Feed on Posts or Comments 21 October 2014

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.

  201. on 01 May 2011 at 2:51 pm 201.Lou said …

    197.Rostam said …

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

    Examples?

  202. on 01 May 2011 at 2:57 pm 202.Lou said …

    197.Rostam said …

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

    Examples?

    Approximately 1/3 of the Earth’s population is Christian. Either 1/3 or 2/3s of the population is deluded. Which is it?

  203. on 01 May 2011 at 3:12 pm 203.Lou said …

    197.Rostam said …

    “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.”

    This is your problem. Even the Grinch believes in Santa Claus. You must accept Santa and give your life to him. That is why Santa doesn’t bring you presents.

    Sounds ridiculous and childish, doesn’t it? Why? Because it is, just like your childish belief.

  204. on 01 May 2011 at 3:16 pm 204.Lou said …

    192.Xenon said …

    “We use to have a common sense Lou on here at one time.”

    Too bad we never had a common sense Xenon here. But, common sense and a delusional belief in an imaginary god are contradictory.

  205. on 01 May 2011 at 3:39 pm 205.Hell Yeah said …

    A group of people are wandering the desert for a long period of time. It is very hot and they are without water, well, most of them are without water because a few of them snuck water with them and didn’t tell the ones without water. The individuals without water need the water so bad that they can see a puddles of water in the distance. None of those that see the puddles see the same puddles. Those with water don’t see any of the puddles and claim to those who see puddles that they are only a delusion to them because they want the water so bad that they think they are seeing it. Some of those that see a puddle also think they see vodka instead of water.

    What does this story tell you when you relate it to religion? No two individuals who have the delusion of seeing a supernatural being see the same being. They think they have a personal experience with this being. They can’t say, hey, look, it is God!, and they both see him at the same time. This is because supernatural beings are just something built up in human minds. Just like your “love” example earlier in these posts. They don’t exist outside the human mind tricks.

  206. on 01 May 2011 at 4:37 pm 206.DPK said …

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

    This really highlights the absurdity of your reasoning. No one here has EVER claimed that a minority held belief is correct BECAUSE it is held by the minority. But you hold that a majority held belief is correct BECAUSE it is held by a majority. What an absurd statement!

    “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.”

    So, if the tooth fairy believes in unicorns, that proofs unicorns are real? Are you serious.

    As far as the links you provided, hardly a “point by point rebuttal. The ONLY point they addressed is why god doesn’t ever heal amputees. Let me summarize the points of rebuttal for those that don;t care to wade though the scripture quotes and circular logic:
    1. There is no proof that god HASN’T ever healed an amputee.
    Typical religious demand that you prove a negative. Prove to me that god has never healed an amputee. No, prove to me he HAS.
    2. God is not “required” to heal everyone. Pain and suffering our our payment for sin.
    Not the point. God NEVER heals amputees, but he reportedly heals all manner of other illnesses. But they are always ones that can also have a non-miraculous explanation. Why? Why are amputees singled out for exclusion?
    3. God does not perform miracles today the same way he did in the past.
    Why not? He did it before, why not now, especially since we live in a world where communication is so much better, news of a verified miracle would spread around the world in minutes. Or could it be because god’s miracle actually vanish into smoke and mirrors when subjected to actual scrutiny?
    4. God does answer prayers, but not always in the way we expect.
    Yes, No, or something else covers all possible outcomes of a prayer. So god’s “answer” would exhibit the exact same outcome as if there were no answer at all. This is self delusion. You accept any outcome, even a horrible, painful death or years of misery and suffering, as an “answer to your prayer” and trust that whatever happens, god has a reason. Insanity.
    5. God will heal everyone in the afterlife.
    Ok, that’s a safe argument because there is no way you can demonstrate that it is actually true or not. But if god’s plan is to restore everyone to “wholeness” in heaven, then why does he bother to answer ANY prayer for healing in this life? One would conceivably have no use for arms or legs in heaven, so why make amputees wait until after they die to get them back, while at the same time, miraculously heal grandmom of her shingles?
    6. God’s plan is not subject to man’s approval.
    Approval has nothing to do with it. The point that we have no right to question god’s decisions in such matters as who gets healed and who doesn’t is irrelevant to the point. WE are not challenging god to step up and do the right thing! WE are saying that the inequity in his process is evidence that he is imaginary.
    7. The reasoning that god doesn’t exist is a false assumption, and the “amputee” problem is a “trick question.”
    Well, in the other arguments you try to explain that first god, does heal amputees, but when he doesn’t it because he has a good reason, that we can;t expect anything from him, and that we are arrogant for questioning him. Now you claim it’s a trick question, meaning one that cannot be answered satisfactorily. Which is it? A valid question or a “trick” one? Like the example cited on your page “Can god make a rock so big he can’t lift it?” It is only a “trick question” because you have no answer for it. Calling it a trick does not make the question invalid.

    Now, where are the answers to the OTHER 50 or so other compelling counterarguments that you claim where refuted. And, if you are going to debate here, we’d all like to hear YOUR reasoning instead of some born again blogger that you allow to do your critical thinking for you.

    This should be interestng.

  207. on 01 May 2011 at 5:36 pm 207.DPK said …

    And Xenon;
    I am STILL waiting for you to put god’s specific instructions to kill all manner of sinners and non-believers “in context” for us so we can understand why he would instruct us via his holy and inerrant word to kill certain people when he really didn’t mean that at all.

    Oh, maybe you can’t. Sorry to have embarrassed you, but if you are going to make a claim, please be prepared to back it up.

  208. on 02 May 2011 at 12:32 am 208.Rostam said …

    “But you hold that a majority held belief is correct BECAUSE it is held by a majority.”

    Homer…no…I never made any such statement. (sigh), it is like speaking to a 12 year old.

    You on the other hand claim because a majority believe the idea that it in turn makes it wrong. Here is your problem. You have never come close to proving God wrong.

    Homer, you are a litany of contradictions, and hopeful moronic propaganda. Your number in the atheist society about the same as the moonies because your beliefs are ridiculous, foolish and offer no reality.

    OK, now go ahead, make your fallacious arguments such as earth as the center of the universe or bleeding to make yourself feel better.

  209. on 02 May 2011 at 12:37 am 209.Rostam said …

    From our young DPK:

    “Sorry to have embarrassed you, but if you are going to make a claim, please be prepared to back it up.”

    I had to jump this one Homer. Could you follow your own advice and back just one claim? Any of them will be acceptable.

  210. on 02 May 2011 at 1:59 am 210.DPK said …

    “But you hold that a majority held belief is correct BECAUSE it is held by a majority.”

    Homer…no…I never made any such statement. (sigh), it is like speaking to a 12 year old.

    Ok, Buribista made the original statement that “This idea of the masses being delusional is simply silly and nobody will take you seriously.”

    I then pointed out that historically, masses have been shown to be delusional on many, many occasions and the fact that a majority holds a belief has no bearing on whether that belief is true.

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

    Now, naturally, I assumed you were attempting to make a rebuttal point. But, what, you weren’t? You were just yammering for no reason? Ok. Well, thank you for at least agreeing that Burbiesta was wrong. But them I’m not sure of the point of your comment. I mean, no one ever said a minority point of view is correct BECAUSE it was a minority opinion, so your comment is totally without meaning, right? You are a strange one.

    The idea of analogy is lost on you, isn’t it? You actually thought anyone here was actually proposing that the earth is the center of the universe? How dim are you?

    Since you have not been able to refute or even intelligently discuss even one point presented here, you have now resorted to name calling. How sad. The last resort of a hopeless position.

    Here’s one claim I will make, since you asked. The bible clearly instructs us, as god’s word, to kill people as a punishment for any number of transgressions, including, but not limited to, homosexuality, adultery, failing to observe the sabath, and a litany of other things. Will you deny that? Because I can quote you chapter and verse where it is written. We can start there. If you can demonstrate that the bible does not say these things, then we can talk. Otherwise, stop yammering pointlessly.

  211. on 02 May 2011 at 6:14 am 211.Severin said …

    198 Rostam
    “Even Satan believes in God.”

    We are sure he does!
    Santa belives in god too!

  212. on 02 May 2011 at 6:25 am 212.Severin said …

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

    Do you mean REFUTE (logic, arguments, common sense…)?
    Only once. We are reasonable people.

    Al of us debating here told you honestly many times: if we see some proofs, we shall start believing in god.

    I alaready accepted some theories that were unimaginable some 50 years ago.
    Why not god, too?

    I only need evidences.

  213. on 02 May 2011 at 6:49 am 213.Severin said …

    210 DPK
    “Because I can quote you chapter and verse where it is written. We can start there. If you can demonstrate that the bible does not say these things, then we can talk.”

    But you can not quote the CONTEXT!

    No one can.

  214. on 02 May 2011 at 1:28 pm 214.Lou said …

    208.Rostam said …

    “Could you follow your own advice and back just one claim? Any of them will be acceptable.”

    What claim(s)?

  215. on 02 May 2011 at 1:33 pm 215.Lou said …

    207.Rostam said …

    “You on the other hand claim because a majority believe the idea that it in turn makes it wrong.”

    You have a definite reading comprehension disability.

    “Here is your problem. You have never come close to proving God wrong.”

    First “prove” that your God exists, then will get to “proving God wrong.”

  216. on 02 May 2011 at 2:13 pm 216.Observer said …

    197 Rosta The first link is priceless. Beyond all possibility of refutation of why God won’t heal amputees, it ends with a testimonial, whether true or more typically Christian lies, in the voice of a mother with a child whose feet have been amputated. Of course wallowing in the obeisance of her Lord, the true believer never questions the injustice of her child being mutilated by this supposed great being. In splendid fashion, she narcissisticly makes her child’s and others misfortunes into a vehicle for her own self-adulation as a servant of her mighty Lord. One should not expect better from the filth calling themselves Christians.

  217. on 02 May 2011 at 2:18 pm 217.Observer said …

    #197 Rosta The second link is arguably better. Written by an intellectual, and looking his portrait on the website, physical oaf. Vapid and crude reasoning is the best one can expect from your lot. Keep up the good work.

  218. on 02 May 2011 at 3:49 pm 218.Lou said …

    216.Observer said …

    “#197 Rosta The second link is arguably better.”

    I finally read it – funny stuff composed of ifs, whens, and bible fiction.

    “If God actually did a genuine miracle…”

    “If God actually caused amputated arms and legs to grow back on occasion…”

    “And when God doesn’t jump through their hoops…”

    “On the other hand, if Christians were to provide documented medical evidence…”

    “It was the same way in Jesus’ day.”

    “My faith is not based on such stories. It is based, rather, on the historical evidence that the earliest Christians were absolutely convinced that Jesus…”

    “There is always a leap of faith.”

