A few words about the Zeitgeist sequels »« Open thread on episode #696

Understanding atheists

A response to this posting by Rabbi Adam Jacobs:

“My dear Rabbi Jacobs,

If your goal is to try to “walk back” some of the clamorous dialogue and understand each other better, perhaps you shouldn’t start by presuming to define atheism on your terms and proceding to tell us that we’re not really atheists.

Beating on the straw man of absolute certainty immediately discredits your commentary.

Perhaps you shouldn’t claim to already understand our perspective while demonstrating, at every turn, that you most certainly do not (and claiming to be seeking this understanding).

If you really wanted to understand our position, you wouldn’t claim to already understand it, you wouldn’t write such a transparently concern-troll-like sermon, you’d actually engage in conversation instead of, ironically, engaging in the very sort of dialogue you claim to be trying to avoid.”

Comments

  1. says

    That's exactly the sentiment I wrote on my blog. I really don't like it when people don't take the time to understand the definitions and basic concepts in this argument. If you're going to take a public position, do some homework.

  2. says

    It's really sad. That guy did not even try to start a normal conversation. He immediately pulled the you can't prove there isn't a god, stalin was an atheist too and since you can't explain x either we have equal opinions. It is really frustrating. Every time a theist attempts to be 'reasonable', they pull this kind of crap. I hate it.

  3. says

    I wonder what is so special about the linked text. To me it is just another "worst-of" of some of the bs arguments one can read on countless pages on the internet or have been brought up by theist callers time and again.The only thing that worries me about texts like these is, how many uneducated people might buy into this nonsense.

  4. says

    As soon as he said "The first point I'd like to explore is that there really are no true atheists." I knew what was coming.Seriously, this is practically the ONLY argument I ever come across these days. Especially from people who I know have been corrected on it in the past. It's fucking frustrating beyond words.

  5. DavidCT says

    Using the equivalent strawman back at him, it is clear that the Rabbi is not a real Jew just an agnostic. I don't really need some sanctimonious pile telling me that I have no appreciation of the emotional (spiritual) side of life. You don't need god to feel the awe and wonder of this world Bozo! The Jewish culture has brought humanity many wonderful things in spite of a belief in the great sociopath in the sky. At least half of the Israelis believe that you don't have to take god seriously to consider themselves Jews. At the same time a good number of the most religious Jews are over in the West Bank and East Jerusalem building in such a way as to maximize hatred and to assure that there can be no real peace. Hasn't the Rabbi noticed that being one of the chosen usually means being first in line at an ass kicking contest. The god part of his culture has been one of it's weakest points. Step right up Rabbi, I know someone from Hamas who would like to introduce you to Allah – in person. He is not a deluded atheist.

  6. Afterthought_btw says

    That article was painfully ignorant. Of course, it's so transparently so, there is little point me commenting on the misunderstandings, and downright lies contained within.I hasten to add that that's not meant as an ad hominem, in case any theists are reading. If you truly don't understand why the article is so pathetic, just ask and I am willing to mention a few reasons. (There are so many of them, I would hope you wouldn't expect me to go through them all.) It has to be said, however, that there are plenty of other people that have / will point them out even if I don't.Incidentally, why, oh why, do theists think that telling us they were once an atheist would impress us? Don't tell me you understand my position whilst showing you clearly don't, it makes you look like a fool.Okay, slight vent over.

  7. says

    It makes me wonder what he'd think if I were to tell him:"I was once an atheist, who was once a Christian, who was once a Jew, who was once a Hindu, who was once a Muslim, who was once a Scientologist, who was once a Mormon, who was once a Christian again, who was once a Pagan, who was once a Catholic."Does the credibility buildup max out at some point, or suffer from an overflow error?

  8. says

    A bit further down, he links to "a great rebuttal of Dawkin's "The Ultimate 747 Argument."" Setting aside the fact that he can't spell Dawkins's name, and just to save y'all some reading, she short version is that that apologist spends several pages missing the point before resorting to special pleading: God isn't the sort of thing that requires an explanation.

  9. says

    Since he claims to have once been an Atheist, does he think he used "to have knowledge of the totality of the universe – seen and unseen." Since he thinks he used to be an Atheist and he thinks this is what Atheism entails, he must have one point thought he was omniscient.It would have been interesting to see his reaction when someone pointed out that he didn't know everything there is to know about everything.

  10. says

    you MORONS are LETTING these guys push you around. NEWS FLASH—–> 99.9% of the US public thinks "atheist" means "gnostic atheist"so you have TWO choices. 1. DROP THE LABEL!!!!, or 2. SPEND UR LIFE DEBUNKING THIS CRAP.by the way, you can only debunk it at about 1/1000th the rate they put it out.

  11. says

    He really wasted his time writing that, should have just done the short version.Dear Atheists,I would like to tone-troll.There are no true atheists.Id also like to appeal to authority.I used to be an atheist, and anyway atheists need to shut up. Hitler was an atheist*, so was Stalin*. And you don't have open minds because you don't swallow my nonsense.Religion is a good thing, and atheists can't respect life. Besides atheism takes more faith then believing in God, specially because of fine-tuning and complexity. Also look, Darwin says I'm right!———-* I consider the Stalin and Hitler were atheist claims different even though they make the same "point", since with Hitler they are either wrong, or deliberately lying, vs just being irrelevant with Stalin.Also, did anyone else read "You will quote your expert and I will quote mine." in the same way I did? lol

  12. says

    and if you want to make SERIOUS progress, why don't you give MATT D., who is probably the most GIFTED debunker of this CRAP on EARTH, a better platform?WRITE A BOOK!SET UP A DAILY 2 HOUR SHOW ONLINE!ADVERTISE IT!CALL APOLOGISTS AND TELL THEM TO CALL THE SHOW!GET THAT BASTARD MATT SLICK BACK ON!GET RAY CUMFART ON!if you CARE about this stuff,you have to BE AGGRESSIVE.

  13. says

    @ Andrew:Even if it were possible to get the vast majority of Atheists to accept a new lable, the religious will simply turn it into a pejorative. Just look at the enormous effort by the religious (espeically on the right) to try to equate 'secular' with evil…and they are succeeding! It really doesn't matter what we call ourselves because we would have to spend considerble time debunking the lies put out about us. A large amount of Atheists don't accept the label even though it is a correct description. This is a big problem because it makes the nonreligious look like a much smaller group than it actually is. The fact is, regardless of the name, religious people will try to make us out to be something we're not. I would personally try to change people's perception of what Atheists are like than keep trying to run away from a label because of how people view it.Also, I would love to see Matt do a two-hour daily show more than anyone else, but he does have to make a living and he (along with other ACA members) alrady puts extraordinary effort into advertising our cause.

  14. says

    the FIRST thing you should see when you go to talkorigins.org IS PICTURES AND INFORMATION FOR TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS. DEBUNK AGGRESSIVELY. AND DNA EVIDENCE. and STUFF LIKE THAT. SHOW IT TO THEM FAST, THEN CITE THE FULL PAPER WHICH THEY PROBABLY WONT READ BUT AT LEAST THEY CAN CALL YOUR BLUFF. YOU HAVE TO SPOONFEED THE US PUBLIC THIS INFORMATION. IF THEY EVEN HAVE TO NAVIGATE A MENU YOU WILL LOSE THIS BATTLE.

  15. says

    i dont care about eforts i care about RESULTS. not a SINGLE atheist should be permitted to call.if they want to chat they can talk some other time. YOU HAVE PRECIOUS LITTLE AIR TIME.INCREASE YOUR AIR TIME AND USE IT MORE WISELY.

  16. says

    Atheism is not merely a label, Andrew. It is a statement on a specific proposition. All the atheists in the world could unite and calls ourselves "Betelgeuses", but we still be A-Theist.Besides, whose to say people wouldn't then characterise Betelgeuses as being absolutely certain of the things. Should we then drop that label too?

  17. says

    and the CORRECT LABEL IS SKEPTIC. THEY CANNOT DEFAME THAT. NONBELIEVER. THEY CANNOT DEFAME IT. THEY CAN ONLY DEFAME IT IF THE MEANING IS UNCLEAR>

  18. says

    YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS FROM THE FREQUENCY OF CALLERS WHO THINK ATHEIST=GNOSTIC ATHEIST. AND SECONDLY, CHECK A DICTIONARY.IF THE DICTIONARY IS AGAINST YOU, YOU HAVE CHOSEN A VERY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE LABEL. THE SKEPTIC EXPERIENCE

  19. Martin says

    Andrew: Friendly admin advice. Caps lock is not your friend. Please engage us in discussion without shouting. Peace.

  20. says

    The hyphen was there for emphasis Andrew. But the word is the same regardless, the argument from popularity holds no sway with me.And while I agree that Skeptic would be my own correct label and definition, it is not true that all atheists are skeptics. It is also the case that many of those who use the skeptic label are theistic. I would that part time skeptic, but there you go.Plus, take the CAPS off you clown. I can see you getting kicked off here the way you are going.

  21. says

    the word is not the same regardless without the hyphen it is ambigous. i will say it ONE more time:it…is…ambigousand dictionaries support me. and public opinion supports me.and the confusion your callers have supports me.and their propaganda that matt just talked abuot in this blog supports me.it….is….ambiguous.

  22. says

    they are not beating you with arguments they are out-PRing you. i care about this because without stemcell research i will die. so i need you guys to do your job better.

  23. Martin says

    Well, Andrew, your fount of knowledge about how we should do the show better is certainly invaluable. Much better than everything we've learned from trial and error and practice over 13 years of actually doing the show. Gee, find a rich friend! Why didn't we ever think of that? After all, they're everywhere! And — my God — getting clips on YouTube? We had no idea YouTube even existed until you brought it up! How can we have been so clueless? Shit, we better get right on that.Say, do you mind if we have a look at your show to see an example of how one is done properly?I mean, you do have one, right?

  24. says

    I do note the "or". And nothing in that statement contradicts anything that I have said.All you can surmise from the fact that someone is an atheist is that they disbelieve. They hold no belief in any gods. It is true that some atheists will claim denial of the existence of any gods. But you cannot be sure that that is what they mean when they call themselves atheist. You have to ask them.And by the way, denial would not necessarily mean they are gnostic either. So your argument falls flat even there.

  25. says

    and michael newdow is wasting his life. courts are like quicksand. if you want to jump in, fine, but you're not doing your cause any help. matt d. is our best hope. sam harris pisses people off. hitchens, forget it. dawkins pisses people off. only matt will actually win the us public over. everyone else is logically good and rhetorically retarded.

  26. says

    if you CARE about stemcell research and stuff, i suggest you change your label to skeptic.either that or change the dictionaries and the public lexicon.if you choose the latter you are HURTING…YOUR…CAUSE.

  27. says

    you KNOW the label is publicly confused because your CALLERS tell you that ALL THE TIME.so why do you STUBBORNLY cling to it?"hi, prove no god.""we never said that.""but ur an atheist?""yes,but we arent 100% sure.""o so ur an agnostic?""…""…"THIS is what you DOOM yourself to if you take the STUBBORN path. there IS another path.the choice is up to you.

  28. Martin says

    Andrew, don't assume that our cause is what you say is should be, or that you even have a clue what it is.For the record, we are skeptics. When we take about things like homeopathy, crop circles, out of body experiencee, and the like, we're wearing our skeptic hats.When we discuss God, we're being atheists. Why? Because that's what someone who doesn't believe in a God is. Whether people don't like the word is irrelevant. Believers in the paranormal or alternative medicine don't like "skeptic" either.You seem to think labels matter more than they do. If someone wants to demonize you because they can't tolerate opinions that challenge their beliefs, they'll think up a way to do it whatever you decide to call yourself.You're upset over the wrong things. If theists have a problem with the term "atheist," it's their problem, not ours. It's our goal to stay on message, not be distracted by whining over style.

  29. Martin says

    you KNOW the label is publicly confused because your CALLERS tell you that ALL THE TIME.Yes. And it's our intent to disabuse them of their confusion by educating them on what being an atheist really is, not just to come up with a less scary label that panders to and reinforces their ignorance.

  30. Martin says

    pool ur incomes so matt can go full time.This might surprise you, but we have to live on our incomes.Seriously dude, who the fuck do you think you are?

  31. says

    I thought I was coming across as obnoxious on here.I feel better now.I see using the term 'atheist' as staking out a spot. As others have pointed out, no matter what word we use, it's just going to be spun anyway. May as well pick a word, especially one that makes sense, and stand our ground.

  32. says

    i agree you shouldnt change the label to just ANY OLD THING. it so happens there are GOOD options.skeptic.nonbeliever. IF u r smart re propaganda then you KNOW that when they confuse a word you should DROP it, not JUMP INTO THE QUICKSAND.

  33. Martin says

    Andrew, allow me to clue you in on something. Your attitude is like a bad boob job. The bigger it gets, the stupider you look.If you weren't comprehensively ignorant of the history of the show, and just how it has grown in the last 13 years from a piddly local access show to an internationally recognized authority, you wouldn't be spouting the arrogant crap you're spouting. That the show is bigger than I'd ever dreamed it would be is, I think, a sign we are winning. What you seem to want is a way to demolish all religion in an instant, and it simply isn't going to happen that way.So until you can get that bug out of your ass, you're disemvowelled.

  34. says

    if you CARE about stemcell research and stuff, i suggest you change your label to skeptic.Ok you've pursuaded us.Martin, lets get the stationary out. We have some memos to write to all the soon-to-be ex atheists in the world.About 500 million should cover it.

  35. says

    Alright, I think I get were Andrew is going. He is young, keen, and full of ideas, and we better make use of it. Andrew, you are henceforth the volunteer to do all those things you want to see done. Don't forget to put your income in the pool, and we can talk about the new website design you had in mind next week.

  36. says

    My goodness, Andrew, what are you, 10 years old? From your arrogant and highly unrealistic demands, to your crappy text/caps speak, to now begging like a naughty child once it's clear that you've stepped over a line.Seriously, you're done. Go find a nice corner to stand in for a while before you get sent to bed without supper. Come back when you have something useful to say.

  37. Martin says

    Andrew, tell you what. I suggest you take some time away from the computer, settle down, maybe do something to relax. You've been in a very worked up, angry state and I think you need time to calm down. Maybe come back tomorrow and we'll see.You've been disemvowelled for rudeness, that's all. The Mallet of Loving Correction falls on the godless and godly alike. Get a good night's sleep and see how you feel tomorrow. We're happy to have a productive discussion, but not if you're yelling at everyone and making demands you aren't entitled to make. Okay? Peace out.

  38. says

    What's with this tendency lately to credit Judaism and/or Christianity with giving society every single thing of value? "sanctity of life and the dignity of human person; individual conscience; social responsibility"Do these people honestly think Asian or American cultures didn't have these things until Missionaries arrived?

  39. says

    @Eric:The sad thing is, that they probably do think so. I've had arguments with well-meaning Christian friends who truly believe their God created morality, apparently even for prehistoric civilizations that had no concept of monotheism.

  40. Martin says

    Sigh. Andrew's disemvowelling has been bumped up to a permanent ban. I hate doing stuff like that. But I did answer the guy, as you all can see. He just doesn't seem to have any kind of control over his emotions right now, and the readership as a whole doesn't need someone being gratuitously offensive.

  41. says

    Martin, of what I recall from filling in vowels of his later posts he was saying that you were F-ing awesome, a winner, and that you were born in 1984.With that in mind, wasn't your ban a bit harsh? He seemed to really like you. :)

  42. Martin says

    Of course we can do better. We've never said we were perfect. Your suggestions simply weren't helpful, weren't asked for, and didn't come from a position of knowledge.And what's there's no excuse for is your rudeness and temper tantrums. You were banned for your behavior and attitude, and since you still haven't grasped that you were the one in the wrong, I can only say that a repeat of that behavior under this new ID will result in the same treatment. We make the rules here, not you, and if you don't like them, go elsewhere.

  43. Martin says

    Don't have time for UStream chat tonight.Anyway, read the comment policy. It's clearly stated above the comment box. I think you'll find we're no different than most blogs out there with comment policies. Break 'em, get banned. Rules exist, and they apply to the godless and godly alike. You're no different than anyone else in that regard. Heck, you were only disemvowelled at first. You only graduated to a full ban because instead of listening to what I was telling you, you went on a tirade and your behavior got worse.You fucked up. Deal with it. It's called growth.

  44. Martin says

    You have to be aware how huge their PR machine is, though, and how many more centuries it's been in play. Plus, we're advocating reason (a difficult stance as it involves intellectual engagement), while the other side is still scaring the shit out of people telling them they'll go to hell. And that indoctrination starts at childhood. So yes, it's very much a David-vs-Goliath fight, and it will take us way more than one good stone to bring this Goliath down.Atheism as a public movement is less than 50 years old though.Change takes time, but it's happening. We aren't going to vanquish unreason and superstition overnight. But we're making headway. The God Delusion was a major bestseller for 2 solid years. If you'd told me five years before than an atheist book would dominate the bestseller lists I would have told you you're crazy.Just this year, they found in England that this was the first year a majority of the populace (51%) identified as "non religious."So it's happening. Just not all in one go. I simply don't agree that stopping use of the "atheist" label will be a magic bullet to change people's minds, that's all. But what we do in the TV show is sue the Socratic method to get people to understand skepticism, and think about their beliefs. Once they realize that critical thinking is the key, labels don't matter so much.

  45. says

    when you have a winning argument you have to frame it as CLEARLY as possible. "atheist" is one of the LEAST clear words in english. theres a huge spectrum of opinion on what it means. so your playing into their hand if you use the label. their PR machines THRIVES on obfuscation.

  46. says

    I simply don't agree that stopping use of the "atheist" label will be a magic bullet to change people's minds, that's all. i aint talking about magic bullets, bro. im talking about doing your best.

  47. says

    ricky gervais is an atheist—> if you show him clips he'd probably fund you.how much would you need? plus, if matt does a book he could use the profits for the show. who knows he could make like a million bucks or more if his book blew up.how much did dawkins make?

  48. says

    and you never did say what was wrong with only taking theist callers.and plus you could weed out the crazies. you could challenge members of austin churches to call you. and you should challenge matt slick and guys like that to call in.maybe if you do a prize like james randi then more apologists will call

  49. says

    Back to the point of the post…It's funny how Adam points out all the works he's read ("Hitchens, Dawkins, Weinberg…") but still has a fundamental misunderstanding of what atheism is.And it's amusing how he tops it off with, "A 100-some-years-dead scientist said something that could somehow be skewed and interpreted as his opening up the possibility of maybe considering potentially that there is the slightest chance that there is something else out there – so you guys should believe me."

  50. says

    and will someone do the CTMU and debate chris langan? do you guys know what im talking about?i feel like CTMU is the elephant in the room for this show.

  51. says

    I think everyone realizes that "atheist" is an unclear word. But that is because of people's perceptions of what Atheists are; the actual definition is pretty straightforward. That is why I believe we should focus on getting people to understand what Atheism really is. Of course the nutty fundies will not get it and/or continue to try to drag the label through the mud, but there is real potential for real progress with more moderately religious people.That is not to say that there isn't plenty of work to be done in addressing fundamentalism, either. Rather, it is just one branch of what we would like to accomplish.

  52. says

    @Friendly: Atheist is a very clear word. It's from the Greek "a-" meaning "without," and "theos" meaning "god". Without god. Atheists are people who are without gods. Why is that unclear?

  53. says

    The label atheist has good and bad things about it. Mostly I like that as a movement we have taken the meaning back from those who used it as a pejorative. I do not get offended when someone calls me an atheist, even if they are trying to insult me. I just think they really have no clue.It really is an incomplete definition of what gnu atheists are though. If someone called up and said, "hey, I don't believe in god anymore, now I believe in aliens!", I think most of the hosts would have to go through a facepalm before proceeding.I always liked Dennet's idea of "brights" and "supers", except the names don't sound cool enough, and we can keep more self-esteem with the old label.

  54. says

    To me, the most amazing thing about this thread is that anyone can read stuff like this:ND SCNDLY, CHCK DCTNRY.F TH DCTNRY S GNST Y, Y HV CHSN VRY CNTRPRDCTV LBL.

  55. says

    anothe thing you never do is have an apologists from an austin church to come into the studio and debate you live.1) They have had an apologist on the show2) Giving apologists more preach time, above the whole dedicated channels they have isn't going to help our cause.3) Why can't they just call in? Why do they have to be physically on set?when you have a winning argument you have to frame it as CLEARLY as possible. We are.But when the other side spontaneously interjects, "Yes, but WHY do you sympathize with Nazis?" when we're talking about standards of evidence, having the clearest argument in the world makes no difference.

  56. says

    You seem to have this idea that the problem here is that we're not being clear and aggressive enough.What's better than aggression is a steadfast, persistent and welcoming presentation of information and dialog. Being too aggressive just makes people defensive.The call-in nature of the show very much helps our cause. This is primarily because we can control the conversation. So many theists are used to just peaching AT people, and if the these people were live on stage, they'd be continually trying to shout over the hosts, most of the time.By being able to place the person on hold, or even hang up on them, we can make sure they don't digress too much, and quickly run away from an important point being made.Because of this setup, the show has been able to produce, time and again, many shining moments that have been clipped and placed on sites like YouTube, that have spread around virally, raised awareness and helped energize the movement. These moments would be far less frequent if each show was a shouting match.If there's anything theists like to do, it's obfuscation and mis-characterization – often knowingly and dishonestly. It's a full time job to keep them on task.Conversations are hard when the response of my saying "I don't believe in any gods due to insufficient evidence." is countered with "You secretly DO deep down inside believe, and you just want to SIN, and I know this because I'm telepathic somehow!"

  57. says

    JT, look at what you are losing to. doesn't that make you ashamed? you are losing to people with no arguments.it's time to kick some ass. and to do that, we need to stop dancing around, get the burden of proof on them, and expose them hard till they look stupid in front of millions.

  58. says

    would you rather "help energize the movement" like a little PUSSY or actually WIN?you could be a WAY better show. you could deal a DEATHBLOW or keep dancing raound like a little pansy. the choice is yours. but the consequences are for everyone.

  59. says

    if you want this movement to snowball you have to BRING it. it might seem hard bc the "big bad christians have sooooo much money."QUIT SNIVELLING!if you start to KICK some ASS you will get MILLIONS of youtube views, and you will give the atheists in the pews the clarion call they need to stand up!!!!!!change happens FAST, like the 1960s when everything BLEW UP because a few people had the BALLS…do it for me i am literally dying here. live it like you are gonna fucking die tomorrow, who fucking knows!!!!!I AM NOT SEEING FIGHT I AM SEEING COWARDICE!

  60. says

    Once again I miss out on a large thread, which seems to be running to its conlcusion.Andrew, you seem to have such a vibrant sense of your own ego that I begin to wonder if you should perhaps talk to someone for advice.I am being serious here. Unless you are very very young, your entitled sense of imposing your view onto the actions of others (even including their income) suggests a deeper problem than people in this thread can help you with. Peace.

  61. says

    Yeah, I've pretty much concluded that Andrew is just a troll – and not a very good one.A sampling of the gibberish:JT, look at what you are losing to. doesn't that make you ashamed? you are losing to people with no arguments.I don't really believe in a "win" or "lose" scenario in the debate. It's immeasurable and individual. The only way to lose is to not have a clue what you're talking about.it's time to kick some ass.and to do that, we need to stop dancing around, get the burden of proof on them,I'm not aware of anyone "Dancing around". When they try to shift the burden of proof, we correct them. and expose them hard till they look stupid in front of millions.How could that even be possible when 80% of the population could hear the theistic side make the most retarded statements ever conceived, and they'd just nod and smile in agreement?would you rather "help energize the movement" like a little PUSSY or actually WIN?We're doing both. See, the 'energizing the movement' is part of 'winning'. We have more voices and more activity pushing for logic/reason/etc, now.The 'winning' isn't having some Klingon-style glorious battle on stage, but the persistent chipping away at the hold irrationality has taken on our society.you could be a WAY better show.Probably. I think it's been pretty good so far.you could deal a DEATHBLOW or keep dancing raound like a little pansy. the choice is yours. but the consequences are for everyone.By all means. You seem to have all the brilliant ideas. Go forth, be our muscle-bound hero and save the world!.. or make some progress. Let us know how successful you've been. Until then, this discussion is about as productive as with a Mormon.

  62. says

    Yes, this is 1984. Plus, we suck, AND we have no idea what we're doing. We're pussies, and we like to dance.Help us, Andrew, you're our only hope. Go yonder and start the new Rational Revolution.

  63. says

    You know where you can start? How about putting this Rabbi Adam Jacbos in his place. Write him an email, and see if you can deconvert him. If you can get him to post his response online somewhere, where he admits the error of his ways, we'll elect you our new leader.

  64. says

    Well, I never claimed to be a good debater, especially orally. My strengths tend to lie in the written word. I try to support the cause in ways I'm decent with.I'm a pussy, so, no, I won't debate you over ustream.

  65. says

    Just FYI, I'm not involved with the show, other than colliding my hands together at high velocities.No one said it was perfect, but it's pretty good, as Martin pointed out, has a sizable international following. I couldn't hope to achieve anything similar myself.They do listen to critique, and do the best they can with it, however, the critique needs to at least be coherent and rational.

  66. Martin says

    Andrew is permanently banned, this time for real. He was given more chances to behave than he deserved.

  67. says

    Nah, I'm not going to debate you on ustream. I'm too scared that I'll lose.So I guess I'm done with this conversation. Let us know when you have some results.

  68. says

    I just wish I had gotten here a bit earlier to see what sage words of advice Andrew had to give us. :( On topic: it really is sad to see this kind of ignorance just being flaunted like a flasher opening his coat.

  69. says

    @Apostulous: You an still see his comments in the source of the webpage – that's how many of us read the disemvowled entrails of his blatherings too.

  70. sans_Dieu says

    Oh man. Heres how you make yourself a buffoon. Just define things your way an move on from there to discredit other people by using your definition. And the ol' Darwin argument comes at the close. Let me just yawn in face of such creative thinking.If Darwin himself could find room for belief in a God and stay faithful to his discoveries, maybe the common ground is much bigger than we currently imagine. We still have a lot to discuss. Let's do it with a caring heart, and open mind and a spirit of appreciation for our shared humanity.

  71. says

    Despite all of Matt's protests to the contrary the Rabbi is spot on. I've listened to the show and read the posts for the past two years and have the following observations.You guys @ AE in my opinion are intellectually dishonest in redefining Atheism. Merriam-Webster defines atheism : One who believes there is no diety. You guys define it "lack of belief of god/gods. Frankly I think the only reason you do this is to avoid the burden of proof. How does one lack belief? If you have taken the time to think about the issue of Gods existence you don't lack anything you've simply examined the evidence from your perspective and presupposition (naturalism IMHO) and you choose to not believe a diety exists. You claim you want to know the truth but you dismiss out of hand all theistic arguments. Are you seriously going to say you've heard all the arguments for god's existence and not one of them leaves you with the slightest bit of doubt.I've heard the host's condemn the God of the Old Testement for condoning slavery, killing women and children ect. I leave listening the show wondering about the critisism. Then I investigate the critisism only to find the issues taken out of context simply because they haven't looked at the scholarship on these issues. Guys its out there. Take a look at Paul Copans "Is God a Moral Monster".If your going to posit a belief held by a small portion of the population it seems to me you should put forth some decent reasons as to why we should accept your views.I think the Rabbi's impression of Atheists is how most Theists view your position from our point of view.

  72. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."you guys @ AE in my opinion are intellectually dishonest in redefining Atheism. Merriam-Webster defines atheism : One who believes there is no diety. You guys define it "lack of belief of god/gods."Thanks for showing how intellectually deprived you are by referring to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Clearly you don't know the difference between "Strong Atheism" and "Weak Atheism"…Let me tell you the difference between Agnostics, gnostics, theists, and atheists…Theism and atheism have to do with beliefs, while agnosticism and gnosticism have to do with knowledge… When someone says they aren't convinced that a god exists,or aren't sure that a god exists, they're an atheist…period. When someone says they are convinced a god exists, they're a theist…Now let's get to what agnosticism is…Someone who is a gnostic thinks we "can" know whether or not a god exists, while an agnostic is someone who thinks we "can't" know. Mind this doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they believe a god exists. Therefore one can be an Agnostic atheist(someone who isn't convinced a god exists and also thinks we can't know). There can be a Gnostic atheist(someone who isn't convinced a god exists but thinks we can find out). There can be an Agnostic Theist(someone who is convinced a god exists but doesn't think we have the tools to prove it). There can be a Gnostic Theist(someone who is convinced a god exists and also thinks we can prove it).There's a quick lesson for ya on some definitions.

  73. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."Frankly I think the only reason you do this is to avoid the burden of proof. How does one lack belief? If you have taken the time to think about the issue of Gods existence you don't lack anything you've simply examined the evidence from your perspective and presupposition (naturalism IMHO) and you choose to not believe a diety exists." Well Frankly buddy you are misinformed…The burden of proof is on the group making the positive claim(theists)…Trying to shift the burden of proof is a logical fallacy…Can you prove that invisible transparent unicorns don't exist? Or is the burden of proof on the person claiming that the invisible unicorns do exist?…You don't get to try and shift the burden of proof away from the people making the positive assertions. Now you ask how it is that someone can lack a belief in something? Well that's pretty simple buddy, if there isn't any evidence to support an extraordinary claim, then I'm not required to believe it.(See how simple that is?)Now you bring up naturalism…which is irrelevant because not all atheists are naturalists, but all naturalists are atheists. So it's possible that one can be an atheist and also not be a naturalist… Then you resort to emotional arguing by saying.."You are just choosing not to believe a deity exists."….Yeah buddy that's correct, and until you can provide evidence that one does, I'm not inclined to believe that one does for the same reason that I'm not inclined to think that invisible unicorns exist. Your argument from emotion is a logical fallacy and has no bearing on truth.

  74. Martin says

    Buddyford1: Here's another definition for you.–noun1.the doctrine or belief that there is no god.2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. Note how this definition encompasses both strong atheism (1) and weak atheism (2). I suggest it's more detailed and accurate than what you got from Webster's.Anyway, you know the title of this post? That whole "Understanding Atheists" thing? Well, just like the rabbi, you're failing at it. Rather than learning about atheism from actually dialoguing with atheists, you'd rather just tell us what our views really are.While I understand it might be more comforting for theists to require us to conform to a particular definition of the term you prefer, in order to shift your burden of proof onto us, it still does not change one basic fact: we have no burden of proof in this matter. You are the ones claiming a god exists. We are saying we don't believe you. It is not up to us to prove to you your God does not exist. It is up to you to prove to us that it does. Full stop.I think the Rabbi's impression of Atheists is how most Theists view your position from our point of view.Then it is up to theists whether they are truly interested in disabusing themselves of their ignorant prejudices. This was Matt's whole point. The rabbi talks about it, but in the end he clings to his prejudices all the same. Easier to knock down straw men than confront one of flesh and blood.

  75. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."I've heard the host's condemn the God of the Old Testement for condoning slavery, killing women and children ect. I leave listening the show wondering about the critisism. Then I investigate the critisism only to find the issues taken out of context simply because they haven't looked at the scholarship on these issues. Guys its out there. Take a look at Paul Copans "Is God a Moral Monster"."Wow it seems to me like you haven't even read your bible, but even if you did you clearly don't have a set of good moral beliefs..There isn't anything taken out of context..God specifically condones slavery in Exodus 21, he tells you how long you may keep your slave, under what conditions you may marry it, and how to try and influence it to stay with you after the seven years are up..This is crystal clear and your attempts at apologizing for your god of the old testament is sickening…If you think your god of the old testament is moral, then clearly you think slavery is acceptable, you clearly think killing people who commit adultery is acceptable, you clearly think an eye for a eye and a life for a life are rational moral codes…You clearly think blasphemers deserve to be taken out of town and stoned to death..None of this is taken out of context, these are specific instructions by your god to the Israelis, you buddy are clearly an immoral person.. Trying to apologize for the immoral content of the old testament is ridiculous and foolish on your part. I think you would be surprised to find that a lot of biblical scholars find the old testament to be a immoral book. Simply finger-pointing to some Christian apologist doesn't make your bible all of a sudden moral and good.

  76. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."If your going to posit a belief held by a small portion of the population it seems to me you should put forth some decent reasons as to why we should accept your views."Now you are using an argument from popularity, that's another logical fallacy. A large majority of the earth's population used to think the world was flat buddy…were they right? According to your reasoning they were.The fact that a lot of people believe something has no bearing on whether or not it's true. Now you are trying to shift the burden of proof onto us again, another logical fallacy. You are the one claiming to have rational justification that a god exists, so let's hear it. Tell us what your beliefs are and why you believe them. Then we can go from there and have a discussion.

  77. says

    @ Martin @ mamba24:Guys what am I missing? I don't need a lecture on weak,strong athiesm, agnostisism ect.I've podcasted the show for two years. I've heard it all explained before on prior shows. The point I'm making is if you really don't think God exists or there is'nt sufficient evidence then just say it. Don't nuance how you define atheism to avoid BOP. You claim the point of the show is to promote positive atheism. So ok. Don't just sit there week after week with the chip on your shoulder daring theists to knock it off. Why can't you simply demonstrate why your view is more rational/reasonable than theism.If the majority of the worlds population believes in some sort of diety how have they all got it wrong and you stumbled onto this enlightened view. Before this gets out of hand lets just have a nice friendly discussion. I don't have all the answers neither of us do. I haven't done alot of study on logical argumentation (read a few articles and I have a couple of books that need to be read.)

  78. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."Guys what am I missing? I don't need a lecture on weak,strong athiesm, agnostisism ect."Clearly you did need a lecture since you don't seem to understand the intent of this thread, and still don't based off your last post where you basically ignored everything I just explained to you. So here it is again, we aren't convinced that there is a god based off there being no evidence for one. It's not that we are selling our own beliefs, it's that we simply don't buy the one's you theists assert… In order to change our minds it's up to you to offer evidence since you are the one's making the positive claim. Our position is rationally justified because there isn't any evidence for this extraordinary claim, the same thing goes for someone who lacks a belief in the invisible unicorn, until evidence is offered for this extraordinary claim, one is justified in not believing in it. So buddy, you want a nice conversation, so let's have one. I have now explained to you twice why we atheists are justified in holding our position. I have explained why we don't have the burden of proof twice now. Now I see you have resorted to the argument from popularity for the second time in you last post, a logical fallacy. So it's pretty simple…I ask you again, what are your beliefs and why do you believe them? Let's have a rational discussion.

  79. says

    @ mamba: This is what I was afraid of. Your just feeding me the same crap that i've listened to for two years. Does the bible "seem" to condone slavery. Yes on the surface it does. I have'nt read Copans book yet it just came out. I listened to a podcast yesterday where he talks about slavery. His study found that slavery for jews was not what we think of as slavery like in America before the Civil War. It was more like indentured servitude which we had in this country in colonial times. Why don't you engage the scholarship before you jump all over me.

