Fun with a “natural theist”

How about some low-lying fruit for a light afternoon snack? Here’s a cocky believer to nibble on.

Atheism is the greatest moral error because it breaks the greatest command demanded from humanity: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”.
Mark 12:30

Oh. OK. Atheism is bad because a god-priest says it is. This is not the gotcha he thinks it is.

These guys will never settle for nebulous, vague assertions about an invisible being. They’ve also got to go after science with a vicious punch of ignorance.

Natural selection is a euphemism for no real force. Environment, social pressure, survival, etc. These do not guide consciously the process of genetic traits or modifications. I mean, the ‘environment’ is non-conscious, non-rational and Ignores what is happening.

Except…by accident, he’s sort of right. The environment is non-conscious, non-rational and ignores what is happening. I suspect he thinks that is an argument against evolution though, because he assumes evolution has to be conscious and rational.

Also, a lightning bolt is non-conscious, non-rational and ignores what is happening, but try to deny that it’s a force if it hits you.


  1. larpar says

    I’m not his “bro”. A very, very, very distant cousin, but definitely not a bro.

  2. rrutis1 says

    Citing the bibble, check
    Random capitalization, check
    Use of scare quotes, check

    Moron cleanup in aisle 7 please!

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Mark 12:30 demands an impossibility.
    Human emotions cannot be commanded and directed at will.
    So a newly wed couple may promise to live each other forever, but the promise is utterly hollow. Likewise a demand to love a particular deity is laughable.
    A priest may demand you sacrifice a particular kind of livestock, but investing a particular emotion? BS.

  4. robro says

    Some people have trouble accepting that life does not have a purpose, an aim, a goal.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Here is a command I take much more seriously:

    I am the Eschaton. I am not your God.

    I am descended from you and exist in your future.

    Thou shalt not violate causality within my historic light cone. Or else.

  6. René says

    @1, PZ. I’m allergic to being called ‘mate’ already. Let alone being called ‘bro’.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    I can’t stand that sort of familiarity, especially from someone I don’t know and who’s beliefs I despise.

    You aren’t my “friend,” and unless my parents have been keeping secrets from me, you are certainly not my “bro/brother.”

  8. wzrd1 says

    Evolution isn’t teleological, but an organism is in its way teleological within its ecosystem.
    That doesn’t suggest it was created, just that it evolved to fill a vacant or near vacant niche within that ecosystem.

    @6, life does indeed have a goal. To feed and reproduce. Period.

    In essence, life is designed – by life and nature, finding a niche it fits or it fails to thrive and reproduce. Ill fitting gets outcompeted and the more successful in that niche organism thrives and reproduces.
    But, creationists can’t grasp such concepts and insist everything was designed and despite obvious imperfections, proclaim perfection within that illusory creation.
    These people would still deny even stellar evolution while the sun was going red giant and swallowing the planet. Thankfully, none would have to tolerate any such that somehow survived that long, as insolation only increases and the atmosphere and water will be long, long gone by the time Sol goes red giant.

  9. nomdeplume says

    This guy would be extreme even by the standards of AiG! Takes an extraordinary suspension of disbelief to think that a sentence written in an old manuscript is a “command” for humanity!

  10. Artor says

    Let’s all take comfort in the one prayer that seems to get answered on a daily basis: the one articulated by Voltaire in 1767.

  11. Matt G says

    When you start out with an appeal to authority, you really have nowhere to go but down.

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    Some fruit lies so low it drags on the ground, and gets filled up with bugs and bacteria.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    René @10: ‘mate’ isn’t necessarily (or, indeed, usually) a term of endearment or familiarity. That would be ‘matey’.

    Still, it could be worse. In the SW of England, you might be called ‘lover’ by complete strangers.

  14. whheydt says

    Re: birgerjohansen @ #4…
    I don’t know about “forever”, but my wife and I stayed close right up until her untimely death and I still miss her more than I can express.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Whheydt @ 19
    A few couples get to enjoy lifelong love. The rest of us can only hope for it. I am very sorry for your loss.

  16. John Morales says

    How about some low-lying fruit for a light afternoon snack?

    <checks offering>

    Nah. Mushy, bland and tasteless. Wormy.

  17. says

    “These do not guide consciously the process of genetic traits or modifications.”
    Pardon me, but no fucking shit. At no point has the theory of evolution EVER asserted “conscious guidance”. Jesus Fuckng Christ. That’s the whole point. We found mechanisms that explain biological diversity WITHOUT any “consciousness” to “guide” evolution. The point flew over the dude’s head so far up that it could have waved at the ISS if it had hands.

  18. says

    Would any of us even bother with this twit if he hadn’t called himself “Natural Theist?” That’s the only thing I see that stands out about him.

  19. wzrd1 says

    I’ve been to a natural museum and saw fairly mundane, ordinary creatures on display alongside exotic organisms. The exotic exhibits didn’t render the ordinary, mundane specimens invalid, both should be on display.
    I’ve also saw the polar opposite, at the Doha, Qatar zoo, not a single exhibit existed of the local wildlife, save the oryx, which was long locally extinct. Everything otherwise was from abroad. Pity, as there were a number of creatures that could’ve been on display and were fascinating in their own right.
    Here, we’re seeing on display an exhibit of a common organism and it should be on display. Safely behind glass and steel bars, like any other potentially dangerous organism.

  20. KG says

    Rob Grigjanis@18,
    The amount of regional variation across the UK is remarkable – not just in the words used, but in the implications of using them. When I lived in Aberdeen, a local addressing me as “pal” would have some minor complaint or grievance against me (e.g. “Watch where youse goin’, pal!”). In Edinburgh, however, the term is used in a genuinely friendly way.

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @26: Glaswegian use of ‘pal’ warrants a step backwards, as a Glasgow kiss may soon follow.

  22. Jazzlet says

    Rob Grigjanis @various

    Oddly I first encountered “lover” from the stall holders of the Bullring market in Birmingham. It wasn’t that common in Birmingham, more used in the Black Country, but even then not as common as in the SW.

  23. steve oberski says

    I take comfort in the fact that this is presumably natural theist’s best argument for the existence of their invisible friend.

  24. rietpluim says

    @wrzd1 #12

    @6, life does indeed have a goal. To feed and reproduce. Period.

    That is a classical mistake. You’re confusing goal and means with cause and effect. To feed and reproduce is not the goal but the cause (in a broad sense of the word) of life. Only sentient beings have goals.

  25. rietpluim says

    BTW What is “natural theism” supposed to mean? I googled but nothing came up. Natural theology did, but he doesn’t seem to mean that.