.

      “Aron couldn’t respond.”

      I’d say that firmly asserting any supposed evidence of recent existence of dinosaurs or unfossilized dinosaur bones being discovered would be exposed as fraudulent as all other known claims have been is a response. And it was done as Dutko tried to shout him down as well.

      “Ultimately, Aron admitted that he didn’t have time to discuss the very topic that he himself had chosen for the interview.”

      Wrong. Ra was talking about the assertions of recent existence of dinosaurs and you certainly can’t think he was given time to respond to them, can you?

      “Great radio discussion.”

      Actually it was not a great interview. Too much time wasted correcting what could only have been Dutko’s deliberate misrepresentations of Ra’s positions.

      ” Really appreciated how Bob wouldn’t let Aron off the hook and really put him in his place.”

      What ‘hook’ was that? Explain it to me in your own words.

      And what on earth do you mean by ‘his place’? that co0mment smacks of arrogance.

      • Raymond says

        Thank you manhattanme you hit the nail slap on the head; buthead…uh…Butler just really saw what he wanted to see.

  7. jjames says

    Also just listened to the debate. And certainly have to disagree with Tim. Let’s get one thing straight, if you spend a majority of a “debate” declaring what your opponent believes and his positions, without letting him even clarify or try to explain his points. But follow it up with proclaiming that now you have backed them into a corner because you have defeated the strawman representation of an irrational person that Bob kept describing. Then you certainly have not won, nor backed anyone into a corner, nor practiced any attempt at intellectual discussion or debate.
    Bob presented dinosaur evidence that was relevant and sounded like it could be evidence for creationism back in the 80’s before information and evidence of science was as readily available as today. Like his dinosaur flesh claim, or a weathered carving in Indonesia.
    The real shame is that Bob could not maintain a single topic to defend and present his “obvious and clear” cosmological evidence that somehow also proves evolution is wrong. 1st law of physics ad infinitum also thrown in. He can only sound convincing on a format that allows emotional appeals and quick soundbites. I urged him by his contact forms to participate in a forum where he can submit his evidence and answer the criticisms rather than going to commercial.

  8. Grey says

    I mistakenly tuned in at the vary last moments of this discussion. Does anyone know if it will be posted anywhere? Thanks

    Grey

  9. Dan Maddox says

    I listened to Dutko Ra discussion in its entirety and I have one question. Most believers describe the creator “God” as being at least a million more times sophisticated than our humanity and all creatures and known matter. Wouldn’t this make the notion that THIS being, existing from “nothing” a million more times ridiculous then what an Atheist believes?

    I hope you understand my question I am an Economic major not an English graduate!!!

    Dan Maddox
    Windsor Ontario Canada

    • N. Nescio says

      If you feel the need to make pre-emptive excuses for poor writing, maybe you would do well to practice more.

  10. davejones says

    I was able to listen to the first hour, until the evolution discussion started. Bob has frequently (mis)used the 1st law, and how “everything came from nothing”, but his definition of nothing is not the same as Kraus’. He continued to pound Aron with this same question, even though Aron answered as best he could with his knowledge of the subject, and said so. I don’t think Bob understood the answer given, so rejected it.
    Aron was the definate winner in the portion I heard, although there was a lot of talking over each other at times – very frustrating for listeners.

  11. hypatiasdaughter says

    #11 Dan Maddox
    This has been pointed out – if it takes a Perfect Being to make a universe, then how much greater must whatever brought the Perfect Being into existence?
    And why did this Perfect Being want to make a Universe and put man into it? Should He not be complete in His own perfection? Why does a Perfect Being need the worship of man?
    And He abhors sin so much that He created hell to banish sinners from His sight (unless they get saved, of course). How does a being who created and encompasses all existence, natural and supernatural, get away from anything that exists?
    Theology is just too sofistimacated for me.

