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An evangelical visitor

If you’ve been paying attention to this comments thread, you’ll have noticed that we’ve been paid a visit by an evangelical Christian blogger named Dan Marvin. Dan isn’t trolling, but is a sincere guy who doesn’t want us all to go to hell. I’m happy to have Dan visiting us, but there are a few helpful ground rules that Christians ought to be aware of before coming to atheist sites to save our souls. This will help make the experience less unpleasant for them and less of a nuisance for us.

  • Be aware that most atheists have come from religious upbringings. This means that your arguments and appeals have most likely been heard by us before.
  • Be aware of logical fallacies so that you do not make them. Atheist bloggers tend to be reasonably well educated folks, with backgrounds — either professionally, academically, or as involved laypeople — in religion, science, philosophy, and forensic debate. Nothing marks a person as a bad arguer quite like the clueless delivery of logical fallacies. From Dan we’ve already had appeals to belief and popularity (millions of people believe Christianity so it must be true), and these amateurish debating mistakes can be easily corrected simply by studying what they are. Just Google “logical fallacies” and you’ll be okay.
  • Don’t mock guys like Charles Darwin or Richard Dawkins if you’ve never read a word they’ve written. Ignorance alone is annoying; ignorance coupled with undeserved cockiness is just offensive and arrogant. And before you remind me that this kind of thing swings both ways, be aware that most of us here have, in fact, read the Bible.
  • Don’t make foolish assertions that your religious belief is on the same footing as science. We’ve already had this silliness from Dan, and nothing catches a believer with his rhetorical pants down more embarrassingly. Faith-based belief in an ancient holy book full of angels, devils, and talking donkeys is not even close to being in the same intellectual ballpark as the scientific method, which entails drawing conclusions about the natural world through experimentation and observation. Science is a rigorous exercise, ruthlessly vetted through a process of peer review to weed out and correct mistakes. There is no analogue in religious practice. To say, as Dan did, that to disbelieve the Bible one must also disbelieve every work of science ever written, well, that’s the kind of thing that’ll get you sent to the corner with a dunce cap on your head.
  • We are aware that to Christians, atheists can often sound brusque, condescending, and downright pissy. Chalk this up to frustration. Our position, by and large, is this. We’re just normal folks, trying to live our lives and get by as peaceably and decently as we can. And because we don’t share the belief in sky gods held by others, we are condemned as the worst kinds of people in society. We are told we are deserving of eternal torture for not sharing your beliefs, and we are fed the same bogus arguments — most of which are emotional appeals and exercises in loopy illogic — in your attempts to make us see the error of our ways. Mainly, we just want to be left alone. But in a religion-addicted world, this is impossible. So the next time you wonder, “Why are atheists so angry?” think about how religionists routinely behave towards us. I certainly will do my best to be polite and cordial to guys like Dan as long as they are polite and cordial and not trolling.
  • Be aware that the minute you fall back on “You just have to have faith,” you’ve lost. If atheists differ from believers in one area more than any other, it’s that believers think that “faith” — belief in the supernatural claims of the Bible without evidence — is an acceptible means of cognition. We know it isn’t. There is no religious belief — not yours, not anybody’s — so innately special that it gets to bypass the same criteria that human beings use for any other decision-making they do in life. If I wouldn’t do faith-based used-car shopping, or allow someone to perform faith-based surgery upon me, I see no reason to accept a faith-based belief about questions regarding the nature of the universe and my own fate. If you’re going to tell me flat out that I’m eternally doomed for not believing as you believe, then you’d better make with the most incontrovertible evidence anyone has ever produced for anything. Otherwise, you’re just insulting and threatening me, and that not only reflects poorly upon your arguing skills but upon your personal morality.

There. That should help our evangelical visitors understand the boxing ring they have chosen to step into. We’re all for being nice folks and carrying the torch of positive atheism. But if you make bad or hackneyed arguments that we’ve heard before, we’ll call you on them. Atheists, contrary to preconceptions, can usually be counted on for honesty.

Comments

  1. Steve says

    Also, the concept of Hell is a religious concept and it’s only applicable within the religious mindset. It’s a given that telling an adult to behave in a certain way or else Santa Claus won’t reward him would not concern the adult whatsoever and would seem rather silly to him or her. It’s the exact same way when religious people tell atheists to believe in their particular god or gods, except it’s not just silly. They do it so often that it has become pathetic and annoying.

  2. says

    “Dan isn’t trolling, but is a sincere guy who doesn’t want us all to go to hell”Martin! Dan sent me to a half hour long video with an awful sound track. I was in hell, hell I say.Zed

  3. says

    Martin said…“then chooses to punish people with an eternity of torture for doubting his existence, then that God is evil by definition and not worthy of worship or even respect by anyone”I agree! if that was the case I would not worship that kind of God ever, and you would be right. Although, If you make statements like this, it proves that you do not know God yet. So with kid gloves let me just state the facts of the bible as I believe it, to set us on a solid foundation, even if you heard it all before. Hell was not created to punish the ones that “doubted” God; it was created to punish the morally evil people. In my blog I talk about the Ten Commandments as the moral “Mirror” for us to look at to see how we compare to God. The old covenant was to show us how filthy immoral rags we are to a Holy Moral God. The blood of a lamb without blemish must be shed to expiate (Atone) our sins. We were made in his image, I am sure you heard of that many times. But when any of us lie it is saying that since we were created in “his” image then we are calling God a liar which is impossible. It is the 9th Commandment and when we break even that one, it angers him immensely. (Revelations 21:8) He is trying to tell us that there is punishment for breaking laws just like in our courts but much worst because Jesus talked about, as you know, our thought life, as: if you look with lust, you commit adultery and such. We are all going to be judged on even our thought life. We all deserve Hell (jail) for breaking the moral laws set in the universe. He then burned them into our conscience. (Con=with science=Knowledge). Like a father to his kid he didn’t want us to be punished and go to hell. The new covenant was, he came down as a man (john 10:30) and paid our fine and took our place to be punished so the law was fulfilled and we can go free. Jesus was the “Lamb” (blemish ‘or sin’ free) of God and shed his blood to atone for our sins. Isaiah 53 talked about Jesus some 700 years before he was born. You have to admit that is not just coincidental. In return he wants us to be born “a new” and repent (turn away from sin) and believe he did that for us and to trust him to run our lives in his holy ways and to be Christ like. Stay in the word (The Bible) (John 8:31) Then he will forgive you of all your sins and will manifest himself to you. (John 14:21). Plain and simply that lay down your pride and admit you are a law breaker and throw yourself on the mercy of God’s court. It was God’s gift to us for the taking. Otherwise you will go to court (judgment day) without Jesus and with your own pride and sins. If you failed to do any of this then you are what is considered to be a false conversion. also in Matthew 13:3-9.”Don’t mock guys like Charles Darwin or Richard Dawkins if you’ve never read a word they’ve written”I have looked at things by Richard Dawkins and I have sent him some emails (though I never received a reply). He is extremely biased to anything that has anything to do with a Creator and he will use any example to disprove a God. This is not a scientist; this is a fanatic with a vendetta against God. Here is a flawed and biased experiment where he tries to simplify the creation of the eye by saying he did it with a fish bowl and lasers. Fish bowl First he uses pictures of real country bumpkin looking people. Listen at the words this guy uses, things like “the gullible”, “creationist used to sabotage”. He compares the Moth eye and CD having the same stipples where God created the stipples and the people that made the CD mimicked the already genius created item. The monkey would never write Shakespeare. 10,000 trillion to one odds I doubt that. Cumulative selection still poses the question: who came up with the “me thinks it is like a weasel” question in the first place for that experiment. Who made the blueprint for the cumulative selection to select “that” set of standards that the conformity required of it. Evolution is blind and can not predict the future. (Blue print) The random monkey typing is just that random (it was funny to hear him say “unless a miracle happens”). He said if I can create an eye with a gold fish bowl and a laser then it can not be too difficult. This was the biggest mistake he made for his hypothesis; let him try creating it with nothing at all. First create the molecules to create a material like steel (from nothing) then build the laser without tools, unless you want to create (from nothing) the molecules for the materials of the tools also. Do you understand what I am getting at? Man is trying to create with what God already created. YES that is easy but try to start with nothing at all on the table then create an atom but first somehow give them a guided outline to multiply and adhere to each other. (Blueprint) Give the (Blueprint) for the electrons and protons to orbit each other around the neutron thus creating an atom first. Where did the material come to even make the atoms (electrons, protons, and neutron)? You must start at nothing to mimic God. This in science is called a flawed experiment. To create a solid experimentation of a created item you must start with nothing. Removing all variables and start with building atoms as the start of the experiment. Then and only then you can convince me that man can be a creator instead of a copier. “Mimicry has to be perfect to work” he stated. Exactly! How does that fit in evolution? The blue print was laid out perfect the first time.“Many key aspects in biology (as well as the other major branches of modern science) were discovered by creationists!” Don’t make foolish assertions that your religious belief is on the same footing as scienceScientists just 140 years ago used to bleed people to cure them (that is how George Washington died) and the bible some 3000 years ago said that blood is life (Leviticus 17:11). In Isaiah 40:22, some 2800 years ago, said the Earth is round when everyone believed it was flat 200 years ago.Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power and motion. “In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the earth (matter)… And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters.”Science can not figure what came first the chicken or the egg but the bible says in Genesis 1:21 that the chicken did. Even Quantum Physics uses uncertainty principles. The thing that is uncertain is God. Science only recently found out that all things are made of Atoms and God said that a long time ago in Hebrews 11:3 through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.(atoms) Dinosaurs are in the Bible, but the word dinosaur wasn’t introduced until the 1800’s so different words were used. But in Job 40:15-19 it describes dinosaurs I am just pointing out that man is infallible and can lie or get it wrong. God was and is never wrong as the Creator. Even if we know as much as 5% of what God knows, don’t you think in that 95% more that he knows, there is a reason to keep things from us? It could be simple like, Adam and Eve taking from the “tree of Knowledge” to be God like and know as much as him. That man listened to the devil instead of the Creator. So he keeps us looking up to him for knowledge instead of just man (science). Look at what Nuclear energy is doing for us. We are dangerous if we think we are GodsStephen said… ”Then a funny thing happened: our faith became so strong that we were willing to question our dearly-held beliefs with honesty and integrity, with the goal of determining, once and for all, which tenets of our faith were actually true.

  4. says

    Dan says: Dinosaurs are in the Bible, but the word dinosaur wasn’t introduced until the 1800’s so different words were used. But in Job 40:15-19 it describes dinosaurs What versino of the Bible are you using? Prior to the early 19th Century, the word “dinosaur” didn’t even exist. If you’ve got a copy of the Bible that has the word “dinosaur”, then you are reading an updated version of the Bible. The word dinosaur was created from the Greek root words for monstrous (deinos) and lizard (sauros). The word “dinosaur” was first used in 1841. I think you need to do some homework. I am just pointing out that man is infallible Really? Is that what you’re pointing out? If so, then that means man is perfect. I think you meant to say that man is fallible.Ok. So, why didn’t God mention things like; atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, positrons, DNA, RNA, genes, bacteria, prokaryotes, red and white blood cells, microphages, embryos, blastocysts, cell nuclei,…the list goes on and on?Why would God speak of removing a rib from Adam? Men and Women have the same number of ribs. Males are not missing one at birth. Why didn’t God know that menstruation was common to all mammals and not just Eve? Are dogs and cats cursed with original sin? What about monkeys? They must be, according to the Bible, since they bleed in the same fashion that Eve did. If God was a scientists, then he really sucked at his craft.

  5. says

    Dan is still quoting (almost word for word) arguments from the Way of the Master series. /sighI’m in a rush today (show and all), so I’m skipping all the really good points to ask just one question:You refer to using the Ten Commandments as a mirror to the conscience…Why don’t I feel guilty when I make a graven image?

  6. says

    Dan said,That ”willing to question”, what you just described was doubt and God addressed that in the seed parable Matthew 13:3-9.Yup. Doubt is good. You probably doubt the existence of Zeus, Thor, Osiris, and thousands of other gods. You probably also doubt the existence of pixies, unicorns, and Nessie. So why do you live by a double standard, doubting any and all supernatural claims except those which your parents told you to believe? What’s wrong with subjecting every claim to the same, consistent standard of questioning?If a used car salesman told you that you just needed to repent for being an inherently bad driver and put your faith in the car he’s trying to sell, sight unseen, would you do so? Or would you doubt? Can you honestly say that it would be somehow wrong to exercise a little healthy skepticism in such a situation?I agree! if that was the case [God chooses to punish people with an eternity of torture for doubting his existence] I would not worship that kind of God ever, and you would be right. Although, If you make statements like this, it proves that you do not know God yet.Oh really? Have you not yet read John 3:18? “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” What about Mark 16:16, and at least a dozen other passages? Do you know God yet?Please set the kid gloves aside for a moment, and give me a concise explanation: why do you believe God does not chose to punish people with an eternity of torture for doubting his existence?Having grown up on the very same pablum you have been spooning out so far, I’d like to challenge you with Hebrews 5:12-14. Let’s skip ahead somewhat, and sit down to really, “chew the fat.”With that in mind, I will ask you: why does God permit child rape?

  7. says

    To Atheist in a mini van, you really said the same thing I said, that the word “Dinosaurs” are NOT in the bible but it describes them and I use the 1611 KJV. And I was wrong with what I wrote man “is fallible”, Thanks for the correcting my mistake.

  8. says

    Dan said:Hell was not created to punish the ones that “doubted” God; it was created to punish the morally evil people.Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)That means that you don’t go to Heaven unless you believe in Jesus. Since there is only a Hell instead of Heaven (unless you are a Catholic), that means everyone who is not getting into Heaven is going to Hell. Dan, according to the Bible the only thing that gets you into heaven is Jesus hence the born-again BS. Although you have a nice PC version of Christianity, it is not Biblical and has nothing but imagination to stand on.Dan said:I have looked at things by Richard Dawkins and I have sent him some emails (though I never received a reply). He is extremely biased to anything that has anything to do with a Creator and he will use any example to disprove a God. This is not a scientist; this is a fanatic with a vendetta against God.You sent him some emails… Go look at richarddawkins.net and click “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” If your emails were bad or ugly enough, you may have a nice quote there where everyone can publicly pity you. Dan, he is a scientist. He is biased towards the evidence, wherever it leads him. And if you had read anything of his, you would know of a certain story he likes to tell over and over to demonstrate this.And just because someone is “Anti-theist” like RD, it doesn’t mean they hate god. Hating god implies you believe in him. RD and those like him are not on a mission of evil, they have simply taken the scientific principles that have given us so much knowledge and understanding over the last few centuries and applied them to religion.Dan said:The monkey would never write Shakespeare. 10,000 trillion to one odds I doubt that.These two sentences show how much you misunderstand evolution. That is not all your fault Dan. But this is one of the most ignorant arguments for creation. I challenge you to read The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins. This is one book that will answer all of your misconceptions of evolution. If you don’t want to bother, the information is all over the internet at places like http://www.talkorigins.org.Dan said:In Isaiah 40:22, some 2800 years ago, said the Earth is round when everyone believed it was flat 200 years ago.OOPPS DAN! You made a boo-boo. The earth was discovered to be a sphere in the 3rd century BCE by Eratosthenes (a Greek scientist). From Wiki:”The modern misconception that people of the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat first entered the popular imagination in the nineteenth century, thanks largely to the publication of Washington Irving’s fantasy The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1828.”There, you learn something new everyday Dan. Like no one 200 years ago thought the earth was flat…As for your passage:Isaiah 40:22 (New International Version)”He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”It says circle Dan, not sphere. Common belief of flat-earth, before the Greek and Egyptians figured it out, was that the earth was a short cylinder with a flat, circular top… thus “circle”.Next.Dan said:Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power and motion. “In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the earth (matter)… And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters.”Dan what physics book are you getting this from? Time and space are dimensions (the four obvious ones). Power and motion?… Ever heard of the forces of nature? Gravity, electro-magnetic, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear.I can’t go into detail. You need some help in the physics department bud.Dan said:Science can not figure what came first the chicken or the egg but the bible says in Genesis 1:21 that the chicken did. Even Quantum Physics uses uncertainty principles. The thing that is uncertain is God.Uh Dan, “the chicken or the egg” is a clever way to ask if you are a creationist or an evolutionist… So science HAS “figured it out”. The answer would obviously be the egg.There are also no uncertainty principleS. There is ONE Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It deals with particle physics and their chaotic nature at the quantum level. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with God… lol.Dan, I don’t want to be rude, but you are in desperate need of knowledge. Read something about which you are babbling about, and THEN get back to us.

  9. says

    Matt said,You refer to using the Ten Commandments as a mirror to the conscience…Why don’t I feel guilty when I make a graven image?Indeed, why doesn’t Dan feel guilty when he worships graven images?A picture is worth a thousand words… Isn’t the Bible, which contains well upward of a thousand words, also a graven image of sorts, a human-crafted representation of the God it describes? Christians sure treat it like an idol sometimes.Creationism is also often held up as an idol. Some believers, apparently including Dan, nail Young Earth Creationism to the Cross. If and when Creationism buckles under the sheer weight of contrary evidence, the Cross often tumbles with it.Isn’t the symbol of the cross itself a graven image?How about those Ichthys emblems?How about paintings of Jesus?Idols, idols, everywhere, and no God to offend…

  10. says

    To Matt DYes, I like WOTM’s sound doctrine, just look at my blog it is filled with Ray’s things. I even open air preach some times at events and things and every day I hand out tracts and read my bible. He as well as I is just doing what the bible says to do. I enjoy Ray’s salesmanship and firm grasp on the bible. Most of what I wrote came from the Bible; remember Ray didn’t write the bible, God did. I will admit that I consider Ray my best friend in Christ and I never met him. I believe he is soundly saved man as I am also. To answer your question “Why don’t I feel guilty when I make a graven image?” In a word, Pride, and a verse (2 Thessalonians 2:8-11)

  11. says

    For some reason Stephen I like you. Maybe because you are so well versed in the bible or that you actually challenged me with your last post. So let’s chew a little.”Please set the kid gloves aside for a moment, and give me a concise explanation: why do you believe God does not choose to punish people with an eternity of torture for doubting his existence”God does punish people that doubt that he came down to take your punishments. The fact is you will be judged by your sins. Have you ever lied? Well that is what you will be judged by and also for doubting his existence. When Martin said ”chooses to punish people with an eternity of torture “for” doubting his existence” I was under the impression that he meant just because you doubt you go to hell, which is not the case, our sins is what we are judged by, as well as doubting, not just doubting. You are making me think and make sure though, and I like that. Stephen step away from the dark side, come into the light. Yes, the symbol of the cross itself is a graven image, yes, the ichthys emblems, yes, painting of Jesus and yes even creationism if you base your entire faith into it, instead of God. This is why Catholicism is of the devil. If I pray to a painting instead of Jesus then this is the definition of idolatry. You are correct and I agree.Andew seems to be a little snarky in his answers so I will just say in our limited resource called the Bible that even science is in the bible, mostly just to point out that Scientist used to bleed people 140 years ago and killed out president because of it. To point out that Science is fallible as well as all of man kind but not God. All our history and science books in school or otherwise says we have 9 planets in our solar system and we all know since the rules were changed or the rules were finally applied that it is not the case anymore. I am not here to disprove science (which I love). I am refuting the junk science out there to disprove a creator. To show I am a fan of science, I wanted to point out that I own the entire Cosmo’s DVD collection and when growing up I was very interested in science because of that man called Carl. Then at 23 I became a Christian and found most scientists wanted to disprove a God instead of prove of God’s glory. That to me is a direct violation of what science was made for. People who believe in the Bible are largely responsible for inventing science. In fact, many scientists now concede the whole idea of evolution is false. Have you ever heard of scientist disagreeing with each other? Of course you have even science is subjective. Francis Bacon who many believe started modern science, professed allegiance to Christianity and belief in Christian doctrines. One of his quotes is “Knowledge (science) is the rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate” I want to end this with a quote from a character scientist in a novel written by Carl Sagan.Eleanor Arroway said “I had an experience, I can’t prove it I can’t even explain it. But everything that I know as a human being, everything I am tells me that it was real. I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever. A vision of the universe, that tell us undeniably how tiny and insignificant and how rare and precious we all are. A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is grater than are selves that we are not, that none of us is alone. I wish.. I could share that.. I wish that everyone if even for one moment could feel that awe and humility and hope. But — that continues to be my wish.” This continues to be my wish also. For Him,Dan

  12. says

    To answer your question “Why don’t I feel guilty when I make a graven image?” In a word, Pride, and a verse (2 Thessalonians 2:8-11)“8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”What makes you think this passage refers to us, but not you? Pride? What if Christianity itself is, “all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish?” Can you show us otherwise, without referring to the Bible, which we do not trust?We love truth. Our earnest quest for truth was what set us free from God-belief.Have you ever had the humility to wonder if, perhaps, God has sent you and Ray the strong delusion, that you should believe a lie? Or do you have the hubris to assume that everything you believe is absolutely correct?Perhaps it would help for you to read Matthew 7:1-5 before you accuse others of pride.

  13. says

    Dan said:“Andew seems to be a little snarky in his answers so I will just say in our limited resource called the Bible that even science is in the bible, mostly just to point out that Scientist used to bleed people 140 years ago and killed out president because of it.”Snarky is your rebuttal? Wow, this has been a completely pointless endevour…George Washington died from an infection from a virus or bacteria. The bleeding (if it isn’t a myth) would have just helped it along.Eleanor in Contact had a REAL experience. Not one she fantacized about and dreamed-up in her mind. She was also an atheist, and so was Carl.What did the minister’s character say in the book when he was asked about his faith?He said, “…my God is too small.”Stephen said:“We love truth. Our earnest quest for truth was what set us free from God-belief.”Can I say amen?

  14. says

    God does punish people that doubt that he came down to take your punishments. The fact is you will be judged by your sins. … our sins is what we are judged by, as well as doubting, not just doubting.I understand that you believe people are judged for their sins, but since you also believe everyone sins, the only differentiating factor is belief. To illustrate this, I present a pop quiz:True or false: A horrible, genocidal monster who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepts him into his heart on his death bed goes to Heaven.True or false: A sweet, loving little girl who dishonored her mother once by crying when she was hungry, dies without accepting Jesus into her heart, so she burns in Hell for all eternity.Multiple choice:A sinner accepts Jesus into his heart at age six, and is therefore forgiven for all sins, past, present and future. Later, one of those sins is doubt that God exists after all.a) Will he go to Heaven because, once saved, he was always saved?b) Will he go to Hell for being born a sinner, by no fault of his own?c) Will he go to Hell for discontinuing belief?Science is fallible as well as all of man kind but not God.The Bible says rabbits chew cud. Science disagrees. Which is correct?I am not here to disprove science (which I love). I am refuting the junk science out there to disprove a creator.Oh, but you are trying to disprove science, and promote junk science in the process. Refuting a 6,000-year old Earth is trivial, but you still appear to believe in that. The entire field of Biology is founded upon Darwin’s Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection, and nothing in Biology makes sense without it. Even Michael Behe, poster child of the Intelligent Design movement, basically agrees with the claims of evolutionary theory, and only perceives a problem with the origin of the flagellum. Biologists agree, scientists from nearly every other field agree, a significant portion of Christians worldwide agree, and several courts of law agree, that Creationism is total bunk. So why do you still think it’s true? Because Ray said so? Is Ray a scientist?In fact, many scientists now concede the whole idea of evolution is falseWho? Go ahead. Try to name ten.Have you ever heard of scientist disagreeing with each other?Sure. Science depends upon the vetting of constant skepticism. Scientists have to be willing to disagree with each other in order for scientific discovery to progress. It’s central to the process.Have you ever heard of Christians, and even Creationists, disagreeing with each other? If they’re all getting information from the same, infallible God, there shouldn’t be any disagreement at all. Yet there is even more disagreement among Christians (enough to splinter Christianity into over 3,000 sometimes sharply disagreeing denominations) and Creationists than there is among scientists. How do you explain that disparity?… A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is grater than are selves that we are not, that none of us is alone. I wish.. I could share that.. I wish that everyone if even for one moment could feel that awe and humility and hope. But — that continues to be my wish.” This continues to be my wish also.I experienced that feeling as a Christian, and continue to feel it from time to time, without need of belief in God. Together, humanity is greater than the sum of its individuals. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing when we all work together toward our mutual betterment. You can slap the label “God” onto humanity if you wish, but I find this usage misleading.

  15. says

    If I answer all the questions correctly and satisfy your arguments will you admit you were wrong and come to the light?First for AndrewFrom Wiki:”The modern misconception that people of the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat first entered the popular imagination in the nineteenth century, thanks largely to the publication of Washington Irving’s fantasy The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus in 1828.”There, you learn something new everyday Dan. And he also said things like “These two sentences show how much you misunderstand evolution. And Dan what physics book are you getting this from? but you are in desperate need of knowledge”Yes, snarky and hypocritical, because you are blasting at me for the knowledge of the Bible. How I have no knowledge on your subjects then you quote Wikipedia as a basis for your argument, it is just laughable and I can not take you seriously because you are not taking me seriously. Wikipedia are you kidding! But I still love you.On to Stephen“Matthew 7:1-5 before you accuse others of pride.”The world often takes this verse out of context and uses it to accuse Christians of being “judgmental” when they speak of sin. In the context of the verse Jesus is telling “His disciples” not to judge one another, something the Bible condemns (Romans 14:10; James 4:11). In John 7:24 He said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” If someone steals, lies, commits adultery or murder, etc., the Christian can make a (righteous) moral judgment and say that the actions were morally wrong, and that these sins will have eternal consequences. Chuck Colson said, “True tolerance is not a total lack of judgment. It’s knowing what should be tolerated—and refusing to tolerate that which shouldn’t.” I am not judging him on how he is living I judged him based on what he said “Why don’t I feel guilty when I make a graven image?” The bible is clear if we do this we are pride filled and will meet the wrath of God. This is a justified judging because I love him enough to keep him from hell or do you feel I am wrong?Before I answer the next few questions there is a disclaimer. I am a horrible sinner and do not deserve Heaven. If I sin, it pains me and I never want to do it again. If someone sins I can judge them based on that sin, not the motives of the heart and not ultimate judgment of the soul, which is for God.genocidal monster who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepts him into his heart on his death bed goes to Heaven. Not sure by that example. I don’t know the level of righteousness and only God can judge that. BTW No where in the bible does it say accept Jesus in your heart to be saved. That is quite an insult.Think of it this way it doesn’t mater if you know who Jesus is, what matters is if Jesus knows who you are. When you get to heaven and say lord, lord…(Psalm 6:8 and Matthew 7:23) Have you done the Commandments of Jesus, is your name written in the book of life? ” True or false: A sweet, loving little girl who dishonored her mother once by crying when she was hungry, dies without accepting Jesus into her heart, so she burns in Hell for all eternity.”I don’t know, I am not her judge but you are not dishonoring your mother by crying “I’m hungry, mumsy”. You dishonor your mom for example by arguing with her because you want to stay out until 3am instead of the 10pm rule and you stay out until 3am anyway. Defiance, deception, railing, things like that is dishonoring. Now, by not repenting of your sins and not trusting that Jesus did come to take that punishment for your sins and allow him to run your life. YES the bible is clear of that, “FOR ADULTS” but I believe all children go to heaven it is just logical.Look if I steal a dollar from you or a hundred it is still stealing regardless of the value. Am I not still a thief? If I steal a loaf of bread to feed my kids, is that stealing? The answer is YES! How many murders do I have to commit to be a murderer 1, 10, 100? Jesus said even if you hate someone you commit murder of the heart. One lie=liar”Multiple choice :” Again I don’t know for sure but here is my take. A sinner that no longer believes may have never believed in the first place and was going through the motions (religion) maybe that happened with you, I wouldn’t know. But take me for example that has a true (relationship) with Jesus and I would never doubt or intentionally sin because I am so grateful for being saved by Jesus I would do anything for him because Jesus took the bullet for me.Leviticus 11:6 OK I had to look this one up because I never heard of it before, but here is what I found. Rabbits do chew cud (already digested food) in rabbits it is called cecotrophy (Normal practice of the rabbit consuming some of the droppings directly from the anus). Rats and rabbits re-digest cellulose a different way then cows. They eat feces and literally re-digest them a second time. So the bible was right, they are a filthy and are unclean for us. If the bible says it, I believe it, and I read the bible plainly. An atheist asked me what I believe and I tell everyone I am an evangelical fundamentalist with a monotheistic belief system.Theory of Evolution is still that a theory or “This is true only to the best of our current knowledge”. I am not faulting scientist There is no concrete scientific proof of it anywhere; I think there is still a reward for $250,000 for proof of it. The human genome has no evidence what so ever that proves the theory, as it should, but it doesn’t. Evolution is a faith, EVOLUTION IS RELIGION! What religion? Atheism! Evolution says God has nothing to do with us or all of nature. Man tries to complicate things, just look at doctors or chemist using large complicated words to explain about a bone in the hand or a chemical. I love Astrophysicists who simplify things not complicate it. The universe and life itself is so complex on its own to use big words or complicated languages the doctors, some atheist, and scientist use. For example, if it’s black and is a hole it becomes a black hole, if you see spots on the sun they are called sun spots. Like the bible if you get lost in the details you will get lost. If you simplify it and know that he took our deserved punishment onto himself then you will be on the right path. Remember Good tree produces good fruit; a bad tree can not produce good fruit. “In fact, many scientists now concede the whole idea of evolution is falseWho? Go ahead. Try to name ten.”How about 700There I have answered all your questions without fail. Are you all ready to come to the light? Look in John 14:21 he talks about manifesting himself to you and that is true he really does as he has done to me. A sinner without being washed of those sins can not be in the presence of God because he would burst into flames. (Genesis 32:30) You all want to see proof but as sinners you would all perish so God stays away, for your own good. Look what happened to Saul (now Paul) he was blinded by God’s holy presence of light. So I pose this to all of you, would you be willing to lose your eye sight to see Him to be sure that God existed and in this life you would be able to repent and trust in him? Would that be worth the sacrifice to see God just to know for sure without a doubt? You must be clean first then God will manifest himself to you so you are all in a quagmire and you are demanding the one thing that would kill all of you. Are you all suicidal? be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.When an atheist wins an argument, he loses eternity. God don’t let that happen, so bring it on. For Him,Dan

  16. says

    [quote]We are aware that to Christians, atheists can often sound brusque, condescending, and downright pissy. Chalk this up to frustration.[/quote]Warning: I got too tired to proof read this….. I honestly struggle with the angst, and frustration that athiests have. It is one thing that has kept me away. Why do I want to talk with a bunch of angery people? Is it a requirement or something? Does becoming an Atheist go like this: Here is your membership card, Darwin fish Bumper sticker, Your copy of the bible, and a huge serving of frustration and anger.I know of three Atheists in Erie. One is a compleate asshole, drunk, and likes to take advantage of people. The second one does not bath offen and has been in a state of depression since I have known him. The last one is a compleate materalist. He has some of the coolest toys I have ever seen. But, the stuff just piles and piles. He has an orginal Millienum Falcon and other Starwars toys. Plus all of the WarHammer 40k peaces a person could ever want. None of these people I want to be like, compleatly. I have found that talk to an atheist via text is much worse than listening. I have bothered atheist for a long time. I have been on alt.atheism, different websites, and listened to different podcasts. But, so many atheists get very mean. I think that is one thing that Dawkins does well in his book. He took time to find his sound. He said in the preface that he read the book out loud to his wife. You can tell because the book sounds very conversational. If you add the tone from the readings of chapter 2 he has done… You can get a really good meaning. I am on Chapter 3 in the book and I need to return it the 7th… I am not going to finish it. It is honestly takes a lot of enegery out of me to read long passages. I don’t know why but it has always been that way for me. The sleepy effect I have is one reason I don’t read books offen. Yeah, I am sleepy….

  17. says

    The world often takes this verse out of context and uses it to accuse Christians of being “judgmental” when they speak of sin. In the context of the verse Jesus is telling “His disciples” not to judge one another, something the Bible condemns (Romans 14:10; James 4:11).Ah, I see. Your interpretation is that Christians should not judge each other, but are free to judge everyone else. So you’re not being a hypocrite, just an elitist snob. So I was wrong to suggest that you were behaving at least as pridefully as the person you judged. Got it.I am not judging him on how he is living I judged him based on what he said “Why don’t I feel guilty when I make a graven image?” The bible is clear if we do this we are pride filled and will meet the wrath of God. This is a justified judging because I love him enough to keep him from hell or do you feel I am wrong?Yes, you are wrong, because hurling insults, even when justified, will do exactly nothing to keep anyone out of Hell. I’m sure your response was well-intentioned, but it came across as a pithy reply that entirely missed the point of his question, which (I think) was to illustrate that the Ten Commandments does not reliably function as a window to one’s conscience.Before I answer the next few questions there is a disclaimer. I am a horrible sinner and do not deserve Heaven.I regard this kind of unqualified, blanket self-loathing to be one of the most harmful and dangerous effects of theistic belief. Coupled with the equally unqualified air of elitism you conveyed earlier, legitimate pride of achievement is downplayed, and replaced with the far more insidious pride of group membership. Through this mechanism, theistic religions subvert individualism and real-world accomplishments in favor of groupthink and imaginary accomplishments in an afterlife that will never come.BTW No where in the bible does it say accept Jesus in your heart to be saved. That is quite an insult.Interesting. You and your current favorite denomination appear to use slightly different jargon than some of my childhood denominations used. (I believe it was derived from sentiments expressed in Romans 10:9, Acts 10:44, and similar verses.) Jargon withdrawn.I believe all children go to heaven it is just logical.No, it really isn’t logical–nor, so far as I can tell, is this doctrine Biblical. According to John 3:16, Romans 10:9, and in numerous other verses, belief is required for salvation, so children who are not old enough to correctly understand and believe the Crucifixion scenario would not be permitted. Mark 10:14 and similar verses in Matthew and Luke are about as close as most Christians can get to passages to support this doctrine, but look at Mark 10:15: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Apparently, a child still has to actively and consciously “receive the kingdom of God.” Can you present a different passage to support your hopeful thinking?By the way, I noticed that each of your answers to my quiz questions was a noncommittal “I don’t know.” That’s a fine answer for a scientist to offer, but someone who claims to have special knowledge from an all-knowing God really ought to have a better idea of what it takes to get into the club. Why hasn’t God made the correct answers to these important doctrinal questions more clear?If you think I may not have been saved in the first place, how can you be certain that you are? Could it be pride?Rabbits do chew cud (already digested food) in rabbits it is called cecotrophy (Normal practice of the rabbit consuming some of the droppings directly from the anus).Clever rationalization. I hadn’t heard this one before.Do you also believe bats are birds, and locusts have four legs? Leviticus 11 makes those claims, too.If the bible says it, I believe it, and I read the bible plainly.This is going to be fun! I have many more interesting passages up my sleeve for you! :) How about 700Yep, I didn’t think you could name any, let alone ten. Regarding the link you provided, you should know that such lists have become a laughingstock within the scientific community. Have you ever heard of Project Steve?There I have answered all your questions without fail.Repent, for you have just told a bald lie! There is still at least one question of mine that you did not answer:Why does God permit child rape?

  18. says

    Dan said:“Yes, snarky and hypocritical, because you are blasting at me for the knowledge of the Bible. How I have no knowledge on your subjects then you quote Wikipedia as a basis for your argument, it is just laughable and I can not take you seriously because you are not taking me seriously. Wikipedia are you kidding! But I still love you.”You DON’T have much knowledge of science. You are quoting WOTM, and WOTM deliberately preys on people’s ignorance of science to propagate its untenable theories. And I challenged your interpretation of that scripture by putting it in the context with which it was written. I certainly didn’t “blast” anything. And please stop playing the “persecuted Christian” Dan; one cannot persecute the majority.Do I have to mention that Wiki articles are all sourced? You would know that if you ever scrolled to the bottom of a Wiki page. But anyway, here is a link to a UCSB professor’s take on the subject of flat-earth (this took me 10 seconds to find on Google):http://nabataea.net/flatearth.htmlI also recommended that you read a couple books. At the least, you would learn our views to better argue against them, and you wouldn’t embarrass yourself any further.FFR – Cannot is one word (I have noticed you misspell it a few times already):http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&defl=en&q=define:cannot&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title

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    checkitontheinside said,“I honestly struggle with the angst, and frustration that athiests have. It is one thing that has kept me away.”Life as an atheist can be a bit stressful sometimes, I must admit.Most atheists have lives that are at least as happy and productive as those of anyone else. We only get irritable when dealing with those who act according to their faith. Fortunately, most people don’t think or act according to the unique dictates of their religion, most of the time. Consider this: if a particular religious doctrine is a genuinely good idea for real-world reasons, it will quickly become adopted by people of many religions or no religion, and become secular. Not going around murdering people is a genuinely good idea, so it has become a widely accepted, secular principle of human interaction. However, if a particular religious doctrine is not a genuinely good idea, nobody will copy it, and it will remain a unique aspect of that religion.In the end, all the genuinely good ideas in any religion can be found and defended through secular means, so the only things that make any religion stand apart are the bad ideas. Secularism is pure, potable water. Religion is water plus cumulative garbage. Many people who have grown up on sewer water, and some who are introduced to it later in life, might acquire a taste for it–but drinking it regularly is less healthy than drinking pure water.Imagine a Twilight Zone scenario in which you wake up one morning, turn on the news and discover that two thirds of the global population, 85% of the nation, and nearly all elected officials are clinically insane, and are acting upon their delusions by drinking raw sewage! Then, while trying to talk to some of your friends, you discover that they are beyond reach, incapable of thinking rationally long enough to recognize and acknowledge that they are seriously mentally ill. They might look around and say, “Hey, everyone else is drinking sewer water, so it must be right! You’re the crazy one!”So yeah, living in such a world is enough to make an atheist a little jumpy and frustrated.

  20. tracie harris says

    Worth post, Martin. If I could also add…>Be aware that most atheists have come from religious upbringings. This means that your arguments and appeals have most likely been heard by us before.And I’d add—“been used by some of us before” [sometimes to my embarrassment].>Faith-based belief in an ancient holy book full of angels, devils, and talking donkeys is not even close to being in the same intellectual ballpark as the scientific method, which entails drawing conclusions about the natural world through experimentation and observation.Just this weekend I had a discussion with a person trying to convince me that if I were truly logical, I would examine my brakes every time before I drive my car. He said that every time I enter the car, it’s just trust (“faith”) that the brakes will be working. I can’t be sure they’ll work this time, just because they worked the last time I drove it.I pointed out that logically, since I understand my brake system (one of the few systems of my vehicle I actually _do_ understand), and since I know that brake systems rarely fail, and since I know the car has not been exposed to anything that should impact the brakes in a negative way, and since most brake failure is gradual rather than immediate, it is VERY logical to NOT check my brakes every time I take my car out of the garage. Based on a pretty good amount of accumulated, verifiable _knowledge_ about my car and my brakes, I can make a pretty solid logical assumption that the car will operate just fine, and that if anything does go wrong, I will likely get some amount of warning before it becomes critical. I know it might not—but logically, based on the information at hand, it is a fair assumption.I then pointed out the difference between what is known and verifiable about auto brake systems (everything) versus what is known and verifiable about gods (nothing). And I asked if he felt the basis of belief that my brakes will work next time I take my car out can honestly be compared to the basis of belief that there are gods. I see my brake system. I can test my brake system. I can see leaking brake fluid or an emergency brake light on my dash. But with god, I have no way to verify it even exists. Brakes are verifiable across the board. I then pointed out that he was confusing “knowledge” with “faith.” I base my ideas about my brakes on what I _know_ and can verify about brakes. But people base their ideas about god on absolutely nothing verifiable or experiential. They cannot test or verify anything they claim in order to know that it is a valid assumption. The two are not equal—in fact, not even remotely close.He then said that trusting the Bible was just like trusting other books we read—such as history books. This led to a little discussion about “trust” and what merits “trust.” I asked him if he would trust me to deliver $1,000 in cash for deposit to his bank. He said he would—because he has “faith” in me. I said he would because he _knows_ me. I asked him if he would deliver that money over to a total stranger. He admitted he would not. I asked why not? He said he doesn’t trust the stranger. I said he didn’t _know_ anything about the stranger. Whether or not he “trusts” someone (or something) is based very much on what he actually _knows_ about the person or thing. His “trust” is based on knowledge not on faith.Likewise, I then asked him, if he was not late to an appointment, would he trust a stranger to answer the question, “Can you tell me the time?” He said he would. I asked him why he would trust a stranger to tell him the time, but not to deliver a deposit of $1,000. He said it was because the stranger has no reason to lie about the time (and I would assume he would have reason to steal the money—since it represents monetary gain). I pointed out that while this is true, the reality is also that the “time” has little importance, while the $1,000 has a lot of importance. Taking someone at their word requires more knowledge/trust as the stakes rise. I don’t care if the person lies to me about the time. I do care if he takes my money. So, I trust most anyone to tell me the time; but I don’t trust most people to handle my cash. Most everyone will answer these questions similarly.I pointed out that those who promote the Bible place the stakes very high: They say you must live your life by it, trust it even if it conflicts with anything else or splits up your family—it is the only road map to avoid hell and gain eternal life. They say it is divine and penned by the mind of the one eternal deity. History books make no such claims. It is the stakes the Bible lays out that make it require far _more_ scrutiny than any other book. The Bible says, “Would you put your life and everything you own into the hands of someone you know nothing about and can’t even verify exists?”If I won’t trust $1,000 in the hands of someone of whom I am completely ignorant—I’m certainly not going to lay down my life, my morality, my actions and beliefs into the hands of this same ignorance. If I trust a history book, and it is wrong, I haven’t lost near as much as if I trust the bible and it is wrong. The latter, quite literally, would cost me my entire life.Lastly, this friend said finally that believers and atheists have very different definitions of what constitutes “evidence.” I gave him some examples of what “evidence” I have seen believers offer:1. I prayed to see 3 rainbows, and on the plane home, I saw three rainbows. (proof of god)2. I was pondering god and came upon three frozen waterfalls (proof of the doctrine of trinity)3. I get a special feeling (used innumerable times)He is correct that skeptics will not accept rainbows, waterfalls, or special feelings as verification of a god. He’s got me there.

  21. says

    OK Stephen,You haven’t addressed any of my points either, buddy. I posed a question about losing your eye sight for proof of God, remember? You’re right though I didn’t answer all the questions without fail. So let’s keep going I will start at the end of your reply and move up. ”Why does God permit child rape?” God does not permit child rape; he despises it, and will never tolerate it. There is free will and he gives man the choice to do wrong or right but there are consequences for their actions. Atheist, on the other hand, permit child rape, because atheists don’t believe in an eternal punishment (Hell) but there certainly is a Hell. The rapist will have their just reward because we actually do have a just God. I am happy that atheists don’t run the universe because they belong to the religion of evolution which allows rape, to spread the seed of the fittest male and populate the strongest genes. Seals get raped all the time everyday and evolutionist wants us to believe that we all derive from animals and such so you see my point. Let me guess you will rebuttal this one also, please do. God’s logic is sound; man’s logic (without a God) is flawed immensely.The 700 was to show you that more then just ten don’t agree with evolutionist and they are now expressing it. I am moving on.For “Leviticus 11” God gave all of His laws for good reasons. They teach us His standards-how to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, beneficial from harmful. They teach us to distinguish the holy-that which God sets apart-from the common and ordinary. They define the way we, too, are to be holy, set apart for God’s purposes. Whether clean or unclean animals it still fits today. Moving onThe “I don’t know” is not noncommittal it’s because it is not my place to judge those thing, God forbids it. I told you what it takes to get into the club in my post with the “with kids gloves” statement. I know without a shadow of doubt that I am saved. I may not be able to explain it to the unsaved but if I were to tell a truly saved person, they would understand.Babies in heaven: ”I said I believe all children go to heaven it is just logical.” You said “No, it really isn’t logical–nor, so far as I can tell, is this doctrine Biblical.”We are all born with the stain of original sin (Psalm 51:5) (Romans 5:12). However, we are judged for things that we do on the basis of our deeds committed “in the body” not because we are born into sin. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.Now look at Deuteronomy 1:35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers. See it says not one man (not children)Now Deuteronomy 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.God has specifically exempted from the judgment those who have no knowledge of good or evil because of their age. The little ones would inherit the Promised Land. Then of course there is (Mark 10:14 and 2 Samuel 12:22,23) To me it is just logicalYou and your current favorite denomination appear to use slightly different jargon than some of my childhood denominations used. So did your tree of childhood knowledge give you good fruit? Did my “jargon” as you call it serve me well or bear good fruit? Matthew 7:23”Yes, you are wrong, because hurling insults” Insults? There is a saying that goes “law to the proud and grace to the humble” by Ray and to back it up with scripture 2 Corinthians 5:11. It takes far more love to confront a situation. Perfect love is a constant confronter.Yes we can judge you if you steal or rape or murder or anything morally wrong but as saved saints we are not to judge each other, saying things like “I am more saved then you” to other saints. ”but are free to judge everyone else. So you’re not being a hypocrite” Not at all because we love you we are telling you if you continue down that path you will get punished by our Holy God. I want to be judged by that same standard, so by all means if you see a speck in my eye then let me know, but God wants you to make sure the log is out of yours first. So be careful and make sure you are right with the lord before you go judging like I am doing. Yes I made sure I am right with the Lord first.I will add this part to address the statements made by Tracie Harris about faith based beliefs being in the same intellectual ballpark.Science can be proven by God but God can’t be proven by science.Follow this logic:God is by definition supernatural.To be supernatural you must be outside of the natural world.Supernatural and Natural are mutually exclusive.Anything that can be scientifically proven is part of the natural world.Therefore anything supernatural can not be scientifically proven.Therefore God can not be scientifically proven.Therefore any scientific proof that God is supernatural must by definition fail.Since God by definition must be supernatural to exist, then the existence of God can not be proved by science.If God were proved by science then it would be part of the natural world and therefore not God.” from Marc PerkelI hope and pray I am getting through to even just one of you because our salvation and our relationship with God is the most important thing, ever. I have three kids I could be spending time with, but I choose to help any of you understand our fate. I will answer the rest in time my hands are hurting. For Him,Dan

  22. says

    Follow this logic:God is by definition supernatural…And you believe this nonsense? This is essentially a longer, more technical-sounding version of Anselm’s Ontological Argument which goes like this:”I define god as possessing the characteristic of existence. Therefore he must exist.”Sorry, but little semantic games don’t change the facts of the world. Exempting your god from scientific inquiry doesn’t make him more likely to exist.Besides that, if he’s supernatural and thus “by definition” outside of nature (whatever the hell that means), then how does he perform all those Biblical miracles? How is it that he managed to moon Moses in Exodus 33:23: “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” How is it that if he is, by definition, utterly outside time and space (again, whatever the hell that means) able to freely interact with the natural world?And if he is able to interact with the natural world, wouldn’t that mean that his presence could be easily tested under the right circumstances? Of course it does. So don’t pull that “supernatural” crap when you know damn well you don’t believe it yourself.Besides, if there is not and can never be any proof of god, why in the world would you ever believe? Cause it makes you feel good? Cause everyone else is doing it? Cause you don’t want to go to Hell? Because some long time ago, adults abused you emotionally by telling you you’re a worthless sinner and not worthy of anything good? I guess the question is: should I laugh at you or pity you?After following this thread for a while, I’m leaning toward “laugh.”Get away from the damn computer and go spend time with your kids.

  23. tracie harris says

    I read your “proof” for why science can’t prove god. You say it’s because he’s supernatural. Please provide something to verify your claim that anything supernatural even exists. I do not know that there is a realm outside the natural realm. So, I don’t know what you’re talking about when you use the term “supernatural.”If supernatural things cannot be shown to manifest, then we have no means of obtaining valid information concerning them. Anyone’s claim is as good (i.e., as worthless) as anyone else’s since we can’t test any of it to determine the truthfulness of any of the claims.Your claims of any knowledge of supernatural realms and beings are unsubstantiated, as shown by your very own proof–we can’t independently verify them. So, you can’t verify anything about these realms any more than anyone else. Your claims, and all claims of the supernatural, are, in that case, veridically worthless.And without proof of supernatural realms, it is unsupported to make claims that supernatural beings go around doing supernatural things–like writing magic books or building very natural universes. If there is no god, then he did not write a book or build a universe, that is logical. And if you can’t show the supernatural realm manifests in some way that can be independently verified, then you have no basis to claim supernatural gods are responsible for anything at all.Without showing god manifests in an independently verifiable fashion (scientifically testable fashion), you cannot proceed to talk about what god does or how he does it. You haven’t yet shown a god even exists. The basis for all your claims hinges on god’s existence. Without showing god exists, none of these evidences you’re presenting are worth a thing. They can’t be from a god if there is no god. And now you’re saying you can’t substantiate god’s existence. But we should believe this god did a bunch of stuff?Let’s start with your claim that there is a supernature. Please present your evidence for the existence of supernature. I’m asking for evidence of manifestation (independently verifiable) not an indirect assumption based on your personal interpretations of some event.If you think, for example, that the universe was created by god, that may or may not be true. But we know it cannot be true if there is no god (in which case your assumption would be mistaken, even if it seems valid to your or to me). So, proving a god exists must preceed any claims of things you may think god is responsible for.So let’s go. Establish there is such a thing as supernature.-th***

  24. says

    For my closing arguments my fellow citizens, we are in a quagmire, I stand on the position of believe and receive (John 14:21) and you take the position of deny and fry. But seriously, I apologize that I was unsuccessful in getting some of you to understand our Lord any better. It was, oh lets say, eleven atheists to one Christian and I believe the score is in God’s favor. I am inclined to believe that most of you were trying to convince yourselves more then convince me but that is for another day. Stephen really won the debate I feel, and it took a verse to do it, my hat is off to him. What verse, you ask? (Romans 9:14-23), good verse I must admit. I really hate to bring this one up because you are very touchy being called the devil but that is what God says. If you are not of God you are of the devil (1 john 3:7-10) another quagmire. If you think about it though, it is true; the ones that are not followers of Jesus will perish into the abyss. Please, for your own sakes, it is time for all of you to choose a side because God will sort us out. I hope you all understand what is being said to you and listen to your heart and mind. Sad though, you all help strengthen my faith and beliefs and you all got angry and snarky and probably not better for it. (2 Corinthians 6:14) I stand on the evidence I presented as proof of a God, without a doubt. P.S. you all haven’t answer my question what is it worth to you to have God revealed in the flesh? Would it be worth your eyesight? No hard feeling though, um besides that you’re all going to hell and you are all “of the devil”, stuff. Come on I’m kidding you…but God isn’t. Choose now! Remember the only guarantees for us Christians here on earth are persecution, temptations and tribulations and I think I was hit by two out of three during this discussion. The Christian rests. Your honor, I reserve the right to rebuttal any witnesses. Have a good night all.For Him,Dan

  25. tracie harris says

    Oh well Dan is leaving. And I was going to post a bit more. I guess I will anyway…1. That observable evolution accounts for genetic variation. And theorizing that something known to account for the genetic variation we observe may count for even more genetic variation is vastly different than saying “god did it.” Dan admitted he not only hasn’t tried to verify a god exists–he tells himself (and us) verification is impossible (and yet believes it anyway). Then he tries to say it makes more sense to believe something no one can even verify exists created genetic variation–not something known to exist and observable as having caused genetic variation already (such as evolution).2. Further, I would have been curious to hear his defense of passages like John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20 [see marginal notes from NIV or NASB]–known forgeries included in the Bible, and identified as forgeries by the Bible translators themselves–and yet they remain in the Bible. Why? And if I had a nickel for every time the marginal notes said, “some manuscripts add [fill in the blank],” or “some manuscripts do not contain this passage,” or something similar. The Bible is literally littered with these notes. But John and Mark are some of the largest added passages; and they are known to not be contained in _older_ manuscripts, but to show up in newer ones. Hardly the trustworthy, unaltered Word of God he’s quoting from. But maybe god added these things later to test our faith? Not being facetious, I’m sure some Xians think that if we truly believe, the fact that the Bible contains forged passages won’t make us waiver in the least.But Dan is gone now, and I’m left to merely speculate.-th***

  26. tracie harris says

    One last item. Is it just me–or is it just a Xian attitude to post a proof for why nothing you’re claiming can be possibly be verified as actually being “true”–and then follow up immediately with “I believe the score is in God’s favor”????

  27. tracie harris says

    It appears that everyone who tries gets nowhere.In the end, Dan’s argument boiled down to what nearly all Xians end up saying: I can’t prove there’s a god, but I believe it firmly, and you all better believe it too, or you’ll be punished in Hell for your lack of belief.I mean “A” for effort all around. But big fat “F” for achievement. The only good thing is that a lot of good dialogue is now posted online in case anyone comes across it. That’s one BIG benefit over taking someone like this on in a private e-mail.

  28. says

    You haven’t addressed any of my points either, buddy.I have addressed some of Dan’s points, but I readily admit that I have utterly ignored vast swaths of his writing, particularly when he regurgitates WOTM twaddle.Importantly, however, I did not falsely and pridefully boast about answering all of his questions without fail, shortly after accusing others of exhibiting falsehood and pride. Big plank in your eye, there, Dan. BIG!God does not permit child rape; he despises it, and will never tolerate it.And yet, child rape happens! Now, we can be certain that the existence of the God in which Dan believes is every bit as fictitious as the non-existence of child rape.There is free will and he gives man the choice to do wrong or right but there are consequences for their actions.When a person is raped, or when any crime is committed for that matter, the “free will” of the victim is violated by definition. What Dan is saying here is, God cares more about the will of criminals than the will of victims. Dan believes in a God of child rape.Dan seems okay with this, but my conscience forbids me to trust or worship such a God of Rape, even if it can be conclusively shown to exist.… evolution which allows rape, to spread the seed of the fittest male and populate the strongest genes.Here, Dan admits that evolution has a plausible explanation for the occurrence of rape in our world–rape, which should never occur if a God who was both able and willing to prevent such existed. He has demonstrated that evolution can explain things that theism cannot.… God’s logic is sound; man’s logic (without a God) is flawed immensely.The logic of the Problem of Evil remains sound. Dan’s logic is flawed immensely. Therefore, apparently, the Problem of Evil is “God”, and Dan is an excellent example of an “immensely” flawed man without a God. He just doesn’t realize that he doesn’t have a God.After much mealy mouthed rationalization about children getting a free pass to Heaven, mostly drawing from Deuteronomy to defend New Testament-derived theology, Dan weakly reiterates, “To me it is just logical“Dan does not appear to know the first thing about either logic or Bible theology. The Bible does not say anything specific about children (below a certain age, or whatever) getting into Heaven automatically, but it does explicitly say that nobody gets in without believing. Dan’s conclusion is founded upon nothing but wishful thinking and pride. It takes far more love to confront a situation. Perfect love is a constant confronter.I find it immensely ironic that Dan opted to stop confronting us just one comment later! Where’s the love, man?I want to be judged by that same standard, so by all means if you see a speck in my eye then let me know, but God wants you to make sure the log is out of yours first. So be careful and make sure you are right with the lord before you go judging like I am doing.I see a lot of pride in this statement itself. Dan reinterprets the scripture in a baldly arrogant way. In context, Jesus was telling his disciples to be careful to avoid hypocrisy. Dan reinterpreted this as, unbelievers have to get “right with the lord” before they can judge believers, but believers can be as hypocritically judgemental as they like toward any and all unbelievers. That’s a pretty blatant perversion–even inversion–of scripture. If I were still a Christian, I would worry about Dan being a false prophet!Yes I made sure I am right with the Lord first.How, exactly? Praying until he felt good about himself? If, as he admits, he does not even have a metric with which to demonstrate that God exists, by what metric do he claim to be sure that he are right with God? If he was honest with yourself (and how could you be, at this point?) he would see, as the rest of us plainly see, that his claims of being “right with the lord” are founded upon nothing but pure, self-righteous, arrogant, narcissistic pride!Follow this logic:God is by definition supernatural.To be supernatural you must be outside of the natural world.Supernatural and Natural are mutually exclusive.Anything that can be scientifically proven is part of the natural world.Therefore anything supernatural can not be scientifically proven.Therefore God can not be scientifically proven.Therefore any scientific proof that God is supernatural must by definition fail.Since God by definition must be supernatural to exist, then the existence of God can not be proved by science.If God were proved by science then it would be part of the natural world and therefore not God.” from Marc PerkelI consider this as good a logical argument as any that “God” cannot possibly be a relevant component of our natural universe. If he ever interacted with our universe in any way, he would become part of what we call “natural”, hence no longer supernatural. If, however, he remained supernatural, there would be no way whatsoever for us to know anything about him at all. Acting upon the world in any way is a one-way ticket to mediocrity. Sure, “God” might exist in some remote parallel universe–but that speculation is irrelevant, because it has no effect on our universe.So why has Dan chosen to base decisions that affect his life (and maybe afterlife), on something that, by the logic he outlines above, is necessarily completely irrelevant? By his own reckoning, he has proved that belief in God is equivalent to chasing an illusion.I think it makes much more sense to worry not about that which we can never know anything, but about that which we can know, measure and characterize in the natural world around us every day. I think it makes far more sense to make the most of the one life of which everyone can be certain, rather than wasting any time, effort or resources building up treasures in an imagined realm that is, by definition, completely irrelevant. Dan seems to think such wasteful futility is to be treasured.For my closing arguments my fellow citizens, we are in a quagmire,I don’t perceive a quagmire at all. Using logical arguments, physical evidence, Bible quotes, and other sources, we repeatedly demonstrated that Dan doesn’t have a clue about logic, nature, or even the Bible. We won. Dan lost. There’s no quagmire.It was, oh lets say, eleven atheists to one Christian and I believe the score is in God’s favor.Only in his own self-deluded imagination. Dan casts his evangelical seeds in vain, for none germinated here. To become an effective evangelist, he would have to carefully and humbly pay attention to our concerns, and address each of them far more rigorously than he has here. He is a theological and intellectual lightweight. The only reason he could possibly conclude that the “score” came out in his favor (as if this was some kind of game) is, prideful self-delusion. He’s being insincere, both with us and with himself.I am inclined to believe that most of you were trying to convince yourselves more then convince me but that is for another day.Again with his failure to notice the planks in his own eyes.Stephen really won the debate I feel, and it took a verse to do it, my hat is off to him. What verse, you ask? (Romans 9:14-23), good verse I must admit.Yep, and he also could have saved himself a lot of trouble by reviewing Matt. 7:6 and, according to his custom, pridefully and hypocritically assuming this means atheists, not Christians, are dogs or pigs, and that the Gospel, not logic and evidence, is the pearl. Why bother evangelizing, when he believes, from Romans 9:14-23 and other passag
    es about predestination, that doing so is utterly pointless? Again, he appears to treasure wasteful behavior.Dan’s strategy seems to consist of swooping in like a seagull, leaving as many droppings as he can, then flapping away. I find it dishonest and vulgar.Dan has provided no benefit whatsoever, except perhaps to show us another example of the cecotrophy of Christian apologetics. Dan swallows his own excrement regularly. But he shouldn’t expect others to swallow it without really, really good reasons!Please, for your own sakes, it is time for all of you to choose a side because God will sort us out.Roughly 15 years ago, I made a choice to seek truth and follow the evidence wherever it leads. It led me to atheism, and I haven’t been disappointed. My philosophical “house” (Matt. 7:24-27… lots of good, atheist-friendly material in Matt 7!) rests upon the solid rock of independently verifiable evidence and robust logic. By contrast, Dan’s theology rests, variously, upon either the shifting sands of Christian apologetics or the vapor of blind, unquestioning faith.If Dan is wrong, he will fritter away his only life in hopeful pursuit of imaginary rewards that will never materialize. However, if he’s right, I hope he can handle spending an eternity with his rape-loving God!Remember the only guarantees for us Christians here on earth are persecution, temptations and tribulations and I think I was hit by two out of three during this discussion.What a whiner. Evidently, Dan doesn’t care about winning our souls so much as fulfilling some kind of self-flagellation quota.Dan, you’re welcome to come back when you begin to take evangelism seriously enough to actually try to change our minds. Until then, have fun crapping and “chewing the cud” in your little sandbox!

  29. says

    Stephen,I still love you and I haven’t gone anywhere, I merely closed on my arguments for those subjects. I wanted to take a little time to gather evidence for you. With love I wanted to tell you though; your anger will swallow you up. You still haven’t answered that one question. Would it be worth losing something as precious as your eyesight to gain the knowledge that God is there? Scared to say yes only to have God strike you down with blindness? His laws were placed there for us to follow and if you have lied even once, ever, that you broke his law, if you break the law you go to his jail. Would you care then?The Bible refers to the fate of the unsaved with such fearful words as the following: Shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), Everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46), Weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:51), Fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17), Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish” (Romans 2:8,9), Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), Eternal fire…the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 1:7,13) Revelation 14:10,11 tells us the final, eternal destiny of the sinner: “He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone…the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night.”God is teaching me all things when I continue my walk in life 1 john 2:27. I am very humble and grateful that I was chosen and I wanted to tell every one of you that I found something wonderful and God loves you this much. If I offended I apologize immensely. I truly wish you the best in life and hold no ill will towards you at all. My intentions are to understand atheists and their thought process of God and to preach in season and out of season as a good soldier should. I believe God sent me amongst the wolves not the dog you referred to. ”means atheists, not Christians, are dogs or pigs, and that the Gospel, not logic and evidence, is the pearl”. How could you possibly be a dog or pig when you have eaten the pearls long ago? The pearls are literally the good news about Jesus which you shrugged off. Matthew 7:6 is telling me that I don’t bring up Jesus until you know God’s law first and you are humbled ready to receive the good news, though you have already chosen to ignore it. I did this all because I truly have a compassion for all of you as I am standing watching kids in a house that is on fire and are totally unaware that you will get burned.Are you ready to face God if he were to judge you based on his commandments? Did you all do your blasphemy challenge to get your dvd’s?You wanted evidence and here it is. Evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it, like our friend Stephen. I am merely the sheep being guarded by my Shepherd Jesus. You have no affect on my salvation and apparently I have no affect on yours so there it is, a quagmire, I didn’t win and I see now you didn’t either but it is still in God’s favor. When an atheist wins an argument, he loses eternity.

  30. AmberKatt says

    Matt D. — a little while back on another blog you posted links to your takes on the Way of the Master series, but I can’t find it now, or the original post in which you gave those links. Would you mind linking them again? (I looked up your profile, but the only blog there is this one, not your personal one.)

  31. says

    Why would God speak of removing a rib from Adam? Men and Women have the same number of ribs.“I read somewhere recently that this story may have been a way to explain the human male’s lack of a baculum (i.e. penis bone), which most other male mammals have, since “rib” also means a supporting beam or structure without necessarily being a part of the actual ribcage.If this is true, it throws a rather humorous slant on some of Freud’s theories…. *g*

  32. tracie harris says

    Alyx:If you go to ironchariots.org:http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Main_PageAnd in the search section type “Way of the Master,” you’ll get the hits. Matt contributes to Iron Chariots, and showing the lack of logical thinking behind the Way of the Master series was something he addressed. One specific example would be:http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=The_Firefighter_%28Way_of_the_Master%29I think these are the ones you’re asking about?-th***

  33. says

    You still haven’t answered that one question. Would it be worth losing something as precious as your eyesight to gain the knowledge that God is there? Scared to say yes only to have God strike you down with blindness? His laws were placed there for us to follow and if you have lied even once, ever, that you broke his law, if you break the law you go to his jail. Would you care then?

  34. tracie harris says

    I would submit that the question is too vague to answer. More info would be required. No, it wouldn’t be worth losing one’s eyesight just to confirm there is a god. Supposed I agree to something like that, I lose my eyesight, and BANG! I have incontrovertable proof of god. But it turns out this god is passive energy without personality, doesn’t care what I do, and there is no afterlife. I’ve lost my eyesight only to find out there is a god, it doesn’t care about me, and the one life I have, I now go through it blind. Well, that’s really screwed me then, hasn’t it?”Knowing” whether or not there is a god is an interesting prospect. But the problem is that knowledge alone isn’t sufficient to justify anything. Suppose, as Matt often points out, you find out it is the god of the OT–and you can’t bring yourself to worship the author of something you find as immoral as the OT Law. Even knowing you’ll suffer Hell for eternity, some people might not be willing to worship what they perceive to be an evil god.Now, if someone were to say, would you trade a current lifetime of blindness for guaranteed eternal bliss? A lot of people would do it, and it would be understandable.For me, however, the biggest question by far is whether or not pondering this is anything but a moot exercise in pointlessness? The only way to know there is X is to find some way to verify X exists. Short of that, it’s all supposition. Atheists don’t believe in gods, because there is no verifiable evidence gods exist. What is the point of asking “What would you sacrifice to know for sure?”Would you cut off your right arm to know for sure what actually causes gravity? Why not? Don’t you care about truth? It’s a ridiculous assertion. Yes, I care about truth, and I’d be interested to know what causes gravity–but I’m not willing to lose an arm over it. On top of that, rather than put forward silly “what ifs,” why not use the best known method to find the truth? That would be to research your assumptions to find whether or not your beliefs can be verified (not via personal interpretation–but through repeatable, independently verifiable means). Making up or accepting a story that makes me feel good is not the best way to discern truth: “Yes, nice fairies who care about me, secure everything to the planet, because they love everything. It’s all about the love. Gravity is actually fairy love.”Well, fairies holding all things down, certainly would explain gravity–but it’s not the correct explanation. And without any proof of fairies, it’s a totally unsupported “explanation.” And just because someone says, “If you don’t believe in the fairies, maybe they won’t hold you down–and you’ll go flying off the planet into space and die!,” doesn’t mean that there is now an _actual_ risk invovled in disbelief.Until god is verified, the only real questions are (1) why does anyone believe it without the ability to verify it? and (2) why don’t these believers care whether or not what they believe can actually be known to be true?Dan produced his own proof, showing why he firmly believes that his base premise: God exists, cannot be verified as fact. It cannot be known to be true. But he believes it anyway. If that’s not a clear statement of “I don’t really care if what I believe can be shown to be true or not–I’m going to believe it anyway,” I don’t know what is? But _Stephen’s_ motivations are in question? Unbelievable.Rather than trying to question Stephen’s motives, it would be better to start finding some way to confirm there is a god. Then the threats of hell and the promises of eternal bliss _might_ end up having some actual weight, and be worth considering.God is supernatural? How can ANYONE make such a statement when neither god NOR the existence of supernatural-ness have been shown to even exist? Find a way to verify what you’re claiming (again, not via personal interpretation; things may _seem_ to you to be from god, but if there is not god, you can’t be anything but mistaken. It is, therefore, imperative that you start with evidence of the existence of a god. Starting off by showing me what you think god did–wrote a Bible, created a universe–is moot. It’s no different than me saying that since I don’t fall off the planet, I know there are gravity fairies at work.)-th***

  35. Andrew says

    Dan… Every time I see someone like you, it reminds me of the way I used to think. I would cry it wasn’t all so silly.Oh Dan, if anything I had really hoped you had learned to spell cannot, but I guess even that was too much to hope for…Dan said:My intentions are to understand atheists and their thought process of God…Dan we are all for that kind of discussion, but this statement of yours is dishonest and you know it. You came here to attack something you do not understand with something you think you do. We have clearly shown that you do not understand either. You put on this façade of peace and love and then condemn us to a hell we don’t believe in. Do you not understand that this tactic will never work? Atheists are generally rational and logical people. We use the Bible when debating Christianity because it is appropriate in context and relative to the person we are debating. But you cannot (notice the correct spelling) use the Bible to debate Atheism. That is like trying to debate the theology of Islam with the Bhagavad-Gita. You just won’t be able to get through to us that way.I suggest you read a book about atheism by an atheist (not by a Christian or “former” atheist). And you should really read the links austin cline posted.For Reason,Andrew

  36. says

    With love I wanted to tell you though; your anger will swallow you up.I’m not angry. Frustrated and a little anxious, for reasons I have explained in other comments, but not angry. I’m certainly not angry with God, either, as I cannot be angry with something that I do not believe even exists.I will reciprocate your love and concern, however, by suggesting that your ignorance and blind obedience to a set of falsehoods are likely to swallow you up.You still haven’t answered that one question. Would it be worth losing something as precious as your eyesight to gain the knowledge that God is there?Of course not. I know from direct experience that my eyesight exists, and I place a high value on it. I am already pretty sure, however, that God does not exist, and would not be worthy of human worship if he did. Why would I want to trade something known and valuable for something unknowable and worthless? That doesn’t make sense.Scared to say yes only to have God strike you down with blindness?Not at all, and I’ll demonstrate just how unfrightened I am in a moment. But first, I must point out a few ways in which your question betrays your utter ignorance of my reasons for disbelieving:- If I were to become suddenly blinded, I still would have no reason to attribute my blindness to God.- My conscience confirms that a God who would blind people just to demonstrate his existence is not worthy of human respect, let alone worship.- That Christians typcially suggest undesirable events as evidence for God’s existence hints at the moral bankruptcy of Christianity. A far better way for God to demonstrate his existence and benevolence would be to eradicate, say, malaria or child rape. Doing so would take the teeth out of the Problem of Evil, rendering a deity who is both powerful and benevolent logically possible. Until something really good like that happens, no such deity is even logically possible. The only possible deities are necessarily either unwilling or unable to to prevent evil. If unable, they are impotent. If unwilling, they are evil. In either case, they are untrustworthy, and unworthy of human worship.His laws were placed there for us to follow and if you have lied even once, ever, that you broke his law, if you break the law you go to his jail. Would you care then?I realize this is a difficult concept for many believers to comprehend, but I do not believe God exists to make or enforce laws, and I do not believe Hell exists. Observe:The Holy Spirit sucks!There now, I have just committed the unforgivable sin. According to the Bible, God cannot forgive me now, even if he wanted to. With those four little words, I have given myself power over the God of the Bible. Merely by reading those four little words, you have thought them, and therefore (Matt. 5:21-48) have also committed the unforgiveable sin. (Whoops! Better gouge out your eyes, quick! Are you willing to give up your eyesight for God?)Do I fear eternal consequences in Hell? No, I do not. You will have to come up with something other than idle threats to pursuade me that your God:a) exists, and,b) is worthy of my consideration, let alone respect, let alone worship.Also, you will have to provide some kind of evidence that I will receive some benefit for believing, despite my apparent predestination for Hell and my commission of the unforgiveable sin.…I truly have a compassion for all of you as I am standing watching kids in a house that is on fire and are totally unaware that you will get burned.Eternal torment, by definition, is infinitely worse than child rape. People can recover from being raped as a child and go on to live reasonably healthy, productive lives. But there is no recovery from eternal torment. If you do not like the idea of worshipping a God who would permit child rape, why are you so fond of a God who would permit anyone to be eternally tormented? If Hell exists, the God in whom you believe has ultimate control over who goes there, and he lets anyone suffer such a fate, then your God is the biggest jerk in the universe!How can you believe the God you worship will send me to Hell, “justly”, and yet claim to have “compassion”? What does “compassion” even mean to you?Your “love” for us is a blatant lie. It is becomming abundantly clear that you love only yourself, and seek only to build rewards for yourself in an imaginary Heaven.Evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it, like our friend Stephen. On the contrary, evidence of the value of the Bible can be found in the character of those who support it, like you, Dan. You advocate a God who permits unjust victimhood from malaria, child rape, and (you believe) eternal torment. Full of self-righteous piety and pride, you worship this imaginary monster and push him upon others in expectation of selfish gain. You have become deluded into believing you have gained eternity, but instead, you have only traded your moral conscience for an insidious lie.

  37. says

    ”you find out it is the god of the OT–and you can’t bring yourself to worship the author of something you find as immoral as the OT Law.” First, calling the OT law immoral is not a smart move, do not temp thy Lord your God. So lying and stealing and adultery are immoral? Also am I to understand that you think the God of the Bible is actually two Gods one old and one new? PS it is the same God Isaiah 53(OT) talks about the messiah coming, the same hill that Abraham went to kill his son for God, is the same hill that Jesus(God) was crucified. (OT) said to kill a lamb to atone for and wash your sins with blood. Jesus was the Lamb of God who shed his blood for us to atone for our sins forever, on and on, the entire bible correlates. ”but through repeatable, independently verifiable means” you mean like 500 or so witnesses to various miracles and sightings of the man who cheated death? Take yourself back to that day when there wasn’t the internet or newspapers, where everything wasn’t “just a phone call” or instant message. After seeing all these things, hundreds telling everyone face to face they meant what they saw, people looking into their eyes not a screen and watching the body language and believing. Thousands followed Jesus, going against the government at the time, suffered tremendous torture and persecution (one of the guarantees of the Bible) to keep telling people the good news even in the prisons where they were tortured and maimed because they wouldn’t stop. They believed what they saw so much they ALL gave their lives for that cause. Then the story, being against the law at the time, continued and never stopped and continued to this day. To this day billions of people, people like me, telling you that we experienced God and he does exist. A kid is told by his dad not to touch that iron because it’s hot and he says ok and “believes” it’s hot but when the dad leaves the room the kid touches the iron and burns himself. Now if a friend or an adult or atheist comes in the room and says touch that iron because I promises it is not hot the kid would say “NO WAY” because he went from a belief that the iron is hot to an experience that it’s hot and no one can tell him otherwise. I have experienced God and he reviled himself to me so no man on this earth can tell me otherwise. John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”Then the threats of hell and the promises of eternal bliss _might_ end up having some actual weight, and be worth considering.” you’re missing it entirely. The reason I personally would do anything for God is because I love him so much and I honor him in such an affectionate way; not because I am scared of hell or want heaven. Look at the story of that poor girl named Esther how the all the women went into the room to dress to “impress the King”. They were told they get to keep whatever they put on for the King. All of them could barely walk over to the King because of all the gems, jewelry and diamonds they had hung all over them. Esther on the other hand asked what color the King likes and came in with a beautiful dress and just one necklace. Long story short the entire kingdom was given to her because she didn’t care about the “treasure” she cared about pleasing the King. We are to do the same for God, don’t go to Jesus to stay out of hell, follow Jesus because you love him so much you would do anything he asks and because he is our leader and father. It’s about honor not gifts. ”God exists, cannot be verified as fact. It cannot be known to be true.” Sure, there is plenty of evidence, I can’t find it but there is a Harvard professor with a doctorate in evidence who concluded there was ample evidence to prove that Jesus is who he is. It was a while ago I forgot the name but he proves on circumstantial evidence and documented facts and eye witness testimony that there was no way to refute it. People today are convicted of very heinous crimes based on circumstantial evidence alone without any eye witnesses. People are committed to death or life based on testimony of two people. You my dear, because I love you I am telling you, are utterly in denial. Andrew I love you enough to say, you are going to get burned; I am not condemning you to hell, you and God will do that, it’s not in my power. I “cannot” just sit idly by and watch it happen. I will fight for your souls, even if you won’t, or at least I will try my best. The rest is truly up to God like Stephen so eloquently pointed it out.I am not trying to change your intellect, what I am trying to do is appeal to your conscience. ”I suggest you read a book about atheism by an atheist”. Look I have heard this many times and I have looked at some things like blind watchmaker by Richard Dawkins and it is filled with biased and flawed experiments. Look I know things about satan also, but I will not bring myself to “understand him more” and go read the satanic bible. So I will stay on my “narrow” path. Someone called it narrow minded and I can live with that. It’s like starting on a search for something and finding it, there is no point to keep searching because I found what I was looking for. I am sure you want to follow that Dawkins way, but did you know he is just a flawed dude not God, though you are idolizing him. I am always here for you guys as a voice of reason and as a bible thumper out there, but I will not get indoctrinated into a different theology because I love the Jesus way. For Him,Dan

  38. says

    Sure, there is plenty of evidence, I can’t find it but there is a Harvard professor with a doctorate in evidence…“A doctorate in evidence?” What the hell?Okay, now this guy’s starting to sound like Robert Hamburger from Real Ultimate Power. A doctorate in evidence?It was a while ago I forgot the name but he proves on circumstantial evidence and documented facts and eye witness testimony that there was no way to refute it.What circumstantial evidence? What documented facts? What eyewitnesses? The gospels weren’t written until long after Jesus was dead (if he ever existed at all). None of the documentation we have is contemporary. You can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible. And of course there’s a way to refute it. I just did, and I could do more if you would offer up more than “There’s this dude out there who is totally smart and he proved it. No, I can’t show my work, but trust me, he exists.”Moreover, further up the thread, you posted that idiotic “proof” for why it is impossible to prove that God exists. So which is it? Make up your damn mind.People today are convicted of very heinous crimes based on circumstantial evidence alone without any eye witnesses. People are committed to death or life based on testimony of two people.So which is it? No eyewitnesses or eyewitnesses? What analogy are you trying to make? What’s your point?Look I have heard this many times and I have looked at some things like blind watchmaker by Richard Dawkins and it is filled with biased and flawed experimentsAnd something like the Discovery Institute, which begins with the conclusion “God did it” and looks for ways to support that preconceived conclusion…They aren’t doing “biased and flawed experiments?”How long are you, Dan, going to ignore every single piece of advice that Martin gave in this post? How long are you going to parade your ignorance around as a virtue and shout the same silly things without ever once backing them up? I pity your children.

  39. tracie harris says

    >First, calling the OT law immoral is not a smart move, do not temp thy Lord your God. So lying and stealing and adultery are immoral? Also am I to understand that you think the God of the Bible is actually two Gods one old and one new? PS it is the same God Isaiah 53(OT) talks about the messiah coming, the same hill that Abraham went to kill his son for God, is the same hill that Jesus(God) was crucified. (OT) said to kill a lamb to atone for and wash your sins with blood. Jesus was the Lamb of God who shed his blood for us to atone for our sins forever, on and on, the entire bible correlates.Actually, some people find laws that, for example, sentence rape victims to marry their rapists or that condemn rape victims to be stoned to death along with their rapists, are laws that violate their personal morality. Since morality is personally defined, it’s up to you or to Matt or to me to determine if we find such laws moral or immoral. Of course, any legal code will have some pragmatic rules—such as don’t steal or don’t murder. But it’s these weird laws, like stoning people for being raped, that give some people pause. Please also note that when I point out what some people think or might think X, that is not indicative of what I necessarily think.And while some people would agree with you that it’s the same god, others, such as the Jews, probably would not. It’s along the lines of you denying that Muslims worship the same god. They say they do—but you likely disagree. Same with Mormonism. Same god? They would say so; you would probably disagree. This is what I mean when I say that we can’t rely on interpretive means to independently verify something as fact. Different people quite sincerely perceive the very same information very differently.>”but through repeatable, independently verifiable means” you mean like 500 or so witnesses to various miracles and sightings of the man who cheated death?Actually no, that’s hearsay. That would be similar to the thousands of people we live with on the planet today who say they’ve been abducted by aliens or have seen/interacted with ghosts or the Loch Ness Monster. Or the thousands who say they’ve seen the Virgin Mary in the clouds. Large groups, or even many individuals, often claim to see or experience things that most of the population probably would call _delusion_. And with religious experience this happens often—since it’s so heavily based in the emotional psyche. In fact, if such experiences were evidence of god/s, then many different religions would have evidence for their specific god/s. And we’d all believe in alien abduction.I’m not sure you understand what repeatable, independently verifiability really means. But for example, things dropped in a vacuum will fall at the same rate. This seems to defy our understanding of items that get dropped—such as feathers versus heavy weights. But anywhere you go, if you can create a vacuum, you can drop different things and test whether or not they fall at the same rate. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or how many times you try it. Anyone can do it, and so long as the experiment process/setup isn’t subject to some error, they will come up with the same results. Medicine is tested the same way. If a medicine is effective on a certain percentage of sick people, it should show that same rate of effectiveness in every study. If different people do the same experiment, and they get different results, and error in process or setup is ruled out—that means that the effectiveness of the medicine is unproven—and is seriously in question. Certainly at that point, it would be fair to say the medicine has not been shown to be effective.To say that something exists necessitates direct manifestation of some sort. All we have to do is isolate god’s manifestation and then verify that what is manifesting is, in fact, god, and not something else. This really shouldn’t be difficult. And you help later by beginning to describe what you define as god’s manifestation.>Take yourself back to that day when there wasn’t the internet or newspapers, where everything wasn’t “just a phone call” or instant message. After seeing all these things, hundreds telling everyone face to face they meant what they saw, people looking into their eyes not a screen and watching the body language and believing. Thousands followed Jesus, going against the government at the time, suffered tremendous torture and persecution (one of the guarantees of the Bible) to keep telling people the good news even in the prisons where they were tortured and maimed because they wouldn’t stop. They believed what they saw so much they ALL gave their lives for that cause.Not unlike people who suffer and die for political beliefs or for religions other than Christianity. Not unlike the Jim Jones followers. Not unlike the Heaven’s Gate group. Not unlike many Nazis and Japanese suicide pilots in WWII. Do you see the point? People _will_ and _do_ often go to their deaths for ideas or for outright delusions. It’s so common I’m sitting here naming off half a dozen off the top of my head. Certainly _how many_ people believe something or how strongly they believe it is not evidence such a delusion is true. People who believe they’ve been abducted by UFOs often lose the respect of friends and family and coworkers. Some lose their jobs for it. Does that mean they’re perception of whatever happened to them is suddenly _true_? I’m sure they believe it. But I don’t believe it. And they certainly have failed so far to prove their claims.>Then the story, being against the law at the time, continued and never stopped and continued to this day. To this day billions of people, people like me, telling you that we experienced God and he does exist.If you, and millions of others, experience god, then god absolutely is testable through science. If you experience something, then it is manifesting. You say you are experiencing something. So god is manifesting. All we have to do now is define what it is you experience, isolate that, and determine if only a god could cause whatever you experience, or if anything else could account for it. If anything else can account for it, then the experience fails to prove god. So, let’s isolate your experience. Define your experience so that we can examine it and begin to determine what it is you’re calling god.>A kid is told by his dad not to touch that iron because it’s hot and he says ok and “believes” it’s hot but when the dad leaves the room the kid touches the iron and burns himself. Now if a friend or an adult or atheist comes in the room and says touch that iron because I promises it is not hot the kid would say “NO WAY” because he went from a belief that the iron is hot to an experience that it’s hot and no one can tell him otherwise. I have experienced God and he reviled himself to me so no man on this earth can tell me otherwise. Earlier you indicated that your god did not interact with nature, and that he couldn’t be tested via science because of that; but now you’re saying that you experience god in some way. Since you are on the natural plane, then god interacts with the natural plane. Please provide more information on how god interacts with you. Now we’re getting somewhere. The more you can describe your god and how he manifests within the natural world, the more we can figure out what this thing is you’re calling god.I will say that “It’s a feeling” (which we hear often) won’t go very far, because we all know that it doesn’t take gods to produce feelings; in fact, (emotional) feelings are totally self-generated. I don’t know if that’s where you would go with this—but just to head that off so we don’t waste time down that particular path, because it leads nowhere. Most people wouldn’t agree that self-generated emotions prove god. But give us what you’ve got. Now that we know you acknowledge god does manifest in this world, we
    have something to examine at least. And we should be able to prove there is a god, in that case, if in fact there is one.>”Then the threats of hell and the promises of eternal bliss _might_ end up having some actual weight, and be worth considering.” you’re missing it entirely. The reason I personally would do anything for God is because I love him so muchSorry, I think you misunderstood my intention with this passage. I wasn’t discussing _your_ motives here. I was talking about why arguments regarding hell and impending doom really don’t have a lot of impact on skeptics. You’ve been talking about how those on this list seem unaware of the looming hell fire. I’m saying that if there’s no god, there’s no hell fire to loom. So, first order of business is: Prove god exists. Then we can try to work out whether or not this god thing has a Hell realm. I understand you may have other motives for why you’re a Xian, I didn’t mean to address those in this statement.>”God exists, cannot be verified as fact. It cannot be known to be true.” >Sure, there is plenty of evidence, I can’t find it but there is a Harvard professor with a doctorate in evidence who concluded there was ample evidence to prove that Jesus is who he is. It was a while ago I forgot the name but he proves on circumstantial evidence and documented facts and eye witness testimony that there was no way to refute it.I seriously doubt I would agree with his assessment. Also—ironically as get-out—it was also a Harvard professor who was a main champion of the “I’ve been abducted by aliens” group of delusionals I mentioned earlier:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/aliens/johnmack.htmlHe also went from “skeptic” to “believer.” He _really_ believes people are being experimented on by aliens. He’s thoroughly convinced. I don’t think it makes it so.[Argument from authority is a logical fallacy. Certainly experts have their place—but in areas of interpretation of data, that’s a personal call. Facts are what matters. Interpretation is up to you. But “god exists” is a statement of fact, which makes it an assertion that can be proved or disproved. “I believe the Bible” is an opinion (whether it is stated by you or a Harvard professor). If you believe in the Bible, then the statement itself is true. It doesn’t mean the Bible’s message _is_ true—it only means you interpret the message as being true.]>People today are convicted of very heinous crimes based on circumstantial evidence alone without any eye witnesses.And I’m glad, because eye witness testimony is notoriously fallible, while testable, verifiable evidence is not. Also, in a court, they are not proving things exist. I’m not asking for “do you think there is a god?”—in the same way a court would ask, “Do you think Jim murdered Mary?”; I’m saying that _all_ your claims _cannot_ be true _unless_ god exists. So, we need to _know_ there is a god before we can begin attributing things to him. If we can’t even show there is a god, we certainly have no basis to go around making claims about his books and his universe creating abilities. It’s like talking in great depth about the social structure of the Big Foot culture. There is a guy who actually does this for a living. But how can he be telling me about Big Foot behavior when nobody even knows if Big Foot exists? His cart is way out there in front of his horse. And your cart and horse are placed in exactly the same way.>People are committed to death or life based on testimony of two people. You my dear, because I love you I am telling you, are utterly in denial.And many people are _wrongfully_ sentenced to death because of this flaw in our system of relying on people’s opinions. It’s a major argument _against_ the death penalty. I personally support the death penalty—but even I am very bothered by the more-than valid arguments that lean on the numbers of innocent people convicted by our courts and juries, because our court system is not as good as science when it comes to testing for validity of claims. Science tests facts. Juries give opinions. They _believe_ the defendant did/didn’t do it—they don’t claim to know it—nor do they have to commit to “knowing” it. But you claim god exists. This is a claim of fact. It’s either true or false. There’s no need (or room) for opinion in this. If something exists, there is no reason it cannot be shown to exist.I wouldn’t ask a jury to tell me whether or not germs exist. I would ask a scientist. We’re not trying to determine if god did X (like we would ask a jury, “Did Jim murder Mary?”), we’re trying to determine if there is such thing as god/s. In determining the existence of existent things—you can’t beat science for accuracy.And you’re earlier proof that supernatural things can’t be tested by science is no longer valid, because you now claim god manifests (in you and billions of others) in the natural universe. This means that whether or not there is a god should be a very simple matter to prove or disprove. So, explain how you identify god’s manifestation when you encounter it in the natural world. What differentiates it that makes it uniquely identifiable as “god”?

  40. tracie harris says

    One thing I failed to ask that could be very helpful is whether or not this manifestation you label as god actually speaks to you? I’ve talked to many believers who say they hear clear voices in their heads or in their ears that represent god to them.If god actually speaks to you in an understandable, verbal way, that would greatly cut down the time it would take to verify whether or not your experience is divine or self-generated.Let me know.

  41. says

    First, calling the OT law immoral is not a smart move, do not temp thy Lord your God.What God is there to tempt? Without establishing that, there is no reason not to examine OT law under the same moral microscope as anything else. Do you honestly believe in stoning children to death merely for things they say? OT law does. Do you believe in murdering rape victims along with their assailants? OT law does. Anyone with a healthy conscience can readily recognize that such laws are immoral.Jesus was the Lamb of God who shed his blood for us to atone for our sins forever, on and on, the entire bible correlates.Killing something or someone that does not deserve death for the benefit of someone who does is inherently unjust. Do you understand this? OT Law, upon which the NT theology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection was founded, is inherently unjust and immoral. I talk about this more in a previous post.I have experienced God and he reviled himself to me so no man on this earth can tell me otherwise.If God existed and behaved as the OT says, I would have no trouble at all accepting that he “reviled” himself to you. But then why would you still think trusting him was a good idea?Perhaps you meant to say, “revealed”. What if God “revealed” to someone that he doesn’t want anyone to believe in him? Would you accept this as evidence that you should become an atheist? If not, why would you expect anyone to accept your experience as evidence that unbelievers should believe?To this day billions of people, people like me, telling you that we experienced God and he does exist.So what? I had those feelings as a Christian, too, but now I regard them as a common quirk of imperfect human brains. Brains can be affected, and minds can be altered, through all kinds of influences, from drugs to music to shared social experiences. Many of these factors are present in religious rituals. People of all religions have such experiences. I still have such experiences from time to time. Feelings are no more evidence of the God of the Bible than they are of Poseidon. They’re just brain farts. They’re not evidence of truth.There are lots of people who believe Elvis resurrected, too. And that’s going on today, even though we’re relatively elightened, and have much easier ways of verifying or falsifying claims. People believe all kinds of crazy things. Belief, even widespread belief, is not evidence of truth.We are to do the same for God, don’t go to Jesus to stay out of hell, follow Jesus because you love him so much you would do anything he asks and because he is our leader and father. It’s about honor not gifts.Then why mention Heaven or Hell at all? Why do you keep uttering idle threats about us going to a Hell we don’t believe even exists, instead of displaying your love for Jesus by providing us with even one small shred of independently verifiable, material evidence that God even exists? Alternatively, why don’t you just explain–without dishonorably resorting to threats–why we should believe God exists even if he doesn’t?I have already explained several, apparently airtight reasons why I don’t believe in God, and shouldn’t trust in him if he does. Can you counter this in kind with even one piece of robust evidence?Sure, there is plenty of evidence, I can’t find it but … It was a while ago I forgot the name but he proves on circumstantial evidence … You my dear, because I love you I am telling you, are utterly in denial.PLANK!I am not trying to change your intellect, what I am trying to do is appeal to your conscience.I care about truth. As my conscience will only permit what my mind can accept, you will have to appeal to both, and you will have to try much, much harder. My conscience is still virtually screaming that Christianity and the Christian God are inherently immoral. This impression has only been amplified by your amateurish, slipshod, half-hearted evangelism.So I will stay on my “narrow” path. What’s so “narrow” about believing the same common nonsense as two thirds of the global population? You’re on the widest path available to humanity, and the easiest way–believing just about any old thing without bothering to verify it, then sticking with it despite exposure to strongly contradictory evidence. So many people do that.The harder way, taken by far fewer people, is rigorously examining religious claims to determine whether or not they are actually true. You haven’t done that, yet. We have.…I will not get indoctrinated into a different theology because I love the Jesus way.Suit yourself. We don’t care. But if you are this stubborn in your refusal to consider independently verifiable facts and airtight logical arguments, how can you possibly expect us to respond with anything other than a raspberry to your faith, feelings, and inablity to remember the circumstantial evidence that some guy who you can’t recall once used to absolutely prove your assertions? :PYou’re a hypocrite. You’re an intellectual lightweight. You’re deluded. You’re immoral. You’re a liar. And you don’t realize any of this, because your faith and pride have blinded you to reality.Dan, it’s hard enough for a seeing person to explain the concept of color to someone who has been blind from birth. But it takes an inordinate amount of hubris for a blind man to tell seeing people that they don’t understand all the colors of the world around them. You are just such a blind man. Until you make an honest effort to see what we see, your evangelism will be just as futile.Before you suggest that I am such a blind man, and I only need to try Jesus to see what you see, remember that I already tried Jesus, for about two decades of my life. What a waste that turned out to be.

  42. says

    Dan,I posted my last comment before I saw Tracie’s recent comments. If you are trying to decide whether to respond to my comments or hers, pick hers. She has outlined an excellent opportunity for you to evangelize for real, not just for show.

  43. says

    I wasn’t going to post anything further until Dan had another opportunity to respond, but I just can’t get over the degree of hypocrisy and irony in so much of what he says.I am sure you want to follow that Dawkins way, but did you know he is just a flawed dude not God, though you are idolizing him.Like, oh, say, Ray Comfort? Hmm?Someone called it narrow minded and I can live with that. … I will not get indoctrinated into a different theology because I love the Jesus way.And we love the way of verifiable evidence and sound logic.Dan expressed appreciation for my reference to Romans 9:14-23. Right at the heart of that passage is Romans 9:18, which says, “Therefore hath he [God] mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”So far, several of us have not only demonstrated that we are willing to entertain Dan’s views, but have expressed some very specific ways in which he can go about changing our minds and appealing to our consciences. We’re open, we’re actively requesting information, and I, personally, am even trying to goad him into making a more sincere effort.Dan, on the other hand, has made it clear that he is not the slightest bit open to pursuasion.As such, the hardest heart here appears to be that of Dan.Something to think about.

  44. says

    I knew not to bring up that Harvard dude, unless I found more (I wish I remembered his name) I was hoping someone would also remember it to no avail. If I come across it I will share at a later time. Thanks for all your advice in helping an “atheist find God”, lol it’s almost like an oxymoron. I wish I could do more for you all. You will all receive your proof someday, right. To say “try Jesus” is absurd and I would never suggest that to anyone, fear Jesus is my style. God gave you free will to believe or not just make sure you haven’t broken any of his laws…oops, I think you broke the first one uh oh. Or just make sure you don’t ever die.”So, let’s isolate your experience. Define your experience so that we can examine it and begin to determine what it is you’re calling god.” I will not include my personal “evidence” to describe anything here in this public forum. I have had manifestations of God though never audible or physical but I don’t want to get into life study of me. I would hate for any of you to dig at my personal life so I will refrain. I stand behind (Matthew 7:6) for this and the ”I pity your children.” attack from Akusai is another reason, a lot of you are trying to dig at me personally and that is just not cool, but expected. The quote from Eleanor Arroway in Contact will have to suffice in this arena. I do have a great resource for you all. There is an open invitation to any atheist out there willing to step away from the computer and come out into the Radio arena. You may even talk to Ray personally so pull up your boot straps and try not to be too scared to be in front of millions.The phone number is 1-877-LAW-GRACE and they are on the air LIVE from 12pm to 2pm here in California or PST. You will get true answers for your questions. Todd is an intellect and would love to debate you on any subject at all. You must tell everyone here and post the pod-cast link here at this blog so we can all have a listen and so we can all get the information. The station’s site is here and you can listen to it live online or pod-cast later. This is the one way you will get your answers from the mouths of the WOTM people themselves. They are so used to the same old atheist arguments so be ready, don’t be scared. Do it for me if anything. For Him,Dan

  45. says

    BTW a preview of Todd the WOTM radio personality and a debate with an atheist is here. The debates may continue but the 400 lb lineman called “time” is pushing us towards the cliff of life and I want all of you to be ready.

  46. says

    “I will not include my personal “evidence” to describe anything here in this public forum.”Why not, Dan? I’m genuinely curious, not being snarky. Isn’t that called a “giving a testimony” and aren’t personal testimonies part of what witnessing is all about? Or do evangelical Christians give testimonies only to fellow believers? If so, of what use then are they?

  47. AmberKatt says

    Tracie — yes, those are the links I was looking for! Thanks, I’d forgotten they were part of the Iron Chariot wiki.

  48. AmberKatt says

    I do have a great resource for you all. There is an open invitation to any atheist out there willing to step away from the computer and come out into the Radio arena. You may even talk to Ray personally so pull up your boot straps and try not to be too scared to be in front of millions.Oh by all that is holy, Dan, do you hear the condescension dripping from those words??? Do you really think you are making a good witness for Christ this way?Go to the top of this blog page, Dan, and read the description there: “The Atheist Experience is a weekly live call-in television show sponsored by the Atheist Community of Austin.”Note the words “Live. Call-in. Television show.” I think these people are not only used to stepping away from their computers, they are well able to appear before people watching (and listening!) live to their views. They also provide podcasts of the show, as well as audio archives. And from what I’ve seen and read, none of them does this with anything even approaching fear.Perhaps your people should call in to their show sometime, eh? Who knows, both shows could do some sort of exchange program, like O’Reilly appearing on Colbert and vice-versa.

  49. AmberKatt says

    If god actually speaks to you in an understandable, verbal way, that would greatly cut down the time it would take to verify whether or not your experience is divine or self-generated.Oooo… intriguing. I’m curious, Tracie, how could this be done? How could one set up an empirical test to prove or disprove the “godness” of this sort of manifestation? If a person hears the voice of God in their head, even if it seems to be an actual, audible voice, I don’t see any way to set up a control for this. An outside, aural voice could be blocked… but even then, how could one prove the subject wasn’t actually hearing it if they said they did through any blocks? In short, how to rule out or prove “the miraculous”? And as for an audible-seeming voice inside one’s head? How could the scientist test for or rule out the subject’s imagination or something like a schizophrenic manifestation?

  50. says

    I stand behind (Matthew 7:6) for this and the ”I pity your children.” attack from Akusai is another reason, a lot of you are trying to dig at me personally and that is just not cool, but expected.Sir, you misread my intent. That was not an attack. That was honest pity. I work with children, and very much want the best for them. I was voicing my intense, heartfelt empathy for a trio of children who had the bad luck to be born to a father who is dumber than a bucket of shit. They deserve better than a smarmy, condescending jerk-off evangelist who’s about as bad at his job as any I’ve seen and consistently refuses to answer the big questions or follow the advice offered him as a friendly gesture to help him not look like an idiot in front of people who have heard it all, and more, before.Why do you worship a god who commands you to kill disobedient children? To stone rape victims? Why won’t you address those points? Why do you insist on assuming the existence of god and using that to prove his existence?Can’t you say a single thing that is worth reading for more than ironic, cynical amusement?

  51. says

    To say “try Jesus” is absurd and I would never suggest that to anyone, fear Jesus is my style.Correction noted.Actually, this is one of the things that, in my estimation, makes you immoral: catering to a fearsome bully.God gave you free will to believe or not just make sure you haven’t broken any of his laws…oops, I think you broke the first one uh oh.How so? We don’t put any other gods before your God. You appear to put WOTM before your God, though. I have noticed that you paraphrase them far more frequently than you quote from the Bible.Why would we care about the “laws” of an entity that does not exist, and is therefore unable to enforce “laws” attributed to him? We just don’t see any reason to stone our children to death if we don’t want to.… a lot of you are trying to dig at me personally and that is just not cool, but expected.PLANK!”Evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it, like our friend Stephen.”I perceive that you intended for this statement to be regarded a direct attack on my Character. That is, unless you intended for it to be interpreted along the lines of, “the Character of Stephen is good, therefore his opposition of the Bible indicates that the Bible lacks value.”Worse, you have persistently suggested that all of us deserve to burn in Hell for eternity! That’s not just an idle curse like “damn you” or “go to Hell”. You actually appear to believe we deserve such a fate, to the degree that you even worship the imaginary bully whom you believe will send us there! You continue to believe this even though you remain unable to defend your faith in either God or Hell conscientiously, in accordance with the charge of 1 Peter 3:15-16.Instead of providing evidence of God’s existence and trustworthiness as you indicated you would, and as we have frequently requested, you have displayed only your own selfish pride and hypocrisy.When you have removed the plank from your own eye, you will be able to see more clearly as you try to assist us in removing the specks from ours.This is the one way you will get your answers from the mouths of the WOTM people themselves. They are so used to the same old atheist arguments so be ready, don’t be scared.We know how Christian apologists like to argue: spout so many fallacies in a couple of sentences that it would take a disproportionate amount of time to debunk them all, then persistently interrupt any and all attempts to respond, until the time is up. If any pointed questions are raised by atheists, they are largely ignored, and distractions are introduced–just as you have utterly ignored my rebuttal of your “free will” excuse regarding child rape, and so many other telling points we have raised. It’s a very dishonest style of argumentation. Although the uninitiated audience undoubtedly laps it up, the Christian apologist style of “debate” does not further the cause of discovering truth.I do not doubt that your WOTM idols are accustomed to, “the same old atheist arguments,” but I’m pretty sure that, like you, they do not have anything with which to reply, other than the same old Christian apologetics, which we have already thoroughly debunked here and elsewhere.Do it for me if anything.Why? What do we owe you? You came here of your own volition, hinting that you could somehow provide us with at least one decent reason to believe in your God, but you have consistently failed to follow through, at every step. Make good on your own commitments first.

  52. says

    I tried to talk to Dan via e-mail as he’s simply repeating (word for word in some cases) the words of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, along with a few other apologists.As I’ve written *extesive* rebuttals to their “Way of the Master” episodes, I thought I’d ask Dan to respond to my criticisms.Unfortunately, Dan is parroting Ray Comfort not only because he agrees with him, but because he’s not an original thinker. Without bothering to actually read or consider my criticisms of Ray’s work, Dan responded with some preachy nonsense about how there are only two types of people who reject his god…1. Those who feel guilty for committing some major sin2. Those who don’t want to give up the pleasures of a sinful existenceCleary Dan has no experience with rational criticisms of his beliefs and no interest in considering them. His narrow view on his own theology is akin to that of Fred Phelps (though I’m sure Dan is nicer).Why he insists on hounding an atheist site with incredibly weak arguments and no interest in reasoned dialog or debate is beyond me.I won’t be wasting any more time on Dan.

  53. Andrew says

    Stephen said:“You’re a hypocrite. You’re an intellectual lightweight. You’re deluded. You’re immoral. You’re a liar. And you don’t realize any of this, because your faith and pride have blinded you to reality.”No, he didn’t! LolDan whined:“… a lot of you are trying to dig at me personally and that is just not cool, but expected.”You started it Dan, and you asked for it by consistently ignoring our attempts to start a real debate instead of your pathetically amateur proselytizing.Dan spelled correctly:“I “cannot” just sit idly by and watch it happen.”Yes! I think I am the only one who can honestly say that he taught anyone, anything here today.Yay me!

  54. says

    “The only good thing is that a lot of good dialogue is now posted online in case anyone comes across it. That’s one BIG benefit over taking someone like this on in a private e-mail.”I totally agree. Al the contributions made on the topic are immensely useful.I participate a lot in religion and atheist forums (in spanish) and the information and devastating reasoning you guys bring helps a lot.Once again, gracias!!!