    “Anyway, getting back to the original topic, according to the Gospel of John, Jesus did heal an amputee. Peter cut off some guy’s ear and Jesus put it back on.”

  219. on 02 May 2011 at 4:37 pm 219.DPK said …

    ““Anyway, getting back to the original topic, according to the Gospel of John, Jesus did heal an amputee. Peter cut off some guy’s ear and Jesus put it back on.”

    Well… there you have it. Proof solid that god DOES heal amputees. Just not anymore.

  220. on 02 May 2011 at 5:27 pm 220.Lou said …

    218.DPK said …

    “Well… there you have it. Proof solid that god DOES heal amputees. Just not anymore.”

    But even according to the writer “Jesus put it back on,” he didn’t regenerate it. A surgeon can reattach an ear. And of course an ear amputation isn’t what’s referred to when asked why won’t god heal amputees.

    But yes, their standard of evidence is so very weak.

  221. on 02 May 2011 at 6:13 pm 221.Lou said …

    207.Rostam said …

    “[Y]our beliefs are ridiculous, foolish and offer no reality.”

    When are you EVER going to get through your thick head that atheism isn’t a belief? Atheism is simply the rejection of theism.

    Or are you simply trying to create a straw man?

  222. on 02 May 2011 at 6:16 pm 222.Lou said …

    207.Rostam said …

    “Homer,…”

    Ha-Ha-Ha! “Homer” Aren’t you the clever, witty one!

    “…you are a litany of contradictions, and hopeful moronic propaganda.”

    As opposed to the so-called “Holy Bible?”

  223. on 02 May 2011 at 6:18 pm 223.Joshua said …

    @ Xenon 146
    “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.”

    I am a bit late to this but I’ll bite, and I will disagree with a lot of folks here.

    First I will once again bitch at lots of you for talking about proof instead of evidence. You cannot prove love or anything else, you can only collect enough evidence to be reasonably sure of something. So I can discuss evidence for love and speak in terms of “demonstrating the existence of love”, but no one will be proving love because that is impossible.

    This whole angle of not being able to demonstrate love because it is in the mind is not a good argument. As Severin pointed out love and hate are distinguishable through brain activity. It is also distinguishable through hormonal activity and associated behaviors. This is complicated by the fact that love is probably defined differently by a lot of the commenter’s here, but there is likely a broad definition that we could agree on.

    If I were to want to seriously put forth a case for the existence of love I would define it as a mental state that displays certain characteristic brain activity, and hormonal patterns. These in turn lead to a set of behaviors that are broadly accepted as things that people in love do. If the brain activity, hormone levels, and behaviors are all there than we could say with high certainty that love is present. We can never know for sure because we cannot read minds.

    Of course someone could try to fake love for other reasons, but the hormone and brain characteristics would be off. So if someone wanted to demonstrate that person X was not really in love they could look at the brain activity and hormones.

    I understand what Xenon was trying to say in his comment at #139. He was trying to say that love was like god in that it is something that he needs no evidence for. For love this is a reasonable statement because love is such a common and demonstrable phenomenon among humans that 99.99999% of the time we don’t need to go about proving it or thinking about what evidence for love would look like. But in situations where someone was faking love, or persons who have brain damage that destroy their ability to feel love, evidence for love becomes more important or interesting (when learning about the brain).

    But for god, Xenon’s statement is not reasonable and love is a bad analogy. This is because there are no broadly agreed upon characteristics for god that we can use to try to demonstrate the existence for a god, like there are for love. All the theists that I interacted with here have simply refused to give us any characteristics that we could use to look for a god. It would be stupid for me or any atheist to try to argue against our own definition for god so we need the theists to give us theirs.

    I think that theists do this for two reasons. First I think that they fear that there is no good evidence for a god and just don’t want to risk it. If they give us what we need to look for their god for ourselves, it may quickly become obvious that the evidence was terrible. Second by not defining god, even to themselves, they have a good psychological protection mechanism. By not defining god they can mentally change the details about what they are talking about in the middle of an argument or any other time. This lets them have a “god” in their heads that is never threatened because it is not defined. They don’t feel the need to demonstrate gods existence for themselves so they do not even realize what they are doing. The first step in looking for the existence of anything is to define it so that we have characteristics we can detect. They will never give us characteristics because it would destroy their faith.

    That being said, I am open-minded so if someone does want to define a god that I can look for, I might be wrong. Like I said before, if given enough evidence, I would not be an atheist.

  224. on 02 May 2011 at 6:20 pm 224.Joshua said …

    @ Boz
    I can try to demonstrate that love exists to you if you wish. But to do that we need to agree on;
    1. A set of characteristics (brain activity, hormonal levels, associated behaviors, etc…)
    2. A method to detect those characteristics.
    None of this “proof” BS.

    You are correct that personal experience is not good evidence for god. This is because personal experience of anything is not good evidence. Personal experience attached to other evidence would be good. Personal experience of love AND the evidence that I mentioned above would be good for a loveless alien race. So for god we atheists need personal experience AND some other evidence to verify that experience. We have all experienced love (virtually, see my previous comment) but we have not all experienced “god”.

    “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.”

    What you demonstrated is that there are people that have an experience of something that they call god. I can believe that they have had an experience. But most religious folks I have met think that god is more than a mental state. To accept that there is more to god than the mind I need more characteristics.

  225. on 02 May 2011 at 6:32 pm 225.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 176
    “An area of the brain “turning on” is not love, only a by product of love.”

    You have this completely backwards.

    The pattern of brain activity is what allows love to exist. All emotions are generated by specific patterns of communication between brain cells. I really hope I am misunderstanding you. There are huge amounts of research showing that damage to specific parts of the brain damages specific mental phenomena. Love is one of those things that you can affect with brain damage. If the brain activity was secondary in the production of love you would expect to see love independent of the documented brain activity. This has not been seen. In your analogy to a light switch, the “switch” in love would be the visual signals and interactions that induced love in the other person. Love would be the light, and the current the brain cells.

  226. on 02 May 2011 at 6:33 pm 226.Joshua said …

    @ Rostam 197
    “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.”

    This outlines one of the big logical problems that many theists have. They allow no possibility for disproof so they can cling to their beliefs no matter what. Lives that are not changed by Christianity is not evidence against what they believe. Instead it is evidence that the other person was not really a Christian. It’s amazing that these Christian mind readers are not better at poker. Honest people will have an “evidence for” and an “evidence against” box in their heads for everything that they believe because believing true or real things is the goal. Most Christians that I have met do not have an “evidence against” box for a lot of what they believe because they presuppose those things. They do not really know that what they believe is real, they just want it to be real and are terrified that it might not be so they never look.

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

    The common theme here is that beliefs in general have been wrong. Believing the world is flat, dirty rags spawn mice, and many other things were shown to be wrong by coming up with an explanation that could be tested in a way that could give evidence for or against. This is what is meant by falsifiability. All explanations, including “supernatural” ones must have the possibility of evidence against them existing. That does not mean that this evidence really exists (if the explanation is real that evidence against will never manifest), only that it COULD exist. I have never encountered a supernatural explanation for god that was falsifiable.

    @ Rostam 208
    “I had to jump this one Homer. Could you follow your own advice and back just one claim? Any of them will be acceptable.”

    Like you would care anyway? Back in #110 I backed up my claims about morals, right and wrong, and society. Joe did similar in #54. About four hours later in #113 you make a bunch of ignorant claims about the same subject that completely ignore my substantive post and Joe’s. Had you tried to respond to anyone’s points with substantive responses (that are more than assertions) I might think that you care about claims being backed up. The evidence suggests DPK should not even bother unless responding to you benefits him/her in some other way.

    This is why I love the internet age. There is a track record available for anyone who wants to use it.

  227. on 02 May 2011 at 6:43 pm 227.Lou said …

    222.Joshua said …

    “First I will once again bitch at lots of you for talking about proof instead of evidence.”

    I agree. That’s why I, unless I forget, use quotation marks around the word “proof.”

    “This whole angle of not being able to demonstrate love because it is in the mind is not a good argument.”

    I disagree to a certain extent. Love does only exist in the mind, not outside of it. It’s not tangible, but a god would be. It’s not worthwhile to argue whether or love can be “proven,” because it’s not relevant to the discussion about evidence for god – it’s only a distraction.

    “This is because personal experience of anything is not good evidence.”

    Speaking of which, have you ever read about astronaut Jerry Linenger who claims to have been visited by his dead father while on board Mir? It’s evidence that even rational, intelligent, educated people can be delusional under extreme conditions.

  228. on 02 May 2011 at 6:48 pm 228.Lou said …

    224.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 176
    “An area of the brain “turning on” is not love, only a by product of love.”

    “You have this completely backwards.”

    Of course he does. It’s just one more example of his convoluted thinking. And it’s a perfect example of why trying to reason with him is futile.

  229. on 02 May 2011 at 7:07 pm 229.Biff said …

    #225 “This outlines one of the big logical problems that many theists have. They allow no possibility for disproof so they can cling to their beliefs no matter what.”

    I strongly look for such evidence. Could you provide some dispfoof? It would make a great starting point.

  230. on 02 May 2011 at 7:27 pm 230.Lou said …

    228.Biff said …

    #225 “This outlines one of the big logical problems that many theists have. They allow no possibility for disproof so they can cling to their beliefs no matter what.”

    “I strongly look for such evidence. Could you provide some dispfoof? It would make a great starting point.”

    Here we go again – another knuckle head who doesn’t understand that the burden of “proof” is upon those advancing a belief, not upon those who reject that belief in lieu of some evidence for it.

    Bif, you wouldn’t know logic it bit you in the ass.

  231. on 02 May 2011 at 7:40 pm 231.DPK said …

    Biff, you guys are good at asking for evidence for disbelief and then disappearing when presented with it.
    I’ll remind you again that you are on the forum of a website that offers at least 50 different compelling arguments. Not one of them has ever been addressed in any logical or intelligent manner.
    Why don’t you take a shot at answering the ONE point that I have asked Rostram and others multiple times now to address. Check post 209. Does god, though his inerrant word in the bible, instruct his followers to kill several classes of sinners for various offenses ranging from adultery to working on the sabbath? If you say it does not, please support your claim with facts. “God used to, but changed his mind later” is also not an acceptable answer. An omniscient being would have no reason to change his mind about something so basic to morality. If your answer is “you must read it in context” please provide the context in which god instructs us to kill someone but that is not what he really meant.

    When you can show me clearly why that is not good evidence then we can move on to at least 50 other points worthy of consideration. But lets start with just that one so as not to overload your search engine.

    And we want to hear from YOU, not a link to some evangelical website with 3 pages of scripture quotations. “Because it says so in the bible” is not going to be accepted as a reasonable argument by anyone here.

  232. on 02 May 2011 at 7:58 pm 232.Biff said …

    “I’ll remind you again that you are on the forum of a website that offers at least 50 different compelling arguments.”

    Looked at them long ago. Not one provides any proof. Take the complaint on prayer. They tested God on payer. I thought this the most funny. Yes, they tested God and concluded he does not exist.

    Did He agree to the test?
    Did they ask if He was willing to participate?

    No, your proofs are mere comedy which is why atheism is not taken seriously by anyone.

    Tell you what I will do. You take another of the 50 points, search out the theist argument refuting your point, then we will discuss both sides. No more of your pointing to the work of another as your proof.

    We want to hear from YOU! I will tell you what will be accepted as reasonable argument.

    Cheers!

  233. on 02 May 2011 at 8:18 pm 233.Observer said …

    Biff- Again you demonstrate your exquisite lack of intelligence, or maybe it is lack of training. What is your educational background? Mine is a terminal degree in the sciences from one the top research universities in the United States. I am guessing low-church theology if you have any post-secondary school.

  234. on 02 May 2011 at 8:20 pm 234.Observer said …

    NOT that it is requisite to spend nearly a decade at university to have a good or valid opinion. It is quite the contrary. But, when one encounters someone so bereft of rational faculties typically they are uneducated and from not-so-enriched backgrounds.

  235. on 02 May 2011 at 8:20 pm 235.DPK said …

    Not going to answer my question huh?
    Didn’t think so. I’ll assume that as a pint ceded. God instructs us, through the bible, to commit acts that most sane people would agree are immoral. Fact.
    Now, you can conclude that either god did not inspire the bible, or god is evil, or that god is imaginary. Thank you.

    As to your counter to the prayer contention. EVERY prayer is a test. You cannot ask god for something and it not be a test. Even if you were not conducting a specific test at a particular time, if god was indeed interceding in human affairs there would be data left behind. There is none. If there were, there would be higher incidences of things like cancer cures, people being saved from natural disasters, job promotions, getting into better universities, etc. between people who pray and people who don’t. There is none.
    If god cannot be tested, then he cannot answer prayers… at all. That is the only way he can possibly avoid being tested. Anything else is a test.
    Therefore either god does not answer any prayers, or there is no god to answer prayers. Sorry, there is no other conclusion.

    “No, your proofs are mere comedy which is why atheism is not taken seriously by anyone.”

    Really? No one? Where did you get that information? There you go again, making claims that are demonstrably false.

  236. on 02 May 2011 at 8:26 pm 236.Lou said …

    231.Biff said …

    “They tested God on payer. I thought this the most funny.”

    Any dimwit can see that no test for prayer is required, only simple observation is required. Do you need to test Santa Claus for receipt and fulfillment of children’s Christmas present wish list letters? Of course not, because there’s absolutely no evidence that Santa Claus answers such lists, except in the minds of young children. Similarly, god only answers prayers to the extent that adults with the mind of a child believe that he does.

    “I will tell you what will be accepted as reasonable argument.”

    For example – “it’s in the Bible?”

    Biff once wrote “When you look at atheist objectively, if one rejects God then they become their own supreme authority.” But now Biff is the “supreme authority” who decides what’s “reasonable argument.” HILARIOUS, yet pathetic. More evidence of his delusion.

  237. on 02 May 2011 at 8:30 pm 237.Lou said …

    231.Biff said …

    “No, your proofs are mere comedy which is why atheism is not taken seriously by anyone.”

    Your comment is obviously absurd. But if true, then why are you here making a fool of yourself because of it(atheism)?

  238. on 02 May 2011 at 9:07 pm 238.Horatiio said …

    Biff

    Lou and DPK are the same guy. Ignore them since they didn’t make the claim

    Joshua of course makes a claim and as predicted DPK and Lou chime in that proof is on you. Its quite typical. All sorts of claims by the bloggers and WWGHA but never anything to back said claims.

    Nose Buster!

    Now you are a top university graduate? Basement U? Could it have been Mambia U?

    Of course you realize claiming “I am smarter than you” is a fallacy and provides you no high ground. Can you say Obama?

  239. on 02 May 2011 at 9:10 pm 239.Horatiio said …

    “If god cannot be tested, then he cannot answer prayers… at all.”

    ROTFL, what? Huh? How do we type in that cartoon sound of the head shaking????

    LOL, I will mull that one over……………….

  240. on 02 May 2011 at 9:17 pm 240.Lou said …

    237.Horatiio said …

    “Lou and DPK are the same guy. Ignore them since they didn’t make the claim.”

    You are a liar. You know no such thing and you don’t even have any evidence of such.

  241. on 02 May 2011 at 9:20 pm 241.Lou said …

    238.Horatiio said …

    “How do we type in that cartoon sound of the head shaking????”

    H – O – R – A – T – I – I – O

  242. on 02 May 2011 at 9:47 pm 242.Joshua said …

    @ Lou 226

    Emotions are mostly in the mind, but the whole experience also requires hormones, sensory organs… lots of other parts that are involved in the process that come before and after brain involvement. Also hormone effects will feed back into the brain which will then continue the process further. What matters is the “tangible” part. That is the part that we can look at and use to get evidence. As someone who has worked with neurobiologists and been a teaching assistant for neurobiology, the workings of the mind seem a bit more tangible to me.

    I have not read about Mr. Linenger. I will have to check that out. There are tons of examples of such folks. Linus Pauling and vitamin C, Bill Maher and medicine… what matters is applying skepticism to EVERYTHING so that you don’t screw yourself over with on something you might have a emotional connection with.

  243. on 02 May 2011 at 9:53 pm 243.Joshua said …

    @ Biff 228

    You misunderstand me.

    I was not talking about a specific disproof. I was talking about the general fact that to demonstrate anything with evidence, it must be possible in principle to collect evidence that indicates the explanation is incorrect. That kind of evidence may not actually exist if the explanation is true, but it must be possible before any data is collected. I should also say that disproof is not the best word for what I want because it is not exactly the opposite of proof. It is evidence that contradicts an explanation.

    An explanation is useless otherwise because that means that all evidence will either support or be neutral towards the explanation. This wastes time because someone with an emotional investment in such an explanation and only neutral evidence will just keep chugging away. An honest desire to determine what reality is really like will propose explanations that can be potentially dis-proven.

    This is why it is said that scientists try to disprove their claims in their experiments. Nothing gets you to the truth faster than trying to prove your idea wrong and getting evidence that the explanation is correct, or really discovering contradictory evidence and using that result to come up with a better explanation. You never really know you are right until you challenge what you believe.

    Junk DNA is a good example because it’s existence does not agree with creationism. If life were created there should be no useless, junk parts. Yet huge amounts of our DNA is completely functionless. This makes sense within the context of evolution because descent with modification give us lots of examples of places where new DNA can be made (dead genes, virus genomes, insertion/duplication mutations, etc…).

  244. on 02 May 2011 at 10:24 pm 244.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 237

    “Joshua of course makes a claim and as predicted DPK and Lou chime in that proof is on you. Its quite typical. All sorts of claims by the bloggers and WWGHA but never anything to back said claims.”

    Of course it is predictable, because it is true. When someone makes a claim they have to demonstrate it. No one is going to spend the effort to analyze the evidence or arguments for the claims of someone they disagree with. They all have their own claims they want to demonstrate so they will ignore you. When fence sitters or *gasp* impressionable children see my supported claims and your unsupported claims who do you think they are more likely to believe?

    If you disagree than please analyze the claims for all of the other worlds religions for me and see if they have good evidence for them because I really don’t want to spend the time disproving them when I can go drink and play video games. On second thought don’t. I’ve seen your analytical skills. I could end up the craziest fundie ever.

    Of course I don’t think you care about considering the evidence of others anyway. I post a set of comments giving evidence from the writings of the founders that demonstrates that they did not consider the bible once, you say nothing. I link to the supreme court cases showing why atheism is considered on par with theism in law, you say nothing. I offer to explain why physicists think there may be multiple universes, you say nothing. I explain a detailed view about where morality comes from if there is no god, you say nothing. You may not have been involved in any of these issues (I have to check), but I have never seen you respond to a substantive post with anything other than ad hominem attacks and childish grade school taunting, or silence. In fact I have never seen you offer anything like a substantive reply of any kind. Just weapons grade psychological projection. You are mildly annoying at worst. Moderate practice at best

  245. on 02 May 2011 at 10:31 pm 245.Biff said …

    Joshua

    Sorry, I though you actually had something not seen/heard before. My apologies. I am always reading these hard statements “God doesn’t exist” and then when push comes to shove they have nothing.

    Junk DNA is a terrible example. It means we don’t know the purpose yet, but we will eventually. Even if somehow we know 100% proof positive it is junk, it would only mean God left some junk DNA. Whats next? Too many fingers?

    I agree with Horatio’s statement in #238. What in the name of WWGHA does that mean Lou????

    Observer,

    I am impressed. I would never attempt to battle wits with someone as gifted as you.

  246. on 02 May 2011 at 10:33 pm 246.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 238
    “ROTFL, what? Huh? How do we type in that cartoon sound of the head shaking????
    LOL, I will mull that one over………………”

    Actually please do mull it over and tell us what you think it means. Because I think I know what he is talking about and if DPK does not mind I want to explain what I think he means after you do.

    Really Horatiio, I want you to do this.

    I want to see if you can figure out what he means because I want to have a higher opinion of you. As much as I insult or berate some of the comments here I want to think more highly of everyone and know that someone’s argument about an issue is not necessarily representative of the whole person. I have friends that I talk to in the same when we drink and argue.

  247. on 02 May 2011 at 10:43 pm 247.Joshua said …

    @ Biff 244
    No problem. You will never hear me make that kind of a statement unless I have seen source evidence for myself. I would not be a person to say god does not exist.
    S
    peaking of seeing source evidence.
    “Megabase deletions of gene deserts result in viable mice.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15496924?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    They deleted MILLIONS of base pairs of DNA from mice with no effect whatsoever. That DNA was useless. Why would god put it there? Creators don’t just go around putting completely useless (literally) crap onto their creations. It makes creationism less likely as a correct explanation when the world has features that would not be there if that explanation were true. Eventually someone like me hits a mental tipping point and decides that creationism is not true after all.

    But I hope you see why we consider Junk DNA good evidence against creationism even if you disagree. It does not make sense within creationism, but it does with evolution.

  248. on 02 May 2011 at 11:53 pm 248.DPK said …

    @ Horatiio 238
    “ROTFL, what? Huh? How do we type in that cartoon sound of the head shaking????
    LOL, I will mull that one over………………”

    Seriously? That’s why passes for an intelligent answer in your world? That’s it, huh?

    What’s so difficult for you to understand. Every prayer is a test. You pray for something, you either get it, or you don’t. God can’t answer a prayer without affecting an outcome. That leaves data. Data can be observed, therefore god is being tested. If god must avoid being tested, and therefore detected, the only way to do that is to not answer any prayer. If he does, he is open to detection, and it is a test. It’s not a difficult concept, sorry it’s over your head.

    Josh
    “Creators don’t just go around putting completely useless (literally) crap onto their creations.”
    Well, there’s Microsoft… but I agree a god wouldn’t. (vbg)

    Lou…
    Since we are the same person, I meant to tell you what a strikingly handsome fellow you are!

    Biff and the rest of you theists… I STILL haven’t heard an answer. Why is that?

  249. on 03 May 2011 at 12:00 am 249.Ben said …

    “God can’t answer a prayer without affecting an outcome.”

    Sometimes the answer is No. No data no evidence.

    So If I show you how my mother was cured from MS you would believe in God?

  250. on 03 May 2011 at 12:03 am 250.Ben said …

    Josh

    The study states the purpose is undetermined. Why must you guys lie so often?

    “The functional importance of the roughly 98% of mammalian genomes not corresponding to protein coding sequences remains largely undetermined”

  251. on 03 May 2011 at 12:06 am 251.Hell Yeah said …

    Hor, Biff, X, etc,

    I am the next coming of Jesus. If you can’t disprove that, then it must be true. Right?

  252. on 03 May 2011 at 12:57 am 252.Steve said …

    The list supporting the Teleological Argument for God is growing larger and larger as scientists discover more about the universe. Even now, this is a very long list, and who really likes lists? However, when I discuss these issues with atheists, they often ask for “details on this so-called fine-tuning,” so here’s the list:

    1. Strong nuclear force constant
    2. Weak nuclear force constant
    3. Gravitational force constant
    4. Electromagnetic force constant
    5. Ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
    6. Ratio of proton to electron mass
    7. Ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
    8. Ratio of proton to electron charge
    9. Expansion rate of the universe
    10. Mass density of the universe
    11. Baryon (proton and neutron) density of the universe
    12. Space energy or dark energy density of the universe
    13. Ratio of space energy density to mass density
    14. Entropy level of the universe
    15. Velocity of light
    16. Age of the universe
    17. Uniformity of radiation
    18. Homogeneity of the universe
    19. Average distance between galaxies
    20. Average distance between galaxy clusters
    21. Average distance between stars
    22. Average size and distribution of galaxy clusters
    23. Numbers, sizes, and locations of cosmic voids
    24. Electromagnetic fine structure constant
    25. Gravitational fine-structure constant
    26. Decay rate of protons
    27. Ground state energy level for helium-4
    28. Carbon-12 to oxygen-16 nuclear energy level ratio
    29. Decay rate for beryllium-8
    30. Ratio of neutron mass to proton mass
    31. Initial excess of nucleons over antinucleons
    32. Polarity of the water molecule
    33. Epoch for hypernova eruptions
    34. Number and type of hypernova eruptions
    35. Epoch for supernova eruptions
    36. Number and types of supernova eruptions
    37. Epoch for white dwarf binaries
    38. Density of white dwarf binaries
    39. Ratio of exotic matter to ordinary matter
    40. Number of effective dimensions in the early universe
    41. Number of effective dimensions in the present universe
    42. Mass values for the active neutrinos
    43. Number of different species of active neutrinos
    44. Number of active neutrinos in the universe
    45. Mass value for the sterile neutrino
    46. Number of sterile neutrinos in the universe
    47. Decay rates of exotic mass particles
    48. Magnitude of the temperature ripples in cosmic background radiation
    49. Size of the relativistic dilation factor
    50. Magnitude of the Heisenberg uncertainty
    51. Quantity of gas deposited into the deep intergalactic medium by the first supernovae
    52. Positive nature of cosmic pressures
    53. Positive nature of cosmic energy densities
    54. Density of quasars
    55. Decay rate of cold dark matter particles
    56. Relative abundances of different exotic mass particles
    57. Degree to which exotic matter self interacts
    58. Epoch at which the first stars (metal-free pop III stars) begin to form
    59. Epoch at which the first stars (metal-free pop III stars cease to form
    60. Number density of metal-free pop III stars
    61. Average mass of metal-free pop III stars
    62. Epoch for the formation of the first galaxies
    63. Epoch for the formation of the first quasars
    64. Amount, rate, and epoch of decay of embedded defects
    65. Ratio of warm exotic matter density to cold exotic matter density
    66. Ratio of hot exotic matter density to cold exotic matter density
    67. Level of quantization of the cosmic spacetime fabric
    68. Flatness of universe’s geometry
    69. Average rate of increase in galaxy sizes
    70. Change in average rate of increase in galaxy sizes throughout cosmic history
    71. Constancy of dark energy factors
    72. Epoch for star formation peak
    73. Location of exotic matter relative to ordinary matter
    74. Strength of primordial cosmic magnetic field
    75. Level of primordial magnetohydrodynamic turbulence
    76. Level of charge-parity violation
    77. Number of galaxies in the observable universe
    78. Polarization level of the cosmic background radiation
    79. Date for completion of second reionization event of the universe
    80. Date of subsidence of gamma-ray burst production
    81. Relative density of intermediate mass stars in the early history of the universe
    82. Water’s temperature of maximum density
    83. Water’s heat of fusion
    84. Water’s heat of vaporization
    85. Number density of clumpuscules (dense clouds of cold molecular hydrogen gas) in the universe
    86. Average mass of clumpuscules in the universe
    87. Location of clumpuscules in the universe
    88. Dioxygen’s kinetic oxidation rate of organic molecules
    89. Level of paramagnetic behavior in dioxygen
    90. Density of ultra-dwarf galaxies (or supermassive globular clusters) in the middle-aged universe
    91. Degree of space-time warping and twisting by general relativistic factors
    92. Percentage of the initial mass function of the universe made up of intermediate mass stars
    93. Strength of the cosmic primordial magnetic field

  253. on 03 May 2011 at 2:07 am 253.HLM said …

    I will try to put this in the simplest way that I can.

    Your premise is wrong.

    God does heal amputees, physically and completely.

    It does happen. A friend of mine who is a missionary in Africa has personally witnessed this happen numerous times.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

  254. on 03 May 2011 at 2:27 am 254.DPK said …

    “Sometimes the answer is No. No data no evidence.”

    No is data. If you are saying that god only answers prayers in exact accordance with the laws of probability, well, that is the same as not answering prayers at all.

    We would expect to see some sort of statistical change between those who pray and those who don’t. There isn’t. But that isn’t the point, really. The argument was that god cannot be tested. How can he avoid being tested and answer prayers? He can’t.

    “So If I show you how my mother was cured from MS you would believe in God?”

    If you can show me that GOD cured your mother of MS, I would believe, sure. But I would also ask you what is so special about your mother that god would cure HER and not thousands of other deserving people also suffering from MS who’s prayers are denied.

    “The list supporting the Teleological Argument for God is growing larger and larger”

    No doubt our universe may be very different if any of these factors were different. However, as Joshua had pointed out before, it’s kind of like a puddle marveling at how the hole in which it lives fits it’s shape so perfectly. Indeed, if the laws of the universe were not as they are, we would not be here to think about it. It is possible that our universe is but one of an infinite progression of universes, and we happen to live in one that happened to be able to support life as we know it. We can’t know, but that, the “fine tuning” of the universe, does not give you the right to make up a fairy tale and claim it must be true because you have no better explanation.
    It also brings the very real question of infinite regression. If the complexity of the universe cannot be explained without a creator, then how do you explain the complexity of the creator? By your definition, the creator must have a creator, and he and he… on and on into an infinite number of creators. If your answer is that god can exist in his complexity without a creator, then why can’t you accept that premise for the universe?
    On the other hand, if the universe was designed by a creator with infinite intelligence and unlimited power, why then are 99% of all the species that ever lived on our world extinct? Not a good track record for an omnipotent engineer? Why would he invent things like gamma ray bursters that could wipe out all life on our planet in an instant? Why would he build us a home and then put planet killer asteroids in our path?
    Good argument, but not entirely satisfying to the point of necessitating a god to explain it. Do I have better explanation? No. But the fact that I say, “I don’t know.” doesn’t mean that therefore you do.

  255. on 03 May 2011 at 2:28 am 255.Hell Yeah said …

    “God does heal amputees, physically and completely.
    It does happen. A friend of mine who is a missionary in Africa has personally witnessed this happen numerous times.
    Sorry to burst your bubble.”

    Really? Limbs were cut off and they grew back?! It happens in some animals naturally, but not humans. Scientists are on the verge of doing this with stem cells. Does this mean scientists are God then? Does this mean your God is so weak that he can’t wave his magic wand for them to grow back, that scientists have to create a way for it to happen? Why does it happen in some animals naturally then? Does this mean your God only cares about those animals? Maybe only those animals get to heaven? Oh, wait, the only living things that get to heaven are humans. Is that fair? What about your loving pet? If you don’t think they go to heaven, then why do you think a certain living thing does?

    By the way, many of you believers think Jesus is coming back in a few weeks. Are you counting down? What happens the next day when he hasn’t come back? Just pick another date? LOL

  256. on 03 May 2011 at 2:30 am 256.DPK said …

    252.HLM said …

    I will try to put this in the simplest way that I can.

    Your premise is wrong.

    God does heal amputees, physically and completely.

    Claims without evidence are called stories.
    The Bible is full of them. So is every other Holy Book.
    Where is the proof of these amputee’s being completely healed, and why haven’t I seen it on CNN, or (gasp) even Fox News?

    D

  257. on 03 May 2011 at 2:37 am 257.HLM said …

    You would not believe it even if you saw it happen with your own eyes.

    Jesus performed miracles that many people witnessed and still they would not believe in Him.

    They simply scoffed and dismissed what they saw as a hoax.

  258. on 03 May 2011 at 2:54 am 258.Hell Yeah said …

    “You would not believe it even if you saw it happen with your own eyes.
    Jesus performed miracles that many people witnessed and still they would not believe in Him.
    They simply scoffed and dismissed what they saw as a hoax.”

    Sounds like anyone who has seen a magic show. Maybe Criss Angel is the second coming of Jesus? I’ve seen him saw someone in half and that person was put back together again!

  259. on 03 May 2011 at 3:02 am 259.Lou said …

    248.Ben said …

    “So If I show you how my mother was cured from MS you would believe in God?”

    If, if, if…typical.

    But let’s assume she was. How will you show “how” she was “cured?”

    I’ll tell you what, you amputate her legs, and if they grow back, then I will believe in God.

    Deal?

  260. on 03 May 2011 at 3:06 am 260.HLM said …

    “God is dead”
    (Nietzche, June, 1882)

    “Nietzche is dead”
    (God, August, 1900)

  261. on 03 May 2011 at 3:11 am 261.DPK said …

    “I’ll tell you what, you amputate her legs, and if they grow back, then I will believe in God.

    Deal?”

    Love it.
    But, since you are me, I guess that’s no surprise, huh?

    Whoever said Lou and I are the same person…. you can add that to the long list of stuff you claim you know that is also not true.

    259.HLM said …

    “God is dead”
    (Nietzche, June, 1882)

    “Nietzche is dead”
    (God, August, 1900)

    I’m assuming you think there is an actual point there. Care to explain what you think it is?

  262. on 03 May 2011 at 3:11 am 262.Lou said …

    251.Steve said …

    “The list supporting the Teleological Argument for God is growing larger and larger as scientists discover more about the universe.”

    You forgot to C&P this -

    “In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of
    their interrelationships, the indication of divine “fine-tuning” seems compelling.”

    Notice the key phrases –

    “…several of these characteristics…”

    Not all or most.

    “…seems compelling.”

    “Seems” is an opinion, nothing more.

    Rather than trying to “prove” god with science, why isn’t there simply any evidence that he does any of the things he’s alleged to do?

  263. on 03 May 2011 at 3:14 am 263.Observer said …

    259 HLM-Hopelessly Lame Moron

    Have you read Nietzsche? I believe the quote is either from the “Antichrist” or “The Gay Science”, and it runs something along the line of “God is Dead. We killed him.” and is referring to the bad behavior of our species, particularly the degenerate spirit leading to Christianity. But of course Nietzsche did not believe God was dead; he knew God never existed in the first place.

  264. on 03 May 2011 at 3:14 am 264.HLM said …

    Nietzche found out he was wrong. So will you. Sad.

  265. on 03 May 2011 at 3:18 am 265.Hell Yeah said …

    Rock Is Dead

    All simple monkeys with alien babies
    Amphetamines for boys
    Crucifixes for ladies
    Sampled and soulless
    Worldwide and real webbed
    You sell all the living
    For more safer dead

    Anything to belong

    Rock is deader than dead
    Shock is all in your head
    Your sex and your dope is all that were fed
    So fuck all your protests and put them to bed

    God is in the T.V.

    1,000 mothers are praying for it
    We’re so full of hope
    And so full of shit
    Build a new god to medicate and to ape
    Sell us ersatz dressed up and real fake

    Anything to belong

    Rock is deader than dead

    God is in the T.V.

  266. on 03 May 2011 at 3:19 am 266.DPK said …

    And you know this because???
    Maybe the same person that told you he saw someone’s leg’s regenerated told you?

    Lemme guess, did he then ask you for money?

  267. on 03 May 2011 at 3:24 am 267.Hell Yeah said …

    Dead God

    re-write the constitution
    it says define a revolution
    the end is here
    if you’re a part of the institution
    you’re not a part of the resolution
    bow down to fear

    the only good god is a dead god
    the only god good for me
    the only good god is a dead god, baby
    the only damn god i need

    dont draw your own conclusion
    submit to the grand illusion
    get on your knees
    there will be no absolution
    no final step of evolution
    the end is near

    your world means nothing to me
    you say what you think
    stand on your kings
    and when you’re all done with me fulfill your own prophecy
    gnaw skin off my teeth

    i killed your king of deciet
    chaos, come onto me, i am free
    and when you’re all done with me
    consumed by your own fucking greed
    you’ll see

  268. on 03 May 2011 at 3:25 am 268.Lou said …

    “243.Joshua said …

    “Of course it is predictable, because it is true.”

    Theists are either correct or incorrect. For the most part, they simply never will consider that they are incorrect. However, atheists simply reject their belief. As an atheist, if I saw even a little evidence for their claims of god, then I would have no choice but to believe in god. But most theists have closed their minds to the possibility that god doesn’t exist, so they will never consider that they are incorrect.

    In a way, it’s similar to the fallacy that so-called intelligent design should be taught in school as an alternative to biological evolution. Just as they won’t accept that ID is simply not true, they won’t accept that theism isn’t true.

    There’s no point into getting into deep logical or philosophical discussions about god with them. For them to “win” their argument, they simply have to “put up,” but they never do. Why? SIMPLE logic – they are incorrect. A losing proposition cannot be won.

  269. on 03 May 2011 at 3:29 am 269.Observer said …

    #251 Steve WTF? Are you kidding? What about pi? If the big man in the sky was a decent designer, wouldn’t he come up with something better than a transcendental number for his beloved in his creation? You do realize that there are an uncountable infinity of transcendental numbers? All the things you mention are related to physics. Why not something nice, and familiar to English system users like 3/8ths? Like, Avagadro’s Number is 6 and an eighth times 10 to the 20th versus 6.022 x 10^23? Is God a prick High School Chemistry teacher? Steve, you are a moron.

    What kind of idiot scrapes the surface of scientific knowledge and constructs a story unrelated to any of it to see a deity? A Christian.

  270. on 03 May 2011 at 3:54 am 270.Hell Yeah said …

    Atheism offers nothing to me,
    it never has and never will,
    it doesn’t make me feel good or comfort me,
    it’s not there for me when I’m sick or ill,
    it won’t intervene in my times of need or protect me from hate,
    it doesn’t care if I fail or succeed,
    it won’t wipe the tears from my eyes,
    it does nothing when I have no where to run,
    it won’t give me wise words or advice,
    it has no teaches for me to learn,
    it can’t show me what’s bad or nice,
    it’s never inspired or excited anyone,
    it won’t help me fulfill all my goals,
    it won’t tell me to stop when I’m having fun,
    it’s never saved one single soul,
    it doesn’t take credit for everything I achieve,
    it won’t make me get down on bended knee,
    it doesn’t demand that I have to believe,
    it won’t torture me for eternity,
    it won’t teach me to hate or despise others,
    it won’t tell me what’s right or wrong,
    it can’t tell nobody not to be lovers,
    it’s told no one they don’t belong,
    it won’t make you think life is worth living,
    it has nothing to offer me, that’s true,
    but the reason Atheism offers me nothing is because I’ve never asked it to,
    Atheism offers nothing because it doesn’t need to,
    Religion promises everything because you want it to,
    You don’t need a Religion or to have faith,
    You just want it because you need to feel safe,
    I want to feel reality and nothing more,
    Atheism offers me everything,
    but Religion has stolen before.

  271. on 03 May 2011 at 3:59 am 271.DPK said …

    256.HLM said …

    “You would not believe it even if you saw it happen with your own eyes.
    Jesus performed miracles that many people witnessed and still they would not believe in Him.
    They simply scoffed and dismissed what they saw as a hoax.”

    Did you ever think they called it a hoax because maybe it was, um, a hoax?

    Have YOU seen it with your own eyes? Have YOU ever witnessed Jesus perform a miracle?

    (Remember what your bible says about false witness now before you answer)

  272. on 03 May 2011 at 4:18 am 272.HLM said …

    As a doctor, I see miraculous, unexplainable (in the scientific sense) healings taking place on a regular basis.

    So, yes, I have personally seen miracles of healing with my own eyes.

  273. on 03 May 2011 at 4:25 am 273.DPK said …

    Ok, I’m interested.
    Please describe for us, in detail, what these miracles consisted of and how you determined that they were miraculous in nature rather than some rational explanation.

    As a doctor, do you routinely depend on miracles to treat your patients?

    You have seen amputated limbs regenerated?
    Have you published the evidence of these miracles in any journals?

    I’m listening, honestly. You are the first person I have met who claims to actually have first hand, non anecdotal proof of miracles.

  274. on 03 May 2011 at 4:51 am 274.HLM said …

    The medical literature is full of cases where patients were healed in ways that can not be explained medically.

    I was personally involved in one case in particular that I am thinking of where the patient contracted an amoebic bloodborne septic infection (he was a missionary in the Philippines) that put him virtually in a vegetative state. MRI brain scans showed marked degeneration of the corpus callosum, intra-cranial lesions in the parietal and temporal lobes, transtentorial herniations and thickening of the dura mater.

    The patient lived in this vegetative state for approximately 18 months with neurologic management taking place at Duke Medical Center, once the infection was ameliorated.

    One night, during an evening prayer, he regained consciousness. Subsequent MRI brain scans showed no brain damage visible, and no sign of any degenerative condition. He also had complete recovery of all neuromotor and cognitive functions.

    This is medically not explainable, as the brain is not supposed to be able to regenerate itself (like an amputated limb). God healed him, we didn’t.

    The last time I heard from him, he was back in the Philippines.

    There are many cases like this in the medical literature. Search it out for yourself.

  275. on 03 May 2011 at 1:44 pm 275.Joshua said …

    Prayer should be a test every time, but it ends up being another example of something that is unfalsifiable. No matter the outcome, believers usually end up interpreting the results in a way that allows them to continue god belief. If there is no possibility of collecting data that indicates your explanation is incorrect, it is not an experiment/test. If the results make the person praying happy the prayer was answered, if nothing happens it means no or not yet, if something bad happens then “god works in mysterious ways” or “it was not god’s will”. If you pray you will get what you want, or you won’t. If you don’t pray you will get what you want or you won’t. So prayer seems to make no difference.

    It does not even make sense from lots of Christian views that I have encountered. If god knows how everything will go what is the point in praying? Are you trying to change the mind of an infallible being? There are so many things about prayer that make no sense to me that go beyond the fact that every study that has examined it have found no effect.

  276. on 03 May 2011 at 1:44 pm 276.Anti-Theist said …

    #273

    If you believe in miracles (god) and it makes your life bearable; great. Atheist’s don’t care, and aren’t interested in taking away your support system. But we don’t believe in the suspension of reality (miracles.) If I believed anything you said, I’m sure you simply didn’t understand what really happened.

  277. on 03 May 2011 at 1:45 pm 277.Observer said …

    273 HLM You clearly demonstrate again that MDs, if that is what you are, and not bullshitting us, are not scientists, but extremely well-trained technicians. What you are describing is the ages old reason for religion, and at the same time demonstrating the decline of the number of gods for most cultures: Namely, religions serve as a grab bag for ignorance, and as knowledge expands the need for gods declines. We are mostly down to one god in this society, I know some of the more pagan xtians have a vestigial three, but assuming progress continues, that one will be left behind soon too.

    You may presume that medical knowledge is complete, but there are actually many folks on the science side (versus the practioners) doing research because it is so incomplete. I don’t know anything about DMC aside from their adverts for very pricey physicals and weight loss programs. I do know about other schools, such as UCSF, and while there may be a crackpot on the staff who attributes hard-to-explain cases to the supernatural, they are probably there due to a facility for cutting and stitching and not their brains.

  278. on 03 May 2011 at 1:47 pm 278.Observer said …

    273 HLM One other point, was that the first time anyone had prayed for the Phillipino? You are an embarrassment.

  279. on 03 May 2011 at 1:51 pm 279.Lou said …

    273.HLM said …

    “The medical literature is full of cases where patients were healed in ways that can not be explained medically.

    I was personally involved in one case in particular that I am thinking of where the patient contracted an amoebic bloodborne septic infection (he was a missionary in the Philippines) that put him virtually in a vegetative state.”

    OK, then show where in the “medical literature” this case is documented or described.

    Oh, wait…

    “There are many cases like this in the medical literature. Search it out for yourself.”

  280. on 03 May 2011 at 1:51 pm 280.Joshua said …

    @ Ben 249
    “The functional importance of the roughly 98% of mammalian genomes not corresponding to protein coding sequences remains largely undetermined”

    Functional importance = What is the function.

    Undetermined = Unknown

    This leaves open the possibility that the DNA does nothing. The purpose of this study was to explore this issue. A common tactic in biological experiments is to remove the thing you are studying to see if it has an effect. You quoted the question they were asking before they did the experiment. The result they found was that the deleted DNA had no effect. No one lied. You need more experience reading scientific papers.

  281. on 03 May 2011 at 2:01 pm 281.Joshua said …

    @ Steve 251

    Steve your list assumes that life is impossible outside of those “fine tunings”. The alternate explanation is that if those factors were different, life would be different. We only have experience with life in this universe and are still learning about how that works. Very little work has been done in imagining chemistries under different universal conditions.

    You are a puddle marveling at how well the ground fits you. If you formed elsewhere you would be shaped to the ground wherever you were. Similarly if the universe were different life could be different in how it worked. Of course the chemistry of life would have to be compatible with the nature of our universe. Your list and argument is not surprising. It does however reflect your anthropocentricism.

  282. on 03 May 2011 at 2:06 pm 282.Joshua said …

    @ HLM 252
    A native American friend of mine is convinced that the native ceremonies that he participated in healed him of his cancer. Should I convert to his belief system?

    I would say no to both of you. If your friend saw that happen than they have some documenting to do. I do not believe things that are not part of our normal daily experience without evidence. Period. Even then the evidence needs to be analyzed and discussed. You would want the same if an atheist claimed to have evidence that god did not exist.

  283. on 03 May 2011 at 2:22 pm 283.Joshua said …

    @ Lou 267

    I aim for the fence sitters and the opponents with an honest desire to know reality. I try to take on the role of the folks who led me to be convinced that my beliefs were wrong. I saw folks on the science side take the time to discuss evidence on talkorigins and such and waited for knowledgeable people on “my side” to show they were wrong. It never happened. I eventually changed my mind after years of exposure to reality being shown to be different than what I was taught.

    They also make good practice. On one of the previous David Barton threads I used the opposition as an opportunity to challenge myself since someone actually posted some argument for once. Of all my skills my ability to find answers to any question is the skill I try to hone the most. Nothing makes your opponent look more lazy than putting out an effort and getting nothing more than a wordier “nah uhhhhh!” as an answer. I do this for me. It is brain exercise.

    Trolls don’t exist if you can bend them to your purpose.

  284. on 03 May 2011 at 2:26 pm 284.Joshua said …

    @ Hell Yeah
    I’m saving the one at 269. I normally don’t go for poetry but that one works for me!

  285. on 03 May 2011 at 2:53 pm 285.Joshua said …

    @ HLM 273

    You are making the argument. It is your job to provide the evidence. I will not waste my time doing your job for you. If a biologist was making a claim regarding evolution I would expect them to provide evidence as well.

    If this occurred than it was documented. You know the medical literature if you are a doctor so you can find it. There is a lot we do not know about our bodies so there are recoveries that are due to unknown biology. To differentiate between a real miracle and unknown biology we need your sources. Were the original MRI scans good? Was the interpretation of the scans wrong? Were the lesions in regions that are known to cause irreversible damage? Can the brain compensate for damage to those regions? Were there any independent corroborations of this case? (I learn best when two experts disagree and argue about it).

    When I had issues with claims about this country’s founding I did the work to demonstrate my counterclaim. If you will not then you will be ignored unless I can use you to make another point.

  286. on 03 May 2011 at 3:29 pm 286.DPK said …

    273.HLM said …
    “The medical literature is full of cases where patients were healed in ways that can not be explained medically.
    I was personally involved in one case in particular…”

    Interesting. Thank you for sharing. I am not going to dismiss this out of hand, because I asked if HLM had personally witnessed any miracles and he was kind enough to share his experience. Let’s assume that he is not exaggerating his claim and that, even though this individual had been undergoing medical treatment for over 18 months, that HLM’s claim that the outcome that was observed could in no way have resulted from any of the treatments provided. That’s a BIG concession, and given just for the sake of argument.

    Still, making the jump from “something happened that we can’t explain” to “god did it though magic” is still a pretty big jump. Why do you attribute it to god, through intercessory prayer, and not say, “physic healing”, or “positive energy waves” or something else? All are equally valid claims. But you have decided that god did it. Which god? We have several to choose from. Which one were you praying to.

    Since “There are many cases like this in the medical literature.”, is there any data that shows that this type of occurrence never happens to atheists? Does it only happen, or even happen more frequently to christians vs jews, muslims, hindus, buddists, ….?

    If you can show us, for example, that these miraculous healings only happen to the faithful, and never to non-believers, that would be significant. Otherwise all you have really demonstrated is that medical science does not fully understand all the healing processes at work in the body. That’s not news, is it?

    I’m reminded of my brother’s wife, who was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago. She went through a full battery of surgery, radiation, and chemo. Their whole family prayed fervently, and after 18 months of treatment, she was declared cancer free. The family appreciated the doctors, but gave credit to god for her miraculous healing, and were certain that prayer made the difference.
    Six months later the cancer returned and she was dead within 3 months. That was god’s plan for her.

    I’m also reminded of another friend. He is not a believer in typical mainstream religions, but because of his native american ancestry, he believes in a spiritual connection with the universe, and he believes the spirit world interacts with us when we ask it to.
    He tells the story, in support, of how he had been thinking for a long time about how much he would treasure an eagle feather to display in his home. He had been looking for one for years, with no luck. One day he was thinking about finding one and decided to go for a walk in the woods. Lo and behold, after about 2 hours of fruitless searching he turned a corner and there was a beautiful specimen right on the path in front of him! He takes this as a clear sign that the spirit world heard his request and provided tat which he desired.
    OK……
    I, being the skeptic, don’t find anything particularly mystical about finding an eagle feather … in the woods… when you were out looking… for an eagle feather. If one had materialized magically in front of him on his kitchen table, ok. But the point is, we tend to see what we hope to see, and ignore what we don’t (the fact that he had been looking for years with no luck, and had no doubt been thinking about finding the feather all THOSE times too is simply forgotten.

  287. on 03 May 2011 at 5:03 pm 287.DPK said …

    274.Joshua said …
    “Prayer should be a test every time, but it ends up being another example of something that is unfalsifiable. No matter the outcome, believers usually end up interpreting the results in a way that allows them to continue god belief.”

    I don’t disagree with your point, but that largely has to do with the manner the data is interpreted.

    The larger point I was trying to make, apparently not too clearly, is that the assertion that “God cannot be tested” would preclude his ability to answer a prayer.

    If I claim, “I understand quantum theory, but you may not question me about it.” If I answer any question about quantum theory at all, that will provide evidence to you either supporting or refuting my claim that I do indeed understand it. The only way I could avoid being tested on my knowledge of quantum mechanics is to not answer any questions at all about it. As soon as I open my mouth, either way, I am being tested.

    If god’s nature is that he refuses to be tested on the efficacy of prayer, then that would render him powerless to respond to any prayer, because doing so would provide evidence of his response and would constitute a test.

    Now, if you told me, “god makes it DIFFICULT to test him.” Meaning that he always answers prayers in a way that would leave any evidence open to various interpretations, and would never violate the laws of probability, that’s a somewhat different claim. But I have never heard that claim from a theist. The Scriptures say, ‘You MUST not test the LORD your God.”

  288. on 03 May 2011 at 9:00 pm 288.Biff said …

    HLM,

    My mother was healed from MS overnight. That was 25 years ago. She still has the X-Rays with the brain mass she was suffering with. The MDs called it a miracle and so did my mother who never gave up on God and continued faithfully praying for healing.

    Thanks for the story. I have heard numerous stories like what you described. God is constantly at work.

  289. on 04 May 2011 at 12:16 am 289.DPK said …

    Biff, I am honestly glad to hear that your mom had a good resolution to her MS and hope she continues to enjoy good health.

    To my limited understanding of MS, prolonged periods of remission are not uncommon at all though.

    It also leads me to wonder how a loving god can grant a reprieve to your mom, while at the same time leave so very many innocent people to untold suffering. A visit to any pediatric cancer ward will tell the story. Many, perhaps the overwhelming majority of these children’s families pray earnestly and fervently for god to answer their prayers. Yet more often than not, god ignores them. Why?

    I would think more of your god if he didn’t answer any prayers at all. At least then, I could accept that his nature is not to answer prayers. But for him to miraculously cure John Doe of his psoriasis, while at the same time allowing countless innocent children to die of malnutrition and dysentery, that’s just impossible for me to reconcile.

    How do you do it?

  290. on 04 May 2011 at 1:21 pm 290.Lou said …

    287.Biff said …

    “My mother was healed from MS overnight.”

    B.S.

    “Thanks for the story. I have heard numerous stories like what you described.”

    That’s all it is, a story – one not worth the bandwidth you used to post it. Even if true to some extent, it’s not evidence of anything other than the fact that MS frequently goes into remission, a common characteristic of the disease. The only thing your story is actually useful for is to demonstrate your delusion, if not deceit.

    For every person like your mother, there are millions and that don’t receive any kind of healing as a result of prayer.

  291. on 04 May 2011 at 4:45 pm 291.Joshua said …

    @ DPK 286

    I understood your point. I was expanding on the subject. I should have been more clear.

    Now that I think about it we’re engaging in a logical fallacy ourselves and I should have known better. The whole “anecdote is the opposite of data” issue. If god answered a prayer complete with flaming chariots from the heavens and limbs growing back in seconds with bright lights and angels singing, than maybe anecdote can be data. If prayer is to be tested we need a large group of subjects, a control group, and double blinding. Then we have a real test.

    Of course that test has happened a couple of times and shown no results every time.

  292. on 04 May 2011 at 5:00 pm 292.Rostam said …

    Biff

    What a great testimony. I could share many a story of radical changes of people lives and healing. The most miraculous was my best friend. He was told by MDs to get his affairs in order that he only had a few months to live with brain cancer. The cancer completely disappeared within two days. It has been 15 years since God healed him. No cancer to date.

