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Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 07 May 2012 12:14 am

Ministers becoming atheists

From Minister To Atheist: A Story Of Losing Faith

MacBain, 44, was raised a conservative Southern Baptist. Her dad was a pastor and she felt the call of God when she was 6. She had questions, of course, about conflicts in the Bible, for example, or the role of women. She says she sometimes felt she was serving a taskmaster of a God, whose standards she never quite met.

For years, MacBain set her concerns aside. But when she became a United Methodist pastor nine years ago, she started asking sharper questions. She thought they’d make her faith stronger.

“In reality,” she says, “as I worked through them, I found that religion had so many holes in it, that I just progressed through stages where I couldn’t believe it.”

The questions haunted her: Is Jesus the only way to God? Would a loving God torment people for eternity? Is there any evidence of God at all? And one day, she crossed a line.

Anyone – even a minister – who gives God and religion serious, rational thought can see that it is a sham. There really is nothing there. The equation is: “I can believe in a God who is silent, invisible and a real bastard if he exists. He stands by and lets millions of people starve to death, die in natural disasters and succumb to diseases every day. Or I can eliminate this ridiculous concept from my thinking. When I eliminate it, the world actually makes a lot more sense.”

80 Responses to “Ministers becoming atheists”

  1. on 07 May 2012 at 1:09 pm 1.MrQ said …

    Sounds like she was not looking in the right places.
    Most/all of the theists/bible thumpers who post here found a god/jesus at the bottom of a bottle/pill box. It’s simple….salvation comes in liquid or tablet form. Pick your poison.

  2. on 07 May 2012 at 2:19 pm 2.Doug Fo said …

    Unfortuanately it is hard to make this argument without engaging in some poisoning the well/no true Scottsman territory. The expression “serious, rational thought” leads it there.

  3. on 07 May 2012 at 3:15 pm 3.Anonymous said …

    > no true Scottsman territory

    Most religious people never engage their religion with any thought, much less “serious, rational thought”. Once they do it, religion usually collapses.

  4. on 07 May 2012 at 3:31 pm 4.Lou(DFW) said …

    “In reality,” she says, “as I worked through them, I found that religion had so many holes in it, that I just progressed through stages where I couldn’t believe it.”

    This shoots holes in the idea (and her claim) that people like her experience the “call of God.” If they did, then no amount of “holes” in religion should affect their decision to abandon god. The concept of god “calling” people is absolute and utter nonsense – a delusion.

  5. on 07 May 2012 at 5:52 pm 5.Mitch said …

    Or you can listen to the stories of:

    CS Lewis
    Lee Strobel
    Josh McDowell
    Francis Collins
    Nancy Pearcy
    Whittaker Chambers
    Peter Hitchens (sound familiar)
    Larry Darby

    who all managed to close these so called holes. The fact she could not resolve such a simple theological concept causes me pause. Other theological issues are much more thought provoking.

    Then she stands up and lies about who she is is much more troubling. Then again. the Bible warns we do have wolves in sheep’s clothing among us.

  6. on 07 May 2012 at 6:01 pm 6.Doug Fo said …

    5Mitch, more Fairy stories don’t change the fact there holes and a lack of evidence for the one they are attempting to support. They simply try to distract from the fact there is nothing to seperate the Bible from the Illiad as both are bronze age mythology.

  7. on 07 May 2012 at 6:32 pm 7.Lou(DFW) said …

    5.Mitch said …

    “Or you can listen to the stories of…who all managed to close these so called holes.”

    Except that they don’t. The point is that such stories are just that – stories, nothing more. They are anecdotal evidence that theists cherry pick in order to substantiate their delusion, this being an example.

    According to Mitch, MacBain is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – expect that she wasn’t until she “found that religion had so many holes in it.” He would have otherwise included her on his list until then. If at anytime any of those on his list reject theism, then they will conveniently become wolves in sheep clothing.

    Mitch, are priests who molest children “wolves in sheep’s clothing?” It’s a simple yes or no question.

  8. on 08 May 2012 at 11:42 pm 8.Lou(DFW) said …

    7.Lou(DFW) said …

    “Mitch, are priests who molest children “wolves in sheep’s clothing?” It’s a simple yes or no question.”

    Mitch, why won’t you answer?

  9. on 08 May 2012 at 11:45 pm 9.Lou(DFW) said …

    Another wolf in sheep clothing:

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/quote-of-the-day-mike-aus/

  10. on 09 May 2012 at 6:26 pm 10.Chris said …

    It’s a sham. Strong words. Evidence?

  11. on 09 May 2012 at 8:39 pm 11.Lou(DFW) said …

    10.Chris said …

    “It’s a sham. Strong words. Evidence?

    Specify.

  12. on 10 May 2012 at 1:42 pm 12.Chris said …

    Well, if one calls something “a sham” they usually have evidence to show that said thing is a sham…just curious if Thomas has some. Or if you do, thank you.

