Episode CCCXVII: Frantic fill-in »« Sunday Sacrilege: Sacking the City of God

Why I am an atheist – Sandra Goodick

I am an atheist because I am a feminist. I think that statement is self-explanatory but others have been stumped by it so let me elaborate.

When I was young, my parents sent us (my siblings and I) to Catholic school. We weren’t a terribly devout family, but the Catholic school was very close by and, technically, we were Catholic so off we went.

Given our age, my classmates and I were on the cusp of modernization. The Church was moving towards a softer, gentler Catholicism. But, our priests were old and we still got the old lessons. So, when I was 8 yrs old and preparing for 1st Confession, Father Tim informed the girls (in a special lesson that we were seperated from the boys to receive) about the punishments of Eve. Not only were we responsible for the Fall of Man from His Perfect StateTM but we (as in “all women for all time”) would have to pay for it also. In particular, we would have to pay for it by submitting to the authority of our fathers, brothers and, someday, husbands and sons. The feminist in me revolted and in a moment of clarity where I may have actually exclaimed: “Eureka!” (It’s hard to tell since all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears, maybe I yelled “Bullshit”) I knew that he was lying.

I told him so as well. There are few things in this world that an 8 yr old is certain of but I was certain of these things. First, I knew that I was smarter than my brother and the likelihood that I would ever submit to his will was right up there with pigs producing beef (experience has held up my childhood hypothesis). Also, I knew that sons damn well submitted to the will of their mothers, if they knew what was good for them. Plus, lots of women don’t get married and even those who do marry don’t universally submit to their spouses, so that rules out husbands. And, as for the will of our fathers… Well, every child (male or female) submitted to the will of its father, there was nothing special about girls in that case.

I was promptly sent to the hallway by my teacher to consider my insubordination for the remainder of Christian Living. This was a bad move on the teacher’s part as it gave me time to think and my moment of clarity blossomed. If Father Tim was lying about Eve, what else was he lying about (other than the fact that he was sexually assaulting altar boys regularly – a fact that didn’t come out until I was in my 20s)?

Once I asked that question and started to examine the claims of the Church, it was only a matter of time before I was a full-out atheist. Although I rejected Catholicism at first (because I didn’t know enough about other religions to accept/deny them) ultimately I realized it was the existence of god that I was rejecting. I didn’t really give religion any thought in high school (in Canada in the 1980s, religion was only discussed as a strange phenomena of a by-gone age) and it wasn’t until I took a university course in Philosophy in Religion that I seriously thought about faith and the existence of a supernatural world. That’s when I realized the interconnections between the Abrahamic faiths and how equally spurious their claims were.

So, by the time I was 20 yrs old, I had considered the question and decided that I was an atheist. But ultimately, what sent me down that road was my feminism. And I’m still a feminist now – and an atheist, trade unionist and social justice activist.

Sandra Goodick

Comments

  1. philo says

    Explains why you’re not Catholic but not why you’re an atheist.

    So Catholicism doesn’t mesh well with your inner feminist- so what? Why assume that your feminist ideals are right?

    So some of the Catholic priests are pedophiles- what conclusions can you draw from this? That God doesn’t exist? Really?

    So your observed that the women you grew up around weren’t always submitting to their husbands- and? Why assume that Eve’s punishment was a “lie” rather than just those women failing to live up to a biblical principle?

    Maybe I’m being a little harsh, sure, but the one section that *could* have touched on why you’re an atheist (the part where you say you studied philosophy of religion), you (for whatever reason) chose to not expound on, so my criticism stands.

    If your critical thinking in that philosophy of religion class was anything like the critical thinking involved in writing this essay, I’d bet a lot of the class you probably ignored, misunderstood (or both), or were just too busy disagreeing with on prior grounds (i.e. your feminism) that you weren’t open to learning the philosophy behind it to begin with.

    This essay is a great example of the arrogance and poor reasoning skills most atheists use in coming to rejecting the existence of God. Thank you for posting this. I have saved the text and taken screenshots to prove later on (should the question arise) that this is the quality of work that gets associated with P.Z. Myers.

    Well done.

    TL;DR You not liking the Christian religion doesn’t magically mean God doesn’t exist.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    I hope philo’s reasoning and polemical skills get better, soon.

    Almost as much as I hope Sandra G’s poor brother dodged the call to become one of Father T’s altar sacrifices boys.

  3. philo says

    Such an incisive critique of my criticism, Pierce R. Butler. God almost surely doesn’t exist now.

  4. readingwhilefemale says

    I took nearly the opposite route between feminism and atheism. I was Catholic as well, and then became an atheist after rejecting first Catholicism, then Christianity, then the Abrahamic religions, then religion as a whole. Reading atheist and liberal blogs led me to feminist issues, and that is what made me realize that I was also a feminist. It’s wonderful, really, how well the two go together.

    Philo up there needs to learn the importance of the words “ultimately, what sent me down that road was my feminism.” Everyone has something that makes them start thinking about these things, and that’s the story that Sandra decided to share with us. That the incident led her to eventually take that philosophy class and become an atheist is just more information, but the story is about that first moment when she started to doubt, which I think many of us can relate to. There is no rule stating that every story must contain each person’s entire philosophical reasoning for being an atheist. Personal stories are just that, stories.

  5. pensnest says

    Philo – did you perhaps fail to notice that Sandra started this reasoning when she was *eight years old*? She seems to me to have done pretty well. You, by contrast, don’t come across so well.

  6. mackenga says

    Good post; basically this seems to confirm that a key ingredient in escape from religious indoctrination is a bit of self-confidence and a willingness to push back against world-views from authority figures, even at a young age.

    Philo: These “Why am I an Atheist” posts are not supposed to be proofs that there is no god, but peoples’ individual stories about how they reached their current outlook and attitudes with regard to these sorts of claims.

    I think the parts of the original post that come closest to addressing your criticisms are:

    If Father Tim was lying about Eve, what else was he lying about?

    and

    Although I rejected Catholicism at first (because I didn’t know enough about other religions to accept/deny them) ultimately I realized it was the existence of god that I was rejecting.

    When you discover that a thing you have been told by a member of an identifiable group is not true, you begin to treat their other assertions as questionable. When you realise how many of the things they say are not confirmed by any other source except other similar liars, I think it’s pretty reasonable to reject those things outright. Having rejected a religion that nearly got its claws into her early when she was relatively intellectually vulnerable, why should Ms Goodick immediately go looking for people similar to the first set of liars who are making similar claims and carefully evaluate all of those claims?

    To speak for myself: I am not here to disprove anyone’s stories. I lack a belief in your god, and similarly lack a belief in anyone else’s. If you want to spread your god idea, cool, I’m a good target (since I have no existing god-belief) but the onus is on you to provide evidence. I’m always interested to know what believers actually believe, and I like to hear the reasons as long as they aren’t just lazily parroting apologetics already worn thin by endless repetition.

  7. Frank Asshole says

    You not liking the Christian religion doesn’t magically mean God doesn’t exist.

    But if you’re liking the Christianity it doesn’t actually mean that god does exist. If you don’t like Catholicism, you have over 2500 gods to worship to choose from. Which ist the truest, and only one?
    AND ONE THING. When you look at “reasons” to believe in supernatural or being an atheist you’ll also find emotional and social factors that affected the decision. Every single decision are driven by emotional factors, and rationalised post factum. But, some have these emotional factors closely connected to reality. You can be an atheist because a priest in your school pissed you off, or you read greatest philosophers or scientists. It’s a story of becoming one. Road to atheism can be based on rational ground from scratch, or came from dissatisfaction connected with organised religions or just being bored in church. Ways and reasons are multiple.
    Only rational reason, as far as i am concerned, to subscribe to a particular cult is fear of persecution. And this in my view only depends on a person.

  8. FossilFishy says

    Philo derides arrogance and poor reasoning skills while demonstrating arrogance and poor reasoning. Fantastic.

    To be clear: you demonstrated poor reasoning skills by not understanding that the intent of this particular post was not to lay out an argument against the existence of gods but to elucidate the catalyst that sent one person down the path of atheism. You are aware that “Why I am an Atheist” can be parsed in different ways aren’t you?

    And you demonstrate arrogance when you expanded on your initial mis-read by extrapolating out to some presumed academic failure based one story. You are aware that a single sample is too small to make any kind of accurate judgment from aren’t you?

    To get back to the OP: Thank you Ms. Goodick, I enjoyed your story. As a Canadian of the same vintage but who went to public school I had no idea that that sort of thing was going on.

  9. philo says

    ReadingWhileFemale,

    True, it was a story and was surely not meant to be an exhaustive treatise on the rational justification of atheism, you’re right- but let’s look at a few excerpts and try to see where she’s coming from, shall we.

    1) “I am an atheist because I am a feminist. I think that statement is self-explanatory but others have been stumped by it so let me elaborate.”

    She rejects theism on feminist grounds. That’s pretty straight-forward, I think. Theism, to her, gets it wrong when it comes to feminist ideals and so there’s an implied message that because atheism doesn’t take this same position, she adopts atheism instead.

    2) “So, when I was 8 yrs old…Father Tim informed the girls…about the punishments of Eve. Not only were we responsible for the Fall of Man…but we would have to pay for it also. In particular, we would have to pay for it…by submitting to the authority of our fathers, brothers and, someday, husbands and sons. The feminist in me revolted…”

    She’s 8 years old when a religious leader expounds on some religious doctrines that aren’t exactly feminist at heart and she objects to them because she finds them inconsistent (as she later explains) with her observation of the world around her. Now let’s look at why she rejects them:

    3) “…in a moment of clarity where I may have actually exclaimed: “Eureka!” (It’s hard to tell since all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears, maybe I yelled “Bullshit”) I knew that he was lying.”

    “I told him so as well. There are few things in this world that an 8 yr old is certain of…I knew that I was smarter than my brother…I knew that sons damn well submitted to the will of their mothers… Plus, lots of women don’t get married and even those who do marry don’t universally submit to their spouses, so that rules out husbands.”

    She rejects the doctrine the priest is teaching her because something in her just knows it isn’t right. Or at least that’s how she feels. She can’t imagine submitting to a less intelligent sibling, nor does she witness womanly submission in her everyday life, and so rejects it. But do you notice how she doesn’t give a reason for thinking why her observations of the world should supercede the doctrine? She calls it a “lie”, but what about it is a lie? That it doesn’t seem to comport with her observations? Her objection ultimately comes down to a gut feeling. Fine. She’s 8 years old and this is just a brief little personal story, so we should let it slide. Surely she won’t just leave it at that. Surely she’ll touch on this later and explain why it’s lie…right?

    4) “Once I asked that question and started to examine the claims of the Church, it was only a matter of time before I was a full-out atheist. Although I rejected Catholicism at first…ultimately I realized it was the existence of god that I was rejecting.”

    At first she thinks she’s just rejecting the doctine she’s been taught, then later she “realizes” that she rejects the entire enterprise of religion. So her feminism *was* the catalyst for her atheism.

    5) “…it wasn’t until I took a university course in Philosophy in Religion that I seriously thought about faith and the existence of a supernatural world. That’s when I realized the interconnections between the Abrahamic faiths and how equally spurious their claims were.”

    She studies religion, finds it uncompelling (for reasons not listed) and then:

    6) “So, by the time I was 20 yrs old, I had considered the question and decided that I was an atheist.”

    Sure, this may just be a brief personal story and there may be some theological objections she doesn’t touch on because it isn’t the goal of the story, but the fact remains: she titled this “Why I’m an Atheist” and didn’t touch on the justification of her position at all. She listed a doctrine she disagrees with, assumed her gut feelinng was right on the matter, and gave the impression her atheism was nothing more than an 8-year olds rejection of religion.

  10. FossilFishy says

    Ah, here’s Philo again, still arrogantly insisting that his parsing of “Why I am an Atheist” is the only correct one. Fantastic.

  11. philo says

    FossilFishy,

    Do you not think the title “Why I am an Atheist” is a nod to philosophers like Bertrand Russell, Colin McGinn, et al?

    This “Why I am an Atheist” series Myers seems to have going on his site may, to you, just be a popular series atheists partake in to share their personal stories, but to people who’ve read atheist philosophers like Russell (and others), this certainly comes off like an obvious literary reference.

    It’s akin to a religious website hosting a “The Atheist Delusion” series, where people share conversations they’ve had with atheists that they find absurd.

  12. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Why assume that your feminist ideals are right?

    Because, althought the bible says otherwise, females are human beings.

    Why assume that Eve’s punishment was a “lie” rather than just those women failing to live up to a biblical principle?

    The Eve hypotheosis is a failed one. We have evidence from geology, anthropology, palaeontology, genetics, microbiology, biology, and a host of other evidence-based disciplines to show that no, all of humanity is not decended from one couple ca 4,004 BCE.

    Maybe I’m being a little harsh, sure, but the one section that *could* have touched on why you’re an atheist (the part where you say you studied philosophy of religion), you (for whatever reason) chose to not expound on, so my criticism stands.

    So because she did not make her argument the way you think appropriate, it is invalid? This is not a church. You do not get to tell others what they have to do.

    This essay is a great example of the arrogance and poor reasoning skills most atheists use in coming to rejecting the existence of God.

    So if she had written exactly the same essay, but had come through it with a stronger belief in gods, would it have been acceptable? Who the fuck are you to say whether someone’s reason for accepting reality and laughing at mythology is correct?

    TL;DR You not liking the Christian religion doesn’t magically mean God doesn’t exist.

    But, if ’twere true, wouldn’t churches be a whole lot different? Would they still have to lie to get and keep adherents?

    She rejects theism on feminist grounds.

    Theism denies the humanity and equality of females. Simple.

    . . . didn’t touch on the justification of her position at all.

    Odd. I thought the essay well-written and that it did a good job of explaining how she got where she is. If you, Philo, do not understand, perhaps you should remove your biblical lenses and godglasses and actually read what what she wrote. This is not the bible. You are not supposed to impose your beliefs on her writings.

  13. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    If your critical thinking in that philosophy of religion class was anything like the critical thinking involved in writing this essay, I’d bet a lot of the class you probably ignored, misunderstood (or both), or were just too busy disagreeing with on prior grounds (i.e. your feminism) that you weren’t open to learning the philosophy behind it to begin with.

    That must be because of her fussy pink lady brain, huh.

    I’m sure manly men would be totally “open minded” and “reasonable” studying the philosophy behind a religion that casually declares them second-class citizens. They’d be like, totally oky-doky with it.

    And of course, they’d never, ever be so emotional as to be motivated one way or another on a subject by how they felt about it. No, no, no.

    Perish the mere thought.

    That’s like the debate about abortion rights. Why are women getting so emotional about completely intellectual and theoretical debate on their right to control their damn bodies, I just can’t fathom.

    It’s akin to a religious website hosting a “The Atheist Delusion” series, where people share conversations they’ve had with atheists that they find absurd.

    You haven’t been around on the intertubes much lately, have you.

  14. 'Tis Himself says

    philo #9

    She rejects theism on feminist grounds. That’s pretty straight-forward, I think. Theism, to her, gets it wrong when it comes to feminist ideals and so there’s an implied message that because atheism doesn’t take this same position, she adopts atheism instead.

    Since there’s two choices here, theism and atheism, if Ms. Goodick rejects theism then there’s nothing left but atheism. There’s the further point that all known brands of theism are inherently anti-feminist so if she embraces feminism then she has no choice but to embrace atheism.

    It’s true there are anti-feminist atheists. But atheism itself doesn’t take a position on feminism. “Gods do not exist” is neither pro- nor anti-feminist.

    She rejects the doctrine the priest is teaching her because something in her just knows it isn’t right. Or at least that’s how she feels. She can’t imagine submitting to a less intelligent sibling, nor does she witness womanly submission in her everyday life, and so rejects it. But do you notice how she doesn’t give a reason for thinking why her observations of the world should supercede the doctrine?

    A theist authority tells her, based on a widely-held theist dogma, that she and all other women must submit to all men (or at least all male relatives). She realizes this dogma must be false for various reasons which she explains, i.e.: She’s not going to submit to her less intelligent brother; boys submit to their mothers; all children submit to their fathers. She informs the priest that his dogma is false and the priest and the teacher get annoyed by a child showing the falsity of their cherished dogma.

    Surely she’ll touch on this later and explain why it’s lie…right?

    She explained why the priest’s anti-feminist dogma was a lie. It was at odds with reality and logic. Something that doesn’t match reality is often called in common parlance a lie.

    Sure, this may just be a brief personal story and there may be some theological objections she doesn’t touch on because it isn’t the goal of the story, but the fact remains: she titled this “Why I’m an Atheist” and didn’t touch on the justification of her position at all.

    Philo, you need to work on your reading comprehension. Either that or argue with Sandra instead of the imaginary atheist who only exists in your head.

    She rejected Catholicism because of an obviously false dogma. Later, when taking a Philosophy of Religion class, she saw that all the Abrahamic religions shared the same dogma. It’s true that she doesn’t explain why she rejects Zensunnism and animism, but I strongly suspect she found similar anti-feminist dogma in all other religions.

    Most religions pretend to be pro-human. “God loves you” is a motto of most religions. So when it’s made obvious god does not love you if you have a vagina, then that’s a good reason to reject those religions which lie about god’s love.

    So what’s left? Mahayana Christianity and Buddhislam only exist in fiction.

  15. says

    Amen to that! As C.C. Moore (creator/editor of Kentucky’s Blue Grass Blade from 1884-1906) said:

    “The story of Genesis shows that it was not the original purpose of God to make any women.”

    And another gooder…

    “The Bible from Genesis to Revelation makes no mention of any woman ever having gone to heaven.”

    Ouch, the Bible was written by douche-nozzles. And…philo, if it’s all made up out of the minds of men, then it’s all simply made up out of the minds of men. Sure, God DOES exist…in the minds of men, and no place else.

  16. says

    What an awesome post Sandra. I can certainly see how those misogynistic religious pigs can turn someone into a feminist real quick.

  17. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    I just realized that I forgot something in my comment: Excellent post. I love that your own humanity led to a rejection of the misogyny of religion.

  18. mackenga says

    Philo:

    She listed a doctrine she disagrees with, assumed her gut feelinng was right on the matter, and gave the impression her atheism was nothing more than an 8-year olds rejection of religion.

    That wasn’t my reading of the post. She may not have quoted the multiple other examples of misogynist sexist bullshit that trickles out of most (if not all) paternalistic, authoritarian group-delusion clubs, but we’re all aware that this one doctrine of Catholicism is not the only, or by a long chalk the worst, example.

    I haven’t contributed to this series, but the reason for my atheism (that it was my default position to start with, and despite some breaks for magical wish-thinking caused by my early inability to assess certain deluded and/or dishonest peoples’ claims, I pretty much kept on gravitating back to the null hypothesis in my exploration of supernatural ideas) would be unlikely to be a major feature of my post if I did. I like the personal stories we see here, and the contributors shouldn’t feel the need to include all the obvious stuff. Fine if some do, and we’ve seen some nice statements of parts of the various arguments here too, but it’s the other stuff that’s non-obvious and keeps me reading this series.

    This post was a nice, clear, tidy clarification of the relationship between feminism and rejection of ‘faith traditions’ and I felt I learned something from it. If it had been a statement of one of the many standard philosophical arguments I might have drifted off and read something else before the end – I probably would have agreed, but it would have been a less interesting read.

  19. camelspotter says

    Misogyny triggered the OP to question her beliefs for the first time. Makes perfect sense to me. And it’s really interesting that an eight year old girl could clearly and instinctively perceive the immorality of those biblical teachings. I guess you can’t fool a smart child into hating herself, not even with the authority of the Catholic church backing you up.

  20. philo says

    “‘Why assume that your feminist ideals are right?’
    Because, althought the bible says otherwise, females are human beings.

    Not much of an argument there. The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be. Despite what gets parroted around on forums, the teaching isn’t advocating demoting women to subhuman status.

    “‘Why assume that Eve’s punishment was a “lie” rather than just those women failing to live up to a biblical principle?’
    The Eve hypotheosis is a failed one. We have evidence from geology, anthropology, palaeontology, genetics, microbiology, biology, and a host of other evidence-based disciplines to show that no, all of humanity is not decended from one couple ca 4,004 BCE.

    Missing the point completely. A YEC interpretation of Genesis isn’t what’s being discussed here. She’s rejecting a doctrine the Catholic church was teaching her regarding the submission of women to men. That doctrine stands alone, and does not depend on a YEC interpretation of Genesis.

    “‘Maybe I’m being a little harsh, sure, but the one section that *could* have touched on why you’re an atheist (the part where you say you studied philosophy of religion), you (for whatever reason) chose to not expound on, so my criticism stands.”
    So because she did not make her argument the way you think appropriate, it is invalid? This is not a church. You do not get to tell others what they have to do.

