Atheist Musings for the Fundamentalist Christian "Soul"

TheJollyNihilist
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Atheist Musings for the Fundamentalist Christian "Soul"

The following seven questions/challenges/musings are intended for fundamentalist Christians. Liberal believers may not recognize themselves in this address.

1. The historical evidence for biblical truth-claims is thin, to be sure. I know of no secular historian who reports on Mary undergoing parthenogenesis, for example. Because this is the case, it seems to me that Christians ought to present some credible secular historical evidence to support their most cherished stories. It is in this spirit I request the names and relevant works of at least two secular record-keepers—who lived at the same time as Jesus—who specifically mention Jesus as well as at least one of his alleged miracles (for example, bringing dead-long-enough-to-stink Lazarus back to life). I have not been presented with any qualifying names yet, so I am curious to hear some.

2. Biblical literalist Christians reject evolutionary theory, despite its near-universal acceptance in the scientific community. Evolution teaches us that various classes of animal roamed the planet (and went extinct) before other classes of animal even existed. Creationists argue that all kinds of animal were created at about the same time; that is, humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Luckily for Young Earth Creationists, there is an extremely easy way to disprove Darwinian evolution: the geologic strata. It is in this spirit I request at least two examples of horse fossils found in the Paleozoic strata (among trilobites, crinoids and other such life forms). Alternatively, I, along with the late J.B.S. Haldane, request at least two examples of fossil rabbits found in the Precambrian.

3. According to fundamentalist Christians, the Bible is the word of god. That is, the Bible was either written by the deity or directly inspired by him. Because the Christian god conception incorporates omniscience, a fundamentalist Christian must conclude the Bible boasts omniscient authorship. However, I think the evidence for such a conclusion is lacking. It is in this spirit I request two examples of biblical passages that provide brand new information about the natural order, which previously had been unavailable to humans living during biblical times. I shall relate an example: If the Bible had mentioned the true age and size of our universe, that would qualify as brand new information about the natural order, because first century commoners did not already possess this information. If the Bible lacks brand new information about the natural order, its claims of omniscient authorship are groundless.

4. The Abrahamic monotheistic superstition truly would be a convincing and persuasive one if it appeared independently in several different cultures, rather than spreading when a Christian population actively attempts to convert a non-Christian population. Allow me to share an example: The atheist would have a difficult-to-defend position if, when Christian European explorers arrived in North America, they discovered that Native Americans were already Abrahamic monotheists. The odds of Yahweh (with his fantastical nature and distinct characteristics) coincidentally being invented by two different populations are vanishingly small. If those Native Americans worshiped Yahweh, it would be strong evidence that the deity revealed himself at least two separate times, to at least two separate populations. It is in this spirit I request at least one well-evidenced example of Abrahamic monotheism being discovered among a geographically isolated population, which never previously had been exposed to an Abrahamic monotheist.

5. Our universe is a breathtakingly vast space. There are about 130 billion galaxies, each containing as many as 400 billion stars. Nobody is certain of how many planets are in our universe. A reasonable (albeit very rough) estimate is about 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, which is reached by multiplying 130 billion (galaxies), 400 billion (stars per galaxy) and one (representing planets, because some percentage of stars has them and some lack them). Looking at things through this vast cosmological lens, it seems awfully silly to think this entire creation is for us. After all, our planet is an infinitesimal speck within our own galaxy, let alone our entire universe. The corners of the cosmos hospitable to humans are exceedingly few. One would think that, if our universe was designed with us in mind, we would be able to explore it a bit, rather than being trapped on a metaphorical sidewalk square within an endless Metropolis. It is in this spirit I ask why, given the enormity of our universe, fundamentalist Christians think god crafted the cosmos for us.

6. Our universe is incredibly old. The best scientific estimates indicate that our universe is 13.7 billion years old. Allow me to quote Victor J. Stenger, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado: Referencing the deity, he says, “Instead of six days, he took nine billion years to make Earth, another billion years or so to make life and then another four billion years to make humanity. Humans have walked on Earth for less than one-hundredth of one percent of Earth’s history.” This being the case, why should humans conclude everything was made for us? Let me put a finer point on this: Why would a god, who created a vast cosmos of 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets, which has existed for nearly 14 billion years, care about what human primates do while naked?

7. Homo sapiens sapiens have existed for tens of thousands of years, or more. The earliest inklings of the Abrahamic monotheism came several millennia ago—probably about four thousand years. Bearing this in mind, why did god wait tens of thousands of years to introduce hominids to the One True Religion? Certainly, if the fundamentalist Christian ideology is sound, hominids that lived 25,000 years ago would have benefited from knowing about Yahweh and his preferred behavioral patterns. Lacking god’s revelation, these primitives surely descended into all manner of silly superstitions and false belief systems. If humans truly are god’s children and everything was created for us, why wait until 2000 BCE to roll out the correct religion?

The road to truth is paved with evidence.


deludedgod
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I want you to know I always

I want you to know I always enjoy reading your posts. In this case, it is the last three points which are my favorite. It seems you and I think precisely alike:

Religion and False Anthropocentricism

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


TheJollyNihilist
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Thanks much for your kind

Thanks much for your kind and generous words.

 

Feedback like yours keeps me posting, writing and blogging.

 

Cheers!

The road to truth is paved with evidence.


Strafio
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I like points like these

I like points like these because they show how much fundamentalists rely on crazy conspiracy theories to brush aside contemporary thinking.
Apparently, the reason why the majority of the worlds biologists believe in evolution, including the Christians among them, is because their sinful nature drives them to try and find theories that deny God.
Some of them aren't quite as crazy... they believe that the majority of the world's scientists are honestly mistaken about their proffesion, with mistakes so obvious that theologians have spotted them!


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TheJollyNihilist

TheJollyNihilist wrote:

 there is a very easy way to disprove Darwinian evolution: the geologic strata. It is in this spirit I request at least two examples of horse fossils found in the Paleozoic strata (among trilobites, crinoids and other such life forms)

Smiling Sweet 


TheJollyNihilist
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Rev_Devilin

Rev_Devilin wrote:

TheJollyNihilist wrote:

there is a very easy way to disprove Darwinian evolution: the geologic strata. It is in this spirit I request at least two examples of horse fossils found in the Paleozoic strata (among trilobites, crinoids and other such life forms)

Smiling Sweet

 

When it comes to Young Earth Creationists, until they gave me the requested examples, I have no use in talking to them. Their position is self-refuting and unworthy of debate. 

The road to truth is paved with evidence.


TheJollyNihilist
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Strafio wrote: I like

Strafio wrote:
I like points like these because they show how much fundamentalists rely on crazy conspiracy theories to brush aside contemporary thinking. Apparently, the reason why the majority of the worlds biologists believe in evolution, including the Christians among them, is because their sinful nature drives them to try and find theories that deny God. Some of them aren't quite as crazy... they believe that the majority of the world's scientists are honestly mistaken about their profession, with mistakes so obvious that theologians have spotted them!

 

Yes, it's always comical when some would-be theologian attempts to destroy evolution, wielding only his presumably high-school-level education in the natural sciences.

Leave science to the scientists ... and theology to those who don't understand science. Laughing

The road to truth is paved with evidence.


Mike from Canada
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Keep in mind I'm with you

Keep in mind I'm with you on this one but since there are no theists' posts I'll play devil's advocate based on some of the nonsense I've had rammed down my throat.

1. They'll say Josephus but I think even he wasn't exactly contemporary. It was covered in The Jesus Papers but it's been a while since I've read it.

2. Satan did it to test your faith so he would not slip up and make a mistake like putting the wrong fossils in the wrong strata. And there are petrified trees running through the different strata.

3. Book of Job, the earth is a sphere resting... in or on something... I forget. Ray Comfort quoted it when debating Kelly and Brian. And then Kent Hovind goes into great detail about how eating the seeds of peaches can cure cancer (thou shall eat of the plants and seeds or some line like that in Genesis), bread used to strengthen the heart until we removed the oil and stuff to preserve it longer and other stuff like that.

4. Satan deceived almost the entire world so they would all go to Hell. Don't you know that those few who know the truth are the chosen heroes of humanity who are appointed to open the eyes of the heathens to save the souls of millions and... man I think I threw up in my mouth writing that.

5. To make sure we toiled hard to earn the knowledge to explore. He would not give us such a gift until he were mature enough to have it. Much like having to wait until we're 16 to get our driver's permit.

6. Literal believers do not believe the premise you set forth that the universe is that old so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an answer to that one.

7. Again, literal believers do not hold the belief that the world is that old. Noah was aware of the true God before the flood as was Adam and everyone in between. Jesus was God's decision to do something for us or something like that... none of that makes sense to me because if a God is timeless how does he interfere in a temporal event? And if he is perfect why did he need to interject to fix something? Sorry, I'm supposed to be the devil's advocate, disregard that last part. Wink

You know I see why it is so appealing to theists to believe this stuff. It takes no thought and it's like playing superheroes when you're a kid. Just make it up as you go 'cause your guy can do anything.

Gordon H. Clark wrote:
To [Logical Positivists], speaking of God is like saying that the typewriter is the bluish-green sound of the square root of minus one.

This quote is full of win.


stuntgibbon
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Seven sound arguments that

Seven sound arguments that will be ignored by fundamentalists, because they won't pay attention.


extant1
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I'm not a fundamentalist,

I'm not a fundamentalist, but I am a Christian.  I would just say, give people a chance to have a conversation man.  Any one of these points is worth discussing, but no Christian is going to want to debate someone who begins the debate on seven fronts.

You wouldn't want to walk into a scientific debate where the other guy lays out seven heavy burdens for you to bear before he'll countenance your position. 

As atheists often point out, it's a valid reason to refrain from debating people you don't think will really engage in the debate.  Especially on this "atheist home turf" you have to make debate inviting.  Otherwise you won't get debate. 


extant1
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Also, how do I get a theist

Also, how do I get a theist tag on my ID?


LosingStreak06
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extant1 wrote: Also, how do

extant1 wrote:
Also, how do I get a theist tag on my ID?

A mod will put it on there for you eventually. Also, if you ever have an afterthought you want to add after you've already posted, just edit the post you made instead of posting another reply. That keeps the forums more neat-and-tidy like.


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extant1 wrote:you have to

extant1 wrote:
you have to make debate inviting.  Otherwise you won't get debate.

 Just start with one of the points, they are convieniently labeled. When you debate, try not to fall into the laid traps and logic landmines the "op" has placed for you. Think of an original argument for your side that will confuse the hell out of them, if you make somebody think about something from a new angle they will be off balance. These guys on here are pretty sharp, they know their arguments well, in fact Id say some of them have canned answers stored up to dispatch the faint of heart. Just remember, they aren't going to be very inviting to their opponents because of the difference between your beliefs and theirs. 

My comments on #5:

It may seem like a silly notion that the universe is for us, but its also a silly notion that people get stabbed over scuffing another guys vintage pumas (true story). The thing about the # of galaxies reminds me of the late Carl Sagan's assertion that "each dot represents a billion galaxies"... Ahh he said it with such verve and a lust for life.


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TheJollyNihilist wrote: Our

TheJollyNihilist wrote:
Our planet is an infinitesimal speck within our own galaxy, let alone our entire universe. The corners of the cosmos hospitable to humans are exceedingly few. One would think that, if our universe was designed with us in mind, we would be able to explore it a bit, rather than being trapped on a metaphorical sidewalk square within an endless Metropolis.


I love this quote. Very true.

Nice post.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan