Open thread for episode 22.23: Tracie and Matt


Tracie and Matt take viewer calls.

 

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  1. timgalivan says

    I was going to call in to challenge Matt’s definition of truth but I guess a half hour before show isn’t early enough to call

  2. timgalivan says

    Matt has stated “Truth is that which corresponds to reality.” I feel a more accurate phrase would be “Truth is the collection of statements that correspond to reality. There are a few reasons I think that this is more than just splitting hairs.

    The 3rd logical absolute, the law of excluded middle says that “a statement is either true or false.” It would be a falacy to say that all of reality is either true or false. Is a dog true? Is red true? These sentences are nonsensical. So is “Is God true?”

    But these are the exact word games used by Jordan Peterson as well as almost every presupisitionalist I’ve ever heard. Under the context of statements, most of these philosophical mental masturbations quickly begin to fall apart.

    This is why I feel that it is more accurate to add the statement qualifier, otherwise “truth is that which comports with reality” seems to suffer from the same language problems as “God is truth” and opens itself up to language manipulation tactics used by apologists.

    I’m interested to hear what others think of these points. Thanks in advance for any critiques that may help improve my thinking on this matter.

  3. uglygeek says

    Tracie and Matt are in my opinion the best pair of hosts… But Matt was talking all the time even though he was supposed to be co-hosting! 🙂
    I am a little tired of listening to the “reasons” of these theist callers, in the end they just want to believe because they want to believe. Or, like the first weird caller, they just don’t want to “disappear”.

  4. Grandpa Joe says

    Technically, “co” anything implies an equal power structure. It seems like calling the person in the right chair the assistant host or guest would be more appropriate, since it is the host that is supposed to control the calls and the flow of the show. While they may be intellectually equal, the power structure for the purpose of the show is unequal. Often times the “co-host” is very quiet, letting the host dominate the responses. Whereas with this show that dynamic was reversed. While I enjoy both Tracie and Matt, I’ll just politely say that I would have enjoyed hearing more from Tracie this round.

    Anyway, Chris from Boise must be new to the show because he didn’t seem to have answers to some pretty basic questions of his faith. I enjoyed his call the most as I tend to with most of the “everyday” Christian callers like him. These are most like the Christians I encounter in my daily life, not professional apologists, but regular folks who have just never put much critical thought into their core belief structure.

  5. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Matt (1:28:38):

    I always recommend Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature. And I’ve heard his new one is good too, although there is some fighting about it.

     
    Articles: Primary Deposits, Archaeology Blog
     
    Article 1: The state, violence, and Steven Pinker

    It is not sufficient to grab other people’s data (i.e. numbers) out of context and shovel them into an ideological hopper without any effort to understand what those numbers represent, and, more to the point, what the potential problems might be. You need to know what you are doing and you need to know what your data represents. There is a fine line between devil-may-care and not giving a damn. Pinker doesn’t merely cross that line–he soars over it with an indifference that is almost majestic.

     
    Article 2: Steven Pinker and Archaeology

    Pinker’s evidence that the development of the state led to a significant decrease in violence is gleaned from a grab-bag of archaeological and ethnographic studies – studies that focus on human violence. He uses different datasets at each stage of his chart, none of which I think he really understands.
    […]
    He is not even wrong. You cannot pull something like this off without a great deal of historical understanding. If Pinker has such an understanding, it is not evident in Better Angels. Instead he approaches the historical disciplines as factoid mines, carefully picking out the numbers he wants

     
     
    Twitter Thread: Mangy Jay

    riddled w/ bad analyses, cherry-picked data, and, in many regards, TERRIBLE sourcing. […] Pinker didn’t include data from the CDC. From psychologists or criminologists or sociologists. Just opinion pieces. From Christina Hoff Sommers and Heather MacDonald. […] (Op-Eds from conservative think-tanks!!) […] Pinker used data that is KNOWN to be bad from (Knauft)
    […]
    shitty “scholarship” like this has real consequences–esp when coming from someone w/ as much authority as Pinker.
    […]
    So: in my opinion, Steven Pinker is a bit of charlatain. […] Always check the End-Notes.

     

    I get quite dismayed by this actually. Pinker really is brilliant & such an excellent writer. It’s quite dangerous for someone w/ so much authority to be so single-minded in terms of providing sources/arguments that support their narrative and theirs alone…
     
    I don’t want to sound overly emotional here, but when I started digging into Pinker’s sourcing (not just the examples I provided), I felt betrayed on an intellectual level.

     
     
    Monica Gonzalez-Marquez (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), replied to that thread, regarding another of his books

    Linguist here: Language Instinct also really, really bad, beginning with the assumption that what’s in that book is consensus with generative linguistics as the accepted theory. Absolutely delusional.
    […]
    [Intellectual dishonesty, misrepresentation, and illusion of pop-sci expertise] is precisely what pinker did with non-generativist theories. He’s an excellent writer from a prestigious university. It’s these three factors combined that make the book so damaging to the public understanding of linguistics.

     
     
    Article: David A. Bell – Enlightenment Now review (Historian of early modern France at Princeton)

    he wraps his arguments up in such a thick layer of exaggeration and misinterpretation that the book does more harm than good. It makes use of selective data, dubious history, and, when all else fails, a contempt for “intellectuals” straight out of Breitbart.
    […]
    Historians know that there was in fact no single, monolithic “Enlightenment project,” and that the Enlightenment can be generalized about only with great caution. Throwing this caution to the wind, Pinker has taken his own 21st-century values and projected them back onto the intellectual scene of the 18th century.
    […]
    Pinker is not exactly reliable when it comes to the intellectuals and their ideas. He takes as his guide to intellectual pessimism a book titled The Idea of Decline in Western History by Arthur Herman, a far-right author whose most well-known book is a rapturously favorable biography of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

     
    He basically promotes theses about which readers would tend to agree and nod along with, but specialists cringe where he abuses their own field to make his case badly. Charitable specialists each hope the other chapters/books are better, nodding along to the extent that they’re ignorant of other specialties.

  6. Bruce says

    I wish the hosts would ask theist callers about how they went about choosing their faith. What made that faith more believable over the others they researched. I believe most people don’t choose their faith. They are either born into it (family) or by social acceptance (friends). Would make an interesting conversation.

  7. says

    joel: “so i’ve spoken to different philosophers about it, i’ve argued it on reddit …”

    oy, they may be his peers, and i missed when reddit became an accredited forum for peer review, but what i really wanna know is who were these “philosophers” he talked to and did any of them not burst out laughing or not back away slowly?

  8. sayamything says

    I haven’t got through the show yet, but that first call is a doozy. I can no longer tell who’s hosting because both of them are clearly Matt. Or is it Tracie? Or is it Phil? Does that mean we are all Hamish?

    @aarrgghh:
    “oy, they may be his peers, and i missed when reddit became an accredited forum for peer review, but what i really wanna know is who were these “philosophers” he talked to and did any of them not burst out laughing or not back away slowly?”

    Given that Reddit is his other example, I think even using scare quotes around “philosophers” is incredibly kind.

    It’s possible that he spoke to people with a solid grasp of philosophy, but it seems implausible he’d walk away with this level of confidence. Or maybe I’m overestimating people. I do that sometimes.

  9. amuthan says

    Ahmed or Amed,

    There are Simpsons cartoons that predicted that Trump would be president and predicted the 9/11 attacks. Does that mean the Simpsons is from the divine?

    Have you ever wondered why is there no mention of basic REAL science such as F=ma, e=mc2, pi=3.141593654, cosine, sine, Power = Voltage x Ampere, let alone the harder stuff like quantum mechanics and differential equations, in the Quran?

    Have you ever wondered why the claims are so vague and require metaphorical translations that not even authorised interpreters can agree? All the old authorised interpretations of 51:47 referred to ‘vastness of space’, including those by YUSUF ALI, ABDUL HALEEM, ABUL ALA MAUDUDI, and PICKTHALL. Only the new translations in the 20th Century use the word ‘expand’.

    When a book makes a 1000 claims and 990 claims are false and 10 claims are true, wouldn’t you call those true claims luck rather than from the divine?

    There are great videos by the Masked Arab on youtube exploding the huge ‘scientific’ claims in the quran in forensic detail and which conclude that only a stone age peasant, that Mohammed must have been, would make such fundamental scientific mistakes.

  10. phoenix says

    Ahmed, there are no scientific miracles in the Qur’an. The language is sometimes poetic but shows no real understanding of modern science. For example, the people who wrote the suras believed that the earth was flat and that the sun set into a muddy spring:
    Chapter (18) sūrat l-kahf (The Cave)

    Sahih International: Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it [as if] setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people. Allah said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, either you punish [them] or else adopt among them [a way of] goodness.”

    Pickthall: Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu’l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.

    Yusuf Ali: Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: “O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.”

    Shakir: Until when he reached the place where the sun set, he found it going down into a black sea, and found by it a people. We said: O Zulqarnain! either give them a chastisement or do them a benefit.

    Muhammad Sarwar: to the West where he found the sun setting into a warm source (spring) of water and a people living near by. We asked him, “Dhu ‘l-Qarnayn, you may punish them or treat them with kindness?”

    Mohsin Khan: Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of black muddy (or hot) water. And he found near it a people. We (Allah) said (by inspiration): “O Dhul-Qarnain! Either you punish them, or treat them with kindness.”

    Arberry: until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and he found nearby a people. We said, ‘O Dhool Karnain, either thou shalt chastise them, or thou shalt take towards them a way of kindness.’

    (Sahih International, comparisons of other translations can be looked up.)
    From your own example, after mention of stories of Abraham and Noah, etc. being sent as “signs”, Allah brags:

    And [We destroyed] the people of Noah before; indeed, they were a people defiantly disobedient.
    51:47
    And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander.
    51:48
    And the earth We have spread out, and excellent is the preparer.
    51:49
    And of all things We created two mates; perhaps you will remember
    51:50
    So flee to Allah. Indeed, I am to you from Him a clear warner.

    Who is “we”? How could a spherical gobe be “spread out” like a carpet?
    Not all species require two mates, male and female. Some are asexual, through parthenogenesis, for example. One would think a Creator God would know these things. Further sperm is not produced near the backbone or ribs, but in the testes Q 86:6-7. Yeah, not so clear if you ask me. Why would Allah choose to convey what “He” wishes all humans to understand only in Arabic?

  11. Raz says

    Dear Matt and Tracie
    I believe I can give you a working definition for “nothing” in relation to the question “…something from nothing…”
    Ok, so what is “something/ anything?” Well, that would be either energy, time, matter or the ‘fabric’ of space-time. Now, I say ‘fabric’ because it’s known that if you remove all particles (all matter) and all energy (radiation, light, etc…) from a given part of space, that part will still have some weight. Hence “fabric” of space-time.
    Nothing would have to be the antithesis of this. Therefore, I posit that “nothing” is a region that is incapable of acting as a medium for energy, time or matter. Now I honestly don’t know if such a region could exist within the bounds of our universe. Perhaps it could appear as a tear in the fabric of spacetime and this torn region simply doesn’t convey ANY time/ energy/ matter. Perhaps such a tear is impossible and such a region could only exist outside of our universe. I couldn’t say.

    However, having said that, I don’t think this is what christians are talking about when they say ridiculous things like “Well, why don’t we see things appearing from nothing all the time?” I think what they are asking is “Why don’t we see regular material objects spontaneously manifesting out of thin air?” If this IS the case, they are simply asking: “Why don’t we see matter spontaneously change form?” And the thing about that is, we do! All the time!
    Sorry for the length here, but it behoves me to be thorough about this:
    Melting = Solid to Liquid
    Evaporation = Liquid into a Gas (something into nothing if the gas is colourless)
    Gas to Liquid = Condensation (once again, if the gas is colourless, this is an example of “something from nothing”)
    Liquid to Solid = Freeze
    Solid to Gas = Sublimation (with a colourless gas, this once again shows ‘something’ becoming ‘nothing’.)
    Gas to Solid = Deposition (with a colourless gas, this also shows ‘something’ coming from ‘nothing’)

    Thus, if a religious person is asking “Why don’t we see material objects manifesting spontaneously from thin air? We can explain to them that we see this ALL the time: Condensation and Deposition are state changes that will show us things manifesting from thin air. Freezing and Sublimation are state changes that show us material objects disappearing into thin air.
    Nb: These are examples of state changes. I didn’t even bother to delve into the many examples of chemical reactions that result in the same thing (like precipitates from solution, or gasses reacting chemically to form solids, both of which are plentiful in chemistry)

    So if the religious person now wants to claim that they don’t mean “thin air,” after all. What they’re really talking about is a “nothing” that is the utter and absolute absence of anything at all. In which case, you can now tell them that such a thing could reasonably be described as a region that is incapable of acting as a medium for energy/ time/ matter. Needless to say, such a region has never been observed by any human ever…

    Hope that helps

    Raz

  12. Robin says

    Joel is an example of be your own truth expert that runs amok in the religious conspiracy groups. Basically, it is always an assertion based on confirmation bias of an idea that has no merit

    Ahmed shows what is wrong with a chunk of self proclaimed skeptics. I am a skeptic because no one proved me wrong

    Brian’s idea of Purpose is so….stupid. Human use purpose because they value something

  13. paxoll says

    I think the Chris caller is a great example of virtually every religious person in the world. Their apologetics fail one by one and their rationalization circles back to their holy scripture that they believe is true because they want to believe its true. Every argument is circular, and it boils down to faith in an irrational conclusion. Really the enjoyment is watching the host chase them into this impossible to justify hole.

  14. vjscope says

    Raz,
    This seems like defining something based on what it isn’t. For example:
    Person A: What is milk?
    Person B: Milk isn’t flesh.
    Person A: I know that milk isn’t flesh. So, what is it?
    Person B: Well.. It isn’t poison either…

    See the problem?

  15. says

    sayamything @ 5:

    we can be fair to joel: he never said anyone actually agreed with him.

    (but does anyone discussing their pet theories ever open with “everyone says it’s moronic” …?)

  16. sayamything says

    @aarrgghh: true. The main ting is that he sounds both sincere and surprised by criticism/questioning. I kind of went in assuming tat to be true. It could be that he was told by philosophers he was full of crap and decided to call AXP in hopes that the hosts might be easier targets, or any number of other things. But to me, it sounded like he went into this call fancying himself prepared.

    My suspicion is that both with Reddit and with philosophy, he spoke to people who were inclined to agree. Reddit’s never going to pass for peer review, as you said, but it’s possible to at least get some arguments going. Like, I’m assuming there are probably several subreddits that deal with reincarnation and so I could easily see him popping onto those, jawing with some philosophers, and thinking he was properly prepared.

  17. Theisntist says

    I agree with paxoll that Chris was entertaining, pretty much the kind of exchange I watch for.

    As to the host/cohost dynamic, Tracie seems perfectly fine letting her cohost do most of the engaging with the callers and to primarily manage the show, or taking the lead and doing the heavy lifting, whatever is called for in the moment. I think that is part of what makes her a great host, it’s not about ego or getting in her shots, it’s about facilitating a great show.

    Matt was respectful and even pointed out that Tracie is his favorite host, but Matt’s gonna Matt, that’s just science!

  18. twarren1111 says

    Tracie is over the top the best. Matt’s ok, but that’s probably because Tracie makes anything look good!

  19. DanDare2050 says

    Chris phoned in to disagree with the burden of proof and then, over a long, loopy, twisty discussion convinced just about everyone in the world but himself that the burden of proof is necessary.

  20. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Ugh, jeez Matt, really disappointed by this week’s show.

    Maybe Doctor Who took it back?

    I think you’ll find it’s The Doctor, NOT Doctor Who!

    (For the avoidance of doubt, joke comment is joke)

  21. Nasir says

    Please you guys should do more reading on islam, you are actually giving muslim a reason to hang on to their beliefs when you do not provide sufficient refutations for their arguments. For example when Amed was talking about science in the Quran and how that is the reason he still believes in islam, watching as an ex-muslim I can see why Amed can not accept your arguments. I mean, you can actually read a lot of wrong explanations of the world as we see it today in the quran and give that to him instead of going round and round about why what he thinks may not actually be the case. For example, the quran claims that humans are made from a fluid that comes from the backbone, how is that even slightly the truth? how would Amed deal with that?
    Please Matt, you should read more about Islam so you can actually save people from being confused and deluded.

  22. lesserthannone says

    Just a reminder when it comes up:

    “People didn’t build the pyramids” Fallacy

    Sand, you can make a pyramid, buy piling up sand into a mound and just pushing the blocks up it. You dont need cranes, horses, or oxen, buts a but tonne of people and 34 buttons of sand.

    Also explain if God/ET did it why are there older less perfect and all round crappier pyramids, to me please.

  23. says

    @Raz:

    >Nothing would have to be the antithesis of this. Therefore, I posit that “nothing” is a region that is incapable of acting as a medium for energy, time or matter. Now I honestly don’t know if such a region could exist within the bounds of our universe. Perhaps it could appear as a tear in the fabric of spacetime and this torn region simply doesn’t convey ANY time/ energy/ matter. Perhaps such a tear is impossible and such a region could only exist outside of our universe. I couldn’t say.

    You just provided a definition for it. And you also provided potential attributes–basically saying how you think it might be recognized. How, then, are you not describing “something” rather than “nothing”? A thing that can be recognized, defined, and has attributes is *something*.

    It’s not about providing a definition. It’s about the absurdity of defining *anything*–and then trying to label it as “nothing.” The mere act of defining it removes it from the realm of “nothing”–because “nothing” would have no attributes or definition. This is the point–that it’s a logically absurd construct.

  24. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Also explain if God/ET did it why are there older less perfect and all round crappier pyramids, to me please.

    That’s always been one of my favorite things as well. Especially people who are like “the skills to do this came out of nowhere!” And yer like “no they didn’t. We’ve got the Step Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, another pyramid where they fucked up and the casing just slid off (I think this was the Meidum Pyramid?), etc.” There’s an observable evolution of the design as the Egyptians figured out how to build these things and got better at it. Hell, in the case of the Great Pyramid they’ve even excavated the village/camp where the workers who built the damn thing were living.
    But no. It was aliens or whatever…

  25. says

    Nasir:

    >Please you guys should do more reading on islam, you are actually giving muslim a reason to hang on to their beliefs when you do not provide sufficient refutations for their arguments.

    There is no need to refute claims (it wasn’t really an argument) that aren’t supported.

    He claims one translation of one word represents a totality of a scientific theory, and further that this means a god exists and Islam is correct.

    We showed him that different translations don’t align to the one he’s using.
    We pointed out that the one word, even used as he’s using it, can mean different things.
    We noted that one word is not sufficient to flesh out the totality of a scientific theory.
    We pointed out that even if there were explicit and correct science facts that were not knowable when it was written, you can’t get from there to “god.”

    I’m not sure that isn’t sufficient refutation.

    Additionally I referenced a video that aligned parts of the Koran to scientific theory–and it was a theory that was not correct (I don’t know if it was ever actually put forward or accepted as science, but I have my doubts). The caller’s response was that the creator of the video–a defender of Islam–was incorrect. Even though he said he would reject the book if I could show him an incorrect fact within it–I doubt he would, based on the fact that others making the same type of points he is making–he rejects the individual Muslim interpretations as invalid, not what’s in the book.

    If someone shows him a claim is wrong, that does *nothing* to improve his reasoning. It doesn’t show him why believing unjustified claims is incorrect. The problem isn’t what he believes–it’s WHY he believes it. He needs to understand it’s not correct to believe claims without justification–not simply have a particular claim or set of claims debunked *for him*.

    I’ve dealt with miracle claims, and debunking is, in my view, the worst way to address such claims. It’s the last resort, because it doesn’t address the root problem of WHY people make illogical connections to outcomes. Even if the event *can’t* be explained, there is no connection to a cause. THAT is what they need to grasp: “I can’t explain this” supports NO explanation.

  26. GumB. says

    @heicart
     
    I very much agree with your tact; better to expose the flaw in thinking than to just debunk individual claims. However, it’s not such an easy thing to do.

     
    “Even if the event *can’t* be explained, there is no connection to a cause. THAT is what they need to grasp: “I can’t explain this” supports NO explanation.”

     
    Well, exactly … that’s the “god of the gaps” fallacy (we don’t know = therefore god.) I’ve always thought this fallacy comes about due to the foothold of the cursed faith programming. Sort of like they think:

     
    We don’t know = possibility of god = ok, room for possibility there, so I’m going to use faith and go with god.

     
    It’s similar to the disconnect of thinking people need to disprove god, and until that’s been done, the mere unknown possibility that one could exist leaves the door open to latching onto … “I’m choosing god exists then” … out the void of god not being disproven (like when it’s unknown you get to pick and choose your own favorite solution, as if that’s valid.)

     
    It’s a binary way to think, as if the idea of leaving it “unknown” or even “unknowable” is not an option to them. As if “possible” translates into “is” out of an unwillingness to accept not knowing as a viable option. I’ve never found it easy to correct those sorts of flaws in people’s thinking. To some people, “maybe” is the crack left open in the door for them to choose “is.” The idea that there’s a default position of “we don’t know, and that’s just where we’re at” seems to be lost on some people. They seem to take that as “then it could be,” and just forge ahead as if that means “it is.” That’s where the god of the gaps fallacy stems from: “if we don’t know it why or how, then I get to say it was god.”

     
    Yet to some minds it’s a no-brainer: “if you don’t know, then you simply just don’t know.”

     
    How do you fix a broken or mal-trained binary thought process like that, one often fueled by willful ignorance? It ain’t easy. But I do like your approach: to correct the thinking errors. But golly … god of the gaps ought to be obvious to people. We don’t know … therefore unicorns? That’s why I bring up willful ignorance, er, I mean, faith. I think that’s the fuel that then tempts them through that crack of “unknowing” into the god of the gaps, despite the absurdity of the conviction. I certainly do hope you find the inoculation. Maybe the inoculation to the faith aspect of the problem is a tiny glimmer of doubt and wanting to get out. Then the critical thinking can be taught.

  27. Raz says

    @ heicart
    I only just realised that that spells ‘Tracie H’ backwards.

    Anyway, apart from proving how slow I can be on the uptake, I think I have potential solution. If we distinguish the philosophical concept of ‘nothing’ as an absurdity, with no meaning, value and of no use to us, and divorce that from an ‘experimental nothing’ that we could use (for thought experiments. etc…) I think we’ve made progress. The same way that on an infinite number scale, individual numbers don’t exist/ have value or are of any use. For any number to have any value or use, it has to exist on a finite scale, where limits can be drawn, defining the scale and extent of each unit. And yet it’s understood that these numbers at least in some way are part of an infinite progression of numbers.

    So if we conceptualise this ‘nothing’ in the same way, we might agree that these are the things/ attributes we would expect of this ‘thing-that-is-not-a-thing’ while simultaneously understanding that we have imbued this ‘nothing’ with these attributes for our use and understanding, that we might make use of it. And yet recognise that this ‘nothing’ is likely something that can only exist as a concept (the same way as it’s ridiculous to assume that an infinity of numbers/ infinite number scale might be physically presented to someone).

    I dunno. Maybe this way it might be possible to maintain an idealised concept of ‘nothing’ and yet still use a diluted version of said concept in conversations…

  28. Killian Jones says

    Nothing: the absence of the thing you expect. For example a bank account can contain nothing, as you expect money to be there. If it isn’t then you have nothing in your account. A box can contain nothing. If you expect it to be filled with toys or bricks etc. The box contains nothing. Take that same box an place it under water. The box now contains something, air. Release the air and you could say the box contains nothing even though its filled with water. Can there ever be true nothing? No. But then what has this got to do with whether there is a god and beliefs in god? I wish the hosts would focus, it would make for an interesting show and kill the time wasting. How long would I last on a Christian call in show if I tried to tie up the lines talking nonsense? Answer: I would not get on the show as the call screeners have a clue how to do their job.

  29. Nasir says

    @heicart
    I understand what you did but Muslims callers and listeners at home wont. I enjoy watching your discussion with Christian callers, you guys have a lot of point and references to give to the caller, references from within the bible which actually show the absurdity of their beliefs. If you had that understanding of Islam, I am sure you would have been handling muslims the same way because from my experience with The Atheist Experience Show, must muslim callers love to argue about the science in Quran. There are alot of ridiculous verses in the quran which Amed probably havent heard of. Theres the story in Surah 18 around verse 83 I think where this man went to where the sun was setting and found it setting inside a spring of mud.Considering Amed and people like him cling to the so-called science in the Quran, I would have loved to hear his reaction to that and I am sure muslim listeners at home would want to read more on that and who knows where that would lead that to. A little research into Answering-Islam will reveal a lot of absurdity.

  30. Monocle Smile says

    @Killian Jones
    Troll elsewhere. You’ve done nothing but whine about the show and now you hold up Christian call-in shows as some sort of high standard, which shows you’re either trolling or too stupid to engage.

    @Nasir
    Not only have the hosts deconstructed “scientific” claims in the Quran before, but what you’re asking is pretty unreasonable. The show is not run by professionals despite the whining of people like Killian Jones, and I hope you realize that the vast, vast, VAST majority of Christian callers learn absolutely nothing during the call, because the calls are for the audience, not the callers.

  31. capncanuck says

    The city in India is spelled “Kashmir”, not “Cashmere”.
    This is in regards to the title for one of the clips for this episode on YouTube.

  32. Altan Koc says

    I think the solution for Amed is to focus on the “scientific” mistakes of the Qoran. Get familiar with the world knowledge of the old times and see how they are repeated in the Qoran. wikiislam is a source..

  33. SamFromUK says

    @amuthan,

    “Have you ever wondered why is there no mention of basic REAL science such as F=ma, e=mc2, pi=3.141593654, cosine, sine, Power = Voltage x Ampere, let alone the harder stuff like quantum mechanics and differential equations, in the Quran?

    If those were mentioned in the Quran would it make you believe in God?

    It wouldn’t. That’s why it’s not in there.

  34. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    “That’s always been one of my favorite things as well. Especially people who are like “the skills to do this came out of nowhere!” And yer like “no they didn’t. We’ve got the Step Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, another pyramid where they fucked up and the casing just slid off (I think this was the Meidum Pyramid?), etc.” There’s an observable evolution of the design as the Egyptians figured out how to build these things and got better at it. Hell, in the case of the Great Pyramid they’ve even excavated the village/camp where the workers who built the damn thing were living.
    But no. It was aliens or whatever…”

    …still can’t see the woods for the trees. Lol.

  35. GumB. says

    @SamFromUK #31

     
    “If those were mentioned in the Quran would it make you believe in God?
    It wouldn’t. That’s why it’s not in there.”

     
    But none of the rest of what’s in there makes me believe in god. So then why’s the rest of it in there either?

     
    Logic is not your strong point, is it. (Rhetorical question.)

  36. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Sam – 32

    …still can’t see the woods for the trees. Lol.

    Don’t be coy now. If ye’ve got some special insight that Allah or Xenu or En Sabah Nur magicked the blocks into place, do tell. And when ye do, please also explain the earlier, shittier pyramids if they weren’t these guys figuring out how to do it.

  37. GumB. says

    @SamFromUK #35

     
    “You seem young and naive. How old are you? I think around 20.”

     
    Hey, don’t get mad at me now just because you can’t think straight. 😀

  38. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    “And when ye do, please also explain the earlier, shittier pyramids if they weren’t these guys figuring out how to do it.”

    We’ve been through the miracles things, so I won’t go through it again.

    Regarding the pyramids or even evolution or whatever concepts you use to make sense of what you observe in life, you’re not really critically thinking about what it is you are doing. You’re not going down to the basics, then going down more levels.

    You have this concept of progress, where humans learn, from experience, go on to do something a bit more advanced, learn some more, advance further, etc, etc. You observe that through books and through experience. For you it becomes “real”, it’s part of your reality where humans just learn to do things better and better. It’s perfectly natural for you.

    However you haven’t gotten down to the basics. Why not take it down to the molecular level? You can’t. You have no idea why humans are doing what they do but through observation you see a pattern and it becomes normal/natural. Yet have you questioned what is an “observation” a “pattern” or why humans are doing what they are doing? Whatever you are and you observe you take it as a given and base everything from there. But you can’t explain what you observe from the molecular level. Your brain can’t take it and you have no knowledge of it. The complexity of molecules is vast, combine that with the complexity of simple life, and it becomes even more complex, combine that with our subjective reality and it becomes more and more complex.

    In short, you’re not seeing the woods for the trees.

  39. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Sam – 39
    Nice gobbledygook there. It’s a comfort to see that yer horrendous level of argumentation seems to be one of the Great Constants of the Universe.

    Seriously, what in Odin’s Many Names does this nonsensical “quantum reasoning” have to do with observable signs of progression for things like pyramids? Is Allah hidden somewhere in the space between particles and that’s where he telekinetically moved the blocks into place, tricking later observers into THINKING the Egyptians just sussed this shit out on their own?
    I mean granted I’m LONG passed any expectation of honest argument out of ye, but I thought ye’d at least have a more cogent explanation for yerself. Joke’s on me I guess.

  40. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    You’re not appying critical thinking as to why you observe what you observe and why you derive “meaning” from it. Why is there such a thing as “meaning” or thoughts, ideas, emotions or physical matter. Think deeper dude.

  41. Stanley Slawski says

    I’m really surprised that no one else has commented on this, so maybe I’m overly sensitive or projecting what I want to see from the show? But I really thought both Matt and Tracie dropped the ball big time with the third caller who said he was “almost an atheist”.
    Towards the end, in talking about forgiveness, the man shared that his wife had been murdered, so something about forgiveness was a big reason he was still holding on to his religion. But within a minute or two, the hosts were abruptly ending the call, when he wouldn’t (couldn’t?) articulate what he meant by “forgiveness”. Maybe they missed it, wanting to move the show along…. maybe they judged it a prank call, maybe they chose to make sure the show doesn’t risk crossing into personal therapy, or who knows?
    But in my thinking, they not only missed the chance to offer this caller a way out of his last roadblock to free thinking, but also missed the chance to model compassion without religion. I understand that so many of the callers give the same silly “I believe because I believe” arguments or are overtly unwilling to reasonably discuss, and it makes sense that the hosts might (unconsciously?) begin to expect that. But whatever the cause, I think the show would be more effective if sincere callers were allowed a bit of space to process what is presented.
    Basically, I’m suggesting a bit of “Street Epistemology” energy might be warranted.

  42. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Sam – 41
    Are ye by any chance familiar with the Three Kingdoms Era Chinese philosopher/inventor/general/statesman Zhuge Liang Kongming? He served Liu Bei and the state of Shu, and it was pretty much because of him that Shu was able to thrive for as long as it did in the face of greater powers like Cao Cao’s Wei and the Sun family’s Wu.
    Anywho, while I don’t think he was the originator of the line, he had this line that’s always resonated with me:
    The wise drown in their own wisdom.
    I get what yer trying to say there but I fail to see how any of it is important in the face of practical considerations. ESPECIALLY in this particular instance regarding the evolution of pyramid design or the fact of the discovery of the village where the Giza complex builders lived in the face of people trying to say aliens/gods built them.
    Putting aside my deep personal amusement at yer call for critical thinking, why add unnecessary variables? What does squeezing God into the Gaps actually do for understanding a situation rather than muddying it? Again, assuming yer NOT trolling, it seems that while yer trying to come off as seeming deep, yer just looking like an asshole with hollow deepities like that.

  43. oldman says

    I watched the episode with the caller talking about near death experiences. If people want to know if near death experiences are real or not, they should read every book there is out there about near death experiences. There are many near death experiences that are told that are also not true at all. The caller last Sunday didn’t give any examples of specific near death experiences. It would be helpful if people read specific near death experiences and decide for themselves whether or not they are true.

  44. johnsen says

    Something about the example of atheist being more moral than Christians because some Christian parents shun their atheist children struck me as a baseless claim. I wonder whether there aren’t plenty of examples of atheist parents shunning their children for becoming religious?

  45. Robert, not Bob says

    Sam (#41): Why is there meaning? Meaning is an emotional reaction-a brain state. Why would you list it along with physical matter?

  46. paxoll says

    @Sam
    Special pleading
    Argument from ignorance
    God of the gaps
    Argument from incredulity

    Why don’t you present a valid coherent argument.

  47. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @indianajones #43:

    At this point I’d settle for a block function too.

    I’ve not used this myself, but I recall hearing of it on Pharyngula.
     
    Browser Extension: Killfile

    (for Chrome & Firefox) designed to provide functionality like the usenet killfile to the comments sections of certain blogs. With it, readers can decide that they would rather never see comments from certain individuals, and hide those comments from view.
     
    It is not intended as a replacement for comment moderation, but merely as a personal measure an individual reader can take for their own peace of mind.

  48. SamFromUK says

    @Robert,

    “Why is there meaning? Meaning is an emotional reaction-a brain state. Why would you list it along with physical matter?”

    Great. Someone asked the rught question. I’m dissappointed Evil isn’t being as curious and instead waffles on about his comic world and then about things totally irrelevant.

    So what is “meaning”? Why not list it with physical matter?

    You say meaning is an emotional reaction- a brain state. Let’s break these things down further and further to see where they come from and whether we know they are natural.

    So emotion is a simply a brain state that is experienced by you. Who is you? Are you a brain state? Are you a specific arrangement of molecules?

  49. indianajones says

    Wait, unless you refresh the page. Silly Indy. All Hail the Glorious Sky Captain! Seriously, cheers mate :D:D

  50. StonedRanger says

    I learned a while back that sam is a dishonest person who has no interest in having a conversation. His questions are designed to do anything but have a productive conversation. Killfile wont work for my computer, so I just have to rely on me. When I see sams name I just skip his posts. I too am all for banning him, but they wont ban him. I wonder why he came back here to post knowing he is not liked by almost all the users here. Whats the matter sam, Jamie wont let you on his show anymore?

  51. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @StonedRanger #51:

    Killfile wont work for my computer

    While Indy was remembering to reload, I added it to Chrome and Firefox and prepped to file a bug report. Both worked for me. It’s subtle.
     
    An icon shows up by the url bar, but if you click on that, there is no menu (I got hung up expecting that). When you hover over a comment, however, a “[hush]” link appears beside its author.
     
    Or maybe you’re using another browser?

  52. GumB. says

    @Sky Captain

     
    Wow,, thanks for that extension. Hush works great.

     
    Hush little Sammy, don’t type a word,
    Everyone blocked you for being a turd …

     
    😀

  53. SamFromUK says

    This is hilarious.

    Seems like you guys just love to talk nonsense but when that nonsense is challenged and you don’t have a response you complain and whinge. Pathetic.

  54. Abdul says

    To amswer the claim that the quran talked about the expanding universe. The verse does not talk about that. The verse means that god created the heavens and stretched over the laid down earth. This can be cleatly understood from the context of this verse and the next verse whete it’s talking about how god laid down the earth.

  55. indianajones says

    Actually, there is even a fun little game you can play with it. For 30 mins or so I went back over a few ancient threads with the block on too see if I could reverse engineer what whichever irritant had said (I’m having a slow weekend…).

  56. vetpharmtech says

    This SamFromUK person reminds me of Muslim apologist caller Aziz.
    Let’s assume that his sophisticated Islamic theology deity is correct. What’s next?

    Terrorists interpret the Koran incorrectly.
    The Koran demonstrate allah as the most merciful deity.
    Women have equal rights as men.
    Islam is the religion of peace
    etc.

    I feel like eventually it will get to this direction. This SamfromUK seems like a dahwah in disguise. These people are just as scary as terrorists. They simply have better manners.

    It is truly bizarre that Muslims can look at a book like Koran, which says that infidels’ skin after death would be consumed by hellfire and they will be resurrected to go through that again, and believe that this book promote the religion of peace.

  57. Robert, not Bob says

    Nice question evasion, Sam. Smoother than many a politician… As it happens, my question was rhetorical, since I know that as a theist you believe meaning comes from your Authority.

  58. amuthan says

    SamfromUK,

    Out of interest, you said in a past episode that you converted to Islam because the Quran ‘makes sense’ and I genuinely want to understand the sense that you see in it. I am an atheist but even I see a lot more sense in Jesus’ teaching than the Quran.

    For example, will you be able to explain how verse 3:34 makes sense to you, where it states that a husband is permitted to beat his wife under certain conditions. Authorised and official interpretations and translations use either the word ‘beat’, ‘strike’ or ‘chastise’ in case you feel the verse must have been misinterpreted. You can also watch videos of respected imams talking to vast (male only) crowds confirming the violent meaning of this verse.

    Thanks

  59. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @amuthan #57:

    it states that a husband is permitted to beat his wife

    Sam says God is personally causing every disaster (also puppet mastering our bodies) and injustice is never done. Which leads to: God wants that suffering, no such thing as collateral damage or innocent victims.
     
    You expect Sam to recoil at a God wanting domestic violence? No. But he will endlessly non-sequitur and taunt to maintain a fruitless exchange.

  60. GumB. says

     
    Or, as he did to me, Sam may just feign not not being able to make any sense of a valid point, as if that’s somehow your fault.

     
    “Sorry I don’t follow. You’re not making any sense.”

     
    Then, he’ll go over to another thread and say you wouldn’t answer him because you were afraid. I actually think it’s a good exercise in critical thinking to analyze and point out these sorts of disingenuous tactics. In that case, the shmeeb …

     
    I did, however, get him to concede this on the other thread:

     
    “You win. Well done. Deists are just fools to argue with atheists. I will warn my fellow deists.”

     
    However … he eventually returned and kept arguing anyway. So, maybe he just lacks self control. I think that’s what religious people are often basically arguing anyway.

  61. SamFromUK says

    @amuthan,

    ” I am an atheist but even I see a lot more sense in Jesus’ teaching than the Quran.

    For example, will you be able to explain how verse 3:34 makes sense to you, where it states that a husband is permitted to beat his wife under certain conditions. Authorised and official interpretations and translations use either the word ‘beat’, ‘strike’ or ‘chastise’ in case you feel the verse must have been misinterpreted. You can also watch videos of respected imams talking to vast (male only) crowds confirming the violent meaning of this verse.”

    Whatever Jesus taught came from the same God. Christians, Jews and Muslims believe in the same God. They may deny it but they do and it’s probably only pride or arrogance which makes them think otherwise.

    4:34 – Yusuf Ali: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).

    The verse clearly allows for beating the wife up. There is no denying it. However a husband can’t just beat his wife balck and blue just because he feels he is superior or he thinks he is the one in charge or whatever reason. The verse is for those sincere believers are just and reasonable. If a wife finds is willingly being disobedient to her husband and she is not going to change here mind she will know in advance there are 2 stages before her husband has the right to beat her based on Gods words in the Quran. IF she doesn’t want to be beatern then she can seek divorce or get others to mediate. The verse is there more as a threat and warning (like many other verses) but the husband does not need to beat his wife if he doesn’t want to and the wife can simply seek divorce if she finds it unacceptable to be beaten and she won’t budge on her disobedient.

    Now whether the wife is being disobedient or the husband iis being unreasonable is maybe for others to decide because the husband and wife will both say they are in the right. If I was in that situation I’d seek divorce.

    There are other verses that many muslims don’t like and we try to sugar coat them or interpret them to mean something different. But it is what it is. We have to accept what the Quran says. Yes we should think deeply about them and dsicuss them to make sure we are doing the right thing. Atheists will never understand because they don’t know who God is. And I don’t blame them, I see why you guys think it’s wrong.

  62. SamFromUK says

    @Sky,

    “You expect Sam to recoil at a God wanting domestic violence? No. But he will endlessly non-sequitur and taunt to maintain a fruitless exchange.”

    What’s worse having a verse which permits the beating of a disobedient wife or creating a universe/reality where pain, misery and suffering exists?

    In other words why stop at the verse about beating wives. Why not ask the question about why God allows bloodshed to happen, or people born/becoming orphans, or why there is disease and disability. Or why does God allow evil to exist?

    The verse about beating wives isn’t so important compared to some of the brutal things that happen in the world. All of it happens because God created it and let’s it happen.

    Now an atheist is never going to understand unless they truly understand the reality they are living in.

  63. SamFromUK says

    @Rob,

    “since I know that as a theist you believe meaning comes from your Authority.”

    Exactly. Meaning can only come the creator. The creation can never decide their own reason for being brought into existence.

  64. amuthan says

    SamfromUK,

    I appreciate your honesty because you are right, many Muslims will try to sugarcoat that verse 4:34.

    “If I was in that situation I’d seek divorce”. Well, you are a better man than your Prophet is. He beat his wife Aisha in the chest when she followed him outside one night (Sahih Muslim 4:2127).

    “Atheists will never understand”. Jesus never taught wife beating, so Christians won’t understand either, or any other faith that I am aware of. Hence I still don’t understand what specific thing made you choose Islam over the teachings of Jesus.

    From a scientific point of view, countless studies show physical or emotional violence against the wife causes more problems than it solves and that there are more effective ways to discipline that does not involve such extremes.

    Some Muslims attempt to sugarcoat your Prophet having full sexual intercourse with a 9 year old girl called Aisha (Sahih Bukhari 7:62:64) by saying she was past puberty anyway and her parents permitted it. How would you make sense of that, or would you not attempt to?

  65. says

    @Sam

    Why do you come on here? What do you actually get out of it?

    No one is buying what you’re selling. There doesn’t seem to be any point to it.

    Do you think what you are saying is deep and clever?

    I’m genuinely asking because it really doesn’t make any sense to me why you would persist.

  66. Robert, not Bob says

    Sam: well, some honesty at last. Of course, you must know by now that you’re talking to people who don’t share your presuppositional belief in externally imposed meaning. Thus, trying to sneak it in undefended is a bit dishonest.

  67. SamFromUK says

    @amuthan,

    I don’t accept the hadiths as divine or text that should be taken seriously. There are many flawed, wrong and disturbing hadiths. The Quran clearly says there is no divine scripture except the Quran. As muslims I have to accept the OT and Gospels and Psalms as well since the Quran says so. I’ve read them all and I accept that they are revelations from God too. However as Muslim I only follw the Quran and read the OT for guidance and inspirationa and further knowledge.

    As an atheist you simply don’t understand how Muslims, Christians or Jews view the world or God. What you’re basically doing is asking why do we believe in a God who condones violence and allows evil to exist in the world. You have made up your own idea of a god who can do no wrong, who is all loving, kind caring, compassionate. The god you want is a being who you would instantly love rather than fear. Who is morally perfect and clear in his communication to you.

    Sorry but it’s not that simple. Yes God is the most loving. But he clearly does not love ALL of us. Otherwise hell would not exist. The flood of Noah would not have happened. God can’t do wrong. God is the most compassionate and caring. You’re not going to understand all of this unless you understand the fundamentals that we believe about God.

    Your questions are good, very good. You should ask these kinds of questions because you, I and most human beings on earth hate violence, injustice and evil when it is inflicted upon us. We all know it’s wrong to beat your wife or real tough/inhuman being a slave. But in the grand scheme of things all of these things are tiny and can be changed in a minute.

    “Hence I still don’t understand what specific thing made you choose Islam over the teachings of Jesus.”

    Jesus was a Jew. He supported the OT. The teachings of Jesus are similar to the Quran. In fact it is easier to follow the Quran than it is to follow the Torah which Jesus said must be followed for a Jew.

    Jesus said you can’t divorce except for when there is sexual immorality. You can divorce in Islam. Which is better? Jesus taught to forgive so does the Quran.

    I do actually think the Gospels are brilliant. However when it comes to following a scripture I have to pick the Quran because it is much easier. What Jesus taught very few can do because it requires a lot of patience and kindness and compassion. The Quran says you can do that if you want to get real close to God but you can also just do the basics of being righteous and giving in regular charity. The rituals such as fasting , pilgrimmage, praying are clear and simple.

    YOu have good questions. I have asked those kinds of questions myself and some of the things you learn about religion are indeed disturbing and quite rightly you should question those. If you sincerley want to know about God then carry on researching,

  68. amuthan says

    SamfromUK,

    ‘There are many flawed, wrong and disturbing hadiths”. Heartening to hear you say that, you are not a typical hardcore Muslim.

    What you say is exactly what ex-Muslims say but they go one small step further – the Quran has disturbing verses too, a lot more than the wife beating one. That’s what they say made them leave Islam and became Christian or atheist.

    “Carry on researching”. Ditto, hope you look into the so called scientific miracles in the Quran at some point, it’s the easiest place to start and then I personally hope you call into the show with your honest findings.

  69. GumB. says

    Ok, I decided to “un-hush Sam to see just what the fuss was all about this time …

     
    Sam, you’ve just grossly contradicted yourself. The other day, on the other thread, you described the “fear of god” as a mechanism for ensuring people obeyed the instructions, even if they had doubts or didn’t want to (in other words, if they questioned the instructions.)

     
    But, now today, when presented with a repugnant instruction that you want to wiggle out of having to defend, you contradict your previous claim by saying, “some of the things you learn about religion are indeed disturbing and quite rightly you should question those.”

     
    See, that’s why people don’t buy this garbage anymore, not when the people defending it say one thing about it when it suits them one day, and then say the complete opposite when it suits them on another day. In this case, you appear to be trying to wiggle out of appearing to stand for something really repugnant … beating women and treating them like property. So, you now just toss away the rule you described to us a few days ago. Throw it right out the window, actually. It’s a direct contradiction to the first thing you said about why the need for “fear of god.”

