Author Topic: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]  (Read 1468 times)

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Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« on: March 27, 2013, 05:58:36 AM »
I found this short story whose aim is to prove that God is real. Can you please write as to why this is illogical?
 
Have you ever wondered that if God is good, why is there evil? This is the perfect answer.

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.'
The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'
'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'
'Absolutely.'

'Is God good?'
'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'
'Yes.'

'Are you good or evil?'
'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment.
'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'
'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.
Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'
'Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'
The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'
The student falters. 'From God'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'
'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred?
Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question.
'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,'
he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
'Yet you still believe in him?'
'Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'
'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

At the back of the room another student stands quietly for a moment before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'
'Yes, son, there's cold too.'
'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.
'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.'

'Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.
Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold.
Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word.'

'In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God.
You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'

'Science uses electricity and magnetism, but we have never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey??

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

 The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter.

'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.'

'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'


Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the professor answers. 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,'
the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

The professor sat down.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Online One Above All

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 06:00:00 AM »
BM

Just a note to Mr. #2731: this story is utterly false.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 06:48:35 AM »
There are so many things wrong with it, it is difficult to know where to start.

It ignores the fact that the Bible very specifically has god saying he created evil.
It ignores the fact that Satan, and Man, were in the closest proximity to god it was possible to be - and went bad.
It makes a trite point that the professor teaches opinion, and faith (implying they are bad) - yet by presenting no proof for its assertions about god, means there is likewise no reason to take any of the assertions seriously.

And its conclusion - "Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart" - does not answer the question about how that love becomes absent.  If god - the ultimate good - has the power and ability, is it not an Evil act for it not to place that love into men's hearts?  And to replace it immediately should it ever disappear?

Nor does it answer the question as to why man refraining from healing the sick is bad, but for god to do the same thing is good.

In short, it is a silly story that alters the goalposts within itself, is illogical from start to finish, misunderstands concepts it tries to use as an argument, and doesn't answer the questions that it purports to.  Its a mess that fails on every level.

If you would like to discuss, please do sign up to the forum.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Tonus

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 12:07:16 PM »
Someone hasn't heard of a strawman, I suppose.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 12:42:27 PM »
Usually this fabrication has Albert Einstein as the student (Or Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam if sent in India, not sure who it is in other countries)

Stories like this will seem impressive for the credulous especially with the attempted appeal to authority. For someone less gullible, it is as Anfauglir said - rife with illogical analogies and shameless shifting of goalposts.

And if #2731 can agree that genocides or any such atrocities are "evil", he has correctly concleded that "Evil is absence of god".

Edit: Added this link http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/brain.htm which is an atheist perspective.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 12:48:41 PM by sun_king »

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 12:50:31 PM »
Quote
To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

That is the only rebuttal needed.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 01:03:04 PM »
I've seen this before (as most of the rest of the regulars here have as well).  Just a couple of comments...

First, if the professor is teaching his class that his students "came from monkeys", he needs to be corrected.  Nobody believes that to be the case.  Ditto for "evolution never having been observed", which is blatantly and flagrantly false.  Evolution has been observed.

Second, about the "not seeing God" versus "not seeing the professor's brain" thing -- it's amazing to me that this even needs to be pointed out, but brains can be seen.  Granted, most people never see their own brains because there's never a need, but there are x-rays, MRIs, or brain surgery when such need does arise.  Conversely, God cannot be seen even in principle, a fact that even believers themselves acknowledge.

Regarding the heat/cold and light/dark thing, I was going to write a critique of that, but in researching, I found that Snopes, in their own analysis, has already torpedoed it...

Quote
The claim that cold "doesn't exist" because according to the laws of physics it's merely "the absence of heat" amounts to semantic game-playing. Heat is a noun, the name of a physical phenomenon, a form of energy. Cold is an adjective, a description. To say that something is cold, or that we feel cold, or even that we're going out in "the cold," is not to assert that cold "exists." It's simply a way of describing the relative temperature of things. (It's helpful to recognize that the proper antonym for cold isn't heat; it's hot.)

The same applies to light (in this context a noun denoting a form of energy), and dark (an adjective). It's true that when we say, "It's dark outside," the phenomenon we're actually describing is a relative absence of light, but that doesn't mean that by speaking of "the dark" we mistake it for a thing that "exists" in the same sense that light does. We're simply describing the degree of illumination we perceive.