  80. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."Why can't you simply demonstrate why your view is more rational/reasonable than theism."I have demonstrated to you twice already why we are justified in not believing in a deity,(No evidence) simply ignoring my response doesn't make you look wise.Buddyford1 said.."If the majority of the worlds population believes in some sort of deity how have they all got it wrong and you stumbled onto this enlightened view."Human beings aren't perfect, nor do we have absolute knowledge. Like I said, simply because the majority of the world holds a belief in something doesn't make that belief true or justified. This is an argument form popularity, a logical fallacy.Buddyford1 said.. "I haven't done a lot of study on logical argumentation (read a few articles and I have a couple of books that need to be read.)"I notice you haven't done your research becasue you have resorted to multiple logical fallacies in your posts. 1.Argument form popularity 2. Shifting the burden of proof fallacy. Waiting to see if you will add to that list.

  81. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."This is what I was afraid of. Your just feeding me the same crap that i've listened to for two years."Simply because you don't understand how logic and reasoning work isn't my fault. You have resorted to logical fallacies and even claimed to not understand how logical arguments work. Clearly you are too ignorant to learn anything and just resort to arguments form emotion, which is another logical fallacy. Now you haven't even presented any actual argument yet and seem to still think that indentured servitude is somehow moral and makes everything in the bible all right. Buddyford1 said.. "Does the bible "seem" to condone slavery. Yes on the surface it does. I have'nt read Copans book yet it just came out. I listened to a podcast yesterday where he talks about slavery. His study found that slavery for jews was not what we think of as slavery like in America before the Civil War. It was more like indentured servitude which we had in this country in colonial times."And indentured servitude was still wrong! And there isn't really a difference because if you knew your American history the reason Indentured servitude was introduce was to act as a loophole in the legal system for the slave owners to….hold on to their slaves. So even if your hero Copan is correct, the bible is still immoral! Now you are using an argument form authority. That's another logical fallacy. Buddyford1 said.. "Why don't you engage the scholarship before you jump all over me." I just did buddy..Now you have to explain to us why you think indentured servitude is any more moral than slavery.

  82. Mamba24 says

    Buddy?? Hello? Can you answer the question? Or are you just proving to me that you are another dishonest theist? Which contradicts what you said in your original post about atheists being dishonest. I guess that makes you a hypocrite now.

  83. says

    @ mamba:What do you mean no evidence? alright i'll play along for a bit. we know the universe exists and we exist. has to have a cause. what explains that? i'm going to say god and your going to say i'm begging the question/ god of gaps ect. Whats more rational believing in a transendent cause or presupposing it happened by accident? theres no evidence it happened by accident. everything in our experience tells us that things that have existence have to have a cause. Christians have a book that expains that reality of existence. it says god created the universe, our planet, us.I don't think i'm appealing to popularity. i'm simply saying that the majority of the worlds population believes in some sort of diety. Why? there has to be a reason for that? that did'nt happen by accident. i'm not shifting BOP because as i expected your not willing to accept BOP which was my initial point in posting.

  84. says

    i don't think indentured servitude is morally better. i'm simply telling you that thats a misconception you guys have. Copan says that you guys see the word slave in the bible and your thinking antebellum south slavery. He's saying that what it really meant than was more like indentured servitude. Furthermore I told you I have'nt read the book yet so I can't fully defend/explain his book. Copan also says he beieves god isn't condoning indentured servitude he's simply laying out rules of behavior that are "marginally Better" than the other Ancient near east cultures in the area.

  85. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."we know the universe exists and we exist. has to have a cause. what explains that? i'm going to say god and your going to say i'm begging the question/ god of gaps ect."Argument from ignorance, that's another logical fallacy. Simply because we don't have the answer doesn't make your belief true or justified. Yes your correct that's what we call god of the gaps. So now you are just proving to me that you are willfully ignorant and irrational. You may be right, there may be some sort of cause to the current universe as we see it…that doesn't mean that a "god" is responsible for that cause..If you are ignorantly going to stick to that illogical belief then you need to explain what caused god. Notice how you still haven't answered my question about indentured servitude above..Please answer that and tell if you think it's moral.Buddyford1 said.. "Whats more rational believing in a transendent cause or presupposing it happened by accident?"False dichotomy…No one said it had to happen by accident, that's a nonsensical viewpoint to take. And you are once again using an argument from ignorance.Buddyford1 said.. "theres no evidence it happened by accident."That's correct, there's no evidence that it happened by a supernatural deity either. So the correct answer is "I don't know, but let's try and find out." Buddyford1 said.."Christians have a book that explains that reality of existence. it says god created the universe, our planet, us."No Christians have a book that pretends to explain that reality…Now you must provide evidence that your holy book is historically accurate and true.Buddyford1 said.."I don't think i'm appealing to popularity. i'm simply saying that the majority of the worlds population believes in some sort of diety. Why?"Yeah that's what we call a argument from popularity, it doesn't matter what the majority of people believe because it has no bearing on whether or not it's true…Remember when I said that the majority of people used to believe the world was flat? Why did they think that Buddy?Buddyford1 said.."there has to be a reason for that? that did'nt happen by accident."Once again no one is implying that anything happened by "accident" Science can explain how things can happen through natural processes acting on natural physical laws of nature. No deity required.Buddyford1 said.."i'm not shifting BOP because as i expected your not willing to accept BOP which was my initial point in posting." Yes you are attempting to shift the burden of proof. Simply asserting that your not doesn't make it true..You simply don't understand how the burden of proof works, Buddy what if I tell you that pink invisible unicorns exist? Is it up to me to prove they exist or up to you prove that they don't exist? Before you answer that question please tell me if you think indentured servitude is moral.Notice how you didn't provide any evidence in your post?

  86. says

    So many problems here:we know the universe exists and we exist. has to have a cause.Where did you get the idea that it has to have a cause?Whats more rational believing in a transendent cause or presupposing it happened by accident?Where did you get the idea that anything happens by accident?i'm not shifting BOP because as i expected your not willing to accept BOP Do you understand what the burden of proof means? Since you are making the positive claim, the burden of proof sits on you, why would someone that does not believe a claim have to accept a burden of proof?

  87. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."I don't think indentured servitude is morally better."Then your bible is morally wrong and your god gives instructions for it. Thanks for proving my point.Buddyford1 said.."i'm simply telling you that thats a misconception you guys have. Copan says that you guys see the word slave in the bible and your thinking antebellum south slavery."No it's not because like I said earlier I.S. isn't any different or better than slavery(which you just admitted) and your god of the bible still condones it. You are still arguing from an authority(Copen) which is a logical fallacy.Buddyford1 said.."Furthermore I told you I have'nt read the book yet so I can't fully defend/explain his book."I don't need you to defend his book, I need you to defend your "own beliefs." Can you think for yourself?Buddyford1 said.."Copan also says he beieves god isn't condoning indentured servitude he's simply laying out rules of behavior that are "marginally Better" than the other Ancient near east cultures in the area."If god is laying out the rules then he is condoning it to happen! How does this make your god moral or "let off the hook?" You clearly have no rational arguments and have not provided any evidence for the existence of god yet..you have simply made bold assertions laced with multiple logical fallacies and outright stupid apologetic claims.

  88. says

    Mamba: your replys are exactly why i get frustrated with this show/ blog ect.no matter what i say your going to pull up some alleged fallacy. no evidence as to why its a fallacy just its a fallacy. no i'm not attempting to shift BOP. i'm asking you to accept BOP and explain to me why your POV is more reasonable than mine. is that being unreasonable?

  89. says

    Hows that an appeal to authority? your saying ind serv or slavery is morally wrong. I said I agreed its wrong. You ask for evidence. I provide a source of information to provide an answer and now you accuse me of more fallacies and not thinking for myself. why is it that i can't use information about a subject to defend my position. i'm not a biblical scholar/philosopher/historian who studies this for a living. how do you form your opinions without relying on out side sources?

  90. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.. "your replys are exactly why i get frustrated with this show/ blog ect."That's because you don't understand anything about logic and reason…don't get frustrated at me simply because you can't defend your position. You clearly need to reevaluate your beliefs.buddyford said.."no matter what i say your going to pull up some alleged fallacy. no evidence as to why its a fallacy just its a fallacy."Well that's because you use logical fallacies buddy, you simply don't understand how logical arguments work. Actually I did explain quite clearly why your logical fallacies are fallacies. Maybe you need to look them up and do some research.buddyford1 said.."no i'm not attempting to shift BOP. i'm asking you to accept BOP and explain to me why your POV is more reasonable than mine. is that being unreasonable?"LOL you realize that you immediately contradict yourself when you say your not attempting to shift the burden of proof, then immediately ask me to accept the burden of proof? LOL No wonder you don't understand how logical fallacies work…Are you that thick? lol Wow.

  91. says

    @Buddyford1 – If you have been following the show for two years, you should have heard a pretty detailed explanation of everything you say you don't understand. I don't know if you have checked it out, but you may want to go over to the iron chariots wiki. It lays out a lot of those ideas.

  92. Mamba24 says

    buddyford1 said.."Hows that an appeal to authority? your saying ind serv or slavery is morally wrong. I said I agreed its wrong."So if you think that Ind. serv. is wrong you must clearly think that the bible is morally wrong! You must also think your god is morally wrong because he condones it to happen! Lol wow you never cease t amaze me. Referring to an author is an appeal to authority! Doi!Buddyford1 said.."You ask for evidence. I provide a source of information to provide an answer and now you accuse me of more fallacies and not thinking for myself."Yeah providing a source of information from some christian apologist isn't evidence buddy…look up "scientific evidence". That's correct I am pointing out you logical fallacies, and you just seem to ignore that and claim that your not using them. Sorry buddy, it's not my fault you don't understand how to provide evidence to support a claim.buddyford1 said.."why is it that i can't use information about a subject to defend my position."You can…You just don't understand that the information you are using is either false or irrelevant.buddyford1 said.. "i'm not a biblical scholar/philosopher/historian who studies this for a living. how do you form your opinions without relying on out side sources?"Neither am I, but I don't need an outside source to tell how to think about whether or not a "god" exists… You keep failing to understand every single point I bring up to you, or you willfully ignore it. I would live for you to call in on sunday.

  93. says

    Hey Mamba: No offense. Your clearly not interested in any type of meaningful conversation. throwing logic 101 darts at everything I say isn't a discussion. dismissing everything i say out of hand isn't a discussion. i'll have to pick this up another time with someone else.

  94. Mamba24 says

    buddyford1 said.."No offense."Absolutely none taken..lol buddyford1 said.."Your clearly not interested in any type of meaningful conversation."Oh I've been very interested in having a meaningful conversation buddy, you are just too dim-witted to understand anything I had to say, and kept repeating yourself and even making hilarious contradicting statements…Once again it's not my fault you can't defend you beliefs. Based off this conversation you have repeatedly demonstrated that you don't care whether or not your beliefs are true. That's not my fault in way, shape, or form. So think it through for awhile and come back when you're ready. If you don't want to have conversation with me that's fine, I'm sure almost anyone here is willing to talk to you.Buddyford1 said.. "throwing logic 101 darts at everything I say isn't a discussion. dismissing everything i say out of hand isn't a discussion."You are right buddy, we could of had a much better conversation if you weren't so delusional and had a better understanding of reality and logic. You have no one to blame but yourself.Buddyford1 said.."i'll have to pick this up another time with someone else."Okay buddy good luck with that…Maybe you should call in on Sunday to the show.