  13. on 10 May 2012 at 2:20 pm 13.Lou(DFW) said …

    12.Chris said …

    “Well, if one calls something “a sham” they usually have evidence to show that said thing is a sham…just curious if Thomas has some. Or if you do, thank you.”

    Here we go again – LACK of any evidence is what makes it a sham.

  14. on 10 May 2012 at 2:35 pm 14.Chris said …

    Lou(DFW)-

    You’re being a bit disingenous here now. LACK of evidence doesn’t make anything a sham without corresponding evidence AGAINST it.

    By only claiming “lack of evidence” you are saying that you have no evidence AGAINST something.

    Well, something could very well exist despite “lack of evidence.” However, evidence AGAINST said “thing” contributes to it being a sham.

    You’re only arguing with only HALF an argument.

    Also, what then, would you accept as evidence? As many of us believers say we have evidence. If evidence is lacking, what specifically are you looking for that you aren’t finding?

    Example: Santa.

    I don’t believe Santa truly exists because.
    1) lack of evidence that he truly exists.
    2) evidence AGAINST his existence.

    There’s a lack of evidence, that I see, that a Mary Johnson live is Los Angeles, CA.

    But of course a Mary Johnson may live in CA, despite the lack of evidence I find.

    However, to make the case she DOESN’T live in CA, I need to provide evidence AGAINST her.

    Do you have evidence against God? Or are you just not looking for evidence of him?

  15. on 10 May 2012 at 9:15 pm 15.Chris said …

    Lou:

    “12.Chris said …

    “Well, if one calls something “a sham” they usually have evidence to show that said thing is a sham…just curious if Thomas has some. Or if you do, thank you.”

    Here we go again – LACK of any evidence is what makes it a sham.”

    That’s only HALF of an argument. Pleanty of things have existed WITHOUT lack of evidence – such as every time we find a “new” species animal. Obviously it existed BEFORE we found it – yet we didn’t have evidence of it’s existence.

    Second, a person’s reason (full reason) for disbelief is ALSO because they have evidence AGAINST it.

    IE – Santa. There is MORE evidence against his existence then there is for his existence, thus disbeleif is the rational conclusion.

    Just saying “lack of evidence” for disbelief is quite narrow minded, and lacks critical thinking. You should be able to provide at least some evidence against God.

    You should also be able to provide what you would expect as evidence as well – because to claim you don’t see any…well, what are you looking for that you aren’t seeing?

    That’s just as bad as me stating there is lack of evidence that any Sara Johnsons lives in Los Angelse, CA.

    Nope I don’t see any, so none do.

    Basically, you have just said the same thing as to why you don’t believe in God.

    Thus, not proving it’s a sham, but that you only wish it to be.

  16. on 10 May 2012 at 9:16 pm 16.Chris said …

    er…I meant to say: Pleanty of things have exist WITHOUT evidence…not ” lack of evidence.”

    My typo!

  17. on 11 May 2012 at 5:40 pm 17.Chris said …

    Lou:

    No evidence to provide against God?

    Going to stick with just Half and argument?

  18. on 16 May 2012 at 12:20 pm 18.ajwpb said …

    Just wondering if “the evidence” against the existence of GOD has included a study of the bible, or even it’s history? Or an open ended invitation such as: If you exist, show me in a way that I will know that you are there.
    Just wondering…..

    Hebrews 4:14 Let us come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain Mercy and find grace in our time of need.

    1Corinthians 1:27 But GOD has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and GOD has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty…

    Romans 1:21-22 Because, when they knew GOD, they did not give him GLORY as GOD, neither were they thankful, but they became vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

  19. on 16 May 2012 at 4:02 pm 19.DPK said …

    So, all you have to do to truly believe in god is to truly believe in god?
    That about sum it up for you?
    Speaking personally, I was a practicing christian for years, and I tried to believe it. I asked god on many occasions to reveal himself to me. He never did.
    It is simply not possible to “decide” to believe. That is what many casual believers do… the feign “belief” because it is the social norm, but deep inside they know it isn’t true. That’s why they don’t sell all their possessions and let god worry about tomorrow. That’s why they go to a doctor when they are sick, and not a priest. That’s why when they need a job, they go out and find one instead of waiting for Jesus to deliver one to their door.
    The “true” believers are the ones strapping on the explosive vests and flying airplanes into skyscrapers. Those are the ones who are really convinced.

  20. on 17 May 2012 at 2:51 pm 20.CALL ON JESUS said …

    The time is near, the lies are great,
    The love is false, and the time is hate,
    I fear the pride,
    has served to hide,
    the wisdom needed,
    to see what you denied.

    Atheist Professor from Berkeley gets a glimpse of hell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vj0qKthCgg&sns=em

  21. on 21 May 2012 at 7:53 pm 21.Lou(DFW) said …

    “Anyone – even a minister – who gives God and religion serious, rational thought can see that it is a sham.”