  12. Raymond says

    Ra, clearly, the debate I listened to was as expected, Dudcrow creating strawmen, asserting god proof where none existed, misrepresenting your position and while you tried to correct his errors he accuses you of being backed into a corner. It’d be much better if you were to do a video, and then he respond in a video, and vice versa, as this type of ‘non-debate’ caused by his yak yak yak, is less than useless, except for his bullying, which benefits him. This type of format is perfect for creaturdives like BOOB deadcrow, since he won’t listen, but just does yak yak yak. He should be on FOX noise alongside BULLHEADed O’Wrylydup, as they both just want to…yep, yak yak yak.

  13. Dan Maddox says

    hypatiadaughter

    If that is the case I’m surprised it wasn’t brought up in the Dutko discussion. N.Nescio – really??? – stick with the issue if you don’t have a constructive comment relative to the issue at hand DONT comment on topics people could care less about (my writing). Comical.

  14. dogrun81 says

    Yes, Dutko can be frustrating as a moderator sometimes, and, yes, there were a few points that got muddied and misunderstood. But this is what I think Dutko was trying to get at for about 45 minutes:

    The source of the universe/matter can be categorized into two groups: 1. God created, 2. Not created by God (i.e. natural process).

    Dutko tried to put Ra in category #2, but Ra resisted by saying he has no position here, and that Dutko was misrepresenting him by putting him in this category. I’m not saying that there were no misrepresentations (because I remember noticing one or two), but I think that on this point, Dutko was correct. If Ra is an atheist, I don’t know why he resisted that point, unless it was a product of confusion with Dutko’s other points.

    • manhattanmc says

      Atheism is not a positive claim that there is no ‘god’.
      It is a claim that the theists burden of proof has not been met.
      Is your position that we should pretend to know what we do not?

      • dogrun81 says

        Actually, that is the very definition of Atheism – that there is no “god.” Maybe you are talking about Agnosticism.

        But aside from that, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Ra puts scientific/natural explanations as being more plausible than Creationism. Ra ridiculed the existence of a god.

        My position is not that you should pretend to know what you do not. I guess it is more that you (whoever “you” includes) have taken a position that God did not create the universe, but that it can be explained naturally. That is a “position” whether or not you claim to know the specific natural, non-god, processes.

        • manhattanmc says

          “Actually, that is the very definition of Atheism – that there is no “god.””

          Not quite. Some define it as being certain there is no ‘god’. Your statement doesn’t really say what you want it to say.
          Most atheists embrace my definition.

          “Maybe you are talking about Agnosticism.”

          No. Agnosticism is the belief that the question can not be resolved. One can say we don’t know without claiming we will never know.

          “But aside from that, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Ra puts scientific/natural explanations as being more plausible than Creationism.”

          You will have to examine Ra’s public statements on that one.
          I don’t think many non-deists would put the probability of 500 billion galaxies-that we know of-being created by a single anthropomorphic entity at a high level.

          “Ra ridiculed the existence of a god.”

          Most ideas about ‘god’ are ridiculous. I’m sorry if that offends you. The only ‘god’ ideas that pass the tests of logic and evidence are ‘philosopher’s gods’. Those neutered and divorced from all tradition of what you and I have been told a ‘god’ must be, so as to be beyond disproof.

          “My position is not that you should pretend to know what you do not.”

          Glad to hear it. I’m not very good at pretending.

          “I guess it is more that you (whoever “you” includes) have taken a position that God did not create the universe, but that it can be explained naturally.”

          Now you’re repeating Dutko’s error. Science does not deal in absolutes-only in probabilities. Non-theists-or atheists if you will-take the position that all known creation myths from all the thousands of religions of man simply don’t meet even the minimum standards of evidence or logic and that, given the track record of science, it is far more probable that natural explanations will eventually be found. Stephen Hawking has taken the position that given gravity, the universe will arise from the natural forces that we now know of.

          http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/02/hawking.god.universe/index.html

          {“Hawking says in his book “The Grand Design” that, given the existence of gravity, “the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” according to an excerpt published Thursday in The Times of London.
          “Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he writes in the excerpt. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper….. “}

          I can’t even dream of being able to check his math and astrophysics in this lifetime nor a dozen more like it, but there are those that can. For now I take it as an interesting claim and wait to see if a consensus emerges among those with the rigorous training needed to evaluate his claims.
          I do know enough science to be reasonably certain that stellar evolution, chemical evolution and biological evolution negate the need for a ‘god’ once the universe has come into existence.
          The ‘big bang’, BTW, is not believed to have started from nothing but rather from a mass of energy plasma.