    I’m not telling anyone what to do. All I’m saying is that this story explains why she’s not Catholic and not why she’s an atheist. As for its validity, yes, I do think that if she gave this story as a reason for thinking God does not exist then her argument would be invalid. But as previous commenters have pointed out (and as I have previously conceded), maybe this story isn’t her reason for thinking there is no God. Maybe she has some other objections.

    “‘This essay is a great example of the arrogance and poor reasoning skills most atheists use in coming to rejecting the existence of God.’
    So if she had written exactly the same essay, but had come through it with a stronger belief in gods, would it have been acceptable? Who the fuck are you to say whether someone’s reason for accepting reality and laughing at mythology is correct?

    Now this is just outright disingenuous. I never even hinted that this thought process is only flawed because it led to atheism. The rationale is flawed (assuming that it is supposed to work as justification for a belief, which it may not) with respect to both atheism and theism. It doesn’t add to or take away from either position. This accusation is of yours is unfounded.

    “‘TL;DR You not liking the Christian religion doesn’t magically mean God doesn’t exist.’
    But, if ’twere true, wouldn’t churches be a whole lot different? Would they still have to lie to get and keep adherents?

    I don’t think churches should lie to “get and keep adherents”. You’re right.

    “‘She rejects theism on feminist grounds.’
    Theism denies the humanity and equality of females. Simple.

    No, it doesn’t. Religion does. Theism has no say in the matter. Your equivocation of “theism” with only Abrahamic religions is mistaken.

    “‘… didn’t touch on the justification of her position at all.’
    Odd. I thought the essay well-written and that it did a good job of explaining how she got where she is. If you, Philo, do not understand, perhaps you should remove your biblical lenses and godglasses and actually read what what she wrote. This is not the bible. You are not supposed to impose your beliefs on her writings.

    I don’t disagree that it’s well written, I disagree that it establishes a rational justification for her atheism. But again, as has been stated by myself and others, she very well may have other reasons that make her position rationally justified, and this may just be an interesting personal story. I like that you just assume I’m some theist with a Bible-based background, though. Note: every objection I’ve made could also have been made by an atheist. These are general criticisms that don’t seek to discredit atheism or establish theism- they’re criticisms of what appear to be her reasons for being an atheist.

  21. says

    Philo:
    Do you understand the difference between a short personal story and an exhaustive philosophical treatise?

    * reads Philo’s comments above*

    Oh, I see that you don’t.

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, the old “sophistimicated theology” dodge by Philo. Here’s the thing Philo, nobody needs to study theology or the philosophy of religion in order to reject religion. If one disbelieves in all deities, all theology is irrelevant, along with the associated philosophy, since it requires the twin fallacies of an imaginary deity, and a holy book not being a work of mythology/fiction. There is no evidence for deities. That is one of many reasons, including the one propounded by SG, that is sufficient for rejecting deities. All reasons a person consider sufficient will do. You might not approve, but why should we care what you think?

  23. Matt Penfold says

    Not much of an argument there. The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be. Despite what gets parroted around on forums, the teaching isn’t advocating demoting women to subhuman status.

    Yes it is. Why did you say something so silly ?

    You are aware of the RCC’s position on birth control and abortion, so ignorance is no defence. You are simply being dishonest.

  24. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    I wish I’d been that smart of an 8 year old. It took me years after that age to reject catholicism, but I just moved on to wishy-washy spiritualism, then wicca, before growing up enough to drop it all. Embracing the atheist label was something I did only after reading Pharyngula for a while.
    As an 8 year old, feminism wasn’t something I knew anything about as a philosophy. It just seemed self evident from the examples of my mother and sisters: working, going to school, being independent. Learning that others weren’t as lucky was kind of a shock. I can see how with feminism and atheism one could lead to the other.
    Thank you Sandra for sharing your story.

  25. Matt Penfold says

    Or of you want an example outside of Catholocism, how about the failure still of the Church of England to allow woman to become bishops and the demands of a significant and vocal element within the CofE to be excused have to be “subjected” to female bishops if and when they are permitted.

    Or how about the time or took, and the furore over allowing women to become priests in the first place ?

  26. eigenperson says

    According to the post, she was told by Father Tim that as a result of the Fall of Man, women would submit to men for all time. She pointed out that this was not, in fact, what happened. Therefore, what Father Tim said was not true.

    Philo, is there something about this that you don’t understand?

    I like that you just assume I’m some theist with a Bible-based background, though.

    If you’re not a theist with a Bible-based background, then what is your excuse for your complete failure to understand or produce logical arguments?

    I sure hope this is not how they taught you to “argue” at whatever second-rate school you went to.

  27. KG says

    She’s rejecting a doctrine the Catholic church was teaching her regarding the submission of women to men. That doctrine stands alone, and does not depend on a YEC interpretation of Genesis. – philo

    The justification given in the Bible is, precisely, the Genesis story. What else does this vile doctrine stand on, other than the self-interest of the overwhelmingly male hierarchies of all the main Christian and Jewish denominations?

    Theism denies the humanity and equality of females. Simple.

    No, it doesn’t. Religion does. Theism has no say in the matter. Your equivocation of “theism” with only Abrahamic religions is mistaken.

    If religion does, then clearly theism does, as theism is a subset of religion. For one so far up their own fundament as you about your own rationality, this is a remarkably elementary point to miss.

  28. camelspotter says

    Interpreting the Eve story metaphorically doesn’t get you very far in terms of plausibility.

    It’s either (1) Literal version: “Once upon a timez, in teh Perfect Garden Mr Universe told Ms Eve not to eat teh Magickal Apple, but Mr Talking Snake told her to, and Mr Adam joinz in.” or (2) Metaphorical version: “Today I Learned that Mr Universe says that women are intrinsically more sinful that men”.

    So which is it?

  29. says

    Phido:

    So Catholicism doesn’t mesh well with your inner feminist- so what? Why assume that your feminist ideals are right?

    Because she has the temerity to believe she’s a full human being. Obviously you disagree with that, and you also believe “Eve’s punishment” is a valid concept, meaning you don’t believe women are fully human; i.e., you’re a misogynist shitstain.

    If your critical thinking in that philosophy of religion class was anything like the critical thinking involved in writing this essay, I’d bet a lot of the class you probably ignored, misunderstood (or both), or were just too busy disagreeing with on prior grounds (i.e. your feminism) that you weren’t open to learning the philosophy behind it to begin with.

    And a patronizing mansplainer, to boot.

    This “Why I am an Atheist” series Myers seems to have going on his site may, to you, just be a popular series atheists partake in to share their personal stories, but to people who’ve read atheist philosophers like Russell (and others), this certainly comes off like an obvious literary reference.

    I must have missed the memo that any literary allusion must be backed up with content on an academic par with the literature being alluded to.

    But do you notice how she doesn’t give a reason for thinking why her observations of the world should supercede the doctrine?

    To echo Kemist at #14, I rather doubt you’d have expected a man to give such a reason. His observations of the world, you’d take without a grain of salt. The observations of a silly liddle gurly-brain? Nuh-uh-uh, missy! Why don’t you leave the observin’ to the menz. You’re just too emotional for that job.

    The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be. Despite what gets parroted around on forums, the teaching isn’t advocating demoting women to subhuman status.

    Any teaching that differentiates between the “ordained roles” of men and women, and which sets up the former to have more authority than the latter, demotes women to a de facto subhuman status. You can pretend otherwise all you like. I could bombard you with hyperlinks showing you why you’re wrong, except that the spam filter wouldn’t let me and, honestly, you’re not worth the effort.

  30. philo says

    “Ah, the old “sophistimicated theology” dodge by Philo. Here’s the thing Philo, nobody needs to study theology or the philosophy of religion in order to reject religion. If one disbelieves in all deities, all theology is irrelevant, along with the associated philosophy, since it requires the twin fallacies of an imaginary deity, and a holy book not being a work of mythology/fiction.”

    I’m not saying one needs to study theology or philosophy to disbelieve. If anything, I’m saying one needs to study theology (or at least some sort of philosophy) in order to have objections that rationally justify their disbelief. Not believing due to lack of interest on the matter is much different than not believing because of good reasons, and I feel like you’re trying to blur the lines here.

    “There is no evidence for deities. That is one of many reasons, including the one propounded by SG, that is sufficient for rejecting deities. All reasons a person consider sufficient will do. You might not approve, but why should we care what you think?”

    This is a popular line that gets thrown around a lot but I think if you really take a minute to consider what this means it seems trivially untrue. While I disagree with this claim, let’s, for the sake of argument, assume you’re right: there’s absolutely no evidence for the existence of God. Well now given this, then, how do we explain god belief? Keep in mind, we’re assuming there is no evidence whatever for the the existence of God. We therefore cannot refer to things like Freudian desire, fear, unscientific reasoning involving appeals to the supernatural, etc as these could all be considered (albeit poor) “evidence”.

    I think a better way to put this is that there’s no evidence that, upon examination, compels one to god belief, but surely that’s different than there being no evidence. Anyway, this is beside the point. This discussion isn’t about the evidence for theism, it’s about Sandra’s story of how she came to be an atheist.

  31. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    @eigenperson I would like to point out in fairness, that it might not be the school’s fault that philo is incapable of producing coherent arguments with a solid basis. No matter how good the school or how much they try, there are some who refuse to learn.

  32. Marc Abian says

    But do you notice how she doesn’t give a reason for thinking why her observations of the world should supercede the doctrine?

    Spoken like a true theist.

  33. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    philo people believe in aliens, the loch ness monster and various other absurdities that have no good evidence for them either. Just because people believe in things does not make them likely to be true.

    And yes. This is Sandra’s story, which you are failing to understand, or deliberately attempting to misrepresent. So which is it?

  34. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m saying one needs to study theology (or at least some sort of philosophy) in order to have objections that rationally justify their disbelief.

    Nope, bullshit all the way through, and you know that if you thought about it for five seconds. For example, I have all the rational justification needed with the lack of evidence for deities. NO god, no religion, period, end of story. You appear to be very dense. Try again, and make some real sense by losing a ton of presuppositions.

    Well now given this, then, how do we explain god belief?

    Ever hear of indoctrination. Boy, are one non-thinker.

  35. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Not much of an argument there. The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be. Despite what gets parroted around on forums, the teaching isn’t advocating demoting women to subhuman status.

    Nothing at all demeaning about commanding that wives submit to their husbands.

    Fuck you.

  36. Matt Penfold says

    I’m not saying one needs to study theology or philosophy to disbelieve. If anything, I’m saying one needs to study theology (or at least some sort of philosophy) in order to have objections that rationally justify their disbelief. Not believing due to lack of interest on the matter is much different than not believing because of good reasons, and I feel like you’re trying to blur the lines here.

    Only to the extent of understanding the scientific method and the null hypothesis.

    Given there is no evidence for a god there is no reason for believing one exists.

    The scientific method is not theology. It is philosophy, but I most people will have not studied it via philosophy classed, but in science classes.

  37. says

    If anything, I’m saying one needs to study theology (or at least some sort of philosophy) in order to have objections that rationally justify their disbelief.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Courtier's_Reply

    Keep in mind, we’re assuming there is no evidence whatever for the the existence of God. We therefore cannot refer to things like Freudian desire, fear, unscientific reasoning involving appeals to the supernatural, etc as these could all be considered (albeit poor) “evidence”.

    Leaving aside Freud, whose work is not precisely scientific, all human beings experience some kind of desire and some kind of fear. These emotions help keep us alive and help us reproduce. We can perceive that other people experience those states because of how they’re driven to act, and sometimes due to physiological changes like increased heartbeat or perspiration. This doesn’t mean that anything perceived in such an emotional state is necessarily existent or valid.

  38. Matt Penfold says

    This is a popular line that gets thrown around a lot but I think if you really take a minute to consider what this means it seems trivially untrue. While I disagree with this claim, let’s, for the sake of argument, assume you’re right: there’s absolutely no evidence for the existence of God. Well now given this, then, how do we explain god belief? Keep in mind, we’re assuming there is no evidence whatever for the the existence of God. We therefore cannot refer to things like Freudian desire, fear, unscientific reasoning involving appeals to the supernatural, etc as these could all be considered (albeit poor) “evidence”.

    Forget for the sake of argument. There is no evidence for the existence of god.

    If you think you have evidence, please provide some.

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and Philo, evidence for your imaginary deity must be solid, conclusive, and physical. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Philosophical mental wankings need not apply. Something equivalent to the eternally burning bush.

    Last sentence in #37should read: Boy, you are…

  40. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Where can I get a certificate that proves to philo that I put in enough time stdying philosophy and theology to justify my disbelieve in any diety?

  41. philo says

    “Nope, bullshit all the way through, and you know that if you thought about it for five seconds. For example, I have all the rational justification needed with the lack of evidence for deities. NO god, no religion, period, end of story.

    I have thought about this for five seconds. Actually, I’ve thought about this for a little longer than five seconds. I’ve been thinking about this for going on about five years now. In fact, that’s partly why, unlike your assertion, I know better than to think an absence of evidence is evidence of absence. A claim like that may fly on YouTube but it doesn’t work in the real world. Also, given the tone of your objection, it’s unlikely you’ve given the evidence an honest consideration. Or at least that’s how it appears.

    “Well now given this, then, how do we explain god belief?”
    Ever hear of indoctrination. Boy, are one non-thinker.

    Perhaps I should have clarified on my use of “evidence”. I’m using evidence in the following manner:

    “ground for belief or disbelief…” (source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/evidence)

    On this basis, indoctrination qualifies as “evidence” because its epistemic foundation is grounded on it. And before you go running off thinking I’ve said indoctrination qualifies as evidence, note the following distinction: this kind of “evidence” means something much different than the kind of evidence used to prove or disprove something.

    By “evidence”, I don’t mean this is somehow similar to evidence that would be used in court. It’s a much more general definition.

  42. Matt Penfold says

    Perhaps I should have clarified on my use of “evidence”. I’m using evidence in the following manner:

    Yes you should have done. Not doing so was dishonest of you. I note that you are making a habit of being less than honest. What theological justification do you have for lying ?

  43. raven says

    But do you notice how she doesn’t give a reason for thinking why her observations of the world should supercede the doctrine?

    Because the magic holy doctrine is just some fairy tales made up by a bunch of people a few thousand years ago.

    It’s as real as a Harry Potter story or the Lord of the Rings and comes from the same source, human imagination.

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Where can I get a certificate that proves to philo that I put in enough time stdying philosophy and theology to justify my disbelieve in any diety?

    Yours for the asking with any purchase of grog and swill at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor, official paper from the College of Pullet Philosophy, Patricia, Princess of Pullets, President.

  45. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    In fact, that’s partly why, unlike your assertion, I know better than to think an absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    Amazing how many times this one comes up.

    And you think that we have not heard it many times before? Ah, you poor deluded fool.

  46. gragra says

    If anything, I’m saying one needs to study theology (or at least some sort of philosophy) in order to have objections that rationally justify their disbelief.

    I take it you’re not a muslim. Did you study at a madrassa before you came up with rational reasons to reject Islam?

  47. raven says

    Where can I get a certificate that proves to philo that I put in enough time stdying philosophy and theology to justify my disbelieve in any diety?

    You don’t need one. He does.

    That the gods exist is a positive truth claim. It is up to him to prove it, not up to anyone to disprove it.

    He can’t do it. That the gods exist is unfalsifiable. It is also unprovable. No on has ever been able to prove it.

    What we can say is that any falsifiable truth claims made by religionists have been falsified. The earth isn’t 6,000 years old, isn’t flat, orbits the sun, and Noah didn’t have a boatload full of dinosaurs.

  48. philo says

    “Leaving aside Freud, whose work is not precisely scientific, all human beings experience some kind of desire and some kind of fear. These emotions help keep us alive and help us reproduce. We can perceive that other people experience those states because of how they’re driven to act, and sometimes due to physiological changes like increased heartbeat or perspiration. This doesn’t mean that anything perceived in such an emotional state is necessarily existent or valid.”

    Agreed. I’ve clarified my use of “evidence” in my response to Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls #37. I’m using “evidence” in a much more general sense. Because talk about differing uses/meanings may lead into an awfully long discussion, I’ll simply refer you to a link and you can give it a read should you want to look into it a little more: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evidence/

  49. Matt Penfold says

    In fact, that’s partly why, unlike your assertion, I know better than to think an absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    That is all very good, but for one problem. It is wrong.

    Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. If, after many attempts to show something exists you have not succeeded in coming up with any evidence that it does, then it is quite reasonable to conclude that the reason is because it does not exist.

    This is how science works at lot of the time. Why do you now know this ?

  50. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Not much of an argument there. The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be. Despite what gets parroted around on forums, the teaching isn’t advocating demoting women to subhuman status.

    I see you haven’t read the horrible thing yourself.

    Or else, we don’t have the same definition of “oppressive”.

    I consider a command to let fathers, husbands and fucking brothers (my brother is ten years younger to me, and I remember changing hi fucking diapers) decide what’s best for me plenty oppressive, cupcake. Ditto for being considered on the same line as fucking cattle.

    Or are you in the “separate/different but equal” camp ?

    If so, fuck you, bub.

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    it’s unlikely you’ve given the evidence an honest consideration. Or at least that’s how it appears.

    What evidence???? Mental wanking isn’t evidence, it is OPINION.

    It’s a much more general definition.

    I’m a scientist in real life, so I understand evidence, unlike you. Your mental wanking OPINION on what constitutes evidence is false. Try again with a reality check.

  52. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ll simply refer you to a link and you can give it a read should you want to look into it a little more: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evidence/

    I defined evidence in #42, and I’m not budging one nanometer. Mental wanking conclusions aren’t evidence, but OPINION, that may or may not have a basis in reality. You obviously have trouble with reality, and appear to live in a delusional world where word games, not evidence, rule.

  53. raven says

    Not much of an argument there. The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be.

    This is really dumb.

    Why should any human accept any level of oppression based on inborn characteristics they have no control over.

    In point of fact, under US law they don’t have to and it isn’t even legal to force them to.

  54. philo says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform,

    I love that the link for “proud and boastful ignorance” on that Courtier link you shared directs to a page on Sarah Palin. Spot on! :D

  55. pamoyas says

    I love your post, Sandra. My catalyst moment is similar. I was raised Mormon. I attended public school, and one day at school my teacher told us that Mormons had practiced polygamy, with one man marrying more than one woman (but not, of course, the other way around). To my nine-year-old self, this practice was self-evidently sexist–and, I thought, not true. I had never heard of this happening in Mormonism, and (raised in not-Utah) I was acutely aware that my religion was strange to others and expected people to tell me bad things about it that were not true. I told the teacher she was wrong. I don’t remember what she said back to me, probably because I was self-righteously sure that she was making this up.

    When I went home and told my mom about the lies my teacher was telling about Mormons, my mom had to tell me they weren’t lies. Some Mormons believed polygamy would be practiced again in the Celestial Kingdom.

    Since my parents expected me to be Mormon and go to church every week, I experienced many more years of sexist thinking in the Mormon church. I’m sorry I have to explain this, but as a woman these things were obviously not true to me: I recognized that I was smart, ambitious, and not especially nurturing (though some women are, the idea that all women are nurturing was clearly ridiculous). I could think of no good reason why there should be any different expectations or opportunities for me than for a man.

    After rejecting the religion I grew up with, it was a _lot_ easier to reject all the others! I can’t say that I studied every existing religion before I rejected it–I don’t think that is necessary. At that point, it became obvious that religion was a social construct passed down from parents to their children; binding people together in a way that they would feel connected to people in their own religion and superior to others who didn’t share their religion.

    With thousands of religions to choose from, none was more obviously correct than any others. I could not conceive that there was a God who would expect you to pick the right one (or for some religions, be punished for all eternity if you picked wrong). It was clear to me that believers, not atheists, had the extraordinary claims that required proof: first, that God even existed and second, that God wanted you to do things this way, and not that way.

  56. Matt Penfold says

    I defined evidence in #42, and I’m not budging one nanometer. Mental wanking conclusions aren’t evidence, but OPINION, that may or may not have a basis in reality. You obviously have trouble with reality, and appear to live in a delusional world where word games, not evidence, rule.

    Well we can but hope he decides to test his concept of evidence by testing the theory of gravity whilst atop a tall building. After there is no evidence humans cannot grow wings instantaneously is there ? I mean, I know we have never seen such a thing happen, and all we know about human biology tells us it will not happen, but there no actual evidence that shows we cannot is there ? Therefore it seems quite reasonable to conclude humans are capable of growing wings!

  57. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    I loved Sandra’s essay; I thought it was really interesting and well-written.

    I’m not sure what Phido is doing in this thread. It’s like he’s fiercely and passionately arguing to prove how utterly stupid he is. And if he’s just trying to fuck with Teh Horde for the hell of it, then the fool is in for a lambasting. (Phido, here’s the link for the definition of “lambaste”: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lambaste)

    The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be.

    “Isn’t as oppressive”… So, it’s just a a little oppressive; therefore, we little laydeez shouldn’t complain about it? It’s really not so bad after all…?

