Am I the only Athiest who Thinks the Debate was a Bad Thing?

High Pope
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Am I the only Athiest who Thinks the Debate was a Bad Thing?

I obviously have more thoughts on this subject, but this was my initial response that I posted on my myspace blog. (My name is High Pope there as well.) I state at the end that this is an opinion. Maybe Im Looking at this all wrong, or playing (for lack of a better metaphor) Devils Advocate?

 

This was absolute rhetoric for atheists and a clear victory for Way of the Master. I will explain:


1) Way of the Master sales of their DVDs and Books will triple because of this "debate" and followers of this cult receive a bonus by the unveiling of a face and organization to target.

 

 

2) Kirk and Ray looked like imbeciles to us long before the debates took place. So, nothing new in the stupidity department.

 

 

3) The message, when boiled down, is age old: you cannot rationalize with the irrational! Trying to prove the existence or non-existence of god is impossible albeit the two hypotheses are not on equal footing.

 

 

4) RRS was bated and used by the agents of Kirk and Ray (they are actors/ celebrities with agents) by picking a fight using the baseless claim that "the existence of god is actually easy to prove, and not only that, Kirk and Ray can do it scientifically, and without mention of the Bible." (C'MON GUYS WE KNOW BETTER!) This was all free publicity for their new show!

 

 

5) SOLUTION? The only way to truly get these guys is in court. We have to wait until someone on their show sues them for harassment or defamation or what have you. Until then every mention of whom won, or who lost, in my mind, is based on the dollar amount and publicity that is gained by one group or the other. And in this case I think it all goes to Kirk and Ray.*(although Im sure RRS Membership may have boomed a little because of the debates by now.)

The courts are truly our last refuge as freethinkers to attain justice, not nightline abc.

 

 

This is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

High Pope

*this part I just added and is not in my initial blog.


Lux
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Court? Are you joking? On a

Court? Are you joking? On a side note, design would be easier to prove in court than say Abiogensis or some "scientific wishful thinking". I thought Ray and Kirk didn't prove what they set out to prove, but Brian and Kelly made their selves out to be a couple of retards. The whole debate took on the feel of a pissing contest, nothing was reall acomplished.

"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..." -CS Lewis


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Lux wrote: Court? Are you

Lux wrote:
Court? Are you joking? On a side note, design would be easier to prove in court than say Abiogensis or some "scientific wishful thinking". I thought Ray and Kirk didn't prove what they set out to prove, but Brian and Kelly made their selves out to be a couple of retards. The whole debate took on the feel of a pissing contest, nothing was reall acomplished.

Oh yes you are correct, "goddidit" is a great legal argument as opposed to naturalistic explanations. 


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Go where the evidence leads,

Go where the evidence leads, my friend. It ain't rocket science. Eye-wink


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I disagree. WOTM merely

I disagree. WOTM merely preached to the choir. No one who disagreed with them already was swayed. RRS also preached to the choir as well, but also were heard by a lot more people than ever before. If WOTM makes a few more bucks than before, it's no big loss, compared to the potential to gaining new atheist allies. And I'm confident that some of those who were on the fence gained more respect for the atheist cause. 


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Lux wrote:

Lux wrote:
Court? Are you joking? On a side note, design would be easier to prove in court than say Abiogensis or some "scientific wishful thinking". I thought Ray and Kirk didn't prove what they set out to prove, but Brian and Kelly made their selves out to be a couple of retards. The whole debate took on the feel of a pissing contest, nothing was reall acomplished.
Actually on the debate, that was my sentiment as well.

To the OP: 

I have to wonder... is it not considered bad form to go on some lame political campaign against a group simply because you disagree with them? I mean I don't agree with the mission of the RRS, but that does not mean I am going to nitpick for something that's just not politically correct enough and try to sue them. Stick to your guns, I love a chance to engage rationally with atheists and people with different viewpoints, don't become a political lobby group.


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There are much MUCH more

There are much MUCH more intelligent Christians out there then those two clowns, those two were just about the worst example I have seen of Christian Evangelists, and I highly doubt many Christians took them very seriously.  Especially when he went on about Blasphemy, what a fucktard, lol, total tool through and through.


e303
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The discussion may have both helped and hurt your cause.

I

I think if your goal is to toss into the public arena a place for the new flock of atheist to preach it will have some merit.

The counter punch.

The discussion can and will also draw the heavy hitters who can counter and force a "draw " about the God question and the scientific reasons tossed from behind the curtain of uncertainty.

Since science cannot state it even understands what most of the universe is made of, what was the name, condition and properties of what was before the big bang and given new discoveries of dark matter and energy it seems it cannot use "atom matter" to make things as sure footed as they once were even 3 years ago.

Astronomers now realize that dark matter probably involves matter that is non-baryonic. And whatever it is that dark energy involves, we know it’s not baryonic “normal,” either. In that case, maybe this next round of evidence will have to be not only beyond anything we know but also beyond anything we know how to know.

For a Theist, a self-aware entity can reside there. (God is safe with science for now because most of the theories that backed particle matter emerging from nothing must be re-thought in light of new variables.)

In the end those who can erode the once safe science positions postulated in favor of no god are coming if not here on the this forum then certainly within the public arenas where these issues float. This would not be a fight over biblical text  and history but one about possibility.  The goal is to force a draw.

A draw is a win for Theist because then the argument is simply one faith vs another.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


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This was the first time the

This was the first time the existence of god was debated on American TV. I can't think of a greater victory for atheism.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


e303
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todangst wrote: This was

todangst wrote:
This was the first time the existence of god was debated on American TV. I can't think of a greater victory for atheism.

I think you are right in the sense if offeres a beacon for others to flock to.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


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Well, my thoughts were this.

Well, my thoughts were this. Sapient and Kelly did the whole typical rebuttles and did a good job rebuking anything Kirk and Ray said, although they may have been capable of doing better but that will increase over time. My problem was, that Kirk and Ray came on the debate, with some of the most common misperceptions of what they were actually debating, evolution, intelligent design, ect. They were trying to debate with common preconceived notions of what they were debating. They hardly even bothered to do research on what they were argueing, not to mention they tried to prove everything through faith and personal experience + the bible which they said they wouldn't.

"Why would God send his only son to die an agonizing death to redeem an insignificant bit of carbon?"-Victor J. Stenger.


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todangst wrote: This was

todangst wrote:
This was the first time the existence of god was debated on American TV. I can't think of a greater victory for atheism.

 

In what way do you consider this a victory? What rewards were reaped by athiests, and in what way did it make our movement stronger? How well did we disarm the opposition etc....?

 


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High Pope wrote: In what

High Pope wrote:
In what way do you consider this a victory? What rewards were reaped by athiests, and in what way did it make our movement stronger? How well did we disarm the opposition etc....?

I believe that the debate accomplished the same thing that the RRS does regularly. It publicized the reality that there are those of us in the world who are no longer willing to be afraid of theism. That theism is no longer considered sacred ground, and that we can openly dispute it if we wish.

Only, with the television broadcast they were able to expose a much wider audience to this reality.

The debate did not go perfectly, as Brian and Kelly openly admit. But considering nervousness and all of the other factors I consider it to be a resounding success.

For the reasons stated above.  


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Lux wrote: Court? Are you

Lux wrote:
Court? Are you joking? On a side note, design would be easier to prove in court than say Abiogensis or some "scientific wishful thinking". I thought Ray and Kirk didn't prove what they set out to prove, but Brian and Kelly made their selves out to be a couple of retards. The whole debate took on the feel of a pissing contest, nothing was reall acomplished.

 

My deist friend, you misunderstood me. Kirk and Ray are slanderous malicious and cruel to innocent passersby while street-preaching. Although in Kirks twisted mind he feels this an act of "compassion", In actuality its all about the shock value he generates purposely so his WOTM ratings will increase. It won’t take long for a suit to be filed against him and the show for defamation or slander. Like the kind of suit people get sued for calling people "retards" in a public forum.

Did you think I said he would be sued for believing in god? 


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I think it could have gone

I think it could have gone badly, I don't think it did.  Looking around the web I see a lot of theists actually thinking about the issues and questioning those who to profess to represent them.  That's gotta be a good thing.

 Kirk and ray looked like idiots because, well, they are idiots.  I don't mean that in a cruel way; it's just that when you turn up with 'evidence' that can be blown away within 30 seconds (the painting of the Mona Lisa nearly made me weep with pity) then you're setting yoursef up for a kicking.

In fairness to the RSS, they didn't give them a kicking.  A sound refutation of their points, yes,  but it would have been oh so easy to jump in sneering and arrogant to humiliate and belittle their opponents and they didn't.

As a result the audience - despite the hilariously biased editing - saw two things:

1) Atheists tend to know what they're talking about.

2) Atheists are not demons determined to destroy life as we know it, they're just people with a different POV which needs to be respected. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


e303
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I think the whole thing

I think the whole thing seemed pretty weak for both sides. Just my opinion but the points and counter points were hardly points because both sides came in with "evidence" that can be blasted from the hip. If you are going to use theory hold on to your hat and make certain it can hold water to the issues.

It was smart to not to try and disprove a creator. I would drop all particle theory btw when searching for how all that exist came into being because it is now ripe for fodder. Don't get me wrong... Byronic matter tested theories are GREAT for most of the things we deal with in the cosmos. Still, given the stars planets, people make up only about 4% of the universe, the other 96% is "something else" and anyone with half a brain will not allow 4% of what once was "everything" continue to dominate the greater questions of origin in conversation any longer. 

Theses arguments will probably be the most difficult things to give up as volumes of books offer hypothesis on the subject of how atomic matter with gravity could form the universe without help.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


Lux
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todangst wrote: This was

todangst wrote:
This was the first time the existence of god was debated on American TV. I can't think of a greater victory for atheism.

 

 

 

um, if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't tv, it was internet

"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..." -CS Lewis


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Lux wrote: um, if I'm not

Lux wrote:

um, if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't tv, it was internet

You are mistaken. The whole debate was filmed and edited for TV. But you can watch the whole debate on the internet, 


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todangst wrote: I can't

todangst wrote:
I can't think of a greater victory for atheism.

"Only the Sith believe in absolutes."

I posted my own critiques of Brian and Kelly's presentation in gregfl's Post "nightline" musings thread. Sorry, but I can't seem to find a way to link to an individual post. Unfortunately, the thread seems to have been abandoned.

Since then, I've followed a number of discussions, especially on christian boards, of Kurt and Ray's performance. One of the points I've now "market tested" is ripe for exploitation, as it is generally agreed as a valid criticism among the fundamentalists with whom I've discussed the debate.

Ray and Kirk engaged in fraud.

They lied.

They lied to the Nightline producers, to the RRS, and to the national audience. Representing christianity, they unashamedly broke the ninth commandment, as recognized by adherents to their own faith. The use of faith and the bible in their presentations was not incidental or accidental, but deliberate and planned. Kirk, in particular, made no pretense of offering anything more than his personal testimony.

Why is this point important?

Again and again, I've heard christians claim, post-debate, that at least K & R were likeable. I understand how broadcasters tend to play to the angry atheist sterotype. I take it as a given that B & K have learned their own lessons from the "numbnuts" and "WotM Radio" incidents. What remains then is to portray K & R as unpleasant in their own right. Their actions open them up to criticism from within their own ranks, if we choose to capitalize on it.

"Do you approve of sin?"

"Is lying a sin?"

"Did Ray and Kirk lie?"

At the end of the day, the dismissal of WotM will have little impact upon the adherents to christianity, who somehow manage to weather the storms of all of their Haggards and Swaggarts. Still, in this battle of images, we should never pass up the chance to make mud pies of their feet of clay.

As ever, Jesse

 

 

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We've quickly gotten off

We've quickly gotten off topic, but still some helpful insight. Here’s What I gather so far:

Lux the theist has no idea what is going on, but that’s okay. Typing for the sake of typing is fun sometimes.(I’ve been known to do it myself on occasion.)

We have established that the debates created some exposure for the rational response squad, and with careful critique we can agree on both sides of the table that they (Brian and Kelly) were cast in a negative light. We also agree they cast a negative image of the RRS and Atheists by entering the debate with an attitude which made them out to be very angry. They have been cast as representatives of the Atheist movement, (some have gone so far as to call them the King and Queen of Atheism!) which has caused some to feel that all Atheists are angry and unhappy and quarrelsome. This sentiment in turn reinforces the already negative image of Atheists that christians, and the like, have already propagated.

We also have at least one opinion from a theist that Kirk and Ray are going to burn in hell for lying, and that should bring Atheists a bit of comfort. (Its a nice sentiment, but we don’t believe in imaginary places that people might go after they die.)

So my opinion still stands, unless someone can sway me otherwise. It’s great that we are getting some exposure, I agree, but it’s terrible that we were cast in a negative way. And I think negative exposure is the absolute last thing Atheists need! Then to twist the sword a little, WOTM made a pretty penny with all the free publicity. On top of that, the new "faces" of Atheism appear hostile.

How do any of us (Atheists) Benefit from this type of exposure?

We don’t.

This was the wrong setting for this argument and I hope in the future RRS picks their fights in a more suitable arena.

High Pope


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High Pope wrote:

High Pope wrote:
<snip>

 

So my opinion still stands, unless someone can sway me otherwise. It’s great that we are getting some exposure, I agree, but it’s terrible that we were cast in a negative way. And I think negative exposure is the absolute last thing Atheists need! Then to twist the sword a little, WOTM made a pretty penny with all the free publicity. On top of that, the new "faces" of Atheism appear hostile.

How do any of us (Atheists) Benefit from this type of exposure?

We don’t.

This was the wrong setting for this argument and I hope in the future RRS picks their fights in a more suitable arena.

High Pope

Greetings, High Pope,

As an isolated incident, many of these criticisms apply. But I would argue that the criticisms, used properly, contain the seeds of a positive outcome. The strength of skepticism isn't in "getting the right answer," but in "eliminating errors." The scientific method is not designed to prevent errors; it is designed to prevent science from building upon errors.

I suggest we leave dogmatic judgments to the theists.

This exposure was not right or wrong any more than it was sinful. Sure, I'd much rather have seen Hitchens or Dennett tearing K & R a new one. The opportunity did not present itself. I'd rather have seen Kelly open up with a suitably subtle banana joke, or some kind of speculation on the sex life of coke cans. Maybe next time. She did manage to keep her tongue from sticking to the roof of her mouth, which is the natural reaction when the klieg lights hit your face.

There's only one way to become a successful public speaker. You go out in public and fall flat on your face enough times to learn how to stand up properly. Early gaffes aren't "wrong" unless we fail to learn from them. Success is not a "special creation;" it evolves.  Should we call the first self-replicating organism to emerge from the soup a failure because it didn't immediately write "On the Origin of Species" in the mud?

As ever, Jesse

There is no lao tzu


High Pope
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Lao Tzu Ive tried every way

Lao Tzu Ive tried every way I can to write to you that we as athiests are immune to dogma, but I cant seem to phrase it without the connotation being implied that Athiests dont beleive in right and wrong or moral absolutes. (Ive deleted my info 3 or 4 times LOL.) Which is bad because ive always veiwed myself as a bit of a linguist. I know what you were trying to say, and I agree with you a little, but i think you threw a straw-man out there when you accused me of being dogmatic. My point was clear. It was an incorrect choice of venue for this argument.

Im not convinced that this was as much a positive as a negative, and that is clearly up for debate. The one thing we all can agree is that mistakes were made, so lets start focusing on solutions, so we can avoid these mistakes in the future. If we do this may have to move to a different thread.

So I think my suggestion now is:

RRS needs a spokesperson. Kelly and Brian are Co-presidents/ Founders, Maybe they need a PR person?


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AModestProposal wrote: I

AModestProposal wrote:
I disagree. WOTM merely preached to the choir. No one who disagreed with them already was swayed. RRS also preached to the choir as well, but also were heard by a lot more people than ever before. If WOTM makes a few more bucks than before, it's no big loss, compared to the potential to gaining new atheist allies. And I'm confident that some of those who were on the fence gained more respect for the atheist cause. 

 

I'm new here, and getting into this discussion a little late, but I am curious. What is "the atheist cause" as you put it? You seem to be trying to prostheletize new converts in a very similar way as the Christians who you despise. I ask, to what end? Why do you care if some believe in God or Jesus Christ as their savior? What skin is it off your back?

 Your little religion is no more provable than Christianity. You were not there when the world was created or imploded or spontaneously came into being. So you do not know what happened. Scientific methods are heavily dependant on systems of dating that cannot be proven accurate in the range which they are being utilized. Why? Because there are no known 1,000,000 year old artifacts with which to test said methods for accuracy. There are not even any 100,000 year old known artifacts. But even if there were, and lets say that you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dating methods your theory rely so heavily on were 100% accurate up to 100,000 years. There is no reason to believe they are accurate up to 200,000. The only way that can be known is if the decomposition trend of carbon (or whatever other measured specimen) was linear. I seriously doubt it is linear over the range of 1,000 years, let alone 100,000. And whether it is or isn't cannot be proven, thus, these methods cannot be proven accurate. If you accept this as true (which of course you won't) it is a crushing blow to the theory of evolution. Any other field of science where dating methods and instruments are used to gather exact measurements (such as Carbon content) are required to undergo frequent and extensive testing and calibration.

(Before you say carbon-dating isn't the primary method anymore, I assert that this is true of any method, not just carbon-dating.)

Such calibration and testing can be done to ensure that a given artifact contains a precise amount of carbon. But to relate that specific level of carbon to an age requires further proof of which there is none in that time frame. We can only test subjects of known age (meaning there must be something other than the carbon telling us the precise age, like accompanying documents or such).

I know very little about dating methods, but I know a lot about highly-accurate testing equipment and calibration of said equipment. The equipment I use on a daily basis must be calibrated and certified on a quarterly basis, and requires a very high level of accuracy. But my test equipment cannot compare to the level of resolution of dating equipment. Therefore dating equipment must be even more accurate. And calibrated more frequently.

With my test equipment it is calibrated it must be tested with a known quantity and it MUST BE IN THE RANGE OF USE. That cannot be done with dating equipment, I'll liberally say past 7,000 years.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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I agree with you on your


I agree with you on your first point, however, to argue of god based on the finitive nature of the earth is a moot and irrelavent issue.  It makes no difference when things could be dated back, when nothing can even be proven not to be infinite, in fact, quite on the contrary, the obersvation of matter and energy actually coincide with the theory of an inifinite universe, at least in the aspect of time, perhaps it has had many different manifestations.  no less, to imply an outside source could create another inside source spontaneously as such is a paradoxical loophole, you end up in the infinite circular logic of creationism, who created god?

 

no matter, I share your love for Christ - I too think he is a great spiritual master for anybody to make aspirings after, but I dont think you really get what he was saying if you are here to prove something, such as the creation of the universe in the spontenuity of 7 days, which was a metaphoric explenation in genesis (as if it wasnt obvious enough).  Furthermore - Christ was a being who embraced all walks of life, and entered into all tongues for them, he did not prophess to know of any high truths, he prophessed proper behaviors that are fluent in the consciousness of our very beings.

 

I see you quoting corinthians in your signature, and I am disappointed to see this.  Some of the best work seems to be the work that few pay much attention too, the synoptic gospels and the gnostic ones are the heart of christs message, but people are so adament to butcher his message, speak of corinthians or revelations and hypocritically claim it is in the name of Christ.  Corinthians falls pretty far from the word of Christ, and assessed with unmittigated objection, this should become self evident.  Christs messages were of selflessness, corinthians is centered on the self, not very congruent there.  If you want to spread the "word of christ", why dont you stick to his good lessons, and not the ones who condemn others as perishing fools.  People become saved through touching the holy spirit inside of themselves and becoming self-actualized, this comes in many different paths, so it matters not what they believe, you will not know them by their labors, you will know them by their fruits.

 

You really lost any hope of coming through when you stuck to your whole 7,000 year comment, theres actually a thing called carbon dating and we can measure it far past 7,000 years.  Furthermore, there were these giant creatures called DINOSAURS that existed here as well, what does the innerant infallible word of god say about that?  As if the talking snake wasnt obvious enough, perhaps you should stop taking Genesis literally.. 

 Let me ask you one thing - is Christ the literal son of god?  Is the bible the innerent infallible word of god?  Or is the "son of god" a metaphor, and the bible is just inspired of god (though much of it not very well)?

Furthermore - do you remember when Christ says that you should "see me as the son of man, and as the son of god"?  how would you explain this? 


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Not trying to prove

Not trying to prove creation in 7 days (though I do believe it.) Just trying to disprove one aspect of evolution. You knock down card houses one card at a time.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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Anbesol wrote:   no less,

Anbesol wrote:

  no less, to imply an outside source could create another inside source spontaneously as such is a paradoxical loophole, you end up in the infinite circular logic of creationism, who created god?

To be a theist or an atheist you must accept the concept that some things are eternal, and have no beginning. If you try to explain the origin of mankind or even the earth, you go further back and further back until there is no matter for us to evolve from. Well then where did the original matter come from? It must've been eternal, because matter does not just come into being from nothing. They believe in eternal matter, I believe in an eternal being. I see no difference in principle.

 

Anbesol wrote:
I see you quoting corinthians in your signature, and I am disappointed to see this.  Some of the best work seems to be the work that few pay much attention too, the synoptic gospels and the gnostic ones are the heart of christs message, but people are so adament to butcher his message, speak of corinthians or revelations and hypocritically claim it is in the name of Christ.  Corinthians falls pretty far from the word of Christ, and assessed with unmittigated objection, this should become self evident.  Christs messages were of selflessness, corinthians is centered on the self, not very congruent there.  If you want to spread the "word of christ", why dont you stick to his good lessons, and not the ones who condemn others as perishing fools.  People become saved through touching the holy spirit inside of themselves and becoming self-actualized, this comes in many different paths, so it matters not what they believe, you will not know them by their labors, you will know them by their fruits.

Sorry you feel that way. I think from that statement we have little in common as far as our beliefs. 1Corinthians is one of the greatest teachings in the bible as far as I am concerned, and meshes perfectly with what Jesus Christ taught. Though I don't care to debate this.

 

Anbesol wrote:
You really lost any hope of coming through when you stuck to your whole 7,000 year comment, theres actually a thing called carbon dating and we can measure it far past 7,000 years.  Furthermore, there were these giant creatures called DINOSAURS that existed here as well, what does the innerant infallible word of god say about that?  As if the talking snake wasnt obvious enough, perhaps you should stop taking Genesis literally.. 

You're kidding, right? Did you even read what I wrote? I never said that there are not things on this earth older than 7,000 years. I said we have no way of knowing for certain if any artifacts are older than that, other than using modern test methods which cannot be proven accurate. If I have a vase that I believe to be extremely old, and inside that vase is a note (written on papyrus let's say for the sake of argument) and on that note is a date, 90ad. I can be fairly sure that this vase is roughly 2000 years old. Assuming the note is accurate, which is an assumption, but it is at least something to go on. Then I test the vase for carbon content. Now I have a level of carbon in this artifact and a supposed date of 90ad. I can plot one single point on a graph with this information. Let's say I do this over and over and over again, as I find artifacts similar to this one with accompanying documentation validating the age. Then I get lots of points on the graph. Well, this graph is only accurate in the range of dates between the oldest and the youngest artifacts sampled, and only then if there is a good range of dates in between. If I get outside of that range, there is no gaurantee of accuracy. If it is off by 1% times 1,000,000 years, that makes a huge error in the end result. Then when we start talking billions of years the error multiplies exponentially. Just because something is accurate within 7,000 years (and I'm pulling that number out of thin air to make my point) does not mean that it is accurate within a billion years.

Yes, there are things (bones and such) on this earth that are most likely much older than 7,000 years, but we cannot prove their age.

 

Anbesol wrote:
 Let me ask you one thing - is Christ the literal son of god?  Is the bible the innerent infallible word of god?  Or is the "son of god" a metaphor, and the bible is just inspired of god (though much of it not very well)?

He is the literal Son of God. And He is just as much deity as His Father. And the bible is infallible. I have seen arguments to the contrary, and do not care to debate them here, which is why I did not bring that up.

Anbesol wrote:
Furthermore - do you remember when Christ says that you should "see me as the son of man, and as the son of god"?  how would you explain this? 

That is a deep subject, I don't care to get into here and now. Quite simply though, he was born of mankind and deity. He was 100% human and 100% God simultaneously.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


lao tzu
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Musicdude wrote: I'm new

Musicdude wrote:
I'm new here, and getting into this discussion a little late, but I am curious. What is "the atheist cause" as you put it? You seem to be trying to prostheletize new converts in a very similar way as the Christians who you despise. I ask, to what end? Why do you care if some believe in God or Jesus Christ as their savior? What skin is it off your back?


Sweet axe, dude.  Seeing as we're already off topic, it's probably worth mentioning I'm a Guild man, acoustic all the way, mostly blues.

I tell you what, though.  It's always a pleasure to see a theist who can compose their thoughts in complete sentences, with themes separated additionally into paragraphs.  Don't get me wrong.  That's not intended as a backhanded complement.  It's sincere relief.  Check out some of the other posts from theists on this thread and you'll see what I mean pretty readily.

I'm guessing you're an American christian?  The chances are good then that you've a great deal of unlearning to do before you can appreciate our position.

This is an activism site.  If you're interested in a more representative view of atheist opinion, you should register and post on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board, IIDB.  I can't tell if you've been lurking for a while, but your profile shows you registered about half an hour before you first posted.  I'd guess that was just long enough to write this post.  That said, let me take a swing at your questions.  They're not as rhetorical as you might think.

It's a terrible thing to live in fear.

We don't like it for ourselves, and we don't much care for it among our theistic companions.  Atheists are the last minority in America it's still okay to despise.  The prejudices we encounter on a daily basis, the petty indignities and casual threats are, for the most part, invisible to the theistic majority.  Ironically, it's because it's no skin off your noses.  That's enough reason for any minority to take up activism.  Why shouldn't it be enough for us as well?

Atheism isn't a skin color, or a sexual preference, so it's extremely easy for us to live in the closet.  You can spot a black from across the street, or a gay from knowing what bars he's frequenting.  Not so with an atheist.  Coming out as an atheist is difficult.  It can cost us our jobs, our social lives, even contact with our families.  There are probably 20 million of us here in the US.  We outnumber jews.  We outnumber gays.  We outnumber both of them put together.  Why should we be afraid to demand our place in society?  Statistics show that as a group we are better educated, have more stable marriages, are less likely to fill up jail cells, yet, simply because we object to belief in the supernatural, we are outcast as pariahs.

We're just as human as you are.  Part of that includes an empathy that seems to be part of our lot as a social species.  We care about you, too.  We'd like to be free to show that, and we would be if it weren't for the constant need to defend ourselves against irrational and generally ill informed attacks.  I can certainly see how that can come across as despite or anger.  But it's no more than what's to be expected from a community under siege.

When you speak of a savior, you're speaking of a blanketing fear cast over you and your fellow adherents, a fear beyond death fear, a fear of eternal punishment.  At a rough guess, though I'm not familiar with any reliable statistics, probably half of us have escaped from the chains of supernaturalism.  I myself am a former fundamentalist christian.  The freedom to think, the freedom to see the world around us clear of the fog of superstition is a never-ending gift.  Why shouldn't we hope for the same for you?

Musicdude wrote:
Your little religion is no more provable than Christianity. You were not there when the world was created or imploded or spontaneously came into being. So you do not know what happened.


Here now you raise an often repeated yet essentially meaningless objection.  In fact, you were not there to see these things either.

Musicdude wrote:
Scientific methods are heavily dependant on systems of dating that cannot be proven accurate in the range which they are being utilized. Why? Because there are no known 1,000,000 year old artifacts with which to test said methods for accuracy. There are not even any 100,000 year old known artifacts. But even if there were, and lets say that you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dating methods your theory rely so heavily on were 100% accurate up to 100,000 years. There is no reason to believe they are accurate up to 200,000. The only way that can be known is if the decomposition trend of carbon (or whatever other measured specimen) was linear. I seriously doubt it is linear over the range of 1,000 years, let alone 100,000.


Here now is another reason for us to wish to see you free from these chains.  None of these arguments originated with you.  They have been fed to you by your priesthood in an effort to prop up their own temporal power.  They have no basis in fact, and are woefully uninformed in general.  Did your pastor teach you about dating methods, or berate them with no more knowledge of their methodologies than your post suggests?

Have you heard of isochrons?  Of multiple independent decay mechanisms used to cross check each other?  Potassium-Argon versus Rubidium-Strontium versus Thorium-Lead?  Of the varves of Lake Suigetsu used to normalize carbon dating?  Of the "missing' radio-isotopes that allow us to pinpoint the supernova explosion that generated our very atoms some five billion years ago?

It's true enough that the methods we've developed are less than "100 percent" accurate, but just barely true.  They are still sufficient to pin down the age of the formation of this earth to within 20 million years, or less than one half of one percent.  The age of the earth is all but certainly within the range between 4.53 and 4.55 billion years.

The fact is that your priesthood has lied to you about these things, and done their best to prevent you from learning the truth, the truth that will set you free if only you can find the strength to look at it straight in the face.  Do you believe in a creator?  Then you should not be afraid to examine the truths that creator has written in creation itself.  Ask, and you will find many willing to help you understand, to examine the evidence and come to your own conclusions.  It is not arrogance that tells us what you will discover, but long experience in seeing others come to the same conclusions.

Musicdude wrote:
And whether it is or isn't cannot be proven, thus, these methods cannot be proven accurate. If you accept this as true (which of course you won't) it is a crushing blow to the theory of evolution. Any other field of science where dating methods and instruments are used to gather exact measurements (such as Carbon content) are required to undergo frequent and extensive testing and calibration.


Here is something else which you must unlearn.  You have been taught that evolution is a theory held only, or perhaps only mostly, by atheists.  In fact, most of those who accept the theory of evolution are theists.  The most common textbooks used in university biology courses are those written by Ken Miller, a theist, a catholic, and also author of a work called Finding Darwin's God.

Musicdude wrote:
(Before you say carbon-dating isn't the primary method anymore, I assert that this is true of any method, not just carbon-dating.)

Such calibration and testing can be done to ensure that a given artifact contains a precise amount of carbon. But to relate that specific level of carbon to an age requires further proof of which there is none in that time frame. We can only test subjects of known age (meaning there must be something other than the carbon telling us the precise age, like accompanying documents or such).

I know very little about dating methods, but I know a lot about highly-accurate testing equipment and calibration of said equipment. The equipment I use on a daily basis must be calibrated and certified on a quarterly basis, and requires a very high level of accuracy. But my test equipment cannot compare to the level of resolution of dating equipment. Therefore dating equipment must be even more accurate. And calibrated more frequently.

With my test equipment it is calibrated it must be tested with a known quantity and it MUST BE IN THE RANGE OF USE. That cannot be done with dating equipment, I'll liberally say past 7,000 years.


