July 22, 2008

Tag? Why am I it? Atheist Meme

Adrian Hayter asked me to fill out this 'originally' atheist meme, relabeled 'Atheist / Theist Meme' So here is my responses:

First, why would I participate in an atheists meme, something Richard Dawkins coined?

But if you wish, I will appease :

*Q1. How would you define "atheism"? A branch or another name of the religion, Secular Humanism.

**Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition? I was raised in an atheist's/atheistic home.

**Q3. How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word? "vague", I prefer 'Biblical Creation'

**Q4. What scientific [endeavor] really excites you? Discovery of any kind, without the subjectivity of scientists that are atheists.

**Q5. If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would it be and why? Their belief of no God. Why, because of the end result on Judgment Day.

**Q6. If your child came up to you and said "I'm joining the clergy", what would be your first response? I would ask to be more specific. A bishop or minister? If his soul couldn't live without anything else then he would have my blessings. If he means priesthood in the RCC (Roman Catholic), I would ask why he would want to be a part of the largest pedophilia group/society in the world. I would ask why does he wants to help people into hell. I would rather him be an atheist.

*Q7. What's your favorite theistic argument? Anything Jesus said, like the sermon on the mount. He is the pro!

*Q8. What's your most "controversial" viewpoint? That a building or Church isn't necessary for Salvation and/or denominations are man made.

*Q9. Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favorite, and why? Dawkins, putting his foot in his mouth in Expelled. The Movie was hilarious. Why, because Dick makes me laugh.

*Q10. If you could convince just one atheistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be? My Dad

****
Furthermore, could you possibly answer these questions as well:

How would you define theism? a polytheistic way of claiming a belief in god(s). Christianity, on the other hand is the more accurate description of a belief in our Creator (Monotheistic)

How would you describe Evolution? George Simpson described it best when he wrote "...On this subject, by the way, there has been way too much pussyfooting. Apologists emphasize that man cannot be the descendant of any living ape—a statement that is obvious to the verge of imbecility—and go on to state or imply that man is not really descended from an ape or monkey at all, but from an earlier common ancestor. In fact, that earlier ancestor would certainly be called an ape or monkey in popular speech by anyone who saw it. Since the terms ape and monkey are defined by popular usage, man's ancestors were apes or monkeys (or successively both). It is pusillanimous (cowardly) if not dishonest for an informed investigator to say otherwise." Formerly Professor of Paleontology at Harvard university. "The world into which Darwin led us," Science, 131:405:966

Why don't you believe in it? Because it's false and will probably be mankind's biggest blunder/mistake of all time. Hitler even tried to breed apes and humans to make a superior race because of evolution. Give me a break!

Now since I answered everything and played along nicely, I believe now you owe me and should place me in your atheist blogroll. I have earned it.

31 comments:

  1. Dan- Atheism simply means not believing in gods. Secular Humanism is a branch of ethics, and while many atheists can be considered Secular Humanists, others cannot. For instance, Ayn Rand and Pol Pot, both atheists, were not Secular Humanists. Likewise, Secular Humanism is not a religion, as usually understood, because it does not involve belief in the supernatural.

    And if you find Hitler's failure at breeding apes with humans to disprove evolution, all I can say is, your understanding of evolution leaves a great deal to be desired. Evolutionary theory does not say that humans should be able to hybridize with apes, but that we have a common ancestor. We do have a great deal in common with our ape cousins, but (apparently) not enough to produce viable offspring together. If you want to learn more about what evolution really means, I suggest going to Talkorigins for starters.

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  2. Many thanks for answering all the questions. As per your request, I have added you to my blogroll.

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  3. Dr. Wilson,

    your "religion" is blackmail and extortion

    Would you say that about a judge in our court system? I started a new post for newcomers such as yourself. I was long overdue.

    I do respect your opinions, I also have my own.

    Welcome!

    Zilch,

    "Evolutionary theory does not say that humans should be able to hybridize with apes,"

    I am perfectly well aware of your point but thanks. Hitler did though ans is worth talking about as another example of bad fruit.

    BTW I suggest going to True origins for starters.

    Mr. Hayter,

    It's been an honor. Thanks for putting me on your blogroll. I cringe at the ramifications though. ;-)

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  4. "Dr. Wilson,

    your "religion" is blackmail and extortion

    Would you say that about a judge in our court system? I started a new post for newcomers such as yourself. I was long overdue.

    I do respect your opinions, I also have my own.

    Welcome!"

    Dan, I am starting to think that you have become mentally ill on account of your fundamentalism. I don't want to speak for the good doctor, though as one myself, I can say that, yes, I would say that to a judge...if this were the case. So we are not supposed to point out...using the book you constantly throw in our face, that God was fine with genocide, rape, slavery, racism, sexism, and murder? That isn't the message you like to spread, is it? You like to threaten people with hell, and say, "but all you have to do is BELIEVE in my martyred god-man, and he will SAVE YOU from himself". This is sick. The say is so true, "When one man has a delusion he is called insane, but when many people have the same delusion, it is called religion". Oh, and please don't tell us that xtianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. Please! Relationships require two-way communication. Your gut feelings and superstitions are not communications.

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  5. Clostridiophile,

    When one man has a delusion he is called insane, but when many people have the same delusion, it is called religion

    OK then you "do" admit that atheism is a religion then, thanks for conceding. It started from Darwin and became mass hysteria. Thanks I am more enlightened

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  6. So Dan, if I understand you correctly, evolution is bad because Hitler tried to hybridize apes and humans. Is that what you're saying? If that's the case, we have a rather long list of things that are bad, because Hitler endorsed or admired them: dogs, babies, vegetarians, Jesus (did you ever read Mein Kampf?), and highways, to name a few. Are these all "bad fruits" too? I think you have a basic misconception of how science works. In science, something is not considered provisionally true or untrue because of who said it, or who believes in it, but rather based on its correspondence to the real world.

    And yes, I'm already acquainted with the "trueorigin" website. Sorry, but it's just pathetic. Any halfway decent junior high student could show you all kinds of elementary mistakes there. To take just one example, they repeat that tired old contention that evolution goes against the Second Law of Thermodynamics (I'm quoting from "A Theory of Biblical Creation", at the trueorigin site):

    The Entropy Law, as formalized in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, finds no disagreement with the creation model, which points to a space/time/matter beginning, followed closely by constant degradation—otherwise creation could be easily falsified via a demonstration that it violates the Entropy Law. The evolution model, on the other hand, requires a mechanism-free and consistent increase in order, complexity, and new genetic information, which amounts to an outright contradiction to the Entropy Law.

    Ask any physicist- even a Christian physicist- if the SLT is violated by an increase in order in an open system, that is, a system into which energy can flow from the outside. The Earth is of course such an open system: we get energy from the Sun, as well as from radioactive decay in the interior of the Earth. Thus, under the right conditions, things can and do become more organized. A simple example is crystals, which build their order at the expense of chemical and heat energy. Every scientist knows this- why do creationists continue to repeat such nonsense? It's like the legend of alligators living in the subways of New York: there are no such alligators, but they refuse to die.

    If you want to convince me that evolutionary theory is wrong, you will have to do more than throw links at me: anti-evolution websites are a dime a dozen. No, you will have to actually study both sides for yourself, and tell me in your own words exactly how evolutionary theory fails. I'm waiting with bated breath.

    cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch

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  7. Zilch,

    First, nice word use 'hybridize', just rolls off the tongue.

    Second, fruit isn't someones likes or dislikes. It's the result of the path they chose. Did you see the 'fruit' of that first king's choice in Beowulf, the movie? Yuck!

    "No, you will have to actually study both sides for yourself, and tell me in your own words exactly how evolutionary theory fails.'

    Be careful of what you ask for, I will give it a new post soon.

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  8. Dan- which first king? Do you mean HroĆ°gar, who asked Beowulf to help him? Sorry, I don't know what happens in the movie- I only know the poem. In fact I performed a bit of it years ago in Berlin- wonderful language, but not much like modern English at all. For my money, the best modern retelling of Beowulf is John Gardner's novel Grendel, which tells the story from the monster's point of view.

    I'm looking forward to your explanation of why evolutionary theory is false, Dan. Please don't pull the Second Law of Thermodynamics on me.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Diana Wilson said...

    SECULAR HUMANISM...is exactly why you are free to preach your religious garbage and get away with it. And, you cannot put Ayn Rand...who said to "tell the truth" at all costs...and Pol Pot in the same sentence, and to do so, shows not only outrageous ignorance, but an attempt at cheap associative propaganda that anyone with an IQ over 120 would know what you are doing.

    Finally, if you religious nut cases were in charge of this country...the bible rules you follow, in which your imaginary god "demands" that you murder, rape, abort women and destroy entire towns would be the law of the land...and you would engage in mass murder if you found an infidel or blasphemer in your midst.

    Below are the dozens of bible verses that tell us exactly what you are going to do (and have done in history)...if you are ever in charge. The "bible" and all its murder and genocide, is exactly why the founders of the US were "functional atheists" and would only accede to using the word "creator" (meaning nature) in the US Constitution, and US Bill of Rights....

    It is only American laws based on SECULAR HUMANISM that keeps you from murdering everyone who doesn't believe in your god: (see below)..from DWilson PhD
    Murder in the Bible

    You were my first deletion Diana Wilson I dub you the C/P Queen

    [in future please just link to it. Zilch was kind enough to help you out here]

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  11. Oops- diana, I think you are getting Dan and me confused. I'm an atheist. Dan is a Christian. And I only put Ayn Rand and Pol Pot in the same sentence because, as I said, they were both atheists, and neither was a secular humanist, at least by my understanding of secular humanism. This was only to illustrate the non-identity of atheism with secular humanism. Of course, there are many flavors of secular humanism, and some might want to include Rand in some of them. But that's a discussion for another time and place.

    I perfectly agree with you about the barbarity of Jehovah in the Old Testament. Of course, most Christians will tell you that these verses only applied to the Hebrews of that time, and that God has cleaned up His Act a lot since then. One can only wonder why it took Him so long, and how long it will take Him to realize that the most reasonable, rational, people can't find any evidence for His existence.

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  12. Diana Wilson,

    I am doing my best to address everyone's questions. I have been quite busy lately with the influx of emails. Since your emails have been the largest, I was going to wait until the kids go to bed before I address them. Please refrain with large C/P(Copy/Paste), a link would do just fine.

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  13. Diana Wilson PhD,

    You sound like Quasar when he was saying the same thing. You two would get along just fine. My response was this

    "If there is a direct correlation between retardation and Salvation then where do I get fitted for my helmet? Duh"

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  14. Diana PhD,

    Your whole point is an ad hominem fallacy.

    Person A makes claim X.
    Person B makes an attack on person A.
    Therefore A's claim is false.

    I don't care how retarded you believe I am, that will not help you on that Day of Judgment. It still is truth, even if you believe you are superior to Christians, which apparently you do.

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  15. ""When one man has a delusion he is called insane, but when many people have the same delusion, it is called religion"

    OK then you "do" admit that atheism is a religion then, thanks for conceding. It started from Darwin and became mass hysteria. Thanks I am more enlightened."

    No, Dan, I said "delusion". Thinking that there is a spooky father figure above the clouds that you can ask favors from, and who came down and killed himself so that he could love and forgive you is a FROTHING AT THE MOUTH DELUSION! Atheism is not a religion...I asked you to explain how it is. It is not even a view of the world, it is an admission of the obvious. I don't see a universe that works the way you claim it does. I think it is funny that you feel the need to lump me with you...obviously you feel religions are irrational. While it is very difficult to get an objective view of much of the world around us....I still require evidence, and the more outstanding the claim, the more evidence I require to accept it. This is clearly a standard that the religious do not require.

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  16. Diana,

    I must object here:

    "This too we are finding out is based on genetics, which determines the neurological architecture of the brain...including IQ. Lower IQed people are notoriously religious...because they don't have enough "brains" to sort out that which is real, and that which is imaginary. We are finding out there are many differences in the religious and those who are Atheists, or at least Doubters."

    How would you explain outliers such as Francis Collins, MD, PhD, the former administrative head of the human genome project, or Kenneth Miller, PhD of Brown University? Rational people can also have irrational beliefs, particularly when driven by emotion. From what I remember from reading Shermer, it seems that people tend to think that they are holding their beliefs due to rational reasons, but when asked why others hold these same beliefs, they will say it is for emotional reasons. Could it not be that intelligent people can rationalize irrational beliefs that give them comfort? Now, I understand that they are less common, but in my experience in academia, more of my colleagues are religious than I would have thought...and this is in the biological sciences.

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  17. Clostridiophile,

    "Diana, I must object here:...Rational people can also have irrational beliefs, particularly when driven by emotion."

    Thank you Clostridiophile at least someone here is still focused on truth.

    I guess we should chuck out the window the findings of that retard Sir Isaac Newton as well as ten thousands other scientists.

    Ah, the smell of bigotry in the air. That is why we are here Diana, to help people like you.

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  18. Clostridiophile,

    "Diana, I must object here:...Rational people can also have irrational beliefs, particularly when driven by emotion."

    Thank you Clostridiophile at least someone here is still focused on truth.

    I guess we should chuck out the window the findings of that retard Sir Isaac Newton as well as ten thousand other scientists.

    Ah, the smell of bigotry in the air. That is why we are here Diana, to help people like you.

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  19. Dan, you say:

    I guess we should chuck out the window the findings of that retard Sir Isaac Newton as well as ten thousand other scientists.

    As clostridiophile pointed out, it's perfectly possible to be intelligent and be religious. One of the smartest people I know is my good friend Stefan, who is a pious Christian. But we should keep these things in mind:

    One- it's quite possible for intelligent people to be wrong about some things, especially when speculating about things for which they have faulty or little evidence. Newton, for instance, was of course spectacularly right about a lot of things. But he also dabbled in alchemy, and was convinced that the Bible was a secret code.

    Two- while there have been, and are, many great scientists who are Christians, there are proportionally fewer and fewer of them as time goes on. The latest poll shows that 93% of the members of the National Academy of Science are agnostics or atheists. Why? Better education, coupled with the fact that it is becoming safer in the civilized world to admit not being religious. Look what happened to Giordano Bruno and even Galileo. Newton would probably have been unable to teach or publish if he had said he was an atheist.

    The more education one has, the more likely it is that one is an atheist or agnostic. Christians will have you believe that this is a result of academia being full of atheists who control the agenda. While I'm sure there are cases of discrimination against Christians, the main reason for the agenda being atheistic is that this is the default position of rational thought. For instance, when I studied paleontology at UC Berkeley, religion was never mentioned: the facts spoke for themselves.

    Even in America today, while it's possible for an outspoken atheist to be a scientist, it's next to impossible to gain political office. That's one reason I bother debating with Christians: as I've said, I don't really care what people believe, as long as they behave nicely. But prejudice is not nice.

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  20. Re: Francis Collins...and the Human Genome Project.

    For your information, I've read every single word that Collins has published...and once again, the christians lied their faces off and used Collins to prove there is a god.

    What Collins said (and I'm sure you have never read Collins, but merely repeat what someone said Collins said)...is that Nature is the designer.

    Now if you want to believe that Nature is god, or god is nature, and follows the laws of physics and logic, that's fine with me.

    However, according to the religious, god is some sort of magician, who goes Abra-Ca-Dabra, and creates it all in a big pop.

    So, I really suggest, that before you quote Collins, you really need to read Collins for yourself, and stop merely repeating what someone wanted you to "believe" to buttress your religion.

    You really demonstrate what is the difference between Atheist scientists and those of us trained in logic...and the religious. The religious can quote hearsay and rumor, and expect the rest of us to believe it.

    I read everything Collins stated on the subject, and you have not. Collins said that "nature" is the designer, and that is known fact. But "nature" is not the mythical god of the bible...not even close.

    DWilson PhD

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  21. 93% of all scientists are either Atheists or Agnostics. Now who would you rather believe? A trained atheist scientist who has brought so much good to the world...or a religion, that has no concept of what a fact is, what an observation is, what science is about...and hates anything intellectual?

    DWilson PhD

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  22. Clostridiophile said...

    Dan, the point I am trying to make here is that smart people can hold beliefs for non-smart reasons. I simply want to challenge the oversimplification that to be religious you are necessarily stupid. I agree that there is a significant tendancy to be less religious as education increases, and I think this is due to the ability to see through deception and think rationally, but again, there are intelligent people who are religious. So this doesn't explain these intelligent people-assuming they are genuine.

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  23. Zilch,

    "while it's possible for an outspoken atheist to be a scientist, it's next to impossible to gain political office."

    and the flip is true also

    while it's not possible for an outspoken Christian to be a scientist, it's possible to gain political office.

    "it's perfectly possible to be intelligent and be religious."

    It's also perfectly possible to be unintelligent and be an atheist.

    So stop griping, we are all in the same boat, let's just hope God doesn't tip it over and dump us all out.

    Diana Wilson is a good representation of an Atheist, agree? lol

    Let me break the news to you Diane. I am the only Christian here, that I know of, so direct your anger towards me, I can take it. Answer my questions and we can engage in some very enlightening subjects. You have been on a soap box for some time now, come down and lets talk.

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  24. Diana Wilson said previously:

    "What we are also finding out through research, is that persons who claim to have "great religiosity" and a belief in the supernatural have different brain states than people who are educated and logical in the way they view the world."

    So according to your wording, the people scanned are not "educated and logical in the way they view the world". So the brain scans were on people of low IQ who were religious?

    Diana said in response to my objection:

    "Re: Francis Collins...and the Human Genome Project.

    For your information, I've read every single word that Collins has published...and once again, the christians lied their faces off and used Collins to prove there is a god.

    What Collins said (and I'm sure you have never read Collins, but merely repeat what someone said Collins said)...is that Nature is the designer.

    Now if you want to believe that Nature is god, or god is nature, and follows the laws of physics and logic, that's fine with me.

    However, according to the religious, god is some sort of magician, who goes Abra-Ca-Dabra, and creates it all in a big pop.

    So, I really suggest, that before you quote Collins, you really need to read Collins for yourself, and stop merely repeating what someone wanted you to "believe" to buttress your religion.

    You really demonstrate what is the difference between Atheist scientists and those of us trained in logic...and the religious. The religious can quote hearsay and rumor, and expect the rest of us to believe it.

    I read everything Collins stated on the subject, and you have not. Collins said that "nature" is the designer, and that is known fact. But "nature" is not the mythical god of the bible...not even close."

    How do you presume to know what I have read? You've read "everything Collins stated on the subject" while you claim I haven't? Ok, how about this

    :

    "Then I went off to be a graduate student in quantum mechanics at Yale, where I was very compelled with the notion that everything in the universe can be described in a second-order differential equation. I read a little bit about what Einstein had said about God, and I concluded that, well, if there was a God, it was probably somebody who was off somewhere else in the universe; certainly not a God that would care about me. And I frankly couldn't see why I needed to have any God at all. I was in a very reductionist frame of mind. That's often what science imposes upon your thought process, and it's a good thing when you apply it to the natural world. But I sought to apply it to everything else. Obviously the spiritual world is another entity."

    "To my surprise, I found myself fairly easily compelled by his arguments about the existence of some sort of a God, because even as a scientist, I had to admit that we had no idea how the universe got started. The hard part for me was the idea of a personal God, who has an interest in humankind. And the argument that Lewis made there — the one that I think was most surprising, most earth-shattering, and most life-changing — is the argument about the existence of the moral law. How is it that we, and all other members of our species, unique in the animal kingdom, know what's right and what's wrong? In every culture one looks at, that knowledge is there."

    QUESTION: Now, you describe a very intellectual process that led you to change your worldview. What about the emotional aspect of what happened on that day, and thereafter?

    COLLINS: It certainly did carry with it this experience that life is now different. And along with that, this sense that God is not some distant concept, some ethereal, fuzzy entity. God became personal for me at that point. That really was the decision I was making, to believe not just in God, but in a God who wishes fellowship with me. That God is a God who both created the universe, and also had a plan that included me as an individual human being. And that he has made it possible for me, through this series of explorations, to realize that. It is not just a philosophy, it is a reality of a relationship."

    "QUESTION: As a scientist, do you believe in miracles?

    COLLINS: If God is who God claims to be, and who I believe he is, then he is not explainable in natural terms. He is outside the natural world; outside of space and time. So if God chose to intervene from time to time in the natural world by allowing the occurrence of miraculous events, I don't see why that is an illogical possibility. Once one accepts that idea that there could be something outside the natural, then miracles also become possible. Lewis writes about this extremely well in his little book called Miracles.

    However, I don't think miracles happen frequently. It seems to me reading the Bible there were times when miracles were occurring at greater frequency, such as in the time of Moses or Elijah or the time of Christ."

    I found another interview where Collins states he is a bible believing Christian, believes in souls, miracles, a god who cares about him and had him in mind, etc. He is clearly not a deist,and if you read Hitchens or Dawkins, they even reference him as a very smart person who has a traditional beleif in a personal God. I think it is you who hasn't read. Also, you post the numbers for scientists, without a reference, I have seen mixed results when scientists are polled on this topic. what about other disciplines? What about non-academicians with high intellect who state they are religious in the traditional sense? Also, have you heard of "intellectual attribution bias"?

    I am also an atheist, and I have a doctorate as well, but I think you are oversimplifying belief here.

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  25. Dan:

         "Diana Wilson is a good representation of an Atheist, agree? lol"
         Uhh... no. She does look like a "representation" created by a christian.

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  26. Dan, did you create "diana wilson" for a faked "conversion"?? I agree with pvblivs, something is not right about this. You click the name link and two blogs about bail bonds come up...but this person has claimed to have a PhD in paleontology.

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  27. This is an example of why overachieved boastful intellects is bad fruit.

    Hold on let me get the popcorn.

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  28. PhD in paleontology? I didn't read that but I saw the Miami Bail bond ad(blog)

    You all should know me by now, I would of told you if that was me besides do you really think I could converse like she is?

    You know (in your conscience)that isn't me but she is a peculiar one for sure. She isn't answering my questions and keep ranting how we all are liars (screaming at us), if she doesn't come clean soon as to the points that I questioned her on I will consider a bad seed and delete here from my world. The power of a god feels nice. Of course it will go to my head and I will abuse my power because I am but just a man. Take the reigns and pave the way Jesus, please.

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  29. Just a quick note- I'm sure Dan did not invent Diana Wilson. It's not his style, but more importantly, whatever Dan's faults may be, he would not stoop to deliberate deception.

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  30. Diana Wilson,

    "This is funny. I am real, I am not Dan or anyone else."

    Your right Diane that is funny. Or anyone else, you crack me up.

    You are violating the rules I set here though.

    "Keep the ad hominems out of the conversation. Personal attacks is unnecessary and wastes our time. I will delete personal attacks. Please be respectful with the language also. Just use some proper decorum, please.Limit your c/p (copy/ paste) and use links if you can."

    For that, Unless I can see relevance I will delete the three long posts you just offered. But I have them and I will address them in time. Try engaging in what is being said. You sure seem angry, I fully understand your concerns but you throw fallacies at Christians hard and angrily. Let me help if I can, I don't want anyone to go away confused. I have a great idea, it was a lesson that took awhile for me to understand. Start your own blog and post whatever you want. I can comment to you and you can comment to me on our own respective blogs. That is what most here are doing also, the take what I say to their own blogs and start a post about what I said. State your case in your own yard.

    No one here likes to be yelled at either, we are all trying to engage each other to understand each other, with decorum. At least that is what I am trying to do. Understandably we have mutually opposite goals, I want you all saved to go to heaven, and you want everyone unsaved and to go to hell. (Just playing. cheap shot I know, sorry)

    You do preach more then any preacher that I have heard though. So does this prove true that Atheism is a Religion! now forgive me but I have to go take apart a toilet because one of the kids put a toy down it or something. Why are little boys obsessed with toilets, would be a good post.

    Give me time to address your points as I wish you would reciprocate.

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