  58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how Cat-O-Lick apologists always go the mental masturbation route, rather than the hard evidence route. Almost like they know they have lost the argument, but with some smoke, mirrors, and fast talking they might be able to deflect you from noticing the obvious. Not at this blog, where we see this bullshit on a regular basis. Philo is in deep doo doo, and we know it.

  59. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    The Christian doctrine of female submission isn’t as oppressive as I think you’d like it to be.

    I don’t want any oppression at all. Any oppression of my fellow humans based on race, sex, disability, ethnicity, religion, lack of religion, anything, is unacceptable.

    Claiming that traditional Christianity is not misogynistic means to me that you have not actually read the bible. Or listened to most of the modern Christian sects and their take on abortion, divorce, rape, spousal rape, child marriage, etc. (different sects have different views on these subjects which concern women’s rights, but, save for a few sects, the position taken is usually one that discriminates against women).

  60. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Is there a term for an argument that is fallacious because it requires that words are tortured and mugged of their meaning?

    We get that a lot here.

  61. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Is there a term for an argument that is fallacious because it requires that words are tortured and mugged of their meaning?

    Argument from nonstandard definitions?

  62. philo says

    “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. If, after many attempts to show something exists you have not succeeded in coming up with any evidence that it does, then it is quite reasonable to conclude that the reason is because it does not exist.”

    I understand the appeal of being able to write off the existence of something which has no evidence but I think there are good reasons for believing that this method is mistaken. I’ll list the reasons as briefly as I can and then sketch out an example, and hopefully it’ll elucidate my point.

    “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” doesn’t work because:

    Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.

    Example: The existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. As it stands, we have no evidence that justifies believing intelligent extra-terrestrial life exists elsewhere in the universe (some may argue we have good reasons for thinking so, which I would tend to agree with, so probably this should be reworded to mean we have no physical evidence at least). All of the evidence for life in the universe that we do have has come from our own planet. If we employ this line of reasoning (“an absence of evidence is evidence of absence”) then the apparent non sequitur “Therefore, there are no other intelligent life forms elsewhere in the universe.” follows. But surely this doesn’t seem right. Our having no evidence for intelligent extra-terrestrial life doesn’t necessarily mean there is no life to be found. A possible explanation for this absence of evidence could be that we just haven’t found it yet.

    Reason 2) Using this line of thought irrationally negates the truth of a proposition.

    Example: Suppose Casey murders Caylee. Furthermore, suppose Casey murders Caylee in such a way that during the investigation no incriminating evidence is found to tie her to Caylee’s murder. Given that the proposition,

    P1: Caylee was murdered by Casey.

    is true if Casey really did murder her, and is not true if she did not, consider what happens when we employ this line of reasoning to the situation:

    There is no evidence that Casey murdered Caylee.
    Therefore, ~P1 (or, “Casey did not murder Caylee.”)

    It doesn’t hold up. Sure, the lack of evidence may be enough to get Casey a “not guilty” verdict, but this is much different than making the negation of the proposition,

    P1: Caylee was murdered by Casey.

    true. It is still true that Caylee was murdered by Casey. The truth of the proposition does not change (or does not become negated, rather) simply because an investigation yields nothing.

  63. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    So, Philo, which religion should we follow using this “proof”?

  64. philo says

    “So, Philo, which religion should we follow using this “proof”?”

    I’m not here to promote any one religion.

  65. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Of course not. You are here to lecture us that we should not reject religion, even if there is no fucking proof. How fucking dare Sandra reject Catholicism, it does not opress women that much.

    Bored now…

  66. Pteryxx says

    …So Philo, you’re just here to crap on some woman’s story for not measuring up to your personal standards of something it wasn’t even intended to be? Take your definitions and stuff’em.

  67. KG says

    We therefore cannot refer to things like Freudian desire, fear, unscientific reasoning involving appeals to the supernatural, etc as these could all be considered (albeit poor) “evidence”. – philo

    Not by anyone with any sense. However, if you insist on redfining evidence in this way, what do you think you have gained? The statement that there is “no evidence” can simply be modified to “no evidence worth taking seriously”. If you, or anyone else, had any such evidence for the existence of any god, it would presumably have been presented for examination by now. What do we get instead? Stories of personal experience, unverifiable by others an d often mututally contradictory; accounts of alleged miracles that never stand up to examination; “sacred” literature that claims to be authored or inspired by a god, but shows every sign of human composition; the “fine tuning” argument, which only proves that since we exist, the universe has to be such that we can live in it; and a variety of logical sleights-of-hand such as the ontological and cosmological arguments. Pfft. Theists have had thousands of years to come up with something better, and have an unrelieved record of complete and ignominious failure. If you dispute this, present what you consider to be the strongest evidence.

    I have thought about this for five seconds. Actually, I’ve thought about this for a little longer than five seconds. I’ve been thinking about this for going on about five years now.

    Very likely, and rather sad.

    In fact, that’s partly why, unlike your assertion, I know better than to think an absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    That depends on what it’s absence of evidence for. Admittedly, if we posit a god that is determined to remain undetected, then absence of evidence is not evidence of absence – but as in the case of fairies, banshees, werewolves and similar denizens of the supernatural realms, we are none the less justified in not believing in such a being, although not in saying – as very few atheists do – that we can have absolute certainty in the matter. But if we consider, for example, the Christian god, this fellow is supposed to be omnipotent, benevolent, and keen both to be believed in, and to have a close, loving, personal relationship with each of us. Absence of evidence in this case most certainly is quite overwhelming evidence of absence. As it turns out, Kurt Vonnegut had to invent the Church of God Utterly Indifferent, because no real religions posit such a deity.

  68. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Pteryxx, Philo is here to crap because we do not show the proper respect for all religious beliefs. Philo is here to show off how superior he is to all of the closed minded atheists.

  69. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    There is no evidence that Casey murdered Caylee.
    Therefore, ~P1 (or, “Casey did not murder Caylee.”)

    It doesn’t hold up. Sure, the lack of evidence may be enough to get Casey a “not guilty” verdict, but this is much different than making the negation of the proposition,

    But it does make it wrong of you to act as if it were true.

    Science is different from the courtroom, but in essence, acting as if something exists when you have not evidence thereof is plain stupid, just as if acting as if you know someone is a murderer when you have no evidence is wrong.

    So until and unless you bring evidence for you particular flavor of god, the most rational course of action for me is to act as if it doesn’t exist, i.e., de facto atheism.

    If you bring me evidence that the horrible monster actually exists, then my most rational and noble course of action becomes making it the purpose of my life to destroy it since it offends my innate sense of justice.

    Simple, really.

  70. KG says

    Incidentally, philo, I consider that the absence of evidence for intelligent extraterrestrial life is evidence – strong though not conclusive – that there is no such life in the local group of galaxies at least, or at any rate, none that has been around for very long on cosmic timescales and still exists*. As Fermi put it:

    Where is everybody?

    With regard to non-intelligent extraterrestrial life, on the other hand, absence of evidence is not (yet) evidence of absence, because we have not yet undertaken the research that would be necessary to find it, even if it is very common.

    *I expect disagreement from many fellow-atheists on this point, but I consider that this is based on wishful thinking.

  71. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    With regard to non-intelligent extraterrestrial life, on the other hand, absence of evidence is not (yet) evidence of absence, because we have not yet undertaken the research that would be necessary to find it, even if it is very common.

    We do, however, at least have a clue as to what we can look for — reducing atmosphere, for instance, would be a dead giveaway that a certain form of life existed on that planet.

    For gods, however, other than evidence of actual intersection with the measurable world (which we have looked for and have conspicuously failed to find), there is nothing for which we can look.

  72. KG says

    We do, however, at least have a clue as to what we can look for — reducing atmosphere, for instance, would be a dead giveaway that a certain form of life existed on that planet. – Ogvorbis

    Eh? The giant planets of our solar system all have a reducing atmosphere, surely?

  73. Rey Fox says

    I’m not here to promote any one religion.

    Of course not. You’re just Asking Questions. *thbbbt*

  74. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Eh? The giant planets of our solar system all have a reducing atmosphere, surely?

    Sorry. My bad. Oxygen atmosphere is what I meant to write. Long day. I’m getting old. History major. My knee hurts. Er, stop me when you accept one of these excuses . . . .

    If should have read,

    We do, however, at least have a clue as to what we can look for — atmosphere with free oxygen, for instance, would be a dead giveaway that a certain form of life existed on that planet.

  75. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    We do, however, at least have a clue as to what we can look for — atmosphere with free oxygen, for instance, would be a dead giveaway that a certain form of life existed on that planet

    Well, for me, considering the existence of extromophiles right here on earth, presence of liquid water would be a sufficient criteria to start looking.

  76. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Well, for me, considering the existence of extromophiles right here on earth, presence of liquid water would be a sufficient criteria to start looking.

    Oh, definitely. Liquid water would make life much more probable.

    Hm. Europa would be a good place to start.

  77. Agent Silversmith, Post Palladium Isotope says

    I’ve never needed any other reason for rejecting god than the “clear and obvious bullshit” one.

    Theories are supported by facts, and every fact must fit in with a web of other facts. Religion wants to be its own damned spider. Trying to reconcile it with science only leads to increasingly absurd excuses, or complete abominations of thought like creationism.

    A super-powerful celestial lord should be shaping the cosmos like gravity shapes light. But there’s no evidence of any shape, shadow, influence, fingerprint, you name it. Not a skerrick. What’s the chance that scientists, with no preconception of god, would derive from their findings so much as a tentative hypothesize that a divine being might be necessary for how the cosmos is? Almost certainly none.

  78. Pteryxx says

    and I’m late to this and incoherent from lack of sleep, so here’s rambling.

    The whole premise “Women must submit” is obviously crap. Even if it were practiced perfectly, it’d still be crap. When I was a little kid in fundie school, I *saw* many examples of a man trying to deal with some problem while ignoring or dismissing help because that help was offered by women. The woman was supposed to sit silently by until the man directed her in what to do, even if the man didn’t know what he was doing and the woman did – the woman was supposed to immediately stop working on whatever it was and become an adjunct of a less experienced man. We had potlucks in our sect, and invariably afterward, the men retired to sit around and chat while the women did all the clean-up. Obviously the dishes would get done faster if everyone helped, and then *everyone* could rest on this supposed day of rest? Obviously, it would be fair and charitable to at least take turns, or for the men to do the washing since the women already did all the cooking? But I don’t see anything holy, worthy or loving about a doctrine of unfairness. It makes a whole class of behaviors okay when boys do them and sinful when girls do the exact same things, even when those are beneficial, loving things like helping and teaching, or even just talking. Women are just supposed to be inherently sinful no matter how much good they do, and that’s bullshit even *within* a doctrine supposedly about love and forgiveness.

    p.s.: And God fucked up. If women (via Eve) are responsible for sin existing in the world, then God should’ve sent Jesus to be born as a woman, die horribly and painfully in childbirth, and by that act remove the onus of Original Sin and the suffering of childbirth from all women forever. So if it weren’t for misogyny, we’d’ve been living in a better world already. >_>

  79. A. R says

    Extremephiles: Wonder of Titan supports some kind of liquid methane-dependent life…

  80. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    And God fucked up. If women (via Eve) are responsible for sin existing in the world, then God should’ve sent Jesus to be born as a woman, die horribly and painfully in childbirth, and by that act remove the onus of Original Sin and the suffering of childbirth from all women forever.

    [humour]Gods tried that. About 400 times. And no matter how good her message was, Julia Christa was told to shut up and be a good woman — cook, clean up, get pregnant, serve silently. Four hundred or so times — dying in child birth each and every time. That’s when gods gave up and incarnated as a man. And people listened. Still got it all wrong, but they at least listened, right?[/humour]

  81. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    It was the declarations of the Anglican Church of Canada that they’d never let women be priests that decisively drove me away from them.

    Markita, two things.

    First, it is obvious that you did not do enough studying of philosophy and theology to make up your mind on this issue.

    Second, that is not as opressive as you would like to think it is.

    Amiright, philo?

  82. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Philo, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. It’s just not proof of absence. However, given enough lack of evidence, the truth that the non-evident does not exist becomes highly probable.

    Call it the Cheney/Rice proof of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

  83. eigenperson says

    I thought the Cheney/Rice argument was:

    Possibility 1: There is evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Therefore, there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    Possibility 2: There is no evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Therefore, Saddam is trying to hide the fact that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

  84. camelspotter says

    Call it Bayesian updating: whatever your prior probability that something is out there, if you’ve searched like hell everywhere it possibly could be, then it almost certainly isn’t there.

    Assuming your magnetometer isn’t faulty of course.

  85. says

    Pteryxx:

    And God fucked up. If women (via Eve) are responsible for sin existing in the world, then God should’ve sent Jesus to be born as a woman, die horribly and painfully in childbirth, and by that act remove the onus of Original Sin and the suffering of childbirth from all women forever. So if it weren’t for misogyny, we’d’ve been living in a better world already. >_>

    I. LOVE. THIS.

    You need a Molly for this alone.

  86. KG says

    Liquid water would make life much more probable.

    Hm. Europa would be a good place to start. – Ogvorbis

    Enceladus is easier: water is thought to be spraying out of the cracks in the icy surface layer from a subsurface ocean, so a probe can fly through the plume and look for (presumably ex-) lifeforms. My hunch is that there would prove to be none, but it’s certainly worth a shot.

  87. Matt Penfold says

    I understand the appeal of being able to write off the existence of something which has no evidence but I think there are good reasons for believing that this method is mistaken. I’ll list the reasons as briefly as I can and then sketch out an example, and hopefully it’ll elucidate my point.

    Good, have a go then. I hope it will elucidate your point and not just waste my time.

    Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.

    Oh dear. We are not off to a good start. All knowledge is provisional. Indeed, a central tenet of the scientific method is that just that.

    Reason 2) Using this line of thought irrationally negates the truth of a proposition.

    ]

    This is just gibberish.

    Well that was easy. Why did you think you could get away with this. Are you stupid ? Do you think we are stupid ?

    You have lied three times now, if not more. Once would be enough to label you a lying scumbag. What do you think lying three times should get you labelled as ?

  88. Matt Penfold says

    Philo,

    And we are still waiting for your evidence (proper evidence that is) for the existence of god. You claimed you had some, and we asked you to provide it. Your silence suggests you have none, so that would lie #4.

    Not doing very well when it comes to be honest are you ?

  89. camelspotter says

    #67 – this example calls for some Bayesian statistics. Stand back, this could get messy.

    Hypothesis H1: God exists
    Hypothesis H2: God does not exist

    Evidence E: we observe a lack of evidence for God

    Bayes (and Laplace) tell us: p(H|E) = p(E|H) p(H) / p(E)

    p(E|H) means “the probability of observing evidence E given that hypothesis H is true”
    p(H) is our initial guess that hypothesis H is true
    p(E) is the probability of observing evidence E no matter which hypothesis is true
    p(H|E) is our new estimate that hypothesis H is true after taking account of evidence E

    Now before we start we have to provide our initial guesses about the probabilities that H1 or H2 are true, so let’s say initially we’re undecided: p(H1) = 0.5 and p(H2) = 0.5. Now let’s try to update our beliefs based on evidence E:

    p(E|H1) = ??? <== this value is unknown
    p(E|H2) = 1.0 <== obviously if there's no God there cannot be evidence, so the probability is 1.0
    p(H1) = 0.5 <== our initial guess
    p(H2) = 0.5 <== our initial guess
    p(E) = p(E|H1)*p(H1) + p(E|H2)*p(H2) = ??? * 0.5 + 1.0 * 0.5

    The first value, p(E|H1), is unknown, i.e. we don't know the probability of having no evidence for God given that God exists. If this probability is low we are saying that if God exists, then we really should see evidence for it. If it's high, then we're saying that, as far as we know, even if a God exists there is a good chance that we still won't be able to discover any evidence.

    So when someone says "absence of evidence is (not) evidence of absence" they are really telling you what they think about the value of p(E|H1).

  90. says

    Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.

    Could we get a list of those things? I wouldn’t want to dismiss any ideas prematurely.

  91. Matt Penfold says

    Incidentally, philo, I consider that the absence of evidence for intelligent extraterrestrial life is evidence – strong though not conclusive – that there is no such life in the local group of galaxies at least, or at any rate, none that has been around for very long on cosmic timescales and still exists

    Exactly. I don’t think anyone would consider conclusions drawn from the lack of evidence are as strong as conclusions that can be drawn when there is evidence, but it is still evidence. Where it not, then we would have to say that the question of whether there is life in the local group is unresolved, when in fact whilst we have no certainty (something unobtainable outside of maths anyway) we can say with some confidence there is no life.

  92. camelspotter says

    PS I suppose p(E|H2) isn’t really exactly 1.0 either, because we could have a ‘false positive’ (like the argument from design) and call something evidence for God when it’s not.

  93. Matt Penfold says

    The first value, p(E|H1), is unknown, i.e. we don’t know the probability of having no evidence for God given that God exists. If this probability is low we are saying that if God exists, then we really should see evidence for it. If it’s high, then we’re saying that, as far as we know, even if a God exists there is a good chance that we still won’t be able to discover any evidence.

    I get your general point, but when it comes to the existence of god, at least the god typically worshipped, then by definition there is evidence and that evidence can be found. Therefore when no such evidence is found, it becomes evidence that god does not exist.

    I have previously addressed the problems of there being no evidence when god does not interact with the Universe, but then it is not clear such an entity can truly be considered a god anyway.

  94. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.

    But until evidence is found (such as animals that feed on sulfer compounds around ocean floor vents, such as the finely bedded strata with no bioturbation or trace fossils right at the Permian/Triassic boundary, such as the rings of Saturn) for an idea or an object, the absence of evidence can be taken as evidence of absence. Once evidence is found, you have evidence of presence and can then proceed to the next steps.

    if you’ve searched like hell everywhere it possibly could be, then it almost certainly isn’t there.

    Assuming your magnetometer isn’t faulty of course.

    Also assuming you haven’t been testing walkie-talkies that operate on the same frequency as your oven in which you are baking the PT boundary cores to remove overprint.

  95. Matt Penfold says

    Also assuming you haven’t been testing walkie-talkies that operate on the same frequency as your oven in which you are baking the PT boundary cores to remove overprint.

    I know you are kidding here, but scientists of course do give consideration as to why they did not find evidence when looking for it. It is not as though they get a negative result and give up. The look to see if the experiment was flawed, or that there maybe some something they thought they understood but don’t.

    Philo seems to be pretty ignorant that scientists do these things.

  96. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    I know you are kidding here, but scientists of course do give consideration as to why they did not find evidence when looking for it. It is not as though they get a negative result and give up. The look to see if the experiment was flawed, or that there maybe some something they thought they understood but don’t.

    Oh, I know. Not finding evidence when it should be there must be odd. This wasn’t so much a flawed experiment as it was a case of Murphy’s damn law showing up.

    This particular case involved Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink (at CalTech). They were removing the overprint from some cores taken in the Lootsburg area of South Africa and yes, the episode with the walkie-talkies did happen. Reduced the cores to molten rock at 1200C. They were able to get new cores thanks to an NSF grant and confirmed that the land extinction and the ocean extinction happened at the same geologic moment thanks to the reversals.

  97. raven says

    “So, Philo, which religion should we follow using this “proof”?”

    I’m not here to promote any one religion.

    So Philo is here to show:

    1. That he is a troll

    2. Braindead.

    OK, so why is this the least bit interesting? It’s not.

  98. says

    philo @ #22

    All I’m saying is that this story explains why she’s not Catholic and not why she’s an atheist.

    Sandra made this very clear at the OP:

    Once I … started to examine the claims of the Church, it was only a matter of time before I was a full-out atheist. Although I rejected Catholicism at first (because I didn’t know enough about other religions to accept/deny them) ultimately I realized it was the existence of god that I was rejecting. [emphasis mine]

    ============

    pamoyas @ #60

    …it became obvious that religion was a social construct passed down from parents to their children; binding people together in a way that they would feel connected to people in their own religion and superior to others who didn’t share their religion.

    QFT.

    ===========

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @ #63:

    Funny how Cat-O-Lick apologists always go the mental masturbation route…

    Maybe that’s why they are blind to reason.

    ===========

    Pteryxx @ #84

    God fucked up. If women (via Eve) are responsible for sin existing in the world, then God should’ve sent Jesus to be born as a woman, die horribly and painfully in childbirth, and by that act remove the onus of Original Sin and the suffering of childbirth from all women forever. So if it weren’t for misogyny, we’d’ve been living in a better world already.

    I love that. Very much.

  99. raven says

    Philo the idiot:

    Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.

    Matt Penfold:

    Oh dear. We are not off to a good start. All knowledge is provisional. Indeed, a central tenet of the scientific method is that just that.

    This is exactly right.

    All scientific knowledge is provisional We don’t prove things. We try to to falsify them.