     
    You see, in science, things are consistent. A chemical reaction, for instance, will always happen in the same way. Right down to the atoms involved and how they will combine and react. Predictable. Repeatable. Not one day fire burns your skin, and the next day it doesn’t … if that’s what explanation suits you’re argument that day. You, just now, exactly contradicted what you said that the whole reason was for having the the “fear of god.” You appear to just be making this up out of yer butt. And, as shaun noticed, seem to just be preaching (and contradicting your own sermons horribly I might add.)

     
    You’re not very good at this you know.

  70. GumB. says

    Maybe that was too long for you to understand Sam. I’ll shorten it.

     
    A few days ago: The fear of god is so that people will obey out of fear, even if they question some things.

     
    Today: Oh, if something in there is goofy, then it’s totally ok to question it.

     
    Um … oops.

  71. StonedRanger says

    Sam has called the AXP, and their sister show. He got his ass handed to him on both of them. He knows he isn’t liked here, and we all know he is a dishonest person. You might notice that not many of the regular posters here will engage with him.

  72. GumB. says

    @StonedRanger

     
    Sigh. I know, I got told about Sam on the other thread. But he’s the only one throwing out all the faulty thinking to critique.

     
    Ok. I’ll hush him again and not feed or encourage him. 🙁

     
    Someone else suggested there were other ways other than violence to discipline a wife. Do I really need to point out that it’s nobody’s place to be disciplining a wife? Why not her discipline you for being a dumbass? I just sort of let that one slide. It’s this sort of hierarchical thinking that these religions train into people’s minds that is so repugnant about them. Discipline your wife? Really? Get a grip, who died and made you god … over anyone? The only person you’re the master of, is (hopefully) yourself. Discipline your wife. Give me a break. She’s probably smarter than you. Hrrrrmph.

     
    Ok. I’ll hush Sam again and try not to look anymore. 🙁

    😀

  73. SamFromUK says

    @amuthan,

    ““Carry on researching”. Ditto, hope you look into the so called scientific miracles in the Quran at some point, it’s the easiest place to start and then I personally hope you call into the show with your honest findings.”

    No need. The hosts have already said they either wouldn’t care or they wouldn’t be convinced that this is evidence of God or they would say that you should go to the scientific community to get them verified or convince them of it. Who the scientific community is, I have no idea and no one else does either. It’s a simply tactic by atheists and the AXP hosts to just ignore claims by the theists.

    For get the hosts. It’s all about what will convince you. Some are easily convinced others are more difficult. You seem to be like most atheists. There is nothing that will convince you.

    As I said before to other atheists. The question is not about what will convince you of God but what will you do IF you were convinced that God exists. Are you going to obey the commands in the Quran/Bible? Are you going to be subservient to God?

    Most atheists will say no they won’t. So the big question is if you’re not going to accept God and his words then why do you need to be convinced of God?

  74. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    “You see, in science, things are consistent.”

    LOL. This was hilarious. You’re making a fool of yourself. Read up on science young lad, you have a lot to learn.

  75. Loveromates says

    I am not an atheist, and I absolutely will not obey the god of Abrahamic faith.

    From everything I learn about compassion and empathy from my family’s religious background, worshipping Yahweh or Allah is a serious insult to my humanity and who I am as a person.

  76. amuthan says

    SamfromUK,

    “It’s a simply tactic by atheists and the AXP hosts to just ignore claims by the theists.” I admit it can come across that way but that is because the hosts are not experts on the Quran or science so they have no choice but to give generic ‘lawyerspeak’ answers sometimes.

    However you can’t say that about the hosts on this particular episode.

    At 1 hour 23 minutes 22 seconds of this episode, the host Matt actually bothers to investigate Ahmed’s specific claim that the Quran describes a expanding universe, by actually reading various translations and talking to a subsequent caller who happened to be an ex-Muslim (Sam from New York) about it in some detail. And I hope you read my first message on this forum which discusses Ahmed’s claim too.

    I think your best bet is to call in the show when an ex-Muslim or scientist is on it and give your single best ‘scientific miracle’ in the Quran and I am convinced you will get a comprehensive answer.

    An atheist’s default position is they will change their mind if presented with good evidence. I am paraphrasing but Matt said to a theist once that if they can find an amputee whose limb has grown back, he is prepared to consider that as evidence potentially.

  77. SamFromUK says

    @amuthan,

    You misread my comment. It’s not about what will convince you but about what you will do when you are convinced. Are you going obey and worship God? This has been answered by some atheists on this forum. Answer is they won’t. So what is the need to be convinced?

  78. Paraklete says

    This is the lengths these half-wits go in order to pretend that a particular passage in the Bible is true. The passage has someone going to the top of a mountain from which he can see the ENTIRE WORLD. This obviously wouldn’t be possible if the world was spherical, so they have to conclude that the planet is flat. This ‘flat earth’ nonsense is, as best as I can tell, really a Russian influence operation designed to corrupt the thinking of people who have a hard time thinking as it is. They don’t understand how we know the earth is spherical, and have known, for thousands of years. They don’t understand that you can see ships across the horizon by building a high tower and placing a telescope atop it. Because if they understood that simple fact, they couldn’t explain it. Nor can they explain how water spins one direction below the equator, and the opposite direction above the equator. Again — completely inexplicable with this ‘flat earth’ mental virus.

  79. paraklete says

    As an atheist myself, I actually think that you can make a case for reincarnation. But it’s not the sort of reincarnation that will make your average ego-driven Christian happy. It’s a simple matter of finite numbers of possible combinations placed alongside a nearly infinite number of ‘dice rolls’. To put it more specifically, there are only so many ways the human DNA can combine. It’s an enormous number of combinations, but it is still finite. Not only will your particular combination come back, but you cannot stop it from coming back. And to think OTHERWISE is akin to arguing that your own birth was a miracle that the universe cannot replicate!! But of course the ancient philosophers had no idea about genetics. They saw human beings as BUNDLES OF PROPERTIES. There might be thousands of personality properties that constitute a particular instantiation of a particular person. Truthfulness, bravery/cowardice, avarice, love, etc., etc., etc. And each of those properties/variables might be taken to have a VALUE that goes from say negative 100,000 to 100,000. And every person can be thought of as a matrix of these properties and their corresponding numeric strength/value. So instead of thinking about this in terms of genetics, you might consider it in this fashion — whenever that same bundle of properties RECURS in the universe with the same numeric strength/value, so then does that PERSON recur. A person lives, they die, and after some amount of time (which they deemed ‘the long sleep’), they’re born again as a new child. In fact, with either of these two views (genetic and psychological properties), there’s no guarantee that you don’t already exist in multiple places AT THE SAME TIME…

  80. GumB. says

     
    It sure doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to wave your hand out to the landscape and proclaim:

     
    “Hmmm, seems to me like this is pretty … big !

     
    (Gasps are heard as Modumbhead’s followers fall to their knees in awe.)

     
    Did he then pick up a gnat between his fingers and amaze everyone with his astute scientific observation of:

     
    “And this, my friends … is something quite small !

     
    (Gasp … golf clap.)

     
    Absolutely bloody amazing. Nothing mundane and pedestrian about those observations at all is there.

     
    Please apply Poe’s law to this comment.

  81. amuthan says

    SamfromUK,

    “what you will do when you are convinced. Are you going obey and worship God?”

    If i was convinced the Quran is the perfect word of God, I would join ISIS, cut the necks and fingernails of nonbelievers, rape a few more Yazidi girls and most of all die a martyr as that’s the surest way to heaven.

    I have direct quotes from the Quran supporting all the above in several authorised translations, if anyone is interested.

    That’s it from me for now.

  82. SamFromUK says

    @amuthan,

    I expected better from you. You have just demonstrated you’re just as lost as most of the atheists on this forum.

    It’s very amusing seeing how you guys behave on this forum.

  83. amuthan says

    SamFromUK,

    You didn’t ask for the quotes from the Quran and that doesn’t surprise me. Because you know the quotes already of course, hence your ‘religion is disturbing’ remark. That’s what is truly disappointing that despite that, you still follow your religion.

    But I still have confidence in you and most Muslims? Why? Because many Muslims say they wouldn’t beat you wife, even though the Quran permits it. Yes and most other Muslims are better than the Quran. It won’t take long for you to reject it entirely.

  84. SamFromUK says

    lol.
    You are just a typical lost atheist. Your comments are so typical it’s boring.

    I am so glad I am no longer an atheist.

  85. says

    “It’s not about what will convince you but about what you will do when you are convinced. Are you going obey and worship God? ”

    I know Sam won’t answer me, but I’ll just put it out there.. er, why? Why would I worship a god?

    Also, what does worship actually mean.. in real terms that is?

    It’s a very medieval concept isn’t it? It seemed naturally understood back in the day didn’t it, when if you didn’t bow and scrape to the lord of the manor you risked having a sword cut your head off.

    But what does it actually mean, other than some giving deference to some egoistical, narcissistic psychopath with a massive sense of entitlement because it was bad for your health not to?

    For example what is the difference in the concept of worship of a god and the concept of showing complete obsequiousness to Kim Jong Un, or for that matter what Trump would like “his people to do”?

    Sam won’t answer me of course, but if anyone could enlightement me I would be interested to hear an explanation.

  86. SamFromUK says

    @Shaun,

    Good question Shaun. I’m sure I’ve answered this before, but hey atheists like to hear the same thing again and again especially when it’s to do with slating religion.

    I’m not sure if you had a good upbringing but let’s assume you did. Did you obey your parents? I assume you were a decent good child and you did. Obeying Gog is similar to obeying your parents. They know best for you, they have more knowledge and experience than you.

    Do you call your parents? Do you thank them for the favours they have done for you or will do for you? It’s similar to worshipping God. You thanks God for the great things he’s given you and simply accept that he is God and keep in touch with him and remember him.This is similar to worship.

    I don’t expect you to understand because as usual with typical atheists you will twist whatever I have said and be rude and nasty and arrogant.

  87. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @amuthan #77

    I think your best bet is to call in the show when an ex-Muslim or scientist is on it and give your single best ‘scientific miracle’ in the Quran and I am convinced you will get a comprehensive answer.

    Been there, done that.
    He tried to dispel common ancestry by JAQing about hybrids.
     
    Thread: Axp 20.13 – Blixic #314,324,315:

    I’m actually a geneticist. Meaning, I have two degrees in it and have worked in a genetics laboratory in a veterinary setting for more than 5 years.

     

    For my Master’s degree, I gathered evidence to answer a question about which specific subspecies of strawberry hybridized with which other specific subspecies of strawberry to create the hybrid that we commonly produce in the USA. […] A friend of mine also did her Master’s on a particular group of species of parrots in the Amazon basin, answering the question of who interbred with who first, second, and most recently.
    […]
    Nothing that we have discovered about any phylogeny has gone against the idea of common ancestry. In conclusion, common ancestry is accurate, and is not thrown by hybridization. Don’t forget (or learn something new!): If two animals can successfully reproduce with each other and produce fertile offspring, they are considered the same species.

     

    Sam in #24 is just completely wrong. Like 100% wrong. Demonstrably wrong. I think everyone else has said as much, but he just doesn’t accept it.

     
    Axp 20.13 – Sam #356:

    Cell mitosis is actually a miracle

     
    Axp 20.13 – Blixic #369, 431:

    I agree that it’s amazing! But, it’s not miraculous. There’s a clear cause and effect going on. The spindle fibers of the cytoskeleton (which you can actually see if you dye them to not be transparent) pull the chromosomes apart. […] you said that humans could understand it but not control it. Well, I actually have controlled it. And it wasn’t any big deal. You can easily apply a chemical to stop mitosis and then remove it and let it progress. You can even use the chemical to stop all cells at a certain subphase and then release them so they all go through mitosis at the same time. You can apply other chemicals that disrupt the spindle apparatus to cause mitosis errors that result in aneuplody. You can even fool a cell into thinking it already went through mitosis when it didn’t, causing polyploidy

     

    Sam saying that proven and demonstratable facts aren’t facts….. it’s frustrating. It’s like me telling everyone that ‘if you go outside and throw a rock up into the air, it won’t come down again. It just won’t. It’s a fact. And the only reason you all think it will is because you misunderstand gravity.’
    […]
    It takes an incredible amount of arrogance to try to tell me that the work I do every day is just a fantasy or something. All these phylogenies that I have made, published, presented are just crap because none of us scientists actually know what we’re doing.
    […]
    At least I have learned something from Sam, though. I didn’t realize just how arrogant a person could be about something they don’t understand.

  88. Loveromates says

    <<>>

    Yes, I obey my parents to certain extent. My parents used to think that African Americans are lower class of humans. I don’t share that view. If I should obey my parents as you obey your deity, does that mean that I should think that black people are lower class of humans as well?

    In your holy book, your deity clearly asked his followers to execute infidels. If you live in a town where your neighbors are Wiccans, what would you do to them? They don’t do anything harmful to your well-being. They are simply believers of a different faith. Do they deserve to be killed because your god said so?

    As I said, I am not an atheist, but I do find atheists safer to be around than Muslims and Christians. If you believe that non believers in your particular religion deserve punishment, what would you expect when you try to convince them to believe in your religion?

  89. says

    @Sam

    I don’t worship my parents. We interact as equals or not at all. Nor do I obey them.

    I’m not going to try to twist anything you have said. That is your explanation. I don’t believe that your explanation is to me an adequate definition of worship.

    But even if it was.. as an adult we don’t have to “obey” anyone. Sure society has laws, but I don’t “obey” them. I simply enter into a social contract with the fellow members of the society in which I live where I generally live within the law, but only because it is mutually beneficial to me and my fellow citizens – not because some authority figure says I must.

    Case in point – smoking marijuana. Still not legal for recreational use in Australia where I used to live. So what? I’m not harming anyone by smoking a joint in the privacy of my own home, so I ignore the authorities on that one.

    So obedience in my view is for children and dogs. Worship.. well it still hasn’t been explained to me sufficiently.

  90. SamFromUK says

    @Love,

    Please stop being stupid.If the Quran and Bible did actually command that for the followers then there would not be any infidels left on the face of the earth. You are so silly. Please come back to reality.

    You’re not a theist, you’re confused and lost.

  91. SamFromUK says

    @Shaun,

    “So obedience in my view is for children and dogs.”

    I meant as a child you obey your parents. In the same way believers consider themselves as children in front of God because even as adults we always will know less than God. We respect and honour God because he created us and provides for us.

    Problem is that you think you’re an adult therefore you are self sufficient now. But you’re not self sufficient. You can’t make your own food or fix your body or do anything. Everything you have has been given to you.

    If you agree that children should obey and accept their parents for being their providers then that is similar to obeying and worshipping God.

  92. Loveromates says

    I am a theist. I just don’t believe in Christianity or Islam.

    Maybe I am silly, maybe my reality doesn’t match yours, but at least I embrace my humanity. I cannot worship a deity who would condemn people just because they don’t believe.

    I can quote verses that Christians and Muslims use to justify their action against LGBT people (I am gay) and non-Abrahamic believers, but I will not do that here.

    I have yet done anything to you. I simply state why I don’t follow Abrahamic religion. You are such a good Muslim when you immediately jump to name calling. Very nice job, Mr Sam.

  93. says

    I am a human adult. I owe obedience or worship to no person or being. That is the privilege of reaching adulthood.

    If you choose to believe you are a child in the eyes of god, that is your business. It is not a view I share.

    As for obedience, I have already explained my social contract view. If you don’t understand the reciprocity of such a system in which I derive much benefit from living in a civil society governed by rule of law what can I say? However don’t tell me how I am obedient. That is telling me my own mind.

  94. SamFromUK says

    @Shaun,

    You’re delusional like most folk on this forum and in denial.

    You OBEY the law.

  95. GumB. says

    I notice Sam used his go-to shmeeb technique again to immediately change the subject after I pointed out the two entirely mutually exclusive claims he made. He just dropped the subject, introduced a new topic, added a few insults and projections in for emotional shock and awe (because that’s probably worked to distract people in the past) … and pretended he didn’t just talk himself into a mutually exclusive contradiction.

     
    You always know when you’ve debunked Sam. He gets mad, compartmentalizes the incident, changes the subject, and never returns to the point he was trying to make when he got caught contradicting himself. Ha ha. It’s like watching a six year old who thinks they just got away with something.

     
    What about those two mutually exclusive claims you asserted earlier Sam? Come on, why won’t you rationalize them for us? Because you can’t? Please go back and explain the contradiction of those two mutually exclusive claims you made, the ones I pointed out to you. Do you just run and hide when you stick your foot in your own mouth like that? Are you a coward or something? Explain your own contradiction to us please, in full detail.

     
    You can’t explain it, can you. Ha ha … goof zone. You’re avoidance and denial of those sorts of moments during discussions demonstrates your dishonesty quite effectively.

     
    Can’t wait for the new show tonight !

  96. SamFromUK says

    @Love,

    You’re lost and confused. There’s no shame in it, most of us are lost and confused at some point. Some of your comments are just stupid. Take a look at reality instead of ignoring it.

  97. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    As I have said before, you win. I can’t ever hope to beat you in an argument.

  98. says

    I’m delusional and in denial because you can’t grasp the concept of a social contract? How does that work?

    I could move to a lawless place if I wanted but I clearly don’t want to live in such places. Like I said, I find the rule of law to be beneficial to me. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    In my view governments are the servants of the populace, there to administer the smooth running of society, not be obeyed. Do you really want to hang your hat on that word obey so much? Why do you need to be right so badly that you can’t concede that someone else has a different point of view to yours and that their view to them is as valid as yours?

    I mean I think you belief in allah is absurd, but I don’t deny you your right to have that belief if that’s what you want.

  99. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    I notice Sam used his go-to shmeeb technique again to immediately change the subject after I pointed out the two entirely mutually exclusive claims he made. He just dropped the subject, introduced a new topic, added a few insults and projections in for emotional shock and awe (because that’s probably worked to distract people in the past) … and pretended he didn’t just talk himself into a mutually exclusive contradiction.

    In a previous thread he admitted to engaging in circular reasoning and has regularly disregarded logical fallacies while still declaring his reasoning logical. The apparent holes in his argumentation are no weakness of his, it’s our fault for being obtuse and willfully ignoring evidence of the divine. Early on I was interested because he seemed to be a theist interested in honest discourse, but alas those days are long gone. I don’t recommend engagement with him unless yer in the mood for somewhat masochistic amusement.

  100. Loveromates says

    If you want me to follow the reality your propose, you need to tell me the reason. You cannot throw at me the Koran and expect me to obey the law your god dictate in that book.

    I am Vietnamese. My cultural values do not tie to Abrahamic faith. My family is Buddhist. As far as I am concerned, my life has been wonderful and fulfilled. I have done what I can to bring happiness to people I care about. I also feel the transcendence, which I can label God.

    And yet I am not a Muslim. What kind of reality do you expect me to follow?
    Assuming I follow your book, should I abandon my boyfriend because we are considered abomination in your god’s eyes?

    If what I say is stupid, educate me. Don’t expect me to read your book, which I did, and obey every letter. I don’t have that connection you have to Islam. I cannot force myself to believe in Koran since it contradicts to the values I grew up with.

  101. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    You seem to have bad memory of our discussion. In our discussion I as trying to explain that the miracles are all around us, and I tried to explain it in various ways. The discussion ended because you simply didn’t care about the existence God. So, just as with Shaun, and many atheists, it’s not that you need evidence of God (which atheists are always asking for), it’s just that you don’t care.

    So what is the point of engaging atheists if they simply don’t care and further they are not going to obey or worship God. I personally found this very very helpful as it now means I can just advise other theists to just cut to the chase and ask the atheist if they would worship and obey God. No need to have long discussions of evolution, DNA, bible verses, Quran, religious beliefs, etc.

    It’s brilliant. Lot’s of time saved and the atheists get to wallow in their superior intellect and arrogance in peace.

  102. SamFromUK says

    @Love,

    “If what I say is stupid, educate me.”

    I said you were stupid because you said that the Bible and Quran order followers to go and kill infidels. You have to read those verse in context. Yes there are some brutal verses in the Bible but not the Quran. Every verse in the Quran which orders fighting is for retaliation. If people attack you then you have a right to attack them. The Bible is different. There are some disturbing verses but they were at a time when God was present. No follower of the Bible can ever use those verses to justify their actions now a days or even immediately after those events had happened. Vast vast majority of Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and other religious people are peaceful law abiding humans. We all share the same problems and dreams in life regardless of what we choose to believe in. Belief is separate to what we are as humans.

    Can beliefs be used for justifying killing and taking advantage of the population? Of course they can and it happens in every generation. That’s nothing to do with religion, it’s selfish, evil humans. God knows who they are and he will take care of them. Doesn’t matter if they were muslim, christians, jews or hindus or atheists, there will be punishment.

    I would suggest you start off seeking the truth if you want to know about God. Where ever the truth leads you accept it. Took me over 10 years to learn the truth. Read the Quran and Bible daily bit by bit. At first they won’t make sense. You won’t understand the context. But over time and after research the context will become clear, the verses will make sense.

    Most muslims and christians are blind followers. Don’t become one of them just because it makes you feel happy. Question every verse. If you don’t understand at once come back to it later.

  103. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @ Sam – 103
    I seem to remember LOTS of different reasons our various discussions ended.
    Still not sure why confirming the fact of the existence of a deity like the Abrahamic God necessitates worship. I’ve seen ye sticking on this point alot in this thread, and while it’s hardly the first time I’ve encountered it (I’ve met plenty of christians who also think confirming God’s real is a 1:1 of worshiping him), the inability of certain theists to overcome that idea has always vexed me. Acknowledging the reality of extra-dimensional deities and the implications of that is a completely different matter to worshiping them.
    Ye can regard the question of something’s existence as an interesting matter without also feeling the need to prostrate yerself before them. If something like God is out there I’d find the ramifications of that very interesting even if I think the passive/aggressive neediness they’re described with isn’t worthy of respect. Hell, debating whether the Abrahamic God is more of a tsundere or yandere I think could inspire some VERY interesting discussion, hahaha.
    But for someone who’s given up on trying to engage with athiests who won’t submit to God even if he’s real ye really seem to be posting alot of holier-than-thou/superior sounding nonsense here of late. Perhaps ye have a masochistic streak in ye as well, or is there some other bonus ye get for being the proverbial pigeon on the chess board?

  104. Loveromates says

    <<>>

    I do exactly what you said, but it doesn’t lead me to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Paganism, etc. I don’t even believe in reincarnation claim any more, and my family is Buddhist.

    When I read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings, the idea of God begins to make sense to me. I am convinced that I am correct in the context of my experience ONLY. It cannot transfer to someone else and it should not. People are individuals.

    I don’t want to pain Muslims with a broad brush about killing infidels. I trust that you will not try to harm me or take my legal rights because of my religious difference and my sexual orientation. However, I hope you understand that there are Muslims who do that, and they back up their actions with Koranic verses. I read the book, so I know what their bigotry is not out of thin air; it’s backed up by divine inspiration. I cannot challenge them because I am not a Muslim. Even you may not be able to challenge them when your context is different from theirs.

    I wish that “Belief is separate to what we are as humans.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen most of the time.
    You see what happens in Saudi Arabia with human rights
    You also see what happens in my country when evangelical Christians work through the politics

    In the end, I think what we have a lack of is empathy. The moment people are convinced that they hold the TRUTH, they dismiss other people’s experience. They justify their action with their truth against those who don’t share theirs. At the moment, most of those people belong to some dogmatic sects of Christianity and Islam on a global scale. That is the scary part.

    Not all devout Muslims are as civil as you or as accepting as Keith Ellison.

  105. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #106:

    When I read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings, the idea of God begins to make sense to me. I am convinced that I am correct in the context of my experience ONLY. It cannot transfer to someone else and it should not.

    Please elaborate.
     
    Correct about what exactly?
     
    What does “correct in the context of my experience ONLY” mean?
     
    Are you then incorrect the moment you stop reading and leave that context? Or that facts about the world outside your head are contingent on your state of mind? Or that you accept private subjective intuitions that wouldn’t be convincing to anyone else (and that you wouldn’t accept had they been promoted by other people as evidence)?

  106. SamFromUK says

    @Love,

    You’re not alone. There are muslims who kill muslims even though it is strictly forbidden to so that. How do they get around that verse? Simple. They declare the other muslims as non-muslim. Take the Shias and Sunnis. They hate each other so much, more than the idolaters. There is no Sunni or Shia in Islam but it is not wise to argue with large populations of followers as it won’t turn out well for you.

    This behaviour is in Christianity as well although not as extreme. This behaviour has been going on since the first revelations. NOTHING has changed. Humans have NOT gotten any better.

    IF you really want to follow Islam or Christianity then at first it’s best to avoid the followers beliefs as they may mislead you as they are misled themselves. Read the Bible and Quran yourself and keep asking questions.

    There is no need to challenge other Muslims. Your faith is between you and God and no one else. Only God can guide. No muslim can make you believe even if he showed you all the scientific proofs and miracles. Only God can make you believe. Be sincere and don’t worry if you are unsure or that you don’t know something. Sincerity is important. Be patient. Just get on with your life and let others live the way they want. Eventually you will die and so will they. We ALL die alone. They have their problems and you have yours. In the end our lives are short and we all end up in the same place.

    I think best time to read scripture is at night. That’s what I used to do for a couple of years. It’s so peaceful and your awareness of words in scripture is more acute.

    I’m not a devout muslim, I would love to be. I am trying to improve – I need to be a much nicer person inside which is what it’s mostly all about. I’m suffering from some health problems which I believe is causing me to misbehave sometimes. I take this as a learning experience because now I accept that other peoples rude behaviour may be due to other issues they have going on in their lives. So I try to remember this and be more understanding to others.

    Read Ecclesiastes from the Bible, the NIV version. It’s brilliant. It basically says everything we do in this life is meaningless. So true.

  107. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Axp 21.39 – CA7746 #165:

    @SamFromUK:

    Whatever you eat is made up from dirt and water. Yet you can’t eat dirt and water as food.

     
    Nothing an atheist could say would be as disrespectful to the creator of the universe than the facile drivel written in its name and promoted as deep wisdom.

     
    Axp 21.39 – SamFromUK #166:

    I take it you haven’t read Ecclesiastes.

     
    SamFromUK #108:

    Read Ecclesiastes from the Bible, the NIV version. It’s brilliant. It basically says everything we do in this life is meaningless.

  108. GumB. says

     
    Loveromates says to Sam:

     
    “Not all devout Muslims are as civil as you …

     
    I don’t agree that he’s been “civil” at all (which is itself a subjective term anyway, one open to almost any interpretation.)

     
    Sam has used threats of implied damnation, mocking us for how “we’ll see soon enough when we die.” That’s nothing more than a manipulation tactic, a hustle, a con, and it works to coerce a great many people, but only because it scares them and not because it makes god or his religion in any way real. He’s bullying people when he talks like that, not being “civil.”

     
    He’s regularly used emotional outbursts to try and intimidate and emotionally manipulate people here as well. Again, that’s how a bully gets his way, because people, again, often respond by acquiescing when someone in the social group starts calling them stupid, or telling them they’re being arrogant, or any of the other emotionally manipulative tactics he’s used to try and dominate them here on the blog. That’s bullying and coercion … not being civil.

     
    He uses manipulative false logic strategies, probably as a result of these being used on him as well at some point in his life. But he’s relentless with them, and again, with socially intimidated people, these techniques often work because then they “go along just to get along.” That is not being civil, it’s the mark of a bully and a con man (even if Sam comes by these behaviors naturally, they still are what they are … coercion … and not freedom of the person to choose, especially if they live in a community surrounded by Sams.)

     
    And for Sam to say “belief is separate to what we are as humans” is a flat out lie. Everywhere these religious types gain the social majority, the first thing they do is legislate and or/intimidate other people into following their religious edicts … or else. That’s what he’s doing here too, is trying to ram his beliefs onto us through any tactic he can muster, like an obsession. Nothing about that is civil. It’s the behavior of a classic bully that he displays. That’s why even if he avoids me, knowing that he can’t bullshit me personally, I’ll still be on him, because I stand up for not only me, but also the people he browbeats and intimidates and bullies with his con man tactics.

     
    Children, and socially insecure adults, can all be easily influenced by any or all of these cheap tricks he’s learned to use. That’s why I call them out and expose them. Sam … is the farthest thing from what I’d call “live and let live” civil. Sam is an emotional bully who lords over people with a misguided feeling of superiority over them that his religion taught him he was entitled to. In a way, Sam has become a predator … not civil. People need to be protected from someone like Sam. He’s on a power trip, and we can clearly see this from his behavior here. That’s the danger of these types, even if the people here aren’t particularly fooled by it. Others can be influenced by these tricks though, and all too often will be conned or coerced by them. That … is not “civil.” That … almost deserves the label of evil.

     
    Look in the mirror Sam. That’s what religion has done to you. It’s warped you and made you a manipulative bully.

  109. Loveromates says

    GumB, I do think Sam is generally civil compared to radical Muslims. He doesn’t have ill intent like other “moderate Muslims”. I watched AronRa’s debate with a Muslim apologist about evolution. I couldn’t finish the clip. That guy really believed that the most compassion to do to a gay person is to cut off his head. If all Muslims in the world are similar to Sam, bloodshed would be significantly reduced.

  110. Loveromates says

    Sky Captain, when I say that, I mean what I experience resonates to who I am. Hence, I trust what I feel and see. It’s personal to me and cannot transfer just like David Hume stated.

    It is like putting seaweeds and soy sauce on oatmeal helps me eat oats with enjoyment while other people who eat oatmeal in traditional way find that strange.

  111. Loveromates says

    Sam, based on what you told me, you are better off with Sufis than other sects of Islam. If there are Muslims whom I can respect, Sufis are. They seem to be into philosophy and mysticism and less concerned about proselytization and imposing dogmas on the rest of the world.

  112. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    CA7746 #107:

    What does “correct in the context of my experience ONLY” mean?

     
    @Loveromates #112:

    like putting seaweeds and soy sauce on oatmeal helps me eat oats with enjoyment

    So when you say you are correct, you mean: “I personally enjoy entertaining the idea”? A claim about yourself, rather than a claim about the existence of something?
     
    The other question is important too. Correct about what exactly?

  113. Monocle Smile says

    @Loveromates

    If all Muslims in the world are similar to Sam, bloodshed would be significantly reduced.

    This is xenophobic garbage. It’s a deepity at best.

    Sam is an internet troll. You’re new here, but absolutely nothing Sam says should be taken at face value. He’s here to incite reactions, probably because in real life, people don’t want to associate with him. It’s likely he has at least one personality disorder and should be ignored.

  114. Loveromates says

    “A claim about yourself, rather than a claim about the existence of something?”
    If I understand your question correctly, my answer is yes. I feel like there is something out there giving me signs. Following those signs or ignoring them is my choice. Even though I understand that people seek patterns, when I am in that specific situation, logic and reason leave and intuition is in charge. I am aware of that, but it is not something I can control.

    I live my daily life with logical reasoning in most aspects. There are some that my intuition intervene, and my logic doesn’t mind leaving. Hence, I trust what I see and feel based on that intuition. I can give you an example if you are interested.

  115. twarren1111 says

    While I’m excited to hear that next weeks show, celebrating the 1000th episode, is going to have Matt and Seth Andrews as hosts, my vote is that it would be even better if Tracie sat between them!

  116. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #116:

    I feel like there is something out there giving me signs.

    Would you agree that someone’s feeling of paranoia would have insufficient basis to conclude there are, in fact, folks watching?
     

    when I am in that specific situation, logic and reason leave and intuition is in charge. I am aware of that, but it is not something I can control.

    When logic and reason return, do you then decide intuition was mistaken?
     
    You can control whether to put yourself in situations that diminish your faculties.
     

    I trust what I see and feel based on that intuition.

    Intuition isn’t reliable (and subject to a long list of biases), unless one has already developed expert tacit knowledge through training.
     
     

    I can give you an example if you are interested.

    Please do. Erring on the side of extra detail is more expedient than prompting. There’s usually someone here interested in these things.

  117. Loveromates says

    I’m happy to tell you about my experience. Before I do that, can you teach me how to make quotation like you do?

  118. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Loveromates – 119

    I’m happy to tell you about my experience. Before I do that, can you teach me how to make quotation like you do?

    Someone was kind enough to teach me, so now it’s my turn to pay it forward, hahaha:

    quoted text goes here

  119. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Evil God of the Fiery Cloud:
    To write the symbols without letting them getting interpreted as tags…
    &gt; = >
    &lt; = <
     
    And to write those ampersands here without them getting interpreted as symbols, I had to do: &amp; = &
    : P
     
    Incidentally, a series of one-or-more &nbsp; each on their own line creates a blank gap.

  120. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    sheisse. Let’s try this again:
    (blockquote >quoted text goes here< /blockquote)

    Do that, but instead of ( and ) use arrows,

  121. Loveromates says

    Sorry, Sky Captain, I am not tech savvy. Can you point out on the keyboard which key is the blockquote?

    In the meantime, I will answer your first question. In terms of epistemology, my reliance on intuition is not different from someone’s feeling of paranoia.

    In terms of real life experience, I trust my intuition because it serves as a final piece of a puzzle. It’s not like I see something and extrapolate it into something else. There is always a connection to things that I see earlier. When I recognize the pattern, it’s an instant recognition. It’s like when I recognize that I am in love with someone. That moment is like a spark. If you have a significant other, you will understand what I mean.

  122. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #125:

    Can you point out on the keyboard which key is the blockquote?

    There is no special key for blockquotes. My example in #120 is something you could type with less-than and greater-than keys.
     
    Everything following the phrase <blockquote> will appear quoted until the phrase </blockquote> follows it. Those phrases are called “tags”, which come in pairs to enclose affected content (note the slash in the end tag). When drafting your comment, you can hit the preview button to practice before posting.

  123. GumB. says

     
    Nice Sky Captain, using the character entity references to escape the html from being rendered in your example. I was going to explain it, but you are quick. Nice too using the character entity reference for the ampersand character itself too in order to escape having your example of the less than and greater than angle bracket “character escapes” from turning around and just being rendered as angle bracket characters their own selves too. That’s like a double breakout hack. An escape escape, lol

     
    I’ve seen more than one person pull their hair out saying, “But how do I show how to code html when the browser just renders the code I’m trying to give an example of?” Well, replace every angle bracket in your code example (less than and greater than character, that’s what the lt and gt stand for) with their character escape references … ( &lt; and &gt; )

     
    Otherwise, the browser just renders your code instead of showing the example of your code.

     
    Tricksy Sky Captain, I like it. Especially showing how you then double escaped the character entity references themselves.

     
    <b>Bold</b>
    Bold

     
    <i>Italics</i>
    Italics

     
    <sam>I was probably too direct.</sam>

  124. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #125

    I trust my intuition because it serves as a final piece of a puzzle

    You made it the only piece. Logic and reason had left, you said.
     

    It’s not like I see something and extrapolate it into something else.

    You did exactly that in #116: “I feel like there is something out there giving me signs.”
     

    There is always a connection to things that I see earlier.

    A feeling of profundity is not itself a connection, any more than a feeling of confidence is itself truth.
     
    What does this have to do with ‘something out there’ or God. Did you see that earlier? Why connect anything to that?

  125. GumB. says

    You needed to type in exactly the line below… every character I show below.
    (And ‘preview’ will show you if it was done right, before you post it.)

     
    <blockquote>Hello Sky Captain</blockquote>

  126. Loveromates says

    Yeah, that works. Thank you very much, Sky Captain. Does this trick work everywhere?

    Let me give you the example. Then you can analyze it and point out where I’m wrong. I would love to tell Matt and Tracie about this, but I guess here is fine. It will be a bit long, so bear with me

    When I moved to a new place, I took a walk in the new neighborhood. One day, I walked by an animal hospital where I have been working since then. When I was about to cross the street, a dog ran towards my direction and was hit by a car. Without a second thought, I immediately brought the dog to the animal hospital I just walked by. Since his condition was critical and required medical attention right away, I voluntarily paid for his treatment before the hospital was able to reach out his owner.

    After everything was settled, I had a pleasant conversation with the hospital manager about the practice. Since then, every time I went out for a walk, I always felt drawn to follow the direction to that hospital. Initially, I ignored that feeling and chose to walk in a different direction. That anxious feeling kept bothering me until I responded to it. One month after that incident, I chose to follow my gut instinct. As soon as I stopped by the animal hospital, that restless feeling went away. Instead, I felt elevated for some reason. I asked myself, “Why do I have this happy feeling when I stopped by here? Is there a reason behind this?” While I was pondering my thought, the manager whom I spoke with a month ago came out and greeted me. She remembered who I was and invited me for lunch. During our conversation, I told her that I was a pharmacy technician working for a retail pharmacy. She then offered me a job in the hospital.

    This is where the eureka moment happened. I immediately agreed to the job offer. It was like a spark that explained all the nagging emotion whenever I went out for a walk. I answered “yes” without a second thought even though it didn’t make sense logically. My job at the retail was great. My manager was easy to work with. My colleagues were nice and helpful. There were very few mean customers. Salary was also good. I had no reason to complain.

    And here are 2 circumstances that reinforce my belief in intuition

    Normally in my previous jobs, it took me 2 months to be efficient at work. With this job in the animal hospital, it only took me 3 weeks to know most things. The manager said to me, “You are natural at what you are doing. It is like you were born to do this.”

    Three years after I worked in the animal hospital, my parents showed me a picture in which I wore a nurse outfit and took care of animal patients. I asked them when that happened. They told me that when I was around 3 years old, the school had a photo event where children were encouraged to take a picture wearing professionals’ clothes of their choice. The goal was to let parents know their kids’ career interest so that they could help them later on.
    I asked my parents why they waited until now to tell me. They said that they didn’t want that picture to influence my career choice. They wanted to let destiny lead me where I’m supposed to go

    This is the reason I feel like my life has been set to fulfill certain destiny. That’s why I strongly feel like “something out there” involved in this.

    I can go on, but I would love you hear your opinion about this.

  127. GumB. says

    So hey regulars. If I create an actually log in and sign in with that … can I then edit and/or delete my posts?

  128. Monocle Smile says

    @Loveromates
    Cute story. But loads of people in that situation have negative experiences and wish they never left.
    Your problem is that you’re myopic. It’s not just you; most theists and believers in all sorts of woo share this problem.

  129. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @GumB #133:

    can I then edit and/or delete my posts?

    Nope.

  130. Loveromates says

    Well, I’m not claiming the veracity of my belief. I simply say that there is an impulse that generated that feeling in me. I cannot control my feelings. My mind feels whatever it wants to.

    Being skeptical is natural to me in most situations in my life.
    Being intuitive is also natural to me in certain areas of my life.

    I don’t know if it is a good idea to operate everything with logic.

  131. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #132:

    Does this trick work everywhere?

    On WordPress blogs, which are quite common. Worth a try on any given blog.
     
     

    Let me give you the example.

    You’ve created a highlighted several events, and you’re pleased with current circumstances. What does this have to do with ‘something out there’?
     

    a dog ran towards my direction and was hit by a car. […] his condition was critical

    You think God tortured an animal to get you a sweet job?

  132. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Sorry, revision goof:
    You’ve highlighted several events, and you’re pleased with current circumstances.

  133. GumB. says

    @Sky Captain

    Thanks. Good thing, or people would alter arguments after the fact, lol.

     
    @Loveromates

     
    Like Matt discussed at the start of the most recent episode, why is that the conclusion you jumped to, about it being “something out there” or a “preordained destiny?” Why couldn’t it be a more natural explanation?

     
    Here’s an alternative:

     
    You strongly identified with that role when you were a child, even though you’re not directly remembering it, you may not even remember your childhood consciously it at all. Then, when you connect with that something again, it doesn’t surprise me that you might feel, “Ya, this is cool, I really feel an identification with this animal hospital and this sort of work.” You feel drawn to it after that, and pop around a lot. By chance you fluke out and get offered a job, so you take it, and like it.

     
    It all reconnects with your strong feelings about that same activity from when you were a child.

     
    The larger point I’m showing is, why suppose something “supernatural” or woo about it? Psychologists look at people’s subconscious activity a lot, and although we don’t understand it completely or even well, it’s a natural part of the universe and our mind that we’re learning more and more about all the time, there’s at least some related evidence for it. It’s been demonstrated that there’s activity in there that affects us, but can be demonstrated to be below our conscious awareness … in our subconscious. So again, why not attribute it to a deep identification with a type of work that was laying around in your subconscious from your childhood passion, even if your not consciously making that connection or even directly remembering your childhood consciously at all?

     
    The question is: Why not my equally plausible natural hypothesis connected to something we already have a bit of an anchor in, something natural and a part of your mind, rather than your leap all the way to the supernatural explanation involving a destiny? To me, you just may have felt a strong affinity for something that you once deeply identified with as a child. Not so woo to me at all. I’m not sure how either could be proven though. We have, however, got a lot more proof for subconscious memories and associations from childhood having an influence on us below our level of awareness, than we do for destinies. Why not pick that explanation as a more likely “natural” possibility? There’s no reason to automatically jump to the supernatural explanation.

  134. Loveromates says

    What does this have to do with ‘something out there’?

    Because of what happened when I was a kid, because I felt drawn to the hospital, because of how natural I was at the job although the environment was unfamiliar, I feel like what happened to me was not a random accident.

    Keep in mind that this is my right brain speaking. I cannot control my feelings more than I control my hunger.

    You think God tortured an animal to get you a sweet job?

    I am not a Christian, so I don’t have an answer for that. Besides, God to me is simply a word to describe something greater than myself. I don’t know the nature of that thing.

    Even if that incident didn’t happen, I am convinced that working with animals is what I am meant to do. I’m sure that if I was placed in a different animal hospital, I would still know my job quickly. I guess what happened to that dog and subsequence was just like a catalyst in a chemical reaction.

  135. Loveromates says

    The larger point I’m showing is, why suppose something “supernatural” or woo about it? Psychologists look at people’s subconscious activity a lot, and although we don’t understand it completely or even well, it’s a natural part of the universe and our mind that we’re learning more and more about all the time, there’s at least some related evidence for it. It’s been demonstrated that there’s activity in there that affects us, but can be demonstrated to be below our conscious awareness … in our subconscious. So again, why not attribute it to a deep identification with a type of work that was laying around in your subconscious from your childhood passion, even if your not consciously making that connection or even directly remembering your childhood consciously at all?

    It’s not like your argument has a flaw. My speculation is that my lack of free will is the reason I see things differently from you. I personally don’t believe in free will in religious sense.

    I will be honest with you that I am not a skeptic. I am skeptical in many areas of my life. There are areas in my life my skepticism seems to shut down, and I feel connected to my intuition. I don’t know if you can feel it, but the impulse to follow gut instinct is very powerful.

    Both logic and intuition serve me well in life if I simply let them be instead of trying to control them.

    In this example, if I resisted the urge to go back to the hospital after I rescued the dog, I would not get this job, and all my potential would be wasted.

    I believe in determinism, but I don’t believe in supernatural. The term destiny I use doesn’t imply supernatural. It’s there to describe the fact that I have a natural talent to work in an animal pharmacy instead of a human one. Therefore, I feel like veterinary field is something I am meant to work in. I never thought about that before.

    The question is: Why not my equally plausible natural hypothesis connected to something we already have a bit of an anchor in, something natural and a part of your mind, rather than your leap all the way to the supernatural explanation involving a destiny? To me, you just may have felt a strong affinity for something that you once deeply identified with as a child. Not so woo to me at all. I’m not sure how either could be proven though. We have, however, got a lot more proof for subconscious memories and associations from childhood having an influence on us below our level of awareness, than we do for destinies. Why not pick that explanation as a more likely “natural” possibility? There’s no reason to automatically jump to the supernatural explanation.

    I’m not sure if I have a good answer for your excellent question. The most rational answer I can give you is that I think humans have 2 hemispheres in their brain for a reason. The day I rescued that dog impacted my life significantly. I look at it poetically, not logically. It’s not supernatural, but it seems to be preordained. I believe what happened is a sign that helped me realize my true passion in my professional life because it made sense to me, not because I can provide empirical evidence to prove it.

    What you explain about subconscious memories makes sense. However, when I felt drawn to the job offer although everything about my previous job was great, my understanding of subconscious memories didn’t inspire me to take the job. My feeling that I was drawn to this incident since the beginning inspired me to give up my good paying job to take this one.

    It’s just like when I fall in love with someone. You can extract the chemical in my brain that triggers my love feelings and give it to someone else. That person may feel the love, but he/she may not fall in love with my man, right? The connection between me and my boyfriend is non transferable to other people.

    I hope I am not rambling.

  136. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #140:

    Because of what happened when I was a kid, because I felt drawn to the hospital, because of how natural I was at the job

    After you got a job, you back-filled a narrative, selecting events that seem relevant to your goal only after the fact.
     
    You said that photo was withheld from you. Remember that other job you had, until you left? Were you meant to do that job? By leaving it, you missed out on opportunities.
     
    Will you pass up ALL future job opportunities, no matter how great, because this is what you were meant to do? What if this job turns awful?
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Survivorship bias
     

    I feel like what happened to me was not a random accident.

    Random amazing stuff happens all the time: good bad, absurd. We supply the awe when our routine expectations are violated.
     

    this is my right brain speaking.

    You’re probably invoking a brain sidedness myth there.
     

    I cannot control my feelings

    See: Exposure therapy and CBT.
     

    You think God tortured an animal to get you a sweet job?

    I don’t have an answer for that.

    #94: “I am a theist.”
    #116: “I feel like there is something out there giving me signs.”
     
    Do you think God tortured an animal to give you a sign, so you could get a sweet job? Or is there some other way you expect us to read your words?
     

    Besides, God to me is simply a word to describe something greater than myself.

    That slogan is vacuous.
     

    I am convinced that working with animals is what I am meant to do. I’m sure that if I was placed in a different animal hospital, I would still know my job quickly.

    So that hospital wasn’t special. Any would do.
    And if something is difficult, you’re not meant to do it?

  137. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #141:

    The most rational answer I can give you is that I think humans have 2 hemispheres in their brain for a reason.

     
    Article: Quora – Why is a two-hemisphere brain favored in evolution?

    All animals with a central nervous system (thus a brain) are bilaterians: they’re characterised by having bilateral symmetry.
    […]
    This brain configuration of having two cerebral hemispheres is unique to vertebrates and has been maintained because of phylogenetic and developmental constraints. Above you see a diagram of two fish brains, and you can clearly see the bilateral symmetry. Our mammalian brains are merely scrunched up and beefed-up versions of them, and that’s how we got our two hemispheres.
     
    But once you move out of the vertebrates, you don’t get anything like a two-hemisphere arrangement. You get brains with mirrored symmetries, yes, but not a general two-hemisphere arrangement.

  138. Loveromates says

    You have many good questions. Let me address this one and backtrack others tomorrow.

    Do you think God tortured an animal to give you a sign, so you could get a sweet job? Or is there some other way you expect us to read your words?

    What I was trying to say is that I have no idea why that poor dog got hit by the car. I was a bystander who saw that. Because I was the person who was close to the dog after the car hit him, that triggered me to feel like I was guided to him and I was meant to be there. I am not saying that “something out there” caused this accident. I really don’t know.

    “Do I think that God tortured an animal to give me a sign, so I could get a sweet job?”
    If by God, you mean a deity in Abrahamic religions, my answer is no. It implies that I know God is conscious being who dictated people’s lives. I am a theist in the context of Emerson’s transcendentalism. I am not a theist who believes in God’s omni properties. I believe simply because when I quiet myself and listen to my heart, I feel like something out there gives me signs.
    Whether that cause is the reason other things happen to other people, I don’t know. My belief only applies to me. It’s not transferable unless someone else experiences similar things.

    You are correct that I drew this conclusion after the fact. It is my interpretation of the event. After everything was settled, there was this sense of relief, happiness, and fulfillment that flooded my emotion. Therefore, I believe that it was my destiny to be in this profession.

    Certainly, my belief is intuition-based. Hence, when every piece seems to fit together, I was triggered to feel like I was meant to receive the signs. It was an instant reaction. I am able to verbalize everything to you because I have time to exercise my thinking and find the right words.

    I remember Matt saying that we live our lives based on inference and induction. Therefore, I guess my logical thinking didn’t work in the situation I gave. My action and decision were definitely intuitive, not rational.

    Does that make sense to you?

    Does that make sense to you?

  139. Loveromates says

    Oops, I double posted that statement.
    Thank you for the article. I will read it later.

  140. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #144:

    I believe simply because when I quiet myself and listen to my heart, I feel like something out there gives me signs. […] My belief only applies to me.

    Thump thump? 🙂 Precision is important. It’s easy to wax poetic and lose track of what is really being said.
     

    You are correct that I drew this conclusion after the fact. It is my interpretation of the event. After everything was settled, there was this sense of relief, happiness, and fulfillment that flooded my emotion. Therefore, I believe that it was my destiny to be in this profession.

    In #116, you said, “Following those signs or ignoring them is my choice.” That suggests you are employing foreknowledge, not hindsight – one cannot follow something that already happened. And if the signs are foreknowledge, claims about them do apply to the world – not merely your emotional state in reaction to the world. Predictions, which can be journalled to check reliability (so you don’t selectively remember hits and forget the misses).
     
    On the other hand, without foreknowledge, there’s the Buckaroo Bonzai quote, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Every event that happens, is preceded by a series of events that happened. This moment, too, precedes some other future event. Not particularly deep when spelled out.
     
    Reflecting to identify things you’re already doing (e.g., your job, associating with your partner, etc) that bring relief, happiness, and fulfillment – and continuing to maintain those activities… there’s no theology or destiny model there. That’s just enjoying life.
     
    However, as Monocle Smile said in #134, a lifestyle of making major decisions based on feel-good whims only works out until it doesn’t. Literally Survivorship bias.
     
    Which reminds me of another fun quote, “Death is only the end, if you assume the story is about you.” (A Night Vale T-shirt)

  141. SamFromUK says

    @Love,

    The knowledge you are seeking is not going to come from some deluded atheists on this forum. There is no atheist on this forum who can answer your questions.

    Atheists can only answer questions on what can be observed. They are dead inside, they have shut themselves out from reality and are trapped inside a world view which needs to be rational, logical and coherent.

    Your experiences, whatever they maybe are invaluable and special to you. No atheist is ever going to understand that.

    Do I believe that those events happened miraculously, yes I do in this case. I accept that sometimes things happen “randomly” (there’s no such thing as random) and we derive something special from it even though it was just coincidence. In this particular case I think there was something special going on.

    I think you have a great heart and God loves people with good hearts so maybe this was something special just for you. When something like this happens as a muslim we thank God for it. Enjoy what you have and simply be thankful.

  142. SamFromUK says

    @Love,

    ““Do I think that God tortured an animal to give me a sign, so I could get a sweet job?”
    If by God, you mean a deity in Abrahamic religions, my answer is no. It implies that I know God is conscious being who dictated people’s lives. I am a theist in the context of Emerson’s transcendentalism. I am not a theist who believes in God’s omni properties. I believe simply because when I quiet myself and listen to my heart, I feel like something out there gives me signs.”

    What you believe is different to what is true. You know nothing about God yet. How can you know? No one is born with the knowledge of God. They may naturally believe in a creator but they don’t know him.

    You can only know about God IF he tells you about himself. That applies to ALL of creation. The way God tells us about himself is:

    1. By physically being present so you can hear and see him.
    2. Via revelations such as scripture or dreams or inspiration.

    There maybe others but I can’t think of any at this time.

    It’s wrong to say it’s not the “Abrahamic” God. The truth you don’t know which god. At the moment you are just picking a god or some idea which makes sense to you based on your experience, observations and preference. God is not a being who is here to please you or conform to your understanding, logic and reasoning.

    When some atheist says something like “Do I think that God tortured an animal to give me a sign, so I could get a sweet job?”. You need to ask what does that atheist know about God? Absolutely nothing at all. All they are going by is their own made up ideas. The fact is humans are special. There is no denying that in both the physical world in our subjective reality.

    When I first read the Quran and Bible I was scared. I thought what kind of god is this? How about gentle persuasion a text which is clear and unambiguous. Eventually the text does become clear, most of it anyway, and it all explains the reality we live in. There is no other religion that I know of that has done this.

    I would say to you read the Quran and Bible regularly at night, by yourself. Don’t give up on seeking the truth.

  143. says

    OK.. so question answered.. Sam didn’t want actual discussion. He wanted to preach.

    Sam.. we’re not buying what you’re selling.

  144. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Err, one cannot follow [signs to] something that already happened

  145. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @oldman #42:

    sometime have a Christian as a co host

     
    Thread: Axp 639 (2010-01-10) (YouTube)

    AETV’s first ever on-air theist guest, Baptist minister Kyle Miller. A soft-spoken gentleman, and not the sort of wild-eyed fundie cretin you’d all like us to tear from limb to limb, but nice to have as a guest. Part of Russell’s goal on today’s show was to demonstrate atheists and theists can have civil discussions on a topic of mutual interest without having the whole thing turning into a Bill O’Reilly screaming match

     
    @Mods: The archive video link for that episode is broken.

  146. twarren1111 says

    I’m listening to a replay of Brian’s call and now understand some of the talk above. My background is a bachelors in biology, then a medical degree, then training in medical oncology and laboratory research in immunology.

    Broadly, the major mechanism for evolution is random mutations in DNA and/or RNA. There are some unusual sources of mutation that have been more recently found. In particular, check out stuff about cephalopods (octopi). Very cool. Also, there is very recent talk about mutations happening that appear NOT to be random that have been seen in E. Coli and a M.Tb species that MAY have been a mutation that happened via quantum tunneling in response to the extreme energetic situation in which these microbes were being grown.

    Sex is just a way to mix up genes well. It’s one of the ways random mutations can occur.

    This is where the theists get confused. Natural selection is the term for the process by which a mutation, 99% of which are random, confers to the population a benefit. Thus, the process by which evolution occurs is one in which a randomly generated piece of information is selected by the environment to be perpetuated bc it confers some advantage to the population.

    Think about it and it makes sense. Logical. The mutation just happens. Nature just happens. Probability. Selection is the nuture. That’s not random bc it’s directly related to where the organisms live.

    That’s why it’s survival of the fittest at reproduction. And please don’t forget the ‘at reproduction’ part. There is NO social Darwinism. There is NO survival of the fittest. I detest how low empathy people use that excuse, especially theists, to justify their actions.

    And this is why evolution has done so well as a theory. Darwin didn’t know about DNA. There are billions of facts supporting the theory. And this is another reason theists waste so much time. You literally have to change facts about MATH let alone ask about atoms and chemistry as one commenter has, to start to dismantle evolution. And that’s why science doesn’t waste time. If you do manage to come up with a new datum that may contradict the theory, it’s the theory that will be modified and improved, not overturned, that will happen.

    As an EXCELLENT example, note my comment about emerging evidence from PHYSICS that mutations may, under VERY SPECIAL CONDITIONS, NOT BE RANDOM but actually occur in response to the environment. SO COOL. Why? Bc it means that at least in single cell prokaryotes that a mutation AND natural selection CAN POSSIBLY occur in ONE STEP. Plus, if one was to find such an intriguing EXCEPTION THAT PROVES THE THEORY, for evolution you would expect to see it in more primitive life and via a mechanism like quantum tunneling.

    So, this then leads to ADDITIONAL HYPOTHESES doesn’t it? Like, I wonder if we stress out a virus will it mutate in this way? What about DNA vs RNA viruses? I’d hypothesize that RNA viruses would be more likely. And then you experiment. And I bet we find something. Why? Bc of occam’s Razor. It makes too much sense that if we say grow an RNA virus that needs an amino acid in the absence of that amino acid there’s a chance that the virus that has an RNA gene that encodes for a structurally close amino acid to the deficient one, and if we put a gene in the RNA virus that is one base pair off for encoding for the amino acid it requires, we may catch a point mutation happening where eg an adenine changes to a thiamine via an electron quantum tunneling leading to the gene mutating so the virus can now make the amino acid it needs.

    And does that result throw out evolution? Of course not. It just makes the theory that much stronger by using observations to generate new hypotheses that lead to results that just further modify and strengthen the theory of evolution.

    Anyway, the reason Darwin is so well regarded is that his theory has held up so well. And the fundamental reason is his idea that it’s natural selection that over time leads to the survival of the fittest at reproduction. What we are learning is that it’s not really reproduction per se that’s important. It’s information. And by information I mean entropy. In other words, Darwin’s ideas have been so good bc it’s survival of the fittest at MAINTAINING INFORMATION IN A USEABLE FORM FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

    And that’s our purpose.

    It’s also parenthetically why the 1% of us who do not have a functioning paralimbic system and thus have no empathy which means they are thinking reptiles are what evil is. The medical term for these people is narcissistic personality disorder but the preferred term is psychopath. They are the extreme of what religion is. Which is just making shit up. They just do it for fun. And the result is they waste time and energy. They waste information. They abuse entropy. And that’s why president trump is like he is.

    The purpose of it all, from the Big Bang to the end is to maximize the use of information. And when you have a system with a ton of energy coming from a sun, a ton of energy coming from the planet core, and a huge water bath full of elements, what you get is, INEVITABLY, the abiogenesis of structures, then INEVITABLY the development of RNA (see Jeremy England MIT website) which leads inevitably to the central dogma of biology: DNA encodes RNA translates into protein.

    The only difference between us and a rock is the rock may maintain its information for 4 billion years and us only 70. But the fun we get is our brains where we can manipulate time and energy and mass. We can build things.

    And that’s why we get confused about a designer. The designer is the nervous system that responds to trying to store info for as long as possible. The dinosaurs didn’t design oil. Sweet isn’t a property of glucose. We add the meaning bc that’s why our brain evolved.

    It’s about what empathy is. That’s why ADD. And, it’s why autism. And the human knockouts that prove this are the 1% of us with no paralimbic system and we call them psychopaths.

    Anyway….our purpose is, to be poetic, is love. And no god is needed.

    Or wanted.

    Tom

  147. indianajones says

    @loveromates. I must say, I enjoy your refreshing theistic honesty. The open and outright admission that logic/reason/skepticism apply sometimes but at others intuition does is not something I’ve heard too often. My question, if I may, is: Why should anyone else take your conclusions seriously?

  148. Loveromates says

    You don’t have to. Like I said, my belief is personal, and it is based on emotional intuition. I believe it simply because it makes sense, not because I can justify with empirical evidence.

  149. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #155:

    I believe it simply because it makes sense

    If an idea makes sense, you should be able to articulate and communicate it, even if supporting evidence is unavailable.

  150. Loveromates says

    It makes sense to me, Sky Captain. However, it doesn’t manifest in this physical world in the way that I can show it to you. People who go through similar experience may understand what I’m trying to say. Besides, when my mind somehow connects all the dots, I recognize the pattern instantly. I verbalize the event to you based on my interpretation of what happened to me.

    When I was in that situation, things happened rather quickly. I went with the flow and relied on what made the most sense to me at that moment.

  151. SamFromUK says

    @twarren,

    Sorry but you just did a huge amount of waffling. It’s hard to accept you have any qualifications in life sciences but then again what you have posted seems like text book stuff so I guess maybe do have some qualifications. Problem is people like yourself speak as if they know what they are talking about by citing various scientific vocabulary. However a closer look at your comments reveals that you’re just parroting the stuff from text books with absolutely no understanding of it. You are just as lost and brainwashed as the people who wrote those textbooks.

    You need to be critical of what you read and not blindly accept them.

  152. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #157:

    I went with the flow and [#144: drew this conclusion after the fact. It is my interpretation of the event. After everything was settled]

    You intermittently feel anxious/happy at various locations, and wander around. When [anything particularly good?] happens, confirmation bias kicks in, and you decide the feelings were…. what?
     
    You alternate between treating this as…
    A) An entertaining retrospective story you tell yourself (not supernatural, nothing externally caused necessarily)
    B) Signs that could only BE signs if foreknowledge is involved somehow
     
    The former is trivial. The latter is a potentially dangerous claim to a sixth sense that can, and must, be tested if you care at all for the welfare of yourself or your partner.
     
    #141:

    the impulse to follow gut instinct is very powerful.
     
