Debate: Stringer-Hawkins (the Irrational Precept that theism is delusional)

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Debate: Stringer-Hawkins (the Irrational Precept that theism is delusional)

Attention: All responses to my Case, unless they are from Mr. Rook Hawkins himself, will be ignored. This is a debate between me and Rook. If anyone else wants to debate with me on this subject, or any, they can send me a message either via MySpace here: http://www.myspace.com/biblethumper , or here at rationalresponders.com and we can arrange for a separate debate. Otherwise, you are merely a spectator here and your words will be regarded accordingly.

I have been challenged to a debate by your very own Rook Hawkins, but I'll start with a Side Note:

Rook, let's try and keep this debate civil and fair if you don't mind. If you do mind, it will not end well for you, and that's not a threat. I am not here to bash you or anyone personally; that's not how I debate, but I found your conduct the other night to be irrational and pretty outrageous considering the claims that you and your friends make about religion. I have yet to lie to you or anyone about what I said about you; and if you don't remember (you obviously don't), Marsage has already confronted you about certain laws in our country concerning libel in a chat room and closed that issue over a year ago. You even apologized to me for threatening me with a lawsuit. Also, I didn't even say that I beat you or "pwned" you, as someone else put it, in any debate. This is the same accusation you made against me a year ago, and it was a lie then as well. Either your friends lied to you about what I said, which was, word by word "I've debated Rook before," which is true and you know it, or you lied to me when you said that they told you something different.

You and I haven't spoken to each other in a year and you know it. If we have I'd like to see a transcript of our discussion and the date along with it. As for the thread I supposedly ignored you in, I'd like to see that as well, since I have no idea what you are talking about.

If you don't want people talking about you at all, which is what you said Christmas night in the stickam chat, then you should consider practicing what you preach and stop broadcasting your vicious views about me all over the internet. It seems you, Brian and Kelly all enjoy talking about me a lot more than I was aware of. There is nothing I have said behind your back that I wouldn't say to your face, since I wasn't lying, and I'm not afraid of you despite your ruthless attacks on me personally. I will not be bullied this time, Rook.

I always knew I would not do well attempting to debate you (or anyone in RRS really) in a chat room over it, (especially when I have three people cussing at me simultaneously with a three minute lag), and I have never claimed otherwise, but this is a forum. I can get my case out without you interrupting me every single second. And the topic at hand is concerning delusions and mental instability. Try to keep calm, Rook, whereas acting as you did the other night will only help me prove my case: if anyone is delusional, it's the atheist.

Telling me that I'm delusional and retarded won't get you anywhere unless you can prove it. You are very good at vigorously and ruthlessly jabbing at people with hateful and cruel words, but they mean nothing to me unless you can show how they are true, which is exactly what you'll have to prove to win this particular debate if you look at the resolution. Otherwise, you're just emotional, immature, and most importantly, irrational to the core.

Here is my First Affirmative.

Resolved: Theists are not delusional for believing in God

"Delusions" are something atheists accredit theists with almost every time I hear them speak on the subject of whether or not God exists. In fact it seems to be one of the main arguments made against theists today; Rook's favorite word when I used to chat with him was actually "delusional," along with "don't project, Sarah, you're projecting," but I find this belief about theism to be very irrational. Being "rational responders", you will realize that the resolution is accurate. As a side note, I would also like to make the case against those who would see theists, mainly concerned with Christianity, as mentally unstable somehow and therefore their belief that there is a God is a psychological one with irrational reasons and premises, ultimately leading to delusion. I think this issue goes hand in hand with the resolution, and so both will be addressed in my case.

Defining Terms

The definition of the word "delusional" that I will be referring to in this debate is from the American Heritage Dictionary at dictionary.com: A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness.

I will make my case based on this definition until a better definition of "delusional" is presented along with any other definitions I use.

Some other words that will need defining in order to accurately present my case are as follows:

Illness: a. Poor health resulting from disease of body or mind; sickness. b. a disease. (American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Illness)

God: A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. (American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/God)

My case will consist of three Contentions, each containing their own sub points and conclusions.

Contention 1: Invalidating evidence has not been presented to the Theist

In order to call someone delusional, we must first show that their false beliefs have been held in spite of invalidating evidence according to the definition. The atheist has yet to present this invalidating evidence to the theist if it exists, and if it does, the atheist cannot rationally claim that all theists hold their belief in spite of the evidence without generalizing because to make such a claim would require the atheist to know every theist living in the world today personally, but no one does of course. If Rook can show how I specifically have held to my beliefs in spite of invalidating evidence though, we can logically conclude that I am delusional.

Before I move on to my next contention, I will go over some prevalent arguments used by atheists to show the theist's psychological delusions. I will give reasonable arguments to confirm that they are not invalidating evidences, nor do they stand to rational analysis. I'm sure that Mr. Hawkins has plenty of other arguments he will hopefully be presenting as invalidating evidence in his First Negative, and when he does I will address those arguments. Until now, I will just get a few of the ones I've been seeing a lot of lately out of the way.

Sub point A: Wishful Thinking Argument Doesn't Disprove God

The first argument a lot of atheists use as supposed evidence that theism is irrational or deluded is the concept of "wishful thinking," which Sigmund Freud, one of history's famous atheists, was known to assert very prominently in his writings. The concept of wishful thinking asserts "such a belief is untrustworthy because of its psychological origin. That is, God is a projection of our own intense, unconscious desires; He is a wish fulfillment derived from childish needs for protection and security," says Professor Paul Vitz of the New York University Psychology department (1).

In Freud's The Future of an Illusion (1927, 1961) he makes this statement:

[R]eligious ideas have arisen from the same needs as have all the other achievements of civilization: from the necessity of defending oneself against the crushing superior force of nature. (p. 21)

And thus, as Prof. Paul Vitz points out in his paper the Psychology of Atheism, Freud goes on to conclude that religious beliefs are:

illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest
and most urgent wishes of mankind . . . As we
already know, the terrifying impression of
helplessness in childhood aroused the need for
protection-for protection through love-which
was provided by the father . . . Thus the benevolent rule of a divine Providence allays our fear of the danger of life. (p. 30)

If you analyze what Freud is saying here, he's making the claim that anything with a psychic origin is invalid. This would make physics, biology, and psychoanalysis itself invalid (ironically), since they all originate with some sort of psychological roots. Therefore the argument is mute and defeats itself. In psychoanalyzing the theist by claiming anything with a psychic origin is invalid, Freud cuts the very branch that he's sitting on and invalidates his own methods of examination.

Moving along, Freud is also saying that belief in God comes from the "fulfillments of the oldest, strongest and most urgent wishes of mankind……Thus the benevolent rule of a divine Providence allays our fear of the danger of life." The only religions this theory can apply to though, is either Christianity or Judaism when looking at Freud's description of God. Freud's assertion isn't accurate when it comes to a good majority of world religions including pagan religions which originated before Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. Therefore it fails to show how God cannot exist using the argument of Wish Fulfillment.

Finishing up this sub point A, I will conclude that even if the concept itself works in specific situations and shows how people only believe in God because they have a psychological yearning for a father figure who protects them from the evil world around them, this does not disprove nor refute in any sense of the word the existence of God. This only proves that people want God to exist; it doesn't mean He doesn't exist. Example:

Let's say I am lying in bed one night in complete pain and agony. I long earnestly for morning to come. I fear the death that might come from my pain, I fear the darkness surrounding me, and I wish for someone to help me. This does not mean that dawn will not come or that I won't receive any help. In fact, I can rationally and logically believe that morning will come indefinitely because it comes every single day around the same time. It is a reliable and reasonable desire, so just because I want something to happen or to exist, that does not mean it doesn't exist or it won't happen.

Additionally, if you ask a theist why they believe in God, it's quite rare that you'll come across one that will actually say "because I want Him to." If one were to claim He exists only because they want Him to, then the belief would be fallacious. This is not so though.

Although many false beliefs and ideals can come from wishful thinking, Freud's argument that it is true concerning theism simply doesn't work.

Sub point B: "Who Created God" Argument Fails

The next argument atheists like to use when debating with theists is the argument of what I am calling "Who created God?" What generally happens in this particular instance is the theist will be giving evidence and substantial, logical and rational support for the existence of God, and the atheist will throw them off with, "Well…let's say God does exist…who created God?"

To make a potentially extensive answer to this argument short, in order to have a Universe at all, we must either have an infinite God or an infinite Universe. If God is the cause of our Universe, but is still subject to our laws, someone must have created God, right? Sure. Even so, it doesn't matter if another God created this God; God still exists, and that's the debate. Let's pretend God IS created by another God, you die and you're an atheist, and God is asking you why you refused to believe in Him. You tell him, "Well…I figured if everything has a cause then you must have a cause too. Who created you?" This won't get you out of judgment, and it doesn't disprove God's existence either, but rather, a possibly infinite number of gods.

Secondly, there is no reason why God would need a cause for His existence if He answers to the description the Holy Bible gives Him. If He is infinite and He created the laws, time, space and matter that we are subject to, then He is outside of those laws and it doesn't affect Him because they were His creation. It's as if someone were to say submerging an artist in a tank of water would destroy him because doing the same to his painting would. The artist is not made of paper, ink, or paint. Submerging yourself in water only gets you wet, unless you refuse to come back up for air of course. The painting and the painter are two different things; to compare the creator to its creation in this manner is silly.

Let's not forget that this argument, even if valid, doesn't disprove God's existence, but rather helps to show His existence even more by pointing out that everything needs a cause. The atheist simply fails to realize that the God of Christianity, if valid, isn't subject to the same laws that we are, and would be infinite; therefore He does not need a creator. But then the atheist will say "Well if your God can be infinite, why can't the Universe be infinite? Then there is no need for God." That is true, but science and logic will tell you that with entropy and the aging of the Earth, this is impossible.

Not only that, but it would make our experiences and knowledge with other laws and patterns in the Universe confused and discombobulated to say the least. If the Universe doesn't need a cause since it's always been here, how can we trust this law that says this or that law that says that, which all implies that nothing material can actually be infinite? And if we can't really trust any of the implications that the Universe's laws provides us, how can we trust science at all? This is of course only if the Universe is infinite. I believe it is not, but rather a perfect God created the Universe with laws of nature that are consistent in order that we might develop science which we can trust. If Evolution is our origin though; if our existence happened by chance and chaos, there is no reason for me to believe this law of science is reliable for any amount of time because anything could change at any moment by the same chance that caused us to exist in the first place.

Put simply, the atheist is stuck. They must either expect us to believe it all happened SOMEHOW, without God, by faith…in nothing, OR they expect us to believe that the Universe is infinite, which doesn't make any sense based on the most recent, scientific affirmations.

Claiming God must have a creator is not only against His character, but it fails to disprove His existence as well.

Sub point C: The Problem of Pain Doesn't Disprove God

This argument generally goes, "if there is an all loving, perfect, all powerful God that created all of this, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? If God really loves us, He wouldn't allow us to suffer, right?" Well to begin, I will quote C.S. Lewis as he wisely states:

"Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you will find that you have excluded life itself."

Without the inevitable consequences that come from our poor choices and decisions, all rational thought, accountability and responsibility ceases to exist. An irrational world that mustn't reap what it sows would contradict God's character of being perfectly just and omniscient. Not only that, but to eliminate pain and suffering would keep us from our free will. To eliminate pain is to eliminate the consequences of actions, and actions come from choices. If we have no choice, we are robots who cannot experience what it means to truly love or care for another person, nor to hate another person. Or, as Dr. William Lane Craig puts it in his debate against Corey Washington:

"First of all, if God is all-good, is it necessarily true that He would want to create a world with no suffering? I don't think this is necessarily true. It could be that if God were to create a world of free creatures in which He intervened every time to rescue us from harm, this would be a world in which rational behavior was completely impossible. It would lead to total irresponsibility, total irrationality in our actions. It would mean that you could drive as fast as you wanted on the highway, you could drink or eat any substance you wanted to, you could do anything to another person, you could act anyway you want, and nothing harmful would ever ensue as a consequence. I think that when you think about this, clearly it would make rational behavior completely impossible. So if God creates a world that operates according to certain natural laws, then the fire that warms us will also be the fire that burns us, and it may well be the case that an all-good God would want to create a world governed by natural law, which includes the possibility of harm.

Of course it's also possible, as the Christian believes, that there's an afterlife, in which God will compensate us for the harms that we have borne if we have borne these in courage, faith, and trust in Him. Every immoral act will be punished. So, if you put that into the equation, I think it makes it clear that it is not necessarily true that an all-good God would have to create a world in which there is no harm.

Secondly, if God is all-powerful, can He in fact create a world of free creatures in which no harm occurs? I think this is clearly not necessarily true. Given human freedom, God cannot guarantee how people are going to use that freedom. And if He intervenes every time to prevent people from choosing evil, then we turn into puppets or marionettes. So if God is going to create a world of significantly free moral agents, He has to allow them to make choices for evil, and therefore it may not be within God's power to create a world of free creatures in which evil does not exist. Therefore, I don't think Dr. Washington has been able to prove either of these premises to be necessarily true. And therefore he hasn't been able to prove that harm and God are logically incompatible." (2)

So Dr. Craig basically obliterates any hope of using this argument as evidence against the existence of God and there are very few philosophers today that will agree with Dr. Washington in saying the existence of pain is incompatible with a good, loving, and just God. In fact, as Craig actually points out after he demolishes Washington's argument from harm, it is widely affirmed by philosophers that this argument from harm or pain and suffering simply doesn't work, and Craig goes on to quote a few different philosophers which affirm it.

The argument that the problem of pain devastates any belief in God was actually one of the main reasons C.S. Lewis decided that there must be a God. The argument uses the premise that it's evil to do this but it's okay to do that. Lewis describes his old atheistic beliefs and explains how he came to theism and ultimately Christianity in What Christians Believe:

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too-for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist-in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless- I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality-namely my idea of justice- was full of sense.

Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning." (3)

And so in conclusion to this Sub Point C, the problems of pain and suffering in the world do not contradict the nature of the Christian God, nor do they disprove His existence on the premise that a good perfect God would allow suffering for the sake of a rational, consistent Universe while giving justice to those who had to suffer and to those who need to suffer for their actions in this life and after.

Contention 1 Conclusion

In conclusion to my first Contention, the atheist has yet to provide the theist with any invalidating evidence of God's non-existence thereby making it irrational to call the theist delusional. If my opponent has such evidence, he should provide it in this debate as well as showing us how I have held to my belief in spite of this evidence.

There are probably dozens to even hundreds of other arguments that the atheists have come up with over the centuries to attempt disproving God, but these are just the main ones that I have heard most frequently while listening, reading and participating in debates over the existence of God. If my opponent feels that there are other arguments, or even one of the arguments I have already discussed, which invalidate the existence of God, he should provide them in his first or second Negative. If he fails to do so but brings up a new argument in our final rebuttals, the argument will be ignored because of Mr. Hawkins' failure to abide by the rules of debate. It is actually called "sliming" (http://www2.ccsd.ws/hgfaculty/debateTeam/JargonGlossary.pdf) and I will use the rules of debate as strictly as I can because I feel this debate should be carried out fairly for both of us and I doubt there will be any moderator or judge, at least not a neutral one.

 

Contention 2: Atheists have been known to be Delusional and have Irrational, Psychological Reasons for Unbelief in God

In complete affirmation to the Resolution that theists are not delusional, for my second Contention I will show how atheists have actually been known to be delusional and practice their unbelief as a direct result of irrational, shallow and psychological reasons. This of course does not mean that all atheists are delusional and irrational in their unbelief in God, but many are as a direct result of labeling the theist as delusional as you will see in my 3rd Contention. There are many atheists sincerely searching for the truth, wanting evidence. C.S. Lewis was one of those atheists, along with Josh McDowell, Antony Flew, and many other famous Christians/theists today. When one honestly searches for meaning and for evidence, they will find God. The atheists of the RRS, however, are only searching for a fight.

Sub Point A: Atheists have Superficial, Irrational Reasons for Unbelief

In Professor Paul C. Vitz's paper entitled "The Psychology of Atheism," he shares some of his history as an atheist with us and tells of many different reasons why someone might want to be an atheist. Some of his most shallow reasons were popularity, fitting in, and making life more convenient to him. He writes,

"…through reflection on my own experience it is now clear to me that my reasons for becoming and for remaining an atheist-skeptic from about age 18 to 38 were superficial, irrational, and largely without intellectual or moral integrity. Furthermore, I am convinced that my motives were, and still are, commonplace today among intellectuals, especially social scientists."(4)

The following list is a compilation of social reasons why many atheists become and remain atheists according to Professor Paul Vitz's paper from the Psychology department of the University of New York. None of them however, are rational reasons, nor are they acceptable as intellectual in the least.

 

1. "General Socialization: An important influence on me in my youth was a significant social unease. I was somewhat embarrassed to be from the Midwest, for it seemed terribly dull, narrow, and provincial. There was certainly nothing romantic or impressive about being from Cincinnati, Ohio and from a vague mixed German-English-Swiss background. Terribly middle class. Further, besides escape from a dull, and according to me unworthy, socially embarrassing past, I wanted to take part in, in fact to be comfortable in, the new, exciting, even glamorous, secular world into which I was moving. I am sure that similar motives have strongly influenced the lives of countless upwardly mobile young people in the last two centuries. Consider Voltaire, who moved into the glittery, aristocratic, sophisticated world of Paris, and who always felt embarrassed about his provincial and nonaristocratic origin; or the Jewish ghettos that so many assimilating Jews have fled, or the latest young arrival in New York, embarrassed about his fundamentalist parents. This kind of socialization pressure has pushed many away from belief in God and all that this belief is associated with for them.

I remember a small seminar in graduate school where almost every member there at some time expressed this kind of embarrassment and response to the pressures of socialization into "modern life." One student was trying to escape his Southern Baptist background, another a small town Mormon environment, a third was trying to get out of a very Jewish Brooklyn ghetto, and the fourth was me.

 

2. "Specific Socialization: Another major reason for my wanting to become an atheist was that I desired to be accepted by the powerful and influential scientists in the field of psychology. In particular, I wanted to be accepted by my professors in graduate school. As a graduate student I was thoroughly socialized by the specific "culture" of academic research psychology. My professors at Stanford, however much they might disagree on psychological theory, were, as far as I could tell, united in only two things-their intense personal career ambition and their rejection of religion. As the psalmist says, ". . . The man greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. In the pride of his countenance the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 10:3-4).

In this environment, just as I had learned how to dress like a college student by putting on the right clothes, I also learned to "think" like a proper psychologist by putting on the right-that is, atheistic-ideas and attitudes.

 

3. "Personal Convenience: Finally, in this list of superficial, but nevertheless, strong irrational pressures to become an atheist, I must list simple personal convenience. The fact is that it is quite inconvenient to be a serious believer in today's powerful secular and neo-pagan world. I would have had to give up many pleasures and a good deal of time.

Without going into details it is not hard to imagine the sexual pleasures that would have to be rejected if I became a serious believer. And then I also knew it would cost me time and some money. There would be church services, church groups, time for prayer and scripture reading, time spent helping others. I was already too busy. Obviously, becoming religious would be a real inconvenience." (5)

Sub Point B: Atheism is a result of the Oedipus Complex

Along with the social motives of the atheist and their desire for convenience, there is another significant and psychological reason for why a lot of people carry a strong disbelief in God. Right next to Sigmund Freud's world renowned atheism, he emphasized the psychological and unconscious issues people have as a central theme in his career. What he didn't realize is that the flaws he enjoyed searching for in other peoples' beliefs were all too prevalent in his own life and mind.

Many atheists like to quote these famous atheist philosophers for the profound and seemingly intellectual words they spew, but what none of them seem to realize is that there is more to these people than their anti-religious beliefs.

One of Freud's most famous works was the Oedipus Complex which, for Freud at least, was the childhood desire to sleep with his mother and kill his father.(6) I actually remember learning about this complex in the four month psychology class I took in my last year of high school. The exact words that came from my teacher's mouth that day were "Freud was a sick, sick man…and…you should not take this complex seriously…but, he is one of the most famous and recognized philosophers and psychologists of all time." I find that statement amusing to this day.

While Freud was trying to blame belief in God on wish fulfillment and delusion, through the Oedipus Complex, he has done the theist a great service in showing how the atheist can blame their unbelief in God on this complex. Vitz puts it this way:

"Now, in postulating a universal Oedipus complex as the origin of all our neuroses, Freud inadvertently developed a straightforward rationale for understanding the wish-fulfilling origin of rejecting God. After all, the Oedipus complex is unconscious, it is established in childhood and, above all, its dominant motive is hatred of the father and the desire for him not to exist, especially as represented by the desire to overthrow or kill the father. Freud regularly described God as a psychological equivalent to the father, and so a natural expression of Oedipal motivation would be powerful, unconscious desires for the nonexistence of God. Therefore, in the Freudian framework, atheism is an illusion caused by the Oedipal desire to kill the father and replace him with oneself. To act as if God does not exist is an obvious, not so subtle disguise for a wish to kill Him, much the same way as in a dream, the image of a parent going away or disappearing can represent such a wish: "God is dead" is simply an undisguised Oedipal wish-fulfillment."

In order to demonstrate this Complex in perfect working order, there is a list of the world's most famous atheists who all interestingly have the very same contempt for their father as the complex describes. Vitz describes it as the "defective dad" syndrome. By defective Vitz means the fathers were in their children's eyes either dead, abusive, weak, or abandoned their children.

Voltaire, Freidrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Ludwig Feuerbach, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Hobbes, Sigmund Freud, Hitler, Stalin and Mao Zedong all have this "defective dad" issue, either losing their fathers at an early age and viewing them as weak, or being mentally and physically abused by them (7). To read a more detailed and especially informative description of this theory, read Prof. Vitz's paper here: http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth12.html.

Contention 2 Conclusion

In conclusion to my Contention 2 we can reasonably affirm that atheists are perfectly capable of being delusional in their unbelief because they can be psychologically unstable due to early childhood traumas involving their father figures, and superficial in their desire for convenience and a good social standing. Therefore, there is no reason to believe theists are delusional since it is really the atheist that is delusional. The belief itself is not really due to rational, logical examination but they mislead people into thinking this. The truth may be difficult to believe a lot of times, but that doesn't make it a lie.

Contention 3: Atheism Cannot Account for the Definition of Proper Function

In my last Contention I will address the issue of what it actually means to properly function as a human being. This is the heart of the argument atheists use in order to show theism is delusional. The arguments that theists are somehow ill will not work unless we have some sort of idea of what it means to be healthy. So what does it mean to be healthy? Well, Alvin Plantinga addresses this issue in his paper entitled "Theism, Atheism, and Rationality" perfectly. He says,

"What you take to be rational, at least in the sense in question, depends upon your metaphysical and religious stance. It depends upon your philosophical anthropology. Your view as to what sort of creature a human being is will determine, in whole or in part, your views as to what is rational or irrational for human beings to believe; this view will determine what you take to be natural, or normal, or healthy, with respect to belief. So the dispute as to who is rational and who is irrational here can't be settled just by attending to epistemological considerations; it is fundamentally not an epistemological dispute, but an ontological or theological dispute. How can we tell what it is healthy for human beings to believe unless we know or have some idea about what sort of creature a human being is?" (Cool

The Christian or the theist, believing that God is the creator of everything, the Authority by which we determine everything, can provide a logical, rational answer to the question of what it means to properly function since we only need to look to God and ask Him what we should be doing. The atheist, however, cannot. Plantinga continues on in his paper to describe what he finds is a problem with the idea of proper function:

"So far as nature herself goes, isn't a fish decomposing in a hill of corn functioning just as properly, just as excellently, as one happily swimming about chasing minnows? But then what could be meant by speaking of "proper functioning" with respect to our cognitive faculties? A chunk of reality-an organism, a part of an organism, an ecosystem, a garden patch-"functions properly" only with respect to a sort of grid we impose on nature-a grid that incorporates our aims and desires."

Who would know what proper functioning is more than the One who created whatever we are discussing? "My car works properly if it works the way it was designed to work. My refrigerator is working properly if it refrigerates, if it does what a refrigerator is designed to do. This, I think, is the root idea of working properly. But according to theism, human beings, like ropes and linear accelerators, have been designed; they have been created and designed by God," says Plantinga. It would be going out on quite a limb to think otherwise indeed. When you wonder if something is functioning properly, it's working how it was designed to work by whoever created it. But if people are just mistakes, or accidents…if everything we know, see and feel is just *poof*, here by chance, who is the atheist to tell anyone they aren't working properly since the atheist cannot account for what it means to work properly at all? If there is no Designer with an intended purpose, there is no such thing as "proper function." My beliefs which you find irrational are merely in disagreement with you and therefore you view me as delusional, but you cannot rationally claim that I am in fact delusional unless you can tell me what it means to properly function.

If my opponent can account for proper function without a designer with a specific intent for His creation and a specific design by which they should operate, then he might be able to win this debate. I don't think he can though, since the entire argument that theism is delusional depends entirely on what properly functioning really means. One can only be delusional if we can determine what it means to be logical and rational and that the person in question (me) does not hold to these standards.

 

First Affirmative Conclusion

In Conclusion to my First Affirmative and my 3rd Contention, we can reasonably affirm that the theist is not delusional for believing in God. We can affirm this for the three reasons I have presented in my case. 1) There is no invalidating evidence that has been provided by the atheist; all theists cannot be accounted for in the attempt to show theism as holding its belief specifically in spite of this supposed evidence. 2) The unbelief in God can be rooted in superficial, psychologically unstable and delusional causes. 3) The atheist cannot account for what we would determine proper function is in order to show that the theist is delusional, and/or not working properly.

I challenge my opponent now to prove what exactly it means to function properly, since this is what he will need to prove in order to claim anyone is delusional at all. I challenge him to present us with some invalidating evidence by which the theist must resist in order to be called delusional also, and I challenge him to show how the psychological, irrational and superficial reasons for being atheist are somehow justifiable. Otherwise, it is the atheist who is projecting. It is the atheist who is delusional.

Thank you for this opportunity, Rook. I hope this experience can be enlightening and entertaining for both of us. I look forward to your First Negative.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

1. Vitz, P.C. (2002). The Psychology of Atheism. Truth Journal http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth12.html .

2. Craig, W.L. (1995) The Craig-Washington Debate: Does God Exist? University of Washington. http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5297

3. Lewis, C.S. (2005) The Rival Conceptions of God. What Christians Believe pp 12-14.

4. See Reference #1.

5. See Reference #1.

6. Freud, S. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Trans. James Strachey. 24 vols. London: Hogarth, 1953-74. (http://www.cla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/psychoanalysis/definitions/oedipus.html )

7. Morse, A. Boundless Webzine. Atheism and Its Link to Bad Dads. http://www.boundless.org/2000/departments/isms/a0000223.html

8. Plantinga, A. Theism, Atheism, and Rationality. Truth Journal. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth02.html

 

[mod edit: changed text color] 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


Cpt_pineapple
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This  isn't reading

This  isn't reading rainbow, please change you text colour


Sarah Stringer
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My apologies if for some

My apologies if for some reason the blue font of my words are unreadable. It's perfectly readable with a white background...that, or you can highlight the words and be able to read it that way...if neither of these work, I can edit the case font.

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Rook's response

 

Sarah Stringer wrote:
Attention: All responses to my Case, unless they are from Mr. Rook Hawkins himself, will be ignored.
Good, then all responses after mine will be ignored because if you can set rules so can I. This is a childish whine, Stringer. Especially since you can't seem to take the time to handle the debate the way I requested after you ran away from the live debate in the chatroom.
Quote:
This is a debate between me and Rook. If anyone else wants to debate with me on this subject, or any, they can send me a message either via MySpace here: http://www.myspace.com/biblethumper , or here at rationalresponders.com and we can arrange for a separate debate. Otherwise, you are merely a spectator here and your words will be regarded accordingly.
You're merely a spectator here - a guest. YOU do not make the rules here, I do, the mods do, and Brian and Kelly do. I suggest you stop making demands on our message boards.
Quote:
I have been challenged to a debate by your very own Rook Hawkins,
…To the parameters of starting with 4 points on why Jesus existed. You did not comply with the terms we both agreed upon, and which were heard by I believe 32 people that night. SO far, you have already broken the format of the debate. It is due to my compassionate and fair nature that I allowed this thread to remain intact and did not completely remove it from the boards as a breach of our debate contract.
Quote:
but I'll start with a Side Note: Rook, let's try and keep this debate civil and fair if you don't mind.
You are in no position to make demands or requests after you breached our deal. But so we're clear, this will not be fair - you're a light weight. And this will not be civil - you already broke those rules when you wrote this post (as I'll point out along the way).
Quote:
If you do mind, it will not end well for you, and that's not a threat.
There is one case of your civility being lost. Again, this is our board, not yours. You do not carry any weight here. Fucktard.
Quote:
I am not here to bash you or anyone personally; that's not how I debate,
No, you'll just make demands, ignore the members who have more of a right to be here then you do, and make veiled threats. You have already shown your true colors.
Quote:
but I found your conduct the other night to be irrational and pretty outrageous considering the claims that you and your friends make about religion.
Well, being that your faith is founded on irrational and outrageous claims, I can see how your judgement might be accurate. Basing your whole life on those precepts make it pretty easy to spot in other people.
Quote:
I have yet to lie to you or anyone about what I said about you;
Oh, you've lied plenty. You just lied there. The fact that you said "I have yet to" means you continue to plan on it. Do not worry, child, I will call you on them and expose them to the rest of the world.
Quote:
and if you don't remember (you obviously don't), Marsage has already confronted you about certain laws in our country concerning libel in a chat room and closed that issue over a year ago.
Yes, but I've also spoken to a few lawyers here on this issue, and the more you lie about a particular issue, the more counts of libel go up. And since I am part of a business, lying and hurting my reputation is a case of libel as it could effect the outcome of my business. You do not want to go down this route with me. One case involving hundreds of counts of libel is already in the process on another individual.
Quote:
You even apologized to me for threatening me with a lawsuit.
No, I didn't. I still hold that lawsuit over your head. The more witnesses who come to me and tell me you defeated me in a debate is just adding to the pile I'm building up for a case in the future, if I need to launch one. Tread carefully. This is not a threat either.
Quote:
Also, I didn't even say that I beat you or "pwned" you, as someone else put it, in any debate. This is the same accusation you made against me a year ago, and it was a lie then as well.
You wish it were a lie. When I have individuals who approach me and tell me you have been stating false claims about a situation that you only delude yourself into occurring, that is not a lie, and it’s a fact. Apparently you have been spreading this lie for some time. And it will end now.
Quote:
Either your friends lied to you about what I said, which was, word by word "I've debated Rook before," which is true and you know it, or you lied to me when you said that they told you something different.
Sounds like another lie, from you, Stringer.
Quote:
You and I haven't spoken to each other in a year and you know it.
Damn straight I do. Which is why your claim is a lie.
Quote:
If you don't want people talking about you at all, which is what you said Christmas night in the stickam chat, then you should consider practicing what you preach and stop broadcasting your vicious views about me all over the internet.
Sure we do. Your delusions also include grandeur as well it appears.
Quote:
I will not be bullied this time, Rook.
You will. And it is going to hurt. Your pride may not recover.
Quote:
I always knew I would not do well attempting to debate you (or anyone in RRS really) in a chat room over it, (especially when I have three people cussing at me simultaneously with a three minute lag), and I have never claimed otherwise, but this is a forum.
Where you are SO afraid of us that you will not even respond to other people who beat you. Please, don't front Stringer. You're shaking in your boots. You could not even follow simple instructions on the subject of the debate and the format - you completely pussed the fuck out. That makes you the worlds biggest pussy. I don't know how Marsage can handle it.
Quote:
I can get my case out without you interrupting me every single second.
And you could then as well. You were typing, you could still type your points without interruption then. You were just too much of a pussy. As you will be here, and you were a year ago. You've not changed.
Quote:
And the topic at hand is concerning delusions and mental instability.
Indeed. You changed the subject because you were too much of a bitch to do otherwise.
Quote:
Try to keep calm, Rook,
I can curse at you and still be completely calm, Stringer. And I'll defeat you here, and not break a sweat.
Quote:
if anyone is delusional, it's the atheist.
Classic case of self projection.
Quote:
Telling me that I'm delusional and retarded won't get you anywhere unless you can prove it.
Easy: You believe in things that cannot be proven. Invisible entities you pray to and worship. You are delusional. Thanks for playing. The burden lies on he who alleges my little nimrod. You are making the positive claim (that a sky fairy that grants wishes and created everything exists), you are the one who must present the evidence for your imaginary friend. Good luck. Let’s see if you provided any evidence as we go through your list:
Quote:
You are very good at vigorously and ruthlessly jabbing at people with hateful and cruel words, but they mean nothing to me unless you can show how they are true, which is exactly what you'll have to prove to win this particular debate if you look at the resolution. Otherwise, you're just emotional, immature, and most importantly, irrational to the core.
No evidence here. Your God still has not been proven to exist.
Quote:
Here is my First Affirmative.Resolved: Theists are not delusional for believing in God "Delusions" are something atheists accredit theists with almost every time I hear them speak on the subject of whether or not God exists. In fact it seems to be one of the main arguments made against theists today; Rook's favorite word when I used to chat with him was actually "delusional," along with "don't project, Sarah, you're projecting," but I find this belief about theism to be very irrational.
No evidence here. Your God still has not been proven to exist.
Quote:
Being "rational responders", you will realize that the resolution is accurate. As a side note, I would also like to make the case against those who would see theists, mainly concerned with Christianity, as mentally unstable somehow and therefore their belief that there is a God is a psychological one with irrational reasons and premises, ultimately leading to delusion. I think this issue goes hand in hand with the resolution, and so both will be addressed in my case.
No evidence here. Your God still has not been proven to exist.
Quote:
Defining TermsThe definition of the word "delusional" that I will be referring to in this debate is from the American Heritage Dictionary at dictionary.com: A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness.
I'll buy that. Still have not presented evidence. Wait, let me double check. Nope, no evidence here. Therefore you believe without or in spite of evidence. You may have a mental illness. Your God still has not been proven to exist. Therefore you are delusional based on your own definition.
Quote:
I will make my case based on this definition until a better definition of "delusional" is presented along with any other definitions I use. Some other words that will need defining in order to accurately present my case are as follows: Illness: a. Poor health resulting from disease of body or mind; sickness. b. a disease. (American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Illness) God: A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. (American Heritage Dictionary, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/God) My case will consist of three Contentions, each containing their own sub points and conclusions.
No evidence here. Therefore you believe without or in spite of evidence. You may have a mental illness. Your God still has not been proven to exist. Therefore you are delusional based on your own definition.
Quote:
Contention 1: Invalidating evidence has not been presented to the Theist
In science and logic, which you are attempting to (although poorly) use in the structuring of this "debate" (otherwise known as "Rook destroying Stringer&quotEye-wink, the burden of proof lies on he who is making the positive claim. Consider (This is how you make a logical statement):1.) Unicorns exist2.) 0 evidence has been provided for this claim3.) Mammals do not bleed silver blood 4.) Some unicorns are claimed to have wings like a Pegasus.5.) 0 evidence has been provided for this claim6.) Horses do not have wings, are not aerodynamic. 7.) This claim follows easily with a argument from silence 8.) Based on Bayes Theorem the probability for a unicorn to exist with the above two factors recognized is less then .01%.9.) It is irrational to believe in unicorns.10.) People who believe in unicorns in spite of this lack of evidence and the evidence which goes against this claim are delusional. 11.) The concept of the Biblical (indeed any) God follows parallel to the concept of unicorn.
Quote:
In order to call someone delusional, we must first show that their false beliefs have been held in spite of invalidating evidence according to the definition.
Men do not (1) walk on water (2) rise from the dead (3) turn water into wine (4) have their prayers answered at a larger rate then what we would expect from coincidental statistics (5) move mountains with faith (6) become pillars of salt This is only a fraction of the representation against your beliefs.The earth does not (1) rest on pillars (2) flat (3) a circle (4) have a dome firmament above it (5) have flood gates (6) have a heaven above it (7) have a hell below the crust (just hot rock and a lava core) (Cool date to 6,000 years ago (try 4.5 billion, dear) Again, a fraction of the examples I can give to invalidate belief in your God.There are no such things (following the same line of logic given above for unicorns) as (1) dragons (2) satyrs (3) talking burning bushes (4) staffs turning into snakes (5) goats that magically atone sins after being sacrificed (6) animals that, after being killed, have a pleasant aroma (7) rocks that give water after being smacked by a wooden stick (Cool talking donkeys (asses - unless we are talking about Stringer that is...sorry I couldn't resist) (9) angels with the heads of animals (sounds a bit like egyptian mythology to me) (10) the patriarchs (11) a unified monarchy called Israel (12) a conquest of Palestine (the Israelites were indigenous and did not "conquer the land" or flee from another reigion like Egypt despite mythology) (13) etc...Again, more could be listed.Omnibenevolent Gods are/do not (1) Evil and vile on some occasions and happy the next - they are always (omni) loving (benevolent); being part-time omnibenevolent is like being a little bit pregnant (2) kill a man for picking up sticks to provide for his family (3) send a pack of wild pigs off a cliff to their death (they had nothing to do with the daemon possession – which was Gods fault to begin with! He sent them there!) (4) kill the firstborn child of every Egyptian for the fault of one man (pharaoh – who is never named) (5) Kill the first born of every Egyptian after hardening the pharaohs heart so he could not make a choice for himself (God “heardened” his heart; i.e. made it so Pharaoh could not let the Egyptians go – just so God could eventually kill Egyptians for no reason then to inflate his ego and show off his pwning Grand Mastered skillz, God is real leet apparently) (6) call people dogs or idiots (like Jesus did) (7) tell his disciples not to go unto certain villages because he picks and chooses who he saves (Cool Indian-givers (9) drown a whole world of people for his own mistake (he created them flawed enough for them to flaw apparently) (10) order the raping, pillaging and slavery of large sums of peopleThis contradicts the claim that this God is omnibenevolent. Again, more could be listed.An omnipotent and omniscient God does not (1) need to have people pain goats blood on the doors of their homes to let him know they are his chosen people (It’s 11 pm, do you know where your children are?) (2) need to ask “where are you?” or “are you naked?” (3) change his mind (by destroying the world or taking Moses advice) (4) take a human’s advice (5) answer prayers at the behest of those praying – he is God and already has a plan and here you come trying to alter his plan. (What an asshole you are for trying to fuck up Gods plan – asshole!) (6) need 6 days to create the universe (an all knowing God would know how to be more efficient with his time – which he has a lot of being infinite and all) (7) need a day off for “rest” (7) need tanks to destroy a town which has “iron chariots” – God apparently has a hard problem with chariots of iron. MUCH more could be given which can be shown to contradict this beings omnipotence and omniscience. (No efficiency. No accountability. I tell you Hobbes, it’s a lousy way to run a universe. – Calvin)An omnipresent God would not need (1) to send angels ahead of a large moving body (2) to come down in flesh (he would already be flesh) (3) to sacrifice himself (he is already sacrificed as he is in and a part of the life force of whatever is being sacrificed) (4) to himself (he is God, yet he is dying for God) (5) to escape the evil, vengeful wrath (not onmibenevolence!) of himself (6) use bad logic like the concept of sacrificing himself, to himself, to save us from the evil, vengeful wrath of himself. Your definition of God has been refuted using your own beliefs and holy book. You still believe – ergo you are delusional by your own definition. Contention 1 has been refuted. NEXT!
Quote:
If Rook can show how I specifically have held to my beliefs in spite of invalidating evidence though, we can logically conclude that I am delusional.
I expect your conclusion as you have presented it here to be that you are delusional and need to remove yourself friom these beliefs. If you persist in believing after this you are indeed delusional, per your own definition. [snippet: long ass irrelevant "sub-points." You have not presented any evidence for your initial claim--that a God exists--and are therefore still delusional based on the above evidences cited.]
Quote:
Contention 2: Atheists have been known to be Delusional and have Irrational, Psychological Reasons for Unbelief in God
This is an ad hoc fallacy and begging the question.(1) Nobody ever said that atheists cannot be irrational - I know a few atheists who are irrational. Some even delusional. So, this is ad hoc.(2) You are claiming that this is directly because of lack of God. If that were the case, every atheist would therefore be irrational, psychotic and delusional, and we should see this displayed in statistics, in a scientific way (you seem to think stating it is good enough). Yet we do not. Recent gallup polls (which have been posted here and can be seen on THIS very site, just be using the google search function on the left hand side of the page) show that a very small portion of atheists, less then .01% make up the total prision population. (A similar statistic exists with mental institutions) Yet 95% of the National Academy of Sciences are atheistic (lack belief in God) as well as the very noble charity Doctors Without Borders. Ergo, this is special pleading - your contention is only valid if we accept your fallacious premise. The rest of your argument becomes moot off the bat, as you have commited two logical fallacies in your premise! Well done, noob.
Quote:
along with Josh McDowell,
Who makes his money conning people and lying to them.
Quote:
Antony Flew,
Who does not believe in the Christian God, and is also crazy (read this: http://www.rationalresponders.com/node/11121)
Quote:
and many other famous Christians/theists today.
You mean liars/frauds.
Quote:
When one honestly searches for meaning and for evidence, they will find God.
False.
Quote:
The atheists of the RRS, however, are only searching for a fight.
Says the person who has yet to provide a single shred of evidence.[Again snippet much irrelevancy in attempting to prove her ad hoc and speacial plead - the point is already moot as stated above)
Quote:
Contention 3: Atheism Cannot Account for the Definition of Proper Function

In my last Contention I will address the issue of what it actually means to properly function as a human being.

This whole argument is addressed in Richard Carriers book Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism. Enjoy the read.

Quote:
Thank you for this opportunity, Rook. I hope this experience can be enlightening and entertaining for both of us. I look forward to your First Negative.


No evidence here. Therefore you believe without or in spite of evidence. You may have a mental illness. Your God still has not been proven to exist. Therefore you are delusional based on your own definition. Way to fail at life. I should bill you for making me waste an hour and a half of my time to respond to this whole bunch of nothing.

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Jake
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Great reply Rook ! That 10

Great reply Rook ! That 10 incher can come in handy sometimes eh ? Laughing out loud


Sapient
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He killed Stringer!

Oh my gawd!  He killed Stringer! 

- Brian Sapient


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Slayne
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oh snap great pwnage,lol I

oh snap great pwnage,lol I knew she lost the second she used the dictionary.

 


Iruka Naminori
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Sapient wrote: Oh my gawd!

Sapient wrote:
Oh my gawd! He killed Stringer!

You bastard!

Oh wait.  Actually, it was rather entertaining. 

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Rook,

Rook,

Since you're unwilling to hold a fair debate here, I've taken the liberty of posting my latest response to you on my blog. If you're interested in continuing debates with me, go ahead and check it out. If not, you have failed in both beating me in any debate and actually holding a real debate with me at all.

Here is my latest response: http://www.myspace.com/biblethumper

Anyone else is welcome to leave comments on my blog as well.

God Bless, Wink

[mod edit: fixed link] 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Sarah Stringer

Sarah Stringer wrote:

Rook,

Since you're unwilling to hold a fair debate here, I've taken the liberty of posting my latest response to you on my blog. If you're interested in continuing debates with me, go ahead and check it out. If not, you have failed in both beating me in any debate and actually holding a real debate with me at all. 

 Here is my latest response:   http://www.myspace.com/biblethumper  

Anyone else is welcome to leave comments on my blog as well.  

God Bless, Wink

Translated: "Since Rook won't debate under the rules that I laid out (and which I can change at my whim) and he completely humiliated me by reminding

 everyone I have no evidence for the existence of God, I'm going to take this to my blog where I can delete any unfavorable comments."   

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


latincanuck
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well it would help if the

well it would help if the link worked.....

 EDIT: Wait I have to be a myspace member....screw that, if she can't post it here and deal with the critisim....then she's weak....aww well.


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Sarah: Please take a writing

Sarah: Please take a writing class.


shelley
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latincanuck wrote: well it

latincanuck wrote:

well it would help if the link worked.....

EDIT: Wait I have to be a myspace member....screw that, if she can't post it here and deal with the critisim....then she's weak....aww well.

Actually you don't - her page is public.  I fixed the link for her... just like I've fixed her font for her repeatedly.

Now for my notes, since I'm not going to humor her by commenting on her blog and besides, myspace blogs are really not set up for debate anyway...

Basically the blog says Rook may have made some requests for the debate but she didn't 'agree' and therefore she doesn't need to comply.  Uh, Yeah... so if she didn't want to comply to the rules for debate she should have just chosen not to post, right?

She also repeatedly implies that we delete posts.  Can someone tell me when, aside from the server issues, any post (however stupid) was ever deleted.  I must have missed it. 

I kinda zoned out after I came across a line about how she thinks Rook would physically assault her if he had the opportunity.  However, I think the main point to take away from all this dribble is that she is clearly more interested in bickering than presenting an argument.  Hell, her sources for the post a link to a dictionary page and a you tube video.


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We should all be thanking

We should all be thanking Stringer for showing other theists how delusional god belief can make them.  She has basically just admitted to being intellectually dishonest, delusional and irrational.  (By her own definition)  Poor thing.  We should all pity her.

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Sarah Stringer is a

Sarah Stringer is a supercilious nuisance and I am personally itching to ban her. Her assumption that she can come here and tell us what the rules are is absurd and she can take her insolence and condescension and shove it up her ass sideways.

 

(I'm so pleasant. Smiling


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Shelley, I'm not sure why

Shelley,

I'm not sure why the link to my blog didn't work, so I'm sorry for that, but I've only posted on this website a couple of times, so the fact that my font wasn't the right color is a pretty silly reason to attack me.

I know myspace blogs aren't set up for debate, which is why I also said I would debate Rook in a myspace forum, which are set up for debate. My reason was because Rook basically made the implication that since I am on this website, I have no say in how this debate is moderated. He made it crystal clear that he refuses to treat me civilly and fairly. I just want a fair debate, lol. So if we can't do it here, I'd like to do it somewhere else.

In my blog I said I didn't comply because I thought he was joking, not because I didn't agree with whatever Rook wanted me to do. I will gladly debate the 4 points/reasons why Jesus existed. Gladly. But I didn't know he was being serious when he said that. I'm not going to make anymore excuses here. I'd rather just get on with the debate.

I never claimed that anyone here just deleted posts. That might have been the implication you got from what I said, but I didn't actually say that. I've never seen a server that randomly deletes so much information like that, so I was confused.  If you say no one deleted them, fine. I don't care.

Lastly, I am very much interested in presenting a case for Christianity here, Shelley. This post is proof. Perhaps my prelude to the actual First Affirmative was kind of out there (since all I do there is address Rook personally), but the case itself isn't bickering in the least. At least that wasn't my intention when writing it.  My references to the dictionary were for the definition of  terms...where else would I go for that? lol. The reason I referenced the dictionary was because I was defining those words, and in a real, formal debate, before you begin your case, you must define certain terms that might come up in the discussion in order to make things easier. 

If you scroll down to the end of my case, I make 8 references. I don't think any of them go to a youtube video or a dictionary though.  

 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Rook, How have I admitted

Rook,

How have I admitted any of these things? You need to work on backing up your statements.  


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Kelly, I'm sorry if you

Kelly,

I'm sorry if you find me supercilious, but I do my best not to be. All I want is a fair debate. Rook has already openly admitted that he refuses to have a fair and civil debate on this website, so I would like to hold it somewhere else, where he can't get away with that.

I wasn't aware that requesting a good clean debate was out of line. If I had known I wouldn't have posted this here at all. I would have put it on my blog to begin with and requested that Rook go there to read it if he wishes. Ban me if you like, but it would be irrational on your part considering you'd be going against your own rules of conduct. This is straight from your "Rules" section of the website:

2.1. Antagonism.
Antagonism is giving one or more members a hard time. Cases typically comprise a series of provocations, each not necessarily sanctionable in its own right. Incidents can include, but are by no means limited to the following:

  1. Slander/Libel
  2. Clear intent to not argue a position, but to merely attack a person
  3. Trolling
  4. Abuse
  5. Bullying

Rook has admitted to bullying, and you're just as bad as he is Kelly. 

I also recall reading "nor do we want a stifling jail house, where freedom of speech of not encouraged." If this is so, I don't understand how banning me or attacking me simply for stating my case is in accordance with your claims in your Rules section of rationalresponders.com. But go ahead and ban me if you don't want me here, along with what I have to say. I don't really plan on posting here in the future anyway, if not only on this one post. Any other post you offer here I will respond to on my blog, whether you want to read them or not. They'll be there. 

 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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jcgadfly, All I want is a

jcgadfly,

All I want is a fair, civil debate. I don't delete comments from my blog...ever, and I never have before. I didn't lay out any rules at all, other than it should be a fair and civil debate. I don't see what's so unreasonable about that. 

If I ever go against my original expectations of Rook, which is to be fair and civil, I will consider myself a hypocrite, and I have numerous people who view my blog daily who would have no problem keeping me in check.   

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Sarah Stringer

Sarah Stringer wrote:

jcgadfly,

All I want is a fair, civil debate. I don't delete comments from my blog...ever, and I never have before. I didn't lay out any rules at all, other than it should be a fair and civil debate. I don't see what's so unreasonable about that.

If I ever go against my original expectations of Rook, which is to be fair and civil, I will consider myself a hypocrite, and I have numerous people who view my blog daily who would have no problem keeping me in check.

I hope that's the case.

I see neither one of you getting too far past your first point, though.

You say, "No invalidating evidence for theism has been presented to the theist". the problem I see is that if such evidence is presented, you can merely say, "I don't think that's invalidating evidence" and you're back at square one. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Sarah-- Every single post

Sarah--

Every single post that you've made here has been rude. You may not see it that way, but it is. People have repeatedly told you that your insistence on getting responses solely from certain people is inappropriate, and yet you persist. You refuse to accept responses that include too many links, which is nothing more than an excuse to attempt to invalidate any rebuttal to your argument. You accused us of deleting posts in my blog (presumably because YOUR posts were gone), and after we corrected you, did it again here. You imply that Rook would physically attack you in your blog on myspace, which is quite an accusation, and one for which you have no evidence.

All 9 of your posts are excuses and complaints with the exception of the two book length posts that only Rook or myself can answer. If you want a debate, how about asking for one instead of arrogantly assuming that you can just declare the rules for one to which nobody has agreed on our site?

Not to mention that you spread rumors and lies about Rook (and probably me, too, but I don't care if you call me a bitch because I AM ONE.) I don't like you, but have allowed you to stay because I don't feel that your offenses are ban-worthy...yet. So, you can't really accuse me of being unfair since I clearly can't stand you and yet allow you to keep wasting my server space.

K thx. 


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Sarah Stringer wrote: Ban

Sarah Stringer wrote:

Ban me if you like, but it would be irrational on your part considering you'd be going against your own rules of conduct. This is straight from your "Rules" section of the website...

 

Did you happen to read the words directly before your attempts to teach us how to moderate our site?

Quote:
Should there be any issues regarding a moderator, please PM another moderator regarding the issue. Moderators are in regular contact via a special private forum, and must justify their actions there. After the issue is discussed between moderators, a representative not directly involved in the questionable action will contact you concerning the decision. Do not post your gripes about moderation of the forum on the forum itself, such action is considered to be akin to attacking the sites, and shows a lack of genuine interest in mere discussion. Don't hold a grudge, contact another mod!

 

Or did you read before that?

Quote:
We will not publish anything online from anyone who makes deceptive or dishonest claims in order to undermine the credibility or viability of this site.

That would be you... yet you have been allowed to remain.

OR MAYBE...

Quote:

The moderators are the sole arbitrators of the House Rules and will pass judgment on a case-by-case basis. Community members can contact a mod if they think the rules should be enhanced or altered in some way.

 

 

OR MAYBE...

Quote:
3.4 Ban
When necessary, we reserve the right to remove a person's posting privileges for a short period of time, or forever.

If anyone in the world wants her back on the site, feel free to write me on Jan 15th and I'll pull Sarah Stringer off of time out.  Until then... go sit in the corner Sarah.  If I receive no reminder on or after the 15th from anyone, I'll forget, and she wont be back. 

If she tries to sign up for a new account during her timeout, ip ban her.

 

 

 

 

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Mark, on your MySpace page,

Mark, on your MySpace page, said, "I wanted to make the point that when dealing with the RRS, take lots of screen shots, as you may need them later." You, Sarah, said, "I learned that a little late and the hard way, but I still learned it."

Posts that went missing were caused by a server crash. Atheists and theists alike lost posts—specifically those posts made since the last backup before the server crash. I was in the StickAm chatroom watching Brian and Kelly on camera when the mySQL server crashed. I was also there when Gizmo was told what happened and restored mySQL functionality using the latest backup available at the time.

I'm sick of hearing the "you deleted my posts because you're a big meany" complaint because it's completely baseless and contradicts reality. It's unfortunate that atheists have to defend people because Christians are too busy bearing false witness against them.

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To any theists such as

To any theists such as Sarah Stringer who believe that their posts were censored let me assure that when the server crashes it destroys all posts regardless of theistic POV.   In one fell swoop I had my post count drop from over 80 to less than half of that.

 

 


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jcgadfly, It is the

jcgadfly,

It is the case...

And you might be right about getting stuck in square one concerning invalidating evidence. But this was not my only argument for my case. If Rook can present and account for proper function as an atheist, he can succeed in calling the theist delusional. This is my main argument in my case. If the atheist cannot do this, he can't call anyone delusional at all without putting his own neck on the line. Please read my contention 3 for a more detailed explanation. 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Kelly,

This post probably took Sarah Stringer about 30 minutes to write.  I'm deleting it for two reasons...

# 1 Sarah was supposed to be in the corner

#2 I don't want Kelly to become dumberer from reading it (oh I didn't read it, just deleted it because she: #1)

 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Brian, I never even lied

Brian,

I never even lied about anyone here....evidence please.

You'll be banning me solely because you don't like me. Subjective, emotional, irrational...pure, unadulterated hate.

No need for the corner Brian; this isn't preschool. I'll leave on my own...but my response to Rook's irrational 1st Negative will remain on my blog forever. If anyone feels it was rational (um, including Rook), feel free to debate it on my blog. If not, that's called forfeiting, and it means you lost.  

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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Visual Paradox, Yes, Mark

Visual Paradox,

Yes, Mark and I did say those things, but they were not in reference to the server losing information. I'm still waiting for someone to show me where I even said that. You just put words into my mouth and twisted what was actually said into something I didn't even imply.

I said "I learned that a little late and the hard way, but I still learned it," in reference to the many conversations Rook and I had last year in the MySpace chats. He claims he didn't say things that he did. I have a witness, but I still wish I would have saved the chats him and I had. It was actually only in reference to the chat room situations I've been in with RRS. It had nothing to do with the posts here that have lost comments due to the server freaking out. 

I'm on timeout because I broke many rules of this website.


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kellym78 wrote: Every

kellym78 wrote:
Every single post that you've made here has been rude. You may not see it that way, but it is.

I hope you're only stating this as a fact, and not thinking that rudeness is a problem - just about every post from you, Rook, or Brian in response to mine has been rude. My first encounters with you on these forums were surprisingly inept. A quick dive in for some ad hominem, then disappear.

Quote:
People have repeatedly told you that your insistence on getting responses solely from certain people is inappropriate, and yet you persist.

People are free to make reuqests like this. It doesn't mean that others will respect it - but Sarah reserves the right to simply not reply to excess posters. Sarah also has the freedom to ask for a personal dialogue with a single person. That person (Rook in this case) also has the freedom to refuse that request. Being your forums, and your rules, doesn't remove someone's right to only respond to those posts they please and to inform people of their plans to do so. You Kelly, Brian, and Rook all choose when, where and how you respond to people. We can do the same - even on your boards. Maybe you don't always choose wisely, because I know you on occasion to have lamented that you wasted time responding. No one forces you to respond.

Sarah can ask for personal dialogue with a single person, and explain that she will only respond to one person, and act out on that. She can't force Rook to respect that, but she can certainly say that it's the only way she will debate - and then walk away if it doesn't happen that way. 


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Quote: I should bill you

Quote:
I should bill you for making me waste an hour and a half of my time to respond to this whole bunch of nothing.

That took an hour and a half?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Stringer, you've already

Stringer, you've already lost.  Your whole "post" of pure bullshit was noting but a large ad hoc - you are presupposing a position which you haven't proven - i.e. you were done before you even started.  You can't assume a positive and then demand evidence for the negative.  Things don't work that way - LOGIC doesn't work that way.  I've shown this in my post, you've yet to prove your claim, you are done.  You lost.  You are now delusional, per your owsn definition.  I've shown you the logical contradiction between your God and your definition of your God, and yet you believe in spite of evidence.  Sorry kiddo, but you're a sorry excuse for a rational thinker, and you need help.  I told you I woul;d destroy your ego.  After all the bullshit lies you put up.  You're done.  Nobody reading this will believe that you won.  Because logically you have no ground to stand on.  Now go sit and cry in the corner. 

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Sarah Stringer

Sarah Stringer wrote:

Brian,

I never even lied about anyone here....evidence please.

You'll be banning me solely because you don't like me. Subjective, emotional, irrational...pure, unadulterated hate.

Isn't that ironic.  You say you never lied about anyone and followed that sentence up with a lie.  Good job!

 

Quote:
No need for the corner Brian; this isn't preschool.

Stop using the thinking skills of a 6 year old and we'll stop treating you like a preschooler.  Now get in the corner and stop wasting my money and bandwidth on emotional, irrational...pure, ignorance.

 We'll call you out of the corner in a week or so.

- Brian Sapient


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Quote: Sarah in her

Quote:
Sarah in her O.P.

 

All responses to my Case, unless they are from Mr. Rook Hawkins himself, will be ignored.

Guess that was a lie. 

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croath wrote: I hope

croath wrote:

I hope you're only stating this as a fact, and not thinking that rudeness is a problem - just about every post from you, Rook, or Brian in response to mine has been rude. My first encounters with you on these forums were surprisingly inept. A quick dive in for some ad hominem, then disappear.

I have no issue being rude to people who are presumptuous and arrogant. If that is how you approached us, which I can't even remember, then that's probably what you got back. 

 

Quote:
People are free to make reuqests like this. It doesn't mean that others will respect it - but Sarah reserves the right to simply not reply to excess posters. Sarah also has the freedom to ask for a personal dialogue with a single person. That person (Rook in this case) also has the freedom to refuse that request.

This wasn't a request--I don't see a question anywhere in here. We have addressed the issue before of demanding responses from us personally and have decided that it is inappropriate. Would she go to Richard Dawkins' site and demand responses from him? People would laugh. If she did it enough times, she'd be banned from there as well.

Quote:
Being your forums, and your rules, doesn't remove someone's right to only respond to those posts they please and to inform people of their plans to do so. You Kelly, Brian, and Rook all choose when, where and how you respond to people. We can do the same - even on your boards. Maybe you don't always choose wisely, because I know you on occasion to have lamented that you wasted time responding. No one forces you to respond.

Sorry--hate to tell you this--but nobody has "rights" on a website that is firstly, privately owned and operated, and secondly, copyrighted "all rights reserved", we can do whatever we want with whatever we want. Sorry--it's not a democracy. We decide what flies here.

We try our best to engage in rational, civil discourse--there are many theists who have been regular posters here for a long time. At the same time, we don't put up with bullshit on our site. She may ask, but we may remove any post and ban any person for any reason at all.

Quote:
Sarah can ask for personal dialogue with a single person, and explain that she will only respond to one person, and act out on that. She can't force Rook to respect that, but she can certainly say that it's the only way she will debate - and then walk away if it doesn't happen that way.

Not after we've already told her not to. Deal with it or go somewhere else. K thx. 


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shelleymtjoy wrote: Can

shelleymtjoy wrote:

Can someone tell me when, aside from the server issues, any post (however stupid) was ever deleted. I must have missed it.

It almost never happens.  Extremely rare for a non-spammer to have a post deleted, I only remember doing it a few times.  I did do it once in this thread though just because I am so used to "I am whatever you say I am."

 

 

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Sarah Stringer wrote: I

Sarah Stringer wrote:

I have numerous people who view my blog daily who would have no problem keeping me in check.   

Yeah, but they are just learning how to read.

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Quote: I have no issue

Quote:
I have no issue being rude to people who are presumptuous and arrogant. If that is how you approached us, which I can't even remember, then that's probably what you got back.


That's fine. I just wanted to make sure you didn't have an issue with it, since you guys must be well aware that you reach the peaks of rudeness when the fancy takes you. I don't believe I was rude to you when I first posted here, but I certainly kept the tone up once you, Brian or Rook started it.

Quote:
This wasn't a request--I don't see a question anywhere in here. We have addressed the issue before of demanding responses from us personally and have decided that it is inappropriate. Would she go to Richard Dawkins' site and demand responses from him? People would laugh. If she did it enough times, she'd be banned from there as well.


As I understand it, Dawkins doesn't actually post on his forums. Whereas you, Brian and Rook frequently do. That's a different culture, so incomparable situations. There is nothing uncommon about someone challenging a specific person and looking only to hear responses from them. It happens all the time, both on forums and in academia. The one challenged doesn't always reply, nor do they have to. It's just the way things happen sometimes. You might think you (or Brian) don't have time to deal with personal challenges. William Dembski and Michael Behe all have personal challenges issued to them because of their books - 'called out', so to speak. And they take the time to respond to some because they see the value in it. They don't have to - but they certainly get called out. I don't see why you think yourself as deserving of some immunity from challenges.

Quote:
Sorry--hate to tell you this--but nobody has "rights" on a website that is firstly, privately owned and operated, and secondly, copyrighted "all rights reserved", we can do whatever we want with whatever we want. Sorry--it's not a democracy. We decide what flies here.


Things are getting a little weird here. "All rights reserved" doesn't mean what you think it means. It doesn't mean, "I have the right to demand you write a 10,000 word thesis on why you're delusional". It simply refers to copyright rights. And is also now an unnecessary term. I'll explain why I think the "write a 10,000 word thesis" line parallels your demand:
Sarah's intention was to have a directed debate with Rook - as I understand it, because Rook had asked her to once. She resolved in her own mind to only respond to those posts of Rooks. Having planned to do this, she announced her intentions in her post. You, in claiming that she can't say this, are effectively demanding that she write responses to all posts in this thread, not just Rook's. I call that unreasonable. If Sarah hadn't announced her intention to ignore all posts besides Rook's, and just did ignore them, you wouldn't have had a complaint. But because she had the gall to announce that she only would respond to Rook's posts you took offence. So what exactly did you want? That she didn't announce her intentions? Or that she actually take the time to respond to everyone's posts and not just Rook's? Because both seem unreasonable, and she does have the right to not respond to a given post if she pleases. You have no right to demand that she does. Ban her if you want, but you can't force her to write more than she wants.

As a side note, you don't own the copyright to words I write on your website. I give an implicit approval for you to publish them in the comments section, or quote them under fair use and perhaps redistribute - but you certainly don't own the copyright. Only to your own words.  The copyright at the bottom of the site refers only to your own works and the rights which the drupal software creators granted you.


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In the context of the

In the context of the debate, in which you accused Rook in your blog entry of possibly deleting your forum posts merely because he disagreed with them, my interpretation of your statements regarding deletions seemed to naturally follow. We are both partly to blame for the confusion—you were ambiguous, I didn't recognize the ambiguity. I apologize for not recognizing the ambiguity.

Anyhow, I want to comment on a few statements in your blog entry. I'm not concerned with the personal jabs you're both throwing at one another, the entire exercise is one of waste and futility. I'm concerned only with the factual matters. I'm posting my response here because: (1) I hate MySpace; (2) I don't want to reward you by bringing extra activity to your webpage; (3) the debate should've never left this forum in the first place; and (4) I don't trust you.

Rook said, "You did not comply with the terms we both agreed upon, and which were heard by I believe 32 people that night. So far, you have already broken the format of the debate. It is due to my compassionate and fair nature that I allowed this thread to remain intact and did not completely remove it from the boards as a breach of our debate contract." You disagreed about any debate contract being made. I don't know the details of that so I won't touch on the subject. You did, however, respond by saying, "I don't think it would have been fair or compassionate of you to delete this thread. It's pretty sad that you actually think it would be." You have misinterpreted Rook's unambiguous statement. Please reread it.

Rook said, "You believe in things that cannot be proven. Invisible entities you pray to and worship. You are delusional. Thanks for playing. The burden lies on he who alleges my little nimrod. You are making the positive claim (that a sky fairy that grants wishes and created everything exists), you are the one who must present the evidence for your imaginary friend." To which you responded, "Rook, this does not constitute 'proof.' As I said, the issue is delusions and mental stability. You are making the positive claim that I am delusional, therefore you must prove it. Saying that my beliefs are irrational to your personal preferences doesn't prove anything unless you can show how believing in a spiritual entity is irrational or delusional." You seem to be shifting the goal posts. The issue is whether your worldview, considered collectively, is delusional—not about one specific aspect of your worldview. If it were shown that believing in the existence (or prior existence) of a spiritual entity isn't delusional then the Deists might receive some protection from the accusation but that alone would not confer protection to your own creed.

You said, "[Rook's point] 8 talks about probability which I find ironic considering the probability that the Universe is a miracle of God is much greater than the belief in the Universe just popping up out of nowhere for no reason at all." Some atheists argue the universe originated from a quantum mechanical vacuum fluctuation. Some argue the universe bubbled up from a metauniverse space foam. Some argue it resulted from an eleven-dimensional membrane collision as postulated in M-theory. Some argue blackholes create universes and our universe spawned from one. Some admit they don't have a belief on the matter, they're simply unconvinced of the theistic explanation. (That's my position.) I've never seen an atheist claim the universe popped into existence uncaused from nothingness. You're employing the strawperson logical fallacy.

Rook said, "Men do not (1) walk on water (2) rise from the dead (3) turn water into wine (4) have their prayers answered at a larger rate then what we would expect from coincidental statistics (5) move mountains with faith (6) become pillars of salt." You responded, "In reference to your 1, 2, 3, and 4 … if the God of Christianity exists and the Bible is true, all of these things are quite possible." In other words: if you accept the premises, the conclusion follows. Why accept the premises though? That the conclusion follows if you accept the premises does nothing to establish the nondelusional nature of your worldview because the same argument could be used by someone who believed a supernatural monkey pushes objects around and aerodynamics is false to defend the supposedly nondelusional nature of his belief. You must explain how you can accept the premises (Rook's 1-6) without being delusional. You then say, "Of course mere mortals aren't usually capable of doing these things; they go against the laws of physics, gravity, and plain logic. However, defining them out of existence will not suffice if there are hundreds of people who claim to have seen it happen." This is a bald assertion. One could just as easily argue that defining extraterrestrial anal probing out of existence will not suffice if there are hundreds of people who claim to have experienced it. It does suffice in the case of extraterrestrial anal probing so why doesn't it suffice in your case?

Rook said, "The earth does not (1) rest on pillars (2) flat (3) a circle (4) have a dome firmament above it (5) have flood gates." You responded, "[T]he verses you are referring to here were obviously written in poetry and songs, or written in a tone that was not intended to be viewed as science, laws & rules, or history ... You're taking all of these verses completely out of context. If you haven't, feel free to show me how you haven't."

You're shifting the burden of proof. You've made an assertion and failed to meet the burden of proof the assertion entails. You insist that others must meet a burden of disproof—which is a nonexistent burden, epistemologically speaking. I think you are taking the verses out of context.

Genesis 1 says the firmament separated the waters which would become the seas from the waters outside the firmament. To what waters was it referring? It was referring to the cosmic primeval waters Elohim hovered over in the beginning—the Deep—where he circumscribed a circle for the base of the firmament. This is why Genesis 1 says the Sun, Moon, and stars were placed "in" the firmament, rather than "outside" it. The Sun wouldn't stay lit if it were moving through a large body of water! Obviously, something made to hold back so much water would need to be firm. The Hebrew word for firmament, raqiya, is derived from the primitive root raqa, meaning to expand something (like a sheet of metal) by beating it with a hammer. This is why Job described the firmament as being as hard as a cast (i.e. beaten out) metal mirror. The firmament, as hard as a mirror beaten out of metal, had windows at the top. Yahweh opened these windows to let the primeval waters fill most of the firmament, thus covering the earth and drowning the majority of its inhabitants. (The story of the worldwide flood is fictional. The proof is the olive tree that Noah's bird found. No olive tree could survive submerged in salt water for nearly a year. Only someone who didn't experience a worldwide flood could write about that olive tree. The story is a mere retelling of a local river flood story involving King Ziasudra told in an exaggerated form from the perspective of Hebrew mythology.)

I do disagree with Rook's interpretation of the verse which says the inhabitants of earth are as grasshoppers to who he who sits on the circle of the earth. It seems to be referring to the spherical firmament on which Yahweh placed his sapphire throne, as told by Ezekiel 10. I think the author meant to describe the firmament's spherical shape, or the circular shape of the firmament's arch, rather than being meant to describe the shape of the rocky portion of the planet. I am still undecided as to whether the various writers thought the Earth was flat or not. The verses that say Satan took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain to show him all the nations of the whole earth could be interpreted as meaning they thought the earth was flat or they were merely unaware of the existence of the american continents. They could've conceived of the rocky portion of the planet (excluding the american continents, and perhaps the polar continents as well) as being spherical and upheld by pillars within the hard firmament or as being flat and upheld by pillars within the hard firmament. Both perspectives are interesting from a mythological viewpoint (just as the view of certain Greeks that the Earth is a cylinder enveloped by fire is interesting) but it's mythology nonetheless. Regardless of what position one takes on their belief about the shape of the rocky portion of the planet or about the existence of pillars to uphold it, the story is still clearly mythology produced by people who were ignorant about the true nature of the world.

Rook said, "(6) have a heaven above it (7) have a hell below the crust (just hot rock and a lava core) (Cool date to 6,000 years ago (try 4.5 billion, dear)." You responded, "According to Christianity, heaven and hell are not physical places at all. They're spiritual. Of course you're not going to find heaven or hell in the physical world. Also, just like with your other examples, you've misinterpreted this one as well. I'm wondering how well you'd do in an English Composition Class when given a poetry assignment, Rook." I think Rook hit the nail on the head. Ezekiel describes God's throne as being made of sapphire stone (this denotes a physical embodiment) being above the "wheels of heaven," which were the various layers of the firmament in which the Sun, Moon, and stars were placed. The verse in Job (if I recall correctly) about the circle of the earth was also a reference to God sitting upon his throne at the top of the hard-as-metal firmament. Isaiah also alludes to God's throne being on top of the firmament by making fun of the Babylonian king for trying to raise his own throne above God's by building the Tower of Babel. (The disbanding of the people building the Tower of Babel makes no sense if you don't view God's throne as being on top of the firmament.) You say he has misinterpreted the verse but you offer no reason to think he has and there are many reasons to think he hasn't. You also didn't say anything about the age of the Earth. Are you dodging that portion of the argument?

Rook said, "Again, a fraction of the examples I can give to invalidate belief in your God." You responded, "Those examples don't invalidate God's existence in the least. Even if they were accurate, all they'd do is invalidate the belief that the Bible is the Word of God and inerrant. That's the most you can do with these examples, and they're not even accurate. If you can tell me how the Universe and everything in it came into existence (with evidence of course) and account for the cause of all of this without God, then you might succeed in invalidating my belief in God." You have shifted the goal posts again. Rook says his reasons invalidate belief in "your" God—the male deity who is described as creating the universe six thousand years ago, creating all the various "kinds" of animals in a short time period, etc.—not "a" god.

Your next few paragraphs were long strings of baseless assertions. As such, I shall not bother with them.

You said, "He [God] has every right to kill anyone He pleases because He didn't have to give them life to begin with." No, he doesn't have any right to do that. You're basically arguing that if you were a god, you would murder anyone it pleased you to murder. Anyone who could say X has a right to murder Y because X created Y is simply heartless.

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croath wrote: As a side

croath wrote:

As a side note, you don't own the copyright to words I write on your website. I give an implicit approval for you to publish them in the comments section, or quote them under fair use and perhaps redistribute - but you certainly don't own the copyright. Only to your own words. The copyright at the bottom of the site refers only to your own works and the rights which the drupal software creators granted you.

Aside from the question of if anything posted actually merits copyright protection, you might want to actually read the terms of use. 


Visual_Paradox
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Actually, she does own the

Actually, she does own the copyright to words you write on this message board (assuming you were the person who created the content).

You agreed to the terms of service when you created a user account. The terms of service agreement includes, "You understand that any Content you post becomes the property of RRS and you acknowledge and agree that RRS may preserve Content and may also disclose Content if required to do so by law or in the good belief that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce the TOS; (c) respond to claims that any Content violates the rights of third-parties; or (d) protect the rights, property, or personal safety of RRS, its users and the public."

I think the primary purpose of this portion of the terms of use agreement is mainly to prevent the sore losers of a debate from requesting the removal of their posts—which would essentially ruin every topic they significantly participated in—to hide their shame.

Nonetheless, RRS does own the copyright to any content you post on this message board if the content originated from you.

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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

Quote:
Sarah in her O.P.

 

All responses to my Case, unless they are from Mr. Rook Hawkins himself, will be ignored.

Guess that was a lie.

That was the iron nail right there. lol. 

Interesting selection of dogtube videos on that myspace.

Unfortunately, myspace psychoanalysis is still in its infancy. lol.

I'm still trying to figure out how such a 'nice' christian girl can enjoy such a godless movie like Lord of the Rings. You'd think they needed jesus references in everything.

Pardon my obnoxious laughter, but there is also irony in that one of the favorite movies is 'The Great Debaters'. 

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Visual_Paradox, that was

Visual_Paradox, that was just incredible.  Well said. 


Visual_Paradox
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Thank you Rook

Thank you Rook Smiling


croath
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Quote: Nonetheless, RRS

Quote:

Nonetheless, RRS does own the copyright to any content you post on this message board if the content originated from you.


The quoted text says, specifically, "You understand that any Content you post becomes the property of RRS". Ownership of my post is distinct, as I understand, from copyright ownership. For example, if I create a sculpture and sell it to you, that sculpture becomes your property, but you don't own the copyright. Much like, perhaps, if I recorded a cd and gave RRS a copy. That would be their property, but they would not be copyright owners. This would be the same case, with my RRS posts. I certainly acknowledge those posts become the property of RRS - but they are not the copyright owners. If any site dared be so arrogant as to demand it get copyright ownership, no one should ever post there unless they're being paid.


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You are correct in

You are correct in distinguishing property and copyright ownership. Consider my earlier argument retracted.

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croath wrote: I certainly

croath wrote:
I certainly acknowledge those posts become the property of RRS - but they are not the copyright owners. If any site dared be so arrogant as to demand it get copyright ownership, no one should ever post there unless they're being paid.

We're sort of off topic from Kelly's original objection, but I wanted you to know that we agree.  The arrangement here is better described as a shared copyright agreement.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Hi,       I understand

Hi, 

     I understand (thou I don't know the details) that Sarah Stringer offended the RRS team but this was the most rude and childish attack on someone I have seen so far on this forum. And all I see in her first post is a request for debate. Do you consider the way Rook responded appropriate for a debate?

     If you feel some much antipathy to someone, don't try to debate, you will look foolish and convince no one.

 

Cheers,

Richard 

 

A mystic is someone who wants to understand the universe, but is too lazy to study physics.


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richard955

richard955 wrote:

Hi, 

     I understand (thou I don't know the details) that Sarah Stringer offended the RRS team but this was the most rude and childish attack on someone I have seen so far on this forum. And all I see in her first post is a request for debate. Do you consider the way Rook responded appropriate for a debate?

     If you feel some much antipathy to someone, don't try to debate, you will look foolish and convince no one.

 

Cheers,

Richard 

 

We could hash out the details, but really, just read her essay, and tell me whether you think she's worth defending.


darth_josh
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richard955 wrote: Hi,

richard955 wrote:

Hi,

I understand (thou I don't know the details) that Sarah Stringer offended the RRS team but this was the most rude and childish attack on someone I have seen so far on this forum. And all I see in her first post is a request for debate. Do you consider the way Rook responded appropriate for a debate?

If you feel some much antipathy to someone, don't try to debate, you will look foolish and convince no one.

 

Cheers,

Richard

 

Couldn't help it. She directed people to her myspace. Mine is pretty obnoxious, but you'll be hard-pressed to find anything you could construe as hypocritical on it. 

She's been a member for over a year and has only posted in three threads with two of those posts accusing us of deleting previous ones. No apology made after the facts were presented.

Ummm. You did read the entire thread right? 

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richard955 wrote: And all

richard955 wrote:

And all I see in her first post is a request for debate.

Are you kidding?  I can't believe I wasted so much of my life reading her blog.  This girl is not interested in debate.  She is interested in personal attacks under the guide of debating.