    Facts and theories that have withstood a century or two of falsification are considered asymptopically close to the truth. As the National Academy is Science says about The Theory of Evolution, “After 150 years of continuous challenges it is unlikely to ever by falsified.”

    Philo is dumb, this is basic stuff taught in freshman college.

    BTW, Philo, you don’t have to worry about us not finding out new things. Many of us are scientists. It’s our damn job to find out new and interesting things.

  100. raven says

    Cthulhu, messed up the formatting. You can tell how important Philo’s logical fallacies are.

    Philo the idiot:

    Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.

    Matt Penfold:

    Oh dear. We are not off to a good start. All knowledge is provisional. Indeed, a central tenet of the scientific method is that just that.

    This is exactly right.

    All scientific knowledge is provisional. We don’t prove things. We try to to falsify them.

    Facts and theories that have withstood a century or two of falsification are considered asymptopically close to the truth. As the National Academy is Science says about The Theory of Evolution, “After 150 years of continuous challenges it is unlikely to ever by falsified.”

    Philo is dumb, this is basic stuff taught in freshman college.

    BTW, Philo, you don’t have to worry about us not finding out new things. Many of us are scientists. It’s our damn job to find out new and interesting things.

  101. says

    God fucked up.

    I’m reminded of something that Kurt Vonnegut wrote. He once posed the question: why do Christians find it so easy to be cruel? He blamed what he called “the slipshod storytelling in the New Testament.”
    Essentially, he posited that many who read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion come away with the wrong lesson, thinking “whoa, they lynched the wrong guy that time.” It follows naturally from this that there are right people to lynch, people who aren’t so well-connected as Jesus, Son of God, was.
    Vonnegut thought the story would have provided a better lesson had Jesus been some worthless bum his whole life, and God had only decided to adopt him once they nailed him to the cross. This would teach people that even the lowliest on earth have value in God’s eyes.

  102. Matt Penfold says

    All our clueless fuckwits seem to have gone.

    Maybe there was a staff changeover and the new shift are more on the ball about keeping their charges off the computers.

  103. philo says

    “But until evidence is found (such as animals that feed on sulfer compounds around ocean floor vents, such as the finely bedded strata with no bioturbation or trace fossils right at the Permian/Triassic boundary, such as the rings of Saturn) for an idea or an object, the absence of evidence can be taken as evidence of absence. Once evidence is found, you have evidence of presence and can then proceed to the next steps.”

    AND

    “Philo, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. It’s just not proof of absence. However, given enough lack of evidence, the truth that the non-evident does not exist becomes highly probable.”

    Again, this comes down to how we’re using “evidence”. If you use the word to mean “that which tends to prove or disprove something”, then obviously your examples don’t work- not finding animals that feed on sulfur compounds around ocean floor vents, for example, does not make the proposition,

    “P1: There are no animals that feed on sulfur compounds around ocean floor vents.”

    true until new evidence is uncovered. In the state of an absence of evidence you do not, by default, reason negatively (or positively for that matter). Unless the referent is a logically incoherent concept, neutrality is always the default, not negation.

    As I mentioned earlier, the default position regarding intelligent extra-terrestrial life is not negation- a lack of evidence for intelligent life does not justify the conclusion that there is no life elsewhere in the universe.

    “The whole premise “Women must submit” is obviously crap. Even if it were practiced perfectly, it’d still be crap. When I was a little kid in fundie school, I *saw* many examples of a man trying to deal with some problem while ignoring or dismissing help because that help was offered by women. The woman was supposed to sit silently by until the man directed her in what to do, even if the man didn’t know what he was doing and the woman did – the woman was supposed to immediately stop working on whatever it was and become an adjunct of a less experienced man.”

    I felt compelled to respond to this because, while I admittedly haven’t studied all that much Christian doctrine, I at least know that this is not an example of biblical submission. Your disdain for this type of subjection is understandable and I agree with you when you say,

    “I don’t see anything holy, worthy or loving about a doctrine of unfairness.”

    As I said earlier, the biblical mandates for womanly submission are not as oppressive as they’re made out to be. There is a jarring popular understanding prevalent today (in Christianity, for example) of what this “submission” is and I think it’s largely due to the acceptance of doctrines with little or no scriptural support. I think, when all of the relevant passages are read together, the New Testament concept of womanly submission is much different than it’s made out to be. It is not gender enslavement.

    ‘Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.’
    “Oh dear. We are not off to a good start. All knowledge is provisional. Indeed, a central tenet of the scientific method is that just that.”

    All knowledge is not provisional. That is philosophical dogma often parroted but it’s demonstrably false.

    ‘Reason 2) Using this line of thought irrationally negates the truth of a proposition.’
    “This is just gibberish.”

    It’s not gibberish. This is a fundamental concept in logic. If you don’t understand it or would like clarification, you can just say that. There’s no need to take pride in your rude ignorance. I’m not pretending to know anything other than what I’ve studied and if you don’t happen to study logic or philosophy or math, that’s fine. Just say that. But don’t try to pass off your pompous disregard as a meaningful counter- those who don’t know better will be deceived and those who do will think you’re a fool.

    To clarify: irrational belief of the negation a proposition is the result of applying the dictum, “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.” What this means is that for any proposition, P, the negation of P (that is, ~P) does not necessarily follow simply due to a lacking amount of evidence available. This is not controversial. All logicians, philosophers, etc will agree with this. Consider atheist philosopher Kai Nielsen’s remarks,

    “To show that an argument is invalid or unsound is not to show that the conclusion of the argument is false…All the proofs of God’s existence may fail, but it still may be the case that God exists.” source: Kai Nielsen, Reason and Practice, (New York: Harper and Row, 1971) pp. 143–44.

    “p(E|H2) = 1.0 <== obviously if there's no God there cannot be evidence, so the probability is 1.0"

    This seems wrong. If there is no God, there could be evidence or good reasons for knowing this to be so. Consider if the concept of God was a logically incoherent idea (akin to married bachelors, an only child with siblings, etc).

    While not physical evidence, reason would be able to provide good grounds for rejecting God’s existence. In fact, pure reason in this sense may even superior to any sort of physical evidence conceivably, as scientific hypotheses regarding physical data are tentative, whereas strictly pure reason is not (eg. the laws of logic do not change).

    ‘Reason 1) Using this line of thought can lead us to deny the existence of things that aren’t yet known but could one day be discovered.’

    “Could we get a list of those things? I wouldn’t want to dismiss any ideas prematurely.”

    Sure. Here are four: the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life, species thought to have gone extinct, other universes, undiscovered art, literature, and musical pieces.

  104. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    All of these words and nothing about what religion one should choise.

    Oh, wait, one should just go with what one was raised with. One can only reject it when one has taken ehough philosophy and theology to satisfy philo.

    Just remember this, it is not as oppressive as you want to think it is.

    (Fuckface, you fucking own that!)

  105. Matt Penfold says

    Philo,

    It has been repeatedly explained you that your saying absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is not true. You seem not to realise that were you correct it would render science impossible. Nothing could be known in science, however provisionally. I note you do not bother to address your woeful ignorance when you did not know all knowledge is provisional. Well, if I had said something that stupid I might want to forget I had said it, but say it your did and fail to acknowledge your error you did. Count five in the dishonesty stats I think. You sure do lie a lot.

    I was rather hoping that if we had to hear from you again it would be to apologise. Well that hope has been dashed. You are are dishonest and ignorant as ever.

  106. Matt Penfold says

    Philo,

    And we are still waiting for you to explain why Catholicism is not hostile to women. Another claim you made and have not been able to support. I cannot call that a new lie, unless I count your failure to address your dishonesty as a lie, and I think I will.

    Count six for the lying scumbag I think.

  107. andyo says

    I think this guy is the greatest Dunning-Kruger case I’ve seen in a while around here. Hey, philo, please let us know when you do use those precious screencaps!

    The fact that an idiot comes and starts trying to poke “philosophical” holes in someone’s personal story and trying to pass as a sophisticated thinker while at the same time trying to keep his own agenda hidden hasn’t gone unnoticed.

  108. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    As I said earlier, the biblical mandates for womanly submission are not as oppressive as they’re made out to be.

    You seem to be ok with “a little” oppression.

    I, and a lot of other women, are absolutely fucking not.

    Stop trying to mansplain us, you condescending freak.

    There is a jarring popular understanding prevalent today (in Christianity, for example) of what this “submission” is and I think it’s largely due to the acceptance of doctrines with little or no scriptural support.

    Who the fuck cares ?

    Scripture is self-contradictory. Its all a bunch of made up bullshit. It can be used to justify anything under the sun. From slavery to genocide.

    I think, when all of the relevant passages are read together, the New Testament concept of womanly submission is much different than it’s made out to be. It is not gender enslavement.

    That’s laughably easy to say when you are not its victim.

    No, no, no, having to be told what to do by my fucking husband or younger brother is not demeaning at all. Being treated as a fucking minor with no will of her own while being an adult is just a minor point, is it ?

    I should be happy to be all “protected” so that I can fullfill my only important role in life, that of spawning good healthy males. ’cause you know, that’s my wonderful, god-given purpose, don’t cha know.

    How the freaking fuck, pray tell, is that not slavery ?

    Slave == someone who has his/her purpose decided for him/her by people who “know better”.

    You’re a fucking clueless misogynist.

  109. andyo says

    hey, mental masturbator. ETs don’t violate the fucking known laws of physics. Any god that is not functionally a deist’s god has to.

  110. Matt Penfold says

    I guess the new shift at the Santorum Institute for the Religiously Fucked in the Head are on a break.

  111. KG says

    If you use the word to mean “that which tends to prove or disprove something”, then obviously your examples don’t work- not finding animals that feed on sulfur compounds around ocean floor vents, for example, does not make the proposition,

    “P1: There are no animals that feed on sulfur compounds around ocean floor vents.”

    true until new evidence is uncovered. – philo

    Of course neither evidence nor its absence makes a proposition true or false. The proposition P is true if and only if what P asserts is actually the case. But when you have reason to expect that if P is true, a certain kind of evidence will be available, if you have followed a procedure which should turn up that evidence if it exists, and you don’t find it, it is rational to believe that P is false. In the case you cite, if you have examined all the ocean floor vents, and have not found animals that feed on sulfur compunds, it is rational to believe that there are no such animals around such vents. Even if you know you have not examined all vents, but have examined vents in a wide variety of settings, and have reason to believe others will be similar with respect to the fauna found there, it is rational to believe this. It could be mistaken, but it would still be rational.

    Philo, are you really completely neutral, neither believing nor disbelieving, in the case of werewolves, Russell’s teapot, and the invisible, inaudible, intangible and generally undetectable unicorn in my garage? If so, I recommend that you consult a competent mental health specialist. If not, how do these cases differ from that of gods?

  112. philo says

    “Philo,

    It has been repeatedly explained you that your saying absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is not true. You seem not to realise that were you correct it would render science impossible.”

    No, it would not render science impossible. You guys should pick up a good philosophy of science book. There is nothing theistic about what I’m sharing here (and thus no reason for you to reject it, since it’s becoming very clear that’s the only reason you disagree with me on this matter). Also, no one seems to have come back and responded to the defeaters I’ve given and so until someone does, every post I read that accuses me of dishonesty or being “dense” I’ll assume is just another ad hominem attack.

    “Nothing could be known in science, however provisionally. I note you do not bother to address your woeful ignorance when you did not know all knowledge is provisional. Well, if I had said something that stupid I might want to forget I had said it, but say it your did and fail to acknowledge your error you did. Count five in the dishonesty stats I think. You sure do lie a lot.”

    Does being so rude ever get old to you guys? Because, frankly, it’s starting to become tired, trite and (somewhat ironically) very preachy. If you have an argument or a defeater, feel free to post it. Otherwise, why even bother writing stuff like this? You know you aren’t making a good point. I know you aren’t making a good point. Anyone else who reads this knows you aren’t making a good point. Save face now and stop while you’re ahead.

  113. Matt Penfold says

    Philo seems to have problems understanding that we can have reliable knowledge that is incomplete. Indeed, that we cannot have complete knowledge outside of some parts of mathematics.

  114. KG says

    I think, when all of the relevant passages are read together, the New Testament concept of womanly submission is much different than it’s made out to be. It is not gender enslavement. – philo

    Your revolting misogyny aside (the very notion of “womanly submission” would make any non-misogynist want to vomit), the pretence that you are not here to push any one religion is wearing very thin indeed philo. If you are not a Christian, what makes you think that Biblical interpretation is of the slightest relevance to anything? As kemist says, the Bible is a load of made-up bullshit – something blindingly obvious to anyone not suffering from religious delusions from its stupidity, ignorance, irrationality and internal contradictions.

  115. KG says

    philo,

    Since I have dealt with your so-called “defeater” concerning sulfur-eating vent animals, and your so-called “defeater” concerning extra-terrestrial life, I suggest you respond to those points, rather than assuring us all once again of your superiority.

  116. Matt Penfold says

    No, it would not render science impossible. You guys should pick up a good philosophy of science book. There is nothing theistic about what I’m sharing here (and thus no reason for you to reject it, since it’s becoming very clear that’s the only reason you disagree with me on this matter). Also, no one seems to have come back and responded to the defeaters I’ve given and so until someone does, every post I read that accuses me of dishonesty or being “dense” I’ll assume is just another ad hominem attack.

    Oh dear. Well I thought it might be the case, but you have confirmed it, You do not even know what an ad hominem attack. It is not, as you think, simply calling you name. People have been pointing your mistakes (which you too often fail to admit or even address) and calling you dishonest. Well you are dishonest, so let’s not have any complaints from you about that, and you are not very bright, so dense is an apt description as well.

    Does being so rude ever get old to you guys? Because, frankly, it’s starting to become tired, trite and (somewhat ironically) very preachy. If you have an argument or a defeater, feel free to post it. Otherwise, why even bother writing stuff like this? You know you aren’t making a good point. I know you aren’t making a good point. Anyone else who reads this knows you aren’t making a good point. Save face now and stop while you’re ahead.

    I see no reason to be polite to someone who is as dishonest as you. You have repeatedly lied, been caught lying and then just ignored us when your lies have been pointed out to you. For example, you claimed Christianity is not hostile to women, but when the position of the RCC on abortion and birth control was mentioned did you realise you had something untrue ? No, you just ignored it. You lied about the nature of Christianity, and then ignoring people who showed you lied you were dishonest.

    Now normally I might suggest you apologise, but in your case I suggest you just fuck off and take a porcupine with you.

  117. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Does being so rude ever get old to you guys? Because, frankly, it’s starting to become tired, trite and (somewhat ironically) very preachy.

    Tone-trolling ?

    Fuckety-mothefucking-fuck, you are new. And particularly stupid.

    If you have an argument or a defeater, feel free to post it. Otherwise, why even bother writing stuff like this?

    You don’t answer to anyone here who’s identified herself as female, except to indirectly mansplain to us, you fucking condescending misogynist assclam.

    I feel no fucking incentive to be polite with you at this point.

    You know you aren’t making a good point. I know you aren’t making a good point. Anyone else who reads this knows you aren’t making a good point. Save face now and stop while you’re ahead.

    bwahahahahahahah….

    Oh, my, aren’t you a clueless one.

  118. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    There is nothing theistic about what I’m sharing here (and thus no reason for you to reject it, since it’s becoming very clear that’s the only reason you disagree with me on this matter).

    And yet you start with condemn Sandra Goodick for having a very superficial reason for reject Catholicism.

    Sounds like fucking theology to me.

  119. tlindemuth says

    Why assume that Eve’s punishment was a “lie” rather than just those women failing to live up to a biblical principle?

    Maybe because of the obvious problems with the story?

    1) Self-contradiction: The idea that all women for all eternity are cursed due to the mistake of one woman way back when is completely incompatible with the idea of justice and mercy.

    2) Inanity: that all parties of Category A (women) should submit to all parties of Category B (men), regardless of the relative level of competence of both parties, is inane on its face.

    3) Self-serving: “Blah, blah, blah, blah, and therefore you should do whatever I say, forever, amen.” A painfully inept and transparent power grab.

    For someone to tell you such a confection with a straight face, and then insist that you submit to their will as a result, either: a) their preposterous story is true, despite there being no evidence beyond the story itself, and flying in the face of fairness, reason, and personal observation; or b) you are being flagrantly lied to by a con artist in order for him to get something out of you, an event for which there is as much evidence as you wish, to be found in all other spheres of interaction. Occam’s Razor tells you exactly which is the more reasonable answer.

  120. Matt Penfold says

    You don’t answer to anyone here who’s identified herself as female, except to indirectly mansplain to us, you fucking condescending misogynist assclam.

    I had not actually noticed that, but it seems like you are right. The more he craps on the more vile he becomes.

  121. raven says

    Philo the troll:

    Does being so rude ever get old to you guys?

    To dumb trolls who have nothing intelligent to say? Why it hasn’t happened yet.

    That is about all you can do. Philo has yet to say anything intelligent and worthwhile above the level of a grade schooler. By now, we know he won’t because he can’t.

    So Philo, does being uneducated and stupid ever get old to you? How about being a troll? Ever though of even trying to think?

  122. KG says

    Could we get a list of those things? I wouldn’t want to dismiss any ideas prematurely.”

    Sure. Here are four: the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life, species thought to have gone extinct, other universes, undiscovered art, literature, and musical pieces.

    Let’s take the species thought to have gone extinct. Now, if we’re talking about an inconspicuous species that was recently extant, yes, it is rational to remain open to the possibility that it is not extinct. But how about Apatosaurus ajax? I suppose it’s possible intelligent aliens took specimens away during the Cretaceous and have been breeding them ever since, but let’s set that remote possibility aside, and confine ourselves to the surface of the Earth. Are you really contending that the absence of evidence for any surviving members of the species on this planet is not evidence that it is absent?

  123. 'Tis Himself says

    In the state of an absence of evidence you do not, by default, reason negatively (or positively for that matter). Unless the referent is a logically incoherent concept, neutrality is always the default, not negation.

    The burden of proof is on those making a positive statement, in this case, there is evidence that The Big Guy In The Sky™ exists. In the absence of such evidence, atheists conclude the likelihood of TBGITS™ existing is so close to zero as to be effectively zero. As soon as you or any other goddist comes up with reasonable, rational, falsifiable evidence for TBGITS™, then we’ll start believing. Until then, we don’t believe in TBGITS™.

    What you seem to be missing is that TBGITS™’s existence is an either/or situation. Either TBGITS™ exists or it doesn’t. “Neutrality”, which is apparently maybe, conceivably, feasibly, perchance it could possibly be true, it’s not impossible that peradventure TBGITS™ exists or not, as the case may be, is not an option.

  124. raven says

    Philo the idiot:

    Why assume that Eve’s punishment was a “lie” rather than just those women failing to live up to a biblical principle?

    Because moron, there was no Garden of Eden. There was no walking, talking snake. The earth is 4.7 billion years old. Humans weren’t created by a magic sky fairy, the evolved over 3.7 billion years.

    Philo, ever though of the story about Prometheus bringing fire to humans might not be a lie? Maybe there is some god chained to a rock some where while a large eagle eats his liver every day.

    There is as much evidence for Prometheus bringing fire to humans as there is for an incompetent giant humanoid wandering around in a magic Garden 6,000 years ago.

  125. Matt Penfold says

    Let’s take the species thought to have gone extinct. Now, if we’re talking about an inconspicuous species that was recently extant, yes, it is rational to remain open to the possibility that it is not extinct.

    And here is the thing, if you were to talk to scientists who study that species they would admit that it would seem to be extinct but they could rule out the possibility that small populations might yet survive. It is not that uncommon for species that were thought to be extinct, if not totally, then at least in a specific locale, to later be found alive and probably not exactly well.

  126. raven says

    Well this is boring.

    I think Philo is most likely YEC123 and a dozen or so other aliases. All probably traced back to the mentally ill British guy that PZ was laughing at a week ago.

    I’ve got better things to do with the few decades remaining to me.

  127. KG says

    I must pedantically correct myself: at least as far as is known, Apatosaurus ajax became extinct during the Jurassic, so the aliens would not have been able to take any away during the Cretaceous.

  128. philo says

    “Of course neither evidence nor its absence makes a proposition true or false. The proposition P is true if and only if what P asserts is actually the case. But when you have reason to expect that if P is true, a certain kind of evidence will be available, if you have followed a procedure which should turn up that evidence if it exists, and you don’t find it, it is rational to believe that P is false. In the case you cite, if you have examined all the ocean floor vents, and have not found animals that feed on sulfur compunds, it is rational to believe that there are no such animals around such vents. Even if you know you have not examined all vents, but have examined vents in a wide variety of settings, and have reason to believe others will be similar with respect to the fauna found there, it is rational to believe this. It could be mistaken, but it would still be rational.”

    Agreed. And that inference is very reasonable, you’re absolutely right. The point I wanted to make here is that there is a misimpression many scientifically literate but philosophically naive people have which says knowledge is dependent on empirical evidence, and that any claims that are by their nature outside of the domain of science are either false, unknowable, or both. This simply is not the case. Anyone who believes that knowledge is dependent on empirical evidence needs to look into the progress that’s been made in reformed epistemology.

