The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

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The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

 

This is it. This is the official thread that Kelly and Sapient will try to interact with as many visitors as they can. If you are new here, welcome aboard. If viewing this from the homepage you can click the title of the thread, create an account, and post your comments. Kelly and Sapient will not have time to address all the email and would like to keep all of their exchanges public for the benefit of the readers who are curious. Soon we will have a downloadable document available right from this post that will expose as many arguments as we can expose from the ABC Nightline Face Off with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Here are the highlights of the face off from our eyes...

 

Did we make mistakes in the full debate? Yes. We stumbled on a few words, made an inaccurate point or two, and made a weak point at a moment or two. Ironically our worst points still seemed to be too much for them. So while we welcome criticism, especially constructive, please keep in mind that we feel we have a good handle on what we did wrong. We'll grow, learn, and get better. What we're really hoping for in this thread is for the actual content and discussion about gods existence to be brought into question. Challenge us to continue, and we will continue to respond to your claims. If you are a theist, please feel free to post your scientific evidence for God, leaving out the miserable arguments that Ray Comfort has already been beaten on of course. If you are having trouble finding the video on ABCs website, you can find most/all of the videos here. DIGG it.

A thread on our message board that has links to the entire unedited debate.

Other threads of interest:

Nightline Editing Bias - The Supporting Data

Gregfl starts a thread about Bashirs big blunder and the Nightline portrayal.

Some of the Christian mail coming in [YOU RESPOND] about the debate.

Pertaining to Jesus Mythicism A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins

A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus) by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism

 

UPDATE Sapient spoke with ABC and voiced concerns leveled by many atheists in the community that the editing job for the Nightline piece gave Ray and Kirk a free pass. The most commonly voiced criticism of ABC was that it managed to show the debate as somewhat even and that there was no clear victor. This discussion was accepted only under the understanding that Ray and Kirk would prove God exists without invoking faith or the Bible. Anyone that understood the format saw that Ray and Kirk failed at their premise as soon as the proof of God became the Ten Commandments. ABC was made aware that commentary like "It was difficult to know if either side could claim victory" gave the impression that they were pandering to their largely Christian audience. While Sapient understood that this may be a wise business move, it was noted that it wasn't an accurate representation of the discussion. The Rational Response Squad brought it's "B" game and still destroyed every claim Kirk and Ray threw at them. In more positive news, we were made aware that the ABC unedited video of the debate was viewed over 160,000 times in the first 12 hours. Hopefully a few people have found the strength to overcome their god delusion.

AND THE PWNAGE CONTINUES:


THE FULL DEBATE!

 


REVLyle
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I got pulled away earlier. 

I got pulled away earlier.  Thanks for the Catholic encyclopedia definition.  I also found it to be interesting.  As a Christian, I would never label a muslim, a hindu, or a morman an atheist because they did not believe in Yahweh.  It would not fit the common philisophical definition nor the current webster's definition.  If the issue is to label current Christians, as atheists, as the pagans did in the early years of Christianity - I will accept that, BUT it was an incorrect label - because the Christians did believe in a God.  They were not, by classical definition, atheists - any more than they are today.  Thanks again scottmax.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: Where are

REVLyle wrote:

Where are these superior arguments against God?

First of all, we do not need to disprove God. The burden of evidence falls on he who makes the claim.

However...

Do you want arguments against all gods, arguments against the logic of the Judeo-Christian God, arguments against the inerrancy of the Bible or arguments against the historicity of Jesus? I can point you to good sources for all of these, but I can't explain most of them in 500 words or less. You will have to do some reading. If you are truly interested in doing so, I will be happy to assist in finding good material.

As a starting point, you might want to simply go to infidels.org and search for any topic you like. For instance, if you have read "The Case for Faith", then search for that title and you will find at least 2 excellent dissections. If you want to hear the other side of the cosmological argument, the ontological argument, the fine tuning argument, etc. just search for those terms and you will find some excellent essays. Many times you will also find a theistic rebuttal. How many times have you seen an atheistic rebuttal on a Christian website?

You may also want to search for Richard Carrier and read some of the essays he has written about ancient history.

Rook has compiled a very nice list of Biblical contradictions and some good evidence agaist the historicity of Christ in his forums on this site.

REVLyle wrote:
I dont see them in this thread.

It is hard to give a detailed dissection in a thread. I am most of the way through a great Richard Carrier essay about the spiritual body of Christ. You can find it in "The Empty Tomb", edited by Dr. Robert Price and Jeffrey Jay Lowder. This essay makes a very strong case for Paul not believing in the bodily resurrection of Christ. But the essay is 100 pages long and has an additional 30 pages of footnotes. To really get the impact of the article, you really need to read all of the letters of Paul, in chronological order, then read Mark, then read the essay while referring back to all of the Bible verses, then read Paul and Mark again. Much of the work of dissecting the Bible takes a great time investment. The more philosophical arguments are easier.


REVLyle wrote:
Which statement is dogma:

1. I cannot prove God exist, but God exist.

2. You cannot prove God does not exist, but God does not exist.

#2 is a straw man. It would be more accurate to say "You cannot prove that God exists so there is no justification for belief in God."

Which is not dogma?

  1. There is no evidence that Vishnu exists, but Vishnu does exist.
  2. There is no evidence that Buddha existed, but Buddha did exist.
  3. There is no evidence that Allah exists, but Allah does exist.
  4. There is no evidence that Quetzalcoatl exists, but Quetzalcoatl does exist.
  5. There is no evidence that Thor exists, but Thor does exist.
  6. There is no evidence that Zeus exists, but Zeus does exist.
  7. There is no evidence that the Tooth Fairy exists, but the Tooth Fairy does exist.
  8. Lacking evidence, there is no need to either disprove or believe in any of the above.

REVLyle wrote:
BUT you have said "God does not exist" - so the burden of proof to prove His non-existence is upon you.

Many atheists do not go so far as to say that God does not exist. I am one who would say, "An omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnitemporal God cannot be true." Since I actually make this positive claim (that many atheists do not make), I can offer arguments for the irrationality of that God.

I am a bit short on time so I will offer only one right now. The argument from animal suffering. If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does he allow animals to be infested by parasites that consume them from the inside until they die? Why do most animals die in pain? This cannot be related to free will since most of these animals have no impact on Man. One old answer was that animals did not really feel pain. This is why it used to be popular in the middle ages to put a bunch of cats in a bag and then light the bag on fire for public entertainment. We now know that cats do, in fact, feel pain. You also cannot counter this with the "fallen world" excuse since God is all-powerful and has the ultimate say in how far He will allow the world to "fall". Even if you argue that Satan is responsible, an all-powerful God would certainly be able to prevent this and an all-loving God would have no reason to allow it.

Now if you want to say that God is all-powerful and all-knowing but not all-loving, then I have less to argue with.


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scottmax wrote: There is

scottmax wrote:
  1. There is no evidence that Buddha existed, but Buddha did exist.

 

Being somewhat of a Zen Buddhist (from a purely philosophical perspective), I'd note that most Buddhists do not believe that the Buddha was a God. While he is characterized as the first being to achieve enlightenment, he was a human being like the rest of us.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:
scottmax wrote:
  1. There is no evidence that Buddha existed, but Buddha did exist.