So it's a philosophical parlor trick to posit heat and cold (or light and dark) as a pair of opposite entities only to "reveal" that the second term doesn't really refer to an entity at all, but merely the absence of the first.

Source:
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/religion/a/einstein_god.htm

To which I would also add that "hot and cold" and "light and dark" are terms for which we have reasonably objective measurements (that is, degrees of temperature and lumens).  Even at that, though, they're still somewhat subjective terms.  What I regard as a very comfortable and enjoyable outdoor temperature -- I generally prefer the upper fifites (Fahrenheit) or so -- may well be exceptionally cold for other people.  The problem is greatly compounded when you attempt to extrapolate the analogy to "good and evil", where the mere existence of an objective standard, let alone what that standard actually is, is highly controversial.

In sum, as is always the case with apologetics... fail.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 01:14:04 PM »
Yep, you can tell when a story like this is made up. Because the professor's science "answers" sound exactly like what a christian with no real knowledge of the subject would make up.

Also, no professor would challenge students on their beliefs in a science class. That's not his or her job.
Never trust an atom. They make up everything!

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 01:21:09 PM »
Yep, you can tell when a story like this is made up. Because the professor's science "answers" sound exactly like what a christian with no real knowledge of the subject would make up.

Yeah.  It reads like a Chick Tract.  A lot like a Chick Tract, in fact... I suspect that whoever wrote it was probably influenced by Chick Tracts, or some other similar material.

Quote
Also, no professor would challenge students on their beliefs in a science class. That's not his or her job.

There's that, too.  In fact, this story isn't even properly proofed, for pete's sake.  In the first sentence, it's a science professor, then in the second sentence, it's a philosophy professor.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Quesi

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 01:26:08 PM »
Pianodwarf, weren't you the one who posted the version of this with the commie gay professor and the students saluting the bald eagle at the end?   Could you repost that one?  Pretty please? 

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 01:39:01 PM »
Pianodwarf, weren't you the one who posted the version of this with the commie gay professor and the students saluting the bald eagle at the end?   Could you repost that one?  Pretty please?

Oh, you mean this one?

[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Quesi

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 01:45:02 PM »
That's the one!

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 01:46:24 PM »
pianodwarf, that story is so good it should be illegal. Hope I have grandkids someday so I can read it as a bedtime story.
Never trust an atom. They make up everything!

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 01:53:28 PM »
pianodwarf, that story is so good it should be illegal. Hope I have grandkids someday so I can read it as a bedtime story.

Just so credit doesn't go where it doesn't belong, I didn't write that.  I found it on Facebook as a post from someone who had found it on Pharyngula.  I don't know where it's from originally... as with just about everything else on the Internet, its authorship is uncertain.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline hickdive

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 02:03:32 PM »
To the OP.

It would be great if you would at least extend us the courtesy of doing a teensy-weensy bit of research before sending in this truly awful piece of asinine nonsense. Then you'd know it has been doing the rounds on the internet for years and has been thoroughly debunked many times.

In addition to being discourteous and patronising to assume we haven't seen this "killer" diatribe before it is also plagiarism because it isn't your work and you haven't acknowledged that fact.

Kindly go away and try to have an original thought for yourself for once.
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Offline Tero

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 02:49:37 PM »
We can make up all kinds of sayings and stories that seem to have meaning but do not.

Example: don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution.

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 03:51:25 PM »
At least whoever wrote this particular iteration didn't make the misstep of calling the student "Einstein".

Like most apologetics, this story is superficially plausible but fails when you look at the details.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 05:52:13 PM »
I've seen so many versions of this.  But Pianodwarf's is by far the best.

It makes me feel all spiritual and self righteous and patriotic and whatnot. 

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 07:26:59 PM »
It's not PD's it's the mailbag.

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 07:42:48 PM »
It's not PD's it's the mailbag.

I was referring to the one on reply #10. 

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 12:43:27 AM »
As to the OP:

Yes, many of us here can prove that story wrong, or invalid.  It's a made up story - plain and simple.  I didn't even have to read through the entire story since after reading the first few lines I realized I've seen it and several different iterations numerous times.  It has numerous problems (apart from being completely fabricated) as mentioned above.

To pianodwarf:

Loved that story the last time I saw it and again had a kick reading through it.  Now if only the original author of it had got the name of the book written by Charles Darwin correct...  &)
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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 05:16:21 AM »
Quote
I found this short story whose aim is to prove that God is real. Can you please write as to why this is illogical?

That's a pretty tall order for a story.  I mean, seeing as the Bible, and all the great and mighty theologians like Augustine, Aquinas, and Anselm never made such a claim.  But OK, some anonymous chump on the Internet is the bestest, most amazing Christian ever.  Let's begin!

Quote
Have you ever wondered that if God is good, why is there evil? This is the perfect answer.

Not just a good answer, no!  The!  Perfect!  Answer!  Christian humility...I'm lovin' it.

Quote
A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.'
The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

Mighty Morphin' Professor Ranger!  I'm totally impressed by the perfect writing in this story so far!

Quote
'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

He's also an Arkansas State Trooper.  "You ain't from 'round here, are ya boy?"

Quote
'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

Nope!  I'm one o' those atheist Christians!  Heeeeeere's your sign!

Quote
'Absolutely.'

'Is God good?'
'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'
'Yes.'

'Are you good or evil?'
'The Bible says I'm evil.'

It also says you're made in the image of God.  Therefore, God is evil, right?

Quote
The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment.

What, you were expecting the Quran?  "Aha!  The Bible!  Whew, I was worried for a second you might be one of those atheist, Upanishads-believing Christians!  I'm tellin' ya, those guys creep me right the fuck out!"

Quote
'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'
'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.
Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

So, even a strawman in a tract can kick Christian ass.

Quote
'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'
'Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'
The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?'
The student falters. 'From God'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'
'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'

'Yes.'

'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred?
Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

'So who created them?'

Strawman atheist 2, Christians 0.  Let's see if Squirmy's first relief pitcher can save the day:

Quote
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question.
'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,'
he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

Well, our semicircular canals can also sense our orientation relative to a gravitational field (sense of balance), and let's see, pain and pleasure, but who's counting?  We've also got all kinds of incredibly sensitive instruments that can sense and record things our human senses can't.  Also, correction: "Science" isn't a person.  It doesn't "say" things in dogmatic tense. 

Quote
'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus[1] or smelt your Jesus?[2] Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
'Yet you still believe in him?'
'Yes.'

'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'
'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'
 1. Luckily for Strawman Professor, this kid isn't Catholic.
 2. Ewww.  After 2,000 years, all that dried blood is probably smellin' pretty rude.

What, no Personal Relationship With Jesustm?  In order to have one o' those, you'd have to sense him somehow, wouldn't you?  BTW, what do you say to someone who "only has their faith" in some other deity or deities?  I rather doubt that many Christians of the type likely to circulate this sort of preachment would say, "Oh, you have faith, right, I guess that means your religion is as true as mine.  Off you go then, have a wonderful day!"

So, even though Strawman Atheist has lousy form in this last bit, he's still managed to take down a second Christian.  Strawman Atheist 3, Christians 0.

Quote
At the back of the room another student stands quietly for a moment before asking a question of His[3] own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'
 3. What is this?  A capital 'H'  Has the Lord Himself deigned to make an appearance?  Proof at last!

*BZZZZZZZT* wrong!  Stupid phlogiston theory.  Maybe you should morph back to "science professor?"  Your "professor of philosophy" mode isn't adequate for this task.

Quote
'And is there such a thing as cold?'
'Yes, son, there's cold too.'
'No sir, there isn't.'

Since it's three Christians against one Strawman, I figure this must be a tag-team match.  *Reaches through the ropes, takes a slap from Strawman, climbs in.*

Quote
The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.
'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat,[4] unlimited heat,[5] white heat,[6] a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.'

'Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.
Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold.
Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'
 4. Boy, I just love it when Christians get technical!
 5. Actually, no, there's no such thing as "unlimited" heat.  Think about what the term "unlimited" means, young Christian.
 6. I hope you realize that when it is said that something is "white hot," that doesn't mean it's producing white heat.

Unless you're talking in non-technical language--you know, the kind of discourse people use in everyday speech, like poor Strawman over there thought you meant.  Let me introduce you to my Disgrontificator Ray, which I've set to teleport you to the South Pole.  *BAMF!*  Don't worry class, the teleportation is temporary.  He'll be back in a moment.  In fact, he should be along right...about...now!  *BAMF!*  So, how do you feel, 'son?'

'C-c-c--I m-mean...absence of heat?'

I thought so.

Quote
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.[7]

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'
 7. OK, who's got the big, heavy, steel pen?  *CLANK!*  'Oh, I'm sorry, that was my pen.  Trust me, you don't want to be around when I drop a book.'

Such a thing as what?

'Darkness.'

What?  I don't think I've heard that word before.



Quote
'Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word.'

'In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

Darkness isn't a kind of stuff, if that's what you're meandering toward.  Can you make Jesus more Jesusy?  Can you make God more Godlike?  Then I guess he must not exist either, right?  But please, I'm sure you have a point, so let's hear it.

Quote
'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God.

Wow, it's bad enough you're arguing against a strawman.  You've gotta misrepresent what he says too?  Please, show me where Strawman tried to argue for a good god and a bad god.  I thought he was supposed to be an atheist, not a Zoroastrian.

Quote
You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'

Actually, yes we can.  See, there are these things called 'neurons'...  Also, if your god is infinite, it should be even easier to produce evidence for him, not harder. 

Quote
'Science uses electricity and magnetism, but we have never seen, much less fully understood either one.

Seriously?  You've never played with magnets and iron filings as a child?  Never watched a thunderstorm, or had a science teacher demonstrate a Van de Graaf generator or Tesla coil for you?  Also, just because scientists don't fully understand something, doesn't mean your god exists.  We don't fully understand how to unify relativity and quantum mechanics--does that prove Isis exists?  Do we get to prove one deity per cosmic unknown, or do we get a two-fer for the big mysteries?

Quote
'To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

Really?  So, see the rocks in this display case over here?  They're not alive.  So, an absence of life, right?  Does that mean they're dead?  Should we have funerals for them?  Death is the cessation of life, which is a whole different thing than an 'absence' of life.

Quote
'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey??

Hahaha, no.  Do you teach your Sunday School students that the Trinity is a homosexual threesome?  Maybe you should try to learn about something before you try to 'refute' it.  You know, the way you'd like other people to at least have an accurate understanding of Christianity before they reject it, instead of just calling you hypocrites for being against gay rights while worshiping a homosexual threesome.  Go re-read your biology textbook until you can explain what evolution by natural selection is, then get back to me.

Quote
'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

I'm not a biologist, so I haven't made the observations myself, but a biologist could easily demonstrate to you that you share well over 90 percent of your genes with chimpanzees.  They could also show you microorganisms evolving in real time.  But you'd have to have some knowledge to understand what they're showing you, so how about this: have you ever wondered why they produce a new flu shot every year?  Why not just use the same one from twenty years ago?  Have you ever heard of 'antibiotic-resistent' bacteria?  Or 'super-weeds' that resist herbicides?  These things happen because populations of viruses, bacteria, and other organisms evolve in response to the conditions of their environment.  You don't think you're related to apes?  Go to a zoo and look at some, for goodness' sake!  Then stop by a natural history museum and look at some bloody fossils!

Quote
'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

I've just pointed to examples of the process of evolution evolution at work, as an on-going endeavor.  If you could show us examples of your god at work as an on-going endeavor...if you could show us even a tenth as much evidence for the existence of your deity as we can show you for evolution, there wouldn't be any atheists.  Your god's existence would be a known fact, and your buddy over there wouldn't have had to stammer out that all he had was his faith.  I could have a geneticist walk in here right now, draw blood from you, then some blood from a chimpanzee, then some genetic material from a jellyfish and a rutabaga, extract the DNA, and show you that you and the chimpanzee have the most in common, but that you're both also related to the jellyfish and the rutabaga, just more distantly so.  And so on, through the whole evolutionary 'tree.'  If your god made you magically out of dirt, why would you have any genes at all in common with other life forms?  Why would the amount of genes, and even their copying errors, match up so precisely to an evolutionary chart of common descent?  Google 'synteny.'  The short version: it's something that shouldn't exist if Creationism is true...but it does.

Quote
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter.

'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.'

Seriously?  You've never heard of a CAT-scan or an MRI?  What cave have you been living in?  You wanna see and smell and touch a human brain?  This is a university.  I'm sure the medical department has some cadavers we can examine.  Nothing like the sound of a bone-saw in the morning!  Let's go!  Say, you're looking a little green.  Come now, you're skeptical of the existence of brains, right?  In the case of a disagreement like this, there's only one thing for good scientists to do: put their conclusions to a test!  What are you waiting for?  If we saw open the head of a cadaver and find no brain, you win!  We could do an MRI on me, and if it shows no brain, you win!  Then we might even have to give credence to your idea that consciousness is resident in an incorporeal spirit, right?

Ah.  Of course.  You don't actually doubt the existence of my brain, because you know full well that its existence is demonstrable.  Furthermore, you know it's also demonstrable that I think with it, otherwise your cute little rhetorical stunt falls flat on its face, am I right?  There's a term for what you're doing here: dishonesty.  I thought you Christians were supposed to be against that sort of thing.  Some story about a guy coming down from a mountain with tablets, if I recall correctly.

Quote
The student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

Well, your predecessor over there said that the Bible teaches that he is evil.  If so, then I suppose you'd have to agree that such a thing exists, unless you want to start casting doubt on the Bible.

Quote
To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

OK, so let me get this straight.  I think you would be hard-pressed to find a Christian theologian who would not assert that the god of Christianity is omnipresent.  That there cannot be such a thing as 'the absence of God.'  Have you got a Bible handy?  Why don't you get it out and read Colossians 1:15-17 to the class.

'The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.   He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.'

Hmmm, that doesn't leave a lot of room for an 'absence of God' now, does it?  That's what a scientist would call a testable claim.  Physicists ought to find it impossible to mathematically model the cohesion of matter without including a function for this omnipresent sustaining activity of Jesus.  But that's not all.  If Jesus is omnipresently sustaining all things--including, I hope you noticed, the 'thrones and rulers and authorities,' by which Paul means the evil spiritual forces Christians must wrestle against, which I suppose must include Satan and his army of demons--and if evil is an 'absence of God' as you have claimed, then evil cannot exist unless your god is absent.  So, your claims are doubly falsified.  If your god is omnipresent and sustaining all things, then his absence, and therefore evil, would be impossible.  It's not as if he's just sitting on a throne in a distant 'Heaven' but not here, omnipresent, sustaining our existence moment by moment, right?  Even then, where was Satan when he supposedly turned evil?  In 'Heaven,' right?  So, there must have been an absence of god, even in Heaven.  But if your god is absent, then he is not 'sustaining all things.'  The Cosmos and everything in it is all getting along just fine without him.

You've defined evil as the absence of an omnipresent god.  Since you've got to agree that there's evil--you didn't correct your friend when he said the Bible says he's evil, and you've not claimed that there's only good in the Cosmos--then you've also got to agree that an omnipresent god is absent.  By definition there's only one way for an omnipresent god to be absent--and that is for it to not exist, period.  So, either the existence of evil proves that your god does not exist, or evil is something other than 'the absence of God.'  If you choose the latter, then you're back to square one, and you need to answer Professor Strawman's questions.  So which is it?

The student sat down.
...

A couple more things: the "boss" Christian at the end evades Professor Strawman's strongest arguments.  He doesn't explain why his god does not act good--i.e. heal, even though humans strive to do so within the limits of our technology and understanding.  The "arguments" that Strawman gets "stumped" by are dishonest (since the Christian isn't actually trying to make an argument that there's no evidence for brains, and that it takes the same kind of faith to believe in a brain as to believe in Jesus), so it's hard to count them as a legitimate "win" for his side.  Strawman scores on Yahweh not healing when the student would, if he could.  He scores on Yahweh being responsible for the existence of evil, Satan etc. (within the context of the Christian story).  He scores on no evidence for Yahweh's existence.  Even counting "no evidence for evolution" and "no evidence for brains" and "Evil is the absence of God" as "wins" for the boss Christian (because Professor Strawman is horribly unqualified for his job and could not answer them), the most generous possible reading of this tract yields a tie.  On the other hand, Strawman's arguments actually go to the evidence against Yahweh's existence (he doesn't heal, he doesn't do anything that produces empirical evidence, he doesn't do anything about evil/is responsible for creating it (hence is not good, as claimed).  Boss Christian's arguments never provide any evidence for  the existence of Yahweh.  They are designed instead, to muddy the water and try to "explain" why the Cosmos looks exactly as we would expect it to if--by boss Christian's own definitions--Yahweh is absent.  Isn't it fair to say that the author of this tract got his ass whupped by his own Strawman?

Second thing: A male professor and three male students.  Just as a matter of statistical coin-flipping, shouldn't there have been at least one female in the bunch, since we're talking about generic, faceless "default people?"  Most likely we're just seeing the patriarchal-Christian assumption that the default, normal humans are the ones with penises.  Or perhaps the women in the class are too smart to fall for Christian bullshit? ;)

"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 07:49:33 AM »
Quote from: SomeGuy
I found this short story whose aim is to prove that God is real. Can you please write as to why this is illogical?

Okay - we've done that, quite comprehensively.  Are you going to join the site and let us know what you think?

Piano, can we mail the guy who sent this in and let him know that he has been given a lot of responses?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online pianodwarf

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 08:00:31 AM »
Piano, can we mail the guy who sent this in and let him know that he has been given a lot of responses?

I've never done that before... it's not standard practice.  I doubt it would make much of a difference.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline wright

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 10:51:56 AM »
Piano, can we mail the guy who sent this in and let him know that he has been given a lot of responses?

I've never done that before... it's not standard practice.  I doubt it would make much of a difference.

Yeah, this has all the hallmarks of a drive-by posting. I doubt the originator thinks it will miraculously convert any atheists, or that he / she even intends to respond. They're just tossing their shit against the wall for the puerile pleasure it gives them.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 11:00:01 AM »
Yeah, this has all the hallmarks of a drive-by posting. I doubt the originator thinks it will miraculously convert any atheists, or that he / she even intends to respond. They're just tossing their shit against the wall for the puerile pleasure it gives them.

It isn't just that, it's also that people who write to the mailbag rarely join up here in any event.  Also, it appears that most of the people who write are under the impression that they're communicating only to the author of the web site, and they don't expect their letters to get posted in a public forum.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 11:08:52 AM »
This is my own response to the OP story.  Feedback is appreciated, in case I forgot something.

Quote
Once, there was a Christian student at a state university who had a strong belief in his religion.  He was challenged by a professor in a philosophy class to support his beliefs, and through a series of clever arguments, was able to silence the professor's criticism.  After that accomplishment, he was feeling pretty good about himself, and so he decided to try the same thing with his science professor, who did not accept religious explanations for science.

So, after the lecture, the student asked to speak to the teacher, since he didn't want to take up classroom time with a non-classroom subject.  Once they'd gone to his office, the student said, "Professor, is there such a thing as heat?"

And the professor answered, "Yes, there is."

So the student asked his second question, "And is there such a thing as cold?"

The professor thought for a moment, then said, "Yes, there is."

"No, sir, there isn't."  When the professor looked askance at the student, he clarified by saying, "You can have lots of heat, more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat, or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'.  We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further than that.  There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than -458 degrees.  We can measure heat because heat is energy, but cold is just the absence of heat."

The professor smiles slightly after a moment, then says, "Let me ask you a question.  What do you mean when you say it's hot?"

The student, expecting the teacher to be confused, even upset by his argument, said, "Well, hot means that it's hot."  He flushed slightly, because he could tell this wasn't a good answer, so the professor took pity on him.

"You mean something like the temperature is too high for you to be comfortable, right?"  The student nodded, and the professor continued.  "Now, you've known people who thought it was too hot when you thought it was only warm, or even that it was comfortable, correct?  That's because the term hot is relative, a comparison of the existing situation to what the person is used to.  We use cold in the same way.

"In science, we describe things as hot or cold based on a comparison to their environment, or to other things.  The Sun is hot compared to Earth, snow is cold compared to lava, and so on."

The student sat quietly for a moment, collecting his thoughts, so the professor asked, "Was there anything else?"

"Ah, what about darkness?  Is there such a thing as darkness?"

The professor thought a moment, then said, "Yes, in the same sense as cold.  We measure light in lumens, but we use terms such as dark or bright to describe the relative illumination of an area compared to what we're used to."

The student could tell that attempting to argue that darkness was the absence of something wouldn't fly here, so he mentally groped for the next part of his argument.  After a moment, he had it.  "Okay.  Have we ever seen electricity and magnetism?  We can see their effects; I can see a lightning bolt, hear thunder, feel shocked, and so on, but we can't see those things themselves, can we?"

The professor gives him a stern look.  "First off, thunder is caused by lightning, but it is not an inherent property of lightning.  It happens because of air molecules which, forced to vacate the area where lightning passes through, come back together to fill the vacuum created by the lightning's passage.

"Second, we do see electromagnetism, every day of our lives.  It's why we can see at all, because light is a form of electromagnetic radiation.  It's true that we don't see the electrons themselves, because they're too small, but we can certainly see their effects, such as a lightning discharge."

"But, professor, if you can't see something, only its effects, how can you be sure that it exists at all?  How can you be sure that something else isn't causing it?"

The professor smiles gently.  "Because if that something else existed, there would be evidence for it, that we could detect and measure.  For electromagnetism, we have a magnetic field, an electrical current, and the fact that wrapping an electrical current around a magnet makes the magnet's field stronger, and also the fact that one end of a magnetic field attracts the opposite end of a different field, while repelling the same end.  We also have the fact that atoms - which we can observe, say with an electron microscope - are attracted to some atoms and repelled from others, in a similar fashion.

"If this other thing existed, it would have to account for those facts, those observations, in order to be a better explanation than electromagnetism.  Furthermore, it would have to have qualities that couldn't be explained by electromagnetism, but that were clearly caused by it and not something else."

The student, stunned, sat quietly for a time, and finally, the professor asked, "Perhaps, if I knew the point you were working towards, it would make things easier?"

"Ah, yes.  Well, I am trying to show that science has to take things on faith just like religion does."

"I see.  Like arguing that since you can't prove someone has a brain because nobody else in the room has been able to see, hear, feel, taste, or smell it, you have to take it on faith that they have one?"  The student looked shocked, for this had been one of the key points he had made to his philosophy professor.  Before he could muster a response, the science professor continued.

"But we can prove that a person has a brain, simply by giving them a MRI or CAT scan.  We have ways to detect the existence of a brain that do not involve the five basic sensory organs.  Furthermore, even if we do not do those things, we can still demonstrate that it is vanishingly unlikely that they do not have a brain; they are able to reason and think, which requires a brain; we have never once found someone that possessed the faculty of reason that did not have a brain.  To demonstrate otherwise, you would have to show that a person definitely did not have a brain, yet was still able to reason or think.

"It's true that science cannot provide absolute certainty, because we can't examine everything in the universe using it.  But we can test explanations using it against everything we can think of, in order to be reasonably certain of their correctness.  Take evolution.  It's true that we have many gaps in the fossil records, because most organisms do not turn into fossils in the first place.  But the fossils we do have support it.

"Our DNA supports it - our DNA is more than 99% identical to other primate species, 90% identical to other mammals, 75% identical to reptiles, 60% identical to insects, 55% identical to plants, and still 40% identical to bacteria.  Natural selection - the tendency of organisms which are better suited to their environment to survive and reproduce - supports it.  The list goes on and on."

There was a long pause, and then the professor said, "Was there anything else?"  The student thought a moment, then shook his head.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2013, 01:05:11 PM »
So, even a strawman in a tract can kick Christian ass.

...

Strawman atheist 2, Christians 0.  Let's see if Squirmy's first relief pitcher can save the day:

...

So, even though Strawman Atheist has lousy form in this last bit, he's still managed to take down a second Christian.  Strawman Atheist 3, Christians 0.

...

On the other hand, Strawman's arguments actually go to the evidence against Yahweh's existence (he doesn't heal, he doesn't do anything that produces empirical evidence, he doesn't do anything about evil/is responsible for creating it (hence is not good, as claimed).  Boss Christian's arguments never provide any evidence for  the existence of Yahweh.  They are designed instead, to muddy the water and try to "explain" why the Cosmos looks exactly as we would expect it to if--by boss Christian's own definitions--Yahweh is absent.  Isn't it fair to say that the author of this tract got his ass whupped by his own Strawman?


This is something I've always found curious about the story.  One would think that a pro-christian story would not allow the Big Bad Atheist BullyTM to get in so many good points.  I wonder if this story came out because the author was struggling with his/her faith.  That would explain why the Hero ChristianTM was unable to answer so many of BBAB's points, and could only argue "Faithfaithfaith!"
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Tonus

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Re: Prove this wrong, please. [#2731]
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2013, 01:19:09 PM »
It may be based on the assumption that if you can prove that their chain of logic is flawed, then everything that comes afterwards can be discarded.

It may also be that the story has been evolving from an initial version that supported atheism by showing flaws in religious belief, to one that was modified to add a religious person who wins the day by upstaging his smug professor, to the versions that have followed, where the smug Christian student is stumped by another professor.  It can continue to grow as it is modified back and forth, though I think the religious point-of-view will struggle more and more and the atheist POV will become more firmly established with each revision.