          “That is a “position” whether or not you claim to know the specific natural, non-god, processes.”

          You think in mutually exclusive polar opposites and misrepresent atheism. It would be more correct to say we have “taken a position that it is extremely improbable that any ‘god’ created the universe, and that it is far more likely that it will eventually be explained naturally”.

          I hope that clarifies things for you.

          • dogrun81 says

            I was simply going by the dictionary definition.

            My point in saying that Ra ridiculed the idea that god exists was not to show something offensive, rather it was to show that Ra in fact believes there is no god that created the universe.

            You can couch it in terms of probabilities if you want, but based on your comments, I conclude that you do not believe in a god creation. I’m not talking about what you can prove or disprove – I’m just talking about beliefs. I’m not quibbling over your statement of your position. That doesn’t negate what I was trying to say.

            In fact, I think Dutko’s statement even said that Ra thinks it is “more plausible” that the no-god scenario is true. Ra even resisted that, so your explanation of probabilities doesn’t really explain why that is untrue. I can only assume that Ra and Dutko did not understand each other.

  15. manhattanmc says

    for dogrun81

    “I was simply going by the dictionary definition.”

    You were being selective as to which of several definitions you chose and the one I recounted is the most common among atheists themselves.

    {“1.a person who does not believe in God or gods }
    World Eng Dictionary

    {“1 a:disbelief in the existence of God or any other deity”}
    Webster’s 3rd new international unabridged.

    “My point in saying that Ra ridiculed the idea that god exists was not to show something offensive, rather it was to show that Ra in fact believes there is no god that created the universe.”

    Ra made it quite clear that he has no belief in the matter.

    “You can couch it in terms of probabilities if you want…”

    As I explained, it is not what I want-it is what science-honest science-demands.

    “but based on your comments, I conclude that you do not believe in a god creation.”

    I know of hundreds of creation myths. I don’t think any of them-even yours-meet the burdens of logic and evidence.

    “I’m not talking about what you can prove or disprove – I’m just talking about beliefs. I’m not quibbling over your statement of your position. That doesn’t negate what I was trying to say.”

    Belief is not necessary-at least not in the same sense you believe your creation myth. It is possible to take all data and conclusions provisionally.

    “In fact, I think Dutko’s statement even said that Ra thinks it is “more plausible” that the no-god scenario is true. Ra even resisted that, so your explanation of probabilities doesn’t really explain why that is untrue.”

    I can’t speak for Ra (and unfortunately there is no recording or transcript of the interview).

    “I can only assume that Ra and Dutko did not understand each other.”

    I think Ra understands Dutko quite well. He’s dealt with this type of creationist dishonesty for decades and he’s a pretty smart guy.

    • dogrun81 says

      I think we may be arguing about semantics. I find it hard to believe we could disagree on the point I was making. I don’t think I am saying anything controversial at all.

      If I understand you correctly, then you would agree with the “more plausible” phrasing? So you believe that a non-God origin is more plausible than a God Creation. That’s really all I’m trying to establish here.

      • manhattanmc says

        “I think we may be arguing about semantics. ”

        It’s hardly ‘semantics’ that you didn’t even know there was more than one ‘dictionary definition’ for atheism and didn’t even know the one most commonly used by atheists to describe themselves.

        ” I find it hard to believe we could disagree on the point I was making. I don’t think I am saying anything controversial
        at all. ”

        Which point? If you’re trying to establish that Ra or I ‘believe’ there is no creator of the universe you are wasting your breath and being deliberately obtuse. Belief has nothing to do with our conclusions past the very basic level of methodological naturalism. And if you abandon that you have even less than we do.