  55. says

    Matt DI am wondering why you would email me personally asking me questions which I answered the blast me here at the blog, strange. Lets put the entire conversation out there for others to judge, shall we:—–Original Message—–From: Matt Dillahunty Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 3:11 PMTo: dmarvin811 Subject: Your post at the AE blog… You wrote: “Yes, I like WOTM’s sound doctrine, just look at myblog it is filled with Ray’s things. I even open airpreach some times at events and things and every day Ihand out tracts and read my bible.” I’m curious then, if you’ve read my rebuttals toseveral episodes of the WOTM series, and what yourthoughts are regarding my comments. To date, not asingle believer has been able to stand up to thechallenge and Ray, himself, was forced to admit thatthe banana argument was a bad idea. Oddly, he hasn’tbeen able to defend his own work at my site either. Here are links to rebuttals for 3 episodes… Response to the episode on atheism:http://tinyurl.com/2bd3vs Response to the episode on evolution:http://tinyurl.com/22fjtl Response to the first episode, ‘The Firefighter’:http://tinyurl.com/2z889b I look forward to finding anyone who is up to thechallenge… -MattI wrote back:”I look forward to finding anyone who is up to thechallenge…” Challenge to help you stay out of hell? Challenge to help save your soul why are you fighting it so much? Look I’m not going to do your homework for you but on my blog in the comments I have a response. There are two people that reject the bible and God. There are those that feel so guilty they have done something horribly wrong that they feel they would never be forgiven for it. Then there are those who like the lifestyle or (sin) so much that they don’t want to give it up for God or anyone. They think that they couldn’t live without that sin or lifestyle. What good is it for someone to gain the entire world only to loose his soul? I am here to tell you my friend that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. We must do in Hebrews 11:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” [FROM MY BLOG COMMENTS]Someone sent an anonymous comment saying one word “coconut” in reply to a link Atheist’s nightmare I sent to someone on an atheist blog. In response to the Coconut comment I give you this: The coconut also proves a God because he made it really hard for animals to get into them. ‘On oceanic Indo-Pacific islands, the coconut is eaten primarily by two animals, humans and the coconut crab. Pacific islanders recognize different stages of growth, assigning to them different names. When the nut is young, it is without the white endosperm (“meat”), but filled with “water” and is used for drinking. When older the endosperm is soft and rubbery, a stage preferred by some. When still older, the husk is still green, but the shell is now brown. At this stage the water tastes like sparkling water, though I don’t know if this is from dissolved gases. Finally when mature and the husk brown, the endosperm is usually ground off on a serrated blade and added to other dishes or rendered for oil.’ Same concept don’t you agree, Matt? You are looking to catch Ray or myself at a lie or find a good reason to say ah ha I don’t have to believe in God! Guys like Ray and me are trying to help you from getting hurt, like the kid playing in the house that is on fire. You’re going to get burned and we don’t want that. The fact is you don’t have to follow Jesus because God gave you free will. God also at the same time gave us instructions on how and when to preach. (2 Corinthians 5:11) We are doing God’s will and you just want it to be difficult for us, well it is. That will never stop us, we will always and forever counter what you say when you take the position of there is no God because you and us know better. I am here for you, in a blog situation I like a good debate because there are crowds watching or reading and I can reach more people. One on one, like this, I take a different approach, I must ask you before we become pen pals and go any further. Would it be worth losing something as precious as your eyesight to gain the knowledge that God is there as he says? What are you worth trading, for that knowledge? His laws were placed there for us to follow and if you have lied even once, ever, that you broke his law, if you break the law you go to his jail called hell. Unfortunately Matt, you or I do not have the choice to decide what you will or will not believe, Romans 9:14-23 took care of that. So we will be in a quagmire for life. You have no affect on my salvation and apparently I have no affect on yours so there it is, a quagmire, I didn’t win and I see now you didn’t either but it is still in God’s favor. For Him, Dan MarvinDmarvin811.blogspot.com

  56. says

    Akusai saidI work with children, had the bad luck to be born to a father who is dumber than a bucket of shit. a smarmy, condescending jerk-off evangelist look like an idiot in front of people who have heard it all, and more, before. You work with children huh, that is comforting to know that your self proclaimed ‘intellectual mind’ is working with children. Are you teaching them the kind of things you are saying here? “Evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it, like our friend Akusai” Nice language, do I need I see more besides this; I still have love and I am concerned for you and those kids.Alyx, I was aware that there was a local television show. I was being tongue and cheek in a way to dare anyone to call in the “big radio show” with millions of listeners. I see now it wasn’t a good joke so I retract the smarminess but the invitation still stands. I am a big boy and with loving arms I still want all of you saved. Please go to that debate link I gave. That debate ended in the same way. The atheist believed he could change people’s minds on their belief system and the Christian who said there was no way he could do that because that was up to God to change minds. (This reminds me of) Stephen,” I know from direct experience that my eyesight exists, and I place a high value on it.”If you eyes are so important then how much more important is your soul. Aren’t your eyes just the windows to your soul? What good is it to gain the entire world and win every argument with a Christian only to loose that precious soul? Not a flip question but do atheist believe we have souls? I would like to know your input on that belief now that you are not a Christian do you still believe you have a soul?” A far better way for God to demonstrate his existence and benevolence would be to eradicate, say, malaria or child rape.”Guess what my friend that is exactly what he will do. Let me ask this if there was no such thing as child rape or evil things how would you long for the day to kick the teeth out of evil as you said? ”rendering a deity who is both powerful and benevolent logically possible.” you would answer this better then I can but do I sense a backslider in you, maybe agnostic, you tell me?” Until something really good like that happens, no such deity is even logically possible.”. Wahoo we are on our way to saving a soul, thank you Lord! This is exactly what God will do as stated in Revelations. If there was no evil then there would be no way for God to be glorified when he removed it, besides he gave us free will to choose. Choose what, between two good things? We, as a species, are to choose between evil things and good things and to understand the difference forever? He is a teaching God, not a dictator. How can you teach a brain surgeon what to do unless you have a couple of strokes and brain tumors? How can you teach a species that they are made Holy in His image and righteous enough to know in their mind that child rape is wrong? That nation finding out that God was in control all that time and he rights ALL the wrongs from the beginning of time and eradicates evil forever and ever. Would you follow that God anywhere, I can only speak for myself, I would and do. So people like you with that thought process of “needing proof” will just have to be the ones who will be persecuted for God’s sake after the rapture. People of my belief system of “faith” who already know this will be part of the rapture to be with our leader Jesus for the rest of eternity. But at least you will have your “proof” and will not have any more excuses to follow our Holy God. Although, I am hoping that you realize this before the rapture because the followers of Jesus, after the rapture, will be persecuted more then any other in history by the single nation in charge, don’t forget to refuse that beasts number. (Spare me the “it was Cesar’s name” bit, atheists has rhetoric also) Another point of atheist confusion is ” The Holy Spirit sucks! There now, I have just committed the unforgivable sin” the unforgivable sin is the absolute refusal to follow Jesus before one dies, this is the unforgivable sin. That is what it is saying in Luke 12:10, buddy. Speaking a word against Jesus will be forgiven but to absolutely refuse to follow him into eternity is blasphemous and you would perish. So it is quite comical to see all these people taking that challenge and thinking what a waste of time it is.God loves you so much he will give you great signs that it is him, just as you are asking for (be careful of what you ask for…) and when you all are cuddling together and praying to be saved from the hell that is raining down on you, you will understand how small you are and you will lose that pride of self and follow our Lord and realize how great and loving God is. ” why are you so fond of a God who would permit anyone to be eternally tormented?” because I relish in anything our Lord does to the evil out there. Because he is eternally tormenting the ones that raped and murdered our mothers and children on this earth, that’s why. What if it was your child or mother? Would it be ok with you for that rapist to die of old age a week later? Would justice be served in your mind? I like you Stephen for many reasons, you are explaining everything you believe and you are receptive to logic. Maybe God is going to do something wonderful in your life and since we can not be unequally yoked maybe you will be following the Lord soon, I wouldn’t know. Stephen said ”push him upon others in expectation of selfish gain.” In the Bible it says the first will be the last and we all will be equal in heaven. I would gladly wash all of your feet and welcome you to heaven. ”paraphrase WOTM far more frequently than you quote from the Bible” ouch that hurt. I didn’t think I did but I will have to watch that. I call in and write and complain and discuss just like we are here. There is no difference between my walk with Jesus. Man I don’t trust and will challenge all the time without fear. I love what Ray has done with the style of open air preaching and salesmanship and I incorporate it. But I do and never will worship any man. I discuss all the time these subjects with whoever I meet. I still disagree with Ray and Todd’s position on the church but that is for us to discuss, I don’t want it to be a gossip thing. ”Worse, you have persistently suggested that all of us deserve to burn in Hell for eternity! I resent that because I have done no such thing, God has.That’s not just an idle curse like “damn you” or “go to Hell”. You actually appear to believe we deserve such a fate. That’s because you do! As I also deserve it. Are you a liar or a thief have you lusted towards anyone? Have you broken his laws? Yes then you are a law breaker and deserve punishment. ”It’s a very dishonest style of argumentation. Like prove God, prove him! I know its based on faith but prove faith. Prove Jesus said that. Todd brought up a great point; do you all believe there was a man named Plato? Well to date there are 10 original documents that explained about him and his sayings. Do you know how many original documents about the New Testament and Jesus are? 56,000 in various degrees of languages and styles. Talk about style of argumentation, to the atheist denial is the style. I wish you the best in the near future allFor Him,Dan

  57. tracie harris says

    >>”So, let’s isolate your experience. Define your experience so that we can examine it and begin to determine what it is you’re calling god.”>I will not include my personal “evidence” to describe anything here in this public forum. I have had manifestations of God though never audible or physical but I don’t want to get into life study of me. I would hate for any of you to dig at my personal life so I will refrain. I stand behind (Matthew 7:6) for this and the ”I pity your children.” attack from Akusai is another reason, a lot of you are trying to dig at me personally and that is just not cool, but expected. The quote from Eleanor Arroway in Contact will have to suffice in this arena. I really think you misunderstood where I was going with my queries. Just to shed some light, since it appears I was unclear: People get sick. Some people used to think it was because their humors were out of whack. Later someone decided to examine the issue and take into account what they observed: People who get ill, often make others, in close proximity to them, ill as well. Eventually, examining ways in which people exchange air and fluid, someone arrived at “Germ Theory.”1. He saw something that manifested in illness.2. He investigated to determine if he could find a common link.3. He verified the existence of the organisms he called “germs.”4. And he formulated a theory that organisms exposed to what he observed and labeled “germs,” often became ill at a surprisingly constant rate—that deficient immune systems, exposed to “germs” is what is responsible for illness–a theory we continue working under to this day.While “how disease spreads” may still be technically theoretical (but a great working model nonetheless), the existence of germs has been verified.To say that something exists is to claim it manifests. You say god manifests, and the crux of the discussion here is “Does god exist?” Since we are atheists, we think not—and you have been presenting lots of input to try and make a case for what you are claiming: God exists.Obviously, if you believe god exists, then you believe you have seen god manifest in some way. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense to claim he exists. Why would anyone have thought to look for germs if they had never seen anyone getting ill, seemingly from proximity to other ill people? Germs were manifesting indirectly as illness; and scientists who thought something like germs might be the culprit knew that the only way to “know” if their ideas about indirect manifestation were actually _true_, was to confirm a direct manifestation of germs—which they did. If germs did not exist, then obtaining evidence of direct manifestation would have repeatedly failed (which is the case with “humors”—they don’t exist, and that’s why we never found evidence of direct manifestation).I’ve already pointed out that basic logic dictates that if no god exists, then your Bible and the Universe cannot be the work of god—no matter how much they may seem to be to you or to anyone else. This is not arguable; it is just logical. It’s just like the humors or germs. No matter how much people thought humors solidly explained illness—it was an unfounded assumption until someone could provide evidence of direct manifestation of humors—which they could not, because you can’t find evidence to support the existence of things that don’t exist. Likewise, the assertion that germs might caused illness—true as it may be—was still only an unfounded assumption until someone proved evidence of direct manifestation of germs. In other words—even though germs exist, believe in them before someone was able to prove direct manifestation, was unfounded. Considering they might exist is another matter—but that’s not “believing” they exist. And certainly, before they were proven to directly manifest, it would have been WAY premature for anyone to say they “know” germs exist. Even though they would have been correct, the statement would have been false—since they did not have the verification required to call their belief “knowledge.”Since you have not shown us any evidence of direct manifestation of god, we’re operating under the assumption that you have not verified your premise—the foundation of ALL your other claims: God exists.You said earlier that you believed god could not be shown to directly manifest (verified), because he was “supernatural.” I interpreted that to mean “outside of nature.” However, later you indicated that your definition of supernatural means something very different, because you said that there was either direct or indirect manifestation of god occurring at a frequent rate—that you and billions of others had direct experience with some sort of manifestation of god, personally.I wasn’t trying to pry into your private life when I asked for more information. I was just hoping that you would share this evidence–that _you_ brought up, mind you–of manifestation so that we could determine whether or not it would qualify as verification of god’s existence.I won’t lie. I’m extremely doubtful that it would; but only because I’ve heard many others before claim they could prove it, only to find the brought only their interpretations, assumptions and suppositions to the table—and not a shred of proof of god’s existence. But I’m still willing to examine whatever you’ve got. If god exists and interacts in nature—then there is no reason he cannot be located in nature by natural means, and his manifestation examined to determine whether or not what is manifesting is actually god or if it could be something else. I mean, germs are germs. Call them what you like—but when you’re looking at them through a microscope—I mean, there they _are_.So, the logical reality is that outside of evidence of direct manifestation—anyone can only be operating on complete supposition, assumption, fantasy—whatever you want to call it. Some things may seem to you, or to me or to anyone else, to be the work of a god, but if there is no god, then everyone is mistaken. And, yes, that _is_ logically and reasonably possible. So far, all your assertions remain unfounded. Yet, you seem to be working under the impression that believing something strongly enough makes it “knowledge.” And that’s not how it works. You are making claims that you know there is a god. But when I ask you to show how you verified it—you repeatedly avoid doing so. You point to things you think god does. But that’s not verification of god’s existence. That’s verification that Dan thinks X is the work of a god. But in order for Dan to claim to “know” god exists, he’d have to actually do the work to verify a god _actually_ exists. And from what you’ve presented so far, it doesn’t appear you’ve done that. And if it matters to you at all whether or not what you believe is true, I honestly can’t understand why you wouldn’t go that extra mile and try to verify this thing you feel so strongly must exist—actually exists.Even if god does exist, however, it still doesn’t prove anything you’re claiming about what god may/may not have done—but it at least would allow your claims to then fall within the realm of _possibility_. Right now—in the absence of proof of god’s direct manifestation, you don’t even have that much. But for some reason, you claim what you have is “knowledge.” But you haven’t verified it. So what you’re calling “knowledge” is really just your supposition or interpretation of data—and it could very well be flawed. It’s not like people never misinterpret things that really _seemed_ to be one way—but turned out to be another. Certainly your beliefs aren’t any more immune to that than anyone else’s—and that’s why independent verification is a _must_. When you state so emphatically that you cannot be wrong—that you “know” there is a god—it’s either incorrect or a
    very _weird_, personal definition of the word “know” and “knowledge.” You haven’t verified your claim that god exists. So you cannot say, in a logically valid (or even honest) way, that you “know” your claims are true. You _assume_ your interpretations are correct without being willing to even attempt verify your premise is grounded in fact.This is how it looks from the outside, anyway; but if you have a manifestation up your sleeve that does verify god, I’m only asking that you share it in order to support your premise. Otherwise, you can’t reasonably expect anyone to think you have evidence god is manifesting—but that you’re only hiding it because it’s personal. It’s like saying I have a magic dragon in a box—but I can’t show it to you because he doesn’t like the light—so I can’t open the box. Maybe there is a dragon in there—but can I really be surprised when other people doubt me or say I’m full of crap? If the tables were turned, I’d doubt them.You talk as though _we’re_ being unreasonable—but I’m just asking for you to show as much verification that god exists as we have for the existence of a germ, for goodness sake. And I don’t see why that’s an unreasonable thing to ask for from someone who’s going on for quite a bit about all the things he “knows” about god. I’m asking how you know that this god you know so much about even exists—on the level that we both know a germ exists? Can you provide just _that_ much to support your claim—the evidence of manifestation that even a germ provides us? I’m not asking for the moon to explode or the sun to bleed or people to come back from the dead. I’m saying, show me so much as a germ of your god’s existence. _Then_ we can start a discussion based on real facts about whether or not your assessment of this god’s character, whether he authors books, whether he creates things—is valid. We can’t really discuss anything about something we can’t even examine. It’s all just moot speculation until we can know that there is even something there to discuss. And if I don’t accept your speculation as “knowledge”—I can’t really see on what grounds you label that as unreasonable. I wouldn’t expect you to take my speculation as fact. And I don’t know why you seem surprised when people don’t adopt your speculation as fact. If you want people to take your claim that god exists as fact—it should be a simple thing to achieve: Isolate the manifestation and show that what you now only _think_ is there, is _actually_ there. It works for germs, and there’s no reason it can’t work for anything else that manifests in the natural world—such as you say your god does.

  58. tracie harris says

    >…do you all believe there was a man named Plato? Well to date there are 10 original documents that explained about him and his sayings.Someone authored those works–we call him Plato. That may or may not be what his name was. And if it’s true or not–it’s not a relevant fact that affects anyone. But if someone told me I have to believe Plato is god and that I have to adhere to everything Plato wrote–and live my life according to Plato. Then I think it would be reasonble to request some actual verification for the claim.>Do you know how many original documents about the New Testament and Jesus are? 56,000 in various degrees of languages and styles.I haven’t counted, but I will say that a good many of the books that I have read that mention Jesus conflict with one another–or claim things that I doubt you would accept about things he did.Does it bug you at all that your own Bible translators have identified (and marginally noted in the book itself) forgeries that exist in the book they’re translating?Earlier–when we thought you’d signed off, I wrote:”I would have been curious to hear his defense of passages like John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20 [see marginal notes from NIV or NASB]–known forgeries included in the Bible, and identified as forgeries by the Bible translators themselves–and yet they remain in the Bible.”I mean, I’m not getting this from an atheist propaganda site–it’s in the notes in your own Bible. What does this mean to you?

  59. tracie harris says

    Oh, and three different people asked how you defend a god who commands that rape victims be stoned to death? I don’t expect you to reply to everything posted, because there are many people posting to you all at once, and I don’t doubt you have a life outside this blog comment forum. But three people asking the same query, I think maybe that merits some reply?[Just let me know if I overlooked it if you did respond to that--I did a search on "rape" and nothing like a reply came up for that query.]

  60. says

    Evidence of the value of the Bible is the Character of those who oppose it…What does this even mean? I take this to provide the following proof:Premise 1: Akusai, Martin, Andrew, Stephen, Richard Dawkins, etc. don’t put up with shitbuckets who spew logical fallacies like a purging bulimic and repeatedly refuse to actually respond to reasonable questions.——-Conclusion: The Bible is highly valuable.How does that follow? How the hell does that logically follow? Stop quoting the god damned Bible and parroting Ray Comfort and Mike Freaking Seaver and use your head. Or is that an alien concept to you? Martin Luther did say “Whoever wishes to be a Christian, let him pluck out the eyes of his reason.”On a related note, eyes are not the “windows to the soul,” as there is no soul. The eyes allow light to play over the optic nerve which sends the signals to the occipital lobe which processes the signals into something the brain can understand.…do you all believe there was a man named Plato? Well to date there are 10 original documents that explained about him and his sayings.Actually, there are over two dozen documents that are attributed to Plato himself, as well as historical validation, mentions by Aristotle and his many other pupils, i.e. contemporaries. Your friend Mr. Jesus is mentioned in four “gospels” written between 30 and 90 years after he died, and directly mentioned by one historian: Josephus, in a passage that is widely considered to have been at least altered by Christians in subsequent centuries if not outright fabricated. Did Jesus write anything? No. Do we have any direct mention by any contemporary source? No.Tracie said:Someone authored those works–we call him Plato. That may or may not be what his name was.What a wonderful opportunity to illustrate my point even further: We know so much about Plato it’s mind boggling. We know his real name was Aristocles, that he was born to an upper class family, and we even know when and why he adopted the moniker of “Plato:” in his adolescent years, he was a wrestler, and he was a very large man with broad shoulders. His size aided him in successful wrestling, and his instructors gave him the nickname “Plato,” from the Greek adjective “platos” meaning “wide” in reference to his shoulders. He stuck with the name.I still have love and I am concerned for you and those kids.We don’t need your concern, thank you, we’re doing fine, and unlike you, I don’t bring up religion or my lack thereof around children, especially other peoples’ children. It’s very much not my place. If they bring it up, I dodge the subject unless it’s a purely academic discussion.

  61. says

    Tracie,This is getting silly with you, really. Do you love your spouse? Then show me provable, credible, testable, evidence that your love for your spouse exists. Because if you “cannot” then you do not love your parents and it can’t be shown to us “the doubters” of your love, or that you ever had love. If you say your breath increases when your spouse comes in the room it can be because you are nervous about the next day or something like that not that they “takes your breath away.” Your blood pressure rising can be a direct correlation to your salt intake not said spouse makes you flushed when you hug. If the love tests can be (verified) and (reproducible) in a Petri dish then we can grow that “germ “and analyze it, dissect it and eventually clone it, then it exists. Since you have not shown us any evidence of direct manifestation of love, we’re operating under the assumption that you have not verified your premise. If love can’t be verified or cloned then the evidence proves of its nonexistence. Please stop this type of thinking Tracie. I still love you even if I can’t prove of its existence. Can we both agree that because of God requiring faith there is no physical evidence until God wants something reviled? I know you want evidence and it is quite apparent every bit of the evidence I presented was not good enough.” I’ve already pointed out that basic logic dictates that” is Plato’s evidence is one example of evidence we have, understand? God is light and love any other questions?“see marginal notes from NIV or NASB”They are not in my 1611 KJV Bible. The primer here is the “N” which indicates the word new.” Oh, and three different people asked how you defend a god who commands that rape victims be stoned to death?The religious laws, cultic laws, and sacrificial laws obviously do not apply. The civil law, including the various punishments laid out for infractions of the civil law also do not apply to us today. However, some aspects of the Old Testament ethical law are actually restated in the New Testament as applicable to Christians. Jesus came to fulfill the law and now there is a new covenant. Jesus was talking about ethical law Romans 10:4-9comes to mind. I hope it clears everything up for you. Anything else, I have all the time in the world for lightweights like you all. Wouldn’t that be funny if I actually acted like that? To me that is foreign and nonproductive but it seems many of you are like this and that is what’s called pride, you are eliminating God out of the equation. You feel that a man is superior then another which is not the case we are all inferior to God. I look at another man and say to myself that is just another dude like me, no one special. Dawkins is a dude, the Pope is a dude, you are all dudes and Ladies. Do you know what I am? You guessed it, just a dude. Wow how can people act like the atheist here? If you practice the art of humbling yourselves, then you wouldn’t feel so superior to everyone. This is like telling my kids that we are going out for ice cream and they plug their ears screaming la la la, la la la. I have great news for all of you. You will all know God someday. There will be no more questions after that. I say it with love not hate for you all. Philippians 2:10-11. For Him,Dan

  62. tracie harris says

    >This is getting silly with you, really. Do you love your spouse? Then show me provable, credible, testable, evidence that your love for your spouse exists. Because if you “cannot” then you do not love your parents and it can’t be shown to us “the doubters” of your love, or that you ever had love. If you say your breath increases when your spouse comes in the room it can be because you are nervous about the next day or something like that not that they “takes your breath away.” Your blood pressure rising can be a direct correlation to your salt intake not said spouse makes you flushed when you hug. If the love tests can be (verified) and (reproducible) in a Petri dish then we can grow that “germ “and analyze it, dissect it and eventually clone it, then it exists. Since you have not shown us any evidence of direct manifestation of love, we’re operating under the assumption that you have not verified your premise. If love can’t be verified or cloned then the evidence proves of its nonexistence. Please stop this type of thinking Tracie. I still love you even if I can’t prove of its existence.NOW we’re getting somewhere. You are correct that there is another type of existence: The existence of ideas. But I thought you meant actual manifestation of some sort, when you referred to god. Love is a self-defined idea. Dan has feelings he self-defines them as love, Tracie has feelings she self-defines them as love, X has feelings he self-defines them as love. Love really is just whatever anyone defines it as. Love to Dan is not the same as love to anyone else. It is like “freedom.” Does “freedom” exist? Yes, very much so–as a self-defined idea. What “freedom” is is very different from one person to the next–because it exists as an idea.If your claim is that god does not exist in the manifest reality–but rather exists in the same way ideas exist, I understand your claim. And I am willing to accept that you have a self-defined idea that you call god. And now, I actually _am_ getting a better understanding of what you’re calling “god.”>Can we both agree that because of God requiring faith there is no physical evidence until God wants something reviled?If what I understand above is correct, then yes, you can say your god requires anything at all–because he’s your personal creation.But if you claim he exists in manifest reality, then, no, because you’re making a claim that god requires faith–but you haven’t provided any evidence a god exists–so how can you make claims about the nature of something you haven’t yet verified or examined? How is this different than the Big Foot Cryptozoologist who says he knows all about their social groups. Can we agree Big Foot society consists of small family groups? No, we can’t say anything about something we don’t know exists and have no means to examine. That’s pure supposition–just like your claim that god requires faith. You haven’t examined god. You have no more knowledge about what this god, if it exists, requires, than anyone else on the planet.>I know you want evidence and it is quite apparent every bit of the evidence I presented was not good enough.”If what I understood from your first paragraph is correct, then I was under a misconception that you were claiming god exists as a manifesting entity in reality–not just in the mind. If your claim is actually that god is an idea–then all you had to do was say so–and I’d accept that. And I do.But, if you’re saying there is a “god” beyond your ideas, then claims about what you think god does or doesn’t do–aren’t “evidence” of the existence of god. You’re confusing your personal supposition with evidence.>I’ve already pointed out that basic logic dictates that” is Plato’s evidence is one example of evidence we have, understand?I don’t understand what you mean by this–the sentence, literally seems to be a typo of some kind? I think you may have edited some text from this inadvertently?>God is light and love any other questions?That’s fine. Your god is light as well as an idea. Now I know what your god is. I can actually verify light, and since love is self-defined, I can’t say you don’t have it if you say you do. Some atheists have a problem with people saying “God is X”–but I don’t. If you say your god is a coconut, I’m OK with that. Your god can be a coconut, or, like the Pantheists, your god can be the universe. In your case you worship light and love. Now I know what it is you mean when you say “god.” Except the “love” part is always something that will require explaination, because it’s personal to you. So, when you say your love requires “faith”–as you did above–that’s fine (you can say your idea of god requires anything you like); but someone else wouldn’t know that unless you explained it. The light part, that is more objective, and doesn’t require faith from people.>>“see marginal notes from NIV or NASB”>They are not in my 1611 KJV Bible. The primer here is the “N” which indicates the word new.I used to have a KJV. Mine had no marginal notes at all, unfortunately. The note, since your Bible lacks the information, is from the translators and it tells the reader that that “the earliest and most reliable manuscripts do not contain these verses.” I should have specified in case your Bible lacked the notes as well. So, these verses were added to later copies of the manuscripts. I’m asking what that means to you, if anything? I was taught in as a Xian that the Bible was an accurate reflection of original manuscripts, and that the books used weren’t altered. But that’s not true–and Bible translators, who examine these documents, say that earlier copies lack some of the information that has ended up in your Bible. I’m wondering what you make of that. As a Xian, it conflicted with what I’d been taught. But I don’t know what your teachings or take on that would be.>>” Oh, and three different people asked how you defend a god who commands that rape victims be stoned to death?>The religious laws, cultic laws, and sacrificial laws obviously do not apply. The civil law, including the various punishments laid out for infractions of the civil law also do not apply to us today. However, some aspects of the Old Testament ethical law are actually restated in the New Testament as applicable to Christians. Jesus came to fulfill the law and now there is a new covenant. Jesus was talking about ethical law Romans 10:4-9 comes to mind. I hope it clears everything up for you.Not at all. The question was about your personal take on the morality of it–not whether or not you think the laws apply to us today. You said “it’s the same god.” I’m asking–do you agree with your god that it is moral to stone to death women who have been raped–and is a god that requires that of society a moral god in your opinion? How do you defend that stoning rape victims to death is moral? Or if your god asked you to stone a rape victim to death–would you refuse and say that it must be an evil god that would require such a thing? _That’s_ what was asked.

  63. tracie harris says

    I should also add that in my example above, if someone were to say, “My god is a coconut,” for example, I will accept that the coconut is their god–I mean, who am I to tell anyone what they can or can’t call things? However, that doesn’t mean I will then accept any and all claims about what they say their coconut does. If they tell me their coconut created the universe or wrote the Bible, I’m likely to be skeptical. So, just fyi, while I’m fine if you describe your idea of love, combined with light photons as “god” to you–but that doesn’t mean I automatically accept that your idea of what constitutes love combined with light photons accounts for the universe or wrote and compiled the Bible.

  64. tracie harris says

    >Can we both agree that because of God requiring faith there is no physical evidence until God wants something reviled?There is something else odd about this statement. When I look at germs under a microscope–I don’t have to have faith in them in order to observe their manifestation. You say you believe in god, and he manifests to you and billions of others–but he won’t manifest unless you believe. If I said there are fairies, but you can’t see them or experience their manifestation unless you believe in them–would you think that’s a good argument? Or would you think it is an excuse I’m using to avoid verifying the existence of fairies, because I know I can’t? That’s what I would think if someone said that to me. And that’s what you’re saying to me.Also, I’m not sure what you’re calling “faith”–because you say:>every bit of the evidence I presented…So, you get evidence, but I don’t? Why is the evidence you get not undermining your “faith”? But the evidence I ask for is undermining faith?And I know a lot of Xians–you seem to be one–who claim that they believe Jesus came back from the dead. If you think this is true, and that it’s a sign that god exists, then you’re trying to prove and reason out your own base for believing in god–how is this different than what I’m doing?You (and many other Xians) needed to believe someone came back from the dead before you’d believe in god. I’m just asking to observe and examine god’s manifestation–which you claim is so common in the world that billions of people have seen it firsthand. How come asking to examine a common occurance undermines faith–but requiring the dead to rise is respecing the doctrine of “faith” in the existence of god?

  65. says

    Tracie,I resent your implication that billions are creating a false God in our heads and believe in a mass delusional feeling. God is not a coconut that is a created thing by the Creator and that Creator is God not my god. You argue very well, you are making my head hurt and I am not intimidated in the least, especially when dealing with the subject of God. When we deal with the subject of God who requires a humbled heart to manifest, it’s impossible to convince a hardened heart that God resides in your heart. That is why God created the Law so we realize we are breaking the law. You can’t convince a child rapist that he is doing something wrong; he just thinks he’s in love with someone who happens to be a child. The reality is you don’t have to believe in what I am saying and I don’t have to believe in what you are saying. You don’t have to believe what God is telling you but there will be consequences because you still are breaking the law. What matters is what truth is not whether you believe it is provable through a Petri dish. My logic says there is no way all of creation can be caused by an explosion and your logic dictates because you have recordable expansion of the universe you jump to the conclusion that there was a big explosion. My logic says we have close DNA to the monkey or pig (pig skin is used in skin grafting these days) because we have the same designer and creator. Your logic tells you that it is because we came from monkeys and before that fish and before that a primordial gooey substance yet nothing has “proven” that without a shadow of doubt. Prove evolution with a Petri dish, you can’t, it is your belief though.New angle and question to you: In the absence of concrete Petri dish evidence what measure do you use? Is it logic, common sense, past or present experience? What is the driving force to keep you from raping a child? Is the only reason because the law says it’s a bad thing or something in your heart that says it’s wrong? Prove child rape is wrong or is it just a collective belief of mass delusion? Yes Plato statement was a typo I was mimicking you and it turned out wrong because we all make mistakes. Some larger then others some make spelling errors, other people make errors in judgment and marry someone who is a child molester some claim there is no creator while they bask in his creation. We ALL fall short of the Glory of God. There is plenty of evidence out there. Some ignore what is in front of them based on various reasons. Someone that hates God would do everything in his power to disprove him or deny his existence, let’s call him satan. If someone is doing his work by trying to prove there is no God then that person is called a satanist. Atheist are trying to say that they are using evidence to prove no existence of God and Christians are reading a book that says the people that do that exact thing is doing the work of satan. Lets look at the evidence the meaning of the word sat=to please and tanist, meaning ‘dark twin’. How would one please the dark twin? First we must find satans goal and we have evidence that Satan’s goal is “to deceive man by blinding him to the truth of the gospel and to receive worship for himself”. Hmmm interesting now let’s look at the definition of the word Atheist: a denial of the existence of a supernatural God. (atheism). Based on the “evidence” one can conclude that Atheist are satanist, logically speaking of course. Do you really want evidence Tracie? For Him,Dan

  66. Andrew says

    I don’t get it Dan. Is your god reviled or revealed? You’ve done this twice, so I am suspicious. Maybe you are subconsciously a servant of your evil god?I’ll try to be more serious. Your coconut analogy (or I should say the WOTM analogy) just demonstrates how your brain doesn’t process observations in proper context.When I see a coconut, the crab, and man, I think, Cool, the coconut tree evolved in such a competitive environment that it has developed very hard layers on its fruit to increase their likelihood for survival and reproduction. Then I see the crab which has developed parallel to the coconut tree and is still able to eat the fruit. Onto man who evolved well away from the coconut tree’s natural environment. This means that man has only been around Coconut Trees for 50,000 years at max (unlike millions for the crab). This is only enough time for some relatively small adaptations in the coconut tree. So man and the coconut share nothing.These thoughts explain everything to me about your statement based on my understanding of science.You think, Wow, check out this coconut tree. God made this just for me… and crabs. These thoughts explain everything to you about the coconut. The thoughts are based on your understanding of science as taught by WOTM which is based on the Bible which is NOT a scientific document.What other differences are there? As the thoughts stand alone, they both don’t prove anything. Except that one is based on the scientific understanding of evolution and its processes. The other is based on an ancient book. If I wanted to I could go out and verifiably prove my theory (or one similar) about coconuts. You, Dan, could never prove your theory.This is why WOTM is considered at best misleading by us and at worst lies?Dan said: “I resent your implication that billions are creating a false God in our heads and believe in a mass delusional feeling.”Dan, billions do not create God. if that were true, there would be billions of religions on the planet only similar by coincidence. Religions are created sometimes intentionally (Scientology, Mormonism, etc…) but usually they evolve over time.Dan again:“New angle and question to you: In the absence of concrete Petri dish evidence what measure do you use? Is it logic, common sense, past or present experience? What is the driving force to keep you from raping a child? Is the only reason because the law says it’s a bad thing or something in your heart that says it’s wrong? Prove child rape is wrong or is it just a collective belief of mass delusion?”First, Dan, you cannot make conclusions about anything without some sort of reasoning. But there is a difference between reasoning and evidence. You take away physical evidence and the best we can do is reason it out based on our experience and shared understandings. This is why thunderstorms were thought to be the work of witches until the Renaissance. This is also how religions are formed. They were and are used to explain things people do not understand. This doesn’t make them true. In fact, the science of religions (once taken very seriously, Galileo for example) is now relegated to “faith”. Religion lost that battle. So your attempts to fight it again are pointless.Second, what keeps me from raping a child? The fact that is wrong. That is why. Dan, your reasoning on morality would make sense if it weren’t so easy to disprove. The most religious countries on the planet are the most violent. The least religious are the least violent. The Scandinavian nations are between 75% and 85% atheist and have the LOWEST violent crime rates on the planet. We are talking only a handful a year. It is stunning when compared to the most violent 1st world nation (and the most religious) the United States. Yes, an estimated half a million women are raped every year in the US though most go unreported. (Used RD here. You should read his book.) There ya go Dan. Atheists are moral. Atheists make up around 0.7% of the prison population but up to 15% of the nation’s population. Christians make up 80% of the nations population and 80% of the prison population. If anything atheism makes people MORE moral and religion LESS. The facts do not lie.But even if religion made people more moral, it would not make it true.You don’t have to hint around it. I believe morality is relative (it’s obvious to me). It is our society that has taught us wrong from right. For example, the ancient Greeks embraced many forms of sexuality. This included the courtship of young adolescent boys by older men. It was perfectly acceptable to them, and it is completely wrong to us. That tug on our brains we feel when we hear about child rape (for instance) just shows the link between emotion and what society has taught us is right and wrong. It surely doesn’t mean some god is doing it. And I personally believe, although not proved yet (but people are working on it), that religion falls in the same category.

  67. Andrew says

    Dan spewed:“Lets look at the evidence the meaning of the word sat=to please and tanist, meaning ‘dark twin’. How would one please the dark twin? First we must find satans goal and we have evidence that Satan’s goal is “to deceive man by blinding him to the truth of the gospel and to receive worship for himself”. Hmmm interesting now let’s look at the definition of the word Atheist: a denial of the existence of a supernatural God. (atheism). Based on the “evidence” one can conclude that Atheist are satanist, logically speaking of course.”There is nothing logical about that statement. It is simply a line of reasoning… your reasoning based on personal opinion and useless speculation.This is pathetic Dan…You first entered this blog and inspired some debate. You presented yourself as someone who wanted to actually discuss these topics rationally. But we know now that your demeanor was disingenuous. The wolf has been revealed (reviled too for that matter), but he is all bark and NO BITE! Having lost every single argument, you now reduce yourself to accusing us of being Satanists… What is sad is you do not realize how idiotic you sound.Answer me this Dan, is it your failure to convince us of your “truth” that has your mind searching for reasons why? Has your mind fallen so far, past what you assumed (in err) about atheism, science, religion, to the point that you are know convince Satan is directly involved? If that is truly the case (and not some ridiculously trollish behavior) then I think I’m done here.

  68. says

    If you eyes are so important then how much more important is your soul. … Not a flip question but do atheist believe we have souls? I would like to know your input on that belief now that you are not a Christian do you still believe you have a soul?It depends a bit upon what you mean by “soul”. If you just mean consciousness, then sure, my consciousness is every bit as valuable to me as my eyes. But if you mean some kind of dualistic, supernatural apsect of existence that is capable of experiencing anything in the absence of a functioning physical brain and corresponding sensory organs, then no, I don’t believe such souls exist.More broadly, I don’t believe any supernatural entities, realms or events “exist” in any meaningful sense, because (as you have also pointed out) if something supernatural ever interacted with our universe in any relevant way, it would become manifest and observable in nature, become incorporated into what we call “natural”, and would thereby cease to be supernatural. Since we cannot do anything with information to which we do not (yet, perhaps) have access, it makes perfect sense to focus our attention and concern on that which we do know, and can affect–the natural world in which we actually live.So no, in a nutshell, I do not have sufficient cause to believe that I possess an immortal soul to lose. I have no more evidence to support the existence of souls than I have to support the existence of God, which is exactly none. While I place a high value on my eyesight and my consciousness, the supernatural object you call a “soul” is utterly worthless to me. Guess what my friend that is exactly what he will do.Great! If and when he ever gets around to fulfilling such a promise, I may have cause to believe he exists. Until then, I do not, so your prophesy remains mere speculation.Let me ask this if there was no such thing as child rape or evil things how would you long for the day to kick the teeth out of evil as you said?Indeed, if there was no evil to eliminate, why would I care? It would be bliss. Isn’t that the whole point of Heaven? If it’s possible for God to create Heaven, why wouldn’t he just do the same thing on Earth in the first place?”rendering a deity who is both powerful and benevolent logically possible.” you would answer this better then I canPerhaps. The best answer I can come up with is, if God exists and is powerful enough to create Earth in such a way that it contains all the evil we see, then he must want us to suffer–which renders him evil.Alternatively, God might be a powerless bystander like the rest of us, unable to prevent the rape of children due to a lack of awareness of when and where it will take place, strength as insufficient to stop assailants as that of the victims, and so on. Or, he might not exist; lacking existence seems like a pretty good alibi to me.So which is it? Is the God in whom you believe powerful but evil, or benevolent but impotent? Given your penchant for railing on about everybody deserving to be eternally tormented for finine “sins”, I am forced to conclud that you believe in a powerful, evil God.but do I sense a backslider in you, maybe agnostic, you tell me?I’m open to persuasion, if that’s the question. Keep trying.I will say that my conscience will be far more permissive of belief in a kindly but weak old fart of a God than in the powerful, evil God in whom you claim to believe.If there was no evil then there would be no way for God to be glorified when he removed it,Ah, so you do believe God created evil, and allows it to persist–primarily as a means to boost his own ego.Tell me, if somebody took your head and started bashing it against a wall, insisting that he was doing so in order to glorify himself when he stops, would you be thinking:1) “Wow, what a great guy!” or,2) “What a colossal jerk!”Hmm?besides he gave us free will to choose. Choose what, between two good things? We, as a species, are to choose between evil things and good things and to understand the difference forever?According to Genesis 2 and 3, we gained the ability to understand the difference between evil things and good things from the Tree of Knowledge, which the serpent encouraged Adam and Eve to try against God’s wishes. So which is it? Does your God really want us to freely exercise our comprehension of the difference between good and evil? Or did he have something to hide?Did God deliberately set up Adam for the Fall by placing the Tree right in the middle of the garden, with full foreknowledge of what would transpire? Then God alone is responsible for all subsequent suffering, and his death on the cross makes the most sense as a ritual act of suicide to atone for his sins against mankind.Was God really tricked out by the serpent? Then God is stupid.Well, I have exercised my free will and my knowledge of good and evil, and it has led me to the conclusion that even if the God of the Bible “exists”, he is untrustworthy, so I should not trust him.Do you really believe free will and exercising knowledge of good and evil is what God wants? Or, do you believe God wants us to surrender our will to him, even if doing so violates our moral consciences?How can you teach a brain surgeon what to do unless you have a couple of strokes and brain tumors?You’re still putting the cart before the horse. If there were no strokes or brain tumors in the first place, there would be no need for a brain surgeon.Suppose a trained policeman and father saw his own daughter being raped. He has both the capability and the motive to interfere with the rape. You would expect some pretty aggressive, immediate action from him to halt the rape and apprehend the assailant, wouldn’t you? Now suppose, instead of doing so, he merely hands a note to the rapist, on which he has written, “Stop raping my daughter, or I will get around to punishing you, either after you die of natural causes or after all the people who like me come to a party I’m having later, whichever comes first!” What would you think of this policeman/father?1) “Wow, I had better like him so I can join that party later!” or,2) “What a milquetoast madman!”Also, you should be aware that the inclusion of Revelation was highly contested in the dozens of drafts of the Bible canon proposed from about 200 CE to 1611 CE, and the word “rapture” doesn’t appear anywhere in the KJV.This raises another interesting question. The Bible contains some pretty detailed notes on the construction of various arks, temples, bronze snakes on a pole, and other sacred artifacts. Curiously, however, the Bible does not contain any explicit ordinance from God regarding its own construction, or provide any list of books to include. As such, I’d like you to answer this question: upon whose authority was the Bible assembled into its current form and declared to be the “Word of God”?the unforgivable sin is the absolute refusal to follow Jesus before one dies, this is the unforgivable sin.This is a pretty clever perversion of the text of the Bible. Basically, you have transformed the “unforgivable sin” into a sin that is just as forgivable as any other, rendering these words, attributed to Jesus, completely irrelevant. Effectively, you’re saying Jesus lied. Are you sure that’s the answer you want to go with?So it is quite comical to see all these people taking that challenge and thinking what a waste of time it is.How so? As atheists do not believe we have an immortal soul to lose, those who take the “challenge” effectively get a free DVD in exchange for free promotional advertising, plus an imaginary object with no value. From our perspective, it’s a much more generous offer than that of salvati
    on through belief in Jesus, which would require us to abandon our reasoning abilities and forfeit our moral consciences–things we experience directly and value greatly, and which might even fit some definitions of a “soul”.I relish in anything our Lord does to the evil out there. Because he is eternally tormenting the ones that raped and murdered our mothers and children on this earth, that’s why.But, as you have already explained, this is not what you profess to believe at all. You do not believe God punishes only those who do great evil, and spares those who do no evil, or less evil. You believe God punishes all who do not believe in him, and spares those who do, despite (in your estimation) everyone being equally evil. When I pressed you to clarify your beliefs, you backed out of your commitment to that doctrine by saying you don’t know, and it’s not your business to make judgements about salvation. When your beliefs are not under direct scrutiny, you make it abundantly clear that you believe a kind, generous unbeliever will be eternally tormented, while a heinous axe-murderer who converts to Christianity on his deathbead will receive no punishment from God at all. That is what you actually believe. So please stop tiptoeing around your belief system by pretending it’s something it isn’t, and start standing up for what you actually believe.What if it was your child or mother? Would it be ok with you for that rapist to die of old age a week later? Would justice be served in your mind?Again, if the rapist converted to Christianity right before he died, would justice be served in your mind? If my child or mother were raped, then eternally tormented for interpreting this event as a sign that the existence of a kind, powerful God is logically impossible, would justice be served in your mind?Please stop dodging this issue. You have made it abundantly clear that you believe belief in Jesus is the differentiating factor, not the actual behavior of people. Furthermore, you believe this perverse state of affairs is morally acceptable.I’ll offer another parable. Suppose Congress passed a law that said, “Okay, forget all the laws about rape, murder, theft, tax evasion and so forth. From now on, those who do not believe in Leprechuans will be executed, and we’ll throw a big party for those who do believe in Leprechuans!” Would you think:1) “Wow, Congress sure has my respect! What a great system! I believe in Leprechauns! I can’t wait for the party!” or,2) “Whoa! What a corrupt, immoral, unconstitutional and intrinsically unjust law!”I can just imagine a conversation you and I might have about such a law:Dan: “Hey, have you heard about that great new law? You should believe in Leprechuans!”Me: “Er… but Leprechuans don’t exist.”Dan: “Sure they do. You don’t want to be executed, do you?”Me: “No, but it won’t hold up in court. It’s as dumb a law as has ever come out of Congress. It’s irrelevant.”Dan: “Look, I care about you. Please start believing in Leprechuans so we can go to the party together.”Me: “[Sigh.] Okay, I’ll humor you. What reasons do you have for believing in Leprechuans?”Dan: “This law, right here. See? It says you have to believe in them, or you will be executed.”Me: “I mean, besides that law. What actual evidence do you have that Leprechuans exist?”Dan: “None. You can’t prove they exist. Nobody can. But you’ll get executed if…”Me: “Yes, yes, I know what the new law says. I read it myself. But I care about truth. I care whether or not our laws accurately reflect reality. So far as I can tell, Leprechuans are not part of our reality.”Dan: “I have some friends over at Way of the Leprechuans who can explain this to you. They know a guy whose name I don’t remember, who said something I can’t recall, but which absolutely proved that Leprechuans exist!”Me: “You’ve got to be kidding! I don’t buy it.”Dan: “Besides, I have a feeling Leprechuans exist. I had a personal experience of Leprechuans.”Me: “Sure, whatever. But what evidence can you provide to me?”Dan: “You’ll get executed and you’ll miss the party, like I said!”Me: “(Sigh.) Do you really think it’s fair to ignore what a person actually does and mete out punishment based on what a person believes, instead?”Dan: “Of course that would be unfair, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying you should believe in Leprechuans, or you’ll be executed. I’m going to go to the party.”Me: “How is it even possible to know what a person believes?”Dan: “It’s not my place to make that judgement, it’s up to Congress.”Me: “Okay, then, how can you be sure Congress will believe that you believe in Leprechuans?”You: “Look, I know I’m going to the party. Nothing you can say will change my mind about that.”… etc. …Man I don’t trust and will challenge all the time without fear.Then why do you place such trust in the myriad human writers, editors, canonizers and translators of the King James Bible, along with your own human interpretation of its contents, attributing them and yourself with authority equal to that of God?

  69. says

    Andrew,First ”Is your god reviled or revealed?” Again just being human and making mistakes God is revealed, Akusai is reviling and thank you.”Christians make up 80% of the nations population and 80% of the prison population.” I wanted to point to the fact of your mistake in RD’s observation. 80% of the prison population is filled with “false converts”. RD conveniently left that part out. Someone truly saved has a new heart and is not a slave to sinning like unsaved people who love sin. ”It is our society that has taught us wrong from right. For example, the ancient Greeks embraced many forms of sexuality. This included the courtship of young adolescent boys by older men. Are you kidding? So you tell me you would rape children if it was acceptable in society? That is the sickest thing I have ever heard! You don’t rape children because God told you it is wrong, it’s called a conscience. What if murdering children was proper in society would it be with you? This is just absurd conversing with you. ”There ya go Dan. Atheists are moral” who are you trying to convince, me or you? You are willing to go against a Christian without using logic and reason just to argue a point without any morality. You need Jesus but if I can’t convince you so be it. My conscience is very clear that I reasoned with you to understand God and God has evidently hardened your heart and it’s very apparent that God saw something in you to make you that way. ”It is our society that has taught us wrong from right”. Society says there is a God, are you conforming to your society? You’re being irrational and immoral. ” you are know convince Satan is directly involved?” Now you’re not making sense, do you mean “now convinced”? Plank it eye, dude. The answer Yes, if it is not of God it is of the devil. What is cold, the absence of heat. What is darkness, the absence of light. What is evil, the absence of Good (God). God didn’t create evil, it was manifested when God was removed and the addition of free will like our schools and government and now population (i.e. atheism). That is why Jesus will come again to live with us forever (eventually), there will be no absence of God (light), no evil, no darkness. I had intention of understanding some atheists viewpoints and maybe convince some of err in there disbelief of a Creator. I found exactly what I was looking for and there is no way that any of us can convince anyone without God softening the heart first. I plant the seeds but God must water it or no fruit will grow, and your heart is in a desert, but I haven’t lost faith in any of you. It is never too late, you have until the day you die to understand God. When that will be is up to God. My advice is just, never die.Then a breath of fresh air, a reasonable man, my informative buddy Stephen,Thanks you for answering the question about souls? I never knew if atheist believed in that or not, sad but understandable. ”it makes perfect sense to focus our attention and concern on that which we do know, and can affect–the natural world in which we actually live.” We just disagree because I believe no matter what we do the inevitable will happen. You can be the safest person in the world never going outside of your home until you need milk and then get hit by a drunk driver. We have no affect on the outcome; we aren’t in charge of that outcome. You can hug as many trees as you want until someone lights a match or even more massive God sending lightning to torch the entire forest. ” why wouldn’t he just do the same thing on Earth in the first place?” I know it’s hard to wrap thought around this but it was because of free will. A forced gift is not a gift at all. He wanted obedience and loyalty, not robots. Satan at the very beginning tried to convince us that we did not need a God (atheism) that we can be just like him (RD’s fish bowl and lasers=eyes, atheist). Eating that fruit sealed our fate and put us here. We chose evil over God and that angered him, then and still. ” want us to suffer– which renders him evil.” wants us to realize—which renders him a teaching and kind God. [Speculation]God has the power to do all things, even erase evil, and even repair a molested child, heart and mind, as if it never happened. The molester will have eternal torture. Evil? No but Just and righteous. ” I’m open to persuasion, if that’s the question. Keep trying.” you just made a 38 yr old shed a tear of joy. Thanks, my heart is pouring for you Stephen.Head bashing analogy: a horrible thought and “2 if that were the case, your funny. ”Did God deliberately set up Adam for the Fall by placing the Tree right in the middle of the garden, with full foreknowledge of what would transpire?” Not set up but yes, he didn’t want robots. I raise my children the right way and I want them to do the right thing, if they rob a bank I am horrified as God was. ” as a ritual act of suicide to atone for his sins against mankind.” Deep, you have given this thought. I don’t know but I would say no, with nothing to back it up, without serious prayer and thought. I would “take a bullet” for my kids to save them. Not suicide, sacrifice. I actually can’t wait to die. Not a suicidal wish, just anticipation of Jesus. ”knowledge of good and evil is what God wants? Or, do you believe God wants us to surrender our will to him,” Both, he is in charge. Good rules.”If there were no strokes or brain tumors in the first place, there would be no need for a brain surgeon.” touché, I will try harder making my point.”What would you think of this policeman/father?” great question, great analogy. I would think very poorly of that policeman. Think of what the daughter would think. Would she ever trust him with her life and feel secure after something like that? I would say nope. But he is not God and things that are impossible for man are easy for God. God will right every wrong and there will be no more sorrow, how is he going to do that? God only knows. ”the word “rapture” doesn’t appear anywhere in the KJV.” Sure it does just the same way the word Dinosaur isn’t also but the bible sure talks about them in Job 40:15-19. To answer your question look at Mark 16:19, and Revelation 11:12”upon whose authority was the Bible assembled into its current form and declared to be the “Word of God”?” Written by God, penned by man. If God can create the universe he can make sure the bible stays in tact. I have read the Gnostic gospels and apocryphal and I must say if they were in the Bible it would be a great distraction from the gospel. We are here to tell everyone how to glorify God and the apocryphal was background and fillers for the true word. Gnostics were just wrong. In Luke 12:10 what is blaspheme against the Holy Ghost? Refusal to acknowledge the gift is pretty blasphemous. By itself Luke 12:9 backs your statement up. But look at it in context Luke 12:8-11 “confess me before men “, him shall the “Son of man” also confess before the angels of God. The “Son of Man” is Jesus in both cases ”This is a pretty clever perversion” I stand by my original point. I found more here ”When I pressed you to clarify your beliefs, you backed out of your commitment to that doctrine” I completely understand your point but I don’t know. I don’t know if god would even accept an axe murderer
    because only God knows the thought life of a person, not I. I don’t know if that kind generous person ever lied or lusted (adultery of the heart) I am not the judge. That is why we ALL need the savior and he is the only way to go to heaven because no unclean person can go there because heaven would implode on itself. Only clean people can go there. How do you get clean, you ask? By repenting and trust in our savior as our savior and you will be washed of your sins as if they never happened. I heard Jeffery Dahmer became a Christian then shortly that “I think days later” some dude crushed his head with a broom handle. He may be in heaven he may have been a false convert, I wouldn’t know. ”Again, if the rapist converted to Christianity right before he died, would justice be served in your mind?” Ouch, umm no, umm yes. I forgive those who trespass so if he truly repented and God accepted him then I would also, maybe he would be my daughter’s slave for eternity. I don’t know. My mind is just too small for that. What if God erased every thing as it never happened and my daughter never remembers the incident (pure speculation on my part). I don’t know! ”those who do not believe in Leprechuans will be executed, and we’ll throw a big party for those who do believe in Leprechuans” That will happen, right after the rapture. That is why I was saying the people who want “proof” will get it but at a price. The world is corrupt and wrong, God needs to fix it and he will, I have faith. ” Way of the Leprechuans” Hilarious! Ouch my cheeks hurt. After the rapture the leprechon will be the anti-Christ but you are a funny man. ”Then why do you place such trust in the myriad human writers, editors, canonizers and translators of the King James Bible” I don’t! it was written by God it was just penned by man. I trust the word and it being infallible, I am fallible that is why I run to the bible(the word) for everything. I don’t interpret it. I read it plainly.For all of you reading this what Stephen wrote is a good example on how to debate with a Christian. He tug at my heart and made me laugh and made me think real hard but didn’t belittle me, curse at me, talk nonsense, or try to make himself superior to me. Understand Andrew,tracie, matt d, alyx, and of course my favorite akusai.Bravo Stephen.I hope I made sense and shed some light (no pun) Sorry I am not proofing this one so you will just have to accept me for who I am, flawed and all.I’m exhausted,Dan

  70. says

    Oh, poor baby. The big internet bully called a retarded spade a retarded spade. Apparently I’m not allowed to play by your rules wherein you condemn us all to hell, call us blind and deluded, equate atheism to satanism, and generally act like an ass. Apparently, because I don’t put a shiny, happy veneer on my condesenscion, I’m “not debating you correctly” and my points are somehow invalid.Sorry, but that just ain’t the case.You might want to check out this and this, too.As for your tortured “etymology” of the “Satanist,” I was appalled at the sheer level of self-satisfactied bullshit you spewed there.Lets look at the evidence the meaning of the word sat=to please and tanist, meaning ‘dark twin’.What the hell is this? Seriously, what the hell is this? Do you have a brain, or did you sell it to pay your tithes? “Sat” is the past-tense of “sit,” and “tanist” isn’t a Goddamned word.”Satan” has a very clear etymology. It is a Hebrew word meaning “accuser” or “adversary.” It hasn’t really changed at all since the OT was penned. It’s one word: Satan. The root word of Satanism is, to wit, Satan. “-ist” is a common English language suffix that generally indicates a person who is concerned or involved with the root word in question. Thus we see that the breakdown of “Satanist” is “Satan” and “-ist,” and it means “One who is concerned with Satan or Satanism.” That’s it. Seriously, where did you get that shit?Based on the “evidence” one can conclude that Atheist are satanist, logically speaking of course.You don’t know thing one about logic or reason, and I’m glad you put “evidence” in quotes, because your “evidence” was a giant load that you just pulled out of your ass and pretended was true. Atheists are no more Satanists than we are Christians. You can define a word however you want, but that doesn’t make it true.Thanks for playing. Feel free to try again next week.

  71. AmberKatt says

    Dan: “…but didn’t belittle me … or try to make himself superior to me.“Um, d00d? Pot. Kettle. Black.Try reading through the the whole comments thread at once, like I was doing when I finally commented on that one post. Try “listening” the “voice” that you wrote in. Reading your comments and arguments one after another after another, seeing the apparent self-satisfied and condescending attitude building and building, I finally reached a saturation point and snapped. I was serious when I asked — do you really think you are making a good witness for Christ that way?Or to put it another way — you are upset when those on the atheist side seem belittling and condescending to you, and their attitude as you perceive it (or, in some cases, as it is) definitely does not make you want to become an atheist. If you are belitting and condescending to them, is that really a good way to attract them to the god side and make them want to become a christian? I’m just saying.

  72. AmberKatt says

    Hey Tracie — I was serious when I asked about setting up an experiment to prove or disprove any seeming aural phenomenon. I wasn’t being snarky, although rereading my comment in the midst of all the other comments around it, I can see how it might sound that way.When you said “If god actually speaks to you in an understandable, verbal way, that would greatly cut down the time it would take to verify whether or not your experience is divine or self-generated,” it sounded like you had something in mind there, and that really did intrigue me… but I just couldn’t see any way to set up a control or rule out the completely subjective. What did you have in mind to do this? I really am curious.

  73. AmberKatt says

    Dan, I’d like to reiterate a question that’s been asked several times, and which you have not yet directly answered — is your god being moral when he commands rape victims to be stoned to death (among other things)? All you said was that “religious, cultic, and sacrificial laws” didn’t apply any more, but “ethical laws” do (which brings up a whole new argument about how one determines which “biblical laws” are “ethical” and which are merely “cultic” et al. — who decides? but I digress). But that still leaves the question open, because at some point, and for thousands of years, your god did want rape victims to be stoned to death. I ask again — do you believe that is moral? If not, what do you think about a god who obviously does?Here, I’d like you to follow this link and read the little story posted there. This will illustrate even better what I and the others who asked this question are getting at, what we see when we take your advice, read the Bible you hand us, and truly look at the god you say you worship. Or, try this one and read through the list of examples halfway down.Given these examples, would you think a human who acted in those ways is moral? If so, please explain why. If not, then why do you think that a god who acts that way is moral? Or does “moral” completely lose its meaning when applied to god, and if so, why does that “standard” of “moral” still apply to anyone else?

  74. Andrew says

    Great post Stephen! Dan said.“”Christians make up 80% of the nations population and 80% of the prison population.” I wanted to point to the fact of your mistake in RD’s observation. 80% of the prison population is filled with “false converts”. RD conveniently left that part out. Someone truly saved has a new heart and is not a slave to sinning like unsaved people who love sin.”Then what about the billions of people you talked about. I thought Jesus was all about forgiveness. No wonder ex-cons get stuck in the system so often. People like you, Dan. I hope your proud of your god-like judgments on an entire group of people without ever meeting them.It is too bad that you dodged the point I made that atheistic (or secular) societies have the least violence. I guess you have to concede to the facts there.Dan said:“”It is our society that has taught us wrong from right. For example, the ancient Greeks embraced many forms of sexuality. This included the courtship of young adolescent boys by older men. Are you kidding? So you tell me you would rape children if it was acceptable in society? That is the sickest thing I have ever heard! You don’t rape children because God told you it is wrong, it’s called a conscience. What if murdering children was proper in society would it be with you? This is just absurd conversing with you. ”There ya go Dan. Atheists are moral” who are you trying to convince, me or you? You are willing to go against a Christian without using logic and reason just to argue a point without any morality. You need Jesus but if I can’t convince you so be it. My conscience is very clear that I reasoned with you to understand God and God has evidently hardened your heart and it’s very apparent that God saw something in you to make you that way.”Dan, it’s very respectable of you to slice and dice my posts to say things I didn’t say…This is what I said directly after that quote:It was perfectly acceptable to them, and it is completely wrong to us.Of course, I would never rape anyone. But if I was an ancient Greek living in ancient Greece how can I say what I would and wouldn’t do? I would be a completely different person which was my entire point. Society makes the man. Another way to show this: the Bible is no longer interpreted literally because it conflicts with modern values.Dan, I don’t see how this is a “ridiculous” conversation. I am just pointing out the obvious. That last sentence you wrote about God hardening my heart or whatever would really offend me if I was still a Xtian. More because of how hateful and judgmental it was than anything else. Dan, I have a lot of conservative Christians in my family, and not ONE of them would EVER say something so hateful to ANYONE. I have a lot of respect for those people in my family. No one is saying Christians can’t be good people, but you are a hypocrite.Dan said:“”It is our society that has taught us wrong from right”. Society says there is a God, are you conforming to your society? You’re being irrational and immoral.”First, you changed the subject.Second, society does not say there is a god. Our society is secular as evidenced by our government. Our society does not endorse any religion.Dan said:“”you are know convince Satan is directly involved?” Now you’re not making sense, do you mean “now convinced”? Plank it eye, dude.”There is a difference between a typo and misspelling something. You will notice that both times I pointed something out to you, you had misspelled that word more that once. That shows me that you are either not well read or not that intelligent, dude.Dan said (to Stephen):“Thanks you for answering the question about souls? I never knew if atheist believed in that or not, sad but understandable.Don’t throw “atheist” around like that, Dan. Most atheists are materialists, but that is not a requirement to be an atheist. The only requirement is a lack of god belief. There is no dogma to sort out.Dan said (about the Bible):“I don’t! it was written by God it was just penned by man. I trust the word and it being infallible, I am fallible that is why I run to the bible(the word) for everything. I don’t interpret it. I read it plainly.”Dan, go to video.google.com and type “The Doomsday Code”. It is an interesting documentary about the origin of Revelations and how it was chosen (over other doomsday scripts) for the Bible.Dan said (quoting Stephen):””I’m open to persuasion, if that’s the question. Keep trying.” you just made a 38 yr old shed a tear of joy. Thanks, my heart is pouring for you Stephen.”Dan, I don’t want to burst your bubble (wait I do, I can’t lie), but we are all open to persuasion. That is why we enjoy debating so much, so we can LEARN new things. If we said any different, we would be hypocrites like you, Dan.Dan (about Stephen) said:“or try to make himself superior to me.”Dan, I thought you would be worried about a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Stephen (and each of us) is Satan according to you. Don’t forget that.

  75. says

    Dear Dan,Your temerity is charming, though futile. Futile, because you have committed a grave error that I am about to correct for you. Because you do not know one, simple piece of information, you are going to get spanked until you learn it. I’m going to let you in on that piece of knowledge, Dan old sod. Sit your tired bod down and listen, Dan, for you are about to be enlightened.There is only ONE thing that separates you from an atheist, Dan. It’s something so basic, so fundamental, even atheists sometimes miss it. The thing that separates you from an atheist, Dan, is this: insatiable curiosity.You see, Dan, an atheist just doesn’t have it in him/her to sit on his/her ass and let someone else tell them about the bible. An atheist won’t take the word of a pederast priest, an adulterous evangelist, or even a hypocritical homosexual. An atheist HAS to know WHAT the bible is about, WHO wrote it, WHEN it was written, and WHY it is in the form it is today.And that’s when the trouble starts. When an atheist studies the bible, Dan, this is what he/she finds out:99% of the OT and NT are very poorly plagiarized copies of older, better written stories, legends, and fairy tales culled from neighboring regions and cultures. The only original part of the myth of Jesus is the name Jesus. That’s right, Dan, if you too would spend the time and trouble to actually study that book of lies you wave in our faces, you too would know this.But I understand why you don’t know: you lack that one, tiny piece of character that separates you from me. Let me illustrate this one more way that might be easier for you to understand:Remember the Lone Gunmen trio on the X Files TV show? Imagine one of them walking into a convention of licensed, practicing electrical engineers and announcing he had a perpetual motion machine. (Look it up on google, I don’t have the desire to explain the science) The licensed, practicing electrical engineers would soundly spank that Lone Gunman, after they stopped laughing, and he would thoroughly deserve it.You have done the same thing, Dan. EXACTLY the same thing: you have waltzed into a community of scholars and made simply the most egregiously ignorant claims you possibly could using a book every one of us knows better than you. And you are getting soundly spanked because you thoroughly deserve it, Dan. Your grave error, Dan, is that you didn’t notice the simple fact of what makes us different from you. Well Dan, now you know: I, for one, have 42 years of biblical research under my belt, and I’m a light weight on this site. 42 years, Dan, 42 years; that’s longer than you’ve been alive. I have read that book of poorly plagiarized lies in their various languages, including their roots, because I would not take any person’s word about it.Because I’ve done that, Dan, I know that NOT ONE WORD you have said on this blog has ANY merit, as long as you base your ‘arguments’ on that book of lies. Not one, single, solitary word, Dan. That’s why it’s not necessary to even respond to any of the fantastically stupid crap you’ve defecated on this site. When you start with a lie, Dan, you end with a lie, even if you kill people in an attempt to prove your lie, like the fore fathers of your filthy faith did. I come to this community to be among those who share that insatiable curiosity, Dan, not to hear the sadly ignorant blathering you repeat from the hucksters who lead you. Go home, Dan. Go home and contribute to the diversity of the gene pool, for that is all you’re good for. And if we’re all lucky, maybe one of your progeny will be born with that one, essential character trait you so sadly lack: the insatiable curiosity that will lead a person to the truth. You may call me:An educated atheist sick and tired of the filth of Christian lies,Otto

