Friday, June 29, 2012

My First Defriending!

Today I had my first (that I know of) defriending on Facebook.  A Christian who I was debating with decided to just unfriend me when I posed a particularly difficult question.

After she opened the conversation by asserting that atheists do believe in (the Christian) god, but don't want to follow its laws, it pretty much devolved.  When I posed a simple question about morality with a "yes" or "no" answer, both her and another friend of hers refused to answer.  They called the question, "rediculous" (sic) and "unhelpful".  They told me that answers are out there if I care to look, but didn't cite any, saying that if I won't look for them, they won't help me.  They refused to answer at all.  They didn't even attempt a "maybe" or "it depends on the circumstances" answer, just nothing.  My former friend called the question "a trap", which to be fair it was, even though it is a perfectly valid question.  The problem is that once you answer it either way, you realise that something is wrong either with your own morality, or with your deity's morality.  That is the trap.  If you answer, "Yes", you have to wonder why you are so fucked up to have answered like that.  If you answer "No", you must grapple with the fact that your deity is not as moral as you believe, or that it has drastically less power than you believe.

So then she unfriended me.  That's what Christians do when they are confronted with a question that is a toughie.  They cut off the source, censor the ideas coming in, and run back to their Christian groups, where their ideas won't be challenged and they can live a sheltered life away from outside thought.  It's a perfect recipe for religious belief.

39 comments:

Thesauros said...

An atheist that believes in a supernatural Creator? That's a first.

I'd be interested in your "trap" question. Why? Because I've never encountered an "atheist question" a legitimate one at least, that I nor any of my Christian friends haven't already asked on our journey.

Admin said...

A yes, your journey of hand-waving and one excuse after another for why the world doesn't match what the Bible and your beliefs say it should be. And "asking" it isn't a big deal. It's ANSWERING it, then showing that answer is even remotely correct, that is the problem.

The question will not be revealed here. If I wrote it, and my friend found this page while searching online for the answer, she would then be able to identify me by name as the author.

Admin said...

By the way, the argument that "atheists don't really disbelieve the existence of gods, they just want to sin" is extremely common. I've seen it used on others, but this is the first time I've ever had it used on me.

Jim said...

I had a friend who believed that he could sin however much he wanted, so long as he repented afterwards. And because he repented, god would forgive him because he is a forgiving god. You don't have to be one of those crazy atheists that believe in god but want to sin. You can just be a Christian who has a problem with thinking.

ANTZILLA said...

Can you email the 'trap' question to me?


Was it? Do you agree that it was morally acceptable for the character god in the unrealistic fiction novel, the holy bible, to order the slaughter of babies and children as depicted in the bible?

ANTZILLA said...

"Because I've never encountered an "atheist question" a legitimate one at least, that I nor any of my Christian friends haven't already asked on our journey."

I have a question...

What is this 'god' thing people talk about?

Gordon said...

Here are my questions:

How could you be happy in Heaven if even one person you cared abut was in Hell?

How can morality come from god without being arbitrary or meaningless?

If your god told you to kill me, would you?

Thesauros said...

“What is this 'god' thing people talk about?”

We know from science itself that either:
. Matter / energy, space and time have always existed (we know that it hasn't) OR
. The Creator of matter / energy, space and time has always exists

It's one or the other and it's not the former. The Creator of the material universe is what we call, The Greatest Conceivable Being or God. You can call It anything really, but Creator God is the usual name.
=====

“How could you be happy in Heaven if even one person you cared abut was in Hell?”

I don't know. I suspect that either we won't be aware of their existence or, something that is more likely, we'll simply accept that, as has been the case with you up to this point in time, nothing could be done to get them to accept the salvation that was offered to them.
=====

“How can morality come from god without being arbitrary or meaningless?”

Well, I spend almost 20 pages covering morality in my book “Trolling for Atheists” so I can't do it favourable coverage here. Suffice it to say that objective morality is not capricious or arbitrary because it flows from the very nature and character of God. Choosing another person (you, me, Dali Lama, Hitler) as the ultimate standard of good and bad, right and wrong sets up obvious and irreconcilable issues of conflict.

Any moral construct (don’t rape, don’t discriminate etc.) that is "invented" or adopted by mankind and that is truly good for society, will BE good for society because it coheres with an objective moral principle that exists independently of humans. Objective means it is right and true regardless of whether you agree with it or obey it or even know that it exists. Again, “objective” (not arbitrary, relative or even absolute) because it comes from the Ultimate source of Truth, Goodness, Justice and Love - our Creator
=====

“If your god told you to kill me, would you?”

He wouldn't. The good that we ought to do is not based upon arbitrary or capricious commands, for the good that we ought to do flows directly from the character of the Being and existence of God Himself. This is why the Euthyphro Dilemma is a nonstarter. Because God is morally good, only those thoughts and behaviours that cohere with God's nature can be called, good. This is what makes morality objective. To ask, “Well what if God commanded us to do something evil?” is also a nonstarter. This is because an impeccable God not only would not but could not command something evil precisely because of His impeccable character.

Admin said...

"We know from science itself that either:
. Matter / energy, space and time have always existed (we know that it hasn't) OR
. The Creator of matter / energy, space and time has always exists

It's one or the other and it's not the former. The Creator of the material universe is what we call, The Greatest Conceivable Being or God. You can call It anything really, but Creator God is the usual name."

NO, WE DO *NOT* KNOW THAT FROM SCIENCE! Please stop warping science to suit your needs, and perhaps actually ask a cosmologist what it all means. You're either highly-ignorant or flat-out lying. Stop writing comments as if you actually know what you're talking about in this case, and leave the interpretation of science to actual scientists.

As for your last paragraph, you either haven't read the Bible, or has disregarded everything in it that conflicts with his view. "“Well what if God commanded us to do something evil?” is also a nonstarter." READ THE BIBLE! LISTEN TO WILLIAM CRAIG DEFEND GENOCIDE AS PART OF THE CHRISTIAN GOD'S NATURE!

Admin said...

Comment moderation is on because we're on troll-alert lockdown.

Antzilla, I might email the question to you if you use the contact form, but no promises.

Thesauros said...

"We know from science itself that either:
. Matter / energy, space and time have always existed (we know that it hasn't) OR
. The Creator of matter / energy, space and time has always exists

NO, WE DO *NOT* KNOW THAT FROM SCIENCE!

If you know of an alternative to these two options, now would be a good place to express yourself.
=====

LISTEN TO WILLIAM CRAIG

Why? Why would I listen to him?

Let me ask you a question. If you knew that you're next door neighbours were offering their children as live burnt sacrifices to their god, do you think they should be stopped? More than that, do you think they should be punished for killing their children, particularly in that manner?

And while you're pondering that question, perhaps you could tell me why it is that atheists so faithfully and consistently protect and defend societies that took part in these rituals of sacrificing their children as live burnt offerings while condemning God for punishing those societies? Any helpful ideas on that?

Admin said...

An alternative? How about that our Universe was spawned from material from a black hole in another Universe, which "always existed" (whatever that means when you don't have time)? How about a random quantum fluctuation? What about a ball of stuff (whatever that means when you don't have space), a progenitor of the Universe? Not only have you asserted that these are the only 2 options, but you've even given this creative source, whatever it is, a personality and called it a "being"! Get this through your head: You are NOT a cosmologist, and you have NO IDEA what you're talking about! The REAL cosmologists DO NOT agree with you! Even if I couldn't give any alternate, your argument is still an argument from ignorance. You will please cease using this misinformed argument immediately, unless you're a member of the "It's OK to lie for Jesus" crowd, a group which has far too many members. And WHY, WHY, WHY(!) would you come to an atheist site to pose your cosmology questions? I AM NOT a cosmologist either! Go ask a REAL cosmologist! Go sign up for your nearest cosmology conference, and then try to learn something!

Admin said...

We'll get to your next points when you acknowledge the first. If you are a cosmologist, please state your credentials and point me to your published papers.

But nice list of excuses you must have prepared for justifying your deity's barbaric and thuggish behaviour.

Admin said...

In case I wasn't clear, I am objecting to the use of "Creator" in your "only 2" choices, that you capitalised the C and called it a being, a god. I also object to your assertion that it "always" existed, as we don't know what "always" means, or if it means anything at all, when there is no time.

Stop pretending you are a cosmologist! It's probably the most difficult topic in science, and you are absolutely clueless, so clueless that you will contradict the actual cosmologists and claim that this is what cosmology has taught us. Fuck, this is ridiculous!

Thesauros said...

An alternative? How about . . . How about . . . How about . . .”