        “If I understand you correctly, then you would agree with the “more plausible” phrasing? So you believe that a non-God origin is more plausible than a God Creation.

        Yes, I thought I made that very clear.
        I rate the probability of any kind of ‘god’ creating 500 billion galaxies as being so remote it isn’t even worth expending time and energy contemplating the question.
        But that isn’t a belief.

        “That’s really all I’m trying to establish here.”

        Yes, I think your motives here are apparent.
        You are trying to run the old equivocation shuffle on the word ‘believe’.

        Give it up. There is no equivalence between scientific provisional acceptance of a conclusion on the one hand and belief/faith as practiced by the dogmatic and desperate adherents of bronze age ‘creator’ myths clinging to illogical and un-evidenced fairy tales on the other hand.

  16. dogrun81 says

    Regarding semantics, I was talking about “belief” not “Atheism.” First of all, the use of the word “belief” is not important to me – maybe others would work better. You are arguing about what “belief” means, so I guess we have to get into it. From Webster:

    (1) a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
    (2) something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
    (3) conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence

    When I say you “believe” that a non-God origin is more plausible than a God Creation, I would put that under #3 or possibly #1. I am not trying to equivocate it as a “tenet” as under #2. I am not trying to take away anything scientific from your position.

    *Regarding the Atheism definition, I used your own definition of Atheism. The definitions you cited use “believe” and “disbelief.” Atheism itself is a “belief” as in a “tenet,” within the #2 meaning. Would you agree with this?

    • manhattanmc says

      “Regarding semantics, I was talking about “belief” not “Atheism.”

      You are trying to equate atheism with a belief system. It is not.

      “First of all, the use of the word “belief” is not important to me – maybe others would work better.”

      Then choose another word.

      “You are arguing about what “belief” means, so I guess we have to get into it.”

      Only if you continue to insist that atheism is a belief.

      ” From Webster:
      (1) a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
      (2) something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
      (3) conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence.”

      When I say you “believe” that a non-God origin is more plausible than a God Creation, I would put that under #3 or possibly #1. I am not trying to equivocate it as a “tenet” as under #2. I am not trying to take away anything scientific from your position.”

      Nope.
      #1 implies that there can be ‘trust’ in something for which there is simply no evidence at all-that there was a creator of 500 billion galaxies.
      #3 doesn’t fit because atheists have no ‘conviction of the truth’ of anything. Show us evidence and we will consider it. Until you do there is really nothing to believe or disbelieve.

      “*Regarding the Atheism definition, I used your own definition of Atheism. The definitions you cited use “believe” and “disbelief.”

      Nope.
      Disbelief is not a belief-it’s a lack of belief.
      To believe there is no ‘god’ is not the same as not having a belief in a ‘god’.

      {“2.atheism – a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods”}
      Free online dictionary.

      “Atheism itself is a “belief” as in a “tenet,” within the #2 meaning. Would you agree with this?”

      No I would not. I can’t make this any more explicit.
      You are going around in circles.

      • dogrun81 says

        Do you believe anything? Do you believe the NY Giants won the superbowl last year? Do you believe that gravity exists? Or would you talk about these in terms of probabilities?

        “To believe there is no ‘god’ is not the same as not having a belief in a ‘god’.”

        What the opposing viewpoint says has no effect on what your viewpoint is. To say that you don’t believe there is a god has no logical distinction from saying you believe there is no god. It’s just playing with language. It’s like saying “I believe the Patriots did not win the superbowl” vs ” I don’t believe the Patriots won the superbowl”

        “#1 implies that there can be ‘trust’ in something for which there is simply no evidence at all-that there was a creator of 500 billion galaxies.”

        “#3 doesn’t fit because atheists have no ‘conviction of the truth’ of anything. Show us evidence and we will consider it. Until you do there is really nothing to believe or disbelieve.”

        You keep saying that I have no evidence, but I am not trying to prove anything. Do you have “trust” or “confidence” that the universe came into being without God? What I believe is not relevant to what you believe.

        I would ask this: Do you claim to have any evidence that the universe came into being without God? If you do, then why don’t you believe the evidence (or accept the truth of the evidence)?

        Other phrasing: Have you come to the conclusion that the universe came in being without God? Do you agree with the statement “the universe came into being without God”?

        • manhattanmc says

          “Do you believe anything?”

          How many times do I have to say that belief is not necessary?

          “Do you believe the NY Giants won the superbowl last year?”

          I don’t have to. I can access a newspaper online, buy a sports almanac, get the game on pay per view, talk to people who saw the playoff game or even talk players with super bowl rings with very little trouble.

          “Do you believe that gravity exists? Or would you talk about these in terms of probabilities?”

          You’re still indulging in equivocation.
          Have you read Hume? Do you understand inductive reasoning?
          The fact that everything I’ve ever dropped has fallen doesn’t prove that gravity exists. That the sun has risen every morning of your life doesn’t mean it will always rise.

          {“To believe there is no ‘god’ is not the same as not having a belief in a ‘god’.”}

          “What the opposing viewpoint says has no effect on what your viewpoint is.”

          Sorry-that sentence makes no sense after half a dozen readings.
          I suspect you’re trying to trade on the fallacy of false dichotomy like Dutko did. There are not two choices of stance-creator or no creator. The third choice is ‘insufficient data, let’s put it on the trivia shelf’.

          “To say that you don’t believe there is a god has no logical distinction from saying you believe there is no god.”

          Bullshit. And I’ve already explained why.
          Again-since you seem to be a bit slow-having no belief in ‘god’ or ‘gods’ is emphatically not the same as believing there is no ‘god’.

          “It’s just playing with language. It’s like saying “I believe the Patriots did not win the superbowl” vs ” I don’t believe the Patriots won the superbowl”

          In no sense are those two easily falsifiable/verifiable assertions the same as believing something without evidence which is what you have to do to believe the visible universe had an anthropomorphic creator.

          “You keep saying that I have no evidence, but I am not trying to prove anything.”

          Utter bollocks. You are trying to draw a false equivalence between your ‘leap beyond the probabilities’ type of religious faith and reasonable expectations based on logical evaluation of data. And when I say ‘one must…..’ or similar framing statements I don’t necessarily mean you personally.

          “Do you have “trust” or “confidence” that the universe came into being without God?”

          What part of ‘insufficient data’ must I explain to you again?

          “What I believe is not relevant to what you believe.”

          Exactly-but here you are trying to push your beliefs. Odd, no?
          What believers in fairies, trolls, big foot and unicorns or any supernatural phenomena for which there is no evidence is not relevant to me either.

          “I would ask this: Do you claim to have any evidence that the universe came into being without God?”

          Already answered-please pay attention. I have seen no evidence that any kind of ‘god’ was necessary. I have seen innumerable historical claims for the necessity of ‘god’ or ‘gods’ recede into ridicule as science has advanced. The fine tuning argument for instance has already been debunked and is fading into obscurity. Do you know of LaPlace? We ‘have no need for that hypothesis’.
          The idea of a ‘creator’ for the universe is merely a remnant of a time when humans invented fanciful explanations for what they didn’t understand. Unfortunately some of those failed explanations became religious dogma.

          “If you do, then why don’t you believe the evidence (or accept the truth of the evidence)?”

          This is really getting tiresome. You seem desperate-as did Dutko with Ra-to put words in my mouth in spite of being corrected numerous times. Why would anyone ‘believe’ or ‘accept something as true’ without sufficient evidence? Are you accusing me of being a fundamentalist? LOL Remember my first response?

          “Other phrasing: Have you come to the conclusion that the universe came in being without God? Do you agree with the statement “the universe came into being without God”?”

          Already answered. Do your homework and stop trolling.
          Since you can’t seem to bring anything new to the table we are finished. I’ll let you have the last word and will not respond further.

        • codemonkey says

          To put another way what this fine gentleman said, there are three distinct positions you can take with regard to a proposition, believe it’s true, believe it’s false, and be unsure/undecided. (With of course the continuum of confidence in between.) (There might be other positions, such as “the sentence is ill formed”, but there’s at least those three.)

          And as a matter of facts of what most atheists believe: For any of the “naive” gods as described by the popular religious texts, we believe those gods do not exist because the evidence says so. For other purported gods, we say that they do not exist or we say that we are unsure, depending on the exact god definition in question and the available evidence. Of course, you’re welcome to use the dictionary definition and continue the strawman. Be my guest.

          Simply put, we do not accept your claim that a god caused the big bang. We remain agnostic on that particular issue. Militant agnostic specifically; I don’t know, and you don’t know either. (Unless you’re holding out on some scientific evidence, and then please share.) On the other hand, if your claim is that a god created the universe 6000 years ago, then we say you are factually and demonstrably wrong.

          • dogrun81 says

            I think the problem has been fear that I will misuse the term “believe” later, so it is being resisted now. I agree that faith is different that belief because of evidence. But to say that an atheist would not take the position of non-god creation is illogical in my opinion.

            I understand the claims, I just disagree with some of the logic. Everyone has some beliefs.

          • codemonkey says

            But to say that an atheist would not take the position of non-god creation is illogical in my opinion.

            I understand the claims, I just disagree with some of the logic. Everyone has some beliefs.

            And you’re wrong. Some of us are grown up enough to not have beliefs on a particular topic because we admit we don’t know.

  17. dogrun81 says

    Ah, insults now.

    The reason this is tiresome is that you won’t answer my questions. I asked “Do you believe anything?” sincerely wanting to know the answer. You answered that “belief is not necessary,” which does not answer my question. You also won’t say if you believe the Giants won the superbowl because you “don’t have to.”

    “In no sense are those two easily falsifiable/verifiable assertions the same as believing something without evidence which is what you have to do to believe the visible universe had an anthropomorphic creator.”

    Again, not answering. You keep going back to a creationist’s belief when I am asking about your belief. If it is so ridiculous to believe that God created the universe, then why do you resist my claim that your position is that he didn’t?

  18. says

    I do like the way you have presented this particular challenge and it does indeed give me some fodder for thought. Nevertheless, coming from just what I have witnessed, I basically trust as other feedback stack on that people today remain on issue and don’t start upon a tirade of some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this exceptional piece and even though I do not really agree with this in totality, I regard the perspective.

  19. DadAtLarge says

    I am a Christian and I’ve got to say that Bob Dutko does little to no good for Christianity.

    The brand of religion proffered by Dutko springs not from reason and perception, as he tries to assert, but rather from a particular kind of absolutism. In nearly every show of his I’ve listen to, it seems clear that his conclusions have already been assumed; assumed as absolute truths before they were ever subjected to thoughtful inquiry. And once an individual knows the ‘Truth’, be they a person of faith or not, any rationalization supporting that Truth becomes reasonable to them, regardless of merit or preposterousness.

    Science cannot be used to validate the supernatural. In fact, nothing can be used to validate the supernatural; that’s we call it ‘supernatural’. Dutko should have learned by now not to try. But, like many, many people, he needs the comfort in safe-certainty which absolutism provides. This is how arguing that tyrannosaurs shared the ark with Noah and that a world-wide conspiracy exists among evolution scientist makes sound sense to him. With a conclusion taken as absolute first, any argument will do.

    If one is trying to defend a belief in God, better to let an individual’s own perceptions and experience inform their faith; rather than trying to rewrite the rules of scientific inquiry. In his long, misguided career of attempting to do so, Bob Dutko has really only managed to preach to a like-minded choir, while at the same time undermining the integrity of religious debate and exchange.

    I don’t think Dutko is defending the faith that he believes he is defending.

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