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Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 12 Apr 2011 12:24 am

The evidence for God is “terrible or non-existence”

The problem with God is the lack of evidence, as explained here:

325 Responses to “The evidence for God is “terrible or non-existence””

  1. on 12 Apr 2011 at 7:28 pm 1.Sheldrake said …

    This is one of my favorite examples by Sam Harris! He also uses this example in a few other places. (I’v got it in an MP3 somewhere)

    He really nails the issue and the double standard used by the religious side. There is no way they can escape from it except to simply not address it. I’m curious… what was their response to this? (if any)

    -Sheldrake

  2. on 13 Apr 2011 at 3:00 pm 2.Biff said …

    He provided no evidence and all his claims were irrelevant. I sort of expected him to stick to the science but alas that was working against him.

    He is a dangerous man. Harris says that some beliefs “are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

    He didn’t bring that up this time.

  3. on 13 Apr 2011 at 4:26 pm 3.DPK said …

    “Harris says that some beliefs “are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

    Well, let’s take a look at an Islamic extremist, for example, who believes that it his his duty to kill as many non-believers (infidels)as he can. Is it not ethical to kill, say, a suicide bomber before he sets off his explosives and kills dozens of innocents?
    Would it not have been ethical to kill the 9-11 plotters before they could have executed their plan?
    Given the chance, would not most Americans think it would be ok to kill bin Laden?

    Harris, at least does not pull punches. I mean, Christianity has never had any REAL problem with killing people, now has it? As long as they are the “right kind” of people, they can work around the whole, “thou shalt not kill thing, huh?

  4. on 13 Apr 2011 at 7:28 pm 4.Curmudgeon said …

    Imagine Biff if the Pope came out and stated such dangerous nonsense.

    I wonder who gets to decided what ideas people should be killed for? Maybe the atheists? We see the results of the atheist state deciding who lives and dies. It is called the gulags. Meeting in a church for Bible study was dangerous enough to be killed for.

  5. on 13 Apr 2011 at 8:16 pm 5.DPK said …

    Biff and Curmudgeon.

    If you could stop a suicide bomber by killing him before he blew himself up and killed dozens of innocent people, would you?
    Just answer the question… the Pope has nothing to do with it.
    Would you kill him, or not?

    Harris isn’t suggestion death squads. He is exploring the idea of ethics and morality. Is it ever moral to kill someone? Sure it is. If you had the chance to kill Hitler and prevent the Holocast, that would be both moral and ethical. Stop trying to turn in into something sinister.

  6. on 13 Apr 2011 at 8:42 pm 6.Biff said …

    I have no place for the Pope but I know for fact if he ever popped off that having a belief was enough to kill a person for it would be a thread on the blog.

    Guys like Harris want to control the populace and even the thoughts of the populace if possible. He calls Christians dangerous so look out!

    Why?

    He believes himself to be smarter and more aware than anyone else. He is the height of arrogance.

  7. on 13 Apr 2011 at 10:57 pm 7.DPK said …

    Yes, you’re right. If the Pope said that it would be a scandal. I concede that.
    I have read Harris on this thought of “ethics”. It is unfair to take it completely out of context and claim he wants to kill people who don’t agree with him. Harris is smarter than a lot of people, at least I admit he is smarter and better educated than me anyway.
    Harris is not “just” an atheist and author, he is a PHD in neuroscience from UCLA, so he’s not a dim wit. He is not as flambouant or emotional as say, Hitchens, so that academic detachment may be what you perceive as arrogance, but he is actually a thoughtful and well spoken person. He gets vilified just for being an atheist. We’re used to be the most hated group in the country, so I guess he’s used to it.
    Back to the point… those of you who are condemning his assertion that it may indeed be ethical to kill some one who hold such extreme religious views as to be a danger to the rest of us.. you haven’t answered my simple question… Sam Harris AND the Pope aside, is it ok to kill a religious terrorist bomber?

  8. on 14 Apr 2011 at 1:56 pm 8.Lou said …

    6.Biff said …

    “I have no place for the Pope but I know for fact if he ever popped off that having a belief was enough to kill a person for it would be a thread on the blog.”

    Are you serious?! Popes and other religious nuts throughout history have had people killed in the name of their religion.

  9. on 14 Apr 2011 at 2:19 pm 9.Burebista said …

    I think it is all the ecstasy and eastern religions, he has a soft spot for, that has warped the man’s mind.

    His arguments against God remain off point. He points to man as his faults as some sort of proof. No, and the man is no more qualified to determine if God exist than a 5 year old.

    He admits science has yet to answer many questions. That does not include the answers we think are correct now but will be found faulty Yes, and we have many questions about God. But as he claims, we will answer those about God one day as well.

    He is a very boring man.

  10. on 14 Apr 2011 at 2:39 pm 10.Lou said …

    9.Burebista said …

    “He is a very boring man.”

    As opposed to a magical, supernatural being who can turn water into wine. Oh boy kiddies! It so fun to believe in such a being!

    Boring? Perhaps, but brilliant, as opposed to the drivel that you spout.

  11. on 14 Apr 2011 at 3:28 pm 11.DPK said …

    So no one is going to be brave enough to admit that it is, in fact, ethical and moral to kill someone who holds a religious belief so extreme that they present a real danger to society?

    You religious guys are so great at pointing fingers and finding fault with people, but when you are shown the other side is actually correct, and that you, in fact, agree with their point of view… silence.

    Just like on the other thread where a believer admitted that I had demonstrated that prayer has no effect, and indeed by his assertion that god cannot be tested therefore god is UNABLE to answer prayer.He then insisted that somehow it does work as long as you don’t actually look for results. How’s that for double talk?

  12. on 14 Apr 2011 at 6:27 pm 12.NOBLES said …

    has anyone heard of faith. …live for something or die for nothing. no one tells u, u have to belive in God. but its the only thing that will keep you out of hell. …have fun.

    JESUS is the way.

  13. on 14 Apr 2011 at 6:44 pm 13.Anti-Theist said …

    #12

    We all exorcise / have faith; Atheists are clearly more stringent when placing it. We all live for something; just not what you live for. Hell is for dummies. Get over it and get over yourself.

  14. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:36 am 14.Horatiio said …

    Bure

    Ecstasy is not his only problem. He is obviously still on it but his problem runs much deeper. Hatred is so ugly and so nauseating. He hates America because of all the Christians and he is frustrated that he must live in a nation that tolerates their existence.

  15. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:30 pm 15.Joshua said …

    I have not seen the video yet because my school is blocking the site and I can’t find a workaround.

    I will however say that they only time it is acceptable to kill is to prevent death DURING the attempt. Anytime before that is a thought crime and I support freedom of thought as much as I support freedom of speech. Incitement should be an imprisonable offense but I would never want to kill or punish the wish for something bad to happen to something. “I wish someone would kill you”, protected. “I want you to kill (fill-in-the-blank)”, not protected.

    That being said, IF it could be shown that a particular belief did cause violent behavior, I might rethink my position.

  16. on 15 Apr 2011 at 2:34 pm 16.Joshua said …

    Shorter Biff 2

    Assertion
    Assertion
    He’s scary cause he thinks different! I don’t wanna spend the brainpower to say why!

    Shorter Biff 6

    Reasonable assumption
    Assertion
    He’s still scary!!
    Questions a straw man
    Assertion

  17. on 15 Apr 2011 at 3:22 pm 17.DPK said …

    “I will however say that they only time it is acceptable to kill is to prevent death DURING the attempt.”

    So you think it would be morally wrong to say, bomb a terrorist training camp?

    How about bin Laden, who hasn’t actually killed anyone himself, but has orchestrated the deaths of thousands of innocent people in the name of his fatwa. Would you have to wait until you caught him with his finger on the trigger before it would be ok to end his reign of terror? Ok, it might be academically preferable to capture and imprison him instead, but that is not always a possible solution. If I had the coordinates of his cave, I would have no moral problem launching the cruise missile that would end his miserable existence.

  18. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:13 pm 18.Joshua said …

    Shorter Burebista @9

    Assertion designed to avoid addressing arguments
    Assertion about arguments that do not say why
    States the obvious, attaches an assertion
    Assumes the video was made for him/her

    Shorter NOBLES @12

    Say things atheists don’t believe in like it will have an effect
    Really dense assertion + more things atheists don’t believe in

    Shorter Horatiio @ 14

    Attaches on to assertion like it was proven just by being said
    Assertion
    Interprets behavior without proof
    Assertion

  19. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:13 pm 19.Joshua said …

    @ DPK 17

    If there was good evidence that the camp was involved in executing a plan to commit violence, yes. If planning only than no if local police forces are able to get them. If local police won’t get them than yes. But that is a military action which is different.

    It is akin to the police raiding a hideout for animal rights extremists except that since it is in another country military action MIGHT be needed. Of course after Bush’s gulf war I don’t have good reason to trust out intelligence gathering abilities anymore.

    Bin Laden was involved in inciting the 9-11 attacks so yes killing him is acceptable.

  20. on 15 Apr 2011 at 4:56 pm 20.Severin said …

    4 Curmudgeon
    “We see the results of the atheist state deciding who lives and dies. It is called the gulags.”

    Gulags were sad, but much more “human” than burning opponents.
    And, of course, gulags were NOT the product of atheism, but the product of lunatic ideology.

  21. on 15 Apr 2011 at 9:12 pm 21.DPK said …

    19.Joshua said …

    Ok, I agree. So basically, you do agree with Sam Harris’ point that there are, in fact, some instances when it would be ethical to kill someone when they hold a religious view so extreme that it presents an actual danger to humanity.
    That is all I was trying to say. Because from others here, that was extrapolated to “He hates America” and “wants to kill christians”…. holy cow!

  22. on 16 Apr 2011 at 7:06 am 22.Himangsu Sekhar Pal said …

    Proof for no God

    In this article I want to argue that starting from Copernicus up to the present day scientists have done nothing so far that can conclusively, or decisively, prove that there is no God. I will also argue that the conclusive or decisive proof for God’s non-existence can only be a natural explanation for the origin of the universe (NEFOU), and nothing else.
    Before proceeding to do this, I will have to settle another matter. In one of my earlier essays I have written that scientists’ ultimate aim is to prove that God does not exist. A famous American atheist has commented on this in an e-mail to me that that is not scientists’ ultimate aim. Their ultimate aim is knowledge. But I still hold that their ultimate aim is to prove that God does not exist. And here I will give my reasons as to why I think so.
    We can remember well what Laplace had said to Napoleon when he was asked by the emperor as to why he had not mentioned God in his book. His answer was: Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothese (I had no need of that hypothesis). Scientist Paul Davies in one of his recent articles (available online) has written that this is still scientists’ stand on God, that is, they are in no need of any God-hypothesis. But why will scientists need any God-hypothesis at all? Obviously in order to explain certain things. When scientists say that they do not need any God-hypothesis, they are actually saying that God is not the explanation for the things we find in nature, and that God is not the explanation for the origin of the universe as well. By openly admitting that they do not need any God-hypothesis for explaining things, they are admitting that they are actually making God jobless. Because if a God does really exist, then definitely He has done something. Definitely He has created the universe, and after its creation, perhaps has intervened as well. It cannot be the case that God will be simply there as a mere observer, and the universe will run its course on its own. But if it can be shown that everything in this universe, including its coming into existence also, can be explained without invoking God, then that will simply prove that God has done nothing. But as per an atheist philosopher, a nothing-doing God is a non-existent God. As scientists are trying to prove that our God is a nothing-doing God, therefore it can safely be said that they are actually trying to prove that God does not exist. So if I have said that scientists’ ultimate aim is to prove that there is no God, then I have said nothing wrong. As this is their ultimate aim, so in none of their endeavours can they take it for granted that God’s non-existence is a well-established and proven fact, and then make that their basis for proving something else. Because then the whole thing will boil down to this: scientists are trying to prove that God does not exist on the basis of their assumption that God does not exist. Perhaps even a horse will laugh on hearing this if it can somehow come to understand our language.
    This much being said I will now proceed further to show that the only proof that can be given for God’s non-existence is a NEFOU. We can never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never think of a God who is also not the creator of the universe. Here I have used the word ‘never’ for ten times only. But I could have used that word for billion times as well. A God will never be a proper God if He has not actually created the universe. Even we can say that the word ‘God’ is a synonym for the word ‘creation’. So we can with absolute certainty say that God means creation. But we cannot with equal certainty say that God means divine intervention as well. Because God could have created the universe in such a manner that no further divine intervention in the created world would be needed at all. We do not know, and we can never know. There is no way to ascertain the truth-value of the following statement:
    “A God, if He is really God, will not only create a universe, but also poke His nose into His creation without fail.”
    So we can always be sure that if there is a God, then there will be a creation. But we can never be sure as to whether there will be divine intervention as well after the creation. Or, if there will be intervention at all, then in which particular cases will be those interventions. Will He have to intervene for creating life from non-life? Will He have to intervene for separating human species from chimpanzees? We do not know. We can never know. As there will always be some uncertainty regarding God’s intervention in the created world, therefore no natural explanation of any phenomenon, any fact or any event in the created world can prove with absolute certainty that there is no God. Therefore if somebody claims that Darwin’s theory of evolution has proved that God does not exist, or that Crick-Watson’s discovery of double helix has proved that God does not exist, or that some other scientific discovery has proved beyond doubt that God does not exist, then I will only say that these are all nonsensical arguments that have been put forward so far as genuine proof for God’s non-existence. But if we find that scientists have been able to give a NEFOU, then we will have to reckon it as a genuine and conclusive proof for God’s non-existence, because we have already said that God means creation. As creation is the only event where non-existence of God can be proved with absolute certainty, therefore we must be extra-cautious and vigilant here, because these scientists can offer a scientific theory for the origin of the universe in which God will have no part to play, but which will be severely flawed nonetheless, and then claim that this is the last nail in God’s coffin. Scientists have already given such a theory that states that the universe has originated from nothing due to a vacuum fluctuation. But there is a severe flaw in this theory, because here what is intended to be proved has been proved based on the assumption that it has already been proved. The assumption by the scientists that the void is a real void only means that. As scientists have not yet been able to offer any other alternative theory for the origin of the universe so far, therefore we are of the opinion that scientists have done nothing so far that can conclusively prove that God does not exist.
    Now I will proceed to show that all the attempts of the atheists so far have also failed to prove beyond doubt that there is no God. Let us take the case of a good God (A-God). Here what the atheists have actually done is they have merely shown that a good God cannot exist. But they mistakenly think that they have been able to prove that God does not exist. But sorry to say that this is not the case at all! Because it might be the case that God is not good at all, that He is an evil God (B-God). Or it might be the case that He is neither good nor evil (C-God). Atheists have not yet proved that B-God cannot exist. Neither have they proved that C-God also cannot exist. Therefore a God who transcends both good and evil can still exist. Or a God who is evil can still exist. Had they also shown that B-God as well as C-God cannot exist, then that would have definitely proved that God does not exist. As they have not yet done that, therefore they cannot claim that they have proved beyond doubt God does not exist.
    Similar comments can be made in other cases also. Now let us take the case of a just God. Here atheists have not proved that God does not exist. They have merely proved that a God who is just cannot, and therefore, does not exist. Therefore a God who is neither just nor unjust can still exist. Or, a God who is unjust can still exist. Had they shown that a God who is neither just nor unjust, or a God who is simply unjust, cannot exist, then that would have definitely proved that God does not exist. As they have not yet done that, therefore they cannot claim that they have proved beyond doubt God does not exist.
    Here believers will perhaps raise objection, and say that their God is neither evil nor unjust. Therefore why should we consider the case of a God who is either evil or unjust? So from now onwards I will only examine as to whether a God who is neither this nor that can exist, and I will say the following things with some vengeance:
    a) a God who is all-loving perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither all-loving nor all-hating can still exist;
    b) a God who is all-knowing perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither all-knowing nor nothing-knowing can still exist;
    c) a God who is all-powerful perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither all-powerful, nor powerless can still exist;
    d) a God who is merciful perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither merciful nor merciless can still exist;
    e) a God who is perfect perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither perfect nor imperfect can still exist;
    f) a God who is benevolent perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither benevolent nor malevolent can still exist;
    g) a God who is wise perhaps does not exist, but a God who is neither wise nor a fool can still exist.
    And so on and on ad infinitum.
    Therefore we must say that atheists’ attempts to prove that God does not exist have also failed.
    Now I come to the last part of this essay. Here I want to examine whether science has given any conditional proof for the existence of God. If there is no such conditional proof, then it can be said with absolute certainty God does not exist. Now what is conditional proof? Let us suppose that scientists have discovered an extra-solar planet (ESP) in our milky-way galaxy. Let us also suppose that it has been possible for them to study the outer atmosphere of that planet, and that they have found that there is an abundance of oxygen present in it. As oxygen is one of the two ingredients of water, so scientists are very much hopeful that there is water on that ESP. As water is very much essential for life, so scientists are also hopeful that there is some form of life present on the ESP. So we can say that the presence of oxygen in the outer atmosphere of the ESP is conditional proof for the presence of life on the ESP. Conditional proof does not give one cent percent certainty that there is life on the ESP, but it makes its presence highly probable, and we can always hope for finding it there. But absence of any such conditional proof reduces the probability value of finding any life-form on the ESP to zero.
    Now I can generalize the whole thing in this way:
    Conditional proof for the existence of (say) ‘X’ does not give us absolute certainty that there is ‘X’, but it makes existence of ‘X’ highly probable. But absence of any such conditional proof gives us absolute certainty that ‘X’ does not exist.
    And here I will claim that science has given conditional proof for the existence of God. I will mention just one such conditional proof here, because I do not want to distract my readers by repeating the same arguments over and over again: we say God is immortal, and science has shown that a massless being can be immortal. As there is conditional proof for the existence of God, so atheists and atheistic scientists can no longer claim with absolute certainty God does not exist.
    Therefore our ultimate conclusion is this: all the attempts of the atheists and the atheistic scientists so far to prove that God does not exist were in vain.
    H. S. Pal

  23. on 16 Apr 2011 at 10:59 am 23.Anonymous said …

    22.Himangsu Sekhar Pal said …

    “Proof for no God

    In this article I want to argue that starting from Copernicus up to the present day scientists have done nothing so far that can conclusively, or decisively, prove that there is no God.”

    You just wrote a long “essay” for no other purpose but to build a straw man. You receive an “F” in class for failure to understand the the topic – “proof FOR god.” Class dismissed.

  24. on 16 Apr 2011 at 11:59 am 24.Joe said …

    Hi Himangsu Sekhar Pal,

    you have put quite some work into your text, so let me make some remarks about it.

    1. Atheists typically do not want to prove that there is no God. Most atheists, including this website, just claim that the phenomena we observe in the world, including the phenomenon “Christianity”, can be explained better under the assumption that there is no God.

    2. Typically, it is not the aim of scientists to prove that there is no God. Scientists look for descriptions and explanations of the phenomena they observe. It is a side-effect of this aim of science that it turned out that these explanations do not require the assumption that there is a God.

    3. It is true that science operates without the assumption that there is a God. However, it is not true that science proceeds from the assumption that there is no God. If the concept of “God” had any proper explanatory value in describing the phenomena we observe, scientists were happy to include God in their theories.

    4. It is not a valid conclusion to say, for example, “But absence of any such conditional proof reduces the probability value of finding any life-form on the ESP to zero.” because it could just be the case that so far noone has found such a proof. Nevertheless, such a proof might well exist.

    5. The concept of a “conditional proof” is pretty week. You need a stronger concept if you would like to claim that “Conditional proof for the existence of (say) ‘X’ … makes existence of ‘X’ highly probable.”

    6. I cannot see that science has shown “that a massless being can be immortal.” Even if science had actually shown this, it does not follow that such a massless being actualy exists. Even if such a massless being existed, it does not follow that this massless being is a God. Even if such a massless being were a God, it does not follow that this God created the universe. (Unless you define the word “God” to include the idea that it must be the creator of the universe. I do not think, however, that this would be a practical definition because there are many religions with Gods who are not said to have created the universe and you would have to invent a new word to refer to a “God that did not create the universe”.)

    In sum: While you definitely put a lot of work in your text, it contains quite a few things that would require more thoughts.

  25. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:18 pm 25.Lou said …

    24.Joe said …

    “Hi Himangsu Sekhar Pal,

    you have put quite some work into your text, so let me make some remarks about it.”

    Joe, some people just never get it. I’m sure he thought that he was so clever with his long essay.

    “In sum: While you definitely put a lot of work in your text, it contains quite a few things that would require more thoughts.”

    It only requires one thought – his thesis is faulty.

  26. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:22 pm 26.Lou said …

    22.Himangsu Sekhar Pal said …

    “Proof for no God

    In this article I want to argue…

    [a huge amount of irrelevant text deleted]

    Therefore our ultimate conclusion is this: all the attempts of the atheists and the atheistic scientists so far to prove that God does not exist were in vain.”

    Incorrect. The conclusion is that your essay is 100% incorrect and “in vain” because you argue from a faulty premise that is reflected in your 100% incorrect conclusion.

  27. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:25 pm 27.MC said …

    ?Atheists typically do not want to prove that there is no God.”

    A lie http://godisimaginary.com/

    No God class dismissed. You get an F.

  28. on 16 Apr 2011 at 12:53 pm 28.Anonymous said …

    27.MC said …

    “Atheists typically do not want to prove that there is no God.”

    A lie http://godisimaginary.com/

    No God class dismissed. You get an F.”

    Re-read his essay. Then re-read http://godisimaginary.com/ which are “proofs” that the God of the Bible and other “historical” gods are “imaginary.” That is not the same as proving god does not exist, and it’s certainty not written in the same context as the essay previously posted here.

  29. on 16 Apr 2011 at 2:25 pm 29.Anti-Theist said …

    #28

    It is currently impossible to prove the non existence of god; vetted atheists know this and won’t attempt it. What you’re hearing hear are atheists defending their position, trying to make you think, arguing for the sake of arguing, and the like. I assume they know that their strongest arguments only push our resident heretics deeper into their rabbit holes. But it’s a good time none the less.

  30. on 16 Apr 2011 at 4:28 pm 30.MC said …

    “proofs” that the God of the Bible and other “historical” gods are “imaginary.”

    Our public schools have failed miserably. Too many just don’t understand the difference between proofs, assumptions, facts, hypothesis and opinion.

    I blame the DOE.

  31. on 16 Apr 2011 at 4:35 pm 31.Lou said …

    30.MC said …

    “Our public schools have failed miserably. Too many just don’t understand the difference between proofs, assumptions, facts, hypothesis and opinion.”

    Why don’t you educate us, or at least state your objection or rebuttal to the sentence that you quoted?

  32. on 16 Apr 2011 at 6:58 pm 32.Truett said …

    “some beliefs are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.

    So Sam Harris argues just having a belief is cause for killing?

    1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?

    So if a majority of Americans deem atheism dangerous would it be moral to round them up and kill them? He is a very sick man.

  33. on 16 Apr 2011 at 7:37 pm 33.Anti-Theist said …

    #32

    No one should be convicted of thought crime. That is a Christian principle; not a secular one. But
    that’s exactly what Christians did during the inquisition. Left unchecked this is the endgame of any religious belief. But don’t take an atheists word for it…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_cleansing

  34. on 17 Apr 2011 at 2:34 am 34.Anonymous said …

    #33

    Bullshit

  35. on 17 Apr 2011 at 3:36 am 35.DPK said …

    Oh come on. Stop looking for boogeymen. No one is advocating thought police or anything like it. The point was one of ethics. Is there such a thing as a religious (or even political) belief that is so radical that it is ethical to kill someone over it. The answer may sound uncomfortable, but f course there is. Hitler held a belief system that involved exterminating the Jewish race. It would certainly be ethical to kill Hitler. Osama bin Laden heads a terrorist network based on his religious views that infidels who occupy or interfere in Muslim lands must be killed. It would be ethical to kill bin Laden.
    It is an interesting discussion topic, but no one is advocating thought police.
    I recall an interesting ethics experiment in which people were present with a hypothetical scenario. The results were almost universal across cultures and religions.
    A run away train is heading down a track toward a large group of people. You can pull a switch and divert the train to a different platform where a lone man stands. Is it ethical to change the course of the train and kill the one man, in order to save dozens?
    Most people answer, that yes, it would be ethical to kill the one man to save the many.

    Different scenario, the run away train is once again heading down the tracks toward a group of people. This time, there is no switch, but there is an overhead bridge the train must pass under, and on the bridge is you and a fat man. The man’s size and weight is enough that if you push him off the bridge into the path of the train, his mass will be sufficient to stop the train before it hits the crowd. Is it ethical to push the man to his death and save the crowd of people.
    Most people say, no. It would not be ethical to push the man off the bridge.
    Interesting because both scenarios involve the same basic decision and have the same outcome, but one is almost universally considered ethical and the other almost universally considered wrong. Why?

    The same type of thing applies here. If you pose the question, “is it all right to kill a terrorist who’s religious beliefs are so extreme that his is going to kill a number of innocent people”? Most people will say yes.
    But if you leave the “kill people” part out and say, “is it possible that someone can hold a religious belief that is so extreme that it is actually ethical to kill them because of it”? Most people will say no.
    But it really is just 2 forms of the same question.

  36. on 17 Apr 2011 at 12:10 pm 36.Ben said …

    “It would certainly be ethical to kill Hitler.”

    That’s not what Richard Dawkins stated. He asks “who are we to judge Hitler” (paraphrased). Atheist really have no central consensus on morals so they are all over the map.

    Truett asks three good questions.

    1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?

    If atheist kill based on beliefs then murdering Hitler at 18 would have been ethical? Not everyone with warped beliefs follow through on them. This is why atheist cannot be trusted to have power.

  37. on 17 Apr 2011 at 4:00 pm 37.Joe said …

    1. Christians have no central consensus on morals either.

    Just 3 examples:
    – Most evangelical born-again Christians in Europe considered the war on Iraq immoral, while most evangelical born-again Christians in the US did not have a problem with the war or even were in favor of it.
    – Most evangelical born-again Christians in Europe consider death penalty to be immoral and not in line with the 10 commandments, while most evangelical born-again Christians in the US do not have a problem with death penalty or even are in favor of it.
    – Most evangelical born-again Christians in Europe consider it immoral NOT to have a European style health and welfare system, while most evangelical born-again Christians in the US even have problems with Obama’s health care reform, which is pretty tiny for European standards.

    I could go on and on. There are many more examples.

    2. If you go beyond the group of evangelical Christians, you will find an even greater diversity on moral issues. In sum: I do not think that atheists and Christians differe much with respect to the question of how much moral consensus is among them.

    3. Whether you can trust someone or not, does certainly not depend on the questions of whether someone is an atheist or a Christian. You can trust everybody if you know their moral principles and have found out that they act consistently with them.

  38. on 17 Apr 2011 at 5:26 pm 38.Burebista said …

    Say it isn’t so Joe!

    So you think Christians not agreeing on removing a brutal dictator when it will cost lives is the same as atheist not being able to agree if it is OK to kill and individual based on their thoughts?

    Some issues are difficult to ascertain the proper moral action, some SHOULD be very obvious. Obviously, not for atheist.

    Nice try, but your examples are quite lame as is you obvious support of Sammy.

  39. on 17 Apr 2011 at 5:30 pm 39.Burebista said …

    PS

    We have problems with healthcare reform for these reasons.

    1. Obama lied about cost
    2. Obama defiled the Constitution
    3. Obama paid of congressmen to pass it
    4. Obama is attempting a power grab
    5. Obvious reform measures ignored for political reasons.

    See not a thing about morality. Its about Jeffersonian type government and keeping this regime from a huge power grab.

  40. on 17 Apr 2011 at 5:49 pm 40.DPK said …

    36 Ben:
    “Atheist really have no central consensus on morals so they are all over the map.”

    And you, apparently, have no problem deliberately mis-representing what someone said in order to try and make your own point look valid. Here is the Dawkin’s quote that you used to try and convince us that he was in favor of Hitler:

    “If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?”, Richard Dawkins replied, “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question. But whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath.”

    It’s rather difficult to hold any credence to your point of view when the only way you can support them is by lying.

    Very bad form Ben.

  41. on 17 Apr 2011 at 7:39 pm 41.Xenon said …

    #40
    “Dawkin’s quote that you used to try and convince us that he was in favor of Hitler:”

    A lie from one attempting to paint one a liar. Ben actually stated:

    #36
    “who are we to judge Hitler” (paraphrased).”

    This is hardly Ben claiming Dawkin’s approved of Hitler. Dawkin’s acknowledges atheist have no standard which is true. This is why we had communist regimes like China and the USSR.

    This is why they will not denounce Sam Harris murdering individual for their thoughts.

  42. on 17 Apr 2011 at 8:53 pm 42.DPK said …

    Xenon,
    How dense can you be? Dawkin’s quote was in FAVOR of having a moral standard, because without one, no one would have any say into what is right, and what is wrong. Exactly the opposite of what you are using the quite to say, that “Dawkin’s acknowledges atheist have no standard which is true.”

    The least I would expect from the theists on here is to at least be truthful in asserting their positions. Remember, god is watching you.

    And now, I suppose you are going to take that snippet and claim that DPK acknowledges the existence of god!

    You are all too sad.
    And for the last time, Sam Harris NEVER advocated murdering someone for their thoughts. Harris’ point, once again brought up here completely out of context as an attempt at an ad hominem attack was simply that ethically, there may in fact be religious (or political.. whatever) beliefs that are so extreme, that it may indeed be ethical to kill someone who holds them. Hitler IS a perfect example, and everyone agrees that it would indeed have been ethical to kill Hitler because his political and social views were so extreme that they resulted in genocide. Then Ben comes on here and says “Dawkins’ doesn’t agree, he said “who are we to judge Hitler” see?
    You people are just crazy………..

  43. on 18 Apr 2011 at 2:02 am 43.Burebista said …

    DPK

    You are a pathetic. I clearly paraphrased and exactly how does my quote make the claim Richard supports Hitlers’ actions?

    Everyone believes we need a standard Einstein. Stalin had a standard. Exactly what is Richard’s standard DPK?

    I hate when I must come back and straighten out kids.

  44. on 18 Apr 2011 at 2:04 am 44.Burebista said …

    Oh, and Sam clearly states some ideas are dangerous enough to kill the person over. How do I know this? I can read.

    Dance DPK dance but we can all read his quote for ourselves.

    I hate having to confront myopic followers.

  45. on 18 Apr 2011 at 3:26 am 45.DPK said …

    My post was in response to Ben, who replied to the statement that it would certainly be ethical to kill Hitler.
    “That’s not what Richard Dawkins thinks…” He said “who are we to judge Hitler. A quote taken completely out of context and falsely presented in an effort to shore hos point that atheists are amoral.
    And you, taking Mr. Harris’ (Sammy, seriously?) qoute equally out of context and claiming he wants to kill christians for their religious beliefs.
    If you guys can’t support a point without making ridiculous claim and trying to support them with lies you should really give it up.

    Yes, here is the quote in context:

    “The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.”

    So read it and tell me you do not think it is ok to kill terrorists? On the other hand, there would be no need for such thoughts or idea if not for RELIGIOUS fanatics who insist on forcing their beliefs on others and kill those who do not believe what they believe. Sam Harris has killed no one. Can religions make the same claim? Remember an event called 9-11? Yes, they were religious believers acting on instructions from their god. What is even more ironic is that “your god” did nothing to stop it. So much for the morality that comes from god.

  46. on 18 Apr 2011 at 4:29 am 46.Joe said …

    @ Burebista #38: I fail to see how anything you wrote in #38 is related to my contribution in #37, which were remarks on Ben’s #36.

    You might wish to consider reading #37 again.

  47. on 18 Apr 2011 at 6:16 am 47.Severin said …

    36 Ben
    “If atheist kill based on beliefs then murdering Hitler at 18 would have been ethical?”

    Where did you see anyone said that murdering Hitler at 18 would have been ethical?

    It is your own construction, and it is a lie.
    Lying is not ethical.

  48. on 18 Apr 2011 at 6:51 am 48.Severin said …

    36 Ben
    Why are you permanently use LIES?
    Why do you twist (fake) another people’s words to make them a thesis for your own (mis)interpretation.

    No one ever said that Hitler should have been killed at 18. This is direct lie, and conclusions you make on this lie are – lies.

    To make the thesis clear:
    I would be very unhappy to hear anyone at 18, or anyone at any age was killed.
    I would not be unhappy if I heard some assassin killed Hitler, or anyone else, AFTER Hitler (or anyone else) started to “run” his program of massive extermination of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, retarded children…
    In specific case, for example if I was a Jew (Gipsy, Slav), and if I had oportynity, it is possible that I would kill Hitler myself.
    I would consider it moral to prevent a massive killer to kill more millions, especially if my children were potential victims among those milllions.

    If you have no arguments, shut up, please, instead to fake other people’s words.

  49. on 18 Apr 2011 at 7:12 am 49.Severin said …

    38 Burebista
    “So you think Christians not agreeing on removing a brutal dictator when it will cost lives is the same as atheist not being able to agree if it is OK to kill and individual based on their thoughts?”
    36 Ben
    “If atheist kill based on beliefs then murdering Hitler at 18 would have been ethical?”

    You base your answer on assumptions that someone of atheists said:
    – That individuals should be killed for their thoughts
    – That Hitler should have been killed at 18

    Right? This is what YOU claim atheists said?!

    Now you two have only to tell us:
    WHO and WHEN said it was O.K. to kill individuals based on their thoughts?
    WHO and WHEN said Hitler should have been killed at his 18?
    You are building your conclusions on thesis that no one ever posed, but YOU thought them up for your own purposes.
    It is called a LIE (FAKE).

  50. on 18 Apr 2011 at 12:50 pm 50.Truett said …

    DPK quote

    “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even “be ethical to kill people for believing them.” Harris

    So I will ask again:

    1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?

    To take is a step further. Suppose he thinks Christianity is that dangerous?

  51. on 18 Apr 2011 at 1:00 pm 51.Anti-Theist said …

    #35

    People are executable due to actions, not beliefs, not thoughts.

  52. on 18 Apr 2011 at 1:00 pm 52.Anti-Theist said …

    #35

    People are executable due to actions, not beliefs, not thoughts.

  53. on 18 Apr 2011 at 5:47 pm 53.Rostam said …

    #50 Truett

    I think Sam would like to decide.

  54. on 18 Apr 2011 at 6:02 pm 54.Joe said …

    1. I think it is completely over the top to have such a heated debate over 1 sentence by Harris.
    a) First because almost everybody in the Western world, including Christians, implicitly(!) agrees with Harris’s sentence (because this sentence just describes what the war on terrorism and the war in Afghanistan are based on and I cannot see that a significant number of born-again Christians is against the war on terrorism and the war in Afghanistan).
    b) Second even if someone disagrees with this sentence, it is a bir weird to make such a fuss about one single sentence by a certain author. The quality of an author’s writings does not depend one sentence.

    2. As Truett wants to have an answer to his/her 3 questions, here you are:
    a. Who decides?
    In a Western-world democracy decisions of this type are typically made by parliaments and/or presidents on the basis of the constitution and the relevant laws concerned.
    b. How do you measure belief?
    On the basis of action (i.e. words and deeds).
    c. On what is this moral system based?
    Self-defence. (See the Harris quote above.)
    Note: this is exactly the way in which these 3 questions were answered in the case of the war in Afghanistan.

    3. I would assume that this unreasonably heated debate has arisen out of misunderstandings. Let me clarify:
    a) This Harris paragraph does NOT claim that there is no ethical problem if someone does not like someone else’s belief and kills this person.
    b) This Harris paragraph does NOT claim that it is ok to kill anybody with a belief deemed dangerous by other people.
    c) This Harris paragraph does NOT even claim that it is ok to kill everybody who has a belief system that will inevitable lead to the deaths of other people.

  55. on 18 Apr 2011 at 7:30 pm 55.Xenon said …

    “I think it is completely over the top to have such a heated debate over 1 sentence by Harris.”

    Joe, I’m sure you think this is over the top. He is a fellow atheist and you guys would defend Sam if he was out to murderer all theist.

    Stalin killed individuals for the ideas he believed others had as well. You can read whatever you like into Sam’s words but ideas are not the same thing as actions.

    He is an idiot and a dangerous one at that. We are just grateful he has no power.

    I think his ideas are dangerous but I still don’t think he should be killed.

  56. on 18 Apr 2011 at 7:59 pm 56.Lou said …

    55.Xenon said …

    “He is an idiot and a dangerous one at that.”

    How is he “dangerous?”

  57. on 18 Apr 2011 at 8:18 pm 57.Lou said …

    55.Xenon said …

    “You can read whatever you like into Sam’s words…”

    That’s your problem – reading “whatever you like into Sam’s words.” Read in context, there’s nothing that has to be read into his words. It’s obvious as to what he means, and it’s nothing like what you allege.

    “…but ideas are not the same thing as actions.”

    Your point?

  58. on 18 Apr 2011 at 8:32 pm 58.Lou said …

    35.DPK said …

    “Oh come on. Stop looking for boogeymen. No one is advocating thought police or anything like it.”

    54.Joe said …

    “1. I think it is completely over the top to have such a heated debate over 1 sentence by Harris.”

    Simple – it’s the basically the “straw man” fallacy. They’re simply misrepresenting what Harris said and meant.

  59. on 18 Apr 2011 at 9:35 pm 59.Horatiio said …

    LOL! I think Joe and Lou are the politicians and bad ones at that.

    Only a politician could take the words “some” “ideas” “kill” “believe” and turn them into a benign statement.

    That is rich! That sounds like something the jihadist or Red Chinese would say.

  60. on 18 Apr 2011 at 10:14 pm 60.Lou said …

    59.Horatiio said …

    “Only a politician could take the words “some” “ideas” “kill” “believe” and turn them into a benign statement.”

    I didn’t turn them into ANY statement. You’re lying.

    “That is rich! That sounds like something the jihadist or Red Chinese would say.”

    What you wrote about something I didn’t do sounds like the lies of someone who can’t make a point in any other way.

  61. on 19 Apr 2011 at 2:54 pm 61.Joshua said …

    @ Xenon 55

    “Joe, I’m sure you think this is over the top. He is a fellow atheist and you guys would defend Sam if he was out to murderer all theist.”

    Seriously? You really think that we would all support Mr. Harris if he was out to murder all theists? Fuck you. You have absolutely no reason whatsoever to make such a claim. You need to look this up; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    Theists are the ones with authoritarian tendencies. If anything atheists are more anti-authority.

    “Stalin killed individuals for the ideas he believed others had as well. You can read whatever you like into Sam’s words but ideas are not the same thing as actions.”

    Unless you are quoting someone else here this is a point that we have been making over and over. Stalin killed to preserve his power by attacking other beliefs of every stripe, anything that might threaten his authority. He did not kill due to atheism, and we agree that actions are important. So what actions has Sam taken or we taken that lead you to think we would want to kill theists? The theists I would kill are ones in the process of killing me, a loved one, or even a stranger.

  62. on 19 Apr 2011 at 2:58 pm 62.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 59

    “I believe some ideas are meant to prevent Horatiio from wanting to kill atheists.”

    Another substance free comment from the donkey. Since I hear braying every time he comments now…

  63. on 19 Apr 2011 at 3:14 pm 63.Truett said …

    “LOL! I think Joe and Lou are the politicians and bad ones at that.”

    Horatio this is so true. This follows the same patterns of Dems defending Dems and Reps defending Reps regardless of what they do. Much like the Dems whined about Bush but say nothing when Obama carries out the same actions.

    Yes, I am a theist but I will speak up against Westboro and other idiot theist who spew hatred and violence. Atheist have this tendency to follow the political landscape. They don’t realize others would have more respect for them if they did the same. Harris’ comments are not defendable.

    Joshua,

    When you drop the F-bomb you lose. Game over.

  64. on 19 Apr 2011 at 4:18 pm 64.Lou said …

    63.Truett said …

    “This follows the same patterns of Dems defending Dems and Reps defending Reps regardless of what they do.”

    Except of curse, that it isn’t. I don’t defend everybody simply because I share their politics. In this case, Harris didn’t what your ilk is claiming. Yours and the other comments are a deliberate misrepresentation of what he meant and said.

    “Yes, I am a theist but I will speak up against Westboro and other idiot theist who spew hatred and violence. Atheist have this tendency to follow the political landscape. They don’t realize others would have more respect for them if they did the same. Harris’ comments are not defendable.”

    Harris’ comment doesn’t require any defense. It only needs to be defended against your misrepresentations of it.

  65. on 19 Apr 2011 at 5:41 pm 65.Joshua said …

    @ Truett 63

    Really?

    Xenon can imply we are would-be mass-murderers and you get your hackles up over four letters? Those seven letters are worse than genocide accusations?

    There is no possible excuse or explanation that could make “fuck you” an unwarranted response to what Xenon said. If I implied that you were a pedophile since you were a theist and lots of Catholics rape kids I would not be surprised to get a “fuck you”.

    Just like my parents you use naughty words and pearl-clutching as an excuse to avoid the substance of what someone is saying. I have been willing to consider the arguments of people who believe that being an atheist is as bad as being a murderer or a pedophile, people who wish they could put me in a prison so children could not hear what I have to say. It is simple laziness and oversensitivity to use an excuse like this. Atheists have more spine than theists most of the time.

    Turett’s World

    Scientist: “I have the motherfucking cure for motherfucking cancer!”

    Truett: “F-BOMB! LALALALALALA I can’t hear you!”

    Pastor: “Gawd will cure your cancer! You don’t need modern medicine!”

    Truett: “He sounds nice so I guess he wins.”

    Fuck you too Truett. Anyone who thinks that seven letters are worse than genocide accusations has serious judgment problems.

  66. on 19 Apr 2011 at 6:41 pm 66.Joshua said …

    @ ALL THEISTS

    I want to point out, again, that if you do not attach a “why” to your “what” you are in no way convincing.

    When Horatiio and Truett claim that Joe and Lou are being like politicians and do not say why, with a reference to what Joe and Lou are saying, this is just an assertion. Most of us here will just reject assertions outright so if the theists here want to demonstrate something I would suggest the following outline until you get the hang of it.

    Outline

    1. Claim
    2. Reason why claim is true
    3. Example that supports claim.

    Most of the theists here stop at 1. Truett @ 63 got to 2, but I still have no reason to believe him. He still needs number 3.

    Example
    Truett @ 63

    1. Joe and Lou are the ones acting like politicians
    2. This is because they follow “…the same patterns of Dems defending Dems and Reps defending Reps regardless of what they do.”
    3. ????

    Needs number three lazy.

  67. on 19 Apr 2011 at 7:14 pm 67.Truett said …

    Josh

    Melt Down!!! Step away from the ledge sloowwlly!

    You are delusional and probably suffering with Aspergers. I reviewed the thread. Nobody has accused you or anyone of genocide. You are a paranoid freak who cannot express himself without foul language.

    You are classless, pointless and clueless. Adult etiquette dictates discussing points like adults. That is why you lose again. Come back when you graduate from Middle school Josh.

  68. on 19 Apr 2011 at 7:45 pm 68.Xenon said …

    “Xenon can imply we are would-be mass-murderers”

    I did? Who is “we”? I would ask Joshua to provide this quote. We cannot say conclusively what individuals Sam Harris would be OK with murdering. He only expressed those with dangerous ideas. Have not atheist claimed Christians are dangerous?

    I was just reviewing things theist have been called just on this site. No implied, actually called.

    1. Child abusers for teaching children about God
    2. Delusional
    3. Filth
    4. Gullible
    5. Southern Trash

    I never had a need to retort in anger. I consider the source. Joshua makes me curious as to why he would be so angry by such an implication even if it were true???

  69. on 19 Apr 2011 at 8:16 pm 69.DPK said …

    I am still trying to comprehend how the “faithful” here have concluded that not believing in invisible men qualifies as a mental illness?

    I mean that pretty much says it all to me about the reasoning ability of those who accept pretty much anything someone will spoon feed them because it’s written in an old book.

    Must be the same people who have humans living side by side with dinosaurs in the Creation Museum. “Look, there’s a exhibit… must be true!”

  70. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:54 am 70.Observer said …

    #6 Biff. Harris does not believe he is smarter than everyone else, but he is, as I am absolutely sure of intellectual superiority to you and your ilk. It is not a high hurdle. Don’t worry, he is not advocating the extermination of the dim-witted. You and your spawn are saved only to be taken advantage of by Republican leaning folk, and those who know better but can’t resist.

  71. on 20 Apr 2011 at 3:02 am 71.Observer said …

    #39 Burebista- Can you really be that stupid? Are you a Tea Party type? Let it be so. Confirm my prejudices.

  72. on 20 Apr 2011 at 3:05 am 72.Observer said …

    #55 Xenon Harris an idiot? Did you get that from one of the classes you were teaching him at Stanford? One of the classes you attended with him? Oh wait, you got Cs and the odd B in secondary school. Hmmmmm.

  73. on 20 Apr 2011 at 3:16 am 73.Observer said …

    67 Truett Splendid counter-point! “Nuh – uh!” You are mature and a genius to be sure.

    You theist folks are endlessly engaging and worthy of envy. You clearly are brilliant, well-read, and highly educated. One never ceases to be enthralled with the lucid and cogent arguments for the existence of your beloved wish-fulfilling Jewish zombie, which is God almighty himself, and something else which I have never quite been able to pin down. Keep up the great work. You will lift up us gormless heathens some day. But until then, read a f*cking book written by someone from a top research university on something related to science or logic.

  74. on 20 Apr 2011 at 3:18 am 74.Observer said …

    68 Xenon A rose is a rose by any other name. The same holds true for your list of Christian synonyms.

  75. on 20 Apr 2011 at 5:24 am 75.Joe said …

    This thread is definitely not a good example of how these topics should be debated and I am not talking to anybody particular here.

    Regarding my own comment in #54, it is a pity that noone with a different opinion really wanted to provide a substantial reply. I do not have the feeling anybody criticizing it has actualy read it.

    @ Xenon (#55), Horatio (#59) and Truett (#63): If you would like to have a serious debate, please read the paragraph by Harris (quoted in #45) and my comment in #54 before making any statement.

    A general remark: I think one reason why this debate is unnecessarily heated is a misunderstanding of what Harris point is. People hear “Harris wants people to be killed on the basis of their belief.” and then they equate “believe = my faith” and think that Harris wants to kill people because of their faith. Of course this fits nicely with the idea of “atheist = evil” and then people think that the evil atheist hates God and faith so much that he wants to kill the believers.
    Once this setting is made up, everything fits nicely with people’s prejudice and this conclusion is not questioned anymore. And then you have an angry debate.

    It makes sense to go back to #45 and read what Harris actually said.
    It might help you to know that Harris uses “belief” as a technical term (common in some branches of the sciences and humanities) to refer to a set of propositions that someone takes for granted (see #45).
    It might also be worth noting that Harris wrote his paragraph in the context of talking about the relation between belief and behaviour (the latter being another technical term).
    And finally it might be helpful to realise that Harris talks about the topic of dealing with extremists that consider it imperative that all people who do not share their perspective on the world be killed. And he talks about a situation in which these extremists cannot be captured.
    I am dead sure that noone of us, whether theist, Christian or atheist, would want these extremists to run free.

  76. on 20 Apr 2011 at 5:32 am 76.Severin said …

    55 Xenon
    “Stalin killed individuals for the ideas he believed others had as well.“
    Sounds familiar?
    Don’t all eligions do the same for milleniums?
    Don’t you personally belong to a religion?
    What should we conclude here?
    That you must be dangerous?

    “You can read whatever you like into Sam’s words but ideas are not the same thing as actions.“
    You are right!
    What action did Sam do?

    He only told his idea.

  77. on 20 Apr 2011 at 6:21 am 77.Severin said …

    Xenon, Truett

    Don’t you, people, accept Bible, the book that UNCONDITIONALLY ORDERS murders of all non-like-minders?
    Kill, rip, dash, stone…are the words most frequently found in your “book of truth”, not as “thoughts” or “Ideas”, but as DIRECT, UNCONDITIONAL ORDERS.
    Bible orders you to love your god and your neighbor, but to kill your disobedient child.

    And you find SAM HARRIS dangerous?!
    The man never suggested you to kill your children.

    Criticize Bible,deny it, piss on it, THEN judge other people’s thoughts and ideas.

  78. on 20 Apr 2011 at 6:41 am 78.Severin said …

    Truett, Xenon at all.,

    People who accept Bible as their moral code:
    – are insane
    – are dangerous

  79. on 20 Apr 2011 at 11:16 am 79.Joe said …

    Severin, these are not helpful contributions to a reasonable discussion either.