So you're a young earth creationist, then.  That's good to know.  In fact, we have a number of dating methods that go well beyond this limited period.  Dendrochronology consists of little more than counting tree rings from a core sample.  Using living and dead samples of bristlecone pines from the American southwest, we can trace back the history of this one species for more than 10,000 years.

Then there's algae.  In a fairly small body of water in Japan called Lake Suigetsu, algae have been blooming in the spring and dying off in the fall for at least 45,000 years. Each year as they die off they form a layer of light colored silt on the lake bed, covered over the winter with a dark layer.  Again, it's only necessary to extract cores and count these "varves."

What's significant about both of these is that they contain organic material within their layers, allowing us to calibrate C-14 measurements from other materials we wish to date.  Because it is continuously created in our upper atmosphere, dependent upon varying generation rates, Carbon-14 is the least accurate of any modern dating method, yet using these calibration methods, we can achieve accuracy greater than 99 percent.  

Dating methods that rely on radionuclides that are not replenished are orders of magnitude more precise.  Calibration is far simpler in this case.  If we compare dating that relies on beta-decay (Rb/Sr) with dating that relies on electron capture (K/Ar), we achieve a calibration.  If we compare these with decay chains that use combinations of both along with alpha decays (U-238/Pb-206 and U-235/Pb-207), we achieve a calibration through redundant triangulation.

These are things your priesthood would not have you learn, things they would prefer were kept secret from you.  Why should we not wish you free of these pious lies?  Consider the implications, though.  If they would lie to you about things so readily apparent to anyone willing to undertake an investigation, what is to keep them from lying to you about the nature of supernatural worlds?  You will find that many of us have managed the arduous trek away from these shackles.  From our own experiences, we know that you can too.  From our own experience, we know that you too can be filled with wonder at the prospect of endless discovery.

But in the meantime, whether you join us in this adventure or not, we insist on our own hard won freedom to learn.

Best of luck to you.

As ever, Jesse

There is no lao tzu


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Jesse, You made my brain

Jesse, You made my brain explode in a good way. I always lean to the Philosophical and Legal side of the logic argument, with a sprinkle of earth science, history and and common sense. I cant read books about dinosaurs without the "Pop-ups" and cool pictures, but Im going to try again. Im a painter and Ive been working on a sketch of a bunch of Dinosaurs staring up in amazement and a fleet of sky-cranes making humans.

I figured were way off topic, so I may as well rant:

Well, we cant create a set laws for atheism, because a paradox is formed within the act of making a law.( we are freethinkers.) In other words we don’t want to end up like Christians.(with strict impossible laws that none of us follow.)

One of our many causes that I personally refer to as an "Atheist Movement" or "Atheist Cause" is maintaining the separation of church and state. It has become a lax law due to the indifference of Atheists, the lack of commitment of Agnostics, and the radical activism of christians. If nobody fights to maintain and uphold this portion of our Constitution this country will de-evolve into a Theocracy which is exactly what we were avoiding when our Constitution was originally drafted. (I like to refer to Robert G. Ingersoll's essay circa 1890, "god in the Constitution".)If you truly would like to hear my view on the matter it’s almost wrapped up in this essay. If you'd like a list of other Atheists I agree with I can put one together for you.

As far as the dangers of christianity, and other religions, Its difficult to find where to start….religion inhibits and impedes mans ability to think freely. Freedom of thought in some cases is punishable by death! And some forms of free thought can condemn a person to hell. Religion encourages segregation and discrimination of other religions, races and genders, and all of the Abrahamic religions call for the death of all who do not believe in their laws. Abrahamic gods support any act of war in their name, any act of violence in the name of god, and any immoral act against man and nature in god’s name. All Abrahamic religions support the subjugation of Women, and deny them rights to their personal thoughts, actions, and body. Your gods claim that if a woman does not share the same beliefs as her husband she should be killed, if she has a child out of wedlock she should be killed, if she prepares food incorrectly she should be killed! Under no circumstances should a Woman ever be treated as equal to a man! These are but a few examples of your gods’ laws.

You may have a different “interpretation” of the laws of your gods, but when did your almighty and omnipotent, omniscient gods give you divine authority over the interpretations of its laws? Name me a verse where your gods caved-in on their authority and handed it over to you to rewrite its laws. Why would an eternal being with supernatural powers ever need you to break down its meanings and intentions, let alone enforce them based on your personal opinions? And if you admit that the laws put forth by your almighty itself appear archaic, ancient and outdated and you choose not to follow them, aren’t you sworn to allegiance to your creator? Are you calling your gods liars? And if you’re one of those who believe that all of those laws written by gods changed after the death of Jesus, then you need to re-read your gospels. The Bible, Quran and the Torah all explicitly state that they are books bound by the laws of gods and are NOT open for interpretation. Its all the same original supreme being, muslims and jews seem to be the only ones able to fundamentally following gods original laws. No christian fundamentalist even comes close. So if it all changed with Jesus, where did jesus say it was okay to reinterpret the laws of the divine?

 

(These questions are obviously rhetorical. But at least I gave you an excuse to actually “read” your book.)

High Pope


Musicdude
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lao tzu wrote:Sweet axe,

lao tzu wrote:


Sweet axe, dude.  Seeing as we're already off topic, it's probably worth mentioning I'm a Guild man, acoustic all the way, mostly blues.

Thanks. It's a Taylor 710ce. I have played Guilds, and they are nice. But the first time I played a Taylor, I fell in love.
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I tell you what, though. It's always a pleasure to see a theist who can compose their thoughts in complete sentences, with themes separated additionally into paragraphs. Don't get me wrong. That's not intended as a backhanded complement. It's sincere relief. Check out some of the other posts from theists on this thread and you'll see what I mean pretty readily.
Well, thank you. Christians are not always a bunch of emotional morons. Some of us are rational thinkers. If you truly study the bible in the original languages, it's not a task for the feeble mind.
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I'm guessing you're an American christian?
  Yes, but not very typical. There aren't very many churches that believe the way I do, at least not entirely.
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The chances are good then that you've a great deal of unlearning to do before you can appreciate our position.
Well, actually I do appreciate your position. I even respect it. I just don't usually see a whole lot of respect in return, usually. For example, just using the debate as an illustration, Kirk and Ray were pretty polite to your guys even when they disagreed, and they were generally respectful as well. Whereas your two representatives were somewhat rude and condescending, and even insulting at times. Being right doesn't require being arrogant. Not that this has anything to do with who is right and who is wrong, but it just irked me a bit.
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This is an activism site. If you're interested in a more representative view of atheist opinion, you should register and post on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board, IIDB. I can't tell if you've been lurking for a while, but your profile shows you registered about half an hour before you first posted. I'd guess that was just long enough to write this post.
  Yeah, I found this site after watching the interview. I was just curious if there were any more in-depth arguments about this issue on here, because I wasn't convinced by the debate. Not that I think there is a chance I could be convinced, but if there are as many followers of this ideology as I imagine, I just hoped there was more basis for it than what I have seen already. Right off the bat, it seems like less of a religion, and more of an anti-religion. Which seems a little strange that people could get so worked up about something they don't believe. Unless of course they truly do believe that religion is evil, and are mainly concerned with ridding the world of it. And this may surprise you, but I whole heartedly agree. Religion is evil. It was invented by Satan himself, so decieve mankind into thinking there is some way they can earn salvation, when in reality there is not. True Christianity is not religion. It is not segregated into various denominations. It is a group of people who believe in the gospel of the bible, and they have eternal life as a result. They understand some things about God from His book, and they try to live their lives according to His instructions for righteousness. They often fail in this effort, and when they do, they are forgiven because Christ paid the price for thier sins, and not only thier's but the entire world's. Anyone can have this forgiveness, by simply asking. I've heard many refer to the gospel as a "scare tactic." That is simply not true. It is the truth, and nothing more. If you are about to fall into a trap but you don't see it, and I warn you that there is a trap in an effort to prevent you from falling, would you call that a scare tactic? And whether I warned you or not, the truth of the matter remains. There really was a trap, you really didn't see it, and you really were going to fall had I not warned you. You can call it a scare tactic if you want. I call it the truth. Sometimes the truth is scary. Would you rather believe a lie, so as not to be scared? But the gospel isn't what is scary. Reality is scary. The gospel is an escape. It's the good news that we no longer have to be scared of reality, because our fate can be changed quite easily.
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That said, let me take a swing at your questions. They're not as rhetorical as you might think.

It's a terrible thing to live in fear.

We don't like it for ourselves, and we don't much care for it among our theistic companions. Atheists are the last minority in America it's still okay to despise. The prejudices we encounter on a daily basis, the petty indignities and casual threats are, for the most part, invisible to the theistic majority. Ironically, it's because it's no skin off your noses. That's enough reason for any minority to take up activism.
  I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that. Christians are ridiculed much more often than atheists. But I could care less if I am ridiculed. The fact that what I believe is not common (even among Christians) makes me even more confident that I am right. The truth is not often popular.
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Why shouldn't it be enough for us as well?
I don't know. I'm not a fan of activism of any kind. I think it most often does more damage than good.
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Atheism isn't a skin color, or a sexual preference, so it's extremely easy for us to live in the closet. You can spot a black from across the street, or a gay from knowing what bars he's frequenting. Not so with an atheist. Coming out as an atheist is difficult. It can cost us our jobs, our social lives, even contact with our families. There are probably 20 million of us here in the US. We outnumber jews. We outnumber gays. We outnumber both of them put together. Why should we be afraid to demand our place in society?
What place would that be? What is it that you want? Special treatment? Do you want a parade like the gays have? I don't get it.
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Statistics show that as a group we are better educated, have more stable marriages, are less likely to fill up jail cells, yet, simply because we object to belief in the supernatural, we are outcast as pariahs.
Again, I think you would be hard-pressed to prove that statement. Maybe that has been your personal experience, or the nature of your social environment. But that has been just about the opposite of my experience. Again, no one can control the way you think. They may legislate the way you act on that thought, but not the thought itself. The majority disagreeing with you should not dissuade you from your ideology, if you truly think it is right.
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We're just as human as you are. Part of that includes an empathy that seems to be part of our lot as a social species. We care about you, too. We'd like to be free to show that, and we would be if it weren't for the constant need to defend ourselves against irrational and generally ill informed attacks.
  I can attest to that personally. I have known several atheists who were very polite, intelligent, and a pleasure to debate with. And from said debate, both parties walked away enlightened, though not persuaded. But I've seen more of the rude type. Maybe it is a defense mechanism, as you have said they are the minority. But I just have no desire to debate someone who cannot keep their emotions out of the conversation and debate the facts only.
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When you speak of a savior, you're speaking of a blanketing fear cast over you and your fellow adherents, a fear beyond death fear, a fear of eternal punishment.
I have already explained why that is just blatently false. That is a very good example that you do not understand Christianity, not even the most basic principle. I don't mean that as an insult. I wouldn't expect you to understand it. Real understanding of God's word requires faith. You must believe without proof, then God proves it too you when you no longer require proof. That's just how He designed it. I think the main reason is that everyone is capable of faith. Faith is equally attainable to all. No one whether rich or poor, weak or strong, intelligent or feeble-minded, has an advantage over the other with regard to faith. Faith levels the playing field for all mankind. It's the easiest and hardest thing in the world to do. The reason it is difficult is that it requires extreme humility, which is not a common trait. But again, I am not the one claiming to be able to scientifically prove how the earth and humanity came into existence. (And neither did Ray and Kirk, for that matter. They only claimed to be able to prove the existence of A God, not Jesus Christ, and not the gospel, just A God.) My explanation of the existence of humanity and the earth takes faith to believe. The bible says it requires faith, and if it requires faith, that means it can't be proven scientifically.
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At a rough guess, though I'm not familiar with any reliable statistics, probably half of us have escaped from the chains of supernaturalism. I myself am a former fundamentalist christian. The freedom to think, the freedom to see the world around us clear of the fog of superstition is a never-ending gift.
Free from what? Was your life as a Christian that bad? I am a Christian and I couldn't imagine being any happier than I am on a daily basis. Things normally go extremely well for me. I am 29 years old. I am healthy. I have a good job, and nice home, a beautiful fiance whom I am marrying in November. A loving family. I couldn't ask for more. Not to say I don't ever have problems. I do. But when I do, I have hope that they have a solution, and I can relax and trust God to deliver me through any and all adversity. And He has always been faithful to do just that. Why would I want to be free from that kind of lifestyle?
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Here now you raise an often repeated yet essentially meaningless objection. In fact, you were not there to see these things either.

Yes but I have a narrative of the whole event. Eye-wink But seriously, when I have claimed to be able to prove Jesus Christ is God? I haven't and I won't. I do not believe it can be proven, at least not by scientific method. So my goal is to disprove the athiests doctrines of evolution and the coincidental birth of the universe.
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Here now is another reason for us to wish to see you free from these chains. None of these arguments originated with you. They have been fed to you by your priesthood in an effort to prop up their own temporal power.
Yes, they did actually. There may have been others who have made those arguments, but I've never heard them. And certainly not in church.
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They have no basis in fact, and are woefully uninformed in general. Did your pastor teach you about dating methods, or berate them with no more knowledge of their methodologies than your post suggests?
Again, no. We don't study evolution at church. We study God's word. In the 53 years my pastor has been teaching, I am quite sure he has never had a single thing to say about dating methods, or even evolution in general. Church (or bible class, as he calls it) is not a science class. The argument I made did not require extensive understanding of dating methods. It was a very basic point, which defintely makes an assumption, but I'd be extremely surprised if that assumption were not true. And I know a little about science. We are inventing dating methods which did not previously exist. So there is no historical trend data we have to compare our results to. My point was that the degradation of carbon very well may not be linear. Or it may be linear within a certain range and non-linear in another range. Even if it were linear in every range in which it has been tested, there are vast ranges in which it cannot be tested, because there is no standard with which to test it. And those ranges are the ones being used to support the idea of evolution. Does that make them wrong? Not necessarily. But it does make them unprovable.
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Have you heard of isochrons? Of multiple independent decay mechanisms used to cross check each other? Potassium-Argon versus Rubidium-Strontium versus Thorium-Lead? Of the varves of Lake Suigetsu used to normalize carbon dating? Of the "missing' radio-isotopes that allow us to pinpoint the supernova explosion that generated our very atoms some five billion years ago?

It's true enough that the methods we've developed are less than "100 percent" accurate, but just barely true. They are still sufficient to pin down the age of the formation of this earth to within 20 million years, or less than one half of one percent. The age of the earth is all but certainly within the range between 4.53 and 4.55 billion years.

The fact is that your priesthood has lied to you about these things, and done their best to prevent you from learning the truth, the truth that will set you free if only you can find the strength to look at it straight in the face. Do you believe in a creator? Then you should not be afraid to examine the truths that creator has written in creation itself. Ask, and you will find many willing to help you understand, to examine the evidence and come to your own conclusions. It is not arrogance that tells us what you will discover, but long experience in seeing others come to the same conclusions.

This all sound very technical and scientific, but it doesn't disprove what I said. This is a system that cannot be proven accurate in the range which it is quite often used.
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Here is something else which you must unlearn. You have been taught that evolution is a theory held only, or perhaps only mostly, by atheists.
No I haven't. I never said or even implied that. But I am talking to an atheist right now, so I thought it appropriate to address the audience to which I am speaking.
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In fact, most of those who accept the theory of evolution are theists.
  And most theists don't share beliefs which are even remotely similar to mine. What does that prove? You have put me in a stereotypical box of generalized Western Christianity, a category into which I certainly do not fall. So you're arguments in this area have no validity. I'm a bible-believing Christian. Not a religious wacko. There is a difference. A big difference.
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The most common textbooks used in university biology courses are those written by Ken Miller, a theist, a catholic, and also author of a work called Finding Darwin's God.

Great. I don't agree with Catholics on most of their spiritual doctrines. I don't play favorites. If a Catholic or a Baptist, or a Methodist believe in evolution, they are still wrong. Other "Christians" (and I use that term loosly) believing in evolution does not lend any more credibility to evolution for me. If my pastor got in front of the church Sunday morning and said "ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the error of my ways. All these years I have been teaching you lies. I attended a convention this weekend and heard extremely compelling evidence for evolution, and I must say I am convinced. We are going to start teaching Christianity from the standpoint of evolution from this point forth." If that happened, I would sit quietly and listen for the normal 2 hours that my church assembles, quitely get my things go to my car and never go back to that church again. My loyalty is to the truth (or at least what I believe to be the truth), not a pastor, or a scientist, or a celebrity, or a famous person, or a family member. I am many things, but close-minded is not one of them.
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So you're a young earth creationist, then.
  There are not enough people who believe as I do to merit a label. So I just believe what I believe. If there are others who agree, great. But I doubt there are many, and I doubt any label would fit me perfectly.
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That's good to know. In fact, we have a number of dating methods that go well beyond this limited period. Dendrochronology consists of little more than counting tree rings from a core sample. Using living and dead samples of bristlecone pines from the American southwest, we can trace back the history of this one species for more than 10,000 years.

Then there's algae. In a fairly small body of water in Japan called Lake Suigetsu, algae have been blooming in the spring and dying off in the fall for at least 45,000 years. Each year as they die off they form a layer of light colored silt on the lake bed, covered over the winter with a dark layer. Again, it's only necessary to extract cores and count these "varves."

What's significant about both of these is that they contain organic material within their layers, allowing us to calibrate C-14 measurements from other materials we wish to date. Because it is continuously created in our upper atmosphere, dependent upon varying generation rates, Carbon-14 is the least accurate of any modern dating method, yet using these calibration methods, we can achieve accuracy greater than 99 percent.
If you could achieve accuracy of 110% in a limited range it would still not prove accuracy in ranges which cannot be tested. All of those things you mentioned are quite interesting, but again not proof. Why are they not proof? Because men were not around 45,000 years ago, and no other speicies that I am aware of has even mastered the art of reading and writing. So there is no documentation to prove any of this. You don't know when that tree was born. I remember studying this a little in high school, but I don't remember how many years each ring represented. But lets say exactly 100 years from the back edge of the previous ring to the leading edge of the new ring. Let's say that in measuring 2 rings over the course of a human lifetime, you note that both rings measured exactly 100 years, not 100.01, but exactly 100 (which I seriously doubt they would be that close, but let's say they were.) At that point you must make an assumption in order to use this as a dating method. You must assume that every other ring took exactly as long. Why must you assume that? Because you weren't there 45,000 years ago, and no one else was either. You didn't measure the first ring when it was made, or the second or the third. You only measured a couple of rings in the middle. So that is one assumption. But let's say that it wasn't an assumption. Let's say that there was a scientist around 45,000 years ago who had a hunch about tree rings and observed this particular tree and documented everything he observed, and put it on a notebook and sealed it in a vacuum so it would last 45,000 years. And you now have this information about this tree, so you know for a fact that this tree really is 45,000 years old, and you count the rings, and let's say there are 450 rings. From this you deduct that one tree ring equals precisely 100 years. Now you must make another assumption. You must assume that all trees age at the same rate. All of this requires assuming a lot, when in reality all you know for certain is that THAT particular ring took 100 years to grow. Maybe trees grow faster when they're younger and slow down when they get older. Maybe it's the opposite. And maybe it's different for every single type of tree. And maybe it's different in different climates. There are way too many vaiables and assumptions for this to be even remotely accurate. Scientists must really badly want to believe this in order to take so many liberties. One might ask why they want to believe it so badly? I have a hunch.
Quote:
Dating methods that rely on radionuclides that are not replenished are orders of magnitude more precise. Calibration is far simpler in this case. If we compare dating that relies on beta-decay (Rb/Sr) with dating that relies on electron capture (K/Ar), we achieve a calibration. If we compare these with decay chains that use combinations of both along with alpha decays (U-238/Pb-206 and U-235/Pb-207), we achieve a calibration through redundant triangulation.

Again, the same rules apply. If there is no known 45,000 year old sample with which to test this method, then you cannot prove it accurate in that range, let alone in the million and billion year ranges.
Quote:
These are things your priesthood would not have you learn, things they would prefer were kept secret from you.
  Again with the condescention. What's up with that? I don't have a priesthood. I'm not catholic. I believe that every person who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and personal savior is a priest. Priests were mediaries between men and God, prior to Christ's sacrifice. Jesus Christ is the mediary for mankind now. We don't need any other.
Quote:
Why should we not wish you free of these pious lies?
  I do not believe they are pious, nor lies. I have not been brainwashed. I've heard both sides of the story, and I have chosen the side which I think has more credibility and validity. And the longer I live the more confident I am that I made the right choice.
Quote:
Consider the implications, though. If they would lie to you about things so readily apparent to anyone willing to undertake an investigation, what is to keep them from lying to you about the nature of supernatural worlds?
Again, we discuss the word of God in bible-class, not science. I have come to my own conclusions about evolution through personal study. No one forced anything on me. My pastor would never talk about such things at church. He doesn't believe they are even worthy of discussion to begin with, but if they were, bible-class is not the place for it.
Quote:
You will find that many of us have managed the arduous trek away from these shackles. From our own experiences, we know that you can too.
  From my viewpoint, you are the one who is shackled. A slave to your own human nature. And condemned to an even worse slavery because of lack of faith.
Quote:
From our own experience, we know that you too can be filled with wonder at the prospect of endless discovery.

But in the meantime, whether you join us in this adventure or not, we insist on our own hard won freedom to learn.

Best of luck to you.

As ever, Jesse

Thanks for responding. I enjoyed replying to you.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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Musicdude wrote:   I'm

Musicdude wrote:
  I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that. Christians are ridiculed much more often than atheists. But I could care less if I am ridiculed.

I'm afraid you "don't believe it" because it seems to me that this is your first exposure to our "movement." Being ridiculed is the least of our problems. Being bound by civil laws to proclaim allegiance and trust in your God, seeing polls that say no one who professes a disbelief in God has a snowball's chance in your hell of being elected to public office, watching our children and fellow adult humans here and abroad be endangered and murdered by religious objections to comprehensive sex education, having our media filtered and censored according to one segment of society's religious beliefs - THOSE are the problems that we have the right AND the duty as patriots to bring to the table as grievances that must be redressed.

I don't care about the Bible and I don't really care how or why we or the universe got here. What I care about is that MY most sacred document is being ignored, and the wall separating church and state systematically dismantled, and in its place we're supposed to accept the "laws" of your particular book of myths.

Believe whatever you want privately, but keep your superstitions far away from OUR civil laws. For people who claim so much ridicule and persecution, an objective look at our society shows that Christians (and fundamentalists, no less!) certainly wield no small amount of political power here in our "secular" republic. That must END; and after a quarter-century of doing whatever I can to rail against their power grabs, I sure as hell ain't going to soft-pedal it now!

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ObnoxiousBroad wrote:

Musicdude wrote:
  I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that. Christians are ridiculed much more often than atheists. But I could care less if I am ridiculed.

I'm afraid you "don't believe it" because it seems to me that this is your first exposure to our "movement." Being ridiculed is the least of our problems. Being bound by civil laws to proclaim allegiance and trust in your God, seeing polls that say no one who professes a disbelief in God has a snowball's chance in your hell of being elected to public office, watching our children and fellow adult humans here and abroad be endangered and murdered by religious objections to comprehensive sex education, having our media filtered and censored according to one segment of society's religious beliefs - THOSE are the problems that we have the right AND the duty as patriots to bring to the table as grievances that must be redressed.

I don't care about the Bible and I don't really care how or why we or the universe got here. What I care about is that MY most sacred document is being ignored, and the wall separating church and state systematically dismantled, and in its place we're supposed to accept the "laws" of your particular book of myths.

Believe whatever you want privately, but keep your superstitions far away from OUR civil laws. For people who claim so much ridicule and persecution, an objective look at our society shows that Christians (and fundamentalists, no less!) certainly wield no small amount of political power here in our "secular" republic. That must END; and after a quarter-century of doing whatever I can to rail against their power grabs, I sure as hell ain't going to soft-pedal it now!

So you have to say the pledge of allegience in school. Big deal. I have to take years of science classes in high school where I learn about your religion. I dealt with it. So can you. Media filtering? HAH!!! Oh, I believe the media is slanted, but not toward Christianity. You can't be serious. Our nation is moving in a direction that is more tolerate of all beliefs, or even unbeliefs in your case. But it's a slow process. When our nation was formed there wasn't such variety. So the constitution has to adapt. That doesn't happen over night. I am a Christian, but I could care less if "in God we trust" is on our money, or if "one nation under God" is in our pledge. I worship how I want to, and I am glad that I live in a nation that allows me that freedom. I do not wish for the goverment to cater to Christianity. Quite frankly I probalby feel stronger than you do that the goverment has no business in the churches, and the churches have no business in government operated organizations, such as schools.

 But you can't have freedom to not believe in God, if I don't have the freedom to believe in Him. And I could care less if my kids have the opportunity to pray out loud in groups in school either. They can pray silently to God and no one can hear them, and no one can stop them. It offends no one if my child bows his head for a few seconds before eating lunch. And if it does offend someone, too bad. Since when did it become illegal to offend people? There are a million things that offend me everywhere I go, but I don't feel the need to become an activist.

 

You'll forgive me, but I have little sympathy. The government is not pushing Christianity on you, any more than it's pushing any other religion. If it's hard to become a president as an atheist, that is because the majority of America are not atheists. It would be no different than if you were pushing some political agenda that the majority of America disagrees with. A president (or any goverment official for that matter) are representatives of the people. And majority has always ruled in our country. There are certain priveledges that come with being a majority. That's just how it is. I didn't make the rules, but I do think they are good rules.

Quote:
certainly wield no small amount of political power here in our "secular" republic. That must END

Do you have any clue how hateful and offensive that sounds?
We are people too, you know. To discriminate against Christians makes you no better than those you claim are discriminating against you now. And they call Christians hypocrites. HAH!

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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We the people...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

What is a religion?

The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.

To believe in God or reference a God does not establish a religion. I agree it does lend weight to a religious concept but in and of its self it is not establishing a specific religion.

I will fight hard to keep the state from adopting a religion over another. I am not opposed to the removal of 'In God We Trust' but I think it is silly to worry about it. I would collect the money with the print for historical value.

As for public buildings, I say let the people of the area have a poll with mandate every 10 years or so enforcing the will of the people.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


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Musicdude wrote: I have to

Musicdude wrote:
I have to take years of science classes in high school where I learn about your religion.

Arrrgh! I've only been on this board for a few weeks and this one already makes me want to put the keyboard through the monitor. Science is NOT A RELIGION!

Science is defined as systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

Religion is defined as belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

Show me where the 2 intersect.

Musicdude wrote:
Media filtering? HAH!!! Oh, I believe the media is slanted, but not toward Christianity.

The entire culture is slanted towards Christianity. And when people try to gudie it down a more egalitarian path, we get crap like the War on Christmas or Easter.

Besides, while it is true that over 50% of US reporters do describe thenmselves as liberal, over 50% of editors define themselves as conservative. Who decides what stories go where?

Musicdude wrote:
And majority has always ruled in our country. There are certain priveledges that come with being a majority. That's just how it is. I didn't make the rules, but I do think they are good rules.

The majority has not always ruled. Ask ol' G.W. about that in 2000, heck, ask Clinton about that in 1992. Neither one got over 50% of the popular vote. This country is over 50% y-chromasonally challenged and how many female leaders do we have? Even close to 25%??

Have you read what our Founding Fathers thought about Democracy? 'The tyranny of the majority.' They hated it. The Bill of Rights and especially the First Amendment exists for the protection of the minority FROM the majority.

"When you hit your thumb with a hammer it's nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a special kind of atheist to jump up and down shout, 'Oh, random fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!'"-Terry Pratchett


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IzzyPop wrote:Musicdude

IzzyPop wrote:

Musicdude wrote:
I have to take years of science classes in high school where I learn about your religion.

Arrrgh! I've only been on this board for a few weeks and this one already makes me want to put the keyboard through the monitor. Science is NOT A RELIGION!

Science is defined as systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

Religion is defined as belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

Show me where the 2 intersect.

Musicdude wrote:
Media filtering? HAH!!! Oh, I believe the media is slanted, but not toward Christianity.

The entire culture is slanted towards Christianity. And when people try to gudie it down a more egalitarian path, we get crap like the War on Christmas or Easter.

Besides, while it is true that over 50% of US reporters do describe thenmselves as liberal, over 50% of editors define themselves as conservative. Who decides what stories go where?

Musicdude wrote:
And majority has always ruled in our country. There are certain priveledges that come with being a majority. That's just how it is. I didn't make the rules, but I do think they are good rules.

The majority has not always ruled. Ask ol' G.W. about that in 2000, heck, ask Clinton about that in 1992. Neither one got over 50% of the popular vote. This country is over 50% y-chromasonally challenged and how many female leaders do we have? Even close to 25%??

Have you read what our Founding Fathers thought about Democracy? 'The tyranny of the majority.' They hated it. The Bill of Rights and especially the First Amendment exists for the protection of the minority FROM the majority.

I didn't say science was a religion. I said evolution and the big bang are. Any unproven theory with such avid followers sounds like a religion to me. If the election had "unfairly" gone the other way, you wouldn't have said a word. Let it go. You lost. There's always next time. Eye-wink

Why does no other theory have so much support and so much publicity? Because no other theories contradict and disprove God.
I think people desperately want to believe in evolution and the big bang, because they desperately don't want to believe in God, (because they don't want to be morally held accountable for thier thoughts and actions) and this seems an intelligent alternative. And since it is based in science, it gives them the supposed right to tout their religion as more intellectual, or more sophisticated.

Evolution and the big bang are two tiny little theories that are believed by some scientists. Just because I don't believe those two theories are correct, doesn't mean I have a problem with science. I love science. It was my favorite subject in school.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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I doubt that, as if you

I doubt that, as if you paid attention in Junior high you'd know what the word "theory" means in science. Obviously you don't. Unless you are intentionally misusing it.

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MattShizzle wrote: I doubt

MattShizzle wrote:

I doubt that, as if you paid attention in Junior high you'd know what the word "theory" means in science. Obviously you don't. Unless you are intentionally misusing it.

1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

Not necessarily correct propositions, just propositions.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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Dictionaries show how the

Dictionaries show how the general public uses a word. In science "gravity" is also a theory. Theory is science is as high an order of validity as you can get.

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MattShizzle

MattShizzle wrote:
Dictionaries show how the general public uses a word. In science "gravity" is also a theory. Theory is science is as high an order of validity as you can get.

Well, maybe gravity hasn't been proven either.

The physical phenomenon that gravity proposes an explanation for is certainly proven. But whether or not that explanation is the correct one probably can't be proven.

Gravity:
1. the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.

That is just a description, not a reason.

