November 17, 2008

Belief System of Atheism

A Wake-up Call to Christians.

"Christianity is under attack over the world. In secular school, on television, on radio, in literature, etc., Christianity is increasingly insulted and dismissed as an antiquated philosophy." (CARM)

I just read an article that, admittedly, angered me slightly. We need to realize that atheists are trying to censor everyone that contradicts their belief system. In a sense, pushing their religion over others.

Granted this article is from Canada but if this trend/mindset continues we all will see a vast eradication of God and the new world order and the religion of atheism will rein. Do we really want to be the generation that allows this to happen?

Rob Breakenridge with the Calgary Herold writes:

What's turned this speech into a public controversy is the push by a group of atheists at the U of A to remove a line from the traditional convocation speech, which urges grads to use their degrees for "the glory of God and the honour of your country."

Breakenridge, biased in his beliefs, continues:

Moreover, if the atheists really were trying to "force their views" then they wouldn't be asking for words to be dropped from the speech, they'd be asking for words to be changed: "emptiness" instead of "glory", or something to that end.

Atheism is a belief -- specifically unbelief -- that is as deserving of protection under freedom of religion as any other belief.


This is pure garbage. If atheists believe in "no God" and they remove "God" (from the publics eye) they are indeed promoting one religion of "no God" or belief system over another. Here in the states Atheism is, in fact a religion, and I perfectly agree that they should be allowed to worship whomever they wish, even if it is themselves. The point of all this is to realize one fatal flaw with this subject and article.

Atheism is a belief in the denial of God. So if they get there wish and eradicate the word "God" in schools and government then their agenda of 'no God' wins! The new religion will be atheism throughout the lands. Taking out prayer in schools or not allowing "God" in science or public area's are all pushing the agenda and religion of Atheism.

Remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said:

"Christians should not be a thermometers that merely record and reflect the temperature of popular opinion.

Christians should be like thermostats, responsible for transforming and setting the temperature or standards of society
" (Thank God free at last!)

We are letting Doctor King and most of all, God, down. Unite, fight, and never give up proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Who cares if atheists want us to bow to their god of self, like satanists (CoS). Their god of this world has already been defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ!

In our military USMJ: "899. ART. 99. 'MISBEHAVIOR BEFORE THE ENEMY,' the penalty of deserting your post during a war time situation is "death". If you haven't noticed, we are indeed in a spiritual war. (Ephesians 6:12)

So why are we bowing to the wishes of atheists? Does God want us to be PC or bold? (Hebrews 13:6) Is that what we are commanded to do by God? We are better then this (Ephesians 2:2), (1 John 4:4-6). We are to be soldiers in Christ, so please act accordingly! Never desert your post! Never cease!

180 comments:

  1. 1. Linking to your own exposed misunderstanding of the UCMJ is hardly appropriate. You should obviously have actually linked to Aricle 99 of the UCMJ instead.

    2. What utter poppycock.

    Imagine for a moment that the convocation speech at the University of Alberta instead contained the phrase, "the glory of Allah and the honour of your country." If this were the case, I'm sure you would agree with the atheists.

    Likewise, if the speech in question excluded mention of the word "god", you must recognize that the insertion of a phrase like "the glory of God and the honour of your country" would constitute (pun intended) the unconstitutional (in the U.S., that is) affirmation of a particular group of religions.

    If you are so artificial as to suggest that I have spoken falsely, then you are also a liar. I suspect you are not, however, so I encourage you to respond with a reasoned explanation.

    Would you be more satisfied if the proposal were to amend the speech to say, for example, the following:

    ...the glory of God, or Allah, or Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever force/power/being/concept you recognize as praiseworthy -- including a denial of any such force/power/being/concept -- and the honour of your country...

    Would this satisfy you?

    I should think not.

    Obviously, an overly inclusive amendment to this speech, or similar statements, is both absurd and impossible. The obvious, and correct, solution is the exclusion of any mention of a deity, religion, or philosophy. No, this does not imply approval of Atheism, and no, it does not tread on your pet belief(s) -- rather, it is fair to all.

    Perhaps the following you'd find more palatable:

    ...the glory of whatever your beliefs will allow or deny, and the honour of your country...

    Wait! Better yet, how about this:

    ...the honour of your country...

    (with no mention of belief or philosophy other than nationalistic pride)

    What's the problem with this, again?

    Recognize, Dan, that the only reason you object is because the deity named matches the moniker you offer for your own -- if any non-Christian moniker were inserted you'd be as offended as an atheist (indeed, more offended), and you'd cry persecution. Your emotional connection to this is noted, but it is misplaced. You are a hypocrite and a bully if you truly seek to promote the name(s) of your deity over the name(s) of anyone else's, and if this is true, you are precisely the sort of person from whom this country was founded to protect the rest of us.

    Go back to England if you want a state-run religion.

    --
    Stan

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  2. Dan, did we not just finish talking about how atheism is not a religion?

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  3. Stan,

    " You should obviously have actually linked to Aricle 99 of the UCMJ instead."

    You're so smart. I didn't know that little trick obviously. I agree and thanks.

    "If this were the case, I'm sure you would agree with the atheists."

    Well not quite. I would demand a proper naming of God, even more pleasing and accurate "Jesus."

    "you must recognize that the insertion of a phrase like "the glory of God and the honour of your country" would constitute (pun intended) the unconstitutional (in the U.S., that is) affirmation of a particular group of religions...The obvious, and correct, solution is the exclusion of any mention of a deity"

    I didn't see that in the constitution. Where does it say that? In fact if the are taking out the word God in already established things. Are they not indeed setting precedence of one religion (atheism). By preclusion of the word God they are "abridging the freedom of speech" by the originators or even our forefathers. Atheism is pushing a very unconstitutional agenda.

    Better yet, how about this:

    ...the honour of your country...

    (with no mention of belief or philosophy other than nationalistic pride)

    What's the problem with this, again?


    It would be the goal of atheists, that is, since the "no mention" is the atheistic religion. Why do they get to push their religion?

    "if any non-Christian moniker were inserted you'd be as offended as an atheist (indeed, more offended), and you'd cry persecution."

    Exactly! That is why I am crying foul now! Atheists moniker is the void, or like I said the preclusion, of the term "God."

    God is also a general term. Everyone has a god that they follow "Jesus, Allah, or Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever force/power/being/concept you recognize as praiseworthy -- including a denial of any such force/power/being/concept"

    BTW, wasn't it Rush who said in the song Free Will "if you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

    All I have to say Stan is:

    You are a hypocrite and a bully if you truly seek to promote the preclusion of generic terms of a deity over the name(s) of anyone else's, and if this is true, you are precisely the sort of person from whom this country was founded to protect the rest of us.

    Go back to England if you want a state-run religion because UK is among most secular nations.

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  4. I just read an article that, admittedly, angered me slightly. We need to realize that atheists are trying to censor everyone that contradicts their belief system. In a sense, pushing their religion over others.

    With as much respect as I can muster:

    Suck it up, Sparky. You've been pushing Jesus down my throat for nearly 40 years.

    ---

    I'm not going to react to your repetition of the oft-debunked fallacies (re. belief system, religion, etc). You're just ranting, rather than trying to make sense.

    ---

    Did you ever go to college, Dan? If so, did you ever pay attention to the issues du jour back then?

    Assuming yes to both, it should be no surprise that they were often what we adults would label as radical, or fringe, or immature. College is a place where young adults begin to understand what it means to have an opinion, and how others must be convinced in order to "win" the debate. Success at doing so can be rewarded with tanglible "power".

    IOW, why exactly did that article make you mad? At the end, the author stated very clearly that the issue should be kept out of the courts, and that the speech was a poor choice of venue in which to advocate either way.

    And if the whole ID issue isn't an example of a larger group of people forcing their belief system upon the rest of society, then nothing is.

    You're crying crocodile tears. You don't want beliefs forced down your throat, but it's ok for you to do it to others.

    Fundamentalist hypocrisy at its finest.

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  5. Whateverman,

    "Suck it up, Sparky. You've been pushing Jesus down my throat for nearly 40 years."

    Fair enough.

    Did you ever go to college, Dan?

    Not enough to be secularized, like most I know have. Jokingly, I say that the only thing College taught me, and the military for that matter, was how to smoke pot. Notice the pattern? I did notice years ago. I thank Jesus, for that realization, also.

    The "issues du jour" hasn't changed that much over the years.

    If the whole "Secular Darwinian Scientists" issue isn't an example of a larger group of people forcing their belief system upon the rest of society, then nothing is.

    "You don't want beliefs forced down your throat, but it's ok for you to do it to others."

    Now don't be mistaken by this article. I am re-declaring war on that religion of Atheism. I do declare that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light (John 8:12, John 14:6) and I will not back down or stop proclaiming His name above all. Y'all are declaring that "self" is the "way." You can push the agenda that you chose, and I certainly can do the same. Please don't expect me to accept your religion without a fight.

    Free speech cuts both ways!

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  6. A) Christians believe in the theory of evolution as well. I like how you ignore the inconvenient facts

    B) Atheism isn't a religion, just like Not Collecting Stamps isn't a religion

    C) I have never claimed "The Self Is The Way". Nor has any Raytractor, as far as I can remember having read them.

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  7. Whateverman,

    It is difficult to talk to you about this since you area deist, the exception to the rule. But since you are defending atheism ...

    But in any event here is a response to the "stamp collection" analogy.

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  8. Not really being a fan of science, you fail to realize that the places where reality agrees with your ideas are not where understanding is found.

    The places where your ideas are found to NOT agree with reality is what helps you understand the universe (and your place in it).

    Now then:

    A) Not being a stamp collector is not a worldview or a belief system

    B) "Stamp collecting sucks" is a single belief. It is not a system of belief, nor is it a worldview or a religion. This holds true even if the believers hold conferences and charge admission.

    ---

    Why do you ignore the contradictions? People who believe in Jesus support the theory of evolution; people who believe in God support atheism.

    What is it about YOUR worldview that makes such things unpalatable?

    EDIT: grammar

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  9. Dan:

         It does not appear that they have started promoting or endorsing atheism. It only looks like they stopped endorsing christianity. (If they specifically including phrasing like "for the demonstration that all gods are fictional," they would endorsing atheism.)
         "Well not quite. I would demand a proper naming of God, even more pleasing and accurate 'Jesus.'"
         Isn't really saying that you don't want neutrality? What is your vision of neutrality?

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  10. He's admitted that he doesn't want neutrality (even if he claims otherwise). Not only that, but he's doing this (ie. pushing his beliefs) because it's supposedly good for humanity.

    He doesn't recognize that, assuming he accepts this argument, it justifies terrorism done in the name of ideology, or in banning the word "God" from every public book in this country (assuming that there are some who believe it would be for our benefit), or in wiping Jews off the face of the earth.

    He just doesn't get it.

    Sorry Dan, you don't understand - and wear it as a badge of righteousness.

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  11. "God is also a general term. Everyone has a god that they follow "Jesus, Allah, or Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever force/power/being/concept you recognize as praiseworthy -- including a denial of any such force/power/being/concept"

    This is not true and you must know it. "God" as used in normal language is generally understood to be some kind of deity that created the universe. Atheists do not accept that such a deity exists. Hence, atheists do not have a "God" who they worship or find "praiseworthy." That is just a simple fact whether you chose to accept it or not.

    "If the whole "Secular Darwinian Scientists" issue isn't an example of a larger group of people forcing their belief system upon the rest of society, then nothing is."

    Secularism is a founding principle of this country - again whether you want to accept it or not. It was so important that it is the first concept set forth in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. How else do you interpret "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"?

    "Now don't be mistaken by this article. I am re-declaring war on that religion of Atheism. I do declare that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light (John 8:12, John 14:6) and I will not back down or stop proclaiming His name above all. Y'all are declaring that "self" is the "way." You can push the agenda that you chose, and I certainly can do the same. Please don't expect me to accept your religion without a fight."

    You wonder why atheists are pushing back with such force? And you are not the first one. Long before the popularity of Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, etc. Jerry Falwell, Pat Roberson, (oops) Ted Haggard and their predecessors decided to mobilize their evangelical followers to fight the secular roots of this country, i.e. to impose a theocratic state in which everybody has to live under Christian rules. That is the difference between "you" and "us." We are not looking to impose our views on you. I will never fight to prevent you from worshiping and living as you please.

    But, for example, when you are trying to force prayer into public schools, you are not fighting for your rights. Children are allowed to pray in school. That is not what you are fighting for. You are fighting to force prayer on everybody - in an institution that is paid for by everybody. In the government/public sphere we have a contract (i.e. the Constitution) in which we have agreed that religion is left out of it. Just like we have a contract that I cannot force your Sunday school to teach evolution at your church. You want to usurp the Constitution, I want to defend it.

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  12. Dan,
    It may not be fair to blame this solely on the atheists.
    This mainly comes from the whole PC secular world as a whole, combined with the apostate church, the cults, the false religions etc.
    The days of Lot and Noah.

    But God will grant the desires of their hearts. They will continue to remove His name, and God will continue to remove His peace and prosperity, His good food, weather, health and blessings.

    Instead they will have His wrath.

    Be very careful what you hope for, or God may grant it.

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  13. Hence, atheists do not have a "God" who they worship or find "praiseworthy."

    False they are then by default worshiping themselves. If you hold nothing higher then yourself, then you yourself becomes your god.

    I will never fight to prevent you from worshiping and living as you please.

    Well then let Creationism be the paradigm in science then. Next you want God removed from our money right?

    Dani'El,

    Great point and you are right, I may not be fair in this discussion, but do you blame me?

    So no matter who fights against God they are of the devil. This is why I compared atheists to satanists.

    Either you are in God's boat or you float. No fence sitters allowed. Pick a side.

    Pvblivs,

    What is your vision of neutrality?

    There is absoluetly so such thing.

    What is your vision of neutrality on the subjects of abortion or poking babies eyes out for fun?

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  14. "False they are then by default worshiping themselves."

    Only if we are going to make up our own definition of words. Worship as used in normal language assumes the divinity or god-like status of the object of worship. I don't believe I am devine or god-like. Hence, I don't worship myself.

    "If you hold nothing higher then yourself, then you yourself becomes your god."

    What do you mean holding something "higher"? Are defining anything that is held in the highest regard by any particular person that person's god? If that is your definition, then you are playing a game of semantics which makes any honest discussion impossible.

    The term "god" in normal language usually denotes some kind of supernatural deity or creator. These are not things I attribute to myself.

    However, without any definition of holding something "higher" your statement is really meaningless. If I am correct in my assumption of how you are using the term, then it would not even apply to how I view myself. I have put myself in grave and mortal danger for the protection of others, so in reality I showed that I hold others in as high or higher regard than myself. According to you, then I must worship those people.

    "Well then let Creationism be the paradigm in science then. Next you want God removed from our money right?"

    Creationism is not science, so it cannot be "the paradigm in science." This would be like me telling you to allow evolution to be taught in Sunday school. You would (I assume) argue that Sunday school is for teaching religion and evolution is not part of that subject. Just because you call Creationism science does not make it so.

    You would be hard pressed to make any serious argument that a significant number of scientists would accept creationism/id as science. It is not even on the "fringes" of science.

    It would be like teaching history students that there is a serious debate about whether the Holocaust occurred or that man landed on the moon.

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  15. Bart,

    What do you mean holding something "higher"?

    The term "god" in normal language usually denotes some kind of supernatural deity or creator.


    god is also defined as- idol: a material effigy that is worshiped; "money was his god"

    You would be hard pressed to make any serious argument that a significant number of scientists would accept creationism/id as science. It is not even on the "fringes" of science.

    It would be like teaching history students that there is a serious debate about whether the Holocaust occurred or that man landed on the moon.


    Fail!

    Creationism/ID does not have to prove it is a science-it already is. Richard Dawkins, surprisingly, agrees, "the presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." (RD, The God Delusion, 58-59)

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  16. dan-
    Yeah, it is the Satanic world system as a whole.
    Those specifically called atheists are in the minority.

    And among these, most if they are willing to be honest, will confess to being anti-theists.

    I think the ones who are mostly at work in these things are the Satanic Secret Societies, who are legion and control the media, UN, Banks, False teachers, ACLU, etc.

    Really it's the beast system, and it is unleashed on the world, and it's only just begun.

    But as it has always been in history, the church prospers and grows best while under persecution.
    The fat, lazy, diseased church in America could use some exercise, no?

    Digging, dunging, and pruning is the only thing that will revive this sickly tree. May God grant repentance and preserve a remnant in the USA!

    Baruch Hashem!

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  17. Pvblivs said:
    What is your vision of neutrality?
    Dan replied:
    "There is absoluetly so such thing.

    What is your vision of neutrality on the subjects of abortion or poking babies eyes out for fun?"


    Interesting viewpoint. I'd like to introduce you guys to a term I learned recently: "inter-subjective".

    When something is inter-subjective, it means that although it is a subjective opinion, as larger groups of people interact it approaches objectivity: it becomes 'universal'.

    As an example, one individual or a small group of people could hold that murder is fun, but a society could not.

    I would therefore define neutrality as the point that intersubjective things approach: For killing, it's OK to kill as a last resort (self defense), but not for any other reason. This opinion is "neutral".

    But that's only for 2way or 3way opinions. For things like religon, which have as many mutually exclusive options as Australia has cane toads, the only neutral opinion is to have no opinion. (Agnostism) And some people insist on calling that an opinion.

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  18. "god is also defined as- idol: a material effigy that is worshiped; "money was his god"

    I don't worship myself, so your original point - that I am my own god - fails even under your definition.

    "Fail!

    Creationism/ID does not have to prove it is a science-it already is. Richard Dawkins, surprisingly, agrees, "the presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." (RD, The God Delusion, 58-59)."

    If you are going to rely on Richard Dawkins as a source of authority, you are going to have many more problems with the consistency of your position.

    Whether the existence of God is a conceivably a question that could be hypothetically answered/investigated scientifically (which upon reading four pages around that quote in the God Delusion again is what Richard Dawkins was saying) does not make Creationism science. The existence of a purple teapot orbiting Jupiter is a question that could theoretically be answered scientifically. However, we are not going to waste science students' time talking about some alleged controversy about whether there is a purple teapot orbiting Jupiter, because there is no such controversy in science.

    We are also not going to teach students in history class that there is a serious controversy among historians about whether the Holocaust occurred simply because it is a question that can be investigated by historical research/inquiry (it is a question of History) and there a few fringe "historians" who claim that it did not.

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  19. Bart wrote I don't worship myself, so your original point - that I am my own god - fails even under your definition.

    This is one of the fundamentalist Christian's fall back positions: when all arguments are failing, it's time to portray your opponent as sinful. Full of pride and openly contemptuous of the Biblical deity.

    This is something they take on faith, and as such, isn't open to debate.

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  20. I doth speak thusly-
    "And among these, most if they are willing to be honest, will confess to being anti-theists."

    Or aggies

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  21. wem wrote-
    "This is one of the fundamentalist Christian's fall back positions: when all arguments are failing, it's time to portray your opponent as sinful. Full of pride and openly contemptuous of the Biblical deity."

    D- Every genuine saint will confess to being the same before being sanctified.
    We are all guilty of those things, so it's not being self-righteous or ad hom.

    Tho' you are right in a sense. Some will go there when cornered.

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  22. If I understand you correctly, Dani'el, I have a hard time distinguishing between those who are justified in dismissing their opponents, and those who "aren't".

    In any case, saint or not, dismissing an opinion because the person supposedly behaves in a way which is undesirable is most definitely an ad hominem.

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  23. Dan:

         For an organization (such as a university) to be neutral on abortion or on poking eyes out would only require that they take no stance on the topics. (I am, of course, not neutral on such topics and do not desire to be.)
         On the subject of religion, it appears that the universities are pursuing a neutral stance. You are making the false claim (hopefully in error) that they are endorsing atheism. In fact they are now making no endorsement. Now, if you think they should be endorsing christianity, you can certainly argue for that position.
         The default is not to worship anything. As near as I can tell, the claims of a default being self-worship or devil-worship (I've heard both claims) were concocted by religious leaders who saw a "live and let live" attitude as a threat to their power.

    Bart:

         We are quickly reaching a point where it not be possible to tell whether the Holocaust happened or was manufactured "Ministry of Truth" style. In many places it is or has been illegal to suggest that it didn't happen. But, quite frankly, I would not be concerned about someone who thought it was official propaganda. I would be concerned with someone who thought it was a good idea.

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  24. Pvblivs said...

    "We are quickly reaching a point where it not be possible to tell whether the Holocaust happened or was manufactured "Ministry of Truth" style. In many places it is or has been illegal to suggest that it didn't happen. But, quite frankly, I would not be concerned about someone who thought it was official propaganda. I would be concerned with someone who thought it was a good idea."

    It has been illegal in some places to suggest it did not happen - I certainly would not classify it as "many places." In the United States, it is and has never been illegal to suggest its existence. The point I was making was not whether there was a debate about whether it did happen - it is that there really is no debate among career historians about whether it happened. There are some that suggest that it did not happen, but the balance of evidence and balance of research among historians is that it happened.

    Much like the overwhelming majority of biologists support the idea that intelligent design is not supported by the scientific evidence - to suggest there is any real debate among scientists in a high school biology class would clearly be to teach a falsity.

    If you don't like the Holocaust analogy, then lets use the moon landing analogy. I really don't care which one we use.

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  25. Wow, I am really tired right now. "In the United States, it is and has never been illegal to suggest its existence. The" = In the United States, it has not and has never been illegal to suggest that it did not exist.

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  26. wem,
    Problem is, there is a foundational doctrine of the faith that holds that it does indeed take a God given spiritual discernment, and a regenerated heart to understand godly things, so in many cases it is not ad hom.
    (When justified)

    In today's apostate christianity there is a terrible lack of knowledge, and some are better armed in theology than others.
    The weaker ones, or the outright apostates will definitely go ad hom when cornered.

    On the other hand.

    How often do we hear, "ignorant, blind, deceived, bible thumpin fundies? etc
    (The censored version.) ;)

    Clearly, some are simply taking pleasure in shocking the sensibilities of a "fundie".
    And esp on Ray's site, the ad homs fly.

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  27. Dani' El said...

    "Problem is, there is a foundational doctrine of the faith that holds that it does indeed take a God given spiritual discernment, and a regenerated heart to understand godly things, so in many cases it is not ad hom.
    (When justified)"

    Not my debate to get into the middle of, but...

    So what you are saying is that it is not ad hominem when you do it?

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  28. bart,
    Pleasure to meet you.

    Not fallacious ad hom.

    No more than saying that a blind man cannot see colors.

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  29.      It's the same consideration. Some historical claims are unreliable. These are claims that could plausibly be propaganda. For the moon landing, we can do no better than take the government's word for it. For the Holocaust, there might still be some unforgeable evidence; but most people are not in a position to check. Of course, if either event did turn out to be propaganda, it would not change anything in my life. But, ironically, it is more probable to see dissent among respected historians if these types of events are real. When a government pushes a false history, is "discourages" (often covertly) differring perspectives.
         You say there is no serious debate on these things. And you are quite correct, there is no serious debate. But -- none is to be expected.

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  30. Pvblivs,

    "On the subject of religion, it appears that the universities are pursuing a neutral stance."

    Maybe I am not making myself entirely clear. If the "neutral stance" is equal to Atheism and Satanism then they are all in agreement as to the subject of "God."

    We don't recognize a God, there is no God, the word God should be removed, the word God is offensive, are all in agreement.

    Fair?

    They are promoting the atheistic viewpoint. (no God)

    Being idle, to have "no stance," luke warm, baseless, or fence sitters holds no excuse as to the subject. If you "stay neutral" to the neighbors raping children you could be arrested as an accomplice so where is the line drawn?

    Quasar makes an interesting observation of intersubjectivity. Does this mean if a group agrees on something that it thrusts it into an objective truth?

    a small group of people could hold that murder is fun, but a society could not.

    At what point or size does that small group turn into a society? Who judges that? Doesn't appear to hold up to scrutiny.

    One could argue that Jim Jones and his followers had and made their own society. Does that make it objectively truthful that feeding cyanide to children is acceptable behavior?

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  31.      "Fair?"
         Not quite. From your description I take that the university is saying that it would be an abuse of authority if they said either that there was a god or that there were no gods. Interestingly, I do not believe that believing all gods to be fictional is in any way comparable to raping children.
         Look, they aren't endorsing atheism. If you think that they should be forcing christianity down people's throats, say so. If you think all "heretics" should be put to the sword, say that. But don't say that you're upset about them promoting atheism, when it is just not the case. They aren't promoting atheism; they're just not trying to stamp it into the ground.

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  32. I would demand a proper naming of God, even more pleasing and accurate "Jesus."

    Ergo, you are a bully.

    I didn't see that in the constitution. Where does it say [that inserting a phrase promoting "god" into a public forum is unconstitutional]?

    Ahem. It's the first fucking sentence visible in the link you provided, genius.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

    In a private institution, a statement promoting whatever god you like is up to the institution, but in a public institution, the Constitution is quite clear.

    Are they not indeed setting precedence of one religion (atheism). (statement intended as a question)

    Yes, they are not.

    Your confusion here is ironically understandable, since you also think that the absence of evidence of a deity constitutes an affirmation of that deity's existence...

    Seriously -- the fact that a blatantly religious term or phrase exists in public constructs (yes, I am talking about money, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.) is unconstitutional. It has persisted for the simple and unfortunate fact that the vast majority of Americans have been professing Christians (of one brand or another) and/or Deists, throughout history, and as enlightened as they may otherwise be, they have also been complacent in this.

    Now, to be completely fair, the Deist founders of this country were smart enough to refer only to "the Creator", as opposed to "Jehovah", "Allah", "Eris Esoteric", etc. -- and this was only in the Declaration of Independence.

    (Sometimes I wonder why I bother, but I get the impression that the Dans haven't ever actually read these documents...)

    What? You didn't know that? No, the words "god", "creator", "Jesus", "Christ", and "bible" fail to appear in the Constitution whatsoever.

    I guess you should start crying "persecution" right about now... Shall I get you a tissue?

    If it makes you feel any better, they did choose to use the archaic Anno Domini designation for the year, explicitly stating "in the year of our Lord" -- but surely you won't argue that this was anything other than a convention used to identify the date...

    Now I suppose I'll have to educate you as to the fact that "under God" was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance, and its predecessor "one nation under God" was likewise a later addition.

    God is also a general term. Everyone has a god that they follow

    No, god is a general term, but even then, it is a religious term representing the concept of deity. Moreover, it is a singular general term, and while atheists prefer a negative term, there are also polytheists who prefer a plural version of this term. Will you accommodate them?

    As others have said, not-promoting a deity is not the same as promoting no deity. If the phrase were edited to, "the glory of anything but a god because everybody knows there's no such thing as god, and the honour of your country," then yes, that would be promoting some form of Atheism. Simply removing any reference to a deity does no such thing.

    Why do they get to push their religion?

    Why do you get to push yours in a public forum? Why do you immediately cry "persecution" when suggestions such as this come along?

    Go back to England if you want a state-run religion because UK is among most secular nations.

    ...of those with a state-sponsored religion...? I'm pretty sure the fact that the Anglican church is the official church of England, and the fact that certain far more secular countries in, say, Scandinavia, are more deserving of being called the "most secular nations".

    Dan, you are a bully and a hypocrite. You would seek to promote only your religion, evidenced by the quoted statements above, and deny another equal treatment.

    Have I not related to you the story of the abortion protesters I sought to stand by?

    In my hometown, a family frequently protested outside the local Planned Parenthood office, and my wife was furious that their posters were giant images of understandably illegal abortions (so-called late term abortions), and that my young children were subjected to seeing them.

    She implored me to do something to stop it, but I gently reminded her that they had every right to protest, and that I supported their right to free speech -- even though I disagreed with their method, if not also their message. Nonetheless, I pursued the matter, to see just what could be done.

    I decided that the best way to achieve my goal was to create my own sign, which had only the following words, in block letters:

    Fuck Decency; Support Free Speech.

    The plan was to stand alongside my compatriots in solidarity as we dutifully practiced our rights to free speech.

    Was my sign worse than theirs? Was it more disturbing, more obscene, or more perverse?

    No.

    You see, in order to be offended by my sign, a passerby would have to be able to read. Additionally, my sign had the support of a Supreme Court ruling on its side (Cohen v. California), so that the only way I could be legally stopped was if so, too, was this protesting family.

    I promote and support free speech.

    Have I not also related my tale of Jury Duty? I sat in the courtroom awaiting my turn "in the box", during voir dire, and refused to remove my red baseball cap with "CANADA" embroidered across its front. When asked why not, I replied that, with all due respect, I was exercising my right to religious expression.

    I support the freedom of religion and of religious expression.

    Note that I do not seek to require others to endorse or acknowledge a concept/being they deny, nor am I requiring them to deny a concept/deity they affirm.

    That's what you suggest.

    Rather, I seek solutions whereby the rights of all (or as many as feasibly possible) are protected, within reason as deemed appropriate by secular law.

    When government starts censoring your right to promote god on this blog, in your church, in your community, or in your home, call me up, and I'll laugh mightily, but I'll also come and support your cause.

    Denying someone else's right is tantamount to denying your own, and just as dangerous.

    Don't be a dick.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  33. I rest my case. lol!

    I remember the thrill I got by being naughty and saying my first curse word. I think I was about 8 or 9.

    It got old real quick so I gave it up.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Stan,

    "Ahem. It's the first [] sentence visible in the link you provided, genius.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."


    Mwahahahahha

    You have been caught in a quote mining operation. ROFL!!

    Mwahahahhaha You are too much, dude.

    Lets read what it actually says in context and in it's entirety, You student!

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    So Stan the quote miner, what does this actually mean to you?

    What does or abridging mean? Would it be entirely fair to say " to reduce in scope?" Would removal of God or the word "God" or the free practice of worship of said God be a perfect example of "reduce in scope?"

    So Atheism, believing 'no God' should be implemented and established and honored throughout the land? Hypocrisy?

    NO LAW! No "it's wrong for the word God to be places" also, right? Even "it's against the Law to pray in schools or have Bible reading hour" is wrong also, right?

    "She implored me to do something to stop it, but I gently reminded her that they had every right to protest, and that I supported their right to free speech -- even though I disagreed with their method, if not also their message."

    Try this on then:

    She implored me to do something to stop it, (labeling public or school things with God, even though your young children were subjected to seeing them), but I gently reminded her that they (everyone, everywhere) had every right to protest (even things anti-theist), and that I supported their right to free speech -- even though I disagreed with their method (putting "In God we Trust" on currency) , if not also their message (of God exists)...

    "I promote and support free speech."

    Are you sure about that? Your definition or the Constitutions?

    "Rather, I seek solutions whereby the rights of all (or as many as feasibly possible) are protected, within reason as deemed appropriate by secular law."

    "secular" law, so as long as it secular (of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations) then you are OK with it? Atheistic laws are fine, got it.

    "Denying someone else's right is tantamount to denying your own, and just as dangerous."

    So we can relate now?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dan:

         I realize I'm not Stan. But I will tell you what it means to me. Among other things, it prohibits the government from supporting or suppressing any religion. Public schools are government institutions. Money is printed by the federal government. Therefore these things should make no reference either for or against any god(s). Private schools and your own personal checks, on the other hand, are separate from the government. Therefore, if the people who run the private school wish to include a god, it is their perogative; and if you want a reference to your god on your checks, that is your right.

    ReplyDelete
  36. So... you don't understand the meaning of the First Amendment?

    You accuse me of quote-mining because... why? Because I understand the thrust and meaning behind the First Amendment, as illustrated by virtually every Supreme Court case to rule on the topic?

    Do some homework, Dans, and get back to me. The phrase "respecting an establishment of religion" means promotion or exclusive recognition of any religious institution or convention -- including the term "god" which appears on our currency or in the Pledge of Allegiance. The former has been challenged unsuccessfully in the Supreme Court (who cited ambiguity based on a secularization of the term "god"), while the latter has been consistently found to be unconstitutional where recital has been coerced or expected (e.g. public school).

    As Pvblivs notes, private institutions are free to promote whatever gods or concepts they choose, but public institutions are required to respect the fact that church and state are forever separated in this republic.

    Despite your maniacal and misguided laughter, I have properly interpreted the First Amendment and subsequent Supreme Court rulings, and you have shown a clear misunderstanding of the same. Perhaps you should apply hermeneutics.

    Regardless of the constitutionality question, you have yet to have shown exactly how the absence of a reference to a religious construct is in any way deleterious to your sensitivities, especially with respect to those who are given the same protections by its removal. You have likewise failed to note precisely how Atheism is being promoted when the same reference is removed, and with no additional text being added in its place.

    Besides all this, you have instead shown, explicitly, that you would prefer to edit statements such as the one in question such that the term "god" was replaced with "Jesus", irrespective of the beliefs of others. You note that if "Allah", "Zeus", or any non-Christian deity's name were inserted, you'd complain that your rights were being violated, but you evidently see no problem with blatantly supporting Christianity, or even merely Monotheism, over any other religious, irreligious, atheist, or agnostic viewpoint.

    Nothing whatsoever would be promoted by removing the objectionable phrase. Nothing, that is, except equality.

    I promote and support free speech.

    Are you sure about that? Your definition or the Constitutions?

    Erm. You haven't ever read a Supreme Court decision, have you? You don't actually know what sort of speech is protected, and what isn't, do you?

    Do you at all understand why my proposed sign was protected speech, despite containing the "F-word"? Do you recognize when it wouldn't be protected?

    Do you protect my right to shout "Fire!" in a theater? Do you realize that like this last example, government speech is likewise subject to censorship (read: not protected by the First Amendment)?

    Get a clue. Try reading once in a while.

    "secular" law

    Yeah, I knew that would get your goat. It's secular law because it explicitly forbids the mingling of the church with itself. The framers of the Constitution and the authors of the First Amendment itself were well aware of what sort of nonsense occurred in theocracies, and they sought to prevent it at all cost -- including the denial of their own pet religions. Would that you were so honorable.

    Denying someone else's right is tantamount to denying your own, and just as dangerous.

    So we can relate now?

    You don't read too good, do ya?

    You're the one who would deny another's right, when you make statements that you'd replace the term "god" with "Jesus", or when you suggest that stamping "In God We Trust" on all of our currency is somehow protected speech, or that compulsory bible reading time in school is perfectly acceptable, or whatever other crap you're spouting.

    You just don't get it, do you? I support your right to be a complete imbecile, even if I adamantly oppose the positions you hold. I also support the right of a Satanist (since you're hung up on them -- talk about an extreme minority...) to worship Satan. I draw the line, as does the U.S. Constitution, when one person's attempt to assert his rights infringe upon another's more basic rights.

    The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not to be infringed upon -- and the one being infringed trumps the one who would otherwise do the infringing.

    Do you even understand this?

    If Joe's idea of the pursuit of happiness involves raping Jane, his right in this case is trumped by Jane's right to not be raped -- her own pursuit of happiness, if you will.

    Seriously -- if you don't get this, just go away.

    For someone who claims to seek truth, you sure don't try very hard to do so...

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  37. Stan, do you enjoy hearing yourself type? ;)

    I don't know were dan stands on the issues. I barely know him, but I do not like the name of God being on the same filthy dollar with all the Illuminati images.

    I don't like God's holy name being used in an oath to a flag, (idol?)

    I don't want prayers in the same schools that children are being indoctrinated in the wicked ways of the world.
    Who would lead such prayers? What prayers would be said?
    There has always been too much difference even amongst denominations to hold sincere prayer in the public schools.

    What I oppose is the promotion of Islam, the promotion of sodomy, PC doctrines and preaching of hatred of christianity that we are witnessing lately.

    The time for christian kids to be in christian schools or homeschooled started decades ago.
    Some parts of the country are not so bad, but others? Time to separate.

    Prayer breakfasts in the white house? The same white house where they hold ramadan celebrations?
    A "christian" prayer breakfast were the name of Jesus is forbidden for fear of the ACLU?
    NO! Separate!

    Govt faith based programs. NO!
    It corrupts the church. And any kook or cult can apply for this money, like Obama's UCC, Jeremiah Wright or whatever.

    What really concerns me?
    Tax dollars for abortion.
    Hate speech laws that illegalize biblical christianity.
    Sodomite marriage so that church can be sued for discrimination.
    etc.

    But if you want to remove God from your life and the life of the country? And replace Him with every evil worldly thing under the sun?
    Be careful. If you make that bed you will be lying in it soon enough.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is a little off topic, but:

    Why don't theists generally call their deity by name, when referring to said deity in the public forum (or even private, in most cases)? If you're trying to get a point across, is it not important that people know exactly what that point is?

    Does it make a difference to theists if the God, in the discussion, is Yahweh, Krishna, Allah, Xenu, Satan, Thor or the Great Spirit? Or is it more important that everyone just believe in "God"...any god?

    Doesn't constantly calling your god "God" water down your religious position and demonstrate lesser conviction?

    This is a question I've wondered before and Dan's assertion that the "proper naming of God, even more pleasing and accurate 'Jesus'" should have been included in the speech, in question, just reminded me about it.


    By the way, the last time I checked, kids could still pray in school.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Dani' El said...

    bart,
    Pleasure to meet you.

    Not fallacious ad hom.

    No more than saying that a blind man cannot see colors."

    So it is simply an assertion. Because you say you are right and that other people are wrong, you win any debate regardless of of the existence or lack of a rational/logical argument.

    And Christians accuse atheists of being prideful.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dan +†+ said...

    "Mwahahahhaha You are too much, dude.

    Lets read what it actually says in context and in it's entirety, You student!

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    So Stan the quote miner, what does this actually mean to you?

    What does or abridging mean? Would it be entirely fair to say " to reduce in scope?" Would removal of God or the word "God" or the free practice of worship of said God be a perfect example of "reduce in scope?""

    "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

    and

    "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

    are separate concepts as denoted by the ";" in between them.

    In any event, nobody is restricting your right to worship or practice your religion as you see fit. The removal of the word "God" from currency is not the restriction of the practice of your religion. It would be preventing "Congress" from making "law respecting an establishment of religion." The belief in and the worshiping of any "god" is a religion and the federal government is prohibited from making laws "respecting the establishment of religion" by our country's founding document and the highest law of the land. To suggest that the Constitution should be ignored is tantamount to treason.

    There may come a time when your religion is not the majority in this country (it is trending that way especially among the young). At that point you and/or future Christians may need the benefit of the restriction preventing the federal government from "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" so I wouldn't be too quick to throw out the Constitution if I were you.

    "So Atheism, believing 'no God' should be implemented and established and honored throughout the land? Hypocrisy?"

    No atheist that I know of would suggest that "we don't believe in any god" be printed on our currency or placed in the Pledge or taught in the schools. That would be prohibited by the Constitution as well. The correct constitutional stance is that government is to stay out of either of either "respecting an establishment of religion" AND "prohibiting" its free practice.

    "NO LAW! No "it's wrong for the word God to be places" also, right? Even "it's against the Law to pray in schools or have Bible reading hour" is wrong also, right?"

    A student praying in public schools is not prohibited anywhere in the United States that I know of. Please identify where a school has prevented a student from praying and I will be there fighting with you.

    What do you mean by "Bible reading hour." If all students are given an hour out of the school day to do what they want, then there would be nothing wrong with allowing Christian students to read the Bible if that is what they want to do - same with Muslims students, Jewish students, etc.

    What I am suspecting you would support is subjecting all students (regardless of religion) to Bible reading hour. That does not fly, because it is an establishment of religion by the government (the Bill of Rights is applied to the states through the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment).

    ""secular" law, so as long as it secular (of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations) then you are OK with it? Atheistic laws are fine, got it."

    The term "secular" does not mean "atheistic." The term "secular" means being separate or apart from religion.

    As set forth above, the law of the United States is supposed to be secular, i.e. separate or apart from religion (Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting its practice).

    An example of secular law would be the prohibition of forced Bible reading in public schools - this is keeping the state from governing in a way that respects the establishment of religion. This is supported by the Constitution and is in no way "atheistic." Muslim parents (who are certainly not atheists) would be against the state forcing their children to read the Bible; just like you would be against the state forcing your children to read the Koran.

    An example of an non-secular law would be to prohibit students who want to pray from doing so - this would be the state prohibiting the free practice of religion. This is a Constitutionally indefensible position.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I do not like the name of God being on the same filthy dollar with all the Illuminati images.

    I'm confused -- do you object to putting "god" on money, or illuminati images? In every individual statement in your little diatribe, you made it sound like you didn't want "god" to be uttered, or used, or whatever, in various public forums, but not because you objected to it out of respect for the principle of separation of church and state, but because you object to the secularization of state with respect to church...

    It sounds to me that you agree with Dan across the board -- you're just trying to sound profound, even though it comes of as pithy and contrived.

    What really concerns me?

    Oh, I can't wait...

    Tax dollars for abortion.

    I don't like paying tax dollars to research nefarious ways of circumventing existing anti-torture legislation. For the record, I don't like abortion either (though I wouldn't eliminate it) -- it's not the problem. Unwanted pregnancy and insufficient parental education is the problem -- solve them, and abortion disappears naturally.

    Hate speech laws that illegalize biblical christianity.

    If you think hate speech laws "illegalize" biblical Christianity, then you must be referring to the OT texts which promote bigotry, polygyny, slavery, and even certain forms of rape. I don't see how this is a problem for you, since it falls under the "Old Covenant". Also, remember that your right to denounce homosexuality (as an example) would not be affected, so long as your rants took place within the confines of your private home or institution.

    Sodomite marriage so that church can be sued for discrimination.

    Really? You are just like Dan, then, because like him, you don't understand the law either. Churches could never be sued for refusing to recognize or officiate a gay marriage -- there are plenty of ways (indeed, plenty of churches in which to do so) a gay couple could get married, if it were legalized in their respective states (or all of them via Congress). Something tells me your "concern" for this eventuality lies elsewhere. Try being more honest, eh?

    Do you want to know what concerns me? That people like you two Dans can reproduce and indoctrinate a whole new generation of mindless drones, and because you don't think it matters (or, perversely, because you do), you're also more likely to have more offspring, in a prideful attempt at saturating the population with mindless drones.

    So returning to the topic, you agree with me, then, though for the wrong reasons, that the phrase about god in the University of Alberta's convocation speech should be removed, and from all public venues, including references to Jesus, Moses, Christmas, Easter, etc.

    Excellent. The motion has been seconded. May I see a show of hands of those in favor of removing the phrase "the glory of God" from the speech in question, and for removal of references to any gods from public institutions in general, with no replacement text whatsoever?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  42. Dan,

    'Creationism/ID does not have to prove it is a science-it already is. Richard Dawkins, surprisingly, agrees, "the presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." (RD, The God Delusion, 58-59)'

    If you agree that the existence of God is a scientific question, then you agree to give fair and even weight to the (lack of) evidence for or against Him. This is exactly what Dawkins was referring to, and why he was opposing agnosticism in the greater context of that quote. Dawkins argues that the existence of God is ultimately knowable based on the use of evidence and the scientific method. Do not mistake that for giving credence to Intelligent Design as a useful theory.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Stan wrote Excellent. The motion has been seconded. May I see a show of hands of those in favor of removing the phrase "the glory of God" from the speech in question, and for removal of references to any gods from public institutions in general, with no replacement text whatsoever?

    I think it was poor judgement to use a public platform to give voice to personal beliefs (especially those that have nothing to do with the reaon you're employed by that public institution).

    With that said, however, I really wish we could all just grow (evolve into!) thicker skin. I myself try establish the intent of the person when he/she says something I don't agree with. From my understanding of this particular case, it seems (to me) that he was merely being reverent, rather than advocating.

    For that reason, I shy away from suggesting the language be removed.

    I wish that the chancellor had been a bit more sensitive, and that the audience had been a little less sensitive. The latter to include certain blog owners and those who comment on such things :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dan,

    I can't believe you linked to that comment! You know the one where you claimed that not collecting stamps was a religious position.

    Too funny man, too damn funny!

    If that's honestly your response to the 'stamp analogy' then good luck with the rest of your debunking; you're going to need it.

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
  45. Bart,

    "The term "secular" does not mean "atheistic." The term "secular" means being separate or apart from religion."

    Hello! Say it again to yourself slowly, can you honestly say that really makes sense to you? The Atheists are claiming that their belief is being separate or apart from religion and I claim they are indeed a religion. The religion of secular humanism. That was my point in this entire discussion, that 'Secular' truly does mean 'atheistic' and reins as the supreme religion in the US. It is truly unconstitutional. Whether I agree or not that God should or should not be implemented into society, currency, schools and science study is a mute point. The point still irks me that atheism wins when their positions are implemented as law in the US.

    Want a scary thought? If you want my true position, I feel the schools should reintroduce, the Holy Bible for study as the single greatest book for mankind's historicity. To also add even more intense mandatory study classes as moral groundings with the Holy Bible as the 'only' textbook. Bible memorization classes mandatory from 2nd grade to Masters Degree. That all employers should give every worker 2 hours a day for group Holy Bible study and reading with an Hour a day for personal reading, reflection and prayer. Without it, we as a nation and a world will be doomed.

    A world with one religion? Stay tuned. For the spoiler or 'Revelation,' one only has to read God's Word.

    FrodoSaves,

    First, I like the name.

    "Do not mistake that for giving credence to Intelligent Design as a useful theory."

    No one that knows RD's work could in good conscience claim that at all. That still doesn't mean that "an intelligence" search should not be part of the scientific paradigm. Are scientists going to claim that only "secular experiments" could be implemented? Oh wait, they already have.

    I think I need to stop discussing things here and go make more babies so we can be the populace to vote in the things that I wish to happen. After all, we are still a democracy.

    Which reminds me. To put it in your words to understand, Stan. In my world if Joe's idea of the pursuit of happiness involves killing babies through abortions, his right in this case is trumped by the baby's right to not be killed-- her own pursuit of happiness, if you will. I know I have such silly dreams and a different definition of freedom.

    Now, if the debate has ended. I will tell you that I hold some positions that Stan and Dani'El hold. Rationally, the Bible in the schools would probably do more harm than good at this point of the game, one can dream and wish though. We would have to be united as a society to implement such a thing. Sadly, the US just isn't it's namesake anymore.

    All joking aside, yes I am having more children (Stan calls them offspring), as many as God will allow and wants me to have, not because of the stupid notion that I want to change this world for any reason at all, but so I can give God more godly children and to be in Heaven with all of them, enjoying their company for all of eternity.

    Many atheists, like Stan, view this world as their world and they should make the best of it. I, being fully confident in the Lord on the other hand, know full well this world is fallen and evil. For me it is a temporary existence and my worldview reflects it. I am living for the next life and Stan lives for the now. So, I perfectly understand his passions to sculpt this world for his purposes, existence, and enjoyments. Stan, you can have this world and I will, any way I can, help you live it the way you want. I too am a fan of free will. I am not angry anymore. I look forward to the future in anticipatory eagerness for the next events. No matter how deleterious it will be to remove God all together.

    Thanks for that discussion all, it is enjoyable...what's next? Oh I know...

    ReplyDelete
  46. That was my point in this entire discussion, that 'Secular' truly does mean 'atheistic' and reins as the supreme religion in the US.

    You're betraying your ignorance, Dan.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Danny,
    Non-theists are not picking on you. They are merely pushing back so that you don't get a chance to teach your irrational belief systems in the public schools as science and watching to make sure you don't try sneaking your theocratic, dominionist dogma into the constitution.

    You said,
    "I just read an article that, admittedly, angered me slightly. WE need to realize that atheists are trying to censor everyone that contradicts their belief system."

    Who is this "we?"
    Have you got a turd in your pocket?

    So, the atheists are trying to censor everyone?

    Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Better watch out!

    Hey Danny. How about a post about the "war on Christmas."
    Merry Kissmyassmas!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh, Danny, it's not my fault if you don't know what a religion is.

    I think you guys try to insult atheists by saying atheism is a religion. It doesn't work.

    I suppose you have a new definition of "religion" that would include atheism.
    Like Kansas tried to change the definition of science to include Creationionism until they found out that then they would have had to include astrology and fortune telling as science.

    Before you start yammering about how atheists have faith, etc, etc.

    I am an atheist because I have read the bible thoroughly quite a few times and I find it totally devoid of logic and reason. Period.

    I never saw or had a miracle verified by anyone I know or ever read about- just anecdotal stories.
    God never talked to me, as he does to you and your cronies.

    Prayer is proven to not work and Ray Comfort attested to that in a post on his blog today.

    The morals and ethics of the God of the bible are dispicable.

    Seven of the ten commandments are unconstitutional in this country (so much for our laws being based on the ten commandments.)

    I have been a free thinker since I was a little kid.
    I expressed my doubts to my parents and they knew that I would have to work this through on my own so I went to church with them till I was seveteen.

    I wonder why you fundies are so intent on "conditioning" your kids into your irrational belief system?

    If you raise them as loving parents they are already predestined to be fundies like you, right?

    Why not teach the "controversy" and let them decide?

    I don't think you have the "faith" you claim to have, frankly.

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  49. Dan, did I not have a talk with you about something like this?

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  50. Dan doesn't care about facts, because he has faith that he's right.

    'Course, a Bible believer who really believed the book he read would realize that the above belief looks remarkably similar to Pride and Hubris.

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  51. Which of the following are religions/religious by nature?

    You can either answer according to Dan's new definition of religion or you can answer according to reality, your choice:

    a) Scientology
    b) the LA Lakers
    c) Shinto
    d) Owning a farm
    e) Christianity
    i) Catholic
    ii) Evangelical
    f) Cigar Smoker's Clubs
    g) atheism
    h) not stamp collecting
    i) Pokemon
    j) Germ Theory

    Answers on a postcard.....

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  52. "Hello! Say it again to yourself slowly, can you honestly say that really makes sense to you? The Atheists are claiming that their belief is being separate or apart from religion and I claim they are indeed a religion. The religion of secular humanism."

    This goes back to our previous argument wherein you were unable to provide any cogent definition of "religion" and "worship" that applies atheists as a whole. I don't worship myself (or anything for that matter).

    Atheism is only the lack of belief in the existence of gods. How one can classify that as a religion with a straight face is beyond me.

    What dogmas or beliefs does the religion of secular humanism hold? I would be interested if you could tell me what I believe in that qualifies as anything close to "religious."

    You can try to make up your own definition of words, but secular merely means separate/independent of religion. i.e. to not favor or disfavor any particular religion or lack of religious belief over another. You can continue to assert all day (in dogmatic fashion) that it means the endorsement of atheism, but that does not make it so. It means that the government should not endorse or disapprove of atheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, etc., i.e. that the government should not be involved in religion whatsoever.

    "Want a scary thought? If you want my true position, I feel the schools should reintroduce, the Holy Bible for study as the single greatest book for mankind's historicity. To also add even more intense mandatory study classes as moral groundings with the Holy Bible as the 'only' textbook. Bible memorization classes mandatory from 2nd grade to Masters Degree. That all employers should give every worker 2 hours a day for group Holy Bible study and reading with an Hour a day for personal reading, reflection and prayer. Without it, we as a nation and a world will be doomed."

    So you want to throw out the Constitution, revolt and build a new country in which atheists and people of other religions are indoctrinated into your religion by force and, if they refuse to do so, what then?

    Since you have admitted your true position - your wish to use force to convert everybody to your dogma - you do not get to cry foul when atheists fight back. You don't get to claim discrimination - those that do not respect the rights of others are not going to get any sympathy when they claim their rights are being trampled on.

    I suspect that there are many Christians that believe as you do and have your same goals, and you can only blame yourselves for everybody else fighting back.

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  53. I suspect that there are many Christians that believe as you do and have your same goals, and you can only blame yourselves for everybody else fighting back.

    Bingo.

    Portray yourself as an oppressed victim under assault by evil forces, and pretty soon you'll find you're being fought with. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy...

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  54. Whateverman,

    "Portray yourself as an oppressed victim under assault by evil forces, and pretty soon you'll find you're being fought with. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy..."

    Like Rocky, wearing out the opponent and drawing them in, so I can do the knock out!

    Bart,

    Lets use your words against you:

    "Atheism is only the lack of belief in the existence of gods. How one can classify that as a religion with a straight face is beyond me."

    ExPatMatt even said: "Dan, did we not just finish talking about how atheism is not a religion?"

    Whateverman: "Atheism isn't a religion, just like Not Collecting Stamps isn't a religion"

    and

    "but secular merely means separate/independent of religion"

    atheism= worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual, No deity
    secular =relating to the worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual

    When you see the definitions of secular compared to atheism you cannot distinguish between the two. Secular or Atheism is now the established order or laws by default, dare I say by design.

    secularism Vs atheism

    "Secularism declares that theology is condemned by reason as superstitious, and by experience as mischievous, and assails it as the historic enemy of progress.

    Secularism accordingly seeks to dispel superstition, to spread education, to disestablish religion, to rationalize morality, to promote peace, to dignify labor, to extend material well-being, and to realize the self-government of the people."

    Sound familiar atheists?

    CHARLES WATTS (Vice-President of the National Secular Society) said: "but, so far as I am personally concerned, and probably many will agree with me, I contend that the result of Secularism is Atheism."

    So you want to throw out the Constitution, revolt and build a new country in which Christians and people of other religions are indoctrinated into your religion by force and, if they refuse to do so, what then?

    You all want your cake and eat it too and I can relate to that now. Its just for now you are all winning the battle but not the War.

    This should be a new post...

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  55. Dan,
    contrary to how you may feel, Christianity isn't going anywhere.

    I do agree somewhat that atheism, in the form of scientific or humanistic dogma (for example) can be seen as a religion in itself.

    But ultimately it's empty, shallow, and does nothing for the soul.

    ReplyDelete
  56. So....are you now agreeing that atheism and/or secularism are not religions?

    I'm confused.

    ReplyDelete
  57. In the original sense of the word, Atheism is a religion and is becoming more so with every day.

    Religion means "concerning a bond" or a common belief, including a belief that there is no God.

    Today it has come to mean a common belief in a spiritual doctrine.
    And again, a belief that there is no God applies.

    We have just in the last few years seen books by Pope Dawkins and his bishops and priests come out that condemn the theist heretics.
    We have seen the bus sign campaigns. Evangelism?

    Yeah, it's a religion all right.
    It is the established church of state in the schools, colleges and universities and no heresy is tolerated.

    Yeah, I know. Stamp collecting, spaghetti, teapots, sigh.....

    Let's see if the "good, moral" atheists can abstain from foul language and ranting.

    ReplyDelete
  58. It was said that:
    "Atheism is only the lack of belief in the existence of gods. How one can classify that as a religion with a straight face is beyond me."

    Dogma:
    - a “religious” doctrine that is proclaimed true without proof.
    - a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative.

    If one would state that science isn't a religion, it is in the vary least a Dogma relative to the nature of our belief in it.

    For exmaple, if I asked one what gravity was, one might simply say that, "that which makes things fall to the ground."
    But I don't see anything making anything do anything? So you might then talk about Newton (the Dogma), and define it in much the same way he did. And I could ask, "What is that theory consistent with?"

    and one would say what? Perhaps:
    - That it's consistent with experience.
    And then I could reply, "In what way?" perhaps I havn't the foggiest idea about the physics involved in your theory, so how is your language consistent with my experience?
    - then you could say it's consistent with logic, reason, science, mathmatics.
    And then I could respond, "but those are not universal, they're simply ways of talking about the world."

    Sooner or later the atheist will find that he believes in Dogma just as much as he blames the Christian for believing in Dogma.

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  59. That was one of the most willfully ignorant posts I've seen in a while, AL.

    The theory of gravity predicts how long the earthly year is, where jupiter's moons will be on any given day, (in part) the amount of energy it would take to launch a fundamentalist sans space suit into orbit, etc.

    You betray a staggering lack of intellectual honesty by trying to portray "faith in science" as nothing more than belief that Santa is real.

    ReplyDelete
  60. wem,
    Who established the laws of physics?
    Who enforces them?

    They just are?

    Is that your science?

    ReplyDelete
  61.      I've seen a lot of ranting from pretty much everybody (and I'm not excluding myself.) So, for a christian to call on "atheist" (as he defines them -- which seems to be pretty much everyone who isn't a christian) reeks of hypocricy. (I don't believe the christians have been using any foul language here. But, then, neither have I.)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Wem,

    Most of the people that discovered great things in science were in fact believers in God.

    Einstein was never an atheist, he was way too smart for that. So why did science turn to the secular mindset. One guess...Darwin.

    Who saw the History channel last night on Einstein? Fascinating stuff. I think I will go do a blog about him now.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Dani'el asked (among other things) Is that your science?

    Science is nothing more that the study of What Is. By this, I mean that it tries to understand the nature of physical/tangible phenomenon. If that understanding leads it to discover relationships between the phenomena, then it should eagerly follow them back to their source; if not, then it works on something else.

    What created the physical laws? That's a good question. If there were tangible evidence that a supremely powerful being caused them somehow, then science would and should pursue the study of that being.

    ---

    Your question as to who enforces them, however, seems to miss the mark. I find nothing compelling to suggest that God's will keeps the universe from falling apart. In fact, I believe that (assuming they had an intelligent creator) the physical laws were established, and they simply continue to regulate without interference from external sources.

    IOW (in my humble opinion), God does not keep me from falling into the sky; gravity does. God also does not exert any will to keep that law in place and functioning properly.

    To suggest this would be akin to suggesting that God is not all powerful. Someone capable of creating physical laws would have no need to willfully maintain them - they would be created to be autonomous.

    --

    Incidentally, it's entirely possible that science will discover a non-divine source of physical laws. The LHC would in some small part help us understand how the 4 fundamental forces managed to appear from the Big Bang, so I'm pretty much excited to see what happens once it gets running again.

    ---

    Again incidentally, have you (Dani'el) taken notice of the fact that physicists have named one of the clues they're searching for as The God Particle"?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Dan wrote Most of the people that discovered great things in science were in fact believers in God.

    And most of them drank water from gourds. What exactly is your point here, Dan?


    Einstein was never an atheist, he was way too smart for that. So why did science turn to the secular mindset. One guess...Darwin.

    You're being intentionally dense. Darwin had no effect on science itself - he only made a mark in one tiny corner of it, and even that had very little effect on the other disciplines.

    It's a fact that there are plenty of religious scientists around today. You should take note, however, that when they're searching for understanding of the phenomena they're studying, they don't turn to the Bible for information.

    ---

    Only Creationists are threatened by the theory of evolution. The rest of the planet seems to be able to handle it without blaming it for the fall of civilization.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Wem,

    "So why did science turn to the secular mindset. One guess...Darwin."

    I did mean to say scientists instead of science sorry about that.

    I hope you are listening to the D'Souza Q and A, It is quite interesting. They are talking exactly what we are talking about

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  66. I did mean to say scientists instead of science sorry about that.

    Except that there's no evideence of this whatsoever. Scientists operate INDEPENDENT of their religion. They search for knowledge based on scientific principles.

    To be sure, some may try to apply religious principles if possible. But it's a fact that the Bible has nothing to say about how the issues of Food Science or Household Cleaning Products should be addressed. There's no need to bring a Bible into work involving circuit boards or nuclear physics or microbiology.

    The Bible (and religion in general) is ireelevant to scientific tasks. It's not related, and has almost nothing to say about how scientists should go about their jobs.

    Stop turning your pet issue (re. Darwinian evoltuion) into some larger anti-science screed. You like, enjoy, and readily utilize the benefits of 99.99% of all science mankind has established to date. You're being intentionally dishonest by portraying "science" or even scienTISTS as somehow taking us down a path of destruction/damnation/whatever.

    If you really believed what you were writing, you'd stop using your computer and toss it off the roof of a tall building.

    ReplyDelete
  67. wem quoth thus-
    "What created the physical laws? That's a good question. If there were tangible evidence that a supremely powerful being caused them somehow, then science would and should pursue the study of that being."

    D- yes they should indeed.

    Yes, those are the doctrines of Deism which you hold, which is much more sensible than atheism.
    Ever read Spinoza?

    To say that God "needs" to do something because He has chosen a certain means to accomplish His will doesn't make much sense to me.
    He does as He pleases, without needing to do so.

    And yes I know about the God particle, the theory of everything, elegance in mathmatical equations etc and it all points to God in my understanding.

    I am baffled when most scientists demand that a wall be established between science and philosophy/theology. They are interwoven, even one in the same.
    Cause and effect.

    ReplyDelete
  68. wem quoth thus-
    Except that there's no evideence of this whatsoever. Scientists operate INDEPENDENT of their religion. They search for knowledge based on scientific principles.


    D- What about ethics?

    ReplyDelete
  69. arg - I wrote a long response Dani'el, but it got lost (re. browser connectivity).

    In short, there's a difference between theoretical and applied science; ethics has nothing important to say about the former, whereas it's a valid player in the latter.

    Note that Darwinian evolution falls under the category of "theoretical science", for purposes of this discussion.

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  70. Dan,

    First, I'm glad you like the name. It's good to have a chuckle and stop taking ourselves so seriously sometimes.

    Second, you said this:

    'No one that knows RD's work could in good conscience claim that at all. That still doesn't mean that "an intelligence" search should not be part of the scientific paradigm. Are scientists going to claim that only "secular experiments" could be implemented? Oh wait, they already have.

    All scientists worth their salt follow the facts and do not allow a doctrine to influence their findings, be that doctrine religious faith or secular humanism. If the evidence pointed to said "intelligence" it would, and should be endorsed. As Dawkins has illuminated, the problem with ID is that "intelligence" is an unnecessary variable to the theory, because we are well on the way to explaining life's existence without it. ID discredits itself by postulating this unnecessary variable, and its adherence to it belies its agenda. And as we saw above, that's not good science.

    ReplyDelete
  71. "Bart,

    Lets use your words against you:

    "Atheism is only the lack of belief in the existence of gods. How one can classify that as a religion with a straight face is beyond me."

    ExPatMatt even said: "Dan, did we not just finish talking about how atheism is not a religion?"

    Whateverman: "Atheism isn't a religion, just like Not Collecting Stamps isn't a religion"

    and

    "but secular merely means separate/independent of religion"

    atheism= worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual, No deity
    secular =relating to the worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual

    When you see the definitions of secular compared to atheism you cannot distinguish between the two. Secular or Atheism is now the established order or laws by default, dare I say by design."

    Wow, maybe you shouldn't have smoked so much pot in college and, instead, took a class is basic logic. You say you are going to use my own words against me and then use two of my quotes and a few quotes from other people who post here (using other peoples' words against me).

    Anyway, that is an accurate definition of secular. Atheism, not so much (in fact I would be interested in knowing where you obtained that definition).

    Atheism is the disbelief in deities. That's it(as I have said all along).

    Secularism in essence means independence from religious considerations. Independence from considerations of the belief in a deity vs. the non-belief in a diety and independence from considerations of any particular religions (Christianity vs. Islam vs. Judaism vs. Mormonism, etc.). In the common usage of the world, that is the definition.

    Let me give you some examples:

    a) a society filled with a majority of Christians who make laws banning the practice of any other particular religious belifs - not secular

    b) a society filled with a majority of Christians who make laws independent of and without consideration to their belief regarding religion and allow free practice of any particular religious beliefs - secular

    c) a society filled with a majority atheists who ban the practice of any religion whatsoever - not secular

    d) a society filled with a majority atheists who make laws independent of and without consideration to their belief regarding religion and allow free practice of any particular religious beliefs - secular

    I also have to point out that you are now using this definition of atheism:

    atheism= worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual, No deity

    But, I thought you were arguing that atheism is a religion. This is why many people consider fundamentalists disingenuous in any attempted discourse about religion - you change your arguments and definitions every time you are confronted - it is like trying hit a moving target.

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  72. wem,
    What about social darwinism?

    Frodo,
    Many if not most of the worlds scientists like RD hold rigidly to a naturalist axiom.

    Yet biblical creationists are hypocritically condemned for our own axiom.

    Either way it begins with an axiom.
    Both sides are rigid but the naturalists are the ones entrenched in the universities, science community, etc.

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  73. bart,
    unbelief, anti-belief, a belief that it is not.

    All forms of belief.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Bart:

         With a lot of fundamentalists, I think it's like playing battleship with someone who moves his ships after you call your shot but before telling you whether you hit anything.

    ReplyDelete
  75. "bart,
    unbelief, anti-belief, a belief that it is not.

    All forms of belief."

    Even if this were true, nobody was talking about the meaning of "belief."

    We are talking about what "religion," "atheism" and "secular" means.

    Furthermore, even if "belief" and "non belief" are both forms of beliefs, that doesn't mean that both beliefs are on equal grounds. One person could say "I believe in Santa Clause" and another person could say "I don't believe in Santa Clause." However, only one of those beliefs in supported by the overwhelming balance of available evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  76. "Pvblivs said...

    Bart:

    With a lot of fundamentalists, I think it's like playing battleship with someone who moves his ships after you call your shot but before telling you whether you hit anything."

    Nice. Mind if use that in the future?

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  77. bart,
    The argument gets made that atheism is not a belief system (religion?) since it is unbelief and not belief.

    So it follows that those who hold the doctrine or belief that there is no God, organizing and evangelizing, are a religion.

    In the purest sense of the word.

    ReplyDelete
  78.      "Nice. Mind if use that in the future?"
         By all means.

    ReplyDelete
  79. bart,
    "I believe in Santa Claus"
    "I believe there is no Santa Clause"

    If the first had met Santa Claus in person, his belief would be validated. Santa is real, would be the truth.

    If the second had searched the whole of the North Pole, and found nothing, then it could be assumed to be true, if what is claimed about SC was true.

    But without doing that thorough search, to claim there is no Santa Claus would require faith or antifaith.

    With God, to claim He is not real because He has not revealed Himself to you is not logical.
    He is everywhere and you have not searched everywhere.

    (This is assuming you are an atheist and not agnostic)

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  80. "With God, to claim He is not real because He has not revealed Himself to you is not logical.
    He is everywhere and you have not searched everywhere.

    (This is assuming you are an atheist and not agnostic)"

    I am atheist in the sense that I do not believe in God like you and I don't believe in fairies. "Agnostic" vs. "Atheist" is really a false dichotomy. I am not suggesting I am all knowing that there is no chance I am wrong - nobody can really claim that. Therefore, I have never argued that God is not real because he hasn't revealed himself to me. I have merely suggested that I have no evidence to suggest that a deity, let along the Christian God, exists.

    Suppose I were to tell you that I know for certain that purple unicorns exist in the Ozarks because I saw one when I was there. You say, "I have been the Ozarks many times, in fact I have walked every square inch and I didn't see any." I tell you again that I certainly saw the purple unicorns, you must have been unlucky or they were scared of you. However, I am not able to show you any pictures or independent evidence of the existence of purple unicorns. Would it be illogical for you to not believe that purple unicorns exist in the Ozarks?

    ReplyDelete
  81. bart,
    The problem is applying this to God who is spirit.

    Tho' certain things are tangible. Like the historical figure of Jesus.
    Or the fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible etc

    I don't think I've seen you on my blog, but I am writing about a prophecy that will be fulfilled soon.
    The destruction of San Francisco and LA per Luke 17.

    Then this long tedious argument will be over and the world will have it's proof.

    Then what?

    There is no spiritual switzerland and all will need to get on one side or the other.
    I invite you over to the good side.

    Shalom,
    Dani' El

    ReplyDelete
  82. Let's see if the "good, moral" atheists can abstain from foul language and ranting.

    Look, Da' niel, I realize you're relatively new here, but a) pretty much all Dan does is rant (or didn't you read this very topic?), and b) "foul language" is something which is intentionally insulting -- not something which includes an expletive. It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive silly people get when they hear "profanity", yet how calloused they are when they witness a euphemistic insult, or even a direct insult, which uses "good" language.

    Anyway, you may be surprised to know that Dan himself has used the "F-word" in past posts (quoting Pulp Fiction). Don't be so offended by the inconsequential ordering of letters, or, if you're not offended, quit feigning offense, and displaying condescension toward those who choose to spice up their speech. It's pretentious.

    --
    Stan

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  83. stan spake thus-
    "Don't be so offended by the inconsequential ordering of letters, or, if you're not offended, quit feigning offense, and displaying condescension toward those who choose to spice up their speech. It's pretentious."

    D- Yes, m'lord.
    Please to forgive my impudence sir!
    Anything else before I sulk away? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  84. Please to forgive my impudence sir!
    Anything else before I sulk away?


    Forgiven.

    And for your request, I'll quit intentionally misplacing your apostrophe...

    There will be nothing else for the moment (IFC is showing Radiohead's In Rainbows), so sulk away.

    --
    Stan

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  85. Stan,

    Dan himself has used the "F-word" in past posts (quoting Pulp Fiction)

    This is true but it wasn't quite so intentional although I did leave it when I did notice it.

    In my defense when I quoted it another time, I did clean it up.

    Although, being a sailor, I used to cuss with the best of them but since now I have kids that repeat every little thing I say, I have curbed it quite respectfully.

    There really is no need for what sponge bob and Patrick affectionately called "sentence enhancers."

    If that is what is what you refer to as your "A" game then that is just a reflection on you, if you chose that route. If you are trying to project anger (a God given gift) then there are other ways to do it, like saying "I'm angry."

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  86. Whateverman,
    you said:
    "That was one of the most willfully ignorant posts I've seen in a while, AL."

    Let my try and make my point more clear. Regardless of what you say gravity does (and of course I don't disagree) that doesn't make it any less of a dogma.

    The point I'm making is that Gravity is merely a way of "talking" about the world we live in. You accept it because it "works". Years and years from now, when other theories and ideas trump the validity and usefullness of Newton's theory (and Einstein partially did that), will gravity still be true? People will perhaps look at the theory in much the same way we look at the antients ideas.

    Was it correct for the antients to say that the heavenly bodies were moved by Gods? How is saying today that gravity moves the planets any different? The experience of moving objects is certainly the same is it not? So what's changed then?

    You want to say that the law of gravity exists immaterialy on it's own, floating around in space somewhere (or so it seems). But it doesn't, it exists as a mode of communication. Does gravity exists in a handfull of equations? Did it exist in those equations before Newton came up with them?

    The gap which bridges the ontoligical divide between language and experience is one of our own willfull belief and consent to a language game.

    Your above statement shows your ignorant devotion to atheism in much the same way you consider theists to be ignorantly devoted.

    ReplyDelete
  87. In my defense when I quoted it another time, I did clean it up.

    (Then you didn't quote it, you paraphrased...)

    Haven't we had this conversation before, Dan, and haven't you seen enough of my writing to recognize that I'm perfectly capable of avoiding "profanity" altogether?

    If not, then I shall repeat an often-stated mantra of mine:

    Using "profanity" is far less offensive than using "good" language to say the same thing. Expletives cut to the point, and do so with remarkable efficiency; sure, some might say they are indicative of a weak vocabulary, but you know better.

    Whatever. I have and shall continue to occasionally use "profanity" when I feel it is an appropriate outlet of efficient communication -- whether anger, frustration, or any other emotion, or whether it is merely a matter of simplicity.

    Of course, none of this has any actual bearing on the topic at hand: whether you are being at all honest in your cries of persecution.

    You have noted with smug ignorance that you would rather adjust any references to "god" in public forums so that they instead reference "Jesus", and you have the audacity at the same time to complain that the mere removal of references to "god" in the same is a violation of the First Amendment.

    How is that honest, again?

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  88. JUST TO RECAP

    Dani' El said...

    "With God, to claim He is not real because He has not revealed Himself to you is not logical.
    He is everywhere and you have not searched everywhere."

    I Said:

    "Suppose I were to tell you that I know for certain that purple unicorns exist in the Ozarks because I saw one when I was there. You say, "I have been the Ozarks many times, in fact I have walked every square inch and I didn't see any." I tell you again that I certainly saw the purple unicorns, you must have been unlucky or they were scared of you. However, I am not able to show you any pictures or independent evidence of the existence of purple unicorns. Would it be illogical for you to not believe that purple unicorns exist in the Ozarks?"

    Dani' El said...

    bart,
    The problem is applying this to God who is spirit."

    Dani'El:

    I really am not trying to be overly difficult, I am just trying to understand what evidence you have for the existence God. What can I do to find out this God exists? How do you go about finding something that is "spiritual" but leaves no physical evidence.

    I guess Christians would say that I need to pray and ask God to reveal himself to me. I have done that in my past with sincerity and there was no revelation of the existence of God. So where do you search for God?

    ReplyDelete
  89. Dani'el
    "I don't think I've seen you on my blog, but I am writing about a prophecy that will be fulfilled soon.
    The destruction of San Francisco and LA per Luke 17."

    I took a look and if you are able to provide a definite date when SF and LA are destroyed, I will take that as proof that you know what you are talking about and that the Christian God exists. I took a look at your blog and saw this:

    When God showed me that SF and LA were going to be judged, the question became, when?
    I was looking and looking. Fasting and asking in prayer, but nothing.
    Then in mid-2007 the knowledge came concerning June 4, 2009.
    I'm not setting a date as I have not heard a definite word from God on the matter. But there are many reasons that point to the date being significant.


    This is a little wishy-washy. If nothing happens on June 4, 2009, then you can fall back to say that you never set that date. Can you at least give us a reasonable time frame? Like, for example, sometime in 2009? That way we can hold you to some standard.

    And by the way - fires in that area are not proof of anything. That part of California has experience wildfires well before humans lived there and man made and wildfires ever since.

    ReplyDelete
  90. AL wrote Was it correct for the antients to say that the heavenly bodies were moved by Gods?

    No


    How is saying today that gravity moves the planets any different?

    Gravity DOES move the planets today. That's what makes it different.

    You're mistaking the fallibility of human knowledge for dogma, and this is where your idea falls apart. Unlike religious dogma, science (or Fact with quotation marks) is eager to change in the face of contradicting information. The minute we find that our gravitational theory is flawed, we will do everything possible to understand where we went wrong; we will change our theory to agree with fact.

    Dogma (including the religious kind) exists in spite of fact. Its not interested in understanding things - it seeks merely to portray itself as fact.


    You want to say that the law of gravity exists immaterialy on it's own, floating around in space somewhere (or so it seems).

    No, I don't. You were correct in suggesting that such laws only describe reality. Every physical "law" is merely just an linguistic (or mathematic) explanation for natural phenomena; of itself, it does not regulate anything, as it's only made up up letters and number on a sheet of paper, or ideas in someone's head.



    Your above statement shows your ignorant devotion to atheism in much the same way you consider theists to be ignorantly devoted.

    You're not very bright, are you?

    I'm a deist.

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  91. Seriously now Dan,

    Are you saying that atheism is not a religion?

    "atheism= worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual, No deity"

    I'd really like to know.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Whateverman,
    You are contradicting yourself here.

    On the one hand you say:
    “Every physical "law" is merely just an linguistic (or mathematic) explanation for natural phenomena;”

    And then you say:
    “Gravity DOES move the planets today. That's what makes it different.”

    So you say Gravity is just language, then turn around and say that it also moves the planets, then you turn around and say I’m the one who isn’t bright. WOW!

    What is gravity WEM?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Oh, and one more thing;

    "Like Rocky, wearing out the opponent and drawing them in, so I can do the knock out!"

    Which Rocky film were you referring to here? You know he loses in the first one, right?

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  94. AL askedWhat is gravity WEM?

    Fine, I literally contradicted myself, but only because there's no other word that can be used to label the phenomenon better. If you're looking for specific and inerrant language, stay away from the Bible, and consider the following:

    The phenomenon we've labeled "gravity" does, as far as we know today, describe the movement of the planets.

    That's not dogma.

    Care to try again? Or would you rather ignore the fact that that faith in science is justified, whereas faith in the Biblical story of creation is not.

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  95. Was it correct for the antients [sic] to say that the heavenly bodies were moved by Gods?

    As Whateverman said -- NO. Do you suggest otherwise?

    How is saying today that gravity moves the planets any different?

    Again, do you suggest otherwise? To answer your "question", though, the primary difference is that we now understand that the phenomenon we term "gravity" acts independently of human considerations. The "antients" not only thought various sets of gods were responsible for planetary motion, but they also thought that without the various rituals they performed out of deference to those sets of gods, that the motion of the planets would cease or become otherwise chaotic.

    Furthermore, we also understand, quite apart from the "antients", that planetary motion is described in precisely the same fashion as the motion of an apple when it falls from its tree. I seem to remember an anecdotal historical reference to someone noting the same thing...

    The experience of moving objects is certainly the same is it not? So what's changed then?

    Ahhh. Here you truly fail. The experience of the ancients was that without their devoted rituals, the motions of planetary bodies (into which category they also included the sun) would cease, or become chaotic. Their objective experiences were the same as ours, but their subjective experiences were quite different.

    Did you know that those ancients actually believed that the sun was a ball of fire (read: combusting), and that it was "created" after the earth? Did you know that they also thought that the universe was only a few thousand years old?

    Silly, I know, but it gets better: they also thought that pairs (and sevens, in some cases) of animals -- all animals, including those with predator/prey relationships -- spontaneously marched toward a particular location on the planet's surface, and quite tamely went aboard a giant boat, where they were kept for over a year without so much as a single net death among them, being cared for by as many as eight human zookeepers?

    Rubbish, I know, but we know better now, right?

    What's changed, you ask?

    We are no longer afraid to admit the limitations of our knowledge. We are no longer willing to assert that because we don't understand some process(es), some deity must have done it. We no longer stretch this already baseless assertion to suggest that because some deity may be involved, that we can also identify its favorite color.

    What's changed?

    Not just our understanding, but our ability to deny the subjective in favor of the objective. It's a process, so I admit that subjectivity still exists, but it comprises a far narrower cross-section of our collective understanding than it ever did, and that band of subjectivity continues to dwindle... your efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

    So you say Gravity is just language, then turn around and say that it also moves the planets, then you turn around and say I’m the one who isn’t bright. WOW!

    WOW, indeed! You have erected a beautiful straw man, and then made fun of your own creativity. Whateverman is too gracious in admitting he literally contradicted himself: he didn't; rather, he said that physical "laws" are linguistic and/or mathematical constructs used to describe observed phenomena.

    Get it?

    Gravity is not "just language", then, but it is a mathematical construct which accurately describes observed phenomena. We say it is a "law", but that doesn't mean it can't be broken -- it only means it has never been observed to break, despite many, many experiments which provide opportunity for the contrary.

    What is gravity WEM?

    If he, or anyone else, can answer that, and if it can be independently corroborated, and if that answer produces testable predictions which themselves corroborate the answer, then a Nobel Prize awaits.

    What a stupid question.

    Hey, Andrew: What's a Higgs boson? What does the interior of a black hole look like in the visible spectrum? What's god's favorite color?

    Wait -- I know what the problem is...

    It's honesty. For the most part, theists, especially Dan, Dani' El, and now Andrew, are notoriously dishonest when it comes to critically examining their beliefs or those of others. I challenge any of you to identify a single moment of dishonesty on my part;a I assure you there are plenty of examples of dishonesty on yours. My fellow atheists, agnostics, and even deists? I won't speak for them directly, as I know that we are not immune from the plague of dishonesty, but I daresay we are far less susceptible than you theists...

    --
    Stan

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  96. I know that we are not immune from the plague of dishonesty, but I daresay we are far less susceptible than you theists...

    At the very least, this appears to be true of most of the theists we blog with here, and at Ray's fun house.

    What gets me is that we're accused of being full of pride and worshipping ourselves. It's fundamentally false - the very last person I'd worship on this planet is my self. That's because I'm fallible, prone to making mistakes and misunderstanding the situation. I'm simply incapable of knowing enough about any subject to be an authority.

    If there's any pride on display here, it's on the part of those who claim they understand the ultimate truth simply because they believe they do. And this is somehow translated into "righteousness".

    The intellectual hypocrisy is staggering

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  97. I don't have time to write a book here Stan, but you said:

    "To answer your "question", though, the primary difference is that we now understand that the phenomenon we term "gravity" acts independently of human considerations."

    Ok good, I suppose you can offer up the proof to support this claim.

    Essetially you are saying that the pinciples of gravity exist absolutely. So then, now you can offer up your proof of absolutes while at the same time trying to prove that gravity existed before Newton.

    I can't wait to read it.

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  98. remember Stan and WEM, all I'm saying is that Gravity is a Dogma.

    ReplyDelete
  99. AL wrote Essetially you are saying that the pinciples of gravity exist absolutely

    No, that's not what he's saying.

    The theory of Gravitation holds true as far as we've been able to experience and understand it. To assert that it is somehow absolute is to preclude the possibility that we're wrong.

    As for proof that the theory of gravity is valid, you only need look to NASA. Or perhaps see that astronomers were able to predict the collision of Hale-Bopp with Jupiter. Or maybe that bridges don't collapse when you drive over them. Sky divers, air planes, the moon orbitting the Earth, the phrase "terminal velocity".

    These things would not be possible without our modern understanding of the phenomenon that we've labelled "gravity".

    No dogma involved.

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  100. Did you realize that, as recently as the last 50 years, there was serious investigation done to examine whether the gravitational constant is changing with time?

    If this theory were somehow dogma, there would never be any questioning of it.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Ok,
    we're on completely different pages. So let me ask a different question that I remember asking before. This should flesh things out.

    If somthing cannot be said to be scientific (rational or logical)does it exist?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Andrew Louis,

    "If something cannot be said to be scientific (rational or logical)does it exist?"

    Of course creationists exist, Andrew; what a silly question!

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  103. Andrew, you ask:

    If somthing cannot be said to be scientific (rational or logical)does it exist?

    I know this question was for Whateverman, but I hope he doesn't mind if I sneak in my € 0.02 worth here.

    Science is not a thing but a method, a way of learning about the world and describing it. And there's no hard and fast line that can be drawn between a "scientific" approach and an "unscientific" approach: there's a continuum, with all kinds of differences of opinion about what should be included in "science" and what should not be included.

    Thus, I'm not sure what you mean by your question. Obviously, approaches to knowledge that are far away from the scientific do exist, such as reading pig entrails. There also exist all kinds of "things" that are not scientific but may be viewed scientifically: apples, kisses, hanging chads...

    So what do you mean by your question? Obviously, lots of stuff exists that is more or less distant from the scientific way of looking at the world.

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  104. Zilch,
    Wonderful point. I was thinking of science relative to the following explanation:
    “Of course science itself comes from the Latin “scientia”, meaning knowledge. To put the definition another way we can say that science is the verb sense of cognition, where cognition is, “the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning”; so again science is merely the act of cognition. So I’m not here viewing scientific as a process or a necessary method.”

    But let me rephrase the question:
    “If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?”

    You brought up things like, apples, kisses and hanging chads. However, I would say that a rational discourse can be had regarding the existence of these things. There is no reason I can immediately see to believe otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Ok good, I suppose you can offer up the proof to support [the claim that gravity acts independently of human considerations].

    Really? I'd be happy to do so. Meet me at the midway point of whatever bridge is convenient for you, and we'll perform a little experiment.

    Get real, and offer an argument if you have one, or otherwise stop being a jackass.

    Essetially you are saying that the pinciples [sic] of gravity exist absolutely.

    You don't read so well, do you? This time, get someone to read it to you:

    Gravity is not "just language", then, but it is a mathematical construct which accurately describes observed phenomena. We say it is a "law", but that doesn't mean it can't be broken -- it only means it has never been observed to break, despite many, many experiments which provide opportunity for the contrary.

    I have to wonder why Dan doesn't rebuke you. These "questions" and this pithy pseudo-intellectual crap takes away from what might otherwise be meaningful discussion.

    So then, now you can offer up your proof of absolutes while at the same time trying to prove that gravity existed before Newton.

    As demonstrated above, I've suggested nothing of the sort, and again, if you're up for a little experiment, we can find out if our current theory regarding gravity holds up to experimental observation...

    Beyond this, since I presume you accept ~400 year old documentation, there was this Italian guy who did these experiments, see, and got locked up by the reigning church at the time, see...

    Remember, genius, I noted that the current theory of gravitation stands up to experiment extremely well -- so well that not once has there been documented countervailing evidence in anything remotely resembling a controlled experiment.

    Want to know something else? Newton was wrong. The only reason we still teach it, and use it, to this day is because it still works well enough at the size and speed scales with which we generally work.

    I can't wait to read it.

    Yeah, but you'll have to pass the third grade, first. Better get your Mom to read it for you.

    All posturing aside, Andrew, I feel as though I've been pretty damned accommodating to your inane questions and asinine comments, so now if you'll be so kind as to return the favor, and explain or answer the following:

    1. What is a Higgs boson?

    2. What does the interior of a black hole look like in the visible spectrum?

    3. What is the southernmost part of a north-facing horse?

    4. Please explain why you feel the onus is on me to illustrate the existence of gravity prior to Newton.

    --
    Stan


    P.S. - the answer to #3 has the letters A and L in his monogram.

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  106. Andrew,

    Sorry for barging in, but this this is an interesting question.

    “If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?”

    Well, we'd have to know about - or at least be able to conceptualize - the thing as criteria No. 1 first, otherwise there'd be no reason to have the discussion in the first place.
    Hypothetically though, any 'thing / phenomenon' that is outside our experience, still has the potentiality to be discovered, thought on and talked about.

    Of course, just having the discussion doesn't make something exist if it didn't exist in the first place.

    I'm interested to hear what your point is....

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  107. Stan,
    If gravity acts independently of human considerations, your experiment would not be a proof as it would not take place independently of either of us; thus it would be a failure. Your proof has to show the existence of gravity in an absolute sense; somehow you miss the implication of your statement. But then you highlight your other statement, perhaps now, to show your obvious contradiction. Schrodingers Cat comes to mind (google it).

    Here was that question, you don’t have to answer it, just think about it:
    “If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?”

    Stan,
    I don’t think the onus is on you to prove anything, I’m simply interested in your philosophical stance on the matter. You all like to say that God is not true on rational grounds, so I’m feeling out the way you see rationality, looking for hypocrisies. If you’re Socratic for long enough you’ll find nobody really knows what the heck they’re talking about, even you Stan.

    Your other 3 questions are ridiculous. Whether I know the answers or not is meaningless as we all have google.

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  108. stan,
    When you go there with the foul language and mockery, you really hurt your argument.

    I can't see any need for it other than an attempt to intimidate or bully your opponent.

    If you had any real confidence you wouldn't need to go there.

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  109. "Like Rocky, wearing out the opponent and drawing them in, so I can do the knock out!"

    Which Rocky film were you referring to here? You know he loses in the first one, right?

    D- I think he is getting Rocky and Ali mixed up. Rope-a-dope.

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  110. Bart- This is a little wishy-washy. If nothing happens on June 4, 2009, then you can fall back to say that you never set that date. Can you at least give us a reasonable time frame? Like, for example, sometime in 2009? That way we can hold you to some standard.

    D- If you read a little more, esp in the comments, those questions are answered.
    I would rather answer them on my own blog. Feel free to comment there.

    b- I guess Christians would say that I need to pray and ask God to reveal himself to me. I have done that in my past with sincerity and there was no revelation of the existence of God. So where do you search for God?

    D- You just got bumped to the top of my prayer list! seriously.
    In your prayers, were you confessing your sins?
    Are you willing to confess that you are worthy of judgment for them?
    Start there, humble yourself, and most important, be patient and persistant.
    I did the same in '98 after some amazing things that occured in my life, and it was 7 long years before my eyes were opened.

    So please be patient and persistant and I will have you in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  111. If gravity acts independently of human considerations, your experiment would not be a proof as it would not take place independently of either of us

    If you knew anything about experiment, it's not about proof, it's about prediction and observation. Anyway, since you wanted evidence that gravity acts independently of human consideration, I was offering to throw you from the bridge, while you prayed fervently that gravity's pull would be suspended...

    ...thus it would be a failure. Your proof has to show the existence of gravity in an absolute sense

    Again, you just don't get it. A theory only earns the title "law" if it lasts, and if literal mountains of experimental data continues to support its predictions.

    But then you highlight your other statement, perhaps now, to show your obvious contradiction.

    You are an imp. Re-read the posts if you must -- the two statements are not contradictory, and they came in the course of a single post. Clearly, I didn't highlight it to show a non-existent contradiction, but rather to remind you what was actually said, despite your efforts at strip-mining my quotes to power your straw-man factory.

    (Heh. I made a funny.)

    Schrodingers Cat comes to mind

    I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I'm guessing you've never struggled to solve Schrödinger's equation. I'm guessing that your knowledge of the proverbial cat exercise is purely anecdotal, with the slim possibility of some juvenile understanding of the Uncertainty Principle mixed in.

    Now, I'm not about to pretend that I am an expert in all things quantum, but it's a fun class. You should take it some time.

    If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?

    The question as posed is backward. It should rather be stated as follows:

    If a means/method of rational discourse exists regarding a particular concept, does that concept exist?

    Note the changes.

    I suspect you may be grasping at the philosophical notion (which is somewhat supported by certain aspects of quantum mechanics) that if a thing is not observed, then that thing does not exist. While practically true, in a philosophical sort of way, it is not useful, and is a weak premise upon which one's life should be based. Tell you what -- I'll let you look at my take on your question, and go from there.

    You all like to say that God is not true on rational grounds, so I’m feeling out the way you see rationality, looking for hypocrisies.

    What do you mean, you all?

    (Heh. I made another funny.)

    Seriously, though, nice generalization. Thanks for the pigeon-hole. Is that the bird you carry around in your quote strip-mining operation? I mean, that's clearly yet another export from your straw-man factory...

    Actually, I classify myself as a weak atheist, and a strong anti-theist. I see no evidence for any of the gods proposed, and of those, they are unworthy of any sort of praise if their "holy books" are at all accurate. Even were there some proposed deity which appeared worthy of worship, I would not. Communicate, cooperate, befriend, sure. Worship? What a stupid notion. Only a human -- a primitive one at that -- could actually believe that an all-powerful being might both exist and require constant adulation.

    So to recap, I'm not prepared to say that a god is not possible, but rather that none proposed is worth my time, much less my attention. If there is a theistic god, then he is effectively impotent or an asshole. If there is a deistic god, then who cares? I'm happy to admire and study nature and my surroundings, but none of that seems to require any sort of propitiation or groveling...

    So, Dr. Freud? Was there something more?

    --
    Stan

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  112. Stan,

    Your vernacular is effective and your mantra is sensible. You have absolutely infuriated me at times, to get that from words written down is very powerful. In the same breath, what good will it do you when Christ comes. Do you really think your talented writing will excuse you from judgment day?

    PS you are the smuggest here. :p

    Bart,

    "I have done that in my past with sincerity and there was no revelation of the existence of God. So where do you search for God?"

    It begins in His Word. (John 14:21)

    Now I don't know you at all. So this is me sharing what I have observed and helped this hypothesis of mine.

    There is something I noticed with many atheists, proclaiming Christians and false converts. They have one thing in common and this might have been you. It was me for many years, dare I even say 15 years, I thought I was a Christian. I received the word as many false converts with pure gladness. I was so happy to be(come) a Christian I went to church and volunteered and was very involved. The entire time I was false, sinned occasionally but that was OK God was so forgiving. He wouldn't care, for example, that I went out Fridays to the clubs with the intention to fornicate. He loves me and I love Him. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

    Flash ahead to a real dark place I was in. It was then I realized that I actually was a false convert all those years, that I was playing a Christian. Once I realized that fact, I was frozen. I was shaken to my core and I was actually afraid of God, the real kind of fear. (Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10)

    I was a mess, broken, spent, and truly lost all over again. I approached God again but this time a very fragile, crushed, and a broken man. (Psalm 34:18;Psalm 51:17)

    Words will never do the experience justice. An indication that I look for now a days isn't the happy story of becoming a Christian, its the dark and broken heart that I look for. Anyone disagree?

    The other day I read something I could relate to:

    "God never clothes men until He has first stripped them, nor does He quicken them by the gospel till first they are slain by the Law. When you meet with persons in whom there is no trace of conviction of sin, you may be quite sure that they have not been wrought upon by the Holy Spirit; for 'when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.'" Charles Spurgeon

    We also have talked about how God speaks to us in a past post. Science would have a hard time measuring the evidence that I now have in referenced to God. I am here to tell you that these days I know God exists and he has saved me once and for all and my name is actually written in the book of life and I am in awe daily because of it.

    Once you experience God it will be impossible to go backwards. Any truly saved Christian will tell you this. Just a mere 2-3 years ago I was saved and I experienced God.

    ExPatMatt,

    "Are you saying that atheism is not a religion?"

    I would rather flip it to you. If you believe it isn't then you are in direct line with secularism and the US is passing many laws for your beliefs which may be unconstitutional. If you believe it is, then you are free to worship and have tax breaks as we all enjoy. Pick a side.

    At this point I am still looking into it it may change. Currently I do believe it is a religion. You advertise and preach and the courts recognizes atheism as a religion. Yes, I believe you belong to a religion.

    Stan,

    "being cared for by as many as eight human zookeepers?

    Rubbish, I know, but we know better now, right?"


    We have been through this before, right?

    "I challenge any of you to identify a single moment of dishonesty on my part"

    Mwahahahah. Are you claiming you have never ever lied, in your life, ever?

    I am getting behind in these conversations. Thanks for all your patience.

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  113. Stan, (one thing at a time)
    if you can't answer the question just say so. Pointing out what you think the question is and then avoiding it entirely just makes you look like a theist.

    "If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?"

    Let me ask you this Dan, since you think I know nothing of mathmatics; do you have any post high school education?

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  114. One final note Stan:

    I’m confused by your last paragraph, if what you say is true of yourself, then why do you spend so much time debating with a biblical literalist? Does it make you feel better about yourself to think you constantly win the debate? Or do you really think there is something to all this God stuff? If you want a good debate, something to really test your dialectic prowess, there’s plenty of other blogs out there who deal in pure philosophy.

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  115. PS you are the smuggest here. :p

    Awww. I love you, too, Dan.

    We have been through [how silly the flood story is, and other biblical stories are] before, right?

    ...there may have been a certain amount of sarcasm in that particular paragraph...

    Are you claiming you have never ever lied, in your life, ever?

    Nope, just challenging anyone here to identify a time when I was dishonest (probably by finding dishonest reasoning and/or statements in my posts, since none of you know me personally). Ready, set, go.

    Pointing out what you think the question is and then avoiding it entirely just makes you look like a theist.

    Oh, burn. If you'll recall, I didn't say what I thought it was, I said what it ought to have been. My restatement should quite effectively have answered it, but then, you have demonstrated difficulty understanding what I've written...

    If only an explicit answer will satisfy you, then here you go:

    Rational discourse has no bearing on the topic in question -- whether its existence, its composition, its purpose, or any other aspect. As I noted in re-writing the question, an object's existence is not only independent of any potential rational discourse concerning it, but rational discourse may freely occur without "causing to exist" whatever topic or object is under discussion.

    You ask questions as though you are either a psychologist or a philosopher -- no point is ever forthcoming, but you blather on as though something profound awaits. It's long past your turn to identify your own position(s), so that we know just where the other stands. Do you, for instance, maintain that discussion of a subject requires its existence? Would you like to discuss the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or a treasure chest buried in my backyard?

    I’m confused by your last paragraph, if what you say is true of yourself, then why do you spend so much time debating with a biblical literalist?

    I met Dan on Debunking Christianity, one of many blogs from which he was peremptorily banned, and I had at the time grown quite bored with having discussions consisting only of persons with whom I already agreed. Dan was interesting, and he still is. Sure, he is prone to intellectual dishonesty, and he irritates the hell out of me at times with what I can only characterize as willful ignorance, but he also comes clean every now and again, and despite his flaws, he's a generally nice fellow, and our debates are spirited and entertaining.

    Plus, he puts up with me and my foul mouth.

    Also, I'm a bit of a pragmatist when it comes to debating online -- I prefer to focus on one person and/or set of topics at a time, and due to timing, I chose Dan. Until such a time as I grow exceedingly bored, or that I piss him off to the point that he "rebukes" me, I'll be here, and few places else.

    If you're inquiring as to my background, I was once a Christian (though Dan will contend that I was not a True Christian™), but was unable to reconcile the behavior of the OT god with what I recognized as morally good conduct, and the more I looked at it, the more disgusted I became. At the same time, I was becoming more and more educated, and found the evidence against the more literal interpretations of the bible to be astounding.

    (Incidentally, Dan does not consider himself a biblical literalist, but rather he considers himself a Ken Ham contemporary -- the "plain reading" sort of interpretation -- except that, of course, he fails to recognize his liberal application of eisegesis.)

    The end result is that I have a particular affinity for Christians who believe as I once did, and if I may be so bold as to borrow Dan's own analogy, I see them as standing in a burning building, praying that god will deliver them or keep them safe, rather than just leaving the damned building. I'm trying to get them to leave.

    Of course, my motives aren't purely altruistic -- I also note with disdain that these sorts of Christians are also prone to becoming the worst agents of intolerance of any other group of Americans, and having been one myself, I would also like to thin their numbers. This very topic is illustrative of exactly the intolerance of which I speak -- veiled with the cloak of persecution.

    So, again, I have gone out of my way to answer your questions and provide you with requested information. Will you now, finally, actually pose an argument, or represent a position explicitly?

    Let me ask you this Dan, since you think I know nothing of mathmatics; do you have any post high school education?

    Was this directed toward Dan or to me? And regardless of its direction, why do you constantly avoid providing information rather than pretentiously requesting it? Seriously -- whenever you want to contribute to the discussion rather than attempt merely to control it, feel free.

    --
    Stan

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  116. Dan the Dodger replied to this question;

    "Are you saying that atheism is not a religion?"

    By saying;

    "I would rather flip it to you."

    I'm sure you would.

    "If you believe it isn't then you are in direct line with secularism and the US is passing many laws for your beliefs which may be unconstitutional."

    First off, I don't live in the US, I'm not a US citizen and your laws mean nothing to me.

    Secondly, the difference between atheism and secularism has already been explained to you - I don't know why you have such a hard time understanding it.

    You go on to say;

    "If you believe it is [a religion], then you are free to worship and have tax breaks as we all enjoy. Pick a side."

    Which part of 'atheists don't worship' do you not understand? Are you still maintaining that atheists worship themselves?

    "At this point I am still looking into it, it may change."

    I'm glad to hear you're keeping an open mind.

    "Currently I do believe it is a religion."

    Well, that's your belief.

    "You advertise and preach..."

    Do I? I have donated no money and have never encouraged anyone to renounce their religion.

    "...and the courts recognizes atheism as a religion. Yes, I believe you belong to a religion."

    Funny, I don't remember signing up for anything. And I'm pretty sure the purpose of those legal rulings was to ensure that people were not discriminated against merely because they didn't believe in a god.


    Dan, my opinion is that you're so wrong on this that I don't even think that you believe you're right. You're either just saying it to antagonize people or you've got some other, weird agenda for conflating religion and atheism.

    Again, atheism is merely the word used to describe those who express no particular belief in a deity. That's it.

    As you said;

    "atheism= worldly or temporal; not connected with religion, worldly rather than spiritual, No deity"

    Thanks,

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  117. Dan, my opinion is that you're so wrong on this that I don't even think that you believe you're right. You're either just saying it to antagonize people or you've got some other, weird agenda for conflating religion and atheism.

    I had to think about this a little.

    For a while (and it still happens on occasion), I became convinced that Dan wasn't arguing sincerely. Or at the very least, didn't actually believe what he was saying.

    Whether this is true or not, I guess only Dan knows; I remain "on the fence". Nonetheless, I do believe his hidden agenda isn't so hidden: he wants to save people.

    Meaning that even if I think he's occasionally guilty of being intentionally dishonest, I believe he feels it's justifiable. Anything which saves our souls from an eternity in That Big Burny Place is valid, regardless of how much it insults, misleads or whatever.

    I also think he's testing his ideas & strategies, to a lesser extent. Though (if true) it's admirable, it doesn't seem to me that he's actually changing anything based on the feedback he gets. That's what frustrates me more than anything else.

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  118. Stan, you said:
    “As I noted in re-writing the question, an object's existence is not only independent of any potential rational discourse concerning it, but rational discourse may freely occur without "causing to exist" whatever topic or object is under discussion.”

    Stan,
    You continue to miss the point and implications of your statements. If an objects existence is INDEPENDENT of any potential rational discourse then you are answering YES to my question.

    That being the case, there are 2 possible implications (and yet many more):
    A.) You cannot rationally conclude that God does not exist, you have no place to call Dan incorrect. In other words, you are agreeing that things exist beyond reason and discourse. You conclude that Dan is incorrect because it isn’t rational and/or scientific, but you have just admitted that it doesn’t need to be to exist.

    B.) Since you agree that things exist outside of reason, you must then prove (for example) the existence of gravity prior to Newton. I say this because the implication of the answer yes assumes that gravity existed prior to Newton. My position is that it clearly did not.

    For example, clearly there are things in nature we are not aware of, do not know, and do not understand; what are those things? Do they exist? Prior to Newton, the notion of gravity wasn’t in anybody’s mind, so where was it Stan? Was it just floating around in space somewhere? When did this law start? Has it always existed? Was the law of gravity always just sitting there (before time perhaps), having no mass of its own, no energy of its own, not in anyone's mind because there wasn't anyone, not in space because there was no space either, not anywhere...this law of gravity still existed?"

    You see where I’m going with this Stan? If you want to make a claim of YES, you have to prove it, but you can’t. Hence the Schrodinger’s Cat anecdote.

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  119. AL wrote You see where I’m going with this Stan? If you want to make a claim of YES, you have to prove it, but you can’t. Hence the Schrodinger’s Cat anecdote.

    I can't prove that gravity always existed. I don't think a physicist can "prove" it to the extent you're requesting.

    That being said, there's no evidence that gravity suddenly appeared at some time between the big bang and now (even if true). If this had been the case, I believe you would see a different arrangement of celestial objects - based in part upon our understanding of the age of the universe, and our ability to predict future organization of them from our understanding of gravity.

    Don't get me wrong: it's possible gravity didn't exist at some point while the universe did exist. I've never heard of anyone suggest this, but that could be due to my inexperience in the field or that I simply haven't come across the idea until now.

    Still, there's no need to prove that gravity always existed. The fact that dialogue does not create "reality" (ie. physical "laws") doesn't suddenly invalidate our current understanding of the universe.

    Again, the theory/law of gravity has been confirmed to an astounding extent; it does not deviate in any way that we can perceive at this moment in time. Could it possibly change? Most definitely - the physical fact described by the "law" may be changing itself, or we may discover some aspect that we hadn't understood previously.

    If/when this happens, our law will most definitely change. Rationality and a sincere attempt at understanding the natural world demands that it change to reflect the new information.

    ---

    Beyond that, I'm really not sure what you're driving at.

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  120. If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?

    More straw men? Overtime at the factory?

    I did not imply an answer of "yes" to your baited question, but rather "possibly". When I said that, and I'll quote myself so you don't get confused, "[r]ational discourse has no bearing on the topic in question -- whether its existence, its composition, its purpose, or any other aspect," I do not say "yes, if a means/method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing/phenomenon, it exists."

    Is English your first language?

    It's difficult to hold a conversation with someone such as you, since you evidently have no problem twisting everything I say into whatever you want to hear.

    No, [r]ational discourse has no bearing on the topic in question -- whether its existence, its composition, its purpose, or any other aspect.

    This doesn't mean a thing does exist any more than it means a thing doesn't exist. It means the thing's existence is irrespective of any potential rational discourse regarding it.

    Let's examine the rest of your straw men...

    A.) You cannot rationally conclude that God does not exist, you have no place to call Dan incorrect. In other words, you are agreeing that things exist beyond reason and discourse. You conclude that Dan is incorrect because it isn’t rational and/or scientific, but you have just admitted that it doesn’t need to be to exist.

    Wow. This should probably be done line-by-line...

    You cannot rationally conclude that God does not exist

    I have concluded that Dan's version of god does not exist, or if it does, I'll not worship it out of principle... or did you completely ignore my statements regarding my beliefs? I leave open the possibility that a god or set of gods may exist, but I find zero compelling evidence in support of those hypotheses, and even were such evidence available, the proposed deities of which I am aware are unworthy or any sort of praise or adulation.

    So... you have failed miserably to represent either my position or my actions.

    ...you have no place to call Dan incorrect.

    This is false for a few reasons. First, if Dan is logically incorrect, then he is necessarily incorrect. I have shown that he is logically incorrect on a few occasions. Second, if his views of morality conflict with the alleged behavior of his deity, then while not necessarily incorrect, he deserves to be made aware of the conflict. If that conflict proves inconsistent with its own precepts, then yes, he is incorrect.

    Note that while I am able to identify when he is incorrect, I am quite unable to say, with any certainty, what is correct. I am simply able to identify logical and internal inconsistencies, which preclude those systems from being wholly correct.

    Remember, I'm not definitively saying there are no gods, but I am saying Dan's god is false and/or an asshole.

    In other words, you are agreeing that things exist beyond reason and discourse.

    No, I am agreeing that it is possible that things exist beyond reason and discourse, but this statement is pointless anyway. If no discourse is possible concerning a topic, then nothing concerning that topic can be transmitted as information. That is, if we can't discuss something, then no relation can be determined concerning our individual knowledge of that topic.

    You conclude that Dan is incorrect because it isn’t rational and/or scientific

    True, it isn't scientific, and true, it isn't rational, but this isn't, strictly speaking, why I dismiss Dan's system as false. It is internally inconsistent, and it belies logic. It also disagrees with evidence to the contrary in a way that is not reconcilable. Mostly, though, I note that Dan himself disagrees with certain aspects of his deity, and that out of sheer principle, he should refuse to worship it and seek a more agreeable solution.

    ...but you have just admitted that it doesn’t need to be [rational or scientific] to exist.

    No, I haven't. I have admitted the possibility that something may exist about which we may be unable to offer rational discourse, but if it exists and is observable or if such discourse is possible, then it must be both rational and scientific, even if we are yet unable to identify how it fits into either category.

    Great. Now there's a "B", which is undoubtedly just as full of straw men...

    B.) Since you agree that things exist outside of reason, you must then prove (for example) the existence of gravity prior to Newton. I say this because the implication of the answer yes assumes that gravity existed prior to Newton. My position is that it clearly did not.

    Dammit. Line by line, again...

    Since you agree that things exist outside of reason

    ...

    Since you ignore what I've written and choose to attack positions I don't hold...

    Things can exist outside of reason, but there is no point in attempting to discuss them, as I've noted, since by this very premise they cannot be discussed.

    ...you must then prove (for example) the existence of gravity prior to Newton.

    Can you say, non sequitur? Why should I attempt to prove the existence of gravity prior to Newton? Why not attempt to prove the existence of Newton prior to my great-grandfather? Why not try to prove the existence of humans prior to me?

    How absurd.

    I say this because the implication of the answer yes assumes that gravity existed prior to Newton.

    Erm, no. The assumption that gravity existed prior to Newton has nothing to do with your ridiculous "question". It is an assumption which is generally made simply because of experience. Things behave in a generally rational manner, in human experience, and so we assume that this axiom holds in the recent past. If it holds in the recent past, then it is likely to hold also in the distant past, ad nauseum. As it turns out, there is only one place/time during which this axiom must fail -- the Big Bang. Everywhere else, it is internally consistent, even if it proves ultimately to be false.

    To be clear: I maintain that gravity -- the phenomenon -- existed prior to Newton (who was merely the first to attempt to quantify it; many before him recognized it, as attested by a fantastic written record).

    My position is that [gravity] clearly did not [exist prior to Newton].

    Then I declare that you are an imp and a fool, and I hereby dismiss you. For posterity's sake, however, I shall finish critiquing your last post, and to show that my mercy far exceeds that attributed to Dan's god, I'll exercise restraint pending another piece of utter trash such as this last statement of yours above.

    Prior to Newton, the notion of gravity wasn’t in anybody’s mind, so where was it Stan?

    So much blathering. If you accept the existence of Newton, which your asinine argument must, then you necessarily accept the existence of some things past. Based on the assumption that your knowledge of Newton (which I evidently share) has been drawn from various historical documents, I can also assume you also accept the existence of Galileo Galilei, and perhaps also the occurrences of his experiments -- most notably, the experiments involving what we now term "gravity".

    If so, then you do necessarily admit the existence of gravity prior to Newton, though perhaps not via the English term "gravity". The concept was clearly at the forefront of Galileo's thoughts, if we admit his existence and his experiments.

    Was the law of gravity always just sitting there (before time perhaps), having no mass of its own, no energy of its own, not in anyone's mind because there wasn't anyone, not in space because there was no space either, not anywhere...this law of gravity still existed?

    Mass? Energy? It's funny how you try to couch your terms in the scientific, and yet seem to ignorantly insert faux pas such as these...

    You see where I’m going with this Stan? If you want to make a claim of YES, you have to prove it, but you can’t.

    Really? Even though I just showed that you, based on your apparent admission of Newton's existence and work, must also accept Galileo's existence and work, else face internal inconsistency and logical failure?

    No, I don't "see where you're going," -- unless you're headed directly for a padded room and a special jacket...

    Incidentally, that last bit, about me having to prove it, seems to contradict this statement:

    I don’t think the onus is on you to prove anything

    In case you've forgotten, that was your statement, in response to my question, which follows:

    Please explain why you feel the onus is on me to illustrate the existence of gravity prior to Newton.

    So, are you now contradicting your earlier statement, and requiring a proof that ~400 years ago a man had an idea, and that prior to him, that idea didn't exist, much less the phenomenon the idea was designed to describe?

    Hence the Schrodinger’s Cat anecdote.

    First, your reference to Schrödinger's Cat was not anecdotal. It was a passing reference to a mental exercise about which you evidently know nothing, or at least very little of substance.

    You mention the proverbial cat as though it has some bearing on our conversation here -- specifically, that I am caught in some sort of paradox surrounding the existence of gravity prior to Newton. However, a proper understanding of Schrödinger's Cat is that a superposition of states exist -- that, if applied to this example, gravity both existed and did not exist simultaneously, until it was observed... so I don't have to prove it at all. Of course, the observation, also according to Schrödinger's Cat and the Copenhagen interpretation, needn't be a conscious observation, and so, even though humans prior to Newton were undoubtedly conscious, their ignorance was never a problem. If they observed gravitational effects, then gravity existed, according to the thought experiment... so it is proven anyway, if we agree that people ignorantly observed gravitational effects prior to Newton.

    All this aside, however, you have exhibited nothing but snarky jackassery by apparently requiring that I prove the existence of the phenomenon we now call "gravity" prior to the existence of Newton.

    If you have a point to actually make, do it now, or I shall henceforth ignore you. As I mentioned before, I really don't see why Dan tolerates this behavior. If you were an atheist-sympathizer, you'd surely have been "rebuked" long ago.

    --
    Stan

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  121. Stan,

    That had me wincing the whole way through; I commend your restraint, it can't have been easy.

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  122. I guess that could be called restraint coming from stan. ;)

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  123. Stan,

    "and despite his flaws, he's a generally nice fellow,"

    I still don't think its time to pick out the drapes together, you have um...issues.

    It would be nice to prove that even these 'angry atheists' have souls. Ohhh snap!

    Restraint for Stan is kicking only one puppy a day instead of the normal 11.

    I desire nothing more then Stan to get saved. Cheering and celebrating for his Salvation for all of eternity would be such a wonderful reward in of itself. So like a battered wife that tolerates her abusive husband, I say "but I love Stan"

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  124. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  125. Andrew,

    but start beating up on the atheists and suddenly it’s “Hey you better rebuke this guy!”

    Mike Reed affectionately call them Cyber-sisters

    BTW the rest are quite witty and hilarious. I have labels for everyone now.

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  126. OOPS

    Stan,
    Your making this to easy for me.

    Your response to the question:
    “If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?”

    Possibly

    This answer is not consistent with your rhetoric, Stan:
    Your stance, (which refuse to agree to) is that if a thing is not rational, it doesn’t exist. This is precisely why you do not accept Dan’s argument, because it isn’t rational.

    You state:
    “I leave open the possibility that a god or set of gods may exist, but I find zero compelling evidence in support of those hypotheses”

    Do I need to point it out for you, Stan? You leave open the possibility, but won’t accept it unless it’s rational.

    A.) It’s possible that God exists
    B.) If God exists there must be rational evidence
    C.) There isn’t rational evidence
    D.) God doesn’t exist.

    Your answer to the question, (whether you choose to believe it or not), is NO, not POSSIBLY, as possibly does not follow from you reasoning. Therefore my points “A” and “B” from above relevant without me needing to state them.

    You are placing the burden of proof on yourself, Stan, not me. There is no stawman here either, only the ones you create in your own mind. You’re trying not to be boxed, who are you, Derrida; he was the expert at not being boxed, you’re failing miserably.

    P.S.
    I’d like to get to my point, but can’t do that until Stan starts being honest. All things are well and good when Dan is getting beat up, but start beating up on the atheists and suddenly it’s “Hey you better rebuke this guy!”

    Hippocrates!

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  127. Cyber-sisters,
    sounds nice and gay, I like it.

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  128. Okay, Dan, thanks a lot. Now I've had to go through and identify everybody myself -- splendid fun, by the way.

    --
    Stan

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  129. AL wrote Your stance, (which refuse to agree to) is that if a thing is not rational, it doesn’t exist

    Please provide quotes where Stan exhibits this stance. From what I've read of his argument, I haven't encountered anything similar to what you suggest.

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  130. Whateverman,
    re-read my post where I show what Stan states, and then the following "A", "B", "C", and "D".

    Stan says:
    “I leave open the possibility that a god or set of gods may exist, but I find zero compelling evidence in support of those hypotheses”

    That he uses the word compelling is nothing more the a rhetorical ploy to avoid the word rational. However it's easily infered by his overall stance that the only compelling evidence would be rational evidence. He is unable to prove me wrong in that.

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  131. Andrew Louis:

         I find no evidence in favor of the existence of the monster of Loch Ness. There could be one. If there is, he is well hidden. Similarly, there could be a god (in the sense of a being that deliberately created the universe we see.) But, again, if he is there, he is well hidden.

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  132. pvblivs,
    what's your point?

    You're taking the stance that if somthing isn't rational, then it doesn't exist. I've already shown that "possible" is not an answer.

    Prior to newton, it wasn't even possible that gravity existed. The thought wasn't even on anybody's mind. So did it exist?

    According to your reasoning, it didn't. You will say that it did only on the basis of hindsight. As I stated earlier, I think we'd all agree that there are things about the universe (existence) that we don't know about yet. So do those things exist? What are those things? After we find out what they are, we'll say that they always existed, but where were they? Where are they now?

    WORDS

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  133. Andrew, I don't know what else I can tell you, but if you've got a point, I'm willing to read it. I've outlined my position, it's consistent so far as I can tell (your assertions to the contrary notwithstanding), and yet you seem to be calling me a liar.

    It's pretty tedious, I have to tell you. In fact, I erased a pretty stiff rant against you before cooling off.

    Hippocrates, eh? Maybe that's why my posts contain so many oaths...

    --
    Stan

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  134. Andrew Louis:

         FAIL. I suggest you not try telling me what stance I am taking. Now, if you are actually interested in my stance, it is my assertion that if we cannot meaningfully talk about something then it is useless to talk about it. (There are, of course, several meanings for the word rational. I expect, if I use it directly, you'll pick another one and say I'm not making any sense.)
         Ooh, I like this verification "reism."

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  135. Incidentally Dani'el, I do try to respond to everything I'm asked, or comments that are directed at me. I know I've missed a few of your recently - sorry about that.

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  136. No problem wem.

    I know you're a blogaddict.
    As a former addict I understand. ;)

    I'm starting to spread myself a bit too thin myself lately and I can't keep up with all of it.
    I gotta slow down.

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  137. Stan,
    I guess we're all done then?.?

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  138. pvblivs:
    we can make this simple. Your answer to the question would be?

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  139. Pvblivs,
    One quick note to explain something further. You said:
    “I find no evidence in favor of the existence of the monster of Loch Ness. There could be one. If there is, he is well hidden.”

    This above is technically a strawman to my question because it assumes that the object of discourse is already an element in our language and that we already have somewhat of a clear understanding of what the object is or might be if it did exist. My question assumes there is no language at all regarding a particular thing, hence the strawman.

    I’m making an inference about what you’re saying to move the conversation along, sorry about that.

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  140. Andrew Louis:

         I presume that you are talking about the question, "If a means / method of rational discourse does not exist regarding a certain thing / phenomenon, does it exist?" In fact the presence or absence of a means of rational discourse has no bearing on whether something exists or not. However, if the means for rational discourse do not exist then we cannot meaningfully ask whether the object exists. In order to ask whether something exists we must be able to give some description of it. Otherwise, you are really only asking if it is possible for we-know-not-what to exist. It's possible, but not really meaningful.
         "This above is technically a strawman to my question because it assumes that the object of discourse is already an element in our language and that we already have somewhat of a clear understanding of what the object is or might be if it did exist."
         Actually, it is not a strawman. It is designed to address that which I expect you to be trying to lead into. I expect that you are trying to apply the question to the christian god. In fact, he doesn't fit the terms of the question either.

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  141. Case 1: A thing's existence

    Possibilities: Two; it exists (A), or it does not exist (B).

    Case 2: Rational discourse concerning a thing

    Possibilities: Two; such discourse exists (C), or it does not exist (D).


    Combining the two, there are four combinations, which I shall outline below:

    1) AC - A thing exists, as does rational discourse concerning it.

    2) BC - A thing does not exist, despite rational discourse concerning it.

    3) AD - A thing exists, though no rational discourse exists concerning it.

    4) BD - A thing does not exist, and neither does rational discourse concerning it.


    Now, I will absolutely allow each of these outcomes, for the simple fact that I maintain that Case 1 can be answered independently of Case 2. That is, all four outcomes are possible. I am also saying that those scenarios which involve (D) -- a lack of rational discourse -- are necessarily irrelevant to discussion. The thing may or may not exist, but without rational discourse, we cannot discuss its existence.

    So we are left with two meaningful scenarios: A thing exists alongside rational discourse concerning it, or a thing does not exist despite rational discourse concerning it.

    Do you dispute the outcomes as I've outlined them? Do you dispute the validity of my claims?

    To what, exactly, do you object?

    Your "question" implies that rational discourse concerning a thing must exist in order for the thing itself to exist, and you apparently have no problem with the absurd conclusions of such a thought, in that you have asserted that gravity -- the phenomenon -- did not exist prior to Newton. Ignoring for the moment the fact that countless scientists attempted to grapple with the concept we now call "gravity", just what support do you have for such a claim?

    You say you have a point to be made, but apparently you're waiting for something that is evidently not going to happen, so if you please, identify the answer you want us to have, and make your point. Please properly note that the position you are apparently prepared to attack isn't the position anyone holds (at least, anyone participating here, to my knowledge), and please support both your implication that rational discourse must exist concerning a thing in order for the thing to exist, and the assertion that gravity did not exist prior to whoever first considered it (which we may agree is Newton, for the sake of the argument).

    Although you've severely tested my patience, I recognize that losing my temper isn't likely to benefit anyone, so I am willing to offer you yet more rope. Please don't hang yourself.

    --
    Stan

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  142. Oops; I meant to include examples of the scenarios... Here they are:

    1) AC - Squares. Squares exist, as does rational discourse concerning squares.

    2) BC - Flying Albino Elephants. Flying albino elephants do not exist, despite rational discourse concerning flying albino elephants.

    3) AD - hai3*(- exists, despite no rational discourse concerning hai3*(-.

    4) BD - |A`~[dhdhd does not exist, nor does rational discourse concerning |A`~[dhdhd.

    --
    Stan


    P.S. -- it was far easier typing (3) and (4) the first time...

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  143. Pvblivs,
    It sounds like your at least trying to understand what I’m saying and not just making a mockery of yourself. And I don’t mean that to be a negative statement in any way.

    You said:
    “However, if the means for rational discourse do not exist then we cannot meaningfully ask whether the object exists.”

    YES, exactly!

    And you said:
    “In order to ask whether something exists we must be able to give some description of it.”

    BINGO!

    Although pvblivs (can I call you something else?)
    I’m not trying to apply the question to God, I’m applying it to reason and to language to show how it’s dogmatic. I want to show how our beliefs in reason are just as dogmatic as our beliefs in God.

    However, to be even more specific about your statements above, I want to not just key in on reason [rational discourse] but language itself. For all practical purposes, prior to Newton, there was no gravity. We believe in it today so dogmatically, because it works. It allows us to have seemingly intelligent discourse, to understand each other, and it allows scientists to make predictions. However, gravity has no absolute existence, it has no final say on the matter. Surely years and years from now it will be completely obsolete and be replaced by better forms of reason, language, communication, just as gravity itself replaced phantoms. Neither gravity nor phantoms was wrong necessarily, they were simply modes of communicating that eventually don’t stand up to the task of furthering our understanding of ourselves.

    To the layperson, gravity is nothing more than a “force”, a place holder, something you and I understand when we talk to each other. The ontological gap existing between reality and language is our mutual understanding [consent] and that gives a thing its reality. Otherwise you simply have one person talking crazy.

    For example, what if Newton was the only one at the time to understand mathematics? It’s a stretch of course, but we can think this through (also remember, mathematics is as well, nothing more then language). If this was so, what did Newton really have for himself? He had an interpretation that no one else would understand, a view that couldn’t be comprehended by anyone else. Arguable however, the experience that he was interpreting was one that we all have, an apple falling from a tree. So what’s he to do, perhaps he could walk up to the lay person, drop an apple and say, “GRAVITY!”. If there isn’t an understanding of the principles and equations written down in his books, then there isn’t any connection between it and the reality its supposed to describe; there simply is no gravity.

    All language then, is a dogma, it’s a paradigm of thought. Our language (I would suggest) is not a mirror of reality as things in and of themselves, it’s a mere mode of communicating about a hazy understanding of what we assume things are; as Stan pointed out, the Nobel prize to the one who figures out what it is.

    It’s like Einstein sad (since we all like quoting Einstein here):
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.”
    In other words all your arguments here are a reflection of this prejudice, a reflection of ready made assumptions built in a language. You can’t get rid of gravity, because you have no other way (at the moment) of talking about the phenomenon.

    Einstein also said:
    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
    "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
    Genius insight comes when you drop everything you previously assumed about the way things work. When you think about it, scientists aren’t discovering the way the universe operates in and of itself; they’re merely coming up with new ways of talking about what was there in experience all along.

    Now the next step is God, what can we say about God, and is it useful? More importantly, is religious language valid as a way of speaking and understanding? Can God ever be rational? If God was, wouldn’t it then be a science?

    Here’s a quote from Wittgenstein:
    “An honest religious thinker is like a tightrope walker. He almost looks as though he were walking on nothing but air. His support is the slenderest imaginable. And yet it really is possible to walk on it.”

    Here’s a William James quote I’ve always loved:
    “Truth is what works by way of belief.”

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  144. Here’s a thought, think about what it means to be wrong.

    Let’s suppose I put three objects in a persons hand and say, “How many rocks are in your hand?” And they respond with “Four rocks?” Of course they’re obviously wrong, but in what way? They’re experience isn’t deceiving them is it? Surely they are experiencing 3 rocks, or what you’d call 3 rocks, but what they said is not consistent with the language of numbers. So you correct them and say, “No, you’re holding 3 rocks, not 4.” In other words we call this person wrong because what they’re reporting is not consistent with “YOUR” reality, and with your mode of communicating.

    Simply because this person does not understand numbers does not mean this person is deceived by what is in his hand.

    This is a bit tangential to my point, but consider this video

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  145. AL, you said;

    "For all practical purposes, prior to Newton, there was no gravity."

    What are you talking about, really? I mean, spell it out for those of us who aren't really interested in pseudo-intellectual waffle. Do you have a point to make or not?

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  146. EPM, I think his goal can be summed up with the following (written by him above):

    I want to show how our beliefs in reason are just as dogmatic as our beliefs in God.

    In other words, the fact that you're writing about something means you've presupposed the validity of the definitions of the words you're using. And this is just as dogmatic as religious beliefs are.

    AL, please correct me if I'm mistaken.

    ---

    Of course, it's complete twaddle. Belief in the validity of the words in a dictionary presupposes only that empirical defitions are required in order to communicate. It certainly doesn't require faith in the unseen...

    However, I will retract the "twaddle" comment with the hope that AL can back this up with something a bit more "on point", rather than trying to get us to arrive at his conclusion.

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  147. "For all practical purposes, prior to Newton, there was no gravity."

    What are you talking about, really? I mean, spell it out for those of us who aren't really interested in pseudo-intellectual waffle. Do you have a point to make or not?

    "Gravitas" (grav-i-tas)
    def- The best thing in the known universe to put on mashed potatoes.

    (I've been in a silly mood all week)

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  148. There's nothing wrong with that :)

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  149. Not only is there nothing wrong with it; he's absolutely correct as well.

    And I mean absolutely in the 'an omnipotent being revealed it to me in such a way that I could be sure it was absolute, absolutely' kind of way.

    Ok, I'm hungry now...



    So assuming - until directed otherwise - that AL is saying that:

    "I want to show how our beliefs in reason are just as dogmatic as our beliefs in God."

    I say, fair enough. If you would like to try and illustrate how we take dictionary definitions and long-established lines of reason and logic for granted when we shouldn't (or we should but should acknowledge it as faith/belief), then that's fine by me. I won't really be listening, but you knock yourself out there.


    Cheers,

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  150. Whateverman,
    I would corret your statement to say something along the lines of the following:

    There is no presupposing of the validity of definitions, but a presupposing that those definitions mirror a given phenomenon to an extent that they are somehow intertwined and/or inseparable from it; this is often looked at in an atemporal way, and as such becomes dogmatic. By atemporal I don't mean to suggest absolutely (necessarily), I mean simply the application of language beyond the reality of it's own existence; in this case, prior to Newton.

    The fact that you view gravity as existing prior to Newton shows your inability to disconnect the language from its referent and thereby not recognizing the ontological divide that exists between the two. This is exactly what I mean by a dogmatic view of reason.

    Further,
    I'm not here suggesting that apples didn't fall to the ground prior to Newton - I'm suggesting that the reason apples fell wasn't because of gravity. To think otherwise is to merely fall pray to the same sort of dogmatic thinking you claim the theist falls for.

    P.S.
    I don't know how much better a picture I can paint for you on this? If at some point we come to some sort of an understanding of this fundamental issue, it would go a long way in understanding what some people (like myself) believe about the nature of God (I’m not asking that you accept it, but understand it). I presume some of you are actually quite interested in that [God]. However, if we don't understand each others thinking at a fundamental level, then talk about God will sound like complete nonsense. If one doesn’t fundamentally understand how a car operates, how can we talk about fixing a carburetor?

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  151. So, AL,

    "I'm suggesting that the reason apples fell wasn't because of gravity."

    ...what did cause the apple to fall before Newton? Any ideas?

    Intelligent Falling perhaps?

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  152. ExPat,
    I’ve already gone through this, you’re clearly making no attempt to understand what I’m saying as you’re doing exactly as I said you’d do.

    I can answer your question, ExPat, by simply asking; where was “GRAVITY”, “NEWTONIAN PHYSICS”, prior to Newton? Where was it? Was it just floating around in space somewhere, not having any matter or energy of it’s own?

    If you honestly contemplate it, you’ll simply see that it didn’t exist….

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  153. I can answer your question, ExPat, by simply asking; where was “GRAVITY”, “NEWTONIAN PHYSICS”, prior to Newton? Where was it? Was it just floating around in space somewhere, not having any matter or energy of it’s own?

    If you honestly contemplate it, you’ll simply see that it didn’t exist….


    As has been pointed out to you several times now, you're conflating the concept of a thing with its existence, and there is no reason for this conflation to take place. I'm tempted to offer an example of how silly this notion is, but your own example of Newton v. gravity is as preposterous as any other.

    Just because Newton's version of the concept of gravity didn't exist prior to him doesn't mean that gravity itself didn't exist. Indeed, since Newton was wrong, as was everyone to postulate a theory of gravitation before him, according to you we would have to say that the actual process of gravitation still doesn't exist, since we've not yet completely described it.

    This is simply not the case, and it does not follow from any argument, rationale, or logic whatsoever. If you have a reason to think that gravity didn't actually exist (as opposed to conceptually existing) prior to Newton, other than "because it's neat-o philosophic crap," we are, as ExPatMatt has said, all ears.

    I don't know how much better a picture I can paint for you on this?

    I'd suggest you use a second color at some point, rather than "canvas white".

    --
    Stan

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  154. AL,
    You said;

    "I’ve already gone through this, you’re clearly making no attempt to understand what I’m saying as you’re doing exactly as I said you’d do."

    I can assure that I am making a whole-hearted attempt to understand your position. Is it not possible that you are explaining things imprecicely - or are, in fact, just plain wrong about what you're proposing?

    Either way, all I did was ask a very simple question that logically follows from your assertion that; "... the reason apples fell wasn't because of gravity [before Newton]."

    I find it amusing that you talk about me making no attempt to understand your point and then go right on and say;

    "I can answer your question, ExPat, by simply asking"

    At this point, it doesn't matter what you ask; you're avoiding answering the question. I respectfully request that you answer the question I asked.

    You go on to say;

    "...where was “GRAVITY”, “NEWTONIAN PHYSICS”, prior to Newton? Where was it? Was it just floating around in space somewhere, not having any matter or energy of it’s own?"

    Not only does that question not make sense (Newtonian physics has 'matter' and 'energy' now, eh??) but you're now introducing Newtonian Physics where previously you said gravity.

    Gravity is a phenomenon that are constantly finding better ways of describing. Newtonian Physics is one of the man-made explanations to describe said phenomenon. Of course Newtonian Physics didn't exist before Newton (the clue's in the name), but the phenomenon was so obviously around before Newton was that I can't even believe you're taking the position you are.

    "If you honestly contemplate it, you’ll simply see that it didn’t exist…."

    And if you honestly contemplate your position... well, it remains to be seen if you are capable of doing that yet.

    Cheers,

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  155. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  156. Al wrote much, in the middle of which was this: The fact that you view gravity as existing prior to Newton shows your inability to disconnect the language from its referent

    Incorrect. You're playing semantic games in order to arrive at the desired conclusion.

    "Gravity" refers both to the theory which describes the phenomenon, and the phenomenon itself. Before Newton, the phenomenon we know now as "gravity" existed; after Newton (generally), our understanding of the phenomenon existed.

    The fact that we ascribe a term to a thing does not impact the existence of that thing - and you're playing semantic games to imply otherwise.

    I can most definitely seperate terminology from the Form it attempts to describe.

    The next time you ask questions such as "Before Newton, did gravity exist?", be explicit about which definition of the term you're referring to. Suggesting one and then claiming you meant the other does not a substantial argument make.

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  157. Wem,
    Is gravity a thing, or phenomena?

    Or a law?
    If it is a law, who established it and who enforces it?

    It seems to me to be a law that is supernaturally enforced by God, and the physicists really have no naturalist explanation.

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  158. Dani'el asked: Is gravity a thing, or phenomena?

    Does it matter?

    Is light a thing or a phenomenon? The answer is, depending on the context, both. It's made up of photons, but behaves according to the curvature of space time and according to our understanding of the electromagnetic field theory (very old term, sorry)

    Or a law?

    The "law" of gravity refers to our understanding of the phenomenon.


    If it is a law, who established it and who enforces it?

    As far as we know, no entity enforces the "law" of gravity.

    As for who established it - we hope eventually to find that out. Right now, we don't fully understand the phenomenon enough to guess at its source (as far as *I* understand the current situation). The LHC may shed some light on the subject.


    It seems to me to be a law that is supernaturally enforced by God, and the physicists really have no naturalist explanation.

    I can't argue the first point, but I can the second. We do indeed have a naturalistic explanation of the phenomenon; with out it, I wouldn't be able to tell you that an object will accelerate at roughly 9.8 m/s^2 when falling close to the earth's surface.

    I also wouldn't be able to explain why, during an eclipse of the sun, the locations of stars near the visible corona appear to change. note that this is only due to the sun's gravity bending their light, rather than it actually impacting their location.

    These things come from The Law, which only explains the phenomenon (and does so imperfectly).

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  159. Wem,
    Aren't you merely describing the effect of the law, but not any kind of mechanism or understanding of how it works?
    Why it works?

    I think this whole argument won't end in the great collider of Babylon ;) but in the judgment of SF and LA.

    Light has both particle and wave characteristics, gravity has neither. Right?
    I know scripture, "science" is your turf.

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  160. I am merely a physicts enthusiast, rather than an expert. I'm fascinated by the nature of space and time...

    Wem,
    Aren't you merely describing the effect of the law, but not any kind of mechanism or understanding of how it works?
    Why it works?


    As for the mechanism, this gets into an area I'm lacking much contemporary understanding in. It's been hypothesized that gravitational attraction is carried (out) by a particle called a graviton. I know that physicists have been able to confirm the existence of gravity waves, per se, but as far as I understand it they haven't seen the actual particle they're hoping to find.

    So - most of our "law" is indeed just a description of the phenomenon. However, they're getting close to understanding the mechanism (for reasons more than I've been able to explain here).

    I think this whole argument won't end in the great collider of Babylon ;) but in the judgment of SF and LA.

    Somehow, that opinion doesn't surprise me :)


    Light has both particle and wave characteristics, gravity has neither. Right?

    Every single particle we know to exist (ie. have detected) behaves according to quantum machanics; it is both a particle and a wave, with wave-like characteristics expressed at slower velocities, while the particle characteristics emerge a higher velocities. If gravity is found to be carried by a particle of some kind, it appears that it too will do the same.

    Incidentally, Dani'el, I've always been dismayed at the lack of interest in these things from Christians. The nature of the physical world is really quite fantastic, and if you're an adherent of the God-of-the-Gaps, there's plenty of room for such a being to be hiding in or influencing the "microscopic" world.

    Space/time may be made up of 10 or 24 dimensions (according to string theory), most of which we can't perceive directly. Lots of room for God to be sneaking about in...

    ---

    As a tangent, check out this short video. It's a really interesting way to help you envision what 10 dimensional space is actually like.

    I've often felt that if fundamentalists would actually take the time to understand what we know (or maybe just our ideas) about space and time, they wouldn't keep using the term "naturalism" as a perjorative

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  161. Please ignore the lack of typing skills as displayed in my previous post :p

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  162. And I'm dismayed that most physicists are so determined to deny the existance of a Creator/God.

    I once said that to a group of intellectual friends and got a sound mocking. (gr?)

    I imagine that when Yeshua returns to set up His kingdom, He's going to blow a few minds, who knows maybe cold fusion, etc?
    You don't want to miss that do ya? ;)

    But even to the person of above avg intelligence, things like string theory are out of reach.

    Consider this. If God, the bible etc is all real. How many dollars and man hours have been wasted on the search for life on other planets etc?
    We could have easily come up with alt energy sources with the same money and manpower. What a waste.

    I wrote a song in the late 90's called "the Pi cafe"
    I had memorized Pi to the 15th digit in high school so I used it in this song.
    I'm thinking of getting some music software to do some home recording again. Maybe I'll rewrite it with some more godly lyrics.

    An excerpt if you don't mind-
    ------------------------------
    3.141592653589793et cetera....
    Split pea in the primordial soup
    Steven Hawkins smokin' St. Johns wort
    Split pea in the soup.

    Pi
    Sit down and have some
    Pi
    Who made the Pi?
    God made the Pi.
    I don't know why!
    I don't know why!

    3.141592653589783 et cetera.........

    :)

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  163. Dani'el asked And I'm dismayed that most physicists are so determined to deny the existance of a Creator/God.

    Like this?

    Or maybe this...

    Physicists don't deny God, Dani'el. They only point out the phenomenon that which were previously attributed to him, when understood, appear to not display anything we might label as "divine".

    Again: physicists (when doing their job) do not deny God. I would appreciate links to the contrary, if you can find them...

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  164. I don't see why understanding of the handiwork of God removes the divine source of that same handiwork.
    It seems to testify to Him all the more.

    I guess it would be better said that I'm surprised that there a not more christian physicists, I know there are plenty. Or at least far more deists like Einstein and Newton, or yourself.

    I watched the video on string theory/dimensions.
    But you are talking to a prophet of the Living God here.
    The living God who declared the end from the beginning.
    Prophecy itself kind of precludes the possiblity of alternate paths in time or alt universes etc.
    Predeterminism destroys all of that stuff doesn't it?

    I used to love to ponder all that stuff on some level, Slices, strings, but the world became a supernatural place for me in Aug 2005, and I think you would agree, that is far more amazing.

    To discover a whole world with angels, demons, heaven, hell, the fulfillment of prophecy etc?
    I felt like the Keanu Reeves character "the Matrix" discovering that the world was not as it seems.

    Fantastic as it seems Wem, it's all true and it will be proved soon enough in the judgment of CA.

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  165. wem,
    Thanks for the link to Repperts blog.
    I think I may get in there and have a better look.
    Maybe I can get my own foot in the door of Repperts mind.
    I have some thought on Lewis myself he may be interested in.

    Thanks again and Shalom.
    Dani' El

    Pro 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

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  166. And the second link-
    I think Ray Comfort would love it!

    I'm going to go back and read it more carefully but this was interesting.
    Excerpts

    In the conference this void of purpose was
    papered over by sentimental references to “our children”, and to “other
    species”. But if we are purposeless accidents then so are they, and the
    dilemma is not solved by pushing it one generation forward, or one
    species to the side. The meaninglessness refers to all of Creation, a term
    which, from these scientists’ perspective, should be replaced by
    “Accidentdom” or “Randomdom”.
    ..............
    (Oh Ray would love that! lol!)

    Scientists have shown a remarkable incapacity for
    recognizing the nihilistic implications of their materialism when it is
    extrapolated from a working hypothesis to a metaphysical world view.
    Feynman, and no doubt many others, are exceptions. But the public
    mainly hears the evangelical atheism of Sagan, Gould, and Wilson, aided
    by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and others.

    ---------------------

    Evangelical atheism?
    Amen! lol.

    Shalom Wem.

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  167. Listen, you guys, forget it; this will be my last post on the issue, my last attempt at an explanation, and I’ll try to make this as simple as possible.

    What is a rock outside of what we currently say about it?

    That sounds like a ridiculous question to be sure, so I’ll answer it myself. It’s nothing. We simply can’t think of anything to say about it that hasn’t already been said, or that we haven’t already learned. Hence my quotation of Einstein:
    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education [DOGMA]."

    And the other Einstein quote:
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.”

    Your view of the world (what the world is) is nothing more then an assemblage of the way you’ve learned to talk about it. Real creativity, as seen in the world of physics for example, comes from tossing aside those previously held dogmas and looking at the world with fresh eyes. Before Einstein, there was no relativity, peoples old static patterns of thought were not creative enough to step out of they‘re collective paradigms. Further more, as in Einstein’s case, he didn’t come to his theories with rigorous field testing, it was pure intuition and imagination that led him to it.

    Belief in God, to a certain degree for some people (and even with Einstein), is in one sense the recognition that there exists a reality that is beyond our ability to communicate. Hence the mostly metaphorical nature of religious language; Dan wouldn’t like this, but so be it.

    Stan said:
    “As has been pointed out to you several times now, you're conflating the concept of a thing with its existence, and there is no reason for this conflation to take place.”

    It’s exactly the opposite which is the case. It is you, Stan, and everyone else who are doing this. It was my statement that there is an ontological divide between what we say about a thing and the thing itself, you guys refuse to see that and for that reason you do not understand what I’m trying to say. What we say about a thing, IS NOT the thing.

    Again, you either get it, or you don’t. Perhaps you can try reading Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, Richard Rorty’s “Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature”, perhaps some Wittgenstein, or maybe even Heideggers “Being and Time”, or Suzuki’s “Zen Buddhism”, for better explanations. All of these philosophers are monumental, and had thoughts along the path I’m trying to describe. I as well am nothing more then the sum total of my education. Again, grasping the insight I’m trying to get across here, will go a long way in understanding the theist.

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  168. AL wrote What is a rock outside of what we currently say about it?

    It is an object without a name. It has a history, and came to its current state of being through events characterized by physical laws.

    None of this helps me, in any way, understand the theist. None of it. If there's one bit of self-evident wisdom that can be pulled from this discussion, it's that language and the way we use it is imperfect.

    Big freakin deal. I've read both "Zen and the Art" and "Being and Time". I'm aware of ontology and metaphysics, and have a modest understanding of Plato and Aristotle (re. progenitors of western philosophy).

    The study of being says absolutely NOTHING about the theory, law, definition or phenomenon of the thing we refer to as Gravity.

    Gravity (the phenomenon) existed before Newton. Gravity the term - maybe not.

    So?

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  169. This has been an interesting, challenging and fun discussion you guys.

    Thanks for the arguement. We've pretty much destroyed the thread.

    Here's parting quote from Martin Heideggers "Being and Time" for WEM (great book wouldn't you agree?):
    "Every question is a seeking. Every seeking takes it's directions beforehand from what is sought. Questioning is a knowing search for beings in their thatness and whatness. The knowing search can become an "investigation", as the revealing determination of what the question aims at. As questioning about.....questioning has what it asks about. All asking about....is in some way an inquiring of...Besides what is asked, what is interrogated also belongs to questioning. What is questioned is to be defined and conceptualized in the investigating, that is, the specifically theoretical, question. As what is really intended, what is to be ascertained lies in what is questioned; here questioning arrives at it's goal. As an attitude adopted by a being, the questioner, questioning has it's own character of being. Questioning can come about as "just asking around" or as an explicitly formulated question. What is peculiar to the latter is the fact that questioning first becomes lucid in advance with regard to all the above named constituitive characteristics of the question."

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  170. I read Zen at an age that heightened its impact on me. I enjoyed it very much, though I've only completed it once.

    Much of Heidegger's work seemed obtuse to me (your ending quote being a great example), and I enjoyed it less. Still, at its best philosophy illuminates new ways of thinking & perceiving; Heidegger wasn't an exception to this.

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  171. I don't go for the zen stuff, but here is what I read in my morning reading concerning gravity-

    Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
    Col 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

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  172. So.... why did apples fall before gravity?




    Just kidding. New thread please, Dan!

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  173. Stan

    I'd suggest you use a second color at some point, rather than "canvas white".

    White is a tint not a color you student! :P

    Wem,

    Thanks for the 10 dimension explanation link. I found it an interesting way of explaining such a complex hypothesis (theorem?).

    Also, if you think about it, this makes perfect sense that God can actually be Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent with 10 dimensions at His disposal. You see, science will reveal God if He doesn't first.

    Does this also show the importance of free will? Without it, we wouldn't have any need for additional dimensions (5th). The possibilities of different situations simultaneously would be irrelevant without free will. So even the dimensions would fall apart without it. We can kind of understand why God gave us free will. He knew we would choose evil but it was necessary for the universe to work properly. Deep stuff!

    Great Job, dude!

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  174. Whilst this post was again filled with the puniest of struggling semi-thoughts, this particular bit actually made me laugh out loud

    This is pure garbage. If atheists believe in "no God" and they remove "God" they are indeed promoting one religion of "no God" or belief system over another.

    I wonder if the retarded right (Christians) would mind then if we changed it to Allah or Zeus. Oh right I see, we have to use you God to be unbiased about religion as opposed to not invoking God at all. If indeed Atheists were demanding that some statement be inserted that specifically claims there is no god then the fundies would have a valid point. What Atheists are suggesting is that the positive statement addressing God be removed. The above statement is indicative not just of the breathtaking stupidity and presumption of special privalage exercised by the religious but also of a lack of reading comprehension. Still, everyone, even complete morons have the right to aire their views and it does give people with even the slightest ability to think a good giggle.

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  175. Also, for the brain-dead "Atheism is a religion" crowd.

    Atheists do not believe in "no God"
    they don't believe in gods.

    This may seem like a petty distinction. If you can't clearly see the difference, you probably shouldn't broadcast your ignorance and stupidly on the internet. To illustrate the difference, by your weak and irrational thinking? you are a member of a huge number of religions. From the cherished and practiced belief you hold in the "no-tooth fairy" religion to you membership in the church of "nosantyianism".

    Please, stop being a retard about this. Why does it frighten you so much and why is it so hard for you to understand that some people really don't have a religion. Is it really that hard to get a handle on it?
    You're presumably not a Hindu? Look at how easy it is for you not to believe in Shiva or Ganesha. We atheists feel the same about Yahweh and Jesus. Are you a member of the “no-Shiva” religion and the religion of “no-Ganesha”?
    I'm sure you wouldn't put much faith in the story of Ram and his army of monkeys building a bridge; as a reasonable explanation for the existence of a chain of small Islands and stones between India and Sri Lanka. Well, by the same token, we atheists don't put any faith in the nonsense creation tale of the bible. In the same way that you might wonder why on earth Hindus would believe such nonsense, especially as the only evidence they have is a really old book, well we feel the same about you and your wacky tales and your really old book.

    As Douglas Adams put it :
    “Claiming that atheism is a religion is like claiming that not collecting stamps is a hobby”

    I do hope you can grasp the distinction; the whole ‘atheism is a religion’ thing has been dumb from the moment it was suggested. It gets a little uncomfortable after a while to watch a dead horse being flogged with such vigour long after it has become a moss covered skeleton.

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  176. The Celtic Chimp wrote Atheists do not believe in "no God"
    they don't believe in gods.


    That's not entirely true, CC. Strong atheists do actively believe no gods exist; weak atheists (who make up the majority) simply lack a belief either way.

    The lines definitely get blurred. I often see self-described weak atheists saying "The God of the Bible doesn't exist", just as I see fundamentalists like our friend Dan here saying "Atheists say 'God' doesn't exist".

    The terms on both side of the argument are redefined, IMHO, to the benefit of the one making the speech. It's not uncommon, but it should be avoided if possible...

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  177. Sorry to break this to you CC; Dan already told me that 'not collecting stamps' IS a religion.

    Kiss your D. Adams quote goodbye!

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  178. Wem,

    The lines definitely get blurred.

    Agree

    The terms on both side of the argument are redefined, IMHO, to the benefit of the one making the speech.

    Guilty as charged. Good point. I might add 'to make a point' to that description.

    ExPatMatt,

    Dan already told me that 'not collecting stamps' IS a religion.

    It sure is if you want the words "stamp collecting" to be removed from every post office. Pfft!

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