  80. on 20 Apr 2011 at 12:07 pm 80.Xenon said …

    Joe

    I read the paragraph. I don’t believe Harris is necessarily talking about faith. Killing anyone for any belief is outrageous. Killing should be reserved for the most horrendous crimes as punishment. A belief does not necessarily become an action. DO you agree?

    Take this tidbit from Sam and put the words in the mouth of a preacher. How would you then respond?

    I am dismayed as well that Truett’s questions were not answered concerning Sam’s proposition.

    1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?

  81. on 20 Apr 2011 at 12:35 pm 81.Lou said …

    75.Joe said …

    “A general remark: I think one reason why this debate is unnecessarily heated is a misunderstanding of what Harris point is.”

    Not a misunderstanding. They must deliberately misrepresent what Harris said and meant in order to attack atheism because their position of theism is so weak.

  82. on 20 Apr 2011 at 1:52 pm 82.Ben said …

    “They must deliberately misrepresent what Harris said”

    You mean by quoting him word for word?

    You should be used to this tactic since atheist use it with the Bible.

  83. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:14 pm 83.Joshua said …

    @ Truett 67
    Funny! You would lecture me on discussion etiquette? You know that normal people will not accept pure assertions right? You know that you have to do more than state something for people to accept it? Or that you should attack what your opponent actually believes instead of painting a group with bullshit? I actually like rhetoric but when that is all that someone has it’s just dry and tasteless (and brainless).

    Shorter Truett @ 67

    Hyperbole! Hyperbole!(1)
    Two unsupported assertions(2). Unlikely assertion(3). Misrepresentation of claims(4). Clearly unsupported assertion(4). Unsupported assertion(5).
    Unsupported assertion(6). Unsupported assertion(7). Unsupported assertion(8). Insult that fails due to ignoring reality.(7).
    1. Assert I am crazy so you can ignore the substance of my comments. There was no other substance here.
    2. Assert I have mental problems again, this time seriously and with no support. What is the evidence?
    3. Statement about the thread that is unlikely. I simply don’t trust your reasoning skills at this point.
    4. I argued an implication that we “could” be mass-murders (same as genocide to me in this instance), not that we “are” (I said “Xenon can imply we are would-be mass-murderers…” @65). Support of killing all theists or defending the killing of all theists is part of an attempt at genocide in my book.
    If you prefer to not have the defenders of genocide lumped in with those pulling the triggers, I still say fuck you if he thinks I would defend Harris in a desire to kill all theists. Xenon @55 “Joe, I’m sure you think this is over the top. He is a fellow atheist and you guys would defend Sam if he was out to murderer all theist.” Do you have an alternate interpretation of “…guys would defend Sam if he was out to murderer all theist.”? I still think that this deserves a fuck you.
    5. Unsupported assertion. This is the first post where I cuss in a comment. Also YOU CAME HERE to argue with us. There is no policy against profanity. This is like walking into an adult entertainment shop and complaining about the gratuitous display of gynecology. You sound like an idiot. If you don’t like naughty words that give you the vapors, don’t come here. Some of us like a UFC version of the Agora.
    I don’t care about profanity, or what horrible things my opponent thinks when it comes to responding to their argument. If Xenon had included some substance with his comment I would have responded to it AND said “fuck you”. But all he had, like you, is a big pile of assertions.
    6. Unsupported assertion. How am I …”classless, pointless and clueless.”? You just say it, you also have to demonstrate it.
    7. Unsupported assertion, also bullshit. Groups of adults decide among themselves what they consider acceptable etiquette. This is just you thinking that if anyone does not act like you than they just are not worth listening to, more lazy bullshit. Again, if you don’t like it, don’t come here. Fortunately for me I love interacting with folks from professors to rednecks, in their preferred manner. I like cussing and having my mind in the gutter, and being able to adapt to other people. Sorry you don’t like it but “adult behavior” is quite varied.
    8. Unsupported assertion. How have I lost? If I were to say “They think we deserve to burn in hell! That’s mean and nasty! They lose!” I would be full of crap. NOTHING replaces actually engaging your opponents argument.
    9. Unsupported assertion as rhetoric. Seriously? Some of the most brilliant people had the filthiest vocabulary. You might disagree with say, George Carlin, but that makes his insights no less intelligent.

    Not a single bit of substance. This is pretty normal for comments from you and Horatiio and other theists on this blog. I honestly wish it was different because the reason I use the tactics I do are because when an idea cannot stand up to hostile, but relevant opposition, it is not worth having. But I think that most Christians know this deep inside. It’s why it has to be spread by encouraging bad thinking skills and indoctrinating parents at best, and through invasion and violence at worst. The religious have to complain about tone because they have nothing else when they get called on bullshit.

    When you learn to include “why” with all of your “what” statements you will be more well thought of here. Until then you are full of shit and I have no problem letting the reader decide who makes more sense.

  84. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:16 pm 84.Joshua said …

    @ Xenon 68
    See my reply to Truett for the specifics about you painting all the atheists here as genocide supporters. My “we” was because you said “…and you guys would defend Sam…”.

    “I was just reviewing things theist have been called just on this site. No implied, actually called.”
    I need specifics. If it was for a specific Christian than the comments may have been warranted. If they were painting all Christians, I oppose that too. It does not matter anyway because you should call out the specific atheist when they say such things. Otherwise you piss off the ones that do not stereotype Christians in such a fashion. Have the intellectual honesty to accuse specific atheists of specific statements and don’t be a bigot.

    “I never had a need to retort in anger. I consider the source. Joshua makes me curious as to why he would be so angry by such an implication even if it were true???”
    Unless it is impossible to both be angry and still rationally argue, I don’t really care what you have to resort to or not. All I care about is if my opponent has actually responded to the substance of my claims, like someone actually discussing issues like an honest human being. Your “source” from what I can get from your comment is “Joshua angry”. You provide no reason why an angry person cannot address an argument. Until you do why should anyone here care? Also you seriously need me to tell you why someone might get angry about getting called a defender of genocide? It’s no wonder some Christians put so much stock into emotions, it’s all they have.

    Just for the record, anger + determination + effort = passion. This is true for Christians or atheists.

  85. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:36 pm 85.Joshua said …

    @ Joe 75
    I can understand that other folks might not like a passionate debate. I might come off as angry, but I am not. You, DPK, TGHO and the others on the “atheist side” (I am sure there are rational theists here somewhere) of these issues can feel free to let me know if you want me to tone things down. I don’t want to ruin things for anyone, but I had my mind changed by watching creationists get the same treatment that I give out. Someone with a real concern for figuring out what is real will become more determined to figure out what is going on when they see their side getting thumped. I was determined and I learned that Christianity and creationism was bullshit. I think that we all try to encourage a debate style that we prefer.

    This is a bit of a false dichotomy but this is the way I see it. Would the world be a better place if we listened to assholes who were always right, or nice people who were always wrong? Which is more important when figuring out a solution or the nature of reality? Complaints of tone to me mean that the other party really thinks that tone is more important than getting things right. This is part of the whole self-destructive problem our society has with style over substance. No problem is ever going to get fixed if every effort in our democracy can be derailed with emotional crap that distracts everyone. I want it to become a social imperative to consider “correct” to be the most important thing in any discussion, and audiences to consider the person who has more substance the winner (theist or atheist).

    This is why I constantly focus on the fact that the theists almost never attach a “why” to their “what” statements, and why I point out every little rhetorical bullshit that they try to pull. Rhetoric + style is fun, rhetoric alone is cowardly and I would love to see Horatiio, Truett, Xenon and all the others turn into real rational debaters. This way I can cut out the bullshit that may still exist in my views.

  86. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:44 pm 86.Joshua said …

    I have to agree with Joe @ 79

    I may be an asshole here from time to time, but I do try to address the specific beliefs of the person(s) that I am talking to. I don’t care about tone, but dishonesty (intentional or unintentional) bothers me. There are thousands of Christian denominations for a reason, they are not the same. Every person you debate with has the right to demonstrate what kind of person they are, and what their beliefs really are. Painting any individual, atheist or theist, with that broad a brush is insulting.

  87. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:55 pm 87.Joshua said …

    @ Xenon 80

    My claim about no substance from you guys continues. Perhaps this is partially due to reading comprehension problems.

    JOE ANSWERED THEM IN #54

    You even discussed some of what he said in your next comment. Did you even read the whole comment? It sure does not look like it. Are you being willfully dishonest, or just too lazy to read or double check the thread before you post about someone?

    Just to get this out of the way, not liking someone’s answer does not mean that there was no answer. I am not saying you are going to do this, but I have seen lots of creationists say “no one has answered XXX” after telling the person who did answer XXX that they did not agree. You and Truett failed to provide any response, and that is not Joe’s fault. Remember to attach a “why” to your “what” if you care about being convincing.

  88. on 20 Apr 2011 at 2:58 pm 88.Joshua said …

    @ Ben 82
    “You mean by quoting him word for word?”

    You do realize that you can perfectly quote someone and make them seem to say the opposite of what they believe right? Do you know what context is? No really, I meet lots of regular people who do not know what context is so don’t understand about taking quotes out of context.

  89. on 20 Apr 2011 at 3:36 pm 89.Lou said …

    82.Ben said …

    “You mean by quoting him word for word?”

    Harris – “The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.”

    Harris – “Some critics have interpreted the second sentence of this passage to mean that I advocate simply killing religious people for their beliefs. Granted, I made the job of misinterpreting me easier than it might have been, but such a reading remains a frank distortion of my views. Read in context, it should be clear that I am not at all ignoring the link between belief and behavior. The fact that belief determines behavior is what makes certain beliefs so dangerous.”

    4.Curmudgeon said …

    “I wonder who gets to decided what ideas people should be killed for? Maybe the atheists? We see the results of the atheist state deciding who lives and dies. It is called the gulags. Meeting in a church for Bible study was dangerous enough to be killed for.”

    6.Biff said …

    “Guys like Harris want to control the populace and even the thoughts of the populace if possible.”

    14.Horatiio said …

    “Ecstasy is not his only problem. He is obviously still on it but his problem runs much deeper. Hatred is so ugly and so nauseating. He hates America because of all the Christians and he is frustrated that he must live in a nation that tolerates their existence.”

    32.Truett said …

    “So Sam Harris argues just having a belief is cause for killing?”

    41.Xenon said …

    “This is why they will not denounce Sam Harris murdering individual for their thoughts.”

    50.Truett said …

    “To take is a step further. Suppose he thinks Christianity is that dangerous?”

    55.Xenon said …

    “Stalin killed individuals for the ideas he believed others had as well. You can read whatever you like into Sam’s words but ideas are not the same thing as actions.”

    68.Xenon said …

    “We cannot say conclusively what individuals Sam Harris would be OK with murdering. He only expressed those with dangerous ideas. Have not atheist claimed Christians are dangerous?”

  90. on 20 Apr 2011 at 4:31 pm 90.DPK said …

    Hey, I think there may really be something to this correlation between religious belief and schizophrenia.
    See if any of these symptoms fit any religious people you know:
    Examples of Cognitive Problems Associated with Schizophrenia

    Frequent loose association of thoughts or speech- when one thought does not logically relate to the next.

    Lack of insight (called anosognosia). Those who are developing schizophrenia are unaware that they are becoming sick. The part of their brain that should recognize that something is wrong is damaged by the disease.
    Speaking in an abstract or tangential way. Odd use of words or language structure
    Nonsensical logic
    Difficulty understanding simple things
    Thoughts, behavior, and actions are not integrated
    Obsessive compulsive tendencies- with thoughts or actions
    Thought insertion/ withdrawal- thoughts are put it or taken away without a conscious effort
    Conversations that seem deep, but are not logical or coherent

    Wow.

  91. on 20 Apr 2011 at 4:41 pm 91.Joshua said …

    @ DPK 90

    I think you will love this.

    http://blip.tv/file/2204956?filename=Enneagon-SapolskyOnReligion729.mp4

    If that does not work search for “Sapolsky on Religion”

  92. on 20 Apr 2011 at 7:13 pm 92.Samothec said …

    67.Truett said …

    “You are delusional and probably suffering with Aspergers. I reviewed the thread. Nobody has accused you or anyone of genocide. You are a paranoid freak who cannot express himself without foul language.”

    You demonstrate here that you are, at best, inconsiderate and uneducated. Nothing in his statements gives even the slightest indication that he suffers from delusions, Asperger’s Syndrome, nor paranoia. If anything, your claims show that you know nothing about delusions, Asperger’s Syndrome, and paranoia. You have offended everyone who knows someone with any level of autism with what you said.

    Statements were made in this thread implying genocide – you just didn’t read through it well enough.

    He was pointing out that expletives don’t need to be used to say something foul. But you proved that point better than he did with your very foul post #67.

    It is Xians like you who first made me stop calling myself a Christian and lead to becoming an atheist. Your religion tells you it’s okay to do inconsiderate or even malicious things and do nothing to correct or apologize for your behavior. Asking God for forgiveness does nothing to fix the damage you’ve done but that’s all you do since you’ve been taught it’s okay to do evil and not care about people – you only need care about god.

    Your statements will be here for (not weeks or months but instead) years for others to read. You will be seen for years to come as a poor excuse for a person due to your own posts.

  93. on 20 Apr 2011 at 7:15 pm 93.Samothec said …

    For those not paying attention to what is already happening in America: the thought police are here. Any minor who vents about someone they’re angry at and uses any variation of “I’d like to kill (whomever)” is taken into custody and their belongings searched to find evidence. But most people are okay with that since it will supposedly prevent the next Columbine.

    Too many Xians support thought police as long as they’re enforcing Xian morals. And history shows Xians and Moslems both support killing those they feel have dangerous thoughts.

    I’d feel safer in a room full of serial killers than in a room full of fundamentalists (whether Islamic or Xian) – I’m more likely to walk out of the room full of serial killers alive and unharmed.

    I know fundamentalists (whether Islamic or Xian) are dangerous because they’ve shown they will not listen to intelligent views that disagree with their world-view. So I understand Harris’ statement very clearly and agree that our society needs to stop ignoring the potential danger; if someone goes beyond thought and talk, they need to be stopped quickly before they kill too many decent people. We need to stop excusing someone’s bad behavior just because they claim they’re just doing what their morals/religion tells them to. The 9/11 hijackers were moral – according to THEIR beliefs. And that is the problem with religions – they are publicly acceptable cults.

  94. on 20 Apr 2011 at 7:22 pm 94.Samothec said …

    It has been found that religious rituals produce patterns in the brain very similar to the patterns in someone suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

    Deep mediation is indistinguishable from deep prayer in the brain.

    Stimulation of a certain area of the brain via magnetic fields produces a feeling of another presence in the room.

    Many of the experiences religious people claim as evidence of a higher power can be shown to be side-effects of unusual brain functioning. (Note that I did not say and do not mean abnormal.)

  95. on 20 Apr 2011 at 7:37 pm 95.DPK said …

    If anyone doubts there is such a thing as ideologies that are dangerous:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-04-19-al-qaeda-magazines.htm

    Al-Shamikha, the al-Qaeda version of Cosmopolitan magazine, mixes beauty and fashion tips with articles encouraging women to push their husbands on the path of martyrdom.

    Another section of the magazine instructs readers how to disassemble, clean and reassemble a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

    One issue included an article on how to turn a pickup truck into “the ultimate mowing machine,” by adding steel blades to the grill to “mow down the enemies of God.”

    In another issue of Inspire, al-Qaeda advises radical Muslims wanting to join the jihad to carry out lone-wolf terrorist operations closer to home.

    “The mujahideen (jihad fighters) leadership is today asking the brothers in the West to attack Western interests in the West,” the article recommends. “This is because killing 10 soldiers in America…is much more effective than killing 100 apostates in the Yemeni military. ”

  96. on 20 Apr 2011 at 8:06 pm 96.Severin said …

    79 Joe
    “Severin, these are not helpful contributions to a reasonable discussion either.”

    Why?
    What did I say wrong?

    I do think that people who support and accept Biblical “morality” (and they do, ask them!), simply have no right to question and comment morality of other people.
    They are hypocrites and have double criteria: when Harris says something about killing, he is immoral and dangerous, but when god orders ripping of pregnant women, it is O.K. They accept THOSE bestial murders, they don’t see anything bad in them!

    Do yo know how many times we got answers here, from theists, that god’s direct orders to kill (rip, dash, “put on sabres”, stone, rape, take as slaves, rob…) were absolutely O.K.?
    For god’s sake, I was told many times, he created people, so he had right to kill them!

    SUCH people are talking to ME about morality?
    They are mocking to us. They are fucking with us, to be less colloquial.

    Because, for me, and as I can see also for all atheists debating here, murder is immoral ALWAYS, no matter WHO does/orders it: a god, a priest, an atheist, or my daughter.
    MURDER IS IMMORAL, period.

    Elaborate your claim, or rest.

  97. on 20 Apr 2011 at 8:27 pm 97.DPK said …

    Severin,
    Most of the time I agree with you. But saying that the religious faithful are “ok” with the moral atrocities proscribed in the bible is not really fair. Not many religious people are really ok with stoning deaths, ripping pregnant women or dashing babies against rocks. To claim so is like them saying Sam Harris wants to kill christians. Not true and an obvious exaggeration.

    The problem as I see it, is not that modern Christians believe it’s ok to do the representational acts described in the bible. They will freely admit that those things are immoral. The problem is, that while agreeing they are immoral, they still accept the bible as the perfect word of god. That’s the rationalization that religious belief demands, and that is what is problematic to me.

    We both know that no supreme creator of the universe would condone such acts. To you and I, that is proof that a god did not write such words, people did. Uncivilized, barbaric people at that. The faithful on the other hand, pretend that WE are somehow misinterpreting god’s holy word. In short, when the bible instructs us on how to properly beat our slaves, that god didn’t mean to say it was ok to beat your slaves, or even own slaves. Don’t look at me for an explanation… it makes no freakin’ sense to me either… I’m just saying how it is.
    So, to my way of thinking, the moral atrocities of the bible do not prove that christians are evil, they only prove that the bible is not the word of god.

  98. on 20 Apr 2011 at 8:30 pm 98.Severin said …

    80 Xenon
    “Take this tidbit from Sam and put the words in the mouth of a preacher. How would you then respond?“

    I don’t know about Joe, but I would be terrified!
    Why?
    Because we have history of all possible religions full of ugly threts of their preachers.
    But, HEY, we also have history full of people who WERE murdered (stoned, dashed, ripped, burnt…), or bestially tortured, based on those threats. Religions never pardoned their opponents!
    Their threats were never just empty words; they DID kill people through long milleniums.

    I didn’t hear Harris killed anyone yet.
    I doubt he ever will.
    I also never heard a single human being was killed because of atheism, or in name of atheism.

  99. on 20 Apr 2011 at 11:49 pm 99.DPK said …

    91.Joshua said …

    @ DPK 90

    I think you will love this.

    http://blip.tv/file/2204956?filename=Enneagon-SapolskyOnReligion729.mp4

    If that does not work search for “Sapolsky on Religion”

    I’d hate to be a theology major trying to get an A in his class!

  100. on 21 Apr 2011 at 11:51 am 100.Severin said …

    97 DPK
    “Most of the time I agree with you. But saying that the religious faithful are “ok” with the moral atrocities proscribed in the bible is not really fair. Not many religious people are really ok with stoning deaths, ripping pregnant women or dashing babies against rocks.“

    I don’t think, and don’t say, that MOST religious people in the world are really O.K. with Biblical atrocities.
    Most religious people are fighting their own doubts and dillemsas at their homes, and do not try to persuade me how wonderful, moral and rightous their god, and/or their religious books are.

    Most (I emphasize: MOST, to avoid someone to occuse me that I said ALL) of THESE religious people, debating here, are aggressive and are trying to impose their moral codes to me/us.
    I’we heard directly from THEM, many times that Biblical „laws“ are O.K. I’we heard many times from them that Bible is „absolute truth“, the „word of god“ we all have to obey, a „moral code“ we all have to accept and follow, etc.
    People who addres to me with such twisted and ambigous moral rules (when god murders, or someone murders in name of god, it is O.K.!), have no right to judge other people.
    Either murdering is O.K., or not, there is no third possibility, but they are trying to somehow separate brutal crimes (Bible) to „rightous“ ones (probably because their god and/or his followers, did/ordered them) and „other“ (unrightous) ones.
    Maybe you did not notice that most of THESE theists never call Biblical atrocities „murders“!
    They gave me many „lessons“ about distinguishing „killing“ from „murder“, and, of course, their god, and his „deputies“ on earth, never „murdered“ anyone!
    NO!
    They only „killed“ people, according to god’s „laws“ and his „righteousness“: “god created man, and he has right to kill him”, IS their “moral code”.

    Besides being aggressive, most of them are LIARS. They do not debate a fair way.
    They twist and fake words of other debaters, and when you warn them, they act naive, do not respond, ever, but KEEP debating their way again and again.
    THAT is not honest, and I think I have right to think that their dishonesty does not end with this blog and S. Harris; I have right to think that THESE theists are GENERALLY dishonest. they ARE swindlers.

    What, the hell, ARE they believing! Didn’t you notice how incoherent they are in THEIR basic „beliefs“?
    Their beliefs are SO MUCH different, that I think they would kill each other if THEY debated „in vivo“, without a single atheist being present.
    Some of them believe in OT bullshits. Another ones recognizes the BB as god’s deed (which excludes the OT).
    The third ones say: only Christ matters, the OT is bullshit.
    But, no matter in how much extremely different things THEY believe, and how much THEY disagree mutually, they are UNISON in patronizing atheists!

    I do NOT like to be patronized from a bunch of people who don’t know what THEY believe and what THEY think, but DO „know“ that I am wrong, and keep patronizing ME.
    I am NOT ready to „tease“ them for sake of “democracy”, or in attempt not to offend someone.
    They ARE aggressive AND swindlers/liars, they DO offend me (even personally: drone, liar, …), and I feel that I have right to fight back.

    Most of them are manipulating liars or sick egocentrics. Or both.

  101. on 21 Apr 2011 at 1:04 pm 101.Lightning Boy said …

    Sam Harris states:

    “some beliefs are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.

    I would like yo ask the atheist here to respond to these questions.

    1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?

  102. on 21 Apr 2011 at 2:20 pm 102.Lou said …

    101.Lightning Boy said …

    Sam Harris states:

    “some beliefs are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.

    I would like yo ask the atheist here to respond to these questions.

    1. Who decides? – THE PEOPLE AT RISK AND/OR THE PEOPLE WHO PROTECT THOSE AT RISK
    2. How do you measure belief? – IRRELEVANT, THERE IS NO SUCH MEASUREMENT
    3. On what is this moral system based? – IRRELEVANT, REFER TO #1.

  103. on 21 Apr 2011 at 2:58 pm 103.Lou said …

    101.Lightning Boy said …

    Sam Harris states:

    “some beliefs are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.

    And he stated “Read in context, it should be clear that I am not at all ignoring the link between belief and behavior. The fact that belief determines behavior is what makes certain beliefs so dangerous.”

  104. on 21 Apr 2011 at 3:56 pm 104.Joshua said …

    @ Severin 96

    “I do think that people who support and accept Biblical “morality” (and they do, ask them!), simply have no right to question and comment morality of other people.”

    Here is the issue. If you do ask them, you will see a lot of different versions of “biblical morality”. The bible is a big book of multiple choice and basically good people have found reasons to read out all of the “bad stuff”. For whatever reason, even if those reasons are bad, they DO NOT BELIEVE the stuff we would have a problem with. It is wrong to attribute beliefs to people who do not have them, and rude. Inerrancy is not a constant among Christians.

    A good analogy is constitutional law. I love the constitution. When I read about what Jefferson, and Adams thought about what it meant to them it sounds great. But there are a lot of folks interpreting the constitution and some say it should be literal, some say we should look to the writing of the founders, and others want to interpret it differently as time goes on. It makes life more difficult but it is rude to assume or attribute beliefs onto people without letting them tell you what they believe. If someone from Europe tried to yell at me about a US supreme court decision that I thought was wrongly decided and just assumed that I agreed with all the current interpretations of US law I would be pretty pissed.

    “They are hypocrites and have double criteria: when Harris says something about killing, he is immoral and dangerous, but when god orders ripping of pregnant women, it is O.K. They accept THOSE bestial murders, they don’t see anything bad in them!”
    This just makes my skin crawl. “They” should be replaced with specific names. I know tons of Christians who are not like this.

  105. on 21 Apr 2011 at 4:01 pm 105.Joshua said …

    @ Lightningboy 102

    See #54 and #87

  106. on 21 Apr 2011 at 4:07 pm 106.Joshua said …

    @ Severin

    I think I see where you are coming from now. The problem is

    “People who accept Bible as their moral code:
    – are insane
    – are dangerous”

    is too broad. There are lots of folks who accept the bible as their moral code, but think that you can not take it literally. A lot of these folks would have roughly the same moral conclusions as me in lots of areas that you pointed out. Whatever the reason, they are not like the literalists.

  107. on 21 Apr 2011 at 4:29 pm 107.Lightning Boy said …

    #102
    Lou

    You offer no system of morality and you have no definition on how belief is measured. So how can Sam Harris make a claim those with dangerous propositions should be killed? Belief does NOT always equal behavior. So Harris backpedaling is not accurate

    #1 was the only answer you gave. However your proposition would mean that the Middle Eastern nations are moral for killing woman and China is moral for killing baby girls.

    No, I think your answer are not adequate. I do applaud your attempt.

    I will post them again for ease.

    1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?

  108. on 21 Apr 2011 at 5:19 pm 108.Lou said …

    107.Lightning Boy said …

    “Lou

    You offer no system of morality and you have no definition on how belief is measured.”

    So what? I never claimed otherwise. IN fact, I claimed the opposite.

    “So how can Sam Harris make a claim those with dangerous propositions should be killed?”

    I don’t know. I’m not Harris spokesman nor can I read his mind.

    “Belief does NOT always equal behavior.”

    He said “belief DETERMINES behavior.”

    “So Harris backpedaling…”

    He didn’t backpedal.

    “…is not accurate”

    Accurate? non sequitur

    “#1 was the only answer you gave. However your proposition would mean that the Middle Eastern nations are moral for killing woman and China is moral for killing baby girls.”

    No it doesn’t.

  109. on 21 Apr 2011 at 6:34 pm 109.Joshua said …

    For those who have no reading comprehension or are too lazy to watch the video.

    “The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.”

    Claim: “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”

    It is dishonest to just look at the claim like some here done, and ignore the context, and his explanation. You see that “may” in there? That usually means that a person will add more info to expand on his statement.

    He later says “Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense.”

    What this means is If someone has a belief that can be demonstrated to not only lead to violence, but make them resistant to persuasion, it may be a good idea to kill them. MAY be a good idea. This is a very high standard. Get it? If the belief does not compel violence significantly, or if the believers are persuadable, no killing. Mr. Harris clearly knows the connection between belief and action.

    I want to point out that NONE of the theists on this post have done anything close to this to show that Mr. Harris is dangerous. This is why we don’t think of you as very deep thinkers. You are all talk and no analysis. If you want to make a point it takes effort.

  110. on 21 Apr 2011 at 7:04 pm 110.Joshua said …

    @ Lightning Boy 107 (and Ben, Truett…)
    “1. Who decides?
    2. How do you measure belief?
    3. On what is this moral system based?”

    In order to go any further I need you and the others who have posted this to give me your definition of morality and describe how you would measure it. Your questions can not be answered unless we can agree on some terms. Any attempt to discuss this without going to be most basic disagreement will be wasted time for most of you. I will take a stab at it anyway just for fun.

    Morality: A system of behavior followed by a member of a communal species.

    The fact that morality acts at the level of the individual is very important because it shows us that “social morality” in the broad, society-wide sense is “the blending together of all individual moral systems from all the individuals living in a society”. When someone speaks of something being “immoral” what they mean is that it deviates from the societal average. “Immoral” actions are in fact moral to the person committing them because they match that person’s morality. Their morality is different than the morality of others.
    So to answer your first question;

    1. Who decides?
    Answer: The people within the society decide individually. Social change involves groups of people discussing changes in individual morals one-on one or in groups. If enough people change than the societal average changes and something that was once considered “Moral” (like slavery) can become “Immoral” or vice versa (like interracial marriage).

    2. How do you measure belief?
    You ask people and record the results. “Do you believe X? Yes or no?” Or “Is X better than Y?” Belief is a yes or no question. Either you are convinced of something or you are not. Is homosexuality immoral? Is slavery wrong? Should schools rename religious holidays to be religiously neutral? Is the democratic or the republican national debt strategy better? Pretty easy actually.

    3. On what is this moral system based?
    The moral system is based on the morals of the individuals living in the society (see above). The individual morals are based on the beliefs and desires of the individual. Some people base their morals on holy books. Secularists like me will go all sorts of ways. Some will go by philosophical systems. Others try simply to “do no harm”. Personally I believe in everyone being allowed to do whatever they want as long as what they do causes no deliberate physical harm to another. If accidental physical harm is caused than I must make up for it. I do this because I want to live in a society where I will be allowed to do whatever I want as long as I hurt no one else, and I do not want anyone else to hurt me. I don’t give a flying fuck about mental harm. Anyone can potentially be offended by anything and that would make life unbearable if we had to take that into account. (Harassment can be an exception but that would get away from the general point.)

    TLDR:
    1. Who Decides?
    We do individually.

    2. How do you measure belief?
    You ask people and record the data.

    3. On what is this moral system based?
    The average of the moral beliefs of the individuals making up the society.

  111. on 21 Apr 2011 at 7:58 pm 111.Lightning Boy said …

    1. Who Decides?
    We do individually.

    2. How do you measure belief?
    You ask people and record the data.

    3. On what is this moral system based?
    The average of the moral beliefs of the individuals making up the society.
    ___________________________________

    Therefore China and the Middle East killing woman and baby girls is OK. Great!

    I like the asking. I can see it now. “Hi we are doing a survey to see if you belief system is dangerous enough to put you down for.” Nice!

  112. on 21 Apr 2011 at 10:56 pm 112.Joshua said …

    @ Lightning Boy 111

    “Therefore China and the Middle East killing woman and baby girls is OK.”

    Yes and no.

    It is or is not OK to each individual person. The good news is that since we do not think it is OK, we can make efforts to change the minds of those Chinese and Middle Easterners. The answer is to grow a pair and do the hard work of convincing them to change their minds.

    Complaining about this is like complaining about the sun rising or the speed of light. This is how it is. If you disagree give me an argument (not an assertion). It does not mean we have to like it. We can change it or use that knowledge to become better at changing minds.

    It is like democracy. The great thing about democracy is that anyone can be elected to any office. The terrible thing about democracy is that anyone can be elected to any office. To make it work people have to do the hard work of changing minds.

    “I like the asking. I can see it now. “Hi we are doing a survey to see if you belief system is dangerous enough to put you down for.” Nice!”

    See why you get so little respect? Instead of arguing about the issues you just make up this nonsensical thing that bears so little resemblance to reality. Look at what I said in the previous comment again about exactly what Mr. Harris’s comment meant. I in no fashion showed that it would be a capricious as you make it sound like. If you want your views to get respect first try describing the other persons arguments correctly.

  113. on 21 Apr 2011 at 11:49 pm 113.Rostam said …

    LB

    This is the problem atheist run in to eyes wide shut. They have no basis for morality outside of personal opinion. Therefore they cannot condemn the actions of others with any authority. The strong, the powerful the majority may believe in some horrific propositions. The atheist principles just don’t work.

    Give Sam Harris a little credit. He at least believes in some sort of action as misguided as it may be.

  114. on 22 Apr 2011 at 12:04 am 114.DPK said …

    Rostram,
    Are you asserting that our morality comes from the bible? You aren’t seriously going to argue that point are you? We can show you that the moral code outlined in the bible would make killing people who promote dangerous, violent ideologies look like child’s play.

  115. on 22 Apr 2011 at 12:41 am 115.Lightning Boy said …

    How old is Joshua? He actually believes we are going to change the minds of the Chicom, the Muslims and other idiot groups?

    Yeah, Joshua grow up or at least do some work in history. Obama thought the same thing (snicker)and they walked on him and have zero respect for him. They are worse than ever.

    Hey, I just read where Mass just passed a law where wacky weed is now OK to smoke in the car. There you go. Intoxication behind the wheel is now moral.

  116. on 22 Apr 2011 at 12:44 am 116.Joshua said …

    @Rostram 114

    “They have no basis for morality outside of personal opinion. Therefore they cannot condemn the actions of others with any authority. The strong, the powerful the majority may believe in some horrific propositions. The atheist principles just don’t work”

    If you want to propose morality outside of personal opinion than you have to demonstrate it exists. This is something the atheists here have been waiting for. Go ahead, were waiting.

    Until then complaining about morality outside of personal opinion is like complaining about the eventual heat death of the universe. That sucks, but that’s life. Bitching about it won’t change it. We have to have the strength to oppose the horrific propositions. That is why I oppose you so strongly. You only get in the way and make the world a worse place.

    If you want to see how strongly I condemn, just look at my past comments. I have the strength of my fellows who believe as I do. Damn your are a fool.

  117. on 22 Apr 2011 at 2:40 am 117.Horatiio said …

    Joshua, Sam and Nose Buster. We have 3 peas in a pod.

    No problem Joshua. I might lose a few winks tonight knowing Joshua strongly condemns me. Too bad you can’t condemn men who consider murder based on a thought ethical. But you are an ideologue aren’t you J?

    The world has flies we need to swat away occasionally. We just keep your ilk out of power and we will have no problems. I got a little taste of what you ilk is capable of this past weekend.

    Go ahead……throw out some rants, taunts and Nose Buster insults. We can all laugh and move on. You are actually quite entertaining.

  118. on 22 Apr 2011 at 3:23 am 118.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 117

    Good, laugh away. The less seriously you take this the less likely you will start to try to post something of substance for a change. Just misrepresenting and lying about others as usual. Readers can decide.

  119. on 22 Apr 2011 at 6:25 am 119.Severin said …

    104 Joshua
    „This just makes my skin crawl. “They” should be replaced with specific names. I know tons of Christians who are not like this.“

    I limited my claims to SOME of „THESE“ theists, („our“ ones, who debate on this blog).
    I am trying not to generalize my claims, and I did not generalize them this time either.

    Now please see EXACTLY what I ment, and tell me how is your skin:

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?p=1238#comments
    6 Observer
    „I think that anyone who can recognize that after stepping in dog shit on a sidewalk it is good to clean one’s shoe, or has the gumption to pour piss from a boot, can muster the cognitive faculties required to RECOGNIZE MURDER IS BAD“ (BOLD is mine).

    8 Spence
    „Why? Animals do it, and not always for food. So, WHY?“ (BOLD is mine, again)

  120. on 22 Apr 2011 at 6:34 am 120.Severin said …

    104 Joshua
    A few more juwels:
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?p=1261#comments
    12 Xenon
    „Why is homosexuality and adultery accepted by atheist and liberals but incest is wrong? If a man and woman are consenting and happen to be brother and sister who cares? Stay out of the bedrooms of others.“
    17 Xenon
    „…Notice how he (Sverin) has determined that incest is wrong, but homosexuality is OK? So two consenting adults of the same gender is OK but two consenting adults with the same mother is not. It goes to show how whack moral judgment can be when man sets himself up as the judge.“
    (I must say that i said NOTHING about homosexuality in my previous post! Xenon is lying).

  121. on 22 Apr 2011 at 6:35 am 121.Severin said …

    104 Joshua
    And more:
    25 Morris
    „So you think incest is wrong but homosexuality is not. You are IRRATIONAL, INCONSISTENT and BIGOTED (my BOLD). Stop judging others and allow consenting adults to do as they please. If a grown brother and sister want to get married, have sex and make fun of severin why is it your business?“
    (Of course, I never mentioned homosexuals before!)

  122. on 22 Apr 2011 at 6:36 am 122.Severin said …

    104 Joshua
    (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?p=1261#comments
    27 JD
    „It’s not the fact that a man and a woman are brother and sister and have sex with each other, but rather the fact that a GAY MAN NEEDS SICK SEX (my BOLD) and no woman will give them what they need!“
    „Oh, please explain how adult incest is somehow wrong and homosexuality is not?“

  123. on 22 Apr 2011 at 6:38 am 123.Severin said …

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?m=201001
    „How the delusion of Christianity affects everyday thinking”
    104 Joshua
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?m=201001
    („How the delusion of Christianity affects everyday thinking”)

    4 Mason
    „He (god) lets people chose their own destiny and if that child was to be stabbed it would be better for her to sleep till judgment day than to live in this world another 70 years.“
    12 Foc
    „and about your last comment about the baby,well if somebody is trying to kill a Christian they are not going to stand there and say “take me!” they will fight or run. but if somebody does kill the baby(also abortion) then we do not know what happens.so the baby could just go to heaven.“

    After reading such jewels, MY skin is not O.K.!

  124. on 22 Apr 2011 at 7:05 am 124.Severin said …

    111 LB
    “Therefore China and the Middle East killing woman and baby girls is OK.”
    WHAT killings are you refering to?
    Middle East is 100% religious area! Zero atheists there!
    Are yoy telling us that religions bring insanity?

    I agree!
    Thank you!

  125. on 22 Apr 2011 at 7:44 am 125.Severin said …

    115 LB
    “He actually believes we are going to change the minds of the Chicom, the Muslims and other idiot groups?“

    Ts, ts, ts!

    You put the „=“ sign between atheists and highly religious people!

    Why are Muslims „idiot groups“ less than Christians are?
    People have their faith! They BELIEVE IN GOD!
    They believe all the BS you do, with unsignificant differences!
    Their faith is STRONG.
    They did not change their mind YET, and continue killing for their faith, and in name of their god.
    We are lucky Christians DID change their mind!
    They stopped killing for THEIR faith and in name of THEIR god, only a century ago, after almost 2000 years of killing!

    As Islam was invented about 600 years after christianity, we can expect muslims to stop killing about 2600.

    Those people had good techers in Christianity!

  126. on 22 Apr 2011 at 7:58 am 126.Severin said …

    114 Rostam
    “They have no basis for morality outside of personal opinion.”

    Yes we have!
    1. genes
    2. home and parents
    3. rest of society

    I know really a LOT of people who are very good and moral (including, for example, myself) and never had any touch woth any religion.

    “Thou shalt not kill” is NOT Christian “invention”!
    Aborigines knew it already when Christians occupied their country.

  127. on 23 Apr 2011 at 10:25 pm 127.Samothec said …

    Is Lightning Boy actualy Truett?

    No comments from Lightning Boy prior to my first post and no comments after it from Truett. So it seems like a possibility. Especially since he reposted the 3 questions Truett first posted. Changing names as an excuse to repost the questions – even though the questions were answered several times – and to avoid apologizing.

    Xian “morals” in action.

  128. on 23 Apr 2011 at 10:30 pm 128.Samothec said …

    We – and many animals – have moral instincts.

    Theft is anti-social and thus anti-survival for the tribe/clan/etc. It may allow an individual to survive but can lead to that individual being ousted from the tribe/clan/etc which would be more detrimental to that individual in the long run.

    This is just one example observed in animals and humans. Do I need to explain them all?

  129. on 25 Apr 2011 at 1:32 pm 129.Joshua said …

    @ Severin 119-125

    You can post all the examples you want. They are all irrelevent. The honest way is to specifically attack a person for what they specifically said, and what they specifically believe.

    In #78 you said “People who accept Bible as their moral code
    – are insane
    – are dangerous”

    I might be willing to accept that Truett and Xenon are dangerous. But what you wrote looks like it is a broad statement about all people who use the bible for morality. If that is not the case I apologize. But if that is the case I still insist that you have to treat each Christian on a case by case basis because they all interpret the bible differently. That is why you get everything from pacifists to warmongers within Christianity.

  130. on 25 Apr 2011 at 9:52 pm 130.Xenon said …

    I don’t believe all atheist are dangerous. Buddhists for example are a very peaceful people. Stalin and Mao on the other hand were very dangerous.

    Yes, I ma very dangerous. Don’t let it get around. Boo!

    Thanks

  131. on 25 Apr 2011 at 10:59 pm 131.Michaela said …

    I do not need scientific evidence or any sort of religion to know without a doubt that God exists. So many people have the misunderstanding that God and religion go hand in hand when they are completely separate things. I do not follow any one religion for I feel that there is truth in every religion, but the only real truth is God. I feel His presence every day and have heard Him speak to me. Not everything needs to be concrete like seeing God actually appear before our eyes because I do not believe that anyone is ready for something so immense. A relationship with God is something you have to work at and that grows stronger over time. Just as we expect God to be there for us we also need to be there for Him. Prayer should not always be about asking but about listening as well.

  132. on 26 Apr 2011 at 6:55 am 132.Severin said …

    129 Joshua
    When I personally talk to Christians, I am astounded how they typically don’t know much about the Bible.
    All of them know about “another cheek”, “love your neighbor”, “thou shall not kill”, “stone and bread”…
    NONE of them knows ANYTHING about ripping of pregnant women and dashing children.
    None of them ever thought about A&E’s childreN had to fuck each other to multiply (as god personally ordered them!).
    NONE of them ever heard about god’s orders to kill disobediant children, non-virgin brides and people working on sabath.
    No man/women I personally knew, and talked to, has ever herad about god’s directives about how to “handle” slaves.
    Some of them, after they found such things in the Bible, said to me that they CAN NOT ACCEPT it. It can not be, they said, we did not know anything about it, we did not know WHAT the Bible really said.
    ALL their knowledge about Bible, came from priests, not from their personal reading of the book! You may trust me, or not, but MOST of them HAVE the book at their homes! They just don’t read it!

    And, as I am pretty active in debating, it is not a small number of people!
    I can give you names of some 35 – 40 of them I personally know and meet.

    I can guess that some people (probably majority of them), when discover Biblical “morality”, do NOT accept it, but stay calm, faighting their dillemas in privacy of their mind.
    Some of them, in further discussions, TURN to “contexts”, “interpretations”, which means that they (obviously!) do NOT accept Bible DE FACTO.

    People like Spence (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?p=1238#comments), who ask WHY IS MURDER BAD, ARE dangerous. They obviously can not distinguish between bad and good, and there IS real danger that, in a specific situation, they can make a very wrong choice, for both society and himself.
    People who ACCEPT Biblical „morality“ as their life guidance, and have to ask other people WHY IS MURDER BAD, can not be but insane and dangerous.
    He did NOT find “parabolas”, he ASKED why is murder bad! He DOES NOT KNOW why is murder bad!
    He read in the BIBLE, it is was not bad, and TRUSTED the Bible!

    People who fight their dillemas quietly, but do NOT accept Biblical „moral code“ as their life guidance (they are looking for „explanation“, „interpretations“, „parabolas“..), are only delusional.
    There is hope for them!

  133. on 26 Apr 2011 at 7:29 am 133.Severin said …

    Joshua,
    People like some Mason and Foc http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/blog/?m=201001 , are also potenitally dangerous for soviety.

    Someone who thinks, and SAYS that it is better for a baby to “sleep” (stabbed!)and wait for “judgment day” for 70 years, then to live, can NOT be normal, he IS inasen, and IS dangerous. He absolutely has no compass!

    Would you give your child to such people to keep them for a day?
    I would not!

    So, I say again: people who ACCEPT (accept!!!) Biblical morality unconditionally, are:
    – Insane
    – Dangerous

    Unfortunately, as you can see by your own eyes, such people DO exist, walk, talk, and even try to persuade me (and other people, including our children), that they are right, and that Biblical “morality” is quite O.K.!

    Those who live their dilemmas calmly, NOT accepting Biblical morality as their own, are not. They are only delusional.

  134. on 26 Apr 2011 at 8:05 am 134.Severin said …

    Joshua,

    I would never say, and I do not think so, that all religious people are insane and dangerous.
    I have many Christian (catholic, orthodox) friends, Jewish friends, most of them religious, and all of them are nice people, and I love them.

    However, NONE of them asked me, ever, why is murder wrong! They KNOW murders are wrong!
    NONE of them, ever, said that it is better for a stabbed baby to “sleep” untill some “judgment day commes”, than to live.
    NONE of them tryed, ever, to justify incest.
    NONE of them said, ever, that homosexual are “dirty”, and that they should be somehow “punished” or separated from society.
    Like me, most of them FEEL homosexuality unpleasnt on PERSONAL LEVEL (i can not pretend that I LIKE to see 2 MEN kissing, but, ineterstingly, and – I admit, in fact hypoctitically – I LIKE to see 2 nice women petting), but they (my religious friends) would NEVER go so far to DENY their right to do whatt they please in their beds.

    See the difference?

    My religious friends are NORMAL people.

    Those who ask us why is murder bad are NOT.

  135. on 26 Apr 2011 at 8:28 am 135.Severin said …

    Joshua

    If SOME people neglect Biblical “moral” and live according to HUMAN moral rules, but (maybe) have some dillemas about creation, and “by default” keep following religion of their fathers, without much “phylosophing” and event much thinking about it, it is O.K. for me.

    I would even say that THEY (such people) are the PROOF that Bible and other religious dogmas, are CONTRARY to human nature!
    Most peole DO NOT ACCEPT it!

    Not all people are same!
    You see that SOME people DO accept Biblical (Koran) morality.
    Some of them “only” ask us why is murder bad.
    Others actually KILL people in name of god/religion (9/11 at all., Christianity less today, but A LOT in past!)

    If A (any) religion directs a single human being to such understanding of morality, IT IS DANGEROUS.

    Some morally “semi – stable” people would probably never come to dillema about why is murder bad, if they did not read about it in religious books, or were told it from their priests!

    religions, generally, ARE dangerous, and SOME religious people are insane and dangerous.

    If religions did not exist, less people would became dangerous. They would not have guidelines for their deeds.

  136. on 26 Apr 2011 at 2:01 pm 136.Lou said …

    131.Michaela said …

    “I do not need scientific evidence or any sort of religion to know without a doubt that God exists.”

    Nor do we “need scientific evidence” to know that you’re crazy. Your testimony is enough.

  137. on 26 Apr 2011 at 2:06 pm 137.Lou said …

    134.Severin said …

    “However, NONE of them asked me, ever, why is murder wrong! They KNOW murders are wrong!”

    Although I personally think that murder is wrong, I must disagree with the idea that murder is absolutely wrong. There are no absolutes of morality in the universe. Nothing is absolutely wrong unless you believe there is an almighty arbitrator of universal morality. That would require a belief in a god. If you’re an atheist, then you can’t believe that murder is absolutely wrong. Morality only exists in the mind.

  138. on 26 Apr 2011 at 3:20 pm 138.DPK said …

    “I do not need scientific evidence or any sort of religion to know without a doubt that God exists. ”

    And tragically, we also share the planet with people who do not need any scientific evidence or proof to know without a doubt that god wants them to fly airplanes into buildings or strap on explosive vests to kill non-believers.

    While I’m sure the poster’s intentions are not malevolent, don’t you see any problem with affording respect and acceptance to people who claim to “know” things that they have no evidence for? I have as much right to claim that I “know without a doubt” (your words, not mind) that what you claim to “know without a doubt” is a pile of nonsense. Based on your standard of proof, each of us have equal credibility.
    The fact is, neither of us can “know” any such thing. So I place my judgement on reason and evidence. You place yours on a “feeling”.

  139. on 26 Apr 2011 at 4:01 pm 139.Xenon said …

    “I do not need scientific evidence or any sort of religion to know without a doubt that God exists. ”

    Michaela, I don’t need scientific evidence to prove I love my wife and family either. Imagine!

    Atheist do :(

  140. on 26 Apr 2011 at 4:19 pm 140.Lou said …

    139.Xenon said …

    “Michaela, I don’t need scientific evidence to prove I love my wife and family either. Imagine!

    Atheist do :(”

    No, we don’t. And we don’t need any “scientific evidence” to know that you are a liar. You frequently demonstrate it here.

  141. on 26 Apr 2011 at 6:03 pm 141.Joshua said …

    @ Severin 132-135
    There are no surprises in anything you have written. I grew up around the people you describe and they are still my family members. I know how bad these folks can get with their beliefs, and I too know how ignorant that most of them are about their own bible (among many things). I believe you when you say that you have friends who are among the more moderate Christians. I agree that they are authoritarians who do not think about why something should be good or bad, but only have someone else tell them. We agree that “biblical morality” leads to bad results. Where we do not agree is where you seem to use the term “biblical morality” to mean “biblical inerrancy”. There is no one biblical morality, there are thousands of “biblical moralities”.

    “Christians” do not agree about what “biblical morality” means. There are whole denominations that exist because they “CAN NOT ACCEPT” the parts of the bible you mention. If someone does not include a part of the bible in their morality, IT IS WRONG TO HOLD THAT AGAINST THEM. It does not matter how many Christians you know that are terrible, or what their reasons are. You can only hold someone responsible for what they DO believe. These folks are authoritarians. They let other people, and books, tell them what to do and think. But they still choose a given moral position, no matter what the reason, and until they do you can’t assume they think something.

    The best way to approach this for the Christians who don’t know about the terrible stuff in the bible is to assume that they would not really think that. Ask leading questions that get them to analyze why they support one biblical idea over another. The goal is to get them to try to figure out how they decide which verse is good and which is bad. They might say that “God tells them” or some other excuse. We know the bible is a big book of multiple choice. All we can do is to show them why the best explanation is that they choose what parts they like and don’t. “Discernment” and “being led by god/holy spirit” or whatever are just excuses for why THEY choose some part over others or interpret in different ways. It’s all them and it’s up to us to show them that. To me your approach (unless I am misinterpreting you) would make it seem like you are assuming that they must support such since it is in the bible. That is not true since there are Christians who acknowledge that such is in the bible, and it is wrong.

    Our problem with “biblical morality” should be that it is a poor moral guide since it leads to good and bad choices (as our society defines good and bad choices) and it tends to be hard to change. We have all seen people do good and bad using the bible. Since it leads to bad it fails as a guide and needs to be replaced. We both know that when you look at the behavior of Christians versus non-Christians you don’t see any particular improvement between them and other major groups so it is unlikely that the claims about their moral guide are true.

    You need to keep hammering at why they leave out one thing and accept another. How do they know what the right interpretation is? Every reason they give should be considered and accepted or rejected on the evidence. If it ends up that they have nothing but “god told me” or an equivalent than focus on why this is a terrible reason since no one has a reason to believe them and other religious folks give the same reason so how are we to know for sure?

    THE MAIN ISSUE
    I perceive your words as too broadly chosen. When you discuss “biblical morality” you seem to brush all Christians as equally responsible for the “bad stuff” in the bible, even if they did not know about it, or thought it no longer mattered. If this is true it is something I cannot agree with. Every person has the right to show you what kind of person they are, and what they believe, on every issue. Don’t assume about people. We may have to agree to disagree.

  142. on 26 Apr 2011 at 6:56 pm 142.Joshua said …

    @ Michaela 131
    Why did you leave your comment? I am honestly curious because from my perspective you made a comment that should not convince anyone of anything. I can explain why in more detail, but I would like to know what you think the strongest single thing you said was to see where you are coming from.

  143. on 26 Apr 2011 at 7:12 pm 143.Joshua said …

    @ Xenon 139

    “…I don’t need scientific evidence to prove I love my wife and family either. Imagine!”

    Why did you post this? Who said that they needed scientific evidence for such a thing? Science is a process for figuring out how the world works. Sure you don’t need scientific evidence for such a thing, but you still need evidence. What we describe as love includes a set of behaviors and experiences that have spawned uncountable movies and stories. When those are missing we would wonder if our spouse loved us. The very fact that people have ever wondered if their spouse really loved them shows that even love involves evidence.

  144. on 26 Apr 2011 at 7:30 pm 144.Lou said …

    143.Joshua said …

    “@ Xenon 139

    “…I don’t need scientific evidence to prove I love my wife and family either. Imagine!”

    Why did you post this?”

    Following that, he wrote “Atheist do :(”

    Why did he post that? Because the inadequacy of a position can be found in the misrepresentation or irrational exaggeration of the other side’s arguments.

  145. on 27 Apr 2011 at 5:10 am 145.Severin said …

    137 Lou
    “…I must disagree with the idea that murder is absolutely wrong. There are no absolutes of morality in the universe.”

    I agree, and I stressed it many times in my posts, and also stressed that I think (not my original idea!) that morality is the survival tool that species developed through evolution (genes for: “don’t eat your youngs although they are full of proteins”, “don’t kill members of your group,but kill the intruder of the same species who wants to take your teritory”).

    However, talking humans, I (it is personal opinion, better: personal feeling), murder is never rihgt (“good”), at least not for the murdered one. So, I would rather speak about “justified”, than about “right” and “wrong” murderings.
    Some decisions of society, like capital punishment (taking lives) I accept, because I have to, but I do not agree, because societies, in many (if not most!) cases, could have done more to PREVENT crimes that lead to “legal murder”.
    More care for children (less care for weapons, profit, territory) would probably result less crimes when children become adults, and much less necessity for capital punishment, when they grow up. At the moment, I am aware that it sounds like utopia, but hope times will come.
    However, if you see statistic, you might be surprised! Care for children, on level of society, is in direct corelation with rate of crimes!
    Killing is (for me) justified (“right”?) only as an act of self defence and in case of eutanasia agreed by the “victim”.

    Dashing children and ripping pregnant women are, for me, “absolutely” immoral acts, if we talk human society.
    We know that male lions kill young lions “produced” by other lion males, and nature (evolution) probably has its reasons for such behavior, but humans are not lions.

  146. on 27 Apr 2011 at 10:51 am 146.Xenon said …

    Josh? Lou?

    You mean you believe in love? For arguments sake, I don’t. There is no proof for such a concept. You will need to prove it to me.

  147. on 27 Apr 2011 at 2:12 pm 147.Lou said …

    146.Xenon said …

    “You mean you believe in love? For arguments sake, I don’t. There is no proof for such a concept. You will need to prove it to me.”

    No, we don’t. Love is one of many emotions experienced by all humans. There is an unlimited amount of “proof” for love. It’s part of the human experience. God is not. Leprechauns aren’t. Alien abduction is not. Hunger is. Does it require “proof?” Of course not. Neither does the existence emotion.

    Don’t be argumentative simply for the sake of arguing. It’s foolish. And it’s simply a device that you use to deflect the discussion away from the topic. If you don’t have evidence of God, then simply say so.

  148. on 27 Apr 2011 at 3:00 pm 148.DPK said …

    Lou,
    Deflection and circular arguments are all these poor people have been conditioned to do. You can’t get angry at them for it really. Like the poor lady in the other thread who said that the bible doesn’t condone killing or violence. Well, how can anyone who has read the bible possibly make that claim? They can’t, yet they do it anyway. Xenon and the others are very much like a 3rd grade student who puts their fingers in their ears and says, “na, na, na, I can’t hear you.”
    It’s very sad really. Frustrating, but sad non the less.

  149. on 27 Apr 2011 at 7:25 pm 149.Lou said …

    DPK,

    What’s really stupid about his “believe in love” comment is that love only exists in the brain. Is he saying that God only exists in the brain?

  150. on 27 Apr 2011 at 9:45 pm 150.Xenon said …

    Huh, so you guys believe in something that cannot be proven? Interesting…

    Not everyone has experienced love. Some have been so unloved they do not believe it exists. So you guys believe in something that a few do not believe exists. You have now been told you cannot prove it. Isn’t that deliciously ironic?

    Love only exists in the brain DPK. Would you be arguing it does not exist?

  151. on 28 Apr 2011 at 12:21 am 151.Lou said …

    150.Xenon said …

    “Isn’t that deliciously ironic?”

    No, not all.

    You cannot help yourself, can you? Are you OCD AND delusional?

    God, like love, only exists in the mind. God, like love, is not a supernatural being who created the universe.

    Why don’t you not only admit that there’s no evidence for God? Not only that, but that God only exists within the mind? You basically laid the foundation for the idea with your “believe in love” comments. So go ahead and finalize it – God only exists in the mind. He’s only real to those in whose mind he exists.

  152. on 28 Apr 2011 at 12:36 am 152.Lou said …

    150.Xenon said …

    “Not everyone has experienced love. Some have been so unloved they do not believe it exists.”

    Wow, you are dense. Love isn’t something that’s experienced by its external application. It’s something that’s only experienced internally. Are you arguing the same for God? That God doesn’t exist except in the mind of man?

    “Love only exists in the brain DPK. Would you be arguing it does not exist?”

    Again, you are really dense. Yes, love exists – IN THE BRAIN. Nobody argues that love doesn’t exist. It clearly does – within the context of its definition.

    Now, that we settled that – where is your evidence for God? Or is there none because God only exists within the mind, not as a supernatural, omnipotent, all-knowing, omnipresent being?

  153. on 28 Apr 2011 at 1:38 am 153.Boz said …

    “Nobody argues that love doesn’t exist.

    Lou

    Can u prove that love exists?

    You just made a fallacious statement. Even if 100% of the populations believes it that would not make it true. Can u prove love exists?

    I can claim the majority believe in a supreme being as well. So there you go.

  154. on 28 Apr 2011 at 2:09 am 154.DPK said …

    Boz,
    If you will accept the same standard of proof that you accept for god, then yes, I absolutely can prove that love exists to that standard. No problem.
    I can also prove Santa exists to that standard.

  155. on 28 Apr 2011 at 5:09 am 155.Severin said …

    Xenon, Boz,

    Please refer to http://www.mindpowernews.com/LoveAndHate.htm
    You will clearly see that love CAN be detected, and even distinguished from hate.

    Now it’s your turn to tell us how can we detect god.

    We don’t say love (or hate) created universe!

    Where do you, people live?
    WHEN do you people live? In 13th century?

  156. on 28 Apr 2011 at 5:38 am 156.Severin said …

    Xenon, Boz,

    You can also see:
    http://www.wvdhhr.org/bhhf/scienceonourminds/nimh%20pdfs/22%20feelings.pdf
    http://www.yourtango.com/200920637/love-your-brain
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/18/1069027119944.html

    and many others.

    You will learn that many different feelings, including racism, can be DETECTED in human brain.

    Feelings are DETECTABLE, and are DISTINGUISHABLE.

    How about god?

  157. on 28 Apr 2011 at 5:41 am 157.Severin said …

    X4enon, Boz,

    So, gentlemen, it is obvious that love CAN be proved.

    What would scanning of your brains show?

    NOTHING?!

  158. on 28 Apr 2011 at 12:59 pm 158.Lou said …

    153.Boz said …

    “Lou

    Can u prove that love exists?

    You just made a fallacious statement. Even if 100% of the populations believes it that would not make it true. Can u prove love exists?”

    You keep making the same stupid argument over and over that has already been answered.

    “I can claim the majority believe in a supreme being as well. So there you go.”

    So what? Now show us any legitimate evidence of said being.

  159. on 28 Apr 2011 at 2:51 pm 159.Boz said …

    Lou

    You seem to be dodging a simple question. Can you prove that love exists?

    I have not made any arguments. I simple asked you a direct yes or no question. If you desire to plead the fifth just state the point and i will let the matter go.

  160. on 28 Apr 2011 at 3:23 pm 160.Lou said …

    “158.Boz said …

    “You seem to be dodging a simple question. Can you prove that love exists?”

    The simple answer is no – because love is a human experience. It only exists in the mind. It does not exist outside of the human mind. Love is abstract. But at least love exists in the aforementioned context. Similarly, god only only exists as a delusion. God is only real to the person experiencing a god delusion.

    “I have not made any arguments.”

    At least indirectly, you have. You are using the “prove love” argument as an argument as to why God can’t be proven. And you use it a way to deflect attention away from the topic.

    “I simple asked you a direct yes or no question.”

    And you have been asked you over and over to provide any legitimate evidence, not proof, that God exists.

    “If you desire to plead the fifth just state the point and i will let the matter go.”

    I never pleaded the fifth, nor do I desire to. Do you want to? Or do you want to admit that God either doesn’t exist or that God, like love, only exists in the human mind; that God is abstract, a delusion?

  161. on 28 Apr 2011 at 3:25 pm 161.DPK said …

    Boz,
    I answered your question. But apparently you don’t want to talk to me and seem focused only on Lou.

    Yes, if you will accept the same standard of proof that you do for god, than I can prove conclusively that love exists.

    If you require a different standard, please state what you will accept as proof.

  162. on 28 Apr 2011 at 8:33 pm 162.Boz said …

    Lou,

    Nice attempt at deflection but let us stick with the question. But good, we have made progress and you did answer honestly.

    You cannot prove love. Love is as you describe it an abstract principle. If it cannot be proven, why do you believe in its existence?

  163. on 28 Apr 2011 at 8:59 pm 163.Lou said …

    161.Boz said …

    “Nice attempt at deflection but let us stick with the question.”

    The question is do you have any legitimate evidence for God, but you keep deflecting it with arguments about “proof” for love.

    “But good, we have made progress and you did answer honestly.”

    No, we haven’t made any progress until you provide evidence for God or admit that he doesn’t exist other than inside the mind.

    “You cannot prove love. Love is as you describe it an abstract principle. If it cannot be proven, why do you believe in its existence?”

    Because it is a known human emotion. Emotion is simply part of the human condition. It is a feeling, just like hunger is a feeling. Unlike the natural universe, they do not exist outside consciousness. Do you want to admit that’s all God is, a manifestation of the human mind?

    The more you keep offering this tired argument about not having “proof” for love, the more foolish it makes you appear, especially to the extent that you are deflecting the issue and only providing credence to the idea that God does not exist outside of the human mind.

    If you want to continue the “proof” for love discussion, then go to the love is imaginary website and argue about there, because it’s irrelevant to any discussion about the existence of God.

  164. on 28 Apr 2011 at 10:29 pm 164.Anonymous said …

    Boz seems intent on trying to play word games. Reminds me of a 5 year old who won’t stop saying “knock knock” until you answer “who’s there?”.
    Tragic.

    Boz, love is an emotional state, not a thing. It is not a disembodied entity, like god, or angels, or garden fairies. It only exists as an emotional state. It is simply a feeling that has no existence outside of that. We can show it exists simply because people feel it, just like “sadness” only exists within the limits of a consciousness.
    You cannot point to “Love” as a “thing” that exists by itself. Why can’t you comprehend that? A rock does not experience love or sadness.
    If you are trying to say that god does not exists unless there are people to believe he does, then you would be correct. Good for you. You’re making progess.

  165. on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:03 am 165.Boz said …

    Lou,

    Can you answer the simple question Lou, If love cannot be proven, why do you believe in its existence?

    I’m willing to risk the foolishness Lou. Can you offer an explanation on why you believe?

    Thanks

  166. on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:21 am 166.DPK said …

    “Knock Knock”

  167. on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:34 am 167.Severin said …

    Boz
    I am now absolutely sure that scanning of your brain would give no results. I mean NO resuls at all.

    Love is a strong INDIVIDUAL FEELING, like hate, anger, pain, BELIEVING IN GOD…

    As all feelings, love is nothing more than a specific electrochemical activity of human brain.
    These electrochemical activities in human brain are DIFFERENT for different feelings, and similar, for similar feelings.
    They are DETECTABLE and RECOGNIZIBLE by using specific techniques.

    You may SAY that you love, or don’t love, but if you agree scanning, pattern will unhide your REAL feelings, inevitably and accurately. A machine will tell you whether you REALLY are in love or not, no matter what you say.

    If you can DETECT something, it DOES exist. It exists as a complex electrochemical activity of your brain, but IS THERE.

    How can we detect god?

  168. on 29 Apr 2011 at 6:08 am 168.Severin said …

    165 Boz
    “Can you offer an explanation on why you believe?”

    Love is NOT matter of “believing”.
    When you personally feel love, you don’t BELIEVE you love someone, you POSITIVELY KNOW IT. You FEEL IT.

    Now, your FEELING of love, makes your brain working DIFFERENTLY than if you feel hate (or just don’t feel love), and modern machines can clearly detect those different activities of your brain: one pattern for love (if present), another (different) pattern for hate (if present). If none is present, no patterns!
    Love = electrochemical activity.
    Hate = electrochemical activity.
    They ARE (today!) DETECTABLE and DISTINGUISHABLE.
    Like presence of a sodium ion in water: it is detectable! If present, machines will detect it, if not, no detection. If some other ion is present, machine will detect it.

    I suggest you to read:
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/859/what-brain-science-tells-us-about-religious-belief

    You will see that FEELINGS connected with believing in god can also be detected.
    So:
    Love = personal FEELING = electrochemical activity of brain (=matter/energy) = detectable

    OBJECT of your love = physical object (=matter/energy) = detectable

    Believing in god = personal FEELING = electrochemical activity of brain (=matter/energy) = detectable

    Object of your believing (god) = NOT feeling (you claim he exists as an entity), NOT matter/energy = undetectable

    God only exists in your brains.

  169. on 29 Apr 2011 at 1:45 pm 169.Boz said …

    Now that it has been established that love cannot be proven, only experienced – we can move on.
    We believe in love because we all experience the emotion. Love cannot exist without external stimuli. Intrinsically, unless there is an object for love to respond to, love would not exist. Using a variation of the parable of the cave, if an individual were to have no interaction with the external world or even any self-realization love would not exist.

    I have seen it argued here that personal experience is not testimony of God. If this is accurate personal experience cannot be confirmation of love. To use the analogy as posed by A earlier, God does not take on the physical manifestations of a man. Therefore the argument that we have no scientific proof of God is an erroneous belief. God is a spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.

    What forms of external proof do we have for love? If we watch a young couple in love we can witness actions that point to indirect attestation of love. Using this fact we find the same is often true with those who have encountered God. We witness a complete change in their lives that demonstrates a powerful experience in their life. They reference an encounter with God as the source. Creation is another source of indirect substantiation many reference as evidence that a deity does truly exist. Whether or not you accept the data is not significant, the fact that many do makes this evidence part of the tête-à-tête.

    So my friends I hope this exercise has proved fruitful and has broadened you thinking on things seen and not seen and what does truly does constitute evidence.

  170. on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:00 pm 170.DPK said …

    “Now that it has been established that love cannot be proven, only experienced – we can move on.”

    When was this established? I didn’t see anything like this. Indeed Severin has shown you hard evidence that love can viewed and measured as brain patterns. Fail.

    “unless there is an object for love to respond to, love would not exist”
    False premise. I loved Santa when I was little. Santa is not real. You can be in love with something that is not real. You can love someone who does not even know you exist and cannot respond to you, but the love still exists without and object to respond to. Fail.. again.

    Since your entire position is based on entirely fallacious assumptions, your theory has no merit.
    Nice try, but your reasoning has some rather large holes in it.

  171. on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:06 pm 171.Lou said …

    168.Boz said …

    “Using this fact we find the same is often true with those who have encountered God. We witness a complete change in their lives that demonstrates a powerful experience in their life. They reference an encounter with God as the source. Creation is another source of indirect substantiation many reference as evidence that a deity does truly exist. Whether or not you accept the data is not significant, the fact that many do makes this evidence part of the tête-à-tête.”

    Nonsense. Those things can have a number of explanations other than an encounter with an alleged god. And it makes absolutely no difference how many people “accept the data (what data?).”

    “So my friends I hope this exercise has proved fruitful and has broadened you thinking on things seen and not seen and what does truly does constitute evidence.”

    How many frikin’ comments did you have to post in order to make this point when we already acknowledged it?

    Your “exercise” didn’t prove to be fruitful nor did it broaden my thinking. It only showed that you don’t have evidence for God and that God only exists as a manifestation of the human mind – WE ALREADY KNEW THAT.

  172. on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:08 pm 172.Lou said …

    169.DPK said …

    “Since your (Boz) entire position is based on entirely fallacious assumptions, your theory has no merit. Nice try, but your reasoning has some rather large holes in it.”

    You’re being generous.

  173. on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:08 pm 173.Anti-Theist said …

    #168

    Boz!!! Your right; god only exists in the mind of the individual. I’m glad we have finally reached consensus.

  174. on 29 Apr 2011 at 4:05 pm 174.Observer said …

    168 Boz “Now that it has been established that love cannot be proven, only experienced – we can move on.”

    Despite Severin pointing out the biochemical nature of what we call love, I think Boz does believe what he says. Assuming that he is not entirely dishonest, not altogether founded since there is more than a whiff of what passes for xtian diploma mill about him, the guy really does not know anything about philosophy, and how we in the West got to science. This ignorance coupled with a lack of intellectual rigor and the inability do discriminate between his own emotion and reason is why he is, at the risk of being spectacularly insulting although this has rarely stopped me in the past, a Christian.

  175. on 29 Apr 2011 at 4:21 pm 175.DPK said …

    171.Lou said …

    169.DPK said …

    “Since your (Boz) entire position is based on entirely fallacious assumptions, your theory has no merit. Nice try, but your reasoning has some rather large holes in it.”

    You’re being generous.

    Well, I’m giving the guy credit for at least attempting to provide a thought out and sincere position. At least he is like Xenon with his “I’m right, you’re wrong nanana” attitude. Problem is his argument is based on flawed assumptions and wordplay. So, I give him a C for effort, but ultimately, a fail.
    I appreciate the attempt at actually trying to impart some actual reason into the argument though. That’s refreshing.

  176. on 29 Apr 2011 at 4:23 pm 176.DPK said …

    Sorry, that should have read “At least he ISN’T like Xenon…”

    Ok, I’m off to impale babies on spikes now.
    D

  177. on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:09 pm 177.Horatiio said …

    Excellent post Boz. I like the parallels you point out.

    Severin’s post only proves your assertions even more. An area of the brain “turning on” is not love, only a by product of love. Not to mention “scientist think they know why” is hardly proof positive. The one being studied must acknowledge they are experiencing love.

    When I flip on the light switch s the light switch current? No, it is not for those who can not make the connection.

    It is akin to creation being a by product of the creator. But do atheist suffering from Aspergers acknowledge the creator?

    Nose Buster,

    Good to see you back slick.

  178. on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:33 pm 178.Lou said …

    176.Horatiio said …

    “Excellent post Boz. I like the parallels you point out.”

    That God is only a manifestation of the human brain?

    Apparently you support Boz’s assertion that like love, God is only a manifestation of the human brain. Perhaps Boz was right about one thing – some progress was made in that you agree that God doesn’t exist except in the human brain.

    “Severin’s post only proves your assertions even more. An area of the brain “turning on” is not love, only a by product of love. Not to mention “scientist think they know why” is hardly proof positive. The one being studied must acknowledge they are experiencing love.”

    And it’s 100% irrelevant to the topic – where’s the evidence for God? Why don’t you and Boz walk off hand-in-hand to the love is imaginary website and argue about it there?

    “But do atheist suffering from Aspergers acknowledge the creator?”

    Do theists suffering from delusion acknowledge that they’re adult children who never grew beyond their Santa Claus phase? Like children, they not only have an adult version of Santa Claus, but they also reason and think like children.

  179. on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:50 pm 179.Boz said …

    Horatio,

    Thanks. I can provide the logic and the reasoning but if they refuse to think I can’t do much for them.

    I have always found it quite arrogant and pretentious when an atheist attempts to tell a Christian that God didn’t change your life it is all in you mind or something else.

    I believe these are the same people who call the religious sheep for listening to others? How quaint.

  180. on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:55 pm 180.DPK said …

    Hor- “An area of the brain “turning on” is not love, only a by product of love. When I flip on the light switch is the light switch current?”

    Are you asserting that “love” is a thing that exists as an entity unto itself, outside of consciousness, like electricity? Are you claiming that “love” is something more than an emotional state? What evidence do you have for this?

  181. on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:56 pm 181.Boz said …

    Observer,

    I was curious. Is there any subject you are not the resident expert? I have noticed regardless of the topic you must promote Observer as the site guru. We all have our specialties, but I doubt you are the jack of all knowledge.

    Then again, your post just tend to make a sophomoric attempt at tearing others down. A sign of a very insecure young fella.

  182. on 29 Apr 2011 at 6:03 pm 182.DPK said …

    178.Boz said …

    Horatio,

    Thanks. I can provide the logic and the reasoning but if they refuse to think I can’t do much for them.

    You fellows are very adept at ignoring questions concerning your assertions, but you are very good at complimenting each other for how brilliant you each think you are.

    Let’s answer some questions:
    Boz, When I was 4 or 5, I believed wholeheartedly in Santa. I loved him and believed he brought me many wonderful presents because I was good.
    Does that, to you, constitute evidence that Santa was real?

  183. on 29 Apr 2011 at 6:36 pm 183.Lou said …

    178.Boz said …

    “I can provide the logic and the reasoning but if they refuse to think I can’t do much for them.”

    Finally! Please proceed!

    “I have always found it quite arrogant and pretentious when an atheist attempts to tell a Christian that God didn’t change your life it is all in you mind or something else.”

    Yes, it’s similar to when adults tell children that Santa Claus isn’t real or when a doctor tells a patient that they’re suffering from schizophrenia. Regardless of how you perceive what an atheist says about your delusion doesn’t invalidate what you’re told.

  184. on 29 Apr 2011 at 7:11 pm 184.DPK said …

    Lou, You’re wearing out your keyboard in vain.
    Let’s review the three defining criteria for establishing is someone is suffering a delusion:

    certainty (held with absolute conviction) – Check

    incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary) – Check

    impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue) – invisible men, unsubstantiated miracles, belief in the power of prayer, belief in life after death— Double Check.

    Remember Xenon was the one who said that if we thought the bible condoned violence or other immoral acts that that was because we were “reading it out of context”. Naturally, when I asked him to provide the proper context for god’s instruction to kill rebellious children, adulterers, those who work on the sabbath, homosexuals, anyone who has sex with a woman during her period, and countless others… silence. I guess he’s waiting for Ted Haggard to give him the proper context so we can understand what god “really meant.” Funny, I’m not omniscient but I can generally communicate my desires pretty clearly.

  185. on 29 Apr 2011 at 7:37 pm 185.Severin said …

    177 Horatio
    ” Not to mention “scientist think they know why” is hardly proof positive.”

    So you DON’T go to doctors when sick?
    Why, the hell, would you trust scientists? Their achievments (in general use in our lives)are hardly prooved positive!

    Please do not enter trains, planes, do not use phones, do not use electricity (especially electricity comming from atom power plants), avoid medicals…

    Or, maybe you do trust scientists, on some strange selsctive way?
    Something like “They know something, but soeme things I know better”.

    You are both illogical and pathetic!

  186. on 29 Apr 2011 at 8:10 pm 186.Severin said …

    177 Horatio
    “An area of the brain “turning on” is not love, only a by product of love.”

    No, Horatio!
    “Turning on” of the brain is NOT the product of love. The OPPOSITE is the truth: love is a PRODUCT of brain!
    Our brains, stimulated by external stimuli (or stimulated by imagined ones, born in our imagination), led by mechanisms deeply built in our genes, “turn on”, and PRODUCE feeling of love.

    Brain PRODUCES feelings, not v.v.!

  187. on 29 Apr 2011 at 8:14 pm 187.Severin said …

    Horatio,
    Stimuli, both external and imagined, stimulate the brain to produce feelings.
    ALL feelings, like fear, anger, love, hate, “liking”, “disliking”, sorrow, melacholy, symphaty…

    As simple as that!

  188. on 29 Apr 2011 at 8:28 pm 188.Burebista said …

    Sev states

    “Why, the hell, would you trust scientists?”

    So do listen to scientist who support ID Sev? If not why do you go to doctors?

    DPK states

    “not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)”

    I would like to see some of this proof to the contrary. Maybe minds will change.

    Boz,

    You are the only one here that has offered a reasoned argument on this thread. The rest only offer personal attacks. I do pray they are not a product of the American educational system.

  189. on 29 Apr 2011 at 9:04 pm 189.Lou said …

    187.Burebista said …

    “Boz,

    You are the only one here that has offered a reasoned argument on this thread. ”

    First of all, a “reasoned argument” isn’t necessarily a true and correct one. Next, the object isn’t to offer a “reasoned argument” for the existence of god. The object is to provide evidence for his existence, which hasn’t happened.

    “The rest only offer personal attacks.”

    You are a liar – that’s not a personal attack, but an accurate description of you based upon your comment.

    “I do pray they are not a product of the American educational system.”

    Pray your ass off for all the good it will do.

  190. on 29 Apr 2011 at 9:10 pm 190.DPK said …

    “I would like to see some of this proof to the contrary. Maybe minds will change.”

    The idea of “proof” has been discussed to death, sorry it hasn’t been able to seep through your cloud of dementia that you can’t prove a negative, particularly one infused by it’s creators with magical powers that renders it unprovable by definition. We are talking about “compelling counterargument” and you are on the forum of a website that offers ample supply of it. How about actually responding to any of THAT rather than dismissing it out of hand, or testifying about your feelings and intuition?
    Boz has yet to answer MY question about his “reasoned argument”. If I loved Santa Claus as a child, does that support his existence?” Pretty simple question actually. I wonder why he is so reluctant to commit to an answer?

  191. on 29 Apr 2011 at 9:10 pm 191.Lou said …

    187.Burebista said …

    “So do listen to scientist who support ID Sev? If not why do you go to doctors?”

    There are quack scientists just as there are quack doctors.

  192. on 29 Apr 2011 at 10:17 pm 192.Burebista said …

    “you can’t prove a negative,”

    Congratulations. Then stop making the claim snake oil salesman.

    Lou and DPK you are obviously a young males probably in the late 20s. You two may even be the same guy. Think before you type. Maybe even a little research. This idea of the masses being delusional is simply silly and nobody will take you seriously.

    “There are quack scientists just as there are quack doctors”

    Yes indeed. Look out for the muskie boy(s).

  193. on 29 Apr 2011 at 10:42 pm 193.Xenon said …

    DPK,

    I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. I stopped believing in Santa at about three. He never changed my life. He brought toys and then I forgot about him until next year. No relationship, no change. That among other reasons is why I do not believe. If he changed your life, well good for you. Apparently it didn’t last long, aye?

    Bure

    I think you are right. They always comment back to back. They also seem to have a lot of time on their hands.

    We use to have a common sense Lou on here at one time. What happen to him?

  194. on 29 Apr 2011 at 10:43 pm 194.Xenon said …

    “We are talking about “compelling counterargument” and you are on the forum of a website that offers ample supply of it”

    Really? Could you provide a link?

  195. on 30 Apr 2011 at 12:29 am 195.Anonymous said …

    Xenon:
    I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. I stopped believing in god at about thirteen. He never changed my life. He was never there. No relationship, no change. That among other reasons is why I do not believe. If he changed your life, well good for you. Apparently your god is not much different from Santa, eh?

    Bur… nice guess. I should be flattered, I guess. I’m 56, and I’m not Lou.

    Xenon:
    sure:
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/
    I thought you could have found it yourself though, since you’re here. I can’t wait to hear your point by point explanations of the compelling counterarguments. This should be good, but I suspect you’ll just try to dismiss them off hand, ’cause that’s how you do, right?

  196. on 30 Apr 2011 at 6:07 am 196.Severin said …

    188 Burebista
    “So do listen to scientist who support ID Sev?”

    Sorry, I am from the other part of the world and don’t recognize all your abbreviations.

    What is ID, in this case?

    (This is not a joke or sarcasm)

  197. on 30 Apr 2011 at 1:19 pm 197.DPK said …

    Sev.. I would assume ID stands for Intelligent Design.. the name they invented to make “Creationism” sound kind of less silly.

    Burebista:
    “This idea of the masses being delusional is simply silly and nobody will take you seriously.”

    You are a prime example of the 2nd evidence of delusion, incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary).

    It has been demonstrated abundantly that largely held beliefs not only CAN be wrong, historically, they frequently ARE. Yet you cling to your belief that the idea of lots of people believing in something that is simply not true is “silly”. Without offering any evidence as to WHY you think THIS time, it’s different.

  198. on 30 Apr 2011 at 2:34 pm 198.Rostam said …

    http://www.gotquestions.org/God-heal-amputees.html

    http://www.reclinercommentaries.com/2009/03/why-doesnt-god-heal-amputees.html

    There you go A. This will shoot down everything your link. Well, actually most of the arguments are self-refuting to a clear thinker. I hope to see your point by point response.

    “I stopped believing in god at about thirteen. He never changed my life.”

    There is your problem. Even Satan believes in God. You must accept Christ and give your life to Him. That is why He never changed you life.

    How many times do Christian apologists have to refute the same arguments before atheist stop using them?

    DPK.

    Did you know it has been demonstrated abundantly that minority held beliefs not only CAN be wrong, historically, they frequently ARE.

  199. on 30 Apr 2011 at 11:34 pm 199.Hell Yeah said …

    “Even Satan believes in God.”

    Wow, so a make believe character believes in another make believe character in the same make believe story? Who would have thought! LOL.

  200. on 01 May 2011 at 2:48 pm 200.Lou said …

    191.Burebista said …

    “Lou and DPK you are obviously a young males probably in the late 20s.”

    As usual, you are incorrect – at least about me.

    “You two may even be the same guy.”

    Wrong again.

    “Think before you type. Maybe even a little research. This idea of the masses being delusional is simply silly and nobody will take you seriously.”

    That’ only your (incorrect) opinion, and not worth the bandwidth you wasted posting it. There are many examples of mass delusion. Religion being the most obvious one.

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