    “Philo, are you really completely neutral, neither believing nor disbelieving, in the case of werewolves, Russell’s teapot, and the invisible, inaudible, intangible and generally undetectable unicorn in my garage?”

    I am not neutral. I find these things listed very implausible. I do not say they do not exist (their non existence is not due to some logical impossibility in the same way a “married bachelor” is) but that doesn’t mean I think it’s likely they do exist. I’m somewhat neutral with an inclination toward disbelief.

    “If so, I recommend that you consult a competent mental health specialist. If not, how do these cases differ from that of gods?

    Haha. Well I think they differ from gods in a fairly obvious way: the philosophical conception of God has explanatory power that unicorns, teapots, etc. lack. God- in Western philosophy, at least- is thought to be a creator of the cosmos. A necessary being, God is maximally great, timeless and seems to be a good explanation for some of philosophy’s oldest questions- what is “the Good”? Why is there something rather than nothing? Are there objective moral truths to be learned and what are they grounded in? All these questions philosophers have for millenia argued about, and out of all of the available alternatives the God hypothesis has persisted throughout the ages because of its explanatory scope and power.

  129. KG says

    I assume philo keeps a good supply of garlic in hand, and has plenty of mirrors on his walls. After all, if we are not justified in taking the absence of evidence for vampires as evidence of absence, this would merely be prudent.

  130. Matt Penfold says

    I am not neutral. I find these things listed very implausible. I do not say they do not exist (their non existence is not due to some logical impossibility in the same way a “married bachelor” is) but that doesn’t mean I think it’s likely they do exist. I’m somewhat neutral with an inclination toward disbelief.

    Why ? You have being arguing that the lack of evidence they exist says nothing about how implausible their existence is. You should be strictly neutral, so it would seem you not even believe the crap your have spouting youself.

    Yet more dishonesty from the lying misogynist scumbag.

  131. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I’m somewhat neutral with an inclination toward disbelief.

    How fucking neutral are you, fuckface, when you condemn one woman’s reason for leaving the religion she was brought up in as not being thoughtful enough. And how fucking neutral are you when you argue that being told to submit is not so bad?

  132. Matt Penfold says

    I assume philo keeps a good supply of garlic in hand, and has plenty of mirrors on his walls. After all, if we are not justified in taking the absence of evidence for vampires as evidence of absence, this would merely be prudent.

    But the absence of a reflection would be absence of evidence, which tells you nothing!

  133. Pteryxx says

    Neutral toward belief, apologist toward misogyny. No wonder philosophy as a discipline has a sexist wanker problem.

  134. 'Tis Himself says

    Philo is strictly neutral except when he isn’t. All knowledge is provisional except when atheists proclaim it. Bible misogyny is only slightly oppressive and besides bitches ain’t shit.

  135. Matt Penfold says

    I can only suppose Philo does not know, and has never talked to, a single scientist, because one thing is sure, if he had he would have been told that in science if you find no evidence for something, and you keep finding no evidence then that is evidence that what you are looking for does not exist.

    The scientists at CERN certainly think that. They are looking for the Higg’s boson, and are very open that if their experiments do not find it then that will be evidence is does not exist. The LHC was built to find the Higg’s. Does Philo really think that billions have been wasted as a result of scientists not knowing how to do their job ?

  136. philo says

    “You don’t answer to anyone here who’s identified herself as female, except to indirectly mansplain to us, you fucking condescending misogynist assclam.’
    I had not actually noticed that, but it seems like you are right. The more he craps on the more vile he becomes.”

    The ending of that first sentence is exactly why “they’ve” been ignored. If you can’t get your point across without profanity, rudeness or any other sort of offensive language then you probably don’t have any arguments worthy of consideration. That’s an assumption I make, at least, when I have these conversations. It’s a judgment I’ve found to be pretty accurate, too. If you’re a female that I haven’t responded to, please bear in mind:

    1) I am not paying any attention to the names of the posts.
    2) I am responding mostly to posts I feel have made an argument or point that deserves a thoughtful response.
    3) I may have missed your comment. If you’ve made a post that you think deserves a response, just let me know.

  137. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    All these questions philosophers have for millenia argued about, and out of all of the available alternatives the God hypothesis has persisted throughout the ages because of its explanatory scope and power.

    “Explanatory power” ?

    God has just as much explanatory power as “just because”.

    God answers difficult questions by creating even more difficult questions, such as where does God comes from ?

    Answering that God “always was” is adding unnecessary steps – you could posit that the universe “always was”, and be done with it without having to explain the presence of an infinitely powerful and perfect being pulled out of the void – one might say out of your ass.

    Positing a first cause accomplishes exactly nothing, and has never, ever helped anyone to understand anything. It’s a pointless and useless hypothesis, as Laplace explained s well.

    Oh, and you remain a fucking misogynist asshole.

  138. Matt Penfold says

    The ending of that first sentence is exactly why “they’ve” been ignored. If you can’t get your point across without profanity, rudeness or any other sort of offensive language then you probably don’t have any arguments worthy of consideration. That’s an assumption I make, at least, when I have these conversations. It’s a judgment I’ve found to be pretty accurate, too. If you’re a female that I haven’t responded to, please bear in mind:

    Seems like an admission you are ignoring the women commentators to me. I note you have lied yet again. I have lost track of how many lies that is now.

    What a vile fucking sack of shit you are.

    Please fuck off and die you lying misogynist scumbag. I suspect when PZ gets Internet access back you will not be given a choice anyway.

  139. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Hey, everyone! Start swearing the misogyny apologist. Just remember that saying bad words is so much worst then misogyny.

    Poor widdle fuckface cannot think straigh when naughty words are used. What a mighty wanker he is.

  140. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and Philo, being a misogynistic lying sack of shit is being rude.

    That would make you a hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit.

    Oh wait! BINGO

    I have a full house in MRA bingo.

  141. says

    And how fucking neutral are you when you argue that being told to submit is not so bad?

    Oh Janine, you know it’s all about the mansperience. If Philo the Manz doesn’t mansperience it, why it doesn’t count! Here he is, being all gracious to us unthoughtful ingrate bitches* by saying it *might* happen. Maybe. But not really.
     
    *Hypothetically speaking, because we all know there are no women on Pharyngula. Except Nerd.

  142. Matt Penfold says

    Hey, everyone! Start swearing the misogyny apologist. Just remember that saying bad words is so much worst then misogyny.

    I hope I am making a good start in calling the hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit a hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit.

    I would not want anyone to forget he is a hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit.

  143. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    The ending of that first sentence is exactly why “they’ve” been ignored.

    And you notice just when an identified male points it out ?

    I totally believe you, man. You’ve been like, totally honest.

    My first posts didn’t have any “profanity” in them, cupcake. They just addressed your disgusting justification of “female submission” (a vomit-inducing concept if there is one). To which never answered directly, but just waffled about being “not-so-bad” to other males.

  144. says

    Hey, Philo! Sweet baby butt-fucked Jesus, you’re a fuckwit. You’re a fuckwit who couldn’t think their way out of wet paper bag.

    You’re also a lying, thoughtless, witless douchebag of a misogynist. Fucking assclown. No, you’re not even that. You’re a fucking rancid pimple on the ass of humanity.

  145. KG says

    philo,

    The point I wanted to make here is that there is a misimpression many scientifically literate but philosophically naive people have which says knowledge is dependent on empirical evidence, and that any claims that are by their nature outside of the domain of science are either false, unknowable, or both. This simply is not the case.

    Taking science to include all forms of empirical enquiry (so as to include history for example) it simply is the case for knowledge of the world – as opposed to knowledge of mathematics and logic (again, broadly conceived – there are aspects of logic that are not captured by any existing logical formalism).

    Anyone who believes that knowledge is dependent on empirical evidence needs to look into the progress that’s been made in reformed epistemology.

    Bwaw-haw-haw! “Reformed epistemology” is just a licence to believe anything you want by declaring it a “properly basic belief”. Wishful thinking raised to the status of a philosophical principle. But now at least we’re getting a glimpse of where you are coming from – fuckwits like Plantinga (was there ever such a stupid argument presented as supposedly serious philosophy as the “evolutionary argument against naturalism”?) are evidently your intellectual mentors.

    I’m somewhat neutral with an inclination toward disbelief. [about werewolves, Russell's teapot, and my undetectable unicorn]

    Seriously? You should indeed consult a competent mental health professional.

    God- in Western philosophy, at least- is thought to be a creator of the cosmos. A necessary being, God is maximally great, timeless and seems to be a good explanation for some of philosophy’s oldest questions- what is “the Good”? Why is there something rather than nothing? Are there objective moral truths to be learned and what are they grounded in? All these questions philosophers have for millenia argued about, and out of all of the available alternatives the God hypothesis has persisted throughout the ages because of its explanatory scope and power.

    Complete and utter drivel. The idea of a creator god has no explanatory power whatsovever – it simply pushes the question back one stage – and the same is true for the question of why there is something rather than nothing – since a god, if one existed, would be something. The idea of a “necessary being”, other than abstract objects such as those of mathematics, is incoherent. The only meaning it can be given is that of something that must exist in all logically possible (or consistently describable) worlds; and there is nothing inconsistent in the concept of a godless universe. Nor does the notion of God successfully ground morality, as Euthyphro pointed out long ago. (And no, trying to make good or “the Good”, “God’s nature” doesn’t help – is it God’s nature because it is good, or is it good because it’s God’s nature?) The “God hypothesis” has persisted because of human ignorance, fear of death and suffering, and not least, the rope, the stake and the rack – as is shown by its retreat as science and more generally, rational enquiry have pushed back ignorance, science-based medicine and rational social policy have made life – at least in countries with a decent welfare system – more secure, and the religious have lost the power to torture and kill disbelievers.

    Pfft. That’s the best you have? I’m off to bed.

  146. philo says

    “Let’s take the species thought to have gone extinct. Now, if we’re talking about an inconspicuous species that was recently extant, yes, it is rational to remain open to the possibility that it is not extinct. But how about Apatosaurus ajax? I suppose it’s possible intelligent aliens took specimens away during the Cretaceous and have been breeding them ever since, but let’s set that remote possibility aside, and confine ourselves to the surface of the Earth. Are you really contending that the absence of evidence for any surviving members of the species on this planet is not evidence that it is absent?

    Well when I used that example I had aquatic animals in mind (C. megalodon, to name one specifically). As for whether or not Apatosaurus ajax still exists, no, you’re probably right in assuming that they’ve all gone extinct. The reason for believing they’re extinct, however, isn’t the absence of evidence. We know that all non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago and so we base our belief that they’re extinct on this.

  147. Matt Penfold says

    To which never answered directly, but just waffled about being “not-so-bad” to other males.

    Not sure why he did that. Do you think he really though he could convince us that keeping women submissive could be justified ? If so rhe hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit is even more stupid than I thought, and I did not think I could think of something being more stupid.

  148. Matt Penfold says

    Well when I used that example I had aquatic animals in mind (C. megalodon, to name one specifically). As for whether or not Apatosaurus ajax still exists, no, you’re probably right in assuming that they’ve all gone extinct. The reason for believing they’re extinct, however, isn’t the absence of evidence. We know that all non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago and so we base our belief that they’re extinct on this.

    Just to remind you, you are a hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit. Would not want you to forget that.

  149. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Now this have become a farce. Fuckface, please explain how it is not so bad to be required to submit because of one’s gender.

    Or do I need to stop calling you fuckface first. Will that change what I am saying to you.

    I guess words do have magical powers.

  150. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I guess I have not taken enough philosophy and theology to argue that I should not have to be submissive.

  151. Pteryxx says

    If you can’t get your point across without profanity, rudeness or any other sort of offensive language then you probably don’t have any arguments worthy of consideration. That’s an assumption I make, at least, when I have these conversations.

    Point of order: that’s an invalid assumption. Offensive language has no bearing on the validity of an argument. (Neither does nice polite language.) Besides, use of profanity doesn’t mean the speaker can’t get a point across without it; particularly in this space where profanity is specifically permitted.

    What you’re actually saying, philo, is that you arbitrarily refuse to consider arguments because of your own personal preference, and further use this arbitrary standard as an excuse to pass judgment on the speaker. Here, misogyny’s far uglier than a few icky words.

    Do you think he really though he could convince us that keeping women submissive could be justified ?

    I notice philo hasn’t bothered to actually make substantial arguments on the topic at all. Nothing but “it isn’t so bad”.

    What I was pointing out was that even such minor levels of womanly-submission as delegating chores, are already unfair and contradictory even within Christian doctrine as it was explained to me. There is no non-arbitrary justification for one gender washing dishes while the other rests; in fact it contradicts principles of respect, compassion, forgiveness, and resting on the Sabbath, and undermines the concept of sin.

    While noticing this doesn’t directly address the existence of gods or not, arbitrary and contradictory rules with BS explanations ARE reliable indicators of bad arguments, and reason to withdraw credibility from those who espouse such arguments.

  152. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Not sure why he did that. Do you think he really though he could convince us that keeping women submissive could be justified ?

    I’ve seen it tried. I’ve seen some stop addressing me when I self-identified as female.

    MRAs are not particularly bright, rotten-brain ghouls that they are.

    I’m lucky I don’t have many around me, either at work or elsewhere. It reduces the occasions when I have to suppress the urge to punch one in his condescendingly smug face.

  153. philo says

    “Bwaw-haw-haw! “Reformed epistemology” is just a licence to believe anything you want by declaring it a “properly basic belief”.”

    No. It’s not. Here’s a video of Platinga explaining what a properly basic belief is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7377jU2a8Y

    “Complete and utter drivel. The idea of a creator god has no explanatory power whatsovever – it simply pushes the question back one stage – and the same is true for the question of why there is something rather than nothing – since a god, if one existed, would be something.”

    The God hypothesis does have explanatory power regarding the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” because if God is a necessary being then the existence of contingent objects is adequately explained.

    “The idea of a “necessary being”, other than abstract objects such as those of mathematics, is incoherent. The only meaning it can be given is that of something that must exist in all logically possible (or consistently describable) worlds; and there is nothing inconsistent in the concept of a godless universe.”

    There is an inconsistency in the concept of a godless “universe” (referred to as “world” hereafter). God is a necessary being, and a godless world is impossible because a feature of a necessary being is existence in all possible worlds. Given that the argument from contingency establishes a metaphysically necessary something, and the only alternatives are a personal or impersonal cause, because the impersonal cause (the natural world) is finite in the past it cannot possibly serve as an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing since it is itself contingent and finite.

    “Nor does the notion of God successfully ground morality, as Euthyphro pointed out long ago. (And no, trying to make good or “the Good”, “God’s nature” doesn’t help – is it God’s nature because it is good, or is it good because it’s God’s nature?)”

    God’s nature is necessarily “good”. Goodness is a property of God’s nature. Asking why God’s nature is “good” is asking, “Why is God’s nature like God’s nature?” The Euthyphro Dilemma is a false dilemma.

  154. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Fuckface is so fucking neutral that he is using the Catholic apologist, Platinga, to set up the foundation of knowledge.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  155. 'Tis Himself says

    The God hypothesis does have explanatory power regarding the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” because if God is a necessary being then the existence of contingent objects is adequately explained.

    No, shit for brains, the god hypothesis has exactly ZERO explanatory power. All it does is push the creation of the universe back one step. Who created the creator? You goddists (and don’t try to pretend you’re not a Christian goddist) come up with “gawd always existed” or suchlike meaningless bullshit.

    God is a necessary being, and a godless world is impossible because a feature of a necessary being is existence in all possible worlds.

    More meaningless bullshit. TBGITS™ is necessary for what? What the fuck does “a necessary being is existence in all possible worlds” mean? Is this some of that sophistimatcated philosophilogy that everyone else calls bullshit?

  156. says

    God is a necessary being, and a godless world is impossible because a feature of a necessary being is existence in all possible worlds.

    How awesome it must be, to use your definition as your proof. Would sure make maths exams a lot easier:

    Q: Prove that triangle ABC is isosceles.
    A: Define ABC to be isosceles. Therefore, ABC is isosceles.

    Full marks!

  157. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    You don’t answer to anyone here who’s identified herself as female, except to indirectly mansplain to us, you fucking condescending misogynist assclam.

    Damn. You’re right.

    Misogynist cluebat needed.

    the philosophical conception of God

    Which god, asshole?

    The ending of that first sentence is exactly why “they’ve” been ignored. If you can’t get your point across without profanity, rudeness or any other sort of offensive language then you probably don’t have any arguments worthy of consideration.

    More mysogynist bullshit.

    1) I am not paying any attention to the names of the posts.

    Right. It is just pure coincidence, right? What are the odds that the ones you think have not made a good point are the women?

    And it is quite possible to make a good fucking argument while using naughty words.

    Here’s an example:

    If I say, “Yes, the fucking fossil record shows quite fucking clearly that sauropod diversity changed over about 20 Ma from a majority with broad-crowned teeth to a majority with narrow crowned teeth, you asshole!” that is a good argument with naughty words.

    If I say, “Oh, my good man, you seem to display a truly alarming tendency to ignore commenters with feminine ‘nyms and most definately are therefore wearing a French maid outfit with a featherduster inserted firmly in your left nostril,” that is a bad argument but has no naughty words.

    The reason for believing they’re extinct, however, isn’t the absence of evidence. We know that all non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago and so we base our belief that they’re extinct on this.

    Holy fuck. What happens if this idiot ever hears about Lazarus taxa?

  158. 'Tis Himself says

    God’s nature is necessarily “good”.

    According to the propaganda your god is a sadistic, narcissistic bully with the emotional maturity of a spoiled six year old. He kills people just because he can. If this god is good then what the fuck do you consider evil?

    The Euthyphro Dilemma is a false dilemma.

    I see the Euthyphro Dilemma is yet another topic you know zip point shit about.

  159. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    The God hypothesis does have explanatory power regarding the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” because if God is a necessary being then the existence of contingent objects is adequately explained.

    Which totally ignores the thousands of peer-reviewed papers arguing about the Big Bang Theory. And none of them invoke gods. None.

    Liar.

  160. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am responding mostly to posts I feel have made an argument or point that deserves a thoughtful response.

    That is the one demanding physical evidence for whatever you claim, be it your imaginary deity, your stupid and illogical and utterly falsified idea the babble (hence most Xian religions) doesn’t denigrate women.

    Your claims of thoughtful conversation is so much bullshit. Either you are a person of honesty and ingtegrity or not. If you are, either put up the conclusive physical evidence or shut the fuck up. If you can’t put up or shut up, you tacitly acknowledge you are nothing but a presupposition liar and bullshitter who will amorally say anything to defend an omnipotent and omnipresent imaginary deity…Who obviously doesn’t need your help if it fit the definitions of a deity…

  161. Badland, delurking for a bit says

    This thread reminds me why I love Pharyngula so much. Handclaps to the regulars, you’ve made my Monday morning a thing of beauty.

    Philo, you’re a repulsive misogynist and an abomination. Learn to listen, learn to think, and remember that the presence of Naughty Swears does not indicate the absence of thought.

    Fuck off.

  162. Pteryxx says

    1) I am not paying any attention to the names of the posts.

    Right. It is just pure coincidence, right? What are the odds that the ones you think have not made a good point are the women?

    - philo might still subconsciously recognize gendered names while skimming.

    - most of the women posting have also mentioned “oppressing US” or “oppressing ME” in their posts, thus identifying as women within the body of the arguments.

    So I think philo’s “I am not paying attention” is BS… probably wishful, self-aggrandizing, I-Am-Better-Than-That BS.

  163. philo says

    “the god hypothesis has exactly ZERO explanatory power. All it does is push the creation of the universe back one step. Who created the creator?”

    This question seems to make the assumption that everything has an explanation of it’s existence in some other cause, and this is just mistaken. God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal. You seem like this subject has frustrated you in the past. What specifically about this do you object to?

  164. philo says

    “God is a necessary being, and a godless world is impossible because a feature of a necessary being is existence in all possible worlds. How awesome it must be, to use your definition as your proof. Would sure make maths exams a lot easier:

    Q: Prove that triangle ABC is isosceles.
    A: Define ABC to be isosceles. Therefore, ABC is isosceles.

    Full marks!”

    This one actually made me laugh. Well if it came off as me just defining God as being a necessary being that’s because, given the general tone of this conversation it seems like it wouldn’t really go anywhere branching off into de re and de dicto modalities.

  165. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal. You seem like this subject has frustrated you in the past. What specifically about this do you object to?

    Take back your clame that you are neutral, fuckface. With this line, you have shown that you are not.

    You have made a claim with no substance and you wonder why most of us object?

    And, also, fuckface, explain why being required to submit is not so bad. Or are you going to evade this?

  166. philo says

    “Right. It is just pure coincidence, right? What are the odds that the ones you think have not made a good point are the women?”

    Read the posts the women have written. They haven’t been very sensible and lack anything worth responding to. That’s not to say they aren’t able to write something, only that they haven’t yet. Or no, wait- an absence of evidence means evidence of absence, right? I guess I’ll have to take that back because, due to the lack of evidence, it’s a fact: Women definitely aren’t able to write anything worth responding to. ;)

    “I see the Euthyphro Dilemma is yet another topic you know zip point shit about.”

    This should be interesting. Go on. Enlighten me.


    “Which totally ignores the thousands of peer-reviewed papers arguing about the Big Bang Theory. And none of them invoke gods. None.”

    Big Bang cosmology isn’t inconsistent with theism. See: Kalam Cosmological Argument.


    “Philo, you’re a repulsive misogynist and an abomination. Learn to listen, learn to think, and remember that the presence of Naughty Swears does not indicate the absence of thought.”

    Yes it does. Enjoy your frustration.

  167. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Read the posts the women have written. They haven’t been very sensible and lack anything worth responding to. That’s not to say they aren’t able to write something, only that they haven’t yet. Or no, wait- an absence of evidence means evidence of absence, right? I guess I’ll have to take that back because, due to the lack of evidence, it’s a fact: Women definitely aren’t able to write anything worth responding to.

    Drop dead, you fucking waste of meat.

  168. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal.

    Assertion made without evidence, so it can be dismissed without evidence. Try again evidenceless fuckwit, and it had better be physical, not mental masturbation like the above fuckwittery to find a tiny gap to hide your failed delusion it.

  169. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no evidence from Philo the mental masturbator, but then none was expected. He is incapable of evidence, as he knows the evidence refutes his beliefs. Show us wrong by actually presenting scientific and/or physical evidence for your claims sophist. You aren’t a philosopher, just a SQUAWK parrot giving preapproved, but prerefuted, apologetics.

  170. Pteryxx says

    So philo, if women aren’t capable of writing anything worth responding to, since the OP was written by a woman, then you had no reason to make THE VERY FIRST comment on this thread in the first place. Sheesh.

    Well, except for being a misogynist jackass. Gotta shame ‘em all.

  171. philo says

    “Take back your clame that you are neutral, fuckface…And, also, fuckface, explain why being required to submit is not so bad. Or are you going to evade this?”

    I am going to continue to “evade” stuff like this. Just thought I’d let you know. Post something interesting and I’ll respond.

  172. 'Tis Himself says

    God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal. You seem like this subject has frustrated you in the past. What specifically about this do you object to?

    I object to your use of the logical fallacy called special pleading. You’re claiming everything was created except for one thing. What’s your evidence that TBGITS™ wasn’t created but is “timeless and eternal”? That’s just more bullshit you assert with zero justification.

    By the way, fuckwit, how much oppression should women put up with? Where’s the line between a sufficiency of oppression and a surfeit of oppression?

  173. philo says

    “So philo, if women aren’t capable of writing anything worth responding to, since the OP was written by a woman, then you had no reason to make THE VERY FIRST comment on this thread in the first place. Sheesh. Well, except for being a misogynist jackass. Gotta shame ‘em all.”

    You didn’t get it. But that’s okay. Article related:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701

  174. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Read the posts the women have written. They haven’t been very sensible and lack anything worth responding to. That’s not to say they aren’t able to write something, only that they haven’t yet. Or no, wait- an absence of evidence means evidence of absence, right? I guess I’ll have to take that back because, due to the lack of evidence, it’s a fact: Women definitely aren’t able to write anything worth responding to. ;)

    A bit of advice :

    Never, ever say that to a woman’s (other than your properly submissive wife if there is a woman unlucky enough to be married to you) face.

    You might be missing few teeth afterwards. And everybody else will applaud.

    Oh, and grab a porcupine and shove it sideways, assface.

  175. 'Tis Himself says

    I am going to continue to “evade” stuff like this. Just thought I’d let you know.

    What’s the matter, fuckwit? Are you getting too many questions you don’t know how to answer so you’re playing tone troll?

  176. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn still no conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary, and essentially tacitly denied deity Philo. That is what happens when you can’t put up or shut up. Your lies and bullshit are exposed for what they are. Your lies and bullshit.

  177. Pteryxx says

    Post something interesting and I’ll respond.

    Try telling him how smart and impressive he is, or perhaps offering to make him a sandwich. Until then he’ll continue to withhold THE MALE ATTENTION.

    (edited to add) Oh, and tell him how funny he is and laugh at any crap he spouts that has a smiley after it. Sheesh. Wanker.

  178. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I am going to continue to “evade” stuff like this. Just thought I’d let you know. Post something interesting and I’ll respond.

    You have shown your colors, fuckface. I no longer need any more words from you. I just want you to drop dead.

  179. philo says

    I’ve been at this all day and it’s a shame because only a few of you made this conversation interesting. Anyway, I’m a little sleepy so I’m going to take a nap now. I’ll get back on a little later. Feel free to continue making great arguments!

  180. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Oh, and tell him how funny he is and laugh at any crap he spouts that has a smiley after it.

    Why do you think I left that winky out of the quote?

    (I know that you know that.)

    I guess I am showing why women have to submit, we are not about to be interesting.

  181. Pteryxx says

    Heck, I’m thinking I’ll no longer give attention to the philo UNTIL he adds a sufficient level of profanity to his arguments. Obviously, lack of swearing denotes a diminished intellect. Fair’s fair.

  182. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Yes it does. Enjoy your frustration.

    So, let’s see.

    The only thing we have to do for this particularly stinking ghoul to flounce is that every single post contains at least one instance of the word “fuck”. Or maybe just “ass” is sufficient to the task.

    Good to know.

  183. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Feel free to continue making great arguments!

    Yes we are. No you aren’t. Typical Cat-O-Lick approved lying and bullshitting apologetics. Been there, refuted that, nothing but boredom for the horde while they sharpen their fangs on your carcass of stupid and idiotic philosophy known as theology.

  184. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    I’ve been at this all day and it’s a shame because only a few of you made this conversation interesting.

    None of the wimmenz, of course. Just the men.

    Feel free to continue making great arguments!

    Now that you are gone, the quality will definitely improve.

  185. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I’ve been at this all day and it’s a shame because only a few of you made this conversation interesting.

    Wow, the ghoul really has no life. At least I have the excuse that I was modifying and recompiling a linux kernel (which takes a motherfucking load of time, especially on a virtual machine).

    Anyway, I’m a little sleepy so I’m going to take a nap now. I’ll get back on a little later. Feel free to continue making great arguments!

    Maybe it hopes we will forget that it is a fucking misogynistic assclam.

  186. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Oh, kemist, you cannot possibly be a chemist. You could not come up with an argument that cound interest fuckface.

    In fact, I doubt that you were doing what you claimed you claimed to be doing.

    Now if I added a winking emoticon at the end of my last statement, would that make me really patronizing?

  187. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Janine:

    I’s confused. Should I respond to you or not?

  188. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Ogvorbis, my advice is that you take a hint from fuckface.

    *snort*

  189. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Now if I added a winking emoticon at the end of my last statement, would that make me really patronizing?

    Oh, yeah.

    And then when I don’t do my famous girly laught, you could use that when talking to the manly men (the real adults here), as evidence that our pink gurly brains don’t get his super-speeshul manly sense of humor, ’cause they’re not as good as men-brainz.

    Everybody knows that women lack a sense of humor, ha ha.

    That’s why we need manly menz to oppress us, you see.

    But just a bit.

    So that we make their manwiches and bring them their manly beers.

    It’s not like we’re gender slaves.

  190. eigenperson says

    philo, you are by far the rudest person in this thread, so I don’t think you should be surprised that people have responded rudely to you. In fact, I think there is far more politeness going on than you deserve.

    Let’s fix that.

    Your arguments in this thread are nothing we haven’t seen before. Many people here managed to climb out of the cesspit of idiocy in which you are still immersed up to your eyebrows, and one cannot do so without encountering bankrupt apologetics such as yours upon the way. The difference between you and them is that your ability to critique a philosophical argument is languishing in the Dark Ages along with sophists like Thomas Aquinas, while they, whether because of superior intelligence, superior education, or mere willingness to learn, have advanced into the modern world and can employ highly effective modern tools like science and observation, which you can as little hope to understand as the cockroaches that infest your empty brain case can hope to understand quantum physics.

    Perhaps you thought you could bushwhack us with your “sophistimacated theology”. That might be effective on the intellectual dwarves that undoubtedly form the bulk of your associates (which association has clearly been detrimental to your mental development), but you are now dealing with people who can reason for themselves, who can clearly perceive the muck in which you are so happily wallowing, and further perceive that it is not merely covering you up to your eyebrows but is in fact issuing forth from your various orifices in abundance.

    As I said before, whatever school you went to has let you down badly (unless it was in fact a religious school, in which case you got exactly what you paid for). To give a passing grade to someone so utterly inept as you is cruel, and could only give you false hopes.

    Perhaps you should try the apologetics on the porcupine, which I assure you will serve as a most attentive audience, and will never say anything rude to you no matter how tightly you wedge it into your nether regions. As for its rhetorical skills, admittedly they are not yet at the level of your average three-year-old, but that is the level at which one of your intellectual capacity should begin study of the subject.

  191. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Ogvorbis, my advice is that you take a hint from fuckface.

    *snort*

    You mean go to bed? But the baseball game is still on.

  192. echidna says

    Sandra,
    Thanks for writing the post. It certainly hit a nerve with the odd clueless person, that’s for sure (philo, I’m looking at you).

    camelspotter@20 said:

    I guess you can’t fool a smart child into hating herself,

    , which reads as intending to affirm your post.

    My problem with this comment is that it indirectly labels the girls who do get sucked into the church’s misogyny as “not smart”. Smart girls can and do get suckered into this trap – it’s a matter of trust or fear rather than intelligence. It is of course true that it is smart to avoid the trap.

  193. Anri says

    The God hypothesis does have explanatory power regarding the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” because if God is a necessary being then the existence of contingent objects is adequately explained.

    Wow, this is silly.

    If causes are required, all thing require causes. Including all things. Yes, even that thing.
    That one too.
    And that one.
    Yes, Timmy, even the green thing.

    If causes are not required, causes are not required.

    By the way, we now know that some things are uncaused – they simply happen. Causes are not required, and god therefore cannot hide behind this particular threadbare cloth anymore.

    As a ‘deep’ philosophical question, philo, what would say is the difference in the evidence for a god that created the universe and one who was incapable of creating the universe?
    And if there is no more evidence for one that the other, why preferentially believe in one?

  194. Rey Fox says

    God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal. You seem like this subject has frustrated you in the past. What specifically about this do you object to?

    That it’s completely made up out of whole cloth, for one thing.

  195. says

    Aw shucks. Misogynist shitlord took his toys and went home? But now I’ll never understand the level of oppression that is proper for a woman to experience!

    I note that he linked to Hitchens. Like every authoritarian, he assumes that other people think like he does. Just because Hitch says it doesn’t mean we all agree, assclam. Hitch was a great writer, erudite and witty and funny, and excellent in a debate as well. But he was wrong about some stuff. A lot of the stuff he was wrong about involved women.

  196. Koshka says

    philo #67

    Example: Suppose Casey murders Caylee. Furthermore, suppose Casey murders Caylee in such a way that during the investigation no incriminating evidence is found to tie her to Caylee’s murder. Given that the proposition,

    P1: Caylee was murdered by Casey.

    is true if Casey really did murder her, and is not true if she did not, consider what happens when we employ this line of reasoning to the situation:

    There is no evidence that Casey murdered Caylee.
    Therefore, ~P1 (or, “Casey did not murder Caylee.”)

    It doesn’t hold up. Sure, the lack of evidence may be enough to get Casey a “not guilty” verdict, but this is much different than making the negation of the proposition,

    P1: Caylee was murdered by Casey.

    true. It is still true that Caylee was murdered by Casey. The truth of the proposition does not change (or does not become negated, rather) simply because an investigation yields nothing.

    I pity the defendant if you are a juror on a murder trial.

    I presume this is what 5 years of studying theology does to some peoples’ way of thinking.

  197. echidna says

    Just because Hitch says it doesn’t mean we all agree, assclam.

    Being wrong about something doesn’t necessarily diminish the greatness of the person either. For example, Isaac Newton was great. Undeniably great. It doesn’t mean that he was right about alchemy, prolific on the subject though he was.

    It’s why science works: the arguments and the evidence are far more important than the person, much as we may appreciate the person (or not).

  198. says

    Being wrong about something doesn’t necessarily diminish the greatness of the person either.

    Exactly, and it’s quite the relief to stop expecting one’s heroes to be 100% perfect. Reduces the motivation to lie about them. Authoritarianism really is a blight on humanity.

  199. 'Tis Himself says

    The God hypothesis does have explanatory power regarding the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” because if God is a necessary being then the existence of contingent objects is adequately explained.

    This is an example of circular reasoning, also known as begging the question.

    God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal.

    This is special pleading.

    So sophistimacted theologie depends on logical fallacies. And Philo wonders why we’re not impressed by his arguments.

  200. Louis says

    {Reads thread}

    {Smells pseudo-intellectual misogyny and wankery}

    {Shakes head sadly}

    Louis

  201. opposablethumbs says

    The more I read of people (I use the word loosely) like philo, the more I appreciate the great good fortune of all those of us lucky enough to live in societies where he and his ilk do not wield actual power. And the more I hate the fact that so many of us are forced to live under systems run by people who believe as he does.

    Beyond repugnant.

  202. opposablethumbs says

    And I almost forgot to thank SG for the OP! Heartening to read of someone who started seeing through religion’s tissue of lies at 8 years old, and has clearly gone from strength to strength ever since.

  203. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how fuckwitted idjits think they can talk theology without conclusive physical for their imaginary deity, and conclusive physical evidence that the babble is inerrant first. After all, their theology is based on the presumptions of their deity and holy book being true, but with without that conclusive evidence, both presumptions are false (null hypothesis). All it means is that they talk meaningless nonsense, thinking they are being cogent, as Philo so aptly shows. Meaningless word salad does not a well evidenced argument make. Evidence that is solid and physical wins.

    Which is why the gnu atheists can say there is no evidence for Philo’s imaginary deity. He has shown no evidence for it, and since he is making the claim for that deity, the burden of proof is upon him to show that evidence. We’re waiting Philo, and if you are a person of honor and integrity, you will put up that evidence or shut the fuck up about the claim. Liars and bullshitters can’t put up and can’t shut up.

    So far, Philo has shown great lying and bullshitting ability, and that those who proclaim a deity like he does are also liars and bullshitters just like him. Not setting a good example Philo.

  204. Anri says

    Being wrong about something doesn’t necessarily diminish the greatness of the person either. For example, Isaac Newton was great. Undeniably great. It doesn’t mean that he was right about alchemy, prolific on the subject though he was.

    “Being a genius is no excuse for being… dead wrong.”
    - Carl Sagan,
    Cosmos

  205. Richard Cornford says

    If causes are not required, causes are not required.

    By the way, we now know that some things are uncaused – they simply happen. Causes are not required, and god therefore cannot hide behind this particular threadbare cloth anymore.

    Would it matter even if a cause could be shown to be required? The Argument from contingency (and its family of related arguments) has always struck me as an equivocation fallacy. Well, I am told that it is actually a whole collection of equivocation fallacies, but the one that stands out to me is the one around the use of the word ’cause’.

    In the argument ’cause’ starts out as the general concept; the first half of a cause and effect relationship. By the end of the argument ’cause’ has transmuted into an entity, a “something”, and eventually a “necessary being”. But that is not a valid step because things can be caused by absence of things; Asphyxia is caused by the absence of oxygen, falling by the absence of physical support. In the general sense causes are not exclusively entities. Thus even if a ’cause’ were required that would not be enough to necessitate the existence of an entity to be that cause. There isn’t actually a ‘necessary’ to back up any assertion of “necessary being” even if the rest of the argument is accepted.

  206. camelspotter says

    #112 philo

    “p(E|H2) = 1.0 <== obviously if there's no God there cannot be evidence, so the probability is 1.0"

    This seems wrong. If there is no God, there could be evidence or good reasons for knowing this to be so. Consider if the concept of God was a logically incoherent idea (akin to married bachelors, an only child with siblings, etc).

    I was only dealing with whether absence of evidence is evidence of absence. (Obviously a logically incoherent God does not need evidence or statistical inference to rule out).

    You’re talking about absence of evidence for absence of a God.

    An all-powerful God is an all-powerful cause, therefore no observation is ever inconsistent with this hypothesis. There will always be a way to claim an observation has not ruled out such a God. More generally, there is never a way to rule out the possibility that our observations are limited in some way eg to some lower dimensional version of reality. Therefore, all we can ever say is that the reality we can detect seems to lack a God.

  207. Anri says

    But that is not a valid step because things can be caused by absence of things; Asphyxia is caused by the absence of oxygen, falling by the absence of physical support. In the general sense causes are not exclusively entities.

    Hmm, I think I understand what you’re saying here, but this in particular might not be the best example. One could turn it around by arguing that asphyxia isn’t something that is caused, but rather a lack of a thing (life function supported by oxygen) also caused by a lack of a thing (oxygen).

    It is certainly an equivocation fallacy in terms of trying to assume that a mysterious ‘uncaused cause’ is anything recognizable as any sort of deity posited by any major world religion. It’s just a desperate attempt to stick anything to the wall that you can hang the label “god” on.

  208. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Just because Hitch says it doesn’t mean we all agree, assclam. Hitch was a great writer, erudite and witty and funny, and excellent in a debate as well. But he was wrong about some stuff. A lot of the stuff he was wrong about involved women.

    Hitch was a product of his time. His mild misogyny (it is mild compared with what was the norm at the time) is a bit like Darwin’s “racism”.

    It takes a special kind of priviledge-blindness to assert that women don’t have a sense of humor just because they don’t laugh at sexist “jokes”, or to say the same thing of african-americans not laughing at racist “jokes”. And to go on to say that oh, these ones are funny because they make the very same sexist or racist “jokes” we’re just too PC to make anymore.

    Why don’t women laugh about certain things ?

    I’ll spell it out : it’s because they are still issues for us.

    Our mental capacities ? Because not so long ago women were not allowed in universities. Because in certain places, you have to raise your voice so that people are forced to hear your opinion on technical subjects, about which men (and sometimes women) automatically assume that you have none because you do not possess a male organ.

    Our appearence ? Because from the earliest childhood, we’re constantly drilled that the single most important thing for us is to please men, and that we won’t exist if don’t. You wouldn’t want to end up a bitter old maid surrounded with cats like aunty Gertrude, oh horror of horrors. No woman can ever have a fulfilling life without spawning a few times.

    Household chores ? Because we always end up stuck with them, no matter what our level of disponibility or inclination.

    I wonder how much men would have a good sense of humor if we started making jokes about their issues.

    Let’s make jokes about erectile dysfunction and see how funny 50-ish men find them.

  209. Louis says

    Kemist, #221

    Let’s make jokes about erectile dysfunction and see how funny 50-ish men find them.

    I’m only 37, I find them HILARIOUS. Does that help? ;-)

    Perhaps I’ll find them less funny later on. Mind you, I’ve heard that trick with two lolly pop sticks and an elastic band works.

    Comedy aside, your post, Word! {Clenched tentacle salute}

    Louis

  210. says

    Phido, in case you decide to come back like a dog to its vomit:

    Does being so rude ever get old to you guys? Because, frankly, it’s starting to become tired, trite and (somewhat ironically) very preachy.

    Does being a dishonest, condescending shitweasel ever get old to you? Because, frankly, it started to get tired, trite, and preachy yesterday.

    If you can’t get your point across without profanity, rudeness or any other sort of offensive language then you probably don’t have any arguments worthy of consideration. That’s an assumption I make, at least, when I have these conversations.

    As usual with your type, implying or outright claiming that a huge sector of humanity isn’t fully human is considered “polite,” but naughty words aren’t. This speaks a great deal about you, but because you have likely associated with similar wretches all your life, the lesson is probably lost on you.

    If you’re a female

    Uh, we’re not “females.” We’re women. There’s another misogynist tell, the use of “females” as a noun (your ilk seldom does the same with “males”). I call bullshit that you haven’t been paying attention to names, for reasons enumerated by Pteryxx at #172, as well as on the idea that you somehow get to decide whose argument is worth responding to.

    Caine, actually, he is a malodorous, peanut-studded, Ebola-infected smear of shit on the taint of the internet.

    Women definitely aren’t able to write anything worth responding to. ;)

    Ah, yes, the passive-aggressive winking smiley at the end of an obnoxious statement. Let me guess, you’re the sort who likes to make “Get back in the kitchen” jokes in meatspace with a nasty smile, then howl about how you were ONLY KIDDING, CAN’T YOU TAKE A JOKE, YOU FUCKING FEMINAZI?! when you get called out on it.

    Echidna, #205: Thank you for saying this. Because, as it keeps having to be explained to certain, usually male, atheists who don’t understand forces of social pressure — especially those to which they have never been subjected — intelligence is orthogonal to psychological circumstances.

    Trust me, Camelspotter, the smarter a girl is, the harder society works to make her hate herself, and oftentimes it succeeds.

    Koskha:

    I presume this is what 5 years of studying theology does to some peoples’ way of thinking.

    It’s not surprising that an ascriber to authoritarian thought believes in “guilty until proven innocent.”

    Kemist, I disagree that being “a product of his time” excuses or even explains Hitch’s misogyny. There are men currently in their 60s who are not misogynists. There are much younger men who are.

    As for making fun of men’s issues, while it is of course not right, it is telling that men who have no problems making misogynist jokes start howling their heads off when the shoe’s on the other foot, despite the lack of societal oppression that backs up anti-male jokes.

  211. baal says

    I’m saying one needs to study theology (or at least some sort of philosophy) in order to have objections that rationally justify their disbelief.

    Apologies to anyone else who may have responded to this item of Philo’s. I didn’t read the entire 222 or so replies before writing this.

    Philo, no no no no and a thousand times no.

    You need to go take classes on how to do science and then read a biography of Harry Houdini. The short version is that magic and paranormal stuff is make believe or tricks. How many card tricks and false bottoms do you need to see explained before you’re willing to junk the whole lot?

  212. andyo says

    Ms. Daisy

    As for making fun of men’s issues, while it is of course not right, it is telling that men who have no problems making misogynist jokes start howling their heads off when the shoe’s on the other foot, despite the lack of societal oppression that backs up anti-male jokes.

    Have you seen this Louis CK bit on being white (privileged)? Especially about the part that you can’t even hurt our feelings. Every time some MRA or a racist starts complaining about their perceived “equality”, it reminds me of what Louie says near the end.

  213. says

    Christopher Hitchens’ misogyny a product of his time? No, sorry, have to disagree there. I wouldn’t call Hitchens misogyny especially mild either.

  214. sambarge says

    So, I’m Sandra G. I can’t begin to describe the emotional roller-coaster of this morning so let me sum it up in Homerisms:

    1. seeing my post on Pharyngula (Whoohoo!),
    2. seeing my real name on Pharyngula (D’oh) and
    3. seeing 220+ comments about my post (oh, oh). Well, this can’t be good.

    Who knew that an off-the-cuff email written months ago would result in any sort of response? I guess I should have known that calling myself a feminist would bring out the trolls but I suppose my pink girlie brain felt the misogyny of the Abrahamic faiths was sufficiently established that I didn’t need to enumerate the theological and practical offenses. Actually, I still feel that way. If you don’t know that the Abrahamic faiths are misogynist, than either you haven’t been paying attention or you are invested in not seeing the truth. Either way, I’m not interested in re-writing what has already been written many, many, many times before (possibly even in this thread, as I haven’t gotten through all of it yet).

    Philo – Honey, your concern for my academic success is truly touching. Just to put your mind at rest, I received 97% in Philosophy and Religion which over-shadowed the 96% I received in Aristotelian Logic the year before. However, both marks were sufficient to win me the Philosophy department’s book award for academic excellence two years in a row. Also, the chair of the Philosophy department encouraged me to change my major from History. I declined because I knew that my interest in Philosophy was maintained only by how it informed my study of History. What I found most distasteful about Philosophy was that the department was populated with self-important but not particularly bright pseudo-intellectuals, of whom there were fewer in the History department.

    This isn’t universally true, of course, and the posturing seems to disappear once a PhD is achieved. I happen to be related to a very nice Philosophy prof who isn’t at all a lame-ass, pseudo-intellectual poseur who thinks a post on Pharyngula describing the moment a child discovered the truth about religion and set themselves on a path that led to committed atheism needs to be written like a fully-cited, sourced research paper.

    Also, Philo, dear, please rest assured that I studied the theology of the Old and New Testaments, including reading the leading philosophers on religion. I did not pursue advanced or graduate studies in theology, as I preferred to study and write about things that could be proven to be true versus the philosophies behind fantasies. I see that a smart person up thread has already linked The Courtier’s Reply so I won’t belabour that point. (Having read through the thread, it seems you saw fit to dismiss the Reply. Huh. Are you sure you’ve studied it extensively enough to reject it? Where are your sources and arguments other than your stated argument that the linked page has a link to Sarah Palin – who we all know is a woman?) I have not studied Islam in any detailed or academic fashion but as I reject the existence of a supernatural world (except when I read Harry Potter or Tolkien) I do not feel the need to learn the philosophical basis of Islam’s oppression of women. I know the faith oppresses women and my mind won’t be changed about the oppression because someone can quote Mohammed’s assurance that it was okay with God to do it.

    I see that you are arguing up thread that the Christian doctrine preaching the submission of women isn’t ‘as oppressive’ as we feminist make it seem. Well, I guess a little oppression is okay then… So long as it’s not you being oppressed, amirite? AMIRITE? Can I get a Hallelujah?!

    Well, no, actually, I’m afraid you’re wrong. Any oppression (regardless of the quantum) is wrong but particularly when it comes at the behest of an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God. That does not mean that, as a historian, I can’t acknowledge that the Church gave women a sort of freedom by offering a career (as a nun) as an option to marriage and motherhood (dangerous prospects prior to the advent of regular hand-washing). By today’s standards, a life of submission to the Church is no more liberating than a life of submission to one man. However, until very recently, depending on a woman’s financial/class situation, the Church was often the only career available for those who wanted more than their mothers.

    So, naturally, the concepts of oppression and misogyny are not as simple as my 8 yr old self thought. I’ve grown up and studied a lot and learned a lot about the world, social justice and the intersectionalities of oppression.

    Unfortunately for you Philo (and everyone on this thread who had to read your posts) I did not interpret the statement “Why I am an atheist” as “What years of study and experience has taught me about the world that informs my lack of faith, along with citations to relevant, peer-reviewed sources.” Nor, to the best of my recollection, have many of the other contributors to this meme treated the subject that way. I went back to the first moment I knew, without any evidence but my own reasoning, that the priests, nuns and teachers were lying about God and the faith (the two being synonymous for me at the time) and the aegis of that moment was my feminism.

    It seems to me that you are either a believer in God (but then, why not attack every thread in this meme) or you are not a feminist or a supporter of feminist ideals. Either way, I assume there is nothing I could have written that would have changed your opinion on God or women.

    So, you know, whatever.

    Thanks to everyone who supported my essay, my feminism and my atheism on this thread. I’m sorry it flushed out a troll.

  215. andyo says

    Oh, and I see the top comment in that video is a perfect example! Youtube commenters never fail to disappoint.

  216. says

    Sambarge:
    Thank you for the original posting and your thoughtful reply. I enjoyed reading your story very much.

    I’m sorry it flushed out a troll

    You have absolutely no reason to be sorry! *

    *please correct me if I am being too presumptuous.

  217. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Thanks to everyone who supported my essay, my feminism and my atheism on this thread. I’m sorry it flushed out a troll.

    No need to apologize. Anything with the hint of feminism is perfect troll bait though it is hard to predict when one will attract a particularly stubborn one like philo.

    What is funny is this, it does seem that you done enough studying on the topic to reject your religious upbringing. Well, provided that philo thinks that you are interesting enough.

    And I think most of us know the answer to that.

    Also, you should know by now that many of the regulars love it when a troll like philo shows up. Funny how it only took a little prodding to get him to drop his lie of being neutral on the subject and to get him to show the range of his misogyny.

    All I can say, sam, is this; great job.

  218. says

    Sandra/Sambarge:

    Having read through the thread, it seems you saw fit to dismiss the Reply. Huh.

    Well, I posted it, and my handle is feminine, so obviously it wasn’t worth responding to. Also, I swear, which is not only rude but unfeminine, so why should Phido reward me with d00dly attention?

    Great response. Just don’t expect a troll who operates in such flagrantly bad faith to concede anything.

  219. Brownian says

    And Philo wonders why we’re not impressed by his arguments.

    Yes, but did you notice his ‘nym? It’s Philo. That’s like, Greek. Did you know Greek and Latin are the languages of intellectuals?

    I mean, c’mon; that ‘nym is an argument-winner right there.

  220. Happiestsadist says

    Sambarge: Your OP and your reply here are damned impressive. (Also, my experience with philosophy departments definitely agrees with yours.)

  221. Brownian says

    (Also, my experience with philosophy departments definitely agrees with yours.)

    For the sake of brevity, we should probably just encourage those whose experience with philosophy departments was different (however unlikely that is) to weigh in on this. ;)

  222. philo says

    “An all-powerful God is an all-powerful cause, therefore no observation is ever inconsistent with this hypothesis. There will always be a way to claim an observation has not ruled out such a God. More generally, there is never a way to rule out the possibility that our observations are limited in some way eg to some lower dimensional version of reality. Therefore, all we can ever say is that the reality we can detect seems to lack a God.”

    Well why would that be? All we can ever say is that the reality we can detect seems to lack a God? I don’t find this very compelling because I think we have good reasons to think our reality does contain a God, and not comparably good reasons to think that God does not exist. The finitude of a contingent universe seems a good example of this. Why does a contingent universe exist? Because the universe is not infinite in duration in its past, what can adequately explain why it exists? There seem to only be a few options: either the universe caused itself to exist, the universe (or some natural aspect of it) has always existed [making it a necessary being], or it has some sort of external cause.

    The problem with the first one is apparently obvious. Effects cannot serve as efficient causes. The universe could not have created itself because that entails a logical absurdity- namely, existing before it exists. I think we can safely rule this option out.

    The second option- that the universe exists by the necessity of its own nature (that is, it is impossible that the universe not exist)- also seems problematic since necessary being requires never having come into existence, which the universe has. When the universe began to exist at the moment of Big Bang there was no prior space, time, or matter, so whatever it was that caused it to come into being deductively must have been spaceless, timeless, and immaterial. And as the KCA points out, we aren’t really left with too many alternatives here. Spaceless, timeless, immaterial causes really only have to possible options: personal or impersonal causes. So what sort of impersonal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial things exist? Well some philosophers have argued that things like abstract objects fit this criteria, and I’m inclined to agree. Things like numbers, properties, sets, propositions, et cetera all are spaceless, timeless, immaterial and impersonal entities. The problem, however, is that abstract objects are causally impotent! Abstract objects never cause something to begin to exist. William Lane Craig summarizes the problem nicely by asking,


    For how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect like the universe? If the cause were an impersonal set of necessary and sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without the effect. If the cause were timelessly present, then the effect would be timelessly present as well. The only way for the cause to be timeless and the effect to begin in time is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions.”

    Which brings us to the third alternative, that the universe was brought into being by some external cause. This alternative seems the most probable given the logical impossibility of the universe having caused itself to exist, the problem of the universe being contingent and therefore not necessary in its existence, and the fact that it is the only option that has the most explanatory power. “Okay, so the universe was caused to exist by some sort of external cause. That doesn’t tell us what the cause is. Why rush off to assuming it’s your religion’s deity?”, right? Well I think we have good reasons for thinking that this cause is a personal creator because of the following reasons:

    The cause must be personal. Whatever it was that caused the universe to exist is either timeless, spaceless, immaterial and impersonal, or timelesss, spaceless, immaterial and personal. Given that abstract objects are causally impotent and cannot sufficiently explain what brought the universe into being, it therefore reasonable to deduce that this cause of the universe is a personal cause (i.e. a mind). Taken together, it becomes clear why theists take this as an argument for God’s existence- the cause of the universe is a personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial mind which is unimaginably powerful (having created a universe ex nihilo).

  223. sambarge says

    Thanks again, everyone. I appreciate that arguing with a troll can be satisfying, particularly a troll like Philo, who seems remarkably un-self aware.

    I just re-read Philo’s first comment and got all the way to the end this time (without screaming obsenities at my poor, defenseless computer) and I note he said this:

    “I have saved the text and taken screenshots to prove later on (should the question arise) that this is the quality of work that gets associated with P.Z. Myers.”

    My work is quality enough to get associated with P.Z. Myers?! Whoohoo! Look at me, Maw! Top of the world! I’m smart enough to be associated with P.Z. Myers! And I thought there would be no future in my History degree.

  224. Matt Penfold says

    Holy fuck, the hypocritical misogynist lying sack of shit is back.

    He is still talking crap as well.

    Philo, fuck off. You are not wanted here.

  225. sambarge says

    Oh look, Philo is back from his nap and quoting William Lane Craig.

    Well, he’s definitely out of my league. I can’t read Craig without doing myself a great injury from excessive eye-rolling.

    Philo @238:

    “Taken together, it becomes clear why theists take this as an argument for God’s existence- the cause of the universe is a personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial mind which is unimaginably powerful (having created a universe ex nihilo).”

    So tell me, why does this personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial mind want me to submit to my spouse?

    Please, feel free to elaborate with citations.

  226. philo says

    Sambarge,

    I just read your response. You wrote a lot and so I hoped somewhere in there I’d find some sort of reference to an argument you found compelling that. Since it wasn’t in that response, will you share with us your reasons why you’re an atheist now? 220+ comments later and now we can finally get some where!

    Also, that’s great that you did so well in school. Congrats. Maybe you can put that Aristotelian logic to good use and give us a syllogism?

  227. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Philo, that which is asserted without evidence, which your entire post #238, not one citation to any evidence there, can be dismissed without evidence. POOF, your fuckwittery is dismissed for the mental wankery it is. Your deity doesn’t exist, no evidence for it. Your holy book is mythlogy fiction, as you haven’t shown any evidence otherwise. And your theology is nothing but fiction, as it is based on the twin lies of your imaginary deity and your holy book not being mythlogy/fiction.

    Show otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence, liar and bullshitter.

  228. hotshoe says

    So tell me, why does this personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial mind want me to submit to my spouse?

    Please, feel free to elaborate with citations.

    Ooh, snap!

  229. Matt Penfold says

    I see the hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit is still hypocritical, still misogynistic, still lying and still a sack of shit. I also note that for someone who seems keen of being polite, he seems unable to offer any kind of apology when one is clear due from him to Sambarge. I guess he is not a polite as he makes out.

  230. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Such a condescending pig.

    Sambarge, best do what Philo says or he will just throw more attitude at you. You are lucky that he does not ask you to submit to you.

    Oh, wait, he has.

  231. Matt Penfold says

    You are lucky that he does not ask you to submit to you.

    Did the hypocritical misogynistic lying sack of shit ever state just how submissive he wanted women to be ?

  232. hotshoe says

    Sambarge,

    I just read your response. You wrote a lot and so I hoped somewhere in there I’d find some sort of reference to an argument you found compelling that. Since it wasn’t in that response, will you share with us your reasons why you’re an atheist now? 220+ comments later and now we can finally get some where!

    Also, that’s great that you did so well in school. Congrats. Maybe you can put that Aristotelian logic to good use and give us a syllogism?

    Fuck off, you filthy misogynist. The fact that you are so puffed up with false pride as to expect a reply from the woman you excoriated in your first post is all by itself proof of your misogyny, much less all the supporting details you provided later. Your kind is not welcome here.

    Go back to your dorm and tell your Catlicker roomies how mean the atheists are over at pharyngula. Go on, we know you want to.

  233. sambarge says

    Philo @242:

    “Maybe you can put that Aristotelian logic to good use…”

    I put logic to good use every day. I would be happy to knock out a Venn diagram illustrating the logical fallacy of the existence of God for you sometime – very 1st yr stuff.

    But, you haven’t answered my question about the immaterial mind that requires my submission (albeit, just a little bit of submission) to my spouse.

  234. says

    So some of the Catholic priests are pedophiles- what conclusions can you draw from this? That God doesn’t exist? Really?

    Yes. The Catholic Church has as doctrine that while God would not actively command the church, he would not let it actively go directly against his wishes or go astray. He would not allow the election of a heretical Pope for example, or allow the Church founders to let in heretical books to the Bible.

    either option here means that the Christian God as depicted does not exist.

    A) Either “God” exists but is fine with pedophilia, which means that the bible is inaccurate in regards to his character. In other words, a being exists that wants to be called God but is not benevolent and thus other accounts of it are thrown into question.

    b) God isn’t present and the Church is acting as people

    Either way a pedophilia scandal literally cannot occur in the Catholic Church, all the way up to the level of Pope, and for Jesus The Living Christ god to be real.

  235. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    So some of the Catholic priests are pedophiles- what conclusions can you draw from this? That God doesn’t exist? Really?

    Um, no, fuckface. Priest raping children is entirely independent of proof of the existence of god. Al that sickening story relates is this, the RCC would rather maintain the image of being morally superior that actually admit wrong doing by it’s member and expelling them.

    Shit, I was an atheist decades before the stories raping priests and the cover up was expose.

    But I suppose that none of this is very interesting.

    Also, drop dead you worthless waste of meat.

  236. Snoof says

    Either “God” exists but is fine with pedophilia, which means that the bible is inaccurate in regards to his character. In other words, a being exists that wants to be called God but is not benevolent and thus other accounts of it are thrown into question.

    Come now. You’ve read the Old Testament. If God is a hypocritical, murderous monster, I’d say the OT is pretty accurate in regards to his character.

  237. sambarge says

    The altar-boy raping priest was used as an example of dishonesty and hypocrisy, not the lack of the existence of God. I’m sorry I mentioned it because, in combination with my name, I’m afraid it will just re-open old wounds of men who were my friends when they were being assaulted and didn’t know what to do about it.

    I don’t need to prove that God doesn’t exist; believers have to prove that he does. And, believers can’t prove that empirically. If they could, they would have by now. Nothing Philo quotes is any different than what I read and rejected as logically false and/or spurious in my late teens/early 20s.

    He’s a pathetic intellect who thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips – intellectually.

  238. Matt Penfold says

    I like the misogynist pig is being taken apart by one of those intellectually inferior women he so despises. I would say that it must be doing serious damage to his ego, but he is too stupid to realise just how intellectually ahead of him Sambarge is.

  239. says

    The crested porcupine, Hystrix cristata, is the largest of the Old World porcupines with a body length of up to 80 cm and weighing up to 27 kg. It has long quils which can be raised into a crest for defensive purposes. It’s native to northern Africa and the south of Europe, but its range will likely expand to include Philo’s anus, where it may well be introduced in the near future.

  240. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m getting a healthy giggle out of what a coward this philo kid is. he admits to to being too frightened of women and his obvious inadequacies to respond to what women post. The unconvincing bravado only makes that more clear.

    it’s deeply amusing to see what a pants-pissing coward you are philo.

  241. Brownian says

    So some of the Catholic priests are pedophiles- what conclusions can you draw from this? That God doesn’t exist? Really?

    We can conclude that God does not seem to care about evil committed by those who purport to act in his name. If the victims of such are dissuaded from believing in God, then God’s inaction is not consistent with the claim that God wishes everyone to believe and worship him. (And whether or not it is logical or reasonable for one to disbelieve in God because one has been abused by one of his self-styled servants is completely irrelevant: it is the end result that matters.) All of this supports the claim that if salvation exists, faith is not required. And if faith is not required for salvation, then why exort people to believe in Jesus at all? Annie Dillard’s Eskimo comes to mind. Further, if there is an ‘out’ for individuals abused into atheism, then God must have to adjust for such contingencies in order to be considered just (and no matter what, he is cannot be considered just in any Rawlsian way): but what are these adjustments? No apologist can have any compelling idea at this point: it’s all handwaving, and that’s exactly what WLC does.

    Whether believers like it or not, the existence of evil, and evil done in God’s name, tells us something about God, if he exists.

  242. Pteryxx says

    I’m getting a healthy giggle out of what a coward this philo kid is. he admits to to being too frightened of women and his obvious inadequacies to respond to what women post.

    Heck, I think you’re on to something.

  243. philo says

    Sam,

    I didn’t say you needed to prove God doesn’t exist. I’ve never said you have to prove that. I only asked what your reasons for being an atheist are. If you have arguments, great. You said you studied phil of religion and did well, you probably have some insights you can share with us about why you think God doesn’t exist (if you think He doesn’t). So share them with us.

    Depending on where you studied phil of religion you probably learned both sides (theological and atheological arguments), so if you think highly of some of the atheological arguments then I just want to know which ones.

  244. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I only asked what your reasons for being an atheist are.

    Your deity is imginary, only existing between your delusional ears. Prove otherwise with solid and conclusive physcial evidence, or shut the fuck up. Welcome to science where evidence, not OPINION, rules.

  245. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Brownian:

    Yes, but did you notice his ‘nym? It’s Philo. That’s like, Greek. Did you know Greek and Latin are the languages of intellectuals?

    Also Seleucid emperors. And those who would use the nyms of Seleucid emperors as some kind of statement about personal OK. Greeks too.

    Philo:

    Whatever it was that caused the universe to exist is either timeless, spaceless, immaterial and impersonal, or timelesss, spaceless, immaterial and personal.