  95. says

    MAMBA SAID:"LOL you realize that you immediately contradict yourself when you say your not attempting to shift the burden of proof, then immediately ask me to accept the burden of proof? LOL No wonder you don't understand how logical fallacies work…Are you that thick? lol Wow"No. Buddy. I understand exactly how BOP works.Now your making my point. I said from the start you guys are intellectually dishonest. You inherently assert theres no God. No proof. You dishonestly change how you define atheism to avoid BOP.You dismiss out of hand all reasonable theistic arguments. no engagement just bold assertions of logical fallacies without showing where the fallacy is. Just saying its so don't make it so.Your really not interested in discussion just out of hand refutation.Then you lament the fact that theists don't want to come by to play. Why would we bother.

  96. Mamba24 says

    "LOL you realize that you immediately contradict yourself when you say your not attempting to shift the burden of proof, then immediately ask me to accept the burden of proof? LOL No wonder you don't understand how logical fallacies work…Are you that thick? lol Wow"Buddyford1 said.."No. Buddy. I understand exactly how BOP works."LOL No you really don't, I think it's funny that you provided the post that shows that you don't understand how the BOP works..Let me ask you this question buddy…I tell you that invisible transparent unicorns exist…Is it up to me to prove they exist or up to you to prove they don't exist?..Buddyford1.."Now your making my point. I said from the start you guys are intellectually dishonest."Buddy the only dishonest person here is the one who can't properly defend his beliefs, and doesn't respond to my points, which is you…Are you going to keep playing this back and forth game or are you going to tell me what your beliefs are and why you believe them?..I'm waiting..Buddyford1 said.."You inherently assert theres no God. No proof."Wrong! lol Never made that claim, thanks for proving your dishonesty and ignorance. I said I'm not convinced a god exists based on lack of evidence. There's a difference. I'm not making a positive claim of absolute certainty.Buddyford1 said.."You dishonestly change how you define atheism to avoid BOP."Wrong! LOL I honestly showed you what the proper definitions were and you are trying to change that definition to support your argument. You still don't understand how BOP's work.Buddyford1 said.."You dismiss out of hand all reasonable theistic arguments. no engagement just bold assertions of logical fallacies without showing where the fallacy is. Just saying its so don't make it so."You never presented any reasonable theistic arguments and I explained why there were unreasonable and illogical. You simply ignored them. Just because you are intellectually deprived doesn't mean it's my fault.Buddyford1 said.."Your really not interested in discussion just out of hand refutation."Spitting out emotional rhetoric doesn't make your argument any more sound or logical buddy. Are you going to make an argument or what?Buddyford1 said.."Then you lament the fact that theists don't want to come by to play.Why would we bother."I don't know maybe because your scared? And because you can't justify your beliefs?

  97. Mamba24 says

    I have determined that Buddyford1 has no real arguments, or the ones he has used are the first cause argument and the argument from popularity. Then he got into defending the bible saying that we misunderstood Ind. Servitude for slavery. Which I grant him for the sake of the argument because I wanted to know if this made any difference on whether or not the bible is immoral…He agreed with me. So he essentially brought up a irrelevant point.Then he basically went into an emotional rant about how we change definitions of the work atheism and falsely tries to shift the burden of proof.(He claims he isn't, but immediately contradicts himself when he asks us to prove that god doesn't exist.) After we explain to him that the burden of proof lies with the person making the positive claim he willfully ignores us and repeats himself…Then he shows a severely willfully ignorant understanding of logical fallacies and when he doesn't have any other arguments just blames us for accusing him of using logical fallacies in his arguments(Which we don't deny because he is using Logical fallacies)

  98. says

    Seems like the argument from incredulity, in which he can't believe that someone could not believe in god, and won't listen to any reasons.Which can be found here, Buddyford1. In case you hadn't heard of it. It falls under the heading of argument from ignorance, which states in part "In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used to shift the burden of proof."

  99. says

    Part1.@ Mamba24 @ MAtheist:I've gone back and read through the posts.Because of the speed of the posts loading I missed alot of your comments and questions. So here I go.First off I asked for a nice discussion and you guys insult my intelligence(Mamba24)calling me a dim wit and essentially tell me to go back to school(MAtheist) pointing me to the Iron Chariots which I have looked at. Why is that necessary? or helpful to a discussion. I never insulted you guys. I hope you guys are not directly part of AE.My original post which addresses the Rabbi's post and Matt D's response was to offer some observations about the show.I stand by what I said. I think the way the folks at AE frame the discussion is intellectually dishonest.If they believe God does'nt exist which is what I believe they believe then state it definitively and defend it. Redefining what it is you believe to avoid BOP is inherently dishonest. I am a Christian. I'm not a fundy/Biblical literalist. Now to what I believe:I believe that there is a being whose essential nature necessarily transends the natural world and laws as we observe it.I believe that the trancendent being created the universe most likely through the event scientists call the big bang. I think this being created human beings and used seemingly unguided naturalistic processes like evolution to effect our creation. I believe this transendent being who I call God is the author of these naturalistic and observable laws.I believe that we humans have the ability to apprehend right from wrong. I believe that we get our ability to determine right from wrong from God. I believe those standards of right and wrong come from God. Without an objective standard we would have no way to determine right from wrong. I believe that our ability to rationalize and think logically comes from a logical and rational mind. I think God is the author of the laws of logic. I believe that the Bible explains the human condition and our relationship to God. It lays out standards for living. More importantly it details our problem. God is by definition morally perfect. He can't be around sin (moral inperfection). In the beginning he laid out rules for his creation Adam & Eve. They screwed up. Because of this we humans inherited a sin nature. In order to get out of this condition we need a savior. God allowed himself to come to earth as a man Jesus.I believe Jesus died on the cross and raised three days latter to pay for the sins we have committed that prohibit us from having a relationship with the morally perfect God. In order to get to Heaven and have relationship with God we have to accept Jesus as our Savior so that we are forgiven of our sin nature and made right before God.

  100. says

    Part 2@ Mamba24 @ MAtheist:I cannot give you or any atheist testable/ repeatable scientific evidence for Gods existance. All I can say is that I think a circumstantial case can be made. We put people in jail or execute them based on circumstantial evidence so I believe it's perfectly reasonable and rational to base one's beliefs on circumstantial evidence.If we detect design in the universe and in our experience designed things need a designer I don't see why it isn't reasonable and rational to infer God as the designer. (I know you guys are going to say I'm begging the question or arguing from ignorance but I don't see it that way. If you presuppose only naturalistic answers your taking God off the table by default. If you take a position of naturalism your begging the question because science has'nt offered an answer as of yet as to how/why,who or what caused the big bang.)I'll beat you to the punch by saying that if someday in the future some scientist comes up with a "theory of everything" that proves some naturalistic reason for why were here I'll have to rethink my theism. I think the moral issue points toward God. As I said earlier we humans make distinctions as to right and wrong. We have universal objective standards for right and wrong such as killing, and rape that are universally understood as wrong. We did'nt come up with those ideas on our own. If there's no God there's no objective standard and any system we might come up with is purely subjective. I think the Biblical account points to people and places in history that are verified by archaelogy. There's extra biblical sources that verfify things talked about in the Bible. Those are just a few pieces of circumstantial evidence that point to God. Is it a slam dunk case. Absolutely not. But I would ask you if you have all these small pieces of data that point toward a particular answer don't you have to come to the conclusion that its reasonable to hold the position until proven otherwise. If not why not?If you want to disagree fine. It seems to me atheists and theists look at the same set of facts and come to opposite conclusions like the picture where if you look at it one way its a young woman and the other way it's and old woman. Thats it for now. If anyone else especially one of the AE hosts would like to respond please do.

  101. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."I stand by what I said. I think the way the folks at AE frame the discussion is intellectually dishonest. If they believe God does'nt exist which is what I believe they believe then state it definitively and defend it. Redefining what it is you believe to avoid BOP is inherently dishonest."And once again you fail to understand anything I have already explained to you multiple times, once again demonstrating that you have a severe misunderstanding of what atheism means and how the BOP works..So Instead of going through and showing everyone of your logical fallacies that I have already shown you, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions…1.Buddy…If someone comes up to you and says that an invisible unicorn that you can't touch lives in your closet, who has the burden of proof?The person who is making the claim, or the person who doesn't believe there is an invisible unicorn that you can't touch living in their closet?2. What do you call a person who doesn't believe a god/gods exists?This will solve the burden of proof argument buddy. Now I notice you go on a big writing spree about what you believe…You go from saying that you believe a god is responsible for the big bang to guiding the evolution of life on earth, you make the assertion that humans can't know right from wrong without a supernatural mind putting those ideas in our head. You assert that god is morally perfect, despite your holy book showing that he isn't by any means perfect.(killing all first born children isn't a moral action buddy) After all these bold assertions you acknowledge that you can't prove any of them are true and just basically resort to the faith card of, "This is just what I believe". And that is precisely your problem, if you can't demonstrate that your beliefs are justified through evidence and reason, then we aren't rationally required to believe in them. Science is more than capable of explaining why humans have a developed sense of morality. As our brains grew in size over the millienia we started to develop parts of the brain that are responsible for things like sympathy and empathy for our own species. The reason why is partly because of our diet of meat eating and the development of agriculture and civilizations. Humans realized that in order for societies to flourish and in order to prevent our species from extinction…we had to get along with each other. This led to the development of civil and societal codes and instructions. People over time revised and created new and better codes and laws that over time made civilized life better and better. As a result of these moral codes that humans created, our species population exponentially exploded in a vastly short amount of time. Moral codes are human inventions as far as science can tell….Buddy you need to offer evidence to show that an outside presence from a deity is needed in order for this to happen. Although I know you already can't because you already admitted you can't in your previous post. I'm guessing you're just going to ignore everything I have written and resort back to arguments form ignorance and incredulity. But before you respond, I would like you to answer my two questions at the top.

  102. Mamba24 says

    You clearly have no idea what circumstantial evidence is because you make a bunch of bold assertions, then equate it to a court room case like it's the same thing…Not even close. In a court room you have the defendant, prosecutor, and the jury. It is up to the prosecutor to supply evidence that the defendant committed the crime. If the prosecutor can't supply sufficient evidence(theists), then the jury(atheists) isn't required to believe the defendant(insert extraordinary claim) is guilty..Note that it's possible that the defendant is still guilty, but since no evidence can be offered to prove it, then no one can justifiably prove he is guilty. There is a reason why the verdict is either guilty or not guilty….and not guilty and innocent. You right now buddy are the prosecutor with no evidence to prove the defendant is guilty. And we the jury(atheists) aren't required to assert he is guilty. If we can't determine whether or not the defendant is guilty or innocent, then the rational position to take is to say "I don't know".

  103. says

    Mamba:Frankly I think were talking past each other. I absolutely understand the BOP. The person making the positive claim has the burden of proof to demonstrate the claim is true. IE. unicorn in the closet.(Incidently I never asserted any claims initially about God I was commenting on the show.)I take the generally defined definition in half a dozen dictionaries I consulted as an athiest is someone who doesn't believe in god/gods.With that out of the way you continue to ignore what I'm saying. I'll repeat it one more time. AE consistantly has defined their Atheism as "The lack of a belief of the existence of and evidence for God/Gods"They do this IMO precisely because they want to avoid BOP. What better way to do it. Your not obligated to prove anything because your not making a positive claim. Based on listening to the show for two years and listening to the host's stories I'm convinced that in fact they really don't believe in God. Therefore its intellectually dishonest to nuance how they define themselves. Do they have a right to do that sure. It's still lame. You continue to ignore this. If this is not what their doing explain to me why I'm wrong.It seems to me (appeal to popularity or not) that Atheists bare some reponsibility to defend a their view which is held by small percentage of the worlds population.Concerning the rest of my post. Regarding God's Morals, killing babies ect. I tried to make the point to you yesterday about how people-Athiests in particular-read these passages and are shocked by what they read. Matt D. on the show brings this up all the time. If you don't understand the full context of the Bible then reading these passages in isolation paints an unflattering picture of God. As I said yesterday check out Dr. Paul Copans book "God is a Moral Monster". If you don't want to spend the money check out his website. There's serveral articles about this. At least read what the guy has to say before you dismiss him out of hand. If I can manage to listen to AE and I'll tell you I have Dawkins and Hitchens books to read you should have the intellectual integritry to check out Christian writings.Regarding evidence/reason. No offense but am using my reason and intellect to decide that God does exist and more particurally the God of the Bible. I've read the historical evidence for the resurrection and I found that compelling. I'm using reason when I posit that anything that exists has to have a cause. Wheres the flaw?If you presuppose naturalism you've boxed youself into a corner with nowhere to go. If that works for you what can I say.Re: Moral codes- maybe socities for purely pragamatic reasons can decide that killing each other is'nt a beneficial thing but there's still no objective reason why its wrong.

  104. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."I take the generally defined definition in half a dozen dictionaries I consulted as an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in god/gods."Yes that is correct buddy, the reason we don't hold a belief in any god/gods is because the theists failed to provide any evidence for the existence of one. This is the same thing for a person who doesn't believe an invisible unicorn that you can't touch is in the closet because the person making the claim has failed to offer supporting evidence. Therefore the atheist and the "aunicornist"(that's what we will call it) are justified in holding their position. The default position is the one the atheists hold. Until the people who are making the positive claims offer their evidence for the existence of a god(theist), then we aren't justified in believing their claims. You have just agreed that the aunicornist doesn't hold the burden of proof, so if you are a honest person, you must also agree that the atheist is justified in holding their position and doesn't hold any BOP. Nobody is making any claims of absolute certainty about anything except for you. If you can provide evidence for the existence of a god I am willing to change my mind.(And any other atheist on this blog would agree with me.) So stop trying to shift the burden of proof and offer your evidence for the existence of a god. Even if there were atheists making claims of absolute certainty that no gods exist, but couldn't offer any evidence for this, this still wouldn't make your position justified or true, because you still need to prove that a god does exist. However no one is making any claims of absolute certainty that there is no god. We simply don't hold a belief on the fact there is no evidence for one.Buddyford1 said.."With that out of the way you continue to ignore what I'm saying. I'll repeat it one more time."I have addressed every one of your points and explained why they're false due to logical fallacies and willful ignorance. You don't get to assert false accusations based off nothing to try and justify your position. You have failed miserably. You have constantly asserted without evidence, and contradicted yourself multiple times while ignoring everyone of my responses. I have got you to admit that the person making the positive claim holds the burden of proof, then you immediately contradict yourself by trying to shift the burden of proof from yourself to us when we aren't the ones making the positive claim. You don't understand how logical fallacies work and the ones you do understand you willfully ignore and use them anyway cause your too stubborn and ignorant to argue honestly.Buddyford1 said.."AE consistantly has defined their Atheism as'The lack of a belief of the existence of and evidence for God/Gods'"That is correct and we are justified in holding that position due to the theists not being able to provide any evidence to support their positive assertion that a god exists. Buddyford1 said.."They do this IMO precisely because they want to avoid BOP. What better way to do it. Your not obligated to prove anything because your not making a positive claim."Here you go again demonstrating that you yourself don't understand how BOP works by trying to shift it to us once again because you know you can't defend your beliefs with reason and logic. You are correct, we aren't obligated to prove anything because we aren't making any positive assertions.(We are weak atheists) You are simply trying to get us to make one so you can get rid of the BOP. You are the one making the positive assertion, offer you evidence for a god.Buddyford1 said.."If this is not what their doing explain to me why I'm wrong."I have explained it to you multiple times including what I just wrote above. You are willfully ignoring my responses.

  105. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."I've read the historical evidence for the resurrection and I found that compelling." There isn't any historical evidence for the Resurrection, if you think you have some please present the evidence.Buddyford1 said.."If you presuppose naturalism you've boxed yourself into a corner with nowhere to go. If that works for you what can I say."We are justified in holding a naturalist viewpoint because it's the only reality we are aware of and can prove. It's you buddy who are holding presuppositions because you don't have any evidence that there is anything more than the natural world! You are the one who has boxed himself into the corner, you must provide evidence of an alternate reality in order for your beliefs to be justified.Buddyford1 said.."I tried to make the point to you yesterday about how people-Athiests in particular-read these passages and are shocked by what they read. Matt D. on the show brings this up all the time. If you don't understand the full context of the Bible then reading these passages in isolation paints an unflattering picture of God. As I said yesterday check out Dr. Paul Copans book "God is a Moral Monster". If you don't want to spend the money check out his website. There's serveral articles about this. At least read what the guy has to say before you dismiss him out of hand. If I can manage to listen to AE and I'll tell you I have Dawkins and Hitchens books to read you should have the intellectual integritry to check out Christian writings.Now you are just lying about the immoral characteristics of your bible. I have already got you to agree that slavery and Indentured servitude are immoral practices. Now you are just lying and have shown to me that you probably haven't even read your bible. If you had, you wouldn't be making arguments from authority and would realize that the god of the bible specifically endorses immoral practices such as indentured Servitude/slavery and stoning people to death due to adultery. He also requires the slaughtering of animals and killed all the first born children of the Egyptians, innocent first borns. You are a dishonest person who is failing miserably at trying to defend your god.Buddyford1 said.."maybe socities for purely pragamatic reasons can decide that killing each other is'nt a beneficial thing but there's still no objective reason why its wrong."It's objectively wrong because humans realize that killing each other is harmful to their species. You again demonstrate your intellectual short comings and lack of understanding of how logical/rational arguments work. Are you going to repeat yourself again?

  106. says

    "The person making the positive claim has the burden of proof to demonstrate the claim is true. IE. unicorn in the closet."Did you not understand the courtroom analogy? I find it's pretty clear and even the dullest pencils can understand it. You're no dull pencil so this should be easy. Prosecution claims defendant is a murderer (you claim god) The jury (atheists) doesn't accept claim until evidence is presented (atheists don't accept your claim until evidence is presented). If the jury renders the verdict 'not guilty' they are saying they haven't seen enough evidence to accept the claim that this is the murderer (atheists don't see enough evidence that god exists) This is different then claiming that the person is innocent (claim god doesn't exist) This to me is a perfect analogy, if you disagree then show how it isn't. If you can't then accept that this is our position; BOP wasn't created just to piss you off.Provide the evidence."No offense but am using my reason and intellect to decide that God does exist and more particurally the God of the Bible."I'm inclined to believe your reasoning skills are flawed then. Simply provide the evidence."I've read the historical evidence for the resurrection and I found that compelling."Provide the evidence of any extra-biblical contemporary historical account of the resurrection."I'm using reason when I posit that anything that exists has to have a cause. Wheres the flaw?"You claim god exists yet doesn't have a cause therefor you contradict your premise. Either god has a cause or not everything that exists needs a cause. Can't have your cake and blah blah blah. This is why I question your reasoning skills; one premise and you manage to screw it up."If you presuppose naturalism you've boxed youself into a corner with nowhere to go. If that works for you what can I say."The only box created by this is one that only contains that which we can provide evidence for. In the naturalistic view the tangible is accepted and the intangible is not; as the intangible is indistinguishable from the imaginary.

  107. Mamba24 says

    He continually ignores anything I say and just repeats his assertions. I will get him to agree on a certain point, then he just turns right around and contradicts our agreement. He ignored my courtroom analogy. He ignored my explanation of how the burden of Proof works. He continually fails to understand the difference between weak and strong atheism. He doesn't understand what agnosticism and gnosticism are. And even when he does say he understands how these things work(logic and reason, logical fallacies..), he immediately shows that he really doesn't understand how they work, or he just willfully ignores them because he knows that his position isn't reasonably justified. I feel sorry for him and hope he sheds his ignorance.

  108. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 is trying to change the courtroom verdict from "Guilty/Not guilty"…to "Guilty/Innocent". This is where is logic fails.

  109. says

    @ Mamba I tend to agree he misunderstands the analogy as I've seen it so much. His claims that he understands the reasoning and logic is like claims of victory. He's basically saying he won the argument and that *we* need to learn it.

  110. says

    Mamba:Boy are you stubborn. The point of the typical definition as opposed to the AE version is that a positive claim is being made. "I don't believe a God/Gods exist" positive assertion vs. " I lack a belief that God exists" wishy washy no definitive claim.I'm not attempting to dishonestly shift the BOP. I'm asking you or anyone else over there to assume BOP to demonstrate why your position is more rational/reasonable than mine. RE: circumstatial evidence. My point with that which you missed is that you don't need direct physical evidense to convict someone. In the same way you don't have to have direct physical evidence to make the belief in God plausible.RE: Historical evidence. You have the Biblical documents themselves. You have outside sources such as the Roman Historian Tacitus writings. You have the Jewish Historian josephus writings. You have contemporary jewish writings.The bottom line is the Bible has the most outside source attestation of any ancient document. Again this is'nt a slam dunk proof but it is evidence.

  111. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."The point of the typical definition as opposed to the AE version is that a positive claim is being made. "I don't believe a God/Gods exist" positive assertion vs. " I lack a belief that God exists" wishy washy no definitive claim."Wrong! lol it's not a positive assertion. It's a negative assertion. The claim "there is no god" is a negative buddy. You have just shown me once again you don't know what you're talking about. Secondly for the umpteenth time no one here is making that negative assertion with absolute certainty. You are the stubborn one for trying to force us to use that definition.Buddyford1 said.."I'm not attempting to dishonestly shift the BOP. I'm asking you or anyone else over there to assume BOP to demonstrate why your position is more rational/reasonable than mine."You are such a deluded ignorant dimwit! LOL I'm going to walk you through this statement step by step.."I'm not attempting to dishonestly shift the BOP."..Okay you are asserting you will not try to shift the BOP, now let's see what you immediately reply after this…"I'm asking you or anyone else over there to assume BOP to demonstrate why your position is more rational/reasonable than mine."…..LOL Now you are trying to shift the BOP onto us even though we aren't making claims of absolute certainty!! This is an dishonest attempt at trying to shift the BOP! You are the most dishonest theist I have ever had a discussion with. Not only have I explained to you many times why the BOP rests with the person making the positive claim, you agreed with me! Now you are contradicting yourself by trying to shift the BOP onto us even though we aren't making positive or negative claims of absolute certainty! Did you even bother to read through my courtroom analogy? Or did you just blow it off like usual?

  112. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.. "circumstatial evidence. My point with that which you missed is that you don't need direct physical evidense to convict someone. In the same way you don't have to have direct physical evidence to make the belief in God plausible."Yeah except you don't have circumstantial evidence. Besides circumstantial evidence can still be wrong. You need direct evidence when talking about extraordinary claims. You don't have evidence of any kind to prove that there is a god. Go back and read my court room analogy.Buddyford1 said.."Historical evidence. You have the Biblical documents themselves. You have outside sources such as the Roman Historian Tacitus writings. You have the Jewish Historian josephus writings. You have contemporary jewish writings."You are wrong on every single one of your points. You can't use the bible to prove itself. Just like you can't use spiderman comics to prove that spiderman is real. Historical documents themselves can't verify that supernatural/miracles occurred, you need multiple outside sources to even consider that an event took place(a regular event). All of Tacitus's and Josephus's writings are simply mentioning religious movements that they have "heard of". None of them are contemporary accounts and some of their passages are questioned by most Historians, such as one of the Passages of Josephus's writings in the antiquities of the Jews. Written documents alone can't be used to determine whether or not a miracle or any supernatural event occurred. There isn't any originals of the bible, their authors are anonymous, and it was written over the course of hundreds of years by different scribes and people. Some historian making a brief mention of a particular movements beliefs isn't evidence of anything other than that a movement is happening, which no one is disputing. Buddyford1 said.."The bottom line is the Bible has the most outside source attestation of any ancient document. Again this is'nt a slam dunk proof but it is evidence."This is a flat out lie and I'm not sure what christian apologist site you got this from. The bible has very little outside information, and the one's you do find are either irrelevant or trivial. There isn't any outside sources that proves the bible and it's supernatural elements to be true. If you think there is, You're free to provide the evidence. Since I have already explained to you that the writings of Josephus and Tacitus aren't "evidence", you can't use them.

  113. Mamba24 says

    Whether or not a extraordinary claim is spoken aloud or written down on a piece of paper thousands of years ago is irrelevant. The claim alone isn't evidence of it being true..You clearly don't understand this or how historians go about determining whether or not an certain event took place in ancient history. You need outside verification, such as archaeological evidence, or various contemporary documents with authentic signatures . There isn't anything we can use to determine whether or not a supernatural event took place in history…none. There are many ancient writings like Tacitus that Historians use to determine what took place then, however there are also supernatural elements that most historians completely ignore because there is no reason why anyone should think that they happened.

  114. says

    @Buddy1. I don't believe in unicorns; you claim they exist2. I don't believe in trolls; you claim they exist3. I don't believe in fairies; you claim they exist4. I don't believe in gods; you claim one existsWho has the burden of proof in examples 1-3? Now, who has the burden of proof in example 4? I'm sure you don't believe in examples 1-3, do you have the BOP and have to show they don't exist?"You have the Biblical documents themselves"This is not evidence. We don't know who wrote the bible so it's hard (read:impossible) to know how credible the sources are. The bible is full of scientific/historical/logic inaccuracies and according to you metaphor and analogy, how can you trust what is said to be true? Plus any writing about Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; which weren't actually written by them) was written no earlier than 40 years after his supposed death. This is the source of the original story, now where is the evidence that this is the case?"You have outside sources such as the Roman Historian Tacitus writings"Tacitus wasn't contemporary historian only taking what he heard from others. It's not news that people believed this to be true, the question is what evidence do we have."You have the Jewish Historian josephus writings"Josephus also was not a contemporary historian and therefor reporting what he had heard from others. Secondly it is debated whether the passage about Jesus was a forgery. http://goo (dot) gl/h4Yd"You have contemporary jewish writings."Name one. (Did you really expect to get away with that?)"The bottom line is the Bible has the most outside source attestation of any ancient document."This is laughable."Again this is'nt [sic] a slam dunk proof but it is evidence."Well luckily for you no one asked for proof. Evidence will suffice. Now once you provide it that'll be great. Name one contemporary historical writing of Jesus' existence. And so you don't think we're moving the goal posts I want to make clear even if you found one that doesn't prove the entire Jesus story to be true. The miracles, the resurrection didn't happen because Jesus might have existed. That is fair, of course. Caesar existed but some also claimed he was a god. Doesn't mean I have to believe it.

  115. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1…Here's a scenario..If there is two people who come up to you and person A says, "leprechauns exist". Then person B says, "Leprechauns do not exist."Who is reasonably required to bear the BOP?

  116. says

    buddyford1 said …The point of the typical definition as opposed to the AE version is that a positive claim is being made. "I don't believe a God/Gods exist" positive assertion vs. " I lack a belief that God exists" wishy washy no definitive claim.Buddyford1, how are those two statements different? Never mind the fact that the first statement "I don't believe a God/Gods exist" is not a positive statement. Saying "I do not believe" is the same as "I lack a belief." Which, as you say, has no definitive claim, I agree with you there.The topic of this post is "Understanding atheists", again you said it yourself, there is no definitive claim. An atheist is someone that does not believe in any god, that's it, nothing else. There is no dogma, no tenets, no claims as you put it. Lack of belief does not lead to anything or cause any action. That would be akin to saying, "I have to tend my garden because I don't believe in fairies."

  117. says

    @ MAMBA24 & Alexrkr7:1. I'm a 43 yr old male-College grad.2. If I was completely brain washed why would I bother to listen to the show-buy/read books written by atheists-bother to engage with atheists. 2. I'm not the dim-witted idiot that you accuse me of being. 3. I'm perfectly capable of evaluating evidence and making reasonable conclusions. The difference is we look at the same set of data and see different things. The main reason being we have a different set of pre-suppositions.4.I point out different sources of information but the two of you don't have the intellectual integrity to check it out.5. I never claimed or asserted that I have 100% certainty in Gods existence. I'm reasonably certain based on what I said to you.(So what does that make me a soft-theist) In fact my initial reason for posting wasn't to get into defending the faith. You pushed/defaulted the exchange into defending my beliefs.6. I want to know the truth as much as anyone. While I believe God exists and Christianity is true I still am investigating other points of view. ie. I listen to AE. So obviously I'm not closed minded. Do you do the same? Could I ever have my mind changed? Sure? I pointed out one scenario for you.7. I asked for a decent discussion. I get insults, lectures, and ignored.8. My initial post was about how AE defines Atheism. In a round about way you admit I'm right but still manage to not answer the question. At that I'm done for now. Your not cabable or willing to have a decent conversation without attacking people and insulting them. So I'll come back some other time. Maybe someone else over there can have an intelligent-honest-discussion.@ any of the hosts of AE. if you want to have an honest dialogue to address my initial post let me know. No I'm not calling the show. Yet.

  118. says

    @ MAthiest:I hear what your saying. The problem from my POV is that there are other worldviews-philosophies that undergird that definition. (I think the hosts would deny that.)Kind of like the white elephant in the room. I absolutely understand the position. What i'm saying though is that the show promotes positive atheism as they define it. They implicitly imply that their position is correct but we really don't have a worldview. I think inherently they do. My issue is nuancing the definition into not taking a position although I think its implied. IMHO.

  119. Mamba24 says

    And he completely ignores our questions and points again, and claims we don't understand him/ignored his viewpoints(We completely understand his viewpoint and why it is flawed), thus demonstrating to me once again how intellectually dishonest he is.Buddy…answer…these….questions!1. Person A says "Unicorns exist". I say they don't exist.2. Person A says "fairies exist". I say they don't exist.3. Person A says "Sasquatch exists". I say they don't exist.4.Person A says "a god/gods exists". I say they don't exist.Who is reasonably required to bear the burden of proof in the first three statements? Who is reasonably required to bear the burden of proof in the fourth statement?Answer the questions.

  120. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."I'm perfectly capable of evaluating evidence and making reasonable conclusions. The difference is we look at the same set of data and see different things. The main reason being we have a different set of pre-suppositions."-Obviously not since you don't understand how logical fallacies work. You have also repeatedly shown to be willfully ignorant of every point an d question thrown at you. And you once again don't even understand that no one has presuppositions because we aren't making claims of absolute certainty. Holding a disbelief in something for which there is no evidence for is not a presupposition. Are you holding a presupposition by saying you don't believe in Santa Claus? lolBuddyford1 said..".I point out different sources of informationbut the two of you don't have the intellectual integrity to check it out."-You are one ignorant dishonest egghead. You did point out different sources of information, and if you read our posts you would see why your sources failed to support any of your claims or beliefs because we….explained…it….to…you! Mr. college grad clearly doesn't understand anything about how to properly examine and research an issue or claim. You brought up bible as a source for proving the bible is true.(That makes you a moron), you brought of Josephus and Tacitus and outside sources.(We point out that they are both not contemporaries and are simply making note of a movement others are telling them about. You should also note that both Tacitus and Josephus weren't Christians…SO neither of them believed that Jesus was the savior anyway. A ancient Historian making reference to a religious movement and their beliefs that they are hearing form others isn't evidence of any of the supernatural claims.) We have checked out the arguments, we have checked out the early christian writings, we have checked out early historical histories. Now answer our questions and stop being a dishonest theist who keeps plugging his ears and yelling "La La La La La La".

  121. Mamba24 says

    @buddyford1….You are exactly what this thread is meant to talk about…Dishonest ignorant theists who have serious misconceptions about what atheism is, and how to engage in HONEST rational discussions. Thanks for showing anyone who ever reads these comments how intellectually deprived, willfully ignorant, and dishonest theists can be in this world.

  122. says

    @BuddyPlease don't run with tall between the legs. I have been having a discussion and await your response to a number of things I've said in response to you. It would be rude to waste my time.First before you reply to anything I've said concerning your last post please address these very pertinent points first. Directly, don't just say I know your position on this already. Please show the flaw in these:Prosecution claims [the] defendant is a murderer (you claim god exists) The jury (atheists) doesn't accept claim until evidence is presented (atheists don't accept your claim until evidence is presented). If the jury renders the verdict 'not guilty' they are saying they haven't seen enough evidence to accept the claim that this is the murderer (atheists don't see enough evidence that god exists) This is different then claiming that the person is innocent (claim god doesn't exist)And this:1. I don't believe in unicorns; you claim they exist2. I don't believe in trolls; you claim they exist3. I don't believe in fairies; you claim they exist4. I don't believe in gods; you claim one existsWho has the burden of proof in examples 1-3? Now, who has the burden of proof in example 4? I'm sure you don't believe in examples 1-3, do you have the BOP and have to show they don't exist?Now on to your latest post:"1. I'm a 43 yr old male-College grad."Irrelevant, but thank you for sharing."2. If I was completely brain washed why would I bother to listen to the show-buy/read books written by atheists-bother to engage with atheists."Although I would have once agreed with this I see people exhibit incredible behavior when defending delusion. Ray Comfort comes to mind. (Not comparing you two)"2. I'm not the dim-witted idiot that you accuse me of being."You used '2.' twice there buddy =p. I can only speak for myself when I say I never called you dimwitted nor have I come to that conclusion… yet. Continued……..

  123. says

    Part 2:"3. I'm perfectly capable of evaluating evidence and making reasonable conclusions. The difference is we look at the same set of data and see different things."And I disagree this is it at all. The way it seems to be to me is that erroneous conclusions are drawn on your part. Over reaching logical inference and a break down in a basic understanding of epistemological positions concerning one positions on gods."The main reason being we have a different set of pre-suppositions."You make assumptions, we do not?"4.I point out different sources of informationbut the two of you don't have the intellectual integrity to check it out."I responded to the info you gave me about historical evidence and I responded in turn."5. I never claimed or asserted that I have 100% certainty in Gods existence. I'm reasonably certain based on what I said to you.(So what does that make me a soft-theist)"If you don't even know how to describe your position it's a wonder how we will get through to you on anything else. Yes you're a soft-theist or more commonly known as an agnostic theist. But it doesn't matter if you claim 100% or not, you're still making a claim and BOP is on the one making the claim (I'm fairly sure you don't disagree you you in fact making a claim)"6. …Do you do the same? Could I ever have my mind changed? Sure? I pointed out one scenario for you.""7. I asked for a decent discussion. I get insults, lectures, and ignored"I don't think I've done any other these things. I even copy and pasted what you said and responded to every pertinent point. If there is something I missed point it out. Otherwise stop claiming this. You on the other hand haven't responded to anything I've said about BOP, the courtroom analogy, my responses to the historical evidence you provided etc. Who is being dishonest?"8. My initial post was about how AE defines Atheism. In a round about way you admit I'm right but still manage to not answer the question."I'm reading your initial post (I'm a bit late to the game) and all I see you do is accuse us of redefining atheism and calling us dishonest. You ask "How does one lack belief?" If you don't think one can lack belief then show evidence that unicorns don't exist. If you can't simply lack belief but have to have an active belief they don't exist what's your evidence?

  124. Mamba24 says

    Footnote: You didn't actually present any contemporary outside sources for the bible, you simply asserted that there was and failed to provide any. Like we already explained to you Josephus and Tacitus aren't contemporary outside sources of the bible.