Son, I'm not a cosmologist but I've read plenty from those who are and you're missing some important facts. First of all the material infinite does not exist. Each of your suggestions require that matter has never not existed.

If there were no “God As Cause” implications attached to a universe with a beginning, atheist scientists wouldn’t be straining themselves to get rid of the simplest solution to the origins of the universe, by inventing patently more complicated hypotheses to its origin. Atheism’s hostility to a Supernatural (outside of nature) Creator God has made the elimination of the Big Bang theory (i.e. a universe with a beginning) its top priority, causing it to posit more and more preposterous Atheist Origin of the Universe Mythologies. For example, atheists state just as though it’s been proven that there are:
. An infinite number of universes where everything that can happen, does happen.
Others have declared that our origins come from an:
. Oscillating universe -
. Baby universes -
. Multi verses -
. The Cyclic Ekpyrotic Scenario -
. The Chaotic Inflationary universe
. Brane-cosmology -
. Inflationary multi-verse -
. Bubble universes floating in a sea of false vacuum -
. The many worlds hypothesis -
. The black hole hypothesis -
. Quantum gravity models -
. Vacuum fluctuation models -
. Imaginary time model
This last one is from Stephen Hawking who got tremendously excited because his imaginary time and imaginary numbers helped explain away a universe with a beginning. He got so excited that he actually had to be reminded by colleagues that he was dealing in fantasy. Such is the life of a desperate atheist scientist.

Never mind that there isn't the slightest bit of evidence for any universe other than our own. Evidence is not important when the stakes are this high. To see atheists argue their case in this manner is to see people who have given up trying. ANYTHING is better than admitting the existence of Creator God.

In fact, if true, the Big Bang cosmological theory of origins soundly refutes atheism.

Let these atheist scientists describe the panic Big Bang cosmology brings into their lives.

Astronomer Arthur Eddington - “The concept of the Big Bang is preposterous, incredible, repugnant.”

Physicist Philip Morrison - “I find it hard to accept the Big Bang theory. I would like to reject it.”

On the “Bright” side David Hume stated, “I have never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without cause.”

I'm not sure why you think your guests can't respond to me on their own when I answer their questions. Perhaps you alone know all the right things to say. Or perhaps you're afraid a serious discussion might develop. Or perhaps like most atheists, you're just itching to play the role of thought police and censor what people can say. All atheist governments have made this their speciality. So lest I frustrate you too much, I'll be on my way.

Jim said...

"We know from science itself that either:
. Matter / energy, space and time have always existed (we know that it hasn't) OR
. The Creator of matter / energy, space and time has always exists

It's one or the other and it's not the former. The Creator of the material universe is what we call, The Greatest Conceivable Being or God. You can call It anything really, but Creator God is the usual name."

Now, I admit I am not a cosmologist. But I have studied cosmology. I must admit that Thesauros just accomplished something amazing. He took absolutely no evidence to support any claim, and made a definitive judgement on the creation the universe. He based his reasoning solely on his own beliefs. This is amazing.

In science, which Thesauros admits gives him the two options (Big Bang and god), there is this pesky little concept called "Proof of Burden," or "Burden of Evidence." I'll quote the definition, sourced from Wikipedia:

"To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning."

Or from the Oxford English Dictionary:

"a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

In layman terms, this means that in order to make a definitive claim, on must provide evidence that cannot be disproved, measurements and observations that can be reproduced by anyone anywhere, and testing that will always come up with the exact same results.

A few famous scientific concepts that have never failed the "Burden of Evidence" test include gravity, string theory, motion, the speed of light, evolution, and the Big Bang theory.

Yes, evolution and the Big Bang theory have never failed a test proving their existence. That is a fact, and not my personal opinion. Ask any scientist.

But I am not here to argue in favor of those two theories. Like I said, I am not a cosmologist.

I am here to argue the claim that Thesauros made. Specifically:

"We know from science itself that either:
. Matter / energy, space and time have always existed (we know that it hasn't) OR
. The Creator of matter / energy, space and time has always exists"

Let's get into this line by line.

"We know from science itself that either..."

Well, if we know it from science, I assume you mean that "know" implies that one of these must be true based on evidence, then both of ideas you present must be fact. Because we "know" them from science.