    “How many times do I need to kick the dead horse of Christianity?”

    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2012/05/okay-time-has-come-im-done.html

    “I have three master’s degrees in the Philosophy of Religion with some Ph.D. work. I majored under William Lane Craig at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1985. I’m the author of Why I Became an Atheist, and editor of The Christian Delusion, and The End of Christianity.”

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/07167826997171207256

  22. on 31 May 2012 at 4:12 pm 22.Lou(DFW) said …

    This minister should have stayed atheist as he was born:

    http://tinyurl.com/6ormmls

  23. on 31 May 2012 at 5:55 pm 23.DPK said …

    Just goes to show, “Ya can’t fix stupid.”

  24. on 31 May 2012 at 6:41 pm 24.Lou(DFW) said …

    23.DPK said …

    “Just goes to show, “Ya can’t fix stupid.”

    Exactly – even his father died in the same way – morons.

  25. on 31 May 2012 at 7:06 pm 25.DPK said …

    But Lou, it was god’s will.
    The problem wasn’t with god… OBVIOUSLY his faith wasn’t strong enough.
    D

  26. on 23 Jun 2012 at 3:12 am 26.Steve said …

    I viewed the whole video presentation and thought that it was amusing and presented rather childish questions. Each of the questions can be turned around for example “Why did God design the human body so that an amputee can continue living”.
    The video references college and intelligence however there is no real attempt to investigate any further than agreeing with peers or classmates.
    There are so many natural phenomenon such as elect-magnetic fields, gravity ect. that you cannot see but can verify through observations. In mathematics there are imaginary numbers designated by i or j and they are mechanisms to define vectors that have magnitude and direction used for quantification. Even our money is basically dependent on faith because it has no inherent value on it’s own. In general I feel this presentation is intellectually lazy.

  27. on 23 Jun 2012 at 3:21 am 27.Prime said …

    Steve, methinks you missed the point.

    Also, if you call that “turning the question around,” then you’ve got a lot of work to do before you achieve the state of being able to draw level analogies.

    Further, if you want to try to turn the question around that way, feel free… after you present evidence for
    1. the existence of this God you mention (which includes needing to define what that term means),
    2. that this God you mentioned actually did design the human body, and
    3. that this God you mentioned designed the human body intentionally in a way that enables amputees to continue living.

  28. on 23 Jun 2012 at 8:56 am 28.Lou(DFW) said …

    26.Steve said …

    “Why did God design the human body so that an amputee can continue living”

    An amputee CANNOT continue living without human intervention – one wold otherwise bleed to death.

    The question would be “Why did god (if he existed) design such stupid people?”

  29. on 23 Jun 2012 at 12:48 pm 29.Dez said …

    I viewed the entire presentation and would have to agree with Steve’s conclusion. Intellectually lazy and ignores the obvious indirect proofs for the existence of a God.

    If you desire to question the existence of which God; I have no problem there. But attempting to argue on the behalf of Atheism the video borders on absurdness.

  30. on 23 Jun 2012 at 12:50 pm 30.Dez said …

    Lou’s comment of “The question would be “Why did god (if he existed) design such stupid people?”

    bolsters the position. I people are truly “stupid” as he argues then if would follow the video is nothing more than gibberish since the content and editing was completed by people.

  31. on 23 Jun 2012 at 1:44 pm 31.alex said …

    “bolsters the position. I people are truly “stupid” as he argues then if would follow the video is nothing more than gibberish since the content and editing was completed by people.”

    …another failed reframing attempt.

    typical theist sidetrack m.o. to grab a comment and gleefully wave it about hollerin, hey! what about….

    bullshit list: christ, allah, tooth fairy, santa.

    feel free to add me to the list, but it won’t change a damn thing.

  32. on 23 Jun 2012 at 3:15 pm 32.A said …

    “Why did god (if he existed) design such stupid people?”

    Another complete collapse by Lou(Raël). One minute they fawn over all the great advancements by men next man is stupid.

    Man in stupid in comparison to what? God? Then of course. From an atheist perspective what is the comparison?

    If man is as stupid as Lou(Raël)claims, then empirical evidence cannot be trusted and his wet dream of “evidence for God” is pointless for a man as limited as Lou(Raël). To complete the Lou(Raël)collapse, it explains why he cannot recognize God’s existence.

  33. on 23 Jun 2012 at 3:23 pm 33.Prime said …

    32.A said …

    “Another complete collapse by Lou(Raël). One minute they fawn over all the great advancements by men next man is stupid.”

    Like with ethics, Asstrophysicist yet again reveals that he is unable to think outside of a system of absolutes. Some people are stupid? No, all people are stupid in Asstrophysics-land.

    He then goes on to pretend that he is clever, which he does poorly while revealing that for an Asstrophysicist, he knows surprisingly little about the power of scientific reasoning done by large numbers of people constantly seeking to refute the claims of others.

  34. on 23 Jun 2012 at 4:15 pm 34.Lou(DFW) said …

    30.Dez said …

    “I people are truly “stupid” as he argues then if would follow the video is nothing more than gibberish since the content and editing was completed by people.”

    I didn’t refer to ALL people, just the those that are stupid – like you who can’t understand a simple sentence.

  35. on 23 Jun 2012 at 4:18 pm 35.Lou(DFW) said …

    32.ASStrophysicist said …

    “If man is as stupid as Lou(Raël)claims…”

    I didn’t make any such claim. Show us where I did, otherwise that makes you a liar or an idiot – most likely both.

    And stop trying to be clever. You’re not good at it, and you can barely, if at all, engage in intelligent conversation even without such a distraction.

  36. on 23 Jun 2012 at 4:39 pm 36.A said …

    Another of Lou(Raël)sharp wit “An amputee CANNOT continue living without human intervention – one wold otherwise bleed to death.”

    You know he is right. Man cannot survive if he doesn’t prepare and eat food either. One step further, if he refuses water he also will die.

    Thanks Lou(Raël). Without out you to point out these deep mysteries we would be lost.

  37. on 23 Jun 2012 at 5:01 pm 37.alex said …

    “Thanks Lou(Raël). Without out you to point out these deep mysteries we would be lost.”

    ..here’s a mystery. why not equally believe in allah, christ, ra, zeus, and xochiquetzal? because one is more believable?

    wrong! they’re all fictional.

  38. on 23 Jun 2012 at 8:35 pm 38.Steve said …

    “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” – Albert Einstein

    If I wanted to divide a number say 11 by a letter A for example it is not possible if you use the decimal system as the frame of reference. If you change to the hexadecimal notation this is possible.
    All mathematics and science falls apart at infinity.
    Functions either converge of diverge they can’t do both. I don’t agree that people are stupid we just have a limited understanding of the universe and our existence will be barely remembered. Over time we all develop our own abstraction to deal with our own mortality. Believing in nothing is not an intelligent alternative.

  39. on 23 Jun 2012 at 9:27 pm 39.alex said …

    “Believing in nothing is not an intelligent alternative.”

    ok, i give up, moron. is allah good enough? what about jupiter?

  40. on 23 Jun 2012 at 9:29 pm 40.alex said …

    38.Steve said …

    so your position is, if it can’t be explained, god must be it?

  41. on 23 Jun 2012 at 9:41 pm 41.Lou(DFW) said …

    36.ASStrophysicist said …

    “Another of Lou(Raël)sharp wit “An amputee CANNOT continue living without human intervention – one wold otherwise bleed to death.”

    You know he is right. Man cannot survive if he doesn’t prepare and eat food either. One step further, if he refuses water he also will die.”

    First, you obviously don’t understand the definition of wit.

    Second, you’re comparing eating and drinking to an amputation?! REALLY?

    That has to be one the most idiotic comments that you ever posted here – and that’s saying a lot considering how many idiotic comments you posted here.

    Eating and drinking, breathing, etc. – those things are part of the life process, not human intervention. Surviving an amputation is not part of the life process.

    But let’s test Steve’s comment “Why did God design the human body so that an amputee can continue living”. Amputate you’re head, and let us know how well god’s design works for you.

    Oh yes, you replied without addressing

    “35.Lou(DFW) said …

    32.ASStrophysicist said …

    “If man is as stupid as Lou(Raël)claims…”

    I didn’t make any such claim. Show us where I did, otherwise that makes you a liar or an idiot – most likely both.

  42. on 23 Jun 2012 at 9:42 pm 42.Lou(DFW) said …

    38.Steve said …

    “Over time we all develop our own abstraction to deal with our own mortality.”

    No, we don’t. We simply accept it.

    “Believing in nothing is not an intelligent alternative.”

    Yes, if the alternative is belief in an imaginary god. Oh, but that’s not an “intelligent alternative.”

  43. on 23 Jun 2012 at 9:55 pm 43.Prime said …

    38.Steve said …

    “If I wanted to divide a number say 11 by a letter A for example it is not possible if you use the decimal system as the frame of reference. If you change to the hexadecimal notation this is possible.
    All mathematics and science falls apart at infinity.
    Functions either converge of diverge they can’t do both.”

    Careful, Steve. I’m a mathematician. Not only can I call this shit out, I can call it out really hard. Best not to bring up mathematics like it somehow supports your case, even by pathetically weak analogies.

  44. on 23 Jun 2012 at 9:58 pm 44.MegaByte said …

    “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” – Albert Einstein

    Ockham’s razor, the law of parsimony, still holds true Steve.

  45. on 23 Jun 2012 at 10:56 pm 45.Severin said …

    #32
    “From an atheist perspective what is the comparison?”

    Anyone can be used as reference, for example myself:

    If we read “>” as “is more stupid”, then:

    A > Severin > Einstein

    (In case of “A > Severin”, you can read the “>” as “is much, much, much more stupid”)

    Capisci?

  46. on 23 Jun 2012 at 11:02 pm 46.Severin said …

    #29
    “Intellectually lazy and ignores the obvious indirect proofs for the existence of a God.”

    WHAT proofs, direct or indirect?
    You, people, rarely even mention any proofs,now, when you finally mentioned them, please tell us something about them. Show us!

    I can not wait!

  47. on 23 Jun 2012 at 11:07 pm 47.Prime said …

    44.MegaByte said …

    “Ockham’s razor, the law of parsimony, still holds true Steve.”

    You don’t feel the least bit of irony slapping you in the face when you say things like that Ockham’s razor SUPPORTS arguments for God’s existence, do you?

    Ockham’s razor is the primary reason those arguments all fail.

  48. on 23 Jun 2012 at 11:19 pm 48.Severin said …

    #36
    Who mentioned starving and refusing water, and what is the connection with amputees?

    I am happy for you: fortunately for you, stupidity is very rarely a cause of death.

  49. on 23 Jun 2012 at 11:25 pm 49.alex said …

    “fortunately for you, stupidity is very rarely a cause of death.”

    try foregoing life saving medicine and instead put your faith in god’s plan..

  50. on 24 Jun 2012 at 5:09 am 50.Lou(DFW) said …

    44.MiniByte said …

    “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” – Albert Einstein

    “Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.” – Bertrand Russell on Occam’s Razor

  51. on 24 Jun 2012 at 5:09 am 51.Lou(DFW) said …

    41.Lou(DFW) said …

    Correction: Amputate your head, and let us know how well god’s design works for you.

  52. on 24 Jun 2012 at 5:25 am 52.Lou(DFW) said …

    “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.” – A. Einstein

    Minibyte, et al., do you really want to continue this silly game of (mis)quoting Einstein to support your fallacious position? We could really get into Einstein’s opinions on human morality, and how it has nothing to do with an imaginary god.

  53. on 24 Jun 2012 at 11:59 am 53.Severin said …

    #52
    ““I cannot imagine a God …”

    I can not imagine a god who created multibillion galaxy universe and still cares for my sexual life.

    I can not imagine a god who is so extremely evil that he would never let me pass to paradise because I don’t believe in him(her? it? Why would god necessarily be a man?), but live an hones life, very friendly to all other people, and (god) enables baby killers to reach the paradise if they only “sincerely repent” and “show their love to (him?) in their hearts”.

    I said many times: if such a god existed and addressed to me, I would spit on it.

    I am very happy that such a sick monster does not exist, according to information I have.

    I am sorry for people wasting their lives in horror of any religion.

  54. on 24 Jun 2012 at 1:56 pm 54.First Manmade Cause said …

    @Anonymous, at least you have a sense of humor. I checked that “evidence” for God site and after my laughing jag ended, I thought you may want to check out why the Nazis were right on the site “Worldview of Nazis.” then if you still feel like getting more evidence, check out David Icke’s site on all the proof he has on how aliens came here and transposed into humans. When your head explodes and grows back, I have more. Thanks…

  55. on 24 Jun 2012 at 3:02 pm 55.alex said …

    “proof he has on how aliens came here and transposed into humans”

    you’re an idiot. you think that all atheists subscribe to this shit? you think it’s your god OR everything else? back to weapons of mass destruction, you’re either with us or against us?

    i like to think it’s evolution, but just to make you happy, i’ll just say I don’t know. your answer is zeus, allah, or adam & eve?

    galaxies accelerating away from us because of god? god pulled the plug on calvin & hobbs? birthers motivation because of god?

  56. on 24 Jun 2012 at 3:46 pm 56.Lou(DFW) said …

    54.First Manmade-up Cause said …

    “When your head explodes and grows back, I have more. Thanks…”

    When you have evidence of your imaginary god, then come back. Thanks.

  57. on 24 Jun 2012 at 6:48 pm 57.A said …

    “I checked that “evidence” for God site and after my laughing jag ended”

    Manmade, unfortunately that site is suppose to be serious! That makes it even funnier. There is your proof for no God.

  58. on 24 Jun 2012 at 6:49 pm 58.A said …

    “Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.” Lou(Raël)

    OK LR, lets take a stab at us. Substitute constructs out of know entities to the unknown entities to explain the first cause(s). Ockham’s razor applies

    I really look forward to this but I fear Raël just fade away with another resounding *plunk*.

  59. on 24 Jun 2012 at 8:48 pm 59.Steve said …

    43.Prime said …

    #43.said …
    ‘Careful, Steve. I’m a mathematician. Not only can I call this shit out, I can call it out really hard. Best not to bring up mathematics like it somehow supports your case, even by pathetically weak analogies.’

    I am not one but I am interested and trying to understand more. How does the simplest waveform -the step function contains all frequencies. How can this possibly happen in a coincidental world? Also for interest sake what is your opinion on the following premise ‘Science and Religion Are Not Incompatible, They Are Orthogonal.

  60. on 24 Jun 2012 at 9:06 pm 60.Prime said …

    59.Steve said …

    “I am not one but I am interested and trying to understand more. How does the simplest waveform -the step function contains all frequencies.”

    This is not a question. I don’t know what you’re trying to ask here. You should probably go take calculus, though, if I can guess where this question is meant to be going.

    It’s also cute how, like a typical theist, you assume “oh, mathematician means that he’s highly knowledgeable about every branch of mathematics, in this case including analysis, and (probably) if he cannot satisfactorily answer my questions that I read on some theist weirdo sites or thought up myself in my basement, then clearly God fits in the hole left in his ignorance.” That’s my nice way of saying I’m not an analyst. There are more than a dozen distinct major branches of mathematics, analysis is one of them, and I only studied the “introductory” level stuff there (meaning two one-year sequences at the graduate level and the standard undergraduate sequence, which considers “all three” calculus courses as one, learned “way back in kindergarten”). My fields of expertise are probability theory, abstract algebra, and enumerative combinatorics.

    “How can this possibly happen in a coincidental world?”

    What are you talking about? First, what makes you think this is a “coincidental world,” and what is that supposed to be in comparison against? A designed world? Second, I don’t think you understand where mathematics comes from (people’s brains, when trying to figure out how to describe quantitative aspects of physical phenomena) or what it is used for (see previous parentheses).

    “Also for interest sake what is your opinion on the following premise ‘Science and Religion Are Not Incompatible, They Are Orthogonal.”

    This is a cute statement. I’d probably agree with it, in a sense, although it doesn’t strictly make sense. Two vectors are orthogonal if (and only if) their dot-product is zero. In that sense, I think what this cute statement is trying to express is that the two paradigms of thought, science and religion, are utterly incompatible, that they “go” in fundamentally different directions that are completely irreconcilable.

    This puts me in mind, as it no doubt is meant to, of Steven Jay Gould’s “non-overlapping magisteria” idea, which has been thoroughly, thoroughly debunked. The simple reality is that religion makes claims about reality. Claims about reality are within the purview of science. When applicable, ALL such claims favor scientific explanations instead of religious pseudo-explanations save when the two are coincidentally the same, or when they match because of the utter simplicity of the situation “e.g. the ground is beneath the sky.” More clearly, they only agree when the proto-scientific understanding of the pre-scientific goat-herds that wrote the scriptures happened to be sufficient to match what we know now.

  61. on 24 Jun 2012 at 9:09 pm 61.alex said …

    “I am not one but I am interested and trying to understand more. How does the simplest waveform -the step function contains all frequencies. How can this possibly happen in a coincidental world?”

    you’re a fucking joke. lots of things are not understood and it doesn’t mean that your god did it. the planets zig-zagging across the sky is not god’s work.

    read the damn site and quit the pseudo intellectual babble.

  62. on 24 Jun 2012 at 9:11 pm 62.Lou(DFW) said …

    58.A said …

    “Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities.” Lou(Raël)

    “OK LR, lets take a stab at us.”

    Explain let us (you and I?) take a stab at us – who?

    “Substitute constructs out of know entities to the unknown entities to explain the first cause(s). Ockham’s razor applies”

    First of all, despite your inability to incorrectly quote me, I didn’t write that.

    Second, define “first cause(s).”

  63. on 24 Jun 2012 at 9:13 pm 63.Lou(DFW) said …

    62.Lou(DFW) said …

    Correction:

    Despite your inability to correctly quote me, I didn’t write that.

  64. on 25 Jun 2012 at 12:27 am 64.A said …

    “you assume “oh, mathematician means that he’s highly knowledgeable about every branch of mathematics, in this case including analysis”

    No, it means you claimed you would “call out” his BS. You failed and have been schooled. Well done Steve.

    Maybe you stop shooting off your mouth unless you can back up your grandstanding. Nobody asked what you did and the fact you must trumpet your occupation means you probably teach Algebra I at the local Jr High. Next time spell Gould’s name correctly and criticism by Dawkins of NOMA does not equal debunked. When you make it to Harvard let us know.

    Lou(Raël)

    When you need to ask to define first cause, I already know you can’t back up you quote. Before quoting someone, understand what they are saying.
    (sigh)

    Its OK, I knew that would be the case.

  65. on 25 Jun 2012 at 12:44 am 65.alex said …

    64.A said …

    another anonymous moron. oh look, the atheist is an old, smelly, stinkin midget! he is not what he looks! his message is flawed, therefore god is great!

    sidetrack attempt exposed and dismissed. now, about your god?

  66. on 25 Jun 2012 at 2:00 am 66.Lou(DFW) said …

    64.ASStrophysicist said …

    “Maybe you stop shooting off your mouth unless you can back up your grandstanding.”

    Like when you claim you are an astrophysicist.

  67. on 25 Jun 2012 at 2:27 am 67.Lou(DFW) said …

    64.ASStrophysicist said …

    “When you need to ask to define first cause, I already know you can’t back up you quote. Before quoting someone, understand what they are saying.”

    What is the meaning of “back up you[r] quote?” How does one “back up” a quote? Or do you mean that I must explain what the quote means before I can post it, as in you can’t make a claim unless you can “back up” that claim, as in god exists?

    First of all, I only posted that quote in response to the erroneous applications of quotes posted here by theists in a vain attempt to support their belief in an imaginary god while avoiding the fact that they don’t have any such evidence, and as an example of Occam’s Razor.

    Second, your challenge to me to “Substitute constructs out of know entities to the unknown entities to explain the first cause(s)” is yet just another attempt to deflect attention from the fact that you don’t have evidence for your imaginary god. Furthermore, the introduction of “first cause” is another example of theists attempt to shift the burden of proof from their claim that god created the universe.

    Apparently for you, the only evidence for god is a philosophical argument. Oh yea, and misquoting famous scientists and philosophers. What’s next – it’s in the bible?

  68. on 25 Jun 2012 at 2:55 am 68.Martin said …

    ‘Careful, Steve. I’m a mathematician. Not only can I call this shit out, I can call it out really hard. Best not to bring up mathematics like it somehow supports your case, even by pathetically weak analogies.’

    Appealing to authority and then putting themselves as the authority. Some strong inadequacy issues are prevalent here.

  69. on 25 Jun 2012 at 3:36 am 69.Prime said …

    Children, I did not receive a request to debunk Steve’s obvious mathematical tomfoolery, so I didn’t do it. We call that being respectful, something you douches don’t have the first idea of. Steve, hopefully in not being as dumb as you jackasses, didn’t push me on my request, probably knowing that he’s legitimately outclassed in this regard. You can call it dodging if you want, but I’ll stop dodging that if you’d really like. You’re going to embarrass your ally, Steve, and yourselves in the process, though. You’ve already embarrassed yourself by saying I failed before I even attempted to do something, and I assure you, you fool, I can back up what I said and will if Steve, not you, asks.

    Perhaps, since you want to call me out for stating my occupation (trumpeting it, actually), maybe you should read where I put it, indicating that I was announcing a relevant fact to someone who might be about to try some shit by using math, which most people know most people can’t handle. I do not teach at a junior high school. In fact, I’ve taught at three American universities, including a big research school and a small private college. None of those schools is Harvard, though, which I have no ambition to try to get into. High-pressure research isn’t my bag. Kudos to those that do it. I’ve published a couple of papers and am done with that for now.

    You’ve got to be shitting me that you think misspelling Gould’s name has anything to do with anything. Jesus Tittyfucking Christ. His NOMA has been debunked by more than just Dawkins also, fwiw. If you had spent time reading things beyond stuff that fluffs your pre-existing notions of the world, you’d know that fact well.

    As for authority, it is meaningful to announce one’s authority and appeal to it in situations when that authority is relevant to the discussion topic. For instance, if you hit your head and needed advice for a closed head injury, announcing that I am an MD, particularly a neurologist, or a nurse would be relevant to the discussion and would add merit to the advice that I give. This is hardly an inadequacy issue. It’s a simple statement that you’re not going to be able to bullshit me about math and a warning to those who will try: you will probably be embarrassed if you do.

  70. on 25 Jun 2012 at 3:48 am 70.Lou(DFW) said …

    69.Prime said …

    “As for authority, it is meaningful to announce one’s authority and appeal to it in situations when that authority is relevant to the discussion topic. For instance, if you hit your head and needed advice for a closed head injury, announcing that I am an MD, particularly a neurologist, or a nurse would be relevant to the discussion and would add merit to the advice that I give.”

    I think you lost them there (appeal to authority). After all, you’re dealing with people like ASStrophysicist who think that sock-puppetry is appending Raël to my name.

  71. on 25 Jun 2012 at 3:50 am 71.Lou(DFW) said …

    ASStrophysicist, I’m still waiting for your reply to:

    32.ASStrophysicist said …

    “If man is as stupid as Lou(Raël)claims…”

    I didn’t make any such claim. Show us where I did, otherwise that makes you a liar or an idiot – most likely both.

  72. on 25 Jun 2012 at 5:29 am 72.Severin said …

    #59
    “How can this possibly happen in a coincidental world? ”

    Who mentioned coincidental world?
    Sorry, but the universe, including our world, is not coincidental.
    Only theists insist all the time on that crap.

    Everything in the universe runs according to precise laws of physics, all the time, no exception.
    Heat will ALWAYS run from warmer to colder. Negative and positive charges will ALWAYS mutually attract. Anything having mass will always attract anything else (including something that have no mass, like light).
    Water will always turn to vapor at certain temperature, and to ice at other temperature.
    Atoms of iron will vibrate EXACTLY within known and measurable paths at different temperatures.

    “Coincidence”, “luck”, “chance”, … are the names that people gave to sequences of events that are unobservable in details, so we can’t predict their consequences without billions of calculations. BUT, inside ANY of such events, NOTHING is ever “coincidental”.
    Go to school!

  73. on 25 Jun 2012 at 5:47 am 73.Severin said …

    #58
    “OK LR, lets take a stab at us. Substitute constructs out of know entities to the unknown entities to explain the first cause(s).”

    I have no need to explain the “first cause”, because I don’t think there is one.

    If you imagine the cause – effect line a straight line, then your “first cause” can’t work. Simply, as YOU, HEIST claim all the time, EVERYTHING MUST HAVE A CAUSE, so I can’t see why god would be an exception (unless god is not “everything”, in which case (he?) is nothing).

    If you imagine the cause – effect line a closed line (like a circle, or something similar), then we don’t need a god.

    One statement can illustrate (not prove, but idea seems to be rational) it: matter/energy was NOT “created”. It “just existed”, it was always present “per se”, it never disapeared, it just changed its form according to strict laws of physics.
    So, if you like, you are free to name matter/energy a “god”.
    No cause!

  74. on 25 Jun 2012 at 5:56 am 74.Severin said …

    “HEIST” = THEISTS

    So, you could name the matter/energy (+space/time) an “axiom”.

    BTW, which god was the “first cause”?

    If we, for the sake of debate, accept a god as a “first case”, then that god has nothing to do with any of religions that ever existed on earth.
    I can’t imagine an allmighty creator who created the huge universe, together with enormously complicated laws of physics that run it, watching me when I have sex with my neighbor’s wife and waving his finger threatening me with hell.

    That sounds really ridiculous!

  75. on 25 Jun 2012 at 11:46 am 75.Lou(DFW) said …

    73.Severin said …

    “I have no need to explain the “first cause”, because I don’t think there is one.”

    That’s why I wrote define “first cause(s).”

  76. on 05 Jul 2012 at 6:02 am 76.Believer said …

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some things we simply have to agree to disagree about.

    I believe in God. If that makes me a moron to you, then so be it. I don’t need anyone to validate my intelligence for me.

    If you choose not to believe in God, then so be it. We are all allowed to believe what we want or do not want to believe.

    If you are a believer; however, I don’t think it’s really all that intelligent to use profanity and to figuratively decapitate athiests, agnostics or other non-believers to proof your so-called belief in a loving Christ.

    I choose to respect everyone, whether I consider them my intellectual equal or not. I don’t claim to know all the answers regarding the God I believe in, but I do think my belief in God and science can co-exist and, in fact, complement one another.

    Whether or not you believe, I wish grace and peace for you.

  77. on 05 Jul 2012 at 12:02 pm 77.alex said …

    “Whether or not you believe, I wish grace and peace for you.”

    i wish you the same. now:

    1. you think gays are what they are and should be allowed to marry?
    2. women are equal to men and should be afforded the same opportunities.
    3. religious practice should be private and out of the government?
    4. muslims and other religions should be tolerated?

    “I choose to respect everyone, whether I consider them my intellectual equal or not.”

    let’s see your true color. we could be cool.

  78. on 05 Jul 2012 at 1:48 pm 78.anastasia said …

    Is this an outbreak of peace?

    It might be if the theists keep their religious practices to themselves and as Alex says out of government

    I think this is the key point, if religious belief were a private thing that did not try and impose itself on others, most atheists would be ok with that. Were all free to believe what we want after all.

    sadly though, this isn’t what we see in societies the world over there is indoctrination, predudice, lack of popportunity, intolerence etc. precisely because of religious belief.

    I wish it wasn’t so, if more people were like #76 Believer, then perhaps things could get better.

    Peace :)

  79. on 05 Jul 2012 at 4:15 pm 79.DPK said …

    Amen.
    The world is fully of people who believe insane things… It isn’t a problem for me until they try to force their silly superstitions on us. I DO however, still have a problem with the practice of indoctrinating children into a particular religion until they are old enough to make judgements themselves. I also have a problem with religious myths being taught as science in schools, and I have a problem with churches being allowed to run their hugely profitable businesses tax free. I understand the idea of keeping churches off the tax rolls is supposed to prevent those churches from wielding undo financial influence in government. But, that ship has sailed, no? Lets tax the churches like the businesses they are and make them pay their fair share like the rest of us.
    Aside from that, if you want to believe you have a personal relationship with an invisible man who reads your thoughts and will cast you into hell fire and torment for all eternity for the crime of not worshiping him… well, have at it.
    Having a religion is like having a dick. It’s ok to have one, just don’t go waving it around in public, and don’t try to shove it down my throat.

  80. on 05 Jul 2012 at 5:02 pm 80.anastasia said …

    Liking the dick analogy :)

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