  125. says

    @ Alexrkr7:I kind of linked you to Mamba unfairly sorry about that. Regarding the prosecution/defense court analogy.You talking civil or criminal. In a criminal case the jury has to be unamimous and the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case its preponderance of the evidence. Not sure where you going with this. My only point in bringing that up was that IMO you don't have to have diect physical evidence to make your case ie. testable/provable evidence. I still think one can make a valid circumstantial case for God thats rational and reasonable.With respect to your 4 questions their all the same- the person making the claim bears the burden of proof. (not for anything i believed that going into this and my reason for posting wasn't to refute that.)Re: Historical evidence. The point I was making was that there are historical sources outside of the biblical documents themselves. Yes i'm aware of the josephus issue. i'm not going to cut and paste a whole article. Jim @ pleaseconvinceme.com does a nice job of outlining the outside sources both friendly and non freindly to the Bible. To many examples to list. point being no other religious writing has as much outside attestation as the bible. I also think a serious historian might argue that the Bible itself is historical evidence. You making a genetic fallacy?? Dr. Habermas makes a minimal facts case on the resurrection based on I think 4-5 minimal facts that historians accept about jesus across the board. These are historians from across the spectrum- athiest-christian. Re: my #8 that you responded to. Again to repeat myself. My intention in posting was not to get into making a case for God-although you sucked me in. My point was and still is that IMHO AE could/should make a positive claim and defend it.

  126. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."You talking civil or criminal. In a criminal case the jury has to be unamimous and the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case its preponderance of the evidence. Not sure where you going with this. My only point in bringing that up was that IMO you don't have to have diect physical evidence to make your case ie. testable/provable evidence. I still think one can make a valid circumstantial case for God thats rational and reasonable."-Yeah you totally missed the entire point of the court room analogy. I will repeat myself for the second time in saying that circumstantial evidence isn't sufficient for proving that a god exists, you need direct evidence. The reason for this being that circumstantial evidence can still be wrong and lead to the wrong verdict. You fail to understand this point.Buddyford1 said.."With respect to your 4 questions their all the same- the person making the claim bears the burden of proof. (not for anything i believed that going into this and my reason for posting wasn't to refute that.)"-Then you must acknowledge that the reasonable position to take is to not believe the claim, whether or not you are talking about trolls, fairies, unicorns, or gods. Since you admitted this, you must also admit that the atheists position is the reasonable one. To claim otherwise is to contradict yourself and prove your dishonesty.

  127. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."Historical evidence. The point I was making was that there are historical sources outside of the biblical documents themselves."-And we have shown you that there isn't any contemporary outside sources for the historical accuracy of the bible, let alone the supernatural claims. Simply asserting there is doesn't buy you points.Buddyford1 said.."Yes i'm aware of the josephus issue. i'm not going to cut and paste a whole article. Jim @ pleaseconvinceme.com does a nice job of outlining the outside sources both friendly and non freindly to the Bible. To many examples to list. point being no other religious writing has as much outside attestation as the bible."And for the umpteenth time we don't need you to cut and paste anything from what some christian apologist said, so offer one example of a contemporary outside source that confirms the bible to historically accurate and true for the supernatural claims. We have asked you now multiple times and you just keep asserting that there are outside sources, and then resorts to appeals of authority(Some guy claiming that there are). Show me these outside sources.Buddyford1 said.."I also think a serious historian might argue that the Bible itself is historical evidence. You making a genetic fallacy??"-And this is where you are wrong, you cannot use the bible to prove itself, you need outside sources to verify it(archaeological evidence). LOL Do you understand what a genetic fallacy is? Because this isn't anywhere near what it is..A genetic fallacy is an argument form irrelevance, it doesn't matter how people may have viewed the bible in the past or in current times because it's totally irrelevant to whether or not it's true.

  128. Mamba24 says

    Buddyford1 said.."Dr. Habermas makes a minimal facts case on the resurrection based on I think 4-5 minimal facts that historians accept about jesus across the board. These are historians from across the spectrum- athiest-christian."It doesn't matter what some Christian apologist thinks buddy, resorting to people who share your beliefs about there being a resurrection isn't proof of their being a resurrection. You must supply evidence, not appeals to authority. I'm sure there some things that historians accept concerning the existence of Jesus. No one here is claiming that Jesus didn't exist, it's possible that a Jewish rabbi or may or may not have been named Jesus existed in the first century CE. What needs to be proven is whether or not the supernatural/miracle/mythical elements associated with him are true. And for the second time there isn't anything that can be used to determine whether or not a supernatural event/miracle occurred…none. Buddyford1 said.."My point was and still is that IMHO AE could/should make a positive claim and defend it."And this is where you contradict yourself. We have already got you to agree that the BOP rests on the party making the positive claim, not the person making the negative claim. Even if the AE made the negative claim "There is no god", we still wouldn't have the BOP because it is reasonably and logically accepted that the BOP rests on the Positive claim. It's nonsensical to ask someone to prove a negative. You agreed with this, here is the proof below.Buddyford said.."Frankly I think were talking past each other. I absolutely understand the BOP. +The person making the positive claim has the burden of proof to demonstrate the claim is true. IE. unicorn in the closet.+There you go, you admitted to us that the person making the positive claim is the one reasonably required to bear the BOP. You however dishonestly try to get us to prove a negative. It's like you asking someone who doesn't believe in unicorns to assume the position of "there is absolutely no such thing as a unicorn", and them asking to them to prove it.

  129. Mamba24 says

    "My point was and still is that IMHO AE could/should make a positive claim and defend it."We can't make a positive claim! We can only make a negative claim. When someone says that something doesn't exist, that's a negative claim! It is impossible for an atheist to make a positive claim. And this is why the BOP rests on the person making the positive claim. That is why it isn't reasonable to ask an atheist to carry the BOP, because it's nonsensical, just like it's not reasonable to ask someone to prove Thor doesn't exist. Can you really not understand this??

  130. says

    @Buddy"Not sure where you going with this… My only point in bringing that up was that IMO you don't have to have diect physical evidence to make your case ie. testable/provable evidence." My point with the analogy is clear (I even put how it pertains to us in parenthesis) I was illustrating that you have the burden of proof. In both criminal and civil cases the burden lies on the claimant (you). You keep saying you understand this but you continue to say things like the above; claiming *we* are the one who need to provide evidence."I still think one can make a valid circumstantial case for God thats rational and reasonable."And that's what we are asking you to do, since the burden of proof lies on you."With respect to your 4 questions their all the same- the person making the claim bears the burden of proof. (not for anything i believed that going into this and my reason for posting wasn't to refute that.)"And I quote:"Frankly I think the only reason you do this is to avoid the burden of proof.""If your going to posit a belief held by a small portion of the population it seems to me you should put forth some decent reasons as to why we should accept your views.""The point I'm making is if you really don't think God exists or there is'nt sufficient evidence then just say it. Don't nuance how you define atheism to avoid BOP.""i'm not shifting BOP because as i expected your not willing to accept BOP which was my initial point in posting."I hope for your sake you just have a hard time remembering you said all that. You, from the beginning, claim that we have the BOP and that we are trying to avoid it. You now say you were never arguing that you didn't have the BOP and that we did. Those quotes are only from your first 4 posts.Continued….

  131. says

    Part 2…."The point I was making was that there are historical sources outside of the biblical documents themselves."None of which were contemporary historical sources."To many examples to list. point being no other religious writing has as much outside attestation as the bible."If you're not willing to provide them then you can't make the argument nor do I have to respond to it. It like if I said "I have absolute proof the bible is false but I don't feel like citing how I know this. So how do you explain that!?""I also think a serious historian might argue that the Bible itself is historical evidence."The bible makes supernatural and miraculous claims and one must provide evidence for that. There is evidence for some of the things in the bible existing, Jerusalem, Egypt, Paul etc. But the other things it claims; Genesis, Noah, Jesus' miracles and resurrection don't have evidence to support them. Just as in Spiderman comics there is evidence that New York exists, doesn't mean Spiderman does. Nor is it a problem to call into question the claims. Even if we found a Peter Parker in New York who was bitten by a spider it doesn't mean he now has powers. Each claim is being evaluated on it's own merit."Dr. Habermas makes a minimal facts case on the resurrection based on I think 4-5 minimal facts that historians accept about jesus across the board. These are historians from across the spectrum- athiest-christian"And once you provide the evidence we can talk about that."My point was and still is that IMHO AE could/should make a positive claim and defend it."So I guess you didn't forget what you posted… This is how people start to think one is intellectually dishonest buddy. If you think there is a problem with our definition (which isn't just the AE definition but the definition all atheists I know, go by) Then show us how it is wrong. I tried showing how you misunderstood the BOP with both the courtroom analogy and the 4 premises (one you disagreed with and the other you seemed to agree with) So maybe you should try using analogy to show me why not believing/ don't believe/ lack a belief in gods gives me the BOP.

  132. Mamba24 says

    What Buddy doesn't seem to understand is the difference between a positive claim and a negative claim. Here is the difference.1. God/gods do not exist.- Negative claim2. God/gods do exist.- Positive claimWhen someone asserts that something "doesn't exist", whether it's a god, fairy, leprechaun, troll, or unicorn, they are making a negative claim.When someone asserts that something "does exist"(a god, fairy, troll, unicorn, etc…) They are making a positive claim. Buddy seems to think that the claim "God/gods do not exist" is a positive claim. Thus demonstrating that he lacks an understanding of how the BOP works and what the difference is between Positive/negative claims.And since Buddy has agreed with us that the person making the positive claim logically and reasonably has the BOP, he must agree that it isn't reasonable to ask someone who claims that unicorns, fairies, trolls, or gods don't exist to shoulder the BOP.(Because none of these are positive claims)Let's see if he concedes our points, or if he will just ignore them and repeat his flawed logic and reasoning.

  133. says

    @ MAMBA & Alexrkr7:Mamba you must have ESP because I was just finishing reading up more on BOP and coincidently was reading up on positive and negative claims. I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong so yea I was wrong. I didn't fully understand BOP as you both nicely and not so nicely tried to explain to me so here's my mea culpa. With respect to the outside source historic data and Dr. Habermas's minimal fact approach I'm going to hold off on that for now. I have read articles on both and have Habermas's and Copans books which I have to read. At this point I would be wasting your time and do a diservice to their scholarship to present an ill prepared cliff notes version for discussion. Keep an eye on the discussion board at Atheist Community of Austin. When I can adequately represent their arguements I'll post something over there. Enough said.

  134. Mamba24 says

    Thanks for your honest reply and fault admission. I don't mean to get personal when using language, but it's extremely frustrating when I try to explain something over and over and over. So maybe that's part my fault. But it's at least a step in the right direction for you to admit your wrongs and misunderstandings, and for me to admit using ill-willed language. I would encourage you to not waste your time reading up on Christian Apologetics because they won't validate or prove anything about your beliefs to be true, especially concerning historical documents. Frankly all you are going to get is people asserting that the supernatural events in the bible happened(from christian apologists). That isn't evidence. Like I said, just because a group of people share a particular belief about something, doesn't mean their beliefs are true. Evidence is required. I will be looking forward to your "Data findings" on the discussion board.

  135. says

    @BuddyThank you for the concession buddy.Still, I don't think it advisable to accept claim you don't have evidence for ie. the historicity of Jesus. But even granting you that you certainly shouldn't argue its validity to others because it would be as you say, a waste of time.You mention you host a podcast. I'd be interested in listening to it so if you could give me the info. on that it'd be much appreciated.

  136. Mamba24 says

    This is probably too late, but I'm not sure why buddy wants to take the argument over to the atheist community of Austin website. It would be much better to just keep it on this thread or ask one of the moderators to create a new one. It's easier to post here and you don't have to wait for approval on your posts here, because the discussion board must "approve" of your post before it can be posted, which can take awhile.I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hear from buddy again, I found it kind of interesting that he claimed to have been following this show for two years, yet still used the kindergarten logic of "first cause" and BOP shifting. You would think you would learn a thing or two by watching this show for while, I've been following it for a few months now and I can't even describe how much I have learned about atheism, epistemology, the different logical fallacies theists use…etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>