"Matter / energy, space and time have always existed"

Well, if you ever studied science, I assmue you realize that no modern student of cosmology, astronomy, physics, has ever stated that time has always existed. However, they would all agree that energy and matter HAVE always existed. It may have existed in another state, but it has existed.

What you are trying to do is throw two ideas that conflict each other together in order to disprove both at the same time. Just because one idea is wrong doesn't mean that the entire idea is wrong. Science is not an all or nothing field of study.

Jim said...

"(we know that it hasn't)"

Like I said, we agree time might not have existed in this universe before the Big Bang. We do know that matter and energy must have existed. How else do you get a big bang? (Rhetorical question) And how do "we" know? I assume you have some proof? You say "we know" as though there is some sort of empirical evidence disproving time and matter's existence prior to the Big Bang. If you do indeed "know" this, I highly suggest you submit your proof for review. Because, you sir, are in line for a Nobel Prize. Nice.

"OR"

I thought you said we "know from science"? If we know, again, there is no room for conflicting theories.

But I digress.

"The Creator of matter / energy, space and time has always exists (sic)."

Now I would love to see your proof on this. Have you seen this "creator"? Touched it, spoke to it, heard it whisper into your ear? Where is the proof that it even exists now, let alone forever? You offer no proof. Not only that, "science," as you claim, has never, ever produced proof of a creator. So it is amazing that the creator theory would be a viable alternative to the Big Bang (which has mountains of proof).

You say that it must be one or the other. You dismiss matter/energy and time based soley on the possibility that time might not have existed before the Big Bang (Which is actually not true. You see, we only percieve time because we are here to observe it. Since nothing existed to observe time prior to the Big Bang, time didn't exist because no one was there to witness it. Look up Schrodinger's Cat.). You offer no proof to explain why you dismiss this theory. You just assume that "we know that it hasn't." Where is the proof? (And I know it's going to be really tempting to use my argument about the non-existence of time prior to the Big Bang, but don't. I didn't say time didn't exist, I just said no one was there to observe it, therefore it didn't exist in a PERCEIVABLE manner. Totally different from not existing. Have you looked up Schrodinger's Cat yet?)

And now you claim that since "we know" that the first theory is wrong, YOUR theory must be correct! Never mind that you have no single proof of your theory. Theists do this all the time, and it is amazing that they can't grasp their own ignorance. Just because you prove something wrong (which you never actually did), the right answer isn't always "god."

I had a tire go flat on my bike once. I thought someone slashed my tires. I was wrong. Now, you would say that since that theory was wrong, GOD MUST HAVE FLATTENED MY TIRE! Actually, the stem valve was loose, and air slowly leaked out while I was at the pool. Moral of this story? There are literally an infinite number of solutions to any given problem.

But, where you would say, "Infinite? Must be god!", any rational person would say, "Let's gather some evidence, and make rational decisions based on that evidence, and find solutions to those problems."

Yes, it is harder. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, you will get answers that you won't like. You aren't special. You aren't put here with divine purpose. No big guy in the sky loves you. When you die, that's all she wrote.

But you can disagree with us. That is your right. We are grateful that you have your own opinion. That is the nature of humanity. But please, for your love of a non-existent being, provide some proof.

(Also, the Admin is right. Simply capitalizing the "C" in Creator doesn't mean anything. Nor does pointing to a holy book, or how many followers an idea has. Millions of people used to be in favor of slavery (and the Bible approves!), doesn't make it right.)

Admin said...

First I want to respond to this:

"I'm not sure why you think your guests can't respond to me on their own when I answer their questions. Perhaps you alone know all the right things to say. Or perhaps you're afraid a serious discussion might develop. Or perhaps like most atheists, you're just itching to play the role of thought police and censor what people can say. All atheist governments have made this their speciality."

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? The only thing I can think of is: Do you think YOU are the reason that comment moderation is on? You are NOT the troll who is being filtered. (We may have another David Mabus on our hands.) If that's not it, then I have no idea what you're whining about with that comment.

Anyway, on to your point. You're an absolute disgrace. You've put words into the mouth of cosmology that it has not said, and when called on it, you defend it like you didn't do anything wrong. You've also used a giant argument from ignorance. You think you don't have to prove a god because you, in your own mind, have eliminated all other options, that you can think of, without even doing any study to show that they aren't true. Then you have the only option left standing, in your own mind, which you then claim is true. ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE! You then come here and hope to fool some laymen into thinking that cosmology supports the existence of a god and that elimination of the Big Bang is a top priority?

"Atheism’s hostility to a Supernatural (outside of nature) Creator God has made the elimination of the Big Bang theory (i.e. a universe with a beginning) its top priority"

I think you may be mentally ill. And I give your cosmological opinions no credibility or respect. You have no idea what you're talking about, no evidence to support any claim, and you are in disagreement with the actual cosmological community (the people who really study it).

Admin said...

Hey guys, do you think it's going to be too much to expect Thesauros to apologise for his suggestion that I'm arrogant enough to think I'm the only one who knows what to say, that I'm afraid of discussion, or that I'm using thought-police and censorship tactics to suppress his comments and/or the responses to them?

ROD, I DEMAND AN APOLOGY OR AT LEAST A SENSIBLE EXPLANATION ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS ACCUSATION!

Thesauros (Rod Holmgren) is a coward. He knows his ideas about cosmology will not be accepted by the cosmological community and that they would be scrutinised and rejected, so he comes here, to an atheist site filled with cosmological laymen, in the hopes of convincing some people. He's too chicken-shit to actually sign up for a cosmology convention and try his ideas there, or to speak to any actual cosmologists. But he goes 2 steps further when he tries to convince us that a) cosmologists really do believe what he's saying, and b) that the priority of cosmologists is to eliminate the foundational theory of their field.

If you want to check out his book on Amazon, note that he reviewed his own book with 4 stars, which is the only review besides a joke review earlier.

Here is his description of his book. See how many flat-out stupid or blatantly incorrect statements you can find:

"This book covers roughly a three year period where I interacted with online atheists. Some of these people openly threatened the very existence of my family for no other reason than their bigotry cannot tolerate the existence of Christianity. Arguments presented for taking my children or making it impossible for me to teach my children about Jesus seemed straight out of the playbook of the atheist nations that wreaked havoc during the 20th century.
On other occasions, atheists would write things like, “If you tell me why you don’t believe in Zeus or Thor, then you’ll understand why I don’t believe in Jesus.” I’d read that and blink in amazement that an atheist, a person who thought of h/himself as an especially intelligent person would see that as a valid argument. I mean, did they really think that Jesus is as mythological as Zeus? Seriously?
In a sense, the challenges thrown out by atheists forced me to ask myself, “What exactly do I believe, and how do I articulate those beliefs?” As I present that to you, I hope to address the misconception that atheists are people who only believe those conclusions that are scientifically supported. That is a lie that is both generated by atheists and in many cases believed by atheists.
Why bother writing a book about atheism? While relatively rare in number (about 2% in North America), when it comes to influencing others, atheists and their successful hijacking of science has allowed them to punch far above their weight-class. Because of that, I hope to show that in point of fact, the theory of atheism is anti-rational, anti-intellectual, anti-logic and anti-scientific in the conclusions its adherents expect people to reach about the universe in which we live. I hope to show in this book how atheists have used our natural cultural accommodation in combination with very deliberate and tactical intellectual bullying to successfully intimidate young people away from a potentially healed relationship with Jesus.
In the final chapter I give the scientific evidence that we all have access to for believing what the Bible teaches about why this universe exists. That same chapter shows that even from a secular evolutionist's point of view, there are good reasons to believe that a Supernatural Creator was necessary, and is necessary for intelligent life to exist on this planet."

David said...

Thesauros reminds me of a guy I was arguing with on Facebook yesterday. Every time I would make a point, he would say something like "Well, all liberals think that, and it's really stupid, but I can't be fucked to explain why because you're clearly too stupid to possibly understand it, so I'll just declare myself the victor and bid you all good day." Then I would say something about how fucking stupid a tactic that was, and he'd come back and do it again.

Trust me, Thesauros, nobody minds if you don't comment here. Just don't be a fucking martyr about it. Nobody likes a martyr.

And Admin, don't feel too bad. I've been defriended by a few fundies.

Admin said...

"I can't be fucked to..."

I remember I used this expression in a post over a year ago, and multiple commenters complained that they didn't understand what I meant, and told me to edit my posts, dismissing my argument on those grounds. So I figured I might be nearly alone in using it. David, did you learn it from this blog, or did you know it before?

Jim said...

"I mean, did they really think that Jesus is as mythological as Zeus? Seriously?"

Yes. Yes we do. Because all mythological beings are mythological on the same level. Sure, an actual person named Jesus may have existed, but his godliness is indeed mythological. Because you have no proof. No one does. No proof = no existence.

"where I interacted with online atheists"

Well, if you don't understand the word "troll" and its implications to a man writing a book based on online conversations, you should be too stupid to function. It's a medical marvel that you are able to breathe.

"“If you tell me why you don’t believe in Zeus or Thor, then you’ll understand why I don’t believe in Jesus.” I’d read that and blink in amazement that an atheist, a person who thought of h/himself as an especially intelligent person would see that as a valid argument."

Why DON'T you believe in Zeus or Thor? Did you ever answer that? Was it because of lack of proof?

"Why bother writing a book about atheism?"

Yeah, especially if you are not an atheist.

"Some of these people openly threatened the very existence of my family for no other reason than their bigotry cannot tolerate the existence of Christianity. Arguments presented for taking my children or making it impossible for me to teach my children about Jesus seemed straight out of the playbook of the atheist nations that wreaked havoc during the 20th century."

Wow. Okay. So you are saying that Christians never threatened anyone?

No, let's go a bit broader, since you clearly want to cast all atheists as equal.

What kind of people perpetuated the following acts:

-9/11
-The Holocaust
-The Crusades
-The Spanish Inquisition
-Jihads
-The Great Flood
-Destruction of Sodom and Ghomorrah
-Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia

You have the choice of "atheist" or "theist". (Hint: Hitler was a Christian who prayed and believed he was acting on divine intervention from god to punish the Jews for the murder of Jesus. I am a history major specializing in WWII Germany. I know what I am talking about.)

Jim said...

"I'm not sure why you think your guests can't respond to me on their own when I answer their questions."

I did respond.

And for the scientists you quote (never mind that quote mining is a preposterous act in a debate, but I'll let that go.)

Arthur Eddington (Had nothing to do with the Big Bang theory. He worked on unification). Died in 1944. Well before the Big Bang became an accepted theory. You do realize that the Catholic Church used to try men for insisting that the Earth was not the center of the universe? You can't use people who have no evidence of a theory as a reason to disprove it. I can quote my cousin:

Conner- Beets taste like feet.

Holy shit! Did you hear! Scientific proof that beets taste like feet! My word!

Philip Morrison (Had nothing to do with the Big Bang theory. He was a physicist who never delt with cosmology. He ended up working with microwaves.). He would like to reject the Big Bang theory. I would like to reject god. Does that make it a valid scientific viewpoint?

David Hume. Scottish philosopher. Died in 1776. Hundreds of years before the Big Bang theory. I can't even imagine how he is relevant (or maybe you thought I wouldn't source your quotes?)

My favorite point. Let's all enjoy this one:

"This last one is from Stephen Hawking who got tremendously excited because his imaginary time and imaginary numbers helped explain away a universe with a beginning. He got so excited that he actually had to be reminded by colleagues that he was dealing in fantasy."

Can everyone guess why this makes me so happy? Take a minute, reread, and come back. I'll wait...

Ready?

Here we go.

What is basically being said is that Hawking had to create numbers and time that didn't exist to explain away a universe that had a beginning. Therefore, the universe must have had a starting point. Plain and simple.

"...his imaginary time and imaginary numbers helped explain away a universe with a beginning."

Let that sentence sink in. Now, let's look at the Big Bang theory compared to, oh, say, Thesauros's "Creator".

Big Bang theory:
-Universe began roughly 13.6 billion years ago. (beginning)

Chirstianity:
-God has NO BEGINNING.

Let's move on to:

"He got so excited that he actually had to be reminded by colleagues that he was dealing in fantasy."

Is everyone with me yet? I hope so. Thesauros's argument for god is what he proudly quotes as being, "fantasy."

Admin said...

Isn't it interesting how Rod cites quotes from these scientists, without mentioning that the overwhelming majority of modern physicists (many, many of them atheists) consider the Big Bang to be proven? I'll bet we can find some Syrians who think Assad is doing a fantastic job of governing his country.

I liked how in the 2nd quote, he didn't even cite the reason why the guy wanted to reject it. There are a LOT of scientific theories I would LIKE to reject, those include the Big Bang, quantum physics, Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Relativity, etc. Why do I want to reject them? Because they mean that the Universe is much more complex than I'd like it to be, that we can't describe it with simple rules, and I'll never be able to understand it as well as I'd like to. I want to reject Relativity because it seriously puts into doubt whether humanity will ever be able to explore the stars, which is a passionate wish I hold. But I do not live in a fantasy world. The evidence for these theories is overwhelming and mounting constantly, and whether I like it or not, this appears to be the way our Universe works.

Admin said...

I wonder if Rod thought our reaction would be something like this:

"Oh, well if my favourite 18th-century philosopher thought that about a 20th-century scientific concept, then maybe I'm all turned around on the subject! Wow, you're right, Rod!"

Jim said...

How silly of me. I forgot a few remarks on my favorite part of his "book."

"Some of these people openly threatened the very existence of my family for no other reason than their bigotry cannot tolerate the existence of Christianity. Arguments presented for taking my children or making it impossible for me to teach my children about Jesus seemed straight out of the playbook of the atheist nations that wreaked havoc during the 20th century."

Now, I assume he lives in America (I can't be bothered to look him up, but I will point out that his statistics on atheism in America are wrong.) So he must know about the theists (read:Christians) who have MURDERED people in the name of their god. Does anyone remember abortion clinic-bombings? The straight-up murder of doctors who may have performed abortions? Do we see any atheists murdering priest for baptisms? No.

"their bigotry cannot tolerate the existence of Christianity."

Oh, we can tolerate it. Just stop spreading it forcefully onto people. It would seem amazing that you would make this argument, and in the next sentence attempt to clump all atheists together and compare them to Hitler (even though Hitler was a Christian. Even held counsel with the Pope. It's in the history books. Try reading one instead of burning them. Like you did with "witches".)

"Arguments presented for taking my children or making it impossible for me to teach my children about Jesus seemed straight out of the playbook of the atheist nations that wreaked havoc during the 20th century."

What atheist nations? Are you refering to Russia and China? THose are not atheist nations. They are/were COMMUNIST nations. Communism in those countries demanded no religion, not because the rulers were atheist, or the didn't want people to believe in gods. They weren't even atheist. They just had no religion. There is a difference. Pay attention.

Communism in the Soviet Union during the Cold War (and China) demanded that everyone be loyal to the state. It was believed that any other loyalties would corrupt the people, and thus, the state. Churches and organization in the name of religion were banned because they didn't want people pledging loyalty to anyone else. That's it. That's what it was. There was no evil master plan to wipe out theists. The people in charge weren't always atheist. Stalin was a Russian Orthodox Catholic. He even prayed. But he put the state's needs above his religious needs. Do you see the difference?

An atheist state would not allow religion on the grounds that gods do not exist.

Communist states do not allow religion (or any private gatherings or organizations) out of paranoia of uprising.

"...atheist nations that wreaked havoc during the 20th century."

I don't know what you are trying to claim here, but I assume that you mean countries with high populations of atheism are more prone to violence. (We won't count communist countries, because they are not "atheist nations". They are simply communist.)

Studies and statistics show that the more a country's population identifies as atheist, the more peaceful that country is.

http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2009/06/atheist-nations-are-more-peaceful.html

See for yourself.

Damn, I wonder how shitty your book really is Thesauros. You collected all of your info on atheists by trolling sites online. You couldn't even be bothered to do basic research online while you were fucking around trolling. I basically tore apart your entire description of your book without any real effort.

Jim said...

Admin, you and I, and all the regulars know that a theist has no chance of winning a debate the second they use philosophers as a source for an argument.

"Who cares what "facts" science unveiled! A philosopher that died hundreds of years ago thinks the Big Bang is real!"

While I'm on the subject:

"On the “Bright” side David Hume stated, “I have never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without cause.""

Like god?

Admin said...

Jim, yes his statistics about atheism in North America are wrong. Well, it might depend on whether or not he's including Mexico and Central America in addition to the often-used definition of "North America", which is the USA and Canada. But last I checked, Mexico and Central America were not exactly powerhouses of scientific thought.

I don't get it when people introduce philosophers in a scientific debate, either. I also don't get why we're having a scientific debate here, but anyway, Rod is just using an argument from authority. Like we're supposed to admit that Hume's ideas are infallible, and that he therefore needs no good reasons or evidence to have his ideas accepted, even when more than 2 centuries of scientific discovery came after him. It reminds me of the often-see tactic YECs use when they tell us that Newton was a Creationist.

Jim said...

Thesauros seems to believe, like you said, that just because someone famous with a personal opinion expressed said opinion, that it must be taken as fact. Even though Hume contradicted Thesauros's own beliefs...

As for his views on the Big Bang, allow me to quote Wikipedia:

"The Big Bang is a well-tested scientific theory which is widely accepted within the scientific community because it is the most accurate and comprehensive explanation for the full range of phenomena astronomers observe. Since its conception, abundant evidence has arisen to further validate the model."

On multiple universes:

"Never mind that there isn't the slightest bit of evidence for any universe other than our own. Evidence is not important when the stakes are this high."

Evidence is not important... Well, it is clearly obvious that Thesauros has no idea what String Theory and M-Theory are. They are entire fields of study devoted to discovering other dimensions and multiple universes. M-Theory demands it. And there is a lot of evidence for multiple universes. Which is why M-Theory has remained valid. I would have to get into quantum physics to explain it, but I think it is time Thesauros actually did some of his own research.

And I think that it is time he actually provided evidence for his Creator without resorting to philosophical quotes, or the a "god of the gaps" argument.

Allow me to pose a simple question as we can.

Thesauros, you believe in a Creator. You say that "we know from science" that a creator must exist. Here is my question:

What scientific evidence do you have of a creator? (remember: "scientific evidence is generally expected to be empirical and properly documented in accordance with scientific method such as is applicable to the particular field of inquiry." No random quotes from people.)

David said...

I have to admit, after reading your post where you used that phrase, I stole it and incorporated it into my vocabulary. I hope you don't mind. I'm sort of a big fan.

ANTZILLA said...

Thanks for your reply Thesauros,

"The Creator of the material universe is what we call, The Greatest Conceivable Being or God. You can call It anything really, but Creator God is the usual name."

So... this 'god' thing people talk about is 'The Greatest Conceivable Being'

'Conceivable' ???
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/conceivable

lol

Seems crazy to me...'imagine' something then every question you don't know an answer for attribute the answer to the 'imagined'

lol

There's nothing wrong with saying 'I don't know'

It probably was just an oversight but could you answer:


Do you agree that it was morally acceptable for the character god in the unrealistic fiction novel, the holy bible, to order the slaughter of babies and children as depicted in the bible?

ANTZILLA said...

"What kind of people perpetuated the following acts:

-9/11
-The Holocaust
-The Crusades
-The Spanish Inquisition
-Jihads
-The Great Flood
-Destruction of Sodom and Ghomorrah
-Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia

A) ASSHOLES!!!!

lol

Jim said...

"Never mind that there isn't the slightest bit of evidence for any universe other than our own. Evidence is not important when the stakes are this high."

I wonder if Thesauros realizes how ironic it is that he would discount a scientific theory for a lack of evidence (there isn't), whilst failing to provide any evidence at all for his belief in god.

"Evidence is not important when the stakes are this high."

Thesauros, we are constantly providing evidence for our theories. You could literally fill libraries with hard evidence in favor of the Big Bang theory. All we as for is one from theists. Just one single piece of evidence for gods.

David said...

Admin, I just reread your original post, and I was struck by the last paragraph.

"So then she unfriended me. That's what Christians do when they are confronted with a question that is a toughie. They cut off the source, censor the ideas coming in, and run back to their Christian groups, where their ideas won't be challenged and they can live a sheltered life away from outside thought. It's a perfect recipe for religious belief."

While Thesauros will contest that Christians can answer your questions with ease, William Lane Craig warns that you should not read writings criticizing Christianity, as they are "literally pornographic" and will give Satan additional ground in the battle for your soul. And, of course, there's that classic gem of his: "The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." I like Craig more all the time. It seems like he's already playing for our team.

Jim said...

It's been a while now. Has Thesauros given up? I honestly am so bored this summer that I am waiting for Thesauros to reply so I have some amusement in my free time.

Admin said...

I heard he's speaking at a cosmology conference in a few days. He's probably prepping his notes.

Admin said...

Dang Jim, if you're that bored, take a vacation! I'm outta here tomorrow.

Jim said...

I am on vacation. Semester doesn't start for a month and a half.

Admin said...

Then maybe you should spend your summer studying cosmology, so you'll be as much of an expert as Rod.