 

Being somewhat of a Zen Buddhist (from a purely philosophical perspective), I'd note that most Buddhists do not believe that the Buddha was a God. While he is characterized as the first being to achieve enlightenment, he was a human being like the rest of us.

Good point. That is why I used 'existed' instead of 'exists' for Buddha. I understand the difference between Buddha and the gods on the list, but it was probably worth you pointing out the distinction anyway since some people probably do not.


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REVLyle wrote: I got pulled

REVLyle wrote:
I got pulled away earlier. Thanks for the Catholic encyclopedia definition. I also found it to be interesting. As a Christian, I would never label a muslim, a hindu, or a morman an atheist because they did not believe in Yahweh. It would not fit the common philisophical definition nor the current webster's definition. If the issue is to label current Christians, as atheists, as the pagans did in the early years of Christianity - I will accept that, BUT it was an incorrect label - because the Christians did believe in a God. They were not, by classical definition, atheists - any more than they are today. Thanks again scottmax.

My pleasure. I realized after my post that there is am important point that I should make.

The term atheist has been abused for a long time. Thomas Paine was villified as an atheist when he was clearly a deist. Since the word "atheist" has been redefined as a very negative term throughout recorded history, many folks without a God belief have avoided the term, preferring humanist or (lately) bright. The problem with these terms is that when Christians actually ask questions to determine what the humanist, bright, freethinker, etc. believes, it turns out that the person is an atheist.

So to avoid confusion, many of us have just given up on trying to find a friendly word for "atheist". Instead we are embracing the word in it's Webster's 2a definition and trying to change the public perception. We want to show that atheist does not mean Satan worshipper, baby eater, deadbeat or hedonist. It merely means that we lack a belief in God, but that we still manage to live good, moral lives nonetheless.

So please forgive us if we get a wee bit prickly when folks come along and try to force our word back into a box with a positive claim of "there is no God". We need a word to describe ourselves. We take on "atheist" despite it's negative connotations because we have no better.

Thanks for your cordiality REVLyle. I appreciate it.


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comment on debate

I am new to the site.  I just watched the debate.  I would just like to comment that in future debates Sapient and Kelly should try not to sound so angry. They clearly won the debate since the theists brought the bible in right away.  It would help to sound more detatched which is difficult to do, but Kelly almost came off as hostile sometimes, and very sarcastic.  Overall, they did a fine job.  I would have liked to see a more concrete defense of evolution though.  They let Kirk and the other get to many perceived points on that when it shouldn't have happened. 


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REVLyle wrote:Vastet, I

REVLyle wrote:
Vastet, I would love to suggest a couple of books to you.  Of course as a Rev. I would suggest the Bible.  But in this case, I would suggest a dictionary.

And I'd like to suggest a couple of books to you. First, a basic science book. And second, a basic etymology book. I said it once before, I'll say it one more time. Atheist comes from the word atheos. Theos means with god. Adding an a to the term makes it mean without instead of with. So atheos means without god. Or without belief in god. It does not mean denial of god. Even the catholics acknowledge the truth of the matter in official texts, as was pointed out to you.

REVLyle wrote:
am certainly not ashamed of being a theist.  I gave myself my screen name.  I am a monotheist.  Not a polytheist and not an atheist.

A theist is by definition an atheist as well.

REVLyle wrote:
Your definition "without god" is correct.  Notice it is not "without a god" or "without one god"  Please read more carefully in the future.  I am glad that I could help you out so you will not make the same mistake in the future.

Neither does it say "denies god". I suggest you need to read more carefully in the future.

REVLyle wrote:

An athesit does not believe in ANY GOD - He or she is "without god."

Exactly. We don't believe in god. That's not the same as believing god isn't.

REVLyle wrote:
  A Christian is a monotheist because he or she believes in one God.

Not necessarily. I've known christians who didn't believe in any god.

REVLyle wrote:
  A polytheist believes in many gods. You're welcome.

So are you.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Charles Rabico wrote: I am

Charles Rabico wrote:
I am new to the site. I just watched the debate. I would just like to comment that in future debates Sapient and Kelly should try not to sound so angry.

Hi Charles. Did you watch the whole debate on the Internet or just the Nightline hachet job? 


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Otishpote wrote: There are

Otishpote wrote:

There are also philosophical considerations that make many people think that the universe necessarily exists. There is nothing god could do about it. Even if a god could exist, it would have no more power to prevent the universe from existing than to prevent the number five from being prime.

 

So, according to your statement, if God exists, and created the universe, (being God, this would be one of His jobs..) He couldn't prevent it from existing? I mean according the Bible He has always been, and will always be, and he created the Heavens and Earth, but He has no control over it? Doesn't make sense to me.


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jabwocky wrote:Otishpote

jabwocky wrote:
Otishpote wrote:

There are also philosophical considerations that make many people think that the universe necessarily exists. There is nothing god could do about it. Even if a god could exist, it would have no more power to prevent the universe from existing than to prevent the number five from being prime.

 

So, according to your statement, if God exists, and created the universe, (being God, this would be one of His jobs.) He couldn't prevent it from existing? I mean according the Bible He has always been, and will always be, and he created the Heavens and Earth, but He has no control over it? Doesn't make sense to me.

Not exactly. More that God would be a liar for claiming to have created the universe, when he couldn't possibly have done so. It would be no different from God trying to take credit for five being prime.

I started a new forum post here.


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Maruta

Maruta said: 

In my opinion, 'logic' and 'rationality' is prententious and naive bullshit invented by society. There is no such thing as a complete and perfect framework for understanding and explaining the world. Saying that one system is completely devoid of logic. People simply do not have the cognitive abilities to seperate manmade fiction from what we understand as 'reality'. We're to easily fooled by what we think we know. I don't even see a reason to assume objective truth exists.

If you're right, then you just refuted yourself.  And you fell on your own sword, such that the only weapon to argue with (reason/logic) you just threw out the window.

If you're right, then your opinion on God is just as "true" as the theist's, and you've lost any vantage point from which to argue otherwise.

Objective truth is metaphysically necessary.  2+2=4 whether you want it to or not, whether you believe it or not, and if you want to argue otherwise, I'd love to see an attempt which doesn't *presuppose* the very standards of reason and logic that you deny exist. 

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detritusmaximus wrote: If

detritusmaximus wrote:

If you're right, then you just refuted yourself. And you fell on your own sword, such that the only weapon to argue with (reason/logic) you just threw out the window.

Doesn't that simply proof it again by refuting the logic of unlogical, which in turn disproves it... ad infinitum?

It's not a contradiction, it's a Strange Loop. And that's my entire point. I'm not making a claim based on complete logic or full knowledge, I simply acknowledge our limitations. Logic is a construct of the mind, understanding relationships is based on paradigms that will inevitably produce paradoxes.

There's no contradiction in the Socratic irony that says "I only know that I don't know anything."

Quote:
If you're right, then your opinion on God is just as "true" as the theist's, and you've lost any vantage point from which to argue otherwise.

But you don't understand that this IS my opinion (at least, at the time being). I'm a Total Agnostic. I believe in NOTHING. I know NOTHING, except the fact that I exist. I just have a lot of assumptions.

Quote:
Objective truth is metaphysically necessary. 2+2=4 whether you want it to or not, whether you believe it or not, and if you want to argue otherwise, I'd love to see an attempt which doesn't *presuppose* the very standards of reason and logic that you deny exist.

But the axioma of '..+..=....' is the product of an construct of organizing the world by laws that make sense. You can say that this is an objective truth, relative to our agreement on numbers, but it's a still a system that creates, and needs contradictions in order to exist, and creates truth that cannot be verified. Hence the whole '0.99999~=1?' debate. Hence the MIU-puzzle. Hence Zeno's paradox.

The bounderies between what is or isn't 'real' is to vague and to ambiguous. Therefor, I propose that everyone who has a closing theory on EVERYTHING is full of shit. And I do not rely on logic or information in order to argue this, I rely on the contradictions in logic and the absence of information in order to do this.


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kellym78

kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
Josephus (the Arabic version, according to the experts, probably contains what Josepus actually wrote about the historical Jesus).

Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

The painter is obvious without knowing the process. If not, how did the painting come about...chance? What are the alternative explanations for the painting besides the painter?

I suggest you re-read my post and do some research then come back and respond. It's clear that you did not bother to do at least one of those two things for the following reasons:

Even if Josephus' Testimonium was accurate and reliable, it still would not have been contemporaneous.

A transitional fossil by your definition will never be found because evolution doesn't promote the half-this/half-that type of trajectory that you are proposing it should. Small changes over large time spans. No crocoducks. Not to mention that species delineation is man-made for the ease of communication and classification. We have designated these groups to include what they include based on similar characteristics, mating patterns, etc. In reality, there are often not many visible and apparent breaking points and more of a smooth progression between a lot of species groups. (At least this is my understanding of it, but I'll be the first to admit that I am a biological dilettante.)

The painting is a metaphor. Get it? Like I said, substitute something with which you have no knowledge of the process by which it is created and see if your hypothesis that it is self-evident still works. We know nothing of universe creation; therefore, it is a false analogy to begin with. The use of god in hypothetical universe creation is an unnecessary complication as well. There are many other theories of how everything got here, some silly and some not, but none of them necessarily infer god's existence--and particularly not that of your particular god.

Here is what Ray wont admit to. There are Christians who accept evolution as the fact it is. No credible scientist would ever claim the half and half bullshit Ray was selling, be they believer or not.

Evolution as you correctly said does not claim that a duck fucked an aligator. It shows, and DNA backs this up, that small changes over long periods of time lead to different species.

Ray's argument is "You cant get a dog from a non dog" NO SHIT SHERLOCK! But dont pull this dishonest crap claiming that evolution makes that claim.

He would have you believe that evolition is a linier poll which it is not. It is like a tree with common roots that grow into different branches.

His blanent dishonesty will dangerously dumb down society.

Ray is nothing but an apologist cheerleader and is no different that Tom Cruise trying to sell snake oil as lagit science. The scary part is people buy his bullshit. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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if atheist is "without God"

if atheist is "without God" and theist is "with God" - how are they the same.

Who is not an atheist?

I would love to know your definition of a Christian.  Because the classical definition does not allow one to be a Christian without belief in God.  I would be more than happy to prove that point.  One may have called themselves a Christian, but one cannot be a Christian without God.

 I appreciate that Scottmax pointed out that Christians were once "called" athiests, but that doesn't mean that they WERE atheists.  They most certainly were not.  Is there a different catagory that has been created that I am not aware of.

I + one God = monotheist (without many gods BUT with god)

I + no god = atheist (without god)

I + many gods = polytheist (with gods)

How does atheists fit any of these but, "Without God."  If you are proud of what you are - great, but do not try to bring me into your camp.  You and I are not the same.  I am "With God" and you are "without God."

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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Charles Rabico wrote: I am

Charles Rabico wrote:
I am new to the site.  I just watched the debate.  I would just like to comment that in future debates Sapient and Kelly should try not to sound so angry. They clearly won the debate since the theists brought the bible in right away.  It would help to sound more detatched which is difficult to do, but Kelly almost came off as hostile sometimes, and very sarcastic.  Overall, they did a fine job.  I would have liked to see a more concrete defense of evolution though.  They let Kirk and the other get to many perceived points on that when it shouldn't have happened. 

I know where you are coming from on this, except I think the topic of evolution should have been avoided completely.  I just finally got to see the full debate on ABC and I think the first part and every aspect of the debate Brian and Kelly did a good job on ... except evolution.  Ray and Kirk actually won that part to a degree.

Anytime you engage in an evolution discussion when the debate is over "god's existence," it should immediately be pointed out that many theists accept evolution thus evolution, and some non-theists don't accept evolution, thus evolution really is not a major point within the debate of god's existence.

Ray and Kirk were using evolution to try to get Brian and Kelly to go on the defense, and like most creationists do, they made Brian and Kelly not look too good in areas of evolution.  With the exception of Massimo Pigliucci, I have not seen or heard someone debate creationists very effectively because creationists are good at being laid back and down to Earth with their audience, and evolutionists are often stunned at the level of stupidity by creationists (which doesn't work to their advantage).

 Now, if Brian and Kelly had just said, "well plenty of theists accept evolution and there are non-theists who don't accept evolution, therefore we don't know why evolution is being brought up in a debate when we were asking for scientific, rational proof of god's existence.  It seems that Ray and Kirk are just avoiding what the debate was originally about and trying to change subjects," that would have totally changed that segment.

 Otherwise, the debate was an excellent blowout in favor of Brian and Kelly where Ray and Kirk were exposed for not knowing much about what they were talking about.  Hopefully this just helps give experience to both of them as I would love to see Brian and Kelly go at it again sometime on national television.


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REVLyle wrote: if atheist

REVLyle wrote:

if atheist is "without God" and theist is "with God" - how are they the same.

Who is not an atheist?

I would love to know your definition of a Christian.  Because the classical definition does not allow one to be a Christian without belief in God.  I would be more than happy to prove that point.  One may have called themselves a Christian, but one cannot be a Christian without God.

 I appreciate that Scottmax pointed out that Christians were once "called" athiests, but that doesn't mean that they WERE atheists.  They most certainly were not.  Is there a different catagory that has been created that I am not aware of.

I + one God = monotheist (without many gods BUT with god)

I + no god = atheist (without god)

I + many gods = polytheist (with gods)

How does atheists fit any of these but, "Without God."  If you are proud of what you are - great, but do not try to bring me into your camp.  You and I are not the same.  I am "With God" and you are "without God."

Nobody here is trying to re-label you. It looks to me like you don't know the history of the word "atheist" and Scott is merely trying to explain it to you.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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NamesAreHardToPick

NamesAreHardToPick wrote:

Charles Rabico wrote:
I am new to the site.  I just watched the debate.  I would just like to comment that in future debates Sapient and Kelly should try not to sound so angry. They clearly won the debate since the theists brought the bible in right away.  It would help to sound more detatched which is difficult to do, but Kelly almost came off as hostile sometimes, and very sarcastic.  Overall, they did a fine job.  I would have liked to see a more concrete defense of evolution though.  They let Kirk and the other get to many perceived points on that when it shouldn't have happened. 

I know where you are coming from on this, except I think the topic of evolution should have been avoided completely.  I just finally got to see the full debate on ABC and I think the first part and every aspect of the debate Brian and Kelly did a good job on ... except evolution.  Ray and Kirk actually won that part to a degree.

Anytime you engage in an evolution discussion when the debate is over "god's existence," it should immediately be pointed out that many theists accept evolution thus evolution, and some non-theists don't accept evolution, thus evolution really is not a major point within the debate of god's existence.

Ray and Kirk were using evolution to try to get Brian and Kelly to go on the defense, and like most creationists do, they made Brian and Kelly not look too good in areas of evolution.  With the exception of Massimo Pigliucci, I have not seen or heard someone debate creationists very effectively because creationists are good at being laid back and down to Earth with their audience, and evolutionists are often stunned at the level of stupidity by creationists (which doesn't work to their advantage).

 Now, if Brian and Kelly had just said, "well plenty of theists accept evolution and there are non-theists who don't accept evolution, therefore we don't know why evolution is being brought up in a debate when we were asking for scientific, rational proof of god's existence.  It seems that Ray and Kirk are just avoiding what the debate was originally about and trying to change subjects," that would have totally changed that segment.

 Otherwise, the debate was an excellent blowout in favor of Brian and Kelly where Ray and Kirk were exposed for not knowing much about what they were talking about.  Hopefully this just helps give experience to both of them as I would love to see Brian and Kelly go at it again sometime on national television.

As soon as they pulled out those stupid photoshopped pictures Ray and Kirk lost the debate on evolution. Brian and Kelly could have whipped off their pants and played with themselves for 10 minutes after that and still won the argument on evolution.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Otishpote wrote: There is

Otishpote wrote:

There is no contradiction between the universe having always existed and being only 13.5 billion years old. It may be that there simply isn't any time earlier than 13.5 billion years ago. This is somewhat analogous to there being no point on the earth north of the north pole. ("Always existed" doesn't mean existed for infinitely many years. It just means there is no time that it hasn't.)

If that is difficult to comprehend, you may need to revise some basic assumptions about what time is and how it relates to space and matter. Einstein demonstrated something truly ground breaking. In essence, he pointed out that we don't really exist in three spatial dimensions and one fixed time dimension, as Newton assumed. Rather what we have is four spacetime dimensions (or more, if string theory is right). The distinction between which are space dimensions and which is time is fundamentally blurred. In effect which direction is timelike through a certain point depends on each observer's motion; one observer will observe forward in time to be in a slightly different direction than another. This shows up as length contraction and time dilation, which together can be considered as a simple rotation of reference frames in 4D spacetime - in effect, time pointing a different way. And gravity causes spacetime to curve. One leading theory is that at the point of singularity 13.5B years ago, spacetime was so extremely curved that all directions from there are futureward - no direction at that point was pastward; even more bizarre, no direction was even upward or downward or left or right either. Like at the north pole, many directions are all south, and there isn't any meaning to east or west. Step away from the north pole and things are more normal. Away from the singularity, things are more normal.

There are also philosophical considerations that make many people think that the universe necessarily exists. There is nothing god could do about it. Even if a god could exist, it would have no more power to prevent the universe from existing than to prevent the number five from being prime.

Thanks for that, Otishpote! I knew there was a theory of spacetime in which it didn't make sense to talk about the universe "beginning," but I could never remember how it went. You explanation was sufficiently dumbed-down for me to understand, and I thank you for that.

Buh bye, Creator God. There's no philosophical or scientific necessity for you to exist. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Hi all. This is my first

Hi all. This is my first time here.

First, I'd like to thank Brian Sapient and Kelly for the thankless task of debating the Banana Twins, as I call those two.

I'd like to thank Kelly for having the humility to consider what she'd have to improve on in future debates. Brian Sapient and Kelly, do you plan to take any public-speaking courses so that you can improve your delivery?

In post 89 of the IIDB thread Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort to 'prove' God's existence by debating RRS, Malachi151 is rather bitter about your appearance:

Quote:
The RRS pisses me off. As far as I'm concerned they <edit> had no business <edit> going into this with such as attitude and no better prepared.

#1) Wear a fucking suit. <edit> Even when I give small presentations I wear a tie.

#2) You know they are going to edit the hell out of everything. Don't be snide and give them what they are are going to be looking for. Be clam, smile, and gracious. Have poise.

#3) Know your subject matter better. It just pisses me off. There are plenty of people who would have done much better at this. How did these people get the opportunity? I don't know, I guess it was the Blasphemy Challenge stunt, but that certainly doesn't quality them to take on these questions in a debate.

I do directly blame Brian and Kelly. They were not the right people for this job, and, as far as I;'m concerned, they have no business "representing atheism" to the general public.

I have never liked the RRS and now I like them even less. <edit>

(the edits are where IIDB's mods edited out insults of fellow IIDB members)


Writer@Large also had some objections, including
Quote:
I'm more irritated, though, that they insisted on coming to this debate under their Internet pseudonyms. That's just fine for your podcast, but if you're going on national television to debate, don't cling to your Internet anonymity like it makes you cool or something. You're putting your face out there for millions to see; you're putting yourself out there as a representative of the cause. Give your real name.

I disagree with the appearance and the Internet-pseudonym criticisms, though I do think that Brian Sapient and Kelly ought to have been a bit more prepared on scientific and historical issues.

That being said, I think that there are some additional fallacies in the Argument from Design that are worth pointing out. Imagine some Charlie the Creationist wanting to get a greater appreciation of Archdeacon Paley's watches-need-watchmakers argument by going to a museum of watches. He goes there, and looks over all the watches and clocks and hourglasses and sundials and other timepieces there. Yet he concludes that they all have had a single super designer who makes perfect designs, despite all the valiant efforts to demonstrate to him otherwise.

He asks how anyone could possibly believe that watches originate by throwing a lot of watch parts into a box and then shaking it. And he notes that many timepieces have shared designs, like shared units of time and shared display conventions, which he claims proves that they all had only one designer.

And thus, if we conclude that any designers were involved in the evolution of life, that there could easily have been more than one of them.


Finally, I'd like to ask if there are any plans to put together any of these about that debate:

1. A complete transcript
2. A complete audio file
3. A complete video file

I was unable to catch the complete broadcast, if there ever was one. Sad


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stillmatic wrote: As soon

stillmatic wrote:
As soon as they pulled out those stupid photoshopped pictures Ray and Kirk lost the debate on evolution. Brian and Kelly could have whipped off their pants and played with themselves for 10 minutes after that and still won the argument on evolution.

You are falsely assuming people in the U.S. know more about evolution that they actually do.  Brian and Kelly - from an audience's perspective - lost the debate over evolution (which luckily was very short).  It should not have been discussed at all and it would have been very easy to refute (given that it has nothing to do with god's existence).  But sighing and calling people names while one person talks is not going to look good to those who watch it that are not familiar with evolution.

It should have been passed on, but it wasn't.  It's one of those things though, that people learn from.  Other than that, the debate was totally in favor of Brian and Kelly.


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NamesAreHardToPick

NamesAreHardToPick wrote:

stillmatic wrote:
As soon as they pulled out those stupid photoshopped pictures Ray and Kirk lost the debate on evolution. Brian and Kelly could have whipped off their pants and played with themselves for 10 minutes after that and still won the argument on evolution.

You are falsely assuming people in the U.S. know more about evolution that they actually do. Brian and Kelly - from an audience's perspective - lost the debate over evolution

Unfortunately I have to agree. My wife (a Christian) finds the painter argument to be complete common sense and has no interest in discovering anything about evolution since it does not jive with her worldview. No simple explanation will change that. Yes, evolution is true. No, we cannot prove it to people without getting them to study the actual science. All we can do is fight to have it properly taught in the science classroom.

I think our best defence is just to demand that anti-evolutionists list the books they have read about evolution and refuse to talk about it unless they have properly looked at the evidence. That, and pointing out that even the Catholic Church has had to accept the teachings of evolution.


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scottmax

scottmax wrote:
NamesAreHardToPick wrote:


stillmatic wrote:
As soon as they pulled out those stupid photoshopped pictures Ray and Kirk lost the debate on evolution. Brian and Kelly could have whipped off their pants and played with themselves for 10 minutes after that and still won the argument on evolution.


You are falsely assuming people in the U.S. know more about evolution that they actually do. Brian and Kelly - from an audience's perspective - lost the debate over evolution



Unfortunately I have to agree. My wife (a Christian) finds the painter argument to be complete common sense and has no interest in discovering anything about evolution since it does not jive with her worldview. No simple explanation will change that. Yes, evolution is true. No, we cannot prove it to people without getting them to study the actual science. All we can do is fight to have it properly taught in the science classroom.

I think our best defence is just to demand that anti-evolutionists list the books they have read about evolution and refuse to talk about it unless they have properly looked at the evidence. That, and pointing out that even the Catholic Church has had to accept the teachings of evolution.


I see one major flaw in the whole, "every building has a builder" statement. While the concept is subtle, it might be worth pointing out since it's something people have observed in their daily lives.

We do not deny that every building had a builder. This is can be plainly observed by everyone. The question is who designed the building?

For example, homes are build by construction workers. These workers did not design the buildings they construct. They combine pre-existing materials using a series of instructions which results in a building. An architect creates the design, who hands them off to a contractor who instructs construction workers to construct the building. As such, the process of designing a building and constructing a building are two very separate things. In fact, In some modern factories use robots, which follow a set of digital instructions, to create products. In this case, the builder is simply a machine.

In the same way, we know that God did not "Make" the trees, birds or people we see today. They were not created out of thin air by God. These things were built by cells that followed a set of instructions known as DNA. In other words, these things built themselves. This is a fact we can all observe and confirm this very moment. We can also watch stars form and collapse in the universe, which help confirm our theories of how the earth and sun were created.

The real question is: were the genetic instructions cells follow to create birds, trees and people purposely designed by an intelligent author, or were they initially created by a series of chemical reactions, then expanded though a process of genetic mutations and natural selection.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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REVLyle wrote: if atheist

REVLyle wrote:

if atheist is "without God" and theist is "with God" - how are they the same.

Who is not an atheist?

I would love to know your definition of a Christian.  Because the classical definition does not allow one to be a Christian without belief in God.  I would be more than happy to prove that point.  One may have called themselves a Christian, but one cannot be a Christian without God.

 I appreciate that Scottmax pointed out that Christians were once "called" athiests, but that doesn't mean that they WERE atheists.  They most certainly were not.  Is there a different catagory that has been created that I am not aware of.

I + one God = monotheist (without many gods BUT with god)

I + no god = atheist (without god)

I + many gods = polytheist (with gods)

How does atheists fit any of these but, "Without God."  If you are proud of what you are - great, but do not try to bring me into your camp.  You and I are not the same.  I am "With God" and you are "without God."

Can someone be Buddhist without believing in Buddha?  I believe someone can be Christian without believing in god.  Wouldn't following the teachings of the Christian faith while regarding it as mythology qualify someone as Christian?  I would say more so than the one who believes in Christ/God but does not follow the teachings. 


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Not this idiotic shit again.

Not this idiotic shit again. We can see paitnings made and buildings built. Ever seen a universe built?

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That book and all of its

That book and all of its concepts have been torn to shreads. Google it.

 


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the Nightline debate....

 ...yeah, but you don't have to contact the building maker or the painter to know that it didn't just happen - that's the point.  Evidence as to why evoluion is totally impossiible read - "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical challenge to evolution" by Michael J. Behe  - finally the example Brian gave on ABC's Nightline of a transitional form - isn't one.


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Caleb the Spy

Caleb the Spy wrote:
 ...yeah, but you don't have to contact the building maker or the painter to know that it didn't just happen - that's the point.  Evidence as to why evoluion is totally impossiible read - "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical challenge to evolution" by Michael J. Behe  - finally the example Brian gave on ABC's Nightline of a transitional form - isn't one.

That book has also been thoroughly refuted and if you had bothered to read the posts in this thread, you'd know that already.

 

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Caleb the Spy

Caleb the Spy wrote:
 ...yeah, but you don't have to contact the building maker or the painter to know that it didn't just happen - that's the point.  Evidence as to why evoluion is totally impossiible read - "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical challenge to evolution" by Michael J. Behe  - finally the example Brian gave on ABC's Nightline of a transitional form - isn't one.

How you do know if something need a maker?  What do you have in comparison that doesn't need a maker to determine what needs a maker.  You are simply asserting that all things need to be made, so who made god? If god doesn't need a maker, the universe itself doesn't need one?  These bald assertions are pointless because they work for both sides.  Micheal J. Behe claims have been refutted and have been talked about on this very thread. 

Sounds made up...
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jabwocky wrote: If one

jabwocky wrote:
If one asks somebody to prove something, but does not allow one to reference what they are trying to prove, of course it is not provable, can on prove the existence of the sun without using the sun as a reference? Possibly but I would think it would be paramount to ones argument. If one person argues the sun is real, it’s there in the sky, and another screams liar, you can’t use the sun to prove itself, has one actually disproved the point of the suns existence?

If I was allowed to go back through all of your arguments and throw them out if I found a typo, or a misrepresentation of any sort, through either your own omission or error, or through a quote, or link you provide that has erroneous information on another site, there would probably not be any posts on this site at all. Does that make all the posts and arguments moot? No. But why would one look at a historical document, and dispute it based upon ones interpretation of an earlier document? Historically speaking it is actually quite accurate, minus a few omissions or errors (it is actually really only that if one does not believe, it even states one will not thoroughly understand if they don’t believe it)

FIrst, your sun analogy does not work here as you are not pointing to god to prove god exists. We can SEE the sun, we are witness to its effects on the earth and everything else on it. Pointing to the bible only proves the bible exists. Nothing more. Second, there are many fictional books which take place in a historical setting (Tale of Two Cities/Dragonwings), that does not mean they are historical documents.


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MattShizzle wrote: Not this

MattShizzle wrote:
Not this idiotic shit again. We can see paitnings made and buildings built. Ever seen a universe built?

 My question was, is separating the Builder from the architect something that everyone can grasp and have impact on the whole "every building... " line that we keep hearing over and over again.

While you and I have a relatively good grasp of the universe, most people do not. However, people have direct experice with plants that grow from seeds, mothers become pregnent and have children. These are concrete things that everyone is familar with. And the dont' just appear out of thin air. 

If we show that something as complex as a human being "builds itself", the concept may be more likely to be accepted when applied to something as mysterious as the universe.  

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Dude, Please.  First of

Dude, Please.  First of all if you would read, you would see that I thanked scott for his input.  Second, if no one is attempting to re-label - why are people labeling Christians as atheist? And finally, just because early christians were CALLED atheist doesn't mean that they were.  People are called names all the time, but they do not fit the name (definition) that was given to them.  Christians, early or current, are not athiests.  THEY ARE MONOTHEISTS.

GOODNESS - I hope that is enough of that.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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YOU WROTE:  Can someone be

YOU WROTE:  Can someone be Buddhist without believing in Buddha?  I believe someone can be Christian without believing in god.

I think you are really asking a good question, rather than trying to make a point.  The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy defines atheism:

The view that there are no gods.  It goes on to say that Socrates was ACCUSED of atheism for not believeing in the official Athenian gods.  Finally it distinguishes, between theoretical atheism (one who self-consciously denies the existence of a supreme being) and practical atheism. (one who believes that a supreme being exists, but lives as though there were no god.)

I believe that scottmax would identify with the theoretical view and I would say that many Americans are of the practrical version Even some who claim to be Christians).  They may say that, "Oh yes, there is a God," but they have never thought through what that really means so they live their life as if there is no God.  Now when I say they live there life as if there is no God, I do not mean they lie, cheat, steal, murder, and lust.  Guess what - we all have done that.  What I mean is that they do not honor, worship, and serve God (the supreme being)  As I have stated before - they worship something, because everyone does - but they do not worship God. 

Now to the question, "Can you be a Christian and not believe in God."  Merriam Webster defines a Christian as, "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ."  If you believe in His teachings, He certainly taught about God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, AND He said that He was God.  So one would either have to believe that Jesus was a good teacher and therefore He told the truth and He was God; or Jesus was not a good teacher because He lied. 

Buddha once said, "Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals."  I agree with that statement, but that doesn't make me a follower of Buddha.  Many people through the ages have stated that the Bible is a good book, it has good stories, it teaches good morals, and it is good at teaching the culture of ancient Israel.  Some people who reject the entire Bible still love the book of Proverbs. 

Likewise, some may embrace that Jesus said, Love others as yourself."  They may try to pracitice it day by day.  But that does not make them Christian.  Because Jesus said right before that, "You Shall love the Lord your God,with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  So how do you take out the God part and say you follow Jesus' teaching.  I would be more than happy to elaborate on what being a Christian is, but I am sure I would get killed by others for even bringing it up on this website.

YOU WROTE:  Wouldn't following the teachings of the Christian faith while regarding it as mythology qualify someone as Christian?  I would say more so than the one who believes in Christ/God but does not follow the teachings. 

Even though I understand what you are saying, there is no such thing as being more a Christian than another Christian.  It is like there is no such thing as being kind-of pregnant.  You either are, or you are not.  There is a difference in maturity in ones faith, but you either believe all of what Jesus said about Himself (God's Son, Lord and Savior), or you reject who He claimed to be.  There is no walking the fence on this subject.

Finally let me say, there are many who claim to be Christians, and yet they have no idea what that means.  They most certainly do not follow the teachings of Christ.  I do not fall into that catagory.  I do fail everyday (I sin and do not live up to the standards of Jesus Christ - Perfection) but I do attempt to live my life in a way the gives him honor and glory.  I study abut Him, I read my Bible, and my faith grows everyday.  I hope this helps.  Let me know if there is still debate on this issue.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: Dude,

REVLyle wrote:

Dude, Please.  First of all if you would read, you would see that I thanked scott for his input.  Second, if no one is attempting to re-label - why are people labeling Christians as atheist? And finally, just because early christians were CALLED atheist doesn't mean that they were.  People are called names all the time, but they do not fit the name (definition) that was given to them.  Christians, early or current, are not athiests.  THEY ARE MONOTHEISTS.

GOODNESS - I hope that is enough of that.

People are calling Christians atheists because it's an appropriate term. Christians are atheists when it comes to Gods outside of their own. This is why historically "atheist" was a label for someone who didn't believe in your God, regardless if they believed in their own.

So if I was a pagan worshipping Apollo and you didn't believe in Apollo, you were "without God"  and therefore an atheist in my eyes as you didn't believe in my God. Got it?

 

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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REVLyle wrote: I believe

REVLyle wrote:

I believe that scottmax would identify with the theoretical view and I would say that many Americans are of the practrical version Even some who claim to be Christians). They may say that, "Oh yes, there is a God," but they have never thought through what that really means so they live their life as if there is no God. Now when I say they live there life as if there is no God, I do not mean they lie, cheat, steal, murder, and lust. Guess what - we all have done that. What I mean is that they do not honor, worship, and serve God (the supreme being) As I have stated before - they worship something, because everyone does - but they do not worship God.

This is certainly true. Many people are woefully uninformed about the faith they profess to follow. I think this can be a very dangerous state as it leaves them vulnerable to charlatans with an emotional story. If fact, this is why I think all non-believers should study religion. I think we can all agree that it would be better to have 1000 informed atheists, moderate Christians or moderate Muslims than a like number of radical fundamentalists ready to kill for their God on the word of a charismatic lunatic.

REVLyle wrote:
Finally let me say, there are many who claim to be Christians, and yet they have no idea what that means. They most certainly do not follow the teachings of Christ.

Yep. But I have to admit that I get really annoyed with Christians who claim that other Christians are not "true" Christians. I always take an inclusive view of the word Christian, meaning everyone who believes that Jesus is God and has chosen to at least give their allegiance to Him. So I would not include Mormons since they think Jesus was just a prophet and I would not include folks who believe in the divinity of Jesus but choose to worship Satan or something like that. (I'm not sure that such folk really exist.)

Back to the original point of this discussion, when Kelly said that everyone is an atheist towards some gods, she was using "atheist" in its loosest possible definition of "one who disbelieves in a god". It would probably be more correct for us to say: "Everyone is a non-believer in other gods. We just disbelieve in one god more." I think this is a good point that we are probably failing to make by putting the "objectionable" word "atheist" in the mix.

The real point is that you and I share a disbelief in 1000s of gods. We share a common culture that binds us. You and I understand each other to a far greater degree than you and most African Christians do. Our morality is far closer as well. The main thing that divides us is that you think certain acts (mostly sexual) are sinful since they are so defined by your ancient text and we atheists have no reason to think so. Many of us atheists are starting to speak out more because it is important for our fellow men to understand that we are not amoral and actually tend to play a very active role in increasing tolerance since we have no need to look down on people whom the Bible declares to be sinners.


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REVLyle wrote: The view

REVLyle wrote:

The view that there are no gods. It goes on to say that Socrates was ACCUSED of atheism for not believeing in the official Athenian gods. Finally it distinguishes, between theoretical atheism (one who self-consciously denies the existence of a supreme being) and practical atheism. (one who believes that a supreme being exists, but lives as though there were no god.)


Are you saying Christians were not persecuted for their lack of belief in multiple Gods? Were they not accused and put to death?

REVLyle wrote:

I believe that scottmax would identify with the theoretical view and I would say that many Americans are of the practrical version Even some who claim to be Christians). They may say that, "Oh yes, there is a God," but they have never thought through what that really means so they live their life as if there is no God. Now when I say they live there life as if there is no God, I do not mean they lie, cheat, steal, murder, and lust. Guess what - we all have done that. What I mean is that they do not honor, worship, and serve God (the supreme being) As I have stated before - they worship something, because everyone does - but they do not worship God.


REVLyle wrote:

Now to the question, "Can you be a Christian and not believe in God." Merriam Webster defines a Christian as, "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." If you believe in His teachings, He certainly taught about God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, AND He said that He was God. So one would either have to believe that Jesus was a good teacher and therefore He told the truth and He was God; or Jesus was not a good teacher because He lied.


Really? Unless you claim to be God or Jesus, I'd say you have no right to tell anyone how they should interpret the Bible. If someone choose a metaphorical interpretation of the Bible, they could follow the metaphorically message they think was reveled by Christ teachings. I think fundamentalists who think they have some kind of monopoly on the Bible quite arrogant.
 
REVLyle wrote:

Buddha once said, "Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals." I agree with that statement, but that doesn't make me a follower of Buddha.


Of course your not. You couldn't possibly be a follower Buddha because it's explicitly prohibited by God. I don't have that limitation. 

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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SCOTTMAX: Your response to

SCOTTMAX:

Your response to my posting included a mention of being a teenager with zits and having a mother who suffered from liver cancer...do you think that I myself have not had my hardships? Seems that you may be dwelling on anger towards God for misfortunes, and I'm familiar with that myself. I've been VERY angry with God in my life....having an abusive fiance, two friend's who committed suicide, three cancer-driven deaths for my grandparents, my mother having a nervous breakdown, a friend's still-birth baby, being relentlessy teased in middle school, etc.....now, when was my turning point??? When I gave it all to God. So, to use the whole "why do we suffer" point....think about it from a rebellious child standpoint....if you rebel against your parents, get involved in gangs, drugs, promiscuity, etc....do you not reap the consequences for those actions? Same thing as turning your back on God. He's not punishing you, you're punishing yourself by misbehaving....

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. - Les Brown


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REVLyle wrote: Even though

REVLyle wrote:

Even though I understand what you are saying, there is no such thing as being more a Christian than another Christian.  It is like there is no such thing as being kind-of pregnant.  You either are, or you are not.  There is a difference in maturity in ones faith, but you either believe all of what Jesus said about Himself (God's Son, Lord and Savior), or you reject who He claimed to be.  There is no walking the fence on this subject.

Finally let me say, there are many who claim to be Christians, and yet they have no idea what that means.  They most certainly do not follow the teachings of Christ.  I do not fall into that catagory.  I do fail everyday (I sin and do not live up to the standards of Jesus Christ - Perfection) but I do attempt to live my life in a way the gives him honor and glory.  I study abut Him, I read my Bible, and my faith grows everyday.  I hope this helps.  Let me know if there is still debate on this issue.

Unfortunately, there still is a fence. It's easy to say that being a Christian is about believing the teachings of Jesus Christ, but who determines what someone actually believes?

There will always be arguments over who qualifies as a true Christian and who doesn't. Obviously with all of the Christan sects, there is no consensus of Jesus Christs teachings, so how can anyone draw a line between those who qualify and those who don't.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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SCOTTMAX: Your response to

SCOTTMAX:

Your response to my posting included a mention of being a teenager with zits and having a mother who suffered from liver cancer...do you think that I myself have not had my hardships? Seems that you may be dwelling on anger towards God for misfortunes, and I'm familiar with that myself. I've been VERY angry with God in my life....having an abusive fiance, two friend's who committed suicide, three cancer-driven deaths for my grandparents, my mother having a nervous breakdown, a friend's still-birth baby, being relentlessly teased in middle school, etc.....now, when was my turning point??? When I gave it all to God. So, to use the whole "why do we suffer" point....think about it from a rebellious child standpoint....if you rebel against your parents, get involved in gangs, drugs, promiscuity, etc....do you not reap the consequences for those actions? Same thing as turning your back on God. He's not punishing you, you're punishing yourself by misbehaving....

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Veils of Maya

Veils of Maya wrote:
REVLyle wrote:

Buddha once said, "Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals." I agree with that statement, but that doesn't make me a follower of Buddha.


Of course your not. You couldn't possibly be a follower Buddha because it's explicitly prohibited by God. I don't have that limitation.

Veils, I think there is a big difference between a naturalistic follower of Buddha and a naturalistic follower of Christ. Buddhism does not have a deity so you are much more free to just believe in the philosophy and reject the mysticism. There have through history been people who call themselves Christian without believing that Christ was part of the godhead so I understand your point to some degree but I think it is reasonable to allow the Christians who believe in God to have a title of their own. What else should they call themselves?

I don't think it is any more productive for us to redefine "Christian" to be broader than what Christians mean than it is for Christians to redefine "atheist" to be narrower than what we mean.


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REVLyle: Due to all the

REVLyle: Due to all the inconsitencies in the bible (for the sake of this debate we can stick to the New Testament) isn't it difficult if not impossible to to be a "true" Christian?  Setting aside the problems that arise from pure interpretation, everyone believes they are following the <i>true</i> teachings of Christ. 


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Amanda_Theist

Amanda_Theist wrote:
SCOTTMAX: Your response to my posting included a mention of being a teenager with zits and having a mother who suffered from liver cancer...do you think that I myself have not had my hardships? Seems that you may be dwelling on anger towards God for misfortunes, and I'm familiar with that myself. I've been VERY angry with God in my life....having an abusive fiance, two friend's who committed suicide, three cancer-driven deaths for my grandparents, my mother having a nervous breakdown, a friend's still-birth baby, being relentlessy teased in middle school, etc.....now, when was my turning point??? When I gave it all to God. So, to use the whole "why do we suffer" point....think about it from a rebellious child standpoint....if you rebel against your parents, get involved in gangs, drugs, promiscuity, etc....do you not reap the consequences for those actions? Same thing as turning your back on God. He's not punishing you, you're punishing yourself by misbehaving....


If there was some kind of observable and consistent correlation between "sinful" behavior and misfortune, I'd find this easier to swallow. However, no such correlation exists. People who could be considered "evil" can literally get away with murder and lead a relatively trouble free life, while others who try to do the right thing are struck by enormous misfortune. Asking God for help doesn't see to have any benift.

Statistics show that intercessory prayer has no effect on patients recovering from heart surgery.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,189691,00.html

If God chooses to punish some, he must choose not to punish others. This brings us to God's incomprehensible will. If God is all knowing, all seeing, all powerful and has an incomprehensible will, you can use God to explain absolutely anything and everything that happens. It's a "get of logic free" card that gets played in situations like this.

Have you heard of the concept of "writing to your audience?" It's where you tailor your message to the hopes, fears and situations of your audience. The Bible could be the most successful example of this concept in human history.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Amanda_Theist wrote: Your

Amanda_Theist wrote:
Your response to my posting included a mention of being a teenager with zits and having a mother who suffered from liver cancer...do you think that I myself have not had my hardships? Seems that you may be dwelling on anger towards God for misfortunes, and I'm familiar with that myself. I've been VERY angry with God in my life....having an abusive fiance, two friend's who committed suicide, three cancer-driven deaths for my grandparents, my mother having a nervous breakdown, a friend's still-birth baby, being relentlessly teased in middle school, etc.....now, when was my turning point??? When I gave it all to God. So, to use the whole "why do we suffer" point....think about it from a rebellious child standpoint....if you rebel against your parents, get involved in gangs, drugs, promiscuity, etc....do you not reap the consequences for those actions? Same thing as turning your back on God. He's not punishing you, you're punishing yourself by misbehaving....

Interestingly enough, my zits weren't bad, both of my parents are alive and healthy, my Grandma lived to 88 and remained pretty functional to the end. I have a wonderful wife and 2 bright, healthy, happy children. I have never in my life been "angry" at God. Not even when I believed with my whole heart that God existed. I never considered the argument from evil until long after I drifted away from superstition.

That post was a while back but I think the point I was discussing was one of design. If we are designed, then God needs to hire a new architect. Why would he design us with a blindspot in our eye? Why would he have the male urinary tract pass through the prostate so that old men can't pee? Why would we have an appendix that can explode and kill us or wisdom teeth that need to be pulled as often as not?

I am sorry to hear that you have had so many trials in your life. It always seems ironic that many who have had the hardest time cleave to God most strongly. If God is all-knowing, then He knew everything that would happen to you in your life before He ever pulled the trigger on Creation. He could have changed things ever so slightly so that your life took a different path. So God gave me a pretty pleasant life so far and chose to put you through hell.

I disbelieve in a God who would do that to you. You worship Him for helping you. God gave you grief until you agreed to worship Him. Amanda, if a man abducted you and stuck you in a hole for 5 years, this would be a bit like thanking for him for letting you out of the hole once you promised to love and obey him.


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REVLyle wrote:I would

REVLyle wrote:

I would love to know your definition of a Christian.  

Christian = Someone who was either brainwashed during childhood or taken advantage of during a weak moment in their life and told that if you just believe in this fairytale all your problems will go away.


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scottmax wrote: I don't

scottmax wrote:


I don't think it is any more productive for us to redefine "Christian" to be broader than what Christians mean than it is for Christians to redefine "atheist" to be narrower than what we mean.




I agree.

But I think this is an perfect example of how many theists project the constraints of their faith onto others without even realizing it.

The same could be said with ethics and morality. When theists project their association with God and morality on non-theists, they assume non-thesists have no morals. In a majority of these cases, I'd say that theists don't even realize how this constrains their view of the world and everyone around them.

It's as if they live in some alternate universe were non-divine morality simply does not exist.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Veils of Maya wrote: The

Veils of Maya wrote:

The same could be said with ethics and morality. When theists project their association with God and morality on non-theists, they assume non-thesists have no morals. In a majority of these cases, I'd say that theists don't even realize how this constrains their view of the world and everyone around them.

I agree with you. When I try to explain to Christians why I find the story of Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac so horrible, it is like we are speaking different languages. The idea that embryonic stem cell research or first trimester abortion is not immoral if there is no soul is like discussing the possibility that we have no blood or brain. It just doesn't compute.


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Veils of Maya wrote: 

Veils of Maya wrote:  Really? Unless you claim to be God or Jesus, I'd say you have no right to tell anyone how they should interpret the Bible. If someone choose a metaphorical interpretation of the Bible, they could follow the metaphorically message they think was reveled by Christ teachings. I think fundamentalists who think they have some kind of monopoly on the Bible quite arrogant.

 I am nothing but a man.  That is all.  You will notice that I did not tell someone how to interpret the Bible.  I simply stated that the Bible makes it quite clear that Jesus speaks of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  So, if someone states that they believe in Jesus, and they follow the Bible, but Jesus didn't really mean what he said, (God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and there is no God - - - - What is the point?  Sure, call yourself whatever you want.  But I certainly have never read of the church proclaiming that one could be a follower of Christ and deny God.

  But I will tell you.  Not only does the Bible state that there is a God, the patristic fathers (Those who studied under the Apostles) certainly wrote about God.  So all of their writings (very much revered by the church) would also have to be taken metaphorically and so on and so on.  We could play the "what if" game all day long.  Doesn't make for very good debate.

Let me finally state that the church has ALWAYS maintained Jesus was God and anything less than that was calld heresy.  You may hate that fact, but the point of what I am saying is that from the very beginning of Christianity - the divinity of Christ has been proclaimed.  I find it interesting that 2000 years later - removed from the time, place, culture, and events we are now saying - well, maybe Jesus was only metaphorically speaking.  I know of no place in church history where the transition of metaphorical God - to real God took place.  Could you find that for me?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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REVLyle wrote: Let me

REVLyle wrote:

Let me finally state that the church has ALWAYS maintained Jesus was God and anything less than that was calld heresy.

Well I think you would be hard pressed to prove that the majority of Christians of the first 3 centuries believed that Christ was equal to God. Is that what you mean? There was a great diversity of belief in early Christianity, with some Christians not even believing that Christ had been an actual person. Some thought Christ was merely a bridge to God. Even Origen considered Christ and the Holy Spirit to be "diminished gods" with the Father being the only all-powerful God. The doctrine of the Trinity was not codified until the first council of Nicea. The Jehovah's Witnesses still deny the Trinity doctrine today.

The Catholic Church won preeminence so heresy is whatever the losers believed. If another group had come out on top in the 4th century, you would believe something else today.


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I can tell you why I, as a

I can tell you why I, as a Christian, am against any kind of abortion.  I would never get into a debate about when the fetus becomes human or when does the fetus feel pain.  (I am curious about your view of that since your question about animals feeling pain).  That is not the issue.  The issue for me when it comes to abortion is - ownership.  The reason I do not support abortion, and certainly do not want my tax dollars to provide for abortion, is that children do not belong to their parents.  A man and a woman can decide to have sex all day long if they want, but God decides when that act of sex results in pregnancy.  For my wife to get pregnant, and then my wife or me, choose to abort, in essence - I am stating by my actions - My decisions supercede God's.  That I know better than Him what is best for me and my wife.  As a Christian, I know that my children do not come from me, they are a gift from God. 

I realize that you believe differently than me - I am just trying to give you the point of view of a Christian man.  I am attempting give you another glimpse into Christian person's understanding of God.

 Hey, scottmax - tell me your view on Abraham and Isaac.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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videos

These short videos are excellent! I think you guys should link to them from the site. Could have just played these for kirk and ray without saying a word.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4724R6mR18

The ethics of hell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmsis-motuY

dogma

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elEYKpo7kFk

the golden rule

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NcRPQeRp_M

global warming (off topic, but good)

Anyone got a match? I need to sacrifice a goat to make god happy.


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stillmatic WROTE: People

stillmatic WROTE: People are calling Christians atheists because it's an appropriate term. Christians are atheists when it comes to Gods outside of their own. This is why historically "atheist" was a label for someone who didn't believe in your God, regardless if they believed in their own.

So if I was a pagan worshipping Apollo and you didn't believe in Apollo, you were "without God"  and therefore an atheist in my eyes as you didn't believe in my God. Got it?

I think scottmax got it right in his post.  The question is - do you view the term atheist as a subjective term or an objective term.  You are defining it from your point of view (Subjective) and I am defining it from an outside point of view (Objective).  If you worshipped Apollo and I worshipped Yahweh.  I am "without your god" or "without a god" but I am not "without God" which is the definition of atheism. I am with Yahweh (God).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.