    I’m never surprised when God works miracles.

  293. on 04 May 2011 at 5:05 pm 293.Joshua said …

    @ Biff 287
    There is no way anyone here can take what you have provided as a miracle.

    Was it really MS? Other diseases cause brain lesions that show up on CT scanners, and some of those diseases resolve over time. MS progresses differently over time for different individuals. Did the brain mass disappear? It is possible that her brain learned to cope with a lesion caused by another process.

    Every time I see someone make medical claims such as this, I never see documentation of the incident. It is true that there are people who recover from diseases that kill most other people. But all you can get from this is that the person recovered. Without evidence there is no way to tell why the person recovered. There is plenty of reason to think that a person recovering from MS (or a similar condition) was due to unknown biology. This is why we talk about god healing amputees. A fuzzy blob on a CT scanner and neurological symptoms has lots of interpretation involved. A leg growing back instantly with documentation would be amazing.

  294. on 04 May 2011 at 5:09 pm 294.Joshua said …

    Rostam, Biff

    I hear the same stuff from muslims, jews, wiccans…

    I am glad your loved ones are better, but it’s never something that has no other interpretation.

  295. on 04 May 2011 at 5:14 pm 295.Lou said …

    291.Rostam said …

    “I’m never surprised when God works miracles.”

    I’m never surprised when people like you continue tell unsubstantiated, exaggerated, if not out-right false stories in order to support your delusional belief system. But then, that’s all the bible is. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that its believers continue the tradition.

  296. on 04 May 2011 at 5:59 pm 296.Biff said …

    Josh

    It really is not an issue for me that you don’t believe. The MDs tested my mom over a 4-5 week time and confirmed MS. They even declared it to be a miracle she was healed (not remission). This is not a one of a kind story. I was really agnostic at the time myself. Testimonies just like this one are available everywhere.

    The fact Josh on the WWGHA blog has doubts is a non-issue. I never expected to change the minds of those whose minds are closed. Especially the others who call me delusional and a liar.

    But there are those out there whose mind are really open and it might have an impact on them.

  297. on 04 May 2011 at 6:00 pm 297.Biff said …

    Rostam,

    Thanks.

  298. on 04 May 2011 at 6:37 pm 298.DPK said …

    Biff
    I don’t think anyone is really trying to diagnose your mom over the internet. They’re just trying to make a point.
    Years ago, I played in a club band… we played way too loud. Year’s later, I developed an annoying ringing in my ears that persists today. I went to a doctor back when my symptoms first developed, a board certified EMT. After weeks of tests, he told me I had something called Meniere’s disease.
    Years later, I saw a different doctor. I told him I had been diagnosed with Meniere’s. He asked if I ever had symptoms of vertigo or disorientation. I said no, just ringing. He said, “what makes you think you have Meniere’s?” I said “so and so told me.”
    Well, he was wrong. You have noise induced tinnitus.
    When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns.
    Why did the first doc conclude Meniere’s? Who knows? Maybe he just finished an article or attended a seminar on Meniere’s and it was on his mind.
    Point being, doctors can be, and frequently are… wrong.
    Even the Roman Catholics are very, very wary of applying the term “miracle” to anything, even thought they would have a vested interest in having god perform as many miracles as they could. It’s good for collections. But they know that most (if not all) claims of miracles are either fraud or misconceptions, so they are very loath to attach the word “miraculous” to anything, knowing full well that the odds of them being discredited are very, very high.
    I remember an study a few years ago where someone measured the number of Church “confirmed miracles” at the healing waters of Lourdes against the general remission rates among the entire population for the specific diseases involved, and based on the number of people who visit Lourdes each year looking for a cure, the rates of “confirmed” miraculous cures where far, far below the actual remission rate for the same disease. The conclusion? If you want the best chance of a cure or remission, don’t go to Lourdes, as it will drastically reduce your odds.
    I’m not calling you a liar. I believe you are sincere. But I also believe that yo are drawing a completely unwarranted conclusion from your experience with your mother’s MS because you want to believe it.
    Like the Doctor that “wanted” to believe I had Meniere’s, he was willing to ignore the actual facts present and jump to a conclusion based on his own biases.
    True, we do the same thing. We look at the position from the perspective that we don’t believe miracles occur, so we are biased into looking into the flaws of the story. BUT, and here is the difference. If we find them and point them out, you reject them out of hand. Like Joshua said, flaming chariots and legs regenerating would shut us up right quick. But logic and reason doesn’t have the same effect on you. YOU are the one with the closed mind, not us.
    We have shown you many, many scenarios where certain evidence would convince us that god was real. Can you show us ONE scenario where we could convince you god was imaginary?

  299. on 04 May 2011 at 6:41 pm 299.Anonymous said …

    295.Biff said …

    “The MDs tested my mom over a 4-5 week time and confirmed MS. They even declared it to be a miracle she was healed (not remission).”

    You are liar. If this was true, then it would have made (medical) headlines.

    BTW, what is the procedure for an MD to declare a “miracle?” Is there a miracle certificate.

  300. on 04 May 2011 at 6:48 pm 300.DPK said …

    Can we please stop calling each other liars and other names? I’m here for an exchange of ideas and intellectual debate, not name calling.
    I think it’s unbecoming and un-adult.
    I admit I have resorted to name calling myself in a couple posts where people have tried my patience. I regret that and will resolve to refrain from that in the future. Can I get a consensus that if you can’t make a point without insulting someone on a personal level, to hold your fingers? Pweeeeezzz?

  301. on 04 May 2011 at 7:14 pm 301.Joshua said …

    @ Biff 295
    “It really is not an issue for me that you don’t believe.”

    “The fact Josh on the WWGHA blog has doubts is a non-issue. I never expected to change the minds of those whose minds are closed. Especially the others who call me delusional and a liar.”

    Fair enough. If the other person on the other side is not someone I expect to convince I have no problem using them as an example myself. I certainly don’t want to be a hypocrite.

    However…

    “But there are those out there whose mind are really open and it might have an impact on them.”

    What do you mean by open minded? Open minded means being willing to consider new evidence that might change one’s belief. That does not mean that the new information will be convincing. Too many times I hear people accuse me of being “close-minded” when the way they use the term makes it obvious that they mean “agree with me anyway”. Since you are not presenting any information here I have to assume that you are asking the fence sitters to just believe you anyway.

    “The MDs tested my mom over a 4-5 week time and confirmed MS. They even declared it to be a miracle she was healed (not remission). This is not a one of a kind story. I was really agnostic at the time myself. Testimonies just like this one are available everywhere.”

    The issue here is, are your testimonies convincing? I say no. You are asking us to believe you without evidence, especially when such events should be documented in the medical literature. Forget apologetics, if events like this really happened they would be packaged together with all the needed facts, figures, pictures, and references to demonstrate them to non-Christians (or whatever). Religious tracts and other similar items would be nothing next to such material. If Christianity had the goods we would have seen it by now. But we don’t see it, instead we get “testimonies” which are useless because every religious group has them (other reasons too). So without evidence of the events in question don’t even let us pick among religions.

    A million of these stories would not be enough. A billion would not be enough. If people are being miraculously healed nothing replaces evidence. Especially for something that would be whored all if it really existed. If you give me evidence I will consider it. If you don’t, at least give a reasoned argument for why we should believe something as unconvincing as testimonials.

  302. on 04 May 2011 at 7:57 pm 302.Joshua said …

    @ DPK 299

    I’m on-board already. Every time I call anyone anything I add evidence so it is descriptive, not name calling. Of course anyone can challenge me on that.

    I don’t think that many of the theists here are liars. Mostly ignorant and irrational. They might not like the characterization, but if I can back it up and they can’t explain why I am wrong, too bad. Sometimes reality is not kind and the burn is supposed to encourage a person to change.

    I reserve the right to point out unkind characteristics that my opponents have the ability to change. (Unless the mods change the rules of course.)

  303. on 05 May 2011 at 1:51 am 303.Biff said …

    My friends,

    You chose not to believe. That is fine. You were not there, you were not one of 3 MDs and you are close minded. That is fine. I don’t believe half of what I read here either. You non-belief doesn’t change the facts. So, when you attempt to tell me God doesn’t answer prayers of perform miracles your claims fall on deaf ears.

    You can speculate, make up scenarios and call me a liar all you like. MDs do not write papers on everything that cannot explain. That may come as a shock to you.

    Joshua,

    I don’t mind you calling me ignorant and irrational. I have been very successful to have such qualifications. I have some choice proclamations for atheist but feel no need to share them.

  304. on 05 May 2011 at 2:12 am 304.Observer said …

    Biff #302 You are a gullible fool. Yeah- X-Rays are the thing for diagnosing MS.

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/multiple-sclerosis/diagnosis.html

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Multiple-sclerosis/Pages/Diagnosis.aspx

    Has it been 15 years yet?

    The reason the MDs did not write a paper was because they realized they had misdiagnosed your mother, assuming your story has any veracity. Where did you take your mother? Stanford Medical Center? More likely Catalpa County Country Clinic. I mean if these guys are using X-rays…

  305. on 05 May 2011 at 5:46 am 305.Severin said …

    303 Biff
    “So, when you attempt to tell me God doesn’t answer prayers of perform miracles your claims fall on deaf ears.“

    If there is a god, he does not answer prayers!
    You probably know many cases, millions are around us every single second, when people prayed and were NOT answered.
    I know many such cases, and I exposed a special one here some time ago, about a child of people I knew, very honest people (still living), very good and sincere Christians, whose son died in age of 5 or 6 from leukemia.
    The parent prayed, their friends prayed, priests prayed, whole local congregation prayed, boy himself wrote a letter to god (I saw it and I cryed), but boy died.

    If god existed and did not answer THOSE prayers, how can we conclude he answers any?
    We can only conclude that events occur, or don’t occur, regardless of prayers.

    In case some „miracle“ occurs in medicine, why would we say god did it, if he did NOT do anything to save a little boy?

    Can we say god killed that little boy?
    Can we say god killed millions above millions of children who PRAYED for their lives, but died?

    Think!

  306. on 05 May 2011 at 1:22 pm 306.Lou said …

    302.Biff said …

    “So, when you attempt to tell me God doesn’t answer prayers of perform miracles your claims fall on deaf ears.”

    We aren’t attempting to to tell you, we are telling you – GOD DOES NOT ANSWER PRAYERS!

    You finally admit it! We knew you have “deaf ears.”

  307. on 05 May 2011 at 1:24 pm 307.Lou said …

    304.Severin said …

    “(Biff) Think!”

    Can’t do that! It would be “testing” God!

  308. on 05 May 2011 at 1:27 pm 308.Lou said …

    302.Biff said …

    “I don’t believe half of what I read here either.”

    Then…

    “(You[r]) non-belief doesn’t change the facts.”

    D’OH! EXACTLY!

  309. on 05 May 2011 at 2:38 pm 309.Biff said …

    Observer,

    You are so precious.

    I love you man. I mean that. I truly hope you find some help for anger and hostility issues. I wish you well.

  310. on 05 May 2011 at 10:45 pm 310.Joshua said …

    @ Biff 302
    For someone who claimed “But there are those out there whose mind are really open and it might have an impact on them.” You are not doing a really good job of making an impact, well… a good one anyway.

    You have not defended what I said about closed-mindedness, and your behavior supports my point. When you say open-minded all you really mean is “agree with me”. So people who do not believe you are automatically closed minded. There is no good reason to accept your claim without evidence, and there are no “facts” since you do not point to them. You making an assertion is not a fact. I do not have to have been there, I did not have to have been one of the MD’s. I am willing to bet that those MD’s would describe the situation differently than you.

    Your attitude about our claims also means that you are not even posting here in good faith. If what we have to say does not matter than you are basically emotionally masturbating. Getting off on being able to spout a claim out at the atheists and refusing us the same argumentative courtesy that we offer you.

    In fact this logic also means that I do not have to accept claims about anything in the bible from you in the future because you were not there. It would also be hypocritical of you to try to discuss other evidence since you offer none with respect to you mother and seem to feel no need to. Thanks for giving me what I need to dismiss you out of hand in the future. I will be bookmarking this.

    “I have some choice proclamations for atheist but feel no need to share them.”
    You. Have. Nothing. Of. Value…

  311. on 05 May 2011 at 11:30 pm 311.A Romantic said …

    You like that word masturbate don’t you Josh?

    OK

    Biff,

    I found you account very powerful. Great testimony and good for your mother. Don’t expect those who use the term emotional masturbation to have a clue.

  312. on 05 May 2011 at 11:54 pm 312.Joshua said …

    @ A Romantic 310

    You really are a coward aren’t you? Just on the other thread you do whatever you can to avoid the substance of whatever the other person says. If you want to demonstrate the other person has a clue you have to cite them and show why what they said is wrong. Everything else is cowardice and rhetoric.

  313. on 06 May 2011 at 1:11 am 313.DPK said …

    I think we need to ask the moderators to institute some kind of IQ test before being allowed to post here.
    Seriously, Romantic, Biff, and this goes for Horatio as many others here… do you guys EVER answer with anything of substance? Ever? It really gets old when someone offers you the chance to present a real argument or speak intelligently in favor of your position and all you got is “He said ‘masturbate’… hehe, hehe”.
    You guys argue like a couple of 3rd graders.
    “Josh is gay.”
    I agree with Josh, you guys are not worth talking to unless you are going to answer direct questions and challenges with something of some kind of substance.
    I have heard christian apologists speak intelligently and with some thought involved, so it can be done. You guys really would do more for your cause by not saying anything rather than opening your mouth and sounding foolish.

  314. on 06 May 2011 at 1:40 pm 314.Joshua said …

    @ DPK

    I’m trying to figure out if any of these guys is a poe. I would not put it past some atheists to pretend to be an ignoramus just to force other atheists to get some practice in refutation and such.I can even approve of the strategy if anyone does this.

    The closest in my mind is “A Romantic”. Trying to dismiss my argument by saying I’m gay is today’s version of “Nigger Lover”.

    Personally I like using them for practice because there is always something I can get better and faster at finding and commenting on, or there is a new logical fallacy I can spot. There is always a way to use them for your benefit. It’s why I am as a proliferative a commenter as I am.

  315. on 06 May 2011 at 2:07 pm 315.Lou said …

    313.Joshua said …

    “Personally I like using them for practice because there is always something I can get better and faster at finding and commenting on, or there is a new logical fallacy I can spot. There is always a way to use them for your benefit.”

    The thing about them is you really don’t have to do much to engage them. They’re constantly posting such illogical, irrational, and stupid comments that demonstrate how weak their position and thinking is. And the funniest thing is that they think they’re so clever and witty. It’s almost painful and embarrassing to read their comments and think that in this day age there are still so many people like them. It’s a sad comment on humanity.

  316. on 06 May 2011 at 3:15 pm 316.Joshua said …

    @ Lou

    True but I am an optimist at heart. I am hoping that the internet and the level of International interconnection that exists today will have an impact on this.

    Nearly all the students that I interact with are obsessed with social interaction online. The rhetoric used by the theists here works great in church, but terribly online where fallacies can be easily pointed out and sources sent around. A reliance with text (even a flawed one) encourages use of media where we have an advantage because gish gallops can be more easily shot down. This is why I practice what I have been doing here. Instead of debating them in church, their children encourage a shift online where we can get into their (theists in general) little sealed worlds. We can respond to their youtube videos, we can (or our children can) respond to their facebook idiocy. Where it used to take days to research something a theist just spews out, now it can take hours or minutes.

    This is the world their children are inheriting and it’s terrifying to them because they have no instinct to look things up and defend their arguments, and they are resistant to learning how to use it, unlike us. Instead they just keep using the same logical fallacies they always have and try to ban their children from other viewpoints. Eventually kids rebel due to human nature and what was forbidden is tempting. Especially if we hit them in the ego along the way.

    Which brings me to the second thing, their hermetically sealed societies are breaking down because their children love the internet. This generation is exposed to more different stuff than any before. The last several episodes of “The Atheist Experience” involved a caller who was discussing the concern parents had for children at his church. Apparently they are watching “The Atheist Experience” secretly. They have no problem trying to expose the children of others to what they believe, it is now easier than ever to expose theirs to reality.

    For the theists here I am not proposing going out of our way to intrude into their lives and stick our information into their faces and their children’s faces. They do it on their own. All we have to do is have the material ready and appropriately targeted. In the classroom none of this is an issue. All their children are expected to do is to know the material and be expected to know how to use it. I tell them that what they believe has no bearing on their grades and if the suspect that I may have been unconsciously biased, talk to me, or another teacher if they feel they need to.

  317. on 06 May 2011 at 6:35 pm 317.Horatiio said …

    LOL, ooohh Joshua. You make me laugh so much. Thank you! I taught my kids the lies of the secularist and the atheist myself? Scared? Hardly!

    When my kids attended college they more educated on the secularist/atheist worldview than they were. They looked to engage your kind. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Why would anyone run form it? Many a youth has become atheist and then wised up later on. I am one.

  318. on 06 May 2011 at 7:05 pm 318.Joshua said …

    @ Horatiio 316

    Exactly what I was talking about.

    First a little laughing to make it seem like he has nothing to worry about. This would work if he had actually followed up with something of substance. Instead he refers to “secularist lies” and “atheist lies” without referencing and refuting them.

    This indicates to me that he simply told his kids just so stories and they are as ill prepared to debate topics as he is.

    Second his kids “…more educated on the secularist/atheist worldview than they were.” Now I feel even better about what he may be teaching his kids. If they have the same ability as Horatiio they probably need help dressing.

    Followed by no examples at all about how his kids engaged atheists and why they were right. Was part of their technique stabbing their hands with pens by any chance?

    I should surrender immediately, you might lock yourself in the cell.

  319. on 06 May 2011 at 7:16 pm 319.Lou said …

    316.Horatiio said …

    “Many a youth has become atheist and then wised up later on. I am one.”

    Wrong again. Humans are born atheist. We don’t “become atheist.” Then we are indoctrinated with whatever religion is in vogue in our geographic area. We become theist until our intelligence takes over and we understand what a delusion theism is. Well, for some of us intelligence takes over. For you, it admittedly (“I am one.”) didn’t happen.

  320. on 06 May 2011 at 8:19 pm 320.Xenon said …

    Horatio,

    A very wise move. There are not many, but a few professors taking pride in indoctrinating the young minds in college with their own atheist ideology. For those students not prepared, it can be intimidating considering the professor has the grades in hand.

    Children need to be indoctrinated with truth but they equally need to be informed of the lies that will come from the Richard Dawkins of the world. Simply expose the lies for what they are.

  321. on 06 May 2011 at 8:41 pm 321.Lou said …

    319.Xenon said …

    “There are not many, but a few professors taking pride in indoctrinating the young minds in college with their own atheist ideology.”

    “Children need to be indoctrinated with truth but they equally need to be informed of the lies that will come from the Richard Dawkins of the world. Simply expose the lies for what they are.”

    You’re no Richard Dawkins, but you are a liar. Atheism is not an ideology, and therefore one can’t be indoctrinated as such.

  322. on 06 May 2011 at 11:41 pm 322.DPK said …

    I think Xenon and Horatio have been patting each other on the back so hard they’ve mutually knocked each others brains loose.

    I still have not heard even one actual rebuttal or logical argument from either one of them.

    Xenon, I’m glad that you finally admit, at the least, that you must indoctrinate your children. Most theists I have met deny this vigorously, but you admit to it freely. The sad part is that you think it’s a good thing. You are much like the young lady I quoted in another thread who thought that “terrorizing people to accept Jesus” was a very good thing, even if the terror inspired was based on falsehood. Sad.

    Horatio, I know what your comment will be… “LOL”, right?
    I’m beginning to think maybe you went to clown college instead of university… am I right? honk honk! Do you have a tiny bicycle?

  323. on 07 May 2011 at 5:00 am 323.Severin said …

    320 Xenon,
    “Children need to be indoctrinated with truth…”

    “Indoctrinated” is the right word!
    (Indoctrinate = Teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically).

    You seems to be a pathetic miserable full of irrational hate to anyone who is not indoctrinated with same shit you are.

    If you was born in Saudi Arabia, you would become a muslim terrorist!
    In that case you would (as Bin Laden did) send someone’s children to die for god, and you would sit home and shit your “wisdom” around.

  324. on 07 May 2011 at 5:10 am 324.Severin said …

    Or, maybe I am wrong!

    Born in Pakistan, Xenon would spontaniously become a Christian at age of 1, indoctrinated in dreams by Christ himself.
    If Allah had nothing to say.

  325. on 07 May 2011 at 5:25 am 325.Severin said …

    322 DPK
    “I still have not heard even one actual rebuttal or logical argument from either one of them.”

    And you never will.
    Whan can you expect of people who ADMIT they accept indoctrination as their life guidance?

    Expect people with IQ of some 35 – 40 to UNDERSTAND something is an illusion!
    The ONLY way they can accept something is indoctrination (as admited!).

    I can only hope, and I sincerely do, that their children did not inherit ONLY their genes, for their own sake.
    I also hope their children will be patient and gentle with them.
    It is not their fault, it is mother nature.

Trackback This Post | Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply