Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

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Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

The Rational Response Squad is proud to announce that author, historian, and philosopher Richard Carrier will be in studio with the Rational Response Squad to record several shows. In conjunction with his appearance, Mr. Carrier has agreed to give out three personalized autographed copies of his book "Sense and Goodness without God." To win one, submit a question for Mr. Carrier in this thread. Though we will ask him many of the submitted questions, only the three best questions will win a prize. Winners will be announced on the show, and contacted privately. If you win, you'll even be able to request what should be written, though that remains at his discretion. You'll have three days to respond to the email alerting you to your win, or we'll have to move on to back up winners.

"Amaze the RRS" with your questions! Questions that the RRS is most interested in getting an answer to will be winners! As you may well know, Mr. Carrier is renowned for his knowledge of science and philosophy, especially in connection with religion and atheism, and for his knowledge of ancient history, specifically the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, which includes Greco-Roman science, religion, philosophy, and historical method. So to win this game, you should contrive a question that is short and specifically relates to his aforementioned areas of interest. Additionally if you're like us and want to know more about Mr. Carriers life, feel free to submit questions that are biographical in nature. If you are unsure what to ask, maybe you'll find something you are hoping to find an answer to, by perusing this partial library of his work.

You can pre-purchase the Richard Carrier batch of shows at a discount.

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Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

Are Christians Moral? Explain.
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Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

my friend asked me to submit this question:
(he said he couldn't log in for some reason)
What's the rationale for the manifestation of anima?

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Question...

Do you have any theories reguarding what or who the isrealites were worshipping in the bible. I feel it's very suspicious in many passages. Such as how soloman chose to worship other gods besides YAWEH. God supposively granted him infinite wisdom and with that wisdom he chose the path of multiple gods. To me this says that polytheism did have merit and maybe gods were more common back then then we think.


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Islam and the Noble Lie

I went to an Islam expo in London held on the anniversary of the London Bombings. I talked to many Muslims who are genuinely convinced that the Koran was a book telling them to be noble and kind to unbelievers.

The question is, should you disabuse them of that belief?

I believe that if you really study the words of the Koran, you find that it is not a very pleasant book, it is full of petty tirades about Hell and says very little of any moral value. Do you agree?

However modern Muslims twist the words to pretend that it says great things, and that their religion is noble and honourable, and better than that expoused by a literal reading. In a way they are not lying. They genuinely want to live a good life and want to believe that their good actions are justified by the Koran. But to do this you have to twist the meanings and words of the Koran and Haddiths. Similar twisting goes on when they try to prove that the Koran predicts modern science, (you have written about this in your excellent essays "Does the Koran predict the speed of light, not really" and "A comparison of Mohammed and Epicurus"Eye-wink

Should we let modern Muslims believe that the Koran is a peaceful. noble book, telling people to live tolerantly, and hope that they convince the terrorists, and that Islam turns into a sort of harmless Middle Eastern version of Anglicanism?

Or should we go with the truth, telling them the Koran is a book without much redeeming quality, telling them to make war on infidel, even if that argument turns some of them into terrorists?

This is similar to the concept of the "Noble Lie" in Plato's republic, where citizens are requested to believe something that is false for the good of society as a whole.


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My English class said that Greece had gods, but did not have them for religious reasons as of other Thesis do, they were used for more of a phisoical reasons. But, if thats true, why did they make the Statue of Zesus, the Temple of Artemis, etc. Why whould they go through that much time for phisocial reasons? If I am wrong about the phoscial reasons, dont blame me, blame the Louisiana public school system.

Kerry Cahill


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From what I remember from History and Philosophy classes, the lower classes really believed in the gods, while the upper classes often didn't, but used belief to control the masses (wonder how many politicians do that nowadays!)

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1. What arguments do you hear skeptics or freethinkers use commonly that you find invalid? In other words, are there any common arguments you suggest atheists not use?

2. In your book, your discussion of morality only slightly touched on this issue, but not enough to give any indication to your position on it: What position do you believe a Darwinian should take on the moral status of non-human animals?

3. In your debate with Michael Corey and Hassanain Rajabali, you stated that a "sea of random potential" is better suited to Ockham's Razor than a theistic god. (You also made this point in your book when you claimed that both the theist and atheist must assert some "brute fact," and for the naturalist, the brute fact of the universe is less ad hoc than a theistic god.) Could you please elaborate more on what this "sea of random potential" should be understood to be?

4. You stated in your review of The Jesus Puzzle that after doing your own research, you found even more evidence than Doherty presented in support of the mythicist position. Could you please share some of this evidence and could you give us references for further reading on the subject that you think would be most helpful? Also, do you think a book on this subject (or, multiple books as you have stated would be required) are in the future for you?

Thanks,
Richard Spencer


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Re: Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

Sapient wrote:
The Rational Response Squad is proud to announce that author, historian, and philosopher Richard Carrier will be in studio with the Rational Response Squad to record several shows. In conjunction with his appearance, Mr. Carrier has agreed to give out three personalized autographed copies of his book "Sense and Goodness without God." To win one, submit a question for Mr. Carrier in this thread. Though we will ask him many of the submitted questions, only the three best questions will win a prize. Winners will be announced on the show, and contacted privately. If you win, you'll even be able to request what should be written, though that remains at his discretion. You'll have three days to respond to the email alerting you to your win, or we'll have to move on to back up winners.

"Amaze the RRS" with your questions! Questions that the RRS is most interested in getting an answer to will be winners! As you may well know, Mr. Carrier is renowned for his knowledge of science and philosophy, especially in connection with religion and atheism, and for his knowledge of ancient history, specifically the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, which includes Greco-Roman science, religion, philosophy, and historical method. So to win this game, you should contrive a question that is short and specifically relates to his aforementioned areas of interest. Additionally if you're like us and want to know more about Mr. Carriers life, feel free to submit questions that are biographical in nature. If you are unsure what to ask, maybe you'll find something you are hoping to find an answer to, by perusing this partial library of his work.

You can pre-purchase the Richard Carrier batch of shows at a discount.

Dear Mr. Carrier,
Is this the best question on the list?
Sincerely,
Lenny

Lenny@alafreethought.org


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question

Under what conditions may persons be justified in objectifying a set of morals, ethical devices, or a standard of life for a rational individual or population? What are the fundamental or intuitive qualities of what should and should not exist or be practiced?


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Mr. Carrier:

How does Carrier Naturalism deal with the problem of abstract entities, for example propositions, numbers, and universals? Do these things "exist" as atoms or molecules exist in your worldview? And if they don't, how do you account for the fact that the same exact existential quantifier in predicate logic is used when describing both abstract entities and when describing "real" objects (e.g. let P(x) be "x > 5" or let it be "x is a dog." The universes of discourse are natural numbers or animals, respectively. Then, either way, we write ∃x(P(x))).

Thank you.


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Mr. Carrier:

There are a handful of passages in Paul that seem to point to Paul's belief in an earthly Jesus. Can you comment on the following passages from a mythicist's perspective:

  1. Gal 1:19: "But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother." Also, 1 Cor 9:5: "Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?" How does a mythical being have earthly brothers, one of whom Paul met?
  2. Rom 1:3: "concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh...." Also, Rom 15:12: "And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse [David's father] will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope." How is a mythical being a descendant of David?
  3. 1 Cor 2:8: "None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." How did the "rulers of this age" crucify a mythical being, presumably on earth?
  4. 1 Cor 11:23-25, which recounts the Lord's supper. How does a mythical being dine with human hosts?
  5. Gal 4:4-5: "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." How is a mythical being born "of woman" and "under the law" (i.e. as a Jew)?
  6. 1 The 2:14-14" For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind...." How did the earthly Jews kill a mythical Jesus as they did the prophets, the latter of whom are earthly?
  7. 1 Cor 15:3-4: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...." How does a mythical being die and get buried?

Thank you.


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Mr. Carrier:

How old are the earliest original manuscripts of each of the four gospels on which the names of the purported authors are written? In other words, what is the age of the oldest manuscript of GMatt on which "the gospel according to Matthew" (or something like that) is written upon it? And for Mark, Luke, and John?

Thanks.


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Mr. Carrier:

What is your opinion of the presuppositional apologetics of van Til, Bahnsen, and others? Also, what flaws, if any, do you see in the transcendental argument for God (TAG)?

Thanks.


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Mr. Carrier:

I'm curious about how you'd defend against the typical "veracity of the Bible" apologetic concerning the assertion that the Bible (or specifically, the NT) is the most accurate and reliable ancient Book known. Specifically, how would you counter the following claims (moderately paraphrased from here):

1) The number of NT manuscripts far exceeds any other ancient book, testifying to it's accuracy.
2) The quality of the transcriptions is better than any other ancient document. It is often said that the Bible is "99.5%" accurate. Is this correct? How is this number obtained?
3) The age of the manuscripts is far closer to the original event that is purportedly described than any other ancient text. The oldest NT manuscript to date is P52, a fragment of GJohn, which is dated to about 100 years after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus, and within about 30 years of when the original Gospel of John was written. Are there any other ancient manuscripts which do better than P52 in terms of both a) the time between the event described and the age of the manuscript, and b) the time between when the original was approximately written, and when the manuscript was copied?
4) The distance in time between the original event described and the approximate age of when the document was originally written is very small for the NT. GMark was written in the 70s, a mere 40 years after Jesus' supposed death. Paul wrote his epistles in the 40s-50s. What are specific examples of other ancient books that were written very shortly after the events they describe. Do any beat out the Gospels and letters of Paul?
5) Finally, considering all of the above - do you feel that the Bible is the "most accurate" ancient document we know of (whatever that means) as apologists claim? Why or why not? In what sense is it, and in what sense isn't it?

Thanks.


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My question for Richard Carrier

Mr. Carrier,

I have not read your work yet, but I was wondering how you would respond to the following moral/ethical conflict...

I believe that David Hume is correct when he says that moral inclinations are merely slaves of the passions and not the result of reasoned inquiry. In other words, the moral judgements we make are a result of our feelings, unlike our judgements about the result of a math equation.

While I agree that this is the reality of our moral world, I am still troubled by this and find that in practice it may be dangerous. If in practice we conclude that moral conclusions are just the result of our passions, what can we appeal to in order to conclusively condemn those who commit acts which we find morally repugnant? For example, if we are to send a murderer to prison, by this practice of moral judgement the murderer could reasonably say that his/her moral passions drove him/her to murder, and that he/she feels no remorse over this. To what can we appeal to in order to accuratly conclude that the murderer is wrong?

I am an atheist, so I do not believe in any sort of highest immaterial moral good, whether in the Socratic form of the good or in the form of a bearded man on a throne shaking his finger at me. I think that utiltarianism in some forms is often a good measure of the right choice, but these type of calcualations are impracticle, and what we mean by the "good" we wish to propogate is ultimately up to the passions of the individual.

I suppose i'm looking for some way to have a more objective method of moral judgment, which I think is hard for the atheist to resolve. Keep in mind that I am not endorsing the argument that religion is the basis of morals, or that atheists do not have morality. Rather, I am saying that at least those who are religious have something definitive to appeal to in the process of making moral judgments, even though many times they are misguided in those judgments.

This post is a little long winded, but I'm just trying to be as clear as I can, as often times when I bring this issue up to others they have trouble understanding what I mean. If you need me to clarify, or you have any questions, I'd be happy to take a call (email me for the number) or an email at

Thanks!


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My questions to Carrier.

1. What would you do do stop religion, and how do you think the world would be like without it?

2. Do you think religion will gradually fade away, and if so, how long do you think it will take?

3. Is religion the cause, or the effect?


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Mr. Carrier,

Do humans have a natural tendency to believe in a God, or a Creator? In other words, is religion a natural phenomenon spawned from a type of primotial instinct or just our own imaginations gone astray? If not, why do people insist on believing?

Nick Poling

Wilson: "We were afraid that if you found out you solved a case with absolutely no medical evidence you'd think you were God." House: "God doesn't limp."


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Here's my question. It's a bit specific, so I hope the point of the question gets across. If you need clarification, just ask me.

Richard Dawkins coined the word 'meme' to explain the fact that ideas seem to evolve. Religions are complex memes, or memeplexes, which also evolve... as tenaciously as bacteria evolve to become immune to antibiotics. After several decades of antibiotics, we still have problems with bacterial diseases; in fact our initial progress is in danger of becoming obsolete as bacteria evolve resistance to our existing antibiotics. In the same way, our initial progress in the form of the Enlightenment has since become somewhat obsolete as modern religions have evolved to 'address' the rational objections to theism.

Question: Given that religion evolves tenaciously, do you think we need an organized front of atheists, free thinkers, skeptics, etc. to keep religion at bay? And if we do, then shouldn't this front also evolve similar to religion? In other words, does the human race need an evolving religion-substitute that will lead people to rationality and thus atheism? Do we need a rational/atheist 'religion' to fight against mystical/theistic religion?

If this question is too complicated, feel free to simplify it. I'm just interested in whether or not he thinks we need to 'fight fire with fire' or whether he thinks there's a better way. If he thinks there's a better way, the obvious second question is: What is the better way?

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Philosophos wrote:
Mr. Carrier:

There are a handful of passages in Paul that seem to point to Paul's belief in an earthly Jesus. Can you comment on the following passages from a mythicist's perspective:


I vote for Philosophos' question. I'd also like to know.

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mr carrier

richard i have been a big fan for quite and love your essays you've written for the infidel community. my question is pretty simple but is something i've always had trouble understanding and it's my understanding this is more your field then anyone elses. the arguments that are used in "I dont have enough faith to be an atheist" to try to prove the accuracy of the bible are: new testament figures that are cited in non-christian documents and extra-biblical notes of jesus (there are more, but these interest me the most). my question about these are, do we dismiss the validity of these sorts of arguments because they have supernatural outcomes if we entertain them as possibilities, or do we dismiss them because we, as atheists, interpret the information correctly? personally, i've heard theists say that we dismiss the proofs of the reliability of the new testament only because it's claiming something supernatural happened, and we dont entertain even the possibility that the records could be right ONLY because of the supernatural aspect. hope that's clear enough


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greetings Richard,

what part(s) of metaphysical naturalism do you feel need to be better fleshed out to allow for a better general understanding by the laity?

thanks,

mike


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Mr Carrier,

My brother-in-law was recently an atheist. To appease a girl he has converted to a christianity based religion. Now I'm sure she knows I'm an atheist and feel like she's afraid of that. How can you convince a naive religious person that deep down inside we're just as moral as them? I haven't spoken to her much (I think due to the fact I'm an atheist) but I feel like she already has a majorly jaded view of me and my beliefs.

Brian


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Question

Mr. Carrier,

Is the nature of moral realism (absolute and trascendental moral values) forced to accept human reality, and following on that, accept the cultural diverstiy of humans, that affects morality, therefore, by being a realist, isn't one forced to acknowledge the relativity of moral values?

Thanks,

Andr


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my question is this:

How do you think based on history and human nature, that the world would react if...say....someone like Luigi Cascioli would win a lawsuit that would in essence prove that jesus never existed? What do you think the consequences of such a revelation would be? And would the world be a better place as far as people's values and morals? Would there be a huge backlash, more violence? And if so... in your opinion, do you think it is wise to try to pursue such measures or should we try to cope and live with religion and accept the fact that it is here and it will never go away.

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(Alright, I really want one of those signed books.)

Question: Have you ever been religious?

Question: What is the best, although likely still crappy, argument for theism you've ever heard?

Question: If the Bible was real, what would your thoughts on God and reality be?

Question: What is the strongest historical evidence that Jesus rose from that grave (or even existed) that you've heard? What makes it inconclusive?

Question: Would you consider yourself more a historian or more a philosopher?

Question: Some critize philosophy because it is just "thinking about things and guessing" and "evidence isn't involved." How would you respond to that?

Question: As a philosopher: Do you believe there is such thing as free will?

Question: Is religion definetly your favorite subject as a historian?

Samuel Thomas Poling

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Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

Howdy Mr. Carrier,

Do you have any worries for a greater threat than religion looming or growing in our modern/future cultures?

Do you believe that meaning could exist in some form outside the constraints of human imagination?

At present our cultural advent seems to be tied directly to how religion fits into the daily lives of non-believers and those who do. What similarities and distinctions do you see between the rise of Abrahamic orthodox over paganism and the rise of Science over Religion?

We hold faith in multiple systems that are devoid of religious allegory; economics in this country are based in a system from the top down that in many ways mirror organized religion. We have faith in the system to keep afloat, we hold faith in each pay check we?re waiting on and within some thought of prosperity found in the future. Though this system has a viable effect on our lives that religion lacks it is still held to the brim in faith; we seem to be destined to build systems of one form of faith or another to protect ourselves and prosper. Do you ever see human culture reaching a point where the need of absentminded faith would not exist?

Thanks for the time I was given.

'We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.' - Richard Dawkins
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Mr. Carrier,
I already have your book, so if I win, I'd love a signed copy of the next one! I'm aware that you have been commissioned to rebutt J.P. Holding's "The Impossible Faith." What are the three most glaring flaws of the premise? Doesn't his argument (paraphrased) that we can't understand (and therefore can't effectively critique) a "collectivist" culture simultaneously, necessarily argue for the irrelevancy of any moral instruction from the same culture in comparison to our "individualistic" culture? In short, if our study of these cultures is plagued with anachronistic misinterpretation, why should the NT (let alone the OT!) be considered morally relevant?

"If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway" -The Clash


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Samuel wrote:
Question: As a philosopher: Do you believe there is such thing as free will?

I second this question, as i'm investigating it right now.

Now mine:
What is your opinion of Spirituality (referring to the naturalistic type that Sam Harris describes, not common superstition)?

"Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

1. What's the most stunning example of ancient credulity or miracle mongering that you know of?

2. In your debate with Tom Wanchick, you make matter-enery a key part of your definition of naturalism. If scientists discovered some new sort of thing or substance in the universe, how different could it be from known particles while still counting as matter-energy?


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Oh, I came up with a

3. Do you deny that there is an invisible, incoporeal dragon that spits heatless fire in your garage?


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Mr. Carrier,
If you felt the need to deconvert someone you knew, say from Fundamentalist Christianity, how would you do it? (Related questions: Have you done this? And, how successful have you been, and what has worked best?)

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Mr. Carrier,
What is the most sound and rational foundation you have heard of for non-theistic morality? Is this foundation complete in your opinion, or is more work needed to be done to have a complete foundation for morality?

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Submit Questions for Richard Carrier- WIN AUTO'd BOOK!

Mr. Carrier,
I haven't read your book. However, I have heard every sound bite that has been directed my way. I find you to be an engaging speaker and extraordinary thinker.
Your response to Flemming's question concerning the afterlife (rather be in hell or heaven) points to your genuine concern about humanity and I respect you tremendously for that alone.

OK OK
Here we go:
In your opinion, which historical points in the last 2,000 years do you feel were not exploited enough by rational thinkers to bring about an end to religion?
Has there ever been a time when a civilization was close to abandoning faith?

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Question on testing Metaphysical Naturalism

Metaphysical Naturalism is commonly defined as the "hypothesis that the physical universe is a 'closed system' in the sense that nothing that is neither part nor product of it can effect it."

How would this apply to phenomena in which it is proposed that the laws of physics have been broken (a very hypothetical situation)? All scientific laws are discovered via induction, and though they are consistent to the extent where we may call them fact, were a scientific law to be broken, this does not necessarily constitute a "supernatural" action.

If it does constitute the supernatural, then wouldn't this imply that man's current knowledge state, and not the physical universe itself, sets the bar for what is natural? If man's knowledge state sets the bar, then how are we to judge if any unexperienced phenomena is natural or supernatural?

Finally, if breaking the laws of physics is not supernatural, then what does one call "levitation" or instanteous information (i.e. faster then the speed of light) transfer?

Religion must be kept out of schools. The trade is simple. No one will hear God's name in school and no one will learn anything in church.

<A HREF="www.rostradamus.blogspot.com"> Satire and freethought essays</a>


Nick
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Mr. Carrier,

What's your middle name?

-Nick


Doosie
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Question for Richard...

Hey Richard, it was so nice meeting you at Camp Quest West!
I hope you enjoyed your visit, despite the heat, and if you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to share.

I'm not quite sure about the whole "free-thinking" camp concept, because we had a few kids who were there who told me their parents "made them come." So, I was wondering if you thought that scenario was just as bad (making your kid go to atheist camp) as, let's say, a Christian parent forcing their kids to go to bible camp each year?

Thanks so much,
Rena

Camp Quest (for fire) West


Gilgamesh
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Logic and the Problem of Evil

Since I have not yet read your book, and hence in part why I am writing this question to try to get a copy of that book, I have a curiousity on your take with the long-lasting Problem of Evil.

As an evidentiary argument it is very sound, for it seems that so many bad things would not happen if there was the ever-perfect God in this universe, a God defined as omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent. But what many atheists try to show is that in fact evil is inconsistent logically with such a god and so is proof that the Perfect Being does not exist. Do you see these arguments as sound, or do arguments, such as the Free Will defence (whatever free will even means), persuade you that Evil is not a logical contradiction to the existence of a perfect God?

(Personally, I have found the arguments of the greater good/free will to in fact be short-sighted, for the very application back onto God having a free will or being more good becomes inconsistent and does not solve the problem, at least as I have seen and argued it. I would like to know your input so as to see if there is something in that "Greater Good" talk that is convincing to an atheist, espially one with many letters after their name.)


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Will religion survive augmented intellect?

Mr. Carrier,

I am a Transhumanist. Here you may see what that means if you are not familiar.

My question concerns a belief I hold that religion will not survive a coming technological apocalypse known as the Singularity and some expected results that develop from it, such as increases in intellect for human and non human intelligence.

If you are familiar with the books and works of Ray Kurzweil, then you may know of what I am referring to here. I refer to Ray as he is the most well known proponent but note that there are many other prominent individuals expecting such developments.

Transhumanists believe people will adopt artificial means to augment their intelligence. Indeed the likes of Kevin Warick believe we must or we'll not survive our machines with AI as they develop above current human level intelligence.

I guess then I have two questions.

1. Will such machines develop their own deities and religion?

2. If we augment our intelligence toward greater reasoning powers won't this deny religion and irrational thinking a foothold?

FutureQ aka James Swayze


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How do they really do it?

I was raised Catholic, but I became an atheist at 6. This simply happened because when I read the bible it was like listening to a 'Best Hits' album of a year in history. It was plainly obvious to me in 1st grade that this book was NOT a recipe book for success.

In your opinion, what device is being used by religious leaders to hook their victims? What disables the thinking module in the religious person's mind, so they may accept the ignorant?

How is it possible the same person who can do Calculus believe in a "vengeful god" who "always forgives"

Since LOT, faced with a barren earth decided to mate with his daughters, do they suburban housewives believe this is the word of god as well...and let husbands mate with their daughters?

How can Jews, Muslims and Christians ignore the fact that according to their very own beliefs, they come from the same family...

...which means the families are also incestuous...

And, since many Christians are extreme supporters of US law...how can they believe it is not okay to have sex out of marriage, but it is okay to have sex with your own children and procreate, when that is against US law.

How can they ignore the plagues in the Bible are all explainable in nature? How can they NOT admit that this book is really more like a diary?

Thanks!!

"You have to stay awake to make your dreams come true."


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Mr. Carrier, was Loki actually worshipped as one of the highest gods in the Rokkr days, and was he actually actively worshipped during the Aesir days when he was considered to be evil?

The Rokkr days are the earliest beliefs of the Scandinavian theology, whereas the Aesir days were what replaced the Rokkr beliefs by force, much like Xianity suppressed Aesir beliefs at sword-point years later.


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- Do you believe that Paul held that Jesus never existed on earth as a human? If he didn't, how could he say that Jesus, after the Resurrection, appeared to the "Twelve"? (1 Cor 15:5) Considering that most common Christian ideas had the death of Judas before the Resurrection, does this imply that Judas was thought of as alive by Jesus, and, much more importantly, Jesus still considered Judas an apostle(!)? Would this give validity to the Gospel of Judas and its ideas about Judas? Or does "Twelve" refer to something else entirely, such as the Twelve Patriarchs?

- Do you think that the Dead Sea Scrolls were dated a century too early and that James the Just was the Righteous Teacher and Paul the Spouter of Lies, etc. What other implications does this have about this cryptic literature? How did they actually date the Dead Sea Scrolls and is it possible that it was an incorrect dating?

- What do you think about the idea that the Jewish Supreme Council would not meet on Passover Eve to judge Jesus, thus making it historically flawed?

- Does the Bible ever consider the 'fruit' in the Eden story to be an apple? Is there any reason to believe it could have been a more tropical fruit?

- What do you know of the connections between Christianity and the Superman mythology? For example, Kal'el meaning the Light of God in Hebrew.

- Does 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' have Christian influences? Mary being the Virgin Mary and the Lamb being the Lamb of God.

"But we have no wish whatever to enter into the kingdom of heaven
we have become men - so we want the earth."
- Friedrich Nietzsche


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What is the best single volume commentary for the nonbeliever who wants to gain a more detailed understanding of the Bible?


elynch
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Mr. Carrier:

Could you explain more on the current multiverse theories: Smolin Selection and Chaotic Inflation? Mostly, the Smolin Selection theory interests me, but it is difficult to visualize. Basically, are you saying/writing that when a black hole occurs, a new "universe" happens out of the "other side" of the black hole? It's a cool idea, and I can visualize everything being sucked into a black hole, but it's hard to visualize the "other side" of the black hole.

Enjoying your book very much,

Eric Lynch


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I have this thought that when Christians are forced to defend the Bible, it's almost like they are questioning it themselves because they're forced to look at the issue the way the skeptic is looking at it, in order to properly defend it. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this or if you agree/disagree. Why?


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Mr. Carrier,

What age do you think a child should starting having more rational thoughts?

also,

How do you think you should raise a child Atheist in such a Christian community?


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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Hypothetically, where do you

Hypothetically, where do you think modern man would be today without freethinkers and/or atheists/agnostics? Do you presume humans would even be alive? I mean, with illnesses and diseases not needing cures because you could just pray them away and if that didn't work it would have been "GOD's will" if someone did die, I wonder if people would still be walking on earth. I read Mists of Avalon awhile ago and although it is fiction, this question struck me because the pagans knew about healing herbs. The newfound religion sweeping the land, xtianity, found such practices to be heathen and work of the devil. So, is atheism:enlightment as xtianity:barbarism? Thanks for your thoughts.


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So... what ended up being

So... what ended up being the winning question?


EverLastingGodS...
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I'd like to know too, who

I'd like to know too, who won the book?


Sapient
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Jutter wrote:So... what

Jutter wrote:
So... what ended up being the winning question?

These men won:
Samuel Poling
Philosophos (Greg)
Skepdick (Richard Spencer)

For the winning questions one would have to listen to the shows. I didn't notate them specifically.

- Brian Sapient


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