    Both logic and intuition serve me well in life if I simply let them be instead of trying to control them.

    Relying on intuition, outside of expertise or basic perceptual contexts (both are subject to external verification), is reckless. Untrained intuition doesn’t serve you well, it just hasn’t memorably failed you yet (this is why journalling matters).
     
    How might ‘going with the flow’ be functioning? The mechanism limits the situations where it would be relevant. A journal would record contexts when it fails or works particularly well.
     
    Someone trained to identify baby chickens’ sex will have an intuition that misleads when investing (but they may happen to do well, for a time… before they lose everything). A stone sculptor’s intuition would mislead when calibrating a sniper rifle for windage – but helps some in woodworking.
     
    Only paying attention to outcomes, to nod at a trend of apparent successes, forgets that the mechanism needs relevance to really function at all. It creates an illusion of competence, with no justification to expect the trend to continue.
     

    if I resisted the urge to go back to the hospital after I rescued the dog, I would not get this job, and all my potential would be wasted.

    Song: Tim Minchin – If I didn’t have you… I’d probably have somebody else (3:59)

  153. says

    XOXOXOXXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOOXOXXOXOXOXXOOOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  154. Loveromates says

    Relying on intuition, outside of expertise or basic perceptual contexts (both are subject to external verification), is reckless. Untrained intuition doesn’t serve you well, it just hasn’t memorably failed you yet (this is why journalling matters)

    Can you explain what untrained intuition is?
    My understanding of intuition is direct knowledge based on deep emotional reaction, i.e., the voice of your heart speaks. You perhaps don’t like this expression, but it’s the best way I know how to state it.
    I don’t know how to train my intuition.

    One important thing is that my intuition doesn’t happen every day every time I encounter some event. It happens on its own term out of my expectation. When it speaks, my logical reasoning retreats. It has yet failed me in making a critical decision about who I am as a person. Certainly, I can be wrong about this, and I am open to being wrong. I have yet been wrong about relying on my gut feelings to make a decision.

    When you say journaling matters, do you mean I should record life incidents that I use intuition to make a decision?

    My gut instinct occurs out of my logical control. I trust it because it serves me well so far, AND it never intervenes in the areas where clear scientific evidence is required to make a decision. The exception is that when a person or animal’s well being is the concern. Somehow, my intuition can detect it.

    For example, as a pharmacy technician, I need solid accurate dosage calculation to dispense correct medication and right dosage to a patient. There is no emotional connection to this; hence, no intuition occurs.

    There was one time a vet gave a wrong dosage due to a miscommunication with his technician. When I looked at that prescription along with others, I could feel like something was not right. Instead of ignoring it, I dug deeper and checked the drug book to find the answer. It turned out that I was correct. Had I dismissed my gut feelings, that patient could be in danger of toxicity.

    That doesn’t mean I have a superpower. I simply follow what is natural to me. Most of the time, my intuition is silent. When it is on, there is usually something I should be concerned about. Therefore, I don’t dismiss my gut feelings.

    Although I say these things to you with confidence, it actually takes courage for me to trust my intuition. I am living in a state where most people are not bible thumping Christians or radical Muslims. They are usually secular people who approach things with rationality. Living around them influences me about using critical thinking. I used to try apply critical thinking in every aspect of my life before. It didn’t serve me well in certain areas. When I learn to listen to my “heart”, those areas have good solution.

  155. indianajones says

    @loveromates I know i don’t HAVE to take your conclusions seriously. I don’t have to take gravity seriously either. It just leads to poor outcomes if I don’t in that second case. What I mean, I suppose, is why do you take intuition seriously in any given situation? You say @160, tangentially, gut feelings for instance. What happens in your head if your gut feelings or intuition or what have you come into conflict in your work as a pharmacy tech or anything else for instance?

  156. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #160:

    When you say journaling matters, do you mean I should record life incidents that I use intuition to make a decision?

    Record everything you take to be a sign (and what expectation it brings: important location, fortuitous, etc; specific is better than vague), as they happen, when nothing significant has occurred yet. See how often a significant event is actually predicted, and how accurately.
     
     

    My understanding of intuition is direct knowledge based on deep emotion

     
    Video: Julia Galef – The Straw Vulcan (51:24, transcript here)

    Essentially there are two systems that people use to make decisions. They’re rather boringly called System 1 and System 2, but they’re more colloquially known as the intuitive system of reasoning and the deliberative system of reasoning.
     
    The intuitive system of reasoning is an older system; it allows us to make automatic judgments, to make judgments using shortcuts which are sometimes known as heuristics. They’re sort of useful rules of thumb for what’s going to work, that don’t always work. But they’re good enough most of the time. […]
     
    And then System 2, the deliberative system of reasoning, is much more recently evolved. It takes a lot more cognitive resources, a lot more attention, but it allows us to do more abstract critical thinking. It allows us to construct models of what might happen when it’s something that hasn’t happened before, whereas say a System 1 approach would decide what to do based on how things happened in the past.
    […]
    System 1 is more prone to bias.
    […]
    System 1 and System 2 have their pros and cons in different contexts. System 1 is especially good when you have a short time span, and a limited amount of resources and attention to devote to a problem. It’s also good when you know that you have experience and memory that’s relevant to the question, but it’s not that easily accessible; like you’ve had a lot of experiences of things like this problem, but our memories aren’t stored in this easy list where we can sort according to key words and find the mean of the number of items in our memory base. So you have information in there, and really the only way to access it sometimes is to rely on your intuition. It’s also helpful when there are important factors that go into a decision that are hard to quantify.
    […]
    There are a number of recent studies which have been exploring when System 1 reasoning is successful, and it tends to be successful when people are making purchasing decisions or other decisions about their personal life. And there are a lot of factors involved; there’s dozens of factors relevant to what car you buy that you could consider, but a lot of what makes you happy with your purchase or your choice is just your personal liking of the car. And that’s not the sort of thing that’s easy to quantify.

     

    I think the portrayal of rationality and emotions by Spock’s version, by the Straw Vulcan version of rationality, is definitely confused
    […]
    You have a goal, and use rationality, unencumbered by emotion, to figure out what action to take to achieve that goal. Then emotion can get in the way and screw up this process if you’re not really careful. This is the Spock model. And it’s not wrong per se. Emotions can clearly, and frequently do, screw up attempts at rational decision making.
    […]
    there’s plenty of experimental research out there that demonstrates that people’s rational decision making abilities suffer when they’re in states of heightened emotion. […] when people are feeling threatened or vulnerable, or like they don’t have control, they tend to be much more superstitious; they perceive patterns where there are no patterns; they’re likely to believe conspiracy theories; they’re more likely to see patterns in companies and financial data that aren’t actually there; and they’re more likely to invest, to put their own money down, based on these non-existent patterns that they thought they saw.
     
    So Spock is not actually wrong. The problem with this model is that it is just incomplete.
    […]
    Emotions are clearly necessary for forming the goals, rationality is simply lame without them. But there’s also some interesting evidence that emotions are important for making the decisions themselves.

  157. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Loveromates #160:

    Can you explain what untrained intuition is?

     
    Wikipedia’s entry for book Thinking, Fast and Slow lists some System 1 examples in ascending complexity:

    – see that an object is at a greater distance than another
    – localize the source of a specific sound
    – complete the phrase “war and …”
    – display disgust when seeing a gruesome image
    – solve 2+2=?
    – read a text on a billboard
    – drive a car on an empty road
    – come up with a good chess move (if you’re a chess master)
    – understand simple sentences
    – connect the description ‘quiet and structured person with an eye for details’ to a specific job

    Citizen science projects crowdsource humans for visual sorting tasks (like identifying spiral galaxy photos), a task which doesn’t require advanced training in astronomy.
     
     
    Podcast/Article: NPR Planet Money – How Much Does This Cow Weigh? (18:06)

    Over 17,000 people responded.
     
    We wanted to know how good the collective guess of the crowd would be.
    […]
    In this case, at least, the collective guess of the crowd was pretty good!

    See also: The Wisdom of Crowds.

  158. twarren1111 says

    Sam,

    Directed quantum mutations haven’t made it to textbooks yet.
    The relationship between how abiogenesis has led to RNA also hasn’t made it to text books yet.
    The synthesis of why empathy and our brains are developing the way they are also hasn’t made it to textbooks yet.

    With that out of the way, your comments of “just quoting textbooks doesn’t work” is logically invalid. There is no hypothesis you are stating. Thus, no further discussion can be had for your comment to my post.

    My post was answering in a comprehensive, cutting edge manner, the points you raised about randomness of evolution (which is wrong) and you asking for some type of chemical proofs (which I referred you to evidence based upon applied mathematics. Ie, physics. It’s from physics that we know how chemistry is arrived at). Thus, my response to was SURROUNDING all of your comments: I specifically showed you how the science of at the bottom of the pyramid (math) relates to physics which relates to chemistry which relates to biology (the top of the pyramid). I even went a step further and referenced the science of the subtypes of biology by discussing specific genetic concepts, then specific neurobiology concepts, and, to get to the absolute top of the science pyramid, I even laid out the relationship to psychiatry.

    So, do you have a question? If all you have is to point out I’m telling (far beyond what you’ll find) in a textbook, perhaps you should take advantage of me giving you the benefit of my knowledge by asking pertinent questions.

    To finish, I hope you can see the central point of what I laid out for you: the reason for our universe from the Big Bang to now: when you lack empathy and respond out of irrational fear what you do is waste time. You squander your time. And mine. You create entropy.

    The appropriate response to what I laid out for you is not to try and insult me, but rather to focus on the issues, which were me answering your issues, and assessing new hypotheses to ask and see if there is anything else I have the ability to help you with.

    Stop wasting time.

    Stop being afraid of empathy.

    Stop rejecting love.

    Tom

  159. SamFromUK says

    @twarren,

    Problem is that you’ve been mislead about the science of evolution and maybe science in general.

    Simple very fundamental point which most supporters of evolution don’t understand or don’t think it’s important. All believers accept “microevolution” – changes within populations where the living organism still remains part of that family. Not sure what the proper name is but it’s the “kinds” group from the Bible. So basically no matter how much a bird evolves it will remain a bird type.

    Now everyone is free to claim that you assume that Macroevolution happened. BUT there is no credible evidence. You can cite all the fossils and all the DNA data. It simply does not verify Macroevolution.

    Now textbooks will state Macroevolution as a fact. This is WRONG. This is not science. Supporters of evolution are being lead by their biases or they’ve been fooled into thinking it is a fact.

  160. SarcySeeker says

    The expanding universe was NOT in the Qur’an until AFTER scientists began theorizing about an expanding universe.

    Pre-1990 translations:
    “…With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace…. ” (Surah 51:47). Yusufali

    “…We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof)…. ” (Surah 51:47). Pickthal

    “…And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample…. ” (Surah 51:47). Shakir

    Just like the aliens all have almond heads AFTER Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Too often people see what they believe, not the other way around.

  161. Bernard Culbertson says

    I’m happy hear the statement “if someone would give a good argument for believing in GOD.”

    Here is a Good (argument), A fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true.

    Behold all hosts of Atheist Experience a fact, the three section Brain:
    Cerebrum, Cerebellum, and Brain-stem working together as One Brain. Three major parts of the
    Respiratory System: Airways, Lungs, and Muscles of respiration the body receive oxygen.
    Three main parts of the Nervous System: Brain, Spinal Cord, and Peripheral Nerves,
    consisting of three neurons: Afferent, Efferent, and Inter neurons working together as One to
    carrying electrical signals through the body. Three main parts of the Circulatory System:
    Arteries, Veins, and Capillaries working as One to carry blood throughout the body.
    Furthermore, three main functions of the Digestive Track: to digest, to absorb, and to
    eliminate food as it passes through the body. Three main accessory organs: Liver, Pancreas,
    and Gall Bladder working together as One to accomplish this task. Lastly the bones in each
    arm: Humerus, Radius, and Ulna held together by three joints: shoulder, elbow, and wrist
    working together as One arm. Three bones in each finger held together by three joints. The
    leg has three bones: Femur, Tibia, and Fibula held together by three joints: Hip, Knee, and
    Ankle working together as One leg. Finally, the foot has three bones in each toe held together
    by three joints. All parts working together as One in one body from Head to Toe. This
    wonderful tangible evidence is God’s handiwork left for mankind’s observation to behold His
    mighty hand of creation by the Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and Holy Ghost! THREE working
    together as ONE GOD by saying these magnificent words. “…Let US make man in OUR
    image, after OUR LIKENESS” (Genesis 1:26).
    Hence, mankind “…fearfully and wonderfully created marvelous are His works”
    (Psalms 139:14). Christian worldview outweighs the worldview way of thinking on human
    creation on planet Earth. The things that can be clearly seen and touched by the hands of
    men, tangible things, are even found within the body of mankind! Indeed, “His way is not the
    way of man neither are His thoughts the ways of men thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). Oh how great
    art thou Father in Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ! “Who is like unto thee oh Lord, ‘…from
    everlasting to everlasting thou art God!”’ (Exodus 15:11; Psalms 90:2)

  162. Monocle Smile says

    @Bernard
    We’re not your mindless congregation. Sermonizing on numerology makes you look foolish.

  163. GumB. says

    @Bernard

     
    Silly. I could make up the same kind of story … oh my gosh look … a throat, a stomach, and an intestinal tract. Three!

     
    Except there’s also a mouth and saliva and teeth, and bile ducts, and a liver, and a pancreas, and kidneys, and a large and small intestine, and an anus. Get the drift? You did a form of cherry picking here by just eliminating things that went beyond your intention to classify things into groups of threes. Our gastrointestinal tract also hosts the flora that lives in our gut, which helps us digest our food … why not add that to your simplified list of functions? That would then be four. You came up with your “three” rule, and then just classified accordingly to make the evidence appear to fit the hypothesis.

     
    Silly.

     
    Also, what’s this nonsense about said biology being about making man in god’s image? Cats have similar digestive tracts as well. Arteries, veins and capillaries too, just like us, exactly like us, actually, just mapped out in different arrangements of the same stuff. Following your oversimplifications, so does a worm have the same digestive functionality … intake, absorption, elimination. This idea that man is this special creature, a magical creature completely separate and apart from all the other “filth” in nature (a view that has softened in modern times, but that used to be the idea, a very strong idea in christianity,) well that fell apart when we cut things open and saw that we were all basically made up from the same stuff, and even the same groupings of basic stuff … eyes, optic nerves, brains, muscles, lungs, hearts, bones … etc, etc, etc.

     
    You didn’t prove anything. You just misconstrued something (aided by some pretty fast and loose classifying.)

     
    And really … why don’t you say a cat was also made in god’s image, based on your exact same theory, or even a worm?

     
    Silly. Really silly. Have you ever heard of the Fibonacci sequence? So … there’s some evidence of curious numbers being employed out in the rest of nature too. How does that make humans special, or separate, or uniquely magical … when nature shows similar repeated numerical patterns too (and Fibonacci isn’t based on “three”?) Yet you claim this numerical observation of yours is evidence that god made man special and in his own image, and further … that it proves god exists.

     
    I actually think you were just begging the question… god did all these things, so god is real.

     
    But did god really do these things?

     
    See, you used a premise to support itself. That’s called begging the question.

     
    Silly.