I say God holds us to the earth. Prove me wrong. Eye-wink

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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Musicdude wrote: So you

Musicdude wrote:

So you have to say the pledge of allegience in school. Big deal. I have to take years of science classes in high school where I learn about your religion. I dealt with it. So can you. Media filtering? HAH!!! Oh, I believe the media is slanted, but not toward Christianity. You can't be serious. Our nation is moving in a direction that is more tolerate of all beliefs, or even unbeliefs in your case. But it's a slow process. When our nation was formed there wasn't such variety. So the constitution has to adapt. That doesn't happen over night. I am a Christian, but I could care less if "in God we trust" is on our money, or if "one nation under God" is in our pledge.

Of course you don't care, because it is your God being officially endorsed by the US government (in violation of the First Amendment rights of every citizen). And I care just as much as you would if "Shiva" or "Zeus" were to replace the name "God" in these instances - because it's not WHOSE deity or religion the government is "respecting," it's the fact that they're engaging in religious speech AT ALL. The right of free exercise belongs to the People; the government has no such right, and in creating laws that favor Christians over those of other faiths or none Congress is breaking the law.

Re: Media - please list for me an accounting of atheist television stations, atheist themes in television series, atheistic concepts in children's programming or perhaps interviews with prominent atheists after some tragedy or another. You'll have to dig pretty deep to find anything (if it exists), in contrast to the multitudes of examples of the Christian counterparts that most people whether believers or not could rattle off just off the top of their heads. I don't know how old you are, but I'm old enough to have seen the religious right evolve into what they are today; and there is no question that they'd like nothing more than to turn us into Jesusland, and they'll have to kill me to stop me from making sure that doesn't happen.

Musicdude wrote:
I worship how I want to, and I am glad that I live in a nation that allows me that freedom. I do not wish for the goverment to cater to Christianity. Quite frankly I probalby feel stronger than you do that the goverment has no business in the churches, and the churches have no business in government operated organizations, such as schools.

But you can't have freedom to not believe in God, if I don't have the freedom to believe in Him. And I could care less if my kids have the opportunity to pray out loud in groups in school either. They can pray silently to God and no one can hear them, and no one can stop them. It offends no one if my child bows his head for a few seconds before eating lunch. And if it does offend someone, too bad. Since when did it become illegal to offend people? There are a million things that offend me everywhere I go, but I don't feel the need to become an activist.

The problem is, government and religion are already excessively entangled today. On the bases of just those two official, yet illegal acts of Congress that put "God" on the money and in the Pledge of patriotism of our secular Constitutional republic, anyone who values that document that makes us unique among nations cannot stand by and allow such crimes to be allowed to stand as law. I am not offended by those acts, I am rightly appalled at my government committing constitutional violations in exercising "rights" they do not have. If that doesn't bring out the activist in those whose rights are being infringed upon, I don't know what would.

However, I'm completely with ya on the "if it offends you, too bad." Sealed And I agree that your children can and should pray anytime and anywhere they like as long as they're not disruptive.

I also take exception to your conflating science classes with religion. It's not the fault of atheists that evolution (which is what I'm assuming you're calling our "religion" - erroneously, I might add) has millions of pieces of evidence that support its truth - to the extent that it is the basis of all of the life sciences - and that there's not a shred of evidence in support of a 6-day "Creation" or even the preposterous notions of "Intelligent Design." If there were scientific evidence for those "theories" you can bet they'd be discussed in science classrooms. There isn't, so they're not; nor should they be.

Musicdude wrote:
You'll forgive me, but I have little sympathy. The government is not pushing Christianity on you, any more than it's pushing any other religion. If it's hard to become a president as an atheist, that is because the majority of America are not atheists. It would be no different than if you were pushing some political agenda that the majority of America disagrees with. A president (or any goverment official for that matter) are representatives of the people. And majority has always ruled in our country. There are certain priveledges that come with being a majority. That's just how it is. I didn't make the rules, but I do think they are good rules.

Certain privileges such as being above the Constitution? Such as saying things like, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." while speaking as a representative of government, and not being severely chastised for being bigoted or intolerant? Privileges like having the government illegally prop up your flavor of superstition to the exclusion of all others?

Musicdude wrote:
OB wrote:
certainly wield no small amount of political power here in our "secular" republic. That must END

Do you have any clue how hateful and offensive that sounds? We are people too, you know. To discriminate against Christians makes you no better than those you claim are discriminating against you now. And they call Christians hypocrites. HAH!

I believe you only see hate, offense or discrimination in that particular sentence because the powerful people who have used our own government and public media to wage a culture war in Jesus' name are on your side. I am a humanist, so I'd think it would be clear that I do not wish individual Christians any harm. But people like Dobson, Colson, Kennedy, Warren, Wildmon and up til he died, Falwell, along with all the other fundamentalists who've gained enormous power (plus lots & lots of money - Jesus must be so proud) by infiltrating and manipulating our political process in order to subvert the Constitution and bring about the Christian nation they so desire, those people I will never let up on. I'll continue to do whatever's necessary to defend my Constitutional rights, since I obviously can't count on my representatives OR my fellow citizens to see who the real bad guys are through their Jesus-goggles.

The Constitution of the United States is a wholly secular document, as it was intended to be. Now if only people'd pay attention to it... beyond wiping their butts with it, like our leaders are doing these days...

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ObnoxiousBroad

ObnoxiousBroad wrote:
Musicdude wrote:

So you have to say the pledge of allegience in school. Big deal. I have to take years of science classes in high school where I learn about your religion. I dealt with it. So can you. Media filtering? HAH!!! Oh, I believe the media is slanted, but not toward Christianity. You can't be serious. Our nation is moving in a direction that is more tolerate of all beliefs, or even unbeliefs in your case. But it's a slow process. When our nation was formed there wasn't such variety. So the constitution has to adapt. That doesn't happen over night. I am a Christian, but I could care less if "in God we trust" is on our money, or if "one nation under God" is in our pledge.

Of course you don't care, because it is your God being officially endorsed by the US government (in violation of the First Amendment rights of every citizen). And I care just as much as you would if "Shiva" or "Zeus" were to replace the name "God" in these instances - because it's not WHOSE deity or religion the government is "respecting," it's the fact that they're engaging in religious speech AT ALL. The right of free exercise belongs to the People; the government has no such right, and in creating laws that favor Christians over those of other faiths or none Congress is breaking the law.

Re: Media - please list for me an accounting of atheist television stations, atheist themes in television series, atheistic concepts in children's programming or perhaps interviews with prominent atheists after some tragedy or another. You'll have to dig pretty deep to find anything (if it exists), in contrast to the multitudes of examples of the Christian counterparts that most people whether believers or not could rattle off just off the top of their heads. I don't know how old you are, but I'm old enough to have seen the religious right evolve into what they are today; and there is no question that they'd like nothing more than to turn us into Jesusland, and they'll have to kill me to stop me from making sure that doesn't happen.

Musicdude wrote:
I worship how I want to, and I am glad that I live in a nation that allows me that freedom. I do not wish for the goverment to cater to Christianity. Quite frankly I probalby feel stronger than you do that the goverment has no business in the churches, and the churches have no business in government operated organizations, such as schools.

But you can't have freedom to not believe in God, if I don't have the freedom to believe in Him. And I could care less if my kids have the opportunity to pray out loud in groups in school either. They can pray silently to God and no one can hear them, and no one can stop them. It offends no one if my child bows his head for a few seconds before eating lunch. And if it does offend someone, too bad. Since when did it become illegal to offend people? There are a million things that offend me everywhere I go, but I don't feel the need to become an activist.

The problem is, government and religion are already excessively entangled today. On the bases of just those two official, yet illegal acts of Congress that put "God" on the money and in the Pledge of patriotism of our secular Constitutional republic, anyone who values that document that makes us unique among nations cannot stand by and allow such crimes to be allowed to stand as law. I am not offended by those acts, I am rightly appalled at my government committing constitutional violations in exercising "rights" they do not have. If that doesn't bring out the activist in those whose rights are being infringed upon, I don't know what would.

However, I'm completely with ya on the "if it offends you, too bad." Sealed And I agree that your children can and should pray anytime and anywhere they like as long as they're not disruptive.

I also take exception to your conflating science classes with religion. It's not the fault of atheists that evolution (which is what I'm assuming you're calling our "religion" - erroneously, I might add) has millions of pieces of evidence that support its truth - to the extent that it is the basis of all of the life sciences - and that there's not a shred of evidence in support of a 6-day "Creation" or even the preposterous notions of "Intelligent Design." If there were scientific evidence for those "theories" you can bet they'd be discussed in science classrooms. There isn't, so they're not; nor should they be.

Musicdude wrote:
You'll forgive me, but I have little sympathy. The government is not pushing Christianity on you, any more than it's pushing any other religion. If it's hard to become a president as an atheist, that is because the majority of America are not atheists. It would be no different than if you were pushing some political agenda that the majority of America disagrees with. A president (or any goverment official for that matter) are representatives of the people. And majority has always ruled in our country. There are certain priveledges that come with being a majority. That's just how it is. I didn't make the rules, but I do think they are good rules.

Certain privileges such as being above the Constitution? Such as saying things like, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." while speaking as a representative of government, and not being severely chastised for being bigoted or intolerant? Privileges like having the government illegally prop up your flavor of superstition to the exclusion of all others?

Musicdude wrote:
OB wrote:
certainly wield no small amount of political power here in our "secular" republic. That must END

Do you have any clue how hateful and offensive that sounds? We are people too, you know. To discriminate against Christians makes you no better than those you claim are discriminating against you now. And they call Christians hypocrites. HAH!

I believe you only see hate, offense or discrimination in that particular sentence because the powerful people who have used our own government and public media to wage a culture war in Jesus' name are on your side. I am a humanist, so I'd think it would be clear that I do not wish individual Christians any harm. But people like Dobson, Colson, Kennedy, Warren, Wildmon and up til he died, Falwell, along with all the other fundamentalists who've gained enormous power (plus lots & lots of money - Jesus must be so proud) by infiltrating and manipulating our political process in order to subvert the Constitution and bring about the Christian nation they so desire, those people I will never let up on. I'll continue to do whatever's necessary to defend my Constitutional rights, since I obviously can't count on my representatives OR my fellow citizens to see who the real bad guys are through their Jesus-goggles.

The Constitution of the United States is a wholly secular document, as it was intended to be. Now if only people'd pay attention to it... beyond wiping their butts with it, like our leaders are doing these days...

I'll just respond to a few points because I don't have time to respond to them all. 1. What I meant was I wouldn't care if "one nation under God" were removed. I didn't mean I don't care if it's there. I thought that was pretty obvious. And it's not "my God" mentioned in the pledge. It's just God in general. That could be any God. My God's name is Yahweh or Elohim or Jehovah, not God. Zeus is a specific name. God is a generality. 2. The lack of atheist talk shows and sitcoms is nothing more than a result of majority rules. The broadcast companies are not going air shows that will not get them ratings, and they apparently do not thing there is enough of an atheist audience to merit giving them tons of airtime. Tough breaks. Get over it. I'm sure every minority feels the same way you do. That's just part of being a minority. Is it fair? Probably not. Nobody said life was fair. Again, deal with it.

Now, as for this comment...

Quote:

The Constitution of the United States is a wholly secular document, as it was intended to be. Now if only people'd pay attention to it... beyond wiping their butts with it, like our leaders are doing these days...

Have you ever read the constitution. It has a lot more to say about God than you probably realize.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18


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The word god isn't mentioned

The word god isn't mentioned even once in the constitution. And be real. It's obvious they are AT LEAST  meaning the Judeo-Christian god. Otherwise it wouldn't be capitalized and would say under A god, not under God. And it still leaves out atheists or those who believe in more than 1 god.

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Benjamin Franklin's Plea

Benjamin Franklin's Plea for Prayer

It was during the quarreling and heated debating on June 28 that 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin made his famous plea for prayer. Said he:

"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need [His] assistance?

"I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.  And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, or conquest.

"I, therefore, beg leave to move:

"That hereafter prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."

Franklin then moved that a clergyman be found to offer morning prayers. The motion was seconded. The someone pointed out that the Convention had no funds to employ a clergyman which made Hamilton and others apprehensive because they felt they should not take foreign aid.

The Convention adjourned without a vote on Franklin's motion but not cast against prayer.  Many believe if they had enough funds back then they would have indeed had that daily prayer without contest.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


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Musicdude wrote:

Musicdude wrote:
Well, maybe gravity hasn't been proven either. The physical phenomenon that gravity proposes an explanation for is certainly proven. But whether or not that explanation is the correct one probably can't be proven. Gravity: 1. the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth. That is just a description, not a reason. I say God holds us to the earth. Prove me wrong. Eye-wink

 

You're kidding, right?

 

Let me ask you a few questions.

 

Why do you oppose the theory of evolution? I don't mean why do you think it's wrong, I mean why do you personally dislike the theory?

What is your interest in disproving this theory? What do you think disproving this theory will accomplish?

Would you still oppose the theory of evolution if it did not conflict with your theistic beliefs?

Are there other scientific theories that have nothing to do with evolution or the big bang that you oppose?

There are scientific theories that are far more controversial, why do you not debate those?

 

 

And as to your....'ideas' about scientific theories;

 

Science is the study of the natural world. In order to derive conclusions scientists utilize the scientific method. Any scientific fact has been tested multiple times using the scientific method.
The scientific method is comprised of several separate steps, namely Hypothesis, Test, Conclusion and the experiments are subject toPeer Review.
Hypothesis is an idea about how something works. The scientist sees a natural phenomena and postulates an idea as to how said phenomena could work.
Test is when the scientist gathers evidence that would support the hypothesis. This is achieved through scientific experimentation in a controlled laboratory setting and a lot of research.
After testing, the scientist arrives at a Conclusion. In a conclusion the scientist verifies that the collected evidence supports his/her original hypothesis. If the evidence does NOT support the hypothesis, the hypothesis is thrown out. It can also be revised, but if it is, the scientist must go back to step one.
Peer Review occurs is the scientist has concluded that his evidence supports his hypothesis. He then submits his findings to a peer reviewed scientific journal. Then, accredited scientists worldwide attempt to disprove the original hypothesis. If the hypothesis can not be disproved by any scientist in the world, then the hypothesis becomes a scientific theory.
When you say "working hypothesis", I can't help but laugh a little. For that is what ANY scientific theory is; the working hypothesis that has been proven by scientific research.

The misconception is that when you use the word 'theory' in layman's terms, it means 'idea you made up'. However, when it is used in a scientific context, the word 'theory' takes on a much more serious meaning.
Theory, when used in a scientific context is an explanation that best fits all of the evidence available. A theory can take years to prove, and it must be agreed upon by the scientific community.
The reality is, that if evolution were erroneous, then it would have been thrown out again years ago. Scientists don't play favorites with their theories. In example, Newton's laws of Gravity were revised by Einstein when they were found to not adequately explain gravity in many adverse situations; this was Einstein's theory of relativity.
Gravity is "only" a theory.
Heliocentrism is "only" a theory.
In general, a theory is a collection of smaller scientific facts that are placed together to allow for an explanation of a larger topic.

Theory refers to a "logical, tested, well-supported explanation for a great variety of facts." - National Center for Science Education.

 

 


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I'm sure we could go back

I'm sure we could go back and forth quote-mining the Founders (who were Deists) all day.  Instead, I'd like to recommend that our friends who may not be familiar with the writing of the Constitution or the creation of our secular republic read a few books on the subjects. I found these particularly interesting:

"Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism" - Susan Jacoby

"The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of a Secular State" -  Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore

 "Religion and The American Constitutional Experiment" - John Witte Jr.

"The Founders on God and Government" - Daniel L. Dreisbach 

Invisible friends are for children and psychopaths.


e303
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Here is a bonnet twister.

Here is a bonnet twister.

Time as a concept has no meaning outside our own time-space. Creation in 7 days may be a great story but 7 days may as well be 7 billion years because we know our time can be manipulated and is relative. Just because we can't work it like A PS3 doesn't mean a thing except we are probably not the species that made the universe.

Did Darwin believe in a creator? I think so.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


e303
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ObnoxiousBroad wrote: I'm

ObnoxiousBroad wrote:

I'm sure we could go back and forth quote-mining the Founders (who were Deists) all day.  Instead, I'd like to recommend that our friends who may not be familiar with the writing of the Constitution or the creation of our secular republic read a few books on the subjects. I found these particularly interesting:

"Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism" - Susan Jacoby

"The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of a Secular State" -  Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore

 "Religion and The American Constitutional Experiment" - John Witte Jr.

"The Founders on God and Government" - Daniel L. Dreisbach 

I agree and I also agree that religion and government should be separate and people free to believe as they want without government persecution.

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


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Musicdude wrote: I didn't

Musicdude wrote:
I didn't say science was a religion. I said evolution and the big bang are. Any unproven theory with such avid followers sounds like a religion to me.

There is more eveidence supporting these theories than there is supporting the existance of Jesus Christ, much less his divinity.

Musicdude wrote:
f the election had "unfairly" gone the other way, you wouldn't have said a word. Let it go. You lost. There's always next time. Eye-wink

I know that the talking heads refer to 'godless liberals' quite frequently, but we ain't all liberal. I voted for GW in 2000. I left the party in 2002 due to the Moral Mafia's take over of party and the rampant corruption. I still believe quite stongly in a fiscally responsible government which is limited in scope, size, and power and one that interferes with our daily lives as little as possible. Oh, and I am a pretty strict constructionist where the Constitution is concerned.

Remember, when you make an assumption, you are really making an ass out of Uma Thurman.- David Letterman ;P

 

 

"When you hit your thumb with a hammer it's nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a special kind of atheist to jump up and down shout, 'Oh, random fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!'"-Terry Pratchett


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 IzzyPop - I have alwasy

 IzzyPop - I have alwasy said we need an active a US Centrist Party that will work on issues, protect the constitution and let the self-serving nut jobs on the left and right within both parties be open targets for political bashing.

 

"I felt in my bones that this universe does not explain itself." ~ C. S. Lewis


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The debate alerted me to

The debate alerted me to your existence; so, from my perspective, it was an excellent move for this cause. lol

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Nero wrote: The debate

Nero wrote:
The debate alerted me to your existence; so, from my perspective, it was an excellent move for this cause. lol

 

You officially nudged me off the fence. The debates did some good for athiests. I cant blame Brian and Kelly for being angry. I'm angry as well. Even in hostility this type of discourse, in time, will eventually lead the majority of humanity to actually review all of the evidence at hand. At least thats my hope, but on a long enough timeline, if we as athiests and freethinkers dont do our part to keep the hordes of superstitious radicals out of our government, state federal and local, I feel I can safely predict that scientific findings, theories, and evidence that oppose their beliefs will never reach our ears. (ie. the Human to Ape genome connection)And will be substituted with their alternate verisions of reality. (ie. Intelligent Design)

 

One Quick note of the THEORY OF GRAVITY.

It is a "LAW" of physics

There is REAL EVIDENCE that proves its existence! This EVIDENCE can be tested in controlled setting! And the results are always CONCLUSIVE and can be PREDICTED.

(Thats why its called a "Theory&quotEye-wink

a THEORY obeys LAWS!

very much in the same way the THEORY OF GRAVITY obeys Newtons "LAWS" based on the theory of gravity.

ergo:Newtons Laws of Motion, Newtons Laws of Inertia and Mass, the state of motion and the laws of Balanced and Unbalance forces.

These are all LAWS that are undisputed, based on a Theory.

Anything less is called an idea or a hypothesis.

One of the worst things christianity has done in the last century or so, is ramp up the campaign to change the definition of the word "Theory".

"Well, thats just your theory.." Really doesnt make any sense.

High Pope


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ObnoxiousBroad wrote: It's

ObnoxiousBroad wrote:
It's not the fault of atheists that evolution (which is what I'm assuming you're calling our "religion" - erroneously, I might add) has millions of pieces of evidence that support its truth - to the extent that it is the basis of all of the life sciences - and that there's not a shred of evidence in support of a 6-day "Creation" or even the preposterous notions of "Intelligent Design." If there were scientific evidence for those "theories" you can bet they'd be discussed in science classrooms. There isn't, so they're not; nor should they be.
To clarify, I was not advocating the teaching of creation in public schools. I would rather they not teach anything that isn't proven fact. I don't mind them making the students aware of certain theories, as long as they make it very clear that they are only theories and not proven facts. But I am seeing more and more that the big bang and evolution and being taught in schools and science museums and other places where children learn about science, as a fact, not a theory at all. In fact they drop off the word theory and just call it the big bang and evolution. And they teach it as though "this is how things happened," not "this is how things may have happened." I think that is wrong, wrong, wrong. The schools are pushing their agenda on little children and brainwashing them. This happened to me when I was in school 12 years ago (in a small town school where most of the faculty were Christians), I can only imagine it has gotten worse.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor 1:18