  76. tracie harris says

    >I resent your implication that billions are creating a false God in our heads and believe in a mass delusional feeling.I’m confused by your feeling of resentment here.Just to explain, I didn’t say billions are creating a false god in their heads. You said:”To this day billions of people, people like me, telling you that we experienced God and he does exist.”Then you used “love” as an analogy for the existence of god–saying god exists like love, not like germs in the objective reality. Since love is self-defined (it’s different for each person), I interpreted you quite literally: god exists like love exists. So, I took you to mean god exists as a self-defined idea._I_ didn’t say people self-define god. I was just reiterating that that was what you seemed to be describing.>God is not a coconut that is a created thing by the Creator and that Creator is God not my god.I didn’t say you said god was a coconut. And I didn’t say god was a coconut. I said that whatever someone says their god is, I’m acknowledging _that’s_ what they label as god. In your case, you haven’t shown me anything you label as god–and compared him to an idea, and got resentful when I reiterated what you’d said.I was pointing out that whatever you call god–if you can show it to me, I will accept that’s what you call god. If god is “light and love” to you–then I took you to mean god is a combination of photons and self-defined emotion–that’s light and love, as far as I know. Light is photons. Love is a self-defined emotion. You seemed to be saying that is what god is to you. I appreciated that you were giving me something to work with and examine. And I was examining it.>You argue very well, you are making my head hurt and I am not intimidated in the least, especially when dealing with the subject of God.I don’t mean to make your head hurt. In fact, even though I’m very verbose, I do sympathize with the time this comment dialogue must be taking from your life. I know you’re not only posting to me, and I’m doing my best to be as clear as possible so as not to waste either of our time on misunderstandings or miscommunications. But that requires a lot of reading on your part, I know.Also, just to make sure it’s clear, I am just giving my thoughts. And I wouldn’t ever want to intimidate anyone–so I’m glad you’re free from intimidation of me or my arguments.>When we deal with the subject of God who requires a humbled heart to manifest,This is what I don’t understand, though. What sort of manifestation of “existence” requires a humble attitude? I know of ALL sorts of things that exist in objective reality. None of them require a humble attitude to examine their manifestations. Likewise, ideas don’t require a humble attitude to examine–except perhaps the emotion or idea of humility itself. I would agree that if one is not capable of humility, one couldn’t really, by definition, emote/experience or examine humility. But there is nothing else that “exists” that requires the proper attitude to observe. This requires explanation. Again–it’s like the “You can only see the fairies if you believe” argument that I used as an example earlier.Does your god exist in (1) objective reality or as an (2) idea? If (1), then his manifestation in the physical reality can be examined–we just need to determine what exactly that exists is what you’re calling “god.” If (2), then he’s in your head. If neither, you need to explain how you define the word “exist”–because I don’t know of any other form of existence than objective physical manifestation or subjective ideas.>it’s impossible to convince a hardened heart that God resides in your heart.I realize you’re using “heart” figuratively; however, figurative language is unhelpful in an examination of objective existence. Above, I thought you meant “attitude”–because of the context–a “humble heart” being a “humble attitude.” And I think that was fair. But here, I don’t know what you mean when you say god resides in the “heart.” I know you’re not claiming he resides in the physical heart–and I doubt your claiming god resides in the human attitude. So, I am not sure what you mean by this. Can you define what you’re calling “heart” here, in more specific terms so I can understand where you claim god resides? Location is certainly one indicator of existence. So this is helpful feedback.>That is why God created the Law so we realize we are breaking the law.If god does not exist, then god did not create law. After you support your claim god exists, we can talk about whether or not god possibly created law.>You can’t convince a child rapist that he is doing something wrong; he just thinks he’s in love with someone who happens to be a child.Then why does a child rapist attempt to hide what he does? Some child rapists also murder their victims–pretty brutally. I don’t think they’d claim love as the motivation. Certainly there are some child rapists who think they’re persecuted by society and that their acts are not harmful to children. But many know they’re causing harm–but feel compelled toward deeds they have difficulty controlling–much like anyone else who carries an addiction–or does anything they, themselves, think is not correct behavior.>The reality is you don’t have to believe in what I am saying and I don’t have to believe in what you are saying.But I’m not asking you to believe anything. I’m just asking for info about what you believe and responding to your input with my evaluation of what you’re saying. I have pointed out repeatedly that if there is no god, then your claims aren’t supported. This is true whether you believe it or not. Then I’ve also pointed out that unless you can support your claim god exists, you’re supposing all sorts of things about god and calling it knowledge–which is also unsupported. Again, this is merely observation–it’s true whether you believe it or not.I’m asking you as well to explain this unique form of “existence” you claim for your god–that doesn’t require any physical manifestations or isn’t in the realm of ideas–the two ways in which all other “existent” items are understood. You’re saying “exist”–but then you’re defying all the standard rules of “existence” for your item–god. If he doesn’t exist in objective reality or the mind–then he’s outside of what is defined as “existence.” What do you mean when you say a X “exists” (like a chair or a germ)–and how does that compare to what you mean when you say “god” “exists”? Would you say a chair exists in a room that you observed was clearly empty? Why or why not?> You don’t have to believe what God is telling youI don’t believe what Dan is telling me–because Dan hasn’t supported his claim. _You’re_ the one making claims on this forum–not god. If _your_ claims are unsupported, that has no bearing on whether or not a god exists or what god might want to tell me. I’m just saying that the god _you_ claim doesn’t seem to exist–so far, anyway.> but there will be consequences because you still are breaking the law. What matters is what truth is not whether you believe it is provable through a Petri dish.So, how do we verify claims of existence to determine they are “truth”? Whenever someone claims something exists in the realm of objective reality, they are obligated to verify that what they claim exists _actually_ exists. If it is not directly observable via the naked eye–they need to come up with a way to make it manifest so that it can be observed and examined. The object must be shown to manifest in objective reality–before it can be said to “exist.” Otherwise, the word “existence” becomes thoroughly meaningless.I totally agree that what matters is truth. The question is–how do we determine truth? You are claiming, repeatedly, that “truth” is what you believe, so long as you believe it hard enough and you think it makes sense. I say that what I believe exi
    sts, if I can’t verify it, shouldn’t be considered “truth” by me or anyone else. Until it’s verified, it should be considered supposition. You say truth matters–but that it doesn’t need to be completely verified in order to call it the “truth.” It can be somewhat verified–enough for Dan. That’s truth enough. And you think that what convinces you (which does not include actual verification) should be proof enough for anyone. But unless it’s verified, people will be well within reason to point out you haven’t supported your claim of existence. Unverified claims of truth cannot be correctly called “known” or “true.” Just because you believe it, does not make it so. You make a claim of existence, you make no attempt to verify it (on the levels that others verify _their_ claims of existence–such as germs or oxygen), and then you say _I_ am the one who is not concerned with truth. But all I’ve been doing is explaining that I respect truth enough to not let someone get by claiming things are “true,” when, in actuality, they’re unverified.>My logic says there is no way all of creation can be caused by an explosion and your logic dictates because you have recordable expansion of the universe you jump to the conclusion that there was a big explosion.Big Bang is a good working model. I make no claim of knowledge regarding the origins of the universe. I think BB makes sense, but I don’t say I know it to be true. It is logically plausible and, so far, fits the facts of how the universe moves–but new information is always coming in–and the model may need to change some day. I’m fine with that. It makes sense to work from what you know to extrapolate what you don’t know.It does not make sense to work from what you don’t know and simply claim it’s what you know. You say that without verifying there is a god, it’s logical to say a god created the universe. I don’t agree. It’s no different than me saying magical fairies created it. That would be an odd claim–that I doubt you would accept–in the absence of evidence of magical fairies. But it’s logically parallel to the claim you’re making.> My logic says we have close DNA to the monkey or pig (pig skin is used in skin grafting these days) because we have the same designer and creator. Your logic tells you that it is because we came from monkeys and before that fish and before that a primordial gooey substance yet nothing has “proven” that without a shadow of doubt. Prove evolution with a Petri dish, you can’t, it is your belief though.Evolution is observable. For example, all our livestock is the result of genetic variation in a populations due to reproductive restrictions. Evolution does discuss natural selection–but any “environment” is acceptable–even the man-made environment of domestic breeding programs. But outside of human engineered models, we have some that have evolved on their own. The most famous that I’m aware of are the antibiotic-resistant species of bacteria that have risen during our lifetimes. Earlier generations of that same bacteria weren’t resistant. They _evolved_ a resistance to antibiotics. Evolution is observable and has been observed in our own lifetimes. Any organism that donates diverse genetic material to offspring can evolve. People donate diverse genetic material. That is why parents don’t have identical children (except for twins–where they actually got the same genetic material). If genetic diversity didn’t occur in nature, then the children of you and your spouse would all be identical. But you and your spouse donate diverse material–so that each child has a different genetic combination. This allows for changing the species from one generation to the next–whether by natural or engineered means. This, again, is how we domesticate animals. Without evolution, we would not be able to create domestic breeds.The question isn’t–and has never been: “Does evolution occur?” Domestic breeding programs are totally based on it–and are, unwittingly, laboratory experiments that allow us to observe just how different we can make a species evolve (for example Great Danes versus chihuahuas). The question is “How much of the genetic variation that we observe can be accounted for with the evolutionary process?” This is the theoretical part. Evolution is a fact; “how far can it go?” is theoretical.The theory of evolution is basically saying that observable evolution accounts for some genetic variation from one generation to the next. And so, perhaps it accounts for all genetic variation we observe.Your logic that a designer created all genetic diversity lacks an observable entity on which to base the claim. Evolution is observable; god (or the designer) is not. So, to say we have no observable designer, but a designer did it–is no different than saying fairies did it. There is no evidence of fairies, so it’s not really a supposition based on anything that has been observed in objective reality.Also, because something seems to make sense (“my logic says…”) does not make it a fact. There are many examples of things that make logical sense that have proven incorrect. In fact, some physics principles that were taught up until the time of Einstein were taken as logically correct and factual, because they were good working models for quite a long time. But more advanced knowledge showed that the model failed to explain observable, objective reality adequately as we began to observe more of objective reality.To be clear, when you talk about things god does, and I say that it’s not logical to say god did X until you prove there is a god. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a god. And it doesn’t mean god didn’t do X. It means only that _your arguments_ are illogical and, therefore, fail to support your claim that there is a god or that god did X. It leaves me without any support for your claims, and no reason to assume they’re true (whether they are true or not cannot, therefore, be determined). My observation that your statements are illogical does not mean your conclusions are wrong. It means only that your statements do not add any support to your conclusions. And I still can’t tell that what you’re claiming is true in that case.”Your logic” about a designer is a supposition. And for the sake of this argument, I’m willing to say that extended theories of evolution are also supposition; however, the evolutionary theories are supposition based on observable processes in objective reality, whereas your basis (a designer exists) is not observed in objective reality. I have not said that I know evolution is the explanation for genetic variation. But it’s a working model that fits the facts for now. As more facts become known, it very well could change one day. But, in that regard at least, it’s no different than the boat your in. Your supposition might be just as incorrect, since you also have failed to verify it so far. It is as wrong for you to say you “know” god exists as it would be for me to say I “know” evolution accounts for all genetic diversity.>New angle and question to you: In the absence of concrete Petri dish evidence what measure do you use? Is it logic, common sense, past or present experience? If we are unable to verify that X exists, it is not necessary to make a determination of existence. In fact, doing so would be unwise. And, socially, people who make a habit of believing unverified claims are generally thought of as “gullible.” If truth is what motivates us, the only logically supportable stance is to withhold belief until the necessary information to verify X can be obtained. Again, X may be verified at some point. But until that time, there’s insufficient data to support belief–and certainly insufficient data to support a claim of knowledge.In other words, if I say to you: “Gravity fairies exist. They hold everything down. It’s only logical–just try to make something stay in the air and you’ll see the invisible gravity fairies pull it back down–like magic.” I would expect you to _not_ believe in gravity fairies until I p
    resent you with conclusive evidence–not supposition or logical arguments–that gravity fairies exist. Does gravity (something the gravity fairies _do_, according to my claims), support the existence of gravity fairies? No. And claims that god does “X” or is responsible for “X” don’t support the existence of a god any better. The arguments are logically parallel.I bet you would require some pretty solid evidence before you’d believe my gravity fairy claim. And I’m not understanding why, when I say “god” rather than “gravity fairy”–you don’t feel it’s OK to withhold belief without conclusive evidence?> What is the driving force to keep you from raping a child? Is the only reason because the law says it’s a bad thing or something in your heart that says it’s wrong? Prove child rape is wrong or is it just a collective belief of mass delusion?You’re switching gears here. Laws and morality are not even close to examining objective reality as it relates to existence. Law or “taboo” is created by all cultures to maintain order. It is not always about maintaining the public good–as many regimes create laws that do not benefit the masses. Law is literally determined by public consensus and is only relevant if there is an enforcing element to it. This is observable all across the globe. In the U.S., since we went from an oppressive regime to one that values somewhat more public freedoms, our laws are based on the Constitution–until such time as the public decides to override that, or we are conquered and new laws are imposed. In the current state of the U.S. child rape is illegal. This is not a statement of morality. It is a statement of what the population considers within or not within the individual’s rights. Law is not morality. And morality is not law. Our laws are about maintaining public order while allowing as much individual freedom as possible. But things are sometimes legal that I consider immoral. And sometimes things are what I consider moral, but there are very good arguments for keeping them illegal, because they may benefit the public.Law defines rights not morals. Mores define group-think of what constitutes correct behavior. And morality is what individuals consider correct behavior for _themselves_. Trying to apply your morality to someone else is nonsensical. I explain this further below. Ethics, on the other hand, builds a standard of correct or incorrect behavior for a person or group based on a preset goal.When it comes to child rape, not that it matters, but my personal view of it would be something like this: Children who are raped often grow up to be social problems. They are prone to dysfunctions and sometimes to behavior that harms others or perpetuates harm and dysfunction. Because I live in society, it is in my best interest to look after the public benefit. Producing dysfunctional and predatory individuals to become cogs in the wheel of society is an unbeneficial idea that ultimately could harm me along with all of society. In this case, allowing child rape could lead to a real social problem that would affect society as well as individuals–so it is a group concern. This would be why I would support _laws_ against child rape. But that does not address morality.As far as morality, I personally value freedom and being free from harm and abuse. And I value stable society–because it creates the best environment to pursue my life unmolested by others. Further, I am unable to justify a perceived right to infringe on another’s freedom or to abuse them. So, I do not feel it would be correct or beneficial behavior for me and the rest of my society for me to rape a child. But I don’t tell anyone else how to “feel” about child rape–that would be quite an odd thing to attempt–and quite futile, since I can’t control how other people _feel_ about things. Or what bothers them or doesn’t bother them. So, it is impossible to dictate morality for someone else. Why would I try? The idea of trying to convince you or anyone else that child rape is _morally_ wrong is not something I would attempt to do. And I don’t have to change anyone’s morality in order to enforce social behavior. I need only enact laws for that. So, to stop child rape, _law_ is the proper venue to use–not morality. People can feel it’s right or wrong all day–but if they’re allowed to do it, we will encounter social problems. Stopping the behavior, in this case, is far more important than trying to control how anyone “feels” about the act.The legal response would be far superior than the moral response in dealing with child rape. Law can actually attempt to enforce control of the population, whereas my morality is ineffective in controlling others. Me thinking X is wrong has no bearing on what anyone else thinks is wrong.And there is ample data to support making child rape illegal if society’s goal is public benefit.Just out of curiosity–does it say in the Bible what is “too young” for a man to have sex with a young girl? I know it doesn’t have any rules against father/daughter sex in it. I’m not implying that it doesn’t have an age limit here. I just honestly don’t recall the Bible defining at what age it’s wrong for someone to have sex with someone else.>Yes Plato statement was a typo I was mimicking you and it turned out wrong because we all make mistakes. Some larger then others some make spelling errors, other people make errors in judgment and marry someone who is a child molester some claim there is no creator while they bask in his creation. We ALL fall short of the Glory of God.I hope you don’t think I was taking a jab at you for that weird sentence. I was only pointing it out because I couldn’t respond to it–and I didn’t want you to think I had disregarded it. Also, in case it was something you wanted a response to, letting you know I didn’t understand the sentence was a courtesy so that you could restate the issue in a follow up correspondence. I could have ignored it–but since I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to say, I didn’t know whether or not it might be something important to the discussion.>There is plenty of evidence out there.But nothing to verify the existence of god in objective reality. And you claim he’s not an idea. So, we have a problem. “Existence” defines the things that directly manifest in objective reality (or as ideas). You say your god is not an idea; and you say your god doesn’t manifest in any observable fashion. So, when you say “god exists”–you mean something very different than what anyone else means when they say “X exists.” And I guess that would need to be clarified, because I’m clueless what you mean by “exist” at this point.> Some ignore what is in front of them based on various reasons. Someone that hates God would do everything in his power to disprove him or deny his existence, let’s call him satan. If someone is doing his work by trying to prove there is no God then that person is called a satanist.You ignored the fact that evolution is observable. You actually asked me to prove something everyone can actually observe for themselves. I don’t think I’m the one ignoring what’s in front of me–or in this case, what’s _not_ in front of me. I feel quite certain that what I’m observing is defined very much in the same way as “nothing” would be defined in objective reality. “Nothing” also would be defined as not manifesting in any observable way in objective reality–in the same way your god and my gravity fairies.And now you are talking about Satan. I’m guessing this can be added to the growing list of items you say exist, but cannot prove: god, sin, supernature, hell, heaven, soul, and now satan. I’m not trying to be facetious–but you keep expanding on this concept you’ve got going. And it’s all a house of cards. You haven’t proved your premise: god exists. More and more you remind me of the cryptozoologist I saw on TV talking about his very elaborate theories on Big Foot society and culture. I just kept thinking: Don’t you think it might be a good
    idea to prove Big Foot exists first? Proving the premise before you begin your series of claims is a really an important thing to do.> Atheist are trying to say that they are using evidence to prove no existence of GodThat’s not what I’m doing. I’m asking you to provide evidence to prove god exists–because I don’t see god, and you claim there is a god. If I said there are Gravity Fairies, and you said you don’t believe me–are you trying to prove the existence of no Gravity Fairies? No, you’re simply letting me know that I haven’t shown that Gravity Fairies exist. You’d do _exactly_ what I’m doing if I tried to convince you of the existence of something that nobody could observe in objective reality. But for some reason, you act like you can’t understand it when the reverse is occurring–and you’re on the other side, making unsubstantiated claims. You keep saying you know there is a god–but you don’t seem to have verified it from what I’ve seen so far. At best, you’ve put together an argument that convinces you that there are some things that you think are/were caused by god. But that’s no better than what the Big Foot scholar has done. And amounts to me saying that since there is gravity, there must be Gravity Fairies.> and Christians are reading a book that says the people that do that exact thing is doing the work of satan. Lets look at the evidence the meaning of the word sat=to please and tanist, meaning ‘dark twin’. How would one please the dark twin? First we must find satans goalHow about _first_ we find satan? If you can’t prove your premise, your extrapolations are baseless. How do you not understand that? If there is no Satan, then he has no goals. In order to examine Satan’s goals, we must examine Satan first. Can you produce Satan for observation and examination?> and we have evidence that Satan’s goal is “to deceive man by blinding him to the truth of the gospel and to receive worship for himself”.If we have no evidence for the existence of Satan. How can we know there are any such things as “Satanic goals”? If you’re claiming he exists as an idea, as a character in a book–he is surely existent. But if you’re saying “objective reality”–you’re missing verification again. In fact, in this regard many of your own team would disagree with you. I have discussed with many Xians who take Satan to be purely a metaphor. I know you would disagree with them–but that’s why verification is important. I can’t go on Dan’s opinion, or some other Xian’s opinion when I’m trying to gain real knowledge of truth. If we’re going to talk about “what is Satan?” and determine whether or not he might want anything–the only way to know that is to examine whatever you’re calling “Satan.” And I’m guessing you can’t provide any more of Satan’s manifestation as you can of god’s manifestation. This is why many Xians view Satan as a metaphor for harmful behavior–because the “manifestation” of Satan is often claimed to be harmful behavior. Satan = harmful behavior. Your camp would claim there’s an actual existent entity behind the behavior–but nobody has ever shown that to be true.> Hmmm interesting now let’s look at the definition of the word Atheist: a denial of the existence of a supernatural God. (atheism). Based on the “evidence” one can conclude that Atheist are satanist, logically speaking of course. Do you really want evidence Tracie?Yes, I want evidence. How many times have I already indicated that to you so far? Apply whatever label you choose to me. Did you think that calling me “Satanist” was actually going to make me throw logic out the window? I’m sort of baffled here.At any rate–if your god is something different than “light” and “love,” I have no problem if you want to change or clarify what you meant if not literal “light and love.” If those are metaphors for something else you mean–or if you define “light” and/or “love” differently than their literal definitions, please feel free to expound on it.Meanwhile, a couple things I would still be interested in hearing responses to if you’re up for answering are:”The question was about your personal take on the morality of it–not whether or not you think the laws apply to us today. You said “it’s the same god.” I’m asking–do you agree with your god that it is moral to stone to death women who have been raped–and is a god that requires that of society a moral god in your opinion? How do you defend that stoning rape victims to death is moral? Or if your god asked you to stone a rape victim to death–would you refuse and say that it must be an evil god that would require such a thing? _That’s_ what was asked.”and”I used to have a KJV. Mine had no marginal notes at all, unfortunately. The note, since your Bible lacks the information, is from the translators and it tells the reader that that “the earliest and most reliable manuscripts do not contain these verses.” I should have specified in case your Bible lacked the notes as well. So, these verses were added to later copies of the manuscripts. I’m asking what that means to you, if anything? I was taught in as a Xian that the Bible was an accurate reflection of original manuscripts, and that the books used weren’t altered. But that’s not true–and Bible translators, who examine these documents, say that earlier copies lack some of the information that has ended up in your Bible. I’m wondering what you make of that. As a Xian, it conflicted with what I’d been taught. But I don’t know what your teachings or take on that would be.”[I'm just now reading all the new posts from my last visit. So, if you addressed these in response to someone else already, please just disregard these 2 final requests.]

  77. tracie harris says

    Minor typo correction. When I wrote:”I have not said that I know evolution is the explanation for genetic variation.”I meant to type:I have not said that I know evolution is the explanation for ALL OBSERVED genetic variation.

  78. tracie harris says

    >I don’t! it was written by God it was just penned by man.The Bible doesn’t say it was written by god, though. That is a claim the later church made about their canon in response to Marcion’s canon. The author of Luke, for example, never says he got his info or inspiration from god. In fact, he claims he talked to people and is just recording what he was told. So, why is Luke’s book said to be written by god? The author nowhere claims it–and the Bible doesn’t say god claimed he wrote Luke. So, why do you claim it?

  79. tracie harris says

    Andrew:Just to point out that your claim that society creates a sense of right and wrong in us makes Dan’s claim that “You don’t rape children because God told you it is wrong…” very similar in a logical context–in regard to what bothers him about it:While he is appalled to hear you claim that society in some way dictates what social mores will be–and to an extent individual morality as well–he is OK saying that whatever god says = morality.This means that Dan does believe that stoning rape victims _was_ moral at the time god said to do it. Just as you illustrated we might all consider X moral if we lived in a culture that condoned X.I think it’s fair to say that we’re just as shocked to see Dan’s idea that it doesn’t matter what you do–it’s moral if god says to do it. Dan called it “conscience”–but I think I’d be hard pressed to find someone who had a conscience that didn’t dictate that _ever_ stoning rape victims to death was a good, and right, and moral thing to do.Dan is saying that even if your personal sense of morality, your conscience, is thoroughly revolted by what god asks you to do–it’s still moral to do it. Because morality is whatever god says it is, and ours is not to question why. That’s what I’m seeing. But I’d certainly like to hear it directly from Dan–no doubt. Still I think it’s a fair extrapolation of his ideas as stated so far.

  80. says

    Someone truly saved has a new heart and is not a slave to sinning like unsaved people who love sin.Do you still sin from time to time? Yes? Then, by your own reasoning, you are not truly saved.God didn’t create evil, it was manifested when God was removedIf the existence of evil means God was removed, then God is irrelevant. I’ll make this point again, as a syllogism:1. God cannot exist in the presence of evil.2. Evil exists in our universe.3. Therefore, God cannot exist as part of our universe.God does not “exist”, QED.That is why Jesus will come again to live with us forever (eventually), there will be no absence of God (light), no evil, no darkness.Jesus supposedly came and went before. Evil did not go into remisssion then, so what basis do you have to suppose Jesus will drive out evil in the future?I believe no matter what we do the inevitable will happen.What a bleak outlook. Why bother participating in the world and human society at all?I and other atheists believe that, by working together toward common, worthwhile goals, we can make our world a better place–not just for those who believe in certain particular doctrines, but for everyone. There’s a tremendous amount of hope in assuming full responsibility for one’s own life and contributions.It is true that there is a lot of uncertainty in our world. However, this is no reason to give up and stop trying. Those who have a firm understanding of the contributing factors are able to manage the inherent risk and thereby achieve a higher probability of success in their endeavors.God sending lightning to torch the entire forest.Was this metaphorical, or do you, like the unenlightened worshippers of Thor and those who opposed the invention of lightning rods on religious grounds, actually believe God is the direct source of lightning, as opposed to static electricity that builds up under certain weather conditions?I know it’s hard to wrap thought around this but it was because of free will. A forced gift is not a gift at all. He wanted obedience and loyalty, not robots.You’re still missing the point of comparing Earth with Heaven. By your reasoning, either Heaven has the same problem with free will, hence evil, or Heaven will be full of obedient robots. Alternatively, if it is somehow possible for Heaven to accomodate free will without introducing evil, then Earth could have been made the same way.Moreover, remember that every time a crime occurs, the “free will” of the victim is violated. By suggesting that God cares about free will, what you are really suggesting is that he cares more about the free will of victims than about the will of victims, which he allows to be violated. This begs the question: why does God favor the will of criminals over that of victims?The simplest, most straightforward way to “wrap thought around” problems like this, so far as I can tell, is to realize that no God or gods have anything to do with free will, or evil that occurs independent of human will. (Disease, natural disasters, anmial attacks, etc.)We chose evil over God and that angered him, then and still.According to the story in Genesis 2 and 3, Adam and Eve did not “choose evil”. Rather, they chose knowledge, a moral conscience, and yes, free will–and God thought that was evil.God has the power to do all things, even erase evil, and even repair a molested child, heart and mind, as if it never happened. The molester will have eternal torture. Evil? No but Just and righteous.That’s just not good enough for my conscience to bear, Dan. Ask anyone who has worked to heal the wounds of an abused child. Those who genuinely care will tell you they wish those horrible events never happened, and that they would have spared the child such suffering–if only they could.But he is not God and things that are impossible for man are easy for God. God will right every wrong and there will be no more sorrow, how is he going to do that? God only knows.What I perceive here is, you have extended a moral pass to God that you would not extend to an ordinary man, even though you can think of no justification for doing so.Generally speaking, adults are held to a higher moral standard than children, largely because adults are more knowledgable and capable than children, and so are correspondingly more responsible. But if God possesses infinite knowledge and infinite capability, it stands to reason that he should be impeccably morally upright. He should adhere to a far stricter set of moral standards than that to which he holds us. If you believe God is greater than us, why would you hold him to a weaker moral standard than that to which you hold an ordinary man?Written by God, penned by man. If God can create the universe he can make sure the bible stays in tact.I realize this is your operating assumption, but it is not supported by anything in the Bible. Again I ask, upon whose authority was your Bible edited, canonized, translated into the King James Version and declared to be the “Word of God”?Sure, if God exists (big ‘if’), it may be possible for him to have had a hand in producing the Bible through people. Or, whether he exists or not, it may have been produced by people. The only part of the process of which we can be certain is the part with the people. The Bible doesn’t say it was assembled into its final form under direction from God. People say the Bible’s production was orchestrated by God.I think an honest answer to the question at hand would look like this:”The Bible was produced by a bunch of dudes, who claimed to be working under direction from God.”Perhaps without realizing it, you have placed as much trust in those dudes as you have placed in God.In Luke 12:10 what is blaspheme against the Holy Ghost? Refusal to acknowledge the gift is pretty blasphemous. By itself Luke 12:9 backs your statement up. But look at it in context Luke 12:8-11 “confess me before men “, him shall the “Son of man” also confess before the angels of God. The “Son of Man” is Jesus in both casesI don’t entirely understand how the context might support your interpretation over mine, but I get the impression we’re starting to split hairs over this. I think we can at least agree that this passage is subject to interpretation.But, by whose authority is your interpretation more or less accurate than mine? You may be tempted to answer “God”, but this does not solve the problem. If you believe the Bible is God’s preferred medium for conveying his Word to you, then your understanding of what God says is necessarily filtered through your personal interpretation of the Bible. How can you resolve the paradox and remove human potential for error from the equation?… I don’t know if god would even accept an axe murderer because only God knows the thought life of a person, not I. I don’t know if that kind generous person ever lied or lusted (adultery of the heart) I am not the judge. That is why we ALL need the savior and he is the only way to go to heaven because no unclean person can go there because heaven would implode on itself. … By repenting and trust in our savior as our savior and you will be washed of your sins as if they never happened. I heard Jeffery Dahmer became a Christian then shortly that “I think days later” some dude crushed his head with a broom handle. He may be in heaven he may have been a false convert, I wouldn’t know.I understand your perspective, as I grew up with it myself. But if you really sit down and try to make sense of it, salvation doctrine implodes on itself. Look again at what you wrote.You believe that even a kind, generous person deserves terrible, eternal punishment for even the slightest imperfectio
    n. That is what you actually believe.Similarly, you believe that if Jeffery Dahmer genuinely repended and trusted in “our savior as our savior”, God will disregard all of his sins and he will avoid eternal punishment. That is what you actually believe, and I appreciate that you are being more straightforward about this now.So please stop pretending suffering in Hell is some kind of just punishment for really bad people, and from which those who behave less badly are spared. Everybody sins, equally according to you, so sin is irrelevant. The only thing that differentiates the Heaven bound from the Hell bound is whether or not a person believes in Jesus. You believe Hell is, in effect, punishment for disbelief, and nothing else. That is what you believe. Please try to be more consistent in your portrayal of your beliefs.”Then why do you place such trust in the myriad human writers, editors, canonizers and translators of the King James Bible” I don’t! it was written by God it was just penned by man. I trust the word and it being infallible, I am fallible that is why I run to the bible(the word) for everything. I don’t interpret it. I read it plainly.Again, you’re reiterating your assumption without acknowledging the source of that assumption. I realize that you and many of your friends claim the King James Bible was written by God and penned by men, but the King James Bible doesn’t say anything about which books to include or omit, which passages from which manuscripts to use, whether to favor the Greek Septuagint or the Hebrew Masoretic text for certain passages, and so on. No such specific instructions from God are recorded anywhere in the Bible. So from where do you draw the assumption that the Bible was written by God and penned by men? Who told you that, and why did you believe them? What verses did they use to back it up?Not to put too fine a point on this, but the canon did not converge on the 39 OT and 27 NT books used in the King James Bible until 1611, with the King James Bible itself. Christians did not use that particular collection of books for the first 14 centuries or so of Christianity. They used different Bibles, or no Bible. So, if I may ask another question in a similar vein: if God had a role in producing the Bible, why did it take him over 15 centuries to decide what he wanted it to say?How did those responsible for building the foundations of Christianity manage to do so exactly as you believe God intended, without the guidance of the Bible you so revere?

  81. Andrew says

    Tracie, I am an amateur, and I concede to your much more civil wisdom. Nice posts.I just wanted to address something you and Stephen have both touched on:Tracie said,“The Bible doesn’t say it was written by god, though. That is a claim the later church made about their canon in response to Marcion’s canon.”And Stephen said,“So from where do you draw the assumption that the Bible was written by God and penned by men? Who told you that, and why did you believe them? What verses did they use to back it up?”This is one of the few mysteries of the Christianity I was able to satisfy myself with an answer during my Christian years. It also helped wake me up to the illogical nature of the religion.2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV for continuity)All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:I was given to understand that this means that God inspired the pens of the authors and guided the scriptures through their formation and subsequent translations.Although, this obviously holds no historical accuracy (as Tracie and Stephen both pointed out), it fits with Dan’s claims from his position.But it really only further confuses the subject of the Christian God. With this verse, you can no longer write off certain scripture as “irrelevant”. And since so much of the Bible is just wrong, its “God-breathed” inspiration is necessarily suspect.

  82. says

    Andrew said,2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV for continuity)All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:I was given to understand that this means that God inspired the pens of the authors and guided the scriptures through their formation and subsequent translations.Actually, I have considered this. When Paul wrote this passage in his letter to Timothy, he was most likely referring to the books of the Greek Septuagint, many of which are have been omitted from the KJV. Paul would not have referred to any of the books of the New Testament, including the one he was unwittingly in the middle of writing, as “scripture”. Many of them had not yet even been written.Replace “Bible” with “scripture” in the original description of the problem, and it’s easy to see that it’s the same problem: upon whose authority was any “scripture” declared divine and included in what was called “scripture” in the first place? Why were so many to which Paul himself gave his personal endorsement later relabeled as apocrypha and removed? There were lots of people involved in making those decisions over thousands of years, and we do not even know the names of the vast majority of those people.Dan appears to be operating under the assumption that God wrote the whole Bible in his head, leaked little bits of it at a time to certain people to take down at certain times, then waited until 1611 to put all the bits together exactly right. He doesn’t know anything about the process of the Bible’s assembly, and doesn’t care. He lacks sufficient curiosity to question, let alone investigate, that process. He just assumes God put it all together just so in 1611, and bases all the rest of his beliefs upon that unsupported assumption.The thing to keep in mind about all of this is, Dan’s knowledge of the Bible is much more limited than ours. He only knows what he has been instructed to know by Christian authority figures. He has no interest in searching for answers beyond what they have told him to believe.Otto was dead-on in his assessment that Dan lacks curiosity. I, Tracie, Dan, Martin, and many other former Christians here and elsewhere began our journey to atheism with a commitment to understand truth, no matter what that may turn out to be or how uncomfortable it may make us feel. It is that desire to understand truth, even at the expense of our dearly held preconceptions, that pressed us to find out the facts on the ground.Dan isn’t there yet. He doesn’t want to know what he doesn’t know about the Bible and Christianity. Not yet, anyway.

  83. Andrew says

    I totally agree with your assessment of the scripture Stephen. And my point was that it was all that Christians, like Dan, need. Scripture is scripture to these guys; the rest is Satan’s details.It has been a couple of days now. Is it safe to say Dan has been vanquished?

  84. says

    I read that blog WWJD. He is the judge of the universe, dude. You can’t let lawbreakers go free, that would be anarchy! Try that in our courts, ‘well, you raped and killed so we are going to give you $200. for your troubles and send you on your way. The rest of the article talks about how we should love everyone while God can punish…exactly! We are evil and not fair at all but God is. He is morally sound and we are morally bankrupt.Ottovstar, ” You see, Dan, an atheist just doesn’t have it in him/her to sit on his/her ass and let someone else tell them about the bible. An atheist won’t take the word of a pederast priest, an adulterous evangelist, or even a hypocritical homosexual.” First I had to look up temerity (nice word). Second neither did or would I, as I have said in the past never trust me or any man what God is about you have to read his word and ask God himself and he will reveal himself to you. ” book of lies” to you yes it is the book of lies. To me it is something entirely different. ” you have waltzed into a community of scholars and made simply the most egregiously ignorant claims you possibly could using a book every one of us knows better than you.” He who calls himself a Wiseman surely must mean he is not. Who said scholars are to understand God. You are all thinking too much which sounds funny but it is true. You are dissecting the Bible, instead of believing. When you do this God said he will not reveal himself to you. Here is an example of thinking to much: What is greater than God, More evil than the Devil, The poor have it, the rich need it, if you eat it, you will die? By the way, Jacob (age 7) got the correct answer and so did my daughter. No pressure though…I will tell you at the end of this comment but you have to understand. God needs us humble and ready for battle. Children are uninhibited and scholars are inhibited by their own thoughts and reasoning. See my point?You see Ottovstar one very important point. I hope you are sitting down because I will clear most of this up. You will all understand after this and you will not be confused anymore. Are you sitting down and ready? The truth is this: I didn’t write the Bible, God did. This entire time all of you have been trying to degrade me, debunk me, and debase and debauch me with your rhetoric and corrupt logic. Most of you have attacked me about my children and trying to place yourselves as superior humans then me. You are all shooting the messenger (of God) and I have not done anything to any of you but try to understand you and let all of you understand what God told us in that Bible, that you all claim to know so much about. You do not know the first thing about God’s love and you are all confused about our savior. I have great hope that I cleared some things up for all of you about our salvation and to help shed some different light on the subject. When I tell you that you are doing the devils work you curse and damn my kids and call me names. You claim to know so much about this book and when I say “the Bible” said you are doing the devils work you all want to get on my case instead of getting on God’s case. That is so scholarly of you to kill the little helpless boy bringing the message (for dramatic purposes only), only to ignore where the message came from. With love I tell you that most of you are ignorant and prideful. I don’t hold it against you it is God who must change all of your hearts. I have been spending time here to help God understand who you are not the other way around. Hypothetically, if a man actually wrote this: first Moses and then Jesus reads all of what Moses (actually 40 people) wrote then does exactly what was written then glorified and perpetuated it further by introducing new thoughts on the commandments like: ‘whoever looks with lust commits adultery of the heart’. This Jesus is a very wise, extremely advanced man and deserves all of your loyalty and worship as the smartest man in the earth of all time. He taught us to do the right thing. Just because you have achieved some advanced academics doesn’t mean anything about your knowledge of Gods law of morals and that is what we are all discussing here. The Bible was taken out of the schools back in the 60’s to be replaced by the religion of secular humanism and low and behold it is now the most corrupt school system in the entire world, be proud all of you scholars. The entire U.S. is morally bankrupt because of scholars are justifying and replacing morals with science. Scientifically abortions can be performed safely then clone that murdered baby 1000 times but that doesn’t make it morally correct. There have been more than 40 million abortions! in the twenty six years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized unrestricted abortion on January 22, 1973. Be proud scholars you have murdered 40 million souls, oh that’s right you don’t believe in a soul go figure. Your high minded superior mindset is burying our human race into an immoral, unjust, unethical nation, be proud that you are here to teach the world…give me a break. But God says to love you so I will, not because I have to, because I pity all of you and want you to all understand how wrong you all really are. Your god, Richard Dawkins is an immoral, unethical, humanist, doing the work of Satan (according to the Bible). I am also here talking to all of you and doing this for selfish reasons. God gave me the responsibility of raising three or four children in this world who will have three or four children each (doubling every 150 years, my blog), I am doing my part for God to change this worlds heart and give these kids a chance in a just and moral world. ” the insatiable curiosity that will lead a person to the truth.” Why do you think God created the heavens, for man to look up in the sky and say wow how small are we? Is there more out there? How many atheist out there long to live forever? We all do, because God put that in our hearts and mind to know that there is more out there for us.God himself is telling us humans how to treat each other to sustain a proper, morally holy, and healthy life. Sounds like most of you are prideful and hateful towards me and I didn’t write one word in the Bible. You have free will to reject it but as a messenger I am suggesting you don’t do that, you will burn forever in the lake of fire because that is what our Father said he will do to lawbreakers, I am just reiterating it to all of you. Look at pride according to God.Tracie you are just a spin doctor. ” I interpreted you quite literally: god exists like love exists. So, I took you to mean god exists as a self-defined idea.” I never said or meant anything that you spouted. For fear of being misquoted or misunderstood I will retract everything and for you I will start over because you are being difficult. God is what he says he is in the Bible and the Creator of all things. My opinions as to what I experienced may have been metaphysical objectivism but I am not sure of that either.”I think BB makes sense, but I don’t say I know it to be true. It is logically plausible” If you think the delicacy of the universe and all of humanity is caused by an explosion then why can’t you believe its plausible that a creator gave us life and morals and flowers and trees. I believe you may just be biased for your own personal reasons. I hope the best for you though.”it is in my best interest to look after the public benefit. Producing dysfunctional and predatory individuals to become cogs in the wheel of society is an unbeneficial idea that ultimately could harm me along with all of society. And I value stable society–because it creates the best environment to pursue my life unmolested by others.” this is a crock with all do respect. This is why dysfunctional people exist i
    n great numbers in today’s society because you all are trying to remove the Bible and morals from schools and such. What if there were no jails either for any offence, would it get worst or better? Do you see a need for a hell yet? God created a moral standing and you want it removed so your best interest is to fail society. ”I need only enact laws for that. So, to stop child rape, _law_ is the proper venue to use–not morality. People can feel it’s right or wrong all day–but if they’re allowed to do it, we will encounter social problems. Stopping the behavior, in this case, is far more important than trying to control how anyone “feels” about the act. How about now, do you see the need for hell yet? God already thought of all of that and went further to say you have free will but there will be punishment for the immoral. ”Law can actually attempt to enforce control of the population, Yes I agree God’s law is to enforce control over mankind, I am glad we agree.”If I said there are Gravity Fairies, and you said you don’t believe me–are you trying to prove the existence of no Gravity Fairies? IF you had a book lets call it The Biblifaries that was over 3000 years old that had prophecies that came true and events provable throughout history and it fit morally and logically into my psyche. I would consider it. ”do you agree with your god that it is moral to stone to death women who have been raped” First I must understand what passage are you talking about to answer this question, was it this one? Then I can answer it better. God destroyed Sodom because of the homosexuality and evil. Woman and children perished also, was it justified to me? I am a soldier of God and I say things like “Yes Sir.” Trust is trust and I trust in God and his decisions even if I don’t agree with them at the time. God as a Creator and God as making us in his image and at the time we were under a different or “old” covenant. He needed loyalty first then we were given a “New” covenant and the law of old was fulfilled. Yes, because God did it and he is in charge. ” So, these verses were added to later copies of the manuscripts. I’m asking what that means to you, if anything? It means absolutely nothing to me. They found some Dead Sea scrolls after 1611 and added verses to later versions to “update” it but theology wise or salvation wise, it changed nothing at all. The message stays the same; (my flip answer) maybe they did it for scholars or for perfectionist, maybe not.”The Bible doesn’t say it was written by god, though.” Sure it does, have you read it? It breaths God throughout the entire Bible. It talks about thing to come in the future and they all came true. Instead of reading the bible to find evidence read it plainly, maybe (although I doubt it) that will help you. A search for “my word” got this OK now Stephen,”Jesus supposedly came and went before. Evil did not go into remission then, so what basis do you have to suppose Jesus will drive out evil in the future?” Again the old covenant was still in place until the “New”. Jesus had to die on the cross for the new covenant to take place and when he did, all power of heaven was given to him as the Judge. Evil will be eliminated not just go into remission.”Why bother participating in the world and human society at all? I and other atheists believe that, by working together toward common, worthwhile goals, we can make our world a better place–” I don’t at all, I hate this life”Those who have a firm understanding of the contributing factors are able to manage the inherent risk and thereby achieve a higher probability of success in their endeavors.” Maybe you’re too proud to know that you are not in charge at all of any outcome. But if you loveth your life…”actually believe God is the direct source of lightning, as opposed to static electricity that builds up under certain weather conditions? Nope it is God. Recognize the face of God ”By suggesting that God cares about free will,” I don’t know if I did that. I don’t know if he cares about free will but he allowed it. Maybe the victim is learning about free will and its importance, and to have it removed by evil is not tolerable. The victim will want justice and maybe society won’t give it to her (the jerk gets away with it) she will long for justice and God will give it to her. She will be grateful to God and so will I. ”Adam and Eve did not “choose evil”. Rather, they chose knowledge –and God thought that was evil.” YES, they defied God, did not Trust God, listened when satan told them you can be Gods and have knowledge of everything. Now the atheist Richard Dawkins is spewing “I can make an eye too out of lasers and fish bowls” How has it served us thus far? I choose God.”Those who genuinely care will tell you they wish those horrible events never happened, and that they would have spared the child such suffering–if only they could.” They can’t but God can ” If you believe God is greater than us, why would you hold him to a weaker moral standard than that to which you hold an ordinary man?” Oops you lost me, why weaker moral standard? He allows Free will and he tied his hands to it and has to watch one child rape another child (of his) but he will right every wrong in the world forever, which I believe as fact. ”People say the Bible’s production was orchestrated by God.” You’re right “People” did say that but what does God say, I will trust if he has the power to create the universe he has the power to make the Bible what it is today. Man was just a pen or tool. Wow that pen wrote a good book? Nope, God did.”I think we can at least agree that this passage is subject to interpretation.” I would say that all passages are to be understood in its own context. Not interpreted, but understood. Not to go beyond (speculation), but read it plainly. ”You believe that even a kind, generous person deserves terrible, eternal punishment for even the slightest imperfection. That is what you actually believe.”Yes I do. If I take a hundred from you or a dollar I am still a thief. If it takes kind but immoral people going to hell to correct the order of the universe and rid evil forever then I am for it. Let me ask you this because I have read thing like the gospel of Peter a heresy from the Gnostics. What if the atheist was in hell for, let’s say, 4 days because of an atheist’s current beliefs. Or even you for that matter (I hope and believe you are not an atheist but agnostic). Your skin is burned off and it regenerates and then burned off again and on and on. Then Jesus says to you your punishment is over will you confess now that I am God and in charge of the universe? What would your answer be? Maybe a proud sinner would realize they are not in charge of their life and they do have a creator and are held accountable to their moral choices or maybe not and they will be like that Akusai dude. Lol”You believe Hell is, in effect, punishment for disbelief, and nothing else. That is what you believe. Please try to be more consistent in your portrayal of your beliefs.” Just semanti
    cs but YES without being washed of your personal sinning with the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ will commit you to hell for eternity. But it is your sinning that requires Jesus, not everyone lies not everyone is a thief not everyone has done these thing throughout history. It is just in today’s time blasphemy is a normal occurrence. But it hasn’t always been like that. Moses and Daniel are in heaven, why? They were under the old covenant; he is God that’s why. ”I realize that you and many of your friends claim the King James Bible was written by God and penned by men, but the King James Bible doesn’t say anything about which books to include or omit, which passages from which manuscripts to use, whether to favor the Greek Septuagint or the Hebrew Masoretic text for certain passages, and so on.” I agree that is why I took a while (a year) of my life to study the apocryphal and Gnostic text. I have concluded on my own that most were not “in the caliber” as the Canon and the apocryphal text though interesting and intriguing took away from the gospel and flow of the Bible. So if it was just the Biblical Scholars appointed by King James that assembled the books then I agree with them. ”if God had a role in producing the Bible, why did it take him over 15 centuries to decide what he wanted it to say?” that is why he had disciples preaching everywhere and then Paul was just writing the assembled saints letters. Who would have thought they were to become the Bible. God is Great. You think it is not right and somehow not to your standards I just think it is wonderful that any of this came about because of one man (God). Momentum and drive for the disciples, being persecuted because of it, continued to preach and get the word out before there was a written New Testament. Time had to pass because having something written at that time would mean their certain death. Maybe time had to pass before a book could be collected to be reproduced. I found out it took a year to write a new bible before there were presses to churn them out. What dedication and drive and risk, for what a figment of our imagination? For a leprechaun (my wife and I are still laughing). Why am I spending time with all of you? Why, because I am bored? If you only knew what is on my plate. We are here as messengers of God to aid the lost (all of you) to find Jesus. We are saved we have eternity to live but all of you do not. You all are the most important thing right now while we are here.I have an atheist type argument: Prove the book wasn’t written in it’s entirety from the beginning. Prove that the Hebrews didn’t have final draft ready for the printing press to be invented. Were you there? Prove to me that the ink wasn’t x many years old. (Spare yourselves the explanation, it’s a joke I know the truth.)”He only knows what he has been instructed to know by Christian authority figures.” I resent that, It was God alone. Church never helped me. I was going to pridefully boast about how many times and many versions I have read but I stopped. I am humbly a student and a soldier of God.I have to wait until the kids are asleep sometimes. I can’t keep up to your comments they keep pouring in but I will try my best with whoever I can help. ” Is it safe to say Dan has been vanquished? NO how about you all? Are you ready to admit I have some merit in my logic? Would your pride ever allow it? Could you in good conscience concede to a guy, without a Master’s degree, that he understands God more then yourself? That your entire group hasn’t been able to “stump” the Christian at all, if ever. How can your common sense deny you the ability to grasp what is being revealed to all of you? Just playing around it is a simple message, I thought you were scholars?BTW The answer to the riddle is: NOTHING!With love and For Him,Dan

  85. Chris W says

    I couldn’t read this entire debate and not post a comment. I am not a troll or anything, just a lurker of this conversation deciding to be vocal for a few minutes.I’m religious. Born and raised Christian, and have been for over 20 years. Lately, however, I’ve been having some doubts. In my readings lately, they are apparently many of the same doubts that many Christians in my situation have…the whole morality thing, the logic, the evidence, etc. As Ottovstar mentioned, I’m curious, and am currently searching for the truth behind my doubts and questions. Most of them are, actually, things mentioned in this very debate, which is why I was interested enough to read through the entire thing. Although it may go against my upbringing, and although I may feel a tinge of…something…to admit it, the atheists on this board have been making more sense and have been, so far, answering at least a few of my own issues. Very well, I might add.Dan. You may disregard what I say because I have the audacity to question, which probably means I’m not a “true christian” and / or I never believed enough and / or I’m in league with the devil (I just don’t know yet) and / or some other justification to get around the fact that you’ve confused and pushed away a believer a little further than he was before. But you’ve done nothing but confuse and cause further doubt. Good Lord, you’ve made me side with the atheists in this debate over a fellow Christian. You may want to change the way you debate, because even though this is an atheist site, there are other believers here. Not only are you not doing a thing to bring them closer to believing, you’re not exactly helping those who already do believe.Ok, I’m done. Just felt like giving my comments after spending so long reading this. Continue with this excellent debate everybody, and I’ll probably check back later.

  86. says

    Dear Dan,The celerity of your response is nothing short of astounding. Seriously, ‘dude’ you need to get a life; even if you hate it, which is the saddest thing about religion. Inculcating self and life loathing is religion’s greatest abuse of ideas. Nevertheless, Dan, I formally withdraw from this discussion with you. Absolutely every single word you’ve stated on this blog is utterly without merit, because you base them all on nothing more than a book that is itself utterly without merit. In addition to this travesty, you’re using the poorest translation of that book ever made.Because you apparently do not have the intellectual capacity to either understand that or find it out for yourself and chose to simply believe at face value in that meritless book of lies, you will never be able to even begin to comprehend what any of us on this blog are discussing with you.We are therefore, not to be facetious, nowhere near being on the same page and will never come to any sort of agreement. Ultimately, Dan, religion is about social control. Those humans who are incapable of thinking morally and ethically for themselves must be controlled by some method. You demonstrate that you are well controlled. I am thankful for that. However, I DO have a life, ‘dude,’ (what a pathetically ignorant sobriquet, at least it’s only one syllable, eh Dan?) and will be moving on in the only life I have, which I DO love and cherish, as I do my fellow earth-passengers. I am content that you and your hapless fellows are well controlled, at least you’ll be behaving and doing as your told. Goodbye, Dan, and remember, no matter what Jesus would do, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t spend money on a stupid bracelet with the letters WWJD stamped on it.Otto

  87. Martin says

    In reply to two questions from Dan:1. Are you ready to admit I have some merit in my logic?Well, when you write brain-dead, drooling, sub-literate, uneducated trash like this…Your god, Richard Dawkins is an immoral, unethical, humanist, doing the work of Satan……the answer is, “No, we think you’re stupider than a sack full of dead hamsters.”2. How can your common sense deny you the ability to grasp what is being revealed to all of you?As what is being revealed to us is the bottomless depth of your idiocy, rest assured our common sense isn’t denying us the ability to grasp that at all.

  88. says

    You can’t let lawbreakers go free, that would be anarchy! Try that in our courts, ‘well, you raped and killed so we are going to give you $200. for your troubles and send you on your way. The rest of the article talks about how we should love everyone while God can punish…exactly! We are evil and not fair at all but God is. He is morally sound and we are morally bankrupt.There you go again, supporting ideas in which you do not actually believe. What you actually believe is that everybody sins, is evil, and deserves punishment, including really, really nice people who haven’t done anything particularly wrong, but presumably had a few stray thoughts now and again. Yet, you also believe there are some “lawbreakers” like you who will go free, just because you are in a circle of people who share a certain set of beliefs. You believe that a rapist who repents and receives salvation gets far more than $200 and sent on his way–he gets to spend eternity in Heaven! That is what you believe, and by your own reasoning about punishing lawbreakers, God’s law of sin and salvation is morally bankrupt.Perhaps, at last, you are beginning to realize just how morally corrupt Christianity really is.He who calls himself a Wiseman surely must mean he is not.By this simplistic reasoning, if God claimed to be infinitely wise in the Bible, that surely must mean he is not. You are all thinking too much which sounds funny but it is true. You are dissecting the Bible, instead of believing. When you do this God said he will not reveal himself to you.Think about that carefully. What you are saying is, the more closely one studies the Bible, the less likely one is to believe what it says. Similarly, the more closely one studies nature, the less likely one is to see evidence of God within it. What you are saying, in effect, is that the only way to believe in God is to remain as ignorant of the facts as possible.On this, I think we are in agreement. As Isaac Asimov once quipped, “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”You do not know the first thing about God’s love and you are all confused about our savior.If this is the case, it is not for lack of trying. Many of us tried to learn about God’s love and understand “our savior” for decades. At the time, we were every bit as dedicated to God-belief as you are now. When we finally took a step further in our faith, and wanted to determine exactly which parts of it were actually true, that was when the whole thing began to unravel. Having so much faith that we were willing to question our preconceived notions without fear–so much faith that we were fully confident that careful investigation would only support the core tenets of our faith–that was when we finally began to discover the truth of the situation.You don’t have that much faith, yet. You’re still stuck in the mode of thinking that the more you study and learn, the less you will believe that Christianity is true. Perhaps we have contributed to eroding your faith, and if that is the case, I apologize for my role in doing so. I hope, rather, that we have only strengthened it. It is only when you have sufficient faith to investigate your faith with honesty and integrity that you will be able to realize how little of it holds up under scrutiny.You claim to know so much about this book and when I say “the Bible” said you are doing the devils work you all want to get on my case instead of getting on God’s case.I think I see what you’re doing with this “killing the messenger” complaint. You’re trying to pass the buck, blaming God for the weakness of your arguments. You have to understand your audience. The thing is, we believe you exist, but we don’t believe God exists. So of course we will hold you, not God, responsible for the ineptitude of your arguments.With love I tell you that most of you are ignorant and prideful.With love we tell you that your ignorance is greater than ours, because we know both nature and the Bible better than you do. Your pride is also greater than ours, because you believe you are absolutely right about God and refuse to admit that you might be wrong, whereas we are willing to accept that we might be wrong, provided we are shown to be wrong through verifiable evidence and sound argumentation.That is what I mean when I talk about specks and planks. Full of ignorance and hubris, you have assumed, from the very beginning of the discussion, that you are more knowledgable and humble than we are, when the opposite has been the case all along. Are you beginning to recognize this yet?I have been spending time here to help God understand who you are not the other way around.This is an interesting statment. It suggests that you believe God is a bit clueless. Very interesting, indeed.This Jesus is a very wise, extremely advanced man and deserves all of your loyalty and worship as the smartest man in the earth of all time. He taught us to do the right thing.How can he have been an “extremely advanced man”, when every word attributed to him was attributed to someone else long before he purportedly lived? The Golden Rule, for example, goes back at least so far as Confucius, ca. 500 BCE.Be proud scholars you have murdered 40 million souls,I thought you believed all children go to Heaven. If what you claim to believe is true, abortion just puts more innocent souls into Heaven. Isn’t that what you believe God wants, as many human souls in Heaven as possible?… I pity all of you and want you to all understand how wrong you all really are.If that is truly what you want, you will have to make a greater effort to stop looking so very amateurish and mistaken yourself. You can start by giving up these notions that ignorance is somehow preferable to knowledge, and that unwarranted, prideful certainty is somehow preferable to humble questioning.I am just reiterating it [the Bible] to all of you.That’s part of the problem, as we see it. You’re merely reiterating things you have been told to believe, without bothering to try to understand the implications of the words you are reiterating. Try thinking. It works!I will retract everything and for you I will start over because you are being difficult.Tracie is not being “difficult” at all, she is just being rigorous. When you explain something, she is taking what you say at face value and showing you some of the implications of what you have said. She is only reiterating what you have said. Don’t kill the messenger! ;) If you think the delicacy of the universe and all of humanity is caused by an explosion then why can’t you believe its plausible that a creator gave us life and morals and flowers and trees. I believe you may just be biased for your own personal reasons.We are biased–by the facts. The facts point to natural explanations, but not to God. If and when the facts start pointing to the existence of your God instead, then, and only then, will we start believing in him.What if there were no jails either for any offence, would it get worst or better? Do you see a need for a hell yet? God created a moral standing and you want it removed so your best interest is to fail society….God … went further to say you have free will but there will be punishment for the immoral. There you go again, denying the doctrine of salvation through faith in Christ, and instead espousing a gospel of works (see Eph. 2:8-9), suggesting that moral behavior has some bearing on salvation. Are you a Christian or not?IF you had a book lets call it The Biblifaries that was over 3000 years old that had prophecie
    s that came true and events provable throughout history and it fit morally and logically into my psyche. I would consider it.
    Likewise, IF the Bible had these characteristics, it might warrant our attention. The fact is, Bible prophesy is no more reliable than National Enquirer prophesy, the supernatural events described in the Bible are not at all historically provable, and after much more rigorous consideration than that which you have bothered to give the matter, we have concluded that it does not fit morally or logically into our psyches.Trust is trust and I trust in God and his decisions even if I don’t agree with them at the time.In my estimation, this is the kind of thinking that leads people to commit horrible atrocities in the name of God that a healthy conscience and simple human compassion would not otherwise permit. In the context of your above statement, ask yourself: would you kill for God? Would you rape someone if that is what God told you to do?but theology wise or salvation wise, it changed nothing at all.The dubious passage at the end of Mark does have some bearing on theology and the doctrine of salvation, for at least two reasons:1) Mark is widely acknowledged to be the earliest of the Gospels, but if the later-added portion is left out as it was in the original manuscript, then it does not mention the Resurrection at all. The doctrine of the resurrection, one of the core doctrines of Christianity, is part of the forgery. That forgery was then copied and expanded upon in subsequent redactions of the story, including Matthew and Luke.2) This passage also includes “signs” for differentiating between “true Christians” and those who have undergone, as you would put it, a “false conversion”: “17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Do you find some comfort in the knowledge that this passage may have been forged? I did.Instead of reading the bible to find evidence read it plainly, maybe (although I doubt it) that will help you.You’re right, that won’t help, because that’s how me, Tracie, and many others got started. A plain reading raised some questions, and as we dug deeper, the answers we discovered only raised more questions. It’s kind of a snowball effect. You probably don’t understand this yet, because you probably have not yet read the whole Bible, cover to cover as one might read a novel. Reading it that way–as opposed to the piecemeal and out-of-context fashion in which it is taught in sermons and Sunday School–makes it much easier to spot errors and doctrinal contradictions.Again the old covenant was still in place until the “New”. Jesus had to die on the cross for the new covenant to take place and when he did, all power of heaven was given to him as the Judge. Evil will be eliminated not just go into remission.I asked what basis you had to believe Jesus would drive out evil in the future, and you have offered no such basis. Instead, you merely reiterated your unsupported assertion. You’re not even trying, now.I hate this life.Bleak, bleak, bleak. Throwing away, and even hating, the only life of which you can be certain, in favor of an afterlife that will never come. What a tragic, consummate waste of precious life! I had forgotten how depressing it was to live as a Christian, but your words bring back a lot of that chronic angst and depression! Ugh!“do you actually believe God is the direct source of lightning, as opposed to static electricity that builds up under certain weather conditions?”Nope it is God.Okay, now I am beginning to understand the depths of your willful ignorance! You just lost all remaining credibility!”Those who genuinely care will tell you they wish those horrible events never happened, and that they would have spared the child such suffering–if only they could.”They can’t but God can.So why didn’t he? What kept him? Did he withhold aid out of apathy or malevolence? Think, Dan, think! You’re so close to understanding!He allows Free will and he tied his hands to it and has to watch one child rape another child (of his)Here, you are saing God cares so little about the suffering of children as to deliberately render himself incapable of protecting the free will of a victim of child rape. You are saying that God is both unwilling and unable to prevent such suffering.but he will right every wrong in the world forever, which I believe as fact.Here, if I understand correctly, you appear to be claiming, without any supporting evidence whatsoever, that God will effectively go back in time and make everything happen a completely different way, as if evil never occured in the first place. Effectively, you’re saying the entire universe, from the beginning of time, will be erased, and God will start all over with a completely different universe in which evil does not occur. And in that universe, which is not the one in which we actually live, God will absolutely set everything right.Dan, you can imagine magical glowing fairy universes all you like, but sooner or later you will have to face the reality of the universe in which you actually live. If what you say takes place, and we are somehow magically transported to this alternative universe where God exists and makes everything right, I would, in that context, likely believe in the God of that universe. But there is no such God in our universe. There never was.I would say that all passages are to be understood in its own context. Not interpreted, but understood. Not to go beyond (speculation), but read it plainly.Okay, I’ll adopt your new euphemism: the Bible is subject to personal understanding. You still haven’t removed the potential for human error.Then Jesus says to you your punishment is over will you confess now that I am God and in charge of the universe? What would your answer be?At that point, I would have evidence, through direct personal experience, that God exists, an afterlife exists, hell exists, and so on. I would, at such a point, have sufficient evidence before me, and I would believe. However, until a believer can present even one shred of verifiable evidence that any of these supernatural entities or realms exist, I have no cause to believe.I am both an atheist and an agnostic. “Atheist” just means “not theist”–I do not believe in God. “Agnostic” means “not knowing”–I do not know whether or not God exists. I only know that, given the evidence before me so far, I should not believe in him.So show me some evidence that God even exists. That shouldn’t be so hard.So if it was just the Biblical Scholars appointed by King James that assembled the books then I agree with them.Fine, so long as you are willing to acknowledge that the canon was declared by dudes, not God. You may agree with them, but that is only your opinion, not God’s. The Bible is not God’s Word according to God, but according to some people. Of course, if you are honest, you will recognize that those people may be just as wrong as those who claim the Koran or the Book of Mormon are the divine Word of God.They give the same arguments you have given–Muhammed and Joseph Smith were just instruments. God wrote those texts through them. How do they know? They don’t. It’s just their opinion.What dedication and drive and risk, for what a figment of our imagination? For a le
    prechaun (my wife and I are still laughing).
    Likewise, we laugh at, and pity, you. Yes, from our perspective, you and others have chosen to risk everything and dedicate your lives to a mere figment of your imagination. You’re throwing away your entire life for a leprechaun.Why are we driven to point out the tragedy of your false beliefs? Because we empathize. Many of us have been there, wasting our lives for the same leprechaun. We know better now, and we want to spare others of the same delusion–not because we think some leprechaun told us to do so, but because we care about our fellow human beings. We want to equip people to make the most of the lives they have, so they can make meaningful contributions to society instead of squandering our precious resources perpetuating belief in leprechauns.Are you ready to admit I have some merit in my logic? Would your pride ever allow it? Could you in good conscience concede to a guy, without a Master’s degree, that he understands God more then yourself? That your entire group hasn’t been able to “stump” the Christian at all, if ever. How can your common sense deny you the ability to grasp what is being revealed to all of you? Just playing around it is a simple message, I thought you were scholars?Your “logic” has no merit, for reasons we have thoroughly explained. We’re not being egotistical about it, we’re pointing out very specific flaws in your arguments, which you have been consistently unable to defend. You contradict your own beliefs at every turn. Yes, it is even clear to us that we understand “God” far better than you do. You can’t even define what you think “God” is, for Tracie. Doesn’t it bother you that you haven’t been able to “stump” us at all, even though we have repeatedly backed you into corners where you are forced to concede that you don’t have an answer, or where you directly contradict yourself without acknowledging the contradiction? Doesn’t it bother you that I have pointed out Bible passages that you had not previously considered, and sometimes did not even know about? How many times have you said, “ouch”, after I raised a compelling counterpoint that you did not previously consider? How can your common sense deny you the ability to grasp what is being revealed to you? The problem is not that your message is simple, but that it is simplistic, and–as we have repeatedly shown–demonstrably false. That you still seem to think you’re “winning” somehow speaks volumes about the self-important hubris you have brought to this discussion. I don’t have to keep saying that you’re being prideful, narcissistic, hypocritical, and ultimately Pharisaical, because it’s obvious to everyone else here. What little credibility you had at the beginning, is now utterly gone.By failing to take your beliefs seriously and understand your audience, you have only made God look worse.For once, please try to be honest–if not with us, at least with yourself. Don’t just reiterate your beliefs. Think!

  89. says

    Chris W said,Although it may go against my upbringing, and although I may feel a tinge of…something…to admit it, the atheists on this board have been making more sense and have been, so far, answering at least a few of my own issues. Very well, I might add.Thank you for the vote of confidence! I have encountered very few former believers whose minds were changed overnight by some kind of conversion event or epiphany. Rather, it usually seems to take years, if not decades, of careful contemplation of the facts, coupled with honest moral and cognitive introspection, to sort each element of fact from fiction. The process can be difficult, often painful and humiliating. Many of us have been through just such a process, and know how hard it can be to gradually realize that nearly everything upon which one has based one’s life has been a lie.But it is a journey well worth taking. As a fundamentalist Christian, I perceived the world in black and white. During the transition period, I began to resolve shades of gray. Finally, the scales of religious deception fell from my eyes, and I was able to see the full spectrum of the colors of reality. The world in which we actually live is profound and beautiful, and experiencing life within it, even for just a short time, is an equally profound privilege.I have come to regard religion as, effectively, a parasite of human minds. In order to survive and replicate itself into other minds, the older religions in particular have evolved very powerful mechanisms for hobbling human reasoning and moral faculties, particularly if and when a threat to itself is perceived. It’s easy for Dan to recognize the error of his reasoning when it is applied to leprechauns or policemen, but he can’t see the exact same errors when he applies the exact same reasoning to his own religious beliefs. The parasite does not permit him to apply the same logic and moral sensibility to what he believes. Instead, he sets aside his own mind, and uses the logic and morality of the parasite. Think of a cell infected by a virus, which sets aside its own, normal functionality in order to process the viral DNA, thereby producing more viruses at its own unwitting expense. Throughout most of this conversation, we haven’t been communicating with Dan so much as the with the words the parasite tells him to say. As Christians, we used to make a lot of the same arguments he has been making, and think they were perfectly valid.It’s a frustrating and tragic thing to watch. Arguably, that particular mental parasite is the Christian “God”–or, perhaps more to the point, the “Holy Spirit”. As much as I hate what it does to people, I can’t hold anything against the parasite itself. It’s only trying to survive and reproduce in a cold, harsh world, just like everything else. But, as with any other debilitating human disease, treatment and/or eradication is in our best interest. We can fight back.Some time ago, I came up with a personal three-step program, good for curing all forms of addiction:1) Recognize and acknowldge that there is a problem.2) Commit to resolving that problem.3) Immerse oneself into a supportive social environment.This, I think, can be applied to religion as well:1) Recognize and acknowledge that Christianity and Christian apologetics contain, and are at least partly based upon, a few blatant lies.2) Commit to systematically sorting the lies from verifiable truth.3) Immerse oneself in the real world–which, once free to examine the evidence without parasitic interference, practically screams from every atom that no God or gods, at all relevant to humanity, “exist” within our universe.Anyway, enjoy the journey! If you come out of it on the other side and conclude that some element of Christianity (which cannot be achieved through entirely secular means) has merit, feel free to let us know what you think that might be. I’d be curious!

  90. says

    Chris W if you doubt your salvation then yes you may be a false convert but all hope is not lost ”Lately, however, I’ve been having some doubts. In my readings lately, they are apparently many of the same doubts that many Christians in my situation have…the whole morality thing, the logic, the evidence, etc.” Doubt the Lord it is your free will. I had doubts also and I was a false convert at the time, I justified my actions and I kept going. I studied the Gnostics and such and tried to find secret things. One day I realized I was headed down the wrong path. There was a radical difference and I knew without a single doubt that I was saved and no longer lost. I didn’t justify anymore and I repented for all my wrong and I actually stopped everything that didn’t glorify God. Yes I have bouts with sins but they are fleeting and do not hold my attention like (camping out of the mind) because of the strength of God. How am I wrong? Be specific and not vague so I can answer your concern of pushing you away. ” But you’ve done nothing but confuse and cause further doubt. Good Lord, you’ve made me side with the atheists in this debate over a fellow Christian.” First of all you blasphemed to make your point which just broke the third commandment and second “how?” details would be nice, if you are a Christian you shouldn’t have trouble voicing your “fruit”. ”Would you rape someone if that is what God told you to do?” Of course not because God is moral and one test to see if God is leading you or not is, are you being talked into something that goes against God doctrine or not. If it is of God it will be moral and just and righteous as his word is. ” Those humans who are incapable of thinking morally and ethically for themselves must be controlled by some method.” have you ever sinned? OK then you are incapable of thinking morally and ethically for yourself. Without God you are morally bankrupt. Pushing God out of your life, itself is a bankruptcy of its own. The first commandment is one of the moral laws. When we compare ourselves to each other we look great. Ask a pot head and he will say at least I don’t do heroin, ask the heroin addict and he will say at least I don’t murder, and then ask a murderer and he will say at least I am not a serial murderer, ask the serial murderer and he will say at lest I am not killing babies like the democrats. Ask a democrat and he says I don’t believe in souls and I am an atheist. Last parts a dig but you see my point it is all relative. If you compare yourself to our Holy God you are using an entirely different gauge. We are not well controlled we are lead well by Jesus; It is my honor to follow him. It is a gift, buddy. We choose to follow our Holy God. ” I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t spend money on a stupid bracelet with the letters WWJD stamped on it.” And neither would I, but thanks for the advice. Oh Martin, ” Well, when you write brain-dead, drooling, sub-literate, uneducated trash like this…” did I hurt your superiority complexed feelings; Did I talk bad about your God. Truth hurts my friend I know. Remember what I said perfect love is a constant confronter. I was in denial at one point of my life also but you will understand someday I am sure of it. I admit at this point it is counter productive to converse any more but wait you wrote more. IF you are so above me why not ignore me why dedicate entire lengthy blogs to me and invite me to your discussion only to slam your guest at every chance you get.” Dan isn’t trolling, but is a sincere guy who doesn’t want us all to go to hell. I’m happy to have Dan visiting us,” John Wayne Gacy used to invite people into his house give them milk and cookies and then cut them to pieces, do you have this same mentality, where are your manners? OK I retract that last part. I still love you although I pity you as I am sure you do the same for me. We can always agree to disagree and call it a day. For Him,Dan

  91. Martin says

    …did I hurt your superiority complexed feelings; Did I talk bad about your God.Nice try, Dan, but this is adult swim. What you did was reveal the depth of your ignorance to an even greater degree than had already been displayed (which, I admit, was something I didn’t think possible). And again, you were called on it.You’re a child, Dan. You’ve been trying to fight well above your weight class this entire time, and you’ve lost every bout. But your head is so numb from the poundings it’s taken that you don’t know better than to stop stepping back into the ring for more punishment.You know nothing of the subjects about which you speak — very little about your own religion and less than nothing about science — and you are called on your mistakes time and again only to reply with further juvenile boasting coupled with silly whining about how we meanies are all picking on you. You cannot reply sustantively to any of our rebuttals, because you do not know how to debate by forming sound arguments; you simply know how to regurgitate the religious indoctrination you’ve received all your life. Every time one of your assertions is refuted, you merely restate it. You openly engage in logical fallacies, revealing the totality of your lack of education to a group of well-educated people. Then you have the gall to ask me to show you “manners”? Wow. The mind simply reels at your lack of intellectual development and self-awareness. It approaches something quite like mental illness.If you don’t like that I “slam you every chance I get,” stop making idiotic, childish, know-nothing remarks that deserve to be slammed. Stop following up said remarks with bizarre proclamations of your love for us. We don’t owe you any special treatment or consideration just because you’re our “guest”. Remember, you came to us with your ridiculous bilge; we never sought you out. We’re under no obligation to give your stupidity a pass just because that’s what you’re used to.Dan, at this point, you are, to us, a sideshow. You have already stated clearly in a previous comment that you disdain thinking in favor of believing, and that admission is sufficient for you — had you a shred of honesty anywhere in your dysfunctional character — to concede everything to us. Since, by your own admission, nothing you write can possibly contain anything of intellectual value, you are, at best, a curiosity, a case study and walking cautionary tale in how religious fundamentalism damages the mind, compromises moral development (as revealed by your pathological dishonesty), and permanently cripples the intellect. I could ignore you, but you are a symptom of a much greater disease — religious fundamentalism and the havoc it wreaks on people and culture. To that extent, you ought to be studied and discussed. Without your even knowing it, I guess you’re contributing to science!

  92. says

    Not to intrude, but…hold up, Dan. I’ve been following this debate since it began. Question for you. You responded to:”Would you rape someone if that is what God told you to do?” With this:Of course not because God is moral and one test to see if God is leading you or not is, are you being talked into something that goes against God doctrine or not. If it is of God it will be moral and just and righteous as his word is.Have you read the bible? Ever? What about when god asked Abraham to kill his only son as an altar sacrifice? That wasn’t the devil tempting him – accoding to the bible, it’s god himself. But just in time, god says he was just testing Abe and provides him with a child-free sacrifice in the bushes nearby. How is asking you to kill your children for him following god’s doctrine? If he asked you to kill (or RAPE), would you go for it, hoping he’d pull the same “just kidding” move and spare your child?Abraham did. You haven’t remotely answered the question (merely side-stepped it), and once again you’ve completely ignored the book which you so highly revere.

  93. Andrew says

    But you’ve done nothing but confuse and cause further doubt. Good Lord, you’ve made me side with the atheists in this debate over a fellow Christian.” First of all you blasphemed to make your point which just broke the third commandment and second “how?” details would be nice, if you are a Christian you shouldn’t have trouble voicing your “fruit”.You’re stock went down some more points, Dan. Good one… idiot.Stephen:But it is a journey well worth taking. As a fundamentalist Christian, I perceived the world in black and white. During the transition period, I began to resolve shades of gray. Finally, the scales of religious deception fell from my eyes, and I was able to see the full spectrum of the colors of reality. The world in which we actually live is profound and beautiful, and experiencing life within it, even for just a short time, is an equally profound privilege.Right on Stephen.Chris, the process of going from a twice-a-week-church-going, private-schooled fundie-zombie to atheist took eight years for me. I believe it is possible that the brain is literally hard-wired around some of our beliefs. The way we process the world around us is filtered through this. And it takes years to unravel that mess and reorder it, but it is worth it! You won’t regret the journey. Good luck!

  94. says

    Martin,Very true. There are too many examples to count (well, to list here). :) Dan apparantly still refuses to recognize the bible’s (and through his line of thinking, GOD’S) consistent endorsement of violence in “his name”.

  95. tracie harris says

    Hi Andrew:As a Xian I used to accept the verses you quoted in Timothy as Biblical verification that the Bible is inspired. However, there is one really big problem with that philosophy:The Bible didn’t exist when those verses were being written—they could not have been referencing the Bible. They had to be referring to some other writings—probably Hebrew writings of the Jews.When Paul wrote the letters to Timothy, Paul makes no indication that he’s claiming a future scripture is what he means—and Timothy would have had no way to know that Paul meant “scripture to come”; and since the Jews had holy books already, it is certain that Timothy would have considered these books to be the writings to which Paul was referring.Another problem is that the Bible is not one book. It is many books and even other people’s mail (personal letters). There is no indication in many of these books that the authors knew or intended they would be used for public consumption outside their immediate recipients.Luke, most especially, claims _no_ inspiration from god, and, in fact, explains where his information came from right at the start of his gospel: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning…”He literally interviewed people somewhere between 30 and 70 decades after the events occurred. Luke clearly indicates his information came from other people, not god.The idea that these books were combined without any indication of guidance from god provided, means that each book must be considered individually. And someone has to be the one to pick the first “inspired” book to use as the measure of the rest of them. God didn’t tag any one of these letters or books as the “guide”—so we’re back to “who was the man or group who claimed the right to start this whole ball rolling?”

  96. tracie harris says

    Hey Alyx:>When you said “If god actually speaks to you in an understandable, verbal way, that would greatly cut down the time it would take to verify whether or not your experience is divine or self-generated,” it sounded like you had something in mind there, and that really did intrigue me… but I just couldn’t see any way to set up a control or rule out the completely subjective. What did you have in mind to do this? I really am curious.If god knows all and talks to people, it’s a very simple matter. Ask questions and see if god answers perfectly. I was thinking along the lines of:1. What is my mother’s maiden name?2. What kind of animal did I have as a pet in college?3. How tall am I?Certainly not scientific, but all we need is one wrong answer to know we’re not dealing with an all knowing god.My guess, though, is that we’d get some excuse why we’re seeking signs—even though bringing people back from the dead seems to be perfectly fine to use as some sort of nonsign sign…? But asking mundane questions about my personal life would surely be asking way too much. I know that sounds facetious, but I’m not kidding. I am betting that’s the response I’d get if we were dealing with a Xian who gets the voices.[Oh--I didn't think you were being snarky--I totally missed the post all together.]

  97. says

    ”Would you rape someone if that is what God told you to do?”Of course not because God is moral and one test to see if God is leading you or not is, are you being talked into something that goes against God doctrine or not. If it is of God it will be moral and just and righteous as his word is.Then you put your conscience before God, as do we. You would not do everything God tells you to do, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you–and that is a very good thing.Incidentally, the Bible recounts several cases in which God purportedly did order his followers to commit rape, including, but not limited to, the following:Num. 31:18Deut. 21:13Zech. 14:2When we compare ourselves to each other we look great. Ask a pot head and he will say at least I don’t do heroin, ask the heroin addict and he will say at least I don’t murder, and then ask a murderer and he will say at least I am not a serial murderer, ask the serial murderer and he will say at lest I am not killing babies like the democrats. Ask a democrat and he says I don’t believe in souls and I am an atheist.Ask an atheist and he says, “at least I’m not the God of the Bible.” Ask the God of the Bible and… oh wait, he doesn’t exist to ask. Ask a Christian about the God of the Bible and he says, “at least I’m not a pot head.” And so it comes full circle: you look good–but only in your own eyes.We choose to follow our Holy God.Fine, except that you don’t believe we are the ones who ultimately make that choice. You believe God does. Remember Romans 9:18?

  98. tracie harris says

    >Tracie you are just a spin doctor. ” I interpreted you quite literally: god exists like love exists. So, I took you to mean god exists as a self-defined idea.” I never said or meant anything that you spouted. For fear of being misquoted or misunderstood I will retract everything and for you I will start over because you are being difficult.And yet I keep asking the same straight-forward question: Is there any way we can verify god’s existence—since existence is that which is manifest? Where is the manifestation of god? Not the manifestation of what you think god did—but of “god.” What are you calling “god”? When I tried to ask if you could show evidence of god, you compared his existence to “love”—a self-defined idea—did you not? If that’s not what you meant, clarify; I’m not holding you to that definition. I’m not being difficult. I’m being quite literal. And since you read the Bible literally, I don’t understand why you seem to have such a problem reading other text literally? I also don’t understand why I am having such a “difficult” time getting literal feedback from _you_. When you talk about “god”—you blanket your speech in highly figurative terms. But what _literally_ are you calling “god”?>God is what he says he is in the Bible and the Creator of all things._What_ is god? What do you believe Moses viewed the back-side of? The back parts of what? Your sentence above is like saying “Germs are the creators of illnesses.” I’m not asking you what you think god does. I’m asking you what is god? Germs may cause illness—but that’s not what they _are_. They are tiny microorganisms. They are small and can only be observed through a microscope. They inhabit other organisms and also exist in the environment around us. I can tell you how to observe their manifestation, where they are located, and how they can be isolated and observed.I’m asking you quite clearly, quite literally, _what is god_? And you’re telling me what you believe god does. I cannot believe I am really, consistently being that unclear and “difficult.” I see your lack of direct response as being “difficult”; I see my question as pretty clear and direct. Existence is manifestation. Does god manifest like a germ or like an idea or do you have another definition of existence that you are using?>”I think BB makes sense, but I don’t say I know it to be true. It is logically plausible” If you think the delicacy of the universe and all of humanity is caused by an explosionThe universe is not delicate. It is an unbelievably immense mass of radiation and firey nuclear reactions—tons of hurtling rocks and collisions and explosions. Raw power and matter interacting in every way conceivable. It is a huge mass of blank space and far-reaching violent events and interactions of mainly inorganic material. With so much extreme activity, it seems possible that nearly anything could happen in that environment. It’s so huge that there are so many billions upon billions of potential scenarios for what “could be” anywhere within it, that the question appears to be “What _couldn’t_ this unimaginable mass of matter and energy produce?”, not “How could it do X?” I can’t imagine being surprised at absolutely any result we might find hiding in any corner of it. One definition of universe is “everything that exists.” That’s quite a lot of “stuff” and quite a lot of potential combinations for things that could occur. Who can say what could or couldn’t happen in the universe?>then why can’t you believe its plausible that a creator gave us life and morals and flowers and trees.Because I do not believe it is wise to accept people’s arguments when their premises remain unverified—especially if their premise is a matter of “existence”—which is nearly always pretty easy to verify–once you know what it is you’re actually seeking–which we don’t appear to. You can ask me “why don’t I believe god did/said X?” a million more times. My answer will remain unchanged. You need to show that god exists before anything else you claim can even enter the realm of possibility. God cannot do/create/say X if there is no god. Verifying the existence of god is paramount to proceeding with examing claims of god activities.>I believe you may just be biased for your own personal reasons. I hope the best for you though.Noting that your claim that god exists has not been verified does not qualify as “bias.” I’ve provided you ample opportunity to respond. I only ask for objective, independently verifiable evidence—the same way we confirm _anything_ exists. I’m not asking any more of you than I would expect from anyone else who claimed X exists without such manifestation. And even after all this discussion, I still have no idea what it is you’re even calling “god.” I have zero to go on. You have only offered two things so far that would even qualify as observable: (1) the feeling you get and (2) that god resides in the human heart (but you didn’t elaborate on where the “heart” is—and it was obvious you weren’t being literal. Everything else you’ve described has been nothing but your descriptions of what you think this god has done or said. But that’s not helpful in observing the manifestation of god. And since feelings are self-generated and defined as whatever we define them as—even what I actually have so far from you is very vague and amorphous. So far, you haven’t told me what god _is_—and you’re telling me my “bias” keeps me from believing. But you haven’t even clearly defined for me what it is I don’t believe in. You haven’t given me as much manifestation as germ to examine. Even prideful, biased people can still see germs under a microscope. My “bias” is no match for objective, independent verifiability. Can you provide it? Is your premise verifiable or is it only your supposition?>”it is in my best interest to look after the public benefit. Producing dysfunctional and predatory individuals to become cogs in the wheel of society is an unbeneficial idea that ultimately could harm me along with all of society. And I value stable society–because it creates the best environment to pursue my life unmolested by others.” this is a crock with all do respect.You’ll have to be more specific. I’m happy to consider an explanation of why you believe keeping the peace isn’t beneficial to me, and therefore ultimately desirable to me—but “this is a crock” doesn’t really shed any light on why you disagree or disbelieve what I said above. And below, you add no more information as to why you disagree with my statement. Also, you asked for my reasons for not raping children. I explained my reasons. If you have other reasons, that’s fine. But on what grounds do you claim I am fabricating my own reasons or that my own reasons are invalid?>This is why dysfunctional people exist in great numbers in today’s society because you all are trying to remove the Bible and morals from schools and such.Many highly secular societies have low crime rates. I’m not sure where you’re getting your support for the above claim.> What if there were no jails either for any offence, would it get worst or better? I offered quite a detailed explanation in support of law and why society creates law—in order to enforce public order. The fact that societies who never heard of Yaweh or Jesus produced their own laws shows that societies are quite capable of producing laws, enforcing them, and benefiting from them.In response to your statement above, can you show me where I said we shouldn’t enforce public order? Or where I said that society shouldn’t create and enforce laws? In fact, I said that society doing so is in my best interest. Your argument above is not in response to anything I have said. You have made up your own argument now, and you are attributing it to me, then responding to yourself, as if it is a response to me. This i
    s odd.>Do you see a need for a hell yet?No, I do not. But even if a hell was necessary, there cannot be one unless there is a god. I have no evidence of a hell nor of your god.>God created a moral standing and you want it removed so your best interest is to fail society. I can’t reply to this, because I can’t discern its meaning.>>”I need only enact laws for that. So, to stop child rape, _law_ is the proper venue to use–not morality. People can feel it’s right or wrong all day–but if they’re allowed to do it, we will encounter social problems. Stopping the behavior, in this case, is far more important than trying to control how anyone “feels” about the act. >How about now, do you see the need for hell yet? God already thought of all of that and went further to say you have free will but there will be punishment for the immoral.Same response as above. You have not verified god exists. Your claims of hell are based on your premise there is a god. Please verify there is a god, and then we can discuss whether or not god may have created supernatural afterlife realms. You cannot know anything you are saying is even possible unless you verify there is a god. If you are unable to do so, then you’re working on 100 percent supposition. No matter how much of your doctrine you bring up or argue about—none of it is at all relevant unless there is a god. If there is no go, there is no hell. If there is no god, there is no heaven. If there is no god, the Bible is not inspired by god. If there is no god, your interpretation of prophecy is off base…you need to prove there is a god before you proceed with claims of what god does/says. You cannot call any of this “true” in any valid sense if it is based on supposition. And so far, that’s all you’ve provided.>>”Law can actually attempt to enforce control of the population, >Yes I agree God’s law is to enforce control over mankind, I am glad we agree.All law is intended to do that. God is unproven, still, however, so your claim that god has a law remains baseless.You are not putting any energy into proving your premise. Nothing you say can ever be considered possible until you do so—yet you seem to not care if your claims are verified or not. I have difficulty understanding not only your unwillingness, but your seeming sense that it is unnecessary, to verify your premise. Truth should not be hard to verify. And all investigation should be welcome, not avoided. But you provide nothing that we can examine regarding “what is god?” You talk about anything and everything else, except how we can determine your god actually exists—via observable, independently verifiable means. If something exists, though, it should not be this much of a chore to verify it.>”If I said there are Gravity Fairies, and you said you don’t believe me–are you trying to prove the existence of no Gravity Fairies?” IF you had a book lets call it The Biblifaries that was over 3000 years old that had prophecies that came true and events provable throughout history and it fit morally and logically into my psyche. I would consider it.I don’t need a 3,000-year-old book. I can prophesy for the Gravity Fairies myself. I am their prophet. Here is the holy sign from the Gravity Fairies that you will know that they are real: “I prophesy that anyone who holds up an apple and purposely releases that apple from their grip, he will see the power of the Gravity Fairies. Yeah, they will reach forth their Fairy hands and emit such Gravity force that all who are present will see the apple moved and pulled down—so that it reaches the ground.” Test it yourself, and see if what I say doesn’t come to pass. There, I am a now a prophet. Additionally I was able to provide you with a sign. You will have to toss some apples in order to determine if I am for real, though. But if truth really matters to you, and you don’t have some sort of bias, and you’re not in denial, I’m sure you will believe in me and The Fairies after you test my prophecy and see the “evidence” for yourself.The above is not my normal style of argumentation; however, I felt it was the most effective way to illustrate that prophecies are very subject to interpretation. And if there is no god—then they are only in the mind of the interpreter. I’ve already addressed this: If something “seems” to be from god, but there is no god, then the observer’s conclusions _must_ be mistaken. If you believe the prophecies are accurate and from god, you can’t know if it’s only your perspective, unless you verify there is a god. In fact, the Jews would say you are totally misreading the OT prophecies. And many Xians disagree with one another on NT prophecies. So, it does seem to be at least _quite a bit_ (if not all) up to the interpreter.Interestingly, below, your response to the rape question was the answer everyone was looking for—even though the verse wasn’t the same one. Your reply still answered the actual core dilemma of how you discern/define morality. It opens a huge can of worms, and I’m not sure whether it’s worth pursuing or not, because without evidence of god, it’s really just a sideline argument. But I’ll address it regardless.>God destroyed Sodom because of the homosexuality and evil. Woman and children perished also, was it justified to me? I am a soldier of God and I say things like “Yes Sir.” Trust is trust and I trust in God and his decisions even if I don’t agree with them at the time.I found it highly interesting to see you say: “I don’t agree with them [God’s decisions] all the time.”Earlier you posted: “You don’t rape children because God told you it is wrong, it’s called a conscience.”Normally when people say “conscience,” they are describing negative emotional responses to personal behaviors that violate one’s own sense of morality. In other words, if you feel bad about something you did—that’s your “conscience” (i.e., your moral sensibility) letting you know you behaved unacceptably.If conscience comes from god, however, then I’m baffled by how you, or anyone, could disagree with god’s decisions? Why would god create feelings in you that X is immoral—and then _do_ X, which you are sure to find an immoral action on the part of god?Also, according to Genesis, the conscience and morality were acquired from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—despite god’s advice that they should avoid acquiring one. God expresses this moment himself in the tale when he says: “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Gen. 3:22).But if you believe conscience and morality are from god, then there is no explanation for why you would ever disagree with anything god says or does. If you think it’s moral, where does the disagreement come in? If you think it’s not moral–if you “disagree”–isn’t it false to say _you_ think it is moral? Wouldn’t it be correct to say that you think it’s immoral (you “disagree” with it), but you go along with it regardless, because you value doing what god says over doing what you personally feel is the “right” or “moral” thing to do? If you told me to do X, and I thought it was moral, why would I disagree with it? You said to Andrew that morality comes from what god dictates. If that’s true, then you are claiming you disagree with your own morality. And that doesn’t make sense. You disagree with god’s morality. But you won’t come out and call god immoral. But that’s what it amounts to.>God as a Creator and God as making us in his image and at the time we were under a different or “old” covenant. He needed loyalty first then we were given a “New” covenant and the law of old was fulfilled. Yes, because God did it and he is in charge.Then I was correct in my earlier response to Andrew. You believe that anything can be moral—as long as god says to do
    it. So, there is nothing really wrong with child rape. In fact, if god asked you to rape a child, you would just say “Yes, Sir!” [By the way, I still haven’t found the age limit in the Bible where god says a person is too young to have sex with. So, god may not have a rule against sex with children. In some Mid East countries, I think girls as young as 8 can be married.]Also, you gave some OT examples of where killing children is moral—so long as god gives you the green light. After all, Jephthah is called a “man of faith” in Hebrews—for offering his daughter to Yaweh as a human sacrifice. The book says the world was not worthy of men such as him. I agree, but I think I have a different interpretation of that last sentence than what the author intended.I have often heard Xians really get upset about the idea of subjective morality—but that’s what you’re describing. It’s objective in the sense of “whatever god says,” but it’s subjective with regard to any definition or act of immorality. Literally, _anything_ is moral, depending on the circumstances–if god deems it so. If a few thousand years ago, god felt circumstances merited slaughtering children—then it was moral. God changes his morality depending on circumstances, illustrating there is no ultimate right or ultimate wrong. It’s as pure a form of situational ethics as I’ve ever seen. (OT, NT, same god? Yes? No? Killing OK yesterday; not today…)? Morality has no meaning except situationally–to god. Xians, in that case, shouldn’t be appalled by any act or behavior—since none of it is _inherently_ bad. So, if someone kills 100 children today, the Xian could say it’s wrong to kill children “today.” But realizing there are times when hundreds of children can and should be run through with swords, you can’t really get _too_ upset about it. It isn’t the children he killed that are the problem—it’s the time or place in which he did it that made it problematic. If he’d have done it way back when, he’d have been doing the right thing.This also means that there is no such thing as an evil god. Or at least there is no way to determine whether or not a god is evil. With the mindset of “_anything_ god says is what is automatically moral,” we have no way to differentiate an evil god from a good one. It effectively invalidates any “acts” as good or evil and leaves us with “all acts are equally good/evil depending on the situation and how god calls it today.”A god who murders hoardes of children, demands uncounted animal slaughter, stones people to death for the slightest indiscretions, claims to value free will but then sends you to eternal torment when you actually use it, creates a realm of infinite torment—even though even the worst crimes on Earth could only ever be finite, sentences someone who tells one falsehood to eternal damnation along with Hitler…this god is not evil, because the definition of “moral” is “whatever this god does.” And questioning if this is really “right”–or asking that any of this be verified as “true,” is sheer wickedness.Even if there were a god who told me to do such a thing, I would refuse a command to run through a child with a sword just because his parents worshipped a different god. I wouldn’t say “Yes Sir!” and run that child through. If you would do whatever god commanded you—bar none—I honestly don’t know how you could afford to keep a conscience—since nothing is ever really wrong except not obeying god every command–regardless of the personal, social, or moral implications.>” So, these verses were added to later copies of the manuscripts. I’m asking what that means to you, if anything?” It means absolutely nothing to me. They found some Dead Sea scrolls after 1611 and added verses to later versions to “update” it but theology wise or salvation wise, it changed nothing at all. The message stays the same; (my flip answer) maybe they did it for scholars or for perfectionist, maybe not.It’s hard for me to discern from your note above whether you understand the timeline. But “reliable” scrolls, that _predate_ the writings your Bible is based upon for its translation, _are missing_ chunks of text that your Bible contains. This means, literally, that your Bible was based on books that were altered by people after they were originally written. This is, literally, forgery. And you are claiming that forgeries included within your Bible are inconsequential. I wonder if you’ve actually sat down to consider the implications of this, and I perhaps begin to understand what you mean by “faith.” It literally appears to me to have at least something to do with disregarding as irrelevant any facts that conflict with what you want to believe as true.>”The Bible doesn’t say it was written by god, though.” Sure it does, have you read it?Absolutely I’ve read it. And it does not say it was written by god. In fact, every book in the Bible is uniquely obliged to make this claim, because it’s not a book; it’s many books. Luke certainly bucks the system–not only _not_ claiming inspiration–but explaining he used investigation and interview to get his info–not some psychic flow from god.>It breaths God throughout the entire Bible. This means that to Dan it seems to be from god. Again, if there is no god, as much as the Bible seems inspired to Dan, it cannot be. And Dan’s evaluation of inspiration is not “the Bible” claiming god wrote it.>It talks about thing to come in the future and they all came true.The Jews wouldn’t say so. And I see no reason to doubt that the people who lived it and recorded it probably have a better idea of what their own scripture means than a 21st century American Christian. My point isn’t that a Jew today actually has a better grasp of the OT writings (although that wouldn’t be a bad point). It’s to point out that you have an _interpretation_, and it is not shared with many others, who would interpret the same thing very differently. You say you’re reading it correctly, so do they. I’ve seen Christians sincerely disagree on the meaning of Revelation. Should I trust that Dan has the key and all others are wrong? Are you claiming that special power to interpret where so many other, just as sincere, believers appear, according to your interpretation, to fail?>Instead of reading the bible to find evidence read it plainly, maybe (although I doubt it) that will help you.A Moslem recently told me the _same_ thing about the Koran. I did believe the Bible at one time.I began to add some paragraphs explaining how much you remind me of how I used to be and the arguments I used to regurgitate. Rather than WOTM, I was mimicking Josh McDowell—a man I later learned was a master of the half-truth. I cut these sentences, however, because as much as I tried to make it clear they were sincerely directed at my own experience, there was no way to express them without coming across as insulting you, which would not have been my goal.>A search for “my word” got this There a number of various hits that came up with this. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be looking at?

  99. tracie harris says

    Chris W:Just to say good luck with your search.There are some words in the Bible I agree with:”The truth shall make you free” and “Seek and ye shall find” (or at least by seeking, you greatly increase the odds of finding–and it’s also helpful to be able to define what it is you’re actually seeking).Examine everything. Take nothing for granted. To quote the X-Files, “Trust No One.” Think about the mechanisms you use every day to determine truth from falsehood and don’t give any one or any belief system a break when it comes to using those mechanisms to know if what you’re getting is real or B.S.And odd as it may sound, Stephen is right. Plug in “leprechaun” instead of “god” and you’ll know if you’re being reasonable or not in most cases.The phenomenon of alien abduction is also a good gauge. It has circumstancial evidence, physical evidence, plenty of diverse eye-witnesses who lose a lot by coming forward (citizens, children, parents, pilots, ex-military people)–and yet they do. There are books, authorities, photos, physician’s records, and many people with no obvious reason to lie. And yet we all know they’re delusional, because there aren’t any aliens around to examine. So, even their claims that humans are being abducted and experimented upon don’t frighten you or I–because we don’t see any aliens. Alien abduction “apologetics” runs almost eerily parallel to Xian apologetics.That’s more than I wanted to say. Mainly just good luck and never stop seeking what is true.Your post rocked, BTW. And it didn’t matter so much what you said–as how you said it. It was dripping with sincerity. Thanks for that.-th***

  100. tracie harris says

    Just to correct, I misquoted Dan. I said:“I don’t agree with them [God’s decisions] all the time.”The actual quote was “at the time”–but the point remains unchanged. Still–it was quoted material, so it should have been accurate.

  101. tracie harris says

    It might cut to the chase if someone summarizes the Euthyphro Dilemma here–so we can see the core of the problem regarding morality. So, I decided to add it as an efficiency tool:(1) God commands what is moral because it is moral.or(2) Whatever god commands is what is moral.A choice _must_ be made here by Dan before a discussion on morality can proceed. He seems to have implied both when he talked about knowing god is moral because god behaves morally (which is #1 above)–but then saying that what god says is what is moral (based on #2 above). It’s an either/or proposition, however, and a choice must be made, because either origin of “morality” comes with a completely different set of implications. It is impossible to address the issue of morality with Dan until he explains whether he accepts #1 or #2 as his definition of “morality.”

  102. says

    A good set of rules, but I don’t think they can be followed by evangicals.Faith and logic are mutually exclusive. People who try to have both just end up really confused.

  103. tracie harris says

    >”I don’t give words power.” Are you sure about this? You place no value in language? Are you post modern? The Declaration of Independence is just a piece of paper, huh?I believe you are confusing words with ideas. But even ideas don’t have power. The Constitution, for example, would be meaningless if it could not be enforced. The people have total power. The Declaration contains ideas—that happen to be expressed with words. I do not believe it has power. And I believe that any influence it has has to do with how people interpret it rather than the words and ideas it contains. No words or ideas have power. People have power. And they either lend it to ideas or they do not. But the ideas themselves contain no power. In fact, you express this above: “You place no value in language?” You admit that the “value” of language is limited to what value the person places on it. Therefore, language has no value—A person has value to lend to language. I see no reason to empower words to the point that I refrain from using them or try to use them—for personal feelings of restriction or compulsion. Now, respecting others’ views is another story. I do give away some personal power when I adapt my language to accommodate the feelings of others; however, I do not feel put out to do so, and am consciously willing to respect others in such a way when I can.>“I do not believe in souls.” Again your ignorance is not an argument, it is a fallacy.Have souls been isolated and independently verified? If not, then there is lack of sufficient reason to believe they exist at this time. Is a lack of belief in all other nonmanifesting claims–such as leprechauns, aliens, fairies, Zeus, unicorns–due to ignorance as well?The argument from ignorance fallacy is actually the opposite of what you’re claiming. It indicates that if no verifiable information is available, that plugging in something for which there is no verification, and then claiming it’s the true cause, is the “argument from ignorance.” So, in fact, the person claiming there is a soul is the one presenting an idea due to lack of knowledge of an actual valid explanation. In the case of souls, it’s even funnier, because the word soul is used as a translation for a word that simply means “life” in the Bible. And in that Biblical sense, I do believe in souls—because it only means “life.”>”I am not responsible for someone else’s decisions or beliefs. I certainly do not give myself that sort of credit for having power over anyone else’s thoughts, beliefs or actions.”Kind of reckless, to be in your position, to say this I think. Not claiming you would but to just prove a point, if you tell a blind man to follow you and you lead him to a cliff and he goes over would you be a murderer or wouldn’t you be responsible? What if you convince a kid to drink anti-freeze?If you’re positing that Xians are impaired with regard to their ability to evaluate external information of the world around them (such as a blind person), then you have a point. I wasn’t thinking of it in those terms—that Xians should be considered unable to evaluate the reality around them or that they should be deemed simple-minded and easily led (like a child). I thought we were talking about the exchange of ideas among reasoning adults who are not impaired. I was giving the Xians the benefit of the doubt in that regard.>What you say to someone has an effect on their outcome, do you agree.Yes, I do agree that if an individual is impaired and reliant on me—as a child or a blind person example you provided; you have a point. Are you saying Xians or people seeking truth should be considered to be in this category?> If you flip the bird to someone on the highway and cuss at him and get him furious That is impossible. I do not have the ability to control another person’s emotions. Only the individual him/herself is capable of choosing their own emotional reaction. I cannot take credit or blame for someone else’s responses where I am not putting them under physical compulsion, and where they are adults without mental impairment (to give a hat tip to your earlier point). Since this person is driving, I’m assuming he’s not somehow mentally impaired.>and he goes home and stabs his dog would you feel somewhat responsible.Not at all. His choices are his own. If I flip him a bird, he doesn’t have to get “furious.” He can choose from a number of reactions, including finding it humorous. If he has anger management issues, that has nothing to do with me. Again, assuming he’s not somehow impaired mentally. If he is simply a codependent (the type of person who lets other people define his responses), he should seek counseling, as there is help available for such people. But their unwillingness to control themselves is not the result of the people around them. That’s like advising that a woman who is beaten by her husband shouldn’t do things to upset him—because his violent outbursts are her fault. I say that he needs to learn to control himself.> What if you convince thousands that there is no God to find out there is, how about then?Again, I do not have this ability. I put out information. I do not lie. People interpret it as they will. For example, you’re talking to me. And you believe in god still. You are a perfect example that I don’t have the magical ability to make anyone believe something, simply by explaining why I personally believe it. I’ve explained it to you, and you don’t agree with me; other people have that same capacity—they can think and choose for themselves.>”I have not lied to anyone” Really ever? Never to your parents or yourself even? Never ever even once, you are saying?Let me clarify that statement. I was talking in the context of our discussion—the context of what I’ve said to people regarding information I am aware of regarding why I am an atheist. I have not lied to anyone regarding that. In your post, you said you were talking about my testimony and information on the show. Just now, however, you opted to change the context. But I was responding in context.>”I have no proof there is no god, you are right.” Hold on let me breath this one in. Ahhhh, thank you for admitting this and being honest. So you are not an Atheist then, right?What did you think I meant when I said this in a prior post to you:“To be clear, when you talk about things god does, and I say that it’s not logical to say god did X until you prove there is a god. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a god. And it doesn’t mean god didn’t do X. It means only that _your arguments_ are illogical and, therefore, fail to support your claim that there is a god or that god did X. It leaves me without any support for your claims, and no reason to assume they’re true (whether they are true or not cannot, therefore, be determined). My observation that your statements are illogical does not mean your conclusions are wrong. It means only that your statements do not add any support to your conclusions. And I still can’t tell that what you’re claiming is true in that case.”Did you just miss that entirely? We’ve already been through this.Also, I don’t think you know what an atheist is, still. An atheist is anyone who lacks belief in god. In other words, if I do not actively adopt a belief in god, I am an atheist. This means that people who, for example, say “I’m not sure if I believe there is a god or not,” are atheists—because they do not have belief in god. They lack belief in god, and are by definition atheists. Many people confuse this with agnosticism, but an agnostic is a statement of knowledge, and not comparable to an atheist, because they deal with different realms (belief versus knowledge)—they’re apples and oranges. Most agnostics would also be atheists, because they feel there is insufficient evidence to support a determination of god’s existence. An a
    gnostic could still believe in god, but it is odd to say any valid/pertinent information on the subject is totally lacking (agnostic)—so I’ll believe it anyway (deist/theist).Meanwhile, I believe in god as much as I believe in leprechauns—which I also cannot disprove—if that helps.>a•the•ist (ā’thē-ĭst) >n. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of GodCorrect. I do not believe in god. I am one who disbelieves. I cannot disprove god. I do not believe in leprechauns. I am one who disbelieves. I cannot disprove them. I honestly am not sure what you don’t understand?>”So, you think slaves and employees are the same thing?” After reflecting on this later on, No I don’t. I was trying to relate a situation to today’s time and standards. What flashed in my head is our own slaves here in the US and I would hate to think that people would believe that I thought that they were just employees of the time but they weren’t, they were beaten downtrodden slaves. The bible did say masters be kind to your slaves so the US failed immensely at that. Still—the idea that it asks slaves to obey masters is a condoning of the institution of slavery. The Bible could have said, “Slavery is contrary to god’s will—people deserve to be free.” But it did not. The comment on the show, specifically, was regarding a pamphlet that claimed the Bible was the only ancient book “for today”—or that had relevance today. The author of that pamphlet was ignoring passages such as this one—that very much relate to the past and should not be used today. That was my only point.>I think I posed this to Stephen earlier but lets say you did find proof but at a price. Lets say the government bans Christianity and whoever is caught preaching would be tortured and limbs would be removed and such, real painful things. But God manifests himself to you and you have no doubt( you define what would it take, independently verifiable by the hundreds) and he tells you to preach to the world that he does exist. He appoints you because of all of the past damage that you have done with your AE show and all. Would you follow God or the Government, would you endure persecution in the name of God then? (BTW this is what really did happen to Saul/Paul and he was tortured the most I think.)I have to agree with most other atheists on this, that I would have to have a lot of questions answered first. Let me explain: We talked earlier about morality and what constitutes morality. Is god moral because anything he does is defined as moral (bar none)? Or is god moral because he is subject to a higher moral law? I have ideas about what is moral. And I have many problems with the god described in the Bible. If I saw there was a god, and he was the god in the Bible, and he made no explanation or apology regarding the descriptions of what he did and how he behaved, I would have reservations about doing the will of an existent god that I considered to be the author of some/any immorality. So, I really couldn’t say that just because I found out there really was a god, that I would automatically feel compelled to do that god’s bidding. If that god was, in my opinion, evil, I would probably do what I could to thwart him in any way possible—even if it was futile (especially if I thought he unjustly planned to kill some more children or something along those lines).Meanwhile, I quite feel like Paul describes himself sometimes. I feel like I spent years of my life preaching falsehoods to people, only to wake up after years of searching to realize what I’d done. Now, I feel I am doing what I can to help people who might have been like myself—looking for information upon which to make decisions for myself. I honestly don’t wish to convince others to agree with me. I only want them to think for themselves in order to determine what they believe. Now, in your case, you’re presenting me with arguments for what you believe, and I’m responding to say why I don’t find them convincing myself. This is not the same as trying to convince you to adopt my ideology. I am not going to Xian forums to deconvert people. I could try to do that, but I have no desire to. If someone wants to know what I know, I’m happy to share it. But I don’t actively try to deconvert people.>”Please explain how I was rude…” is cutting someone off in mid thought or mid sentence and placing her on hold while you get to say all that you wanted, rude to you?Please explain how [I] was rude. I have no control over the phones on the show. Matt cut the person off. But I do not disagree with his decision. She asked questions and did not stop to hear answers. In order to have a conversation, Matt had to halt her at some point to respond. If she asks questions, I assume she wants replies. Otherwise, why ask?>It is to me. Ohhhh wait you said its Matt’s fault, ok then you were not rude to her.The host controls the phones, 100 percent. I have often said to Matt: “Let him/her talk.” But if we’re going to dialogue, we need to be able to answer questions that are put to us. Again, he didn’t tell her to “shut up a minute.” He usually even will say (although I can’t say if he did this time or not) “Sorry, but we’re going to have to put you on hold for a minute, I’m not hanging up on you…” When callers dialogue, we don’t usually need to put anyone on hold. This lady wasn’t pausing, but was asking for information. We couldn’t provide it while she continued to talk. Is it polite to ask someone a question and then talk over them while they attempt to provide you with the answer you requested? Matt was just making an effort to respond—which neither of us could have otherwise done.But I’m glad to hear that Matt putting someone on hold so we could answer her questions was as “rude” as I got. I’m OK with that. And I appreciate you clarifying.>”fairies, big foot,..None of these things has ever been conclusively disproved, either.” from your stand point of prove a God otherwise he doesn’t exist I agree. But using the AE rules of engagement, ignorance fallacy in not an argument. Are your points moot then?Again, the argument from ignorance is about _plugging something in_ just because you don’t have a proven explanation yet. My Gravity Fairies were a prime example of the argument from ignorance:If we can’t prove what causes gravity—we can say it must be gravity fairies.THAT is the argument from ignorance fallacy.You telling me that my gravity fairies don’t exist because I have no valid support to prove they exist—and am only using them because I’m IGNORANT of the REAL cause—is NOT the fallacy of the argument from ignorance. You are misunderstanding (and misusing) that fallacy.While I’m glad you finally took a look at some fallacies, I’m not sure you’re understanding them correctly yet. You’re misusing the term. It’s about putting in made up information to replace an unknown cause. I’m saying that when it comes to god “I don’t know—and therefore have insufficient reason to believe” is the truth. Saying god made the universe, because you feel a better explanation is lacking IS the argument from ignorance. You can’t just plug in X-unfounded-answer simply because you don’t have any proven answer yet.>”That you say is created by god, because men told you it was created by god, and wrote and revised the books and stories to make “prophecies”—and this convinces you.” Again burden of proof is on your part you must prove to me that man wrote and revised (instead of translated) stories to make prophecies, show me evidence of this did you read a “story” on this or were you there? “The burden of proof for a claim always rests upon the person claiming the existence of the thing in question” In this case the existence of things is the proof of men making things up to write the bible. These broad sweeping unsubstantiated c
    laims are reckless.I gave you two passages where people added information already. Bible translators indicated that when they examine the “earliest and most reliable” copies of the manuscripts these verses are not in them. What do you call that if not a forger adding material at a later date? These books have been altered—and afterward were used to produce your Bible. I sent you to Bible gateway where you could see the marginal notes from the Bible scholars/translators yourself.These men and women make a living working with documents that are used to produce the Bibles that support Xianity. And even they have to admit that they know there is added material that does not represent the content of the best and earliest copies of the manuscripts. This isn’t some atheist propaganda web site spewing this info to take down Xianity—it’s the top selected Bible scholars whose job it is to work with these documents day in and day out to support the Xian religion.>”You see the universe manifesting, you know it’s there. You say you know god is there—where is god’s manifestation?” I know for a fact you will hate this answer but it is truth as I see it. Proof of God: If you see a building you know there is a builder and if you see a painting you know there is a painter and if you observe all of creation then you know in your heart that there is a creator.I never hate an answer. From my perspective, things I know are built, I know have builders. But universes aren’t things I know are built. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand how you’re looking at it. I just don’t agree that your assumption is supported. In fact, creation ex nihilo was not always accepted by all Xians everywhere. The Genesis story reflects older regional stories that indicate the gods came along and fashioned existing materials into all creation. There are still hints of this early polytheism in the Bible Genesis story, where the Bible refers to the elohim—literally “the gods.” You see it in passages like, “let us make man in our image.” The early god was El, adopted from the Canaanites (pulled from Ugaritic stories). Later, El changes his name to Yaweh in the stories. Bible scholars separate the writers in the OT using J and E—the writers that reference god as “El” and the ones who use Yaweh or Jehovah.>Our ignorance of the how and why does not excuse us from believing in a creator. Again you are claiming an ignorance fallacy.I’ve said it before, and so I’ll not be too long-winded here. But I really think you need to go back and reread the “argument from ignorance” fallacy. It is about making positive statements or claims to use in place of areas where knowledge is lacking. So, claiming a god made the universe because we otherwise don’t know how it was done, is actually the fallacy.The Gravity Fairies was the best example of the argument from ignorance really. The person who posits the fairies is guilty of the fallacy in the same way the person who posits god would be. The person denying the gravity fairies, is quite obviously NOT the one exhibiting a logical fallacy, and it works the same when you plug in god again.>”I don’t believe in them due to lack of evidence. Therefore I am consistent.” Again ignorance fallacy.Definitely, go back and re-read. You’re not understanding that fallacy accurately. According to the way you’re using it, it would be the same as saying that belief in fairies is logical. That’s not how the fallacy is meant to be taken. You’ve misinterpreted it.>”We have far more than witnesses to slavery. We have children of slaves. We have public records of slaves and slave owners. Where are the children and public records of Jesus? ” you’re kidding I hope, right? This is not an argument it is an absurdity. So you believe there was no Jesus at all?First of all, I never said there was no Jesus. You assumed it, I’m guessing? I was pointing out that there is far more in the way of evidence to support the existence of slavery than that Jesus lived. I don’t know if Jesus lived or not.>My handicapped brother has no children are you claiming he doesn’t exist?Not at all, but I would bet that you could provide more evidence of your brother’s existence than of Jesus’ existence, though.>There are over 56000 public records of his existence;Can you provide a public record of Jesus existence? The Romans kept excellent records. So, maybe I’m ignorant here. A birth certificate or record? Tax record? Census record? Arrest record? Execution record? Any public record would be a good start.>your own birth date is based on his.Let’s say there was a historic figure of Jesus, like the ones that inspired the Robin Hood or King Arthur legends. We believe they existed—but not quite like the tall tales that surround them today. Are you saying we know what year he was born? Can you point me to how we “know” that one? If you mean anno domino, that wasn’t adopted until several centuries after the event supposedly took place. It wasn’t as though they started this at the real time Jesus was supposedly born. Again, it’s just something the church made up later—not unlike the Bible canon.> It still does not negate his existence. Paul talks of a city called Corinth, did that once exist, or because it was in the bible it does not?Homer wrote the Illiad and the Odessy. It contains real places and people. Were there Greeks? Certainly. In fact, there are still Greeks today. Do we know then that there were Cyclops and Krakens and a pantheon of gods and goddesses that drove their destinies? I don’t. But there are definitely real battles and places and people in there. Does that support even his claims of the supernatural? According to your argument above, yes, it does. I don’t agree.>BTW isn’t the Bible itself a public record? How are privately addressed letters public records? Certainly some of the things it discusses are actual places—but the truth is that sorting the fact from fiction is no longer possible. You keep talking about all the mentions of Jesus in literature (your 56,000 books). But you claim a lot of that literature is tall tales—like the apocrypha. I don’t see the difference between the books you claim are “true” and the ones you claim are “false” about Jesus. It’s 2,000 years ago, we don’t know the authors—some books are written absolutely anonymously—with no claims whatsoever of authorship or inspiration. Some knowingly contain material that has been added at later dates to the earliest known copies. I cannot take these writings as trustworthy. I realize you do—but I can’t, in good conscience, claim they’re reliable.>I can prove it is, can you prove it is not?Please feel free. Again—how are you defining “public record”? Paul wrote private letters that were not written for public consumption. By what authority do you claim letters he addressed privately to individuals and particular, specific groups are intended for public use? How do you claim Luke, who addressed his book to one person only, is intended as public record? Yes, I’m interested in hearing why you disagree with the authors of these works with regard to how their writing was intended to be used.

  104. tracie harris says

    Sorry–that last post should have gone on another comment area. I’m adding it there now.

  105. says

    WOW NOW THE ATHEIST EXPERIENCE HAS BANNED ME AND NOW WHEN I GO TO THERE SITE IT POINTS ME TO GOOGLE. But at least I found this back door.MY last post was this, email me anyone if they delete it because they are hypocrites if they doMy Post:Creationists admit it: “We refuse to learn!” OK I admit it you atheist refuse to learn. I had to break my silence a little to ask why you all haven’t commented on my last post about the compelling evidence of a Creator:”Things such as, Bacterial flagellum, Irreducible complexity, The Origin of InformationHow DNA transcends material medium (analogy of morning newspaper, the ink and paper (the medium) is there but who placed the information to be printed and how letters are arranged.” No one even addressed it although I played a pseudo joke.I am appalled how you all are treating Emanuel Goldstein and I see you are using the same tired methods used with me on him. You just bash, bash, bash, until they leave. It shows how very unproductive your show and blogs are. Matt, calling someone a liar without proof is very destructive behavior it is the same reason why I stopped talking with all of you. Besides it is you all who are following the prince of lies. Your actions (comments) are unacceptable and unproductive and unnecessary. If you all really want the truth I have something to offer.I have a book for you all to read Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. You can either get the book or here is a clip from the DVD. I am here to help with the truth. The evidence is compelling if you have an open mind and are truly searching for truth. I am afraid though that this is not the case. I really would like to hear Tracie’s view of the book since you all follow her like sheep. For Him,Dan

  106. says

    I'm pretty sure Dan is a troll…>> Emanuel Goldstein?? did i miss something here? When did you ever discuss 1984?Yeah this guy seems to ignore all (most) of the important points you guys makes, and attacks really silly things… And i really doubt they actually banned you dan… (unless you were spamming them or something)

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