    So god is nonexistent and impersonal (like the square root of a negative number) or nonexistent and personal (like a smurf). We’ve made some progress today.

    Also, if you are interested in understanding the origins of the universe, read physics, not philosophy. A very rudimentary understanding of cosmology would help you see the holes in William Lane Craig’s your argument.

  246. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Ahem. Imma try that again.

    Brownian:

    Yes, but did you notice his ‘nym? It’s Philo. That’s like, Greek. Did you know Greek and Latin are the languages of intellectuals?

    Also Seleucid emperors. And those who would use the nyms of Seleucid emperors as some kind of statement about personal intellectual faculties. Fuck the Ptolmeys, amirite? OK. Greeks too.

    Philo:

    Whatever it was that caused the universe to exist is either timeless, spaceless, immaterial and impersonal, or timelesss, spaceless, immaterial and personal.

    So god is nonexistent and impersonal (like the square root of a negative number) or nonexistent and personal (like a smurf). We’ve made some progress today.

    Also, if you are interested in understanding the origins of the universe, read physics, not philosophy. A very rudimentary understanding of cosmology would help you see the holes in William Lane Craig’s your argument.

  247. sambarge says

    Philo @260

    I didn’t say you needed to prove God doesn’t exist. I’ve never said you have to prove that. I only asked what your reasons for being an atheist are. If you have arguments, great. You said you studied phil of religion and did well, you probably have some insights you can share with us about why you think God doesn’t exist (if you think He doesn’t). So share them with us.
    Depending on where you studied phil of religion you probably learned both sides (theological and atheological arguments), so if you think highly of some of the atheological arguments then I just want to know which ones.

    Is it not sufficient for me to reject the existence of what is claimed to be an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful being because that being requires,based n sex, my submission to my spouse.

    Do I need to a philosopher’s seminal insight before I can reject the existence of a being for which there is no evidence of existence and who requires my submission to my spouse in atonement of a sin I never committed?

    Is that what you’re saying? That my reason for not believing in God isn’t good enough because it’s not – what? – a reason given to me by a thoughtful man?

    Well, sorry for repeating myself but I am an atheist because I’m a feminist. I don’t know if I would have found reasons to deny the existence of God, if accepting him did not require that I allow myself to be less than the men around me – even the men who are so obviously less than me. I may have rejected God and faith anyway but I may have not. What I know is the first time I rejected God, it was on the basis of my feminism. And that is a completely valid basis for rejection, regardless of what you think, Philo.

    The issue of God’s existence has never interested me or affected me except when he is used as a basis for limiting or stripping my rights based on my sex. I’ve never found compelling evidence for the existence of God and, surprisingly, I find the idea of my oppression sufficiently compelling to reject faith and the Abrahamic God.

    Let me put this terms you may understand; black people (including men, so this is important, you should pay attention) don’t need a lot of philosophical reasons to reject slavery. Likewise, women don’t need a lot of philosophical reasons to reject misogyny. If you can’t understand that, then we can’t make each other understand anything.

    I have read no compelling philosophical arguments for the existence of God. I am, like everyone, unable to reconcile evil in the world (e.g. misogyny) with the existence of an omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent God. That’s it. No reason to believe it, ample reason to reject it.

    You still haven’t answered my question, by the way (re. the immaterial mind God and minor submission of women to their spouses).

  248. says

    I only asked what your reasons for being an atheist are.

    Because not believing should be the fucking default position, asshat.
    That porcupine is still waiting for you, by the way.

  249. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    sambarge: Since you’re around– helluva good post. I don’t normally enjoy reading these “Why I’m an atheist” posts, but yours is a perspective that I don’t believe has been articulated here.

  250. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Sambarge:

    Do I need to a philosopher’s seminal insight before I can reject the existence of a being for which there is no evidence of existence and who requires my submission to my spouse in atonement of a sin I never committed?

    While feminism and humanism plays into my objections to the christian god, those were not the reasons why I became an atheist when I was sixteen or seventeen. I went straight from being a teen lay member of a church to an atheist. It happened because the concept of god made no sense.

    I did believe what philo has been trumpeting recently, that god was timeless, eternal and the cause of everything. But I started thinking about what was demanded by this creature, how it handed down laws that were to be followed. Why an eternal and unchanging creature changed it’s mind about Jews being the chosen people and sent Jesus, what of all of the gentiles who lived before Jesus? Why a creature that cannot be hurt by it’s creation cared about what humans did and thought.

    I was bothered that this creature, even though there was no need, acted as a tyrant. The rewards for being saved seemed underwhelming.

    I could not see the reason why this creature needed to be prayed to. I could not see the need for obedience. I could not see how this creature made any sense. I also looked at my attempt at believing and saw that I did nothing wrong.

    So I dropped my concept of god.

    I did not become angry at this concept of god until later when I could better see how it twisted the actions of people.

  251. says

    Philo,
    I will grant you your premise that the universe had a first cause that is a mind.*
    my question, given the above, is “so what?”

    Please educate me on what that entails regarding our current experience of the world. What facts, methods, modalities, prescriptions, rules, theories, etc. can be derived by granting this premise?

    *offer good one time only. Offer not valid in Ca, Md, or Or. Some restrictions apply.

  252. sambarge says

    Janine @ 268

    While feminism and humanism plays into my objections to the christian god, those were not the reasons why I became an atheist when I was sixteen or seventeen.

    I’m certainly not suggesting that my way is or should be the only way – hence the point of these posts, right? Different paths to the same conclusion.

  253. says

    From how I read it, Sambarge, and please correct me if I’m projecting too much; is that it’s an issue of The Catholic God As Presented to Laity(CGPTL) hitting the a problem of evil. The issue is that CGPTL is supposed to be a morally perfect being, yet people’s morality is shaped by secular influences. When one conflicts with the other dissonance is created. Usually this starts with spinning wheels trying to justify or rationalize away a contradiction; but when the evidence from both the scripture itself and the actions of the church (like I said it is Church doctrine that God would not let them lead people astray) you either have to reject your own ethics or reject the idea of God being good. Once the idea of God == benevolence is gone, there is no reason to hold the idea anymore. It isn’t useful, it is no longer a comfortable thought. Once a belief that lacks evidence is no longer comfortable it can be freely eschewed.

  254. says

    @Ye Olde Blacksmith:

    Exactly. Even given there was some intelligence behind the creation of the universe, you can strike it out as being any of the god concepts currently espoused by the religious. Almost all of them are in some way personal, and yet there is no evidence for a personal intelligence out there.

    So lack of personal intelligence results in… an intelligence that is in no way, shape, or form different from no intelligence at all.

  255. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I’m certainly not suggesting that my way is or should be the only way – hence the point of these posts, right? Different paths to the same conclusion.

    I did not think you were suggesting that, that is the point of the series.

    But let us go back to teasing fuckface. (I know, you are not playing this game. So I am happy to make up for you.) Each and every path to this conclusion is equally invalid according to philo.

    And very uninteresting.

  256. sambarge says

    Ms. Daisy @276

    Oh, so nicely played.

    Hmm… It would have been nicer played if I had remembered to type “have” in the original. I thought it might be a bit too subtle but thanks for getting it.

    Janine @274

    Philo is kind of uninteresting, isn’t he?

  257. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Since it wasn’t in that response, will you share with us your reasons why you’re an atheist now? 220+ comments later and now we can finally get some where!

    What is this stench ? Did somebody fart ?

    Ah. Misogynist ghoul.

    Look, it crawled back in. We should really be more careful about properly closing doors behind us so that vermin is kept outside.

    And also, we keep noticing that it has still not answered how much submission is acceptable for women. Should we be lenient ? After all, decomposition is very hard on ghoul’s brains.

    Also, that’s great that you did so well in school. Congrats. Maybe you can put that Aristotelian logic to good use and give us a syllogism?

    Peeeew…

    I see it continues to wank and crap all over the place.

    Somebody better call sanitation, or will have other problems soon.

  258. 'Tis Himself says

    Philo is kind of uninteresting, isn’t he?

    On the contrary, he’s interesting in a train-wreck sort of way. Playing with him is less dangerous than dropping water balloons from tall buildings and he lasts longer than cheap bubblegum.

  259. sambarge says

    Not my kind of play, I’m afraid. I’m tired of the disingenuous misogynist who just wants a reasonable conversation. There are too many assholes of that ilk on the internet.

  260. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    On the contrary, he’s interesting in a train-wreck sort of way.

    Mmmmm…

    Yec123 is a funnier trainwreck than that one.

    I’d say this one is more like a dead bird carcass. You can’t keep youself from poking it with a stick or nudging it with your foot ’till you see the maggots inside. Fascinating in its own disgusting way, if you can stand the stink.

  261. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    C’mon, sambarge. I agree with ‘Tis. It’s fun to watch him piss his pants in fear and cower away from even attempting to prove he’s not a weak, terrified boy hiding behind misogyny and fairy tales to convince himself he’s not. I wonder if the flaccid little chickenshit is talking to his imaginary friend about this. I mean, where’s the lightning bolts to shut the bitchez up?

  262. Forbidden Snowflake says

    God cannot have a cause because God is timeless and eternal.

    How can something be both timeless and eternal? “Eternal” is defined with respect to time, and doesn’t mean anything outside of time, AFAICT.

    Good pose, sambarge.

  263. 'Tis Himself says

    Philo #238

    I think we have good reasons to think our reality does contain a God, and not comparably good reasons to think that God does not exist.

    You’re still ignoring all that lack of evidence for gods, particularly your favorite pet god. As has been shown, absence of evidence is evidence for absence. Besides, as a philosopher wannabee, you should be aware that the burden of proof in on the person making the positive statement. You’re pretending there’s gods in general and your sadistic bully of a god in particular. So it’s up to you to pony up the evidence to convince us atheists that your megalomaniac of a god exists.

    Why does a contingent universe exist? Because the universe is not infinite in duration in its past, what can adequately explain why it exists?

    Apparently you’re unfamiliar with the concept of virtual particles. Many cosmologists think, based on evidence, that the net energy of the universe is zero and therefore the entire universe is a virtual particle. Granted, this is only a hypothesis, but then so is the existence of your asshole of a god.

    the universe exists by the necessity of its own nature (that is, it is impossible that the universe not exist)- also seems problematic since necessary being requires never having come into existence, which the universe has.

    This is just a semantic game. Essentially you’re saying the universe exists and had a beginning but a “necessary being” doesn’t have a beginning so the universe isn’t “necessary”. What is so necessary about a “necessary being”? Just because you and Aquinas really, truly hope that a “necessary being” exists doesn’t mean it does.

    Which brings us to the third alternative, that the universe was brought into being by some external cause. This alternative seems the most probable given the logical impossibility of the universe having caused itself to exist, the problem of the universe being contingent and therefore not necessary in its existence, and the fact that it is the only option that has the most explanatory power.

    Your bastard god has zero explanatory power. What created it? If you’re pretending it always was then you’re just indulging in special pleading, which is a logical fallacy. Also your motherfucking god violates Occam’s razor. It adds a completely unnecessary part to the origin of the universe, just pushing creation one step further back.

    The cause must be personal.

    Just because you say so doesn’t make it so.

    Given that abstract objects are causally impotent and cannot sufficiently explain what brought the universe into being, it therefore reasonable to deduce that this cause of the universe is a personal cause (i.e. a mind).

    Sorry, argument by assertion is unconvincing. As Carl Sagan observed: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” It may be reasonable for you to deduce that your asswipe god invented the universe. It’s not reasonable for us.

    There’s one further point you’ve been avoiding all this time. You insist your fuckwad Christian god is the one and only deity. Like your hero, Alvin “logical fallacy” Plantinga, you’ve failed to rule out any of the thousands of other gods invented by humans over the millennia. How do you know Huitzilopotchli isn’t getting angrier and angrier that hearts aren’t being offered to him any more and he’ll decide to shut down the universe?

  264. Brownian says

    How do you know Huitzilopotchli isn’t getting angrier and angrier that hearts aren’t being offered to him any more and he’ll decide to shut down the universe?

    No worries. I’ve been taking care of that. Proselytisers ignore the “No soliciting” sticker on my mailbox at their peril.

  265. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Why does a contingent universe exist? Because the universe is not infinite in duration in its past, what can adequately explain why it exists?

    Of course our favorite ghoul thinks that the only way to explain this is philosophical wanking.

    It has no choice, since it has no understanding of physics, as this demonstrate :

    The problem with the first one is apparently obvious. Effects cannot serve as efficient causes. The universe could not have created itself because that entails a logical absurdity- namely, existing before it exists. I think we can safely rule this option out.

    Apparently its brain cannot wrap itself around the concept that space and time are two aspects of the same thing and that demanding causality when both time and space don’t exist is absurd on its face.

  266. opposablethumbs says

    So tell me, why does this personal, timeless, spaceless, immaterial mind want me to submit to my spouse?
    Please, feel free to elaborate with citations.

    And sambarge hits it for six. Again.

    It’s almost sad, in a pathetic wet Wednesday sort of way, that philo is almost certainly too limited to realise how comprehensively he’s been pwned.

  267. camelspotter says

    echidna@205 wrote:

    “I guess you can’t fool a smart child into hating herself…”

    My problem with this comment is that it indirectly labels the girls who do get sucked into the church’s misogyny as “not smart”.

    True, wanting to stay loyal etc, can be enough to prevent rebellion or questioning.

    Ms. Daisy Cutter

    Echidna, #205: Thank you for saying this. Because, as it keeps having to be explained to certain, usually male, atheists who don’t understand forces of social pressure — especially those to which they have never been subjected — intelligence is orthogonal to psychological circumstances.
    Trust me, Camelspotter, the smarter a girl is, the harder society works to make her hate herself, and oftentimes it succeeds.

    Thanks, I’ll try to take that insight on-board.

    Philo@238

    [David Lane Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument]

    Simpler explanations for the Big Bang than an all-powerful, God-like mind have not been excluded. Therefore “the universe exists” is not good evidence in favour of such a God.

    Craig’s argument is fallacious: “everything that begins to exist has a cause” is not certain because we don’t know why the Big Bang happened. If space-time “began to exist” at the Big Bang we simply don’t know what that implies about any kind of “cause”. Craig’s syllogism cannot help us here. We need to understand the Big Bang better in order to understand the nature of causation better, not the other way around.

  268. 'Tis Himself says

    David Lane Craig

    Philo’s second favorite philosopher is William Lane Craig. You know, the guy who says that if his god does something obviously immoral, like ordering genocide and rape, then the action becomes completely moral. Craig also says the true victims of the Canaanite genocide were the poor soldiers who had to do the slaughtering. And the genocide was the Canaanites’ fault anyway, because they didn’t move off their land just because some foreign invaders wanted it.

    Real nice guy, Billy Craig. No wonder Philo likes him.

  269. says

    All this crap about the Christian god being “timeless”… such bullshit. A Shelby Cobra is timeless. The Christian god’s a fucking Toyota Corolla.

  270. concernedjoe says

    Philo – it is simple.

    There is no reason or need to believe it ain’t just chemistry and physics; to say it a different way, there is no evidence for the entity people call god(s) but there is evidence – be it empirical or mathematical – for chemistry and physics at work.

    You present wishful thinking and argumentum ad ignorantiam; but worse argumentum ornithologicum spews from you.

    The burden on you is to prove the existence of your god(s).

    We remain theologically atheist and scientifically agnostic.

    Where’s the beef?

    As to Sandra’s essay – stop being sophist Philo. You’d have to be stupid as shit to not see her points. They are obvious.

    Furthermore you’d have to be stupid as shit to not see her context and thus the justifications for her conclusions. She’s not the one who was claiming infallibility – the bat shit crazy RRC.

    As to the RRC does not represent god – tell that to the Pope!

  271. Azuma Hazuki says

    Okay, around post 181 I just skipped right to the bottom here as it seems like Philo (how dare you use that noble man’s name!) has shut down his higher functions and begun channeling van Til and company.

    Philo, there is a fallacy you and all others of your ilk commit, which underlies all your theological arguments: you equate Yahweh with the philosophers’ God. Get this through your thick Calvinist skull right the fuck now: they are not the same.

    There very well may be a God. There may very well be a necessary being. There may very well be a self-caused, eternal, transcendent, omni-$ATTRIBUTE existence. We can’t prove there isn’t, not with these puny finite minds, especially not if this God feels like hiding from us.

    There may well be a God…but it is not your scatological, murderous, petty, tortuous sky tyrant who couldn’t figure out that, e.g., a spine is a pretty poor vertical support. You are the worst class of blasphemer, because instead of making use of the evidence whatever God that may exist has planted around you in the natural world, you twist and bend the world around your own evil thoughts.

    Luther was right; Reason is a whore. But in an enlightened society, we punish the pimps and johns, and you, my fundamentalist friend, are both. Your God, in actuality, lives between your ears. You and yours spew bad science and worse philosophy, and in your chest beats the heart of a vulture, with the conscience of a hyena in your mind. For the love of all that is good, disappear and never inflict yourself on the internet again.

  272. says

    Sambarge:

    Hmm… It would have been nicer played if I had remembered to type “have” in the original.

    Tpyos haeppn.

    Camelspotter:

    Thanks, I’ll try to take that insight on-board.

    Thanks.

    Timaahy:

    The Christian god’s a fucking Toyota Corolla.

    HEY! As a Corolla owner, I object. A Toyota Corolla is a reliable, well-made, unflashy automobile that will last a long time with basic maintenance. It’s much better than any deity but especially the xtian one.

  273. says

    Daisy Cutter, look at it this way:
    Is a Shelby Cobra built on an aluminum chassis? Yes.
    Is a Toyota Corolla built on an aluminum chassis? No.
    Is the Christian god built on an aluminum chassis? No.

    Therefore the Christian god is a Toyota Corolla and the Shelby Cobra is not duck. QED.

  274. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What sort of gas mileage does the Christian god get?

    Hard to say. It stops working evey time it meets an iron chariot.

  275. concernedjoe says

    Nerd #296

    Gas mileage (miles per unit) is the wrong measurement.

    God efficiency is measured in “members per preacher’s brain fart” although “dollars or ducats or whatever per high priest’s brain fart” has often been used by the owners that manufacture Him.

  276. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Is a Shelby Cobra built on an aluminum chassis? Yes.
    Is a Toyota Corolla built on an aluminum chassis? No.
    Is the Christian god built on an aluminum chassis? No.

    Therefore the Christian god is a Toyota Corolla and the Shelby Cobra is not duck. QED.

    Oh my non-existent Gawd !

    I think you might actually have reached that pinacle of intelligence that is philo’s logic.

    A Toyota Corolla is a reliable, well-made, unflashy automobile that will last a long time with basic maintenance.

    Perhaps, but it is boring to drive.

  277. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    Is a Toyota Corolla built on an aluminum chassis? No.

    Just because you have no evidence for the aluminum chassis doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In fact, an aluminum chassis is the necessary cause of a Toyota Corolla; a Corolla cannot exist without it.

    Do I get an A in Philo-sophistry?

  278. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Just because you have no evidence for the aluminum chassis doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In fact, an aluminum chassis is the necessary cause of a Toyota Corolla; a Corolla cannot exist without it.

    Do I get an A in Philo-sophistry?

    Only if you add that aluminum chassis are timeless and eternal, and that they are personal for some reason.

  279. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    The Christian god’s a fucking Toyota Corolla.

    No, the Christian god is a 1988 Yugo.

  280. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, the Christian god is a 1988 Yugo.

    Nope, it’s the worst features of a Yugo, Nova, and Pinto combined into one car that can’t seem to get out of the mechanics place before it falls apart.

  281. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nope, it’s the worst features of a Yugo, Nova Vega, and Pinto combined into one car that can’t seem to get out of the mechanics place before it falls apart.

    Corrected error in #305.

  282. says

    Actually, all gods are Corollas. They’re boring, they all look the same, but they’re so goddamn reliable (although, “persistent” might be more appropriate) that we’ll never fucking get rid of them.

    I’m still trying to amend my theory to allow for the fact that they’re made in Japan and don’t oppress women in any obvious way. But I’ll get there. Probably by defining these ex velour cathedra to be necessarily sufficient properties of god-car analogies in all possible worlds.

  283. 'Tis Himself says

    No, the Christian god is a 1988 Yugo Trabant.

    If you’re going to refer to a shitty car, you should go with the shittiest one possible.

  284. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Sambarge #227 – forged from 100% pure awesomium.

    Philo made the same mistake his ilk always make – that demonstrating, through seemingly reasonable logic, that a god could exist means he can also claim that his specific god does exist – a move that, when you look at it, is just a fundamentally dishonest bait & switch.

    And that’s terrible.

  285. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    Only if you add that aluminum chassis are timeless and eternal, and that they are personal for some reason.

    I don’t think they get to that sophisticated stuff until the 200 level course.

  286. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    And you’re all wrong. God is the Flintstones’ car. Doesn’t obey any known laws of physics, only runs on human power, and doesn’t actually exist.